Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Trudging Toward Old Age?

A couple of weeks ago, my daughter, husband and I went to visit my mother-in-law.

She had selected a newish restaurant for lunch, some kind of chain I think. Sweetwater something? Sweet Grass Grille? I don't recall.

We are seated, and before we receive the menus, I know what is going to happen. Music is playing. Some kind of 80's pop perhaps. It's a bit too loud for a mostly empty room.

Now, we are all just a bit touchy. My father-in-law had very recently died, and the rest of us are trying to go about our business of being a family and supporting each other. My mother-in-law makes a wincing face. My husband knows it's about the music. He gets up to ask the hostess if it can be turned down.

Upon his return he reports: "I told them that this is a restaurant not a disco and they need to turn that music down."

Good God. The man is not yet 50, yet he speaks as if he is waving around a cane. What the hell is he going to be like when he's 60?

Several minutes later, the manager comes over. It is a brisk day in northern Virginia, but he makes it look like it's a sweltering afternoon in Las Vegas. He informs us that the music will be turned down. And changed over to Country. I swear I saw him smirk when he said that. Frankly, I'd rather someone spit into my soup.

I guess this is what the long (or for some of us, not so long) trudge toward decrepitude looks like.

I don't know about my old man, but I'm thinking I might just like a disco.

For about five minutes.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Another Post including the name Rick Santorum

I wish all women in this country were in agreement about women having the right of control over their own reproductive systems. Some women agree with those whipping up those “personhood” bills. Many women agree with Rick Santorum and his wish to abolish birth control. Frankly, one woman agreeing with Rick Santorum is one too many.

Our mothers, grandmothers and great-grandmothers have fought for women’s right to vote. The fight was too frequently violent. More recently, women have fought for equal rights, equal pay, and reproductive rights. Are women in this country going to give up these hard-fought rights willingly? Are they going to initiate the overturn of rights already won?

As women, we may oppose birth control. We may oppose abortion. We may oppose equal rights. Parents may wish to teach their children to abstain from sex before marriage.

Do we want to teach our daughters that they have little control over their lives? Do we want legislation that will abolish their decision-making. When they decide to reject pre-marital sex or birth control methods, do we want them to do so because they are forced or because they came to these decisions on their own?

My daughter is certainly going to be able to walk into her employer’s office and say, “It’s fine to pay me less than a man for the same job.” She can also tell a boy or man, “I’m waiting until marriage for sex and I won’t have sex unless it is to have a baby.” She may tell me, “Mom, I don’t want to vote because I just don’t think a woman is capable of making such decisions.” She will be perfectly capable of uttering, “I don’t believe homosexuals should have equal rights.” My husband and I will do our best to educate our child to function in the world as a well-rounded individual. Sure, we will bias her in some way or another. That’s what most parents do. But one thing I WILL NOT do, is take away her rights in order for her to comply to my way of thinking.

Women, mothers, fathers, men, uncles, sons, daughters, grandmothers, when you go to the polls, vote for those who will work to enable all of our citizens in this country to flourish while living peacefully among others in their communities. Do not vote for those who seek to divide us into groups. Do not vote for hate, fear and oppression. Do not vote away your rights and the rights of others.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Oh, yes! It's Another Birth Control Tirade

Looks like President Obama has poked the conservative bear. And you know what happens when you poke a bear. They tend to maul you without asking why you were poking them in the first place.

The religion/birth control war seems to be on. The Catholic leaders have got their skirts in a bunch and Midge McConnell is once again doing his impersonation of a pearl-clutching old woman. “Say,” the conservatives screech, “Let’s do whatever we can to take down Obama, even if that means screwing over millions upon millions of women and girls.

Not only does the Catholic Church want to exempt itself from participating in women’s preventive health care, they want control over the women themselves. I can’t accuse the Catholic Church of kidnapping women and making them join the faith against their will. But I can accuse them of misleading their followers. But that is another loooonnnnnnnnnggg story, and I’m here to bitch about the birth control thing and the control of men over the whole damn world. A simple and brief topic, right? Here’s some semi-random thoughts:

A. The Catholic Church in the United States wants freedom of religion. Yet, this “freedom” removes freedoms from their members. The members are to follow the Church’s teachings. This greatly inhibits the members from thinking for themselves. And who runs this church? Google it. Look at the list of male bishops.

B. The human species has not yet evolved to the point that we no longer need organized religion. Most of us seem to want guidance and instruction. Yet, somehow, too many of us have chosen to have our guidance and instruction created and distributed by men. Yes, ladies, while you were huddled down by the river washing clothes and chasing babies and children, the men starting making rules and we’ve stuck by these rules until very recently.

C. Most of the murder and rape in the world is committed by men. I’m willing to bet, without looking up the statistics, that most of the domestic violence in this country is committed by men. Yes, I know in a bar fight, I’m likely to lose to a man, but to go beyond this physical inequality to across-the-board inequality through archaic laws and religious oppression is detrimental to every individual in this country (even men). Yes, I'll let you open the door for me, but I'm NOT going be forced to gestate the offspring from a rapist.

D. Believe it or not, the same man who thinks you need to accept your broken gift from God if you are raped and get pregnant, could possibly be the next president. And furthermore, according to the ever-persistent Santorum, you better not do a damn thing to prevent that pregnancy. So ladies, if you’re walking home from work one evening, you better just be prepared to be raped and give birth. Frankly, you better not be walking by yourself. You know, the more Santorum thinks about it, you best not be out without an escort and a burqa. And what are you doing working outside the home, anyway?

Until recently, I have not been one to promote discrimination. But I’m going to become more discriminating on whom I vote for. Will I in the future base my vote on a candidate’s religion? As my daughter’s Magic 8 Ball states: Outlook good. I will not knowingly support a person or organization that encourages or merely tolerations the oppression of women.

I voted for Senator Casey in Pennsylvania. Now, when it’s time to stand up for the women of the state of Pennsylvania, he turns tail and hides behinds the skirts of his bishop. Shame on you Senator Casey. Shame on any man in this country (and yes, the world, but that’s another post) who is unable to stand up for the rights of over 50% of the citizens of this country.

Oh, and by the way, thank you to the men who are standing up for the women in this country.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Catholic Conundrum

So, there's this birth control health care thing out there (in some form or another -- it seems to change every minute). And I'm trying to see what the REAL problem is. We're not clubbing seals with this thing. Who's being hurt by preventing unwanted pregnancy?

The president wants employers, including those of religious schools and hospitals to provide access to free birth control to its employees.

The bishops have their BVDs in a bunch.


If all of the Catholics are doing everything that the men in the funny hats are telling them to do, then where's the problem? If a good Catholic is not supposed to use birth control, then they won't be banging down the clinic doors with funds ill-gotten from insurance companies to protect themselves from unwanted pregnancies. Right?

So, with this fit (or collective fits) the Catholic leaders are throwing, aren't they pretty much showing that they have no confidence in their followers? If the Catholics are heeding their leaders, then no one is even going to fall for this socialist, birth-control trick, are they?

Then where's the problem?

The problem is they are spreading their fear of individual rights and sex and whatnot onto the rest of us. The non-Catholics.

I've never voted for a politician before based on race or religious affiliation. I think those days are over. Today's paper had one of Pennsylvania's senators, Bob Casey, labeled as a Catholic senator. I didn't know we were using those labels. He stated he was siding with his bishop in Scranton on opposing this new health care ruling.

I wrote to him this morning. I'm waiting for my limp-wristed reply. Here's what I wrote:

Senator Casey,

In the past, you have earned my vote for Senator. My belief in the government of the United States is that the people, the citizens, vote for the candidates. We vote on your positions on economic development, social services, etc. The bottom line is, this is a bottom-up government. There are no dictators. There are no kings. The people – those at the bottom, vote to put people in office.

I did not vote for your bishop in Scranton. I don’t believe that he is the king of Pennsylvania. Therefore, I am disappointed to see that he is dictating your position on the new ruling that religious schools and hospitals must provide health insurance for birth control to their employers.

This ruling would allow employers to receive birth control. It gives them an option. No one is being forced to use free birth control. No one is being forced to alter their religious beliefs. If an individual does not believe in birth control he/she does not have to purchase or use it. If a teacher, administrator, nurse, orderly, or janitor at any of these religion-based facilities wants to receive preventive birth control as part of their personal health needs, it is absurd to deny them access if they are unable to afford it.

This is not an abortion debate. This is a health debate. This is also a health debate that concerns mostly women. I am a woman. I am a resident of Pennsylvania. I am a citizen of the United States. I was lead to believe that my vote counts. The leaders of any church in this state or this country should not have a greater say than an individual. They have the right to vote the same as I do, not to dictate. Your job is to represent your constituents, not your bishop.

I'm sure this is just rife with grammatical errors, but I must do these things in the heat of the moment.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Rick Santorum -- Recurring Nightmare

Just when we thought it was over. We put out little, free-thinking heads down to sleep. Then, upon awakening, we find that voters in Minnesota, Missouri and Colorado have put more freaky juice into Santorum's tank. Like a demented, fundamentalist little Energizer Bunny, he's just going to keep on running.

Gone are the days when politicians promised a chicken in every pot. Now, nuts like Santorum are vowing to have their hands in every pot. And dictating what should go into every pot. And telling you, that no matter what is in your pot and how it got there, by God it's going to stay there. Unless, naturally, it has something to do with his own family.

I've heard a few people state that they admire Rick Santorum because he believes in what he says. He's not a flip-flopper. He has conviction. So do mentally ill people. There are people in this country that believe they have been taken aboard alien spaceships, strapped down and probed. They do not flip-flop on this matter. They have conviction. So? Say you're in a car and you're driving the wrong way down a one-way street. You believe you are on a two-way street. You believe that all of the drivers heading toward you are wrong. You never stop to think that it might be you going in the wrong direction. You are convinced you are right. Yet old ladies with shopping carts and kids walking dogs are flying over the hood of your car. Blood and limbs are everywhere. You are arrested. You tell the judge you are not guilty. Everyone else was wrong and you were right. And you also think that you should be president.

And, to top it off, you can proudly state that you think global warming is a hoax.

This man is obviously dangerous. To himself and the entire world population.

Yes, I am a liberal. Did anyone need to have that stated? I can't imagine what it must be like to be a Republican at this point. How do you choose a candidate. It must be like a crack addict trying to decide which of four dealers to purchase from. And holy hell, the lies these dealers would tell just to get this addict to buy from them.

Conservative crack. Don't buy from Rick. He's been cutting his with way too much insanity.