Archive for June, 2009

17
Jun
09

I hate dogs

Ok for all of those you have posted comments to the “I Don’t Like Dogs” post – this is just for you. It seems to sum up pretty well how everyone seems to feel – and it makes me laugh.

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17
Jun
09

Just wait

What is going on in Iran is just amazing and fascinating. It is the most promising thing I have seen. Now, I wait with baited breath to see how it is resolved.

Wait is all we should do. McCain’s calls for Obama to make a firmer stance are misguided. The opposition may be more open to America, but they certainly do not need us as a friend right now. If we were to voice strong support for the opposition or claim that we were are certain there was fraud, it would taint the real move for change in Iran. Even if we could – and we can’t – call for a new election in which Mousavi was elected, he would then be destroyed as a puppet.

Patience. Support from a distance. Prepared to help if the need arises. Be inspired by the uprising. But most of all, just wait. Haven’t we learned by now that our “assistance” is not always a good thing?

And over the long haul, what we can do the calm the world’s riotous areas?

Women’s rights and education.

Consider this. It is well known that societies with lots of young men with little to do tend to be more volatile. The youth bulges tend to correspond with violence. Societies with women’s rights have lower birthrates. Societies with access to education have lower birthrates and better job opportunities for youths. Educate and empower and things will change.

We all want the same things. Given the opportunity, people will take a job and family over jihad. They just need to have the choice. Bombs and bullets, sanctions and strictures can be necessary stepping stones on occasion, but they do not bring the real choice or change. That is brought by people who seen an opportunity and are willing to grasp it. It is the people of Iran seeing that the economic and political needs would be better served by a more moderate leader and rising up to make it happen. Or, it is as simple as the population of a country growing out of its youth bubble to the point where the revolutionaries remaining can be quashed – Sri Lanka.

As the Dali Lama says, “As human beings we all want to be happy and free from misery.” If happiness can be found, if freedom from suffering can be found, here and now, right here on this earth, then it reduces the attraction of dying to achieve that release from suffering. If you have something to live for, you are less likely to want to die. Empowerment and education can help provide that.

12
Jun
09

What’s a joke?

Sarah Palin.

She’s a joke. When will she go away? God! Ok. I am a raging feminist and it totally pisses me off to hear her call for an “uprising” against David Letterman over the jokes he told about her daughter. Sorry, Gov. you don’t get to play the feminist card. You’re the beauty queen, not Gloria Steinem. You never had any problem using your beauty queen status in getting where you are.

As far as the double standard of the media following your family, you brought them into this. You made them part of your campaign. You are the pro-life, abstinence only mom with the un-wed daughter that got knocked up at 17. Out here, us feminist-blue-state-liberals don’t fault her for having premarital sex or being a teenage mom. We’re the bleeding hearts that support girls just like her. What we have a problem with – and where you open the door to public discussion of your family – is the hypocritical nature of you bringing her and her “fiancé” on stage with you at the conventions and giving the situation your blessing while still touting abstinence.

12
Jun
09

Feeling good

I’m feeling good today after the reports on the President’s health care initiative yesterday. I had written him a message on the website  a few weeks ago asking why was the notion of a single payer system completely off the table. It might not be the right way to go, but did it hurt to consider it?  The protestors against “socialized” medicine answers the question of why it is not politically feasable – and thus not an option now. It is just combustible. Damn those Reaganites branding it “Socialized” all those years ago. It makes it “that of which we cannot speak”.

Yet, the idea is getting traction. Obama’s public plan is a way to explore the idea without mandating an abrupt and complete overhaul. If – and it is a big if – a public plan goes forward it will give us a chance to see if a single payer system will work. It will be interesting to see the fight that ensues over the idea. No matter how many times he says “if you have insurance you don’t have to change it” some will still rail against the idea of the government having anything to do with healthcare. Why is this idea so frightening? Why are we so certain that the free market system works with healthcare? The evidence certainly seems to say that it does not. We pay more for our health care but we certainly do not have the best. Treatments and procedures and medications are moved from the lab to the bedside not based on what is needed for a healthy society but what will have the biggest profit margin. Why else can we come up with a few new antidepressants a year and yet we still can’t deal with malaria? The free market is a great system. It is great to spur innovation and profits. Super. But, should the goal of the medical establishment be profit alone? It seems counterproductive.

Here’s a link to Bill Moyer’s Journal a few weeks ago regarding the issue. http://www.pbs.org/moyers/journal/05222009/profile2.html

01
Jun
09

Elementary Identity Politics

I took the fingernail polish off Boy’s nails before he went to school. I had put it on there last night, but had second thoughts. He would have preferred black, I think, but he was totally fine with the green and gold shimmery color that I had.

He had spent the day with my mom as Husband I drove across the world to get some things for our land. He was relieved that he didn’t have to be in the car for eight hours and was ok spending the day at the assisted living facility with my mom as she visited my step-dad. He was bored. He wanted to go to his friends, but had forgotten the number. Then, one of the employees brought her daughter to work with her. That changed everything. He didn’t want to leave to go run errands with my mom, he wanted to stay there with his new girlfriend.

When we picked him up and got home he told us he wanted to paint his nails. First, he said it was something the new girlfriend wanted. Then it was something a guy on his team had done and he saw the new girlfriend paint her nails and it gave him the idea. Whichever. Husband told him it was totally gay to paint your nails – he was fine with that if that was who he was, but it was a totally gay thing to do. Boy said that that was just a straight stereotype. Husband said it was ok for him to do it, but he was going to be teased and known the rest of his school days as the boy who painted his nails. I painted them and Husband told me I was being complicit by doing it. I reminded him that he said it was alright and that I would rather it to look neat than big globs. I also only put on one coat so the color looked more gray than green – still, it shimmered and sparkled. He waved his hands around to dry the polish and stood with his hands on his hips, fingers splayed. It might be a stereotype – my how your lessons come back to haunt you – but he was playing right into it.

I thought about it all night. I have told him he cannot wear a Mohawk. I told him that he is young and not old enough to really make such a decision and thus the haircut would reflect more on me than him. Similarly, I have nothing against tattoos, but a young person doesn’t know enough about themselves to have something permanently inked on their body. The next week they would be into something else. I am totally cool with him trying on his punk personality, but was I going to be willing for him to be hurt and ridiculed at school in order to allow him to make this choice on his own? It is a fine balance.

He came out of his room this morning with his hair gelled into a “faux-hawk” and his brown shorts and brown button down shirt. Ah, Billy Joe from Green Day. Cool, much better than some of his other fashion role models. I see where he is going with the polish. I sat him down and I told him that as a parent, it is my job to protect him. It is also my job to help him make the right decisions. He knew what was coming and said he had made this decision, thinking he knew exactly what he was doing with green glittering polish on his nails. He looked sad and upset, but I went on. I told him I was totally fine with him trying on different personalities and new things, but there is a time and a place for everything and eleven and at school was neither. As the polish came off, I told him that if he wanted to wear fuchsia and a feather boa, that was fine. If it was black eyeliner and nail polish, that was fine. Whoever he turns out to be is alright, but school is not the place to try it out. I told him I was sorry and reminded him of the young guy that use to coach him. He would cut his hair into a Mohawk during the summer, but he didn’t wear it to school. That helped ease the situation some. He asked me if his hair was alright since it was a “faux-hawk”. I told him it was, that it was short enough and neat enough not to be over the top.

I am sure we will revisit the nail polish this weekend as school ends.