Short and not at all sweet.

While I try to mostly keep things light here on How To Avoid The Black Market, occasionally an issue rolls along that gets my manties in a knot. Seeing as though I have a bit of leverage here with which to speak my mind, I will now pour myself a glass of water, clear my throat and begin.
Photo courtesy of Brian Herzog.

Due to the nature of this bit of news, I’m going to simply let it stand alone. I appreciate the consideration, and rest assured I will be back to ‘sticking to bikes’ (or whatever) on Friday.
Now then, as I’m sure most of you have heard, recently the decision was made to bar Planned Parenthood health centers from all federal funding for birth control, cancer screenings, HIV testing, and other lifesaving care. However, in a WTF heard ’round the world they are very graciously allowing the continued support of the Army NASCAR team;
Shake and bake.
I’ll let that sink in for a second.
As a country that is currently in the throes of debate regarding health care reform, and with millions of people living without any form of insurance whatsoever, this decision is appalling at best, and extraordinarily dangerous at worst. This isn’t just an issue regarding a woman’s right to choose. On a broader scale this is an attack on the middle class, and most certainly the uninsured.
It’s a small gesture, but I implore you to sign this letter, and help make your voice heard.
Secondly, I have come across the following clip of Representative Jackie Speier responding to blowhard New Jersey Representative Christopher Smith during the house debate last Friday;

Aside from telling a small handful of friends over the course of her life, this was the first she had ever spoken of it.
The strength that this woman exhibited is incredible, but at the end of the day, it’s maddening that she felt it necessary to let this skeleton out of her closet.
I don’t have any way to properly conclude this rant other than to mention that I hate to say I told you so, but if you neglected to vote during the mid-term elections, this is part of that fall out. A very base definition of Fascism is a government that controls both birth and death, and from my perspective, that there is what they attempt to do.
Say I’m lying to myself if you must, but I like to think in at least some small part, by signing a letter such as this, we can still have some control over decisions made regarding our ‘best interests’, especially when they’re not.

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34 Responses to “Short and not at all sweet.”

  1. Josh RVA February 23, 2011 at 5:37 am #

    Right on brother. Now go ride a bike.

  2. Crank February 23, 2011 at 5:55 am #

    The agrandisment, and marketing of the military machine is horrific. It props up a state so close to fascism it is truly frightening. The unfortunate truth is that Canada, California, and most of the other upper Midwest states have thus far avoided being absorbed by “Jesusland” to our south. In Texas, there is a movement to allow handguns on college grounds, both faculty and students. I’m sure in their eyes nothing could possibly go wrong there. Face it, most of America still believes in manifest destiny. Rape the earth, exterminate those who think otherwise through conversion or genocide, plow stubbornly onward to the great apacolyptic reward so promised by the invisible, untalking, vacationing spirit in the sky. Vote or be absorbed.

  3. Igleheart February 23, 2011 at 5:56 am #

    I stand with Stevil,
    I voted & I support Planned Parenthood. I don’t support Halliburton. Seems fascism is just a T party away, the best democracy money can buy seems to be their agenda. If we don’t stand up now, when?

  4. Teamfubar February 23, 2011 at 6:01 am #

    I dig the political direction of AHTBM as of late. No rhetoric, just the facts. Doing it in the face of maybe turning off some of your readers…although I suppose most of the “Christian Conservative Coalition” isn’t reading AHTBM. Keep it up!

  5. Bill Trossen February 23, 2011 at 6:27 am #

    Not so sure their intention is to control life and death as much as it is to get us all worked up over bullshit issues (remember flag burning), while they rob us blind and use our children as cannon fodder to expand their empire. Thanks for your work here Steve.

  6. Stevil February 23, 2011 at 7:17 am #

    Fubar, Thank you. It hasn’t really been a recent thing, as the ‘stick to bikes’ bit was some mumbo jumbo someone belted at me during the Bummer Life days. Issues such as this are an integral aspect of our existence, and I for one choose not to live with my head in the sand. If this site can be a vehicle to assist others similarly, then that is all I could ever hope for.

  7. Ray Freeman February 23, 2011 at 7:19 am #

    This is my first comment on your blog. I usually come here for a good laugh to relieve the pressure that builds up inside me as I read the Wall Street Journal and New York Times, and reflect on the sad state of affairs with our political discourse in this country. Today you blew that for me and now I’m gonna have to vent. You raise a few good questions in this post that merit discussion…should the government fund birth control, cancer screenings, and HIV testing? (My answer = yes for those who can’t afford it) Should the government have an “ARMY” NASCAR team? (Absolutely not) You had me thinking, which is a good thing, but then you dove head first into the shallow end with the sentence: “A very base definition of Fascism is a government that controls both birth and death, and from my perspective, that there is what they attempt to do.” ..that’s where you lost me….and everyone on the right who might have listened to you. It is easy to put a nasty label on those who disagree with you and write them off. It’s much more challenging to present a well thought out, funny point of view on the issue, one that would have made people open up and think instead of shutting down.

  8. Stevil February 23, 2011 at 7:29 am #

    Yes Ray, I agree with you whole heartedly, (and welcome to the comments section). Remember however, I said “from my perspective”. The variation here is that one part of this rant is logical fact, and the last sentence is opinion. Simple as that.

  9. Robert Higdon February 23, 2011 at 7:49 am #

    Sometimes it’s hard to not just shut down and ignore what’s happening. Keep it up, Stevil.
    On topic: WHAT THE FUCK

  10. Gypsy February 23, 2011 at 8:12 am #

    Two things:
    1- Mr. Bill Trossen is 100% correct. Read his comment… Now go read it again…
    2- Ever wonder why they sing the national anthem at the beginning of sporting events, and not, oh say, at the beginning of an art exhibition or Broadway play? Ever wonder where the money comes from for all of those fighter jet flyovers at NFL/NASCAR/Mass Market hullabaloos? We, my friends, are being recruited to fight and die… Not for freedom… Not for democracy… Nope. We are being recruited to bleed so that rich white men can become even richer. They recruit our children to fight their corporate wars over seas, and cut our rights and criminalize our smallest pleasures here at home in the name of Increasing Profit.

  11. JT February 23, 2011 at 9:18 am #

    Gypsy, we all likely heard the same oped piece on NPR today. Very poignant. I have no prob w/ the nat’l anthem being played/ sung (I still love this country from time to time) but yeah, the jets, a race car team, and commercials that harken video games and have NO bearing of what’s actually happening in the field… That’s ridonkulous to a heavenly degree. We’re being used and screwed in a way that no other time can compare due to the amount of media out there that reenforces our beliefs or simply ‘stirs our pot’. Many of us are acting awfully sheepish in our view of the world. It’s those of us we need to educate. And it’s the sheppards who must be brought to justice.

  12. -dan February 23, 2011 at 9:39 am #

    Egypt. Libya. Madison Wisconsin. Take the power back.

  13. ben February 23, 2011 at 10:04 am #

    Thanks Stevil for not just “sticking to bikes”. We all have our regular reads in the blogisphere, and just because we expect something out of a writer, does not mean that it’s ok to get upset when they raise some very poignant issues that are maybe not what we’ve come to expect. Ignoring the issues does not make them go away. This may create a somewhat lengthy comment, but I received this recently and it seems to spell things out.
    Top 10 Shocking Attacks from the GOP War on Women
    1) Republicans not only want to reduce women’s access to abortion care, they’re actually trying to redefine rape. After a major backlash, they promised to stop. But they haven’t.
    2) A state legislator in Georgia wants to change the legal term for victims of rape, stalking, and domestic violence to “accuser.” But victims of other less gendered crimes, like burglary, would remain “victims.”
    3) In South Dakota, Republicans proposed a bill that could make it legal to murder a doctor who provides abortion care. (Yep, for real.)
    4) Republicans want to cut nearly a billion dollars of food and other aid to low-income pregnant women, mothers, babies, and kids.
    5) In Congress, Republicans have proposed a bill that would let hospitals allow a woman to die rather than perform an abortion necessary to save her life.
    6) Maryland Republicans ended all county money for a low-income kids’ preschool program. Why? No need, they said. Women should really be home with the kids, not out working.
    7) And at the federal level, Republicans want to cut that same program, Head Start, by $1 billion. That means over 200,000 kids could lose their spots in preschool.
    8) Two-thirds of the elderly poor are women, and Republicans are taking aim at them too. A spending bill would cut funding for employment services, meals, and housing for senior citizens.
    9) Congress voted yesterday on a Republican amendment to cut all federal funding from Planned Parenthood health centers, one of the most trusted providers of basic health care and family planning in our country.
    10) And if that wasn’t enough, Republicans are pushing to eliminate all funds for the only federal family planning program. (For humans. But Republican Dan Burton has a bill to provide contraception for wild horses. You can’t make this stuff up).
    Do with it what you will.

  14. Broseph February 23, 2011 at 10:29 am #

    Does funding the Army NASCAR team count as “defense spending?” Little fact, My girlfriend and I watched the Daytona 500 in High Definition with Bose surround sound speakers this weekend. No shit, as the cars are doing the “warm-up laps” one of the commentators asked Darryl Waltrip (also a commentator) what he was most excited for. With complete sincerity, Waltrip goes, “Awe Man THE SPEED!” I love biking of all kinds, and yes I like(not love) NASCAR. Liking NASCAR is like singing aloud to Party in the USA. I don’t try to convince my friends that it’s good (cause it’s not) but GOD DAMN those cars go fast. And abortions for those that need them. USA USA!

  15. Stevil February 23, 2011 at 10:34 am #

    Or more appropriately, how about health coverage for those who need it.

  16. mattya14 February 23, 2011 at 11:09 am #

    Bravo Stevil, well played. As someone who deals with these real life issues daily, it’s a catastrophe how the new house is using the bullypulpit to enforce and ensure their agenda. And if Scott Walker isn’t a fascist…Well, he’s a facist.

  17. alohakim February 23, 2011 at 12:10 pm #

    Thanks for the insight. I’m most proud my 34 year young Son reached out to post this further.
    As Jackie Speier states it is a vendetta against Planned Parenthood; furthermore against the poor and middle class. The comparison she uses between Haliburton and PP, well simply stated “sadly beautiful and masterful”.
    To stand up and speak out so courageously with a sensible heart in a world full of others who have no sense and no heart.
    Things have been really messed up in the world for awhile now ~ we still can’t get it right, even in light of years of history teaching us better. “War what is it good for ~ absolutely nothing (and the bogus fall-out funding) ~ say it again”….

  18. Emily February 23, 2011 at 12:33 pm #

    Now I like you even more than I already did.

  19. Loudass, Esq. February 23, 2011 at 1:13 pm #

    Sorry to interrupt the high fives, but if we’re going to talk about “facts,” then let’s get them right:
    The GOP controlled House passed a $1.2 trillion bill, which among other things, cuts federal funding to Planned Parenthood. The bill has not been passed by the Democrat controlled Senate, nor has President Obama signed it into law – in fact, he has expressly threatened to veto it. And to override the President’s veto, the GOP would require a two-thirds majority in each house, which it doesn’t have.
    See, e.g.,
    That’s how multiparty “fascism” works in this country.

  20. Backwards Swimming Salmon February 23, 2011 at 2:09 pm #

    @-dan. Please do not equate what is happening in Madison, Wi to what is happening in the middle east. I am directly effected by the goings on in Madison. I have marched in Madison. But, no matter your or my opinion of Scott Walker, I never felt that my life was threatened. My livelyhood yes, but not my life.

  21. mark February 23, 2011 at 3:38 pm #

    This is why I’ve been so bitter recently, it drives me fucking crazy.
    So when do we get to ride the shit bike?

  22. pablo picnostral February 23, 2011 at 4:10 pm #

    good post. I don’t mind some occasional meat with my potatoes. Thanks for this post.

  23. Vaeringjar February 23, 2011 at 5:36 pm #

    In his Tuesday NY Times column, David Brooks reminded me of a scorned mistress wielding a whip. Applauding the attacks on public-sector unions, he proposed expanding the attacks to include a wider range of working-class targets. In the end he neatly summarized the sentiment underlying GOP public policy: “Make everybody hurt.” Crack!
    In a nod to Reagan and the early 80s, maybe it’s time for an official AHTBM “Boehner Hates Me” t-shirt?

  24. Vaeringjar February 23, 2011 at 5:45 pm #

    To bore everyone further, I was surprised to find the original “Reagan Hates Me” image:

  25. Jenny February 23, 2011 at 7:08 pm #

    Jackie is one tough lady. She took bullets at Jonestown back in the day! Don’t mess with her or Planned Parenthood.

  26. sarah February 23, 2011 at 8:59 pm #

    mr. loudass, esq., you are in fact correct, that the bill hasn’t become law and will likely be blocked (this time, at least.)
    i find it incredibly distressing that ideas like, “let’s completely de-fund planned parenthood!” “let’s make sure that abortions are impossible to get under ANY circumstances, INCLUDING when a woman will otherwise DIE!” and the like are actually discussed by actual grown-ups who wield substantial political power.
    the fact that these folks aren’t 1) laughed at; and 2) shamed, immediately and every time they come up with this kind of trash, is troubling.
    and i think that’s what many people are reflecting upon.

  27. Dave February 23, 2011 at 9:29 pm #

    Wow, just did a search on our friend Bobby Franklin of Georgia. Not only does he want to police miscarriages, he wants to do away with driver’s licenses:
    “Free people have a common law and constitutional right to travel on the roads and highways that are provided by their government for that purpose. Licensing of drivers cannot be required of free people, because taking on the restrictions of a license requires the surrender of an inalienable right”.
    How the fuck do people like this get elected?

  28. andrew February 24, 2011 at 6:27 am #

    when gas passes $4, get an american flag and ride around local gas stations

  29. blacksocks February 24, 2011 at 8:32 am #

    +1 on the politix talk, Stevil
    +1 to Loudass for using schoolhouse rock to school us on the politix
    and a hi-five to any and all who are actively engaged in the process that defines how we live together. time to stand tall for what we believe, and who we believe in.

  30. JP February 24, 2011 at 12:26 pm #

    Good on ya for speakin’ ur mind and sayin’ ur bit. It’s your damned forum so use it!
    I wish the elected boys would quit with the BS and get down to really saving $$. Planned Parenthood is small ‘taters in the grand scheme. The country going broke is no joke, but always dropping down to the God denominator to push the “conservative” agenda is really starting to chaff my ass! I’m quite fiscally conservative, but I don’t like being part of this God Squad. Luckily legal council Loudass is correct. All this hubbub is destined for a Veto anyway. What a great use of federal time and money… FUCK…..

  31. dave February 24, 2011 at 1:04 pm #

    Hey mark,
    It’s at times like this the American populace is the shitbike.
    Keep it up, Stevil.

  32. Scooper February 24, 2011 at 1:42 pm #

    I have a new hero…
    miss jackie