Thursday, October 20, 2005

16 KIDS A BLESSING OR A JOKE?

I have often wondered how the very rich of this world can glance at the impoverished, then look away and spend their megabucks on sumptuous luxuries that only they can enjoy. Yes, it really boils down to, just a few very greedy individuals using up the earth's resources and it's worse than disgusting, it's PROFANE. This is sad to put it mildly but what is even sadder is the fact, I believe, that it will never end. This world will always have poverty, and plenty of it, as long as there are people who lust after wealth and are willing to ignore or use those born into poverty as pawns, slaves or just big opportunities or nuisances to their plight of gathering and maintaining their riches.

Below is a very witty and very sarcastic essay written by one of my favorite internet bloggers, Mark Morford. He illustrates how selfish an American family can be with their idea of what they call God's Gift... not to mention how obscene. I have also included a small article on abject poverty. ThinkingBlue

PS: WARNING - You must possess a form of wit that is marked by the use of sarcastic language and is intended to make its victim the butt of ridicule, to enjoy this article... Amen
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MEET THE DUGGAR'S TWO PLUS 16


God Does Not Want 16 Kids

Arkansas mom gives birth to a whole freakin' baseball team. How deeply
should you cringe?

-
By Mark Morford, SF Gate Columnist

Wednesday, October 19, 2005



Click to ViewClick to View
Who are you to judge? Who are you to say that the more than slightly creepy 39-year-old woman from Arkansas who just gave birth to her 16th child yes that's right 16 kids and try
not to cringe in phantom vaginal pain when you say it, who are you to say Michelle Duggar is not more than a little unhinged and sad and lost?


And furthermore, who are you to suggest that her equally troubling husband -- whose name is, of course, Jim Bob and he's hankerin' to be a Republican senator and try not to wince in
sociopolitical pain when you say that -- isn't more than a little numb to the real world, and that bringing 16 hungry mewling attention-deprived kids (and she wants more! Yay!) into this exhausted world zips right by "touching" and races right past "disturbing" and lurches its way, heaving and gasping and sweating from the karmic armpits, straight into "Oh my God, what the hell is wrong with you people?"

But that would be, you know, mean. Mean and callous to suggest that this might be the most disquieting photo you see all year, this bizarre Duggar family of 18 spotless white hyperreligious interchangeable people with alarmingly bad hair, the kids ranging in ages from 1 to 17, worse than those

nuked Smurfs in that UNICEF commercial
and worse than all the horrific rubble in Pakistan and worse than the cluster-bomb nightmare that is Katie Holmes and Tom Cruise having a child as they suck the skin from each other's Scientological faces and even worse than that huge 13-foot
python which ate that six-foot alligator and then exploded.

It's wrong to be this judgmental. Wrong to suggest that it is exactly this kind of weird pathological protofamily breeding-happy gluttony that's making the world groan and cry and recoil, contributing to vicious overpopulation rates and unrepentant economic strain and a
bitter moral warpage resulting from a massive viral outbreak of homophobic neo-Christians across our troubled and Bush-ravaged land. Or is it?

Is it wrong to notice how all the Duggar kids' names start with the letter J (Jeremiah and Josiah and Jedediah and Jesus, someone please stop them), and that if you study the above photo (or the even more disturbing family Web site) too closely you will become rashy and depressed and
you will crave large quantities of alcohol and loud aggressive music to deflect the creeping feeling that this planet is devolving faster than you can suck the contents from a large bong? But I'm not judging.

I have a friend who used to co-babysit (yes, it required two sitters) for a family of 10 kids, and she reports that they were, almost without fail, manic and hyper and bewildered and attention deprived in the worst way, half of them addicted to prescription meds to calm their neglected
nerves and the other half bound for years of therapy due to complete loss of having the slightest clue as to who they actually were, lost in the family crowd, just another blank, needy face at the table. Is this the guaranteed affliction for every child of very large families? Of course not. But I'm guessing it's more common than you imagine.

What's more, after the 10th kid popped out, the family doctor essentially prohibited the baby-addicted mother from having any more offspring, considering the pummeling endured by her various matronly systems, and it's actually painful to imagine the logistics, the toll on Michelle Duggar's body, the ravages it has endured to give birth to roughly one child per year for nearly two decades, and you cannot help but wonder about her body and its various biological and sexual ... no, no, it is not for this space to visualize frighteningly capacious vaginal dimensions. It is not for this space to imagine this couple's soggy sexual mutations. We do not have enough wine on hand for that.


Perhaps the point is this: Why does this sort of bizarre hyperbreeding only seem to afflict antiseptic megareligious families from the Midwest? In other words -- assuming Michelle and Jim Bob and their massive brood of cookie-cutter Christian kidbots will all be, as the charming photo suggests, never allowed near a decent pair of designer jeans or a tolerable haircut from a recent decade, and assuming that they will all be tragically encoded with the values of the
homophobic asexual Christian right -- where are the forces that shall help neutralize their effect on the culture? Where is the counterbalance, to offset the damage?

Where is, in other words, the funky tattooed intellectual poetess who, along with her genius anarchist husband, is popping out 16 funky progressive intellectually curious fashion-forward pagan offspring to answer the Duggar's squad of über-white future Wal-Mart shoppers? Where
is the liberal, spiritualized, pro-sex flip side? Verily I say unto thee, it ain't lookin' good.

Perhaps this the scariest aspect of our squishy birthin' tale: Maybe the scales are tipping to the neoconservative, homogenous right in our culture simply because they tend not to give much of a damn for the ramifications of wanton breeding and environmental destruction and pious
sanctimony, whereas those on the left actually seem to give a whit for the health of the planet and the dire effects of overpopulation. Is that an oversimplification?

Why does this sort of thoughtfulness seem so far from the norm? Why is having a stadiumful of offspring still seen as some sort of happy joyous thing?

You already know why. It is the Biggest Reason of All. Children are, after all, God's little gifts. Kids are little blessings from the Lord, the Almighty's own screaming spitballs of joy. Hell, Jim Bob said so himself, when asked if the couple would soon be going for a 17th rug rat: "We both just love children and we consider each a blessing from the Lord. I have asked Michelle if she wants more and she said yes, if the Lord wants to give us some she will accept them." This is what he actually said. And God did not strike him dead on the spot.

Let us be clear: I don't care what sort of God you believe in, it's a safe bet that hysterical breeding does not top her list of desirables. God does not want more children per acre than there are ants or mice or garter snakes or repressed pedophilic priests. We already have three billion humans on the planet who subsist on less than two dollars a day. Every other child in the world (one billion of them) lives in abject poverty.

Being of the most miserable kind; wretched:
abject poverty.

We are burning through the planet's resources faster than a Republican can eat an endangered caribou stew. Note to Michelle Duggar: If God wanted you to have a massive pile of children, she'd have given your uterus a hydraulic pump and a revolving door. Stop it now.

Ah, but this is America, yes? People should be allowed to do whatever the hell they want with their families if they can afford it and if it's within the law and so long as they aren't gay or deviant or happily flouting Good Christian Values, right? Shouldn't they? Hell, gay couples
still can't openly adopt a baby in most states (they either lie, or one adopts and the other must apply as "co-parent"), but Michelle Duggar can pop out 16 kids and no one says, oh my freaking God, stop it, stop it now, you thoughtless, selfish, baby-drunk people.

No, no one says that. That would be mean.





Abject poverty rails against ostentatious riches




Poverty entails untold misery upon the earth. Life gives nothing at all
to countless millions of children that are born and condemns them at the
very moment of their birth to live in physical and moral wretchedness.
They are born for sorrow and suffering. Life does not hold many happy days
for them. The shadow of destitution hangs over their hovels. Fierce and
remorseless is their struggle to win their daily bread. Starvation stares
in their eyes. From sunrise to sunset they are on their legs for the
merest pittance. Soaked in sweat, they toil and moil with their stooped
shoulders and shrunken bodies. They have many more mouths to feed than the
scanty food they have in the larder. They go to bed hungry on many more
nights than filled. They lay on their beds of mattress or on bare floor at
night. They snuggle together in a blanket, if they have one and whimper.










The poor in this world of plenty are in perpetual agony. Abject poverty
mercilessly grinds down the masses. They have no wherewithal to lodge and
clothe and feed and are without the barest means of sustaining life. The
starving mothers could not give their breasts to their children. They
slave all their lives, yet know not the joys of wholesome existence. The
cold wind and frost of poverty withers them. Desperate is their plight and
slowly do they starve to death. Condemned to live in the midst of dirt and
filth and disease, they die of starvation and they die neglected. Famine
and plague kill them like flies. Harrowing are the stories of the
destitute. No wonder the poor everywhere are embittered against the whole
world.







Click here for Alabama poor





The mother earth can nourish with ease all that live upon her gentle
bosom. Science and machine can make the world a good place to live
in for every man and woman and child
. They can relieve all men
and children of undue hard labor and drudgery and leave them leisure to
develop their mind. Mass production by machine can provide something for
everyone in the world. Yet countless millions starve in the midst of
plenty and are haunted by the specter of destitution. Man's
maladjustments bring starvation for swarming millions and fattening in
unbounded luxuries for a small number of parasites. Life to those
who amass colossal fortunes by corrupt means is a perpetual revel. They
feed fastidiously and live luxuriously. They use their riches in riotous
waste.






Click here





Thou Ahura Mazda, hast made the poor and the rich of common clay. Thou
hast not made the rich of gold dust. Thou hast not ordained that the
kernel should be for the rich and the husks should be for poor. Sad is the
spectacle of poverty increasing in the world with the advancement of
civilization. O Thou our Eternal Guide on the path of progress, lead
erring mankind to make poverty, in the light of new knowledge only a
cursed memory.





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The serious side of sex: fpa celebrates 75 years of achievement 1930-2005

Contraceptives

I am the mother of 12 children, nine of whom are living. I am only
40 and live in dread of having any more, which for the sake of the others
I can't afford to keep. My health has been taxed to the utmost and my baby
is just two … I dread my husband touching me … a little
advice would do a lot of good, my life up to now has been one big
nightmare

This was the reality of sexual health in 1930 when many lives were ruined by constant childbearing and relationships blighted by fear and ignorance about sex. Click Here










Click here to read article

REPUBLICANS KEEP THE WORKING POOR , POOR

Republican majority Senate again Rejects Minimum Wage Hike
(WHAT ELSE IS NEW? THINKINGBLUE)

(AP) Senate proposals to raise the minimum wage were rejected Wednesday, making it unlikely that the lowest allowable wage, $5.15 an hour since 1997, will rise in the foreseeable future.

A labor-backed measure by Sen. Edward Kennedy would have raised the minimum to $6.25 over an 18-month period. A Republican counterproposal would have combined the same $1.10 increase with various breaks and exemptions for small businesses.

The Kennedy amendment to a spending bill went down 51-47, and the GOP alternative 57-42. Under a Senate agreement, they would have needed 60 votes for approval.

Kennedy, D-Mass., said Hurricane Katrina demonstrated the depth of poverty in the country and he pointed out that a single parent with two children working a minimum wage earns $10,700 a year, $4,500 below the poverty line.

He said it was "absolutely unconscionable" that in the same period that Congress has denied a minimum wage increase, lawmakers have voted themselves seven pay raises worth $28,000.

But Republican opponents, echoing the arguments of business groups, said higher minimum wages can work against the poor if they force small businesses to cut payrolls or go out of business.

"Mandated hikes in the minimum wage do not cure poverty and they clearly do not create jobs," said Sen. Mike Enzi, R-Wyo., who offered the Republican alternative.

Kennedy noted after the vote that three of the four Republicans who supported his amendment — Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania, Mike DeWine of Ohio and Lincoln Chafee of Rhode Island — are up for re-election next year. "Candidates that are out campaigning know the power of this
issue," he said. The fourth Republican supporting Kennedy was Sen. Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania.

White House spokesman Scott McClellan, asked Wednesday about Kennedy's measure, said President Bush "believes that we should look at having a reasonable increase in the minimum wage. ... But we need to make sure that, as we do that, that it is not a step that hurts small business or prices people out of the job market."

AFL-CIO President John Sweeney said minimum wage workers "deserve a pay raise — plain and simple — no strings attached."

"It is appalling that the same right-wing leaders in Congress who have given themselves seven pay raises since the last minimum wage increase have voted down the modest minimum wage increase proposed by the Kennedy amendment," he said in a statement.

Enzi's proposal would provide tax and regulatory relief for small business, permit tips to be credited in complying with minimum wage hikes and expand the small business exemption from the Fair Labor Standards Act.

It also would have put into law a "flextime" system, opposed by organized labor as an assault on overtime pay, under which workers could work more in one week and take time off the next.

Both proposals, amendments to a fiscal 2006 spending bill, needed 60 votes to pass.

Kennedy, who has campaigned relentlessly for a minimum wage increase, picked up one vote from the 46 votes for a similar measure in March. On Tuesday he modified his proposal, which originally called for a $2.15 increase over 26 months, in hopes of attracting more Republicans.

The first minimum wage of 25 cents an hour was enacted under President Roosevelt in 1938. Congress has since voted eight times to increase it, including under Republican presidents Eisenhower, Ford and George H.W. Bush. Congress approved the last increase in 1996, with the second stage, boosting the rate to $5.15, taking effect in 1997.

Sixteen states and the District of Columbia have minimum wages higher than the national level, including Washington State at $7.35, according to the Labor Department. Twenty-six states are the same as the federal level; two — Ohio and Kansas — are below; and six do not have state
laws.

Also on Wednesday, Sens. Jack Reed, D-R.I., and Susan Collins, R-Maine, proposed adding $3.1 billion to the administration's $2 billion request this year for emergency heating assistance for low income families.

"We're about see a second tidal surge from Katrina and Rita," with rising energy costs, Reed said.

A vote could take place Thursday, with GOP leaders saying an emergency spending bill to be taken up soon was a better venue for the heating assistance debate.
©MMV The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.







CAROLYNCONNETION - I've got a mind and I'm going to use
it!

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