I have to admit, every time I encounter someone who considers "libertarian socialism" to be nothing but an "oxymoron" ... I generally attribute the last two syllables to that person, and move onward. There is NOTHING contradictory between a belief in liberty, and the opinion that some things can be accomplished through consensus and agreement among the members of a community. It happens every day, in neighborhoods all over the place, and much of what we call the "free market" is based on such mutual agreements.
A cadaveric kidney comes from a dead person and in the majority of cases in China, the dead people are prisoners, which allows for us to know at least two weeks ahead of time when the kidney will be ready.'
The Metafilter discussion includes this interestimg comment:
Devil's Advocate here. If organs were bought and sold on an open
market, the profit motive would bring more organs to the market, and
save more lives. The most cost effective source of new organs would
probably not be death row inmates or third world innocents, but first
world people who die accidental deaths. If you knew that checking the
organ donor box on your license could mean a cool $50-100,000 for your
bereaved family, you'd be more likely to do it. Think of it as free
life insurance for the working classes. And since, as several
commenters have pointed out, we are already buying and selling organs
behind the scenes in this country, why not give the families of the the
deceased a cut? It sounds like a win-win-win deal.
My first reaction here was revulsion, but I'm not sure why. (Of course as ever 'this country' without qualification means the US).
Edit: Another comment from the same Metafilter discussion:
The advertising possiblities alone are enormous, and the transaction
fees will be a nice source of profit. If a realtor can get six percent,
certainly a parts broker can get more.
Paging through the future, I see:
We Sell Only Interro-Certified(TM) Kidneys
Our Chairman wishes us to inform you that our highly professional
interrogation staff have been carefully trained to avoid any
interrogation method that could cause risk of damage to the carefully
tagged organs and body parts for which your advance purchase order has
In addition, our Chairman wishes us to advise you that for all organs
and body parts currently on offer, the pre-sale suspects are held in
comfortable surroundings and have not been interrogated in any way that
risks damage or loss of resale value of any parts listed on our website
Please check often as this information is updated frequently.
Our Chairman wishes you to believe that any admission of guilt leading
to the availability of organs or body parts you have purchased will
have been obtained without any damage to those organs or body parts of
the suspect that you are purchasing.
Note that there is a deadline up until which you may add to (but not
reduce) the list of organs or body parts you are purchasing in this
transaction, from those currently listed as on offer. Speculative
purchase for resale is supported by our Special Transactions program.
Furthermore, our Chairman advises you that for certain less common
blood and immune groups, it is wise to pre-order well in advance of
need. Completion of pre-purchase is required to implement our Selective
Enforcement(TM) program. Using the extensive medical records database
kept by our government to locate a potential suspect who has
un-committed available organs and body parts, Selective Enforcement(TM)
focuses attention on the likely suspect in order to establish a basis
on which to acquire the parts you have pre-purchased in a timely way.
Our Chairman wishes you to understand that Guaranteed Timely Delivery is always available on a cost-plus basis.
Thank you for considering InterroCertified(TM) Organs and Parts, a wholly owned subsidiary of General Globalized, Inc.
week at The University of Connecticut, Coulter cut her speech short
when the boos overwhelmed her more manly-than-sexy voice. So, she got
even more pissy and told the audience that “I love to engage in
repartee with people who are stupider than I am.”
one aide in the meeting said. “There is a valid case that the
provisions in this law undermine the Constitution.”
“Stop throwing the Constitution in my face,” Bush screamed back. “It’s just a goddamned piece of paper!”
I’ve talked to three people present for the meeting that day and
they all confirm that the President of the United States called the
Constitution “a goddamned piece of paper.”
Of course as a non-American I don't have quite the same reverence for that particular piece of paper as they do, but for this to come from a Republican seems a quite remarkable demonstration of level to which the Bush Administration has sunk.
If you are even an infrequent visitor to this blog, you will have noticed a certain paucity of posts of late. As ever there are many reasons - I'm trying to have what I believe is called a life, I've been busy with other things, I couldn't think of anything to say. That last is of course not true - I always have something to say but I can't always be arsed to write it down in a reasonably coherent way - such a failing not however stopping 90% of bloggers out there in Blogistan. (Sturgeon's Law applies to blogs too!)
In the end though I don't think I'm obsessive enough to write a daily blog on a single topic - even one as broad and as easy to ridicule as politics. My original intention was to write about communities and community life and I may yet manage to find a way to do that without alienating the people I work with day to day. There isn't much point however in duplicating the excellent blogs from David Wilcox or Kevin Harris on these same issues.
I still have a strong interest in environmental matters, (but see above re obsession) and again there are some excellent blogs - see for example Cool Town Studios (although I do wish they had a different name!) David Sucher's City Comforts, or John Massengale's Veritas et Venustas. I should also point to Philip Stott's Envirospin Watch - not so much because of what he says but as an awful warning to others of where ego and pomposity can take you.
I think part of the problem is that, as I approach 60 I feel the need not to sit back and relax, but to do more and more - and blogging about those things is in reality a diversion from going out and doing them. Not always of course - I often find that it helps me to understand some new concept, some new or different approach if I write something. Even so, when I sit down at the PC I am more likely to fire up Corel Paint or Paint Shop Pro than Word. I could of course write about that very problem - as Ronni Bennett does in her own distinctive way at Time Goes By, showing with every post that passion and age are not negatively correlated.
Where these meanderings will take me I don't know, but I will try to share the journey with you.