How Not to Make Law

July 7, 2009

Progressively more information is coming out about the climate bill recently passed by the U.S. House of Representatives. Whatever you think of the underlying issues, this is not the way to set wise, appropriate policy. Paul Greenberg has written a humorous, yet serious, critique of the process, which he begins this way:

Here’s how to get a dubious bill into law, or at least past the U.S. House of Representatives, which of late has deserved to be called the lower chamber:

First, make the bill long. Very long. So long no one may actually read it, supporters or opponents. Introduce a 310-page horse-choker of an amendment at 3 in the morning on the day of the roll-call vote. So it can’t be examined too closely or too long. Only after the bill passes may its true costs emerge. To cite an old proverb I just made up: Pass in haste, repent at leisure.

You can read the entire article here. Read it! Then contact your representative and senators and petition for the redress of grievances.

Medical Advances

July 4, 2009

I found this AP article entitled Los Angeles Hospital Gets Rep for “Raising Dead” to be interesting. Underneath the sensationalism and strange language—for example, what does it mean to be “basically dead” if you are not actually dead?—there seems to be a genuine medical advance. Persons are being resuscitated who formerly would have been deemed to be beyond help. A UCLA expert referred to in the article, cardiothoracic surgeon Dr. Gerald Buckberg, is quoted as saying,

[T]he window is wide open to new thinking … We can salvage [persons who hearts have quit beating] way beyond the current time frames that are used. We’ve changed the concept of when the heart is dead permanently.

It seems that this could have significant implications for medical ethics, including possibly decisions made regarding organ donations.

Marriage, Family, and No-Fault Divorce

July 3, 2009

Marriage is important. Family is important.  Many of us accept this as a matter of principle, believing that God chose this and built it into His creation.  Believe it for that reason or not, however, we can accept this for practical and experiential reasons, seeing the impact of marriage and family—and the breakup of marriage and family—on our society.

Law affects marriage and family significantly. I could write more on this, but instead I wish to direct your attention to something written by Leah Ward Sears, recently Chief Justice of the Georgia Supreme Court. Through both personal and legal experience, she has seen the effect of no-fault divorce laws on marriage and family. Her article, Let’s End Disposable Marriage, is worth your time. I hope that you will take a few minutes to read it.