July 20, 2004
The Bush Administrationís War on Women & Children
BUZZFLASH GUEST CONTRIBUTION
The fact that Martha Stewart might do jail time for her victimless crime sends a message alright. And that message is if youíre a woman or a child in this country youíd better fasten your seat belt because itís going to be a bumpy ride.
* * *
By now everybody knows that Martha Stewart has been sentenced to 5 months in prison for lying about a phone call. I think it was Jeffrey Toobin who said, "The government has sent a clear message to all Americans. If you lie, youíre going to suffer the consequences." Isnít that just rich. The government sent a clear message that if you lie youíre going to suffer the consequences. I think they should clarify that a little and say, "If you lie youíre going to suffer the consequences, unless of course you happen to BE in the government, or youíre insanely greedy and your lies happen to kill tens of thousands of people or purposely bankrupt the second largest state in the continental United States with the third largest economy in the world."
I donít even know how Kitty Pilgrim could sit there with a straight face when he said that. "The government wants to send a message to people who lie." I would have been rolling on the floor. The government wants to send a message. The government sent a message alright and it was, if youíre a woman or a child in this country, you better fasten your seat belt because itís going to be a bumpy ride.
The fact that Martha Stewart might do jail time in a real live womenís prison with drug dealers, child abusers and perpetrators of other serious crimes (there are no country club jails for female white-collar felons), merely serves to keep my Went-to-Sleep-in-America/Woke-up-in-The-Twilight-Zone experience alive and well. You see, a very important member of our government was once on the board of a big company called Harken Energy. This person was asked to be on the committee that looked into all of this companyís big financial problems. And even though he was warned that selling his own stock because of his knowledge of the companyís financial situation would be illegal, he did it anyway...making a tidy little profit of over 800 thousand dollars before the stock plummeted to just pennies per share and his investors lost their shirts. He, however, didnít have to go to jail with a bunch of filthy dope dealers. Oh no. He got to be the leader of the free world. Doesnít seem fair does it?
Meanwhile, KennyĖboy, better known as Ken Who?, walks away from Enron with tens of millions of dollars after telling his employees and their families to keep buying Enron stock even as he was selling his own shares faster than you can say greedy, lying bastard. What next? Men who are responsible for the deaths of thousands of innocent men, women and children being nominated for Nobel Peace Prizes?
I canít even sit still when some spokesperson for the Repugnant party says something like, "Well, weíre still strong on our commitment to ending partial birth abortions." THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS A PARTIAL BIRTH ABORTION. Literally, the only time that procedure is performed is when the motherís life is at stake. Why wonít somebody say that? For example: Andrea Mitchell, "Well, yes, Mr. Santorum. But are you aware that if you deny a woman a late term abortion, the birth might kill her?" "Well, yes Andrea. And thatís fine with us because we are way more protective of the 'unborn' than we are of the 'born.' And furthermore, we donít plan on helping women out at all by approving over-the-counter morning after pills or making birth control a little easier to get by having it covered by insurance, like Viagra. And you can forget about day care, WIC programs or forcing the fathers to support the children they conceive because women are the cause of all of societyís ills and therefore they shalt be punished."
Where have I heard that before? Oh, yes. The Taliban.
It seems as though theyíre forgetting that two people are needed to conceive a child. Why isnít the man treated with the same disregard as the woman? "Weíre sorry Mr. Thurmond but youíre going to have to raise this child by yourself with no help whatsoever from anyone. What about the childís mother, you say? Well we donít know where she is. Probably off somewhere conceiving more children. Thatís not our concern."
Yesterday they announce that theyíre not going to give anything to the UN Family Planning Fund, again, which hasnít been done by a U.S. president in three-quarters of a century. According to studies done by NARAL this could mean nearly 2 million unintended pregnancies, 800,000 abortions, 4,700 maternal deaths, 60,000 cases of serious maternal illness, and more than 77,000 infant and child deaths in the next twelve months. Elizabeth Cavendish, Interim President of NARAL states, "George W. Bush is really showing his true colors. Protecting the health and well-being of women and babies around the world is insufficient as a reason to stop him from promoting his anti-choice agenda."
Women and children everywhere will suffer as this administration continues to use draconian measures to make sure the "unborn" are protected. Stem cells, fertilized ovums, could be used to cure Alzheimerís disease, Parkinsonís disease, repair irreversible spinal cord injuries, and even, perhaps, to generate organs such as livers and kidneys for transplantations. But noooooo. Not on this administrationís watch. Stem cells are offered more protection than a huge majority of children on the planet.
Ok. Now hereís the good news. These guys arenít that smart. They proved that when they tried to ratify this constitutional amendment against gay marriage. We all know that they did that only to say to their radical right base, "Hey, weíre not soft on faggots or wimmen. We know theyíre the cause of all the evil in the world and weíre out to git Ďem." But, though it may have accomplished that, it made them look silly and desperate to everybody else. And they actually think that if they donít let Pat Robertson or Tom DeLay speak at the convention we wonít know that their party is under the thumb of these guys who are so off base that they blame the Columbine School shootings on the teaching of evolution and day care.
Tom DeLay, who will just give you the SHIVERS if you ever watch him speak, has allegedly bribed his GOP colleagues to win their votes and violated campaign finance laws in Texas. And, as we speak, a complaint charging DeLay with extortion, money-laundering and other abuses of power has been filed and approved for review by the House Ethics Committee. As they say in Texas...yippee-kai-yea. Git along little dawggies.
So take heart. Thereís a light at the end of this tunnel for Martha and millions of women and children all around the world. It wonít be long before the citizens of this country wake up and hit themselves on the side of the head and say, "Wow! We could have had a real president. Whew! Letís not make that mistake again."
A BUZZFLASH GUEST CONTRIBUTION
Ms. Burgwinís writings have appeared in Time, Newsweek, New York Magazine, Counterpunch, Alternet and OpEdNews as well as several other online Op Ed sites. She is on the Board of Aid Afghanistan and one of the contributors to the Peace Project in Assisi, Italy. Send questions, comments, and critiques to email@example.com.
Articles in the BuzzFlash Contributor section are posted as-is. Given the timeliness of some Contributor articles, BuzzFlash cannot verify or guarantee the accuracy of every word. We strive to correct inaccuracies when they are brought to our attention.