Archive for August 16th, 2009

12 Reasons why the U.S. government should not mandate clean water or clean air.

| August 16, 2009 | 1 Reply
12 Reasons why the U.S. government should not mandate clean water or clean air.

12 Reasons why the U.S. government should not mandate clean water or clean air.

1. Clean air and clean water are not a right. As such, they not the responsibility of government.
2. Government efforts to mandate clean air and clean water do not in practice guarantee universal access clean air and clean water. Many countries have laws to require clean air and clean water but don’t actually have clean air and clean water.
3. Eliminating the profit motive will decrease the rate of innovation regarding clean air and clean water.
4. When a government mandates clean air and clean water, it slows down innovation and inhibits new technologies from being developed and utilized. This simply means that technologies regarding clean air and clean water are less likely to be researched and manufactured, and technologies that are available are less likely to be used.
5. Publicly-mandated clean air and clean water leads to greater inefficiencies and inequalities. Government agencies promoting clean air and clean water are less efficient due to bureaucracy. Universal clean air and clean water would reduce efficiency because of more bureaucratic oversight and more paperwork.
6. Converting to a national clean air and clean water system could be a radical change, creating administrative chaos.

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Who would Jesus insure?

| August 16, 2009 | 42 Replies
Who would Jesus insure?

Who would Jesus Insure?

That was the slogan on a placard that stole the show at a tea party attended by Michael Krantz yesterday:

[T]he Medicare recipients who want nothing to do with government-run health care [were] one of the more amusing right-wing cliches of this long hot August. There were no doubt plenty of them yesterday among a crowd that was predominantly older, overwhelmingly white and, I’d wager, heavily evangelical, a combustive demographic that didn’t exactly cotton to the gutsy girl who kept pacing around trying to yell “Health care for everyone!” loudly enough to drown out the repeated death threats and off-topic anti-abortion catcalls that greeted her homemade “Who Would Jesus Insure?” sign. Her question, in fact, was quite a bit more piquant than the ones I was asking.

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Proposed Amendment

| August 16, 2009 | 5 Replies
Proposed Amendment

I’ve been mulling an idea for an amendment to the U.S. constitution that probably won’t have as much a chance as the failed Equal Rights Amendment, in which persons of the female persuasion would have been defined explicitly as full fledged people with the same rights as the white male landholders for which the constitution was originally penned.

How’s this?

“Government shall pass no law abridging the right of any person to decide whether an organism living within his or her own body is a harmful parasite or a welcome guest, and to respond accordingly.”

A lawyer could probably tighten up the wording, but I think the gist is there.

This amendment might save oodles of money on government health care in ways such as:

  • It would limit the ways in which lawyers determine what medical procedures are prohibited or required, and the associated overhead in managing those decisions.
  • It would remove the bureaucracy necessary to separate funding for procedures that everyone accepts under government insurance from those protested by a vocal minority.

Discussion?

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Naked Bike Ride (St. Louis) 2009: to protest dependency on oil and to celebrate our bodies

| August 16, 2009 | 5 Replies
Naked Bike Ride (St. Louis) 2009: to protest dependency on oil and to celebrate our bodies

Last year, I reported on the 2008 Naked Bike Ride in St. Louis, the first ever in my home town. The official purposes are twofold: to protest dependency on oil and to celebrate our bodies. It’s also a blast riding through town without having to worry about motor vehicles and without having to wonder what one’s fellow travelers look like naked (or almost naked). cool-waving-shot

This year’s St. Louis Naked Bike Ride occurred tonight, with perfect temperatures for not wearing much of anything or not wearing anything at all. I’d make a wild guess and say that there were about 1,000 bike riders tonight, 70% of them male. I’d also guess that about 20 of them were riding completely naked. I saw people from 16 to 70 years of age. Lots of camaraderie–the riders were warning each other of potholes and other road hazards. I only saw a few spills–luckily, those falls involved people with some clothing to protect them. total-nakedness

The genius of this event’s marketing is that every local media outlet was out there reporting on the event. Imagine having a clothed bike ride to protest oil dependency. You would probably only have the attention of a few eccentric bloggers like me.

Speaking of which, I was there tonight (wearing boxers), riding a course that was modified (shortened to about 7 miles) at the last minute, apparently to avoid the outflow of a huge crowd from a Cardinal Baseball game downtown. We wouldn’t want those people to be embarrassed were we to ride by and see them dropping exorbitant amounts to amuse themselves–$50 for tickets and $7 for hot dogs. Not while we–the naked and almost naked riders–were out there protesting oil and admiring and celebrating each others’ nakedness, all for free.

I would like to point out that the aim of this bicycle ride to celebrate our bodies is not a trivial issue. Refusing to celebrate the human body is closely related to our refusal to consider that humans are animals. These two dyfunctions are the cause of constant needless and useless human suffering. See this earlier post on terror management theory and this post on the dysfunction that stems from our failure to accept that humans are animals.

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