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Archive for September 14th, 2010

Just a few things that are on my mind right now.

1.  Flu Shots.   I was in the living room the other night when Mrs. BiW was watching television, and one of the commercials was about the availability of flu shots at the local pharmacy and how various health authorities were urging them for everyone.  I thought about it for a few minutes and reflected on how they seem to be available everywhere here this year.  Supermarkets, pharmacies, and special kiosks at the malls.  I asked her if she could remember a time in our lives when they have been pushed as hard as they have this year.  She responded that she could not.

I went to the Doctor for one of my wonderful pincushion sessions this morning.  As I signed in, the receptioninst asked me if I wanted a flu shot.  I said “No.”  My doctor was behind the counter sending a fax, and said “What do you mean you don’t want a flu shot?”  I said “I just had one a few months ago.”  He laughed.

In the examination room, he laboriously went through the several reasons he felt I should get a flu shot, and finished with “and you didn’t just get a flu shot.  Your last flu shot was in December.  The shot I gave you in May was for pneumonia.  Just get the damn shot.”  I got the shot.   I was surprised to discover that my local oil change place wasn’t offering flu shots this afternoon when I spent my lunch hour getting a flush and fill on my radiator.  Of course, I suppose that some people have to get it, you know, so that we can have an emergency that won’t go to waste.

2.  Justice Steven Breyer.  WTF?  No.  Really.  W.T.F.???

I heard part of an interview of Justice Breyer by George Stephanopoulos today on my way home.  If my Doctor is correct, I have to stop listening to interviews like this, because the question appeared to be asked with serious intent, and the noodling out loud by Justice Breyer, well, let’s just say he’s demonstrated reason to question his fitness for the job.

From the Washington Post:

Today, Stephanopoulos asked Supreme Court Justice Stephen G. Breyer this remarkable question:

When you think about the Internet, and when you think about the fact that a pastor in Florida, with a flock of 30, can threaten to burn the Koran and that leads to riots and killings in Afghanistan, does that pose a challenge to the First Amendment and how you interpret it? Does it change the nature of what we can allow and protect?

Breyer began his answer well enough, with a defense of free speech. “People can express their views in debate, no matter how awful those views are,” he said. “In debate. A conversation. People exchanging ideas — that’s the model. So that we are better informed when we cast that ballot. Those core values remain.”

At this point, Breyer could have concluded, “And whatever we might decide in any individual case, we must never sacrifice our values in the face of threats or intimidation.”

Instead, referring to “those core values,” the justice added, “How they apply can change.” What might that mean?

“The conversation is now global,” Stephanopoulos prompted.

“Indeed,” Breyer agreed:

And you can say — with the Internet, you can say this. You can’t shout fire in a crowded theater. Holmes said it doesn’t mean you can shout ‘fire’ in a crowded theater. Well, what is it? Why? Because people will be trampled to death. And what is the crowded theater today? What is the being trampled to death? It will be answered over time in a series of cases which force people to think carefully.

The question starts from the wrong premise, that being that a religious or political expression’s legality is subject to the Court, and it was wrong for the to Justice’s answer, as it is not for the Courts or Judges to offer advisory opinions.  That said, the Judge’s opinion is nothing short of an abject surrender of the sovereignty of our nation and its citizens.  Our ability to exercise any one of our rights cannot be subject to how people in other countries will react to that exercise.  The minute we make the exercise of our rights subject to international approval, our government no longer fulfills its duty to guarantee those rights to us, and the social contract is broken.

May God save us from these damn Harvard lawyers.  They will be our undoing.

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