(October 2005) A writer in The Nation points out that, while we focus our attention on whether or not Supreme Court nominees will overturn Roe v. Wade, Bush is stacking the courts with pro-business judges.
I worry that, as a culture, we have such a short attention span that we have already forgotten the Hurricane Katrina debacle because, hey, Brittany Spears had a baby!
Yet this debacle made clear the folly of giving precedence to private financial gain over actual human lives.
And speaking of giving less than a shit about people who live in poverty (or are sliding into it as the middle class vanishes), Bush Inc. has allowed Florida to limit Medicaid benefits. Their approved plan says that “the state will set aside a specific amount of money for each person enrolled in Medicaid,” based on the citizen’s medical condition and historical use of health care.
And the state is now allowed to limit the “amount, duration and scope” of services.
Did you pick up on that historic use of health care? That’s cause and effect from a White House that makes value judgments on human lives.
You’re a poor black New Orleanian? Well, you probably live a sinful life in that den of iniquity and voted Democrat and ate southern/soul food that ain’t real healthy, so you are expendable now, baby.
And, since you inconvenienced us by not drowining at the get-go, we’ll make sure you know how valuable your life is to us now.
Hmm. Says right here that you have been treated for bronchitis twice now, yet you choose to continue to smoke.
No treatment for you.
And you eat the starchy food that poor people can afford instead of grilling out a nice healthy salmon filets?
We choose to not pay for sins.
GOP cause-and-effect never extends to exacting payment from the corporations that pollute our environment and make us all sick with their pollutants, however.
So my question is this: Now that Florida can legally set a ceiling on insurance spending per person per year and per lifetime, what will JEB and W do with the next Terry Schiavo when she meets her insurance cap?
Inquiring minds want to know.
(Actually, Bush Inc. is making it harder to declare bankruptcy too, so I suppose Schiavo’s spouse will be stuck with the bills and a vegetable he can’t put out of her misery.)
One of my former roommates—a public-health advocate—decided to go to medical school because she saw the writing on the wall about Roe v. Wade and wanted to be in a position to set up illegal abortion clinics à la the Redstockings when the time comes.
And sometimes I believe I’m going to wind up pursuing Constitutional law in an effort to battle these Christianists who want to rewrite our rights.
(Note to self: send more $ to Americans United for the Separation of Church and State.)
Meanwhile, Steve Satterwhite of The Texas Observer interviewed some of fundies who want a constitutional amendment banning gay marriages and civil unions (i.e., who are working to codify discrimination against a portion of the citizenry) and what they said is just astounding. These people really do want to destroy our Constitution! And what they pass off as fact with such confidence just baffles the mind.
Satterwhite points out the echo-chamber phenomenon that I have discovered with my fundie students—a tendency to use the same phrases and inaccurate statistics to argue the same points (which some liberals do too, of course). Many (in the classroom and in this article) quote “widely discredited reports by Paul Cameron,” the man who started the urban legend about queers inserting hamsters into their rectums.
This doctor was dropped from membership in the American Psychological Association in 1983 because he did not meet professional codes of ethics and conduct, yet his lies continue to make the circuit as facts.
Example. Mary Ann Markarain from Sugar Land said
Sin is sin. We're not animals. [oh?] We're people, and I do not believe that you're born homosexual. They only have two signs over at the hospital: blue ones for the boys and pink ones for the girls. God knows when we're born what we're supposed to be.
The proof is in the pudding. Ninety-two percent of all gay males engage in rimming, the process of licking the rim of the anus and ingesting various amounts of fecal matter. Forty-seven percent of all males engage in fisting, the act of placing their fist in their partner's rectum for sexual pleasure. Twenty-nine percent of all homosexual males engage in golden showers—the practice of lying on the floor, typically nude, and allowing their partner to urinate on them. This is abnormal. These are things I've never read in the newspaper. This isn't something you hear about on CNN. But this is something that is taking place.
Now I know this is not real pleasant, but the truth needs to come out. When we say the word “gay,” we're really just hiding because we're really not understanding what that word really entails—what it means, what people are doing, and why this can hurt society as a whole. It's never been an accepted lifestyle. If we allow this to become accepted, then the numbers will grow astronomically. Now they want to take it into the classroom, to teach our children that this is okay. Our society is two to three percent gay, but if you teach children that homosexuality is okay, then we're going to have a lot of problems.
The median age of homosexual men dying with AIDS is 39 years old; that's wrong, not natural. The median age of all other homosexual men dying from other causes is 42. Do you consider 42 young? I consider it extremely young since I'm one year away from it. The median age of death for lesbians is 45 years old—of lesbians. That compares to 75 years old for heterosexual men and 79 for heterosexual women. Only one percent of homosexuals die of old age; only three percent ever live to age 55. Think about it, and then tell me that God doesn't have some problem with this whole thing—that God isn't speaking. It's unnecessary to put my name in the paper—you can just say that "God said," and here's the statistics.
Where did Mary Ann from Sugar Land learn these woefully inaccurate statistics and how many more people wrote them down and believe them after Cameron shared them on hate radio?
Monte Watkins from Houston said A few years ago, my husband and I were at one of the [Gay Pride Week parades]. After the parade broke up, some of them walked by us, talking to each other, but I heard them look around and say, “Mess with us, and we'll rape your kids."
Yeah. Sure you did.
Alan Ward of Stephenville said
There is a natural way that human beings are crafted to operate, and that is on a heterosexual basis.
We had a homosexual in my family, a young man. During high school, he learned to be gay; he wasn't before that. Was that different for my family? You bet it was, because we are a family of heterosexuals who really believe in being heterosexual.
About two years ago, that young man learned not to be homosexual, and he has a girlfriend now. Right in the midst of all this social controversy, he learned to be gay, and then he learned not to be. I've seen him changed, and I've seen two or three or four changed.
Logically, [policing sexual behavior] is out of the reach of the government, but I'm not saying that I believe it should be.
There is not enough manpower—not enough people working for the government—to go into every home of every professing homosexual to put eyes on them and watch to see that they do not commit homosexual acts. That's not possible. There is not enough manpower.
I’ll say there’s not (and ever heard of the Right to Privacy?).
Of course, many Christianists deny scientific evidence anyway, so reminding them that homosexuality exists in many species, that's it's a naturally occurring deviation from the norm, is ineffective. And it doesn’t seem to occur to them that their god could have made some people homosexual on purpose just as he made some of us, say, left-handed—that maybe this is a gift, as my friend Louisville and some Native-American tribes call it.
Nope it’s a choice, pure and simple.
But so is believing in myths, dude. And you don’t get to rewrite our nation’s constitution based on your myths and unsupportable lies and smear campaigns.
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