Boinkie's Blog


Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Did Federal Judges make a mistake in the Schiavo cast?

t is certainly understandable that the federal judges assigned to the case wanted to rush things. By the time the case got to federal court, the state courts had considered the matter with care and deliberation through six years of contested litigation. There was no particular reason to believe that the state courts had overlooked something, or that federal court intervention was necessary. But it was not up to the federal courts to decide that question; Congress had explicitly directed them to address and resolve the Schindlers' claims de novo, notwithstanding any state court proceedings that came before. Federal judges might understandably have been put off by the way the statute singled out a particular case, by the lack of meaningful congressional deliberation in the highly charged atmosphere in which the statute was adopted, and by the attempts by many politicians to use the courts (as weapons or targets) in a political battle. But neither the district judge nor any of the judges on the three-judge appellate panel assigned to the case was willing to conclude that the statute was unconstitutional. In the absence of such a ruling, the federal courts should have given the parties and themselves enough time to give meaningful consideration to the Schindlers' claims.

(headsup from Volokh conspiracy)

What's wrong with this picture?

Usually when we think about" homosexuality, Radcliffe said, "we ask, 'what is forbidden or permitted?' But I'm afraid I'm an old-fashioned, traditional Catholic, and I believe that's the wrong place to start. We begin by standing beside gay people as they hear the voice of the Lord that summons them to life and happiness.

Ummm...the lord doen't call us to "happiness"...he calls us to holiness.

Happiness in western society usually means do your own thing, get lots of toys, be free from responsibility, and be sexually promiscuous.

We forget happiness means self sacrifice and contentment with helping those we love.
One poll said the happiest people in the world were Filippinos, who traditionally sacrifice their time and money and lives to help their families..

Tuesday, May 30, 2006


CS Lewis gave a talk once and said that the hardest part of the Christian message is not the sexual purity, but the insistence that we need to forgive.

Heaven knows that one of my worst traits is that I remember grudges and have taken pleasure at getting back at those who hurt me.

Pope Benedict has given a talk at Auschwitz, and much of it is on the need for reconciliation...
This is the same reason why I have come here today: to implore the grace of reconciliation -- first of all from God, who alone can open and purify our hearts, from the men and women who suffered here, and finally the grace of reconciliation for all those who, at this hour of our history, are suffering in new ways from the power of hatred and the violence which hatred spawns.

How many questions arise in this place! Constantly the question comes up: Where was God in those days? Why was he silent? How could he permit this endless slaughter, this triumph of evil? ....

This cry of anguish (psalm 44), which Israel raised to God in its suffering, at moments of deep distress, is also the cry for help raised by all those who in every age -- yesterday, today and tomorrow -- suffer for the love of God, for the love of truth and goodness. How many they are, even in our own day!

We cannot peer into God's mysterious plan -- we see only piecemeal, and we would be wrong to set ourselves up as judges of God and history. Then we would not be defending man, but only contributing to his downfall. No -- when all is said and done, we must continue to cry out humbly yet insistently to God: Rouse yourself! Do not forget mankind, your creature!

And our cry to God must also be a cry that pierces our very heart, a cry that awakens within us God's hidden presence -- so that his power, the power he has planted in our hearts, will not be buried or choked within us by the mire of selfishness, pusillanimity, indifference or opportunism.

Let us cry out to God, with all our hearts, at the present hour, when new misfortunes befall us, when all the forces of darkness seem to issue anew from human hearts: whether it is the abuse of God's name as a means of justifying senseless violence against innocent persons, or the cynicism which refuses to acknowledge God and ridicules faith in him.

Let us cry out to God, that he may draw men and women to conversion and help them to see that violence does not bring peace, but only generates more violence -- a morass of devastation in which everyone is ultimately the loser.

The God in whom we believe is a God of reason -- a reason, to be sure, which is not a kind of cold mathematics of the universe, but is one with love and with goodness. We make our prayer to God and we appeal to humanity, that this reason, the logic of love and the recognition of the power of reconciliation and peace, may prevail over the threats arising from irrationalism or from a spurious and godless reason.

On my other blog, I often support the war in Iraq, not because I didn't see the manipulation of the press by Bush (They were not lies, since independent sources said there were WMD's but there was crude manipulation of the press) but because I saw that a multiheaded hydra of extremism in Islam was arising, and that the failure to remove S.Hussein had only encouraged the other heads of Islamofascist groups to greater aggression. (e.g. India and the Philippines had suffered many terrorist attacks by those trained by various international terror groups...when both Alquada and the IRA are helping the FARC in Colombia, it doesn't take a rocket scientist to notice there is a connection).

But "unleashing the hounds of war" leads to problems.

Alas, only those who have lived thru war can realize that there is evil on all sides. War leads to murder, and the survivors keep the thought of justice but also the idea of revenge in their when the war is over, you still have the danger of private reprisals...which is what is behind many of the Shiite killings of Sunnis in Iraq...indeed, if Sistani wasn't a saint who opposed revenge, you would have had a civil war by now...instead of the low grade murder that is occuring. (compare to Ruanda, or to the killings during the Indian/Pakistan independence wars).

Sometimes soldiers are the only ones who keep the peace. Do you chose tyranny or chaos?

But what I despise is when ideology trumps reality...too many people sitting in quiet safe offices can decide to give thousands to "insurgents" while patting themselves onthe back for being more "humane" than those who fight against violence, because these naive peoplevclaim the other side is "evil" without bothering to notice that the "insurgents" are killing more innocent people than the "evil" government.

And here I am not talking about Iraq, but Rhodesia, where the world council of churches funded insurgents against an unjust government without noticing their "marxist" orientation would lead them to willingly kill those they disliked (including 37 missionaries in the last year when I was a missionary)...nor could they see, in their naivity, that those who killed innocent unarmed priests and nuns, nurses and doctors (Both black and white) because their Marxist ideology said it was okay would go on to destroy the economy and allow thousands to starve or die of disease rather than give up their half baked ecomomic ideas.

So a false pacifism that ignores evil is not the answer.
The true answer is conversion of the heart.
Let us cry out to God, that he may draw men and women to conversion and help them to see that violence does not bring peace, but only generates more violence -- a morass of devastation in which everyone is ultimately the loser.

Imagine a Bishop who told Catholics they were committing sin, and they should repent...

Kneeling "is clearly rebellion, grave disobedience and mortal sin," Father Martin Tran, pastor at St. Mary's by the Sea, told his flock in a recent church bulletin. The Diocese of Orange backs Tran's anti-kneeling edict.

Now, imagine if the priest said "cruising gay bars and having anonymous sex is grave disobedience and mortal sin"
or if he said: "having sex outside of marriage is grave disobedience and mortal sin"
or if he said "using artificial birth control is grave disobedience and mortal sin"
or if he said: "getting drunk and using marijuana and cocaine are disobedience and mortal sin".
or if he said: "Putting your mother in a nursing home and neglecting her because your social life is too busy is grave disobedience and mortal sin"
or if he said: "Putting your kids in daycare not because you need to work to make ends meet, but merely so you can fulfill yourself is grave disobedience and mortal sin"
or if he said: "Lying on your income tax is grave disobedience and mortal sin"
or if he said: "having an abortion is grave disobedience and mortal sin"
or if he said:"Going to see a movie that blasphemes the divinity of Christ is grave disobedience and mortal sin"...

naaah...too radical...

Monday, May 29, 2006

Babies with club foot aborted (UK)

The Sunday Times - Britain

The Sunday Times May 28, 2006

Babies with club feet aborted
Lois Rogers
MORE than 20 babies have been aborted in advanced pregnancy because scans showed that they had club feet, a deformity readily corrected by surgery or physiotherapy.

According to figures from the Office for National Statistics covering the years from 1996 to 2004, a further four babies were aborted because they had webbed fingers or extra digits, which are also corrected by simple surgery. All the terminations took place late in pregnancy, after 20 weeks.,,,.

Club foot is one of the most common birth defects in Britain. About one in 1,000 babies is affected, meaning that 600 to 700 infants are born with the condition every year. It results in the feet pointing downwards and inwards, and in severe cases can cause foot deformity and a limp.

However, it is relatively easy to correct and in recent years techniques of splints, plaster casts and boots to set the foot into the correct position have replaced the need for surgery.Club foot is occasionally connected with serious but rare chromosomal defects, although specialists point out that these can also be screened out before birth with additional tests.

Despite the ease with which it can be treated, the perception that club foot is a serious birth defect has remained among some parents and doctors.

“It was strongly suggested that we consider abortion after they found our baby had a club foot,” said David Wildgrove, 41, a computer programmer from Sheffield, whose son Alexander was born in 1996. “I was appalled. We resisted, the problem was treated and he now runs around and plays football with everyone else.”

Pippa Spriggs from Cambridge, whose son Isaac will celebrate his second birthday in July, was also dismayed when a scan halfway through the pregnancy revealed that her baby had the defect.

“Abortion certainly was not openly advised, but it was made clear to me it was available,” she said. “In fact he has been treated and the condition has not slowed him down at all.”

Others take a different view and decide not to accept the risk of an imperfect baby. Sue Banton, who founded the group Steps for parents of children with foot disorders, was troubled that a home counties couple last year decided to terminate their baby, despite counselling to reassure them it would have a worthwhile life even with a section of foot missing.

“We gave them other families to talk to, but they just didn’t want to know. The baby was aborted just before the 25th week,” she said.

“It is terrible. I know lots of perfectly nice people with this condition, and you just can’t imagine them not being here.”

Friday, May 26, 2006

Don't get sick in Texas

The attending physician stated that the patient was definitely NOT brain dead, simply brain damaged from a stroke. The patient is NOT experiencing organ failure, meaning her lungs, heart, kidneys, liver,...everything is working. The patient has a trach collar, but she breathes on her own, and she processes food and hydration appropriately. She is free from infection. During the meeting, I pointed out that the withdrawal of food and water would effectively starve the patient to death, and the doctors dismissed me as if I did not understand medical science. I am not sure what exactly is scientific about starvation, but the patient's mother agreed and was bewildered at the discussion of withdrawal of treatment including food and water. Oh yes, did I mention that the patient has NO insurance? The medical folks involved in these cases adamantly avow that financial considerations never enter into the futility decisions; however, I have yet to hear from the family of any patients with good, adequate health insurance....

One wonders how many of these cases never reach the RightToLife folks, let alone the press...

As a doc who worked for years with the retarded, and had co authored an article on Euthanasia before it went into the headlines, the translation for all this is:
We are now going from "brain death" (turn off respirator, person dies)

to "they are in a coma and might as well be dead" to "the are persistant vegetative state and that is (almost) the same as a coma, so they might as well be dead"

to "they are not brain dead, and their family and doctors say they are awake, but they sometimes look to an outside neurologist as if they might be in persistant vegetative state, so they might as well be dead" (Terry Schiavo)

to "they are mentally handicapped, so they might as well be dead" (One of my Native American patients who a Neurologist tried to talk her family into pulling a feeding tube)

to "they are alert, they are not dying, but they have some brain damage, so they may as well be dead and anyway, they don't have insurance, and look at all the money they are costing us"...

"Medical futility" means that treating you will not make you treating you is futile.
And the definition of medical treatment here is a feeding tube, but don't be confused, since Dr. Ronald Cranford told the court in one case that even spoon feeding is a "intrusive medical treatment".

Now, none of this is the same as keeping a dying person comfortable.

And one wonders why "bioethics" specialists seem more alarmed at this than rejoicing...maybe because if word gets out, fewer people will trust the diagnosis of PVS, which as I noted in an earlier post, is wrong 45% of the time.

Sorry for the rant...
anyone who want more references, I can supply them...

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

You know you're a Catholic Nerd when....

Go over and check his blog.

Overaged Diva Blasphemy alert

Roger Simon has the best comment:
Roger Simon notes:
But how can you push the envelope when the paper's already sopping wet?...

and adds:

Now if she had any real guts, Madonna would dance around on stage as Mohammed in drag.

Monday, May 22, 2006

Decandance in entertainment

Manolo is soooo funny...check this and his other posts about the Eurovision contest. also check LINK2

In the meanwhile, Drudge has a picture of Madonna on the cross, saying her latest outbreak of obscenity is coming, but no link...
Last week on my main blog I published and then removed photos of Madonna and....horses....
Guess Britany wasn't sexy enough.

And Indonesian Muslim women are protesting pornography...

CNNInternational showed photos of the crowd...and then the commentator said if they ban pornography, they will lose tourism.

Ah, but what they don't say is that they will lose sex tourism, including exploitation of young girls and boys which alas is common in Asia...

In much of Asia, there is not a puritanical idea about sex, i.e. sex has never been considered evil, but a normal thing. But families are strong, and it is recognized that pornography is corrupting of family life. Give the PC more time to preach and you will break the link between sex and children, and we will see Asia deteriorate like Japan and Europe...

So when people criticize the "puritan" Christians in the USA, remember the Catholic Filippinos and the Muslim Malaysians and Indonesians and the Hindu Indians also are upset at the filth spread by Hollywood and too many major corporations...

Peter Kreeft has a pre 9 11 book about cultural Jihad, where he points out that we Christians have more in common with believing Muslims and other religious believers than with the secularists. IT is true.

And the secularists have forgotten that there are good psychological and physical reasons to find reverence and restraint in sexuality. (Under clinton, his surgeon general said we should give our 15 year old daughters we are starting to recognize not only STD's but the psychological toll on these girls).

When even gay fashion sites ridicule the decandance, you can see we have a problem.
Of course, as Manolo pointed out last year on his blog, when we see beauty in our life, we see the beauty of God. I almost swallowed my teeth, but alas didn't save the link...

Hmmm...sounds like a mystic German who now works in Rome...


BookTV has a lecture on line by the author of a book on Eugenics....go to link to listen on line

Many of the arguments are the same, although the ways different...

no more woman's curse

I discussed this on my main blog.

Women take the pill or another artificial hormone to stop their periods. Now, as I mention on my main blog, this is frequently done for medical problems, and indeed, I've had to take it for problems.

But the link is to women who just want to get rid of the inconvenience.
and THIS is woman on this forum said she liked it because she resents being REMINDED every month that she is a baby maker...

Ah, but that's the point. Part of this is rejecting that we are feminine.
Rejecting that we can be mothers.
Prefering to be pseudomen...

Ironically, the ones who really dislike this type of hormone manipulation to desex oneself are the Wiccans, who celebrate their "moon cycles".

The other group are Christian women who often homeschool and eschew much of medicine and some technology.

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Selfish adults

BBC reports on a man who paid for children...he paid one lady money for her eggs, used his own sperm and then a second lady to carry them.

Well, to start with carrying triplets is life threatening.

Second, he says he didn't want a wife because if they divorced she'd take the kids...

What is not answered is the real questions:
One: Why didn't you marry...usually the idea that you might divorce will not interfere with your decision to marry.
Usually what happens is that men get....sexually aroused...and like the woman.

Two: how did he get to age 50 without marrying?

theory one: he's had wives and girlfriends but they didn't have kids...why not?
am I the only one who notices that such men often have had girlfriends abort a couple of their kids? And why did he decide he wants kids at this late age?
Of course, if he was married to an infertile woman for 25 years, and then she died, and his one artache was the fact they didn't have kids, I'll apologize...but this is not mentioned
in the article...

Three: Who changed the diapers.
I'm being sarcastic, but not really. I've had patients who had triplets...and they needed help
from friends and neighbors in cuddling the kids and in changing the diapers...

Four: what will happen when instead of loving 4 year olds they are now teenagers?

Enough said.

theory two: He's gay, but doesn't want to admit it to the BBC.
At least if he was gay, he'd have an excuse for doing this instead of marrying.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Vatican my space?

Curt Jestor has a take off of what a Vatican "my space" would look like...

Only for those under 25

Monday, May 15, 2006

The Ragged edge

another resource for pro life types is the ragged edge magazine.

".....The idea that the state should not have the power to selectively starve and dehydrate people may be proved controversial after all.

This is because the issue is not really about personal autonomy, as last year's Schiavo editorials would have us believe. No; the issue really comes down to differences of opinion over whether this or that particular life is "worth saving."

For some, the answer is "not if the person can't talk or feed himself" (you know, if the person ends up a little like Stephen Hawking). For others, the answer is, "no, not if the person can't be expected to make a "full recovery" (you know, return to "normal").

... most families eventually agonize over how much progress is enough to keep life support going, said Dr. Michael Grodin, director of biomedical ethics at Boston University. Is it enough that the patient is breathing on his or her own and showing normal sleep-wake cycles, even if there is no prospect of being able to talk or feed themselves? Or does the patient need to substantially return to normal?...

If Haleigh suffered severe strokes on both sides of her brain, as indicated in medical testimony in court records, she may have the potential for only a limited recovery of consciousness at best...( from "DSS to seek outside expertise in Haleigh case," The Boston Globe, Jan. 21, 2006)

There certainly seems to be a lot of latitude here -- for families, for the state when it becomes "family."

Diane Coleman has a phrase for this as well: The "dismantling of rights."

My question for my fellow liberals: exactly at what point would you join disability activists in drawing the line? Or do you just want to let the bioethicists sort it all out?........

Not Dead Yet

The latest country to try to legalize euthanasia is the UK...

However, the docs oppose it.

And guess who else opposes it? The disabled...

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Happy non mother day

NYTime lauds a Colombian court "legalizing" abortion..."in some cases"...
The progressives laud this as wonderful...

Well, in Colombia they view abortion as murder.

And a couple years ago, the same court "legalized" euthanasia.

Groups advocating changing the laws argue that the abortion laws in Latin America are counterproductive. Latin America has a higher rate of abortion than even in Western European countries where abortion is legal and widely available.

Four million abortions, most of them illegal, take place in Latin America annually, the United Nations reports, and up to 5,000 women are believed to die each year from complications that arise from the procedure. At least 300,000 illegal abortions are believed to take place in Colombia each year.

The court's ruling will not be easy to put into effect, as health authorities ponder such thorny issues as how to confirm that a woman seeking an abortion was raped.

The Catholic Church hierarchy and some groups opposed to abortion vowed to fight on.

"We are calling for civil disobedience, so Colombians do not follow these practices," said José Galat, the rector of the Gran Colombia University. He has paid for full-page newspaper advertisements criticizing abortion rights advocates. "We're going to call for a referendum to let the people decide if abortion should be legal or not because the court cannot impose this."

Saturday, May 13, 2006

The Davinci code

Bill Donahue has his Irish up....because the DaVinci code will not have a disclaimer it is fiction.

So he lists all the films that actually had disclaimers...including that the movie WhiteFang apologized to wolves...

“That’s right—even wolves merited a disclaimer ..."

The Philippine bishops are worried that people will think it is real not fiction...LINK
There is a lot of confusion about the Catholic church here, partly because we have a lot of half trained Protestants who "convert" Catholics by telling them a skewered story of Catholicism and quoting the bible out of context.

But in a land where pirated CD's are available the day after the film opens in Hong Kong, only politicans who want publicity are calling for a ban.Here people will see the movie no matter what. But few will become confused, but will merely see a good story.

The bad news is the elites may get confused, so the bishops letter is aimed toward them.

In a country where corrupt politicians play the "religion card", the local bishops blogs are more worried about gangsters who bribe politicans and corruption in business and government than the DaVinci Code..

Stations of the cross

go to link for art work

Monday, May 08, 2006

The Thrill of the chaste.

LULAC Votes to Oppose Doctor Assisted Suicide

"Latinos are the least likely to have medical insurance," says Luévano. "Many will say, 'I don't have the money and don't want to be a financial burden to my family.' Latinos will be the most likely to be steered into this option."

A resolution opposing the bill was debated and passed at California LULAC's last annual convention. Luévano cites a recent survey of California Latinos, conducted in February, 2006 by the Democratic polling firm, Fairbanks, Maslin & Associate, which indicates that 64 percent of Latinos oppose doctor-assisted suicide.

"The Latino community doesn't want assisted suicide. The disability community does not want assisted suicide. The poor and uninsured do not want assisted suicide. The majority of us are Democrats and we want our representatives to focus on issues like health care, education, and immigration rights - not assisted suicide," says Luévano.
"They say they have safeguards, but in reality, they don't check them. It is my impression that they are not rigorously enforced."

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Tea commercial

This is one of the funniest commercials that I've ever seen...

Divina Pastora

Lots of photos at our parish website.
The lady at the right is my neice Dr. Angie.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006


Holy fool discusses Benedict's sermon on suffering and love.

Reason as progressive scientism

Mr Gitlini has an article in the chronicles of higher Education that shows why some fear that academic organizations prefer ideology over reason....He uses this book review to tell his fellow professors that they need to revitalization and go out and preach repentence to the ignorant.

You see, Gitlin essentially is lamenting the ignorance of the hoi polloi, and to prove his point, he equates reason to scientism, religion to Jerry Falwell, and conservatism to David Horowitz.

This is a trick of rhetoric, not logic or "reason". Gitlin erects a straw man, and then knocks them down and then says he "wins" the argument". But he doesn't win, because he has framed the argument to win by ignoring the argument, instead relying on the caricature of soundbite TV as a straw man to destroy.

Take stem cells. Gitlin dismisses those opposing embryonic stem cells as "jettisoning scientific judgement". Has he actually READ John Paul II, Benedict XVI, Charles Krauthammer, or Leon Kass, who are able to give nuanced arguments on the problem of destroying human life for a potential benefit to other human lives?

A similar argument is about evolution, where he dismisses all those opposing narrow Darwinism as superstitious clergy, again using Falwell as a straw man.

He laments that "dissenting liberals" need to stand for reason against ignorance, and then lists a long line of social and political policies that he disagrees with. Fine. I disagree with some of them too. But that does not mean they are the "enemy" and it does not mean I demonize them with namecalling and by distorting their ideas.

What Gitlin needs to learn is his own philosophical basis for assuming other are ignorant.

Philosophy 101, please.

One: Gitlin blasts "fundamentalism". Since he does not mention any other type of religion, one assumes he places all religious belief in that catatory.
Jerry Falwell is religious.
Jerry Falwell is ignorant.
Therefore, all religious people are ignorant.
What's wrong with this line of logic?

Behind the argument is the unproven assumption that only the material is real. No, Gitlin doesn't say it. But his entire argument is based on this assumption. Notice all the stuff about standing for "reason". But what does he mean by reason? Science?

Laypeople assume what science teaches is True....But actually Science does not assume only the latest scientific theory is truth...

Actually no. We observe something, and then propose a theory to say why things happen. Someone else checks out what we observed, and then tries to see if the experiment agrees with our theory. If it does, it is taught as science. Very useful. But when later experiments show something different, we scientists are supposed to be humble enough to revise our theories. Because we respect the truth, and seek truth.

Science is merely a way to discover truth. Philosophically, science does not assume that the scientific method is the only way to perceive the truth....Those who assume that belong to the "religion" of scientism. Nor does science assume only the material exists. Those who believe that belong to the "religion" of materialism.

I say "religion", because they are basing their philosophy on an unproven assumption, that only that which can be observed by the scientific method is true. That in itself cannot be proven!

As the saying goes: They know the price of everything but the value of nothing.

You might think: Of course, only what can be measured is real. Really? Are Angels unreal because we can't "see" them scientifically? If you assume that, then remember that radio waves were "unreal" before the radio was invented...Is the reality of radio waves or angels dependent on our perception of them, or do things exist independently?

And a second, related assumption is that only the material is real.
Ah, but what about love, or poetry, or hope? Plato, anyone? Or don't they teach him anymore?

Remember the old question:If a tree falls in an empty forest, does it make a sound? Answer: It produces sound waves. That is the scientific answer. Define the word sound and I will answer your question. Sound is how you perceive the fall. But the sound of a tree falling is more than sound waves. It is sorrow over the death of a living tree. It is terror and fear that the dead tree might increase risk of forest fire. It is the symbolism of the fall, for the falling of a tree reminds us of our own death. And it is the worry and fear that it might have fallen on your child. None of these are within the realm of the scientific method, but they are real nevertheless...

The final problem with Gitlin's arguments are that the academics need to teach us. I agree. Academics can teach us that we need to be honest, recognize nuances in discussion, the need to seek what is true, etc.

But of course, what Gitlin wants academics to teach is the progressive ideas held by most liberal academics. Essentially he is saying: Go and preach my religion.

Why does he assume all in academia belong to his religion? Hmmm...maybe Horowitz has a point...

You see, the essay is a book report. So most of the ideas in the essay might not be Gitlin's. What disturbs me is how Gitlin blithely quotes authors and criticizes what the authors say.

You see, it's hard to know what the books actually say. Gitlin quotes a lot of statements of inflammatory rhetoric, and he then lambasts their rhetoric with his own inflammatory rhetoric..

What is missing is no one is saying: This writer is using inflammatory language to discuss his theme. The writer denounces those who oppose his ideas by using personal attacks and name calling. The writer has presented no proof of what he says, nor does he recognizes the nuances of academic ideas. What is missing is the discussion of the ideas in the books. If they are as one sided and biases as Gitlin tells us they are, then why would an academic press publish such bosh? And if they are not, then why can't we have a reviewer discuss the ideas in the books? And finally, why did a respected academic journal publish a review full of childish name calling?

And finally, in summary, Gitlin criticizes his fellow leftist academics for being out of touch.

"....Neither do reformers' intermittent attempts to eject the party of plutocracy and fundamentalism from power, to win universal health care, to protect the planet from further convulsions, to enlarge the rights of the least privileged. If more academics deigned to work toward reforms, they might contribute ideas about taxes, education, trade, employment, investment, foreign policy, and security from jihadists..."

Gitlin says they are out of touch. Well, dang it, maybe you should start by...discussing ideas. Why does Gitlin assume academics who work toward reform are leftists? I would say that the most radical ideas in the last fifty years have come out of the University of Chicago than from Harvard? I wonder if Gitlin has read Hayek? Does he know who Alan Greenspan is? Ben Bernacke?
No, probably not. Because his universe doesn't know about powerful thinkers outside of their small self pollinating circle.

But there is a more disturbing assumption: That academics, because they are smart and intelligent and know more have the right to lead us.

As an American, could I point out that this goes against the idea behind the American founding fathers: Who felt that the judgment of many normal free people who discuss a matter will eventually come to a wiser decision than the decisions of philosopher/kings.

So, Todd, go down to Oklahoma and talk to some ignorant hoi polloi at the Bluestem Cafe.
Yes, I know they are ignorant Okies. I suspect you will find them less articulate but having a wider range of opinions than you hear among your friends in NYC.

See that large Indian joking over there? He has a masters degree, was a Green Beret, speaks Hmong, and is a tribal commissioner. Or that small quiet guy with the glasses? He's an MD and a well known artist. Or that cowboy there? He's not a cowboy. He's an oil worker who has worked in Venezuela and Nigeria and can take apart and reassemble an oil rig. Or that lowly housewife has raised three kids, knows how to clean, cook, balance a budget, and can tell you about the Lord Jesus healing her life.

And, unlike your essay, they will not call you names because they disagree with you.
You see, unlike you, they still value civility in Oklahoma.

Monday, May 01, 2006

ROBOT caregivers?


A Canadian has the nerve to point out the dirty little secret about is usually done to benefit the caretakers, not the patient (even most who "request" euthanasia are either depressed or feel they don't want to burden others...dependency is the only taboo in our self help society)

But actually he missed the real point: like suicide, school shootings, and other taboo acts, by giving someone a free pass, even if that someone is a depressed overwhelmed caretaker, society sends a message that such things are no longer taboo, and you get copy cat crimes...

But one only has to read the "advertisements" of pro death groups to know that they "scare" people into thinking if they are useless, they should kill themselves...

Of course, euthanasia by stealth is alive and well, as Medpundit and FirstThings points out...

As Smith puts it, “The idea behind futile-care theory goes something like this: In order to honor personal autonomy, if a patient refuses life-sustaining treatment, that wish is sacrosanct. But if a patient signed an advance medical directive instructing care to continue—indeed, even if the patient can communicate that he or she wants life-sustaining treatment—it can be withheld anyway if the doctors and/or the ethics committee believes that the quality of the patient’s life renders it not worth living.”....
In other words, you’re free to choose, as long as your choice is for death.

Translation: It's all about money...

There is a time to live, and a time to die.
Sometimes, a person wants to live and treatment has little hope. Do we "waste" money on them?
There are times to stop extraordinary treatment, and even stop IV's that hurt a person who can still eat and drink on their own.
When there is multisystem failure and end stage disease, that is a time.
When there is terminal cancer, and treatment is unpleasant, that is a time.
But to stop treatment because some "ethics" committee decides your quality of life is not worth living? That is very dangerous.

In the USA, we "expect" everyone to work. This makes it hard for us to care for the sick.
And what makes it worse is the fear of nursing homes.
Nursing home should be just that: Homes.
Alas, instead they are housing of useless people waiting to die, and those working there too often are those who can't get another job, and work for a minimum wage...with understaffing in many homes.

My brother was the one who cared for my mother in nearby elderly was a burden for him and his wife...because he had flex time and his wife worked part time, they were able to do it, and she lived at home independent til she died.
But my husband chose to return here to the Philippines. If he becomes disabled, he will be cared for by loving relatives.

But with economics requiring both men and women to work, how many can afford to care for a sick child or relative?

Actually, many more than you think...most elderly stay at home with help of family and just rarely read about it.

The sisters who care for the elderly, like the Little Sisters of the Poor, have a vocation that is rarely mentioned...they indeed are happy, because they don't see the old as useless but as human beings loved by God...