Thursday, October 29, 2009

Political Rant of the Week - Hate Crimes

If you are Republican or sincerely religiously Christian you may not want to read this, because I am mad as hell and I’m about to go off. Still here? Well no whining at the end of this post, because I tried to warn you.

There’s been a lot of press regarding the extension of hate crimes by our government to cover gender identity and homosexuality. This is a good thing. It’s about time. I’d now like to talk about another sort of hate crime. A group of crime that is so widespread it isn’t even acknowledged as hate crime most of the time. That would be crimes against women.

You may or may not have heard of Jamie Leigh Jones, the Halliburton/KBR employee that, while in Baghdad by way of government contract, was gang-raped in 2005 by her co-workers. In an attempt to cover up the incident, the company then put her in a shipping container without food or water and threatened to fire her if she reported the incident or attempted to seek medical attention. Jones was unable to sue KBR for sex discrimination in open court because KBR was one of many companies with government contracts that require employees to sign individual contracts barring lawsuits and forcing mandatory binding arbitration, where the company almost always wins.

Fast forward to October 2009. Senator Al Franken (D-Minn) introduces an amendment to the Defense Appropriations bill that would punish contractors if they “restrict their employees from taking workplace sexual assault, battery and discrimination cases to court.”

Now, most people might think this is a no-brainer. In an age where hate crime protection gets extended to include gay and transgender people, one might expect that an amendment that says raped women can seek justice through open court would pass unanimously and be embraced by all normal functioning human beings. But we aren’t dealing with normal functioning human beings. We’re dealing with the Senate. We’re dealing with politicians.

Thirty, that’s right 30, white male Republicans voted against this amendment. Included in this most classy of crowds is almost-president John McCain. Also included in the mix is my own Senator (not that I ever voted for him) John Ensign.

The question is this: WTF!?!?! What are they thinking?!

Republicans point out that the amendment is opposed by a range of business interests, including the U.S. Chamber of Congress. Oh. I see. So what you’re telling me is civil and criminal rights to women only count as long as it doesn’t impact some corporation’s bottom line. We need to protect the right of businesses to cover up rape and other violence against women in order to protect capitalism. It’s the American way, donchaknow?

Is there anything else that might be going on here? Take Ensign, for instance, since he is so near and dear to my heart. Ensign is an uber-conservative born-again Christian with a 100% approval rating by the Christian Coalition. He has participated in rallies by the Promise Keepers, a male evangelical group that promotes marital fidelity. It also happens that he is an adulterer. And not just any old commonplace adulterer, mind you - the kind of adulterer that fucks his own friend’s wife. But I digress. My point is that he is THE quintessential conservative Christian Republican. And by and large, what do most conservative evangelical Christians believe about the role of women in society? Stay at home, bear as many children as the Lord blesses you with, and remain subservient to and dependent on your husband. This, they profess, is God’s design.

So let’s go back to Jones and the issue at hand. If a woman is employed by a government contractor, clearly she is not at home popping out babies and serving her man. She is, essentially, going against God’s design by working outside the home and therefore deserves all the heinous punishments that are the natural consequence of disobeying The Law. If you take this argument to its logical conclusion, then clearly Jones, as well as any woman audacious enough to try to have a life other than popping out babies starting at the legal age of marriage, deserves to get raped and denied any hope of legal justice. This is God’s justice.

If this isn’t hate speech and hate crime, I don’t know what is. You can dress it up and say it’s a legitimate religious philosophy if you want. You can also put lipstick on a pig, so I’m told. At the end of the day a pig is a pig, and a violent crime committed against a woman for no other reason than the fact that she is a woman is a hate crime and deserves to be treated and prosecuted as such.

Is it too much to want protection under the law for all women, not only women who were once men? I don’t believe I’ll see the end of hate crimes against women in my lifetime. After all, hate crimes against women are probably the oldest form of hate crime in existence. I would like to think that the legal definition of hate crime may one day include the group known as women. But as long as this country is run by corporations and religious fundamentalist nutjobs, I won’t be holding my breath.

Rant over.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Pumpkins!

What a difference a year makes! Here is my little pumpkin a year ago. He couldn't even sit up by himself yet!




And here he is below at the pumpkin patch this last Sunday. He got to play with hay and look at chickens and ducks and horses. He dumped a handful of dirt on a poor unsuspecting chicken that was trying to nap in the sun. The chicken immediately stood up and clucked indignantly as it tottled away. I had to remove SchmoopyBoy from the scene when he scooped up another handful of dirt and started in the direction of the disgruntled chicken. There was a brief episode of loud objection, but then a sippy of milk was pulled out of my cooler and all was well again. All in all, a fun time.


Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Veggie Pirate Booty!


This is my new favorite snack item. Light, yummy, and all kinds of veggies! The ingredients are like, nothing but puffed rice and corn, and a blend of broccoli, kale, spinach, cabbage, carrots, and parsley powder. Nothing that you need a degree in chemistry to understand. The perfect guilt-free snack for days when your toddler goes on a vegetable strike. I'm glad I discovered this. If you have any other toddler-friendly snack ideas, let me know!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

blah

I'm in a bit of a funk this week. I think it's just because I'm tired. I haven't been sleeping well. Going to bed too late and waking up too early, haven't gotten a nap in a couple weeks, blah blah blah. It will pass.

On the up side I took a bunch of pictures today. Hopefully I can get them loaded soon so I can post a few. I took SchmoopyBaby to get his first professional haircut today. No more bowl cut! Yay!

I also took a picture of a chili recipe I made this evening for dinner. Super quick and easy. The recipe and picture will appear in a post sometime soon.

Tomorrow the plan is to take SchmoopyBaby to a pumpkin patch. I've never been to a pumpkin patch before so I'm kind of excited. More pics will be taken, I'm sure. ;)

Hope you are all having a good weekend!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Pictures!

Halloween is such a fun time of year! Dressing up in costumes, fall activities, and of course, Halloween jammies!!


Beware of the Dread Pirate Schmoopy. Ferocious, isn't he?


Looks like the Dread Pirate Schmoopy and his trusty mate Doggie had a little too much yo-ho-ing. hehehe

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

What's with SchmoopyBaby?

I know what you're probably thinking. What's up with this "schmoopybaby" thing? On this blog, I will likely refer to my son as Schmoopy, SchmoopyBaby, SchmoopyBoy, or something like that. Why, you ask? Well, I'll tell you. It is my intention to keep this blog public. The great but also scary thing about the web is that you just never know who is lurking where. If you know me then you already know my kid's name and where we live. If you don't know me but think my blatherings are entertaining and want to return again, cool. But that doesn't mean I want the whole world to know what my kid looks like and his name and where he lives. It's about safety and privacy, yo!

By the way, yes I do call him SchmoopyBaby in real life. I'm goofy like that. But you probably already knew that. Besides, sometimes he makes himself SO DARN CUTE I just can't help myself. Yeah, I admit it, I'm one of those moms. You may hurl if if you must. I won't be offended.

Monday, October 19, 2009

I'm back on the interwebz!

So I was invited to view a buddy's private blog, which required me to create a Google account, which is basically the same as a blogger account, and I thought to myself what a perfect opportunity this is to start blogging again! There have been SOOO many times that something happened and I thought to myself, "Gee if I still blogged I would totally write about this". I'm excited about this account because this way I can post from anywhere, anytime - I'm not stuck to only posting at home on John's computer when he's not on it the way I was with the pregnancy blog. Way more convenient. Just please don't expect me to write every day, and don't expect more than a few rambling sentences when I do write - I still don't have much time for indulgences like blathering to the world about my insanity. Although I promise this blog won't be nearly as whiny as the pregnancy blog. Seriously, I was reading through that blog not too long ago and I was like OMG could I be any more whiny and complainy and annoying?! Bleh. (Not that being pregnant didn't suck @$$, cuz' it totally did, but my incessant complaining makes me want to roll my eyes and hurl)

I still have to figure out how everything works here - things like posting pictures, making the blog pretty, yada yada, so thank you for putting up with my totally low-tech look and feel for a while (or forever ;)