Saturday, May 29, 2010

When the Means destroys the Ends

In studying the history of how we have paid for health care in the United States, I am struck by two significant aspects of the growth of government involvement:

1) the laudable goal of providing quality medical care for everyone

2) the growing acceptance of the use of government force to achieve that goal

In our compassionate desire to help the less fortunate, we have progressively abandoned private, voluntary charitable action in exchange for the expansion of the welfare state through coercive wealth redistribution.

But employing an immoral means (the initiation of force) to achieve an end completely nullifies any potential benefits, no matter what the intention.

Attempting to provide medical care for others through force instead of through voluntary means destroys the very beneficence which is claimed as its justification.

The presence of consent or coercion defines the moral status of all human intercourse.

Without consent, "making love" becomes rape, and "caring for others" entails enslavement.


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Friday, May 28, 2010

Why are we drilling at 5000 feet?

Asked and verbally answered by Charles Krauthammer.

Visually answered by Mark Perry (see above).

Philosophically answered by Sarah Palin :

"No human endeavor is ever without risk – whether it’s sending a man to the moon or extracting the necessary resources to fuel our civilization. "


(but don't count on her consistency)


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Thursday, May 27, 2010

Our Neighbor's Money is not Ours to Vote On

My hometown has a measure on the primary ballot to raise money for the local government schools. Cut backs in state funding have left them in a desperate state--forced to shrink or eliminate vital programs and services, which means the education of our local youth will suffer. This is tragic. Education is important and is worthy of receiving adequate funding. After years of homeschooling my children, both are now attending the local high school--so my children's education will suffer unless the schools receive more money.

In spite of these facts, I can not bring myself to support a law which uses the force of government to deprive others of their property. If people cannot be convinced to voluntarily provide financial support to the schools, I know of no moral principle which allows me force others to act against their best judgment. Our Constitution was written to protect the individual from precisely this abuse of power by government and the majority---even though this original meaning has been severely diluted and even lost in recent years.

It is simply immoral to even attempt to achieve a goal through the use of force, no matter how deeply ensconced in compassion, generosity, or good will. You may try to persuade your friends and neighbors, and tirelessly work to obtain their voluntary assistance (financial or otherwise) but if you can not convince them, there is no moral basis for employing the coercive power of the state to aid you in achieving through force what you can not achieve through persuasion.

For this reason, my local Measure E is immoral and should be soundly defeated.

For this same reason, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is immoral and should be repealed.

Use of government force to control how much and what kind of energy private citizens choose to purchase, is similarly wrong and should not be allowed.

What is at stake is greater than the plight of our schools, or the uninsured, or man's purported effect on climate. The peaceful coexistence of human beings is grounded upon the recognition of each individual's right to his own life, liberty and property--and only his own. We are neither masters nor slaves, neither our brother's keepers nor the kept.

This does not negate voluntary cooperation or pooling of resources and efforts to achieve community goals. (Many worthwhile projects can not be achieved without joint support and action.) It simply removes the use of force as a legitimate means of achieving one's goals at the expense of others.

The civilized world has come to recognize the immorality of enslaving another human being in order to employ his labor against his will. The next step in our moral progress is to recognize that a man's property is an extension of his life and liberty, and that to seize a man's property against his will is merely another form of slavery.

Until we are able to remove the intrusive hammer of government force from our private lives, our peace, good will, prosperity--and the moral character of our communities-- are in mortal danger.

To be moral in your interactions with fellow human beings, you must either convince him, or you must leave him alone.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Drawing, Freedom of Speech, the Law of Identity...and Obama's Statism

Everybody Draw Mohammad Day has come and gone.

Over at Draw Mohammad, I have posted a number of sites which participated in celebrating our First Amendment.

True to form, the current US administration has come out in support of those violating Freedom of Speech:

“Pakistan is wrestling to this issue. We respect any actions that need to be taken under Pakistani law to protect their citizens from offensive speech,” said the US State Department official while rejecting a suggestion from a journalist to condemn Islamabad’s actions...“At the same time, Pakistan has to make sure that in taking any particular action, that you’re not restricting speech." (Dawn.com)

How can you "respect any actions to protect their citizens from offensive speech" and at the same time "make sure...your're not restricting speech"?

You can't.

This is a classic example of Obama's (and his supporters) ability to get away with emphatically stating contradictory statements, even in the same speech! Each statement in itself seems reasonable, but closer inspection reveals that placed together they are self-contradictory--an attempt to have one's cake and eat it too. You can't be credited with supporting freedom of speech while at the same time supporting the violation of freedom of speech. Ever since Aristotle formulated his Law of Identity, there is no excuse those who attempt to inform us that A can be both A and non-A at the same time and in the same respect.

Freedom of speech, rationally understood as a corollary of the individual right to life, can not entail both freedom and censorship. No amount of trying to straddle the issue with one foot on freedom and the other foot on the tenets of tyranny and statism, can avoid the fact that A is A, and censorship is censorship.

Either you are for freedom of speech, or you are for government abridgment of speech.

Obama and his administration, in this issue and in so many others, are clearly on the side of statism.


(Excerpted from post at Draw Mohammad.)

Friday, May 21, 2010

Losing Liberty


"It is incredible how as soon as a people become subject, it promptly falls into such complete forgetfulness of its freedom that it can hardly be roused to the point of regaining it, obeying so easily and willingly that one is led to say that this people has not so much lost its liberty as won its enslavement."

-- Estienne de la Bo├ętie (1530-1563) French judge, writer, political philosopher, author of Discourse on Voluntary Servitude



Thursday, May 20, 2010

Scott Brown--the port in the healthcare storm just sank the banks

The Senate has just passed the cloture vote on the Financial Takeover Bill in the Senate with a 60-40 vote. 3 Republicans voted with 57 Democrats. The Republicans were Scott Brown, Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins. A final vote could come as soon as tonight, but will likely be tomorrow. (from NetRightDaily)

This illustrates the dangers of having to deal with unprincipled politicians--you never can tell if they will do more harm than good.

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Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Which deserves the claim of compassion--Free Market or Government?

Notification at The Black Ribbon Project of a debate at Stanford University between 4 physicians on which route (government control or free market) can rightly lay claim to compassion and efficiency.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Health Control Reform means rationing.

Donald Berwick is Obama's nominee to run Medicare/Medicaid.



NICE, isn't he?

In fact:

"The Medicare Independent Panel Advisory Board has been designed so that the only thing that it can recommend to control Medicare costs is a cut in provider fees." --James Capretta (Kaiser Health News) via John Goodman's Health Policy Blog

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Green Lipstick...on a Pig

Sorry. No time for commenting these days. Just enough to pass along interesting tidbits.

Slapping Green Lipstick on the Job Creation Pig

By Kenneth P. Green



Once again, our president is spreading the fiction that government is the source of all good things, in this case, jobs...“Government job creation” is a myth bordering on a “Big Lie.” Slapping green lipstick on that pig won’t change it.
Read the rest here.

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Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Wisdom of the Month


"It is the highest impertinence and presumption, therefore, in kings and ministers to pretend to watch over the economy of private people, and to restrain their expense.... They are themselves always, and without any exception, the greatest spendthrifts in society. Let them look well after their own expense, and they may safely trust private people with theirs."

-- Adam Smith, An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations [1776]



HT Walter Williams Homepage