Archive for the ‘America’ Category

Holy shit. The NHS is totally failing the elderly. The anecdotal evidence for this can be found by speaking to many, many people (although it isn’t universal), but it’s now being officially recognised. I really don’t think that sporadic random-attack checks are quite cutting it, though, as a solution; yes, it’s better than nothing but it doesn’t really change the culture of care. ‘Care’ should mean exactly that. Any system claiming to look after people’s health needs to do so with compassion and respect, or they are working against their own purpose. I believe that socialised health care is a great good for all – as long as it actually lives up to the title of ‘health care.’

Oh woo. We get the chance to look at and comment on new legislation. Y’know, that would be a great thing if those comments were actually listened to. However, the Government hasn’t exactly shown itself to be very good at listening to criticism. Tell me, Coalition – just how many of us normal folks’ voices = the voice of one big-money conservative capitalist?

On tumblr, I’ve been seeing a frightening number of bills restricting the bodily autonomy of those with uteri (for example, H.R.358 ) coming from the USA. Dear American politicians – you’re being shitbags. You’re also failing at this ‘pro-life’ business since you’re quite prepared to authorise the killing of living, breathing, human beings, and don’t seem to care about people’s prospects once you’ve coerced their uterus-having parent to incubate them for nine months at all costs. And you know what could help reduce abortion rates? Sex education. Greater availability of contraceptives. Free health care. A functional welfare system. Know what doesn’t help reduce abortion rates? Restricting abortion. That just drives it underground and makes it utterly unsafe.

And I have been sadly deficient in saying this for quite a while; to everyone standing up for their freedoms, wherever you are in the world, I admire you and hope that your stand is successful.

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So we get to keep a lovely high VAT rate, but the rich will get their taxes cut again? Oh lovely. Thanks, Dave, George. You’re really dedicated, aren’t you? To your own fortune, that is…

This is a terrible thing to happen; a Democrat Congresswoman in Arizona and many others were shot by a gunman during a ‘Congress on Your Corner’ event to communicate directly with voters. Several are now dead, including a nine-year-old child. It’s thought that the shooting may be linked to a culture of violence among certain factions in America’s right, fostered by the violent rhetoric of some Republican leaders such as Sarah Palin. The shooter has been identified as a young cis white man, who will no doubt be painted as a fringe element where people with less privilege, especially people of colour, would have been taken as a representative of their group.

And more evidence of the tuition fees plans falling apart. Really, I can’t see any reason for continuing with them, except bloody-mindedness and Tory ideology, frankly.

I appear to be almost incapable of telling my family important things, and I’m wondering whether this stems from when I was getting picked on in primary school and I was told to stop being a soft target. That’s when I can trace my discomfort talking about my own feelings from, anyway, it may be where my problems talking about things with family comes from as well.

Stalling?

Posted: October 15, 2010 in America, Law, Politics, Sexuality
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Blathering on about needing time and training and preparation may be a useful thing to do in some cases. However, in the case of DADT? Hmm. This stinks of stalling tactics. (Unpopular with homophobes, of whom there appear to be a surprisingly large amount in America, and an election coming up? Hmm.)

For fuck’s sake. Gay servicepeople aren’t suddenly going to start running around half-naked with rainbow flags in the middle of a warzone as soon as it’s repealed. They’re not going to start leaping on each other and having sex in inappropriate circumstances. They’re perfectly capable of controlling themselves. The only problem I can see is that homophobes in the military would have to confront their prejudices. Oh noes!

I do, however, fully admit that I 1. know very little about the military and 2. know very little about America. But.

Well done, Ozz. Westboro Baptist Church do not deserve to misuse music for their despicable cause. Crazy Train is a great piece of music – with a political message – and it is wrong that WBC decided to use it without permission for the purpose of hate.

And, get this – some of the lines of the original lyrics is maybe / it’s not too late / to learn how to love / and forget how to hate. A message of love and acceptance – how the hell did they think it was appropriate to pair it with made-up lines like you’re going straight to hell on your crazy train? And just how deluded are they, to think it’s appropriate to any of their causes?

Blast them out of the fucking water, Ozzy, please. You are in the right.

(thanks to Shakesville for alerting me)

People. Human beings.

Posted: September 29, 2010 in America
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Immigration is a tough thing to talk about. However, there’s one point that everyone should remember about it; immigrants, undocumented or otherwise, are people. Human beings.

This has come up because of this story, about people leaving water for people crossing the border through a barren refuge. (here’s some other reporting on it, by better writers than me.) What the opponents of the activists are trying to do is to set precendent to prevent people helping others. To prevent altruism. And people will die because of it. People. Human beings.

I’m also rather worried by the suggestion of having police officers waiting by the water. All that will do is discourage people from drinking the water that’s left, because they know they’ll get caught. And that could be a death sentence. For people. Human beings.

I don’t understand.

I don’t understand that justification. I don’t understand the suppression of the vote outcome. I don’t understand what the school administrators’ problem was. (I also don’t understand the appeal of this Homecoming Court thing, but that doesn’t stop me realising that others might attach more importance to it.)

One, it’s fucking blatant transphobia. You can’t have the title because this little group of pixels (I’d’ve thought they’d’ve had computer records, and the pixels thing sounds better) say you’re a girl. That little group of pixels cannot override the knowledge of the living, breathing person they are supposed to represent. Two, it’s a complete mockery of democracy. They voted for him, he gets the title. How hard can it be?

I know it’s not a matter of life and death. In the big scheme of things, it’s not much. But the vote was a good sign, a ray of hope – and the administrators’ response was stupid and bigoted.

About bloody time

Posted: September 11, 2010 in America, Politics, Sex & Sexuality, Sexuality
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Well, there’s some good news from America. Can’t say I’ve been keeping up with the news, but I have heard that DADT has been ruled unconstitutional (a few days later, but there we go).

And about time too. How can a sexual preference affect a person’s ability to serve in the military? (hint: it can’t.) How can a sexual preference affect loyalty, strength, dedication, courage? (hint: it can’t.) Anybody saying otherwise is trading in stereotypes. If a person has served their country well, finding out that they happen to be attracted to the same sex doesn’t undo that. Sure, not everyone would do well in the military – gay or straight or anything else, though. The qualities that would make a good or bad member of the Armed Forces are unconnected to sexual orientation.

(I don’t know what Armed Forces policy on trans people is, either here or in America; that’s why I haven’t spoken about it.)