Friday, October 02, 2015

The Victims in the Umpqua Community College Shootings

The names which matter in this latest of so very many massacres, all enabled by the easy access to guns, are these:

Lucero Alcaraz, 19, of Roseburg, whose sister posted on Facebook that she won scholarships to cover her college costs
Quinn Glen Cooper, 18, of Roseburg, whose family said he loved dancing and voice acting
Kim Saltmarsh Dietz, 59, an outdoors lover who was taking classes at the same time as her daughter
Lucas Eibel, 18, of Roseburg, who was studying chemistry and loved volunteering with animals
Jason Johnson, 33, whose mother told NBC News that he successfuloly battled drug abuse and was in his first week of college
Lawrence Levine, 67, of Glide, an assistant professor of English at the college
Sarena Dawn Moore, 44, of Myrtle Creek
Treven Taylor Anspach, 20, of Sutherlin
Rebecka Ann Carnes, 18, of Myrtle Creek

It is these names which should become famous, it is these names which should be remembered when someone mentions this latest of frequent mass killings in the US.
This also matters:

Authorities confiscated 13 weapons associated with the shooter, six at the sight of the killings and seven at his apartment, Celinez Nunez, assistant agent in charge at Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, told reporters Friday. Nunez said all the weapons had been purchased legally by the shooter or members of is family.
And it matters that other countries, despite having their fair shares of angry, disturbed individuals, don't have the same massacre statistics by private individuals as the US. 

The difference comes from much easier access to guns here, from much greater support for the right to bear arms, from a far greater willingness to pay the price for that "liberty."*  When even the deaths of small children in Newtown, Ct., didn't look too high a price for that "freedom," more deaths of  adults will make nothing change.  This is reflected in the frustrated comments of the president.
*I can't help thinking, after reading many of the comments threads attached to articles about the UCC massacre, that far too many Americans think this carnage is the watering of the tree of liberty with the blood of tyrants and patriots which Thomas Jefferson mentioned.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Carly Fiorina And The Planned Parenthood Videos

Carly Fiorina and the Planned Parenthood (PP) videos.  The harvesting of baby parts.  The humongous profits PP makes from harvesting baby parts!  The need to close down all PP clinics because all they do is lure women in so that they can harvest baby parts to make money!  And watch the videos to find how horrible abortions really are!

That's one take on the Planned Parenthood videos.  It's also not the truth, but never mind that part, because none of this has anything to do with truth, not even truthiness, as the most recent round of debate shows you.

I haven't written about this topic.  The main reason is that truth in this context is utterly, entirely and wholly irrelevant.  The point of the videos, much doctored and edited, is to shut down all PP clinics, and the Republicans are doing pretty well pretending that they are going to get there.

Of course they might not quite want to get there, because the existence of PP is an important part of their vote-getting campaigns:  If they succeed in gutting almost all access to abortions, those forced-birthers might go on a political diet and no longer turn out at the election booths!  The bloody meat women's issues offer them needs to be kept available.

But in any case, pointing out all the errors in Fiorina's statements about the videos doesn't matter.  When something is not about the truth in the first place, truthiness works just fine.  It has the advantage of keeping the opposition busy trying to get those boots on.*

Have I ever mentioned that PP shouldn't fall for every trap the forced-birthers weave?  It's not required in any law I'm aware of, and it gets awfully awfully boring.
*From here.

Monday, September 28, 2015

What To Read on Women, Monday, 9/28/15

1.  This long piece on what happened to someone who didn't want to report a rape to the police but was encouraged to do so anyway.

2.  This NYT health article on cancer during pregnancy, because of its last

It remains to be seen if doctors will be swayed by the study’s findings. Dr. Cardonick, who maintains a registry of cases of cancer in pregnancy, has heard of a couple of “sad cases” where “a patient was denied cancer treatment during pregnancy, and died soon after the baby was born, because there was no confidence that cancer treatment during pregnancy would be tolerated by the fetus.”
Bolds are mine.

If those sad cases are true, someone else denied a pregnant woman potentially life-saving treatment.  Because she was pregnant.

The rest of the article provides useful information, however.

3.   On the European refugee/migrant crisis and average gender role expectations among the refugees vs. the receiving population and how those different expectations might clash, given that most of the recent refugees/migrants come from countries with much more traditional gender roles  than those prevailing in their new host countries in Western Europe*:

Actually, I found nothing written about this by anyone who isn't a rabid right-winger.  Maybe I just didn't search hard enough?

*  The largest source countries for asylum-seekers in Finland, for example, are Iraq, Somalia and Afghanistan.

Given that the refugees are fleeing war, not mistreatment because of their gender equality views, it's likely that their views match the average in their countries of origin (adjusted for social class, religion, rural vs. urban origin etc.).  To assume that all refugees are already fully aware of the average norms prevailing in their new host country seems unwarranted to me, even arrogant and Euro-centric.