Sweet Liberty – a blast from the past post from November 2014

*Reading this, some of you will go “I note the collapse didn’t happen.”  And that’s true.  We’re in the early stages of the collapse.  Doctors are leaving and retiring.  Part of the issue with my thyroid and other things is that for two years now, I’m lucky to see a Nurse Practitioner.  And no, they don’t have the same training. There are things I know more than they do about simply because I grew up around doctors.

There is a lot of ruin in a nation, particularly this nation, because we’re good at doing, at making do, and at inventing new ways to do things around the crazy regulations.

But we still can’t afford socialism.  No one can.  Venezuela has far more natural wealth than we do (remember I know, I have family there) and even they couldn’t afford socialism.

We might have got a respite — maybe — I’m still “cautiously optimistic” on the coming administration with the emphasis on “cautious.”  But in the end if we don’t fight back, if we don’t fight for the minds of the young, they and us are lost, and there will be no more liberty, only a nation like others, where we subsist at the whim of those who rule us.

Don’t let government by the people perish from this Earth.  The responsibility is yours.*

Sweet Liberty – a blast from the past post from November 2014

Let’s suppose you were born with an inheritance, something that accrues to you by virtue of being born and being human.

It’s something you can spend, but not directly, like a lot of cash.  But you can trade for it.  Let’s say it is a beautiful, rare, exquisitely cut diamond.  You can wear it, but it’s not quite suited for display.  It’s just something you’ve always had, more precious than anything else you have except life.  And if you keep it, lifelong, your kids will be given equal ones when they’re born, and then your grandkids too.

How would you go about safeguarding such a jewel?

Would you keep it always under your control, where you are the only one who has a say on whether it’s kept or taken away?  Or would you trust politicians – politicians who btw are telling you they can keep your jewel for you by taking other people’s jewel away and trading it to keep yours safe – to safeguard that jewel by putting yourself, your life and everything you own in their power?

I’m very afraid for a number of people the answer is the second.  And that the answer is the second for even one person scares me beyond reason.

I was watching Bill Whittles’s excellent video Cannibals, which details our fiscal and cultural troubles.  I wanted to leave a comment (ended up not doing it because youtube drives me nuts on registering to do so) so I looked at the comments.

Comment after comment, with names like “proudfree American” said things like “I voted for Obama because I don’t want to have to bear a rapist’s child.  My body is mine and no one else can make decisions about it.”

(A friend pointed out these are pathetic comments both in search of approval of like minded people, and sticking one in the eye of what they imagine to be the opposition. Let that stand for a moment.  I’ll come back to it in the end.)

Abortion is, of course, one of those complex things.  It is not a natural right.  It can’t be a natural right because a human woman in a state of nature who tries to abort will more often than not end up offing herself along with the child.  You could say infanticide is a natural right, as it has been practiced by most civilizations throughout the ages, less so in Judeo Christian lands, but impossible to stamp out just like murder is impossible to stamp out.  Of course it violates another person’s natural right to life, but in the case of infants that is always iffy as “natural” as they require someone else to defend them.  So, it is a very complex thing, not from a moral but from a NATURAL point of view.

Let’s leave aside for a moment that no one in this election – not even Todd Akin – ever said a woman BY LAW should bear a rapist’s child.  What Akin (who is an idiot for the way he expressed himself and for walking into the matter at all) and the other guy said was based on their own moral judgment, involving “if it happened to someone I love.”  Let’s leave aside, also, that my answer would be rather similar to theirs, and it’s more germane, since I CAN get pregnant.  (In theory.  Well, it happened once naturally.)  “If I got pregnant by rape, it’s impossible to know what I would do, but it would be hard to get over the fact that the child DIDN’T commit the rape, and that what causes a man to become a rapist is not necessarily genetic otherwise every man and woman born would be a rapist, because we’re all descended from rapists several times over.  Though I can’t say for sure what my state of mind would be, there’s a good chance I’d decide the moral thing is to keep the child.  Because I like children, because it would still be mine, and because it’s not the child’s fault.”

That is not important.  It’s also not important that while Mitt Romney made noises about abortion, the MOST he could do – and he wouldn’t, any more than he would abolish the department of education.  That’s not how DC works – is sent the matter back to the states.  And he NEVER said anything about outlawing abortion in cases of rape or incest.

Let’s instead assume that it is right and just, always, for a woman to abort a rapist’s child.  This right to “not carry a rapist’s child in MY body” is not only NOT a natural right – it is one that depends on an advanced enough technology, a functioning economy, and no one being able to regulate what kind of medicine is practiced upon you.

There is an English proverb “He who pays the piper calls the tune.”  Same thing.  Updated “you buy your CDs, you buy whatever music you want.”  However, if the government is giving you free music, then you will listen to whatever they want you to listen to.  And it can change.

So, let’s suppose that for these young women the most important thing in the world, truly is that if they should get pregnant  from rape – unless you extend rape to “changed my mind afterwards” a small enough chance – they should be allowed to abort the child.

Very well.

To secure this non-natural (because it requires functioning high tech) right they voted for the man who promised them this AND contraceptives for free.  I.e. they voted for someone who said he’d pay for what these women consider a need, so that the women can “control their own bodies.”  Further, to secure this, this man – this party – is trying to make people against whose conscience it is to pay for such things… pay for them.  That is, they are willfully violating what is a natural right of other people: the right to not pay/endorse things that violate their conscience.

And these women think giving this group of people the right to pay for/decide what is done to them gives the women control of their own bodies.

It never occurs to them apparently that those who give them contraceptives/free abortions today can also deny them tomorrow.  Or that the fiscal mess Bill Whittle is talking about in the video means a diminishing level of wealth and therefore of tech.

What I mean is even if the government isn’t lying to you – and frankly, after Benghazi how can ANYONE believe these people won’t lie to you and with a straight face – their policies are almost guaranteed to make doctors flee the country in droves, or go into retirement.  They are also guaranteed to add a layer of bureaucracy that will delay everything.

The end result might be that you did in fact get raped – I understand in countries where law breaks down completely this is a risk women run from eight to eighty – and you got pregnant.  (Or you had a night of sex with your boyfriend and didn’t take precautions, so you’re being “punished with a baby.”) You have a right to your free abortion.  Great.

Only the nearest hospital is chock a block with more urgent cases and the nurse practitioner who could have done it is full up for six months.  In six months it will be a high-risk abortion, and gee, we just don’t have the equipment.  Maybe if you go to Mexico?  I hear they can do these same day, for ten thousand dollars.

Think this is unlikely?  This is almost guaranteed.

Other nightmare scenarios include the government running out of contraceptives.  (No?  When something is free, people get it.  And when it’s free there’s no incentive for companies to research better stuff OR to make it cheaper or more abundant.)  I once heard an – hilarious, because it wasn’t me, and because these people had escaped – interesting story by a group of Russians, at the end of the USSR, discussing how this group of ten men shared a condom which they washed after sex and which, btw, the one of them who worked in a rubber plant patched more than once.  If you think that can’t happen here, you have missed the fiscal mess we’re in to which we’re adding an unimaginable amount of debt for an “entitlement” that can’t be secured without enslaving doctors and other health professionals to serve at the pleasure of the government.

So, suppose you run out of contraceptives and your ONLY contraception is abortion.  But the birth rate is going through the floor and our lords and masters become aware they won’t have enough of a next generation to bear the massive burden of debt.  Think they won’t forbid abortion?  Or they can’t decide you’re from a non-favored group and they don’t want you reproducing at all, so they mandate that you be sterilized and your existing children killed.  Think it won’t happen?  It’s happening in China.  Google “dying rooms” China and children, and I hope you have a strong stomach.

You think it won’t happen here?

Why do you think that?  Show your work.  Is your body any more sacred than other people’s convictions?  Why?  Why should a government that has the power of life and death over you, a government that can literally decide that you’re too expensive to keep alive and send you home with palliative care (no?  It happens practically everywhere the state runs medicine.  Maybe everywhere.  Reporting on these things is iffy) NOT make you bear a child because it suits the state’s needs?

You were born with this special, priceless jewel: Liberty.

You can keep it – that includes covering the costs of it, both monetary and in informed citizenry – and get to decide what to do with it, and in which circumstances to apply it.  OR you can entrust it to people who lie and whose very nature is predicated on having power over you.

Whether the liberty is freedom of religion, of assembly, the right to bear arms – no matter what those rights are, entrusting them to the government is a bad idea.  All the more so when those “rights” require a complex, functioning civilization to be effective.  (For instance, I would not vote for a government that promised me free weapons, because I know how bureaucracies work and in the end I’d have the right to a chipped bit of flint.)

No, you do not have a right to your own body.  No one does.  You can’t say “I won’t bear this child” any more than you can say “I won’t die from this cancer.”  Both of them involve a complex civilization and other people’s skill and knowledge to avoid.  And neither can be granted to you by a tyrannical government who HAS to control other people’s work, intelligence and freedom of thought to grant you this.

You do have a right to your own mind, and that so many people have chosen to give up their natural right to inform themselves and make informed decisions makes me seethe.

My friend was right, on the people who commented on that video being special snow flakes in search of social approval.  Of course why they think that idiotic statement makes them sound “correct” is why we must speak out.  For too long we’ve let the idiots own the air waves and the soundbites, because we didn’t want to rock the boat.  And what we’ve created is sort of a state religion, in which young people repeat platitudes that don’t make sense, in the sure certainty of social approval.

It’s time to start taking back their minds.  And then maybe they’ll understand how to keep control of their bodies.  And maybe they’ll understand the meaning of liberty.

You can’t enslave a free man.
Only person can do that to a man is himself.
No, sir—you can’t enslave a free man.
The most you can do is kill him.  Free Men by Robert A. Heinlein

149 responses to “Sweet Liberty – a blast from the past post from November 2014

  1. A friend of mine who goes by Smokin Joe posted this in a different forum where we were discussing natural rights:

    “The seminal arguments of the left boil down to ‘It isn’t a human’ [an unborn child] or ‘It is less than a human’ so killing it doesn’t matter. And somehow, this ‘less than a human thing’ is interfering with your rights to live the way you want to.

    “Note, not ‘Right to live’ (except in the most rare and medically identifiable instances when that would not be the outcome), but ‘right to live as you want to.’ Heck, I want to be independently wealthy, have my own jet, have a few thousand acres and a few toys to go play with on them, etc. But I don’t have a ‘Right’ to have that without some good fortune and a lot of hard work (not there yet, might never be).

    “In short the right to live is being confused with some nebulous ‘right to live as you want to,’ and while the Pursuit of Happiness may be a fundamental Right, that does not give one the Right to pursue that at the expense of the Right of another to live. If my idea of Happiness meant having more land, that doesn’t give me the right to just up and take the land of those adjacent to mine (or anywhere else, for that matter). My ‘happiness’ would run headlong into their fundamental rights, too.

    “The conflict here seems to be one of Life versus Convenience (the latter being the pursuit of happiness). Again, as long as that baby in the womb, at any phase of development, is less than a human being in the eyes of the people you are trying to convince, it will be a war of the desires of the Human against the sub- or non-human, and the developing child will be accorded no more rights than a tumor.

    “There are plenty of options in the search for ‘reproductive freedom’ without conceiving a child. A little responsibility and some knowledge can be sufficient. Knowledge is important. For instance, some means of Birth Control become ineffective while the woman is taking antibiotics (I got two grandchildren that way–different moms who are sisters). Had they been aware of that, pregnancy could have been avoided, but I am happy with the grandkids, as are their mothers (well, most days ). It isn’t a question of there not being ample options out there for the prevention of pregnancy in the first place.

    “You have to do away with the idea that conceiving a baby and then killing it is ‘reproductive choice,’ because it isn’t. It is not a choice of whether to reproduce or not, but what to do about it when that is a fait accompli. Until these concepts are debunked and refuted:

    1. That a developing child is somehow less than a human being with none of the rights any other human has.

    2. That the right of the mother to ‘pursue happiness’ trumps the right of the child to live.

    3. That destroying the result of successful reproduction is somehow ‘undoing the act’ and thus a ‘reproductive choice,’ and not killing a child.

    the Left will continue to use those selfsame arguments to justify the slaughter. Those are the falsehoods they rely upon, along with some eugenicist twists, to support their position.

    “I am not saying getting people to reverse their positions on these things is impossible, (All things are possible with The Lord), but at the same time, I recognize these will again be positions in which people are emotionally invested and on which their status may depend on consistency with past stated beliefs. Obtaining that change would be wonderful, indeed, but first you have to convince them they are wrong, and then to publicly admit it. For those religious, it may be easier:

    “Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations. – Jeremiah 1:5

    “Now, how could that be if he was just a lump of tissue?”

    [Doug again] I think Joe’s thoughts are very clear and (to me at least) undeniable.

    • I gave up on #1 long ago and am now more interested in ending idea #4:

      When a man have sex he is volunteering to fund a woman’schoice to reproduce despite having no saying in it.

      Admittedly idea #4 when combined with some of the case law around it are the biggest argument that men are superior to women ever made but it needs to go away if #1-3 above aren’t.

  2. The damage done by termites is not noticeable until too late, and some of it is damage that can never be repaired without structural overhaul.

    And yet the building appears to be intact, standing whole … until some pressure is applied at the wrong point …

    • “The damage done by termites is not noticeable until too late, and some of it is damage that can never be repaired without structural overhaul.”

      And recognize that trying to repair the irreparable is a mistake that is likely to get you killed.

      Sometimes the first step in an overhaul is a bulldozer and a copy of the original blueprints.

  3. You know, Sarah, I am starting to think somebody should come in and sit with you during all medical appointments. You get treated like crap a LOT. I don’t know if it is weird bias, bad luck, or just crappy medical folks, but more than normal.

    And I have noticed that a person gets treated more seriously by nurses and doctors, if he or she brings someone along to corroborate and make additions to info.

    • Um… part of the problem is that I tend to UNDER dramatize particularly when ill. Part of that legionaries don’t cry. Since they know I’m Latin, they tend to assume I’m exaggerating…

      • Part of their problem is that many of their “measurements” are subjective. One SJW’s “worst pain imaginable” is another legionnaire’s …


        … hurts a little bit. I’ve had migraines, gout and back spasms and can imagine worse pain yet … gnaw your leg off pain, for example. I suspect I am not alone among the Huns in this. So that Wong-Baker scale is not as useful as clinicians seem to think.

        • I suspect my daily four-to-six is most people’s six-to-eight at the very least

          • Perhaps, but that is nothing compared to the pain of having a white, southern-accented (possibly Trump supporting) plumber come to unclog your drain.

            I’ve no doubt Ned Resnikoff’s grandchildren (the ones who don’t get sold for parts) will thrill and cower in horror on some future day while he tells them about the horror of that day and how he learned to appreciate his idiocy privilege as a result of the terrifying experience.

            • no idea what you’re referring to.

              • A recent column that’s been mocked in the blogosphere. Now horrified columnist had a plumber come by, and the columnist suspects that *gasp* the plumber might have voted for Trump. And also might know that the columnist is a Jew.

                • “He was a perfectly nice guy and a consummate professional,” Resnikoff shared. “But he was also a middle-aged white man with a southern accent who seemed unperturbed by this week’s news.”

                  Resnikoff said his fear was rooted in the chance that the plumber knew he was Jewish.

                  “While I had him in the apartment, I couldn’t stop thinking about whether he had voted for Trump, whether he knew my last name is Jewish, and how that knowledge might change the interaction we were having inside my own home,” he said.

                  The “uncertainty” of the situation left Resnikoff “rattled for some time.”

                  • Sadly, even in articles like this the modern SJW is a pale version of his ancestor. An aside in Guns. Cowboys. Philadelphia Mayors, and Civic Republicanism by Wendy Brown in the Yale Law Review back in 1989 recounts how, after backpacking the Sierras she came out to find her car wouldn’t start. A gentleman in the same lot spent two hours helping her get it started.

                    His payment was to be called a rapist:

                    Her original is behind a paywall but here is a description for another law review article about it:

                    The anecdote is this: Emerging from a back-packing trip deep
                    in the Sierra Nevada, Professor Brown discovered that her car
                    would not start.w She enlisted the aid of a nearby sportsman, who
                    spent the next two hours helping her get the car started. Her benefactor
                    was culturally and politically very different from Professor
                    Brown. He was wearing a National Rifle Association cap, he was
                    surveying the woods for his hunting club, he was drinking beer and
                    reading a porn magazine, and he had a satellite dish on his
                    Winnebago.

                    Professor Brown apparently disapproves of all these things,
                    which is her right. So far it is a wonderful story about the best of
                    America: two strangers who disagree on practically everything, ignoring differences of politics, sex, and social and economic class,
                    cooperating in the wilderness to solve a serious problem faced by
                    only one of them. If de Tocqueville had been there, he would have
                    reported it to his readers in France.

                    But, Professor Brown reflects, it is fortunate that she had three
                    friends with her. If she had run into this man alone in the woods,
                    she “would have been seized with one great and appropriate fear:
                    rape.”

                    Source: https://conservancy.umn.edu/bitstream/handle/11299/166046/08_02_Laycock.pdf?sequence=1&isAllowed=y

                    The author goes on to contrast this to what Wendy Brown would consider beyond the pale, fearing a lone black man at night.

                    Good old Ned’s a piker who can only get a couple of paragraphs of him pissing himself on FB instead of making it part of prestigious peer reviewed article.

                    • Zarquon’s singing fish! What will these people(?) do should they ever encounter an actual genuine threat? Or something that acts rather than merely threaten?

                    • My guess is they will die perhaps with a flicker in their brain finally getting the “when seconds count the police are minutes away” but most likely thinking “how did I actually run into a black conservative” or similar nonsense.

                    • Clearly this is a situation of missing the forest for the trees. The key indicator is that NRA hat.

                      It is widely acknowledged that guns are an expression of subconscious penile inadequacy. Even twenty-five years ago most men would not have read “girly mags” in a public venue, such as a campground or parking area. These facts, combined with his willingness to donate two hours uncompensated skilled labor to a female stranger enables us to deduce that the “porn” in question was most probably “gay porn” — which would explain the professor’s failure to provide a more accurate description of the reading matter.

                      Thus it becomes obvious that the professor’s fear of being raped were in fact a sublimation of her unacknowledged homophobia.

                    • How many times did you stop while writing that because of how hard you were laughing.

                    • I think I ruptured something reading that…

                    • I remembered that, and actively avoided clicking on the link. I’m still suffering from heatstroke, I don’t need soaring blood pressure problems on top of that.

                    • Patrick Chester

                      Orvan wrote:
                      Zarquon’s singing fish! What will these people(?) do should they ever encounter an actual genuine threat? Or something that acts rather than merely threaten?

                      Something like this, except nowhere near as stoic, with more whining and screaming:

                    • SO which one more represents my penile inadequacy, my S&W .40 Compact or my Mosin-Nagant 91/30?

                  • Patrick Chester

                    In other words, Resnikoff is a victim of self-inflicted terror.

                • Oh, yes. THAT special twatwaffle.

          • I hear you…if I decide to take an OTC painkiller my wife has learned to ask if I should go see the doctor.

        • When we first ran across that, my friends and I decided that the face representing “0 pain” didn’t look like he was a normal person not in pain; he looked high. “2” looks like the normal person going about his day.

        • “I’m not used to seeing my patients walk.”

          and…

          Nurse: You know, you can have morphine if you think you need it.
          Orvan: Let’s save the morphine for those who might really need it.

          And I do not consider myself to have a high pain tolerance.

        • SheSellsSeashells

          I got put in the hospital with godawful headaches a while back, and told the nurses it was a 6 or 7. Then I discussed it with the neurologist, who skipped the numbers and asked me what it was comparable to. “I dunno, childbirth.” “…have you considered that you might minimize your symptoms a bit?”

          • Exactly. I don’t want to initiate a pain-pissing contest, but Pain & I have a long-standing relationship and I no longer bother pulling out the company glassware when Pain comes to call — that is held for when he brings his sister and his cousins (whom he reckons by the dozens) and his aunts.

            I don’t even want to try to calibrate that chart for some of the truly tough people out there — martial artists, Navy SEALs and their ilk. I expect that on their scale a 9 equals “unconscious” and a 10 equates to “dead.”

            • I wonder if this is a left/right thing…if you think the gov’t is there to take away all hardship than even the most minor pain is debilitating but if you accept struggle as part of life you accept some degree of pain as within normal variance of living.

              • Nah, not a left/right thing so much as a cultural background thing. Though it’s possible that people with the particular cultural backgrounds trend toward one side of the political specturm.

                • I think it’s genetic. Everyone has different pain thresholds. I’ve seen some children with higher pain thresholds than some grown men.

                  Without boasting – because I believe there’s always a pain that will bring someone to their knees – I think ours is toward the high side. When my wife first went into labor, she didn’t realize what it was because she didn’t think the pain was that bad. My father once peeled the skin off the back of his left hand, wrapped it up with a paper towel, and finished the load of corn. I’ve had various intense pains, with the infamous pain only males can experience coming in at about a 7 (and, oddly, hurting more in the lower abdomen than where you’d think). Actually, I’ve had worst pains than this, and don’t consider them reaching 10. One of the worst was when I didn’t think I’d really shattered my thumb, tried it, and it bent between joints.

                  The kids seem to have a higher threshold, too. It made it interesting when they were little:

                  “Is your (infected) ear hurting?”
                  “No, sir.”
                  (On the way to our destination)
                  “It doesn’t hurt; it aches some.”‘

                  • I complain/go for painkillers easily but felt less like a wimp about the broken leg/hip after I saw the x-ray. That skin thing, though… *cringe* I don’t think I could.

              • foxfirefancies

                In my case, it’s more a deeply internalized case of “what would Eowyn do?” 🙂

              • /any painkillers/ /any painkillers after waking up in Recovery/

              • The comfortable default is left, so the folks who are comfortable tend to default to left.

                This biases the sample.

            • Well, perhaps “mostly dead.”

            • Professor Badness

              My wife, (Masked Pain), has advanced MS, leading to nerve pain and paralysis. The nurses were astonished when she gave birth, naturally, and didn’t swear or scream or anything.
              Afterward, she did admit that childbirth, of either of our boys, was not the most pain she has ever been in.
              So, yeah. When others complain of pain, I always put it in context. (Though I try not to compare it to my wife’s Herculean pain threshold.)

              • I had a friend who had undiagnosed gluten allergy and severe lactose intolerance for most of her life. She had her kids with no drugs, because it was less than the pain she dealt with on a daily basis. (When she went to a GF and milk-free diet, she was astonished. At a meal, a mutual friend asked, “Isn’t it hard to give up bread?” and I was thinking, yeah, I would trade bread for living pain free any day. And I’m healthy…)

            • I’ve had major surgery twice without any painkillers due to hospital bureaucratic snafus. *Now* I know how to deal with that sort of thing… this is the 21st century, and I don’t have to grit my teeth and power through the pain. Been there, done that, and you know what? There aren’t any Life Attaboys for suffering. Nobody else cares, and you feel like a fool.

          • Dang. Our typical 10 comparison is childbirth.

            • foxfirefancies

              It’s sort of like that xkcd strip. I can *imagine* worst than childbirth, it’s just that that (and the aforementioned headaches) are my personal best.

              • Ya. That is why most techs I have worked with use that as example. Although in reality we just look for the change from the first number.

            • They were a little late on the epidural with #2. I could have gone through the pain, but I didn’t wanna.

          • When I was in for my hysterectomy, I was telling them the subsequent pain was about 4. Well, I’d had worse menstrual cramps — the pain wasn’t nauseating — and much worse headaches.

            though I did run across once a more useful list that rated it by how much it interfered with activity. 10 was on the order of I can do nothing except feel my pain.

            • … 10 was on the order of I can do nothing except feel my pain.

              Which is pretty much the way I interpreted it when I told them that the pain from my sciatica was a 9. But damn, from some of the stories here, some of y’all would have scored that a 4. I frequently wish I were not super-sensitive.

        • Ah yes the 14/10 stubbed toe versus the 2/10 amputation. It’s the stoic that medicos need to be aware of. I have had to bring out “up to and including death” multiple times for some people.

          • Sarah, if you’re pretty stoic and thus you have trouble getting medical folks to accurately calibrate your problem level — this is also why you need someone to come with you. (Especially if they can tell the doctor/nurse some nice scary stories of your past medical history.)

            Alternately, you need to start complaining in more detail. Or if you like, being more descriptive. Sharing frightening anecdotes of your medical history is also good. Dark humor jokes about exactly how the current situation compares to past horrific situations — actually work pretty well at getting their attention.

            (This is why I like to humorously describe the effects of “times when the novocaine didn’t kick in” to dentists and surgeons. It makes them pay attention. They give me enough stuff that it actually works, and I don’t have to scream or go back for another exploratory.)

            There are times when there is no such thing as TMI, so I tend to share info generously with doctors.

        • A useful trick:
          Rate it with a comparison.

          They take it more seriously if you say “about 7, like walking on a broken foot.”

          • Oldest son went through the last month of Marine boot camp and all of his SOI with a broken foot. He did not want to be recycled. He only went to the doctor at Pendleton when he graduated SOI. He got an extra month before he had to show up to the FAST training in Norfolk.

            • I think it depends a lot on where it’s broken, too– I broke the bone that’s…um… the foot version of the first bone above your ring finger? I think. It was well guarded by other bones, and in hind-sight I should’ve just wrapped the @#$# thing and let it heal on its own.

              It just ACHED and had an unexplained bruise on it, and I only went in to a doctor because of a family history of blood clots and the whole not-wanting-to-die thing. I was very happy to find out that the big strange bruise wasn’t an indication I was going to go on blood thinners!

        • ***hands chart back to nurse*** “It hurts enough I drove myself to your hospital and walked in to give you my last $100 dollars because I have no insurance and I know it might be Appendicitis.”
          It wasn’t, it was Gastroenteritis, and the rest of my bank account went to antibiotics (I fibbed, I had $150 to my name at that point, but less than $15 when I got home from the hospital)

    • I suspect she has a bad case of “polite.”

      She may not even recognize it, I sure don’t know what it is that signals to a nurse the difference between “I would like to go” and “I am about to flip out and walk out if you like it or not.” I just know it’s there.

      • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

        I wouldn’t know about that.

        I just stood outside the exam room (where Mom had been waiting for an hour) and the nurses started to explain why the doctor was late. 👿 👿 👿 👿

        Seriously, I don’t know if I “looked” as annoyed as I felt but the nurses did “pick up” on the idea that I wasn’t a “happy camper”. 😉

        Note, that was an unusual event at that clinic. Which was why I was annoyed but also willing to be “calmed down” by the nurses’ response. 😀

        • *chuckles* The doctor to sign me out after the Baron suddenly materialized when my mom very, very politely asked what time it was…. Three hours after the late end of when I was supposed to get out.

          Oh, I wish I could turn it off and on, the “you are in mortal danger” vibe… (So does she. It’s valuable for a teacher.)

          • It only seems to happen for me when I’m considering the most painful ways possible to kill someone.

          • foxfirefancies

            My mother had what we called Teacher Voice, and once dismissed a class that had infuriated her with a quiet “You all need to leave now.” Apparently they were halfway down the hall before they realized they didn’t actually HAVE to sprint…

  4. c4c

    And was this written before “virtue signaling” entered the common speech patterns?

  5. Interesting, how the same people who demand the right to “do what I want with my body, the state/society can’t tell me what to do!” are often the same ones who want ordinances saying that I can’t buy pets, and/or that domestic animals must have certain rights, that a city agency can come by my residence at any time and check on my former-shelter-animal, and so on. And the disconnect doesn’t register because “a pet isn’t property, it is an individual.”

  6. I bristle a bit about the denigration against Nurse Practitioners if only because my mom is a recently-retired RNP of 39 years.

    That’s just my personal knee-jerk reaction though, it’s shameful how some patients get brushed off and hurried through appointments by offices more concerned about covering their asses than anything else.

    More and more I’ve found the problem with ethical and moral questions like “is it ever okay to kill an unborn child” is that people tend to forget the aspects that go into determining the morality of an action. There’s the utilitarian “what good or evil does this action produce”, and the intention of the person to do good or evil by it, but neither of those totally erases the fact that some actions are always AN evil. Sometimes a child may be lost because of health problems with the mother or a risky pregnancy. This is a tragedy. But when we start building in wide-sweeping normalizations of these exceptions it starts erasing the reason WHY it’s a tragedy, i.e. we are losing the life of a human being that has inherent value by the fact that it is human.

    • ONE nurse practitioner I had at first was better than my doctor. He’s the one that figured I wasn’t getting sick, I was having auto-immune attacks. And who led to my being MUCH better now.
      But a lot of them I’ve had are … not very good. And the preparation is NOT the same as for a doctor, so more unusual cases drop through the cracks.

      • scott2harrison

        “so more unusual cases drop through the cracks.”
        Might make them better than a young doctor as they will tend to not go on zebra hunts. Until of course they encounter a zebra that they can’t see.

    • The thing about utilitarianism is that people who practice it—which is a large section of the population—tend to think of it as a universal worldview, and are utterly baffled by the idea that there are any other philosophies out there.

      • Even better they get upset when you apply utilitarianism to your dealings with them; at least they do when you find their utility lacking.

        And now I have Darth Vader telling an SJW, ” I find your lack of utility…disturbing” when the Women’s Studies’s major with all the piercings and tats is too slow in making his latte.

        • I was thinking specifically of people who are astonished when people do not follow utilitarian practices when applying religious principles. “But… but this is ‘the most good for the most people’! Why don’t you do that?” “Because evil is evil even in small doses, and evil for the sake of good always poisons the supposed good.” *exploding head*

          • Just this day I was in a discussion where someone said that a government solution was sometimes better than a free market one — that is, more for more people.

            I countered that he had just justified every time a minority was massacred and the goods of its members distributed to the majority.

  7. It ought not be ignored that one of the earliest business transactions recorded in History was the sale of a birthright for a mess of pottage.

  8. Regarding abortion: I tend to avoid most discussions of it because they seem to typically take places in someone’s echo chamber. As a result, they wind up doing what my dad called “shedding more heat than light.” I will note that I’m seeing an increasing trend for the more extreme pro-choice folks to say it is irrelevant if the unborn is a human or not – the woman carrying the unborn has the right to end its life. I knew this argument was coming, I just didn’t expect to see it so soon.

    To the greater topic of liberty, I’ve come to the conclusion many people don’t really want it, though they think they do. Liberty requires that we embrace responsibility and accountability and many, perhaps even most, people avoid those as much as they can. All of which leads to these two points: 1) because it requires responsibility and accountability, people will do everything they can to avoid being free 2) if you can convince a man he is free when he is not, he will allow you to do anything you want to him.

    • “Mommy has the right to choose who lives and dies” is a lousy idea. It breaks families from the start. Sooner or later the kid finds out. TRUST ME on this, and don’t ask me how I know

      • Lousy? Yes. Horrific, even.

      • I sometimes wonder the reaction some of these “let me write about my abortion” columnists will get from their kids once the kids are old enough to read through the archives. In particular, there was a woman pregnant with triplets who decided to abort two of them. How is the surviving kid going to feel when he finds out Mom killed two of his siblings, and it was only a matter of location on the morning in question that he didn’t end up one of the dead ones?

        • At least he would be able to honestly claim that “Mommy always liked me best.”

          Although, as you note, it might more accurately be said that he was simply farthest from the door when the Grim Reaper came trick or treating.

      • It always creeps me out when they take children to pro abortion rallies and have them hold “I was a chosen child” signs.

    • A few of the stories in the Forbidden Thoughts anthology of stories deal with that concept, and takes it to the logical conclusion. It’s appropriately horrifying and afterward, I sat there wishing I had the ability to give as many unwanted children as I could a good home and someplace safe to grow up.

    • There has always been a vein of “whether it’s human doesn’t matter.”

      I still remember the online discussion where one woman said that if the baby could be removed from the woman’s body and gestated artificially, that would be all that was needed and found herself arguing with a woman who said that since it was her body, she had the right to demand that the baby die even if she didn’t have to continue the pregnancy to allow the baby to live.

  9. otherwise every man and woman born would be a rapist

    Of course, to a certain element, ever man is, and every woman a victim of rape.

  10. Ultimately, the pro-abortion argument ends up giving us a Kermit Gosnell, who was delivering the babies before killing them (which makes it murder). Because, after all, what’s the difference whether the fetus is in the womb or out of it when you terminate it’s existence?

    The aggressively pro-life states have noted that the fetus can be saved starting at about twenty weeks, and have passed laws forbidding abortions after that time period. Meanwhile, the aggressively pro-abortion California forbids any restrictions, refuses to require parental consent before a minor gets an abortion, and requires health clinics that don’t offer abortions to post notices subtly encouraging their visitors to get an abortion.

    • California’s laws are among those that really make me wonder that so few other people recognize the contradiction. There, you may feel free to take your 12-year-old girlfriend to Planned Parenthood for an abortion without her parents’ consent or even knowledge–just be sure that you remember to strap her into the carseat on the way there.

      • It’s been noted that in California, a minor has to get permission from a guardian before getting aspirin from the school nurse, but not before getting an abortion. Parental consent laws occasionally appear on the ballot, but always get defeated. Parental incest (i.e. the girl’s father is the sperm donor) is the usual bogeyman used by opponents (even when it should be a non-issue; the last attempt also allowed a judge’s consent), but the attitudes here are such that I doubt that argument matters to most.

        • That does lead to some interesting contradictions. What if she needs pain medication during the abortion? Would she need parental permission for that? Or to reverse things, what if she told the school nurse she needed an aspirin because she still had some pain from the abortion she’d gotten that morning.

          Of course, what is really going on is that the Left is using unlimited sexual freedom to try to hide the fact that you AREN’T free in any other area. You will live where we tell you, eat what we tell you, exercise when and where we tell you, use the types of bags we tell you–but you may screw anything that moves to your heart’s content.

          • And you may freely smoke marijuana, if no one will willingly have sex with you.

          • She needs parental permission to have any complications from the abortion treated. Girls have died as a consequence — hemorrhage or infection — because they don’t tell the parents, and when the parents notice the symptoms, the doctors still can’t figure out what’s wrong because the girl doesn’t tell them about the abortion.

        • You note it’s always the hypothetical girl whose hypothetical father for some reason refuses the abortion — and the destruction of the DNA evidence against him.

          Oddly enough, I’ve run into real cases where the real girl was delivered to the clinic by her real mother and/or father/stepfather/mother’s boyfriend to have the evidence destroyed. (One case they didn’t even bother to tell the girl they were bringing her in for an abortion.)

    • Most surveys indicate wide-spread public support for limiting abortion, but the MSM and the money flows are strongly pro-abortion. What I know of the culture in the MSM suggests morals a cat would disdain combined with serious peer pressure to not deviate from the “responsible” position. As we know from the recent revelations via the Center for Medical Progress there is significant money to be made from trafficking in tissues from aborted babies, and an awful lot of that money ends up in politician’s coffers.

      The lack of accountability permits the most outrageous statements by pro-abortion politicians to float unchallenged, enabling such nonsense as Diane Feinstein’s claim during yesterday’s confirmation hearing for AG nominee Sessions:

      okay. as you know, the constitution protects woman’s right to access to health care. i’m old enough to remember what it was like before. when i was a student at stanford and there after. and the early 1960s, i actually sentenced women in california convicted of felony abortion to state prison. for a maximum sentences of up to ten years and they still went back to it because the need was so great.

      As Ed Whelan of National Review’s Bench Memos blog notes,
      “What is Feinstein talking about? She’s never been a lawyer, much less a judge, so I don’t see how she ever would have “actually sentenced” anyone for anything. She apparently was a member of the California Women’s Parole Board in the 1960s, so she might have been involved in deciding whether “women … convicted of felony abortion” should be released early in their prison terms.

      “Any such women, I’ll note, were surely performing the role of abortionist (as Feinstein’s ‘they still went back to it because the need was so great’ comment would reveal to the very attentive listener). …”

      • > the constitution protects woman’s right to access to health care

        [flip, flip]

        Funny. I can’t find that anywhere in my copy. Unless she’s referring to the Constitution of the People’s Republic of California…

        • I have friends who argue there’s a right to health care. Logical arguments don’t work with quasi-religious beliefs.

          • Because unless someone interferes with you, you of course stay health– oh, wait. No you don’t. A “right to health care” presupposes a right to others’ work.
            I had a vague idea we’d outlawed slavery, silly me.

            • It is coming back, just repackaged for modern circumstances.

            • Ah, but slavery is when someone has to go to work to provide for herself. I have actually been in a thread where a woman said she had a right to insurance subsidies (that is, other people’s work) because otherwise she would have to get a job with insurance, and that’s slavery.

  11. Beyond the specifics of the abortion and/or health care debates, this post does seem like a timely thing. I believe it was Ford who said, “A government big enough to give you everything you want is big enough to take everything you have.” Far too many people are inclined to forget that, along with the fact that pendulums always swing back and the shoe always ends up on the other foot. The wailing and gnashing of teeth from the Leftists who assumed that they were going to control the presidency and the senate in perpetuity and thus gutted all the minority protections, has been a beautiful thing to watch. One can hope that they’ve learned the right lessons from this, but I’m afraid that I’m not optimistic.

    I am, however, hopeful that the GOP will remember the lessons. They’d be fools to put those protections back in place–it would be tantamount to agreeing with the Left that they’re allowed to play by different rules–but I hope they don’t gut them any further.

    • Pretty soon you’ll be able to make the argument “don’t give an office powers that you don’t want to have the opposition to have” and have it actually listened to. Maybe.

      • I think that was one of the reasons why McConnell ultimately decided to not go nuclear back when Bush was president. Reid wasn’t quite so humble, though.

        The left, of course, argues that the right was just far more obstructionist than those naive Democrats. But using data cited by Reid himself to justify going nuclear revealed an interesting trend. While there were more Republican threats to filibuster, the Democrats had more successful filibusters.

        • I think Reid was betting McConnell would restore the veto if he became majority leader and given at one point McConnell said he would (after the nuclear option was used) Reid made the smart bet.

          • So far that and the court are two of the times the stupid party has surprised me

          • It’s possible that McConnell might have. But the Democrats have been so openly antagonistic the last few months that you’d have to be nuts to agree to do so. Add in Reid’s open boasting that he was going to take things even further after the presidential elections (since he mistakenly believed that Hillary was going to win the election, and the Dems were going to regain control of the Senate), and any chance of the Republicans voluntarily relinquishing that power pretty much vanished.

          • I think filibusters are really important, but at this point, I also think that they can only be restored by action that would bind future Congresses, by Constitutional amendment. It would be foolhardy to bind yourself when you know that as soon as your opponents get back into power, they’ll cut the cords on themselves.

      • I hope you’re right, but so far they seem clueless enough to not get it yet.

      • Among conservatives, you can. Leftists still think, if they don’t say, “Who, whom?”

  12. Venezuela has far more natural wealth than we do (remember I know, I have family there)

    I know this is a complete tangent but I’ll admit I have a hard time buying this and want figures.

    The main reason is scale. Venezuela is 916,445 sq. km while the US is 9,833,517 sq. km, more than 10 times the size. The US also covers a significantly larger number of climatic zones who gives it a greater breadth of live based resources (plant types and animal species). Another byproduct of this size disparity is geological diversity. This means the US has large reserves of mineral wealth from coal to bauxite to rock salt.

    Basically, the animal, plant, and mineral wealth density, in the state of nature, of Venezuela would need to be ten times that of the US. Even then that is assuming equal value and for Venezuela’s most well know natural resource, oil, that assumption of value is false given the high sulfur content of that petroleum.

    Looking deeper at oil Venezuela peaked production wise in 1970 at just over 3.5 million barrels per day. It dropped as low as 1.5 mbpd in the late 80s and since the late 90s have hovered just below (and a few times above) 3 mbpd. US production during that same period had a low point of 5 mbpd in 2006 and general that crude is of much higher quality. If Venezula has greater natural wealth than the US then not only is it not in oil but has to make-up for oil, Venezuela’s best known resource, failing to equal that of the US.

    I know this seems pedantic but I think it is important not to oversell how much ruin socialism has eaten up in Venezuela. This is especially true if you are arguing, as you often have, that the amount of ruin left in the US is a sufficient buffer to make continuing to fight instead of giving in and preparing for collapse. If we have less natural wealth than Venezuela then only our social wealth is saving us and that is, maybe just maybe, starting to bottom out instead of continuing to decline (I am more hopeful than I was on that front 18 months ago as an unforeseen product of Trump winning).

    I think it is both and that right now natural wealth is sustaining collapsing social wealth. See fracking which is a big reason we’re seeing more manufacturing as factories like to be near energy more than any other resource apparently, for a great example.

    • I would imagine that the statement was implying a “per capita” value, not an absolute one.

      • Venezuela: 31.416 million people for 33.2 acres/person
        United States: 324.720 million for 33. 1 acres/person

        So, how about per capita. That would require Venezuela’s nature resource density to be equal to the US.

        Beyond oil the US has large amount of coal, at least four major industrial metals in ore form (iron, copper, aluminium, uranium), two precious metals in ore form (gold and silver), all major cereal grains, beef, pork, two kinds of poultry, most major fish types, most major shellfish types, lumber both hard and softwoods, and one of the most diverse set of cash crops.

        What does Venezuela have beyond oil?

        I’m not saying Venezuela is natural resource poor but size matters and three (maybe five) nations are going to be head of the class on natural resource in aggregate or per capita on size alone: Russia, PRC, and the USA (with Canada and Brazil the maybes).

        • Elaborating on Sarah’s “more fertile” comment– we may have roughly the same amount of land per person, but we’ve got a lot of Death Valley, Cascade mountain tops, North Dakota…. (No insult to ND, but compare the climate options.)

    • Proportionately more, Herb. Honestly, sometimes you guys are so literal. And heir land is probably as fertile as ours in aggregate. My family said something like FOUR crops a year.

      • Like California’s Central Valley, but without the water shortage?

      • So by “natural resources” you mean farms.

        Okay, that I’ll buy.

        When I read “natural resources” I have a much broader interpretation: plants, animals, minerals, hydro potential, fisheries, etc.

        • well, they also have tons of oil. And minerals. BUT consider that they are STARVING.

        • So by “natural resources” you mean farms.

          Farms aren’t all equal.

          Naturally high quality farms with manageable water variations and weather for multiple harvests per year– that’s extremely valuable. Think like it’s the difference between a creek that you can pan flakes of gold out of, vs one that has small nuggets.

          And then on top of it you have the other resources– per the world factbook: petroleum, natural gas, iron ore, gold, bauxite, other minerals, hydropower, diamonds.

  13. Funny this should turn up today:

    The Health-Care Villains Nobody Wants to Talk About
    The case against mandatory licensure of doctors
    By Pascal-Emmanuel Gobry — January 11, 2017

    Have you noticed that health-care policy is a thing people talk about? There was this thing called Obamacare. I’m told that one party was not too happy about it, and a lot of people want to repeal it. And now, a lot of people are talking about what to do about health-care reform.

    The debate about health care is important, and complex. But there’s one thing in the health-care debate that no one talks about, despite identifiable villains, money-grubbers whose actions threaten patient safety and increase the cost of care for everyone. Given such an easy-to-sell political stories, why isn’t C-SPAN full of congresspeople holding up cardboard printouts on the floor?

    Well, because those health-care villains are also one of the most powerful lobbies in America. I am referring, of course, to doctors.

    Doctors are real villains in the health-care system. The way the institution of medical doctors is set up in America is, in theory, everything conservatives are supposed to hate. After all, medical practice under United States law is a protected, big-government cartel. Access to the profession is regulated and restricted by law. And doctors use the power of this regulation to fatten their pocketbooks. Decades ago, conservative hero Milton Friedman made the case against mandatory licensure of doctors.

    Doctors should, in theory, be villains also in the view of progressives. After all, doctors typically make a lot of money. Plus, medicine remains a male-dominated profession, and uncomfortably throwback dynamics exist between male doctors and female nurses in most hospitals.

    [SNIP]

    A third, newer way that medical licensure is bad for the health-care system is that it impedes innovation. Artificial intelligence, which is improving by leaps and bounds, is already better than doctors at providing diagnosis. Robots may or may not do what they will to working-class jobs, but they are certainly a threat to general practitioners. A plausible, and desirable, future path for health care, entails AI-enabled community health workers, or “super-nurses” (call them what you will), who provide many of the same diagnosis and prescription services that general practitioners now do and are freed up, thanks to AI, to provide more patient-centered and preventative care. It’s possible to imagine a future in which, like family doctors of old, your medical practitioners are people you know and trust, and who knows you. You can reach through an app whenever you need them, and all for less than what your access to doctors now costs. But they won’t be doctors. …