I am sick and tired of homophobic misogynistic Christo-Nazis cramming their perverse hatred of women down our throats.
If they want to live in a misogynistic theocracy let them move to Iran or Saudi Arabia. This is America and they don’t belong here.
Take your theocratic shit and get the hell out of my country.
Fuck you! There is no god.
From The New York Times: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/11/opinion/the-freedom-to-choose-birth-control.html?ref=todayspaper
Published: February 10, 2012
In response to a phony crisis over “religious liberty” engendered by the right, President Obama seems to have stood his ground on an essential principle — free access to birth control for any woman. That access, along with the ability to receive family planning and preventive health services, was at the foundation of health care reform.
Mr. Obama’s new rule on birth control coverage lets institutions affiliated with a religion shift the cost of coverage to their insurance companies, but Mr. Obama assured Americans it would not result in other women, or the rest of the country, subsidizing that shift. By refusing to back down on Friday, Mr. Obama took an action that will help reduce the number of unwanted pregnancies, abortions and medical complications from pregnancy.
Nonetheless, it was dismaying to see the president lend any credence to the misbegotten notion that providing access to contraceptives violated the freedom of any religious institution. Churches are given complete freedom by the Constitution to preach that birth control is immoral, but they have not been given the right to laws that would deprive their followers or employees of the right to disagree with that teaching.
If a religious body does not like a public policy that affects its members, it is free to try to change it, but it cannot simply opt out of society or claim a special exemption from the law. Besides, contraceptive access is already in place in 28 states, and has been the law in New York for a decade, without inflicting the slightest blow to the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church, which has complied.
Mr. Obama had already gone too far out of his way to exempt churches and their religious employees from the preventative care mandate. It was not necessary to carve out a further exception for their nonreligious arms, like Catholic hospitals and universities, which employ thousands of people of other faiths.
From Truth Dig: http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/embracing_enough_20120210/
By David Sirota
Posted on Feb 10, 2012
Of all the no-no’s in contemporary America—and there are many—none has proven more taboo than the ancient doctrine of dayenu. Translated from the original Hebrew, the word roughly means “It would have been enough.” The principle is that a certain amount of a finite resource should satisfy even the gluttons among us.
I know, I know—to even mention that notion is jarring in a nation whose consumer, epicurean and economic cultures have been respectively defined by the megastore, the Big Mac and the worship of the billionaire. Considering that, it’s amazing the word “enough” still exists in the American vernacular at all. But exist it does, and more than that—the term’s morality is actually starting to suffuse the highest-profile debates in the public square.
After the financial meltdown, for example, Congress witnessed an unexpectedly spirited fight over enacting pay caps at bailed-out financial institutions. Beneath the overheated rhetoric, the brawl revolved around determining how much is enough to compensate Wall Street’s government-subsidized scam artists.
Today, that conflict has metastasized into a battle over taxes. Marked by mind-numbing arguments over Mitt Romney’s IRS returns and esoteric catchphrases like “Buffet Rule,” the skirmish is really just a proxy war over how much individual income we are going to collectively deem “enough” before the next dollar of income is subjected to a less preferential levy.
Even at the state level, “enough” has gone mainstream, as New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat, just signed an executive order barring state contracts from going to firms that pay executives more than $199,000 a year. Again, the idea is that such a salary is more than enough to attract skilled workers to taxpayer-funded firms.
Continue reading at: http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/embracing_enough_20120210/
From Common Dreams: http://www.commondreams.org/view/2012/02/10-1
On February 8, 1921 twenty thousand people, braving temperatures so low that musical instruments froze, marched in a funeral procession in the town of Dimitrov, a suburb of Moscow. They came to pay their respects to a man, Petr Kropotkin, and his philosophy, anarchism.
Some 90 years later few know of Kropotkin. And the word anarchism has been so stripped of substance that it has come to be equated with chaos and nihilism. This is regrettable, for both the man and the philosophy that he did so much to develop have much to teach us in 2012.
I am astonished Hollywood has yet to discover Kropotkin. For his life is the stuff of great movies. Born to privilege he spent his life fighting poverty and injustice. A lifelong revolutionary, he was also a world-renowned geographer and zoologist. Indeed, the intersection of politics and science characterized much of his life.
His struggles against tyranny resulted in years in Russian and French jails. The first time he was imprisoned in Russia an outcry by many of the world’s best-known scholars led to his release. The second time he engineered a spectacular escape and fled the country. At the end of his life, back in his native Russia, he enthusiastically supported the overthrow of the Tsar but equally strongly condemned Lenin’s increasingly authoritarian and violent methods.
In the 1920s Roger N. Baldwin summed up Kropotkin this way:
Kropotkin is referred to by scores of people who knew him in all walks of life as “the noblest man” they ever knew. Oscar Wilde called him one of the two really happy men he had ever met…In the anarchist movement he was held in the deepest affection by thousands–“notre Pierre” the French workers called him. Never assuming position of leadership, he nevertheless led by the moral force of his personality and the breadth of his intellect. He combined in extraordinary measure high qualities of character with a fine mind and passionate social feeling. His life made a deep impression on a great range of classes–the whole scientific world, the Russian revolutionary movement, the radical movements of all schools, and in the literary world which cared little or nothing for science or revolution.
Continue reading at: http://www.commondreams.org/view/2012/02/10-1
By Amanda Marcotte
Posted Friday, Feb. 10, 2012,
After two solid weeks of Republicans rapidly escalating attacks on contraception access under the banner of “religous freedom,” Obama finally announced what the White House is proposing an accomodation of religiously affiliated employers who don’t want to offer birth control coverage as part of their insurance plans. In those situations, the insurance companies will have to reach out directly to employees and offer contraception coverage for free, without going through the employer. Insurance companies are down with the plan, because as Matt Yglesias explained at Moneybox, contraception actually saves insurance companies money, since it’s cheaper than abortion and far cheaper than childbirth. Because the insurance companies have to reach out to employees directly, there’s very little danger of women not getting coverage because they are unaware they’re eligible.
That’s the nitty-gritty. The fun part of this is that Obama just pulled a fast one on Republicans. He drew this out for two weeks, letting Republicans work themselves into a frenzy of anti-contraception rhetoric, all thinly disguised as concern for religious liberty, and then created a compromise that addressed their purported concerns but without actually reducing women’s access to contraception, which is what this has always been about. (As Dana Goldstein reported in 2010, before the religious liberty gambit was brought up, the Catholic bishops were just demanding that women be denied access and told to abstain from sex instead.) With the fig leaf of religious liberty removed, Republicans are in a bad situation. They can either drop this and slink away knowing they’ve been punked, or they can double down. But in order to do so, they’ll have to be more blatantly anti-contraception, a politically toxic move in a country where 99% of women have used contraception.
From Working Class Heroes: http://workingclassheroes.us/?p=542
by Charlie Lindamood,
February 10, 2012
I remember growing up in the 50′s and how I’d hear idealistic phrases like “lots of money doesn’t mean you’re rich..owning land is being rich!” Owning land meant you would always have a place that was yours,and its value would increase with time even if your personal wealth decreased. It was the American dream..own land, a home, raise a family, or not…but always, always pay your taxes.
That was then and this is now…now we “are” our ancestors, we have a new legacy to leave our children. We are experiencing what it is like to be on the verge of losing “the dream.” Some have already lost the dream. They paid their taxes. They played by the rules..and yet they find themselves, their families, their belongings, out on the street…wondering where they wiill sleep, or when they will eat. They are further victimized and accused by some of wanting to be victims, even that they deserve to be victims! Oh yes..they must enjoy sleeping in their cars, being known as food stamp recipients, wanting to hold signs and beg.. Now they are persecuted for being laid off or losing their jobs.
There used to be one common denominator that all American citizens had in common..work! Work was supposed to get us “a pot in every kitchen and a chicken in every pot”. The exact wording was “a chicken in every pot and a car in every garage,” from Herbert Hoover’s 1928 campaign.
America, the land of the free, the words advertised. Work for a fair living wage. But that is not how it was “then.” There was no living wage, there was no fairness in the workplace. There was no guarantee that there would be a light at the end of tunnel…retirement. Back when the dream started there was no “middle class,”just the working class.
Continue reading at: http://workingclassheroes.us/?p=542
Organisations that influence social, cultural and political issues in the US have been hijacked by the far right.
10 Feb 2012
Columbus, OH - Perhaps over the past week you’ve heard of the foundation named after Susan G Komen? You know the folks I’m talking about, the ones who have turned breast cancer fundraising into a non-stop Nike-like branding campaign that translates into helpful suggestions, like how you should chomp down on the extra crispy bucket of Kentucky Fried Chicken to fight cancer (get heart disease, but cure cancer!).
Yeah, those guys.
They’ve had a bad week or two, to put it kindly. But their self-immolation at the hands of Tea Party cranks, such as their recently resigned senior vice president for public policy, Karen Handel, is worth looking at for what it tells us about the demise of institutions in the US. Because the thing is, their corruption of a charity meant to help find a cure for breast cancer with their Sharia Christianity, is only one of many examples of this phenomenon in the United States.
Whether it’s the courts, Congress, state legislatures, media, churches, academia, non-profits or a variety of other institutions, these important organisations that set the social, cultural and political parameters in our democracy, and served us well (overall – on the issue of race, for example, it took many of them a while to get with the programme) have been thoroughly hijacked by what the late historian Richard Hofstadter referred to as those exhibiting the “paranoid style”.
You know who I’m talking about. The tri-corner hat crowd ready to take up arms every time they walk into Nathan’s because they have a sneaking suspicion that the hot dogs are halal. Those who think that Social Darwinism was ordained by God, but actual Darwinism is a hoax. The ones who claim they are pro-life, but love everything from .50 caliber sniper rifles to foreign wars, like they’re engaged in the honeymoon period of a non-platonic relationship.
Sure, these people always existed. But they didn’t make it onto the Supreme Court. They didn’t become the speaker of the house. And they weren’t named senior vice presidents for policy at the Susan G Komen Foundation. Karen Handel is someone who ran for governor in Georgia on a campaign of defunding Planned Parenthood. And getting her picture taken toting an assault rifle like she was Ripley from Aliens.
It makes you wonder – was Christine O’Donnell not available for Komen to hire?
Continue reading at: http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/2012/02/2012210104518705672.html
By Kevin Drum
Fri Feb. 10, 2012
Over the past week I’ve written a few posts expressing support for the Obama administration’s decision to require health care plans to cover contraception, as well as for its decision to permit only a very narrow exemption for religious organizations. I haven’t really laid out the whole case, though, and today I want to do that in telegraphic form. Then I want to tell you the real reason that my reaction to this has been stronger than you might have guessed it would be, especially considering that this isn’t a subject I wade into frequently. But that won’t come until the end of the post. First, the bullet point warm-up:
From World Socialist Web Site: http://wsws.org/articles/2012/feb2012/pers-f10.shtml
10 February 2012
The attacks on the Greek population have assumed monstrous proportions. The “Troika” of the European Commission, the International Monetary Fund and the European Central Bank is demanding no less than the complete ruination of the Greek working class.
The austerity measures already introduced have led to an unparalleled social decline. One in five adults and one in two young people in Greece are unemployed. Homelessness, which was hardly known in Athens before the crisis, has become widespread. Tens of thousands of small businesses have gone bankrupt due to drastic tax increases.
The wealthy elite are hardly affected by the austerity measures, however. According to Handelsblatt, they have deposited €560 billion in foreign accounts, a sum nearly twice as large as Greece’s entire national debt.
For the Troika and the banks behind it, all this austerity is not enough. As a precondition for the disbursement of the second rescue package agreed last summer, they are demanding budget cuts of €3.3 billion for this year alone—and all at the expense of the working class.
Health spending is to be cut by €1.1 billion, 15,000 state employees will be sacked in the coming year, and 150,000 are to be made redundant over the next four years. The federal minimum wage, upon which 300,000 people depend, is to be reduced from €750 to €600, and unemployment benefits from €460 to €360 a month. Supplementary pensions, which many Greeks depend upon for their survival, will be cut by 15 percent.
Continue reading at: http://wsws.org/articles/2012/feb2012/pers-f10.shtml
The rich want poor people to be stupid and easy to manipulate. After all then we are willing slaves, who surrender our freedom for some shiny fucking toys and the promise of a minority group to hate.
Smash oppression, be an autodidact…
By SABRINA TAVERNISE
Published: February 9, 2012
WASHINGTON — Education was historically considered a great equalizer in American society, capable of lifting less advantaged children and improving their chances for success as adults. But a body of recently published scholarship suggests that the achievement gap between rich and poor children is widening, a development that threatens to dilute education’s leveling effects.
It is a well-known fact that children from affluent families tend to do better in school. Yet the income divide has received far less attention from policy makers and government officials than gaps in student accomplishment by race.
Now, in analyses of long-term data published in recent months, researchers are finding that while the achievement gap between white and black students has narrowed significantly over the past few decades, the gap between rich and poor students has grown substantially during the same period.
“We have moved from a society in the 1950s and 1960s, in which race was more consequential than family income, to one today in which family income appears more determinative of educational success than race,” said Sean F. Reardon, a Stanford University sociologist. Professor Reardon is the author of a study that found that the gap in standardized test scores between affluent and low-income students had grown by about 40 percent since the 1960s, and is now double the testing gap between blacks and whites.
In another study, by researchers from the University of Michigan, the imbalance between rich and poor children in college completion — the single most important predictor of success in the work force — has grown by about 50 percent since the late 1980s.
The changes are tectonic, a result of social and economic processes unfolding over many decades. The data from most of these studies end in 2007 and 2008, before the recession’s full impact was felt. Researchers said that based on experiences during past recessions, the recent downturn was likely to have aggravated the trend.