Category Archive: Perennial Indignancy Watch

That slippery slope is going to be quite a ride.

A friend noted that one of our local television stations had prematurely labeled church vandalism (Nazi-esque, pro-Donald Trump graffiti spray-painted on the exterior) in a southern Indiana county last February as a “hate crime”, prior to discovering that, in fact, the church organist vandalized the building as a protest against Donald Trump.

Talk about egg on their face.  But, nah, let’s talk about “hate crimes” instead.

On some level, all crimes are potentially hate crimes. Designating certain types of crimes as official hate crimes under law is an exercise in legislative opinion (and as a primarily-political opinion, it makes for bad law). It’s all well and good to fix in law that vandalism of a religious property is a hate crime, to be prosecuted with special attention to the mental state of the perpetrator; but once you have designated one thing as a hate crime, you’ve got a foot stuck in the door to eventually broadening the definition of a hate crime. And we’re already headed down that slippery slope, with “thoughtcrime” already being sanctioned, however unofficially, by the media and by various Internet services like Facebook and Twitter.

And you thought 1984 was just a book.  “Two-Minutes Hate,” anyone?

I, for one, strongly believe that tearing down Confederate memorials is a hate crime. Not because I hold any brief for slavery, or for the rebels and their ill-conceived secession and the war it engendered, but because to destroy or remove these monuments destroys our national history out of no emotion other than hatred for that history. As an historian, I strongly believe that we MUST embrace our history honestly, warts and all, and not try to erase the “uncomfortable” parts just to make ourselves feel better.

On the other hand, there are people out there who believe the opinion I just expressed is itself a hate crime. The next thing we know, it may become a hate crime to express opinions that are out of the mainstream.*  If you think that’s impossible, don’t think the First Amendment will protect us from that; remember, the Second Amendment is very clear that the right to bear arms is not to be infringed, yet there exists a multitude of local, state, and federal laws that significantly infringe the right. Legislators can always find a way to get around the Bill of Rights, and with the right (meaning the left) judges in place, they can take away God-given rights we have long thought inviolable.

Don’t be so quick to label anything as a hate crime. Or at least, wait until the investigation is complete and the facts of the case have been made public. Remember that a lie can make it around the world twice while the truth is still lacing up its boots.

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* Oh, wait — as I pointed out, it already is, on Facebook and Twitter.

Because they’re not the same thing, idiots.

So far today I’ve seen two variations on the same theme show up as Facebook memes.

First, “They give Narcan for free to drug users because it will keep them from dying.  So why don’t they give free insulin to diabetics?”

My response was

Because you only get Narcan when you OD? I mean, it’s not like you get Narcan every day. Because if you do, it’s amazing you’re not dead anyway.

My paramedic niece has related stories of being called out more than once to Narcan the same person and wondering what the point of the exercise is.

FWIW I’m going to guess that it isn’t actually free. Somebody is paying for it, if not the dopehead’s insurance (and there’s a laughable thought), then you and me when we pay our premiums and taxes.

Then I saw this one: “If methadone is free to addicts because they have a disease, why is chemo not free for cancer patients?”

I didn’t respond to that one, but it’s the same stupid question wrapped up in the same stupid logical fallacy.  You’re not talking about apples and apples here.  You’re talking about an attempt to modify an anti-social behavior versus trying to cure a fatal disease.

Plus, heroin addiction is not a disease, no matter how the proggy left wants to soft-shoe it.  Becoming a junkie required a positive (or negative, depending on your viewpoint) decision on the part of the junkie to become a junkie.  Becoming a junkie didn’t happen because of a virus or a bacteria.  Becoming a junkie isn’t like catching a cold or flu, or getting Ebola.*  And it happens regardless of any attitude on the proto-junkie’s part of “I’m strong, I can quit any time.”  Yeah.  Addiction doesn’t work that way.  The hell of it is, I was just sitting here thinking about alcoholism and how it’s considered a disease…but I don’t know of anyone who gives away free alcohol rehab the way, say, the city of New York hands out free methadone.**  And the consumption of alcohol is, at least, legal and accepted by society.

Let’s think for a moment about anti-social behavior.  Being a junkie is definitely anti-social.  Being a junkie means that you probably lie, cheat, and steal for your next high.  By the time you need treatment, in most cases you’re probably diseased, have poor hygiene, and are probably living on the streets or damn close to it.  Even if you’re not that bad, you’ve probably assured that nobody can trust you, and you’ve probably let down everyone who knows you, including your family and closest friends.

Or you’re just a fucking clueless dickhead or cuntwaffle doing meth or whatever the fuck is the drug of choice down on the Ohio River these days.  And yes, I include the long-term unemployed who have given up and turned to drugs as an escape.  You’re a bunch of fuckheads.  Man (or woman) the fuck up and make the best of your situation.  Yeah, I know, easy for me to say.  So I’ll say it again:  Stop acting like an animal and stand up like a human being, look adversity square in the eye, and say to it, “Fuck you, I’m not letting you get the best of me.”

Where was I?  Oh, yes.

I question the morality inherent in handing out these drugs to junkies for “free” in an attempt to wake them the fuck up and set the on the right path.  The standard proggie claim is that it is our moral and ethical duty to help these people.  But I do not believe it to be either moral or ethical to make me pay for a heroin addict’s methadone treatment, or for the Narcan for the stupid fucks who OD on the latest tainted shit that came out of the local dealer’s drug lab.  Because it is not moral or ethical to force me or anyone else to pay to correct other people’s stupidity.  And it is willful stupidity! You cannot say that people in this modern age aren’t aware of the dangers posed by deciding to do drugs.

My generation grew up getting the “don’t do drugs” mantra pounded into us by parents, teachers, TV, radio, you name it.  “This is your brain, this is your brain on drugs.”  Who the fuck wants to go around with a scrambled egg for a brain?  Life is a raging bitch, but we are supposed to stand tall and DEAL, not resort to booze or drugs or any other stupidity to dull the pain and make the hours pass like minutes.  We were taught that it was stupid to hand your life over to drugs or anything like them, including alcohol.  And yet, so many stupid people refused to accept that lesson even when it was being beaten into their brains on a daily basis.  Why are we coddling these people with treatments when the record shows that they almost all backslide back into addiction?***  Why don’t we just let them take their exit?  Or if you prefer stark reality to metaphor, why don’t we just let them fucking die?  It’s clearly what they seem to want.

My sense of morality is not twinged by any need or desire to succor these people, because history and common sense indicate that they will simply go right back to what they were fucking up before.  We are told that we have to break the cycle in order to cure what ails them.  But there are two ways to break the cycle, and one of them is to simply let nature take its course.  You OD’d?  Bye.  You’re a junkie?  Go ahead and sedate yourself to death.  You pussified coward.

And now we have these memes.

Because the progressives are frantic to try to find a way to force us into single-payer, so they can have that much more control over our lives.  And as usual with progressives, they are lying through their teeth to try to win us over to their point of view.

Because progressives are a bunch of fucking cuntwaffles.****

Fuck them.  Taxation is theft, and control over my life is something they can’t have.

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* It is, however, very much akin to contracting HIV if you indulge in the kind of anti-social behavior that gets you into a situation where you can contract HIV.  And by this I’m not including the people who contract it through no fault of their own, e.g., through blood transfusions, or sex with a partner who hasn’t been upfront with them about their own anti-social behavior, or any of the other ways that folks unknowingly manage to pick up HIV.  Or herpes.  Or gonorrhea.  Or syphilis.  Or chlamydia.  My, the list just goes on and on, doesn’t it?

** Yes, I understand that the methadone is handed out in a clinic situation and you have to go to the clinic to get the shot or pill or whatever, because they also don’t want you to end up addicted to methadone, which is just about as nasty a drug as heroin.  Before they figured that out, people did in fact switch from being hooked on heroin to being hooked on methadone.

*** Or go back on the streets to get another hit of what the fuck ever they did that made them OD in the first place, in the case of Narcan.

**** I just like the sound of “cuntwaffles”.

Double blep

I made this very point to one of our sales drones yesterday — there was little utility in me responding to the upset customer when all I was going to be able to do was reaffirm what the support engineer had already told them.  The fact was that the overnight service outage the customer was upset about was not our fault; our upstream ISP blew that one by not having a spare router card in the colo when the one we were connected to lost its magic smoke.  All of our stuff was up and running and patiently waiting to speak to the ‘net.  Customer is now demanding that they should be informed when we have an unexpected outage…well…that would have been difficult, with all our mail servers sitting behind the bad card.  So yelling at us was not exactly going to accomplish much in the grand scheme of things.

It’s gotten to where people today don’t understand that it’s a miracle the Internet works at all.  Either they don’t remember or never experienced the joys of the ‘net ca. 1995-1999.  I was telecommuting daily at the time on 56k dialup, and 90% uptime for any service was a pipe dream.  I didn’t have so much as a DSL line until late 2002, and it was strictly a quasi-T1 (1Mbps down, but residential service with no SLA, so it wasn’t particularly reliable, and I think uploads were limited to 100kbps).  Today you drop for a few hours (our SLA for the service in question states that “downtime” is only counted during our normal support hours, which makes sense, because who is working nights in this business) and people spoiled by always-on, fast, “reliable” internet get all bent out of shape because they can’t send out an email blast that nobody is going to read anyway.

I honestly cannot wait to get the hell out of this business.  I hate it.  Unfortunately I made the mistake of staying too long and am stuck with it till I retire, I fear.

Greed? That’s a funny name for “trying to make one’s investment back.”

Yeah, from FacialBook as usual, the Book of a Million Lies:

Wrong.

Greed is not the problem.  Government over-regulation and FDA slow-rolling of drug approval is the problem.  Drug companies pour billions of dollars annually into drug development, most of which is “wasted” when new ideas for drugs don’t pan out, usually after years of expensive trials.  I’ve read that the success rate for drug development is one drug in ten, so for every billion-dollar development program that succeeds, there are nine billion-dollar development programs that fail.  If that rate holds, for every new drug a company develops through FDA approval, they have a $10 billion investment that has to be accounted for and and recovered.  Not much profit there!

Yet people wonder why new drugs cost so much, and agitators like Sachin Patel claim it’s because of greed.  Is it really greedy to want a return on your ten billion dollar investment?  Does Dr. Patel like having new drugs and therapies, or would he prefer to go back to the old days when aspirin and chalk pills was about all a doctor could prescribe?

I’ll agree in a heartbeat that there are companies like Mylan who ought to be ashamed of themselves (and be run of business) for what they charge for basic drugs just because they have a fancy proprietary delivery system.  But by and large, drugs are expensive to buy because they are expensive to develop, and drug companies naturally want to make their money back.

These RealFarmacy people are a real danger to the rest of the world.  Liars, cheats, and swindlers all, they are nothing more than modern Luddites wishing the rest of us back into a medieval world where we all drop dead in our 40’s from preventable disease, or starve to death because there isn’t enough food.  They are the logical heirs of Paul Ehrlich and his ilk.

It’s not a human right just because you say it is.

Health care is not a human right.

Nope.  Not even close.

Freedoms enumerated and enshrined in the Constitution?  Human rights.  The right to free speech, the right to worship as you please, the right to bear arms in defense of yourself, your family, and the nation, the right to be free of the government quartering its soldiers in your home, yeah, all those things are human rights, built into the bedrock of human experience.  That they have been violated more often than upheld is part of what makes them so precious, and worthy of defending.  But these freedoms and rights require nothing more than our eternal vigilance to maintain.  (Which is cheap at twice the price, considering the totality of human history.)

Health care is not a human right because it depends on so many other people doing things for your benefit.  If I were a doctor, I would not agree that you had a human right to demand my services for less than I believe they are worth.  (And if I priced my services too high, I’d probably go hungry a lot while my competitors lived off the fat of the land.  But that’s my right and privilege to determine for myself.)  If I were a nurse, I would not agree that just because your tummy hurts, you have a human right to force me to turn away from the cardiac patient who is coding in the next room and give you an antacid.  If I were a dentist, I would not say that you had a human right to barge into my office and demand that I immediately pull the tooth that’s been bothering you because you don’t have enough sense to take care of your own teeth, when I already have a waiting room full of patients who made appointments and also have dental issues.

And so forth.

What I’m really getting at is that the labor of another human being (either singularly or plurally) is not yours to demand as a human right, simply because you didn’t have the sense to buy insurance before you started having major health issues.  And that’s what you’re doing when you insist that health care is a human right.  You’re also demanding that my labor is yours to demand by proxy, since my tax money and my insurance premiums go to fund the abortion known as Obamacare.

We do not fight wars to restore human rights to people in other parts of the world in order that they can demand that we continue to prop them up after we’ve thrown the dictatorial and oppressive bastards out (which was the mistake we made in both Iraq and Afghanistan).  Human rights and the exercise of them are what lay down the base of a free and civilized society.  They do not provide services nor do they demand revenue.  They simply “are”.

When I write posts on this blog, they are my freely-expressed opinions.  I do not demand that someone else pay for my web hosting or domain registration, or my time and effort keeping the blogging software and the rest of the site up to date.  I don’t even ask for donations, because I don’t think my writing is worth your money 🙂  But to take the “health care is a human right” to another level, what if I and other bloggers started to take the attitude that the provision of the soapbox upon which we exercise our right to free speech should also be a human right, that all of you taxpayers out there should be forced to subsidize?

That’s a horse of a different color, isn’t it?

The argument that insurance should cover pre-existing conditions completely ignores the point of insurance.  Insurance is a gamble between you and the house (the insurance company) that you either will (your bet) or won’t (their bet) become gravely ill at some point.  Insurance generally pays for health maintenance like doctor visits and immunizations and colonoscopies and mammograms because those things are inexpensive (by comparison) hedges on their bet.  In other words, they pick up the tab because it’s like putting their thumb on the roulette wheel or using a marked deck — you’re more likely to stay healthy if you have those things, and not cost them hundreds of thousands of dollars over your lifetime for major medical expenses.

By definition, if you do not have insurance and you get some dread disease like cancer or lupus or rheumatoid arthritis, and then you demand that you should have insurance coverage to pay for it, you are holding up the house and trying to make off with something you did not pay for.  And that ends up making my annual bets on my own health cost more.

The running gag about the lottery is that you can’t win if you don’t play.  (In actuality, you can’t win no matter what you do; winning is a fluke, the rules and the odds are stacked against you.)  Translated to the casino metaphor I’ve used above, you can’t win if you don’t lay down a bet.  The casinos take a very dim view of that.  I would imagine sitting down at the table and placing a bet on 13 red without actually laying down a chip would get you hustled right back out to the street.

The uninsured do not have a human right to barge into my insurance company and demand that it pay for their dread disease.  Period.  I don’t care what Congress says and I don’t care what the Supreme Court or the President say, either.  Insurance is a pay-for-play deal.

Closer to home, the uninsured also do not have a human right to demand that the federal or state government care for them and levy the cost of that care onto the taxpayers.  While I would feel responsible for the health care of my own immediate family (as any civilized man or woman should), I frankly don’t have the money to waste on yours.  And it is a waste — it is money I will never see again (and never saw to begin with, because the government hoovers it out of my paycheck before I ever see it, to the tune of about two grand a month once everyone gets their cut).  That is money that I, as a responsible ant, should be putting away for my retirement and other future costs, not handing out to grasshoppers who can’t think past their young and healthy years and don’t even consider buying insurance until it’s too late — or just live on hope, that is, “I sure hope I don’t get sick or hit by a car or a falling meteor.”*

That said, I have at least one very close friend who has been buying his own health insurance for years and has had massive hospital and health care bills over the last six years.  Of course his premiums under Obamacare have skyrocketed.  And of course he’s not employed with what most of us would consider a regular job — he’s a writer and speaker.  And you cheap grasshoppers out there are part of why he’s hemorrhaging cash.

Despite my arguments above, I do not maintain that there should be absolutely no consideration for the uninsured with pre-existing conditions, but only that such consideration should be voluntary on the part of the public who will be paying for it, and not forced upon the public as a human right equivalent to the freedoms enumerated in the Bill of Rights.  Some sort of fund to cover such people’s short-term medical expenses with the caveat that they MUST purchase an insurance policy and show proof that they have maintained it through the “pre-existing condition” period (which used to be a year for most things) is acceptable to me.  But the rules have to be clear, fair, and tough.  One year only, and only once in your life.

But again, the public ants shouldn’t be forced to pay for all those grasshoppers in the long term, and it ought to be hard to get them to pay in the short term.  Let’s face it: Eating, for instance, is not a human right.  Work or starve has been the rule throughout history, at least until modern times when the original meaning of the Constitution has been twisted to support federal welfare programs and more wallet-hoovering by the federal government.  Even the freed slaves after our Civil War were essentially told that freedom was defined as the choice between working and starving.

Housing isn’t a human right, either.  Housing generally requires other people’s labor, for which they expect to be paid.  Or it uses other people’s property, again, for which they expect to be paid.

Clothing?  Not a human right.  Lots of people in the world wear anywhere from nothing to locally-produced homespun to the cast-offs our thrift stores send to them.

The Constitution and the Bill of Rights were written by hard-headed but fair-minded men who understood that a government could not force its citizens to be altruists.  When they wrote about promoting the general welfare, they did not mean handing out money to the indigent so they could eat, house, and clothe themselves.  They meant something more lofty than that — the general welfare of the country as a whole, which, if properly promoted, would mean that few if any people would go hungry, naked, or unroofed.  But not because such was a human right — because “a rising tide [should] float all boats”, as Ronald Reagan was fond of saying.

To claim that the Framers could not know that we would have the level of medical science that we have today and that they really meant to include universal healthcare as a basic right is to ignore the fact that the Framers were smarter than that.  Two hundred and thirty years later, there are only 27 amendments to the original plan, ten of which were ratified immediately as the Bill of Rights, one of which (smart) repealed another (stupid), and two of which (the 16th and 17th) were progressive, radical departures from the Framers’ ideal, and which have come around to bite us in the ass a hundred years later.

Bottom line:  Health care and the fulfillment of other basic human needs aren’t human rights, or the Framers would have included them from the start.

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* Dudes, I’ve had major medical insurance, either paid for myself or by my employer, from the time I was 24.  And life insurance, too.

 

Well

It’s been four days, and I notice the ground hasn’t opened up under Washington, DC, nor has the sky fallen from above it, since Sen. McConnell and crew applied the Reid Rule.

Pre-natal infanticide is apparently still legal, too.

So the hell what?

So I guess the new idiotarian progressive talking point is that Mike Pence won’t eat alone with any female other than his wife.

Seems to me that the bottom line is, “What business is it of ours?”  Plus, the rest of the world has known this since 2002, when Pence mentioned it in an interview with The Hill*, so it would be nice if the idiotarian progressive left could kindly keep up.

The resulting charge among radical feminists on the left (but I repeat myself) that Pence discriminates against women because this means they can’t get the same one-on-one access to him as men do is just another bogus charge from the progs, trying to stir something up.  But given modern security concerns, who actually believes that any official meeting with the Vice President (or any other politician at that level) isn’t covered and recorded for security purposes?  Despite that assumption on my part, he chooses to avoid the appearance of impropriety, and I say, bully for him.

If I were VP, or frankly a politician at any level, I’d just carry around a table sign that said, “This interaction will be monitored and recorded for security purposes,” and let the chips fall where they may.  Glenn Reynolds’ advice to always record or film your own interviews, especially when you figure the opposition will cut and paste their tape to suit their agenda, makes great sense.  While it sounds Nixonian, it’s hardly covert or illegal if you come right out and say all of your interactions with other people will be recorded.  They can take it or leave it.

FWIW, I somehow suspect Pence has either read Glenn’s “The Appearance of Impropriety”, or he already understood the concept deep in his bones when he went into politics.

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* See the recent profile on Karen Pence in the Washington Post.  It’s about halfway down.

Once again proving that Bernie Sanders has the economic understanding of a shellfish

So this was on Facebook today.

Yeah, sure, Bernie.  I’ll bet the IRS would be surprised to learn that.

This wealthy induhvidual [sic] who likes to play up his common-man progressive credentials hasn’t got the brains to pour pee out of a boot with instructions printed on the heel.

Major American corporations — the ones that really bring in the dough hand over fist — pay plenty in taxes.  The difference between them paying taxes and me or you paying taxes is that they build their taxes into their pricing structure.  Every time you buy a newspaper, or a candy bar, or a fancy meal, or a car, or a house — you’re helping the corporation(s) that brought you those products pay their taxes.

And every time some dumb son-of-a-bitch like Bernie Sanders succeeds in making them pay more of “their fair share”, prices go up on all those products for the people who are least able to afford the increase.  Multi-billion dollar oil companies, wanna stick ’em with windfall profit taxes?  Price of gas goes up and it gets harder for people to go to work.  Big soda-pop company, wanna stick ’em with a sugar tax?  The price of a soda goes up and people lose their jobs when sales volume falls off.  And it’s not just taxes — want to force big companies to pay $15/hr minimum wage?  Prices go up and people lose jobs suddenly made too expensive for companies to provide.

Bernie’s right about one thing:  America’s not broke.

But he’s damn wrong about who is and isn’t paying their taxes.

Hey Bernie — how can you afford those three homes you have?  Maybe we should take a look at YOUR tax returns.

Another meme, another blind misunderstanding

My niece posted this on Facebook:

Uh-huh.  Let’s see about that.

Actually, the “wall” between church and state is not what people think it is.  It’s based on a letter that Thomas Jefferson wrote to a church, and the text of that letter is usually misinterpreted to mean religion and the state should be completely separate and have no influence on each other.  Which is impossible in real life.  Anyway, see Thomas Jefferson’s letter to the Danbury Baptists.  Read it carefully.  It doesn’t mean what most people think it does.

Same-sex marriage is the law of the land now, so that’s over with — not that it’s that big of a deal since the population affected is tiny; they simply scream and holler well over their weight class until people get tired of listening and another barrier is lowered.  However, the backlash is starting to cause something I have wanted to see for years — several states writing legislation to significantly reduce state control of marriage, which would in effect nullify the Supreme Court ruling regarding same sex marriage without outlawing it.  Indiana has a bill before the legislature right now to that effect.  So I’m all for anything that does that.  Why should anyone have to buy a license from the state in order to get married?*

Stem cell research goes on regardless of whether it’s funded federally or not.  The key is not the research itself, it’s whether federal money should be spent to further it.  And there have been compromises over the years to allow some federal funding.  I’m all for stem cell research as long as it’s done properly — there are some major breakthroughs coming in therapy because of stem cells.  But the original argument over the use of stem cells was that only embryonic stem cells would work, because only they are “pluripotent”, which goes back to the abortion argument.  After a lot of smoke and fire, it was discovered that adult stem cells can also be induced to be pluripotent.**  So there’s likely no pressing need to use embryonic stem cells in any case, which should mean properly-done stem cell research should bother exactly no one other than extreme Luddites.

Abortion, on the other hand, is murder in a lot of peoples’ opinion — and that’s hardly a religious question, unless you think you can only be moral if you are religious. And a “safe abortion” is a contradiction in terms anyway.  But it’s ALSO the law of the land, regardless of how you feel about the outcome of Roe v Wade.  My argument has long been that abortion needs to be removed from politics, because eventually the “Roe Effect” will take hold and it won’t be an issue anymore.***

TL;DR version:  I wish people would think about these things before they just generalize about them.  I’ve been thinking about them for over forty years, and a Facebook meme isn’t going to change my mind about any of them.

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* Of course, if people don’t vaccinate their kids, rubella is going to come back, and then the state will once again have a pressing interest in whether or not the potential mother is rubella-free.  But I’m sure that can be handled some other way.  Like by a family doctor testing her before or right after she gets pregnant.  (Before 1987, women had to have proof that they were rubella free before they could get married in Indiana.  In point of fact, even though this portion of the code was repealed in 1987, my wife still had to have a rubella test in 2000 before our county would give us the license.  Interesting.)

Also interesting is the fact that the bill in question in Indiana still prohibits polygamy.  Which is fine with me.

** I’m not going to go into this in depth, but the NIH says, “Human embryonic stem cells are thought to have much greater developmental potential than adult stem cells. This means that embryonic stem cells may be pluripotent—that is, able to give rise to cells found in all tissues of the embryo except for germ cells rather than being merely multipotent—restricted to specific subpopulations of cell types, as adult stem cells are thought to be. However, a newer type of reprogrammed adult cells, called induced pluripotent stem cells, has proven to be pluripotent.”  NIH FAQ regarding stem cells, research question #2, accessed 1/24/2017; bold emphasis mine.

*** For those who can’t reach the linked 2005 WSJ article by James Taranto,

The Roe effect, however, refers specifically to the nexus between the practice of abortion and the politics of abortion. It seems self-evident that pro-choice women are more likely to have abortions than pro-life ones, and common sense suggests that children tend to gravitate toward their parents’ values. This would seem to ensure that Americans born after Roe v. Wade have a greater propensity to vote for the pro-life party–that is, Republican–than they otherwise would have.

In my opinion, there’s more to the Roe Effect than whether or not a child is aborted or allowed to come to term and be born; it also depends on the consequences of education for that child.  A child can be born into a family that considers abortion to be murder, and through indoctrination in our public schools, come to the conclusion that a fetus isn’t human and can therefore be safely disposed of.  Such families also generally believe that sex should be confined to marriage and that it is a sin to have intimate relations before marriage.  Young girls from such families who find themselves fallen pregnant (a interesting term) typically believe that their best option to avoid punishment or disapprobation from their parents is to get an abortion, even though abortion is far worse than simply accepting fate and keeping the baby or giving it up for adoption — which have more consequences in and of themselves.  Perhaps the true solution is to stop telling children that premarital sex is a sin and will be punished by $DEITY, and tell them instead that sex is indeed a wonderful thing, a sacred mystery if you will, but it can lead to bad consequences for young girls who engage in it — and make it clear that even if a daughter finds herself pregnant, she’ll still be loved and accepted and everything that can be done to support her will be done.  Because I’ll bet you more girls run away from home to find an abortion when they find out they’re pregnant whose parents go all fire and brimstone on them about premarital sex than those whose parents are proactive and supportive even if the worst happens.

Comment on Facebook

Boycott, shmoycott.

The 68 or so ‘critters who are “boycotting” the Inaugural are, I suppose, entitled to suddenly find they have something else to do that night — wax the dog, shampoo the cat, make a drug buy, whatever.

But I remember something from my American Diplomatic History classes in college, which were (the way the professor taught) sort of an advanced Civics class on steroids. Not quite Heinlein’s History and Moral Philosophy, but elements thereof.

The prof said that our tradition is that the outgoing President always attends the inauguration of his successor — even if he has to be dragged there kicking and screaming.  Apparently the Secret Service (and their predecessors in that job) see to that.  The story was that Truman absolutely did not want to attend Eisenhower’s inaugural — he and Ike didn’t get along very well — but he manned up (as Truman always did) and soldiered on.*  And I can imagine Hoover probably would have happily given FDR’s first inaugural a miss.  Can you imagine Johnson and Nixon?  Ditto Obama with Trump.  But it just isn’t done.  Why can’t the wayward congresscritters man (or woman) up and do the same?

The prof also said that no foreign dignitaries are invited to join the official party or to attend the major ceremonies.  This is OUR time.  We owe our independence, wealth, and power to nobody but ourselves. Contrary to a soon-to-be former president’s pronouncement, we DID build this.

Politics aside, when we get done fighting our quadrennial intramurals and actually elect a new president (or re-elect the incumbent**), the nation is supposed to come together, put that all behind us, and acclaim the new president.  None of this “he’s not MY president” shite — at least not until he turns out to be, well, Obama, who was, for at least his second term, hardly representative of anyone right of center’s idea of the direction the country should be taking.

By and large, though, in 2009, the right was willing to give Obama a chance.  He blew that chance, of course, as many of us figured he would, and his lock on Congress with it (which really should have told him something), and then he simply played a six-year game of “I won” and “I have a pen and a phone” to avoid working with Republicans.  At that point, no, he wasn’t my president.  The question, of course, is whether he was anyone’s president after the 2010 midterms.

But the time for divisive politics is over.  Donald Trump says he wants us to unite.  He wants this to be a country we are all a part of and can be proud of.  To him, the things that unite us are stronger than the things that divide us.**  In truth, it has always been thus, if we are willing to admit it.

The ‘critters who are boycotting the inaugural are, in that tradition, almost committing an indiscretion beyond the pale. They believe in division and are being divisive.  They believe they can force failure on Donald Trump by turning their backs on him and declaring him illegitimate.  And yet…they do not have majorities in Congress, they are losing governors’ mansions and state legislatures left and right, and they control only small slivers and bits of America.  This attitude on their part seems destined to lead to more failure on their part, not failure on Donald Trump’s part, because Trump is not obliged to seek compromise with them.  (I think he will, because that is his nature, but I certainly think they’ve burned most of their bridges with him at this point.)

But let’s think about this for a moment.  According to official results of the 2016 election, 136,628,459 Americans voted for president.  That’s a lot of voters, about 7 million more thain in 2012.  Yet, “[e]stimates show more than 58 percent of eligible voters went to the polls during the 2016 election”.  Folks, that means that 42 percent didn’t think this election was important enough to cast a vote.  That means about 98,937,850 voters went completely untapped for one reason or another.

I don’t know about you, but I suspect that if Trump had spent more money on GOTV efforts in the last couple of months of the campaign, he might have picked up enough votes to landslide Hillary.  They were only separated by a couple of million votes.

Of course, that’s entirely meaningless, since we’re not a democracy — we’re a federal republic, and we have an Electoral College that expresses the democratic will of the states as to who will be the leader of the federal republic.  The states vote in the Electoral College based on whatever manner they have each provided to choose their electors.  In all 50 states that happens to be by holding an election and either handing the winner all of their electors or dividing them up in some way that has been determined by the state legislature.  They could as easily choose them by reading a horoscope or taking the augurs, or by having the elector candidates play Russian roulette.****  But all of the states, one way or another, have chosen to give the people a voice by letting electors be chosen based on a democratic election within the state.*****

The Electoral College is part of the Constitution, and has been from day one, and it’s how we have run our federal elections for president since 1789.  It’s hardly the first time the Electoral College winner hasn’t won the total popular vote, either — but again, that’s completely irrelevant.

And that’s why claims that Trump’s presidency is illegitimate fall flat, and the bad attitude on the part of the 68-odd Democrat congresscritters who’ve found something better to do with their day tomorrow don’t look like they are standing up for principle at all.

They just look like sore losers.  And they are.

__________________

* As I recall the story, Bess and Mamie hit it off famously when the two couples met for the obligatory coffee at the White House before heading up Pennsylvania Avenue, and that was part of what thawed Truman out.

** Or, in Obama’s case, the incompetent.

*** Hmm.  Where have I heard that before? (If you’re not a Scottish Rite Mason in the NMJ, you probably won’t know.)

**** Say…

***** I think they should be chosen by the legislatures.  But I think senators ought to be chosen that way, too, the way God and the Framers intended, and not the way the ridiculous 17th Amendment changed things in 1913.

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