Political Rants by Judy @ 6:19 PM

John Ashcroft’s resignation is hardly a surprise. And I take great comfort in knowing that, as Ashcroft said in his resignation letter:

The safety of Americans from crime and terror has been achieved.

So, I guess this means no more need to lock my doors or turn my alarm on. Or worry about carrying too much cash. Or being careful when I’m alone at night. No more crime, right?

Well… I think that’s a little simplistic.

At any rate, on his departure, I think it’s well to remember some of the things about John Ashcroft that have so endeared him to the American public:

— He was one of the first senators to suggest impeaching Bill Clinton.

— He was one of the only senators ever to be defeated by a dead man.

— He ordered two partially nude statues to be robed so that he would no longer be photographed in front of them.

— And, of course, his unflagging attempt to reduce or eliminate civil rights via The non-Patriot Act.

Political Rants by Judy @ 5:31 PM

I have to admit that in my not so humble opinion the neo-con right has a strange definition of morality.

On the one hand, it’s deemed OK to lie to warn women in an attempt to scare them silly keep them informed by telling them that having an abortion increases their risk of breast cancer, even though science does not support this and the National Cancer Institute specifically refutes it. But these incorrect warnings are required reading in Texas and Mississippi during the enforced 24-hour waiting period, and “voluntarily” handed out in Kansas and Louisiana. Bills are being considered this year in Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Vermont, Washington and West Virginia.

Only in Montana has this insanely stupid piece of legislation been struck down.

Per usual, anti-abortion activists are unconvinced by the preponderance of scientific evidence. Joel Brind, a biochemist at Baruch College in New York who advises the Coalition on Abortion/Breast Cancer, noted that a woman’s chances of getting breast cancer go down if she gives birth at a relatively young age. He reasons that those who opt for abortion are giving up a chance of reducing their breast cancer risk. Therefore an abortion increases the risk of cancer.

And that, of course, is circular reasoning of the most blatant sort. But it does fit in with the “keep ’em barefoot and pregnant” school of thought.

But after a woman decides to have a baby… well that’s a different story.

The USA ranks 29th in the world in infant mortality. More than 75 babies die each day in the US and 7 of every 1000 babies do not live to their first birthday.

The infant mortality rate had been steadily declining, due mainly to public health campaigns, better access to prenatal health care, and better infant health care. Since 2001, under the Bush administration, the infant mortality rate is once again on the rise.

For comparison, in Canada the infant mortalit rate is less than 5. In Sweden, it is less than three.

Yup. You’ll be forced to have that baby… but don’t expect any help taking care of it.

Miscellaneous Musing by Judy @ 10:49 AM

Just a few snippets of conversation in the last 24 hours…

Snippet One:

[10:20 PM] I’m going to bed, mom, because I’m really tired. I know I can finish my homework tomorrow at school because we have all study periods tomorrow.

[11:40 PM] Just because I stayed up talking on the phone and chatting on the computer doesn’t mean I’m not too tired to do my homework. You’re so MEAN and STUPID. [comments slightly edited]

Snippet Two:

[7:10 AM] OK, mom. 10 minutes. I got it.

[7:30 AM, mom ready to go for 1/2 hour, lunch packed, etc.] How was I supposed to know that the 10 minutes were up when you weren’t standing in the kitchen waiting for me for all that time? You’re so MEAN and STUPID. And it’s YOUR FAULT I’m late. [comments slightly edited]

Snippet Three:

[7:40 AM] Bye mom. Love you. Call you after school. Have a great day.

Snippet Four:

[10:25 AM, via cell phone] Mom, there’s a bomb threat or something and we’ve all had to leave the school while it’s being searched or something. It’s freezing out here. S and N are going to S’s house to wait for the school to reopen. It’s OK if I go, too, right?

No, it’s not OK. Stay at school until you are allowed to return to the building, and then go to class. If you leave, you won’t know when the school reopens.

I’ll just call the school every now and then [read: maybe once at 2:00 pm] to see if it’s OK to go back or not.

No, I don’t want you to leave. You need to stay there and follow the direction of the police and the administrators.

But it’s FREEZING.

I’m sure they’ll let you back in as soon as possible.

You are so MEAN and STUPID. Wait… the cops are coming out. Something’s going on. I’ll call you later.

[sigh] When do I go back to being nice and smart again?

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