On The Public Suffocation of Colorado’s Civil Unions Bill

So, as I predicted with my magic powers, Frank McNulty killed the Civil Union bill the only way he could: procedurally.  Instead of sending it to any committee actually related to the bill, he sent it to the House Committee for State, Veterans, and Military Affairs, known as a ‘kill’ committee for the fact that all of its Republican members have safe seats and no reason to fear voter or public reprisal.  While the bill had previously been able to gain the support of the one necessary Republican to survive in each of its 3 (THREE!) Committee hearings, the old white assholes masquerading as Republican public servants would prove faithful to McNulty and the extreme right.  This, despite the fact that the bill not only had substantial popular support among both Colorado’s public and elected officials.  In fact, had the bill made it to the house floor, it is likely that it would have most likely have had a supermajority (or very close) of supporters.  Continue reading

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Ten Reasons to support the 5/1 General Strike

On May 1, in Denver and across the globe, labor organizations and other progressive advocacy groups are calling a General Strike, a day of no work to call attention to some of the problems plaguing our country.  Here are ten reasons for a person to participate.
1. You object to the global exploitation of the working class at the hands of the ownership class.
2. You object to the thoroughly un-American taxation without representation that is forced upon 90 percent of American society as the remaining 10 percent (or less, based off financial contribututions it is more like .05 percent) control all successful federal policy.
3. You want American to not only treat its workers fairly, but to only do business with countries that treat their workers fairly; thereby bringing competition back to the US economy, and not at the expense of the working class.
4. You want elected officials who are willing to be reasonable and work together for the best interests of the country, not simply accommodate the interests of their highest bidders.
5. You want the United States to join the 1st world and offer a reasonable public health care option, to reduce overall costs through competition and to better the health of the overall population.  Healthy workers are more productive workers.
6. You do not want a government that uses the money of its citizens and future citizens to wage war against the wishes of its citizenry and build an imperialistic military presence across the globe.
7. You do not want a government that, during the midst of a nearly unprecedented economic an crisis, chooses to spend its efforts legislating reproductive rights.
8. You do not want a government that, during this same crisis, would spend its resources taking medicine away from sick people, medicine they are allowed by state law to posess.
9. You are one of millions of Americans working for a wage that can barely be considered live-sustaining, in a job with little to no benefits, and little to no upward mobility.
10. Last, but not least, you can strike and march because you are a human being and want to improve conditions everywhere for not only yourself, but also your fellow man.

Headline: Lyin’ Ass Bitch Lies!

There’s nothing worse than DEA agents, not even grad students. For evidence of this, look no further than Colorado’s new DEA chief Barbra Roach, and yes that is her real last name, and no she probably does not have a sense of humor about it.  Also, she takes some time out of her  courtesy introductive fluff piece in the Denver Post to say:

“By federal law, marijuana is illegal,” she said. “There is no medical proof it has any benefit. People are not taking into account what can happen to those who are growing it. There are homes with mold and water damage in the hundreds of thousands, and there are children in there too.”

So, clearly she is either a lyin’ ass bitch or an idiot, because there’s somewhere around 500 studies that offer ‘medical proof’ that cannabis helps with a wide variety of ailments.  Some of the ailments it has been proven (by actual doctors) to benefit would include Glaucoma, according to the Institute of Medicine; and it has been proven across the globe to decrees spasms in MS patients.  The Scripps Research Institute determined that THC is more effective against Alzheimers disease than the currently available prescription drugs.  Cannabidiol, one of the many components of medicinal cannabis, has been proven to block the metastasis of breast cancer cells.  According to a study done at Complutense University of Madrid, one of the oldest universities in the world, THC can actually kill brain cancer cells. OK, you know what, I am sick of this.  I should probably smoke some weed to get better.  While I am doing that, I think it is important to ask why our government agents assigned to protect us from ourselves feels absolutely no obligation to tell the truth, and instead tells a blatant and self-serving lie in her introduction to the state in our only major newspaper.  Oh, because that’s what the government’s job is: to lie to us so that we will let them continue to rape our nation.

In Which the Author Weighs in on Focus on the Family Weighing in on Civil Unions

Online-only article on the Denver Post’s website from Tom Minnery

I’m feeling bored and contentious, so here we go.  So we will just summarize the first six paragraphs with this.

“Groups like ours saw that law not as a solution but only a stepping stone toward civil unions, and indeed the new civil unions bill mirrors marriage in all but name only. That is why we opposed the 2009 bill.

So, basically, the first half of the argument is that civil unions are bad because they are too much like marriage.  Which is bad why, exactly?

“But the impact goes much further as it jeopardizes the rights of parents to have a say in what’s taught to their children in school — even as young as kindergarten — about sexuality and marriage.”

I am pretty sure that the bill has nothing to do with education, public or private.  Furthermore, there are definitely PLENTY of religious schools in Colorado that would be happy to teach your children that the only thing worse than gays is their marriage, as well as that the Earth was created 4000 years ago, that condoms are murder, or whatever  misguided ancient creed you happen to be into.  Plus, I don’t remember too much of my kindergarten teachers talkin’ about straight fuckin’ and whatnot; so I don’t know why the gay stuff would suddenly be coming up then.

“It endangers business owners who are sued for not photographing or renting facilities for same-sex ceremonies.”

I am pretty sure there is no legal footing here, and the rights of business owners who post signs about their right to refuse service are pretty firmly established in this state; and there’s definitely nothing in there about forcing people to hold gay weddings if they don’t want to, so….we’ll just move on.

“Mostly, it impacts children who deserve every chance to be raised in a home with their own married mom and dad rather than the intentionally motherless or fatherless home created by same-sex unions.”

Hah, this is ‘mostly’ what civil unions will do.  Now, first, we’ll just throw out all this about kids doing as well or better in same sex households,  Next, where are all these children who are getting deprived coming from?  The kid store?  Apparently, there aren’t orphanages across the globe filled with kids that they can barely feed and clothe?  Or is he saying that if civil unions aren’t allowed, then once and for all gay people will just get over it and have straight families?  Either, I guess.

But we also join those whose voices are seldom heard, those of the children. As we have seen in California, the passage of civil union legislation will eventually threaten marriage. And if we say that marriage no longer means one mom and one dad, then we have denied children at least a chance to live in that special environment that gives them the best opportunity for success in life. This is one more reason why legislators should reject this bill.

Now, I am just going to go ahead and say it, this guy is the Executive director of the public policy arm of Focus on the Family, writing a letter to Colorado’s largest newspaper.  A letter in which in his closing paragraph he begins the paragraph with ‘But’ and two sentences later begins the sentence with ‘And’, so clearly Tom Minnery is not terribly bright or well versed with the pen, or perhaps he is fifteen.  He implies that children are calling out for the blocking of civil unions, with their voices, and this is news to me.  Apparently, marriage was eventually threatened in California, which I would love to see some statistics, or any kind of proof, or really anything, about.  Particularly since divorce rates are actually dropping.  Next, he basically restates his earlier ‘save the kids from gay parents’ argument.  You know what, that was just bad writing from an uninformed bigot, I don’t know why I wasted my time with it, but I guess I feel a little better.

Contraception and the Constitution (or, another post I never thought I would have to write)

Now I am not trying to be a dick here, or anything (wordplay) but I think it is important to actually discuss the current ‘debate’ over birth control, the Catholic Crutch (no typos here), and the U.S. Constitution.  First, let us look at the relevant text.  “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…” and then it continues on with several more things that nobody seems to care nearly as much about the protection of.  Notice that there is nothing there about not paying any taxes, seriously, nothing.  That has been based on various questionable court decisions and bizarre tax code regulations that, if correctly enforced, would cause a lot of churches to actually lose their tax exemptions.  However, I am not here to talk about whether or not churches should pay taxes (they should) but rather whether or not insurance providers should be required to provide birth control to their plan purchasers.  Which seems like a really stupid question, because it is.  First, if a Catholic chooses to buy birth control, let us be clear that it is their decision, they are exercising their religious freedom in this situation; it is not an infringement of the right of the church to keep them from doing so.  The First Amendment was not written to protect the rights of churches from the desires of their followers, but to prevent a situation similar to what England had gone through with both the Catholic Church and the Church of England.

From a certain court-established viewpoint, one which I do not necessarily agree with, I can understand the objection to the contraception decision in its previous state, in which the religious organisation (not church, churches were already directly exempt) was required to pay the cost of the contraceptive care.  However, in the revised plan, if the religious organisation may choose not to pay for it, in which case the cost must be covered by the insurance company.  Which, to most people in touch with reality, seems like a perfectly reasonable agreement between a forward thinking government and a religion bound up in ancient conventions (although not specifically encoded to reference birth control in 1965) that were, and still are, intended for the purpose of expanding a certain notoriously greedy theocracy’s population and therefore (very directly, both in olden times and now) financial assets.  Same as multiple marriages and kids for Mormons; more Mormons = more money for the Mormon leadership.  But I digress. At issue here is whether or not this arrangement violated any constitutional right: to which I can only say that there is no remotely factual interpretation of the above mentioned amendment that can be interpreted to conflict with this. A strict constitutionalist would argue that, as it clearly not only applies to all religious organisations indiscriminately but does not directly require them to take any action at all, there can be no conflict there. A more adaptive ‘living constitution’ argument would reason that the intentions of the founders were not to enable religious leaders to force their beliefs on the employees of their hospitals and charitable organisations to adhere to their belief structure; but quite rather to prevent that type of thing. This is without taking into account that many of these groups receive huge amounts of federal funding; and whether or not that gives the government a right to say how they spend it (it does).
If you really want to know why this argument is is being given any kind of credibility at all, what really needs to be examined is the giant piles of cash the congressmen who are so incensed, particularly Darrell Issa, receive from the health insurance companies each year. These piles are huge, and can be seen in the voting records of those in question, which unilaterally favor deregulation and oppose requiring health insurance companies to cover anything they don’t want to, or God Forbid offer services for free. In short, the Catholic leaders are really just a political tool of the corporate wing of the republican party to continue to expand their bottom lines at the expense of the taxpayers. So, basically, business as usual.

Santorum Surges Forth, Overwhelming Gingrich, Romney

Results of the Colorado Caucus [Denver Post]
So Rick Santorum (go google it now, just to keep the pageviews up) has just won three states in one night. Including, not too surprisingly, Colorado. I say not surprisingly, even though Romney won here four years ago, and received the endorsement of many of Colorado’s more prominent Republican party members, including the Denver Post. And yes, that reads correctly. So if Romney was so heavily favored, how did he lose so decisively?
The answer is simple: Romney is very heavily favored, but only by the establishment, the surrounding millionaires, and the wealthy republicans who make up the majority of their party’s financial assets. However, the past four years have not been particularly kind to the public image of insanely wealthy venture capitalists. This is why the counties that Romney was able to win either had substantial Mormon populations or were in the Denver metro area.
In the areas Santorum won, he had two major advantages over Romney going into the campaign. The first is that Colorado has always been particularly distrustful of the political establishment; and Colorado natives frequently exhibit this trait in their voting. The second is that rural Colorado, particularly the flat parts, is populated heavily by Christian zealots and meth nazis. These are two groups that are obviously all up in Santorum’s camp. Remember, this is the state that tried to make it totally cool to discriminate against gays for any reason.

Komen Foundation to Continue Planned Parenthood Founding

This has already been a big year for social media, first with the surprisingly effective online action against SOPA/PIPA, and now with the Komen Foundation dropping their plan to cut their funding to Planned Parenthood.  While it is sad that something such as cancer funding can become a political issue, that is exactly what happened.  Here is an article from the Atlantic describing how the Komen foundations public policy arm is run by a staunchly pro-life former GOP politician, who had pledged while running for governor to cut funding for Planned Parenthood.

Fortunately, we once again were treated to the actual power of the internet’s social media network in convincing the Foundation to continue funding breast cancer screenings (I seriously can’t even believe I had to write that) at Planned Parenthood.  I suppose the whole “under investigation” issue might be more of a thing if you regard potentially spending government money on abortion a grave issue, I personally don’t care, as it is both a medical procedure and a private matter; I don’t see why its funding should be subject to any more additional rules and regulations.  After all, aren’t the GOP the ones who are always complaining about how regulation is unAmerican?  Regardless of the whole thing, if you ask me, taking away funding for low-income breast cancer screenings is downright inhuman.  The fact that it might have been a coordinated attack by two career GOP politicians who share both a staunchly pro-life record as well as similarly minded financial backers is just deplorable.