Daily Archives: March 5, 2012

Sandra Fluke’s Testimony Before Congress

Below, you can see Georgetown University Law Center student (and Law Students for Reproductive Justice member) Sandra Fluke address the House Democratic Steering and Policy Committee on women’s health and contraception.

Leave a comment

Filed under Activism, Health, War on Women

Iran’s Supreme Leader Consolidates Power

English: Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the current S...

Image via Wikipedia

Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, gained ground in his struggle with President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as results came in from parliamentary elections.

Candidates from Ayatollah Khamenei’s camp look set to capture about three-quarters of the seats, Iran’s state-run Press TV reported Sunday, citing provisional results.

Pres. Ahmadinejad’s sister Parvin lost her bid for a seat in the nation’s parliamentary elections, and prominent reformist lawmakers Mostafa Kavakebian, Mohammadreza Khabbaz and Qodratollah Alikhani lost their seats, Press TV said.

Vote counting in Friday’s elections is complete in about 90% of constituencies.

Parvin Ahmadinejad’s defeat is a blow to the controversial president and a “possible sign of fraud.”

More than 64% of eligible voters streamed to the polls, and election officials praised the exercise, in which about 3,400 candidates vied for Majlis seats.

It’s first time Iranians are voting since allegations of rigging in the 2009 elections triggered mass street protests against President Ahmadinejad’s reelection.

Via CNN.

1 Comment

Filed under World

Santorum’s Weird Obsession with Sex

, U.S. Senator from Pennsylvania.

Image via Wikipedia

Mr. Santorum has a creepy fixation with sex.

In 2008, Mr. Santorum gave a speech on religion and politics at the Oxford Center for Religion and Public Life in Washington. The answers he gave to the questions that followed were illuminating.

In response to a question about the kinds of words he had heard “attached to religion and politics” during his years in the Senate, Mr. Santorum answered:

It comes down to sex. That’s what it’s all about. It comes down to freedom, and it comes down to sex. If you have anything to do with any of the sexual issues, and if you are on the wrong side of being able to do all of the sexual freedoms you want, you are a bad guy. And you’re dangerous because you are going to limit my freedom in an area that’s the most central to me. And that’s the way it’s looked at.

Next, a commenter claimed that Maureen Dowd “said that the Republican Party is trying to repeal Woodstock.” What she actually wrote in her 1998 column (about the Clinton-Lewinsky affair) was:

Since Watergate, there has been a pendulum of partisan revenge. And, right now, Republicans want their payback for Watergate, for Bork, for Iran-contra, even for Woodstock. Like Kenneth Starr, the Republicans are attempting to repeal the 1960s.

Mr. Santorum deflected back to sex:

Woodstock is the great American orgy. This is who the Democratic Party has become. They have become the party of Woodstock. They prey upon our most basic primal lusts, and that’s sex. And the whole abortion culture, it’s not about life. It’s about sexual freedom. That’s what it’s about. Homosexuality. It’s about sexual freedom. All of the things are about sexual freedom, and they hate to be called on them. They try to somehow or other tie this to the founding fathers’ vision of liberty, which is bizarre. It’s ridiculous. That’s at the core of why you are attacked.

It’s odd that he equates Woodstock with both abortion and homosexuality, since… well, the two don’t really go together.

The next question was: “Do you see any possibility for a party of Christian reform, or an influx of Christian ideas into this [Democratic] party?”

While explaining what he saw as a shift in the Democratic Party away from “blue-collar working-class folks with traditional values,” Mr. Santorum said:

What changed was the ’60s. What changed was sex. What changed was the social and cultural issues that have huge amounts of money because if you look — I haven’t seen numbers on this, but I’m sure it’s true — if you go socioeconomic scale, the higher the income, the more socially liberal you are. The more you know you can buy your way out of the problems that sexual libertinism causes you. You have an abortion, well, I have the money to take care of it. If I want to live an extravagant life and get diseases, I can. … You can always take care of everything. If you have money, you can get away with things that if you’re poor you can’t.

The questions finally got around to asking about sex. To one of those questions, Mr. Santorum answered in part:

Sex is a means. Evolution is a means. And the aim is a secular world. It’s a, in my opinion, a hedonistic, self-focused world that is, in my opinion, anti-American.

Mr. Santorum may cloak his views in Catholic fundamentalism and Constitutional literalism, but they are his reaction to the social liberation that began in the 1960s.

Read the rest of Mr. Santorum’s weirdly sexual answers to questions at the original piece in The New York Times.

1 Comment

Filed under Politics, Stupid Is As Stupid Does

Big Ag and Big Pharma Fight Attempted Ban on Antibiotic Overuse

Core structure of the cephalosporin antibiotic...

Image via Wikipedia

The FDA is poised to stop the overuse of a class of antibiotics by factory farms, but Big Ag is pushing back

Cephalosporins are a critical class of antibiotics that treat bacterial meningitis and salmonella in children and the seriously ill in hospitals, but factory farms are putting the effectiveness of cephalosporins at risk through overuse in livestock.

Factory farms give cephalosporins to almost all broiler chickens before they hatch, whether they have infections or not, and use the drugs in cows and pigs. Without FDA regulation, this off-label overuse has led to an increase in cephalosporin-resistant bacteria in animal populations.

The link between antibiotic use in factory farming and antibiotic-resistant bacteria is clear; the more these drugs are used in animals, the less effective they are in humans. Because these drugs are especially important for treating children, the risk to our kids of cephalosporin-resistant bacteria is significant.

If we want antibiotics to work for us when we need them, we have to stop their misuse and overuse in farming.

The FDA plan would limit the use of cephalosporins in food animal production. It’s not the first time they’ve tried to set up such a rule. A 2008 attempt failed when the FDA was flooded with comments from farmers and drug companies opposing the ban.

The FDA’s new rule against off-label uses of cephalosporin bans routine injections of cephalosporins into chicken eggs and large dosing in cattle and swine, but allows smaller dosing under veterinary supervision and usage in animals like ducks and rabbits.

It is a small but important step, both in protecting this class of antibiotics and putting the brakes on the overuse of antibiotics in factory farming. If the FDA can regulate cephalosporins, it’s a foothold to go after bigger wins, including finalizing a guideline proposed in 2010 focused on putting a stop to the use of antibiotics solely to promote growth or to compensate for animals’ unsanitary living conditions.

Click below to send a public comment before the Tuesday deadline supporting the FDA’s recent decision to limit cephalosporin use in factory farming:

Thank you for taking action to fight dangerous antibiotic abuse by factory farms.

Leave a comment

Filed under Activism, Health, Science

On This Day…

In 1946, Winston Churchill delivered his famous “Iron Curtain” speech at Westminster College in Fulton, Missouri.

Leave a comment

Filed under History, On This Day, World