White Out Controversy? You Decide….

Anxious to hear your opinion on this. Does this “cross” the line?

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,569665,00.html

Oklahoma’s New Abortion Laws Challenged

Okla. abortion laws spark battles
By SEAN MURPHY
Associated Press Writer
OKLAHOMA CITY — Two new laws being challenged in the Oklahoma courts would give the state some of the strictest abortion laws in the country by forcing women to an­swer questions about race and their relationships, and to listen to a doc­tor talk them through an ultra­sound.
Legal challenges to the laws are in their early stages, but observers say the trajectory of cases could mir­ror that of the partial-birth abortion debate, which went through Ne­braska courts and was struck down by the U.S. Supreme Court before Congress made it a federal law that was upheld in 2007.
“That’s an apt comparison,” said Joseph Thai, a professor at the Uni­versity of Oklahoma who specializes in constitutional law and the Supreme Court. “So, expect these Oklahoma laws and the ensuing court decisions to be the first rather than last word on how far a state may go with respect to compulsory procedures and reporting require­ments.”
Opponents of the laws say they were drafted to make a woman’s al­ready difficult decision to have an abortion even more difficult.
One law would require women to fill out a lengthy survey that asks, among other things, about their race, education and reason for seek­ing an abortion. It asks women whether they’re having relationship problems, whether they can’t afford to raise a child or whether having a baby would dramatically change their lives.
Another section requires doctors to provide detailed information about complications that arise as a result of the procedure. The Health Department ultimately would com­pile the information into a statistical report and post it on its Web site.
Supporters say the surveys will prove valuable to understanding why women seek abortions, and that women need to be provided with as much knowledge as possible before making an irrevocable deci­sion.

Why Criticize President Obama?

There have been many debates and much has been written about the criticism that President Obama is receiving. Why criticize a man that has only been in office 9 months? Is the criticism just? I hope to provide some insight.

We are at the tail end of a major economic crisis. Reports are from Fed Chairman Bernanke and Lawrence Summers that we have witnessed the worst of the recession. Having said that, Americans are still feeling the negative impact of the recession. The unemployment rate continues to rise, consumer spending is decreasing, homes are being foreclosed on, and interest rates are very low. All of these contributing factors cause there to be a sense of doom and gloom among Americans.

To take just one recent example. So much has been made of President Obama’s public healthcare proposal. The overall resounding message in the media is one of negativity. Most Republican commentators, such as Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity, are creating a sense of uneasiness among Americans. Now, one can debate whether that is justified or not, but it cannot be debated that it is present. When taking all of the things mentioned above into account, the result is an American population on edge.

We currently see an American population that is very defensive. One that is on the lookout for anything that may be interpreted as a provocative act. As Americans we are, to steal a metaphor from the campaign, “clinging to our guns and religion” in this tense time. I think one positive outcome of this crisis and negativity that we are surrounded with is that we are much more of an informed population. This is evident in the recent rise in online bloggers. We are expressing ourselves like never before. We are calling into call in radio and television shows and expressing our views on any given topic. This is a good thing. This is a positive thing for our nation. We need to be a people of expression. One that is willing to stand up in the face of opposition for a position that we feel passionate about. That is what being free is all about. That is what America is all about.

To get back to my opening questions. Is the criticism fair? Is the criticism just? We all have our own opinions on that. But one thing is for sure, we are experiencing politics as never before. This is a positive thing for our country. We should continue to express ourselves and we will all benefit and be better people for it.

Poverty – The Forgotten Statistics

Today the Philadelphia Daily News posted an article regarding the seriousness of Poverty. The Census Bureau recently released data that suggests the federal poverty level has risen a full percentage point over last year. The federal poverty level was established in the 1960’s. Things have obviously changed in our economy since that time. At that time, food costs comprised a third of American’s budgets. Therefore the poverty level was calculated simply by taking the cost of food and multiplying by three. I’m sure you have noticed the problem we are now faced with. Food costs has dropped since the poverty level was established, where other things such as daycare expenses, utilities, etc. have risen. This creates a big problem in determining who falls under the poverty level because we are using an inaccurate formula to determine it.

It is my belief that this is an area that needs to be given immediate attention. When looking at the problem of poverty in our society, we should certainly be using accurate formulas as a measurement of our current situation. It doesn’t make sense not to. I don’t know if it is just that the federal goverment doesn’t want to face the harsh reality of the situation, or if there are other reasons for not updating the standards more frequently. I have placed a link below to the article from the Philadelphia Daily News.