Saturday, February 02, 2002

SMOKING STATISTICS You can't compare deaths from smoking to condom failures in terms of impact, obviously. But I got curious about the relative sizes of the numbers. The CDC estimates that in 1995 529,000 deaths in the US were attributable to smoking (you'll have to hunt for it). I never found a straightforward number of smokers, but based on about a 25% rate and the 1995 population I estimate that there are about 70,000,000 smokers. So about 0.8% of all smokers die in a given year due to smoking-related problems. I was expecting a bigger number, especially after all the anti-cigarette BS we've heard in the last few years.

JUST CAN'T LET IT DROP - Surely the competence of abortionists is a women's health issue. Well, in the name of women's health, let's impose additional educational requirements on abortionists (as opposed to physicians). How about an extra couple of years of school? Honest, it's not to provide barriers to entry any more than it is with our education system...

Of course it's important that consumers of medical services should be well informed. Good grief, you should have seen the list of horrors I had to acknowledge before I could have some dental work done. Perhaps abortionists should be required to show patients this. Not a web page, the movie. Without it, are our patients truly aware of what they're signing up for?

Hillary Clinton, Ted Kennedy, Henry Waxman and others would love to have socialized medicine. OK, we can start with abortion doctors. Let's make them all federal employees! We have only to look at airport security to know that it will enhance quality, right? (Note to Republicans - let 'em go - these guys already vote for Democrats). Besides, surely abortionists aren't in it for the money...

Let's put all the abortion records into a great big database in the hands of the feds. How else can they effectively monitor this essential civil right?

Wait, do we have an asymmetry between the sexes? Perhaps the men should be able to horn in. Let them have a "legal abortion", permitting them to escape all economic consequences of fatherhood. This could be done up until the last minute an abortion could, which is to say, until the very last minute. After all, the financial burden could affect his health.

Even with perfect and consistent usage, condom failure rates are such that 3% of women who depend on them will become pregnant each year under perfect and consistent usage. For typical couples it's 12%. Isn't it time for a huge lawsuit against the condom companies? Let the govt lead the way in the name of public health, and let the states' attorneys general pile on - surely this is more important than whether a free browser gets bundled with your PC.

I notice that a lot of people who favor expanding abortion rights are against the death penalty. How about a compromise? We'll permit convicts to be executed by any means which could be used to perform an abortion. If it's good enough for innocents, it ought to be good enough for the guilty.

Alright, I'll go take a sedative now. In case it wasn't obvious enough, none of the above is intended to be taken 100% seriously.

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