JS-Kit/Echo comments for article at http://smallestminority.blogspot.com/2009/10/i-guess-im-nothuman.html (36 comments)

  Tentative mapping of comments to original article, corrections solicited.

jsid-1254929376-613124  Unix-Jedi at Wed, 07 Oct 2009 15:29:36 +0000

Nice Job, Sam.

Ralph's stuck on the phone. ACME outsourced ordering, and it's taking him a while to get his order through. Especially since he keeps using different words than what's in the catalog.

jsid-1254930026-613127  Unix-Jedi at Wed, 07 Oct 2009 15:40:26 +0000

And a nice post, Kevin, in all seriousness.

Shorter blk:

"I'm not the one being shafted (so I think), so I'm all for shafting somebody else!"

Of course, what Mark and blk don't - and despite how much you point it out, show them, demonstrate in theory and reality - understand is the people getting shafted aren't going to stand still for it.

Not when it's basically class warfare like that. They'll stop working. We're already understaffed for doctors, due to many reasons - and this will merely accelerate people getting out of medicine.

So, just like every other system that's done this, we'll start "promoting" lower classifications to doing work that it was unthinkable for then to do before. (And hey, that's not all bad. Nurse practitioners, for instance, can handle upwards of 95% of all "primary physician" issues without anybody looking over their shoulders.)

But guess what happens when you push more work without more pay or other compensations to the NPs?

Gee, maybe RN's can do 80% of the work the NPs that we're now so short on can do...

And soon you end up, like the NHS in England, where "techs" with 6 months of training, are tasked with doing procedures with serious implications if done wrong - that requires at least a RN supervising an LPN here. (And most places require the RN do do it themselves.)

blk: Now that we can afford them, education, police and fire protection are rights.

I wonder if blk lives in California - where they cannot afford them now.

blk: What could be more Just than making sure that every child, worker and elderly person can see a doctor when they're sick?

They can. But they won't be able to under your system.
Oh, you mean, for no more extra money out of their pocket!
(and, hey, blk? Mark? If you're willing to pick up their bill, more power to you! Go for it! Many places run charity operations! We aren't stopping you! Go on, spend your money. We'll cheer! We'll throw parades for you!)

But in the meantime, trying to shaft the system - to get free stuff means you get shafted.

"There ain't no such thing as a free lunch."

jsid-1254930148-613128  Mastiff at Wed, 07 Oct 2009 15:42:28 +0000

It continues to astound me that people refuse to acknowledge that inventing rights necessarily imposes a reciprocal obligation to avoid trampling that right (for a negative right), or to actually fulfill that right (for a so-called positive right).

A "right" that is physically impossible to fulfill, such as free health care for all, is no right at all. At worst, it is an impetus for the breakdown of social institutions.

jsid-1254930436-613129  Grumpy Student at Wed, 07 Oct 2009 15:47:16 +0000

blk said...

"National health care would promote domestic Tranquility by giving everyone peace of mind, knowing that if their kid comes down with some awful disease they can get treatment. If you have cancer, the emergency room just ain't gonna cut it."

Of course, under socialised healthcare, be prepared for your child to go on a seven month waiting list to see a cancer specialist during which time if they have cancer it will transition from treatable to not treatable.

Yeah. It works real well here in the UK. Just as long as you can afford to pay for your healthcare twice (by taxation and then directly to go private).

jsid-1254931730-613139  Unix-Jedi at Wed, 07 Oct 2009 16:08:50 +0000

Grumpy Student:

We covered that issue last year here, with the run up to the election.
The apparent solution is to elect the "Right" people with the "Right" ideas and they'll fix all that insanity. Because they care, unlike the right (politically) in this country.

They'll fix it all. And if they fail the first time, we'll increase their power until they do it better!

jsid-1254931841-613141  Robb Allen at Wed, 07 Oct 2009 16:10:41 +0000

I've had rather good success getting my leftist coworkers to admit that yeah, they want someone ELSE to foot the bill. When I challenge them to empty their wallets to pay for specific things (we had a lady who had to work here until her water broke), they weren't so keen on the whole thing.

Which is weird. They complain that we, as Americans, don't care about X and yet when presented an opportunity to DIRECTLY affect someone in the X category, they won't.


The other thing people seem to forget is that if the only thing we needed to worry about was health care, then I'd be all over it. Alas, my taxes pay for roads, schools, shuttle launches, private stadiums, college tuition for children of blind, left handed dentists without tonsils*, research into the mating habits of Norwegian tree frogs, zoos, parks, someone to mow the highway medians, environmental impact studies of new toothpastes, the FDA, FDIC, CIA, FBI, EPA, NEA, EIEIO, the FTC to ensure me talking about my dealings with Crimson Trace is well disclosed, the FCC to ensure you don't see wrinkly, has-beens' nipples during the Superbowl (in a stadium paid for byu taxes), money to Hispanic Heritage Museums, cops, firemen, courts, stenographers, painters to repaint city hall, people to evaluate the amount of sodium in said paint, people to take OFF said paint, sewage plants, water companies, electricity companies, and the endless streams of lawyers to ensure compliance is met in every last area.

And that's not even getting into paying for the supplies needed for that infinitesimally small portion of the overall list. Teachers need books, chalk, and desks. Cops need guns, bullets, and vests.

These people do not understand even the most basic tenets of economics. To them, as long as everyone pays, there's an infinite pool of resources. They don't understand that money is finite and that by over taxing people, they'll have less money to do with what they feel is best for them.

Make no mistake about it, they don't give a rat's ass about the health care of the 'other', they only want to make themselves feel better by forcing everyone else to live up to their morals. When Republicans are in charge, they chant about not shoving morals down people's throats, but the instant they're in 'charge', out come the plungers to force feed their morality.

And they're shocked we're fighting back.

jsid-1254932272-613142  DJ at Wed, 07 Oct 2009 16:17:52 +0000

Nah, you're not losing your touch, and you are human for recognizing and articulating what ought to be recogized and articulated.

Damn, but the ability to think is a burden, ain't it?

jsid-1254932803-613143  Ed "What the" Heckman at Wed, 07 Oct 2009 16:26:43 +0000

What's so inhuman in recognizing unavoidable restrictions imposed by reality and working within those restrictions to produce the best possible outcome for as many people as possible?

jsid-1254933039-613144  Unix-Jedi at Wed, 07 Oct 2009 16:30:39 +0000

Seen in a couple of places around the web, original attribution unknown and presented slightly edited:

If a conservative doesn't like guns, he doesn't buy one.
If a liberal doesn't like guns, he wants all guns outlawed.

If a conservative is a vegetarian, he doesn't eat meat.
If a liberal is a vegetarian, he wants all meat products banned for everyone.

If a conservative sees a [foreign] threat, he thinks about how to defeat his enemy.
A liberal wonders how to appease the threat without admitting that he's surrendered and claim that he didn't give in.

If a conservative is homosexual, he quietly leads his life.
If a liberal is homosexual, he demands legislated respect.

If a black or Hispanic are conservative, they see themselves as independently successful.
Their liberal counterparts see themselves as victims in need of government protection and the former as a sellout who was given success for bootlicking.

If a conservative is down-and-out, he thinks about how to better his situation.
A liberal wonders who is going to take care of him and demands free help.

If a conservative doesn't like a talk show host, he switches channels and possibly informs advertisers that their sponsorship is negatively affecting their product.
Liberals demand that those they don't like be shut down by the government in the name of "fairness".

If a conservative is a non-believer, he doesn't go to church.
A liberal non-believer wants any mention of Christian/Jewish God and religion silenced.

If a conservative decides he needs health care, he goes about shopping for it, or may choose a job that provides it or budgets for it.
A liberal demands that the rest of us pay for his. To be fair.

jsid-1254933070-613145  CTone at Wed, 07 Oct 2009 16:31:10 +0000

Whoa! I'm not able to be as responsive in comments right now as some here are, but I wanted to say great post!

jsid-1254933196-613147  Ed "What the" Heckman at Wed, 07 Oct 2009 16:33:16 +0000

Once again, Laura Hollis' excellent article, "Health care slaves?" seems to apply:

"Saying that health care is a “public good” sounds wonderful – the kind of statement with which no intelligent and compassionate person could disagree. But, as with so many blanket statements made by liberals, it does not hold up under scrutiny, and in fact the infrastructure necessary to deliver on such an apparently compassionate policy inevitably results in disappointment, failure, and – if the latter is not acknowledged – oppression by the very government it was hoped would be the solution to all human ills. Why is this so? Three basic reasons, all inarguable:"

1. No one “owns” another human being’s work.

2. If people think it is “free,” they will demand more of it than can be provided.

3. There is no such thing as completely “equal” care, anyway

jsid-1254936084-613151  Anna at Wed, 07 Oct 2009 17:21:24 +0000

Just wanted to say, "Great post!" I rarely read long essays online, but this one I did, and forwarded it to my friends, too.

jsid-1254936353-613152  theirritablearchitect at Wed, 07 Oct 2009 17:25:53 +0000

Someone else's production is should never be at the disposal of another person, except at a mutually agreed upon price.

Basic economics.

End of story.

jsid-1254936976-613154  Jeff the Baptist at Wed, 07 Oct 2009 17:36:16 +0000

"A "right" is what the majority of a society believes it is."

It's sad that this has become true, because it is such an awful idea. The whole purpose of having "a right" is as a protection against majority and government domination. They're basically ways to say "doing this is wrong no matter who says it is or how many of them there are." Therefore rights are created as a way to restrict the governing majority not matter how much they want something, not as a way to justify their over-reach.

jsid-1254944676-613161  rocinante at Wed, 07 Oct 2009 19:44:36 +0000

I've never understood why some people think that the Preamble to the Constitution has the force of law.

It's a preamble, people.

jsid-1254945283-613162  Stuart_the_Viking at Wed, 07 Oct 2009 19:54:43 +0000

"A "right" is what the majority of a society believes it is."

Does that mean that the world was once flat? A vast majority of the people in the world once believed so. So much so that even saying that it wasn't could get you branded as a heritic. Did this make it so? Is the moon made from green cheese? Does the Pope poop in the woods? All good questions. I'm pretty sure the moon ISN'T made of green cheese, but if enough people believed it was would it magically be? If enough people believed that the Pope was strictly a woods pooper would the force of that belief be enough to constipate the man until he found a stand of trees?

Belief alone does not equate to reality! The very idea of it is crap! (Possibly Pope crap extricated from the woods... I'm just sayin).


jsid-1254945590-613164  Kevin Baker at Wed, 07 Oct 2009 19:59:50 +0000

Does that mean that the world was once flat? A vast majority of the people in the world once believed so.

Stuart, you're comparing apples and oranges. I'd refute your premise, but I've already done so in excruciating detail. Read the six part series on the left sidebar below "What is a 'Right'?"

jsid-1254949764-613166  Stuart_the_Viking at Wed, 07 Oct 2009 21:09:24 +0000

All I was saying is that mere belief alone, no matter how universal, does NOT create reality.

The belief that "Health Care is a Right" does not escape this (and is far from universal anyway). I see your point that a right that isn't believed in can go away.

"Your rights are meaningless when the system under which you live does not recognize them. Or worse, scorns them."

I see that, but I don't think it goes both ways. Society can loose a right if nobody believes in it and nobody fights for it, and nobody gives a crap, but it takes much more than just belief to create a new "right".

Maybe it's just symantics. You can call a pile of shit a sandwitch. You can get people to believe it is the most yummy sandwitch ever. You can start a religion centered around your yummy sandwitch that takes over the world and everyone will believe to the core of their being that you have a sandwitch. But... in the end, all you will have is a pile of shit.

or... in our case: Universal health care would be so fantastic that nobody could possibly argue against it if it could magically happen with absolutely no downside. BUT it still wouldn't be a "right". No matter how many people called it one.


jsid-1254953190-613167  Kevin Baker at Wed, 07 Oct 2009 22:06:30 +0000

But when enough people believe, they're willing to fight to keep whatever it is they believe in.

So, pragmatically, it looks like a duck and sounds like a duck . . .

jsid-1254958459-613170  Matt at Wed, 07 Oct 2009 23:34:19 +0000

But again- it doesn't matter that they believe it to be true and will fight for it. That doesn't make it a right. If everybody thinks its a right to kill every white male, does that make it a right? No. Its still not a right.

Rights are those things that demand nothing from others without their consent.

Otherwise, great fisking of that comment from blk.

jsid-1254960640-613173  Kevin Baker at Thu, 08 Oct 2009 00:10:40 +0000

Yeesh. Would you read the other six essays? ;)

jsid-1254970070-613180  geekWithA.45 at Thu, 08 Oct 2009 02:47:50 +0000

Kevin, you needn't have labored as hard.

>>What else would promote the general Welfare of our population than ensuring that everyone has a long and healthy life?

The appeal to some imagined power to promote the general welfare through unlimited means is central and telling.

The premise is false, as is all else that flows from it. It is definitively disposed of in Federalist #41, about 2/3 of the way down:

Some, who have not denied the necessity of the power of taxation, have grounded a very fierce attack against the Constitution, on the language in which it is defined. It has been urged and echoed, that the power "to lay and collect taxes, duties, imposts, and excises, to pay the debts, and provide for the common defense and general welfare of the United States," amounts to an unlimited commission to exercise every power which may be alleged to be necessary for the common defense or general welfare. No stronger proof could be given of the distress under which these writers labor for objections, than their stooping to such a misconstruction.

Had no other enumeration or definition of the powers of the Congress been found in the Constitution, than the general expressions just cited, the authors of the objection might have had some color for it; though it would have been difficult to find a reason for so awkward a form of describing an authority to legislate in all possible cases. A power to destroy the freedom of the press, the trial by jury, or even to regulate the course of descents, or the forms of conveyances, must be very singularly expressed by the terms "to raise money for the general welfare."

But what color can the objection have, when a specification of the objects alluded to by these general terms immediately follows, and is not even separated by a longer pause than a semicolon? If the different parts of the same instrument ought to be so expounded, as to give meaning to every part which will bear it, shall one part of the same sentence be excluded altogether from a share in the meaning; and shall the more doubtful and indefinite terms be retained in their full extent, and the clear and precise expressions be denied any signification whatsoever? For what purpose could the enumeration of particular powers be inserted, if these and all others were meant to be included in the preceding general power? Nothing is more natural nor common than first to use a general phrase, and then to explain and qualify it by a recital of particulars. But the idea of an enumeration of particulars which neither explain nor qualify the general meaning, and can have no other effect than to confound and mislead, is an absurdity, which, as we are reduced to the dilemma of charging either on the authors of the objection or on the authors of the Constitution, we must take the liberty of supposing, had not its origin with the latter.

The objection here is the more extraordinary, as it appears that the language used by the convention is a copy from the articles of Confederation. The objects of the Union among the States, as described in article third, are "their common defense, security of their liberties, and mutual and general welfare." The terms of article eighth are still more identical: "All charges of war and all other expenses that shall be incurred for the common defense or general welfare, and allowed by the United States in Congress, shall be defrayed out of a common treasury," etc. A similar language again occurs in article ninth. Construe either of these articles by the rules which would justify the construction put on the new Constitution, and they vest in the existing Congress a power to legislate in all cases whatsoever. But what would have been thought of that assembly, if, attaching themselves to these general expressions, and disregarding the specifications which ascertain and limit their import, they had exercised an unlimited power of providing for the common defense and general welfare? I appeal to the objectors themselves, whether they would in that case have employed the same reasoning in justification of Congress as they now make use of against the convention. How difficult it is for error to escape its own condemnation!

Today's Americans are strangers to that passage, thanks largely to the conditions in which they find themselves, wherein their government does that which is forbidden to it with every tick of the clock.

jsid-1254973087-613182  Kevin Baker at Thu, 08 Oct 2009 03:38:07 +0000

I like my version better, but yours is far more authoritative.

jsid-1254974329-613185  Nathaniel at Thu, 08 Oct 2009 03:58:49 +0000

In my experience as a former rabid liberal, appeals to financial prudence don’t hold much water because most liberals don’t have any eduction in or understanding of economics. When you start talking about GDP and national debt, their eyes glaze over and they just think you’re spouting nonsense because the numbers you’re talking about are too large to comprehend.

Then again, that's not their biggest issue. I would say that its their tendency to basically see the government not as the other, but as a part of us. They view the government as merely another term for the tribe, a big strong umbrella everyone shelters around when it rains. And most tribes take care of their members by either outsourcing or at the very least spreading around the work of things like medicine, child care, protection, food gathering, etc.

The problem is that this noble and romantic notion pretty much keeled over dead around the time that civilizations sprang up, because they easily outcompeted and exterminated the weak tribes — a fact that liberals despise. Read Daniel Quinn sometime; he's basically made a career out of advocating the obsolescence of civilization and a gradual return to tribalism, and every one of my most liberal friends holds him up as a genius.

Of course, in the real world, the government is nothing like a tribe, it is very much not a part of us, and neither money nor selfishness are going away anytime soon. All the wishing in the world will not make any of this so. I pretty much snapped out of the utopian haze I'd been living my life in when I took an economics class and got into guns, but some people never will. That utopia over the horizon just looks too good not to drive towards, even if the road's in a minefield and anyone else can see that it's just a pretty billboard in front of a slave labor camp.

jsid-1254975105-613186  geekWithA.45 at Thu, 08 Oct 2009 04:11:45 +0000

Yours covers important ground...it ~should~ be self evident that the right to have a thing = someone's duty to provide it, but apparently, that's a novel thought for some people, especially those who find no distinction between taxes to operate the courts and taxes to give people free stuff.

Ah...let's face it. They don't see any distinction because they really don't want to.

They desperately want to find some basis/framework to make it OK to coercively take from whoever has so they can get a charge out of their enlightened giving to whoever hasn't. I know more than a few who have told me that they ~gladly~ pay their taxes for that reason, and that in essence, I'm a selfish shit for objecting.

Furthermore, they just can't accept that coercion is central to their scheme, because if it could be effected and sustained on a voluntary basis, those who found it in their interests to partake would do so. But hey, coercion is just fine with them. Consider their mentality around social security, which contents that since people didn't save resources for their old age, the need to be forced to do so. Apparently, from the dawn of time until 1930whatever no valid voluntary solution was to be found, and so FDR's ponzi-eque scheme is therefore justified.

The limit of their vision is that "conservatives" are ignorant, greedy racist people who don't want to pay their fair share, and who, motivated primarily by malice and just plain ornery mean spirits seek to prevent the bestowing of Good.

It's an impoverished viewpoint and fending it off day in and out ranges from tedious to tiresome.

It's little different from being a party to this conversation several times a day:

A: 2+3!
B: You realize that mean 5, right?
A: I never said 5! 5 is ungood! I said 2+3!

As far as I'm concerned, the more authoritative arguments that are marshaled against those of the grasping hands, the better.

jsid-1254992352-613192  Charles at Thu, 08 Oct 2009 08:59:12 +0000

The Gods of the Copybook Headings
-R. Kipling

AS I PASS through my incarnations in every age and race,
I make my proper prostrations to the Gods of the Market Place.
Peering through reverent fingers I watch them flourish and fall,
And the Gods of the Copybook Headings, I notice, outlast them all.

We were living in trees when they met us. They showed us each in turn
That Water would certainly wet us, as Fire would certainly burn:
But we found them lacking in Uplift, Vision and Breadth of Mind,
So we left them to teach the Gorillas while we followed the March of Mankind.

We moved as the Spirit listed. They never altered their pace,
Being neither cloud nor wind-borne like the Gods of the Market Place,
But they always caught up with our progress, and presently word would come
That a tribe had been wiped off its icefield, or the lights had gone out in Rome.

With the Hopes that our World is built on they were utterly out of touch,
They denied that the Moon was Stilton; they denied she was even Dutch;
They denied that Wishes were Horses; they denied that a Pig had Wings;
So we worshipped the Gods of the Market Who promised these beautiful things.

When the Cambrian measures were forming, They promised perpetual peace.
They swore, if we gave them our weapons, that the wars of the tribes would cease.
But when we disarmed They sold us and delivered us bound to our foe,
And the Gods of the Copybook Headings said: "Stick to the Devil you know."

On the first Feminian Sandstones we were promised the Fuller Life
(Which started by loving our neighbour and ended by loving his wife)
Till our women had no more children and the men lost reason and faith,
And the Gods of the Copybook Headings said: "The Wages of Sin is Death."

In the Carboniferous Epoch we were promised abundance for all,
By robbing selected Peter to pay for collective Paul;
But, though we had plenty of money, there was nothing our money could buy,
And the Gods of the Copybook Headings said: "If you don't work you die."

Then the Gods of the Market tumbled, and their smooth-tongued wizards withdrew
And the hearts of the meanest were humbled and began to believe it was true
That All is not Gold that Glitters, and Two and Two make Four
And the Gods of the Copybook Headings limped up to explain it once more.

As it will be in the future, it was at the birth of Man
There are only four things certain since Social Progress began.
That the Dog returns to his Vomit and the Sow returns to her Mire,
And the burnt Fool's bandaged finger goes wabbling back to the Fire;

And that after this is accomplished, and the brave new world begins
When all men are paid for existing and no man must pay for his sins,
As surely as Water will wet us, as surely as Fire will burn,
The Gods of the Copybook Headings with terror and slaughter return!

jsid-1255015297-613215  M Gallo at Thu, 08 Oct 2009 15:21:37 +0000

Kevin, don't forget unfunded entitlements in your debt calculations. We're actually on the hook for something like 73 trillion dollars, an amount of wealth that does not exist today. That's $243K per man, woman, and child, or roughly half a million dollars per (current) taxpayer.

jsid-1255016759-613219  Kevin Baker at Thu, 08 Oct 2009 15:45:59 +0000

That's what we're projected to spend. The National Debt is what we've already spent above and beyond our income.

And it's bad enough all by itself.

jsid-1255016904-613221  monkeyfan at Thu, 08 Oct 2009 15:48:24 +0000

Methinks the Class Warfare advocates of the left are missing the fact that the warfare part sometimes manifests itself outside the realm of the Skittle-shitting-unicorn.

jsid-1255043512-613252  Gmac at Thu, 08 Oct 2009 23:11:52 +0000

No one has a right to product of my labor.

jsid-1255066441-613272  perlhaqr at Fri, 09 Oct 2009 05:34:01 +0000

Gmac: That's what I keep saying, and people keep telling me I'm crazy for taking it so far.

I prefer not to let them put the tip in.

jsid-1255089769-613377  Trackback at Fri, 09 Oct 2009 12:02:49 +0000

Trackback message
Title: Quote of the Day: Why Health Care Is Not a Right
Excerpt: Dr. Pat Santy threatens to quit:
Let me be clear. I don’t believe that people have a “right” to health care; because, what advocating such a “right” basically means is that you believe you have a “right” to m...
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jsid-1255098120-613282  TheGunGeek at Fri, 09 Oct 2009 14:22:00 +0000

Amen to what rocinante said. You didn't actually start at the beginning when you fisked this. You skipped entirely over his use of the preamble as a declaration of rights. It's a statement of goals and justifications for the document to follow.

Look at any law today. It starts out with a declaration of purpose that is intended to aid in the interpretation and implementation of the law. That section does NOT have the force of law, however.

jsid-1255197009-613383  Unix-Jedi at Sat, 10 Oct 2009 17:50:09 +0000

Ladies and Gentlemen... Markadelphia has left the debate...ate...ate..ate..

Bungee Mark!


He's not ignoring us, you see. He's just.. not paying attention to us. Which if we could understand WORDS the way he does, each individual and beautiful, we'd know what he meant.

jsid-1255206949-613396  Ken at Sat, 10 Oct 2009 20:35:49 +0000

Or Seagull Mark: flies in, squawks, craps everywhere, and leaves.

jsid-1255230035-613410  Russell at Sun, 11 Oct 2009 03:00:35 +0000

Ken, how insulting!

To seagulls, that is.

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