Cry Me a River
For 5 years now, I've been listening to all these people cry about "rights".
Rights, which don't seem to register when someone else is losing them!
Forgive me if these self-righteous cries for "my rights" fall on empty ears.
Where were these people when rights were being taken from others?
And which, in many cases...they agreed with! Why is this?
I will tell you why: Like everything else, "rights" are a concern only when applicable to you.
And since that is the case.....I can only laugh when the former cheerleaders now cry foul.
How's it feel people, how's it feel?
Here is a short list of all the "rights" that have been lost since 2010.
Read em and weep.
*In 1973, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that a Constitutional right to privacy enforced through the due process clause of the 14th Amendment grants women the right to an abortion.*
This, however, does not stop legislators from ignoring the Constitution, and placing their personal views ahead of the rights of others.
"By almost any measure, issues related to reproductive health and rights at the state level received unprecedented attention in 2011. In the 50 states combined, legislators introduced more than 1,100 reproductive health and rights-related provisions, a sharp increase from the 950 introduced in 2010. By year’s end, 135 of these provisions had been enacted in 36 states, an increase from the 89 enacted in 2010 and the 77 enacted in 2009."
Here are the clever and Constitution-Ignoring ways they get around this issue:
"The Supreme Court noted in 1992, in its Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pennsylvania v. Casey ruling, that "the ability of women to participate equally in the economic and social life of the Nation has been facilitated by their ability to control their reproductive lives."
Gone in a flash ladies.....as if we were second class citizens.......
Forced Birth is Freedom!
As we know, those who advocate ignoring the Constitution, also ignore facts.
Since the Hyde Amendment in the 1970's, no federal tax monies are allowed to pay for abortions.
This doesn't stop the Constitution-Ignorers from pretending otherwise.
And, in their deliberate skirting of the facts, many women have been thrown to the way-side.
"Rachel Landon says she doesn't make much money as an actor, but she's been able to get birth control, gynecological exams and other health screenings at her local Planned Parenthood in Houston as part of the Women's Health Program, which provides care for low-income women."
These people trying to shut this down never met me, never met any of these other women," Landon, 29, told ABCNews.com. She said that since it's difficult to find a doctor she trusts, she stuck with Planned Parenthood after starting to go there in college. "Losing that not only hurts me financially, but it hurts me as a Texan on a personal level."
Here is a PDF from Planned Parenthood. You can see for yourselves where the money goes: trust me, none of it for abortions.
Abortion is used as a smoke-screen for "Psssst, ladies...Don't have sex."
Voting is a Priviledge for the Few!
As this rant is dealing with concrete laws, I won't get into the fact that elections are stolen through subterfuse. But honestly, with legislators like the ones we have now: Why bother?
Here are some of the tactics, which have increased in this free country:
Voter ID laws
Targeted voter purges
Worst of all, from the pov of a Constitution-Lover, is this:
The best democracy that money can buy. "In the so-called Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, the Republican-appointed 5-vote conservative majority on the Supreme Court decreed in 2010 that secret unlimited corporate funding for political ads is a form of Constitutionally protected "free speech." This decision dramatically shifts electoral influence away from individual voters by allowing wealthy individuals and corporations to covertly buy the election results they want with a flood of cash. At the same time, super-sized corporate campaign contributions given directly to candidates have become a legally-sanctioned form of outright bribery."
Thankfully, there are still people who speak out:
"The push by conservatives to repeal Section 5 comes on the heels of what NAACP president Benjamin Jealous has called "the greatest attacks on voting rights since segregation." After the 2010 election, GOP officials approved laws in more than a dozen states to restrict the right to vote by requiring proof of citizenship to register to vote, shutting down voter registration drives, curtailing early voting, disenfranchising ex-felons and mandating government-issued photo IDs to cast a ballot--all of which disproportionately target communities of color. The states covered by Section 5 were significantly more likely to pass such laws than those that are not."
And now, we have a challenge to the Voting Rights Act of 1964.
In Supreme Court Debate on Voting Rights Act, a Dubious Use of Statistics
Perhaps the most notorious form of outright discrimination in recent history, is DOMA: the Defense of Marriage Act.
"Edith Windsor, the New York widow at the centre of a US supreme court legal challenge to the act that bans federal recognition of same-sex marriage, put her case on Tuesday in a brief arguing that the law contributes to the "pervasive history of discrimination" experienced by gay people in the US.
In her brief to the court, Windsor's legal team argues that laws like Doma that classify people based on their sexual orientation should be subjected to "heightened scrutiny", a standard which calls on the court to presume that anti-gay legislation is unconstitutional and asks the government to provide a strong explanation for the law in question.
The brief notes that "gay men and lesbians have experienced a pervasive history of discrimination" and that "as a result lesbians and gay men have confronted discrimination at the hands of both government and private actors".
Gay Americans are also discriminated against in tax laws, due to the plethora of tax breaks afforded to married couples of different sex.
How in the world is it following the Constitution to penalize someone for loving the wrong sex?
We Work, You Play!
"In December 2012, politics in Michigan was thrown into discord over a sudden decision by the state’s Republican-led Legislature to approve legislation that vastly reduced the power of unions, an especially striking move in the birthplace of the modern labor movement."
Perhaps we remember this most from the upheaval in Wisconsin, when Scott Walker tried to take away collective bargaining rights:
"Illinois Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn says Gov. Scott Walker is waging a war against his state’s employees and even some of the Wisconsin governor’s GOP colleagues believe “he’s on the wrong track.”
“It's a war on workers: You know, the people who teach our kids, who plow the snow off our interstates,” Quinn Monday said on MSNBC. “Those are working men and women and they deserve a decent pay and decent retirement. They've already given up concessions in that area.
“The right to have a union and collectively bargain – about your conditions, working conditions – that's a fundamental American right,” he said. “So what Governor Scott Walker's doing in Wisconsin is just plain wrong. and I think he's going to realize it. The people of America are not on his side."
When workers are down-graded to "hired help", rather than co-partners in the creation of wealth, the whole country suffers.
Liberty and Justice for all begins with the ability to support your family.
All Kinds of Rights that were Obliterated under All Presidents
I won't go into this, as anyone worth their historical salt can name many.
The point I am making is this:
Those of you who see "rights" as interchangable with your politcal or world view, really have no comprehension of the word.
With a couple of hours on google, I could find hundreds of activities--past and present-- which our government has been involved in, that decimate human rights.....and can find pretty much the same thing on any school yard play-ground, or place of business.
I suppose in this circumstance, we must pick and choose those rights we deem important.
But please do not expect accolades for those who advocate for the Constitution on the one hand, but blow it to smithereens with the other.
Until true equal rights are afforded all human beings everywhere, we must pick our battles.
And, no one right holds more weight than any other.
If you think otherwise, well.....As W used to say:
Bit of Good News
"President Obama signed an executive order on Thursday establishing a bipartisan commission to examine problems of voter access after complaints of long lines at polling stations during last year’s election.
Mr. Obama promised during his State of the Union address last month that he would appoint such a panel, saying that “we are betraying our values” if voters end up sacrificing their franchise “because they can’t wait for five, six, seven hours just to cast their ballot.”
Voting and Abortion: Death By Stealth
55 new voting restrictions in 30 states in 2013.
This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.
© 2013 Leslie McCowen