Friday, March 26, 2010

Thoughts on Conservative Reactions to Health Care Bill

I was listening to the Dennis Miller radio show the other night and he was wringing his hands over the passage of the health care bill. He was of the opinion that this was a sign that the US would be going the way of the Roman Empire and would essentially be the end of civilization as we know it.

I admit to being completely puzzled by this attitude -- is allowing countless numbers of people to die in one of the richest nations on Earth simply because of a lack of funds to get adequate health care the mark of a civilized society? Is valuing money over people's very lives the mark of an enlightened and advanced society? I think not.

Miller went on to say that he believed guaranteed health care for all citizens was a bad thing because it would make people "lose their motivation to 'hustle'".

Again, I don't understand this reasoning. For one thing, all citizens deserve access to adequate health care simply because they are human beings, not because they work to "earn" it. Secondly, access to medical care is one of the basic tools that allows people to work hard in whatever endeavors they choose. It's hard to work up the motivation to "hustle" when you're sick and exhausted. Thirdly, having one's basic survival needs guaranteed will not kill people's desires to achieve and get ahead in life; as long as there are cars, electronic gadgets, luxury homes, season tickets to ball games, and so on to work for, people will be motivated to work. And for some lucky people in meaningful, creative jobs, work is its own reward well beyond the financial remuneration.

Another right-winger, Neal Boortz, said that he thought it was "too bad" for people who did not have health insurance, especially those who were denied because of pre-existing conditions, but that it wasn't his problem and that he considered having to pay taxes to help such people to be "stealing" his money. He also think it's an insurance company's right to deny such people as they don't make money off such people. Obviously, the making of money is the most important concern to him. I don't know how the man sleeps at night, knowing that people are needlessly dying, but that's not how I was raised.

Boortz not only is against the current health care reform; he also thinks that the current system is too lenient. He believes that all preventive and routine care, including pre-natal care, should not be covered by insurance; that it should be reserved only for catastrophic care. He has stated that those people who cannot afford to pay for pre-natal care out of their own pockets shouldn't be having children, anyway.

Never mind that access to preventive care is cheaper in the long run, as it often helps to prevent more serious and expensive problems down the line.

The new health care bill isn't perfect; far from it. But it's a start in the right direction.


Tuesday, March 23, 2010

The Right to Adultery

Monday, March 1, 2010

Study Claims That Liberalism, Atheism, and Sexual Exclusivity in Men Correlate With Higher IQs

A new study, which will be published in the March 2010 issue of Social Psychology Quarterly, has claimed that higher IQs, on average, are correlated with liberalism, atheism, and sexual exclusivity in men (but not in women!).

I buy the first two correlations, as I'm liberal and agnostic bordering on atheist, but I strongly beg to differ on the last correlation. I have never been sexually exclusive with anyone in the 30+ years I've been sexually active, yet I had the highest IQ in my high school graduating class (140). I know this because the guidance counselor made a point of telling me so shortly before I graduated.

The reasoning given was that sexual exclusivity in men, liberalism and atheism all go against what would be expected given humans' evolutionary past.

Sexual exclusivity goes against the grain evolutionarily. With a goal of spreading genes, early men had multiple mates, which helped the human species survive

George Washington University leadership professor James Bailey said that these preferences may stem from a desire to show superiority or elitism, which also has to do with IQ. In fact, aligning oneself with "unconventional" philosophies such as liberalism or atheism may be "ways to communicate to everyone that you're pretty smart."

I see several things wrong with the inclusion of sexual exclusivity as a factor involved in higher intelligence. First of all, sexual activity and reproduction are no longer inextricably linked; thus promiscuity no longer necessarily means that a man will sire large amounts of children. Secondly, no libertine worth his salt, myself included, sleeps with a large variety of women with the desire to "spread our genes around." I've had hundreds of partners in my lifetime, yet I've managed to sire only one child.

Considering that every male celebrity who strays from his marriage now garners widespread societal disapproval and extensive publicity, I'd hardly say that sexual exclusivity is no longer an "unconventional" idea for men. Sexual exclusivity for both sexes has been one of our society's most sacred of cows for quite some time now, regardless of human nature.

Indeed, to be openly and unashamedly non-monogamous is now an unconventional philosophy in our current society.

And in light of the fact that it was religion that imposed monogamy on society in the first place and a large part of being religious today is to accept and adhere to the idea of sexual exclusivity with a single mate, it would seem as if intentionally non-monogamous lifestyles would be more accepted among liberals and atheists.

An interesting study to be sure, but one with a lot of holes in it.


Why I Hate "Live" Albums