Let’s call stupid and bigotry what it really is….

credit: classwarfareexists.com

credit: classwarfareexists.com


Point of today – actually two points – we are who we follow and let’s do a better job of calling bullshit when we see it.

“The feminist agenda is not about equal rights for women. It is about a socialist, anti-family political movement that encourages women to leave their husbands, kill their children, practice witchcraft, destroy capitalism and become lesbians.” – Pat Robertson

It is obvious I have issues with religion and those who unabashedly profess to be leaders of the masses – many of whom are actually more bigoted, unforgiving, selfish and most everything anti what I was always taught the teachings of the bible are about – one person you won’t see with a WWJD bracelet on is Pat Robertson.  I won’t go into much detail about his first son being born out of wedlock (do what I say, not what I do) or his repeated misogynistic stances regarding women and their place with men (essentially men cheat because their wife doesn’t take care of them as they should) as that would take too much time and space for today.  I happened to be channel surfing and stopped on the 700 Club – not a usual stop but given the SCOTUS decision on DOMA this week, I thought there might be some reaction from Pat.  I was not disappointed as my timing was right on.  He was discussing the issue with Jay Sekulow of the ACLJ, a right-wing, pro-life group that focuses on constitutional and human rights law worldwide (as they define them).  Just for context, Sekulow is also a regular on Fox News.  As expected, the discussion was obviously on the horrible decision made by the court but where did Robertson immediately go? His first question was whether Sekulow had any insight into whether Justice Kennedy had any homosexual law clerks.  He followed it up with a derisive comment on the judge in California who had declared Prop 8 to be unconstitutional, immediately leading the discussion to his understanding that the judge was in fact himself a homosexual.  So no discussion on human rights, equality under the law or anything else other than a view that all these decisions were no doubt just self-serving actions – something I expect that Robertson knows quite a bit about.   What a piece of shit – and well representative of all those who support him and his extravagant lifestyle.  But he is consistent on one level – he pretty much holds both gays and women to the same level of contempt.

“The reason that we fought the [American] Revolution in the 16th century — was to get away from that kind of onerous crown, if you will.” —Rick Perry

I also caught a brief news clip on that illustrious governor of Texas – Rick Perry – another shining example that if you’re from Texas, you don’t have to be very smart to get elected to a high office.  While much of the country was giving high kudos to Sen. Wendy Davis who held up the vote on more limitations on abortion and women’s rights in Texas, Perry was quick to play the “man” hand and pretty much dismissing her accomplishments (not sure Rick could even spell “HARVARD”) and bring it down to some stupid comment on learning from her mothers’ decision not to abort her and therefore reversing her stance on abortion rights.  Key word – “rights”.  Heaven forbid anyone traipse on their religious “rights”.  It was also rather revealing that during Sen. Davis’ filibuster, it was only the men in the room who work to thwart her effort.  Another situation where men work their hardest to control what women do.

So, a quick take away from these two seemingly separate items.  It is really about women and how they decide to deal with all these idiot men.  These people in power only maintain their position if women support them.  Probably a little less influence over Robertson but maybe not quite as much an issue.  At 83 years old, we can only hope he gets to meet his maker before long – and assuming I’m wrong in my lack of belief in God, he gets to explain himself to the big guy.

As far as Rick Perry, one can only hope that the women in Texas begin to understand his concern is not for women and he is willing and able to work against the rights due all women.  In the meantime, I’ll stay thankful none of us live in Texas and the women in my life can still think for themselves.

credit: moveon.org

credit: moveon.org

Another take on the DOMA decision was made this morning on Face the Nation this morning with Bob Sheiffer.  Tony Perkins, of the Family Research Council, an American conservative Christian group and lobbying organization shared one of the horrific impacts of the decision.  Let’s put the Family Research Council in some appropriate perspective here – In 2010, the FRC paid $25,000 to congressional lobbyists for what they described as “Res.1064 Ugandan Resolution Pro-homosexual promotion” in a lobbying disclosure report.  The US House of Representatives, in a moment of rationale thought,  passed the resolution condemned the Uganda Anti-Homosexuality Bill, a bill which, among other things, would have imposed either the death penalty or life imprisonment for sexual relations between persons of the same sex.  Let’s make sure we recognize what kind of christian organization we are talking about here. 

credit: back2stonewall.com

credit: back2stonewall.com

In any case, back to Tony.  He was very concerned of the impact on bakers, photographer and florists who would inevitably lose their religious freedom by being forced to do work with gay couples looking to get married. He in fact indicated that there were already a great number of court cases in play and there were instances where these business people were being forced to sell services to gay couples.  It did take Schieffer a moment to clear the incredulous look off his face as he forced what was essentially a “Really?” out of his mouth.  Tony was firm in his view that when people realize this sort of impact is inevitable, the tide will turn, people will regain their senses and all will be right with the world again.   Can’t say that was an impact that I was really worried about.

Life Isn’t a Smorgasbord…

Not sure if fits...just love the picture!

Not sure if fits…just love the picture!

Gun Control, Abortion Rights, LBGT Civil Rights (someone please tell me how this is not a Civil Rights issue) – quite a bit going on this week and next.  As our Congress spends the majority of time playing pocket pool and continues to demonstrate ineptitude beyond belief, they systematically ignore where this country has been and is heading in these areas.  Recent legislative efforts by Kansas and North Dakota (again, both states that never make the top 10 list for admirable points for which most strive) to outlaw abortion, again demonstrates a vendetta against Women’s rights and a direction counter where most people in this country are.  The Supreme Court this week will hear two cases crucial to the pace of progress in giving LGBT citizens their civil rights and equality under the law.  Gun Control – little progress in even what a thinking and feeling person might think would be an easy step forward – Universal background checks.

Are you sure you want to go back to Kansas?

Are you sure you want to go back to Kansas?

In every case the American public who, as a whole, is well ahead of the political musings and stances, makes it clear they support abortion rights (a woman’s right to choice, let’s be clear), LGBT equality and the right to marry, and better gun control (in particular Universal background checks).  The problem is in the details as we look at the state and local level and the way political divisions have been drawn. We end up with a clear division of view of where the Federal should have rule and set law and where it should fall to the State and Local.  While I don’t always believe the Federal Government is right and should be making choices for States, I would be more inclined to move decision-making for these specific issues I’ve cited to the State and Local levels if I actually believed they had the intellectual and social where-with-all to make smart decisions.  Again, my judgment to sure but making decisions based on bible teachings, views that harken back to how we used to treat both women and Blacks in our country and lastly, some misguided view that the government is trying to take everyone’s weapons seems to fall short of the yardstick of a civilized and informed society.

“Suppose you were an idiot, and suppose you were a member of Congress; but I repeat myself.” – Mark Twain

That being said, I am willing to take a shot at letting the states have their way.  We can move these sorts of decisions out there and let the states decide for their people.  However, I suggest we should also begin to play approach out to the full extent of the concept.  If you really want the Federal government out of your shorts, sounds good to me but then let’s make it incumbent on the States to then provide everything the Federal Government provides today – try that for health care costs.  We can let the States deal with the repercussions of making abortions illegal.  We can watch as States continue to outlaw LGBT Civil Rights.  We can let more idiots own guns in those States that want it and watch more people die from the results.  End of the day, the costs, both financial and social, can sit with the State.

What happens is that we get more pockets of the same type of people living in different states as people with a social conscience and intellect migrate either to those more progressive states.  We can watch the distribution of income and educated people move around at the same time – sorry but I would expect that the median income and level of education isn’t going to rise in the South or places like North Dakota and Kansas.  And these states will lose most everyone there who have kept their state within arm’s-length of civility and humanity (maybe even Texas has a few).   At some point it will become obvious that the longer-term impact of attitudes and mindsets from the 50’s isn’t a step forward.  Sad commentary but maybe we let them have what they want.  I for one might actually see my Federal tax bill drop a bit when I’m no longer having my tax dollars going to states that are the “Takers” and depend on Federal support to run their states – interesting that as of 2011, we now have 30 of the 50 states having 1/3rd of their state budget dependent on Federal funding (my state is one of them) and two states (Oklahoma and Louisiana) with more than 50% of their state budget Federally funded.

Fed Taxes/Benefit Balance

Fed Taxes/Benefit Balance


Sometimes you just can’t protect people from themselves.  However, we can only hope that people at some point realize that life isn’t a smorgasbord – it’s basically “Eat what’s on  your plate” – some you want and some you don’t but in the end it’s all there for a reason.  And if you’re good, you might get some .

“All government — indeed, every human benefit and enjoyment, every virtue and every prudent act — is founded on compromise and barter.” – Edmund Burke 

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