Thursday, January 28, 2010

Quick Thoughts for the Morning

I'm just getting back from a qualification course down in Bourne, but here are four quick thoughts before I head out this fine winter morning:

** State of the Union. As I've written here before, I believe our policy towards gays in the military should be "Don't Ask, Don't Care." It's none of your business whether I prefer the company of a lovely 4'11" Khmer woman, so it ought to be none of my business whose company you prefer, provided you can adhere to the standard UCMJ rules for any sexual activity, which means keeping it out of the workplace, not harassing others, not taking advantage of subordinates, etc.

** Tim Tebow, life, and choice. I heard a woman on TV the other day complaining about how the Tim Tebow Super Bowl ad is an attempt to take away the right of an American woman to have reproductive freedom. Huh? I'll admit that I haven't seen the ad, but let's re-examine terms like 'life' and 'choice' for a moment -- if I understand it right, he's saying that his mother's doctor(s) advised her to terminate the pregnancy, but she listened to her heart and had Tim, who is now a 22 year-old Heisman Trophy winner and NCAA champion. In other words, she chose to have him. It's probably worth keeping in mind that if you say you're pro-choice, that choice should include the freedom to go in either direction with it. Someone reminding you how great that choice can be shouldn't be seen as an attempt to take your rights away.

** YMCAs in Mass. and RI. In Wareham on Monday, I learned about a new YMCA policy -- any member of any YMCA in Massachusetts or Rhode Island can go to any other YMCA for free. The policy is just a couple months old, and it's great for anyone who travels throughout the state for work, or even just might want to work out in both a hometown and an office town.

** On the Turning Away....from mortgages. I caught a news segment on Tuesday about people strategically walking away from their mortgages. For a second, let's put aside all the moral and ethical considerations. Besides the gem of a quote from the guy featured: "An investment is supposed be something that goes up, not down," I'm not sure his logic even made sense. The young husband featured was saying how he could walk away from his underwater house and just rent a similar one for a lower cost, and then save the money back up again to buy a little while down the road. I'll readily confess to not being a home-financing expert, but he might want to reconsider that -- he may feel let down by the real estate market, but renting during that interim period will have a cost that won't come back to help him on tax day or in terms of equity. Plus, if home values go back up, he'll be disappointed all over again, b/c he might be frozen out of the very market he wanted to get into in the first place. And that's all without even considering the seven-year whack his credit score will take if he walks away.


Renee said...

From a CNN story

""A fetus is not a life, sorry," NOW President Terry O'Neill told CNN. "And no, nobody's religious conviction justifies taking women's ability to shape their own futures away from them.""

Ummm... yeah... who knew feminism was about spreading ignorance regarding pregnancy? Roe v Wade was all about weighing the rights of woman and unborn child. Both were acknowledge of being alive, but whose rights were more important was the question?

The example in law school was a bone marrow donation. You couldn't force by law a donation, even forcing a parent to donate to save his/her own child. Every person has a right to bodily integrity, even if it means a person dependent will die.

The New Englander said...

Glad you mentioned the bone marrow example...I haven't heard it before and I think it makes sense, regardless of what I think someone ought to do in the situation.

At the end of the day, I take one of those conservative Democrat/liberal Republican sort of abortion positions, which is to be reluctantly pro-choice.

I agree with what Kad Barma wrote on his site today.."If you're against abortions, don't have one." At the same time, I also sympathize with the bumper stickers that say "Your mother chose life." Pro-choice shouldn't mean pro-abortion, as NOT doing that is, well, a choice.

I can't imagine what each woman or couple goes through and I don't pretend to. However, I can dictate the big decisions in my own life and so it goes..

Renee said...

"If you're against abortions, don't have one."

It's not as easy, as said. The reaction of the man and family are big factors. Recently in the rise of teen pregnancies, they were looking at the pregnancy/abortion ratio in 'the Economist'

"But let's go a little deeper. The Guttmacher data shows that teen pregnancy rates differ sharply and consistently amongst ethnic groups in America. And interestingly, one thing that differs most sharply is whether the teen abortion ratio is falling. The abortion ratio among black teens remained almost unchanged from 1992 (the first year data was broken down by race) to 2006. In the same period, the abortion ratio among white teens fell steadily from 40% to 31.5%. Both groups were reducing teen pregnancies (blacks even faster than whites), but only whites were reducing the percentage of teen pregnancies that ended in abortion. (The abortion ratio among Hispanics also fell slightly, from 28% to 23%.)

In other words, while the number of white teens who were getting pregnant was falling, those who were getting pregnant were increasingly likely to keep the baby. So, why was the ratio of pregnant white teens who got abortions falling? One explanation might be that across the country, white teens and their parents were growing increasingly birth-positive and reluctant to have an abortion."

Abortion clinics are placed in urban/minority centers. White teens also may have the family structure, such as coming from a stable married home too, considering today the 70% of all black children are born out of wedlock.

Choice of life isn't an option, because teenage pregnancy is a 'problem'. Remember all those forced adoptions? I'm not particaly fond of abortion in a pro-life arguments, because babies belong with their mothers and fathers. Only in the case of truly being orphan with no biological family, should society promote babies. (It's really nothing but baby selling, taking advantage of young poor women just like abortion.)

Teenager pregnancy shouldn't be a problem. If you are biologically mature to have sex, then you can be a parents. If 'kids shouldn't be having kids', then kids shouldn't be having sex. We know teenagers aren't children, they are in fact mature sexual beings (very new).

Just 40 years ago, it was OK to be a teen mom. For a good number of older teenagers, you could easily be in a healthy stable relationship with another. Today we shame teenage mothers, media world wide mock Gloucester teenagers, making them into TV story lines.

Sorry for ranting....

The New Englander said...

Don't be sorry for ranting. I think there's a gem of a point in there about pregnancy and stigma.

Let's look no further than John Edwards or Bristol Palin to make this point.

For John Edwards to have slept with Rielle Hunter, there's a little bit of an "ooohh" factor for the media and the chattering class. For a teenage daughter of a Governor to have had sex with her boyfriend, now, who's going to get excited about that?

But for John Edwards to have fathered a CHILD with Rielle Hunter, there's suddenly this heightened "gasp" factor, as there also was surrounding Sarah Palin's daughter.

But anyone educated enough to form judgemental opinions about John Edwards or Sarah Palin is old enough to understand the basic birds and bees:

Why should we act surprised or excited about pregnancy any more than we should about sex??