Monday morning notions

I am not holding my breath awaiting an Israeli attack on the Iranian nuclear sites. I think Israel will not bomb them without having first disposed of the threat of Hezbollah on its norther frontier and cowed Hamas right next door.

US domestic culture wars: American Libertarians and conservatives are taxing 30-year old law student Sandra Fluke with hypocrisy because she presumable does not want the government to interfere with her right to abortion but she wants someone other than herself to pay for her contraception expenses. I may be old-fashioned but I, personally, would look to her partner or partner to share the costs. When you are poor, your rely on pot-luck dinners.

Some of us are guessing that ultimately, Ms Fluke thinks the government must pay for her expenses although she did not say that in her testimony. I have already expressed myself on this. ( . Personally, I am willing to pay for ms Fluke’s entertainment but I admit that my position is unprincipled.

I suspect our expressions of anger about this assumption of government mandate are all in vain. It’s just a suspicion. Ms Fluke belongs to a generation of Americans that has only known government care, that only thinks of the state as a nanny. We who generally believe things should be otherwise have been impressively unsuccessful. We have not been able to promote the following simple idea: The government does not have any money but what it takes from some people or from all people. This simple idea has no traction among many people I know well. They treat it as propaganda without even trying to counter it with: “Yes, but….” I speculate (again, only speculate) that they feel no need to even think about this simple truth because they believe that somewhere, there are many rich people who are not paying their” fair share,” people who could be made to disgorge if only a little energy were applied. We have been mostly successful at transmitting our skepticism about government but not in this particular respect. We have bred cynicism without a will for reform.

One of my recent readers is surprised that I “bash” Congressman Ron Paul who is competing in the official Republican primary. I have explained my opposition to Congressman Paul several times in extensive essays. (To find them, simply search this blog for titles with the words: “Ron Paul.”) One reason is that I think he is not a Republican all, that he is merely using the Republican Party to serve his nefarious purposes. I suspect that when the time comes, he will give the election to President Obama. Some of his supporters are saying it openly. Many, (I don’t know how many) openly and radically despise democracy. Here is something on the moderate side of Ronpaulism I caught on Facebook on 3/9/12. It’s reproduced exactly.

(I don’t know about the underscore. I don’t know how to remove it. It has no meaning.)

Kelly L. Norman
Taken off Facebook circa3/10/12
If two thugs came up to my door and told me, “One of us is going to beat, rape and rob you. But you have to vote for the one you want to do that”, and I said no, and one of them beat, raped and robbed me anyway, you wouldn’t tell me I had no right to complain about it “because you didn’t vote.” So why do you think I should vote for one of these idiots running and re-running for president? And that I can’t complain if I don’t? If a miracle occurs and Paul gets the nod, I will vote for president. Otherwise, fuggetaboudit.”

Word Press, the outfit that published my blog, recently added a feature that I like a lot: It tells you with a map about readers in different countries. Or rather, it tells you about people in different countries who open specific postings. It’s annoying that one does not ever know how many of those actually read. I wish there were a way to give them a quiz or something!

While most of my putative readers are in the US, as expected, my blog is read pretty much around the clock. I have readers in Hong-Kong, Australia, Japan, and Bangladesh. (I am pretty sure I know one reader in Japan and one in Australia but I have several readers in both countries.) I would be pleased if readers outside the US told me something of themselves. They would not have to identify themselves, of course. Writing is a lonely art. Knowing anything about readers is astonishingly pleasing and encouraging.


About Jacques Delacroix

I am a sociologist, a short-story writer, and a blogger (Facts Matter and Notes On Liberty) in Santa Cruz, California.
This entry was posted in Cultural Studies, Current Events. Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to Monday morning notions

  1. Terry Amburgey says:

    I’m a reader from outside the US, despite what some think Canada is a separate country. I’d be glad to tell you something about me, I’m one of my favorite topics 🙂
    I don’t think that Israel can afford to wait until the threat from Hamas and Hezbollah has been disposed, it would be too tough and time consuming. Especially Hezbollah in the north. There’s a clock ticking with Iran’s nuclear program.

    • jacquesdelacroix says:

      A separate country? If you insist.

      • Terry Amburgey says:

        Lest there be any doubt, take a trip to Quebec sometime. They speak French there! Actually you should. As part of my daughter’s exchange program I had 2 French girls live with us the end of summer & into the fall. They took a trip to Quebec and seem to express some doubt that what was spoken there was actually French.

      • jacquesdelacroix says:

        I don’t seem to get through answering the ersatz Canadian, Prof. Amb’s comment: The only reason ever to apply to government is to force others to do what they wouldn’t do of their own accord. The specific role of government is to coerce. Everything that does not involve coercion can be done better by other institutions.

  2. Terry Amburgey says:
    Just so we’re operating on the same information I’ve linked a transcript of what Sandra Fluke said before congress. Bottom line: she want’s the student health insurance to offer contraception coverage jast as faculty and staff get. I’ve also linked the website from Georgetown University describing the student health insurance plan. Bottom line: students pay for their health insurance just like every other university I’ve known.

    • jacquesdelacroix says:

      Thank you, Terry. And I thought I had corrected myself according to your intervention. It seems to me you think I have not.

      I follow you but then, why in the world was Sandra testifying before Congress? Yous seem to say that he whole issue is between a private organization. the university, and its customers. Right? Why Congress?

  3. Terry Amburgey says:

    Ms. Fluke was testifying as part of political wrangling between democrats and republicans regarding health insurance coverage for contraception. The republicans had staged a male only panel positioning it as religious freedom. The democrats staged one positioning it as women’s health. Democrats seem to have won the framing battle.
    As I recall you amended Ms Fluke wants the government to pay for her contraception to Ms. Fluke wants someone else to pay for her contraception. That’s not my reading of her testimony. My reading is that she wants the student health insurance plan to cover contraception just as the faculty/staff plan. Students pay for health insurance according to the university website. BTW she makes some claims about the cost of birth control pills that are clearly silly but she wasn’t called to talk about health care costs. Thankfully.

  4. jacquesdelacroix says:

    Again: If students pay for their own “health” insurance, why was Ms Fluke testifying before a government entity? Simple question, no?

    On another topic: Of course, I have spent time in Quebec, quite a bit of time, in fact. Once, I went on a long trip along the St Lawrence with my children, looking for a good meal. We never found it. When we reached 1954, the year, I was forced to turn back by a family mutiny. Quebecqers had the nerve to tell me afterwards that I was just on the wrong bank of the river!

    Quebec City itself looks a great deal like the French city of St Malo where I have relatives and where I lived for a short time.

    Occasionally, I watch Quebec-made soap operas on the international French language channel.

    None of this proves anything about independence. Alabama too is interesting, after all!

  5. Terry Amburgey says:

    Hmm, apparently there is a display problem with my earlier post so to again answer the question about why Ms. Fluke was testifying before congress…”Ms. Fluke was testifying as part of political wrangling between democrats and republicans regarding health insurance coverage for contraception. The republicans had staged a male only panel positioning it as religious freedom. The democrats staged one positioning it as women’s health. Democrats seem to have won the framing battle.”
    I’m embarrassed that you have been to Quebec while I’ve not. My kids have but not me or my wife. Someday we’ll go just for the French quisine: poutine!

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