Friday, June 20, 2008

More Christian Child Abuse!

Authorities say a teenager from a faith-healing family died from an illness that could have been easily treated, just a few months after a toddler cousin of his died in a case that has led to criminal charges.

Tuesday's death of 16-year-old Neil Beagley, however, may not be a crime because Oregon law allows minors 14 and older to decide for themselves whether to accept medical treatment.

"All of the interviews from last night are that he did in fact refuse treatment," police Sgt. Lynne Benton said Wednesday. "Unless we can disprove that, charges probably won't be filed in this case."

An autopsy Wednesday showed Beagley died of heart failure caused by a urinary tract blockage.

He likely had a congenital condition that constricted his urinary tract where the bladder empties into the urethra, and the condition of his organs indicates he had multiple blockages during his life, said Dr. Clifford Nelson, deputy state medical examiner for Clackamas County.

"You just build up so much urea in your bloodstream that it begins to poison your organs, and the heart is particularly susceptible," Nelson said.

Nelson said a catheter would have saved the boy's life. If the condition had been dealt with earlier, a urologist could easily have removed the blockage and avoided the kidney damage that came with the repeated illnesses, Nelson said.

Benton said a board member of the Followers of Christ church contacted the authorities after Beagley died at his family's home. The teen had been sick about a week, and church members and his family had gathered to pray Sunday when his condition worsened, Benton said.

More crazy christians praying instead of getting responsible health care for their children. The parents should be sent to jail... or failing that, they should be force-cathetirized for several months.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Offshore Drilling?

Now here is a diversionary discussion if ever there was one. Ooooh, gas is over $4 a gallon, let's raise a stupid proposal that makes it look like I've got ideas to solve the problem. So we get the talking point proposal lifting the offshore drilling moratorium (imposed, by the way, by Bush the elder).

So McCain thinks that drilling off of our coast will help to alleviate our gas problem? How incredibly ridiculous. Of course, this is another of McCain's flip-flops (don't Republicans hate flip flopping?), but it is also a crazy idea. Why? For many reasons:
  1. We should not, as a nation, damage our coastlines, which oil drilling right off the coast could do. And it will also damage the beauty of our coasts, which support billions of travel and leisure business.
  2. Selling leases for more offshore drilling will not "be very helpful in the short term resolving our energy crisis" as McCain states. It takes many years to explore, contruct and open oil rigs. Nothing short-term about this at all.
  3. The oil companies are already sitting on ver 4,000 undeveloped leases in the western Gulf of Mexico. And the government already leases 44 million acres offshore, of which only 10.5 million—or one quarter—are producing oil or gas.
The gas/oil industry already has access to the vast majority of the estimated Outer Continental Shelf natural gas resources, including 4 times the amount of natural gas estimated to occur in moratoria areas by the Minerals Management Service. And of the huge resources they have access to, they have developed only a fraction of it.

For once, President Bush got something right. In February he acknowledged the country is ‘addicted to oil.’ But you don't cure addiction by increasing the supply of what you are addicted to! You take measures to ween the addicted off of the 'stuff.' For example, better gas mileage standards... stricter enforcement of speed limits... funding sources of alternative energy...

So why is this an issue? Why is the right wing trumpeting this as a talking point? Well, I believe it is because they want to use it as an excuse. The Democrats will oppose it, Congress will not allow it, and if/when gas prices continue to rise, the Repuglicans will say something like "Oh, we had the solution, but the tree hugging Dems wouldn't adopt it. Blame them, blame them..."

Sad... Just sad...

Monday, June 16, 2008

Questioning McCain's Judgement

Have you heard what John McCain said about the recent Supreme Court decision upholding the constitutional right of habeas corpus? Here's McCain, in his own words, proving exactly how out of touch he really is:

"The United States Supreme Court yesterday rendered a decision which I think is oneof the worst decisions in the history of this country." (National Journal/NBC, 6/13/08)

The decision by the Supreme Court that McCain is questioning affirmed a fundamental constitutional right -- in this case, the right of a detainee to challenge the government's grounds for confining him. That sounds like a good thing to me... how about you?

So, if we take Granpa at his word, he thinks that protecting the right to be heard in court is worse than locking thousands ofAmericans in internment campsbecause they had Japanese ancestry? (Korematsu v. United States --1944)

And worse than forcing African Americans to sit at the back of the bus? (Plessy v. Ferguson -- 1896)

Even worse than slavery? (Dred Scott v. Sanford -- 1857)

Is this the type of judgement we want in a commander-in-chief? Not me!