By Kaili Joy Gray for Daily Kos
Fri Jul 08, 2011
File this under “you’ve got to be fucking kidding me”:
Human Life International has revamped its website, prochoiceviolence.com. According to the group, the site “provides extensive research on the surprising amount of violence perpetrated by abortionists and the proponents of ‘choice,’ compared to the relatively few violent crimes committed by ‘pro-life’ advocates.”The site includes a 35-page introduction that explains things such as “the difference between ‘pro-life’ violence and ‘pro-choice’ violence” and how “the pro-life movement [is] the most peaceful social movement of all time.” The site says that “homosexual activists… environmental and animal rights activists… anti-apartheid activists… communists… and unions” are far more violent than “pro-lifers” have been.
See? The “pro-life” movement is way less violent than all those commies, tree huggers, union thugs, and of course the homosexual activists, who are always blowing up health clinics and threatening doctors—when they’re not busy trying to indoctrinate your children, that is. It says so right on their website!
And that’s why they’ve launched this counter-campaign to prove that “pro-life” terrorists are really the victims here, unfairly blamed for the violence they encourage and carry out in the name of “life.” Just ask Troy Newman, president of Operation Rescue, who says he’s “tired of abortion rights groups blaming Operation Rescue for violence against abortion providers.”
Gosh. It couldn’t possibly have anything to do with the fact that Operation Rescue’s senior policy advisor, Cheryl Sullenger, also happens to be a convicted felon. Guess what her crime was? Conspiring to blow up an abortion clinic.
By Stephen C. Webster
Monday, July 11th, 2011
Just days after the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) insisted that there is no medical value to marijuana, the White House appeared to contradict the position, saying in a report that there may actually be “some” medical value to “individual components of the cannabis plant” after all.
The statement was just a small part of the Office on National Drug Control Policy’s yearly update on the progress of the drug war and its goals moving forward. Overall, the document only serves to affirm the federal prohibition of marijuana and what it calls “‘medical’ marijuana,” which it still views as illegitimate.
But a single passage, under their “facts about marijuana,” seems to loosen a bit from the generation-old line that there is no value to cannabis whatsoever.
“While there may be medical value for some of the individual components of the cannabis plant, the fact remains that smoking marijuana is an inefficient and harmful method for delivering the constituent elements that have or may have medicinal value,” the report says.
Still, today’s medical marijuana patients and proprietors don’t have much to cheer in the report, as it goes on to insist that smoking the marijuana plant itself is harmful and dangerous, especially for teens, and perpetuates the largely discredited “gateway drug” theory.
From Think Progress: http://thinkprogress.org/yglesias/2011/07/09/264607/paul-ryans-350-bottle-of-wine/
By Matthew Yglesias
Jul 9, 2011
At first glance, I was skeptical that there was any meaningful policy point to be made about Rep Paul Ryan’s taste for expensive wine but I’ve actually reconsidered that view. Consider.
The essence of Paul Ryan’s political agenda is to reduce spending on domestic social programs in order to create budget headroom for reduced taxation of high-income individuals. One obvious critique one could make of this agenda is that it will seriously imperil the welfare of the least fortunate. But it’s also worth noting that Ryan’s agenda is likely to accomplish much less to improve the welfare of the most fortunate than you might think at first glance. After all, why would a bottle of wine cost $350 to buy? In part, that’s because fine wines are costly to produce. But that doesn’t explain the really really expensive wines of the world. It’s not like the grapes are fertilized with diamond dust or something. Very expensive wines are very expensive for the same reason that beachfront land and original copies of the Magna Carta are expensive. They’re rare. This has important implications. If you move to Hollywood and become a rich movie star, you’ll suddenly be able to buy beachfront property in Malibu. But if movie stars as a whole get richer, this doesn’t change the fact that there’s only so much beach in Malibu. All that happens is it gets more expensive.
Complete article at: http://thinkprogress.org/yglesias/2011/07/09/264607/paul-ryans-350-bottle-of-wine/
By Barbara Hannah Grufferman
I wrote an article last week — “From Hope to History: It’s Time to Pass the Equal Rights Amendment” — that generated hundreds of comments and thousands of shares. Why? Many readers were dismayed and confused to learn that this simply worded sentence is still not in the U.S. Constitution, even after 88 years:
Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of sex.
Readers who believed the Equal Rights Amendment had already passed through Congress to become the 28th Amendment to the Constitution years ago were shocked. The amendment, first written in 1923 by Alice Paul, was, in fact, approved by Congress and sent to the states in 1972 with a ten-year deadline for ratification, but by 1982, supporters had managed to sign on only 35 of the 38 states needed to add the amendment to the Constitution.
Some who are not in favor of the Equal Rights Amendment claim it is redundant and unnecessary, often citing the 14th Amendment, which they say already protects the rights of women. It does not. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia publicly stated that the 14th Amendment was never intended to protect women. It was only intended to protect race. Federal and state law cannot protect citizens who are not protected under the Constitution. He made this remark in January 2011:
Certainly the Constitution does not require discrimination on the basis of sex. The only issue is whether it prohibits it. It doesn’t.
Sensing that people are as confused about the issue as I am, but just as eager to turn the promise of the Equal Rights Amendment into a reality, I interviewed key thought leaders who are directly involved in efforts to get the Equal Rights Amendment passed.