Monday, February 09, 2009
The Communal Womb
It is a toss-up to me whether the speed with which the following came out after the birth of Nadya Suleman's litter or its level of presumption is the more surprising.
After years of railing against abortion laws -- reproductive rights -- of saying its my womb and I'll do what I want with it -- Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist Ellen Goodman is now calling for the regulation of reproduction.The linchpin of Ellen Goodman's argument, which assumes that the state must pay for everything as if that were some immutable law of nature, is that people like Suleman are breaking the bank of the welfare state.
In a column today, she wrote: "Does anyone have a right to tell anyone else how many kids to have? Can only people who can afford them bear children? Do you need a husband to have a baby? These are questions that make us feel queasy when we are talking about old-fashioned families. But they take on a new flavor in the unregulated wild west of fertility technology." [bold added]
As I said before, the solution isn't to violate reproductive rights, but to protect the individual rights of all. This would entail two things: (1) The protection of property rights by dismantling the welfare state so people like Suleman cannot steal from others in the process of creating families they cannot support, and (2) the protection of the rights of children from neglectful or abusive parents.
Superficially (and unfortunately), left and right appear to have switched sides in this latest twist in the debate over reproductive rights. The inhumanity of the left on full display as it is -- especially from enivironmentalists who see this issue entirely in terms of how much carbon dioxide exhaust each new baby spews out -- is bait too enticing for the right to pass up. Predictably, stands like Goodman's are being savaged, but sloppily (at best).
Take Don Surber's reaction:
So kids, there you have it. Goodman has abandoned "reproductive rights" in favor of the government dictating the size of families.Let's assume that Surber is not attacking abortion though the use of scare quotes around "reproductive rights". His response makes it appear that he supports socialized medicine.
And she has abandoned the call for universal health care because, gee, it is so expensive.
Liberals used to have principles. I think.
Me? I like babies. The more the merrier.
Does Surber really support socialized medicine, or is he just failing to notice that he has made our choice look like "happy babies and socialized medicine vs. dictatorship"? Your guess is a s good as mine, but that is a false alternative. Our only choice is freedom and prosperity -- or tyranny and misery. Mixtures, like those supported by the left and the right, all move towards tyranny when contradictions crop up, like "reproductive freedom at 'taxpayer' expense."
The Geek Press Guide to Highway Survival
My initial impulse to the question of how one survives a skydiving accident is to say, "Ummm. By not skydiving in the first place?" I was nevertheless intrigued enough to read the article Paul Hsieh pointed to, and found it to be more generally applicable:
... [S]ituational awareness can mean the difference between life and death, whether you're hurtling toward earth at terminal velocity or driving 75 miles an hour on the interstate. Third, never give up. Many parachuting deaths could have been prevented if sky divers kept working on their problems. Human and mechanical errors might be fixable, but you'll never find out if you give up.Skydiving isn't just a spectator sport: It's jam-packed with lessons for the rest of us!
And -- also from Geek Press -- if you have an iPhone and get pulled over by a cop while doing 75, you might be able to get out of (part of) a ticket!
Some time ago, Unclutterer, a blog about organization, came to my attention and I bookmarked it, presumably because I was going to blog something from it. (I rarely use bookmarks otherwise.) Curious, I followed the link and found a list of posts from 2008, among which was the following:
More reasons to purge disposable plastic bags and try reusable bagsNo! With more municipalities violating our property rights, it's time to stand up for those rights.
With more stores and municipalities requiring patrons to use their own bags, we've compiled a more extensive list of reusable bag options -- all of which collapse. [bold added]
I've seen bags like these before, and they invariably are plastered with environmentalist propaganda. If I were forced to use these, I'd turn them wrong-side out until I could have some made with something like the logo at right imprinted on them. (And then, from where that logo came from, there are tee shirts and mugs....)
Ted Kennedy, Distraction?
C. August has an interesting thought concerning some of Ted Kennedy's recent public appearances:
Now I wonder if Kennedy is playing his part as a distraction--collapsing at an inaugural lunch, riding into Congress on a white horse to standing ovations and tearful accolades, all the while dramatically vowing to fight for the government takeover of health care--while the rest of Congress passes nationalization bills in the dark of night.Read it all. We're in danger of getting health "care" that isn't from a "stimulus" bill that won't stimulate.
Trust Slug Nation
Stephen Bourque has a good discussion of the latest silly (but dangerous) idea to come down the pike: the idea that every baby should be a "trust fund baby".