Steve_Spirgis's blog

Responsibility and Hurricane Harvey

One of the key parts of any functioning, modern government is the institutions that serve the needs of citizens. The government, therefore, generally relies on the good-faith participation of those at the helm, under the assumption that the polity isn't going to elect anyone so crooked, so clueless, so violently ignorant that they simply refuse to do their [bleep]ing job.

Ladies and Gentlemen of Isocracy, I give you: Donald Trump, and the incipient calamity of Hurricane Harvey, with all relevant government institutions headless, clueless, and practically penniless.

Medicare: A Line in the Sand

If your preferred system of economics permits and ignores situations like this, then your politics have failed. If your ideology permits and accepts situation like this, then your ethics and basic humanity have failed.

Humans matter more than 'the economy' matters. Bring the economy into line with human needs, rather than bringing humans into line with economic needs.
If you disagree with this, you are wrong, and I condemn you.

TW: Hospitals, blood, death, various unacceptable badnesses.

Steve's Universal Healthcare System

In the teeth of my recent statements about making policy suggestions and how I shouldn't do it, I'm going to do it.

Steve's Universal Healthcare System:

1) Everyone who walks into the doors of a hospital gets treated. No exceptions, no refusals for any reason. Humans in need get treatment and care, where 'treatment and care' is acknowledged to mean 'any medical service, operation, or prescription recommended and offered by licensed medical staff.'

The Future is Kinda Boring

I’m just about finished with William Gibson’s The Peripheral. I’m at the penultimate scene, the one just before the climactic blowout. Thematically, this is a perfect place to have stopped, because one of the things the book talks about is life before, and after, the “collapse.” Gibson’s work is all about the future, about how the future feels between your fingers.

Bad Media Habits

If you really want to start cleansing your brain of the bad media habits that are subtly making your life more miserable, the best thing to do is to recognize and behave as though online publishing - not just Natural News or the Blaze, but even the respectable stuff like 538 and Vox or the New York Times, are all scams. All of it. It isn’t that the things they peddle are or aren’t true, either.

Everybody Row!

The problem is that most of the things happening in the world, or even in our own towns, are not things we have power over. We're made to be emotionally invested in things we can't solve, can't fix. "A fatal car accident today left three dead, including two children." It's awful, but it's also over. What does it mean for us to know it? Our own social support systems already exist for this kind of thing. If we needed to know, if it were someone important to us, we'd find out.

Edward Snowden represents more than another crack in the United States' security culture.

It is disheartening to watch the panic of the Obama administration as it attempts to have it both ways. It has spent the last week shrugging off Edward Snowden as a mere sellout with only middling access to privileged information, all the while moving heaven and earth to retrieve him. This reaction is not useful to any serious narrative. It gives credence to the notion that Snowden is a spy-for-hire, just looking for a safe haven long enough to unload his cargo of mid-level bureaucratic secrets.

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