The Locker Room

August 04, 2008

Re: aka doctor-assisted suicide

Posted by Joseph Coletti at 9:11 PM

Michael,

Sam Hieb also pointed to this story as a foretaste of socialized medicine.

In case you doubt it, check what one blogger from Nebraska (which ranked high when I Googled Randy Stroup) had to say:

Yes, it would be so much worse if health care decisions where made by government bureaucrats instead of insurance bureaucrats because insurance represents a free-market decision that the man is too poor to live and the Free Market is never wrong. So government shouldn’t run health care because a few people will be deprived very expensive treatments? So it’s much better now that many poor people are deprived of moderately expensive treatments?

...

It might seem callous to put a dollar value on life, but we have to live in the real world and decide where to spend limited government funds.

But the only reason "we have to ... decide where to spend limited government funds" is because "we" have destroyed the market and substituted government for individuals.

Consumer-driven health care puts the dollars back in the patient/consumer's hands allowing him to make decisions for himself instead of having to hope that insurance or government bureaucrats will understand his preferences.

As Thomas Sowell put it in Knowledge and Decisions:

The question is not what to decide, as to whether specific retrospective data are justified, but rather who shall decide which prospective transactions are justified on what terms in an on-going process. More to the point, shall observers who experience neither the benefits nor the cost use force (the government) to supersede the judgments of those who do? The issue is not between one particular set of statistical results and another. The issue is between one kind of social process and another, and between one set of decision-makers and another

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World Naked Bike Ride

Posted by Dr. Roy Cordato at 7:40 PM

I heard a story on the news this weekend about the “World Naked Bike Ride” (warning risque drawing at link) to protest oil dependency. Of course people are not dependent on oil but on all the great things that oil allows us to do–like travel, go on vacation, heat, light and cool our homes, have swift emergency medical attention, and so on. My understanding is that, in light of this annual event, a new group is forming called Voyeurs for Continued Oil Dependency.

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"Comfort Care" aka doctor-assisted suicide

Posted by Dr. Michael Sanera at 4:11 PM

Fox News reports here that in Oregon, the only state where doctor-assisted suicide is legal, seriously ill patients get letters that say that the state will not pay for their treatment, but will pay for a doctor-assisted suicide.  The administrator of the program defends the program.

"I have had patients who would consider knowing that this [doctor-assisted suicide] is part of that range of comfort care or palliative care services that are still available to them, they would be comforted by that," Sattenspiel said. "It really depends on the individual patient."

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Still relatively low in debt

Posted by John Hood at 3:30 PM

Although North Carolina state and local governments have been making far greater use of debt finance, both through voter-approved bonds and various other instruments, we remain relatively low in bonded indebtedness by national standards. The latest Tax Foundation data show NC ranked 40th in state/local debt in 2006, at about $5,000 per person. VA and SC have more debt, GA and TN less.

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An embarrassment to society

Posted by Dr. Terry Stoops at 2:28 PM

Here's what one of North Carolina's fine professional educators, a teacher at Holly Springs High School in Wake County, has to say about the John Locke Foundation's assessment of teacher bonuses. (Warning: objectionable language)

It is too easy to obtain? It has become an entitlement? Are you working for 32,000 [sic] a year buddy? I work my ass off 60-70 hours per week to make my school the best it can possibly do [sic]. I go above and beyond every day to help my students. You sit there with your cush [sic] salary working for a "think tank" and pretend like [sic] you know about education? If you knew anything outside [sic] of a textbook you would not make a total ass of yourself publicly by spewing ignorant filth in the newspaper. I will be forwarding your name and contact information to NCAE and every teacher that I know. Get a clue you moron. You are an embarrasment [sic] to society. Think tank my ass.


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Encouraging emerging leaders

Posted by Mitch Kokai at 1:41 PM

Leadership is a valuable commodity, one that benefits from the support of programs such as the E.A. Morris Fellowship for Emerging Leaders.

Karen Palasek leads the Morris Fellowship's efforts, and she explained her work during today's John Locke Foundation Shaftesbury Society meeting.

4:15 p.m. update: Watch the entire presentation here. Click the E.A. Morris link above for more information about applying for the fellowship. 

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Gang majors

Posted by Jon Sanders at 11:45 AM

George, in response to your post, I found a report in Technician, N.C. State's student paper, that lists the majors of the students suspected in the gang-related shooting. Ryan Alexander Barnes is "a sophomore in First Year College" (it's been a long year) and Whitney Shanice Blakeney, who has been charged with "maintaining a dwelling for manufacture, sale and distribution of a controlled substance — marijuana," is "a sophomore in business management."

Technician reports that the victim Grubbs was not affiliated with the university, although the N&O in your link says he is. He isn't listed in the NCSU student directory online, for what it's worth.

Something else I found: Grubbs and the other victim, Pittman, were in the news last December escaping a burning building — while Pittman was four months pregnant.

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NCSU students gang members

Posted by George Leef at 10:41 AM

The N&O reports on the recent shooting on campus here and we learn that at least a couple of State students are gang members.

I wonder what gang members major in.

And before we condemn State for admitting gang members, we ought to consider their "diversity" value. Doesn't having a few gang members give other students added perspective on America? Doesn't it make the "mosaic" more varied and interesting?

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Latest dispatches from the political trail

Posted by John Hood at 09:30 AM

• Beverly Perdue, Pat McCrory, and Michael Munger release health information to the press, and all three are free from major medical problems. McCrory is on hand in Boone to help cut the ribbon for a new GOP headquarters in Watauga County. He sounds his “change the culture of corruption” message.

News & Observer editor John Drescher lights into Mike Easley for dodging public accountability and warns the next governor, whoever he or she may be, not to follow Easley's example.

• During a campaign swing Down East, Kay Hagan repeats the line that if Jesse Helms was Senator No, Elizabeth Dole is “Senator Nowhere.” She also discusses energy and education. In a Rocky Mount appearance, she emphasizes veterans issues. In Snow Hill, she talks rural health care. In Washington, the theme is economic development.

• In a radio interview, Dole pitches solutions to the gas-price spike. A Bush administration official credits her for helping to fund programs combating homelessness in the state.

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Is there really a "race issue"?

Posted by George Leef at 09:26 AM

Writing in today's WSJ, Juan Williams says that As evidence, he cites polling data to the effect that only 31% of white voters have a favorable opinion of Obama. Williams opines that "Mr. Obama needs to assure undecided white voters that he shares their values and is worthy of their trust."

But why does this have anything to do with race? My revulsion at the idea of an Obama presidency has nothing whatever to do with his race. I'd be thrilled if, oh, Thomas Sowell or Walter Williams somehow took up residency at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. The trouble with Obama is that he is intent on expanding the size and scope of the government. His ideas on public policy would make a wide swath of America of all races worse off.

Memo to Juan Williamns: There isn't a race issue here, but issues of philosophy and economics.

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Limited Government?

Posted by Dr. Michael Sanera at 08:26 AM

After seven months, Raleigh City Council's $1 million restaurant has yet to turn a profit.  Will it go under like Yancey's,  another Fayetteville Street restaurant?  With friends in high places, the taxpayers will probably be asked to bail it out when the time comes. Here is the latest.

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Re: Maybe It Wasn't Global Warming

Posted by Hal Young at 07:06 AM

Scott Ott suggests al-Qaeda leadership has experienced it:

According to a letter from the Taliban official, “Dr. Zawahiri was enjoying a meal when the earth suddenly heated up by several thousand degrees,” ...

Mr. Zawahiri’s alleged death coincidentally follows a U.S. air strike ...

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Learning from an early American leader

Posted by Mitch Kokai at 06:38 AM

Richard Brookhiser focuses his writing prowess in a new book on the qualities that made George Washington one of the nation’s first great leaders.

The same man who asked “What would the founders do?” tells us what this founder actually did, focusing on items such as Washington’s penchant for exhorting his troops, his political colleagues, and his countrymen to put forward their best efforts.

In the Newburgh crisis of 1783, Washington headed off an officers’ rebellion by urging his men to consider the proper course of conduct:

Washington throws the burden of action on others, and tells them that they can and will pick it up. This turn is a characteristic of Washington’s leadership, as unmistakable as a fingerprint, as persistent as a frog call. The man who was a master at holding people’s attention and at acquiring power turns the attention back on his audience, to show them their power, and their responsibility. It is a mixture of praise and exhortation, and it happens again and again. In the “Circular to the States,” issued three months after the Newburgh crisis, he told Americans, after a long description of their opportunities, that if they “should not be completely free and happy the fault will be entirely their own.” Get to work; it’s up to you.

Speaking of leadership, people attending today’s Shaftesbury Society meeting will hear Karen Palasek discuss the E.A. Morris Fellowship for Emerging Leaders.

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Did Joe Klein really write this?

Posted by Mitch Kokai at 06:36 AM

Given TIME columnist Joe Klein’s propensity for missing the boat, I was pleasantly surprised to read this throwaway line in his latest piece:
As conservatives always — rightly — warn, government isn't nearly as efficient as the market in figuring out the most effective new technologies.

If only Klein would realize that the government isn’t nearly as efficient as the market in addressing almost any issue.

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Department of redundancy department

Posted by Mitch Kokai at 06:33 AM

Reading TIME’s new profile of Bill Gates’ “creative capitalism,” I’m struck first by the notion that the term is redundant on its face. A capitalist’s job is to find new, better, more efficient ways to serve the customers’ needs. Creativity is an inherent trait of capitalism. Saying “creative capitalism” is equivalent to saying “totalitarian communism.”

Beyond the redundancy, Gates’ ideas seem to point to two problems. First, governments don’t allow capitalism to operate as creatively as it could. Second, many capitalists are not as creative as Gates … or at least as creative as Gates was in his business-oriented, computer system-designing days. Businesses that rely on government restrictions and regulations to preserve their market share have less need to act creatively.

Michael Kinsley does a pretty good job in his column summarizing the arguments challenging Gates’ new term. But Kinsley also demonstrates his own failure to recognize the social value of capitalism as it operates in the regular course of business:

As it happens, Gates' financial history has followed the Friedman philosophy more than his own. Gates founded Microsoft and ran it with legendary single-mindedness for three decades. There was not a lot of energy devoted to lifting up the world's poor.

What about the people whose use of Microsoft made their work more productive, thus generating more resources for the charitably inclined to donate? What about the people who work directly with the poor? Didn’t Microsoft’s products make their work simpler, freeing them to spend more time doing work that helps the poor directly?

Gates’ capitalist ventures did much to help the world’s poor, whether he thought about it or not.

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Today's Carolina Journal Online features

Posted by Mitch Kokai at 06:25 AM

The week's first Carolina Journal Online exclusive features Michael Lowrey's report about the legislative debates over a bullying bill during the closing days of this year's legislative session.

John Hood's Daily Journal focuses on the impact of illegal immigration as a political issue in North Carolina.

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