So most folks I know think most folks are stupid. I pretty much agree with that.

A smaller fraction think that because people are stupid, the government should step in and protect the morons from themselves. This question is directed at the folks who think that, or the folks who understand them.

Why do you think the people in the government making and/or enforcing the rules for stupid folks aren't also going to be stupid? Won't stupid people do a bad job with the rules, and end up applying them badly, or worse, applying them to smart people like you and me?

Stupid people vote less often than smart people, but they also outnumber the smart people. So it seems like democracy is terrible way to help the stupid.

(You, my dear reader, are clearly not stupid. Of course, one of the most common elements of stupid people is not realizing they are stupid.)

War Crimes

Dec. 11th, 2009 01:07 pm
Fighting a war out of uniform is a war crime. Hiding among civilians physically, and attempting to "blend in" with them, means accepting responsibility for all the civilian casualties inflicted in that conflict.

The US is not at fault for the civilian casualties in Afghan villages. The opposition is to blame for hiding among the civilians.

Of course, whenever these war crimes are committed, they are unremarkable, since they are done by non-US, non-NATO actors. The rules only apply to the folks with a sense of decency, which is why such traits are getting selected out of the gene pool.

I shouldn't let myself get annoyed by this stuff.
Alex and Bailey get married. Eventually, Bailey has an affair with Chris, the result of which is a child named Dexter. Later, Alex and Bailey get divorced. Should Alex be financially responsible for Dexter?

Does it matter what gender Alex and Bailey are? Why?
If so, does it matter how long the time between when Dexter is born and when the split is? How about if Alex and Bailey split after conception, but before birth?
The problem is that we let the state be in the business of grading marriages at all. WTF is up with that? If marriage is between people, why is the heavy hand of the state getting involved at all? You don't need a license to have a baby, why do you need on to get married?

How many people have to live on a desert island with you and your partner before the power to chose your own mate suddenly becomes a group thing rather than an individual one?
I'd like to ask some questions of folks who think they have a right to government funded health care (in the USA).
Read more... )
So here is my idea for a "National Health Care Plan"
Not that it matters, since I'm not king )
If you think people aren't competent to make decisions about their own health, what policies do want to put in place to keep them from voting? If they can't run their own lives, why are they free to influence the course of our shared nation? What other adult freedoms of action do you want to take away from them?

Health Care

Sep. 2nd, 2009 02:22 pm
Everyone talks about health care, but what is it?
Does it include breast reduction?
Does it include include heroin rehab? How about a 4th round of heroin rehab? Clean needles for recreational drug use?
Does it include reconstructive dental care, or simpler tooth pulling?
Does it include glasses, or laser surgery for eye problems?
How much dialysis should it pay for? Should it buy new kidneys on the black market?
Does it include chapstick?

I think arguing about vague terms with no meaning is even more pointless than is typical for our political class. We should get back to the useless arguing about things where we can all be on the same page, like pulling US troops out of Europe.
So President-designate Obama has named Senator Hillary Clinton as his Secretary of State.

Unfortunately, she is legally uneligible for the job. Article 1, Section 6:

Section 6. The Senators and Representatives shall receive a compensation for their services, to be ascertained by law, and paid out of the treasury of the United States. They shall in all cases, except treason, felony and breach of the peace, be privileged from arrest during their attendance at the session of their respective Houses, and in going to and returning from the same; and for any speech or debate in either House, they shall not be questioned in any other place.

No Senator or Representative shall, during the time for which he was elected, be appointed to any civil office under the authority of the United States, which shall have been created, or the emoluments whereof shall have been increased during such time: and no person holding any office under the United States, shall be a member of either House during his continuance in office.

The office of Secretary of State had its salary increased while Senator Clinton was serving as Senator for New York.

I don't think Senator Clinton had anything to do with the raise, or that any sort of corruption is in evidence in this appointment. I just note that the clear text of the Constitution forbids her appointment to the position.

Of course, that won't matter. It was hacked around for several crooks in the past, and it will presumably be hacked around or ignored this time. After all, the US Constitution isn't the fundamental law of the land, it is minor obstacle in the path of the kleptocrats that run the country.
There are three kinds of countries in the world:

  1. No-go areas. Places that aren't countries so much as the absence of a country. Much of Africa fits this bill. Regardless of what the maps say, the government of Uganda can't do much to really control its territory. If you go there, you are own your own; your government won't spend blood or treasure to help you out. There should be no embassies, no formal contact with the non-state. You don't negotiate with the warlord who controls the capital; you deal with the warlord who controls the region you like, or you just walk in and take it with bigger guns.
  2. Friendly Nations with Rule of Law: if a government gets control over an area enough to clear the 'no-go' status, then relations can begin. However-that nation is presumed to be in control of the territory, so gets the blame for anything that happens inside. When an embassy blows up, or violence breaks out, it is either an internal rebellion (and dealt with as such) or a state action. If the nation can't make it make it right, you do (back to the bigger guns) and send the host country a bill. Failure to pay, or blocking the 'making it right' leads to the last type:
  3. Enemies: countries who have shown either an ability to kill or harm you, or shelter those who do. This is a traditional nation state conflict.

    Examples (from the US Perspective):

    • Uganda: No-go
    • Iran: enemy
    • India: 'rule of law'

    In some cases, different parts of a country might have different rules: northern Pakistan, for example, is a no-go, while the urban centers might be 'rule of law'

    Thats a pretty rough draft, but I don't want to go longer without posting, or spend too much time on it.
I rather like this quote:

Bush is certainly doing what he can these days to put the "bad" in least bad.

In unrelated news, I don't like prosecutorial discretion. If the state learns of a crime, the state should investigate. If this leads to an overburdening of the courts, the answer is to reduce the number of laws making things crimes, not to stop enforcing laws when someone don't feel like it.

I'm also not sure I can spell it.

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