Thursday, April 30, 2009

What is Best for our Daughters?

I do not have a daughter. I always wanted one, but it just never happened, so I celebrate my son and wish to one day hold a granddaughter in my arms. Maybe if I had a living, breathing daughter, I would feel differently, but I do not have a problem with 17 year old girls having the ability to buy Plan B. I, personally, do not have a problem with girls younger than 17 having the ability to buy Plan B. Without their parent's permission. Without a doctor.

There are those who disagree with me.

Mike Galanos, who hosts "Prime News" from 5-7 pm ET Monday-Friday on CNN's Headline News apparently disagrees with me.

He argues that because a prescription is required for birth control pills, one should be required for Plan B. He argues that states that allow abortion without parental consent are wrong and that wrongness should not be perpetuated by other wrongs.

The argument he uses that really gets to me, though, is this one:

We are making it available to high school girls. We're enabling teenagers to act carelessly with an easy way out. During a recent discussion on my show, Jackie Morgan MacDougall, supervising producer of the Web site, said it best. "Teenagers are known for thinking they're untouchable and here we are saying that they can continue to do that and that there aren't any consequences." With Plan B, they can do it now and deal with it later.

Don't tell me high school dynamics won't play in here. The boyfriend will talk his girlfriend into unprotected sex with the promise of buying the "morning after pill" the next day. Any 17-year-old boy will be able to buy this drug, just as any 17-year-old girl will.

Isn't this the same logic used by the right wingers to deny their daughters Gardisil? That vaccinating a teen against HPV is giving them permission to have sex? And what teenager, in the throes of passion, is thinking long term consequences? I would rather have my daughter (or my son, for that matter) wake up the next morning and think, "Oh crap, we didn't use a condom," and head right down to the pharmacy.

In a perfect world that teenager would want to speak with a parent about what had happened. Would want the parents input into their lives. In a perfect world, the parent would already know that child was sexually active and would not come unglued. How many of us live in a perfect world?

And the child who has been raped? By her father or step father? Whose own mother does not believe her? Who is going to take that child to a doctor for a prescription for Plan B? No one. Who is going to sign the paperwork allowing her to have an abortion? No one. So now she has been raped twice, once by the rapist and once by society.

Teens are going to have sex. There is nothing we can do to stop it short of locking them in the basement. I prefer that those teens have 100% of the information available and 100% of the alternatives available. Maybe that will stop unwanted pregnancies. Maybe that will slow down the downward spiral into poverty in this country.

Maybe I Don't Like Geeks?

Ok, that's not true. I don't have anything against geeks; they are people too. What I have a problem with is BAD TV. I do not understand how so many people waste so much time sitting in front of shows that I find really, really stupid. My husband does it. The reason we never fight over what is on the television is that I just don't care.

So I was dumbfounded by the fact that the NBC Monday night show "Chuck" is being rallied around by TV watchers across the country. Apparently there are bloggers and twitters galore begging the networks not to cancel this show. Why?

I watched the first episode. DSD thought it would be great and I did not have any shows to watch at that time (I like to have 1 or 2 most of the time!) And guess what? I hated it. I thought the humor was sophomoric and the storylines were convoluted. I was bored out of my mind. And I have not sat through another entire episode.

I have, however, caught bits and pieces of it just because it was on. I think I saw the series finale when Chuck's brain was cured by Scott "Quantum Leap" Bakulla who played the father. It was a perfect ending for this series. How would they bring it back since Chuck's brain no longer holds the needed information? Make that show a dream, maybe?

I read the article on CNN that says it is a family show that can be watched with your 4 year old. I read how the show is "unique with its blend of romance, action, drama and comedy."

Obviously I have completely different tastes from most of those people, because I just thought it was dumb. Maybe that is why I don't watch a lot of TV.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Crazy Bio Teacher Update

Last night was my last real biology class. Next Monday is the final. I am not doing very well in this class. I kicked butt the first test with a 95% and the other 3 tests have been in the low to mid 70s range. So I am probably going to end up with a C. This will be the first C I have gotten since I returned to school more years ago than I want to count. I am not happy about it, but I am not blaming the teacher for my poor grades.

Or I am not blaming her much.

The problem is that she is a moron. Seriously.

She is the instructor. She is supposed to know what she is talking about and she should be able to pronounce the words for the body system she is teaching. She mispronounces simple words and I stop listening; hence, a C average.

But what biology instructor says CARDIATIC for CARDIAC? Or SYSTEMATIC for SYSTEMIC? URETHA instead of URETHRA? It makes me in-freaking-sane!

Last night's class was the absolute worst, though. Cancer, STDs and reproduction. Cancer was quick and painless, but I know a little something about STDs and reproduction myself. I have a 20 year old son, so I have done my best to keep informed about sexually transmitted diseases to ensure that I was giving him the best possible answers; the truthful answers. And I have personally reproduced, although that does not make me an expert. I am also quite fascinated by reproduction and I read a lot on the subject. If I ever win the lottery and can afford not to work, my plan is to start my own business as a doula. I was actually asked if I wanted a job at the local hospital when my bff had her second child, because I was the only one she would listen to and I could get her through the contractions without her coming unglued.

So when Ms. Crazy was explaining that herpes can pass through a condom I was dumbfounded. Although she was technically correct; she never explained that latex condoms are safe and that the virus can only pass through lambskin.

I almost lost my mind when she told the class that it is easy to get pregnant on the pink (or green) 'sugar' pills taken during the week of menstruation, because a woman is not receiving hormones and then she told us that a woman should NEVER go straight through the pills to prevent menstruation. She just sort of shuddered and said something about her college days and how horrible it was.

These are all lies. And while most of the class is grown, we have at least three 19 or 20 year old women in there. I turned around after the comment on getting pregnant during the sugar pills and told them it was lie. But what are the chances they believe me?

The facts are that the birth control pills are 99.9% effective when taken correctly. The BCPs prevent ovulation and, if by some freak accident, ovulation occurs and fertilization occurs, the pills prevent implantation. And there are new pills that a woman takes 365 days a year with no menstruation EVER.

But the absolute most horrible part of the class was when she informed the class that if a woman performs oral sex, the sperm will live in the mouth for up to 72 hours and can show up on a dental X-ray. I was not even sure if this was true or not! I specifically asked if Listerine would kill them and was told NO! After thinking about it this morning, I realize that she is absolutely full of crap. The enzymes and bacteria in my mouth would kill the sperm. I asked the MDs I work with if this was possible and was told even if I went in DIRECTLY after performing AND HADN'T BRUSHED MY TEETH sperm does not show up on X-rays.

My plan was to email her department head after next week's final and complain about the mispronunciations, but I think I have to email him or her today. After sitting through a class on something I actually knew about and receiving incorrect information, I am wondering how much other incorrect information I have received this semester? And I am worried that others in the class are spreading the false information around.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

An Earth Day quote

From my George Carlin calendar:

"The public will never be concerned about global warming or the greenhouse effect. These words just aren't scary enough. Global means all-encompassing, warming connotes comfort, green equals growth, and house equals shelter. Growth, shelter, and all-encompassing comfort. Doesn't sound like much of a threat. Relax."

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Historically Speaking

Ron Paul is a moron? Oh, no, that isn't historical, that is today.

Paul: But don’t they remember how we came in to our being? We used secession, we seceded from England. So it’s a very good principle.

Paul: We as a nation have endorsed secession all along. Think of all of the secession of the countries and the republics from the Soviet system. We were delighted. We love it.

Chetry: You said it’s very American to talk about secession. It’s how we came into being. 13 colonies seceeded from the British. Are you likening the current situation to life under King George?
Paul: I think a lot of people are thinking that way. And I think that’s what’s important. People are angry.

Did Ron Paul never hear about the Revolutionary War? Sure, we seceded, but at what cost?

And I am pretty certain this country did NOT endorse secession in 1861, just ask the 500,000 dead Americans.

And, while I believe in America's right to protest and to be pissed off at our leaders, can we really compare ourselves to the original Boston Tea Party persons? Really? To life under King George?

Get real, people.

On the Other Hand...

Jill over at ModernMommyblog has a really great post up on health care in America. She has great statistics on who is living without health care in this country, great links on where to find more information and she explains that she believes that health care is a right, not a privilege.

I happen to agree with her 100%, so I do not want this post to be taken (by anyone, but especially by Jill) as a snarky attack on her or her beliefs or on the millions in this country who live each day in fear of an illness which will make working impossible and which they do not have health care coverage to survive. Living in this country should guarantee a person the RIGHT to vaccinations, to doctor's visits and, especially, to coverage during an illness that may be catastrophic without it. And a person should not have to cash in their retirement or that of their spouse to have access to it!

But let me tell you a story. I will keep it as brief as I can, but it is fairly long and involved. I hope it is not too boring.

I have not taken the coverage offered by my company since I got married due to the fact that DSD is retired Navy and once we were married, we (my son and I) were automatically covered under Tricare Standard. My employment history (since I got out of the AF in 2000) is a little difficult to explain, but I have never NOT had coverage during that time. When I was hired for my first post AF job, my friend told me I was asking for too much money. I explained that I could just stay in the AF if I was not given my asking amount because I HAD TO BE ABLE TO AFFORD the insurance. Sure, it was more money than I was making on active duty, but none of it was tax free and I was paying my own insurance premiums, so I was actually taking home less money.

This brings me to Sandy. I have worked with Sandy on and off since that first post AF job in 2000. We work for the exact some company. She (at that time) was the single mother of a teen age daughter. I was (at that time) a single mother of a pre teen boy. Since then her daughter has grown up, left home and reproduced THREE times at government expense. Her children are still covered by Medicaid. Sandy CHOSE, all this time, to NOT sign up for the company health plan. Even now, when new employees must provide proof that they have other health care coverage or take the company insurance, she doesn't have to because she is grandfathered.

Sandy was in a pretty bad car accident a little over a month and a half ago. She is still not functioning too well; she still has some pain in her back and in her knee and she can not afford to go to the doctor as often as she needs to be seen. It has been recommended that she get an MRI. She can't afford it. Physical therapy is probably necessary. She can't afford it. I don't know what else she probably needs, but she can't afford it. She has been known to beg for narcotic painkillers from some of the people we work with. People for whom it would be illegal to give her those drugs.

I know that health care coverage in this country is expensive. Our company actually provided great coverage at a fairly reasonable price. BlueCross/BlueShield for 1 adult, 1 child was costing me less than $250 a month at the time I got married. Still expensive, yes, but I managed to pay it and (according to Sandy) I make almost $10,000 a year less than she does.

I do believe that this country should do something to help the uninsured. But I also believe that people like Sandy make it so much harder for those who are really struggling to pay their premiums, whose children aren't covered or are sick and can't get help because they don't have insurance.

I know there are those who believe it inhibits their rights to be forced to buy health care, either company or government. But it is people like Sandy who are ruining it all for the rest of us.

Friday, April 17, 2009

I Don't Vote Based on a Song, But I Bet Some Do

Maybe I am morally repugnant, but music does not permeate my life like it does for some. I do not have my Ipod on at the moment (it is in the drawer and probably the battery is dead), I do not listen to music in my car (I listen to NPR) and I do not turn on music at my house (either there is already someone there with the TV on, or I just enjoy the quiet). On the very rare occassion I do choose some music to listen to, it is oldies. Earlier than 1990, but probably later than 1950.

So Sunday night I was relaxing with a good book and DSD was watching the Country Music Awards. I couldn't help but hear some of the music and some of it was enjoyable, I caught myself paying more attention to it than the book. (I didn't care about the presentations) But I was not happy when John Rich performed his new hit song. I was astonished by the words and it occurred to me that THIS is where middle America gets their information on how to vote, who to like and how to feel about our present economic distress.

DC's paying out the banker
As the farmers auction ground
And while their living up on Wall Street
In that New York City town
Here in the real world they're
Shutting Detroit down
Here in the real world they're
Shutting Detroit down

Let's look at this chorus for a moment, shall we?

Yes, DC has paid out enormous amounts of money to Fannie and Freddie, et al, for the past few months. And DC has paid out enormous amounts of money to large commercial farmers for the past 80 years. Is either fair? Paying farm subsidies has not kept the small town farmer in business, he is slowly disappearing from the American landscape and that has nothing to do with today's economy or even the economy of the last 10 years.

I am certainly no expert on farm subsidies, but some pro/con information can be found here, here and here.

And, while there are probably those who are "living it up on Wall Street," what could the former employer of Leamon Brothers possibly be celebrating? And, hey, John Rich, New York City IS part of the United States of America aka the real world and has been for quite a long time.

And when is Detroit shutting down?

Here is the part of day when I start assuming, because to those of us who do not live in Michigan, Detroit = American Automakers. Maybe that isn't what this song is referring to, maybe it is referring to something completely different, but, as an Average American, I hear automakers, what do other Average Americans hear?

So from what I understood from the words of this song is that DC (President Obama) is throwing money at Wall Street and working feverishly to ensure that Ford, Chrysler and GM close and lock the doors to each of their factories, never to be re-opened. I know this is all a lot of hooey, because I pay attention to what is going on in this country. But many Americans do not, for whatever reason. Many Americans will use this song as just one more complaint about the current administration without finding out the truth.

Many Americans still believe that Saddam Hussein and Iraq had something to do with 9/11. Is this because Dubya and cronies announced it constantly? Probably, but how much of it has to do with these words?

I hear people saying we don't need this war
But I say there's some things worth fighting for
What about our freedom and this piece of ground
We didn't get to keep 'em by backin down
They say that we don't realize the mess we're gettin in
Before you start your preachin let me ask you this my friend
Have You ForgottenHow it felt that day
To see your homeland under fire and her people blown away
Have you forgotten
When those towers fell, we had neighbors still inside
Going through a living hell

Mr Worley does go on to remind us that we are looking for bin Laden. But this song was recorded on April 15, 2003. No one was thinking about Afghanistan at that time; the only war on the hearts and minds of the American people was the Iraq war. And this song still makes me think of Iraq.

We expect a lot out of our celebrities in this country. We expect them to be beautiful and skinny and perfect at all times. Maybe we should just expect them not to do a disservice to the less fortunate. Maybe they should be as concerned for the less educated among us and put out valid information.

Or maybe, like me, we should just turn off the radio.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Happy Tax Day!

Ok, most of us don't look forward to paying our taxes. While we understand it is a necessary evil; it is still evil.

Still, today, I have gotten a lovely tickle out of the "TEA" parties propagated by the right wing propaganda machine.

Government spending has been out of control since before I graduated high school (1985) and has continued until this day and NOW the right wingers want to protest?

Why didn't they protest against Reagan? Well, he was God.

Why didn't they protest against Bush I? Well, we forgot God was no longer President.

Why didn't they protest against Clinton? Well, we were a little more concerned about his sex life than the deficit and he did, actually, balance the budget before the left office.

Why didn't they protest against Bush II? Well, there is no explanation, except excessive use of Marijuana and 9/11.

So NOW there are protests. NOW, when this country NEEDS the extra spending, to help other Americans, to help, period. NOW there are protests?

There is something wrong in this country.

Thursday, April 9, 2009


As DSD and I watched the local news Tuesday night, my heart almost stopped as I realized the story they were broadcasting was one of a MURDER trial that had started that morning. In circuit court. With the Judge I had seen on Monday. The trial was the one I would have served on IF I had been picked for jury duty.

From what I remember of the news story, there was no doubt the accused was the shooter; he had apparently confessed, but was pleading self-defense. I can not find this portion of the story on the Internet, though, so maybe I made it up.

A teenager is guilty of First Degree Murder for the death of a man in Panama City.
It took a jury just over 2 hours to return the conviction for Jose Gonzalez, 17. Gonzalez is guilty in the death of Timothy Roy Humphries. Humphries was found dead off Lisenby Ave. back in August 2008.
Police say a tip during the investigation led them to the Orlando Airport, where Gonzalez was arrested trying to flee to Puerto Rico.
Gonzalez will be sentenced in May.

This was not a capital case due to the shooter's age. I don't know that I really wanted all that responsibility, but I do wonder if the jury got it right. What if it was self-defense? What if I could have made a difference?

Maybe next time.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

A Little Nutrition Humor

For those of you who watch what you eat , here's the final word on
nutrition and health. It's a relief to know the truth after all those
conflicting nutritional studies.

1. The Japanese eat very little fat and suffer fewer heart attacks than

2. The Mexicans eat a lot of fat and suffer fewer heart attacks than

3. The Chinese drink very little red wine and suffer fewer heart attacks
than Americans.

4. The Italians drink a lot of red wine and suffer fewer heart attacks than

5. The Germans drink a lot of beers and eat lots of sausages and fats and
suffer fewer heart attacks than Americans.


Eat and drink what you like. Speaking English is apparently what kills you.

Monday, April 6, 2009

I'm at work

I realized before 9 am that I was not going to be picked for jury duty. There were only 2 trials on the docket this week, both felonies, and they were only going to need 14 jurors out of the 90 who were in the jury room. I was #89, or close to it, out of the 90 who were there.

I didn't even get to see the inside of the courtroom.

If I had made it to the voir dire process, there is still a chance that I would not have been allowed to serve because the judge taught the Criminal Procedures class I took several years ago. I wonder if that matters? It isn't like we were friends.

Anyway, I'm done for the year, at least for circuit court. There is always next year. Maybe then I will get to see the inside of the court room!

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Oh! Oh! Pick me! Pick me!

We had a nice family birthday celebration for BabyBoy today. Just cake and ice cream and presents and some nice family stories about the loss of BabyBoy's first tooth and what a sweetheart he was as a toddler.

Everyone left about 4pm and I sat down to watch the minutes tick off the clock until I could call the court house after 5pm. After 4 previous jury summons, it is no longer a foregone conclusion that I would be allowed to go to the court house. Each time I have recieved a summons in the past, either I have called the night before and was told not to show up, or the court sweetly called me and told me not to show up. Last time I missed the cut off by only a few numbers. So I had a little anticipatory stress. Would they at least allow me to show up tomorrow? Or would I get to go to work like normal?

Well, for the first time, I actually get to drive to the court house instead of to work. I am so excited! I know plenty of people who think jury duty is a waste of time. I know several who think it is useful, but don't necessarily want to be the one who has to serve. I WANT TO SERVE. I want to do my duty. I want to be picked. I want to be there.

Which probably means I will be excused for cause. Do you think all those law classes I took will be a reason for excusal? Do you think the fact that I was married to a police officer will be a reason? Do you think the fact that my company pays me for duty will be a reason to keep me on?

I don't know, this is the first time I have been allowed to actually grace the court house with my presence. Obviously, if I am picked to serve, I will not be blogging about it until after the end of the trial. But, after it is over, I can give you all of the juicy details.

So cross your fingers that the lawyers for both sides are smart enough to know a good thing when they see it! And cross your fingers that I spend the next several days doing my civic duty!
Because I WANT to!

Friday, April 3, 2009

The Baby is Twenty! - Custom comment codes for MySpace, Hi5, Friendster and more

I am speechless with amazement that BabyBoy, darling son of mine, is turning 20 today. It couldn't have been more than 3 or 4 months ago that he was a screaming, red-faced infant who refused to sleep for more than an hour at the time.

Or maybe he was just a chubby cheeked, laughing, cuddling toddler.

So while it feels like he just started kindergarten maybe a month ago, he has actually been out of high school for almost 2 years.

So, I want to tell my beloved son Happy Birthday. I love you. You really are the best thing I have ever done in my entire life.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Sick of the Rain

I know it is necessary, that without rain everything will shrivel and die or, as usually happens in Florida, burn. But I don't know why we seem to be receiving a year's worth of rain in a week. We are getting inches and inches of rain. We've probably dumped more out of the pool than we put in it all last year. The grass needs to be cut. The dog needs a bath. And still the rain comes down.

I live in Florida because I LIKE the sun and the heat. Can we get a little bit of that for a few days now? Just 3. Preferably over the weekend!