Thursday, May 31, 2012

Remembering Dr. Tiller Three Years After His Murder

Today marks the third anniversary of the murder of Wichita, KS abortion provider Dr. George Tiller while serving as an usher at his church. I was openly going to mention this in passing, especially since this article from Jessica Valenti and a post from Chloe on Feministing, expressed things better than I could on the topic. However, upon reflection there is something on my mind as I contemplate those events.

Many of the people who are anti choice/pro forced pregnancy in the U.S. claim to be so for religious reasons (mostly Christian, but there are those of other faiths as well). The most extreme amongst them even like to cite scripture as the justification for their actions. However, does anyone else see the cognitive dissonance in this when one takes into account that Dr. Tiller was murdered in a church. He was gunned down by Scott Roeder in the house of the Lord a lot of these people claim to worship. While I know there are those out there who have found ways to excuse that, do they really think that their god would be copacetic to killing someone in his house? I'm not religious but I think there might be some repercussions for pulling this kind of shit when Roeder reached by sweet bye and bye.

On the here and now women's rights are more under attack on both the government and from domestic terrorists. Between plans to try either to outlaw contraception outright or make abortion unavailable via paperwork, certain (mostly male) politicians think women are too ignorant and unaware to know what to do with their own bodies, much less have autonomy over them. On the other front, attacks on clinics continue either via so called investigations by pro forced pregnancy groups or Congress or literal attacks by extremists organizations (most recently the fire at a women's clinic in Georgia). Regardless of approach, their goal is the same - to coerce women and their supporters into being in a situation where they are unable to make the best decisions for themselves in a safe and legal way.

This brings us to today. AS politicians and fanatics go to extremes to remake this country in their own moral image, the outrage remains from women and their allies who are pissed off that they want to take something that's personal and make it something needing state approval. Such actions are supposedly done to protect "life," but given that they rarely want to help underprivileged kids and have government aid go to help people with special needs, it appears they care more about DNA then about the real circumstances that actual people have to go through.

Dr. Tiller was known to wear a button saying the phrase "Trust Women." It's a sad shame that it seems so many people don't.


As I type this, we are about five days away from the WI recall election. Polls seem to reveal this to be a close election between Republican Gov. Scott Walker (whose efforts to dismantle collective bargaining rights for public workers have created a firestorm that led to recalls last year in the legislature as well as the coming election on Tuesday) and his challenger, Milwaukee mayor Tom Barrett. While polls vary from Walker being ahead to a dead heat, a heated climate on both class (the effort to destroy unions) and social issues (Walker quietly overturning WI’s equal pay law) has created a political climate where there are next to no people undecided on the election. What surprises me on this is that Walker is still holding on. I know this is mainly because of money from a few select business interests and some billionaires allowing him to spin things, but one would think that his attack on workers would basically sign his death warrant (people seem to forget that Republicans are members of unions, for example). While Walker has claimed his actions were needed to balance the budget and that he wasn’t doing this for political reasons, a clip from a documentary film (As Goes Janesville) finds Walker telling a billionaire would be donor a different story (the scene in this preview appears at about 7:30 into it.) Why this didn’t bury Walker is something that’s hard to understand. However, in an age when unlimited money gives one an advantage in the political sphere, waters can be easily muddied when the usual campaign ads and smears go into hyperdrive. Thus, at this point, things are in a dead heat in the third gubernatorial recall election is U.S. history. Add to this the RNC going into Wisconsin to help Walker in his recall race and the line should become slightly more clear. At this point it appears that whoever wins on Tuesday will be the candidate who gets more people to the polls. Thus in an inexplicable way this could go either way when people vote in a few days. What we do know is this: however this turns out will have an effect far beyond Wisconsin.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

RIP MCA (1964-2012)

Sorry for getting to this later than we'd like but it's been that kind of day. We at TTWN are saddened to report that Adam Yauch (a/k/a: MCA) of the Beastie Boys died on Friday May 4, 2012 after a battle with cancer. Our condolences to his family, friends, and fans. We could say something about the band's legacy from "Fight For Your Right To Party" and being targeted by the PMRC to their later advocacy of freedom in Tibet as well as other issues. However, let's just let the music speak for itself with a live version of "Sabrosa." That seems the most fitting way to remember him.