Monday, October 10, 2011

Rick Perry's Pledge to You

I know I intend to maintain the notion of civil discourse, and I think I do. My primary tenet is that by being civil I mean don't wildly disparage people's opinions unnecessarily and absolutely don't make stuff up. If one confines oneself to such discourse, one must needs be civil. (Boy, did I learn that archaic rhetoric in college, or what?)

So when I characterize Rick Perry's stance on "life," by being truthful I'm being civil. So here goes (even it it ends up disparaging, if not wildly so).

Starting point, in Perry's own words: “For some candidates, pro-life is an election year slogan to follow the prevailing political winds,” he said. “For me, it’s about the absolute principle that every human being is entitled to life.”

Okay, let's take a look at this. "It's about the absolute principle that every human being is entitled to life." If that life breaks good, great! If that life breaks bad, you're on your own.

FPL = federal poverty level

Rick Perry's Texas, which I assume he holds dear, paints a stark picture of what that basic entitlement, life, amounts to:
  • The poverty rate for Texas is 17.2% (28% for children), making it 6th highest out of 50 states. All states that exceed Texas in this category are in the South or Southwest, except West Virginia, formerly of the South.
  • The United States is the world leader in incarceration of its population. We've increased our jail population in the past thirty years by 500%. Texas has the 3rd highest incarceration rate, exceeded only by Mississippi and Louisiana.
  • Texas is 1st in executions but 2nd in rate of executions since 1976, with Oklahoma, its neighbor to the north, tops in that category.
  • Texas is ranked 3rd in the nation in teen birth rates in ages 15-19, outdone by Mississippi and New Mexico. Again, the highest rates are all in the South and Southwest.
  • In the health care arena, Texas has the highest number of uninsured in the nation as of 2011, with 9 out of the top 10 being from the South or Southwest. Only California, at 9th, was outside the South. The state with the highest rate of health care coverage is Massachusetts, land of Romneycare.
To conclude: Rick Perry cherishes life, at least at the beginning. If things break bad, you're out of luck, or in jail, or on death row, or in labor, or living in poverty, or uninsured. If you're in luck, you're a cheerleader at Texas A&M or living in a gated community in Dallas. Go Aggies!

One of the Texas lucky ones!

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