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Tag Archives: Left

I think it’s important to clear a few things up.  And to explain the difference between personal charity and legislative responsibility.

On a human and personal level I get the fact that someone out of work is struggling.  Most likely with personal value issues, household income issues and perhaps larger life skills and career opportunity issues.

I get that.

And to that extent, I resonate with the personal heart string tugging concept of needing to provide relief.  I absolutely agree that helping when one can is the right thing to do.  Without a doubt.

On the governmental and legislative level I know that the best thing that can be done is to make sure that it is as easy as possible for people  looking for work can match up with people looking for workers.n  In short, for the removal of every possible obstacle.

The juxtaposition of those two very valid and noble positions seems to be taking place in our debate.

The fiscal conservatives want less unemployment benefits to be handed out.  Less as in fewer weeks and less money.  The social  liberals want to increase those benefits.  Increase as in extend benefits and with more money.

And they yell at each other.

But they aren’t arguing about the same topic.  The Left are advocating a position of personal charity.  The Right are advocating a position of economic modeling.  Both are right in their specific context, but that context isn’t the same.

So, I would suggest this:

  • My Liberal friends:  Form a non-profit foundation that provides relief to the unemployed.
  • My Conservative friends: Contribute to said foundation.
  • End government mandated charity.

Remember, there must be an incontrovertible condition for the government to relive a man of the fruits of his labor by threat of sword or gun.  And the simple fact that you feel more comfortable with this man having that man’s property does not meet that condition.

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So, I can remember sitting in the corporate cafeteria in Minneapolis in 1998.  I remember eating my pizza and reading the Star Tribune.

I was fascinated by an article that was discussing the warming of the temperatures and the impact it would have on Minnesota.  It would turn the northern pine forests into grasslands.  Even a shift in a few degrees would be enough to change the way the landscape looked and behaved.  It would take years, but the impact would be unmistakeable.

I also remember discussing this with friends and family.  Some would disagree that we were getting warmer [though I felt things were changing even as a kid; we were getting much less snow as I grew older], others felt that while we were warming, the degree of warming would not cause the changes being discussed.  Others yet felt that yes, we were warming, but the pattern was predictable.  Nature changes.

Now fast forward to the current Global Warming debate.  I have always been interested in the topic and did my own reading.  Over time I’ve landed on the “Denier” side of the dabate.  And I’ve always felt a little uncomfortable there.

Until I bumped into Coyote.  Double Ivy, small business owner and Libertarian.

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Folks, I lean Right, to the point of tipping maybe.  I certainly deserve that description.  Most of the content here is a critique of the thoughts, actions and policies of the Left.  I mostly abhor the nanny state and all that goes with it; entitlements and political correctness and “this in the name of fairness”.

I don’t hammer the Right enough, however.

With that said, I discovered a group of bloggers over at Poison Your Mind.

While they lean Left I find their tendencies more compelling.  They carry well thought out positions and, more important in the blogosphere, they are able to convey them with well written out posts and comments.

Go check ’em out!

So, the United States isn’t doing so well educating our kids:

Scores from the 2009 Programme for International Student Assessment to be released Tuesday show 15-year-old students in the U.S. performing about average in reading and science, and below average in math. Out of 34 countries, the U.S. ranked 14th in reading, 17th in science and 25th in math.

And, on top of delivering horrible results, we’re spending more money than ever while watching our performance lag:

…with the exception of Switzerland, the United States spends more than any other country on education, an average of $91,700 per student between the ages of six and fifteen.

That’s not only more than other countries spend but it is also more than better achieving countries spend – the United States spends a third more than Finland, a country that consistently ranks near the top in science, reading, and math testing.

This isn’t new.  We’ve known this for a long time now.  And, just as long as we’ve been watching spending go up and achievement go down, we’ve been debating how to change one or both of those trajectories.  And of all those debates, few have been more contentious than all the others.  That subject?  That topic?

Choice.

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Of course we are.  No one really REALLY thinks that we’re not.

Some people, like those crazy guys that just moved in down the block, they DO think other parts of the world rank better.

Well, given the peculiarity of the health care market, and the fact that all other industrialized countries have a much less expensive, much more effective, it seems that too much government involvement is not the problem with our current health care system.

The problem is, of course, that it’s just not true.

Now, to be sure, there ARE studies that show the United States coming in some other place than first, but I don’t think the measurement system is really one that can be trusted to measure medical care delivery.  Afterall, they’re measuring things not really associated with medical care:

Mean Minimum Maximum
Health 25 20 40
Health Inequalities 30 20 30
Responsiveness Level 12.5 5 15
Responsiveness Distribution 12.5 5
Fair Financing 25 15 35

To be sure, some of these are fair measurements.  Others, however, not so much.  For example, Fair Financing.  This metric doesn’t speak to the quality of care, simply the amount of income to purchase it.  Others again, fail to measure the qualify of care given.  They simply measure distribution of said care.  Without a doubt the inclusion of such characteristics may be acceptable from your POLITICAL position, but it in no way measures the quality of care being delivered.

But really, the point I wanna make is this.  The world comes here for care.  We don’t go there.

In the past five years, would-be parents from as far as Istanbul and Uruguay have turned to healthy, young American mothers to serve as surrogates, according to the Detroit Free Press.

The babies are born U.S. citizens, but surrogacy agency officials say that’s not a primary motivation for the parents, who typically come from European and Latin American countries where surrogacy is illegal or socially unacceptable. The parents have exhausted other options and are willing to pay about $50,000 to $100,000 — part of which goes to the surrogate — to have biological children.

The world, having exhausted all other options, are willing t pay money to come to America to take advantage of our medical delivery services.

So, is the fact that people are willing, and ABLE mind you, to pay $50-$100k for a procedure, impacting the amount of money spent in American health care costs by the way, a good thing or a dirty rotten example of how America just sucks at all things medical care related?

Yeah.  That’s what I thought too.

Each side accuses the other of media bias.  Fox gets hammered by the Left and everyone else gets hammered by the Right.

But what is it exactly, that the media does that creates this impression of bias?  What is it that strikes someone as “unfair” and “unbalanced”?

For me, it’s not the truth of the story, it’s the profile of the stories themselves.  Rachel Maddow, for example, doesn’t lie, she just doesn’t run disparaging stories against Democrats.  Hannity same but reversed.

So, here is my example of bias in the media.  A bias in an organization that I think TRIES not to be bias.

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I have come to understand that many of the friends and colleagues I disagree with are not disagreeing with me because they want bad things to happen.  On the contrary, I feel that those folks are just as interested in the welfare of our country and the people in it as I am.

Rather than mean spirited, they are well intentioned.  It’s just that each have our own version of the path to those intentions.

But, when well intentioned people craft laws in the dead of night and don’t read those laws, bad things happen.

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The argument made for the case of abortion is that it’s a woman’s choice what she wants to do with her body.  And to the extent that we’re talking about her body, I couldn’t agree more.

Tattoo?  Go for it.

Piercing?  Have at it.

Cut your hair?  Dye your hair?  Cut your finger nails?  All yours.

But does there exist a moment in time when the “woman’s body” transforms into the body of the child?  That is, is there a time, after conception and before literal birth when the collection of cells goes from a biology experiment to a living human?

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