Sunday, October 20, 2013

Small town values and unlocked doors…

Years ago, I received an email from a woman who was looking for some guidance in how to help guide her two teenage boys through a situation where one of their friends had confessed to rape.  The rape survivor was also part of her sons’ social circle. 

They all lived in a small town in rural Missouri.

I replied that I am in no way qualified to provide specific advice, but would reach out to some folks I know who are and get back to her.

The woman explained that she became concerned when she didn’t know what to tell her sons after their friend was raped and then another friend was arrested.  Her sons admitted that they were torn between liking both friends and being disgusted by what one had done to the other.

The mother's fear…her confusion and frustration came through, loud and clear. 

After forwarding a list of resources, I couldn’t help respecting this mother for reaching out.  And I couldn’t help wondering how other parents were responding to similar situations.

I thought of that mother and her sons when I read about the rape case in Maryville, Missouri.

About how that community responded…and what those responses teach everyone, young and old.

While some ask how such a horrible crime can occur in small town Missouri, this Missourian is left wondering how anyone can expect a different outcome when community members support a world view that protects men who rape and terrorizes those who have been assaulted.

There are those small town values that make people proud that they don’t have to lock their door at night…

…and then there are those small town values that make a body wonder how anyone sleeps at night.

Blink.

Something about October…

Gawd, I love this time of year. 

The air is crisp…the trees in the park are beyond beautiful…and the sorta-beagles can stay outside for extended periods of time without frying like bacon.

Sigh.

I recently updated my LinkedIn profile and realized that I tend to make career changes in October.  Twas an interesting realization…that for well over a decade I’ve moved forward to new jobs in October.  And I don’t think it is a coincidence, because I do tend to use July and August to take stock of my world and evaluate what’s what.

Well, there’s just something about October.

I’ve been offline because I recently wrapped up my time on staff with Planned Parenthood Advocates in Missouri and started up as Communications Director for Progress Missouri.  I enjoyed five amazing years with PPMO and learned tons about reproductive health policy, those who oppose access to reproductive healthcare, and myself. 

You can’t do this work and not do a lot of inner work along the way.

Pause…consider…continue.

Well, you could do this kind of work and not do the inner work along the way…but odds are you wouldn’t be doing this kind of work well.

Anyhoo...

I’m thrilled to embark on this new journey and I hope to take y’all along with me.

Throughout my life I’ve taken the road less traveled by…and yeah, it has made all the difference.

There’s just something about less traveled roads in October.

The air crisp and fresh.

The trees exploding with color.
 
Something that demands exploration and that a body enjoy the journey so much they almost forget that there is a destination at the end of it.

Pause...breath deep...exhale.

Shall we?

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Fantasy hockey…with a dash of bitchitude!

Last night was my first fantasy hockey draft and it was beyond fun.  The Futastics is gonna whoop some ass!

Welcome the Futastics to the wonderful world of bitchitude…

Steven Stamkos
James Neal
James van Riemsdyk
Loui Eriksson
Pascal Dupuis
T.J. Oshie…GO BLUES!
Scott Hartnell
Vladimir Tarasenko…GO BLUES!
Duncan Keith
James Wisniewski
Oliver Ekman-Larsson
Christian Ehrhoff
Alex Steen…GO BLUES!
Cody Franson
Brandon Dubinsky
Jordan Staal
Sergei Bobrovsky
Braden Holtby

I’ve got some Blues…a Stamkos…a Staal…and more than one Russian.

I’m totally set.


Let’s go, Futastics!


Tuesday, September 03, 2013

Pondering Rick Perry's Missouri shopping spree…

Ready?

Set.

Go!

Texas Gov. Rick Perry spent the month of August shopping in the great state of Missouri.

He’s running a load of ads…tons of ads…so many damn ads that I’m beginning to wonder if he plans to invade Missouri and this ad blitz is part of his plan to soften Missourians up for our future domination.

Pause…shudder…continue.

Rick Perry wants Missouri companies and workers to move to Texas…and his ads center on how Texas is a better place to live and do business.

Audacious!

I mean, that takes some SERIOUS brass.

But wait…it gets better.

The Missouri GOP are all for Perry's shopping spree because Perry is preaching about tax reform and they are trying to rustle up the votes to override Governor Nixon’s veto of a dangerous tax bill.

Mmmmhmm.

For real.

Way!

Full disclosure: I lived in Texas for over seven years (hey, Dallas!) and I’m still rather fond of the state. 

But…um...what works in Texas will not work in Missouri.

See, Texas has a revenue source that Missouri doesn’t…a source that adds so much money to the state coffers that elected officials in Texas are struggling with the math.

Rick Perry failed to mention oil in his ads…or that Texas gets revenue from oil…or that the money they get from oil is kind of [translation: very] substantial. 

I’ll cut Ricky some slack, 'cause remembering and understanding shit isn’t his strength.

But the Missouri GOP needs a fierce correction.

Trying to override Governor Nixon’s veto of a fucked up from the floor up tax bill is one thing.

A stupid thing...a bizarre thing...a dangerous thing that makes folk question those legislators' ability to lead.

Cough.

But inviting a political vampire like Rick Perry to tour Missouri, tell us how our state sucks and pitch Texas as a better alternative, all so y'all can attempt to use that media blitz as proof that your fucked up tax bill isn't fucked up is...well, that's the very definition of fucked up.

To add insult to injury, the same MO GOP fools who invited Perry to Missouri…threw open the door and cheered as he marched on through…might as well have thrown a parade for his ass…yep, those fools have gone mute on why businesses and Missourians should stay put.

Is it too much to ask that those elected to represent Missouri actually represent Missouri by championing the state and defending her against this attempt to seduce away our motherfucking jobs and talented workers?

Could it be that those legislators behind this tax bill actually hate Missouri?

Gasp.

Pause…sip coffee…consider.

Good Gawd, that might be it!

If the tax bill had become law it would have done incredible harm.

But even if the veto holds...and Lawd, please let it hold...we've still got to deal with the ramifications of a month-long recruitment blitz from Texas!

Add a healthy dash of the state's legislative leadership failing to say a damn thing in defense of Missouri during that month-long recruitment blitz...and well, methinks there's a conspiracy to blight the entire state of Missouri!

Gasp again.

Where's Oliver Stone when a bitch needs him?

Blink.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Ain’t gonna let nobody turn me around!

Shall we?

I haven’t been blogging.

I took an extended break, because I needed to work through a serious case of doubt.

Yep…doubt.

I doubted my ability to make an impact.

I doubted the inherent decency of my fellow humans.

And let me tell you, doubt like that will stall progress and I mean stall it good!

I didn’t want to pass this doubt along to others, so I stopped.

Stopped tuning in…ceased blogging…and stood still.

When in doubt, particularly when that doubt is about my social justice work, I turn toward history.

Yep…history.

History shows us that experiencing doubt is normal…

…and that succumbing to  doubt is exactly what The Man wants. 

I’ve been diving deep into movement history to treat my doubt.  The amazing thing about the activists who made the Civil Rights Movement happen is that they acted through the doubt…they marched in spite of the unknown…and they participated in demonstrations when threats were real, fear was valid, and those who were sworn to protect were preparing to do damage.

Suffice it to say, the Eyes on the Prize Treatment Plan has done wonders!

Today, on the 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, I’m recommitting to the cause.

And I ain’t gonna let no body turn me around.

Bitchitude is back.


Friday, July 12, 2013

I just won the 2013 Maggie Award for Community/Personal Blog!

Many thanks to Planned Parenthood Federation of America for honoring my post about Anna Brown with the 2013 Maggie Award for Community/Personal Blog.

I'm still floored to have been given the award by Melissa Harris-Perry.

OMG!

Holy shit.

Yeah...still floored.

By the way, Melissa has fantabulous shoes.

Anyway, many thanks for an amazing experience!

Click here to read the Maggie Award winning post -> For Anna Brown, who died on the floor of a police cell…

Tuesday, July 09, 2013

A quick pondering of Rage Face...


I’m in DC for work and I caught the tail end of a morning news segment about the man behind that YouTube video featuring some über angry dude loading a shotgun.  Tis illegal to do in DC, so there’s been a lot of coverage. Plus, the dude was in full rage face and that made the video both compelling and scary as hell.

The rage face dude is promising an armed and loaded march on Washington…oh, and he’s also preparing for the next American Revolution.

Blink.

As I listened to Rage Face go on and on, while standing in the same spot he filmed the video, I couldn’t help but be struck by the privilege oozing from the situation.

The fact that he was able to do what he did…right out there in the open in the middle of some random afternoon…wasn’t shocking.

Nope, that’s life.

Rage Face wasn’t even aware of his privilege…hell, he was probably pissed that he wasn’t getting arrested or charged up or even noticed by anyone other than the news crew filming his triumphant return to the scene of the crime.

And that’s life too.

So, I’ve been sitting here waiting for folks to show up for the morning session of the conference I’m attending…sitting and thinking about the privilege of anger. 

My mind keeps returning to the trial of George Zimmerman for the murder of Trayvon Martin and the recent testimony of that young man’s father. 

Returning to how both of the victim’s parents are visibly holding back so much emotion. 

To how Trayvon’s father is so clearly in mourning…his face a mask of sorrow that makes my heart break.

And I can’t help but wish they had the same right to a face of rage that millions of other Americans have.

I wish they could shout and scream and let it all out...over and over and over, even though it won’t make it better.

Rage won’t bring Trayvon back.

And no amount of rage face will guarantee justice.

I guess that’s why the parent’s of murdered children all have that look in their eye that suggests a level of anger too volatile to set free.

Because they know…they’ve learned the hard way…that justice is the lie the system pitches because the truth of loss is just too much the take.

Pause…sip coffee…continue.

Which brings me back to Rage Face with that shotgun…and his outrage over the very thought of someone taking his gun…and the thousands upon thousands of folks who think he did a great thing because they share his outrage.

His outrage that someone may take his gun.

May take someone’s son.

Could take his gun.

Could take someone’s son.

Are thinking about taking his gun.

Are thinking about taking someone’s son.

In a country where some can load a shotgun two blocks from the Capitol without comment while others get shot for the crime of walking home after buying snacks.













Monday, June 24, 2013

Best wishes and thank you to Pam Spaulding…

Pam Spaulding has announced that she is shutting Pam’s House Blend down.

Although I’m saddened by this news, I can only thank Pam for her years of on and offline activism…and wish her and all the bloggers of PHB the very best. 


Here’s the PHB post on the Pam’s House Blend segment from the Melissa Harris-Perry Show.

Good luck, Pam!

Monday, June 10, 2013

On the domestic spying story...oh, and a digital fruit basket for Frontline!

Happy Monday!

Okay, maybe not “happy”…but, coffee makes everything better.

Shall we?


Shocked, I tell you!

Not by the scope. 

Not by the companies and agencies involved. 

No, I was shocked by the shock…

…and apparently Brother Rob Thurman was too.

Longtime readers know that Brother Rob gave this bitch my blog for my birthday many years ago…and that he has since moved back to Kentucky to get his farm on…oh, and that he freakishly jumps up in my head by having the exact same reaction to news-based shit.

Anyhoo, I came home one day late last week and fussed with at my sister C-Money about the fact that this spy story shouldn’t have shocked people. 

I understand and agree with the outrage…I understand and agree with the disapproval…and the reason I do is sourced in the reality that the probability of this shit was revealed by Frontline on PBS years ago.

Later that night Rob Thurman called.

“Pamela, I’m confused.”

“By what, Rob Thurman?”

“Well, have you heard about the domestic spy story breaking all over the place? Didn’t this story break years ago?”

That’s when I screamed at Brother Rob to get out of my fucking head.

Mercy.

Tis true that the details are new…the companies and agencies involved are newish…and the masses have reason to be outraged.

But we couldn’t help feeling for the folk at Frontline who gave us a damn good look at the probability of this shit back in 2007.

Frontline worked their asses off to produce a very entertaining and informative “Y’all need to keep an eye on this shit the way meteorologists keep an eye on severe storms” investigative report… 
“President Bush described his anti-terrorist measures as narrow and targeted, but a FRONTLINE investigation has found that the National Security Agency (NSA) has engaged in wiretapping and sifting Internet communications of millions of Americans; the FBI conducted a data sweep on 250,000 Las Vegas vacationers, and along with more than 50 other agencies, they are mining commercial-sector data banks to an unprecedented degree.” Frontline - 2007
…but this story is being reported like a brand new breaking news story of never before heard of shit.

And that’s got to work a reporter's last nerve.

So, Brother Rob and I decided to gift the good folk at Frontline with a digital fruit basket.

We were watching, good Frontline folk! 

Blink. 

Thursday, June 06, 2013

More on speaking truth to power – when they tuck tail and run…

Can I just tell y’all how much I adore coffee?

I love coffee!

And clearly I’ve had a wee bit too much of it.

Blink.

Shall we?

As I mentioned in my previous post, speaking truth to power is important and finding the balance between a successful engagement and a media circus can be challenging.  Another challenge is that those in power…those folks who can pass progressive policy or shit the bed…well, some of them are cowards who fear the masses.

For example, leaders in the Missouri General Assembly worked their asses off to derail Medicaid expansion this session.  They talked a big game to the press and gleefully engaged in public displays of callous disregard for months.

When thousands of Missourians showed up to lobby the issue, the GOP caucus fled the scene.

Literally.

They left the Capitol and met offsite, presumably to discuss how annoying it is when Missourians show up to ask them what the hell they are doing.

Now, I’ve lobbied for years on a lot of different issues.  And I’ve always been impressed with legislators who took meetings, listened to my concerns, and then explained why they disagreed and planned to vote the wrong way. 

The way I see it, if you can’t look the people in the eye and listen to them then you don’t belong in public office.

Oh, I also understand the fear. 

I get it, for real.

When you don’t have a good argument for doing something, the last thing you want to do is be confronted by thousands of people asking why the hell your ass is blocking Medicaid expansion.

Still, it was a shocking display of tuck tail and run. 

Anyhoo, the people will not be ignored.

Cue Missouri House Speaker Tim Jones and his magical fantastical listening, but not to you, tour of 2013.  Missourians have been following Speaker Jones all over the state in an attempt to get him to listen to them about Medicaid Expansion.  By the time the tour reached Eureka, Speaker Jones was so moved that he closed an open meeting. 

Blink.

But speaking truth to power can also get generate progress.

Speaker Jones recently announced that he will appoint a special commission to study Medicaid expansion. 

That brings me back to the balance between a successful engagement and a media circus. 

One person’s action is so often another person’s circus.

Just ask Speaker Jones.

All I know is that as long as those in power continue to tuck tail and run, they can expect the people to follow and speak their truth.


A fluff of the Afro to Missouri Medicaid expansion activists – let’s do this!

Wednesday, June 05, 2013

Pondering action, ENDA, and speaking truth to power…

I know, I know…it has been forever and a day since I last posted.

I’ve been practicing the fine art of bitchitude offline…

…but now I’m back.

Shall we?

Yesterday, an activist interrupted a speech by Michelle Obama to demand an executive order from President Obama granting civil rights and protections to LGBT people.  I support those who stand up and speak truth to power, even when folk take that stand in locations the powerful feel are activist free.  

This shit had truth but methinks it was misdirected.

Let’s back up and review what happened.

Michelle Obama was giving a speech.  An activist stood up and shouted out the demand for an executive order.  According to witnesses, Michelle Obama stopped her speech, said, "One of the things that I don't do well is this," and approached the activist.  Michelle Obama then inviting the activist to "listen to me, or you can take the mic, but I'm leaving. You all decide. You have one choice." The crowd said they wanted FLOTUS to continue her speech…the activist was escorted from the event.

As I said, I support folk who speak truth to power. 

The problem here is that FLOTUS doesn’t have the power to issue an executive anything. 

Now the donors in the room certainly have power…but I’ll get back to that in a bit.

So, the activist that was escorted from the event responded with…

"Basically, I was asked by the first lady to be quiet, and I can't be quiet any longer. ... I was surprised by how negative the crowd seemed to be. It was actually a little unsettling and disturbing."

And…

"She obviously thought she was going to make an example of me or something. I wasn't scared at all."

Pause…sip coffee…continue.

I have the feeling that if Michelle Obama wants to tell someone to be quiet…she tells that person to be quiet. 

In this case, she didn’t tell the activist to be quiet. She made it clear she wasn’t going to try to talk over someone…acknowledged the activist by approaching her…and even offered to mic to said activist.  If anyone told the activist to be quiet it was the crowd in attendance to hear Michelle Obama speak. 

That same crowd that was full of donors…yeah, I’ll get to that soon.

As for the activist’s “surprise” over how the crowd reacted, I call bullshit. 

What exactly did she expect?  And I’m being serious here.  I’ve interrupted my fair share of events…to speak to folk who are hard to get access to and who actually have the power to do the shit I was demanding…and I can tell you that my ass expected all kinds of reactions and wasn’t surprised by any of them when I did that shit.  This was a DNC fundraiser of some sort and you’d have to be one hell of a naïve activist to expect that crew to stand up and cheer you on when you interrupt Michelle Obama.

Pause…shake head…continue.

For the record, I too want to see an inclusive ENDA passed.  Hell, I even like the idea of an executive order…Lawd knows the House isn’t going to pass ENDA unless we can make the case that LGBT people are actually a firearm. 

Sigh.  

Okay, tis time to get to that shit about the donors in the room!

Given the Democratic Party’s lack of energy for ENDA, both in grooming candidates and educating the electorate, methinks the activist should have stood up and turned toward the audience and told those folk to pressure the administration to grant an executive order…or at least said something to them about ensuring that their donations go toward supporting folk who will get ENDA passed.

Because money still talks…and if the money in that room qualified for a speech by Michelle Obama then the money in that room probably has the power to make shit happen. 

The last time I checked, political activism is about moving toward the prize. 

Otherwise tis just poorly staged and badly acted theatre.

That brings me back to what the action was supposed to accomplish and we can evaluate that through how it is being covered. 

If the activist was trying to talk to Michelle Obama, that shit didn't work out well.

If the activist was talking to motivate the crowd to support an executive order, that shit didn't work either.

Are people talking about ENDA and why we need it?

Or are folk talking about how Michelle Obama reacted to a public display of a lack of home training?

Sigh.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Oklahoma…

My heart aches for Oklahoma.


For those who lost so much. 

For those who must somehow find the will to begin digging out.

Please help, if you are able -> http://nbcnews.to/1902Nh9

Thursday, April 25, 2013

3 cheers for Playoff Hockey & GO BLUES!

I’m wrapping up a business trip to Washington D.C., but I just had to take a moment to congratulate my beloved Blues on making the NHLPlayoffs for the 2nd year in a row!!


I’m so damned proud.

Oh, I know that some fans are used to their teams being in the playoffs year after year…but our return to the NHL Playoffs is new enough to be extra special thrilling.

I’m going to savor the hell out of this moment!

For hockey fans this is a magical time of year…when playoff beards grow, players dig deep, and even the ugliest of goals is celebrated as if it is a thing of beauty.

Gawd, I love this game!

***logs off to investigate adding blue highlights to the ‘fro***

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Afro inspections in the age of terror…

Hey y’all, I managed to get through airport security without having TSA demand to search my Afro for whateverthefuck…


…and the fact that I took note of not having someone treat my hair like some exotic contraption in need of thorough public inspection got this bitch thinking.

Let’s jump right on in, shall we?

Last Monday my sister began a trip that was supposed to end in Boston.  At the airport she encountered a TSA agent who told her that they were going to have to inspect her Afro.

Pause…allow the incredible affront of that shit to marinate…continue.

Since my sister was traveling for business, she went to that calm detached place women of color know all too well…and endured a rubber glove wearing TSA agent searching through her Afro as if black women’s natural hair is some unmarked package left sitting unattended for over 15 minutes in the gate lounge. 

I found out about the Afro search via text, and I immediately felt concern over the humiliation, anger, and frustration my sister had just endured.

I also thought about a recent flight where a group of blue haired white women of a certain age went through security before me.  I remember them because they had huge hair…1980’s soap opera hair…hair teased to within an inch of its life and then sprayed as if hairspray is life support in a can. 

At the time, I thought their hair looked like cotton candy…and I enjoyed seeing them in their big hair clique as they teased and talked loud and easily moved through the security check. 

But now…after hearing about my sister’s treatment at the airport…I couldn’t stop wondering why the hell those women didn’t have some TSA agent dig into their hair. 

Hell, you could have hidden a small child in that shit!

I checked in on my sister but then became distracted by breaking news on Twitter. 

There had been an explosion in Boston…and then another.

My sister was en route to Boston, so I quickly sent her word of the breaking news and asked her to check with security in Chicago.  And it didn’t escape me that I was asking my sister to reach out to airport security as a resource less than an hour after they treated her like a freak.

C-Money’s flight was cancelled and she returned home to decompress from a tense day of travel coupled with knowing that some sort of terrorist incident was going down in a city we both called home during our college years.

It’s hard to see a place I spent years enjoying and exploring deal with violent death, bombs, and an armed lock down…just as it is hard to imagine the heartache of those who lost someone dear or the pain for those who struggle to recover.

I can’t even comprehend what it would be like to have my face and name go viral for some shit I didn’t do.

Now, tis true that having some asshole at airport security indulge in a public display of racial intolerance is a far cry from having major newspapers and a gaggle of wanna-be online investigators erroneously convict you via article and post of a horrific act of violence.

But I can’t help but think that these things feed into each other.  The notion that people of color are fair game for false accusations and humiliating scrutiny…the commonly held belief that all that this is okay and we shouldn’t complain if we didn’t do anything wrong…the big fucking lie that an apology washes it all away.

Several people were physically assaulted after the bombings…many others were threatened and taunted. 

I guess I should be glad that my sister wasn’t held under suspicion of flying to Boston while black…just like I’m pretty sure I’m expected to feel relief because I made it through security at the same damned airport without having someone demand a public fingering of my Afro.  Are they just inconsistent or does my sister have a more militant 'fro? 

Anyhoo, I’m stuck on angry disgusted that folk are physically inspecting black women’s hair or patching together bullshit to accuse innocent people of color of shit they didn’t do…while other briefly inspected folk are putting together motherfucking bombs.

Blink.

Monday, April 15, 2013

On wilting…

I’ve missed y’all!


And I’m sorry that I haven’t been posting.

As I explained in a post months ago (wince), my brother went through a patch of misery that I can’t go into any detail about.  Suffice it to say that his misery was my misery…and when he emerged from it,  I then found myself dealing with my own patch of post-misery misery.  

Blink.

Add to that an extended stretch of work-based overwhelmification, and…well, lets just say that this bitch’s Afro was wilting.

Shit, my Afro is still wilting!

Sigh.

Many of you know that I’m co-guardian of my older autistic brother.  I’ve written about the challenges of guardianship and how taxing they can be…they are often as taxing as being a sibling is empowering…and for the last several months, trying to balance the two was all I could do.

But of course that’s not all I had to do…cause life doesn’t pause when a body is going through a ton of emotionally challenging shit.

Anyhoo, I thank y'all for your encouragement and support.

Trust that a bitch hasn’t retired or fallen off a cliff…or been in jail (thanks to a certain Trinity from Nashville for offering bail money if that was the case!)

This thing called life sure as shit is a wild ride!

Oh, and bitchitude is back.  Look for posts beginning tomorrow…

Monday, February 25, 2013

If you can drive…

I’m not a fan of car racing.  I grew up with plenty of it on the television, though.  My father was a car person…the type who unwinds on the weekend by tinkering with a car for hours.  He used to watch the big races…and it felt like they took forever, eating into prime mindless weekend television in my opinion.

I’ll also confess that I don’t know a lot about Danica Patrick…other than the fact that she drives fast, makes really bad Go Daddy ads, and is one of the few women racing cars for a living.

Anyhoo, you don’t have to be a fan of car racing or Danica Patrick to appreciate the history made over the weekend at Daytona.

Danica Patrick made history by becoming the first woman to win the pole position at Daytona.  She finished 8th in the race.

Her 2013 Daytona performance illustrates a key progressive point – people deserve the opportunity to demonstrate their ability and go for the big win.

The You Can Play project ice hockey applies this logic to address homophobia in sport - if you can play, you can play. 

I like to expand it and think it fits rather nicely to Ms. Patrick’s historic moment.

Cause…if you can drive, you can drive.

The fight isn’t for a guaranteed win or an unfair advantage.

The fight is for a chance to race for the pole position and then the opportunity to start where you earned the right to start.

If you want to…you should have the opportunity to try.

If you can, you can.

I congratulate Ms. Patrick on a race well driven.

She could.

And she did.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Birthday time...

C-Money looks on as I meticulously remove candles
I think this was birthday #8!
Thanks so much for all the fantabulous birthday wishes!


I’m already loving 40…even though I woke up a wee bit hung over from celebrating my last night at 39 a little too hard.

Wince.

Anyhoo, many thanks to my sister C-Money for giving me my own personal Shark Week of birthday-based joy.

Best sister EVER!

Toodles.




Wednesday, February 20, 2013

On Rep. Leara’s gun bill and defending the Constitutional rights of Missourians…

Once again, I have the joy of watching a Missouri lawmaker’s legislative malfunction make national news.

***cue Rep. Leara and his bill to restrict the rights of legislators to legislate***

On one hand, I was dismayed to see our dirty laundry (mainly, the fact that the Republican majority in the Missouri General Assembly has less home-training than a gang of feral cats) aired out as content for people who enjoy feeling that the middle of the nation is an absolute hot mess.


But on the other hand…I’m kind of glad that Rep. Leara gave me the opportunity to go off on the epidemic of hypocrisy rampaging under the dome in Jefferson City.

Rep. Leara filed a bill that would make it a class D felony for any member of the General Assembly to propose legislation that restricts the right of an individual to bear arms, as set forth under the second amendment of the Constitution of the United States.

Rep. Leara then took to the press to acknowledge that this bill is absolute bullshit filed to make the point that he’s not going to stand for anyone trying to take away Missourians Constitutional rights.

But Leara is full of it.

He is.

He and his Republican colleagues are members of an army waging relentless war on women’s Constitutional rights, with a freakish glee and dedication.

They've even gone so far as to say the reason they feel validated to restrict women’s Constitutional rights is…wait for it…to protect people.

Pause…allow to marinate…continue.

Tis like a policy-based math equation.

Constitutional right - protection of people = restrictable as hell

I happen to disagree with Rep. Leara’s definition of “people” and most of what comes out of his mouth…but I also think the best way to back fools like Leara off of is to hold them accountable for their inconsistent application of their own logic.

Rep. Leara just filed a bill containing felony penalties should any legislator attempt to legislate restrictions on Missourian’s second amendment rights.

Now’s the time to ask Rep. Leara and the rest of the conservative gaggle to stand up for the Constitutional rights of Missouri women to have UNRESTRICTED access to the full range of reproductive healthcare.

Oh, I already know that Rep. Leara will fail to file a bill applying felony penalties to lawmakers who fail to respect privacy rights.

His kind is incapable of understanding how his over-the-top defense of one amendment to the Constitution shines a glaring light on his nonexistent defense of the rest of the law of the land.

***sniff, sniff***

If you get lost on the way to the Jefferson City, a swarm of flies and the smell of fresh bullshit will guide your way...


Tuesday, February 12, 2013

State of the Union 2013 Preparedness…

Let’s jump right on in, shall we?


President Obama will give the State of the Union address tonight…and I’ll be watching.  As with all political addresses, I need some stuff to help me get through this shit.

Yummification…

I’ll be preparing some lamb and potato with onion…because I recently watching The Silence of the Lambs and now I’ve got a craving.

What?

I never claimed to be right in the head.

Anyhoo, I also plan to have some ice cream on hand just in case I need to soothe my soul after a public display of no home training shout from [insert conservative with no home training, an upside down view of the facts, and a voice that carries here].

Onward…

Notepad and writing instrument…

I’m a doodler during political speechification, so I always have something to write on.  Also, I need to take notes for my post State of the Union recap!

Beverages…

After a couple of unfortunate incidents of extreme intoxication in my couch-based area (wince), I no long play drinking games during the State of the Union.

Pause…think back to the “September 11” reference drinking games of the Bush II administration…shudder.

But I shall indulge in more than a couple vodka + cran + ice libations…cause that’s the official drink up here in my lair.

Music…

I can’t remember the last time I needed music for a political address, but recent comments by Nicole Wallace have made it clear that I need to dust off my Tupac to properly interpret the Republican Response from a certain Senator Marco Rubio.

Has anyone told Marco that delivering the Republican Response is the political equivalent of winning the Best New Artist Grammy?

Blink.

Oh well, if Rubio's response sucks as bad as Governor Jindal’s did (and it did…it really, really did) at least I’ll be jamming to some good music.

Toodles!

***logs off the prepare to speak truth to power at a reproductive health Lobby Day in Jefferson City***

Friday, February 08, 2013

w-a-t-e-r…


When I was a wee bitch, I used to pray and ask God to make my older brother “normal”.  For the longest time I was convinced that the reason God had yet to answer my prayer and “cure” my brother’s autism had to do with my inability to be a perfectly behaved sin-less little girl. 

I woke up one day…just a random day…knowing with absolute conviction that my prayer wasn’t being rejected. 

I just knew that my brother was as he should be…a different kind of normal.

I got it…

…and we were cool.

A different kind of normal has meant different kinds of communication.

I couldn’t just pick up the phone and have a conversation with my brother.  I’d call and talk…he’d respond with a whispered word or two when prompted…but we never chatted.

I eventually stopped trying because the attempts were more about me than him…more about my preference than his…more about my trying to have my brother bend than meeting him where he was.

Fast-forward to the now.

Earlier this week I had my first telephone-esque conversation with my brother…via Skype.

I logged in from a conference room at work.

Bill was assisted from his day program and used his iPad.

It was a reverse of the scene from The Miracle Worker where Helen Keller signed w-a-t-e-r, because I was the one connecting the dots for the first time.

As his face filled the screen, I was the one learning.

He smiled and waved hello.

And then we communicated.

About his day so far.

About how he liked his apple snack, but didn’t want to go out on the community visit later that day…but he sure would LOVE some pizza, just in case I had the power to make that happen.

Then he touched his fingertips to the screen, as if he were touching my cheek…softly humming a little tune… just like he does when we are face-to-face, but this time with a look in his eye that said “you get it now, sis…we’re cool.”

I get it.

We’re cool.

w-a-t-e-r

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

The attention they deserve…

Let’s jump right on in, shall we?


An article posted by the anti-abortion website Live Action News  caught my attention yesterday.

Maybe because I’m the younger sister of an adult with autism  and I'm beyond fed up with people lavishing praise on how cute special needs kids are even as they fail to support funding for programs that would improve the lives of those oh so adorable children.

Or mayhap tis because the article seems to assume that people may have an abortion after testing indicates Downs Syndrome is because they think they may give birth to an unattractive infant.

Pause…sip coffee…continue.

No, I think it was the title of the article that caught my eye…Special-needs children receiving the attention they deserve

Yep, that’s what stepped on my nerve and did a gig.

Speaking from personal experience…

Special needs children need the same attention that special needs adults require…programs, opportunity, health care, and support for their families so they can focus on meeting those special needs instead of going broke trying to pay for them.

Special needs children need funding…so that living in a rural area or having working poor parents doesn’t translate into a lack of access to services.

They need trained teachers who won’t drag them down the hallway.

They need respect, so that the pain of bullying doesn’t limit their lives.

As we know well in Missouri, special needs children need to be protected from religious exemptions that are used to deny coverage for...wait for it...health care that would actually meet their special needs.

And special needs kids need people to acknowledge that they will become special needs adults…maybe not as “cute”, but certainly in need of housing, jobs, health care, and protection from exploitation or bullying.

I wish special needs kids and adults with special needs were getting the attention they deserve.  You know, maybe meeting their special needs instead of trying to make the case that they exist to help so-called “normal” people “look at life in a new way – a simpler way” while the sight of them magically instills “gratitude for the little things”.

But I guess they’ll have to make do with being fetishized in the service of anti-abortion politics for now.

Pause...sip more coffee...continue.

Anyhoo, I think two young brothers of sisters with special needs make a stronger case for respect here -> http://youtu.be/ObPoZCTTVeI 

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

For reproductive justice…


On the 40th Anniversary of Roe v. Wade...

I do not blog for choice.

I blog for reproductive justice.

Her name was Anna Brown.

She was 29 years old and lived in my hometown of St. Louis city.

As I gaze at her mug shot gazing back at me from the online news article, I can’t help but wonder if I ever crossed her path…if I ever drove by Anna and her 2 children or sat beside her on the train.

I blog for the right to have children.

Anna Brown lost her home in the 2010 tornado that hit the area.

She lost her job at a sandwich shop sometime after.

She lost her children when child welfare agents determined that the ramifications of poverty and unemployment created unfit living conditions.

I blog for the right not to have children.

And Anna lost her life, after hours of unimaginable agony due to blood clots in her legs, on the floor of a jail cell in St. Louis County.

Anna Brown arrived in that jail cell because she refused to leave the emergency room at St. Mary’s Health Care. 

I blog for the right to parent the children we have in safe and healthy environments.

St. Mary’s felt that Anna was trespassing.  In a statement after the circumstances of Anna Brown’s death were made public, the hospital all but admitted that her impoverished state was a factor in the poor care given and the callous disregard paid to Anna Brown.

“The sad reality is that emergency departments across the country are often a place of last resort for many people in our society who suffer from complex social problems that become medical issues when they are not addressed. It is unfortunate that it takes a tragic event like this to call attention to a crisis in our midst.”

Some people hear the tale of Anna Brown and think that she got was she deserved…an agonizing death on the floor of a jail cell caught on tape while police officers ignored her moans of pain.

Others feel that Anna’s story is a sad reflection of the limits of medicine…they buy the lie that Anna’s care was not related to her poverty and that the hospital would have done the same shit if Anna Brown had been a middle class white soccer mom.

But many of us in the movement know better…just as we know that far too many people have a pro-choice battle plan even though we are fighting a reproductive justice war.

There can be no peace…no rest…no big win or huge victory.

There can be no celebration until the Anna Brown’s of the world are given care and support.

Until the Sybrina Fulton’s of the world can welcome their son’s home instead of plan their funerals.

Until the right to have children, not have children, and to parent the children we have in safe and healthy environments guides our public policy and is our communities' focus.

Until then and because of all that and so much more, I blog…I work…I act for reproductive justice.

For Anna, I pledge to never forget and never give up.