Tags: politics


The conversation no one is having

Word about today's horrific shooting in Connecticutt spead quickly amongst the parents and teachers in my daughter's preschool class as we came to pick up our children today. Everyone hugged their kids harder than usual, tried not to cry and faked smiles for the children. Moms mumbled about home schooling and avoiding movie theaters and malls. A few talked about gun control in hushed voices, a subject I feel absolutely certain will be a loud and devisive topic around the country in the very near future. And, yes, that's a conversation that needs to happen (though I doubt it will happen in anything remotely resembling a civilized or productive way). But, to me, the issue that needs to be talked about, the root problem that needs to be addressed, is our country's mental healthcare system... or lack thereof.

I said something like that to one of the other moms and she looked at me and said "Oh! Was he insane?" And I said "Mentally healthy people don't walk into an elementary school classroom and slaughter children. So, I'm no expert but I'm gonna guess yes." She looked surprised.

The truth is, there are a lot of unknowns still about mental illness and - it should be noted - not all mentally ill people are violent. But, it was only fifty years ago that lobotomies and electoshock theapy were the height of of treatment for mental health problems and there remains an enormous stigma attached to mental illness in general. Gun control or not, things like this will continue to happen (a man in China attacked 22 school children with a knife today as well). However, we can minimize it by starting a national dialogue about mental illness, helping the public to understand and recognize it better, create a better support system for those who suffer from it and their families, and develop better treatment options that address the root problems.

My heart breaks for those poor children and their families, as well as for the suviving children who heard or saw their friends die. I cannot help but put myself in the shoes of those parents, even though I don't want to think about it. I locked myself in the bathroom so I could cry in the shower without my kids seeing. My four-year-old daughter asked me what happened. In my scrambling for a way to answer her, I told her that a bad man did something that hurt people. But it's easy to call the shooter "bad" or "evil." The harder thing is too look at why.

That's my two-cents, anyhow... for the approximately eight people that actually read my livejournal...

(no subject)

Dear campaign volunteer,

When you call to try and talk my dad into voting for your gubernatorial candidate and I tell you that he'll be out of town until after the election, it's maybe a very bad idea to encourage me to commit felony election fraud by forging his signature and sending in his ballot with a vote for your guy. JUST SAYING. 


Vote '08

Woot! Done voting.

I love Oregon's mail-in ballot system. It really gives you time to sit down and go through the ballot measures one-by-one without feeling rushed and with the resources at hand to really develop an opinion. Most people probably don't bother, but I do.

I unintentionally ended up voting along party lines this time (which I suppose just reinforces that I'm in the right party, huh?). I really debated back and forth on one (for state senator) and nearly picked the incumbent (a fairly moderate and relatively effective, bipartisan Republican), but ended up voting for the Democrat instead. In a lot of cases (including this one), I met at least one of the candidates back when I worked for a public relations/government lobbying firm. So, some of my votes are influenced by that (anyone who was rude to me does not get my vote. Sorry, but how you treat low-level flunkies says a lot about who you are and how you'll represent me). In fact, there's one Democrat I would have happily voted against had there even been another serious candidate on the ballot (in this case, I didn't meet him, but he was commonly known around the office as "the least effective politician in Washington"). There wasn't. It was basically him or someone from the Pacific Green Party or Constitution Party (who, let's be honest, have no shot). When does the two-party system fail harder? When one of the parties doesn't even have a friggin nominee. WTF Republicans? You'd have actually had my vote (barring a nominee resembling Sarah Palin or something).

But, anyhow, I'm glad to have finished that up. Happy voting to the rest of you!

Desperation is an ugly thing.

Is it just me or is McCain coming off sounding like someone's grandfather who keeps retelling the same story? He laughed at his own joke and looked around and NO ONE ELSE WA S LAUGHING. If that's not my grandfather, I'm not sure what is. Also... it's barely started, but already he sounds like he's floundering a bit. Y/Y?

Also, maybe starting a sentence with "during the depression we..." is a poor idea because it left me wondering what McCain, personally, was doing during the depression. Aaaaaaaand, if you're trying to win Ohio, don't publicize that you opposed ethanol tax credits. Say goodbye to the corn belt, McCain.

If I were playing ozma_katiebell 's drinking game, I would be plastered already.


Lists again...

I know it's a cop-out but... whatever, lists are easy. I love easy right now.

1) My kid was awesome last night and I slept way more than I'd expected. That said, she has not been awesome during the day today, but I suppose I can only expect just so much and if she's going to be awesome at some point in the day, nighttime is far preferable.

2) I fail at remembering nursery songs. 'Hallelujah' might possibly be inappropriate to sing to a kid - what with paralleling sex and religion throughout - but WHATEVER. I'm not campaigning for mother of the year, the tune is soothing and it works. So... who cares?

3) My mother-in-law comes into town on Monday. Yeeeeeeah, there will be more on that later, I'm sure.

4) I just realized that my six-week-post-partum check-up is, in fact, scheduled for four-weeks-post-partum. Massive fail at suggesting that appointment date, scheduler person. For srs...

5) I have yet to send out thank you cards or birth announcements. This should surprise no one who knows me.

6) Sunday's 'True Blood' (OMFG this one is not about my kid!) was made of sheer awesome, almost entirely due to the few minutes of Eric (ERIC!) and Pam (PAM!). Though, Bill was surprisingly great and Sookie was so very Sookieish and Jason was hilariously stupid in a way that makes you hope he never procreates ever. All-in-all, lots of win and I can't wait for more Eric and Pam the next few episodes.

7) Sims can be played one-handed with an infant balanced on one's lap at 2 am. Thanks to this, I've gotten a fair bit of play-time in (excellent for maintaining sanity... there's something cathartic about burdening fake people with multiple infants). Awesomely, several hacks kicked in at once getting my Walburga Black accidentally knocked-up and ultimately giving birth to quadruplets(!!!). BETTER HER THAN ME! I LOLed greatly at her predicament because... she's Walburga Black and watching her suffer is fun. The quads are named Castor, Pollux, Alphard and Antigone. Proving he has lots of common sense (when he wants to), Sirius grew up and moved out virtually immediately after the quads were born. At least my neighborhood has super pretty genetics, y/y?

8) Jon Stewart seemed genuinely pissed off in last night's episode of The Daily Show. To which I say... GOOD! He should be. We all should be. The sheer amount of stupidity in our government and election process right now ought to be enough to piss off anyone. So, THANK YOU JON!

9) My kid (back to the kid, I know... but at least three points had to do with other things!) sleeps better in her car seat than her crib, basinette or travel crib. Therefore... we put her car seat in her crib and let her sleep there. *shifty eyes* What? It totally works. She's happier. We're happier. And no one has to wake a sleeping baby to take her out of her swing (which the car seat snaps into) in order to try and put her in her crib and make her go back to sleep. That way lies madness, I tell you. MADNESS!

10) Why the hell do I never have a ten? Discuss!

(no subject)

I stole this link from dramaturgy on account of it being SO BRILLIANT that it literally brought tears to my eyes (or maybe that was just  exhaustion, but either way... this is awesome).

Fictional meeting between President Jed Bartlet (from The West Wing) and Barak Obama, as written by Aaron Sorkin. It's love, guys. Lots of love. I'm sitting here going "YES! WHAT HE SAID!" a lot... and now I want a West Wing marathon, thx.


(no subject)

I thinned my flist some. If you're gone and don't want to be, let me know.

Two weeks and two days to the due date, which srsly cannot come fast enough. Had a doctor's appt today (stupid Kaiser insurance, unlike every other friggin insurance out there, I go every two weeks instead of weekly in the last month) and I'm one cm dilated. WOOHOO, only nine more to go. Oh well, at least its progress. My blood pressure was on the high side, enough that it worried my doc, so I have to go in regularly just to get my blood pressure checked to watch for preeclampsia. They did bloodwork today though and it looks good for now. The only other really noteworthy thing was that the baby is slightly below average size. The doc thinks she's at about six pounds. Still a healthy size and no cause for concern (my doc said its actually good news for me because... easier labor). She'll still gain about an ounce a day from here on out, but at least I know I won't have an eight-pounder.

In other news, I've been shopping for a little black dress. No, not for me. For my mother, with her. This was maybe not the best idea while hugely pregnant because it's slightly depressing from my point of view. And my mom... she's kind of annoyingly good-looking for her age (or any age) and has absolutely no idea of it. She also has no clue how thin she actually is. She's always sure that she's a size 12 (not that that's large by my standards, but it is by hers... she used to be a model). But, time after time, I keep having to run out to get her smaller sizes. After a bit, I stopped grabbing the size 10 like she wanted and got her an 8 or a 6 instead. She ended up buying a gorgeous, knee-length, square neckline, satiny Calvin Klein dress (in size 8... which I had to argue with her to get her to try on). This is the dress (but not, obviously, my mom).

On the political front... Sarah Palin is an annoyingly good public speaker. Damn. If not for her politics, she'd be a great candidate.

(no subject)

I'm not going to get deeply into politics on my LJ this year, even though I have some extremely strong opinions. It annoys a lot of people and doesn't sway anyone's opinion. In fact, regarding the election, I'm only going to say this...

I am incredibly grateful to have the opportunity to vote for a candidate that I actually want to serve as my president, rather than the lesser of two evils. That's not something that I ever thought I'd have the chance to do.

(no subject)

Why is it that those who have a role in creating law seem to feel they are above the law? It seems to me that they should be held to the highest standards possible, rather than the lowest that barely eeks it out (or doesn't eek it out) as legal action (or inaction). You know, we get on the cases of athletes, pop stars and actors for not serving as good role models. What about our government officials? Those people who are supposed to represent all of us and serve as our voice and face to the world? Why aren't they the ones we demand more from?

Is it January 20th yet? Please?