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Archive for October 18th, 2010

Romeo and Juliet

Are together in eternity … We can be like they are

Come on baby … don’t fear the reaper

The Swiss suicide clinic Dignitas wants to offer its services to healthy patrons as well as the chronically ill euthanasia patients. Clinic head Ludwig Minelli says healthy relatives of the terminally ill should have access to suicide drugs in case they decide to accompany their loved ones to “the undiscovered country, from whose bourn No traveller returns.”

Minelli wants to legally pour suicide drug cocktails for heartbroken relatives who have just assisted their loved ones in committing suicide.

Minelli’s proposed family suicide kits are currently illegal under Swiss law where prescriptions for suicide drugs are only available for people suffering from terminal illness of incurable chronic medical conditions.

In the short story “Welcome to the Monkey House,” Kurt Vonnegut satirically depicts a futuristic society where, for the purpose of a last meal, a Howard Johnson’s is “next door to every Ethical Suicide Parlor, and vice versa.”  

The Ethical Suicide Parlor featured a comfortable environment for citizens who had no purpose to go on living to commit ethical suicide, thereby serving society in reducing the population.  

The Howard Johnson’s had an orange roof and the Suicide Parlor had a purple roof, but they were both the Government. Practically everything was the Government…

All Hostesses were virgins. They also had to hold advanced degrees in psychology and nursing. They also had to be plump and rosy, and at least six feet tall…

Their uniforms were white lipstick, heavy eye makeup, purple body stockings with nothing underneath, and black-leather boots … In a really good week, say the one before Christmas, they might put sixty people to sleep.—Kurt Vonnegut, from Welcome to the Monkey House

I.M Kane

For more on the story, see Swiss suicide clinic Dignitas calls for cocktail of drugs to be made available for heartbroken relatives as well from the Daily Mail.

 

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There’s no fool like an old fool

That keeps on falling for the same old line.

Will seniors sell their votes for $250? Apparently Brother O thinks they will because he’s endorsing “bonus checks” for that amount to 58 million Americans on Social Security two weeks out from the mid-term elections.

Polls show that seniors aren’t supporting Democrats this year, and Brother O’s vote-buying exercise is a blatant attempt to help Democrats maintain majorities in Congress.  

Even though Social Security is paying out more in benefits than it recoups in taxes, and the $250 checks would cost taxpayers nearly $15 billion, Democrats figure they’ll just add that amount to next year’s $1.4 trillion deficit.

I.M. Kane

For more on the story, see Buying the Senior Vote from The Wall Street Journal Opinion Page.

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In Give Us Liberty: A Tea Party Manifesto, Dick Armey and Matt Kibbe write that “We just want to be free. Free to lead our lives as we please, so long as we do not infringe on the same freedom of others.”

But a generalized love of liberty doesn’t distinguish tea partiers from liberal and libertarian Americans. For social conservatives, who make up the bulk of the tea party, the tea party is less about liberty than it is an American notion of karma, which says that for every action, there is an equal and morally commensurate reaction.

Kindness, honesty and hard work will (eventually) bring good fortune; cruelty, deceit and laziness will (eventually) bring suffering. No divine intervention is required; it’s just a law of the universe, like gravity.—Jonathan Haidt

Liberals and leftists in the 1960s and 1970s were intent on protecting the American people from the punitive side of karma and reduced the incentives for work and marriage among the poor.

Premarital sex was separated from its consequences (by birth control, abortion and more permissive norms); bearing children out of wedlock was made affordable (by passing costs on to taxpayers); even violent crime was partially shielded from punishment (by liberal reforms that aimed to protect defendants and limit the powers of the police).—Jonathan Haidt

Tea partiers see that the people and politicians guilty of corruption and irresponsibility for today’s ongoing financial and economic crises have escaped the punitive consequences of their wrongdoing. In fact, the very people who brought calamity upon the country have been rewarded with billions in bailouts and bonuses of taxpayer money. The wicked have gone unpunished!

To understand the anger of the tea-party movement, just imagine how you would feel if you learned … that politicians were devising policies that might, as a side effect of their enactment, nullify the law of karma. Bad deeds would no longer lead to bad outcomes, and the fragile moral order of our nation would break apart. For tea partiers, this scenario … is the last 80 years of American history.—Jonathan Haidt

A major disagreement between the left and right is their conflicting notions of fairness. Liberals see fairness in terms of equality and conservatives see it in terms of karma. As the tea partiers see it, karma has been weakened by the federal government’s attempts at social engineering.

The Protestant work ethic (karma’s Christian cousin) holds that hard work is a duty and will bring commensurate rewards. Yet here, too, liberals have long been uncomfortable with karma, because even when you create equal opportunity, differences in talent and effort result in unequal outcomes. These inequalities must then be reduced by progressive taxation, affirmative action and other heavy-handed government intervention.—Jonathan Haidt

The tea party is a mixture of conservative and libertarian ideals, but libertarian morality lines up more with liberals than conservatives.

Libertarians are closer to conservatives on two of the five main psychological “foundations” of morality … But on group loyalty, respect for authority and spiritual sanctity—libertarians are indistinguishable from liberals…. [When it comes to] … the three “binding” foundations [that] … bind people together into tight communities of trust, cooperation and shared identity … libertarians (who prize individual liberty above all else) part company with conservatives.—Jonathan Haidt

The tea-party movement is partially funded and trained by libertarian and pro-business groups such as Armey and Kibbe’s FreedomWorks, who are concerned mainly with increasing economic liberty. As libertarians, they “just want to be free” from regulations and taxes, but social conservatives want to reverse the changes of the 60s and restore the land that karma forgot.

Although a rift is coming, let’s pray that it holds off until after the November mid-term elections.

I.M. Kane

For more on the story, see What the Tea Partiers Really Want by Jonathan Haidt.

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Democrat candidate for governor in New York Andrew Cuomo was behind programs that destabilized Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae and gave birth to the mortgage crisis that led to the market crash of 2008.

Housing and Urban Development Secretary Andrew Cuomo today announced a policy to require the nation’s two largest housing finance companies to buy $2.4 trillion in mortgages over the next 10 years to provide affordable housing for about 28.1 million low- and moderate-income families.

Cuomo said the historic action by HUD raises the required percentage of mortgage loans for low- and moderate-income families that finance companies Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac must buy from the current 42 percent of their total purchases to a new high of 50 percent – a 19 percent increase – in the year 2001. The percentage will first increase to 48 percent in 2000.—HUD News Release No. 99-131

His programs forced banks to loan to low-income and bad-credit customers that led to the housing collapse and 3-4 million families facing foreclosure.

“Andrew Cuomo … made a series of decisions between 1997 and 2001 that gave birth to the country’s current crisis. He took actions that … helped plunge Fannie and Freddie into the sub-prime markets without putting in place the means to monitor their increasingly risky investments. He turned the Federal Housing Administration mortgage program into a sweetheart lender with sky-high loan ceilings and no money down, and he legalized what a federal judge has branded “kickbacks” to brokers that have fueled the sale of overpriced and unsupportable loans.”—Wayne Barrett

The first 3:45 or this 8:28 video below shows Andrew Cuomo explaining how he forced banks to loan money to unqualified people who couldn’t pay it back under the Clinton administration’s bank affirmative-action plan.

This action will transform the lives of millions of families across our country by giving them new opportunities to buy homes or move into apartments with rents they can afford. It will strengthen our economy and create jobs by stimulating more home construction, it will help ease the terrible shortage of affordable housing plaguing far too many communities, and it will help reduce the huge homeownership gap dividing whites from minorities and suburbs from cities.”—Andrew Cuomo, Housing and Urban Development Secretary 

A vote for Andrew Cuomo is a vote for more of the Democrats’ redistributive agenda. New Yorkers need to seriously think about that when casting their ballots for governor this November. 

I.M. Kane

For more on Cuomo’s part in the mortgage crisis, see Andrew Cuomo and Fannie and Freddie by Wayne Barrett and HUD News Release No. 99-131


EVIDENCE FOUND!!! Clinton administration’s “BANK AFFIRMATIVE ACTION” 8:28 Video

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