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Comments of the Week: Jeremy Lin, Birth Control and Walmart | The Nation

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Comments of the Week: Jeremy Lin, Birth Control and Walmart

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Each week we post a run-down of the best of our reader comments with the hopes of highlighting some of your most valuable insights and encouraging more people to join the fray. Let us know what you think—in the comments!

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Earlier this month, we joined Know Your IX to call on Congress to give the Department of Education the tools to hold colleges responsible for campus sexual assault. A bill introduced this morning would do just that.

Amid pressure from progressive and women's right organizations, President Obama has nominated Janet Yellen to head the Federal Reserve. 

tizoc: Without Chicano Studies, Mexican-American children go through school never learning about their ancestors history and contributions to this country. Aside from the brief mention of Cesar Chavez, US school history books completely ignore Mexican-American history and the contributions that we have made to this country. Chicano Studies teaches this ignored history so that children can have MORE role models to look up to.

Role models like Gonzalo and Felicitas Mendez who in 1945 fought against the racist segregationist policies in their school district and community. Their class action lawsuit became known as Mendez v. Westminster School District, and set a precedent for the more famous Brown v. Board of Education that effectively ended school segregation nationwide. Yet how many people know about the earlier Mendez case? And is it so bad for children to learn about heroes like the Mendez’s?
In response to Gary Younge’s “Replacing History with Fiction in Arizona.” February 8, 2012

Qwertyyqwertt: Another person to consider: Dale Schultz (R-Richland Center), the only Republican State Senator who took the time to talk to his constituents last year and cast a nay vote on the Budget Repair Bill. I cannot thank this man enough for representing my family, my community and me in such a charged atmosphere.
In response to John Nichols’s “Twenty-five Faces of an American Uprising.” February 14, 2012

CQAussie: I agree with your friend from the Philippines, it's simply amazing to see one of our own making it big and doing so with grace and class. The funny thing is that when my Dad was growing up in the Philippines, basketball was HUGE. The highlight of the week was going to intercollegiate games and Dad said that the cheering was so loud you could physically feel it reverberate around you. So the stereotype that Asians aren't interested or good at sports has always been a little peevish. This is great for everyone to be honest. The more people of all backgrounds and races that can get into pro-sports, the better the competition.
In response Dave Zirin’s “Jeremy Lin! Why the Knicks’ New Star Is Not the New Tebow.” February 15, 2012

Lyrakanthos: Wow. What a cowardly commission. This is Republican leadership, folks. This is the best they have to offer. We all know full-well that the President's decision to cover female contraception is the right one: it will lower unwanted pregnancies, lower the rate of unnecessary abortions, and level the playing field between the rich and poor. Those who scream, shrilly I might add, that President Obama is "declaring war on religion!" consistently fail to mention one important fact: no one is being forced to use birth control. The law simply states that women must have access to that coverage if they want it. If the government were requiring the use of contraception, and not access to it, that would be a different story. But no one is saying that women have to use it, just like no one says that non-heart patients have to take Plavix. A good Catholic girl who wants access to birth control would have that access; a good Catholic girl who doesn't want it wouldn't have it, right?

The Blunt amendment would give employers, not women, the power to decide what coverage is offered. Really? Are we really so willing to let our bosses decide what constitutes proper access to health care? Should health coverage really be subject to whim, prejudice, and caprice? What if our employer is a multimillionaire who thinks family planning for women should be limited to holding an aspirin between her knees? How many employees would his callousness affect?

I am a single father of a daughter. It appalls me that those of the ilk of Rick Santorum should have any say whatsoever in her reproductive decisions. The President is right: women's contraception should be covered, absolutely. If certain churches have a problem with that, let us remind them that we are not a theocracy, and that it is up to them to exercise the persuasive power of the pulpit to convince women that they really shouldn't exercise their freedoms. That they have such a feeble grip on their congregations that they must flex their political muscle and abuse the 1st Amendment, shouldn't that give us all a clue about the sort of leg they have to stand upon?
In response to George Zornick’s “Republican Hearing on Contraception: No Women Allowed.” February 16, 2012

Mary Lou Holmes: Back in "his day" in 1969, abortion was illegal pre-Roe v. Wade. Women died from illegal back alley abortions. Public humiliation and scorn prevented them from telling their parents, seeking any help or giving the babies up for adoption. Today in the state of Texas, where Ms. Roe lived, it is illegal to give a woman a first trimester abortion without a forced ultrasound (more than $400), a lecture on the rights of the unborn and a twenty-four hour wait (adding travel and time off from work). These are costs poor women like Ms. Roe could never afford. Coulter miscalculates the need to get a prescription, which can add another $100. One hundred for the doctor, plus $100 per month for the medication is more than any uninsured person can afford.
In response to Ben Adler’s “Rich Republicans Say Birth Control is Cheap.” February 16, 2012

trippin: Consider this. Let's say you make a product. Walmart approaches you and says, “hey Sneed, I can offer you distribution like no other.” You agree to begin distributing your product through them. They come to you for more of it, and soon your production is predominantly going to them, and your business is now dependent on them as a customer. Then they come and say, “Hey, you know, your product costs too much. You'll have to make it in China because we can only afford to pay so much for it.” Your options are then foreclosed.
Walmart opens a store in a community and because they've strong-armed their suppliers to providing products with indentured servitude or worse, they can lowball all the existing stores in the area. Once they all go out of business and Walmart is the only game in town, people then have no alternative.

It's difficult for those suppliers or those consumers to think that keeping their options open is a better course when presented with these choices. The intangibles in the future can't stand up to the allure of doing business with them, or purchasing needed goods at a low cost today. They use their size as a weapon and they enrich themselves with predatory practices. Such is the nature of capitalism, and why sound regulations in the interest of the common good is always needed.
In response to Laura Flanders’s “How the 1 Percent Get So Rich.” February 16, 2012

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