Is it over yet?

WASHINGTON — Republican presidential hopeful Rick Perry filed a lawsuit in federal court to get his name on the Virginia primary ballot (WTOP)

And with that, the first of many salvoes, that will undoubtedly define the battle for the White House in 2012, has been fired.  Both Rick Perry and Newt Gingrich did not get enough signatures to qualify for the primary ballot in Virginia.  It turns out that Virginia has very stringent requirements for getting your name on the primary ballot.  To wit, 400 signatures from each congressional district (there are 11 in Virginia).  And, of course, the Virginia Attorney General has jumped into the mess by saying it is an “embarrassment” that Virginia has such stringent requirements (well, OK, in all honesty, he said it was an embarrassment that Newt, a resident of Northern Virginia, would not appear on the ballot.).  Most of the citizens of Virginia however do not seem to see it this way, but there you go.

If you live outside the United States, you probably look at the election process in the United States as a mess of people crawling up a pile of manure to come out on top as the cleanest of the combatants. If you live in the United States, you know that the winner is never the cleanest.

What I do not understand is this:  How can other countries conduct fair elections in less than 9 weeks while in the United States, it is almost a national pastime?  Studies have shown that the electorate is essentially burned out with the constant election process.  Yet we wonder why we keep getting these…well…less than stellar candidates running for public office, or worse, known crooks being re-elected!  It would be nice to think that come November, the political machines will be mothballed for a couple of weeks, but I am afraid that come November 7, the chaos will start up again, in both parties, for the elections in 2016.

Wake me when its over…

When Health and Politics Collide

Overruling scientists at the Food and Drug Administration, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius decided that young girls shouldn’t be able to buy the pill on their own, saying she was worried about confusing 11-year-olds. (Yahoo News)

It should come as no surprise that anything that smacks of being beneficial to women and related to reproductive health would be slapped down hard, but Secretary Sebelius did not even try to come up with a convincing smoke screen for saying no.

The New York Times reported her words slightly differently.  They said that the manufacturer had not proven that there was no risk to 11-year-olds who might take the pill.  As AAP member Dr. Cora Breuner says, “I don’t think 11-year-olds go into Rite Aid and buy anything,” much less a single pill that costs about $50, which makes the whole argument moot in my opinion.

But even if we step back, it was not all that long ago, that girls as young as 13 were being married and if you were 20, you were considered a spinster.  To ignore the fact that girls as young as 13 are having sex is to ignore the entire body of reproductive science.  Whether or not they should be having sex, with or without the knowledge of their parents is a completely different issue, and one that the American society, with its head in the sand prudishness needs to address sooner, rather than later.

Unwanted pregnancies are going to happen.  Period.  If you think something other than medical science will prevent this, there are studies galore that prove you are ignorant, and incorrect.  Since the male of the species is currently not doing his part, it is up to all of us to ensure that the female of the species has all the tools available to her, without unnecessary obstacles being put in her way.