Saturday: Gladiators and Safety Nets

20130928-102144.jpgGood afternoon, newsjunkies. I can’t seem to find my laptop charger, which is probably hiding underneath something as usual. So I’m drafting most all of this post from my iPhone. If the formatting is off, please forgive. This will be an exercise in trial by error–if I can pull this off decently I may be able to start posting a little more often during the week. I keep meaning to try my hand at the WordPress app on my phone, and this forces me to do just that, so maybe losing my charger is a good thing. Although by the looks of it, I just ramble even more blogging by phone 😉

Also, thanks to Bostonboomer for putting up the morning reads last week and today. It’s been one thing after another…waking up sick, losing power during storms, losing my charger. I have a lot of links saved up myself from not being able to post, so settle in for a bit of a ride!

First up, an interesting infographic I came across this morning — perhaps you have already seen it: Everything Wrong with America in One Simple Image. I like how the blogger points out the link between sports coaches being the highest paid public employees and the Steubenville rape.

From the link:

Bread and Circuses brought Rome to its knees. Will our epitaph be “Football and Junk Food?”

A bit of a cheap shot but not that far off the mark. Everything we consume–be it our education or our news–has morphed into a junk food version for mass consumption. And, the gladiators at our football and basketball coliseums have women and children as the spoils of their wars and the sacrificial lambs of their spectator sports.

The more civilization develops, the more it seems to devolve right back to the same place.

Speaking of which…am I the only one who finds Chris “Birdman” Andersen’s supposed clearing of his name really convoluted and dubious? Maybe I’m too jaded, but it just doesn’t pass the smell test. Doesn’t this seem like some kind of Manti Te’o redux? I don’t want to waste time on the details of the Birdman situation because they make no sense IMHO, but overall the story seems further evidence to me of a society that gives credence to the bizarre rationalizations of the gladiators to do whatever the hell they well please and sell it as more entertainment for the spectators.

Anyhow, shifting gears a bit… From the National Women’s Law Center Analysis of 2012 Census Poverty Data: Women’s Poverty Rate Remains Historically High . Specifically, more than 1 in 7 American women–17.8 million–lived in poverty last year. Take a look at the summary of stats at the link. Women of color and women-run households suffer the most as usual.

While I’m on the issue of the increased pressures we face as women, here’s a list from Huffpo on 23 Things Women “Should” Stop Doing. I put ‘should’ in quotes because telling ourselves we should or should not do this or that is a symptom itself of the crazy expectations placed upon women in society. The list at the link is more a list of guidelines and checkpoints, and it’s actually a decent, solid set of self-care/nurture goals so click over, Sky Dancers, and give it some thought. If you find some of these in particular to be trouble spots for you, try to evaluate where these attitudes and expectations come from–from your inner self or what society dictates? And, maybe think of alternatives that better nurture you and your womanhood and the womanhood of your sisters around you.

Alright, I’m trying my best to narrow down the various links I have gathered over the last few weeks to the few that are the most relevant or interesting still, so bear with me as I wander all over the place. Oddly enough, I even have a link to a SciAm blog piece that talks about the potential merits of being a scatterbrain — Mind Wandering: A New Personal Intelligence Perspective. Lol!

Moving along to the top of my political girl junkie perspective– if you haven’t heard already, Wendy Davis has all but officially announced for Governor of Texas! An official announcement is due from Wendy on October 3rd. Eeeeee! I can’t wait.

In the meantime, chew on this press release from her Texas senate office: Davis Cites New Law as Key to Cracking Down on Sexual Predators (note: link opens as a short PDF):

DALLAS – A law passed by Senator Wendy Davis (SD10 – Fort Worth) will help assure that dangerous sexual predators are identified, caught and prosecuted. Senator Davis detailed the new statute earlier today while speaking to the Dallas-Fort Worth Hospital Council (DFWHC).

Key provisions of the bill require that nearly all hospitals with emergency room services have trained medical personnel on hand to properly collect DNA and other important evidence from sexual assault victims. Prior to the law, many local hospitals lacked trained staff, forcing victims to endure traveling to other facilities, sometimes hours away. This new law allows investigators to work with hospitals to help ensure that evidence from these sexual assaults are obtained during the critical period immediately after a crime is committed.

“This is about identifying, tracking down, prosecuting and imprisoning sexual predators through smart law enforcement work,” said Sen. Davis. “Assisting the effort to bring sexual predators to justice is just common sense.”

The measure is just one of the initiatives successfully passed by Davis during the session to make sure violent criminals are taken off the streets and that the survivors of sexual assault get help and see that justice is served. Davis also worked in a bipartisan effort to secure nearly $11 million in funding for the Department of Public Safety to help eliminate a backlog of more than 23,000 rape kits currently sitting on evidence room shelves across Texas.

“Each of these untested kits may represent a predator who has not yet been brought to justice for his crime and may still be targeting our neighborhoods,” said Davis. “I want this backlogged evidence off the shelves and in courtrooms.”

Another law enforcement measure passed by Senator Davis provides survivors the ability to be updated on the status of the investigation into their case so that they can help assure appropriate attention is provided to resolve their case.

Senator Davis spoke at DFWHC’s event, “Rape Kit Responsibility: The impact of Senate Bill 1191,” to inform clinical personnel about the new law, which became effective on September 1. For 43 years, DFWHC has brought together health care providers and industry leaders in North Texas in the interest of promoting patient safety and cost effective, quality healthcare.

I thought this was worth quoting in its entirety. Wendy’s work , from her epic filibuster to this legislation, is such a contrast to the appalling display put on by Ted Cruz and his 22 hour railing against Obamacare.

I do have some Hillary 2016 stuff saved up of course, but I think I’m going to do a separate roundup for them later this week.

Next up…via Upworthy…another infographic worth clicking over to view, on social security; this quote via Upworthy’s FB page sums it up:

“Entitlements,” aka “what we spend our lives paying into so we don’t have to eat cat food.” – Brandon Weber

I’m going to wrap this up for now, but here’s a handy guide from Jezebel before I go, since we’re coming up on the October 1st enrollment date for the Affordable Care Act: Answers to All Your Questions About Obamacare’s Birth Control Mandate.

Alright, Sky Dancers, you know what to do in the comments. Have a wonderful day and weekend!

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38 Comments on “Saturday: Gladiators and Safety Nets”

  1. dakinikat says:

    Are Republicans So Frantic to Stop Obamacare Because They Fear It Will Work? | Vanity Fair http://owl.li/piu9U

  2. RalphB says:

    From James E Carter’s site: Yelling At The TV

    33 Members of Congress who have benefited from farm subsidies yet voted to cut food stamps

    Can hardly wait for Wendy’s campaign to get going!!!!!

  3. dakinikat says:

    Project Syndicate ‏@ProSyn 10m
    [Archive] “Capitalism may be close to exhausting its potential to create a better life.” http://bit.ly/16Ew6Bk

  4. RalphB says:

  5. Seriously says:

    It reminds me of this Discovery Channel documentary I saw once, about this football team from Vt’s Northern Kingdom vs. a team from a wealthy suburb that was just trying to establish its program. We were supposed to root for the working class against the evil yuppies, but frankly the rich kids had me at “We’re athletes, we don’t stand on the sidelines.” In reference to not a single girl being willing to sign up for the cheerleading program the school wanted to start. 🙂 Of course we’re supposed to believe that the football players were universal, and really represented the town, because when was the last time you benefitted from a team you’re not on winning a game? That got you into college, right? With the subtext of course, that the guys from town are being emasculated and “need this,” so good that the girls never were supposed to aspire to anything more than to get to work 80 hours a week at some crappy job for the glory of watching her son more successfully tear somebody else’s son’s head off. Yay I get to be a bit player in my own life and like it. Sigh. Maybe I’m just weird but I can’t help thinking there might be some other story here than the same one we hear over and over with only the names changing.

    • You’re not weird, or if you are, we’re weird together 😉 I really wonder what is going on….this stuff is just bizarre, and I have a feeling this isn’t the last we’ve heard of players covering their asses by saying they got “duped.”

  6. List of X says:

    A backlog of 23000 untested rape kits??? Either Texas is a rape capital of the world, or the only rape-related concern this state has is making sure that a rapist’s child doesn’t get aborted.

  7. Joyce L. Arnold says:

    As always, Mona, I enjoyed and learned from your post. The women living in poverty thing is one that stands out for me — I’ll never understand how anyone could think this is okay, or somehow all the fault of the person (of whatever gender, age, or anything else).

    And yes, Wendy has all but made the announcement official. This is going to be interesting … 🙂

    • Thanks Joyce! Yes, the women’s poverty stats are mindboggling to me as well. I don’t actually understand why the conventional wisdom is that the status of women is so much better in the US than in other parts of the world. To me it’s all related/relative…in a country (ie the US) where we are experiencing historic levels of women’s poverty, legislatively our public officials are more obsessed with regulating vaginas than ever, rather than on policies to bring women and their families out of poverty… IMHO that’s just as indicative of second class status as the obsession with preventing women and girls from going to school in war-ravaged areas of the globe. the scale may be different/less overtly dramatic but the core problem with women’s rights being deprioritized is just as insidious.

  8. ecocatwoman says:

    I haven’t seen any mention of the new Robert Reich film, Inequality For All, on SD. Reich was on Bill Moyers last week and he’s been interviewed on NPR in the past week. Unfortunately the film hasn’t been scheduled to appear in my town, Orlando, but it has opened or will open in quite a few cities around the country. If you’re interested here’s a link to the website & theaters where it’s playing: http://inequalityforall.com/ I’m a fan of Reich and this film sounds fascinating to me.

    BTW, interesting post Mona. Loved the clip from Aaron Sorkin’s The Newsroom with Jeff Daniels. Sorkin’s words never fail to inspire me.

    • Hey Ecocatwoman….it’s too bad Robert Reich turned his back on Hillary–she would have done more to start reversing the trend of inequality than all these current yahoos on the scene.

      Thanks for the link though 🙂

  9. bostonboomer says:

    This Week in ‘Nation’ History: Government Shutdown as Coup d’État

    It’s beginning to look a lot like 1995, with Congress again bringing the country perilously close to a government shutdown. Despite the House Republicans’ quixotic attempt to tie the funding of basic services to the repeal of Obamacare, Karl Rove himself calling such a tactic “iil-conceived,” and, finally, last week’s pointless exhibition of endurance by Ted Cruz’s bladder, it appears the Republican Party is about to crown itself with the highly dubious distinction of having once again dragged the US government to a new low of impotence, paralysis and dysfunction.

    That is not an accidental consequence of “divided government…unable to settle its differences,” as one reporter suggested, noting the 1995 parallel. Rather, dramatizing the supposed precariousness of public services by forcing their arbitrary cessation makes it easier for conservatives to argue that the market alone should determine the proper distribution of wealth, goods, and services in American society. There is no smaller government than none at all. As the radical political philosopher Sheldon Wolin argued in a remarkable 1996 essay in The Nation, “Democracy and the Counterrevolution,” the effort “to stop or reconstitute government in order to extract sweeping policy concessions amounts to an attempted coup d’état.” Wolin’s brilliant essay reminds us how shutdowns and austerity economics fit within the broader Republican philosophy of governance—or lack thereof—and how that philosophy is antithetical to the defining principle of democracy: rule by the people.

    • Thanks for linking to this, bb. If only we could have more generosity like that for homeless families in more urban, less safe areas too. I don’t know how our legislators can call this a Christian nation in the same breadth that they turn a blind eye to the poverty and inequality in this country? Their arguments– about charity being a matter of personal choice and Americans always rising to give to people in need without the government being involved–always ring hollow, too. If that were the case, it would be as upsetting to see a family on the streets in Chicago as it is to see one on the streets of Madison.

  10. RalphB says:

    Forgot to stay on message.

    Texas Lt. Gov. Warns State Could Turn Blue If GOPers Get ‘Complacent’

    The Texas lieutenant governor warned Saturday that the state could fall into Democratic hands if Republicans get “complacent.”

    “If we’re complacent, yeah, it could happen,” Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst (R) said Saturday according to Politico. Dewhurst made the comments at the Texas Tribune Festival. He added that efforts to flip the state from red to blue probably wouldn’t happen today.

    Winning elections depends on who turns out to vote, Drewhurst said.

    “And increasingly we’re seeing fewer and fewer people turn out for our elections,” Dewhurst added. “So if the Democrats get all of their base turned out and our base is complacent, you know, we could have a problem.”

  11. RalphB says:

    Probably helps to be drunk…