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Eichenwald writes: "The surgeon told me that I would be able to see Theresa in the recovery room in about 45 minutes. She left, and I closed my eyes. Then, to my everlasting shame, I thanked God that we aren't poor. I don’t want my wife to die of breast cancer, the way so many other Texas women soon will."

Texas state capitol. (illustration: Bo Zaunders/Corbis)
Texas state capitol. (illustration: Bo Zaunders/Corbis)

The Murderous Cruelty of Conservatives

By Kurt Eichenwald, Vanity Fair

17 July 13


y wife has breast cancer.

I write this, with her permission, while sitting in the hospital waiting room as she undergoes surgery. Afterward, there will be another surgery, radiation, and probably chemo, but what else might be in the offing is guesswork at this point. I'll know more this afternoon, when the operation is over.

Theresa discovered the lump four weeks ago while we were watching television. Fortunately, as a doctor with excellent health insurance, she was able to take quick action. The next day, she had a mammogram and sonogram. Soon after, a radiologist biopsied the growth; we were notified that it was malignant in a call from her doctor seconds before a flight attendant told us to shut off our phones in preparation for takeoff. We quickly met with the surgeon and scheduled today's operation. Before Theresa left the office, she had a blood test for genetic markers. The next day, an M.R.I.

The whirlwind of activity sometimes allowed us to sidestep our feelings; at the beginning, the diagnosis seemed more like a list of things to do rather than a potentially life-threatening condition. There was, of course, denial. When we informed our sons of what was happening, Theresa wasn't able to use the words "breast cancer." I did, and she later told me that, when I said the term, she felt like I was talking about someone else.

Of course, there was fear: she worried about the possibility of a mastectomy, I only worried that she would die. And finally, in that very short time frame of a few weeks, we reached some level of acceptance.

But there were other feelings that struck us hard: fury, dismay, contempt. Not at our situation, but at the realization that untold thousands of women would not be as lucky as Theresa. Instead, they will die because of conservatives' endless efforts to block poor women from having access to mammograms, breast exams and treatment. Theresa detected her cancer early enough that we feel confident she will survive. But we're both aware that, right now, there are other women who don't know they have this vicious invader growing inside them and will not find out until it is too late. Their husbands and loved ones will not have the chance, as I do, to sit in the waiting room of the hospital, and instead will stand at the entryway of the funeral home.

Many Republicans, either out of self-delusion or deceit, deny they are causing any such thing. But there is no question that, in their obsession with zygotes, embryos, and non-viable fetuses as part of their supposed pro-life stance, they are effectively murdering real, walking, talking women - mothers and daughters, grandmothers and sisters, all sacrificed on an altar of Pecksniffian hypocrisy and contemptible disregard by people who have the insurance, connections, and available health care to feel certain their politics won't kill their loved ones. Perhaps Theresa and I are re-directing our anger from the cancer, but so be it; our rage has focused on the financially comfortable, morally blind, and arrogantly self-righteous who tyrannically conspire to rob poor women of years of life they might otherwise have. It is for this reason that Theresa is willing to disclose her condition, in hopes that, in doing so, we will help highlight how politicians are blithely choosing to kill women who are not as fortunate as she is.

We live in Texas, a state that often makes us proud of its communities and ashamed of its politicians, and have been dealing with our breast-cancer scare at the same time Republicans in the state House have been rushing forward with the now-infamous anti-abortion legislation (or, as I prefer to call it, the forced-birth bill). For a moment, forget the scientific nonsense and bogus assertions that have fed this debate - that rape kits used by law enforcement to collect evidence can prevent pregnancy, that fetuses feel pain at 20 weeks (contrary to scientific evidence), that proof of that pain can be seen in the "fact" that male fetuses masturbate at 20 weeks, that the American economic crisis was caused by abortions, that an abortionist distributed ineffective birth control to teenagers so he could make millions of dollars performing the procedure, and on and on.

What is scary here is not that kind of silliness, but what it shows about a scientific debate devoid of science: the advocates just don't care. Like a boy trying to justify what he wants to believe, rather than forming belief around demonstrable facts, the Texas legislators and their mostly G.O.P. counterparts around the country aren't making arguments. They're just saying things based on a woeful ignorance of the issues involved. And small wonder: working in the Texas state legislature is a part-time job, involving people whose knowledge comes not from public-policy analysis but from all sorts of other professions. Lawyers, farmers, real-estate title searchers, and the like. One of the primary supporters of the House bill, Rep. Cindy Burkett, is the owner of three Subway sandwich restaurants. Given that she and other legislators are ignoring the recommendations and input from the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, where have they learned about medical issues in public policy?

Apparently nowhere. Let's set aside the 20-week debate, since that is unrelated to the issue of access to breast-cancer screening and other women's-health care. Also, it is a topic I think honest people can have reasonable disagreements about. Instead, let's talk about the other rules in this legislation that will kill people.

One of the requirements of the legislation is that any facility performing abortions must have a doctor on staff who has admitting privileges at a hospital no more than 30 miles away that has an obstetrical or gynecological health service. This is something that the Texas Hospital Association says is a bad idea. But when asked in the course of the House "debate" to define the words in this requirement, Burkett could not even explain what admitting privileges are! She, like the other forced birthers in the debate, just picked up the idea from the anti-abortion crowd that advanced it in states around the country as a means of shutting down clinics that provide the procedures.

But her lack of knowledge is nothing compared to that of Rep. Jodie Laubenberg, the bill's author and the primary proponent of both the "rape kits can stop pregnancies" and "fetal pain at 20 weeks" nonsense. (She is also the legislator who, famously in Texas, opposed state funding of prenatal care - essential for the health of babies - because fetuses "aren't born yet." The sanctity of life, it seems, is not as important as the sanctity of tax dollars.) If the consequences of her ignorance were not so dire, Laubenberg could perhaps be forgiven for it. As she has zero medical training and her sole background credit is as a city-council member in a town of just under 4,000 people, there is no reason to expect that she would know anything about health issues.

And boy, did it show: when questioned by her colleagues earlier this month about what the bill contained, she was not only unable to answer questions, but she seemed unfamiliar with the legislation. She didn't comprehend how doctors receive admitting privileges. While the legislation requires significant, expensive, and often financially impossible upgrades in the facilities that provide abortions, she refused to consider amendments to provide the clinics with money to meet new standards. She dismissed concerns that the bill would shut down health clinics as "hypothetical" (even though her forced-birther allies proclaim that is the reason for the clinic restrictions). And, whenever she faced a difficult question, she simply refused to respond.

Since you don't understand the issue beyond your desire to limit abortions, Rep. Laubenberg, let me put the meaning of what you have done in clear terms: through your ignorance or incompetence or general lack of interest in the well-being of people who don't look like you or have your size bank account, you will be responsible for the deaths of untold numbers of Texas women. You, Rep. Laubenberg, will be a murderer, no different than some street punk who shoots up a liquor store. His weapon is a gun; yours, a smug satisfaction with your limited understanding of health policy. If Theresa and I were among the rural poor, she would now almost certainly be one the many people you would kill as a result of her inability to gain access to breast screenings. And for that, you deserve not only our contempt, but the contempt of every decent human being with the humility and intelligence to recognize the impact of the legislation you have "written," yet aren't bright enough to understand.

Here is reality: Women's-health clinics have been under assault for years. The legislature already barred Planned Parenthood - the conservative's abortion boogeyman - from the state's Women's Health Program because it funds abortion clinics. Abortions make up just 3 percent of the services the organization performs (a number that was lyingly transformed in a speech by United States Senator Jon Kyl into 97 percent; an aide to Kyl later famously proclaimed that the falsehood "was not intended as a factual statement.") Planned Parenthood estimates that 130,000 women in Texas go without preventive health care, like breast-cancer screenings, due to the cuts to women's-health-care funding.

Such services are now available at other clinics that are not affiliated with Planned Parenthood, but not for long under the dictates of Laubenberg and her murderous allies. Since few of the clinics in Texas meet the strict and almost unprecedented standards in the legislation - nor do they have the money to meet the demands - many will have to close, even though abortions have proven to be among the safest procedures conducted in the state.

I just took a break. Theresa is still in surgery, and Dr. Aditi Anand, her pathologist, stopped by the waiting room to discuss her case with me. After our talk, I mentioned what I was writing and why. Dr. Anand's eyes flashed. Not only did I strike a nerve, but she told me of a problem I didn't know about that is caused by the onslaught against health clinics that provide abortions: even when doctors are willing to provide the services for free, the actions of the Texas legislature are all but guaranteeing that poor women at risk of cancer will not be able to find them.

Dr. Anand told me she is part of a Texas group known as the Bridge Breast Network, a coalition of physicians, mammographers, pathologists, and surgeons who have all volunteered to provide care for women who suffer from breast cancer. In other words, the treatment is available for these women - not because the state government makes the effort to help, but because the doctors are willing to donate their services. But the linchpins of this whole system, Dr. Anand said, are the clinics that provide referrals - the very clinics Texas is shutting down.

"These women go to Planned Parenthood and other clinics where women who have no insurance go, and they get referred to the Bridge," she said. When these clinics get closed down, there is no way for these women to go anywhere. "This is just a strata of society that isn't savvy, that nobody thinks about, nobody fights for, nobody cares about."

When the clinics close, "the clients cannot reach you," Dr. Anand said. "They are going to have advanced disease."

Dr. Anand left and another hour has passed. It is now late in the afternoon, and Theresa's surgeon just came out to the waiting room to speak with me. The operation went well, she told me. The bleeding was controlled, although the tumor was large enough that Theresa will likely require chemo starting in the next few weeks. Still, while there will be a need for a second surgery, there was no sign that the cancer had spread. We had caught it early enough, thanks to our own knowledge and our access to top-flight medical care.

The surgeon told me that I would be able to see Theresa in the recovery room in about 45 minutes. She left, and I closed my eyes. Then, to my everlasting shame, I thanked God that we aren't poor. I don't want my wife to die of breast cancer, the way so many other Texas women soon will. your social media marketing partner


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+56 # Barbara K 2013-07-17 09:17
The Tbaggers seem to have a hidden from the public desire to bring and support misery on others, from health, to making a living, to having food to eat, to having health care, to homelessness (caused by them in the first place) to keeping them down in all ways they can. We normal people need to use our brains, which are much better than the Tbagger brain, and pay attention to whom we vote for and to be sure to get off our butts and vote these lunatics out of OUR government so we can get jobs back, health care, etc. The Tbaggers don't carry guns around for any other reason but to intimidate and show their meanness.

+8 # mdhome 2013-07-20 15:36
Inborn desire to control others lives, mostly if they can make others lives worse, the better they feel. They have a complete lack of any common sense and/or logic.
0 # Cassandra2012 2013-08-05 13:46
They are the most vociferous blatherers about 'freedom' and 'liberty' etc. but they know/care precious little about what is in the consitution and its amendments.
They have forgotten the founders discussion of the 'COMMON GOOD' in their lustful pursuit of money, their one and only 'good'.
-27 # Depressionborn 2013-07-21 21:46
Bargara K: your OUR government so we can get jobs back, health care, etc

Just searched on "help wanted". Lots of jobs available there, although you may need to move to a low tax state. Health care is easy to find too-available to all unless you want someone else to pay.
0 # RLF 2013-07-23 06:51
And vote who in? The dem. dogs? They are just as guilty as the republicans. We'll see if Obama care does anything but I'm 54 and uninsured because I work for myself in the arts. Insurance given by business is ties workers to large corps. rather than mom and pop shops...and that is why it is there. Insurance should be made separate from work for everyone...then people will pay attention to what it cost.
+33 # jwb110 2013-07-17 09:25
For much of the nation that Texas citizens may be dying off faster than the citizens of other states will become an object lesson for the nation. Texas will have more governmental costs not less. Taxes will rise that few will make enough to pay.
They are hoisting themselves up by their own petard faster than they know. Keep up the good work Tex.
+31 # Cailleach 2013-07-17 11:02
Texas wants to get rid of women--all women--
in the state. I guess all men will have to become homosexual to have sex, or go without. (I have many gay friends. This is not a diatribe against gays. It's pointing out that Texas men are too stupid to think through the consequences of their actions.)
-7 # Depressionborn 2013-07-24 15:02
Cailleach 2013-07-17 09:02 wrote:
Texas wants to get rid of women--all women--

Sounds like you hate men. Not all men are hatful. Many look for a good woman who will make a family. Good women need a good man. Not all men are good. Sorry.

A good husband loves his wife as Christ loves the church. A family is good. Not for everyone though I guess. Too bad.
+1 # Cassandra2012 2013-08-05 13:52
Sounds like you are still stuck in those dark ages where males believed they were ENTITLED to have women who pleased them and made babies and were just there to serve them (because their genitalia made them 'superior' to women.)
Tiem to ome into the 21st century where women have 'person'- hood' at least equal to a fetus.
+36 # mvb 2013-07-17 09:28
A true and necessary message to share; thank you. And your phrase, "Pecksniffian hypocrisy," made me laugh out loud; it's so perfect! (See Dickens' Martin Chuzzlewitt's for this most memorable character.)
+68 # politicaleconomist 2013-07-17 10:23
Single Payer. Single Payer. Single Payer.
Need, not greed.
We know SP will give more care, address the needs of those who seek care, and cost less than the for-profit health care system we have now.
Let's not vote for any politician who does not commit to HR 676.
+57 # reeblite 2013-07-17 10:39
my husband built hundreds of beautiful homes in Arizona when everyone was buying. he held on as long as he could after the market collapse, but eventually lost his job. gov. brewer took away state funded health insurance so she could pay her attorneys for her federal court fight. in turn, my husband, understandably depressed, gained weight, had asthma, developed high blood pressure and an enlarged heart. he could not find a job and after two years, suffered a fatal heart attack. the county sends a counselor to your house when you lose a loved one. she informed me she was "seeing a lot of this". my husband was 49, left an only child of 15, fatherless. thank you, governor brewer. hear you won your case.
+44 # Kootenay Coyote 2013-07-17 10:54
War on women. From whom do these degenerate Texan legislators think they were born? & how many of them are 'Right-to-life' advocates without following that title all the way?
+23 # Nominae 2013-07-18 14:40
Quoting Kootenay Coyote:
War on women. From whom do these degenerate Texan legislators think they were born? & how many of them are 'Right-to-life' advocates without following that title all the way?

Um..... Texas Legislators are not exactly World Renowned for their intellectually adept, and deeply-thought- through legislation.

Given how little this "Legislator" knew about HER OWN legislation, one could be forgiven for suspecting that "her" Legislation was actually *WRITTEN* by ALEC, or some such other "law mill".

Any legislator who cannot even describe the method and intent behind their OWN bill, should be summarily booted from the Capitol building.

But then, the Koch Bros. and ALEC don't *buy* these dim-bulb "legislators" based upon said *lawmakers'* ability to THINK !
+17 # RODNOX 2013-07-19 06:32
very good point about ALEC----we should be outing them more than we do and hammering our elected [ cant think of proper -realistic term ] much more--ALEC is alive and well thanks to staying in the shadows
+15 # karenvista 2013-07-19 14:31
Quoting Kootenay Coyote:
War on women. From whom do these degenerate Texan legislators think they were born? & how many of them are 'Right-to-life' advocates without following that title all the way?

A Texas Democrat has introduced a law that would block "Right to Life" laws until 60 days after Texas overturns the death penalty, thereby proving that they actually WERE concerned about life.

What are the chances that the Republicans will allow that to pass?

Of course the fact that they are against pre-natal care already proves that they have no concern about life and this is all a political exercise.
+36 # chrisconnolly 2013-07-17 11:00
Once again the GOP shows the depravity of their hypocrisy. Family values and pro-life self righteous blathering should be easy to critically dismiss, yet so many don't seem to notice the glaring inconsistencies . They don't care about life, only money. When are they going to be voted and shamed out of office and back under the rocks from which they came?
+14 # Nominae 2013-07-18 14:43
Quoting chrisconnolly:
....When are they going to be voted and shamed out of office and back under the rocks from which they came?

When the Corporations who ensure their re-election via bribes and straight-up campaign contributions, no longer find them useful, and not a half an hour sooner.
+23 # nancyw 2013-07-17 11:02
Texas... ignorance ... a bad combination.
+16 # karenvista 2013-07-19 14:36
Quoting nancyw:
Texas... ignorance ... a bad combination.

Our beloved Molly Ivins said that "the Texas Legislature meets for 142 days every 2 years. We'd all be a lot better off if they met for 2 days every 142 years!"

And when she died (of breast cancer) they were only half as bad as they are now.
+28 # Archie1954 2013-07-17 11:11
The author and his wife are able to leave the dysfunctional state of Texas anytime they wish. I personally wouldn't live in that political wasteland for all the tea in China. The Republican ideology is discredited for the very reasons the author mentioned and for many other reasons and no amount of explanations can change that fact. Why should anyone have to care if a store owner doesn't have a clue about the subect matter of her bill in the state legislature. She should have educated herself before sponsoring it. If she didn't then she is grossly negligent! Texas is a God forsaken place where the governor is nothing but a glorified executionor! If it left the Union the average IQ of the country would increase 50%.
+32 # geraldom 2013-07-17 13:52
Unfortunately, Archie1954, the disease that exists in Texas is extremely contagious and is spreading rather quickly throughout the nation as a result of the catastrophe that occurred during the 2010 midterm elections where the Republicans took control of entire states, important and critical states, from the governorship to the state legislature all the way to their court system and are now passing laws very similar to those that have been and will continue to be passed in Texas.

For many or most of these laws, you can thank ALEC, the American Legislative Exchange Council, a private organization made up of (and run by) extremely wealthy individuals and corporations who write these laws and submit them to state Republican legislatures for approval.

Just as an example, North Carolina is attempting to outdo Texas, and the state of Wisconsin under the corrupt leadership of Republican Governor Scott Walker is currently morphing into what more and more is now looking like a southern state.

The poison is spreading throughout this nation and there are fewer and fewer places one can run to to get away from it.
+20 # pernsey 2013-07-17 14:03
Yeah the Teabaglicans dont care about anyones life unless it will get them votes...they are very selective about whose life they care about. They work very hard making sure our food, economy, environment, and health are all poisoned, but lets make sure no one has an abortion, but kill everyone else. Pretty soon more people will be sterile due to all the poison in the things around us. Shame on the Teabaglicans for thinking they can choose who's life is important and who's isnt. We need better health care in this country, if you are fortunate enough to have health care and can afford all the co-pays good for you...but what about everyone else? Im sure they will have some Fox news BS to spew on here, but the fact is they dont care about anyone but rich people, votes, guns, power,and money period.
+25 # Buddha 2013-07-17 14:41
This is just GOP plans working as intended. If poor women die, that just means less "takers" that need to be provided for by the "makers". If the GOP could get away with turning every non-taxpaying American or minority into Soylent Green, they would do it.
+8 # geraldom 2013-07-18 11:08
Quoting Buddha:
This is just GOP plans working as intended. If poor women die, that just means less "takers" that need to be provided for by the "makers". If the GOP could get away with turning every non-taxpaying American or minority into Soylent Green, they would do it.

And, it also means less Democratic voters going to the poll giving Republicans a better chance of winning.
+7 # Cailleach 2013-07-20 10:56
It seems to me that those who labor are the "makers" and those who feed on the labor that they underpay are the "takers." This is self-evident. At some time in the near future, I hope, this imbalance will come back onto the real takers and bite them in the a**.
0 # Depressionborn 2013-07-22 19:01
Yes Cailleach, no one has the right to take, or at least they should not have.

How is it that the "makers" give their labor for little pay? Only slaves labor for no pay. That no one should be forced to provide for another is self-evident.

So what is the problem? Why are so many of us out of work and what happened to cause our take home to drop so far? It has gotten so bad that many of us live better on welfare than a job?

Is there a Detroit in everyone's future?
0 # Cassandra2012 2013-08-05 13:57
Yes, the real 'moochers' are those who take medical exemptions for e.g. Olympic racehorses for their wives, and ship jobs, companies, and profits overseas to avoid taxes in the US!
0 # Cassandra2012 2013-08-05 13:55
The 'takers' are e.g. Walmart that deliberately underpays its workers and uses TAXPAYER MONEY to supplement their inadequate pay for workers in the form fo health insutrance, medicaid, and food stamps (to keep them from starving.)
+3 # gd_radical 2013-07-17 15:09
While all here (including the author of this article) offer some "facts," much of what remains is based on faith in other men and women's sound judgements and beliefs. I am neither zealot nor fanatic in my natural or spiritual beliefs. I do belief the reality of this world is that each one of us only possesses these three things: love, hope, and faith. Whichever one or all of these dominates each of our faculties, determines our set of core beliefs. Therefore, whatever one "believes" or stands on these issues should not be marginalized or ostracized for their belief. I may be a man of faith who truly despises both the act of abortion and government intrusion in demanding that a birth must take place. However perhaps naively I might add, I remain clinging to the power of humans to solve moral decisions with compassion, dignity, and above all, reason. A fantasy perhaps, but I remain steadfast that a moral and scientific solution is available now or will be in the near future in which a male or female may after a brief, intense, and legally recognized period of reflection choose to end the pregnancy.
+24 # WeMustEvolve 2013-07-17 15:47
I am wondering how a whole group of Americans (conservatives) can become so greedy and selfish. I don't know if is a genetic malfunction or as a friend of mine said, generations of cult like influence handed down.

There is a study that when conservatives hear something that goes against what they believe, they actually dig in their heels. It actually REINFORCES their wrong headed ideas.

How do you deal with imbeciles like this who can't be taught?
+17 # maverita 2013-07-18 07:29
I am a Texan and a progressive. I try to educate the ignorant. Set an example for their children, who adore me. Tactfully explain the sense in certain progressive ideas. Talk about how it should not be blue vs red, but people vs corporations. Every time someone needs help, I offer. When they start talking religion and morality I bring up ethics. When I hear a racist joke I deliver a quick verbal slap and then tell my feminist joke (always seem to be male). why is it that man became the hunter and woman the homebody? ( because men could not be trusted to keep the fire going). This is why I am not a comedienne. And every day I deal with my neighbors openly, honestly, and with a giving heart. More and more Texans are beginning to listen, but in some of these rural counties a lot of elections go without a democratic candidate, it is between a rep. And a libertarian. And the republicans divvied up districts to insure majorities for years to come. The good news is that the demographics will soon catch up with the conservatives, within the decade whites lose their thinning majority. Let's do our best to reach the youth of the south as they will turn the tide.
+3 # ghostperson 2013-07-20 23:33
Maverita: Thank you for sharing this. My husband and I talk frequently about the need to distance ourselves from the insanity of contemporary politics. By that I mean move to a different country. Then you made a point, that within the decade, the problem will eliminate itself because the "thin white majority" will be gone. I am in the "thin white majority" and think that if this is what it does then it needs to be gone. I don't give a hoot what color a person's skin is so long a the individual's mental processes operate in a rational, humane way. I just didn't know crazy could spiral out of control the way it has--but then all we have to do is look at Nazi Germany and see that shared societal hatred and evil doing is very possible. Here we are eyeball to eyeball with it again, this time, in the U.S. The haters seem to be older, less educated, fundamentalist dupes of corporate merchants of death and greed.
The younger generation blessedly doesn't seem to suit up for the hate agenda.
+1 # RODNOX 2013-07-19 06:55
dont know why this post isnt rated higher-----even the term CONSERVATIVE is a misnomer
+15 # Rain17 2013-07-17 19:15
And this is one of the reasons why, as much as the ACA is imperfect, it at least offers help to some people who would have nothing at all otherwise. This hits close to home because I lost a loved one to breast cancer who didn't have insurance and avoided seeing the doctor. As much as the ACA is not single-payer it at least curtails some of the worst abuses in the US healthcare system and tries to make the horror/nightmar e it is into something more humane.

What I can't get is how many Americans could honestly not care if people die because they can't afford access to decent healthcare. I work in a field that generally attracts conservatives and some of what I hear from them seems bitter, judgmental, and mean-spirited. Especially after the Trayon Martin trial I saw posts on FB that disgusted me and rationalized Zimmerman's actions. What amazed me is that some of the people who trashed Martin were parents themselves. I was wondering, "how would you feel if someone else trashed your child like that in public"? Granted, Martin wasn't the ideal victim; he had a juvenile record and had used drugs, but it sickened me to no end to see people use his past transgressions as justification for his death.

Continued in next post. . .
+13 # Rain17 2013-07-17 19:21
. . . Continued from last post

What I often see lacking in many conservatives-- and this is coming from someone whose friends are mostly conservative--i s compassion or empathy for other people. What lacks is any realization that life isn't fair and that even "responsible" people can end up needing help. No, in their mind, anyone who lacks health insurance is in that position due to "bad and irresponsible choices". Were it not for "that person's decision to have cable TV, flat screen TVs, cell phones, or Internet, he/she could afford insurance". And anyway, as many of them honestly believe, they can go to the emergency room, "they and the illegals can get free healthcare". This is in spite of the fact that emergency rooms will send out collection agencies to collect unpaid bills and that illegals are not eligible for Medicaid except in very narrowly tailored circumstances involving childbirth and life-threatenin g emergencies. Whenever I talk about the horrors of the US healthcare system with conservatives what is sorely missing is any concern or empathy for those who can't afford decent care or even the acknowledgment that even "responsible" people can end up without coverage. In their mind it's only the "lazy", "those on welfare", and "those people" who are uninsured.

Continued in next post. . .
+16 # Rain17 2013-07-17 19:28
. . . Continued from last post. . .

This week it has hit close to home because I've watched the aftermath of the Trayvon Martin trial. What I have found sickening is that, among the pro-Zimmerman supporters, there is no empathy or acknowledgment that Martin's life had ANY value whatsoever. I looked on FB and saw brutal posts rubbing it into the Martin family. In all honesty, couldn't these people even acknowledge that, even though they thought Zimmerman was guilty, that the Martin family was suffering? No, the Martin family was of no concern to them. In their minds, because Martin had used drugs, been found with stolen merchandise, and gotten suspended from school, his life meant nothing in comparison to Zimmerman. And it was only Martin's transgressions that mattered because, in their flawed logic, Zimmerman should get the benefit of the doubt in spite of his record of questionable behavior.

Yet I saw others say that "the Blacks were going to riot". They cited examples of a few protesters in LA who went too far to tar everyone else. And others lamented how "blacks are likely to die at the hands of other blacks" or that "blacks don't complain when other blacks die at the hand of blacks". I was shocked because these people lacked any concern or empathy for Martin and his family. No I know what rape victims must feel like and go through. . . .
+15 # Rain17 2013-07-17 19:32
. . . . The last thing that I will say is that I will say is that missing within the conservatives I know is the concept that life isn't fair; and that sometimes, even if you do the "responsible thing", things can sometimes still not work out. What I find repulsive is the disdain they have for anyone whom they deem as less than worthy.

It's the condescension that Governor Romney wreaked when he spoke of the "47%". He looked down on those in low wage jobs, those struggling, and fundamentally denied them their humanity. In all too many conservatives they don't see human beings, but rather people who are below them. And, in that flawed mindset, it only becomes logical them to argue that they deserve nothing and every bad thing that happens to them.

The last few days have forced me to think about all these issues. Sorry for the long posts, but it has been very hard realizing how/what some of my closest friends really think and feel about various issues.
-29 # Depressionborn 2013-07-18 08:11

about your: . . . . "The last thing that I will say is that I will say is that missing within the conservatives I know is the concept that life isn't fair; and that sometimes, even if you do the "responsible thing", things can sometimes still not work out. What I find repulsive is the disdain they have for anyone whom they deem as less than worthy."

I don't know where you live or what is wrong with your conservatives friends but my conservative friends well know that life is not fair, in fact, we believe that it is not supposed to be.

All of us are less worthy and distain no one. It is wrong to presume otherwise. I do distain ignorance, not people. Yet I do find it odd that rsn contributors often deny reality.

Born or unborn a baby is a person with a right to life. Abortion is murder.
+12 # MEBrowning 2013-07-19 15:44
Depressionborn, you claim that abortion is murder. But are not the following forms of murder?

- Denying a pregnant woman and/or her fetus life-saving prenatal care.
- Denying a child the right to life-saving medical treatment because he/she is poor.
- Denying funding for school lunches so a hungry child can learn.
- Denying a woman the ability to end a life-threatenin g pregnancy.

Apparently, in the so-called conservative mindset, only the unborn have the right to life.
-21 # Depressionborn 2013-07-19 18:50
MEbrowning, you claim that "Apparently, in the so-called conservative mindset, only the unborn have the right to life."

Nope: Born yet or not a baby is a person with as much right to life as anyone. But if mom's life is in danger, killing the baby is not murder but self defense- mom's life takes precedence. You should know that, please correct yourself.

Also know that I an not a conservative, neither am I a Marxist, socialist or progressive. (Try Classical Liberal.)
I favor free school eats for all, (Good wholesome organic stuff, locally grown). Check out the Swedish school cook who cooked so good the kids learned more. (The Swedes got rid of her because her food fed kids outdid the others,and Swedes are socialist, at least for now.)

Ps. Government is harmful; school loans hurt students; everyone has a right to life and no one has a right to impose on another's life or property. No one has the right to forced me to pay their bills.

So bug off.

And abortion increases breast cancer and murders babies.
+13 # Anarchist 23 2013-07-20 09:04
'..abortion increases breast cancer' that is a flat out lie-turn off Faux News once in awhile!
-17 # Depressionborn 2013-07-20 18:03
Nope Anarchist, sorry.

But six years later something happened. Dr. Brinton either flipped her lid, flipped ideologies, restudied the evidence and decided to recant, or couldn’t sleep at night – and she began righting her wrong.

In April 2009, Brinton co-authored a research paper published in the prestigious journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Prevention, which concluded that the risk of a particularly deadly form of breast cancer that attacks women under 40 raises 40 percent if a woman has had an abortion.

rsn reality denial is astonishing. Is all I needed to do was search on "abortion and breast cancer."
0 # MEBrowning 2013-08-19 14:32
"So bug off."

Shame on you, Depressionborn, for your rudeness.
0 # Cassandra2012 2013-08-05 14:02
A woman is a PERSON with a right to life; an embryo is not viable outside the Petri dish of the woman's body (in which technically it is a parasite, however much a wantec parasite.)
Preferring embryos over live girls or women is one of those male --testosterone- poisoned, misogynist male -- obsessions with male superiority that needs serious psychological treatment.
+18 # JSRaleigh 2013-07-17 22:48
It's not just Texas and it's not just women & breast cancer. It's a war on the poor & the working class.

They want to exterminate all but their own serfs.
-20 # Depressionborn 2013-07-20 07:26
Hogwash JS, libs are the nations enemy.

See what they have done, you can believe it because it is there to see:

It took only six decades of “progressive” policies to bring a great city to its knees. By the time Detroit declared bankruptcy, Americans were so inured to the throbbing dirge of Motown’s Greatest Hits — 40 percent of its streetlamps don’t work; 210 of its 317 public parks have been permanently closed; it takes an hour for police to respond to a 9-1-1 call; only a third of its ambulances are driveable; one-third of the city has been abandoned; the local realtor offers houses on sale for a buck and still finds no takers; etc., etc. —

rsn guys should be careful of what they wish for-you might just get it. And killing your kids doesn't work so well for your old age or your breast cancer.
+1 # Cassandra2012 2013-08-05 14:06
assinine rsponse --- the big bad liberals (who brought you the 5 day week, 8 hr day, improved working conditions , social security, medicare, an end to child labor etc.) should not be your whipping boy for your mindless attacks.
+20 # Kimberly999 2013-07-18 07:49
It is time that we ALL call the "Right to Life" movement what it really is...the "Forced Birth" movement. These anti-women policies will hurt more women, put more families into poverty and put more children at risk.
-27 # Depressionborn 2013-07-18 09:09
Quoting Kimberly999:
It is time that we ALL call the "Right to Life" movement what it really is...the "Forced Birth" movement. These anti-women policies will hurt more women, put more families into poverty and put more children at risk.

do you really think your mom should have aborted?
+19 # WeMustEvolve 2013-07-18 13:11
You completely miss the point. It is not whether THAT person's mom should have aborted. It is whether future potential moms have the ability to decide the future of themselves and their children. Without the meddling of people that really don't care a rat's butt about them. Or their children once they are born.
+12 # CAMUS1111 2013-07-18 15:38
@Depressionborn --You asked the absurdly irrelevant question, "do you really think your mom should have aborted?" Personally, I think your mother should have at least thought twice about it in your case... (but that's not relevant either.)
+1 # Cassandra2012 2013-08-05 14:08
Truly assinine response. Typical of the inablity to fomulate an intelligent response to a serious question which you do not want to deal with.
+16 # WeMustEvolve 2013-07-18 13:09
The problem is that the anti-choice crowd has proven to not care about women and children once the children are born.

Thus they are actually pro-birth not pro-life. They really have nothing real to say on the subject.
+7 # Cailleach 2013-07-20 11:10
Absolutely. The pro-birth people abandon the infant the moment he/she comes out of the mother. Medical care? Food? Any life support? Don't make me laugh. All of a sudden, the child becomes punishment to the mother for the crime of having sex, whether it was consensual or not. Once the child is born, "conservatives" want to murder it.
+8 # Anarchist 23 2013-07-20 09:01
Repugs:'The Greatest Evil for the Greatest Number' and how about those 3 down-ward pointing five pointed stars? (check elephant logo on illustration!)I t's a proud achievement: turning the country, state by state, into Hell.
+5 # Jaysson Brae 2013-07-20 17:28
Conservatives endlessly blab and swagger about principles that in the end they don't want applied to themselves.

So what are they "conserving" really?
Answer: Infinite Personal Hypocrisy, and the low-brained comfort of never having to look at their own selfishness -- or ever change their mind.
0 # Cassandra2012 2013-08-05 14:10
They are not 'conservatives' at all, but rather right wing RADICAL (as in tearing things upo by their ROOTS) extremists without any concern for the common good.
-11 # Depressionborn 2013-07-20 19:12
What, according to pro-abortionist s, is the purpose of a woman's life?

My culture would say to raise a family for which she needed a loving husband.

Old hat, I guess.
+6 # ghostperson 2013-07-20 23:10
No one is "pro" abortion, it is "pro" choice. You act like abortions haven't always existed.

Libs are the enemy you say, then, what the hell would you call conservatives who are too self-centered, arrogant and stingy to believe in the common good?

I'll take my chances with the former and let the Koch heads and their sycophants blow themselves up.
-9 # Depressionborn 2013-07-21 11:23
# ghostperson 2013-07-20 21:10

'Common good?"
There is no common good. It is a nice idea that fail to be common and does harm, not good, each of us individuals responsible for ourselves because you cannot be responsible for that which you do not control.

Libs are not an enemy, the left is the enemy of freedom and liberty, desiring control they instead destroy. (See Detroit)

"choice" Re your:
"No one is "pro" abortion, it is "pro" choice. Not for the baby it isn't.

Your " what the hell would you call conservatives who are too self-centered, arrogant and stingy to believe in the common good?"

I would call them too self-centered, arrogant and stingy to believe in the common good? Maybe too smart too.
0 # Cassandra2012 2013-08-05 14:12
What is the PURPOSE' of a man's life, then? To use and abuse women ofor their own selfish needs and desires? To produce an heir? (Who do you think you are then, a Russian aristocrat? Remember what happenecd to that moronic, self-indulgent Tsar?)
+4 # ganymede 2013-07-20 21:18
Mr Depressionborn, I am also Depressionborn, but somehow I've learned things that are diametrically opposed to most of your beliefs. We all live in communion with each other. There is but one God or higher power or whatever you want to call it. You seem completely lacking in human feeling and empathy, as if you are under the control of some alien power. No one is for abortion, but it's been going on as long as people have been on this planet, and should be as Bill Clinton famously said, "rare, safe and legal". Your assertion that abortions causes breast cancer is totally fallacious. Every major medical ogranization around the world including the American Cancer Society has clearly stated this, and Dr Brinton did not 'change her mind', etc. It's the same 'Big Lie' technique used by climate deniers and their ilk. Women and men should have control over their bodies. You've been brainwashed to think that government can do no good, and you shouldn't pay taxes to help the country and other people less fortunate. We shouldn't have universal health care, social security, etc. You live in a dog eat dog world and I feel sorry for you. Fortunately, people like you (angry white and alienated) are dying out, not to be replaced.
-11 # Depressionborn 2013-07-21 01:20
# ganymede
Yes, we both cannot be right: I think you live in a fantasy world; you think me selfish and uncaring.

Or perhaps we are both right after all?
You deny reality while I deny others a right to my stuff; except that I am not alienated, and God has been very good to us here and we are many.

In the Bible it is "fear not, there are more with us than against us"

I believe babies are people too, and that no one has a right to impose on another's life or property; and that a good woman is virtuous, a good man honorable, charity the greatest virtue.
I do not think these very odd.

And there are still many like me left. (We were lucky and found good women who wanted a family-or they found us?) You see, we love our gals enough to die for them as Christ died for the Church. You do not know us, nor can you speak for us.

And please, read some history before concluding that government is mostly good. Your taxes are going to political corruptions, crony capitalism and war.
(See Detroit and Iraq)

The undeniable fact is that not only does abortion kill baby but it also increases risk of breast cancer-Sorry.

Abortion is all about money, socialized universal health care is bad for your health, and SS has morphed into to a Ponzi scheme. (Why do you think gov employees have opted out of both?)

Hope you have not killed your daughters, old women without daughters are sad. Our daughter is a blessing, not a hardship.

Sorry if your husband is gone.
0 # Cassandra2012 2013-08-05 14:15
Keeping women barefoot and pregnant and obedient is what is genuinely all about money ---for selfish self-serving "Christian" men. 'Kinder, kuche, kirche' was the anthem of the Nazis as I recall, and the clerical advice of the pedophile Catholic church as well.
-3 # Depressionborn 2013-07-21 16:35

The Murderous destruction of the progressive left. rsn winner of the century. Yep, you got it.

The city’s population peaked at almost 2-million in 1950, during the boom times of the post-war era. It then had the highest median income of any city in the United States. These days, it ranks 66th out of the largest 68 cities in the nation. And the population of the city has sunk to just above 700,000.

Yet the city still acts as if it has 2-million residents. Despite drastic cuts since 2000, Detroit is still one of the most overstaffed cities in the United States. As of 2011, it had one city employee for every 55 residents — by far the highest ratio in the United States. Public services remained bloated, and the bureaucracy remained clogged with useless union workers who could not be fired.

From 1961 onward, Detroit became the crucible into which progressives poured every utopian idea imaginable. The city spent more per capita on education, welfare and infrastructure than almost any other urban center in the country during the sixties and seventies. The city passed tough regulations, allowing city leaders to manage which businesses could open in the city, and which could not. Large bureaucratic city service industries bloomed, usually controlled by local labor unions. It was essentially a state-controlle d capitalist economy.

rsn big gov guys should study Detroit.

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