Thursday Reads: Male Politicians and Pundits should Worry about their “Erectile Dysfunction” and STFU about Women’s Health (and Other News)

Morning News by Ellen Day Hale (1855-1940)

Good Morning!

I thought this painting was appropriate, since we are being dragged back into the 19th Century by both Democrats and Republicans these days. We all know about the war on women being waged by Willard “Mitt” Romney, Rick “the Dick” Santorum, Nasty Newt Gingrich and Ron “White Power” Paul. But Democrats have now been empowered the Catholic Church’s attack on Obama’s attempt to protect women’s health care.

But now “liberal” pundits like Chris Matthews, Mark Shields, and E.J. Dionne have joined the battle to remove any semblance of privacy and autonomy from women.

Today former DNC Chairman and Governor of VA–and likely Senate candidate Tim Kaine came out against the requirement that contraception be included in health insurance policies.

Pat J is right. We need a women’s freedom party. Aren’t any of these dinosaurs aware that birth control (and abortion) have been with us during most of recorded history? Check out this series of photos in Newsweek drawn from the history of birth control.

Did you know that Aristotle recommended birth control methods for women in the 4th Century BC?

The philosopher recommended that women “anoint that part of the womb on which the seed falls” with olive oil in order to prevent pregnancy. His other top picks for spermicides included cedar oil, lead ointment, or frankincense oil. If the lips of the cervix were smooth, he noted, then conception would be difficult.

Sponges used for contraception

Ancient Egyptian women used sponges.

Long before Seinfeld’s Elaine Benes weighed the merits of a man to determine his spongeworthiness, women were using sponges as a method of preventing pregnancy. The sponge has its roots in early Egyptian civilization, and this photo depicts the variety of models available in the early 20th century. Those sponges were made of a variety of materials, and were sometimes drenched in lemon juice or vinegar to act as a spermicide. Today’s sponges (called, in fact, Today’s Sponge) are synthetic, and use a chemical spermicide.

Another early method was the chastity belt. Perhaps religious nuts like Rick Santorum and Mark Shields would find that one acceptable?

At Wonkblog, Sarah Kliff thinks the Obama administration “sees political opportunity in the contraception battle,” because of the data shown in this chart:

(Public Religion Research Institute)

Kliff writes:

while Catholic leadership has blasted the new regulation, polls show that a majority of Catholics are actually more supportive of the provision than the rest of the country. A poll out Tuesday from the Public Religion Research Institute finds 52 percent of Catholic voters agreed with the statement, “employers should be required to provide their employees with health care plans that cover contraception and birth control at no cost.” That’s pretty much in line with overall support for the provision, which hovers at 55 percent – likely because Catholics use contraceptives at rates similar to the rest of Americans.

A majority of Catholics – 52 percent – also agree with the Obama administration’s decision to not exempt religious hospitals and universities from the provision. “Outside the political punditry, most Catholics agree with the administration on the issue,” says one Obama campaign official, explaining the view that this could be a political win.

And a lot of this likely isn’t about Catholic voters at all.

Rather, it may well be about the demographics that are most supportive of this particular health reform provision: young voters and women. In the PRRI poll, both groups register support above 60 percent for the provision.

Those two demographics are important here for a key reason: they were crucial to Obama’s victory in 2008. Third Way crunched the numbers earlier this month and found that the “Obama Independents” — the swing group that proved crucial to his 2008 victory — are, as Ryan Lizza put it, “disproportionately young, female and secular.”

Let’s hope Obama keeps all that in mind instead of bending to the will of the old gray white male Catholic Bishops and the elderly male fake-liberal pundits who won’t STFU and let women make their own choices.

Even some of the saner folks in the GOP are warning their wingnut colleagues that a fight against contraception would be a “disaster” for their party.

Read the rest of this entry »

Eyes in the Sky

For anyone who is not persuaded that this country has made a significant U-turn in terms of privacy, civil liberties and what we used to quaintly refer to as ‘freedom,’ this You Tube report is for you.  Hat tip to Democratic Underground on this particular find.

Personally, these drones scare the bejesus out of me.  But any public official saying that ‘nothing is ruled out’ when it comes to drone application in the domestic arena is even more frightening. It should also remind us that this is what perpetual war and disaster capitalism creates–a security industry for profit wrapped in secrecy and the American flag.

The Eyes in the Sky will be watching.  All of us.

Woman Air Passenger Gropes Breast of TSA Agent

Yukari Mihamae

I’m not surprised that it was a 61-year-old woman who finally gave a TSA agent a taste of her own medicine. The older I get, the less willing I am to put up with sh&t from other people. I’m guessing Yukari Mihamae has experienced the same kind growing inability to suffer indignities that I have. Not that I’m defending what she did…but I can understand where she was coming from when she did it.

Phoenix police say 61-year-old Yukari Mihamae is accused of grabbing the left breast of the unidentified TSA agent Thursday at an airport checkpoint.

TSA spokesperson Kawika Riley confirmed the altercation to in a statement: “On July 14 at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport, local law enforcement arrested a passenger for assaulting a TSA officer during the screening process.”

TSA staff say Mihamae refused to be go through passenger screening and became argumentative before she squeezed and twisted the agent’s breast with both hands.

When police showed up, the woman readily admitted grabbing and twisting the TSA agent’s left breast. Mihamae was arrested and charged with felony sexual abuse. She has since been released.

The Daily Mail has lots more. It seems Mihamae was on her way back home to Longmont, Colorado when the unfortunate incident took place. I’m guessing she had already experienced a number of indignities on her way to Phoenix, and she just got fed up and lost it. As reported in the Daily Mail article, one of Mihamae’s neighbors told a local TV station:

‘For her to be arrested for anything is totally shocking to me.

‘I am 100 per cent shocked,’ he told local station Fox 31.

He said that his neighbour travels about three days a week. Court records show that she is self-employed.

Wow! If she travels that much by air, no wonder she couldn’t take the TSA groping anymore! The TSA spokeperson had no idea why Mihamae would choose to do such thing. But supportive fans responded by setting up Facebook pages in her honor.

‘You go girl,’ ‘Fight the power’, and ‘My new hero’ were comments posted on Facebook groups set up calling for Mihamae to be acquitted.