Monday, August 24, 2009

IT COULD HAPPEN HERE

IT COULD (AND HAS) HAPPENED HERE.


Choosing life based on genetics. Ordering death or sterilization for those whose physical/mental appearance or abilities do not meet the standards of the State.


Does Obama’s health plan call for death squads? Of course not. Is there constitutional authority for such squads? You tell me.


ITEM:

Between 1924 and 1972 in the US some 65,000 American men and women were involuntarily sterilized by state governments, 8,200 by the State of Virginia:


A Virginia statute (Acts 1924, chap. 394, p. 569) provided that:


Whereas, both the health of the individual patient and the welfare of society may be promoted in certain cases by the sterilization of mental defectives . . . Whereas, human experience has demonstrated that heredity plays an important part in the transmission of insanity, idiocy, imbecility, epilepsy and crime; now, therefore . . .

Be it enacted . . . That whenever the [State of Virginia] . . . shall be of opinion that it is for the best interests of the patients and of society . . . the operation of sterilization on any such patient confined in such institution afflicted with hereditary forms of insanity that are recurrent, idiocy, imbecility, feeble-mindedness or epilepsy. . . . (Emphasis added.)


Don’t be poor and stupid (or have epilepsy) in Virginia in the first part of the 20th Century because the State owned you, and the state could sacrifice you as the State deemed fit.


Carrie Buck was “a feeble-minded white woman who was committed to the State ... She was the daughter of a feeble-minded mother in the same institution, and the mother of an illegitimate feeble-minded child.” (Buck v. Bell, 274 U.S. 200, 205 (1927).


Carrie Buck was ordered sterilized, Virginia having found that she was the probably potential parent of socially inadequate offspring, likewise afflicted, that she may be sexually sterilized without detriment to her general health and that her welfare and that of society will be promoted by her sterilization.” (Buck v. Bell, 274 U.S. 200, 207.)


Yes, you read that correctly. Virginia was forcibly sterilizing women who the State believed would "probably" produce "socially inadequate offspring." Anyone feel like defining for me "socially inadequate offspring"? By the way: anyone suffering from epilepsy reading this blog? Because if you had epilepsy in Virginia in the 1900's they were after you as well.


The Virginia Supreme Court upheld the statute, stating that the law was meant topromote the welfare of society by mitigating race degeneracy and raising the average standard of intelligence of the people of the state.” (Buck v. Bell, 130 S.E. 516, 519. Emphasis added.)


Forced sterilization can’t happen in the US you say? Have you read Buck v. Bell, 274 US 200 (1927)? The Supreme Court (Oliver Wendell Homles for the majority) up held 8-1 the right of the State to sterilize it’s”idiots”.


Does the State own you? Here’s what Holmes said:


We have seen more than once that the public welfare may call upon the best citizen for their lives [i.e., the draft]. It would be strange if it could not call upon those who already sap the strength of the State for these lesser sacrifices, often not felt to be such by those concerned, in order to prevent our being swamped with incompetence. It is better for all the world, ...[if] society can prevent those who are manifestly unfit from continuing their kind. The principle that sustains compulsory vaccination is broad enough to cover cutting the Fallopian tubes . . . .


(And then Holmes wrote the sentence that will live in infamy among those of us who don’t believe the State owns you:)


Three generations of imbeciles are enough. (Buck v. Bell, 274 U.S. at 205. Emphasis added.)


So you tell me, can it happen here?


Post script: The State sterilized all of the Buck siblings; a brother and two sisters including Doris, who had gotten married and was by all accounts not mentally retarded.

According to The New York Times:

For years... she (Doris Buck) and her husband . . . could not understand why she could not bear children. “I broke down and cried,” [she] told the [newspaper]. “My husband and me wanted children desperate—we were crazy about them. I never knew what they done to me.”


As far as I know, Buck v. Bell is good law, and the philosophy behind it- the State owns your life and can sacrifice it, your body, or parts of your body- for the good of society- still rings true today.


See You In Court, fighting the State.






45 comments:

Anonymous said...

There should be a license for people to procreate.

abe laeser said...

I came to this country because Nazis actually believed and acted upon such theories - and used them as a justification for the execution of most of my family.

It really sickens me to have those murders trivialized by political claptrap about death panels - as an effort to keep the poor from having more decent health care.

We have all read BUCK v. BELL. We heard about slavery. People have been executed in this country for their race or religion or place of family origin. We all hate those things about this country + we try to fix it every day.

What in the world does your story about an 85 year old terrible decision have to do with today's efforts to improve the health of the poor, the chronically ill, those with pre-existing illnesses?

Stop hitting yourself in the head with copies of Atlas Shrugged. We are not all constantly capable of controlling our lives. Some stumble and fall. In this country we try to pick them up, if we can. That is what this health plan intends to do. Not kill, but save. Not sterilize, but create better lives.

RUMPOLE, sometimes I just do not understand these foolish diatribes -- which are just plain wrong !!

In your case, even one generation of being an imbecile is enough.

Anonymous said...

Of course it can happen here. It does every day. It is called partial birth abortion or late term abortion. There is little distinction between killing a baby at 36 weeks gestation who could be born healthy at the very moment he or she is aborted and sterilizing or lobotomizing a human being. It is a slippery slope of moral reasoning to go from killing babies in the womb and euthanizing old people and/or people with severe handicaps.

Anonymous said...

6:21,

I'd be very surpised if you could even find ONE case of a week-36 termination of what was thought to be a HEALTHY fetus. Screw you and the god you rode in on.

Rumpole said...

I am all in favor of approving health care. I have written about the death of a young boy from a tooth abscess because of inadequate health care.

And as I wrote- I have no belief that these right wing nuts are correct about death squads.

But for someone who is a lawyer and who lost family members to a state system who believed in Eugenics, I am at a loss to see how the power of ideas (philosophy) does not frighten you.

What does my "story" have to do with today? Will you pay me a dollar for every federal decision I can find in which the ends of "the welfare of society" are used to justify the means of doing something to some individual or group?

Did you read Scalia's opinion supporting the execution of an innocent man? From the Supreme Court of the Country that brags it has the greatest legal system in the world? Did you ever in your worst nightmare think the Supreme Court of this country would twist and turn to find a way to justify executing the innocent?

Maybe 85 years ago is not as removed as you think.

My "story" is not about Health Care. It's about rights, and freedom and Collectivism.

I may be an imbecile, but I know enough to jump off the tracks when a train is heading my way. And because I care I also choose to say "hey, watch out for that train."

BTW: Forced sterilization continued in the US through 1972, which as this imbecile counts, was 37 years ago, when as I understand it, you were just starting out as a lawyer.

Anonymous said...

2 posts in and Godwin's law is hereby invoked.

Anonymous said...

Rumpole is correct in this one. People blindly walk the tracks in blissful ignorance of the lights, bells and whistles till the train turns them into mince meat.

We have a statist culture of death in America and, if we keep ignoring it, it'll destroy our essence and being as a nation from within.

South Florida Lawyers said...

Nazi eugenics and related programs in other Western countries including the United States certainly are relevant to today, as are the Nazis generally -- they represent an apotheosis of sorts of a certain strain of Western "culture," "technology" and "civilization" that also contained brutal, self-justifying elements of national and racial superiority which in the extreme led to the horrors of the Nazi state.

Unfortunately, few seek to understand the relationship between some Nazi tenets and the history of Western civilization generally, finding it much easier to conclude that there was something so singular and sick about the rise of Nazism in Germany that there can be no meaningful links to be drawn to other Western cultures that might have any relevance today.

I'm all in favor of exploring this relationship, provided it's not done in an ahistorical, lazy, and hackneyed manner.

What I'm seeing so far does not make overly hopeful (Rump excluded).

Blog Judges said...

By a vote of 4-3 the Blog Judges rule:

Rumole ONE
Abe ZERO

Round two?

Word of the day guyz said...

OMG - what a great day on the blog:

EUGENICS: the study of or belief in the possibility of improving the qualities of the human species or a human population, esp. by such means as discouraging reproduction by persons having genetic defects or presumed to have inheritable undesirable traits.

Spanning the Web to bring you the constant variety of words, we are the
WORD OF THE DAY GUYZ

Rumpole said...

SO Florida- I can tell you in one word the relationship between Nazism and Western Culture: Altruism.

I can tell you in one sentence as well: "For the good of the public ("Volk" in German)"

I can tell you in one phrase: Altruistic collectivist ethics.

Every atrocity in Nazi Germany, Soviet Russia, Red China, Cuba, is justified in the Name of the Public Good.

Until we divorce ourselves from this philosophy, anything is possible here.

We started out down the right path: The Declaration of Independence is written for the individual- society is not endowed with rights to life and liberty and pursuit of happiness, the INDIVIDUAL was. This was a monumental achievement and leap of philosophy as to how governments are formed and why. It is little appreciated until you contrast it with the founding documents of every other society which proclaimed the public good as the highest goal.

Some where along the path we lost our way.

Anonymous said...

Why does Abe have to start out every argument with the Nazis? Abe u have always taken urself too seriously. What are u doing these day besides posting on blogs?

Anonymous said...

A Florida woman and her boyfriend have been charged with third-degree murder in the death of her 2-year-old daughter, who was strangled by a pet python.

Thoughts on this one?

I'd be curious to know if the Orange Cty. SAO files charges against the parent when the unlocked gun is used by a child to kill themselves. We usually hear that Miami-Dade SAO does not end up filing charges b/c the parent has already been penalized more severely than any criminal sentence could.

Is Orange County any different? This mother has lost her child and now they are arresting her and charging her with murder.

Anonymous said...

8:43...........your analysis is as simplistic as it gets. The Nazis didn't make decisions based on altruism or the public good. They based their decisions on selfishness/hegemony. They used "public good" as a cover. Say what you want about the mistakes we've made in America; for the most part, especially recently, we've strived to do the right thing and take care of people. The best example I can give is rise of volunteerism. In America there are more non-profit groups involving more volunteers and doing more good than anywhere in the world. America isn't perfect (nothing created by man ever will be). However, it is the best this world has ever seen. The USA, for all its faults, isn't just the most powerful country in the world, it's the most generous one history has ever seen. Don't confuse conservative values for small government with selfishness.

BTDT

Anonymous said...

This is the best Rumpole post and discussion in a long time.

Rumpole said...

Thank you 9:54.
8:49- while I don't see eye to eye with Mr. Laeser on this- he has a unique perspective on this, having personally suffered by Nazi atrocities. We are all shaped by our life experiences, good or bad, and being born in a displaced persons camp to parents who were in concentration camps shaped his views.

If I may say so, his life, and those like him, remains further proof of the ultimate triumph of good over evil. My post is meant to remind us that evil is never far away, even here. Freedom means constant vigilance against evil in the sheep's clothing of "public good".

A friend recently took his grandmother back to Buchenwald. And I remarked to him that when she walked through those gates it was the ultimate statement I WON you lost. It was a life affirming experience.

This is a terribly difficult subject, I intentionally didn't raise the specter of nazism in my post , although the parallels are obvious.

old guy said...

I heard that Abe actually has some clients and is trying not to do criminal work.

I agree with both. Maybe, although he wanted to avoid it, Rumpole should have known the obvious way that eugenics points us all - toward Nazi theory. Guess that road is one that pushes some people's buttons really easily, and maybe it should.

On the other hand, we must all be aware of evils. Nowadays, there still is a ton of race hatred in the world. Lots of people still justify their crimes because "WE" cannot mix with "THEM" - and see them as lesser beings. All of us should do what we can to take up this battle. Surprisingly, I have fould ways to do this, on a case by case basis, with some clients and their families over the years. It may not be much, but I make the effort. We all can.

Anonymous said...

wouldnt that quote apply to the Bush family?

Paladin51 said...

Yes, the Orange County SAO files charges against the parent/owner when an unlocked gun is used and the death of a child is caused, or even injury. Hell the Orange County SAO charges every little thing.

Anonymous said...

Abe is just too sanctimonious for my taste and I'm glad Kathy punted him. He was a good lawyer but not a good guy always gossiping about people like a little bitch. Rumpole was trying to make a point which was a valid one and Abe plays the Nazi card.

Anonymous said...

Spill the beans on the PD scandal already you cock tease.

Sexy Fan said...

Rumpole- I had a dream about you last night. Can you post something less serious so we can get back to flirting?

Did I mention I'm 29?

Anonymous said...

I would like to go back to an earlier post for a second. Who ever said they were intrigued by Maria Ortiz must be as stupid as she. It is absurd how you state hacks venerate these judges that sit in the justice building. Maria Ortiz, and her oh so impressive NOVA law degree, may be a very nice women, but she has no judicial ability. The reason for the lack of ability is her complete lack of intellect. You could probably count the IQ points of %90 of the judges in that building on two hands. In many of the jurisdictions I have practiced people of the judicial caliber of Maria Ortiz, Norma Lindsey, Barbara Areces, Roger Silver etc. would not even have been allowed to work in the courts as unpaid interns. I don't know which is a sadder; the quality of the Judiciary in Miami-Dade County, or the lawyers who actually debate the merits of which judge is first among equals in lack of ability and intelligence.

Anonymous said...

SFL is right. "Godwin's Law" should not prevent us from pointing out appropriate parallels. The most interesting thing I learned at the Holocaust museum was that Naziism started initially with socially discriminatory laws that were modeled exactly after American Jim Crow laws of the late 1800s. The parallels are strikingly unavoidable, and invoking "Godwin's Law" is a simplistic attempt to diminish the relevancy of the comparison.

Phil R said...

2:16 why don't you state your name coward? I have handled many cases before Judge Ortiz. I have tried cases with her. She is fair, knowledgeable, hard working, and the type of Judge who does what is correct in a case. That means she does not slam you just for going to trial. I have won cases before her and lost cases before her, and I am always pleased when my clients' cases end up before her. I have seen dozens of county court judges since 1986 and Judge Ortiz is one of the best. Actually we have right now as strong and fair and hardworking a group of County Court Judges as I can ever remember.

Your criticisms would be a lot more believable if you would sign your name.

Phil R.

Anonymous said...

I encourage you all to read (if you haven't done so already) Pitt's column last week about Nazi's and our society's constant mistaken historical references to them.

http://www.miamiherald.com/living/columnists/leonard-pitts/story/1192566.html

Anonymous said...

Uhho, I may be wrong but I sense things are about to get very nasty on this blog. Take care Rumpole.

Sexy Fan said...

Rumpollllleeeeeee.....

Pleeeeease change the subject so I can tell you my stats and get you interested. I neeeeeeeeed you.

Anonymous said...

Rump,
I have been losing sleep on a hypothetical question that has been bouncing around in my head. Perhaps you or a reader can answer my question. What type of sentence can be imposed on conjoined twins when only one of them is found guilty of a criminal act?

Anonymous said...

Phil,
Simply because someone doesn't post their name, doesn't make their opinion any less valid. (I'm not saying I agree with Anon about Ortiz, just dealining with the anonymity issue)
Unfortunately, in our practice, open criticisms of judges might not be taken too kindly.
There are a lot of things that I would like to say about people in the REGJB but I know it would make for really unpleasant times walking down the hallway. In our field we are supposed to pursue truth and justice, but what would happen if every time I saw someone wearing an ugly suit (quite often) or someone who gained weight, I went up and said something about it?
Allowing for anonymous comments might provide for better flow of ideas that we otherwise would be afraid to state.
Signed,
Mario Jack David Hernandez

PS does the fact I signed my name make this comment any more or less valid?

Anonymous said...

Rumpole
I dont see the conection in the current health care debate and Nazis practices. But many of the eugenics ideas and laws the Nazis implimented were based on laws and ideas from the good old USA. The Nazis sure as hell blew them up and went overboard ( I know quite an understatement { remember my Step-Mom was born in a DP camp in Germany, where her parents were prisoners}.We must atleast acknowledge that some of OUR laws were (ARE) bad, perhaps evil?
D. Sisselman

Anonymous said...

Phil,

All the respect I had for you just went out the window. I don't even know if Ortiz could be a Judge when cell phones didn't exist, as she would have no way of contacting Slom for a ruling.

Anonymous said...

Investigators found the information, printed from law enforcement databases, in a wooden chest in Deputy Jonathan Bleiweiss' bedroom, according to a search warrant filed Monday in Broward Circuit Court. The printouts also carried added notations, for instance "HOT JEEP GUY" and "HOT GUY IN TOYOTA ECHO," said investigators, who matched the printouts to an activity log on Bleiweiss' computer at work.

Anonymous said...

Simply because "the Nazis did it" doesn't make it wrong.

Nazi scientists were the first to understand the health risks of of cigarettes and discouraged smoking. In the years after WWII, the linkage between tobacco, cancer and anti-smoking efforts was often tarred by this early association with Nazi Germany.

As for eugenics, it is something we practice everyday. The disgust we feel at the thought of sleeping with a family member is nature's way of preventing dangerous inbreeding. And, precisely what is wrong in preventing a person from having children if all scientific knowledge suggests such children will be born retarded or hideously deformed?

It is certainly true that eugenics have justified sterilization of many who were actually healthy. But the fact that we sometimes imprison individuals wrongly isn't an argument for doing away with the criminal justice system. It is simply an argument for reducing such mistakes.

Carrie Buck was the victim of legal misconduct and fraud. The evidence, upon which Holmes based his opinion, contained wholesale fabrications. That is an indictment of the legal system... not of Eugenics, per se.

For more on Carrie Buck, see Three Generations, No Imbeciles, by Paul Lombardo, Professor of Law, Georgia State University

Anonymous said...

The second man told investigators that Bleiweiss pulled him over early one morning in April or May in Oakland Park and ordered him to sit in the backseat of the patrol car, where Bleiweiss then reportedly performed oral sex on him.

"Immediately afterwards, Jonathan Bleiweiss grabbed his flashlight and radio and exited the vehicle, asking [the victim] if he would like to do it again in the future," Detective Graciela Benito wrote in an arrest report released Tuesday.

Anonymous said...

How many generations of idiots are enough?
Jason Grey

Anonymous said...

Rumpole, in a way I'm practicing eugenics - I will only have a baby if it's yours... BTW, "Sexy Fan" is a guy - we, real women, don't emphasize our age.

Anonymous said...

Conjoined twin guilty of a felony? Is that really where this blog is going? Actually.... it is an interesting question.

Anonymous said...

There are more than a few people in the REGJB who deserve sterilization...........

Anonymous said...

C'mon, Rump, you're all talk. We're still waiting for the PD shite to hit the fan.

Anonymous said...

Rump, really?

"Every atrocity in Nazi Germany, Soviet Russia, Red China, Cuba, is justified in the Name of the Public Good."

I like you and all, but being so concerned about history and liberty and public good as you are, I would have expected more from you.

First, you don't need to restrict your list to communist and socialist countries, though you seem obsessed with them. Western, NATO-member, democratic countries have committed plenty of wrongs in the name of the public good. The Japanese interment camps come to mind. And the syphilis experiments at Tuskeegee. Extraordinary renditions. Guantanamok. Blackwater's immunity in Iraq.

Okay, so public good is bad... But did you vaccinate your kids against measles? Do you worry about smallpox or polio? They were killers of individuals, only eliminated by campaigns for the public good.

And have you ever gotten anyone off on a Miranda violation? Or a Brady violation? And were they clearly guilty?

Miranda and Brady both protect the public good, by requiring our government to adhere to a higher standard. There was no individual good in letting your little miscreant go. But our society requires that higher, public good, even when it's a bad thing in individual cases.

Ask the victims. They thought, individually, it was pretty bad.

And Access to affordable health insurance? How again is that going to violate my individual rights?

Sure, it's going to cost me, but if I vote for an administration that wants to do that, and I agree it's a good thing to do, where's the evil? That's democracy.

As for your fears that a progressive health care program someday might expand into something Ayn Rand wouldn't approve of.. well, that sounds a bit alarmist to me. Watch out for the black helicopters and be careful about your fillings. The CIA can talk to your brain through them, you know? I think if you wear a hat lined with tin foil you'll be safe. Of course, when they Baker you for the public good, you'll be assigned a public defender who will argue that your individual rights trump the public's right not to be endangered by you.

I'm individually scared.

As for your dispute with Abe, I gotta say, anyone who can compare socialism, communism or totalitarianism with a democratically elected administration trying to pass a law is so under-educated, he makes a good argument for mandatory history education in the schools. For the public good and for the sake of the individuals.

Susannah Nesmith
www.susannahnesmith.com

fake clay kaiser said...

anybody give an update on Clay Kaiser? Haven't seen my namesake lately.

Anonymous said...

Nesmith
How is gonna cost you more if you are broke and out of a job?
PS
Before all you blowhards praise what is going on to help poor people get health care, read rolling stone mag break down Obama and the dems in congress. Any self respecting citizen will be embarrassed. No single pay-no way!!!

Anonymous said...

Darwin would be proud

the trialmaster said...

phil r. [rump] please post my comment re; kounty kourt