Thursday, October 23, 2003

Action action action action

LA Times headline: “Gov.-Elect Rolls Up His Sleeves on Budget.” Unfortunately, he then got distracted, and spent the rest of the afternoon admiring his own biceps.

One thing about farming out phone and clerical work abroad is that certain US laws become unenforceable. And there are other problems. For example, a woman in Pakistan doing outsourced work for UCSF Medical Center has threatened to post patients’ medical records to the web unless she is bribed. Of course it is Pakistan, so maybe UCSF can have her executed.

William Saletan suggests that the mythological beast put to the sword by the Senate yesterday, “partial birth abortions” is described in ways intended to obfuscate that the thing being aborted is not viable, is not in fact being partially born.

And another piece, by an abortion doctor in Boulder, makes the case very clearly that there is no such critter in medical terms, and that because of that, there is no way that a doctor, who actually thinks in medical terms, one hopes, knows what has just been outlawed. As any Iraqi will tell you, when this administration starts going after mythical things, a lot of people can get hurt. (That analogy is mine, and it’s darned clever, and I want credit for it.)

The R’s fortunately passed a measure that is not constitutional (if the Supreme Court is reshaped to the point where it allows this law to go ahead, then this law will be the least of the dangers to reproductive freedom). The R’s are now so fanatical (or so much more interested in votes than abortion, which is almost worse) that they wouldn’t allow an exception for the life of the mother, even knowing the act is not, ahem, viable without it. By the way, the only term by which women are referred to in this bill is “mother”--as usual, doctors are subject to prison terms (2 years), but women’s decisions to procure this illegal act would have no legal consequences for them--but is one really technically a mother before birth? Isn’t the correct term expectant mother?

Sweden, with 45.3% of its MPs being women, has been knocked into second place by, wait for it, Rwanda (48.8%) (The US House of Reps is tied for 60th place with 14.3%)

Governor Arnold, without a hint of irony: “Action, action, action, action — that's what people have voted me into this office for.”

In Indonesia, Bush says that the views of “Jerry” Boykin that Muslims don’t worship a real god are not his views nor those of the American people. After all, he added, didn’t our CIA give your government the names of hundreds of thousands of alleged godless commies in the 1960s so they could be killed? All joking about genocide aside, I could do without Bush pontificating on what the American people do or do not believe about religion. In fact I, like Boykin, don’t think Muslims worship a real god. And neither does Boykin.