Monday, March 13, 2017

All together now: "Thank you Congressman Shimkus!!!"

     Apologize? Why would anybody want Rep. John Shimkus to apologize for scoffing, during last week's debate over the GOP gutting of the Affordable Care Act, at the idea that men should be required to pay for prenatal care? The issue is, he said the next day, "simple."
     He's right. It is simple. We should all thank him and I will, right now: Thank you Congressman Shimkus.
     Because in this swirling political era where the chaos at the top of government sends out echoes of confusion, where today's baseless charge or policy enormity can barely be grasped before it is replaced by tomorrow's, Shimkus' question provides a simple moment of clarity, a line you can be either on this side of or that.
     Why should a man be made to buy insurance that includes prenatal care when a man obviously cannot have children? Why is it his business?
     You can see the thinking behind the question. It shows through like a tadpole's guts. Are we not free people, each caring for his own private affairs? Isn't suggesting otherwise just squishy liberal it-takes-a-village-collectivism?
     It's a trick question, because it involves women, whose rights are so automatically trampled by society that we hardly notice. Bearing and raising children is women's work. Thank you Rep. Shimkus, Republican of Illinois. If we flipped that question around, and asked what business it is of any man whether a woman gets pregnant or not, or ends her pregnancy or doesn't, Shimkus' party would have a very different answer. Of course it's his business. It's everybody's business except, perhaps, the woman herself, who can't be trusted to make that moral choice.

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  1. It looks like they added the chains to that statue.
    Off topic, but WPWR 50.2 constantly shows a 1949 movie, The Dark Corner. In the last 10 minutes of that movie, there's a topless statue shown in a gallery, but the supplier of the movie, who I believe is Fox, blurs the statue's breasts, even though they undoubtedly were not blurred when shown in theaters in 1949, as the movie had to be approved by the Hays Office of the MPAA at that time, which was extremely conservative.
    Even weirder, an ad for a casino in Vegas was showing on broadcast TV, at the same time a three sided topless statue that was never blurred.
    The insane prudery of American TV baffles me.

  2. It's not prenatal care, Shimkus, it's pro-life care. Just like banning all forms of birth control is pro-life, right?

  3. Their hypocrisy is exposed more day by day. Imagine being that man's wife, daughter or mother. He obviously has a low opinion of females.

    Mary Mitchell had a good column on this in the Sunday paper.

    How's that Viagra prescription, Shimkus?

  4. The same reason I have to pay for your boner pills!!

  5. This isn't even the dumbest thing that has ever been said on the subject IMO.

    That honor would belong to Chief Justice William Rehnquist, whose opinion wasn't just some off-the-cuff fodder for snickering pundits. It was a ruling, a majority ruling of the United States Supreme Court, written and signed by him and a majority of the other Justices.

    The case was health insurance that didn't cover pregnancy and childbirth. Rehnquist ruled that this was not sex discrimination because if men could get pregnant, they wouldn't be covered either.

    I'm not kidding. He really said that, and it had the force of the Supreme Court behind it.

    Luckily, this was back in the days when Congress had a vestigial sense of shame, or at least of the ridiculous, and it quickly modified the law to clarify that health insurance could not exclude obstetrics. Today, Rehnquist's opinion would be considered mainstream.

  6. Lovely statue. Precisely appropriate as well.


  7. A comely lass. Might we know her name? Perhaps it's...

    "Amarantha sweet and fair
    Ah braid no more that shining hair.
    As mY curious hand or eye
    Hovering about thee let it fly.

    Let it fly as unconfined
    As it's calm ravisher the wind,
    Who has left his darling th' East
    To wanton o'er that spicy nest."


    1. Sorry about that. She is "The Greek Slave," freed from her marble prison by Hiram Powers in 1846, now confined to the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C.

  8. The Amarantha of the poem is unknown, but the author of that lovely lyric to her, the Cavalier poet Richard Lovelace, also left us with "Stone walls do not a prison make, nor iron bars a cage."



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