Archive for August, 2010

Abortion Glenn Beck

Abortion Glenn Beck

I didn’t see any of Glenn Beck’s rally at the Lincoln Memorial this weekend.  Just didn’t have the stomach for it.   But his call to “restore America” brought back some memories of a rally that was held here in Virginia a few months ago by a gun rights group.  They came to the local park because President Obama had just signed a new law allowing gun owners to bring their weapons into national parks.   I guess that action was necessary to protect park goers from a hard charging deer or a rabid possum.

Out of curiosity, I went to the rally.  There were about 30 gun toting folks there, some had long guns around their shoulders but most were carrying revolvers in their holsters.   They were all white men, wearing very dark sunglasses and camouflage vests to help them blend in with the tot lots.  The media outnumbered the participants.

When the speeches started, I listened intently, honestly trying to get a sense of what this group was concerned about.  There was a lot of screaming and yelling about “taking back the Constitution” and getting rid of “the politicians who don’t even listen to us anymore.”  Every time a speaker would shout one of these one-liners, the crowd would go nuts for five seconds, then it was back to listening to the cicadas.

After one of the speakers finished, he climbed down from the stage and waded into that crowd of 30 or so folks, soaking up the adulation, savoring his Martin Luther King on the Lincoln Memorial moment.   He was beaming as the audience yelled “Way to tell it brother!” and “Right on my friend!” When he was able to escape from the massive crowd, I walked over to him and introduced myself.

I told him he had a good speaking style but I then said that I really don’t understand what his group wanted.  What is your message, I asked?

Abortion Constitution

Abortion Constitution

“Well, like I said, we need to take back the Constitution.  These politicians don’t represent us anymore, they’re just cow-towing to the fat cat lobbyists and spending our money like drunken sailors.”

I asked him where he was from and he mentioned a town in Arizona.  I reminded him that his Congressman was a very conservative guy who probably supported the group’s agenda 95 percent of the time.  “Well, I don’t care,he’s not listening to us.  He takes all of these junkets and makes way too much money. “   I asked him, then, if he was going to vote against the Congressman.  “Nah, voting doesn’t make any difference, these elections are rigged anyway.”    Hmmmmm.

I then got back to his message.  “What do you mean when you say you need to take the Constitution back?   Where exactly is it?”   I think he picked up on my facetiousness.  “It’s my Constitution, damn it, and with this health care bill and all of these illegal immigrants, well, they’ve taken it away from us.”

My head is now spinning totally out of control.  Okay, I thought, let’s try to connect one more time.

“What about this,” I said.  “What if you were sitting with President Obama in the Oval Office right now and he told you he would do two things at that very moment that you requested.  What specifically would you ask him?”

Abortion Obama Discussion Oval Office

Abortion Obama Discussion Oval Office

“Well, like I told you, I would ask him to follow the Constitution.”  My eyes started to roll to the back of my head but, before that, I tried again.  “But the President would say he follows the Constitution every day, what specifically would you want him to do?”   At this point, I thought I saw him start to slowly reach for his constitutionally protected weapon, but I held my ground.  “Well, I’d tell him to protect our guns.”

“But he just signed a law the other day that actually expanded gun rights.  And do you really think he is dumb enough to suggest that the government take away all of your guns?”

“Well, he’s a smart boy, I’ll give him that but I want him to promise that he’ll leave us alone.”

Oy vey.

So, is that what this rally was all about?  What the hell do these people want, anyway?  What does Glenn Beck want?


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Abortion Mental Health

Abortion Mental Health

I am supposed to use this blog to talk about “healthy women.”   All right – I will be honest with you.  I am by no means an expert in women’s health, but, sure, I could do some research on some issue and pass it on to you and you could read it or not.  But then this blog would be like billions of other blogs out there.  It would be BORING.

So, I’m gonna stretch my jurisdiction a bit and you can tell me if it makes sense.  I am going to focus on things that affect our mental health.  In other words, I am going to talk about some things that DRIVE ME CRAZY.

The first thing I want to talk about is the local TV weatherman or – politically correct moment coming – weatherwoman.  No, that’s not even right.  I think they now call themselves “meteorologists” or, if they are over 25 years old and their acne has cleared up, they are called a “chief meteorologist.”

Did you ever notice how these people are on the TV screen every ten minutes?  Seriously, watch the news for one hour straight and tally up how much time is devoted to talking about the weather.  As if things can change that quickly in your local area.  I mean, is there no other news out there?  Why the heck to we have to be barraged with the same information every ten minutes?

Then, notice how each weather segment now has a title.   “Now, from Channel  4’s STORM CENTER, here is Benny Silverman with the STORM CENTER news!”   The oh-so-perky Benny Silverman comes on, horn rimmed glasses and bow tie, and proceeds to tell us that it will be a sunny day, temperatures in the mid 70’s, great bike riding weather.  “And that’s my report from the STORM CENTER!  Back to you, Betty.”

What just happened?   What about the friggin STORM?

The thing that drives me totally nuts is when they give the temperatures in the local area.  They pull up a map and pick about 10 cities within a twenty mile radius and underneath the city’s name they post the current temperature.  “So, right now in Alexandria it’s a comfortable 71 degrees.  Up in Bethesda (30 miles away), it’s 72 degrees.  And look at Reston – they are at a chilly 69 degrees.   Better bundle up folks!”

Why for God’s sake do I need to know the temperature in every friggin town in my area?   It’s not like it varies by 15 degrees of so.  “Hey, Mabel, let’s drive up to Arlington today, it looks like it’s gonna be cooler up there!”  What the hell?

And don’t get me started on when the forecasters see a blip on their screen telling them that a gaggle of clouds is forming near some tropical island 1,000 miles south of Puerto Rico.  Oh my God – it could be the STORM OF THE CENTURY!   We need to monitor that one!   The meteorologist needs to stay here, send our weatherman to the ocean, put some rain gear on him and have him report to us in front of crashing waves!    And start running “storm alerts” every five minutes!

Do me a favor, folks.  In two minutes tell me if it’s gonna rain or not and tell me how high the temperature is going to get.  Then, God forbid, use all that extra time to tell me what is going on in the world.

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Abortion US Supreme Court building

Abortion & The Supreme Court

On January 22, 1973 the Supreme Court of the United States held that women had a right to terminate their pregnancies.  The case was Roe v Wade and no other Supreme Court case has had such a dramatic impact on the lives of women in this country.

Prior to that case, most states banned abortion.  Of course, those states could not ban the desire of a woman to obtain an abortion.  For hundreds, if not thousands of years, women faced with an unwanted pregnancy have always at least considered abortion and some obtained them.  That meant that many women each year were procuring illegal abortions.

The world of illegal abortion was always a world of whispers.  A woman would “get in trouble” and, if she felt there was absolutely no way that she could have the baby, she would quietly start talking to anyone she could trust.  In every major city, there always seemed to be a least one doctor who would be willing to do the abortion, but these “abortionists” usually performed these illegal procedures in the shadows, in dirty “back alleys” with unsterilized instruments, no counseling, no sophisticated anesthesia, and no follow up exams.  The result was hundreds and hundreds of women each year died on the operating tables or wound up in the emergency room of the local hospital with their “miscarriage.”

Incredibly, some women who could not find the abortionist wound up performing an abortion on themselves.   The bloody coat hanger became a (harsh but real) symbol of the pro-choice movement because so many women used them to self-abort.  Others concocted medical potions that they hoped would kill the fetus in utero.

There have been many books and movies about the world of illegal abortion.  John Irving’s “The Cider House Rules” is a good one and the movie “If These Walls Could Talk” contained an excellent segment on a woman seeking an illegal abortion.

Ultimately, some more enlightened states like Colorado, California and New York passed laws legalizing abortion.  Clinics were quickly opened and they were barraged with patients.  Women from all over the world, yes, the world flew into those states to procure a legal (and safer) abortion.  Clinic owners talk about sending out buses or limousines to the airport to transport the dozens of women who had flown in to get an abortion.

Then, everything changed on January 22nd.  The Court said abortion was legal in all of the states with some caveats – and the floodgates opened up.  Suddenly, all across the country doctors, feminists and others started opening up clinics.  The rest is a long story, but the story is a celebration to women’s health.  Today, abortion is one of the safest and most common surgical procedures performed on women.

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