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Archive for the ‘women’ Category

I heard this story on NPR yesterday on my way home.

Last November, a 27-year-old woman was admitted to St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center in Phoenix. She was 11 weeks pregnant with her fifth child, and she was gravely ill. According to a hospital document, she had “right heart failure,” and her doctors told her that if she continued with the pregnancy, her risk of mortality was “close to 100 percent.”

A nun, after what was reported as going through an agonizing thought process, allowed the termination of the pregnancy to save the woman’s life.   She was excommunicated by the Catholic church which the article states is “the most serious penalty the church can levy.”

This is a sad story.   It should be noted that this isn’t an attack on the Catholic church in general…but this is just unacceptable.   The general public is wondering how can this woman who saved a life be so severely punished when the church is known to not punish those who have abused children.  What message does this send?

To me it still says….

1) A woman’s life is unimportant and she is nothing but a baby-carrying vessel.  If she dies too, so be it.

2) A woman of the church (a nun) is held to a different standard of actions than compared to the men of the church (the priests).

3) Intent to follow canon does not matter.  The nun and the hospital tried to do what the church would have wanted.

“But the hospital felt it could proceed because of an exception — called Directive 47 in the U.S. Catholic Church’s ethical guidelines for health care providers — that allows, in some circumstance, procedures that could kill the fetus to save the mother.

There is no way that the priests were thinking of following the church doctrine when they were abusing the children of the church.

4)  Hospitals and churches should not mix.

Another thing I learned from reading the attached hospital report (link from NPR as well) was that the woman who became pregnant was taking “great efforts to avoid it.”  She knew she had a health condition that would be very dangerous should she become pregnant.  But being the good Catholic (she already had 4 children at 27), it appears that she would not take any birth control measures.

There also was a statement by the Diocese of Phoenix.   I understand and can appreciate some of what they are saying, but really…this part summed it up (emphasis mine)….

What is the purpose of excommunication?
The purpose is to repair scandal, to restore justice and to reform the offender. It is a scandal to the entire Church that a woman religious would consent to and encourage an abortion.  It is also a scandal that a Catholic Hospital would perform such a reprehensible act. Furthermore, it is a grave injustice to the child who was killed, as well as to the mother who was told that it was permissible.  Finally, a person who has been excommunicated definitively knows that by their own evil action, they have removed themselves from communion with the Church. The action of excommunication is a call to repentance and conversion.

No priests have been excommunicated for their evil actions.   According to the church’s own words then, by not excommunicating the priests, they do not want to repair the scandal.  They do not want to provide justice to the victims.  They do not want to reform the offender.

I just don’t get it.

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I can’t resist.  Despite my strong desire to blog about fluffy topics as some of my recent posts have um….backfired, I just can’t steer myself away from Sarah Palin.  I find it hard, however, to know where to start.  There are so many things I want to say, to discuss, and to expose.

In case you want to know my simplified position and you are too lazy to keep reading, please refer to the below comic.

Sarah (not to be confused with Sara!!) supporters have proven to be fanatics already.  They are turning out in droves to rally around her…oh, and that old guy that follows her around.  NPR this morning reported that the calm, subdued Republican rallies with McCain brought out people in the hundreds.  Those rallies with Palin are now in the thousands.  There is no question that people like her.

The McCain camp is even concerned that if they split up to campaign separately to cover more ground, more people will show up to see Sarah.  Regular American moms love her because she appears to be just like them.  Conservatives love her because she appears to follow the party closely on many key issues.  And let’s admit it…some support her just because she’s attractive. Her eyeglass style has become so popular that it is now on back order.  Women are buying shoes like her.  She has a “real world” appeal with “small town values” and she has become a real force in this campaign.   It is ironic that she is rapidly gaining that ‘celebrity status’ that was so casually mocked by McCain when it applied to Obama.  It appears that being a celebrity is working out in McCain’s favor…But there are a few issues that I’d like to address….

Hypocrisy runs rampant.

Her experience:

A mere few weeks ago, everyone was questioning Barack Obama’s experience.  His experience as a lawyer, community organizer, state legislator, and US senator was deemed insufficient to lead the nation.  But now, Palin arrives on the scene having been the mayor of a town of approximately 9,000 people for 6 years.  (I’m being generous.  I’ve seen numbers as low as 5,000…but really with numbers that small….its all the same.)  She is currently the governor of Alaska, the largest state in the union….at least that is what keeps being said.   Yes, she is the governor of the largest state, but the 48th largest state by population.  Hmmm…..what about education though?   Because if someone has the knowledge, that is truly the first step to being a good leader…

Palin spent her first college semester at Hawaii Pacific College, transferring in 1983 to North Idaho College and then to the University of Idaho. She attended Matanuska-Susitna College in Alaska for one term, returning to the University of Idaho to complete her Bachelor of Science degree in communications-journalism, graduating in 1987. (NOTE:  Her wikipedia article was mysteriously edited to get a “glowing make-over” 24 hours before the VP nominee announcement by McCain.)

Wow.  It’s a shame that Obama attended of Columbia University and Harvard Law School….those are upppity schools…not for the common man.

I don’t think I would get so fired up about it if the same rules for judgment applied.  If it were generally accepted that individuals could have different paths to the White House, that’s fine.  But do not ridicule community organizers.  That is an insult to all of those who put themselves second to help others.  (Also ironic to belittle these organizers at the RNC after their rally theme of “Service” the day before…)

The way that the GOP is spinning her “experience” is deplorable. Please see the below quote from an interview on ABC’s This Week with Cindy McCain…

STEPHANOPOULOS: But she has no national security experience.

McCAIN: You know, the experience that she comes from is what she’s done in government, and remember, Alaska is the closest part of our continent to Russia. It’s not as if she doesn’t understand what’s at stake.

Don’t claim have national security and foreign policy experience if you have none.  She has never been to Russia despite her proximity…Did you know that she just got a passport in 2007?  How international of her….(To her credit, with this new passport, she visited troops stationed in Kuwait and Germany. She has also visited Ireland.)

To me, if none of the below issues existed, I would not even bring up the issue of experience.  It’s what you have DONE with that experience that matters and that is what is truly of concern.

Her (-gasp-) Gender:

No matter what is said about Palin, if it is negative or questioning….then that statement is obviously sexist.  Yes, it is a big step or the Republicans to chose a woman running mate, and it most respects, the strategy of it is working.  Support from white women is up….and to be perfectly blunt (because it’s my blog and I can say whatever I want!  Muaha-ahaha-aha), how dumb are these white women then???  It’s obvious pandering by the McCain camp to get women and on the fence Clinton supporters.  They assume that the women will see a woman and flock to her without looking at her policies or history.  I find it insulting to my intelligence, because lets face it, she’s no Hillary.  So many other women (and MEN!) are more qualified and better suited for this position, yet she is the one McCain wanted.  Question that??  You are a sexist….yes you.

And the “lipstick on a pig” comment…please just read this article by the Times. It is a common phrase meant to show that even if you attempt to fancy something ugly, underneath that facade, it is still ugly.  It was not sexist.  It has nothing to do with lipstick or the women who wear it.   It was just twisted to enrage these supporters.  McCain camp: 1    High Road: 0

Those pesky earmarks:

It’s the imaginary bridge that just will not go away…mainly because Palin keeps bringing it back up.  It has become a stock statement in her rallies….

“I told Congress, thanks but no thanks on that bridge to nowhere…”

But did she really?  When running for governor in 2006, she endorsed the project.  Then, as the political winds changed, she quickly adapted, and claimed to be an opponent only after Congress killed its funding the next year.  But, what did she do with that $223 million the state had received?  She kept it and used it for other state ventures.  So really, she said, “Thanks congress, but no thanks…and when I say no thanks, I mean yes please, I’ll keep that money.  Can I have some more?”

Also, how can McCain/Palin run around shouting about how they will veto pork barrel spending when there are facts like these???

In Palin’s two years as governor, Alaska has requested nearly $750 million in earmarks, by far the largest per-capita request in the nation.

When one of their campaign foundations (their renegade, maverick-like spirit) is based on a lie, what can you believe?  How will she act as a leader of the nation when the winds change after she has proven to bow immediately to political pressure?

Her Policies:

Reproductive rights:

I’m sure those of you reading this know she is a staunch Pro-Lifer.  She does not support abortion even in the case of rape or incest.  Abortion is such a divisive issue for many.

We may not agree on abortion, but surely we can agree on reducing the number of unwanted pregnancies in this country. – Obama

I would not even bring up the (ironic) story of her pregnant teenage daughter (How’s that ‘”abstinence only” sex education going??) but she said something that just needed to be addressed.  She said that she supports Bristol’s “decision” to have the baby and asked for others respect her privacy in the matter.  This  right to decide,( A.K.A. to choose,) and the right to privacy is something that Palin wants for her own daughter, but she also wants to deny me, my future daughters, and all of the women across the nation those same rights.  That doesn’t quite seem fair.

Another interesting note about Wasilla, Alaska. (Sarah Palin’s town.)  They used to charge rape victims (or their insurance companies if they where lucky enough to have insurance) $500 – $1200 for the cost of the rape kit, which included the medical examination to gather evidence.   There is a song and dance about whether or not Palin was aware of this policy, but when it got to a national level…

Congress in 2005 passed a law requiring states to provide rape exams free of charge or reimburse victims for the costs, says Knecht, whose group supported the provision.

“The reason we passed the legislation was that we saw it was prevalent enough to be a pretty considerable problem,” Knecht says. “There are no other victims of crime that end up being billed for evidence collection.”

The Senate version of the legislation that included the rape-exam provision was sponsored by Sen. Joe Biden of Delaware, the Democratic vice presidential nominee. Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama was one of 58 co-sponsors; Republican presidential nominee John McCain was not.

It just seems shifty….shifty shifty.

Environmental issues:

Her policy:  Polar bears are not in danger of becoming extinct.  Man is not contributing to the changes of the climate of the earth.  Oil independence is as easy as a little off-shore drilling.

Groan……I’m honestly getting tired of finding all the discrepancies in her policies.  It has been encouraging to me that people are finally realizing that we need to invest in other energy sources and that we need to realize what we do has an effect on the world around us.  And here comes Sarah with her contradictory statements.  There she goes again.  Change with the wind (or the cue card)…

What does she really believe?  And why does it keep changing??

Religion:

Faith has a strong place in an individuals life and can be used as a good moral guide for his/her decisions, but it has no place in the laws that dictate to others how they should act.

  • It has no business telling me what to do with my body.
  • It should not hinder scientific advancements that could cure so many health problems.  ( She also opposes stem cell research calling it “the destruction of life…”)
  • It has no business dictating who can or can not love each other.  (She opposes same-sex marriage and supported a non-binding referendum for an Alaskan constitutional amendment to deny state health benefits to same-sex couples.)
  • Religion has no right to censor information, specifically books in a library.  Now granted, the ‘book banning’ issue was blown out of proportion.  She never actually banned any books from the Wasilla library.  She just inquired if she could…and fired the librarian when she told Palin no.  Sure.  That’s the best way to use the power given to you by the people……..

Religion also is not a justification for the policies you would like to see implemented.  What did she have to say about the building of a new natural gas pipeline?

I think God’s will has to be done in unifying people and companies to get the gas line built, so pray for that.

But sometimes it takes more than prayer.  Sometimes we must follow His plan for the nation…

Pray for our military men and women who are striving to do what is right. Also, for this country, that our leaders, our national leaders, are sending [U.S. soldiers] out on a task that is from God. That’s what we have to make sure that we’re praying for, that there is a plan and that plan is God’s will.

She said the Iraq war is God’s will.  GOD’S WILL.     Think about that.    How does she know that God approves of the pipeline and the war?

Everything else….

What else do we really know?  Her fiscal policy is a bit unclear to me, as is her foreign policy, plan for health care…etc.   I’m sure her political beliefs will be come clear with time, or once someone tells her what they are (and then they will change to further her career or to maintain her status).  It’s all so frustrating to me…

…what is most frustrating, as I said earlier, is that the American people are eating it up!  The love it.  “Tell me what I want to hear and I’ll be yours forever!  I don’t even care if its true.”

I don’t know what to tell you America if you can’t find out the truth for yourself.  The GOP campaign is starting to play dirty.  There is no surprise there.  You find a strategy (create fear, lie to the people about the other candidate) and Blamo, you’ve got a Reeeal winner.  It would go something like this…

…Did you hear that Obama is Muslim?  Well, I heard he tried to teach sex-education to kindergartners!  I heard that he hates his white mother because she is white.  I heard that he hates America.  Wait, is he even American????

Wake up, people.  She could be the President.  Sure she could be a wonderful, down-to-earth person that you may want to have a beer with (-ahem-…sound familiar???), but does that make her ready to lead the country? Sure, McCain’s mother is 96, but little Johnny is still OLD.  Palin is one-heartbeat away from the oval office.  I’ve always dreamed about a woman president, but I also said that the first one would set the stage for the acceptance of the ones to follow her.  The stage that is being set by McCain/Palin is more like a nightmare to me.  As the above comic said…”Why would an intelligent woman vote for a woman politician opposed to women’s rights?”

Someone wake me…

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A short rant…

I remember in elementary school that whenever a teacher needed something moved be it desk, chair, or kleenex box, they would always declare, “I need 3 strong boys to help me move this ______. Who’ll volunteer?” It was never hard to get those eager beavers…it meant you got out of class for a bit. I wanted to help, but being a girl restricted me, and I never quite understood that. Third grade boys? NOT the strongest. Well, even if they were “strong”, were they so much stronger than us girls at that age? I fumed every time it happened at the presumed female fragility…

Fast forward approximately 15 years…

We are moving offices at work. We have hired some new employees and have run out of space, so up and out we go to a larger suite. This has meant a lot of moving boxes, books, desks, computers…everything. And what held true in 3rd grade is still applicable now: No one lets me carry anything.

WTF?!?

Just a few seconds ago (which promted the post) this is what happened:

Employee1 (female): I need help moving this table out of my office.

Me: (overhearing the last part): OH, what do you need?

Employee1: Oh, I just needed some help with that table. Employee2 (male), employee3 (male), will you come move this for me?

Me (silently): GRRRRrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

It may not seem like a big deal, but the other day, I had to fight people off to carry my own boxes. I finally gave up trying on moving day and just stayed out of the way. I offered to help move the server racks (50 lbs w/2 people), but was met with eyes full of fear that my weak arms would drop my share of the load. But for those of you that don’t know, Joe and I just moved my sister and her husband into a 3rd floor apartment in a historical building (narrow staircases, definitely no elevator)…sofas, beds, books, you name it. I think I can carry a silly little box of papers and a computer. There weren’t even any stairs!!! Sheesh

Perhaps I’m being harsh, but it’s just happened so many times…and perhaps there is just a fine line between chivalry and sexism.   How do you see this?

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Let me just start by saying that I love basketball. I grew up in Indiana…the epicenter of high school March madness cheering on our team in the (-ahem-) “largest and finest high school fieldhouse in the world.” I tried for many years to achieve athletic greatness on the court…I think my shining moment came in 8th grade when I accidentally scored for the wrong team. They in-bounded the ball to me, I looked around and wondered why no one was guarding me…so I shot it…and made it…and scored 2 points for the bad guys. (WHAH-whah – wha…)

So, I moved on to being a fan, but that too has dwindled over the years. College football has ruled my life for the last 6 years and I love it! But when Joe’s sister called to see if we wanted to attend a basketball game in Atlanta, I thought it was time for my and basketball’s estranged relationship to become reacquainted.

The game was for the Atlanta Dream – Atlanta’s very own (new in 2008 ) professional womens basketball team. The cost of admission was $10 and I had low expectations but was curious about the quality of play and the intensity of the fans…so after the fact, here is my assessment.

The actual game was very disappointing. I realize this is a new team, but they were missing free throws and layups. I mean, come on!! Don’t they know that free throws win ballgames!?! The play was sloppy and non-cohesive. The game was close, but by the end of the 4th quarter, I was tempted to root for the other team as they clearly deserved to win.

I was also a bit…unimpressed with the WNBA team names. We saw the Dream play the Chicago Sky. Atlanta was going on the road to play the New York Liberty. These names are so…not intimidating! They might as well be playing the Chicago Prancing Ponies or the New York Butterflies. Who ever named these ball clubs forgot to realize that the main money maker in sports is rivalry and competition. You should want to behead your opponent, trounce them, crush their spirit….not cuddle them!! Just because its a womans league doesn’t mean the names should cater to feminine stereotypes.

The crowd was predominately black women and their daughters. I was happy at the thought of these girls having positive women role models. I think there was like 4,000 people in attendance. They cheered, danced, and generally looked like they were having a great time. I only felt bad that the ‘Dream’ marketing team couldn’t think of better cheers than…”Let’s go Dream!” over and over and over again. If you have a crowd yearning to participate, give them some variety! The “Hey” song never fails…

I read the wikipedia article that states the following interesting things about the WNBA and its finances:

So far the WNBA has not mirrored the monetary success of the NBA, though it had targeted profitability in 2007. The NBA has provided annual subsidies of approximately $12 million dollars to cover operating losses. The average attendance of WNBA games, league-wide, is roughly half the average attendance of NBA games. As of the agreement signed in 2003, WNBA players who had up to three years of experience were capped at $42,000. By comparison, $385,277 was the minimum salary of an NBA rookie. WNBA rookies earned $30,000 per year. The maximum salary for a WNBA player in 2007 was $100,000. Many WNBA players choose to supplement their salaries by playing in European or Australian women’s basketball leagues during the WNBA off-season. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Women’s_National_Basketball_Association

I added the emphasis…but wow! It makes me feel bad as a woman for thinking about not returning…but then again, guilting the feminists into attending really isn’t going to be the best marketing strategy either. I’m really not sure how to make these teams succeed! My suggestion is to increase visibility (tv broadcasts, ads, etc), make the games more fun (better crowd interaction), encourage fan creation of male population (who knows how to do this ???), and for the love of sports…hit the gosh darn free throws (PRACTICE!!)….. and the people will come…

…I know I would.

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