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Pro-choice hysteria

I saw Wendy Davis’s filibuster the other night and was ecstatic to see someone from the left, besides Hillary, actually forcefully defending a woman’s right to choose.  And then I witnessed all of the hysterical, emotional responses from the left blogosphere about just how incredibly awful it would be if we can’t get abortions at any point in time during a pregnancy, and despaired.

Both the right and the left seem to be hung up on something and it took me awhile to pin it down.  Here it is:

Pregnancy is a temporary condition. Motherhood is FOREVER.  

Neither side can get past the first part.  Pregnancy is temporary.  It has a finite duration.  There is definitely an endpoint and you pretty much know when that endpoint is coming so you can prepare for it in advance.

The right would like to extend that period indefinitely and insists that women become instant mothers from the moment of conception.  Women are supposed to love and feel nurturing feelings towards a temporary visitor.  Of course, that works for the right politically and economically on several levels.  Mostly, abortion is a political football and a defining issue for the right.  If the other side is for it, they’re agin it.  But they are agin it for economic reasons as well.  More women staying at home being mothers frees up more of the shrinking pie for the menfolk.  Amiright?  You know I am.  So all this romanticization of the fetus is designed to make mothers stay out of the workforce.  Let’s just be honest about that up front, OK?

The left seems to believe that pregnancy is forever.  It is not. It’s also not punitive or a death sentence.  It is what it is- a temporary condition, like many other temporary physical conditions. And no one can make you be a mother if you don’t want to be.  It is true that labor and delivery is painful, somewhat dangerous, time consuming and recovery can take awhile.  But putting your body through that pain and inconvenience does not make you a mother.  Sure, there are a lot of conservative assholes who would like to shame women for getting pregnant and if women are forced to endure shame for getting pregnant but not wanting to be mothers, that’s something we can definitely work on.  Think of it as a Gay Straight Alliance type activity.  If the state insists that women carry a pregnancy past the 20th week, it really should pick up the tab for that and forcefully prohibit employers from terminating employment of pregnant employees.  Where is that legislation?  Why aren’t women insisting on it?  Where is Wendy Davis when we need that kind of bill?

Don’t get me wrong.  I am strongly pro-choice.  I don’t think the state has an interest in what you do with your womb.  But I do kinda draw the line when the fetus is viable.  I’m not talking about when the fetus is compromised or has a genetic abnormality or when the woman’s health or life is in danger or in cases of rape or incest or when the person carrying the fetus is only a little girl or in cases where a previous legal abortion was unsuccessful. (let me see, have I covered all exceptions?  I think I have)  In those cases, I don’t have a problem with abortions extending beyond the 20th week.  And as for fetuses experiencing pain, I’d be very surprised if TEXAS can’t figure out a way of lethally injecting a human being without pain prior to removal from a uterus.  Please.  Governor Perry has done it 261 times.

BUT…

What one person may consider an unacceptable infringement of their time and persons may be a premature infant worth lifesaving measures to another.  At the point of viability, I have to apply my Good Samaritan test.  If I found a premature infant at 21 weeks gasping for breath at the side of the road, what would I do?  I think most of us would pick up that infant and rush it to the nearest neonatal intensive care unit.  I think I would have the same concern for the fetus who can survive on its own but is not yet gasping for breath.  The difference between an aborted fetus and a premature infant mandating special care is extremely thin at the age of viability.

For every infant, the dividing line between viability and non-viability is different and the call should probably go to a group of physicians.  The danger in that is that you might get a group of rightwing crackpots with an agenda.  But oddly enough, this is how they do it in some of the world’s most progressive countries and I’m assuming they’ve managed to avoid that scenario.  Sweden, for example, allows abortions only until the 18th week.  After that, you need to appeal to a panel of doctors who will make the call and they usually only do it in cases when the fetus or the woman carrying the fetus have some kind of health complication or abnormality.  Otherwise, I suppose, you’re denied an abortion and are back on that train until you reach your destination a few months later.

I don’t hear Swedish women or Norwegian women or Danish women screaming bloody murder or telling sob stories about how hard it is to carry a baby to term or whining that the state is not treating them as fully human simply because it makes them wait out a temporary condition and make some hard choices afterwards. Yes, adoption is a hard choice.  I’m not sure that it is a harder choice than aborting a fetus after 20 weeks though. Yes, they have a lot of social safety net options that we don’t, including socialized medicine.  Maybe we should focus on that instead.  Women who are forced to endure a temporary condition should be given all the support and medical services that women in Scandinavian countries get.  If they don’t want to continue on with motherhood, right wingers should be forced to stuff a sock in it.

But I don’t think there is any really good excuse for someone to wait until the 20th week to get an elective abortion.  Yep, I’ve heard that some ditzy women don’t know they’re pregnant until then.  For some reason, American women seem particularly prone to not knowing they’re pregnant until the fifth month.  The rest of the world seems to have gotten the memo but we haven’t.  I don’t hear any bloggers on the left attempting to explain that disparity.  There MUST be a good reason for why American women wait so fricking long to take a pregnancy test but no one has come forward to tell us why that is.

That’s not to say it doesn’t happen. It’s unfortunate but probably a lot more rare than we would like to admit.  I don’t know how those unfortunate who miss the deadline would react to a Good Samaritan test.  Probably not well.  But it is a temporary condition and if other countries have limits, especially countries with higher gender equality cultures, then imposing a 20 week viability test is probably not going to kill what little gender equality we have here in the US.

What WILL kill gender equality here is all the proscriptions and obstacles women face before that 20 week limit.  And I stand with Wendy on fighting that.  There’s no good reason why we are still living with bronze age tribal morality in the twentieth century.  That’s what is preventing women from being fully human and getting on with their lives after a temporary physical condition.

If buying a gun in Texas were as easy as getting an abortion

Imagine the legislation…

The buyer would have to go to an approved gun dispensary.  The dimensions of the dispensary would be strictly regulated and the dispensary might end up in a seedy part of town in an unmarked building.  The gun dispensary owner would not be allowed to advertise. Because the regulations would be difficult to meet, there would be less than a handful of dispensaries legally licensed to sell firearms.  A person from Amarillo might have to drive to Galveston to get one.

The free speech rights of anti-gun protestors would be protected.  Prospective gun buyers would not be shielded from protestors petitioning or discouraging the buyer from purchasing a gun as long as the protestors do not approach within a certain number of feet from the buyer and refrain from touching the buyer.

It would be illegal for anyone to refer the buyer to a gun dispensary. However, it would not be illegal for an anti-gun organization to masquerade as a gun dispensary for the purposes of shaming the prospective buyer or talking him or her out of buying a gun.  No exceptions to this advice rule would be made for hunters or other people who may have a specific use for guns that does not include the potential for shooting people.

The gun dispensary owner would need to provide proof of education in the types and uses of firearms.  A degree from an accredited university would be the only proof accepted.  He or she would need to be licensed for each type of firearm.  An assault weapons ban might mean that the buyer would have to travel to one of the few places in the country that sells them to get one.

Prospective buyers would be required to undergo mandatory counseling on the use and effect of firearms.  The buyer would not be able to opt out of this counseling.  If the buyer still wants to buy a gun after the counseling, he or she would need to sign a form certifying that they are aware of the dangers of the use of firearms and that using them may cause lifelong emotional damage and sexual impotence to the user.

During the counseling session, the seller will show the buyer photographs of gun shot victims.  The victims will be shown with their heads blown off and their bellies eviscerated.  The emotional anguish of gunshot victims’ families will also be shown in visual and auditory form.  No compensatory images of poor hunters feeding their families will be permitted.  The audio and video portion of the presentation must be intrusive enough to be unavoidable to the prospective buyer.

After the presentation, the gun seller will read the consent form to the buyer again and ask the buyer to affirm that they are aware of all of the dangers associated with the purchase of a gun.  The seller will also be required to discuss alternatives to firearms, such as compound bows, boomerangs, snares and vegetarianism.  There will be an emphasis on vegetarianism to ensure that the teachings of certain religions are promoted with the acquiescence of the state.  Adherence to Hindu or other plant based religions would not be necessary for the buyer, only recognition and understanding of the deep ethical philosophy behind religious vegetarianism.

No exceptions would be made to save the health or life of the buyer.  Medical reasons for hunting, such as a prescribed Caveman Diet to prevent intestinal inflammation of a debilitating nature due to celiac disease, or the existence of a restraining order from a abusive spouse, would not be acceptable excuses for failing to attend the mandatory counseling session or meeting all of the other requirements before obtaining the gun.

There will be a mandatory 72 hour waiting period to give the buyer an opportunity to change his or her mind.

It would be illegal for the counseling to take place over the phone or the internet.

After the waiting period is complete, the buyer would be required to return to the gun dispensary for the mandatory rectal examination of the prostate with an ultrasound device.  The purpose of this examination is to determine the state of the prostate prior to gun purchase and to assure that the buyer understands the risk to his sexual health.  A similar examination will be made of a woman’s rectum for no good reason but if she is engaged in buying a gun, she has already given her consent to an anal probe.

After this examination, the gun buyer would be allowed to purchase the gun and go on his or her merry way, provided walking is still possible.

The above regulations would not be considered intrusive or burdensome to your 2nd amendment right to bear arms.

So, did anything happen last night?

Oh, yeah. Neener-Neener-Neeeeeeeennnnerrr!

I would personally like to thank all of the Republicans who overcame partisanship and voted FOR Hillary because of who she is and what she stands for.

Now, the delegate math might not have shifted much but the mental math certainly has. I’m going to work my ass off for Hillary in PA and so are my mother, my aunts and my sister. We are going to make history because we have the best candidate.

All the Big Blog Stores and the pundits can spew whatever crap they want. They are not seeing what the rest of the country is seeing. The media has lost credibility and people are paying attention to what the candidates say and their resiliency in the face of adversity. And what can we expect at the convention? Here are some possibilities:

  • The superdelegates will have the final word and they’re going to be looking at who won the most Democratic votes, who won the popular vote and most importantly, who won the most crucial states. The electoral college map will become very important. And that leads to…
  • Florida and Michigan. Now, the DNC and the Obama campaign want do-overs (hmmm, a common interest?). I’m all for a do-over in Michigan. Hillary’s name was the only one on the ballot and voters felt a little cheated so, fine, have a mail-in primary. She’s got her footing back, she can win MI or at least come close. But Florida? I see no reason to redo Florida. Neither candidate was *supposed* to campaign there, but in fact Obama spent $1.4 M on cable TV ads and who knows what else. Clinton had a couple of fundraisers. In any case, she won a solid victory and that isn’t going to change. The Obamaphiles can scream do-over all they want but the reality is this: making Florida do a primary again is very expensive for a state this size. The money wasted on one would impact other races in congressional districts and would take away funds for the general. The voters have spoken, decisively. They want their votes counted as they stand without having to go through the motions. For the Obamaphiles to insist on a do-over in Florida is something they have not asked of any other state that has run a contested primary. The only reason to ask for it is if there is some expectation that the vote will change, assuming the voters didn’t know what they were doing because they didn’t have the benefit of obnoxious campaigning. I think that will backfire badly on Obama. It would be like saying, “I’m going to make you spend money to vote again. Did you REALLY want Hillary to win?” And insisting upon a pointless primary because “they violated the RULZ!”, looks petty and spiteful, considering that NH, IA and SC broke them too and didn’t suffer. It smacks of voter suppression and when it comes to Florida, you don’t want to go there. Florida adds a critical mass to Clinton’s column and leaving it out diminishes the voters of NY, CA, NJ, MA, AZ, TX, OH. That’s one set of constituents that no one can afford to diss going into the fall campaign. The Florida dilemma is a no win for Obama but it could be worse if Floridians vote to blame him for it. The only outcome I can see from a do-over is that Obama will have proven conclusively that he alone of all primary candidates is capable of losing in Florida- twice. Bite the bullet, Barry. Urge the DNC to seat Florida without any pre-conditions. It’s the only way to keep Floridians from turning their backs on the Democratic party in disgust this fall.

Now, I am not going to make any predictions about who will win the convention in August but Hillary has a much better case for taking it than Obama at this point, delegate math or not. And I think as her campaign further adjusts to its new environment, freeing itself from the past election strategies to take advantage of new technologies and outwitting the opponent in clever ways, she will do better in the remaining states.

It is not inevitable. It never was. But by August, no one will be able to say she didn’t earn it.

One more thing: I found this disturbing yesterday but merely amusing this morning. (Ok, it’s *still* disturbing) I find this line particularly funny:

But if she leaves after winning a couple states, she leaves on a high note, magnanimously ceding the race to the better candidate running the far better campaign.

So.lemme get this straight, if she *wins*, she should concede defeat and gracefully exit because she would have been beaten by the “far better campaign”. My, my, I guess Kos and I have different definitions of the characteristics of a “far better campaign”. Like winning big primary states, for example. Well, that was a good morning chuckle.

I think Kos even predicted that Clinton would lose Ohio or Texas by 15 points. It must have been my imagination though or one of those newfangled editors. They’re so tricksy and everything. Things just disappear from the posts. It’s like magic!

Clinton Cocktail Party- Tequila Sunrise

woman-with-cocktail-glass-and-rose-is611-019.jpgHi, all. Well, tonight is the night before the last round-up in Texas. I’m pulling for Hillary to pull this one out. She seems to be adapting. Maybe she didn’t know she even *had* a grassroots before. Let’s hope she discovers our power on the plains of Texas.

Welcome to the Clinton Cocktail Party. Sorry I’m late with this post. The BFF and I went on a fruitless search for a new MacBook Pro in NJ. The one we wanted was sold out in 3 locations. It sucked up most of my Saturday. But here we are now. Say hello to Rico, our bartender with flair! Tonight’s featured drink is a Tequila Sunrise. You probably don’t even need the recipe for that one. But if you’re not into that, order anything you like. We’re easy (but not cheap).

Tonight’s entertainment consists of a compilation of Texans and their music. We have a little bit of everything from Leadbelly to Bessie Smith, Lyle Lovett to Stevie Ray Vaughn, Don Henley to Willie Nelson. I’m going to start us off with a Texas Playboys number that is actually sung by a lady from OKlahoma, Carrie Underwood. San Antonio Rose. (Bear with the intro.)

The rest of the compilation is in a playlist you can find here. (I tried to embed a custom player but it wasn’t working out. If anyone knows how to get the suckers to work in WordPress, let me know)

When everybody is having a good time, it would be a shame to get trigger happy with your words. So feel free to leave them with Florence, our lovely check room attendent. The waiters will be circulating with some guacamole, piggy back dates and assorted munchies. Please drink responsibly and tip your wait staff generously.

Tomorrow’s Vote is a Referendum on the Press

mad-as-hell.jpg Walter Shorenstein, founder of the Joan Shorenstein Center on the Press, Politics and Public Policy at Harvard University and Hillary Clinton supporter, has penned a memo about the unprofessional and biased coverage of the Democratic party primary race between Clinton and Obama. I can already hear the Kossacks howling with rage because he is a friend of Hillary’s, as if that negates all of the outrageous behavior of the press. But it’s hard to argue with the facts and Shorenstein’s got’em. And when SNL starts to point it out, then it has reached a threshold of absurdity that merits some serious discussion of what we should do about it. One thing we *can* do about it is urge Ohio and Texas voters to send a message to the press that we will pick our own presidents without all the emotional frenzy they have generated.

They tormented Bill Clinton, they snickered at Gore, giving us Bush, they destroyed Kerry’s career giving us even MORE Bush and now they are on the verge of doing something much more serious- allowing the first viable female candidate for president to get slimed by overtly negative and in some cases, misogynistic press. This time, not only are they helping to nominate the weaker candidate but they are setting back women’s accomplishments by 40 years. Don’t let them do it, Texas and Ohio. We need you to fight back and tell the media to cover the primaries professionally. Your vote is more than just a vote for Hillary or Obama. It’s a referendum on the press. Help us take our country back. Vote for the best candidate, not the one with the media halo.

Here is Shorenstein’s memo with supporting document

Hillary says: Take Responsibility for Your Actions

Here is her response to Obama and his minions who are freaking out about the 3am ad:

Isn’t it nice to be able to go second for a change? :-)

One more thing: Tucsonlynn is on her way to Texas this weekend to lend a hand to Hillary’s campaign.  Send her positive thoughts and maybe she will be nice enough to update us on what she is seeing.

We are at the mercy of frozen pizza and babysitters

That is what this race will come down to. Will the women of Texas be able to rush home from work, get the kids out of day care and arrange for someone else to take Tammy to her dance class and Ryan to karate? Will she have the 25 minutes it takes to heat the oven and throw in the frozen pizza? Are her kids old enough to stay home by themselves for a couple of hours and can they remember to turn off the oven when the pizza is done, or will she have to arrange to find a babysitter of that magical age that is not too young to require a sitter herself in these overly protective times but isn’t too old so that she has better things to do on Tuesday night?

If she’s really desperate, she might have to take the kids with her. They will whine and complain about being (check all that apply) bored, hungry, tired, too cold, too warm, in pain, subject to their siblings’ irritations or endlessly fascinated by something they shouldn’t touch, go near, sniff, smell or taste. In other words, the little darlings will be a complete distraction during the caucus.

These one of a million women with their 2 million children will have to fit yet another hoop-jumping event, on top of voting in the primary, in order to shout down the maniacal Obamaphiles and put an end to the media’s determination to pick our next president.

Ladies, I know you can do this. But I am sooooo sorry we put all of this “fate of the world” stuff on you on a Tuesday night.

Busy day for me today. Non-stop craziness. I might check in at lunch. But I see that ronk has a lot of tasty morsels in his draft box (I swear, I didn’t peek), so I am sure we are all in very good hands.

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