Tag Archives: birth control

Viagra and “State Rape” – Sex and Violence Still Sell

We cannot keep our collective minds off of other people’s private parts. It is strange that on the one principle both parties can agree on – a government respecting an individual’s personal privacy – yet, Republicans do want to legislate those private parts and Democrats can’t help but react. We’ve had some one-upsmanship going on in the Ohio State Legislature, and some comic relief that isn’t funny at all.

Gary Trudeau, the cartoonist for the long running comic strip, Doonesbury, has made a statement around the systematic push of the Republican party to make birth control less accessible and abortions seekers subject to unnecessary violations. He sums up the situation pretty well:

“Ninety-nine percent of American women have or will use contraception during their lifetimes. To see these healthcare rights systematically undermined in state after state by the party of ‘limited government’ is appalling.  In Texas, the sonograms are the least of it. The legislature has also defunded women’s health clinics all over the state, leaving 300,000 women without the contraceptive services that prevent abortions in the first place. Insanity.”

In Trudeau’s strip that will run in his syndicated slot this week (published today), he pushed the envelope as to what to call the latest Republican approved procedures during the already painful process of making a decision about an abortion. The U.K. Guardian article describes it: Continue reading

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Big Business, Big Religion, or Status Quo

The choices look like they’re boiling down to three right now, Romney represents wealthy business interests, Santorum speaks for conservative Christians, and Obama, the known entity that not many are super stoked about. It looks like another race heading into the “not voting for _______” (fill in the blank with objectionable politician) instead of being proud to vote for our preferred candidate.  This is a terrible position for a politician to be in, it means that their best traction comes only as a knee jerk response to an opponent. There is no inspiration, only revulsion.  As was demonstrated in George Lakoff’s book, Don’t Think of an Elephant, you cannot successfully run against an entity by only calling attention to that entity. Or, there is no such thing as bad publicity.

Just try it now, do not think of an elephant. I’ll bet you failed. The fact is that when we were itty-bitty kiddies, we learned “elephant” at some point, probably through a cheerful picture or visit to the zoo. When you learn the word elephant in this country (where elephants do not roam around), we strongly tie this noun to an image of an elephant. We memorize the greyness, the long nose, the big ears, all of the distinctive features at the same time that we hear the word and later learn to read the word.As parents we repeat these simple lessons multiple times to insure our children can identify their animals, words, and sounds. All of our senses coordinate our visual, audio, and cognitive information and file them in the same folder. Later, every time we hear the word “elephant”, it does not matter what words surround it, we will briefly recall our own generic image of “elephant” that we have on file. Just adding the word “don’t”, “no”, “bad”, “crazed” or any other word will not prevent us from first recognizing and acknowledging the animal as we know it. Continue reading

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Who Controls Birth Control?

RawStory brings us this great example on NBC’s Meet the Press of a conversation where framing noticeably switches course several times. Who do you think “won” the framing battle here? It is a great piece of video because it is such a dramatic demonstration of how evoking frames makes you empathetic to the framers mindset. Start watching around 1:00. You’ll hear conservative pundit David Brooks, accuse the Obama administration of infringing on religious freedom because he is demanding that insurance providers – religious or not – must cover birth control.  Brooks says that Obama is forcing a religious organization to go against a tenet. Maddow steps in and makes the case that because that religious organization decided to provide insurance, it must follow the same guidelines as other insurers, guidelines that follow a democratically supported position. Alex Castellanos, Republican strategist, counters with indignance; citing the message to Catholic hospitals and universities is “you can’t live you beliefs”. Continue reading

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