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View Diary: Justice Scalia solves the contraception debate (178 comments)

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  •  Careful there, you're appealing to the technocrat (39+ / 0-)

    in me. I personally believe we need to have some kind of test for politicians to take in order to determine they know what the fuck they are doing before they can take office. Every time I say technocrat I get screamed at, though.

    Lo que separa la civilizacion de la anarquia son solo siete comidas.

    by psilocynic on Fri Feb 10, 2012 at 08:27:45 AM PST

    [ Parent ]

    •  Well I do think (26+ / 0-)

      some understanding of legal issues would be important. I think too often, politicians discuss these things using fearmongering and stupid political talking points, and when you look at a situation like this (or, say, gay marriage) as a legal issue and examine the actual law on the subject, it becomes possible to attempt a reasonable discussion.

      The facts and precedents are what they are, when you're dealing with law.

      Read my stuff at burn after writing and The Huffington Post @indiemcemopants on Twitter

      by indiemcemopants on Fri Feb 10, 2012 at 08:31:56 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

        •  I get that. (7+ / 0-)

          Having seen how the administration works on LGBT issues (compromised away Murphy's DADT bill and now there's no non-discrimination, decided to forgo working to pass ENDA in order to do the crappy DADT bill in the first place, has possibly the weirdest position ever on marriage that's so confusing I'm not even sure how to type it out in a coherent way...) I'm very familiar with their willingness to compromise on things that should self-evidently just BE.

          Read my stuff at burn after writing and The Huffington Post @indiemcemopants on Twitter

          by indiemcemopants on Fri Feb 10, 2012 at 08:44:09 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  What about Christian Scientists? (13+ / 0-)

          They don't believe in any health care those morons will let their own children die for want of medical treatment.

          "Even a man who is pure in heart and says his prayers by night may become a wolf when the wolfbane blooms and the autumn moon is bright" Curt Siodmak

          by Wisdumb on Fri Feb 10, 2012 at 09:22:34 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Don't forget Jehovah's Witnesses, (12+ / 0-)

            who also would rather have their children die than get life-saving blood transfusions.

          •  Excuse me you ignorant a** (10+ / 2-)

            Christian Scientists don't 'let their children die' any more than any other member of the population. They choose faith based healing practices as they feel called to do so. It is no different than people who choose to take vitamins instead of antibiotics. Of course, that doesn't stop people from making bad choices and having well-heeled clients make an example out of the parents. In any case, I don't see christian scientists insisting that their religious freedom is compromised because you choose to get medical treatment for a runny nose.

            Al Gore was right. Why isn't he president?

            by musicsleuth on Fri Feb 10, 2012 at 09:59:28 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  I'm sorry if you took it personally, (18+ / 0-)

              but any religion that tells people to ignore the scientific method when considering medical treatment does not have my respect. Any treatment should be shown scientifically to have efficacy for the disease it is prescribed for. I would also say that any doctor who failed to understand the power of faith when considering treatment is a fool.

              It is the none scientific approach to real world problems that have us put us in the current global climate change crisis.

              "Even a man who is pure in heart and says his prayers by night may become a wolf when the wolfbane blooms and the autumn moon is bright" Curt Siodmak

              by Wisdumb on Fri Feb 10, 2012 at 11:17:52 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  I am pro science (4+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Wisdumb, grover, Texnance, Simian

                We need both approaches to fully understand the healing process IMHO. It's no time to get fundamentalist about it. Each approach has purpose and merit -- and should totally not be confused for each other. A true democracy embraces inquiry and gives us room to follow it to the extent that we don't intentionally inflict harm. This shouldn't be such a hard concept, and should be protected.

                Al Gore was right. Why isn't he president?

                by musicsleuth on Fri Feb 10, 2012 at 12:32:15 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  No, just science. (6+ / 0-)

                  If you cannot formulate an repeatable experiment that shows something works, then it does not work.

                  Put another way, alternative medicine that works is called medicine.

                  And, the placebo effect is medicine, although no one has quite figured out how to ethically lie to a patient to take advantage of the effect.  Although, I have heard of some studies showing that even when you tell a patient that this sugar pill will do nothing to help them there is still an effect.

                  •  Yep... (6+ / 0-)

                    and any moral relativism that tries to make parents deciding not to seek effective treatment for their child's treatable but potentially deadly disease acceptable is lazy and disturbing.  If an adult chooses to forgo treatment for themselves fine, but a little kid cannot possibly make that sort of decision... and treatment should be mandatory until they reach adulthood.

                    Parents are already legally obligated to care for their children's well being in certain ways, I honestly have no idea why health care is any different.

                    •  this is the pro-life argument (3+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Simian, Woody, lady sisyphus

                      when it comes to abortion. For those people who believe life begins at conception, this is the argument for making abortion illegal in all cases. Government knows best, as long as they use the 'right' moral compass. If you believe that life begins at birth, your beliefs should be ignored by law in their eyes.

                      This year's effective medical treatment may become next year's dire warning. We all do the best we can with the information we are given. The definition of 'treatable' needs to be addressed here, too. There are plenty of people who would insist on taking a child away from a parent who doesn't go the medical route for a terminal disease, too -- whether or not they make that choice for religious reasons.

                      Al Gore was right. Why isn't he president?

                      by musicsleuth on Fri Feb 10, 2012 at 10:00:04 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                  •  Experiments (4+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    musicsleuth, cruz, Woody, the autonomist

                    "If you cannot formulate an repeatable experiment that shows something works, then it does not work."

                    a) You would be shocked, I feel certain, to learn how few experiments in medicine have ever been or will ever get repeated and how low a standard (better than chance) drugs are held to in order to be approved.

                    b) In my lifetime, medical science has pronounced that formula is better than mother's milk (oops!), that the lowest sodium intake possible is highly desirable (oops!), that sugar causes kids to go wild (oops!), that you need to drink 8 glasses of water daily  (oops!), that safflower oil is good for you (oops!), that margarine is much healthier than butter (oops!), that radical mastectomy is always the gold standard in treating breast cancer (oops!), that fibromyalgia is an imaginary disease; that if medicine works for men, it works for women; that various "female problems" are best treated by a hysterectomy, etc., etc. etc. Oops.

                    c) Medicine has some relationship to science, but the two ought not to be confused with each other.

                •  "Praying away" disease has no merit. (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Shliapnikov, Matt Z
                  Each approach has purpose and merit
                  Show me a peer-reviewed study which shows any efficacy for prayer, and I'll support adding it to the medical arsenal.

                  Until then, it's right out.

                  "Ridicule is the only weapon which can be used against unintelligible propositions." - Thomas Jefferson

                  by rfall on Fri Feb 10, 2012 at 08:03:57 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  If it makes someone feel better, who is otherwise (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:

                    in physical misery, it's ok.
                    I don't believe in the supernatural power of prayer. If God exists he obviously isn't superstitious, there's no reason to think he'd want us to be.
                    However, my first sentence stands.

                  •  ask and yee shall receive (0+ / 0-)

                    NIH study on effects of prayer

                    NIH Study: Prayer

                    Coronary care unit patients, positive outcome

                    Patient and suplicant unknown to each other

                    Since it's faith, they don't know why

                    Pray for the dead and fight like hell for the living~~Mother Jones

                    by CA Berkeley WV on Sat Feb 11, 2012 at 09:04:20 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  uh... (0+ / 0-)

                      Looking at that data (and the link sucks), those numbers really don't prove anything. Also, I think I'd like to know what the "usual care group" is, and if their actions could have had a negative impact on care.

                    •  Full of flaws. (0+ / 0-)

                      To see a few, see the article here.

                      The money quote:

                      The most recent study, and, I believe, the best designed one, was published in the Mayo Clinic Proceedings in December, 2001, and was entitled “Intercessory Prayer and Cardiovascular Disease Progression in a Coronary Care Unit Population: A Randomized Controlled Trial.” This third “gold standard” study should settle the matter once and for all scientifically. The investigators that wrote the study were Jennifer M. Aviles, MD and six others. This trial was done on patients immediately after discharge from the Coronary Care Unit, a time when the intensity of extraneous intercessory praying by family and friends would generally be waning.

                      Here is their summary of the findings: “Patients and Methods: In this randomized controlled trial conducted between 1997 and 1999, a total of 799 coronary care unit patients were randomized at hospital discharge to the intercessory prayer group or to the control group. … The primary end point after 26 weeks was any of the following: death, cardiac arrest, rehospitalization for cardiovascular disease, coronary revascularization, or an emergency department visit for cardiovascular disease. Patients were divided into a high-group based on the presence of any of 5 risk factors (age > or = 70 years, diabetes mellitus, prior myocardial infarction, cerebrovascular disease, or peripheral vascular disease) or a low-risk group (absence of risk factors) for subsequent primary events.” The investigators summarized their findings as follows: “Conclusions: As delivered in this study, intercessory prayer had no significant effect on medical outcomes after hospitalization in a coronary care unit.” Not even one difference showed up between the control group and the prayed-for group.

                      Bottom line: intercessory prayer does not work.

                      "Ridicule is the only weapon which can be used against unintelligible propositions." - Thomas Jefferson

                      by rfall on Sat Feb 11, 2012 at 04:27:05 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                    •  nope (0+ / 0-)


                      Prayers offered by strangers had no effect on the recovery of people who were undergoing heart surgery, a large and long-awaited study has found.

                      And patients who knew they were being prayed for had a higher rate of post-operative complications like abnormal heart rhythms, perhaps because of the expectations the prayers created, the researchers suggested.

                      Because it is the most scientifically rigorous investigation of whether prayer can heal illness, the study, begun almost a decade ago and involving more than 1,800 patients, has for years been the subject of speculation.

              •  I don't get . . . (0+ / 0-)

                . . . what "... that tells people to ignore the scientific method when considering medical treatment..." has to do with it.

                The furnace of Affliction produces Refinement, in States as well as Individuals. John Adams, 1776.

                by semiAdult on Fri Feb 10, 2012 at 05:38:43 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

            •  and it wasn't me that hr'd you. I know that people (9+ / 0-)

              have strong feelings about their religions, and I was taking a risk expressing my thoughts about yours. I try not to be an ass, but any of us that speak our minds have to accept the risk:)

              "Even a man who is pure in heart and says his prayers by night may become a wolf when the wolfbane blooms and the autumn moon is bright" Curt Siodmak

              by Wisdumb on Fri Feb 10, 2012 at 11:23:57 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  Prefer that people don't call each other names. (5+ / 0-)

              But drive-by HRs annoy the heck out of me.

              And the rest of your comment is rational and reasonable. And I can see why the "letting their children die" comment would infuriate someone enough to toss off a statement like that.

              So, I'm uprating because I really think this comment should not be hidden. You're right. I've never once heard a Christian Scientist as an individual or them as a group announce any opposition to government health care programs. (And yes, I know some Christian Scientists.)

              But please, no name-calling. You're clearly better than that.

              © grover

              So if you get hit by a bus tonight, would you be satisfied with how you spent today, your last day on earth? Live like tomorrow is never guaranteed, because it's not. -- Me.

              by grover on Fri Feb 10, 2012 at 01:23:59 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  Here in Oregon (9+ / 0-)

              We have a churchyard full of graves of kids, who died because their parents thought a little prayer would fix them right up.  Fortunately we have removed religion as a defense to negligent homicide, and some of these fundamentalists are now in jail.  I don't think this has anything to do with Christian Scientists, who are not idiots.  It's one of those church-of-eternal-damnation-and-god-hates-fags churches.

              Here's an idea: how about the people run the government and the corporations can line up for whatever we leave for them.

              by J Orygun on Fri Feb 10, 2012 at 05:50:06 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Good for Oregon. (0+ / 0-)
                Fortunately we have removed religion as a defense to negligent homicide
                Would that more states would follow suit.

                "Ridicule is the only weapon which can be used against unintelligible propositions." - Thomas Jefferson

                by rfall on Fri Feb 10, 2012 at 08:05:15 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

            •  Christian Scientists have let their children die (4+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Vetwife, Wisdumb, musicsleuth, Matt Z

              rather than get medical treatment. So have certain fundamentalist evangelicals. Bad parents are all over.

              If life gives you melons, you may be dyslexic.

              by glorificus on Fri Feb 10, 2012 at 05:54:50 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  too easy to paint a broad brush (0+ / 0-)

                Because a few people don't get help when they need it, apparently all Christian Scientists do the same thing because they said so on morning tee vee. Ditto the claims for 'scientific proof' for a religious practice or we should all be in jail or have our kids taken away from us. I expect more from this community.

                I'm not saying there aren't crazies out there, but it's kind of like calling all christians out for acting like Pat Robertson or the crazy 'god hates fags' guy.

                Al Gore was right. Why isn't he president?

                by musicsleuth on Fri Feb 10, 2012 at 09:43:08 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Expect away! Good luck with that! (0+ / 0-)

                  Did you completely miss my second sentence? The crazies are out there, breeding like rabbits. And you are way, way too gentle with the "Pat Robertson or the crazy 'god hates fags' guy" types, imo.

                  If life gives you melons, you may be dyslexic.

                  by glorificus on Sat Feb 11, 2012 at 05:58:00 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

            •  Not going to HR (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Matt Z, ladelfina, equalityrules

              because I feel it would be HR abuse.  This guy has his right to his opinion.

              But I will comment...

              This is the 21st Century folks.  It is high time people took a step back and take a closer look at their so-called "beliefs".  We as a people no longer live in the superstitous world where there is no rational explination for unexplained phenomenon.  Science has come a long way.  Yes it has a long way to go but to even think that a concept written 2000 years ago based on the vague memory of events written down by a variety of unreliable people in the form of mythology actually holds any truth is outrageous.

              People and their "faith" believe these things without any evidence that even the slightest bit of it is true- then claim it is a matter of "faith" that these ideas are true.   What is faith?  Is it the self-forced dicipline to accept information to be true when there is no evidence of it being so for the purpose of some profit or reward?  Do these "believers" continue to reject science and research in favor of faith in an unproven, superstitious belief because they are convinced they will be somehow "rewarded"?  Do they do so despite the fact that so many of these so-called biblical "truths" have been clearly disproven (such as the Earth is the center of the universe)?  

              The church, and Christianity as we know it was formed from what was most likely a pholosiphy-based belief with honest merits into a government by the late Romans for the purpose of trying to unite and prolong the Roman Empire.  At that time the Pagan beliefs differed across the Empire.  To solidify a single belief and codify it into a form of Government would be a huge plus for Constintine -- "Let's take the one thing that is the most important thing to most people- religion- and turn it into the Government  Let's adapt Pagan gods and goddesses into Christian saints and other identities so the people will relate to it.  Then tell the people that money is evil - sex is evil - belief in any other solution to the subjects of the bible is a sin - and we (the new government based on rumors, memories and practices of a man who taught a philosophical ideology whose been dead for 400 years and cannot answer to anyone if our new religion is true or not) will be in full control of all people's lives WHILE AT THE SAME TIME We, the leaders of the newly formed Roman Catholic church live the luxury life with all that money forfeited (sp) by the people!

              Yet 2000 years later people still believe in this fantasy.  You may as well claim the late Bunny in Alice in Wonderland is responsible for the dimesion of time.

              Religions such as Islam and Christianity are no more than fairy tales desiged to take control of the people.

              A belief in a pholosophy of good will and of earthly truth is fine; I am a Pagan myself.  Pagans like myself do not "believe", we practice.  Our ceremonies work, our eixirs, aromas and colors, sounds and environments provide real tangible results, many of which are being studied by modern science.  It is not a matter of faith with us, it is a matter of skill.  And practice.  As for social aspects, noone is trying to rule the world by forcing our ways upon others.

              Step back and take a look at your beliefs.  Forcing children to believe who are underage and cannot decide for themselves?  Sounds like preserving your membership.  Deny birth control?  Just that many more babies who will be forced to believe and become indocrined into the church to provide strength in numbers.  Perpetuate the faith.  Continue brainwashing.  Pollute the hope for finding the real truth - the real answer to those questions.  The more that believe must mean the belief is right - right?  Spread enough lies long enough and people will accept the lie as truth even if the proof is right in front of them.  You "believers" figured that out centuries ago and still practice it today.

              It is the 21st Century folks.  Time to grow up.  Common sense goes a long way - really, it does....

              O-ne-i-nis-to - Oh-no-mis-ta [Lakota]


              Howlin' at the World from the Left Side of the Planet

              by WolfmanSpike on Sat Feb 11, 2012 at 12:10:27 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

      •  speaking of gay marriage (16+ / 0-)

        It always blew my mind that a party so pro business would actively stifle an intire industry. Gay marriage is a boon to the economy. I just think Republicans are fucking weird.

        Lo que separa la civilizacion de la anarquia son solo siete comidas.

        by psilocynic on Fri Feb 10, 2012 at 08:38:52 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  They do this in a lot of (17+ / 0-)

          areas where they want to control people. I wrote about a new-ish bill recently on internet piracy stuff that's even worse than SOPA/PIPA, and the damn thing actually imposes a de facto tax ON BUSINESSES. And Republicans are all "yay this!"

          That's some small government conservatism right there.

          I guess their entire value system comes second when they feel like controlling gays or women or what people do online or what they watch on TV.

          Read my stuff at burn after writing and The Huffington Post @indiemcemopants on Twitter

          by indiemcemopants on Fri Feb 10, 2012 at 08:41:38 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Much of their ideology requires belief with no (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            evidence.  They hold several contradictory ideas in their head simultaneously - as they were likely taught to.  

            It really would be (and is) enough to drive a person crazy.  If you can have firm belief in something you cannot prove, touch, see, or feel - you can also believe other things simply because you are directed to do so.

            Science is so incredibly important.  It's theory, facts, explanations, reasons, evidence.  Much of it is indisputable and proven, and that which is not yet proven will be denied or affirmed in time - and that's how science works.  If we followed the logic of Rick Santorum for instance,  to the end point or extreme - people would be ordered to believe that the Sun revolves around the Earth, or that stars are nothing more than light shining through holes in the shell that holds the world.  Flat earthers too.

            I call it willful ignorance.

            #OccupyOMC - "We have a permit, its called The Constitution".

            by Evolutionary on Fri Feb 10, 2012 at 07:58:32 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  I'm with you on that. I mean, seriously, (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          a decade of double bridal registries and we'll be calling China to remind them not to be late with the rent.

      •  I think (11+ / 0-)

        the GOP does understand the legal issues, most members of congress are, after all, lawyers by trade.  I think that the problem is that as lawyers, many Republicans (and some Democrats) are always looking for new ways to use their understanding of the legal issues for the specific purpose of subverting the law and "creating their own reality."  (See: Bush administration rational for torture as but one example.)

        Before George W. Bush's presidency, I actually believed that torture was not only wrong but entirely illegal.  And it may be, in theory.  But it is not in practice.  Not to put too fine a point on it, but if Bush's legal team didn't understand the legal issues they were trying to subvert with respect to torture, they may not have been successful.  And I am defining "success" as "getting away with it irrespective of what the law actually says."  What difference does it make what any law says if it goes entirely unenforced?

        Arrrr, the laws of science be a harsh mistress. -Bender B. Rodriguez

        by democracy inaction on Fri Feb 10, 2012 at 08:52:35 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  No such thing as legal analysis w/o politics (9+ / 0-)

        Politics always factors into the resolution of a significant legal issue.

        In the Smith case that Adam discusses above, Scalia held that a Native American couldn't use his religious beliefs to justify using an illegal drug (peyote).  In the Lee case, the conservative justices were concerned that ruling in favor of the Amish would allow anti-war religious people to justify withholding their taxes from the war machine on grounds of their faith.

        It ALWAYS depends whose ox is being gored.  Always, always, always.

        Please help to fight hunger with a donation to Feeding America.

        by MJB on Fri Feb 10, 2012 at 09:09:32 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  In Canada, sometimes, (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        the Parliament will ask the courts to advise them regarding the constitutionality of pending legislation.

        “I do not want art for a few any more than I want education for a few, or freedom for a few. “ William Morris.

        by HugoDog on Fri Feb 10, 2012 at 11:54:30 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  The very high proportion of Legislators, (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Woody, DSPS owl

        at all levels of government, who are lawyers would tend to indicate that we already have such a system, and that it hasn't helped.


        "It is better to die on your feet than to live on your knees." -- Emiliano Zapata Salazar
        "Dissent is patriotic. Blind obedience is treason." --me

        by Leftie Gunner on Fri Feb 10, 2012 at 07:30:14 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Technocrat to me smacks of (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      buddabelly, psilocynic

      disregard of popular opinion while doing what theory says is correct.

      See: doctrinaire Marxists, Moscow, 1917--1988.

      In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice; but in practice, there always is a difference. - Yogi Berra En théorie, il n'ya aucune différence entre théorie et pratique, mais en pratique, il ya toujours une différence. - Yogi Berra

      by blue aardvark on Fri Feb 10, 2012 at 10:21:25 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Um, HOW many of our politicians (0+ / 0-)

      Possess a law degree??!  Seriously, isn't it a pretty high percentage?  

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