Archive for March, 2005

Hypocrisy rears its ugly head again

30 March 2005

Okay, I lied about not posting political stuff for a while, But this runs near and dear to my heart. You see, I am an Eagle Scout. And I’m queer as a three dollar bill. And yes, I was deeply closeted during my time as a boy scout.

Let me start by saying that I don’t think the BSA is the bastion of all evil. Quite the opposite. The skills I learned there have made innumerable differences to my life. I’m an only child, and I never really learned to socialize with boys my own age (I have lots of girl cousins). Boy Scouting helped me with that. It rounded me out, learning things from Native American culture to woodcraft to wilderness survival. It made me a better person by encouraging the development of personal morality. It was a lot of fun, camping in the Sierra Nevada mountains, climbing rocks in Joshua Tree, and having the weeklong summer camp that is the heart of the stereotypical formative experience for boys. And sharing tents and showers with legions of hunky teenage boys right at the point when my testosterone was peaked? Priceless.

But yes, I had to be closeted to be a Boy Scout. It didn’t bother me much at the time, since I was in the closet to everyone. But now it does. For the national BSA administration to say that I, because I’m gay, am not worthy of the opportunities and advantages boy scouts have is heart-breaking as well as bullshit. Without looking deeper to see if I’m an honest, caring, committed person, the BSA makes a judgement about me. And now, this person who was on the national committee turns out to like kiddie porn. Which, you know, might just mean he was into kiddies for real. And they had no idea, and this man was an important cog in the BSA for a long time. I don’t know if he got freaky with any little kids. It’s beside the point. So, kiddie-porn pervert gets to be a bigwig in the national organization, and I had to deny and ignore an enormous part of me to enjoy the advantages that the BSA provides. Fuck that.

Oddly enough, every single Eagle Scout I know is a bit light in the loafers, if you know what I mean. Well, there’s the one I’m not sure about, but he was the kid I crushed on throughout high school, and he did nothing to disencourage me from being tongue-tied and googly-eyed whenever I was near him, so I figure that’s close enough. How odd. The very people the BSA rabidly excludes (with the blessing of the Supreme Court) are the very people who are disproportionately represented in the ultimate manifestation of Scouting’s good, the Eagle Award.

I wear my Eagle badge proudly.

I’m not cynical all the time… ::snort::

29 March 2005

Okay, off the political subjects for a day or two. I’m not angry and cynical all the time. Just whenever I open a newspaper or browse a news site. I need a break from the political posting anyway. I just reread what I wrote at o-dark-hundred last night and I realized my writing needs much refinement. Oh well. Hell, that’s what a blog’s for.

IMs from today that are humorous, but reveal much about us:

jen: ok i need to go buy food
jen: bc this is sad
ctblood: ?
jen: no garlic!
jen: it’s a sin

irma: talk to me!
irma: hold on i gotta pee

I miss my girls.

Alert: Oppression masquerading as religious freedom

29 March 2005

Okay, by now you know I’m a liberal sissy, a pinko commie, a bra-burner or whatever other epithet you’d like to hurl my way. All I ask is that you try to be creative. I mean, hearing the same old meaningless insults just gets old after a while, you know?

In any event, this is the Washington Post’s most emailed article for today. Can you f’king imagine? Now, this is one of those situations where you have to stop and think rather than blurting out the first connection your neurons make and passing it off as God’s revealed truth (IOW, Mr. President, Ms. Coulter, this is your cue to stop). Now, in San Francisco or Miami, the argument of the Pharmacists for Life have some credence. If you’re not willing to give the terrorized rape victim her morning-after pill, she can dismiss you as a nut-job and pick up some sugar to pour in your gas tank at the next pharmacy she goes to, which will fill her prescription. But imagine for a second you live in Outer Bumblefuck, Wyoming. There’s only one pharmacist for a couple hundred miles. You’re scared. Your condom broke, and you want to make sure you don’t get pregnant and incur the beatings of Daddy and the local congregation. You go to said pharmacist. He says he won’t fill your prescription because of his religious beliefs. What happens to you now? Shit.

One of the most infuriating aspects of my liberalism to conservatives is that I do think there are guiding moral principles. I just don’t think they’re found in Leviticus. One of those principles is that, in almost all cases, your individual rights end where the rights of the community/general public/society writ large begin. You don’t have the right to play your stereo at 130 dB at 3 in the morning because it infringes on the rights of the people that live near you. You don’t have the right to break and enter someone’s home to proselytize your religion, even though you do have a freedom of religion. Similarly, when you’re the only game in town when it comes to medical services, you don’t have the right to refuse to fill that prescription. As much as you may hate it, the FDA and most rational healthcare providers have decided that Plan B and condoms and so forth are useful, and ought to be available to people that jump through the appropriate hoops (getting a prescription, in this case). By declining to fill this prescription, you are forcing your beliefs upon someone who clearly wishes you would just give me the pill, oh god, before someone sees me here and asks questions and what am I going to do and why is this pencil-dick giving me a hard time?

As horrible and especially-hot-place-in-hell-reserving as this is, it pales in comparison to the little aside about some of these doctors refusing to give the patient back their prescription after refusing to fill it. Your prescriptions, as part and parcel of your medical record, are your legal property. Not the doctor’s. Not the pharmacist’s. Not your HMO’s. They are yours and yours alone, and you have the unquestionable right to demand it at any time, with or without approval of the doctor/pharmacist/HMO. Which means in Texas, where defense of life, limb or property is a valid defense for using deadly force, I’d be within my rights to shoot the pharmacist in the head and pry my prescription out of his cold dead hands. Not that I would advocate exercising that particular provision of Texas law, but jeebus. To me, something like that is akin to taking your car in for an oil change and having the Jiffy Lube guy refuse to give it back because he thinks your choice of motor oil is sinful, and the windshield wiper fluid is the spawn of the devil. It’s ludicrous. It’s indefensible. And yes, it’s morally repugnant.

Some might say that my principle outlined above works in reverse: society should have the right to override an individual’s right to privacy and outlaw abortion. To them I say, Mr. President, you’re not my president and Ms. Coulter, you’re not even human. It’s analogous to negative politeness in linguistics, attending to one’s need not to be bothered. Impositions on freedoms are to be minimized. The assumption is that you’re free to do something without interference unless otherwise specified. The pharmacist who refuses to give out Plan B is violating the “negative right” of the patient: the right not to have someone else’s beliefs impede the practices of her freedoms. The “Moral Majority” (neither moral nor a majority…discuss) wanting to outlaw abortion is similarly impinging on negative freedoms that should remain untouched. To further illustrate: a pro-choice MD does not have the right to force a Southern Baptist patient to have a D&C, because it impinges on the Baptist’s right to her negative freedoms: not to have someone else intrude on her personal decisions. In other words, you don’t want an abortion? Don’t have one. But don’t tell me I can’t, either. You want to drink vodka? Even if I were a teetotaler (ha!), I’d have to say as long as you’re not going to be driving or caring for a child, knock yourself out.

I realize this is rather disjointed, but it is well past midnight and this issue makes me a little nuts. I spent a fair amount of time today imagining what I would do to a pharmacist who wouldn’t fill my Plan B prescription or, God help him, give me back that prescription. I wouldn’t stop at beating him over the head with glucose meters, Trojan Magnums, blood pressure cuffs, or whatever else I could find at the pharmacy counter, that’s for sure. Stand up for your rights, kids, cause henchmen of the right are chipping away insidiously at them under the guise of protecting ‘freedoms’ that don’t exist.

In Which My Two Cents are Added

28 March 2005

Well, we’re going on eleven days since Terri Schiavo’s feeding tube was removed. Congress has (unconstitutionally) had its say, her parents have had their say, her (pseudo)husband has had his say, and the protestors have had their say. What do we learn from all this? That even when a large majority of the country thinks an action is unethical, the GOP-led government will do it anyway. That even though the House Majority Leader mercifully allowed his father to die when he was in a vegetative state, he would deny that same right to another family because it’ll garner favor with the lunatic fringe of the right wing. That democrats are growing more and more spineless each passing day. That the rule of law in modern America is “the law shall rule, unless the GOP disagrees with it, in which case it will be overrided in quasi-legal maneuvers”. What, you mean Republicans can be hypocritical panderers? I’d’ve never guessed!

At least some good can come of this. When the dust settles and poor Terri is dead and lawsuits ended, I hope she’s not remembered as the Girl Who People and Politicians Fought Over, but maybe as the girl who inspired more people to make provisions to avoid just such an occurrence. If you want to be kept alive in a vegetative state, SAY SO and make sure your wishes are put in writing and communicated to anyone who might have authority over you when you have none over yourself. If you want to be allowed to die without extraordinary medical intervention, SAY SO and so on as above. Me, I’m making a declaration to you, Miss Internet, one that I’ve made to anyone who’ll listen. Put me out to pasture! I have no desire to be spiritually dead (insert GOP joke here) but physically alive and cost thousands of dollars and cause untold heartache to my family every day I sit there with no hope of recovery. Let me die on my own, and let the medical profession focus their healing efforts on people that can actually benefit from them, rather than coddling my dead (cause really, once you’re a vegetable, everything you were/are/could have been is lost to your body) ass. Thank you. And don’t let me psychochristian father overrule my mom and family and friends should the unfortunate ever befall me while this blog exists.