Regulating Men’s Sexuality

Ohio State Senator Nina Turner has introduced SB 307 which would require all men seeking prescriptions for erectile dysfunction to go to sex therapists, undergo cardiac stress tests and submit notarized affidavits confirming impotency before getting the drugs.  The bill is in response to a conservative onslaught against women’s reproductive rights.  I don’t think it goes far enough however.

Let’s make public, on government websites (ala Meghan’s List and others) every man who has documented that he can’t get it up.  We all should be able to know who cannot perform adequately before wasting our time over dinner, drinks or a movie.  While we’re at it let’s also rank these men according to size (length and girth), stamina,  and amount of ejaculate.  After all, these same conservative extremists want to restrict marriage to only procreation so if they don’t have a female wife of child bearing age and not using contraceptives they don’t qualify for the drugs.  

I propose we begin with every member of a state legislature, each Governor and then every member of the House and Senate in Washington.  Voters have a right to know who can perform and who cannot.

Mitt Flips, Flops, Then Flips on Abortion

Mitt Romney tried to Etch A Sketch his stand on women’s issues then got corrected by his campaign (again).  In an interview with the Des Moines Register Editorial Board yesterday he said this:

“There’s no legislation with regards to abortion that I’m familiar with that would become part of my agenda.”

His running mate has co-sponsored 38 pieces of legislation regarding abortion.  Romney himself has signed a pro life pledge and said he’d defund Planned Parenthood.  The statement yesterday is a careful parsing of words.  He could come back later and claim he wasn’t “familiar” with the bills pending in Congress.  Either way Roe v Wade isn’t going to be overturned via legislation but by Supreme Court Justices.

Romney is losing the women vote badly and he is attempting to control that damage by hedging on the issue.  Unfortunately his campaign immediately walked back this comment.  They have a habit of coming tot he press constantly correcting its candidate’s gaffes.  It makes me wonder who is really in charge:  Mitt or his campaign staff.  Who would really be in charge in the White House?  

I’m reminded of the last businessman elected to the Oval Office who spent his first term flying around the country doing photo ops while his VP actually ran things.  Grover Norquist said all Republicans need is a warm body in the Presidency to sign bills passed by its Tea Party wing in Congress.  It appears that’s all they have in Romney.

Why isn’t anyone asking the right questions when Republicans try to rely wedge issues?

Driving home yesterday from the airport I saw a billboard which kind of made me chuckle and now makes me wonder. The billboard I saw was on the Pennsylvania Turnpike around mile marker 350 and it stated: “Obama supports Gay Marriage and Abortion…Vote Republican”. That of course is a great talking point if all the voter cares about is two wedge issues and nothing else; however, it has brought to my attention something that has troubled me. Why isn’t anyone asking the right question when Republicans try to rely on these issues?

How can you stand up for individual liberty when you don’t believe that individual liberty that you have to marry can be extended to another part of the population? I mean is it only your liberty to decide what is or is not acceptable the liberty you stand for, I just don’t understand. If it is from a Christian or another religious perspective I still don’t understand how two men or women marrying affect your marriage. As a Christian I personally believe that nothing another person will do affects my marriage, for God united my wife and I and if the state or another church would unite a same-sex couple it makes no impact what so ever on my marriage.

As far as abortion, I am not pro-abortion; I personally doubt anyone is. I just personally don’t believe that is a decision the Government or you should make for another citizen. Especially in the cases of rape and incest, how can you or the State seriously make that choice for another family? And if it is about the sanctity of life, where does that sanctity go after the birth since those Republicans that the billboard wants you to vote for want to cut SNAP benefits that will help at risk children and other vital social programs that help the 470,000 children in Pennsylvania according to the whose family rely on these programs. ¬†Are you willing to pay the taxes, or require the wealthiest Americans to contribute more, or do you only care the child is born and then they are on their own?

Furthermore on the sanctity of life issue how about the 30,000 Americans who will die from gun violence, yet no one has the courage to address that issue. Or the 45,000 Americans who die annually from lack of health care according to a 2009 Harvard study and the main talking point of these Republicans is to repeal ObamaCares which expands health care to 34 million more Americans and according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette 236,000 Pennsylvanians who now have access to affordable health care.

When I see these Gay Marriage and Abortion billboards I am forced to question the ability of those who make these pleas to win on the issues. How do any of these two issues fix the economy, create job or lower the deficit. Gay Marriage and Abortion are two issues that should be left to the responsibility of those who have to make the decision and that is not me, not you and definitely not the State.

Turzai Says Voter ID Meant to Win State For Romney

In a moment of candor during a speech to fellow Republicans Rep. Mike Turzai said the Voter ID bill was designed to make Pennsylvania winnable for Mitt Romney.  Touted publicly as a cure for non-existent voter impersonation it will cost Pennsylvania taxpayers $10 million to disenfranchise Democrats.  PoliticsPA has the story:

“Pro-Second Amendment? The Castle Doctrine, it’s done. First pro-life legislation – abortion facility regulations – in 22 years, done. Voter ID, which is gonna allow Governor Romney to win the state of Pennsylvania, done.”

Isn’t lying on the House floor an ethics violation?  If not it should be and should be cause for censure or expulsion.  When Representatives and Senators willfully lie and fabricate arguments while passing legislation they should be expelled from office.  It is a stain on all of us when the likes of Mike Turzai get up to speak in OUR hallowed hall and lie to us about what they’re doing.

He also revealed they lied about Senate Bill 732 the ambulatory surgical center abortion bill.  We’ve said all along this was back door legislation to outlaw abortion.  His quote ” First pro-life legislation – abortion facility regulations – in 22 years” reveals it for what it was:  pro life, anti-abortion legislation.  By making onerous regulations impossible or financially impossible to meet they are banning abortions in Pennsylvania for most women.  Even if clinics could retrofit the cost would make abortions unaffordable for anyone but the wealthy.  

Lying to the citizens of Pennsylvania on either the House or Senate floors should be a crime.

Pennsylvanians Opening Their Eyes to Corbett’s Misadventures

“You just have to close your eyes.”

That statement has made Gov. Tom Corbett the next Walker.  He put a bulls eye on his political back as large as Wisconsin’s Scott Walker did last year with his extreme position on a forced ultrasound procedure.  Now voters around Pennsylvania are opening their eyes and not liking what they’re seeing in Tom Corbett.  Following two budgets which slashed funding for education from pre-school through higher education, they’ve had enough and the poll numbers tell the tale.

The latest Quinnipiac University findings show his overall approval rate sinking fast to 41%.  Disapproval is also at 41%, a perilous position for someone in office only fifteen months.  When 41% of your citizens already don’t like you re-election won’t be an issue because there won’t be one.  One Term Tom is on his way to becoming exactly that.  His quote on this women’s reproductive health issue will surely sink him.  I can see the ads now:  “close your eyes and vote against Tom.”  Or, “Open your eyes and vote Democratic.”

The field of Democrats eyeing the Governor’s Mansion may begin getting long.  There’s blood in the water and the sharks should start circling soon.  I see Rob McCord and Joe Sestak already vying for position and Corbett, at this rate, will be easy prey.

His stubborn refusal to tax natural gas extraction is already causing unhappiness in the “T,” our infamous Pennsyltucky.  While voters there have never shown much intelligence they’re wising up to the fact their roads are being destroyed, water tables poisoned and wells leaking and exploding with alarming pollution runoffs into streams they use for fishing.  This has always been the Republican stronghold in the Commonwealth and if Corbett, aka Gov. Gasbag because he’s in the bag for the gas companies, loses support there he’s toast.  The GOP may even have to start looking for a different candidate.

The national exposure he suffered over the past week was enormous.  The infamous words keep getting repeated:  “just close your eyes.”  The small government advocate has been putting big government in between women and their doctors and has already passed an anti-abortion law so restrictive it threatens the ability of Pennsylvania women to get the procedure anywhere but a major hospital at the end of June.  Unless the PA Department of Health grants waivers from the restrictions passed in SB 732 that will become the reality.  All women’s health centers will have to cease performing abortions by the end of June.  None of them can meet the stringent ASF regulations designed for surgical centers using general anesthesia.

Pennsylvanians disapprove of Corbett’s budgets by 49-36% and are really angry over higher education cuts:  53-27%.  The cuts to Pitt, Penn State, Temple, Lincoln and the 14 state universities reflect an overwhelming disapproval among women of 72-20%.  Transvaginal ultrasounds are disapproved by 64-23% and even legislators are bailing because of the feedback they’ve gotten from constituents.  They’ve killed the bill by sending it back to committee where it’ll die a quick death.  No one wants to go face the voters this year after seeing these numbers.

Corbett’s predilection of not facing the press or the public any more than absolutely necessary has shielded him from some exposure as the dolt that he is but sooner or later he’ll have to face the voters.  Stubbornness has a bad habit of making former Governors of stupid people and Corbett has never illustrated any indication of being anything more than a pretty boy whose elevator doesn’t reach the top floor.  Barring his own elevator to a group of disabled Pennsylvanians may also wind up being shown ad nauseum on campaign ads the next go round.  That one really was stupid.  As they say though, stupid is as stupid does…

Could ALEC be behind the Pennsylvania Ultrasound Bill?

Earlier this week I wrote an article on Pennsylvania House Bill 1077, The Woman’s Right to Know Act. A bill, which would require medical providers to offer an ultrasound prior to an abortion. HB1077 was forwarded to the floor from the PA House Committee on Health with a 15-7 vote on Feb 6, and  appears on the legislative calender for March 12th. Since, the Majority Leader is a co-sponsor of the bill, it would be safe to assume it has a decent chance of being heard. HB1077, has received a lot of backlash, and in the wake of the Virginia bill it has left this writer wondering, where these bills come from.

The question I pondered is who could be behind this legislation requiring a medically unnecessary procedure and purely ideological based bill. Then I remembered the Progressive Media Workshop I attended in Madison, Wisconsin last October and Wisconsin State Assemblyman Mark Pocan who told us about a shadowy group bringing conservative legislators and corporations together. I know it sounds like a mystical conspiracy of JFK like proportions. However, in the current days of Super-PACS and Citizens United it is nearly impossible to know who is funding what and where some of these bills are coming from. ALEC may be the answer.

According to the Center for Media and Democracy,

ALEC is not a lobby; it is not a front group. It is much more powerful than that. Through ALEC, behind closed doors, corporations hand state legislators the changes to the law they desire that directly benefit their bottom line. (

Furthermore, the American Legislative Exchange, or ALEC as it is more commonly known claims it,

has over 1,000 of these bills introduced by legislative members every year, with one in every five of them enacted into law. ((

with ALEC being one of the forefronts of the conservative ideological infrastructure it lead me to ask the question, is HB1077 one of those model bills.

Of course, I’m not some big time New York Times investigative reporter, with an entire news department, credentials and sources galore. However, I decided to look into this dilemma as a concerned citizen. I cross referenced the proposed bills co-sponsors with the members of ALEC, reported by the Center for Media and Democracy. In a matter of minutes, I found Rep. Rapp (R-65) and 23 other PA Reps are listed as having ties to ALEC, and everyone of her 23 fellow Rep/ALEC members cosponsored the bill; including the Democrats cosponsoring the bill.

Then I took a look at Virginia Delegate Kathy Byron (R-22), sponsor of Virginia controversial ultrasound bill, who I found is a proud member of ALEC. Her webpage she proclaims it under her memberships and touts her Telecommunication Task Force assignment, an assignment she shares with among many other PA ALEC State Chairman and bill cosponsor Representative John Evans (R-5).

I for one would like to see this whole arrangement investigated more, I don’t claim to have the know how, or time to dig into the case completely. Whether it be through legislation that requires more transparency, or a reporter in the heralded spirit of those muckrakers of the past. Pennsylvanian’s deserve to know who is behind the legislation we are seeing. If these bills are one of the 1000’s ALEC claims  to be pawning off on willing ideologues. The only special interests that our local, state and federal elected officials should represent is the constituents, not some faction of conservative extremism.

Corbett Lies About Abortion Bill

Gov. Corbett’s office was telling callers yesterday that he couldn’t veto SB 732 because there weren’t enough votes to sustain his veto.  There are.  Eighteen Senators voted against the bill which would close 22 free standing abortion clinics, enough to sustain a veto.  There are only two possible scenarios to explain this action by the Governor:

* he’s too stupid to do basic math

* he’s intentionally lying to people calling his office

Neither situation reflects well on Corbett.  Here’s my question to the Governor:  which is it?

You can call the Governor and ask him through this number:  717-496-9866.

The Personhood of a Mississippi Zygote

by Walter Brasch

“O.K., class, we have a few minutes at the end of today’s lecture about how the godless Communists created evolution to try to destroy the decent loyal patriotic capitalist society of America. Any questions? Yes, Billy Bob.”

“Mr. Jim Bob, I heard about this thing called a person. What is that?”

“Good question. With all the distortions by the lyin’ liberal left-wing, it can get confusing. But, it’s really simple. A person is an egg that has just been fertilized by a sperm. We call this young person a Zygote.”

“Does it have to be a goat? Can it be anything else?”

“Well, Susie Bob, if you nurture it, that fertilized egg can grow up to be anything it wants to be, because this is the United States of America. And no one has the right to tell us white folks what to do.”

“Are there advantages of being a single-celled person?”

“Definitely. Their parents don’t have to wait until they emerge from the birth canal to claim them as an IRS deduction. Also, with more persons in Mississippi, we can get more single-cell congresspersons to represent us.”

“Then why did our parents vote against the constitutional amendment?”

“It was a close defeat. While those abortion activists voted against the measure, most of the opposition was because us conservatives were worried that the way the proposed amendment was written would allow them liberal types to go to Washington and overturn our states’ rights.”

“You mean Congress can do that?”

“No, Junie Bob, the Supreme Court can do that. It was a craps roll. You see, there are four decent Americans on the Supreme Court. And there are four who are women, or Jews, or both. And they were likely to say something stupid, like the state isn’t allowed to use religious dogma to justify new laws. That would mean there would be a 4-4 tie. We couldn’t trust the other judge to do what’s right, because he changes what side he’s on all the time. Even our illustrious governor said he had doubts about how broad that amendment was, and what the courts would do.”

“But he voted for it anyway.”

“He’s a politician, Kenny Bob. That’s what they do. Next question.”

“My mommy says that abortion and wearing condoms is murder, and to protect persons she plans to run down baby-killer doctors when she sees them on the streets.”

“Your mommy is looking out for the best interests of the fertilized egg. In that case, the courts will rule that what your mother does is justified homicide. Just like them lynchings your pappies and grandpappies might have done for fun on some hot weekend. It sent a message that we don’t tolerate uppity colored people doing dumb things like voting or demanding constitutional rights. Those were meant only for the white people.”

“Is slavery still legal?

“No, Bertie Bob, Mississippi outlawed it in 1995 when we ratified the 13th Amendment to the Constitution.”

“Why did it take so long?”

“Well, Martha Bob, you have to understand that decent conservatives just don’t go rushing into making important decisions. It takes time to figure out all the issues and their implications. Thirteen decades seemed about the right time.”

“I’m still confused Mr. Jim Bob. My pappy says that we got to keep the gummint out of our lives, like not allowing revenooers on our property. Don’t all of them laws intrude on our rights?”

“Sometimes, you have to intrude for the good of society. That’s why we have laws about who you can and can’t marry?”

“You mean, me and-?”

“Yes, Jenny Bob, I was planning to talk to you about you and your brother. Marriage has to be between a man and a woman who aren’t siblings.”

“So, it’s OK for me and Calvin Bob to marry?

“Since you’re first cousins that’s OK, just as long as marriage is between a man and a woman, as God intended.”

“Is that why we don’t like the coloreds and the Asians to marry us? I heard that half the state doesn’t want intermarriages and the rest are the colored people.”

“What people don’t understand, Beauford Bob, is that we made those laws to help the colored people. Before the War Between the States-Praise Jeff Davis and Jesus, Hallelujah!-we allowed white slave owners to have sex with anyone they wanted, as long as they were women. But, then we realized that wasn’t fair to the African people, because it diluted their purity. So, to protect the darkies, we didn’t have any choice but to forbid whites from marrying anyone with even one-eighth dark blood.”

“I heard about this thing called sodomy, which them homosexual and lesbian ladies practice. That’s just yucky.”

“Indeed it is. That’s why sodomy is a felony, and homosexuals can get 10 years in prison, where they can practice deviant. After that, they have to register as sex offenders. That’s another reason why the government is allowed into our bedrooms, so they can protect respectable voyeurs from having to participate in such immoral activity. Time for just one more question. Yes, Horatio Bob.”

“Mr. Jim Bob, how did you become so wise?”

“I’m a graduate of the Mississippi school system.”

[Walter Brasch’s latest book is the mystery/thriller, Before the First Snow, set in rural Pennsylvania. The book is available through,, and other bookstores.]


Walter M. Brasch, Ph.D.

Latest Book: Before the First Snow: Stories from the Revolution



If We Treated Gun Rights Like Abortion Rights…

What would this country be like if we treated gun rights the same way we treat abortion rights?  Women’s right to abortion is no less than than the rights to guns so what if we begin enacting laws restricting guns the way we’re enacting laws restricting abortion rights?  Maybe we should consider these laws:

People are limited to buying guns only between certain hours of the day, say between 7 AM and 3 PM

Ammunition costs $100/bullet and are sold only 10 at a time

Only two gun stores are allowed per state

Guns would be taxed at a rate of $500 apiece

Buyers must use cash for all gun and ammunition purchases

Any other ideas?

PA GOP: Jobs, Not Banning Abortion

As the country’s economic numbers begin slipping once again because Republicans aren’t focused on jobs and the economy except to cut thousands of them, what is their top priority?  In Pennsylvania it is abortion.  HB 574 and the Mensch Amendment in the Senate, approved this week, will effectively drive abortions underground once again.  The horrors of the Gosnell clinic will be repeated under the guise of preventing them, a truly Orwellian initiative.

Twenty four lay persons serving on a grand jury, with no experience or expertise in the matters, recommended the state put abortion clinics under the same regulations as ambulatory surgical clinics.  This would mean much larger surgical areas and the need to hire full time registered nurses even if abortion procedures are only done one day a week, the normal schedule.  24 people too stupid to get out of jury duty are wagging the tail of the state legislature.

The intent of the bill isn’t to make abortions safer and prevent more Dr. Gosnells it is to put all Pennsylvania abortion clinics out of business, a violation of women’s rights.  It will result in more Gosnell clinics and no place where a woman get a safe, legal abortion.

Any House or Senate member who voted for this is going to have me sifting through their campaign finance reports.  State election law states that no campaign funds can be used for any purpose other than effecting the outcome of an election, something routinely violated in the cesspool which is Harrisburg.  Official complaints will be filed with the state and fines are $250 apiece, not to be paid from campaign funds.  Its time we held these people accountable.