Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Mixing state and religion.. gay rights and protecting kids

I read this today--

The copyright says I can't reprint what the article says so you will have to go to the link. What it comes down to is this: The state of Illinois has a Department of Social Services which has been contracting with Catholic Charities for about 40 years to find foster homes and adoptive homes for children. The state wants to end that contract, and Catholic Charities is trying to say that they can't end it. That somehow they are obligated to continue doing it because they have been doing it for so long.

The gay rights people don't like Catholic Charities because the Catholics don't support gay rights. So for the gay rights people this is a victory.

Lots of religious based charities do good work. Salvation Army is another big one. If I stopped to think about the religious beliefs of the Salvation Army I would probably never donate another used toy or pair of jeans to them. However I cannot argue with their success. They do a lot of community service, community outreach, a lot of good stuff. Catholic Charities does a lot too. I know that both organizations run homeless shelters and feed the poor.

Kids need good homes. We have a real shortage in this country, and around the world of homes for children. Homes where abuse does not take place. Homes where there is enough food to feed everyone who lives. Homes where there are heat, running water, and electricity. Homes where no one is passed out or doing illegal drugs. Home where kids have access to health care. Home where kids have access to an education. Homes where kids don't have to worry about being beaten or sexually abused. We have a huge shortage of homes for children. It is a sad but true fact in this country, and around the world. If you are a parent of schoolaged children then you probably even know some of these kids. Kids who are living without enough to eat, kids who go home to abuse, kids who live in homeless shelters with their families... these are the facts.

It is great that Catholic Charities wants to help these kids. However this work needs to be done by the state, or by a non-religious organization. It isn't fair to anyone to have religion play a part in who gets to take care of these children. This is not a job to be "outsourced" or contracted out to a particular religion. This needs to be done by secular society. Gays, lesbians, bisexuals, transgendered parents are all capable of being good parents and providing loving homes. They should not be left out of the pool. Let them be parents, let them help. Let them be foster parents and adoptive parents if they want to.

Maybe an obvious post about Facebook and Google etc

I'm sure someone has said this better than I will, but here's my little rambling of the moment...

Back before the internet was invented, before 1990, we connected via bbses and modems. We connected from our computers to another computer pretty directly. When we connected to the site it was pretty obvious what we were connected to, who was in control, and what our limitations were.

Then in 1990 the World Wide Web was invented and we started to connect with things like AOL, CompuServe, the Spa (which was a bbs but then evolved), EarthLink, and others. When we connected this way it was still pretty obvious when we made our connections who was in control, where our email was stored, and where our "home zone" was most of the time. Even back around 2000 (give or take a year or two or so) AOL tried to be everything it could be. When I had an AOL account I sometimes did all of my searching and surfing through AOL. AOL could easily track my activities and that kind of seemed obvious.

Now... things have been changing a lot during the last 20 years... we have Yahoo and Gmail. These are not something that we connect to. We connect in other ways. I use Wildblue. A lot of other folks use Verizon or Comcast, or they use smartphones. (I haven't gotten as far as smartphones yet since we don't have cell phone service at our house). With Wildblue we don't even see the connection. It's invisible. We are immediately shot out into the internet universe. We can go where we want to go, see what we want to see, and who is in control? I don't know.

With this new invisibility comes... Facebook and Google and others... it's like a light switch went on and they realized "no one is in control anymore...." and they want to be in control. Facebook wants to be the "new internet". Google is trying to compete sort of, only Google is really trying to do it all. Google wants to be your search engine, your blog host, your email, offers you word processing and publishing, storage, and now social networking with Google +... etc, etc...  I just saw something this morning about "Google sites" which looks to me like "creating a page" on Facebook for a group or special event or something...  To be clear Google has gone way beyond Facebook on many fronts. Facebook has been a social network traditionally and now they seem to want to branch out. Google has been everything but a social network and is now trying to be that too. It's just crazy.

It seems like we're coming around full circle though. We're not quite there yet, but it seems to be moving in that direction. We used to know clearly where we were, who had access to what we were doing, and who was in control behind the scenes. We lost sight of that for a while, but now I think it's coming back into focus. Only now people are not sure they want it. It will be interesting to see where the future goes.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Something I never learned about in history class

In current media there are a lot of reports about the Catholic church and how priests and bishops and others have abused boys. The allegations of child abuse, rape, and other horrible things seems to be in the news somewhere weekly, if not daily. It's not on the front pages anymore but it's there.

Well here's something I hadn't heard about until today... the NUNS. I have known for a long time that unwed mothers used to be "sent away" to have their children and they would come back some months later or something. Never really too clear on how that really worked out, but I got it that maybe they went to another town and started their lives over or something. Today I ran across a dvd put out by "The Cinema Guild" that shows a piece of history that I'd never learned...

From the dvd "Sex in a Cold Climate":
"This historical documentary is a deeply disturbing portrait of Magdalene Asylums run by Catholic nuns in Ireland. For over a hundred years girls and young women were sent to live and work in the Magdalene Asylums’ Laundries after they’d had sexual or ‘sinful’ contact with men. Of the 30,000 women who were imprisoned in them, many never got out. The last one didn’t close until 1996. The video features interviews with several women detained in Magdalene Asylums between the 1940s and the 1960s. The purpose of the Asylums—named after the repentant biblical prostitute Mary Magdalene—was to correct the supposed sexual deviance of young women. Getting pregnant out of wedlock and having an illegitimate baby, like Christina Mulcahy, made you an obvious candidate. But the criteria of deviance was so vague and wide ranging that some Magdalenes didn’t know why they had been put away. Phyllis Valentine was sent there because she was considered “too pretty” and therefore a moral danger to herself and others. Martha Cooney was put away after she complained that a cousin had sexually molested her. The Asylums were often run by abusive and even sadistic nuns. All the women featured eventually escaped, but the emotional and physical strain these Magdalenes had to endure led to damaged lives.
Directed by Steve Humphries
1998, color and B&W, 50 mins.

* Silver Hugo
* Chicago International Film Festival

“What a pleasure,in the current surge of docu-soaps and their more stylish but similarly one-dimensional cousins,to see a study with some historical perspective.” — Time Out London
“...a breathtaking documentary.” — The Sunday Times
“...the most revealing work to date on Ireland ’s so-called fallen women.” — The Irish Examiner"

That is right off of Cinema Guild's website-  http://cinemaguild.com/catalog/index.html?http%3A//www.cinemaguild.com/mm5/merchant.mvc%3FScreen%3DSRCH%26Store_Code%3DTCGS

I had no idea... and this was happening until  1996!!!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

More on the transitions

"She laughs so she won't cry"... I have been going through the motions for the last couple of weeks getting my daughter started at kindergarten, changing my work schedule, and seeing my husband less and less. My daughter misses me. She won't eat during the day and when I come to pick her up after school she is a wreck. She yells at me, cries, and nothing I can do is right. Meanwhile I rarely see my husband anymore. I guess this is how MOST marriages are normally. This is what "NORMAL" is. I'm just not used to it. 

We used to carpool so I would see him in the mornings, then we would drop daughter off at preschool and I'd have him to myself for a few minutes while we rode to work. I'd see him again for the ride back to pick him up and the three of us would go home together. That's not happening anymore. There are days when I wake him up at 6am and then I don't see him again until 12 hours later. 

Yesterday I stopped by his office to bring him breakfast but he hadn't come in yet because he stopped to get his own somewhere. So I tried and failed. I'm tired. I'm supposed to be enjoying the new "me" time but I'm lonely. 

Instead of feeling sorry for myself I am trying to exercise more, eat better, focus on myself somehow. I want to do some writing but I'm scared to do it because I just feel like I have so much bottled up right now... ugh. I know we will get through this. I'm just tired of it all right now. 

I got some new clothes, I ordered an exercise dvd, I am talking to my husband as well as I can.... I am doing the "right things" I think  so save the advice. I just needed to vent a bit I guess, not that anyone reads this except me anyway.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

I am here

I haven't posted in a few weeks and now Blogger has changed everything so this is feeling a little new to me. I read somewhere that if you go more than a "fortnight" without posting on your blog then you lose readers. Maybe that is why this blog has the fewest readers of my three blogs... I don't post enough. I think the real reason is because the other two blogs are much more specific in their audiences. Oh well.

I am struggling right now and I don't always like to put that out there where people can see it. My weight loss has slowed down quite a bit and I haven't met my goals. Meanwhile my kid is changing schools, starting kindergarten, and doing an after-school program. She has hated the first three days of the after-school program so far and is really letting me know it. I feel guilty as hell, but she needs to do it even if it's only for fifteen minutes a day. I can only change my work hours so far. As it is I am exhausted at the end of the day now that I am getting up at 5am. It's an adjustment for all of us and I think on some level we are all miserable. That's life though. School happens and hopefully eventually we will all settle in. My wonderful husband let me go out and do some retail therapy today. I took him up on it. I know money wise things will catch up to us soon, but right now we had this little lull where our daycare bills are low and our car expenses haven't really hit us yet so I took advantage. Property taxes are around the corner though. I'll have to reign in the spending very soon.

As we try to figure out this new schedule stuff I am hoping to get some "me time" out of this deal. Right now I'm getting a few minutes in the morning, a morning commute to myself, and maybe a few minutes in the afternoon. If the kid would settle into the after school routine I might be able to stretch those minutes in the afternoon a little longer to get a good walk in or something. That would be really nice. I am dreading cold weather because I know it will be harder for me to exercise then.

Oh well.. mostly just wanted to check in and say "HI". Still here, still breathing, still trying to find time to read and write... lots of ideas in my head right now just having trouble getting them down.
Enhanced by Zemanta