Tuesday, July 10, 2012
February 22, 2012
A few more thoughts on this whole birth control issue (even though, since I'm a woman, many of our elected representatives believe I don't have anything useful to contribute to this discussion):
I keep reading the statistic that 98% of American women will use contraceptives at some point during their lives. I can only assume this means that the majority of people in this country, even those who consider themselves very religious, are not philosophically opposed to the basic concept of family planning.
So what is the justification for all the current debate about requiring insurance coverage for birth control? If it was entirely about money (as it so often is), employers and insurance companies alike ought be clamoring for the law to be put into effect, as it is much less expensive to pay for contraceptives than it is to cover prenatal care, hospital births and more dependents on insurance policies. Preventing unwanted pregnancies is good for business.
And yet money is still a big part of the issue, because the fall-out from the politicization of these issues always most greatly affects those who have less. Women of means can afford contraceptives whether they are covered by insurance or not. It will be poor women who are most likely to suffer if the objections of a small minority are allowed to prevail in this current situation.
Nor does that political quagmire abortion seem to the root of the latest situation. Although some choose to boil the entire issue of women's reproductive health down to abortion, common sense tells us that the use of contraceptives will prevent unwanted pregnancies, resulting in fewer abortions. That many of the same people who want abortion made illegal also oppose policies that promote access to contraceptives makes no sense unless the actual goal is to punish women for their sexual behavior by taking away any control they might have over their own fertility.
It is a very small number of conservative, mostly male members of Congress, responding to a very small number of religious leaders, who have thrown a wrench into the process of making a basic health service available to the women of America. The objection is that the rights of some religious institutions might be violated if they are required to provide their female employees with insurance coverage for contraceptives. But Freedom of Religion and Separation of Church and State are two sides of the same coin. While Freedom of Religion dictates that religious institutions not be forced to follow laws that are in direct opposition to the tenets of their faith, Separation of Church and State requires that US laws not be shaped by the religious beliefs of any particular group. This makes the compromise decided upon by the Obama Administration to require insurance companies themselves to cover contraceptives for employees of religious institutions not wishing to provide such coverage a good one. That this is not good enough for some legislators and religious leaders begs the question: since when does the right to freedom of religion of a group or institution equal the right to take away the rights of individuals who might not even follow that faith?
Although I am not a religious person, I have the utmost respect for the religious beliefs of others - right up to the point where those beliefs are used as a justification for blocking the rights of those who don't share them. I am frustrated and disheartened that we are having this debate, couched in these terms and conducted mostly by people who don't even have the affected body parts, in 2012. This sort of controversy would never happen over any issue related to the health of men, but the power of women's bodies, to entice and to give life, has been politicized throughout history as something threatening that must be controlled. The current debate is just one in a long line of instances in which the personal rights a large number of the most vulnerable women are affected by the archaic ideology of a handful of powerful men.
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
Saturday, March 14, 2009
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
Saturday, October 18, 2008
This is our puppy, Posy:
And this is Buster Posey, former Florida State baseball star and 2008 draftee for the San Francisco Giants:
Buster is a pretty common name for dogs, though not for people -- I was happy to see on Buster Posey's Wikipedia entry that it's not his real name (which is Gerald, and I can't blame him for wanting to be rid of that). Posy (or posey), however, is not a common name, for people or dogs, which is part of the reason I chose it. So I find it very entertaining that there's a baseball player named Buster Posey, and he is a player for the team to which I have the most allegiance (I won't go so far as to call myself a fan, since I barely pay any attention most seasons, but I grew up in a Giants family and continue to feel fondly toward them despite being married to a rabid Dodgers fan). Also, like Buster and Posy, Buster Posey is extremely cute. Seriously -- look at that guy.
I have a new favorite baseball player :-)
Monday, October 13, 2008
First, Ryan and I attended my high school reunion September 27, and it was a lot of fun! I was really nervous, but ended up having a great time.
I'd barely recovered from that when I spontaneously adopted a puppy two days later! Posy is a toy poodle/terrier mix, about 2 1/2 months old, and just the cutest thing ever! House-training is a challenge, and Buster keeps looking at me as if to say "how could you do this to me?", but we are all enjoying her.
Most importantly, this past Saturday, October 11 at 8:05 am, my niece Jayla Jean was born. Her parents are my brother Chad and his wife Angela. I was lucky enough to be there for her arrival, along with my mom, Angela's mom and sister Lora, and of course, Chad. Watching Jayla's birth was absolutely amazing, and of course we are all in love with her, no one so much as her daddy! It's so much fun to see my little brother as a dad :-)
So that's the big news here! Soon we will head down to the valley for Ryan's high school reunion, we are all looking forward to dressing up for Halloween, and of course there is regular life, with school, activities, PTA, and this marathon election season. I'm a mama for Obama! Just say no to McPain!
Friday, August 15, 2008
Spray sunscreen in a can is convenient when you’re putting it on, but it sure doesn’t seem worth the money when you use up an entire can of it just trying to get your family of four properly screened before your first morning at the beach.
The combination of a functional set of black swim-shorts with a cute, colorful bikini top means that, while my body is not exactly bikini friendly, it is not strictly bikini unfriendly either.
Arcades are pretty much similarly scummy wherever you go.
Sand can get into the most amazing places.
There’s probably such a thing as being too vigilant about sunscreen, but that level of vigilance is not one I have ever managed to reach.
Everyone in my immediate family sunburns easily.
A single-day ticket to Disneyland has become so prohibitively expensive that it can actually seem to make sense to just buy annual passes for the whole family and plan to come back a few times later in the year.
Credit card companies use perverse non-customer-serving logic, such as to simply decline charges that seem too big rather than giving the customers a hassle-free way to authorize them. This can lead to unpleasantness, especially when one is on vacation, and, frankly, seems counter to the desire of credit card companies as well. Don’t they want you to charge a lot of stuff?
It’s actually possible to go to Disneyland in the middle of August and have it be fun and not so ridiculously crowded that you spend all your time waiting in line. We recommend going on a Wednesday when the economy is crappy and Disney has just raised tickets prices a few weeks earlier.
Somehow, the saccharine schmaltz of Disney doesn’t seem that bad when you are actually inside Disneyland.
If you are walking around, say, a theme park, and it’s so hot and humid that the sweat seems to be pouring off you, a margarita is excellent remedy.
Just as the fact that fries are fattening doesn’t keep you from eating them on a frequent basis, the fact that you rented a condo and brought lots of food so you could eat home-cooked meals on your vacation doesn’t keep you from eating out a lot.
A walk of almost any length is too long the day after you spend fourteen hours walking around Disneyland.
The experience of swimming in the ocean teaches many life lessons. For instance, like life, the ocean can be dangerous, but if you don’t get out there, you’re never going to have any fun. Also, the ocean does things on its own terms. You can try to stand at the edge and not get wet above your knees, but if a wave wants to soak you, you’re going to get soaked. It’s better to learn to float along with it than keep fighting against it. And even when you do, you’re still going to get slammed into the beach by a rogue wave you weren’t ready for every once in a while.
However true that last item may be, having a mother who expects you to appreciate nuggets of wisdom like “The ocean isn’t fair” right after a rogue wave has slammed you into the beach is probably kind of a drag.
Even the best, most relaxing vacation can be tiring.
A little 2 bedroom/1 bath condo just a couple of blocks from the beach in great weather is terrific for a week’s vacation, but toward the end, you’re still pretty much ready to get back to having a dishwasher, a DVD player, reliable wi-fi, separate bedrooms for the kids, multiple bathrooms, your dog, and air conditioning. In other words, home.