Monday, July 25, 2011

Are you ready?

Our long national nightmare is over. The NFL is back. The season will go on. Phew!

I knew they would do this. I knew they would get a deal in place but in doing so would push the time-limit to the brink. But, still, I am my father's daughter so I couldn't help but worry. His mantra is hope for the worst, expect the worster (worstest?). So in true Johnson fashion, I couldn't help but fear that this lockout would drag on to mess up my fall. Nay, to be the ruination of my fall. (I really love football.)

But now the deal is in place, the lockout is over, and training camp will begin so the season can get underway on time. In just a few short weeks, I will be watching kick-off with my new football buddy and the reigning AFC West Champions.

If only we could have figured out a way to salvage the actual NFL season while canceling the fantasy football season...

Thursday, July 21, 2011


Word is that new Defense Secretary Leon Panetta will certify that gays may serve openly in the armed forces tomorrow. That certification will then be signed by the President, of course, as he made repealing Don't Ask, Don't Tell (DADT) a campaign promise. And then based on the law Congress passed earlier this year, there will be a 60 day waiting period. (Why,  I couldn't tell ya. Wasn't the certification supposed to come after military training? What else needs to be done, for crying out loud?) After which DADT will finally be relegated to the trash heap of history where it belongs.

I remember back in the days when DADT was first being passed. I was an idealistic, somewhat naive, college student. At that time, I had no idea that gays and lesbians were barred from serving in the military. I was appalled. I'm still appalled. Sexual orientation has never been, could never be, a valid basis for excluding someone from military service. Thankfully, the law of the land will very, very soon recognize that basic fact.

I think this news deserves a second Huzzah!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Movies that were not shot in color should not have color added to them. Ever.

Monday, July 18, 2011

I have had tremendous luck in a few areas of my life.

1) Education. I've never been rejected by an institution of higher learning. Which means I got to go exactly where I wanted to for college and for law school.

2) Work. Even when I up and quit a job with no back-up plan, things still worked out for me. And in February of my 3rd year of law school, I got offered my dream public defender job in my home state. That just doesn't happen in public defender land, so I felt keenly lucky to go through most of my last term of law school without worrying about how I would pay the rent once law school ended.

3) Housing. I have been downright charmed when it comes to housing. The situations my college friends and I fell into were unbelievable. Then I scored my carriage house, which has to be the absolute best rental in this entire town. And my house hunt went so well, with me finding this perfect house so easily.

But now I'm done. I have all my degrees, my dream job, and my cozy red house. Oh, how I wish I could translate the luck I've always had in these realms into other areas of my life because I could stand to have a little of that charm touch me right about now.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

I can see clearly now

I mean this quite literally and not as some metaphor for finally understanding life or anything. If you've seen me in the past 2 months, you've undoubtedly noticed me blinking a lot, rubbing my eyes, etc. Allergy season was rough this year. Really rough. It pretty much destroyed every one of my right contacts. (Last year, allergy season hit my left eye; this year my right. Why is that?) I'd been taking the right contacts out at night even though I've always worn the contacts you keep in all the time and never before had a problem. If I forgot and slept in them, they got so covered in allergy pus and got so distorted that I could hardly see in them. They got filmy and blurry and kept shifting in my eye every time I blinked, which just made me blink more. But somehow, I accidentally opened my last new right contact in May. So I've been making do with these distorted, icky contacts for a couple of months now.

Plus, for years my eye doctor has had to under correct on my right contact. When you're as blind as I am, the contacts only go up by .5 when what I really need is a .25 correction. So he's given me the .00 instead of the .50. Which has undoubtedly contributed to the general sense I've had the past two months that my vision was blurry and compromised. As a final point, last night I took my contacts out and evidently put the right contact case cap on the side with the left contact.  My eye prescriptions are about 1.5 apart, so it was a pretty massive difference. Somehow, I drove to the eye doctor like this before I finally figured out my vision hadn't actually gone completely wonky overnight but that I must have put the contacts in the wrong eyes.

But now I have new, fresh contacts. And my doctor decided to try over-correcting on that right eye. He wants me to try it for a few days before finally deciding which contact prescription to order. And I am in heaven. Everything is so crisp and clear. Allergy season is over so I can go back to sleeping in these contacts. My eyes are ridiculously healthy and haven't changed in at least 7 years. (I mean they're healthy except for the extreme near-sightedness...) There is no way in hell my doctor is taking the higher prescription contacts away from me.

And as a bonus, I bought myself the first new glasses I've had in 7 years. Since my prescription has held steady for so long, I decided to spare no expense as glasses are an investment, not a short-term thing. So I bought the Chanel frames. (In my defense, they look really good on me and they're the only frames they had that fit my face just right such that walking down the stairs in my glasses will no longer be treacherous.)

Now if only I could get on that metaphorical seeing clearly thing...

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Sarah's Proposed Prosecutor Rule: One strike, you're out!

I'm confident that all of my dear, loyal readers are just dying to know what I think of today's events in the Roger Clemens case. (It doesn't cost any of you to let me believe it, anyway.) Just to make sure we all know what we're talking about, Roger Clemens is the All-Star pitcher, now retired, who is facing federal perjury charges. He was hauled before Congress back when they were investigating performance enhancing drugs. He is now accused of lying in that testimony.

I'm skipping over discussion of the worthiness of the charges or the use of performance enhancing drugs in baseball, so don't ask.

The trial began this week, with opening statements yesterday and some evidence presented today. In case you missed it, the judge declared a mistrial today. This came after the prosecution played in front of the jury a videotape that included references to something the judge had already ruled could not come in. The judge immediately halted the proceedings, called the parties up to the bench, and basically invited the defense to move for a mistrial. This was not the first no-no committed by the prosecution, either. In opening statements, the prosecution made reference to a different bit of information that the judge had also said was not admissible. So in the space of 24 hours, the prosecution blatantly disregarded two separate rulings by the court. The court granted the mistrial and preliminarily set a new trial date for September.

But there will be lots of litigation before then on the question that everyone was asking today. Does the prosecution get to try him again? The general answer is probably. The standards are not in the defense's favor. Double jeopardy does not automatically bar a new trial. But it isn't a completely clear point and the judge definitely has discretion to rule the prosecution cannot proceed. Where the prosecution goads the defense into moving for a mistrial, the court can find that a new trial could violate double jeopardy.

Thus we proceed to my rant. Because there is no question in my mind about what should happen here. The prosecution should absolutely be barred from further prosecution of these charges. They broke the rules. Twice. In a way that I have to believe was knowing and intentional. It's pretty darn hard to argue that the opening statement was an innocent mistake. And there is no excuse for them not to know what was on every frame of a video they were going to play for the jury. So if the prosecution refuses to play by the rules, why on earth should they get another chance to play the game?

Prosecutorial misconduct runs rampant in this country. A January issue of the New Yorker included a long article about it. USA Today did an in-depth investigation on it last year. Misconduct among the ranks of federal prosecutors goes on and on. So why don't courts do something about it? Why don't courts take it seriously and put a stop to it? They could. But they would have to actually dismiss some cases. You know, hold prosecutor's accountable for their actions and make them suffer real consequences. So why not start on this case, involving someone who didn't hurt anyone or steal any money. Because I am sick to death of seeing prosecutors intentionally violate the rules and then still be afforded the chance to win. These are people's lives, their money (for paying lawyers), and their liberty that they're screwing with.

Just once, I want to see a court say no. Tell a prosecutor we're not going to let you deny this defendant his fair and speedy trial by making him wait another month or two or however long before he gets resolution. We're not going to let you make him rack up tens of thousands more in legal fees. We're not going to let you put him through more months of worrying and wondering whether there is prison time in his future. Facing a criminal charge is hard and scary and emotionally draining. It's a big deal, for most people the biggest deal they will ever face. And you don't get to play games with their lives.

So, come on court. Declare this mistrial to be with prejudice. Don't let the prosecution get a second kick at this cat. Quite frankly, they don't deserve it. And we deserve to have a system that doesn't turn a blind eye to misconduct.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Update on the marriage pledge

As of now, two Republican presidential candidates have refused to sign that Iowa marriage pledge.

Tim Pawlenty, the forgotten man, has said he prefers "to choose my own words, especially seeking to show compassion to those who are in broken families through no fault of their own." I certainly appreciate that nod to the idea that single parent families shouldn't be considered inferior. At least, I think that's what he means. But he did say he agrees with the principles behind the pledge, whatever that means.

And Mitt Romney, still the favorite even if Michele Bachmann has gained on him in Iowa, said he found parts of the pledge to be undignified and inappropriate for a presidential campaign. I like those comments, even though he also said he supported "traditional marriage."

I'm glad to see some candidates not just avoiding the pledge but outright refusing to sign it. My nonconformist streak isn't a fan of people signing onto things just because they feel obligated. And, of course, I hate the pledge so I don't want people signing it. Not that I'd ever be likely to vote for either of these guys for loads of other reasons, but they're sure ahead of Bachmann and Santorum in my book right now.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

A mother always knows

Can you see a difference between these 5 balls? Now, you might notice minor variations in color, but really, they're pretty identical, aren't they? And yet, to a silly little red cocker spaniel who shall remain nameless (Maddie), only one is THE ball. You can throw 4 of these 5 balls all day long and she'll just look at you with a look that says, "Come on, Mom. Throw the right one already."

This is how you know I'm a mom, even if it's to a 4-legged furbaby and not a human baby. Because I can tell you, just by looking, which one is the only ball this dog will bring back. I can also tell you which ball USED to be the ball, but has been overthrown. I feel kinda bad for the old ball. It's sort of like the Velveteen Rabbit once some other stuffed animal has come on the scene and become the new favorite.

And wouldn't you know, THE ball is the one with the most annoying squeak? Which I can hear right now. Because someone who shall remain nameless (Maddie) is pushing her silly little red nose into it right now, thereby letting it be known that it's time for me to come throw the ball.

Good luck, Brown family

If you've been around here for a while, you might have caught that I have a bit of a weakness for certain kinds of reality t.v. And for some reason, polygamy has always been a topic that intrigues me. Not in an I want to try that kind of way. I just tend to watch news stories or movies about polygamy. And I've read the Jon Krakauer book and a book by a woman who escaped the Warren Jeffs group.

So, it naturally follows that I've watched every episode of TLC's "Sister Wives." I have been interested in learning about this family, getting a glimpse into their lives. Most of us picture the Warren Jeffs-type polygamists when we think of fundamentalist Mormons. The women with the weird hairdos and prairie dresses. The young girls being given away in marriage to creepy old men. The young boys being kicked out of the community and abandoned. But the Brown family isn't a member of that group. These are, for lack of a better way to say it, normal people, just like you and me. They just have different religious views on marriage. It's a view that wouldn't work for the vast majority of us (I know I'm not good at sharing), but it seems to work for them. It works well enough that they're comfortable putting themselves on television for all to see. Honestly, I have a lot of respect for them for being willing to put themselves out there so publicly as a way of defending their lifestyle and religious views.

They did so at a price, though. First, the family went through a publicized investigation by local police for suspicion of violating the state's ban on polygamy. While the husband is only legally married to one wife, the law in Utah still poses a problem for the family. The Utah polygamy law prohibits cohabitation in the guise of multiple marriages even if the husband has only one legal, state-certified marriage. So by holding himself out as married to 4 women, even though he's only ever sought one marriage certificate, Kody Brown is technically in violation of Utah law. Never mind that the whole family is happy, the kids are well-cared-for and well-adjusted, no one is committing welfare fraud, etc. The investigation stressed them out so much, they moved to Vegas.

Today, they made headlines for filing a lawsuit in Utah. (They haven't actually filed it, but are expected to do so on Wednesday). In the suit, the family is asking the federal court to tell states they can't punish families for their private, consensual conduct as long as the conduct isn't violating some other law, like seeking multiple marriage certificates. The argument builds on the 2003 decision Lawrence v. Texas that declared states could not outlaw consensual sexual acts between consenting adults. That case was specifically focused on homosexual sodomy, but protected a broader right to privacy.

I wholeheartedly agree with the Browns. They aren't asking to have the other 3 marriages recognized by law. They're simply asking to be allowed to live in peace, as one big, happy family. The rest of us don't have to understand their choices or agree with their religious views. But we shouldn't tell them they can't live this way. We shouldn't tell them they're not a family. And we sure as hell shouldn't put the father in prison and separate the wives from each other just because we think it's a weird lifestyle. That would seem to be especially counter-productive here where the family seems to be supporting itself just fine, but would be financially crippled by putting Dad in prison.

I'm sure courts will be hesitant to do what the Browns ask. The public view of polygamy is so negative because we do think of the FLDS style of repressive polygamy much more than the "Big Love" style. Courts will likely not want to strip states of any power they have to put a stop to the child-bride style of polygamy. Even though anti-polygamy laws had nothing to do with the prosecution of Warren Jeffs. He and his followers were prosecuted on good, old-fashioned charges of rape. But I hope that a court can see that anti-cohabitation laws don't serve any good and do run afoul of the Lawrence v. Texas idea that consensual adult sexual conduct cannot be criminalized. Because this family shouldn't be treated like criminals. I will definitely follow this lawsuit.

Monday, July 11, 2011

My least favorite part of that marriage pledge

I'm sure you've heard about that marriage pledge from the Iowa group Family Leader. The group asked politicians and political candidates to sign on to the pledge, calling it a fidelity vow, so they could ascertain which candidates they should support. Of the Republican candidates for the presidential nomination, so far Michele Bachmann and Rick Santorum have signed on.

First, the pledge made a stir for some very unfortunate remarks Bachmann made about gays while speaking in support of the pledge. Clearly, the pledge is about opposing same-sex marriage and promoting the social conservative view of the "traditional" family of head-of-the-house dad, nurturing stay-at-home mom, and sheltered kids raised to be perfect little citizens. And so Bachmann made some comments about gay men being less healthy, etc. They were appalling remarks, of course, but they're almost expected from someone like her so didn't much attention.

The most recent flap has been about language not actually in the pledge but in the introduction to the pledge that suggests children born into slavery were actually in some way better off than African-American children born today. Because these children were born to two parents, unlike many children today. The cluelessness of such a comment is astounding. I don't know how far removed you must be from poverty, a life of servitude, or just humanity to think there's any way in which being born into slavery is better than not. (Really, did it not occur to the drafters of this language that being born with mommy and daddy there doesn't do you any good if you, mommy, or daddy can be sold away at any moment?)

So the Family Leader folks have acknowledged that poor choice of language and have removed it from their pledge. So all's hunky dory now! But, folks, there is so, so much more in this pledge to complain about. There's the comment that "enduring marital fidelity" protects vulnerable women and the rights of fathers. (Do I really need to explain that for the vast majority of our nation's history fathers had all the rights?) And there's the line about humanely protecting women from being "seduc[ed] into promiscuity." Egads! We need to protect women, and women alone, from being lured into promiscuity, which I'm guessing these people would define as having more than one sexual partner in a lifetime. But we don't need to protect men from seduction? What a backwards, 19th century view of sexual inequality. I think there's a lot of blog material to find in this part of the vow.

But here's my favorite, that no one else seems to have caught on to:

"Recognition that robust childbearing and reproduction is beneficial to U.S. demographic, economic, strategic and actuarial health and security."

Ok, so clearly seems objectionable from those of us with female reproductive systems who haven't chosen to spend our 20s and 30s barefoot and pregnant. But did you see the nugget in there that really set me off? Go back and re-read it if you didn't. I'll wait. Demographic. Robust childbearing is beneficial to U.S. demographic health and security. Did anyone else catch that? Did anyone see the same sly meaning to that that I'm seeing? Come on, WASPS! Have more kids. Have 'em quick because the Hispanics are gaining on us! Isn't that really what that line means?

I don't think it surprises anyone that I don't like any part of this pledge. I don't need political candidates to pledge marital fidelity to me. They don't owe that to me. And if they owe it to their spouses, presumably they've already made those vows. I disagree with the economic points of the pledge. And I strongly disagree with the point about appointing only judges who are "faithful constitutionalists." Not because I disagree with fidelity to the Constitution by any stretch, but because I disagree with what I know these people think that phrase means. I favor same-sex marriage and making divorce easy and keeping abortion safe and legal and I'm not opposed to pornography or a little casual (but safe) sex.

But this thing about the "demographic health and security" of the U.S. really pisses me off. That is one of the most insidious calls to racism and white power I have ever seen. And it seems to be working because I haven't heard anyone else mention that line. If there is some other explanation for what Iowa's Family Leader means when it urges Republican candidates to engage in robust reproduction to promote the "demographic" health and security of this nation, I would love to hear it. But I sure can't think of one.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

My one and only NBA related post

I'm not a big NBA fan. Somehow the NBA manages to take a fun game I love, full of speed, quickness, and explosive plays, and turn it into a lumbering, boring mess. But I do want to take a minute to say so long Yao Ming. He always struck me as a really decent person, so it was rough to see his career be so plagued with injuries. And they were so often injuries related to his size. His feet just broke under the strain of carrying his big, big body around. I hate to see a promising career cut short by injury, but way to handle it with class.

Dear Team USA

While in hindsight I can appreciate the drama, I wouldn't object if you make your next game a little less nerve-wracking. Maybe score the game-saving goal with 5 minutes to spare instead of 1. Thanks.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Please don't make me talk to people.

I have a confession to make. I don't really like people. And one of my biggest pet peeves is inefficiency. So despite my love of shopping, checking out is one of my least favorite things to do. Maybe not so much when I'm in a boutique and I've been helped by the clerk who is now handling my transaction and we've got a conversation going. But at Target or the book store or the grocery store, I get annoyed. I don't want to wait in line. I don't want to wait there while a sales clerk takes his or her sweet time or doesn't bag things in the most efficient way. And I really don't want to hear the sales pitch for why I should get a credit card or donate a dollar to the cause of the day* or whatever.

So I love, love, love self check-out. Love it! I'm faster than most check-out workers and I know I'll bag my things in a way that makes the most sense. (Yes, I realize I'm making myself sound a tad like a high-maintenance bitch, but I prefer to think I sound charmingly neurotic a la Sally Albright.) I would also really love it if some coffee shop would open up a self-service espresso machine because I'm an experienced barista and can get a little annoyed if someone doesn't observe proper barista protocol while making my latte. But I digress.

Because it's really best for all concerned that I do self check-out whenever possible, I am really glad I don't have to shop at Albertson's. They are phasing out self check-out! This article indicates that my grocery corporate chain, Kroger, is looking at phasing out self check-out in one of its Texas stores. Please don't bring that experiment to Kansas! Don't force me to have more human contact with strangers! There are days when the barista or the grocery store check-out person is the only person I speak to all day. On those days, I have no objection to going through a proper check-out line and getting my human contact. But there are other days, days when I am not fit to speak to people or days when I've just had an aggravating meeting or days when I'm just not in the mood to spend one second longer than I need to inside. And on those days, I really need the option of going in and getting out without speaking to anyone. (And, to be honest, there are some items one might prefer to purchase without having to hand those items over to another person who will then know what one is buying.)

How do you all feel about self check-out?

*I donate plenty of money and things to charity, but I don't like to do it in dribs and drabs like at the checkout counter.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Nobody tells China what to do

When was the last time an entire country broke from the Catholic Church? Maybe this is on my mind lately because the book for book club last night was "The Six Wives of Henry VIII" by Alison Weir. But this story in the New York Times today amused me. Apparently the Catholic Church in China is not getting along with Rome so well these days. They're ordaining bishops without approval from the Vatican. That's a big no-no, so the Vatican has now started excommunicating those bishops. One so far, but presumably there would be more.

It's the kind of church intrigue I didn't really think happened anymore. At least not on the scale of an entire country. It's interesting to note that China's Catholic Church is run by the state. That really shouldn't surprise anyone, I guess, as the state has its hand in pretty much everything in China. So in a way, this feels like the Chinese government refusing to allow any other entity, even the leadership of the Catholic Church, tell it what to do. Kinda like when Henry VIII decided maybe he wasn't going to let some corrupt guy in Rome tell him who he could and could not unmarry. Wouldn't it be fun to watch the Chinese Catholic Church go through its own Great Matter and break from Rome? Or have I just read a little too much Tudor history lately and am therefore reading way too much into this?

Thursday, July 7, 2011

A positive step in Texas

I saw this good news out of Texas today, so I thought I would share. The state of Texas has now officially changed the way it handles photo line-ups in an effort to minimize the possibility of wrongful identifications. With the DNA exonerations, we learned a lot about the main factors that contribute to wrongful convictions. One factor that surprised a lot of people was eyewitness identifications. A large number of exoneration cases included eyewitnesses who identified the exoneree as the perpetrator.

For some time now, people interested in criminal justice reforms have been suggesting these changes to the way photo line-ups are conducted. They're simple suggestions that should be easy enough to implement. Have the person administering the line-up not know who the suspect is. Thus, the officer can't inadvertently or subconsciously guide the witness to picking the suspect. Show the witness only one photo at a time rather than six at once. This way the witness isn't comparing the suspects to each other. And make sure to tell the witness that the actual perpetrator might not be pictured. Just as a reminder to the witness that it's ok to pick no one.

I'll be interested to see how Texas police respond to these new procedures and to see more long-term research to see if these reforms do reduce rates of wrongful identifications. Since we know that the old ways don't really work as well as we wanted to believe, these reforms sure can't hurt.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

My obligatory Casey Anthony post

Ok, I've never said much about the Casey Anthony case, except that I was a little sick of it. A lot sick of it, actually. So I'm pleased that it is, mercifully, over. And in such a way that it will really never come back. There will be no appeal (I seriously doubt she will appeal the convictions of lying). There won't be a retrial. There will only be rumblings for a while and maybe an interview some day. But mostly, it's over.

And the only thing I really want to say tonight is this: Suck it, Nancy Grace! If you've been around these parts for any length of time, it's not a surprise that I don't much like Nancy. I admit I take random potshots at her in my posts. (She deserves them.) I don't trust her spin on cases, as in this case. If you think you know everything there is to know about this case from watching Nancy Grace, think again.

I haven't been following this case. I didn't mean to, anyway. But it was everywhere. It was hard not to pick up details. This case was so prevalent online and on television, it just seeped into my consciousness by osmosis. We've all been inundated by this circus for the last 6 weeks. I can't help but notice that the only 12 (well, 14 really) people on earth (slight exaggeration) who weren't bombarded by talking heads and pundits and in-depth analysis of every moment in court were the ones who reached the not guilty verdict. Maybe, just maybe, those jurors were in a better place to view the evidence without bias because they were the only people around whose judgment wasn't clouded by the media frenzy? Maybe cases really shouldn't be, can't be, tried in the media?

This verdict actually kinda restores my faith a little. Because since 2008, the media, Nancy Grace leading the charge, had convicted this woman. They had her practically on the gurney, needle poised above her arm. They splashed really unflattering, prejudicial photos of her everywhere while constantly shedding tears over that beautiful little girl. I thought Casey Anthony's presumption of innocence had died along with her daughter, quite honestly. So I am heartened to see that a jury of 12, uninfluenced by the media frenzy, can still uphold the presumption of innocence and hold the state to its burden. Because that's what this case came down to. The jury refused to convict based on emotion and hunches. They actually insisted on evidence, which is sorely lacking here.

And yet have the Nancy Graces of the world learned anything? Not really. HLN hasn't stopped covering this case yet. CNN and Fox News have still been covering it. And so far I have seen the pundits discussing what went wrong, who is to blame, etc. Geraldo said, in essence, "We all KNOW she's guilty, but knowing it and being able to prove it are two different things." One bold talking head on HLN did suggest that the media itself had a hand in turning Casey Anthony into a celebrity which in turn made it harder for a jury to convict her because juries have a hard time convicting celebrities. But I haven't observed any of them expressing any real respect for the jury's verdict, respect for the legal process, or sense that they themselves are the warped part of the system (as opposed to the jury).

I left for two hours to go to Knitting Club and just got back to find they're still going at it! They're all saying how outrageous this verdict is, how disgusting it is that the defense team had champagne at a bar after the verdict, how obvious it is that Casey is guilty. So, no, I guess they have not learned.  They haven't learned that they don't get to decide before a trial whether the defendant is guilty. They don't get to expect a particular verdict because they have already evaluated the evidence and figured out the correct answer. There is only one way for establishing guilt in this country: a jury trial. And the jury has now spoken.

As a final note, I can't help but think if Nancy Grace is THIS mad, something has gone right in the world.

My biggest personality flaw

Some days I feel very expendable. This is really something I have struggled with my whole life. It comes and goes, but I did have a good stretch of a few years there where it wasn't a problem. The last year has really been all about not letting this feeling take over, as obviously the events of the last year made me feel very expendable indeed. The week I broke my arm and had surgery oddly made me feel better as the 3 people I reached out to when I needed to schedule surgery all responded immediately. But this past week has been a bad one. It would be great if I could figure out how to get from week to week, day to day, without always questioning whether I really matter to anyone. I mean anyone other than my dog.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Who does this really work for? Other than Cinderfuckinrella?

A few weeks ago, I complained about my state expending precious resources on a program to encourage marriage. Of course, knowing who is running this state these days, we knew the point was to encourage good Christian godly marriages. Probably wherein women are properly subservient to their husbands and all that.

And then I read today in the Topeka Capital Journal a little about some of the people involved in the initiative. Here's the one that caught my eye, aka made my head explode.

Wade Horn, who redefined President George W. Bush's faith-based initiatives in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, preached a gospel that encouraged poor women to marry their way out of poverty.
Wow. What a great message to be coming out of my state's Department of Social and Rehabilitative Services (SRS). Barely scraping by? Relying on food stamps and minimum wage jobs? Can't get out of a vicious debt cycle? Don't get job training or seek higher education. Just find a man to save you! (We'll just hope he's not an abusive SOB who will then use your inability to get a better-paying job as a means to aid in his control of you.)

Now, this guy is just one of many who met in a closed-door meeting to discuss this marriage initiative. Since the meeting was closed, we can't know if he spoke like this in the meeting or how others responded if he did. But I don't think it bodes well that this is one of the people the governor is hearing from. What a horrible, antiquated notion for us to return to: that women need marriage to save them. I would hate to think of my state promoting the idea that the best way for women to escape poverty and improve their economic standing is to get married and rely on a man. That would be a great message for my state to promote if they want to make it clear to Kansas women that they aren't worth as much as men (or without a man), that they can't take care of themselves, that bettering yourself means finding a good man to provide for you. Good grief.
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