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Texas Advance Directive Act 2019 Legislature

The Texas Advance Directive Act is being attacked in the State Legislature, again, as it has just about every Session for the last 10+ years. In my opinion, one group is doing the bidding of the trial lawyers to destroy Texas’s tort reform by attempting to force every end of life treatment disagreement into the Courts.
Here’s my explanationof the Act, written in 2016, as an “effort to balance” patients’ rights and the rights of doctors to practice Medicine according to their consciences, using our best medical judgement. And here is an example of a previous attempt to truly improve the Act.
The opponents of TADA would force doctors to ignore their consciences to continue performing procedures and writing orders – for nurses and staff to carry out – against our best medical judgement, while faced with the moral distress of continuing acts that hurt our patient, as organ system after organ system fails, faster than we can compensate, prolonging and increasing his suffering and death.
For example, yesterday, the House passed a useless Amendment to a useless amendment to HB 1504, the Sunset review and reauthorization of the Texas Medical Board.
(22) in complying with the procedures outlined in Sections 166.045iand 166.046, Health and Safety Code, fails to make a reasonable effort to transfer a patient to a physician who is willing to comply with a directive.
Amendment No. 5
Representative Toth offered the following amendment to Amendment No. 4:
Amend Amendment No.4 by Toth to CSHB 1504 on page 3, line 25, between “Code,” and “fails”, insert “willfully”.””
The amendment is useless because doctors don’t handle or arrange transfers between facilities; the hospital social services staff and nurses do. The only possible exceptions might be ER docs in outlying areas, transferring to a larger medical center or a rare phone discussion between doctors about the patient’s course after the two separate staffs have worked out the logistics. Neither of these would apply in the TADA cases.
Importantly, how would the accusation of “willfully fails to make a reasonable effort” be made? Could there be more vague terms in that sentence than “willfully” or “reasonable?” (Especially in light of TRTL’s claim that 60 attempts weren’t reasonable in the tragic case recently ruled moot and dismissed by Texas 1st Court of Appeals, covered here and here.) Is this an attempt to criminalize the actions of doctors, an excuse to sue in a Court of law?
After the amendment passed, one of the lawyer lobbyists paid by Texas Right to Life tweeted a mean little remark:
The lawyer said that doctors who begin the process in TADA “set the 10 day count and sit on their hands.”
I understand that he never had to ask (to order) a nurse to cause pain to a dying patient, but he should understand that doctors don’t “sit on their hands” during the waiting period. We still perform those life sustaining procedures, write orders, and interact with the patient and family.
In order to push their view point they oppose not only other pro-life organizations, but the Texas Catholic Bishops, the Texas Baptists, and Texas Medical Association. Bills such as SB 2129 or SB 2089 would destroy TADA and undermine Texas’ tort reform.
Of course, once in the Courts, the lawyers would have to hire doctors to testify and the judges would decide between the two sides and order doctors to act against their consciences.
That, or lawyers and judges would be placed in the position of practicing medicine: writing medical orders for nurses and staff to carry out.
In the long run, the risk of civil and even criminal liability of caring for patients at the end of life would drive most doctors away from not only intensive end of life care, but increase the risk for any of us who care for trauma, oncology or geriatric patients.

Edit 19 April 2019 BBN: Comments are disabled here. Please comment at my Facebook page, “Beverly Nuckols.” https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=10218835564657861&id=1163711361&refid=52&_ft_=mf_story_key.10218835564657861%3Atop_level_post_id.10218835564657861%3Atl_objid.10218835564657861%3Acontent_owner_id_new.1163711361%3Aoriginal_content_id.2226941544065344%3Aoriginal_content_owner_id.110756395683880%3Athrowback_story_fbid.10218835564657861%3Apage_id.110756395683880%3Astory_location.4%3Astory_attachment_style.share%3Apage_insights.%7B%22110756395683880%22%3A%7B%22role%22%3A1%2C%22page_id%22%3A110756395683880%2C%22post_context%22%3A%7B%22story_fbid%22%3A2226941550732010%2C%22publish_time%22%3A1555527649%2C%22object_fbtype%22%3A32%7D%2C%22actor_id%22%3A1163711361%2C%22psn%22%3A%22EntStatusCreationStory%22%2C%22sl%22%3A4%2C%22dm%22%3A%7B%22isShare%22%3A0%2C%22originalPostOwnerID%22%3A0%7D%2C%22targets%22%3A%5B%7B%22page_id%22%3A110756395683880%2C%22actor_id%22%3A1163711361%2C%22role%22%3A1%2C%22post_id%22%3A2226941550732010%2C%22share_id%22%3A0%7D%5D%7D%7D%3Athid.1163711361&__tn__=-R

Prenatal manslaughter?

Something to consider, from a question on Facebook about abolishing abortion and my discussionof the human rights of prenatal human beings:

I read the article. It seems filled with potholes to extend personhood to an embryo. Would then a mother who, through negligence, caused death or damage to the embryo, say [by] falling down the stairs or drinking alcohol, be guilty of manslaughter?

My answer:

The prenatal human is undoubtedly a member of our species, correct?

The risk of abusive prosecuters doesn’t negate the human right not to be killed or justify two classes of human beings, some with human rights, some not human-enough. It certainly doesn’t justify the current abortion on demand: New York’s abortion until birth or Vermont’s proposedconstitutional amendment that prenatal humans “shall not have independent rights under law.”

This is where there is a clear physiologic and philosophic difference between negligence after birth and before. There is no other human relationship equivalent to pregnancy and gestation. Before birth, she’s harming herself first, the child secondarily.

Just as some people had to learn to accept the full humanity of emancipated slaves, there will be a learning curve for the full humanity of the prenatal human. We can do better than Reconstruction and much better than Jim Crow.

There’s previous experience taking the unique relationship into consideration. We already deal with children harmed by alcohol abuse or born addicted to illegal drugs every day.

While there have been abuses, like the drug testing of mothers in South Carolina, it has been more productive to treat addiction than to prosecute as crimes.

*********

Please comment at my Beverly Nuckols Facebook page.

HB 896 Abolish abortion in Texas

#HB896 @TxLeg

The Texas Legislature only meets for 4 months, every other year. Every session, several Bills are introduced that would regulate abortion in our State. Monday night, April 8,the House Committee on Judiciary and Civil Jurisprudence, chaired by Representative Jeff Leach, heard testimony on HB 896, authored by Representative Tony Tinderholt. HB 896 would change Texas law to treat elective abortion for what it is: the intervention intended to kill a member of the human species. The law would require that abortion be treated the same as a felony murder is treated by Texas law: “entitled to the same rights, powers, and privileges as are secured or granted by the laws of this state to any other human child.”

You can watch the testimony in the House Broadcast Archives.

Those of us who believe in human rights must decide whether laws can legitimately divide humans into two classes: those members if our species who are and those who are not human-enough to possess legal, protected (“inalienable”) human rights.

Yes, the law would create complications in a world that’s become accustomed to the act of elective abortion, “spare” human embryos, fetal research on aborted children, and arbitrary “choice” as to which babies live and which are susceptible (in New York State, for instance) to killing on the day before they become citizens by being born.

However, we know how to deal with those complications, because of lessons we learned in our Nation’s history of slavery and the abolishment of slavery. The lives and livelihoods of slave brokers, slave breeders, and slaveholders were disrupted by declaring slavery illegal in the United States, with penalties.

The (dreadful) Supreme Court Dred Scott decision about the status – the “inferior” humanity – of Black slaves has never been overturned by the Courts. In that 1850 ruling, Chief Justice Roger Taney stated that the Constitution affirmed that black slaves were not only property, but “beings of an inferior order” and that they and their descendents could never be citizens of the United States.

Ultimately, a Civil War and Constitutional Amendments 13, 14, and 15 were necessary to outlaw slavery and allow black persons, including former slaves and their children, to become citizens. The 14th Amendment also protected non-citizens, prohibiting laws which “deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

A Constitutional Amendment may be necessary in this case, too, but I don’t think so, because of the way Roe v. Wade was decided.

Roe v. Wade is the Supreme Court decision that declared that there was a “right” to abortion under the Constitution. Justice Blackmun refused to

“. . . resolve the difficult question of when life begins. When those trained in the respective disciplines of medicine, philosophy, and theology are unable to arrive at any consensus, the judiciary, at this point in the development of man’s knowledge, is not in a position to speculate as to the answer.

“Man’s knowledge” has developed since 1973. Philosophers and theologians may still argue (as they do about the civil rights and personhood of neonates, the disabled, and the elderly) but the science is clear. Ultrasounds, MRI’s, and in vitro fertilization have all demonstrated when the life of human beings begins. Just ask the newest technician in the in vitro lab.

As a doctor, I deny that elective abortion is healthcare. I certainly deny that the baby in utero is a part of the body of the mother. It’s not logical to say that the embryo, then the fetus, is not the same organism that we call a baby as soon as he or she is born.

If nothing else, we now have evidence in the form of serial ultrasounds (US) and in vivo MRI’s that demonstrate that human life is a continuum that begins at fertilization.

Even 30+ years ago in training, I saw US used to follow an oocyte from just before ovulation, to the developing embryo in the uterus a few days later. We’ve all seen the US of children as they develop.

Just this month, a research article in the journal Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience reported on sex differences in functional connectivity of neural pathways in the brain, demonstrated by functional MRI of babies in utero.

Questions were raised by the Committee members and citizens alike about a possible death penalty for the felony murder of the unborn child, about women who are coerced into having abortions and whether or not the mother would be charged and subject to penalties.

Well, what penalty does the State impose for procurement of a contract to kill? What charges are brought against the mother who smothers her baby at birth?

It’s true that laws in Texas have never punished the mother who has an abortion. Part of that is out of compassion for the mother who is seen as a victim of circumstances. However, the main reason is that most laws regulating abortion have been passed under the legislation regulating medical practioners and technology, rather than as a civil or human rights issue.

In fact, abortion performed by the mother has always been treated as self-harm, like attempted suicide. But that custom was established before modern information about human embryology. It was long before medical abortion utilizing Mifepristone ( RU486) or methotrexate. We all know now that the mother is not killing a part of her body in an abortion and certainly not when she pays a third party to do it.

I believe that invoking the threat of the death penalty is a red herring. Our homicide laws recognize the right to kill in self defense (for the life of the mother) and mitigating circumstances such as mental illness and in cases of force and abuse by a third party, allowing for different degrees of homicide.

We don’t, however, allow euthanasia or eugenics in the case of born disabled children or give the mother the “choice” to kill by poisoning or distruction of the body of a child who becomes unwanted after birth.

Texas declared the child an individual before birth back in 2003, creating a penalty for third parties who cause the death of a child, except in the case of intentional abortion by a doctor or when the mother herself acts. There have been several convictions under the Texas Prenatal Protection Act.

In light of our expanded knowledge about human biology, it’s time for the Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade and declare what Justice Blackmun deferred: life begins at fertilization and all humans possess human rights that should be protected by the State.

Maybe I’m tilting at windmills, but I would like to see Texas defy Roe v Wade and pass HB 896.

I’ve disabled comments on the blog. Please leave your comments on my Facebook page, “Beverly Nuckols.”

Immunologist denies Imunology (Vaccines)

Here’s a review and critique (with live links, by Skeptical Raptor) on one of the anti-vaxx advocates, an “immunologist” who exaggerated her credentials, makes her money through the big-money scam “Vaxxed,” and who wrote this ridiculous lie:

“”Immunology does not attempt to study and therefore cannot provide understanding of natural diseases and immunity that follows them.””

Banned by prolife website

I’ve sat on this for 4 days, hoping for a response to the questions I sent to 2 of the ‘co-founders” and an editor of the website. (They only use those online forms, so I can’t follow up by email.)

So far, no response from any of the 3.

I’m not going to link to the website, but the address is in the photo.

Unfortunately, the division in the Texas prolife community is deep. The article I attempted to comment on quotes – and disputes – an article I wrote for Texas Alliance for Life a few years ago.

All I wanted to say was that I hope the readers will read that article.

Praying for peace.

(BTW, that case ruling came down in favor of Houston’s Methodist Hospital and the Texas First Court of Appeals refused to declare the Texas Advance Directive Act unconstitutional.)

“KITTENS,” before humans

I didn’t believe the opinion article by Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council, that claimed that a Democrat who voted against last month’s S311, the “Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act,” had then submitted a Bill to prevent the euthanasia of kittens used in scientific research. I assumed it was a spoof or hyperbole.

KITTENS before babies

But no, a simple search proved that Oregon’s Dem Senator Merkley absolutely opposed the Act, even posting a press release and giving his reason in Twitter, @SenJeffMerkley

The Act would not have criminalized anyone. It would only reinforce and clarify the 2002 “Born Alive Infant Protection Act,” by requiring the doctor performing an abortion to provide the same care for a born infant who is unexpectantly delivered alive during a late term abortion that would be provided to any other child in the same circumstances.

The CDC estimates that about 150 babies are born alive during abortions, each year, while acknowledging that the estimate may be low.

Merkley came up with a cute name for his Bill: “Kittens in Traumatic Testing Ends Now.” It’s a shame he didn’t give as much thought to human babies.

“KITTENS,” before humans

I didn’t believe the opinion article by Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council, that claimed that a Democrat who voted against last month’s S311, the “Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act,” had then submitted a Bill to prevent the euthanasia of kittens used in scientific research. I assumed it was a spoof or hyperbole.

KITTENS before babies

But no, a simple search proved that Oregon’s Dem Senator Merkley absolutely opposed the Act, even posting a press release and giving his reason in Twitter, @SenJeffMerkley

The Act would not have criminalized anyone. It would only reinforce and clarify the 2002 “Born Alive Infant Protection Act,” by requiring the doctor performing an abortion to provide the same care for a born infant who is unexpectantly delivered alive during a late term abortion that would be provided to any other child in the same circumstances.

The CDC estimates that about 150 babies are born alive during abortions, each year, while acknowledging that the estimate may be low.

Merkley came up with a cute name for his Bill: “Kittens in Traumatic Testing Ends Now.” It’s a shame he didn’t give as much thought to human babies.

“KITTENS,” before humans

I didn’t believe the opinion article by Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council, that claimed that a Democrat who voted against last month’s S311, the “Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act,” had then submitted a Bill to prevent the euthanasia of kittens used in scientific research. I assumed it was a spoof or hyperbole.

KITTENS before babies

But no, a simple search proved that Oregon’s Dem Senator Merkley absolutely opposed the Act, even posting a press release and giving his reason in Twitter, @SenJeffMerkley

The Act would not have criminalized anyone. It would only reinforce and clarify the 2002 “Born Alive Infant Protection Act,” by requiring the doctor performing an abortion to provide the same care for a born infant who is unexpectantly delivered alive during a late term abortion that would be provided to any other child in the same circumstances.

The CDC estimates that about 150 babies are born alive during abortions, each year, while acknowledging that the estimate may be low.

Merkley came up with a cute name for his Bill: “Kittens in Traumatic Testing Ends Now.” It’s a shame he didn’t give as much thought to human babies.

Please comment on my “Beverly Nuckols” Facebook page.

Human rights =/= “Nature’s rights”

Humans are the only species having this conversation. That, at least, makes us special.
Science, one of the premier journals covering scientific research, has an article on giving “rights” to “Nature,” titled “A rights revolution for nature.”

The “revolution” would be based on human rights, based on previous ethics discourse:

For example, the 1776 American Declaration of Independence held that the rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness were self-evident. The 1789 French Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen announced that the purpose “of all political associations is the preservation of the natural and imprescriptible rights of man,” such as the right to liberty. These expressions of natural human rights provided a vocabulary for arguing that slavery and other rights violations were wrong. Following the devastating human rights violations of World War II, the United Nations adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, recognizing the inherent dignity of all humans and a broad array of rights. Many of these rights are not yet a reality for many people, but the Declaration provides a moral blueprint for more-just societies.
Rights-of-nature advocates posit that environmental devastation is a moral wrong that ought to be stopped. This claim is not grounded in scientific evidence but is no less valid than the assertion that harming humans is a moral wrong. Neither human rights nor nature rights can be demonstrated through a scientific process, but we can make inferences about what justice requires on the basis of what we know to be necessary for the flourishing of humans or of nature.”
Please notice that these are *human* rights. While they don’t give us the “right ” to abuse other species or neligently destroy the environment, the main duty imposed on us by these rights is to each other and our children of tomorrow. That is the very definition of a “more-just society.”
And just how would these rights be protected?

Guardians with appropriate expertise could be appointed as representatives.

And when the “guardians” see Nature’s rights as conflicting with our children’s, how well will that work out?

Beverly B Nuckols, MD

Designer slaves

Brave New World is still in the future, but we have the technology to create betas and gammas, etc. And with potential laws that deny personhood or any rights at all under the law to the preborn, we have the legal climate.

The question is, do we have the social climate?

Tell me: Why not manipulate our offspring any way we want if they aren’t human-enough to possess human rights?

Let me know what you think on my “Beverly Nuckols” Facebook page!

Texas’ “Kill ‘Em All Until Birth or They Can Vote” Bill, SB 150

Rodriguez’ Senate District 29

Texas State Senator Jose Rodriquez (D- SD 29, El Paso) has filed his version of the becoming-familiar “Kill ‘Em All Until Birth or They Can Vote (whichever comes last)” abortion Bill, SB 150.

Sec. 170.003. RIGHT TO ABORTION. (a) Every woman in this state has the fundamental right to choose to obtain a safe and legal abortion.
(b) This state or a political subdivision of this state may not prohibit a woman from obtaining an abortion at any time throughout her pregnancy if the termination is necessary, in the professional judgment of a physician, to protect the woman’s life or health.
The Bill repeals most of Texas abortion laws, allows nurses and physician assistants to perform abortions, redefines the treatment of a tubal pregnancy as an abortion and explicitly settles the question about whether birth control and oral écontraceptives can cause an abortion: No, cause Jose said so! (And thus would re-define another term; one which has meaning in medicine and law.)
The Bill specifically changes the Occupation Code, repeals the part of Texas law that bans aborting viable infants after 20 week infants, and sets up a way for women to sue the State or “any political subdivision” of the State if they feel that they are “aggrieved” by them when they want an abortion.

Be sure and read the list of things that can be considered an impediment to an abortion. (Lawyers rejoice!)

It’s odd that the Bill changes the definition of “removal of an ectopic pregnancy.” This will result in a whole crop of abortion providers: every doctor who acts to prevent certain death for both the mother and her child when the fallopian tube bursts at about 6- 8 weeks gestation.
These procedures are necessary for the life of the mother and justified as self defense, under the doctrine of double or unintended effect.
The purpose and intent of treatment for an ectopic pregnancy is not the death of the child, but to remove a real emergent threat. Strict Catholic doctrine doesn’t even allow the killing of or removal of the embryo (some justify this under using the least force necessary in self-defense), but requires removal of the diseased fallopian tube, which necessarily, but unintentionally removes the growing embryonic child, who then dies a natural death. (It turns out that this procedure, although it requires a surgical procedure, results in a lower risk of future ectopic pregnancies. And, if course, any future natural pregnancy would depend upon a functional fallopian tube on the other side.)
The good news is there are no co-authors or sponsors, and no companion Bill in the House. Fortunately, there’s almost no chance of this legislation passing in Texas.

So, El Paso voters, what do you think about your State Senator?

You can better see the edits better at the Texas Legislature website, but here’s the text of the Bill:

CHAPTER 170. PROHIBITED ACTS REGARDING ABORTION AND RIGHT TO

ABORTION

86R1737 SCL-F

By: Rodríguez S.B. No. 150

A BILL TO BE ENTITLED
AN ACT
relating to the Whole Woman’s Health Act.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS:
SECTION 1. (a) This Act shall be known as the Whole Woman’s Health Act.
(b) The legislature finds that:
(1) comprehensive reproductive health care, including safe abortion, is a vital component of a woman’s overall health and of her social and economic equality;
(2) abortion is one of the safest medical procedures in the United States, as demonstrated by available data, including from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, showing abortion has a more than 99 percent safety record;
(3) any regulation of medical care must have a legitimate purpose and advance the goals of improving the quality of care and increasing access to care;
(4) the United States Supreme Court held more than 40 years ago in Roe v. Wade that access to an abortion is a constitutional right and that states may not prohibit abortion before viability;
(5) the right to an abortion has been upheld in multiple decisions issued by the United States Supreme Court, including in the 1992 case Planned Parenthood v. Casey and most recently in the landmark decision Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt;
(6) in Whole Woman’s Health, the court held that the United States Constitution “requires that courts consider the burdens a law imposes on abortion access together with the benefits those laws confer”;
(7) in Whole Woman’s Health, the court further held that courts, “when determining the constitutionality of laws regulating abortion procedures,” must place “considerable weight upon evidence . . . presented”;
(8) applying the standard described in Subdivision (7) of this section in Whole Woman’s Health, the court struck down two provisions of Chapter 1 (H.B. 2), Acts of the 83rd Legislature, 2nd Called Session, 2013, that were designed to close abortion clinics in the state and that the court concluded provided few, if any, health benefits for women;
(9) Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg concluded in Whole Woman’s Health given the safety of abortion, “it is beyond rational belief that H.B. 2 could genuinely protect the health of women, and certain that the law ‘would simply make it more difficult for them to obtain abortions'”;
(10) Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg also observed abortion restrictions that “‘do little or nothing for health, but rather strew impediments to abortion’ . . . cannot survive judicial inspection”;
(11) according to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, American Medical Association, American Academy of Family Physicians, and American Osteopathic Association, which are leading public health organizations and amici curiae for the petitioners in Whole Woman’s Health, “[w]omen’s access to high-quality, evidence-based abortion care should not be limited by laws enacted under the guise of patient safety but that, in fact, harm women’s health”; and
(12) the 334 restrictions on abortion providers and their patients adopted nationally since 2011 and the 13 onerous restrictions enacted in this state based on pretextual reasons are just a systematic attempt to eliminate access to safe and legal medical care.
(c) In accordance with the United States Constitution, it is the intent of the legislature to prevent the enforcement of laws or regulations that burden abortion access and do not provide legitimate health benefits.
SECTION 2. The heading to Chapter 170, Health and Safety Code, is amended to read as follows:
CHAPTER 170. PROHIBITED ACTS REGARDING ABORTION AND RIGHT TO ABORTION
SECTION 3. Chapter 170, Health and Safety Code, is amended by adding Sections 170.003 and 170.004 to read as follows:
Sec. 170.003. RIGHT TO ABORTION. (a) Every woman in this state has the fundamental right to choose to obtain a safe and legal abortion.
(b) This state or a political subdivision of this state may not prohibit a woman from obtaining an abortion at any time throughout her pregnancy if the termination is necessary, in the professional judgment of a physician, to protect the woman’s life or health.
Sec. 170.004. PROHIBITED ABORTION LAWS; CIVIL ACTION; WAIVER OF IMMUNITY. (a) Notwithstanding any other law, this state or a political subdivision of this state may not enforce a law on abortion that places a burden on a woman’s access to abortion and does not confer any legitimate health benefit to the woman.
(b) For purposes of Subsection (a), a law places a burden on access to abortion if the law:
(1) forces abortion providers to close;
(2) increases the time a woman is required to wait to obtain an abortion;
(3) requires a meaningful increase in the distance a woman is required to travel to access care;
(4) requires medically unnecessary visits to a health care facility;
(5) requires a health care provider to perform a medical or health care service the provider would not otherwise perform;
(6) increases risks to a woman’s health;
(7) causes a meaningful increase in the cost of an abortion procedure;
(8) is enacted solely for the purpose of stigmatizing abortion patients and abortion providers; or
(9) has as its sole purpose or effect decreasing or eliminating access to abortion.
(c) For purposes of Subsection (a), a law confers a legitimate health benefit if the law:
(1) expands a woman’s access to medical or health care services; or
(2) increases an abortion patient’s safety according to evidence-based research.
(d) A person who is aggrieved by this state’s or a political subdivision’s violation of Subsection (a) may bring a civil action against this state or the political subdivision for injunctive relief and damages incurred as a result of the violation. Sovereign immunity of this state and governmental immunity of the political subdivision from suit and to liability are waived and abolished to the extent of liability created under this subsection.
SECTION 4. Section 171.003, Health and Safety Code, is amended to read as follows:
Sec. 171.003. PERSONS WHO MAY [PHYSICIAN TO] PERFORM ABORTION. An abortion may be performed only by:
(1) a physician licensed to practice medicine in this state;
(2) a nurse licensed under Subtitle E, Title 3, Occupations Code, who is operating within the nurse’s scope of practice; or
(3) a physician assistant licensed under Chapter 204, Occupations Code, who is operating within the physician assistant’s scope of practice.
SECTION 5. Section 245.002, Health and Safety Code, is amended by amending Subdivision (1) and adding Subdivision (3) to read as follows:
(1) “Abortion” means an act or procedure performed after pregnancy has been medically verified and with the intent to cause the termination of a pregnancy other than for the purpose of either the birth of a live fetus or the removal of a dead fetus [the act of using or prescribing an instrument, a drug, a medicine, or any other substance, device, or means with the intent to cause the death of an unborn child of a woman known to be pregnant]. The term does not include birth control devices or oral contraceptives. [An act is not an abortion if the act is done with the intent to:
[(A) save the life or preserve the health of an unborn child;
[(B) remove a dead, unborn child whose death was caused by spontaneous abortion; or
[(C) remove an ectopic pregnancy.]
(3) “Commission” means the Health and Human Services Commission.
SECTION 6. Section 245.005(e), Health and Safety Code, is amended to read as follows:
(e) As a condition for renewal of a license, the licensee must submit to the commission [department] the annual license renewal fee and an annual report, including the report required under Section 245.011.
SECTION 7. The heading to Section 245.010, Health and Safety Code, is amended to read as follows:
Sec. 245.010. PERSONS WHO MAY PERFORM ABORTION [MINIMUM STANDARDS].
SECTION 8. Section 245.010(b), Health and Safety Code, is amended to read as follows:
(b) Only a physician as defined by Subtitle B, Title 3, Occupations Code, a nurse licensed under Subtitle E, Title 3, Occupations Code, who is operating within the nurse’s scope of practice, or a physician assistant licensed under Chapter 204, Occupations Code, who is operating within the physician assistant’s scope of practice may perform an abortion.
SECTION 9. Sections 245.011(a) and (b), Health and Safety Code, are amended to read as follows:
(a) Each [A physician who performs an abortion at an] abortion facility must [complete and] submit an annual [a monthly] report to the commission [department] on each abortion performed [by the physician] at the abortion facility. The report must be submitted on a form provided by the commission [department].
(b) The report may not identify by any means the physician performing the abortion or the patient.
SECTION 10. Section 164.052(a), Occupations Code, is amended to read as follows:
(a) A physician or an applicant for a license to practice medicine commits a prohibited practice if that person:
(1) submits to the board a false or misleading statement, document, or certificate in an application for a license;
(2) presents to the board a license, certificate, or diploma that was illegally or fraudulently obtained;
(3) commits fraud or deception in taking or passing an examination;
(4) uses alcohol or drugs in an intemperate manner that, in the board’s opinion, could endanger a patient’s life;
(5) commits unprofessional or dishonorable conduct that is likely to deceive or defraud the public, as provided by Section 164.053, or injure the public;
(6) uses an advertising statement that is false, misleading, or deceptive;
(7) advertises professional superiority or the performance of professional service in a superior manner if that advertising is not readily subject to verification;
(8) purchases, sells, barters, or uses, or offers to purchase, sell, barter, or use, a medical degree, license, certificate, or diploma, or a transcript of a license, certificate, or diploma in or incident to an application to the board for a license to practice medicine;
(9) alters, with fraudulent intent, a medical license, certificate, or diploma, or a transcript of a medical license, certificate, or diploma;
(10) uses a medical license, certificate, or diploma, or a transcript of a medical license, certificate, or diploma that has been:
(A) fraudulently purchased or issued;
(B) counterfeited; or
(C) materially altered;
(11) impersonates or acts as proxy for another person in an examination required by this subtitle for a medical license;
(12) engages in conduct that subverts or attempts to subvert an examination process required by this subtitle for a medical license;
(13) impersonates a physician or permits another to use the person’s license or certificate to practice medicine in this state;
(14) directly or indirectly employs a person whose license to practice medicine has been suspended, canceled, or revoked;
(15) associates in the practice of medicine with a person:
(A) whose license to practice medicine has been suspended, canceled, or revoked; or
(B) who has been convicted of the unlawful practice of medicine in this state or elsewhere;
(16) performs or procures a criminal abortion, aids or abets in the procuring of a criminal abortion, attempts to perform or procure a criminal abortion, or attempts to aid or abet the performance or procurement of a criminal abortion;
(17) directly or indirectly aids or abets the practice of medicine by a person, partnership, association, or corporation that is not licensed to practice medicine by the board;
(18) performs an abortion on a woman who is pregnant with a viable unborn child during the third trimester of the pregnancy unless:
(A) the abortion is necessary to protect the health or prevent the death of the woman;
(B) the viable unborn child has a severe, irreversible brain impairment; or
(C) the woman is diagnosed with a significant likelihood of suffering imminent severe, irreversible brain damage or imminent severe, irreversible paralysis;
(19) performs an abortion on an unemancipated minor without the written consent of the child’s parent, managing conservator, or legal guardian or without a court order, as provided by Section 33.003 or 33.004, Family Code, unless the abortion is necessary due to a medical emergency, as defined by Section 171.002, Health and Safety Code; or
(20) otherwise performs an abortion on an unemancipated minor in violation of Chapter 33, Family Code[; or
[(21) performs or induces or attempts to perform or induce an abortion in violation of Subchapter C, F, or G, Chapter 171, Health and Safety Code].
SECTION 11. Section 164.055(b), Occupations Code, is amended to read as follows:
(b) The sanctions provided by Subsection (a) are in addition to any other grounds for refusal to admit persons to examination under this subtitle or to issue a license or renew a license to practice medicine under this subtitle. The criminal penalties provided by Section 165.152 do not apply to a violation of Section 170.002 [, Health and Safety Code, or Subchapter C, F, or G, Chapter 171], Health and Safety Code.
SECTION 12. The following provisions are repealed:
(1) Section 32.005, Health and Safety Code;
(2) Sections 171.0031, 171.004, 171.006, as added by Chapter 4 (H.B. 13), Acts of the 85th Legislature, Regular Session, 2017, 171.006, as added by Chapter 9 (H.B. 215), Acts of the 85th Legislature, Regular Session, 2017, 171.012, 171.0121, 171.0122, 171.0123, 171.013, 171.014, 171.015, 171.016, 171.017, and 171.018, Health and Safety Code;
(3) Subchapters C, D, F, and G, Chapter 171, Health and Safety Code;
(4) Chapter 173, Health and Safety Code;
(5) Sections 241.007, 243.017, 245.002(4-a), 245.004, as amended by Chapter 198 (H.B. 2292), Acts of the 78th Legislature, Regular Session, 2003, 245.010(a), 245.011(f) and (g), 245.0115, 245.0116, and 245.024, Health and Safety Code;
(6) Chapter 697, Health and Safety Code;
(7) Chapter 1218, Insurance Code;
(8) Subtitle M, Title 8, Insurance Code;
(9) Section 164.0551, Occupations Code; and
(10) Sections 48.03(a) and (d), Penal Code, as added by Chapter 441 (S.B. 8), Acts of the 85th Legislature, Regular Session, 2017.
SECTION 13. The changes in law made by this Act apply only to an abortion performed on or after the effective date of this Act. An abortion performed before the effective date of this Act is governed by the law applicable to the abortion immediately before the effective date of this Act, and that law is continued in effect for that purpose.
SECTION 14. This Act takes effect immediately if it receives a vote of two-thirds of all the members elected to each house, as provided by Section 39, Article III, Texas Constitution. If this Act does not receive the vote necessary for immediate effect, this Act takes effect September 1, 2019.

Watch “Kathy Tran Presents Virginia Third Trimester Abortion Bill in Committee” on YouTube

The goal of Virginia HB2491 by Delegate Kathy Tran (D-Springfield) is to fight any and all prolife laws, the means is to make certain that some humans are legally deemed not #humanenough to possess human rights. The decision as to which of our children of tomorrow is human-enough would be arbitrary and up to another person who is herself not deemed human-enough in some countries in the world.

The video is part of testimony by Delegate Tran about her Bill HB2491 that repeals most restrictions on abortion. At 1:50, she states the Bill allows abortion through labor if the doctor certifies it’s necessary for the mother’s mental health, when asked if abortion would be allowed when the mother is “dilating.”

The lawyer who speaks after Tran mentions “neurologic” conditions of the child as reasons got late abortions, but is unable to name a qualifying medical condition for the mother, either physical or mental.

No physician attended the hearing. Not surprised, since there’s no ethical way for any physician – even an abortionist – to justify the intentional killing of the child for the mother’s mental or physical health in the 3rd trimester. In fact, after about 15 weeks, it’s statistically safer for the mother’s actual physical health to allow term delivery of a living child.

The act to kill the baby means extra manipulation and extra instrumentation. Especially in the 3rd trimester, these interventions all present added danger to the mother, who will necessarily deliver the child’s body, whether dead or alive.

This Bill by Tran, like the notorious law recently celebrated by lighting the World Trade Center pink on order by Governor Cuomo of New York, is a purely political attempt to dehumanize humans before birth.

As I said, the goal of Virginia HB2491 by Tran is to repeal any and all prolife laws, the means is to make certain that some humans are legally deemed not human enough to possess human rights. The effect will be increased risks to the health of the mother and to the basic, inalienable rights of members of the human species.

Tell me on my Facebook page, what makes a human #humanenough and what do you base your argument on?

Educate and edify!

We need your “voice” on Facebook, Twitter, and on the comments pages of “news” sites.

WingRight.org’s motto is the subject of today’s post. I hope to convince you of the necessity of speaking up in order to “educate” and “edify” (build up and strengthen) our neighbors and fellow citizens. ( We won’t get into the “elect” or pure politics.)

We certainly shouldn’t be silent: the other side sure isn’t. And they won’t go away (or spontaneously come to their senses) if we ignore them.
When I read the mainstream headlines, it’s as though I visit an alternative universe where conservative views are at best misrepresented, and at worst, don’t exist. Conservatives are implicitly – or too often, explicitly – accused of being ill informed, delusional, a “bot,”or the tools of “Faux news” or Rush Limbaugh.
We know better. The opinion pages, supposedly straight new articles, and the comments on each aren’t truthful and certainly don’t reflect the views of the majority of the people I know. We are knowledgeable, do our research, and have drawn our conclusions from the facts and history.
Remember, when you post in public, you’re not just talking to the author of one article or the other commenters: you’re talking to the great majority of readers who *don’t* post. They too may feel alone and isolated, unprepared to advocate, or they are actually the ones who don’t know anything other than what the NYT, CNN, or Saturday Night Live told them. You will probably never know it, but your opinion or information may be the affirmation they needed.
Some practical (and arrogant) advice:

  1. Assume a pseudonym if you need to.
  2. Pick a subject or 2 that you feel comfortable “opining” about and act at least once a day.
  3. Pick just one website to influence, unless you have time to spread out.
  4. Ask advice from trusted sources when necessary.
  5. Be as accurate as you can be – at least, don’t lie or exaggerate for effect.
  6. You might come up with a stock statement that you copy and paste or modify where appropriate. Talking points are an effective tool.
  7. Ignore tacky responses and personal attacks – don’t be distracted or feel you are obligated to engage and argue if you don’t want to.
  8. Correct a mistatement, give a reference, or simply state your reasoned, opposing opinion.

Look at the bulk of comments out there, these tactics are the norm, not the exception.

Think of your efforts as a pebble in a pond that creates a series of rings moving out from the center. The rings will expand, affect and intersect with other people’s little waves. You don’t have to make a big splash: even the tiniest pebble will change the surface.

(Comments are closed on the blog. You can respond on my Beverly Nuckols Facebook page.)

Bashing Trump: Victim shaming, victim denying

Toxic Fact checking!

Toronto Star Washington, DC reporter Daniel Dale (@ddale8) joins in the media’s Trump bashing, with some old fashioned victim shaming: foolish women are deceived into prostitution by “promises of a hopeful future,” not violently kidnapped, gagged and bound.

Well, not often enough for Mr. Dale.

Focusing on the type of tape that President Trump says was used to gag the women, Dale claims that he sought out “experts” who told him that physical, violent kidnapping of women in Mexico in order to traffic them – force them into prostitution – in the US “rarely if ever happens.

Dale quotes a San Antonio “anti-trafficking activist” who woman who has helped 12 such women whose mouths were covered when they were kidnapped. Unfortunately, she didn’t record what was used to cover their mouths.

Oh, and the wall won’t change anything except that it “would merely cause certain traffickers to take more risks and impose higher debts.

After all, less than 2% of women who are trafficked press kidnapping charges.

Dale might put too much weight in the fact that “less than 2%” of women who are trafficked press kidnapping charges. He should listen to the women of Jalisco who tell a story similar to the one the President relates. They then face the resistance of police and authorities with attitudes like Dale’s.

Just how many violent kidnappings across the border would be enough for Mr. Dale and his experts to report the stories of trafficked women instead of a story to prove President Trump wrong?

Making a Home in the BVI

It’s not as easy as it looks!

via Making a Home in the BVI

Select Committee Green New Deal

Are you worthy of the oxygen you breathe, much less the carbon dioxide you exhale?

Well, let’s see what the new Dem Rep from New York has to say:

Select Committee for a Green New Deal
https://docs.google.com/document/d/1jxUzp9SZ6-VB-4wSm8sselVMsqWZrSrYpYC9slHKLzo/mobilebasic

How does MasterCard feeeeel about your buying, selling, eating and drinking – or breathing?

Cashless Society, Internet to Dystopia?

The dystopias of Rand’s Atlas Shrugged, Orwell’s 1984, or Bradbury’s Farenheit 451 had nothing available to monitor and police behavior and thought nearly as powerful as the Internet.

Oh, my readers probably were relieved when the powers-that-be halted the Obama Department of Justice’s “Operation Choke Point” pressure on banks to shut down gun manufacturers, buyers and sellers. At one point,the New York State Department of Financial Services was enforcing similar pressure and, in Florida, second-hand sellers like pawn shops were targeted.

But that was *government* acting outside of Constitutional guidelines, not private business. . .

Facebook puts you in “jail?” Twitter suspends or bans you? Just a matter of private companies exercising property rights!

Facebook, Apple, Spotify, and YouTube ban and erase/delete Alex Jones on* the* same* day*? Only conspiracy nuts would see a conspiracy in the timing!

How do you feel about your credit card company conspiring and colluding with Internet platforms to monitor – and “de-monitize” – your actions and speech: “sins,” as arbitrarily determined by the arbitrary ethics or whims of a 3rd or 4th party?

In the same month that Jones was kicked off multiple Internet sites, AmazonSmile kicked the Alliance Defending Freedom off its charity donation program because of pressure from the Southern Poverty Law Center. The SPLC deems ADF a “hate” organization because it defends people like that Colorado baker.
In the last month, one Internet “platform” (not only a host for writing and videos, but a way to collect subscription fees using credit cards and PayPal – think of a bank alternative), Patreon, removed the account of anti-PC blogger/YouTuber “Sargon of Akkad,” Carl Benjamin, even though the behavior they claim as justificationwas not on their site, and he definitely did not violate Patreon’s Community Guidelines. He was responding in a sarcastic manner to attacks by white supremacists!
In December, 2018, Patreon suspended the owner of “Jihad Watch,” Robert Spencer, without reason or notice. When Spencer asked why, he was told that, “unfortunately,” the credit card company, MasterCard had forced the ban.
At what point does the use of currency to arbitrarily impose decisions on what is right or wrong become a Federal issue? If two or more supposedly unrelated companies or organizations interfere to limit commerce, is it delusional to see a conspiracy?

Even if you don’t read Revelation as the prediction of the ultimate dystopia, you might agree that there’s a move to force political – ethical – correctness on the public by monitoring and restricting how you spend and receive money. You might even see the possibility that in order to spend and earn money, we could soon need the approval – the “Mark” if not of *the* “Beast, “of some lesser beast, composed of powerful organizations.

“Reliable Allies Refuse to Defend a President Content With Chaos.” (NYT)

Mr. Trump grew angry over his news coverage.

Well, who wouldn’t when confronted with this New York Times headline: “Reliable Allies Refuse to Defend a President Content With Chaos.”

The opening paragraph might add to that anger:

President Trump, who has long believed that he is his own best adviser and spokesman, was forced to test that idea on Friday when few of his allies seemed willing to publicly share in his evident satisfaction with the tumultuous events that have buffeted the White House in the past few days.

This is the online version,of the which has a footnote that explains that the print version carried a more neutral title:

A version of this article appears in print on Page A18 with the headline: Confusion and Controversy Swirl, But the President Remains Positive.

The internet address for the article hints at the original purpose behind the column in the US Politics section of what was once the “newspaper of record:” “donald-trump-syria-government-shutdown.”

Other than a few comments that this is the 3rd shutdown in recent years, news coverage ignores the fact that Schumer and the Senate Democrats “shutdown” the government in January, 2018 when they staged a filibuster over another funding Bill because it didn’t protect DACA.

The President is said to have an “aggressively partisan stance,” but New York’s Democrat Senator Chuck Schumer is the one who ranted on the Senate floor:

“You’re not getting the wall today, next week or on Jan. 3 when Democrats take control of the House.”

You don’t have to wonder how Not-the-Majority-Leader Chuck really feels. And it’s clear that he has “reliable allies” at the NYT.

Border Wall : now or never

For two years, the problem with funding the border wall has been exactly the same that the country faces now: the Senate Dems refuse to budge. It’s down to the last minute, now or never for the wall, and up to the Dems to choose.

The solution is simple: instead of dedicating $10+B in aid to Mexico and Central America, allocate the money necessary to build the wall and secure the border.

What a shame that the division has become so partisan and the talking points so bitterly derisive.

As to the “immorality” that Schumer decries: just as with your home, there is a moral difference between a wall intended to control who comes into the Country and one intended to lock the inhabitants in.

The solution is simple: instead of dedicating $10+B in aid to Mexico and Central America, allocate the money necessary to build the wall and secure the border.

WSJ: “The Flynn Entrapment”

Enough details to support any worry you’ve ever had about Comey, McCabe and the biased FBI.
The judge evidently has reason to believe that there was bias on the part of the Comey/McCabe FBI and is demanding to know why there was a difference in treatment of different people and different groups.

Unlike this editorial and several other news sources, the Washington Post article barely mentions the order by the judge. It doesn’t report McCabe’s or Comey’s involvement at all, merely claiming that “Flynn demurred” having a lawyer present, without reporting McCabe’s own testimony:

“I explained that I thought the quickest way to get this done was to have a conversation between [Mr. Flynn] and the agents only. I further stated that if LTG Flynn wished to include anyone else in the meeting, like the White House Counsel for instance, that I would need to involve the Department of Justice. [Mr. Flynn] stated that this would not be necessary and agreed to meet with the agents without any additional participants,” wrote Mr. McCabe in a memo viewed by the Flynn defense team.

The WSJ op-ed has additional information from former FBI Director, James Comey’s testimony about his decision to go around protocol to set up the meeting with Flynn:

“” This is “something I probably wouldn’t have done or wouldn’t have gotten away with in a more organized administration,” Mr. Comey boasted on MSNBC this weekend. “In the George W. Bush Administration or the Obama Administration, if the FBI wanted to send agents into the White House itself to interview a senior official, you would work through the White House counsel, there would be discussions and approvals and who would be there. And I thought, it’s early enough let’s just send a couple guys over.”“”

If there were no investigation, as Flynn believed at the time, why would the FBI expect full disclosure about what he was doing and saying to attempt to prevent escalation of the Russian response to sanctions?

The WaPo does cover more of the story in their own op-ed, which is a purposeful denial of any possibility of a “perjury trap” by “[c]ritics of the Russian investigation.”

The big lessons are, don’t ever sit down with investigators without a lawyer, and always read more than one news source.

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?

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