Friday, April 28, 2006
Friday Random 10 -- The Migraines are Coming to Take Me Away
2. Forgotten -- Linkin Park
3. Soon to Be Nothing -- Indigo Girls
4. Come Away with Me -- Norah Jones
5. Shimmer -- Shawn Mullins
6. Screaming Infidelities -- Dashboard Confessionals
7. Will You Still Love Me -- Melissa Etheridge
8. Breathe -- Melissa Etheridge
9. Theresa -- Phenobarbidols
10. Not a Crime -- Gogol Bordello
And because I'm an overachiever: Buy Her Candy -- Sleater-Kinney
Sometimes I wonder what my music says about me. Sometimes I fear what it says about me. Sometimes, I just don't care. Today, I think it says I'm a confused girl beset with terrible, mind-altering headaches that leave her incapable of forming rational thought or basic human function. Of course, that could just be the pain talking.
Thursday, April 27, 2006
Maybe they'll make us the capital of Talimerica. . .
Louisiana Senate approves strict ban on abortion
BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) -- Louisiana's state Senate on Wednesday approved a near-total ban on abortion, rejecting a move to allow the procedure for victims of rape and incest.
The bill would outlaw all abortions except to save the life of the mother. Sen. Ben Nevers, the sponsor, argued against adding any other exception, saying his "heart goes out to" sex crime victims but their wishes are less important than his goal of preventing abortion.
"Lord knows I would never want to hurt a mother, in any way. Lord knows I would never want to hurt a victim of rape or incest," said Nevers, D-Bogalusa.
"A crime committed by a rapist should not result in the death of an unborn child."
Discussion on the bill illustrated the Senate's overwhelming opposition to abortion rights -- no senator argued against the idea of an abortion ban.
The only debate was sparked by Sen. Joel Chaisson, who tried to add the rape and incest exceptions. Otherwise, he said, Nevers' bill was too extreme to win passage in the House.
"Unless there's a rape and incest exception, this law may never go into effect," said Chaisson, D-Destrehan.
Senators rejected Chaisson's amendment with a 17-20 vote, then sent the bill to the House with a vote of 30-7.
Louisiana already has an abortion ban on the books, but the U.S. Supreme Court declared it unconstitutional in 1992. If Nevers' bill becomes law, it would only go into effect if the high court overturns its 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling that established the right to an abortion.
Under the measure, doctors found guilty of performing abortions would face up to 10 years in prison and fines of $100,000.
The bill is similar to a South Dakota law passed earlier this year that is expected to land before the U.S. Supreme Court. If the high court takes up such an appeal, it would constitute a reconsideration of its Roe v. Wade ruling. A majority of the Supreme Court's nine justices have voted to uphold Roe v. Wade in the past.
Nevers said some opposition to his measure has disappeared because he amended it to allay concerns that the bill would provoke lawsuits -- and cost the state money -- if it passed. Nevers changed the measure to give it a "trigger" mechanism, meaning it would only go into effect if Roe v. Wade is overturned or if a federal constitutional amendment outlawing abortion is ratified.
Voting against the measure were Sens. Diana Bajoie, D-New Orleans; Jay Dardenne, R-Baton Rouge; Cleo Fields, D-Baton Rouge; Ken Hollis, R-Metairie; Lydia Jackson, D-Shreveport; Charles "C.D." Jones, D-Monroe; and Ed Murray, D-New Orleans. Dardenne, a longtime abortion opponent who said he supports the rape and incest exceptions, later filed paperwork with the Senate saying he had meant to vote in favor of the ban.
A competing bill, by Rep. Tim Burns, R-Mandeville, includes rape and incest exceptions but has not come up for a vote.
Louisiana State Legislature -- for copies of the full bill, plus email addies for all the lovely people involved.
So, now this goes before the House, where it will doubtlessly pass. Adding in the trigger mechanism pretty much guaranteed that. After all, now it won't cost the state anything, the public gets lulled into a sense of safety since Roe is still in effect, and the politicians get to say they're "pro-life." Just, you know, not pro-life when it's an actual living woman involved.
Do these people honestly believe being forced to bear the child of a rapist isn't harmful? What's going to happen when that rapist, who won't be convicted most of the time, decides he wants visitation? Or custody? It won't be harmful to the victim to have him in her life for the rest of hers, will it? What if she wants to put the baby up for adoption, but he won't let her? Just because a man is a rapist, even a convicted rapist, doesn't mean the courts will think him an unfit parent. Doesn't mean he won't have parental rights. Doesn't mean he can't destroy a woman's life forever. But those things aren't as important as a little ball of cells. *sigh* Honestly, how can they expect women to live that way?
Wednesday, April 26, 2006
Now for something completely adorable...
Cat blogging in the middle of the week -- because I'm a rebel.
This beautious figure of a cat is Frank. He lives in my house, sleeps in my bed and generally runs my life. All hail the Frankencat. He's also fond of licking my nose in the middle of the night.
Frank does not understand when His Human gets overwrought about the state of the world or when her migraines keep her up nights, sobbing and cursing the gods. (Every.Last.One.Of.Them.) For The Frank, life is good so long as he gets feed, gets to run around in the yard while the Human is at work and he gets to beat up his sister, China. I am insanely jealous of Frank and his life. If the universe is fair, next time around I will be a cat as pampered and adored as Frank.
Friday, April 21, 2006
Random 10 -- These Song Titles are Spookily Fitting Edition
2. Willow -- Joan Armatrading
3. Magical Lasso -- PoTO Soundtrack
4. Unsingable Name -- Mike Doughty
5. Boulevard of Broken Dreams -- Green Day
6. Ghost in this House -- Alison Krause & Union Station
7. Where Do We Go From Here? -- BtVS
8. Set Phasers on Stun -- Taking Back Sunday
9. It's Alright -- Indigo Girls
10. I Think I'm Paranoid -- Garbage
Bonus Track: Close to Home -- Concrete Blonde
Thursday, April 20, 2006
Just when I thought it couldn't get any worse. . .
Sen. Ben Nevers is sponsor of the bill that would allow abortions only to save the life of the mother. Doctors found guilty of performing abortions would face up to 10 years in prison and fines of $100,000.
Nevers said he understood that some lawmakers wanted exceptions in the measure to allow abortions in cases of rape and incest. A competing bill, by Rep. Tim Burns, includes such exceptions but has not come up for a vote.
"I am very deeply concerned about women who have been raped, or been involved in incest. And my heart goes out to them," said Nevers, D-Bogalusa.
Nevers said he opposes the exceptions because "abortion is just another crime," like rape.
The Senate Health and Welfare Committee passed Nevers" bill without objection, though Sen. Diana Bajoie said she wanted the bill changed to remove the provision allowing abortions to save the mother's life. Bajoie, D-New Orleans, said she objected to the idea of a woman's life being saved by sacrificing a child.
Sen. Joel Chaisson, D-Destrehan, told Nevers he questioned whether the bill could get through the full Legislature without exceptions for rape and incest.
Sen. Lydia Jackson voiced the only objection to the bill, but didn't vote against it.
"I think today it is clear how little control women have over their lives," said Jackson, D-Shreveport.
The bill moves to the full Senate. Nevers told Bajoie he would work to remove the measure's one exception and make it "more pro-life."
The measure passed after two hours of testimony from speakers on both side of the issue, including a doctor who sat at the witness table holding up a jar with a preserved human fetus inside. Women who regretted having had abortions spoke against the bill; speaking in favor were women who had abortions and did not regret it.
"I will forever and always be grateful for the right to make my own childbearing decisions," said Jessica Odell, 23, an LSU senior and founder of a campus pro-abortion rights group who said she had an abortion as a freshman.
Raymond Gasser, a professor at LSU's medical school in New Orleans for 40 years and an expert in prenatal care, testified in favor the abortion ban, arguing that a fetus should not be aborted because "it is a human life, a unique human life."
"There's no denying it," he said.
In the background of the debate over Nevers' bill is a South Dakota law enacted earlier this year - nearly identical to Nevers' measure -- that is expected to be challenged and appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court. If the high court took up such an appeal, it would constitute a reconsideration of its 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling that established the right to an abortion.
A majority of the Supreme Court?s nine justices have voted to uphold Roe v. Wade in the past.
Where do I even begin? I just....not strict enough? I need to find the link to the article about El Salvador making the rounds. Maybe if Bajoie saw just what her law could do to women she'd change her mind. Although, I really doubt it. People who think that way, tend not to care too much about the damage their beliefs do to them. I'm just surpised she's a Dem from New Orleans. Should anyway feel the urge to express an opinion to the fine senator from New Orleans, she can be reached at:
P.O. Box 94183
Baton Rouge, LA 70804
Portia Jackson, Administrative Assistant
Post Office Box 15168
New Orleans, LA 70175
Her website is located here: http://senate.legis.state.la.us/Bajoie/
Ben Nevers can be reached thusly:
P.O. Box 94183
Baton Rouge, LA 70804
724 Avenue F
Bogalusa, LA 70427
Tim Burns actually has a real Web page, not the standard one set up by the state. It's here: http://www.timburns.us/
He thoughtfully provides he phone numbers too. Here ya go:
Rep. Tim Burns
1 Sanctuary Drive, Suite 306
Mandeville, LA 70471
Finally. Lydia Jackson, who had a brain but didn't vote against this. Now, I'm sure she didn't vote against it because she knew it wouldn't do any good. The thing was gonna pass anyway. But come on, you vote against this shit because it's wrong. Period. Still, she did speak against it and maybe she will continue to speak against it.
P.O. Box 94183
Baton Rouge, LA 70804
610 Texas Street
Shreveport, LA 71101
What's disturbing to me, aside from well, everything about this, is these people are Democrats. Seriously, aside from Burns, they're all Democrats. And Burns may be too, I just couldn't find it listed on his site. (And I'm in a rush to get this out and get off to work so I just gave it the once over. It may be there and I missed it.) These are the people the Big Guy Bloggers (yeah, you know who they are. I don't have to spell it out for ya) are so gung ho to get elected, they're willing to sacrifice reproductive rights for other "important stuff." Well, fuck that. Seriously, these some of these people are willing to let me die to save a clump of cells that will die along with me. I don't care what party these people belong to, that's evidence of seriously messed up thinking and they don't deserve to be in positions of power, full stop. That's not pro-life. That's not pro-pregnancy. Hell, that's not even pro-fetus, since the fetus is going to die too. There is no clearer demonstration that this is completely, totally about control. And that these people who claim to hold these beliefs due to thier Christian faith (which most say here in the Deep South Pit o' Hell) have not ever actually read their Bible, talked to their God or really examined what Jesus taught. (More on that later. I'm so very on the edge of late for work.)
Sunday, April 16, 2006
Big Church vs. Little Church -- One wants to stone me, the other wants to set me up with their single nephews
There's a huge difference between the Church proper and the church in reality. (Otherwise known as the people in the Church.) I grew up in a very Fundamentalist Southern Baptist church. For me, it was a damaging, horrifying experience that has taken me years and years to recover from. I'm still not fully recovered, but I'm functional. My family, on the other hand, find that belief system a perfect fit. Does that make me, or them, somehow flawed or twisted or is one of us better than the other? I don't think so. We're just different. Because, really, the only difference between us is how we concieve of the Divine. Our morality, for the most part, is the same. The basics, anyway. No killing, no stealing, avoid lying when you can, treat people the way you want to be treated -- even when you think they don't deserve it, let people make their own decisions so long as what they're doing isn't hurting you -- those are pretty basic values. Those I learned from my family. And my family derives those values from their faith. But their faith, and my faith, are not the same. And yet, on one level, they are.
While the Church was a very damaging place for me to grow up, the people in the Church were some of the kindest, most generous people I've known. If my family needed anything, we knew they'd be there for us. No one in our Church was going to go hungry, no one was going to go without shelter if they lost a job or had a fire or some tragedy befell them, no one was going to have to deal with death or illness alone. The Church was very much a family and, believe it or not, was very welcoming of outsiders. The problem was, while the people on an individual level were, for the most part, welcoming and kind, the Church as a whole was not. It taught (and continues to teach) things that can seriously fuck up people. (Something I cannot get my family to understand to this day, so we just don't talk about it.) And, here's the thing a lot of people don't seem to understand, there are many people within the Fundamentalist Church who DISAGREE with many of their teachings. I know fundamentalists who are opposed to the Church's teachings about homosexuals or abortion or war or the death penalty. The idea that you can paint all Fundamentalists with a single brush bothers me.
When I hear people talk about Fundamentalists in disparaging tones, I'm torn. On one hand, I agree with them. I know from personal experience just how dangerous the teachings of the Church can be. I know what being told you're not good enough, or worthy enough, that you're a disappointment to GOD, that you're damned and can never change (so why bother trying, right?) can do to a person. I was horribly suicidal for most of my teenage years. It's a miracle I'm still alive. (And I am actually serious about that. My father had guns all over the house, unlocked, with bullets just lying around. Plus, there were sleeping pills and other very lethal prescription meds in the cabinet I could have taken. I was openly suicidal and no one was listening, because to admit I was sick, and not just lost and in need of prayer, would have upset their belief system. That took lots of therapy to let go of, too.)
I suppose I'm trying to find a way to make sense of two very different truths here. On the one hand, I believe that the Fundamentalist Church is evil. It may not have started out that way, I don't know. But I believe now, in it's present incarnation, it is truly, wholy evil. The people in it, however, are not evil. Oh, some of them may be. But for the most part, the people in the pews are just looking for some way to make sense of the world. They're motivated, in many cases, by fear. The world can be very scary and the Church offers them a sense of safety and protection. That's a very alluring thing and it's hard to walk away from if you're not being traumatized by it. Honestly, I can't say I'd have ever left if I hadn't been so badly hurt. If I was the sort of person who could just tune out the parts I didn't like? Who knows? Maybe I'd still be there. I like to think not, but I don't know.
I like to think this restlessness I have, this inability to tune out the bad parts is actually a gift. That it's not just being stubborn, as my mother likes to think. I like to think it's a blessing, even if it did get left out of the Beatitudes :)