The fatman chronicles--all hope renounce, ye lost, who enter here

"If the FEC makes rules that limit my First Amendment right to express my opinion on core political issues, I will not obey those rules."--Patterico's Pledge

Thursday, June 29, 2006

John McCain Joins The Blogosphere

Arizona Sen. John McCain (R) has (alledgedly) written a post for the blog Porkbusters. (The link takes you to the first comment. Scroll up to read McCain's post.) The following is a comment I left there.

First of all, thank you for your service during the Vietnam War. You are, in that respect, a far better man than I ever was or ever will be.

Unfortunately, I can't say the same thing about your service in the Senate. Whether it's earning a 100% rating on gun control from the left-wing site "Progressive Punch", caving into Vicente Fox and George Bush on the "guest-worker" (read "amnesty/open borders") policy or trashing the First Amendment just because you're too thin-skinned to handle criticism, you've managed to convince me that I wouldn't vote for you for dog catcher, let alone President of the United States.

I later went back and added a second comment.

Sorry, but I forgot to mention that I find your attempts to wrap yourself in the mantle of Ronald Reagan particularly repugnant.

That pretty much says it all as far as I'm concerned.

h/t to: Rightwingsparkle

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Opposing Abortion: Not A Matter Of Faith (For Me)

I recently got into a discussion over Rightwingsparkle's blog on the subject of abortion with a commenter named "andy", who also has his own blog here.

andy stated (paraphrasing here) that he thinks that abortion at seven months is wrong but not at one month (a moot point, I believe; I understand abortionists won't perform them any earlier then six weeks). He has also stated (in response to another commenter)

It's not a question of "is this alive?" but one of "do rights exist?"...

And just when does andy think a fetus acquires those rights?

As I've said here numerous times before, I would draw the line somewhere around 23-24 weeks, if specificity were possible, but to err on the side of safety probably closer to 20 weeks.

I base it on when the brain begins to exhibit those features and constructs that will give it distinctly human capabilities (although with the most recent research into primate brains, that "distinctly" may need to be revisited); in other words, when something beyond the "lizard brain" is formed.

Then, after andy had a go-round with another commenter (admittedly, a certifiable loon), I joined in:

"What I'm having trouble understanding is how you can say

No one says the embryo or the fetus is not human. The question is one of rights...

Then, in the very next sentence, say

Every skin cell you shed is human. A single liver cell of yours is human. The intestinal tissue you slough off with each crap is human by virtue of its DNA.

No, they aren't. They are the waste products of humans, incapable of thought, consciousness or reproduction once they've left the human body. Later (in another comment) you said

...I don't know of anyone, even the most staunch abortion supporters, that would argue that the embryo or fetus is not alive.

Okay, so we're in agreement; the zygot, embryo, fetus, whatchamacallit is alive and it's human. I think we can agree that if left in the mother's womb, it will usually develop into a baby, capable when it matures of conscious thought and self-awareness.

What I can't understand is how you can then say that the fetus has to wait 20 to 24 weeks from the time of conception to have the same rights as a fully developed human being. Why should its state of development determine whether or not the mother can decide that having a baby is too inconvenient for whatever reason and abort it? I just don't get it."

andy replied that the cells and tissue that I described as waste products (^^) are " virtue of their DNA, identifiably human". He then added

Further, an embryo is "incapable of thought, consciousness, (and) reproduction." A fetus (in support of my position) at some stage becomes capable of at least one, if not two, of them.

And what I'm saying is that a single human skin cell or liver cell or piece ..."of intestinal tissue you slough off with each crap..." is not capable of developing into a thinking, self-aware human being. An embryo, on the other hand, is. Unless it's aborted.

Then, in response to my question about the fetus' state of development determining whether it had any rights (^^), he replied

Because we need a rational way to decide when something is a human being with rights.

And when I asked why, he got flippant

You'd prefer an irrational way? I suppose that religious belief fits it perfectly then. (he and I are both atheists, something I reminded him of earlier.)

My point was (and he knew it; he's not as dense as he sometimes acts) that if an embryo or a fetus is both alive and human, then denying it the rights of a living human because it hasn't reached a certain level of development (particularly brain development) is both illogical and, to me at least, repugnant. And before anybody makes the analogy that an embryo and/or a first to late second trimester fetus has no more higher brain function then, say, Terri Schiavo, I'll say this: Terri Schiavo would not have developed higher brain function had she been allowed to live. An embryo or fetus will.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Some Things You Just Can't Make Up II... this. From somewhere in France (my guess would be Paris; they don't call it "Gay Paree" (sic) for nothing). And this is supposed to convince heterosexuals that homosexuals are just like everyone else except that they run on Direct Current instead of Alternating Current.

Now I don't really care who you make nice to. Heck, my life's ambition is for a certain redheaded cutie and her titian (sometimes) haired friend to make a fatman sandwich out of me. Which I guess makes me a dirty old man as well as a sexist pig. But not under Kaufmann's clock at high noon. (An obscure [for non - yinzers] reference to a very famous Pittsburgh landmark where people used to meet because everybody knew where it was. Back when people still went downtown. *sigh*)

This isn't "gay pride". It isn't about demanding fair and equal treatment for homosexuals. It's (mostly) not even about partying hearty and having a good time. It's about seeing just how revolting and obnoxious you (the militant homosexual community) can get before us (fairly) straight types start complaining so you can accuse us of being homophobes and of repressing you and demanding the courts do something about it. Don't believe me? Let me ask you, would you want your son, daughter, niece, nephew, whatever to get anywhere near that? Would you want to live next door to that?

h/t to: Ace of Spades via Rightwingsparkle.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Some Things You Just Can't Make Up...

Sunday, June 11, 2006

If Thine Eye Offend Thee...

...find a new ophthalmologist.

I've been going to the same ophthalmologist for about five years now. She is, from a technical standpoint, very good. She did a excellent job of removing a cataract from my right eye back in 2001, so when the same problem cropped up in my left eye I eventually (after dealing with some other, more life-threatening problems) went back to her. And was reminded why I didn't see her more often.

The wait. Every time I've ever gone to her office I've been kept waiting at least an hour past my appointment time before she's seen me. This time was no exception. If I hadn't literally been blind in my left eye by this time I would have left and gone hunting for a new doctor. But since I didn't know how long it would take to find and get an appointment with a new ophthalmologist, I decided to grin and bear it.

Flash forward a month or so to the date of the surgery. I was told to be at the out-patient surgery center of a local hospital by 11:00 AM so I could be prepped for surgery, which was scheduled for 1:00 PM. Naturally no food after the previous midnight and no fluids except what I needed to take my morning medications. And since I couldn't eat I couldn't take any ibuprofen, which is my painkiller of choice. But okay, this is standard stuff and I'm a big boy (literally). I can deal with a little pain.

What I wasn't prepared to deal with was the wait. I got to the hospital and signed in at 10:35 AM. I then sat (with the friend who escorted me--the hospital rules stated that I needed an escort because of the sedative I was to be given) for two hours in the waiting room before I was finally taken back to a room to begin pre-op. After changing into a hospital gown (you know, the ones that flap in the back), I lay down on a gurney at around 1:00PM and waited some more.

At 2:30 PM a nurse came in and began administering five different kinds of eye drops to dilate my eye. She explained that this had to be done a total of four times at fifteen minute intervals. This obviously meant a wait of at least another hour. I asked her why my surgery was so far behind schedule and she had no answer.

Finally, at a little after 4:00 PM I was taken back to the operating room and surgery began. I'll spare you the gory details except to say that you wouldn't believe how hard it is to know which direction your eye is looking in when you can't see a damn thing (my right eye was covered with a surgical drape).

Finally, at around 5:00 PM, I was wheeled out of the operating room and into a recovery room. And after about another half hour, I prevailed upon the discharge nurse to let me (and the poor woman who was escorting me) leave. Before we left, we stopped at the hospital cafeteria to get something to eat. Big mistake. Either because of the sedative I was given to keep me calm or because getting the vision back in my left eye scrambled my brains even worse than usual, any sudden movement of my head caused vertigo and an accompanying urge to toss my cookies. I got home just in time to do that and then collapse into bed.

I was supposed to go into the office the next day (Friday) for a post-op examination but I was still too sick to do that, so I called the office and after some argument, we finally agreed to re-schedule for the following Tuesday at 1:45 PM. Naturally, when I got to the office--on time, I might add--I had to wait. And wait. And wait some more. Finally, just as I was getting ready to leave at 3:30 PM, Her Highness deigned to receive me. After a few rather harsh words were exchanged, I went back to the examining room. And after another ten minutes or so and a cell phone call from someone I was supposed to meet at 3:00 PM, she examined me for five minutes, pronounced me good to go and told me to make another appointment to see her in two weeks.

The receptionist made the appointment while I sat there waiting to make a co-pay that it turned out I didn't owe (because it was a post-op visit). It was as I was waiting that I decided that I'd had enough. I didn't say anything to them at the time; given my mood and the doctor's temperment it would have degenerated into a screaming match and I wasn't up for that. But after I left the office and I was rolling home in my wheelchair I called my primary care physician (who never keeps me waiting like that) and got a recommendation for another ophthalmologist. Hopefully one who has as much respect for my time as I have for his.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Al-Zarqawi Speaks...

...more or less. Iowahawk has the latest from Abu Musab Al-Zarqawi (the Z-man, to us infidels) who lets us know just what we can expect if we ever end up in Paradise. (At least if we're head-lopping terrorists who send kids out to die as suicide bombers.)

Maybe the Iowahawk commentary is why he was a little less than forthcoming with Jeff at Protein Wisdom. Didn't want to use up all his best material.

Very strong language at both sites.

Update: Apparently you can't keep a good head-chopping terrorist down; the Z-man has revealed a...different side of himself and imparts a little more inside info on what it's like to be a dead mass murdering scumbag. Again, very strong language.

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Where Does It End?

Thursday afternoon, a baby was found in a toilet at Brighton High School in Boston Ma.

The story, which ran in the Friday Boston Herald, stated that the baby's age, race and sex couldn't be immediately determined because the child was jammed in the toilet, possibly after being flushed. The body was discovered by a janitor, who was working to clear the clogged toilet. The find comes three weeks after workers at a water treatment plant in Suffolk County discovered the severed arm of a baby. Both cases remain under investigation.

Now, according to the article, Massachusetts is one of forty-eight states that have passed a "Safe Haven" law, which allows mothers to drop off unwanted babies at hospitals, fire halls and police stations within seven days of the child's birth without fear of prosecution as long as the child hasn't been abused. And I'll bet I'm on pretty safe ground in saying Massachusetts probably has some of the most liberal abortion laws in the nation. So why did this poor baby end up jammed into a toilet?

Maybe it's because in the thirty-three years since Harry Blackmun found a non-existent right to privacy in the Constitution, we've pushed quality of life to the forefront over sanctity of life. We've managed to abort over forty million babies. The Supreme Court has put it's imprimatur on physician-assisted suicide in Oregon. Right after Terri Schiavo was put down by her husband in Florida, a woman in Georgia named Beth Gaddy decided that it was time for her grandmother, eighty-one year old Mae Magouirk, who had glaucoma and a serious but not necessarily terminal heart condition, to go home to Jesus. So she stuck her in a hospice and ordered that she be denied food and fluids. Never mind that her grandmother had a living will which stated that this should not be done unless she (Mrs. Magouirk) was terminally ill, comatose or in a persistent vegetative state. None of which she was. She eventually died after she was moved to the University of Alabama-Birmingham Medical Center by her nephew.

We've cheapened life. If a life is inconvenient (like a baby's) or we don't think it's worth living (like the enfeebled elderly or the sick) we end it. We encourage people to end their own lives if they feel it isn't worth living. In Switzerland an organization called Dignitas will help you kill yourself no matter why you want to do it. And the Dutch are euthanizing babies (only terminally ill ones--so far). Where does it end?

Hat tips to: Jay Tea & Paul at Wizbang; Jay Tea blogged on the story from Boston, while Paul blogged on the AP report on Dutch infanticide.

Linked to: Wizbang's Carnival of the Trackbacks & The Bullwinkle Blog's MooseTracks Open Trackbacks.