Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Dr. Phil needs to STFU

(And if you don't know what STFU means, I'm not going to be the one to tell you.)

I've given a lot of thought to my reaction to the mother of the Octuplets (plus the 6 kids she has at home), Nadia Suleman.

I get really cranky when anyone tries to compel a woman to do anything with her uterus, whether it's additive (as in the case of compelling a woman to complete a pregnancy that is unwanted, or is not likely to result in a live mother and a live baby) or subtractive (as in the case of China and their one-child policy). I don't think that, as Dr. Phil suggested a few minutes ago on his show, there should be legal limits on how many embryos a fertility doctor is allowed to implant. The Law can't know all the subtleties in every situation, and the medical community has standards and practices that address these issues, which are a lot easier to change than The Law. This system works. Decisions about fertility treatments should, like ALL decisions about medical care, be made in private, between a woman and her doctor.

When we start legislating what women can and can't do with their uteri, we get on that slippery slope that makes me very, very uncomfortable. Plus, the idea that women aren't smart enough or responsible enough to manage their own health (with the help of the doctors of their choice), that we need laws to think for us because we aren't able to think for ourselves or make our own decisions, offends the hell out of me.

The first test tube baby was born in 1978. In the 31 intervening years, only a few dozen cases of high-order multiple births have occurred (note that many of the examples on that site predate reproductive assistance). Clearly it is rare that the industry hasn't policed itself, with regard to high order multiples.

So, in short, no. I don't think that laws need to be changed in order to prevent this happening again.

A lot of people have called Ms. Suleman's decision making skills into question, including Dr. Phil who asserted (without ever having met her, I might add) that she had a "real problem" making decisions, and that she couldn't possibly understand what she has done.

I don't think that's necessarily true. I think that the fact that these are the longest-surviving octuplets in US history says a lot about the prenatal and medical care that Ms. Suleman must have obtained for herself and her children during pregnancy. So, she's capable of caring for herself and her children at that level, at least.

I think it's entirely possible, even likely, that Ms. Suleman is a deeply religious person who would have believed that "selective reduction" meant murdering her children. I have to admit that if I were to get pregnant with high order multiples, I would have a very, very difficult time doing selective reduction, myself. It would feel like Sophie's choice to me, and how could I choose which of my children gets to live and which dies? I think (although who really knows until she's in that situation!) I would probably imperil myself (a pregnancy like that is completed at great risk to the mother) to give my children a shot at life, and I would try to find a way to raise them - knowing that it would be extraordinarily hard, but also knowing that my own struggle was less important than my child's life, or my children's lives.

And I'm pro-choice. So I can see how the decision to selectively reduce would be even more devastating for someone who is pro-life (I don't know Ms. Suleman's stance on that particular issue, but I'm assuming that she's pro-life, given what I know about her religion and her family).

I understand the outrage of the taxpayers in California who don't want their tax dollars to go to support a "litter" of children that a single, unemployed mother couldn't possibly afford. But I think that Ms. Suleman is simply a scapegoat - everyone feels frustrated when they perceive that their tax dollars are being spent wastefully, but since we can't really vent our collective spleens at Congress (after all, look at CSPAN's ratings, that makes for boring television) we instead are parading this poor woman and her family in front of the media circus and venting our frustration at the wasted dollars in her direction. I read today that if they took the dollars in the bailout that they're currently kicking around Washington and paid it in $1 bills, laid end to end those bills would reach 87% of the average distance from the Earth to the Sun, or 7 light-minutes long. The distance that light travels over a period of 7 minutes, in other words. That's freakin' FAR people. That's a LONG string of dollar bills, so let's have a little perspective. Even if Ms. Suleman diapers all 14 of her children with hundred dollar bills and feeds them caviar and Crystal champagne at every meal, she's going to have a hard time spending the tiniest fraction of that amount of money. If you're pissed about wasted tax dollars, aim that east toward D.C., not west toward a single mom in California.

I also understand the frustration of the infertile community, a community whose Venn diagram crosses the Mommyblogger community with regularity. Infertile couples, particularly infertile women, face a lot of criticism from people who don't understand their choices already ("Why not just adopt?" being a frequent refrain), and women having octuplets and whining on TV about how they always wanted a brother or a sister, well, that's not going to help the public understand the infertile point of view, is it?

You know who I feel sorry for? Ms. Suleman's parents. Their only daughter is making choices that are going to affect their lives in a huge way. They have no hope of retiring, not with 14 grandchildren to help care for. And they won't be able to live with themselves if they turn their backs on their daughter and their grandkids, so they're stuck. And Ms. Suleman is saying that her decision to pursue extreme parenthood was their fault - if they'd just given her the sibling she always wanted, she would've been whole and not needed to have all these babies. That's got to sting.

I get really squirmy, though, when people say things like, "A single woman has no right to have that many kids!" or "If she's receiving government assistance (which apparently, she gets for 3 of her kids who have disabilities - it's not like it's food stamps, it's more like Social Security... but still, assistance), she shouldn't be allowed to have kids!" because I don't hold with the idea of any person or group of people saying, "You can have kids, but you can't." That's called eugenics, and Hitler was a big fan.

Let's say that women on public assistance can't have kids. Then what? Do we force women who are on welfare to have an abortion if they accidentally get pregnant? Or what if we make it illegal for single women to seek reproductive assistance to have one child? Two? After 3 kids? Four? Five? Where's the line? Who decides? Should women have to pass some kind of sanity test before they become parents? Who gets to decide what's on the test? I can say with certainty, having done it twice now, that no sane person would sit down and logically decide to have kids - they don't sleep, they cost a fortune, they strain your marriage (if you're in one), they strain your other relationships, they smell bad, they excrete a variety of foul and colorful substances... But the decision to have kids is rarely a logical one. You can't reason with the heart, or the instincts.

If this woman had a husband, one with sufficient earning potential, then she and her 14 kids would be applauded. She'd be trotted out by the pro-life people as a shining example of the kind of courage and selflessness that all mothers should have when faced with an unexpected pregnancy - and who would ever expect EIGHT babies? It doesn't get more unexpected than that, whether it's planned or not. She'd have a TV show like the Duggars.

Instead, she's getting beaten up on every channel. And I, frankly, feel sorry for her. She had been implanted with 6 embryos before, and those procedures had resulted in single pregnancies. She hit the pregnancy jackpot, this time, and I really do believe that it was unintentional (after watching part of her NBC interview). If I were better at math, I'd figure out the odds against six embryos implanting and two of them splitting into twins, but I'm a writer, not a mather, so I'll leave that to someone with a bigger calculator.

Do I think that she knew what she was signing on for when she declined selective reduction? No, probably not. But when I was pregnant with Mary Grace, I didn't know what I'd signed on for, either. I don't think that means, necessarily, that she has poor judgment or that she has "problems with decision making" as Dr. Phil asserted. Do I think that her life is going to be easy? Heck, no. Even if she gets money from every media outlet and every company wanting the advertising mojo in the world, she's still those kids' only parent, and she's going to have to give and give and give of herself for the rest of her life in a way that, frankly, I can't imagine. There will never be a minute's peace in her house until all of her kids are grown and gone, and even then, she'll probably end up raising at least one grandchild of her own (statistically, anyway). Am I going to give her any money? Nope. She's set up a website for donations, but I'm not interested, frankly. There are other causes that I care about more, and if I had money to give right now, I'd give to them.

But do I think that she deserves to be beaten up in the media? No (although she's probably bringing it upon herself, to a certain extent, agreeing to all these interviews and hiring publicists and stuff). Do I think that the laws need to change? No. Do I think the doctor needs to lose his license? Probably not, if the medical board in California reviews the records and he didn't violate any of their rules, then I see no reason why he should be punished.

I just hope that she can do what she hopes to do. I hope she can keep all of those kids fed and cared for. I hope she gets a lot of help and support from her family and her church, because she's sure going to need it. And I hope they keep an eye on her, because seriously - 14 small kids? That's a nervous breakdown waiting to happen.

But I don't begrudge her her choices, because I wouldn't want her to begrudge me mine.

21 comments:

Anonymous said...

A heated issue, for sure.

I don't know who's picking up the tab on the mother's and older children's routine health care expenses; I suspect that's another instance of government aid. Reports indicate the mother stuck the hospital with the expenses related to the 8's birth and NICU charges, and now the hospital is seeking government reimbursement. Yes, the family is receiving government aid in the form of food stamps.

I've made painful personal decisions not to take on more than I can handle. I'm not happy that, as a taxpayer, I'm being forced to pay for this woman's irresponsible personal decisions. I think her marital status is irrelevant. I think her financial status is definitely relevant. It's one thing to accidently become overburdened with sheer numbers of children. It's quite another to seek medical intervention to conceive one or more additional children when she couldn't provide for the ones she already had.

Jen said...

Sorry, Amy, but I agree with your prior commentor, however, you make some very good points. Were you in speech and debate? See you Sunday :)

Anonymous said...

I see your point on some of this, it's a slippery slope when the government gets involved with what you can and cannot do with your body.

HOWEVER, I agree with the commenter above.. I don't think that people have a 'right' to do whatever they want to do when their decisions impact other people. She could not afford more children at the time she was implanted... not even one more.. and she knew that since she was already getting government assistance then for the six children she already had. I, for one, am tired of making decisions to not do things BECAUSE I CAN'T AFFORD TO DO THEM, and then be expected to pick up the tabs of those who do whatever the hell they want, if they can afford it or not.

This woman is obviously troubled, she had more children because she was lonely as a child? What the heck will happen with these 14 children, there is no way that she can give them all individual attention! How is it okay to expect others to take care of the children that you choose to have?

I feel for the children in this case, and hope that they are taken care of.. not necessarily by her.

RobMonroe said...

Poor decision for her family? No. Poor decision given her circumstances, I think yes.

I know what it cost me to have my dear, darling little one IUI baby, including a natural, no medication childbirth. I know that without proper insurance, I would have been bankrupted. There is no way that I could justify to myself the idea of sticking the state with that bill. I have seen estimates that just for the birth and hospital care the bills are well over $1.2 million.

I am a proponent of assistance systems that most states have in place, and think that others need to bulk theirs up. I get frustrated to hear about people abuse the system - even to a lesser extent than $1.2M. I have a co-worker who's mother could find a job fairly easily in a good market, but is refusing to even try right now. She feels that she's entitled to the unemployment money she's getting. They're talking about cutting funding for teachers, police and other essential services because of people who abuse the system.

I think that there are people out there that are meant to have many children. I know that I'm not one of them. Maybe she is. I'm able to look past the number of children because there are ways to make it work. Her church community is wide and caring, they will be able to assist with some basic childcare and, early on, they will support her with some finances.

But the real problem I have is that she has just cost the state of CA - the PEOPLE of CA - jobs and services that other people need to survive. One big part of the package in the East (my neck of the woods) is to support California and other states that are struggling. That means that all of us are contributing to her family, whether we like it or not.

That is the irresponsible part.

(I don't want to gloss over your first two paragraphs... I agree with you and don't think that the government should be able to dictate a minimum or maximum on how many children people should have.)

RobMonroe said...

I just read an article about her - I don't think that anyone needs to threaten to kill her or her children. That's just messed up and ridiculous. Even if you don't agree with her decisions, she's a human being and deserves to be treated as such.

Anonymous said...

The mother plans to return to California State Univ. in the fall and use the school's daycare facility. I'll go out on a limb here and guess the daycare is not funded by alumni donations or student activity fees. Since Cal State is a state school, this appears to be yet another instance of government aid.

Many municipalities limit the number of dogs and cats that can be housed in an individual residence. This protects the welfare of the pets, and also protects the general quality of life for others living in the neighborhood. How can it be humane -- for the children or the neighbors -- for 14 children under the age of 8 to be living in a 3BR home?

What is in the best interest of others? Was it best for Nadya's mother Angela for Nadya to bring more children into the world? Angela filed for bankruptcy last March; the case was dismissed when she failed to appear and also failed to make prescribed payments. Angela also says she pleaded with the fertility doctor not to give Nadya additional IVF treatments. Was it best for Nadya's 6 older children to bring one or more additional infants into their lives and household? Was it best for the neighbors to bring additional infants into an already overwhelmed household? For that matter, was it in the best interest of developing fetuses to be part of a group of 8 when Nadya refused selective reduction? This is why people call Nadya selfish. What she chose to do is not in the best interest of anyone else affected by her decisions.

Once Nadya elected to accept government assistance (whether she chooses to deny that's what it is called or not), then, yes, her financial decisions do come under public scrutiny. If she had an extra $10,000 to spend, then she should have given it to her mother -- who says Nadya has given her no money for house payments or food -- instead of paying for another IVF procedure.

Corporations who receive bailout money from Congress are criticized for plans to purchase a $50 million jet, entertain themselves at Las Vegas hotels and other lavish locales, and reward themselves with bonuses. A woman who chooses to receive government aid will find that her financial decisions will, likewise, come under public scrutiny. She should have stopped having more children as soon as she started receiving any government aid whatsoever.

I'm very sad to admit that I think it is in the best interest of Nadya's children that at least some of them be removed from her home and cared for by other loving families.

Maggie said...

Honestly, I think Ms. Suleman is mentally ill. They keep using the word "obsessed", and everything I've heard thus far sounds very unhealthy to me. I'm all for invitro, but I think it was incredibly irresponsible to have all 6 transplanted when she already had 6 children & getting help from the government, not to mention living with her parents.

When she said in one interview "I KNOW I will be able to take care of them once I'm finished with school"...ummm, then maybe you should have waited to have any more kids, until you were done with school! That comment, to me, sounded like an empty promise of a child, whining at his/her parents to please just let him/her have ice cream before finishing homework, or to be allowed to go to the mall before his/her science project is finished.

I honestly don't know who I feel worse for--her parents, who have no choice but to help support her & help raise her kids...or the children, who will not get the full one on one parenting that kids need, not to mention being put into daycare while she finishes school (and we'll see if that actually even happens, I expect).

And saying she is going to use student loans to pay for the children while she finishes school? I'm no rocket scientist here, but I think student loans are generally granted in order to pay for SCHOOL and supplies...not to help pay to raise 14 children.

I happen to live in California, so it hits a little closer to home. We are already in a budget crisis here, it's not like the state just has money laying around to pay her medical expenses!

All in all, I think her actions were incredibly selfish and irresponsible, and I absolutely think there should be laws that a person in her situation cannot implant that many embryos at once. It's not the single mom thing that I have as much of a problem with (though raising 14 kids alone does seem rather daunting)--my issue is that she already had more than the "average" number of children, and she was already recieving government help, and she is unemployed!

I make a fairly good salary for someone my age, and I want a dog more than anything, but in my current situation, I know I cannot afford to get a dog right now. I would never even think of getting a dog, assuming that I would be able to rely on my parents or whoever to help me pay for one! Nevermind having a CHILD right now to take care of!

Honig said...

Amy-

I agree that in the normal course of things, the government should not regulate what we can do with our uteri (I am pro-choice as well), however...I heard a bio-ethics professor on the Today show speak about this case. He said something that made sense to me, "We have regulations on who can adopt (financial stability, home situation, etc.), why not some reasonable regulations on this type of situation as well?" He was very quick to point out that they should be REASONABLE. I agree, it's a very slippery slope, and this woman is obviously an extreme case. So do we need legislation that will impact everyone to police the one outlier? Probably not.

I do agree with previous commentors, though, her choice to have even one of these children was irresponsible. I know we're holding off on having #2 until we can see the cash flow is there to put them into the best daycare around or afford to have one of us stay at home. That is a reasonable, rational decision we're making (regardless of how my heart is reminding me of how much I enjoyed being pregnant) and we are paying for every dime of it ourselves.

Regardless of the way these poor children were brought into the world, they're here now and need help just as much as if this poor woman had been raped and had naturally occuring octuplets. These babies are no less deserving of Huggies/Enfamil/Avent donations, just because their mom may not have exhibited the best judgement.

Am I happy about it? No. Do I feel bad for the mom? No. Does my heart break for the babies? Hell yes.

B.J. said...

For those that complain about the burden on them as taxpayers, I really fail to see how this is any different than 14 women who are on government assistance having a child each. Or even 14 women on government assistance (which I'm sure doesn't provide the best prenatal care) with children that wound up in the NICU as did Suleman's.

I wouldn't say that this woman was being responsible but why single her out? If you really want to complain about something, how about focusing your outrage on eliminating generational poverty and subsequent generational reliance on government assistance rather than on this woman, who by all accounts, is going to have a tough time of it anyway?

And to complain that she's going to go back to school to get a degree. Good grief. How is that not saying "Well, I don't like your position but I don't want you to try to get out of it." Come on.

Or, if you're up for the whole forest rather than a couple of trees, how about the $10,727,885,171,671 in national debt, which all of us (including our children) owe $35,100 to. Where's the outrage at that? Or, since this was a post about a woman with 14 kids, where's the perspective?

Let's let the woman be. I don't think there's a rash of people on government assistance with the desire or means to repeat these circumstances. Let's instead focus anger and efforts on the big issues.

Cate said...

Of course it's annoying to think of supporting someone whose choices you don't agree with with your tax dollars. I could be annoyed if I thought about it long enough. However, everyone who is complaining about this, do you really have a grasp of how the government budget is alloted? The kinds of programs like food stamps and whatever, that are supporting Suleman, are a tiny, miniscule portion of the entire budget. I think the last time I looked at percentages of the government money pie, welfare and everything that could be considered welfare were around 3% of the entire budget. Guess what was 50%, and now with the war that percentage has gone up: DEFENSE. I'd like to see all of you who are complaining about the peanuts it takes to support this woman and any other woman/man/child who makes poor choices ALSO complain about the INSANE amount of OUR money the government uses to pay for its retarded military agenda -- I'm willing to bet you have never spent as much time even thinking about that as you have about this wierd woman and her kids. PS I'm really not writing this in an angry tone -- just throwing it out there.

Anonymous said...

You said yourself that she is capable of making decisions and being responsible (citing the prenatal care she ensured she received). To me, that also means she is totally capable of NOT letting herself be "paraded" around in the media circus. Yes, they are good at pressuring and I am sure it is not easy. But the truth is, she loves the attention. It means more money in donations, it means more chances for books or shows in the future. If she didn't want it, she wouldn't allow it. Just like for the first several days after the octuplet's birth - she kept herself out of the spotlight. She then CHOSE to put herself in it. She could be spending time with her kids, instead she is agreeing to interviews and whoring herself out to the "media circus". JMO.

Wright said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Wright said...

Alrighty… I’ll take a stab at this one because someone is a lil lacking in understanding why we spend so much on our military. I apologize in advance, because this issue is far more complex than “OMG! WE SPEND SO MUCH ON THE ARMY FOR GUNS!! OH NOES” kneejerk bullshit.
I. The Liberal Capitalist World System
Following the Panic of the early 1890’s (The Great Depression prior to the one you’ve heard about) a consensus was reached by the McKinley Administration and Congress that the United States was now simply too big to go it alone economically in the world. This decision was based in large part on the aforementioned panic, but also on lessons learned from the Civil War (Sorry kids, it wasn’t really about Slavery) and the subsequent decades that America needed the world as a trading partner because we simply made to much stuff to consume it all ourselves and so we had to export it.
The first step in the wake of this realization was actually with China and the Open Door Notes, which was a flurry of diplomatic activity with the goal of keeping the Colonial powers (England, France, Germany, Russia, and the Netherlands) from carving up China. The premise being that American productivity could successfully compete with the other powers in China, and thereby sell more American goods. Ultimately, the British agreed with us, and China was not carved up and everyone got to keep exporting there and we did out compete everyone. (Side note, the first big multinational peacekeeping expedition came out of this during the Boxer Rebellion)
Over the next two decades, the Open Door Policy was globalized to keep the world from being broken up into spheres of influence. Unfortunately it wasn’t super successful, but McKinley, Teddy Roosevelt and Wilson made a good show of it and did make a lot of progress in helping establish early low tariff agreements between the powers. The big result being that the other powers slowly started realizing that they too couldn’t go it alone, even with big colonies (which were generally poor) and that they needed the world as well. So out of this came the Liberal Capitalist World System, eventually.
The first big test for this new idea was following World War 1 when everyone, but our, economy was in the toilet. Lotta reasons for that, but the big one was an unwillingness to forgive war debt and insane reparation demands on Germany. But the test came when countries started withdrawing behind tariff barriers and colonies once again, though slowly at first.
Where things really went wrong though was in the 1920’s and it’s one of two reasons why we now have an expansive standing military. Though no one liked the tariff’s, the Japanese got hit hardest by’em. They were a heavy manufacturing economy very dependant on trade for resources to build things with and then to export. So when we and the French slapped some big barriers on’em, they responded with some aggression and invaded China (they already had Korea and the Germany port in China), because they decided they were done with the global trading thing and wanted out. But to do it, they just needed a little bit of land (China and all of South East Asia) and they could go it alone. So they proceeded to unleash a campaign that frankly made the Nazis look like particularly pleasant boyscouts. If you’ve not done so, I suggest you read upon on the Rape of Nanking.
Well, as the Chinese were getting properly and orderly butchered by the Japanese, the Germans decided to hell with this reparations shit, and elected a particularly silly and unknown failed painter, organizer, and ex-Austrian Corporal with a nifty moustache as Chancellor. He had a gift for oratory and promised to deliver the people from all their woes, including a million something % annual inflation rate. Pretty sure he also promised a chicken in every pot.
The aforementioned Austrian Corporal also decides that the world can go to hell and that Germany doesn’t need to be a part of the gang either. At first, he tries to do it by pure trade with this brilliant little idea called where Germany would pay for things with money that could only be used to by German goods. It worked quite well, particularly with South American countries that had large numbers of German expats living there. Unfortunately for our Corporal and the World, that wasn’t quite enough to go it alone, so he decided he needed a lil bit more territory and that Europe from the south of France to the Urals would fit the bill. So he kicked off a nice big war and damn near got it all.
Why all this and why does it mean we need a standing Military that consumes a shitload of our budget? Simple, because at the time we were the greatest economic power and had we had a standing army with the ability to project power, we could have nipped the problem in the bud. That woulda saved anywhere from 60-100 million dead in the course of 20 years and been a hell of a lot cheaper than financing and fighting a global war that raged for the better part of a decade.
So, in other words kiddies, having a huge standing army is ultimately a god awful lot cheaper than the alternative in terms of blood and dollars.
II. John Maynard Keynes
Now beyond the whole ounce of prevention is worth a ton of cure aspect, there is also a big economic factor in it as well. You’ve probably heard of John Maynard Keynes, the founder of Keynesianism or the economic theory that says that government, as the biggest single consumer, is best positioned to lift a country out of economic hardship because it can borrow and spend the most. We are in the grip of a Keynsian rush right now in fact with the gigantic spending bill that is being worked out.
Now what you might not know is that Keynes refined that idea rather considerably after studying World War 2 and how it was that war and that REALLY huge government spending that lifted the world out of economic depression (sorry kiddies, the New Deal was an abject failure in lifting us out of the depression and actually made things worse over the course of its 12 year run, so don’t believe the propaganda, though FDR did get it about 25% right). Infrastructure projects are nice and built a lotta buildings under the WPA, AAA, CCCP, and all that other stuff, but they didn’t provide any long term jobs and once the projects were completed, folks were right back on the soup lines. Keynes saw this and had a “AH HAH!” moment, the Military!
What he realized was that sure you could build lots of bridges, but once you built’em, they were done and you wouldn’t need another one for 60 years and there were only so many places you need a bridge. However, the military burns through its stuff MUCH faster and is going to always need more toys. Better yet, those toys tend to be needed in high quantities and high quality.

In other words, you have the perfect consumer in the Military. It has an infinite capacity to consume, it always is looking for something new, and the toys it needs requires a shitload of innovation. In otherwords, it requires jobs all across the spectrum! From the blue collar dude making bullets, to the truck driver delivering them, all the way up to the engineer designing a better fighter bomber. This became known as Military Keynesianism, and it didn’t just work, it worked GREAT.
It worked so great in fact that it scared the holy living hell out of Eisenhower and turned him paranoid, and that is where we get the whole “Military Industrial Complex” spew in his Farewell Address. This warning aside though, every single president since FDR has used military spending to keep America going. The innovations produced for the military have exploded into the civilian markets and lifted up the entirety of the country time and again for the past 60 years, and it’s why we haven’t had another depression or really serious recession since WW2 (at least until we really well and truly screwed the pooch with the financial system). Hell, the fact that you are even reading this is proof positive of the success of Military Keynesianism because it was DARPA that invented the internet (sorry Al, wasn’t you buddy).
So, while you keep bemoaning the nasty evil military and all the money it gets, consider this. Our world exists because of it and we get to sit around on our increasingly fat lazy asses enjoying the fun of the internet, TV, DVDs, and all the rest of it because of military spending either directly or indirectly. Further, we’ve not gotten into another really big knock down, drag out, “I’m going to freakin end your way of life” world war either because of it too. Because no one but a pack of nutters living on the fringe really wants to play ball because we’ll curb stomp them so badly. The last big brouhaha cost us 10% of the species boys and girls, and the next one would be every bit as bad if not worse.
So call me a flag waving military hoorah shouting wild eyed psycho if ya will, but I sure as hell count $500 Billion a year as a dirty cheap price for sparing us 600,000,000 dead people if the last time around is any judge.

Wright said...

Oh, one other thing...

This blog is, literally, brought to you by the Military Industrial Complex as the husband of its owner, and its owner, both derive their incomes from the aforementioned outrageous military spending.

Anonymous said...

Since some people might be wondering was STFU means, I thought I'd lighten the topic with what do you think dilligaf means? ;>)

chicagogoebel said...

To Wright: Wow, I'm impressed by your dissertation! Do you have a blog yourself? I'd love to read more of your writing.

Oh, and as a Capt in the AF Reserves, I say thanks for the flag waiving! :)

Wright said...

a. Thank you... Thank you. I have to get some use out of my degrees.

b. Naw, I don't have one anymore. I relegate myself to somewhat snide comments on facebook and taking a mental club to those who kneejerk bash the military while trying to sound "enlightened". But thanks =)

c. Thanks for the service man.

RobMonroe said...

I would agree with BJ, except that she sort of sought out the attention thinking that she would be praised as a caring and dedicated mother. It backfired for her. I would have had no problem living the rest of my life without having heard her story, and that kinda sucks. I like to know people's stories...

Anonymous said...

So much for the idea that Nadya Suleman will be getting help from her church. The people running the church she identifies as being hers have not personally met her.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/02/13/octuplet-mom-updates-chur_n_166737.html

Cate said...

This one is to Wright --

Although you have taken my opinion as an opportunity to delve into your own agenda, I'm just writing a short note to say that I didn't read your lengthy response because it has no bearing, no relevance to what I was saying. My point was this: we as tax payers have to deal with the government spending money on things that we personally would not agree with, because we agree to be citizens of this country. And I think it's ludicrous to get upset over paying for this woman's bills when her bills are pennies compared to ALL the other things we are forced into paying for, things that cost way more, WAY MORE than this one problematic woman. Honestly, I didn't "kneejerk" pick on the military; it was just an example of one of the many things we just have to swallow if we don't agree with it. And if you have enough time to write all that, you have more spare time on your hands than I have had since I was in elementary school. Lucky you!

Anonymous said...

The bottom line for me is that I do not feel sorry for her because she made the decision to get into the media spotlight. She is the one who was immediately saying "Give me $2 million for an interview" right after the babies were born. She was the one who went on TV and spoke about her situation. She made the decision to bring these babies into the world and she should absolutely have to live with all of the consequences.

Do I think that there should be legislation as a result of this situation - NO!!! There are existing medical protocols in place to prevent these types of situations, but her physician ignored them. He should be held accountable for violating ethical standards of the fertility treatment profession. However, I do believe that she made a very poor decision. But that's the great thing about America - people can choose to do stupid things that affect themselves. What saddens me so greatly is that her poor decision making is going to have a lasting effect on all of her children.