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Friday, May 20, 2022

WIC

Nearly 200 Republicans vote against bill to ease baby formula shortage

It was President Richard Nixon who began the WIC program, because he didn't think Americans should go hungry just because they were poor.

The White House Conference on Food, Nutrition and Health was a historic meeting held at the White House in 1969, that resulted in landmark legislation. It was convened on December 2, 1969, by U.S. President Richard M. Nixon and remains the first and, to date, only White House Conference on Food, Nutrition and Health. In his opening address Nixon vowed “to put an end to hunger in America…for all time.” The three-day gathering came at the end of a decade of social, cultural, and political change which saw a sudden awareness of the widespread malnutrition and hunger afflicting many poor in the United States. Eight-hundred academics and scientists, business and civic leaders, activists, and politicians developed more than 1,800 recommendations, which were reviewed by the 2,700 conference attendees and delivered in a full report to the President on December 24, 1969. The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly known as Food Stamps), Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC), National School Lunch Program (NSLP), and the School Breakfast Program (SBP) are among the 1,400 nutrition and food assistance programs and recommendations implemented or improved as a result of the White House Conference ... - White House Conference on Food, Nutrition, and Health

It takes the present "pro-life" party in Congress to make Richard Nixon look like a saint in comparison.

Jessica

I remember laying on a couch in the UC Davis library, listening to this song.



Thursday, May 19, 2022

Depp v Heard

I had not been following the Depp v. Heard trial, but every day I would see mentions of it in the news. Finally I decided to read the Wikipedia page about it (with all its sources) to catch up.

Now, at least, I understand who is suing who and why. And I think I have a good idea of the evidence that has been presented at the trial. What I don't understand, after reading all that, is why most people (more than 90%), and the media, have taken Depp's side.

Both Heard and Depp seem to be disturbed people who would be challenged in any close relationship, but from the uncontested evidence, it appears that Depp is a long term continuous substance abuser. That can be death on any relationship. Also uncontested seems to be the written, verbal, and physical abuse he's dealt to Heard.

Yes, she's responsible for some physical and verbal abusive too. But she's a woman (smaller, weaker), and she's a lot younger than Depp (20+ years), and she has a lot less money than Depp (less than 10 million to more than 100 million). She's fighting out of her weight class.

I don't have any reason to take Heard's side - I've never seen her in a film, and I have been a fan of Johnny Depp since he was on 21 Jump Street - but after all I've read, I think that Herd is the victim, both of Depp and of public sentiment.

It's not just me. Here's a good article from Buzzfeed: I Can’t Wait To Watch The Inevitable Documentary About How We All Wronged Amber Heard

Wednesday, May 18, 2022

Tonight She Comes



This song from The Cars, playing at the grocery store tonight. Sad to think both Benjamin Orr and Ric Ocasek have passed away.

Monday, May 16, 2022

Replacement



Fox cable host Tucker Carlson has been pushing replacement theory (you know, the Charlottesville white supremacists who chanted "Jews will not replace us"). Carlson says this is a plot by the Democrats to import immigtants from the south to replace "legacy" white American voters, so Democrats can win all the elections.

God, where to start?

People with working brains must realize that Democrats do not have a sinister plot to replace white American voters.

And, yes, sometime in the future the human inhabitants of Earth will mostly be non-white. That isn't a political statement. That's just a demographic fact. So what?

This latest mass shooting in Buffalo has been brought to you by the Republican party, leaders and voters, who are consumed by their hatreds, and led by their stupidity. I've come to the conclusion that they're just evil.

The Lancet

Published May 14, 2022, in the medical journal, The Lancet ...

Why Roe v. Wade must be defended

[...] The fact is that if the US Supreme Court confirms its draft decision, women will die. The Justices who vote to strike down Roe will not succeed in ending abortion, they will only succeed in ending safe abortion. Alito and his supporters will have women's blood on their hands.

The 2018 Guttmacher–Lancet Commission on Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights For All concluded that these rights, which included the right to safe abortion services and the treatment of complications from unsafe abortion, were central to any conception of a woman's wellbeing and gender equality. The availability of an essential package of sexual and reproductive health interventions should be a fundamental right for all women—including, comprehensive sexuality education; access to modern contraceptives; safe abortion services; prevention and treatment of HIV and other sexually transmissible diseases; prevention and treatment for gender-based violence; counselling for sexual health; and services for infertility. What kind of society has the USA become when a small group of Justices is allowed to harm women, their families, and their communities that they have been appointed to protect? ....


It is not just the Justices who will have blood on their hands. It's also those in the "pro-life" movement who have done everything they could, from lying to murder, to get us to this point.

Sunday, May 15, 2022

Bernie



Bernie on Meet The Press today.

Jesuits

The top article at America magazine, the magazine run by the (all male) Society of Jesus: The Editors: Roe v. Wade was a legal and moral travesty. Its end can bring true justice for women and the unborn.

This, as another red state, Nebraska, promises a total ban on abortion, with no exemptions for rape or incest. So much for all the moderation these pro-lifers promised in the past. So much for their pretense of caring about women.

There was a time when the Jesuits, at their 34th General Congregation, actually took a stance *for* women ... Decree 14: “Jesuits and the Situation of Women in Church and Civil Society,” General Congregation 34 (1995). One of the things they promised they would do? Listen to women ...

[W]e invite all Jesuits to listen carefully and courageously to the experience of women. Many women feel that men simply do not listen to them. There is no substitute for such listening. More than anything else, it will bring about change. Unless we listen, any action we may take in this area, no matter how well intentioned, is likely to bypass the real concerns of women and to confirm male condescension and reinforce male dominance. Listening, in a spirit of partnership and equality, is the most practical response we can make and is the foundation for our mutual partnership to reform unjust structures ...

I'd like to hope they were sincere back then, but obviously the Jesuits, like the rest of the hierachy of the church, has only become more and more conservative over the past few decades. Now the Jesuits are in the front lines of the pro-life movement and they have declared that as their first purpose.

Jesuits, those of you who still remember and respect the idealism of the time of Arrupe and Kolvenbach ... keep your promise. Listen to the vast majority of women in the US who support Roe v Wade. Women and girls will die because of abortion bans. Not embryos, but actual people. Think about what side you are choosing - the side of Trump and his extremist followers. Jesus, was such a friend to women. You should be too.

Friday, May 13, 2022

Don Winslow



Best-selling author Don Winslow turns full time to political activism

Tuesday, May 10, 2022

The abortion saints

- St Bride [St. Brigid of Kildare] by John Duncan.

The Catholic church deems abortion the ultimate sin. If you are a Catholic, are raped, and take the morning-after pill the next day, you will be automatically excommunicated. You could throw a two year old child off the roof of a skyscraper, and you would not be excommunicated, but if you abort an embryo, you're instantly anathematized.

The church treats abortion as so evil that when, in 2009, a 9 year old girl in Brazil was raped by her stepfather and became pregnant with twins, when her doctors said her life was in danger if she gave birth, the church tried to stop the abortion. When they couldn't, they excommunicated the child's mother and her doctors (but not the stepfather, of course) ...

[...] "God's laws," said the archbishop [Jose Cardoso Sobrinho], dictate that abortion is a sin and that transgressors are no longer welcome in the Roman Catholic Church. "They took the life of an innocent," Sobrinho told TIME in a telephone interview. "Abortion is much more serious than killing an adult. An adult may or may not be an innocent, but an unborn child is most definitely innocent. Taking that life cannot be ignored." - Nine-Year-Old's Abortion Outrages Brazil's Catholic Church

God's laws? Somewhere in the bible, God says fetal life is more precious than any other life? No. In fact, there is nothing at all in the bible, OT or NT, about abortion. Jewish law at the time of Jesus did not consider an embryo or a fetus to be a person.

And then there are the Irish abortion saints, including St. Brigid of Kildare. I first read about them years ago in a couple of journal articles - Of Vanishing Fetuses and Maidens Made-Again: Abortion, Restored Virginity, and Similar Scenarios in Medieval Irish Hagiography and Penitentials by Maeve Callan, and How The ‘Abortion Miracle’ Motif In Medieval Irish Hagiographies Structured Gender Roles In Relation To Female Reproductivity And Sexual Sin by Lora Lynn Horner. But the information is more accessible at The Irish Times ... Saints once did abortions – it was a lesser sin than oral sex

People on all sides of the abortion debate tend to share an assumption, regardless of their personal views on the issue: Catholicism allows only one attitude toward abortion, that it is among the worst sins, an unconscionable evil. Proponents of women’s rights over their own bodies often criticise anti-abortion legislation as “medieval”, with the Irish Constitution’s Eighth Amendment regularly characterised as such. And yet medieval biographies of multiple Irish Catholic saints, including beloved Brigid of Kildare, reverently record abortions among their miracles, and medieval Irish Catholic penitentialists, priestly authorities who prescribed penances for sins and were often celebrated as saints themselves, treated abortion as a relatively minor offence ....

Why bring all this up? The Republican party, if they win enough seats in Congress, plan to outlaw abortion in the whole country, with no exceptions for rape, incest, and in some cases, to save the life of the mother. Where do you think this extreme stance comes from? They will tell you it comes from God. I don't think that's true. It comes from their misogyny.

Monday, May 09, 2022

Lying Susan Collins

Republican Senator Susan Collins, who wrung her hands over the conservative Justices misleading her, Susan Collins, who says she is pro-choice, will not vote for the House bill, the Women’s Health Protection Act, which would codify Roe.

One reason - she wants Catholic hospotals to be let out of the law. Around 20% of hospitals in the US are Catholic. In some rural areas, the only hospital is Catholic. But anyway, the Women’s Health Protection Act does not mandate that every doctor must provide abortion services on demand.

So, just more BS from Collins. She will not vote for the bill no matter what changes are made. She is a Republicam, a pro-lifer, and a liar.

Susan Collins Is Back on Her Bullshit

Patron



And since then Patron has found more than 250 bombs ...

Video shows Ukraine's famous bomb-sniffing dog receiving a medal from Zelenskyy in Trudeau's presence

Sunday, May 08, 2022

Mother's Day

Saturday, May 07, 2022

Allman Brothers



The Allman Brothers playing Hofstra University in Hempstead, NY, 1972.

I had the album with this song back in the day, but I had always imagined that it was Gregg Allman singing and not Dickey Betts.

Religion & abortion

Contrary to what many believe, not all religious groups oppose abortion. A couple of examples ...

Episcopal Church statement on reports concerning Supreme Court case pertaining to abortion

[...] In light of the recent report about a pending decision in the Supreme Court case Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health, The Episcopal Church reaffirms our commitment to “equitable access to women’s health care, including women’s reproductive health care,” which we view as “an integral part of a woman’s struggle to assert her dignity and worth as a human being.” The Office of Government Relations will continue to advocate at the federal level to protect reproductive rights ...

Supreme Court’s Roe ruling would trample the religious freedom of every Jewish American

[...] For Jews, it is no exaggeration to say that access to abortion services isn’t just tolerated, it is a religious requirement, and has been for thousands of years.

Surprised? Let’s dig into some of the texts ....


The Religious Right thinks it owns religious belief in America. Not true.

What to post

It's hard to know what to post about now. Abortion is in the news and as a feminist and someone who once volunteered at Planned Parenthood, I'm interested in that subject. But it's awkward to write about it because almost everyone I know online is pro-life.

I spent years at religious sites like America magazine, National Catholic Reporter, and dotCommonweal discussing topics. Abortion often came up and there were often people on both sides of the issue.

Some extreme conservatives here and there, though, and the things they posted about contraception and abortion were often false .... that most Americans were in favor of a complete ban of abortion ... that abortion emotionally crushed the women who got one ... that most women got late term abortions ... that Planned Parenthood was an abortion factory that sold baby parts ... etc, etc, etc. Those people just hated me and weren't shy at letting me know.

I can't change those people, but what the Supreme Court is planning is wrong. Have to post about that even if it's awkward.

Thursday, May 05, 2022

Do you believe?



The Republican party. An organization that has made its life work the destruction of every government social program that would help children, from food to health care.

Do you believe they really care about the welfare of fetuses?

The pro-life movement. An organization that has consistently lied to the public. That has intimidated pregnant women, has bombed clinics. An organization that has kidnapped people. That has shot and murdered people.

Do you believe they really care about the welfare of fetuses?

The Catholic church. An organization that has, for untold decades, raped and physically abused children in its care worldwide. And then covered that up.

Do you believe they really care about the welfare of fetuses?

No.

This isn't about fetuses. This is about women. The outrage that conservatives feel at the idea that contraception-using women might be having "consequence-free" sex. The outrage conservatives feel at the idea that women can now decide for themselves if they want to be parents or not.

Because if women aren't tied down physically and financially with multiple unforseen pregnancies and an unending pile of children, the most ourageous thing of all might happen ....

Women might actually have the same freedoms and opportunities as men in society. Jeez - they might even come to be seen as ontologically equal to men!

And they can't have that.

Wednesday, May 04, 2022

Interracial marriage

Thinking about the Supreme Court coming after interracial marriage next ... (Republican Sen. Mike Braun says Supreme Court should leave decisions on interracial marriage, abortion to the states).

So, marriages like mine (my husband was Japanese) would be illegal. I would ask what the F is wrong with Republicans, but I already know the answer.

Tuesday, May 03, 2022

American theocracy



Poor Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski .... they say they were lied to by Trump's Justices about their stances on Roe v Wade! Holy sh*t, a brain dead person would have known they were lying. If Collins and Murkowski want to really insure women's right to choose, they should prove it by voting for the House bill that would codify abortion access.

Meanwhile we have to buckle up, because this isn't the end, it's the beginning.

The conservatives on the Court will now go adter the right to contraception (Griswold v. Connecticut) .... pro-lifers have for years been lying about contraception being abortion.

And they will go after marriage equality (Obergefell v. Hodges).

Don't be surprised - if you were a Catholic and a fan of Pope Francis, you would know that is the goal .... an end to contraception, and an end to marraige equality. Back to the good old days when women were barefoot and pregnant, and gay people hid in the shadows.

And don't forget - if the Republicans pick up seats in Congress, they will work to make a federal law against abortion in every state of the country.

Welcome to conservative America's theocracy.



Monday, May 02, 2022

Roe overturned?



As the US supreme court moves to end abortion, is America still a free country?

It’s the worst possible outcome: according to a draft majority opinion published by Politico, the US supreme court has voted to overturn Roe v Wade, along with its sister decision Planned Parenthood v Casey. This momentous ruling will result in abortion becoming immediately illegal in an estimated 26 states when it is officially issued, likely sometime next month ....

The sudden illegality of abortion in most states come June will also create new legal landmines that will rapidly erode other individual rights. As women cross state borders for care, red states will try to limit interstate travel. As activists send abortion pills through the mail, aggressive searches and seizures of packages and personal belongings will become more frequent.

As women find ways to end their pregnancies, many of them will be arrested on criminal charges and some of them will be convicted. As doctors face patients with life-threatening pregnancy complications, many of them will not know what they are legally permitted to do, and in fear, they will let their patients die. Some of those who make the other choice, and help their patients live, will be arrested ...


The pro-life movement, the Republican party, the Catholic church .... they all have a contempt for women that has been wholly visible in their actions, despite their lies. I know that I am not alone in the rage and despair I'm feeling right now. I hope there will be a backlash that will cripple the Right.

Sunday, May 01, 2022

Big oil



I'm watching a really interesting documentary by PBS/Frontline - The Power of Big Oil Part One: Denial. It's about climate change, how much and when the petroleum industry knew about it, and what they did to discredit the fact that they were the prime cause of it.

I was reminded of two things as I watched: how much this is like what happened with the tobacco industry and lung cancer, and how much Steve Bannon's "flood the zone with sh*t" advice really does seem to work for confusing the public on issues.