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Q&A Monday #4: Answering Questions from Readers of Culturcidal
Age limits on Congress, Geoengineering, Fave Bible Verses, what's wrong with medical care
Back in the day, when I ran Right Wing News, I did over 100 Q&A Fridays. Those consisted of me giving the audience a chance to ask me just about anything they wanted to know and since people seemed to love asking questions back then, I thought I’d see if people enjoyed doing the same thing on Culturcidal.
After giving the audience a chance to ask questions yesterday, here are the ones I answered. If you enjoyed this and you want it to be a monthly thing on Culturcidal, let me know in the comments section. I love doing these and will keep it up as long as I think the audience is there.
“What are some practical ways to effectively reach and teach young people about good ideas (vs. destructive ideas)?” -- Bill Smith
Kids are like sponges. They’re going soak up what they see around them. So, are mom and dad together as a couple and as people? Do they have grandparents looking out for them and setting a good example? Are they going to church? Do they have healthy adult role models at school, coaching them, or otherwise in their lives? Is their entertainment wholesome and does it reinforce the values you want them to have? Are they being told how important it is to work hard, study hard, and achieve regularly? There are no guarantees, but if this is a description of your kid, they’re probably on the right track.
Then there’s the flip side of that.
Maybe mom and dad aren’t together, don’t get along, and aren’t good role models. Maybe the other adults around them are also bad role models, trying to take advantage of them or talking to them about the importance of gender pronouns. Maybe they’re not going to church or being fed good values. Maybe they’re learning their values from Reddit, Twitter, online pornography, Grand Theft Auto, and Game of Thrones. You grow up in this kind of moral decay and chaos and unless you happen to be one of the few people that instinctively finds it repulsive, you’re probably in trouble.
It’s not easy in the modern world, but if you make sure your kid grows up in a healthy, structured, traditional environment you’re going to give them their best shot at succeeding.
PS: If I didn’t mention that I wrote a book called, 101 Things All Young Adults Should Know that was top in self-help books on Amazon at one time, I wouldn’t be doing my job as an author. So yes, get that for your kid, too.
“What is your opinion on the chair of the LNC filing for conservatorship over Biden and McConnell? Is that a good step? Or should we add in a separate amendment that puts age requirements or medical and mental testing requirements on congress members 65 or older?” -- Abraham
In case anyone is not sure what he’s referring to, it’s a goof the Libertarian National Committee did on Biden and McConnell:
The Libertarian National Committee is taking urgent action to protect the interests of the American population, with imminent plans to file for conservatorships for President Joe Biden and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell. The clear incapacitation, mental lapses, and deficiencies in decision-making that are clearly observable in numerous, recent, and well-publicized instances necessitate these actions.
That being said, the problem with senile politicians is downstream from the broken way our system of picking leaders works in America.
Over time, because we Americans have increasingly moved to areas where people agree with us politically and because both parties engage in hardcore gerrymandering, we’ve created a system where most politicians are not running in competitive districts.
In fact, once they’re elected, most members of the House and Senate can only lose if they anger the special interest groups on their own side enough for them to fund a primary challenge. This leads to Democrats being mostly hardcore liberals who stay way off to the Left and most Republicans being hardcore conservatives who stay way off to the Right.
Because of this, almost nothing gets done because neither side can afford to cooperate and there’s little benefit to playing to the middle. In other words, things like leadership, wisdom, and character don’t matter. The only thing that matters is that you vote the right way on the right issues, and you get a few bonus points for loud, obnoxious, rhetorical flourishes.
In other words, if you play the game, whether your brain is cottage cheese like John Fetterman, you’re senile like Biden or you’re glitching like Mitch McConnell, you’re still considered an acceptable “leader.”
The way you fix that is by addressing the root of the problem. You can’t force people to move, but ending gerrymandering and attempting to create lots of purple districts that are up for grabs in every state would help a lot.
Combine that with term limits that don’t allow anyone to serve more than two terms in the House, Senate, and presidency and you’d start to see the cream rise to the top instead of career politicians, Twitter blowhards, and rest-home grandpas with name recognition dominating our politics.
"John, do you think you could cover the idea of how both the insurance industry and government interference have impacted medical care in the United States?
I came across a concept a while back where premiums are paid directly to the doctor or hospital system, with no insurance middlemen or state bureaucrats involved. I think it's called "direct primary care."
The flip side is hospitals currently being run as for-profit enterprises. Reading stories about a hospital getting an endowment or grant for new equipment, and then charging patients an arm and a leg for using said equipment is infuriating... Or nursing staff gets cut back to beat budget, when the administration just got a pay raise, or a wing just got renovated..." -- Pete
The more the government gets involved in the market, the more screwed up the market becomes. That’s the case in healthcare, just like it is in everything else.
Think about the system we have. The government forces doctors to treat Medicare patients cheaper than the going rate which has to be passed on to non-Medicare patients, refuses to let insurers sell across state lines, doesn’t allow insurance to be portable, caters to lawyers by making it extremely easy to sue and forces hospitals to treat illegal aliens who aren’t even supposed to be in this country for free, then allows them in by the millions.
Meanwhile, they force you to get coverage while forcing the insurance companies to cover things you don’t need. Then, on top of that, there’s another layer of dysfunction driven by greedy drug companies that encourage doctors to focus on treating the symptoms and not curing the disease, a bizarre disinterest in nutrition by the medical establishment, and arcane insurance rules.
We have the best medical system in the world if you have an acute injury, but it’s expensive and annoying. Could it be a lot better? Absolutely, but there’s no consideration being given to the real way to make it much better, which would be to make it much more market-driven – which makes no sense.
Everything the government touches is a disaster while over time, we’ve seen all kinds of products that were initially for rich people become cheap enough for regular people to buy, but no one thinks that medical care can just be market driven. Why not? Why shouldn’t you be able to price shop operations at different hospitals or cut a deal with a hospital directly for “insurance” that covers anything that comes up?
What it all comes down to is that medical care is like dozens of other things in America. The system could be easily improved, but the people who profit from it the way it is or who just want to make it worse because of some ideological pipedream are blocking real fixes for the system.
“What are some of your favorite Bible verses?” -- Ann H.
I could do a whole article on this and probably will someday, but here are 5 of my favorites:
"Jabez cried out to the God of Israel, 'Oh, that you would bless me and enlarge my territory! Let your hand be with me and keep me from harm so that I will be free from pain.' And God granted his request." -- 1 Chronicles 4:10
“45 Then David said to the Philistine, ‘You come to me with a sword and with a spear and with a javelin, but I come to you in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. 46 This day the Lord will deliver you into my hand, and I will strike you down and cut off your head. And I will give the dead bodies of the host of the Philistines this day unto the birds of the air and to the wild beasts of the earth, that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel, 47 and that all this assembly may know that the Lord saves not with sword and spear. For the battle is the Lord’s, and he will give you into our hand.” -- 1 Samuel 17:45-47
"For whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap." -- Galatians 6:7
"They sow the wind and reap the whirlwind." -- Hosea 8:7
"Do not give what is holy to the dogs, nor cast your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you in pieces." -- Matthew 7:6
Do you think you could examine the dangers of compromise in regard to modern political discourse? I recently noticed certain supposed "conservative" personalities (grifters, in my opinion) who seemed to espouse the idea that might makes right, and "what does it matter if you stand for your principles if you lose doing it?" They don't seem to realize the end is the same. Either we lose by maintaining our integrity, or we lose by compromising little by little, until the rest of the world can't tell us and our opponents apart.
Liberals have always been children. They want what they want when they want it and aren’t bothered by “cheating” to get it. However, conservatives sell and view ourselves as the principled, clear-eyed adults in the room who know how to govern. When conservatives throw that away to play the same “the ends justify the means” game as liberals, we may win a temporary victory here and there, but we are destined to lose badly. Some of us just aren’t going to go along with it, liberals do it better anyway because it’s their nature, it undercuts the whole reason most Americans respect conservatism and it turns politics into two sets of poo-flinging monkeys that are mainly distinguished by who they accuse and who they excuse. It’s a huge mistake for anyone, but especially for conservatives.
“Let's assume that global warming is real, that it is significant enough that all humans should be concerned about it because the predictions of melting ice caps and a 10-20 ft rise in the ocean levels seem accurate (I'm trying not to laugh as I write this). What would an appropriate response from the U.S. government be?” -- Keith Cook
If global warming was real, caused by man, and was going to have catastrophic effects (none of which, I agree with based on the junk science that passes for global warming research), we start with a very basic problem. That being, it’s not an American problem per se, it’s a global problem:
Alone, America can’t cut emissions enough to make a difference, and countries like China, India, and most of the rest of that “other 30%” are not going to make big cuts to their emissions because, without cheap power, they’re never going to become as prosperous as the US and EU.
That leaves one real and practical option, which is geoengineering.
These are basically large-scale projects designed to impact the climate. That would involve doing things like, “spraying tiny particles called sulfate aerosols into the atmosphere to reflect away sunlight,” massively “supporting the growth of phytoplankton,” which convert CO2 into oxygen through photosynthesis, or capturing enormous amounts of, “CO2 from the air.”
Of course, this would be extremely expensive, but the real problem with it is that despite all these confident proclamations we hear from people about what the climate will look like in 100 years, we have no idea what we’re doing.
As a species, we know just enough about the climate to be dangerous and we’re probably more likely to achieve nothing or alternately create some type of climate disaster with geoengineering than we are to “fix” the climate.
In other words, this is worth studying since it’s the only practical tool we have in our toolbox if we need to change the climate, but we’re nowhere close to being ready to try something like this as a species.