Quote of the Day

From Ambulance Driver.

It isn’t a “line of work” for me. It’s who I am. Don’t want me interfering in your decision to off yourself? Fine. Don’t. Get. Me. Involved.

It’s that simple. My number is 911. Don’t call it, or don’t make spiteful threats that spur other people to call it. Just get on with your business, preferably alone and in private.

Some people are taking offense on a Libertarian level for the instances where AD legally (and I’d say morally) can’t take “No” for an answer.

He’s made similar remarks about giving Jehova’s Witnesses blood transfusions. Its a mortal sin for them to “Consume Blood”, but in many instances not administering blood products means they die right there, which to Kelly (and myself) is also a “Mortal Sin” (quotes because I don’t actually ascribe to Mortal Sin on the religious level, and I never really took the time to talk faith with Kelly when we hang out…we’re generally too busy talking medicine, politics, funny stories, and guns. I do believe there are certain things that would haunt me for the rest of my natural life, such as letting somebody die that I KNEW I could have saved. Hell I’m still haunted by the suicide of a friend who I hadn’t talked to for months before she died. I doubt I could have “Saved her”, but I will always wonder what might have happened if I could have had a hand in her life at that moment in time)

Again, you want to get your full-wookie on, don’t involve others.

This is also why there are so few Libertarians in big cities. You just can’t be a REAL Libertarian in a dense urban environment because privacy and self-sufficiency only exists in the most tenuous sense. If you listen to music when you come home from the bar at 2am, you stand a good chance of waking a neighbor up. When you throw out your trash, you depend on somebody to haul it off for you, when you take a crap it gets flushed into the public sewers. Even in the suburbs, the classic car you’re restoring in your back yard, or how often you paint your house, or mow your lawn impacts the value of the other houses on the street.

I still admire the philosophy, but also I see that it simply cant be unlimited. In the case of the man threatening suicide, he was the proverbial man who decided to swing his arms near AD’s head.

Sorry, bub, you decided to get others involved in your personal choices, its on them too.

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32 Responses to Quote of the Day

  1. Jack says:

    There’s also that even a Libertarian would have to allow the State some coercive powers, otherwise they’d be an Anarchist.

    A state with no coercive power isn’t a State at all. For one thing it cannot get in any funding. For another there would be no police or justice system at all. Even an outsourced and privatized justice system could not function if there was no mechanism for legalized coercive power.

    So right there you have to have scale and perspective. What actions of the state detaining people and taking their stuff are imoral and which are moral (or at least a nessicary evil)?

    And yeah, if you don’t want to get an EMS involved the first thing you should do is not talk to one. You might still have to deal with one, but the odds of such go down quite a lot if you don’t.

  2. Divemedic says:

    As a medic, I don’t care if you kill yourself. I do care if you kill others in the process, which happens far too often.
    The second thing that makes me care is that I am civilly and criminally liable if I knew you were suicidal, and didn’t forcibly take you in.
    So if people oppose forcible transport, I am OK with that, as long as you insulate me from liability, and figure out how to deal with the suicidal people who want to take others with them.

  3. “Sorry, bub, you decided to get others involved in your personal choices, its on them too.”

    Note that the original discussion included using force to imprison the suicidal person after a third party called 911 on him.

    My own full-Wookiee reaction to this is nuanced, and is pretty sympathetic to AD’s position. Just be aware the argument wasn’t entirely about people who make a choice to involve the paramedics.

  4. Erin Palette says:

    I’m glad to see this here, because I’m more comfortable discussing things on Weerd’s blog than on a stranger’s.

    As someone who, in the dim past of the 90s, contemplated suicide on more than one occasion, let me say that I never told a soul about it. Why? Because I felt that this ultimate decision was MINE, not theirs, and if I made a production out of it then they’d find a way to take that decision away from me. As someone who was miserable because I felt powerless to affect any positive change in my life, this final indignity would have been, literally, worse than death.

    Make of it what you will that I’m still here. The fact remains, though, that I believe it’s the quiet ones you really need to look out before, because they are serious. If you’re talking about committing suicide like some folks talk about going drinking, you just want to be told that people care about you. You’re scaring people because you want them to hold you and tell you that they love you.

    IE, it’s emotional manipulation.

    • Weerd Beard says:

      Yeah Dan Savage has the best advice for lovers who threaten to off themselves in the course of a relationship.

      LEAVE THEM. There’s NOTHING you can do in that situation, except encourage that behavior, and certainly if you stick around they’ll never get the help they need.

    • Jack says:

      Yeah, that has struck me that if someone wants to kill themselves, physically they can. And can do it without too many warning signs or ways to be stopped.

      As for the emotional manipulation, it is using the threat of voilence to get your way.

      That being said, there are people who cry out that would legitimately want help, and are not in an auto-hostage situation. But as Weerd says there’s not much you can do in such a relationship. Other than make things worse.

      There’s alot of cases where the best thing you can do in a relationship is leave.

  5. Erin Palette says:

    My second point, which I wanted to separate from the first because it’s much less dark-and-serious, is that I think political identification, such libertarian vs conservative, needs to be done on a two-axis graph much like alignment in Dungeons & Dragons.

    On one axis, you have your liberal – moderate – conservative spectrum. Orthogonal to that, you have statist – moderate – libertarian. This gives you nine discrete flavors of political alignment.

    I myself am a 5th level Gunpony Goth with an alignment of LC (libertarian conservative).

    • @Erin, are you familiar with the two-axis political graph from the Advocates for Self Government? It is used as part of their “World’s Smallest Political Quiz” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World%27s_Smallest_Political_Quiz

      Their graph is derived from the “Nolan Chart” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nolan_Chart

      So, is it “Great Minds Think Alike”, or “Slimy Minds Run Together”? πŸ™‚

      • Weerd Beard says:

        Yeah I like that chart!

        My big disappointment in this election is while the Democrat and the Republican are vastly different, they really aren’t different in any way that I think of as good.

      • Erin Palette says:

        Huh, I think I have seen that chart, come to think, because my mental image was almost identical to the picture in that first link. Mine just had 9 positions instead of 6.

        Slimy minds run together, indeed. πŸ˜‰

        Still, I wanted to make the politics-as-D&D alignment argument, which I found hilarious. “Be careful, Bob! If your character veers any more towards libertarian he will be in violation of his Statist Conservative alignment, and therefore lose all ranks in Paladin Politician!”

        • Jack says:

          And you better be careful you don’t run into a high level pundit-bard, if you fail your saving check they can force you into an alignment change.

          Though I think countersong can get you out of that too.

          • Erin Palette says:

            Jack, you may be the only person on this planet who shares all of my interests AND gets all of my jokes.

            It’s rather a shame I know so little about you.

            • Jack says:

              I can say the same, shame about that.

              The internet’s a funny place.

              We can know alot about others, but end up having vast vast gaps in how well you “know” another person.

              Sent you an email.

    • Jack says:

      “5th level Gunpony Goth with an alignment of LC”

      Heh. Nice alliteration. Hmm, and now the intersection of Bronies and Gunnies has a term.

      I’m wondering if there’d be a third axis, or if personal and economic are relatively sufficient. Though on the other hand, personal and economic are really place holders for macro economic/personal and micro economic/personal.

    • Erin Palette says:

      Also, I would love it if someone better-versed in politics than I were to make a classic 9-panel Alignment Chart using the above system.

      So like, Obama would be Statist Liberal, Romney would be Statist Conservative, not sure of Ron Paul would be True Libertarian or Libertarian Conservative, etc etc.

      • Weerd Beard says:

        Of course the more you try to classify something, the more you know the limits of your tools. Ron Paul is a GREAT example. He certainly has a ton of Libertarian street cred, but also he’s currently enrolled as a Republican. He strays from the Libertarians on Abortion, where he’s overall pro-life (tho like myself, I don’t think he burns many calories trying to “Solve” abortion as such “solutions” would be worse than any problems) which is generally seen as “Conservative”…but he’s also a staunch anti-Israel isolationist which is more on the “Liberal” side of that fence. Also are his strict financial views “Conservative” or are they “Libertarian”? Do these swings make him fall more in as a “Neutral Libertarian”?

        Also in each square you get a MASSIVE amount of variability, which is both convenient for classification, but also makes it vague. Like I consider myself “Lawful Good”, but of course that spans so much! The “Lawful” side spans from a Cog in the great wheel of society, to somebody who is greatly against the society, but is working from within to change it without violating its rules. And of course do you consider the guy who never speeds to work, pays his taxes, and works an honest job, but grows some pot for personal use in his backyard, or hires prostitutes in fair-trade practices “Lawful” still?

        Same goes for “Good”, I consider myself “Good”, but I ain’t no saint, and I know people who ARE. Etc.

        Still I’m amused by classifications.

        So yeah, that makes me a Dual-class Ranger Rogue, who’s Lawful Good, and Libertarian Conservative. (BTW Did the latest edition of D&D get rid of alignment restrictions? I always had fun messing with those. Playing a Lawful Good Rogue is a HUGE but VERY fun challenge)

  6. ChrisH says:

    Just to be 100% clear, and not going “full-wookie on” you, you do realize that being libertarian doesn’t have anything to do with self-sufficiency or doing what ever you want when ever you want, it’s all about interactions being voluntary and not initiating force. The music, sewer, and trash examples you picked are all weak strawmen involving those bad assumptions.

    Really, the part of AD’s post you quoted I think brilliantly sums everything up and is completely compatible with the libertarian stance. Now as for the rest of what both of you wrote, I don’t get the point. Was it just to be offensive and demeaning to a group of people you haven’t bothered trying to understand?

  7. ChrisH says:

    No really, when you take away the self-sufficiency and the ‘I do what I want’ strawmen, what was the point? Because without those strawmen your, “This is also why there are so few Libertarians in big cities. You just can’t be a REAL Libertarian in a dense urban environment…” paragraph rings quite hollow.

    Again, I love the quote you selected from AD’s post, it’s stands on its own quite marvelously. But everything else you and AD surrounded it with only diminishes it.

  8. Tam says:

    Living in a bitty hick town like Indianapolis makes it easier for me to get my wookie on. πŸ˜‰

    Weer’d, there is no reason that belief in the non-aggression principle and a weak and non-coercive government means one has to behave with no manners and a complete lack of consideration for those around them.

    I don’t turn up my stereo at 0200 because it is rude. If I want my neighbors to be polite and considerate towards me, then I need to be polite and considerate towards them. This is very simple, easily derived from first principles, and requires no religious beliefs or lengthy legal codes to figure out.

    • Weerd Beard says:

      Heh, I assume by the wink you got the gist of my point.

      Really the discussion of urban vs. Rural people is just noting the wookie to Authoritarian ratios in urban vs. rural environment. There are just a LOT of Authoritarians, left and right from urban environments, and I suspect its because of those urban interactions.

      Meanwhile I got my first taste of a libertarian mindset while living in Orono Maine, which IS indeed “the Sticks”. Of course there everybody hauls their own garbage, have septic tanks and wells, they plow their own roads, and generally if something breaks they fix it, or find somebody who can, who may not be a professional…and if they are one, they’re just as likely to be a “kitchen table” business.

      Also generally the Rural folks are generally looked down upon by the urbans.

      Not saying you can’t. Just the opposite, just noting the mindset and trends.

      • Tam says:

        Meanwhile I got my first taste of a libertarian mindset…

        “Libertarian mindset” != “Living Self-Sufficiently In The Woods And Doing Whatever You Want”. Heck, medieval knights did that when they weren’t busy cutting other people’s heads off.

        “Libertarian mindset” = “Belief in the non-aggression principle, minimal government, and voluntary cooperation rather than coercion.”

        Getting your wookie on doesn’t give you the right to harm others, so one can be just as libertarian in the middle of Broad Ripple as the middle of nowhere.

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