Wednesday, 17 July 2019

"What we had seen in Apollo 11 in naked essentials — but in reality, not in a work of art — was the concretised abstraction of man’s greatness This is the fundamental lesson to be learned from the triumph: that nothing on earth or beyond it is closed to the power of man’s reason." #QotD






"What we had seen [in Apollo 11] in naked essentials — but in reality, not in a work of art — was the concretised abstraction of man’s greatness. . . .
    "One knew that this spectacle was not the product of inanimate nature, like some aurora borealis, or of chance, or of luck, that it was unmistakably human — with 'human,' for once, meaning grandeur — that a purpose and a long, sustained, disciplined effort had gone to achieve this series of moments, and that man was succeeding, succeeding, succeeding! For once ... the worst among those who saw it had to feel — not 'How small is man by the side of the Grand Canyon!' — but 'How great is man and how safe is nature when he conquers it!'
    "That we had seen a demonstration of man at his best, no one could doubt — this was the cause of the event’s attraction and of the stunned, numbed state in which it left us. And no one could doubt that we had seen an achievement of man in his capacity as a rational being — an achievement of reason, of logic, of mathematics, of total dedication to the absolutism of reality...
    "There was an aura of triumph about the entire mission of Apollo 11, from the perfect launch to the climax... Not because success was guaranteed -- it is never guaranteed to man -- but because a progression of evidence was displaying the precondition of success: these men knew what they were doing.
    "No event in contemporary history was as thrilling, here on earth, as three moments of the mission's climax: the moment when ... there flashed [on the television screen] the words: 'Lunar module has landed' -- the moment when the faint, grey shape of the ... module came shivering from the moon the screen -- and the moment when the shining white blob that was Neil Armstrong took his first step... He made no reference to God; he did not undercut the rationality of his achievement by paying tribute to the forces of its opposite; he spoke of man. 'That's one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind.' So it was...
    "Why did I feel that joyous sense of self-confidence while watching the mission? In all of its giant course, two aspects pertaining to the inhuman were radiantly absent: the causeless and the purposeless. Every part of the mission was an embodied answer to [the two questions] 'Why?' and 'What for?' -- like the steps of a life-course chosen by the sort of mind I worship. The mission was a moral code enacted in space...
    "The lunar landing was not the greatest achievement of science, but its greatest visible result. The greatest achievements of science are invisible: they take place in a man's mind; the occur in the form of a connection integrating a broad range of phenomena. The astronaut who remarked that his spacecraft was driven by Sir Isaac Newton understood this issue. (And if I may be permitted to amend that remark I would say that Sir Isaac Newton was the copilot of the flight; the pilot was Aristotle.) In this sense, the lunar landing was a first step, a beginning, in regard to the moon, but it was a last step, an end product, in regard to the earth -- the end product of a long, intellectual-scientific development.
    "This is the fundamental lesson to be learned from the triumph of Apollo 11 ... [that] nothing on earth or beyond it is closed to the power of man’s reason."


~ Ayn Rand, from her LA Times op-ed 'Apollo 11' - written after attending the launch, and praised on his return  by Apollo 11 astronaut Michael Collins who “thought the article was probably the best I have read on Apollo XI.”
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Tuesday, 16 July 2019

"There's no way to rule innocent men. The only power any government has is the power to crack down on criminals. Well, when there aren't enough criminals, one makes them. One declares so many things to be a crime that it becomes impossible for men to live without breaking laws." #QotD


"There's no way to rule innocent men. The only power any government has is the power to crack down on criminals. Well, when there aren't enough criminals, one makes them. One declares so many things to be a crime that it becomes impossible for men to live without breaking laws."
          ~ Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged 
[Hat tip Rust Watkins]
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Monday, 15 July 2019

"A Martian would have trouble understanding the following: On Monday President Trump makes a speech that cutting off imports to the US represents 'putting America first.' On Tuesday, President Trump makes a speech stating that cutting off imports to Iran represents 'crippling economic sanctions.'" #QotD



"I think [a] Martian would also have trouble understanding the following: On Monday President Trump makes a speech that cutting off imports to the US represents 'putting America first.' On Tuesday, President Trump makes a speech stating that cutting off imports to Iran represents 'crippling economic sanctions.'"
       ~ Bruce Berlin commenting on Don Boudreaux's post 'No Sign of Intelligent Life'
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Saturday, 13 July 2019

"If students learn to think rationally and scientifically and to value themselves and their intellectual independence, the culture will come to reflect that. But if education fails in this task, the culture will degrade, with ... more willing to follow authority. Such a nation will not remain free for long." #QotD


“For Ayn Rand, a nation’s long-term direction is set not by today’s political headlines and debates, but by the ideas and ideals that come to dominate its culture. Above all else, such dominance depends on trends in a nation’s educational systems, which train young minds and impart fundamental ideas and convictions. If students learn to think rationally and scientifically and to value themselves and their intellectual independence, the culture will come to reflect that. But if education fails in this task, the culture will degrade, with succeeding generations less able to think and to deal with the abstract requirements of life and more willing to follow authority. Such a nation will not remain free for long."
        ~ from an introduction to an interview with Ayn Rand on the value of education

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Friday, 12 July 2019

"Define 'low-income workers' any way you wish and you will find that, by pricing them out of the labour market, a minimum-wage hike decreased some of these workers’ incomes to $0." #QotD


"You mistake the term low-income workers' for a relevant category with well-defined, objective boundaries. But no such category here exists.
    "Which persons are we to classify as 'low-income workers'? Are they all people currently working for $17.75 per hour or less? Or are they all people working or actively looking for work at $17.75 per hour or less? What about all people who are working for $18.00 per hour or less? Or all people who are working for $18.25 per hour or less? Or $18.50 per hour or less?
    "And what do you count as income? Wages only? Wages plus fringe benefits? And do you or don’t you count as 'income' the value to each worker of on-the-job training and work experience?
    "Does your category 'low-income workers' include only full-time workers, or does it include also part-time workers? And how do you handle variations across jobs in the availability of overtime work?
    "There are no 'scientific' or objective answers to these (and many other similar) questions – meaning, there is no objective boundary separating 'low-income workers' from other workers...
    "Define 'low-income workers' any way you wish and you will find that, by pricing them out of the labour market, a minimum-wage hike decreased some of these workers’ incomes to $0."

        ~ Don Boudreaux, from 'Another Open Letter to Thomas Hutcheson
[NB: Numbers changed to reflect NZ rates.]
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Thursday, 11 July 2019

"The riotous counter-culturalists of the Sixties and Seventies demanded freedom. Fast forward to 2019, and that historic human instinct to be left alone in liberty has been replaced by a needy and therapeutic politics of recognition." #QotD


"The riotous counter-culturalists of the Sixties and Seventies demanded freedom. They didn’t give a damn what the ‘moral majority’ thought of them — they just wanted the moral majority to leave them alone.
    "Fast forward to 2019, and that historic human instinct to be left alone in liberty has been replaced by a needy and therapeutic politics of recognition." 

          ~ Brendan O'Neill, from his op-ed 'Why I'm Sick of Pride'
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Wednesday, 10 July 2019

"Modern education not only corrupts the heart of our youth, by the rigid slavery to which it condemns them, it also undermines their reason, by the unintelligible jargon with which they are overwhelmed." Bonus #QotD


"Modern [state] education not only corrupts the heart of our youth, by the rigid slavery to which it condemns them, it also undermines their reason, by the unintelligible jargon with which they are overwhelmed in the first instance, and the little attention that is given to accommodating their pursuits to their capacities in the second. ...
    "There is not in the world a truer object of pity than a child terrified at every glance, and watching with anxious uncertainty the caprices of a pedagogue."

~ William Godwin, from his 1783 tract An Account of the Seminary that will be Opened on Monday the Fourth Day of August, at Epsom in Surrey, for the Instruction of Twelve Pupils
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"Architecture is a building conceived from an idea or vision of good living" #QotD




"So to a definition: ... [architecture] is a building based on a concept of good living conditions... building conceived from an idea or vision of good living...
   "This vision, then is translated into reality by qualities of surface, space, structure and psyche. I could be more fashionable and even more alliterative by calling the last item 'soul.' Perhaps it is best to average it out and settle on 'spirit'..."

       ~ Australian architect Robin Boyd, writing in his manifesto Living in Australia

[Pics of Robin Boyd House by Darren Bradley, from Robin Boyd Foundation and Australia Post Collectables. Cross-posted at the Organon Architecture blog.]

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Tuesday, 9 July 2019

"If NZ's political class had looked to the history of gun control efforts they would have seen they were walking a well-trodden path that leads to a dead end. But then again, if they had enough foresight to know that ill-considered restrictions on personal liberty are usually counterproductive and often breed rebellion, they probably wouldn't have gone into government." Bonus #QotD


"Once again, responding to a horrendous crime by inflicting knee-jerk, authoritarian restrictions on innocent people proves to be an ineffective means of convincing people to obey. Specifically, New Zealand's government—which also stepped up censorship and domestic surveillance after bloody attacks on two Christchurch mosques earlier this year—is running into stiff resistance to new gun rules from firearms owners who are slow to surrender now-prohibited weapons and will probably never turn them in...
    "As of last week, only around 700 weapons had been turned over. There are an estimated 1.5 million guns—with an unknown number subject to the new prohibition on semiautomatic firearms—in the country overall...
    "Officials should have seen it coming...
    "Arguably, defiant gun owners are just being realistic in seeing little to gain by obeying restrictive laws that have their greatest impact on those who pose no threat to their neighbours...
    "If New Zealand's political class had looked to the history of gun control efforts they would have seen that they were walking a well-trodden path that leads to a dead end. But then again, if they had enough foresight to know that ill-considered restrictions on personal liberty are usually counterproductive and often breed rebellion, they probably wouldn't have gone into government."

        ~ Jerome Tuccille writing in Reason magazine
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"Without contraries is no progression." ~ William Blake #QotD


"Without contraries is no progression." 
        ~ William Blake, from 'The Marriage of Heaven & Hell'
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Monday, 8 July 2019

"No, you cannot claim both to be a victim and to have the right to sacrifice others in your quest for some form of justice. You are not a victim if you make other people victims; you are a bully." #QotD


"No, you cannot claim both to be a victim and to have the right to sacrifice others in your quest for some form of justice. You are not a victim if you make other people victims; you are a bully."
          ~ Per Bylund
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Friday, 5 July 2019

"The reason renewables can’t power modern civilisation is because they were never meant to." #QotD



"Germany’s renewables experiment is over.
    "By 2025 it will have spent $580B to make electricity nearly 2x more expensive & 10x more carbon-intensive than France’s.
    "The reason renewables can’t power modern civilisation is because they were never meant to." 
~ Mike Shellenberger, from his article:
'The Reason Renewables Can't Power Modern Civilisation Is Because They Were Never Meant To'
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Thursday, 4 July 2019

"America, born of the Enlightenment, is the first nation founded on the principle that man the individual has a fundamental, inalienable right to his own life, and that government’s responsibility is to protect that right… that the people act by right, while the government acts by permission." Bonus #QotD


"The birth of the United States of America represents a towering and unprecedented philosophical achievement. America, born of the Enlightenment, is the first nation founded on the principle that man the individual has a fundamental, inalienable right to his own life, and that government’s responsibility is to protect that right… that the people act by right, while the government acts by permission."
        ~ Mike LaFerrara, from his post 'July 4, 1776: Words that Will Never Be Erased'

“It is . . . from the perspective of the bloody millennia of mankind's history . . . that I want you to look at the birth of a miracle: the United States of America. If it is ever proper for men to kneel, we should kneel when we read the Declaration of Independence."
        ~ Ayn Rand, from her article 'A Nation's Unity'
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“The cavemen had the same natural resources at their disposal as we have today, and the difference between their standard of living and ours is a difference between the knowledge they could bring to bear on those resources and the knowledge used today.” #QotD


“The cavemen had the same natural resources at their disposal as we have today, and the difference between their standard of living and ours is a difference between the knowledge they could bring to bear on those resources and the knowledge used today.”
          ~ Thomas Sowell
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Wednesday, 3 July 2019

"Today that conformism is not imposed by any Big Brother-style regime of either the right or left. Indeed, when the state intervenes to suppress free speech for heretics, it is often at the behest of the illiberal liberals of the Twittermob. For Orwell’s ‘2-minute hate,’ we might substitute their 240-character bile-filled tweets." Bonus #QotD


"[Today's] liberal intelligentsia is exhibiting a particularly ‘Orwellian’ trait: uncritical political conformism, and an intolerance of alternative or heretical views. Today that conformism is not imposed by any Big Brother-style regime of either the right or left. Indeed, when the state intervenes to suppress free speech for heretics, it is often at the behest of the illiberal liberals of the Twittermob. For Orwell’s ‘two-minute hate,’ we might substitute their 240-character bile-filled tweets.
    "The future may not have turned out to look like ... ‘a boot stamping on a human face – forever.’ But the liberal Thought Police are nonetheless a powerful force in contemporary society, enforcing the conformist culture of ‘You can’t say that’ by using the less violent methods of language control that Orwell described..." 
~ Mick Hume, from his article on the 70th anniversary of Nineteen Eighty-Four: 'What is the real ‘Orwellian nightmare’ now?'
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"There are two sides to every issue: one side is right and the other is wrong, but the middle is always evil.” #QotD



"There are two sides to every issue: one side is right and the other is wrong, but the middle is always evil.”
~ Ayn Rand
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Tuesday, 2 July 2019

"A list of U.S. products to buy? How in the world does Trump come up with such a list? It would be difficult to find a better example of the mindset of a central planner than that." Bonus #QotD


"In announcing that the U.S. and China are resuming trade talks, President Trump ... said that during the negotiations, the United States would keep a 25 percent duty on $250 billion of Chinese goods and that he would give China a list of U.S. products to buy.
    "A list of U.S. products to buy? How in the world does Trump come up with such a list? How does he know what China wants? What if China isn’t interested in buying those particular things? It doesn’t matter, at least not to Trump. What matters to him is that he knows which particular U.S. products he wants sold and is forcing China to buy them as part of the agreement to return to the negotiating table.
    "It would be difficult to find a better example of the mindset of a central planner than that."

        ~ Jacob Hornberger, from his post 'Trump’s Socialist Mindset on Trade'
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"When you quell speech you quell thought. When you quell thought, you suffocate progress." #QotD


"Intellectual activities, by themselves, cannot take something from someone else. ... Intellectual activities cannot violate others' rights...
    “As Thomas Jefferson said: 'It does me no injury, for my neighbour to say there are 20 gods or no God. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg' ...
    "Freedom of action, without freedom of mind, is pointless at best. At worst, it is destructive...
    "Good thinking makes for good living...
    "The freedom to act is useless without the freedom to think... When the state limits your physical actions, it neuters your mind...
    "The reason to respect freedom is the value of the mind. Man survives by using his wit, his reason - freedom is reason’s pre-condition. When you quell speech you quell thought. When you quell thought, you suffocate progress."

~ Tara Smith, summarised from her presentation at #OCON2019

Monday, 1 July 2019

"The PC elites claim to love diversity, but there’s one kind of diversity they despise: diversity of opinion. If you hold a view they disapprove of, they will destroy you. When it comes to thought and speech they don’t want diversity — they want conformity." Bonus #QotD


"The PC elites claim to love diversity, but there’s one kind of diversity they despise: diversity of opinion. If you hold a view they disapprove of, they will destroy you. When it comes to thought and speech they don’t want diversity — they want conformity."
          ~ Brendan O'Neill, on Sky UK
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"It's interesting that the people who believe that throwing a milkshake in someone's face shouldn't be considered assault are often the same people who believe that 'saying things' should be." #QotD


"It's interesting that the people who believe that throwing a milkshake in someone's face shouldn't be considered assault are often the same people who believe that 'saying things' should be."
          ~ Ricky Gervais
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Friday, 28 June 2019

“I don’t believe in colleges and universities. I believe in libraries because most students don’t have any money. When I graduated from high school, it was during the Depression and we had no money. I couldn’t go to college, so I went to the library three days a week for 10 years.” #QotD


“I don’t believe in colleges and universities. I believe in libraries because most students don’t have any money. When I graduated from high school, it was during the Depression and we had no money. I couldn’t go to college, so I went to the library three days a week for 10 years.”
        ~ Ray Bradbury, author and screenwriter

[Hat tip Vinay Kolhatkar]
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Thursday, 27 June 2019

"This move toward a lengthy, one-size-fits-all, broad-based compulsory schooling is hailed as Progressivism’s greatest achievement. This is 'social engineering'—the use of centralised planning to manage social change and regulate the future development of a society."


"This move toward a lengthy, one-size-fits-all, broad-based schooling -- and today, in 135 countries, compulsory -- is hailed as Progressivism’s greatest achievement. This is 'social engineering'—the use of centralised planning to manage social change and regulate the future development of a society."
        ~ Vinay Kolhatkar, from his post 'Why Education Must Be Freed From Social Engineering'
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Wednesday, 26 June 2019

In support of voluntary euthanasia


Given the vote on David Seymour's End-of-Life Choice Bill happens this afternoon, it's a good time to repost my original submission in support of the Bill.

Pass it on...
Submission on the End of Life Choice Bill 2017
To: Justice Committee
This submission is from Peter Cresswell
I do not wish to appear before the committee to speak to my submission.
I can be contacted at peter.organon@gmail.com

1. This submission is in support of the End of Life Choice Bill 2017. I support this Bill because it is my right to peacefully live my life – or end it – as I see fit. 

2. I wish to make the following general comments, concluding with specific recommendations. 

General

3. It has been said that the best test of government might be that it allows people free to choose their own way of life — just as long as they don’t initiate force or fraud upon others. Another test, it has been argued, is how it treats the most vulnerable.

4. Both measures, both standards, are strictly on point in this Bill. This Bill will properly protect the right of every vulnerable patient to choose. Specifically, their right to choose the means of ending their own life.

The right to choose

5. A right recognises the ‘moral space’ in which one can act — or can authorise action taken on one’s behalf. The right to life that every living human being enjoys includes as an unflinching corollary that every human being bears the right to end that life. The job of parliament is to recognise that right, and protect that moral space.

6. We must all die one day. Reality makes that choice for all of us. What ailing patients seek however is simply the right to bring that day forward when the sufferings of their ailment makes extension of their life unbearable. They demand the right to make that choice for themselves – and it is within the power of this parliament to recognise that right.

7. That this decision is the most crucial of their lives – and could not be more irrevocable — means it could not be more important for parliament to recognise and protect that right. No choice could be more important in an individual life; nobody more vulnerable more deserves the protection of proper law.

8. That the choice is irrevocable demands that proper safeguards against abuse are put in place (and I comment on that below). That the choice is a reflection of right means it demands legal recognition.

Arguments against

9. It may be argued, and has been, that there is a religious or moral proscription against taking one’s own life. But even if one were to agree with this view, as a decreasing number of people do, it must be recognised that where there is no choice — where that choice, for example, has been barred by law — then neither can there be a moral action. 

10. Yet if one follows religious doctrine, as many who hold this view do, then one must recognise that the Creator created human beings complete with the faculty of free will, and for precisely this reason: to give to human beings the ability to make moral choices. But to remove the possibility of choice by law is to remove the very possibility of morality that the Creator had enacted. Rather than the religionist protecting the choice of the Creator in whom they believe, they are instead betraying it. And the choice of legislators is instead substituted for that of the person whose moral space it rightly is.

11. As the British theologian Pelagius famously recognised sixteen centuries ago, we are each granted the moral capacity to choose, and it is only through the exercise of that capacity that moral action is possible. In other words, morality ends where compulsion begins. 

12. The point being that without it being possible to make the choice to be (allegedly) immoral, then neither is there the choice to be moral.

13. There are honest folk who remain of the view however that a patient makes an immoral act in choosing to end their own life. Very well. But this view, however honestly held, must not and cannot overmaster that of the person who holds an opposing view, and whose life it is on which their choice rests.

14. That choice makes no demands upon others beyond seeking their voluntary assistance – and the right of medical staff to refuse that assistance must also be protected (and I believe that the provisions of clause 6xxx do so). 

15. If it is true that there is a religious or moral proscription against taking one’s own life, then those with that outlook must be free to make their choices based upon that presumption.  But if I or others choose to end my life, or seek help to end it, this choice – this right! – in no way affects them, or demands that they make the same choice. To paraphrase one of history’s great statesmen, it neither picks their pocket nor breaks their leg, nor takes away their own right to make their own choice in the matter

Voluntary Euthanasia

16. It should not be forgotten that the argument here, and the legislation in whose case it is being made, is for voluntary euthanasia: for people to have the right to make the and carry out the choice to end their own lives, and not that of another. In that, there is and can be no right. That would remove choice, not protect it. That would give force to a power beyond right.

17. Yet it must be observed, and can be every day in every hospital and nursing home in the country that the present law already supports this power beyond right -- ad hoc nod-and-a-wink decisions being made on behalf of others every day, with the most benevolent of intentions it is true, but without any safeguards beyond the probity of the practitioners; the best of whom are left to guess at what would be the real wishes of folk — as medical staff must — because they are barred by law from talking explicitly about this most crucial decision.

18. Being so crucial, so final, it is imperative that there are proper safeguards put in place to protect those making the decision against 
1.     being bullied into it by others;
2.     having the decision taken out of their hands; or
3.     making a decision without proper contemplation.

19. I believe it is possible to put proper legal safeguards in place that will give proper protection in all three cases. These may include all or some of the following:
1.     The patient must affirm the decision several times before several different witnesses. There is no necessity for these affirmations to be made with or even in the presence of medical staff, and nor should the opinion of medical staff be allowed to outweigh that of the patient. The law should protect against undue delay in these repeated affirmations. 
2.     As a minimum however, the Bill should allow sign off of this choice by 2 doctors and a psychiatrist. But the opinion of medical staff must not be allowed to outweigh that of the patient.
3.     The Bill should allowing the set-up for the means of euthanasia to be done by others, and (where possible) the final ‘button’ to be pushed by the patient. Thus, at the final moment, the actions taken by practitioners would solely be one of assistance, not of the euthanasia itself.

Recommendations

20. Section 4. Meaning of person who is eligible for assisted dying
 The right of any New Zealand citizen to make their own choice in this matter must be preserved. We recommend the retention of clauses 4a, 4b and 4f. The other clauses in this section remove the right of choice, and should be removed.

21. Section 6, Conscientious Objection
This is a most important section, protecting the right of refusal by practitioners. I strongly support its inclusion, and that of section 7, and even strengthening.

22. Sections 8 to 13, Request and Opinions
While understanding the reasons for the process described herein, I argue that the process calls for unnecessary delay and (crucially) leaves the opinion on termination in the hands of anyone but the patient in question. This is wrong, and should be remedied. The only opinion that matters, in the end, must be that of the patient. We recommend instead that a process be put in place to record before suitable witnesses a series of the patients’ un-coerced affirmations of their wish, and no more.

23. Section 16
The section talks of medication being “administered.” I argue that, for any patient able to administer it themselves, that the medication and means of delivery be made available to the patient in as simple a mechanism as possible for their own administration of the lethal dose. This provides the ultimate safeguard against a coerced termination.

“Dogs do not have many advantages over people, but one of them is extremely important: euthanasia is not forbidden by law in their case; animals have the right to a merciful death.” #QotD


“Dogs do not have many advantages over people, but one of them is extremely important: euthanasia is not forbidden by law in their case; animals have the right to a merciful death.”
          ~ Milan Kundera, The Unbearable Lightness of Being.

Monday, 24 June 2019

Saturday, 22 June 2019

"The turn of the credit cycle and the rise of American protectionism was the same combination that led to the Wall Street crash in 1929-32 & the depression that followed. History is rhyming, though few connect the dots." #QotD


"The turn of the credit cycle and the rise of American protectionism was the same combination that led to the Wall Street crash in 1929-32 and the depression that both accompanied and followed it. Those who follow statistics are now seeing the depressing evidence that history is rhyming, though they have yet to connect the dots."
          ~ Alasdair McLeod, from his post 'For those who don’t understand inflation'
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Thursday, 20 June 2019

"Most people use 'right' and 'left' journalistically: to designate shifting bundles of social-political beliefs and attitudes. It’s important to remember that there are other positions completely outside the [bundles]." #QotD


"Most people use 'right' and 'left' journalistically: to designate shifting bundles of social-political beliefs and attitudes. The bundles are usually not internally coherent. So more analytic thinkers try to bring order out of mush by identifying multiple dimensions of contrast: individual versus collective, liberty versus authority, majority- versus minority-rule, etc. They abandon the simple one-dimensional left-right spectrum and use Venn Diagrams and other arrays better to capture the realities. And/or they add adjectives to clarify the genus-species relations...
    "Yes, there are differences within conservatism and between conservatives and the left. But national conservatism overlaps with national socialism which overlaps with international socialism. And when drawing the Venn Diagrams to clarify who belongs inside which circle, it’s important to remember that there are other positions completely outside the circles."

          ~ Stephen Hicks, from his post 'Against the new post-2016-Trump right too'
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Wednesday, 19 June 2019

The political function of 'the right of free speech' is to protect dissenters and unpopular minorities from forcible suppression—not to guarantee them the support, advantages and rewards of a popularity they have not gained" #QotD



"It is forgotten that the right of free speech means the freedom to advocate one’s views and to bear the possible consequences, including disagreement with others, opposition, unpopularity and lack of support. The political function of 'the right of free speech' is to protect dissenters and unpopular minorities from forcible suppression—not to guarantee them the support, advantages and rewards of a popularity they have not gained... 
    "The right to agree with others is not a problem in any society. It is the right to disagree that is crucial." 
          ~ Ayn Rand, from her articles 'Man's Rights' and 'What Is Capitalism?'
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Tuesday, 18 June 2019

"Under the principle enacted by 'hate speech' laws, the individual is no longer free to think and express his thoughts. Instead, he must seek every collective’s permission before speaking, making sure that no one is offended by his ideas and that no one takes his ideas as reason to hate anyone or anything." #QotD


"Under the principle enacted by 'hate speech' laws, the individual is no longer free to think and express his thoughts. Instead, he must seek every collective’s permission before speaking, making sure that no one is offended by his ideas and that no one takes his ideas as reason to hate anyone or anything...
    "'Hate speech' laws, however, are not the creation of the public but of academics and intellectuals. The reason such laws are becoming more and more widespread is that Western culture is losing its knowledge of why free speech is a value...
    "Free speech rests on the idea that knowledge is a value and that to be reached, it requires a sovereign, independent mind choosing to exercise its powers of reason. The value of free speech, in other words, rests on a specific view of the human mind. The dominant voices in the humanities today uphold an opposing view."

          ~ Onkar Ghate in an interview with The Undercurrent,
             collected in the book Defending Free Speech
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Monday, 17 June 2019

"For Democrats climate is just virtue signalling — there are no numbers allowed. With climate, the only answer is 'Yes.' Should we spend $2 billion or $10 Trillion? 'Yes'." #QotD


"For Democrats climate is just virtue signalling — there are no numbers allowed. With climate, the only answer is 'Yes.' Should we spend $2 billion or $10 Trillion? 'Yes.'...
    "Democrats want voters to 'say yes to [stopping] climate change' but not to discuss the non-existent cost benefits. As I’ve said many times, the voters may 'believe' the climate is changing but they don’t care enough to pay for it. Only 3% of Americans name 'environment' as top issue. When it comes to funding, almost half, 42%, of US adults don’t even want to pay a paltry, pathetic, $12 a year to stop climate change. Globally, 63% don’t want their dollars spent on the environment…
    "Climate change is a badge people want to wear but not to pay or vote for..." 
~ Jo Nova, from her post 'Why the Democrats don’t want a debate about climate change'
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