Adios Obamacare

Unconstitutional!

The full text of the decision from Federal Judge Roger Vinson is not available yet, but according to reporters who’ve seen the decision, he’s ruled the entire Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act unconstitutional. The ruling favors of the 26 state attorney generals challenging the law. The judge ruled the individual mandate that requires all Americans to purchase health insurance invalid and, according to the decision, “because the individual mandate is unconstitutional and not severable, the entire Act must be declared void.”

It’s about time the someone in the judiciary began to come to his senses. While it’s true that not buying something is at least potentially an economic activity, it is absolutely absurd to claim that this permits the use of the Commerce Clause to provide constitutional cover for the federal enforcement of mandated purchases of health insurance or anything else.

Of course, now that the Republicans have judicial cover to kill Obamacare once and for all, they’ll probably offer the Democrats a compromise in order to revive most of it.

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Mailvox: case in point

BlueSunday provides an apt illustration:

“I don’t expect most people to agree with me because I don’t expect them to be able to understand me.”

In other words, if only I were smarter, I would agree with you?!? Isn’t this the same sort of thing regularly served up to conservatives by smug lefties? Maybe you didn’t make the top 100 blogs because you’re so arrogant….

No, it’s not the same thing at all. You should perhaps recall that my statement was made in response to someone who asserted that it was anathema for any woman to disagree with the Great Moi. But, that is not true, as also happens to be the case with Blue Sunday’s restatement. Since most people don’t understand what I am saying in the first place, and those who agree with me are merely a subset of those who understand me, most people cannot possibly agree with me unless they somehow happen to reach the same conclusion via a different means. BlueSunday has forgotten that there are subsets within sets.

Now, the typical lefty position to which he refers is that if the conservative were more intelligent, the conservative would agree with the lefty. But that is an intrinsically absurd and not very intelligent position. Even flawless logic will reach different results given different input factors. Here is one example of the three usual possibilities:

Vox: The economy is in the process of severe debt-deflation.

1) Doesn’t understand: “Debt what? Whatever, [insert credentialed authority here] says the economy is fine because GDP grew 3.2 percent last quarter!”

2) Understands, doesn’t agree: “No, that’s wrong, because the Fed is monetizing the debt. That’s why we’re looking at hyperinflation, not deflation.”

3) Understands, agrees: “Yes, that’s right because even though the Fed is trying to monetize the debt, they can’t monetize it fast enough to keep it from collapsing.

Both (2) and (3) are intelligent and reasonable positions and both clearly understand what I am discussing. In the case of (1), on the other hand, I might as well be speaking Japanese for all they grasp the subject. And there is nothing any more arrogant about the simple observation that people don’t understand what you are saying in English than there is in observing that they don’t understand what you are saying in German or Italian. As for the blog list, the fact that Roissy, Karl, and PZ were listed among the best should suffice to prove that whatever the criteria might have been, arrogance was clearly not among the disqualifying factors.

But speaking of not understanding things, I’m a little at a loss as to why anyone would turn to an Award-Winning Cruelty Artist for personal advice. I suppose I can attempt to repress my instincts for a change in answer to Sillygirl’s question:

What advice can you give for a mid-twenties woman that has not ridden the carousel (do not want to go into details, but please trust me on this), who is above average in looks (though not the most stunning thing…7 at best), and who is generally shy, bookish. My reason for not being married yet is because of an old boyfriend I was with for three years, who I thought was the one, waited for and turned out he didn’t want it after all. Then, I had a second relationship which was the same exact thing! Except that he was Indian and decided that marrying within his culture was more preferable. Four years of my twenties…gone. Clearly, I am doing something wrong.

The first man was three years old than me, the second one ten years older than me. I am now 25. Out of college, and unsure of what to do. I rarely go to bars, and spend a lot of time at home playing the piano, reading or working with a charity group.

I have also made the firm decision to not date American men after seeing the lack of family values and high divorce rates. They are out of the question for me because the cultural differences are too many. Their women seemed to have poisoned them, and I do not want to raise my children here. Fortunately, all of my friends are “fresh off the boat”. I generally do not interact with locals in my age group.

Is this too unreasonable to think there is hope?

No, it is not unreasonable at all, especially in light of your uncharacteristic ability to conclude, from only two lessons, that your past problems with men are likely due to the specific choices you made. There is nothing more tiresome than listening to the romantic woes of a man who can’t figure out why he keeps ending up with predatory, high-maintenance women when he only goes out with strippers and junior executives or a woman who can’t figure out why she keeps getting pumped and dumped when she only deigns to accept dates with ambitious, arrogant alpha males.

Second, it is generally wise to focus yourself to dating within your race and culture because despite what the advertisements tell you, very few individuals are actually willing to marry someone outside it. 94.7% of white men marry white women and 95.6% of white women marry white men – ironic, considering that the media has been indefatigably actively pushing black man+white woman for the last five years – so very little interracial dating will ever lead to marriage. That being said, why did you immigrate to America if you don’t wish to actually integrate into American society? Hanging around with fellow immigrants is a very bad way to adapt to your new home; I’ve met expats in Italy who don’t speak 10 words of Italian after 15 years there.

But to return to the subject, most men who are married will admit they had a pretty good idea that they were going to marry their wife very early on in the relationship. It’s not always the case, but it is common enough to indicate that there is no point in being involved for more than a year without an engagement. So, don’t be misled by the airy “yeah, I’d like to get married someday” talk, that’s just a polite way of saying that he probably doesn’t want to marry you in particular. If a man isn’t unambiguously clear about his desire to have a wife and family, then don’t waste so much as another weekend on him.

If you do meet someone suitable but the year passes without any actual engagement, don’t issue any hints or suggestions, just politely break up with him without giving any reason. If he asks for one, (and he almost surely will), just tell him that you’re serious about getting married and having a family while he has demonstrated that he is not. Either he will propose within weeks or you’ll have saved several years of being strung along as well as your self-respect. Just be sure not to fall for vague promises offered in order to keep you around in lieu of an actual proposal complete with date.

The problem, of course, is that plenty of men who would like to have wives and families don’t dare risk marriage in light of the heavily biased divorce laws. However, if that’s the issue, expressing a ready willingness to either sign a pre-nup or make a covenant marriage in the states that offer them should go some way in allaying those perfectly reasonable fears. And not being a veteran rider of the carousel will certainly help your cause as well.

Trust not in Republicans

Note that this the technological priority of the so-called party of “small government”:

The House Republicans’ first major technology initiative is about to be unveiled: a push to force Internet companies to keep track of what their users are doing. A House panel chaired by Rep. F. James Sensenbrenner of Wisconsin is scheduled to hold a hearing tomorrow morning to discuss forcing Internet providers, and perhaps Web companies as well, to store records of their users’ activities for later review by police…. Tomorrow’s data retention hearing is juxtaposed against the recent trend to protect Internet users’ privacy by storing less data. Last month, the Federal Trade Commission called for “limited retention” of user data on privacy grounds, and in the last 24 hours, both Mozilla and Google have announced do-not-track technology.

These jokers aren’t going to fix anything. If they leave Ron Paul alone long enough to get some straight accounting out of the Fed, it will only be because the incompetence of the central bankers has put their corporatist gravy train in danger. The division between Democrats and Republicans isn’t based upon ideology or big government vs small government, it is basically a battle between pro-government bureaucrats and pro-corporate bureaucrats. And by “corporation”, I do not mean the small businesses that are a legal shell for the business activity of actual individuals, but the giant, government-created artificial entities that have taken on financial lives of their own.

WND column

Destiny of Egyptian Democracy

Liberals and conservatives alike are celebrating the possible advance of democracy in Egypt. The Mubarak regime is reeling, his heirs apparent have fled the country and images of “people power” are filling television screens worldwide. Excited rumors of the police and military taking the side of the protesters against the regime are being reported as dreams of a Western secular democracy on the Nile fire the imagination of humanists everywhere. However, this excitement is every bit as ill-conceived as the neoconservative adventures that brought democracy to Iraq and Afghanistan. And seeing that Egypt lacks a military occupying force, it is unlikely that the establishment of a democratic government in Cairo will end as well as the foundation of the corrupt puppet regimes in Baghdad and Kabul have to date.

On a related note, NRO interviews someone who knows considerably more about Egypt than I do, but reaches similar conclusions:

Kathryn Jean Lopez: Why all this optimism in the media vis-à-vis Egypt? Why do you believe it’s so wrong?

Barry Rubin: Everybody likes the idea of the oppressed and repressed masses rising up against a dictatorship. Both conservatives and liberals find this appealing. And because America is a democratic country and the current wisdom is that everyone all over the world is alike, the assumption is that Egyptians want to have civil rights and freedom. This is reinforced by the Bush-era support for democratic change in the Middle East based on the idea that the dictatorships have indoctrinated the people to be anti-American. That view is true as far as it goes, but one reason why the dictatorships have pushed the political line they do is precisely because they know it will be popular.

But what if this bipartisan preconception is wrong? What if the most likely alternatives are either an Arab-nationalist dictatorship or an Islamist dictatorship? First, the moderate democratic forces are weak, disorganized, and few in number compared with their two rivals. Second, in Egypt especially, many of the “moderate democrats” are quite extremist, even if they are leftist or radical-nationalist rather than Islamist in doctrine.

We also have some precedents: Iran’s revolution (Islamism); Palestinian elections (Hamas); Lebanese democracy (Hezbollah); Algerian free elections (bloody civil war); Turkish democracy (Islamist regime at present). This pattern cannot be ignored, there are reasons for it.

The reason one must assume a problematic outcome isn’t because the pattern exists, but because there is no alternative pattern of Western-friendly democratic outcomes in the Middle East to which one can point.

Margaret Thatcher was right

The politicians have run out of the middle class’s money after spending it all on the bankers, the immigrants, and the poor… who, it occurs to me, can be described more succinctly as “the non-working class”:

I watch countless news stories about people who are criminals (illegal aliens, felons) liars, cheats, or just stupid getting help with their mortgage loans because they “need it”. And people getting free medical services because they “need it”. And people declaring bankruptcy because it’s just too hard to pay the bills, they “need to”. All the while I see my government crushing people like me–expecting us to just keep doing, just keep paying, just keep being responsible in order to make up for all of those people who were not.

The American middle class is on the verge of collapse, at which point it will almost certainly revolt in some manner. It will likely be less spectacular than the burning buildings in Cairo, but there is no way that the confluence of collapsing bubbles in real estate and education are not going to have a significant effect on middle class behavior once it becomes sufficiently obvious to everyone how they have been played for suckers and financially raped by the banks with the full connivance of the state and federal governments. The middle class revolt is going to start with a refusal to continue paying its debts for mortgages, credit cards, and college degrees. As for where it’s going to end, who can say?

Medical students make good Nazis

The problem with the so-called ethics of science and medicine is that they don’t actually exist. They’re nothing more than an artificial and arbitrarily imposed set of guidelines created by an impotent non-authority. Even to the extent that they are supposed to exist, as in the case of the Hippocratic Oath, they are seldom honored except in the breach:

AUSTRALIAN medical students are carrying out intrusive procedures on unconscious and anaesthetised patients without gaining the patient’s consent. The unauthorised examinations include genital, rectal and breast exams, and raise serious questions about the ethics of up-and-coming doctors, Madison reports….

Of students who were put in this position during the research, 82 per cent obeyed orders. “We think that it is weakness in the ethical climate of the clinical workplace that ultimately serves to legitimise and reinforce unethical practices in the context of students learning intimate examinations,” writes Prof Rees.

The study consists of 200 students across three unnamed medical schools in Britain and Australia. Not all participants agreed to carry out the intimate examinations without permission from the patient.

One student refused to take part in an examination of a woman who was “part spread-eagled on the bed and the nurse is (sic) pulling down her jeans at the same time and it was all very complicated and you could see her, she was about seventeen”.

The problem isn’t that scientists are intrinsically unethical, because a scientist can subscribe to an objective moral code as readily as anyone else. The problem is that because so many scientists reject morality and religion, they are consequentially unethical by choice. Needless to say, this does not bode well for Sam Harris’s attempt to construct a morality on the basis of a morally neutral process.

The reason so many people were appalled by PZ Myers boasting of the scientific ability to drain the blood from dogs, behead small mammals, and view images of vivisected humans without remorse is that the obvious logical conclusion is that history teaches that most scientists are just as willing to gas Jews, freeze priests, and exsanguinate gays in the name of science and progress.

Death of a White Knight: Episode III

Another would-be White Knight manages to get himself killed unnecessarily:

Wednesday night during a fight outside his Conejo Valley apartment, authorities said. The suspect, who was injured in the fight, was arrested and booked into Ventura County Jail on suspicion of murder, Ventura County sheriff’s officials said. Authorities declined to comment on what sparked the fatal fight. The victim’s daughter said relatives were told he was stabbed while intervening in an altercation between a woman and man….

Barnes died of stab wounds to his torso, said Michael Tellez, a deputy medical examiner. It was unclear if Otal and Barnes knew each other, officials said.

So again I will advise all the deltas and gammas prone to white-knighting: if a man and woman are engaged in a verbal or physical altercation, stay out of it! It’s not your concern and if the man doesn’t attack you, the woman probably will. On a tangential note, it would be very interesting to know if those who thought a woman is justified in aborting her child in order to save herself to raise the rest of her family also believe that it is right for a man to intervene in domestic altercations.