Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Things That Piss Me Off Tuesday - the dog days of summer edition

This is about the point in summer when I really start to hate being hot. I'm not a hot weather person. I adore rain and I love the 40s. Yes, the 40s. Fahrenheit.

Summer is hot and gross. There is nothing worse than hot wind except perhaps for windless days when the mosquitoes come out like the flying evil they are. Plus, the flies are here now. I'm predicting that fall shows up a little early this year just based on the early arrival of the flies. Usually they aren't this bad for at least another few weeks.

I'm whining.

Whatever. It's Tuesday. That's kind of my thing on Tuesdays.

It's funny because I have several family members who tease me incessantly for writing this weekly rant, but you, the people, seem to love this stuff. So, off we go.

Really with this crap?
In case you ever wondered why so many people in the world completely hate Americans, I can tell you that the controversy over big game hunting is a prime example of a wholly justified reason. In the past week, several people aside from the ahole dentist have been revealed to love paying tons of money to kill animals just to hang a head on their wall.

If you want to hunt for meat, fine. Totally legitimate.

If you want to hunt to help control populations of animals that are known to be problematic, fine. Keep in mind, though, that humans are often the reason the populations are out of control in the first place because of habitat issues or destruction of predators or a whole host of other reasons.

If you want to try and defend big game hunting of this type in Africa as some kind of conservation measure, or claim that locals get the meat or that all this money is being funneled into the local economies, do some fact checking before you climb up on that high horse.

Human beings are more complex that we give them credit for
There's this trend lately that any time something happens that causes people to be outraged (see above), if someone mentions that thing, then someone else comes along and accuses them of being a terrible human because they aren't outraged about something else instead.

Here's the thing.

There is a lot of shit to be mad about. A lot of it. If you think there is only one issue, you aren't paying attention...either that, or you genuinely think that only one thing is worthy of your attention at a time, which is your own prerogative I suppose.

Most people are capable of thinking about more than one issue at a time, though, and just because someone mentions one doesn't mean they aren't worried about other things too.

Having said all that, I can't help but take issue with the level of outrage some people express about some things, or their inability to care at all about other things.

This issue ^^^ has a few layers, one of which is first world privilege, personified. The whole idea that I can't handle worrying about this or this or this or it doesn't actually affect me so I just won't confront the fact that it exists. 

In other words, I can ignore it because I can.

Planned Parenthood
There is so much misinformation out there about PP right now.

I posted the following on my FB page last week.

How's everyone today? I still need to write about marriage equality but now people are asking me about planned parenthood.
So here goes.
Planned Parenthood does abortions, yes. They do far more preventive care, screening, birth control and well woman care.
It is illegal to profit from the sale of fetal tissue. It is illegal to use fetal tissue for research without consent. It is NOT illegal to assess charges for processing/storage/transport of tissues legally obtained and legally consented to be used in legal research.
I am a bioethicist. Given the choice between disposal and using fetal tissue in research, research is preferable because there are many diseases and conditions that we can learn more about and treat through this research.
I am a supporter of choice. I trust women to make their own decisions. I trust providers to care for their patients.
I don't trust heavily edited videos churned out by groups with political agendas.
I stand with Planned Parenthood.

3% of PP's services are abortions. 3%. The other 97% of services are preventive care, STD testing and treatment, wellness, birth control, cancer screening and more. They provide services to both men and women, and in many areas, they are the only provider of birth control services available. They do not receive federal funding for abortion services except of cases of incest, rape and when the mother's life is in danger because the Hyde Amendment prohibits it expressly. 

The attacks on PP are politically motivated. The man behind the videos has ties to violent extremist organizations. The videos being released are heavily edited. 

Like it or not, fetal tissue is used in research. It has been for decades, and is something that has always had bipartisan support in Congress. The alternative is to just dispose of the tissue, which would be a complete waste and detrimental to active research on many diseases.  Fetal stem cells have been used to develop vaccines, HIV/AIDS treatments, eye disease treatments, to treat spinal cord injuries, to treat Parkinsons and more. 

Far too often those railing the loudest about the right to life, demanding that PP be defunded, that abortion be banned don't see the flaws inherent in their own thinking. They aren't pro life, they're just pro birth. 

There's a difference, and it's a big one.

If a person was truly pro-life, they'd want to ensure that the child born would have access to medical care, food, adequate education. They'd worry about the health and safety of that child's parents, about their housing situation. They'd rail as hard against the death penalty as they do against abortion. They'd be as outraged about gun violence as they are about pregnancy terminations. 

Yesterday, the efforts to defund Planned Parenthood failed in the Senate, but this fight isn't anywhere near over. 

I stand with Planned Parenthood.

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