Tuesday, September 04, 2007
AMA vs. Affordable Care
Mike N discusses how the AMA -- the very people who just mailed my wife about the need to provide "coverage" for the uninsured -- are among those attacking a free market innovation that would help do just that. He cites from a Detroit News article the pros and cons of in-store clinics hosted by such chains as Meijer and CVS, and notes that the AMA is calling for the government to regulate them.
[M]ore regulations will add time and cost to these clinics and defeat their purpose. But the real issue here is one of individual rights. Do corporations have the right to provide such services? Yes they do. Do individual citizens have the right to seek the kind of health care they want? Our constitution says yes. The state and apparently the AMA, say no.So the left is intent not just on making it impossible for those who can afford their own doctors to spend their own money to do so, it wants to make it impossible for medicine to become affordable to those who can't.
Back in the good old days, when people weren't so ready to assume that the government was some sort of loving, doting nanny, they'd see this and wonder why it is that certain quarters seem to be happy with any excuse they can get to expand government power.
Theodore Dalrymple of City Journal considers two examples of Westerners bending over backwards to accommodate the superstitious, even when such superstitions lead to the harm of another person:
[T]he highest court in Italy was confirming an appeals court's acquittal of the father and brother of a Muslim girl, whom they beat and locked up for becoming too Westernized -- that is to say, for having a Western friend. The court ruled that, though they had undoubtedly beaten her and locked her up, this was not because of any culpable ill-feeling toward her. It was, rather, because of "her lifestyle, which did not conform to their culture."Observe that this is the flip side of the same multicultural coin used to buy legal penalties in America for thought-crimes.
If the law becomes concerned with regulating the thoughts of citizens rather than protecting their rights (which stem from the fact that they have minds), it is only a matter of time before it ceases protecting rights altogether when they conflict with certain favored belief systems. This will in turn lead to a total subversion of the proper role of the government, setting the stage for the complete absence of the idea of rights protected by law and such comprehensively prescriptive legal systems as sharia.
The Next "Killer App"?
Bob Cringely of PBS has what I see is some good news and some bad news regarding what he sees as the next Big Thing in computing: "telepresence".
Video conferencing has been around for a couple decades, but telepresence is different from that. You can see the entire other side of the conference table, for example, and the people who are sitting across from you appear to be life sized. They can see you and you can see them. When another person speaks to you they can look you in the eye. Body language and emotions are easy to detect and the sound of each participant seems to come from his or her direction. You can watch the people who aren't talking to see if they are even paying attention. It really is tele-PRESENCE and the fact that you are looking in a video screen is forgotten after a minute or two.The good news is that you won't have to spend so much time and money traveling to attend meetings. The bad news is that this probably means: more meetings!
Moslem Opinion Be Damned
Alex Epstein of the Ayn Rand Institute reminds -- I mean, informs -- our leaders that Islamic totalitarians are our enemies:
So-called Muslim opinion is not the unanimous and just consensus that its seekers pretend. It is the irrational and unjust opinion of the world's worst Muslims: Islamists and their legions of "moderate" supporters and sympathizers. These people oppose us not because of any legitimate grievances against America, but because they are steeped in a fundamentalist interpretation of their religion--one that views America's freedom, prosperity, and pursuit of worldly pleasures as the height of depravity. They do not seek respect for the rights of the individual (Muslim or non-Muslim), they seek a world in which the rights of all are sacrificed to the dictates of Islam.Read it all.
The proper response to Islamists and their supporters is to identify them as our ideological and political enemies--and dispense justice accordingly. In the case of our militant enemies, we must kill or demoralize them--especially those regimes that support terrorism and fuel the Islamist movement; as for the rest, we must politically ignore them and intellectually discredit them, while proudly arguing for the superiority of Americanism. Such a policy would make us safe, expose Islamic anti-Americanism as irrational and immoral, and embolden the better Muslims to support our ideals and emulate our ways. [bold added]
9-5-07: Corrected a typo.