Excellent post by Desert Beacon.
Originally posted on Desert Beacon:
There’s probably a reason for the GOP “Women’s Problem.” When Google gives a seeker at least ten+ pages containing lists of quotations* from prominent Republican and conservative sources, which grate like a rasp on bare skin, then perhaps some people have been providing a fairly accurate assessment of the mentality of party leadership on women’s issues.
Collections of commentary about women’s anatomy, and the functioning thereof, range from A to B, from Republican sources including the infamous “body shutting down,” to the more recent suggestion by former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee that “If Democrats want to insult the women of America by making them believe they are helpless without Uncle Sugar coming in and providing them for them a prescription each month for birth control because they cannot control their libido or their reproductive system without the help of government, then so be it.”
It’s difficult to corral this herd of cats because so many of them are convinced of the rectitude of their pronouncements because they are supposedly referenced to Scripture. This exercise does require some illogical legerdemain, including but not limited to equating the acquisition of the knowledge of good and evil in Eden to sexual intimacy, and ignoring the story of Deborah altogether — or turning her into some form of early Israeli aggressive housewife. However, before dismissing the politics of “The Little Woman” out of hand, perhaps it’s time to muse about the underlying political message. Thou Shalt Not Be Made Uncomfortable.
This. This. This.
Originally posted on Mike the Mad Biologist:
Katie Couric recently had a scurrilous episode of her show Katie where a mother whose daughter tragically died, blamed the HPV vaccine for her death. As Seth Mnoonkin notes, there is no evidence to support this claim:
* More than 100 million doses of the vaccine have been given since it was approved in 2006.
* A study published in the British Medical Journal in October evaluated 997,000 girls, 296,000 of whom had received at least one dose of the HPV vaccine. More than 150,000 of those girls received all three doses. The results? Absolutely no link to short- or long-term health problems. As Lisen Arnheim-Dahlström, the lead researcher on the study, told Reuters Health, “There were not really any concerns before our study and no new ones after.”
While I love my mother very much, and she me, she would be the first to admit that her ability to carry me to term does not by itself qualify her to be either a medical epidemiologist or a virologist. Just want to note that, because it leads into something Hunter at the Great Orange Satan wrote (boldface mine):
In a shoe box of my grandmother’s photographs, I found a photo my father had taken of himself. With his camera on tripod, and a shutter release in his hand, my dad took a photograph of himself in the bathroom mirror. His tie is askew, and his mouth open slightly, his gaze says, “Okay, let’s try it.” There is no mugging for the camera. No posing. For Dad, this was pure experimentation. And as an amateur photographer myself, I completely understand that compulsion. And that was Dad: Infinitely curious, always wanting to learn something new and expand his world.
My father was a whistler, and sitting on his lap while he watched the Friday night fights, he taught me to whistle too. My daughter, Alison, inherited the “whistle while you work” gene from Dad.
My dad taught me to ride a bike. And he also taught me to be brave. If something in life knocks you down, get back up. Try again. Keep going. And yet, he never exactly said that to us. He just lived it. And he expected us to do the same.
But when I think of my dad, I keep coming back to this word: Special.
As some of you know, and many of you don’t, I did not have the privilege of spending a lot of my childhood years in my father’s presence. So the moments I did have feel like precious jewels to me.
Special. My father always managed to make me feel special.
When he carried me around the hospital after I got my tonsils out, and he showed me the place where I was born, I felt special. And even though I demonstrated my life-long sensitivity to anesthesia by tossing my breakfast all over him, he did not get upset.
Special. Even when I’d done something to disappoint him.
When I was about five or so, Kurt and I got in trouble for doing something we’d specifically been told NOT to do. A neighbor’s yard had a fence that butted right up against a concrete drainage ditch. A tumble off the wrong side of that fence meant the difference between a broken arm and something far more serious. We had been told, in no uncertain terms, to stay off that fence. Needless to say, Kurt and I didn’t listen, and Dad caught Kurt and me red-handed. He blew his stack and marched us home. First up for the spanking was Kurt, and then came my turn. My first, and only, spanking from my father.
Afterward, he sat me on his lap, we talked . . . probably about the seriousness of the crime. I’m really not sure. But what I do remember is that, rather than releasing me to sniffle in my shame, my Dad taught me how to tell time. No really! He got a clock, and moved the hands around, and taught me. I don’t know how long it took. But I walked out of that room with the feeling that though I’d really messed up, all was forgiven, and in my little girl heart, I knew Dad thought I was smart.
When we’d take a picture together, and he’d wrap his arm around me, I felt special. When he called me “sister” when he spoke of me to my four brothers, I felt special. When he walked me down the aisle, and danced with me to Frank Sinatra’s “The Second Time Around,” I felt so very special. For us, second chances meant so much.
I loved the way his face would light up when I would see him again after a long absence, and the way he would look at me and blow me a kiss when we said good-bye. Oh man, did that make me feel special.
As a little girl, I wanted to believe, because I was his only daughter, that I held a special place in my father’s heart. I realize now that Dad’s heart was so big, that there was always room for all of us. And always room for one more, and another, and another.
As I tried to teach my daughter: Love is not a pie. When you give your love to one, it does not diminish your capacity to love another. Love is an ever-expanding force that grows as we give it away.
My father lived that every day of his life.
Originally posted on Mike the Mad Biologist:
Very few scientists or science writers are so wealthy that they can ignore what happens to Social Security, so you might want to read this. Once again, despite its immense unpopularity, our political betters including some Democrats and the Obama administration, are talking about long-term cuts in Social Security. Essentially, by switching to a new cost-of-living formula, the chained CPI, in real dollar terms, Social Security payments twenty years from now would be about twenty percent lower. Keep in mind that the average monthly benefit is $1,203.72, so have fun knocking twenty percent off of that. The maximum monthly benefit is $2,513. By the way, to receive the maximum benefit you have to retire at seventy, not sixty five.
So if we’re going to cut what are pretty meager benefits, we better have a damn good reason. If you follow this at all, you’ve probably read that in twenty-some years, the Social Security Trust fund will be empty (right now, it has over $2.5 trillion in treasury securities–yes, the U.S. government owes money to itself. Different post though). What that will mean is that Social Security would become a ‘pay-as-you-go’ system: Social Security payments would only be financed by payroll taxes and have to be cut around twenty percent.
Dean Heller has GOT to go.
Originally posted on Desert Beacon:
Senator Dean Heller (R-NV) was one of 18 members of the United States Senate to vote against a bill to end the government shutdown, and to avoid the “fiscal cliff” of default. [roll call 219] This comes as no surprise. Absolutely no surprise.
For all of Senator Heller’s posturing as Mr. Moderate, his voting record has been indicative of a banner representative of Tea Party America.
#1. NO on the bill to avoid default and end the government shutdown. (H.R. 2775) Roll Call 219. Why would anyone be surprised? Senator Heller also voted against the bill to end the 2011 stalemate. [RGJ 8/11] In the 2011 vote Senator Heller was one of 26 members voting to dive over the edge; in 2013 he was one of 18.
Dear Representative Amodei,
I feel like I shouldn’t even bother writing this letter, because while you are technically my “representative” I don’t feel that you represent me, or most of the people in your district. You do represent the most extreme of your party, but the average Nevadan, who values their privacy and independence, you do not. You call for smaller government, except where it concerns women’s most private and intimate and heartbreaking decisions. So I fear this appeal will fall on deaf ears.
But I’m going to try anyway. I am writing to ask that you vote NO on the Trent Franks bills banning abortion nationwide after 20-weeks.
These are not decisions that politicians should be making. These are decisions that should be done privately, not with the state sitting in the room.
That’s it. I’m not going to go into anything else. Please be the small-government conservative you claim to be. Keep your eyes and laws out of our doctor’s offices and out of our wombs.
No need to reply. I’ll see your vote. That will be all the answer I need.