Free Markets, Free People

What Is Happening To Choice?

Freedom’s fundamental principles are choice and the lack of coercion. When you are free you make the choices in your life and you’re responsible for the consequences of your choice. In an authoritarian regime, someone else makes the choice for you and you’re left to obey or be punished. In some cases, you don’t even have the choice to obey – you are forced to comply.

And it is the latter of which this reminds me:

Public health officials are considering promoting routine circumcision for all baby boys born in the United States to reduce the spread of H.I.V., the virus that causes AIDS.

No. Huh uh. No way.

“Public health officials” don’t get to make those decisions if a free country. There they’d be limited to offering the surgery as an option for the reasons stated, but no more. But “routine circumcision” doesn’t mean it will be offered as an option – routine means it will be done as a part of the birth procedure with or without the parent’s permission.

But Dr. Peter Kilmarx, chief of epidemiology for the division of H.I.V./AIDS prevention at the C.D.C., said that any step that could thwart the spread of H.I.V. must be given serious consideration.

“We have a significant H.I.V. epidemic in this country, and we really need to look carefully at any potential intervention that could be another tool in the toolbox we use to address the epidemic,” Dr. Kilmarx said. “What we’ve heard from our consultants is that there would be a benefit for infants from infant circumcision, and that the benefits outweigh the risks.”

Now, let’s take a broader view of what is being said here by Dr. Kimarx in relation to the health care insurance reform now being considered.

Remember, we’re told, almost daily by proponents of this reform that decisions on care will be left to you and your doctor – correct?

So whose advice is Dr. Kilmarx basing his treatment recommendation on? That’s right his “consultants”. Where are you and your doctor in this decision making process?

Left out.  Despite all the rhetoric to the contrary, Kilmarx is talking about keeping both you and your doctor completely out of the loop.

What Dr. Kilmarx is saying is the recommendations of the “consultants” outweighs your concerns and puts you out of that decision making cycle. Or, said more succinctly – they don’t care what you or your doctor want, they’re going to direct that “routine circumcisions” be a part of the birth procedure and they invoke an “epidemic” as the reason for this “intervention”.

So, given this is just the CDC, imagine what those government officials charged with providing “evidence-based medicine” for everyone will be putting out as directives that get between you and your doctor. And don’t forget, Obama is a great fan of “evidence-based care” as he noted at one of his pep-rallies townhalls on health care insurance reform.

What you’re seeing from the CDC is only the very tiniest of tips of the iceberg if government is put in charge of health care. Allowing the government to dictate forced circumcision would only set the precedent for what we all fear government run health care would bring. It may not seem to be that important of an issue, but it is.

This isn’t the government’s choice to make or direct. And it never should be.



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25 Responses to What Is Happening To Choice?

  • Slavery, by any other name…

    The path is clear.

  • Let me be perfectly clear: you get to keep your health plan and your doctor, and your health care decisions will be between you and your doctor.

    Unless the CDC or some bureaucrat in DC has “evidence” that you must have some sort of vaccination, health care regimen, or surgical procedure for your own good.

    / sarc

    We’ve seen with global warming the sort of “evidence” that liberals will accept and use for the most radical policies. Heaven help us if these same morons start using the same sort of “evidence” to drive health care policies. Could this be a new Algore book: “Your Body in the Balance”?

  • “…any step that could thwart the spread of H.I.V. must be given serious consideration.”

    Does anyone really want to go down that road? Because I can think of lots of ‘steps’ that could not only thwart, but completely eliminate the spread of H.I.V. But I wouldn’t want to see them enacted.

  • any step that could thwart the spread of H.I.V. must be given serious consideration.
    Except those regarding homosexual male sex.

  • “What we’ve heard from our consultants is that there would be a benefit for infants from infant circumcision, and that the benefits outweigh the risks.”

    There’s an even bigger benefit by keeping your weiner under control and where it belongs.

  • Yes a surely enlightened person you are Doctor, calling for the mass mutilation of babies without anesthesia.

    For what? the tiny tiny tiny few out of millions won’t learn to keep their dicks clean?

  • I don’t see the line connecting “promoting routine circumcision” by a bureaucrat at the CDC and “it being done automatically without consent”.

    Now, there are paths that do lead from A to B – but none of them are in evidence here, yet, and it’s possible – nay, easy – to “promote” something without mandating it sneakily.

    The State certainly has no place mandating such a procedure … but I see nothing in the linked article to suggest that that’s being suggested.

    Kyle: “Keeping your dick clean” has nothing to do with the possibility of HIV transmission.

    (And “mutilation” is a nice bit of loaded terminology to deploy, ain’t it?

    It means only that you don’t approve, and no more – because after all people can and do just as seriously call an earring “mutilation” … or a haircut.)

    • The State certainly has no place mandating such a procedure … but I see nothing in the linked article to suggest that that’s being suggested.

      Hmm, that depends on how you imagine Dr. Kilmarx’s intentions in his use of the word “intervention”. In my opinion, his usage, in context, is not passive.

    • What does the word “intervention” mean to you?

      • Bruce-

        “The State certainly has no place mandating such a procedure … but I see nothing in the linked article to suggest that that’s being suggested.”

        I blockquoted that from Sigivald:…don’t know why it didn’t show-up?


    • You are quite wrong Sigvald, Keeping your dick clean has everything to do with transmission of the virus, or else the rationale for circumcision is non-existent, since the pathogens are carried by fluids, both the semen and the smegma.

      Also, it certainly is mutilation, done without anesthesia. If you don’t believe that, then I will happily demonstrate by cutting off a piece of your genitals for you.

      People who undergo circumcision late in life for religious reasons report a marked decrease in sexual performance and sensitivity. I view it as at best a barbaric practice that should be done if for religious reasons only by making a small symbolic cut as some Jewish groups do.

      There is no compelling medical reason for this barbarism whatsoever.

      As for your not seeing a connection between a suggestion by a government official and a requirement, well let’s just say that as a libertarian I don’t trust the government at all, whatsoever, Amen.

      • Kyle8 you are abjectly wrong with regard to circumcision being done in a current hospital setting without anesthesia. Certainly, a doctor attempting that in Virgina at least would have an even chance of being coldcocked by the attending nurse, and they would definitely face a review board and some sort of malpractice judgement. Current practice is to employ a 100% effective topical numbing agent. The child feels no pain.

        You are also exactly wrong about there being no medical justification for it, the studies show a lesser protective effect in developed countries where personal hygiene is better, and you might be correct to say this is not a decision of loss vs reduced risk which is in a parent’s purview to make–but you are quite incorrect about there being no medical justification for it.

  • And how will this be integrated into our immigration plans? Not only immigration but visas. I would imagine that international travelers may have sexual contact while in the U.S. How about foreign students that come here to study. Will they sign a promise of celibacy?

  • Two points. It is almost like a slap in the face to the those advocating government control of the health care system. This proposal is justification for all the fears fighting that takeover.

    Second, it seems we can develop some kind of cry like the feminists who say “keep your hands off my womb”. Maybe the feminists will join in.


  • Ok, now hold on a minute.

    “Promoting” something is not the same are requiring it.
    Heck, we’ve all seen the PSAs about women should get Breast Cancer screening and men over 50 should have prostate exams, and children should be vaccinated for measles etc etc.

    I think in our zest to make sure Obamacare is not the law of the land, we may have gone a bit to far with the above.

  • Under government health care we will be susceptible to every health fad that washes over the transom. Exhibit A: government education. The result? One third of students who enter government high schools don’t come out the other end, and of the two thirds that do, one third of those are basically functionally illiterate.

    There really is no intelligent reason to expect different results from government health care.

  • So foreskins cause HIV? Wow. Who would have thunk it?

  • Call me wacko all you want, I really don’t care, but I put the “HIV theory of AIDS” in the same category as “Man-made Global Warming,” a scam that yields nothing but a huge funding increase for a new kind of ‘scientist’ with unlimited “research” possibilities yet with absolutely no chance for positive results because they are barking up a wrong tree, coupled with a big governmental complex behind it to control everything it can that is in its path. I LIVED through the heavy AIDS era, had tons of acquaintances and even a few friends who died of whatever (many of several different diseases that were all called “AIDS”), and many who who were just as sexually active and didn’t die. What was the difference? My extremely politically incorrect but factually actually very correct answer is that ALL those who got “AIDS” (some kind of immune deficiency disease) and died were extremely heavy drug users (heroin, cocaine, speed, LSD, PCB, marijuana) and also routinely went from one venereal (or filth) disease to another to another to another (syphilis, gonorrhea, genital and anal warts, hepatitis, crabs, scabies, you name it, they had it, all the time) and went to free health clinics on a weekly basis for check-ups, penicillin shots, and gobs of antibiotics, and then later of course, once the idea of AIDS was created and toxic “cure” drugs were pulled off the FDA-unapproved-shelf to apply to it (“What difference does it make, they’re going to die anyway”), were given them as a “preventative” if they ever tested “HIV positive”. Heavy drug use, venereal diseases, and maybe the ingestion of other alien and toxic substances (“Poppers”, chemical lubricants, DNA reproduction blockers, analogs, etc.) is the cause of AIDS death, not an invisible virus that an unethical doctor made up and announced to a group of hungry journalists who immediately spread it around as gospel. But it is on the strength of such insane things that a natural and untouched part of a baby boy’s body can now be considered inherently “risky” and bad for the health of an individual or society.

    • Except about 99.8% of the population with the Aids virus develops the symptoms, and the DNA variant which produce the immunity to AIDS is known and is expressed on the surface of their T cells, and lots of people who do all the other things and have all the other issues you’ve mentioned don’t develop even one of the symptoms of AIDS. The common factor is the presence of the virus.

      The rates of opportunistic infection associated with AIDS do not track with illegal drug use, they do not track with antibiotic use, they do not track with age, they do not track with STD infection (and most people with STDs don’t have AIDS). The odd opportunistic infections which are a part of the AID syndrome track with the count of the virus in the blood.

      The primary gentleman who postulated the HIV virus has nothing to do with the AIDS disease is Peter Duesberg. “Duesberg rejects a role in cancer for numerous viruses, including leukemia viruses, Epstein-Barr Virus, Human Papilloma Virus, Hepatitis B, Feline Leukemia Virus, and Human T-lymphotropic virus.[44]” Where [44] is

      Human generated global warming as a concept has the problem that it’s proponents can’t arrive at a model which can robustly predict the recent past in light of the known past, and they also aren’t sure what the recent past is, the likely temperature of the planet does not track with the concentration of CO2, and the pro AGW researchers will not simultaneously release their data sets, tweaks they apply to other’s data sets, and their models simlutaneously.

      By contrast the mechanism of AIDS is quite simple, replicable, and open source–well done science.

      • Thank you, Tom Perkins, I appreciate that link to Kary Mullis (inventor of the Polymerase Chain Reaction), who backs my point up by saying, “Science is being practiced by people who are dependent on being paid for what they are going to find out, not for what they actually produce.” In other words, follow the money trail. The HIV theory of AIDS is very lucrative, and also for some reason, liberal forces really love it, just like they do “man-made global warming” and the science they support is just as suspect. The problem with correlating “AIDS” with “HIV” is that the presence of the factor or factors, whatever they may be, that bring in a positive HIV test is the one element that DEFINES AS AIDS an ordinary disease that would otherwise go by its regular name. But, of course, there are those who do generate a positive HIV result but who have no disease (most of them, I’d wager), so they can’t be said to have “AIDS”, but when they are then put on various DNA-replication-destroying drugs as a precaution, disease is sure to follow and when it does, it will be blamed on the “HIV” that they were “attempting to destroy” by the toxic drugs.

        Thanks to you, I just ordered Kary’s book from; while I’ve read several interviews and articles by him (and by Peter Duesberg, too, for that matter), I had not read this book and I hadn’t realized that Kary is also skeptical of man-made global warming. I love it when Nobel Prize winners doubt “consensus” theories; it’s enlightening to see what happens when former leading lights drift away from some mainstream agenda, how suddenly they are shunned, lose their funding, and the attempt is made to make them into a laughing stock. Who could respect such a system?

        I was not brought to questioning HIV by Duesberg and Mullis (and many, many others); as I said, I lived through the seventies and eighties and what we were being told did not correlate with what I observed, so it was a thrill to discover Duesberg and others who brought serious scientific credentials to the doubts I had felt in my heart.

        I understand, of course, that Al Gore also has a Nobel Prize, but his was not in a scientific field. Being significant in efforts to “save the Earth,” were that his true motivation and his theories legitimate, would be worth a peace prize.

        • As I’ve mentioned and to which you’ve not seen fit to attempt a counter argument, the fact that people who had nothing like the experiences you claim to have seen to produce AIDS in the 70’s–but who have the virus–they develop AIDS along the hypothesized track unless treated with the convention AIDS medications, unless they have the very rare mutation that makes it impossible for the HIV virus to enter their T cells.

          This fact stands in abject refutation of your solipsistic idea the your experience is the only relevant thing in the question of what causes AIDS.

          Where the money comes from for science to be done is utterly without relevance if the studies are replicable–anyone doing the same procedures the same way gets the same results no matter where their funds come from. That means the results are real.

          AGW is junk science precisely because its “scientists” tweak either the data or the procedure without above board documentation until the results support the hypothesis of man-made CO2 causing the climate to warm.

          The HIV causes T cell depletion causes AIDS hypothesis is rock solid.

          I note you produce no replicable counter studies.

          • Tom Perkins, the Questioning AIDS literature is filled with counter-arguments and counter studies and I have no need to bother to trot them out against a propagandist like you. If anyone is interested, they can read the arguments directly from the work of Nobel-prize winning scientists who can, and do, explain why they question the theory (not fact) better than I can. But the truth is, most people don’t really care, it is irrelevant to their lives and the whole issue’s relevance to me and my life is only that because of it I am aware of how scientists and their experiments (as “rock solid” as you claim they are) are not to be accepted on faith just because they are “scientists”; so many of them work for their masters (but thankfully, not all of them), not for truth, and most people involved come to know that.

            And as far as my “solipsistic idea”, we could apply that concept to the 9/11 firemen, policemen, security guards, and panicked people on the streets below the World Trade Center who claim to have heard explosions “pop pop pop” going down the building from top to bottom (suggestive of planned demolition charges); they were there, they saw and heard (it’s even on news camera tapes, for God’s sake), yet you would deny their observations because some politically-motivated commission said that the building collapsed due some inane and impossible “pancake” theory? What do I care for commissions, scientists, and so on, who seek to explain to the “masses” something that goes against the direct observation of those very masses? How suggestible do you think we all are (well, maybe an NPR listener like you….)? How dare you say to me that I believe that my experience “is the only relevant thing” (as if I were merely an egoist), when if a knitting needle is poked directly into my eye and I say there is a knitting needle in my eye, my “solipsism” overruns your statement that there is nothing in my eye because some lab experiment you read disagrees with my statement! And anyway, you must be reading the wrong things. Look up “poppers” and also the affects of antibiotics on the immune system, just to get you started. If you find that fascinating, you might also want to research the effects of benzene absorbed through the intestinal lining.

            I will say it for a third and final time–people I knew who died and who lived in the 70s and 80s were divided along very clear lines that had nothing to do with sex and sexual partners. Those whose bodily health were racked by drugs, frequent venereal disease, and took carloads of heavy-duty medications died; those who had just frequent “risky” sex (sometimes with those very people who died) lived. Of course those conditions are not replicated today and have not been since, those times died when people began to die. We no longer have any fragment of the kind of life that was lived in those times; such a lifestyle stopped as quickly as it had begun only a decade before. Whatever experiments that were done in controlled conditions in some laboratory are irrelevant to actual life as lived out among the population because it would be impossible to replicate all the relevant factors and there is no funding for anything but the results that the funding powers want. Remember that not every scientist agrees with the “HIV” theory (why not, do you think?). Medical science has no real answers to these questions; we still have “AIDS”, right? We still have cancer, we still have multiple sclerosis, we still have heart diseases and so on, and medical science can offer nothing but “poison, slash, or burn” as a palliatives. Only when these diseases are cured can it be said that the causes are understood.

            One final thought…in all honesty, do you really think that some tiny virus that nobody ever heard of before suddenly rose its head among the homosexual community soon after the Stonewall Riots of 1969 and this virus is sexually transmitted (woo!) and is so powerful that it can actually destroy a person’s entire immune system? (How does such a diabolical virus, that kills its host with such skill and precision, ever evolve?) And, of course, while in theory it could affect heterosexuals, in actuality, it really only kills a significant number of homosexuals? Like it knows the sexual propensity of its host? This is an idea that only H.P. Lovecraft can admire ( am showing my “60s” roots here); as for those of us whose minds aren’t creating in a horror/fantasy genre but can still think independently, this theory is pretty insane. And several Nobel-prize-winning scientists think so, too.

  • How can anyone trust the government with a mandatory circumcision program? If history is any indication, today they will take the foreskin, and in a few years they will take the whole thing.

    • timactual–your comment is perfect! It reminds me of what mythologist Joseph Campbell said about the Jewish ritual–“This covenant with God is to show you who really is in power, as in ‘Look what we can do; this is to show you that we COULD take the whole thing!” What a great symbol of power over the individual, which in our case government would love to impress on us, as if it were a mark made with a branding iron. My version would be that if they could mandate circumcision, then next they would mandate sterilization, and the ultimate goal of Socialism and Environmentalism (there I am making that connection again) is Eugenics and population control.