Quick Roundup 184

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Mourning Cho

Rob Tarr encountered a story late last week about Katelynn Johnson, a Virginia Tech student who has been working overtime to memorialize Seung-Hui Cho, the cold-blooded executioner of thirty-two of her fellow students, with a stone placed alongside those of his victims. Her reaction upon noticing that Cho got "left out" of the memorial? "I just lost it. I broke down. I was seething. I remember saying . . . 'How could people be so mean?'" Rob has this to say about the episode:

There you go, folks, the perfect ultimate product of Progressive education. Identification with the collective as a primary which trumps everything; and the complete inability and unwillingness to make any moral judgements whatsover. You can't even really say whether a mass-murderer is, well, maybe, a "bad" person.

I have to believe that Katelynn is still a somewhat extreme example. But if she is not, America is now primed for dictatorship -- give it one or two more generations. Who can judge if a Hitler or a Stalin has value, or doesn't? If he's part of our community, then he's one of ours, and when you're family, you're family. Let's stick by 'em. Doesn't matter what they did.
That pretty much hits the nail on the head.

A Maine-ia for Rationing?

Paul Hsieh comments on Maine's system of socialized medicine:
The state of Maine has also attempted to provide "universal coverage" for its residents for many years, with predictably poor results. According to this recent NY Times article, instead of saving money, the program costs continue to explode, and the state officials are considering what sort of cutbacks to implement. Rationing is just one short step away.
Paul notes, as I have, that supporters of socialized medicine continue to call it anything but what it is. Perhaps we opponents of socialized medicine should play the same game -- except with the object of essentializing its nature rather than obscuring it.

I'll toss out a few suggestions right now:
  • physician slavery
  • national triage
  • death by bureaucracy
  • health rationing
  • illfare
  • cures by decree
If you come up with any more, feel free to leave a comment.

He must have visited HEB.

Via HBL, I learned that the obituary of Boris Yeltsin that recently appeared in the New York Times discussed the "supermarket epiphany" he had while visiting a grocery store in Houston, Texas.
On a visit to the United States in 1989, he became convinced that Russia had been ruinously damaged by its state-run economic system, in which people stood in long lines to buy the most basic needs of life and more often than not found the shelves bare. Visiting a Houston supermarket, he was overwhelmed by the kaleidoscopic variety of meats and vegetables available to ordinary Americans.


A Russia scholar, Leon Aron, quoting a Yeltsin associate, wrote that Mr. Yeltsin was in a state of shock. "For a long time, on the plane to Miami, he sat motionless, his head in his hands," Mr. Aron wrote in his 2000 biography, Yeltsin, A Revolutionary Life. "What have they done to our poor people?" he said after a long silence.
Boris Yeltsin, that moment of honesty made you a true rarity and changed the world for the better. May you rest in peace.

Note to Self

Add this DVD set of over fifty years of MAD Magazine to your wish list. (HT: Instapundit)

Sundry Thoughts on Passive Ad Revenue

My login to Amazon Associates reminds me of a nice quote about Google Ads I came up with recently: "A penny a day keeps the tax man away!"

And Google Ad revenue is far ahead of that from Amazon Associates over here! I'll keep that in mind for the next time I have time to tweak my template. (Of course, by then, I'll probably have received checks from both. Bleh.)

Speaking of Google Ads, though.... I noticed that one for Founders College showed up here on my sidebar yesterday Perhaps they're good for something.

Public School Prayer in Texas

The Texas legislature, so soon on the heels of considering a two-year waiting period for divorces, is getting ready to make it commonplace for students to make public professions of faith in public schools:
The House voted 110-33 for the "Schoolchildren's Religious Liberties Act." The legislation will head to the Senate for consideration after a final House vote today.

If the Senate approves it, student leaders will be allowed to summon Jesus Christ in prayer to help calm student nerves before a TAKS test, Rep. Scott Hochberg, D-Houston, said of the hypothetical situation before voting against the measure.
At another point in the story, the author of the bill cites protection from lawsuits concerning "curtailment" of students' religious "liberty" (as if anyone has the right to force his religion down the throat of another) as its rationale. A better way to accomplish the same end would be to privatize education -- but that might make it harder for Christian activists to expropriate public forums for the purpose of preaching.

-- CAV


: Corrected "Amit Ghate" to read "Rob Tarr".


Dismuke said...

I thought of your posting about Boris Yeltsin and his reaction to the Houston supermarket when I heard a discussion on talk radio today about the sort of people who are the exact opposite of Yeltsin in this regard: the Leftists and academics from the USA who go to places like Cuba where it is impossible not to see that everything is falling to pieces and the entire country is in utter ruins and then come back singing the praises of Castro and how everyone in Cuba has socialized medicine and such. Pretty amazing.

That story about Yeltsin is definitely something to keep in mind when one is feeling very pessismistic about things. One did not rise to great power in the USSR without having been "trustworthy" and throroughly indoctrinated in its evil ideology. Nevertheless, there are people like Yeltsin who, despite such a system and its indoctrination, are still able to preserve their intellectual honesty and independence and actually care about the facts of reality when they are confronted with them.

Gus Van Horn said...

He is proof that man has free will and that it takes enormous strength to be thoroughly indoctrinated into leftism and retain a shred of independence.

The importance of turning the intellectual tide in history is underscored by the fact that men such as he are very rare, and hippies are as common as flies.

Sid said...

"Maine-ia"... Oh no, not you too with the puns! As if they aren't lame enough on the social news sites already.

Boris Yeltsin: He isn't all roses, is he? His ideals may be good, but the implementation was deeply flawed. (Incidentally, that is what a lot of lefties claim about communism, but that's a different topic.) This is one reason why I'll never be in favour of a sudden transition to free-market capitalism from socialism -- accompanying it has to be a deep cultural change, which will always take time.

Gus Van Horn said...

That is an excellent point. Indeed, to be "in favour of a sudden transition to free-market capitalism" is to be in favor of the impossible, which is precisely the error of Libertarians who are, in the process, discrediting the end result of the long process they should be in favor of.

Amit Ghate said...

Hi Gus,

Just to let you know, the blog post was by my good friend Rob Tarr, not me. But in any case, thanks for the link!

Gus Van Horn said...

A red-faced "Thank you!", Amit, for pointing that out.