Friday, April 01, 2011

Is it something in the water?

You know, when I think of Indiana, a little neon sign in my head never immediately started blinking "small-minded idiots" before now.

I mean, yeah, despite the name of your state, you fucked over the Native Americans living there, with various groups of Europeans alternately arming rival tribes so that they could pretty much wipe each other out before you pushed them off their land. But we were doing that all over the country, right?

Indiana has big chunks of the history we learned in school (well, you know, those of us who learned things in school, anyway): splitting off from the Northwest Territory, Tecumseh, the War of 1812, George Rogers Clark, William Henry Harrison - you can't avoid Indiana if you're studying the history of this country.

But it's weird. You, as a state, have this weird love of taking control of people's bodies away from them. It's like some kind of weird compulsion: "You are cattle! You will breed when and where we tell you! Und Indiana vill grow strong!!"

I mean, crap! What the hell is wrong with you people?

In 1907, Governor Frank Hanly, a good Republican, made Indiana the first state to practice eugenics when he signed the Compulsory Sterilization Law “to prevent procreation of confirmed criminals, idiots, imbeciles and rapists.”

The next governor, who was apparently less of a fan of fascism, stopped it two years later, and the law was found unconstitutional when it finally made it to the Indiana Supreme Court 14 years later! (the wheels of "justice" don't exactly spin quickly in the Hoosier state).

This flourishing of freedom and American values apparently made the people of Indiana cranky, because six years later, they pushed through an almost identical bill, which applied to "inmates of state institutions, who are insane, idiotic, imbecile, feebleminded, and epileptic, and who by the laws of heredity are the probable potential parents of socially inadequate offspring likewise afflicted." A law which stayed in effect in Indiana until 1974.

Despite their efforts to breed die Herrenrasse clear up to the Disco Era, Dan Quayle was still born in Indianapolis. Which tells you just how effective these policies actually are.

And now they're at it again. Republicans in Indiana have introduced a bill to make abortions illegal after 20 weeks. And when state Rep. Gail Riecken (D-Of Course) introduced an amendment to exempt "women who became pregnant due to rape or incest, or women for whom pregnancy threatens their life or could cause serious and irreversible physical harm," it was voted down 42 to 54.

"Oh, I'm sorry. Your baby is going to kill you? Tough shit. Hope you got a will." Interesting definition of Right to Life.

Apparently, according to state Rep. Eric Turner (R-Fuck You), this amendment would give women a "giant loophole" and they would just lie about getting raped. Or, presumably, dying.

(So, Eric Turner is a big supporter of incestuous families - I wonder what that says about his home life?)

I mean, there's really no excuse for this. Indiana ranks as the thirteenth smartest state, which... you know... top third, right? Good solid B average. And you've got Notre Dame... OK, admittedly a bad choice, being a Catholic university and all. But there's still Purdue! You've got education in your state! Why are you trying to go back to the dark ages?

But more than that, why is it that crazy people tend to rise to the top in Indiana? I mean, Michael Jackson, who single-handedly set out to destroy pop music forever, was born and raised in Gary, Indiana.

John Dillinger, gangster, bank robber, and legendary cocksman, was born in Indianapolis. Ten years later and 50 miles southwest, Jimmy Hoffa was born in Brazil, Indiana, and we still don't know where that fucker ended up.

There's just something about Indiana that makes crazy people end up getting into positions of power.

Like Carlos F. Lam, the Indiana prosecutor who ended up resigning after his advice to Wisconsin governor Scott Walker became public: Lam suggested Walker should fake an attack on himself to "discredit the unions." (To his credit, how was he to know that Walker had already discarded that idea because it might have backfired on him?)

And then, just because Indiana lawmakers hadn't embarrassed themselves enough, we get to find out about Ms. Bei Bei Shuai.
The facts of this case are heartbreaking. On December 23, 2010, Shuai, a 34-year-old pregnant woman who was suffering from a major depressive disorder, attempted to take her own life. Friends found her in time and persuaded her to get help. Six days later, Shuai underwent cesarean surgery and delivered a premature newborn girl who, tragically, died four days later.

On March 14, 2011, Shuai was arrested, jailed, and charged with murder and attempted feticide...

The state is misconstruing the criminal laws in this case in such a way that any pregnant woman could be prosecuted for doing (or attempting) anything that may put her health at risk, regardless of the outcome of her pregnancy.

That's right: according to the ways the laws are being applied here, the state of Indiana believes that any pregnant woman who smokes or lives with a smoker, who works long hours on her feet, who is overweight, who doesn't exercise, or who fails to get regular prenatal care, is a felon.
We need a new word for this crime. I'd like to suggest "Indianacide."

So, we're opposed to big government. Unless we're allowed to use it to monitor every action of every pregnant woman in the state? Is that how this works?

But hey, say what you want about Indiana, at least the trains run on time, right?

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