Wednesday, February 22, 2006

"Sex-ed should teach you about sex"

Brenda e-mailed to ask if I was feeling better today? I am and that's due largely to some good news that I'll note in a minute. Remember to please visit Mikey Likes It! for Mike's take on the following events.

"Supreme Court To Reconsider Banning Late-Term Abortion" (Democracy Now!):
And the Supreme Court announced Tuesday it will consider reinstating a federal ban on late-term abortion. Recent President Bush appointee Samuel Alito could hold the tie-breaking vote when the court hears the case. The court last ruled on the issue in the year 2000, when Judge Sandra Day O’Connor cast the deciding vote to strike down a state law banning the procedure. Nancy Keenan, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America, said: "Today's action means the core principle of protecting women's health as guaranteed by Roe v. Wade is in clear and present danger."

Rebecca said it best, yesterday, when discussing another bit of Alito news:

so we got what we knew we were getting.

Mike and I were discussing this earlier today on the phone and we're not really sure what it is people want? Are we supposed to be shocked? Rebecca's right, we knew. Whether you were for Alito or against him, whether you were a coward who wouldn't support a filibuster or a reporter who wouldn't report facts, we all knew.

As for hearing from NARAL on this issue? I have no use for them. That's not blaming them for Alito's confirmation. That is saying they are a weak, ineffective organization. I objected to them rushing in to defend Hillary Clinton in January 2005. She was obviously repositioning herself (as few would argue now) and when there was real outrage being expressed, NARAL -- supposed champion of reproductive rights -- comes along to say, "Back off gals, Hill's our friend!"

They are useless. Keesha, Kara, Gina and myself were very vocal at The Common Ills about that nonsense. (Here's the first entry where C.I. noted Hillary's repositioning. I can find the initial reaction but I'm having trouble finding the repeated reactions because this was, and is, a big deal to our community. Here's one entry where Krista and Keesha are weighing in.) I think it was Keesha who said then, "Don't make them a link, don't give them money." They made themselves useless. They need to come up with a new strategy and they probably need new leadership.

NARAL was once an important group. It isn't anymore.

"Three Ohioans Charged With Conspiracy To Attack US Troops" (Democracy Now!):
Back in the United States, the Justice Department has charged three Ohio men with conspiracy to kill US troops in Iraq and other countries. The three -- Mohammad Zaki Amawi, Wassim I. Mazloum, and Marwan Othman El-Hindi -- are originally from Jordan and Lebanon. Amawi is also charged with making threats to kill President Bush. They each pled not guilty Tuesday. El-Hindi’s attorney, Steve Hartman, said: "It doesn't help that he's Jordanian. I think he's caught up in the Justice Department's vigorous work."

I really don't know what to say here. I don't make a point to read the New York Times but a Neil A. Lewis was noted (and then some) by C.I. this morning in "NYT: One sided 'reporting' (Neil A. Lewis)" so I read his article. How does C.I. take on the New York Times every morning? I couldn't do it. I read Lewis' press release for the Justice Department and was shocked at how one-sided the "reporting" was. Does anyone read over the articles before they go to print? I don't see how Lewis' article made it into print. Read C.I.'s critique and then read the article and you'll see that Lewis wasn't reporting on anything other than what the government was saying. It's as though Lewis is nothing but a flunkie for the Justice Department.

I called C.I. to ask, "Sick or better?" Still sick. But I was asked if I could note something. My only problem is that I wasn't able to get Mike back on the phone because I'm sure he'd want to note it as well.

"NEWS UPDATE!The Rebel is Free!!!" (CodePink):
Feb 21st '06 Mon, Cypress, TX
By Krishnaveni Gundu
County Criminal Court #9 (Republican Judge Analia Wilkerson), forgot to put her case on the docket which may have been a good thing after all b'cos the attorney managed to plea-bargain and got the charge reduced from a 'Class B misdemeanor' to a 'Class C misdemeanor'. Class B was for possessing fake id - max. $4000 fine + max. 1 yr. in jail. But Class C is simply 'not having a valid TX Driver's License' - max $500 fine.
So she pleaded guilty to Class C, paid a $50 fine plus $200 court costs and that's it! Now she's truly a freebird and on her way back to dear ol' Seadrift.
Native American friend Wolf pitched in $100, Goldstar Families for Peace pitched in with a cheque of $150. Still no idea if I'll get back the $1500 cash I put up for bail.
We, i.e. Diane, Ann Wright, Cindy's sister Didi (adorable tiggerloly) and I were out of there by 10:45 am CST and on our way to Katie Heim's place where we had a wonderful breakfast celebration with homemade biscuits, eggs, mashed potatoes and mimosas (champagne & orange juice)!

I wish I'd know that news yesterday -- it would have helped my negative mood. Diane Wilson is free -- as she should have been all along. A banner is not a weapon anymore than ideas are weapons.

Tonight, we end with a reality check. I never did find the thing that had Keesha and my comments (it's probably a month or two later because Hillary's repositioning was a huge issue to our community); however, reading over Keesha's remarks, I wanted to note some of them here.

Reality Check: "Keesha on the Facts of Life"
Sex-ed should teach you about sex. Abstinence is a position families need to address on their own. On the issue of evolution, NYT has yet to urge that creationism be taught (though that day may soon be upon us). There's not a real difference. One is a belief, one is science. Sex-ed should be based on science. Personal beliefs can be taught at home and in religious halls.

Tell you what, NYT, when priests and nuns can keep their vows, I might consider agreeing with NYT that abstinence education has educational merits. I'm remembering that lost in the coverage of priests and young boys was a story of a priest who paid for the abortion of a nun.
Did he not understand the concept of "abstinence?" Or did he understand it as what it is, a morality position, and choose to reject it? D.A.R.E. hasn't worked, prohibition didn't work and studies have found that abstinence education at best delays the onset of sexual activity for a very limited time.
It's not science. It doesn't have it's place in sex-ed.
Those on or near the left who attempt to make this argument better reconcile their endorsement of it with their refusal to embrace creationism being taught because both positions reject science.As for the position NYT's editorial board takes, considering that they are always attempting to push the Clintons to the right (and feminists as you noted last month discussing their slam of NOW during the primaries), I'll take it about as seriously as I take the majority of their weak editorials.