The Right To Choose: An Evolution? A Revolution?

 

SCENARIO #1 ~ Most intelligent, compassionate folks would have no problem in agreeing that women must have the right to choose… especially when [1] problem pregnancies can involve literal life or death issues for moms-to-be and/or their babies and [2] conceptions can result from non-consensual acts and/or too closely related genetic mergers. Under such tragic, emotionally devastating circumstances, there must be ZERO tolerance for inept, incompetent, ignorant, opportunistic politicians attempting to intrude into what should be the sacrosanct, private, doctor / patient relationship. However…

SCENARIO #2 ~ Even the most enlightened and empathetic of us do start to feel qualms… especially when many other sought-after abortions can be tantamount to an ill-conceived, alternative form of birth control. While there’s no “normal” adult alive who hasn’t experienced that biochemically induced state of mindlessness… been prodded by overactive glands that are egging on recklessness… still one wonders… why some guys find it so hard to muster up a bit of self-control? If a couple cannot even prepare to prevent parenthood… i.e, go on a condom run… just how prepared will they be… oh… say… nine months later? Will their unplanned, unwanted children be unloved and undisciplined? What kind of grown-ups will they become? Will they even be grown-ups in every sense of that hyphenated word? Will they even be able to act kind?

CLEARLY… Scenario #2 is less clear-cut. While… under current conditions… a woman confronted by such a problem pregnancy still must be able to assert her right to choose… CLEARLY… the man could’ve done much more to prevent lighting that 9-month time-bomb fuse and… CLEARLY… humankind can and must do better in the future. And the sooner the better.

Growing up involves far more than gender-specific endocrine glands. Our brains must rule over our bodies and not vice versa. OK, I can already, almost hear the naysayers. “Such an attitudinal shift would likely take multiple generations to complete”… you scoff? “A Herculean Task”… you tsk-tsk?

Even though those are valid points, this does not make them excuses for our not trying. Why can’t we bravely usher in a new era of lifelong, no-nonsense, age-appropriate sex education? We need a Sexual Prime Directive where all biological adults wind up fully understanding that [1] sex makes babies and [2] if one desires the former but not the latter, then consistent usage of reliable birth control becomes a nonnegotiable! For those who find themselves saying, “Well duh… who didn’t know that?” go to the head of the class.

Governments would be both wise and money ahead… were contraception not only readily available but also affordable, perhaps, even totally free of charge! When compared to national welfare programs designed to financially assist impoverished moms and dads, government subsidized birth control might even be deemed a bargain!

To those quick to point out that vending machines loaded with “The Pill” and prophylactics could only encourage rampant promiscuity and result in a raging STD pandemic… I now ask… minus the protection… is that not what we’ve already got?

While such a retort may sound like defeatism, there is some pragmatism in the mix, too. Lest we forget, barrier methods of contraception provide barriers to disease, too. Additionally, might it even be argued that a more responsible, less repressed society would “breed” fewer perverts and predators? Might there even be a bit of truth to / a practical application of that Sixties era hippie mantra, “Make Love Not War”? Given a choice between a worldwide orgy and a worldwide nuclear war, which would you consider the lesser of two evils?

While portions of that above paragraph do sound, perhaps, a tad over the top, there is an undercurrent of truth, too.

Naturally, living life in moderation is the phrase that really pays. And more to the point… both love and respect must factor prominently into the big picture.

If we can establish a society where unprotected sex is virtually unheard of, then, with very few exceptions, only those who want babies will be procreating. Beyond that…

Governments would be both wise and money ahead, too… in ensuring that raising children would also become far more affordable. That… in itself… could help substantially reduce the demand for abortion… i.e., when fretting, prospective parents would no longer ditto agreement to this all too common, forlorn sentiment…

“Honey, we simply cannot afford another mouth to feed.”

Working towards that new beginning, each nation would need to establish a stable economy where even the entry level, full time workers would be earning a living wage… enjoying a pay level that’d even allow either the new mommy or daddy to become a stay-at-home parent until their child becomes a preschooler / kindergartner. Maybe even beyond that point?

Of course, even an improved society could never, fully liberate itself of unplanned pregnancies. True, it’s far too easy for me… a man who can never experience pregnancy… who has never even fathered any children… to say this… but maybe… just maybe my proposed, futuristic, attitudinal shift towards unequivocal male and female sexual responsibility could be inclusive of a woman’s new, enhanced right to choose… i.e., to choose going the adoption route rather than opt-in to abortion?

Do all of these changes sound too idealistic to ever become reality? Should I re-categorize this post as fiction? Let me know what you’re thinking and feeling in the comment section below…

 

 

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Bully For You? Bull $#!+

 

For an unbearably long time, my homeland’s K-12 schools… and their worldwide equivalents… have been the breeding grounds / training camp sites for bullies. Considering how the inter-generational cycle of abuse tends to kick in (pun intended), what becomes of the once-upon-a-time abused when they become… oh… say… today’s public / private school staffers? Well… in that capacity / incapacity… they oft either practically wink their approval at each new crop of bully bastards… or turn a blind eye to them.

It’s almost as if some educators’ measure of “scholastic achievement” focuses upon how effectively bullies can irreparably scar their victims (both emotionally and physically). Hmmm… instead of the failing grade bullies deserve, do they award them with an A+? Is extra credit assessed if the victims need [1] hospitalization… [2] a shrink… [3] a visit from the undertaker?

Adding insult to the victim injuries… on the rare instances where a tormented student does strike back… almost invariably… school personnel punish ONLY the retaliator (to the further delight of each bully). Hell… were school staffers’ favoritism any more blatant, the playground and hall monitors would be charging admission to the bullies’ verbal and physical attacks.

Perhaps such assessments are too cynical? Too harsh?

Let’s be fair here. Let’s look at this from the teacher’s side of the desk. Many underpaid educators are so overworked and over-stressed, it’s inevitable that they’d become nose-blind to the bully stench… to the point where the victims start falling through the cracks.

And, when victims’ only remaining options boil down to fight or flight… especially if it’s the latter… that’s when further damage kicks in (again, pun intended). Once these kids start feigning illness to avoid going to school… this all but guarantees both academic and developmental stunting / stagnation.

Let’s consider what happens once abused, stunted students eventually enter… no… strike that… DON’T enter grown-up society…

Social isolation… their learned response… to varying degrees… becomes their way of life. Such deep-down emotional stains don’t fade with time, either. And most assuredly, that’s no way to go through life! Hell… that’s not life at all!

Long Sigh….

I’m certain there are hundreds of thousands of bullying victims spanning our entire globe… each one waking up each new day wondering…

“Who might I have become… how much further ahead in life might I have gone… had insensitive school personnel heard my literal cries for help… had they come to my defense instead of enabling my tormentors’ indefensible, socially unacceptable behavior?”

How can I be so certain? Well… did you notice that above blockquote’s beginning / ending punctuation?

That’s me talking. That’s the very question I’ve been asking myself for the past 50+ years!

 

 

Humankind (not just in Houston), We Have A Problem

On April 11, 1970… at 13:13 (military time)… Apollo 13’s three-stage, Saturn-5 rocket successfully blasted off from launch pad 39-A. For any triskaidekaphobics out there, that 39 does crunch out as 3 x 13. All superstitions aside, astronauts Jim Lovell, Jack Swigert and Fred Haise were moonward bound and… if all went well… Lovell and Haise would wind up moon walking… exploring and prospecting a lunar region known as the Fra Mauro Highlands. Needless to say, all did not go well.

A scant two days later… on the 13th no less… an oxygen tank explosion severely crippled their spacecraft’s Service Module… that massive destruction creating a life threatening shortage of power, heat, water and breathable air.

In a blink of an eye… in one human heartbeat… saving the lives of these three men had become paramount. The new, revised mission had instantaneously repurposed the Lunar Module… BUT… seeing how it had been designed to only keep two men alive for far fewer days than it would take for all three to safely return to Earth… its role as a lifeboat was limited.

At stake here… even the slightest miscalculation could’ve easily repurposed their linked up, three-piece spacecraft (Command / Service / Lunar Module) one final time… i.e., made it a floating tomb where their suffocated, frozen bodies would be traversing the starlit, inky black cosmic vacuum… throughout eternity.

Fortunately, once everyone’s initial adrenaline surge had eased up a bit, NASA Mission Control’s Gene Kranz, ground crew leader and “steely eyed missile man” (that’s a compliment), began coordinating the rescue efforts. From that moment forth, all concerned Apollo 13 personnel… flight and ground crew alike… began bravely soldiering on.

Crisis after crisis mounted. Contingencies never before dealt with (even in flight simulators) now presented themselves. One critical decision after another had to be made. Scribbled out in pen and pencil painstaking procedures needed to be [1] relayed to the flight crew and [2] executed in the precisely correct order… e.g., a duct-taped CO2 scrubber improvisation and fly by the seat of your pants, computer UN-assisted, engine blazing, mid-course corrections… all with little to no margin of error.

The Kranz Team’s perfectly thought out, (literally) on the fly plans were also providing humanity a fleeting glimpse at our true intellectual potential… how limitless it can be when we set our minds to it. Also impressive… how quick thinking, innovative grown-ups had fully and rapidly realized that egos, finger-pointing / assessing blame and other unproductive posturing had to be checked at the door prior to entering Mission Control.

In the meantime, publicly, Apollo 13’s real life, unfolding in real time, life or death drama was astounding and captivating a goodly portion of Earth’s (then) 3.7 Billion onlooking souls… I among them. This event was also affording us a better sense of our global community… and how three members of our human family were now in such deep trouble that they might never make it back home again.

Might our resultant beamed to the heavens, positive energy surge (the devout would deem this the power of prayer) have also played a role in the Apollo 13 crew’s survival? At the very least, it’d be a good bet that Mission Control’s CAPCOMS had intermingled their tech talk with morale boosting news of the worldwide well-wishers. Yeah, I’d hazard a guess that we did make a difference.

And while we space-age, Earthbound onlookers had all traveled along the wondrous path to unity (at least twice) before… especially during the Apollo 8 and 11 missions (8’s first humans in lunar orbit and 11’s first man on the moon) this time around, the specter of death was lurking off in the closer-than-you-think, distance. And that, indeed, did present an almost palpably unsettling feeling.

Then, during Apollo 13’s last day, the one remaining key question became…

Would the Kranz Team’s accumulation of consistent, spot-on decision making be sufficient to earn them the right to look the Grim Reaper squarely in the eye to proclaim…

NO… NOT TODAY! GET THE HELL OUTTA HERE!

Well as it turned out… on this very April 17th, 1970 day, NASA’s efforts had allowed astronauts Jim Lovell, Jack Swigert and Fred Haise to survive the perilous journey back to Earth… their one final challenge being Swigert successfully piloting the Command Module through Earth’s atmosphere. There was further concern, too, because that days earlier O2 tank explosion could’ve damaged their spacecraft’s heat-shield… to the extent that it might not withstand the fiery reentry…

As we just saw in Director Ron Howard’s 1995 big screen, mostly spot-on dramatization, NASA had transformed what could’ve been the worst disaster in the history of space travel into their finest hour. Apollo 13 made a picture perfect, all three parachutes deployed, right on target, splash down just scant minutes into the noontime hour.

And while this is one chapter in the book of human history with a “they lived happily ever after” ending, one still has to wonder why the same could not be said re the spirit of global unity?

It would appear that, not unlike Apollo 13’s ruptured Service Module oxygen tank, civility… especially now… has been bleeding out from the inky black, intracranial vacuum, which typically afflicts thoughtless people.

Just how does THAT jibe with a society capable of successfully putting a man on the moon when everything goes right… and mounting a triumphant, heroic rescue when everything goes wrong?

The short answer… it doesn’t jibe.

The longer answer… that can be found within the lessons learned from this Apollo 13 mission… and within similar stories. Just to name one? Captain Sullenberger’s Miracle on the Hudson.

BTW, should anyone reading this post wish to contribute some additional, similar historical references… maybe even relate your own personal account(s) re that “can do” human spirit… and how it/they made a difference at a crucial moment… the comment section awaits you.

 

Bolj ko mešaš sranje, bolj smrdi!

 

We’ll need to take it on blind faith that my above headline… translation courtesy of the www… is spot on. You see… throughout my formative years, within my multilingual family, Slovenian was frequently heard but rarely seen.

Of course, I cannot attest to who had coined that headlined wisdom, but… whenever the circumstances had warranted it… my own mother did mutter these very words. BTW, were it possible, you’d now hear me chuckling. You see… indelibly imprinted upon my synapses is the image of Mom’s sly grin when… for the very first time… she had provided me with her Slovenian to English translation.

My having taken Mom’s message to heart is what made me a better, wiser man.

So long as we’re on the subject of street smarts, I’m sure that most would concur that there’s a glaring worldwide shortage of better, wiser men… in particular… in leadership roles. To e.g. that…

We find the ego-maniacal, whining, bellowing, spoiled rotten, orange hued, mangy haired man-child play-acting that he’s the prez. In that capacity… (more likely) in that incapacity…  he’s been making a spectacle of himself by rampaging up and down the re-election campaign trail. Per usual… his dumb as a stump, screechy, stump speeches have a primary goal… namely… to further rabble rouse / radicalize his pathetic, xenophobic base… one bristling with Klansmen, Nazis, gun nuts and domestic terrorists. To that end… AMERICA’S END… he’s been serving up his typical smorgasbord of all you can eat, supersized portions of dripping with blood, raw, red meat racism… HIS xenophobic screed incessantly trotting out HIS DEPLORABLE UN-AMERICAN 1 – 2 PUNCH!

To e.g. that… he plots to…

1. Shut down the U.S. / Mexico border
2. Cut off U.S. financial aid to El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras

In reality… the fake prez has nobody else to blame for more resolute, northbound asylum seekers than HIMSELF! Ironically, it’s his own hostile rhetoric which has attracted them. Their being painfully aware of the violence, oppression and squalor, which devastates their “lives” and of how…. minus U.S. monetary aid… that can only worsen… they’re merely attempting to enter America before their chances for success also worsen.

The unanswered question:

Can the fake prez even begin to grasp these most fundamental of human cause/effect responses?

If he cannot… he is imbecilic.
If he can… he is barbaric.

Either way, the unanswered follow-up questions:

1. How much further down the evolutionary ladder will the fake prez crawl?

2. Would he ever bark out “open fire” orders to his already deployed along the U.S. / Mexico border troops… command them to maim and murder innocent, asylum seeking mothers and fathers clutching their babies and toddlers?

The fake prez’s psychological profile already amply exposes his intolerance towards immigrants. To e.g. that…

1. His brutal policies have unforgivably traumatized babies, toddlers and youngsters by wresting them… screaming, wailing and sobbing… from their loving parents’ cradling / embracing arms.

2. His excessively militant patrols have inexcusably teargassed similar border crossing families.

This would now be as good a time as any to return to my blog headline… and translate it to English. You see… the fake prez is in desperate need of the same, sage advice I had learned from my mother…

Bolj ko mešaš sranje, bolj smrdi!

The more you stir up shit, the more it stinks!

And there is no better real life example of that stench than a deplorable so-called prez who provokes a potentially deadly border war for mere political gain… and to that end… needlessly inflicts separation anxiety upon youngsters… traumatic memories that will haunt them for the rest of their lives.

To be sure… come Election Day 2020… America will remain in deep shit if our electorate remains nose blind to that Oval Office stench… so much so… that they wind up re-electing that bonehead and/or barbarian.

 

 

 

A Political Pat on the Back(side)

The above video, amply demonstrating how a narcissist desperately hungers for applause, also serves as the rationale behind U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s recent strategy to stand up to that unreasonable, un-presidential prez.

As one of the few, effective adult leaders left within America’s dysfunctional government, she takes her responsibilities seriously… fully understands the Constitutional system of checks and balances / the separation of powers and her role in implementing and maintaining these vital to democracy functions.

Bottom line… she’s keenly aware that someone has to finally get tough and say “NO!” to the ersatz prez who… concurrently… is an out of touch with reality, spoiled rotten, temper tantrum throwing man-child AND an out of touch with reality, spoiled rotten, temper tantrum throwing terrorist.

In either capacity, he’s been holding 800,000 furloughed government workers hostage.

Think about it… just because he’s being denied HIS WALL, he’s denying these federal employees their lives and livelihoods… plunging these hardworking, decent, innocent bystanders and their loved ones into financial ruin.

Indeed, he’s been adamantly vowing that the government shutdown will go on FOREVER unless / until he’s allowed to piss away over $5 BILLION taxpayer dollars for HIS BORDER WALL… even though that same sum of money could be far better spent on more practical, logistically effective homeland security measures. If he really possesses the business acumen he claims he does, one would think… at the very least… he’d be on board with getting more bang for his bucks.

Were Pelosi to back down now, the fake prez would resort to routinely shutting down the government in the future… as in… each and every time someone would justifiably attempt to rein him in. Her decision to inform him that he won’t be allowed to deliver his State of the Union address until he reopens the government was / is a stroke of genius. This is SOOOO akin to a mother disciplining a misbehaving child.

That infant’s initial, all too predicable protestations over such discipline had NOTHING to do with a prez who actually cares about America and has EVERYTHING to do with a narcissist, who has become crestfallen at the mere notion of not hearing his robotic, sycophantic, Republican congressional cronies bleating / roaring out their on cue, (sincere?) hurrahs… dispensing their (heartfelt?) affection / adulation / applause.

Oh… sure… for awhile the fake prez pretended that [1] the Pelosi snub wasn’t all that big a deal to him, [2] he’d show mean ol’ Nancy that he doesn’t need her at all and [3] he could deliver his speech in any venue in America.

Yet… obviously… even he didn’t / doesn’t buy into this. Hence… he has now caved.

My bet is the more that man-child stews over this… the longer he goes sans the applause he aches for… the better the chances are that he’ll capitulate further.

Just how could anyone who has reached the ripe old age of seventy-two still be so childish? That he’s so obviously turned out rotten certainly does point to a lack of good parenting during his formative years. We can only hope that Pelosi’s “tough love” punish him when he’s bad, pat him on the back when he’s good type of “parenting” is not too late.

In a different, less enlightened, earlier era… he’d have been taken out to the woodshed where that “pat on his back” would’ve been applied to his backside.

 

 

Psychological Projection ~ 1 Quick Limerick #068

 

In Twitter rants, the fake prez doth attack,
Assumes the role of a head shrinking quack,
“Dumb as a rock!” He’ll brand foes,
“Lazy as Hell!” He’ll suppose,
Faults he himself, sure as Hell, doth not lack!

 

For more limericks (as well as other verses and song parodies, etc.), head over to my “Categories Menu” and select “Poetry”.

 

 

 

A Quick Question re a Higher Priority?

 

Here in my homeland, we voted this past November 6th. Here in my home state, 2,346,713 Michiganders (56%) approved a ballot proposal to legalize the recreational usage of Marijuana for 21+ aged adults.

While it is not my intent to disparage those ISO a relatively harmless, occasional buzz (so long as they’re not stoned while driving, piloting jets, operating nuclear reactors, wielding scalpels, etc.) the stark reality is that our political higher authorities know that their nefarious machinations stand a far better chance of flying under the radar when nearly everyone else is chronically flying high.

Ergo, the following question does come to mind…

Instead of pharmacuetically, habitually getting wasted within a rightwing politician endorsed, societal wasteland… instead of running away from said society… is it not our higher priority to really give a damn… to stay sufficiently sober and engaged… to defy those evil political entities… to work towards creating a nondiscriminatory, emotionally fulfilling, financially rewarding, relatively free of sorrow, stress and strife society that everyone would be running towards?

While… by and large… my question is rhetorical, your comments… if any… are still welcome.