Welcome to Perspectives, a blog of thoughts, commentary and observations ranging from autistic adolescents to intimate portraits of urban communities.


Stumble of the Week

Runner-up The Virginia Senate. A lot of people these days talk about getting the government off our backs, which raises the question of where they would like us to put it. The majority of the Virginia Senate gave their answer earlier this month in Senate Bill 484 (http://www2.wsls.com/news/2012/feb/01/va-senate-approves-abortion-ultrasound-requirement-ar-1656051), which requires pregnant women even considering an abortion to have a “vaginal ultrasound,” a procedure that is as invasive as it sounds, particularly when mandated by the state. (Has it been that long since groups like those who backed this bill denounced ultrasounds for healthy women as a form of social engineering?) Gov. Bob McDonnell, who had sponsored a similar bill when he was a legislator and was initially a strong supporter of the Senate bill – but who also has national ambitions – made a U-turn, saying that “mandating an invasive procedure in order to give informed consent is not a proper role for the state.” The House of Delegates, which had been poised to approve the Senate bill, instead passed a bill removing the mandatory provision. (http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/23/us/governor-of-virginia-calls-for-changes-in-abortion-bill.html?ref=us) This Week’s Winner: The Mormon Church, which apologized profusely for having baptized – posthumously and without the family’s knowledge – the parents of . . . I kid you not . . . Simon Wiesenthal, the famed Nazi hunter and Holocaust survivor, who died in 2005. Simon’s father, Asher Wiesenthal, was killed in action on the Eastern Front in 1917; his mother, Rosa, died at the Belzec concentration camp in Poland in 1942. A spokesman for the Mormon church called the baptisms “a serious breach of protocol.” (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-17036046)

The Pappy State