It’s not about Abortion

But the abortion issue plays so well.

Had a yellow dog reply to me the other day “I hope Roe is overturned before 2008!” In response to my entry on the impending Democratic Victory at the polls.

The elections that will be impacted are the 2006 elections (2008’s will probably also go against the Reps, but that’s still 2 years off) The complete lack of focus on the part of the sitting government is what is going to cost the Republican’s plenty, not the reversal of Roe. On the subject of what is important to Americans right now, Roe and Abortion isn’t even on the map. Nor do I think it will be reversed or even severely impacted.

Oh, they could change the “on demand” status, and the Religious Reich would crow to the heavens about the “victory” they’d achieved. But science and precedent aren’t behind a reversal of the current ruling. I don’t see how the SCOTUS can see it’s way to a ‘reversal’. Which means that Abortion stays legal and will be privately funded (in fewer places) and that the more logical chemical approaches to ‘family planning’ will take the front seat.

The issue should die there. Why? I made this argument a long time ago, you can’t have a murder if you don’t have a body. There is no body with a morning after pill (the method of choice these days) or one of the other early use chemicals. So attempting to inflict the morality of “life at conception” through the use of law is just another downward spiral. Just brings on the major societal change that much sooner.

The fact is that what people do find important isn’t being addressed. The war, the lackluster economy, etc. The fact that, even with half the income of America at the gov’ts disposal, it still takes years to get a city rebuilt. (N’Orleans)

There is some serious dissatisfaction out there, and I don’t see the Republicans addressing it. Come to think of it, I don’t see mainstream Democrats addressing it either.

Da Vinci Court & Opus Dei

Noticed on news today that the authors of Holy Blood, Holy Grail are looking for a slice of Dan Brown‘s Da Vinci Code pie.

Maybe they should have written a fiction novel instead of trying for the non-fiction label themselves. They would have needed more of a plot, though.


Read this defense of the antagonists faith from the novel, Opus Dei the other day. I gotta tell you, he doesn’t convince me that the behavior makes sense, or that I would want to sign up for that kind of self abuse. What he does convince me of is why the church is so desperate to retain membership that they would do some of the things that they’ve been accused of doing of late.

“You want me to inflict pain on myself so that I can experience some spiritual growth? Uh, no thanks, dude.”

I would suspect that, if you believed that inflicting pain on yourself lead to your long term benefit, you might come to believe that inflicting pain on others might be to their long term benefit. Sounds pretty sick to me.


Looking forward to watching the movie. Don’t know if I can quite picture Tom Hanks in the lead role, but the clips I saw on the news story seemed pretty interesting.

Boston Legal, Jury Nullification, Euthanasia

Speaking of Boston Legal (I was) the episode “Live Big” (that aired on the 21st) features Alan Shore once again on the horns of an ethical dilemma. His client granted his Alzheimer’s afflicted wife’s request to have her life terminated.

I love watching James Spader’s characterization of Alan Shore. He’s so wonderfully dry. The contrasting relationship with bombastic ‘Denny Crane’ (William Shatner) makes an excellent sounding board (and vice versa) for discussion points within the episode.

Denny Crane: That’s how dad went. Morphine drip.
Alan Shore: How did you get the doctor to do it?
Denny Crane: “Denny Crane”. It was the real thing then.

Spader’s ‘Shore’ is clearly uncomfortable with the whole subject, but he believes that his client should not be labeled a criminal, and bases his closing argument on that very basic fact.

The A.D.A.’s argument amounts to: he broke the law, he’s a criminal, and we can’t afford to start down the slippery slope of allowing assisted suicide, what happens when people start getting rid of the old, sick people they just don’t want around anymore.

Shore’s argument goes like this:

The dirty little secret is; we went down that slope, years ago. Officially we say we’re against assisted suicide; but it goes on, all the time. 70% of all deaths in hospitals are due to decisions to let patients die. Whether it’s morphine drips or respirators, hydration tubes. With all due respect to the Terry Schiavo fanfare, patients are assisted with death, all across the country, all the time.

As for regulating motive, here’s a thought, investigate it. if we suspect foul play have the police ask questions, if it smells funny, prosecute.

But here, there is no suggestion that Mr. Myerson’s motive was anything other than to satisfy his wifes wishes and spare her the extreme indignity of the rotting of her brain. Can you imagine? Would you want to live like that?

I had a dog for 12 years. His name was Allen. That was his name when I got him. He had cancer in the end. That, in conjunction with severe hip dysplasia, and he was in unbearable pain. My vet recommended, and I agreed, to euthanize him. It was ‘humane’ which we as society endeavor to be, for animals.

My client’s act was a humane one. It was a sorrowful one. Mrs. Myerson’s nurse testified as to the profound love that Ryan Myerson had for his wife. Sometimes the ultimate act of love and kindness…

If you think this man is a criminal send him to jail. If you don’t, don’t.

His client is, of course, acquitted. A classic case of jury nullification, a legitimate finding by the jury that the law was wrongly applied in this instance.

Another example of why I love the show evolves afterwards. Once again in a conversation between Denny and Alan, the nature of “who’s life is it anyway” is explored. An excellent conclusion to the episode, and what I’ve come to expect from the show.

Looking forward to tonight’s episode.

When are Taxes not Theft?

Heard on the radio today that Austin is going to give 3 million dollars as an incentive to HP so that they’ll graciously relocate here. Oh, I know, they aren’t actually ‘giving’ anything. They’re offering incentives (rebates on taxes) and I’m sure you and I won’t even notice that HP (the multi-national corporation) isn’t paying the same property taxes that us working stiffs are.

Why should we care when we as living, existing entities with limited time in this world are stolen from on a daily basis while a corporation with no real existence and no limit on their lifespan (profitable or not) gets a free pass for 10 years (about a quarter of the average persons working life) and has potentially centuries to make however many millions it is destined to make.

So, to get to the point, when are Taxes not Theft?

When the tax is levied on an legal entity that has no physical being to maintain. When the tax is levied on creatures of law that have no existence outside of law; if the cost of maintaining it’s existence is the maintenance of gov’t and law, can any cost be considered ‘unreasonable’? Can any cost short of self destruction be considered theft, since the alternative is for them to cease to exist?

Taxes levied on creatures of the state cannot be ruled theft. Corporations and other creatures of law, government sheltered businesses of any kind, should carry the burden of gov’t since they owe their very existence to government in the first place, and would have no ability to continue in existence without it.

In my opinion, this is the answer to the age old question of how to fund government. Let those who profit from it, those who would have no existence with out it, pay for it. Starting with corporations like HP.

Might *doesn’t* Make Right

Got into one of those discussions this weekend (I don’t know how I manage to do this so often) someone insisting that the use, or threat of use of force, is required routinely to provide a ‘safe and secure’ society.

When I offered the counter observation that it was hardly the case, and that most poeple would rather do anything to avoid a fight, it was scoffed at; never mind that day after day, time after time, events transpire to prove that people will tend to avoid confrontation if they can.

(one might even argue that it would be a better world if only more people felt there were things worth fighting for, but don’t get me started)

That there are people who only respect force is a given, in my book. That is one of the core reasons that some form of government will always be necessary. Self government only works if you are intelligent enough to modify your own behavior when your desires drive you to take what isn’t yours or in some way transgress the ‘normal’ code of conduct that is currently enforced as law. That there isn’t daily killings on the highway for transgressions of driving ettiquette is all the proof that I need that most people are capable of self government.

If Might made Right, then anything achieved by force would be acceptable to the sensibilities of people in general. Logically, if the use of force “made right”, then I’m not sure what business anyone has objecting to anything that is done to him. Obviously it’s ‘right’ if it can be done, given that force is the only measurement of ‘right’ (being what the word ‘makes’ means) if you accept the statement as true. That people object, and that some people will respond with force (also known as self defense; a concept near and dear to my heart) proves that Might Doesn’t make Right. Not even ‘Right now’.

Lucky for the rest of us. I guess I’ll have to add a few more names to the book, though. The record of people that I will need to apply force to if I ever want anything out of them…

Precious Metals on the Rise?

I’m not going to pretend to be an authority on the subject (there are enough pretenders of that sort already on the web) but if some of the recent news is any indication, I think it’s safe to say that gold and silver will continue to rise:

Item number 4 in this month’s Liberty Dollar News:

“Cheuvreux, the equity brokerage house of Credit Agricole, the huge French bank, distributed a 56-page report that completely endorses in detail the findings of the Gold Anti-Trust Action Committee that the price of gold has been surreptitiously suppressed by Western central banks and that those banks do not have the gold they claim to have. “

“The report, written by Cheuvreux’s mining sector analyst in London, Paul Mylchreest, is titled “Remonetization of Gold: Start Hoarding.” It repeatedly cites GATA by name and foresees an “unprecedented” rise in the gold price, possibly accompanied by a spike to as much as 2,000 USD.”


Me personally? I won’t hold my breath on gold going as high as $2000 an ounce. But the news of central banks not having as much gold as they claimed should ensure that the price of gold will continue to rise.

I don’t have any ‘authoritative sources’ to cite for silver’s continued rise, but there is enough rumor and scuttlebutt on the web (if you go looking) to make the case look pretty good.

Then there is this:

By any calculation silver is not worth 9.00 per ounce.

Its true value is in the range of 79.50 to 700,000.00 per ounce depending on what relative formula you use.

Based on rarity of production (at mine in 2004) and using the price of 530.00 for gold then silver should be 79.50/oz. Based on the idea that silver is the only material ordained as money, and it is the only thing that backs, or owns, every piece of worthless paper in the world that passes for money, securities, bonds, etc., then silvers true value is in the range of $700,000.00 plus per ounce. There are a hundred other formulaes by which you may want to value silver in U.S. Dollars.

Whatever the economy is doing, silver will continue to increase in value relative to anything that it is measured against. Notwithstanding market manipulation which will ultimately fail.

(credit to Moriyah for writing the above)

I’d like to repeat the important bit there. Every dollar in circulation is supposed to be backed by approx. 3/4 of an ounce of silver. That puts the price per ounce of silver in existence at $700,000.00 plus. A staggering number. One that leads me to believe that silver isn’t going to be dropping in price anytime soon…

Boston Legal ‘Abortion’ episode

This furor over abortion (again) reminds me of last weeks Boston Legal (the ep. “Smile“) and the rape victim suing the Catholic hospital because they failed to provide her with the ‘morning after’ pill when she requested it.

Specifically I am reminded of the exchange between the characters of Shirley Schmidt and Denise Bauer when, at the end of the episode it is revealed…

…Well, don’t read any farther if you want to be surprised when watching the episode.

Here are the lines from the transcript:

Denise Bauer: So?
Shirley Schmidt: I just spoke with her mother. She’’s having an abortion. While it’s still legal.
Denise Bauer: Girl who said she would never even consider it. She hands Shirley a bottle of beer.
Shirley Schmidt: Well. What’s the alternative? Having custody battles with your rapist? Sorry. That was really tasteless.
Denise Bauer: It’’s all tasteless. The more science comes up with alternatives to the misery of abortion the louder the opposition.
Shirley Schmidt: Course it’’s about power. It’s always been about power. They drink. Shirley motions with her bottle. These guys have any friends?
Denise Bauer: Not for long.

So the do-gooder at the Catholic hospital in fact contributed to someone having an abortion, all because of the scientifically indefensible belief that life begins at conception.

Misery does love company, I guess.

Democratic Victory

Every conservative that I know makes a point of saying they are a “fiscal conservative”. They are, nearly to a man, worried most about the size and cost of government, and want to see it get smaller. Ask any American on the street prior to 9-11 what was most important for the government to focus on, and they would probably respond with some variation on “re-instituting fiscal responsibility”.

Over the last 8 years, Bush and the Republican gov’t he leads have passed one (miniscule) tax cut, while jacking up the budget and the deficit to record levels.

At the pace that ‘progress’ is being made in the Middle East, Mr. Bush will leave office with the U.S. still mired in Iraq, with the neighboring nations posturing militarily in an attempt to make us blink, putting us in the most volatile foreign policy situation since FDR died in the White House, leaving Truman to finish WWII.

…And Republicans across the nation are consumed with what? Passing Anti-abortion measures so that they can try to coerce the SCOTUS to overturn Roe V. Wade.

This despite the fact that the average American, while perhaps not being favorable on abortion themselves, still favors a woman’s right to choose the procedure. I don’t know which political page they are working from, but this spells ‘Democratic Victory’ in the next election, in the book I’m reading from. I’m batting a thousand so far.

Which reminds me, I’m sticking to my previous assessment on the subject. The only thing I’m curious about is how the new members of SCOTUS will justify striking down the most recent ill-conceived fascist notions concerning abortion law. As if this hasn’t happened before.

So, in the end, the only thing Bush will have achieved in 8 years: handing Democrats control of the government for the first time since Reagan took office. Way to go, George.

Recommending Firefox

I knew I was recommending it for a reason.

It’s just nice to have it backed up with statistics. Here’s a quote:

“Internet Explorer users are 21 times as likely to pick up spyware than Firefox users

I’ve been using Firefox for several years now, and installing it on systems that my boss (yeah, you, sweetheart) assigns me to fix, as well as recommending it to anyone who asks. All based on my own impression of it’s security, and nothing else.

…Until now.