Sunday, April 22, 2012

I want to hold your hand

“I Want to Hold Your Hand” was recorded by the Beatles in October 1963, and was the first Beatles album record to be made using four track equipment.

Although the song was popular in the United Kingdom, it became EVEN MORE popular in America. It entered the Billboard Hot 100 chart on January 18, 1964. By February 1, it held the number one spot on the list, which it held for seven weeks. Ultimately, “I Want to Hold Your Hand” became the Beatles’ best selling single WORLDWIDE. If you’re feeling a little nostalgic, you can listen to the song “one more time” by clicking on the link below:.

the boys from Liverpool

If the Beatles were still performing together today, though, it’s likely that they would not be able to perform anywhere in the state of Tennessee, and for a very peculiar reason..

A few weeks ago, the Republicans in the Tennessee legislator introduced language in a sex education bill that defined kissing and holding hands as “gateways to sexual activity”. Strictly speaking, they’re correct, but it’s a hell of a stretch to assume that holding hands automatically leads to a “roll in the hay”. .

Come to think of it, Hootie and Blowfish probably wouldn't be welcome there either, because of the group's desire to "hold your hand."

In Tennessee, “sex education” is a bit of a misnomer, since the sex education classes focus ONLY on abstinence.. The Tennessee legislature recently introduced HB 3621 and SB 3310, which would give parents the ability to take action against teachers who encourage the use of contraceptives to promote safe sex..

Nationally, teen pregnancy rates have continued to drop.. As of 2010, the rate fell to 34 pregnancies per 1000 for girls 15 through 19, which is the lowest rate since 1940. Mississippi (which does not require sex education in schools) has the highest rate of teen pregnancies, with 55 pregnancies per 1000 girls. .

Davidson county Tennessee (which includes Nashville) is pretty close to that number, with 54.2 pregnancies per 1000, but the rest of the state is somewhat lower. Overall, though, Tennessee is tied (with Arizona) for the 9th highest rate of pregnancy in the nation. .

New Hampshire has the lowest incidence of teen pregnancy, at 16 per 1000 girls. New Hampshire requires comprehensive sex education in schools. The information provided in the classes also included information about condoms and contraception..

Like many other states in the last few years, the Volunteer State” has passed a number of other laws that make you question the sanity of the legislators. Other laws that Tennessee has recently passed include the following:.

1) Tennessee (as well as Montana) passed legislation that effectively said that “no gun control powers were ever granted to the Federal Government.” Understandably, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives took offense at the laws, and they were negated..

2) In June of 2010, Tennessee Governor Phil Bredesen signed HB 670, which has provisions similar to Arizona’s SB 1070, which is being challenged in Federal court this week..

3) In May of 2011, the Senate passed SB 0049, which prevents teachers in kindergarten through eight grade from discussing homosexuality in prepared materials or instruction..

Since I live in Arizona, I’ve been exposed to some proposals that actually didn’t make a lot of sense., and I may have played a small part in getting a few of them killed due to the fact that I’ve been writing to (and getting responses ) from the legislators in Phoenix..

In 2011, state legislators in our country passed a dizzying 40,000 new laws, most of which took effect in January of 2012. Since many of the new laws appear to be similar from state to state (for example, 25 states have laws similar to Florida’s Stand Your Ground law) you might start to think that all those laws came from a single source, and you’d be correct..

The American Legislative Exchange Council was started in September 1973. According to the information on its website, the organization is “a nonpartisan membership association for conservative state lawmakers who shared a common belief in limited government, free markets, federalism, and individual liberty”. .

If you go back in history, you may recall an organization called the John Birch Society, which still exists today. JBS favors limited government and personal freedom. The Society upholds an originalist view of the U.S. Constitution (which it identifies with fundamentalist Christian principles), and it is also opposed to wealth redistribution and economic interventionism..

I may not be the sharpest tack in the box, but I think that I see a connection between ALEC and JBS, which I’ll explain further in a minute..

Is ALEC actually a “non partisan” group? To quote the old AVIS commercials, “not exactly”. Out of 104 legislators in leadership positions, there is exactly ONE Democrat. Across America, there are 2000 state legislators who belong to ALEX. Their dues are a very modest $50 per year. .

There are also more than 300 corporate sponsors, who pay substantially more - between $7000 and $25,000 a year. However, corporations who participate in task forces may contribute as much as $10,000 more each year. Additionally, ALEC also receives grants from large corporations. Between 1998 and 2009, ExonMobil contributed $1,400,00 to the organization.

The Koch Foundation contributed $500,000 to the organization in 1996..

The connection between ALEC and JBS?.

One of the founders of the John Birch Society in 1958 was Fred Koch, founder of Koch Industries, one of the largest privately hold companies in America. His sons, David and Charles, are currently running the company, and are tied for 4th as the richest men in America..

In 2004, the Koch brothers founded an organization called Americans for Prosperity , a political advocacy group headquartered in Arlington, Virginia. The group played a major role in the Republican’s takeover of the House of Representatives, and has been called “one of the most powerful organizations in electoral politics.

Americans for Prosperity is also one of the major supporters of the Tea Party movement

The Tea Party has managed to produce some pretty nutty politicians, like
Michelle Bachman of Minnesota and Representative Allen West of Florida whose recent pronouncement that 81 member of Florida’s House were communist evokes memories of Joe McCarthy from the 1950’s.

Bachman was a founder of the House Tea Party Caucus.

The American Legislative Exchange Council has been a major factor is rewriting laws in our country. In addition to the passage of more liberal gun laws, ALEC has also focused on at least five other areas:.

1) Immigration reform.

2) Health care.

3) voter ID laws.

4) Right to Farm.

5) Privatizing education.

The link below provides a great deal of more information about all of the items listed above:.

be sure to watch the video .

The “common folk” are starting to fight back. This week, the U.S. Supreme Court will review the legality of Arizona’s immigration law, SB 1070..

ALEC’a preferred method of operating in the dark has started to develop some embarrassing revelations, which a man named David Offutt revealed on his post of March 21, 2012..

The extreme positions advocated by ALEC could cause the Republican Party to lose control of the House of Representatives., and ALEC’s influence over state legislatures has come to the attention of some local journalists..

As always, it’s all about the money, and ALEC has essentially bribed a number of key Federal legislators. Fortunately, our friends at Google have allowed us to track “the money trail”.

In a number of states (Arizona being one)
legislators with ties to ALEC control both the House and the Senate, as well as the Governor’s office.

Not everyone shares my distrust of politicians with ties to ALEC, or my dislike for Republican legislators in general, and that’s OK. America is a great melting pot, and we inevitably are going to have some disagreements..

As we move forward, it’s critical that we somehow find a way to work together for the common good, a position that seems to be in short supply these days, especially at the Federal level..

It may surprise you to know that all of us, AS INDIVIDUALS, can actually influence the direction that our government takes. I’ve written a number of letters to the state legislators in Arizona, and have received encouraging responses from a number of legislators..

My next goal is to work with the “friendly faces” that I have in the legislature to reduce, as much as possible, the influence that ALEC has in not only my state, but other states as well..

If we don’t all work together to reduce the death grip that both Big Oil and ALEC have on the United States, I’m afraid that we’re all in for A Hard Days Night .

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