One of the most memorable movies scenes of all time (for Star Trek geeks like myself that is) was Spock’s “dying” scene in “The Wrath of Khan”:

That idea is the basis for most liberal logic, but liberal logic, must remove human values from the equation in order to work, as witnessed in Detroit, when a first responder acted on basic human instinct, and engaged in a primary human reponse.

Fox 2 News Headlines

A Detroit paramedic is being punished, and the reason behind it may surprise you — it was, he claims, for giving a cold man a blanket.

The paramedic punished is Jeff Gaglio, and he says that he has to answer officially via departmental channels for the crime of wanting a man to not freeze in the cold. Gaglio has spoken out to local press about the incident, and is just as incredulous as you or I might be if the allegations he’s making turn out to be accurate.

The paramedic said of being punished:

“I’m being punished. I’m being punished for giving a man a blanket, something that would seem like a common, every day courtesy. Something that any man or woman would do in the City of Detroit, give a freezing man a blanket. I’m being punished for it.”

MyFoxDetroit asked who punished the paramedic, and Gaglio said:

“The chief of EMS Jerald James.”

James gave a statement on the paramedic punished for the blanket transgression, and the station explains that the blanket given to the man was not even purchased by the department — it was a donation for victims of house fires.

James explains why the paramedic is being punished:

“We can’t have an employee who feels that they have a right to give away state property, be it donated, be it a blanket, be it a tire off a vehicle, without getting prior approval from somebody or notifying the proper authority. This is what he did.”

So it would appear the paramedic was indeed punished for giving a blanket to a cold man, and that his story checks out as per EMS brass in Detroit.

You are a paramedic, you arrive at the scene of a house fire and see a cold, nearly nude, crippled old man shivering outside wearing nothing but his underwear, and you give him a blanket. A blanket donated to the department for use under such circumstances…blankets given freely to be used to comfort people just like this old, crippled man.

So, Jeff Gaglio, the paramedic in question, is being brought up on EMS departmental charges for giving away a blanket to a citizen without obtaining proper permission, and two quotes come to mind:

“[Euthanasia] is what any State medical service has sooner or later got to face. If you are going to be kept alive in institutions run by and paid for by the State, you must accept the State’s right to economize when necessary …” The Ministry of Fear by Graham Green (New York: Penguin Books [1943] 2005, p. 165).

If this is the State’s reaction to the misappropriation of a blanket, what should we expect from the State when it sees a hospital bed as being something that should be reserved to satisfy Karl Marx’s “common good”?

How can anyone not see that this is the real cliff in our path ahead?

Or perhaps, Flannery O’Conor’s great quote is more appropriate here:

“In the absence of faith, we govern by tenderness. And tenderness leads to the gas chamber.”

With “tenderness” of course, being a word that today could perhaps be substituted by “compassion”, or even “fairness”, within the liberal interpretation of either word, and include unspoken, politically incorrect adjectives such as “forced” or “artificial” (which precede nearly any liberal concept known to man), and used in a way that embraces Spock’s “the need of the many” quote.

But Spock was only half human, and where that human half was ready to willingly engage in the ultimate act of selflessness for his friend, his Vulcan half, controlled by “logic” and untarnished by emotion, failed to understand that in human beings, faith, not logic, defines compassion and shapes tenderness.

Logic dictates that a gifted blanket must be used to satisfy the greater needs of the many, even if that means that the few must suffer while what constitutes that “greater needs” is being calculated.

Compassion and tenderness, driven by faith and humanity, will always have us give the blanket to the nearly naked, crippled, shivering old man sitting outside his burning home. Even when we know that our action may have severe consequences.

We are after all, human, and when the State attempts to substitute artificial “tenderness” and “fairness” for humanity, well, “that way lie the tumbrels and the guillotine.”

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