23 May 2011

Rep. DeGraaf and the Inevitability of Rape

I am never completely surprised at the level of hatred leveled at women in my state, but every once in a while someone says something so colossally stupid - that I feel I have to put my two cents out there. This time, that person is Rep. Peter DeGraaf of Mulvane.

As most of you reading this are aware - our overwhelmingly heinous legislature has been on an anti-choice crusade since the beginning of this session. In one particularly draconian piece of legislation - the legislature decided that women should not have abortion covered as part of their health insurance policy (even in the case of Rape) - unless of course they purchase a rider to their policy. This was an exchange between Rep. DeGraff and Rep. Barbara Bollier (a Republican, btw!) when she challenged his assertion that rape victims should be denied coverage:

Rep. Pete DeGraaf, a Mulvane Republican who supports the bill, told her: "We do need to plan ahead, don't we, in life?"

Bollier asked him, "And so women need to plan ahead for issues that they have no control over with pregnancy?"

DeGraaf drew groans of protest from some House members when he responded, "I have a spare tire on my car."

"I also have life insurance," he added. "I have a lot of things that I plan ahead for."

First, let me say - Abortion is Health Care. Period.
Second, When did we get to the point where a state representative (and pastor!) feels that rape is so inevitable - that a woman should "plan" for it?
If you drive a car - eventually, you are going to have a flat. If you are alive, you are eventually going to die - you better plan for it. This is what he is saying about a crime!

Just to make this clearer:
If you have a vagina: plan on it, spend your hard earned dollars buying an insurance rider - because, like death, taxes and flat tires - rape is inevitable.

No woman PLANS to be raped. No woman PLANS to become pregnant from a rape.

10 November 2010

Reading CNN today I saw an article about how this is the first election cycle in sometime that there has not been an increase of women in Congress. It was accompanied by a Quick Poll asking if it was a big deal or not - the overwhelming response was "No".

So, readers...what say you? Is this a big deal?

On a related (kind of) note - I listened in on a conference call last week, while home sick from work (yes, I am that big of a nerd - why do you ask?). My cold medicine might have caused a misunderstanding, but the emphasis of the call was that more women need to run for office of all political stripes. Part of me agrees - a congress that is actually representative of the populace would be great, but I wonder if groups that simply believe more is the answer - ever take into consideration the anti-woman woman. They exist. They run. And they can win. There was a female Kansas state Senator that didn't think women should have the right to vote - or more accurately, shouldn't be forced to vote. (Don't believe me?)

Candidates like Sarah Palin, Sharron Angle and Christine O'Donnell do a huge amount of damage to all female candidates, to all women, really. At this point, with the level of crazy in the country, I just want good candidates. Candidates that respect a woman's right to choose (and are willing to stand up for it!), that believe in equal pay for equal work, that believe rape is a crime and should be prosecuted (thank you, Colorado for beating that asshat, btw) and understand the economics of lower and lower-middle class families. If the candidate happens to be a competent woman - that's just gravy.

01 September 2010

Warning of Future Blog Post

I've been trying to write this post for about 3 hours now. Nothing I am writing adequately conveys my feelings on this subject. Just so you know - I have never supported the war in Iraq. I have been called un-American, un-patriotic - even a traitor. I have been told that it is impossible to be against the war and support the troops. Those people were wrong then...and they are wrong now. I have a lot to say on this...and I'm having trouble not crafting a message that simply says F&%$ YOU! to all the ribbon-magnet waving, ignorant, uber-asshats that got us into this mess. So I need to take a step back and write something that isn't completely offensive to EVERYONE! So be on the look out tomorrow evening for a WikiLeaks post - with information about the Ethan McCord event I attended tonight.

I leave you with this link...sign this letter.

24 August 2010

Potential vs. Actual

Conservative Christian groups won a major victory Monday (Aug. 23) when a Washington judge halted federal funding of embryonic stem cell research to allow a suit challenging the practice as illegal to go forward.

The suit, by a group of doctors and Nightlight Christian Adoptions, says federal funding of embryonic stem cells limits the number of fertilized embryos the agency can make available to couples seeking to "adopt" them from fertility clinics.

This case was brought by an organization Nightlight Christian Adoptions, because research was competing with them for embryos. Now lets look at this Nighlight Christian Adoptions and their Snowflakes®. At the very least NCA is getting $8,000 per attempted snowflake adoption. Now obviously if they are suing because research is using all their embryos they must be placing a whole lot of them, right?
What is the success rate of pregnancies among Snowflakes families who have had embryo transfers?
To date, our families have completed 528 transfers resulting in a pregnancy success rate of 43%. So far, 225
children have been born and 25 more moms are due with 32 babies. There are always families with recent
transfers awaiting pregnancy test results and more families scheduling transfers.

By conservative estimates there are somewhere around 500,000 embryos out there.
So their placements account for what, 1% of the current embryo supply?

Maybe I should throw in a little primer here:
In Vitro Fertilization treatments consists of creating embryos outside of the body and implanting them into the uterus - in hopes of creating a successful pregnancy. Depending on the circumstances, MANY embryos are created for each potential pregnancy. Not all embryos will implant - or in some cases they do (Octomom). In either case, there is generally many embryos left over. Sometimes they are used for future pregnancies, sometimes they stay frozen for years and are finally destroyed, sometimes they are "adopted" and sometimes they are used for research. Snowflake adoptions occur when genetic parents relinquish rights to their embryos so that they can be implanted in another womb. That is the basis for this lawsuit.

Stem Cell Research has the potential to be lifesaving, life-improving and life affirming - all for the living, breathing, thinking humans that are already here. The anti-Stem Cell crowd is basically just the anti-choice crowd wearing a different t-shirt. "Destruction of human life"...blah, blah, blah...how many times do we hear this and allow them to dictate the debate? How many social programs do these pro-potential life folks support? How many are the same teabagging asshats that scream about welfare or medicaid? The fact is every year embryos are destroyed. If they truly were against the destruction of embryos they would say that IVF should be illegal - but THAT would be very unpopular, so like the fetus before - now it continues to the snowflakes.

19 August 2010

Obama the Muslim? *Sigh*

A new national survey by the Pew Research Center finds that nearly one-in-five Americans (18%) now say Obama is a Muslim, up from 11% in March 2009. Only about one-third of adults (34%) say Obama is a Christian, down sharply from 48% in 2009. Fully 43% say they do not know what Obama’s religion is.

So let me interpret this for you. 1 in 5 people that answered this survey are morons. They believe Muslim = Bad Christian = Good
Obviously, Obama must be a Muslim because he feels that people of all faiths or no faith deserve respect and he doesn't believe that being a Muslim is the same as being a terrorist. This is yet another strategy to make an "Other" of the President. (See last blog about Rep. King's comments)

The last guy was someone everyone wanted to have a beer with - keep in mind where that got us.

Here's the truth:
1) Religious tests for elected office are UNCONSTITUTIONAL.
2) The correct answer to the question: What religion does Obama follow?
3) The people of this country should be ashamed of themselves.

We are becoming a nation of religious bigots. While there has been so much progress in the realm of race, gender and sexual orientation (although a lot of work remains in all of these areas) - we are becoming more entrenched in our attitudes about religion. How many of these same survey respondents think "terrorist" when the word Muslim is mentioned? I would bet a good number - they don't think neighbor, doctor, friend, family...they think enemy. How sad. How is it that a small number of radical adherents have defined a religion for us? Somewhere around 1.5 BILLION people on this rock are Muslims, yet so many people define them based on the actions of a relative few.

How would Christians like it if we decided all Christians are child molesters because of the actions of a few priests (okay maybe a lot of priests) and some breakaway Mormon sects?

Now repeat after me:
"The United States is a SECULAR nation! The United States is a SECULAR nation!"

16 August 2010

American Experience....

King Panders To Town Hall Bigots: Obama’s ‘A Marxist’ Who ‘Doesn’t Have An AmericanExperience’

kingRep. Steve King (R-IA)

"However, when a nearby constituent called President Obama not just a “Marxist,” but a “Muslim Marxist,” King tacitly agreed. King went further, pandering to the town hall attendee and repeatedly saying that Obama “does not have an American experience”:

KING: I’ve just started to think about what we need to do and I have made this argument for a long time now that I am in the business of seeking to embarrass the administration into enforcing the law, particularly with regard to immigration.

BYSTANDING CONSTITUENT: He won’t do that. He’s a Marxist! He’s a Muslim Marxist.

KING: He’s at least a Marxist. And he surely understands the Muslim culture.

CONSTITUENT: He surely does. That’s where he grew up with, that’s his culture.

KING: He doesn’t have an American experience. He does not have an American experience.

CONSTITUENT: He didn’t grow up in America.

KING: Mmhmm."

The thing is...Barack Obama's experience IS uniquely American. Much more so than his rich, legacy predecessor. How many of us were products of "broken"***homes? How many of us were raised with the help of our grandparents? How many of us were exposed to different faith traditions on our paths to adulthood? The correct answer is more than most people know. Is it the fact that Obama lived overseas that makes his experience less American? If his step-father had been a Christian missionary - would it be okay with you Rep. King? (His step-dad worked as a government liaison for Mobil - by the way - good 'ol Oil...).

And for the record....I wish Obama was half the "Marxist" they claim he is. Oh and that he "understands Muslim culture" is a GOOD thing.
***Broken homes...I really HATE that expression. For many of us - the best thing our parents ever did - was separate.


25 May 2010

Empire Ave

This is a test post for Empire Avenue. Mind-O-Nicki will be back soon...

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