Friday, January 23, 2009

Obama's Statement

So this is the rhetoric we're given on the anniversary of Roe v. Wade:

"On the 36th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, we are reminded that this decision not only protects women's health and reproductive freedom, but stands for a broader principle: that government should not intrude on our most private family matters. I remain committed to protecting a woman's right to choose.

While this is a sensitive and often divisive issue, no matter what our views, we are united in our determination to prevent unintended pregnancies, reduce the need for abortion, and support women and families in the choices they make. To accomplish these goals, we must work to find common ground to expand access to affordable contraception, accurate health information, and preventative services.

On this anniversary, we must also recommit ourselves more broadly to ensuring that our daughters have the same rights and opportunities as our sons: the chance to attain a world-class education; to have fulfilling careers in any industry; to be treated fairly and paid equally for their work; and to have no limits on their dreams. That is what I want for women everywhere."

I have to start working, but I just have to say something about this.

First of all, this is quite a principle: "government should not intrude on our most private family matters." REALLY!
Then why won't he allow abortion to AT LEAST be a "family matter"--and let the parents stay informed about what's going on, espeically in those states where parental consent is already required? Instead, he wants to pass FOCA, which lifts all restrictions on abortion; which allows "the family" to be left behind, which allows impressionable and distressed young women to face healthcare pressures alone.
The reason is that it's NOT about the family. If it were, he might also support school vouchers, and even--gasp--homeschool! These things share that broader principle that says the government needn't get involved, because the family can look after their children's educational needs.

And this statement drives me nuts: "we must also recommit ourselves more broadly to ensuring that our daughters have the same rights and opportunities as our sons." Meaning, "our sons are able to run away from the consequences of promiscuity--why shouldn't our daughters be able to do the same?" Perhaps we should consider ways to make adoption services more accessible to both unwed mothers and to couples looking to adopt children--and MAYBE even encourage fathers to take more responsibility for their actions, even if they're not anatomically connected to the "punishment" of pregnancy!

And yet you read the news, and everyone is all excited about this man's commitment to finding "common ground."

God bless and save America.

Friday, January 16, 2009

The power of the bone

My very hard-working (and late-working!) husband, Doodle, arrived home one night this week to find me fuming smoke from my ears and growing sticks from my fingertips. I felt like I had reached my last nerve.

I also felt somewhat like the proverbial overtired mother who hands off her toddler to her (equally overtired) husband as soon he walks in the door, muttering something like, "YOU deal with him."
Within the first five minutes--err, make that seconds--of Doodle being inside the door, I launched into a tirade of our 13 month-old dog's behavior. Yes, that's right; Caomhan, the puppy.

"I can't TAKE it anymore," I seethed. "He whines for more food, I tell him 'no,' but he won't stop whining. So I tell him to go to the couch, I spray him with the water squirter when he whines until he's quiet. Then he starts being rough with the cat, so I put him in the cage, spray him again with every whine 'til he stops whining. When I let him out, he goes over to his food bowl and whines for more food!So I put him on the couch... AAaargh!"

This had been going on, in varied sequences, for about 3 hours. I was exhausted and frustrated from having to stop whatever I was doing every 10 seconds to walk over and spray the dog (consistent feedback whenever he whines), only for him to let out little whines as soon as I got back to my task of making dinner.

"Are you being a bad dog?" Doodle asked the dog. "No whining."

Of course, Caomhan, with a bowed head, looked up at Doodle with contrite eyes. Then--without any suggestion of a whine--cautiously approached my husband with a wagging tail to receive some petting.

For the rest of the evening, there was no more whining. Although I was miffed that the dog would not listen to me as well as he would listen to Doodle, the precious silence surrounding the large animal on the couch was a blessing, after 3 hours of nonstop irritation.

I even apologized for my initial outburst. "It's okay," Doodle said. "Everyone needs 10 minutes to vent everyday."

Yesterday evening, I went to the grocery store. "Try to pick up some bones when you're there," Doodle reminded me the night before. "Caomhan hasn't had any since before Christmas." So I did....

When I got home from the store, I made Caomhan do an elaborate trick (dramatically fall and play dead after being shot down by my hand-shaped-like-a-gun). His reward, of course, was one of the bones.

And my reward was 2 hours of peace and quiet, while he lay on the couch with the bone between his front paws, knawing away.
By the time Doodle came home, only one of the knotted ends was left.

"How did he do today?" Doodle asked.
"Oh, don't you know, we're friends now," I replied, "Since I gave him that bone!"