I won’t show “special” compassion for Sen. Craig.

Quin Hillyer has the dumbest argument in defense of Senator Larry Craig:

Compare the reaction to his alleged crime and the one that it appears Sen. David Vitter (allegedly) participated in. Why does prostitution (especially involving a married man) earn more of a pass than gross-but consensual sex? And the hypocrisy is far greater in Mr. Vitter’s case: He based a large part of his career on moral preening. Contra the left, though, I fail to see how it is hypocritical for Mr. Craig, though, to have voted against “gay marriage” and special “gay rights.” One can participate in homosexual acts and yet still think, quite consistently, that it is bad public policy to create special rights and protections for homosexuals or to put the positive imprimatur of the state on the “union” of two homosexuals.

I have no problem with Mr. Hillyer’s larger point that Sen. Craig should be shown compassion. I happen to hold that as a virtue, so I can agree. Unfortunately, contrary to Mr. Hillyer’s assertion, Sen. Craig’s votes against same-sex marriage (no quotations needed) were and are hypocritical. At the time he had a chance to show compassion – and equality – he chose politics. Forgive me if I have trouble generating much sympathy for his self-imposed predicament.

Sen. Craig swore to uphold the Constitution. As such, he should be familiar with the various amendments to that Constitution that enshrine the protection of rights, equal for all. Those are not collective group rights. They are individual rights inherent at birth. The good opinion of society’s delicate sensibilities remain as irrelevant today as they were at our founding. That means our government must treat each person equally. It does not do that when it says a person may only receive the benefits of marriage by entering into the civil contract with a specific group of adults.

The notion of “special ‘gay rights'” is a hollow talking point that conveys no reality-based truth about the push for equality. “Special” rights would be akin to pushing for a $1,500 wedding cake voucher for same-sex marriage licenses. There is no such push. Instead, we have “moral” crusaders pushing to retain special rights for one subset of Americans. Granted, heterosexuals are the overwhelming majority of America. That doesn’t make their right any less “special”, in Mr. Hillyer’s context. Individual rights are not subject to the whims of the majority.

Forget that Sen. Craig is a no-longer-closeted, self-loathing gay man determined to stay in denial. That’s his choice to make, regardless of anyone’s belief that he should accept who he is. But he’s chosen a life that demands denial in exchange for power. He traded the rights of the American people in exchange for continued access to that power. I can’t think of a clearer definition of hypocrisy.

I’m worth mass redistribution. Or maybe it’s just my vote.

I’m a few days late on this, thanks to being wrapped up in fantasy football, but John Edwards cares about me.

Democratic presidential hopeful John Edwards said on Sunday that his universal health care proposal would require that Americans go to the doctor for preventive care.

“It requires that everybody be covered. It requires that everybody get preventive care,” he told a crowd sitting in lawn chairs in front of the Cedar County Courthouse. “If you are going to be in the system, you can’t choose not to go to the doctor for 20 years. You have to go in and be checked and make sure that you are OK.”

“The whole idea is a continuum of care, basically from birth to death,” he said.

If I’m going to be in the system… How quaint. Do I have a choice? If and when I choose not to be part of the system, do I get to keep that part of my taxes devoted to covering me, as well as the portion that is my charitable “gift” to everyone else in this scheme?

Obviously he wouldn’t emphasize the womb-to-tomb feature bug if the answer to any of my questions was yes. Also obvious is the basic fact that, being unable to understand that government is the problem in health care, his proposal relies on reducing everyone to a lower level rather than working on (effective) ways to enable the unintentionally uninsured minority to mitigate their financial risk. Note, of course, that Edwards – and every other health care nanny currently running for president – misses this true issue in his quest for womb-to-tomb government services. That won’t earn my vote.

More thoughts at A Stitch in Haste and Cato @ Liberty


I wouldn’t expect anyone else to have mentioned it, but a side issue from Edwards’ proposal involves routine infant male circumcision. As I’ve written, a liberal, progressive argument for universal health care and/or coverage is that the government will cease paying for unnecessary male circumcision. This will not stop.

Governments already fund unnecessary circumcisions today, when resources are limited. There is no significant push among politicians to redirect those funds into medically necessary expenditures (or taxpayer pockets). They do not care about the necessity of any particular intervention, or even health care in general. Universal health care is simply a means to create a new, dependent constituent group. If that constituency wants infant male circumcision, politicians will cover it. (I’d make an argument that bureaucrats will make the decisions, but doctors make the same mistake in an effort to please their constituents constituents’ parents.)

Politicians believe there is always another group to demonize and tax to fund whatever gift needs to be made to voters for their votes. I am unwilling to hope that any government run by these fools will miraculously reverse its stupidity. Such short-sighted adherence to self-interest is inherent in government whenever it’s controlled by those interested in the exercise of power. Neither rights nor logic plays any part.

Now add the context of a politician like Edwards who wants to mandate that you and I will undergo preventive care. Is it really a long leap to assume that such a stupid person could read the splashy headlines about male circumcision and HIV and ignore the context of voluntary and adult, as well as the truth that condoms remain far more effective at reducing the risk of HIV? Almost everyone in our culture has ignored these last three points in the two years since the first preliminary results were announced, so the answer is a clear “no”.

Politicians will continue to make the erroneous, incomplete argument that the cost-benefit analysis of infant male circumcision is a one-sided consideration, with benefits the only deciding factor. They rarely even recognize potential before the word benefit. If there’s a potential benefit to chase, they will assume that means one less disease to pay for out of the collective in the future. That is incomplete and morally defective, since it ignores the risks, the complications, and the rights interest of the child in making this subjective, medically unnecessary decision. That politicians, parents, and doctors make this error every day proves the fallacy of trusting in the economics of universal health care to rectify an ethical failing.

Should government miraculously reverse itself and stop funding infant circumcision, I still argue that this is largely irrelevant. Many parents will just pay for it themselves. I’ve read too many blog entries of parents fretting over the hundreds of dollars it will cost, yet, considering genital cutting either an “investment” in their son or a “necessary” expenditure so that the boy will be normal common, they proceed anyway, out of their own pockets. To be fair, there will be a long-term reduction, as fence-sitters will decide unnecessary surgery isn’t worth the money, but there will still be many boys facing the knife who should be protected. I’m not okay with that.

Anyway, who will make the argument that politicians embrace the individual rights of their children and refrain from removing healthy body parts from their own sons? I’ll theorize that at least one candidate running for president with a universal health care platform has ignored the violation of his¹ son’s rights and circumcised the boy, to say nothing of the members of the theoretical decision-making apparatus should a universal health care scheme be implemented.

¹ This ignores Sen. Clinton because I assume she did not have her daughter’s genitals cut. However, she should be included in any consideration of politicians and bureaucrats willing to perpetuate the violation of the genitals of male children.

Forget nuance; speak against the accepted and you’re crazy.

I don’t know how clear I’ve made it in the past, but I don’t consider myself an animal “rights” advocate. I understand enough political philosophy to realize that the word rights has specific meaning, and in that context, it’s difficult to defend its use apart from humans. However, that shouldn’t imply an acceptance of animal cruelty, as too many are willing to accept. Basically, I try to approach any such discussion in a rational, intellectual manner. That makes reliance on stupid stereotypes more frustrating. From FARK:

World’s fattest pig sacrificed at religious ceremony in Taiwan. Naturally, animal rights groups are losing their minds (w/ pic of one fat pig)

The headline refers to this article:

The world’s heaviest pig has been sacrificed as part of a religious ceremony, sparking fury among animal welfare groups.

I hope it’s apparent why an animal sacrifice as part of a religious ceremony is ridiculous enough to warrant at least an eye-roll and a sigh. Defenders of such a practice will generally rely on an argument that the animal will be eaten after it is sacrificed killed. We could debate the merits of that, but contrary to what the FARK headline implies, that’s not at stake here. The next paragraph of the article:

The animal, which was force fed sand and metal to reach its record breaking weight of 908kg (143 stone), could not even stand as it had its throat slit at the ritual in Taiwan.

Right, look at those animal rights groups losing their minds. What could they possibly be thinking? They’re lunatics out of touch with reality.

In defense of the normally indifferent FARK commenters, many have said that they have no problem with killing animals, but force feeding an animal sand and metal is too much. Even a pig, which will eat almost anything.