Saturday saw thousands of the War against Women folks take to the street to protest against Planned Parenthood. They managed to get several anti-Planned Parenthood hashtags trending on Twitter as well. While the Center for Medical Progress continues to release its deceptively edited videos to outrage the loud and proud ignorant fringe of the right, elected officials with actual power keep attempting to defund PP while wasting taxpayers money with investigations into PP that turn up no wrongdoing.
It is beyond time to fight back.
Abortion only makes up 3% of Planned Parenthood’s services. Zero federal dollars out of Planned Parenthood’s funding goes to abortion services. The federal funds go to the other 97% of services Planned Parenthood provides, stuff like STI testing, cancer screenings, contraception prescriptions, and FUCKING prenatal care. Sure, there are other locations women can go to get these services, but there aren’t enough of them to handle the overflow that would occur if Planned Parenthood actually disappeared. Sure, rich and upper middle class women would still find someone to smear their pap, prescribe their birth control, provide prenatal care, or terminate their pregnancy. These things are never in danger for the rich and upper middle class. It doesn’t matter how conservative the state Congress gets, or how many clinics get shut down, rich girls from Texas or Mississippi can just get on a plane and fly wherever they need to go to get whatever service they need.
These attacks on Planned Parenthood are attacks on the health and family planning of all women who can’t hop on the jet for a quick trip to Cali for an IUD or an abortion.
The issue isn’t abortion. It isn’t “selling” baby parts.
The issue is poor people having sex and the right’s quest to make sure they have to face the consequences.
Donate something to PP. Write your Congress Critter. Send out a tweet.
And smack down an anti-PP troll on social media. Do your part for a great organization.
This is the first in a 17 part series examining the candidates for the 2016 GOP Presidential nominee, beginning with the participants in the August 6th “kid’s table” debate to avoid having them drop out of the race before being covered. The purpose is to introduce these candidates from the point of view of an independently minded progressive. I am not attempting to be unbiased in my writing. It is far from a secret that I feel the current Republican party has went off the rails and that the thought of any of this field of candidates winning the White House terrifies me. The mainstream media does its best to appear unbiased politically, perhaps due to the “liberal media” smear the right is so fond of, yet this coverage of politics as a sporting event is one of many problems crippling our democracy. No, I’m not saying the media should favor Democrats or Republicans, just that it should favor fact over fiction. Pointing out a politicians lies is not a partisan attack, it is the media’s responsibility and one of the reasons freedom of the press is enshrined in the Bill of Rights. Tell us the facts and leave the commentary for the opinion pages or segments.
Foster Disbelief is not a news source. I have an ideological bent that is pretty impossible to ignore and I do not march in lockstep with any political party. Since the mainstream media refuses to do its job I will be providing more than just commentary in this series. I do make one promise. I will not lie about any of these candidates. If you notice that I have a fact about a candidate wrong, please let me know, either through a comment or email and I will fix the mistake. This is for factual mistakes only. If you disagree with my opinion, well, join the crowd. And with that, Game On!
and my wallet is getting empty. Remember, Big Pharma. My address is still the same. I’ll be awaiting my payment. Ahem, it was two in the morning when the rhinoceros sneezed at the wombat. Wink, wink. (God, I hope the password phrase is still the same. I’d hate to be typing this for nothing.)
While Avenue Q makes the claim that the internet is for porn, anyone spending time online knows that the internet is also for online lists, preferably online lists that spread misinformation, disputed “facts,” and outright lies. (Okay, I admit that the internet is used for other things as well, but statistics show that a full 92.6 percent of internet content is made up of porn and misleading Listicles.*) One such online list can be found at Modern Alternative Mama: 12 Mainstream Vaccine Lies You Probably Believe.
Now I do not have the space or the time to properly disembowel this travesty of misinformation, but luck would have it that is exactly what Orac does over at Respectful Insolence. I urge everyone to stop over and read his thorough deconstruction of this dangerous post. The anti-vax movement is anti-science with a body count that needs the light of reason focused on it constantly until it fades back into the shadows. But before you all rush over to Respectful Insolence, I’d like to point out, with Orac’s help, some of the more egregious items on her list.
4. Safe treatments for these diseases don’t exist.
While our medical knowledge 50 or 60 years ago was clearly more limited, we have made great advances now. We’re now able to treat many illnesses with simple, non-invasive means. Vitamin A supplementation is used to prevent complications of measles. Mullein is an herb that’s excellent at treating pertussis (along with vitamin C) and other illnesses. We know so much more now. And alternative medicine often has an answer!
Plus, if you’re concerned about polio, read up on that.
“Alternative medicine often has an answer.” You know, I’m willing to concede that point, as long as she isn’t claiming the answer is correct. Seriously, do you know what alternative medicine that works is called? Medicine. As for mullein to treat pertussis…
That’s pertussis. Not even a bad sounding case, actually, just one I found where the infant lived. Dig around on Youtube for some of the really nasty sounding ones. You really want to treat that in your child with an evidence-free herb and vitamin prescription from an “alternative health” practitioner?
Of course the comment on polio and the provided link should immediately cause anyone with working brain cells to ignore this person.
Here’s Orac’s take on point 4.
This is, of course, utter nonsense. There are not “safe and natural” treatments for serious diseases, as much as naturopaths and useful idiots like Tietje argue otherwise. As for polio, in her article linked to, Tietje basically argues that polio isn’t dangerous and even going so far as to dismiss all those pictures of iron lungs thusly:
As for those iron lungs, they’re outdated medical technology, pure and simple. Doctors today have much more sophisticated machines that they use when someone is struggling to breathe. So, even if the absolute worst did happen — no, we would not see a recurrence of iron lung machines.
Yes, she really said that. To her, just because we now have positive pressure ventilators and long-term tracheostomies for people who can’t breathe on their own, it’s damned deceptive to be showing iron lungs because we don’t use them anymore. Sorry, Kate old bean, but that’s history, and, quite frankly, while being hooked up to a modern ventilator via a tracheostomy is better than being stuck in an iron lung, it’s still plenty bad.
The rest of her article cites nonsense like the claim that lead arsenate pesticides and DDT are the actual reason polio epidemics started occurring more frequently in the 1930s through 1950s. It’s dangerously ignorant misinformation I’ve deconstructed at length before.
Alternative Mama plays the dishonest “those diseases weren’t all that bad” card with point 11.
11. The diseases we vaccinate for are incredibly dangerous
Most of these diseases were normal childhood illnesses and were a very uncomfortable week or two, but were not dangerous for healthy children. Read more about measles, a risk-benefit analysis, and pertussis. It’s not to say that there aren’t a small number of children who were seriously ill or died in the past, but medical knowledge has advanced quite a bit since that time, and we still haven’t answered the question which is truly safer for our children long-term, the vaccines or the illnesses. That’s important.
This is just so face-slappingly bad, and is so related to why I don’t even try to argue with most anti-vaxxers anymore. Actually we have answered the question which is truly safer. It’s the vaccines. Just because the science didn’t confirm Alternative Mama, Jenny McCarthy, and the anti-vax movements pet hypothesis (refuse to give it the credit of a theory) doesn’t mean we don’t have an answer. What, do they claim that we need more tests, more studies? If the data fell the other way, and the research implicated vaccines something tells me these people would be shouting from the rooftops that the science was in, not asking for more studies.
That paragraph she wrote “debunking” point 11 reads simply like the words of someone who, thanks to vaccines, never had to worry about those diseases. Listen to the sound of an infant with pertussis and tell me it’s no big deal. People die of the measles, and as soon as we reach a certain threshold number of cases, people will die again from the disease. Orac’s take:
This is just so wrong it’s not even wrong. Hepatitis B, for instance, is incredibly dangerous. For measles, as I discussed in the wake of the Disneyland measles outbreak, actually hospitalizes a significant proportion of children who get it, while one in a thousand can develop encephalitis. When tens or hundreds of thousands of children get measles, the number of children who develop encephalitis or die becomes significant. Measles is not benign, and benefits of the measles vaccine actually go beyond preventing measles because measles suppresses the immune system and children die of other diseases at a higher rate in the two years after having the measles. When weighing the risks and benefits, there’s no doubt: Vaccination is far safer than the diseases
That’s all the space I’m going to give this post, but I once again urge you to go read Orac’s complete take down. Far too many progressives buy into the anti-vax movement, and it is a trend that needs to be stopped. It’s the right, with their creationism/intelligent design and climate change denial that are supposed to be the anti-science side. Don’t remain silent while the vaccine preventable body count rises.
*On a somewhat related point, statistics also show that fully 98.1 percent of statistics quoted online are made up while being typed. The more you know….
The race for the 2016 Republican Presidential nomination is in full swing now, over a year away from the actual election, and this cycles crop of candidates presents a classic good news/bad news situation. First the good news: It is Christmas in August for political satirists and late night talk show hosts. It may be cliched, but it is comedy gold. The bad news is far more serious and depressing. Next November, when it is time for the American electorate to head to the polls and choose their President for the next four years, the choice they will be presented with will include one of these candidates.
Once the party of Lincoln, the Grand Old Party has become the victim of a force they themselves created through liberal usage of the “Southern Strategy” along side other effective, yet risky, strategies. Decades of basing their electoral hopes upon the votes of angry white men has backed the party into the proverbial corner now that American demographics have swung enough to make that strategy nonviable. The American electorate continues to become less white, less religious, less sexist, and less homophobic. Meanwhile, the GOP “base,” the extreme fringe that consistently exercises power far out of proportion to their actual number because they actually bother to vote in primary elections, has, if anything, gotten more conservative and less willing to accept any form of compromise. Because of this phenomenon, moderate members of the Republican party holding elected office have been slowly marching towards extinction.
Americans currently reside in a country where the political middle is actually quite a bit to the right of center, especially when compared to Europe. While the GOP’s conservative “base” may be killing the party from the inside, this is one victory they’ll be able to point to for years to come. As the GOP veered ever farther rightwards, it pulled the Democratic party towards the center in hopes of picking up the moderates the new extreme GOP was leaving behind, resulting in a dream scenario for conservatives where policy positions that began as Republican creations are now seen as “liberal” or “socialist.” (See Romneycare….I mean, Obamacare as an example.) True moderate Republicans have their hands tied; do they attempt to actually govern and reach compromises with Congressional Democrats, or do they want to be re-elected? No matter how popular positions such as an increase to the minimum wage, background checks for firearm purchases, or a path to citizenship may be, they are toxic positions for Republicans who know that groups such as the NRA and media such as Fox News will use the extremist “base” to punish these politicians come primary season. The ability to get things done and get elected has become an afterthought to ideological purity.
I would love to be able to look at this slate of candidates and just laugh. I mean, I do laugh, and thankfully there are great comedians (such as Noah, Heath, and Eli at The Skepticrat) out there who can make me snort coffee out my nose instead of cry over the first primary debate. But I have to admit that I am terrified of this election cycle. The demographics have yet to change enough that low turn out plus a scandal couldn’t result in a GOP Presidential win, and that President would have both houses of Congress, allowing him to pretty much have free reign for two years.
And if that doesn’t scare you, you haven’t been paying attention.
Friday will see the first GOP candidate get the Foster Disbelief treatment. Who will be first? Here’s a hint: You should never see him if you are properly preparing for anal sex.
Wednesday (or, if something comes up, Friday at the latest) I will be posting the first in a seventeen part series examining the Republicans running to (hopefully, please, oh please) join John McCain and Mitt Romney in the exclusive club of Presidential election losers. The purpose of the series is twofold. First off, with so many candidates in the race it will be a helpful way for me, and then by extension, my readers, to learn about each of the potential nominees. I mean, other than the “R” after his name, how much do you really know about Jim Gilmore? Probably as much as I do at the moment, which is how to spell his name. (Got it on the first try!) And I’m not singling Jimmy out for any particular reason other than thinking I could spell his name without looking it up either. Other than Scotty, Jebby, Bobby and Donnie, my knowledge of most of the candidates leaves much to be desired. (If Fox News can call Carly Fiorina by her first name at their debate, then I can call all the male candidates by their first names. Ah, equality.)
The other reason is simple. To dispel the fable that any of these candidates can actually be seen as “the moderate one.” You know it will happen eventually. While the goats in this rodeo (2016 Goat Rodeo! Hi tengrain!) all need to run to the right to win the support of the
lunatic fringe base, they then need to drift back towards the center to have any chance of winning the general election. With this political fact in play, it is only a matter of time until one (or several) candidate declares himself (or hersel…I can’t even type it without laughing) the only one “mainstream” enough to win over moderates. The problem with this, this cycle at least, is that none of the candidates are anything close to moderate, a fact I think is important for everyone to realize.
And while it will be a while before I reach him (since I will do the “kid’s table debaters” first to avoid them dropping out before I get to them), Ohio Governor John Kasich is already being labeled the “moderate” of the bunch by the “mainstream” media thanks to not sounding insane on climate issues.
Except, you see, the problem is…..well, the problem is he is insane on climate issues. Or if he isn’t, the primary process has forced him to walk his sanity back to a position more in line with the lunatic fringe that somehow remembers to vote every primary election. From ThinkProgress:
Gov. John Kasich (R-OH) is the rare GOP presidential candidate who has acknowledged that climate change is a real problem requiring us to “protect” the “creation that the Lord has given us.” But just days after earning plaudits for his relatively moderate-sounding approach in Thursday’s GOP presidential debate, Kasich adopted a climate-change denialist approach on Sunday.
On NBC’s Meet the Press, host Chuck Todd called Kasich one of the “big winners of Thursday’s debate,” and praised him for an “impressive performance for the supportive crowd” in his home state and read a Time magazine quote comparing him to Pope Francis.
Kasich distanced himself from the Pontiff on economic issues and environmental ones. “I think that man absolutely affects the environment, but as to whether, what the impact is… the overall impact — I think that’s a legitimate debate.”
He then added: “We don’t want to destroy people’s jobs, based on some theory that is not proven.”
Though Kasich had previously indicated that he believed in climate science, he had also made clear that he didn’t want to do much about it.
Honestly? I respect an outright science denier more than someone who claims they believe the science, yet think doing nothing is a ethical response to the issue. When future generations are learning about the world leaders who did nothing to prevent the upcoming climate disaster, at least the deniers have an excuse as to why they did nothing.
This is your “moderate” Republican in 2015 folks.
And the scariest thing? He’s far too “moderate” to come anywhere close to winning a GOP primary.
Apparently Fox News thinks the amount of contenders for the GOP Presidential nomination is a problem. While some could see the 17 viable candidates the GOP has this season as an embarrassment of riches, others seem to think the field is a bit more like a clown car. So rather than wait for Iowa and New Hampshire to winnow down the field like every other Presidential election season, Fox decided to take matters in their own hands and limit the first debate to only 10 participants. Just in case that wasn’t controversial enough, they revealed that national poll numbers would decide who got to be in the debate. You know, those polls that are meaningless this far from an election? You know, those polls where the bottom 10 candidates or so are separated by statistically meaningless numbers within the margin of error? Yeah, those polls.
But Fox wasn’t turning their backs on the Sad Seven. How could they, after the Sad Seven pumped so many advertising dollars into Fox’s wallets as they tried in vain to move the national polls? Fair is fair after all, so Fox graciously had a second debate, held before the main event and broadcast on Fox News as well.
So where did Fox hold the “kid’s table” debate? Did they do an in-studio round table? Find a smaller venue for the candidates? Use this debate to warm up the crowd for the prime time event? Of course not, because none of those options would let the candidates know how badly Fox wanted them out of the race. So they did this:
I think all seven of them should have told Fox to “fuck off” and refused to participate in this event designed to end their campaigns. I’m not even going to get into this “debate,” or mention how they respectfully addressed all the men but called Carly Fiorina by her first name because of course they did. If Fox News wasn’t taking this event seriously, why should I? Why should anyone?
Wake up Republicans. Your party has been taken over by a television network and the lunatic fringe that remembers to vote on primary day. You’re letting this nation, that you claim to love so much, turn into a joke to the rest of the world.
My mind has been on family issues the past few days, in case you were wondering why posting has been sporadic. Hopefully I’ll be all clear-headed on Monday to start the week off with a bang. Have a good weekend all!
I was pleasantly surprised this morning when upon cutting open the grapefruit I was using to break my fast, I was greeted with this beautiful sight:
IT’S NOT PINK!!!!
For any other local citrus lovers who can not stand the pink blasphemy that has infected grapefruits, Martin’s Grocery stores have real grapefruits! Now, they are labeled as “organic” and they cost twice as much as the other grapefruits, but they aren’t red and they’re as sour as a grapefruit should be.
Now to go and stock up before they realize their mistake and make the organic grapefruits all “star ruby” as well.
Note: For those who think I have a problem with…well, um…. shutting up? Before I stopped myself with the question “what the fuck am I writing?,” this post was up to 750 words and I wasn’t close to finished. Yes, I have a Stephen King sized problem with literary diarrhea. Someday, some poor person is going to be assigned as my editor, and I already feel bad for them.