This is My Body, Not Yours

Transcript:

This is my body.
I do what I want with it.
This is my body.
I make my own choices.
This is my body.
I use it as a canvas, tattoo it, decorate it, and pierce it.
I take medicine if I want to and only undergo medical procedures I choose.
I eat what I want, exercise for my health, and wear what I like.
I fall in love with whomever, fuck/sleep with whomever and marry whomever I choose.
I decide when and how to become a mother.
This is my body, not yours

These decisions have nothing to do with you. If I’m not hurting you or stopping you from pursuing your inherent right to happiness, it’s none of your business. This is my body, not yours.

Almost one in eight women in the United States will have breast cancer, the most invasive cancer for women worldwide. If I am black or white, rich or poor, married or single, gay or straight, formally educated or not, I have the right to be screened for this killer of women, whether I go to my doctor or rely on the services of clinics like those run by Planned Parenthood. Your desire to stop the funding of abortions has nothing to do with my right to defend myself against cancer. This is my body, not yours.

If I choose to have sex, I have the right to birth control and to be spared your demeaning insults you’d never want leveled against your daughter or mother. My pursuit of orgasm is neither unnatural nor dangerous nor scary nor an infringement of your religious liberty. My sexual activity is for my benefit, not your pleasure. And it’s never my fault if you rape me. I am done being excluded from decisions about my sexual and reproductive health. This is my body, not yours.

I determine who or what goes inside of my vagina and when. I make all decisions regarding my pregnancy. I will access prenatal care whether or not you agree with the choices made resulting from that care. I have the right to an abortion without facing intimidation, harassment, burdensome parental consent laws, or prejudicial taxes. If I decide to have an abortion, I will not undergo unnecessary, invasive medical procedures for the purposes of your moralizing and personal edification. I’m entitled to all health information from my doctor. And allowing myself to be penetrated once doesn’t assume your right to do it again on your own prerogative, for your own reasons. This is my body, not yours.

It is time for you to accept that I am fully aware, capable, and accountable for myself. I don’t need a hero or saving because I’m not in distress. I’m not defined by my need of a man or partner, but I have the right to be made happy by one, in a safe and supportive relationship. I’m not defined by my weight, hair, make up, skin color, or breast size. I do not exist to be your play toy. I won’t wait my turn nor be quiet nor heed you. I know my physical and mental strength and I do not fear you. I’m beautiful, despite what you think, with or without your approval. This is my body, not yours.

This is my body.
I’m through with legislators telling me what to do with it.
This is my body.
Keep your salacious, aggressive, sexist insults to yourself. I’m not listening.
This is my body.
I have the right to marry my partner, woman or man.
To equal pay
To health care
To education
To divorce
To safety
To protection of the law
To respect and dignity
To complete equality
This is my body, not yours.

Do not be afraid of a world in which women know themselves, their voice, and their power. That world has arrived.

————

Don’t like it?  We aren’t asking you if you like it; we’re telling you how things are.

The Watering Hole, Monday, July 9th, 2012: What’s Iraq Got That We Ain’t Got?

This past weekend, while catching up on a few websites, I ran across this link to a 2005 article in the Washington Post. A commenter at TP, Christopher Buttner, posted it on Friday, with the following comment, on the “5 Consequences of the GOP’s Bill to Repeal Obamacare“:

“Please share this – Republicans started the Iraq War to oust a dictator and install Democracy. Republicans wrote and approved the Iraq Constitution which includes Universal Health Care. Over 4300 AMERICAN MILITARY PERSONNEL WERE KILLED so that Republicans could give ALL Iraqi Citizens Health Care; but Republicans don’t believe that 30 million American Citizens deserve Health Care?
Article 31: “Every citizen has the right to health care. The state takes care of public health and provide the means of prevention and treatment by building different types of hospitals and medical institutions”

When I was reading the WaPo article, I noticed that a friend of TheZoo (under her real name) had also linked to the article, so I knew that I had to look into it further.

According to Wikipedia, the Iraq Constitution was drafted by the Iraq Constitution Drafting Committee, whose members were appointed by the Transitional National Assembly, and was adopted on October 15th, 2005, “in a referendum of the people.”

Although the WaPo piece highlights several different Articles in the Iraq Constitution (including several which I list below*, as taken from the full version here,) I picked out a few others that I thought would be good ideas here in the United States:

Article 8: Iraq shall observe the principles of good neighborliness, adhere to the principle of noninterference
in the internal affairs of other states, seek to settle disputes by peaceful means, establish relations on the basis of mutual interests and reciprocity, and respect its international obligations.

Article 9: B The formation of military militias outside the framework of the armed forces is prohibited.

Second: Economic, Social and Cultural Liberties
*Article 22:
First: Work is a right for all Iraqis in a way that guarantees a dignified life for them.
Second: The law shall regulate the relationship between employees and employers on economic bases and while observing the rules of social justice.
Third: The State shall guarantee the right to form and join unions and professional associations, and this shall be regulated by law.

Article 28: Second: Low income earners shall be exempted from taxes in a way that guarantees the preservation of the minimum income required for living. This shall be regulated by law.

Article 30:
First: The State shall guarantee to the individual and the family – especially children and women – social and health security, the basic requirements for living a free and decent life, and shall secure for them suitable income and appropriate housing.
Second: The State shall guarantee social and health security to Iraqis in cases of old age, sickness, employment disability, homelessness, orphanhood, or unemployment, shall work to protect them from ignorance, fear and poverty, and shall provide them housing and special programs of care and rehabilitation, and this shall be regulated by law.

*Article 31:
First: Every citizen has the right to health care. The State shall maintain public health and provide the means of prevention and treatment by building different types of hospitals and health institutions.

Article 32:
The State shall care for the handicapped and those with special needs, and shall ensure their rehabilitation in order to reintegrate them into society, and this shall be regulated by law.

Article 33:
First: Every individual has the right to live in safe environmental conditions.
Second: The State shall undertake the protection and preservation of the
environment and its biological diversity.

*Article 34:
First: Education is a fundamental factor for the progress of society and is a right guaranteed by the state. Primary education is mandatory and the state guarantees that it shall combat illiteracy.
Second: Free education in all its stages is a right for all Iraqis.
Third: The State shall encourage scientific research for peaceful purposes that serve humanity and shall support excellence, creativity, invention, and different aspects of ingenuity.
Fourth: Private and public education shall be guaranteed, and this shall be regulated by law.

Of course, the Preamble to the Iraq Constitution begins with “In the name of God, the Most merciful, the Most compassionate” (and doesn’t stray far from religion after that), and the first clause under “Fundamental Principles”, Article 2, states “Islam is the official religion of the State and is a foundation source of legislation”, but still…

…wouldn’t it be nice if the U.S. government guaranteed some of those rights to our citizens?

This is our daily open thread — what do YOU think?

Sunday Roast — Get your government hands out of my vagina

RMuse over at PoliticusUSA has written a great post about the Republican/Religious war against women, entitled Republicans Have [Awakened] a Sleeping Giant and She is Furious.*

The true motivation for a war is not always clear in spite of proclamations by a nation or its leaders…

…Over the past couple of weeks, there have been important clues to what the conservative’s endgame is and although contraception, abortion rights, and women’s health issues are at the forefront, it is male dominance that drives the assaults.

There it is, right there.  Male Dominance.  Of course, not all men want to dominate women; I would say that a majority of men don’t want to dominate women, but a bunch of loudmouths in the extreme rightwing of the Republican Party (i.e. all of them) and the ever-present blowhards in the American Taliban-wannabe religious right have declared outright war on the women of this country.  Apparently, we have forgotten our “place” as second class citizens, and they are determined to force us into that position again.

We can’t ignore them and expect them to go away — too many of them are in positions of power, and there’s a lot of money invested the Republican agenda.

The rightwing (I’m not going to use the qualifier “extreme,” since only a few sane Republicans exist anymore), in addition to their decades-long attack on our reproductive rights, now they’re attacking the Girl Scouts.  Cuz why not wage war on female children, as well as female adults?

One Republican from Indiana claimed Girl Scouts “promoted homosexual lifestyles” and although there is no truth to the Planned Parenthood connection or promoting homosexuality, it is stunning that the claims were made in the first place.

Beat ’em down while they’re still young, right?  “Tradition” is all important to these ideological freaks even (and especially, it seems) when it simply doesn’t work.  There might be quite a few women out there who would like to have babies and then stay home to raise them, but in today’s world, unless the spouse or partner has a large income, it simply isn’t possible.  It doesn’t matter how much they beat the old “women should be at home caring for their children” meme, it is not economically possible.  Or desirable in many cases.

Now we have the ridiculous contraception flap.  Again, it’s the control and dominance; keeping women in our place. Continue reading

This is how to take on the GOP – Mr Weiner, you’re doing it right!

HT: Crooksandliars

Crooksandliars has the following exchange between Anthony Weiner (D-NY) and Peter King (R-NY) as a followup to Weiner’s rant on the GOP blocking the 9/11 responders bill.

Listen to some more of Representative Weiner’s rants: Continue reading

Screw you, Jerry Bruckheimer

Take a hike, you douchebag. And you can take Gary Sinese with you. You are both Republican tools.

Why do I say this?

I was watching CSI: NY tonight. The premise was this: dere’s dis guy (oh, wait, this is NY not NJ, sorry) and he’s using technology to kill people. First, he takes over a car’s GPS and directs the victim to a bad area of NYC, then takes over the On-Star type service to first enjoy taunting his victim, then listening as he dies. Another guy dies when the killer takes over the restaurant ordering system to give this victim a double helping of peanuts instead of the peanut-free dinner that was originally entered by the server. As the victim’s throat closes up the killer is on the phone (who knew killer’s answered 911 calls?), asking for the gory details as to whether the victim has turned blue yet. MUWAHHHH!

Sounds interesting, right? I thought so.

Turns out, this guy was killing specific people; a doctor, the owner of a hospital, and staff members who had the unfortunate job of telling him that he no longer had insurance and they would not treat his advanced stage cancer any more. He chose Mac (Sinese’s character) to “tell his story” because Mac’s father had died of a pretty invasive cancer, too, and he just knew that Mac could relate to him after watching his father die of a similar cancer.

Heady stuff.

I would have forgotten the plot line as just another interesting CSI plot (it’s hard to feel sympathy for a killer, but it’s also difficult to not feel sympathy for a man who maybe had a chance if he could have gotten the chemotherapy and other treatment he needed, a thought provoking dichotomy, to be sure) – until the very end when Mac made a little speech to the killer, who was now in the hospital, getting treatment for his cancer, at the city’s expense, saying that the killer was nothing like his father! His father would have been proud to say that he lived long enough and it was his time to go – and go quietly into the night, happily (singing patriotic songs as the life flowed out of his body, I am sure). Of course, his dad had insurance, which took care of him until there was nothing left to do, but his time had come and it was time to go and go proudly he would. Glad to die, by golly!

One guy has insurance and runs the course of his therapy and the other who is no longer insured (the reason was not given) is cut-off mid-therapy. One might think this could be called a false equivalency.

Not in the eyes of these Republican tools – rich, Republican tools who could pay cold hard cash straight from their personal checking accounts for a heart transplant – several times a year.

I am washing my hands of the far too many Bruckheimer franchises. One viewer down. And I didn’t even have to die to do it.

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The Blog Post Every American Needs to Read

Want a real life story about the French healthcare system? Not a story from a guy some guy knows who is a friend of a colleague, but from an American who, while in Paris on vacation, had to suffer the indignity of that socialist country’s terrible emergency healthcare system? Read it now.

Sometimes it’s best to start a long story at the very end. In the case of my emergency eye problems in France, it’s the part of the story where the French medical system keeps refusing to let me pay for my $3000 surgery.

Go on. Click that link!

And pass it along!

My email from President Obama

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I received the following email today….and I took action to give my views on the Healthcare debate.  You can too.

Joanne —

The chance to finally reform our nation’s health care system is here. While Congress moves rapidly to produce a detailed plan, I have made it clear that real reform must uphold three core principles — it must reduce costs, guarantee choice, and ensure quality care for every American.

As we know, challenging the status quo will not be easy. Its defenders will claim our goals are too big, that we should once again settle for half measures and empty talk. Left unanswered, these voices of doubt might yet again derail the comprehensive reform we so badly need. That’s where you come in.

When our opponents spread fear and confusion about the changes we seek, your support for these core principles will show clarity and resolve. When the lobbyists for the status quo tell Congress to hold back, your personal story will give them the courage to press forward.

Join my call: Ask Congress to pass real health care reform in 2009.

After adding your name, please consider sharing your personal story about the importance of health care reform in your life and the lives of those you love.

I will be personally reviewing many of these signatures and stories. If you speak up now, your voice will make a difference.

Continue reading

May 12th In a Hundred Seconds & The Eruption Over Miss California Decision

The David Schuster segment where he is talking about “Can I vomit right now,” pertains to the Miss California decision – she gets to keep her crown. The video is below the fold.

Schuster has a feisty discussion with Contessa & Tamron over the issue.  He furthers states:

“Doesn’t this represent everything that is wrong with the superficial nature of these pageants?  She talked about how woman can make a difference in the world, she lied, and avoided taking personal responsibility.  She blamed others – whether it was Perez Hilton or the photographers – and then she whined about all the attention she received.”

Continue reading

Meet Ian Dobbin from the GOP Non-Budget

On page 7 of the GOP non-budget FudgeIt, the GOP introduces us to:

Mr. Dobbin’s sad saga began in May of 2007:

A CANCER patient faces having to pay £25,000 or die – after health chiefs refused to fund the only treatment that can save him.

Ian Dobbin, 54, of Acomb, said a cure for his leukaemia did exist, but the cash-strapped North Yorkshire & York Primary Care Trust (PCT) was not prepared to pay for it.

He said: “It is a death sentence for me. I feel absolutely gutted because there is no way I can find that sort of money.

“My life is dependent on getting this drug and without it I will die. I am totally devastated.

Mr Dobbin was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukaemia in April last year.

He was successfully treated with chemotherapy last summer, but a rare complication – previously unseen in York Hospital – damaged his brain and left him barely able to walk.

Two months ago, Mr Dobbin’s cancer returned and now hospital consultants have identified clofarabine as the only alternative drug that can save him.

Consultant haematologist Dr Lee Bond said: “Mr Dobbin needs more chemotherapy, but we don’t want to give him the normal chemotherapy because of the complications he had before.

“Clofarabine, followed by a bone marrow transplant, is the only treatment that would offer him a chance of a cure. It is not a licensed drug for treatment of this particular type of leukaemia, but it has been used in clinical trials.

The article adds this:

“Clofarabine, followed by a bone marrow transplant, is the only treatment that would offer him a chance of a cure. It is not a licensed drug for treatment of this particular type of leukaemia, but it has been used in clinical trials. [Ed: Sorry for the duplication. MsJoanne]

“The PCT also has to carefully consider the use of any drug when its use is proposed outside the drug’s licence indications.

“While we do appreciate the difficult circumstances around any decision regarding access to drugs, the PCT has a responsibility to ensure that it uses its resources both safely and effectively.”

Only 2,000 patients are diagnosed with the illness in the UK every year.

Mr. Dobbin appealed the decision. The following month, PCT approved the use of this drug.

Fast-forward to June of 2007 – one month after PCT’s decision to allow the use of Clofarabine:

But before Mr Dobbin can be given the new drug – the only treatment that gives him a chance of a cure – he needs to have a bone marrow transplant.

No one in his family was able to donate their marrow to Mr. Dobbin, for they were not a match.

In August of 2007, a donor was found:

Ian Dobbin, of Acomb, York, was facing death by Christmas unless a compatible bone marrow donor could be found to save him.

But today, the father-of-two, who is suffering from acute myeloid leukaemia, said he was “on cloud nine” – after receiving the long-awaited news that a match had been found.

“I don’t know who my donor is because that is kept secret, but I can’t thank them enough – they have literally saved my life.

Next week, Mr Dobbin will return to York Hospital to start his four-week course of chemotherapy – and provided he goes into remission, the bone marrow transplant will be carried out in November.

Ian Dobbin received his drug.  He got his transplant.  Ian Dobbin did not have to pay for this because he had socialized medicine.  How many of you have been turned down by insurance companies who refused to let you have a test?  A procedure?  Something less than life-threatening? How much did it cost you? How about being denied insurance coverage because of acne?

I wonder if this outcome was ever reported to the GOP.  Because, in my eyes, this is further proof of why we need to have better healthcare in this country.  From page 6 of the GOP non-budget FudgeIt:

Apparently, Rush Limbaugh wrote the 19 page non-budget FudgeIt because it refers to the “Democrat plan” and if any serious person was the author, they would have written the proper “Democratic” or “Democrat’s” and not played these silly word games. The GOP, much like its FudgeIt, are anything but serious.

But I tell you what, if I could have free doctor care, free chemotherapy, free bone marrow surgery, hell yeah I would want government-run healthcare!  My doctor’s currently have no say in what insurance will and will not cover.  My premiums go into the CEO bonuses.  ENOUGH! All American’s deserve healthcare…no matter how much – or little – we earn.

h/t: alleen at They Gave Us A Republic. Alleen, thank you for the 411 on Ian.

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Healthcare Insurers Offer to Stop Screwing Us

Well, bully for them.

In the letter, America’s Health Insurance Plans and the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association say they are willing to “phase out the practice of varying premiums based on health status in the individual market” if all Americans are required to get coverage.

Which is a nice way of saying that if it is mandated that every American has to pay them premiums, they will not overcharge people who need the coverage most, while they continue to refuse coverage.  Nifty little scam that is!

Sorry, we are soooooooooooooooo over you.  We were never that into you to begin with.

I feel like the abused partner in a woefully one-sided relationship, a relationship where I give and they take.   I pay more and more every year while they say no, no and nope every time I actually need to use that supposed coverage I am paying for.

I say no more private healthcare – at all.  Period.

No more multi-million dollar bonuses for CEO’s (meaning our premiums go into their pockets while we see more rejection letters).  No more bonuses to the cold hearted people whose jobs entail canceling premiums, often mid-treatment.  No more profits in exchange for death and suffering.  Enough!

It’s nice to see that the insurance companies see the writing on the wall, enough so that they are now willing to not hold the sick in this country hostage to their ultra-despicable profits-above-everything philosophy – but only if every American pays them their ransom.  Their greed will be their death.  Unfortunately, the insurance companies are escalating the cost of premiums before taking that final Kamikaze dive into history.

Check out this timeline of healthcare in America over the last 100 years (pay attention to the Reagan years.  It is sometimes easy to forget the extent of raping and pillaging that Reaganomics wrought upon this nation).

Until which time we all have access to affordable healthcare, something which can only take place with a negotiating body the size of the US government, along with premiums paid to that same negotiating body, those fortunate enough to still have healthcare continue to pay for those who are uninsured, while the insurance companies continue to reap profits.  There is no free lunch and the cost of that lunch is on each of us – with the net margin and tips going into the pockets of the insurance industry.

There can never be real healthcare when profits are involved in life and death decision making.  Until which time Congress gets off the American tax-payer teat of having the best healthcare available, while the rest of us suffer through the profit scheme that is called our healthcare system, it remains to be seen whether Americans will actually get the kind of healthcare which every other industrialized nation on the planet already has.

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My Personal Plea: The Stakes Are Too High-No McCain

I got hit with a revelation this weekend. Normally, I would keep it to myself because; I realize people have their own problems and issues to deal with everyday. But if this succeeds in getting one person to change their mind–about voting for McCain–it will have been worth expressing my pain out loud.

My uncle will pass away before year end from cancer. It is estimated that about 555,500 Americans die from cancer each year; that is 1,500 deaths per day. The cancer he has is very treatable; the survival rate is 5 out of every 6 men. So why is he going to die before year end? NO INSURANCE. He worked as a jailor and they fired him for missing too many days from cancer related sickness. Yes, they are suing, but that takes time. Since the US doesn’t have Universal Health Care or a Single Payer-Program, his sentence is death. If that is not heartbreaking enough; my aunt will more than likely lose their home also. The prescription costs, to keep him comfortable and prolong his life, are so astronomical–that they have fallen so far behind on their bills–foreclosure is inevitable.

The way to stop this vicious healthcare crisis is through Obama’s plan; before more people die from falling through the gapping holes in our current Health Care System.

Barack Obama and Joe Biden have proposed a health care plan to make sure that every American has access to much-needed healthcare. Barack’s plan offers ordinary Americans the same healthcare he uses as a member of Congress, and makes sure it’s affordable for all. Furthermore, no American will be turned away for pre-existing conditions. Read more about Barack’s healthcare plan.

Continue reading

A Look at Competing Healthcare Plans

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How will you fare under John McCain’s healthcare plan?  What about Barack Obama’s proposal for healthcare? There are a of questions floating around concerning both McCain and Obama’s respective health plans. Do you have any conditions (such as what he has; history of cancer) that might exclude you from obtaining private healthcare?  Can you change jobs and rely on getting your own healthcare insurance should your employer-to-be not offer any company insurance because they will no longer receive any incentives to continue doing so? Will you be forced to use governmental doctors? Will the government stand over the shoulders of the doctors interferring with your doctor’s decisions? Good questions!  We’ll get to the answers shortly.

First, you may want to take a look at how your state fares right now, in terms of how many people are uninsured, how many have have insurance with chronic conditions, how many have employer health insurance, and then those insured in that category called “other coverage.”  Click on the map and find out.

Click on the Map to See the Status of Healthcare in Your State

Click on the Map to See the Status of Healthcare in Your State

Ok, so what does John McCain’s healthcare policy say? How about Obama’s plan? Keep reading to find out.  Keep reading for my thoughts on both of their plans.

Continue reading

Yo, HR 676 in da House (Health Care for All!)

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Have you heard of H. Res. 676? No? Neither had I. H.R. 676 is a bill for Comprehensive Health Insurance Coverage for All United States Residents. This bill was introduced by John Conyers and has a whopping 91 co-sponsors. This bill offers:

  • Every citizen of the US will be covered from birth to death.
  • No more pre-existing conditions to be excluded from coverage.
  • No more expensive deductibles or co-pays.
  • All prescription medications will be covered.
  • All dental and eye care will be included.
  • Mental health and substance abuse care will be fully covered.
  • Long term and nursing home services will be included.
  • You will always choose your own doctors and hospitals.
  • Costs of coverage will be assessed on a sliding scale basis.
  • Tremendously simplified system of medical administration
  • Total portability – your coverage not tied to any job or location.
  • Existing Medicare benefits for those over 65 will remain the same or be vastly improved in many cases.

Let’s reiterate a couple of points: You can go to any licensed health care clinician anywhere in the United States that is legally qualified to provide the benefits. There are no deductibles, copayments, coinsurance, or other cost-sharing shall be imposed with respect to covered benefits. You get government administrated coverage at any doctor you choose (if they participate, which almost every one of them will because that will be their baseline bread and butter) and the doctors get paid directly from the government.

Continue reading

From Worse to Worser

Here’s today’s collection of craziness from around the Internets.

McCain’s plan for healthcare? Make sure you don’t have any. No healthcare, no problemo, right? Well, you can have it if you can afford to pay for it on your own, because your employer will probably no longer be doing so (if you’re lucky enough to have an employer and you’re further lucky enough that your employer offers it!)

Mark Kleiman and Steve Benen take on McCain’s lack of an economic policy. Of course, McCain’s “plan” will be touted throughout the right-wing blogs and by the talking heads ad nauseum. (Oh, for another “Appeasement” moment! I especially loathe that smug, lying Brad Blakeman on MSNBC’s Verdict.)

Who killed the electric car? Why, GM did. And now, they are planning to cut thousands of white collar jobs and debating whether to sell more of their brands or completely shut down production. Apparently, June saw GM’s sales drop to the lowest in 15 years. Imagine if it that one millionth electric car sold had been a GM instead of a Toyota. Further imagine all the downstream jobs that might have been created in every area of parts, to manufacturing, to distribution. Nah, don’t. It will just make you cry.

Did you see Dana Milbank freak out over the economy?

What about those polls? They suck! First, there’s the pet owners choosing McCain over “petless” Obama because McCain owns pets. And then there is this lunacy: eight out of 10 people say supporting U.S. policies around the world is seen as an act of patriotism, BUT, protesting U.S. policies you oppose is also patriotic, according to two-thirds of those polled. HUH?

Oh, and six in 10 see wearing a pledge flag indicates that a person is patriotic.

McCain continues to play funny with the money.

What’s Homeland Security doing to make flying a further nightmare safer? Well, first, there is the Introduction of “behavior detection” technology at major US airports where you can be arrested if you act in a way that “might distract or inhibit a screener from effectively performing his or her duties.” Oh, and there’s that little added bonus of a $1500.00 fine.

But, wait, there’s more! Travelers, prepare to be tortured!

Now, usually I wouldn’t be one to link to the Washington Times but I cannot recall seeing something as chilling as this:

A senior government official with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has expressed great interest in a so-called safety bracelet that would serve as a stun device, similar to that of a police Taser®. According to this promotional video found at the Lamperd Less Lethal website, the bracelet would be worn by all airline passengers.

This bracelet would:

  • take the place of an airline boarding pass
  • contain personal information about the traveler
  • be able to monitor the whereabouts of each passenger and his/her luggage
  • shock the wearer on command, completely immobilizing him/her for several minutes

The Electronic ID Bracelet, as it’s referred to as, would be worn by every traveler “until they disembark the flight at their destination.” Yes, you read that correctly. Every airline passenger would be tracked by a government-funded GPS, containing personal, private and confidential information, and that it would shock the customer worse than an electronic dog collar if he/she got out of line?

This makes RFID seem like child’s play!

Are you scared yet?

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We’re interested in healthcare.

ThinkProgress:

Elizabeth continued her smack down of John McCain’s heath care proposals today on the Today Show (NBC) and Morning Joe (MSNBC), by explaining that McCain’s policy might keep costs down, but only by cutting benefits to the bare bone.

But his particular plan to address it keeps the costs low by avoiding coverage of — by cutting benefits to people.

We’ll end up having these bare bones policies with high deductibles and lots of exclusions, including a really important exclusion in real people’s lives for pre-existing conditions.

And it’s really truly important that we make certain that our health care coverage provides the health care we need. We don’t care about having a piece of paper. We care about having our costs be something that we can afford.

A high deductible cost policy or — which is one of the ways in which he keeps health care costs down — or one that limits our benefits is not the way Americans want to see us go. We need actual coverage.

We’re not interested in health care insurance. We’re interested in health care. And there’s a real difference between the two. Maybe he keeps the price of the insurance down but not the cost of the health care itself.

That lady has her stuff together. I wish she were running for president…

Go to ThinkProgress for the rest of the article and the video.

Elizabeth Edwards slaps down McCain advisor

ThinkProgress:

Douglas Holtz-Eakin, attempted to take Elizabeth Edwards to task for saying that neither she nor John McCain would be covered by his health policy.

[Holtz-Eakin] said Saturday that Edwards’ comments were disappointing and that they revealed she did not understand the comprehensive nature of the senator’s proposal.

Holtz-Eakin said McCain’s policy would harness “the power of competition to produce greater coverage for Americans.” Because McCain’s plan would lower the cost of healthcare through competition, Holtz-Eakin said, it would reduce costs for consumers with or without preexisting conditions.

Apparently he thinks Elizabeth Edwards is as ill-prepared as his candidate during in public speaking engagements. She really knows here stuff…and delivers the slap down with such class…

I freely admit that I am confused about the role of overnight funding in repurchase markets in the collapse of Bear Stearns. What I am not confused about is John McCain’s health care proposal. Apparently Douglas Holtz-Eakin, a senior policy advisor to McCain, thinks I do “not understand the comprehensive nature of the senator’s proposal.”

The problem, Douglas, is that, despite fuzzy language and feel-good lines in the Senator’s proposal, I do understand exactly how devastating it will be to people who have the health conditions with which the Senator and I are confronted (melanoma for him, breast cancer for me) but do not have the financial resources we have. In very unconfusing language: they are left outside the clinic doors.

I love this woman. She’s well-informed and concise.

We need extreme healthcare reform in this country, and McCain only promises a continuation of Bush’s policy, which is worthless.

Supreme Court allows retiree benefit cuts

David G. Savage, Los Angeles Times
(via The Raw Story)

Have you just turned 65? Have you noticed that your retirement health benefits have evaporated? Hey, no problem! The Supreme Court says it’s ok!

WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court on Monday gave employers a green light to reduce health benefits for millions of retirees who turn 65 and become eligible for Medicare. The justices turned away a legal challenge from AARP, the nation’s leading senior citizens lobby, which had contended these lower benefits for older retirees violated the federal law against age discrimination.

The court’s action upholds, in effect, a rule adopted last year by federal regulators that says the “coordination of retiree health benefits with Medicare” is exempt from the anti-age-bias law.

Once again, the Supreme Court of this land covers the hineys of big business at the expense of the individual.

Employers in California, large and small, say benefits for retirees already have become a casualty of soaring medical costs.

“In some cases, it’s become a millstone around their necks,” said Jack Kyser, chief economist of the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corp. “Corporations aren’t all heartless, but in many cases, you’re competing with multinational corporations that don’t have quite the obligations that domestic firms have.”

That’s why domestic firms have to go after the necks of the 65+ — they have to be able to compete with the big dogs.

The legal dispute highlights what some say is a gap in the law. Employers are not required by law to pay for health benefits for their employees or their retirees. And in most instances, they are free to change their benefit policies or to drop coverage they had previously offered.

Bill Raabe, director of collective bargaining for the National Education Assn., agreed that employers needed the freedom to adjust benefits for retirees who qualify for Medicare. “The practical effect of any law that requires employers to provide identical benefits for pre- and post-Medicare-eligible retirees would be the erosion of post-retirement healthcare benefits for all,” he said.

Nevermind the fact that the employers have played “bait and switch” with their retirement packages….look, something shiny!

David Sloane, AARP’s senior vice president, said the court battle shows a need for Congress to take up healthcare reform. “We have an entirely voluntary system” where employers provide healthcare if they choose to, he said. “This is the fundamental problem we are dealing with. One way to solve the problem would be for Congress to pass comprehensive healthcare legislation.”

Ahhhh, the free market. It’s an amazing thing…but not in a good way.

Go here to read the whole story.