Patterico's Pontifications


The High Cost of Energy

Filed under: General — Dana @ 9:34 pm

[guest post by Dana]


Last month, in a bit of horrific news, it was revealed that aborted and miscarried babies were being incinerated as clinical waste to heat hospitals in the United Kingdom. The public outcry prompted officials to review their code of ethics and make sure hospital personnel were properly trained in presenting disposal options to parents.

This week, Oregon found itself in a similar position.

The British Columbia Health Ministry confirmed that biomedical waste is shipped to the U.S. for destruction. Such waste includes “human tissue, such as surgically removed cancerous tissue, amputated limbs, and fetal tissue.”

The biomedical waste is believed to be incinerated at Oregon’s Covanta Marion waste-to-energy facility where 800 tons of medical waste is burned yearly to produce energy. This is the only facility that uses waste to power the grid.

Today, county commissioners approved a move to halt the waste company from receiving fetal tissue to burn. County commissioners claim they were unaware of the practice.

According to commissioner Sam Brentano, the county ordinance that sets the parameters for what can be accepted at the waste-to-energy plant allows for all human tissue.

“No rule or law has been broken, but there’s an ethical standard that’s been broken.

Brentano added,

The county plans to rewrite its ordinance to spell out that no tissue from fetuses can enter the incinerator, and the providers will have to develop a workable system.

Of course, if this medical waste was once just a lentil-sized, brainless embryo or a mindless pre-person, presumably without a soul, what difference does incinerating them make? After all, they would have only grown up to be time-sucking monsters with their constant neediness anyway.

The idea that miscarried and aborted babies could be incinerated to produce energy is mind-boggling. But for those who believe that these were nothing but soulless blobs of tissue and blood, this is not a problem. And some of those people not only have no qualms about this, they might even see it as a unique way to produce energy. Do the math: with the number of abortions performed in the United States alone and approximately 800 tons of “medical waste” burned in a year at just one plant, it might be a lucrative enterprise.

At the end of the day, the hard-edged coldness of this life is wearying. And unfortunately, in this multi-layered sadness we see the most defenseless among us not only prevented from taking their very first breaths, but to our collective shame, they are met with just as much callous disregard in the aftermath. They are no different than an amputated toe. It represents who we are and what we have become. Who we will be remains to be seen.

*Preemptive strike: A baby resulting from rape is not discussed in the post or in the articles.

**Preemptive strike: I believe parents who lose through miscarriage should be given options for disposal of remains and their wishes followed. I think that aborted remains should be treated with the respect they were not accorded in life and be turned over to churches and groups who will bury them in the ground, loving them on the last part of their very limited journey on this earth.


Hey, How About Another Bush in the Oval Office?

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:42 am

Jeb Bush says he’s thinking of running.

This is likely to start yet another round in the giant match between Establishment Conservatives and Tea Partiers.

Look, I’m not a professional politico, and (like the Republican party, evidently) I have been torn over the years on the proper balance to strike between uncompromising demands and trying to get things done. To the extent I can manage to do so, I am going to try to get out of that business, because I’m not particularly good at it. It’s always satisfying (and easy) for a conservative blogger sitting at his kitchen table to say damn the torpedoes and try for the moon; we don’t have to actually do anything. The problem there: I think it’s stupid to simply hand over the reins of government to the other side for 40 years and let them appoint 9 justices who will shred what’s left of the Constitution. But at the same time, the fiscal problems we have demand action of the sort almost no “regular” politician is likely to take.

Argue it out. Be polite. I’m just going to point out that Business As Usual isn’t going to cut it. And a third Bush sure feels like Business As Usual.

Two (OK, Three) Views on How to Stop Discrimination on the Basis of Race

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:35 am

Sonia Sotomayor:

The way to stop discrimination on the basis of race is to speak openly and candidly on the subject of race.

John Roberts:

The way to stop discrimination on the basis of race is to stop discriminating on the basis of race.

I like Roberts’s view better. Especially since “speaking openly and candidly on the subject of race” is nothing more than an invitation to have people revile you and try to get you fired.

You know who likes Sotomayor’s view better? Eric Holder.

MANDATORY HARRUMPHING AND CAVEATS: Yes, there is still racial discrimination in this society. Of all different types, I might add. This is human nature and it will never end.

So the third view — the Patterico view — is this:

The way to stop discrimination on the basis of race is . . . you can’t.

The main question is, do we trust government to engage in racial discrimination, as long as some people are convinced it’s for a good end? Me, I’m not.

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