Abortion foes to try ‘personhood’ measures in Montana and Colorado

From The Billings Gazette: http://billingsgazette.com/news/state-and-regional/montana/abortion-foes-to-try-again-in-montana/article_ad0f86dc-1470-11e1-8436-001cc4c002e0.html

Associated Press | Posted: Monday, November 21, 2011

DENVER – An anti-abortion group that sponsored an unsuccessful constitutional amendment in Mississippi said Monday it will try again next year in Montana, Colorado and Oregon.

Denver-based Personhood USA has campaigned for state constitutional amendments defining life as beginning at fertilization. The amendments sought to ban abortion. Many physicians have said they could make some birth control illegal and deter in vitro fertilization.

Personhood amendments have failed twice in Colorado, and Mississippi voters rejected an amendment this year.

A new version of the measure “will protect every child, no matter their size, level of development, gender, age or race,” Jennifer Mason, spokeswoman for Personhood USA, told The Denver Post.

Personhood USA said it would submit its proposed ballot language to the Colorado secretary of state’s office for approval before collecting signatures to place it on the ballot.

Personhood USA Looks To Colorado Despite Series Of Losses

From Right Wing Watch: http://www.rightwingwatch.org/content/personhood-usa-looks-colorado-despite-series-losses

Submitted by Brian Tashman
November 21, 2011

After winning just 27 percent of the vote in 2008, activists with Personhood USA’s state chapter Personhood Colorado were encouraged enough by their 29 percent showing last year to place a third personhood amendment on the state ballot in 2012. Even though the personhood proponents lost, badly, in Mississippi in November, they are hoping to present to Colorado voters a ballot measure with ambiguous language that if passed would give legal rights to zygotes and criminalize abortion and common forms of birth control:

The Colorado Personhood Amendment marks a departure from traditional, one-sentence personhood amendments, which have been among the shortest ballot initiatives in the United States. The new amendment was written by Gualberto Garcia Jones, legal analyst for Personhood USA and a founding member of Personhood Colorado, and Kristi Brown (nèe Burton), sponsor of the 2008 Personhood amendment. The language of the new Personhood amendment includes the following definitions:

(a) “PERSON” APPLIES TO EVERY HUMAN BEING REGARDLESS OF THE METHOD OF CREATION.

(b) A “HUMAN BEING” IS A MEMBER OF THE SPECIES HOMO SAPIENS AT ANY STAGE OF DEVELOPMENT.

With the new language, Personhood Colorado may also shift its ad campaign.

Complete article at:  http://www.rightwingwatch.org/content/personhood-usa-looks-colorado-despite-series-losses

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Did “God” Tell Congress to Wage War on Women?

From RH Reality Check:   http://www.rhrealitycheck.org/article/2011/11/19/god-to-congress-wage-war-on-women

by Ellen Shaffer, Trust Women/Silver Ribbon Campaign
November 19, 2011

God has apparently signed off on the war on women.

Thanks to at least one member of Congress for setting us straight on that.

“It is not our job as Catholics to tell God what he should do. It is our job to learn and follow his teachings. Conscience is not convenience. We must enforce the laws of God.”

This was Rep. Tim Murphy (R-PA), who, having ascertained that the supreme deity is male, explained why Congress should deprive employees of Catholic schools, hospitals, and charities of the right to purchase affordable birth control, regardless of the employees’ own beliefs or practices. His statements were made at a hearing of the Health Subcommittee of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce on Wednesday, November 2, 2011.

Republicans in Congress are truly on the warpath against women’s rights, and in many cases against reason.

Just a few points here about women and contraception. For starters, while it usually takes two to conceive a child, only women get pregnant. The right and ability to make independent decisions about whether and when to become a parent are fundamental to every other aspect of a woman’s life: whether society recognizes women as autonomous, independent, responsible, and competent; and whether women themselves experience the same opportunities as men to acquire education and employment, and to construct a meaningful life based on loving relationships.

Cost is a barrier to purchasing birth control for lower-income women. More effective forms like new, safe intrauterine devices (IUDs) cost more than a year’s supply of birth control pills or devices like diaphragms which are cheaper overall but also are less reliable. The rate of unintended pregnancies is soaring among low-income women, and at 132 per thousand women ages 15 to 44 is five times higher than the rate for higher income women (those over 200 percent of poverty). Low income women are more likely to have unplanned births. The costs of contraception are minute compared to the costs of pregnancy and delivery, in dollars as well as in human health.

The new health reform law, the Affordable Care Act (ACA), calls for covering preventive health care services without requiring co-payments, effective in 2010. Co-payments are fees individuals must pay when they go for care, in addition to their premiums, and are intended to discourage health care visits. The problem is that they discourage people from getting care they need, particularly low-income people. Preventive health care services like flu shots can protect health by avoiding illnesses entirely or catching them early, and also save money. The ACA eliminated these co-payments for prevention.

Continue reading at:  http://www.rhrealitycheck.org/article/2011/11/19/god-to-congress-wage-war-on-women

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Greece is a financial crime scene : Greg Palast Vultures’ Picnic

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Last Night’s Day of Remembrance

When I go to Transgender labeled events I feel like an ally rather than part of the group.

I was already over 20 years post-op when the ideology of “Transgender as Umbrella” started to take hold.

I feel the same way about having the Transgender Borg ideology pushed on me as I feel about those who try to push religion on me or ask me to “pray for someone”.  First of all I don’t believe in god and secondly I am not superstitious and don’t believe in prayer.

TDOR is about the only time  I ever spend in any sort of religious institution.  It is sort of the equivalent of a mass funeral ceremony.  I go because the violence  and murder of transsexual and transgender people is wrong.  I go for the same reasons I protest against war.

I don’t go because I consider myself transgender.  I have a few post-transsexual friends but due to age and hard lives I no longer have any transgender friends although one of my long time post-op friends identifies as such.

I go to these events and feel alienated.  I leave and feel, “Okay I did my part now I can go back to blogging occasionally on the subject.

My heart just isn’t into getting involved with the transgender community although I have Facebook friends who are seriously involved with “The Community.”

Yet when I am fighting for environmental issues, those include TS/TG people. The same for Occupy, Labor Rights, Ending the War on Drugs, Women’s Rights. Etc…  Because TS/TG people are part of the people who are systematically oppressed by the same things non-trans people are.

I think part of the problem is that I do issues politics not identity politics.

I’m not going to set aside politics to consider a right wing transgender woman my sister because after all we are both transgender or transsexual and that should transcend political differences.  Screw that shit.  If I wouldn’t have anything to do with you or your Nazioid politics if you weren’t trans, your being trans doesn’t mean shit to me.  Even if you are Ann Coulter and allegedly trans.

I’ve ended friendships because I could no longer abide the racist or right wing attitudes of certain people.  That is true with a lot of people.

I’ve ended friendships with religious trip pushers as well.

As for my being a member of “The Community”…  In 2007 Tina and I went to the Media Reform Conference in Memphis.  We felt a good deal of common cause with the people there,  shared concerns regarding the squelching of both Freedom of the Press by the power of money and the level of right wing censorship of the news.  The American Press had played a major role in the propagandizing of the American people during the build up of public opinion prior to the invasion of Iraq.

Since early Spring Tina and I have been going to labor events because the Corporations and Republicans have been royally fucking over working people and the unemployed/under-employed.  As for the poorest of the poor…  The fucking over of them started when Nixon replaced the War on Poverty with Welfare.

Last night after the event we talked about how we felt out of place and analyzed our feelings.  I remember when “straight” wasn’t just about sexuality and also stood in opposition to hip.  I said, “For one thing, and this may sound odd, but…  They were all so straight.  I didn’t feel I belonged”

I didn’t feel that at the Media Reform Conference, I don’t feel that at Occupy or any other left wing demonstration.  I don’t feel that at most progressive events and I certainly don’t feel that at Pride Day events.

This isn’t a new experience.

It wasn’t the doctors who told us to get away from or leave the transsexual community after SRS, it was our personal life experiences.  Once the surgery/surgeries are over and done with there isn’t all that much to keep you being part of the community.

It becomes a matter of issue vs identity.  For me issues have always been more important.

People’s U: Arundhati Roy

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Occupy Oakland: footage shows police beating ‘peaceful’ Iraq war veteran

From The Guardian UK: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/nov/18/occupy-oakland-police-beating-veteran

Oakland police investigating after ex-marine Kayvan Sabehgi suffered a ruptured spleen in apparently unprovoked incident

guardian.co.uk, Friday 18 November 2011

Video footage has emerged of a police officer beating an Iraq war veteran so hard that he suffered a ruptured spleen in an apparently unprovoked incident at a recent Occupy protest in California.

The footage, which has been shared with the Guardian, shows Kayvan Sabehgi standing in front of a police line on the night of Occupy Oakland‘s general strike on 2 November, when he is set upon by an officer.

He does not appear to be posing any threat, nor does he attempt to resist, yet he is hit numerous times by an officer clad in riot gear who appears determined to beat him to the ground.

Sabehgi, 32, an Oakland resident and former marine who served in Iraq and Afghanistan, has since undergone surgery on his spleen. He says it took hours for him to be taken to hospital, despite complaining of severe pain. Police have told the Guardian they are investigating the incident.

The footage was recorded by artist and photographer Neil Rivas, who said Sabehgi was “completely peaceful” before he was beaten. “It was uncalled for,” said Rivas. “There were no curse words. He was telling them he was a war vet, a resident of Oakland, a business owner.”

Sabehgi has previously said he was talking to officers in a non-violent manner prior to his arrest, which the footage appears to confirm.

Continue reading at:  http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/nov/18/occupy-oakland-police-beating-veteran

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Defense Secretary Panetta: Wrong on Military Spending

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