As long as the boy loves his mother!
As long as the boy loves his mother!
I’m quite vocal in my belief that someone who is suffering from a terminal illness, or is in constant pain, should be allowed to die with the help of a doctor if that is what they choose to do. I think it’s the only real humane thing to do for someone who is suffering in ways that most of us can’t possibly imagine, and if they want to die, that should be their option.
But…what if the person is under eighteen? What if you have, say, a sixteen-year-old girl who has terminal cancer? Should she be allowed to die with help from a doctor, or should she be made to suffer through several months of pain and agony until she dies on her own? What if it’s a twelve-year-old boy who has some sort neurological disorder that causes near constant pain, and will probably be dead in a year or so anyhow? What about an eight-year-old? A six-year-old? How low can we go?
While I don’t have any idea what the lower limit should be, or if parents should be able to make the choice in the case of, say, a newborn baby who with a fatal disease who will be dead within a few months, I do think that some provisions for minors do need to be set up, and Belgium has taken steps in that direction with a bill their king signed into law three days ago.
Now I understand that it’s hard to picture children dying in any case, and really hard to imagine that it would be acceptable for a doctor to help one to die. Some people will say that that no matter how brief a child’s life is, they should have the chance to live it to the fullest. But…you know, consider, say, a nine-year-old boy who has some sort of disease that will kill him in six months, and that every single day of those six months will be spent in pain in an ICU. Is that kid really living his life to its fullest? No, of course not. He’s in constant agony and deprived of anything even approximating a real life. If he understands the consequences of death (and I can almost promise that a kid in that situation understands them better than most of us), then why shouldn’t he be allowed to die? If it makes us uncomfortable, that’s too bad; we aren’t the ones in pain.
I am aware that there is a potential for abuse in an adult system of euthanasia, and that there’s probably an even bigger chance for abuse in cases of children. But surely we can put in place various safeguards so that any potential for abuse is limited as much as possible.
As a last thought, pretend that the nine-year-old boy above, or any of the kids in this example, has a dog that gets hit by a car. That dog survives, but is in constant pain and will never be able to recover fully. Most people would put down that dog, saying that is humane to end its pain and torment. If that’s the case for a dog, can’t we also extend that most humane of ideas to a fellow human, regardless of their age?
So I just spent a rather pleasant hour talking with a census taker. She showed up here a few weeks back when I was out, and left a card wanting me to call. I forgot to, but that’s ok because she came by today to see me. She was very nice, very polite, and seemed quite taken aback that I was actually enthusiastic about participating.
You see, I understand the point of the census. It isn’t just to count how many people there are. It also yields valuable demographic information about our nation and the people who live here. I understand that the census is part of the Constitution, and that it really matters to our country. I understand that it is a civic duty to participate, and no, I’m not typing that sarcastically, ironically, or in any fashion other than totally sincere.
The questions she asked were a bit lengthy and I’m sure some would find them intrusive. Some might also wonder why, for example, the government needs to know how much credit card debt you have, or if you’ve gone hungry in the past year. But both those things are actually important. The credit card debt can provide the government with information needed to strengthen consumer protections, and if people have been going hungry, perhaps the food stamp program needs to be expanded (as opposed to cut back, which it totally has been). Certainly questions about medical coverage are important in making future adjustments to the ACA.
So I answered all these questions honestly and proudly; pleased that I was able to participate in one of the most important parts of American civic life. Not just a duty, but a privilege.
Ok, I have zero interest in using marijuana for any reason, but I think it should be completely, 100% legalized. Of course, that would lead to advertisers hawking marijuana and marijuana accessories. On the other hand, if the ads are generally like this, I could deal with that.
Yep, I’m at work and bored, so I thought I would share with you the worst joke in the entire world. Not just part of the world, mind you. The entire world.
“Why are ameobas so bad at math?”
“Because in order to multiply, they have to divide.”
I just hosted a movie watching party, and I still have tons of stuff to clean up and put away. But I had a great time with my various friends! And now, here is a fun video for all of you to look at while I roll around on the ground moaning about having eaten too much.
Something that must be asked. I seem to recall Odysseus was wandering at sea for 10 years because Poseidon was pissed at him. Fair enough. So…why not get out and walk? I mean, once you get across the Bosporus, surely things would be pretty easy.
How about my first ever actual credit card?
Ok, I had a credit card of sorts back in the mid-1990s. It was from Sears. Yes. But this is an actual, real, honest-to-goodness credit card with a $300 limit issued to me by Capital One.
Now I know this seems like an odd thing for a man nearing forty-two to be excited about. But my credit has not been great over the last few years. Even when I had a job where I was making a decent amount of money, I still never qualified for one, and prior to about 2004, I never even tried. But in this case, I’ve qualified for one, and I’ve now got one! Sure, it’s only $300, but I figure that’s a good thing. I have diverted my various automatic bill payments to it, thus consolidating those, and it’s such a low limit that I am not likely to get myself into trouble with it.
So hooray for the minor accomplishment of doing something most people do when they are half my age. Yay!
I launched this blog back in February of 2008, so this month marks the 6th anniversary. During that time I’ve only had two days where at least something, even something minor, wasn’t posted. The first was on Memorial Day of last year when I was bogged down at work, and the second was…well, yesterday. And I don’t have an excuse for that.
Maybe this is a sign of some sort that I’m getting detached from my blog. I do enjoy writing it, and it’s kind of fun having a self-imposed deadline that forces me to do at least one thing with it every day. But for the last couple of years the quality hasn’t been what I felt it could be (for instance, I haven’t really updated the Bible project since 2011), and my readership has dropped accordingly. I could, of course, write better quality articles, and I do think some of my current crop hold up well, but I have had plenty of articles that were basically just “Hey, here’s a video that lets me use up today’s date without doing anything! Hooray!”
Perhaps I should look to not doing this daily and simply save up for when I have something really good to write. Or perhaps I should just shut down the blog all together. I don’t know for sure. What I do know is that I missed yesterday and I feel quite weird about that.
So the Congressional Budget Office, a non-partisan part of the government, issued a report the other day saying that if the minimum wage is lifted to $10.10 an hour, it will result in half a million people losing their jobs. Naturally, the right wing outlets went ape over this. Half a million people losing their jobs! Horrible!
Of course the document also says that about 900,000 people will be lifted out of poverty, and 16.5 million will see their wages go up, so there’s that.
I’m pretty much ok with this trade-off. Almost a million families get out of poverty, and a good-sized chunk of the nation gets a pay raise. If that means 500,000 lose their jobs, well, that sucks horribly. But at least once they find new jobs, those new jobs will pay better.
I hate to break it down to a numbers game, but that really is what it is. It’s economics, and the economy is primarily about numbers. If the vast majority of people that are affected by this are affected positively, by getting out of poverty or seeing an increase in their wages, then it is a good thing. So start pressuring your various members of Congress to do the right thing and give 16.5 million Americans a raise!