Friday, September 12, 2008

Thursday, September 11, 2008

The more I think about it....

I am anti- adoption.

In my heart, I don't think that bringing a child into the world only to reject it is a good thing. Perhaps my view is colored by having parents who couldn't give a rats ass about their children, but I think it must be one of the deepest kinds of hurt to realize that the first person who should have loved and wanted you, didn't. When I decided to be a parent, I searched my soul long and hard. If I couldn't love this kid with everything in me, then I shouldn't have him. Of all the kids I could have had, I've only felt that way once. And I have only one kid. As craptastic as our life is, he never has had to question whether or not I love him and want him. He knows it. Not all kids get that from their parents.

Of course, as a rational human being I understand the need for adoption. Children need parents, there are lots of children whose parents cannot or will not care for them.

So I don't condemn women who have chosen differently from me, even if they have made a decision I abhor.

And I wonder about those women who do condemn other women their choices. I wonder what secret regrets they are covering up. Almost always when someone is that full of hate they have their own psychological skeletons they are trying to keep at bay, justifications they are making to themselves to rationalize their choices. Like the forced pregnancy godbags who get abortions themselves. Their choices are the only ones that are righteous and good, all other women in their situation are dirty sluts.

But those same godbags aren't that different from the screaming abelist assholes on the left asking if Sarah Palin choosing to have a baby with Downs Syndrome is a horrible affront to modern science, or trying to end sex selection abortions in India.

It is a choice, people. Every woman gets to make one, even if their choice if different from yours.

If you really want to end abortion (not possible, but dream big people) then you have to make birth control widely available and infallible, make rape non-existent, and make a big, cushy safety net for people who are going to be impoverished by having more children than they can afford. If you really want to end sex selection abortions, then you have to change the environment so that girls aren't undervalued by society. If you want to stall the birth rates in poor countries or to poor women, you educate the women and girls and give them access to employment and birth control and control over their own reproductive and economic futures.

But all that is a lot of hard work and expensive programs. Judgment, shamming, and abstinence programs are cheap excuses to keep society just as oppressive to both women and children without actually doing anything to fix the problems they scream about. Whining about babies being born to older mothers is ageist and in the case of Palin, abelist. Complaining about how many babies someone has is just as bad as complaining about how few babies someone has*.

It's a choice. It's not your choice unless it's your uterus.

*Except in the case of Quiverfull families. Anyone who keeps having babies specifically to become fodder in a religious war is pushing the boundaries of child abuse. May god bless such families with many gay sons and lesbian daughters.

Ah the screaming wingnuts in the comment mod

From my blog for choice day post (months ago)

Orphaned at 12 says: This comment will probably be blocked, because I find it hard to believe that every comment left on this page was positive towards you, but here goes. I call BS on what you said. My father died when I was 9 & my mother died when I was 12. I was in foster/group homes & residentials for 6 years. I have a history similiar to yours. I was raped, abandoned...etc. I got pregnant at the age of 16. Was living in lala land and thought I could play house at that age, so I kept my son. It was tough and I knew I was in over my head, but I made the best of it. AT 19 I got pregnant again. I knew I shouldn't have another child yet so guess what? I put my daughter up for adoption. She is with a loving (infertile) couple and her adopted sister and is a part of a family who adores her. I learned my lesson and didn't let my butt get pregnant again until now, at the age of 32 in a loving and warm and supportive relationship. I learned my lesson. I didn't take the easy way out. I didn't MURDER my own flesh and blood. The way you talk about what you disgusting. Perhaps you wouldn't be so down on your luck and struggling now that you are in your thirties if you weren't such a piece of trash. I mean, who REALLY wants to know you? It would be nice if this world could abort you. Ho hum.

Wingnuts- spreading the love and reminding us that babies are a punishment for women having sex.

See Orphaned at 12- I do publish comments from people who disagree with me. I just also like to point out that they are screaming nutjobs while I do it. And yes Orphaned, you are the only person to have said something negative. I am judging by the amount of judgmental crap you like to spew at people that you are less happy with your current life than you let on. And because I am in real life exactly as I am here on this blog, I have lots of kind and generous friends who help me. Do you? Or have you driven them all off with your spite?

OMG this is so awesome

I've been immersed in the comic (?) A Softer world.

It makes the dark and twisted part of my heart sing.

Obligatory 9/11 Post

I watched the planes fly into the towers on morning TV. At first I was stunned. WTF was that? Then when it became clear that it was a terrorist attack, I became angry. Boiling blood could rip out people's throats with my bear hands angry.

But I am a grown up. And it took me about 24 hours to get past the red rage point and come to my senses. Blood for blood was not going to fix this or prevent another attack from happening.

And our bloody policy hasn't prevented another attack from happening, it's just changed the location of the attacks. In the mean time we have given up so many of our rights in order to be free. But as Benjamin Frankin said, "Those who would sacrifice liberty for safety deserve neither". We grow more like our enemies using our current methods to defeat them.

The people of Afghanistan are begging us to stop bombing their children from the air. Even the Iraqis want us out. I think they finally realized that as long as we are in Iraq, there will be no peace for them.

The American people haven't been made safer by these wars. The ideal that we were going to fight the Taliban and make Afghanistan a safe place for women is a laugh. Iraq was pretty secular already, with some of the most liberal laws for women in the region, and now women are murdered for being audacious enough to leave their homes.

We've become torturers on a grand scale (though torture has long been a part of our toolkit) and crushed the rights of humans under our black boots in fear.

So 7 years on and we are neither free nor safe.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Inner 3rd World: The War On Drugs

There are a large number of proggy types who love to watch The Wire. Even the head unity Pony has said it's his favorite show. I tried, but to be honest it wasn't groundbreaking or interesting to me because I was living in that environment. I want shows that give me an escape from poverty and violence, not a reminder of what my daily life entails. 3 shootings with a football fields space from me and the Kid's numerous muggings/near muggings in the last few years have kinda numbed me out to the thrill of urban street war.

But I do like that there is a show out there that depicts what life is like for the rest of us. And I sincerely appreciate David Simon's work of trying to get the other America to open its eyes and ask the question. Why? Why is it so different for us?

Now it's time for the confession that will officially end any hopes of a political career. 15+ ears ago- I sold drugs. I was never a big time dealer, just acid and pot and for a very very brief period of time, crystal meth. I never made much money, usually only enough so that I never had to pay for drugs myself. But I always thought I had other ways out of poverty, like work and education. Those hopes hadn't been so thoroughly dashed at 17 and 18 as they have been at 33. I can understand how someone, say a young African American male, who is already looking at severely diminished prospects in even getting a job at McDonald's, would turn to the one career option where his race won't matter.

We are 30 years into this war on drugs. 30 years. And nothing is better for it. We rarely ask why people might turn to drugs to make them feel better. We assume it is a willpower failure. We don't even imagine a state of such hopelessness in this country that one's only escape comes from the masking effects drugs have. Oh if I had ever let myself use cocaine on a regular basis, I would be a goner. The few times I have used it, it hit the happy making part of my brain like a freight train and for a few brief hours shook off the paralyzing effect my near constant depression has on me. I could see how dangerous it was for me, and made a point of staying away from it.

And there is an entire underclass of people like me. People who are without hope of improving their lives in the ways we are told that work. So they do what they can. they find whatever ways they can of just getting through the next day, the next hour, the next few minutes. Whatever they can to keep the giant pit of despair from pulling them under. It is a lot of work to live on the edge. It takes a lot out of you. Drugs can seem like a tiny escape from that pit.

I have this not that far fetched idea that all addictions are just self-medicating for untreated mental illness. Anyone who spends most of their waking hours under the violent threat of poverty is surely shorting out the neurons that keep us going during times of stress. Humans weren't made to live under this constant pressure.

Then I have this much farther fetched idea that the reason why drugs are illegal in this country is for the same reason that prostitution is illegal. Prostitution is one of the few jobs where women make consistently more money than men. Drug dealing is one of the few jobs where being a black man doesn't hurt your chances of advancing.

In my ideal world, all drugs, even those ones that are this years current scary menace (when I was a kid it was crack, as a teenager heroin, and now crystal meth is the big scary boogey man) would be legal. We'd throw open the prison doors, and put the money from the unused beds into treatment of addicts and education (not anti-drug education, but get you a job education) of the poor. Cause right now with the War on Drugs all we are doing is paying the lower middle class (as police officers and prison guards) to keep the bottom locked up and/or scared. It's costing us a lot in terms of time, money, and lives wasted and it's not eliciting any benefit except for the owners of the private prisons.

drill baby drill

The gods of irony are smiling on this little edit of the Republican convention.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Oh fucking hell

So in the never ending tale of woe that is my recent life, the water is out.

Kid and I are housesitting while Ruth is on vacation and when I sent the kid in to do the dishes, we realized that there is no water. None. Not a drop.

And I can't seem to get a hold of anyone who might be able to tell me why there is no water here.


Monday, September 08, 2008

Wecome to Bizzaro Land

It's official peeps- I get a stalker and lose a dear friend cause I won't vote for Obama and admit that Unity Ponies are real, and I lose a different dear friend cause I won't vote John McCain, Maverick at large. Apparently not voting for McCain makes me a coward, yet not voting for Obama makes me a dumb slut.

WTF peeps? I think I am officially in Bizzarro Land.

And after checking the sitemeter stats for today- I know it's true. Since I am too tired (spent the day cleaning house for a friend. It's not a lot of money but I was down to bus fare when I got to his house) and am too angry to blog about anything coherent at the moment, you get a list of the weird google searches that get you to this blog:

Cookie Porn

free chimpanzee fucking woman

Center of a twinkie - I'm number 1 on this at Google. I'm so proud!

catch more flies with honey type analogies

Cute Indian Boys

And the still popular- why do men hate their women

Killing 2 birds

A few nights ago a saw a thing on PBS about Socrates and his tendency to ask profound questions of random strangers on the street.

Then tonight the Kid handed me his geography homework. Which is really homework for me. I have to explain what I think Geography is (as a person in their 20s or 30s). I also have to find someone under 10 and 50 or older to answer the same question. Sorry 40somethings, you've been left out.

So darling peeps- what is geography? Do you have a wee child you can harass until they answer that question? Will you help me to help the Kid do his homework?

I'll post my response in comments later.

But what is geography?

Sunday, September 07, 2008

What's The Big Idea(s)

Lambert's got a post up about how we would change things if we had the power to do so. And do I have some ideas for you............

(Quin- this is what i meant by a wiki think tank- jump in!)

1. Corporate Taxes: One of the most profound things I ever read was in a biography of the first socialist Swedish Prime Minister, Tage Erlander. Horribly paraphrased, his idea was that a company that could not afford to pay it's employees a high enough wage that the employees could then pay income taxes, was a failure as a company. Business's 1st and most important function for the state is the taxes it brings in, either through straight corporate taxes or the payroll taxes its employees pay.

We've fucked up that idea somehow and forgotten that both business and government work FOR the people, not the other way around.

So I would eliminate all corporate tax deductions except: living wage rate wages paid to employees (not including CEOs) and deductions for materials, etc that are made in the US. We shouldn't be giving tax breaks on money spent or kept outside the country.

I don't have any illusions that all employers would pay their employees enough to live on, but this would give employers who treat their employees fairly a competitive edge and an incentive to give raises.

2. Fair Trade: Once we've cleaned up our own abysmal pay problem, we allow free trade only with other countries that have living wage rules in place. For poor countries that are trying to enact progressive labor policies, we give liberal trade assistance to get them up to speed faster.

There is little likelihood that we can keep jobs in our country as long as there is cheap labor to be had around the world, but we don't have to be complicit in the downward pay spiral. Countries that do not and will not set fair wage laws will be charged import tariffs on any goods and services brought into this country.

3. The Social Safety Net: I would eliminate Welfare and Unemployment and roll them into Social Security. The I would put in place a mandatory minimum income (indexed to inflation) that gives anyone whose income falls below the poverty line enough money to make up the difference. I would use the IRS and a person's tax returns and eliminate the nanny state investigations of the poor. I would also include the ability use this safety net for parental leave or FMLA reasons.

4. Universal, quality childcare. Maybe using the French model so that families have a range of options from straight up preschool to subsidies for inhome care.

5. Universal higher education with subsidies to poor students for living expenses and extra classes, tutoring as needed. With the loss of manufacturing jobs there is no way to earn a living in this country without a college education and we are desperately in need of doctors, nurses, and other high skill professionals. The people to fill in these positions could come from the uneducated ranks with a little extra help.

That's all I've got on a day with no coffee. What's your big idea?

ETA- Oh Oh Oh DAMN me and my non caffeinated brain. I forgot bodily autonomy.
New constitutional amendment guaranteeing the right to control your own body. This includes access to abortion but also an end to pointless drug laws. Free up the prison and put the money into treatment for those that choose it. I'd also structure it so that giving someone false information that results in bodily harm (say abstinence education or falsified drug research) is a criminal act and a violation of civil rights.

And for Lost Clown- Of course there would be universal healthcare.