Cutting Through The Crap

Thursday, April 28, 2016

No, The Other One



Brilliant. Could Ted "Anointed-by-God" Cruz have picked a more perfect running mate than Carly Fiorina? Since Trump wasn't available, he found the only other presidential candidate who lies with the fluidity and disregard that he does; and if likeability were oxygen, when the two of them entered a room together, everyone in it would turn blue and decerebrate.

Carly Fiorina. She of the non-existent video that she refuses to admit she never saw. Like Cruz, it's immaterial to her when someone points out her lies, and not just that one. She just plows ahead, either oblivious or, more likely, cynical to an unseen degree, even among today's Republicans. This isn't politics as usual. It's pathology. The two of them together ought to cause something cataclysmic, a physical force previously unknown, a mini-black hole, the appearance of dark matter that swallows them up. If only.

That poor Marco Rubio wasn't up to the job became evident early on. Cruz's panicky missteps are a more recent phenomenon (although God knows he was a scary and indecent person from the get-go.) Colluding with Kasich. Clumsy pandering, embarrassing even, in Indiana. And now this. Carly Fking Fiorina. It's as if he's being face-melted by the Ark.

Hearing Ted Cruz speak is mind-numbing, as he repeats falsehoods like whistles in the dark; but actually watching him as he utters his despicable deceptions, is painful. His clumsy facial expressions, painted on by the numbers, looking as if he's entirely unfamiliar with how Earthlings behave; you can almost hear him reminding himself, "Appear human, Ted. Smile at appropriate times... now... and make it look natural. By turning the corners of your mouth upward. You can do it. You practiced it in the mirror..."

Which, come to think of it, explains a lot: he probably can't see his reflection in mirrors.

[Image source]

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Carry On


Here's my latest newspaper column:
In 2015, roughly one person per week was shot by a toddler with a gun, and over a hundred children died in accidental shootings. About thirteen thousand people of all ages died with guns involved, by accident, homicide, or murder/suicide. From 2005 to 2015, seventy-one Americans died from terrorist attacks on US soil, while about 302,000 died from other forms of gun violence. 
Not long ago, a worshiper shot himself in the foot in church. Around here a guy worried about attacks in movie theaters legally carried a pistol to a movie, dropped it, and shot another moviegoer. A Georgia mom killed her 8-year-old daughter when she dropped her gun. Same thing, same age, in Dallas. Dropped guns have gone off in Wal-Mart, Cracker Barrel, Chipotle, an Alabama supermarket, a “Muslim-free” gun shop in Oklahoma. Two patrons killed a gun-shop owner and his son over a $25 handling fee for a failed repair. A lady fired wildly at escaping shoplifters in a crowded Home Depot parking lot. Another good guy busted up a carjacking by shooting the car owner, aiming for the perpetrators. An owner shot his dog accidently, saying he was aiming for his girlfriend. 
A Florida man killed himself while demonstrating the proper way to clean a gun. A Florida woman, who’d posted on Facebook “My right to protect my son with my gun trumps your fear of my gun” was shot in the back by that (four-year-old) son after leaving her pistol loose in her truck. Another Florida man who bought a gun to protect his family shot his four-year-old daughter while cleaning it. A gun in a mom’s purse in a hospital went off and shot her two-year-old daughter in the face. 
People called police about that Colorado random mass-murderer as he was open-carrying down a street, before he open-fired. Police did nothing because he’d broken no laws. And there’s the problem. With everyone packing, how do you know who’s doing so with mayhem in mind? Doesn’t it, in fact, make it easier for a bad guy to walk into a public place and start firing? But, you say, he’d be shot by a patriotically packing patron. Before killing how many? How many such people would be deterred, since many seem intent on dying in their act of violence? And, given the incidents of stupidity above, how likely is the good guy or gal to hit the target instead of someone else? 
Yes, there have been a handful of of good guys with guns stopping bad guys, including a recent (and suspicious) nearby one; far fewer, though, than the other type. And let’s not forget road rage. No, the idea of omnipresent guns in the hands of average citizens doesn’t make me feel safe at all. Meanwhile, training requirements and permits are being legislated away in several states.
In a rare nod to reality, Republicans won’t have guns at their upcoming convention; logically in line with legislators who’re fine with guns in schools, churches, bars, and everywhere else YOU hang out; just not where they do. Could it be because they know, deep in that place in their chests where other people have hearts, that arming all citizens makes us less safe? Does the money they take from the gun lobby speak to them in their dreams, whisper in the voices of the dead that they’ve sold us out? Not likely. 
This exceptionally American mess is predicated on the insanely paranoid idea that citizens need arms to protect themselves from our government; that unless they stockpile AR-15s and enough ammo to fill a silo, Obama’s minions will storm their homes and turn them into gay Muslim Kenyans. That armed with long guns they’ll beat back drones, tanks, and Apache helicopters. That any attempt, no matter how exiguous, to keep guns out of the hands of criminals or, maybe, to require minimal competence, is tantamount to arguing for repeal of the Second Amendment. And so it goes: last weekend bled with mass and individual murders 
I don’t deny that we’re too far gone ever to come back to rationality. All I’m saying is that when an armed patriot heads into a place I’m in, I’m heading out.    
[Image source]

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Fighting For Dollars



Dick "dick" Cheney's company (Halliburton and its subsidiary KBR) took in about 40 billion dollars off the Iraq war. Stealing money from taxpayers, as the video (brief excerpt from the longer version) shows. There's big money to be made in our wars. Think that has anything to do with why we fight them? And why Republicans, who love both wars and the corporations that supply them, refused to have this film shown to Congress? This is sickening, quite literally. And yet, thanks mostly to one political party, on it goes.

Nor is any of their presidential candidates going to do a thing to change it, because war is where the money is, and equating it with patriotism is where the votes are, and getting the votes is what allows them to get the money, and war is where the money is...


Monday, April 18, 2016

Geeks Gone Wild

This is an interesting read. It's impressive on its own, and also (in a world where reality would be considered important, which for half of the country it isn't) as a response to those who think because President Obama isn't sending in tens of thousands of troops he's doing nothing to fight ISIS.
...President Obama confirmed for the first time last week that the U.S. is conducting “cyber operations” against ISIS, in order to disrupt the group’s “command-and-control and communications.” 
But the American military’s campaign of cyber attacks against ISIS is far more serious than what the president laid out in his bland description. Three U.S. officials told The Daily Beast that those operations have moved beyond mere disruption and are entering a new, more aggressive phase that is targeted at individuals and is gleaning intelligence that could help capture and kill more ISIS fighters. 
As the U.S. ratchets up its online offensive against the terror group, U.S. military hackers are now breaking into the computers of individual ISIS fighters. Once inside the machines, these hackers are implanting viruses and malicious software that allow them to mine their devices for intelligence, such as names of members and their contacts, as well as insights into the group’s plans...
I'm sure ISIS has smart guys in its networks; but for some reason I believe the more computer literate geeks are on our side, and I like the idea of them doing their thing.

[Image source]

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Backfire



Oh, the irony. As this article reminds us, the Republican plan to make Obama fail in order to win their elections by claiming Obama has failed (see: the common definition of chutzpah) has, rather than giving them a knight in shining armour to march them to the White House, given them Trump. Or, worse, Cruz.

... Take, for example, the administration’s 2011 proposal of a $447 billion package of measures including payroll tax cuts and the creation of an infrastructure bank that would have led to the creation of thousands of construction jobs, as well as other substantial economic benefits.
... Designed to be bipartisan and fully paid for by higher taxes on rich Americans and some corporations, the American Jobs Act was nonetheless dead virtually upon its arrival on Capitol Hill.
That’s not all. During his administration, Mr. Obama put forth proposals for larger tax credits for child care; community college investments; expansion of the earned-income tax credit; changing retirement plans to be portable across employers and available to part-time workers; and tax credits for manufacturing communities.
All these — and many more — were ignored by Congress...
Brilliant strategy, they considered it. Prevent anything that'd improve the lives of working people, make those same people (especially the white, male, minimally educated ones) angry over their plight, sauce it up with constant propagandizing about persecution of whites, make a policy of blaming "others," and they'd waltz to the presidency. Except it seems to have backfired.

Turns out (who knew?) that if you foment nameless rage in a bunch of people whom you've deliberately made uninformed, it can lead to nameless rage in uninformed people. And when the politicians who run the game play it for power and not for the good of average people, it can lead to a little more specific naming of that rage: them.

[Image source]

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

From The Mind Of A Surgeon



 Here's my latest newspaper column, ripped from the past, i.e., from my Surgeonsblog days:

Tiring of nonstop politics, I plan occasionally to insert essays from my “Surgeonsblog” days, when I wrote about the life of a surgeon. Warning: this one is graphic in parts. 
There's something irresistibly horrifying about doing an amputation. In a way, it's a microcosm of the perversity and beauty of surgery; of the screaming contradiction that one must somehow accept to be a surgeon. Removing a limb is so many things: failure, tragedy, cataclysm, lifesaver, life-ruiner. Gratifying. 
Stark and sudden, an above-knee amputation done in the "guillotine" fashion for infection is shocking. But, if you're a surgeon, you can -- maybe you must -- find pleasure in it; and I don't mean some poetic sense of helping one's fellow man. I mean in the actual act of doing it. Which is why I say it's a microcosm. Some things we do are terrifying. And yet, within walled-off portions of the mind, divorced from the suffering of the patient, there's a place to go wherein satisfaction comes from the work itself: the physicality, the artistry, even the transgressive brutality. 
After draping, the leg is all you can see of the patient. With the knee bent, you place the covered foot on the table, and it holds itself in place. Holding in your hand the rough handle of a huge amputation knife, like a skinnier and longer chef’s knife, you reach as far as you can under the thigh and bend your arm back over the top toward yourself, curling the knife blade around the thigh as much as possible. You're going to uncurl your hand and arm, drawing the knife, as deeply as you can, completely around the thigh; slashing -- if boldly enough -- in a single circular motion all the way down to and around the femur. If there were normal circulation, you probably wouldn't be doing this. 
Maybe you've placed a tourniquet of some sort above; or maybe you have a big-gripped assistant who's squeezing the leg between both hands. In any case, once the bone is visible around its entire circumference, and after controlling bleeding, you reach for the old-fashion gigly saw, a gnarly wire with handles at each end. As someone steadies the leg, you place the wire under the femur, grab the handles and stretch the saw nearly straight. Draw it back and forth, fast, making the barbed snake rise through the bone, which it does with surprising ease. It's a whirring sound, more than grinding -- high-pitched, err err err err. White until you get to the marrow, the fragments coming off are like gruel. And then the wire springs up with a bit of a splatter as it rises through the top. Start to finish, it's been only a couple of minutes. (History asserts the fastest such amputation, done in a few seconds, included the removing of a couple of the assistant's fingers.) 
It's awkward lifting the leg off the table and handing it away. The balance point is hard to find. There's awareness of mutual discomfort in this act -- in the giving and the receiving. (A gallbladder plops into a pan, free of emotion. Handing one person the leg of another: that's an exchange for which there are no words.) It's a relief to return gaze to the stump: concentric and clean. White bone, red muscle, Betadined brown skin. The anatomy, on end is, yes, beautiful: hamstrings, quadriceps, neurovascular bundles; a sight allowed only to a few. 
Before the operation, there's been pain -- physical and emotional. There've been sad talks, bargaining. Nothing to feel good about, for anyone. After, there's the stark realization, the encouraging words that ring hollow. The relief -- mine -- of turning much of it over to rehab specialists, prosthetists. But there, for that few moments in the operating room, there's a separate, private, and possibly unspeakable pleasure. (And I must say the same can be said about other amputations I did throughout my career, hundreds and hundreds of times, as a breast cancer surgeon.) The dissociative and dramatic doing. The fact that, for a while, I can remove from my consciousness the horror and find enjoyment in my craft, can find beauty in ugliness -- that's something almost too terrible to admit, even now.



Saturday, April 9, 2016

We'll Always Have Science (unless, well, you know...)




Above are two (unrelated) images of a couple of humankind's most amazing accomplishments. The picture is of a space shuttle launch as it punches through clouds. (On first look, I thought it was an asparagus spear.)

The video is of yesterday's landing of the SpaceX booster rocket after it sent its payload off to the International Space Station.

PFC, where "C" stands for "cool."

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

The Truth Shall Set You Unfree



Not that there's been any doubt; nor is this guy the first to rip open the bag to let the cat out. But it's useful for the fully Foxified to hear the truth once in a while.

Monday, April 4, 2016

Power To The Creeple


A vote for any Republican nowadays empowers people like this:

Item: Wisconsin governor Scott Walker, lower than whose previous record you didn't think he could get, just signed a bill banning the banning of plastic bags. Because Republicans like decentralized government until cities do stuff they don't like. Like being sensitive to the environment and, in the smallest way, insenstitive to the petroleum people who make the bags. All of which is sorta like the N.C. governor signing away the rights of cities to dignifiy their fellow humans in the LGBT community.

Item: Texas Congressman Louis Gohmert, currently leading the competition for the dumbest person in Congress, says this equality stuff is bullshit: nowhere in the Bible does it say women should be taught science and stuff. Their place is in the home, having and raising babies.

Item: A Colorado woman running for the U.S. Senate says only God can cause earthquakes, so let's keep fracking and let's end the EPA.

Item: After years of saying President Obama's foreign policies are horrible, Lindsey Graham, trying to reassure reporters in Egypt about the possibility of a Trump presidency, says, "Don't let the politics of the moment make you believe that America has fundamentally changed in terms of the way we view the world; it hasn't." Hypocrisy much?

Not exactly, in the above context, an item: I've been thinking for some time that the guy (Donald Trump) who left a message for (embarrassing tool) Tucker Carlson bragging how much "pussy" he gets must have encouraged/paid for/forced a few women to have abortions in his life. Maureen Dowd (not usually my idea of an admirable columnist) sort of asked. His answer: "Next question." Were it not for his recent flop/flip/flop/flip on the subject, it might have been out of bounds. Unless one of Donald's conquests voids her (presumed) air-tight and lucrative nondisclosure agreement, we'll never know. But no one says we can't, as Robert Frost said*, suppose.

The point: if there are reasonable Republican politicians out there (statistically you'd think it'd be so), it doesn't matter, because it's the ones like those itemized above (there are plenty more of them) who are calling the shots nowadays. Which means anyone in that party less crazy than these people can not, in good (or even neutral) conscience cast a vote for a candidate in today's version of their formerly useful political party. Seriously. For the sake of their party. And us.
______________
* Had to write a college English essay on it: "We dance round a ring and suppose, But the secret sits in the middle and knows."

[Image source]

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Stand Up Sit Down Fight Fight Fight


This is a good read regarding the fight against ISIS, its complexities, and the degree to which Americans are helping. Sounds like there are more Americans (no surprise) than we've been led to believe; they're using the trick they used when I was serving in Vietnam. Namely, troops are assigned there TDY, "temporary duty," and aren't counted. As if they're not there.

I recall the day Nixon announced that the last Marines had left Vietnam. On that day, my base in Danang was crawling with Marines, all TDY from the Phillippines.

An interesting takeaway is that it seems Obama would rather be criticized for not having enough troops in the fight, than reveal how many are actually there.

Still, no matter what the actual number of Americans is, it seems that the strategy is the one that makes most sense, Republican war-mongering notwithstanding: our troops are, indeed, in advisory roles, with the actual fighting being mostly carried out by Kurds and Iraqis. Who mostly hate each other.

From the article:
... The U.S. mission includes training and reĆ«quipping the Iraqis, providing intelligence and airpower, advising and coƶrdinating strategy, and, crucially, keeping the Iraqis united and focussed on Mosul rather than on each other. “We all know that if they do this on their own, it will be more longer-lasting . . . win for the future of Iraq,” Major General Richard Clarke, the commander of coalition land forces in Operation Inherent Resolve, told reporters last month. 
But the same problems that undermined the first American deployment now threaten the second. The prospects of liberating Mosul—and then stabilizing it—are already bogged down in internecine politics. The disparate factions don’t trust each other. The Peshmerga are wary of fighting alongside an army that killed tens of thousands of its people and gassed Kurdish villages with chemical weapons during Saddam Hussein’s rule. The reconstituted Iraqi Army virtually collapsed under the current government. Today, both sides are less than keen about fighting alongside each other or, together, forging a viable Day After...
This is pretty much how I see it, too: that it won't happen without American involvement, but that involvement needs to be, as the article says, too, like that of a coach of a sports team: provide the equipment, the knowledge, the training, and then watch from the sidelines as it plays out. Other than targeting and bombing, of course. Which they're doing. A lot.

If that's what it takes, it's by no means certain it'll work, with all the internecine tribalism and religious differences. Sorta like here: Trump might lose, but the people who could see him as the perfect leader will still be around. Same with Cruz. We'll always have Paris.

[Image source]

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Progressives Were Right, All Along


This is my latest newspaper column:

Republicans deny their party is racist. Suppressing minority voting, they’d argue, for example, is just common sense. But if the party isn’t, pretty much all American racists who vote will vote Republican, and they’re stepping to Donald Trump like geese. To the KKK, neo-Nazis, and nativists, he’s prayers answered. Slow to disavow them, Trump knows the game. His slogan may have substituted “g,” “r,” and “a” for “w,” “h,” and “i,” but the res is pretty much loquituring its ipsa. (Yes, I’m aware that Abe Lincoln, now spinning in his grave like a Frisbee, was a Republican and that before the Civil Rights Act the South was an asylum for racist Democrats. I also understand recent history.) 
Some conservatives are mystified that their party loves him. Really? The same ones flaunting their nonstop Point-A cynical and hypocritical obstructionism, the latest involving the Supreme Court, see no connection to Point-B? Trump is the predictable result of decades dedicated to creating exactly his kind of voter: angry, credulous, paranoid, government-hating seekers of simple solutions and people to blame for their scripted sense of victimization. How ironic: after hungrily swallowing the fabrication that President Obama is a dictator, Republicans are gobbling up a lying, petty, xenophobic, narcissistic, vindictive, thin-skinned, appendage-aggrandizing, wife-insulting, violence-encouraging demagogue. Which leads to the unavoidable argumentum ad Hitlerum: he just demanded a Florida audience raise their right arms and pledge loyalty (and blamed a Jew for disrupting his rallies!) And raise their arms they did. 
If Trump eventually loses, the people who voted for him will still be around. People who are okay with a candidate who threatens to “ruin the lives” of protesters; who bans and seeks vengeance upon reporters who criticize him; who demands that campaign workers pledge they’ll never disparage him. This isn’t “reminiscent” of Soviet- and Nazi-style suppression and punishment of dissent. It’s EXACTLY that. Do his supporters overlook his schoolyard immaturity, or is it what they like about him? Is their desire for scapegoats so great that they ignore the dictatorial implications or, buying up jackboots and dreaming of “punching them in the face,” do they welcome them? Do they care that Trump’s plans would weaken our democracy while strengthening those trying to purchase it (not to mention ISIS)? They believe they’re anti-establishment voters, yet they’d empower the party that’s dismissed them for decades, voted against every measure aimed at improving their lives and for every one making them worse.

A local high school just produced nine National Merit finalists, every one of whom is Asian-American. By contrast, Texas appears ready to elect to their state board of education a woman who claims Obama was once a gay prostitute, that school killings are caused by teaching evolution, the Civil War wasn’t about slavery, all Muslims are evil, and climate change is a hoax. (Based on emails I get, I’m sure some readers are saying, “Yeah. So?” 
It’s not just Texas. Across the country Republican legislators are proposing to ban teaching evolution, to rewrite history, to prevent even the mention of climate change. Were all branches of government put into the hands of today’s perversion of conservatism, America would go the way of Kansas, Wisconsin, Louisiana: failed economies, lagging job growth, downgraded credit, defunded schools, ignored infrastructure. Let’s hope Republican attacks on public education and immigration will fail; or if not, that current immigrants and their kids will continue to save us from ourselves. In those homes, kids are encouraged to learn. What do you suppose goes on in the homes of people who’d elect that Texan? To which party and what race and religion would you guess they belong?

No, Donald Trump is no surprise. Torture, bombing families, climate change denial, misogyny, mockery, economic policy that’s never worked, simplistic foreign policy. To cheering audiences, he’s simply articulating those things for which his party has come to stand, come Heil or high water. Trumpism confirms that liberals have been right about what’s become of the formerly credible Republican Party. As they abashedly turn to mendacious Ted Cruz, whose messianic lust for power is even scarier, shocked conservatives should consider their decades of silent acquiescence, the price paid for tax cuts, to understand what happened.



[Upper image source (lower image speaks for itself)]

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Leave It To Democrats To Blow It


I wish I could believe that Democrats won't, yet again, screw things up for themselves. Maybe I should stop reading Daily Kos.

I hope what I read online isn't reflective of enough liberals to blow the election: Hillary supporters sniping at Bernie's; and vice versa. Celebrities sounding like idiots, like they have no idea of the existential importance of keeping the White House; about the need for enough Democrats to turn out to vote Ds in and Rs out of the Senate. The House, too, were it possible, but it's probably not.

I worry that Bernie supporters, who seem mostly to be young, won't show up if he doesn't get the nomination. (My guess is that, Susan Sarandon aside, most Hillary supporters would still vote for Bernie. I hope so.) I'd hope they'd listen to what Bernie said because it's undeniably true. I'm not convinced they will.

During my political life I've seen Democrats blow it time and again; mainly because the "party," if it really is one at all, is a loose collection of single-issue voters who can't seem to see past their own particular concerns. I guess that's what happens when you're for stuff instead of against it. If Republican voters have differing interests, too, they're united (since the advent of right-wing media dominance, anyway) in what they're against, and it seems that's what motivates their voting: against homosexuals, against immigrants, against non-Christians (or some Christians) telling them this country isn't a Christian nation, against paying taxes that support anything but their own needs, and tanks.

Democrats, from where I sit, usually vote based on what they're for: education, alternative energy, equal rights, women's rights. And they tend to dismiss candidates who aren't as monomaniacal as they toward whichever of the cafeteria choices are on their plates. They'd vote for the Ralph Nader of their particular cause, even if it means losing. Based on history, and on what I read here and there, that's what I fear.

Either Donald Trump or Ted Cruz would be disastrous for our country and our species. That anyone who considers him- or herself thoughtful and world-aware would not vote, or would vote for a third party, or, out of spite, for T or C if his/her candidate doesn't get the Democratic nomination is shocking; and nearly as frightening as the prospects of Rs controlling all branches of government.

Sorry to tell you, Ms. Sarandon: if Trump were elected, whatever "revolution" he caused would be too damn late.

[Image source]

The Eyes Have It



There's no way to know how stonewalled Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland would have voted, of course; nor can we say he would he have been seated by now had his nomination been addressed in a timely manner. Still, there's a certain delicious irony that today's default decision in favor of unions, by virtue of a 4-4 tie absent a full house, is a giant poke in the eye to anti-union Republicans (i.e., all of them, with the possible exception of (not) Joe the (not) Plumber.)

[Image source]

Monday, March 28, 2016

Tough Call



Ammosexuals are outraged that guns won't, for the moment, be allowed at the Republican convention. And I gotta say, for the sake of consistency, they've got a case.
... “Policies of the Quicken Loans Arena do not supersede the rights given to us by our Creator in the U.S. Constitution,” the petition reads. 
Americans For Responsible Open Carry also want presidential contender Ohio Gov. John Kasich to use his executive power to override the so-called gun-free zone loophole in Ohio’s law. RNC Chairman Reince Preibus also must explain how “a venue so unfriendly to Second Amendment rights was chosen for the Republican Convention and have a backup plan to move the site if  the group’s demands aren’t met...
Nice touch, that creator thing.

It's sorta like the legislators voting to allow guns pretty much everywhere except their own place of work. Or like being a little bit pregnant. You make free-fire zones part of your platform, you can't draw lines for yourself but not for everyone else. It puts the lie to the whole good-guy-with-a-gun thing.

Plus, the prospect of hot-headed Trumpists who, so far, have only been armed with elbows, fists, spittle, and feet, confronting Cruz supporters, armed with religious certainty that God is on their side, when the conventional shenanigans begin, is, in the abstract at least, something forward to which to look. Assuming that's not too many commas.

So I'm of two minds. I don't wish actual death on any of them, but it could be apocalyptically entertaining. And think what the networks could charge for ads during the coverage. Which, in the end, is what it's all about to them. As opposed to, say, news.

[So the petition might have been elaborate trolling. The point remains, though: the official policy is no guns, which seems so un-Republican. And all the current R candidates have pledged to get rid of gun-free zones! So let 'em start by quickening the loans arena.]

[Image source]

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Friday, March 25, 2016

There But For The Grace Of God


Like any rational person, I'd prefer a world in which abortions were never necessary. But unlike most of those in today's Republican party, I don't think it's up to governments to decide when a woman is making the right, among incredibly difficult, complicated, and personal choices.

And so it is that I find the latest action of the party of small government, namely Indiana outlawing abortions based on evidence of disability, so repugnant. Particularly because, far as I know, whereas they'll force severely disabled children to be born into families that can't care for them, the state has provided no assistance for those families so forced, or for others who might adopt or otherwise care for them.
“I believe that a society can be judged by how it deals with its most vulnerable - the aged, the infirm, the disabled and the unborn,” Pence, a Republican, said in a statement after he signed the legislation.
I assume I don't need to spell out the irony, much less the cynicism, of that statement. If anyone knows of Indiana's plans to help care for and provide cost support for babies with spina bifida, or severe heart defects, etc, let me know.

At the heart of this, I suppose, is the concept that we shouldn't defy god's will. If he wants kids to be born with various disabilities, who are we to interfere? Glory be to him. Which, of course, means we ought to get rid of all doctors, hospitals, and hemorrhoid remedies.

[Image source]

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

It's Not As If We Weren't Warned



Seeing the guy behind Trump, at about 50 seconds in, cheering and laughing at "I'd like to punch him in the face..." tells you the truth in the rest of the video.

As Charles P. Pierce likes to say, "This is your democracy, folks. Cherish it."