Excellent piece, and great photos, JB!
Thank you to everyone who came out yesterday. I assure you that when the rally ended yesterday, it was not an end but a new beginning. Thank you for joining us on the first leg of what promises to be a long journey.
I will be there, and I hope to see lots of Memphis Flyer readers out there!
Mr. Chase is right. It is an unfunded mandate, requiring the county to come up with matching funds and hire enough new medical personnel to provide these services. It's absolutely appalling that Stacey Campfield and his ilk would even suggest this kind of absurdity just so they can pander to a socially conservative voter base. When lives are at stake, Campfield is clearly not the person to listen to.
Maria, this information has been out there for years for anyone who actually cares enough about the truth to look it up. The Hyde Amendment has been part of every budget since 1976, and does forbid the federal funding of abortion. Furthermore, let's do some quick math here: Abortion, which patients have to pay for out of pocket (Generally $400-650) is roughly 3% of the service provided by PP. Yet Title X accounts for only 1/3 of their budget. So where is the rest coming from? There are private donors, but in times like these, charitable giving is down for all organizations. So in fact, just the opposite of what you're saying is true: Over half of PP funding comes from that 3% of the work they do. And they use that funding to perform cancer screenings and breast exams, while reducing the need for that 3% of their business by providing free and low cost birth control and sex ed.
The Shelby County Health Department is not and never has been capable of providing this level of care if PP went away.
The sex abuse of minors thing is just absurd. If the lies Lila Rose told Planned Parenthood when she visited them were true, Planned Parenthood would have been violating TN privacy laws by reporting her case to the police against her will, and she explicitly told them that she didn't want it reported to the police. This was thoroughly investigated by Bill Gibbons, who closed out the investigation by sending a letter to Lila Rose telling her that encouraging people to file false police reports was illegal.
One thing that was mentioned only as a footnote in that piece that should probably get more notice---
40% of those 90 pregnant teenagers transferred there from other schools because of a program at Frayser HS that is geared towards helping teen mothers.
This is not a trivial piece of information. Certainly, the 54 teen pregnancies at Frayser HS are a problem, but the fact that nearly half of the teenagers in question transferred AFTER they were pregnant is worth noting.
To those who would defend the angry, violent rhetoric, I offer the following scenario. I urge you to answer the question at the end honestly, rather than strategically.
An Iranian Mullah creates a map of the United States with a bullseye drawn over 20 American cities. In the past, this Mullah has done little to disassociate himself from the violent fringe, and has indeed used rhetoric that would encourage that fringe to believe that he is one of them.
A few months later, a Muslim extremist bombs a target in one of those 20 American cities, murdering innocent people.
There is no ironclad connection between the Mullah and the bomber.
Do you consider this Mullah to be part of the problem, or do you just shrug your shoulders and assume it's business as usual?
The difference in this scenario and what happened yesterday is one of degree, not substance, and barely even that.
Some time ago, I was discussing this very topic (Obviously, not the tragedy that happened only yesterday, but how terrifying the Right's rhetoric can be) with a Republican friend of mine who has actually worked in the campaigns and Senate offices of both of our Republican Senators.
He pointed out (Accurately) that we have a lunatic fringe too, and that our lunatic fringe said things about President Bush he didn't like.
I said something he couldn't argue with:
"Your lunatic fringe is heavily armed. Ours is not."
The Right spends all of its time ginning up a conflict. It spends its time telling Americans that government and the American left are their enemies, traitors to the nation, abettors to terrorists, baby killers, etc. And it has an angry, heavily armed contingent that it tells this to.
In its rhetoric, the American Right claims that no Muslim should be let off the hook for 9/11, the reasoning being that they have not done enough to rein in their violent lunatic fringe.
All I ask is that the American Right be held to the standards that they created themselves.
Our lunatic fringe says things that hurt your feelings. BFD. The Right's lunatic fringe has blown up federal buildings and abortion clinics, they've shot physicians who, among their many services, do provide abortions. They've shown up at Presidential Town Halls with automatic weapons since Obama has been president.
I went to the first Tea Party event here in Memphis. I obviously do not have much common ground with them, but I was curious.
I saw one sign with a bullet wound Photoshopped onto Obama's head, and another with his head in the middle of a crosshairs.
If the Right wishes to be disassociated with violent thugs, they should consider condemning the words that lead up to their actions, rather than trying to disassociate after they have already committed murder.
Let's assume for a moment that what you told me last night on Twitter was correct (Since neither of us know) and that Davis's ad on Thaddeus Matthews was the only one she ran. You and I both know that he charges a premium for ads on his shakedown--- I mean show--- That his ratings don't really justify. Let's lowball it for a minute and pretend he only charges $300 for a spot.
A mailer printed out and bulked through a mailing house averages 40 cents. That $300 could have put information about Ms. Davis into the hands of 750 likely voters in her district. If 16% turned around and voted for her, she would be on the school board.
So yeah--- In a tight, low budget, low turnout race, misused assets can be quite costly. She reached a handful of her voters with that ad--- Along with a nice reminder for any of Lewis's supporters to get out and vote, along with thousands who can not or will not vote in her special election.
So I stand by what I wrote.
Allow me to add this food for thought--- I know a lot of teachers. If Dr. Cash spontaneously combusted, I suspect I might see more of them carrying marshmallows than fire extinguishers. If the teachers' perception is that Ms. Lewis might be more willing to stand up to him, that might give us all pause in considering whether or not this is truly an opportunity wasted. I saw nothing in this race that made me want to advocate one candidate or another, but I do trust the trapeze artists to tell me what's wrong at the circus.
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By Hannah Sayle, Chris Herrington, Chris Shaw, Louis Goggans, Greg Akers, Bruce VanWyngarden, Jackson Baker and John Branston
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