Archive for March, 2012

9 Stupid Lies Republicans Tell About Women’s Bodies and Health Care

March 28, 2012

Just as Thomas Jefferson said, “He who knows nothing is closer to the truth than he whose mind is filled with falsehoods and errors.”  Well it seems that the Republican Party is propagating lies and at best “half truths” to win the minds of the lesser informed for yet again this year’s National Election.  There is the saying, “If you can’t dazzle them with brilliance, baffle them with Bull Shit.”  I will simply say this truth, “If your political platform cannot withstand the “Light of Day” truth scrutiny, then it is a platform that should not be supported.”

For some this works not so much that they REALLY believe any of the inaccurate and misleading statements, but more to the fact that it just gives them the “Blind Faith” enabling reasons to bolster what they want reality to be in their sheltered world.

Below I have passed on the Conservative Republican’s Talking points for this upcoming National Election.

1. Birth Control Causes Prostate Cancer:

Last month a New Hampshire lawmaker came up with a new reason the government should not require health insurance companies to provide contraception.

“As a man, would it interest you to know that Dr. Brownstein just published an article that links the pill to prostate cancer?” state Rep. Jeanine Notter (R) asked a male representative at the hearing.

“In the children that are born from these women?” he asked. Notter could not clearly explain the study or how the pill results in prostate cancer.

The study described suggests men may ingest estrogen through environmental contamination, not in utero from mothers taking birth control.

In Truth:

The author of the study said, “This is just a hypothesis generating idea. Women should not be throwing away the pill because of this.”

2. Abortion Causes Breast Cancer:

The New Hampshire House recently passed a bill that would require doctors to tell women seeking abortions that the procedure can cause breast cancer. Here is an excerpt from the bill, sponsored by Notter:

“Materials that inform the pregnant woman that there is a direct link between abortion and breast cancer. It is scientifically undisputed that full-term pregnancy reduces a woman’s lifetime risk of breast cancer. It is also undisputed that the earlier a woman has a first full-term pregnancy, the lower her risk of breast cancer becomes, because following a full-term pregnancy the breast tissue exposed to estrogen through the menstrual cycle is more mature and cancer resistant. In fact, for each year that a woman’s first full-term pregnancy is delayed, her risk of breast cancer rises 3.5%. The theory that there is a direct link between abortion and breast cancer builds upon this undisputed foundation. During the first and second trimesters of pregnancy the breasts develop merely by duplicating immature tissues. Once a woman passes the thirty-second week of pregnancy (third trimester), the immature cells develop into mature cancer resistant cells. When an abortion ends a normal pregnancy, the woman is left with more immature breast tissue than she had before she was pregnant.”

In Truth:

There is no link between abortions and breast cancer, according to the World Health Organization, the American Cancer Society and other major health organizations. Similar provisions requiring doctors to make the abortion-breast cancer connection remain on the books in other state laws. Alaska, Kansas, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Texas all inaccurately assert a risk in written counseling materials, according to the Guttmacher Institute, a New York-based reproductive health research organization.

3. Birth Control Is A Sex Pill:

Rush Limbaugh showed he has no understanding of how birth control pills work when he attacked Sandra Fluke, a Georgetown law student barred from testifying as a Democratic witness at a congressional hearing about the Obama administration’s contraception policy.  Limbaugh called Fluke a “SLUT” for needing lots of birth control to manage her sex life.

“She wants to be paid to have sex,” Limbaugh said. “She’s having so much sex she can’t afford the contraception. She wants you and me and the taxpayers to pay her to have sex.”

Rick Santorum has also said that contraception encourages a bad kind of sex. Last year, in an interview with the Evangelical blog Caffeinated Thoughts, Santorum warned of the “dangers of contraception:”

“It’s not OK because it’s a license to do things in the sexual realm that is counter to how things are supposed to be. They’re supposed to be within marriage, they are supposed to be for purposes that are, yes, conjugal, but also [inaudible], but also procreative. That’s the perfect way that a sexual union should happen. We take any part of that out, we diminish the act.”

In Truth:

Most women who have had sex have used contraception. Birth control pills — which are taken daily, regardless of how frequently a woman has sex — may also be taken to manage endometriosis, ovarian cysts, acne or other health problems. A new bill in Arizona proposes punishing women who use the pill for non-medical reasons.

4. Abortion Industry Is “Selling Abortions:”

A Republican state legislator in Arizona last week wrote in an email to a constituent that she wanted to force women seeking abortions to watch the procedure first.

“Personally I’d like to make a law that mandates a woman watch an abortion being performed prior to having a ‘surgical procedure,'” state Rep. Terri Proud (R) wrote. The constituent responded by email that she was “speechless” and after a baffling exchange with Proud, released the emails to the media. Facing national outrage, Proud issued a statement:

“For too long, Planned Parenthood and the abortion industry have placed selling abortions above the health and safety of women.  My message to a constituent last week emphasized my concerns with how abortion providers have not been honest with women about the realities of abortion, and the short and long-term risks of this dangerous surgical procedure.”

In Truth:

The notion that Planned Parenthood baits women into unwanted pregnancies by providing ineffective contraception then profits off the abortions is nothing new, but it’s as outrageous as it sounds. Abortions constitute 3% of Planned Parenthood’s services, and the organization estimates it prevents more than 220,000 abortions each year by providing contraception. Because Planned Parenthood is not allowed to use federal funds for abortions, defunding the program may limit contraception services and result in more abortions.

5. Women Can’t Get Pregnant From Rape.

Just before Idaho’s Senate passed a mandatory ultrasound bill last week, bill sponsor made some startling comments about abortion and rape.

“Rape and incest was used as a reason to oppose this,” said state Sen. Chuck Winder (R). “I would hope that when a woman goes in to a physician with a rape issue, that physician will indeed ask her about perhaps her marriage, was this pregnancy caused by normal relations in a marriage or was it truly caused by a rape. I assume that’s part of the counseling that goes on.”

It wasn’t the first time a lawmaker has suggested that women seeking abortions may lie about rape. Some anti-abortion activists actually believe that rape cannot result in pregnancy. This is not unique. There have been a series of bizarre statements from some Republicans have made about pregnancy, rape, juices not flowing and more. Here’s one:

The odds that a woman who is raped will get pregnant are “one in millions and millions and millions,” said state Rep. Stephen Freind, R-Delaware County, the Legislature’s leading abortion foe.

The reason, Freind said, is that the traumatic experience of rape causes a woman to “secrete a certain secretion” that tends to kill sperm.

In Truth:

Two Philadelphia doctors specializing in human reproduction characterized Freind’s contention as scientifically baseless.

About 5% of rapes result in pregnancy, and providing all rape victims with emergency contraception could prevent more than 22,000 unwanted pregnancies a year.

6. Prenatal Testing Leads To Abortion.

Rick Santorum made prenatal testing a campaign issue last month when he declared the tests are designed to “cull the ranks of the disabled in our society” by encouraging abortions.

“Amniocentesis does, in fact, result more often than not in this country in abortions…That is a fact.”

In Truth:

In fact, more than 90 percent of amniocenteses tests result in normal diagnoses, and half of fetuses diagnosed with severe abnormalities — about 5 percent of those tested — are aborted, according to PolitiFact. A campaign spokeswoman for Obama condemned Santorum’s comments as “misinformed and dangerous” and pointed out that the tests help women have safer deliveries and healthier babies.

7. HPV Vaccine Causes Retardation.

Back when Rick Perry was campaigning for president, his rivals attacked him for signing an executive order mandating the human papillomavirus vaccine for young girls, and misinformation quickly spread. Michele Bachmann insinuated that the vaccine causes mental retardation, while Santorum spoke out against “having little girls inoculated at the force and compulsion of the government.”

In Truth:

The vaccine is safe and effective in preventing cervical cancer caused by certain strains of HPV, and Perry’s 2007 executive order, which was overturned by the state legislature, would have allowed parents to opt out of having their daughters vaccinated. Dr. Renata Arrington-Sanders, a professor at Johns Hopkins University medical school, has stated:

“The HPV vaccine has been shown to be safe and well-tolerated based on multiple medical reports that have been submitted through government databases. It’s unfortunate that this particular vaccine is surrounded by a lot of controversy just because it’s been labeled as an STD-prevention vaccine. We have similar vaccines, such as one for hepatitis B, that are also used in a mandated approach and have shown very successful rates with prevention.”

8. Plan B Causes Abortions.

The debate over the Obama administration’s contraception policy has yielded some puzzling claims about birth control and Plan B, the so-called morning-after pill. House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) addressed the House in February, urging his colleagues to reverse Obama’s mandate for health insurance coverage of “abortion-inducing drugs:”

In recent days, Americans of every faith and political persuasion have mobilized in objection to a rule put forward by the Obama administration that constitutes an unambiguous attack on religious freedom in our country. This rule would require faith-based employers –- including Catholic charities, schools, universities, and hospitals -– to provide services they believe are immoral. Those services include sterilization, abortion-inducing drugs and devices, and contraception.

Michele Bachmann called Plan B an abortion pill when she incorrectly criticized Obama for making the drug available over-the-counter — an FDA recommendation the administration that Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius rejected last year. “The president can put abortion pills for girls 8 years of age, 11 years of age, on the bubblegum aisle,” Bachmann said at a “pro-life” town hall in December.

In Truth:

Contraceptives, emergency or not, prevent pregnancy. They don’t cause abortions. Plan B works in the same way and with the same ingredients as birth control pills, just at a higher dosage, and does nothing to stop the development of a fetus.

9. Your Fetus Is Just Fine.

The Arizona Senate passed a bill this month to protect doctors from “wrongful birth” lawsuits — effectively allowing them to withhold information that may lead a patient to get an abortion.

In Truth:

Sen. Nancy Barto (R-Phoenix) told the Claims Journal that she sponsored the law because she did not want claimants to blame a doctor for a baby born with disabilities. Under the provisions of her bill, a doctor could not be sued for medical malpractice if the doctor withholds information from a mother about a child’s potential health issues that could influence her decision to have an abortion. In addition, a lawsuit could not be filed on the child’s behalf regarding a disability.

Kansaslawmakers have considered similar legislation.

So in summation, the Conservative Republican’s Political Platform is, “LIES, MORE LIES, OUTRAGIOUS LIES, and DAMN STUPID LIES,” because we represent the word of GOD.

Supreme Court Won’t Get Involved In Florida Tobacco Cases

March 26, 2012

Today I had some faith returned that even with the multi-millions of dollars that are spent by corporations to influence our government and courts, has failed on this issue and the health interest of the working middle class was represented.

The Supreme Court is refusing to overturn a $28.3 million verdict against R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. in the first of about 8,000 lawsuits that have been filed against cigarette companies in Florida.

The high court on Monday refused to hear appeals of a Pensacola, Fla., jury’s award to the family of Benny Martin, who died of lung cancer in 1995.

R. J. Reynolds lawyers argued that the case should be overturned because Florida judges aren’t making plaintiffs prove cigarette makers knowingly sold dangerous and defective products.

(I thought this fact was settled by Jeffrey Wigand, a biochemist, who was subpoenaed by the Grand Jury to divulge the dirty little secret that insider information knew for years: cigarettes kill people.  Every year, 425,000 Americans die of smoking-related illnesses.  Wigand had evidence that the tobacco industry knew that tobacco was addictive, in spite of the fact that the tobacco industries representatives stated otherwise (“LIED”) in front of Congress, and that they added carcinogenic substances to enhance the impact, considering cigarettes a “nicotine delivery device.”)

The current burden “Evidence of Proof” is that people suing cigarette companies only have to prove addiction, and that their illnesses, or deaths of family members, were caused by cigarettes.

The cigarette company says that standard violates due process but the Supreme Court, without comment, refused to hear their argument.

Now let me take this time to pass onto those Conservative Republicans rheortic fighting for Less Regulations / Business Friendly but wanting to destroy Medicare and Medicaid and the National Health Care at the same time;  allow me to pass on some facts.  Not only does tobacco harm the health of the tobacco users, but the use of tobacco also costs EVERY SINGLE TAX PAYER in America.  The following information is provided to help you realize just what the true costs of tobacco really are.

National Healthcare Cost:

Nationally it costs $72.7 billion a year to treat smokers who suffer from smoking related diseases.

Smoking-related Medicaid costs amount to $12.9 billion per year.

Smokers are 29 percent more likely to have annual medical insurance claims over $5,000 than nonsmokers.

Smoking during pregnancy costs the country more than $3 billion a year.

Work Cost:

Premature retirements and deaths caused by smoking have cost the country at least $60 billion in lost wages per year.

Smokers with group life insurance push up premiums for nonsmokers in the same pool by $4 Billion a year.

Every smoker costs his or her company at least $1,000 a year because of decreased productivity and increased health care costs.

Smokers are more likely to be hurt at work than nonsmokers.

Fire Cost:

Cigarettes are the leading cause of fire fatalities in the United States.

Twenty-eight percent of all residential fire deaths were caused by smoking materials.

Smoking is the second-leading cause of injuries related to household fires, ranking second only to injuries caused by cooking-equipment fires.  In 1992, the loss in property from smoking-related fires totaled $318 million.

Family Cost:

A new study shows that parental smoking each year kills at least 6,200 children.

Smoking causes 5.4 million children serious ailments such as ear infection and asthma.

 

In at least the fifteen states where the issue has been raised, courts have held that it is appropriate to consider whether a parent smokes around a child in determining whether they should be awarded custody.  States which have rules that parental smoking around a child may be considered in custody proceedings include: California, Florida, Illinois, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Texas.

People who smoke are more likely to be involved in car crashes for which they are responsible.

Military Cost:

The military spends $930 million per year on healthcare for smoking-related illnesses and lost productivity.

Conclusion:

The tobacco industry sells about six trillion cigarettes each year.  The tobacco industry generates profits over $600 billion per year.

Now that you know this fact, let me pass on that since 2000 to 2010 (Most enacted during those “Conservative Republican W. Bush / Cheney” controlled Congress, Senate and Presidency years) the U. S. tax payers subsidized the tobacco industry to the sum over $1.1 Billion Dollars.  If the Conservative Republicans really want to cut spending….CUT THIS OUT NOW!!  IT’S A NO BRAINER IF YOU REALLY ARE SERIOUS ABOUT THIS.  The tax paying citizens would save this cost outright but more so in the medical cost in the future.

The American Republican’s War on Women

March 11, 2012

Even though I have a family legacy of being members of the Republican Party for over 150 years, I have no recognition of what I have known in the past as the Party before this current group that has taken over today.  Being a father of two daughters I cannot support nor cast a vote that is against the better interests of my own daughters; nor support laws that will be nothing but repressive, and harmful to them in the long term.

One can hardly blame Democrats for taking advantage of this “Perfect Storm” of stupefying proportions. The only thing Republicans failed to do was put a ribbon and bow on this mess.

Consider the headline grabbing events that came together almost at once:

1. Virginia’s pre-abortion sonogram law that could have required women to undergo a transvaginal probe;

2. The debate over religious liberty vs. contraception mandate, prompted by health-care reform;

3. and of course Rush Limbaugh’s commentary about a female law student in which he called her a slut and a prostitute and, in a final flourish, suggested she provide him sex tapes so he could watch her in the activities precipitating the need for birth control.

Individually, these anecdotes would have been problematic, but combined their effect on female voters this year is stupidity beyond any planned comprehension.

War has been declared on women, and there’s no way to change the impression now among a growing percentage of women that the Republican Party is made up of knuckle dragging, religiously repressive, Neanderthals.  Any responsible father with daughters should not be casting ANY Republican votes this election; and if he does, he does not deserve the blessings of having daughters in the first place.  The sins will be his own.

Reflections Of Trying To Understand Illogic

March 3, 2012

I was fortunate to be introduced to a quote by John Stuart Mill (1866) which goes, “Conservatives are not necessarily stupid, but most stupid people are conservatives.”  It would appear to me that this seams to be true today.

Much like Huxley’s fictional genetically engineered society, nature gives us the same five genetic castes.  I reference in descending order the first five letters of the Greek alphabet: Alphas, Betas, Gammas, Deltas, and Epsilons. While upper castes are bred for logical, and critically thinking intellectual means, the lower castes are bred with less intelligence and can be easily lead or better stated mislead.

I was giving some thought that our lives, our destiny, outlooks, etc, must be preprogrammed in the human genome upon conception.  Just as we are all branded from birth on the edge of our tongue, so must our progressive outlooks or lack there of, must be dictated from birth and stratification upbringing.  I reference the debate of which has more influences on a person, “Nature or Nurture.”  I take the perspective that you have to start off with the proper raw material resources to educate, reason, and allow the clarity of mind to come to the correct conclusion.  If a person does not have the mental capability to comprehend reason and logic, you may as well have a blob of protoplasm.

Then I questioned if the DNA could then be intelligently rewritten correcting the short comings.  In the era of post genomic medicine, our DNA is likely to be spliced and edited so we can all enjoy life’s bliss’s, rendering awesome peak experiences, and the spectrum of attitudes and perspectives that one approaches everyday life.

I also cannot help but reflect upon those of a more simple mind; those who enjoy an enviably sheltered life and an enviably cozy lack of imagination nor task of critical thinking.  It must all be a so simplistically sugar coated, pseudo realism.

I am speaking of those who can be programmed so easily in the Pavlovian style behavioral conditioning and eugenics.  Those who can be told and accept the suggestions that the price of universal happiness will be the sacrifice of the most hallowed shibboleths of our culture: “love of God”, “motherhood”, “home”, “apple pie”, “family”, “freedom.”  Those doing the programming do not need to explain these meanings when using the catch phrase words as reference….they just merely need to mention the words.  The simple mind will insert their personal meanings without questioning the statement nor think any deeper than that surface.

I can also understand people wanting to regress to the times when they were the happiest.  Many times this means the time of their carefree childhoods where the good guys always won, a life without want because it was supplied by their parents, and after a full day of summer’s play, their biggest complaint that their bedtime was too early with the whining statement of, “But the sun is still out.”

Unfortunately there are no euphoric drugs for the logical and critical thinking mind.