Chapter III – Take Two Aspirin Between The Legs & Call Me When It’s Baseball Season

by The Liars' Den

It is better to keep your mouth shut and appear stupid than to open it and remove all doubt. 

– Mark Twain

Happy Day After Presidents Day! Despite the extra day, this past weekend was somewhat slow in the news department, which may or may not be typical of a three day weekend. Friday ended with a bang though, as a foiled suicide bombing at the US Capital made me much appreciative of the work that those in the LE community do to keep us safe. Living in DC, the thought of a terrorist attack is something that you learn to keep in the back of your mind. Although I personally feel it’s a matter of when, and not if, you make sure to not let it affect your daily life.

Touching on what turned out to be a touchy subject last week – the HHS mandate that contraceptives be covered by health insurance plans, including those by certain religious institutions – there was quite a bit of frothing at the mouth from both sides that seems to have settled down as of today. I was involved in somewhat of a debate over whether what was happening was – as some called it, including myself – a “war on women’s rights” or was in fact an “attack on religious freedom by the Obama administration.” I did eventually concede though that the correct wording may not be “war on women’s rights.” Whatever you want to call it, I do feel there is something wrong with what is taking place, and the wrong doing is not being done by the Obama administration.

In the case that you are unfamiliar with every little happening here in DC, the House (of Representatives Republicans) Committee on Oversight & Government Reform held a hearing last Thursday to discuss what many Republicans – and some religious leaders – consider a infringement on religious liberty by the White House. Depending on who you talked to, or what “news” you caught it on, the hearing either had nothing to do with the contraceptive issue but instead was focused only on religious freedom, or had no women testifying on the issue of contraceptive. The actual title of the actual hearing was “Lines Crossed: Separation of Church & State. Has the Obama Admin. Trampled On Freedom Of Religion.” Now, should you wish to state that the purpose of the hearing was to discuss “religious freedom,” then your conclusion based on the title of the hearing could be made – and you are (only slightly) correct. However, if you were to say that the hearing had nothing to do with contraceptives and that the contraceptive issue is “liberal media spin,” then I would say you are sadly mistaken (and an idiot).

Secondly, if you were to believe some of the other worthless commentary on the “news” that “no women even testified at the hearing” (the hearing that wasn’t on contraceptives but religious freedoms being trampled on), then you too were sadly mistaken. [Mid-Blog-Post-Note: There was a whole huff puff about some girl from Georgetown University being the only woman invited to speak, then being ignored, but the facts paint a different picture, so I won’t mention that any further.]

So, what really happened at the hearing not on contraceptives but religious freedom in which no women were allowed to testify about contraceptives?”

  • Of the 11 individuals invited to testify, 10 were directly affiliated with religious institutions, with 8 of those being educational institutions (colleges) that would not be included in the exemption offered as a compromise by the HHS mandate. The exclusion of these institutions has nothing to do with them “not being religious enough” but rather has to do with the fact that they serve/employ people of various faiths. The eleventh witness invited was apparently a no-show, but given that he was from the organization Americans United for Separation of Church and State, perhaps he was busy handing out pamphlets at religious colleges?
  • In every single testimony given by an invited witness, the mandate on the requirement of providing contraceptives was discussed at length pretty much the entire time, except for the one guy who tried to make his point by telling a story about serving pork at a kosher restraunt.
  • 7 of the 10 witnesses invited to give testimony incorrectly identify the HHS mandate as including both contraceptives AND abortifacient drugs – otherwise known as “abortion causing drugs” or the “abortion pill.” This is false. The mandate specifically identifies only FDA approved contraceptives and specifically states it does not include any type of abortifacient drugs.
  • Laura Champion, M.D. Medical Director Calvin College Health Services states in her testimony that Calvin College – a Christian liberal arts college in Grand Rapids, MI [holla at all my Michigan peeps!!] – provides, and thus has no issue – providing contraceptives. The issue her particular institution has is in providing abortifacient drugs.
  • In a majority of the testimony provided, the emergency contraceptive drugs Plan B and Plan B One Step are identified as or identified as being in the category of abortifacient drugs. From a scientific and thus medical standpoint, this is blatantly false. The active ingredient in Plan B – levonorgestrel – is the same active ingredient (hormone) found in combined oral contraceptive pills (“The Pill“), with Plan B containing a higher dose. Additionally, the drug Ella is also mentioned on numerous occasions as being an abortifacient drug. This again is misleading on so many levels it irritates the shit out of me. While the active ingredient in Ellaulipristal acetate – is “technically” similar to a known “abortion causing drug” – mifepristone – it is important to note the substantial difference in the dose that Ella is given – as a emergency contraceptive – compared to mifepristone – which is a abortifacient, but is not covered in the HHS mandate or the FDA’s list of approved contraceptives: Dose of Ella for emergency contraceptive use: 30mg. Dose of mifepristone for abortion purposes: 600mg; in combination with another drug 2 days later. While I am no scientist, did not attend FAMU for pharmacology, and didn’t even register for a single pre-med class during my undergrad days, I can say with confidence that a large dose of any number of different drugs – Tylenol, Advil, Dayquil, Sudafed, Benadryl, children’s aspirin, Buffer, Excedrin, and possibly even Tums – is probably going to have a negative effect – including but not limited to DEATH – on any number of human subjects or organisms – thus “technically” placing them in the category of “killer drugs.” Therefore, in using the same logic, religious institutions should be allowed to deny the individuals they serve – regardless of religious affiliation – access to these drugs in the name of religious freedom and the prevention of death.

– In one final note on this subject, since no FDA approved contraceptive “terminates” an embryo, but rather “prevents fertilization or prevents the fertilized egg from implanting in the woman’s uterus (her womb) and starting to grow”, it is my belief that the whole discussion is not whether the mandate to provide contraceptives violates – and thus tramples on – religious freedom, but instead reignites the argument between science and religion of when life actually begins. Since it has been determined medically/scientifically impossible to state definitively when “life begins,” it appears as though the fight between science and religion will continue to wage on for the foreseeable future – albeit wrongly disguised as something else.

In other news:

  • In case you were wondering about the title of this chapter, this guy helped provide me with it. (USA Today)
  • It couldn’t possibly be the fact that your kid is 13 years old and drinking alcohol, it is clearly because the alcohol your 13 year old kid was drinking had caffeine in it. (WTOP)
  • I read two daily “papers” each day, one being what I would consider as leaning a bit far towards the direction of crazy. One thing I can always count on with this rag is them not having any shortage of old crotchety looking white guys, dressed in their best Sunday comb-over writing about the black folk and trying to some how identify with them on a LL Cool J or Ice-T type of level. I’m not sure why they do it, but it seems to occur at least once a week. It makes me laugh for two reasons. First, imagine a headline reading “Why African-Americans Really Hate Obama,” then below the article sits a nice picture of this guy.  [Note: Having Issues uploading the picture – will try again later so that it provides the full effect] (Examiner)
  • The second reason this provides me with a sense of amusement: Because they are serious. Not 98% percent serious, 2% joking, but 100% serious. And they expect you to somehow consider their writing as worth the 5 minutes it takes to read, then re-read just to make sure you read it right. Today’s article by crotchety, comb-over, “best serious face” guy was this: “Black (liberal) History Month.” If you wish to prove to yourself that it is possible to waste five minutes of your life that you will never be able to get back, then please, read this article. Otherwise I sum it up here: “Why oh why are the majority of African Americans Democrats? Handouts. Don’t they know democrats founded the KKK? Slavery. Republicans have always been pro-black. Welfare state. Bush began the voucher program for schools that Obama is now taking away from the black children. Racism. Republicans love the blacks. Liberal political skew. Liberals want to destroy you and the country. Modern form of slavery.”  Really? The whole “liberal vs. conservative,” “republican vs. democrat,” “us vs. them” mentality is one of the main reasons I started writing this blog. I’ll write about this later as it is a subject I am passionate about and will prove to be quite lengthy, but for now I will just point to Exhibit A mentioned above. The crazies on the right are not in any way the only ones guilty of this, so don’t for a second think I am simply targeting “conservatives” by highlighting this article today. I promise you, I am all about equal opportunity when discussing stupidity.
  • Baseball season begins soon and my first way too early prediction is: Boston will suck again this year. It may prove impossible to repeat the amazingness they pulled off last season, but regardless, they will provide nothing to Red Sox fans everywhere except heartbreak and a whole lot of suck.
  • Facts to validate my facts can be found here
  • Here 
  • Here
  • and here

Happy Fat Tuesday Mofo’s!