Posts Tagged ‘Sociology’

Today Republicans will be voting on healthcare. Apart from a last ditch effort to blame their inability to “repeal” OR “replace” the ACA on Democrats, at least one Congressman from Texas believes the gridlock is a “repugnant” result of his female colleagues.

“Some of the people that are opposed to this, they’re some female senators from the North East… If it was ‘a guy from south Texas’ who was generating so much discord in the party, I would ask them to settle their differences in a gun fight,”  Blake Farenthold said. One woman senator is from Alaska, but I guess if you count West Virginia with Maine that makes it 2 -1

So it’s High Noon on the Hill?

While it is true that three GOP women profess they will not vote on any bill they haven’t seen or don’t understand, they may also be slightly peeved that they were excluded from the bargaining table in an infamous photo of an all men panel. Or maybe their reticence indicates a deeper truth – that women and children will suffer if Medicaid is cut:

“According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, about half of all births are now paid for by Medicaid, ranging from 72 percent in New Mexico in 2015 to 27 percent in New Hampshire.” Oh, and it also pays for about 62% of all nursing home residents, most of whom are women. So the party who calls itself the party for LIFE, would like to cut the life line of those women most in need of health insurance.

In fact, all their so-called “crisis pregnancy centers” will most likely have to close. The irony of it all…and since Planned Parenthood is under attack, your guess is as good as mine as to where our country will fall on the world’s Maternal Mortality Rates. Oh wait,

U.S. women are more likely to die during childbirth than women in any other developed country, leading the U.S. to be ranked 33rd among 179 countries on the health and well-being of women and children. Women in the U.S. face a 1-in-1,800 risk for maternal death, the worst among the developed nations surveyed in Save the Children’s 16th annual State of the World’s Mothers report http://www.modernhealthcare.com/article/20150506/NEWS/150509941

In 1979 when the Bride was born, the entire hospital bill was $2,600. That included a day in the NICU, which I’d rather not explain since I’m sure that doctor would not like my story. We paid for that bill ourselves because we didn’t have insurance at the time. Due to an ancient and unheard of practice, all my pre-natal visits were free, ie “professional courtesy.” Today, the cost for a C-section (I had a breech birth) is most likely tens of thousands of dollars!

Sen McCain will be returning to vote on some form of a healthcare bill that would affect up to 69 million Medicaid patients – there was an increase in 11 million after the ACA passed. This means 15 million people may lose coverage by 2026. It would have a devastating effect on women, on the elderly and disabled, and patients undergoing opioid addiction services. Is that what the heartland wanted when they elected Mr T? http://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2017/06/27/534436521/from-birth-to-death-medicaid-affects-the-lives-of-millions

I’d like to think that just like Gary Cooper, who played the marshal in High Noon, McCain will stand alone and face down evil. He will exhibit compassion by doing the right thing. The producers of the iconic western in 1952 were being pressured by McCarthy’s Red-baiting fears to fire the writer and blacklist Carl Foreman, who was Cooper’s friend. John Wayne was leading the charge against Foreman when Gary Cooper said, “If Foreman goes, Cooper goes.”

“They’re making me run, I’ve never run from anybody before,” Marshal Will Kane said to the neophyte Grace Kelly.

Today is the day to get up and move, to call your senators people. Here are my grandchildren under a wishing tree; what will these senators tell their grandchildren?



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Did you feel normal growing up? The Rocker’s friend back in Jersey, a guy from his early high school heavy metal band years, asked me this question the other day. He was writing a paper for his college upper-level Psych course and had to interview someone from another generation. By that I think he meant a “senior!” Why he picked the mom who served bagel dogs and root beer after school is beyond me. Needless to say, I was flattered.

“When you were growing up, did you ever think you were abnormal in any way?”

Doesn’t everybody? But that’s not what I said. I said “Yes,” and went on to try and explain how this could be a good thing. I knew I was abnormal because my name didn’t match my foster parents. First of all, I was the only kid I knew with foster parents. My last name belonged to a father who had died in Scranton and a mother who had been crippled in a head-on car crash. Having two moms in two different states wasn’t normal then. No matter how hard I tried, I could never really be their child.

I said that I also felt different because I had strawberry blond hair. But that’s not the same as saying that my signature mane turned almost white in the summer and got redder as the winter sun faded. That I felt like a too tall, skinny, scrawny kid. That my real (biologic) mom, the Flapper, said she could always find me in a crowd. That I made myself a bowl of spaghetti at night before bed to put on some weight. That I dreamed of having jet black hair just so I could fit in and not stand out. Later I would thank my Nana’s mahogany red hair and the Flapper’s platinum blond bob for bestowing their unique recessive genes on me; but as a kid, I was mortified.

“How have your own attitudes toward what’s normal and what’s abnormal changed over the course of your lifetime?”

Now that is a loaded question. First of all, what constitutes a “family” is very different. My hodge-podge of half/step/foster and biologic siblings is pretty tame, or normal today. Marriage equality has leveled the playing field. Growing up with a Jewish step-father in my teen years, with college educated brothers, I stepped out of the cocoon my foster parents had made for me. That little Catholic school girl became a child of the universe, with a rather striking liberal, progressive bent. Except for one thing, I’m pretty much in agreement with most of my current family’s attitudes.

That one thing is the death penalty. My step-father, who was a town judge, must have had some effect on me since even the Flapper was against the death penalty. For years I differed with the rest of my loved ones, like a lone wolf cast adrift whenever the subject came up. My reasoning was subjective; if somebody ever killed one of mine, I’d be the first to retaliate. There were, in my mind, circumstances that should relieve the taxpayer from paying for a monster’s life in prison…like killing a child, a police officer, or planning to ram planes into tall buildings etc.

But my philosophy about government-induced-death has been slowly changing. After reading about “false confessions” and mistaken convictions once DNA evidence was introduced. And knowing how the justice system is rigged toward the wealthy. After seeing how most of the civilized world has stopped killing its prisoners – so much so that the needed chemicals are hard to come by for a lethal injection. And this week, after hearing about the botched execution in Oklahoma, it became harder for me to justify my pro-death penalty stance. I could rant about pro-lifers not caring about the children born into poverty, and yet I found myself in their camp, a double paradox, when it came to the death sentence.

Then I read why those two prisoners were on death row. http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-nation/wp/2014/04/30/why-were-the-two-inmates-in-oklahoma-on-death-row-in-the-first-place/?tid=pm_national_pop And now I wonder why the gun lobby doesn’t try to bring back the firing squad. And I’m only half kidding.

The lone Conservative, surrounded by his Liberal sisters

The lone Conservative, surrounded by his Liberal sisters

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