Sunday, August 31, 2008

A little slice of rant. . .

Well, I know I said I felt a political rant coming on, but I think it is still ripening. I'll just say for now that the Democratic convention was wonderfully inspiring -- not just Obama, but so many of the speeches, including John Kerry's, which the networks didn't even broadcast, and Bill Clinton's-- and Hillary's, of course -- and Teddy Kennedy's, and many more. I was moved to see Obama's uncle, a WWII vet who was one of the soldiers who liberated Buchenwald; I loved seeing the two adorable Obama girls sitting beside their lovely, intelligent mother; the crowd was awesome, the viewership was astounding (more viewers than an American Idol finale -- Halleluja! There's hope for America!) HOPE. The message was hope. I will watch as much of the Republican convention as I can stand, and I'll bet you this: if the Democratic convention was about hope, the Republican convention will be about fear. And mockery. I wonder what they'll make fun of this year. Do you remember how in 2004 they wore cutesy "purple heart band-aids" to mock John Kerry's military service? That still blows my mind. The way they turned Kerry's service to his country into a joke -- and not just his, but that of every other American soldier ever wounded in combat. How did they get away with that?

Here's one gleeful conventioneer four years ago, sporting the cute accessory. Nice. If Democrats mocked the purple heart, Republicans would savage them. They still get riled up about Jane Fonda, for god's sake, and yet they think it's fine and dandy to mock a Vietnam vet's service as long as he's a Dem? And how about this: if it was Democrats who'd outed Valerie Plame, Republicans would have crucified them. Can you even imagine how that would have gone? And yet. . . where was the outrage? What would a Republican have to do to outrage the rank & file?

[Hey look! I found my rant!]

I just got my new Sierra Club Magazine** in the mail today, and there's an article in it called "Profiles in Courage" about the hundreds of dedicated career employees of agencies such as the EPA, NOAA, BLM, National Forest Service, Toxic Substance & Disease Registry and more, who were forced out of their jobs by the Bush Administration because they were, well, doing their jobs. You've heard stories about petroleum lobbyists hired by the Bush Administration to change the language in scientists' reports on climate change? Well, there's been so, so much of that going on, and so much more. So much. The cases listed in the article are just a fraction. Why don't people care more?

And why aren't people talking about the "suicide epidemic" among returning Iraq War vets? Did you know that the VA's head of mental health has revealed statistics that some THOUSAND vets are attempting suicide every MONTH? And did you know that John McCain voted against increasing health care funding for soldiers in 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, and 2007? You can see a detailed listing of his votes on veterans' healthcare funding HERE. (Note: voted against funding counseling for veterans with mental disorders.)

Did you know that "Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America" give John McCain a "D" rating (and that does not stand for "dynamite") -- Obama gets a "B." Other organizations: "Vietnam Veterans of America" and "Disabled American Veterans" also give Obama their support by an overwhelming margin.

Any American who is considering voting for McCain because "he supports the troops" -- it is a lie, plain and simple. Few senators support them less than he does. This year he even voted against giving adequate rest time between 15-month deployments!

Back to the Republican convention: there has been speculation that Bush and Cheney will not speak at it -- and perhaps not even McCain -- because they are so busy defending Louisiana from hurricanes. Alexandra has asked me to remind you what President Bush and John McCain were doing on August 29, 2005, the day Hurricane Katrina made landfall in New Orleans:
They were celebrating McCain's birthday. Of course. What else would the president be doing on a day like that? Reading "The Pet Goat"?

Here, just for fun, is Bush the next day, August 30, 2005, when it was abundantly clear to the nation and the world that the United States was in the midst of the worst natural disaster in its history, that a major American city was drowning:


And here, in this video, witness McCain's glibness about Bush's absurd appointment of Michael Brown -- the commisioner of the International Arabian Horse Association -- as director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, and how that all panned out for the residents of New Orleans:
Soooo funny, John! No Arabian horses, maybe, but 1,836 people died, not including the 705 missing. Hyuck hyuck.
[By the way, one of the whistle-blowers mentioned in the Sierra Club article was Christopher de Rosa, toxicology director for the Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, who was removed from his position after filing a report on formaldehyde contamination in the FEMA trailers in which Katrina evacuees were housed.]

Let me just segue from there to a few of my favorite things about Sarah Palin.

1) She is not merely pro-life. She is opposed to abortion in any situation, including rape or incest. Which means that if it were up to her, women would be forced to carry their rapists' babies to term. Nice. You know, even Romanian courts recently decided to let a 11-year-old victim of incest/rape get an abortion.

2) Governor Palin instigated an illegal "wolf bounty" program, whereby hunters would be paid $150 per wolf slaughtered (much of the slaugher done from helicopters); they tried to get around the illegality of bounties by claiming the cash was to offset the cost of fuel for the copters! Oh, and hunters were paid for bringing in the wolves' left forelegs.

Who wouldn't want to kill these:

Those are just a few of my favorite things about her. And did I mention she's a global warming disbeliever? just what the world needs right now.

It's late. I have much more rant in me, but for some reason my computer is getting all slow, so I'll suspend rant for now. It's just so hard once you get started. One terrible abuse of power leads to another instance of gross negligence or corportate cronyism, leads to another, to another. One's head could explode.

If you didn't get a chance to watch Obama's speech, here it is. It's 45 minutes long, but it ought to be seen by all Americans. Really!

**[I highly recommend Sierra Club membership; the magazine is a great way to stay informed about current issues, plus your membership will go towards things like saving Sequoia National Monument from logging -- a recent victory.]]

48 comments:

kelly rae said...

i LOVE your rants!!!!

Anonymous said...

Even though I'm not an American, it comforts me to know you're an Obama supporter. I don't know if I could have sat/read through a pro-Republican rant.

PS You are a very eloquent ranter, you should do it more often!

Jim Di Bartolo said...

AAAAAAAMEN! I know you and I could go on and on about all this and much more, but good for you for getting it out there. The stakes are too high to not be observing and questioning.

Huzzah (!) wife o' mine!

xo
Husbles

Sam said...

Oh I agree with you! And Palin- oh I am so insulted- insulted that McCain thinks I would vote for him just because he picked a woman vp. Come on there is more to the woman voter than that- totally insulted!

Liana said...

Yeah- Palin makes me want to go SMASHY SMASH GRARRRRGHHHHHH!!!!

You know. I can't even be coherent because she just makes me SO ANGRY.

Anyway, Amen, Laini!!

She sure is strange! said...

Yeahhhh Laini for writing this!!! My loverly hubby is not an Obama fan and he's trying to get on board with Palin. I'm so glad to have found something to show him about her.

Molly

Q said...

Okay, I am also pro-life, but not in cases of rape, incest, or where it would hurt the mother. (I still think our country is screwed either way.)

Remember, though--most of the power in the federal government lies with Congress. Only they can pass laws. Everyone makes a big deal about the presidential election, and it is a big deal, but people don't seem to realize that the president is not the most important.

Laini Taylor said...

Q, I think you need to remember the president appoints the Supreme Court judges, and they are the ones who will decide whether to overturn Roe vs. Wade. In the next president's tenure, it is likely that three new justices will be appointed. The future of safe abortion rests on this election.

Plus, you are wrong that the president does not have power. You need only to look at Bush's political appointments over the past eight years -- how many energy industry lobbyists have been appointed to environmental agencies, for example --
and see what they have done to this country. And do I need to ask you, if Al Gore had been president, do you really think "Congress" would have taken us into war in Iraq? Of course it was the president's agenda.

I hear a lot of people saying the president isn't at fault -- he IS. His inability to take responsability for anything is only one of his many failings.

Heather said...

Okay, I am totally not political at all, but even I was "what the heck?" when I saw Palin asking "what does a v.p. do?" Hmmm...perhaps one might want to study up on the job they seem to desperately want? She made herself look really dumb.

Stephanie Perkins said...

A thousand a month . . .

:( I feel ill.

(Nicely ranted, Laini.)

Q said...

Of course the president has power, he just doesn't have ALL the power. You are right about the Supreme Court--I didn't know that many will probably be appointed. Now I'm even more terrified.

It was wrong to go into Iraq--I don't think we had any business there--but now that we're in, we can't just pull out. I can only be grateful that Gore wasn't president for 9/11.

And yes, the president is at fault for many, many things. But do you think Obama will take responsibility for when he makes a mistake? I don't. He still claims that he was right about the surge in Iraq, when he was just wrong. He said it wouldn't work, and it worked. It worked faster than anyone expected, and he won't admit it.

(Don't eat me alive. I'm a lot more conservative than I am liberal. Want to have an email debate?)

Anonymous said...

This is a great post. Unfortunately, most Republicans are either too stubborn or too downright cold-hearted or brainwashed to take much, if any, of it in. Anyone who would vote how their church tells them to vote can't even respect one of the basic tenets of this country which is "a separation of church and state." And for non-religious Republicans who believe everyone should fend for themselves, that we aren't responsible for each other, to lift each other up one at a time, they are lost anyway. I don't earn much but I'll have my taxes lifted and sacrifice a little more if need be to ensure that every single person in this country has healthcare. As Ted Kennedy said, "It should be a right, not a privilge." AND WHY isn't Obama's campaign making a commercial showing Bush and McCain eating CAKE as Katrina hit? Why isn't that photo all over the place? Obama's campaign is playing it WAY TOO NICE. It makes me a little sick. When you have someone who wants to further bring down this country, you take the gloves off and his speech was a small move in that direction, but he isn't following it up with more of that.
Fotwa Moody

Laini Taylor said...

Q, what does it even mean to be conservative today? Abortion is just a piece of the puzzle. To me, "conservative" in the Bush era means pro-war-for-oil, anti-environment, pro-corporate cronyism, anti-child's health care, anti-soldier's health care, anti-science, anti-civil liberties, and many other very bad things. What does it mean to you?

Cristina said...

Hi,

I'm Romanian and I would like to make a clarification.
Abortion is legal in Romania for pregnancy up to 2 months.
This girl discovered when she was in 4-5 month, that;s why it was a discussion and in 1-2 weeks they decided, because it was a child and a rape pregnacy, to allow abortion for a 5 month fetus.
She is fine after operation and the
guy who raped her is under arrest.

Cristina said...

BTW, why you say "even Romanian courts"?
Why even?
Something about Romanian courts that is automatically implied?
I'm curious.

Abortion was illegal only in communist times.

Jeri said...

oh...thanks for ranting this so effectively...you are oodles more informed than I but I am right there with you...I just can't take another republican in office (for all the reason you list and more) even if it is a woman.....

Laini Taylor said...

Hi Cristina -- I thought about clarifying that but wanted to move on; you're right about the particulars of the case. I'm sorry about the phrasing "even Romania" -- I don't mean to denigrate Romania; I guess I was thinking that if a country with such a recent history of oppression could be more progressive than we are on an abortion issue, than we obviously are not the nation I wish we were. Romania has come far since communism, while we are going backward, to my shame. I do not wish to be governed by religious doctrine.

The "villains" to me in the Romania story were the religious groups lobbying to make that little girl have the baby. That to me has nothing to do with their nationality, but just religious intolerance. Thanks for you comments; my apologies, no slight intended.

Linda Collison said...

I love rants. But we should read the other side's rants as well, and not just those we agree with. We should consider the opposing point of view and in doing so, we might find some common ground.

Q said...

I am absolutely not conservative in the way you seem to classify all of them. I am not a liberal either. I am a classical liberal. I hail from the European Enlightenment, and I believe that the government that governs least governs best.

Elise Murphy said...

You go, sister! I was already so disheartened and saddened that McCain would dare to insult my intelligence with a pick like Palin . . . and then to find out this morning they've had her daughter in hiding to cover up her pregnancy just makes me so very sad.

This woman's lack of experience, her inability to understand world politics, and her lack of education is galling . . . and to find out she is willing to virtually abandon her 17 year old pregnant daughter and her own Down's Syndrome son to pursue the VP is sickening.

I fear for the future of our country if McCain is elected. I believe we will see more war, more economic and environmental degradation and far less safety and prosperity for our citizens. I refuse to allow the religious-right to create any more policies that damn our country.

Anyone interested in investing in a foreign homestead, just in case? I'll bring the canning supplies.

I was also so impressed by Kerry's speech . . . I nearly forgave Bill all his transgressions after his speech, and well, Obama just rocks. What an amazing orator.

Laini Taylor said...

Hi Linda,
I appreciate the sentiment, but I do hear the other side's rants, and there is no common ground to be had. NONE. I disagree with every single thing that today's Republican administration (and the talking heads who prop them up) stand for. Every single thing. Not only do I disagree with the "substance" of their rants, but I think they are malicious, and I think they are liars. They manipulate religious wedge issues like abortion and gay marriage to get uninformed Americans to vote against their own futures; they lie through their teeth, boldly and blantantly, and they are mean. There is no common ground with people who believe Rush Limbaugh, Dick Cheney, Bill O'Reilly, George Bush, Karl Rove, etc.

I don't know how America can overcome this divide. I know I will not be the one moving toward the middle.

Laini Taylor said...

Hi Elise! I'm with you -- how about a writer's commune in Italy? We can all have little stone cottages, with a big farmhouse-library for all (with wireless, natch), and take turns pruning the olive trees and stomping the grapes.

Think we could get Netflix there?
:-)

Anonymous said...

Please q. I would bet anything that far more Dems watch the Republican convention, nauseating as it will be, than Republicans watch the Dems convention. Republicans don't listen to reason or like to use their critical thinking skills, or their heart for that matter, if it must be summoned for logic and the welfare of others, as well as the planet. You want to privatize healthcare too? Thats working really well, isn't it? I have almost no health problems and was still denied. Why can't we all have the same good government health care that McCain and Obama enjoy? Anyway, the choice right now isn't between "European Enlightenment" and "Democrat." If you are voting for McCain, at least don't hide behind that bs. If you vote for McCain, you are voting against taking action on global warming, against veteran health benefits, against every woman's right to choose, and against health care for everyone. Thats the reality.
Lucas Galyuk

Granny Smith said...

Oh. how refreshing to see so many of my thoughts about the presidential race expressed in one glorious rant! I think we should now be looking at the way the votes will be counted in the coming election so that it can't be stolen from Obama like was from Gore in 2000.

Orchid Witch said...

Bringing a woman candidate into the picture seems to have refocused the top issues. I do not believe we can be distracted from our getting out of Iraq ASOP, and the urgent need to get our economy healthy again! Women's issues are obviously very crutial, in light of Supreme court vacancies ect., but I don"t want anyone to lose sight of what Obama calls "the urgency of now"! Get our troops home, and all those billions redirected into a foreign policy that really is going to restore our country's faith in itself! Stop selling off this country to China, India, Spain ect. So few ask who pays for these so-called tax cuts! I guess I won"t be around, so let the children inherit this debt? I don"t think so!!! So many don't want government, but they scream the loudest when it fails to respond, and or provide! We can"t have it both ways..either we choose to reach out for change, and follow Obama's course as we recover from the worst presidency in our history, or we elect McCain, who has prostituted himself to the social conservitives, in order to get his parties's nomination. He is too old, his temperament is frightening, his voting record has changed so much, he votes against his own bills, and he has chosen a running mate who is NOT in any way qualified to be the leader of The United States of America!

Q said...

Lucas:
Thanks for your unfounded attacks on my intelligence and reason. I assure you, I am quite intelligent and reasonable. We simply have two very different sets of experiences leading to the formulation of our respective political theories, and there is nothing wrong with that. You think one thing, and I think something else. I've said before, I think we're pretty screwed either way. Don't say that just because I'm more Republican than Democrat that I "don't listen to reason or like to use [my] critical thinking skills, or [my] heart". In my opinion, that makes you more closed-minded than most Republicans.

Yes, I want to keep privatized healthcare. I will admit that it has its flaws, but they are not nearly as bad as what socialized medicine does. People die on the waiting list for lifesaving operations in Canada and Great Britain every day, people who could pay for healthcare somewhere else--if their government would let them. I think the government should offer healthcare to everyone if they choose to pay for it--perhaps for less than private companies.

I am not convinced that global warming is happening, and if it is, do you know that we can do anything about it? The Earth goes through natural cycles of hot and cold--what do you think caused the most recent Ice Age 40,000 years ago, and the series of Little Ice Ages that devastated European agriculture more than once since the Middle Ages? I absolutely believe that air, water, and soil pollution is a serious problem, and I know that if we don't do something about it, we're just going to trash the only planet we have. I don't want this. I love nature, and I want to keep the world as beautiful was we can. But I also don't want to foot the bill for so-called solutions to unproven problems.

Could you please send me a link to proof that McCain is against veteran health care? If that's true, it's wrong.

And again, I am pro-life except in cases of rape, incest, or where having the baby would hurt or kill the mother, because people should take responsibility for their own actions.

I'm not hiding behind anything. If I were, I sure as anything wouldn't be here right now. And besides, if I weren't here, who would you argue with/flame?

Laini, if you would like me to refrain from commenting on your political posts, I will.

Calandria said...

There is always common ground when we look for it. I have my views, but I don't think people who disagree with me are morons.

Laini Taylor said...

Hi Q,
Of course you are welcome to leave your comments here. You have been nothing but respectful, and I have no problem with that; thank you for stating your opinions clearly.

There is a link to McCain's veteran's healthcare votes in the post; if you don't trust the particular source, you can follow up with google searches. His voting record is public.

As for global warming being human-caused, there is zero dissent in the scientific community about this issue. WE are the cause; WE are destroying the planet. The dissenters have no science on their side. Those who distrust science do not understand the rigorous process of peer review -- scientist do not merely make claims; their findings must be proven multiple times and stand up to the scrutiny of their colleagues all over the world. Those who deny humans are the cause of global warming have a vested financial interest in keeping the $$$s of the petroleum and coal industries rolling straight into their own pockets. If you really are interested in these issues, look into the kind of people Bush has put in charge of "taking care" of the environment -- they are largely lobbyists for big business, and they have overturned as many environmental protection laws as they can get their hands on. Even before the last election, the list of laws they had overturned was so long it formed a scroll that reached from one side of the Senate chamber to the other. In normal type face. Start with the link in the post above for "Profiles in Courage" (click on the individual names on the page of the article for the details). Again, this is just a small fraction of what they've been up to the past 8 years, with John McCain voting 90% with Bush.

As for healthcare, you may scoff, but if you are truly open-minded, see Michael Moore's movie "Sicko." I know, I know, the Right likes to vilify Michael Moore, but the fact is, though he gets a little bombastic, it in no way undercuts the substance of his movies -- and this one is a shocker. It may or may not change anything about your opinion, but it's not even about the uninsured -- it's about the huge problems with the health care industry, and how it is set up in such a way as to systematically deny care to the insured. Please see it; I think you will be surprised and frightened.

As for abortion, this isn't an issue that I would try to sway your opinion on; I just hope that you are not against education about birth control, and availability of birth control too. Though of course it makes me angry that you or anyone would try to control the choices of other people, the thing that makes me the most angry about the Republicans is the hypocrisy of "abstinence only education" which has been proven not to work. If you want there not to be abortions -- help to decrease unwanted pregnancies! That is something we could certainly agree on.

Whew. This was like a whole new post, this comment! Q, I hope you will continue to look into these issues. I appreciate your willingness to discuss your beliefs here!

Calandria said...

q, I admire you. You are one brave... q.

Laini Taylor said...

By the way, I should say, in the interest of full disclosure: as a teenager, I was a "Republican." I was a military brat, and when George H.W. Bush was running for president, I worked for the Orange County Young Republicans registering voters and getting out the vote. It is interesting to me now, in retrospect, to note that we were advised to throw away voter registration forms that were not Republican; the Democrats I met (and looked down on, because unlike me, who was getting paid $10/hour, $20/hour on election night) those fools worked for free!) did not have the same policy.

By the time I could vote, I was in college and had become a Democrat. But once, in college, I took the pro-life side of a debate in my philosophy class, and I can see that side of the argument, if I squint and imagine that I were Christian and believed in God. But I don't. And I don't think religious beliefs, such as the belief in the soul, which have no proof, should be the basis for any legislation.

Too many people who are "pro-life" only care that the babies get born, and don't care what happens to them after. To be against providing healthcare for children, against early childhood programs like Headstart, this says to me that Republicans aren't really pro-LIFE; they're just pro-BIRTH, and think babies should fend for themselves once they're born.

Q said...

(Calandria: I respect you so much for that!)

Laini:
Thank you for the link. McCain is very, very wrong on that issue.

We are destroying the planet in a lot of ways, and I am totally into the idea of the government offering a prize for whoever can develop $1-2 a watt solar cells. (For those prices, I'd panel my house.) I want to clen up cities and try to reduce emissions and make public transportation more accessible. I love hybrid cars, and I hope that the next time I buy a car I will be able to afford a Prius or the like. I think coal burning is gross, really! All that black smoke--ugh. Another option to look into is researching ways to safely dispose of nuclear waste (or even recycle it--that would be amazing) so that we can use more nuclear power. Except for the waste, nuclear power is clean and efficient--and the United States has relatively enormous amounts of uranium available.

However, the scientific community is not uninimous on the subject of global warming-- you never hear about the ones who disagree because they are ostracized, so they wisely keep their mouths shut in order to protect themselves. I would be willing to believe that global warming is human caused if there were only a way to prove it. Fact is, there isn't. And I won't even get into how much it bugs me that climate change has become more of a religion than a science.

I remember your post about Sicko, and I know that private healthcare has its issues. It is absolutely wrong that even people with insurance can't get healthcare at certain institutions because their insurance does not cover it. That doesn't make me want socialized medicine. I think I'm choosing the lesser evil, because if people don't like their coverage, they can find another company. If enough consumers care, and demand a change from their workplaces (or directly from their insurance providers if they go direct), competition will take care of the rest. The companies people leave will be motivated by the cash that is no longer going into their coffers and they'll change. It's basic supply and demand. If no one demands your product, you've got to change it or fold.

Birth control is something I will never use, but I think that if people don't want to have children, it is a much more acceptable option than abortion (lesser evil again, here). The idea that abortion is used as birth control sickens me. I am all for abstinence, but I think that birth control should be taught as well.

Thank you for your willingness to show me your side of the issues! Most of all, I thank you for your respect. I was beginning to worry that I wouldn't get it here.

Q said...

(Okay, so that last comment took me so long I missed your and Calandria's comments before it! Oops.)

You were advised to throw away Democrat forms? That is absolutely wrong. Every citizen should have the opportunity to vote if they wish to take it, whether someone higher up believes they are wrong or not. Whoever was running your operation should have been fired.

So I guess that a big difference between us is that I am Christian, and I have complete trust in my faith. No, I have no tangible, measurable proof that there is a God, yet I know it anyway. (And I don't believe that global warming is human-caused because I don't think there is sufficient proof. Go figure.)

My views on abortion are more about responsibility and ethics, though, than my religion. I think that of course every woman has the right to choose--whether or not she can get pregnant. My main problem is that people use abortion to counteract their own irresponsibility.

I think that healthcare for children whose parents cannot provide it for them is a wonderful idea. How can we punish children for something that isn't their fault?

Laini Taylor said...

Hi again, Q!

On the scientific consensus on global warming:
http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/full/306/5702/1686

There is scientific consensus on global warming. You cannot deny this away. You don't need to defend yourself to me, but if you truly want to feel that your beliefs (faith?) on this issue are backed by fact: research it. I wish more people cared enough to look beyond the nightly news and the administration's non-fact-based sound bytes for issues as important as this.

On health care, it is a very careless attitude you have, to suggest people deserve the health care they are getting or not getting. I can only assume this opinion has been formed in a happy bubble, in the fortunate absence of tragedy close to home. Good people who have worked hard all their lives have lost their jobs and lost their insurance. By your judgment, they deserve to die of treatable disease. Well, I don't really believe that is the world you want to live in, I'm going to give you the benefit of the doubt that as a Christian you uphold Christian values of compassion... but in this instance, you are arguing to the contrary.


It is a very Republican attitude that every individual human ought to "pull themselves up by their own bootstraps." To truth is: some people can, they have the education, intelligence, fortitude and resourcefulness to do it. Not all people have that extraordinary combination of attributes. Should they then be left to misery? And the further truth is that in this country, even the extraodrinary individual does not have the power to fight the insurance companies; the corporations hold all the cards. The individual cannot afford to pay Washington lobbyists millions to shape legislation: the corporations can. And so the corporations are winning, and children are dying, and old people are dying; and people of every age are dying of preventable disease, whether they are insured or uninsured, and you are saying it is their fault for not getting better insurance. You really need to research this matter further, because this is not only a naive attitude, it is lacking in basic compassion -- and you don't really sound like someone who's okay with "only the strong shall survive."

Part of the purpose of a society is to organize a system by which we can care for people who need help. Today, Democrats are the ones championing legislation to care for ordinary people, people who can't afford health insurance (Jim and I pay $500/month for our insurance and we don't even have children) -- does it make them bad people if their jobs won't pay for their coverage? Or, if they get sick too many times one year, so their companies decide to drop them from the plan? This happens all the time. Seriously, Q, I don't think it'll bring you around to socialized medicine or anything, but I am begging you to see Sicko, just to round out your opinion a little -- rather than blaming the victims.

As for birth control, well. People have sex. They will never stop having sex, not for any reason. And people only use abortion as "birth control" when they are given no education and no other options. This has been proven time and time and time again. Education is power. In 3rd-world countries where women are given education and access to birth control, the birth rate drops and as a result, mother and infant mortality drop, and poverty declines. I'm glad to hear you're for birth control -- many Republicans are not, and the teen pregnancy rate is UP under Bush's abstinence-only policy.

Whew! I'm not getting any writing done today! Well, outside of this forum :-)

leximel said...

laini, can you delete comments? like mine or at least the last sentance please please

Laini Taylor said...

Lexi, I was just leaving you a comment -- I had been feverishly responding to Q when your last comment came in; I deleted it, but I'm worried about you -- I hope you are okay.


And here's the rest of your comment; I don't want to delete it because it is important:
I was in rural ohio last week, which is an area of "uninformed voters". Most of the people there don't have TV or internet and don't want it. They choose their candidates based on word-of-mouth, so when someone tells them that Obabma is Muslim, they condemn him as evil. While saying someone is Muslim shouldn't even change who anyone is voting for, this shows how uninformed the uninformed reallly are. And one Harvard student where I was staying who was working for the Obabma cause, was sent two watermelons! And has had death threats!

Personally, I am kind of glad that Mccain chose Palin because now people who were mad at Obama for not choosing Hillary as VP will be even madder at Mccain for picking someone who is so obviously not Hillary. What a sad excuse for a woman.

Alex S said...

Q-What are you talking about when you say that people can just go to another health care company if they don't like the one they are with? No, they can't anymore. More and more companies have point systems and are rejecting HEALTHY people for too many visits to the doctor- these too many visits are for things just like an annual and physical exam sometimes. Republicans are also supporting legislation that would allow employers to not cover pre-existing conditions, which right now, they have to. What happens to people suddenly diagnosed with something like Multiple Sclerosis who have meds of over $1500 a month and become disabled? Why should someone who is sick period ever have to worry on top of all else about med bills and fight companies while sick about what they will and won't cover as they constantly try to find loopholes and new reasons as to why they don't have to pay for this and that?

And WHY do you compare Britain and Canada What a failure of imagination and will you have. We don't have to repeat their systems, and if we have a nationalized heathcare program, that doesn't have to mean you would have to use it. There would still be private health care companies and you could opt for that option, but many people simply can't afford that option.

Many, many bankruptcies have been from people who HAD health insurance and savings and still that wasn't enough to pay their medical bills. Right now pharmaceutical companies have almost free reign as to what they want to charge people.

When I was in Bulgaria as a Peace Corps Volunteer, I was covered under federal health insurance and had a medical emergency which required surgery. It was a blessing to know under all that stress I didn't have to worry about how I was going to get this taken care of.

We are one of the richest nations on earth, but increasingly, one of the most selfish and greedy, and how ironic that it is the Republican party of "family values" who will scream theur lungs out that every fetus counts, and yet, the moment they are born into the world, we don't want to supply each and every one of us with the best health care and education we can.

Elise Murphy said...

Here's another good reason to love the Republicans and the RNC: Amy Goodman of Democracy Now! was unlawfully arrested today along with two of her producers. You can watch the video over at my blog or on Youtube. The violent suppression of the demonstrations in St. Paul makes me feel like I'm living in a police state. A group of people were also unlawfully detained today without a search warrant - protesters the police are trying to classify as "terrorists."

On another note: watch closely. I expect McCain to potentially dump Palin at the RNC (she has in no way been confirmed). It may well have been a publicity stunt in order to draw attention away from the DNC and he may have intended all along to name another VP. That would almost make me feel better . . . because I still can't believe that Palin is what we're being given.

Palin also believes in teaching creationism alongside evolution. I will take to the streets to protest that to my very last breath!

I'm sorry q - global warming caused by humans is an irrefutable fact. It is not to be "believed" - it is simply true. Same with evolution.

Rock on, Laini.

See you in Italy . . . (I'm feeling a little down on our country today . . . Goodman's arrest has really upset me).

Laini Taylor said...

Oh Elise, I know!!! The police have been "preemptively suppressing protest" in the Twin Cities all week. Groups like Food Not Bombs have been stormed by SWAT teams and made to lie face down on the floor!!! With no charges, no arrests, but intentionally menacing comments made. It infuriates me this isn't getting more play! I hope that with the Amy Goodman arrest, it will -- but again, it will be only the people who listen to Air America who hear about it. Sigh.

Kind of makes you think of China during the Olympics, no? The policy there on protests?

Yes. Italy. You can grow the organic veggies. I'll, um, hmmm, I don't really have skills. I'll help cook? Do the dishes?

Elise Murphy said...

I walked in a protest in Bellingham (with one of my baby twins) after Kerry lost in 2004. It was a small gathering of older retired people, students, and moms with strollers. The police showed up in RIOT GEAR and rammed their SUV's toward the crowd.

Yea, I'm not feeling like I live in a "free country," these days.

da rev said...

W-H-E-W! STIR it UP sista'! I *LOVE* it....i have NO idea where to jump in.

sheesh. dang...beautifull expressed opinions. i'm at a loss; i'm only NOW able to look at this after hearing that all my family members (in New Orleans and Gulfport, MS) are accounted for, evacuated, and thankful that the damage wasn't nearly what was forecasted.

there's such hypocrisy in both political parties; it just so happens (for MANY of the reasons posed in THIS forum) i am more aligned with the democratic party.

two things:
1) precisely WHEN did we so flagrantly lose the separation between church and state? , and

2) obama has my support; he's an extraordinary symbol of hope. he's inspired SO many people and that is a MOST impressive accomplishment. but i must admit, that i do not put him on a pedestal. i think he may (MAY) succumb to many of the same deeply-entrenched waves of the status quo. i think he has the potential to do extraordinary things...and i sincerely HOPE he gets to the position where he CAN! i just assume nothing and am willing to roll up my sleeves to make SURE we aren't subjected to a mccain administration (palin or NOT)!

p.s. is there something special about this "orchid witch?" methinks she has a wonderfully gleeful laugh. am i right? xo

leximel said...

THank you Laini. I should be asleep but I am not. I will be okay. He was old. Isn't it funny how some old people treat kids like they are the sun? I dont think that I really ever deserve that.

Go everyone on these comments! I am pro-choice, but everyone at my school says abortion is a sin and very bad. But I don't know. I feel llike I am not knowledgeable enough to really be able to say anything. I would hate to be pregnant and not be able to choose to keep the baby, but that is just me, I think. It is one of those things, like not believing in God that I feel guilty for every day. But if I beleived in heaven, would that really matter? I mean, would people I love go to heaven if i believed in it or not? I dont think religion should play a part in politics. All it is doing is making my heart twist. But i think i am alone in thiat one, too.

Elise Murphy said...

You've certainly opened the flood gates here, Laini.

I think now that the primaries are over . . . we're all feeling the pressure. I have to believe that this pressure is a good thing, that it can be the catalyst we need to ensure we don't spend another 4 years taking our country further down a dangerous path.

Thanks for being open about your non-christian, left, pro-environment, and universal health care beliefs. It's so good to feel that kind of solidarity!

leximel said...

Ag. Can you delete that one, too?
I am going crazy.

tone almhjell said...

Q, the governments in countries with 'social medicine', such as mine (Norway) will let rich people pay for operations and stuff in private hospitals, so you very are wrong there. (Most people never have to, though, because you get treatment for free.)

We (and yes, here it's really we, the people) will not, however, let people die because they are poor and can't afford insurance, and it irritates me immensly that you speak of this as if you have any clue how our system works.

But I have pointed that out to you on this blog before.

tone almhjell said...

And so I don't forget: Laini: I'm right next to you, nodding with my arms crossed, all through your rant.

Amber Lough said...

Wow--I missed an awesome conversation.

How about New Zealand, instead of Italy?

And as an Iraq War vet (which sounds weird to me, since I think of vets as, well, OLD), I had no idea there were that many suicide attempts. But it doesn't surprise me. I bet one of the biggest reasons is that while we were there, we were fed loads of propaganda (Fox News and Armed Forces Network only, of course) and when we got/get back, we get to see both sides of the story. I was disconnected from reality while I was there, and then I was thrown from one mess into another (this one) and expected to pull myself together.

If anyone wants to read my blog from when I was there, it's linked from my profile page. I can barely remember what I wrote about, but we weren't allowed to talk about what was happening, of course. (Which made sense b/c I didn't want to be the one who let the "bad guys" know where, exactly, their rockets and mortars hit each morning.)

McCain's entourage does frighten me, but not as much as the willingness of so many Americans to blindly accept whatever is said by certain political parties just so they can feel better about themselves. Why won't people face the world with clear eyes and look at what is happening? Are they afraid of the world, or themselves?

Anonymous said...

Thank you. Keep up the ranting.
And I love your spirit and soul. Loray

kendalee said...

Oh Laini, as a non-US citizen, I don't feel I should enter the debate but I'm so reassured by the fact that there are still people like you who care enough to rant - in the well informed, well expressed way that you do - about these issues in your country. And then translate that into electing Obama as presidential candidate.

The groundswell of Obama support makes me feel better about the prospects for everyone and his speech really gave me hope for what America might bring to the world again. There are global issues here too and the Bush government has harmed the world at large, and America in the world at large, as well as doing damage at home. Heaven help us ALL if McCain takes over. Rant on! Please rant on!