Warning of the Day

Be cautious of people who state that their goal is not to be evil, especially smart people who say that.

I’ve been amazed in the past how smart people can rationalize themselves into doing evil things for what they believe is the greater good.

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6 thoughts on “Warning of the Day

  1. On one of the TV talk shows last night, James Carville, an Obama apologist, rationalized the fact that many people are losing the medical insurance plans they favor because these plans are – by his and Obama’s definition – not really medical insurance (his actual term is health care insurance, but that’s really a misnomer). His analogy was to compare the plans being eliminated to a bicycle and the plans approved by Obama to a car. Mr. Carville and Mr. Obama display their arrogance when they not only insist that you and I are better off paying more and getting a car, but make it illegal for us to buy the bike. Here’s my analogy: I only travel down the block and my bike fits my needs.

    • I agree. I’ve seen others tout this line of reasoning. That’s the pretense of knowledge, aka the fatal conceit. They cannot fathom the particulars of each individual’s situation and preferences and assume their solution is better for you than you will ever know.

      • Hi Seth – We’ve both mentioned trade-offs in the past. I’ll elaborate for others. Resources (time, stuff, etc.) are finite. Therefore, we cannot have everything. We must make a choice between having A or having B. For example, suppose my family budget is tight and I want a new car which I can afford IF I take a second job working Saturdays for 1 year. However, I also value spending weekends with my family. I must make a choice – or what economists call a trade-off – I can have my new car, but I must give up my Saturday family time for 1 year OR I can enjoy my Saturday family time, but that means no new car.

        When we apply this to medical insurance (pre-ObamaCare), I can either spend less money and purchase a policy that has a high deductible and doesn’t provide maternity coverage, substance abuse treatment, sex change operations and mental health care or I can spend more money and buy the more expensive policy that has a low deductible and covers the extras mentioned above. I make that choice based on how much I value the higher cost insurance policy versus how much I value something else I could have purchased with the dollars I saved – but the key is that “I” get to make that choice. If I’m healthy and take care of myself and rarely need medical care, chances are good that I’ll opt for the high deductible policy and omit the superfluous coverage items. Under Obamacare, I no longer have that choice. The government has decided that it knows what’s in my best interest.

        In reality, the politicians probably recognize that they don’t really know what’s best for me – after all, they have chosen to provide themselves with a different plan. What the politicians (at least those on the left – no Republican voted for Obamacare) do want is control of the economy and the power to redistribute income from one group to another. That’s really all Obamacare is and that’s why it mandates coverage for “routine” items like annual physical exams, birth control, etc.

        For medical goods and services that are virtually ubiquitous – goods and services that virtually everyone uses – insurance doesn’t really transfer risk from you to the insurance company. Because everybody will file a claim for the service or good, YOUR insurance premium must cover the FULL cost of the good or service PLUS the administrative costs of processing the claim. This use (or misuse) of insurance benefits who? That’s right – the insurance company – and that’s why the insurance companies climbed into be with the Obama administration to get Ocare passed.

        ObamaCare also transfers money from the productive working class to those who don’t work (whether by choice or not). The problem with this new entitlement is that it becomes just that an entitlement – people who don’t actually pay for medical care feel that they are entitled to medical care and feel no shame in being on the public dole. Because they have no skin in the game – they have no trade-off – they don’t stop and think, “Is going to the doctor more valuable to me than some other expense?” Hence, they go to the doctor for trivial nonsense. They demand medical treatment costing hundreds of thousands of dollars to prolong their lives fora few weeks or months.

  2. OK, the betting window is open. Did this guy shot the TSA workers as part of a terrorist plot or because he rationalized that attacking the “evil” TSA folks would “teach them a lesson” for the foul treatment they have dealt out to the public (or was he simply frustrated because he felt they had mistreated him at some point)?

    My bet is that he was fed up and frustrated by some perceived mistreatment by the TSA. As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, my postulate for the “outbreak” of mass shootings we have seen since the late 60s is (1) we have limited or eliminated events or outcomes that are stressful or challenging for our children and thus, by not allowing kids to learn how to deal appropriately with kid problems – failing at school or games, dealing with bullies, etc. – have left them unprepared as adults to deal appropriately with the disappointments and failures that inevitably confront adults, and (2) we have made it politically incorrect to label abnormal behavior as such and to institutionalize those who have demonstrated the incapacity or unwillingness to function in society without threatening the health of others. We are left with more adults unable to appropriately cope with disappointment and a society unwilling to appropriately deal with such individuals.

    My only surprise is that it took so long for us to see a significant backlash against the TSA. While the vast majority of TSA workers treat travelers with appropriate respect and courtesy, there are a number of agents who clearly flaunt their authority and treat travelers in a mean, discourteous and abusive manner. This does not excuse the behavior of the shooter, but it does, perhaps, explain it.

  3. In my last post, I mentioned the possibility that this was the response of a frustrated individual mentally ill-prepared to deal with an increasingly distant and bellicose police state. Our government employees often forget that they are employed by US to serve OUR needs.

    During my lifetime, I have witnessed a change in how we view our police forces, but perhaps more importantly, how the view us. When I was a kid, the police were viewed as “peace officers” who were our friends looking to protect us from the bad guys. Today, police are referred to as “law enforcement officers” – even the name indicates a different relationship – and are seen as government watchdogs who suspiciously view everyone (even us) as potential bad guys. In the old days, police seemed more likely to try to resolve the problem/infraction in a genuinely friendly manner with a correction or warning. Today, any courtesy seems contrived and dictated by policy rather than sincere respect and the underlying attitude often seems to reflect a forgetfulness of the idea that government is there to serve the people rather than the other way around. Establishing a peaceful and safe community has given way to blindly enforcing laws. The police have become a domestic military forced directed against US citizens and that’s not their role.

    http://www.thelibertypapers.org/2013/08/07/reasons-mike-riggs-interviews-radley-balko-on-police-militarization/

    I realize that this is a two way street and that true respect – in word and deed – needs to be shown to our police officers as such respect is a reflection of respect towards others in our society and as well as the agreements each of us has with regards to the personal and property rights of others.

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