Sunday, April 30, 2006
The abortion debate is not an issue that can be discussed unemotionally. This argument is fundamentally tied to morals, on both sides of the issue. It cannot, it seems, be impartially considered. Answering the question “How, if at all, would American society change if the current legal right to abortion is either severely restricted or eliminated?” is difficult. There is no unbiased information. Research is concentrated on proving one side or the other right. Neither side can get past rhetoric and propaganda to present a clear picture of how society will change.
The moral arguments being carried on, while in one sense very important, are unhelpful.
One side asserts that eliminating abortion will return women to the dark ages. This is not true. American women do not use abortion as the primary method of birth control. Unlike some European countries, where four abortions occur to every one live birth, abortion ends only about one pregnancy in ten. Statistics show that the majority of women having abortions do not repeat the procedure.
The other side hails the end of abortion as the means to altar the moral fiber of our nation. That is unlikely. Surface changes do little to affect character. Legally protecting the status of the unborn may save lives, but will not make lives more intrinsically valuable.
Statistics tell us that somewhere between 700,000 and 1,100,000 abortions are performed every year in the United States. If abortion was restricted or eliminated, on the surface it would seem to have a dramatic effect on our nation. Despite being the wealthiest nation in the world, we struggle with poverty. Almost one-fifth of people who work full time, year round still live below the poverty level.
After becoming frustrated with the one sided arguments in books on abortion or women’s rights, I came across “The Persistence of Poverty in the United States.” I wanted to know why the wealthiest nation in the world can’t absorb the increase in population. By gross numbers, we should easily be able to. The difficulty is that the same women who are having abortions, are at the greatest risk of poverty.
Mangum’s book describes a process referred to as “the feminization of poverty.” The American economic structure has become such that household must have more than one income to rise above the poverty level. At the same time, the number of two parent households has declined. The highest rates of poverty in the nation are single mother families. These women are in dire straits because they are less likely to have higher education, they have less work experience and amount of time available for employment, and must pay for child care while working. The elimination of abortion will certainly increase the number of single-parent households in our country. There will be an increase in cyclical poverty as well.
However, this phenomenon began almost simultaneously with the advent of legalized abortion. Using the “well being of a child in a poverty-stricken, single parent home” argument to protect abortion rights doesn’t work. The free access to abortion hasn’t prevented the shift to the single parent family in the last thirty years.
If abortion were eliminated, American women would continue with the myriad contraceptives still available. Adding almost one million people to society every year would exacerbate problems that already exist, but not cause a new crisis. The politics and moral considerations aside, eliminating abortion will merely further exacerbate problems that will take more than reproductive rights to fix.
Friday, April 28, 2006
I spent all evening watch reruns of sitcoms and playing around on the internet. After doing the crucials of email, myspace, and blogging, I started doing searches for the complete Harry Potter boxed set. Usually the new book comes out in the early summer, but from all the fan sites, I gather J K Rowlings is still writing it, and it may not come out until 2007. Which might kill us all, but is a very good plan if they're still trying to film all of the movies. If she holds off for a year that will give a chance for Hollywood to catch up a bit. The last chapter was written long ago, and the last word is "scar." Which is the end of my hours of research. Which consisted mostly of taking Harry Potter trivia quizzes. My average on the easy ones was 100%, and on the very difficult ones was 85%. As you can see, I'm managing my time wisely. One set of questions I got wrong every time were the Heads and Ghosts of Hufflepuff and Ravenclaw. Who even cares about those houses?
Then I found this site which features snarky reviews of recent sitcoms. I've spent all morning reading reviews of Lost.
Lest you think I'm completely wasting my time, I'm also doing laundry, getting enrolled into an online degree program, researching scholarships again (speaking of which, I have to read a book and write an essay about how the US would be different if the current abortion laws were reversed. Does anyone know a good book on the subject? Preferably something non-incendiary. I'm pro-life myself, but surely there's something out there that would just logically state what would change if our population was growing at the rate of conception instead of births...maybe it's impossible to be impartial on this one). And I've cooked two meals. Neither of which involved Ramen.
Thursday, April 27, 2006
I had a meeting with my principal about whether or not we'll be having a spring program. We won't. Not with this little time left in the year. But she also told me that they won't be re-upping my contract next year due to budget cuts. So I won't be teaching in the fall. Which leaves me open to other things. I don't know what. But I'm free again. To do...something.
Wednesday, April 19, 2006
Tonight I'm going to finally see V for Vendetta.
Monday, April 10, 2006
I'm now moved into my new place. Alone for the moment. A little concerned about expenses until job #2 picks up a little. Speaking of which, I called in for my schedule on Friday, found out that I was supposed to work today. left early today to get there on time (after coming in 2 hours late last week) and was told the schedule had changed and I wasn't working. New rule: call closer to monday.
I'm back to the Entre Nous guide to living. I've started walking to the grocery store once a day to pick out about the next three meals worth of food. This is partly thrift, since I have almost no money, and am currently borrowing from my tithe cache, and partly because I can buy little bits of very fresh food instead of all the processed crap. This morning I had a cup of coffee, a banana, and yogurt. For lunch I had a baked potato with butter and cottage cheese. Tonight I will be resorting to tuna helper, but instead of canned tuna, I'll be adding a pound of imitation crab meat to the garlic cream pasta. Tomorrow, more yogurt and another banana with my coffee. Tomorrow lunch, another baked potato. And then probably tuna helper leftovers for dinner with the remaining fresh broccoli and french bread.
I'm going to go now. I'm using the library computer, and it takes about a minute for the screen to catch up with my typing. Free evening, I'll probably be working on some sewing projects.
Wednesday, April 05, 2006
Rachel: "And the first day of Christmas is..?"
2nd Grader: "A porridge in a pantry?"
Rachel: "So, Denise. Bible Study? Jackson's? Tuesday night?"
Sean: *Almost sprays the table with $8.50 per glass wine* "Alright guys, that's enough Bible study, lets go get drunk."
Rachel: "If I could drink I wouldn't mind drinking at Bible Study."
Tasha: "My friends bring a six pack to ours."
Nancy: "My brother is a pastor and he has a brewery in his basement."
Rachel: "And the first day of Christmas is?"
1st Grader: "December 25th?"
Denise: "You should see her house."
Allison: "That's nothing! You should see my shoe."
Sean: "There's two sentences I've never heard before."
Sean: "Every time I hear this song I think of the funeral scene in Lethal Weapon II."
Rachel: "Took you a while, didn't it?"
Dawn: "I had to double it. It was hard!"
Rachel: "Cindy, your son just called."
Cindy: "Again? The boy's sixteen. Cain't he do nothin' by his-self?"
"Miss Kunze. You know what's cool? When you started to sing you made the sun come out."
"...Once an ostrich went yodelling..."
Monday, April 03, 2006
So I rushed home, detoured around road construction, and threw on my clothes. I made it into work almost exactly two hours late.
And to top it off, my stockings are being held on by rubber bands.
They kept falling down at work.
I need to invest in another garter belt.
Sunday, April 02, 2006
Yesterday I worked, after getting home at almost 3am the night before. Last night was weird. It was so slow for a long time, and just before nine I stopped picking up tables thinking that I was going to have to be sent home shortly. Then a rush came in, and the other waitress started taking tables. We realized that this wasn't a fluke, and I was still waiting on a table, so I picked up three more hoping to get a little of the action before I left. Turned out that the three I picked were slow drinking "lingerers." At 11 they had stopped drinking, but were still content to sit and listen to the music, and didn't want their check just yet. 12:00. Still standing around. Haven't served another drink. Finished sidework. Kept helping other waitress at her tables. 12:30, finally closed out. But of course it is daylight savings now, so 12:30 is actually 1:30. Got home after 2:30. Have to be up at 6 or so. So I decided to change into my church clothes, take out my contacts, leave on my makeup, and just curl up for a couple of hours before I have to be up to take Allie and myself to our various churches.
Got up at last possible second. Touched up makeup. Put in contacts. Ran us both through starbucks for breakfast. Then two services at church.
Excellent sermon. Special speaker. I sat through the 9:30 service to hear it again, then picked up Allie and we both listened to the 11 o clock broadcast while we ate our lunch. Denise and I and maybe Kris are going tonight to hear him speak again. He's doing a three night talk on Hearing God's Voice. I'll give the hightlights later, since it's time to start picking people up.
Saturday, April 01, 2006
I was looking at my mastercard statement to find a couple of charges I made to get to LA and I found a late fee. I panicked for a second, and realized that it was a $19 late fee on residual finance charges leftover from when I *thought* I'd paid off my credit card. But the payoff online didn't account for the five or so days it took for everything to go through. So then they charged me the residual finance charges, and then a late fee for not paying it off on time. And I called them and they took care of it.
I feel very responsible for not just paying them another 19 out of pocket on their mistake.
I am very tired, but wide awake from the coffee I drank to stay awake at the end of my shift. So now I'm doing finances waiting for caffeine buzz to end.
Got off work after 1:30. Weather bad on pass, so drive took longer than usual. Plus, there were deer in the road.
Worked 8.5 hours today cocktailing. And really drunk people are the worst tippers imaginable due to the inability to multiply out 20%. Or at least 15%. One person, and I'm not even exaggerating, gave me a 4% tip. He handed me $40 on a 38.25 tab and magnanimously allowed me to "keep the change." The night wasn't a total waste. I made $85. Could have made a little more though. And since my tip money is all that is paying the bills right now, I need every bit I can get.
I'm sure I realised this before, but Bridget Jones: the edge of reason is not Pride and Prejudice like the first one, but Persuasion. Someday, when I'm not so tired that I may be incapable of taking out my contacts, I'll analyse this further.