Memo to Michigan: Did You Not Hear the Voters on Women’s Health?

From Huffington Posthttp://www.huffingtonpost.com/cecile-richards/memo-to-michigan-did-you_b_2285607.html

12/12/2012

An alarming set of bills is about to move to Michigan Governor Rick Snyder’s desk as soon as today. Pushed through by lame-duck legislators who are about to leave office, these bills would make Michigan one of the most regressive states in the nation on women’s health.

If Governor Snyder signs these bills, women in Michigan would lose access to safe and legal abortion — and a range of other health services.

One bill would likely shut down many health care providers that provide abortion by enacting unnecessary and burdensome licensing rules. Another would ban all insurance coverage for abortion. And one of the bills would allow medical providers to refuse to provide any medical service — from birth control to blood transfusions.

Just a month ago, voters in Michigan and across the country sent a clear message that they don’t want politicians to meddle in women’s personal health care decisions.

Candidates who won advocated for broad access to contraception, supported access to safe and legal abortion, and vowed to respect women’s personal health care decisions. Candidates who advocated for laws like the ones advancing in Michigan lost.

The message could not have been clearer, but some politicians in Michigan didn’t get it.

Indeed, several of the legislators in Michigan who are advocating the hardest for these bills were voted out of office. They’re trying to pass these extreme bills on their way out the door — and they just might succeed.

Continue reading at:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/cecile-richards/memo-to-michigan-did-you_b_2285607.html

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Is a Crisis in White Masculinity Leading to Horrific Gun Crimes Like the Sandy Hook Shootings?

From Alternet:  http://www.alternet.org/visions/crisis-white-masculinity-leading-horrific-gun-crimes-sandy-hook-shootings

America’s obsession with guns has played out its dark game once more.

By Chauncey DeVega
December 14, 2012

My heart goes out to the families, children, victims, and all others impacted by the  mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary school in Newton, Connecticut .

America’s obsession with guns has played out its dark game once more. We are eating our young because so many believe that America is a gunfighter nation. For them, the “right” to bear arms trumps any reasonable legislation about restricting access to certain types of firearms. This most recent mass shooting, which will likely be the worst incident of gun violence in recent American history, is not going to cause a rethinking of the country’s love affair with such weapons. Nor will the mass murder of 20 children and 6 adults by Adam Lanza weaken the NRA’s hold on our legislators. The NRA and their clan will retreat back to a default position and rhetorical redoubt where “guns don’t kill people, only people do.”

These same ideologues, who in the 21st century remain some type of throwback premodern tribesman at the early dawn of human history, are utterly devoted to a fetish object of metal and plastic which they worship as a god. For them, the mass shooting of children in Newton, Connecticut will be a funeral pyre whose light they will read as spirits dancing in the shadows, beckoning to them that more guns equals less crime, and that school teachers–and perhaps even children–should be allowed to carry firearms in school. Magical thinking brings public policy solutions that are not grounded in common sense or empirical reality.

As the details of the murderous rampage trickle out, all of the standard talking points by the media will be hit upon. Was Adam Lanza mentally ill? What type of weapons did he us? Were there warning signs? Acts of heroism by the adults and children in the school will be profiled. The first responders will be praised and profiled. People will cry. The pundits will tear up in an effort to show some personal, human connection, to a story that will feed the next news cycle, and will potentially make a career or two for some upstart journalist or TV personality.

Per our national script, there are several questions which will go unanswered…just as they always do.  As I wrote about in regards to James Holmes , the  Batman movie killer, there will be no soul searching about why white men are committing these violent acts. In the present, mass shootings have  been almost the exclusive province of white men .

Continue reading at:  http://www.alternet.org/visions/crisis-white-masculinity-leading-horrific-gun-crimes-sandy-hook-shootings

 

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The God Glut

From The New York Times:  http://www.nytimes.com/2012/12/11/opinion/bruni-the-god-glut.html?ref=opinion

By
Published: December 10, 2012

Bob Kerrey’s political career spanned four years as the governor of Nebraska and another 12 as a United States senator from that state, during which he made a serious bid for the Democratic presidential nomination. In all that time, to the best of his memory, he never uttered what has become a routine postscript to political remarks: “God bless America.”

That was deliberate.

“It seems a little presumptuous, when you’ve got the land mass and the talent that we do, to ask for more,” he told me recently.

But there was an additional reason he didn’t mention God, so commonly praised in the halls of government, so prevalent a fixture in public discourse.

“I think you have to be very, very careful about keeping religion and politics separate,” Kerrey said.

We Americans aren’t careful at all. In a country that supposedly draws a line between church and state, we allow the former to intrude flagrantly on the latter. Religious faith shapes policy debates. It fuels claims of American exceptionalism.

And it suffuses arenas in which its place should be carefully measured. A recent example of this prompted my conversation with Kerrey. Last week, a fourth-year cadet at West Point packed his bags and left, less than six months shy of graduation, in protest of what he portrayed as a bullying, discriminatory religiousness at the military academy, which receives public funding.

The cadet, Blake Page, detailed his complaint in an article for The Huffington Post, accusing officers at the academy of “unconstitutional proselytism,” specifically of an evangelical Christian variety.

On the phone on Sunday, he explained to me that a few of them urged attendance at religious events in ways that could make a cadet worry about the social and professional consequences of not going. One such event was a prayer breakfast this year at which a retired lieutenant general, William G. Boykin, was slated to speak. Boykin is a born-again Christian, and his past remarks portraying the war on terror in holy and biblical terms were so extreme that he was rebuked in 2003 by President Bush. In fact his scheduled speech at West Point was so vigorously protested that it ultimately had to be canceled.

Continue reading at:  http://www.nytimes.com/2012/12/11/opinion/bruni-the-god-glut.html?ref=opinion

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GOP Rep Suggests Teachers Should Be Armed With Assault Rifles

This man is obviously mentally ill and is unfit to serve in Congress.  He represents a section of Texas know for it rose cultivation and breeding of different types of roses which are then grown around the country and perhaps the world.

That is the bright side of its ying/yang.  The dark side  is that it is virulently racist, fanatically Christo-Nazi and coincidentally a major center for meth production.

Clearly, East Texas, especially Louie Gohmert’s district a place in need of a serious intervention.

If the Republican Party doesn’t censure him over his latest bout of verbal diarrhea then they will have shown themselves to be totally committed to being the party of the insane.  And insane people should not be allowed to own guns.

Further failure to censure this  mentally disturbed individual demonstrates an utter disregard for the image of Texas.

Our state has become a major center for manufacturing and technology.  It has been slowly shedding the the cultural backwater image with a number of fine museums in D/FW, Houston and Austin.  Our music scene is the envy of the nation.

This person is a pimple on the ass of humanity and an embarrassment to both Texas and the nation.

From Think Progress:  http://thinkprogress.org/politics/2012/12/16/1342281/gop-rep-suggests-teachers-should-be-armed-with-assault-rifles/

By Ben Armbruster
on Dec 16, 2012

A Republican Congressman suggested that had the teachers at Sandy Hook Elementary been armed with assault rifles, they could have prevented Friday’s massacre and saved lives.

Appearing on a special Fox News Sunday dedicated to the tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut, Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) said that an armed teacher or principal could have taken the killer’s “head off before he can kill those precious kids”:

GOHMERT: Having been a judge and reviewed photographs of these horrific scenes and knowing that children have these defensive wounds, gun shots through their arms and hands as they try to protect themselves, and, hearing the heroic stories of the principal, lunging, trying to protect, Chris, I wish to God she had had an M-4 in her office, locked up so when she heard gunfire, she pulls it out and she didn’t have to lunge heroically with nothing in her hands and takes him out and takes his head off before he can kill those precious kids. […]

Watch it:

Pressed by host Chris Wallace on why ordinary citizens need semi automatic weapons that shoot 5 bullets per second, Gohmert said that any restrictions on fire arms could lead to the slippery slope of full prohibition and said that American amass weapons to protect themselves from the government.

Complete article at:   http://thinkprogress.org/politics/2012/12/16/1342281/gop-rep-suggests-teachers-should-be-armed-with-assault-rifles/

U.S. Rep. Louie Gohmert does no favors for Tyler — or America

This is from The Dallas Morning News:  http://www.dallasnews.com/news/columnists/steve-blow/20121215-u.s.-rep.-louie-gohmert-does-no-favors-for-tyler–or-america.ece

Steve Blow
15 December 2012

I was born and raised in Tyler. So naturally I’m proud to see my East Texas city in the news.

But there’s one mention that almost always makes me cringe. It’s whenever I see a news story with the words: “… said U.S. Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Tyler.”

Lordy, there’s no telling what might come out of that man’s mouth.

Most recently, he mounted a one-man defense of the word “lunatic.” And that naturally brought a lot of “he should know” jokes.

Gohmert has become a regular on the Fox News Channel, where he can be counted on to say something not just conservative but borderline kooky.

So that in turn makes him a regular in the video mashups on The Daily Show. And Jon Stewart does a killer imitation of Gohmert’s flat, East Texas twang.

Sometimes it seems like Gohmert is doing a parody of himself. Here’s the political analysis he offered in one Fox appearance: “With all due deference to Forrest Gump, who said life is like a box of chocolates, it’s really more like a jar of jalapeños. What you do today can burn you in the rear.”

Stay classy, Louie.

Online commenters to Gohmert stories invariably go for a “Gomer” reference. Or sometimes “Goohbert.”

Is there another side to him? I’d hoped for a chat to find out, but my interview request was ignored.

Gohmert is probably most famous for his “terror babies” warning of two years ago. In Congress, he announced that he had learned of a plot in which Middle Eastern terrorists would send pregnant women to the United States to give birth to babies who would then be sent back to the Middle East to be “raised and coddled as future terrorists” for eventual return here 20 or 30 years later to carry out attacks.

Continue reading at:   http://www.dallasnews.com/news/columnists/steve-blow/20121215-u.s.-rep.-louie-gohmert-does-no-favors-for-tyler–or-america.ece

 

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Hate Group Spokesman Bryan Fischer: God Didn’t Stop CT School Shooting Because He’s a ‘Gentleman’ Who Doesn’t Go Where He Is Not Wanted

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Huckabee: Schools ‘A Place Of Carnage’ Because We ‘Systematically Removed God’

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I’m Back… Sort of…

If you haven’t already been hit by this years flu strain or if you haven’t been vaccinated for it I urge you to run not walk to a place where they do vaccinations.

I understand Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was stricken with the same illness, passed out hit her head while falling. She wound up with a concussion.

When you are in your mid- 60s these sort of illnesses can easily become lethal

I’ve been in a lot of physical pain since Tuesday.  Fever, cramping, splitting headaches, unable take in solid foods.

I’ve also been in a fog so I didn’t feel I could process all the information into a digest of best stories on various topics.

The act of insanity that occurred on Friday has been too much to handle in my weakened state.

I’m slowly coming back.

I needed some grounding and a book I ordered about ten days ago came in.  You Have the Power: Choosing Courage in a Culture of Fear  Frances Moore Lappe, Jeffrey Perkins.

We were a better world before the rise of the inhumanity of the religious right and the conservative ideology of Ayn Rand.

I’m old enough to remember the rise of hippie punching and the selling of fear.  Before Reagan they didn’t sell AR15/M4s tricked out like a weapon in an action movie.

I think we need to learn how to live with less fear, instead of doing anything about real problems the nut cases just buy more guns and the gun dealers destroy community values in the same way crack houses do.  Their ethos is what’s in it for me.

They get furious with everything short of everyone wearing a pistol on their hip.