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2:02 am EST        49°F (9°C) in Bentleyville, PA

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The other day, while I was driving along through God knows where, I started thinking aloud as I so often do with nothing better to do at 65 mph (105 km/h). I began thinking about a new phenomenon that has developed in response to all the follies, felonies, power grabs, and other treasonous, unconstitutional, and anti-American activities of His Fraudulency King George the 43rd, Der Führer of the 43rd Reich. It is called “outrage fatigue”; basically, that term refers to what Americans are beginning to feel in response to one scandal, one more loss of our God-given rights after another. Maybe that’s his plan: by doing so many felonious and treasonous things, he figures he’ll eventually ‘overload the circuits’ of most people, thereby causing them to be tuned out when he puts his Nazi agenda on full blast.

I know I’m certainly suffering from a terrible case of outrage fatigue with this dictator-‘president’; it’s hard for me to muster the kind of outrage at His Fraudulency’s latest destruction of the Constitution. That said, though, I can’t let my guard down and stop talking about the latest news that infuriates me — I have a duty to my fellow Americans, to protect them by arming them with the information they need to know about where the latest assaults on our rights are occurring.

Way back on November 10, 2004, a mere eight days after His Fraudulency’s hired thugs at Diebold changed the results of the vote in Ohio to favor him, I mentioned a story about pharmacists refusing to fill prescriptions for the ‘Plan B’ emergency contraception pill that ran in the November 9, 2004 edition of USA Today. They (falsely, of course) claim that Plan B is an “abortion pill,” despite the clear and proven fact that it actually prevents abortion — it prevents conception (which, for all you Wacko Satanic Anti-American Righties out there who still fail to understand the concept, occurs when a fertilized egg implants itself in the uterine wall) so that life will never start in the first place. There are plenty of perfectly valid reasons, completely aside from simply wanting to prevent pregnancy after unprotected sex, why girls and women of child-bearing age would need Plan B: perhaps they were raped; perhaps a young girl has been forced to submit to sex with a brother or her father; perhaps a girl’s parents have done a piss-poor job of (a) instilling self-esteem in her and (b) educating her about sex, and on the night she is ovulating, some boy says ‘if you love me, you’ll have sex with me’ and tricks her into sex; and many others.

Such a girl or woman apparently had better hope that she has more pharmacy choices in her hometown than just Wal-Mart. The evil right-wing retail giant, which (it is now obvious) is firmly under the control of so-called “fundamentalist ‘Christians’,” refuses to even stock Plan B in its pharmacy locations, claiming it is exempt from doing so because Plan B is not a “commonly prescribed medication.” (They do stock Plan B in Illinois stores because a state law specifically states they must do so, but nowhere else.) Thankfully, three strong, patriotic women in Massachusetts are suing Wal-Mart over this refusal to stock this safe, effective, needed medication, and as the CNN article I linked to above states, Massachusetts law appears to be on their side.

I know that His Fraudulency’s royal court, the Rethuglicans in Congress, won’t do a goddamn thing about this terrible injustice; hell, if they could completely have their druthers, burqas and clitoral mutilation would be mandatory. When progressives take control of Congress, this must be one of the first orders of business: a Pharmacy Patient Protection Act that makes it a federal crime, punishable by a long prison sentence, to either (a) refuse to fill any doctor’s prescription for any legal medication, or (b) fail to carry any legal drug, for any reason whatsoever. If “fundamentalist ‘Christian’” pharmacists don’t like it, they can either find another line of work or face 20 years in the slammer.

Now I know what the fundie extremists are thinking: ‘you’re against our freedom of religion! You want to throw us in jail for trying to be “moral” and upstanding “Christians”!’ Nothing could be further from the truth. You have the unquestioned, unabridged right to be whatever you want, but your rights end where others’ rights begin. Girls and women have just as much right to have their Plan B prescriptions filled quickly as you have to be a Christian — your freedom of religion rights do NOT trump their rights to receive medication that a doctor has explicitly ordered for them. It is not the exercise of your right to freedom of religion that would land you in prison; it is the overstepping of your rights, to the point where you are infringing others’ rights, that would be punishable.

Furthermore, the field of pharmacy is one of those special fields which are vital to the proper functioning of society — everybody depends on pharmacies, because at some point, everybody is going to need some prescribed medication. In a democracy like we claim to have here in America, these vital fields must be regulated in such a way as to protect all customers’ rights over the rights of corporations, small businesses, and employees. The oil industry is another excellent example of such a field: everybody relies on petroleum or its derivatives for transport, home heating, cooking, bathing, and 84 bazillion other regular activities of daily life, and we therefore must protect consumers against things like ExxonMobil’s $10 billion fourth-quarter gouging profit before we worry about CEOs, stockholders, and employees.

Finally, this is truly scary: a bill that will essentially make Ohio a one-party state is about to become law once it gets through the Rethuglican-controlled state Senate and is signed by Governor Bob Taft. House Bill 3’s main provision looks innocuous enough: a requirement that voters present positive identification before voting. However, it also criminalizes voter-registration drives, keeps voting results from electronic machines out of the public eye, quintuples the cost of initiating recounts, and criminalizes the challenging of any statewide federal election result (congressional and presidential)! Jim Crow is back, and democracy is being flushed down the toilet.

Osama, will you PLEASE target Columbus with your next attack?