Hey look guys, he’s spending state money on himself! New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, he of shrinking poll numbers, didn’t want to spend money on a popular subway project (and wants to cut Medicaid for the poor), but he’s not against flying on state police helicopters to go watch his son’s high school baseball games, and getting driven from the launching pad to the field via a limo. Line in the sand: Rip Nancy Pelosi for this? Rip Chris Christie for this. Someone hasn’t heard the cautionary tale of one Jane Swift. (thanks climateadaptation)
everybody should reblog this :)
a fuckingg justin bieber picture has more notes than this. you’re all heartless. fucking reblog it, unless you’re ashamed to have a picture or post related to a child with a disability on your blog, in that case, you can now go jump off a bridge.
GO OR I’M GONNA CRY !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Frederick Mardlin is a 32-year old married father of three who spent three years in jail for a crime that he did not commit. He was wrongfully convicted of burning down his house to collect the insurance. His court-appointed public defense attorney was unable to obtain the funds to retain an electrical expert to testify at his trial. That expert could have testified that the fire was not set intentionally but caused by faulty wiring.
So Fred sat in jail for three years before he was paroled. Because he insists on clearing his name, he is appealing his conviction. Although he is entitled as a matter of law to a court-appointed appellate attorney, the State of Michigan refuses to pay that attorney’s bills. Fortunately, the attorney has agreed to work on Fred’s case free of charge. The attorney has also located a pro-bono electrical expert who is willing to help Fred overturn his conviction.
Fred’s story illustrates how Michigan’s public defense system is often unable to effectively represent its clients and how, despite constitutional guarantees, a court hearing does not ensure a fair just decision. Too often, innocent people go to jail, those who have broken the law receive sentences that are harsher than the facts of their crime warrant.
Faces of Failing Public Defense Systems, a new report issued by the ACLU, ACLU of Michigan and the Campaign For Justice, shows how Michigan’s crumbling public defense system allows innocent individuals to become collateral damage as a result of inadequate legal representation. The report tells the stories of men who were charged with crimes, were inadequately represented by public defense attorneys and consequently incarcerated for years.
I’ve blogged about this site before, but it seems especially relevant to share the link again today, especially since many of the stories on this website involve Dr. Tiller, like this story:
When we arrived at the Women’s Health Center, we immediately felt the compassion and understanding from the entire staff. We had a story, and they listened. The doctor instantly connected with us and assured us that although our decision was a difficult one, he knew how sick our son was and that the choice we made was because we love him so much and couldn’t bear to put him through a short life full of pain and suffering.
The week we spent in Kansas was one of the toughest weeks of my life, one that I will never forget, nor will I choose to forget, but through my tears of sadness, love helped us through.
The next morning there were throngs of protesters. They had graphic posters. They yelled at us and aimed a video camera at our car. I was shaking all over as I had to show ID and go through a metal detector before I was admitted. All the time I was thinking, “How can those people be yelling at me? I don’t want to be here. I don’t have a choice. Don’t they understand?”
Thankfully, inside there was compassion, love, understanding and superb medical care. Finally, I met some other people who understood this hell we were in. I said goodbye to my son and then a few days later, I said good bye to the doctor who I will always look upon as the one shining light in the worst week of my life.I decided that if I was going to lose my baby, I wanted to do so on my own terms; and I was referred to Dr. Tiller’s clinic in Wichita. Since I was now past the 24 week cut-off for a termination in my state, I would have to travel there to seek the help that I needed now. Dr. Tiller and his staff were so wonderful to my husband and me. They were more compassionate than any of the doctors at home, who seemed more interested in documenting every aspect of my personal tragic situation for “an interesting case study” and took the attitude of “You can just try again when this is over.”
Dr. Tiller let me talk and cry and he listened to my every word through my tears. He held my hand and hugged me when I needed it; and he really cared about the emotional pain I was going through. I kept telling him that my main concern was for my baby to go peacefully, as I was not concerned for my own comfort. He assured me that the process would be painless for the baby, and would very closely mimic a miscarriage.
There was another couple there the same week going through a similar experience and he encouraged us to talk to each other and support each other through our ordeal. His facility was literally lined with hundreds of framed letters from people from all over who had gone through the very same experiences thanking him and his staff for helping them when they needed it most. It helped to know that I was not alone and that support still means so much to me to this day.
Dr. George Tiller was a hero who put his life on the line to help people, and even after the first time he was shot by an anti-choice extremist, he went back to work. Until “pro-life” terrorists finally successfully killed him, he helped thousands of families through the most difficult time of their lives.
There are other doctors out there right now whose lives are in danger because patients just like the ones in these stories need help. Remember these doctors and their courageous staff today as well.
NORTH LOUISIANA has been described as “the buckle on the Bible Belt” – and not without good reason, as high school student Damon Fowler at Bastrop High School has discovered to his cost.
On the eve of his graduation, the atheist student contacted the school superintendent to let him know that he opposed the inclusion of a prayer at the graduation ceremony. He pointed out that government-sponsored prayer in the public schools was unconstitutional and legally forbidden – and that he would be contacting the ACLU if it went ahead. The school agreed to substitute it with a moment of silent reflection, which was subsequently scuppered by a Christian student.
Then Fowler’s name, and his role in this incident, was leaked. As a direct result:
1) Fowler has been hounded, pilloried, and ostracized by his community.
2) One of Fowler’s teachers has publicly demeaned him.
3) Fowler has been physically threatened. Students have threatened to “jump him” at graduation practice, and he has received multiple threats of bodily harm, and even death threats.
4) Fowler’s parents cut off his financial support, kicked him out of the house, and threw his belongings onto the front porch.
Oh, and the school went ahead and had the graduation prayer anyway.
According to this report, Fowler has become the center of what he terms a “shitstorm”: he has been harassed, vilified, targeted with insults and name-calling and hateful remarks. He’s been told t he’s the devil. He’s been told, “Go cry to your mommy… oh, wait. You can’t”. (A reference to him being disowned by his parents.) He’s been told that he’s only doing this to get attention. A student’s public prayer at a pre-graduation “Class Night” event was turned into an opportunity for the school and community to gang up on Fowler and publicly close ranks against him – teachers as well as students. (Here’svideo). And people seen defending him have been targeted as well.
Here are a few comments on the Bastrop Enterprise news story about the controversy:
I personally see him as a coward.
I hope they [Christians] put enough pressure on this kid to convert him and save his soul from the fire of hell.
If he don’t want prayer at graduation he can stay at home and not come to graduation.
I hope that the little athiest (sic) is offended.
What he is really doing is trying to shove his views down people’s throats.
Satan continues to prowl and is deceiving many in this world.
A piece published yesterday by PoliticusUSA points out that Christian fundamentalists have persecuted atheists and agnostics for the past 30 years with accusations that non-believers are aggressive and are “throwing atheism in our faces,” when the opposite is true.
There is a dangerous trend of Christian fundamentalists taking over the government to change the nature of America. It may be in part because in America, like the rest of the world, Christianity is on the decline and the number of Americans claiming to be Atheists, Agnostic, or non-religious has increased by 15 percent leading to an alarming trend of fundamentalists making a last-ditch effort to force Christianity on the country.
The young man who protested prayers at school events is not an isolated case, and around the country young people are standing up to school officials and fundamentalists who “force their religion down the throats” of non-believers regardless of age or station in life. The Constitution does not forbid religious fundamentalists from praying whenever and wherever they please, but it does maintain the separation of the government and religion and it means no public school prayer.
The article concluded:
Evangelical Christian leaders recently conceded in an interview that there were Christians around the country who were prepared for armed conflict to enforce Christianity if necessary, and they claimed the military and Congress had been infiltrated by fundamentalists; it is a foreboding that should frighten every person in America. If any American thinks they are safe from fundamentalist Christians whose intent is replacing the Constitution with the Ten Commandments and its Stone Age punishment (stoning), they are deluded and do not comprehend the level of violence extremists are capable of inflicting in god’s name.
If in America in 2011, one student faces public threats without a theocratic government or the Ten Commandments as the law of the land, imagine the violent Crusade and Inquisition a group of well-armed, angry fundamentalists will unleash if given authority and power.
Last month, an interviewer asked four evangelical church leaders if their intent of using violence to force Christianity on Americans was tantamount to the Taliban in Afghanistan. They replied that, ‘yes, they were the same as the Taliban except they were better armed, better organized, and had the full support of conservatives in positions of power’.
Still think fundamentalist Christians are harmless? You should be mortified.
I had something on my blog about this a few weeks ago but it was maybe a day or two before the commencement exercises took place.
Bold emphasis in this piece is mine.
This summer, anti-choice antagonists will be descending upon the town of Germantown, Maryland to terrorize Dr. LeRoy Carhart’s clinic in what they’re calling “Summer of Mercy 2.0.”
The pro-choice response? Summer of Trust!
Activists in MD are calling on pro-choicers nationwide to counter the anti-choice presence from July 30th to August 7th. You can come for part of the protest or the entire week; all that’s important is that you’re there.
Dr. Carhart is one of few late-term abortion providers practicing in the U.S. Whatever your opinion on late-term abortion, remember that regardless of the circumstances, we must trust one another to make decisions about our own bodies.
Please reblog in honor of Dr. Tiller—today is the anniversary of assassination.
If you’d like to make a donation to help others carpool to Germantown, please contact the team at summeroftrust [at] gmail [dot] com.
(This is not a WFC event. We support it, and we’ll sponsor it however we can, but Summer of Trust is being coordinated by independent activists associated with various organizations.)
Plus, we want all of our followers to remember a few kind words and a smile could save a life. It takes far less than five minutes to do so. This boy had been bullied and he finally gave in. Our society is cruel and awful and inhumane. Change that. Change someone’s life.
Spam people’s ask boxes with kind messages. They’ll appreciate it, trust me.
Koch industries, the massive conglomerate owned by the libertarian Koch brothers, have been using their fortunes to push through an ultra-conservative agenda in elections around the country.
But the Kochs are only able to wield such outsized power in politics and public opinion because of the massive revenues they take in from their empire of products and services. In this slide show, The Nation went to a local supermarket to see just how many Koch products are on the store’s shelves.
Are you supporting Koch Industries?
You’d better not be. ;)
Church in my town did this. Yeah they really did have 3800 crosses. Checked home depot, to put them together would be like 5 bucks a piece. So with tax almost 20000 dollars they don’t get taxed for that went to anti-choice protest instead of something good like the orphanage down the street.
20,000 dollars that could have been spent on born children. 20,000 TAX FREE dollars.
Pro-lifers care about kids, guys! As long as they aren’t already born, if they are well then fuck you!
Dennis LaBonte, “Imperial Wizard” of the KKK off-shoot
A group of demonstrators affiliated with the Ku Klux Klan staged a counterprotest Monday against members of the antigay Westboro Baptist Church at Arlington National Cemetery.
Several people protested against Westboro, known for its antigay messages scrawled on large signs at the funerals of fallen troops and people with AIDS. Among them were 10 members of a group claiming to be a branch of the Ku Klux Klan, known as the Knights of the Southern Cross in Virginia.
Dennis LaBonte, the “imperial wizard” of the KKK offshoot, told CNN, “It’s the soldier that fought and died and gave them that right to free speech.”
Abigail Phelps countered that members of the KKK, “have no moral authority on anything.” She added, “People like them say it’s white power … white supremacy. The Bible doesn’t say anywhere that it’s an abomination to be born of a certain gender or race.”
(my brain kinda exploded at the thought of being on the same side as the KK-freaking-K.
The government gives patent monopolies to provide an incentive for drug companies to carry through research. This is an incredibly backward and inefficient way to pay for research. It leaves us paying huge amounts of money for cheap drugs. It also often leads to bad medicine.
We can do better – and Senator Bernie Sanders has proposed a way. He has introduced a bill to create a prize fund that would buy up patents, so that drugs could then be sold at a free market price. Sanders’s bill would appropriate 0.55% of GDP (about $80bn a year, with the economy’s current size) for buying up patents, which would then be placed in the public domain so that any manufacturer could use them at no cost.
This money would come from a tax on public and private insurers. The savings from lower-cost drugs would immediately repay more than 100% of the tax.
Bernie Sanders is making the practical and realistic suggestion to stop the enforcement of patent monopolies that would pay for itself. It would allow increased competition among researchers, lower costs for the consumer and stop our skyrocketing medical costs. Of course, since all that would be at the cost of corporate exploitation of the sick, it’s a nonstarter in Congress.
People approaching the problem of caregiver exploitation from the perspective of caregivers often frame it as an individual problem. They tell us this is not representative of all caregivers, that it’s not fair to tar them all with the same brush. They miss the larger picture, which is the combined devaluation of disabled people and caregivers that contributes to the tolerance of unacceptably exploitative employment situations. Anyone in a position of high stress with no break from work is in danger of becoming a bad caregiver. It’s not a personal problem or failing, it’s a social one. Society in general is failing disabled people and caregivers.