Patterico's Pontifications

6/1/2012

Open Thread

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:59 am

No guest bloggers and too much work.

447 Responses to “Open Thread”

  1. no excuses, start posting.

    steve (369bc6)

  2. good music Mr. carlitos I put the whole cd in my cloud even though I know I have to stop doing that god bless america 1-Click is of the devil

    happyfeet (3c92a1)

  3. Patrick, I’ll fill in.

    (Kidding…. it’s Friday, and I think we all need a good laugh)

    Kman (5576bf)

  4. Maybe it’s time to do one of the Tell Your Favorite Joke posts again.

    JVW (4d72aa)

  5. Siri – joke

    JD (092622)

  6. Ding!

    Icy (e2d0ff)

  7. Kman will be filling in the gap between reality and illusion.

    Icy (e2d0ff)

  8. I’ll offer a topic:

    Even MSNBC admits the jobs report is horrible:

    The U.S. economy created a scant 69,000 jobs in May, much lower than expected and all but confirming that the U.S. economy is heading into its third consecutive spring slowdown.

    The Labor Department reported Friday that the unemployment rate edged up to 8.2 percent, its first increase in 11 months, as American employers fretted over Europe, higher pump prices and the persistent problems in the housing market.

    Certainly, Americans are concerned about gasoline prices. Why not mention that Obama isn’t — given his focus on clean energy alternatives and agency decisions that have severely limited Gulf drilling and halted the Keystone pipeline? In addition, is Europe really the reason American businesses are floundering?

    MSNBC’s National Affairs Writer Tom Curry considers how this impacts older Americans, the segment of the American public that typically earn more money and help fill the government’s (declining) coffers:

    When poll respondents were asked whether what they had seen, heard or read in recent weeks had made them more optimistic or less so about the direction of the economy, 53 percent said they were less optimistic. But among people aged 50 to 64, 57 percent were less optimistic.

    And older people tend to give Obama a lower rating on his handling of the economy. Among all poll respondents, 52 percent said they disapproved of Obama’s handling of economic policy. But among those aged 50 to 64, 56 percent disapproved of the president’s handling of the economy.

    A big unknown for November is whether this segment of the population — unemployed, over age 50, and generally not happy with Obama’s handling of the economy, will vote or will be so disaffected that they won’t bother to turn out.

    Thus, the question becomes “Will they or won’t they vote?” The article acknowledges they might but suggests they might not, and that could help Obama since older Americans tend not to like him anyway.

    Keep digging, media.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  9. D – Denial…. “I refuse to beleive Romney will be my nominee”
    A – Anger… “Goddamn it. He’s gonna win the nomination. Fucker”
    B – Bargaining… ” Please God, Please give us someone more conservative”
    D – Depression… “Oh well, guess it’s Romney…whoop dee doo”
    A – Acceptance… “Damn this Romney guy is killing Bammy with Solyndra. Go Romney!!!”
    I think I too have reached acceptance. My grieving phases are over. Let’s get er done!

    Psycotte (077749)

  10. OR, he could use this space to answer my question of the other day: What are you going to do in response to the two harassing phone calls you received that coincided with the reports of Kimberlin & pals SWATTing some of our friends?

    Icy (e2d0ff)

  11. I didn’t see that, Icy. What calls did Patterico get and when? And who was SWATted other than Erickson?

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  12. So, who’s Darrah Ford, anyway?

    Pious Agnostic (7c3d5b)

  13. We could discuss little Tommy Xtopher’s latest column:

    It stinks.

    Next?

    Icy (e2d0ff)

  14. Sorry, DRJ, I was following up my previous comment about Kman.

    Icy (e2d0ff)

  15. Calls to Kman, Icy? I’m definitely out of the loop.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  16. Mayor Bloomberg announces his ban on sodas larger than 16 ounces, and the very next day issues a proclamation in support of National Donut Day.

    Icy (e2d0ff)

  17. That’s what he claims, DRJ.

    Icy (e2d0ff)

  18. BLS initially thought payrolls grew by a net 115,000 jobs in April, but now says just 77,000 positions were added that month.

    america the pitiful god wastes his grace on thee

    happyfeet (3c92a1)

  19. Great news here in Brooklyn NY. This is extremely safe territory for the Ds; the D primary is the election, and the Rs seldom bother running a real campaign. In 2010, TEA Partier Bob Turner ran an insurgent campaign, with no real outside help, against Anthony Weiner, but lost; when Weiner fell, Turner made history by winning the special election.

    On 20-Mar a special election was held to replace disgraced Democratic state senator Carl Kruger. The Ds nominated City Councillor Lew Fidler, expecting him to win easily; the Rs nominated David Storobin, an activist in the Russian Jewish community.

    After more than two months of counting votes, Storobin has finally won. He becomes the first ever Russian in the state senate, the first ever Republican from that neighbourhood, and the first Jewish Republican from anywhere in Brooklyn in many generations.

    Unfortunately he’ll have less than a month to sit in the senate before it dissolves, and in November the district will disappear.

    Milhouse (312124)

  20. That is good news, Milhouse.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  21. _________________________________________________

    Open Thread

    I guess that’s a nice change of pace from the usual “sock puppet” threads, which I found myself often not surfing through.

    Keep digging, media.

    If you mean their own grave, allow me to shed a few tears.

    I noticed the article linked today at the drudgereport on how poorly CNN is doing in the ratings and how they’re supposedly starting to panic about it.

    Changing tastes and technology have always created winners and losers during any period of time. But the advent of personal computers and the Internet notwithstanding, I do wonder how much of the MSM has been adversely affected by its often disingenuous left-leaning bias.

    Mark (93849b)

  22. . . . disgraced Democratic state senator. . .

    To quote the Jack Nicholson character in A Few Good Men, is there any other kind?

    JVW (4d72aa)

  23. We could talk about the national pastime. Does anybody besides me have their favorite team at the top of their division?

    elissa (bb6b52)

  24. White Sox are 1 1/2 games up in the AL Central. :)

    carlitos (49ef9f)

  25. Prometheus looks lame. This very disappointing.

    Sarahw (b0e533)

  26. My Cardinals are in a funk

    JD (092622)

  27. elissa:

    Does anybody besides me have their favorite team at the top of division?

    Yes, and the good news for me is that my team is more games ahead than any other team. The bad news is it’s a long way to the playoffs.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  28. My son and grandson like the Orioles but my Dbacks are a C. At least I admit they are a C, unlike Obama who claims a B+ or is it A- now.

    PatAZ (032efa)

  29. Continued good luck, DRJ! (Except of course on July 3,4,5 and 27,28,29.)

    elissa (bb6b52)

  30. The Rangers often find a way to lose, elissa. I grew up cheering for the Cardinals but I like lots of teams.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  31. ==I like lots of teams==

    Me too. It’s also fun when traveling to less populated places to catch farm team games and see young players up close before they become famous– or sometimes MLB stars who are finishing physical rehab assignments.

    elissa (bb6b52)

  32. The Cubs are 1 game shy of being the worst team in all of baseball.

    JD (092622)

  33. I was part of a minor-league game in Oklahoma City last summer. It was about 110 degrees at night, and the home team were losing by 10 runs, and when we walked across from Mickey Mantle’s and went to peek inside, the ushers said “come on in.” Very homey atmosphere.

    carlitos (49ef9f)

  34. “saw” is dyslexic for “was”

    carlitos (49ef9f)

  35. Prometheus stole fire from the gods and then his liver got eated.

    happyfeet (a55ba0)

  36. JD–We got free tickets to the Cubs game on Wednesday and actually watched them pull it out in the ninth inning. A rare win. I mean, the odds of them winning while actually being present at Wrigley to see it happen are almost astronomical.

    elissa (bb6b52)

  37. I stayed at the same hotel as the Seattle Mariners back when Lou Piniella was their manager. I had little boys at the time, so I spent a lot of time in the hotel’s guest laundry. Piniella and his team had been on the road for a couple of weeks, so they were there a lot, too. It was late in the season, at Arlington, and they were doing very well at the time. I figured they would be aloof but they were very friendly, especially Piniella. We talked about golf and he told some great stories.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  38. Also – The ballpark in OKC is on the corner of Mickey Mantle Drive and Flaming Lips Way. Super cool.

    carlitos (49ef9f)

  39. Prometheus looks lame. This very disappointing.
    Comment by Sarahw — 6/1/2012 @ 10:01 am

    – Ridley Scott engaging in a 100+ million dollar uncredited remake of his own film, the first “Alien”. Even if it was good, it would still be a re-tread.

    Icy (e2d0ff)

  40. Sad news of the day is that the daily posting of Samual Pepy’s Diary has come to its close. You can prowl in the archives and annotations people have left.

    htom (412a17)

  41. Promethazine is a first-generation antihistamine of the phenothiazine family. The drug has anti-motion sickness, antiemetic, and anticholinergic effects, as well as a strong sedative effect and in some countries is prescribed for insomnia when benzodiazepines are contraindicated.

    If liver damage were a side-effect, that would be ironical.

    carlitos (49ef9f)

  42. A big unknown for November is whether this segment of the population — unemployed, over age 50, and generally not happy with Obama’s handling of the economy, will vote or will be so disaffected that they won’t bother to turn out.

    People over 50 always vote unless they’re too busy working or something. That doesn’t seem to be a problem here. And this time they know better than to trust this guy.

    Kevin M (bf8ad7)

  43. Diamondbacks nine games back of the *ugh!* Dodgers.

    Icy (e2d0ff)

  44. 11. Comment by DRJ — 6/1/2012 @ 8:57 am

    What calls did Patterico get and when?

    Patterico wrote about his being SWatted last week, May 25, at the start of:

    http://leestranahan.com/welcome-to-everybody-blog-about-brett-kimberlin-day

    This is the thread:

    http://patterico.com/2012/05/25/convicted-bomber-brett-kimberlin-neal-rauhauser-ron-brynaert-and-their-campaign-of-political-terrorism/

    And who was SWATted other than Erickson?

    Last year. Mike Stack (goatsred on twitter) on June 23, and Patrick right after midnight July 1.

    We now can understand something that happened last year.

    This Swatting is probably what caused Patrick to slow down on new posts about Anthony Weiner and is why we had this extremely long thread, with an eventual 3,765 comments. Patrick kept occasionally directing us to comment on this thread:

    http://patterico.com/2011/06/30/someone-smarter-than-me-explain-why-this-is-not-possible/

    The long thread was actually in some ways was a good idea in itself: Instead of going from thread to thread, everything was all on one page – the problem with that though was that many users’ software couldn’t handle threads so long

    If you wanted to get people to comment on one thread about Weiner, you probably wouldn’t title it to focus on such a side issue. To get all the comments on one thread was decided after the post was up.

    I wondered if he was trying to escape notice. The sock gang might notice new threads but they wouldn’t notice or complain about comments on old threads, since the old thread would disappear from the main page.

    In any case Patrick did start another thread
    on July 5, 2011:

    http://patterico.com/2011/07/05/neal-rauhausers-new-friend-brett-kimberlin-speedway-bomber/

    (But basically there were no new Weiner threads – till maybe August. But Patrick made sure there was a lot of content on the blog)

    And the person who Patterico thinks did the Swatting, Ron Brynaert, (we didn’t know any of this not even about the swatting) got on the long thread.

    In the opinion of some, like Dustin, he was just trying to destroy the discussion on the thread by commenting like crazy (in both senses of the word) on it.

    When you read that thread over now you can understand things better:

    Ronny baby, what a heartwarming rags to riches story!

    LOL.

    I am not reading Ron’s comments. I’m sure he says things about me that are bad, and I’m sure I do not need to bother explaining he is lying.

    However, I want to note that Ron is trying to filibuster. His volume of comments and faux-paranoia right now is specifically because Ron accidentally proved he is affiliated with Brett Kimberlin.

    That answers a lot of questions. Why is Ron so hostile towards anyone who stands up to Brett? And what would Brett and his friends be morally capable of doing to innocent people, in the name of their political activism?

    Ron wants to change the subject. I think Joe is right that currently his comments are trolling. Ron is not a mere troll, but he does want to trigger a huge reaction with more attempts to destroy the lives of anyone who stands in his way. Ron screwed up, and he can’t fix it.

    Comment by Dustin – 8/6/2011 @ 2:12 pm

    Or:

    Mike,

    Mike,

    I will consider not approving Ron’s comments any more, or for a period of time.

    I think we have been getting some useful information though.

    Comment by Patterico – 8/6/2011 @ 3:50 pm

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)

  45. And here I thought that this might be a thread for some topic other than the last 10 threads.

    Kevin M (bf8ad7)

  46. Kevin M.–This thread is sort of a smörgåsbord. Feel free to pick a new topic or add your voice to an existing one as others have done.

    elissa (ce2634)

  47. 19. Comment by Milhouse — 6/1/2012 @ 9:17 am

    Great news here in Brooklyn NY…..After more than two months of counting votes, Storobin has finally won.

    I didn’t know that till I read that message. I read all the papers, but maybe not cover to cover. I see the two articles you are both after the fact (not articles saying that Storobin won, but next day articles, and also may only have appeared on the web.

    http://www.nydailynews.com/blogs/dailypolitics/2012/05/david-storobin-its-really-the-american-dream

    ..says he expects the results to be certified Tuesday and for him to sworn in that day (June 5)

    Before this they had been saying he probably wouldn’t be sworn in before the State Senate recessed for the year (scheduled now for June 21)

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/01/nyregion/david-storobin-poised-to-win-brooklyn-state-senate-seat-after-recount.html?_r=2&pagewanted=print

    …says on Thursday (May 31) the results of a hand recount gave Storobin a 16 vote margin
    (Fidler was claiming 14 votes,but conceded)

    About two weeks ago, before the hand recount, the margin was 27 votes. On Friday, March 30, a week and a half after the March 20 election, before they got about 400 paper ballots, the nargin was 11: Republican David Storobin, 10,900. Democrat Lew Fidler: 10,899. On May 8 or so the judge had rejecrted an absentee ballot fraud claim and ordered the remaining 119 votes (which had been collected by Storobin’s people) to be opened and counted. Without those 119 absentee ballots Fidler was 87 votes over Storobin (I guess with them that switched to 27 in favor, so that amounted to a net gain of 114 votes from the 119 votes here.

    Fidler actually didn’t sound very optimistic when I overheard him speaking to somebody else after the end of a bus riders forum in Sheepshead Bay on May 17. (Politicians always show up at these events, and it seems like it was called by mostly Democrats or people close to the Democratic Party)

    Fidler said something that sounded sort of synonomous with having been rejected by the public.

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)

  48. It’s very hard to get the truith into Wikipedia.

    Here is the archived page of the discussion about the Parthenon.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Talk:Parthenon/archive1

    You can see how much trouble have getting itno the article the fact that the Parthenon was not a temple, and the big statue in Athena inside it was not an idol. (Of course part of the problem was that Pericles was trying to fool outsiders so fewer people would be tempted to try to steal all the money and gold inside it. This error goes back to ancient times and was actually somewhat deliberate. IMHO)

    You notice this archived discussion is from 2005 and 2006 – changes to reference the fact that the Parthenon was not really a temple (it just looked like one)

    In 2011 somebody attemnpted to edit it, and it was reverted. This excerot from the talk page shows two things: the number of editors and attention is declining because it is so hard to correct any information in it – and that articles are still stubbornly guarded)

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Talk:Parthenon

    Is anyone watching this page?

    Today I noted that the lead paragraph had been anonymously edited 10 days ago, to assert that the Parthenon is NOT a temple, but was a storehouse for tributary gold!!! I have treated this highly contentious and unreferenced edit as vandalism, and reverted it. But I am amazed and dismayed that such a high profile article could contain such a dubious assertion unchallenged for 10 days! Ian Page (talk) 03:13, 23 April 2011 (UTC)

    Hm. Well, the edit certainly should have been reverted. However, there is some justification for claiming that the Parthenon wasn’t a temple, since there seems to have been no religious cult associated with it (see the “function” section), and it’s certainly right that it was used as a storehouse (which is a normal function of a Greek temple), and it may have held tribute from the Delian League—so the edit is not as unfounded as it may have seemed at first. –Akhilleus (talk) 04:03, 23 April 2011 (UTC)

    Thanks for the clarification!Ian Page (talk) 11:19, 27 April 2011 (UTC)

    The current scholarship on the topic would actually assert that it was not temple, and was indeed a storehouse for gold, and the statue of Athena was not the cult image. 130.126.219.53 (talk) 13:20, 30 April 2012 (UTC)

    In spite of that very recent additional comment dated April 30 of this year, temple it remains, with no qualification. Some people, especially teh auithors of some french textbook, consider this the greatest misconception about the Parthenon. (they put it on the same level as thinking the Venus de Milo was a classical Greek statue. It was an imitation done centuries later, in the Hellenistic period after Alexander the Great)

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)

  49. Sadly, the Brooklyn election is just counting coup. Same with the Wiener seat the Republicans picked up — the guy who won isn’t even trying to get re-elected, he’s running for US Senate (and good luck with that).

    Kevin M (bf8ad7)

  50. since the host is busy with life, does anyone else here have any insight on the LA County Judge elections?

    redc1c4 (403dff)

  51. I live near Wrigley Field and often have this conversation:

    “Crusty, are the Cubs playing baseball today?”

    “The Cubs haven’t played baseball since 1945.”

    CrustyB (69f730)

  52. The only way the Cubs will ever win is when they tear down Wrigley.

    Ipso Fatso (7434b9)

  53. The Cubs haven’t played good baseball since the fall of 1908.

    JD (092622)

  54. We should make a list of everything that has happened since 1908.

    JD (092622)

  55. The twins need pitching,hitting and defense.

    mg (44de53)

  56. ==The twins need pitching,hitting and defense==

    So see–getting a new stadium might not help the Cubs at all.

    elissa (ce2634)

  57. The First Circuit had struck down DOMA as applied to some persons in Gill v. Office of Personnel Management. Here are my observations.

    1. Gill reaffirms that Baker v. Nelson, 409 U.S. 810, 93 s. Ct 37, 34 L.E.2d 65 (1972) (mem) “that the Constitution [does not require] states to permit same-sex marriages, and held, within the context of this challenge, that “it … limit[s] the arguments to ones that do not presume or rest on a constitutional right to same-sex marriage” slip op. at 12 Thus, a challenge to a state’s marriage laws defining marriage as a “union for life of one man and one woman in the holy estate of matrimony”, Murphy v. Ramsey, 114 U.S. 15 at 45 (1885), arising from a district court in the First Circuit, must fail.
    2. The First Circuit plainly held that DOMA passes rational basis scrutiny. See slip op. at 14 ([u]nder such a rational basis standard, the Gill plaintiffs
    cannot prevail.)
    3. But since the case includes federalism concerns, something more than rational basis is required, even though sexual orientation is not a suspect classification. id. at 11 (governing
    precedents under both heads [equal protection and federalism] combine…to require a closer than usual review based in part on discrepant impact among married couples and in part on
    the importance of state interests in regulating marriage.) Taking the First Circuit at its word, this “closer than usual review” would not be warranted where federalism concerns are absent, such as DOMA’s application to immigration law and U.S. territories.
    4. Congress had required several states to forever prohibit polygamy and plural marriage in their constitutions. See e.g. Arizona Enabling Act, 36 Stat. 569; New Mexico Enabling Act, 36 Stat. 558, cited in Romer v. Evans, 517 U.S. 620 at 648 (…1996) (Scalia, J., dissenting) For some of those states, these provisions were required to be irrevocable. Thus, it was not merely sufficient that the states had to ban polygamy initially, but can never repeal those bans without the consent of Congress.

    This is clearly an intrusion into “state interests in regulating marriage”. And if the Supreme Court adopts Gill‘s reasoning, then the constitutionality of those provisions, at least to the extent they are irrevocable, would be in doubt, even if the Supreme Court is unwilling to hold that polygamy is a constitutional right.

    Michael Ejercito (2e0217)

  58. At least in LA they film pornos on their ball yards. At Wrigley… well the fans are the ones that are f**cked.

    Ipso Fatso (7434b9)

  59. In a related absurd decision, yesterday the new York State Court of Appeals ruled that to falsely claim someone is a homosexual is not defamatory.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/01/nyregion/court-rules-calling-someone-gay-is-not-defamatory.html?_r=1

    Now you see even if you assumed this was not derogatory, it is derogatory to say somebody is not what he or she pretends to be.

    What do they think somebody committed suicide over in a famous case?

    To make this clearer, an assertion, say, that somebody is a Catholic or a Mormon is not derogatory, but in certain contexts it could be – or are accusations that Barack Obama is a secret Muslim not defamatory??

    (it is not a tort since he is a public figure, but it is not something that is not defamnatory in the first place.)

    But the court bought the argument this was like in the past someone would treat as defamatory an assertions that someone had some black ancestry.
    That’s because it is against public policy to regard that as bad, and the courts there wanted toi be very strong against allowing that to be a defanmatory accustion and wouldn’t let it stand even though maybe it might have been felt to be so. But this is not like that. When did homosexuality something not to be opposed at all? Not to affect associations? It is not like that in the real world.

    Nowadays nobody thinks an accusation that a woman is not a virgin (or only was intimate with her husband or husbands) is defamatory, yet there were some people who wanted to invoke an old law about taht against Rush Limbaugh.

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)

  60. 19.47.49. It actually was in the prinmted newspaper. Running along teh bottom of page A25.

    I saw the “Label as Gay is No longer defamatory, Court Rules” on the same page, but I didn’t notice that one.

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)

  61. While Florida is worrying about extremely rare voter impersoination, there is anotehr kind of impersonation that’s going wild there:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/05/27/us/id-thieves-loot-tax-checks-filing-early-and-often.html?pagewanted=all

    With Personal Data in Hand, Thieves File Early and Often by Lizette Alvarez.

    Published Sunday May 27, 2012

    …..

    MIAMI — Besieged by identity theft, Florida now faces a fast-spreading form of fraud so simple and lucrative that some violent criminals have traded their guns for laptops. And the target is the United States Treasury.

    They always ask for refunds in the new option of debit cards (available because some people on’t have banmk accounts) delivered to post office boxzes or foreclosed homes where somnebody has erected a mailbox.

    Postal workers have been harassed, robbed and, in one case, murdered as they have made their rounds with mail trucks full of debit cards and master keys to mailboxes.

    Also:

    J. Russell George, the Treasury inspector general for tax administration, testified before Congress this month that the I.R.S. detected 940,000 fake returns for 2010 in which identity thieves would have received $6.5 billion in refunds. But Mr. George said the agency missed an additional 1.5 million returns with possibly fraudulent refunds worth more than $5.2 billion.

    Florida, with its large population of elderly residents and health care facilities, provides a wealth of opportunities for swindlers. South Florida, which had the highest rate of identity theft in the nation, and Tampa have been hit hardest.

    The United States attorney for the Southern District of Florida, Wifredo A. Ferrer, called identity-theft tax fraud an “epidemic.” He formed a task force of 18 federal and state agencies, including the I.R.S., to combat the problem. Despite those efforts, it is worsening, Mr. Ferrer said….

    ….From 2008 to 2011, the number of returns filed by identity thieves and stopped by the I.R.S. increased significantly, officials said. Last year, it was at least 1.3 million, said Steven T. Miller, deputy commissioner for services and enforcement at the agency.

    This year, with only 30 percent of the filings reviewed so far, the number is already at 2.6 million. The bulk are related to identity theft, Mr. Miller said.

    …..

    In South Florida and Tampa, the problem has gotten so bad that police officers conducting unrelated searches or simple traffic stops routinely stumble across ledgers with names and Social Security numbers, boxes of stolen medical records and envelopes with debit cards.

    The Tampa Police Department set up a special unit last year related to this kind of fraud after officers continued to find an “ungodly amount” of identity-theft material, said Detective Sal Augeri, a veteran on the unit. Last year, the department handled nearly 1,000 incidents; this year, the number is “way, way above that,” he said.

    Fraudulent filers first used names and Social Security numbers of the deceased to file claims. The numbers become public by law and, until recently, were easily available on popular genealogy Web sites. Swindlers also used the Social Security numbers of prisoners.

    When officials cracked down on those two avenues, the theft migrated to anywhere Social Security numbers are collected. Most vulnerable are records from health care facilities, assisted-living centers, schools, insurance companies, pension funds and large stores that issue credit cards. The police say employees steal the information and sell it, an increasingly common practice here.

    Everyone is susceptible. Two dozen Tampa police officers, including one whose job it is to investigate identity-theft fraud, had their identities stolen and their tax refunds diverted this year.

    Some drug dealers – ex-drug dealers now – have found this to be a much better idea than dealing in drugs.

    Career criminals know easy money when they see it. The police say they run across street corner drug dealers and robbers who have been in and out of prison for years now making lots of money by filing fraudulent returns. Some have been spotted driving Bentleys and Lamborghinis.

    “A gentleman, a former armed robber, said: ‘I’m not doing robberies anymore. This is much cleaner. I don’t even have to use a gun,’ ” said Sgt. Jay J. Leiner of the economic crimes unit in the Broward Sheriff’s Office, which has formed a multiagency task force.

    Mr. Ferrer, the United States attorney, said he had seen tax fraud overtake violent crime in Overtown, a poor, high-crime section of Miami. He said criminals there were holding filing parties, at which they would haul out laptops and, for a fee, teach others how to run the swindle.

    “There is no real competition,” Mr. Ferrer said. “They are not fighting each other. Altogether, they are stealing from the I.R.S.”

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)

  62. Has anyone heard anything on Aaron W? I pray his case was quickly appealed or something.

    Virtual Insanity (447cb5)

  63. A friend of mine — a girl I loved, really — hanged herself 3 days ago and mentioned me in her suicide: that she loved me and I loved her.

    She was raped. Again. This time by her new boyfriend who I was jealous of because she told me how sweet he is. And she just couldn’t handle it. Sex scared her, male nudity scared her, horny men (even me) scared her, and being raped again was way beyond what she could tolerate.

    She had previously been gang-raped as a teenager.

    Well, I had a drunken teary night — in two bars. I didn’t even KNOW people cry in bars. Maybe they don’t. Maybe it’s just me.

    And you know what? I can’t say she made the wrong decision. Yes, I am a right to die with dignity advocate and even a suicide pro-choicer in general, so there’s that. But there is a reason for my views. This world has a lot of terrible things in it, from both people and nature. And not a lot of justice either (thanks for trying, host).

    One thing her choice ensures: she will never be raped again.

    Random (fba0b1)

  64. ^note

    Random (fba0b1)

  65. I’m sorry for your pain and hers, Random.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  66. Didn’t suppressed minorities increase their voter turnout in Georgia and Indiana elections after Voter I.D. laws went into effect?

    daleyrocks 0/32 Cherokee (bf33e9)

  67. Random – Is that the same former girlfriend you had previously indicated you were planning to commit suicide over?

    Seek help.

    daleyrocks 0/32 Cherokee (bf33e9)

  68. Thanks, DRJ, and thanks in advance to others who I expect will think or express similarly decent sentiments.

    I am all for joy and a world without (or with less) suffering. But since we have a world with a lot of suffering, unequally distributed, I wouldn’t want suicide to go away. Some people just can’t handle the pain and the risks of future pain (not because they’re “mentally ill” or irrational — because life is often awful … and they are rational).

    Random (fba0b1)

  69. The Orlando Sentinel says Zimmerman is not in jail yet, but must report within 48 hours.

    Also, I think he’s going to jail because the prosecution now has evidence that his wife’s testimony at the bond hearing on April 27, 2012, (that they didn’t have any savings) was false and they knew it:

    [The prosecutor] had made the same allegation before, at a hearing April 27, and the judge had brushed it aside, but this time the prosecutor had tangible proof: Transcripts of several telephone calls between Zimmerman and his wife while Zimmerman was locked up at the Seminole County Jail.

    In them, the couple talk about their finances and transferring money between accounts. During one call April 16, shortly after Shellie Zimmerman had left a credit union, they talked about using that money to post his bail.

    “That’s what it’s for,” she told him, according to a portion of the transcript cited by de la Rionda.

    Circuit Judge Kenneth Lester Jr. was clearly unhappy.

    There was no doubt in his mind, he said, that both George and Shellie Zimmerman knew they had access to pile of money. They were spending it, transferring it and talking about it on a recorded jail phone line.

    “They were well aware of the amounts available,” the judge said.

    Not good for Zimmerman.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  70. Suicide is incredibly hard on the people left behind, Random, as you obviously know.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  71. Random – Is that the same former girlfriend you had previously indicated you were planning to commit suicide over?

    No, actually.

    And help with what?

    I have the means to suicide if I wish. I’ll ultimately decide whether to or not based on my own feelings/level of courage (the girl in question had some clearly)/risk tolerance to future pains, and the like.

    But not wanting to live in this world is far from unreasonable. It is, at a minimum, a risk. Suicide is a risk management strategy.

    There are all sorts of people for whom something terrible will (actually, in reality) happen to them tomorrow — including simply painful awful deaths. Would dying today by peaceful, comfortable means be a bad decision? I don’t see how.

    No, we don’t have crystal balls and can’t predict the future with certainty, but we do make judgements based on trends and probabilities available data, plus our own values and resilience. It’s the best we can do, and it’s our right to do it. Or not.

    Random (fba0b1)

  72. . . . disgraced Democratic state senator. . .

    To quote the Jack Nicholson character in A Few Good Men, is there any other kind?

    1. Why, yes. There are also disgraced Democratic assemblymen, councilors, representatives, US senators, judges, governors, presidents, etc.

    2. Why, yes. Most Democrats are disgraceful, but not actually disgraced. Yet.

    Milhouse (312124)

  73. The Best of Rev. Manning is out. Talk about a untapped resource!!

    mg (44de53)

  74. Prometheus stole fire from the gods and then his liver got eated.

    Mmm, tasty liver.

    Milhouse (312124)

  75. Not good for Zimmerman.

    Comment by DRJ — 6/1/2012 @ 3:46 pm

    Nope. And I’ve been standing up for Zimmerman. Doing something that paints him as dishonest just can’t help his defense.

    Random (fba0b1)

  76. Suicide is incredibly hard on the people left behind, Random, as you obviously know.

    Comment by DRJ — 6/1/2012 @ 3:47 pm

    Yes. But. People are not sacrificial animals. I don’t have the right to ask others to endure intolerable pain and risks so I feel better.

    No one chooses to be born — and that lack of consent is an important point. Why should a being be forced to endure a situation it didn’t choose?

    I view suicide from a terrible situation to be similar morally to a slave escaping captivity. Doing so may inconvenience people or even make people feel bad in various ways — such as never seeing their loved one again among others — but it’s still a person’s right.

    So is leaving life.

    Further, seeing someone you love in pain and living through a situation they don’t enjoy isn’t pain free — or it shouldn’t be if we’re compassionate, empathic, and ethical.

    Random (fba0b1)

  77. Same with the Wiener seat the Republicans picked up — the guy who won isn’t even trying to get re-elected, he’s running for US Senate (and good luck with that).

    That’s because the district is disappearing in the reapportionment.

    Milhouse (312124)

  78. @SarahW

    @Icy

    Saw an early review for Prometheus that was linked on Drudge a few days ago and the reviewer said it’s visually stunning or what you would expect from Ridley Scott. Theron and Fassbender are awesome in their respective roles. The reviewer said its very good film but not a great one, not the next Alien or Bladerunner. The action is frenzied & very fast paced.

    He also said for a PG-13 movie it has surprising amounts of Gore an adult situations and a whole lot of scares so don’t be fooled, this is not a movie for young children.

    Also in reference to Icy, although it takes place in the Alien/Weyland-Yutani universe & there are connections this is not another Alien xenomorph movie, but supposedly a whole different scenario altogether which gives history & background to the Spacejockey’s, one who’s corpse we saw in the derelict ship from the first Alien movie.

    Anyway, can’t wait to see it. Even a bad Ridley Scott movie is still better than most other movies out there.

    John Difool (4251ee)

  79. Random,

    I hope you will talk to someone in your real life about what you’re feeling.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  80. The set design, Charlize, both look sufficiently interesting. I’d hoped for greatness, but interesting is better than dud. I’ve heard the lady protagonist (Rapace) gets somewhat better towards the end, and that the music is awful.

    Sarahw (b0e533)

  81. Random,

    I hope you will talk to someone in your real life about what you’re feeling.

    Comment by DRJ — 6/1/2012 @ 4:05 pm

    I do, DRJ. But what I’m feeling is valid.

    Random (fba0b1)

  82. I hope you seek help, Random, and I am sorry for your loss.

    JD (092622)

  83. I wish my friend could have not suffered such terror at the hands of men, or been able to deal with it and still be my friend and happy, or failing that at least didn’t have to go through one final horrible experience to die. I wish she could have been with people she loved when she died, including me, and died gently — like this woman in Switzerland where they have more decent, ethical laws (warning: video of a loving, peaceful, humane death) dying while eating chocolate. My friend loved to eat.

    And while I live, whether it’s a day or decades, I will actively campaign for laws and attitudes to move in that direction.

    Random (fba0b1)

  84. @SarahW

    My only beef so far is yes’ the set designs are so awesome it looks like its taking place 80 years after Alien Resurrection instead of 80 years before the first Alien movie.
    One of my favorite things about the first three movies was how gritty and grungy & industrial everything looked. This one looks highly polished & refined. Doesn’t look like it’s taking place a hundred and some odd years before Cameroon’s Aliens

    John Difool (4251ee)

  85. Random,

    I can tell you are in great pain, but help me understand something. Are you talking about suicide because your friend’s death is on your mind? Or are you thinking about suicide yourself?

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  86. I hope you seek help, Random, and I am sorry for your loss.

    Comment by JD — 6/1/2012 @ 4:23 pm

    JD, I know you’re being sincere and decent and I genuinely thank you for that despite our differences; however I find that phrase, so common in our culture, to be so trite.

    It implies that there’s only one right way to look at things when, in fact, there are two. There are benefits and harms to living, and loss of both benefits and harms by dying.

    These are just simply facts, an unavoidable consequence of being a living thing.

    But as it happens if it helps put your mind at rest, I have a counsellor to try and help me work over my grief over the loss of the love of my life, and one of the few good psychiatrists, who doesn’t believe in automatically medicating people: he’s smart enough to realize the mainstream research doesn’t even support that for grief per se and further that antidepressants don’t reduce suicide, as we discussed ad nauseum. No, he’s not a follower of the same ideology as the doctor we were arguing about, but he’s a smart insightful guy.

    However, you know what? Talking about bad things doesn’t make them go away or stop new ones from happening. It’s an individual judgement call whether one wishes to keep on dealing with them or not.

    And there are two, not one, but two answers to that question that are reasonable.

    Random (fba0b1)

  87. Now I really hope you get help. I don’t want to see you go.

    JD (092622)

  88. Random,

    I can tell you are in great pain, but help me understand something. Are you talking about suicide because your friend’s death is on your mind? Or are you thinking about suicide yourself?

    Comment by DRJ — 6/1/2012 @ 4:30 pm

    I’ve thought about suicide for the last couple years, DRJ, over a personal loss. Since I know life can be often nearly (and sometimes entirely) unbearable, I’m more understanding of my friend’s suicide that others in my situation might be.

    I wish she was still alive — I enjoyed her very much, loved her even … would like to have given her a good relationship although I probably wasn’t really suitable for her for a few reasons. However, that’s for selfish reasons that I wish there.

    There was no guarantee — at all — that she wouldn’t be raped again. And she couldn’t deal with it. And I understand that. I don’t think she necessarily made the wrong choice. I wish I could say her life was so wonderful because of my love and others and her swimming and such that she should have definitely wanted to live, but then she had to endure indignities and horrors, including great pain, I am sure, and this shattered her belief that she could ever be safe: it happening a second time. She said as much in her note. So I understand why she did it.

    I wish she hadn’t been raped far, far more than I wish she hadn’t killed herself.

    As for me? Yeah, I might kill myself. I might not. I don’t know. I don’t plan on it tonight.

    Random (fba0b1)

  89. I’m glad to hear that you won’t do anything now.

    Is coping with her death the hardest part, or are there other problems, too?

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  90. it has surprising amounts of Gore

    a little of Al
    goes a long, long, long, long way
    such a wooden guy

    Colonel Haiku (69b979)

  91. Things went reasonably well for a Friday… and then I saw this:

    http://t1.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcTg4ajbKbHj-5vSqaL2375I2eUrYGXrplDwYViKnhZXWCqL9EM-rw

    Now it’s a fantastic Friday!

    Colonel Haiku (69b979)

  92. Is coping with her death the hardest part, or are there other problems, too?

    I find coping with her rape (and even the fact she had to hang herself and her last moments were probably pure agony) harder than her death. Death is nonexistence. She isn’t in pain now. She lost out on marriage and babies and travel and winning swim meets and lots and lots of laughs because she was a tremendously fun, funny charismatic person. But at least she isn’t in pain, and that’s more than I could say about her life immediately before her suicide.

    As for me? I mean losing her is really bad. Really really bad. And just being alive in a world where 15-year old girls get gang raped is bad. So I don’t know how to calibrate it really.

    But I’d say that losing the love of my life, well her friendship really after the breakup, was the most devastating thing for me, and started a cycle of losing virtually everything.

    And that’s sometimes how life goes.

    Random (fba0b1)

  93. It would be hard to think of that happening to a friend.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  94. Not to mention a woman you love.

    Random (fba0b1)

  95. How do you decide when to call your counselor about this, Random?

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  96. My counsellor can’t change anything, DRJ.

    She’s a woman in her late 50s. You think she can stop women from being gang-raped?

    The problem isn’t perception: it’s reality.

    Random (fba0b1)

  97. I didn’t mean to come across as trite, Random. I cannot even begin to imagine what this must be like. I hope you are able to find some comfort.

    JD (092622)

  98. JD, I don’t blame you for the triteness. It’s imbued in our culture. I find, “Get help,” to be offensive, because it really means, “Get help from someone else to change your thinking because your thinking is wrong.”

    But the things I and her don’t (didn’t) like are real: we’re not making them up. And she had a right not to risk them again. She didn’t have to learn to live in a world where she could be raped a third time, by the eighth man. She had the option of saying that she can’t take that risk. She wasn’t insane. She was stuck in an oft-sh’tty world.

    Random (fba0b1)

  99. Obama under 50% in new Field poll in CA. Stunning. http://t.co/614B1ecC

    Colonel Haiku (69b979)

  100. Yeah, I saw that, Colonel Haiku. That’s huge.

    I’m not big on optimism (you might have gathered), but those numbers are what they are. It’s looking good electorally at the moment.

    Random (fba0b1)

  101. I think “Get help” is our way of saying we care about you and the pain you’re in.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  102. unexpected grind
    the 0bama team sez now
    they predicted B00M!

    Colonel Haiku (69b979)

  103. I’d give you a big hug, if I could, Random. Hang in there!

    Colonel Haiku (69b979)

  104. JimPethokoukis RT @ZekeJMiller: RT @samsteinhp: CNN poll of RVs on Obama v. Romney has gone from 54-43 in March to 52-43 in April to, now, 49-46 in May

    PoliticalTicker Poll: Obama-Romney race tied; Obama supporters appear more energized http://t.co/GwRjhU4F

    it. is. to. laugh.

    Colonel Haiku (69b979)

  105. Well, DRJ, if that’s so, then you must admit the only way of eliminating pain instead of coping with it is nonexistence. Yes, admitted, that also eliminates pleasures.

    My point being, “Get help,” usually means closer to what I said. Suicide is a form of self-help, properly understood.

    Does that mean I think everyone necessarily should do it? No. Many are OK with the risks, have the optimism bias (I linked a video about that in my previous comment which explains the neurological basis of the delusion), or are really enjoying their lives, or are simply afraid of death. There are all sorts of reasons a person could have to live. I mean, I’m typing this. I’m alive.

    But I firmly believe the pain can be overwhelming and the quality of one’s life can be declining: for people who can’t accept either/or they should have the right to die peaceably. Even if I was thoroughly and utterly happy or become so, I’d support that right. Period.

    Random (fba0b1)

  106. I’d give you a big hug, if I could, Random. Hang in there!

    Comment by Colonel Haiku — 6/1/2012 @ 5:20 pm

    Thanks, Colonel Haiku, I never thought I’d read those words from you. You made me laugh, at least.

    Random (fba0b1)

  107. Random,

    I’ve read this blog since shortly after graduating high school and have continued reading through community college up until now in my last year as a pre-law senior at a local four year. When I transferred, I found myself in a school in which I didn’t fit in, although I spent my life working hard to be accepted into this school. My unhappiness with the situation drove me to make poor decisions, namely hooking up with an ex with whom I loved despite our now toxic relationship. My decision was a poor one and I ended up pregnant. I ran to a professor for help because I had no where else to turn besides my ex. It ended with me getting an abortion, which is something that is the most painful decision I have ever made. Coupled with the fact that my ex and I are still fairly toxic and him and I will not likely return to the days of being inseparable, it has sometimes driven me to the point of not wanting to live, which is also fueled by the judgments I hear from people opposed to what I did and how low I often feel about myself and my actions in the situation. What’s kept me alive are the opportunities I face, much like the ones you said you’re friend is now missing out on. I lashed out at the professor who suggested I get help for the reasons I stated above. But, sometimes, “get help” is an admission that one cannot solve the problem alone and creating a support system with professionals and loved ones is ultimately the best thing for an individual. As DRJ said, “get help” is often a loving gesture. Unfortunately, my prof and I aren’t on speaking terms for me to tell her that.

    People should have the right to choose whether to live or die. I agree with you. But, for me, pain has always had more meaning than the nothingness of death. Pain exists because pleasure does and so long as I face pain in my life, I so to face pleasure. I wish the world was devoid of pain, but I cannot change the world. I can only change myself and the way I interact with the world.

    Forgive me – this is much too long and quite too personal. I don’t know JD nor DRJ, but from all of the comments I’ve seen them make here in the years I’ve read, they have always come across as sound and caring. To echo JD, I hope you find comfort and happiness.

    prituriseplaninata (f5aad4)

  108. Random,

    As someone who was once, long ago, in such dire straits that suicide was a definite option, I have to tell you that in my case it would have been a permanent solution to a temporary problem.

    Things can, and often do, change IF you are willing to let them. Even big things.

    Kevin M (bf8ad7)

  109. That being said, suicide is a basic human right.

    Just usually not a very wise one. Oh, sure if you’re a blind quadriplegic who’s down on your luck, fine. I could understand that seeming permanent. But I have seen too many people recover from “hopeless” living situations to be a fan of checking out.

    Kevin M (bf8ad7)

  110. By the way, it sure does look like we’re entering a triple dip recession (dip 2 was Q2&3 last year). God help us if this SCOAMF gets re-elected.

    The really scary thing out this month’s job numbers is that the labor force declined still more. As it has for this entire administration.

    I suspect that the ongoing cut-off in extended unemployment benefits will bring a statistical downtick in the official unemployment rate, but it’s just that third kind of lie.

    Kevin M (bf8ad7)

  111. what Kevin said…

    Colonel Haiku (69b979)

  112. But since we have a world with a lot of suffering, unequally distributed, I wouldn’t want suicide to go away. Some people just can’t handle the pain and the risks of future pain (not because they’re “mentally ill” or irrational — because life is often awful … and they are rational).

    There must be a third way.

    How about simply killing the brain? The brain is a necessary organ to feel pain, but not necessary to be alive. As long as one cell lives, the person lives, and it is not that difficult to keep a human cell alive.

    If the brain was necessary for life, organ donation would be futile, since the organs would die as soon as the brain dies. But since the organs continue to live…

    Michael Ejercito (2e0217)

  113. Suicide is one of those natural rights, and it’s beyond hard on those left behind. There are events that occur in our world that makes suicide appear to be a rational choice sometimes, and as much as I hate that someone would do this, I try to imagine how they were thinking when they do this. When the pain, the fear, the grief, is such that you can’t go on … sometimes I’m scared because I think I do understand, and wonder what I’d do in those shoes.

    Random, you have my sympathy and condolences on the loss of your friend, and my prayers for eventual acceptance by her family and friends. The pain does get less sharp as the years go by, if that comforts you.

    I take “get help” in this context to find friends to talk with, cry with, share your pain and grief. Dealing with this load alone is much harder. It’s not a request to change your thinking, or feeling, just an attempt to help you on your life’s journey.

    {{{Random}}}

    – htom

    htom (412a17)

  114. Take your sweet time carrying out the suicide notions, Random. Three days is still in the oozing-raw grief stage. I can say from personal experience that these next few weeks will be living Hell, but if you would just keep reaching out to those still in your life, you’ll find someone who really needs, and will appreciate, your help.

    Stick around, you’ll see!

    Proffesional Stoic (734679)

  115. i agree about the euthanasia Mr. Random it’s time it was out in the open i think instead of all sneaky sneaky

    people should have the choice at least it’s not really any of the government’s business especially not a whorish and morally bankrupt quasi-fascist government like our one

    happyfeet (3c92a1)

  116. i agree about the euthanasia Mr. Random it’s time it was out in the open i think instead of all sneaky sneaky

    It isn’t just that. It’s also access to the drugs.

    The most humane practical way for a person to end their own lives or die by assisted suicide is the exact same way we put down our animals when they’re at the end of their days: fast-acting barbiturates, usually pentobarbital also called Nembutal.

    Think of the pain of the actual process of suicide for someone who has made that decision. And the uncertainty. 20% of hanging suicides don’t work, 10% of gun suicides, half of city rail suicides … and think about the horrific consequences for those who try but fail in those methods, or even who try and succeed … hours or days later. It’s awful.

    We’d never let a dog that way, but a human? Oh yeah. We’ll force them to stay alive against their will, treat them against their will, and make them to hide in the shadows, ashamed (or just indignant), call them cowards and weak … because they don’t want to live in this amazing world that they never, ever asked to be born into in the first place.

    Can they say they intend to die, and talk about it openly, letting their family and friends know (which research shows reduces trauma to them), or use a humane method (which research also shows reduces trauma to loved ones), or even — just maybe — by talking about it openly, maybe have someone somehow improve their lives or give them an insight they lacked and possibly change their minds of their own will? Or at least say goodbye and die surrounded by their loved ones who wish to be there?

    No they cannot. Instead the police are called and they’re forcibly locked up.

    Until that situation changes, I will feel no sympathy for society writ large (I do for individual people — such as my friend’s sister) about the trauma caused by finding dead bodies, or the risks to others of suicide by cop, or jumping off a bridge (which incidentally often doesn’t work, especially for women and others with lighter bodies), or what have you. Stopping all of this is yet another advantage to ending the prohibition against humane suicide.

    Further, it even shortens lives in some cases. Some people don’t want to have the extended horrors of final decays and struggles to breath or enormous pain or other discomfort (not many good drugs for itching or difficulty breathing sensations or the like — morphine doesn’t fix everything) and, because they won’t get help with suicide later or just have the privacy and freedom to do so, decide to kill themselves early while they still can. These are people who want to live longer, but daren’t.

    Humans should be allowed to die as well as dogs.

    Random (fba0b1)

  117. My fear of suicide is that on the way out, I might realize what a horrible mistake i made and there isn’t any turning back.

    For me it would be much better just to close out my industrial life and join the peace corps or something similar. Go help people that need some everyday help. There will always be time to check out of life later.

    jd2 (40a8c6)

  118. we let them have access to the drugs now in a lot of cases Mr. Random – usually terminal cases where hospice has gotten involved – we’re just sneaky sneaky about it

    but people what are just in chronic pain or paralyzed or just sad or what have you – they’re usually out of luck though and nobody’s gonna help them – most of your hospice types will tell you they’d like to see that change but it’s gonna take quite a campaign to get from here to there

    you might could spend many many years on this but I’ll have your back such as I can

    mostly I comment

    happyfeet (3c92a1)

  119. I signed my mother’s “do not resuscitate” order. She had lost the ability to eat or drink. I was not going to permit a feeding tube. She had a caregiver who loved her, and kept her alive in hospice for another forty days, with spoon tips of water and liquified food, given over hours.

    Life is a rare and precious thing, and when it’s gone it does not come back. Stay alive, Random. You cannot do anything for this girl, now, but you can still do a lot of good for a lot of other people. And why not yourself, too?

    nk (875f57)

  120. Beautifully said, nk.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  121. we let them have access to the drugs now in a lot of cases Mr. Random – usually terminal cases where hospice has gotten involved – we’re just sneaky sneaky about it

    Well good on you (if you’re in the biz, or to the people who are) for that.

    Random (fba0b1)

  122. I signed my mother’s “do not resuscitate” order. She had lost the ability to eat or drink. I was not going to permit a feeding tube. She had a caregiver who loved her, and kept her alive in hospice for another forty days, with spoon tips of water and liquified food, given over hours.

    If that’s how she chose to go for religious or other reasons and she was fine with that, then I have no problem with it. The human instinct to live is mostly strong and you can legalize comfortable, humane means of dying and most people are still going to want to live most of the time.

    Life is a rare and precious thing, and when it’s gone it does not come back. Stay alive, Random. You cannot do anything for this girl, now, but you can still do a lot of good for a lot of other people. And why not yourself, too?

    (1) Relieving suffering is a help, including to myself, if it comes down to it.

    (2) If I was going to do things for other people, the main one I would like to do, other than simply day to day things with those I enjoy being with, would be to legalize and aid humane suicide for those who, of their own will, wish it. Not only did my friend get raped again, her last moments were the experience of hanging.

    Random (fba0b1)

  123. not in the biz exactly but from a small enough town where you get to see behind the veil

    happyfeet (3c92a1)

  124. humane suicide and the euthanasia stuff are very different animals

    in the “humane suicide” department I’m more in the buck up it gets better camp Mr. Random

    mostly cause of how devastated scarred and horrified the people left behind are

    suicide is monstrously arbitrary, even if sometimes there may be a certain dignity what pertains

    but it’s ok if suicide is on your ttd list I guess just keep it in the tomorrow column

    happyfeet (3c92a1)

  125. nk, my grandmother recently died. Because of her religious beliefs, she would never have killed herself, although she long felt it was time for her to pass on as she became more and more disabled. I’m glad my grandmother could die in the way she, with her values, preferred to. For your mother as well.

    Yet for people with different beliefs or different levels of suffering or different ability to handle the suffering they have, they should have the legal choice.

    Above I linked a YouTube video of a 31 year old Australian woman who was then dying of colon cancer after half a lifetime of suffering from severe Crohn’s disease. Her video was a plea to then Prime Minister Kevin Rudd to support assisted suicide laws, such as Australia had in Queensland before the Federal government overrode the will of the voters of that state. Before that video, she posted another one requesting someone help her to obtain a dose of Nembutal so she could control the manner of her death. Someone answered her plea, but in the end for one reason or another she chose not to take it. She died horribly.

    I don’t think any less of her for doing so. That was her right to fight to the end whether out of fear or wanting to be near her family or for some other reason.

    But it should be optional. You know. Like freedom, or something.

    My condolences for your great loss. I’m glad the final hospice care she had was sweet and caring too. That must have been a comfort to her.

    Random (fba0b1)

  126. Alright, Random, find the piece of garbage and kill him. And then fight the system.

    Find a fight that will keep you alive. Personally, I would pick “victims’ advocate” but that’s your business.

    But just living, is reason enough to live.

    Had this beautiful young girl, psychologist, try to tell me that my daughter was a reason I needed to stay alive. I told her, “Life is its own reason”.

    I understand that people need a reason for which to live as well as the means by which to live. But you can be your own banner that you follow.

    nk (875f57)

  127. Random,

    Doctors don’t want to see terminal patients suffer and most will prescribe medications that relieve pain, even though it may interfere with respiration and could result in death. In addition, with a living will or advance health care directive, the patient participates in how that decision is made and implemented.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  128. yup you know all about the sneaky sneaky DRJ

    me I find knowing about the sneaky sneaky very comforting

    happyfeet (3c92a1)

  129. “but it’s ok if suicide is on your ttd list I guess just keep it in the tomorrow column”

    Mr. Feets – It’s not on my current bucket list. I see too many folks, especially younger ones, see it as a solution to whatever their current transitory issues are, when in my view people discover it is essentially a cowardly act in most instances once they marry and have a family.

    My mother’s sister at 88 chose to stop eating and drinking last year. She had many health problems and she had just survived the death of her brother, my father. We arranged for in home hospice care. My sister and I were there watch her pass, which took 14 days.

    daleyrocks 0/32 Cherokee (bf33e9)

  130. They gave us morphine. They scolded me for being stingy with administering it. My brother and I wanted her lucid enough to be able to take a bit of water and nourishment. (She liked sweet coffee and a shot (25g) of sweet liquor when she came home from work.)

    nk (875f57)

  131. I feel very uneasy with all this acceptance of suicide, and worse with the suggestion of vengeance in this matter, Where were the authorities in all this,

    narciso (494474)

  132. I may have gone over the top, narciso.

    Random, do not commit murder! Help the courts bury him alive, in an eight by eight by six cell.

    nk (875f57)

  133. Random,

    Your life is precious. As nk suggests: find something to fight for. You are quite smart and have a good soul. Find something to fight for.

    I’m sorry for your pain and loss.

    Dustin (330eed)

  134. I lost my parents in hospice situations Mr. daley – they were both not long for this world and man they didn’t waste any time – they were both in the hospice care part for about a week… I think the most difficult part was how my mom had open heart surgery the day before she died “to make her more comfortable”

    there was something really disturbing about that but it was one of those things – she for sure wasn’t comfortable cause of all the fluid that had built up around her heart, and they feared she’d have a heart attack, and those thingers can be incredibly painful is my understanding, so I’m pretty sure they knew best… but what I suspect also is that she needed to have that procedure in order to be transferred out of ICU into the room where they let you die

    the other disturbing thing was how stupid my family was, but mostly I just let them be stupid they’re just kinda slow on the uptake

    my mom’s sister was there and she and her husband and cousin S got in the car the morning of the day mom died to head back north cause they thought mom could linger for weeks and weeks and they needed to get a crop in the ground or what have you – I don’t get how people couldn’t see that mom was pretty well done, or how they didn’t realize what it meant that we had gotten a special doctor from the “wellness unit” assigned

    or how they didn’t seem to clue in what it meant that she was lucid one day – she assembled us kids and said her goodbyes and this and that – a brave speech, calm and gracious and loving and steady (but not as awesome as dad’s really) – and bam the next day she was drugged out of her mind after Dr. Wellness got her on the wellness program

    so they all got 8 hours down the road and had to turn around somewhere in Oklahoma to come back for the funeral – my brother was at home packing to head home the next morning –

    But me and my sister were there when she died, which was a blessing to me and I’m very grateful for that

    Mom was super best friends with the chief administrator of the hospital where she died – I had just been over to that lady’s house for dumplings just that summer

    I think this helped

    They took very good care of her and made sure she didn’t suffer, and they made sure we were all able to be there at the end

    And god bless those people at that hospital… mom and dad both got really excellent care and I really wish that for everyone, how their passage was eased by some very thoughtful sweet-hearted people, and in a timely way.

    happyfeet (3c92a1)

  135. Yikes,

    Patterico — it looks like you have deleted my innoculous comment.

    Let me give everyone here some good advice in the situations that Patterico finds himself in. After all, Patrick, you are now a public figure with links on Foxnews. Your issue is now a public issue.

    1. Keep in mind why you do what you do. What is the purpose? What is to be achieved? What losses are you really prepared to suffer for the good cause?

    2. Sacrifice is a badge of honor if carried well for a good purpose. We are known best by our enemies, not by our erstwhile friends. Like an opinion, every as_____ has friends.

    3. At the time that the fire is the hottest, the metal is most malleable–yours and theirs. Make use of the opportunity.

    4. Otherwise, Good Luck.

    PashaG (7f26a5)

  136. My sister works in elder care. She says she spends a lot of time hugging the patients. Which is good.

    She also says the doctors dope up half the patients benzodiazepenes and, especially, risperidone — an atypical antipsychotic.

    To make them calmer.

    And if a person doesn’t mind getting doped up on this or that and asking for their doctor’s permission to do this or that, I say have at her. But if that offends a person’s dignity and they’d prefer to die rather than subject themselves to it, then they should have that right.

    Come to think of it, they should have that right just by virtue that it’s their life, their subjective experience, their values, their suffering or unmet hopes.

    Random (fba0b1)

  137. “They gave us morphine. They scolded me for being stingy with administering it.”

    nk – The hospice folks gave her sublingual morphine. One night the overnight surfer nurse dude got sick and had to leave and could not find a replacement to send after midnight so my sister and I stayed up but were scared to overdose my aunt on the morphine. We under dosed her instead and she was still not in pain but very lucid the next day.

    My experience with hospice folks is they have a heavy hand on pain meds because they all about patient comfort.

    daleyrocks 0/32 Cherokee (bf33e9)

  138. I agree with the imagery in Prometheus, it’s a bit too antiseptic, whereas the Nostromo looked like
    a star going tug which is what is was, it was also
    closer to the pedestrian reality of Space Travel

    narciso (494474)

  139. But me and my sister were there when she died, which was a blessing to me and I’m very grateful for that

    I am too. And I’d just also add, on the topic of the issue that I am advocating here, that people who die because they are unhappy should also be able to have their family and friends there if they’re willing to be — for all of their sakes.

    Random (fba0b1)

  140. Random – You make a fundamental mistake that feelings are emergencies. They are not.

    daleyrocks 0/32 Cherokee (bf33e9)

  141. yes they should have that right but once we free up doctors to consult in these matters I think we’ll see all sorts of permutations we’d never thought about before

    happyfeet (3c92a1)

  142. Comment by PashaG — 6/1/2012 @ 8:35 pm

    Bugger off

    JD (092622)

  143. Random – You make a fundamental mistake that feelings are emergencies. They are not.

    They’re the only things that matter at all.

    Random (fba0b1)

  144. I’m still having trouble getting my head around the “people who die because they are unhappy” thing

    do they have cable? have they cultivated an affinity for a relatively cheap liquor what can be purchased in a very large bottle? do they have a beautiful dog what looks at them with love and devotion? Have they tried a tasty new foozle at a restaurant they’d never been to their whole lives? Have they charged a ticket to nowhere and just bummed around for a weekend in a strange place in the wonderful crazy bizarre little country of our? Have they deleted their facebook profile?

    there are so many things you can do Right. Now. to make your life better

    happyfeet (3c92a1)

  145. do they have cable? have they cultivated an affinity for a relatively cheap liquor what can be purchased in a very large bottle? do they have a beautiful dog what looks at them with love and devotion? Have they tried a tasty new foozle at a restaurant they’d never been to their whole lives? Have they charged a ticket to nowhere and just bummed around for a weekend in a strange place in the wonderful crazy bizarre little country of our? Have they deleted their facebook profile?

    there are so many things you can do Right. Now. to make your life better

    A-freaking-men

    JD (092622)

  146. of *ours* I mean

    happyfeet (3c92a1)

  147. OK JD,

    What? Please explain your comment.

    Are you simply being rude for the sake of showing your crudeness or do you have some point that stands being made?

    PashaG (7f26a5)

  148. I’m still having trouble getting my head around the “people who die because they are unhappy” thing

    do they have cable? have they cultivated an affinity for a relatively cheap liquor what can be purchased in a very large bottle? do they have a beautiful dog what looks at them with love and devotion? Have they tried a tasty new foozle at a restaurant they’d never been to their whole lives? Have they charged a ticket to nowhere and just bummed around for a weekend in a strange place in the wonderful crazy bizarre little country of our? Have they deleted their facebook profile?

    She was a virgin at 15 when she was raped by 6 men. She was raped again by her new boyfriend who she was telling me was sweet. She didn’t want to live in a world where she could at any moment be raped by man number eight.

    It had little to do with enjoying things — she enjoyed lots of things (hell, I enjoy lots of things). She didn’t want to suffer. She didn’t want to take the risk of something she couldn’t tolerate. A very, very real risk, you must admit.

    We each have our own values. Some of us — maybe not you — but some of us have things we just can’t or don’t won’t tolerate. As Seneca said in his moral letter 77 on suicide:

    You think, I suppose, that it is now in order for me to cite some examples of great men. No, I shall cite rather the case of a boy. The story of the Spartan lad has been preserved: taken captive while still a stripling, he kept crying in his Doric dialect, “I will not be a slave!” and he made good his word; for the very first time he was ordered to perform a menial and degrading service, – and the command was to fetch a chamber-pot, – he dashed out his brains against the wall.

    So near at hand is freedom, and is anyone still a slave? Would you not rather have your own son die thus than reach old age by weakly yielding? Why therefore are you distressed, when even a boy can die so bravely? Suppose that you refuse to follow him; you will be led. Take into your own control that which is now under the control of another. Will you not borrow that boy’s courage, and say: “I am no slave!”? Unhappy fellow, you are a slave to men, you are a slave to your business, you are a slave to life. For life, if courage to die be lacking, is slavery.

    Now clearly not everyone would dash their brains out over being ordered to fetch a pot or even being a slave. But some people won’t tolerate being a slave — and that’s their right not to. She couldn’t tolerate being raped. That’s her right not to. And maybe there’s something I simply can’t tolerate.

    In any case, even with alcohol and cable or whatnot, not everyone considers these sufficient reasons to live. As Seneca continues:

    Have you anything worth waiting for? Your very pleasures, which cause you to tarry and hold you back, have already been exhausted by you. None of them is a novelty to you, and there is none that has not already become hateful because you are cloyed with it. You know the taste of wine and cordials. It makes no difference whether a hundred or a thousand measures pass through your bladder; you are nothing but a wine-strainer. You are a connoisseur in the flavour of the oyster and of the mullet; your luxury has not left you anything untasted for the years that are to come; and yet these are the things from which you are torn away unwillingly.

    What else is there which you would regret to have taken from you? Friends? But who can be a friend to you? Country? What? Do you think enough of your country to be late to dinner? The light of the sun? You would extinguish it, if you could; for what have you ever done that was fit to be seen in the light? Confess the truth; it is not because you long for the senate chamber or the forum, or even for the world of nature, that you would fain put off dying; it is because you are loth to leave the fish-market, though you have exhausted its stores.

    It can be an insult to a given individual’s dignity to live under some circumstances, even with simple pleasures at hand.

    And that’s their right.

    Random (fba0b1)

  149. *don’t

    Random (fba0b1)

  150. PashaG – do you have a point?

    Here is mine. Your passive-aggressive BS is tiresome. And if you were a big enough arse to get deleted, you are even a bigger arse. Kthxby

    JD (092622)

  151. Your passive-aggressive BS is tiresome. And if you were a big enough arse to get deleted, you are even a bigger arse.

    Comment by JD — 6/1/2012 @ 9:14 pm

    Not only that, but PashaG’s grammar and “thought” structure were nearly impenetrable.

    1. Keep in mind why you do what you do. What is the purpose? What is to be achieved? What losses are you really prepared to suffer for the good cause?

    2. Sacrifice is a badge of honor if carried well for a good purpose. We are known best by our enemies, not by our erstwhile friends. Like an opinion, every as_____ has friends.

    All I can say is … no, I don’t even have words for that nonsense.

    Random (fba0b1)

  152. Mr. Random I don’t condemn your friend’s tragic suicide but it is tragic, and I will insist on this point of fact. And tragedy my friend is something what happens yes indeed but it’s never supposed to be something we aspire to.

    happyfeet (3c92a1)

  153. Just a correction, not that anyone will have likely caught the error: The Australian assisted suicide law I referred to was passed by the citizens of the Northern Territory, not Queensland. Then it was overruled by their Federal government.

    Random (fba0b1)

  154. Mr. Random I don’t condemn your friend’s tragic suicide but it is tragic, and I will insist on this point of fact. And tragedy my friend is something what happens yes indeed but it’s never supposed to be something we aspire to.

    I understand and appreciate that you’re not one who would condemn her — she was a lovely woman and I’m not someone who thinks all women are lovely, as it happens. But she was.

    And I agree that her death is in large measure a tragedy, because she added to my life and to others, and enjoyed aspects of hers. But sometimes you have to choose between your tragedies.

    Random (fba0b1)

  155. Dear JD,

    Do you read what your write.

    OK, lets look at it. Insulting (for what reason?) Your point? (I see none). Rude (certainly).

    What do you add to any discussion here?

    Now, on deletions. Yes, your comments should be deleted by any standard. Mine? Well, I have no idea. It is an open question and the question has been posed.

    Remember, you are in a public forum. You should speak as if you are speaking with your name as the individual you are.

    If you cannot stand by your comments under your own name, then what is the worth of them?

    I pose something of the same question to Patterico. As a public figure, he has a podium to say something useful or not. With a link on Foxnews, my attention was diverted.

    So what is my time (and the publics’) worth here? Your comments?

    If so, then the day is long and there is nothing here to see. You dishonor your fellow commenters, your host and yourself.

    My point? Simply, be worth what your write.

    PashaG (7f26a5)

  156. JD, just remember that pity is an option.

    Random (fba0b1)

  157. Have you talked to others, beside the counselor and this immediate circle.

    narciso (494474)

  158. You should speak as if you are speaking with your name as the individual you are.

    oh my goodness how is that any fun? But as it happens our Mr. JD is admirably and unfailingly forthright plain spoken and possessed of sincerity, if occasionally insouciant.

    happyfeet (3c92a1)

  159. Kimberlin, is a thug, and he rains misery if not death, on everyone who crosses your path, now he’s not that unique, apparently a certain scion of a prominent family, engages in similar defamation,
    among his other projects, walking through life,
    leaving wreckage like Tom Buchanan,

    narciso (494474)

  160. Have you talked to others, beside the counselor and this immediate circle.

    Comment by narciso — 6/1/2012 @ 9:30 pm

    Yes. If I lived in a free society, I would blog about it openly and welcome the debate.

    I used to keep things quiet and close to the vest. Truth is, I’ve lost my suck it up attitude. There’s tons of suffering in life, life is vastly unfair, and it’s OK to point that out.

    Random (fba0b1)

  161. You might also try god. It works for some.

    Kevin M (bf8ad7)

  162. Life is vastly unfair indeed but that’s why you stick around and help people. There’s no end of helping to be done. But you have to help yourself first.

    brb I left the rest of my cliches down in the car.

    happyfeet (3c92a1)

  163. You might also try god. It works for some.

    Comment by Kevin M — 6/1/2012 @ 9:35 pm

    It works for many. That’s its main purpose.

    I’m serious, by the way. We are intelligent animals. We developed every more powerful brains in our struggle against ourselves and other hominid species and groups. We are the cognitive niche animal.

    Along the way, it became possible to understand our own mortality and, what’s more, see that there is no purpose to life.

    But this loss of meaning can lead to apathy. Apathy isn’t good for survival.

    So, through natural selection, those people who thought their was a meaning to life survived and reproduced more often than those who didn’t. And thus was our instinct for religion born, with its helpful apathy-preventing and suicide-preventing delusions: including banishing death! And replacing it with a mythical afterlife of one type or another.

    Random (fba0b1)

  164. By the way, she told me that she knew there is no God when she was being raped the first time and she prayed for help out loud and they just laughed at her and slapped her and spit on her more — among other things.

    Random (fba0b1)

  165. yeah God can be kind of a dick but he’s fairly up front about the helping those that help themselves thing… which means I think he likes to see a bit of perseverance and resilience – then he buys you a car and kills your rapists

    or maybe that’s Oprah

    happyfeet (3c92a1)

  166. Now, on deletions. Yes, your comments should be deleted by any standard. Mine? Well, I have no idea. It is an open question and the question has been posed.

    Remember, you are in a public forum. You should speak as if you are speaking with your name as the individual you are.

    If you cannot stand by your comments under your own name, then what is the worth of them?

    I pose something of the same question to Patterico. As a public figure, he has a podium to say something useful or not. With a link on Foxnews, my attention was diverted.

    So what is my time (and the publics’) worth here? Your comments?

    If so, then the day is long and there is nothing here to see. You dishonor your fellow commenters, your host and yourself.

    My point? Simply, be worth what your write.

    Okay. That just cracked me up.

    JD (092622)

  167. Many people believe that God takes action in the world. I knew one lady who thought that everyone on an airplane with her was lucky — God wouldn’t let it crash with her there. This attitude never worked for me. To me, God grants me the power and guidance to get through the bs of life and not a lot else. People differ on these points but it works for me.

    Kevin M (bf8ad7)

  168. I wanted to fisk it, JD, but it was all crazy. I mean you couldn’t really do a line by line because it got more crazy, uninterrupted.

    It’s like a work of art, a picture of crazy, where the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.

    Random (fba0b1)

  169. He’s just vainly grasping for a thought, isn’t he JD,then again I maybe too charitable, that the infinite monkeys in his brain, can add up to thoughts,

    narciso (494474)

  170. Or, as happy fleets suggested, don’t confuse God with Santa

    Kevin M (bf8ad7)

  171. Damn spellcheck

    Kevin M (bf8ad7)

  172. Many people believe that God takes action in the world. I knew one lady who thought that everyone on an airplane with her was lucky — God wouldn’t let it crash with her there. This attitude never worked for me. To me, God grants me the power and guidance to get through the bs of life and not a lot else. People differ on these points but it works for me.

    Comment by Kevin M — 6/1/2012 @ 9:49 pm

    I believe it works for you, Kevin.

    Ernest Becker, the cultural anthropologist and interdisciplinary thinker behind much of Terror Management Theory religion is important and helpful to many people. I used to attack religion very harshly and still do sometimes in some ways, but I’m trying to be more tolerant about it.

    It — whether God or Apollo or even Allah — helps people get through the day and feel they have meaning and a future in an intrisically meaningless and ultimately hopeless situation.

    And if you choose to believe life has this meaning? It’s OK with me. But I can’t choose it any more. I don’t believe it. My brain isn’t capable of making me believe something that I know is that far from reality.

    Sure, I’d be happier if I still could.

    Random (fba0b1)

  173. “Yes. If I lived in a free society, I would blog about it openly and welcome the debate.”

    Random – There is nothing which prevents you from starting your own blog and writing about how life is unfair and how death is an option for those millions of people dying to read such stuff. You could own the intertoobz.

    daleyrocks 0/32 Cherokee (bf33e9)

  174. Random – There is nothing which prevents you from starting your own blog and writing about how life is unfair and how death is an option for those millions of people dying to read such stuff. You could own the intertoobz.

    The law is that authorities have to intervene if suicide is imminent. It’s a stupid law. And I don’t wish to subject myself to the torture of forced-unwanted-life if I make that decision.

    Random (fba0b1)

  175. Unhappy? Eat a bowl of tasty ice cream.

    daleyrocks 0/32 Cherokee (bf33e9)

  176. “The law is that authorities have to intervene if suicide is imminent.”

    Random – Why do you feel a need to yak about it instead of just getting it over with? That’s what I don’t understand. Why burden others with all your deep thinking and angst that they have no interest in? Do you think they learn something from your endless meanderings?

    daleyrocks 0/32 Cherokee (bf33e9)

  177. yakking is good

    I am pro-yakking

    happyfeet (3c92a1)

  178. Random – Why do you feel a need to yak about it instead of just getting it over with? That’s what I don’t understand. Why burden others with all your deep thinking and angst that they have no interest in? Do you think they learn something from your endless meanderings?

    Yes. I think people learn something from tragedy and suffering and hearing about same.

    Plus 75% of the people in this thread seem to agree with me that a person should have the right to die humanely.

    Random (fba0b1)

  179. Plus … my dear friend’s neck just broke or she strangled or choked to death, horrifically.

    I want to help to put a stop to that. Let people have a death as good and dignified as a dog’s.

    Is that too much to ask?

    Random (fba0b1)

  180. “Plus 75% of the people in this thread seem to agree with me that a person should have the right to die humanely.”

    Random – I believe most of them are speaking of people who are old or infirm, not merely temporarily unhappy, but I could be wrong.

    daleyrocks 0/32 Cherokee (bf33e9)

  181. You ever hear of Carl DeLong? I heard some -sshole domestic terrorist blew up a bomb that injured him, and caused so much physical and mental pain that he was driven to suicide.

    I read that somewhere. I read that lots. I’m trying to think where I read that. Well don’t worry. It will come to me eventually.

    My friend was brutalized and violated by several men, and she survived that. The last destroyed her will to live, and the physical (she told me there was lots of this) and mental pain of these vicious attacks on her body and dignity drove her to suicide.

    If we learn nothing from these tragic human stories, can you take it up with the owner of this blog, daleyrocks?

    Random (fba0b1)

  182. “I am pro-yakking”

    Mr. Feets – When Random first mentioned it on this blog, he was talking about a one year process, which I think is a lot of yakking, but if there is a suitable intermission for snacks, drinks and potty, I might could be persuaded, otherwise, I don’t see the purpose in a big Busby Berkeley production.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  183. “If we learn nothing from these tragic human stories, can you take it up with the owner of this blog, daleyrocks?”

    Random – When I hear complaints like yours, it is usually on low budget late night radio call in shows and perhaps I shall talk to the blog proprietor.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  184. You do that, -sshole.

    Random (fba0b1)

  185. Then you’ve missed the whole point of the Delong story, first Seth, then Lee, Aaron, Patrick, and lately Erick; at considerable risk to themselves,
    and their families, have tried to bring a measure of accountability if not justice.

    narciso (494474)

  186. some people spend way more time than that on world of warcraft though Mr. daley

    I think the trick is they wear adult diapers

    happyfeet (3c92a1)

  187. You want a way to make her life mean something, find a way to make the person who did this to her, accountable, legally that is,

    narciso (494474)

  188. “I think the trick is they wear adult diapers”

    Mr. Feets – That’s what Mr. JD does when he wears his Go To Eatin’ Kilt.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  189. “You want a way to make her life mean something”

    narciso – Random committing suicide would give her life meaning, or something.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  190. “You do that, -sshole.”

    Random – Your suggestion. You are just not right in the head, friend.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  191. Don’t call me friend, you sadistic bastard. I’ve always known you’re a disgusting P.O.S.

    Now is just typical for you.

    Random (fba0b1)

  192. Tomorrow is another day is what that one hoochie said and me I think she pretty much nailed it.

    happyfeet (3c92a1)

  193. Daley is not sadistic, not a bastard, nor a P.O.S. I respect Daley, as do others here.

    felipe (3cc5df)

  194. I think there are antagonisms in play Mr. felipe and a certain spirited fractiousness is informing the banter of our two fellow commenters here

    happyfeet (3c92a1)

  195. No, I actually dislike daleyrocks and meant what I said.

    Random (fba0b1)

  196. Yes, I sense that. Mr. feets.

    felipe (3cc5df)

  197. Let me put it this way. I don’t like the guy, but not in a million damn years would I say or do the same thing if the roles were reversed.

    And if he’d been unhappy for a year? Then a woman he loved was raped and hanged herself? And I’d mock his extended unhappiness, upon hearing of his friend’s recent suffering and death?

    That never would occur to me. But it’s de rigueur for your guy who “is not sadistic, not a bastard, nor a P.O.S.”.

    Uh huh.

    Random (fba0b1)

  198. Peace be with you, Random. Mr ex- girlfriend committed suicide. This is the truth. How different our reactions are to similar tragedies. I have absolutely no doubt that God exists. My girfriend was, no doubt, astonished to meet her creator, Who welcomed her with a look of Love that she never could have imagined. the same Lord who welcomes all who despair.

    “every spirit crushed God will save”

    felipe (3cc5df)

  199. That should be “My girlfriend committed…” Bad typo.

    felipe (3cc5df)

  200. Thanks felipe. And I’m sorry to hear she was so unhappy and that you lost her company, or at least awareness that she exists somewhere within the world and is happy. Perhaps she’s in another place and is happy.

    Random (fba0b1)

  201. Random – Blow me.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  202. concise, Mr. daley, yet it conveys all that’s needed to carry forward the leitmotif of friendly antagonisms into a new stanza

    happyfeet (3c92a1)

  203. My friend was brutalized and violated by several men, and she survived that. The last destroyed her will to live, and the physical (she told me there was lots of this) and mental pain of these vicious attacks on her body and dignity drove her to suicide.

    The problem here was mental pain.

    Pain can only exist with a brain. Is it not possible to simply destroy the brain’s ability to feel pain? Or even destroy only the brain, while leaving the rest of the body alive?

    Come to think of it, why do we even need the ability to feel mental pain anyway? The world would be a thousand times better if people were absolutely incapable of feeling sadness, or anger, or rage.

    Michael Ejercito (2e0217)

  204. I can’t tell if you’re being serious or not, Michael, but frankly I’ve thought about it.

    However killing the brain = suicide anyway, for all intents and purposes. Keeping the body alive to me seems pointless, although maybe some religious people believe it’s important because of the soul or something.

    I don’t think we can completely eliminate mental pain, but if there are ways we can reduce it then I certainly support research into them, provided implementing them is always voluntary.

    Random (fba0b1)

  205. My, this is a cheerful little thread.

    Dave Surls (46b08c)

  206. oh. Here’s something cheerful I almost forgot to report.

    At lunch today NG said “MittMitt’s gonna win.”

    She calls him MittMitt.

    Just two weeks ago she asked me how I was gonna feel when Obama wins, cause she knows I’m hoping to hang in there til Romney before I look for a new job. And last time I delicately suggested that I think maybe Romney might could win, but that didn’t sound right to her ears back then.

    It’s this jobs report. Powerful stuff. NG wants her husband to get a new job for so maybe someday she can go back to what she used to do or … whatever. Have more options. Plus she has an eye on a new hizzy before baby numero dos shows up.

    This Obama loser isn’t making that happen for her is what she’s concluded. “He had his shot thanks for playing,” she says.

    happyfeet (3c92a1)

  207. I wish you all could have some fresh strawberries, they make you feel good. Fresh picked this a.m.

    mg (44de53)

  208. I want them with champaing, mg. It’s Saturday.

    nk (875f57)

  209. beautiful plumage the norwegian blue,

    http://www.tnr.com/blog/plank/103832/may-jobs-report-69000-unemployment-recovery-slow-revision

    I’d give you the Chaitred one, but some have complained ‘the watercraft is full of eels;

    narciso (494474)

  210. If they ever acknowledged the truth, their face would melt like in Raiders

    http://newsbusters.org/blogs/noel-sheppard/2012/06/01/soledad-obrien-defends-obamas-jobs-record-jobs-have-been-moving-overs

    narciso (494474)

  211. narciso,

    You too? Good for you, man.

    nk (875f57)

  212. Eels can be eaten raw, when fresh caught, but look out for the bones. ;)

    nk (875f57)

  213. That does sound good, nk. I would have to stick with just the berries. L.K. Hall always won those long bouts. So I retired.

    mg (44de53)

  214. I know. I’m drinking too much, now. But, dang, it’s so much a better anxiolytic, analgesic, anti-depessant than anything the pharmacy sells.

    nk (875f57)

  215. 214. My first and only sushi sampler in Chi-Town nearly forty years ago.

    Eel was the only entirely inedible item. If I didn’t throw up in my mouth it was close.

    Kinda a verisimilitude for the Obama presidency. Lotsa luck, minorities, Mormon is what passes for equal opportunity going forward.

    gary gulrud (820db3)

  216. Order it cooked, gary.

    Floured and pan fried, with lemon, and with three and a half ounces of ouzo. And good company.

    nk (875f57)

  217. The best Eel is served at Sasabune.
    Trust Me!

    mg (44de53)

  218. Enough with the eel talk. It’s breakfast where I live and eel doesn’t go with Belgian Waffles.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  219. Yum! But now we look toward Tuesday…

    referendum on
    Democrats gone wild insane
    deficit spending

    Colonel Haiku (6d9515)

  220. was there room for 222?

    Colonel Haiku (6d9515)

  221. roasted eeel served on
    bed of Dems dun gone insane rice
    drizzled with buttah

    Colonel Haiku (6d9515)

  222. goes down easy… comes up fast!

    Colonel Haiku (6d9515)

  223. now is not the time
    for Congress to sit on hands
    so sez BIG Zer0

    Colonel Haiku (6d9515)

  224. this Tribute coffee
    sends a thrill up my right leg
    like Chris can’t shut up

    Colonel Haiku (6d9515)

  225. I was trying for a metaphor for computer viruses, and then I talked on a python sketch for absurdity.

    narciso (494474)

  226. day of reckoning
    when we pay peeps not to work
    teh peeps will not work

    Colonel Haiku (6d9515)

  227. tobacconist sketch
    my hovercraft full of eeelz
    very funny stuff!

    Colonel Haiku (6d9515)

  228. chicken eeel mango
    sausage eggs over easy
    side of sourdough toast

    Colonel Haiku (6d9515)

  229. chipped eeeel on toast?

    Colonel Haiku (6d9515)

  230. A number of ideas on different topics, which I will deal with in several posts.

    Random, I agree with you that the decision whether to commit suicide is a rational question (at least for some it is rational). In fact, “to be or not to be” and why and what to do with it might be the most fundamental question of any creature with an adequate degree of self-awareness. While I personally enjoy discussing such topics, I do not at all enjoy what often brings about the occasion, such as your friend’s death and the terrible things that she experienced that led to her decision that death was better than the idea of continued living.

    I actually was thinking about this general topic yesterday. In fact, it might even be most meaningful for creatures who are in a relatively pleasant situation of not spending every waking moment just trying to survive. Most creatures other than humans are just doing what they need to survive (physically, as individuals and as a population), even if they do use tools, such as a chimpanzee putting a stick down a termite hole to fish out termites to eat. Many humans currently and throughout history spend/spent most of their time just trying to get enough food and water for the day and do not have much time for pondering or poetry (though I guess creativity in the forms of art and music is pretty close to basic, it often doesn’t take a lot of extra energy to hum or sing while working).

    In front of one of the main dorm entrances at U. of Penn is an inscription in the stone walkway of a stack of textbooks, apparently in the order of the most basic at the bottom and the most advanced at the top, being theology. That might be consistent with the views of George Whitfield, an evangelist who Franklin got to head the University at it’s founding, but not at all consistent for what the University thinks of itself today.

    Along the lines of being a rational decision, you speak of suicide essentially being a risk/benefit calculation. The problem with that is an actuarial scientist can be only as good, I would think, as the data one can obtain about the risks and benefits. There is the concept of “Pascal’s Wager”, where the outcomes of combinations in belief in God and with the existence of God are analyzed, with the outcome of hedging your bet on believing in God is most rational as one has most to lose if there is a God and one doesn’t believe. Now, while there may be some merit to that approach, I don’t think it is consistent with Christian faith, and I think it is a bit of a superficial view. {Substantive aside, skip if you want- I’ve decided to not think badly about Pascal as I only know the briefest of thumbnail sketches of this argument that bears his name and have not read what he wrote about it himself. The only other thing I know attributable to Pascal I think is very true, that “The heart has its reasons that reason knows not thereof.”}

    The most direct comment on this in the Bible comes from Paul who says that if what he preaches is not true, then Christians are to be pitied above all and the most sensible thing is to “eat and drink, for tomorrow we die”. No nonsense about human dignity if the only thing after death is rotting in the grave. (Whether one believes the Bible to be inspired or not, it is hard to claim some other text is more important to the Christian faith, whether one thinks the Christian faith is true or not. Regarding looking at the claims of different religious beliefs, I think it is respectful to start out with at least acknowledging they believe what they say they believe).

    Many say that the oldest book (in terms of when actually written) in the Bible is Job, which concerns human suffering, especially suffering that seems unwarranted. This is pretty much in direct opposition with the idea that God doesn’t let those who “truly” believe in him to suffer. In fact, the narrative suggests humans are quick to think that if something bad happens the person must have done something bad to deserve it, and if the person didn’t deserve it from our perspective, then it is a great question/mystery/outrage as to its happening. (“Job’s friends” are three people who tried to comfort him by getting him to confess what he did to “deserve” such tragedy as he encountered).

    There is a brief way the issue can be “answered” in words, but it really doesn’t do the question justice. It is not answered briefly in Job, though in one way there is a section of only a few sentences where the answer is found. In my years of reading and thinking by far the most satisfying thing I’ve read is a book Making Sense Out of Suffering by Peter Kreeft. it is not written at the level of an “intellectual”, so if one is looking for a scholarly book written by a professor one may be offended by its tone. It is much more (consciously so, in fact) along the lines of C.S. Lewis, written by someone who is an intellectual but who likes to discuss issues with the public at large.

    FWIW, one of my personal questions in college was “why bother” in the context of more or less succeeding; and as a physician, especially often for people with HIV before we had treatment, the issue of human suffering was ever present whether vocalized or not.

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)

  231. Go out for a drive Col.

    elissa (40f52f)

  232. kimberlin express
    mad bombing litigator
    life of wastrel chump

    Colonel Haiku (6d9515)

  233. Eels. I must say the thought of eating eels reminds me of Puddleglum’s discourse on eel stew.

    Otherwise, it is interesting to note, FWIW, that the liver of all organs has an incredible capacity to regenerate itself. From a scientifically rational perspective, having the liver be the organ being re-feasted upon daily makes sense.

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)

  234. will go for a swim
    to cool my fevered low-brow
    and give friends a rest

    Colonel Haiku (6d9515)

  235. From a scientifically rational perspective, having the liver be the organ being re-feasted upon daily makes sense.

    the Japanese on
    Chichi Jima sure thought so
    just ask our FlyBoys… oh, wait

    Colonel Haiku (6d9515)

  236. Last of my topics, for now anyway, what do people who know more than I do think about Tom Delay and what he has been enduring through the courts? I guess he had earned the reputation of being an effective player in political hardball. But I also know that he and his wife apparently had a great concern for foster children and were in the midst of establishing a “village” of sorts of foster children and families caring for them, with the intention that the children involved would not grow up feeling as isolated outcasts but as having real “roots” with extended family and long-time friends. The project died with Delay’s being taken hold of by the legal system, and on L wing blogs it is cynically said that he was doing that “just to look good” in order to “get out of” rightly deserved prison sentences.

    His defenders say his prosecution has been very politically motivated by well known Democrat sympathizers.

    Any opinions to be offered?

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)

  237. never forget we
    stand on Shoulders of Giants
    who risked all gave all

    Colonel Haiku (6d9515)

  238. MD,

    I can’t accept suicide for religious reasons, but it also bothers me for rational reasons because it means giving up on hope. There’s always hope. In addition, even when one’s existence seems meaningless, good can come from it.

    What most suicidal people want to escape is pain, but pain is a part of living. Even Random’s anger is a part of the grief process and, thus, potentially part of getting better.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  239. Boy, does Patterico need a guest blogger.

    Kevin M (bf8ad7)

  240. How many grand juries did they go through before Ronnie Earle got therequisite indictment, it was mostly payback for his efforts in the House, and
    a proper reapportionment, he goes in the pantheon
    of wretched prosecutors with Fitz and the Alaska
    prosecutors, does that flesh out the notion,

    narciso (494474)

  241. MD,

    I think Tom Delay is going to have a tough time on appeal, primarily because of the judicial chaos in his case.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  242. At that 2006 convention, Henson began by explaining that the 3rd Court of Appeals would hear DeLay’s appeal “if by chance he is convicted.”

    She continued, saying the Republican Party had “filled the courts, our appellate courts, with extremists, with people that are controlled by special interests, big insurance companies and big corporations.”

    She said the only activist judges in Texas are “those conservative right-wing zealots that control our courts today, and they’re all Republicans.”

    If this is not enough for her to recuse herself, then maybe his appeal should be handled in another appeals court’s jurisdiction? Is this even possible or allowed?

    Jay H Curtis (804124)

  243. It sounds like people are of the opinion Daley is not getting fair treatment, not matter what he may or may not be guilty of. Thanks for comments and links.

    In February, a Garland grandmother was gaveled for saying that the public has a right to be “treated in an honorable manner,” which the gavel-happy Jenkins found unacceptable because (said he) the speaker couldn’t accuse people of acting dishonorably.
    And I thought Texas was a stronghold or reasonableness (at least outside of Madison, Berkeley, Austin).

    Switching topics:
    DRJ- I agree with your comments. From my very, very, very limited perspective, I have met very few people, really only one, that I can say was making a choice for death, everybody else was saying they didn’t want to deal with life in front of them. And the one who was “ready to die”, in my presumptuous opinion, was a person who had already lived several years miraculously in the days before effective HIV treatment. He had been pretty despicable by his own description earlier in life and after becoming a Christian he lived doing the opposite (like trying to get girls off of the streets instead of turning them into prostitutes). Although he was among people who were pretty much into “if you have enough faith you will be healed”, he was perfectly happy “being preserved, not healed” as he called it.

    But for whatever mix of good and bad reasons, I also try to follow the “walk a mile in my shoes” approach. Yes, suicide, among many things, is a consequence of the ultimate loss of hope and a cry of despair. But unless a person has been on the edge of that black pit, it’s hard to relate to just what it means to “hang onto hope” in that situation. Perhaps you have had that experience, I’m not saying you haven’t, nor saying you shouldn’t express your opinion. As I said, I agree with you, I just took a (usually for me) circuitous route in going in that direction. Scripture is filled with accounts of people who sound like they are about on the verge of suicide, but then typically comes a “but…” (Like in Lamentations 3 for a very prominent example.

    I think much of life (most?, all?) is truly learned only through experience. I never knew what it felt like to work 36 hours under stress, overwhelmed, only to be criticized for saving someone’s life “not the right way” until I experienced it. As a med student I once had a 20-something fellow recovering from an appendectomy and woman with advanced breast cancer at the same time. The young man would whine and complain at blood being drawn or an IV being started while the woman was trying to stoically hold up with the bad news post her major surgery. At one point I wanted to grab the guy by the neck and shake him and ask what the heck was wrong with him, but I managed not to. I came to the conclusion that while in one way we can look at suffering on a “severity scale”, in another way each person is experiencing the amount of distress they are experiencing, whether we feel like it is appropriate or not.

    Switching again:
    Boy, does Patterico need a guest blogger.
    Comment by Kevin M — 6/2/2012 @ 8:19 am

    I enjoy writing so much I’ll see if the boss will let me fill in for awhile just for you, Kevin. An idea, though, I remember someone describing before how you can instruct your computer to recognize and not post certain authors. I wonder if you could do a similar thing, but instead of blocking them, just have the posts appear on your screen color coded. That way if you want to make sure not to miss one person’s thoughts as well as be sure to miss someone else’s, it would be simplified.

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)

  244. Let’s consider the ongoing and newly discovered disgusting hypocrisy of Lieawatha Warren.

    Dana (4eca6e)

  245. MD,

    I’d like to see you blog. And, on the other topic, I don’t mean to criticize anyone who contemplates suicide. We all face our challenges and demons the best we can, but I would like to encourage everyone not to do it.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  246. Dana,

    Apparently talking the talk is much more important than walking the walk.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  247. “Let’s consider the ongoing and newly discovered disgusting hypocrisy of Lieawatha Warren.”

    Cut her some slack. It’s not easy being the world’s only blond haired, blue eyed Indian.

    Dave Surls (46b08c)

  248. Thanks, DRJ, but I was kidding with Kevin;
    and no, I didn’t take you as criticizing anyone contemplating suicide. You were simply stating your beliefs, and I was clarifying mine, and pontificating on why I was being indirect.

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)

  249. Comment by DRJ — 6/2/2012 @ 8:16 am

    – Well said, as usual. There’s a big part of me that wants to go off on Random for his “if enough people hurt you enough times, that’s enough justification for punching your own ticket” philosophy; but, for now, I will refrain. He’s hurting.

    Perhaps, after some time passes and he is able to reflect, he will realize that for him, personally, the biggest consequence of her decision is that she has deprived him of her presence in his life. She ended her emotional pain at the cost of inflicting emotional pain onto others. Unless one truly has no immediate family or close friends, these decisions do not occur in a vacuum.

    The psychology of the suicide note — which, in large part, is a means for the actor to excuse loved ones from feelings of guilt or responsibility (“it’s not you, it’s me”) — is another area of interest.

    Icy (55eb3e)

  250. Comment by DRJ — 6/2/2012 @ 8:16 am

    – Well said, as usual. There’s a big part of me that wants to go off on Random for his “if enough people hurt you enough times, that’s enough justification for punching your own ticket” philosophy; but, for now, I will refrain. He’s hurting.

    Perhaps, after some time passes and he is able to reflect, he will realize that for him, personally, the biggest consequence of her decision is that she has deprived him of her presence in his life. She ended her emotional pain at the cost of inflicting emotional pain onto others. Unless one truly has no immediate family or close friends, these decisions do not occur in a vacuum.

    The psychology of the suicide note — which, in large part, is a means for the actor to excuse loved ones from feelings of guilt or responsibility (“it’s not you, it’s me”) — is another area of interest. But enough for now.

    Icy (55eb3e)

  251. Double posting due to man hands not meant for to operate tiny iPhone on-screen keyboard.

    ["Lieawatha". Heh!]

    Icy (55eb3e)

  252. MD in Philly

    With experience comes wisdom…or some such. I remember when I was a teenager, everything was immediate and incredibly important. Every slight was a mortal wound, etc. I used to get beaten up two or three times a week. Not for anything really except the bullies found it to be enjoyable. Name calling and such was the general order of things. Verbal bullying was an every day part of life. Even so, at the time, I considered suicide to not be an option. After a few weeks, the person who had “wronged ” me would get over it and I would still be dead. I figured that I could make those people so much more miserable by sticking around. 8-)

    An old farmer gave me some good advice while we were out working one day. He said “Nobody else can hurt your feelings or make you react to their taunts. You are the person who is in control. You can choose to let their words elicit a response or you can you can choose to ignore them. In a hundred years, will this really matter to anyone? Or will I even remember this incident by this time next year?”

    Now, when I see my Godchildren going through the inevitable trials and tribulations of being middle class, pampered kids, I try to remind them to seek perspective. Sometimes they get it and sometimes I get “You have no idea what they are going through”.

    But as you point out, each person has different levels of tolerance for pain, whether physical or mental.

    With all that in mind, I have a DNR in my medical records and in my living will, right along side the organ donor card. I also have considered various end of life scenarios if I were to become terminally ill and in extreme pain or lose mental faculties. Not because I want to die but because I don’t want to cause long term emotional pain to friends and family. I have seen the toll a protracted, lingering, painful death causes to caregiver family members. Not pretty.

    To think about these things before it is necessary just makes sense. After you are in a vegetative state, it is too late to make your feelings known to the people who matter.

    In the mean time, I try to live each day and be thankful for it. 8-)

    Jay H Curtis (804124)

  253. Is Marisa Defranco’s 15 minutes of fame over or just getting started?

    mg (44de53)

  254. Trump should shut his trap.

    Icy (55eb3e)

  255. An old farmer said “elicit”?
    ;)

    Icy (55eb3e)

  256. Thanks, DRJ, but I was kidding with Kevin

    Well, perhaps, but there are several folks where who could do it, and perhaps several should.

    A lone blogger will tire out very quickly if he has a day job. Don’t know how Reynolds does it.

    Kevin M (bf8ad7)

  257. Speaking of the lying Sackofcrapwea, does she really not understand that in order to claim minority status you should be of at least 50% minority blood?

    3.13% ain’t cutting it, honey!

    Icy (55eb3e)

  258. Squaw lie like dog — make heap good politician.

    Icy (55eb3e)

  259. #260 I didn’t mention that he was an eighth grade drop out but one of the most intelligent and well read men I ever met? He is the person who got me started reading science fiction, interested in chemistry and science. He also taught me that having an opinion is worthless unless you can articulate and argue either side of the issue effectively.

    But no, he probably didn’t use “elicit”, but MY memory isn’t as good as it used to be so the quote isn’t exact. 8-)

    Jay H Curtis (804124)

  260. “What most suicidal people want to escape is pain, but pain is a part of living. Even Random’s anger is a part of the grief process and, thus, potentially part of getting better.”

    DRJ – Talk therapy is a standard treatment for depression.

    You will recall that Random’s appearance on this blog several month’s ago coincided with his/her uninformed speculation that an American serviceman who went on a rampage in Afghanistan did so due to the use of anti-depressants. An ongoing obsession with suicide, misrepresentation of medical studies and prescribing practices soon followed. While I am saddened by the death of Random’s friend, death is an obsession for this commenter.

    I know several parents who have had children commit suicide, adults who have lost partners to suicide, others who have had or have suicidal ideations and have made unsuccessful suicide attempts and it is anything but the honorable way out of pain for a young person who has yet to experience much of life or a subject to be glorified through blogs.

    I believe I have made myself clear if people reread what I wrote.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  261. I prefer chipped beef on toast to eels, btw.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  262. Well said, daleyrocks.

    [BTW, Random has clearly identified himself as male.]

    Icy (55eb3e)

  263. Perhaps, after some time passes and he is able to reflect, he will realize that for him, personally, the biggest consequence of her decision is that she has deprived him of her presence in his life. She ended her emotional pain at the cost of inflicting emotional pain onto others. Unless one truly has no immediate family or close friends, these decisions do not occur in a vacuum.

    I reject your thinking entirely. It would have been awfully selfish of me to insist she live in unbearable terror and pain for my sake.

    She never chose to be born. She certainly never be chose to be born into a world where she’d be raped by seven men, total. I don’t think she’s selfish for wanting to leave that. And if she is, somewhat, then I forgive her. She had to take some steps to protect herself.

    I’d prefer she’d have taken different steps and to have been a part of them. I’d prefer lots of things, but she didn’t owe them to me. They weren’t my right.

    It simply is not right to put a being into a situation without its consent and say you can never leave it ever no matter how bad it is for you, because others will miss you. That’s tyrannical, and more selfish than what you essentially accuse her of.

    Along the lines of being a rational decision, you speak of suicide essentially being a risk/benefit calculation. The problem with that is an actuarial scientist can be only as good, I would think, as the data one can obtain about the risks and benefits.

    Yes, that is the problem with that.

    However. The same is true with every decision we make, including whether to have children in the first place, which subjects them to enormous risks. Also for choosing our spouses or whether to have one at all. Whether to be gay or straight. A doctor or a soldier. Travel to Spain or take up MMA. Get involved with crime in the community or not. Exercise or sleep in, or anything else.

    We make projections into the future and do our best. Sometimes we make mistakes. I would argue that the decision to continue living can, and often is, a mistake. Which isn’t to say it was a bad bet or a bad gamble or irrational to keep living necessarily. Just that it can go horribly awry.

    The question is who gets to make these decisions regarding us? Government? Laws prohibiting this or that? Or you and I for ourselves, and your mother for herself, etc? I argue for the latter.

    As an aside, I didn’t bring up being suicidal on this particular thread. That was daleyrocks, in his obnoxious fashion. When asked about it directly, I said, “I don’t know. Not tonight.” The answer would be the same, by the way, were I elated.

    Which, no, I’m not, especially after what happened.

    At the end of the day, imperfect information or no, we have more information than others (and also a vested interest in getting it right for ourselves), including a few crucial bits: (1) how much pain are we really feeling relative to our ability to handle it, (2) what do we want? (3) what can we accept given our own values?

    Since we have to experience the pain, we ought to have the right to choose. No one consents to life. They shouldn’t be forced to, like slaves, endure everything intolerable to them. They should have the right to suicide in a humane manner, at least as well as a dog dies. Most people are still going to choose to live. Those who are suffering a lot will die — with less suffering. I can live with that.

    My friend’s dead. Nothing will change that. I wish her last experience wasn’t having her neck broken or being chocked or painfully strangled with her neck at a terrible angle. I wish, at a minimum, she could have been with someone she loved and/or just gone to sleep. Which studies show is how most people wish to die, especially women.

    I also wish that she hadn’t been assaulted again and so on. I can’t stop all evil things from happening, and I respect those who try like Patterico, but do we have to force people who are terrifically unhappy to spend their last moments in utter violent horror, or risk doing serious physical harm to themselves, making their lives vastly worse?

    I say no. Hell no. I want people to have the right to die like a dog.

    I’m glad you agree that suicide is a rational question for a sentient, self-aware being. I found your comment thoughtful and even where I don’t see it exactly the same, I can tell you’ve given a lot of attention to this area, as might be expected of not just an MD, but a person who cares about issues impacting people beyond your practice and comes to a place like this to discuss them in constructive ways.

    Of course, anything negative in life can increase the odds someone will make that decision. Physical illness, social ostracization, rejection, estrangement, financial failure, not meeting one’s or other’s expectations of honor, and also mental illness. Of course mental illness can be — and properly is considered — one of the negative things that can reduce one’s quality of life, leading to that decision. Certain diagnoses, like schizophrenia or borderline personality disorder, have quite a high correlation with suicidality (as do certain more purely physical diagnoses). Major depressive disorder, less so, but still significant. Prolonged grief disorder, if it is in fact slated into DSM-5 as planned, has quite a lot a higher correlation than MDD. But that sort of makes sense. Before the medicalization of everything, we understood that certain people wouldn’t want to survive the death or loss of a spouse or child or someone else particularly important, or at least that they’d be severely torn and messed up over it for a while.

    It’s a natural part of being a highly social animal with strong ties. We see it in mammalian species other than human.

    Even Random’s anger is a part of the grief process and, thus, potentially part of getting better.

    Ummm, yes, in general that’s true. But not today or yesterday. I wasn’t and am not angry at anyone on this thread aside from him. daleyrocks was actually — as often — being an ahole.

    I’m doing OK right now. I was yesterday too (the night before, not so much). No telling how long that lasts for me or anybody.

    I hope you are all well.

    but it also bothers me for rational reasons because it means giving up on hope. There’s always hope. In addition, even when one’s existence seems meaningless, good can come from it.

    While there’s good evidence that the neurologically-influenced optimism bias that humans have is adaptive (it’s probably adaptive for group genetic survival to have a mix of people with different traits, some more optimistic and others less so), and it certainly makes life more enjoyable, it’s actually not realism as such. It’s a cognitive delusion.

    This video below is very interesting and watching it won’t turn you into a pessimist if you naturally have a bias toward optimism. The video talks about the neurological basis for the optimism bias, and experiments demonstrating same.

    Don’t assume, however, that not being particularly hopeful is a sign of delusion. There are rational bases for pessimism too.

    Random (9be8f8)

  264. Chit on a chingle?

    Icy (55eb3e)

  265. “Lieawatha”! I get it! hah! Boy am I slow…

    Most of you (you know who you are) would make great guest posters. Why not take turns? I might even tolerate “special” K’s guest post.

    felipe (3cc5df)

  266. I enjoy eating Eel. Unagi rocks!

    felipe (3cc5df)

  267. I reject your thinking entirely.
    – Examine some of your other comments and I think you may reconsider that statement.

    It would have been awfully selfish of me to insist she live in unbearable terror and pain for my sake.
    – It’s okay to tell someone that you would miss them if they were gone . . . especially if it is someone that you love. It’s also okay to try and help someone, with the aid of a therapist, work through their emotional trauma for their own sake.

    She never chose to be born.
    – Life IS a precious gift.

    She certainly never be chose to be born into a world where she’d be raped by seven men, total. I don’t think she’s selfish for wanting to leave that.
    – No question she experienced more pain than many; but, while it may be “understandable” the act of taking ones own life remains a selfish one.

    And if she is, somewhat, then I forgive her. She had to take some steps to protect herself.
    – Sorry to get religious on you, but “love the sinner, hate the sin”. As DRJ said, pain (both physical and emotional) is a part of life. It’s one thing when one is approaching the end of natural life (whether by reason of age or disease or a combination of the two) and in excruciating physical pain with no hope of relief; it is quite another when the pain is emotional, but every avenue of psychological relief has not necessarily been explored.

    I’d prefer she’d have taken different steps and to have been a part of them.
    – Like I said, you don’t reject my thinking “entirely”.

    I’d prefer lots of things, but she didn’t owe them to me. They weren’t my right.
    – And I am not saying that it was. However, this isn’t just a case of “she lost her will to live”; she lost her will to live AND you lost her. Emotional bonds between people are two-way streets. It’s all well and good to use the cliché “we all die alone,” but is it not good to care about the feelings of those we are close to? Seems to me that caring should include a healthy level of concern for how any action we take will affect those closest to us.

    It simply is not right to put a being into a situation without its consent and say you can never leave it ever no matter how bad it is for you, because others will miss you. That’s tyrannical, and more selfish than what you essentially accuse her of.
    – What I believe I am doing is encouraging people to choose life, to work out their problems, overcome setbacks, conquer their fears and traumas, get past the pain, heal their emotional scars and to the best of their ability live a life wherein they can enjoy the beauty in the world while working to make it a better place for future generations.

    If you let the bastards win, then the score is
    Bastards 1, Good Guys 0

    If you refuse to let them win, then you have at the very least achieved a tie.

    And you live to fight another day . . . a day during which you have the opportunity to put some of them in their place.

    Icy (55eb3e)

  268. [BTW, Random has clearly identified himself as male.]

    Yes. daleyrocks knows this. He knows this well.

    But — while accusing someone who is suicidal of selfishness, etc. — he believes it’s entirely proper to be an ahole in general to someone who may be (has been in the past) suicidal, and whose friend/woman he loved killed herself after a personal tragedy 4 days ago, and even throw in a final insult against the person’s sex.

    Why is he this way? I don’t know. But some people are.

    To be frank, I’d put daleyrocks and people like him in the “reasons for” suicide, rather than “ideas against” if I was doing the old Ben Franklin pros and cons decision-making technique.

    He’s just not a very nice person.

    Now he can make fun of me further for saying that, for assigning too much importance to him (I don’t assign much importance to him, but the value I assign is negative), and so on. And you can look at me as weak for having that reaction. And you can do the natural apeish thing and join in, and count it as a score in his favor.

    But at the end of the day, I’m not mocking someone who has revealed a personal tragedy in their life and a friend’s recent tragedies, nor poking fun at their gender.

    I understand reasons why people would consider suicide and I don’t expressly say they shouldn’t ever, but I don’t personally feel a need to dig at them either. I’ll disagree, sure, but adding personal little things on top of it during a moment of crisis for them?

    No. Somehow I manage to refrain.

    But apes being apes, he’ll be more popular than me. It’s just how things are.

    Random (fba0b1)

  269. Random – Blow me.

    Comment by daleyrocks — 6/1/2012 @ 11:53 pm

    Now that’s everlastingly funny!

    Proffesional Stoic (5b8a13)

  270. Random – Blow me.

    Comment by daleyrocks — 6/1/2012 @ 11:53 pm

    Now that’s everlastingly funny!

    Comment by Proffesional Stoic — 6/2/2012 @ 2:26 pm

    Yep. And you wonder why people want to leave this world?

    Random (fba0b1)

  271. Random:

    I say no. Hell no. I want people to have the right to die like a dog.

    You clearly think people suffering from mental diseases and disorders are included in the people who should have the right to die. Where do you draw the line? In other words, which specific people have the right to die like a dog, and which don’t?

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  272. You clearly think people suffering from mental diseases and disorders are included in the people who should have the right to die. Where do you draw the line? In other words, which specific people have the right to die like a dog, and which don’t?

    Everyone.

    Of course having a disease or disorder is a negative, not a positive. It isn’t a reason to live.

    Having the right to cease to exist is a basic human right. Forcing people to exist against their will is tantamount to torture, since you are forcing them to endure miseries they expressly cannot bear.

    It is immoral.

    Random (fba0b1)

  273. So when should I plan on helping my mentally impaired son die?

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  274. Twenty years old? Forty years old? Sixty years old?

    When is enough, Random, in your world?

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  275. So when should I plan on helping my mentally impaired son die?

    If he insists on it, I believe you should allow him. I don’t believe you should be obligated to help him. I think you should try to help him make his life as good as possible, and hopefully he’ll enjoy it and want to live.

    But if he truly doesn’t — making him live is not doing him a favor.

    I realize that is upsetting on several levels, yet I also think it’s true.

    You strike me as a loving person, DRJ. You always have. I think you probably add a lot to his life. Whether it’s enough for him, I don’t know. I’m not in a position to know.

    Random (fba0b1)

  276. When is enough, Random, in your world?

    It’s up to the individual. It really depends. Situations and people are different.

    Random (fba0b1)

  277. My son has the mental age of a 2-year-old. Is that old enough to decide for himself?

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  278. This morning, a couple visited my office on a legal matter. They brought their nine month old daughter who suffers severe congenital issues. Happy little one.

    Life is indeed precious.

    SPQR (e94fe6)

  279. He helped his parents provide home care for his paternal grandparents, who died of Alzheimer’s (do you really die of that, or just with it and of something complication?) He then helped his parents care for his maternal grandparents, who also died of Alzheimer’s. He cared for his own parents, who likewise died from Alzheimer’s.

    Diagnosed in his late 70′s with Alzheimer’s, several years later, noticing that his drawing skills were diminishing, he committed suicide, desiring that his family and friends not have to go through what he had to provide care for him.

    I wish he was still here. I didn’t really know him at all, other than as an author and designer. All of my grandparents had a bit of Alzheimer’s at their deaths, only Grandma W really had it in life. For about twenty years she constantly confused me for my father, and would ask why I’d grown a beard? After a while I avoided her as much as I could. The idea of providing care for her is scary.

    Now (at 93) my father’s been diagnosed with the early stages of it. Gulp.

    There are some on this thread whose Karma scores must be negative and falling. It’s an infinite counter, it’s not going to count down to zero and start going up.

    htom (412a17)

  280. Life is precious indeed, SPQR.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  281. My son has the mental age of a 2-year-old. Is that old enough to decide for himself?

    Comment by DRJ — 6/2/2012 @ 3:13 pm

    You know, I don’t really know. You mentioned mental illnesses in your first related comment, which isn’t the same as a severe cognitive deficit.

    But I would say if a person has enough self-awarness to repeatedly and consistently express that they wish to die, then that’s a pretty strong indication they are not enjoying life.

    So I would say even then, it depends.

    I believe people should be legally allowed to kill themselves in general, have notarized proper Do Not Treat / DNR orders respected, and so on.

    I think a reasonable compromise, which limits the harm to people that life is to some, would be to allow people to receive the means (barbiturates) to a comfortable, peaceful death, hopefully surrounded by such loved ones as they have and will be with them in their final moments, after public notice and a waiting period.

    This gives time for the person to really, actually talk it over with their family and loved ones, who may be able to offer alternative ways to help the person wish to live. It gives them time to access such available counselling services and other treatments as exist and are also acceptable to them to try, with their free will being respected. It prevents them from having to do sub-lethal (but possibly inadvertently lethal) suicide gestures, that harm themselves. It prevents them from needing to use violent or severe drug methods to kill themselves, which not infrequently fail and leave the person in horrific agony with a diminished quality of life in the real world. It prevents their final experiences from being torturous physical agony. Assisted suicide allows those who don’t want to experience the worst of severe degenerative diseases like MS or even Alzheimer’s to live longer, because they don’t have to end their lives in advance of their desire to die out of fear that they won’t be able to later when they would want to.

    The public notice also gives them a cooling off period to think it over, with or without the help of friends and family. And hopefully they have such help. Not everyone does.

    But for severe cognitive defects, or assisted suicide in any event? Yes, I’d support some type of judicial review to ensure it’s voluntary, and not coerced.

    Random (fba0b1)

  282. DRJ — Just when I think I have a problem to face, God reminds me that I’m blessed. May His blessings come to you and yours as they have to me, or even more. Hugs for you, too, if you want them.

    htom (412a17)

  283. Life is precious indeed, SPQR.

    Not always. Unfortunately.

    Random (fba0b1)

  284. Random:

    You know, I don’t really know. You mentioned mental illnesses in your first related comment, which isn’t the same as a severe cognitive deficit.

    I said mental disease or disorder, but you didn’t make any distinction. Instead, you said everyone should have this right. Are you taking that back?

    htom:

    I welcome hugs and blessings, and no need to feel sorry. My family and I are amazingly blessed.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  285. Random,

    Our son has a miserable life by normal standards. There is very little he can do or will ever be able to do that will be a “normal” life, and worse yet he will be at risk for abuse after I’m gone.

    You said it’s immoral to force people to endure miseries, yet our son arguably has and faces a miserable life. Since he can’t decide when he’s had enough, when should I make that decision for him?

    PS — I don’t think you understand the meaning of a precious life. While our son and anyone can have a hard life, each life is precious and the gift of life is a wonderful blessing.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  286. I said mental disease or disorder, but you didn’t make any distinction. Instead, you said everyone should have this right. Are you taking that back?

    No. But as with any other decision, they have to be able to express the thought, and it should be repeatedly in a consistent way to avoid ambiguity over what we’ll all agree is a momentous decision.

    If someone is incapable of forming and expressing the thought, and communicating to us their will on the subject, well then they probably can’t also suicide. And if they do suicide, well them I guess that’s them expressing the thought directly.

    Random (fba0b1)

  287. PS — I don’t think you understand the meaning of a precious life. While our son and anyone can have a hard life, each life is precious and the gift of life is a wonderful blessing.

    I understand what you mean. I used to feel this way. I can even explain the fundamental value difference between our two positions, because I used to have your position.

    The difference is this:

    You value life higher than subjective experience. I now value subjective experience more than life. Each of our positions flows from that.

    And people should be able to choose for themselves in a free society.

    Random (fba0b1)

  288. DRJ, I know you are a thoughtful woman as well as a loving one.

    So I’m going to invite you to watch one of 26 lectures on Yale philosopher Shelly Kagan’s course on death. He has a view, which he expresses during the course, but mostly he simply explores the different ways of looking at death, including suicide in 3 of the 26 lectures. The course is available for free at Yale’s website. The lecture is #20 on the value of life, and is not about suicide per se (those would be lectures 24-26).

    Your belief is akin to looking at life as a “valuable container” or probably even a “fantastic container” in the way he describes it. I look at life as a neutral container, and see the quality of life as what is important. Many people look at life this way. Many more people look at life the way you do.

    They should each have the right to decide how to live their lives according to their values.

    Known as freedom.

    Random (fba0b1)

  289. Wow. I watch this exchange, and I am reminded that my father once told me that some situations do not need comment, but simply a statement of support.

    That’s the danger with the internet, that you cannot see the state and intent of others as clearly as in person.

    I don’t know Random, but I wish him well. I do know DRJ a bit, and I would wish her every good thing.

    Simon Jester (3c50db)

  290. I do know DRJ a bit, and I would wish her every good thing.

    Hear, hear.

    Random (fba0b1)

  291. Random:

    If someone is incapable of forming and expressing the thought, and communicating to us their will on the subject, well then they probably can’t also suicide.

    Are you saying that if a person can’t understand or contemplate suicide, their suffering isn’t as real as the suffering of someone who can?

    Aren’t you treating their suffering as somehow less important or worthy of caring about?

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  292. In other words, you are willing to let someone who is suffering and can ask for death to die, but to deny death to those who are suffering just as much but can’t ask. Where is the morality in that distinction?

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  293. By the way, I know of no research or even reasoning indicating that having a high IQ is associated with a greater will to live. I think MD in Philly was correct when he said:

    Random, I agree with you that the decision whether to commit suicide is a rational question (at least for some it is rational). In fact, “to or not to be” and why and what to do with it might be the most fundamental question of any creature with an adequate degree of self-awareness.

    While there are many proposed explanations for suicidal behavior, ranging from evolutionarily adaptive for inclusive (group) genetic fitness (which I think has merit) to Satan and demonic influence (which others believe has merit) and social belonging (definitely important), a key one is this:

    Intelligence.

    We’re smart enough as a species to understand that the future is going to have a mix of good and bad and, what’s more, we’re going to die anyway. And this realization opens the door for the consideration of when would be the optimal time to die to reduce suffering, while factoring in the necessary loss of some joys. Everyone’s entitled to their own views on the value of life and the meaning, if any, of suffering.

    My point in bringing this up is I’m not at all saying that your son can’t enjoy his life, despite his level of cognitive functioning. I hope he does enjoy his life. I hope that very much. Perhaps he might enjoy his life more than I do and, if so, that’s good. I wouldn’t want him to not enjoy his life.

    I just don’t think people should be forced to live against their wishes, and since suicide is and always has been real for our fellow humans, I believe they should be able to die humanely.

    They are all going to die, after all. It isn’t optional.

    Random (fba0b1)

  294. In other words, you are willing to let someone who is suffering and can ask for death to die, but to deny death to those who are suffering just as much but can’t ask. Where is the morality in that distinction?

    Comment by DRJ — 6/2/2012 @ 4:06 pm

    I’m not ethically opposed to philanthropic euthanasia in severe circumstances. I believe it should be tightly judicially monitored, with prosecutors willing to prosecute any abuses. However, I just don’t know if we can get this process right and I see it as much riskier than suicide for those who wish it and can express the thought.

    I don’t have the ability to end all of life’s suffering. Allowing people who wish to die and can express the thought, to die humanely, would end a lot of suffering, while not risking ending the lives of those who wish to live.

    It’s a physical reality that some suffer and can’t do anything about it at all. I think it sucks a lot.

    I think it adds weight to the antinatalist position that bringing a being into the world is a tremendous gamble to that being and perhaps isn’t an ethical decision. But realistically, that will never ever be a majority accepted position because natural selection simply wouldn’t allow it — anyone holding it probably won’t reproduce. Besides, I think strong antinatalism is misguided — some people’s lives are more positive than negative.

    So rather than focussing on eliminating all possibly suffering of people at the necessary cost of eliminating all possible joy of people, I propose a voluntary harm mitigation strategy of allowing those who don’t wish to do so to not do so in a humane way.

    We do that much for our animals — without even getting their permission. With humans, we not only have their permission, but frequently their gratitude.

    Random (fba0b1)

  295. Now he can make fun of me further for saying that, for assigning too much importance to him (I don’t assign much importance to him, but the value I assign is negative), and so on. And you can look at me as weak for having that reaction. And you can do the natural apeish thing and join in, and count it as a score in his favor.

    – Random, don’t be a hater.

    Icy (55eb3e)

  296. Is this a fair statement of your position, Random?

    Intelligent people who are miserable, and so overwhelmed that they can’t deal with that misery, should be able to commit suicide with society’s blessing and/or help.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  297. don’t wish to do so suffer and live to not do so in a humane way

    Random (fba0b1)

  298. Intelligent people who are miserable, and so overwhelmed that they can’t deal with that misery, should be able to commit suicide with society’s blessing and/or help.

    Only with the help of people who are willing to help, of course. And having sufficient intelligence to repeatedly and consistently express the desire for a reasonable period of time. I don’t believe we should limit this human right to high IQ people.

    That would be elitist, and hardly in keeping with a human right, as this is.

    Random (fba0b1)

  299. Random,

    There seem to be two main thrusts to your comments.

    First, people should have the right to humanely end their own lives. I completely agree with you. Any laws against suicide fall into the nanny-state category, of which Bloomberg’s latest ban on large, sugary drinks is just the latest manifestation.

    Second, and this is where I take issue, you spread the “life-is-meaningless” gospel. Whether life has meaning is completely subject to personal opinion. It’s all in how you see the world. Liberals see the world one way, and conservatives another way. Libertarians like myself see it neither way.

    It seems to me that you have come to view the world through some very dark lenses. Negativity can be quite destructive, and when a person as intelligent as yourself turns his guns on himself it can soon become a “hopeless” situation.

    It all boils down to the attitude you choose to have. If you want to see negativity you can find it. If you want to see the beautiful aspect of life you can find it. There is plenty of evidence for both sides.

    I had good reason to off myself decades ago, but I’m glad I didn’t, because things happened that I could not have conceived at the time. Life is weird that way.

    As Jefferson wrote, happiness is a pursuit. It is not a ready-made condition. If you choose to give up the pursuit, that is entirely your right, but you are wrong to imply that people who do not share your negativity are fools.

    norcal (450747)

  300. So if my son isn’t smart enough to realize his life is miserable compared to others, then he has to suffer? Of if he isn’t smart enough to understand the concept of suicide (e.g., there is a way out), then he has to suffer? But those who are smart enough get a sanctioned way out?

    Again, how is that a moral position?

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  301. I think there should be some exceptions to the notice requirement, with appropriate judicial review.

    For example, if a person got in a sudden accident where they were in severe unanticipated agony, and the doctors gave medical opinions that this was unlikely to improve, and the person expressed the rational will to die under such horrid circumstances and/or their advanced medical directives outlined their wish to die under these circumstances, then yes — out of compassion — we should respect this.

    Most situations won’t be that situations, of course. And many people will express a desire for suicide and decide against it.

    I think open discussions about this — the waiting period again — could have real benefits for some people other than suffering reduction. If we approached it maturely.

    Random (fba0b1)

  302. So when should I plan on helping my mentally impaired son die?
    Comment by DRJ — 6/2/2012 @ 3:05 pm
    Twenty years old? Forty years old? Sixty years old?
    When is enough, Random, in your world?
    Comment by DRJ — 6/2/2012 @ 3:08 pm

    – Apparently, the first time he says, “Life is tough.”

    Icy (55eb3e)

  303. First, people should have the right to humanely end their own lives. I completely agree with you. Any laws against suicide fall into the nanny-state category, of which Bloomberg’s latest ban on large, sugary drinks is just the latest manifestation.

    Thanks.

    Second, and this is where I take issue, you spread the “life-is-meaningless” gospel.

    Terror Management Theory covers this well, I think.

    1. I personally don’t believe there is an objectively valid meaning to life, other than perhaps reproducing variations of the DNA molecule. Which isn’t necessarily even a good thing since it leads to lots of suffering, and not just the human variety.

    2. Others are totally entitled to disagree and perceive various meanings, religious or secular (Richard Dawkins is an example of that). I don’t think there is an objective meaning, but I do believe we evolved to mostly make meaning out of various things.

    3. I think meaning is very important to a person’s emotional wellbeing. To a degree I get some meaning out of (occasional) kindness to others, or experiencing joy with others, or what have you. I don’t think there’s a raeson to consider those of objective universal importance, however, and there I part ways with many, and also join ranks with a lot of smart people.

    4. Certainly whether there’s meaning to life and what the meaning is is an age-old question.

    Random (fba0b1)

  304. If meaning is the key to life, Random, then there’s nothing to stop society from deciding (like Peter Singer) that some lives aren’t worth living.

    Also, from a societal standpoint, who is in more need of protection — the smart, articulate, miserable people? Or those who are so impaired they can’t speak for themselves?

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  305. DRJ, I think euthanasia can — sometimes — be a humane act, a good act, a noble act. But it carries slippery slope risks because you’re ending others’ lives, assuming you know what is best for them. So I won’t condemn every act of euthanasia I’ve ever heard of (even battlefield euthanasia, which is age old), but I’m very reluctant to make it a centerpoint of any political activism. The support for it is miniscule: the understanding for it in select circumstances greater.

    However, many people believe they should have the right to choose how they die. And allowing people to do what they want with themselves doesn’t carry the same slippery slope risk.

    It’s the current prohibition which is tyrannical.

    Random (fba0b1)

  306. It’s over for Defranco, lyinginjun wins with 94% of the vote.

    mg (44de53)

  307. All the Best DRJ…

    EricPWJohnson (4380b4)

  308. I did not think the Hale Bopp comet was coming around again for a long long time.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  309. Officer, I didn’t murder that man. It was an assisted suicide. The paperwork is around here somewhere.

    Yes, of course I’m sure he said he wanted to out via two gunshots to the head.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  310. go out

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  311. All I know is that the mother and daughter I saw this morning … well, if someone had suggested that her daughter’s life should be ended, they’d have had their ass handed to them, in a very thorough beating. Probably by a husband and wife taking turns while the other held their child …

    SPQR (26be8b)

  312. Random,

    Let’s talk about the slippery slope. In the 1970′s, Holland authorized (but did not legalize) euthanasia in limited circumstances that are very similar to your proposed rule:

    The official guidelines require that the patient’s decision is voluntary, well considered and persistent, in the presence of unbearable pain without hope of improvement. The decision should be made by more than one doctor, and the doctor and patient should agree that euthanasia is the only reasonable option.

    Look what happened:

    “The Report of the Dutch Governmental Committee on Euthanasia,” shows the impact of 15 years of de facto legalized euthanasia. At the time of the report (1990). nearly 20% (19.4%) of all deaths were a result of euthanasia. More stunning, 11.3% of the total number of the 14,691 deaths in the country in the Netherlands are cases of involuntary euthanasia in which people were killed against their will. Source: “The Report of the Dutch Governmental Committee on Euthanasia,” Richard Fenigsen, M.D., Ph.D., Issues of Law and Medicine, Vol. 7, No. 3, 1991, p 341.

    Now the Dutch Pediatric Association has asked to be able to put to death severely handicapped newborns. (AP wire 7/30/92)

    In 1997, Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel (Rahm’s brother) echoed this concern:

    The slippery slope feared by opponents and supporters alike is the route from physician-assisted suicide or euthanasia for terminally ill but competent adults to euthanasia for patients who cannot give consent: the unconscious, the demented, the mentally ill, and children. Because the Netherlands is the one developed democracy that has experience with sanctioned euthanasia, advocates and adversaries alike invoke it to defend their points of view. What does the Dutch experience actually show?
    ***
    The Netherlands studies fail to demonstrate that permitting physician-assisted suicide and euthanasia will not lead to the nonvoluntary euthanasia of children, the demented, the mentally ill, the old, and others. Indeed, the persistence of abuse and the violation of safeguards, despite publicity and condemnation, suggest that the feared consequences of legalization are exactly its inherent consequences.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  313. SPQR, I’m mainly talking about people who express the desire that their own life be ended and that they have the right to end their life, in a humane manner. While I can understand certain acts of euthanasia are probably humanely motivated, I’m not pushing for this to be legalized. If it was, rarely done, it should be under tight judicial monitoring.

    I don’t mean we should walk around talking about how others should die, although I’ll tell you first hand that if you express the thought that you are seriously considering suicide, you get a lot of people telling you just that.

    And not just from the left. Not even close.

    Random (fba0b1)

  314. Random, I don’t think you are getting it.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  315. I’ve looked at your prior references, DRJ. Which, if any, of mine have you also looked at?

    Random (fba0b1)

  316. Random,

    I watched the Angelique Flowers’ video, the 31-year-old woman dying of cancer; two videos with Tali Sharot about whether we are born to be optimistic or realistic (interesting comparison, isn’t it?); the Michèle Causse video showing her peaceful death by assisted suicide, in French with English subtitles; and the Simon Critchley video at The New School on the philosophy of death and the maturity of suicide.

    Did I miss something?

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  317. No, that’s good. I just wanted to see the conversation was equally invested in, and you weren’t ignoring what I was referring to.

    As to your last substantive comment, I agree that euthanasia can lead to slippery slope problems, and I said that before.

    However that, an above board legal process that include public notification and a waiting period for voluntary suicide or assisted suicide has several safeguards in place. And the alternative isn’t everyone living awesome cheery lives or bucking it up and slogging through.

    The alternative is a lot of hangings and gunshots and self-poisoning and severe injuries and walking in on blood spattered rooms, and bystanders put at risk of physical or psychological harm, and on and on and on.

    Plus unrelieved suffering for people who want to die, but don’t have the means to do so reliably, the ability to carry it out, and so on.

    I believe it’s an improvement, and respects the human right to control our own life and body — literally our own.

    Random (fba0b1)

  318. Are you saying that the risk of unintended deaths are worth the benefit to people in pain or mental distress?

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  319. Are you saying that the risk of unintended deaths are worth the benefit to people in pain or mental distress?

    Comment by DRJ — 6/2/2012 @ 6:30 pm

    I’m saying if people have to make a publication declaration recorded at a court with a waiting period before they can be given barbiturates, and they have to answer several questions in the affirmative before they die, as is done at the Swiss Dignitas clinic, as was done in Northern Territory, Australia, when they had their relevant law, etc., there shouldn’t be any.

    Certainly few.

    And people should be able to die as well as their dogs.

    And choose for themselves.

    Random (fba0b1)

  320. The Netherlands’ study shows that, even with safeguards like the ones you want, there will be involuntary deaths. Can’t you admit that you are willing to accept the risk of involuntary deaths, because you think it is offset by the benefits you outlined above?

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  321. I’m not willing to take that risk because I don’t think the benefits are worth it. IMO there are existing mechanisms that will help people who want euthanasia and have a terminal illness. However, I wonder if your concern is that the current medical mechanisms probably won’t help people, like your friend, who are in severe mental distress.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  322. I’m not trying to be unfair to you or your point of view, Random. I realize you think the risk of involuntary deaths is low. I disagree and have offered the Dutch study as support, but I acknowledge we don’t know for sure what would happen.

    But as someone who wants a realistic, mature discussion, it seems to me you have to do more than admit the slippery slope is possible. You also have to admit that unintended, involuntary deaths of the most vulnerable people in our society are where the slippery slope could take us.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  323. The Netherlands’ study shows that, even with safeguards like the ones you want, there will be involuntary deaths.

    That’s with tolerating euthanasia. Which entails — necessarily has to entail — that risk, as I ackowledged with my very comments on that ages ago.

    Notice that I am talking over and over again about those who express a desire to die, even if they have a severe cognitive disability, as you brought up:

    But I would say if a person has enough self-awarness to repeatedly and consistently express that they wish to die, then that’s a pretty strong indication they are not enjoying life.

    So I would say even then, it depends.

    I believe people should be legally allowed to kill themselves in general, have notarized proper Do Not Treat / DNR orders respected, and so on.

    I think a reasonable compromise, which limits the harm to people that life is to some, would be to allow people to receive the means (barbiturates) to a comfortable, peaceful death, hopefully surrounded by such loved ones as they have and will be with them in their final moments, after public notice and a waiting period.

    This gives time for the person to really, actually talk it over with their family and loved ones, who may be able to offer alternative ways to help the person wish to live. It gives them time to access such available counselling services and other treatments as exist and are also acceptable to them to try, with their free will being respected. It prevents them from having to do sub-lethal (but possibly inadvertently lethal) suicide gestures, that harm themselves. It prevents them from needing to use violent or severe drug methods to kill themselves, which not infrequently fail and leave the person in horrific agony with a diminished quality of life in the real world. It prevents their final experiences from being torturous physical agony. Assisted suicide allows those who don’t want to experience the worst of severe degenerative diseases like MS or even Alzheimer’s to live longer, because they don’t have to end their lives in advance of their desire to die out of fear that they won’t be able to later when they would want to.

    The public notice also gives them a cooling off period to think it over, with or without the help of friends and family. And hopefully they have such help. Not everyone does.

    But for severe cognitive defects, or assisted suicide in any event? Yes, I’d support some type of judicial review to ensure it’s voluntary, and not coerced.

    You keep going back to involuntary euthanasia. I think that some acts of euthanasia that have occurred have been humane, and others undoubtedly would not have been wished by the people wanting them. Euthanasia automatically entails that risk.

    Letting people kill themselves if they want is different, including with assistance. Night and day different.

    I respect people’s right to die if they wish, and humanely too. If you don’t, then you don’t.

    Random (fba0b1)

  324. OK–

    I’m going to try to lighten things up a bit. Standing up his date and missing the prom are only the least of this guy’s problems!

    http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/breaking/chi-carjacking-charge-means-this-tuxedo-clad-man-missed-the-prom-20120602,0,7221131.story

    But he does appear to have a good eye because the colors grey and maroon go quite well together.

    elissa (7905c4)

  325. I’m not willing to take that risk because I don’t think the benefits are worth it. IMO there are existing mechanisms that will help people who want euthanasia and have a terminal illness. However, I wonder if your concern is that the current medical mechanisms probably won’t help people, like your friend, who are in severe mental distress.

    Anyone has the right to end their life at any time for any reason. It’s their life. It isn’t yours.

    I think your position is immoral and tantamount to torturing people, by forcing them to endure severe suffering against their will.

    Random (fba0b1)

  326. I believe it’s unintentionally so and motivated by instincts you possess as well as your religious beliefs, but I also believe they are a severe assault on the autonomy of the person and they add to a lot of unnecessary suffering in the world in multitudes of ways.

    Random (fba0b1)

  327. I think your position is immoral and tantamount to torturing people, by forcing them to endure severe suffering against their will.

    This is decidedly unfair.

    JD (318f81)

  328. This is decidedly unfair.

    Comment by JD — 6/2/2012 @ 7:02 pm

    It’s decidedly unfair to be in such severe misery you wish to die, and have someone use physical force to insist you live, ensuring more suffering.

    And that’s what the suicide prohibition ultimately comes down to.

    Random (fba0b1)

  329. Jeez. Such a thread.

    Simon Jester (1abbb8)

  330. Our positions are clearly outlined. We don’t agree. It happens.

    I’m glad we had the discussion. I hope you all are as happy as can be, including DRJ and everyone in her family.

    However, I don’t take back what I said. You don’t have the moral right to force a person to live against their will. The fact that this is commonly done is a bad thing.

    That’s my position. I’m sticking to it.

    Random (fba0b1)

  331. Simon–I tried to move the discussion in another direction–to no avail. Guess it’s over and out for the open thread.

    elissa (7905c4)

  332. Well, elissa, of course he had to steal the car, because who can ask their parents to take them to the prom when they are 20 years old. Like you said, he chose his colors wisely.

    I commend you, DRJ, for your conversation with Random. You have gone above and beyond the call. The best to you and your very loved family.

    PatAZ (032efa)

  333. P.S. We could outlaw guns. And ropes. And Tylenol. And buildings. And trains. And knives. And belts. And hooks on walls.

    But they’re obviously not outlawed, and people do try to kill themselves, with varying degrees of effectiveness and injury and pain. Meanwhile, we put down our pets humanely, by and large.

    I’m just arguing for the same courtesy for a suffering person who actually can express their will.

    Random (fba0b1)

  334. I reject your thinking entirely. It would have been awfully selfish of me to insist she live in unbearable terror and pain for my sake.

    She never chose to be born. She certainly never be chose to be born into a world where she’d be raped by seven men, total. I don’t think she’s selfish for wanting to leave that. And if she is, somewhat, then I forgive her. She had to take some steps to protect herself.

    The problem here is pain. Has not anyone even tried to figure out how to disable the brain’s ability to feel pain permanently? We have all these imaging devices and stuff, right?

    Michael Ejercito (2e0217)

  335. If people are going to die by suicide — and many are — there are worse ways to die than this.

    In fact, considering the inevitability of death (not dying is not an option! — it’s just a matter of when and how) I can’t actually think of a better one. (Maybe heroism, in all seriousness, but that sounds painful, and it’s hardly the sort of death you can count on having.)

    Random (fba0b1)

  336. Ot, if one is going to see Prometheus, don’t read the Empire ( A UK magazine) review

    narciso (494474)

  337. Changing topics — The Avengers — yay or nay?

    Random (fba0b1)

  338. I’d say yay,

    narciso (494474)

  339. But no Diana Rigg? That’s a letdown. She was the definition of smoking.

    Well I guess why they keep on making new women.

    Random (fba0b1)

  340. ^that’s

    Random (fba0b1)

  341. Avengers good. Me smash things.

    Hulk (bf8ad7)

  342. I’m glad you agree that suicide is a rational question for a sentient, self-aware being. I meant to make it clear that I thought it can be
    a rational question, but I don’t think it is always a rational question, nor do I think that the answer yes is correct. Does 2+2=5? is a rational question, but the answer is no.

    Having the right to cease to exist is a basic human right.
    It is? On what basis? A self evident truth? How does a human being make themselves “cease to exist”? You are assuming the death of the body is the end of existence.

    Forcing people to exist against their will is tantamount to torture, since you are forcing them to endure miseries they expressly cannot bear.
    Person A may not have the right to demand that person B lives, but that does not mean, as above, that person B has a right to take their own life, or that person B can demand that person A not feel guilt or grief at their passing.

    While there’s good evidence that the neurologically-influenced optimism bias that humans have is adaptive (it’s probably adaptive for group genetic survival to have a mix of people with different traits, some more optimistic and others less so), and it certainly makes life more enjoyable, it’s actually not realism as such. It’s a cognitive delusion.
    Some make the point that if a proposition of fact is not falsifiable, then it doesn’t count as “science” or “rational” (equating the two). I’m not sure how one proves whether optimism or pessimism is or is not a cognitive delusion. You are making quite a claim for knowing what life is like “outside of the fish bowl for a fish living within it”. I suggest reading the trial scene in Brothers Karamazov, “the sword cuts both ways”.

    Suicide can be quite selfish, the ultimate attempt at punishing somebody, though I am sure at times all the person is thinking is “I can’t stand this anymore”. I know some have termed suicide the “fierce goodbye”, which it pretty much is, whether one intends it to be or not.

    You will recall that Random’s appearance on this blog several month’s ago coincided with his/her uninformed speculation that an American serviceman who went on a rampage in Afghanistan did so due to the use of anti-depressants. An ongoing obsession with suicide, misrepresentation of medical studies and prescribing practices soon followed.
    I don’t clearly remember the details, but I do remember the discussion and appreciate the reference.

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)

  343. No, not that Avengers, interesting who shows up as part of SHIELD’s authorizing council.

    narciso (494474)

  344. P.P.S. I know that there are people I love and care about would disagree with the position. That doesn’t change my position. I’m just saying. I think it’s possible to hold a position that (in my considered opinion) increases suffering in the world and doesn’t adequately respect people’s self-determination, but not to have a bad motive for holding it. I mean, I personally used to feel differently about several things, and I don’t think I had bad motives at the time. I just think that in a world with imperfect information and no absolute way of being sure you’re right and the other person is wrong, making important decisions for ourselves is the way to be.

    And this video by janekorman, who produced a really good — if removed due to copyright infringement — video of her dad celebrating life after Auschwitz (to recreate the original effect, play alongside your authorized copy of Gloria Gaynor’s I will survive), him still here and his tormentors long gone, is kind of catchy background music. Not my usual genre, but not bad at all.

    Random (fba0b1)

  345. but I don’t think it is always a rational question, nor do I think that the answer yes is correct

    Of course not.

    Random (fba0b1)

  346. Suicide can be quite selfish, the ultimate attempt at punishing somebody, though I am sure at times all the person is thinking is “I can’t stand this anymore”. I know some have termed suicide the “fierce goodbye”, which it pretty much is, whether one intends it to be or not.

    Yes, but as Random points out, people suiffer. Although I understand why suicide would be drastic, since killing only the brain would end suffering without ending life (assuming precautions are taken to preserve the life in the rest of the body.)

    Michael Ejercito (2e0217)

  347. “Life isn’t fair!”
    Severus Snape

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)

  348. MD,

    I think it is a self-evident truth that one has the right to kill oneself.

    norcal (450747)

  349. your life is much more likely to be more fair if you live longer cause of the law of averages

    happyfeet (3c92a1)

  350. Yes, but as Random points out, people suiffer. Although I understand why suicide would be drastic, since killing only the brain would end suffering without ending life (assuming precautions are taken to preserve the life in the rest of the body.)

    Comment by Michael Ejercito — 6/2/2012 @ 7:55 pm

    While I believe it’s true that for the person suffering, killing the brain and maintaining some bodily cells would be equivalent to nonexistence for that person — at least as far as eliminating suffering goes — I’m not sure what value the body has without the brain. I suppose it might satisfy a percentage of “pro-life” people. Maybe.

    But with all due respect — even though I agree people have the right to shut down their brains a little earlier than strictly required — I don’t actually see the point of trying to maintain the body without the brain. Speaking for myself, mind you.

    Random (fba0b1)

  351. I think it is a self-evident truth that one has the right to kill oneself.
    Comment by norcal — 6/2/2012 @ 7:58 pm

    A well known group of people once wrote that it was a self-evident truth that all people were given the right to life by their Creator. If we did not give ourselves life, what right do we have to take it?

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)

  352. Some make the point that if a proposition of fact is not falsifiable, then it doesn’t count as “science” or “rational” (equating the two). I’m not sure how one proves whether optimism or pessimism is or is not a cognitive delusion.

    Not every optimistic thought is delusional, or even badly thought-out, obviously, because sometimes optimistic predictions turn out to be true.

    The main way they tease out what’s the bias and what isn’t is simply looking at the predictions, for themselves and others, of optimistic vs. less-optimistic people, and they find that optimistic people are right a lot less often. Further, they tend not to remember bad things as well, in general, and the videos I linked to show a neurological basis for this.

    This doesn’t mean optimism isn’t adaptive or useful. That’s also covered in the above video.

    But not having the optimism bias doesn’t mean one isn’t realistic. They’re actually more realistic.

    Now of course extremely severe pervasive pessimism may not be realistic, but research shows about 80% of people have a cognitive bias, in other words a (often helpful) delusion, toward optimism.

    If you’re not familiar already with the research in the above video, I think you’ll find it of interest. It’s probably a lot more of a factor than the biological amine hypothesis in depression.

    Random (fba0b1)

  353. There are some tell tale signs in all of Whedon’s work, except for Alien Resurrection, the bickering,
    dark humor, the sudden death of a unexpected character. but he pulls it off.

    narciso (494474)

  354. desperate Harry Potter deprived Warner Bros. is trying to reboot Buffy without Mr. Whedon

    they’re not having an easy go of it

    happyfeet (3c92a1)

  355. 331. OK–

    I’m going to try to lighten things up a bit. Standing up his date and missing the prom are only the least of this guy’s problems!

    http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/breaking/chi-carjacking-charge-means-this-tuxedo-clad-man-missed-the-prom-20120602,0,7221131.story

    But he does appear to have a good eye because the colors grey and maroon go quite well together.

    Comment by elissa — 6/2/2012 @ 6:47 pm

    Interesting young man.

    Bracey attends Malcolm X College…

    I wonder if carjacking is simply an elective course or a major all it’s own.

    Steve (958caf)

  356. Perhaps I’ll watch the video and share my thoughts after you have read some of Kreeft’s book and let me know what you think.

    Without seeing the video, I think my point has not been made clear. You have confined your thinking and reasoning within a framework that you have chosen, when you could have chosen a different framework. If one doesn’t realize they have made assumptions to constrain their thinking, one is likely to think they know a lot more than they do. For example, you state:
    And if you choose to believe life has this meaning? It’s OK with me. But I can’t choose it any more. I don’t believe it. My brain isn’t capable of making me believe something that I know is that far from reality.
    How do you “know” anything, let alone what is real from what you think is real, without the thoughts originating in and percolating about in your brain? You have basically said that your brain isn’t capable of making your brain believe something it doesn’t believe. Seems to me an extended version of, “I believe what I believe”, which is fine, but don’t delude yourself into thinking you have more than you have. You avoid the possibility that there is an objective reality beyond your self-referenced beliefs, but then you claim there is an objective reality that your brain can not override. That doesn’t work.

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)

  357. I have never

    ever

    not even once in my whole life ever chuckled at the prevalence of smoking in Mad Men

    I’ve never even come close

    Really.

    happyfeet (3c92a1)

  358. “your life is much more likely to be more fair if you live longer cause of the law of averages”

    Mr. Feets – Past performance is no guarantee of future results.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  359. An ongoing obsession with [preventing unnecessary iatrogenic military and youth] suicide, misrepresentation of medical studies [wrong -- your refusal to look at the overwhelming mountains of evidence is the truth] and prescribing practices [definitely this] soon followed.

    So there was a bit more to it than that. To wit:

    “Medications are not candy, they should be used by doctors with knowledge, they should be used in situations where the patient can be adequately seen in follow up and not limited by the doctor’s schedule, an insurance policy, or the overburdening of a health system.”

    Comment by MD in Philly — 3/11/2012 @ 6:46 pm

    “Random- giving a soldier a 6 month supply of any medication without any follow up sounds foolish, if that is what is done….”

    Comment by MD in Philly — 3/11/2012 @ 7:08 pm

    180-day supplies of antidepressants and typical and atypical antipsychotics with automatic refill privileges and no way of tracking additional in-theatre prescribing (they have some IT people looking at this finally), 90-day supplies of Ambien and benzodiazepenes, and 30-day supplies of stimulants – again without a way of tracking in-theatre prescribing. [I'm going by memory there, but it's either right or close -- start listening wherever, but at least by 18:55 in, and here at least between 10:00 and 24:00.]

    And now the military suicide rate is higher than the civilian rate for the first time in US history, and is considered by the military an epidemic. Which we went over on that thread, in the sense that daleyrocks and others ignored it / poo pooed it. It took someone who believes people have a right to suicide to give a damn that bad drug-company influenced medicine is now driving soldiers to unnecessarily high desires for suicide including historically unprecedented percentages completed military suicides.

    And lots of evidence was presented that antidepressants as a group tend to raise suicidality overall, which resulted in the FDA’s own mandatory black box warning about that.

    But in fact, I started off on the topic by talking about Michelle Malkin’s missing niece, trying to do a few things: One, to see if people would publicize her plight again, as they did a year ago (not much dice this time). Two, excerpting Michelle’s poignant piece including her worries that her niece had possibly committed suicide and that she was on anti-depressants — which are known to increase suicidality in young people, particularly 24 and younger.

    Your contention is I just “misreprented” the medical studies … the FDA must be pretty gullible then, for putting their most visible warning on the antidpressants’ packaging to that effect.

    Anyway, I’ll never get you, daleyrocks, to see reason there. But. I have a chance of that with MD in Philly. Even though we may disagree about the risk vs. reward calculation for the various classes and types of antidepressants, does the military’s prescribing practices for combat soldiers — summarized in the indented, bolded text above — meet your criteria for good medical practice?

    Random (fba0b1)

  360. Does it come close?

    The military’s fought a lot of wars without this high (and escalating) of an active duty and veteran suicide rate. I’d argue that the difference is something new. This stands to reason.

    The nature of war is terrible, but there’s an additional factor here, and I believe psychiatric drug prescribing practices is that new factor.

    I don’t even agree with Breggin about everything. He’s s spiritualist (religious); I’m a materialist. But he’s right about this.

    At the very least, the troops are hardly receiving good medical care, even by mainstream psychiatric drug-pushing standards.

    I believe people have the right to suicide. That doesn’t mean I think they should be put on drugs that increase their risk of wanting to suicide.

    Random (fba0b1)

  361. “your life is much more likely to be more fair if you live longer cause of the law of averages”

    Mr. Feets – Past performance is no guarantee of future results.

    Comment by daleyrocks — 6/2/2012 @ 9:29 pm

    It’s not a guarantee, but conditional probability can carry through in your favor.

    Random (fba0b1)

  362. If we did not give ourselves life, what right do we have to take it?

    Comment by MD in Philly — 6/2/2012 @ 8:11 pm

    We don’t give cows or chickens life either.

    Random is making some sense–although I don’t agree with his pessimistic outlook. If we can humanely euthanize our pets, then why not ourselves?

    I vehemently disagree with people who tell me I cannot take my own life because of their religious beliefs. It is not enough for them to live their religion. They have to make sure that others live it as well.

    norcal (6d1522)

  363. this whole suicide/euthanasia thing is much more multi-faceted than I realized

    but I haven’t been probably as clear as I should be cause of how words fail me when i try to articulate how much inhuman yet also ungodly pain and rage these suicide people can leave in the wake of their suicidings

    it’s kind of a big deal

    happyfeet (3c92a1)

  364. Thank you for reminding me of the previous conversation.

    Your quoting of my remarks makes it appear we have more in common than we do. I commented previously on what I thought were neglected issues concerning the risk of suicide on the newer antidepressants and the twisting of statistics of suicide rates in the military and among vets, issues which you do not include in your selection above.

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)

  365. hey Mr. Random you know what Mr. Green Day said? Billy something or other – he’s basically this atonal Bush-hating hippie what probably smokes the marijuana I’m almost positive – but here’s what he says…

    my shadow’s the only one what walks beside me

    my shallow heart’s the only thing that’s beating

    sometimes I wish someone up there will find me

    ’til then I walk alone

    what is that?

    it’s really something of an ode to perseverance, no? And my God if a doped up Bush-hating hippie can persevere you know what me I’m gonna give it a go

    plus I have a cool new robot vacuum

    happyfeet (3c92a1)

  366. happyfeet,

    Nobody will argue that suicide does not cause a lot of pain and grief to those left behind. The question is, does prevention of that pain and grief trump a person’s right to suicide?

    Alcoholism can have drastic effects on those close to the alcoholic. Does that mean alcohol should be prohibited?

    norcal (6d1522)

  367. Random is making some sense–although I don’t agree with his pessimistic outlook.

    I don’t think everything in life is bad by any means. I’m saying there’s empirical evidence that most of us are more optimistic than realistic — and then I turn around and acknowledge various benefits of the optimism bias/illusion. I say I don’t believe in religion, then acknowledge its benefits. I acknowledge my friend lost out on good things.

    I’ve enjoyed lots of my life. Even during the bad periods, I tended to enjoy a little here, a little there.

    But I don’t think there’s an objective, provably true meaning to life — and I think this is a very defenisible philosophical position. But earliesh in this thread I mentioned Terror Management Theory which, despite its foreboding name, is a theory about how our species — knowing of our mortality — does various things to mitigate these fears. Among them is meaning. And I point out the benefits of perceiving meaning.

    I talked to nice people today, and not only hear. I had a friendly pretty brunette try to pick me up (at least as friends) at the bar a few days ago when I did nothing to encourage this; I was just sitting there and she was at a nearby table out with friends. The week before that, went out on a friendly date with a nice (and smart) blonde. It’s not all bad. I’m not saying it is.

    But it can be very bad as benefits and harms are not equally distributed, either temporally in a person’s life or among people themselves. And you can call it “pessimism” if you want; I just call it realism and the lack of the optimism bias.

    this whole suicide/euthanasia thing is much more multi-faceted than I realized

    but I haven’t been probably as clear as I should be cause of how words fail me when i try to articulate how much inhuman yet also ungodly pain and rage these suicide people can leave in the wake of their suicidings

    it’s kind of a big deal

    Comment by happyfeet — 6/2/2012 @ 10:16 pm

    Not to mention how much inhuman yet also ungodly pain and rage these births can cause people to experience, people who never consented to be born into a world with war, murder, torture, rape, child molestation, terrorists, bullies, social status, sexual rejection, unrequited or removed love, death of everyone they know and love including their parents, sisters, and loves, cancer, parasites, congenital deformities, broken bones, viral illnesses, deadly flesh-eating bacteria, car crashes, high-rise fires and burning, and jumping to escape burning, their own inevitable death, etc.

    This swings both ways.

    I say that a person who didn’t consent to be in intolerable situation X doesn’t have to stay in it, even if unfortunate person Y is also impacted by their decision to leave.

    Random (fba0b1)

  368. does prevention of that pain and grief trump a person’s right to suicide?

    hell yeah cause it means you have something constructive to do with your day

    your mission then, if you choose to accept it, is to cushion the blow before you off yourself

    you can do this by convincing the people that love you that you really really really gave it the old college try

    you can stage a couple failed attempts to get them sort of resigned to the inevitable

    I don’t know – there’s probably lots of stuff I’m not thinking of – but have fun with it – mix it up – do your best to make your suicide a positive thing not just for yourself but for everybody

    and for god’s sake don’t be a cliche

    happyfeet (3c92a1)

  369. deadly flesh-eating bacteria scare the crap out of me plus those amoebas what crawl up your nose and eat your brains

    happyfeet (3c92a1)

  370. happyfeet,

    Nobody will argue that suicide does not cause a lot of pain and grief to those left behind. The question is, does prevention of that pain and grief trump a person’s right to suicide?

    Alcoholism can have drastic effects on those close to the alcoholic. Does that mean alcohol should be prohibited?

    Comment by norcal — 6/2/2012 @ 10:25 pm

    The bigger question is, how selfish are we?

    If a person is in so much pain that they can’t stand being alive … are we going to insist that they live through this intense pain and fear of more to come so that we — who don’t feel so bad that we want to die — don’t have to miss them?

    Because that’s incredibly selfish.

    Random (fba0b1)

  371. norcal- I have no intention of making anyone live by my religious beliefs. I have made no comment on what I think the law and public policy should be. The discussion has been about the “pros” and “cons” of committing suicide. I do believe in objective morality which is not simply human preference or an illusion proven useful in the evolution of the species, and that objective truth does not depend upon me.
    I like ideas and opinions to be examined, for one to understand what is linked. Your question “If we can euthanize our pets why not ourselves” is a legitimate question, but how it is answered is related to assumptions which may or may not be clear. If one assumes that a human is simply another type of animal then it would seem to make sense that suicide is not necessarily a moral problem; in fact, maybe there are no moral problems. OTOH, if one does not assume that humans are “a naked ape and nothing more”, then there is more of a question and a need to make assumptions explicit.

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)

  372. your mission then, if you choose to accept it, is to cushion the blow before you off yourself

    you can do this by convincing the people that love you that you really really really gave it the old college try

    This is one of the advantages of legalizing it.

    To start with, research shows that talking about it ahead of time lessens trauma on those left behind, for the reason you give. This talking about it beforehand is not really that practical if the cops are going to be called and you’re going to be handcuffed and locked up, and even drugged or electro-shocked against your will.

    Research also shows that loved ones are less traumatized by peaceful deaths vs. violent deaths of their loved ones. The research is unambiguous about that.

    Random (fba0b1)

  373. Random,

    You put it better than I could.

    norcal (6d1522)

  374. jumping to escape burning

    I was perfectly happy checking into Boston’s Copley Plaza. As president of National Amusements, Inc., owner of a small chain of movie theaters, mainly driveins, I was there for a party to honor a branch manager of Warner Bros. Pictures.

    I went to sleep thinking about work. It was well after midnight when I woke up and smelled smoke.

    [...]

    I was enveloped in flames. The fire shot up my legs. The pain was searing. I was being burned alive. But even in the middle of terror there is sometimes clarity. I thought, what a horrible way to die.

    Somehow I staggered to the window. It was stuck, I couldn’t budge it. I moved to another window and, I don’t know how, got it open and clambered outside. I was kneeling on a tiny ledge, barely big enough to put one foot on. I was three floors up. If I jump, I’m dead. Flames were shooting out of the window head-high and I crouched there, hanging onto the windowsill, my fingers cupped, my right hand and arm in the fire and burning.

    The sound of the inferno was terrifying. The heat and flames roaring out of the room burned off my pajamas and peeled away my skin. My legs had been burned to the arteries, now my arm was charring. The pain was excruciating but I refused to let go. That way was death. I began counting one to ten, one to ten, hoping that a fire engine would come save me.

    But it didn’t. The hotel people hadn’t called the fire department right away because they didn’t want anyone to know there was a problem. What a disgrace — an outrage. I hung on the ledge for what seemed like forever. Finally a hook-and-ladder truck arrived. A fireman climbed up, cradled me in his arms and carried me to the ground.

    happyfeet (3c92a1)

  375. Not to mention that by talking about it, some people will choose not to. Instead of keeping it to themselves until they do something violent to themselves, they can actually, literally talk about it.

    And I think that will make a difference for some people.

    It will reduce physically harmful suicide gestures too.

    Random (fba0b1)

  376. This is one of the advantages of legalizing it.

    I’m all for legalizing stuff. And I’m even a little bit for doing stuff even if it’s illegal.

    But you have too bright a mind for there not to be people what love you fiercely, and you have a duty to them Mr. Random.

    Suicide clusters are a very very real and documented thing, yes?

    happyfeet (3c92a1)

  377. But it didn’t. The hotel people hadn’t called the fire department right away because they didn’t want anyone to know there was a problem. What a disgrace — an outrage.

    Terrible.

    I hung on the ledge for what seemed like forever. Finally a hook-and-ladder truck arrived. A fireman climbed up, cradled me in his arms and carried me to the ground.

    Wonderful, and heroic.

    I saw a video of a Russian office fire where a whole bunch of mainly women jumped and/or mostly clung and then fell to their deaths rather than be burned alive. The emergency services did what they could and the ladder truck saved many. The people tried piling boxes on the surface to cushion the blow of those falling.

    A lot of good things happen in life (including heroic decent people) — but that’s hardly the end of it.

    Random (fba0b1)

  378. MD,

    I stand corrected. You certainly did not say that suicide should be outlawed. You did, however, imply that one does not have a right to take one’s life. If that is your belief, fine. I believe I do have that right. Can we respect each other’s beliefs?

    norcal (6d1522)

  379. Suicide clusters are a very very real and documented thing, yes?

    Comment by happyfeet — 6/2/2012 @ 10:38 pm

    Yes. I mean they’re probably not quite as common as dogma says, but we’re social animals; we take queues from others. It did occur to me when I found out about her, I admit.

    I haven’t felt that way over the last day and a half, for what it’s worth.

    Random (fba0b1)

  380. no it’s not the end of it but Mr. Sumner really is a goddamn inspiration

    I always thought of this story back when people (meaning National Soros Radio media progressives) were getting super-nasty about picayune trivial “media ownership rules”

    happyfeet (3c92a1)

  381. Mr. Random I think that’s worth a great deal

    happyfeet (3c92a1)

  382. deadly flesh-eating bacteria scare the crap out of me plus those amoebas what crawl up your nose and eat your brains
    Comment by happyfeet

    You know what else is scary? Somewhere in the world, I think in South America, are small skinny fish that for some reason like to swim up into the human urethra. Being a little fish with spiny fins they don’t just wiggle backwards very well, and it doesn’t occur to them to try to persevere as you would and make it all of the way to the bladder so they can turn around and swim back out, going forward. So they just swim up there, get stuck, and die. Local people know that when they go swimming where such fish live, one puts half of a coconut shell over the genital area to keep the fish away.

    I kid you not.

    Bot flies are kind of scary too, but fish up your urethra or amoebas up your nose to rot your brain (kind of like Star Trek; The Wrath of Khan) are worse.

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)

  383. But with all due respect — even though I agree people have the right to shut down their brains a little earlier than strictly required — I don’t actually see the point of trying to maintain the body without the brain. Speaking for myself, mind you.

    because human life has inherent value.

    Michael Ejercito (2e0217)

  384. certainly, norcal, though my instinct would be to stop you if I saw you try to walk in front of a moving truck.

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)

  385. Bot flies are kind of scary too, but fish up your urethra or amoebas up your nose to rot your brain (kind of like Star Trek; The Wrath of Khan) are worse.

    Comment by MD in Philly — 6/2/2012 @ 10:45 pm

    Oh, man. You just got to laugh at some stuff it’s so horrible.

    Random (fba0b1)

  386. Ejercito,

    You are one facetious dude.

    norcal (6d1522)

  387. certainly, norcal, though my instinct would be to stop you if I saw you try to walk in front of a moving truck.

    Comment by MD in Philly — 6/2/2012 @ 10:48 pm

    True. And at the risk of being serious again, reducing (physical and psychic) risk to bystanders is another benefit.

    Random (fba0b1)

  388. nature is one of those best-in-small-doses things I think Mr. Dr.

    which reminds me I just saw at an airport that that Clan of teh Cave Bear chick finally wrote what she says is the last installment… I started reading those at my aunt’s once on one of our interminal vacations when I was a wee small lad

    but I’m a little backed up on stuff to read just right now

    happyfeet (3c92a1)

  389. If we did not give ourselves life, what right do we have to take it?

    If you destroy only the brain, you are technically not killing yourself if you take precautions to ensure the rest of the body continues to function.

    Michael Ejercito (2e0217)

  390. Ejercito,

    You are one facetious dude.

    Comment by norcal — 6/2/2012 @ 10:51 pm

    lol Yes. It did occur to me that my leg was being pulled by him something fierce.

    Random (fba0b1)

  391. 391.certainly, norcal, though my instinct would be to stop you if I saw you try to walk in front of a moving truck.

    Comment by MD in Philly — 6/2/2012 @ 10:48 pm

    LOL. I thank you.

    norcal (6d1522)

  392. right now I need a little dose of sleep, g’night

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)

  393. good night Mr. Dr. sleep well

    that’s when the amoebas make the final lunge for the tasty brains is my understanding

    happyfeet (3c92a1)

  394. I would think so, if you’re in Philly. Good night.

    norcal (6d1522)

  395. Have a good night everyone.

    Random (fba0b1)

  396. Will do, Random.

    norcal (6d1522)

  397. Can I interest anyone in this very important post?

    Patterico (feda6b)

  398. While everyone is crowdsourcing, I think a break for comedy is in order:

    Return with us now to those thrilling days of yesteryear, when hope and change were in the air and Ear Leader could walk on water. I bring you JibJab’s He’s Barack Obama!.

    Getting funnier all the time.

    Kevin M (bf8ad7)

  399. Anyone up for a game of Hangman? Wha’d i say…

    Gazzer (10aba9)

  400. It’s decidedly unfair to be in such severe misery you wish to die, and have someone use physical force to insist you live, ensuring more suffering.
    And that’s what the suicide prohibition ultimately comes down to.
    Comment by Random — 6/2/2012 @ 7:05 pm

    – There is no such thing as a “suicide prohibition”.

    Icy (904b3d)

  401. My brother in pain, random, is a thrall of relativism. Who believes (he has beliefs, ironic? no, not at all) there is no objective truth. All the while proclaiming the objective truth of Death. Who opposes any religious effort at coercion by advocating coercion through legal means. Who would like to promote the descent of man to the dignity of dog.

    Who confuses free will with “right”. Who is not opposed to “philanthropic euthanasia”. His message is the “gift of death”, not the “gift of life”. Who finds meaning in death, but no meaning in life.

    It is a dark place from which he views us, his brothers and sisters in faith (he has a faith we do not share) who only wish to express our love through action. We see his suffering.

    Suffering provokes compassion. But for him compassion is tyranny, and selfishness freedom. He argues liberty, but champions libertinism. He will not be swayed and thinks himself reasonable. He cannot sway us, and thinks us unreasonable.

    I can only respond to you will love, random. I will pray for you, to God Who created you, to God you do not believe in.

    felipe (3cc5df)

  402. Who believes (he has beliefs, ironic? no, not at all) there is no objective truth. All the while proclaiming the objective truth of Death.
    Who confuses free will with “right”.
    Comment by felipe — 6/3/2012 @ 11:28 am

    Thanks for your contribution. Considerably more eloquent than my attempts to point out similar things up at 363 and elsewhere.

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)

  403. Who believes (he has beliefs, ironic? no, not at all) there is no objective truth.

    This is epistemological nihilism — the belief that truth is ultimately unknowable. I am not an epistemological nihilist.

    I am an existential nihilist — the belief that life has no intrinsic (heavy emphasis on intrinsic) meaning or value. Which isn’t to say I don’t have strong preferences.

    And I’m referring to life, per se. I believe the only thing in the universe that matters at all is subjective experience. A rock or a painting, without a being to experience it, wouldn’t matter in the slightest. That said, I believe quality of life is the only thing that matters (subjectively — in an objective sense, emotions are evolved biochemicals and neurological firing patterns that helped us pass on our genes, and aren’t objective “truth” in and of themselves — although they do form part of reality).

    Random (fba0b1)

  404. I offer these thoughts in response to your kind exposition of who you are. Let me say it a third time for you.

    “I believe”

    Random, my brother. Believe it or not you are closer to believing in God than you realize. The words you have written- if you truly believe them – will help lead you from the confusion and darkness of existensial nihilism to the Truth and the Light of Love. All that is needed from you and for you is honesty with yourself. Please re-examine what you have written with a new mind. I continue to pray for you.

    felipe (3cc5df)

  405. “There is no such thing as a “suicide prohibition”.”

    Icy – That’s the biggest fallacy in Random’s argument. He can off himself anytime he wants. What are the police going to do after the fact, throw his corpse in jail?

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  406. please be advised

    you are entering a suicide free zone

    happyfeet (3c92a1)

  407. “you are entering a suicide free zone”

    Mr. Feets – Any face eating zombies to worry about?

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  408. I’m very very concerned about the face eating zombies Mr. daley so my place is now patrolled by laser-equipped robot vacuum cleaner

    I suggest you do the same

    happyfeet (3c92a1)

  409. Mr. Feets – I am contemplating purchasing a vicious zombie eating chihuahua named Hercules to protect my person and property.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  410. Just a correction, not that anyone will have likely caught the error: The Australian assisted suicide law I referred to was passed by the citizens of the Northern Territory, not Queensland. Then it was overruled by their Federal government.

    That makes a lot more sense. I had been wondering how the fedgov could override a state law, but couldn’t be arsed looking it up.

    Milhouse (312124)

  411. what do people who know more than I do think about Tom Delay and what he has been enduring through the courts?

    I haven’t been following the story for the past few years, but if the charges haven’t changed since he was indicted by the third grand jury to look at them, I’m astonished that they weren’t dismissed, and I cannot fathom how he could possibly be facing (or already in?) prison. Surely someone with his connections could at least get his case looked at by a sane judge or three, who could throw the whole thing out and discipline the original judge for not dismissing the charges in the first place.

    Milhouse (312124)

  412. Um, meaning that the charges were obvious nonsense that any sane person would dismiss.

    Milhouse (312124)

  413. It sounds like people are of the opinion Daley is not getting fair treatment, not matter what he may or may not be guilty of.

    I don’t know about other people, but as far as I’m concerned the evidence that he’s getting unfair treatment is the fact that he was tried and convicted. He can’t be guilty of the charges because they make no sense. They combine federal and state law in a logically inconsistent way, to create a crime where none exists. So I don’t need to look at the details of how he was treated to know that it must have been unfair.

    Milhouse (312124)

  414. Speaking of the lying Sackofcrapwea, does she really not understand that in order to claim minority status you should be of at least 50% minority blood?

    Since when?

    Milhouse (312124)

  415. Wonderful comment, felipe #408. Thank you.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  416. I agree with DRJ about that comment.

    Dustin (330eed)

  417. good call Mr. daley

    sharp sharp teefs are the only language the face-eating zombies seem to understand

    happyfeet (3c92a1)

  418. Just got a robo call from Simcha Felder. Simcha Felder is the former City Councilman who resigned right after he was e-elected in 2009 to become deputy Controller under John Liu (probably hoping to run for City Controller when John Liu ran for mayor) for whom the Senate Republicans created the new “super-Jewish” State Senate district, hoping to get another Carl Kruger (without the bribery) a Democrat who, in a pinch, might vote with the Republicans to organize the Senate and in the meantime, if they had a majority, they would reward with a chairmanship or something.

    He said don’t hang up. His people would be knocking on the door and asking people to sign his petitions.

    No.

    You know something: This kind of call has never happened before. They sometimes gather petitions early – but calling people in advance and asking them to sign the petitions??

    There will be 3 primaries this year (besides the special election) There was a Presidential primary (only for Republicans, with almost no turnout) on April 24 – and during the runup to that petitions were being gathered for the Congressional and U.S. Senate primaries – there will be Congressional primaries on June 26 I think and there will be all other (mostly State Assembly and State Senate) primaries on September 11 – except that the date might be changed after all. In 2007 they didn’t hold an election on September 11. I think they won’t read the names this year but it still may get postponed. I think they may push it up to Sept 13 – a Thursday. A day other than Tuesday is not usually done except to avoid a Jewish holiday but Tuesday September 18th is the second day of Rosh Hashonah. september 25th is not ususable either because that’s Erev Yom Kippur – the day before Yom Kippur and the fast (and Kol Nidre) starts at about 6:30 and while most religious Jews could vote, candidates and their staff and poll workers and other people who would need to be involved could participate so in all fairness that date can’t be used and neither can the next two Tuesdays. The next Tuesday they could use after September 11th is October 16th.

    Now the reason for the split primary: A federal law finally caught up with New York State. Ballots sent to overseas military people have to be mailed 45 days before the election. There are only 8 weeks (56 days) between September 11 and the November election (November 6) Ballots would have to be mailed by September 22 and that’s not enough time to get the results certified and everything. So they had to push it up. The legislators couldn’t agree on a date. Some wanted August but others said that’s the summer and people are on a vacation and others wanted June but others said that’s too early – we’re still in session and we’d be campaigning – or not campaigning – while we were in session. I think a federal judge set the date. But the law concerned only federal elections – state elections are not covered by it – it is only the choices for federal elections that have to be mailed 45 days before the election to military people. So the primaries for everything else besides U.S. House and Senate will be held in September. Maybe hey already changed the law so that the date isn’t september 11th. The newspapers don’t cover everything.

    Sammy Finkelman (a78b17)

  419. 408, seconded 422, 423. Hear, hear O Amerikkka.

    The wiki is bogus, nihilism is anti-life, anti-truth and quintessentially contra-positive.

    gary gulrud (dd7d4e)

  420. My family is divided. The scions pro-recall, the children and their children quietly steeled for revolution.

    WI looks to be the Left’s last stand. Zombie alert, guard your parts.

    gary gulrud (dd7d4e)

  421. I also want to thank felipe for #408. Well done.

    As I prepare to attend yet another visitation this afternoon to comfort a friend who lost a child this weekend to what Random might call “lifestyle choices” or a relatively peaceful way to die, I marvel at the fatuous nonsense spouted by the death cult promoters.

    I read Nietzsche and Camus in both their original languages and English and came away unimpressed.

    Raising questions without a seeming answer, debating the answer, and then deeming the question unanswerable is a scam for those great thinkers in Ivory Towers, dormitories, and on bar stools everywhere who have time for such mental masturbations and amusements. Most healthy people grow out of it.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  422. 430. “Most healthy people grow out of it.”

    And many of the remainder to boot.

    gary gulrud (dd7d4e)

  423. Tonight is the Transit of Venus. There will be a a group of watchers I think at The Intrepid, 12th Avenue and 46 Street, if I read the New York Times article right.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/05/nyregion/to-watch-venus-slide-across-sun-a-city-full-of-vantage-points.html?_r=1

    Page A16 in the printed paper. There’s also an article on A2 of the Wall Street Journal.

    It’ll be visible in New York City from about 6 PM through sunset at 8:24 PM. Across the
    Atlantic, the end will be visible, staring at sunrise. It won’t be able to seen at all in Portugal or parts of Spain as well as Brazil and most of South America and the west coast of Africa. The entire transit will be visible in Alaska and Hawaii, and starting at 5:45 pm EDT,
    Eastern time, the Mauna Kea observatory in Hawaii will begin live streaming on NASA’s web
    site. The American Museum of Natural History will link to NASA webcast and project it on
    a large screen in Cullman Hall – there will also be a related film in the Hayden Planetarium.

    Soime people prefer to see things in the real world. Astronomy groups are setting up websites around the city says the New York times but the
    article only mentions places in Manhattan: Union Square (SE corner?) the High Line,
    Riverside Park South and 125 Street, the sidewalk at 125 Street and Adam Clayton Boulevard (Is that 6th Avenue? 7th Ave? 8th Ave?) and the Intrepid Sea Air and Space Museum at 12th Avenue and 46 Street where NYSkies Astronomy will have several specially equipped telescopes.

    There is a Twitter hashtag #venustransit. Last Transit in 2004 there was no Twitter.
    This lasts a lot longer than solar eclipses, (6 1/2 hours versus I think maximum 6 minutes) but is much rarer and also less pf a spectacle. Nobody seems to have noticed any of this until the 1700s.

    From Wikipedia:

    A combination Solar eclipse and a transit of Venus is expected on April 5, 15232. A
    Transit of Mercury combined with a solar eclipse will occur July 5, 6757 Assuming they
    don’t change the calendar.

    The longest total solar eclipse during the 8,000 year period from 3000 BC to 5000 AD will
    occur on July 16, 2186, when totality will last 7 min 29 For comparison, the longest
    total eclipse of the 20th century at 7 min 8s occurred on June 20, 1955 and there are no
    total solar eclipses over 7 min in duration in the 21st century.

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)

  424. to become deputy Controller

    That’s Comptroller.

    Milhouse (312124)

  425. “And many of the remainder to boot.”

    Heh!

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  426. Having thought the matter through, I have rationally decided that my life is projected to be of net negative utility — to myself, at least, and probably not just that.

    Random (fba0b1)

  427. BTW, I finally looked up the presidential primary results for my area. I couldn’t find anything by election district, but in my entire congressional district, which elected 3 delegates to the R convention, 801 votes were cast. All day. Of those 801 votes, Romney got 459, Paul 150, Gingrich 133, and Santorum 70. 9 were blank. So my vote counted for 1/267th of a delegate. Cool.

    But that wasn’t even the smallest turnout; that was in the 16th CD, in the Bronx, where only 285 people voted. Each of their votes was worth 1/95 of a delegate! Romney carried the district with 151 votes, Paul got 64, Santorum 27, Gingrich 26, and 17 were blank.

    I see no logic in the R rules that allow such results. Why should the vote of a Republican in the Bronx count for so much more than that of one in the 20th CD, where 14,488 people voted?

    Milhouse (312124)

  428. I know Patterico’s been super busy with the Kimberlin and co. story, but I hope he finds time to throw up a brief post on this: Wiretaps Show Top DOJ Officials Knew of Gun Walking

    I’ll understand if he doesn’t.

    Hats off to Issa.

    Random (fba0b1)

  429. Another advantage of getting rid of the prohibition on suicide and assisted suicide.

    An ex girlfriend of mine from way back needs a liver. I’d gladly give her mine. By letting those who wish to leave life to so peacefully, this can help those who want to live via organ donation. People die every day for lack of an organ donor:

    From the United States Department of Health and Human Services:

    The number of people needing a transplant continues to rise faster than the number of donors. About 3,700 transplant candidates are added to the national waiting list each month. Each day, about 77 people receive organ transplants. However, 18 people die each day waiting for transplants that can’t take place because of the shortage of donated organs. There are now more than 92,000 people on the waiting list.

    From the Centers for Disease Control:

    More than 32,000 suicides occurred in the U.S. [in 2004]. This is the equivalent of 89 suicides per day; one suicide every 16 minutes or 11.05 suicides per 100,000 population.

    … yet 5 times more people kill themselves every year than die waiting for organs. If people like myself who have had enough of life and don’t want to live could just give our organs to those who want to live and have remaining responsibilities (she had 4 kids, but will die young!), then there would be a net benefit to the world in the only ways that matter: subjective experience.

    Those who find life miserable would end their suffering — non-violently, without the risks to the public, physical and psychic, the risk of injuring, not killing themselves, the realities of the horrible pain those who die through suicide must ordinarily suffer — and those who wish life would live.

    It’s win-win if only the stupid religiously-motivated nannies would butt out.

    And it would save my friend’s life. I’ve already lost one in the last week!

    I have the means to save the other, and instead if I end my life, it’s a total waste of my organs, since I can’t exactly do it openly at or near a medical facility.

    The current forced-life policies are abysmal and destructive and counterproductive on so many levels.

    Random (fba0b1)

  430. I could literally save my friend’s life this month, at no cost to myself. And I can’t because of these stupid, cruel, religion-influenced laws.

    Random (fba0b1)

  431. I just talked about it with her. She has the wrong blood type for the match to work, but the principle still stands: a rational, humane policy towards allowing suicide would not only alleviate suffering of people who don’t wish to live, but save the majority of people who currently die waiting for organ transplants.

    Random (fba0b1)

  432. One doesn’t have to be religiously motivated to think that human nature makes that proposition a very sketchy idea, Random.

    Organs are a commodity whether or not they are officially bought and sold. They are worth money and prestige to institutions and practicioners, not to mention persons who want to live. This means that self-sacrifice and not a true wish to die could intervene as motive for donation. This means that persons who could be helped or talked out of a death while in physical health with many useful parts, would not be.

    Humans must beware of themselves. We have rules like we do to limit that sort of thing which comes all too naturally.

    SarahW (b0e533)

  433. This means that self-sacrifice and not a true wish to die could intervene as motive for donation.

    Oh, you mean person A might sacrifice themselves for person B?

    Gee, we should get right on keeping that illegal. Wait — I thought that was the very best thing a person could do?

    Random (fba0b1)

  434. I could literally save my friend’s life this month, at no cost to myself. And I can’t because of these stupid, cruel, religion-influenced laws.
    Comment by Random — 6/6/2012 @ 4:32 pm

    – Oh look, he’s going on about religion now.

    I just talked about it with her. She has the wrong blood type for the match to work, but the principle still stands: a rational, humane policy towards allowing suicide would not only alleviate suffering of people who don’t wish to live, but save the majority of people who currently die waiting for organ transplants.
    Comment by Random — 6/6/2012 @ 4:42 pm

    – So you What? sign a contract for pre-natural-death organ donation, wherein you grant permission for a doctor to KILL YOU for the purpose of saving the lives of others? Yeah, that’s the way to go.

    Gee, we should get right on keeping that illegal. Wait — I thought that was the very best thing a person could do?
    Comment by Random — 6/6/2012 @ 4:56 pm

    – The very best thing a person can do is to willingly risk their life in order to save the life of another person; NOT to sacrifice their life in order to save someone that is not in immediate danger of dying AND has other life-saving options available. You, Mr Random, are NOT a soldier falling onto a grenade in order to save his squad (you wouldn’t want to do that, anyway; no viable organs left for transplant).

    Icy (086a9e)

  435. 438. An ex girlfriend of mine from way back
    needs a liver. I’d gladly give her mine.

    What I don’t understand is why, if the liver regenerates, a part of it can’t be taken.

    If the idea of a live liver transplant is rejected altogetehr, why did they did the tissue match check. Or you did it independently?

    I think a liver is one of the organs most prone to rejection – I’m not sure these transplants are very good.

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)

  436. Actually Sammy, they have been doing liver transplants using part (the L lobe) of a living person’s liver as the donor organ. I don’t know the details, but I have a friend who donated for her mother several years ago. I do not know what goes into matching, and I believe being a living liver-lobe donor (an “LLLD”) is a more involved and dangerous surgery than donating a kidney.

    As one can imagine, there are people looking at how to reproduce liver function with stem cell research (not embryonic). A major difficulty, as with the pancrease, is that the liver has two different (though related) functions. One is to remove toxins from the blood and metabolize them. The bigger problem is those toxins are secreted through a network of tubules, intially microscopic like a capillary, that gradually join and enlarge into the common bile duct, just as thousands of smaller rivers join to form the Amazon or Mississippi basins. One could grow cells on a mesh, pass blood through it, and do the metabolizing work of the liver, but how to devise the development of the removal system is another matter.

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)

  437. I didn’t know that about the liver, although it stands to reason.

    Interesting.

    Random (fba0b1)

  438. MD,

    Our son was hospitalized in 2000 on the same wing as the LLLD pediatric transplants. It’s fascinating stuff.

    DRJ (a83b8b)


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