Monday, March 26, 2012

Forget Bread and Circuses, How About Sex?

Patty Murray sent me an email about this, in which she says:
 (Washington, D.C.) – Today, U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) released a new video urging Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) to drop his pledge to continue the fight against contraception in the U.S. House of Representatives. On the same day an amendment offered by Senator Roy Blunt (R-MO) to allow employers to cut off preventive coverage for their employees was defeated in the U.S. Senate, Speaker Boehner told reporters, “I think it’s important to win this issue.” 
 I sent her this email in response:
Dear Senator Murray,
Since you contacted me, I decided to reply. Characterizing this as an attack on women’s health is ludicrous. Since when are taxpayers required to purchase contraceptives for people? I’m opposed to taxpayer-funded condoms as well. I just don’t think the enumerated powers of The Constitution authorize government to force taxpayers to pay for people's sex accessories. 
In the very unusual event that some woman needs the pill for her physical health (beyond sex), and assuming that the enumerated powers gave government the authority to provide that (they don’t), then I would have no problem with it. 
This is a very pathetic ruse to change the argument from religious freedom, and the non-existent authority of government to control health care, into divisive class warfare. But that is what you illiberals always do, isn’t it? 
Karl Uppiano 
Which article of The Constitution gives government the authority to do that?

Monday, March 19, 2012

Not Peacetime Martial Law, But What Then?

Last Friday, President Obama signed an executive order that has been characterized by some as "peacetime martial law". That is very frightening, if true. This article at Hot Air seems to quell some of the hysteria, as does this one at WND.

I agree, the consensus seems to be emerging that this is not martial law, but it certainly seems to rise way above the concept of limited government, and if even part of it would be deployed, it would represent usurpation on a level that would have made King George blush. The following keeps running through my head; you may have heard this before:
Prudence, indeed, will dictate that governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shown that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such government, and to provide new guards for their future security. 
I wish I could come to some other conclusion, but I can't. We have a government that has come completely unhinged from the one thing that is supposed to keep it in check, and I am very distraught. I hope the ballot box is still effective as a means to throw off such government, because the alternative would be tragic.

I don't think it is out of line to note that even though this might be merely an update to some boilerplate documents that we've had for many years, our newfound awareness of constitutionally enumerated powers and limited government makes U.S. citizens view this in a different light than we might have during the Clinton administration. The White House might reconsider, in the spirit of constitutional fidelity (not that they would).

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Vulture Doctors are in Denial

Some in the medical profession are putting profit ahead of patient well-being, even in (brain) death. I am concerned, after reading this in the Wall Street Journal:
The last time I renewed my driver's license, the clerk at the DMV asked if she should check me off as an organ donor. I said no. She looked at me and asked again. I said, "No. Just check the box that says, 'I am a heartless, selfish bastard.'"
Becoming an organ donor seems like a win-win situation. Some 3.3 people on the transplant waiting list will have their lives extended by your gift (3.3 is the average yield of solid organs per donor). You're a hero, and at no real cost, apparently.
But what are you giving up when you check the donor box on your license? Your organs, of course—but much more. You're also giving up your right to informed consent. Doctors don't have to tell you or your relatives what they will do to your body during an organ harvest operation because you'll be dead, with no legal rights.
(Continue reading...)

Primum non nocere. It seems to me that harvesting organs from supposedly brain dead patients would be harmful to someone who could still feel pain, and might not even be as "dead" as doctors might have originally thought. I believe, in their haste to procure lucrative, potentially life-saving organs, doctors are in denial about their poor (some may say, "slap-dash") definition of brain death.

I think the medical community owes me the courtesy to make sure I'm really dead (or at least feeling no pain) before they start cutting me up to harvest my vital organs. I'm going to un-check the organ donor box on my driver's license until such time as they will. Don't call me a heartless bastard when it's the vulture doctors who are causing the problem.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Government Subsidized Whoopee

Mark Steyn wrote an excellent article about Ms. Fluke (you know, the "co-ed" who testified before a faux congressional hearing in support of the idea that I should pay for her contraceptives, and whom Rush Limbaugh called a "slut", which sent the left into paroxysms of self-righteous indignation):
I'm writing this from Australia, so, if I'm not quite up to speed on recent events in the United States, bear with me – the telegraph updates are a bit slow here in the bush. As I understand it, Sandra Fluke is a young coed who attends Georgetown Law and recently testified before Congress.
Oh, wait, no. Update: It wasn't a congressional hearing; the Democrats just got it up to look like one, like summer stock, with Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid doing the show right here in the barn and providing a cardboard set for the world premiere of "Miss Fluke Goes To Washington," with full supporting cast led by Chuck Schumer strolling in through the French windows in tennis whites and drawling, "Anyone for bull****?"
(Continue reading... go ahead, it's really amusing, and quite worth your time)

Now, since this all blew up on the national scene, one detail emerged that apparently changes everything: The contraceptives in question are for someone who needs them for treatment of a disease (right, like "medical marijuana" is usually used medicinally). Of course, off-label use might not be for the purpose of contraception. In which case, it seems that even a Catholic medical insurance plan might allow for something like that. I don't think anyone is quite that heartless.

The question remains whether I should be required by the government to provide medical care (or contraceptives) to anyone. A "great" society takes care of its less fortunate, but that doesn't mean government should be the mechanism to do it. No one should be forced to help someone else against his will. That's not a great society; it's pathetic. It's also a fraud magnet, it's inefficient, and it results in mandatory participation in programs to which you might be philosophically opposed, c.f., Catholics, birth control and abortions. We have an amendment to protect us against that. So important in fact, that they made it the first one.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

A Horrible Loss for the Good Guys

Andrew Breitbart passed away unexpectedly from natural causes shortly after midnight this morning in Los Angeles.

This is the man who helped launch Drudge, then struck out on his own with etc. Andrew offered $100,000 of his own money to anybody who could prove that TEA Partiers had racially slurred some Democratic congressmen/women (all over the media implied that we were guilty of this, but nobody ever came forward to claim the money)... huh, fancy that! He brought down ACORN by assisting and publishing the undercover camera stings of James O'Keefe, and has been in the forefront of challenging 'progressives' to base their arguments on actual facts, not emotional drivel.

This is on the same level as if Rush Limbaugh or Glenn Beck had just died.

Update: Every time I see a tree, I just want to kick its ass. ~ Andrew Breitbart