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Abortion, a great date-movie

So I’ve just watched a few trailers for, and read about a movie that is coming out next weekend in limited release, and broader release in the Spring. It’s “October Baby”.

I knew it was going to deal with the difficult topic of abortion, so I was interested. As I watched and read, it went beyond interest. The story is compelling, as it represents a very real group of people–survivors of abortion. This story is of a girl who discovers she was adopted, and the reason is that she was a survivor of a botched abortion. Now, if that isn’t compelling enough, watch this:

I know, right? So, this is what I will be doing next weekend. I urge you to support, promote, and seek out this film for the healing that can come to so many.

How to lose your liberty in a few easy steps:

Liberty is much like a young bride. Her appeal is innocence, youth, and boundless hope. But over time, if not protected, she will lose her luster. Under the guise of practicality, charity, pragmatism, the layers of protection around her are peeled off until she loses that which made her desirable originally. Once unprotected, she is vulnerable to assault from those who would harm her, or use her as a weapon. And once exposed to authority of those who have no love for her, regaining her modesty, security, and unadulterated purity is nearly impossible.

This month, in my home state of Alabama, I witnessed a layer of my beloved liberty’s protection be peeled away forcefully, against the will of many of the people of my state, and beyond the understanding of the rest. I don’t mean that insultingly, though you may take it that way if you wish. I simply mean that when the law, which I will explain, is held up to the light of history, it becomes far uglier, frightening, and obviously a slap in the face of liberty.
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The rich, those bastards

I hear the term used on Fox News by Juan Williams, on NPR, CNN, MSNBC. I hear it thrown around in casual conversation as a “given”. Not questioned, not discussed. Not challenged.

The rich, “those who have benefited the most from this economy” should pay their “fair share”. Those who have benefited the most? Do tell. Did the economy start knocking on people’s doors and handing out checks again? Because I thought that was only to the people who were NOT working, but maybe I’m wrong. Did the economy send telepathic signals with money-making ideas into the heads of these “rich” people? Economy, how dare you! I’ve been here this whole time, being so nice to you, and you haven’t done that for me!

Did the economy give the rich faster patent approval than the poor? Allow them to drive on nicer roads? I want access to these roads. Or my own helicopter, whichever is more expensive.

OR, as oh, I don’t know… LOGIC would suggest, did the wealthy (or rich-dirty-word-spit!) actually benefit this economy the most? Let’s think about this. Who paid for the roads? Tax dollars. Who paid for those tax dollars? Well, according to the CBO, in some rather dry-reading on that website (they should hire facebook to design the way they present information) “In 2007, the highest quintile earned 55.9 percent of pretax income and paid 68.9 percent of federal taxes.” Meaning, the rich people already pay BY FAR the most taxes. The top 20% of earners pay 70% of the taxes.

So, if the liberal speak is right, and those who are benefit most from the economy should pay the most, they may need to check the numbers. Those who create wealth actually create benefit–major benefit–for those who do not create the most wealth. In other words, all those services, roads, agencies, departments, buildings, etc are built primarily by those darn rich folks who laugh at us from their ivory towers. Which means that… wait! WE benefit the most from the economy which the rich have helped create. Dang it! That means that WE would have to pay our “fair share”. I don’t like this at all. Logic. Ripping. Time and space.

So, maybe “fair” isn’t the best way to look at this. Mainly because it wouldn’t help MY cause any, and it’s all about ME. And because fair is a really juvenile, impractical way to look at the world. And though I generally endorse juvenile and impractical, perhaps it isn’t best in this case. And while we’re on the topic of juvenile, isn’t blaming the people who have created the most jobs in this country, pay most of the burden and shoulder the most risk for the prosperity of us all, rather… um… “juvenile”?

As I was watching the GOP debate, I was wondering who would get the nomination.  Now, lots of people more obsessed than I will write reams of opinions about what the candidates actually said, and who would be the best at the job, and all that stuff that seems mostly irrelevant to elections.  I, on the other hand, have a completely untested decision-making method to determine who the GOP should nominate as their candidate.  Not who actually will get the nomination, mind you, but who should get it if the Republicans want to win the general election.  Sure, my method has only a passing acquaintance with reality (or maybe less – maybe they made eye contact across a crowded room once), but so does the primary system.

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“See China, right in front of you”

Sometimes I forget that a place this beautiful is not necessarily paradise:

China Travel

I’ve seen several articles recently noting that China may soon change its one child policy to a two child policy.  Now, technically, some groups already are subject to a two-child policy.  The one child policy has always applied mostly to the ethnic majority Han, and has often been enforced less stringently in rural areas.  Many ethnic minorities have historically been allowed two children.  Recently, married couples who are both single children are allowed to have two children in many areas.  Lest you think that these changes are out of the kindness of their hearts, the government is trying to mitigate the demographic problems caused by their low birth rate.  Their population is aging and officials are concerned about the declining ratio of working adults to retired adults

If I lived in China, I would be happy for the change, obviously.  Unfortunately, though, allowing one more child won’t fix the biggest problems with the one child policy.  The real problems with the policy are the horrifying methods of enforcement, the high rates of abandonment and selective abortion of baby girls, and the occasional kidnapping of babies by family planning officials.  Houses and property can be destroyed or confiscated as punishment for unauthorized pregnancies; relatives can be imprisoned to coerce abortion.  Forced abortions, infanticide, and forced sterilizations are, by many accounts, common.  Chinese government-reported figures claim 35,000 abortions a day.  Many of those are forced.   Often, these forced abortions occur  near the end of pregnancy, and sometimes require killing the delivered child.  Because family planning officials’ careers are dependent upon their provinces’ adherence to the official birth rate goals, some provinces have implemented concentrated campaigns of forced abortion  and  sterilizations

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David Hemphill on the first ascent of Papillon (5.10b)

I’ve been thinking about climbing a lot this year.  I miss it.  As I was watching climbing videos recently, I ran across this amazing video of Catherine Destivelle soloing a huge cliff in Mali.  Catherine Destivelle is a French rock climber and mountaineer, born in Algeria, who is now about 50 years old.  The video is absolutely worth watching.  It’s a short documentary-style film (9-1/2 minutes) featuring a cliff-dwelling pygmy ghost town, a witch doctor who plays a surprisingly good trumpet, a bit of fantastic ’80′s climbing fashion, and  awe-inducing climbing.  If your attention span doesn’t allow watching the whole thing, watch from about 4:15 to 5:30, and then from about 6:30 to 6:50.  Warning:  Don’t forget to breathe.

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Don’t get me started on polygamy.

Why do I have such a problem with this? I just don’t understand the big deal. I’ve heard it called “an abomination”, “sin”, “gross”, etc. But, I just don’t get it. Men in the old testament had multiple wives, and there’s not much said, biblically about the whole thing. Obviously, in the US, it’s illegal, and there are probably some pretty good reasons–it’s associated with child abuse, child marriage, forced marriage, etc. But there are abuses in any system. We can’t outlaw or call “abomination” just whatever we think is strange.

Don’t get me wrong. I don’t think I would “enjoy” the polygamist lifestyle, but I can see its benefits, and I’m not sure that villainizing its members, as our society does benefits us or them. Would I discuss this with my husband? Oh, no. Don’t want that “imagination train” getting started. But, the benefits of having help raising your children, knowing the woman who would be their mother if anything happened to me, being able to have companionship during the years of having little children which can be so lonely…. I get it.

The part I DO NOT get would be the…uh… bedroom portion. Scheduling my love life? No, thank you! Having my husband checking other women out as potential mates? Nope. And, I could never dress like a pilgrim. :)

Sunday night, with the rest of the nation, I watch President Barack Obama inform the world that the US Military had killed Osama bin Laden, the mastermind of the bombing of the USS Cole, and embassy bombing or two, and–most notoriously–the worst act of terrorism ever carried out on US soil since Pearl Harbor–9/11.

My first thought was relief that no Americans were killed, and that the quest for this notorious criminal is over. But then my thoughts turned toward his family. Grief for the children who lost a father and a wife who lost her husband. Grief for a life that would never know the peace that comes from knowledge that clearly never reached him in that compound in Pakistan.

The President’s speech ended, and the news channel switched to pictures from outside the White House, and in New York City streets, and some other shots of crowds gathering, waiving American flags, and shouting “USA” and celebrating Osama’s death.

“Wow”, I thought. “Do I have this wrong? Am I viewing this the wrong way?? Maybe my ‘celebrator’ is broken because of the tornados and the damage and suffering around me.”

It’s just that when the death of my countrymen and women was met with cheers in the Middle East of this “tremendous victory”, I could not believe it. I was incredulous that people could hate someone they had never met. People that had just gone to work that day. People who probably couldn’t name half of the countries in the Middle East anyway, and had no intention of doing them harm. But they knew who WE were, and they were celebrating the blood. Those mommies. Those daddies. Those precious children who would never grow up. Celebrating their deaths? Evil.

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How NOT to teach your kids to read

I love reading.  I REALLY love reading.  I’m a little unbalanced about it, actually.  My almost-five-year-old (The Bear) also loves books and stories, so I read a lot of children’s books these days.  Before I had kids, I assumed that books and movies that were made for small children are mostly APPROPRIATE FOR SMALL CHILDREN.  Boy, was I wrong.

I’ll save “inappropriate kids’ movies” for another day, and maybe another author.  I haven’t really seen enough kids’ movies to know which ones are the worst.   Does EVERY Disney movie involve parents dying?   Feel free to enlighten me.

On a recent trip, I bought a book to read to my daughter.  I had to edit it as I read, and unfortunately, she loved the book, so I had to edit it every time.  The book is number 3 in Fish nor Fowl’s first Countdown of Terrible Children’s Books.  Here goes!  I’ve included some photos.  If you can’t read the text in the photo, click on it to enlarge.  The last one in the post is particularly worth a look.

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Monsanto and USDA, sittin’ in a tree…

What could possibly go wrong?

Ack!  I recently ran across this article.  Evidently, after a federal judge revoked the USDA’s approval of Monsanto’s Roundup Ready sugar beets until an environmental impact assessment could be done, USDA found a clever way around the pesky environmental assessment requirements.  LET THE COMPANIES DO IT THEMSELVES.  To be fair, they’ve been doing this for a while.  It just seems to have been getting a bit more attention recently. 

Great plan.  I can’t think of a single problem.

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