Thursday, August 27, 2009

Crisis Pregnancy Centers Investigated.

Read Kathryn Joyce's fantastic investigative article in The Nation, Shotgun Adoption, on crisis pregnancy centers, the organizations set up by anti-choice groups to steer pregnant women toward adoption and away from abortion.

This movement is more about regulating women's sex lives than saving the "life of an unborn child." Kathryn looks at their government financing, the tactics used by these organizations to lure innocent women in, the history of the adoption movement in the US, the religious ideology behind these organizations, and - where she is best in this piece - examines the disrupted lives of the young women who are taken in.

What Will 3200 Do For Me?

Analysis of how the health care reform will effect districts.

My district in Brooklyn, NY?

America’s Affordable Health Choices Act would provide significant benefits in the 12th Congressional District of New York: up to 16,400 small businesses could receive tax credits to provide coverage to their employees; 4,300 seniors would avoid the donut hole in Medicare Part D; 480 families could escape bankruptcy each year due to unaffordable health care costs; health care providers would receive payment for $119 million in uncompensated care each year; and 140,000 uninsured individuals would gain access to high-quality, affordable health insurance. Congresswoman Nydia M. Velázquez represents the district.

Find your own district at:

Find out what 3200 will do for you at:

Via Kos.

RIP Dominick Dunne, you suck up.

So I was reading Joan Didion in Namibia and by the time I got to Ethiopia I was curious to read some of her husband, also, I knew, a writer. Found a Dunne book at a street table in Addis Ababa and dove into it. Aw shucks. Hollywood, big names, rich food and richer parties - not really my fair. I was definitely disappointed. Then, by coincidence, I figured out that I was reading Dominick Dunne, not John Gregory (Didion) Dunne. Whew.

I like Dominick's essays but his novels are a slog through elitism and name dropping. John Gregory, also dead and eulogized in Didion's The Year of Magical Thinking, was a much better novelist. But, among the three Panic in Needle Park participants, Didion still rules my roost.

Yet, Rest in Peace, Dominick Dunne. Send reports back on what writer's heaven (or hell) is like. We're all curious to know what you think of your new circle.

Weasels and Charlatans.

Randall Terry. If ever there was a zealot hell-bent on keeping women in their place and flouting the laws of the country, it would be the speaker of such shite:

"Our goal is to keep child-killing and euthanasia in the center of this debate until any vestige of taxpayers’ paying for murder is gone."

Facts nor the health of the public figure into Terry's odd world of hatred, distortion, and grotesquery. On the 25th, Terry was ejected from a Town Hall meeting where Howard Dean and representative Moran were speaking for disrupting the event. The above quote comes from a press release announcing his current 5 state tour.

Now we find, via Jill Stanek (no slacker when it comes to distortion and restriction of women's rights - and yes, I link to her site because the more readers see how crazy she is, the better) and the LA Times that Terry's not the most popular screamer on the anti-choice block. Seems his tactics are causing some dissention among the pictures-of-dead-babies brigade.

Troy Newman, a one-time protoge in Terry's army of deluded, is Director of Operation Rescue West and now fighting Terry for use of the organization's name - and the funding that it captures for the fight against women's rights.

How bad is the rift? Terry calls Newman a weasel. Newman calls Terry a charlatan. Newman, in his vitriol, resorted to the c-word! When anti-choicers accuse others of being cultists, you know the war is on.

"Randall is articulate and convincing," Newman said from Wichita, KS. "But so are used-car salesmen and cult leaders. He is not a true believer but a charlatan, and a manipulator.... He shows up at a national event, makes a flamboyant speech, gets everyone within earshot rattled and then passes the collection plate and moves on."

This is a battle over tactics and money, not God's word.

UPDATE: Adele Stan gets the word out at alternet. Thanks for the shout-out!