Where The Ranty Things Are

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Since the nature of my employment involves being “the public face” of one organization and doing public speaking/outreach for another, and I don’t want to alienate any supporters of the organizations I work for, I’ve made a decision to no longer post things of highly contentious political/religious nature on this blog.

Let’s face it, Tacoma (Western Washington for that matter) is a small town, and it’s virtually impossible to separate one’s name from the organization/s they represent.

This is not to say that I won’t post about serious topics or things I feel strongly about; I’m just going to temper my passions in regards to issues that are highly volatile and divisive .

“But, I’ll miss your rants!”, “What about the Cheetos?” and “OMG, if I don’t vent, I’ll explode.” were thoughts spoken to me by many (OK, the last one I spoke to myself in my head)

I made this decision on Facebook some time ago, and when I just couldn’t stand it anymore because I found too many funny things to repost and things I really felt the need to rant about, I created a “pen name” (which sounds less crazy than “alter ego” 😉

This has worked out very well as my friends who want to read the rants just ask for that page url. I get to vent, they get to enjoy the rants and those who don’t care for it don’t have to see it on their feed.

So I’ve decided to extend that practice to my blog. I now have a second blog under my “pen name” where the fiery and potentially offensive rants will be written. (well once I find time in my crazy schedule to actually write some blog posts)

Oh, and I promised a friend that I would bring back WTF Wednesday and the Cheeto 😉

If you want the blog url, just leave me contact information and I’ll send it to you.

Oh, and tomorrow I’ll be posting about getting my glass on 🙂

~L



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What Kind of Person Would Use a Planned Parenthood Clinic Anyway?

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With heated legal and political battles raging around a woman’s uterus and the current vote to de fund Planned Parenthood, many conservative (and often financially well off) people are asking, “What kind of (trashy) person would use one of those clinics anyway?”

Putting the abortion issue aside so as not to confuse the issue, let’s talk about women’s health care. Let’s talk about the fact that these clinics save lives.

There are many women who work full-time who do not have health insurance.

Women need annual exams and screenings, not only of their overall health and wellness, but specifically of their reproductive systems.

One of the important screenings that women are recommended to receive every year is a pap smear to screen for cervical cancer.

If detected and treated early, cervical cancer is virtually 100% curable.

If not caught early, it can spread to the bladder, intestines, lungs, and liver. As you can well imagine, the prognosis once that has happened is not as good.

Back in the late 80’s and early to mid 90’s, I was one of those women who worked full-time (and volunteered in my community) but did not have health insurance.

With no insurance and a very modest income, I depended on Planned Parenthood and their sliding scales for my annual exams.

There was a period of a few years when I just stopped going as I was living in SE Utah where there were no such clinics in existence. I was young, healthy and nothing was going to happen to me right?

Wrong.

After having some odd spotting, I drove nearly 200 miles to Glenwood Springs Colorado (which was the closest Planned Parenthood clinic at the time) for an exam. A few days later, my results came back.

I had an abnormal pap smear, a follow up test confirmed that I had a pre-cancerous condition.

I was stunned, I had suddenly transformed from being young, healthy and care free to worrying about biopsies, cryosurgery and possibly cancer.

Not only did I have to worry about the fear, pain (anyone who tells you that there are no nerve endings in the cervix obviously has never had pieces of it torn/cut out for a biopsy) and logistics. I had no idea how I was going to pay for it.

Thankfully, Planned Parenthood worked on a sliding scale and I was able to pay based on my income.

I am convinced that the detection and treatment of my condition in the early stages saved my life.

Since that time, I have fought wildland and structure fires, saved lives as a paramedic and search & rescue technician, taught others to save lives as an instructor, protected the lives and safety of visitors to public lands, taught children environmental science, raised a child not born to me as my own, and volunteered for numerous organizations that support women, children, the environment, our community and cancer research.

THAT my friends, is the “kind of person” who would use a Planned Parenthood clinic.

I would like to think that saving lives and providing basic health care to women who can not afford it anywhere else, might be more important than funding a few missiles/bombs, tax breaks for the wealthy or corporate bailouts.

~L

Mood: WTF?



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Thoughts on Social Media

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It has been said numerous times that social media has changed the way people interact with each other.

That is perhaps the most gross understatement I’ve seen in a long time.

We now have the ability to share information instantaneously. From weather reports of snow, ice, tornadoes moving into an area, to watching a peaceful mass protest change a government and the course of a county, social media gives us instant access to information.

We also have the ability to piss people off in a split second because it’s really easy to hit that send or enter key in the heat of the moment without thinking it through first.

As I was growing up in the 60’s and 70’s, it was understood that people in “polite society” did not speak of politics or religion or how much money they made in public as it tended to lead to heated debates and hard feelings.

Social media has changed all that; I now know what just about all of my friends and acquaintances think at any given moment.

In some cases, this has lead to deeper friendships. It helps from a common bond and/or has given me the opportunity to look at a situation from a completely different perspective and fosters tolerance and understanding from each side.

I’m all about sharing thoughts and ideas. I cherish my friendships with those of different backgrounds and beliefs. If we surround ourselves only with those who think and believe exactly as we do, we stagnate, which can lead to intolerance, fear and hate.

It is however, a double edged sword. When I see nothing but political posts, especially supporting people/ideals that I honestly find offensive on my Facebook wall, it gets old. It gets old fast. With that said, I’m certain that George Bush Sarah Palin and the “women are nothing but brood mares who should be forced to bear their rapists incest bred spawn” supporters find my thoughts offensive as well.

When I see a daily barrage of religious postings, particularly those which seem to indicate no belief in free will or personal responsibility, I roll my eyes. In some cases it makes me think less of the person’s intelligence. Don’t get me wrong, I fully support the right of everyone to believe/worship (or not) as they choose without the fear of ridicule, harassment or discrimination, but for gosh sakes, put on your big kid pants and deal with your life.

The same goes for perpetual whiners and victims. Yes, we all have bad things happen to us in this life and have the right to complain, whine, bitch, kvetch and feel sorry for ourselves every now and then. But once you hook up with someone on social media and discover that they whine and complain constantly, all the while refusing to make the changes they need to improve their situation it’s pretty difficult not to lose respect for them.

I’ve come to the conclusion that there are some people I’d rather not see on my Facebook wall every day.

I like to keep in touch, to connect and to foster understanding.

But there are some people I like just a bit better in a real life social setting where I don’t know every little thing they are thinking.

~L

Mood: Contemplative



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