Coat Hangers At Dawn

Following the attempts by the fundamentalist extremist religious right in South Dakota to ban contraception, abortion, sex ed and their war on everyone who disagrees with them.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

House Game Of How Low Can You Go

The Senate bill that would have required emergency room workers to inform sexual assault victims that emergency contraception exists. Not give it to them, simply tell them what it is.

In South Dakota information seems to be a crime. Avera Healthcare has heavily protested this bill including having lobbyists put a clause that would have allowed medical staff to not follow the law on personal religious grounds.

The entire bill is now dead. The sponsors of the bill pulled it after the South Dakota Taliban tried a very low tactic. They attemped to hoghouse (modify) the emergency contraception bill and turn it into an abortion ban. Two amendments were submitted in the house to attempt to change the bill. At least one of those was done by head mullah Roger "Orange Jumpsuit" Hunt.

Today's question is: Does Roger Hunt hate rape victims or is he just looking for any way to push his one and only issue in the legislature?

Monday, February 26, 2007

The Flawed Anti-Preschool Alligator Tears

Add this one to the anti-HPV vaccine nonsense.

The people who are whining about the state's efforts to improve and standarize preschool programs in the state are crying alligator tears.

They are claiming that any sort of improvement in preschool programs will take away parents rights. That is about as flawed as their claim that HPV vaccines will turn your ten year old daughter into Paris Hilton.

Even if the state did everything they are proposing parents would still be able to decide where and how their children are educated just like they do for children in K-12. Children in K-12 can go to public school, private school or be schooled at home. So if state standards are created for preschool the only thing that might change would be that those who do not want to send their kids to a preschool program would be required to prove that they are actively teaching some of those basic skills to their kids at home. Nothing would force parents to send their kids to one of these programs - period.

What? Yes, you will have to shut off the PTL show, the 700 club and Oprah long enough to actually teach your children some basics if you don't wish to send them to public or private pre-school along with all those unwashed heathen children. So yes, you can continue to lock your children in your homes lest they be made aware of the outside world and its oh so wicked ways.

Nobody would be taking away parents rights, stealing their children or eating babies like certain tin foil hat wearing morons in our state are crying about.

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Thursday, February 22, 2007

SD Taliban Goes Medieval

The SD Taliban is at it again. This time they are encouraging kids to go back to the good old dark ages. Where men married 12 year old girls and women were property. Ah the good old days of arranged marriages, adultery and chastity belts!

Will they be going on crusade to mow down some Muslims?

Will they be giving out largess? The poor in town might appreciate a hand out or two since aid funding is getting cut.

Will they be practicing the chivalric code of courtly love? Will it include the adultery part of courtly love? Courtly love is pretty kinky when you actually study it.

From the wiki for it:
"further solidifying courtly love as "love of a highly specialized sort, whose characteristics may be enumerated as Humility, Courtesy, Adultery, and the Religion of Love"

"The troubadour's model of the ideal lady was the wife of his employer or lord, a lady of higher status, usually the rich and powerful female head of the castle. When her husband was away on Crusade or other business she dominated the household and cultural affairs; sometimes this was the case even when the husband was at home."

Sounds more like a hook up swap for kinky old women, while the young girls are locked up.
Maybe Leslee is looking for some action?
Someone call Oedipus.

Big hat tip to Clean Cut Kid for finding this one!

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Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Chlamydia Vaccine In The Works

University of Texas San Antonio is in the testing phase of a vaccine against Chlamydia. Chlamydia can cause scarring and infertility, it also is hard to detect.

The scientists working on the vaccine have been able to get 100% protection so far in their testing on mice.

Feministing has more on the inaccurate information abstinence groups and Physicians for Life is putting about about this STD and how it will be another nail in the coffin of the abstinence only industry.

New Abortion Ban Dies in Senate Committee

The Senate State Affairs Committee voted down the only abortion ban left in this years legislature on an 8 to 1 vote today. The only person voting for it was Gene Abdallah.

Attorney General Larry Long also made a comment to the Argus today "“We were unable to find solutions we were happy with . . . I’m not happy with the solutions in the current bill.’’

So the AG does not like the ban, the South Dakota Right to Life group is against this ban and the Senate shot it down with all but one vote.

But now the morality police in the legislature are going to try to force this to a vote in the Senate, they think they have enough votes to force the issue. Time to write your Senators and tell them enough is enough, get back to business.

They may very well have the 12 they need to force this to a vote depending on how some of the Senators feel about beating the voters over the head with an unpopular issue. If they could muster the 18 to pass it is another issue with a big maybe hanging over it.

Does anyone really want to go through two years of the angry and ugly cloud that hung over everything during the last public vote?

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Tuesday, February 20, 2007

South Dakota, The Surreal State

This should be our new state motto.

The Governor initiated a program using mostly federal funds (aka: someone else's money) to pay for HPV vaccines for any female who does not have insurance coverage to pay for the vaccinations. Now the legislature is trying to shoot down the program that already started. We have already head that some people want women to get cancer and see it as a form of punishment. One has to wonder if these are the same people who see AIDS as some sort of divine punishment and encourage its proliferation in comminities of people they don't like. It sounds much like murder by neglect.
Hog House Blog has details.

Some telling news about the real number of people who want to ban abortion. CNN has released a poll that shows only 29% of people want to overturn Roe v Wade. Incidentally that is about the same amount of people who still support Bush. Coincidence? Maybe a better statistic is that 29% of our population is insane and terminally stupid, or just evil.
Clean Cut Kid has details.

While the state is wasting more state time and money futility kicking the deceased equine of abortion, our state library system is being gutted. Maybe this is more subtle than a massive book burning. South Dakota already has one of the weakest library resource systems in the country. Just remember you can't attract all those professionals the state seems to be wanting to help grow ethanol, wind energy and medical fields if the state is an intellectual black hole.
Dakota Today has details.

Lead neo-facist gasbag Bob Ellis tries his hand at persuading people to adopt his distorted take on reality. What is interesting is that he uses the same very weak arguments the brown shirt brigade have been using since last year. So he is obviously out of real arguments and ideas.
The typical stuff. Claim condoms are the only form of birth control and are cheap.
Never mind that advocates of improved contraception use state that condoms are the least effective form of protection. Never mind all of the prescription forms that are 99% effective but cost considerably more. Also Bob wishes everyone would ignore the CNN poll we mentioned above that shows only 29% of the nation actually agree with Bob's position, not the majority he pretends do. We won't even touch his cherry picked pseudo science. Robbinsdale Radical has a nice velvet gloved smack down on poor Bob who has nothing left to say but the same old recycled crap.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Abortion Ban Passes House

HB 1293 passed the house 45 to 25.
Now what the Senate committee will do with it is next.

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THREE Abortion Bans Die In The Senate

Three down and one left to go!

The Senate Committee reviewing these two bans killed both in one swoop dashing Roger "orange jumpsuit" Hunt's dreams of Southdakotaistan.

HB 1296 The Sonogram Bill, aka: Roger Hunt wants pictures of your uterus bill died after passing the house.

SB 172 aka: The 44 point type bill died in committee. This one would have forced clinics to post a rather large sign telling people nobody can force them to have a medical procedure (abortion) against their will. Well duh. Is that pile of forms people sign to see a doctor are for lining the cat box?

SB 172 aka: Make doctors Leslee Unruh's parrot bill. This one would have forced doctors to also tell patients what was on the sign in the lobby.

So three out of four gone in one day. These were supposed to be the moderate approach preferred by the SD Right to Life group and legislators like Brock Greenfield.

The last bill HR 1293 is scheduled to be voted on the House floor this week.

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State Sanctioned Hate Of Brown People

When brown people are outlawed only outlaws will be brown.
This is true nanny state legislation. The desire to control every level of society has just evolved into the absurd. Ironically the most of the legislation seems to attack women or things that seem to be used mainly by women.

Emergency contraception - not yours
Abortion - not yours
Tanning - not yours

Huh? Yea, tanning. Our esteemed legislature is working on outlawing tanning if your under 18.
(hat tip to PP at SDWC)

Yes there are some risks to tanning bed use. There are also health risks to drinking too much soda. The nanny state madness really really has to stop already.

If people are really up in arms about these things there are better ways to handle them rather than making more and more confusing and unenforceable laws.

If you want teens to know the dangers of tanning beds, make people sign a waiver informing them of the risks. Make stores post a sign in the lobby. Done, solved. Even adults may not be aware of the potential risks of tanning bed use. You don't need to make laws restricting teens use and potentially making store owners criminals.

Same goes for the smoking bans. Everyone has concerns for second hand smoke and the health of people working in such establishments. Does the legislature find a common sense approach? Noooo. Let's just ban that too. One common sense suggestion that has been passed around in non legislative circles was to make establishements get a permit to allow smoking. Part of getting and keeping that permit is to prove that you have installed proper air filtration and circulation equipment. It would require most places to install new high quality air filtration systems to comply but it solves all issues without blanket banning smoking. They either spend the money to make it reasonably safe for everyone in the bar/restaurant or they don't get a permit.

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Tuesday, February 13, 2007

The Loving Catholic Conservatives

Take a look at some of the loving Christian responses written to this woman.

Those are responses from conservative Catholics and Evangelicals. Feel the love.

Speculation On The New Abortion Ban Chances

HB 1293 passed the House yesterday but speculation remains if it can pass the Senate State Affairs Committee to make it to the Senate floor. This is in addition to the new question if the law as written is even valid due to the part about sending it to the people to vote on.

So the next place this goes is the Senate State Affairs Committee, unless something with the referendum portion of it kills the bill. There have already been questions about the ability for another ban to pass the Senate Committee.

"(Julie)Bartling doubts it will even pass both legislative chambers. Although support appears strong in the House, she doubts sentiment is the same in the Senate State Affairs Committee. Testimony on the bill was scheduled to start Monday.

"I just don't think it'll make it to the Senate floor," Bartling said. "I've even talked to very pro-life Republican legislators that are not in favor of bringing it back this year. I think it's just too soon."

So we pulled out our Liberal Socialist Ubersexual Crystal Ball to do a little speculating about how the Senate State Affairs Committee might vote on this.

We went through the current members of that committee. We noted their name, political party, if they were on the committee last year, if so how they voted in committee on last years ban and also if they were in the Senate last year how the voted on the floor. We gave each Senator a plus or minus one point for political party, Republicans got a point and Democratics minus a point. The points indicate likelyhood of voting for the ban. Yes we know many Republicans are against these bans but hey. We added a point if the voted for last years ban in committee, no point if they were not there and minus one if they voted no. They also got a point, zero or minus based on how they voted last year on the Senate floor. New Senators of course got zero on that one.

Here are the results:
committee 2006 vote Score Probable vote

Abdallah, Gene G.(R) Last year yea yea 3 Y

Dempster, Thomas A. (R) Last year not there nea 0 ?

Gray, Bob (R) Last year not there yea 2 Y

Hanson, Gary D.(D) Last year not there nea -2 N

Heidepriem, Scott N.(D) Last year not there not there -1 N

Knudson, Dave (R) Last year not there nay 0 ?

McCracken, Royal "Mac" (R) Last year Nea nay -1 N

Nesselhuf, Ben (D) Last year not there nay -2 N

Olson, Ed (R) Last year excused nay 0 ?

Right now it is a bit of a toss up with

4 no
2 yes
3 maybe

Those three maybe votes are Republicans but not theocrats in general.

Our prediction is it probably won't make it.
Dempster voted NO on the floor last year.
So did Ed Olson.
So did Knudson

But as we all know with South Dakota politics, expect the insane, stupid and unexpected. If your in the districts of the maybe Senators you might want to send them a nice email asking them to vote no and thanking them for being so level headed last year.

SD Legislature: Keystone Cops Edition

There seems to be a possible glitch in the newest abortion ban attempt recently passed by the House State Affairs Committee. Nobody is sure if what they did is constitutional according to state law. Not the taking away people's civil rights part. The part about taking a law directly to the people for a vote.

Keloland is reporting that Gov. Rounds has raised questions about the legality of taking something direct from the legislature to the voters that is not a constitutional amendment or an item that has been petitioned by the people to put it on the ballot.

Seriously. Nobody checked. None of our lawmakers that created the ban, none on the committee bothered to see if what they were proposing was even possible.

This is what you get when you have cowboys and weasely hack lawyers writing laws.

SDWC is on the case, doing some research to see if this is even possible. He did note that in some quick research he could not find a case of this being successfully done anywhere in the last decade. A couple of bills tried it but those bills never passed the legislature to find out.

Just remember that the guy who took this on this year who is the key sponsor of this mess is Gordon "women are like cattle" Howie. Of course the usual suspects like Bill "sodomized virgin" Napoli and Roger "orange jumpsuit" Hunt were there too.

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Monday, February 12, 2007

Wilken Explains It All

Doug Wilken at Dakota Today explains it all in his recent post.

"By now, it would seem that the SD legislature could better spend its time on resolutions for impeachment of George Bush and Dick Cheney than dinking around on dangerous crap like giving 10-year old kids hunting licenses and again doing their best to shove their stinky fingers into the crotch of every woman with more anti-rights theocratic humbug legislation."

He goes on in his post to outline exactly how wrong, criminal and evil Bush and Cheney's actions have been.

We have the answer to Doug's question.
The legislature won't do anything about condemning the actions of a pair of war criminals because they are just as evil. Maybe it is professional courtesy? Maybe to them they see nothing wrong with lying to an entire country and dragging most of the world into a war based on a lie?

So arming children and keeping them darn women in line seems so typical when you look at it in that light.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Gordon Howie - Knows What You Want Better Than You

Gordon "women are like cattle" Howie has offically lost it, that is if he ever had it to begin with.

At a legislative crackerbarrel this weekend Gordie again proved that he is completely out of touch with not only voters but reality. He claimed that the people who voted down last years abortion bans didn't really want to vote down the ban but really wanted to instead vote for his ban this year. He went on again to recite that he would deny any woman an abortion for any reason unless death was the result. But Howie being the generous guy that he is will give those undeserving wimmins of South Dakota some useless exceptions because according to him that is what people voting against the ban really wanted, they just needed him to tell them so.

Howie goes on to claim that the concept that people are tired of this issue was solely a made up tactic by Planned Parenthood and that nobody else had mentioned "abortion fatigue". It appear then that Bill Napoli, Brock Greenfield, Julie Bartling, Jean Hunhoff, Charlotte Gilson and Ben Nusselhoff, all work for Planned Parenthood according to Gordie.

Video of Gordie's lunacy (opens in new window)

We would provide you with Gordon "women are like cattle" Howie's email address but he does not have one. It appears that email is beyond this lawmakers capabilities. Should we really have someone so inept they can't operate an email account making decisions about womens lives?

News tip and video courtesty of Robbinsdale Radical!

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Friday, February 09, 2007

The Dark Crusade

What do secret torture flights to Syria, illegal mercenaries, Halliburton, James Dobson, Rob Regier and laundry soap have in common? Read on.

This is a long post in two sections. One is the ground work and the other is why you should be concerned about this. Read on...

*A note on links. We link to the original source in most cases. In certain links we used a secondary source only if they also provide links to the original verifiable news story or source.

Wednesday The Committee on Oversight and Government Reform held hearings on the reliance on private contractors in Iraq. Video of some portions of the hearings here, here, here, here. The video clips unfortunately were mostly of the families of contractors that died in Fallujah after being sent out with no training, virtually no gear and not even a map. The last link does feature the lawyer for Blackwater, the secretive military contractor providing mercenaries in Iraq.

Blackwater was not a direct contractor with the U.S. government or the Army. They were the subcontractor of a subcontractor and were not itemized or declared as a subcontractor in the documents and contract agreements with the Army. Link (pdf) The level of purposeful secrecy raised a number of questions not only from a financial accountability issue either. Government mercenary contractors were implicated in the Abu Ghraib torture. Blackwater has also been recruiting veterans from Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet's army.

As a side note the swell guy that is the President at Blackwater claims that Abu Ghraib torture scandal was "phony" and went on to try to blame the National Guard General who had virtually no control or insight into the private contractors actions. What is this guys issue with this General? She is a woman.

Military mercenary contractors in Iraq have a long documented track record of human rights violations, reckless use of force, illegal violent criminal behavior, rape and worse. What has been even more problematic is that Paul Bremmer worked a deal so these contractors are immune from Iraqi law but they also do not fall under the normal war zone rules and laws of the U.S. military or Geneva Convention. Amnesty International has a long detailed article on the reckless violence and crime some of these mercenaries are doing in Iraq.

Blackwater has deep financial ties to the worst of the far right politicians including large donations to both of Bush's Presidential campaigns, close ties to Cheney, Rumsfeld and also donated heavily to Rick Santorum and Tom Delay. Blackwater ownership also heavily funds through a number of foundations they control, some of the most notorious far right political groups like American Enterprise Inst., Eagle Forum, Free Congress, Freedom Alliance and Heritage Foundation source-source-source.

Blackwater has not only been fingered as a deep subcontractor providing security in Iraq but also outright mercenary forces in the conflict. Blackwater's private airlines have also been involved in the secret rendition (kidnapping) of people to be tortured abroad. Blackwater may have had a hand in the "extraordinary rendition" of a Canadian citizen erroneously accused of being a terrorist. The Canadian was taken to Syria and tortured for 10 months.

Aviation Worldwide Services a Blackwater private airline has been documented as being involved in these rendition flights and has been seen at a former POW camp now CIA base called Camp Peary.

Presidential Airways is another Blackwater private airline with the same mode of operations and was also implicated in reckless practices that lead to the deaths of contractors and U.S. Soldiers in Afghanistan.

STI Aviation a third division of Blackwater providing private air services in war zones and secret flights.

Frontline did a detailed report about the tangled and murky web of mercenaries and contractors.

Blackwater also had some very sketchy involvement after Katrina. They were hired by DHS to operate as armed forces with authority to use deadly force. Source - source - source

More about Blackwater's Top Brass:
Eric Prince, (son of Edgar Prince, a backer of Gary Bauer, a conservative activist and onetime presidential candidate). Eric Prince is a former Navy SEAL.
Since 1998, he has made nearly $200,000 in contributions to Republican committees and candidates, including President Bush and indicted former House leader Tom DeLay, according to Federal Election Commission records.

Gary Jackson, former Navy SEAL. Jackson is a to the core Bush backer.

Cofer Black, 56, joined Blackwater in February 2005 as vice chairman after three decades in the Central Intelligence Agency and the State Department.

Joseph Schmitz former inspector general at the DOD. He is currently under investigation for obstructing two criminal investigations of senior Bush administration officials. Schmitz father was a prominent member in the John Birch Society and involved with George Wallace.

Here is where things take a turn.

Eric Prince: CEO & Founder of Blackwater
Erik Prince is a billionaire right-wing fundamentalist Christian from a powerful Michigan Republican family. A major Republican campaign contributor, he interned in the White House of President George H.W. Bush and campaigned for Pat Buchanan in 1992. He founded the mercenary firm Blackwater USA in 1997 with Gary Jackson, another former Navy SEAL.
Erik Prince, who is a neo-crusader, a Christian supremacist, who has been given over a half a billion dollars in federal contracts, and that's not to mention his black contracts, his secret contracts, his contracts with foreign friendly governments like Jordan. This is a man who espouses Christian supremacy, and he has been given, essentially, allowed to create a private army to defend Christendom around the world against secularists and Muslims and others, and has really been brought into the fold.

Prince's fundamentalist stance has been described and documented as dominionist.

Prince runs or is high up on the board of the following organizations:
Edgar and Elsa Prince Foundation
Freiheit Foundation

His sister Betsy Devos also has her own foundations:
Dick and Betty Devos Foundation

The Devos family owns Amway, Amway gave $4 million dollars to a Republican 527 group in 2004. Betsy Devos and her husband funded and built the new Family Research Council building in DC. More information on the large amount of money Amway is funneling to the GOP. Another source. Another source.

Both the Prince family and the Devos have donated in the billions of dollars to far right Republican candidates, 527's, and other far right policial election donations.

Prince's father Edgar Prince founded and funded Focus on the Family. The Prince family still is its major source of funding. Eric Prince sits on the board as the number two in charge of the foundation that started and continues to fund Focus on the Family. The Prince family also heavily funds the other offshoot of Focus on the Family, the Family Research Council the political activist arm of FOF. A more detailed outline of Focus on the Family, Family Research Council and the involvement of the Prince family is here. Eric Prince was also an intern at the Family Research Council.

The Family Research Council is the force behind the South Dakota Family Policy Council and good old homophobe Rob Regier. Remember this group, the one that foisted the marriage ban on South Dakota last year? The marriage ban was funded and supported by the people who own Blackwater. The group that is secretly escorting people to Syria to be tortured, running hidden contracts with Halliburton and operating beyond the law in Iraq? Nice eh? Just think back about all of the people and churches that blindly supported this ban. Here's another tidbit about how they call the shots.

Remember the heavy handed effort Dobson and the Family Policy Council did in getting Thune elected?

Like anyone needs a reminder about how far up their colons Thune is:
Monaghan's second vehicle was a "soft" money PAC called the Ave Maria List. Its list of contributors include theocon Michael Novak, Amway magnate and current GOP Michigan gubernatorial candidate Dick DeVos, Cablevision and Madison Square Garden owner Charles Dolan as well as the late New York Giants owner Wellington Mara. The Ave Maria List was particularly active supporting John Thune's 2004 U.S. Senate victory over South Dakota's Tom Daschle.

It appears the local Family Policy Council is still at it and Thune is still quite involved. His wife was the key speaker at their recent meeting.

The Family Research Council, the group created and heavily funded by the Prince family and Eric Prince, owner of Blackwater, the FRC's president Tony Perkins was caught red handed with his direct involvement with the KKK. The Family Research Council, the group behind Thune's campaign and the group behind the marriage ban.

Yes this is a long post but it follows the connections. Two multi-billion dollar empires of two fanatically christian dominionist families are feeding the far right wing of the Republican party with billions of dollars in contributions and are the single largest financial force behind Focus on the Family, its related groups and many other far right religious theocratic groups.

The whole family values - anti gay - anti abortion- anti publics schools - theocratic conservative crusade was brought to you by the same family running their own private army that is under contract to Halliburton. Creepy eh? Make sure you bring this up next time one of the bleating theocrats starts giving you the whole family values line.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Abortion Ban Debate Monday In House

The new "Handmaids Tale" version abortion ban HB 1293 will be heard Monday Feb. 12th at 10am by the House State Affairs Committee. Audio of the committee is posted on SDPB after the meeting.

If anyone knows if a live video feed will be available please let us know. SDPB does not appear to be scheduling broadcast of the meeting or archiving it on their site.

Planned Parenthood is running a contact your legislator campaign. Use the link to easily contact your legislator and urge them to get back to the real business of our state instead of dangerous, unconstitutional bans. Since South Dakota already has a trigger ban on the books this antic in the legislature is solely their attempt to force our state into paying for a multi-million dollar federal court fight for their pet cause.

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Monday, February 05, 2007

Last Years Abortion Ban Was Not Necessary

If last year was not miserable and angry enough for everyone on both sides know this:
The law was a total waste of time and there was already an identical law on the books. Leslee Unruh and Roger Hunt took South Dakota down the ugly path they did for no reason.

South Dakota has a trigger law identical to RL 6 on the books already . If Roe v. Wade is ever overturned we already HAVE a law on the books that would ban ALL abortions exactly like RL6. So the ban last year? Nothing more than an attempt to hasten the process and gain Roger Hunt the fame he so dearly craves. Now all those people bleating about how we must have this law on the books (RL6) can just give it a rest, we already do. Any more noise about how we "must have" another abortion ban is simply dishonest and really an attempt to trick South Dakota into footing the bill for a Supreme Court challenge. Us, one of the smallest states in the country. In order for any of these current ban bills in the works to take effect Roe v. Wade will have to be overturned, if it is overturned we already have a ban in place.

So WHY are certain legislators doing nothing but proposing bans year after year that actually DO NOTHING???

SD Progressive broke this one and has more details on this whole mess.

Put It On The Ballot Dammit!

SD Progressive has the details on the beating and death of the right to work repeal in the legislature. Right to work is another of those purposely Newspeak laws. Right to work does not give you any rights as a worker, it makes sure you have NONE.

With all the stupid things we have had put on ballots over the years why not this AND a minimum wage hike? The right to work is a constitutional amendment, easily put on a ballot for repeal. Other states have left the minimum wage up to the voters. Since our legislature is again failing to do the work of the people let's do it ourselves.

2007 the year of the DIY legislature part 2.

HB1293 The Handmaids Tale Law

Madville Times has a very astute posting about HB1293. This horrible bill should be referred to by everyone going forward as "The Handmaids Tale Law". Why? Because that is exactly what it is and people should be reminded of this at every turn.

Madville's post is so compelling we are reposting the entire thing. We hope no offense is taken in doing so but it is just such a good read.

Madville's post:

HB1293 -- Preface to The Handmaid's Tale

The latest abortion measure from the South Dakota legislature deserves to be voted down. It's more bad legislation that won't save lives. The courts could overturn it purely on privacy issues, citing the provision that forces women to report crimes to the police.

But the big problem with this law is the continued dishonesty of the proponents, who sound ever more like an American Taliban, seeking to strip women of their rights. Check out Section 1 of the bill, the statement of legislative findings:

[1.1]...a pregnant mother possesses certain inherent rights, that these are natural intrinsic rights which enjoy affirmative protection under the Constitution of the United States, and under the Constitution and laws of the State of South Dakota, and that among these rights are the fundamental right of the pregnant mother to her relationship with her child, her fundamental right to make decisions that advance the well-being and welfare of her child, and her interest in her own health

The bill begins with outright Newspeak. Where the bill authors speak of "rights," read "obligation." Why won't Roger Hunt and Marlboro Man Gordon Howie be honest and say they aren't protecting rights but enforcing obligations?

[1.2] ...the pregnant mother's relationship with her child is inherently beneficial to the mother; that a mother's unique relationship with her child during pregnancy is one of the most intimate and important relationships, and one most worthy of legal protection; that the history and tradition of our nation has recognized this relationship as one that has intrinsic beauty and benefit to both the mother and the child; and that this relationship is recognized as one of the touchstones, and at the core, of all civilized society

Now we take a dangerous step toward codifying an obligation for women to bear children. Does a woman who chooses not to bear a child somehow forever suffer from not experiencing that inherently beneficial relationship? Is she somehow less civilized? Does a rejection of motherhood somehow make her less of a citizen? If the legislature is so worried about providing "legal protection" of the "right" of motherhood, when will the legislature decide that women abstaining from child-bearing are not receiving sufficient counseling and must be informed (by force) of the importance of bearing children? (Those of you familiar with Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale should be able to see where this law leads.)

[1.8] abortion places most women at greater risk for psychological distress, depression, suicidal ideation and suicide than carrying her child to full term and giving birth

Just to top it off, Hunt, Howie, et al lie with bogus science. There is no scientific basis for claims of post-abortion syndrome. Emily Bazelon offers a spectacular report on the issue in the January 21 New York Times ("Is There a Post-Abortion Syndrome?"). She notes that Surgeon General C. Everett Koop, a well-known abortion opponent, refused to comply with a request from president Reagan to issue a report on the health effects of abortion:

Koop was against abortion, but he refused to issue the report and called the psychological harm caused by abortion “minuscule from a public-health perspective.” Nor did Koop believe that the anti-abortion cause would be served by shifting its focus to the suffering of women. “As soon as you contaminate the morality of your stand by getting worried about the health effects of abortion on women, you have weakened the whole thing,” he said at the time in an interview with the Rutherford Institute, a conservative law center.

That was in 1987. Science has advanced since then... but no thanks to abortion opponents like "researcher" David Reardon, who is making a career of cherry-picking studies to cobble together a case for post-abortion syndrome. As Bazelon points out, Reardon even admits in his 1996 Making Abortion Rare that he is using rhetoric, not rigorous science, to sow doubt: "Even if pro-abortionists got five paragraphs explaining that abortion is safe and we got only one line saying it’s dangerous, the seed of doubt is planted."

Fortunately, real scientists like Arizona State University's Nancy Russo are busy refuting such abuse of science for political purposes. The real science finds no link between abortion and depression, suicide, or any other such harm. Yet our legislature continues to purvey these lies to further its goals.

I'll admit that I'm uneasy about abortion, and I'm open to a discussion about restrictions on it. However, I can't have a discussion with people who are willing to lie about their motives and their science. Lies should be based on truth. I will not support HB 1293 or any abortion ban in South Dakota until the anti-abortion forces can prove to me they really want to protect the rights and health of women, not patronize and subjugate them.

Friday, February 02, 2007

300 Women Take To Capitol

Blogmore has some pictures and details of the Women 4 Women day out in Pierre.

Three hundred women attended. That is a pretty decent turnout for a weekday event in the dead of winter in Pierre.

Anyone who had the chance to attend and wants to share details?

Hunt's Court Date Scheduled

Mark your calendars! Roger "orange jumpsuit" Hunt will be facing a judge April 23rd at 1:30pm at the Minnehaha County Courthouse.

Hat tip to SD Progressive who found this out.

This ought to be good. Too bad they could not schedule it in sooner.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

HB1270 A Terri Schiavo Bill?

Check out the language in this bill, it is rather fuzzy in its language but could it be a bill to prevent someone from helping someone end life support on a terminal patient?

The portion dealing with who could make this decision raises a few questions.

" If a patient with decisional capacity, an individual's declaration contains a directive to provide or power of attorney, or the guardian, attorney-in-fact or agent, or other person authorized to make a health care decision for an incapacitated person directs the provision of treatment or artificial nutrition and hydration under any circumstances, any physician or health-care provider who has responsibility for the treatment and care of the individual must provide the directed treatment or artificial nutrition and hydration in those circumstances so long as it is technically feasible its denial would, in reasonable medical judgment, be likely to result in or hasten the death of the patient . A physician or health-care provider who objects to providing such treatment may instead transfer the individual to a physician or health-care provider willing to honor the declaration, but must continue to provide the treatment or care until the transfer is effectuated ."

The language about who can make that decision does not look exactly clear that the person in question had given that consent. "Attorney in fact", "agent", "other person authorized".
Would it be a situation where a judge or other entity could try to declare who gets to be that authorized person? Anyone want to weigh in on this bill and its real implications?

It does raise concern when you look at the list of sponsors:
Rausch, Hackl, Hunt, Jerke, Koistinen, Moore, Novstrup (Al), and Wick and Senators Duenwald, Apa, Greenfield, Napoli, and Schmidt (Dennis)

Font Police And Lawmakers In La-La Land

Robbinsdale Radical has a more detailed and thoughtful take on the Font Police in the legislature. He points out how the 44pt font sign that the legislature is demanding in SB171 is more of a state sanctioned form of harassment on a business than a measure to inform patients. RR is right, this measure really does put businesses at risk of violence. The very groups with the track records for this kind of violence have been spending more and more time in South Dakota. This is a real world problem they are creating. The bill does not require hospitals to post this sign even though hospitals perform terminations, the real intent of this bill is very transparent.

SD Progressive digs into the details of the lawmakers behind the new abortion ban HB1293, the ban with exceptions that don't except anything. They point out that sponsorship of this bill is about half of the sponsorship of last years bills. So they can only muster about half of the support as last time but the core sponsors don't see a problem? They also point out that this new bill with faux exceptions has not brought anyone over to their side. Not a single legislator that voted against the ban last year has decided to jump on board with this one. The one they claimed everyone would rally around because it has "exceptions". It is the same group of idealogues year after year. But those same individuals are voting against how their constituents voted last year on 1215.