Thursday, July 31, 2008

Bush Administration Threatens Access to Pill

Per the Washington Post, "A Bush administration proposal aimed at protecting health-care workers who object to abortion, and to birth-control methods they consider tantamount to abortion, has escalated a bitter debate over the balance between religious freedom and patients' rights."

The Department of Health and Human Services is reviewing a draft regulation that would deny federal funding to any hospital, clinic, health plan, or entity that does not want to accomodate employees who opt out of participating in care that runs counter to their convictions, including administering/providing IUDs, birth control pills, and Plan B (the emergency contraceptive).

The draft is, of course and predictably, applauded by conservatives everywhere.

Meanwhile, those of us in the real world (family planning clinics, women's rights activists, most health-care professionals) acknowledge that such broad ideological language would only create more overwhelming obstacles for women seeking abortions and birth control.

For example, imagine an interviewee for a job at a pharmacy or Planned Parenthood. Imagine she is secretly an ideologue on a mission. And that mission is to pose as a women's rights advocate, when secretly she wants to accept the job, only so she can refuse to offer services like legal abortions or IUD insertions. Now that company is faced with either retaining that employee or losing all its federal funding.

And I can't even imagine a kick in the ovaries that a rape victim being denied Plan B by an ideologue conservative pharmacist must feel like.

All I'm saying is that a group of clueless-to-the-real-world conservative groups and politicians have no place creating laws that affect an already underserved REAL group of people--women who access clinics that rely on federal funding--in real ways.

Basically, are religious fundamentalists entitled to tell all these women how they can and can not use their bodies for their own family planning? Are we really going to turn into that kind of a country? Where our health-care and our health-care professionals are forced into accepting extreme religious fundamentalism that is detrimental to the majority of its people.

Instead of protecting these extreme fundamentalists, it should be a illegal for them as health-care professionals, to block or prevent access to legal birth control or abortion methods.

I will be praying to the Goddess tonight that this proposal is thrown in the toilet and shat on by the DHS.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

OneNewsNow whines about Prop 8's re-wording as "biased"

Does anyone else think that is a little hypocritical?

Jeff Johnson, of Don Wildmon's OneNewsNow reports:

"The ballot title originally approved for Proposition 8 described the proposal as an amendment 'to provide that only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California.' But after homosexual activists failed to get the initiative removed from the ballot, Secretary of State Debra Bowen changed the title to describe the proposal as amending the state constitution to 'eliminate the right of same-sex couples to marry.' The description also claims, with no supporting evidence, that the state will lose 'several tens of millions of dollars' if the measure is passed."

Johnson goes on to quote attorney Brad Dacus of the Pacific Justice Institute, who states that this language will likely cost "their" side (however it be defined) votes in the election.

Johnson states, "The attorney explains that although the change can be appealed, there is little chance such an appeal against the obviously biased language of the new ballot title and description would be successful."

Um... errr...

Coming from a website that calls the entire gay population "homosexual activists," repeatedly misinterprets scientific research to discredit gay people, and engages in otherwise shoddy, dishonest journalism, the only thing I find "biased" is Johnson's reporting.

In fact, it's kind of the epitome of irony to claim "bias" for calling a proposed amendment to prevent same-sex couples from marrying...well, amendment to "eliminate the right of same-sex couples to marry."

In other news, I find it extremely disturbing that OneNewsNow, in an article discussing the Tennessee Church Shooting victims, also felt the need to mention, "The Unitarian Universalist church advocates women's rights and gay rights and has provided sanctuary for political refugees."

To be fair, they followed the sentence with "It also has fed the homeless and founded a chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union, according to its Web site."

Yet, I am not giving the author of that article any credit. By choosing to state that the church endorses women's rights, gay rights, and political refugees (which are the antithesis of extremely conservative, fundamentalist groups like the AFA and its members), they are letting their readers know what they really think of the shootings. And I am positive that the Unitarian Universalist Church's acceptance of women and gays makes the shootings and murders more acceptable in the eyes of the AFA and its members.

I'm just sayin'. One wacko conservative already muderered people. How much more reckless journalism are Christian fundamentalists going to engage in before even more innocent lives are lost as a result of scapegoating "The Liberal" or the "The Gays?"

Don Wildmon ("a-der")

Friday, July 25, 2008

"AFA Members are so smart! S-M-R-T!"

I know several blogs have already posted similar hilarious comments from the Boycott McDonald's website.

But some of them are just too funny to let go without me making fun of personally. I have not added the "[sic]" notation in any of these comments, as that would just be distracting to the reader, given the amount of spelling and grammatical errors that you are about to read.

For example [emphasis added when bold, my comments follow, in italics]:

"We love your fries, but we will not compromise truth. You have taken money that our family, and millions of others, have contributed to the success of the McDonald's Corp. and chosen to use it for an agenda that defies the foundation of our nation, the family, as created by a man and woman. Perhaps you should spend more time sitting at the tables in the play yards of the thousands of McD's restaurants around the country. We will only be missing the fries, but your corporation has lost something much greater, respect and truth."

"I will take me 10 great grand children to Wendys BurgerKing or some other place. YOU ARE NOT THE ONLY GAME IN TOWN!" [err... "game?" Did I miss something?]

"It was bad enough having to keep my Spanish to English dictionary handy every time I pulled up to your drive-thru window (to the tune of about $1,000 per year). But this is the final straw (and I guess the final Big Mac) for me. Your blatant disregard for the strongly held moral values most Americans hold dear has cost you my business. Yes, Wendy's, I will have a Frosty with that." [Because it wouldn't be a conservative, "Christian" attack on Teh Gay Agenda if a little racism weren't thrown in for good measure}

"No more McDonald's for us - zip, zero, nada. You have taken the wrong side of this issue. We are not the haters here. The homosexuals are the intolerant ones. It's their way or the highway." [You're right. Homasekshuls have had it sooo easy for the past couple centuries. You poor, oppressed, heterosexual Christians finally deserve a break.]

"My family has supported your business for well over 25 years. We have been loyal customers eating at your establishments 4 times/week. It pains me to say, but, I now will take my business and hard-earned money elsewhere. As much as we have enjoyed the food over the years, we will not continue to do so because of your close-minded leadership. We are amazed that your leadership is taking this stand. Such ashame. You will be losing nothing just to be neutral on same sex marriages. Now you WILL lose.... customers. The loss of revenue is completely YOUR choice." [I'm sure they are on the brink of bankruptcy at this very moment!]

"Being for traditional marriage is not hatred. Warning others of dangers is not hatred either. Homosexuals are still at higher risk of AIDS. We that have lost loved ones to AIDS don't want others to go through it." [Yet another Concerned Voice for the public health of our nation's homosexuals. Hang on, I will give you the phone number to your local AIDS organization so you can volunteer your time there. Or better yet, I will give you information on helping your local black women, as they now represent 8 of 10 new HIV cases in the U.S.]

"As long as McDonald's keeps supporting same sex marriage my family will NO longer be eating there. Please Do consider others Faith and our children. It is Very wrong to be supporting gays, it even says so in the Bible. I feel that you are so wrong about supporting gays, mabey you should pick up your Bible and READ it!!!" [According to my femi-nazi-lezbo-wicca koran of mormon, sapphic desires and actions are perfectly normal and natural. "Mabey" you should stick that book in your back pocket.]

"McDonald's targets 2 year old children to blackmail their parents into bringing them to McDonald's, & has helped to undermine & destroy the family by turning meal time into "play time." Now "IT" wants to foist a "gay" time on all Americans. This is beyond "hatred." This is arrogance & contempt for even basic human dignity. No McBuggers for me." [seriously?! "McBuggers?" LOL]

"We have generally chosen McDonald's. We now will simply make another choice. There are other options. We cannot support a company with an agenda." [good luck with that]

"McDs was once a great resturant, but once my family of 5 found out about your support for the homosexual agenda we have decided to no longer patrone with your facitities. We hope you change your minds on this issue, but until then my entire family of over 200 will no longer be a patron at any Mcdonalds or any other place that supports agendas as this. Sorry." [200? and I thought the Duggers were bad]

"My family will no longer support a company whose policies are in direct opposition to our moral values. The militant homosexual movement is a threat to national security and my family. I will oppose it and all who support it." [I'm picturing armies of gay men and lesbians in berets and fatigues marching in front of the McDonald's in my neighborhood]

"My boycott of McDonald's just cost your company at least $300 dollars a month...and that's just what my family spent there. That does not include all of our friends and family that I've told who were equally outraged at your support of the NGLCC. Did I mention the roughly $300 a month over the last 5 years or so? Add that up if you will." [call me crazy, but is it really 'family-friendly' to force feed your children $300/month worth of McDonald's?]

"McDonald's (as well as any other "business" that will not stay neutral on any "cultural" issue) will not get my "business" ...they need to stick to ..."business". On the "cultural" issue of homosexuality, the reason I oppose it is not because I "hate" is because I have come to know God personally through His word. I have come to learn that, just as a parent loves their child too much to let them do something that will destroy their (or anyone else's)lives, so does God. He loves each of us and desires that we come to know the truth that we won't hurt ourselves or we can be set free." [I know when I talk to God, he says that he "saves." He means that he shops at Wal-Mart.]

"I will never, ever, visit a McDonald's in lieu of these developments." [man, "these developments" must be an awesome place.]

"When I travel I look for a McDonalds for breakfast now I'll go to Bojangles" [A-wha?!?]

Okay folks, that's it for now. Expect some more fun in the next edition of ""AFA Members are so smart! S-M-R-T!"

Thursday, July 24, 2008

AFA Alert [insert 1950s Commie bomb warning sound here]

Don Wildmon and his little group, the AFA, are getting desperate, it appears.

I have received 6 "AFA Action Alerts" since 7/11/08.

Among the headlines from our cookoo conservative cohorts:

*McDonald's: those opposing ssm are motivated by hate (a-der. good luck in your boycott of McDonald's, by the way.)

*Will You Pray for China During the Olympics? (which is really a ploy to get you to buy a "free" Olympic "prayer band.")

*Liberals block effort to help solve energy crisis (because the AFA is, like, SOOO environmentally aware now)

*Tear Apart the “Theory” of Evolution And Win Every Debate, Every Time…

For those curious, the article begins like this:

"Dear Friend,

I’m fed up with Darwin…

When evolution supporters tried to make me feel foolish for believing in God, I decided to do something about it.

Evolution is not proven fact. Every one of their claims can be torn to shreds. All you need are the missing pieces. Today, I’ll show you what they are.

Within minutes, you’ll:

• Quickly take down self-righteous atheists…

• Easily and accurately defend God’s role as our Creator…

• Send hardened skeptics into a state of confusion…

• Expose the “theory” of evolution and leave scientists with their mouths hanging open…

My name is Jeffrey Howard. If you ever challenged someone on evolution, I have great news.

By the time you read to the end of this letter, you’ll have everything you need to take on the skeptics and win. You’ll never be at a loss for words. The whole evolution debate will be right in your pocket.

Use it anytime, anywhere… It’s much easier than you think. Once you get the real story, it takes less than 5 minutes!"

And guess what? If you fork over your credit card number, he will be more than happy to share it all with you.

And that's not all! You will also get 4 "free reports" on "natural and inexpensive remedies for ADHD" AND "the names and exact doses of the nutrients that power up the part of your eye responsible for seeing vivid colors and sharp lines"
AND "5 simple nutrients that can protect your memory, burn through “brain fog” and help you think more clearly" AND "The 7 Nutritional Supplements that REALLY Work…" in slowing down your aging process!!

All of this by clicking on the link to provide your credit card information for these "FREE" reports.

Good times.

And here I thought the AFA was focused on anti-gay propaganda!

Man, it sure is expensive to be focused on the American Family these days.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Who supports Prop 8 in CA?

Pam Spaulding has an excellent post on just this topic over at Pam's House Blend.

Anyone interested should check it out, as well as the links she provides to the CA Secretary of State's Office.

David Benkof is right about this much, the information is no doubt out there on the internets for we marriage equality supporters to find. I'm off to do some research of my own and will post back with more information as my time and schedule allows.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

More denialism and fear-mongering from vaccine-o-phobes

The following article appeared on Judicial Watch's website on June 30, 2008.

The article, from this website that claims it is interested in "promoting the integrity, transparency, and accountability in government, politics, and the law," is basically yet another conservative watchdog group's attempt to discredit the HPV vaccine, Gardasil.

It states, "Judicial Watch, the public interest group that investigates and prosecutes government corruption, today released a report based on new documents obtained from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) under the provisions of the Freedom of Information Act, detailing reports of adverse reactions to the vaccination for human papillomavirus (HPV), Gardasil. The adverse reactions include 10 deaths since September, 2007."

First, saying that Judical Watch "uncovered" these reported adverse effects is extremely misleading. Saying something is "uncovered" implies that it was hidden from public view, and implies that the government and/or pharmaceutical companies are trying to hide something. As Judicial Watch states, all VAERS records are provided to the public openly.

The more I read conservative "reports" and "news articles," the more convinced I become that they are the biggest paranoid conspiracy theorists out there.

To be clear, as part of the mandated Vaccine Adverse Effect Reporting System (VAERS) that pharmaceutical companies are required to participate in, any and all reactions, illnesses, and deaths that occur within a specified time frame of receiving the vaccine should be reported and investigated. These deaths can include, for example, a girl who receives Gardasil, and one week later dies in a car accident. Because she died within a week of getting the injection, it must be investigated as a potential adverse effect of the vaccine. Same goes, for example, for a girl who received Gardasil, fell off her bike, and is now in a coma in the hospital.

For example, in its article, Judicial Watch lists as one example of an adverse effect:

"Information has been received from a physician concerning a female patient who on an unknown date was vaccinated with a dose of Gardasil. Subsequently, the patient experienced a coma and is now paralyzed. At the time of this report, the patient's outcome was unknown. VAERS ID: 303188-1"

Um. I am truly saddened to hear about anyone in a coma. Yet, I cringe at the words "...who on an unknown date was vaccinated with a dose of Gardasil."

Like, how long ago did she receive Gardasil? And how much longer "subsequently" did she experience a coma? And what, exactly, happened to her in the meantime? When I was a toddler, I was given my childhood vaccines before kindergarten. Subsequently, I became a lesbian.

I'm sorry, but leaving out important details like dates, something I learned in Journalism 101 is THE single most important factor in telling an accurate, true, unbiased story is shoddy journalism at best. At worst, it is deliberate dishonesty. I haven't ever been to Judical Watch before, so I have no idea what kind of reputation it has among reputable news sources. But I am starting to place it in the dishonest propaganda category like AFA, FAF, and David Benkof.

As the VAERS website clearly states in its FAQ section, "The fact that an adverse event occurred following immunization is not conclusive evidence that the event was caused by a vaccine. Factors such as medical history and other medications given near the time of the vaccination must be examined to determine if they could have caused the adverse event. It is important to remember that many adverse events reported to VAERS may not be caused by vaccines."

As for the fainting and/or seizure episodes the Judicial Watch article discusses, let's consider this: a girl comes into the doctor's office who doesn't eat breakfast that morning (being a typical teenager), thus she already has low blood sugar, and then has a vasovagal response to the injection and faints. Most times, reactions like this are more so a result of hypoglycemia and anxiety/fear of needles (because the same thing happens during blood draws), than from whatever is in the actual vaccine.

Anyway, I have never seen more public outcry against a vaccine than this one. Sure, the vaccine denialists are out there, and have been since before Gardasil. But never have conservatives been so outspoken about vaccines until Gardasil. (and so willing to misrepresent the truth and the statistics). Coincidentally, it is one vaccine that deals with women and sexuality. Hmm...

The amount of hate some people carry is just sad. To supporters of Gardasil, let's all work together to fight unfair misconceptions and lies about the vaccine.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Making your grandparents proud

This past weekend was Gay Pride, which to my friends and me, means giant parties for lesbians and gay men, beer, bands, food, and fun. It also means the Pride Parade. So, on Sunday morning, I showered away my hangover, drank a beer, and headed to Boystown for the party with my girlfriend and best friend.

An hour later, as per the usual late "gay time," we arrived to the geographic place where the parade ended, and saw that first rainbow flag rounding the bend. We made it just in time to see the parade, which we watched in time for me to hear from an ex, for my girlfriend to run into an ex, and my best friend to hear from her ex and her ex's new girlfriend, and the girl my friend had been "talking to," but who was now back with her ex, but not having sex with (because they "love each other, they just aren't in love anymore.") Such is life in the lesbian world. Lol. We are all connected to Melissa Etheridge, Jodie Foster, Portia, and Jennifer Beals by, like, 3 degrees.

Okay... so maybe not Jennifer Beals...but we can all wish, can't we?

Anyway, the point of this, because I don't often like to delve into my personal life on my blog (because there are some truly sick people out there in cyberspace), was to post the following photograph, which I took on Sunday at the parade:

Bear in mind that the Chicago Gay Pride parade was attended by an estimated 450,000 spectators this year.

Also bear in mind that, of the 450,000 people, this picture shows those who were protestors of the event (maybe 10-15 people, tops).

So, you can imagine the public mockery they made of themselves, standing there like perfect little hateful, bigoted charicatures. A tiny group of about 10 people, donning sandwich boards, megaphones, and stereotypical, by-now-meaningless bible quotes telling each person as they walked past, that they are "going to hell."

At one point, the man with the megaphone in my picture above stated, "You must make your grandmother proud" to a gay man who was proudly showing off his rainbow-colored necklace to the protestors.

Honestly, I am sure he does. At least more so than the bigot brigade that was on (such small) display.

If the sole "vice" those protestors were judging this man on is that he is gay, then he already is light-years ahead of the monsters behind the sandwich boards and megaphones.

If his "vice," is that he--on the day of the year that a gay couple can walk down the streets of Chicago holding hands like their straight counterparts with no fear of violence or catcalls--stood up a little bit to a hateful group of tormentors, then he is eons ahead of the bigots hiding behind the police like cowards.

And that, I know, would make any grandmother proud.