Tag Archives: American Notes

Prolife is about forcing women

Quotes from a man who teaches prolifers to argue with prochoicers using the language of human rights.

Josh Brahm: We’re asking pro-choice people if they agree that all human adults have an equal right to life.

A publicly claimed motivation for shutting down the US government for over a fortnight was to “stop Obamacare”. And a very public reason why many conservatives say they oppose the Affordable Care Act is that ACA / Obamacare requires that all health insurance policies must now cover all female contraception with no co-pay.

This is objectionable to religious conservatives who think it’s wrong women should be able to decide for themselves whether or not to use contraception: because to a conservative Christian, sex exists in two boxes, Good Sex, which is heterosexual intercourse in marriage, couple open to having children. Anything else is Bad Sex. Although nothing prevents abortions better than women having free access to contraception, to the religious conservative abortion and contraception are linked because both mean that a woman – even a married woman – is having Bad Sex according to their definition: she is a slut.
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Racism and the shutdown

US government shutdownThe US government shutdown is over, the spectre of the US defaulting on its debts is overthrown, and today hundreds of thousands of federal government employees can go back to work.

For most people, this is unqualified good news. But now it’s over, what was it all about?

Some people had been anticipating a government shutdown ever since the Republican Party won a majority in Congress in 2010 by massively redefining Congress districts in the Census to ensure that Republican representatives could be voted into Congress without any centrist opposition. (At a national level, there are no left-wing parties in US politics.) At the Senate level, a Senator must win a majority in a state-wide vote. At the House of Congress level, a representative only needs to win a majority in a gerrymandered district.
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Filed under American, Politics, Racism

Profits, non-profits, and a living wage

Last night I had a nasty little conversation with a Cambridge Tory: I was rude (for which I am sorry today); so was he (but I can’t do anything about that).

The conversation began with a tweet by someone else:

To which the Tory, apparently confused about the difference between profiting from someone else’s illness, and making a living providing healthcare:
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Filed under American, Healthcare, Poverty

I never liked Charles Dickens

One of the recurring Christmas motifs is A Christmas Carol – the story of how Ebenezer Scrooge goes from a miserable rich man to a happy generous rich man. (We like stories like this.) As George Orwell notes in his famous essay, this is Dickens’ only and recurring solution to the problems of human misery – we should behave decently towards each other.

But I’ve never got on with the Dickensian style of writing, never to use one word where three sentences will convey the same effect, and while Claire Tomalin may say Continue reading

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Filed under Charles Dickens