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Is killing yourself ever the right choice?

by Greg Krehbiel on 9 October 2014

William forwarded this story: Why is this woman choosing to die two days after her husband’s birthday?

A brain tumor is killing her, and it’s going to be painful. Rather than suffer a horrible death, she’d rather check out on her own terms.

I have mixed feelings about this. It seems heartless to tell someone they have to suffer an agonizing death, but hard cases make bad laws. You have to draw lines somewhere, and those lines almost always inconvenience somebody.

The inevitable abuses that come from opening the door to doctor-assisted suicide may create more pain than the whole program was supposed to solve.

-- 1 comment  ::  What do you think?  ::  2014-10-09  ::  Greg Krehbiel

Because they can

by Greg Krehbiel on 8 October 2014

If you’ve read 1984 you should have a voice in the back of your mind that is always suspicious that people in power are pulling your chain just because they can.

I thought of that when I read this. Supreme Court Justice Kennedy halts gay marriage licenses in Idaho

Regular readers will know that I have no sympathies for the same-sex marriage argument, but … at some point this just gets ridiculous, pulling people one way and another based on the whim of a judge or two.

-- 2 comments  ::  What do you think?  ::  2014-10-08  ::  Greg Krehbiel

“Agent of change” = aggressor

by Greg Krehbiel on 8 October 2014

Jonah Goldberg makes some excellent points in Liberals Storm California’s Bedrooms.

You can’t be “agents for change,” “forces for progress,” or whatever the current phrase is, and simultaneously deny that you’re the aggressors in the culture war.

Yes. Liberals and conservatives both have an agenda, even for what takes place in private.

-- 6 comments  ::  What do you think?  ::  2014-10-08  ::  Greg Krehbiel

Walled cities or world-wide health care?

by Greg Krehbiel on 8 October 2014

As I see more stories about Ebola, Polio, Marburg, etc., and I hear more concerns about international travel spreading infection into more affluent areas, I’m envisioning three possible outcomes.

First, the stories are being hyped to sell newspapers, gold and survival gear, the problem is not as bad as people fear and things will go on as usual — with a few dreadful stories here and there where things get slightly out of hand. This is probably the most likely scenario.

Second, we get much more serious about keeping the affluent (and generally contagion free) populations separate from the hoi polloi. This is a common theme in sci-fi stories, but I don’t think it’s that likely. The affluent are (at least for now) too soft-hearted to do that, and our industries depend on cheap labor.

Third, there is a much more serious effort to control contagious diseases, probably through the U.N. I think that is the second most likely scenario because it fits with the liberal west’s preference for huge government organizations designed to go around and fix things and because it accommodates industry’s need for cheap labor. It would also marginally raise the standard of living around the world, which would result in a small economic boost.

Generally speaking that sounds good, but it could also create a new wave of political correctness and religious wars. As good-hearted aid workers tramp all over the world to give shots and help with basic sanitation, the world would pay more attention to the nasty side of life in the various planetary backwaters. Some people would consider this a threat to their way of life and fight back.

-- 1 comment  ::  What do you think?  ::  2014-10-08  ::  Greg Krehbiel

Go and sin some more, and here, take the sacrament on the way

by Greg Krehbiel on 7 October 2014

You may have heard that the pope has convened the world’s bishops to talk about various pastoral problems related to marriage and the family. Here’s an old article on it.

The basic problem is that lots of Catholics don’t follow church teaching. They get divorced and remarried, and then they want to go back to church and take communion. To date the church has given people in that situation two options: (1) get an annulment of the first marriage, or (2) don’t have sex with the person you’re living with now.

Almost nobody is going to do #2, and the annulment process is often seen as a money-making joke. Besides, if all the marriages that actually never happened (deemed so through the annulment process) really never happened, then the most likely conclusion is that nobody is really married at all.

Cardinal Kaspar has proposed to allow divorced and civilly remarried Catholics to take communion. He says that ‘in certain cases, the church can “tolerate something that, in itself, is unacceptable”: a couple living together as husband and wife in a second union.’

If the church does this, on what grounds will they continue to refuse communion to the Orthodox? They would essentially be saying that it’s “more okay” to live in sin with somebody who is not your spouse (while your actual spouse may be suffering on the side) than it is to have a disagreement about the role of the pope.

That seems pretty outrageous to me.

-- 18 comments  ::  What do you think?  ::  2014-10-07  ::  Greg Krehbiel

Clowns left and right

by Greg Krehbiel on 7 October 2014

While perusing today’s headlines I saw references to two conspiracy addled wackos. Naomi Wolf from the left and Michael Savage from the right.

I suppose they have taken Rahm Emanuel’s rule (“never let a crisis go to waste”) one step further. Invent a crisis and then capitalize on it.

--  ::  What do you think?  ::  2014-10-07  ::  Greg Krehbiel

Liberal billionaire meddlers get a pass?

by Greg Krehbiel on 7 October 2014

When the Koch brothers contribute their own money to change something, they’re evil, but when Bill Gates contributes his own money to change something, he’s good. Is that how it works?

I think Bill Gates gets an “isn’t he a nice guy” rating because he can hide his meddling behind an “it’s for the children” theme. This is because Gates focuses his philanthropy on education, and any spending on education is good. Right?

What if his ideas aren’t very helpful? What if he’s bribing school districts to do stupid things to get a hand on his money?

If we need laws to prevent Koch money from upsetting our political system, do we need laws to prevent Gates money from upsetting our educational system?

-- 1 comment  ::  What do you think?  ::  2014-10-07  ::  Greg Krehbiel

When the AGW crowd eats its words …

by Greg Krehbiel on 7 October 2014

… I will be very happy. I hope I live that long.

A new NASA study says the deep oceans have not been warming since 2005. If the study holds up, that will end one of the excuses of the AGW modelers. The rise in surface temperatures has inconveniently paused, so to save their theory they said, “Oh, but the oceans are warming.” But that may not be so.

The globe has clearly been on a long-term warming trend — just not the warming trend predicted by the AGW models. And nobody really knows if this warming trend will continue or switch into a cooling trend. The system is simply too chaotic for our models.

--  ::  What do you think?  ::  2014-10-07  ::  Greg Krehbiel

Can Meet the Press find an honest journalist?

by Greg Krehbiel on 6 October 2014

This weekend (as usual) I spent some time listening to the crazy Sunday talk shows on CSPAN radio. I’m pretty sure I was listening to Meet the Press when I heard some administration official come on to lie about the economy.

It’s simply the way things are done nowadays. One side tells their lie, then the other side tells their lie. I often find myself wondering why the host doesn’t intervene to stop this, but then I quickly realize that the host always has his own political agenda, so his interruptions wouldn’t be credible.

Meet the Press is currently hosted by Chuck Todd, who clearly has a liberal agenda.

What these shows need is a dynamic, interesting, knowledgeable and honest journalist who is more concerned with the truth than with promoting a political agenda. This person should probably be riding a unicorn and wearing one of the lost Dwarf rings, too.

IOW, there doesn’t seem to be any such creature. Or if there is, the networks aren’t interested in hiring him.

-- 6 comments  ::  What do you think?  ::  2014-10-06  ::  Greg Krehbiel

The no-win situation with microphones

by Greg Krehbiel on 6 October 2014

People with microphones tend to love the sound of their own voice and therefore talk too much, which tempts me to endorse the view that anyone who wants a microphone should by no means be allowed to have one.

My hesitation with endorsing that view is that some people are so unskilled at public speaking that the annoying loud-mouth is, on balance, still the better choice.

It seems this all stems from the feedback problem, meaning that rude behavior tends to get the kind of feedback that encourages more rude behavior. If, for example, 97 people in a crowd of 100 quietly think, “I wish this guy would shut up,” and 3 people whoop and holler and encourage the speaker, the speaker will think he’s on to something and keep at it.

I think this also explains why best man speeches have become so long, weird and embarrassing. The people with little sense of decency or decorum are aggressively cheering on the lack of decency and decorum.

-- 2 comments  ::  What do you think?  ::  2014-10-06  ::  Greg Krehbiel

2014-10-05 :: Greg Krehbiel // General
So many ways to be racist
2014-10-02 :: Greg Krehbiel // General
Will the country trust the CDC?
2014-09-30 :: Greg Krehbiel // General
Get those men off those bikes!!
2014-09-29 :: Greg Krehbiel // General
When everybody wants to be a rock star …