Digital Chum - Virtual fish guts and other nonsense


Flawless use of Willy Wonka footage

Jon Stewart, to the surprise of nobody, did a bit about the government shutdown issue, placing blame squarely where it’s deserved.

Making 100% valid points along the way (including a great capper at the end), Stewart shows a clip from the original Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory with a message to House Republicans from a small business owner.

The message is appropriate, but if you carry the reference too far, it would probably be better if the Republicans suffered the fate of Augustus Gloop, something that happened near the beginning of the chocolate factory tour, ensuring Augustus would not be causing trouble when matters of golden eggs and technology were in play.

Stewart backs it up with perfect driving and football analogies, though, so it’s all good.


The Tea Party wants more abortions

Planned Parenthood supportersThe Tea Party (and the Tea-Party’esque Republicans) seem to want more abortions… or at least they want to create more unintentional pregnancies, increasing the demand for abortion services.

This same group, however, wants to defund the programs (Planned Parenthood and Title X) that are best equipped to provide education, contraception, and reproductive health services for women who have the highest risk of unintentional pregnancies.

Well over 60% of abortions are performed on women under the age of 30. Roughly half are performed on women with an annual household income less than $30,000. Planned Parenthood and Title X are huge providers of reproductive health services for this demographic, including cancer screenings, pregnancy tests, STD treatments, menopause treatments, tubal ligations, and low-cost contraceptives.

The reason the Tea Party wants to defund these programs, presumably, is because these programs can potentially present information about (and, in the case of Planned Parenthood, perform) abortions. Title X cannot perform abortions or recommend abortions. Roughly 2% to 3% of Planned Parenthood visits involve abortions. That leaves a whopping 100% of Title X services and 97% of Planned Parenthood services dedicated to other reproductive health care services… services that have a direct impact on whether young, low-income women get unintentionally pregnant.

Even setting aside the incendiary issue of whether abortion is a medical procedure or an abomination, defunding Planned Parenthood and Title X is a completely absurd position to take for a group that, to its core, opposes the very existence of the abortion procedure.

The reason it’s absurd? Opposing the programs that provide low-cost contraceptives and sexual health services is effectively promoting increased unintentional pregnancies, thereby increasing the demand for abortion services.

The best way to lower the rate of abortions isn’t to outlaw abortions. That would just make them dangerous. The best way is to reduce the number of unintended pregnancies. That can be accomplished, in part, by providing affordable contraceptives and sexual health education to the women who have the highest risk… which is exactly what Planned Parenthood and Title X do. Defunding these programs is simply a big “thumbs up” for abortions and a big “thumbs down” for women’s health.

…and that would be an abomination.

First Ammendment Wins in DC Protest

From John Moltz comes a link to an interesting perspective of the recent Washington, DC “Tea Party” protest march. He links to Matthew Yglesias’s website with the following quote.

As was the case with the bulk of the protesters, there was very little sense that anyone had any actual specific complaint with Obama’s health care proposals. That one woman loves the confederacy. This guy thinks guns are great and diversity is stupid. Many protesters feel that abortion is murder and/or that Barack Obama is in league with terrorists. But nobody had a sign urging the president to adopt more stringent cost control measures, or slamming the concept of regulations to require insurers to cover people with pre-existing medical conditions.

I don’t know if that’s valid criticism or not since protests (on pretty much any issue by any group) generally tend to be more about displaying slogans than offering solutions.

Photo via ABC News The signs I’ve been seeing in the photos I’ve viewed seem to express opinions on a pretty wide array of issues… including taxes, the deficit, ACORN, lies, socialism, Hitler, health care, and God. Some signs seemed to be well thought out by intelligent people. Some signs were obviously not. Some were absurd.

Again, I think that’s probably the case with almost any protest. You’ll find signs by sincere, intelligent, knowledgeable people alongside signs by folks who have good intentions, but are just running on pure emotion and don’t really know too much about the issues… alongside signs by people who are certifiable whack jobs. The signs will run the gamut from concern to anger to disgust to outrage to blind hate.

Most of the reports I’ve read about the protest this past weekend are saying that the crowd was exceptionally well-behaved. I haven’t read anything about any “incidents” occurring that would mar the gathering. That (in my book anyway) is a real plus for this protest.

Whether I agree with some or all of the protestors is another issue altogether, but I’m glad I live in a society where this kind of gathering is allowed to happen. There are some things about this country I think are wonderful and some things I think are pretty messed up, but freedom of speech and freedom of assembly are two of the great things.

I’m sure President Obama would agree with me.

Jon Stewart on Healthcare… LOL!

Despite Jon Stewart’s The Daily Show on Comedy Central being an actual… well… comedy show, he tends to deliver more relevant and accurate commentary than many of the standard news analysts. He does it in the following clip about the healthcare town hall meetings and surrounding issues. I could comment more, but he pretty much covers it.

The Daily Show With Jon Stewart Mon – Thurs 11p / 10c
Healther Skelter
Daily Show
Full Episodes
Political Humor Healthcare Protests
(thanks to The Invisible Pink Unicorn for the link)