June 29, 2008

ANGERED UP

Yesterday I found a clip of Dennis Miller going off on Obama. I went to YouTube and have been happily watching tons of Dennis Miller clips, including his appearance on Politically Incorrect. I then stumbled upon Penn Jillette's appearance on the same show. That one just twisted my gut into knots. I wanted to jump through the space-time continuum to argue against the moronic things that Nia Long was saying. They're talking about selling donor eggs from models, which apparently people wanted to buy so they could have beautiful children. (My thoughts: It's a waste of your money, but you have a right to waste your money.) It then became a debate on whether we should interfere at all in the reproductive process or if it's all part of God's plan. And Bill Maher says:

Here's a question then: Why does everyone have to spawn? Why can't the people who can't do that just take a hint?

To which Nia Long nods her head and says, "Right." Thankfully, my buddy Penn Jillette counters, saying that if science can help people, it should.

Do I even have to tell you what it does to my heart to hear someone say that if I can't reproduce, I should "take a hint"?

The debate later turns to making a law that people should not be allowed to get married until they're 26. A law. Seriously. The rationale is that people aren't mature enough to be married before that.

To quote AWTM, "Can I just tell you..."

I met my husband when he had just turned 19, and we got married a few months shy of his 22 birthday. By the time he was 24, he was already leading a platoon of men in combat in Iraq. Not mature enough? Please. He's got more maturity now at 27 than some 40 year olds I know.

The whole show was just a train wreck. I imagine Penn Jillette was just shaking his head after it was over, wondering how he ended up in a room of people who want to regulate who can donate eggs, what factors you can use to determine which eggs you want, how much science you can have in your life, and at what age you can get married. I can't believe he stayed as calm as he did.

Dang, that'll teach me to look for funny clips on YouTube. I'm a bundle of horrified nerves after that show!

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June 26, 2008

NO CLOSER TO AN ANSWER

Tammi has been thinking in the micro about something I often think about in the macro.

Makes me wonder....what makes people feel so strongly about capital punishment? Why do some cling desperately to the sanctity of life while others draw that line so firmly in the sand and say "If you cross this, you no longer deserve to live"?

I don't believe it's something that comes with age. Or that it's a learned belief. Mama and Daddy were liberals. Mama still is. I've been a conservative for as long as I've been aware of politics. Oh, they never talked about this stuff in front of us kids, in fact it was only in the past 10 or so years that I learned about my parents political leanings. No. No influence there at all.
[...]
I woke up this morning wondering where does that come from? WHY do I feel so strongly about this? And why do others, those that go and picket executions for people they don't even know, believe just as strongly that they do NOT deserve to die? That there is nothing that one human being can do to another that warrants the loss of life?

I have wondered this and blogged about it before, about where we get our value systems and whether it's nature or nurture:

But where did it originate? Other people endured the hate and garbage in France, yet it didn't have the effect on them that it did on me. I must've already had the seeds of right-leaning ideas before I hit this point. But where did they come from?

I'd say both of my parents are fairly conservative, though we never talked about politics when I was growing up. I can't remember ever having a conversation about voting or foreign policy or anything of the sort. Did they somehow influence me in a subconscious way? Or was I born right of center and just viewed everything through that lens?

We talk about knee-jerk reactions, but isn't that just following your gut? The first blog I ever saw was U.S.S. Clueless and I immediately felt at home. Even before I had studied anything concrete about how the world works, I simply nodded my head in agreement and felt deep in my instincts that what Den Beste writes is true. No one had to teach me that; in fact, much of what we encounter in higher education these days should have persuaded me just the opposite. How was I not convinced?

I don't have any answers for Tammi. As for capital punishment, I said it before and I'll say it again.

I'm reminded again of the absolute horror my Swedish friend felt when she saw me clapping and cheering the day Timothy McVeigh was executed. But I feel the same now about Saddam as I did back then: If someone called me today and said they're short a hangman and could I come give 'em a hand, I'd say, "Give me a second to put my shoes on."

There are a few people out there that I'd have no problem putting my shoes on for. And when we're talking about child rapers, I'll just grab my flip-flops cuz it's faster.

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June 22, 2008

IS HONESTY THE BEST POLICY?

I've been thinking about Heidi a lot lately, about how she never blogs about feeling bitter or jealous, or about feeling lonely that people's lives have moved on while hers hasn't. She must feel this way at times, but she doesn't express it publicly. I emailed her and urged her to write about it, because I thought it would help her.

I think I'm retracting that advice.

Writing about how I felt lonely over the weekend I miscarried has backfired a little, I think. I meant every word I said, and it felt good to write about it and get it out. I felt such loneliness that, even having my mother there, even if 75 people had called me and I'd gotten 20 bouquets of flowers, it still wouldn't have been enough to fill the emptiness.

And it was hard because it was Scheduled Sadness. It didn't spring up on me unexpectedly; I had to make a conscious choice to make it happen. And so I scheduled my day for sadness, and sat at home waiting for sadness to arrive. I sat all day and clicked around on blogs, and no one was posting...because they were out living their lives and being happy, while I sat with my thoughts, waiting for sadness.

In some ways, this time was harder than the first. And the support was so overwhelming the first time that it was hard not to make this time look underwhelming. Everyone did too good of a job comforting me last December.

But my blog post, the feelings I thought were important to write, made some people feel bad, which has made me feel worse than the original loneliness. It actually makes me feel worse than losing the baby.

Which is kind of stupid, but that's my personality. I worry more about how other people will react than I worry about how I feel. Sometimes I get over that and blog about my honest thoughts, but it makes me feel like absolute crap when I learn that something I blogged hurt people's feelings.

It makes me not want to be a blogger anymore.

And even though there are lots of comments about how people understand and have been through the same, if I hurt just one person, I feel like a failure.

I thought that writing honestly and openly was a good thing, but I am not always prepared to deal with the consequences of doing so.

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June 21, 2008

YEP, ANOTHER "FEELINGS" POST

I forgot our wedding anniversary.

Or, more specifically, I forgot how long it takes stuff to get mailed to Iraq. And I missed my window.

Now, my husband? He blows it every holiday. Christmas, birthday, anniversary: I usually get a story. A story about why he couldn't get me the present he was going to get me. I am used to it; it's part of my husband's charm. Now it's just a running joke.

But this year he came through. He ordered something from Amazon, and it arrived plenty early. And wrapped! Amazing.

And I had nothing for him.

And then the day of our anniversary came, and I didn't even have hope and love to share with him. I had bad news and sadness.

He should've gotten a lovey-dovey anniversary post, like Mrs Hubs wrote. So I'll try now.

My husband is so absolutely exactly like me that it's scary. Specifically, we both grieve the same way. And he's been a big help, sending me sarcastic one-line emails that express our frustration and sorrow while helping put a smile on my face. For example, the email he sent when I told him his MBA diploma finally arrived in the mail.

Good thing the diploma didn't die in the mail causing me to have to start my degree all over again. You never know these days.

He's just the right amount of sarcastic and irreverent for me. But he also wrote a long, emotional letter too, about watching the other soldiers share the stuff their kids had sent them for Father's Day.

He's just perfect, and I feel so bad that he's so far from home right now.

But you know, he and I are also exactly alike in one other way. He said the other day that, even if our family is only ever me, him, and the pup, that's good enough for him. I feel the same way. I feel so absolutely lucky and awed every day that I found him. And he's enough to keep my heart happy for the rest of my life.

Husband, I'm sorry you got gyped out of an anniversary.
I love you.

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June 19, 2008

WOW

Every once in a while, I read something that makes my heart stop. Usually it's not a big-time story. Often it's a science story. Instapundit had this one today, which brought wonderment and awe to my morning: Bacteria make major evolutionary shift in the lab

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June 16, 2008

UPLIFTING

Remember when I thought I was looking back at infertility with hindsight? Go ahead and take a moment to laugh at me. I'm shaking my head too.

Anyway, I went and read A Little Pregnant again today because, well, because I'm part of the club again. And I read something very funny:

Let me say at the outset that nothing would make me happier than a good nursing experience. But nothing would make me sadder than the kind of experience I had with Charlie. (Note to universe: I am saying that in a rhetorical sense. I know there are worse things than ending up with a healthy, thriving baby who enjoyed the benefit of expressed breast milk for the first six months of his life. I'll thank you not to kick my ass in new and unexpected ways just to show me who's in charge here because, hey, you know what? I get it.)

Ha. There's someone who is on a first-name basis with Perspective. And I read something so uplifting, a little note from another former infertile-blogger who just had a baby:

I truly hope all my other blogging friends from the past have realized their dreams, as well. Being a mother is the most amazing thing I've ever experienced. I didn't think I'd EVER say this, but all the IF treatments and miscarriages that I've been through were sooooooo worth the end result - my beautiful boy. I'd do it all over again in a heartbeat if it meant it would result in him.

And that's just very cool. And very good to read today.

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June 05, 2008

NOT JUST A QUIBBLE

I read a comment from someone over at RWN that frustrated me. The commenter was very civil and tried to be constructive, but what he/she said just doesn't hold water.

In my humble opinion, it hurts our country when we group ourselves and others into groups of "conservatives" and "liberals." In my experience I have met a lot of liberals, and a lot of conservatives, and I seem to get along fine with all of them. So, instead of listening to some "study" that suggests liberals are Satan's army of darkness, why don't you just try to remember that they are people LIKE YOU who only believe what they believe because they think it is what is best for their country. Instead of attacking their character, attack their ideas, debate with them on why they believe war is bad, or why we should spend tax dollars on certain things. Attack their ideas of big government, but make sure you don't advocate a different form of big government (sorry, if you don't want to spend money on health care, education, and welfare, then you can't want to spend a lot of money on war, it's called hypocrisy, besides, anyone who wants to spend lots of money and have a big government is a lefty, not a righty, so you may be at the wrong page.)

He/she lost me right there at the end.

The Constitution of the United States of America "provides for the common defense" of the American people. And (if my understanding is correct) Article I Section 8 allows the federal government to raise money for a standing Army and Navy.

Again, if my understanding is correct, there is nowhere in the Constitution that allows the federal government to raise money for health care, education, and welfare. Please correct me if I'm wrong.

So this is where that commenter lost me. Those two things are not equal. Liberals wanting federal health care, education, and welfare is absolutely not the same thing as conservatives wanting military defense.

One is specifically laid out in the Constitution and even mentioned in the preamble. The other is not. There is no hypocrisy here.

It seems like a quibble with this comment, but I think it's actually a huge deal. This commenter thinks that this is comparing apples to apples, which I think shows a gross misunderstanding of the original intent of the federal government and our Constitution. It's disingenuous to say we want health care, you want missles; see, we all want to spend money.

And this, I think, is what causes a huge disconnect between the right and left. Those of us who try hard to conduct ourselves as Constitutionalists have a big problem with things that go beyond the scope of the original document. People like this commenter don't even seem to have any historical grounding in what the federal government can or should do. So anything goes, and funding war is the trade off for not funding education. (Which doesn't even hold water either, because, for example, the US spends more on education than defense.)

National defense is not even on the same plane as all these other extras that people think the government should fund. To paraphrase Jules, it ain't the same ballpark; it ain't even the same sport. It's a shame the commenter has no grasp of that.

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