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Abortion

My favorite highly polarized topic, and I have no answer…

First, is it murder?
Is it a choice for the host (the mother)?
How does this mix with the laws that a traffic accident that kills a fetus ends up being a homicide?
In other words, is this the courts wanting it both ways? (to “have their cake and eat it too”?)

Unfortunately, everybody needs to realize that at some point that “fetus” becomes a “person”.

When that point happens – is not known and is a point of contention.
The times range from fertilization to implantation to 6 months to first-breath to becoming an 18 year old.

Soooo – unfortunately I agree with Bill Clinton on this – since we are not sure – this is balancing “settled law” with a possible murder.
Actually, this may be balancing the “settled law” with a holocaust-level murder rampage.

A fear of mine is that 100 years from now, people will look back and think we devalue human life because we make abortions so easy simply because a child is “inconvenient”.
How do we look upon the early American slave holders ?
Will our future hold us in the same disgust?

(originally posted 19-November 2010)

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Gay Marriage

I live in Massachusetts, where gay marriage has been legal for quite some time.  I also have noticed that society has not fallen apart (well, beyond the normal Mass madness).

When the decision for gay marriage was in the court system, even though I am a conservative person, I was a strong supporter for a couple basic (and truly conservative) reasons.

The most important falls into the almost trite – why not?

I have always viewed marriage as a legal and social contract between two people, and between the couple and society.  The legal aspects involve important things like clear property and medical rights (and protections – like in divorce proceedings).
The social aspects are less clear, but more traditional (grounded in history) – the married couple is a “couple”, everybody knows that when they invite one person to a party the other person is invited by implication.  Similarly, when there is a child involved, both parents are assumed to equally responsible.
(Yes, all this is in the ‘normal’ case – when the husband is a bozo, then party invitations can be ‘you only’.  However, this is not the typical condition…)

In all this, where is the STATE ?
Why can the  government declare that these two people can join in a marriage, but those two people are not eligible ?  How different is not allowing a boy-boy marriage than disallowing a black-white marriage?
Why should the state have right of denial just because they don’t like something (we call that ‘standing’).
(Before you start talking about people wanting to marrying children or animals – don’t forget that only adults (over 16 or 18) can participate in a legal contract.   Not many sheep can sign their name nor attest to free will when signing that marriage license…)

One of my friends is against the concept of gay marriage.  He is not anti-gay or anything, but he (still) thinks that gay marriage will damage the “institution of marriage” – somehow cheapen it.
My response is always that the institution has withstood the multiple serial marriages and divorces of straight people like Elizabeth Taylor and Larry King.  Nobody has accused these people of damaging the institution…

On a legal front…
In Massachusetts, the court system made this decision because they decided this fell into the “equal rights” clause in our constitution.  Because of this decision, the voters of the state had no say in the matter.   Many people were upset because they did not have a “say” in this matter.  I support the courts in this case because I agree with their reading that this involves a “right”, and a “right” should never be decided by voters but is inalienable (well, a constitutional convention can override a “right”, but those are difficult on purpose…).

And yes, I am a rather conservative straight guy…

(Originally posted 23-November, 2010)

National HealthCare

Yes, I am a compassionate person who feels that everybody (whether legal or not) should have access to a basic level of free healthcare.  This falls into one of those obligations of society, taking care of the poor and weak.

The trouble always comes at where that line is drawn between “basic” and “premium”.

I just heard on NPR that Arizona Medicare (or Medicaid?) system had promised a heart transplant to one person, but ran out of money, and retracted that offer.  The patient was rightly upset at this retracted promise.  However, my first reaction was “why is the state providing such an expensive operation?”
That is our tax dollars paying for one person having a heart transplant, at well north of $250,000 (well, I don’t know how expensive this operation is, but it isn’t cheap).
This operation would benefit one person, is this a reasonable expenditure of our limited dollars?

Of course – this is where the dreaded “faceless bureaucrats” on the “death panel” come in…

(Originally posted 19-November 2010)