Purple Haze: Black and Brainwashed

I am NOT brainwashed. I just don’t agree with you, Herman Cain!!!

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So, Herman Cain thinks I’m brainwashed. As you would expect from a brainwashed black zombie voter, hearing this peculiar news was news to me. Cain says I’m brainwashed because I’m not open minded, and because I “won’t even consider a conservative point of view.” Wow, Herman! Thank you for opening my eyes!!! I am SO closed-minded. And I NEVER listen or even consider what conservatives think. So let me take this opportunity to turn my life around, and really consider exactly what conservativism is all about. So I visited Herman Cain’s website. He has a page where he publicizes his position on “The Issues”, so I’ll start with that.

On National Security, Herman Cain says:

While diplomacy is a critical tool in solving the complex security issues we face, it must never compromise military might.

The rest of his statements on national security are, though not automatically appealing to me, mainstream enough. From this statement, I gather that, as President of the Unites States of America, Herman Cain would not hesitate to march America to war when diplomacy, in his opinion, became futile. Or maybe I am to gather that president Cain would strike first, and negotiate later. Would a president Cain hesitate to send more and more of my brothers and sisters to sacrifice their lives, even if the American people didn’t want it, even if the diplomatic world clamored against it, even if it continued to bankrupt our country and spoil future security for our children?

On Spending, Herman Cain says:

It is no secret that federal government spending is out of control. They view the American taxpayers as a bottomless piggybank for their wasteful programs and expansion of power.

I wonder, who is “they”? And to what wasteful programs is he referring? Is Title X a wasteful program? In other words, is preventing premature births, birth defects, and cancer a waste of taxpayer money? There are some programs that can be considered wasteful, Cain should be more specific. Cain also thinks we should eliminate some of our entitlement programs “with a keen eye and a red pen”. I take that to mean Herman Cain would see the end of Social Security. Many of our senior citizens already live on tight, fixed budgets; and depend on social security (which they paid for) to keep them healthy. I don’t want to see our elder generation impoverished!

On to Immigration! Herman Cain says:

Americans have embraced their role as the world’s premier “melting pot,” welcoming immigrants from every corner of the planet. We readily learn about other cultures, customs and beliefs. We appreciate those who are willing to come to this country and make America a more vibrant and enriched place.

Conservatives readily learn from other cultures? What about conservative Michele Bachmann’s opinion that, “not all cultures are equal, not all values are equal,” implying that immigrants should assimilate to her culture. That doesn’t seem very welcoming to me. Herman Cain himself said he would not hire a Muslim to his cabinet, and that towns should be able to ban mosques from being built within their borders. He also thinks we should “promote the existing path to citizenship”. Well I argue that the existing path to citizenship is broken. It is filled with bureaucratic red tape and financial barriers that ensure that only very rich, patient, educated foreigners are allowed in.

For Herman Cains stance on energy policy, all I can say is, “WOW!” He mentions that corn-based ethanol producers are subsidized; but fails to mention that so too are oil producers, nuclear operators, and renewable energy producers. In fact, there is no sector of energy in the United States that is NOT subsidized in some way by federal funds. Now I mistrust Cain. His attempt to spin the energy story to promote his campaign has just turned me off. He also says, “liberals have forced excessive environmental regulations that have stifled our domestic energy production.” Cain thinks that the regulation of energy producers to protect the public from unmitigated pollution of our skies, rivers and ground water puts undue burden on energy producers who, might I add, are in no way struggling to turn profits. I think some oversight of energy producers is warranted.

Then I get to Herman Cain’s Health Care page. I cannot continue. This is some of the language I read here:

  • liberals in Congress have dismantled the free market health care system
  • compromise the sacred patient-doctor relationship
  • eliminate patient choice
  • stick a bureaucrat in the examining room
  • ration care

Time after time, this same inflammatory language Cain insists on using to describe the PPACA has been proven misleading, lying at best. It’s not a government takeover. It’s not interfering with patient-doctor relationships (although, with the latest attempts by Congress and the states to eliminate insurance coverage for abortion from the health care system, that is debatable). The PPACA increases patient choice. Patients will now be able to choose from a wider selection of insurance providers than they had before. And health care is already rationed by health care providers and insurance companies. For instance, hospitals will not put someone on the list for a lung transplant if the person is a smoker. And with Herman Cain’s views on abortion rights, I am sure that, under a Cain presidency, my rights to make medical choices without the interference of government would only suffer more.

And Cain promotes “tort reform” as the solution to lowering health care costs and increasing patient choice. Tort reform is code word for eliminating a patients ability to seek damages from a doctor when he or she is harmed. Tort reform is not the answer. Increasing the availability and affordability of primary care in order to reduce the number of patients seeking such care in hospitals, thus decreasing the work load of doctors and nurses such that they can better focus on their patients is the solution to medical malpractice suits. Scaring the ‘have-nots’ from taking the ‘haves’ to court in order to reduce the number of malpractice suits serves only to deter an individual from seeking reparation when he or she has actually been wronged. And believe me, it’s an individual against a huge insurance company, not patient versus doctor.

Let me end this useless attempt to consider Cain’s conservative ideas on their merit. In almost every instance, Cain provides a half story in an attempt to brainwash his own readers! And on his “Faith & Family” page, he basically makes his point that the U.S. is a Christian nation (especially noting the words “under God” in the Pledge of Allegiance), and should remain that way. I argue that the U.S. Republic is seated by a secular government whose job is to administer a country in which Christians, Muslims, Jews, Hindus, Witches, Pagans, Hari Krishnas and Atheists alike can live their lives in the way they see fit. The words “under god” are an addition made in fear; and don’t belong in the Pledge of Allegiance. And I decry any attempt to force me or my future children to say such words. That is the opposite of freedom of religion.

It’s possible that Herman Cain seriously believes that African American voters are living in a purple haze that makes liberalism show up in rosy hues. But, I don’t think so. I think he is just desperate. I am a highly educated, worldly, open-minded, faceted and (and if I can say so myself) fascinating individual. And I am NOT brainwashed. I just don’t agree with you, Herman Cain!!!

Embattled Birth Control?

Personally, “unrestricted, unlimited sex, anytime, anywhere” sounds pretty damned fun to me.

On August 1st, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced historic new requirements for insurers on services for women that should be covered by new insurance plans at no cost (i.e. – without a copay). To determine what medical care would be covered, the Institute of Medicine was charged with reporting to the DHHS what services and screenings for women are needed to fill gaps in recommended preventative care. In the IOM report, “Clinical Preventative Services for Women, Closing the Gap“, the committee defines preventative services as,

measures—including medications, procedures, devices, tests, education and counseling—shown to improve well-being, and/or decrease the likelihood or delay the onset of a targeted disease or condition.

The services recommended by the IOM include common sense stuff:

  • well-woman visits;
  • screening for gestational diabetes;
  • human papillomavirus (HPV) DNA testing for women 30 years and older;
  • sexually-transmitted infection counseling;
  • human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) screening and counseling;
  • FDA-approved contraception methods and contraceptive counseling;
  • breastfeeding support, supplies, and counseling; and
  • domestic violence screening and counseling.
Well, unless you live under a rock or are completely unconcerned with women’s reproductive issues, the fall out from the release of these new HHS guidelines has been epic. Both for it’s greatness, and for it’s sheer moronic misogyny. As expected, the National Women’s Law Center, Feminist Majority Foundation, National Organization for Women, NARAL, and Planned Parenthood Federation of America (P2) have all come out in support of the new guidelines. Representatives from many organizations are commending the HHS for actually listening to and implementing the recommendations of real medical experts and scientists. Some of the reaction has been beyond epic, such as this Bollywood-inspired song and dance routine made for Planned Parenthood:
Any feminist woman knows the depths of Bill O’Reilly’s misogyny. But he feels he continually needs to remind the world how low his opinion of women. On his awful, bias-as-hell show back in July, O’Reilly spoke to a fake liberal woman and a conservative woman about the HHS’s mandate for insurers to cover birth control. (Any liberal who was asked the question as he stated it would have pointed out that O’Reilly’s description of the regulations was inaccurate.) The conversation was completely biased, as O’Reilly asks “liberal” contributor Leslie Marshall if the government should pay for “everybody’s birth control…in the world”. Even leaving out the fact that O’Reilly misrepresents the DHHS requirements (that private insurers pay for birth control for private policy holders, not the government!), he goes on to insult every female birth control user by saying they are “to blasted out of their minds to use it anyway”. Since O’Reilly doesn’t care to actually engage women in a substantive manner, he obviously doesn’t know that the 56 million women who use highly-effective birth control don’t take it when they are “blasted out of their minds”. In addition, he attacks the “health care deal for the ladies” talking to Lou Dobbs, saying we ‘all’ will have to pay for this. Someone should call him up and explain how, we are all ALREADY paying for it!
Although the regulation includes an exception for religious institutions, the Family Research Council argues that the regulation “undermines the conscience rights of many Americans.” Um, yeah, he must mean the less than 1% who don’t use any contraceptive method whatsoever. (I argue that women working for religious institutions should not be subject to their beliefs if not shared, and should have an alternative option for contraceptive coverage.) A spokesman for the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, says “pregnancy is not a disease, and fertility is not a pathological condition to be suppressed by any means technically possible.” Someone should let him know that no one said pregnancy was a disease. But there are,however, many conditions and diseases associated with pregnancy, many of them fatal for the pregnant woman. Oh, but wait, the Catholic church doesn’t care about the pregnant woman. I forgot.
The arguments against prohibiting cost sharing for preventative services only gets more ridiculous. Stephen Colbert can state it much more hilariously than I. And Jon Stewart breaks it down on the Daily Show. The arguments of opponents to this mandate are not rooted in science or medicine. They are solely rooted in religion. The catholics say the rules are “messing with God”. Other conservatives say giving away free birth control will result in rampant promiscuity. And conspiracy theorists argue that free birth control is just the first step in the government’s assertion of complete control over the reproductive lives of the citizenry for population control purposes. Um, communist China anyone?
These arguments become especially irreverent when you consider that of women of reproductive age who do not want to become pregnant, 99% use a contraceptive method other than natural family planning, and two-thirds of us take a highly-effective method (i.e. – sterilization, the pill, IUD, etc.) regardless of our religious beliefs. And these conservative, anti-choice pundits seem to forget about the fact that not all women using contraceptives are unmarried young people, contraceptive use helps breastfeeding women breastfeed longer by helping them space their pregnancies and increases the socio-economic status of women who are consequently able to delay pregnancy, preventing unplanned pregnancy reduces the need for abortion, couples are less likely to separate after a planned pregnancy than an unplanned pregnancy, contraceptives help prevent the spread of sexually-transmitted infections and HIV, and some women are prescribed contraceptives for reasons other than pregnancy prevention (such as endometriosis). I could go on, but I think I made my point.
The DHHS will be taking public comments on the new regulations through the end of September. Personally, “unrestricted, unlimited sex, anytime, anywhere” sounds pretty damned fun to me. (I hope my husband is up to the challenge!) Plus, I am TOTALLY DOWN with becoming a 4-star General in Obama’s Army of Flesh Thirsty Young Sluts! And, seriously, who would compare domestic violence counseling and breastfeeding advice to getting a pedicure? Oh, wait…