Saturday, December 31, 2011

New Years & Traditions - Resolutions

It's that time again. Time to contemplate the lessons of past years, combine them with hopes for the future, and distill a few resolutions from the mix - things to do or do better and perhaps a few new adventures to explore.

On the personal side...

Based on the last few years adventures, I need to adhere more closely to "if it makes me giggle, it's probably a bad idea". At the same time, learning to step away from the keyboard and the telephone when truly annoyed is an ongoing learning thing for me - it is far too easy for me to cut loose with unfiltered snark, resulting in distinctly less than amusing attempts at after action damage control. A resolution to attempt to be more measured with my interactions in the world would seem a good choice.

Similarly, while I've learned to let go a bit (certainly far more than when I was introduced to the notion) and roll with the punches, I think I've taken that lesson far enough and perhaps need to shift gears in 2012 and work more on planning and stability. It's been a long stretch of rolling with the punches, and I'd like a bit more control of events. So, a resolution to find a new middle ground between raving control freak and laissez-faire loser seems one worth taking up.

Gratitude is something that I continue to struggle with. I'm presently blessed with BOTH kinds of mentors in my life - both the kind I want in many ways to emulate, and the sort in whom I recognize parts of myself that horrify me (and need fixed, right fast) - the trick is recognizing both are good to have about, but the challenge is that one is far more pleasant to learn from than the other. Learning to be grateful for both seems a worthwhile goal for 2012, while equally important is learning from both sorts.

Over the last few years I've retreated more and more from social life - and no matter how wonderful a given event is, a single social event a year where one is surrounded by ones chosen fellows is simply insufficient - and in my instance, deeply unlikely to improve my dating prospects. Resolved for 2012: Get out more, maybe plan a dinner or two.

Similarly, for a variety of reasons, I've not been out shooting much in the last few years and as a result my skillset has melted. I'm reasonably sure I can make the broadside of a barn flinch in terror, but a 100 rounds a week could probably improve the precision of that sort of effort and create a higher plateau to deteriorate from should I find myself in a situation where I'm shooting for survival rather than satisfaction.

I need to write more, and with more precision in 2012. One is likely to follow the other. Must get to that.

I need to continue to support Mom better. On the list is getting her a new battery for her scooter device, getting her out more on excursions, and shifting the house to a lower maintenance stance while prepping it for eventual sale.

Clutter reduction. Oy Vey. I need to get rid of a BUNCH of crap - books, clothes, furniture, tools, a truck, etc.

I'm sure there's more, but there is plenty to keep me busy for a bit just with what's above...

Sunday, December 18, 2011

A few thoughts on abortion...

Well, it's not the simple debate either side claims. To clarify, two questions:

1) Under what circumstances and conditions is it justifiable to take a human life?

2) When does human life begin?

Traditionally, inconvenience/poor timing/negligence and "I don't wanna" have not been acceptable standards for killing someone. Nasty little names like murder, manslaughter, and negligent homicide have all been applied to such merry activities.

On the other hand, every legal system in the country has in it some provision in it for "he/she needed killing", typically wrapped in a self-defense statute, and usually with phrases like "threat to life", "engaged in a felonious act", or "reasonable threat to physical safety of self or others".

The felonious and assaultive abilities of an infant still in the womb are fairly minimal. There certainly exist medical circumstances where some variation of the dread choice "kid v. mom" needs to be made, as one is merely choosing coffin size, not the impending presence of coffins; and similarly, there exist at all points in life "quality of life" issues for a patient that we as a society have come to realize justify "plug-pulling".

Then we come to the challenging question - "At what point does human life begin?"

Surely, someplace between mitosis and age 70 we can come to an agreement that a human life, mostly worth protecting, is in progress.

The medieval definition could be considered "at birth" (whether natural or by primitive c-section). But the middle ages were a *long time* back, and survivability has advanced a little bit since then.

I think all the sane among us can agree that "once born, is life" and we can move on from that point with a narrower question - "Where, between mitosis and birth, does life begin?"

I would suggest that a reasonable expectation that if removed from the womb unmutilated by the process of infant survival indicates that the fetus/infant is a pretty clear indication that fetus/infant has achieved personhood. And killing off people without a damned good reason is murder, morally.

Being female, historically, has until quite recently not been a get out of jail free card. And in the presence of todays wide range of effective contraceptives and a 4-5 month pre-viability window (it ain't independently viable, thus not yet a person), there is no reason that it *should* be.

Now, I expect I'm in trouble now from both the "abortion is evil" and the "women are the only one that can make this decision, abortion is a RIGHT" crowds - and that's a good sign, because if you piss off the extremists at either end of a're probably making sense.