Chicago Boyz

                 
 
 
What Are Chicago Boyz Readers Reading?
 

 
  •   Enter your email to be notified of new posts:
  •   Problem? Question?
  •   Contact Authors:

  • CB Twitter Feed
  • Blog Posts (RSS 2.0)
  • Blog Posts (Atom 0.3)
  • Incoming Links
  • Recent Comments

    • Loading...
  • Authors

  • Notable Discussions

  • Recent Posts

  • Blogroll

  • Categories

  • Archives

  • Now what?

    Posted by ken on November 10th, 2006 (All posts by )

    1. When the party that seeks to nationalize health care and put the pharmaceutical companies in their place can convincingly bring out Michael J. Fox and sell themselves as our best hope for medical technology advancement, that’s a good sign that the other party has screwed up bigtime.

    Embryos are not people. They have no brains, which are the essential source of our personhood. Without a brain, an embryo has no more rights than a houseplant. And the moral issue becomes simple: it is profoundly immoral to obstruct experimentation on things that are not people if such experimentation might save lots of actual people. Too many Republican candidates had that moral issue exactly backwards, and they suffered for it.

    Does that mean there’s definitely a miracle cure tucked away in embryonic stem cells? Of course not. Not to mention that there’s still the small matter that you won’t get any 100% compatible spare parts from an embryo that isn’t cloned from you, another step that’s yet to be taken with unknown difficulty and cost. But unless you’re going for the abolishment of all Federal research grants, singling out embryonic stem cell research for grant restrictions makes no moral or practical sense.

    The Democrats are full of ideas to take our problematic health care system and make it worse. This issue should have been a slam-dunk for the Republicans.

    2. I’m not sure what could have been done to convince people who believe, for instance, that having a lot of troops in Iraq puts us in a worse position to deal with Iran than having a lesser number of troops in Kuwait with Saddam still ruling Iraq would have. Could the point have been more forcefully made that the dead Iraqi civilians have mainly been killed by the bad guys, who are willing to kill the people they supposedly fight for rather than let them enjoy some of the rights we take for granted? Or that resistance to an occupation is sometimes evil, particularly when it takes the form of deliberate attacks on civilians? Maybe if we had mentioned that the bad guys are doing pretty much the same thing that the KKK and other ex-Confederates and Confederate symphatizers were doing during and after Reconstruction, only with better weapons?

    3. If Republican lawmakers are going to try and defile the sacred temple of Social Security, or Medicare, or public education, they might as well bring a blowtorch and see if they can burn it to the ground. It would make absolutely no difference in the opposition they get from the left (massive and unrelenting), but it would make a big difference in whether their supporters consider it worth their while to go vote for them. If they’re going to pretend to tinker around the edges and back down when the minority party squawks, then what’s the point of keeping them around?

    They had their big chance to clear out a lot of the crap we’ve been putting up with for 70+ years, and they squandered it. And no, “replacing” social security with a forced savings program where the Feds get to pick which investments are acceptable is not going to cut it.

    4. This isn’t the end of the world. Hezbollah still isn’t going to blow up shopping malls, schools, and offices in the Great Satan until Iran gets nuclear weapons and (thinks it) is immune to invasion. I’d say we’ve got a couple of years before that happens. And an actual nuke going off in the Great Satan shouldn’t happen for at least 10 years… there’ll need to be enough nuclear powers in the world that one of them thinks they can get away with it, and then it has to find a group that it can trust to hit the Great Satan and not some hated faction in the Middle East or even the home country. Plenty of time to get a cabin and stock the hell out of it.

    Bush still has two years left. And the horse still might learn to sing.

    Additional comments from readers:

    ——————————
    From: Wade
    Date: 11/12/2006

    A person’s life starts at conception, when his genetic die is cast and the
    person starts forming. However, since the embryo initially lacks a brain
    and nervous system it isn’t sentient and can’t suffer. It may be impossible
    to pinpoint exactly when a person becomes sentient, but that doesn’t mean
    you can’t say it isn’t sentient initially (precisional fallacy). If it’s
    assumed there is nothing supernatural it seems justifiable to kill a
    non-sentient embryo in order to save a fully formed, sentient person. If we
    do have souls at conception then sacrificing an embryo isn’t justifiable.
    Although there are other issues WRT destroying embryos I think the main one
    is people’s beliefs in a soul.
    ——————————

     

    15 Responses to “Now what?”

    1. Bartram Simpson Says:

      “The Democrats are full of ideas to take our problematic health care system and make it worse. This issue should have been a slam-dunk for the Republicans.”
      make it worse than it already is? The system is not working and the Republicans offered nothing to fix it or make it better. Now it is time to see what the other party might offer.
      On Iraq: when Saddam was in power, he was a countervailing force to Iran. Now Iran control the entire region. The Muslims/Arabs do not like an occupation force of non-Muslims, and they can now go at each other for religious differences because the Strong Man is not running the place.
      On Hebollah: we should have allowed Israel to continue levelling Hebollah infrastructure in the outh of Lebanon. Now the terror guys are rearming, the UN is doing nothing, and Hezbollah will own the entire country.

    2. Jonathan Says:

      Ken,

      Agreed on all points, though I think 4 may be optimistic (the time horizon, not the part about the cabin). (Unless you were being sarcastic, that is, in which case: agreed on all points.)

    3. spongeworthy Says:

      They have no brains, which are the essential source of our personhood. Without a brain, an embryo has no more rights than a houseplant.

      And here I thought the issue was complicated.

      Thank you, God!

    4. Phil Fraering Says:

      1. When the party that seeks to nationalize health care and put the pharmaceutical companies in their place can convincingly bring out Michael J. Fox and sell themselves as our best hope for medical technology advancement, that’s a good sign that the other party has screwed up bigtime.

      Or merely that the party in question has a huge propaganda advantage in portraying a complex issue as simple.

      Embryos are not people. They have no brains, which are the essential source of our personhood. Without a brain, an embryo has no more rights than a houseplant. And the moral issue becomes simple: it is profoundly immoral to obstruct experimentation on things that are not people if such experimentation might save lots of actual people. Too many Republican candidates had that moral issue exactly backwards, and they suffered for it.

      You say this with all the moral certainty of those big-haired preachers on TV, even if you’re taking a different position. And for you to suddenly start arguing morality is odd, because for years the pro-embryonic-stem-cell, pro-abortion side has argued that it’s wrong to discuss morality in politics at all.

      SECOND, while the Democrats were winning the elections, the stem-cell limitation amendments on the same ballots passed.

    5. Tyouth Says:

      ” But unless you’re going for the abolishment of all Federal research grants, singling out embryonic stem cell research for grant restrictions makes no moral or practical sense.”

      Rush has been repeatedly making the point that such government grants are being called for because researchers cannot get financing in the private sector. The argument being that, if embryonic stem cell showed promise it would attract private funding – it does not. It has a ring of truth, although I’m in no position to judge.

      He goes on to claim that advances are nil in this area of research but many promising developments have been made (and investments have followed) in adult stem cell research.

    6. Kelley Bell Says:

      * The World Health Organization ranked the United States 37th in health performance. The irony is that the United States spends more per capita for health care than any other nation in the world” (The European Dream, pp.79-80).

      * “The U.S.and South Africa are the only two developed countries in the world that do not provide universal health care for all their citizens” (The European Dream, p.80).

      * Lack of health insurance coverage causes 18,000 unnecessary American deaths a year. (That’s six times the number of people killed on 9/11.) (NYT, Jan. 12, 2005.)

      Wake up and jump ship fellas.

    7. Jonathan Says:

      -I think the WHO’s rankings, and other claims about the relative inadequacy of US health care, should be viewed skeptically in light of the obvious fact that people come here from around the world — including from countries with supposedly superior socialized health-care systems — when they want the best medical treatment. How many Americans visit Canada, the UK or Cuba for health care?

      -The USA lacks formal universal medical coverage, but in practice anyone, even if he has no money, can get care at a hospital emergency department. The system (i.e., everyone else) simply absorbs the costs of indigent patients. So they don’t have formal medical insurance, with signed policies and other offical-type documents? It doesn’t matter: they still get care. There are better ways to handle the needs of indigent patients, but it’s beyond ridiculous to suggest that the USA, unlike those advanced Europeans, abandons the poor. As for people who can afford insurance but decline it by choice — Why are the rest of us responsible for them?

      -“Lack of health insurance coverage causes 18,000 unnecessary American deaths a year” — I googled this statement and found no substantiation beyond an attribution to the Institute of Medicine, whatever that is, in 2004 (Kerry campaign sound bite?). Even if it’s true, and I suspect that no one knows, I don’t see how it follows that socialized medicine would be better. Are death and morbidity rates (controlled for ethnic and other socioeconomic variables, as must be done in this kind of comparison) lower in countries that have govt-run medical systems?

      -Why do you think that the deficiencies of our health-care system aren’t due to too much govt involvement rather than too little? (Hint: Ask yourself why there’s no “health-care crisis” in veterinary medicine.)

      -“Jump ship”? Why? Has socialism started working all of a sudden?

    8. TM Lutas Says:

      Arguing that humanity is carried by attached tissue with brains makes teratomas (at least those with brain cells in them) human beings with rights. That’s just dumb. Perhaps you were just simplifying for the article but as constructed, you just can’t use brains and brains alone to determine humanity. Surprisingly, there are not very many definitions of humanity that survive under critical scrutiny. The pro-life definition which puts rights-bearing life at the moment of conception is one of those few.

      Moving on to entitlement reform, I would point out that HSAs used to be MSAs and the next step is associational healthcare. Repeated reforms have led us to HSAs and President Bush has already pointed out the next step, creating multi-state pools so that the Kiwanis, the Catholic Church, or the ACLU could offer health insurance. Breaking the tie between health care and employment is critical to successful reform in the US. Radicalism did not get us MSAs or HSAs and it will not get us associational health insurance.

      I just don’t see any of the big beastly entitlement programs getting reformed in big radical pushes unless we’re at the point of system collapse. It simply isn’t going to happen. As the MSA->HSA evolution proves, incremental reform *can* happen.

    9. a comment Says:

      It’s hard to respond to these multi-issue posts but that’s ok, I’ll just focus on Iraq. Ken compares the insurgents in Iraq with ex-confederates after the Civil War. Actually, we screwed it up so much by invading and occupying without an effective post war plan, that BOTH sides, Shiites and Sunnis, now have their KKK style death squads. Meanwhile most Iraqis in every poll want US troops out immediately…but Ken doesn’t care because the insurgents are “evil” which gives us a right (who never act evilly of course) to stay there as long as we like.

    10. Ginny Says:

      “Miost” Iraqis want the US out “immediately.” The good thing about simpler posting is that it is clear & simple. The bad thing is that reality isn’t.

    11. a comment Says:

      But Christopher Preble, director of foreign policy studies at the Cato Institute think-tank, said it’s time to start drawing down, with polls suggesting about 80 per cent of Iraqis view Americans as occupiers who won’t leave.

      Canadian Press news, November 15, 2006

    12. Jonathan Says:

      Are we supposed to accept Christopher Preble’s opinion on faith? Anyway, I always thought the most important consideration here was US national security rather than the feelings of Iraqis.

    13. a comment Says:

      Ah, realism. The “feelings” of the Iraqis don’t matter (although bringing them democracy [at the barrel of a gun] was one of many justifications for our invasion). But do you think that the situation can ever be stabilized if most Iraqis are implacably against our presence? The poll Preble quotes is one of several indicating that most Iraqis want us to leave immediately, and even approve of attacks against us.
      My friend who served in the army in Iraq explained it well: the troops don’t know a Shiite from a Sunni and are asked to mediate a civil war…they almost always make the situation worse.

    14. Anonymous Says:

      the troops don’t know a Shiite from a Sunni and are asked to mediate a civil war…they almost always make the situation worse.

      Posted by: a comment on November 21, 2006 11:38 A

      I agree with “a comment”. Draconian measures are required and not applied, generally speaking.

      Particularly, what kinds of identification forms are being used (if any)? We occupiers should be issuing state of the art IDs for Iraqis and detaining and vetting persons picked up for the slightest suspicion without a valid ID.

      Millions of people make this a big job…..so what?

    15. a comment Says:

      Anonymous, calling for Draconian measures in Iraq, misses my point. Our troops know nothing about the people or the culture, and they’re proud of it. They don’t speak the language and rely on interpreters who, as collaborators, are insurgent targets, with extraordinarily high turnover. Our troops get tricked into settling old scores, arresting innocient people. They themselves are not accountable under Iraqi laws. The “contractors” are even worse than the troops. I have a friend who was there in 2005 in the infantry and painted a truly horrific picture.

      Sorry Anonymous but universal ID cards will not solve the problem. I know you probably supported the invasion and are looking for a “victory”, but give up. And since when is having religion stamped on an ID the solution? It sounds a bit like “Jewish” passports you-know-when….