Feb 29, 2012

Alasandra's Reading List ~ February

  1. Princeps' Fury by Jim Butcher - When the Vord overrun Ceres the First Lord sends Isana to convince Raucus (Max and Cassius Father) to make peace with the Icemen and help defend the South. Amara and Bernard are sent by the First Lord to discover how the Vord gained fury crafting power and as a result they manage to rescue Gram and more then three hundred Knights and Citizens. The First Lord Gaius Sextus gives his life to slow the Vord down leaving Lord Aquitaine in command until Tavi returns.  Tavi, Max, Cassius, Marcus, Magnus and Kitai accompanied Varg and the other Canim back to Canea, only to find it overrun by the Vord. After saving as many Canim as he can, Tavi invites them to return to Alera.
  2. First Lord's Fury by Jim Butcher - Tavi leads the Alerans to victory against the Vord with help from his Marat, Canim and Icemen allies. This seems to be the last book in the series but there is a possibility that Butcher will pick the story up somewhere down the road when the Vord are poised for another invasion or when the Alerans and Canim go to take back Canea from the Vord.
  3. Strange Brew - a collection of short stores by a number of New York Times Bestselling Authors of the supernatural. I enjoyed them all.
  4. The Lost Gate by Orson Scot Card (A Novel of the Mither Mages) Danny North is worried  about his family killing him because he is a Drekka. Then he discovers he is a powerful Gatefather. He still has to worry about his family killing him but now he can escape their clutches while he learns about his new powers and how to use them. The Gate Thief (Wad) is no longer in his tree, he has fallen in love (with a very evil woman) and has a son with her. Wad attempts to protect their son from her but fails and when Danny attempts to make a Great Gate Wad (Loki) is unable to stop him. When Danny takes Loki's outself he realizes that Loki closed the gates to Westil and prevented new gates from being open out of fear of Bel 

Feb 24, 2012

Really ~ No means No

After reading this, all I have to say is...................

Women should not be coerced into continuing an unwanted pregnancy by the Mississippi Legislature or militant pro-life groups, and really don't you guys have anything better to legislate then taking away women's rights, you know like the economy.

60% of voters said not 'no', but 'hell no' to the PERSONHOOD AMENDMENT, it is absolutely ludicrous that you are discussing that in the halls of the capitol this year, listen up y'all NO means NO.

Feb 23, 2012

Steven Palazzo Aide to Constituent Bo Alawine: FOIA Off

As reported in Heard on the Hill Steven Palazzo Aide to Constituent: FOIA Off

Did they ask him about pre-marital sex?

Justin Bieber's view on abortion has created a furor. I have to admit I like the kid for admitting that as a 16 year old male he is unlikely to be raped and find himself pregnant as a result and saying he really couldn't judge that situation. I'll focus on that and forget about his simplistic  "everything happens for a reason statement" after all he is 16. As Barbara Walters pointed out he is still forming his view of the world, I know my views have changed a lot since I was 16. With age comes wisdom after all.

The Religious Right are of course hailing this as a huge victory in the abortion debate because of his influence over teens. But what I want to know is did they ask him about per-marital sex? His views on that might be equally interesting and insightful. Perhaps if he said he didn't believe in sex before marriage we would have fewer teens having sex and getting pregnant. But then again maybe not, because at the end of the day Justin Bieber is just another 16 year old. Yes, his fame gives him a "voice" amongst teens but I hardly think he controls them.

Feb 21, 2012

Valerie Pokorny Denginerates Women

As I woman I want to be respected enough that I am allowed to choose which medications I will take (contraceptives) and what medical care I will receive. I do not want someone like Valerie Pokorny making these decisions for me and for other women. We are adults we can decide what to do with our bodies, we can be in charge of our own healthcare thank you very much we do not need some religious zealot imposing their religious beliefs on us, especially when it comes to our healthcare.

Women choose to use contraceptives for many reasons. Some of us had irregular periods and choose to use an oral contraceptive in order to regulate that time of the month. Some women use oral contraceptives to control acute acne.  Oral contraceptives have also been used to treat endometriosis, and for Polycystic Ovary Syndrome. And not all of us want to pop out a baby every 10 months. We deserve to have our insurance cover our prescriptions just like everyone else. And please note the Catholic Church hasn't said one WORD about VIAGRA being covered. Pohorny goes on to say "When a woman uses “contraception” for medical reasons other than preventing a pregnancy it's not technically contraception, and the Catholic Church doesn't necessarily prohibit these uses." SO WHAT'S THE BIG DEAL ABOUT IT BEING COVERED BY A WOMAN'S INSURANCE????? Why is the Catholic Church and others creating such an uproar about women receiving healthcare coverage that is LONG OVERDUE?

Considering we live in a world with finite resources it is ironic that those like Pohorny want to force women to spit out babies or rely on the rhythm method. Gee honey, I would love to be intimate with you let me go check my temperature to see if it's safe.  Takes the romance right out of your marriage. Thanks but no thanks Pohorny. I will make the decisions that are right for me and my family, not you and not your church.

The Vatican from its unduly privileged perch in the United Nations along with the "Catholic" nations---now newly allied with conservative Muslim nations---managed to block reference to contraception and family planning at the United Nations conference in Rio de Janeiro in 1992. This alliance also delayed proceedings at the 1994 U.N. conference in Cairo and impeded any reasonable discussion of abortion. With more than a bit of irony, the then Prime Minister Brundtland of Norway said of the Rio conference: "States that do not have any population problem--in one particular case, even no births at all [the Vatican]--are doing their best, their utmost, to prevent the world from making sensible decisions regarding family planning." ~ Moderate Roman Catholic Positions

Ironically the Roman Catholic position on abortion is pluralistic. It has a strong "pro-choice" tradition and a conservative anti-choice tradition, but alas the pro-choice side is being drowned out by the zealots like Pohorny

The bible does not condemn abortion. The closest it gets to it is in Exodus 21-22 which speaks of accidental abortion. This imposes a financial penalty on a man who "in the course of a brawl" caused a woman to miscarry. The issue here is the father's right to progeny; he could fine you for the misdeed, but he could not claim "an eye for an eye" as if a person had been killed. Thus, as conservative theologian John Connery, S.J. said, "the fetus did not have the same status as the mother in Hebrew Law."

Following on the silence of scripture on abortion, the early church history treats it only incidentally and sporadically. Indeed, there is no systematic study of the question until the fifteenth century. One early church writer Tertullian discusses what we would today call a late term emergency abortion where doctors had to dismember a fetus in order to remove it, and he refers to this emergency measure as a "crudelitas necessaria," a necessary cruelty. Obviously this amounted to moral approbation of what some call today inaccurately a "partial birth abortion."

One thing that develops early on and becomes the dominant tradition in Christianity is the theory of delayed animation or ensoulment. Borrowed from the Greeks, this taught that the spiritual human soul did not arrive in the fetus until as late as three months into the pregnancy. Prior to that time, whatever life was there was not human. They opined that the conceptum was enlivened first by a vegetative soul, then an animal soul, and only when formed sufficiently by a human spiritual soul. Though sexist efforts were made to say the male soul arrived sooner---maybe a month and a half into the pregnancy---the rule of thumb for when a fetus reached the status of "baby" was three months or even later. As Christine Gudorf writes, the common pastoral view was "that ensoulment occurred at quickening, when the fetus could first be felt moving in the mother's womb, usually early in the fifth month. Before ensoulment the fetus was not understood as a human person. This was the reason the Catholic church did not baptize miscarriages or stillbirths." ~Moderate Roman Catholic Postitions

You certainly wouldn't know this from the Personhood Debates that have been forced on our states throughout the nation by these zealots. 

We have separation of Church and State for a reason it is time these religious bullies stopped trying to force their beliefs on the rest of us.

Feb 10, 2012

Is Valentines a Commercial Scam?

Well yeah kinda just like Christmas, Easter and Halloween. But as a woman I still appreciate the pure romance of the day so. Some ideas for an inexpensive Valentines.

A homemade card. No woman is going to be upset by hearing you love her in your own words.

Flowers are always nice but if roses are out of your budget do something special with her, watch a movie that she wants to see, go for a long walk on the beach (weather permitting or cuddle up on the couch if it's cold), create a romantic dinner for two, listen to romantic music with her. Whatever your special lady enjoys tailor the day to her likes.

Guys what would make Valentines special for you?

Feb 7, 2012

What A Crock of BS

Planned Parenthood's Hostages by  ROBERT P. GEORGE AND O. CARTER SNEAD is the biggest load of BS I have had the misfortune of reading in awhile.

The bulk of Planned Parenthoods Services (38%) are for screening for Sexually Transmitted Infections and Sexually Transmitted.  Diseases. 33.5% is for Contraceptive use to prevent unwanted pregnancies thus ensuring there will be FEWER women seeking abortions. Cancer Screening & Prevention was 14.5%,  Pregnancy Test & Prenatal Services  10.4% while abortions made up a measly 3% of their services. George and Snead's statement that "Planned Parenthood does little in the way of screening for breast cancer. But the organization is very much in the business of selling abortions—" can only leave one scratching ones head in disbelief at the stupidity it would take to arrive at such a conclusion, I mean these loons believe that Cancer Screening & Prevention which is 14.5% is doing little, but then turns around and implies that 3% abortions is some how MORE. Guess these guys FAILED MATH.

Then they imply that Planned Parenthood was somehow in the wrong when they publicly announced that Komen was pulling their funding. Less be clear here a loss of funding means a loss of services to the women and men they serve. They had an obligation to let the public know that some of their service might be severely curtailed by this funding loss.  George and Snead further state that those of us who support Planned Parenthood were somehow WRONG to let Komen know we would no longer be donating to them and why a tactic the WINGNUTS have been using for years. Less be clear here donating to anyone is a choice. I have every right to only donate to organizations that appeal to my beliefs (just like the WINGNUTS do). When Komen caved to the Religious Rights demands that they take their side in the "cultural wars" and end funding to Planned Parenthood I had every right to decide that Komen was no longer worthy of my donations.

George and Snead then pull the "Victim Card" implying that those suffering from breast cancer will be the ones "hurt" by lack of support for Komen. This is utter nonsense there are other more worthy charities that one can donate to that fight breast cancer.  To name a few:
  1. Breast Cancer Action
  2. Breast Cancer Fund
  3. Planned Parenthood (for those who wish you can specify that the donation only be used for Mammograms and manual breast exams)
  4. Avon Walk for Breast Cancer

George and Snead apparently missed the memo that Penn State (which also receives grants from Komen) is currently the subject of a federal government investigation (allegations of sexual abuse at Penn State.), and that like the Planned Parenthood grant, the Penn State grant appears to violate a new internal rule at Komen that bans grants to organizations that are under investigation by federal, state, or local governments (the Komen rule has since been changed). But that only the Planned Parenthood grant was cancelled. Read more at  ~ Mother Jones.

For further reading
Why Fiscal Conservatives Should Embrace Planned Parenthood

Feb 5, 2012

Link to some Great Celtic Music

Will Millar

The Pink Goliath Falls

Many of us supported Komen for the Cure because we thought their mission was to cure cancer, specifically breast cancer. When we discovered that they were bullying other organizations that genuinely  wanted to find a cure for cancer forcing them to spend money on lawsuits that would have went to cancer research, when we discovered they cut funding for preventive care for low income women at Planned Parenthood  and when we realized that they were being less then truthful about the link between BPA's and Breast Cancer we were outraged. You can read more here and here

To add to that list of transgressions

Late last year, Komen decided to cut $12 million from funding for embryonic stem cell research, gradually pushing off organizations that were using stem cells. Goldberg said it may also be politically motivated.

"Let's not forget that this organization is surrounded by a person, Nancy Brinker, who is a major Republican donor, she’s been a major figure in the Republican Party. Their new senior vice president for public policy (Karen Handel) was an anti-abortion candidate for the governorship of Georgia,” he said. "It's become clear ... that this organization, or at least some of its leaders, lean a certain direction." ~Post-Planned Parenthood, stem cell research may be Komen's next controversy

 It's worth noting that "Nancy G. Brinker earned $417,171 in 2010 serving as CEO and President of Komen for the Cure".

Nancy G. Brinker earned $417,171 to serve as a board member and CEO. She also earned a space $541 in other compensation.
Including Brinker, Komen has 18 people who earn above $100,000. Six earn more than $200,000, including former CEO and president Hala Moddelmog, who earned $277,000 despite working no hours.

Elizabeth Thompson and Katrina McGhee   — the former president and executive vice president, respectively — earned $216,000 each. In additon Thompson was compensated $16,177 and McGhee was compensated $12,204.

Mark Nadolny, chief financial officer, earned $277,000 and was compensated $17,280.

Jonathan Blum, general counsel and secretary, earned $210,269 and was compensated $22,124.

Justin Ricketts, CIO, earned $209,541. and was compensated $17,213.  ~Peoria Pundit

Apparently now Komen is more about fundrasing so they can pay the bloated salaries of their executives then actually helping women with breast cancer.

As a Marketing Major I have to applaud Komen's intensive marketing strategy, until recently I did not realize there were worthier breast cancer organizations I could donate to. They did a brilliant job of overshadowing the worthier competition.

  Donate to

  1. Breast Cancer Action
  2. Breast Cancer Fund
  3. Planned Parenthood (for those who wish you can specify that the donation only be used for Mammograms and breast exams)
  4. Avon Walk for Breast Cancer
Can Komen recover from their PR nightmare. Hopefully not unless they go back to their core mission of ending breast cancer and stop their bullying of other charities who are seeking cancer cures. Komen has lost the trust of the majority of their donors, their reversal over funding Planned Parenthood merely angered the wingnuts without reassuring anyone that Komen really cared about women.  

For further reading:
How Susan G. Komen for the Cure affects other cancer non-profits

Feb 3, 2012

The Pink Ribbon Lie

The Susan G. Komen for the Cure® Foundation with their PINK RIBBON merchandise has long been associated with fighting breast cancer. Now apparently they are more interested in raising money, then saving lives. Due to the million dollar donations the Susan G. Komen Foundation receives from a large number of companies that use Bisphenol A. (BPA) in their products they have chosen to ignore the link between BPA and Breast Cancer.

Thus, not only does early exposure to BPA lead to an increased risk for development of breast tumors, but exposure to BPA during chemotherapy treatment for breast cancer may make the treatment less effective. Recent data further suggests that BPA leads normal human breast cells to behave like cancer cells, and indicates that BPA may also make cells less responsive to the cancer-inhibiting effects of the anti-estrogen tamoxifen (Goodson, 2011).

Although The Breast Cancer Fund has tallied 22 studies that have found that exposure to BPA increase the risk of breast cancer or worsen it's prognosis Komen continues to maintain on their website that BPA is "safe".

A study published in the Oxford University Press journal, Carcinogenesis, concludes that healthy breast cells exposed to bisphenol-A (BPA) and methylparaben, a common ingredient in beauty products, change from normal and begin to grow and survive like cancer cells. This new research also indicates that BPA exposure may reduce the effectiveness of certain popular and promising breast cancer drugs. 

Komen has also stopped their funding of Planned Parenthood which performed more than 4 million breast exams over the past five years, including nearly 170,000 as a result of Komen grants. According to Komen the decision stemmed from newly adopted criteria barring grants to organizations "under investigation". But apparently they aren't applying their new criteria to all the organizations that apply for grants.

Susan G. Komen for the Cure, which recently announced that it is ending grants to Planned Parenthood for breast cancer screening because of a controversial investigation launched by an anti-abortion Republican congressman, currently funds cancer research at the Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center to the tune of $7.5 million. Like Planned Parenthood, Penn State is currently the subject of a federal government investigation, and like the Planned Parenthood grant, the Penn State grant appears to violate a new internal rule at Komen that bans grants to organizations that are under investigation by federal, state, or local governments. But so far, only the Planned Parenthood grants appear to have been cancelled.  ~ Mother Jones

 If this isn't enough to make you think twice about supporting Susan G. Komen for the Cure maybe their bullying of other organizations will be.

In addition to raising millions of dollars a year for breast cancer research, fundraising giant Susan G. Komen for the Cure has a lesser-known mission that eats up donor funds: patrolling the waters for other charities and events around the country that use any variation of "for the cure" in their names. 

"It happened to my family," said Roxanne Donovan, whose sister runs Kites for a Cure, a family kite-flying event that raises money for lung cancer research. "They came after us ferociously with a big law firm. They said they own 'cure' in a name and we had to stop using it, even though we were raising money for an entirely different cause.

Donovan's sister, Mary Ann Tighe, said the Komen foundation sent her a letter asking her to stop using the phrase "for a cure" in their title and to never use the color pink in conjunction with their fundraising. What bothered her most about the whole ordeal, she said, was that Komen forced her to spend money and time on legal fees and proceedings instead of raising funds for cancer

Blum told HuffPost that legal fees comprise a "very small part" of Komen's budget, but according to Komen's financial statements, such costs add up to almost a million dollars a year in donor funds.

Read more at Lawsuits for the Cure  and Poor Pink Goliath

Needless to say this is one consumer that will no longer be supporting Susan G. Komen for the Cure if your product sports Komen's pink ribbon, I will not purchase it. There are many worthy charities that truly do strive to fight cancer they will be the ones that get my donations.

For those of you who wish to learn more about Susan G. Komen for the Cure.

Pink Ribbons, Inc. is a feature documentary that shows how the devastating reality of breast cancer, which marketing experts have labeled a "dream cause," has been hijacked by a shiny, pink story of success. 

I just heard that Komen has reversed it's decision not to fund Planned Parenthood. In my opinion that was the least of their transgressions and I still intend to boycott Komen. I suggest that donations be given directly to Planned Parenthood and earmarked for cancer screening instead of having them routed thru Komen.