Tag Archives: Wisconsin

Tim Corrimal Show, Episode 157 – February 27, 2011

I had the pleasure of joining Tim Corrimal (@TimCorrimal on Twitter) again this week on his weekly podcast (“The Tim Corrimal Show“). This week Tim was joined by his co-host Dave von Ebers (@Dave_von_Ebers on Twitter), Ian Boudreau (@iboudreau on Twitter), and David Simmons (@My1BlueEye on Twitter).

I say it every week and every week I mean it even more, if you’re not tuning into Tim’s show on a regular basis you’re really missing out. Tim does a wonderful job week in and week out gathering together smart people for observant, witty, and on point conversations about current events, politics, culture, media, etc.

This week’s topics were DOMA, Wisconsin protests, and Libya. The show opened with Dave’s discussion of DOMA and the Justice Department’s decision to no longer defend it. I confess now to being shamefully ignorant on the matter of DOMA and the Justice Department’s role in previously defending it and deciding to no longer defend it now. Dave von Ebers is capable of speaking intelligently on this topic and I can’t say enough about his smart discussion on the podcast and his recent blog post about the DOJ’s decision.

Next topic for discussion was the protests in Wisconsin (and across the country for that matter) regarding Gov. Scott Walker’s efforts to bust public sector unions. Really, hasn’t this become a non-issue? Is it not clear that union busting is the objective here? The fact that dumb-as-a-box-of-rocks Walker gave a 20 minute foot-in-mouth interview with a Buffalo, NY reporter posing as David Koch merely cements the under-handed bullshit that’s happening in Wisconsin. The GOP hasn’t changed their playbook in decades. Every time they have an opportunity to blame anything and everything on a math teacher in Kenosha, they do. Walker wants the teachers’ unions and public sector employees’ unions to take it up the ass right after he gave business more tax cuts! Only a Republican can think that plan makes any sense at all. Seriously.

The unions have already come to Walker and said they will pay more towards health insurance and pension benefits. The monetary issues have been resolved. But Walker is still pushing for the unions to give up their collective bargaining rights. Without collective bargaining rights unions aren’t unions. How can anyone really believe that this isn’t about union busting? That’s all it is about.

Last topic on the podcast this week was Libya. What is happening in Libya is no different than what happened in Tunisia and Egypt: citizens fed up with corrupt regimes, high unemployment, high cost of living, housing crisis, and police brutality. The first step in galvanizing momentum in Egypt was the June 7th beating death of Khaleed Said in Alexandria last year. The first step in galvanizing momentum in Tunisia was Sidi Bouazizi immolating himself on December 17th last year. Protest and a handful of other young male suicides followed in mid-December. Following Bouazizi’s death in early January protests began to spread across Tunisia and into the capital. And now, the first step in galvanizing momentum in Libya are the arrest of human rights activist Fathi Terbil and political commentator Jamal al-Hajji along with the government blocking access to YouTube so as to prevent people from seeing video of protesting families of Abu Salim massacre victims. The crushingly oppressive regimes of the Arab world are at the root of every protest in the Middle East right now. Their corruption and cronyism that has economically raped their countries for decades has resulted in staggering unemployment (between 20-30% across the region), a housing crisis, and has exacerbated the rising cost of consumer good and food supplies. Protesters in Libya have been spurred on by the successes of their neighbors, but their hardships are equally heartbreaking.

The violently crushing police state in Libya is no different than that of Egypt. The notoriety of Egypt’s state prisons and army is mirrored in Libya. The Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International have called repeatedly for investigations into conditions at Libya’s Abu Salim prison. In 1996 1,270 prisons were massacred at Abu Salim. No real investigation (that I know of, I am hungry for details if anyone has them) has been performed to find out why this massacred occurred, but it has become a defining example of the violence of the Libyan government and army over her people.

As always it was a blast being on Tim’s show. Look forward to joining him again some time in the future. Give Tim, David, Dave, and Ian hearty follows on Twitter and check out all their blogs.

UPDATE: Please check out Ian Boudreau’s Tumblr for great posts. I’ve added it to the blogroll, too.

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Filed under Middle East, Politics, US

Wisconsin Protests

Yesterday, Seth Pajak (@SethP23 on Twitter) attended and filmed the “Save the Dream” rally in Atlanta, GA in solidarity with the Wisconsin Protesters. Please support Seth on Twitter and give his YouTube video a watch.

Tweet it. Facebook it. Shout it out your fucking car window.

 

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Filed under Politics, US

Tim Corrimal Show, Episode 156 – February 21, 2011

This weeks Tim Corrimal Show looked at a host of domestic issues that have happened in the last week or that were moved to the back burner over the past two weeks as Tim and his guests discussed the unfolding revolution in Egypt.

On the docket this week were the effects of the GOP’s domestic policies regarding jobs (or the lack thereof), abortion and Planned Parenthood, and the attempts at union busting in Wisconsin. Head over to Tim’s site for a list (and links) of his guests and their Twitter friends of the week. If you’re not already listening to Tim’s show on a regular basis you are seriously missing out. I have had the privilege of being a guest on Tim’s show twice and look forward to joining him again some time in the future. He is uncanny at gathering together a great group of people and fostering intelligent, genuine, respectful, and sharp discussion. I can’t recommend it enough.

This past year, leading up to mid-term elections, the GOP ran on a solid platform of jobs, jobs, and oh yeah, more jobs. They railed against Obama, the Dems, and Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi as job-killing, government-expanding, nanny-state perpetuating liberal, commie overlords. And it worked! The GOP took the house and many state elections. But since coming to office, the party of jobs has become the party of anti-abortion, Planned Parenthood defunding, defunding social services, and now union busting. Gone are the overwhelming concerns for the jobless in this country. Gone are the concerns for serious discussion for both short term and long term deficit reduction. Now the interest, the sole interest, of the GOP is the indiscriminate defunding of social programs, education and heath organizations, and often-labeled “liberal” media entities. Budgets have been slashed for the EPA, FDA, NEA, PBS, etc. Now the GOP has turned their scopes to abortion and Planned Parenthood.

Tim and his guests, as mentioned above, discussed a variety of US domestic issues, including the ongoing attempts in Wisconsin to bust unions, but I would like to specifically address the topic of abortion in this country and the current round of assaults on abortion rights extremely well (Montana, South Dakota, etc).

One thing I wish Tim and his guests had touched upon was the hypocrisy in the US by both social advocates and elected officials when it comes to male reproductive issues and women’s reproductive issues. Viagra is paid for by Medicare. If a group of female congresswomen got together to sponsor a bill that would effect Viagra availability or insurance coverage, there would be no end to the male outrage over government or women inserting themselves into a private decision process. No man wants government or a women telling him what to do with his penis, yet men feel comfortable everyday dictating what women do with their bodies.

Planned Parenthood had acquired the stain of being the “neighborhood abortion clinic.” It’s unfortunate and it’s a reputation pushed hard by the right. Planned Parenthood provides testing, screening, exams, and counseling for women AND men regarding sexual health, reproduction, family planing, body image, sexuality, physicals, vaccines, and healthy partnerships. Planned Parenthood provides flu shots, physical exams, testing for high cholesterol, diabetes and anemia. Planned Parenthood provides tetanus vaccines and offers programs for body image issues, sexuality, and quitting smoking. Planned Parenthood also provides fertility and family planning services for men AND women, such as counseling about pregnancy (how do get pregnant when you’re ready, or how avoid pregnancy until you’re ready), tests for fertility (for men AND women), referrals for fertility specialists, etc. Planned Parenthood provides a full spectrum of STD screenings and treatments in addition to UTIs.

To single Planned Parenthood out as only an abortion clinic ignores the host of much needed care that the organization provides men, women, and children in this country. How angry would the men of this country be if women dictated who they [men] could get condoms or Viagra from? If women of this country made it as difficult for them to receive sexual healthcare as they make it for us?

Teen pregnancy rates declined during the Clinton Administration when a successful sex education program was implemented in schools, one that armed young adults with proper information about sex, STDs, and pregnancy. Under the Bush Administration that program and the positive steps it took towards decreasing teen pregnancy was undone by an abstinence-only policy. As a result, teen pregnancy rose. A cornerstone of Planned Parenthood is education. They educate men and women about being sexually safe, not only to avoid STDs but to avoid pregnancy as well.

I assure you, no woman thinks about the man in her life the moment she finds out she’s pregnant. That moment in her bathroom with a home pregnancy test or in her doctor’s office is a moment of solitude. It is in that moment that a woman has to ask herself if she is physically, emotionally, psychologically and financially capable of carrying a child to term and caring for it into adulthood. The father of that child need only worry about his financial responsibility. Legally, that is the extent of the father’s responsibility. And the GOP is in the process of removing valuable avenues of advice and medical care for women as they prepare for a pregnancy, as they make the heavy-hearted decision to keep or terminate a pregnancy, and as they care the pregnancy to term. For a party so adamantly against the involvement of “big government” in their medical care it astounds me that they push this message so hard. By defunding organizations like Planned Parenthood the GOP dictates when, who, and how women receive sexual and reproductive healthcare services. By chipping away at abortion rights and dictating what occurs and is discussed between a patient and a doctor, the GOP is pushing the worst level of “nanny state” government and is showing the worst of their hypocritical colors.

No woman takes their reproductive care lightly. To imply that an abortion is performed flippantly or without thought or care is so unendingly insensitive as to be obscene.

Men would do well to remember that condoms are available over the counter and without a prescription. For a woman to obtain a birth control prescription in this country she must see a doctor, have a full gynecological exam (including breast exam, pelvic exam, pap smear, and blood and urine test), and then she can acquire her prescription at a pharmacy. If she relies on Medicaid for healthcare then the process is a bit more complicated. She has to find a doctor or clinic that accepts Medicaid. Then she has to find a pharmacy that accepts Medicaid. Then she has to pay for it. Planned Parenthood is such a clinic. By defunding Planned Parenthood, the GOP is extinguishing an organization that provides 20% of America’s women with health services. Women have always carried the disproportionate burden of sex and pregnancy. The GOP is intent on this continued subjugation.

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Filed under Feminism, Politics, US