Tuesday, March 29, 2005

LIfe and Death

The line between selfishness and altruism isn’t always so clear. This especially the case with people in a permanent vegetative state.
Many might regard pulling out a feeding tube in such a case as "selfish". But, it might also be viewed as an act of mercy.
Sometimes, a person might maintain life support of loved one not out of genuine concern, but because they can’t live without them.
If there is an afterlife, they are just keeping their loved ones from the next world. And what could be more selfish than that?
If you love somebody, set them free...
There is also another fundamental question. The money, time and resources spent on a person who will never recover might be better spent housing the homeless or providing healthcare for the poor.
Indeed, the time and money spent on someone in a permant vegetative state might save the lives of dozens of others who can get better.
If Bush really considers "all human life equal" then why does he advocate policies which benefit the rich over the poor? Why does he cut medicade for children yet give his own offspring the best healthcare imaginable?
Why does he send the sons and daughters of others off to war but not his own? All human life is equal, but some lives are more equal than others, apparently..
Look at the world and its history. When has all human life EVER been valued equally?

Saturday, March 26, 2005

LIfe and Death, ect.

Morality has nothing to do with comforting the rich and powerful. Morality, by its very nature, demands personal sacrifice for the greater good.
Many libertarians and conservatives fail to grasp that government spending can actually help the strengthen the economy. Public spending on transportation and education are investments in the future strength of the economy and in social stability.
Another example is Social Security. Providing a safety net for retirees preserves their spending power and thus lessons the possibility of an all out recession. It is not a really a "welfare state" program because most recipients contribute to the program.
Of course, excessive taxation and to much
Bush is the worst of both worlds. He combines worst of liberal "big government" intrusion with the worst of Conservative laza Fair economics and repressive moralism.
We can't have it both ways. It is impossible to have personal freedom and not risk people making irresponable decisions or the risk of decadence and excess. This is the inevitable price of freedom.

President Bush wants to get big government off our backs. Unless, of course, its Terri Saveral, gay marriage, abstinence only education, flag burning, the military, the no child left behind act or banning drug imports from Canada. Let freedom ring..

Its strange that so many who believe in an afterlife should also think Terri Shavro should be kept alive. By the terms of their own philosophy, they are keeping her from heaven.

Congress recently had an emergency session in an attempt to save a single person who may or may not be conscious and may or may not get better. But, there was no emergency session to stop the massacre in Africa or to feed the world’s starving billions.
And, there is no ambiguity over whether these people are self-aware.
Similarly, quite a few people on the pro-life side are concerned with saving embryos which may or may not be human or self aware, but appose international human rights laws which save individuals who are unambiguously human.
If a person is really "pro-life" they should at least try for some logical consistency.

The Right has become what it hates. They have out done the left in terms of zealous activision and government intrusion.
They are more dangerous than the counter culture of the 60's because they have real power over government policy.
This is totalitarianism that dares not speak its name.

"The culture of life" is and issue that may backfire on many Republicans. Just before the Terri Shiavro case exploded into the public spotlight, many of these same "right to life" conservatives voted to cut over fifteen billion dollars from medicare. And some of the recipient may be in Terri’s condition.
And this fact is going to be in people’s consciousness. The right wing of the GOP may view their intervention in this case as a "winning issue,", as people wake up to their profound hypocrocy, it could easily backfire.

Saturday, March 12, 2005

Battlestar Galactica and Hubble (first the fiction, then the science)

The new "Battlestar Galactica" is on of the best Sci-Fi series I’ve seen. Much darker and inventive than its predecessor, it offers compelling, three-dimensional characters and very challenging plotlines.
On of the more vivid characters is Voltaire. He is presented as egotistical and immoral, but also neorotic and conflicted. He Provides a source of dark "comedy relief."

Nasa’s decision to cancel future maintenance mission is nothing short of an outrage. It is one of the most scientifically valuable pieces of hardware ever built. Aside from the science, the photos it has produced is nothing short of breathtaking, even spiritual.
Nasa now wants the shuttles to only fly to the International Space Station, which is an expensive, overblown endeavor of dubious scientific value.
I’m all for manned spaceflight, but not at the expense of science and research.

Monday, March 07, 2005

Thoughts on Bush, ect.

Some people can’t make peace with their emotions. Such people fall into two categories, those who try to escape from themselves through self-indulgence and those join strict religions. Sometimes, it hard to tease the two sides apart.

This President has very skewed priorities. He talks about "tight budgets", yet proposes a budget which actually jacks up the decimate. He talks about building a "culture of life", yet cuts medicaid and food stamps for families with children. He talks of "fiscal restraint" Yet wants to make tax cuts for the rich permanent.
In end, Bush’s fiscal policies will only cost the government more in the long run.
The Neo-Cons and Bush had a plan to improve America’s standing in the world. But, in the last few years, the reverse has happened. Our military is spread thin, our presage and influence in the eyes of the world has actually eroded. So much for those who want to "make America stronger."

Those who are unnerved by the ethical implications of technology had better fasten their seatbelts. In the future, both genetic and cybernetic enhancements of the human species will cause us the meaning of what is "human" to the ultimate extreme.
Someday, the dilemma over stem cell research, therapeutic cloning and creating "proto-embryos" will seem quiet and niece at best.

The future is not for the Squamish or narrow minded.
At times, this administration appears to be out of control. "Outsourced torture" may have been started by President Clinton, but Bush has taken it to the hilt. He denounces tyranny, but depends on tryancal regimens to extract information. Such regimes are not only undemocratic, but, they can’t be trusted to get accurate information from terror suspects.
Besides, some of the suspects have turned out to be innocent. And in the long run, it only hurts America repetition in the eyes of the world even more.