Thursday, August 11, 2011

No ransom will save the West.

There can be no progress while we are tied to a ridiculous system of mass entitlement and reward, not only for sloth but for criminality!

No ransom will save the West.

In following the stories out of the UK, I am saddened by the violence and senseless destruction in the nation that so many of us look to as kindred.  Many of us have a deep, almost genetic, reverence for the land of so many of our ancestors.  I certainly wish we could once again unite and rise up, standing for freedom and the greatness of the West.  Alas, not yet.
It is, of course, like all such violence in places where a perfect storm of ideology brews.
Closing the trough
First, young poor people, told for decades it was the duty of the government and taxpayers to care for them, become animal-like when their feed-trough is threatened.  And, animal-like, brutal in nature, 'red in tooth and claw,' they attack the very people and places (like businesses) which provide their largesse.  Of course, they don't understand that.  Money, they reason, comes from the government.
Blinding the heart
Second, young people of other classes, middle (and doubtless properly educated upper) are swept up in the 'revolutionary' fervor.  Not so much out of need, or even real ideological conviction, but because they have been told for decades that nothing is right or wrong, and any act is reasonable if the mob allows it and provides anonymity.  It is the behavior of persons immoral and bored.  The same sort of thought that likely lies beneath the phenomenon of America's violent flash-mobs.
There is no good, there is no evil, so do what you want.  As it says in the book of Judges:   'Each man did what was right in his own eyes.'
But why would they do this?
In many instances, in the UK and (before long in the US), apologists for these criminal acts blame the government for its austerity measures.  I suppose the government, both in the UK and in the US, is ultimately to blame.
But not for taking away the support of an entire entitlement class.  Rather, for providing it in the first place.  Riots, violence, hatred, drug abuse, cruelty, these are all the fruits of the seeds planted decades ago when well-meaning politicians decided to give and give and give to those who would ultimately refuse to contribute.  I know what I speak of.  I work in an emergency department, and the burden of false disability, addiction, child abuse, parental abdication and criminality falls heavily in America's ERs.  I am witness to it every day that I work.
But it's deeper.  As the article on the UK riots alludes, there are many trying to understand the sociological underpinnings of these behaviors.  Academics and social pundits in the US do exactly the same thing.  'Why would people riot? Is society bad?  How can we give them more?  What can we do to make life better, so that they'll be happy?'
The real, unstated question
Subtext, unstated but obvious, 'How much ransom can we offer our captors?  How many concessions can we grant our terrorists?'
The problem, dear ones, wise ones, is that the human heart is wicked.  From rich industrialists and powerful politicians all the way down to children and old ladies, with everyone in between.  Our hearts are incomplete.  Our souls are dark.  A mob, whether British, American, Chinese, African, rich, poor, educated or illiterate, is not a new thing with its own will.  It is an aggregation of many smaller, willful, dangerous hearts and minds.
The answer is higher, not lower
And no policy, no gift, no concession, will change that fundamental fact of human nature.  And only God above can redeem it from endless woe and eternal consequence.
It's an answer few desire to hear.  We live in a society that is slowly, surely, rejecting any authority higher than the fist, the sick, the knife, the gun, the stomach.  A society that bows to brutish demands; whether union protestors in Wisconsin, rioters in Philadelphia or arsonists in London.
History has not been kind to such cultures.  It may be time to look upward, to return to the Faith of our Fathers.  It may be time, after a failed experiment, to take the medicine that worked so very well, for so very long.
God help us to seek His face once more.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Concealed weapons laws and faulty thinking

One of our family friends just turned 21.  She is an amazing young woman attending an excellent, highly respected (and tremendously expensive) college.  She is on a trajectory that will probably lead to law-school and some sort of work in international law or business. 

I'll call her M.  M's father has been a competitive shooter and paramedic.  M's younger sister can handle an M-1 Garand.  M's brother is a Marine, in training to do security work for the Corps.

M was recently excited to finish her training for a Concealed Weapons Permit.  I don't blame her!  I was excited to receive mine.  She is exactly the sort of person who can be trusted with a firearm.  She is a devout Christian with outstanding morals.  She is level-headed and she comes from a family that has long been comfortable with assorted rifles, pistols and shotguns.

But of course, one of her friends said she was 'freaked out' that M might have a gun on campus.  M reassured her that it was illegal for her to have a gun on campus, so her possibly life-saving tool would be forbidden.  Hopefully, her friend slept better knowing that a rule existed which would limit her capacity to respond to danger.

And what a brilliant rule it is!  M, who could save lives in the case of a stalker, rapist, serial killer or mass shooting, is not allowed to have a dangerous weapon.  Said stalker, rapist, serial killer or shooter is not prohibited, because he or she cannot be prohibited. Except by force or identification and prevention.

It always reminds me of the signs.  'No concealed weapons allowed.'

They must be the answer to every problem.  'No invasions allowed.  No theft allowed.  No rapists allowed.  No insider trading allowed.  No cheating allowed.  No Meth allowed.'  All you need, especially on a campus, is a sign.  And a rule that regulates exactly the wrong person.

How about this:  'No rational, intelligent, capable people are allowed to carry weapons on this campus.  Killers and assorted sociopaths are a law unto themselves and may do as they wish.'

Pity M and all the other smart people who know how to save their own lives and others.  But who, in the process, might freak someone out.

Murder freaks me out.  But what do I know?

M, it's another in a long list of rules that simply has to go the way of the dinosaur.


The system of state medical boards needs a revolution!

A friend of mine has been enduring a ridiculous medical board inquiry.  It happened years ago, involved an admitted error (not even a death), and was largely forgotten.  Until the board needed something to do, and my friend was accused of unprofessional behavior based on...yep, a mistake.

If mistakes constitute unprofessional behavior that boards must investigate, then we'll need lots more buildings and lots more board members.

However, the AAPS has been pressing this issue for some time. In point of fact, as rules, regs and regulatory bodies go, state medical boards are generally more trouble than they're worth.

Here's a story that expands on the topic.

No co-pay for contraception? Why is this a good idea?

No co-pay for contraception?
So it turns out that one of the provisions of Obama-care is  that it prohibits prohibits insurance co-pays for contraception.  I find this curious.
I always pay co-pays!
Having a child with diabetes, I have paid plenty of co-pays for products and medication necessary to his health.  And for visits to the pediatrician, surgeon, obstetrician, etc.
Many people have high co-pays for essential services, from cancer therapy to cholesterol medications and all the rest.
What's the difference?

So why is contraception so sacred?  Why is it, in an era of falling revenues, in an age when western civilization is slowly depopulating, that we would encourage contraception?  When what we need, in fact, is (quite to the frustration of many) more people?
You can't violate what's least what's sacred now!
It's probably an homage to some well-entrenched 'sacred beliefs' and trends.  First, the belief (the now orthodox doctrine of modern culture) that sex should never be tainted by the horrible risk of child-birth.  Second, that children are problems to be avoided not gifts to be sought.  Father of four, I could spend hours refuting that bit if clap-trap.  Third, that the world is suffering from an infestation of humans and that our numbers must be diminished to avoid tragic, earth-shattering over-population and global famine.  Of course, the prophets of over-population and global famine are consistently, time-after-time, dead wrong.  Fourth, the holy of holies:  the absolute belief by too many folks of child-bearing age that decreasing populations will decrease the threat of global climate change.  That negating their natural capacity and desire to find a mate and reproduce is somehow the right thing 'for the earth.  Fifth, and finally, that money earned is better spent on a couple's fun and future than on pesky children, who always cost more than they're worth.
We need to think about this.  And ask why contraception rises to such a level that it should be exempt from the co-pay that others pay for the management of actual illnesses, not perceived social rights.  And why, of all things, we have come to honor childlessness above child-birth.
I'd love to hear the answers!