The Republican War against Women

While we as a country continue to reel from the economic crisis brought on thru the greed and FU attitude of recent attempt at Presidency by Bush, the current crop of Republicans seem to think the priority to taking over the reproductive rights of half (actually more) of our population.  This Republican push to remove any Federal oversight and influence thereby moving more control and legislative influence and decision-making to the States will continue to enable this sort of regressive move back to the 50’s – when men were men and women were, well, objects.

Sen. Judy Eason McIntyre of Tulsa, Oklahoma held up a sign at a protest at the Oklahoma capitol to protest anti-abortion legislation in the state.

I find it hard to understand the men at the head of this battle but even more so, that there are women leading some of the legislation to further restrict women’s rights is even more difficult to understand.  As I looked at a bit more detail behind the current laws and proposed laws (including those in play in my home state of Pennsylvania), it becomes very obvious that the Republican agenda has nothing to do beyond getting into women’s shorts – so to speak.  When you see it all in one place and you look at the legislative vent it makes it very clear about the agenda as well as provides a good list of places not to live (Pennsylvania included).  I’ve taken a stab at pulling together a quick view of everything I could find out there at the moment – can’t attest to the fact that it is all correct down to the minute nor that I didn’t miss some states out there.  In any case, to me it is a sad commentary on where we are as a country today and how easy it is for some to tell others what they can and can’t do.  I really thought that religious freedom when both ways – not just that we all had to follow the zealot’s rules.

Here is a quick view of things:

State  Legislation    Status
Idaho Legislation requires all women seeking an abortion to undergo an ultrasound procedure In Progress
Kansas Bill requires women under the age of 18 to receive the explicit consent of both her parents before seeking an abortion. Exceptions will only be made in cases where “family sexual abuse is involved,” and even then women will need the approval of one parent. Additionally another law would immunize a doctor who discovers that a baby will be born with a devastating condition and deliberately withholds that   information from his patient. In Progress
Texas Law mandates that women seeking abortions undergo forced ultrasounds.  The provider must also display and describe the image of the ultrasound. Law
Arkansas A bill under way in the Senate that would severely limit abortion coverage under private insurance plans. If passed, would require women to purchase a special rider or policy if they ever plan to get an abortion. In Progress
Oklahoma Law requiries women not only to undergo an ultrasound before seeking an abortion but to actually be shown the ultrasound screen while a technician describes the fetus in detail Law
Kentucky Law requires women not only to undergo an ultrasound before seeking an abortion  but to actually be shown the ultrasound screen while a technician describes the fetus in detail. Women also will be required to wait 24 hours before they can receive an abortion procedure. Law
Nebraska Fetal Pain Legislation – Law forbids abortion after 20 weeks Law
Iowa Fetal Pain Legislation – Law forbids abortion after 20 weeks Law
Ohio “Heartbeat Bill” which would define life as beginning at the first sign of a heartbeat, extremely early in a pregnancy, and be an effective total abortion ban. In Progress
Arizona Bill that would allow doctors to withhold information about prenatal problems if it could make the decision to have an abortion more likely. In Progress
Virginia Law requires medical providers to administer ultrasounds on women before   performing abortions Law
Pennsylvania Bill would force women to undergo an ultrasound, hear the fetal heartbeat, and   present images of the fetus to her abortion provider before she can get an   abortion. But, the kind of ultrasound required would have to be a   transvaginal ultrasound. In Progress
Georgia Bill reduces the time period for when an elective abortion can occur from about 26   weeks to 20 weeks. The bill does not make exceptions for rape or incest and says any fetus delivered after 20 weeks must be delivered in a way that tries to keep it alive. In Progress
Tennessee The bill would require the state’s health department to list a report on every   abortion, including identification of the physician, and the office, clinic or hospital where it was performed, as well as the woman’s county of residence, age, race, marital status, number of prior pregnancies, prior abortions, gestational age of fetus and her pre-existing medical conditions. In Progress
New Hampshire Requires women to wait a mandatory 24 hours before having an abortion, it also   requires doctors to give them false information by telling them that abortion can cause breast cancer. In Progress
Florida Imposes a 24-hour waiting period on women seeking an abortion and requiring new abortion clinics to be owned by doctors. In Progress
Mississippi Bill would effectively ban abortions after the detection of a fetal heartbeat, which is after approximately six weeks of pregnancy, and defines life as beginning at conception, which would ban many forms of contraception. The bill may also require doctors to use transvaginal ultrasounds. In Progress
Rhode Island
Bill would allow a woman to view the ultrasound and have the person who may perform the abortion describe to the woman what she is seeing on the ultrasound.
In Progress

Now, without casting aspersions in any particular direction, I think there are some threads that run thru the list of states in included on this list.  Definitely not the list of states with the highest median income or the highest level of average education.  What is most telling is generally the states you don’t find on this list.

There was some additional data I came across that I also found most interesting.  A place where there are increased effort and focus on restricting women’s access to abortion thru a variety of means.  Some regulations under current consideration include:

1. Law requiring advertisements for abortion services to warn patients of the health risks of terminating a pregnancy

2. Outlawing the “morning-after pill” without prescription

3. Weeklong waiting period after applying for an abortion

4. Laws to compel married women to get permission from their husbands, and minors from their parents, before undergoing abortions.

Take it as you will but I find this even more unsettling when you consider these efforts are currently underway in one of those places we have long-held in contempt – Russia.

“The best judge of whether or not a country is going to develop is how it treats its women. If it’s educating its girls, if women have equal rights, that country is going to move forward. But if women are oppressed and abused and illiterate, then they’re going to fall behind.” ~Barack Obama, Ladies’ Home Journal, September 2008


Can you say “¡Qué estúpido soy yo?”

While I’m not going to comment on the issue of whether English should be the official US language (there currently is no designation), one again has to wonder where Ricky is heading or what he is thinking with this latest running off at the mouth.  Here he is in Puerto Rico, talking about statehood and basically sets a condition for Puerto Rico that is one that does not exist in our Constitution nor has ever been a requirement for statehood:

While Ricky and his staff are doing the usual post-stupid comment dance, he was specific in his statement:  “As in any other state, you have to comply with this and any federal law. And that is that English has to be the main language,” Santorum told El Vocero, a San Juan newspaper. “There are other states with more than one language as is the case in Hawaii, but to be a state in the United States, English has to be the main language.”

Even in the simplest view of gaining delegates, which Ricky needs badly, this stance will not be bringing in too many of the 23 delegates sitting with Puerto Rico.  I don’t know if statehood is something that Puerto Rico wants or not (there is a referendum on their ballot this year so it holds importance at some level) but it is obvious that either Ricky is downright ignorant, is basically exhibiting another form of political bigotry or has another agenda.

Secondly, the Latino vote becomes a game changer in the real Presidential election – especially for a Republican.  My numbers might be a bit off but when Bush last won, he had about 44% of the Latino vote.  McCain managed around 14% and the current polls are showing similar numbers for the Republican frontrunners.

While it is obvious I think Ricky is pretty much a fool and has none of the credentials that would put him in consideration to be President, one would think that the fact that Ricky has a Bachelor’s degree from Penn State, and an MBA from the University of Pittsburgh, and a Law degree from Dickinson School of Law (so much for educational snobbery) would give him some foundation in law where he would be better informed as to specifics of the  Constitution and how it positions requirements for statehood.

The 21st Century Don Quixote

I think what is really here is a reality that sits at the bottom line view the Republican Party has of minorities in general, poor people pretty much across the board, the middle class and, at some level, most anyone who doesn’t agree with them – they really don’t care what you think, what you need or how you vote – mostly because (and this is the paradox of it all) they still get a good number of these people to support them somehow.  The Republicans can remain the party of the rich and can keep their economic future rosy all at the cost of the rest of the less well off in our country and still maintain a reasonably consistent record of getting elected.  There remain those individuals that no matter what, they stay uninformed, generally uneducated and pretty much filled with hate – it is this crowd this stance Ricky has taken plays directly to.  Yes, let’s say it together – it is the Tea Party – the people generally standing up at Republican events, making the most noise about big Government while fully taking advantage of what is probably the largest handout to the members of the Tea Party – our own national social insurance program – Medicare.

To give a bit more evidence of the depth of this Republican disdain of everything not “American”, I also bring you back to another stellar human being, Newt Gingrich who, in 2007, remarked “We should replace bi-lingual with immersion in English so people learn the common language of the country. They learn the language of prosperity, not the language of living in a ghetto.”  Not one of our more gracious leaders.

People – maybe it is time to clear our heads and get a bit smarter.  To quote POGO “We have met the enemy and he is us”.

It’s also about the environment, stupid.

As we continue through this political season and I listen to both sides continue the positioning and manipulation of facts (yes, I recognize that neither party holds the patent on exaggerations and outright lying), I am hoping that the cloud being raised by all the focus and fuss on the economy doesn’t overwhelm the fact that we can’t just throw all caution to the wind and start making rash and short-term decisions – all in the name of trying to quickly fix an economic situation which did not develop and happen overnight.  I do believe that many of the economic woes we currently have are a result of rapid fire and poorly thought through, short-term focused actions and decisions.  Doesn’t appear to have worked too well for the vast majority of Americans.

We have already pretty much sold our children’s and grandchildren’s economic life somewhat down the tubes in getting to where we are today.  Let us not also throw the environment out the door for them at the same time.  One thing to have money issues – a whole other thing to pretty much find ourselves in a world where everything resembles a toxic wasteland.  I know that is probably an overstatement but I expect most have forgotten what it took to get our air and water to where it is today from where it was when the environmental movement became a force to be reckoned with back in the 1960’s and into the 1970’s when the idea of protecting the environment was still considered radical.  At the time, air and water pollution was almost seen as an expected and reasonable by-product of our continued industrial growth.  And in reality, there was no economic pressure for industry to do anything different.  It was basically a view that the ends justified the means.  Fortunately, smarter and influential individuals and organizations were able to take hold and their efforts eventually made a difference.  I suggest that people take a quick tour back to that time and see what the Great Lakes looked like, take a look at the air pollution in our major cities, get a sense of the number of lives impacted by the toxic waste dumps created by big business.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) was established in 1970 to put a limit on the amount of pollutants in the air. Congress passed the Clean Air Act in 1963, the Noise Control Act in 1972 and the Clean Water Act in 1977.

I am far from someone who could be considered an extremist when it comes to the environment.  Yes, I wore Earth shoes (who didn’t back then) and I take recycling to be something important but I am far from an activist in any sense.  I believe that there are extremes in the enviromentalist initiatives that probably go too far.  But when I hear the current crop of Republican candidates and leaders start there “Drill baby Drill” chant and when I hear the call to disband the EPA, I start to shudder a bit.  I am one that believes that corporate America will do whatever is needed that leads to an extra penny in a dividend check.  I believe the Exxons of the world don’t have a proactive social conscience and their sense of any social responsibility is more evident only when they get caught.

Yes, it is likely that by increasing oil drilling or removing any EPA required limits for things in the air and water that are known to kill or severely injure people we could see a temporary uptick in some economic indicator they would choose to put out there.  I do ask whether reducing the price of gas by a dime (and I have doubts that any action in the US could have any lasting impact on price) is worth any of us having children or grandchildren with increased cancer rates well beyond that we see today.  I don’t see it and I don’t get it.  And I’m tired of the politicians manipulating the facts and the public into supporting positions which benefit only corporations.  How can we be so stupid when the evidence is all out there?

Prior to 2008, Congressman Gingrich believed in man-made global warming and supported a cap-and-trade program. In 2008, Gingrich shifted his view to be in complete opposition to cap-and-trade and to be skeptical of global warming claims. Gingrich strongly supports expanded drilling both onshore and offshore. Gingrich supports a rapid expansion of nuclear energy, hydrogen energy, wind, and solar energy. One of Gingrich’s more interesting environmental ideas is to build “a large array of mirrors that could affect the earth’s climate,” to extend farmers’ growing season. (from his book "A Contract with the Earth"). Gingrich has opposed EPA regulation of carbon emissions and has called for the EPA to be abolished.

People, open your eyes, stop being sheep, take stock of what you are hearing and make it clear that our leaders hear “yes, while it is about the economy, it is also about the environment, stupid”.   It is time they realize that the American public isn’t as stupid as they think.

Senator Santorum does not believe in man-made global warming. In 2011, he referred to the notion that man was changing the climate as patently absurd. He opposes cap-and-trade legislation, stating that it would destroy a state like Pennsylvania. Senator Santorum supports all manners of energy production. He is a strong advocate for increased oil and gas exploration and increased drilling for oil and natural gas. This includes drilling in ANWR and the outer continental shelf. He opposes the viewpoint that government should chose which resources the people are allowed to use.

Mitt Romney is neutral on the idea that human pollution is a significant cause of global warming. Personally, he's not sure global warming is happening. Romney supports investment in drilling for oil domestically. Romney supports investment in alternative forms of energy including investment in nuclear energy. Romney strongly opposes the protection of natural places from development. Romney is of the opinion wherein the solution to our environmental problem lies in adopting a market approach. While solving the environmental challenges, we should also be supporting growth. Romney is criticized for flip-flopping on the environmental question. He has been blamed for subjecting his will to the likes of big companies.


"I am the Lorax, I speak for the trees. I speak for the trees, for the trees have no tongues... "


UNLESS someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not. – The Lorax – Dr. Seuss

And now for something completely different

I started this blog process as one means to find what was hopefully a more healthy outlet for the increasing angst I have been building up given the state of the country today.  To be honest, as an outlet there seems to be some catharsis going on as my wife has noticed somewhat of a change in my mood (to the positive).  I’m a bit less intense and she has even commented that I’m not going out into public and coming home without recounting some jerk in the store, on the road, etc., etc.  I’ll see that as a good thing but have to wonder if there is really a change or if I just happen to have hit a dry spell of idiots.  As I don’t believe in miracles, I’ll guess it is more the latter.  But in any case, we’ll take any improvement for most any reason.

But being a thinking person (at least I’d like to think so) and one whose mind doesn’t really ever seem to shut down, I decided to look at this a little closer.  As I read back thru my blog posts, I can see why it could be happening as I’ve taken this outlet as an opportunity to pretty much lash out at what I see as the crux of much of the issues I see out there.  I’m not talking about world peace or curing cancer but more the issues that are more germane to our daily lives (not diminishing the impact of cancer by any means).  The issue is really people. I know that much of my frustration is the result of my inability to change or influence others so as the next best thing I’ve pretty much gone after those that epitomize the people I view as representative of the problems and they just happen to be sitting in the realm of politics at the moment.  By this time, if you’ve read any number of my posts, you should see a pattern that somewhat defines a part of me. This has been an entertaining means to find ways to ridicule and mock those whose apparent life choices are that different from mine.  In some sense, paraphrasing a “Limbaughism”, I’ve started to act like them and have dropped to their level.  I have become personal and demeaning in my observations.  That disturbs me on some level as I’d like to think I am above that approach.  But at the same time, as I think it through, I can see there are some differences between me and “them”.  That view is partly attributable to my phenomenally well-tuned and well-exercised power of rationalization and I expect that anyone reading this any further could likely see that same defense mechanism in play with any explanation that might follow. I also can’t lose sight of the fact that this is somewhat enjoyable – again somewhat disturbing on the personal level but no so much that I plan to stop.

We all think we have it figured out and that our view is undoubtedly the one that is “right” and reflects reality more closely than those other people who just don’t get it.  It’s always the other guy that doesn’t understand or is short-sighted or, more likely, is just plain stupid.  To be honest, I think that most of the time. To be more honest, I don’t really care that others think the same thing about me.  In some specific areas, they might be right.  However, where I see a difference is where we try to go with those thoughts and how much we determine it is okay to not only think and act different from others but that we develop a point of view that our way is so much more “right” that others should think, act and follow the same ways.  Of course I think my way is usually better and that most other people could live better if they followed my way.  Here’s the difference – I really don’t give two shits if anyone else does it my way or according to my beliefs.  They work for me and generally speaking, it is unlikely that when I have a choice, I will spend much time with those that traipse well outside that circle of my reality – probably why I keep a rather small circle.  I maintain what could be called an “inch deep” philosophy – I don’t delve into others too far and, to the astonishment of many around me, even when I do interact, don’t ask too many questions.  Mostly because I don’t really care to know.  I’ve got my hands full just figuring out me – and I still have a way to go on that front.  I get along with others and many actually find me to be a nice guy but that’s about it.  But to the original point – where I think the main difference is between me and them:

1.  I’m not looking to have others live under my life “rules” or beliefs.  To be honest, you can marry a cow if you want.  I don’t understand how anyone can believe that the bible is real and that praying to God or Jesus actually does anything – but I recognize your right to live that way – just don’t tell my I need to follow those rules.  “They” will say they don’t do that – but then explain to me how trying to get some amendment passed that recognizes that marriage can only be between a man and a woman isn’t taking that path.

2.  I’m not so threatened in how others live or what they believe – as long as it doesn’t impinge on my life.  I will never understand why being or believing something different is such a threat to so many people.  Could only be in my view but if you are truly confident in your view and beliefs, why such a forceful reaction to something different – I’ve never seen a good answer to that one.

3.  I’m don’t really lead of life of hypocrisy.  I recognize there is at least some hypocrisy in most all of us but generally speaking, what I say and what I believe is pretty well reflected in how I live my life.  I’m a strong believer in family values – but I haven’t had 3 or 4 wives and traded them in when it was convenient or met a different need.  I don’t go to church on Sunday, profess to be a Christian and follow the ways of Christ and then basically live the life of a heathen the rest of the week.  I have made my choice to not believe or follow religion but I had a lot of years of good Protestant teaching – and if my understanding of the teaching and ways of Jesus are correct, can’t say I’m seeing much of that out there – especially the intolerance and damning of others.  I am amazed there is not more outrage among those who profess to be so religious and so righteous given the transgressions and acts against core teachings of the church by many of the leaders so vocal against anything to do with sex.

4.  I actually believe that everyone can co-exist and can peacefully live in one society – but that is predicated on people focusing on their own life rather than trying to manage everyone else’s.  They seem to believe we can all live together only if we all live and do things the same way.  Pretty boring.  

I’m sure there are some other differences but I’ve really said enough.  I hope nobody reads this and takes away that if you live as I live and follow my beliefs, then all would be better.  I really don’t believe that – and more importantly I really don’t care if you do – just stay out of my life.

I do need to make one political comment as it almost wouldn’t be right if I actually posted without somehow taking a jab at the current crop of Republicans – just heard some of a speech Ricky made today – no doubt in the South – He made the observation “Obamacare is the death knell of our freedom” to which he received a strong round of applause.  Here’s another place where I’m different – on one hand, I should give a damn whether anyone else has healthcare as I, and my family, are well covered.  I don’t worry about needing to go to a doctor or whether I can afford a medicine that will make a difference in my or my family’s life.  But I do believe that universal coverage is a good thing – if for no other reason my costs don’t pay for the treatment of those who can’t or chose not to have coverage.  I would only suggest that if the general consensus is to not force universal care, then keep those who choose to forgo coverage from treatments that I need to pay for.   Ricky’s ongoing push of his beliefs and views of life don’t seem that different from others we have historically found unacceptable.

How different really?

Limbaugh – given enough rope…

Well. the conventional wisdom is that if you give someone enough rope they will eventually hang themselves.  Looks like all we had to do was wait for a while and Rush has finally pushed his views and rhetoric to the point where anyone with half a brain (particularly the Republican supporters of Limbaugh) are finding it hard to ignore his personal attack on Ms. Fluke.  It is only unfortunate that it has taken so long for this to happen, giving Rush plenty of time to amass his fortune on the backs of those people he ultimately despises but uses endlessly to keep his empire going – the uneducated and the uninformed – the Fox News crowd.

The other conventional wisdom is also called into play here – when one protests too much or portrays themselves as so anti anything, there is likely some aspect of that which they push away hiding deep inside.  In this case, I have to wonder exactly what aspect of sex has Rush so incensed and actually enamored.  Given his view that contraception is something a woman has to pay for every time she has sex, he is no doubt getting confused with his own need for Viagra – which really is essentially paid for every time Rush has sex.  I can only imagine that losing that ability to perform on one’s own would lead one to trying to feel better by putting down those he so desires (everywoman) – in his case I would expect that having anyone attracted to him sexually would be somewhat stunning.  Almost as stunning that he has managed to find at least 4 women willing to sleep with him – All this for a man who can’t get it up and who is an admitted drug addict.  I would have to wonder how that would work if he didn’t have the wealth he has.  Thnking it out a bit further – maybe sluts and prostitutes is more indicative of Rush’s love life before he was rich and famous.


Willing to do anything for money and sponsors, Rush shared with his audience how big he is before using Viagra.

All kidding aside, what does this say about our society (or at least a segment of it) that this man has reached and maintained the status he has. To most of us, his recent comments were not a surprise nor did we think this was something out of the ordinary for him – I was somewhat amazed that he was so stupid that he didn’t foresee the issues that would arise.  But then again, absolute power corrupts and I expect he felt his pedestal would protect him from most anything of consequence.  How gratifying it is to see the advertisers taking a stand of integrity and moving away from him in droves.  While Rush seems to feel there will be other businesses and advertisers that will quickly rush in to fill the void (do you hear that “Whoosh”?), I would wonder which advertisers will take that stand alongside this douchebag.  Not that the previous advertisers were necessarily mainstream businesses – not to demean them as I give them a great deal of credit for being willing to take a stand.  But at the end of the day, it is all going to be how everyone’s wallet is most affected.  Advertisers also flee because they recognize the potential loss of customers and sales.  I think it incumbent on all of us to begin to let not only the advertisers that remain that we will not use their products or service, we need to let the radio stations who continue to broadcast Rush that we will boycott any advertiser that is on their station – not just those advertising during Rush’s three hours.  And we need to let those advertisers know.  I have begun to send emails and I ask that everyone take a moment to send out one or two.  It is the power of revenue that really drives change in this situation.  We should also deluge Premier Networks, the company behind the Limbaugh radio show.  You can send your emails to their Public Relations department at Premiere Networks, who will relay them to the Producers of the show.  They can be reached at  or 818 461-5750.  I have already sent my outrage on to them – as well as my pledge to boycott any radio station or advertiser that is any way related to them.  I haven’t had any answer sent back – but then again, not surprised – they are only one step up on the ladder of life where Rush sits on the bottom rung.

Lastly, at least John McCain and Ron Paul had the gumption to take a stand and say it as it is.  Can’t say the same for the rest of the current group of bottom feeders running as Republican presidential contenders.  Again, are these the type of men you would want running our country?