25 February 2016

Illinois Republicans go after single moms

When I first came across this, I'd assumed it was from the Onion, but apparently it's real. Illinois Republicans have proposed a law that wouldn't give birth certificates to children of single mothers who can't (or won't) name the father of the child.

HB6064Synopsis As Introduced
Amends the Vital Records Act. Removes a provision concerning use of the biological father's name on the birth certificate if not married to the biological mother. Provides that if the unmarried mother cannot or refuses to name the child's father, either a father must be conclusively established by DNA evidence or, within 30 days after birth, another family member who will financially provide for the child must be named, in court, on the birth certificate. Provides that absent DNA evidence or a family member's name, a birth certificate will not be issued and the mother will be ineligible for financial aid from the State for support of the child. Provides an exception for artificially inseminated mothers. Amends the Illinois Public Aid Code. Provides that a family that does not comply with the Vital Records Act provision concerning birth certificates of unmarried mothers shall be ineligible for aid for support of the child. Effective immediately.

Have any of these Republican geniuses considered the fact that lacking a birth certificate might be a major problem for the child. Of course, it's insanely unjust for the mother as well. Laurel Dickman discusses just one very realistic scenario in which this might be problematic...

...say I had a one night stand – oy, you can say that QUITE A FEW TIMES, if you get my drift… There have been a couple of times where after a few drinks and a night of flirting, last names were simply not a priority. I may have wanted to see that person again, I may not have, but that choice was not always mine to make. Several weeks later, as my period is a couple of days late, I play the “what if game” and wonder if I should have an abortion or have Mr. I’ll Call You’s baby. The same portion of the government that would demonize me for having an abortion would be punishing me (and my theoretical child) for not being able to track down the father if I had it.

It's also conceivable that the guy gave the girl a false name or the girl couldn't recall the spelling. Beyond these details, we must ask why so many of the Republican proposals are designed to shame, blame and humiliate the poor or socially disadvantaged. Don't single mothers have enough on the their hands already? Why are the righteous right's posses so silent when the miscreants are members of the affluent classes?

19 February 2016

A turning point for Sanders?

A national Fox News poll done several days back has Sanders up by 3% over Clinton.

16 February 2016

The girlfriend

My girlfriend invited me over. As I walked in, I found her unbelievably sexy sister alone in the house. The sister sauntered up to me and whispered in my ear, "I have feelings for you. Shall we have sex?" I immediately turned around and walked through the front door and out to my car where, to my surprise, I found my girlfriend standing with a sly smile. She hugged me and declared, "You've won my trust!" Moral of the story--always keep condoms in the car.

A big fat mistake

It's a sign of how bad things have turned out when Jeb asks his brother for help.
In the last debate, Trump pulled no punches:

"Obviously, the war in Iraq was a big fat mistake. ... George Bush made a mistake. We can make mistakes, but that one was a beauty. We should have never been in Iraq. We have destabilized the Middle East."

That this statement would be, in the least, controversial shows how far the Republican right has sunk into self-deception.

14 February 2016

13 February 2016

Mann's article on peak oil

Although published some months back, Thomas Mann's Orion Magazine article "Peak Oil Fantasy" is definitely worth a read. (The discussion in the comments is also worth perusing.) I have previously watched End of Suburbia and read a number of articles on the topic but have become very disenchanted with the Peak Oil movement's failure to make accurate predictions.

12 February 2016

All hell broke loose

Richard Engel has a book out about his time in the Middle East. I usually detest American reporters, but I have a great fondness for Engel. Every time he's question on something, he gives a very reasonable and insightful response. The Kirkus review concludes with the following: "An intriguing journalistic memoir built around a lucid, alarming overview of where the Middle East has been and where it is heading."  Has anyone read this? Any thoughts?

10 February 2016

Some are more equal than others in NH

After crushing Hillary in New Hampshire, Sanders will end up with fewer delegates from the state. If there's still anyone around who naively believes that there isn't an establishment--a long-entrenched set of wealthy kingmakers--they need look no further. The fact that Sanders still appears viable even after the Democratic Party limited the debates and then hid them on the worse days--all the time constantly harping on the so-called quixotic nature of his campaign--goes to show the strength of his grassroots support.