Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Dave Sim's blogandmail #204 (April 3rd, 2007)


Fifteen Impossible Things to Believe Before Breakfast That Make You a Good Feminist

1. A mother who works a full-time job and delegates to strangers the raising of her children eight hours a day, five days a week does just as good a job as a mother who hand-rears her children full time.

2. It makes great sense for the government to pay 10 to 15,000 dollars a year to fund a daycare space for a child so its mother - who pays perhaps 2,000 dollars in taxes - can be a contributing member of society.

3. A woman's doctor has more of a valid claim to participate in the decision to abort a fetus than does the father of that fetus.

4. So long as a woman makes a decision after consulting with her doctor, she is incapable of making an unethical choice.

5. A car with two steering wheels, two gas pedals and two brakes drives more efficiently than a car with one steering wheel, one gas pedal and one brake which is why marriage should always be an equal partnership.

6. It is absolutely necessary for women to be allowed to join or participate fully in any gathering place for men, just as it is absolutely necessary that there be women only environments from which men are excluded.

7. Because it involves taking jobs away from men and giving them to women, affirmative action makes for a fairer and more just society.

8. It is important to have lower physical standards for women firepersons and women policepersons so that, one day, half of all firepersons and policepersons will be women, thus more effectively protecting the safety of the public.

9. Affirmative action at colleges and universities needs to be maintained now that more women than men are being enrolled, in order to keep from giving men an unfair advantage academically.

10. Having ensured that there is no environment for men where women don't belong (see no.6) it is important to have zero tolerance of any expression or action which any woman might regard as sexist to ensure greater freedom for everyone.

11. Only in a society which maintains a level of 95% of alimony and child support being paid by men to women can men and women be considered as equals.

12. An airline stewardess who earned $20,000 a year at the time that she married a baseball player earning $6 million a year is entitled, in the event of a divorce, to $3 million for each year of the marriage and probably more.

13. A man's opinions on how to rear and/or raise a child are invalid because he is not the child's mother. However, his financial obligation is greater because no woman gets pregnant by herself.

14. Disagreeing with any of these statements makes you anti-woman and/or a misogynist.

15. Legislature Seats must be allocated to women and women must be allowed to bypass the democratic winnowing process in order to guarantee female representation and, thereby, make democracy fairer.





Jeff Seiler continues…

Back to the Last Will, etc. suggestions letter: I was "talking" on the group today with Sgt. Flowers who said that he had emailed some churches in Kitchener to see whether any pastor/s could recommend a God-fearing doctor who could have perhaps helped you in your illness.

Yeah, Claude mentioned that to me after the fact and I told him in no uncertain terms that it wasn't something I was interested in. First of all, I doubt very much that there is such a thing as a God-fearing doctor and second of all my wariness is of the overall context of what medical science IS. I mean, in the horror movie part that I didn't tell any of you about there was a period of about a day and a half where I had to ask myself if I was going to the hospital next because I had pretty much hit the glass ceiling of self-treatment and had started picturing what it would take to make me go to the hospital. If I started haemorrhaging. That was a good one because of the mess and the fact that you can't just lie there in a pool of your own blood bleeding and praying and telling yourself you will get through this. But anything short of that and going into the hospital you get immediately into the faith-based context of "Well, we think it might this so we want you take these pills, two with each meal for the next two weeks or so." I've watched too many people who never took pills start taking pills and then just floor it down the exit ramp. But if you're not willing to take the pills they tell you to take, what are you doing in the hospital? If you go to their church you have to observe their forms of worship – including the nature and quantity of their sacraments -- and at least pretend to have faith in it. I really don't think that I can do that. I really think I would rather just go out on a very natural exit ramp than make myself ridiculous by taking pills that just make everything worse. I need to address what happens if I get hit by a car and I'm unconscious and someone has to make decisions which is what the Committee is about OR in a situation where I've accepted that I can't just lie and fester in a pool of my own blood and shortly after check-in I'm unconscious and someone has to make decisions. But when it comes to pain and illness short of those extremes – which is what January was about – no, I don't think a doctor, God-fearing or not, is what's called for.

That led me to wonder whether any medical practitioners had stepped up and volunteered to advise the Committee on medical questions in the event of your being incapacitated, as you suggested in your letter to Wilf. I speculated that none had, as medical practitioners don't seem to be the type to have read Cerebus and certainly not the type to hang out on the Cerebus Yahoo group, thereby effectively eliminating themselves from having knowledge of this desire on your part. That, of course, leads me to wonder how to "get the word out" and Claude's idea seems the best approach right off the bat. What do you think? Also, you made suggestions of how such a proposed panel of medical practitioners could advise the Committee. If Wilf has drafted your Last Will, etc., did he enclose some sort of legal stipulation about this? This would go a long way in aiding the Committee, of which I am an active and interested member, in coming to a final majority vote on what steps to take for your personal care. You mentioned "mandating (italics mine) that any and all parts of my treatment (or, rather, "treatment") be posted to the Yahoo discussion group". Well, as the Committee is comprised, at this point, of either three or four members, it wouldn't have to be posted there, as our email and phone network would be just as fast if not faster. Nevertheless, it would be on the record if, as you wrote elsewhere in that letter, the Committee reached a tie vote (if not likely, at least possible, if David Carrington is now part of the Committee) and you would then open up the question to the entire Yahoo membership. So, has such a mandate been written up as part of your Last Will, etc.? Will it be? Furthermore, has the indemnification of all concerned against any charge of malpractice or malfeasance been drafted? I guess a good question to ask at this point, encapsulating all of the above, is whether Wilf has ever responded in any way to your suggestions of 15 months ago. Did he come back and say that's ridiculous or legally impossible to anything? Did he come up with any better ideas? And, of course, what does Ger's departure do to all of this, if anything?

Matt Dow's wife, Paula, is a nurse and she said she could probably get someone to look at whatever my situation was and offer comments on my treatment. I got letters from several doctors when I was soliciting Cerebus Archive testimonial letters and I'm pretty sure at least a few of them are irregular lurkers. I'm pretty sure as well, though, that this gets into dicey areas of malpractice and culpability and that's one of the areas that I want to discuss with Wilf. What I'm thinking is required is some kind of iron-clad legal agreement that I would sign which would waive any possibility of my taking legal action against anyone who followed my instructions. That is, if they have a course of treatment in mind and the Committee consults with whomever you've got to consult with and they recommend something else and you take a vote and go with the second one instead of the first one and I end up paralyzed on my left side as a result, I can't take any legal action either against the doctor whose opinion was overridden or the doctor whose opinion you chose to go with. I would suspect, however, that medicine is a different church from that and that they don't permit legal documents to override their form of worship since that would be giving the legal priesthood precedence over the medical priesthood and that if I put the question to Wilf directly he'll fudge his answer because the legal priesthood doesn't like to acknowledge that there's any area where they aren't pre-eminent. And of course there are even more basic legal questions like: Do I own my hospital records of treatment and diagnosis? Again, I suspect the medical priesthood would have this covered. No, you don't. You can't post what we say you have and how we want to treat it on the internet and solicit opinions because that means that you're bringing your own priests into our church. If you come into our church, you can only be ministered to by our priests. I suspect this is even further exacerbated because Canada is a socialist country. If the doctors are Cerebus fans, they are probably Americans and to Canadian socialist doctors that would be like bringing your Anglican priests into our Orthodox Synagogue. Oy! Over our dead Orthodox bodies.

The upshot of it is that I distrust the medical profession in Canada for the same reason I would distrust the medical profession in Cuba or Russia. Anyone who limits his medical practice to what a socialist government tells him he can and can't do and relies on medical equipment that is being paid for and updated on the timetable of government…well, I'd probably have better luck playing Russian roulette.

Wilf can, I'm sure, get legal opinions on all of this but it's really up to me to narrow the frames of reference and set the whole thing out in its component parts which I suspect might end up being separate documents. One, the Committee will be functioning in place of the role that would ordinarily be filled by next-of-kin. I think I have to start with that because it gives me and the hospital a common frame of reference. Next-of-kin they understand. That document essentially already exists and is filed with the letters that you all sent to Wilf so it is legally binding. How it works in practical fact is another question assuming that I'm a) incapacitated and b) it takes time for Sandeep Atwal to find out and get to the hospital with the document. I would want to check the efficaciousness of the document. Will it open the necessary doors in a timely fashion?

Two, we have the nature of my treatment and diagnosis and the question of whether I a) have jurisdiction and b) if my jurisdiction extends to public dissemination. That might have to be dealt with in three stages a) my jurisdiction, b) my ability to extend that jurisdiction to the Committee and c) the Committee's ability to extend that jurisdiction to the Internet. Here are these four guys who are functioning in place of my family. Would you make treatment and diagnosis available to next-of-kin? If so, then you can make them available to the Committee. Once the Committee has them it can be as easy just posting that information to the internet or e-mailing it to any doctor willing to volunteer to participate even if we're unable to get a legal ruling that that's allowable. If not (and I suspect not) then we do have a problem that either can or can't be bypassed legally. Which is why I think it needs to be a separate document with Wilf "on call" to back it up. That is, if Sandeep gets static at the hospital, he calls Wilf and if Wilf has a strong legal opinion backing it up a phone call from him is going to work better than a document that Sandeep is waving around. If none of that works – if the medical priesthood ignores the legal priesthood – then we need the original document to fall back on giving Sandeep and the Committee legal standing as my Attorneys for Personal Care in the place that would ordinarily be occupied by my family.

I don't really expect that this is the sort of letter that you would want to answer in the blogandmail, so I realize that it may represent a quandary for you. I really do want an answer to this letter; even if you prefer not to answer these questions at this time, a short note in the blogandmail or by snail mail to that effect would be appreciated so that I'm not left hanging. Sorry to add to your workload, especially since you're no doubt playing catch up, but I think that this is a fairly serious matter.

No problem and actually this is exactly the sort of thing that I would want to answer on the Blog & Mail. You have to realize that in my situation absolutely nothing that is done in private can possibly benefit me since the central tactic of the people opposing me is to gain wide acceptance for the view that I'm crazy. My only hope is to counter each of their moves publicly and on the record. If nothing else it gives them advance notification that it isn't going to work if they try to engineer some circumstance by which I'm hospitalized so that they can use medication or something else to disable me. You can do that, but if I get a legal opinion that says I am allowed to publicize my treatment and diagnosis, that becomes part of the public record and you will be found out sooner or later if my system proves to contain excessive amounts of some drug that my condition didn't warrant. I repeat, in my experience, these people do not mess around.

I don't think Ger's leaving has any effect on this. These are all strictly precautionary measures. I've been very careful every step of the last thirty years always trying to anticipate what or who might prevent me from moving the ball further downfield. I don't want to leave any loose ends if I can help it and I want to do it publicly so that anyone who chooses to follow in my footsteps gets an idea of the thoroughness that's called for any time you make the decision to actively challenge the accepted orthodoxies of your context.

Thanks, Jeff and sorry you had to wait so long for your answer. It's going to be a long process one way or the other so I didn't think a few weeks would make that much difference.

Tomorrow: Aren't You Glad You Use Matt Dow? Don't You Wish Everybody did?

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