Aftermath (Part 10): Are we really so blind we can’t see?

Aftermath (Part 10): Are we really so blind we can’t see?

It’s remarkable, you know. I see patterns other people don’t and there are people who know me and think I’m too full of hyperbole to pay attention. Even when I’m right. Continue reading “Aftermath (Part 10): Are we really so blind we can’t see?”

Aftermath (Part 5): Patriarchal Theocracy

Aftermath (Part 5): Patriarchal Theocracy

patriarchal

  [pey-tree-ahr-kuh l]
adjective[1]. of or relating to a patriarch, the male head of a family, tribe, community, church, order, etc.: my father’s conservative, patriarchal ways.2. characteristic of an entity, family, church, etc., controlled by men: the highly patriarchal Mormon church.

theocracy

 [thee-ok-ruh-see]

noun, plural theocracies.

1. a form of government in which God or a deity is recognized as the supreme civil ruler, the God’s or deity’s laws being interpreted by the ecclesiastical authorities.
2. a system of government by priests claiming a divine commission.
3. a commonwealth or state under such a form or system of government.
(http://www.dictionary.com/)

Continue reading “Aftermath (Part 5): Patriarchal Theocracy”

But you have to stay…

But you have to stay…

Ya know, since I started posting about this election cycle, the rhetoric has gotten increasingly difficult to take, from both sides. For those of us who are all #VoteBlueNoMatterWho, it’s a no-win scenario.

From either side, I hear that I’m supporting someone disingenuous or incapable of winning. Hillary supporters think Bernie can’t do the job, that his plan is lacking, and that all he has is momentum, and not as much of that as he ought to have. Her supporters think I’m somehow less of a feminist if I support Sanders instead of Clinton.

Bernie supporters think that she’s a pathological liar, she’s in bed with Wall Street and not interested in serving MY needs, and all sorts of other things besides.

Never mind that the press and politicians haven’t touched Bernie and his Democratic Socialism yet because until he’s a real threat (which they’re denying as hard as they can because they would rather continue to smear Hillary). This crap isn’t new. In fact, it’s nearly 40 years old, and ought to be recognizable as a historically embarrassing time in our history. Except, of course, that the history books bear NO mention of what those years really looked like. And haven’t been taught. If the student never studies and never sees what happened, did it ever happen at all? That’s the core of 1984, and the whole of the GOP’s strategy against Hillary Clinton.

Meanwhile, there’s…Trump. Three times married, crude, lewd, greedy narcissistic jerk that he is, he’s garnering the Christian Conservative vote, the White Supremacy vote, the Never Hillary (and Bernie won’t get there) vote, and the Narcissist vote. He’s got the backing of the NRA, and pretty soon, the Koch brothers will line up behind him because it’s the only way they get their way in politics.

Someone asked if anyone else was sick of the rhetoric. I raised my hand, with a link to this article on Rawstory.com regarding Trump trolls posing as Clinton/Sanders supporters, and the link to the stories out of West Virginia talking about the open primary there and who actually crossed the line and why.

BUSTED: Trump-loving comment trolls pose as Sanders and Clinton supporters to divide Democrats

(Note that 4Chan is NSFW, but you can still see the original trolling posts there.) I got back a comment that it was just one guy.

Sigh.

Every time this subject has come up, I’ve said that I won’t stay in the US if Trump wins. I have no desire to live in a fascist theocracy or dictatorship, and I’m absolutely certain that’s what’s coming, with the certain replacement of three to four Supreme Court justices within the coming presidential term.

And the response? You can’t leave! Who’ll fight the battle for the US?

Well, let me tell you, it won’t be me.

I don’t love my country so much that I’m willing to die or be maimed for it. If that makes me a heretic, so be it, but I know for a fact I’m not alone here. I chose not to serve in the military for a reason, and I’ll be damned if I’ll make cannon fodder out of my kids because I opted to stay and fight.

The last post I made, You say you want a revolution…, got a *crickets* response. People really think that revolution is actually a bloodless, painless affair. They truly don’t understand history, have no frame of reference for what freedom fighters did and what it cost them to do it. They can’t fathom what life was like for Anne Frank, or how concentration camps actually worked because teachers don’t teach the history anymore. They’re too busy making sure their students can pass the Pearson tests that fail to cover these aspects of history, whitewash what slavery was truly like, and promote ignorance over reality and historical fact because it’s inconvenient.

No, it’s NOT my job to stay here, take up arms, and fight for my country. It’s my job to protect my kids and to raise them in a safe environment, to ensure their rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Nowhere in that language does it say I have to wield a gun to make that happen, no matter how many 2A apologists want me to think otherwise.

If that’s all the US has left, to give itself over to misogyny and hate, I’m out of here. My passport’s current. Is yours?

If you want me to stick around, make sure Trump doesn’t win.

That’s YOUR job.

If you can’t say it to my face…

If you can’t say it to my face…

I woke up this morning at 2:30am after a fitful night’s sleep. I was trying to concentrate on homework before I crashed, but there was an incident last night in my favorite restaurant/hang out that bothered me on a level I failed to interpret properly, and I woke up and realized I needed to unload before I could go back to sleep, so I turned on my computer.

That led to a variety of things, including more work on the homework and, more importantly, some solidifying of my thoughts on what happened.

A few days ago, I posted a link to a quote on FB that appears to have grown legs. The quote appears to be a paraphrase of this article on Examiner.com, written by William Hamby: What if gun laws were like abortion laws?

My post, with a paraphrased version of the comparison Hamby made, continues to generate likes and has also attracted a couple of trolls who would rather point their flamethrowers at anyone who thinks pregnancy choice is a problem (read: Pro-Birth) than discuss the actual issue: Gun control.

 

I could address an anti-choice rant and get involved in a days-long fight with someone who’s only interested in posting on FB to generate arguments and feed the hate, who’s largely impervious to reason, employing logical fallacies rather than discussing the actual problem and identifying solutions, or I could eliminate the source.


I’ve been told that one of the individuals in question is a “professional troll” and I’ve got a clearly stated policy against such behavior on my FB page. Posting inflammatory rants borne of logical fallacy for the sake of pissing off the liberals is reason enough to eject someone from my space. I don’t tolerate trolling behavior and I try not to derail the conversation with straw man arguments or false equivalency, but the simple summary that generated the latest response struck me as a concrete analogy and that’s why it was important to share. 

 

Too often, 2nd Amendment supports see their right to guns as trumping any other rights to life, liberty or the pursuit of happiness. The trouble is, with today’s all-too-often climate of “shoot first, ask later” and doxxing as a means to settle arguments, you actually can’t be too cautious about who you invite to the conversation.

 

Maybe that’s wrong, but I called the police tonight on a guy in my local favorite restaurant (which, by the way, is run by a Muslim family) because the ass wipe was behaving in a manner that threatened him and his family. So when I say I won’t tolerate behavior and I’ll say it to someone’s face, I back that 100%.

 

Why did I call the cops? He was harassing the chef’s daughter, who does not speak English and was wearing her hijab. She was sitting quietly at the end of a long day, and he wandered through, heaping verbal abuse on a guy he called a “f**king queer (who packed up and left in a justifiable huff) and attempting to start a conversation with the daughter. I was unable to keep working on the homework. I felt threatened, and he wasn’t addressing me at all.

 

Two days ago, an American shot up his workplace after leaving angrily. This guy was wearing a cammo coat and was clearly drunk. What was going to stop him from going to his car, hauling out a pistol and exercising his 2A rights, as he saw them through a haze of alcohol? So, I called the cops, because it was necessary. It’s sad that I had to go there at all, but it was clear from where I was sitting that he was unloading all that hate just because she was wearing something he could identify as a target for abuse.

 

It’s the same hate I’ve seen filling the arenas where Trump and Carson and the rest of the bigots in the GOP try to pander to their racist, homophobic, xenophobic base, out of fear they will become irrelevant if they can’t control all the branches of government.

 

It’s the same hate that made the GOP vote to repeal the ACA (Obamacare), and defund Planned Parenthood (even though the federal government is banned from financing abortions).

 

And now that we’ve finally seen Daesh on our own shores, maybe we’ll finally see some action regarding control of weapons, even though the vast majority of mass shootings occurred with a Christian or Atheist at the trigger. The irony hasn’t escaped me, but the question is: Why now? Why not back when Lanza shot all those children in Sandy Hook? Or when the kids shot up their classmates and teachers in Columbine?

 

You are entitled to your opinion, but you are not entitled to force me to risk my health for your firmly held belief. That includes your opinion of Planned Parenthood facilities, semi-automatic weapons, medical Mary Jane or anything else. And you sure as hell aren’t entitled to say whatever you want on my FB wall or here, with no consequences to your actions.

 

I’m not going to waste my time arguing with you. Deleting the hate-filled spew on my wall and blocking the source is as much a self-defense mechanism as anything else. If people can’t be civil, they can leave. I’ve said as much on FB, right here. And if they won’t leave, I’ll eject them. It’s really, truly, that simple.

Second class citizens…

Second class citizens…

On Monday, the US Supreme Court, by a 5-4 margin (which divided itself by conservative and religious lines), declared that employers who object to contraception as a violation of their deeply held religious beliefs do NOT have to cover their employees, one of the most important points of the Affordable Care Act.  Continue reading “Second class citizens…”

When the hospital plays God…

When the hospital plays God…

It’s Karen Ann Quinlan and Terri Schiavo all over again.

Only this one’s different. This one involves a pregnant woman, and the rules have changed. Because this is Texas, where, thanks to George W. Bush, fetuses trump everything, and the only sacred thing is birth. But this isn’t just about Bush and it’s not just about Texas, either.

Did you know that roughly one third of the United States have enacted similar laws? Where do you live? Have you checked the rules? Is there the remotest chance you could become pregnant, then incapacitated, and then be forced into the role of incubator at the pleasure of the State?

This article, from the Vermont Law Review, dates back to 2005, and was published shortly after Bush signed the bill into law in Texas.

DIE FREE OR LIVE: THE CONSTITUTIONALITY OF NEW
HAMPSHIRE’S LIVING WILL PREGNANCY EXCEPTION

But the article isn’t about Texas. It’s about New Hampshire. Which other states have such laws on their books? I can’t tell you. There is no quick summary to tell me which states ignore Advanced Directives in favor of pregnancy. And I’m not in a position right now to devote the time it will take to review the laws in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and the US territories.

I strongly suggest that if you have even the remotest chance of becoming pregnant and you think you have a Living Will or Five Wishes document in place, you check your state laws and make sure your family won’t be trapped in Erick Muñoz’s living hell.

Fetus in Muñoz case is “distinctly abnormal,” attorneys say

We don’t understand nearly enough about the dying process that I would even consider the possibility of remaining on life support to continue carrying my unborn fetus, unless that fetus was near term. A couple of days? Yeah, I could see that, but Marlise Muñoz was barely out of the first trimester when she collapsed. Based on nutrition alone, that’s going to have a massive effect on the health of the baby. Then there’s the oxygen deprivation, circulatory regulation, and more.

And then, there’s the enormous load of ethical questions of cost for care and who should bear them. Texas is absolved of the responsibility. If the hospital shunts its responsibility back to the already grieving father who is taking legal action against the hospital, how is this even remotely right or responsible?

The question is so charged with ethical questions, in fact, that the first judge set to hear the case has recused herself. Don’t skip this article. It has links to a bunch of other related articles I won’t reproduce the links here, and to understand what’s happening in Texas, and could happen in your state as well, you need to read through all of them.

Judge recuses herself from Muñoz case against JPS hospital

In fact, there are so very many questions, starting with the right to choose coming from the family, I can’t even begin to list all the reasons why this is so tremendously awful. It’s Quinlan and Schiavo all over again.

I recognize that I’m an atheist at best, but there’s doing what’s right and then there’s this. Religion and morality get in the way of doing the right thing and that’s the sole reason for the separation of church and state.

I find it profoundly disturbing that there is no simple summary of the states that would force a family to maintain a pregnant woman on life support as an incubator for her fetus. In fact, the laws are so variable I strongly suggest that if you have such a document in place, you investigate for yourself what your family will face if they have to make the decision for you.

Pregnancy is such a loaded event. It’s hard enough to imagine the responsibilities of caring for a person from birth through to adulthood. We invest so much in child bearing and so little in child rearing, and focus so much attention on abortion and choice, that we forget sometimes the state will trump our right to choose. If you think about it, you shouldn’t be at all surprised to discover that the next logical step is jail for miscarriage, but that’s the case in some of our states.

Miscarriage? Face Prison Time For Murder

Government so small it fits into a woman’s uterus.

Think about it. Fight against it, because we’re just one thin line away from Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale.

[Addendum 1: After publishing this post, I found the following link, to the Center for Women Policy Studies’ article entitled Pregnancy Exclusions in State Living Will and Medical Proxy Statutes. I strongly recommend this article if you or your child(ren) are of an age where pregnancy is an issue. Whether you live in one of the five states that allow advanced directives for pregnant women (Maryland, Minnesota, New Jersey, Oklahoma, and Vermont) or not, pay very close attention to your state laws.]

[Addendum 2: MSNBC is reporting that John Peter Smith Hospital has been ordered by a Texas judge to remove Mrs. Muñoz from life support, no later than 5 p.m. CST on Monday, and that her death on November 28th places her outside the legal requirement for maintaining the acknowledged non-viable pregnancy. It is unclear whether the hospital’s administration will follow the judge’s ruling at this time.]

Critical thinking and the 2012 Election

Critical thinking and the 2012 Election

Critical thinking and the 2012 Election

From the start of this political season I have been saying that who we elect as President will determine the make-up of the Supreme Court for decades to come.

If you look at the current seated justices, there are at least two, possibly three who will be retiring during the next term. Romney knows this and thinks he is free to say whatever he thinks will get him into office, but his campaign managers know better and they have been correcting the candidate for weeks, after his appearances, because Romney doesn’t know when to stop.

This latest gaffe proves my point: Romney says he’ll be softer on abortion. His running mate, Ryan, is ultra-conservative about abortion policy and has tried more than once to pass laws that restrict availability. The results? 

“Romney said in September that he would prefer to appoint justices to the Supreme Court that would oppose Roe v. Wade.

“I hope to appoint justices for the Supreme Court that will follow the law and the constitution,” he said at the time on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” “And it would be my preference that they reverse Roe V. Wade and therefore they return to the people and their elected representatives the decisions with regards to this important issue.””

The issue isn’t about choice. It’s about a candidate who simply can’t tell the truth because it damages his position. Electing a leader who will say anything and giving him the power of protection now afforded to the President of the United States isn’t just foolish, it’s dangerous.

If George W. Bush could ruin our economy in four years, putting this man in office when we are now bottoming out will drop the bottom out of our recovery. Please do NOT let this happen!

Fair Warning (reposted from Facebook)

Fair Warning (reposted from Facebook)

I posted this Note in response to some seriously inane conversation as a result of one of the many items I put up on my FB wall. It’s stunning how much better I can think when I have a night’s sleep.

Y’all should probably be relieved that I’ve moved the majority of my political posts there. But this applies to both that space and this one and it bears repeating, so here it is:

Last night I had a better night’s sleep than I have in a while, thanks to proper meds (albuterol and now inhaled steroids to nuke the starting bronchitis) from a thoughtful doctor who knows when to listen to the patient. It kills me that there are people I know who don’t have access to this sort of medicine or advice. (The nurse made me come in because *she* didn’t like the way I sounded.)

After a decent night’s sleep, I realized I buried this comment at the bottom of a post, and another that is cogent as well. So I’m reposting it here, as a warning and for encouragement of clear discourse. If you want to take issue with me regarding the things I post you’d better read this because I mean it.

Let’s be clear here. The Republican Platform is not the isolated input of a few noisy jerks in an otherwise intelligent and reasonable organization. This is the full percolation of all the hateful rhetoric in the last twenty years, distilled down for your voting pleasure. Read that again: 20 years of this crap, since Bill Clinton took the White House after beating George H.W. Bush out of a second term.

If you opt to label yourself as a Republican, tea party or otherwise, this is what you are signing on to as representation of YOUR views. If you don’t like that, take it up with YOUR party. I am reporting what these people who claim to be citizens of MY country say should be MY views, rights and responsibilities.

I’m proud to be a liberal Democrat. I have been since I was at least eight years old. I recall the Vietnam war, the riots of the ’60s that helped inspire the founding of my high school, the assassinations of MLK, Jr., RFK, Malcolm X and Pope John Paul I.

I am literate, educated and I vote. I have taken classes in human sexuality, human pregnancy and fetal development, and I have carried two children of my own. I have had two c-sections (one of which likely saved my life and my baby’s), and I have had a tubal ligation to prevent further pregnancies. I support the right to choose and I am not dependent on or beholden to anyone else’s religious views. I have already started to educate my daughters on how to stay away from drugs, cigarettes and pregnancy. And when the time is right, I will vaccinate my daughters so that they can be safe from preventable cancer in the same way that they are (theoretically) immune to tetanus, measles and hepatitis.

I have friends of the same sex who are married in some states but not in others. Some of them are parents, and awesome ones at that. Some of them are celebrating anniversaries of over 20 years.

I know and am (or have been) friends with close to 20 transgendered individuals, some of whom have undergone surgery and who are happier for the ability to identify themselves as they are and not as others see them.

I am also a survivor of inappropriate touching, non-consensual sex, and separation after marriage.

Do not presume to know what my motivations are in posting the things I do. Read the articles, pictures, and my comments. Explore the truth for yourself.

I’ll only say this once: Rant on my wall at your own risk. This is MY space. If you refuse to be educated, opt for accusations rather than open discussion and reduce your arguments to name-calling, I will remove you from my friends list without another warning, no matter how long I may have known you as a friend.

We have a long way to go between now and November 6, and I don’t propose to stop posting this educational material until the poisonous rhetoric of the extreme Right goes away or posting becomes illegal thanks to some hidden paragraph in an internet security bill or hidden agenda of the site hosting my account.

If you think I mean you, you may be right.

Theme: Elation by Kaira.