Friday, August 28, 2009

7 Quick Takes-Politics Edition

I don't usually get on a soapbox and rant on this blog. But I am sort of in the mood to do it. I am just overcome by the craziness in our culture right now. Visit Jen at Conversion Diary for more Quick Takes, many of which are not rants and are better than this post.

1. Have you read my post about health care yet? If not, quit reading this, and go do it. I am totally lost on this issue and really do want some help. It is so hard to find arguments for either side that are based on reason and not trying to manipulate my emotions. Tell me what you think and why. Convince me.

2. I am sure Senator Kennedy wasn't a horrible person. I am also sure he was not a great person. He championed a lot of causes he believed in, but he also seemed to be just a sleazy as the next politician, especially when it came to women. Really, I don't like making people into saints just because they die. And I especially don't understand why feminists would weep over the senator's passing. I just don't get it. I hope he came to the end of his life with an honest view of his rights and wrongs and a spirit of humility and repentance. I hope I can do the same, acknowledging my faults before God, dependent on His grace, and knowing that I have done some good. Please, don't feel the need to say things about me that aren't true, just because I am dead.

3. Have you read about the 13-year-old Dutch girl who wants to sail around the world? The government has taken temporary custody of her, and psychologists are saying the isolation of the two-year-trip would be bad for her and that she is too young to attempt it. Maybe she is too young, but she was born on a boat, has sailed alone since 10, and is supported in this by her parents. It seems to me that being separated from girls her own age right now, attempting something so incredibly challenging, and gaining a broad perspective on life would be a GREAT thing for a teenage girl to do. I certainly think her parents, and not state courts and psychologists should be able to decide this one.

4. Want to do something good in the world of politics? Go here and let the Army Corps of Engineers know you don't approve of permits for Mountaintop Removal Coal Mining. Yep, I'm asking again. Why? Because it is the worst environmental disaster in our country, hands down. Help. Please!

5. I am slowly working my way through Perfect Madness: Motherhood in the Age of Anxiety. And it is fascinating. I don't agree with everything, and I am not sure I am going to agree with the author's solution of better government programs. I do agree with her assessment of American overparenting. We have such an obsession with arranging our children's learning environments, their experiences and activities, to create successful, perfect people. We have forgotten how to let our kids be kids. I am seeing the fruits of this now, with Calvin, who just needs me to back off and let him do his thing. Linus is such a different, and more well-adjusted, child because I haven't obsessed over him so much.

6. Did you know Reading Rainbow is no longer going to be made? So many issues come up in this article. I was devastated when my local PBS station stopped showing Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood except at 6:30 on Saturday mornings. I don't like ANY of the new shows on PBS. They are so flashy and quick and assaulting to senses. I don't think television should be used to teach reading, as the article mentions. Children don't need to learn to read before they are in school; they need to learn it in school. Reading Rainbow simply encouraged a love of books. It was a good show. Now no one is willing to pay to keep it on because we need one more ugly cartoon to teach kids phonics? I think this ties into the Perfect Madness book somehow. I may have a longer post here.

7. I heard on my local NPR station yesterday that parents should be on the lookout for flu-like symptoms in children starting back to school. Apparently, the swine flu is expected to go around, and, get this, BE JUST LIKE ANY OTHER FLU. It may spread more easily, but it poses no more threat to the majority of the population than other seasonal flu strains. Just one more reason 24-hour media is a bad idea. When there was nothing to talk about, H1N1 was the next great plague. Now that we have Kennedy's death, Jackson's homicide, universal health care, and all sorts of things to talk about, it is just another seasonal illness that may be a bit worse than most.


Daniel, Laura, Cora Marie, and Eliot said...

Love the rants. I *really* want to talk more about Perfect Madness with you.

We also should try to arrange some online forum for discussing that book. And pushing for more frequent responses of sanity in situations of potential *threat*... like you mention in the example of response to H1N1. I think that's at least one aspect of the PM connection to a flu strain-- overprotective, highly-reactive parenting!

Daniele said...

Preach it, sister. Oh, how I loved loved loved Reading Rainbow! And Mr. Rogers, for that matter...have you ever read "I'm Proud of You: My Friendship With Fred Rogers"? If not, you must add it to your list (it's a quick little read). You'll love him even more after you read it.

Tipper said...

Don't have any answers for you-but I agree with the craziness is rampant in our culture part.