Tag Archives: science

Goodbye, North Dakota and Kansas

North Dakota and Kansas want to call this a human being.


Goodbye road repair. Goodbye police protection.

Goodbye fire fighters and robbery detection.

Goodbye schools, goodbye traffic rules.

Goodbye licensed cabs. Goodbye DNA labs.

And goodbye to preventive vaccine jabs . . ..



Why, you may ask. Why indeed.


North Dakota’s senate and Kansas’s house of representatives have voted to spend billions on unnecessary criminalization of normal, in fact, healthy and inevitable developmental processes. Which will leave them little money for road repair, etcetera. I’m not sure why the lawyers in their legislative bodies didn’t warn them.


What? You hear them squawk.


Well, didn’t you, ND and KS legislators? Didn’t you vote to make it law in your state that a fertilized egg is a person? You did, right? I have the articles about it right here and here.


Oh, that, you murmur. No big deal. Protection, yeah, that’s it, protection.


Whoa, hold on. If a fertilized egg is a person, and if it somehow fails to complete the nine-month journey to birth, that means – of course it does – homicide and potential murder. Right?


Follow me down this slippery slope you’ve created.


In order to determine that there is, in your view, a human in existence, you will need to test – on a daily if not hourly basis – every female child or adult of childbearing age in your state. Even those visiting for seminars and conferences, or celebrating Grandma’s 60th birthday. That means every female between . . . oh, let’s play safe and call it from eight years old to 60. Oops, that means Grandma, too, but of course in order to catch outliers, you need to be generous with your terms.


So somehow, every day, every female from third-grade to five-years-from-Medicare will need to take some sort of test (blood? saliva? pheromones?) to determine whether she’s carrying a human being within her.


If she is, you have to follow her. Medically, of course, unless you really want to pay officers to shadow tweens to determine whether they’re hitting that tennis ball just a tad too hard.


And if that fertilized egg – sorry, human being – fails to thrive? If a spontaneous abortion, AKA miscarriage, occurs, as it does in what reputable medical researchers estimate is at least one-third of pregnancies? Even though miscarriage is nature’s way of making sure fertilized eggs with faulty genetics don’t continue?


Well, hell. You’re going to have to use the rest of your taxes, beyond what you’ve already invested in surveillance and testing, to investigate the potential criminality of the erstwhile pregnant citizen. Was it a planned abortion? Was it “accidental”? I put that word in quotes because you will need to, as well. As every good 19th-century gynecologist knows, miscarriages happen for a variety of reasons: climbing stairs; riding a horse astride; sex with one’s husband, and so on. Add to those the possibility of miscarrying on a flight to ND/KS, or perhaps working long hours while teaching school. Wait, there will be no schools, you won’t be able to afford them. So much the better. That will force everyone to homeschool their children. Or, you know, not.


If the investigation determines that the pregnant citizen may have been at fault for taking a swim in a brisk lake?


Out comes the grand jury. The indictment. Incarceration (her children will just have to get along without their mom, her husband without his wife) and trial. With a guilty verdict, jail or prison. Again, the children will suffer, but what do you care?


You’ve just jailed a woman guilty of nothing but possessing a human body which God has designed to rid itself of some genetic errors.


Naturally, you’ll have to let violent criminals out of prison early in order to make room for citizens who have done nothing wrong.


Also, you’ve bankrupted your state and made it unlikely to be selected as the destination for national and regional conferences and tourism.


So what! You’ve declared your interest. You’ve shown you support children. From conception to birth, anyway, the most important months, and that’s what counts.


Until a member of your family is pregnant, or hit by a driver running a red light. Oh, dear . . ..


Goodbye traffic light maintenance.

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Filed under Birth control, Conception, Contraceptive, Family, Harassment, Health, Law, Miscarriage, Misogyny, Personhood, Pregnancy, Prison, Surveillance, War against women

In Beijing, Save Your Breath

Beijing, 14 January 2013

The photo above was posted today, 14 January 2013.

And you thought Mexico City’s air was bad.

In Beijing, air pollution is so dangerous that emergency measures were just enacted to alleviate its effect on children. As CNN reports, “Schoolchildren were ordered to halt outdoor sports activities until Tuesday this week, as a dirty cloud of smog continued to shroud China’s capital. This was among a series of emergency response measures adopted in Beijing Sunday when the city’s Air Quality Index exceeded 500 micrograms, the highest level. Anything above this is regarded as ‘beyond index’.”

Babies have been hospitalized.

The wind is supposed to rush through in two more days. Officials, parents, everyone hopes the breeze will sweep the skies clean.

Despite the promises made by the Chinese government before the 2008 Olympics, and its assurances since then, Beijing residents have not seen a diminution of pollution. It’s as though they’re living in 1950s Charleston, West Virginia, before the Clean Air Act was passed. The Chinese echo those American old-timers in protesting that they “haven’t seen the sun in four days”.

When unbearable air conditions force the cancellation of nearly 700 flights per year, as at the airport in Beijing, everyone knows you’re in trouble.

Beijing air has been bad for years. This weekend, it got much worse. “The Beijing Municipal Environmental Monitoring Centre said levels of PM2.5, tiny particulate matter, had reached more than 600 micrograms per square metre in many areas, and Reuters said it may even have hit 900 – its worst-ever reading. The World Health Organisation considers a safe daily level to be 25.”

Only 25. Yet the levels of particulate (ash, smoke, etc.), the stuff that settles in lungs, that causes disease, are currently at least 600, and may be as high as 900.

That’s 36 times the WHO’s safe daily level.

In future years, doctors may well ask Chinese with unhealthy lungs, “Did you live in Beijing in January of 2013?”

Yet the problem is not just in one city.

The Chinese government has plans to create multiple brand-new cities in its extensive west, not over many decades as occurred in the US (St. Louis, Kansas City, Denver), but over a mere few years. By funneling excess young men – created by its one-child policy plus permission to abort female fetuses – to its western rural areas, it hopes to channel their energies as well as raise cities from the dust.

So where will that dust go?

It will settle into the lungs of designers, engineers, builders and residents. And it will travel.

Since the winds in western China often flow to the northeast, the dust will reach . . . Beijing.

Or, if on a semi-clear day you can see winds stream forever east, those clouds of dust will blanket China’s commercial coastal cities, like Shanghai and Fuzhou.

From the Independent: “Air pollution is a major problem in China due to its rapid pace of industrialization, reliance on coal power, explosive growth in car ownership and disregard to environmental laws. In Beijing, authorities have [also] blamed foggy conditions and a lack of wind for the high concentration of air pollutants.”

Can we add “lack of planning”?

Look, it took many years of hard work before the Clean Air Act was passed in the US. Manufacturers balked and protested that they would go bankrupt – yet General Motors still exists – and even today, Tea Partyers complain about government nannyism.

Would they and their children rather breathe Beijing’s air?

That air is a brewing toxic nightmare, and for the Chinese, rather like riding in a freight train they know with certainty will hit a second freight train dead-on.

We’re watching in slow-motion.

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Filed under Abortion, Air pollution, Beijing, Cancer, China, Clean Air Act, Health, One-child policy, Sex-selective abortion

To Bear Or Not To Bear

She had a heartbeat, too


The current GOP is apparently filled with people who actually believe – despite decades of scientific evidence pointing to the exact opposite conclusion – that conception is impossible if one is “authentically” raped. Todd Akin was merely making a public statement of a GOP-held belief. Thus, the thinking goes, if one is pregnant, one did not suffer “authentic” rape, and therefore a rape exception to an abortion ban should not exist.


Are we all clear on this?


Me, neither.


Jesus wept.


Bear in mind that pregnancy and giving birth are more dangerous to one’s health than abortion. This is particularly true in the US, whose maternal mortality statistics are the shame of Western nations. A federal law banning abortion would therefore condemn a certain percentage of living, breathing people to death.


Also, recall the recent needless, torturous death of 31-year-old Savita Halappanavar, miscarrying a 17-week-pregnancy, who was refused an abortion in Ireland because the fetus’s heart was still beating. The Galway hospital allowed Halappanavar, a dentist, to miscarry and bleed for three days, by the end of which (the cervix and womb are exposed to bacteria during miscarriage, especially where, as here, the placenta has detached from the uterus) her blood had become infected with bacteria. Savita died a brutal death from septicemia, a death that was both preventable and terribly close to murder. Her husband lost his wife, her parents their child.


Halappanavar, a Hindu, had been told “this is a Catholic country”, by hospital personnel charged with healing their patients.


However, let’s look at another slippery slope to a ban on legal, medical, safe abortions in the US.


When a nation has the right to compel people to bear children, it also can acquire the right to prohibit people from bearing children. In 1927, abortion was illegal. The Buck v. Bell decision that year (spawning Oliver Wendell Holmes’s statement that, “Three generations of imbeciles are enough”) was predicated on an assortment of lies and distortions (Carrie Buck had been raped by her adopted mother’s nephew, then she was sent to a mental institution to cover up the man’s crime), but it enabled the state of Virginia – and other states, as well, since Buck v. Bell was a US Supreme Court decision – to forcibly sterilize women the state perceived as unfit to reproduce.


The two sorts of control are opposite sides of the same coin.


If the US were to prohibit all legal abortion, of course we’ll see the tragedies that led to police officers, ER doctors and nurses pleading with courts in the 1960s and 70s, testifying to the extreme pain and loss suffered by people who tried to abort without medical help. I’ve seen the photos. You can, too, by researching. People who bled out, who died of shock and sepsis. Young people, people with children, some married, some not. Alone, in hotel rooms, at home having sent their children – whom they wanted to protect from the poverty that having another child would induce – to a friend’s.


But with a ban on abortion, we’ll also see the flip side. Because, friends, this is ALL about control. And what better way to control than to say, “yes, you must have children” to certain people, and “no, you must not” to others.


Maybe you’re in favor of pre-conception licensure, where people who want children would have to prove they could afford the cost, and also that they had been trained and educated in developmental psychology and biology; that they would breastfeed for at least six months; that their home was safe and healthy, and that everyone the child would come into contact with would be nurturing. Surely that’s what newborns deserve, yes?


Perhaps you think eugenics is a good idea. Even though genetics is still more of an art than a science – since we cannot tell which genes will be inherited or expressed, we cannot predict what any combination of egg and sperm will grow up possessing in terms of health, intelligence, capabilities. Note, too, that DNA mutations, far from being rare, are exceedingly common. Still, let’s say you’re all in favor of creating perfect offspring, conveniently ignoring that the healthiest dogs are mutts, with genes from many different breeds.


Perhaps you’d happily sign up for that, dot all I’s and cross all T’s.


Same with telling people they’re just not good enough and sending them out to try to adopt.


Until, that is, you or someone like you is given a “no way”. No way will you be allowed to reproduce! The reasons might be health-related: your genetics tend toward cancer, your BMI is way over 30. Maybe they’re safety-related: your brain contains little matter in the area that controls empathy, sure sign of a sociopath.


Or you come from a lineage that doesn’t value education. You’re not quite tall enough. Your eyes are blue.


Tough luck.


That’s what happens when you give the government control over reproduction.


You must, you must not. Two sides, same coin.

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Filed under Abortion, Buck v. Bell, Eugenics, GOP, India, Law, Mental health, Obesity, Rape, Savita, Todd Akin, Torture, War against women