I am writing to express my concern over the direction in which you seem to be heading. You used to be ‘the home of the brave, the land of the free’, the cool kid who the rest of us tried to emulate. What the hell happened?
Our media have always had the odd story about you, the odd hint that you weren’t quite the idol you seemed, but these were rare and easily dismissed. Lately, however, these articles have been flying thick and fast. Why, in just the past few weeks I have read the following:
Don’t you like women anymore? Have you turned gay or something? I mean, really, it seems like you have decided to expand your militaristic tendencies to make war on the female gender. Or do you simply not know what is happening in your own country? I’m actually not sure where to start on these articles, so lets take it in order, shall we?
The first blog is about laws in New York. While one arm of the government is handing out hundreds of free
condoms to sex workers, another arm of the government is arresting innocent women for the mere possession of condoms. That’s right, if your wife/girlfriend/mother/grandma/sister decides to do the responsible thing and wrap the meat before putting it in her oven, this is considered proof that she is a prostitute. Seems like a sensible response to the AIDS epidemic, doesn’t it?
In Iowa, the House of Republicans, are seeking to ban no fault divorce in families with minor children. Never mind that this will lead to more tension at home, causing great emotional harm to children and increasing the risk of domestic violence, alcoholism and drug addiction – you know, the reasons no fault divorce was introduced in the first place. The reason for the proposed ban is that, despite a total lack of evidence, the GOP have decided that divorce causes promiscuity in girls (no mention of boys – apparently they are unaffected by divorce). Worse, Representative Ted Gassman basically called his own grand-daughter a slut when he stated that the issue is “near and dear” to his heart as his daughter and son-in-law recently divorced, putting his grand-daughter at risk. Thanks, Gramps, tell me how you really feel.
Several House Reps have introduced a bill called the Health Care Conscience Rights Act (HCCRA) to defend individual perceptions of right and wrong by calling for “stronger conscience protections” to be included in upcoming government funding bills. Basically this is (yet another) bill that puts the rights of employers and religious organisations ahead of the rights of women when it comes to women’s health care and control over women’s bodies.
In keeping with their opinions on whether rape is actually consensual sex, (and, as usual, despite all evidence to contrary), the GOP is insisting that rape rarely results in pregnancy because “it’s an act of violence, because the body is traumatized”. Never mind that conception rates from rape are between 5% and 8% (depending on whether you control for contraceptive use), higher than conception rates between consenting individuals. Still, acknowledging that maybe some rapes result in pregnancy is half a step up from stating that rape-sperm-killing vaginas prevent pregnancy altogether. Yay for progress!
San Diego Christian College fired a pregnant female teacher. For pre-marital sex. Her replacement? The father of her child who also (presumably) had pre-marital sex. Unless he was married to somebody else at the time, in which case he committed pre-marital adultery. Double standards anybody?
Everybody knows that the BMI is outdated. At least everybody except you, America. Apparently you have complete faith in the BMI. To the point where letters are being sent home to parents of children who are supposedly over or under weight. Quite apart from the fact that singling out fat kids is hardly going to help the bullying problem which contributes to the school shootings y’all seem so concerned about, I take issue with the BMI being used to determine overall health. Take a look at the video included in the above article, then look me in the eyes and tell me you think that kid is even a little bit fat.
Again your militaristic tendencies come to the fore, as you declare war on kids. It isn’t enough that kids are
being completely bubble-wrapped at home and at school due to the imaginary rock-spiders lurking around every corner, they are now being detained for doing things that are perfectly legal because apparently cops can make decisions based off their own beliefs rather than the law. In the case stated above, the police not only detained a six-year-old girl, they failed to notify her parents. Then, when her parents found out where their daughter was and went to collect her, the police refused to hand over the child, keeping her behind glass while awaiting CPS. Even the CPS, who are known for using the flimsiest excuse to commandeer kids, recognized how outrageous this was and ordered the child returned to her parents. So much for civil rights.
On March 5, Seattle schools all went into lockdown because an escaped thief was on the loose. Bear in mind that the guy had not been seen anywhere in the neighborhood, let alone lurking around schools. Also bear in mind that the crime this guy was convicted for was plain old theft – not armed robbery, not murder, not kidnapping, not violence of any kind. Finally, bear in mind the fact that there is always a thief in the vicinity of your schools – it’s just that this time you knew who it was.
I am so completely stunned, that I cannot even comment on this next issue, so I will leave you with a quote from the article:
Folks — You’ll recall the case from a few days ago when a boy was suspended from school for the crime of biting what sounds like a Pop-Tart into the shape of a gun. (Supposedly he was just trying to bite it into”the shape of a mountain,” but, sure — whatever, kid. Just tell it to the judge.) Well now the school seems to be offering its students counseling.
What a relief! I’d worried the kids would be left to struggle with PPTTSD (Post-Pop-Tart-Traumatic-Stress-Disorder) on their own, perhaps driven to guzzle milk or self-medicate with off-brand toaster pastries.
I understand the need for drills. Even lock-down drills. However, there is such a thing as taking things too far. Way too far. You may recall my post from February 9, 2013 entitled ‘American Schools Endanger Children‘ in which I discuss the issue of schools using real (blanks) gunfire during lock-down drills. Well, apparently one Oregon school has gone one (giant) step further. They will be hosting an active-shooter role-play drill where a number of folks will be injured by a fire-arm and helicopters will be coordinated in the transportation of fake victims. Will the traumatized children of this school be offered counseling, or is that just for pop tarts?
Let me get this straight. You, America, are in hysterics about possible school shootings to the point where you don’t mind yet more encroachments on your second amendment rights, but you don’t mind that your King – er, I meant President – wants to be able to kill U.S. citizens without trial and without even any evidence of wrong-doing? Weird.
In the wake of 9/11, security measures were tightened to the point where even ridiculous items like nail-clippers and baby formula could not be carried in on-board luggage. Now, authorities want to allow small pocket knives to be allowed on board, but I have not heard anything about baby formula and hand creams being given the same laxity. Apparently, everyday liquid are more dangerous than knives.
I have seen many more articles, of course, but this letter is already too long. I have just one more thing to say.
America, I love you like the big brother I never I had. But in your enthusiasm for a fight, it would seem you have accidentally declared war on sanity.
- No End in Sight to GOP Ignorance and Insensitivity on Pregnancy Resulting from Rape (lawprofessors.typepad.com)
- New York Cops Will Arrest You for Carrying Condoms (leaksource.wordpress.com)
- Christian school fires pregnant woman over premarital sex (richarddawkins.net)
- Iowa Republican wants to ban divorce so his granddaughter doesn’t become a slut (dailykos.com)
- Study: Helicopter Parents Cause Mental Health Problems for Children (insidehighered.com)