Monday, May 6, 2013

Just Say Yes

Tuesday is election day.  No, this is not deja vu, Tuesday is the day for the Special Election for District 1 in the US House of Representatives.

We have for some time now been caught up in Congress's downward spiral of negativity, where work has not been getting done for the American people, and for us here in South Carolina.

Mark Sanford will continue that voice of "no" in a do-nothing Congress.  He neither cares whether you are long-term unemployed, or unable to afford college, or without health care.  He will vote "no" to any program that would bring us out of the downward spiral we have been in for far too long.  And he has said that proudly, as part of his campaign promise to you.

Elizabeth Colbert Busch will fight to make our Congress work.  She will work to bring not just business, but forward moving businesses, to the Lowcountry.  She will work to bring new technology and jobs that will move us into the 21st century.  And she will work with any member of Congress that has the goal of breaking the negative spiral and moving our country forward.

We have not seen this kind of energy, or integrity, here in a very long time.

So do not miss the opportunity to vote for Elizabeth on Tuesday, May 7.

You may not be sure if you are in District 1, after some creative district lines were drawn a couple of years ago.  If you're not sure, go to SC Votes to find out.

If you don't know where your polling place is, SC Votes will have that information for you as well.

Time to stop letting politicians like Mark Sanford use and abuse the privilege.

Time to say yes to a candidate that will be a true leader in Congress, that we can all be proud of.

Elizabeth Colbert Busch
US House of Representatives
Tuesday, May 7

Friday, May 3, 2013

When School Resource Officers Are Idle

A 16-year-old girl was expelled and charged with possession and discharge of a weapon for bringing the kind of science project in to school that used to be done routinely.  This happened in Florida, where you may be able to shoot to kill anyone on the street you find suspicious, but a water bottle experiment that shows expansion to bursting is considered enough of a deadly weapon that this young woman's life may be in tatters.

A good student, a good kid, never been in trouble -- that's what teachers, principal and parents say about her.  But it appears that in schools in Florida, it is the resource officer that decides the fate of a student who's gotten into trouble.

When we caved to wacko Wayne LaPierre's pressured sales pitch on having an officer in every school, there are some aspects of the situation in the real world that our lawmakers just didn't think through.

What, exactly, are the duties of this armed officer going to be?  Given that there are not problems with weapons in most of the schools in the country, we are appointing a full-time police officer to patrol a small unusually well protected area full-time.  Have I mentioned that they would be armed?  In middle and high schools, the potential for abuse of that power is extraordinary.  Kids acting suspicious?  Walk through a middle school and see how many kids look suspicious to you.  Especially if it's your job to route out suspicious looking kids.

And what about the wise guys?  Tell me you don't believe that kids will make cracks about guns and weapons, maybe just to see what will happen, maybe even for the purpose of getting suspended for a few days.

Then there are the kids that are fearful to begin with.  This is not like having an officer on the street, which I think can be imposing enough depending on the locale.  A cop patrolling the hall in a usually chaotic environment is not going to lend to a feeling of security.

If I were a good cop given this job, I might feel frustrated or guilty that, for the most part, I am wasting my time.  I might start to look a little more closely at the behavior of those who are louder, or travel in larger groups, or perhaps just seem to be hiding something.  I'll search some of those kids, and maybe even find drugs at some point.  Or maybe not.  I'll be keeping my eyes open for kids that are "breaking the rules," whether that means running through the corridor, being late to class, or letting loose with an obscenity.

And maybe, if a science project goes awry, I will assume it must be a terrorist attack, because it is my job to protect this school from an attack.  And seen in that light, that is what it will become.

By putting police officers in schools, we have taken the control out of the hands of those whose life work has been educating, and guiding, our children, and put that control into the hands of law enforcement, whose job it is to enforce laws.

Isn't it odd that those same legislators who are most paranoid about the government taking away our freedom are so willing to take it away from our children?

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Back to a Dark Future

Yesterday the South Carolina Senate overwhelmingly passed bill S 618, which prohibits employer contributions (i.e. your tax dollars) to contribute to abortion services for state employees enrolled in the State Health Insurance Plan.  Here in SC, this was considered a successful compromise because an employee can choose to place some of their own part of the contribution to the Plan into a special fund to be used only for abortion services.

Wait.  You're not done.  You may think this is immoral and humiliating enough but our wise legislators have added two more critical caveats:

This "special fund" can only be used for abortions in the case of rape, incest or the endangered health of the 'mother'," by which I'm assuming these creeps mean the pregnant woman.

And finally, during annual enrollment, the employee may check the box that reads:
 'By checking the box, I am declaring that I do not want any portion of my premium to be used to reimburse the expenses of an abortion, including ancillary services, performed in cases of rape, incest, or where the mother's medical condition is one which, in the opinion of her physician within a reasonable degree of medical certainty, so complicates the pregnancy as to necessitate an immediate abortion to avert the risk of her death.'
The  big coup I suppose for the pro-choice among us is that women who do want to contribute to that fund do not have to indicate by checking a box.  As far as I know.

So, let's suppose I am younger than I am, and I am sitting in the HR office contemplating my health care options.  I have learned that this employee portion of the fund is only to be used for abortions.  Does that mean that I will be cut off from some other future health care needs?  Well, I certainly am not planning on needing an abortion, am I?  So I opt out.  And then I get pregnant.

Not to worry, they won't cover you even if you are contributing to the special fund unless you are raped or in danger of losing your life.  In which case in order to be covered you have to prove rape or that your life is in danger. Which apparently has only happened six times since 2006.

And the best part of this bill is that all but two members of the Senate (who both had excused absences, really) voted in favor.  And now, I suppose on to the House.

Meanwhile, in another part of the country, a man named Kermit Gosnell, an abortion doctor, is being tried for murder. The testimony leaves the most gruesome images of live births and lives taken.  Within the run down building, the clinic offices were dirty.  We don't know if Gosnell was once a good man who did his job out of compassion, but that is surely not the case now.

If our legislators have their way, there will be more of these "clinics," albeit more well hidden.  We have bills pending that will make abortion illegal after six weeks, and if that one doesn't make it, twelve weeks.  We have bills that place birth at the moment of conception.  We have bills that prohibit good qualified doctors from crossing state lines to perform abortion services in South Carolina.

These men who obsessively work to limit and eventually ban abortion are not smart men, they are not scientists, and they erroneously call themselves "Christian."  What they are is narcissistic and prideful.  And despise those who are in need.  They will force a pregnant woman to carry to term and then withdraw any help for that infant once it's born.  They do not ever flood the dockets with bills aiming to provide nutrition or pre-natal care.  They are the punishers of the twenty-first century, whose goal is to bring suffering to women who have had sex resulting in an unplanned and unwanted pregnancy.  They would ban contraception if they could, but that is for another term.

If they were as clever as they think they are, they would know that history proves that abortions will not be banned.  They will continue.  Men like Lee Bright can take a victory lap whenever he is able to chip away at a woman's right to reproductive freedom, but what he is celebrating is the return of the back alley, and more "clinics" like that of Dr. Gosnell.

When abortions are banned, it will be in clinics like that of Dr. Gosnell that abortions are performed.