Msnowe's Blog

Res Ipsa Loquitor ("The Thing Speaks For Itself")

Posted in Uncategorized by m.snowe on July 12, 2007

If you easily emote when scanning political news stories, sometimes it’s easier to scan the front pages and then click away from the news site in a huff. But to get really angry while sitting in your cubicle, read second tier stories such as the former surgeon general Carmona’s comments on July 10, 2007, two days before the Senate Committee holds hearings for Bush’s new appointee to the vacated post. (read the story here:

The fact that this story is not getting more media coverage is almost as aggravating as the report itself. It basically affirms the Bush Administration’s ideological hold on the nation’s largest health advisory group. Without even considering the possible objections to Bush’s new suggested appointee, (his “anti-gay” leanings [look into res ipsa loquitor], United Methodist Church activities, anti-stem cell research standing and approval of abstinence-only sexual education) Carmona has become another mumble in the litany of officials crying out Bush’s over-stepping of executive power.

No one denies that as the appointer, Bush can pick and choose. It was the same for the US State Attorneys General. But what makes Carmona’s harsh accusations more pernicious is that the surgeon general doesn’t prosecute, he or she is a defender of public health. Public Health is in diametrical opposition to religion, politics, etc., body politics is altogether it’s own animal. Therefore, if Bush and his aides do dictate and override scientific evidence in order to reinforce party platform measures, the whole country will get sick. The same goes for any party, any administration. Science has never been the utopia of neutral ground so many believe it is – if you look hard enough, there is always a measure of human belief/error in everything, even the most precise calculations. But there is a difference between unintentional error or projection of self, and the reinforced intentional kind. No respected scientific journal would publish an article that leans to one side of an argument without a glimmer of actual hard scientific study backing it up(or at least a found study that fleetingly supports the author’s claim). Belief is often discussed in the context of the results of a study, (i.e. – Does what I believe influence my scientific findings?) it does not become the theory around which to build science (i.e. How can I make my science influence my beliefs?)

Carmona said he was “told to stand down” on the issue of stem cell research while serving. Interesting (and probably intentional rhetorical choice) Dr. Holsinger will be perfect as far as Bush is concerned. With his military service and Veteran’s affairs experience, he’ll be able to conduct his anticipated post with the instructional vigor of a retired war general, sacrificing the health of some for the good of the corps (… i mean core) voting base. Americans trust the attorney general- they trust those little labels on alcohol and cigarettes. Of course labels on condoms and birth control might be next. May I suggest a caption? :

Surgeon General’s Warning for condoms/birth control: Do. not. use. Ever. Will cause unnecessary complications in business world, home-life, and general social structure. Women will continue to gain undue power and control over their reproductive rights, causing mass chaos and overall debauchery. The influx of women entering once undominated fields will cause undue stress on all, and forget about the mess from all those broken glass ceilings, the employment of clean up crews and steal toed boots alone will plunge the nation into a previously unforeseen national debt.

Alternative label for men buying same product: Do. Not. Use. Ever. On your wife.

(blogger disclosure: don’t worry, I don’t believe that women who have children are in any way barred from exploring options outside the home, etc. I only imply in the above surgeon general warning that the way these ficitious labels are formed is to produce a result of patriarchal stability, the same stability that was disrupted with the women’s rights movement. That’s all. It’s called humor.)