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Progressive Politics in Minnesota, the Nation, and the World

The Abortion Debate is Legislative!

Category: Minnesota Politics
Posted: 02/26/06 23:19

by Dave Mindeman

For too long, abortion rights activists have ignored the place where their fight is headed..... the State Legislatures. The national choice organizations have been so fixated on the national debate that they have lost precious ground where it really matters. The State Houses.

In Minnesota, we need to fix this now. We are oh, so close, to controlling both houses of the legislature -- and Governor Pawlenty can be made vulnerable. What is needed from choice organizations is a concerted effort to support pro-choice candidates in the legislative districts.

Too often, in the past, NARAL, Emily's List, and others have restricted their efforts to Congressional candidates, Senators, or Governors. The real target should be controlling the individual state legislative bodies.

As this debate moves forward, the erosion of Roe will not come in a grand finale in the US Supreme Court.. no, it will come with restrictive legislative language..state by state... chipping away at settled law. Who controls the state legislatures will determine the agenda here... local legislative candidates are the key.

The opportunities to make Minnesota a "safe" choice state are NOW..this year... we can't sit back and hope for the courts to protect this fundamental right.... too many years of Republican control have made that avenue questionable.

We have to stop thinking in terms of the way things were in the 60's and 70's... we need to fight on the battlefield we have been drawn into. Volunteer for the races that will matter in the future of pro-choice -- your local state representatives!
comments (1) permalink

William Buckley: "Iraq Has Failed"

Category: US Politics
Posted: 02/25/06 21:40, Edited: 02/25/06 23:45

by Dave Mindeman

It Didn't Work is the title of a February 25th commentary by William F. Buckley

He isn't discussing a Democratic election tactic or some business venture that failed.. No, Mr. Buckley, the father of the American Conservative movement is talking about IRAQ!

You need to read this article. It has some strong statements on the American initiative in a troubled country. One of his points is simply,

One can't doubt that the American objective in Iraq has failed.

Iraq is spinning into an abyss of ethnic hatred. Even strong supporters, like Buckley, are beginning to see what the Bush administration has plunged this country into.

Another telling quote:

It would not be surprising to learn from an anonymously cited American soldier that he can understand why Saddam Hussein was needed to keep the Sunnis and the Shiites from each other's throats.

Our foreign policy was dependent upon best case outcomes. Those with any real understanding of the deep divisions in Iraq kept hoping that what they feared would smolder underneath -- but an insurgency that kept the wounds festering is beginning to take its toll.

Again, Mr. Buckley:

One of these postulates, from the beginning, was that the Iraqi people, whatever their tribal differences, would suspend internal divisions in order to get on with life in a political structure that guaranteed them religious freedom. The accompanying postulate was that the invading American army would succeed in training Iraqi soldiers and policymakers to cope with insurgents bent on violence.
This last did not happen. And the administration has, now, to cope with failure.

So, as the Bush administration chastises the Democrats for their negativity and admonishes everyone to stay the course, here we have a Conservative icon stating the obvious...

And the kernel here is the acknowledgment of defeat.
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The Legislative Scientific Method

Category: Society
Posted: 02/24/06 19:00

by Dave Mindeman

Well, you knew at least one state was going to do it. The South Dakota legislative body has decided that abortions in their state must be illegal, and now with the stroke of the governor's pen it will happen.

But there is even one furthur indignity encrypted in this bill. A special provision declares the following:

... that the life of a human being begins when the ovum is fertilized by male sperm

Except the scientific community isn't so sure... For a body of legislators to make such a declaration is pure conjecture in addition to being unnecessary. If fertilization occurs, do we have a human being?

In in-vitro fertilization, several eggs are fertilized and then they are assessed for viability. A number of them are not used. Are they now under the jurisdiction of the South Dakota legislature?

This law effectively outlaws embyonic stem cell research. You can't perform research on a "human being".... and what happens to the unused fertilized eggs.. are they stored in perpetuity? If they were determined to be unusable at the beginning, whose going to "complete the cycle"?

When life begins can't be determined by issuing a declarative sentence. Quite frankly, it is a question that may not be up to us to answer. But one thing is certain -- legislating such a question is the product of small minds.
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