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Real-World Consequences of Inappropriate Behavior

The new “normal” of bullying in the name of gender-fluidity and transgendered activists in various stages of transition reminds me of the old days when we women were helpless against aggressive men and were told that we would have to change what we do, how we dress, and where we go.

(Or, just like Europe today and the sometimes official reaction to raping immigrants.)

In a column in the National Review today, “The Real-World Consequences of Submitting to the Transgender Zeitgeist,” Ben Shapiro writes about a man who effectively ran off a group of religious, conservative women who cancelled their membership at a “women only” gym after a transgendered MtF (a man who claims to be a woman) began using the gym and dressing room.

The women had frequented the gym out of modesty: they didn’t want to see half-baked men or be seen by men in their workout clothes.

The man not only came to the gym, he undressed in the dressing room, where it evidently became obvious that he was “all man.”

He refused the offer of a private dressing room (most women wouldn’t, I certainly wouldn’t!) and declared that since he is a woman he can undress with all the other women.

If he wants. That’s what it’s all about, right? His wants vs. age old cultural norms and thousands of years of religious modesty practice.

As time went on, he evidently continued to do the same. The gym manager was told by his bosses that the company couldn’t risk a lawsuit or boycott. So, the modest women left the gym and cancelled their memberships.

How I wish women would join together to confront men like this. We should legally use his own strategy of social pressure. Politely but firmly tell him he’s acting inappropriately. Attempt to have him arrested for indecent exposure and voyeurism – and act every time a man comes into a “women’s” dressing room or bathroom.
Seriously, talking and writing, as I did today, won’t work anymore.

It’s not easy, and it would be vital to work together as a group. This isn’t a call for harassment. But, we each have the same right as this person to express our individual disapproval and to do it with our philisophical sisters, as others have done.

(And in reality, our brothers can’t act with the same righteousness as we can. A group of men objecting to a transgender woman in the same way would risk false harassment and assault charges.)

In a way, I’m writing this as my own protest. The social media Powers-That-Be are blocking people who object to the “new normal.”

Take our dressing rooms back! Restore modesty – and common sense.

Transgender First Principles

This weekend, the debate concerning the ethics of medical and surgical intervention for transgendered men and women, more properly called “gender dysphoria,” heated up again. The New York Times published an essay by a man who wishes to become a woman so much that he is about to undergo a 6 hour surgical procedure to fashion an artificial vagina, although the author admits that the surgery may not produce happiness and, indeed, will most certainly cause lifelong pain and the necessity of further intermittent, painful procedures.

In answer to my assertion (in an online private group) that transgender ideation is a pathology, a pediatrician said that I might as well claim that being black is a pathology.
While I’ve never heard of a black person seeking medical or psychological treatment to make his body more or less in concert with his race or body image ( or maybe I have..), there has to be some perception of a problem on the part of the transgendered person who seeks intervention.
Back in the’90’s, when I was in medical school, the definition included a lack of pleasure from the “wrong” genitalia. While it appears that this requirement for intervention has gone by the wayside, at the least, gender dysphoria makes leading their lives difficult. This seems to be a fair, if simplified, definition for “disorder.”

In addition, one of the early leaders in the development of surgical procedures for trans persons, Dr. Phil McHugh, agrees that transgender ideation is a “Pathogenic meme.”

The fact is that the treatments sought or offered are based on biologic sex and are essentially bimorphic: MtF (Male to Female), FtM (Female to Male). The treatments themselves are described as “feminizing” or ” masculinizing” – one or the other.
The incidence of transgender ideation in the US is less than 1% (probably about 0.5%), with as many as 80% of those who claim to be transgendered in childhood “desisted,” changing their minds at a later date, usually around puberty.
The known association with autism
and schizophrenia, along with the “clusters” of peer-group rapid and late onset, as well as the rate of reversals, suggest caution when it comes to treatment that might later be considered disfiguring and permanent.
The author of the NYT piece states that the traditional “First Principle” of medical ethics, “First, do no harm,” is only a way for doctors to be “little kings” who deny what patients “want,”
“”Nonmaleficence is a principle violated in its very observation. Its true purpose is not to shield patients from injury but to install the medical professional as a little kings of someone else’s body.””

If doctors truly forget the First Principle, what’s to stop us from “First, doing harm?” Who decides the “harm” in that case? Better hope we don’t give up our consciences.

Certainly, in this case, I would be one of those “little king” doctors who would not carry through on surgery, based on what appears to be atypical reaction to the cross-sex hormones.
Just as it’s malpractice to affirm the anorexic girl’s body image as correct and help her avoid food, it’s unethical to pretend that transgender ideation is normal or even something we can “affirm.”

Please comment on my Facebook page, Beverly Nuckols.

More on poor vs. wealthy

In their statements about income inequality, most people ignore what I covered yesterday: the measurements of poverty almost invariably are based on income, not true poverty as measured by actual resources and consumption.

They appear to be stating that the only reason the wealthy have money is because they steal from the poor. That’s not born out by the evidence on upward mobility.

Our analysis of new administrative records on income shows that children entering the labor market today have the same chances of moving up in the income distribution relative to their parents as children born in the 1970s. Putting together our results with evidence from Hertz (2007) and Lee and Solon (2009) that intergenerational elasticities of income did not change significantly between the 1950 and 1970 birth cohorts, we conclude that rank-based measures of social mobility have remained remarkably stable over the second half of the twentieth century in the United States. In light of the findings in our companion paper on the geography of mobility (CHKS), the key issue is not that prospects for upward mobility are declining but rather that some regions of the U.S. persistently offer less mobility than most other developed countries.”

It turns out that research indicates that conservative cities not only grow faster than liberal cities, but have better chances of upward mobility.

That same Brookings Institute referred to yesterday has reported what it takes to become middle class by US standards: graduate high school, get married before having children, and get a job..

We know what encourages learning and successful education. It’s not only money, although the bulk of education dollars should go to the classroom rather than the administration. The extent of parental involvement and prioritizing education is number one, along with a belief in the importance of attendance.

I hope this information helps you the next time someone implies that the income inequality in the US is caused by the aggression of the wealthy.

American poor are middle class in world standards

I have so much to be thankful for this Thanksgiving Day. Unfortunately, there are people who think I should be ashamed instead.

So, in my geeky way, I did some research and found some information to have on hand the next time someone talks about the poor in the US.

Those poverty rates are based on income. SNAP, TANF, Section 8 vouchers,etc., aren’t counted as income. (You could add in our public education system, as well. If you believe it’s adequate.)

According to a report (in .pdf) by the Brookings Institute, using poverty measurements based on consumption or expenditures, those living under the poverty rate in the US would be considered middle class in the rest of the world.

“Even those reporting no income at all in the US have consumption possibilities roughly equal to those reporting incomes of $20 a day.”

Thankful for my wonderful husband, our shared faith in the Lord, our material blessings, and the Internet that enables my geekiness!

Pelosi: “It’s about stopping the GOP”

Forget about her promise of “debate.” Look at her history.

The last time 78 year old Nancy Pelosi was Speaker of the House, she and the Democrats changed the House rules to deny amendments or even debate from Republicans. Once, in August, 2008, she even ordered the lights, microphones, and AC turned off in the House gallery in an attempt to prevent speeches by the Republicans. She then ordered the Press removed from the Gallery.

In 2007, Pelosi became Speaker with a majority in the House. Then, as now, the Republicans maintained a narrow majority in the Senate. However, from late 2009 to January 2011, the Dems had a majority that did not require any cooperation from the Republicans, in both the House and Senate.

And then, there’s the way the “Affordable Care Act,” (“Obamacare”) was passed.

Harry Reed shoved a crude, early version of Obamacare through the Senate on Christmas Eve, 2009. Pelosi’s House Democrats, with 220 votes, had substituted the language in another Bill, HR 3590, the “Service Members Home Ownership Tax Act of 2009,” in order to bypass the usual process. Senate Dems had 60 votes (including the two “Independents” Bernie Sanders and Joe Lieberman, Dems-in-all-but-name who caucused with the Dems), so no need for bipartisanship.

This was the form about which Pelosi infamously said, “We have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it,” because the actual leviathan of a Bill was worked out in conference between House and Senate members in early 2010, without a single Republican vote.

That law included huge tax increases, in addition to the individual mandate that required everyone to buy health insurance:

  • Medicare tax: from 1.45% to 2.35%
  • Top income bracket from 35% to 39.5%
  • Top income payroll tax from 37.4% to 52.2%
  • Capital gains tax from 15% to 28%
  • Dividend tax from 15% to 39.6%
  • Estate (“Death”) tax 0% to 55%
  • A new 3.5% Real Estate Transaction tax, imposed even when you sell your home, and the Net Investment tax of 3.8% were created.

Some of these taxes were decreased or removed by the recent tax cuts, the changes are all temporary , some changes won’t take effect this year and the Dems have promised to reopen the tax debate, presumably to increase taxes again.

At least with the Republican President and Senate majority, Pelosi’s abuses – hopefully – won’t result in renewed taxes in the next two years.

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Don’t mess with Texas Republican Women!

Mama had surgery for Thymic carcinoma back in 2004. She voted early and scheduled the surgery for the day after the election, so her daughters could work as election clerks.

On the 6th of November, the on-call neurologist made disparaging remarks about the man Mama called “My George Bush,” who was on TV when he walked in. He then began his exam, asking a standard memory question: “Name as many animals as you can in a minute.”
Mama’s answer: “… Lions & tigers & bears… horses, jackasses and Democrats!”

Health care poll

Today, I came across a poll of likely Texas voters, conducted by the University of Texas and Texas Tribune that said that for Texans, health care is a distant third in importance, behind border security and immigration. This was in contrast with frequent news reports in the last week that an unnamed “recent poll” had found that health care is the number one issue in the 2018 election for voters. That first, UT/TT, poll was more consistent with other recent news coverage and the issues that I keep seeing pop up on Twitter and Facebook.

So I did some research….

It turns out that the first poll (“KFF,” download pdf file,with results) was conducted by the Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonprofit based in San Francisco, California. In fact, approximately 30% of the respondents listed health care as their number one issue and were designated “Health Care Voters” by pollsters. 70%, designated “non-Health Care Voters,” chose other issues, including the economy and jobs (21%).

The demographics of those polled were heavily slanted toward Democrats, with registered Democrats and “Independents” who are identified as “Independent Lean Democrat” adding up to 68% of the “Healthcare Voters.” “Non-Health Care Voters” came in at 49% Republican or “Independent Leans Republican.”

While KFF is considered one of the “Least Biased” polling bodies, they are still subject to sampling errors. It appears that this might be one of those times.

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Scott Adams Jumps the Shark**

I enjoy Ben Shapiro’s Sunday Specials; one hour conversations with current thinkers and doers. I watched this week’s conversation with Scott Adams, the creator of the Dilbert comic with a bit of disbelief. (I watched on The Daily Wire, but it’s also available on YouTube.)

From approximately minute markers 29 to 45, Adams’ discription of his belief in the future (or existing) computer “algorithm” which will to decide future elections (“Trump is the last human President”), the denial of free will (but “I act as though” it exists), to turning toward the camera to repeat that “the end *always* justifies the means,” and finally to the idea that we live in a simulation of life that just seems like reality Adams displays a loose connection with reality accompanied by relatively sane inserts.

I love good science fiction and there’s no doubt that Adams is an intelligent man. But he’s not a great philosopher. I agree with Shapiro when he asks whether Adams is just trying to avoid God with his simulation. Just as some physicists posit multiple universes to explain ours, Adams requires multiple simulations.

Oh, well, if it makes you “happy,” Scott.

Reading Dilbert irregularly over the years, I’ve been repeatedly turned off by Adam’s anger and bitterness. Sometimes it just can’t be disquised as wit. Now I wonder whether the anger has affected his rationality: does he even know what or when he says something wrong or immoral?

Perhaps. Adams displayed physiologic changes consistent with stress: blinking more often and his neck reddened as the hour went along. Is he stressed at examining his beliefs or by lying – invoking hyperbole about hyperbole – about them? Or is he just stressed by thinking his thoughts through, out loud, in an effort to be witty and change Shapiro’s mind?

(**”Jumping the Shark” is a reference to going too far, indicative of lost relevance.)

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“Illegal alien” ban?

I keep seeing reports that Twitter is blocking posts that contain the phrase, “illegal alien.” Obviously, not true.

How do memes like this get a hold? (Please comment on Facebook, not here or Twitter. I’m not omni-social-media.)

NYT “Had to try.”

As the Wall Street Journal’s “Best of the Web Today” suggests, “Use the Reader Comments to Learn More About the Times” and how the public views the journalistic abuse.

It seems that the NYT (and other media) decided to investigate the wife of SCOTUS nominee Brett Kavenaugh, Ashley. The NYT readers point out the lack of similar”vetting” of Obama’s judicial nominees.

Fake news, indeed. 85 emails from Mrs. Kavenaugh’s position as town manager of Chevy Chase, Maryland revealed nothing of interest – except exposure of the NYT bias, perhaps.

But the Op Ed says, ” We had to try.” Just what were they trying?

Euroean Travel Politics

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I’m very careful about politics when traveling. The media far too often tells us that the rest of the world doesn’t like the US since Trump was elected. The “Italian for Dummies” web page even has the phrase, “Non siamo americani.” (We aren’t American.”)

But my experience has been different: a lot of Europeans think Donald Trump is right about border security and limiting immigration. And we’ve heard this from citizens of England and Italy, who go out of their way to express their support of President Trump.

Last month, a British couple stopped to admire our narrowboat on the Thames. When they found out we were Americans, they turned the conversation to politics, support for Brexit and praise for President Trump.

We picked up our car at the Rome Airport on Friday and it happened again. Out of the blue, the 30-something agent asked, “What about Trump?”

I deferred answering to Larry and braced myself for criticism or ridicule of the President from our new aquaintance.

Instead, our Roman friend volunteered his approval of Donald Trump and the “changes’ both our countries are making in response to international pressure to accept overwhelming numbers of refugees.

He talked about the inability to vet the refugees picked up at sea, the effects on Italy’s employment situation, and the financial stress the boat loads of immigrants were causing Italy before his government’s recent refusal to accept ships full of migrants at Italian ports.

He said, “Trump is making changes. People are afraid of change, but this is good change.”

None of the people we talked to – or who made it a point to talk to us – expressed hate or racism. They are worried about the future if their countries and disapprove of “Brussels” forcing regulations on them, not simply afraid of foreigners.

I wonder who’s listening.

(BTW, several different sets of Canadians have initiated similar conversations. All approved of the President and disapproved of Trudeau.)

Poor reporting generates hate along with misinformation

A little girl may have died. I care, even though I never knew her.
I also care about the grief and division caused by poor reporting and inappropriate reactions, so I did research on the story (And in the process found stories about so many deaths and abuses for all sorts of reasons – a 10 year old girl electrocuted, a mom shot in Houston, a post partum suicide…)
Then, there’s the condemnation and subsequent reactions, including against the “pro-birthers,” who evidently don’t care enough – or in the right way.

There is very little information about the girl or her circumstances of death. The initial report that she died in the ICE detention center at Dilley, Texas was wrong and subsequent stories simply repeat the history of the reporting.
Dilley is a family shelter, so the child may never have been separated from her mother. (ICE has stated that children under 5 years old weren’t routinely separated.)
In fact, the mother and child apparently left Dilley together: ” “AILA learned from a contact who was in touch with the family that the death occurred after the child and parent left Dilley. “”
The Washington Postfinally has a bit more. The AILA Lawyer says, “Gregory Z. Chen, director of government relations for the 15,000-member association, said in a statement. “We do not have information on the cause of death or information that confirms a connection between medical treatment at STFRC and this death.””
Now look at the posts generated on Twitter and Facebook after the rumor was posted, often with (unnecessary)) accusations about lack of compassion from Conservatives, even about pro-life – “pro-birthers” – people like me.
Yes, some people’s anger at illegal immigration has been exposed as actually hateful, but we wouldn’t have been exposed to it ourselves if not for that first, blaming post.
The hate multiplies as a result of the accusations and blame. Who knows what the result would have been from a post that merely grieved, without the accusations?

Let’s grieve together, not divided.

Edited for typos 12:20 PM BST. BBN

How the magic happens (Bret Weinstein)

Are there university meetings where white people are refused access to the provided food, drinks, and chairs? Do some professors refuse to teach “privileged” students?

Watch this evolutionary biologist  talk about the tactics and consequences of the “social justice” movement, especially as it’s playing out in universities. (Former) Professor Bret Weinstein, Ph.D., was forced out of a tenured position at Evergreen State University in Washington State because he ran afoul of the activists behind the College’s “equity” policies.

The idea that minority students are considered a traitor to their cause (equity for people of color,etc.) for studying science is alarming.

Here’s a link to Weinstein’s recommended political survey, “Political Compass.” Some other forms I’ve seen in the past (especially those published by Ron Paul libertarians) are more biased, in my opinion. On those, I’ve scored slightly authoritarian because I believe in National borders, the science about human embryonic development and prefer not to redefine marriage (at the level of social experiment on future generations of children who can’t consent).

Edit: Here is another discussion about the events leading up to Weinstein’s talk. BBN

“Mail bride” or Brave, Accomplished Woman?

Let’s help Lila, @lpieinfl , know who Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao is and inform her that it’s not nice to be a misogynistic racist.

Lila tweeted,

“What mail order did that bride come in?”‘

Mail Order Bride Bigotry

The screen shot shows a tweet in response to the video of the gang that confronted the Secretary and her husband, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

She confronted them right back. Watch the video posted by one of the harassers, “Roberto6254351,” a self-proclimed “rising Senior ” (sic), who had just left his job as an intern at “United We Dream,” an organization devoted to activism for the undocumented.

We confronted @SenateMajLdr and @SecElaineChao with @ProPublica audio of children separated from their families at the border while leaving a @Georgetown event. We must #AbolishICE & #AbolishCBP! #FreedomforImmigrants https://t.co/ljv70F3F0L https://twitter.com/Roberto62543651/status/1011694022417633281?s=17

For those who aren’t aware of the Secretary’s accomplishments:

Chao’s parents fled Communist China for Taiwan during the 1949 Civil War. She came to the US with her mother and 2 sisters on a cargo ship at about 7 yo. They joined her father who eventually started what became a successful shipping company. She became a naturalized citizen at 19.

Elaine Chao has served our country in many capacities, including as Secretary of Labor (2001-2009), Deputy Secretary of Transportation, and Director of the Peace Corps (1991-1992). She was appointed to the Chair of the Federal Maritime Commission by Ronald Reagan (1988-1988).

And she became the Senator’s bride in 1993.

Sanctuary City Swimming in Other People’s Taxes

From the Mayor of the home town of La Joya Independent School District, the “independent” school system in Hildalgo County, Texas with the water park, a 22K sq ft natatorium, tennis courts, a planetarium, and a golf course,enabled with money from Texas taxpayers:

My position was why should the city of La Joya, or any city in the Valley, detain any ICE illegals when ICE already has cages for them?”Salinas said Sunday. “Maybe they have a better place for them than we do and, of course, we’re totally against what they’re doing; I think we should unite the families, not divide them.”

“If it hadn’t been for that I would not have reacted this way,” he said, “but I’m a Mexican-American and I support my people.”

It’s not just “that.”

Last year, Mayor Salinas led La Joya to join the lawsuit against Texas’ Senate Bill 4, that penalizes cities that refuse to cooperate with Federal immigration laws and authorities. So far, that lawsuit has been upheld in Court.
Yet, the Mayor has no problem with the budget of his school district accepting accepting over $51M from the Federal Government.
Of course, that’s only 15% of the “Independent” school district’s funding. Texas Taxpayers pay 75% or $251,737,388.

The City also receives Federal funding through the Operation Stonegarden Program from the Department of Homeland Security, but the Mayor says they don’t use those funds to detain anyone for ICE.
I wish the Mayor respected non-hyphenated Americans and Texans, even if he doesn’t count us as his

people.

Edited to correct spelling. BBN

Is there a solution to the current immigration emergency?

I’m following and responding to the news reports and conversations on Twitter and Facebook about the arrests and separations of alien families because I’m looking for a solution that will work and have fewest unintended consequences.

We can spend all day screaming our objections or justifications and playing political games based on what should have been done and when, in the past and present. Or, we can tell our legislators that we recognize the reality of the circumstances, today, and that we need to make immediate changes, followed by more measured steps.

We urgently need to:

1. Ensure that the very young are safe and nurtured. This is an emergency, because of the damage that we know tactile deprivation has on small children. No more claims that some institutional rule prohibits holding a toddler;

2. Make sure that no more children are “lost” and that even those who are separated can communicate with their parents.

(Hospital arm bands? Schlitterbahn and the Toob renters in my home town use similar bands. The tracking numbers could follow numbers on the bands and would not only work better with digitizing information

Would it be possible/permissible to use RFID and/or GPS?

Delta uses bar codes attached to each suitcase and can text me when my suitcase is loaded or unloaded on the plane. Last month, when I was on a cruise, ATT texted me that I wasn’t covered by their international plan as soon as I stepped on the ship, before the ship left the dock.);

3. Speed up the process of reuniting the families;
(This last will be enabled by the above, but will also require resources for the rapid setting up of family shelters for those awaiting hearings, and hiring personnel for those shelters and judges to hear the cases and lawyers to represent the asylum seekers.);

4. Streamline the process for approving or rejecting application for asylum at the ports of entry. (See above. This may be a useful job for civilians -paif or volunteer – and the National Guard after apprehension and/or initial evaluation by Border Patrol);

5. Fix the laws concerning detention of children separated from their parents, the right of application for asylum for anyone who manages to step on US soil, temporary worker permits that do not allow family to immigrate, and for immigration in general;

6. Continue to identify, arrest, and prosecute people who willfully violate our immigration laws;

7. None of this is dependent upon or contradictory to securing the Border. All of them are enhanced by increased security, however;

8. Stop the partisan game playing!

It should be made clear that our government will follow the law as written. Perhaps we can continue the ads Obama’s Administration is said to have used in Central America.

None of these should be done so that more people show up expecting immediate visas, green cards, or even healthcare and food stamps. They certainly shouldn’t believe that they have a right to immigration or to burden our social infrastructure and taxpayers.

Please comment on my Facebook page.

Edited numbering, BBN

Happy Birth Parent Day

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Google Images for “Baby Daddy” card

That lawsuit I wrote about yesterday would not only would put an end to Texas’ Medical and legal regulations on abortion – including informed consent, waiting periods, and sonograms – the plaintiffs go out of their way to redefine mother and father, too.

From Footnote 1, page 2:
“”1 Most people with the capacity to become pregnant identify as women. Historically, both jurisprudence and public health data have focused on women when addressing reproductive rights and health. But there is an emerging recognition in the law and society more generally that not all people who may become pregnant identify as women. See generally Glenn v. Brumby, 663 F.3d 1312, 1316-19 (11th Cir. 2011)
(holding, consistent with the weight of authority, that the Equal Protection Clause prohibits discrimination on the basis of “gender nonconformity”) (collecting cases); Robin Marantz Henig, How Science Is Helping Us Understand Gender, National Geographic (2017), https://www.nationalgeographic.com/
of all individuals to end an unwanted pregnancy, regardless of gender identity.”
 (I’m sorry, but can’t find a link to the lawsuit on line. It’s “Whole Woman’s Health Alliance et al v Paxton et al, U.S. District Court, Western District of Texas, No. 18-00500.)

From the UK, we see the inevitable results in a time of identity and personal choice :

Lawyers have told a judge that he had been biologically able to become pregnant but had legally become a man when the child was born.

“They say the transgender man wants to be identified as the child’s “father” or “parent” on a birth certificate.”

And, in Ohio:

“Explaining their unusual parenting arrangements, Amy said: “We went through a lot of fertility treatments, until we finally reached a point where we needed to make a decision as to whether we were going to do more medical intervention or if we were going to switch bodies. (emphasis mine)

“We were fortunate enough to have two uteruses. So, after a lot of thought and emotion and difficulties we switched to Chris.

“And while Chris lived as a man and didn’t feel female, he was willing to use his womb for the good of their family.”

Of course, neither Chris nor Amy could donate sperm. So, who is really — is there even — a father?

Or a parent, of either gender or any identity, who sees the child as his own person, human-enough to possess inalienable rights, rather than a political statement and a means to an end?

Open letter to RPT Convention delegates on censure

I am writing to ask you to vote against censure by the Convention of named Republican, elected, officials.

How often have we complained about the elites who get in power only to ignore us to follow their own agenda? How many of you are at the Convention because you got tired of the establishment working against you?

Well, guess what? If you make it to the State Convention, you’re the elite establishment! Don’t be that kind of elite establishment.

For the first time in years, I couldn’t participate in the 2018 Republican Party of Texas Convention process. I still follow your efforts and have read the resolutions submitted to the Platform Committee. One Senate District has submitted resolutions demanding that the RPT State Convention censure specific legislators.

I appreciate the work you’re doing this not just this week, but over the last few months. Having served as a Delegate to the Republican Party of Texas State Convention and on both the Platform and the Rules Committees, I know you have a week of long walks to simply get to your meeting rooms, heated discussions, long waits, and many re-votes, one after another. The Committees and sessions start early and go late. (Wear comfortable shoes and take snacks!)

Through all of this, please don’t forget that you are in San Antonio as the grass roots embodiment of our Nation’s representative democracy, our Republic. You are not simply individuals expressing your own will and opinion. You are there as representatives of your constituents: the Republican voters from your Counties, Congressional Districts, and Senate Districts.

In the same way that you expect legislators to represent their voters, your voters expect you to represent us.

While it may be appropriate for the local SD Convention to censure their own legislators, especially before the Primary or run-off, many people in our Party disagree. But now, these are elected candidates. I don’t believe that it’s appropriate for the State Convention to censure them in opposition to the local electorate’s wishes.

When the votes on censure of any Republican elected official comes up, please take a look at their constituents’ votes, especially in the last Primary. Did he or she win? Was it by a substantial margin? Was he or she unopposed in the Primary because no one even challenged them?

These men and women deserve your respect, just as President Donald Trump should be given the respect he deserves after being elected President. In the same way that it was wrong for Hillary to deride Republican women as voting the way their husbands told them to, it’s wrong to dismiss these voters as illegitimate.

In addition, as this is an election year, you are writing the campaign ads for the Democrats.

Please do not oppose the voters you represent by voting in favor of public censure of Republicans.

Beverly B. Nuckols, MD

Comal County, SD 25 and CD 21

(Edited because some of the formatting got lost.)

Existing tariffs, duty, and barriers to trade in Canadian law.

Current barriers on imports into Canada from the US affect dairy, wine, telecommunications like TV, cable, and broadcasting, and even software and “cloud” data storage.

The CRTC also requires that 35 percent of popular musical selections broadcast on the radio qualify as “Canadian” under a Canadian government-determined point system.”
This requirement precludes U.S.-based “cloud” computing suppliers from participating in the procurement process, unless they replicate data storage and processing facilities in Canada.”

https://www.export.gov/article?id=Canada-Import-Tariffs

In contrast, there are very few barriers to trade with Mexico.

(Edited to add the link to information on Mexico.)

The Day That Justice Died

Where is the freedom or justice in raiding the attorney/client privilege? Not just the offices and homes of a lawyer, but documents that most of us thought were protected by an all-but-inviolable privilege?

 

Supposedly, Cohen lied to his bankers about why he wanted a loan. Was it by comission or omission???Is it a Federal offence to not fully disclose why you want to go into debt?

 

Stormy Daniels threatened (black-mailed) to make accusations about Trump immediately before the 2016 election, got money and signed a contract, now wants to reneg (she pretty much has) on her contract, but the one who paid the money is the one who is being investigated/harrassed.

 

Why aren’t the Trump people demanding the same deals Hillary’s people got: immunity and non-disclosure agreements before sitting down with the FBI?

 

When were any of the Clinton lawyers or aides’ homes or offices raided?

 

 

Trump wasn’t my first, second or third choice in the Republican Primary of 2016.  And I’ve already mourned the death of the rule of law, back when Comey killed it.  But I agree with the President: this looks like a witch hunt.

Response to criticism about Texas Advance Directive Act

I’ve been having a long Facebook discussion with representatives of organizations, people who claim that I support coercion and killing patients because I defend the Texas Advance Directives Act, 166.0046. (TADA).

I want to respond as fully as I can. ( I’m bandwidth deprived today and will gradually add more links when I reach better signals. See here, here, and here for more explanations from earlier WingRight posts. Links to the law, the press, and previous blog posts by others can be found in those articles.)

First, no one withdraws or withholds *care* of the patient. The patient still receives food and hydration, pain medicine, oxygen by tube or mask, if needed, and other medical treatment.
The 10 day period is the only recourse allowed under Texas law when a doctor refuses a treatment requested by the patient. All legislative attempts to increase the times have been blocked.
For hospitalized patients, the Act is the only way for a doctor to refuse a patient’s request for medically inappropriate treatment without risk of abandoning him. If the doctor doesn’t follow the law, he becomes liable. Although no reason is required by law, in every case I know of the doctor has made it clear that the requested treatment is causing suffering and/or actual harm and violates the First Principle: “Cure when possible, but first, do no harm.”
I have asked who/where are the doctors willing to accept transfer. There must be some doctor willing to accept the patient in order for there to be a transfer. “Facilities” or hospitals can’t accept a patient without an accepting physician. For the most part, doctors in Texas don’t work for a hospital and can’t be ordered to admit or treat by the facility. That no other doctor can be found is actually evidence that the first doctor’s medical judgment is based on good medicine.
Transfer has happened in a couple of examples (that I know of because they have made the press or gone to court), where a doctor disagrees with the original attending physician. I’m sure this has happened in many others that we never heard about because of the transfer.
I didn’t want to cover a specific case, preferring to stick with the issues of ethics. However, my accusers repeatedly brought up Mr. Chris Dunn. His case is very typical of both my experience with patients dying of end-stage hepato-renal failure and the course of other patients I’ve been able to follow through public documents.

It was easy to follow this case. There was a video published by Texas Right to Life (TRTL), a lot of press, statements to reporters by family, lawyers, and TRTL staffers, as well as a couple of lawsuits. I spent the better part of two days once again reviewing the public records.

Virtually all of the hospital medical reports were made public record in the latest appeal by Mrs. Kelly’s lawyers, Joe Nixon and Trey Trainor, BTW. (Another BTW: Senator Nixon, please follow the gown rules for isolation rules in the future. There’s a reason for them.)
There have been many misleading statements and errors about the case in news articles, blogs, and press releases, including both condemnation and praise for the doctors and the hospital by the family members, TRTL, and repesentatives of Empower Texans (ET), (making this review pertinent as the conversation began on Facebook in response to another ET article). The affidavits of the attending doctor, the chairman of the Methodist Biomedical Ethics Committee, the social worker, and legal documents from Mrs. Kelly’s and Methodist’s lawyers have been public records at the Harris County court website and elsewhere online.
Mr. Dunn was transferred from another hospital to Methodist hospital after having a gastrointestinal bleeding episode that resulted in his becoming unresponsive and being placed on a ventilator. He had severe liver failure, kidney failure, and the build up of fluid in his lungs which his mother told a reporter about. His clinical diagnosis was obvious, and supported by records from an earlier hospitalization when he was diagnosed as having a metastic pancreatic mass. He had checked himself out of that hospital against medical advice after refusing a biopsy of his pancreatic mass or further treatment.
On admission, Mr. Dunn wasn’t able to make decisions, as he was suffering from hepatic encephalopathy (which causes delirium) and sedated due to pain and the ventilator. (Note the restraints on his wrists, his jaundice and swollen belly, and his sleepiness and confusion are evident in that video we’ve all seen.)
He didn’t have an Advance Directive or a Durable Power of Attorney for Medical Care. (TRTL’s lawyer John Seago claimed the mother had one.) The doctors turned to his divorced parents to make decisions as co-equal surrogates under Texas law.
Unfortunately, as his sister told one reporter, his dad agreed with the doctor, but his mother disagreed. According to court documents, the elder Mr. Dunn said that he believed that Chris didn’t want to die in the hospital and insisted on removal of the ventilator and transition to comfort care (not the administration of a deadly “serum” as the lawyers claimed in the lawsuit and media). Mrs. Kelly kept asking for more time to talk to family members before making a decision. in their affidavits, a hospital social worker and the Ethics Committe chair, each described the parents’ interaction with one another as a “firestorm.”

It

was obvious that Mr. Dunn needed a legal guardian. That he was unable to make medical decisions is supported by the affidavits of the attending doctor and a later court examiner, as well as the fact that his parents were agreeable to making those decisions.
The Ethics Committee chair and other members documented meetings with the parents and family at least five times over the month after admission, and given copies of the hospital policy on disputes. When the doctor invoked TADA, the Ethics chair met with them again and they were given 3 day’s notice of the committee meeting. (Dispelling the lawsuit and blogging claim that the family wasn’t informed and was surprised by the sudden notice.)
Mrs. Kelly attended the meeting and spoke with the Committee. Both parents were given information about the hospital policy on the TADA and told that the doctor would be allowed to remove the ventilator 11 days later. While Mr Dunn’s father agreed, his mother did not and filed her first lawsuit.
The hospital social workers contacted over 60 different facilities in attempt to transfer. They were able to find a hospice (and presumably a hospice doctor) willing to care for Mr. Dunn on the ventilator at home, but Mrs. Kelly declined that transfer.
The MICU intensivist doctors and hospital voluntarily agreed, without a court order or hearing, to continue the ventilator until a single legal guardian could be named. There was never a restraining order after the initial Agreed TRO. There was never any move to deny the Total Parenteral Nutrition or any other treatment. The doctors, the hospital and the court where Mrs. Kelly filed suit against the hospital requested that the probate court determine a legal guardian to settle the dispute between the parents. The hospital specifically asked for a family member to be named guardian. There never was a move to remove Mrs. Kelly as guardian since she never was the guardian. The probate court hadn’t named a legal guardian at the time of death.
At autopsy, the pancreatic adenocarcinoma was found in the pancreas, liver, lungs, and lymph nodes. There were 20 liters (5 gallons) of ascites fluid in the abdomen due to the liver failure which prevented the production of protein and blood clotting factors. The lungs showed evidence of fluid congestion, aspiration of stomach fluids and pneumonia. The kidneys had failed and were infected. There was wasting of fat and muscle tissue.
The clinical diagnosis was confirmed. Mr. Dunn died of his disease with 40 pounds of fluid in his abdomen, congested lungs, pneumonia and kidney infections, and on a ventilator with total food and hydration by IV. This is not “natural death.”
The court has dismissed the lawsuit(s) in favor of the hospital. The only coercion in this case was against the doctors who evidently gave extraordinarily good care in order to keep him alive while waiting for the surrogates’ decision, then waiting for the probate court to act. And yet, Mrs. Kelly’s lawyers have amended her lawsuit, since dismissed, and filed an appeal which demands a “fair trial” whenever disputes like this occur.
The demands we’ve heard about TADA, to mandate that individual doctors “treat until transfer” or face new civil and criminal liability – even jail time – for doctors who use their consciences and refuse to act against their medical judgment would not only infringe against a doctor’s right not to be enslaved by positively forcing his hand against his will. It would be a moving target, with advances in intensive care technology and the ability to keep a patient’s body functioning with increasing technology.
As to the “Doctors aren’t God” refrain by others: I agree. And I’ve agreed each time someone shouts (or writes) it at me when I won’t refer for an abortion or write that opiate perscription that they are certain is their right.
Inalienable rights are negative rights: the right not to be killed, the right not to be enslaved.
Doctors are human beings with inalienable rights, including the right to conscience and to not have their hand forced to cause harm to a confused and delirious patient who cannot consent to suffer.
As shown by the first month of the Chris Dunn case, we recognize that some times we must stretch our limits. However, not indefinitely and not all our limits.

(Edited 03/11/18 for typos, to add a link, and to clarify points originally made on Facebook in a long debate. BBN)

Rough pro-life waters (#weshootourown)

Calling allies “cancer” and divisive is about as malignant and divisive as it gets!

Mark Crutcher and Troy Newman have co-authored a blog piece over at Life Dynamics that does exactly what they accuse others of doing. They manage to insult sidewalk counselors and Crisis Pregnancy Centers and groups like New Wave Feminists and And Then There Were None. Add in the dark graphics and the sanctimonious, unyielding tone to the accusations, and it’s no wonder our movement hits wall after wall.

What differentiates these two from their designation of “Grandstanders?” Talk about your purity test! 

My instinct as a proponent of “Can’t we all just get along?” was to remember my Mama’s advice: if you haven’t done the bad things they talk about, the scolders aren’t talking about or chastising you. 

And let’s face it, there’s a kernal of truth there: some people are all about power and fundraising and we’ve got to continually educate both new and old activists to focus on our goal of ending abortion.

However, Crutcher and Newman go too far to be too specific and don’t give any consideration – much less kudos – for the possibility that there are effective exceptions within the groups.  While I could point out examples of each of the people they describe, I can easily name more exceptions.

Instead of the negative analogy to cancerous growths, I prefer the picture drawn by my friend, Joe Pojman, PhD., of Texas Alliance for Life

Think of our pro-life efforts as attempts to rescue the unborn and their mothers from the sinking ship that is legalized elective abortion. We each have a boat which we use to make trips to bring as many to safety as we can. Every boat is different: Some boats are old and leaky, some are a bit nicer or newer,more or less efficient or are captained by people who wander around a lot and keep making detours, but none of the boats that we have today is big enough or fast enough to save everyone, so we make trip after trip as fast and efficiently as we can. If some of our sympathisers spend time on the shore shooting holes in everyone else’s boat – or anyone else’s boat – fewer lives will be saved. That’s real “mission drift.”

But we can bail water and plug those holes if they’ll just give us a chance.

Clichés are repeated because they prove true, time after time.  Remember this one: “The enemy of my enemy is my friend.” But do we really “educate” with wide condemnation of the efforts of others who approach our goal from a different angle or do we create more of the very harm we are warning about?

Keep building those coalitions, looking for common ground, and plugging along!

Taxes aren’t charity (SNAP and “government interference.)

Okay, old lady rant here, from someone who once qualified for WIC, but did what we had to* to refuse it. I’m seeing complaints about a proposal to change the SNAP (food stamp) program from money/cards/vouchers for dollars to a mix of money and commodities.

Most people complain that it would be a big government boondoggle. And I’m sure it would be bloated and subject to all sorts of agendas and unintended consequences. I’m not sold on a change.

However, I’m also seeing comments that SNAP should be “supplemental,” rather than basic. That rather than interfering and deciding to only provide nutritional foods, we should trust recipients to know and meet their own needs. And kids on SNAP should be allowed the “dignity” of having Cheetos and a birthday cake.

I started this post because I have a real problem with measuring a child’s dignity by whether their parents can use some one else’s money to buy Cheetos or other junk food. (And, come on! A birthday cake is flour, sugar, milk, and eggs and time.)

Taxes aren’t charity. And I know I’ve seen abuses at the grocery store and with Medicaid in my practice.

Charity is giving someone a ride to the store or offering to shop when you go. It’s giving whatever without government force and, sometimes, when it hurts in the long run. But tell me, who among us would be happy to see even a freely given gift abused by the recipient?

SNAP, WIC, etc., are helping hands, a bridge over hard times. it’s hard work – nearly a time-consuming job – to meet the requirements to access government assistance, I know. And I know there are gaps. I’m sorry, but they shouldn’t be something that is comfortable.

*(Came within minutes of getting utilities turned off several times, nursed those babies until they could reason, baked my own bread with wheat I bought by the big bag and ground myself, joined a cheese and vegetable coop, bought in quantity and learned to store it in smaller portions, made do with one car and shared rides with neighbors, and taught my kids to eat what they were given – when their cousins lived on French fries, Dairy Queen and cookies. Eventually, I was lucky enough to enroll in the local Junior College and then on to medical school and Larry worked harder and harder. I know we’ve been lucky, but…)

Office of President Acting Director

Remember this?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Well, get ready for this:

 

Not through inventing new roles, former President Barak Obama is going to Asia to meet with heads of State, including the President of China.

In an article  titled, “Barack is back,” the hopes of many are made clear:

“Although Obama has failed to remain completely out of the public eye following his departure from the White House—with his Obama Foundation work and friendship with recently engaged Prince Harry keeping him in the headlines—the trip marks a clear return to global issues for the former leader.”

Is he promoting the Resistance, taking a lesson from his protegé’, Cordray or simply continuing the work of his Administration’s “Shadow Government?”

 

Divide and Conquer: Dems vs. Republicans

January, 1973 marked the big divide, with Roe v. Wade forever separating those of us who believe in the inalienable human right not to be killed from those who separate our species into two big classes: the ones who are human-enough and the ones that aren’t.

That was the ugly beginning of even further class divisions, with some groups of people given power to claim more “rights” than other groups. The concept of individual inalienable rights endowed by Nature of being human dissolved in the class warfare that resulted.

Don’t forget the 60’s, when the Dems opposed Civil Rights legislation while spending – redistributing- every penny of Social Security and Medicare taxes to engineer a society based on the power of the greatest number.

For me, though, the Dems proved themselves liars and undependable in 1968, when I was 12. Watching the national political Parties and the Presidential Primaries, I saw not only the deaths of Martin Luther King, Jr. and Robert Kennedy. My natural inclination would have been sympathy toward the Party that claimed them.

However, I also became aware that it was the Dems who were rioting, calling policemen “pigs,” and soldiers “baby killers,” supporting the Black Panther and Weathermen, and telling us to “never trust anyone over 30,” to justify their violence.

I knew policemen and soldiers – and lots if people who were over 30 and deserving of my trust – so I knew these were false accusations. Even then, I could tell that they were dehumanizing entire groups, refining the old myth that some humans aren’t human-enough to possess inalienable rights in order to gain power.

When the Truth is Crazy

Excellent op-ed in the Wall Street Journal,When the Truth Is Crazy.

This is a line I may find occasion to quote in the future:

Failure to conform, in any society, is treated in casual parlance as prima facie evidence of insanity. And the media, in any society, exist at least partly to enforce such conformity, not truthfulness.”

The author, Holman W. Jenkins, Jr., goes on to make the point that the Dems shot themselves in the foot by not exploiting the fact that Trump was himself a Dem or Dem-leaning until recently – or, even, perhaps working with him to pass the infrastructure funds.

My theory about the Russia accusations is that the Wassermann-Schultz IT scandal (an “unbiased” review by the Washington Post, here, and the Daily Caller’s more thorough review, here) as well as Podesta’s “password” password controversy (see the UK’s Guardian coverage, here) , along with the cheating to defeat Bernie Sanders, was serious enough to necessitate distraction. And we all know that there’s quite afew irregularities in the Comey and Lynch, etc., cover-up of Hillary’s illegal server and “carelessness” with government security.

(I couldn’t come up with a better title than Mr. Jenkins’ own.)

A First World Conversation

Definitely a First World conversation: the response by Dan-el Padulla Peralta, a “Person of Color” – who is also a professor at Princeton – to an opinion piece, “The colorblind bard,” by a conservative writer an intern editor at The New Criterion, Solveig Lucia Gold. Padilla’s jargon moves the conversation out of reach of even many First World educated readers.

Perhaps I should first “*race” myself: I’m white. And I also “want nothing to do with” white supremacists. (I purposefully did not say, “But,…”)

It is helpful that Padilla makes emphasizes that Gold’s essay coincided with his consideration of the events in Charlottesville. However, Padilla’s response is blatant political ranting, topped by describing as fact a” president whose white-supremacist enthusiasms are now as glaring as day” and “a presidency that has so far married an anti-intellectualism far exceeding Richard Hofstadter’s worst nightmares with the unapologetic implementation of a white-nationalist agenda.”

But tell me, what is Padilla’s alternative to “indulging” free speech?

*Padilla’s term. It seems important to him.

Health Insurance Choice Is Bad?

Health insurance choice is bad?

The San Antonio Express News picked up a Washington Post op ed on those big, bad Republican plans to repeal Obamacare. Originally titled, “The reason Republican Republican health-care plans are doomed to fail,” by the editorial board that declared, “There’s no way to replace Planned Parenthood.”

And it’s bunk, even as prudently renamed and appropriately filed in the Opinion section.

What we are *actually *seeing *today is that costs are rising and insurers are withdrawing from States. Choices are certainly limited if there’s only one insurance company on the exchange and routine screening costs are “free” — But the care for treatment discovered at screenings is subject to high deductibles.

Limited coverage plans with major medical for extraordinary costs – rather than a wish list covered with other people’s money from first dollar – encourages personal responsibility and will cut costs. It would also allow people to own their insurance, rather than have it controlled and limited by current employers.

Science vs. Philosophy

R(obin) Alta Charo has once again been given a platform in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Poor Robin. She conflates ethics and philosophy with science. Although observing what “is” can lead to insight about which actions and manipulation lead to harm and which improve individual and group well-being, Science cannot prove or disprove philosophy, or determine what we “ought” to do.

Ms. Charo continues her career-long advocacy for elective, interventional abortion and against the inalienable human right not to be killed – all in spite of her assertion that she has no conflicts of interest in this essay. By declaring that Trump Administration appointees “embrace alternative science,” Robin makes her own gross scientific error. In addition to confusing “science” and philosophy, she bases much of her objection on an emphasis on “established pregnancies” and ignores the existence of the human embryo after fertilization but before implantation.

The very odd complaint about definitions of gestational age assumes that time varies according to when we start counting days.

Some state legislatures have tried to redefine pregnancy dating, shifting from the standard measure of time since last menses to time since probable fertilization. Such a definition falsely enhances the viability statistics for lower gestational ages and helps to bolster arguments for 20-week limits on abortion rights.

Again: Science is about what 《is,》 while ethics ought to be, not about true  《oughts.》

Abortion, again

Every atrocity carried out by human governments has been enabled by the person or group with the biggest weapons – or the most votes – first declaring that some classification of humans is not human-enough, and has “never had rights.” 

(For instance, the monarchists’ determination that the people have no right to self governance which is not allowed by the king. Or the Dred Scot decision by the US Supreme Court, in which Taney declared that the founding fathers never meant for former slaves to become citizens. Or the fact that women have never had and do not currently have their rights protected in certain Islamic nations.)

The only reason to allow abortion is discrimination based on abilities, characteristics, or something besides the humanity of the human involved. Whether recognized in formal law or not, the right to life precedes all others and is inalienable from creation.

Again, whose life is being ended and why? Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness are inalienable, from creation. The hierarchy is intentional and purposeful: if the right to life denied by killing, then no other right has meaning beyond that allowed by the person or group with the biggest weapons.

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