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May 16, 2006

Comments

I've not had direct contact with it, but I think of the NHS as something more like the DMV than like the 7/11. I'm sure I'll be corrected on that, if I'm way off base.

We're talking in circles because we don't know enough facts.

We don't know exactly what Atkinson sent. We don't know how long he was running his harrassment campaign. We don't know how easy it would be for him to get his hip surgery elsewhere.

We don't know enough about how British law defines harrassment, criminal harrassment, or whether there are different thresholds for different situations (e.g., handing out photos of abortions and fetuses in the public square, at one's place of employment, at service provider offices, at hospitals).

Since we don't know, we have to fill in the blanks, and compare the Atkinson case to other situations that seem parallel.

There's some law of diminishing returns at work here, I think :)

"There's some law of diminishing returns at work here, I think :)"

There's a reason I had only about one comment on substance here, and that it was yesterday.

@CharleyCarp: Are you at liberty to say more about the pictures-to-Gitmo-big-trouble situation?

Bruce: But it's important to ask the question of oneself, and from available accounts, he isn't, he's just saying that his intentions were good so this is other people's problems.

I completely agree on this, which is why (irrespective of the legal concerns) I don't have much sympathy for him.

Excellent example. If a 16 year old female student made repeated advances to a high school teacher would it be appropriate to remove her from the whole school? No. Does it happen? Maybe. But I don't think it is appropriate.

Okay, at least that settles for me where we can see no common ground. Innappropriate advances towards anyone in the building are unnacceptable in my view. If a student or anyone else has been warned against such advances, then the offender should be removed from the system if they do not desist. It seems that we must disagree on the harm caused by unwanted attentions, even of the best kinds. Sexual harrassment really is a nasty problem with many far-ranging effects. Teachers are no less affected by them than anyone else. The fact that teachers are often willing to tolerate higher levels of abuse (of any kind) does not mean that they are obligated to do so. If we have forgotten that, it is no wonder we have such a hard time finding teachers.

Further I prefer punishments of citizens to be administered by government courts whenever possible.

Whenever someone punches me, I don't need the cops to tell them not to talk to me anymore. I can simply inform them that they are no longer welcome in my presence and that any relationship we have had before that time is now null in void.

Nombrilisme Vide, excellently said. Hope to hear more from you in the future, even when your incisive analysis cuts against me ;-}

"...null in void."

Typo?

"Whenever someone punches me, I don't need the cops to tell them not to talk to me anymore."

The whole thing I'm trying to talk about is that not all forms of 'abuse' are the same as punching.

I don't see why you seem so keen to force crime victims to perform surgery on their abuser for no good reason, especially given that doing so will give the criminal more opportunities to offend.

The man won't lose out too much by going to another hospital. If he needs care in an emergency, the original hospital will provide it.

Where is the problem here? A criminal will
maybe spend an extra few months on a waiting list, depending on the transfer arrangements.

Steve: But when you operate a business that is presumed to be open to the public, if you tell someone that they're not welcome, that statement is tantamount to a denial of services. I think it would be a better system if they had to get a court order before denying someone services, at least in this situation.

So in your view it's better to assume the worst at once - to assume that Atkinson won't stay away from the hospital voluntarily given that the hospital has lawfully requested him to do so - and leap directly to the sledgehammer of a court order?

Sebastian: The whole thing I'm trying to talk about is that not all forms of 'abuse' are the same as punching.

Actually, what you seem over the whole thread to be arguing is that this particular form of abuse is something that the hospital staff aren't entitled to defend themselves from - that when a hospital provides all necessary health services to women, which naturally includes abortion, the staff have got to accept this kind of anti-choice, harassment from the public without legal redress.

"[...] ungrateful scumwads who were busy trying to tear down the sort of society that made their existence possible, on one scale or another."

I was just rolling over this text with my eyes, you know, and suddenly I saw this, the kind of stuff I'm used to seeing from right-wing sites about misty-eyed liberals and so on.

Reality check here: this man is opposed to abortion. Do you think that means you can place him politically? Think again. Party lines are not drawn on that issue alone, not even in the US. Here in Norway, although there is one party which is opposed to the abortion law, we have abortion opponents in all represented parties. Even the leftmost, SV, has a couple of profiled pro-lifers.

How exactly does being opposed to abortion, even to the point of sending graphic images to hospital administrative staff, tear down the society that makes his existence possible?

"Maybe the society I want would be a little stronger now if so many good people hadn't burned out trying to help those who had no intention of doing their part."

Bruce, this man does his part - in creating the society he wants, which he thinks is necessary, in the long term, for making the existence of people like you possible. He may well think you a "scumwad", too. Assuming that he therefore wouldn't stand up for you, that's just prejudice.

CharleyCarp: It seems to that the extent of the injury isn't really known (here). Is there a longer waiting list at all the near spots? How much trouble is it for him to get there?

Assuming that the ban at the facility he was using imposes a non-trivial level of harm, and assuming that the guy wasn't an actual threat, I guess I'm still of the view that the NHS professionals ought to suck it up, and treat the guy.

Okay, I guess Sebastian has introduced a real level of confusion here.

I've linked to a number of UK news stories about this incident (mostly in local papers, so the links may suffer from linkrot within a week, but they should still be OK right now).

All of the stories make clear that Edward Atkinson was on a waitlist at the hospital whose staff he was harassing for an appointment to see a specialist to have his need for a hip replacement assessed.

If he had been currently undergoing treatment at the hospital, it would have been much more difficult (rightly so) to transfer him from the hospital, and given the level of harassment, the NHS professionals would likely have "sucked it up" and let him finish his treatment there.

But he wasn't undergoing treatment there; he was waiting for an appointment. He has been (or will be) transferred to a waitlist at another hospital to see another specialist, quite possibly even the same specialist if it's the same NHS Trust area - and his wide reputation in the area as a troublemaker (one of the stories mentions thirteen previous similar incidents - likely to be his police-blotter record rather than his conviction record - hospitals tend to proceed to court as a last resort) means any delay is likely to be finding a local hospital which doesn't provide gynaecological services so that he has no excuse to harass the staff there.

I admit that the Times is scaremongering - it's the most irresponsible of right-wing broadsheets, one step up from a tabloid - but Sebastian has ignored everything he's been told by people who know more than he does about the NHS, all down this thread.

We know - those of us who have read the local news stories which I linked to - that his "injury" is not serious - he's waiting for an assessment appointment, not for treatment - and we know (those of us who are familiar with the NHS procedures, which have been linked to from this thread) that he'll suffer no discernable harm from having to go to another hospital for his appointment.

If the hospital he goes to has a shorter waitlist than the one he has just been banned from, or if they decide to move him up it faster to get him off their hands faster because he's a ruddy troublemaker, he may even get seen sooner than he would have had he stuck to legal methods of protest. (Also, while the local "pro-life" group has disowned him in disgust, according to local news reports, a national "pro-life" group might respond to the Times story by donating money to let him be seen privately. Or not: he's no credit to the anti-choicers, and in the UK, the mainstream anti-choice movement is sane enough to recognise this.)

Harald,
I don't think you should take Bruce's comment as being entirely or even partially reflective of his position on abortion, as it sounds much more like reference to personal energy devoted to causes where the person being defended failed to rise to expectations. I know that I have been involved with some cases where I and others have worked to assist people with labor complaints only to find that after we had made commitments of our time and energy, their loyalty to the cause waned, leaving us holding the bag, and despite the principles involved in defending them, with hindsight, I may not have lifted a finger to help. Please also remember that this has been a confused and divisive thread, with hypotheses and conjectures strewn by the handful. That Bruce makes a strong statement should charitably be viewed as a reflection of that confusion rather than of his personal feelings.

Harald: I'm passing judgment specifically on the combination of persisting in sending people stuff the sender knows they find upsetting and unwelcome, and rationalizing it in terms that excuse him from responsibility for results, and then having someone say (in essence) that his targets have no right to a reaction and should be expected to act as though he weren't trying to sabotage their effectiveness. For all I know or care he's sincere in thinking he's educating them and nothing more - the point is that readily observable facts are against him, because people who are being educated and learning to see the world in other terms don't express their gratitude by repeatedly invoking the law against him. He has an obligation to know that what he's doing isn't working, precisely like anyone else with a cause.

And scroll back through the thread to see why I'm rather emotional about the moment specifically when it comes to things that run a real risk of making health care less efficient or effective than it would otherwise be.

So in your view it's better to assume the worst at once - to assume that Atkinson won't stay away from the hospital voluntarily given that the hospital has lawfully requested him to do so - and leap directly to the sledgehammer of a court order?

Uh, the entire point of seeking a court order is to determine whether it's "lawful" for the hospital to inform the guy that his business is no longer welcome.

Why am I not surprised that the pro-abortion zealots on this thread refuse to see either 1) the free speech issues here, or 2) the wrongfulness of denying medical care? In any other context, they wouldn't so blithely agree that it's a "crime," or a form of "abuse," merely to send someone pictures of Guantanamo or Abu Ghraib or animal experimentation, etc. Indeed, pro-abortion zealots (like Jes) are usually snidely dismissive of abortion-related pictures, with comments like, "All surgery is gruesome." And in any other context, pro-abortion advocates would be up in arms if a health care provider (such as a pharmacist) denied medical care to someone based on disagreement with that person's political views.

Say that a woman heard that a pharmacy was going to allow its pharmacists to refuse to fill prescriptions for contraceptives. And say that she sent a couple of letters to the pharmacy with pictures of women who died in illegal abortions after being refused contraceptions.

Now say that 1) the women is thrown in jail, and 2) the pharmacy refuses to serve her at all. Would folks like Jes so happily say, "Yes, she's guilty of a crime. The victimized and abused pharmacists have every right to exclude her"?

Steve: Uh, the entire point of seeking a court order is to determine whether it's "lawful" for the hospital to inform the guy that his business is no longer welcome.

Did you miss the links upthread to NHS procedures/guidelines? It is lawful in the UK for a hospital to determine they will no longer have a member of the public who has been abusing staff on their waiting lists. You're saying that you believe hospitals shouldn't be allowed to protect their staff unless they can get a court order permitting them to do so?

Niels: Why am I not surprised that the pro-abortion zealots on this thread refuse to see either 1) the free speech issues here, or 2) the wrongfulness of denying medical care?

Why am I not surprised to see you joining Sebastian in the fight to abuse hospital staff and call it "free speech"? (But do quit claiming that Edward Atkinson is being "denied medical care". He isn't.)

Say that a woman heard that a pharmacy was going to allow its pharmacists to refuse to fill prescriptions for contraceptives. And say that she sent a couple of letters to the pharmacy with pictures of women who died in illegal abortions after being refused contraceptions.

Good analogy, Niels! Let's suppose that a major pharmacy in the US - Wal-Mart - had decided that none of its branches, anywhere in the US, would sell contraception.

Then suppose that Edwina Atkinson was harassing employees at one local branch with pictures of women dead from illegal abortions, and that the employees had asked her to stop and she had refused. While you and Sebastian would doubtless argue that she has every right to promote her political opinions, and the staff at that pharmacy should just put up with her harassment and continue to serve her, I would say that she is guilty of harassment, that the pharmacy has a right to ban her from that branch for everything except emergencies, and that - if the US had a law permitting it, which according to Sebastian it doesn't - she ought to be prosecuted for malicious communication, if she just wouldn't stop harassing the pharmacy staff.

"All of the stories make clear that Edward Atkinson was on a waitlist at the hospital whose staff he was harassing for an appointment to see a specialist to have his need for a hip replacement assessed."

Please quote them. The links you provided say things like:

Lynn hospital bosses are standing by their decision to refuse treatment to a Hilgay pensioner waiting for a hip replacement, after he sent hospital staff disturbing photographs of decapitated babies and aborted foetuses.

Where are you getting the idea that he had just started his relationship with the hospital?

Frankly, I don't believe you. I don't believe you would agree that such pictures constitute "harassment," or that such a person should be thrown in jail.

Is Edwina going to a government-run pharmacy? The VA maybe?

"But do quit claiming that Edward Atkinson is being "denied medical care". He isn't."

Funny. The links you want to rely upon say:
"Union officials have defended the decision of a Norfolk hospital to deny treatment to a pensioner who sent pictures of mutilated babies to its staff."

It is lawful in the UK for a hospital to determine they will no longer have a member of the public who has been abusing staff on their waiting lists. You're saying that you believe hospitals shouldn't be allowed to protect their staff unless they can get a court order permitting them to do so?

I am saying that there would be less chance of someone being wrongfully denied health care if a court order were required, as opposed to letting the hospital make the determination unilaterally.

These situations presumably don't come up all that often. It shouldn't be much of a burden to say that if a public hospital wants to exclude someone from care, they should get a court order saying they are entitled to do so.

Frankly, I don't believe you.

That's your problem. Niels came up with an excellent analogy: in both cases, Atkinson (Edward or Edwina) is harassing people who cannot do a thing about the issue that Atkinson is protesting against.

Frankly, I don't believe you'd support Edwina, for all your claims to believe in free speech.

Funny. The links you want to rely upon say:
"Union officials have defended the decision of a Norfolk hospital to deny treatment to a pensioner who sent pictures of mutilated babies to its staff."

Yes, Sebastian. As has been repeatedly pointed out to you all the way down this thread, and as you are evidently still ignoring, Atkinson is not being denied treatment: he's being denied access to this hospital. As has been repeatedly pointed out to you all the way down the thread, he can receive treatment at any other hospital. Just not at this one. Somehow I don't find your rigorous refusal to admit the facts all that funny.

Steve: I am saying that there would be less chance of someone being wrongfully denied health care if a court order were required, as opposed to letting the hospital make the determination unilaterally.

If there were the risk that anyone was being denied health care, which isn't a factor in this situation, I would agree with you. But as there isn't, this point seems to be irrelevant.

It shouldn't be much of a burden to say that if a public hospital wants to exclude someone from care, they should get a court order saying they are entitled to do so.

As you would know if you'd followed the links, one of the guidelines to be followed is that the person being excluded from that hospital has to be able to obtain care elsewhere. To actually exclude someone from health care would indeed require a court order, but that's not relevant in this situation.

Could you guys argue gun control next?

And then which is better: Mac or Windows?

It will be equally productive, and new. I'm sure lots of people will learn much they didn't previously know, just as they have from this discussion, and it will all be a terribly productive use of your time.

Lily hit it on the head yesterday in her comment at 2:11, and people might have found it a good idea to take their cue from that comment.

It's not too late.

But do quit claiming that Edward Atkinson is being "denied medical care". He isn't."

Funny. The links you want to rely upon say:
"Union officials have defended the decision of a Norfolk hospital to deny treatment to a pensioner who sent pictures of mutilated babies to its staff."

Yeeesh. Can't everybody agree that he's being denied treatment at hospital X but offered treatment at all other hospitals in England? I think it's ridiculous to say that he's being denied treatment tout court, but it's even more ridiculous to be going around and around on this.

Rilkefan: Can't everybody agree that he's being denied treatment at hospital X but offered treatment at all other hospitals in England?

What, Sebastian Holsclaw climb down and admit he got suckered by a combination of a pro-life site and the Times? If that was going to happen, it would have happened yesterday. This the Sebastian Holsclaw who went on and on insisting that there was no information about late-term abortions in the US, after having been presented several times over with links to tables and tables of CDC data on late-term abortions in the US.

No, I think what SH is saying is strictly true - it's just he's playing on metonymy to argue against those using the much more standard way of understanding what something like "deny" means. Why he's doing so is beyond me - maybe because people don't seem to get my point above.

And I think he's right about the lack of _useful_ data reflecting on his argument in the late-term abortion case.

"This the Sebastian Holsclaw who went on and on insisting that there was no information about late-term abortions in the US, after having been presented several times over with links to tables and tables of CDC data on late-term abortions in the US."

Classic Jesurgislac misreading. I complain about the lack of data on the REASONS for late term abortions and a lack of verification of the very sparse reports of the REASONS for late term abortions and she pretends that tables on the NUMBER of late-term abortions are dispositive.

He is being denied treatment at the hospital. His treatment is being delayed by forcing him to start again on the wait lists at another hospital. This delays medical treatment that would not otherwise be delayed. The delay is likely to be in the 9-12 month range (from statistics I have already pointed to) and is thus a very noticeable delay. This was refered to as a denial in the context of pharmacy refusals to dispense EC despite the fact that there are other pharmacies in the US and Jesurgislac wasn't so careful about the term there so you'll get no apology from me (especially when all of the news reports INCLUDING the friendly-to-the-hospital ones that Jesurgislac links to mention a denial of care or a denial of treatment). Saying that you would normally treat someone for a painful condition soon, but because they 'abused' you with pictures of fetuses you will let them try to get treatment in nine months somewhere else is a denial of treatment.

However this argument would be good if you could back it up, because it suggests that he isn't being forced to wait very long:

"All of the stories make clear that Edward Atkinson was on a waitlist at the hospital whose staff he was harassing for an appointment to see a specialist to have his need for a hip replacement assessed."

Once again, can you back it up?

"The delay is likely to be"

Once again, can you back it up?

Personally, I see at least two people on different sides who long since passed any interest in trying to convince the other -- which they pretty well didn't have in the first place, I suspect, though that's mindreading on my part, so I lose two points -- but whom are simply being stubborn and utterly unwilling to admit that the other might have even the slightest point, and equally unwilling to back down in even the slightest, and thus are producing a thread that has long consisted of nothing beyond pure repetition (and for me, utter boredom, but I can always stop reading, of course).

If you kids find this fun, far be it for me to get in your way, but I think you've both crossed the line of making rear ends of yourselves. Though maybe as long as the other also looks that way, and you're convinced that it's more than you do, you're happy.

I'd look for a way to cut the Gordian knot, or walk away, were I you, but obviously I'm not (and at least one party is entirely grateful for that, while the other is probably at least partially).

Sebastian, you had a reasonable point when you started, with the information then available to youbut you've largely ignored later discussion and later information, and the question of whether you're simply against British (specifically English) law on this, and the chance to more narrowly and profitably focus the discussion, and would have been better off backing away by yesterday.

Jes, you've made a number of valid points, but your triumphalism, and seemly primary interest in Proving Sebastian Wrong, cover you with no glory, either.

I say both sides should go to their room for a time-out now, and drop the subject.

But I only speak for myself, and don't exactly expect to be Obeyed.

And personally, I'm glad to see Sebastian post; he should do more, even if I disagree with him. And Slart should come back. And even Charles might want to risk posting again, though I'll certainly wallop him if I think he makes a whopper. But, you know, nicely.

I Have Spoken. Now, go ignore me like I expect. (Or not. Not is always an option.)

Gary's right.

""The delay is likely to be"

Once again, can you back it up?"

I already linked to that. May 16, 8:22. See how easy it is.

SH,I>The links you provided say things like:

" Lynn hospital bosses are standing by their decision to refuse treatment to a Hilgay pensioner waiting for a hip replacement,"

The first piece you quoted, Sebastian, says

Since the court case, Mr. Atkinson has been removed from the hospital’s wait list for an evaluation for hip surgery and has been banned from anything other than life-saving treatment...

so with immediate effect, he's been denied assessment at that hospital to see whether he needs treatment for a hip problem, and if so, what treatment. Therefore he's also been denied the subsequent treatment (if needed) at that hospital, and any further elective evalution and treatment at that hospital.

Alternatively, the Times story is wrong and he was on a post-assessment list for a hip replacement op.. But The Scotsman says the same thing. (But then they and The Times have copied the same story... .)

Does this matter? Yes. It's easier to switch a patient to a different assessment list than to switch them for treatment. Less disruption for the patient is involved.
However it would be best probably to agree, as Rilkefan suggests, that he is being (will be) denied elective treatment at one hospital here in the UK, but not (so far) at any other hospital.

What if they all decided they wouldn't treat him? The relevant regulatory body would step in and force one of them to treat him. So, well, yes, there's government regulation involved here, but not in the way Sebastian suggests.

The nonchalance from some of us here stems from a belief that this man will be evaluated and treated by an NHS hospital (or a private one if someone wants to pay) without massive extra delay. If there were undue delay for treatment, then he could be treated elsewhere in Europe at the NHS's expense. (Recent ECHR judgement.)

A note on waiting lists in England. They've dropped dramatically since 2004.

And now, a new example of NHS denial of treatment

Independent

Gary Farber FTW!

The entire problem with this discussion is its reliance on biased information as presented by the sources used by SH.

The real story is that the hospital decided that after a patient was convicted of a crime against the hospital staff the staff decided that it would be better for all involved if the criminal sought further treatment elsewhere.

If you go to the hospital web site you will find it specifically stated that one of their measurement criteria is to provide a safe environment for patients and staff alike.

Secondly, it doesn't take a rocket scientist, just an honest critic, to realize that this guy would be a less hostile patient at a hosptital that did not provide abortions. Or if that could not be arranged, at a hospital he had no prior criminal trouble with. So for his own good the hospital is arranging for his treatment elsewhere.

That SH does not see that this is for the patients own good is just typical of the conservative mindset that cannot think beyond their talking points.

"That SH does not see that this is for the patients own good is just typical of the conservative mindset that cannot think beyond their talking points."

Are you sure your response isn't just typical of the liberal minset that it is inherently good to do whatever the government says and unthinkingly derides those who disagree?

Or perhaps that isn't a fair characterization of the liberal mindset?

SH, as I noted above, you don't seem to understand that you're not calculating a delay but a relative delay.

Consider a queue. Let's say it's always 10 minutes long. After 2 minutes standing on line, X picks a fight with Y and is forced to go to the back of the line. You say X is being denied service, then you say X is being punished with a 10-minute delay. I say to myself, [deleted].

Then someone notes that there are actually multiple queues, and someone asks if queue standing is tranferable, and you again say X is being denied service, and forced to wait 10 minutes. I say to myself, [censored].

Sorry. The lifesite story Sebastian quoted says (see his post) that Atkinson's been removed from the waiting list for evaluation. The Scotsman copied that story.

SH
Saying that you would normally treat someone for a painful condition soon, but because they 'abused' you with pictures of fetuses you will let them try to get treatment in nine months somewhere else is a denial of treatment.

I see no evidence that the hospital ever said anything like that. I.e. they never said they would treat him soon and indeed they could not say that as they don't know -- I assume -- whether or not he needs treatment. Nor is "try to get treatment elsewhere" entirely accurate as he is entitled to evaluation and following that, treatment, under the NHS but not necessarily at the hospital of his choice. "In nine months", well, we don't know. I would think an additional delay of nine months could not be justified and so he could sue under the Human Rights Act.

As you would know if you'd followed the links, one of the guidelines to be followed is that the person being excluded from that hospital has to be able to obtain care elsewhere. To actually exclude someone from health care would indeed require a court order, but that's not relevant in this situation.

First of all, I absolutely hate the all-too-common sanctimonious phrasing that says "you obviously didn't follow my awesome links." I completely understand that the guy is free to go to another hospital. You're quibbling over word choice.

Yes, denying someone access to a particular hospital isn't a denial of all health care, but it's not nothing, either. Presumably, you're not a fan of fundamentalist pharmacists refusing to fill prescriptions, even if there's another pharmacy two blocks down. That's not to say that the justifications are equally reasonable, but the results are quite similar. You can't pretend like it's a meaningful harm in one case and a meaningless harm in another, when your beef is simply with the justification.

In my view, government hospitals should be presumptively open to everyone. We both agree, I think, that access should not be denied without good cause. You think it's fine to let the government hospital determine when good cause exists; I think the potential for unfair decisions would be less if courts made the determination instead. All we're really arguing about is which arm of the government is in the best position to make that call, so please stop acting as if my position is utterly frivolous as I'd see if I only clicked your magical links.

I don’t know whether Jayann’s answer will satisfy Sebastian. If not, then probably this won’t either:

“As a result of the decision, Atkinson was struck-off a waiting list for an assessment for hip treatment.”

Presumably, you're not a fan of fundamentalist pharmacists refusing to fill prescriptions, even if there's another pharmacy two blocks down.

No, but I would support a pharmacist (fundamentalist or secular) refusing to serve a customer who was abusing their staff.

You think it's fine to let the government hospital determine when good cause exists; I think the potential for unfair decisions would be less if courts made the determination instead.

The court has determined that Atkinson was abusing the hospital's staff.

what Farber said at 12:31p. Not ObWi's finest hour.

"Then someone notes that there are actually multiple queues, and someone asks if queue standing is tranferable, and you again say X is being denied service, and forced to wait 10 minutes."

If it was measured in minutes not months I wouldn't be as concerned.

But since it appears to be for the assessment and not the treatment (thank you Kevin), the harm doesn't appear to be as serious so while I think the hospital is wrong to deny treatment the case isn't as bad as it looked to me intially.

I think Jayann tried to link to this story – a genuinely disturbing case.

Sebastian, I'm delighted you're able to accept the facts - finally. Less delighted that apparently you will only read links when posted by a man, since you wouldn't believe the same information - indeed, the same link! - when I posted it.

"Less delighted that apparently you will only read links when posted by a man, since you wouldn't believe the same information - indeed, the same link! - when I posted it."

I posted a link that said that in the initial post. I misread it. If you had linked and quoted it would have worked out better. You generally linked and made one comment. The crucial importance of "for evaluation" came to the fore almost a full day later. That isn't a gender issue. Sheesh.

[algebra snipped]

"If it was measured in minutes not months I wouldn't be as concerned."

[Tears out hair]


"when posted by a man"

[azexxcrunuop]

I don't know about y'all, but I think there is some surrealistic humor in the fact that Jes and Sebastian submit the same link, but neither of them realizes that the other one did. Kinda sums up the thread, imo.

Actually we didn't have the same link, but it did have the same language.

Sebastian: I posted a link that said that in the initial post. I misread it. If you had linked and quoted it would have worked out better.

If you had read my links - rather than, evidently, just assuming that because they were links posted by me you could ignore them - you wouldn't have spent an entire damned thread arguing against information you already had. No, I believe you that it's not a gender issue - I shouldn't have said that - it's your wish to believe that what your anti-choice site told you was true, because it fitted your prejudices against pro-choice policies and public health care.

lj: I don't know about y'all, but I think there is some surrealistic humor in the fact that Jes and Sebastian submit the same link, but neither of them realizes that the other one did. Kinda sums up the thread, imo.

It kind of sums up the thread that if Sebastian wasn't committed to the idea that (a) government health care is bad and (b) sending hate mail to abortion providers is good, he could have acknowledged he was wrong way, way upthread.

sebastian, if you really were concerned about this guys getting good medical treatment you would realize that is exactly why the hospital that he hates is not the right place for him to recieve treatment.

The staff is doing the right thing for both the safety of their staff, as is required by policy, and for the patient who will be less hostile at a hospital he hasn't already criminalized. The best thing would be for him to recieve treatment at a hospital that does not perform abortions. If that cannot be arranged, then at a hospital where he doesn't have such extreme emotional animostity towards.

A less hostile patient has a better chance at a good medical outcome. Does this really have to be explained to you?

Is your conservative agenda really more important to you than the providing of good medical care?

ken: "Is your conservative agenda really more important to you than the providing of good medical care?"


Ye gods, he doesn't agree with your premise, you reasonably can't bash him with your concluclusion. I mean, I can argue that your comment kills cute puppy dogs - is your anti-SH agenda more important to you than cute little labs and terriers?

ken: Is your conservative agenda really more important to you than the providing of good medical care?

Er, self-evidently, yes. Sebastian opposes women receiving good medical care: he opposes poor people receiving good medical care: and he supports harassment of providers of good medical care.

Gary,

But I only speak for myself, and don't exactly expect to be Obeyed. ... Now, go ignore me like I expect.

Looks like this was the instruction that they decided to Obey.

"it's your wish to believe that what your anti-choice site told you was true,"

The 'anti-choice' site said that it was for an evaluation. I didn't notice it when I linked to it nor did even you raise the importance of "evaluation" vs. "treatment" until almost a day later. You can blame me for not noticing it immediately. You can blame yourself for not pointing it out immediately. But for heaven's sake don't blame the "anti-choice" site when it included the information. And don't suggest that I dishonestly wanted to believe the "anti-choice" site's propaganda when it said "evaluation" all along.

"Looks like this was the instruction that they decided to Obey."

Sometimes it just takes a while to put on the brakes. The car might go off the road and off a cliff it was too abrupt a stop, you know.

Though I might have added "don't make me come back there!"

"Sebastian opposes women receiving good medical care: he opposes poor people receiving good medical care: and he supports harassment of providers of good medical care."

You have a wonderful translater that turns other people's sincere opinions into a version that makes them moral scum, via your own worldview, at the expense of mere truth.

And at the expense of being able to recognize sincere differences of opinion that are different from those you restate them as.

This sort of self-righteousness does not, I suggest, make your version of the left attractive or admirable, any more than similar versions on the right work for them. Might reconsider this, just as you might have reconsidered, before having to withdraw it, accusing Sebastian of only listening to men on the basis of him not listening to you, and not getting to a broken link by Jayann.

Both you and Sebastian would be better off doing more listening to each other, but each of you at times gives the other good reason not to. This one, that I quote, is one of yours.

You make a lot of good points, at times, Jes, but a lot of other times you make it hard for people to listen to you, and it's not all their fault that they therefore sometimes don't. Anger doth not make one right, though I understand the mechanism, and sometimes err in that direction myself.

Not that I expect you to listen to me.

The court has determined that Atkinson was abusing the hospital's staff.

Yes, and I'd like the court to also be the one to determine whether Atkinson's conduct warrants denying him access to the public facility. I'm not saying the hospital acted incorrectly given the present system. I'm just saying a system where the courts made the ultimate determination would be a better system.

The next case that comes along where a hospital feels that someone has acted abusively towards its staff may not be as clear-cut as this one. That's why we try to devise a system that will do the right thing in all situations.

Sebastian opposes women receiving good medical care: he opposes poor people receiving good medical care: and he supports harassment of providers of good medical care.

gods know it's a rare day I defend SH, but this is going too far. SH, as best I can tell, believes that the adverse effects of the policies that you, Jes, believe would lead to women and poor getting better medical care and prevent harassment of abortion providers outweigh the merits of those policies.

ok, that wasn't terribly clear. As best I can tell, SH believes that govt-sponsored health care / health care insurance would be ruinously expensive, detrimental to medical research, and get politicized.SH is also anti-abortion, but apparently willing to tolerate first-trimester abortions as a matter of political reality. He is also a strong defender of the First Amendment.

many of us here may disagree with the factual bases underlying his beliefs, but he is NOT in tinfoil territory.

Let's take a really extreme example. I believe that I have the right to control access to my house, and so the laws which allow me to do so should be upheld.

Do I therefore oppose housing the homeless? No. I believe that the adverse consequences of allowing any person to sleep in any house they want outweigh the benefits that such a policy would provide to the homeless.

i read way too many blogs and blog threads. this site has continually demonstrated high standards while many others have slipped way off. Please, let's not attribute motives to others that they do not hold.

end rant

SH is also anti-abortion, but apparently willing to tolerate first-trimester abortions as a matter of political reality.

Really? I have not gotten that impression.

Oh, mighty blog Deities, please grant us this day an open thread. Preferably one having a light, fluffy, humorous center.

"many of us here may disagree with the factual bases underlying his beliefs, but he is NOT in tinfoil territory."

Really? What then explains his unrelenting criticism of a sound professional and medical decision?

Does anyone, besides Sabastian, believe that it is not in the best interest of all concerned for the guy to get his medical care elsewhere.

Firstly the policy guidelines of the hospital require that it provide a safe environment for both patients and staff. The guy was convicted of a criminal offense against the staff.

Secondly the guy has demonstrated that he harbors severe emotional hostility to the hosptial staff. For his own sake it is medically advisable that he get his treatement elsewhere.

This is so obvious that Sebastians refusal to see it puts him tinfoil hat territory.

Can we all please stop assuming the worst about each other, especially Sebastian, for the duration? And (as a more general request) can we also please stop automatically assuming that our side is so obviously right that anyone who disagrees with us is obviously a sub-Delta moron?

Ta much. And ditto on Slarti's prayer for an open thread.

Anarch, are those rhetorical questions or should I give you what I think the answers are?

Slart: Don't you have keys to the blog? I think a post consisting mostly of kitten pictures would work well around now.

I echo Anarch's plea, and Gary's, and for that matter all similar pleas.

I decided to paint the study sage. But I am currently in the throes of a temptation to paint the dining room a sort of apricot color. (Currently: a sort of unfortunate turquoise (3 walls) and yellow (1 wall.)

Also, there have been real advances in ducltess AC systems in the last few years, to the point that they're often less expensive (and more efficient!) than either conventional ducted or Space-Pak systems.

Also, my boiler has asbestos. Boo hoo.

And can anyone explain to me (1) what a gas chimney is, and (2) why, if it is a chimney for gas, people can't just vent the boiler out through it?

But I am currently in the throes of a temptation to paint the dining room a sort of apricot color.

Go for it -- if it's awful, you can always repaint.

think Jayann tried to link to this story –

Yes - thank you, Kevin. It is a disturbing story particularly given that, as I learned later, there were just 2 people on the priority transplant list (and presumably she was the only urgent non-priority one).

accusing Sebastian of only listening to men on the basis of him not listening to you, and not getting to a broken link by Jayann.

I don't think his not getting to a broken link (my apologies) was the basis of any allegation. At the link, posted by Kevin, you'll find a very different case of (effective) denial of treatment by the NHS, one that raises some ethical issues (IMO).

many of us here may disagree with the factual bases underlying his beliefs, but he is NOT in tinfoil territory.

That this is so is merely a sad testament to the nature of the political reality we inhabit.

Personally, I make a point of defending SH regularly. I also figured out about 24 hours ago where we disagree on this issue (the severity of abuse caused by undesired and unrelenting contact) and dropped the issue. I am rather amazed that others haven't reached similar points of fundamental disagreement or at least novel and new disagreement. Now I just sit here giggling at how absurd most of this back and forth sounds and wondering if we all just got more summer free time or if the heat is getting to people or what. This is 3 times in the last week or so that we have had a horrendously long comment thread brimming to full with bad blood. What is the deal?

Which is a long way of saying I support GF in his long long long ago plea.

"At the link, posted by Kevin, you'll find a very different case of (effective) denial of treatment by the NHS, one that raises some ethical issues (IMO)."

Yes, I do read links without having them repeated. I read it many hours ago.

It's a tragic story. I'm not sure what to say beyond that, given that it's not my country, other that it made me quite sad to read it. I'm very sorry it happened. I think it shouldn't have happened. (I wouldn't rely on the Torys to make it better; perhaps the Liberal Dems, or perhaps another set of Labour, but in any admin, stuff goes wrong. Meanwhile, down with the flaws of Tony, etc., but beyond that, what?)

"Which is a long way of saying I support GF in his long long long ago plea."

Is there an office I can run for in which I'll have your support?

Multiple blog jester? Blog chancellor?

Court fool?

I have a lot of practice at playing the fool!

Although I've always fancied the title of "Supreme Leader." Has a ring, doncha think?

SH, as best I can tell, believes that the adverse effects of the policies that you, Jes, believe would lead to women and poor getting better medical care and prevent harassment of abortion providers outweigh the merits of those policies.

No: SH believes that women should not receive full medical care regardless of how many women that belief kills, and that it's better for poor people to suffer ill-health and die. The "adverse effects" for Sebastian appear to be that the poor might stay healthy and live longer. So, yes, as ken pointed out: Sebastian's conservative agenda is way more important to him than the providing of good medical care.

Yes, I do read links without having them repeated. I read it many hours ago.

It's surprising, then, that you thought the link had anything to do with Jes's suggestion that Sebastian doesn't take heed of women's posts.

Yes, I do read links without having them repeated. I read it many hours ago.

It's surprising, then, that you thought the link had anything to do with Jes's suggestion that Sebastian doesn't take heed of women's posts.

Listen up, this thread is done. I testify to every one that heareth the words of the prophecy of this comment: If any person shall add to these things, God shall add unto him or her the plagues written in some post you do _not_ want to read.

Amen.

Oops!

Someone really needs to come up with a Godwin-esque rule WRT abortion-related threads (even ones such as these which are only nominally related to abortion.)

Or we could just consider rilkefan's last comment holy writ...

matt: (even ones such as these which are only nominally related to abortion.)

Very directly about abortion, especially once Sebastian posts the update admitting he was wrong to claim it was about "political healthcare rationing".

Someone really needs to come up with a Godwin-esque rule WRT abortion-related threads

But who would come up with it? Arguments about abortion are bitter because of the feminist/misogynist split at their root, and partly because the anti-choice side inevitably brings up their poor-little-fetuses lie as a defense for forced pregnancy/forced child birth: and when Americans and non-Americans are involved, the problem arises that Americans take for granted as normal a level of hostility towards basic health care for women that is... really astonishing, to non-Americans. (I don't just mean Sebastian's attitude that hospital staff ought to just put up with receiving hate mail, but that clinics have got to assume they might be bombed by anti-choice terrorists.)

We could ask the kitten for a thread to post Godwin's law proposals, no discussion permitted, secret e-mail ballot to vote for the best?

Arguments about abortion are bitter because of the feminist/misogynist split at their root...

Oh for the love of all that's holy, Jes. That's complete crap and, what's worse, I'm worried that you won't ever let yourself know it. There are certainly some misogynists who are anti-abortion -- possibly many, and IMO certainly far too many wielding political power in the US -- but to characterize this as the fundamental split is both stupid and stupidly bomb-throwing in a thread that doesn't need any more abuse like this. Sheesh.

And to forestall the inevitable: yes, your next post will consist of the same bogus application of the law of the excluded middle you always employ in these discussions, "proving", in some BS way, that your particular dichotomy is irrefutable. For the sake of comity, and everyone's sanity, can we please just assume that that post has now been made and move on?

And I apologize to rilkefan et al for spoiling the sacred silence.

And on reflection, let me also apologize to Jes for the intemperacy of my response. [Post in haste, repent in leisure.] There should've been a more tactful way to express my feelings, I'm sorry.

And with that, since I've nothing productive to add, I'm withdrawing from this thread.

Gary,

How about "Supreme Leader of the (Court) Fools"? Has a nice ring to it.

Gary for SLCF!!! ;-}

Seriously, I am starting to feel like everyone's peer mediator lately, as the content of far too many of my posts have been "Now can you, Sally, accept that Billy isn't a mean jerkface just because he likes ice cream more than cake?" and "Do you, Billy, realize that Sally is right that cake isn't poison for the soul and apologize for claiming she was on an anti-ice cream crusade?"

Anarch- It used to be the case that I would agree with you, there are principled people who have qualms about abortion that have nothing to do with hatred for women. Then people pointed out to me that the same people on the right who are against abortion are also against condoms, and other forms of birth control. They are also against vaccination vs HPV. So at least the majority of those who are against abortion are also against women having any control over their own bodies at all. And even those whose intents are pure are enabling the people who want women to be chattel.

socratic_me for OW moderator!

So at least the majority of those who are against abortion are also against women having any control over their own bodies at all.

There's a rather large hole in that claim that data would do a great deal to fill.

Your last statement, Frank, is entirely too closely related (logically speaking) to accusations of "objectively pro-Saddam" for comfort.

Oh dear god, no, slart.

I am a first year HS math teacher. That means I already have to wrestle freshmen all day, usually the ones who are in remedial courses. This is where I come to get away from being the adult figure in a room full of poo-flinging monkeys (which I do actually mean with much endearment. I am quite fond of my little freshmen).

Slarti- Yah, but on the other had everyone on this board could fill in a few items of information of their own.

Slarti- I thought of using that phrase myself, but I decided it wasn't needed. :)

Back when I was contemplating a career change, I thought I'd teach high school calc, but then the education department at the local university thought it'd be best if I took a lot more math courses than I'd already had. Considering I was already halfway through a Master's degree in mathematics (as opposed to math-for-educators) I thought that was a little...underkill, maybe.

Which is all a fancy way of saying that I'd planned to avoid the wrestling-with-freshmen aspect of teaching by teaching only those who were there by choice. Also, to be honest, I hadn't ever completely talked my way into accepting the gigantic pay cut.

Compared with regular posters here who actually are mathematicians (or particle physicists), I am only an egg. Those guys know things I haven't begun to suspect the existence of.

I actually have two degrees, one in philosophy and one in mathematics and I spent a year at UT-Austin doing graduate work in philosophy before I decided I really did want to be at a place where I could focus on my teaching and be evaluated primarily on my undergraduate philosophical instruction. As far as I could tell, and maybe hilzoy will correct me on this, there really aren't many jobs out there for people who want to publish only sporadicaly and want to really hone in on their undergraduate courses. It just isn't the way the field is set up.

So I decided that teaching HS would put me in a similar space if I could eventually work my way into teaching advanced students and maybe getting an intro to philosophy or intro to logic course on the map as an elective once I accumulate a bit of clout.

After a year, I can say I definitely made the right choice. I love teaching and I find ways to find kids I can really help. For instance, my big accomplishment this year was getting a http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Go_(board_game)>Go Club up and running with a pretty strong membership. That has drawn in the type of kids that I am able to most strongly influence.

Compared with regular posters here who actually are mathematicians (or particle physicists), I am only an egg.

Not only do i agree with the sentiment, the reference warms my little heart. I have a friend doing graduate work in mathematics out at Stony Brooke and another who was at the London School of Economics doing econometrics for a while. Both of them are way way way out of my league. My focus was always on philosophy and my interest in mathematics was on its philosophical form and implications.

Yes, there is a certain amount of overlap. Particularly in symbolic logic.

Anarch: Oh for the love of all that's holy, Jes. That's complete crap and, what's worse, I'm worried that you won't ever let yourself know it. There are certainly some misogynists who are anti-abortion -- possibly many, and IMO certainly far too many wielding political power in the US -- but to characterize this as the fundamental split is both stupid and stupidly bomb-throwing in a thread that doesn't need any more abuse like this. Sheesh.

I accept your apology for the intemperate nature of this response, but, yes, the root of the anti-choice/pro-choice split is misogyny/feminism.

If you are anti-choice, you don't just believe abortion is wrong - you believe that a pregnant woman must not be allowed to make the decision to terminate her pregnancy if she thinks that's the right thing for her to do.

That is, that the individual most intimately concerned, most affected by the decision, best-informed of the circumstances of the pregnancy and the state of health of the mother - and therefore both best able and best qualified to make the decision whether to terminate or continue - is the one person that anti-choice zealots argue should be at risk of prison, death, or sterility if she does make that decision.

(In general, these anti-choice zealots also believe that sex education is bad and that access to contraception is bad - especially access to the pill - and that it's only right for the US to refuse to fund health care providers around the world unless those health care providers agree to deny women full access to health care.)

So, yeah, Anarch: anti-choicers may want to believe they're concerned for the cute lil fetuses, but the root of the issue for them is their misogynistic belief that women can't be trusted with the right to make important decisions about our own lives and our own bodies.

I accept your apology for the intemperate nature of this response, but, yes, the root of the anti-choice/pro-choice split is misogyny/feminism.

Jes, there are plenty of places on the internet where you can post this crap and get cheered for it. Why do you insist on crapping all over this site?

kenB: Jes, there are plenty of places on the internet where you can post this crap and get cheered for it. Why do you insist on crapping all over this site?

Just as Sebastian posts his ideas about abortion here, even though he isn't going to get cheered for it, and Charles Bird posts his thoughts about the current situation in Iraq here even though he isn't going to get cheered for it, you mean? Who knows? Why do people keep posting and commenting here even when they know they're going to say things no one else on Obsidian WIngs will agree with?

Shorter KenB: Jesurgislac sucks and is ruining the site. :-)

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