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In Virginia, The State Stops Just Short Of Rape—In Texas, State-Mandated Rape Is The Law

Below is a recent headline from a story in The Economist.

McDonnell’s not-so-magic wand—Accusations of medical rape dog Virginia’s accident -prone governor 

(Above–Bob McDonnell. Photo by Gage Skidmore.) 

The story was about the effort to allow state-mandated rape in Virginia with a forced-sonogram bill for women seeking a legally protected abortion.

People in Virginia saw that this was rape and they said so.

From The Economist about events in Virginia

“… a requirement pushed through the legislature that women seeking abortions must undergo a vaginal ultrasound test. Making this invasive procedure, involving the insertion of a wand, compulsory is akin, say Democrats and women’s rights advocates, to a sexual assault. The aim, supposedly, is to confront women with the reality of their fetus.”

This state-mandated rape was vetoed in Virginia. Governor Bob McDonnell was concerned not so much about rape, but about the political consequences of signing the bill.

In its place, a bill only slightly less onerous was approved.

From The Richmond Times-Dispatch

“Under the legislation, a woman would be required to undergo an abdominal ultrasound before having an abortion to determine the gestational age. If the information cannot be found that way, the woman would be offered a transvaginal ultrasound and may refuse….”This is only the second time in history Virginia has mandated a medical procedure,” said Sen. Richard L. Saslaw, D-Fairfax. “This law will now stand beside legislation that was passed to forcibly sterilize the severely mentally disabled.”

In Virginia, women are still subject to an unwanted medical procedure, but the state will stop just short of rape.

In Texas, what women get in this situation is rape.

From Nicholas Kristof of the New York Times

“Here’s what a woman in Texas now faces if she seeks an abortion.  Under a new law that took effect three weeks ago with the strong backing of Gov. Rick Perry, she first must typically endure an ultrasound probe inserted into her vagina. Then she listens to the audio thumping of the fetal heartbeat and watches the fetus on an ultrasound screen. She must listen to a doctor explain the body parts and internal organs of the fetus as they’re shown on the monitor. She signs a document saying that she understands all this, and it is placed in her medical files. Finally, she goes home and must wait 24 hours before returning to get the abortion. “It’s state-sanctioned abuse,” said Dr. Curtis Boyd, a Texas physician who provides abortions. “It borders on a definition of rape. Many states describe rape as putting any object into an orifice against a person’s will. Well, that’s what this is. A woman is coerced to do this, just as I’m coerced.”

State-mandated rape is the law in Texas. This rape has nothing to do with preventing abortion. It has to do with the power of the State of Texas to rape women doing something that the state legislature and Governor Rick Perry think should not be done.

What steps are you going to take to change this reality? The work of changing and repealing this law is up to each of us in Texas and anyplace where human rights are a concern.

(Below–Rick Perry. Photo by Gage Skidmore.)

March 19, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , | 1 Comment

Mayor Parker And City Of Houston Considering A Third Restriction On The Homeless In Nine Months—Criminalizing Sharing

A broad cross-section of Houston is opposing Mayor Annise Parker’s proposal that would criminalize some acts of sharing food with the homeless in Houston.

Below is a list of groups and community leaders that oppose this measure—

American Rights Association • Casa Juan Diego • Casa de la Fuente • Central Canaan Christian Church • Christ the Servant Lutheran Church • Dominican Sisters of Houston • Ecclesia Church Simple Feast • The Executive Council • Harris County Democratic Socialists • Harris County Green Party • The Harris County Libertarian Party • House of Amos • Houston Area Pastor Council • Houston Food Not Bombs • Houston Interfaith Worker Justice Center • Houston Property Rights Association • Houston Tea Party Society • Houston United • Houston Young Republicans • IMPACT: I am the Movement • ISKCON Houston (Hare Krishna Temple) • Japhet Civic Association • Joe Williams Ministries • KHA-Atheists • Last Chance Recovery Center • Last Organic Outpost • Mosque #45, Nation of Islam • Muslims Against Hunger, Disease and Injustice • National Lawyers Guild, Houston Chapter • Noah’s Kitchen • Occupy Houston • Pat Greer’s Kitchen • Pax Christi • Ryon Civic Association • Shape Community Center • Sinfull Bakery • Stand Up for Kids • Texas Public Policy Foundation • Taxpayers  For  Equal  Appraisal • UH Fair Labor Action Committee • UH Students for a Democratic Society • UH Students Against Sexual Harassment and Assault• West Houston Assistance Ministries. • Young Americans for Liberty, HCC • Community Leaders: Deloyd Parker • Minister Robert Muhammad • Reverend Fana, Women’s Resource Center • Duane Bradley, KPFT General manager • Houston City Council Member Helena Brown • Ray Hill • Rev. Robert A. Crutchfield, Editor and Publisher, Faith That Inspires Action • Dave Atwood, Houston Peace and Justice Center

Here are details of this proposal from the Houston Chronicle

“Mayor Annise Parker is asking the council to adopt rules that would require organizations and people who feed the homeless to register with the city, take a food safety class, prepare the food in certified kitchens, serve only at three public parks, and leave those parks as clean as when they entered them…Councilwoman Helena Brown agreed and praised the speakers from groups who serve meals on the streets, telling them she hoped they’ll “have the freedom to do that and you don’t have to stop and say, ‘Wait a minute, I have to go visit City Hall first…”It’s kind of strange and ironic that they want to stop help. We have actually been called to do this, to help those in need,” said Edward J. Sweet Sr., Strait & Narrow’s bishop. “It’s kind of sad that they would want to stop different organizations who are trying to make a change.”…If adopted, the feeding rules would mark the third time in nine months that the council has acted to contain the city’s homelessness problem, which by some estimates has 13,000 people living on the street. Last July, the council expanded the area where it is illegal to sleep on the sidewalk per the city’s so-called civility ordinance. The next month, the council forbade panhandlers from coming within eight feet of patio diners…Parker said in her inaugural address in January that making progress on homelessness would be a priority of her second term. Her administration pitched the rule changes as a way to protect the homeless from food poisoning and allergies, although opponents insist there is no evidence to suggest any health threat from donated food.”

Here is the press release from Mayor Parker’s office on this issue.

With this being the third measure to restrict the actions of the homeless in nine months, it seems that Annise Parker and at least some members of Houston City Council believe that just moving the homeless along will solve the problem.

The Mayor has in the past spoken up against payday loan operators in Houston and for the rights of Downtown office tower janitors to organize.

How can Mayor Parker see a series of punitive measures against the homeless as the right course?

As it stands now, City Council will take up this issue again on Tuesday, March 20. The Council session begins at 2 PM.

Here are some details about speaking at this session—

1) You must call the City Secretary (832) 393 – 1100 to reserve time to speak, ask for one minute, call asap during business hours to reserve your slot. Tell them you want to speak about “criminalizing public service”

2) Leave time to find parking, the session starts at 2. You must arrive with an ID, and be prepared to go through a metal detector.

If you can’t attend the session, call the Mayor and your members of council.

Here is information on contacting Mayor Parker. 

Here is information on contacting members of Houston City Council.

We seem to have plenty of money in Houston to offer tax breaks and incentives for soccer stadiums and so-called arthouse movie theaters. If we have these kinds of funds, than why not more resources to help the homeless—many of them no doubt veterans—towards work and self-sufficiency?

March 19, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , | 11 Comments

In Addition To Being State-Mandated Rape, The Texas Forced Sonogram Law Is About Humiliation—Texas Progressive Alliance Round-Up

At the end of this post you will find the weekly posting of the Texas Progressive Alliance round-up. The TPA is a confederation of the best political bloggers in Texas. TPA members are citizen-bloggers working for a better Texas.

With the round-up this week is an account  from the Texas Observer about the new Texas forced sonogram law.

The Texas forced sonogram law is many instances state-mandated rape. Additionally, it is in every case a humiliation for women that serves no purpose other than as an expression of the power of the State of Texas and the far-right extremists who currently hold sway in Texas.

Here are excerpts from a first-person account of the sonogram law in action from an Austin writer named Carolyn Jones that was published in The Observer

Halfway through my pregnancy, I learned that my baby was ill…“I’m worried about your baby’s head shape,” (my doctor) said. “I want you to see a specialist—now…before I’d even known I was pregnant, a molecular flaw had determined that our son’s brain, spine and legs wouldn’t develop correctly. If he were to make it to term..he’d need a lifetime of medical care. From the moment he was born, my doctor told us, our son would suffer greatly…my husband and I drove through a spaghetti of highways, one of which led us to a nondescript building..This was Planned Parenthood’s surgical center,…my husband filled out the paperwork….Meanwhile, I was enclosed with a cheerful-looking counselor who had colored hair and a piercing in her nose. Feeling like someone who’d stumbled into the wrong room, I told her between choked sobs how we’d arrived at her clinic on the highway.“I am so sorry,” the young woman said with compassion, and nudged the tissues closer. Then, after a moment’s pause, she told me reluctantly about the new Texas sonogram law that had just come into effect…..My counselor said that the law required me to have another ultrasound that day, and that I was legally obligated to hear a doctor describe my baby. I’d then have to wait 24 hours before coming back for the procedure. She said that I could either see the sonogram or listen to the baby’s heartbeat, adding weakly that this choice was mine. “I don’t want to have to do this at all,” I told her. “I’m doing this to prevent my baby’s suffering. I don’t want another sonogram when I’ve already had two today. I don’t want to hear a description of the life I’m about to end. Please,” I said, “I can’t take any more pain..The doctor and nurse were professional and kind, and it was clear that they understood our sorrow. They too apologized for what they had to do next. For the third time that day, I exposed my stomach to an ultrasound machine, and we saw images of our sick child forming in blurred outlines on the screen….“I’m so sorry that I have to do this,” the doctor told us, “but if I don’t, I can lose my license.” Before he could even start to describe our baby, I began to sob until I could barely breathe. Somewhere, a nurse cranked up the volume on a radio, allowing the inane pronouncements of a DJ to dull the doctor’s voice. Still, despite the noise, I heard him. His unwelcome words echoed off sterile walls while I, trapped on a bed, my feet in stirrups, twisted away from his voice.

If this abortion had been earlier in the pregnancy, than the nature of the probe to determine the state of the fetus would have been more invasive.

I’ve been writing about this issue often on the blog. I’m going to have much more about to say about this topic in the days and weeks ahead. I encourage all Texans to do what they can to draw attention to the forced sonogram bill, and to help change the social and political climate in Texas to where this law can be repealed and to where we can start to treat every Texan with respect.

Every Texan and every American has the ability to attend a public meeting, attend or organize a protest, write or call an elected official, talk to friends and family, start a blog, donate money, write a letter to the editor, volunteer for candidates and causes, engage in acts of civil disobedience, and to run for public office.

Here is the round-up—

Is there finally about to be an uprising against the legislative hostility towards women we’ve seen so much of lately? Off the Kuff sure hopes so.

BossKitty at TruthHugger discovered with minimal effort that any group using the words God, Christian, or Jesus has a free ride with the right wing media. Why is accountability off the table if you use those specific words? Rush Limbaugh, blinded by hatred for anything Obama, leaped before he looked at the facts … and casually acted surprised when the truth was revealed, in Limbaugh Endorsed Christian Cannibals.

BlueBloggin was thrilled that the recent solar activity was only a light show. But because scientists warn that 2012 will experience more frequent solar events, why are the 2012 candidates ignoring this science? Updated: What is a CME and Why Should Presidential Candidates Care. Continue reading

March 18, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , | Leave a comment

To The Benefit Of Greens, Democrats Unable To Find Candidates For Full Texas 2012 Ballot—Greens Could Assert A Unanimity Against State-Sponsored Rape That Has So Far Eluded Texas Democrats

The Texas Democratic Party has failed to offer candidates for five statewide offices on the Texas 2012 General Election ballot.

(Above–A voting machine)

In two of these five races without a Democrat there is a Green Party candidate on the ballot.

This means that Greens are likely to maintain automatic ballot access for Texas in 2014 just as they have for 2012.

Automatic ballot access is gained when any candidate of a party wins 5% of the vote on Election Day. Greens reached this target in 2010 when Democrats failed to fill out a full slate in that year as well.

I look forward to voting for these Greens on Election Day 2012 so that the Green Party will have ballot access in 2014.

The Libertarian Party has candidates for every statewide spot in 2012.

I’ve heard people complain about Greens taking votes from Democrats in Texas.

Yet the responsibility for finding candidates is with the Democrats.

Texas Democrats had plenty of time to work this out. They were unable to do so.

My hope is that Greens will reach the point where they can win 5% and far more in races where a Democrat is on the ballot.

They still have some work to do to reach that goal. Greens have to show that they are worth voting for when there is a Democrat on the ballot.

One way that might be done is to point out differences between Greens and Democrats.

For example, three Texas Senate Democrats— Eddie Lucio Jr., Carlos Uresti and Judith Zaffirini-–provided critical votes to help pass the forced sonogram bill and the state-mandated rape of unwanted vaginal probes that are inherent to that onerous law.

Maybe Green candidates in Texas could establish a unanimity against state-sponsored rape that so far has eluded Texas Democrats.

Here is the Green Party of Texas.

Top Texas blogger Perry Dorrell has written on the ballot access concern at Brains & Eggs.  

Ballot Access News has a report on Texas filings. 

March 17, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Pennsylvania Governor Corbett Says Women Should Close Their Eyes During State-Mandated Rape—Texas Already Has State-Mandated Rape

Here in Texas, state-mandated rape is already permitted under the forced sonogram law.

Now Pennsylvania is considering a similar measure.

(Above—Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett. How would he like it if somebody shoved that microphone inside of him? Photo by Jenn Grover.)

From The Huffington Post-

“During a discussion of a far-reaching mandatory ultrasound bill, Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett (R) on Wednesday dismissed off-handedly the insinuation that the measure goes too far, saying, “You just have to close your eyes.”  Corbett reaffirmed his support for the “Women’s Right to Know” Act, which would require doctors to perform an ultrasound on a patient, offer her two personalized copies of the image and play and describe fetal heartbeat in detail before she can have an abortion — “as long as it’s not obtrusive.” He did not indicate whether or not he considered a transvaginal ultrasound to be an intrusive procedure, which the bill would require doctors to perform on a woman whose fetus is not developed enough to be visible by a regular, “jelly-on-the-belly” ultrasound.” 

Sure.

Close your eyes.

How can conservatives support government forcing unwanted medical procedures on free citizens of our great nation?

How can any person support state-sponsored rape?

Republicans said that 2010 was about jobs, jobs, jobs.

Yet—beyond making the rich even more rich—this state-mandated rape is the kind of thing they have really sought to accomplish.

March 16, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , | 5 Comments

Texas Republican Senate Candidate Ted Cruz Says With Agenda 21 The U.N. Wants To Take Your Car And Your Farm—Vote For Mr. Cruz If Doing So Sails Your Ship

( Blogger’s note 3/16/12–This is a post I ran last month. I’m running it again after reading a Houston Chronicle story about Republican Texas U.S. Senate candidate Ted Cruz. From the Chronicle— “Cruz warned on Glenn Beck‘s Jan. 26 radio show that the imposition of Agenda 21 will result in the demise of single-family homes, farming and ranching, personal cars and the “American way of life.” Mr. Cruz is a lawyer who served as Solicitor General of  Texas.  Here is the link to Mr. Cruz’s website where he discusses Agenda 21.   If folks want to vote for people who believe crazy things, they are free to do so. All anyone can do is present the facts. There is a big and hopeful world out there.  If  this is what people choose instead, all I can say is that won’t be for lack of effort on my part.) 

Many conservatives and Republicans in our nation operate under the view that the United Nations is directing a number of  public policy priorities in the United States.

(Above–Example of United Nations sponsored bike trial in the radical hotbed of Granbury, Texas.)

From the New York Times

Across the country, activists with ties to the Tea Party are railing against all sorts of local and state efforts to control sprawl and conserve energy. They brand government action for things like expanding public transportation routes and preserving open space as part of a United Nations-led conspiracy to deny property rights and herd citizens toward cities. They are showing up at planning meetings to denounce bike lanes on public streets and smart meters on home appliances — efforts they equate to a big-government blueprint against individual rights. The protests date to 1992 when the United Nations passed a sweeping, but nonbinding, 100-plus-page resolution called Agenda 21 that was designed to encourage nations to use fewer resources and conserve open land by steering development to already dense areas. They have gained momentum in the past two years because of the emergence of the Tea Party movement, harnessing its suspicion about government power… In January, the Republican Party adopted its own resolution against what it called “the destructive and insidious nature” of Agenda 21. And Newt Gingrich took aim at it during a Republican debate in November.”

Fox News has reported on Agenda 21. Fox says that President Obama and the United Nations want to take over rural America.

Mother Jones magazine wrote about this issue last year.

From Mother Jones-

Tea partiers see Agenda 21 behind everything from a septic tank inspection law in Florida to a plan in Maine to reduce traffic on Route 1. The issue even flared up briefly during the midterms, when Colorado Republican gubernatorial candidate Dan Maes accused his Democratic opponent of using a bike-sharing program to convert Denver into a “United Nations Community.”

Here is the Agenda 21 website of the United Nations.  

You may think that Mitt Romney is some type of moderate, or that reasonable people remain in the  mainstream of the Republican Party.

Yet the Republican National Committee has passed a resolution opposing Agenda 21.

Where are the moderate or reasonable Republican objections to this stuff? There are no liberals or urban planners in this country working or operating under the direction of a United Nations mandate.

These people on the right are paranoid and crazy. They are telling you each day that they are paranoid and crazy.

When somebody tells you who they are–You should believe them.

March 16, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , | 1 Comment

Eddie Lucio, Jr., Carlos Uresti and Judith Zaffirini Were The Democratic Texas State Senators Who Voted For The State-Mandated Rape Of The Texas Forced Sonogram Law—The Texas Forced Sonogram Law Is Rape

Recently I wrote about how the Texas forced sonogram law is state-mandated rape and about how Texas State Senator Dan Patrick defends state mandated-rape.

Senator Patrick was feeling sorry for himself and saying that he was the victim of unfair attacks.

Here is some of what Senator Patrick said—

“Once again I couldn’t care less about what the opposition says no matter how mean spirited. We did the right thing in passing this bill on many levels. Mr Trudeau has conveniently skipped over the fact that our bill passed by only one vote and that it was 3 Latino pro life Catholic Democrats who joined me to pass the bill. But that storyline isn’t convenient for Trudeau or the opposition. Heaven forbid they have to acknowledge that Democrats, even if only 3, voted for this bill and were the final votes for passage.”

The Mr. Trudeau that Mr. Patrick is referring to is Doonesbury comic strip writer Gary Trudeau. Mr. Trudeau has written a Doonesbury series in which he says that the Texas forced sonogram bill is rape. Here is a link to the comics that Mr. Trudeau authored about this state-mandated rape.

In the excerpt of from Senator Patrick above, he references the fact that three Democrats voted for the forced sonogram bill in the Texas State Senate. I appreciate this reminder Senator Patrick. It is important that we know the names of the three Democrats in the Texas State Senate who voted for the forced sonogram bill.

The three Democratic Texas State Senators who in 2011 voted for the forced sonogram law were Eddie Lucio Jr. of Brownsville, Carlos Uresti of San Antonio and Judith Zaffirini of Laredo.

Because of this law, the precedent has been set that the State of Texas can force politically motivated unwanted medical produces on free citizens.

Also, the State of Texas now mandates the rape of its own people.

Why is the Texas forced sonogram law rape?

From Nicholas Kristof of the New York Times

“Here’s what a woman in Texas now faces if she seeks an abortion.  Under a new law that took effect three weeks ago with the strong backing of Gov. Rick Perry, she first must typically endure an ultrasound probe inserted into her vagina. Then she listens to the audio thumping of the fetal heartbeat and watches the fetus on an ultrasound screen. She must listen to a doctor explain the body parts and internal organs of the fetus as they’re shown on the monitor. She signs a document saying that she understands all this, and it is placed in her medical files. Finally, she goes home and must wait 24 hours before returning to get the abortion. “It’s state-sanctioned abuse,” said Dr. Curtis Boyd, a Texas physician who provides abortions. “It borders on a definition of rape. Many states describe rape as putting any object into an orifice against a person’s will. Well, that’s what this is. A woman is coerced to do this, just as I’m coerced.”

From a 2011 opinion column in the Houston Chronicle by local writer Beverly McPhail —

“Not only is this law an insult to women in Texas, a close reading of the Texas Penal Code, Section 22.011, suggests that the new law may also constitute a sexual assault upon women, which is a second-degree felony. The code defines a sexual assault as an offense in which a person intentionally or knowingly causes the penetration of the anus or sexual organ of another person by any means, without that person’s consent. Furthermore, the law stipulates that one condition of nonconsent is met when the actor is a public servant who coerces the other person to submit or participate. “

This is rape. It is about the State of Texas doing whatever it wants to free citizens. It has nothing to do with the legally protected procedure of abortion.

The issues here are politics, and the power the State of Texas exerts for the purpose of state-mandated rape.

March 15, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Rally Against Wage Theft In Houston On 3/20—This Is Simple Fairness

There will be a rally against wage theft in Houston held on Tuesday March 20.

Below you see the details of this event.

Here is a Houston Chronicle story about wage theft. 

Here are details about wage theft on a national level.

Here is the website of the anti-wage theft effort in the Houston area. 

Here is a video with a number of facts about this concern.  

Cheap goods and services are often provided on the backs of people who work hard and merit a fair wage.

A strong measure of the respect we have for ourselves is how we treat our fellow working people.

Let’s be aware of the issue of wage theft in Houston and across the nation.

Let’s take action for the good of the people being ripped off and in the interests of each of as working people.

March 14, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | , | 2 Comments

March 15 Is The Ides Of March—A Great Day To Learn About Rome And Caesar

Tomorrow, March 15, is the Ides of March.

Here is an explanation of what the term Ides of March means.

(Above–The Death of Caesar. This work was painted in 1798 by Vincenzo Camuccini.)

Here are two accessible book to learn about the events surrounding the fall of the Roman Republic and the rise of Julius Caesar.

Rubicon–The Last Years of the Roman Republic by Tom Holland.

A quality biography is Caesar–Life Of A Colossus by Adam Goldsworthy.

Though these events took place a long time ago, the impact of the rise of Caesar and the history of Rome is still recalled today.

Here is a comprehensive timeline of Ancient Roman history.

Here are some essays Ancient Rome from the BBC.

(Below—Whoopee! It is Cleopatra and Caesar as painted by Jean-Leon Gerome in 1866.)

March 14, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

This Scene Inside A Cincinnati White Castle Reminded Me Of An Edward Hopper Painting

Here is a picture that I took last week inside a Cincinnati White Castle.

The scene reminded me of an Edward Hopper painting.

There is stark overhead lighting.

While the setting is public, the place is nearly empty.

A small number of diners are present but we do not know their story.

The diners have no communication with each other.

Below is the famous Hopper painting Nighthawks.

Here are some facts and a number of paintings about Edward Hopper.

March 13, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , | Leave a comment

This Is How Texas State Senator Dan Patrick Defends State-Mandated Rape—The Texas Sonogram Law Is Rape

Republican Texas State Senator Dan Patrick is a leading architect of the Texas forced sonogram law.

Above you see a picture from the past May of the 15 men and 2 women who worked out final language of the sonogram bill in the Texas Legislature.

Senator Patrick is in the middle of that picture shaking hands with Texas State Rep. Sid Miller  in the white hat.

Here is how the forced sonogram law has been described in a recent opinion column by Nicholas Kristof of the New York Times—

“Here’s what a woman in Texas now faces if she seeks an abortion.  Under a new law that took effect three weeks ago with the strong backing of Gov. Rick Perry, she first must typically endure an ultrasound probe inserted into her vagina. Then she listens to the audio thumping of the fetal heartbeat and watches the fetus on an ultrasound screen. She must listen to a doctor explain the body parts and internal organs of the fetus as they’re shown on the monitor. She signs a document saying that she understands all this, and it is placed in her medical files. Finally, she goes home and must wait 24 hours before returning to get the abortion. “It’s state-sanctioned abuse,” said Dr. Curtis Boyd, a Texas physician who provides abortions. “It borders on a definition of rape. Many states describe rape as putting any object into an orifice against a person’s will. Well, that’s what this is. A woman is coerced to do this, just as I’m coerced.”

Senator Patrick is aware of the opposition this has generated. Below you will see one of the three notes that Senator Patrick has written in recent days on his Facebook page about the  forced sonogram law.

I don’t need to offer much rebuttal to what Senator Patrick has said. The facts are going to speak for themselves. Just read what he says. Just listen to the tone.

And then, knowing the elected officials behind the law, think about what is taking place.

Senator Patrick writes of “the left, the pro abortion crowd, and the media elite.” The Senator says— “I have been screamed at by total strangers in the street who recognize me.”

Senator Patrick sees himself as the victim.

People in Texas, across the nation, and internationally are going to know that the State of Texas mandates state-sponsored rape on women seeking a legal medical procedure.

This law has nothing to do with abortion. It has everything to do with the power of the State of Texas to rape citizens of Texas who seek to exercise their rights.

From Senator Patrick—

As I predicted, once the courts upheld our sonogram bill, it would be model for other Republican states to follow. Virginia passed a bill very similar to ours and worked with our office last session on crafting their bill.

I’ve also told you how the left, the pro abortion crowd, and the media elite would attack us because they are increasing losing this fight. They can’t really rationally explain their opposition to a bill that simply gives women the choice to see a sonogram, or hear the heartbeat, of their child before an abortion. So they have resorted to launching personal attacks against me, Republicans and anyone who is pro-life. (It doesn’t bother me because it proves how effective our bill is) 

I have been screamed at by total strangers in the street who recognize me. I have been roundly criticized by Austin media, area Democrats, and the pro abortion crowd. Now the attacks have reached an entirely new level of attention. Gary Trudeau has become a multi millionaire as creator of the “Doonesbury” comic strip. He has now written a new cartoon strip attacking the sonogram bill, me, Republicans, and pro lifers. 

His attack is another sad example of the desperate, cold hearted, ill-formed, radical leftist elites in our country. No clear thinking intelligent person should be against our bill, not even a pro abortion advocate. You can read two stories below from both the Chronicle and San Antonio News who plan to run the strip, not on their normal comic page because it’s not fit for children, but on their editorial page. SEE THE TWO POSTS BELOW

Once again I couldn’t care less about what the opposition says no matter how mean spirited. We did the right thing in passing this bill on many levels. Mr Trudeau has conveniently skipped over the fact that our bill passed by only one vote and that it was 3 Latino pro life Catholic Democrats who joined me to pass the bill. But that storyline isn’t convenient for Trudeau or the opposition. Heaven forbid they have to acknowledge that Democrats, even if only 3, voted for this bill and were the final votes for passage.

March 12, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , | 4 Comments

Texas Forced Sonogram Law Is A Form Of State-Mandated Rape—Texas Progressive Alliance Round-Up

At the end of this post you will find the weekly posting of the  Texas Progressive Alliance round-up. The TPA is a confederation of the best political bloggers in Texas. TPA members are citizen-bloggers working for a better Texas.

With the round-up this week is a link to a recent column by Nicholas Kristof of the New York Times.  In this column, Mr. Kristof writes about the forced sonogram law here in Texas.

From Mr. Kristof-

“Here’s what a woman in Texas now faces if she seeks an abortion.  Under a new law that took effect three weeks ago with the strong backing of Gov. Rick Perry, she first must typically endure an ultrasound probe inserted into her vagina. Then she listens to the audio thumping of the fetal heartbeat and watches the fetus on an ultrasound screen. She must listen to a doctor explain the body parts and internal organs of the fetus as they’re shown on the monitor. She signs a document saying that she understands all this, and it is placed in her medical files. Finally, she goes home and must wait 24 hours before returning to get the abortion. “It’s state-sanctioned abuse,” said Dr. Curtis Boyd, a Texas physician who provides abortions. “It borders on a definition of rape. Many states describe rape as putting any object into an orifice against a person’s will. Well, that’s what this is. A woman is coerced to do this, just as I’m coerced.”

We need to be clear about the fact that the Texas forced sonogram law is a form of state-mandated rape.  Governor Perry and the Texas legislature enacted this law in good part because they had the power to do so.

I’m going to be writing much more about this issue in the days and weeks ahead. I encourage all Texans to do what they can to draw attention to the forced sonogram bill, and to help change the social and political climate in Texas to where this law can at some point be repealed and to where we can start to treat every Texan with respect.

Don’t forget—Every Texan and every American has the ability to attend a public meeting, attend or organize a protest, write or call an elected official, talk to friends and family, start a blog, donate money, write a letter to the editor, volunteer for candidates and causes, engage in acts of civil disobedience, and to run for public office.

The work of freedom is up to each of us.

Here is the round-up–

Off the Kuff connects the Republican war on women’s health to the 2012 legislative elections in Texas.
BossKitty at TruthHugger has decided that the Devil is in the words spewing from the mouth of GOP wannabe Rick Santorum, who says that “suffering is good”.

BlueBloggin thinks that Planet of the Apes escapee Rush “Rusty” Hudson Limbaugh III should be handed over to the Amazon Women on the Moon and hits him below the belt. Continue reading

March 11, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , | Leave a comment

I Like The People My Friends Have Become—Every Day Has Value

On my recent visit home to Cincinnati, I met up with a number of friends.

In some cases I took their pictures. These are the pictures you see above.

I met some of these folks in the 1980’s. Two I have met since I left Cincinnati in 1998.

Strong and long-lasting relationships make us better able to deal with the hardships of life.

Also–if we pay attention– these relationships provide us with context to understand the lives that all sorts of people lead in our difficult world.

Everybody I met up with for lunch, dinner, coffee, or a drink had a story to tell.

This is no different from any person you know.

The lives my friends lead have great worth.

I like the people my friends have become over the years.

I work hard to keep up with my friends. I’d suggest you do the same. Don’t wait for others to act.

Every person has value. Every place has value. Every day has value.

March 10, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , | 1 Comment

Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast Rally For The Health Of All Texans On 3/12—All People Are Connected

There will be a March 12 rally at Planned Parenthood in Houston to protest the drastic and unwarranted cuts for the health care needs of so many Texans.

And don’t forget the Texas forced sonogram law which many see—correctly in my view—as a form of state-mandated rape.

Below are details of the March 12 event. What I have posted is a Planned Parenthood press release that I received.

The only regretful aspect of this press release is the failure of Planned Parenthood to include any men as speakers, and, by doing so, to ignore the obvious fact that this is a matter for all Texans and not just women.

All people are connected. Health and human rights are universal concerns.

Here is the link for Planned Parenthood–Gulf Coast.

Here is the press release—-

TEXAS WOMEN TO GOVERNOR RICK PERRY:

“DON’T MESS WITH US”

Community Leaders Speak out at the Latest Stop on the 

Women’s Health Express 

Houston, Texas — In support of Texas women and in response to the disastrous women’s health policies of the Perry Administration, Texas women, health providers, elected officials and other women’s health supporters and community partners speak out tell Governor Rick Perry:  DON’T MESS WITH TEXAS WOMEN.   

On March 12, 2012, the Women’s Health Express will be rolling into Houston to meet supporters who will rally against the State’s continued attacks on women’s health care programs. From all across the country, women have been mobilizing to fight back against politicians who try to restrict women’s access to reproductive health care.  Now, Governor Perry is about to see what happens when you mess with Texas women.

WHAT: “Don’t Mess With Texas Women” Rally

WHEN: March 12, 2012 at 11:30 am/Official program to begin at 11:45 am

WHERE: The Women’s Health Express Bus at PPGC: 4600 Gulf Fwy Houston, TX

 SPEAKERS: State Representative Carol Alvarado 

      State Representative Jessica Farrar

    Dr. Michelle Curtis, OBGYN

A patient who receives health care through the Women’s Health Program

    Melaney Linton, CEO, Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast, Inc. 

More than one-quarter of Texas women are uninsured, and women in Texas have the third-highest rate of cervical cancer in the U.S., yet Texas Governor Rick Perry is effectively sabotaging the entire Medicaid Women’s Health Program, risking the health and lives of thousands of women who rely on the program for lifesaving screenings for breast and cervical cancer, birth control, screenings for diabetes and hypertension, well woman exams and more. 

Perhaps even more shocking, this is just the latest move Texas officials have made to deny health care to women.   

In the last few months, budget cuts passed by the state legislature and signed by Governor Perry cut the state’s family planning program by more than two-thirds — which will take health care from 160,000 women per year.  These cuts also affect services including Pap tests, clinical breast exams, and birth control. The well woman exam a woman receives through WHP is often her only opportunity to receive health care.

For more than 75 years, Planned Parenthood has been Texas’ most trusted source of nonprofit reproductive health care. Planned Parenthood’s 65 health centers in Texas provide health care to nearly 260,000 Texans each year including 104,604 cervical cancer screenings; 122,928 breast cancer screenings; and 440,931 tests and treatments for sexually transmitted infections.

March 9, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Nothing Wrong With Some Guidance To Help Get Us Where We Are Going

There is nothing wrong with asking for some guidance to help us get we are going.

Here is the air traffic control tower in Houston as seen from the airplane I was on 3 days ago.

I had just landed.

Here is some history of air traffic control.

March 9, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , | Leave a comment