Sauce For The Gander
What a good week this has been for quirky news. Let’s start with Virginia, where Democratic Senator Janet Howell has proposed that men who want to have a prescription for erectile dysfunction should be forced to submit to a rectal exam and stress tests before getting their meds, even though the tests are totally unnecessary and vehemently opposed by the men and their doctors.
She argues that if pregnant women are being compelled, against their and their doctors’ ardent wishes, to get a vaginal ultrasound (an invasive procedure) before having an abortion, then men should be compelled to undergo equally distasteful, invasive and unnecessary procedures.
The amendment was defeated by a 21 – 19 margin! Wow, that’s closer than I’d have imagined. There’s still hope for Virginia!
Next up, on Tuesday, January 31, the Indiana House of Representatives approved a bill that would mandate drug testing of welfare applicants. GOP Rep. Jud McMillin, the bill’s sponsor, said in his statement, “I am excited to help our state become a national leader on this important issue.” Rep. McMillin did not seem equally as enthusiastic about Democratic Rep. Ryan Dvorak’s amendment, which included drug and alcohol testing for legislators in the Indiana General Assembly. This is a tactic Democrats are using in a number of the over 30 states where Republicans are doing everything in their power to force drug testing on the poor and the unemployed. They, by virtue of being poor and out of work, must by their very nature be abusers of drugs and drink, such inexpensive habits. (I am up to 9.7 on my personal barf-o-meter and barely holding on.)
Shockingly, the amendment had been watered down a bit for final passage. Rather than simply testing all the General Assembly members, the weaker version would let lawmakers opt into a system of random screening similar to the procedure for families seeking cash assistance. Failure to opt in could lead to the loss of parking spaces and other perks. (I think they should also be made to stand in a corner and wear a dunce cap!)
And finally, my personal favorite (and again with the Indiana Senate; what is with these people?) is a February 3 article entitled, “Creationist School Bill Looks Doomed In Indiana”, by Jeffrey Mervis of Science Insider.
Last Tuesday the Indiana Senate approved Senate bill S.B. 89, which would allow schools to teach “various theories on the origins of life.” From there it gets kind of hazy as to specifics, but it wasn’t rocket-science tough to make some pretty clear inferences. Oh, well, who really needs Science anyway?
The bill passed, of course, with six votes to spare, but the Senators seemed unprepared for the media’s halogen spotlight and for the storm of anger and condemnation they swiftly received from the scientific community and various scientific organizations throughout the country.
“Creation science” was put forth as one alternative to evolution, but the bill was amended prior to the vote to include for discussion as well “theories from multiple religions, including Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, and Scientology.” (I’ll take Buddhism for $400, Alex!)
After some backpedaling by the Senate, Republican House Speaker Brian Bosma conceded that “delving into an issue that the U.S. Supreme Court has, on at least one occasion, said is not compliant with the Constitution may be a side issue and someplace where we don’t need to go.” Apparently this was in reference to a ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1987, that a Louisiana state law which would require the teaching of creation science would violate the establishment clause of the First Amendment by advancing religion. (Oh, clever Founding Fathers!)
Hmmm, 1987, huh, and it took him until several days after the bill was passed to ‘remember’ the existence of this ruling? I don’t think so. I think what we have here is a ‘gotcha’ moment, Mr. Speaker. On the bright side, you made my day!
Tags: Abortion, Brian Bosma, Creationism, Drug Testing, ED, Indiana Government, Janet Howell, Ryan Dvorak, US Supreme Court