30 December 2008

3364 from Reaper

Just in case I needed a female paladin-type mini for the upcoming game, I polished off this one. She's from Reaper.

I tried to make her hair the same color as my wife's. I kinda missed, but I did get the blue eyes! Funny thing: My bride got a haircut of the "chop it all off" variety, so she can't braid her hair like this . . . oh well. Purely table-top quality. The primary experiment here was to work on zenithial lighting. I need more practice at it. And I probably need to break out my wet-palette, too.

27 December 2008

Health Care is Not a Right

I am amused by those who seem to believe that, simply by existing, they have a right to another’s property or skill. Ultimately, I find it a result of childish, self-centered behavior, not the result of rational thought.

That being said, why, specifically, is health care not a right? I mean, if I get sick and die, that obviously impacts me negatively, correct?

The answer lies in what constitutes a “right.” The traditional rights in the United States are life, liberty, and property (the third is sometimes called “pursuit of happiness”). These rights are considered Natural Rights, in that they exist outside of any government or civilization. Inalienable Rights, you might say. I am born; therefore I have a right to freedom of thought and action. I don’t have the right to coerce another; our societies have laws against murder and theft to reflect that principle.

If one man (we’ll call him Al) exists in the world away from anyone else, what are his rights? Thought, speech (no one is around to stop him from speaking his mind or worshipping as he chooses). Defense (his right to protect his life and property from marauding bands of wolves). Property (what’s his is his, since there is no one else to take it from him).

What are the limitations on his rights? Well, since there’s no one else around, Al can’t take another’s life, liberty, or property. Al can’t stop another from speaking his mind, or from defending himself. Seems pretty simple, right?

Into this world, enter Bob. Bob enters the world with the same rights as Al. Bob happens to be a doctor. Al is a hunter.

One day, Al is injured by a rabid squirrel, and goes to Bob for help. Bob has the choice of helping or not. If Bob says “no, I don’t want to help you,” Al’s in trouble. What can Al do?
Beg. “Please, Bob, help me.” This would result in Charity on Bob’s part.
Force Bob. “If you don’t help me, I’ll burn your house down.”
Al and Bob come to a mutually beneficial arrangement. In exchange for the rabies cure, Al has to give Bob more meat.

Number 2 is immoral, according to the dictates of Natural Law.

But, this is where the “right the health care” comes in. For, if there is such a right, how does Al get the care he needs without forcing Bob to provide it? Bob is no longer free to say “no.”

Since Al existed in a world without a doctor, he has no right to the product of Bob’s labor. The only way Al can get the product of Bob’s labor is to threaten to violate one of the three Natural Laws: Life (I’ll kill you if you don’t heal me), Liberty (I’ll imprison you if you don’t heal me), or Property (I will force you to heal me, or I will confiscate your house if you don’t heal me).

Now, you may ask “But shouldn’t Bob help Al? After all, Al will die without Bob’s help! It’s cruel to let Al die!” Bob will help Al because it is in Bob’s interest to do so. Al is a better hunter, and Bob can use that to his advantage. Similarly, the fact that Al knows Bob can cure his pain means that Al can hunt a little more to make sure any of his ills are cured. But neither can force the other to help him and still claim the moral high ground.

If Bob decides one day to stop helping Al, yes, that’s too bad. It doesn’t change the fact that Al has no right to the product of Bob’s labor. Similarly, Bob has no right to Al’s labor. Bob cannot go to Al and say “I exist, therefore hunt for me.” Both men are free to help one another or not. If one chooses to end the relationship, so be it.

When government passes laws to say “You will heal the sick or you will be punished,” government has violated Natural Law. When government passes laws that say “You may not provide health care unless you go through us” it has violated Natural Law. When citizens say “I demand that I be healed; you have no right to refuse me” they have violated Natural Law.

Doctors, nurses, medical device companies, pharmaceutical companies, all exist because there is a need that must be filled. The result of this need is that jobs are created, and people prosper. Somehow, Leftists believe that this need is really a right, that simply by breathing we are entitled to have health care. This health care always comes at the expense of someone else, whether from the doctors who must provide the care for free, or from those who make better life decisions and thus have more money than another.

Ultimately, if you don’t believe me, imagine I am a doctor, and you need my help to cure your pain. How are you, sitting at a computer 1000 miles away from me, going to get me to provide your care? And what difference is there between me and your local doctor?

Government, of course, uses tax money to pay doctors, because it is impolite to say “You will provide medical care or we will punish you.” But this is really saying that Charlie is forced to give up the product of his labor to pay Bob so that Al can have medical care. Charlie is forced, against his will, to labor for the benefit of Al. How is this not a violation of morality and Natural Law?

Yes, you can (and probably will) pass laws that force me to pay taxes so that Al gets his health care. But those laws are immoral to the core. If I refuse to pay, will you imprison me? Raid my house and steal my property? At what point does your “right” to health care trump my right to liberty? Or vice versa?

Those on the Left will state, in effect, “I am more important than Bob. I need health care more than Bob needs his liberty, or more than Charlie needs his property.” That is where the childish, self-centered nature of the Left comes in to play. Dave (the final character) says “I am more important than Al, so I should have what Al has. Al has his wounds treated by Bob; I should have my wounds treated by Bob. Al also has meat; I should have meat. It’s not fair that Al gets more meat than I, or that Bob is smarter than I. I demand the products of their labor!”

I will end this post by asking a simple question: If you will not ask a doctor for his service, why should you demand that someone else force the doctor to provide that service?

23 December 2008

A new miniature painted!

Actually, I've had it a while, but it wouldn't load correctly onto CMON, so I'm uploading it here to see if I can get it to load over there.

I'm particularly pleased with the hair. The darned mace, though, is fragile. I don't want to bend it anymore for fear of metal fatigue and breakage. Oh well, it's still a great miniature!

20 February 2008

A Must-See

A hat tip goes to Captain Capitalism for this vid.


14 February 2008

The Forbidden Cartoons - Solidarity

Just over two years ago, you may remember the "outrage" of Islamic Fascists over the publication of several cartoons depiciting the wonderful, peace-loving religion of Islam in a less-than-perfect light. The Jyllands-Posten of Denmark published these pictures, and the cartoonist's life has been threatened. Well, lots of peoples' lives have been threatened by these thugs.

As a show of solidarity with the cartoonist and the paper, and to fully uphold my natural right of Free Speech, I have republished the cartoons here. Strangely enough, there have been darned few mainstream media outlets for these cartoons. Apparently, they would rather cower in fear and hope the problem goes away.
To those who would take our freedoms and install sharia law, I say: "I will not submit." Not now, not ever.

There's a lot more, but now its time to go to work.

12 February 2008

Game summary

The PCs, Jasper and Sunbright, had stayed in the city of Mercir as their ship sailed back up to Clocker's Cove. Their purpose: figure out a way to disable a rival's ship. Their sponsor, Ashton Cobblebry III, had told them that if this captain or his ship were to meet an untimely accident, Ashton could work out a way for the Scavenger's Daughter to take its place when the fleet sailed for Zu.

The enterprising duo came up with a plan and a backup plan. First, a potent alchemical corrosive was crafted to dissolve important parts of the ship's rudder. Second, a potent . . .uh . . . laxitive . . . would be crafted so as to disable the captain, and possibly the crew. (When I had the player roll the craft skills, he rolled 2 natural 20's. I'd say he succeeded!)

Waiting until there were 4 days before the fleet left, Sunbright Dominated a crew member to sabotage the ship, spreading the corrosive acid around the rudder chains and any important brackets that might help disable the ship. While this did happen, the rumors they picked up were that there was only a 50/50 chance that the ship couldn't be repaired by the time the fleet left. So, they initiated Plan B.

Jasper and Sunbright visited the Diamond Spider Tavern, where the captain usually took his meals. Sunbright used a Heartshape power on the cook (a matronly 60 year old woman) to try to get her to put the laxative in the captain's dinner. (The cook rolled a natural 1 on her save). With additional diplomacy from Jasper, the cook agreed to the plan, but only on the condition that Sunbright stayed around for a bit. She'd never met anyone quite like him, you see, and it a while since her timbers were shivered . . . .

(When the player 'cast' the spell, he acted it out pretty well: "Yes, we would like to talk to you about a customer of yours, named Captain Angus Fraser. You see, we have business to -LOVE ME! . . . ." We were all laughing so hard, that when I rolled the nat 1, I immediately knew what was gonna happen.)

That night, poor Captain Fraser got the worst case of the runs anyone in Mercir had ever seen. A timely intervention by Sunbright and Jasper, and some wicked diplomacy rolls later, and the captain agreed to resign from the fleet, but only if Sunbright and Jasper bought the cargo he had already purchased (at a substantial discount), as well as give him the antidote to the poison.

Sunbright made some comments about killing the poor fellow, but Jasper had no interest in that. They had secured their position in the expiditionary fleet, and that was enough for him. Sunbright, meanwhile, celebrated their good fortune by staying that night at the Diamond Spider. The cook promised him breakfast . . . .

The next day, as the Scavenger's Daughter pulled in to port, word came that there was an emergency meeting of the financiers of the voyage. Captain MacGregor was to come at once in case he was needed. Bringing Jasper and Sunbright, they walked into a heated discussion, as one of the fianciers, named Malek Voyle, protested angrily that his ship was still fit, even if its captain wasn't. Ashton, meanwhile, was gathering support for his plan, explaining that Captain MacGregor and his crew were experienced sailors, having already much success with fighting pirates, and certainly having someone with combat experience may help their chances should Cryxian pirates be encountered en route. This argument won the day. Malek was not happy.

Next stop: Zu!