- Bob Ross as you’ve never seen him!
- Borrowed time.
- Cousin Larry’s Chinese Kidney.
- A reminder about the Employer Mandate.
- Back to the drawing board – please!
A third PBS remix, Bob Ross of The Joy of Painting:
There’s a nice (copyrighted) poem at The Writer’s Almanac Friday, Jim Harrison’s “Debtors,” about borrowed time.
[O]ur any-means-necessary-to-avoid-suffering attitudes risk making such biological colonialism respectable. Not only do organ purchasers generally receive scant condemnation—if any at all—but they are sometimes positively celebrated. Thus, when Daniel Asa Rose wrote Larry’s Kidney about buying an organ in China, he was embraced by reviewers. Typically, the May 1, 2009 Library Journal complimented:
This book is a side-splitting tour de force that whisks readers off to China on a quest to get a transplant for the author’s cousin Larry. Second-time memoirist Rose recounts their exploits with an insuperable wit that will appeal to readers who crave unrelenting humor. In a more serious vein, Larry’s challenging journey to China will resonate with readers who are rightfully concerned about the plight of American patients who may be relegated for years to an organ transplant waiting list.
No doubt, family members of the (probably) murdered kidney vendor were also very amused.
(Wesley J. Smith on Our Neurotic Fear of Suffering)
Smith is a champion of human exceptionalism, whose writings I often find unsatisfying, perhaps because I’ve been thinking about this stuff for decades whereas he’s busy doing popular introductions for those who’ve barely thought about it at all. But I thought Friday’s First Things blog piece, from which this is an excerpt, was very good, beginning to end.
This may need to be repeated from time to time, and a blog reminds me that I haven’t said it for a while:
- Pregnancy isn’t a disease, and contraceptives are not disease prevention.
- An employer’s unwillingness to fund contraceptives through its health insurance plan is not a denial of access to contraceptives, a denial of preventive health services, or a relegation of women to chains.
- Oral contraceptive pills cost about $9 per month these days.
- Employers “insuring” predictable medical expenses is not really insurance at all, and is an artifact of World War II price controls, when employers sought to add fringe benefits to attract scarce employees.
- Mandating such fake “insurance” works against lowering health care costs by isolating patients from the financial impact of their healthcare, including (I don’t know what percentage) purely elective, cosmetic or lifestyle procedures and drugs (yes, I’d include Viagra and Cialis in that).
- The Obama administration’s insistence on any employer paying for contraceptives was a particularly offensive bit of political pandering and statist bullying, since the presence of a substantial number of people with scruples about contraception is well-known.
A person commits the crime of disrupting a house of worship if such person … Intentionally and unreasonably disturbs, interrupts, or disquiets any house of worship by using profane discourse, rude or indecent behavior, or making noise either within the house of worship or so near it as to disturb the order and solemnity of the worship services ….
(Italics added) I’d like Act Up! and its ilk to be given the Pussy Riot treatment when it disrupts religious services, which seems to be the latest fad. But a criminal law that incorporates concepts of unreasonableness (Is it unreasonable to protest the lax treatment of priests who molest children?; What is a “reasonable” disruption of worship?), profaning and indecency is gonna be in a heap’o'trouble on legal challenge.
On the other hand, I think the free speech challenge is a loser because this is a reasonable time and place limit.
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