Friday, January 13, 2012

Girl Scout Promotes Cookie Boycott

A Girl Scout in California is calling for a boycott of Girl Scout Cookies because a Colorado council allowed a 7-year-old transgender child to join a troop. Her video calling for the boycott has stirred up the expected controversy among LGBT activists.

As a former Girl Scout leader, I feel I can speak to her concerns. As a friend to my former Girl Scout and transman, I have a little more insight to this issue as well. She goes on and on about how unsafe this precedent is and how having adolscent boys in all-girl troops would be a violation of Girl Scouts own safety rules. First of all, she needs to get her pronouns and terminology correct. The child in question in Colorado, and any transgender youth who joins GSUSA, is not a boy. She is a girl and as such would benefit from being in Girl Scouts for all of the same reasons any other girl would. Secondly, the child in question is 7 and unlikely to present a clear and eminent danger to her fellow scouts.

The information she quotes from is factual. GSUSA did perform a study several years ago about the benefits of an all girl organization. Their findings are every bit as true for a transgirl as they are for any other. Perhaps, even more true. Being around other girls as she attempts to form her own identity as a girl can only be beneficial for that 7-year-old. Her fellow scouts will benefit as well.

The California scout is not only concerned about the introduction of transgender youth to Girl Scouts, she feels strongly that GSUSA should break their ties with WAGGGS (the international scouting organization) because of their ties with Planned Parenthood and that GSUSA should do away with their sex education program.

Clearly this girl has drunk the kool-aid.

Planned Parenthood does far more that provide abortions. Far more. Far, far more. In fact abortion services are just a tiny fraction of what they do. But after listenting to this girl and looking at her website, it's clear that's what her motiviation is all about. As far as the sec education materials that GSUSA has available, the thing to remember is that are not required. They're available for troops who decided to use them, they are geared towards older girls and they are NOT required for any badges, awards or other recognition. In other words, if this girl and her troop find them so reprehensible, they don't have to use them. However, other troops might not have the same outlook. They should be able to use them.

Here's really what I want to say to this girl and the adults who taught her to hate:

Did you just join up and not do any kind of research at all?

Did you think Girl Scouts was just camping and cookies?

Have you been living under rock for the last decade? Were you truly not aware that GSUSA is a progressive organziation and is not simply Boy Scouts for girls?

If you want your daughter in an organization that is primed to keep her barefoot and pregnant, teach her to be subservient and that sex is bad, then Girl Scouts is NOT the organization for you. Girl Scouts is all about teaching girls to be independent, caring, active members of society who think for themselves and are proud of who they are. Girl Scouts promotes girls and women's rights. If that's not what you want for your daughter, then find another group for her to join. But don't be surprised when Girl Scouts tries to keep up with the times.

And leaves you in the dust.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Rep. Rob Woodall makes commercial for the GA Dems

No, seriously.

Remember this asshat from yesterday when he told a constituent at a town hall meeting she needed to take care of herself and buy her own insurance if her company didn't provide healthcare as part of a retirement package?

Well, at the same meeting, he had someone ask him why he didn't buy his own insurance and decline his government supplied healthcare. Especially since he had told her one of his goals was to do away with government AND employer supported insurance.

What did he tell her?  Watch for yourself.

That's right, he told her why should he when it's FREE. Words escape me. How do I describe someone who is at once both so completely arrogant and so completely clueless.

He must be a ringer for the Dems. Cause really, all they have to do is play this video segment and the one  from yesterday. A little editing, a little music, some voice over work as text relates some more of his statements and voila - instant commercial.

Of course, he is from Georgia, the state that gave us Paul Broun.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

More Evidence That Republicans Hate You

In Texas this week, Governor Big Hair signed into law a truly hateful piece of legislation. HB 15 requires that any woman undergoing an abortion in the state of Texas be required to undergo a transvaginal ultrasound. She may choose to look away but must listen as the doctor describes what he sees. Yes, that's right. She has no choice except to look away. She must undergo the indignity (and ladies, we all know getting a vaginal exam is no spring picnic) of having a condom-and-gel-covered probe inserted into her vagina.

This medical prodcedure has specific uses, according to NIH.

Transvaginal ultrasound may be done for the following problems:
  • Abnormal findings on a physical exam, such as cysts, fibroid tumors, or other growths
  • Abnormal vaginal bleeding and menstrual problems
  • Certain types of infertility
  • Ectopic pregnancy
  • Pelvic pain
Transvaginal ultrasound is also used during pregnancy to:
  • Evaluate cases of threatened miscarriage
  • Listen to the unborn baby's heartbeat
  • Look at the placenta
  • Look for the cause of bleeding
  • Monitor the growth of the embryo or fetus early in the prgnancy
  • See if the cervix is changing or opening up when labor is starting early

The State of Texas has added one more use.

Transvaginal ultrasound is also used during pregnancy to:

  • Force the mother to undergo an invasive procedure designed to discourage the abortion
Rah. So glad to be from Texas. I won't even repeat what Sen Dan Patrick (R-Hell) had to say.

So Texas has gotten it's long sought after bill to try to convince women to change their mind about an abortion. Sen. Patrick believes that if 20% of women change their minds that will "save"10,000 to 15,000 lives a year. Which goes well with this next tidbit.

US House Republicans' budget plans are calling for a reduction in funding to the WIC nutrition program. If this item remains in the budget that eventually passes, The Center for Budget and Policy Priorities estimates that WIC would have to turn way 325,000 to 475,000 eligible low-income women and young children next year. So those, 10 to 15K souls the Texas Sonogram bill is supposed to save? Well, they're on their own. Surprise.

But real beauty of the week came from Kansas State Legislator Rep. Pete DeGraaf. Kansas approved a ban last week on insurance companies offering abortion coverage as part of their general plans except when a woman's life is at risk. If an individual or employer wants to get medical coverage for an abortion in Kansas they will have to purchase a supplemental policy rider that covers only abortion.

When Rep. Barbara Bollier, a Republican who supports abortion rights, asked if it was reasonable to think women would buy such policies ahead of time, say before they're raped, the lovely Rep. DeGraaf replied this way:
"We do need to plan ahead, don't we, in life?" He continued, to groans from his fellow House members, "I have spare tire on my car. I also have life insurance. I have a lot of things that I plan ahead for."
Yes, you heard that right. He just compared an abortion rider to AAA. After all, every woman should expect to be raped in her lifetime. Avoiding unwanted pregnancies is entirely the responsibility of the woman, regardless of how that pregnancy occurs. If you want to be prepared and you're one of those heathen Pro-Choice types, then you buy yourself a rider. Otherwise, you just have to make lemonade out lemons, as Sharron Angle would day.

These people, and I use that terms loosely, hate women. They want us back in the kitchen, barefoot and pregnant. They want to return to the time when a man owned a woman's body. When rape was considered a property crime and compensation, if there was any, went to the male who "owned" the woman be he husband or father.

In truth, the current crop of Tea-Party-leaning Republican whack-a-doodles wants to return us to time before labor unions, before women's rights, before the Voting Rights Act, before anything as silly as the Clean Water Act or anything that regulates business in any way. They want to return us the era of robber barons. They care only about the pocketbooks of their wealthy cronies and supporters. If you can't afford to maintain your health insurance, pay for an abortion or feed your child, they don't care. It's your own fault for not working hard enough to get enough money to buy these things.

H/T to Juanita Jean, Crooks and Liars, Dallas News, The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, McPherson Sentinel 

In Case You Needed Any More Evidence...

Republican politicians are out for one thing and one thing only - themselves. To this end they have sold their souls to the corporations, the Koch brothers, et al. They refuse to let go of their "principals" even when what they're espousing is patently absurd on its face.

Here are three examples from today's headlines:

Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ), whom according to Think Progress,  owns "a building worth up to $1 million, a dental practice worth up to $500,000, an antique store worth up to $500,000" and more, rightly earning the label "millionaire", told a town hall
Seriously. I ain’t wealthy. I built my own house, I wouldn’t do it again. I own my building, I have a dental practice. I live just like the rest of you folks. It’s all on paper, it’s not in cash.
 And don't forget his 174K congressional salary.

Next is Rep. Rob Woodall (R-Ga) who told a constituent who asked, what do I when I retire and my company doesn't provide health care coverage to employees?, quote:
"Hear yourself, ma'am. Hear yourself," Woodall told the woman. "You want the government to take care of you, because your employer decided not to take care of you. My question is, 'When do I decide I'm going to take care of me?'"

In other words, she needed to plan better and save the money to pay for her own healthcare cause the government can't be expected to help you.

Speaking of help from the Government, today's winner of Asshole of the Day goes to House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA), He says that any federal aid to tornado ravaged Joplin, MO must be offset by spending cuts. Who knows how long that process will delay the release of funds. So, Joplin? You're on your own for a while. Maybe a long while. Maybe forever cause we know how those Republicans like to raise taxes. Maybe we can defund NPR to pay for the rebuilding. Of course, we could stop the wars in Afghanistan or Iraq and pay to rebuild Joplin and Tuscaloosa and Minneapolis on just the savings generated in a week. But that won't happen.


Since our government is in no hurry to help Joplin, here's where you can go to help:
Red Cross
Heart of Missouri United Way
Convoy of Hope

Monday, May 23, 2011

What Would You Do?

This is a lovely reminder of the simple fact that despite what you may hear in the news, despite Governor Big Hair and despite the Religious Right and their spokespersons on the State Board of Education, Texas and Texans are far more open-minded than not. Yes, there are homophobes in Texas. But equally true is the fact that there are good and decent people willing to stand up to injustice and intolerance here as well.

I've never watched the series on ABC, "What Would You Do?" and I'm not generally a fan of reality TV of any stripe but kudos to them for tackling this topic. And kudos to those who spoke out against the biogtry.