Category Archive: Perversity of Humanity

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.

 

Millenial sensitivity in a nutshell.

Millenials not only are ruining the country, they don’t even have a sense of humor.  Found on Facebook — where else?

With the exception of rape…and maybe not rape*, there was not a single one of those subjects that were off-limit to comedians and teenage boys back when I was a kid.  Having been both the brunt and the inflicter, I can attest to that.

The offense-mongers today have taken all the fun out of things.  Berke Breathed had it absolutely right — in 1983:

We’re doomed.

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* To wit:

Hedley Lamarr: Qualifications?
Applicant: Rape, murder, arson, and rape.
Hedley Lamarr: You said rape twice.
Applicant: I like rape.

and

Taggart: I got it! I got it!
Hedley Lamarr: You do?
Taggart: We’ll work up a Number 6 on ’em.
Hedley Lamarr: [frowns] “Number 6”? I’m afraid I’m not familiar with that one.
Taggart: Well, that’s where we go a-ridin’ into town, a-whompin’ and a-whumpin’ every livin’ thing that moves within an inch of its life. Except the women folks, of course.
Hedley Lamarr: You spare the women?
Taggart: Naw, we rape the shit out of them at the Number Six Dance later on.
Hedley Lamarr: Marvelous!

Don’t tell me Mel Brooks wasn’t funny.

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

Karma, she’s a raging bitch.

Hillary Fixer Breaks Ranks: I Arranged Sex Trysts For Her – With Men & WOMEN

BAHAHAHAHA

Yeah, right, it’s just the National Enquirer, you say.  But they were right about John Edwards, remember?

Get the popcorn, folks.  This one is going to be fun to watch play out.

“Hillary is not even trying anymore.”

Kurt Schlichter is on fire.

Hillary is not even a competent liar

You know, the Hillary Body Double theory is pretty hilarious, but admit it – who would actually be surprised if it turns out she has a body double? Secretly, even the liberals are thinking to themselves, “You know, I can totally see that.”

Read, as they say, the whole thing.

The Internet is forever

Yesterday, a fucking idiot claiming to be a journalist posted this on Twitter:

David Shuster Irony

He has since deleted it, because he was getting clobbered by people who know better.  This will stay here as a reminder of his idiocy.

Spuck fammers.

I’ve had the same work email address for over 22 years.

This morning’s mailbag included 11 items of actual legitimate communication, and 67 items of spam/malware.  By the end of the day, there will be tens of good emails and hundreds of spam and malware emails.

The people who write SpamAssassin should be hanged for false advertising.  So should the people who write anti-virus software.

God, I wish I could retire.  It gets so old spending half my time tossing all this crap.

Gun Free Zones delenda est

Cato the Elder would approve.

There cannot possibly be a person out there who truly believes that a simple declaration of a space as a gun free zone prevents people from bringing guns into it.  If you do, you are living in a dream world.  If you do and you are a politician, you need to be directed to the nearest political exit and never be allowed to hold public office again.

We have yet to see a situation in which an armed citizen, armed only for his or her defense, has suddenly gone mad and started mowing people down.  Indeed, we’ve seen plenty of cases where armed citizens have stopped a criminal act cold.  Sadly, local media rarely cover the latter, or downplay the armed citizen’s involvement, because “white-hat” armed citizens don’t fit their progressive narrative.

But we’ve seen plenty of cases where lone gunmen — typically, initially blamed on the right wing (usually the NRA), but almost invariably turning out to be somehow associated with the left, or the radical Islamic terror network (but I repeat myself) — have opened fire in gun-free zones where no law-abiding citizen was able to carry a weapon.

This madness must stop.  The 2nd Amendment exists for a reason.  But the gun-grabbers of the world do not want American citizens (or any citizens, for that matter) to be able to protect ourselves, because they are a wholly-owned subsidiary of those who believe that we must submit to the dubious protection of our government.  “Government knows best and will protect you from these bad people,” is their cry.

Yet, government cannot tie its own shoes, button its own pants, or balance its own budget, or get much of anything else right.  Indeed, sometimes it even acts maliciously for its own purposes (Animas River, anyone?)  It doesn’t even seem to have the will to protect our interests in the world outside our borders (let alone inside them).  And it clearly cannot prevent San Bernardinos or Orlandos even when it’s aware of damning facts about the eventual shooters.  Why, then, should we subject our personal safety and that of our families to it?  The Founders and the Framers did not believe that we should.  Nothing that has happened in the past 200+ years suggests they were wrong.

I call on governments everywhere, local, state, and national, to outlaw gun-free zones.  It is the Constitutional right of every American to carry a weapon for his or her personal defense, and this right has been upheld countless times by the courts, regardless of what politicians believe makes good law.  (Or for that matter, what the Ninth Circus, always an outlier and the most overturned circuit in the nation, has to say.)

Want to stop the madness?  Stop disarming citizens.  After September 11, 2001, as soon as terrorists realized that Americans would fight back on airplanes, attempted hijackings and attempted bombings of American airliners stopped, regardless of what TSA wants you to think or anything they claim to have done.  The same could be true of our self-inflicted free-fire zones, otherwise known as “gun-free” zones.

Real friends vs. social media friends

This came out of musings regarding a FB post bemoaning the use of the construction “If you don’t like my attitude about this, feel free to unfriend me” — something I’ve used a couple of times recently myself.  (I lost exactly one friend over that, according to FB Purity.)  This got me to thinking about the difference between real friends and Facebook (or social media in general) friends.

One of my best meatspace friends is a Bernie supporter. I can’t help it if he’s an idiot about that. We’ve been friends for four decades. We have much more in common than we do otherwise. So we get along and don’t talk politics. Much 🙂

My wife is a lifelong Democrat (but despises Hillary). I knew she was a Democrat (so are her parents) when I married her. But again, we don’t discuss politics…much.  (On the other hand, it helps that she’s more of a Scoop Jackson Democrat, not a wild-eyed radical dirty hippie like so many on the left are anymore.  She thought Occupy was stupid, too)

One of my fraternity brothers is not only a Democrat, he’s a union negotiator for the UAW. But again, we have more in common than we do otherwise. He holds political views that I disagree with…but we don’t discuss politics.  Much 🙂

Note the common denominator — I know these people well. They are long-time friends and associates in real life. I would no more “unfriend” them in real life than I would cut off my trigger finger.

On the other hand, I associate on social media with any number of people I barely know, and have either never met in meatspace or with whom I have only extremely limited associations.*  Some of those hold political views I find abhorrent. I’m sure they think the same of my political views. And the links with those people are often so tenuous that I honestly don’t care if they unfriend me for political reasons, or not.

Social media has been the catalyst for a lower and lower standard of social and political discourse over the past couple of election cycles.  As I touched on, below, in Democracy usually fails, the real-time ability to comment on other people’s opinions has turned the mill run of us into a community of mean, sarcastic assholes when it comes to those opinions.  The great Facebook Democracy of the Unwashed is driving our political conversation today, as it has for at least the last two elections.  What is sad is that the monolithic move to social media has led to the retirement (or near retirement) of a number of sane, thoughtful bloggers — because nobody reads blogs anymore.  That takes too long, when it’s easier to read pithy crap typed by your “friends” or view picture memes as if we had suddenly been reduced to a basic reading level where informed, thoughtful, and logical commentary is seemingly Sanskrit to the masses.  (In fairness, most millenials are already at that level, thanks to our crap schools.)

So when someone says, “If you don’t like my opinions, unfriend me,” maybe we should take them at their word.  It might make people spend a little more time thinking about what they say and write.  And that could only be for the good.
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* Many of them “handshake” Masons that I’ve met in real life maybe once, and en passant, or may not have ever met at all. I’m the international secretary-treasurer for a fair-sized Masonic organization with members all over the globe, so I get a lot of friend requests from people I know only because they send in a check once a year.  But I also have a lot of “friends” for whom I can’t really find a connection.  Naturally, if one of them starts spouting political crap that I’m diametrically opposed to, the likelihood is that I’m going to dump them.

Gun bloggers and Baen SF writers, in my view, are generally exempted from the “social media” category.  I’ve drunk good beer with some of them (well, not the SF writers — yet).  We get along.

Democracy usually fails

Pure democracy, anyway.  Our Founding Fathers knew it; that’s why they created a Republic for us.  Little did they know we’d only take two centuries to fuck that up.

Anyway.  After reading comments on an article regarding the dustup between CBS/Paramount and the fans who are producing the “Axanar” spin-off Star Trek movie, I really do wonder if the Internet has done us any favors.  What would have been, pre-1994, a simple article in something like Variety (it used to be printed exclusively on newsprint, for those not old enough to remember) that might have been discussed a few days later on a Usenet newsgroup that practically nobody actually read, has in 2016 become an instant forum in which readers may projectile-vomit their undistilled raw thoughts about the article anonymously and without regard for what anyone else thinks.*  (Indeed, such microcephalic idiots generally operate without filters between ears, brain, and mouth even in real life conversations and other interactions.  Sometimes even those of us who do normally operate with those filters engaged nevertheless find ourselves issuing that kind of internet comment, too.  So sadly, it’s not just those with tiny brains** who succumb, suggesting that the problem is really the siren call of the medium beckoning one to yield to that blinking cursor, not simply the individual’s solipsistic need to assert that the universe does, in fact, revolve around himself and that his opinion actually has any worth to anyone but himself.***)

The thing I don’t understand is why it’s anyone’s business except that of the parties involved.  Why did this article need instant comments at all?  It’s a simple report of news.  You want to respond to it, write an email to the editor like we used to do back in the day (although generally we typed or hand-wrote it on paper, stuck it in an envelope with a stamp (remember those?) and threw it in the mailbox to be delivered sometime in the next couple of days).  If the editors liked it, they might even print it in the next issue, and might even respond to you, thanking you for your well- or not so well-reasoned arguments, and in the latter case, gently explaining why you were a fucking idiot who needed to be spoon-fed the Truth as handed down by your Betters.

Oh, and — if you wanted to be taken seriously, you wrote politely.  Even if you were pissed off.  Such was the Republic of News; it was serious, it was considered, it was grave, and it was polite, even when it excoriated local or national politicians for real or imagined sins.  And it had its gatekeepers.  If they didn’t like your tone, your letter went into the round file with that of other barbarians and kooks.

Today we have the great Democracy of the Unwashed who simply react reflexively rather than respond thoughtfully.  And that’s why the comments section of that article about Axanar — and the comments section of so many other articles — is something you read only if you have no care for your sanity.

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* And often, without regard for correct grammar or orthography, either.

** Or small phalluses, but that’s really kind of beyond the pale, even for me.

*** Women also have this problem, but I’ll be damned if I’ll yield to political correctness and fuck up the flow of this post.

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