Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Bleedin' Kansas! Too Bleedin' Right

By far.

‘Bleeding Kansas’ Threatened with Bloodshed by Anti-Abortion Extremists: Just Remember Dr. Tiller
by Bill Berkowitz

During the 19th century, the state became known as ‘Bleeding Kansas,’’ and was a staging ground for abolitionists. Years later it was a stronghold of late-nineteenth century Populism and host to the largest selling socialist newspaper in the country. It recently celebrated its 150th year of statehood. For the past century it has been a citadel of conservatism.

Kansas: a place, a state of mind, a state of contradictions. Kansas is John Brown’s liberation army and Sam Brownback’s conservative crackdown. Its storied history encompasses critical pre-Civil War battles over slavery, the rise of populism and the home of the largest selling socialist newspaper in the country. One-hundred fifty years later and the state embodies a curious blend of the Religious Right’s “culture wars” with Koch Brothers free-market fundamentalism, which over the past decade has produced a school board immune to scientific data, and a ruthless anti-abortion movement.

Nearly two years ago, Dr. George Tiller, who ran Women’s Health Care Services in Wichita, Kansas, was gunned down while attending worship services at the Reformation Lutheran Church. Tiller was one of the few doctors who, in accordance with Kansas state law, was willing to perform late-term abortions. Tiller, whose clinic had been bombed and who already had been a shooting victim in 1993, was a long-time target of harassment and violence by the anti-abortion movement. This year, as it marks its 150th anniversary of state hood, “Bleeding Kansas,” once ground zero in Free State vs. Slave State battles of the mid-19th century is now a modern-day battleground over abortion. And abortion opponents have shown that they are willing to spill blood in pursuit of their cause.

Named after the Kansas River that flows through it, which in turn was named after the indigenous Kansa Indian tribe.....

Next follows a quite lengthy and quite interesting history of Kansas, which is I'm sure, a great deal more interesting than Kansas per say. Continue or read on.

The Wichita crusades

Wichita was once home to a thriving aircraft industry. According to Wikipedia, Clyde Cessna, Walter Beech and Bill Lear “began projects that would lead to Wichita's nickname as the Air Capital of the World. “ Such corporations as Stearman, Cessna, Mooney and Beechcraft were all founded in Wichita in the late 1920s to early 1930s. While some companies remain, Wichita has fallen on economic hard times.

Since the early 1990s, Kansas has become a modern-day version of “Bleeding Kansas.” No Wyatt Earp-like gun-battles in the streets, but the anti-abortion movement, centered in Wichita -- the largest city in the state and home to Koch Industries – has used disruptive, harassing, intimidating tactics, as well as murder to press its cause.

In the summer of 1991, as part of what it called the “Summer of Mercy,” Operation Rescue, an anti-abortion organization known for its vigorous protests – including harassing clinic workers and patients outside abortion clinics -- conducted “a seven-week occupation of three women’s clinics in Wichita,” according to a timeline.

Dr. George Tiller owned one of Operation Rescue’s targeted clinics. In 1993, an anti-abortion activist shot Tiller. Nearly ten years later, Operation Rescue moved its offices from Southern California to Wichita, when it “began a campaign to expose the abortion industry there,” according to its website. more

The concluding paragraph however, is the one that should give concern, signed with supreme irony, “Kansan’s for Life.”

I'm not going to link to my previous posts, but they are not few, where I ask why these pro-life instruments of God aren't picketing the White House and the Pentagon, demanding an end to the slaughter of children in their tens of thousands by the US military? These previous posts can be found no doubt under the Hypocrisy tag, but, as you can well imagine, that is quite a large tag here.

I will however direct you to quite a comprehensive previous post regarding George Tiller, Paul Hill, Billo and various others. Oh! and the Soldiers of the Army of God, did I mention those?
"..after the slaying of Tiller the Killer"

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