Friday, September 11, 2009

Terrorism is apparently a poor tool for communicating

If someone murders an anti-choice activist, it's just not necessary to believe that there's a pro-choice terrorist on a rampage. It's an awful possibility, especially because the victim, Jim Pouillo, was murdered while engaging in a protest against abortion, but I think it's a remote one, especially since he was not the only victim of murder in his town today, and there's really no pattern of this kind of thing happening before. Police have connected a suspect with both Pouillon's murder and the second victim's.

I extend my condolences to the victims and their families. Should there have been a political motive to the killings, it's the responsibility of the pro-choice movement to decisively and immediately stamp that kind of thinking out. Everyone is still shocked and horrified about the murder of Dr. George Tiller, but fighting terrorism with terrorism is not only bad tactics, it's evil.

Jezebel found the response of

Fr. Pavone of Priests for Life told that he hoped to see "a strong expression of indignation from the pro-abortion community, just like there was a strong expression of indignation form the pro-life community at the killing of Dr. Tiller."
I don't know about Fr. Pavone, but I recall a pretty anemic expression of indignation from anti-choice activists after the assassination of Dr. Tiller.

Ashley Todd set back the cause of Republican martyrs by decades - she had us going for a good 12 hours, but her mistake was unnecessary melodrama and, of course, that backwards B. Also, it's tough to fabricate your own murder, and really a bad idea. I simply don't think that anti-choice manipulation goes that far.

Something smells fishy about this, especially how media reports immediately seized on the victim's history of activism as an implied motive for murder. I don't need to remind anyone about the tendency of media to take the first sensational idea connected with a story and run with it. A second man was killed in the same city on the same day, and there's no word on who he was or what kind of political enemies he had.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

To Hell with Skepticism

When I got sick, I first tried to tell myself that I should just deal, and I may have felt pretty bad, but that happens from time to time, so whatever. The ironic thing is that I was really getting into what hypochondriacs dream of - a life-stopping, sympathy-garnering, ambiguous medical condition. If I was going to go on living, I had to be a little flexible, and to stop going along with the luddite guilt trips about "overmedicated" Americans. I take at least six medications on any given day, and who knows if they're doing exactly what they're proven to do?

What I have just isn't on a label. I was diagnosed with an advanced case of WTF. There are lots of symptoms that I address variously, and I feel pretty good most of the time. The classics like eating healthy food and exercising tend to do what they're supposed to, but sometimes I'm exhausted and I have to choose if I'm going to go for a walk or do the dishes. Or to just eat the damn burger and stop my tummy from growling. I don't always make the right choice, and I try to learn from it when I do the wrong thing. I was holding out against particular drugs because I didn't really think they were necessary (IANAD), but soon enough I was completely nonfunctional and miserable. I had to do something.

Empirical purity be damned, I'm not going to circle down the drain for the sake of principle. There were possibilities I hadn't fully explored, and things were getting ridiculous. I dropped the wishful thinking and coyness about symptoms and laid it all out for the various doctors I see, and we got down to some brainstorming. When insurance balked a little, I laid out the cash in good faith* until they relented. I'd held out as much as my health could afford. I'm young and have a whole life ahead of me where I'd rather avoid disability and pain. Mistakes I make in recovery could be irreversible if we don't get astounding new medical technology within my lifetime. I'd like to say that I can prove that I need to take all these meds, but I don't think I can. Precision is great and all, but I'm happy if I feel better. My life completely destabilized, and I can't afford to pare down on these drugs until I have more stability. In the meantime, I'm trying to cultivate an environment in which I can thrive, and keep things as simple as possible.

My unified theory of what to do when there isn't anything to do is that you need to know when to break your own rules.

This can also be stated as, "All things in moderation." But that's boring.

Sometimes I become obsessed with the temptation of a guilty pleasure, and it's a lot more of a problem for me than eating a Twinkie will be in the long run. So, whatever. Screw purity. I rarely act out of hedonism, and when I do it's usually pretty harmless.

*Do you have any idea how expensive speech therapy is? I didn't, but I went in for an appointment before insurance would approve it, and they ended up retroactively covering the consultation.

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Blue Dog Betrayal

It seemed like a miracle to elect a Democratic representative in the first district of Idaho. The guy who previously held the seat was a disgrace, and his failures were Walt Minnick's success. An Idaho blogger by the blogonym of Mountain Goat has a bone to pick with Minnick's manipulative and dishonest campaign that stood in support of sCHIP on principle. But health care for everyone else? No way! His constituents don't want that kind of socialized craziness! Take it away, MountainGoat!

On Halloween day last year, in an interview with University of Idaho's KUOI radio in Moscow, you scolded your opponent for voting against expanding the State Children's Health Insurance Program, saying, incredulously, "Who could be opposed to providing health care to single moms who don't have jobs?"

Bill Sali said we couldn't afford it and voted against it—four times.

You said, "There are some places this country has to invest," and called the votes shortsighted.

Read the whole thing n weep, folks.

Hard-working Idahoans like Tom and Karen sent you to Washington because you gave them hope. Hope that you could and would convince their country to see them as an investment. People of the 1st District had enough of the rigid ideology that told them they weren't worth the price and sent you to represent them instead. They didn't expect to get a more finely honed rigid ideologist. They didn't expect, nor did they deserve to get their lives turned into political footballs—least of all by you.

Yet that is exactly what you've done. You joined the chorus of townhall crazies and fear mongering ideologues who turned Tom and Karen and every other Idahoan who can't afford medical care into political footballs.

Instead of coming home and working to convince Idahoans that they had nothing to fear and much to gain from health care reform (something many of us were prepared to help you do), you and your advisors (with their legendarily acute grasp of messaging) sent out misinformation-laden press-releases playing up the fears of Idahoans using triggers like "socialized medicine," "big government" and "raising taxes."

Naively, I thought that getting an Idahoan into the Democratic majority could give the progressive agenda some kick to it. But those damn dirty blue dogs rolled right over when they saw blood in the water and donations to their re-election funds. I'm disappointed by Obama in a lot of ways, but I may in fact regret my vote for Walk Minnick.

I just wanted to highlight this fantastic post and give it a push, plus add my own frustrated feelings. WTF, Walt? You're not as silly as Sali, but you're about as useful.