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    • Hope Is Bullshit
      I am unintersted in “hope.” Or as we called it in the Obama bullshit years, Hopium. Hope is not a plan. Hope is bullshit. Luck is real, but you don’t count on luck other than in the sense that the harder you work, and the more things you do, the more likely you are to […]
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It took these guys 350 years to accept the world goes ’round the sun

Take a good look at this picture.  These are the representatives of a global organization that is dictating the terms by which a woman’s uterus will operate.

These guys, and they are ALL guys, have been in business for 1600 years.  Well, longer than that when you consider that what really happened was that the Roman emperor Constantine conducted a merger of the polytheistic religious hierarchy with Christianity.  Yep, one day all of the pontiffs were worshipping Jupiter, the next Jesus Christ.  Constantine did it for pragmatic reasons.  No one’s certain that he gave up pagan ways entirely.  I’d be curious about the priests who suddenly had to make a choice.  Do they continue to read entrails at the Pantheon and believe  Minerva emerged from the head of her father and the head god shows up to empregnate beautiful young mortal women as a shower of gold or do they embrace a new religion based on “The belief that a cosmic Jewish Zombie who was his own father can make you live forever if you symbolically eat his flesh and telepathically tell him you accept him as your master, so he can remove an evil force from your soul that is present in humanity because a rib-woman was convinced by a talking snake to eat from a magical tree.”? (That last definition of Christianity is courtesy of the Urban Dictionary)

We know the answer to this question.  The priests switched sides but kept much of their old corporate culture.  For example, there are no women in their executive offices.  Nope.  Not one.  In 1600 years and counting, there has never been so much as female intern in their ranks.  I’ve heard unofficial stories of female popes but they were disguised as men so it doesn’t count.  They cornered the market on book learnin’ but tended to revere tradition, naturally.  So when Galileo Galilei showed that the earth went around the sun and mocked them for ignoring the evidence, they made him pay.  He was forced to eat those words (sort of).  The Roman Catholic Church did a “talk to the hand” on the subject of Galileo and his heliocentric theory.  Eventually, the church “softened”.   One hundred years after stuffing a sock in Galileo’s mouth, it quietly allowed publication of his astronomical works. It has never formally apologized but it has expressed “regret” over the whole unfortunate incident.  It only took until 1992.  No one can accuse the Church of being hasty.

It must be nice to wear the same uniform every day and pronounce the rules by which others will live.  That would include the lives of women who don’t even believe in your religion.  Those women have, what?, 80 years on earth to make their mark and make a difference in their lives and the lives of others?  They have to get educated and get jobs, they get married or not.  They are in most “civilized” countries, complete, independent, PERSONS, with unalienable rights endowed by their Creator, whoever that may be.  But according to these stick in the mud throwbacks from the 4th century, they have no right to decide when and under what circumstances they will be parents.  It is the Church’s bishops that call the shots here in the US.  They have the right to overturn the personhood of every woman in America whether those women give a $#@% about their exclusive boy’s club or not.

I would love to hear Ben Nelson and Bart Stupak explain why the women of this country are having their personhood stripped from them by a bunch of color coordinated old guys from the smallest country in the world.  And can someone please tell me if Ben Nelson, Bart Stupak, and Marcy Kaptur (fergawdsakes, Marcy!) even believe that women are persons?  Aren’t they entitled to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness?  Are women allowed to have their own belief systems?  Are they allowed to follow the religion of their choice or is there one overarching religion that applies solely to women?  Men can follow whatever creed they wish.  Women are subject to The Church.  Poor women are doubly subject but are middle class women to join their ranks?  And does the amount of money you have affect the kind of liberty you are entitled to?

Are women persons? If you are in Congress and you don’t move heaven and earth to get rid of the Stupak Amendment, then you don’t believe they are.  You don’t believe we women will move heaven and earth to get rid of you.  Maybe you even believe that the sun goes round the earth.

You may come to “regret” that and a lot sooner than 350 years.

Why is Health Care Reform Being Held Hostage by a Fundamentalist Cult?

300px-Bart_Stupak_official_109th_Congress_photo

Bart Stupak

No, I don’t mean the Catholic Church. I mean the super-secret, ultra-creepy fundamentalist sect that calls itself

“the Family,” or “the Fellowship,” and they consider themselves a “core” of men responsible for changing the world. “Hitler, Lenin, and many others understood the power of a small core of people,” instructs a document given to an inner circle, explaining the scope, if not the ideological particulars, of the ambition members of the avant-garde are to cultivate.

That’s a quote from the introduction to Jeff Sharlet’s The Family: The Secret Fundamentalism at the Heart of American Power.

Early this morning I learned from Jeff Sharlet’s piece in Salon that the two men responsible for the Stupak amendendment–Bart Stupak (D-MI) and Joseph Pitts (R-PA)–are both members of the Family and both live in the group’s C-Street residence. These two nutty fetus fetishists are trying to end abortion in this country by making sure that insurance companies will stop covering this essential and perfectly legal medical procedure.

I’ve been obsessing on this news all day long while trying to concentrate on writing an exam. As hard as it is for me to accept, I now have to face the face that the forces of theocracy not only control of the Republican Party, but also they are well on the way to taking over the Democratic party.

Sharlet writes:

American women will pay the price for the Democratic dithering that allowed Saturday’s passage of the Stupak-Pitts amendment, a worm virus inserted into the House healthcare reform bill with surgical precision. But the Democratic Party will suffer collateral damage.

Stupak-Pitts isn’t just “the biggest restriction on women’s right to choose in our generation,” as Rep. Diana DeGette of Colorado puts it; it’s also evidence that on abortion the Democratic Party is now captive, just like the GOP, to Christian conservatism. Of course, Republicans traded away their party’s moderate wing for real electoral gains, a base that propelled them to power for decades. The Democrats, already in power, sucker-punched themselves, and all they have to show for it is a big fat shiner in the shape of Bart Stupak’s knuckles.

Sharlet thinks it’s unlikely that Stupak and Pitts came up with their plan on their own. The Family supposedly doesn’t directly try to influence political policies–they just offer support, guidance and powerful connections to their followers.

Pitts

Joseph Pitts

Which raises the question: Who’s pulling whom? Did backbencher Bart Stupak really come up with the bluff that led pro-choice Democrats to abandon not one but two compromises, one of which Stupak himself seemed to be signing off on earlier this summer? Or was it Pitts, an abortion-wars warrior since the 1970s, and a longtime leader of the House Values Action Team — an off-the-record caucus of religious right organizations and members of Congress — who drew up the blueprint?

Neither Stupak nor Pitts is talking. Of course, if they just keep quiet, the press will pin it on the bishops — who, to be fair, are more than happy to take credit. That version of events neglects the role of relationships forged within the evangelical context of the Family — a group founded in the spirit of virulent anti-Catholicism, and which maintains to this day that being Catholic brings you no closer to Christ than being Jewish or a Muslim — and the growing evangelical movement within the Democratic Party. A source close to the Faith Table, a gathering of ostensibly progressive Christians gathering of ostensibly progressive Christians helmed by evangelical leader Jim Wallis, notes that the group has been agitating for Stupak-Pitts for months, with Wallis declaring Stupak-Pitts the most important vote of the year.

May I remind you that Jim Wallis was a major supporter of President Obama and is one of his close “spiritual advisers?”

Terri Gross did an interview with Jeff Sharlet last summer. You can listen to it here and read an excerpt from Sharlet’s book if you’re interested. I heard that Rachel Maddow covered this story last night, but I couldn’t bring myself to watch the video.

What is happening to our country? Is there any way to turn it around?

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God Forbid we Should Change the Status Quo

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Jake Tapper of ABC News had an “exclusive” interview with President Obama today. The first part of the interview was shown on ABC News hour tonight, more will be shown on Nightline tonight, and the rest on Good Morning America tomorrow. Tapper asked the President about the abortion language in the “health care reform” bill passed by the House on Saturday night.

“I laid out a very simple principle, which is this is a health care bill, not an abortion bill,” Obama said. “And we’re not looking to change what is the principle that has been in place for a very long time, which is federal dollars are not used to subsidize abortions.

Saying the bill cannot change the status quo regarding the ban on federally funding abortions, the President said “there are strong feelings on both sides” about an amendment passed on Saturday and added to the legislation, “and what that tells me is that there needs to be some more work before we get to the point where we’re not changing the status quo.”

Call me crazy, I thought Mr. Hope ‘n Change was elected because he wanted to change the status quo. Can someone please explain to me why it is so important to make absolutely sure there is no change in the status quo on funding abortions? And furthermore, doesn’t the Stupak amendment already guarantee a very big change in the status quo? So does that mean Mr. Obama will do something about the Stupak amendment to return us to his beloved status quo? It’s not really clear, but no, I don’t think he plans to do anything but sit around waiting for someone else to take responsibility for this ongoing nightmare of a health care bill.

Obama told ABC News’ Jake Tapper that he was confident that the final legislation will ensure that “neither side feels that it’s being betrayed.”

“I want to make sure that the provision that emerges meets that test — that we are not in some way sneaking in funding for abortions, but, on the other hand, that we’re not restricting women’s insurance choices,” he said.

I don’t know what the heck that means except that Mr. Obama is not going to take any kind of stand. He’s going to carry on with the “on the one hand…on the other hand” crap until someone else take responsibility for limiting women’s rights so dramatically that many of us are still in shock. But Mr. Bipartisanship is still trying to please both “sides.” Of course both of those “sides” are mostly made up of very rich, old men.

White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said today that the President is not going to “take sides” on the Stupak amendment controversy.

The White House on Monday signaled it would keep its distance in the increasingly vocal debate over whether health insurance reform should include language related to abortion.

When asked whether the president supported Rep. Bart Stupak’s (D-Mich.) amendment to prohibit the public insurance plan from covering abortion services, Press Secretary Robert Gibbs dodged the question — multiple times.

“Well, ask me that right before Christmas and the end of the New Year,” Gibbs said during today’s press briefing, noting the president still expected to sign a healthcare bill before the year’s end.

The press secretary later clarified, “We will work on this and continue to seek consensus and common ground.”

Now there’s a surprise. Has Barack Obama ever taken a stand on anything? I don’t think so. And once again he’s going to vote “present” while women are stripped of what reproductive rights they had left. Good luck finding “common ground” on the abortion issue. If there is any common ground, it’s a very small strip of land indeed.

Meanwhile the Wall Street Journal is reporting that the house bill *only* makes older people pay twice as might for health insurance as older people. These are the figures:

under the House’s 2-to-1 cap, a 20-year-old would pay $3,169 in annual premiums and a 60-year-old would pay $6,339 for comparable plans, if they both had incomes above the subsidy-eligible level. Under a bill passed by the Senate Finance Committee, which had a 4-to-1 age-rating ratio, the 20-year-old would pay $2,258 and the 60-year-old would pay $8,357.

I have never in my life had to pay more than $2,000 for health insurance. The idea that I could ever afford to pay more than $6000 or $8,000 per year is unimaginable to me. What have these so-called Democrats done to us?!!

We are so screwed. I guess I should be grateful that I’m past menopause, so at least I won’t be needing an abortion. It looks like some young women are going to be finding out what it was like when I was in college. No birth control, no abortion, no help for women in crisis.

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