Archive for October, 2012


Ricky Gervais On Religion and Atheism

 


Mitt Romney continues to interfere with Hurricane Sandy response in an effort to use Sandy as an “opportunity” to bolster his presidential bona fides.
 Romney further impedes hurricane response, calls GOP hurricane governors
 by John Aravosis

Czar Romney coordinating Hurricane Response (for GOP states only)

We had reported earlier that Mitt Romney, in an attempt to use Hurricane Sandy for his own political benefit, was “impeding” hurricane relief efforts.

It seems, sadly, that Romney didn’t learn his lesson.

He’s now in a full-blown Hurricane Sandy recovery mode, coordinating relief efforts with GOP governors, even though it’s not entirely clear what Romney knows about disaster relief, or how a presidential candidate who’s not in office can even offer any assistant at all, other than some of millions as a donation to the Red Cross. Romney has found that disaster “opportunity” he was looking for throughout the entire campaign.

Mitt Romney continues to interfere with Hurricane Sandy response in an effort to use Sandy as an “opportunity” to bolster his presidential bona fides.

.@andreamsaul: Gov. Romney has also been in touch with [VA] Governors Bob McDonnell and Chris Christie about storm preparation

Democratic Hurricane Victims Needs Not Apply

Interesting that Mitt Romney appears to only be calling Republican governors.  Oh that’s right, Mitt Romney doesn’t think of the 47% who live in the other half of the country.  But in all seriousness, if this weren’t a political stunt meant to make an “opportunity” out of national disaster, Mitt Romney wouldn’t be calling states based on the political affiliation of the governor – he’d be calling the worst hit states.

Though, it’s not entirely clear what candidate Romney knows about storm preparation, and how exactly candidate Romney can help those states.  In fact, Romney’s calls are taking up the time of governors who should be focusing on saving lives. Romney knows that.  So why is he calling them?  What did they discuss?  Did the campaign come up?

Romney Says Feds Shouldn’t Coordinate Disaster Relief. But Fed Candidates? Okay!

Not to mention, it’s interesting that Mitt Romney wants to close down FEMA, because he doesn’t think the federal government does a good job at disaster relief – it’s “immoral” to spend money on disaster relief when we’re running a deficit, Romney said – yet he thinks that he, as a federal candidate, can be quite helpful at disaster relief.

So, the federal government doesn’t matter for disaster relief, but federal candidates do.

How long until we see Romney in a FEMA jacket offering to help?  Can a Paul Ryan visit to another closed soup kitchen be far off?  (Followed by the inevitable attempt by Romney voters to destroy the hurricane relief center that Romney and Ryan visit.)

Here’s the latest shot of Hurricane Sandy from moments ago:

hurricane-sandy-latest-image

Hurricane Sandy latest image, from NOAA.

Related articles


Ayn Rand and Ayn Randists: Psychopaths and Sociopaths Incarnate

Posted by  jimcraven10

Mark Ames: Paul Ryan’s Guru Ayn Rand Worshipped a Serial Killer Who Kidnapped and Dismembered Little Girls

Yves here. There is one way that Mark Ames’ underlying post needs a smidge of updating. Sadly, the technocratic elites in Europe are now firmly trying to inflict bone-crushing austerity on ordinary workers, despite visible evidence of its failure (debt to GDP ratios keep rising as the economies contract) and widespread public opposition. There the rationale is a bizarre combination of “punish the borrowers” when countries like Ireland and Spain were held up as poster children of economic success until the bust, and a need to hide the fact that what looks like rescues of the PIIGS is in fact bailouts of French and German banks.

By Mark Ames, the author of Going Postal: Rage, Murder and Rebellion from Reagan’s Workplaces to Clinton’s Columbine. Cross posted from The eXiled

To celebrate today’s announcement that Ayn Rand fanboy Paul Ryan will in a few months’ time be a heartbeat from the presidency—and to honor this special moment, marking the final syphilitic pus-spasms of America’s decline and fall–we are reposting for your edification Mark Ames’ 2010 article about the man behind the Rand: Ayn Rand’s unrequited adoration of a notorious serial killer, William Edward Hickman. Yes, Vice President-to-be Paul Ryan owes his entire “moral” worldview to a lowly groupie of serial killers, a 1920′s prototype of today’s “Joker” wannabees. Yes folks, in a few months’ time Americans will finally be able to stand up and declare: “We are all serial-killer groupies now.”

There’s something deeply unsettling about living in a country where millions of people go frothing batshit angry at the suggestion that maybe health care coverage should be extended to the tens of millions of Americans who don’t have it; or when they froth at the mouth in ecstasy at the thought of privatizing and slashing bedrock social programs like Social Security or Medicare. It might not be as hard to stomach if other Western countries also had a large, vocal chunk of their population who thought like this, but the US is seemingly the only place where right-wing elites can openly share their distaste for the working poor. Where do they find their philosophical justification for this kind of attitude?

It turns out, you can trace much of this thinking back to Ayn Rand, a popular cult-philosopher who plays Charlie to the American right-wing’s Manson Family. Read on and you’ll see why.

One reason why most countries don’t find the time to embrace her thinking is that Ayn Rand is a textbook sociopath. Literally a sociopath: Ayn Rand, in her notebooks, worshiped a notorious serial murderer-dismemberer, and used this killer as an early model for the type of “ideal man” that Rand promoted in her more famous books — ideas which were later picked up on and put into play by major right-wing figures of the past half decade, including the key architects of America’s most recent economic catastrophe — former Fed Chair Alan Greenspan and SEC Commissioner Chris Cox — along with other notable right-wing Republicans such as Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, Rush Limbaugh, Rep. Paul Ryan, and South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford.

The loudest of all the Republicans, right-wing attack-dog pundits and the Teabagger mobs fighting to kill health care reform and eviscerate “entitlement programs” increasingly hold up Ayn Rand as their guru. Sales of her books have soared in the past couple of years; one poll ranked “Atlas Shrugged” as the second most influential book of the 20th century, after The Bible.

His time has finally come

So what, and who, was Ayn Rand for and against? The best way to get to the bottom of it is to take a look at how she developed the superhero of her novel, Atlas Shrugged, John Galt. Back in the late 1920s, as Ayn Rand was working out her philosophy, she became enthralled by a real-life American serial killer, William Edward Hickman, whose gruesome, sadistic dismemberment of 12-year-old girl named Marion Parker in 1927 shocked the nation. Rand filled her early notebooks with worshipful praise of Hickman. According to biographer Jennifer Burns, author of Goddess of the Market, Rand was so smitten by Hickman that she modeled her first literary creation — Danny Renahan, the protagonist of her unfinished first novel, The Little Street — on him.

What did Rand admire so much about Hickman? His sociopathic qualities: “Other people do not exist for him, and he does not see why they should,” she wrote, gushing that Hickman had “no regard whatsoever for all that society holds sacred, and with a consciousness all his own. He has the true, innate psychology of a Superman. He can never realize and feel ‘other people.’”

This echoes almost word for word Rand’s later description of her character Howard Roark, the hero of her novel The Fountainhead: “He was born without the ability to consider others.”

(The Fountainhead is Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas’s favorite book — he even makes his clerks learn it, much as Vice President-to-be Paul Ryan tried making his interns read Rand.)

I’ll get to where Rand picked up her silly Superman blather from later — but first, let’s meet William Edward Hickman, the “genuinely beautiful soul” and inspiration to Ayn Rand. What you will read below — the real story, details included, of what made Hickman a “Superman” in Ayn Rand’s eyes — is rather gory reading, even if you’re a longtime fan of true crime “Death Porn” — so prepare yourself. Because you should read this to give Rand’s ideas their proper context, and to repeat this over and over until all of America understands what made this fucked-up Russian nerd’s mind tick, because Rand’s influence over the very people leading the fight to kill social programs, and her ideological influence on so many powerful bankers, regulators and businessmen who brought the financial markets crashing down, means that it’s suicide to ignore her, no matter how dumb, silly or beneath you her books and ideas are.

Rand fell for William Edward Hickman in the late 1920s, as the shocking story of Hickman’s crime started to grip the nation. His crime, trial and case was a non-stop headline grabber for months; the OJ Simpson of his day. Ayn Rand joined the herd of Hickman groupies, and there were lots of them at the time—much like metalhead serial killer groupies today, the types who write letters to imprisoned serial killers. That’s Ayn Rand. Here, for example, is an old newspaper clipping showing how common it was for the growing legions of reactionary waffendweebs of the late 1920′s to sign up for the William Edward Hickman Fan Club:

Is serial killer William Edward Hickman (left) opening one of Ayn Rand’s fangirl letters?

Hickman, who was only 19 when he was arrested for murder, was the son of a paranoid-schizophrenic mother and grandmother. His schoolmates said that as a kid Hickman liked to strangle cats and snap the necks of chickens for fun — most of the kids thought he was a budding maniac, though the adults gave him good marks for behavior, a typical sign of sociopathic cunning. He enrolled in college but quickly dropped out, and quickly turned to violent crime largely driven by the thrill and arrogance typical of sociopaths: in a brief and wild crime spree that grew increasingly violent, Hickman knocked over dozens of gas stations and drug stores across the Midwest and west to California. Along the way it’s believed he strangled a girl in Milwaukee, and killed his crime partner’s grandfather in Pasadena, tossing his body over a bridge after taking his money. Hickman’s partner later told police that Hickman told him how much he’d like to kill and dismember a victim someday — and that day did come for Hickman.

One afternoon, Hickman drove up to Mount Vernon Junior High school in Los Angeles, and told administrators that he’d come to pick up “the Parker girl” — her father, Perry Parker, was a prominent banker. Hickman didn’t know the girl’s first name, so when he was asked which of the two Parker twins — Hickman answered, “the younger daughter.” And then he corrected himself: “The smaller one.” The school administrator fetched young Marion, and brought her out to Hickman. No one suspected his motive; Marion obediently followed Hickman to his car as she was told, where he promptly kidnapped her. He wrote a ransom note to Marion’s father, demanding $1,500 for her return, promising that the girl would be left unharmed. Marion was terrified into passivity — she even waited in the car for Hickman when he went to mail his letter to her father. Hickman’s extreme narcissism comes through in his ransom letters, as he refers to himself as a “master mind [sic]” and “not a common crook.” Hickman signed his letters “The Fox” because he admired his own cunning: “Fox is my name, very sly you know.” And then he threatened: “Get this straight. Your daughter’s life hangs by a thread.”

Photo of Marion (also spelled “Marian”) Parker

Hickman and the girl’s father exchanged letters over the next few days as they arranged the terms of the ransom, while Marion obediently followed her captor’s demands. She never tried to escape the hotel where he kept her; Hickman even took her to a movie, and she never screamed for help. She remained quiet and still as told when Hickman tied her to the chair — he didn’t even bother gagging her because there was no need to, right up to the gruesome end.

Suitcase containing some of Marion Parker’s remains and blood-soaked towels

Hickman’s last ransom note to Marion’s father is where this story reaches its disturbing apex: Hickman fills the letter with hurt anger over her father’s suggestion that Hickman might deceive him, and “ask you for your $1500 for a lifeless mass of flesh I am base and low but won’t stoop to that depth.” What Hickman didn’t say was that as he wrote the letter, Marion was already several chopped-up lifeless masses of flesh. Why taunt the father? Why feign outrage? This sort of bizarre taunting was all part of the serial killer’s thrill, maximizing the sadistic pleasure he got from knowing that he was deceiving the father before the father even knew what happened to his daughter. But this was nothing compared to the thrill Hickman got from murdering the helpless 12-year-old Marion Parker. Here is an old newspaper description of the murder, taken from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on December 27, 1927:

“It was while I was fixing the blindfold that the urge to murder came upon me,” he continued, “and I just couldn’t help myself. I got a towel and stepped up behind Marian. Then before she could move, I put it around her neck and twisted it tightly. I held on and she made no outcry except to gurgle. I held on for about two minutes, I guess, and then I let go. When I cut loose the fastenings, she fell to the floor. I knew she was dead. Well, after she was dead I carried her body into the bathroom and undressed her, all but the underwear, and cut a hole in her throat with a pocket knife to let the blood out.”

Another newspaper account dryly explained what Hickman did next:

Then he took a pocket knife and cut a hole in her throat. Then he cut off each arm to the elbow. Then he cut her legs off at the knees. He put the limbs in a cabinet. He cut up the body in his room at the Bellevue Arms Apartments. Then he removed the clothing and cut the body through at the waist. He put it on a shelf in the dressing room. He placed a towel in the body to drain the blood. He wrapped up the exposed ends of the arms and waist with paper. He combed back her hair, powdered her face and then with a needle fixed her eyelids. He did this because he realized that he would lose the reward if he did not have the body to produce to her father.

Hickman packed her body, limbs and entrails into a car, and drove to the drop-off point to pick up his ransom; along his way he tossed out wrapped-up limbs and innards scattering them around Los Angeles. When he arrived at the meeting point, Hickman pulled Marion’s head and torso out of a suitcase and propped her up, her torso wrapped tightly, to look like she was alive–he sewed wires into her eyelids to keep them open, so that she’d appear to be awake and alive. When Marion’s father arrived, Hickman pointed a sawed-off shotgun at him, showed Marion’s head with the eyes sewn open (it would have been hard to see for certain that she was dead), and then took the ransom money and sped away. As he sped away, he threw Marion’s head and torso out of the car, and that’s when the father ran up and saw his daughter–and screamed.

Marion Parker’s discarded limbs

This is the “amazing picture” Ayn Rand — guru to the Republican/Tea Party right-wing — admired when she wrote in her notebook that Hickman represented “the amazing picture of a man with no regard whatsoever for all that a society holds sacred, and with a consciousness all his own. A man who really stands alone, in action and in soul. Other people do not exist for him, and he does not see why they should.”

Other people don’t exist for Ayn, either. Part of her ideas are nothing more than a ditzy dilettante’s bastardized Nietzsche — but even this was plagiarized from the same pulp newspaper accounts of the time. According to an LA Times article in late December 1927, headlined “Behavioralism Gets The Blame,” a pastor and others close to the Hickman case denounce the cheap trendy Nietzschean ideas that Hickman and others latch onto as a defense:

“Behavioristic philosophic teachings of eminent philosophers such as Nietzsche and Schopenhauer have built the foundation for William Edward Hickman’s original rebellion against society…” the article begins.

Rand denounced the hanging as, “The mob’s murderous desire to revenge its hurt vanity against the man who dared to be alone.”

The fear that some felt at the time was that these philosophers’ dangerous, yet nuanced ideas would fall into the hands of lesser minds, who would bastardize Nietzsche and Schopenhauer and poison the rest of us. Which aptly fits the description of Ayn Rand, whose philosophy developed out of her admiration for “Supermen” like Hickman. Rand’s philosophy can be summed up by the title of one of her best-known books:The Virtue of Selfishness. She argues that all selfishness is a moral good, and all altruism is a moral evil, even “moral cannibalism” to use her words. To her, those who aren’t like-minded sociopaths are “parasites” and “lice” and “looters.”

But with Rand, there’s something more pathological at work. She’s out to make the world more sociopath-friendly so that people like Ayn and her hero William Hickman can reach their full potential, not held back by the morality of the “weak,” whom Rand despised.

Atlas Shrugging: Paul Ryan’s guru never forgave “the parasites” for hanging her first John Galt hero

That’s what makes it so creepy how Rand and her followers clearly get off on hating and bashing those they perceived as weak–Rand and her followers have a kind of fetish for classifying weaker, poorer people as “parasites” and “lice” who need to swept away. This is exactly the sort of sadism, bashing the helpless for kicks, that Rand’s hero Hickman would have appreciated. What’s really unsettling is that even former Central Bank chief Alan Greenspan, whose relationship with Rand dated back to the 1950s, did some parasite-bashing of his own. In response to a 1957New York Times book review slamming Atlas Shrugged, Greenspan, defending his mentor, published a letter to the editor that ends:

Parasites who persistently avoid either purpose or reason perish as they should.

Alan Greenspan

As much as Ayn Rand detested human “parasites,” there is one thing she strongly believed in: creating conditions that increase the productivity of her Supermen – the William Hickmans who rule her idealized America: “If [people] place such things as friendship and family ties above their own productive work, yes, then they are immoral. Friendship, family life and human relationships are not primary in a man’s life. A man who places others first, above his own creative work, is an emotional parasite.”

The Russian Bag Lady Who Blew Paul Ryan’s Mind

And yet Republican faithful like GOP Congressman Paul Ryan read Ayn Rand and declare, with pride, “Rand makes the best case for the morality of democratic capitalism.” Indeed. Except that Ayn Rand also despised democracy, as she declared: “Democracy, in short, is a form of collectivism, which denies individual rights: the majority can do whatever it wants with no restrictions. In principle, the democratic government is all-powerful. Democracy is a totalitarian manifestation; it is not a form of freedom.”

“Collectivism” is another one of those Randian epithets popular among her followers. Here for example is another Republican member of Congress, the one with the freaky thousand-yard-stare, Michelle Bachman, parroting the Ayn Rand ideological line, to explain her reasoning for wanting to kill social programs:

“As much as the collectivist says to each according to his ability to each according to his need, that’s not how mankind is wired. They want to make the best possible deal for themselves.”

Whenever you hear politicians or Tea Baggers dividing up the world between “producers” and “collectivism,” just know that those ideas and words more likely than not are derived from the deranged mind of a serial-killer groupie. When you hear them threaten to “Go John Galt,” hide your daughters and tell them not to talk to any strangers — or Tea Party Republicans. And when you see them taking their razor blades to the last remaining programs protecting the middle class from total abject destitution — Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid — and brag about their plans to slash them for “moral” reasons, just remember Ayn’s morality and who inspired her.

William Edward Hickman’s wet dream come true

Too many critics of Ayn Rand would rather dismiss her books and ideas as laughable, childish, hackneyed, lame, embarrassing–”Nietzsche for sorority girls” was how I used to dismiss her. I did that with the Christian Right, like a lot of people who didn’t want to take on something as big, bland and impervious as them. Too many of us focused elsewhere–until it was too late and the Christian fundamentalist crazies took over America. So this time I’m paying more attention–late as usual, but maybe there’s still time to head off the worst that’s yet to come–because Rand’s name keeps foaming out of the mouths of the Teabagger crowd and the elite conservative circuit in Washington. Ayn Rand is the guru, and they are the “Rand Family” followers carrying out her vision. The only way to protect ourselves from this thinking is the way you protect yourself from serial killers: smoke the Rand followers out, make them answer for following the crazed ideology of a serial-killer-groupie, and run them the hell out of town and out of our hemisphere.

This article first appeared in Alternet.

Read more at http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2012/08/mark-ames-paul-ryans-guru-ayn-rand-worshipped-a-serial-killer-who-kidnapped-and-dismembered-little-girls.html#mMdRrpXkWXpSzbeU.99


The Libertarian Case for Barack Obama

Mike Godwin |

Some snippets:-

Regardless of your preferences, you’re going to be looking at the inauguration of Mitt Romney or Barack Obama come January, so if you’re a voter in swing state, you should give some thought to voting for Obama as the lesser of the two big-government, Harvard-educated evils.

On some issues of course, like foreign policy, it’s hard to find daylight between Obama and Romney, although Obama clearly has more mastery of the details of being a head of state. Both guys are willing to deploy American military forces abroad even when there is little compelling reason to intervene. And Romney seems perfectly capable of adopting a liberal government program when it suits him. While Romney officially opposes Obamacare, it’s scarcely different from the health-care reform Romney presided over in Massachusetts. And Romney’s proposed changes to the Affordable Care Act seem designed to capture the inefficiencies of such a system while dispensing with the efficiencies (he would limit the risk pool, which will push individual premiums higher).

That’s the libertarian argument against Romney’s proposed revision of Obamacare, but there actually is a libertarian argument for Obamacare. (Bear with me!) Yes, a truly libertarian system would allow everyone to opt out, including emergency rooms that could opt out of caring for an insurance-free deadbeat who crawls in after a car crash. Given that health care in the U.S. doesn’t work that way – we require virtually all American emergency rooms to provide care regardless of ability to pay – a truly universal system is the best option for maximizing health-care efficiencies. And if we can preserve some aspects of competition among insurers (which Obamacare, mimicking the health-care plan proposed by the GOP to counter Bill Clinton’s efforts at health-care reform, attempts to do), that’s all to the good.

But there’s an even stronger libertarian argument for Obamacare. Namely, it frees more Americans to take better jobs without worrying about losing the health care plan they had in their old jobs. Worker mobility is one of the things that reliably fuels free enterprise, and workers will be more mobile under Obamacare than they would be under Romney’s semi-dismantled version of it.

Defending the Affordable Care Act to Reason.com readers is tough, of course. I doubt I’ve convinced many readers here. But let me underscore three points where Obama is surely closer to libertarians than Romney is. One of these is abortion rights, self-evidently. (If you don’t know about Romney’s current opposition to abortion rights, you shouldn’t be voting.) Another is immigration. Despite his horrible record so far in office, Obama wants to sign the DREAM Act, which needs to get past a GOP filibuster. Obama believes the American economy benefits when immigrants work here, create jobs here, and pay their taxes. Romney is all for cherrypicking educated foreign workers, and hooray for that, but he now heads a GOP that is much more focused on policing the borders than rolling out any sort of Welcome mat.

A third quasi-libertarian position is Obama’s late-arriving but still-welcome stance on gay marriage. Yes, of course, a truly libertarian system would take no position on marriage of any variety – to get there, though, we’d have to undo centuries of American law favoring traditional marriages, which is an interesting project, all right, but not one likely to be tackled anytime soon. Obama’s position – in essence, to end legal discrimination that favors heterosexual relationships over homosexual ones – is the position most in line with liberty interests.


Obama trumps Romney under superstorm Sandy spotlight
  • by: Catherine Philp
  • From: The Times
Obama in disaster centre

President Barack Obama visits the Disaster Operation Centre of the Red Cross National Headquarter to discuss superstorm Sandy. Source: AP

President Obama has suspended a third day of campaigning to focus on the federal response to Superstorm Sandy, leaving his Republican rival, Mitt Romney, struggling for visibility before the election next week.

Mr Romney, who cancelled some campaign events on Monday “out of respect” for the storm’s victims, drew widespread criticism for turning a planned rally in Ohio yesterday into a storm relief event – complete with campaign videos and celebrity guests.

Supporters brought canned goods to the rally in Dayton to be be packed up and sent to storm survivors in New Jersey. “We won’t be able to solve all the problems,” Mr Romney said, “but you make the difference you can.”

The event underlined the problems that Mr Romney faces in the wake of a natural disaster that has put Mr Obama front and centre as the nation’s Commander-in-Chief. Mr Romney’s campaign announced that he would return to the stump in Florida today, with rallies in Tampa and Miami.

Mr Obama faces different uncertainties, including the possibility of a botched federal response for which he would be blamed. However, his actions have received lavish praise from one of Mr Romney’s staunchest backers.

Chris Christie, the Republican Governor of New Jersey widely tipped as a potential presidential candidate in 2016, said: “The President has been all over this. He deserves great credit. He gave me his number at the White House, told me to call if I needed anything and he absolutely means it.” Earlier he tweeted that the President’s response had been “outstanding”.

“It’s been very good working with the President and his Administration has been co-ordinating with us great – it’s been wonderful,” Mr Christie enthused. Such praise will have come as an extra blow to the Romney campaign and represents the kind of positive publicity that the Obama campaign millions could never buy.

What Superstorm Sandy’s eventual impact on the election will be remains uncertain. Of the swing states, the worst affected was Virginia, where thousands remain without power, mostly in the more liberal north encompassing the suburbs of Washington DC, on which Mr Obama is relying to help him to win the state. So far, Ohio remains largely unaffected, as do New Hampshire and North Carolina, the only other swing states in Sandy’s path.

But the storm has refocused attention on the gulf between the two candidates’ takes on the role of government. The New York Times published an editorial yesterday reminding readers of Mr Romney’s desire to break up the federal agency responsible for disaster management and devolve its powers to states. Mr Romney’s home-town newspaper, The Boston Globe, drew attention to his decision to veto both federal and state funding for defences for a flood-prone town in Massachusetts while he was governor of that state.

Both candidates, however, were able to agree on their support of the American Red Cross’s efforts, with Mr Romney’s website directing donors to make contributions to its crisis fund, while the Obama campaign sent out e-mails to its donor list soliciting aid for the organisation.

The Times 


Raped by stepfather at 13, Forced to illegal abortion Mexico

Raped By Stepfather at 13 | Forced to Illegal Abortion in Mexico

By Dawn Hill

I Was Raped By My Stepfather at 13 and Forced to Get an Illegal Abortion in Mexico

I became pregnant, contrary to the “scientific theories” of many modern Republicans. Not only was the experience loathsome and painful, it was also impossible for me to deal with or talk about because abortion was illegal in the 1950s.

This is one of a series of powerful stories from survivors of rape, you will find them all here .

Last week, Indiana GOP Senate candidate Richard Mourdock argued in a debate that women who have been raped should not have access to abortion services because their pregnancies are a “gift from god.” As a survivor of childhood sexual violence, I disagree with him completely.

My name is Dawn Hill. Though I am old now, there was a time when I was young and carefree as you perhaps are now or can remember being in your childhood. Childhood should be a happy and carefree time for all our children, but my mother found her new husband, my stepfather, much more important. He forever took the joy away from my life when I was just 11 years old: He began molesting me and continued until he began raping me when I was 13.

Mr. Mourdock last night said: “I came to realize life is that gift from God, even when life begins in that horrible situation of rape. It is something that God intended to happen.”

I became pregnant, contrary to the “scientific theories” of many modern Republicans. Not only was the experience loathsome and painful, it was also impossible for me to deal with or talk about because of the times: in the fifties, abortion was illegal. Illegal in the same way the Republican Party platform states it wants to make abortion now by constitutional amendment and just as Presidential candidate Mitt Romney has suggested casually he would “be delighted” to return to.

Please, take a moment to travel back to the fifties with me.

My mother took me to Mexico, where anyone could get an abortion for a price. I have blocked out many memories associated with this entire experience, but I remember the pain. Illegal abortions are not the simple safe vacuum procedure used today by legal abortion providers. Oh, no: They were a “dilatation and curettage.”

This means that my cervix was mechanically opened by insertion of larger and larger metal “dilators” until it was opened enough to get a sort of sharpened spoon inside my 13-year-old uterus, while strangers looked at my exposed parts that were theretofore called “private.”

It was cold and dirty in the room, and then the true torture started. They shoved this curette into me and scraped away the entire lining of my uterus with the sharp side. I screamed the entire time even though no one had seen so much as a tear out of me before this moment because I had developed a stony stoicism to protect my mind from the molestation.

This pain was, however, like nothing I’ve ever felt before or since. Can you imagine what happened to those women and girls who couldn’t even get this barbaric abortion? They stuck wire hangers into themselves and bled to death or suffered other horrible complications. Then, too, I also got a terrible infection from the filthy conditions.

I can tell you, though, that I would have gotten a hundred illegal abortions before carrying that monster’s offspring and going through labor, even to give the child away. That would have been the unkindest cut of all.

For women and girls, safe legal abortions are essential. While many will choose a different path than I with their pregnancies, having that choice is essential. Any encroachment on that right is an encroachment on the life, liberty, and safety of the women and girls of America.

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Mitt Romney Busted for Lying by Chrysler
Mitt’s mendacious fantasies
Via Charles Johnson

Mitt Romney’s lies have reached the point where his dishonesty is even being exposed by Chrysler, on their official blog: Jeep in China.

There are times when the reading of a newswire report generates storms originated by a biased or predisposed approach.

On Oct. 22, 2012, at 11:10 a.m. ET, the Bloomberg News report “Fiat Says Jeep® Output May Return to China as Demand Rises” stated “Chrysler currently builds all Jeep SUV models at plants in Michigan, Illinois and Ohio. Manley (President and CEO of the Jeep brand) referred to adding Jeep production sites rather than shifting output from North America to China.”

Despite clear and accurate reporting, the take has given birth to a number of stories making readers believe that Chrysler plans to shift all Jeep production to China from North America, and therefore idle assembly lines and U.S. workforce. It is a leap that would be difficult even for professional circus acrobats.

Let’s set the record straight: Jeep has no intention of shifting production of its Jeep models out of North America to China. It’s simply reviewing the opportunities to return Jeep output to China for the world’s largest auto market. U.S. Jeep assembly lines will continue to stay in operation. A careful and unbiased reading of the Bloomberg take would have saved unnecessary fantasies and extravagant comments.

This was posted a few days ago and they don’t mention Mitt Romney by name, but here’s Romney’s latest television advertisement, repeating the bogus right wing talking point that Chrysler dubbed an “extravagant fantasy:”

Also see:
On the Auto Rescue, Mitt Romney Has Run Out of Answers – the Plum Line
Mitt Romney Releases Auto Ad That Misleads on Facts