Found Myself Some Culprits

December 21, 2009

I know, I know. I’m crazy for thinking that abortion should be covered by a public option. But I recently came across Bart Stupak’s Op-Ed piece in the New York Times, and it just makes me angry again. I understand that you don’t think it’s anything different or new – abortion already isn’t covered by federal tax dollars. But if it isn’t anything new, then why did you feel a need to do it?

I agree with abortion rights supporters who say “the amendment was the biggest setback to their cause in decades.” I just don’t see a reason for it. I don’t understand why the U.S. does not recognize public access to safe abortions as a woman’s right, a health right, and an economic right. I guess because the U.S. hasn’t been good at recognizing any of those forms of human rights.

AND another thing: why is anyone who earns less than $100,000/year a republican? Why are people denying themselves their own rights? I believe that ethics and morals apply to economic, social, and political issues, but seriously. And don’t you remember this bill by Tim Ryan and Rosa DeLauro? What happened to good teamwork?


My Troubling Ways

December 2, 2009

Here’s the thing about universal health care: it’s universal. Last time I checked, universal meant “including or covering all or a whole collectively or distributively without limit or exception; especially : available equitably to all members of a society.” I understand that to mean that there is no discrimination, which means all people – including women – are covered under a universal health care system, which means abortions are covered under a universal health care system.

Why? Because it falls under health issues. And last time I checked, abortions are legal (in the majority of states). If abortions are covered under universal health care, it doesn’t mean hundreds of thousands of women will suddenly choose abortions over carrying the baby to term. It doesn’t mean that women will be aborting their fetuses for gits and shiggles. It means women can have access to affordable, safe abortions if they choose to do so. And to be honest, you’re paying for them if not through a federal universal health care system, then through taxes for E.R.s.

And since when was it your duty to tell these women what they can and can’t do? And when did it become OK to use women’s rights as a bargaining chip? Abortions are legal. They should be covered under universal health care. We’re talking about the law, not arbitrary definitions of life. I don’t understand what the problem is here.


This is Where We Used to Live

October 1, 2009

For anyone who has questioned why I have very little faith in our government, here is your answer. The Senate Financial Committee voted against supporting a universal health care plan; instead, they decided to support abstinence-only sex education. WHAT THE FUCK is basically all I have to say.

Spare me your “Give Obama a chance, give it time” speech. I get it. Our generation has been conscious, really, of only one presidency, and a really horrible one at that. We’re jaded. I’m jaded. I get it. What you need to understand is that the government I’ve known has yet to prove to me they can make this into a country I love.

And as I’ve said before, I adore and appreciate this country. The fact that these ridiculously ignorant people can speak their mind is awe-striking. Every day I think about how grateful I am to be born in a country that, for the most part, gives me the right to exist as a human being. As a woman. As a half Asian, half Irish. As a photographer. As a daughter of a recently-realized lesbian. As an educated being. I am one of the luckiest people alive.

This government, however, still has not proven to me that they deserve my support. They won’t support universal health care, but they’ll support abstinence-only education. Fuck me. You’re damn right I don’t have much faith in this government.


“School is very important. Your mama is right.”

September 25, 2009

I really can’t believe the TEA party protest really happened. But you know what? It goes to show that education needs to be a priority. I’ve yet to see a facetious video of a left-wing protest, but I’m sure they’re similar. Either way, this video illustrates our country’s dire need for better education and stronger values.

The population does not seem to understand how to read and/or process news and information. Maybe if the government stopped cutting funds to our education system, more people would understand why or how the government functions and operates the way it does.

The most difficult issue is promoting value in education. I want people to make informed choices. I want people to know as much as they possibly can in order to make the best decision and strongest arguments. At this point I don’t care whether people associate with Republicans or Democrats. Just give people the tools to think for themselves. (I do believe, however, that if education improves and options expand, people will become more moderate, but possibly lean towards a liberal approach to issues.)

And as for my own personal peeves with universal health care, just look at some of these people. Do you really want to keep these people alive as long as possible? I know, I know, health care is a universal human right, but come on. You agree with me a little bit, don’t you? As New Left Media illustrates, these people don’t always know what they’re fighting for or against. That’s not a health problem. That’s an education and accessible information problem.

So continue your fight for universal health care, but I, for one, will push the fight for education. But I’d like to see you convince me otherwise.


Tumblin Down

September 13, 2009

(Please note: I’ve been meaning to write this post since the end of August. Now that my senior year of undergrad has started, I don’t think I’ll be posting as often, but we’ll see…)

I don’t know if you’ve heard about the Doctors Without Borders most recent ad. Apparently it’s stirring up some dialogue in the NGO and health care development world. Our friends at Aid Watch talked about it, and our buddy at Transitionland wrote about it as well. I’ve decided to give my two cents, just for gits and shiggles.

The horror people feel is like what they see (or should see) in human rights and documentary photography. We are attracted to pain. This particular ad, however, plays on a different dirty desire. The image remains the same: a desolate land with a concrete building in the foreground. (Why Aid Watch takes it upon themselves to assume it’s Africa, I have no idea.) Then a soundtrack plays of a child wailing and crying. The text that appears on the screen tells the audience that militia raped his sisters and clubbed his parents to death, and then it says, in seemingly innocent white lettering “We Can’t Operate Without Your Help.”

I agree to some extent with Transitionland. This is what MSF does. If you’ve been gazing at pictures from Abu Ghraib, Vietnam, and Chernobyl, and you can watch movies like Hotel Rwanda, Inglorious Basterds, and Saving Private Ryan, and looking at goodness knows what other imagery is out there, then you can watch this ad. If the commercial makes your stomach twist, then it’s done its job, don’t you think? It sucks that making you feel that way is its job.

But it’s not the imagery that makes you a little sick – it’s the audio. And that’s what I find so amazing about this ad. Is it just as much of a violation of dignity if the audio is heard, rather than an image seen? If the image of the boy crying and having an operation played on your screen, would you be more outraged and disgusted? Or would you have accepted it as more NGO promotional imagery? And this is what I loved about Transitionland’s post. She included more ads that are clearly worse (in different ways) than the most recent MSF ad. I don’t know about the discussions surrounding those ads, but I imagine it could be similar to the ones revolving around this one.

So congratulations MSF for promoting further discussion about your work by means of a more dignifying way. I’m interested to see how NGO promotional media will progress.


Prelude to War

September 1, 2009

JesseJack (who has just started Med school), a couple other friends, and I have been discussing the universal health care plan at hand. My biggest concern, as I’ve stated before, is women’s and reproductive health care. A friend asked if I was willing to sacrifice some health care for everyone in turn for repro care. At first I thought “Whoa. I guess it wouldn’t be so bad. Women have other health problems as well, and it’s not fair to the country to deny them all benefits. Plus, I guess we could fight that fight later.” But as I thought about it today, I realized that’s just stupid.

Read the rest of this entry »


If You Ever Change Your Mind

July 27, 2009

Thank you Tim Ryan and Rosa DeLauro for this beautiful bill.

So now, after my previous post, I’ve read this NYTimes article about politicians finding common ground regarding abortion. If these talks are true, and these promises are sincere, I think I’d be a bit more open-minded to universal health care. It makes me feel better to see our Congress folk work together to make the best health care reform possible. I mean, working together should naturally be part of the process, and I’m sure there’s plenty of dirty bargaining going on, but I really think this bill is a great step towards a comprehensive and accessible health care plan.

I appreciate the seemingly lack of abortion terms in the bill. The pro-choice supporters receive increased birth control options, and the anti-choice supporters receive increased adoption options. I love that abortion does not appear in the bill. It could be because abortion seems to be a sate-by-state issue. It could also be because our Congress folk understand that the abortion debate shouldn’t be about abortion and defining life. The abortion discussion should be about accessible and affordable options.

Limiting options should never appear to be the best choice. Bravo, Congressman Mr. Ryan, Congresswoman Ms. DeLauro, and all other Congress folk for writing this bill. You have restored some of my faith in our government. Now to convince people that abstinence education is, in fact, not the best idea…