Saturday, July 19, 2008

Breaking News: Bush Devalues Life

The Bush administration has decided what an American life is worth and, guess what – it’s less than it was before.

Thus does the Bush legacy continue: the dollar, your house, our international standing and name it and it has been diminished by what will be known in the history books as the Bush Disaster. After all that, why not the value of life itself? I mean, have you felt at anywhere near 100% while living through this crap for the last seven-and-a-half years?

Of course, the "value of a statistical life" as determined by the Environmental "Protection" Agency (there will be a ceremony to remove the quotation marks on January 20, 2009), like everything else in the politically compromised Bush bureaucracy, has little to do with real life and much to do with the manipulation of information to reach specific big-business goals before the Bush gravy train leaves the station. By valuing each individual life at $7.22 million rather than the former obviously inflated figure of $8.04 million in order to measure the cost-effectiveness of measures that, well, might prevent the killing of humans, the industry flacks in the severely-compromised EPA are able to squeeze an extra $820,000 of leeway to avoid expensive regulations that might save those unfortunate enough to be considered too invaluable to save.

It seems to me some have suffered – at least – public relations difficulty by playing the same not-worth-it analysis when it comes to human life. The Ford Motor Company famously placed a $200,000 value on a human life in 1968 when it came time to calculate whether it was worth it for the company to keep a rolling bomb called the Pinto on the streets (Ford’s answer: yes, it was worth it, and, oh, sorry about your dad.) Maybe the Bush figure is just $200K adjusted for inflation.

Actually, given how the Bushies have treated life as so damn cheap anyway, I thought the EPA figure was a bit high. How does that figure work into our continuing tragedy in Iraq? Let’s see...$7.22M x 4,125 dead soldiers = $29,782,500,000. Holy shit. Does that get added to the national debt, too, now, or what? I think the $7.22M figure is just to make the Bush people look generous and good – they sure didn’t treat all those poor people in New Orleans like they were worth more than a plugged nickel after Katrina.

The only human organisms which they even pretend to give any value at all to are fetuses, potential life that must take precedence over all other considerations, including (especially) those of the fully-grown adult mother. Maybe this is one way to fire up the religious zealot wing of the EPA (every agency now has one) and get them to actually protect the environment. Who cares about the ten thousand post-born threatened by some pollution or other – a hundred or some of them may be carrying the Sacred Fertilized Egg. Screw the adults, but save the Potential Children!

Who knows how the EPA came up with this particular figure (my guess: it was one of ten numbers stuffed in a hat), but you’d think it would be some kind of average. Otherwise, there would have to be some sliding scale, depending on whether the EPA administrators are fond of the settlers in one area or other. If I were to engage in this kind of morbid god-playing (I wouldn’t), I would value my son, family, friends, clients and the Milwaukee Brewers (minus a couple of late-inning relievers) a lot higher than your average man-on-the-street, while still holding them in fairly high regard ($20M at a bare minimum). On the other hand, if there was an environmental regulation somewhere in North Carolina that kept only racist/homophobic pig Jesse Helms alive for an extra ten years, I could have lived without that rule – or at least not enforce it. I understand the Naval Observatory and other undisclosed locations darkened by Dick Cheney over the years have some environmental hazards here and there (if they didn't before, they do now), but there’s no use letting those go – Cheney has an unfortunate knack for getting young people to do his dying for him.

Of course, by law, the EPA cannot play the same kinds of games with the other endangered species they are supposed to protect – not that the current regime wouldn’t like to. The spotted owl, the snail darter...neither would get you more than a buck-two-eighty on the open market, and they can’t even vote. But, unlike humans, they are (for now anyway) priceless in the neglectful-by-design eye of the Bush EPA.

But humans...let’s see how this works: let's say a regulation would save 100 lives ($722M worth-o-people), but industry claims it would cost a couple billion or so to comply. Sorry, suckers. You’ll eat chalk (or whatever) until you choke...or end up in the hospital, and don’t come crying to us for your damn medical bills.

This is economic Darwinism at its finest and government at its worst. Those at risk fall at the mercy of the cost of cleaning up the poisons left by others. Perhaps some of the deluded creationists are hoping that humans would use one of the adaptations in Darwin’s evolution, which is for endangered organisms to simply move out of harm’s way. Can’t afford a U-Haul? Tough. "If they would rather die, they had better do it and decrease the surplus population," said Dickens’ Scrooge in one of his more prescient, Cheney-esque moments. It’s called personal responsibility, pal, now go get some. Maybe the government can hand out $40 coupons for a trailer, like those things they are handing out so poor peoples' TVs work after February (as they say, stay tuned for that damn mess next year).

There is a limited amount of time for still-president Bush and his greed-headed acolytes to play these kinds of games with people’s lives. Everything they do now is just an example of what we should not even try later. Like every other agency, the EPA will have to be cleaned, fumigated and re-built from the ground up after the Bushies are gone. And the first thing to go should be the actuarial tables with the careful calculations of what a human life is worth when it comes to environmental protection or anything else.


Prosqtor said...

(1)Maybe part of "fumigating" the EPA on 1/20/09 could be to eliminate it? That seems as logical as expanding it, considering the regulatory costs it imposes on real human lives. You want to lift burdens on "real working people," ease regulation, Mike. Everything gets passed down to them anyway, right?

(2) Instead of a cost-benefit analysis, what would you suggest they use?

(3) Would a theoretical life be worth $100 Kagillion Bazillion Mafillion in Plaisted Land?

(4) This also isn't something that started in 2001, you know. Insurance (with price based on the "risk" of someone living past a certain point) started with the Romans.

Blame Caesar before you blame Bush.

Anonymous said...

So this is what you're left with Mikey? You're using this as another slam against the evil, racist President Bush? You're kind of grasping at straws aren't you?

One quote from your "article" that struck me was when you rehtorically asked: "...have you felt anywhere near 100% while living through this crap for the past seven-and-a-half years?" Just because your law practice has tanked for the past seven-and-a-half years (which I'm sure is directly Bush's fault) doesn't mean that life for the rest of us hasn't improved since 2001.

Why do you need widespread misery in order to advance your political agenda? Can't it advance on its own merit without that condition??

Prosqtor said...

Anonymous wrote: "Why do you need widespread misery in order to advance your political agenda? Can't it advance on its own merit without that condition??"

No, it can't. It needs the working class to be so dissatisfied with the existing regime (or even form of government) that it rises up and overthrows what's there. That's part of the "Change" mantra the Democrats use every year.

AnotherTosaVoter said...

The software did a subpar job this time.

"I mean, have you felt at anywhere near 100% while living through this crap for the last seven-and-a-half years?"

Dude, if the President and his policies have even a minor effect on your disposition, then you have problems that require either a girlfriend or heavy drinking, at the very least.

I'm not sure it's possible to be a bigger whiner than you are.

Prosqtor said...

I'm not a programmer, but I wonder if this has something to do with the content here?

{If ObamaBot < 50% approval, then goto RoutineBushBash

- gotourl
- calc Buzzwords=most mentioned words in forum
- Set NewPostHeading = "Buzzwords"
- fget Topic [random: environment / iraq / poor / economy / lies / Cheney / frogmarch]
- Set content = Topic

If ResponseTrend = support, then set penis=erect
If ResponseTrend = opposition, then
set reply = "Those are talking points. I heard [random: Belling / Rush / Sykes] say that."



Mike Plaisted said...

Thanks for sharing, Dan. Bye bye now.

Anonymous said...

Mike i can't laugh hard enough or cry at your deranged, completely non sensical thoughts. You are a bitter loser bordering on insanity. This blame Bush for everything is getting tiresome and pardon me if I recommend you seeing a shrink for some heavy meds, you need serious help, or end it, nobody would care!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Ken P said...

Hi, mike is my dad, and ive been wanting to voice some of my opinions. The last post didnt even post a legitimate retort, he just said my dads insane. And politics could have an effect on your happiness. I wouldnt be 100% happy if people only 8 years older than me were dying for a pointless war. I saw this thing on the news and it had bush changing why we should be in iraq about 50 times.

Ken P said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ken P said...

Why cant we just get along? The obama haters will hate obama, bush haters hate bush, and it will continue on forever with the 2 parties. Politics and Religion start majority of wars. Politics only create hate man.

Prosqtor said...

"Pointless" we could debate. And people all across this nation are debating whether there is a point to the war in Iraq.

There are political parties because there are differences of opinion, and in a republican (small "r" intentional) government people of similar mindsets gather to elect people who are on balance aligned with them. Over time the GOP and Democratic Parties have evolved to include the views of about 2/3 of the people in this nation.

Without political parties there is one party, and that's the type of government this nation was not designed to be. Where are the rights of the minority on any issue if there's no unifying group to speak for them?

Those people 8 years older than you who are fighting against the forces of terror and Islamofascism in the Middle East would be happy to know that you are concerned about them, I'm sure. But keep in mind they volunteered to join the military, and they knew the risks of joining when they joined. It's not like jackbooted thugs (there's that word again) broke into their houses at night, put hoods over their heads, and shipped them off to Iraq to fight. They fight there so we don't have coffee shops and discotheques blowing up here

Are you Muslim, Ken? Because the terrorists our troops are fighting are, and take a look around YouTube and the news services to see what kind of treatment "nonbelieving" journalists, civilians, and soldiers receive from them. Read about Daniel Pearl, and watch the video as they sawed his head off.

That is the real enemy here, not President Bush or V.P. Cheney or AnotherTosaVoter or me. And we'd all do well to remember that once in a while. I would disagree with your dad; a militant practitioner f Islam would cut his head off for being an infidel.

Prosqtor said...

Forgot to add this:

Also, part of the frustration peoplpe express with your father is that he rarely responds to a substantive question asked of him. It's one thing to criticize someone or something; it's another to say "instead of _this_, do _this_." And questions like we've been asking often earn responses like "those are just talking points" or "Bush lied," instead of addressing, say, the first response to this point, which asks what he would do instead of a cost-benefit analysis? The cost-benefit analysis necessarily sets a value on human life -- what would your dad do differently if it were up to him?

Mike Plaisted said...

What a nice surprise to see my boy dipping his toe in the water here. Didn't see it coming. That's a-my boy!

Now, you all be nice.

Mike Plaisted said...

Dad, im a grown boy they can drop the F bomb at me if they want to, i dont care. And another point about the war, a lot of the people we capture and put in prisons were innocent, just normal civilians. They get no trial, or they get an unfair one by a bunch of military men. Then some are sent off to guantanamo, tortured to give out information they dont have.

Mike Plaisted said...

that was ken By the way, forgot to switch users.

Prosqtor said...

Ken, look at the numbers of "innocent" people released from detention centers who were later found to be fighting our troops in Iraq.

We either made them so mad that they quit the innocent activity they were engaged in before being detained, all to travel back to Iraq and join the fight or they weren't so innocent in the first place, and they just picked up where they left off.

Which are you willing to wager?

This isn't a criminal investigation, this is a war. Against an enemy with no hesitation whatsoever to torture and kill those who are captured, caught in the middle, or who won't convert to their brand of Islam. I'm sorry we may make people think they're drowning for a few seconds. I'll take that all day over hacking heads off with long knives while videotaping it.

We're not going to agree on this in the end. I'm only going to ask that you understand that your father's viewpoint -- which you apparently share -- is not the only one, or automatically the right one. Reasonable people can disagree about this and many issues. Understanding that is a large step toward growing up.

Prosqtor said...

This is getting off the topic, but here are some links to relatively unbiased organizations about released detainees being found later on, in the field of battle:

Ken P said...

I understand other veiwpoints, and i am growing up, i dont do tons of research on stuff. And i never heard of anyone being released from guantanamo.

Ken P said...

EDIT: i saw the links, so release that last sentance. I still dont think we belong there. We got husein, and we should be gone. no WMDs.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Mike Plaisted said...

Attention Deleted Anony:

You atr an incredible asshole. But you knew that, didn't you?