Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Mark Steyn Fears ObamaCare will Make Him a Woman

Here's a little whacked-out logic from Mark Steyn via a blogger at Axis of Right (posted in whole because it's just so priceless):

I was listening to a bit of Mark Steyn filling-in for Rush today, when he mentioned an interesting concept on socialized health care: the nationalization of your body. Put simply, if you do not belong to yourself anymore (i.e., no longer have control over health decisions of your body), isn’t that a form of slavery?
In a
Washington Times article from June 14, Steyn said this about a story in Quebec:

“In the province of Quebec, patients with severe incontinence – i.e., they’re in the bathroom 12 times a night – wait three years for a simple 30-minute procedure. True, Quebecers have a year or two on Americans in the life-expectancy hit parade, but if you’re making 12 trips a night to the john 365 nights a year for three years, in terms of life-spent-outside-the-bathroom expectancy, an uninsured Vermonter may actually come out ahead.”

Elaborating on this story on-air today, Steyn basically said that your bladder (or any other part of your body) in Canada simply belongs to the government, and the government decides when and where it will be treated, if at all. Socialized health care rips apart the concept of individual liberty, plain and simple. That might be fine for a democratic socialist soft tyranny in Europe, but in principle it’s very un-American at its heart.

Ok, I get Steyn's point. He's afraid of becoming a woman!

Cause, see, every time I have to plow through lines of hateful, demeaning protestors at the clinic to get a pap smear so I can have my birth control prescription filled, or the pharmacist denies filling it because of their conscience and I have to schlep all over town (or the county, depending on what part of the country I'm in), or my church pastor tells me I should let God decide when I have my children, or my husband thinks he can have sex with me any time he wants, or I find out I am pregnant (because you know, the whore that I am, I engaged in sex) when I don't want to be, laws in this country nationalize my body and my body doesn't belong to me any more. And that is very un-American.


Journalism Fail.

From today's Washington Times. Can you believe this shit flies in reputable publications? Straight out, politically motivated lies. The subtitle is actuall,y "Bureaucrats could decide who lives or dies."

From the comments, lots of amens, a few Hitlers, only one voice of reason. Absolutely shocking.

And reprinted on the Terri Schindler Schiavo Foundation website, the foundation formed by Schiavo's parents, sister and brother, Bobby Schindler, now an international anti-euthanasia speaker. With a full calendar of events!

Greg Sargent's got more on scary Betsy McCaughey.

Bob Cesca over at Huffpo does a succinct run down of the absurdity of the past week. And includes the hilarious video urging to not, "cower under your afghan."

mcjoan has a helpful update on bill status at dkos.


As with the Birthers, Facts don't Matter.

Everyone's favorite "protect both pre-born and post-born innocent human life" blogger, Jill Stanek, has her typing fingers on what is proving to be a full-fledged conspiracy theory. Facts be damned!

As I write here, the anti-assisted suicide wing of the "pro-life" machine has been stumping the euthanasia rumor ever since the Stimulus Bill was introduced in January. On Friday, Boehner threw them a bone with his statement (co-written with McCotter) that the health care bill will urge America down the path of state-coerced euthanasia. And Michael Steele harked the name of Terri Schiavo, to what effect I'm still not certain. But it's been a tizzy of media mawing ever since.

This is nothing new, this rumor that the government is out to get you and your grandma. It came up the last time health care was seriously discussed. Clintoncare drew euthanasia alarmists like Betsy McCaughey out of the woodwork (see prior posts).

As then, and as with the birther movement, facts don't seem to phase the alarmists. It's fabulous. It's a phenomena of our modern day that, despite easy access fact-checking resources, there is a segment of the population that refuses to believe what can easily be proven. Media has helped this to a great extent, but still?!

I think Elizabeth Castelli might have a key to it. As I wrote to an acquaintance today regarding the motivation of the "pro-life" folks on their anti-end-of-life planning position (and don't misunderstand, as terri c reminds us in comments, clergy, theologians, Christian medical workers etc. predominently understand the need for end-of-life planning):

...there is a persecution complex going on. "Culture of Death", the dramatic term given to personal choice, free flow of information, frank discussions of end-of-life and sexual issues, connotes the fear of outsiders, non-believers, facts, discussion.

Here's a great piece by Barnard Religion scholar Elizabeth Castelli from the now-defunct (by one of the founders of www.killingthebuddha). She talks about the "rhetorical project" that contemporary Christians have undertaken. The academic-speak is light and deft and I definitely recommend the article (Elizabeth's a friend). An exerpt:

Yet, I believe that Robertson's rhetorical excesses are more than mere theatre: they are an example -- albeit an extreme and even ridiculous example -- of a broader and growing trend in political discourse as it emerges from certain branches of right-wing political Christianity. This trend mobilizes the language of religious persecution to shut down political debate and critique by characterizing any position not in alignment with this politicized version of Christianity as an example of antireligious bigotry and persecution. Moreover, it routinely deploys the archetypal figure of the martyr as a source of unquestioned religious and political authority.

Does belief in things unseen also mean disbelief in things seen? In other words - and you really should read all of Elizabeth's piece - is political discourse being halted by the immediate labeling of nonreligious views as blatant persecution of America's Christians?


But This is Not Enough.

The Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights investigates state-mandated euthanasia as included in the health care bill and is not satisfied.

Yes, maybe the Obama administration is plotting to kill the elderly, they say.

And proof that facts have little to do with how Republicans view the bill, conspiracies abound.


Awe Shucks.

How cool! Two of my four basic daily reading groups converge! KillingtheBuddha linked to my ReligionDispatches article today.

Reading them both, by the way, will keep the devil away!

Health Care in the Media.

Here's Lindsay Beyerstein with an update on the health care bill status.

Eight reform objectives in Obama's health care email today:

No discrimination for pre-existing conditions
No exorbitant out-of-pocket expenses, deductibles or co-pays
No cost-sharing for preventive care
No dropping of coverage if you become seriously ill
No gender discrimination
No annual or lifetime caps on coverage
Extended coverage for young adults
Guaranteed insurance renewal so long as premiums are paid

Nice to see the gender equality!

Must Read: Conor Clarke at Atlantic Online profiles Betsy McCaughey's predictions of death and destruction for the elderly - then (Clintoncare) and now (Obamacare).


Euthanasia in the Media Today.

My watch on the euthanasia scare:

Rachel Maddow reports the president fielding a question at a town hall. Don't miss this segment. (Or the one with my friend Jeff Sharlet talking about The Family afterwards.)

Kudos to Lifenews' Steven Ertelt, no purveyor of respectable journalism, for squashing the "senior death" hype. The article quotes AARP head as doing the lie debunking!

As I mention below, Britain has a giant legal battle going on over assisted suicide. Here's a piece from the Examiner that looks at our own public discourse and reports a fear-inducing email that is making the rounds.

A classic "Culture of Death" commentary on culturewatch, from Bill Muehlenberg.

And another example, this time complete with a Kevorkian photo, no lie! I love the way the right is giving republicans credit for thankfully reading the bill before it was foolishly passed to the detriment of the American public. Hilarious, because what they're crediting is actually republicans making up scary lies! They didn't read the bill. Geez.

Across the pond, the largest British Nurses Organization recently changed its stance on assisted suicide. The change has caused quite an uproar in a country where the debate is already at a pitch, only in part due to the tandem deaths of Sir Edward Downes and his terminal wife Joan.

I'm sure there's more to come throughout the day.


Will Euthanasia Kill Health Care?

I'm up at with an article about euthanasia and health care reform.

Check it out here. And let me know what you think!