27 January 2009

universal health care misses a few points

in the latest reason, we see a tiny bit of what might await us in a one-size-fits-all solution: namely, someone other than you will be making decisions that affect your health or your life decisions.
France’s restrictions spring from medical rationalization. Assisted reproduction was developed as a solution to fertility trouble, and being single is not a disease. A French reproductive endocrinologist told me that even if the French law changed she would still refuse to practice IVF on single women. She became a doctor to cure people, she explained.

The reluctance is even more pronounced because of France’s universal health care system. Sperm and egg banks are state-owned. Insemination and IVF costs are paid by the French health care system. Should French citizens, through their taxes, subsidize single women who want children?

These concerns do not really apply when reproductive medicine is market driven. In the U.S., when the infertility-based market for sperm banks declined (because male fertility problems became less important due to new IVF technologies such as intracytoplasmic sperm injection), banks started marketing their services to single women and same-sex couples.
or maybe you don't care because the right person will make those choices.

21 January 2009

low class

i finally caught up with the fellow who runs the league that meets at the field where i lost my ring. i've been trying to get him since late october to see the ring he found, just on the chance that it could be mine. it wasn't. but he insisted that i keep it. needless to say, that left me rather dumbfounded. i think it shows a complete lack of respect minimally for the people that pay to play in his league. guess i'll call the rec department to see if they can do anything with it.

20 January 2009

quote of the day-or-so

Constitutions are utterly worthless to restrain the tyranny of governments, unless it be understood that the people will by force compel the government to remain within constitutional limits. Practically speaking, no government knows any limits to its power except the endurance of the people.
Lysander Spooner

11 January 2009

Scott Adams on waste

from Adams' blog.
I said before that I think we're on the cusp of a change as fundamental as the industrial revolution. But this time the change will be on the consumption side, not the production side. As a society we have dabbled with recycling and such, but it has always been fairly optional. There was no real penalty for waste.

The coming consumption revolution won't be strictly for the benefit of the environment. It will be an economic necessity, driven largely by the huge numbers of retired poor. There simply won't be enough stuff for everyone if waste is allowed.
the best way for society to realize the true impact of waste is to assign costs to its generation. consumers of wasteful products and services should bear the expense. price information can drive adoption of cleaner processes.

i'm also wondering if some begenius will one day begin to mine old waste dumps in search of some resource we considered waste in the past. further still, will we consider something wasteful in the future that we now consider benign? perhaps water vapor emitted from hydrogen fuel cell vehicles?

unacoder shrugged

from a facebook discussion of Atlas Shrugged, describing my sense of the book (in someone else's words).
1200 pages in paperback. Sheesh. I suppose I should read it someday. Aside from the size, I'm worried it will convert me into one of those people who can't stop talking about how important it is.
thus, i have never read it. meh.

04 January 2009

free to choose

i just finished Free to Choose by Milton and Rose Friedman. it might be too long for people not interested in freedom and liberty, but the final chapter is definitely worth the effort. what amazes me most is that they managed to use simple, non-jargonistic language throughout the book to cover economic theory, which tends toward dry. highly recommended. once you've finished your copy of Glamour, of course.

the unfortunate part of my reading this book is that it has convinced me how utterly screwed we are as a nation, given our constant need to devote so much effort to control each other's behaviors and preferences, all in the name of laudable goals. by permitting and encouraging special interest legislation, we have undermined the very form of government that was supposed to save us. bring on the financial apocalypse!

if anyone wants to borrow my copy, lemme know.

01 January 2009

quote of the day-or-so

It is always much easier to call other people names than to engage in hard intellectual analysis.
Milton Friedman, Free to Choose