Quick Roundup 502

Monday, February 01, 2010

Fetal Incubators for the State

Here's a quote from a story about a Floridian woman suing a hospital. No, it's not about money: She was forced by court order to stay there against her wishes because a doctor and a judge agreed that her behavior might endanger her fetus.

American Civil Liberties Union lawyer Diana Kasdan said if the ruling stands it could lead to the state virtually taking over the lives of pregnant women, including telling them what they should or should not eat and drink and what medications they must take.


The judge ruled the best interests of the fetus overrode Burton's privacy rights, but Abrams [the woman's lawyer --ed] disputes that. He notes the Florida Constitution, unlike its federal counterpart, has an explicit and strong privacy right, which the state Supreme Court has said guarantees a competent person the right to "choose or refuse medical treatment."

"If you apply the best interest of the child standard, the woman becomes nothing more than a fetal incubator owned by the state of Florida," Abrams said. [link dropped, bold added]
Scenarios like this demonstrate that in socialized medicine, the only "choice" patients would have would be between the devil of neglect-by-rationing and the deep blue sea of state control over their personal lives.

The fight against socialized medicine is not over, and when it heats up again, proponents of freedom in medicine would do well to remember this case.

The Power of Focus

At Roadbrains, a man recalls the moment he picked himself up out of a gutter and turns his life around:
I woke up one cold, raw morning, my head in the gutter, in a pool of green vomit with blood in it. It wasn't the first time. But, this time I knew that I was going to die--unless I did something to save myself.

It was like a switch in my brain that was stuck. I had to flip it. Didn't know how to do it or if I could. It was life or death. If I stayed in the gutter I would die. I knew that for sure. So, with the greatest effort of my life I focused on what was in front of me. It wasn't a pleasant sight. But, it was real... [bold added]
Read the whole thing. (HT: HBL)

Is the GOP really listening?

Dick Armey:
Armey (R-Texas) explained in an interview that "in 1994 all we had to say to America was trust us, we aren't them, and nobody ever remembered being disappointed in us in the majority. Now we have to say, 'trust us, we're not them and we're not the guys that broke your hearts a few years ago.' So they have a bigger task. But that’s not an insurmountable task."
This is offered as advice to the GOP, but it doubles as a cautionary tale for the small-government tea-partiers: Never get trapped in the back pocket of a political party again!

Do that and your voice gets muffled.

"Heightism" in Dating

It never ceases to amaze me* how much mileage pointless discussions about optional values can get. Here we have a column about how most women prefer taller men and whether it might reflect "heightism" (i.e., a moral flaw analogous to racism).

It's a preference, just like any other of a slew of things that would not matter among mere friends, but could be deal-breakers in the realm of sexual attraction, including such things as hair color, build, and complexion. I'm shorter than average, and the above preference used to get to me when I was young, but if these women are "heightist," then I'm a "dark-hairist" and "curvist" on top of being a "heightist" myself. Anyone who claims not to have some kind of such preference is lying.

The idea of faulting anyone for such preferences is ludicrous. We all have them, and they are in large part psychological in nature.

* Or at least it does until I recall the newness of psychology as a scientific disipline and the massive confusion that exists in our culture concerning it and morality.

-- CAV


madmax said...

I think the "heightism" phenomenon is a result of the increasing egalitarianism in our culture. There should be total metaphysical equality in all things according to egalitarians. If there isn't then that alone is proof of massive injustice.

It would be a fascinating discussion to lay out all the ways that egalitarianism manifests itself in the popular culture. It seems that today's Left have an implicit not-to-be-mentioned-out-loud set of assumptions built into their worldview. They go something like: the haves must be sacrificed for the have-nots, whites must be sacrificed for non-whites, men must be sacrificed for women, straights must be sacrificed for gays, Western civilization must be sacrificed for non-Western civilizations and America is to be sacrificed for everyone. Leftists are consistent with this and it is evidenced in their books, articles, TV shows and movies.

And now they are applying this to dating and attempting to generate guilt for non-egalitarian preferences. No surprise there.

Mike said...

I am less concerned about women's "heightism" than women's (and sometimes mens') general unrealisticness when it comes to chasing desirable traits in a mate. They'll get hung up on one thing and then have pity parties for themselves about how they can't find the smoldering-hot trust-fund prince they feel entitled to marry.

It's like: Okay, girls, you want a tall man. But basically that's almost ALL of you, so you're going to be fighting over the same group of guys while the rest are out there and you're letting that field lie fallow. But that's fine; you have every right to shoot for the brass ring and hold out for what you really want. But when you do, and you continue to not "catch Mr. Right," ... DON'T come whining to men about how all the "good men" are "TAKEN"! YOU excluded scads of potential mates based on a single criteria. YOU threw away plenty of "good men" in the process. And it might be time for YOU to recognize that your ability to compete for those tall men might not be good enough what with almost every other woman competing for them too. You might be fat, or annoying, or airheaded, or whatever. So maybe you should be a little more flexible and find a way to appreciate other things about a man, or else shut the hell up.

I'm 6'0", so the height thing never applied to me, but being as how I'm not a billionaire supermodel triathlete astrophysicist, there are no doubt multiple attributes of mine that are less than optimal. My wife saw enough value in what was there to stick around, and the same was true in the other direction. I much prefer dark hair on a woman, for example, yet my wife's hair is light brown -- but I realized that it was a bit unrealistic to get hung up on hair color when so much else about her was wonderful.

Gus Van Horn said...


I agree. The attack on "heightism" is exactly that: Egalitarianism, but...


Your remark about unrealistic expectations is spot on, and nails what used to drive me nuts.


Mo said...

at 6'10 I don't think I lack any sort of height. I generally do have specific criteria for my future half but have to admit i am flexible on certain issues moreso than others. on the subject of booty i am not however heh

Gus Van Horn said...


On a more serious note, I've been surprised over time to find myself attracted at various times to several women not really my physical type. A good personality can do that to you. Watch out!

Jennifer Snow said...

As a woman, I think all your comments are spot-on, guys, but I'd like to bring up an issue that bugs the heck out of ME as a woman which might help you out in the future if you're not aware of it.

Guys often have very specific physical requirements in order to find a woman attractive. Okay. No big deal. But many tend to express this by deprecating women who have MANY excellent physical qualities as "not attractive", which creates this myth that men have absurdly high standards for physical beauty. If you say this in front of an average-looking woman, I expect that she'll be at least a little offended and she *certainly* won't bother trying to flirt with you. Yet she may suit you much better than whichever supermodel you just trashed. Be aware, dudes. If you're going to criticize women as "not your type" in front of other women, BE SPECIFIC about the traits that make her "not your type", don't just declare she's "not hot" as though your personal preferences are some kind of universal that ought to be obvious to anyone.

As for me, I'm 5'10", and, yes, I PREFER tall guys. However, the only relationship I've ever been in was with a guy who is 5'6". He's extremely cute. So if you're a shorter-than-average guy with a buncha tall girls around, don't despair. Just maybe don't ask them to dance until they've had a chance to get comfortable with the height difference.

Gus Van Horn said...

Ah. You get the flip side of hearing words to the effect that that a man isn't a man unless he's tall! (Which is not the same thing as "I prefer tall men.")

It's rude to talk in deprecating terms about women who are not one's type.

Andrew Dalton said...

But many tend to express this by deprecating women who have MANY excellent physical qualities as "not attractive", which creates this myth that men have absurdly high standards for physical beauty.

There's a running joke on fark.com about women being unacceptable due to having "sharp knees." It refers to exactly the phenomenon that you described.

Joseph Kellard said...

Years ago, my now ex-girlfriend, who was a recruiter for a hospital, and I had a debate about "discrimination." She regarded it as something irrational, per se, in part because as a recruiter she knew the serious repercussions if she, say, discriminated against a prospective employee because of his race.

I pointed out that while discrimination on racial grounds is irrational, that did not make discrimination as such something bad. She didn’t get it. When I pointed out that when she chose to date me over other guys, she was, in fact, discriminating. And by doing so she gained something very positive: Me! Finally, she seemed to understand this simple concept.

“Heightists” are discriminating, for sure, but whether or not that is irrational depends on other factors, such as where height ranks in the heightists’ hierarchy of values in pursuing a romantic partner.

This distinction is what the egalitarians are looking to muddle and, ultimately, destroy.

Gus Van Horn said...


I'll have to track that joke down when I have some more time.


You're right on both counts.

Also, probably, another reason such discussions take off is that the egalitarians get such a charge out of attacking people who don't know that it's GOOD to have preferences -- in part by using the people for whom some physical attribute is an irrational value as battering rams.


Snedcat said...

Yo, Gus, you write: "Your remark about unrealistic expectations is spot on, and nails what used to drive me nuts."

Heh. I'll just point you to a very funny Weird Al song you might not have heard.


Gus Van Horn said...

Hilarious and spot-on.

Thanks for mentioning that.

Lynne said...

Late comment, but I could not resist!

Happily for me, my preferences, tall, blonde, Greek-nosed, perpetually 17 year-old men, with alabaster skin, wide shoulders, notable iliac furrows, preferably named Sven, never really stood in the way of my more important values. And really, three and a half out of eight isn’t bad.

Gus Van Horn said...

Your "type" includes a specific name?

Picky, picky!

Lynne said...

Ja! But he gets half points for it.

Gus Van Horn said...

But what rates 1.5?

I may be a mathematician, but I can add...