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!

 

 

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.

 

 

The Fine Line ‘Tween Persistence and Pestering

 

‘Tis the season to be tortured by robocallers, telemarketers, extortionists and identity thieves… and that season lasts twelve months annually. Obviously, being registered on the national “DO NOT CALL” list means absolutely nothing. Pressing whatever number these bastards oft “offer” to delete our names from their databases serves only one purpose… to assure a barrage of their subsequent calls.

If it were only a few, isolated incidents where I could politely say “not interested” and never be bothered again. But that’s not the case when dealing with a rude ‘tude… best summed up thusly…

Oh yeah? How DARE you refuse me / resist my scam? I will hound you until the day you die and then come after your survivors, too! And you cannot do one damned thing about it!

Neither using my answering machine to field these calls nor totally turning it off resolves the prob. More worrisome… just how much abuse can this equipment take before the digital recorder and/or ringer “burns out”? In the case of the latter these sadists will simply let my phone ring dozens of times per call… and still call back! This has got to be their twisted notion of punishment for anyone who’d dare to deliberately avoid them.

And what about the ill-mannered callers, who do front (more or less) legitimate businesses? What crappy training they had to have received to not comprehend the fine line between persistence and pestering. Indeed, they seem utterly clueless to the fact that nobody can ever high-pressure a customer into buying any product or service. In other words… zero customer respect nets zero bucks.

Worse yet, some of their sales pitch assaults are also insults… e.g., they’ll ofttimes claim they’re calliing back because I had requesed they do so. Their implication being what? That I must be feeble-minded if I don’t remember doing so? And then what? I’m supposed to pretend to remember something that never, ever happened? And then what? Knuckle under to mindlessly buy whatever crap they’re peddling?

I have complained to my service provider. When they informed me that the majority of such calls originate from outside my homeland’s borders I allowed them block all international calls… to no avail. And since (obviously) the problem is also domestic, I’m now considering having the phone company permanently pull the plug on my landline. HOWEVER… this is the one and only phone number that has ever been in my family’s name… dating back to 1958! Yep, those seven digits are the very same ones I committed to memory as a four-year-old!

And all sentimentality aside… landline service could, someday, be a lifesaver. My experiment during August 2003’s Northeast Power Grid Crash, had proven that my cell, held mere inches away from my regular phone could not get it to ring even once.

So… down to my last option is where I’m at. I’ll now be treating my landline like my cell… “turning it on” / plugging it in ONLY when I need to place an outgoing call. Of course, the real kick in the ass is how I’ll still be paying my phone company full price for far less than full service.

Forced into social isolation because robocallers, telemarketers, extortionists and identity thieves flat-out refuse to take my flat-out “NO!” for an answer.

 

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.

 

 

Lesley’s Lessons ~ Vid of the Day

One week ago, during Brett Kavanaugh’s p.m. Q ’n’ A portion of the Senate Judiciary Committee Hearing, Republicans’ demeanor had become literally LOUD and clear. Reading between their lines, their ‘tude could be summed up, thusly…

Let’s get this GD thing over with so we can summon the tailor for our boy Brett’s SCOTUS robe fitting!

Little doubt, they had already had this thing all sewn up, anyway! Hell, about the only one missing was the needle and thread expert who had custom made the window dressing for the Senate Chamber.

To better identify the bad actors in question, we are speaking of a Men’s ONLY, Republican cabal boasting 11 wackadoodle Senators and 1 beer addicted, wigged out, wannabe SCOTUS judge. Stunning ignorance, rabid irritability, glaring irrationality, wild irrelevance, social ineptness and crude, rude insensitivity are the individual components that… when combined… become this unbecoming, dirty dozen’s ferocious misogyny.

I could not and still cannot help but wonder how I could come of age within that same, eons old, sexist era… which they had… YET… emerge with my soul / DNA-deep respect for women and sensitivity to gender equality issues.

I believe that playing a significant role in my proper upbringing was the song featured in this post’s Vid of the Day… (to now quote Wikipedia) “the feminist-themed million-selling You Don’t Own Me, which held at No. 2 for three weeks behind the Beatles’ I Want To Hold Your Hand.” But, far more impressive than these stats were Lesley’s Lessons.

I was barely a 9-year-old when I first witnessed the courageous, progressive, 17-year-old Lesley Gore march up to the front-lines of a male dominated world to boldly proclaim, “You Don’t Own Me!” She had arrived at an opportune moment to instruct a boy, who’d soon be heading into adulthood, that no woman ever wants to be owned and objectified. A real man always respects a woman’s feelings.

On a related matter… while visiting any social network, YouTube included, it has become second nature for me to peruse the comment sections. I certainly was pleased to discover I had not been the only Sixties era, young male who had benefited from Lesley’s Lessons. Said Mr. J.G….

“Awesome lyrics and moodiness– perfect for the sixties. Some guys I knew back then were pigs, and many of them married and dominated and abused their wives who said very little about it to anyone. The seeds of Women’s Lib movement being sewn [sic] in songs like these.”

Males who can properly navigate You Don’t Own Me’s straightforward sentiments will never be steered wrong.

My interpretation of Lesley’s Lessons and (for the benefit of any righties who might accidentally click by to read this) my translation from English to Republican vernacular…

A relationship must ALWAYS be an equal partnership… NEVER a hostile takeover!

It would be totally fitting for me to give the late Ms. Lesley Gore the last word to reemphasize her vital, timeless message… via her decades later reprise of You Don’t Own Me.