Yep, the French have done it again. This is sure to give Rush Limbaugh an asthma attack.
The French parliament, controlled by the Socialist Party, has approved a bill to grant free and anonymous access to the contraceptive pill to all girls of age 15-18.
The bill modifies an existing law which already granted free access to the pill, but only after consulting one of the 4000 public Family Planning Centers existing in France. This restriction has now been removed. The bill was deemed necessary after an increase in teen pregnancies in recent years (teen pregnancies are estimated at around 10,000 a year).
I just wrote a letter to the 1%. If you want to do the same you can go to the Blue America Pac page and speak your mind.
The text of my letter is after the fold.
This is a story that was told to me by my father. It is by no means extraordinary, probably there are thousands of similar stories from across the world. Yet I believe it is significant in reminding us of what is the real impact that trade unions have in shaping the world we live in.
Giuseppe Pellizza da Volpedo, "Il Quarto Stato" ("The Fourth State"), 1902
image from wikimedia commons
How the Unions Saved the Future: the Story of the Reaper-binder
This story is set in the Po valley of Northern Italy around the year 1950. This is a period of big transformations for the Italian society: The country has just emerged from the nightmares of Fascism and World War II, and it is rebuilding itself. A largely agricultural economy is on the verge of the so called “economic boom”, which will transform Italy in an industrial power.
Kookbourgh, VA - A local conspiracy theorist voiced his frustration at the lack of "interesting content" to be found in the latest Wikileaks document dump: "Gee, what a drag. You would think that with over four hundred thousand diplomatic cables to choose from, one would find some juicy bits in it ... Instead nothing. I have not been so disappointed since the Mentos-Coke fountain turned out to be explainable by simple chemistry".
The forty one year old white man, who agreed to be interviewed on the condition to be identified only by his internet nickname, "The Truth Beast, but my friends call me just 'The Beast'", said that he had great expectations about the Wikileaks release: "Man, I was like: this is it, now we are going to know the truth! May be not all of it, you newer know all of it, but a good chunk? Yes".
So, now the Republicans have 41 votes in the Senate, and can filibuster anything they want. Well shit. Fist I was angry, but then I remembered the saying "do not get angry, get even", so last night I retreated to my cave and started plotting our revenge.
Pretty soon I had a clear vision of what we need to do, and I have been working feverishly to hatch out a plan to turn this new found strength of the Republican Senators in their Achilles heel, and to use it to their demise.
The plan is simple and foolproof, and now I humbly submit it to the consideration of the President, the Democratic Congressional Leaders, and the DKos community at large.
Today I went to the rally for the public option at the Georgia Capitol in Atlanta. The rally was organized by Healthcare for America NOW, MoveOn and Organizing For America.
I think it was a pretty successful rally, with about twelve hundred people chanting slogans an waving signs (a small description, with a picture here). About a dozen teabaggers on a street corner provided some early entertainment, and were duly mocked before they got bored and left to go doing whatever it is that teabaggers do when they are not making fools of themselves on street corners or town halls.
Then we got started with the program: a nice rendition of the Star Sprangled Banner, a fired up pastor, a state senator and speakers from the organizing groups.
Then came the turn of the director of OFA for Georgia. A nice fellow who spoke quite eloquently.
I know that domestic politics is the focus of all the attention right now, and for good reasons, but I hope you will indulge me if I write about the politics of my homeland, Italy.
Living in the US provides a vantage point for observing Italian costume and politics, pretty much like having a short-term crystal ball, because empirical evidence shows that the trends of American life reproduce themselves almost exactly in Italy, only a few years later. This is specially true for pop culture, and is mainly due to the fact that we used to watch American movies and TV shows few years after they were ran in the US. Nowadays, with the globalization, internet and all that, the time gap is closing, but still Italy seems to operate with a certain time delay with respect to America.
With this in mind, I was not really surprised to learn that this week Italy plunged herself in a deep institutional conflict that has many parallels with the Terri Schiavo case that enfolded four years ago.