Friday, July 5, 2013

Women:  Just Do What Men Want!  (Or Else?)  Koch Brothers Zygote Splendor, and No Odd Weather Patterns Here, Move Along!

(If throwing a contribution Pottersville2's way won't break your budget in these difficult financial times, I really need it, and would wholeheartedly appreciate it. Anything you can afford will make a huge difference in this blog's lifetime.)

And being in North Carolina, this essay packs a wallop this "Independence Day" weekend.

State legislators in Texas, Ohio and North Carolina (and that’s just this week) are trampling all over reproductive freedom — trying, among other things, to limit when a woman can have an abortion and where abortions can be provided as well as redefining what a fetus is.
A culture that treats women as objects, that gleefully supports entertainment that is more often demeaning toward women than it is not, that encourages the erosion of a woman’s autonomy and personal space, is the same culture that elects state lawmakers who work tirelessly to enact restrictive abortion legislation. Or is it that state lawmakers who work tirelessly to enact restrictive abortion legislation encourage their constituents to treat women as objects? Perhaps this is trickle-down misogyny — which came first, the chicken or the egg?
Here’s a woman’s story. Who she is doesn’t matter. She could be any woman — a friend, a sister, a mother, an aunt. Say she becomes pregnant. Say the pregnancy is unplanned but she’s financially and emotionally stable enough that she and her boyfriend decide, let’s do this. Say she’s pro-choice but from the moment she realizes she’s pregnant, it feels like she’s carrying a baby. Still, she is staunchly pro-choice, always will be. Say if she didn’t think she and her boyfriend could give the baby a good life, she would have an abortion.

Say she’s in the kitchen during her 27th week when she falls to her knees because there is a terrible cramping in her abdomen. Say she starts bleeding and it won’t stop. Say she and her boyfriend rush to the hospital. Say she loses consciousness. Say when she wakes up, the baby is gone because it came down to her life or the baby’s. Say she spends years feeling like the wrong choice was made. This is a story about reproductive freedom. This is a story about a woman’s life and the value of her life. Choices were made. Choices were taken away. Say this woman lived in a state where certain choices were sacrificed in favor of the sanctity of life. Say she died, and so much for sanctity. Who would tell her story then?
And what if she doesn’t want to tell her story? What if it’s too personal, too painful? What do these confessions really do? Some people will be moved, but those are rarely the same people who support legislation to erode reproductive freedom. Immovable people will not be moved by testimony. Her story becomes an emotional spectacle, something for people to consider, briefly, before moving on to the next sad story. There is no shortage of sad stories when it comes to women and their reproductive lives.
The United States is supposedly predicated on the notion of inalienable rights but we have ample evidence that the rights of women are and always have been alienable. Robin Thicke sings about what he knows a woman wants. Fine. Daniel Tosh encourages his fans to touch women lightly on the stomach and film themselves doing so. Fine. Ken Hoinsky believes persistence is a virtue. Fine.
Texas governor Rick Perry says, of Senator Wendy Davis, “She was the daughter of a single woman. She was a teenage mother herself. She managed to eventually graduate from Harvard Law School and serve in the Texas Senate. It’s just unfortunate that she hasn’t learned from her own example that every life must be given a chance to realize its full potential and that every life matters.” Fine.
In Ohio, any woman seeking an abortion must get an ultrasound. If she has complications from an abortion, she must go to a private rather than public hospital. In North Carolina, pending legislation would require a physician to be in attendance for both medical and surgical abortions. In Texas, if what is now HB2 passes, all but five of the state’s abortion clinics will close. The legislators pushing these initiatives are just looking out for women. Men want to protect women — unless of course, they want to grab those women’s asses.
Lighten up. Men want what they want. Blurred lines, indeed.

In What Men Want, America Delivers, in today's Salon, we learn that not only has nothing really changed about women's place in the respect spectrum, but that now they feel free to joke about it (and tell the offended women by word and deed to lighten up).

Yes, there is no shortage of sad women's stories, but they will not move men like these.

Koch Brothers Preparing for World Domination

North Carolina Republicans Ramp Up The GOP War Against Women

From our friend at Lawyers, Guns and Money, we learn that we aren't the only ones noticing the freakish weather patterns.

I’m in Oaxaca, Mexico for the month so I shouldn’t care about the crazy weather in the United States so far this summer (the high today here was 75). But I can’t help it. The weather is so insane in the U.S. Again. Climate change: definitely not happening. Nope. Move it along, nothing to see here:

The jet steam is exhibiting unusual behavior over the U.S., a pattern we’ve seen become increasingly common in summertime over the past decade. There’s a sharp trough of low pressure over the Central U.S., and equally sharp ridges of high pressure over the Western U.S. and East Coast. Since the jet acts as the boundary between cool, Canadian air to the north and warm, subtropical air to the south, this means that hot extremes are penetrating unusually far to the north under the ridges of high pressure, and cold extremes are extending unusually far to the south under the trough of low pressure.

The ridge over the Western U.S., though slowly weakening, is still exceptionally intense. This ridge, which on Sunday brought Earth its highest temperatures in a century (129°F or 54°C in Death Valley, California), was responsible for more record-breaking heat on Tuesday. July 2. Most notably, Redding, California hit 116°, just 2° short of their all-time record. Death Valley had a low of 104°, the second hottest night on record since 1920 (the hottest was just last summer!)

Numerous daily high temperature records were set in Arizona, California, Nevada, Utah, Montana, Oregon, and Washington. It was the opposite story in the Central U.S., where the southwards-plunging jet stream allowed record cold air to invade Texas. Waco, Texas, hit 58°F this morning (July 3), the coldest temperature ever measured in July in the city. Numerous airports in Texas, Nebraska, Arkansas, Louisiana, Kansas, and Missouri set new daily record low temperatures this morning.

And over the Eastern U.S., the northward-pointing branch of the jet stream is creating a potentially dangerous flooding situation, by pulling a moisture-laden flow of tropical air from the Gulf of Mexico over the Florida Panhandle north-northeastward into the Appalachians. Up to five inches of rain is expected over this region over the next few days, and wunderground’s severe weather map is showing flash flood warnings for locations in Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina.
Record heat, record cold, record rain. Good times. Totally normal of course. Jesus wished it upon us for our sins of homosexuality and abortion. That makes way more sense than climate change.

Protestors Use Fourth of July Holiday To Voice Their Concerns Over Domestic Spying by NSA. Update!

Happy 4th of July!

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