Southern Interventions

I don’t mean Libya. According to rumor, Obama had to be dragged into that intervention by the women in his administration.

I was beginning to wonder if his mother had deprived him of knowing what abuse looks like when he sees it by protecting him from an abusive father. When authority stands silent in the face of abuse, it becomes complicit – disastrous for a person in his position. Victims of spousal abuse know all that. For centuries, they have been told that more obedience is required if beatings are to cease.

That his conservative colleagues on Capitol Hill are into abuse big time seemed not to have registered with President Obama. He didn’t appear to recognize that depriving inoffensive persons of medical care, proper nutrition, dignity, and the human rights specifically mentioned in the Constitution, especially by the agents of government, whose position obligates them to provide for their welfare, is both abusive and a dereliction of duty.
Deprivation of rights is supposed to be reserved for punishment of malefactors. Of course, if rights aren’t respected to begin with, then there’s nothing to deprive people of and no effective punishment.

Now there’s some evidence of a change. The New Hampshire Executive Council, which has considerable administrative powers, is depriving citizens of medical care to maintain or improve their health. Our federal government, perhaps, as a testing of the waters in one state to gauge the effect of actually stepping in and calling a halt, is saying that it will not be tolerated. The Nashua Telegraph has the story.

Feds to award family planning contracts in wake of N.H. Executive Council’s rejection of Planned Parenthood

What that means, in short, is that, since the Executive Council refuses to contract with the traditional private provider of health services for families, our federal government is going to do it directly. Get rid of a middleman that is trying to obstruct, rather than promote, the delivery of care.
This is, btw, also an excellent example of what conservatives are afraid of — our federal government providing payment directly and cutting out the middlemen. When you consider the host of middlemen with which our society has been burdened (contractors, consultants, insurers, loan servicers, appraisers, assessors, councilors, advisers, publicists, organizers), the possibilities of streamlining seem endless. That their enablers on Capitol Hill fear losing their minions is understandable.

The all-Republican Executive Council voted, 3-2, in June to reject $1.8 million in state and federal money for Planned Parenthood’s six state clinics.

Make no mistake, the council’s action wasn’t because they planned for the State of New Hampshire to pay for family planning services directly. No, in my considered opinion, the intent was to bring planning for parenthood to a halt out of a subconscious suspicion that, if their own parents had been able to plan, these deprivators would never have been born. See, it’s not about the future with these folk. It’s about the past and the present and their self-centered determination that, if nothing else, they’re going to demonstrate who’s in charge. Also, planning ahead is not something they’re good at. Indeed, it’s probably a source of considerable frustration for the instinct-driven — “just doin’ what comes naturally.”

When candidates for public office start talking about power, we have to pay real close attention. Public office holders are supposed to be public servants, stewards of assets – not rulers who get to dole out benefits/goodies/bribes to favored acolytes. Power is the key. Because power, to be felt, has to hurt. People who do good are not perceived as powerful.

It’s a good thing President Obama is perceived as weak. Steadfast and sturdy would be better.
People obsessed with power have to deprive others of their rights, because the power-lust, like other obsessions, is never satisfied. Even after 234 people are executed in Texas, there have to be other folk to hurt.
Those 234 dead, btw, no longer hurt, obviously. It’s their kith and kin and empathetic citizens who continue to be hurt.

We worry a lot about death and dying in this country. That’s a flaw. We should pay more attention to the living hurting, ’cause that’s where those who lust for power get their jollies. A perpetual smirk is not a happenstance.

This was also published at


Monica Smith

Monica Smith writes Hannah's Blog. Born in Germany, she came to the United States as a child, living first in California, then after an interval in Chile, in New York. Married to a retired professor at the University of Florida, where she lived for 17 years, she moved to St. Simons Island, Georgia, in 1993 and now divides her time between Georgia and New Hampshire. (New Hampshire, she says, is always interesting during a presidential election.) She and her husband have three children and five grandchildren. Ms. Smith says she "learned long ago that I am not a good team player when I got hired at the Library of Congress, fresh out of college with a degree in political science and proficiency in four foreign languages, to 'edit' library cards and informed my supervisor that if she was going to insist I punch the clock exactly on time, my productivity was going to fall from being the highest to being the same as everyone else's. The supervisor opted to assign me to another building where there was no time-clock. After I had the first of our three children, I decided a paycheck wasn't worth the hassle."