Monday, April 16, 2012

Political Knitting

I feel like writing. Sometimes I consider why I want to write rather than have a conversation. There are practical reasons, of course. Sometimes there's no one available to talk, rather, the people I could have the intended conversation (specific topics supposed) are not available. But other times, it boils down to this - I want to speak my mind. I frequently hear the uninitiated say that they don't "get" blogging. Blogging at its broadest is speaking your mind publicly, and giving others the opportunity to respond. It is inviting the world into your head and opening your mind for others to join the conversation.

In open conversation about political topics, it seems that these days I encounter many people with "feelings" and not so many with "facts". It appears that our society is accepting "feelings" as a legitimate basis for action in preference to looking at facts. With my science training and rigorous medical background, I often have to seal my lips to avoid saying rude, intolerant things to these people who feel so much. For the purpose of any conversation that takes place here, in my own blogging domain, I won't seal my lips. Diamonds are hard - one of the hardest substances in the world. Your feeling that a diamond is soft, stated without valid scientific proof, will not be accepted.

There's lots of discussion about the GOP proposed budget. It has some provisions that are scary. As usual, the GOP seems to be peddling hypocrisy. The Center for American Progress Action Fund said this about the budget's proposed tax decreases on the rich: "To put these large and costly tax cuts in perspective, consider this: For the additional $3 trillion in tax cuts proposed by the House budget, we could prevent all the cuts that Rep. Ryan suggests to nutrition assistance, Medicaid, and other domestic investments for children, veterans, and struggling families—and still make a dent in our deficit. But because of these enormous tax cuts for the wealthy and for corporations, the House plan still fails to produce significant real deficit reduction—one of their stated priorities."  This bit of hypocrisy lines up well with all the micro-managing of women's health. After all, the stated goal of decreasing the role of government in our lives is somewhat undercut by legislation controlling our use of birth control and abortion services.

These days my knitting has new significance. I am knitting for political reasons. I'm not talking about the issues I discussed in my recent blog post about knitting uteri for legislators. I'm talking about the fact that the income from my knitting has become crucial. Federal and state support for higher education is withering, and my daughter is in college. My health care is provided by Medicare, and the GOP budget proposes to radically change it (not for the better, of course). My daughter's chronic illness qualifies her for Medicaid (TnCare) health insurance, and the GOP will allow the states to gut that. Given these looming financial bombs, my Social Security check isn't going to stretch to cover a decent life. That provides tremendous motivation as my fingers work on the cute little handbags and soft baby blankets that I will have on my Market table and in my Etsy store. And the fingers WILL work. I can not afford to be sick.


Monday, April 2, 2012

No Politics Today

No politics today. I could go on about the effect this political climate is having on me, but suffice it to say that it is significant enough that I need periodic breaks.

No secret that I have spent some time on dating sites. Several have long lists of questions that you can answer in order to provide potential mates a clue into your personality, lifestyle and desires. You cannot see a match's answer unless you also submit an answer to that question, and vice versa. Some guys tire of this quickly, and you see one, six, fourteen questions answered. Others, like me, seem to put their hearts into it, both in hopes of revealing themselves and so that they can learn more about their matches.

I've been interested in the observation that some questions seem to draw the same answer from nearly all men-or at least the ones that are deemed "appropriate" for me by some matching algorithm from the dating gurus. For instance:

1. Almost all men answer the question "What animal would you like to be (four possible answers) with lion." I guess they want to be tough and protective and roar, but what about flying? My choice is bird.

2. Every man says "Yes" to "Would you like to have sex outdoors?" What about mosquitoes, ants and dog poop? Some of them mention the beach, but the thought of two grains of sand in my lady parts makes me writhe in agony.

3. Every man says "Yes, I'd love to date a 40 year old virgin" without asking "Why?" Only one stopped to think about what could possibly lead one to that condition.

4. All the men claim to make their beds daily, do laundry weekly, and they swear there's never more than one plate in the sink. Might I gently say "Liars!"

5. Each one says he would give up his dog for an allergic potential mate. Seriously? Who would want a man that would ditch his dog? There are plenty of good allergy medicines on the market.

6.  Every man seems to feel that if a woman has children his age, she is off limits. Sad for all those 80 year old chicks who want pre-Medicare partners.

7. None of these guys knows whether he talks in his sleep. Not one! Does this mean they've been sleeping alone all their lives?

8. None of them admits to swearing, except perhaps when they are alone.

9. They all say they are self-conscious in swimwear. Funny, I feel just fine about getting in a swimsuit.

I would caution you that this is a group of men hand-picked to be reasonably liberal, age 52-70, all ethnic origins and religions, from 5 ft to 7 ft tall. If they fall outside that range, I can't comment.

Peace. Nonpolitical peace, that is.