velvetpage: (Default)
I've been in a position where getting pregnant would have been dangerous to me and probably doomed for the baby (after my uterine ablation but before my hysterectomy.) The idea that I would not be allowed to make a free decision to save my life, or that the (almost inevitable) miscarriage might have resulted in me being tried for murder, chills me to the bone. The type of birth control that was suggested to me as the best way to retain my uterus and stop my bleeding? It would be illegal under this law, because it suppresses ovulation but stops implantation. I would have been using it to help recover from debilitating anemia caused by a hormone imbalance.

This law has hidden consequences, not just to make abortion illegal, but to criminalize a wide swath of birth control options and potentially open a woman to a criminal murder charge if she miscarries in such a way that the authorities believe she was inducing an abortion. It's a bad law, in that it makes criminals of people who were victims of biology or just wanted to have control over their bodies.

Originally posted by [livejournal.com profile] gabrielleabelle at Mississippi Personhood Amendment
Okay, so I don't usually do this, but this is an issue near and dear to me and this is getting very little no attention in the mainstream media.

Mississippi is voting on November 8th on whether to pass Amendment 26, the "Personhood Amendment". This amendment would grant fertilized eggs and fetuses personhood status.

Putting aside the contentious issue of abortion, this would effectively outlaw birth control and criminalize women who have miscarriages. This is not a good thing.

Jackson Women's Health Organization is the only place women can get abortions in the entire state, and they are trying to launch a grassroots movement against this amendment. This doesn't just apply to Mississippi, though, as Personhood USA, the group that introduced this amendment, is trying to introduce identical amendments in all 50 states.

What's more, in Mississippi, this amendment is expected to pass. It even has Mississippi Democrats, including the Attorney General, Jim Hood, backing it.

The reason I'm posting this here is because I made a meager donation to the Jackson Women's Health Organization this morning, and I received a personal email back hours later - on a Sunday - thanking me and noting that I'm one of the first "outside" people to contribute.

So if you sometimes pass on political action because you figure that enough other people will do something to make a difference, make an exception on this one. My RSS reader is near silent on this amendment. I only found out about it through a feminist blog. The mainstream media is not reporting on it.

If there is ever a time to donate or send a letter in protest, this would be it.

What to do?

- Read up on it. Wake Up, Mississippi is the home of the grassroots effort to fight this amendment. Daily Kos also has a thorough story on it.

- If you can afford it, you can donate at the site's link.

- You can contact the Democratic National Committee to see why more of our representatives aren't speaking out against this.

- Like this Facebook page to help spread awareness.


velvetpage: (Default)
A breakdown of some of the programs to be cut compared to the tax cuts to be extended.

The overall message: if the U.S. were to return to the pre-Bush status quo (still one of the lower tax burdens in the developed world) it would be able to afford most if not all of the programs for the poor that are on the chopping block because of lack of funds.
velvetpage: (outraged)
What a lousy, cowardly cretin! He split the union-busting portion of the bill from the part that spends money. They don't need a quorum for any bill that doesn't spend money, so they could pass the union-busting portion even without the fourteen senators who went to Illinois.

I hope they recall the bastard, but I'm terribly afraid that if they do, he'll run for President and get it.

http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2011/03/09/us/AP-US-Wisconsin-Budget-Unions.html?_r=1&emc=na
velvetpage: (Default)
Dear Governor Walker,

I have been following with interest the growing protests in your state
as you attempt to strip unions of their collective bargaining rights.
It's interesting in part because of the culture around it.

I regularly discuss education issues with teachers in the U.S. The
ones from Wisconsin are generally among the best-read, best-trained,
and best-supported. They offer a quality education to their students
which is unfortunately not the norm in the United States. Part of the
reason they can offer that education to their students is the support
of their union. It's interesting to note that the five states where
collective bargaining is illegal are also quite far down in the
rankings when it comes to the quality of their public education, while
the states with strong unions are near the top of the rankings.

When a workplace has good management, the purpose of the union is to
work smoothly to address issues the management, from their different
perspective, may not see the same way as the workers themselves. But
when management is uncaring, cavalier, or just plain incompetent, the
role of the union is vital to the ability of the workers to do their
jobs. They can focus on teaching because they know that if something
goes wrong, it's not them against the school board hierarchy. A
teacher's working conditions are a student's learning conditions; do
you really want your state's children taught by angry, disillusioned
people who are looking to retrain and change careers as soon as
possible?

I sympathise with your budget issues. Everyone has them. Perhaps
asking the people who have good jobs to pay a little bit more would
alleviate that, better than asking the people who are just barely
getting by to take a 10% pay cut.

You're not doing what's right. You're attacking educators because you
have an ideological beef with unions, and in the process you are
undermining the public education on which the children of your state
rely.

The world is watching. Take their (in my opinion, overly generous)
concessions and leave them the right to bargain collectively.

Sincerely,

Velvetpage
Teacher
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
velvetpage: (Default)
http://www.escapefromamerica.com/2010/06/escape-from-america-the-grim-truth

It makes me wonder: how much better do Canadians really have it? With our government leading us down the merry fundamentalist path, prioritizing the tar sands and downplaying any environmental effects; with our economy mostly service-based already, and more than 70% of what exports we have going straight to the States; with our national medical association claiming our health care is in collapse, because they know they can make more money if it's private, and then working to make sure it happens; with crushing levels of consumer debt here, too; and with the fact that 80% of us live within an hour's drive of the American border; how much better is it here?

It's at least slightly better. I'm not convinced that Canada will be able to avoid being pulled down if (perhaps I should say when, but I'm not quite that much of a pessimist) the U.S. collapses.

On the list of things we've got going for us: we're one of the few Western nations that is NOT technically insolvent, though Harper's economic policies may very well turn that around. (Ironic, isn't it, that the previous Liberal government was the fiscally responsible one except for a couple of scandals, while the current, theoretically more conservative government is cutting taxes and raising spending and generally driving us deeper into the hole.) We've got one of the strongest banking systems in the world. Our workforce has a higher percentage of well-educated people than the States (though lower than most of Europe.)
velvetpage: (Default)
A quote on [info]metaquotes that didn't originate there, I think, but is hilarious nonetheless.

"This morning I was awoken by my alarm clock powered by electricity generated by the public power monopoly regulated by the US Department of Energy. Then I took a shower with clean water provided by the municipal water utility. After that I turned on the TV to one of the FCC regulated channels to see what the National Weather Service of the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration determined what the weather was going to be like using satellites designed, built, and launched by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. I watched this while eating my breakfast of US Department of Agriculture inspected food and taking the drugs which have been determined as safe by the Food and Drug Administration.


At the appropriate time as regulated by the US Congress and kept accurate by the National Institute of Standards and Technology and the US Naval Observatory, I get into my National Highway Traffic Safety Administration approved automobile and set out to work on the roads built by the local, state, and federal Departments of Transportation, possibly stopping to purchase additional fuel of a quality level determined by the Environmental Protection Agency using legal tender issued by the Federal Reserve Bank. On the way out I deposit any mail I have to be sent out via the US Postal Service and drop the kids off at a public, federally funded school.

After work I drive my NHTSA car back home on the DOT roads to a house that has not burned down in my absence because of the state and local building codes and fire marshal's inspection, and has not been plundered of all its valuables thanks to the local Police Department.

I then log on to the internet which was developed by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Administration (DARPA) and post on "freepublic.com" and "Fox News Forums" about how SOCIALISM IN MEDICINE IS BAD BECAUSE THE GOVERNMENT CAN'T DO ANYTHING RIGHT.
velvetpage: (bob)
I finally understand why support is falling for the health care reform as proposed. It's because you guys managed to elect the most cowardly bunch of idiots in the history of politics to do it for you. And it's not your fault - because the party that should have been doing it, not only didn't do it, but probably messed it up so badly that no one else will ever get the chance to do it right.

They should have gone for single-payer from the outset and then SETTLED for a robust public option. Now? Totally, completely fucked.
velvetpage: (Default)
The issue is with this video:



I've heard one opinion on it. I want other people's. What do you think?

So tired.

Aug. 26th, 2009 07:29 am
velvetpage: (cat in teacup)
Naturally, I was too worked up to sleep well last night. Figures.

I'm so very tired of the "socialized medicine will force you to see doctors you don't want to see, have procedures you don't choose, and force you to die when the government says you should" rhetoric. (That's almost a direct quote from a friend of a friend, but I've seen it in a dozen other places.) It looks to me like people who are primed to dislike the plans for reform that are being floated are also primed to see options in the plan(s) as requirements. So, elderly people being given access to counselors to plan living wills = health care workers deciding when Granny will die, and circumcision being encouraged (which I haven't seen anywhere, actually - I'm wondering if it's a mishmash of two separate items recently in the news) = babies being taken away from their parents to be circ'ed without parental consent. Oh, the inability to renew plans that don't meet the new minimum standards is in there, too - "We'll all be forced onto the government plan because they won't let us renew the old plans!" It's all misinformation and scare tactics, combined with a healthy dose of, "I'm a conservative and NOTHING that is generally labeled Socialist is going to happen on my watch!"

Time to get this day underway if I'm going to be ready for the meeting by 9:30.
velvetpage: (exterminate)
In the testimonial from the Mayo Clinic she went to in Arizona, her
condition is not a life-threatening cancerous brain tumour; it's a
vision-threatening benign cyst on her pituitary gland. She was not
going to be dead to wait six months, if in fact she'd even had to wait
six months - she didn't wait to find out.

Furthermore, she's not suing the government to get her money back;
she's suing the government to dismantle the health care system we
have, and she's funded by a registered charity called the Canadian
Constitution Foundation. Registered charity - that means our tax
dollars are paying for it via tax deductible contributions.

Holmes is misrepresenting herself, and our system, to Americans.
She's a fraud. I wonder if her circuit of talk shows and that
commercial have paid off the new mortgage yet?
velvetpage: (outraged)
http://www.acreativerevolution.ca/node/1944

http://bouquetsofgray.blogspot.com/2009/07/more-on-shona-holmes.html

Thanks [livejournal.com profile] siobhan63 for the links.

The woman in that commercial who is trashing Ontario's health care, saying she would have been dead in six months if she'd had to wait that long, so she mortgaged her house and went to the States?

She's lying about that. She didn't have a tumour. She had a cyst. Her vision may have been threatened, though there's only her word on a previous testimonial for that. Her life was not in significant danger from this cyst.

Furthermore, she's not suing the Ontario government to get her money back. She's suing with the backing of the Canadian Constitution Foundation, a registered charity (i.e. donations are tax deductible, so taxpayers are funding this) dedicated to challenging all aspects of Canada's socialist system, in particular single-tier health care.

That is, she's trying to take away other Ontarians' access to single-payer health care, and she's using tax money to do it.

I think it's time for another letter to the editor to point this out. Not only is she lying to Americans about what happened, not only is she trashing a system without having actually gone through it, she's using a taxpayer-funded charity to try to destroy the system for everyone else.

I'm incensed.

Edit: Please, go ahead and link, either to me or to the articles I listed. Spread this far and wide. She's going to slander our system, she's going to be exposed as the fraud she is.

EDIT #2: A link to the cached page from the Mayo Clinic. They took down the original version a few days ago when Daily Kos linked to it, but it was cached first.
velvetpage: (outraged)
I don't think I do, so I'll give you the links and the brief version of the rebuttal.
My mother knows this woman through a business connection. Her story is true. It is not the whole story.

It is true that many Canadians wait for care. Some of those waits are fine, as mine were. Some are not. That's unfortunate, and the government is working at reducing it.

However, the fact is, this happens extremely rarely. I'd like to see the stats on how often patients with brain cancer die without ever getting the opportunity for aggressive treatment in the U.S. I can guarantee it would be more often than here, and here's why.

In the U.S., if you lose your health insurance after having cancer, you're uninsurable. That means if your cancer comes back, you're dead. What this woman isn't saying is that her follow-up care, and her care if her cancer comes back, will still happen for free. She was diagnosed here. She had no medical debt before this happened, no co-pays. She runs her own small business and has not had any supplemental insurance for a long time because of that (or if she did, she bought it separately) but the cost was likely about fifty dollars a month for her dental, drug plan, and whatever other supplemental health services she chose to get on it. Her babies were born in a Canadian hospital and she never paid a cent to a doctor or other practitioner for that to happen.

It's likely that a person in her position in the U.S. wouldn't have had much health insurance, because nobody in her family had the kind of job that would have provided it, and the insurance available for those who aren't getting it through their work is, I understand, nowhere near as good. She wasn't rich - just comfortably middle-class. So there's a decent chance that, had she lived in the U.S. with other details much the same, she wouldn't have been able to get the loans she took out to go to Arizona and get that treatment. And she wouldn't be able to sue anyone to get that money back later, as she's doing now. (She's suing the government to get her money back, and she's probably going to win.) And of course, she'd be waiting for the next bout of cancer, knowing that it would not only kill her, it would finish bankrupting her family.

Very few treatments are denied outright. A few new or experimental treatments for certain types of cancer are not yet covered by OHIP, usually because the drugs are extremely expensive and not yet proven. Her treatment was not denied - it was delayed. It's a gross exaggeration to imply that it happens often.

The last problem with the ad is that Obama isn't proposing Canadian style health care. He's proposing a model that will make a public option available alongside the private option that will remain available. So people who believe their insurance company is doing just fine for them have the option to stay. If you're happy with your health care? Don't change anything. If you're not? You may just survive if you get brain cancer, and you may not have to bankrupt yourself to do it.
velvetpage: (Default)
A bill to take back 90% of bonus money paid to executives at companies receiving bailout money has passed in Congress.

I'm amused at the Republican posturing, though: "We could have gotten it ALL back! We would never have given that money to those companies in the first place! Wah wah wah why didn't you vote for us?" Yeah, guys, your legislation wasn't any better. I'm not saying the current bailout legislation was good - I just don't know enough about it to make that judgement. What I'm saying is, no matter who was in power, they had to be seen to be doing something quickly, and in that situation, there are bound to be mistakes made. I don't believe the Republicans would have done it any better - in fact I think they would have done significantly worse because their ideology still relies on the concept of the open market.
velvetpage: (Default)
A very, very interesting take on FDR's Works Progress Administration (the WPA.) Link goes to another article from [livejournal.com profile] bradhicks.

A choice quote:

I don't think you can come up with a single dollar of WPA spending that actually counts as wasted, not a single WPA "make-work" project so pointless and stupid that we didn't get our money's worth out of it, especially if you count all the on-the-job job skills training it gave the 8 or 9 million people who went through the program. And that's even if you don't factor in the analysis of very serious historians who question whether or not American "G.I.s" would have fought so hard or so well to save the world from 1941 to 1945 if they had been as resentful, and as starving, as they were in 1930. But no, the blunt fact of history is that if the truth were ever told about the WPA, if the truth hadn't been being smothered in lies by the same political factions that opposed it at the time all the way up to this very day, everybody would know what the WPA proved as inescapable facts. No dollar of government spending is wasted, if it does a job that nobody else was going to do and it builds something that lasts.

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