Farewell. The Flying Pig Has Left The Building.

Steve Hynd, August 16, 2012

After four years on the Typepad site, eight years total blogging, Newshoggers is closing it's doors today. We've been coasting the last year or so, with many of us moving on to bigger projects (Hey, Eric!) or simply running out of blogging enthusiasm, and it's time to give the old flying pig a rest.

We've done okay over those eight years, although never being quite PC enough to gain wider acceptance from the partisan "party right or wrong" crowds. We like to think we moved political conversations a little, on the ever-present wish to rush to war with Iran, on the need for a real Left that isn't licking corporatist Dem boots every cycle, on America's foreign misadventures in Afghanistan and Iraq. We like to think we made a small difference while writing under that flying pig banner. We did pretty good for a bunch with no ties to big-party apparatuses or think tanks.

Those eight years of blogging will still exist. Because we're ending this typepad account, we've been archiving the typepad blog here. And the original blogger archive is still here. There will still be new content from the old 'hoggers crew too. Ron writes for The Moderate Voice, I post at The Agonist and Eric Martin's lucid foreign policy thoughts can be read at Democracy Arsenal.

I'd like to thank all our regular commenters, readers and the other bloggers who regularly linked to our posts over the years to agree or disagree. You all made writing for 'hoggers an amazingly fun and stimulating experience.

Thank you very much.

Note: This is an archive copy of Newshoggers. Most of the pictures are gone but the words are all here. There may be some occasional new content, John may do some posts and Ron will cross post some of his contributions to The Moderate Voice so check back.


Thursday, February 2, 2012

No more pinkwashing

By BJ Bjornson

The fun never stops with this one. Yesterday, the internet erupted over the news that the Susan G Komen for the Cure foundation was cutting funding to Planned Parenthood in a blatant cave-in to right-wing ideologues. Today brings news that the new rules Komen brought in to cut off the Planned Parenthood funding were done specifically to give them an excuse to cut that funding.

Komen, the marketing juggernaut that brought the world the ubiquitous pink ribbon campaign, says it cut-off Planned Parenthood because of a newly adopted foundation rule prohibiting it from funding any group that is under formal investigation by a government body. (Planned Parenthood is being investigated by Rep. Cliff Stearns, an anti-abortion Florida Republican, who says he is trying to learn if the group spent public money to provide abortions.)

But three sources with direct knowledge of the Komen decision-making process told me that the rule was adopted in order to create an excuse to cut-off Planned Parenthood. (Komen gives out grants to roughly 2,000 organizations, and the new "no-investigations" rule applies to only one so far.) The decision to create a rule that would cut funding to Planned Parenthood, according to these sources, was driven by the organization's new senior vice-president for public policy, Karen Handel, a former gubernatorial candidate from Georgia who is staunchly anti-abortion and who has said that since she is "pro-life, I do not support the mission of Planned Parenthood." (The Komen grants to Planned Parenthood did not pay for abortion or contraception services, only cancer detection, according to all parties involved.)

The answer to this is much the same as it was yesterday, move your cancer donations elsewhere and, per PZ Myers, let Komen suck up the cash of Puritans to where it can at least still be put to some good use.

So don�t give to them anymore. Redirect your charitable giving to organizations that don�t have a Puritanical streak, and are a bit less Republican in outlook. There is no shortage; I recommend the Breast Cancer Research Foundation, Breast Cancer Charities of America, CancerCare, and the Cancer Research Institute. So far, they all seem to be dedicated to fighting cancer and helping people, and a lot less concerned about policing people�s morality to conform to that of the Religious Right.

But I don�t want Susan G. Komen to go away. I think it is an excellent charity for right-wingers and Christian fundamentalists to donate to � their money will go to a cause we can all support, and it�s better than filling the coffers of the Mormon or Catholic churches.

And yes, I�m leaving in the links to the other charities as a lazy way to point you all to where you can divert your charitable giving, if you don�t want to just send it directly to Planned Parenthood itself.

And if you need further incentive to cut off the pink ribbon folks, it may delight you to know that the people who helped push Komen away from saving poor women�s lives with breast cancer screenings at Planned Parenthood clinics are now pushing them to stop supporting stem cell research. Though I�m not sure if this is a matter of giving into bullies who then just ask for more, since by all accounts, it was more a matter of electing the bullies to run the organization.

This little documentary probably won�t help matters for Komen much either.


  1. Hey BJ the whole video Pink Ribbon Inc. is not yet available at the NFB's site - they do have most of their library available free just not the most current films.
    But the previews for Pink Ribbon Inc. are up on their site:
    I can't wait 'til Harper and the CRAPers target this great Canadian institution.

  2. Thanks geoff, I just noticed the review while I was writing this up and thought it was worth adding. Came across another site noting some of Komen's other great marketing deals, such as a pink handgun and a perfume with toxic ingredients not tested for human use.
    On the bright side, their marketing model of making everything pink and with the pink ribbon logo does make it a whole lot easier to know what products to avoid.

  3. I guess it takes something like this for us to realize the Susan G Komen for the Cure foundation is just another Right Wing Scam.

  4. Scam may be a little harsh. If PZ can be believed at the link above, Komen is actually fairly efficient so far as charities go, but they have definitely become corporatized with their branding campaign, and this last little move certainly puts their motivations regarding women's health into question. Devolving towards a scam, perhaps.

  5. I'm not so sure BJ. From the documentary I gather they have accomplished very little. They push cosmetics that contain known carcinogens. They refuse to fund any research on the environmental causes of breast cancer since that would go against right wing ideology.

  6. Thanks BJ for your comments on BCCA....we DO focus on the patient and how we can help that individual now. It's our driving force at The Breast Cancer Charities of America...we continue to believe in funding non-invasive research so we can find a cure to breast cancer that touches LITERALLY everyone, but our immediate HELP go to the women right this second that are going through breast cancer. From emotional support and guidance, to financial assistance where we pay for their every day needs like rent and utilities---there's nothing worse in our eyes than a women going through breast cancer, having to decide between a doctors visit or keeping a roof over her and her families heads.
    So thank you--supporters and writers like yourself are what help us spread the word about what GOOD can be done to help breast cancer patients. We applaud you for your work and thank you for believing in our message of helping the next woman in need!

  7. Hi, BJ. Thank you for including the Cancer Research Institute in your blog post. We at CRI are dedicated to conquering ALL cancers through advancing research into the immune system and how its power to fight disease can be harnessed to treat, control, and prevent cancer. By providing funding to the most qualified and talented scientists around the world, and by bringing them together to work collaboratively on the most pressing challenges in the field of tumor immunology, the Cancer Research Institute is transforming cancer medicine, bringing new hope to patients who desperately need safer and more effective treatment options.
    Thank you, again, and here's to working together toward a world free from the fear of cancer, for all cancer patients.