About that warning that Donald Trump will go left in the general

06 May 2016 11:58 am
Posted by: Donna

There have always been those on the Left who consider feminism, anti-racism, and LGBT activism to be distractions from the real work of “economic justice” or whatever it is they deem more important (and usually puts straight white men at the forefront). My experience is these malcontents are not worth wasting time on. Using VAN terminology (that’s the voter information system used by most state Democratic parties that was in the news back in December) where voters are ranked from 1 to 5, with 1 being enthusiastic supporter and 5 being least supportive, I consider such “liberals” to be 5s. We don’t need them. Hillary Clinton will win with women and people of color just as Barack Obama did twice before her. It won’t be easy. No Presidential race ever is. But we’ll do it.

No Chicken Little-ing allowed!

From conception to birth only!

03 May 2016 02:52 pm
Posted by: Donna

One of the most telling comments I got to a post on this blog was one from a then-frequent troll, “Alan”, about then-Governor Jan Brewer cutting funding to the Medicaid organ transplant program under the guise of the recession. The cuts to the program left several patients who were on the waiting list and days or even hours away from receiving an organ with no coverage for the procedure and facing certain death. Like many others, I expressed my outrage over it and admonished the “pro-life” Brewer to consider the gravity of what she was doing.

Here’s what anti-choicer “Alan” had to say to that:

What do organ transplants have to do with life?

What, indeed?

I remembered that when I saw this exchange between Arizona Daily Star reporter Tim Stellar and “pro-life” Center For Arizona Policy President Cathi Herrod as state budget negotiations take place today:

You can’t make this stuff up. Of course, Herrod has taken no position on providing health care to children from low income families in Arizona. Why would she? Her main motivation is punishing poor women for having sex, ergo her indifference (which is possibly a cover for her inner glee) at the prospect of their children dying from treatable or preventable conditions. Because she is terrible.

Great people you want to give $5 mil to, Governor Ducey

29 Apr 2016 12:16 am
Posted by: Donna

AKA A Confederacy Of Jagoffs

If you’re following Arizona politics right now you know that a big issue is Prop 123, which will be voted on next month here in a special election. It would significantly increase the annual distributions from the state land trust to schools and is touted as a solution to settling the lawsuit against the state for underfunding education since the recession.

This happens to be going on at the same time as budget negotiations, and as many critics of Governor Doug Ducey and skeptics of Prop 123 have noted, the Governor and GOP majority in the Lege are not exactly acting with anything resembling humility in advance of asking the electorate to forgive them for failing to fund public education. For one thing, they want to give charter schools $100 million out of a bare-bones budget. For another, they are poised to give $5 million to a think tank led by a libertarian crackpot named William J. Boyes, who hates public schools.

No, seriously, he hates public schools! Per Laurie Roberts in the AZ Republic:

Turns out William Boyes, founder and director of the Center for the Study of Economic Liberty, supports the elimination of public schools. In November, Boyes spoke at a conference sponsored by the Mises Institute, about the need for centers such as his to push for a more free market approach in universities.

“We have to change education from K-12 to universities to be more open to … a free market approach,” he said. “We don’t see that at those levels. I think the centers, if they can create departments and programs, can create free market economic thinkers and the more we put out there, the more impact it’ll have in the long run.

“I also think that if we can do the same thing in K through 12, get rid of public education, create private education as a replacement and have a market for education, then I think we really have an impact.”

ASU even provides a link to the Schools Sucks Project, which has a podcast of Boyes’ comments to Mises, entitled The Demise of Government Schools.

As the School Sucks people noted on their podcast page: “It’s always exciting when a prominent figure at an enormous public university – the largest public university by enrollment in the U.S – openly calls for the end of public schooling.”

Here Boyes is, in his own words, hating on public schools:

Boyles is a big fan of Austrian economics and of its godfather, a lunatic named Ludwig von Mises (1881-1973), who has a large following in right wing academia and elsewhere. Over at Mises.org there are several examples of Boyles sharing his thoughts, including the “end public schools” lecture Laurie Roberts cited. Another of them is a talk entitled William Boyes: From Mainstream Academia to Unrepentant Rothbardian, which the announcer describes as “dynamite” because Boyes rejects stodgy mainstream “mathematic economic models” in favor of libertarian unicorn ones.

But what is “Rothbardianism”, you might ask? Well, that is the province of one Murray Rothbard (1926-1995) who was quite the piece of work. Per his Wikipedia entry*:

…Rothbard was the founder and leading theoretician of anarcho-capitalism, a staunch advocate of historical revisionism, and a central figure in the twentieth-century American libertarian movement. He wrote over twenty books on political theory, revisionist history, economics, and other subjects.[7] Rothbard asserted that all services provided by the “monopoly system of the corporate state” could be provided more efficiently by the private sector and wrote that the state is “the organization of robbery systematized and writ large…

…Rothbard rejected mainstream economic methodologies and instead embraced the praxeology of his most important intellectual precursor, Ludwig von Mises. To promote his economic and political ideas, Rothbard joined Llewellyn H. “Lew” Rockwell, Jr. and Burton Blumert in 1982 to establish the Ludwig von Mises Institute in Alabama…

Race, gender and civil rights

Michael O’Malley, Associate Professor of History at George Mason University, characterizes Rothbard’s “overall tone regard[ing]” the Civil Rights Movement and the women’s suffrage movement to be “contemptuous and hostile”.[81] Rothbard vilified women’s rights activists, attributing the growth of the welfare state to politically active spinsters “whose busybody inclinations were not fettered by the responsibilities of health and heart”. Rothbard had pointed out in his ‘Origins of the Welfare State’ that progressives had evolved from elitist Gilded Age pietist Protestants that wanted to bring a secularized version of millennialism under a welfare state, which was spearheaded by a “shock troop of Yankee protestant and Jewish women and lesbian spinsters.”[82]

Rothbard called for the elimination of “the entire ‘civil rights’ structure” stating that it “tramples on the property rights of every American.” He consistently favored repeal of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, including Title VII regarded employment discrimination[83] and called for overturning the Brown v. Board of Education decision on the grounds that forced integration of schools was aggressive.[84] Rothbard also urged the (state) police to crack down on “street criminals”, writing that “cops must be unleashed” and “allowed to administer instant punishment, subject of course to liability when they are in error”. He also advocated that the police “clear the streets of bums and vagrants”, and quipped “who cares?,” in response to the question of where these people would go after being removed from public property.[85]

Rothbard held strong opinions about many leaders of the civil rights movement. He considered black separatist Malcolm X to be a “great black leader” and integrationist Martin Luther King to be favored by whites because he “was the major restraining force on the developing Negro revolution.”[5][page needed] Rothbard praised Malcolm X for “acting white” through use of his intellect and wit, and contrasted him favorably with the “fraudulent intellectual with a rococo Black Baptist minister style, “Dr.” King”. But while he compared Malcolm X’s black nationalism favorably to King’s integrationism, and for a time praised black nationalism,[86] in 1993 he rejected the vision of a “separate black nation”, asking “does anyone really believe that … New Africa would be content to strike out on its own, with no massive “foreign aid” from the U.S.A.?”[87] Rothbard also suggested that opposition to King, whom he demeaned as a “coercive integrationist”, should be a litmus test for members of his “paleolibertarian” political movement.[88][89]

Race and intelligence

Both Michael O’Malley and political scientist Jean Hardisty have noted Rothbard’s “praise” of the argument, made in Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray’s book The Bell Curve, that blacks are genetically inferior to whites with respect to intelligence.[90] Both authors quote Rothbard’s remark that intellectual and “temperamental” differences between races are “self-evident”.

O’Malley quotes Rothbard as stating that public acceptance of the book’s thesis “would put a bullet through the heart of the egalitarian socialist project”, by providing an intellectual justification for racial inequalities.

Gosh, he sure seems nice. Rothbard’s good pal Lew Rockwell (1944-), who is also a swell guy**, has lovingly cataloged some of his writings, including a 1970 manifesto against “women’s lib” wherein Rothbard described feminists as “harridans” and “viragos” and gave a familiar-sounding mansplanation of why it is good and proper for women to be denied equality. (TL:dr – Because men are innately superior and also because women, though clearly inferior, are the real oppressors of said men.)

This is all no surprise, as it has long been obvious that white supremacists and misogynists love “school choice” and privatization because they fit perfectly with their goals of racial segregation and keeping women chained to the home. They’re entitled those views, but they can use their own damn money to promote them, rugged individualists that they are.

* Yep, Wikipedia because I figure I’ve only got three decades, tops, left on this earth and I’m not wasting several hours of my dwindling time carefully perusing all the original works of bigoted dicknobs like Murray Rothbard.

** Yep, RationalWiki because see above.

Channel 12 simply can’t say no to anti-choice goose chase

25 Apr 2016 12:25 pm
Posted by: Donna

Channel 12 abortion reportNothing inflammatory here!

Last month there was a big buzz in the local anti-choice rumor mill about a “born alive abortion” that had allegedly occurred at a Phoenix clinic. I reported on the absurdity of the whole allegation at that time and how the MSM ought not allow themselves to be played by wild-eyed anti-abortion zealots. But, apparently, Channel 12 in Phoenix sees a real public interest in helping those zealots to harass abortion providers and in giving out potentially identifying information about a patient (her age), as they did on the Thursday 10pm broadcast.

The police reports shows the mother, 27, had been scheduled for an abortion, but went into what the report called, “spontaneous labor.” The doctor at the clinic near downtown Phoenix told police she had checked for a fetal heartbeat before the procedure and found none. She said she believed the baby would be stillborn.

The reports said a nurse went to weigh the fetus, which is standard procedure, and thought she saw it move and struggle to breathe. “Oh my God this fetus is moving,” the reports claim she said.

Staff at the clinic then called 911 and paramedics began CPR while transporting the baby to Banner University Medical Center, the report said. But doctors there did not find a heartbeat and pronounced the baby deceased within a few minutes.

Under federal law, abortion clinics have to provide medical care to a baby that survives an abortion.

“Nobody did anything wrong,” Kat Sabine, executive director of the Arizona chapter NARAL Pro-Choice America. “Absolutely, nobody did anything wrong. The doctor, in fact, did everything right.”

So it appears that this was not even an abortion but a stillbirth that happened to take place at a clinic, where the staff there did everything they were supposed to do in that situation. 12 News could have left it at that and redeemed themselves with a mea culpa for having been suckered by anti-choice conspiracy loons. Sadly, no, they could not do that. Instead, they ended the segment by interviewing some gross anti-choice dude from his book-lined office and let him insinuate that something criminal had indeed taken place at that particular clinic and also that any pregnancy outcome that is not a full-term healthy infant is cause for suspicion.

Pro-life activist and lawyer John Jakubczyk said the uproar wasn’t over whether the abortion was legal, though he has questions about that. He said it was a moral protest.

“Maybe the child was born and only lived for a moment, maybe the child lived for a lot longer than a few moments. I don’t know,” Jakubczyk said. “But I do know this; you had a human being who was born, you had a human being who died.”

It is truly chilling to realize how successfully anti-choicers are enlisting local news stations in their crusade to criminalize women’s health care.

Don’t coopt the voting rights movement to whine, “independent” voters.

20 Apr 2016 01:35 am
Posted by: Donna

Wherein I express my annoyance with a certain type of holier-than-thou “independent” voter”

The New York primary took place Tuesday and a big story about it, at least on cable news and social media, was how massive numbers of “independent” voters suffered “voter suppression” due to not being able to cast a vote in the partisan primary. The deadline to change one’s party affiliation in New York (as opposed to a new voter registrant, which was last month) was all the way back in October.

I will say, from a purely partisan standpoint, that such an early deadline is a terrible rule as it impedes party building. Most people are paying little attention to the Presidential race a full year out from it, so New York political parties who agreed to the onerous deadline out of concern for voters from one party tampering with another party’s primary elections were missing the forest for the trees. Those kind of shenanigans rarely change outcomes anyway so it’s not a good idea for parties to foreclose their ability to use the Presidential primary as a way to recruit new registrants via conversion.

But those are the current rules in New York, and while I understand there have been issues with people alleging that their registrations were changed without their consent (as is known to have happened in Arizona with DMV and other clerical errors), in most cases the sturm und drang over supposed “voter disenfranchisement” has come from people (from New York and elsewhere) who have willingly opted out of registering with a party but who still think they’re entitled to have a say in picking the leadership of the very parties they disdain as filthy corrupt scum. It’s amazing, really.

I realize there are many reasons a voter may choose to be unaffiliated with a political party and not all are bad (most are, though, IMHO). And it is entirely your prerogative as a voter to do that. But unless you happen to be in a state where you are graciously allowed to interfere (my description) in partisan candidate selection, you do not get to have it both ways. If you chose not to register with a party in a closed primary state (such as New York or Arizona), then you relinquished your opportunity to vote in that primary. That is not voter suppression and you are not disenfranchised because of it.

Filling in a party preference on the voter registration form is a very simple matter that enables you to vote in the primary. It’s not a blood oath or a promise of your firstborn. In a closed primary state, it’s an obvious wise move, as the blogger Atrios explains:

As I said, I think New York’s deadline is ridiculous, but requiring people to make the effort to switch parties a week or a month out isn’t. And in closed primary states, don’t be an idiot and register as an independent. Nobody cares. You haven’t stuck it to The Man by asserting your independence. You’ve just made your life harder if you ever do want to vote in a primary.

Believe you me, Arizonans, the people who are most invested in wanting you to shun “party labels” (especially you liberal leaners) and be “independent”, thus ceding collective power, can most definitely be described as The Man.

There is perhaps no opinion of mine that gets people riled up more than my take on “independent” voters. Sorry, I just don’t find that the vast majority of them that I encounter live up to the hype about them as free-thinking, objective, special snowflakes who give more careful consideration to their political choices than we yucky partisans do. Quite the opposite, very often. So I don’t give them the tender sympathy they’ve grown to expect in so many quarters. Whatever. As I said, be an unaffiliated voter if you want. Your choice. Just don’t act like it makes you John Lewis.

Sanders supporters continue to make the incredible claim that Clinton “stole” Arizona primary

18 Apr 2016 01:55 am
Posted by: Donna

Hillary somehow cheated in every primary, in every caucus. Okay.

Even when such a thing was literally impossible, such as in the Arizona primary. There was no conceivable way that the Clinton campaign could have, in advance of the deadline to register as a party voter on February 22, 2016, flipped a sufficient number of Democratic registrations of voters who would have voted for Bernie Sanders in Maricopa County to “independent” for Sanders to lose the Arizona primary. This was a feat not only beyond the mind-reading capability of the Clinton people here, but also beyond their ability to convince Helen Purcell, the Republican County Recorder, to go along with that. But supporters of Bernie Sanders continue to make such claims.

Which is why I cannot take them seriously.

You can disagree with Hillary Clinton on policy direction. I respect that. But I will never respect you when you pull things directly out of your ass to impugn her.

“Nice” John Kasich has not-so-nice things to say about rape

15 Apr 2016 12:04 pm
Posted by: Donna

There are so many things wrong with what GOP Presidential candidate John Kasich said here that it’s hard to know where to start. Well, I guess the beginning of it is a good place because that’s where Kasich tried to make an awkward joke about leaving the town hall right then. Because you know how Republican men have been scolded not to mention rape, tee hee. Then there’s the description of female college students, which make up more than half the people attending college at this time, as “coeds”. WTF, people, is it still 1965 in some of your worlds? But the truly appalling thing about Kasich’s answer is how he characterized sexual assault as something that is either the victim’s fault (because she went to a party and drank) or something she needs to “reflect on” (because you know how girls are apt to become hysterical and make up stories to get some nice boy in trouble).

I read the statement several times to be sure that I wasn’t seeing any reference by Kasich to the perpetrators of rape, but no, none was there. Rape is either something that just happens to careless women or a lie they tell to cover up consensual sex (because if you call women “coeds” like it’s 1965 there’s a good chance you also think we live under the same sexual mores where it was shameful for a young unmarried woman to not be a virgin). In fairness, it does seem that Kasich was trying to give a thorough answer and one that conveyed his caring to the young woman, but unfortunately he’s so wedded to anti-choice ideology that he’s incapable of anything approaching actual empathy for a woman, even one who has been raped. What you get instead from him is this demonstration of “benevolent” sexism, which is a thin cover for the uglier misogyny that undergirds many of his policies as Governor of Ohio. Such as when he signed abortion bans with no exceptions for rape and a law denying rape victims access to emergency contraception.

And he’s the “nice” Republican running for President.