Wednesday Reads: BO, No Bagel, Naughty Monks and Flying Phallic Trees of Life

Good Morning! Minx here with your Wednesday reads, and today we are focusing on Planned Parenthood and the consequences of defunding.  We are also going to take a look at a new blog on HuffPo, a NYC Upper West Side legendary bagel joint, and a  Medieval fact check on Cracked Magazine.

First, over in Indiana, the donated funds have run out…and Planned Parenthood is officially closing it’s doors. Indiana Law Forces Planned Parenthood Clinics To Close And Stop Treating Thousands Of Medicaid Patients | ThinkProgress

The first to defund Planned Parenthood, Indiana passed a law that cuts state and Medicaid funding to the organization’s 28 clinics in the state (only four of which provide abortion services). In effect since May 10, the law not only eliminates the clinics’ $1.3 million a year in Medicaid funds but also strips them of “roughly $150,000 in funding for prevention of sexually transmitted diseases.” While a record number of donations allowed clinics to continue services, that help ran out yesterday. Now, Indiana’s Planned Parenthood clinics are shutting down operations and leaving thousands of Hoosiers without access to health care:

– According to Indiana Planned Parenthood president Betty Cockrum, the clinics will stop treating Medicaid patients today. “Our 9,300 Medicaid patients, including those who had appointments Tuesday, are going to see their care disrupted.”

– Without the STD prevention funding, Planned Parenthood has to lay off two of their three intervention specialists, or “health workers who track down the partners of someone who tests positive for an STD and ensure they are tested and treated.” Planned Parenthood is now left with a single specialist to address STD testing and treatment for the entire state.

– To reduce costs, all 28 clinics will close tomorrow and employees will be sent home without pay. Only one clinic in Indianapolis will stay open Wednesday but will close Thursday.

Should the law remain in place, Planned Parenthood stated that “it must close eight” of its clinics: “two Indianapolis locations and clinics in Bedford, Hammond, Michigan City, New Albany, Terre Haute and Muncie.” The shuttered clinics would significantly restrict help for the 85,000 Hoosiers the states’ clinics currently serve.

Indiana’s Planned Parenthood are not the only ones having to close its doors, Planned Parenthood in Minnesota will have to close six of their clinics as the article states.

Hoosiers are not the only Americans feeling the full weight of the GOP’s anti-choice attack. Planned Parenthood in Minnesota announced yesterday that it will close six clinics of its 24 clinics because of budget cuts to Title X funding for low-income women and families. None of the six clinics perform abortions, “but provided services ranging from contraception to cervical cancer screenings to testing for sexually-transmitted diseases.”

This article from Jezebel has more on the Minnesota closures.  They also stress that these clinics do not perform abortions, and connect the closings to President Obama.  The Real Cost Of Defunding Planned Parenthood

Anti-choice bluster has given way to actual legislation, and guess who’s paying the price? Low-income women, and any woman who would have sought care at the fourteen Planned Parenthood clinics that are closed or have been furloughed in Indiana and Minnesota. And more states are likely to follow.

None of the six clinics closing in Minnesota even performed abortions, but they’re closing due to cuts in Title X family planning funds in the federal budget signed off upon by President Obama.

Please be sure to read this next article…it goes to a new blog written by Azar Nafisi, the author of Reading Lolita in Tehran.  In this post she discusses her thoughts on the power of women by looking at the tale of Shahrzad in One Thousand and One Nights.  Azar Nafisi: How I Know Women Will Change The World

What is Shahrezad’s secret? Her main asset is not her beauty, but her wisdom, her knowledge of poetry, philosophy and science, the fact that she is well-read and wise. She breaks the king’s cycle of violence by refusing to play the game on his grounds and in his domain, which is the domain of the public and of physical power; instead she lures the king into her domain which is that of the private and of the imagination. Note here that in this tale, imagination becomes a way of confronting and defeating brute force and autocratic mindsets — the attack on women’s rights always goes hand in hand with an assault on imagination, or what is called culture.

The king has no imagination, he is unable to see or hear anyone but himself. Shahrezad, through her tales, arouses the king’s curiosity and his desire to hear voices other than his own, showing him an alternative way of looking at the world and changing it. She transports him from his black and white world into one of colors and shades, of ambiguities, teaching him that not all women are betrayers, and some men, like kings are faithful and some fickle. Through this curiosity the king finds a point of empathy, the ability to place himself in other people’s shoes, to want to know them. Thus one weak woman through her ingenious refusal to play a despot’s game gains what the strongest of men could never dream of achieving by force.

This is how women in the country of my birth Iran, the country from which both Shahrezad’s and Shahryar’s names come from, are resisting and transforming an autocratic and brutal political system, one whose repressive nature is made most naked by its systematic violence against all the citizens, but especially women. And this is how I believe women throughout the ages and all over the world have been and are gaining their rights, thereby transforming the world. And because I believe in the universality of both women’s rights and the power of imagination. I started my tribute to this blog with a fictional woman from the part of the world where I was born in, and want to end it with a real woman from the part of the world I now live in: Elizabeth Caddy Stanton, who believed in the universal rights of women and all citizens of the world. She knew that she will not live to see American women gain their rights to vote, but predicted that “I never forget we are sowing winter wheat, which the coming spring will see sprout, and other hands than ours will reap and enjoy.”

I’ve got the new Nafisi blog on my RSS reader now…looking forward to reading more posts indeed.

Okay, earlier this week the White House announced the “news” that Obama is going to be writing his own tweets, and signing them BO.

Obama to Tweet Own Tweets – Mobiledia – The Mobile Future – Forbes

Obama plans to sign his tweets “BO” to distinguish them from messages sent by his campaign team. The shift seems motivated by the upcoming presidential election: as the announcement was made, the Twitter account’s icon changed to a smiling image of the President above his 2012 campaign logo.

It made me think of the Obama’s dog.  I always thought the name BO was spelled a bit odd. I mean, isn’t the name short for Beauregard? Which is spelled Beau? I think that Barack Obama is so narcissistic, he named his dog after himself.

I guess if Kramer did not get fired for taking a day off to celebrate Festivus… (Remember, he had to leave before the “Feats of Strength” because he needed to work a double at H & H. He actually was fired for losing his gum in the bagel dough.) He would have lost his job now, because the real H & H is closing its doors for good.  H and H Bagels, an Upper West Side Stalwart, to Close Wednesday – Metropolis – WSJ

H & H Bagels at 80th Street and Broadway will close on Wednesday.

H & H Bagels at 80th Street and Broadway will close on Wednesday. At 80th Street and Broadway, the sign is already gone but the aroma of freshly baked bagels still lingers.

Inhale it fast, Upper West Siders, because this is it: H & H Bagels, a Sunday stalwart for generations, will close Wednesday.

Turns out the owner, Helmer Toro,

…pleaded guilty to three felony charges for pocketing more than $300,000 in taxes owed to the state.

According to authorities, Toro took deductions from his employees’ paychecks but failed to pay sales and other taxes. He also manipulated the unemployment-insurance tax system, using shell companies to transfer employees from one business to another in order to receive a lower rate. H & H filed city and state withholding tax returns under six different company names, according to authorities.

Damn, talk about a real reason to strike and stand outside the bagel shop yelling, “No Bagel, No Bagel, No Bagel!” Too funny.

And for your last link today, another funny story.  I think I may have linked to this blog before in one of my posts…  Got Medieval, it is one of my favorites.  Well, it looks like the writer of Got Medieval is being copied over at Cracked Magazine, and not only they snagging material from Got Medieval, they’re getting the stuff wrong. The Eleventy-Seven Most Mind-Blowingly Inaccurate Facts in’s “8 Filthy Jokes Hidden in Ancient Works of Art” — Got Medieval

It has long been established, both by Supreme Court decision and by a robust body of supporting case law, that I own the patent on making jokes about the Middle Ages on the Internet,* so it came as quite a blow to discover my patent  had been recklessly and shamelessly violated by the editors of, who saw fit today to publish an article titled “8 Filthy Jokes Hidden in Ancient Works of Art“, an article that allocates a full 3/8ths of its content to jokes about the Middle Ages.

To add insult to dire injury, while a full 8/8ths of said 3/8ths consists of topics already covered on this humble blog,** aforesaid said 3/8ths are riddled with inconsistencies and outright errors which cannot be excused merely by appeal to “comedic license”.  So, once more, I find I must return to topics long ago discussed to set the newly bent record straight.

Carl S. Pyrdum, III, the author of Got Medieval points out what the Cracked Mag states wrongly, these images are just doodles in the margins of the medieval manuscripts. However, many of the images he discusses on his blog…

are usually taken from very expensive medieval manuscripts, the kind that would have been produced by professional manuscript production houses that employed dozens of scribes, editors, artists, and assorted craftspeople. When I show you a picture of a monkey with its finger up the butt of another monkey, or a monkey taking a dump in front of a bishop, or a monkey with a trumpet stuck up its ass, I’m not showing you something that a monk cleverly hid in a manuscript while his superiors weren’t looking. On the contrary, I’m showing you something that someone was paid a large commission to produce, something that would have been kept with the exotic treasures in the vault of a medieval lord keen on showing off how fabulously wealthy they were.

And then there is this one last correction, oh yeah…this beastie is not suffering from a case of dysentery.

One last bit of pedantic record straightening before I go. This picture from the Medieval Bestiary:

It’s not, as Cracked would have you believe, a goat with explosive diarrhea. Rather, it’s a Bonnacon, a beasty featured in medieval bestiaries that, because of its useless horns, evolved was intelligently designed to be able to fire its own excrement at its attackers, at a range of up to two acres. Also, the dung burns anything it touches. Flaming projectile shit is sixteen shades more awesome than diarrhea, people, so do try to keep it straight.

Ah, flaming projectile shit…sort of like the kind of crap that comes from The Flaming Ass of the Republican Religious Right aka Lord of the PLUBs.

So, what are your reading today? I bet it has nothing to do with Medieval Flying Penis Trees… but then with the kind of congressional tweets these days, you never know.

21 Comments on “Wednesday Reads: BO, No Bagel, Naughty Monks and Flying Phallic Trees of Life”

  1. paper doll says:

    Our 9,300 Medicaid patients, including those who had appointments Tuesday, are going to see their care disrupted.”

    welcome to the new middle ages

    • Minkoff Minx says:

      It is so disturbing. I wonder if now there will be more outrage from the people that are affected by this. Maybe they are protesting this, and it is just not getting picked up by the media.

  2. Love the Azar Nafisi link. Great way to start my morning. Thanks MM.

  3. bostonboomer says:

    It’s so heartbreaking that these Planned Parenthood clinics have to close. Women and children will be less healthy and more people will be unemployed. It’s just plain evil.

    • Pat Johnson says:

      Evil and ignorant. So breathtaking in its scope of denying services to the neediest among us.

      These religious fools and their corporate sponsors are going to turn this nation into the Third World enclave most of us have predicted for awhile. As the rich get wealthier, the money people continue to corrupt, the lower and middle class will have nowhere to turn.

      The GOP is an evil contingent of radicals bent on reducing the social structure, defunding education, and putting us at risk with their degregulation efforts.

      Anyone out there singing the praises of these ignorant nutjobs as a means to “get even” with Obama for his own indifference are equal partners in this charade. They will do to Social Security and Medicaid exactly what they have done to the unions and Planned Parenthood.

      The purpose all along.

      • Minkoff Minx says:

        Pat, true dat!

      • bostonboomer says:

        I think there is a lot Democrats and especially Obama could do to shame the people who are doing this. I don’t watch TV much, but I haven’t heard of Democrats going around to the talks shows and showing outrage. Is it happening, and I just haven’t heard? Has Obama made any speeches about it? Somehow I doubt it.

    • dakinikat says:

      I think it is your basic witch hunt. If you don’t believe what they believe they want you dead.

  4. Jon Huntsman: I’d ‘Respect’ New York Law Allowing For Same-Sex Marriage

    • bostonboomer says:

      What difference does it make if Huntsman respects a NY law?

      • From the Huffpo link:

        Speaking to reporters on the day of his campaign launch, Huntsman was asked specifically about the growing likelihood of a same-sex marriage bill being passed in New York. Would he seek to overrule Empire State lawmakers should he end up in the Oval Office?

        “I would respect the state’s decision on that,” he replied.

        The answer, while brisk, nevertheless sets Huntsman apart from his fellow Republican presidential candidates. Other members of the field have offered sympathy for state sovereignty on matters of marriage. But they have usually couched that by saying they would support a federal ban on same-sex marriage as well.

        Huntsman, who supported civil unions as Utah’s governor, has said he personally believes that marriage is between man and woman. Yet his willingness to at least cede dominion over that decision to the states risks his standing among social conservatives, even if other prominent Republicans — including former Vice President Dick Cheney –- have made similar remarks.

        While the former governor does have a relatively progressive-minded history on the topic, it is also worth noting that his presidential campaign has drawn hefty support from prominent gay Republicans.

        I just think it’s interesting in terms of the Republican primary politics.

      • bostonboomer says:

        Thanks! I should have gone and read it. Sorry–struggling with a sinus headache this morning.

    • Woman Voter says:

      It amazes me that we could well have a Mormon president, but the CNN women were busy attacking Hillary along with others. I remember one reporter from CNN reporting before Hillary’s speech on the campaign trail saying she was awaiting the ‘cackle’, but when reporting on Michele Bachmann said nothing of the sort. She now has her own show, and I switch the channel…

      So, many were so happy to help out Obama yet busy knee capping/tying her hands behind her back/calling her racist, when Hillary was the First viable woman candidate for POTUS. 😦

      • Fannie says:

        There is a big push to get out the message that dems stood by and didn’t do anything to stop the sexism against Palin.,….. NOT TRUE, and they know it.

  5. mjames says:

    This assault on Planned Parenthood is horrific. And the mindset of these anti-women, anti-poor, anti-Jesus’ teachings, rabid, frothing-at-the-mouth zealots is so rigid they cannot even contemplate the consequences – and I’m referring to the financial consequences, since they don’t give a damn about another human life. But they’re supposed to care about the “deficit” and “balancing the budget.” Idiots. The state will have to pick up the slack, as overpopulation and lack of non-genetically-modified, non-loaded-with-toxic-chemicals food and potable water and any health care will make for a nation of very sick people in very short order.

    Wal-Mart is already complaining of loss of income, poor babies. So is Comcast. Well, unemployment is going to get much, much worse. Then the sickeningly rapacious insurance companies will feel the pinch too, as people, out of financial necessity, stop buying their crappy products. Obama Care is not going to provide anything at all to the uninsured, just you watch. It’ll turn out to be equally as useless as his “help” for homeowners facing foreclosure.

    The combination of corporate welfare, “religious” dogma, and the removal of any support for the ordinary citizen is lethal. That’s why I’ve stopped commenting so much. We are nearing the end. It’s so obvious – and so avoidable. And so distressing. But their “religion” has nothing to do with reality. The Dems are, at best, enablers, so there is zero help there. I cannot believe how far we’ve fallen in so short a time.

  6. Anyone else watching CNN right now? Tom Hanks was flirting like hell with CNN anchor Kyra Phillips (at one point Hanks told her “I’m going to put you in a skin tight catsuit”)…she tried to laugh it off nervously, but it was weird.

  7. dakinikat says:

    Wow, BB … Matt Taibi evidently read your last two installments of how crazy is michelle bachmann?

    Regent was unabashed in its desire that its graduates enter government and become “change agents” who would help bring the law more in line with “eternal principles of justice,” i.e., biblical morality. To that end, Bachmann was mentored by a crackpot Christian extremist professor named John Eidsmoe, a frequent contributor to John Birch Society publications who once opined that he could imagine Jesus carrying an M16 and who spent considerable space in one of his books musing about the feasibility of criminalizing blasphemy.

    This background is significant considering Bachmann’s leadership role in the Tea Party, a movement ostensibly founded on ideas of limited government. Bachmann says she believes in a limited state, but she was educated in an extremist Christian tradition that rejects the entire notion of a separate, secular legal authority and views earthly law as an instrument for interpreting biblical values. As a legislator, she not only worked to impose a ban on gay marriage, she also endorsed a report that proposed banning anyone who “espoused or supported Shariah law” from immigrating to the U.S. (Bachmann seems so unduly obsessed with Shariah law that, after listening to her frequent pronouncements on the subject, one begins to wonder if her crazed antipathy isn’t born of professional jealousy.) …

    When Bachmann finished her studies in Oklahoma, Marcus instructed her to do her postgraduate work in tax law — a command Michele took as divinely ordained. She would later profess to complete surprise at God’s choice for her field of study. “Tax law? I hate taxes,” she said. “Why should I go and do something like that?” Still, she sucked it up and did as she was told. “The Lord says: Be submissive, wives, you are to be submissive to your husbands.”