“Don’t Forget Medicaid”

See the whole thing from Congressman Chris Murphy of Connecticut:

“As we wait for the white smoke to emerge from the ‘grand bargain’ negotiations at the White House, most Americans are already aware of the Republicans’ plan to dismantle and privatize Medicare and Social Security. But what many people may not realize is just how dangerous it would be to slash funding for a program that 60 million Americans rely on for their basic health care needs: Medicaid.

“While it seems that just about every major industry or interest group has teams of lobbyists in Washington looking out for them, some of our most vulnerable citizens simply don’t have a voice in a town where unfortunately, money still talks the loudest.

“Why? Medicaid covers only the impoverished and disabled, so it lacks a traditional advocacy base. This may be news to Republicans — but most poor people I know are spending all their time trying to find a job and put food on the table.”

Insurance cos. promote abortion to save money, killing disabled babies?

Looks mighty suspicious here.  I speak as a disabled person!

IOTM also to ask who’s more “disabled”: a person with special needs who maybe drives his family and neighbors and teachers and acquaintances crazy … or a world that would rather do without us?

“Suffering”?  I know a little about that subject, though definitely not as much as many of us disabled.  But killing us in the wombs of our mothers denies us even the chance that we’ll struggle and overcome it, or others will cure it or at least lessen our suffering.  Who ever said life was supposed to be free of suffering?

I also speak as an Eastern Orthodox Christian.  In original Christianity suffering has an honored place: it can make us more like our Founder, who suffered a bit Himself.  I don’t mean ‘Suffer like Jesus suffered’ — that’s just masochism.  But Orthodoxy teaches that suffering* may help cure us of our own will and inadequate understanding … and Orthodoxy itself directs us to the Will and Understanding of One Whose Will and Understanding are infinitely perfect.  In fact, many ancient Christians envied the original Holy Martyrs, and found the real and difficult Struggle was ordained for those who lived in the Faith to a ripe old age.  Furthermore, Orthodoxy says that even though we Orthodox with long-term illness/disability might not or ought not, for instance, participate in the Church’s fasting rules and Traditions (i.e., abstaining from certain foods at certain times), God Himself has as it were fitted us with this special ascesis to purify us of sinfulness,** He has allowed this to happen to us.  Some admired, sick Orthodox have taken this teaching so to heart that they have ceased desiring to be cured — again, understanding that it may be easier than the “normal” Orthodox ascetic spiritual path, and blessed by God.  If I may paraphrase St. Raphael of Brooklyn, ‘Man — or demons — may have meant this to me for bad, but God means it for the good.’  Orthodoxy also still teaches that miracles do happen, by the Graciousness of God.

(I don’t say this as someone who has reached such wisdom or dispassion himself yet.  But it does seem most reasonable.)

I also have some expertise in Western Christian ethics or moral theology.

As for calling aborting someone saving his or her life, that reminds me of “destroying the village to save it,” or “killing the Indian to save the man” — real Orwellian, and I don’t say this lightly to a rabbi who survived the Holocaust, even as an infant.  More than 40 million Americans have been electively aborted under color of law, few without the dubious benefit of genetic testing of them or their parents.  Now it’s being sold to us as a large-scale, historic, positive good?

(*–This is ‘redemptive suffering.’  In Peace Studies they talk about some “myth of redemptive violence,” which however I never heard of till then.  Violence does not redeem!  [And real “martyrs” don’t die killing others intentionally, even vengefully!])

(**–Orthodoxy also remembers and teaches that all creatures suffer sinfulness from the first moments of their lives, thanks to the choice of our first parents — what one Western wag once called “Christianity’s only self-evident doctrine.”)

ADA doomed?

Will New Corporate America — The Second American Republic, if you will — chuck the Americans With Disabilities Act?

After all, look how expensive we are!  Do we spend enough to be worth it?

Hell, they could take away Disability assistance / benefits, and basically put us out on the street and/or kill us!

GOP health plan: Kill the sick.

Sure, that’ll save money … though only for the middle class and poor they’re taxing anyway!

As a Disabled person who, if God is patient with me, will be around to see the disaster (further) unfold … well, they’ll kill me.

I object.

“Lazy Welfare recipients”

I would like to know where the idea came from that more than a tiny handful of criminal frauds are receiving any kind of assistance from government in the U.S., rather than do work they are able to do?  If you had any idea how hard it actually is to GET help from government or even so-called charity in this Puritan, Evangelical country,* even when you are plainly unable to work, you would shrivel up and die.

It must be like the “Lazy N—–” stereotype invented by U.S. slavemasters to help gratuitously put down and keep down Black slaves … which is perpetuated among Whites here to this day.  Funny thing: in the UK there’s an expression for when you work your butt off — “work like Blacks!”

So I’ll say it loud, I’m Black and I’m proud!

(*–Unless you’re a corporation, that is.  Most politicians and governments never met a corporation they didn’t like.  I guess now corporations are persons, and the Disabled and needy are not.)

The Disability system is broken

For a very good description of the farce that is the Social Security Administration’s disability determination system (for both Social Security Disability and SSI/Disability), see here, both the article and the comments.  And my idea a year ago for a great fix!

Feed everyone

The Orthodox Herald in December pointed to recent statements by the Popes of Rome – John Paul and Benedict* – that we have a moral obligation to provide food and water – “nutrition and hydration” the doctors call it – to patients in a “vegetative state.”  (I guess if babies in the womb are no longer babies in the womb, food and water is merely “medical treatment”….)

But IOTM that what we have is a moral obligation to provide food and water to EVERYONE unable to provide it for themselves!  Whether they’re paralyzed, sick, poor, unemployed, frail, Disabled, children, drought-stricken, plague-stricken, unlucky or unskilled in agriculture, fulltime parents, mentally ill, retarded, insufficiently intelligent, underpaid, whatever.  We have so much wealth…!  And as St. Basil the Great said, Whatever of it we don’t need belongs to the needy.

How about a little human solidarity, love, sharing, generosity, philanthropy (yes, even in your voting and lobbying and taxpaying … unless you can come up with a better way), “consubstantiality,” God-like-ness (Think about “the liberality** of God“!), self-discipline, etc.?

(*–The O.H.’s readership includes Eastern Catholics [“Uniates”] in communion with Rome, traditionally possessing Orthodoxy theology, liturgy, spirituality, etc. … just not part of The Orthodox Church.)

(**–That’s liberality, not liberalism!)

An IBS pacemaker?

(UPDATE HERE.)

When your heart acts up, sometimes implanting a device that delivers occasional electrical shocks to it gets it to “straighten up and fly right.”  More recently they’ve been putting them in people’s brains for things like epilepsy.  What about what we used to call “spastic colon”?

Turns out they’re working on it (PDF)!  Muscles do what they do in response to electrical impulses from the nervous system.  Some researchers believe that in Irritable Bowel Syndrome, haywire impulses cause the muscles of the colon to act up, messing with how quickly or smoothly your fecal matter moves through, bringing on constipation and/or diarrhea, and the other symptoms.  They also believe they’ve helped IBS patients to manually administer helpful shocks to the end of their colons – the sigmoid colon – that restored normal function!

Since this report was published a few years ago, I’m surprised I haven’t come across it before now.  Maybe that means it didn’t pan out, or that it’s still in the pipeline, so to speak.  Contrary to what we’ve heard sometimes more recently, it can still take years for research to result in “approved” treatments … especially for IBS in the U.S., which isn’t taken as seriously here as in Canada or Europe. 😦

Gay Staph STD?

Do you have to be Gay, or a man who has sex with men, to get or spread MRSA, as alleged by “scientists” this week?  Or merely have skin-to-skin contact with someone infected, within or outside sexual intercourse, as de-emphasized even in this San Francisco version of the story?

DUH!!!

Diabetes Blindness hope?

Speaking of Diabetes, this article reports an interesting-sounding theory about how people with diabetes sometimes lose vision, how this might be stopped, maybe prevented, maybe even reversed?

Maybe I should get my blood sugar checked, as my GP recommended a few years ago(!), ’cause needles in the eyes sure don’t sound pleasant!  I’m really weird about my eyes as it is, and always have been.

I wonder if this treatment could even be delivered orally?  After all, some meds go just where they’re needed on the basis of distribution throughout the blood, and so get concentrated somewhere because there’s lots of extra blood where needed, eg, anti-inflammatories.  One would have to work on the underlying cause(s) of the retinopathy too, I guess, including the diabetes….  Hmm….

I’m definitely not a doctor.

What about eyepatches delivering the treatment through the skin, one at a time even if necessary, to localize the effect more, versus body-wide via a pill?

But if they slow/stop new vessel formation, they don’t solve the “leakyness” problem….  I guess like that last quote said, this tackles just one aspect of the diabetic retinopathy problem.

“Pre-Embryos”?

Maybe I’m out-of-touch, but I’ve just noticed this neologism on the Web, being used for what are more commonly called “frozen embryos” or “pre-implanted embryos,” in the context of in vitro fertilization.  Are the users of the new term trying to persuade us these aren’t actually embryos anymore?

I thought “pre-embryos” were sperm and ova!  Even actual science still calls “fertilized ova” or “zygotes” embryos, and their science embryology.

Maybe I’m out-of-touch again, but I’m starting to seriously wonder about the reliability of these people, some of them alleged scientists!  First there was the Korean guy who deliberately falsified research data, then the Boston guy with the for-profit corporation and misleading news releases and statements; now this.

And some people complain about religion?!!!

I’m not certain an o/Orthodox approach to these things needs to rely on scientists anyway.  Science is always changing, and is supposed to be always uncertain, “open-minded.”  But the ‘temptation’ to see if maybe they’ve got something ‘this time’ is hard to resist.  ‘Benefit of the doubt,’ you know….

But who “was always the Father of Lies”?!?!?!

Diabetes slams non-whites

Excellent Toronto Star series exposes non-white’s hugely greater risk, possible reasons why, and what you might be able to do about it.

Tax Cuts for the Rich on the backs of the Disabled Poor

Quakers tell the truth in this 2005 article.

Political Correctness

See how long it takes you to decode the jargon this website is written in!

Now, I’m a pretty PC dude.  I’m also a little bit of a “mental health consumer,” I may be a “survivor”(?), you might even consider me “mentally ill”: I have Major Depression, Social Anxiety, and who knows what else.  But sometimes PC obscures communication even for me, and I have the equivalent of two Master’s Degrees, a couple years as a caseworker, several years as a journalist, and a lifetime as an aware, reading person!

Some use of PC seeks to improve how people – especially those not involved in whatever industry is being talked about from time to time – think about, or at least speak about, and treat, each other.  But if they don’t have Clue One what you’re referring to in the first place, you’re wasting your breath and their time, and not making any inroads at all… and probably p’ing them off too, which helps no one.

I’d rather PC were called something more common: politeness.  Would that simple politeness were “politically correct”!!!  (Maybe the American people could have their airwaves back, then!)  It’s also nothing new, as much as “conservatives” would have us believe that it is.  Human beings have been opposing being called names probably as long as they’ve had the power of speech!

But please, submit your website to a good technical writer for translation, OK?!

Speaking personally, I AM DISABLED.  I’m not “differently-abled,” or “minority-abled.”  One of the first things alot of people need to know about is me what I can’t be relied upon to do for them, so they don’t expect the impossible of me, disappointing us both.  Maybe I feel this way because most of my Disabilities aren’t “visible,” so people do expect the impossible of me sometimes, even family who should know better!  Maybe it’s different for the “visibly disabled,” when people try to do everything for them and think they’re totally helpless.  But I will defend my right to use language I deem appropriate in my own regard, and their right to do the same.

Speaking of Canadian “visible minorities,” first off, sure, some Aboriginals – Indians (“First Nations”), Inuit, and Metis – aren’t visibly so, because of the traditionally pale skin and/or plain features of some communities; but to call us all White is insulting, OK?  Second and ironically, some of the groups considered “visible” in the pie chart include members who also aren’t visibly so.  This is a case where O Canada sought a more PC term, but it falls short, and confuses.  Technically, for the same reasons, “people of color” as used sometimes in the States may fall short.  So how about “European Canadians,” “Aboriginals of Canada” (though I still think “Indigenous” is better: Metis aren’t aboriginal but are indigenous!), “African Canadians,” “Latin Canadians,” “Asian Canadians”?  Of course, then you run into the question of Other Indigenous of the Americas, not all of whom (like me!) qualify as “Latin” or “of Canada”!  (That’s not so bad though: In Irish Gaelic we still have to be called Red Indians, to differentiate from Asian Indians!! Why not “American Indians”?… “America” in the bi-continental sense, that is!!!  OH it’s so frustrating sometimes!  😉  )

Men’s Fertility Kits

WARNING ADULT CONTENT:

Maybe I don’t get out enough, but I just saw in a drugstore (Do we even call them drugstores anymore?!!!) a home kit for determining if you produce at least 20 million sperm per milliliter (That’s cubic centimeter or “cc,” for those of us who grew up before the metric system!) of semen, considered by someone the “minimum fertility standard.”  (I am not making this up.)  It also includes two non-spermicidal condoms, I guess for guys who consider masturbation wrong or undesirable, so they can catch a semen sample during intercourse.

Honestly, I didn’t know we could count ’em without a microscope!  “One… two… three… 20,000,000….”  Just might’ve cured my insomnia!

Actually, what constructive purpose could be served by knowing?  OK, maybe then you’d know you should adopt.  There’s nothing I know of that can boost sperm count, is there?  (Maybe Mountain Dew! “Obey your thirst!” Actually, this is the exact opposite of the Urban Legend… or maybe we can start a new one! You guys OWE ME!!!)  Or get a sperm donor?: ooh, that’s pretty personal for a would-be father.

Or become a monk… it’s a great way to be saved, I hear, honestly – why not focus on it, eh?

I guess it’s only fair, what with home-based pregnancy kits and all.  Take some of the pressure off the woman: after all, it may not be her fault.  Although as one writer in the NY Times Magazine recently shared with us (link may require free registration), it’s possible to put sperm and ovum right next to each other in a petri dish, and still have nothing happen.  (Like many dates! Whatever that means….)  Apparently Desmond Morris was right: some sperm are dumb and some are dumber… or at least have different jobs.  OR maybe the writer’s husband’s sperm didn’t want to cheat on her.  OR maybe it was God’s Will (I say this in all seriousness).  It’s OK: apparently they eventually managed to conceive the traditional way, ie, with alcoholic lubrication!  (It’s in her book title. OK, actually, it’s not. I imagined it. Though I haven’t read the book, so who knows?)

(NB: By “alcoholic lubrication,” I definitely was NOT recommending using any form of alcohol on one’s genitals, or those of one’s partner.  As Frank McCourt’s first love would tell us had she lived, it’s quite painful.  I was merely humourously referring to the oft-joked-about tendency of intoxication to lead to risky behaviour: “HIGH = HIGH RISK”: risk of AIDS, risk of other sexually-transmitted diseases with or without symptoms, risk of pregnancy, risk of ending-up with someone you don’t want to end up with, etc etc etc.  Remember this.)

“True patriot love”

O Canada, our home and native land,
True patriot love in all thy sons command

–Opening lines of the nation’s National Anthem


The next time you as a U.S.’er hear the Canadian national anthem [as opposed to its Royal Anthem, “God Save The Queen”] at a hockey game or Bluejays or Raptors game, be sure and hear the boldface or underlining under “True.”  The rebels who usurped the 80-pct.-Loyal*  13 Colonies called themselves Patriots, and everyone else traitors.  Now, a patriot is someone who loves his or her country.  One may argue over whether British North Americans’ “country” was the nascent British Empire which sponsored and defended them, or its provinces of New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Virginia, Georgia, or whatever.  But the so-called Patriots loved neither.  They fought for their own “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” – nobody and nothing else … especially anyone who didn’t go along with them.  Maybe most Loyalists stayed, by choice or were unable to afford to leave.  But those who went North, did they set up a similar, narrow, partisan, anti-American state in Canada?  No.  Their only goal, as always, was eventually embodied in three other, older, wiser principles: “Peace, Order, and Good Government.”  This brief discussion of Canadian philosopher John Farthing – I swear that’s his real name – speaks to this too.  The Common Good, the wisdom of the ages, a vote for one’s ancestors, even health care paid for, for those who need it: Then again, maybe it WAS anti-American; “UNamerican,” anyway! ;)Before he died, Canadian-American newsman Peter Jennings – who could nevertheless only bring himself to adopt U.S. citizenship in his final couple years – once offered a poignant image of contrast between his natal and adopted countries, reflecting poorly on the former he thought: If one Mountie stood in front of a crowd surging out of a stadium in Canada, he could stop them in their tracks, whereas no U.S. cop would dream of trying such a feat!  Jennings favored the American ‘free’ spirit and rebelliousness and skepticism … even as he chronicled its sad, tragic results night after night for so many years on TV.  [And they gave him the Order of Canada?!!]  Now, anyone who knows Canadians knows they are far from sheep; in fact, many are more free-spirited and skeptical than many Yanks.  But as someone else pointed out, they don’t pit themselves against their country like the so-called Patriots did; like “true patriots,” they “love” their country, desire to improve it (like “true,” “honourable” Members of the Order of Canada do), don’t worship it ideologically and self-destructively.  If “O Canada … commands … true patriot love,” it’s only because it’s earned it from its people in the first place, not just since 1783 or 1867, but from time immemorial, since “British North America” as an entity, no less than Britain itself, was born on those rainy fields of Great Britain and Ireland millennia ago – a “traditional,” Monarchical system of protective Sovereign, noble persons, and Commons, with no pretense of, but the growing FACT, of “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” for everyone, even eventually the conquered French and Métis in North America with little claim to the sodden soil of those two Isles of the Northeast Atlantic, as well as their “non-conforming” Irish and Scottish co-religionist immigrants and refugees in Canada, and the unconquered, treatied First Nations there.

Critics of Michael Moore’s new HMO-critical documentary SiCKO call Universal Health Care as practiced (diversely) in Canada as well as the UK and France “communist,” but as he points out, its origins have nothing to do with Marx.  At least for Canada and the UK, ‘progressive conservative’ social democracy has more to do with preachers than with Marx.  There’s real “compassionate conservatism”!  In the end, it’s not ideology or “class warfare,” it’s just the Common Good, the wisdom of the ages, “peace, order, and good government,” “a better country” … even what one British columnist has called “the care ethic” to balance the tired, overworked, underpaid, sick, injured-on-the-job “work ethic”!

So please, think some more about what a “true patriot” is, then and now.

(*–That recent NY Times Magazine piece, and most of the propaganda passing for “American history,” make much of the alleged one-third “Neutral” Americans, “neither Patriot nor Loyalist.”  But by anyone’s definition, someone who doesn’t rebel is Loyal, whether they join a Loyalist Regiment, write pro-King [and Country!] pamphlets, or ‘just’ till their farm quietly hoping to stay out of the way.   Anyway, as I’ve said, I believe John Adams’ one-third estimate of “Patriots” was closer to 20 percent in reality, based on my own research … and that he cooked the books, a practice which of course continues in America today.)

Tell Congress to Pass the United States National Health Insurance Act

Here.  Page includes video statement by Michael Moore, maker of the upcoming blockbuster documentary Sicko.

More on Bifocals

Is this what I have to look forward to for the rest of my life, only in reverse?  (Except I have presbyopia, not crossed eyes.  And for any Orthodox readers, that has nothing to do with the priesthood!  😉  )

Wonderful.

From what I hear, I’m not a candidate for laser surgery.  My eyes are too dry.

God love the young lady, though… she’s 10 now.  With one goofy writer for a Dad/Pastor!  😉  (It’s OK, I was a Protestant seminarian once….)

Moral Outrage and Constitutional Democracy

Mr. Yuk logo

Lots of Americans get morally outraged about lots of different things.  There’s 30,000 Christian sects alone, here, after all.  But there’s undoubtedly for a whole lot of us a major and unique “yuck factor” when it comes to “intact Dilation and Evacuation (or Extraction),” aka “Partial-Birth Abortion.”  Nobody dies when men sleep with men or women sleep with women (in her dissent, Justice Ginsburg alluded to the Texas “sodomy” case whose Supreme Court resolution basically ended criminalization of private, non-commercial same-sex intercourse between consenting adults in the United States, absent lethal, incurable sexually-transmitted disease) – except said men and women when those who hate, fear, oppose, make sport of, or seek to “teach them a lesson,” murder them.  Even many people who consider themselves normally “pro-choice” are repulsed by the idea of a kid who almost made it out into the world, only to have his brains sucked out and his skull crushed by his doctor still in his mother’s womb.  (This makes me, and I think Justice Ginsburg, question just what people know about the relatively more common – but still rather rare – abortion technique called “Dilation and Evacuation by Dismemberment,” alluded to by me earlier… the “chicken” bit.  As Neil Diamond put it so well oh so many years ago, “I’m not a man who likes to swear,” but: JESUS CHRIST!  How can a doctor who does that sleep at night?!  Anyway, by the time they’re doing that one, it ain’t “a mass of cells” anymore, but unmistakably, visually human.)  There may even be thought something un-American (Look out!) about seeming to give a kid a chance and then take it away.

“Seeming,” because from what I read, usually we’re not talking about a viable baby in these procedures, a child normally scientifically, medically considered to have fifty percent or greater chance of surviving outside the womb, to begin with.  Usually second trimester, fourth-to-sixth months of pregnancy.  But people naturally identify with the tyke in the versions of this well-known drawing, more than with him a few months earlier when he had a tail, and gender-ambiguous genitalia, and an oblong head, etc etc etc.  In the picture he looks almost-born, denied the chance of life by a slim moment.  Intact D&E seems unnecessarily cruel and crude, and late.

In fact, Justice Ginsburg’s dissent documents pretty succinctly (scroll down to page 58 of this PDF – not as numbered by the document itself, but in the cumulative page numbers in Adobe’s page-number box at the bottom-center of the screen) the cases when intact D&E is alleged to be medically indicated, when we’re talking about abortion at all, when other alleged options are considered more dangerous to the life or health of the mother.  In fact, one gets the sense that intact D&E is on the whole better for the mother, less risky, than dismemberment D&E… even less ‘barbaric.’  Go figure!

One area where her dissent is telling, though, is in her ideological devotion to “reproductive choice.”  Factually I call it ideological because it seems to form the basis of her argument, not the kind of cool, “rational” legal arguing we’d prefer to hear from our judges, “liberal” or “conservative.”  (Though she never “drops the gloves” like Scalia so often does; I have long thought he should be disbarred: Can a disbarred judge continue on the federal bench??)  For Ginsburg, “reproductive choice” doesn’t end until… well, when exactly?  Absent allowed State restrictions in the third trimester, how late could a baby, even a viable one, be aborted?  Day before due-date???  Does the beginning of natural labor perhaps protect him? sometimes they can even stop labor.  And of course under the influence of those drawings, some people might fear that even during natural birth – ‘up to his belly button’ – the baby isn’t safe from a decision to abort him.  And they’re morally outraged: not just Victorians and Puritans and Fundamentalists and Talibans and male chauvinists and Catholics and Muslims and Amish and moralists and ethical hairsplitters and control-freaks and hypocrites and such, but others also.

Another way of looking at it is that “reproductive choice” took place when the choice to have (voluntary) sex without contraception or less-radical surgery than abortion – tubal ligation (female and/or male) – took place… or even to risk it then, since nothing is foolproof except chaste abstinence: the choice to reproduce.  Sex isn’t just “a new way to dial your touchtone phone”:* It’s reproduction, let’s not forget!  Maybe it doesn’t have to be all the time; in fact, it biologically can’t be.  And it certainly has other benefits!!  But when sperm joins ovum and cellular subdivision begins, human reproduction has already taken place.  When a person/couple/family become aware of the pregnancy, the “choice” – if they consider that they have one – is whether to discontinue it, whether to kill “the baby,” to end her/his life, development, growth from a smaller human being into a bigger human being, etc.  (And the late Bob Casey Sr. surely rues the day his name became associated with the phrase “the fetus that may become a child,” from the Supreme Court ruling in the Casey abortion case!  Since the Emancipation of Black Slaves in America, what good law has ever given one person life-or-death power over another innocent person – or potential person if you must – without the explicit consent of the latter?!  What valid legal system says if a woman “wants” the child in her womb at any given point in time, it’ll be considered a “person,” but if another doesn’t want hers at another point in time, he’ll not be considered a “person”?!!  This is the upshot of Ginsburg’s ‘female sovereignty/self-determination/self-development’ ideology: each woman as her own one-person Supreme Court.  IOW, legal chaos, anarchy… by definition, injustice.)

(*–In the ’70s an AM radio disc jockey opened the mike after the song “Do You Wanna Make Love, or Do You Just Wanna Fool Around?” and asked, “Do you wanna make love… or is that just a new way to dial your touchtone phone?!”)

Doubtless there are numerous moral tragedies among the million or more surgical abortions that take place in America every year – situations where people feel faced with no good decision available, for physical, medical reasons, or reasons of familial destitution where there is perceived a total absence of social support systems, or possibly extreme mental illness, or feelings of utter incapacity in the face of anticipated ‘disabilities’ of the expected child, or possibly (actual) rape or incest.**  Ginsburg associates at least some intact D&Es with second-trimester diagnoses of profound deformity or deficiency in the baby.  Be that as it may, is it necessary to push the envelope as far forward in the pregnancy as will be tolerated, and then some?  Human beings have been bearing, and raising, and sometimes seeing die very young, very ‘deformed’ or ‘deficient’ or ‘disabled’ babies, almost as long as there have been human beings.

(**–Although most people don’t realize that the genetic abnormalities commonly associated with incest/inbreeding require several generations of it to manifest; just one won’t do it.)

The thing is, America claims to be a Constitutional Democracy, one whose constitution is even codified in a single document (more or less), not an absolute democracy.  Majoritarianism is qualified by limits on governments and rights of individuals against governments.  But because we also retain a Common Law system of case law (yes, “judge-made law,” it’s older than parliamentary/congressional/legislature-made law!), there’s some give-and-take.  Ginsburg chides the Court majority for slippery moralization, but the fact is there’s plenty of slipperiness to go around in this Carhart case.  Another problem is that there’s a long, intermittent tradition of the Supreme Court being treated as a super-legislature, playing politics and Parties fighting for control of it, all to the detriment of the Rule of Law (ie, Common Law and its -based legislature, executive, and judiciary).  So “moral outrage” must take a procedural second-place to the System itself, unless we are to replace the System itself with another.

And all America needs is more systemic experimentation.  Arguably, it’s such expermentation that’s gotten us here in the first place.

The arc of the universe bends towards

IRONY!

Or as an Irish Catholic priest I once knew opined, “Sometimes I think Murphy’s Law* is God’s Law!”

A year-and-a-half ago, my health coverage stopped paying for my eyeglasses.  Now I’ve been prescribed BIFOCALS!!!!!

Bifocals are MUCH more expensive than normal glasses.  And I’m on Disability.  😦

(*–“If anything can possibly go wrong, it will.”)