Monday, August 31, 2009

goodbye my love

For David:

i carry your heart with me

i carry your heart with me(i carry it in
my heart)i am never without it(anywhere
i go you go,my dear; and whatever is done
by only me is your doing,my darling)
i fear
no fate(for you are my fate,my sweet)i want
no world(for beautiful you are my world,my true)
and it's you are whatever a moon has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing is you

here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life;which grows
higher than the soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that's keeping the stars apart

i carry your heart(i carry it in my heart)

e.e. cummings

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Equality Maine - new TV ad

Equality Maine

Please donate time and/or money if you can - let's help our neighbors in Maine keep marriage equality.

Friday, August 14, 2009

From Birther to Deather

h/t to Tim C. for the picture taken at the Obama health care town hall meeting in Portsmouth, NH - see more: Blue Hampshire

Who doesn’t love a good conspiracy theory? US history is full of them. I was brought up with one of the most enduring of all. I was in second grade when JFK was assassinated. Was it the mafia, Fidel, the CIA, the KGB, J. Edgar Hoover or the Federal Reserve who ordered the hit? There are also those who believe the moon landing was faked, as was the holocaust, that there are extraterrestrials on an Air Force base in Nevada, that the Clintons had a hit list and murdered numerous people, and that the US government committed the terrorist acts against itself on 9/11. That’s just a sampling – there are so many more.

Apparently there can never be too many conspiracy theories. We now have the birthers – those who believe that Barack Obama was born in Kenya or is an Indonesian citizen, and his Hawaiian birth certificate is a fake. This theory has grown and flourished since the campaign. Some of the crazier members of the GOP in Congress have advanced this nuttiness – and of course it’s being spread by the lunatics of right wing talk radio and hate TV. CNN has seen ratings plummet because Lou Dobbs has been advancing this theory – and that tells us all we really need to know about where this all came from.

It’s all about skin pigmentation, baby. Barack Hussein Obama is different, he is other, he’s a Muslim, he’s a terrorist, he is not like us! Meaning, of course that he’s not Caucasian, and he has a funny name. White people (normal people) do not have funny names. Just ask any guy named Bubba.

The far right is veering off even further into the craze-o-sphere with this stuff. The opposition to Sonia Sotomayor was based on 3 things. She was nominated by a Democrat, she is a Latina, and she is a woman. All the other stuff was just filler to distract from those 3 things. The GOP is becoming the party of resentful white folks – and their water carriers in the media are only too happy to advance any crazypants theory that comes along.

The latest wearers of the crazypants are the deathers. Those are the folks telling you that Obama wants to kill Grandma. Sarah Palin telling you that a “death panel” would have voted to kill baby Trig. This is all related to the hysteria around the public option in Obama’s health insurance reform bill. The right is bleating about how this is all a plot to create gummint controlled health care.

Yessiree Bubba, the gummint would be making your medical decisions for you, according to the deathers. They are wonderfully silent on the current reality – which is that health insurance companies make medical decisions all the time. They tell you what doctors you can see, how long your treatment will last, how long you can stay in the hospital – and above all, whether or not the care you need will be covered by the insurance you’ve been paying ever increasing premiums for. A closer look at health care town hall meeting disruptors and protestors will show that the protestors are white, well-to-do, and many are Medicare age. Most of them don’t seem to grasp the fact that Medicare is a gummint run health care program.

The deathers bleat about how Obama wants not only to pay for abortions, but wants everyone to have one. This, of course, is not true – but since when is fact important? It’s estimated that upwards of 20,000 people die every year because they didn’t have health insurance. No concern for them. Only a lot of phony concern for the not even conceived yet.

The truth is that a public option would allow people choice in insurance. A public option would compete against the insurance companies. Free marketers claim that they want choice and competition – but really, they don’t. According to a report by Health Care for America Now (using data from the American Medical Association), there have been over 400 health insurance company mergers in the last 13 years. Less than a dozen companies now dominate the health insurance market. This is one reason premiums have increased as much as 300 percent in the last decade.

The national discourse on health insurance reform is dominated by the conspiracy theorists. The current system benefits the insurance companies, drug companies, and the politicians who take campaign donations from both of those entities. There is no responsible coverage of the health insurance industry. There is little coverage of the uninsured – or how their numbers are increasing, with unemployment on the rise. There is no responsible coverage of the deather movement. The death panels are a lie. No one is going to pull the plug on grandma. There is a provision that would pay for folks on Medicare to meet with counselors to help them with end of life decisions, like living wills. This is not mandatory. It is an option. It is a chance for people to make their own end of life decisions – because if they do not, someone else will do it for them.

The current discourse also benefits the corporate owned media, who suffer from the same monopoly problem as the health insurance industry. Instead of debunking lies, the mainstream media has devoted most of their time to covering the disruptors and protestors at health care town hall meetings. This is, by the way, the goal of the far right – to grab the media attention, continue to feed the resentment of angry white folks, and perpetuate lies – thereby maintaining the status quo.

Signs seen outside President Obama’s health care town hall in Portsmouth:

“ Hey America you want change? Hitler did to.”
“ B.H. Obama go home to Kenya.”
“Stop the Trojan Horse of Islam”
“Commies Love Obaba socialism ask Putin”

printed as an op-ed in the Conway Daily Sun on August 14, 2009
© s bruce 2009

Wednesday, August 05, 2009


These are the mensa members fighting against health care choices - and bellowing lies. This is what the GOP is evolving into.

Monday, August 03, 2009

Teabaggers Against Free Speech

It seems the angry white men have a plan to disrupt town hall meetings on health care. Naturally these bozos are some of the people who would benefit from a public option, but they are so thoroughly brainwashed by their masters (Weepy Glen, Falafel Bill, Belligerent Sean, and Oxycontin Rush) that reality can't penetrate.

The Leaked Memo

It's funny how these guys love to dress up in patriotic costumes and bleat about how they love the Constitution - except for that pesky First Amendment.

Sunday, August 02, 2009

Eunuchs for the Kingdom of Heaven

The radical anti-choice movement didn’t take a moment to rest on their laurels after engineering the murder of Dr. George Tiller. For a moment, it looked as if they intended to go after Dr. LeRoy Carhart with the same zeal, but these groups have found a new target – health care reform.

One would think that anti-choice groups would be in favor of a plan that would improve the health of women and children – which would (logically) lead to fewer abortions. One would be wrong.

It’s all about the fetus for these fetishists. They don’t even care if it’s healthy, just as long as there is a fetus. Once it hits the chute, any concern ends. These folks do not lobby against poverty or homelessness. The 1.5 million children who are currently homeless are not a concern for the radical anti-choice groups. All they want is a fetus and an incubator. Health, poverty, housing, education – none of these things matter. There is little concern for the future of mother or baby.

Operation Rescue is trying hard to gin up their membership to oppose Obama’s health care reform plan. They claim it’s a “radical abortion plan.” Despite their efforts, the membership isn’t buying. According to an online poll at their website, around 90% of those responding support the plan, whether or not it includes funding for abortion.

All Operation Rescue offers women contemplating abortion is some sappy religious verbiage, a link to finding a pregnancy “help” center, a link to a maternity home in California, and a link to “answers for your pregnancy related questions.” To their credit, “His Nesting Place,” the maternity home does actually help women and children long term, just as long as they don’t mind a heaping helping of evangelical Christianity. The helpful answer link focuses on “how can I avoid getting pregnant” and “how do I tell my parents.” Nothing about “how will an unwanted teen pregnancy affect my future.”

It is also worth pointing out that Operation Rescue’s non-profit status was revoked by the IRS in 2006, due to illegal political activities by a charity. This means we don’t know how much money they pay their staffers, but comparable charitable groups pay in the $100,000 plus range. They accuse doctors of “making money off abortion” when they certainly benefit quite nicely from it themselves – with the added benefit of not having to pay for security guards and bullet proof vests, because no one is trying to kill them. Despite their lack of tax exempt status, the Operation Rescue website does provide a phone number for folks to call if they really do need a tax exemption for their donation.

The group known as National Right to Life also opposes Obama’s health care reform plan. They are opposed to any single payer plan as well. In fact, one graph on their site suggests that if we spend less money on food and clothing (especially shoes) we could all afford health insurance. They’re breathing new life into the term “barefoot and pregnant.”

The United States ranks 37th in the world for infant mortality. The US, spends more on health care than any other country (over 15% of our GDP) and has 6.37 deaths from ever 1,000 births. We are behind Cuba, Taiwan, and South Korea. The evil, socialist, health care Commie states like Canada, France, and the UK) have lower infant mortality rates. In 1960 the US was the twelfth lowest nation in infant mortality. Clearly we’re doing something wrong – and just as clearly, the groups who claim to value “life” actually have very little concern for it. More than 9 million children have no health care coverage, and double that number will have gaps in coverage at some point in the year.

The Annie E. Casey Foundation released a report this week that shows NH ranks 17th in the nation for infant mortality. NH has 6.1 deaths out of every 1000 births. Our evil socialist neighbors to the south have a 4.8 infant mortality rate, which is second only to Washington state. Apparently providing social and health supports for pregnant women actually lead to better outcomes? Who knew?

Instead of working for better outcomes, the radical anti-choice groups just scream about abortion and religion. The Bible actually says nothing about abortion. That’s right. Nothing. In fact, Old Testament God wasn’t at all shy about killing infants and children. He sent bears to kill 42 children who made fun of a bald guy. He killed all the firstborn sons in Egypt. In Leviticus, Old Testament God threatened to release wild animals that would kill infants and cattle, if the people refused to obey. Old Testament God was pretty harsh in his treatment of women, children, and critters. Plenty of murder, rape, and pillage – a fact our loudest religious factions fail to mention.

It’s a simple concept, really. If women’s lives are better, and they have health and social supports, there will be fewer abortions. That also means there will be fewer paydays for groups like Operation Rescue and National Right to Life. This is why they don’t care what happens to the born.

As for those who claim that their religious freedom is being oppressed if they are not allowed to oppress women – perhaps they should take Matthew 19:12 to heart: For there are some eunuchs, which were so born from their mother's womb: and there are some eunuchs, which were made eunuchs of men: and there be eunuchs, which have made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven's sake. He that is able to receive it, let him receive it.

I encourage the men who are so opposed to a woman’s right to choose to set a good, Christian example by making themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven.

This was published as an op-ed in the Conway Daily Sun on July 31, 2009
© s bruce 2009