Monday, August 3, 2015

Planned Parenthood in the News...Again


        Every year or two, at least one Planned Parenthood puff'n'snuff manages to get filmed saying something so vile and stupid that it even offends an occasional Democrat. What do they put in the arugula over there? or is it the Merlot?
        And then it's on to the usual 'defund Planned Parenthood', 'War against whoever votes,' etc. What a waste of time. Isn't there a way to put a stop to all this without offending either the 'defund' crowd or the 'Arugulistas?' Fortunately, there is.
        In 1911, Standard Oil was broken up and everything worked out okay.
        In 1985, it was the phone company's turn. And again, no problem.
        Is there any reason that Planned Parenthood can't follow in their footsteps and spin off its abortion division? Maybe call it Standard Oil for good luck.
        Apparently abortions only make up 3% of the care they give anyway. Nobody, or almost nobody, objects to Planned Parenthood providing contraceptive services, or cancer screening, or treatment of sexually transmitted diseases or any other type of women's health care.
       They're a good organization and do a lot of good things. It's the abortions that are the problem and that's only because taxpayers' money is involved, no matter how indirectly. For people who regard abortion as murder, it's hard enough to see it go on but, having to pay for it also, well...
        And besides, it's against the law to use tax money to pay for abortions except in cases of rape, incest, or where the mother's life is in danger and these would still be covered in any PP spinoff.
        Anyway, it seems like it would be a simple matter and not very expensive. In a big center, just put up a wall. On one side is Planned Parenthood on the other side, abortion clinic. Or maybe build a few new offices. In any case, not very complicated.
       Then, if someone calls asking for abortion info, just have to say that we don't do that anymore but we can give you the phone number of a very reliable group. Yeah, you're right, they do look a little like us.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Anytime, anywhere?


        The important question is not WHETHER the President or his National Security Advisor or anyone else promised that the Iran treaty would include inspections 'anytime and anywhere,' but rather why it was NOT included. Under the treaty, the Iranians have 24 days, not hours, DAYS, to allow inspection of any 'suspicious' site.
        Why was this provision so important to the Iranians? Think they're afraid that someone might steal their most secret falafel recipe? Trust without verify is not just worthless. It's dangerous.
        And what about Iran keeping its nuclear infrastructure? enriched uranium and centrifuges to enrich more?
        What do they need that for? Iran is sitting on one of the largest deposits of oil and natural gas in the world. Poke a hole in the sand and it squirts out like seltzer. Why would they want to  waste billions developing a 'peaceful' nuclear power industry?
        And in eight years the Iranians are going to be allowed to import technology to build ballistic missiles. Also for 'peaceful' purposes? Did you hear that Amazon is planning to open a branch in Tehran and this is how they'll be delivering books? Me neither.
        In ten years, by the way, all restrictions start winding down and Iran, hundreds of billions of dollars richer, will be allowed to begin developing nuclear weapons without interference  from the rest of the world. No wonder they're dancing in the streets. ("If you like your nuclear weapons, you can keep your nuclear weapons. No, really. This time I'm not kidding.")
        Eli Wiesel once said, "I've got more faith in Hitler than in anyone else. He's the only one who kept his promises, all his promises, to the Jewish people."
        And, speaking of promises,
        "Death to America. Death to Israel." Wonder who said that...and what he meant.

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Austerity Tomorrow and Austerity Yesterday but never Austerity Today


        Watching all those Greek students marching thru the streets of Athens, waving the Greek flag, wrapped in the Greek flag, laughing, singing, cheering...could remind a person of the French students in 'Les Mis' and the Paris uprising of 1832. Different flags but, students are students. Young is young.
        Live free or die. Live FOR free or die. What's the difference? It's only one word. Oh, those Greeks. 
         Death or food stamps. Don't take it all so seriously. Life is way too short. Don't be so...austere.
                                                              ***
Dear Greek Friends,
        Your political leaders want you to like them and will sometimes tell you what they know you want to hear.
        'Austerity' is not a choice. It's not jelly beans or soup or austerity or ice cream or...(pick one). You don't get to decide which one you want. 'Austerity' is paying back what you owe and then living within your means. That's the one you have to pick, sooner or later, or it will be picked for you and you'll never get any jelly beans or soup and definitely no ice cream...ever...no matter what anyone tells you. 
        And don't wait until the music stops or it could be too late. You may have forgotten how to dance.
        Good luck from your friends in Detroit and Chicago and Baltimore and...a few other places.

Sunday, July 5, 2015

The Law of the Land...more or less


        It's no secret that the U.S. Constitution has been subject to much (mis?)interpretation over the years. Maybe it's too long, too complicated, not complicated enough, who knows? If I were rewriting it, I'd try,
                                           United States Constitution
                                                   We the people.
                                                         The end.
                                                            ***
"What?! What is that supposed to be?"
"It's the constitution. Why, you don't like it? Did you read the whole thing?"
"But, but, but...there's nothing there. Everything's missing."
"Well, it's a little short but easy to read."     
"But, it doesn't say anything, doesn't answer any questions."
"Give me a question that my constitution won't answer for you."
"Ok. What if two gay people want to get married. Can they?"
"You sure you read the whole thing? Look, right after the 'e' in 'we', you see where it says
   that the constitution guarantees the right to marriage? And if the constitution guarantees
   the right to marriage, gay people also have the right to marry. Simple."
"Wait a minute! I don't see any of that stuff in there. Where are you reading?"
"Hmm, do you see the stuff about the right to privacy, the right to an abortion, the right
  to make everyone buy health insurance or pay a penalty?"
"No, I don't see any of that stuff."
"Just as I suspected. You're an originalist."
"Doc, no! Am I going to die?"
"An 'originalist' is someone who reads the constitution and interprets it the way it was
  written. They are often referred to as The Sensible Ones. Others claim that the
  constitution is a 'living document' and has to be interpreted differently, no matter what  
  it says or how clearly it's written,  because it was written for 'a different time.' They are 
  often referred to as New York Times Editorial Writers."   
"But that's crazy! Something can mean one thing today and something completely
  different tomorrow. Depends on who's on the Court. What a way to run a country."
"So, who's perfect?"
"And if The Constitution is a 'living document' and can mean different things on different
  days, then what about the Penal Code, the Commercial Code, the..."
"Sh-h-h, don't give them any ideas."

Monday, June 15, 2015

You Go, Girl!


Of course we need public financing of elections. How else will voters get to really understand the issues and on where each candidate stands on each one. In discussing the Trans Pacific Trade Partnership, for example, Hillary Clinton stated her position,
"Let's take the lemons and make them into lemonade."
"Get the best strongest deal possible."
"Drive a harder bargain."
"Getting to what works."
"Let's make it as good as can be."

"What difference does it make?" - Oops, wrong issue.

An informed citizenry....

Monday, June 8, 2015

50 Million Climate Scientists Can't Be Wrong


        Try casually mentioning that you think 'climate change' or 'global warming', as it was called before Al Gore was making The Speech one day and it started snowing on his head, is no big deal and you will be informed that 97% of climate scientists think it's a very big deal, is dangerous, and is going to destroy the planet if we don't do something about it right away and that you are a fool and should just go away and stick your head in the troposphere.
        Whew! Scary stuff but is that really what all those scientists believe? Really?
        Well, climate scientists do overwhelmingly agree that the planet has been in a warming trend for about the last 150 years but, so what? The Little Ice Age was a time of unusually cold temperatures which ended in 1850. Since then, the planet has been warming. Warm, cold, warm, cold...It's the way climate has naturally fluctuated since the Earth was formed billions of years ago. (By the way, since 1850 Earth's temperature has gone up approximately one degree and the seas have risen...8 inches.)
         The important question is whether this warming is dangerous and there is nowhere near 97% agreement on that, with scientific opinions being all over the map, unless, of course, you survey only the 'scientists' in Hollywood,
         "Now, when you hear the loud crack, let's see those brows furrow. A glacier is coming apart because of global warming and climate change. We're talking the end of the world here, people. Furrow, furrow!"
         "You mean like they taught us in Actor's Studio?"
         "Exactly!"
        Remember, movies are make believe. Playing a brilliant scientist isn't the same as actually being one.  
        And in 2012 Hurricane Sandy had barely gone off to hurricane heaven when the usual suspects, the ones who should know better, started going on about how it was all because of climate change.
        Anyone remember the Galveston Flood of 1900? Category 4 hurricane, winds of 145 miles per hour, 15 foot storm surge flooding the city, over 8,000 dead. What was that all about? Maybe it was pre-global warming or pre-climate change. Pre-Al Gore are you listening?!

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

"Buddy, Can You Spare A Pepperoni?"


       
         Recently, the world learned, even before the President had a chance to announce it (with appropriate apologies) to the UN General Assembly that, if you live in Walkerton, Indiana, are gay, and are planning to marry, you will probably not be able to have your festivities catered by the local pizzeria.
        "Yaagh! Waa! Pizza Nazi. Pizza Nazi!" (Seinfeld for gentiles?)
        I know. I know. Not to make fun. It's the principle, not the pizza. But what exactly is the principle involved here? That sexual preferences have to be respected because that's the way we superior folk in New York and California think while religious beliefs...well, it's just those local yokels clinging to 'their guns and their bibles.' Who cares what they think?
        Well, maybe we should care. Today it's Evangelical Christians getting death threats for not wanting to cater a gay marriage. Tomorrow it'll be the Planned Parenthood Marching Band  being forced to show up for a Repeal Roe rally or the Little Sisters of the Poor being compelled to provide contraception and abortion services to their employees (Oh, sorry, that's been done already. Thank you President Obamacare.).       
        And the day after that, who knows? What a way to run a railroad...or a country. How do you spell, "Live and let live?" We used to know. Maybe we were better spellers in the old days.
        By the way, and just thinking, why would anyone even want to have their wedding catered by a group who considers them to be a couple of sinning miscreants? Most of us restaurant goers have had an occasional badly prepared meal but we rarely send it back. Partly it's because we don't think it's all that important and we don't want to make extra work for the waiter, but isn't it maybe also because we sometimes wonder what might happen to that dish when it goes behind the swinging doors into the kitchen and comes back out again?  And, if all the waiters and the kitchen staff aren't too crazy about you to begin with, well...
        *To all my gay patients and friends, known and otherwise, who are planning to marry and invite me to their weddings, please be kind enough to let me know if the caterer is there willingly. If not, I promise that I'll still show up but...I'm bringing my own soup.