Thursday, November 11, 2004

Idiocy Files, entry 1

In other crazy news, this is ridiculous:

For a year, Julee Lacey stopped in a CVS pharmacy near her home in a Fort Worth suburb to get refills of her birth-control pills. Then one day last March, the pharmacist refused to fill Lacey's prescription because she did not believe in birth control.

"I was shocked," says Lacey, 33, who was not able to get her prescription until the next day and missed taking one of her pills. "Their job is not to regulate what people take or do. It's just to fill the prescription that was ordered by my physician."

Some pharmacists, however, disagree and refuse on moral grounds to fill prescriptions for contraceptives. And states from Rhode Island to Washington have proposed laws that would protect such decisions.


The American Pharmacists Association, with 50,000 members, has a policy that says druggists can refuse to fill prescriptions if they object on moral grounds, but they must make arrangements so a patient can still get the pills. Yet some pharmacists have refused to hand the prescription to another druggist to fill.

In Madison, Wis., a pharmacist faces possible disciplinary action by the state pharmacy board for refusing to transfer a woman's prescription for birth-control pills to another druggist or to give the slip back to her. He would not refill it because of his religious views.

??? Really, if a pharmacy has a policy where they won't fill prescriptions for moral grounds, then they better state it upfront (and for Pete's sake, not giving back the prescription or sending it elsewhere should get that idiot fired and his pharmacy license taken away).. But what it comes down to is, if you have some personal reasons for not dispensing certain drugs, then perhaps pharmacology was the wrong job for you. Not to mention that some people take birth control pills for reasons not related to sex and pregnancy and what happens if there is only one pharmacy in town and the pharmacist has qualms about cancer medicine, or insulin?

Via Radley Balko
The 80's Redux

I am becoming convinced that we are re-living the 80's. You have a re-elected Republican President, you have Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, a big fat deficit, the rise of the new Moral Majority, Opus is back, Duran Duran have a new album out, new Band Aid, creationism in schools, and the Simpsons are still on (they debuted in December of 1989). We live in interesting, if not recognizable, times.

Friday, November 05, 2004


What with articles like this:Christian Conservatives Must Not Compromise I am starting to feel like it's the 80's again. It's the revival of the Moral Majority! Where's Ed Meese (John Ashcroft anyone?)? Where's Schlafly? And for Pete's sake, where are the Dead Kennedys when we really need them???

Thursday, November 04, 2004

Politics off the top of my head

Been thinking all day about what to write about this election. I'm kind of at a loss for words. It's not that Kerry lost, I was only lukewarm to him in the first place. I think it is a combination of things. One, that Bush won so convincingly, despite all the problems in his first term. I mean, we all know he wasn't exactly liked by the left. But he was losing support from many traditional conservatives and libertarians as well. And with all the stuff that went wrong in his first term ( Abu Ghraib (for which nobody has been held accountable), the Plame scandal, the deficit, lying about the cost of his medicare bill, misleading statements about the Iraq war, the many, many statements he made in debates and speeches that have been thoroughly debunked yet he continued to use them just for starters) I find it difficult to believe that so many people said, "Yep, he's my guy." But hey, thems the breaks. Congrats to Bush I guess.

The second thing was the votes for Senate races. Even more of a majority for the Republicans. What bothers me about that is that the Republican party always talks about small government, reducing spending, getting the government off our backs, yet they never follow through with it. The last four years saw the biggest expansion of government since Johnson, and Bush has yet to veto a spending bill. And in spite of this, Kerry gets labeled the big spending liberal. I wonder what they are going to do now that they are basically unopposed and can pass anything they want.

The third and most disturbing thing was the passage of anti-gay marriage laws in 11 states, and by a large number. I am speechless. I feel completely out of touch with what Americans are apparently thinking. I just don't comprehend what all the fuss is about gays getting married. Who cares, except for homosexuals? And even worse is the fact that I read a news item on Yahoo that says conservatives are delighted that a group of people in America are basically being denied rights (it is not special treatment, it is allowing them to be treated like any heterosexual couple who want the benefits of marriage).

Perhaps I have just become some elitist Euro-socialist (I'm not, really) but I just don't get it. Perhaps over the next few days and weeks I'll gain some understanding, but seriously I don't feel in touch with my home country.

I have more to say, but my thoughts aren't well, uh, thought out at the moment. I'll write more on this when I figure out how to say what I want to say.

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

Election Notes

So the election is today. For those of you in America who wonder, it is big news here. Top story, mostly, on all the news every day for a couple days now. Two of the national channels here will go live sometime after midnight, one (the national channel I guess equivelant to PBS but they also show Sopranos and Third Watch and movies and stuff so more comparable to the BBC.) will have all their own reporters and the other channel is going live with a combination of their reporters and a feed from CBS. I really can't make a prediction. I voted for Kerry, not because he is my favorite choice but mostly because he has the best shot of getting rid of Bush.

Whatever you say about left and right, whatever your opinion is, I can't figure out what exactly people see in Bush. Seriously. Not only do I think he is a bad president, I think he is a bad Republican president. I never thought I would see the day when I looked back nostalgically at Bush I or even Reagan, but here we are. At least with Reagan, with whom I had some major disagreements, it seemed as though he came at his position from a learned, well read perspective. He, at least before he the end when he was showing some clear signs of his coming alzheimers, appeared knowledgeable and honest about his position and I can respect that. Junior, however, doesn't seem, to me at least, to have any other sources for his beliefs than whatever Cheney and Rove tell him and his "gut" (whatever that means.) People say he is likeable. I just can't see it. Even if he says something I agree with, he still doesn't seem like he arrived at his conclusion by evaluating the facts and logically coming to a conclusion. At the least, Kerry seems intelligent and thoughtful.

But lets get back to what I said about being a bad Republican president. Sure he has lowered taxes. But he has imposed more tarrifs than Clinton, added a massive amount of spending (i.e. aid to our poor, struggling drug companies) to medicare, increased education spending, takes the federalist approach to abortion and gay marriage, increased foreign aid, has spent like the stereotypical liberal (never once vetoing a spending bill), more new federal regulations than any other president, signed the campaign finance law, proposed legalizing illegal immigrants, the Patriot Act, has a Wilsonian foreign policy (activist internationalist). I could go on, but that should be enough to make one wonder what exactly a conservative sees in him.

And speaking of taxes, I have been thinking lately of the old idea that liberals are all about tax-and-spend. What I thought was, which is better: proposing new spending and coming up with a way to fund that spending; or proposing new spending and cutting the funding for that spending? At the least, democrats want to do the responsible thing and fund their programs with taxes, rather than borrow the money. It reminds me of something I read by James Carville, who said that if you personally were in debt, working three jobs to pay for your excess spending, what is the proper response to this? Do you quit one of your jobs and attempt to lower spending (but you only say you are going to cut spending and instead spend the same or even more) at the same time? Or do you do the prudent thing and cut your spending while leaving your jobs alone until you are in a position where you can afford to quit one of those jobs? Tax cuts with no decrease in spending is irresponsible. But somehow, Republicans are seen as better at running the economy (even though the economy has done better under Democratic presidents than Republican ones for most of the post WWII era).

So anyway, I voted for Kerry. More a strategic vote than a conscience vote. And even though I lean more liberal than conservative (I tend to call myself a left-libertarian) I can say that I never voted for Clinton (voted libertarian both times) even though I think he was a much better president than the current one.