Tuesday, February 16, 2016

A Reminder of What is At Stake

I am posting something that I wrote over six years ago. I have updated it a bit, and I am posting it to make a point.  I keep hearing from Sanders and Clinton supporters that if their candidate isn’t nominated they won’t vote.  Many who support Sanders say they will vote Green.  The one thing that is absolutely true in all of the spin, slime, sludge, shit and stupidity of this dog fight currently consuming the Democratic Party is simply this – NEITHER side can win without the other side’s supporters.

Let me be clear, I don’t like Clinton.  I don’t like anything about her.  Bernie Sanders is my candidate, and I will support him until the last delegate count, of the last caucus.  However, if he isn’t nominated I will vote for Hillary Clinton.  I get that the Democratic Party is currently its own worst enemy.  The time maybe approaching for a third party, an Independent Party that cares less for its own power and more for the will of its members.  That is yet to come.  This is now, and we cannot risk extending the influence of the extremism, zealotry, bigotry, and religious tyranny of the Republican Party.

…And Freedom for All
by Barbara Carvallo

“From December 9, 1946 to August 20, 1947, in the American sector of Germany at a place called Nuremberg, a legal proceeding known to history as the Doctor’s Trial convened. United States of America v. Karl Brandt, et al, as it was officially captioned was a war crimes trial during which many Nazi doctors and SS officers were accused of conducting or facilitating some of the most egregious and horrifying medical experimentation in history.

At the end of the presentation of evidence and during sentencing the American Judges Beals, Sebring, Crawford and Swearingen laid out their opinions in such a cogent and compassionate way as to create a foundation for modern medical bioethics. At the core of their judgment, as it does at the heart of modern medical practice, sits the tenet of informed patient consent. A patient must be told what is wrong, what can be done, who will do it and what if any good they can expect to experience. They also have the right to refuse any treatment or testing. This is not negotiable. It hasn’t been for a very long time.

Let it be known that the State of Oklahoma decided in 2010 to set aside all of this when it comes to women and their pregnancies. In HB2656 the State House of Representatives decreed that it is perfectly acceptable for a physician to lie to a patient carrying a child suffering from birth defects so that she can’t make the choice to terminate. They also overrode a veto by their Governor, Brad Henry, of another grotesque law, HB2780, insisting that a woman view an ultrasound of her fetus prior to having an abortion. The Senate concurred.

I haven’t the words to express my anger at this unethical, vicious and totally amoral misuse of power. Suffice it to say that many who have spent years honoring the craft of medicine are not likely to take ethical instruction from sleazy politicians, two-for-a-penny John the Baptists drumming up votes. Yet, some practitioners will certainly take the law as license to shove their religion down their patient’s throat; others who are too gutless to stand up to these vile politicians will keep their mouths shut and go along to get along.  Goddess help our sisters in Oklahoma. 

She certainly interceded on behalf of our sisters in Virginia where in 2012, Governor Bob McDonald signed a bill mandating that a woman be forced, forced I say, to undergo transvaginal ultrasound prior to being given the option of exercising her right to a safe and legal abortion.  The good news about McDonald is that owing to the intransigent foolishness of his fellow Rightwingers at the federal level who are refusing to seat a 9th justice on the Supreme Court, he will undoubtedly, belatedly and deservedly end up in prison against his will.  Karma is a bitch, but let that go.

To force a woman to look at an embryo or fetus she is terminating or to undergo unnecessary and invasive medical procedures is almost as scandalous as some of the evidence in the Doctor’s Trail.  People who think women have abortions without considering, feeling or grieving about what they are doing, are too bloody dim-witted to live. I had an abortion over thirty years ago. I had no choice. There isn’t a day goes by that I don’t remember, feel or grieve for that child. That is my burden to bear, and I will be damned if some governmental appendage will define or deny it now based upon a religion I don’t follow. In point of fact, they may not follow it either when it comes time to aid in the care of a child born with a serious birth defect to an unknowing mother.  They certainly don’t follow it when time comes for feeding, housing, clothing or educating children born to women without the financial or emotional resources to deal with motherhood.  For all their bellyaching about the sanctity of life, their insistence that the male parent shoulder his share of the burden doesn’t seem to come under the heading of Christianity either.

There is a great authority in the Bible for misogyny and cruelty to women. There is also a great tendency in these God fearing, freedom loving, and Constitution worshiping states like Oklahoma and Virginia to conveniently forget that the right to a safe legal abortion is as much the law of the land as the right to bear arms. When you put religious authority together with selective application of the law you end up with a bunch of hooligans, bullies, who would never consider treating men the way they treat women and might not treat their women the way they treat strangers.

My Irish grandmother used to say, "If men had to have babies abortion would have been a foregone conclusion in the time of Christ. If men had to have every other child in a family there would only be one." Women give birth to the human race. Our bodies belong to us. Our sons and their female sycophants need to step aside.”

Sunday, February 14, 2016

The Garden

I am just finishing a prolonged study of entomology. Not only is it a dense study, spoken largely in Latin - thank the Goddess I am studying Italian, but it is creepy in the extreme. Never being a fan of insects, particularly spiders, I have found my skin crawling a good deal of the time. Still in all, it has been a great respite from the stink of American politics where the insects walk upright, chew holes in their opponents, fill those holes with slime and call it patriotism.  All the while the corporate media nurtures their larvae.

Insects in the garden serve a purpose.  Many are predators who feed on other insects that are harmful to plants and make it possible for gardeners to manage pests without the use of chemicals.  Insects in politics serve only themselves; myopically they feed on anything that can promote their short-term interests. That makes them opportunistic parasites. 

In the garden plants can succumb to neglect in a very short period of time.  That is to say that a season of ignoring deleterious insects can permanently devastate a garden.  The same is true for the body politic.  It has taken a very long time for the flower of Democracy to be totally devastated by the insects in our political system.  Citizens United was the final blow.  It amounted to spraying insecticides to destroy beneficial insects and pollinators, then introducing the plant predators and walking away. 

The American people, absentee gardeners on a good day, have suddenly realized what has happened to their best of all Liberty gardens.  They are angry.  They are on the move.  The revolution is coming; maybe not this election season, maybe not the next, but it is coming.  It will be a tilling of America’s spiritual soil, a replanting of the seeds and a sensible plan for pest management.  The proper care of a new garden will require an end to the root rot of establishment politics; control of the leaf mold of party/machine politics; prevention of the blight of influence peddling, dirty tricks, and what one good Christian called blood sport politics.  It has to happen if the garden is to survive.

The first thing a good gardener learns is that nature distills the purest form of Karma. One must be very careful about what is done today because it will return a hundred fold in a not too distant tomorrow.  Therefore, my advice to some in the political arena, whose existence means nothing to me save the effect they are having on the garden, is simply to be careful what you do now that you may not want to live with later.  Accordingly, pouring the herbicide of vitriol and the concrete of rigid, elitist ideologies on one half of the garden means that you in all likelihood will never make it whole again.

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Death in the Supreme Court

With the death of Justice Antonin Scalia there is an opportunity to move the Supreme Court if not to the Left then certainly away from the hard Right.  Praying Mantis, like McConnell and Grassley, are already making noises about holding up the president’s nomination for this position for nearly a year in order to make sure that they keep the balance of the court within their ideological jurisdiction.  This foolishness must become a major issue in the upcoming election.  The outrage of the electorate stems in no small part from the obstructionism, gridlock and inactivity of the House and Senate throughout Mr. Obama’s presidency.  Responsibility for much of this rests on the shoulders of the Republicans.

There are a number of down ballot races, particularly in the Senate, that are tight.  People who cripple the court and refuse to allow the president the prerogative of his office to fill the vacancy left by Scalia must be seen as ideological and vituperative political hacks.  This and the danger they represent must be driven home to the electorate.  This will require a solid front by Democrats. 

Currently we are in a hard fought battle for the nomination.  Most people know that I am for Bernie Sanders.  However, if Secretary Clinton is the nominee I will vote for her.  The idea of allowing the presidential race to be won by Republicans, and by default, amounts to insanity.  

I will not pretend to be saddened by Scalia’s death.  I had no use for the man, and there are plenty of people to mourn him.  I mourn the damage that he and his Rightwing cabal have done to this country from Citizens United to gutting the Voting Rights Act to attempting to undermine Roe v. Wade.  In stark relieve against this backdrop is a Democratic Party embroiled in an increasingly bitter struggle for the nomination.  People on both sides, both sides I say, are behaving like children throwing mud at one another across a playground.  I have heard people supporting both the Senator and the Secretary say that they will not support the other if their candidate doesn’t win.  This is stupid to the point of bordering on civil suicide. 

The material point here is – if a Republican wins the 2016 election the backward trajectory of this country, symbolized so well by the judicial tenor and tenure of Justice Scalia will shift into over drive.  We will be in a race to self destruction and oblivion, as a nation and as a people.

Democrats must fight for our candidates, fight hard, but fight clean.  When the nomination is over we must come together to support the nominee or face an Armageddon of our making.

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Who the Hell Do You Think You are Talking To, Madam Secretary

Madeleine Albright let's women know that there is "a special place in hell" for women who don't support other women. Really? Well, there is also a special place in hell for party apparatchiks who attempt to shame, blackmail or extort votes for one candidate over another. The idea that a woman has to vote for another woman is the kind of simple-minded bullshit that has a great many voters in this country identifying themselves as independents. These two incestuous political parties, both of which are soaked in dark money and special interest influence, have been leading the American people around by their faith, fear, race, religion, socioeconomic class and now their gender for decades.
The Caterpillar, Chris Matthews, has made much, as have others, in recent days about Sanders not being a Democrat.  Where in the goddamned hell is it written in the Constitution, the Federalist Papers or the laws of this land that one has to be a blood Democrat or a bloody Republican to run for president or any other elected office?  I am one Liberal lady who is here to say that I will vote for Clinton if and when she is nominated.  Until then I am for Bernie without feeling the slightest alienation from my sex or my hard won feminist identity.  I have never voted my genitals and will not start now.