Wednesday, April 18, 2012

SCOTUS, SCROTUS

My sister Margaret was a towering soul holstered in a tiny body. She was easy to see over, but impossible to overlook. Until she got old.

"Old women are invisible," she complained.

I'm beginning to see what she meant, but I'm not complaining. It's a mixed bag, being ignored. It's not so good when you're trying to get a clerk's attention in a store. But it can work to your advantage if you're, say, trying to assemble some bomb-making materials with a mind toward civic engagement.

But a girl does feel dismissed if she can't even get any action from airport security. If they won't even wave a wand at you when you flash your postal I.D., leak spittle, and bring up Dick Cheney, you can pretty much figure your value as a searchable object of desire has plummeted. You might as well not exist. It can be dispiriting.

But trust the U.S. Supreme Court to hitch the buckboard up to old Dobbin and ride to the rescue! They're coming through for the little guy at last. Some of us had been a little dubious about this group. The Democrats had spent two years trying to crowbar a little daylight between the insurance companies and their profits, and finally cobbled together a bit of improvement for us all, with a not-nearly-socialist-enough piece of legislation called the Affordable Care Act. Or Obamacare, as it is derisively referred to by people who view Obama and Care with equal disdain. And now many of us suspect that the Court is about to knock the whole thing sideways on the grounds that it tramples on the American credo ("You Can't Make Me"). Because if we are lucky enough to get any health insurance, given the shape we're in, we would rather pay a boatload for it, by God. We're not cheap. The Court just heard the case and various lines of questioning have put the outcome in doubt, with some of the justices playing things pretty cagey. Except for Justice Clarence Thomas, who, as always, just said exactly what was on his mind.

Well, it will be a bit before we find out whether the insurance industry will get its money's worth out of this court, but in the meantime, as I suggested, SCOTUS really came through for the little people. Thanks to a recent ruling, the police can throw in a free rectal examination whenever we get hauled in for any little thing. Even minor infractions, like looking all wrong for the neighborhood, can win you a complimentary probe. This court decision only restores the rights of the state. If this sort of thing wasn't a proper role of law enforcement, it would never have been called "copping a feel." And the average American can scarcely whine about being refused insurance for a rectal exam and then turn around and whine about getting a freebie.

The Supreme Court is only plugging a hole in the system. Torrents of contraband are flowing in a direct pipeline from America's buttholes to its jails. And the police have a legitimate interest in stemming that flow. Which means such a procedure couldn't possibly be used as a tool of humiliation. And that's good news! Because even an ignorable, innocent-looking woman of advanced middle age like myself might still have an act of civil disobedience left in her, or get a little mouthy during a public demonstration. And this ruling means I still have the chance one day of hearing that snap of latex gloves behind me. The snapping sound that means someone still wants to know how I really feel, deep inside.

And we thought they didn't care. Thank you, Justices Roberts, Kennedy, Scalia, Alito, and Thomas--take a bow! No, the other way.

59 comments:

  1. I've been saying for years that medical insurance needs a complete overhaul, and I've been saying that since before I was old enough for Medicare.

    Frankly, I think the plan of the politicians is to withhold most medical care until the current old people die. And there will be fewer who live until they're old.

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    1. That last is a fack. Diabetes is going to take down the kids.

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  2. Wow, one of your greatest posts ever, both in its overview and in your deft use of words - starting in the first sentence with the word, "holstered."

    When I got to the part about stemming the flow from America's buttholes I figured we had ourselves another Santorum post in the making. But I guess he's now old news - er, ooze.

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  3. I agree that this is one of your typically brilliant posts, Murr. I cannot help butt smile. I'm so impressed! :-)

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  4. At 62, I may have become invisible, but I'm still LOUD.

    when I was working in the jails, the approved technique was for the inmate to strip bare, squat, spread his or her butt-cheeks, and cough hard. Somehow, i don't think the guards look forward to actually probing criminal rectums. Ewwww!

    However, Multnomah county has a display of things that have been smuggled in. Would YOU smoke a cigarette that had been up some guy's . . . ewwwww!

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    1. I can't even imagine getting it lit! And Roxie, you for one are not invisible.

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  5. Old men are invisible as well unless of course you are already elected to office. Then you are just a joke. I find that I am not only invisible but irrelevant too.
    To men my age old women are still visible. I look to them for criticism and advice. Old women and little children are about the only females that still talk to me or even acknowledge that I exist.

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  6. I'm glad someone's able to find something positive in all this.

    Of course the typical bearded, scowling, scuzzy Islamic terrorist who might actually have something to hide is so repulsive that not even the most hard-up cop or TSA agent would want to touch them with a ten-foot glove -- but that was never the point, as we now know.

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  7. Whoa!! I am soooo amused! Disgusted, but so amused!

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  8. You make some great points, and I love the way you weave in humor: whine about the cost of rectal exams and then whine about freebies! Great stuff.

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    1. At least I don't whine WHILE getting a rectal exam. I still fondly remember my colonoscopy.

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  9. If this sort of thing wasn't a proper role of law enforcement, it would never have been called "copping a feel."

    Hee! I like the closing, too (he carefully avoids calling it "the end.")

    I do wonder which way Kennedy and Roberts are going to jump. Stay tuned for the next exciting episode!

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    1. Probably discreet of you to avoid saying you like the end. I do know that you could probably get a virus from googling images of cavity searches, none of which are seen here. I mean a real virus.

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  10. I was so disgusted and disappointed by the Health Care Act that, frankly, it wouldn't bother me at all for it to get ditched in it's entirety. It was an abortion at birth.

    My wife recently took a job with Blue Cross Blue Shield and those assholes have already raised rates on some products by as much as 40% and are declining nearly every previous condition in preparation for Obamacare.

    Errrr... makes my blood boil.

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    1. I think boiling blood is still covered.

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  11. As I (and my parents) age, I am thankful every day that we live in Canada. I grew up with free medical care, and can only imagine the painful and bitter choices many families in the US have to make at present.

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    1. At least, since we're not getting medical care at all, we're not waiting months for it, as the insurance flacks assure us you Canadians do.

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    2. Truuuuue ... wait, what?!

      Actually, the wait varies with the condition of the patient in most cases. We know how to prioritize!

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    3. Not from what we're hearing. We hear that you have to wait until your tumor can be seen from the next block before you can get in.

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    4. Well, it's a big country, there may be someone I haven't talked to ...

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    5. I never had to wait for it when it really counted and no one in my family has had to either. Perhaps a bit of fear mongering so the private insurance companies can keep their lucrative jobs? I'm sure that any system will have its tales but on the whole, I'm grateful for our healthcare.

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    6. "PERHAPS a bit of fear mongering?" Do ya think?

      I'm with Kaiser down here--they also run things in a more sensible way, which does mean you might have to wait a bit for things you don't need right away.

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    7. Canada - broken hip RFN! hip replacement - 2-4 months. Priorities. There are wait list problems but mostly people are mad they cannot buy their way forward. And if we eliminated as many people as the USA system does, we'd have no wait problems. also I understand from others that in fact Americans still have to wait for some procedures?

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    8. My sister in Ontario has been diagnosed with breast cancer, has had the testing, and will be surgeried this week. The diagnosis is still less than a month old. She has not had to wait for anything-I am considering emigrating.

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    9. I'm sorry about your sister. And glad she's in Canada.

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  12. Good lord. If this wasn't so damn funny, I'd be fully enraged.

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    1. I just can't play it straight. I'd be depressed all the time.

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  13. I mean - the way you WROTE this was funny. Not the situation. [just to clarify].

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  14. It's quite true that the older you get the more invisible you become. Not long ago I stumbled into an outdoor party of young adults at a house down the street. I never managed to make eye contact with anyone there. But that's not true in airport security. I get patted down all the time -- even when they made me go through one of those Xray things they said they needed to pat my left leg. This is the way they prove they aren't racial profiling -- pat down all the great grannies they can get their hands on.

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    1. Do most people wear their shivs on the left, or what?

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  15. This is great news! Now the gubmint can and will take care of my annual medical exam with highly qualified police and homeland security agents (free x-rays, too!)and I won't have to come up with my $4000 deductible first. I can stop paying insurance and all those know-it-all high priced doctors! Yippee!

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    1. And if all else fails, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms will step to the plate.

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  16. Gloriously, yet tragically hilarious...what a great writer you are! People who view Obama and Care with equal disdain! LOL! And angry that we have so many of those people.

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    1. I don't like to put it so bleakly, but people are stupid. A lot of them.

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  17. This provides an efficient new option for health care reform during the next administration -- law enforcement can do the colonoscopy while looking for contraband in our bungholes! win-win!

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    1. And retire the debt with the profit off the contraband...

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  18. Bravo Murr. When did it become a Republican party plank to hate helping people and women especially?

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    1. Maybe the women will get the last word, Bill.

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  19. Ms Murr, this is your friendly copyeditor stopping by to point out that it would be a "complementary probe" rather than a "complimentary probe." Although it is interesting to consider what compliments the probee might receive...

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    1. You know I loves ya, Pat, but I think I'm right on this one.

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    2. Okay, so I just looked it up to prove you wrong, smartypants, and you are right. I hate it when that happens...

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    3. I'm always happy to be corrected. Really. Although, this is even better.

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  20. Oh, this is awesome. You deserve a wider audience, my friend!

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    1. Hmm. I don't seem to be doing anything about that, so you all will have to start sharing promiscuously. Or would that be oversharing?

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  21. We are clearly on a headlong race to the 'bottom' (and I mean that quite literally). Which adds a whole new meaning to claiming someone was "fingered by the cops".

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  22. Humorously appaling, I'd say....

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    1. I think a lot of what's wrong is some people's complete inability to put themselves in someone else's position. Even that position.

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  23. Not humorously appalling. Totally appalling. So American, it seems.

    So, what will happen next?

    Never mind answering; I think I know the story line already. Predicatably appalling.

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  24. You can't just tell them to butt out then?

    Don't know what the situation is in the UK about rectal foraging, but I sure wouldn't envy anyone who drew the short straw and had to poke around my inwards. Anyway, I always hide my drugs in the baggage, in the hollowed-out copy of Jonathan Franzen's Freedom.

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  25. I want to stick this post someplace where the sun don't shine...yet. Like, maybe in the mail boxes of some mis-named justices. And would their addresses show up on-line in the White Pages or the Yellow ones, d'ya think?

    With your postal I.D., you might know the answer to this question: Are members of SCOTUS allowed to receive their mail when they're all bunched up in a wad to decide a huge chunk of the future? Or do they have to wait until the decision is all wrapped up and recorded for posterity before they get to open up all those envelopes with the checks in them?

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