Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Stepping on my soapbox

I'm going to step up on my soapbox for only the second time ever on this blog. I don't usually do it because there's already enough shouting going on in the bloggosphere, but my patience with the idiots running our country (both the elected officials and those who voted for them) is running low. So here goes, in no particular order:

  • Alberto Gonzales - I heard somone refer to his wonderful example of a passive voice statements "mistakes were made" as being in the past-exonerative tense. It's a joke only a grammar geek would love, but it is so accurate. He stood up, said he took responsibility for what happened at Justice, but not in this case because he knew nothing about the firings, never mind the e-mail trail that says otherwise. And now the president is standing up defending him, depsite the fact that the Republicans, while not calling for a firing, aren't offering their support. The president has so much going wrong for him right now (yay!), that you really have to wonder if this is the hill he wants to die defending. Is he that incapable of admitting that "mistakes were made" and getting rid of people?
  • Iraq/Walter Reed/wounded vets - I watched Bob Woodward's special about his injuries in Iraq and his recovery, and I cried through the whole thing. He did an amazing job telling not only his story, but the story of other young men who are suffering from TBI. I also listened to an interview with him and his wife on Fresh Air and cried while running. I think every politician who thinks this war is going well and who thinks escalation is the answer should be required to watch and listen to these programs. The loss of life and waste of potential in the soldiers we are sending there for this fiasco is overwhelming and tragic. Woodward is one of the lucky ones; he received the best care the military hospitals and private facilities could offer. The soldiers he interviews aren't so lucky. It's not that the local VA facilities don't care about the soldiers they're treating, it's that in many cases the docs there have no idea HOW to treat them, and the soldiers are suffering. It's a stupid, pointless war, and I want to scream every time I hear the president talking about sending more troops over.
  • HPV vaccine - in Texas, our erstwhile governor has signed an executive order mandating that all girls have the vaccine in 6th grade. The idea is that by giving them the vaccine before they're sexually active, they'll be protected from HPV and therefore most forms of cervical cancer. Of course, everyone here is up in arms about the mandate, for a number of different reasons. There are those who don't want the government telling us what to do with our lives. Nevermind that kids are required to have vaccines for polio, diptheria, tetanus, etc, already and many of those diseases have been effectively erradicated from our country. Then there are those who are upset because it appears Perry is too closely connected to the vaccine's manufacturer. And I have to agree that the timing is fishy. But overall, the biggest group yelling is the Christian right. Their claim is that by vaccinating girls against an STD, we're telling them it's ok to have sex. I am so tired of the argument that we encourage teenage sex by giving kids information on how to have safe sex. Kids who choose to have sex at a young age are going to do it regardless of what information they've been offered. The goal should be to get them to safely. Studies now show that abstinence-only programs have abysmal track records in terms of preventing teenagers from having sex. And the programs where kids wear "promise" rings fare even worse. The kids decide to have sex but are too ashamed to admit it, so they don't use protection and end up with STDs or pregnant. So now we have a chance to protect my daughters' generation from a terrible form of cancer, and these idiots want to prevent it. Brandon and I were talking about the issue, and he asked if I'd have the girls vaccinated. My answer was yes, of course, law or no law. One of my best friends had cervical cancer, and if I can prevent Ella and Lily from having to go through what Marion did, then I'm going to do it.
  • 2008 Election - I can't believe we're already discussing the election, almost a year before the first primary. I thought the last campaign season went on too long, but this one is shaping up to be ridiculous. I've already gotten campaign calls from Obama's group. I hung up on the recording and started swearing. It's just too early to have my dinners interrupted by these calls.

I think that's all for today, unless I watch the news and start yelling at the TV again.

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