Quick Roundup 206

Monday, June 18, 2007

Organ Futures

Galileo Blogs fleshes out (Sorry!) an idea he first described in a comment here awhile back in a very interesting post on organ futures.

Why shouldn't people be able to sell their organs in advance, before they die? A company that procures organs could pay you today for the right to harvest your organs when you die. In exchange, say, for $200 or $1000 or whatever the market price determines, you would put your name in a database and carry an organ donor card with you so that when you die, all your usable body parts are harvested and sold to those who need the organs.
Many will find this idea absurd or appalling at first glance, but I think it is an excellent idea, and far preferable to the dangerous notion that certain big government paternalists have been floating lately to make us all organ donors by default. And yet, I have heard no significant objections raised to such an idea even though it could result in the state deciding for us when to stop trying to save our lives and when to harvest.

It is not selling organs by choice, but having one's wishes about such an important and personal matter violated in the name of altruism, that is truly appalling and indecent.

No Credentials Necessary

Riddle me this: Why is it that: (1) When a scientist expresses his disagreement with the idea that global warming is a catastrophe caused by man, his credentials are suddenly so important that such keepers of the scientific flame as Heidi "Lysenko" Cullen demand that they be stripped of them or worse? And yet: (2) You will hear no questions about qualifications raised by any of the same people when a group of fourth graders writes a column in support of the current global warming "consensus"/orthodoxy/fashion?
A small group of students at our school has been researching and studying the effects of global warming. The evidence and data we collected is so overwhelming that we have decided to write about this issue.

We want everyone to help curb Global warming. It truly means that the Earth is getting warmer. The ocean is warming at such an alarming rate that the continents are in danger. [bold added]
Answer: Because when the "consensus", rather than the facts of reality, is the standard of truth, credentials are irrelevant, except as an expedient that can shape the "consensus".

The objective in this debate, as I have explained in detail already, is not to discover scientific truth, but to pass off the idea of anthropogenic global warming as a foregone conclusion so that the apparatus of the state can be used to destroy capitalism. Global warming hysterics are counting on everyone to fail to ask exactly how man-made global warming necessarily implies that the government should start ordering everyone around.

The scientist who raises doubts about this rationale for destroying capitalism must therefore be discredited as a threat to this mission, which is more important than the actual science. And when a group of frightened children -- emotional hostages in a campaign of psychological terror, really -- scream, we aren't supposed to ask, "How are they qualified to speak about this?" No. We are supposed to move as quickly as humanly possible to stop the panic and suffering first, and ask questions later (if at all).

And if the above isn't enough to disgust you, imagine the fate of a school teacher whose students put out a column that dared to raise scientific questions about global warming or, worse, questioned whether the government should do anything about it. Assuming his class project got that far. Or the piece got published. Or he wasn't dismissed ipso facto as a crank and his students smilingly dismissed as being "just a bunch of kids" before he got called on the carpet for attempting to indoctrinate them. Or he wasn't simply fired and slandered by the news media.

Tar and Feathers

Based on yesterday's outcome in the College World Series, I am forced to conclude that there is no ten run rule at the collegiate level.
In a fashion reminiscent of their offensive exploits at the Conference USA tournament last month in Greenville, N.C., the [Rice] Owls pounded out their second consecutive College World Series victory, bashing third-seeded North Carolina [Tar Heels] 14-4 on Sunday before a crowd of 22,602.
Wow. This was a display of pure dominance. If they keep playing like this, they will win it all.

Trivia Note: During the course of the game, I learned that one of the Rice players has a famous uncle, who watched Rice knock off Texas A&M last weekend in the super-regional. This means that if I'd bought tickets to one of the games, I might have encountered Dog the Bounty Hunter of all people on the campus of Rice University. Bizarre. Very bizarre!

Top Ten

I was pleasantly surprised this weekend to find my critique of Jonah Goldberg's column on education listed at #10 under "This Week's Top Ten Debates & Discussions June 9 - June 15" at RealClear Politics.

-- CAV

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