Cognitive Dissonance

"Democracy! Bah! When I hear that I reach for my feather boa!" - Allen Ginsberg

Posts tagged unjust

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US ends nearly nine years of occupation in Iraq with official transfer of power

From the Guardian UK:

"And that’s it. 8 years & 9 months. $750 billion, 100k + civ deaths. 4,500 US KIA, 179 Brits. War over #Iraq”, tweets Martin Chulov in Baghdad.

Here are his updates on the rest of the ceremony:

#US Gen Austin cites ‘especially poignant moment’. He gave an order to invade in 03 & today the order to case the colours’ #Iraq

At US departure ceremony Panetta pledges enduring and robust US Mil presence across Middle East #Iraq

"You came to this land between the rivers, again, again & again," Panetta says of the 1.5 million US troops who served here in #Iraq.

US Defence Sec Leon Panetta speaks of ‘profound honour’ to close down #Iraq war. Cites Lincoln at Gettysburg.

US Commanding Gen Lloyd Austin now folding flag of USFI in #Iraq

And that’s it.

I have my doubts. Over two years ago, I wrote a feature entitled "Me and Mr. Cheney: A history" when the University of Wyoming dedicated the Cheney International Center. I got so close to Cheney I heard him laugh. I also noted his perspective on the Middle East in 1991. An excerpt:

PBS’ Frontline oral history website devoted a section to the former vice president called “Cheney In His Own Words.” In 1991, Cheney gave his perspective on U.S. involvement in the Persian Gulf: “We’re always going to have to be involved [in the Middle East]. Maybe it’s part of our national character, you know we like to have these problems nice and neatly wrapped up, put a ribbon around it. You deploy a force, you win the war and the problem goes away and it doesn’t work that way in the Middle East – it never has and isn’t likely to in my lifetime.”

Even then, Cheney knew. He knew this would never end – only go quiet for a period.

I hope I’m wrong about the war never ending.

"In war, there are no unwounded soldiers." - José Narosky

So it goes.

(Source: cognitivedissonance)

Filed under Iraq occupation war politics unjust illegal war transfer of power news government so it goes

1,045 notes

Man Dies From Toothache, Couldn't Afford Meds

A 24-year-old Cincinnati father died from a tooth infection this week because he couldn’t afford his medication, offering a sobering reminder of the importance of oral health and the number of people without access to dental or health care.

According to NBC affiliate WLWT, Kyle Willis’ wisdom tooth started hurting two weeks ago. When dentists told him it needed to be pulled, he decided to forgo the procedure, because he was unemployed and had no health insurance.

When his face started swelling and his head began to ache, Willis went to the emergency room, where he received prescriptions for antibiotics and pain medications. Willis couldn’t afford both, so he chose the pain medications.

The tooth infection spread, causing his brain to swell. He died Tuesday.

Before anyone criticizes this man for choosing pain medication over antibiotics (as I’ve seen some people do), let’s think about two things:

  • If you were in severe pain, and probably not thinking clearly, what would you do? 
  • Why should we live in a society where this is a choice someone must make?

How is this just? Health care is not a luxury, nor should dental care be a luxury. People do not deserve to die because they cannot afford an antibiotic prescription.

Filed under Health Care unjust inequality poverty health insurance uninsured

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Indiana Planned Parenthood to drop Medicaid patients

Planned Parenthood of Indiana will stop seeing Medicaid patients after Monday because of an Indiana law that cut the provider’s funding.

PPIN went to court last month to prevent Indiana from cutting funding to the state’s largest reproductive health care provider. U. S. District Judge Tanya Walton Pratt said she would make a decision on whether to enjoin the law by July 1.

"Our 9,300 Medicaid patients, including those who had appointments Tuesday, are going to see their care disrupted," Betty Cockrum, president and CEO of PPIN, said in a statement. The Medicaid funds stopped May 11, the day Republican Governor Mitch Daniels signed a law that restricts abortions and cuts federal funding to Planned Parenthood.

Planned Parenthood performs abortions, but even before the Indiana law passed, federal money could not be used to pay for abortions. Indiana cut Medicaid funding to Planned Parenthood that covers other reproductive health services, including contraception and cancer screening.

After Monday, PPIN said it will have run out of the donations it used to pay for existing Medicaid patients after the bill made national news… If the judge doesn’t make a favorable ruling by July 1, PPIN said it will start closing health centers and reducing staff. 

North Carolina and Kansas have also restricted funding to Planned Parenthood, but their actions do not affect payments from the federal Medicaid program. Indiana blocks both state and federal payments.

Ideologues: Your actions have real life consequences. Observe above. The money you blocked paid for zero abortions. It DID pay for preventative care, cancer screening, and reproductive care. It DID give people all over Indiana access to care they couldn’t otherwise afford.

Now, I’m going to use language here you may understand better. Planned Parenthood also provides services that have nothing to do with no-no parts, naughty bits, or whatever you call them. Here’s a short list:

  • Anemia testing 
  • cholesterol screening
  • diabetes screening
  • physical exams, including for employment and sports
  • flu vaccines
  • help with quitting smoking
  • high blood pressure screening
  • tetanus vaccines
  • thyroid screening

Expect an increase in emergency room visits, Indiana. Any of the pro-lifers want to step up and help pay for these things? Hmmm? It’s the pro-life thing to do, right?

Filed under Indiana Planned Parenthood abortion pro-life pro-life is anti-woman Medicare unjust injustice poverty economic violence

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REPORT: Top 10 Disastrous Policies From The Wisconsin GOP You Haven’t Heard About

1. ELIMINATING MEDICAID: The Budget Repair Bill includes a little-known provision that would put complete control of the state’s Medicaid program, known as BadgerCare, in the hands of the state’s ultra-conservative Health and Human Services Secretary Dennis Smith. Smith would have the authority to “to override state Medicaid laws as [he] sees fit and institute sweeping changes” including reducing benefits and limiting eligibility. Ironically, during the 1990s it was Republicans, especially former Gov. and Bush HHS Secretary Tommy Thompson, who helped develop BadgerCare into one of the country’s most innovative and generous Medicaid programs. A decade later, a new generation of radical Republicans is hoping to destroy one of Wisconsin’s “success stories.”

2. POWER PLANT PRIVATIZATION AND ENVIRONMENTAL NEGLECT: The same budget bill calls for a rapid no-bid “firesale” of all state-owned power plants. One progressive blogger called the proposal “a highlight reel of all of the tomahawk dunks of neo-Gilded Age corporatism: privatization, no-bid contracts, deregulation, and naked cronyism” and suggested that the provision will open the way for large, politically connected corporations to buy up the state’s power plants on the cheap. While it’s unclear whether corporations would be interested in buying the plants, a similar proposal was vetoed six years ago by Gov. Jim Doyle (D), who called the plan fiscally and environmentally irresponsible. Many of Wisconsin’s power plants are in violation of federal clean air regulations and desperately need to be upgraded and cleaned up — not dumped into the private sector.

3. DANGEROUS DRINKING WATER: Republican lawmakers have introduced bills in both the Senate and the House which would repeal a rule requiring municipal governments to disinfect their water. Conservatives have said that the clean water rule — which went into effect in December — is simply too expensive. Yet the rule only affects 12 percent of municipalities and the price may be worth it. In 1993, 104 people died and 400,000 fell sick when the Milwaukee water supply became infected. Even two decades later, the Environmental Protection Agency Advisory Board notes that 13 percent of acute gastro-intestinal illnesses in municipalities that don’t disinfect their water supplies are the result of dirty water. Municipalities can keep their water clean for as low as $10,000 per well — but apparently for the Wisconsin GOP that is too high a price to pay to keep citizens safe from deadly microorganisms.

4. DESTROYING WETLANDS: In January, Walker’s proposed regulatory reform bill exempted a parcel of wetland owned by a Republican donor from water quality standards. But the exemption was more than just an embarrassing giveaway to a GOP ally: environmental groups believe the bill’s special provision would actually affect the entire county, eliminating public hearings on proposed wetland development, short-circuiting approval of development projects, and disrupting the region’s water system.

5. FISCAL IRRESPONSIBILITY: Walker signed a bill this week requiring a 2/3 supermajority in the legislature to pass any tax increase. Republican lawmakers are now reportedly considering a constitutional amendment that would make the rule permanent. A similar constitutional amendment in California has been called the “source of misery” of that state’s crippling budget crisis and has forced lawmakers to “gut public education, slash social services and health care programs, close prisons, and lay off record numbers of public employees.” While claiming to “make a commitment to the future instead of [choosing] dire consequences for our children” Walker and GOP lawmakers are instead putting generations of Wisconsinites in a “fiscal strait-jacket.”

6. DISENFRANCHISING VOTERS: This week, Republican lawmakers moved forward on a bill that would require voters to present a photo ID from the DMV at the polls, making it significantly more difficult for the elderly, the disabled, college students, and rural residents to participate in elections. While Republican lawmakers insist the bill is necessary to prevent voter fraud, there have been almost no documented cases of fraudulent voting in the state. Instead, the Wisconsin State Journal writes, the GOP bill is going “overboard in limiting ballot access in a state proud of its long history of high participation in elections.”

7. CUTTING JOBS, LOSING THE FUTURE: Last fall, Walker killed an $810 billion federally funded high-speed rail project, forcing the Transportation Department to pull its funding. Walker’s decision killed 130,000 expected jobs and forced the Spanish company Talgo to close its Milwaukee factory and layoff its 40 person staff. A spokeswoman for the company told The Daily Reporter that “the state’s decision to back away from the high-speed rail project sends a terrible message to businesses considering locating in the state.”

8. STIFLING INNOVATION: In late January, Walker introduced a bill that would ban wind-powered energy from Wisconsin and exacerbate the state’s dependence on out-of-state coal. If passed, it’s estimated that the law would immediately eliminate $1.8 billion in new wind power investments and jeopardize eleven currently proposed wind projects. After a public outcry earlier this month, Walker’s bill is (for now) dead.

9. “NAKED POWER GRAB”: Earlier this month in a party-line vote, the legislature ceded “extraordinary control” of the state’s rule-making oversight process to the governor. Walker now has complete power to draft agency rules which the legislature must then either approve or reject. The law gives Walker the power to write rules for formerly independent state agencies like the state Departments of Justice and Education — and most ominously the Government Accountability Board, the state’s ethics watchdog.

10. POLITICIZING STATE AGENCIES: A provision in Walker’s budget repair bill would convert thirty-seven state employees from civil servants to political appointees — consolidating his power over state government and expanding his power to “hire, fire and move key employees to carry out his agenda.”

What the fuck…

(Source: blissandzen, via savagemike)

Filed under Wisconsin Destruction of freedom Frightening unjust union union-busting

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2011 STATE OF WYOMING 11LSO-0398
HB0074
HOUSE BILL NO.  HB0074 Validity of marriages. 
Sponsored by:  Representative(s) Petersen, Brechtel, Buchanan, Gay, Hunt, Kroeker, Lubnau and Teeters and Senator(s) Geis, Hicks and Nutting 
A BILL for AN ACT relating to marriage; providing that marriages other than of a male and a female person are void; providing that marriages between more than two parties are void; specifying that Wyoming courts do not have jurisdiction over any domestic legal union involving parties who are not a male and a female person or where there are more than two parties to the contract; and providing for an effective date. 
Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Wyoming:
Section 1.  
W.S. 20-1-111 and 20-2-101(a) by creating new paragraphs (iv) and (v) and by creating a new subsection (h) are amended to read: 
20-1-111.  Foreign marriages.   
All marriage contracts which are valid by the laws of the state or country in which contracted are valid in this state, provided that such marriage contracts are between a male and a female person. 
20-2-101.  Void and voidable marriages defined; annulments. 
(a)Marriages contracted in Wyoming are void without any decree of divorce: When the parties are not a male and a female person; or (v) When there are more than two (2) parties to the contract. (h) No Wyoming court shall have jurisdiction over any domestic legal union or relationship, titled marriage or otherwise, involving parties who are not a male and a female person or when there are more than two (2) parties to the contract. 
Section 2.  This act is effective July 1, 2011.  
So much for putting it before the voters, eh? That was the line given to us last time around. I like that marriages between more than two people are void - never mind that they’re illegal here, much like polygamy across the country. 
We must get letters to the editor out NOW! Go send a letter to The Casper Star-Tribune if you live outside Wyoming, and especially if you live here! You can also email them directly to Kerry Drake at kerry.drake@trib.com. If you live in Wyoming, also call your representative and your senator. This law VOIDS legal marriages from other states - same-sex marriage is ALREADY illegal in Wyoming, and now, we’re trying to make sure that happily married couples that decide to move here are effectively divorced without decree. Imagine being divorced against your will.
Stay tuned…and share this with every single person you know who’s willing to stand up for equality.

"I can’t imagine anything more inhuman, insensitive and unfair. Wyoming people believe in getting the government out of their lives. It’s the precious right of privacy, the precious right to be left alone. Why can’t we extend that to all our other fellow human beings?” - Sen. Alan Simpson on the Defense of Marriage Act, HJR 17, in 2009.

2011 STATE OF WYOMING 11LSO-0398

HB0074

HOUSE BILL NO.  HB0074 Validity of marriages. 

Sponsored by:  Representative(s) Petersen, Brechtel, Buchanan, Gay, Hunt, Kroeker, Lubnau and Teeters and Senator(s) Geis, Hicks and Nutting 

A BILL for AN ACT relating to marriage; providing that marriages other than of a male and a female person are void; providing that marriages between more than two parties are void; specifying that Wyoming courts do not have jurisdiction over any domestic legal union involving parties who are not a male and a female person or where there are more than two parties to the contract; and providing for an effective date. 

Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Wyoming:

Section 1.  

W.S. 20-1-111 and 20-2-101(a) by creating new paragraphs (iv) and (v) and by creating a new subsection (h) are amended to read: 

20-1-111.  Foreign marriages.   

All marriage contracts which are valid by the laws of the state or country in which contracted are valid in this state, provided that such marriage contracts are between a male and a female person. 

20-2-101.  Void and voidable marriages defined; annulments. 

(a)Marriages contracted in Wyoming are void without any decree of divorce: When the parties are not a male and a female person; or (v) When there are more than two (2) parties to the contract. (h) No Wyoming court shall have jurisdiction over any domestic legal union or relationship, titled marriage or otherwise, involving parties who are not a male and a female person or when there are more than two (2) parties to the contract. 

Section 2.  This act is effective July 1, 2011.  

So much for putting it before the voters, eh? That was the line given to us last time around. I like that marriages between more than two people are void - never mind that they’re illegal here, much like polygamy across the country. 

We must get letters to the editor out NOW! Go send a letter to The Casper Star-Tribune if you live outside Wyoming, and especially if you live here! You can also email them directly to Kerry Drake at kerry.drake@trib.com. If you live in Wyoming, also call your representative and your senator. This law VOIDS legal marriages from other states - same-sex marriage is ALREADY illegal in Wyoming, and now, we’re trying to make sure that happily married couples that decide to move here are effectively divorced without decree. Imagine being divorced against your will.

Stay tuned…and share this with every single person you know who’s willing to stand up for equality.

"I can’t imagine anything more inhuman, insensitive and unfair. Wyoming people believe in getting the government out of their lives. It’s the precious right of privacy, the precious right to be left alone. Why can’t we extend that to all our other fellow human beings?” - Sen. Alan Simpson on the Defense of Marriage Act, HJR 17, in 2009.

Filed under Wyoming marriage equality same-sex marriage GLBTQ Unjust unfair legislation

8 notes

BREAKING: ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell Stay Issued ‘Temporarily’ | The New Civil Rights Movement

Just moments ago, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled on the Obama Department of Justice’s request to issue a stay against Judge Virginia Phillips’ ruling that the Department of Defense (DOD) immediately cease all investigations and discharges related to “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” a law Phillips’ court found unconstitutional one month ago.

Chris Geidner of MetroWeekly is the first to report, “[a] three judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit has issued a temporary stay of U.S. District Judge Virginia Phillips’s order halting all enforcement of the military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy.” In other words, “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” is in a sense back in effect.

The court wrote, “[t]he order is stayed temporarily in order to provide this court with an opportunity to consider fully the issues presented.”

NO!

Filed under GLBTQ Unjust Gay Gay rights DADT Don't ask Don't Tell