I understand that things are a bit wonky over there in the GOP-led House of Representatives. And by “wonky” I mean “ungovernable.”
So I figured I’d offer the GOP a suggestion:
Whaddaya think? Am I on to something?
Ever since I was a little girl, I’ve wished on stars. And based on the fact that I’ve had a pretty good life, I’m quite certain that many of my wishes have come true.
However, there is a long list of things I’ve been wishing for for a while now, that just haven’t quite materialized.
An end to war, poverty, disease and hunger.
Reversal of global climate change so that our planet doesn’t die
Return of the collective brains of the GOP
What the fuck happened to those wishes, I wonder.
Until today, I just figured I hadn’t had enough opportunities to wish for the important things. Because it often takes more than one wish to achieve those things.
I realized that in order to fulfill my deepest desires, I need to get more wishes. I need to see more shooting stars.
And now I know how.
You see, I just read this morning that there is a modern day source for many of the shooting stars we see.
Astronaut Poop to be exact.
And I learned that when it is, ummmmmm, flushed, well, astronaut poop becomes a shooting star.
Updated — with VIDEO!
So, in order to get all my wishes to come true, and you will agree, they are completely selfless, wonderful wishes, well, the answer is simple.
If I were to go up in space, with my Crohn’s Disease in full, well, flush, we could even get Donald Trump to shut up.
Sometimes, I am left speechless.
Sometimes, I feel my gag reflex going into hyper-drive.
And sometimes, I just need to get out of the way and let some folks speak for themselves.
So I’m gonna do just that tonight.
Here is GOP Presidential Candidate neurosurgeon Ben Carson, MD
And since I know you, and I KNOW you didn’t click on that video, I will have to step back up to the plate and tell you that the good doctor explained that we Democrats are all wrong.
It’s true, apparently.
Dr. Carson let all of us know that the GOP, well, they aren’t so bad. Women should like them, even.
So says the No. 2 (in some polls) Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson. It’s true. He said on Thursday that Democrats were wrong to allege Republicans were waging a “war on women.”
“They tell you that there’s a war on women,” he said. “There is no war on women. There may be a war on what’s inside of women, but there is no war on women in this country.”
This guy should be headlining in the Poconos. What an eff’in commedian.
Oh, well, maybe I do have something else to add:
Do you ever go back and look at your old posts? There are a few that stand out in my memory, but mostly I forget about them unless someone else says something that brings it all back. And then I have to go look.
Kate, from Views and Mews by Coffee Kat recently posted about her experience with customer service. It reminded me of this one, the second post here on FiftyFourAndAHalf. That was over four years ago, and the world of customer service, and the robots who “service” us has not improved.
* * *
Automated telephone answering systems are responsible for the 40% increase in psychotic events over the past 15 years.
That’s my theory, anyway. My hypothesis. I’m not sure how to prove it, but it is true. My secondary hypothesis is that all incidents of domestic terrorism are directly tied to automated telephone systems. The FBI should investigate.
Personally, I become psychotic each and every time I have to press 1 for this and 2 for that. I’ll cut them a break for language, though. I have no problem pressing 1 for English. People need to grumble in their native tongue. Spanish speakers should have that right too.
But in fact, nobody gets to bitch. We just press 1 or 2 respectively and listen to additional options, none of which are what we want. None of the prompts come even close to what really want. None of them says “Press 4 to scream at a human.”
I become progressively more apoplectic with each and every telephone prompt. Eventually, with perseverance, I finally get a person. And by the time I do, that person on their end of the telephone is thinking long and hard about their career choice.
It’s not their fault. I always tell them that. I know it is true. But that fact doesn’t alleviate any of my anger at the time I have spent just to get to them. And nine times out of ten, the human I have reached is the wrong human in the wrong department and usually in the wrong country. I must start again. My psychosis soars along with my blood pressure.
There is even one telephone prompt voice that makes my blood boil. I call her Sybil. Sybil is everywhere: at my cable company and my power company and a couple of the banks I briefly considered doing business with until I heard her speak. She is young, chatty. She pretends to be my friend. She is not my friend. I do not want to be friends with a telephone prompt. I do not want to talk to her. I do not want to do anything she asks of me. And I really do not want to press her buttons. She is pressing mine. Remotely.
On average, after approximately 5 different prompts I am invariably led to a dead end where I have the same four original choices, none of which remotely fulfilled my need at the start. Or, if somehow one of the choices would work, I am promptly disconnected. I must start again with Sybil.
I am pretty sure the cost savings in terms of personnel is not worth it for businesses. Often by the time I am done with a call about this or that, I am ready to destroy the building. And if all your customers feel that way—and they do–perhaps you should rethink your policy.
One minute with a person early on and my problem would have been solved, amicably, and I would be a satisfied customer. Instead, an hour later, I would give all that I own for a battalion of similarly psychotic customers who would help me storm company headquarters and pin down just one human for us to yell at in turn. But by the time my turn comes, of course, I will have forgotten why I want to yell at them. And then I’ll have to talk to Sybil again.
I know, I just posted this video. But you gotta admit, it fits. Besides, it’s my damn blog.
You probably can’t tell from my blog posts, but I love words. I love the sound of them, the feel of them in my mouth and at my fingertips. How changing just one word can transform a sentence from shit to shinola.
So I love it when somebody proves me right-ish. Or like I’m in the right pew.
For decades one term has bothered me. “Pro-Choice.”
Abortion ain’t a “whole wheat or rye” sort of “choice.”
So I’ve had my thinking cap on for all that time, trying to think of a better way to say it. What else could it be called? What word can express the magnitude of that decision for any woman.
And am I the person to come up with it anyway? You see, I never had an abortion. I never was able to get pregnant. So perhaps it isn’t my role.
But I do know women who’ve had abortions. I’ve sat with them, talked with them, consoled them. They have been friends and near-strangers who somehow tell me their deepest trouble. They are not women who are making a “choice.” Rather they are women slicing a piece of their own heart out, most often because they have no “choice.”
That includes two women who were forced to have late-term terminations. You know, the kind that is being outlawed in state after state, mostly by men, with no exceptions for rape, incest, the life of the mother. No basis in the real world of what women face.
These two women had nearly identical stories. Their prenatal testing showed that their fetuses had trisomy 18 (From WebMD):
A “trisomy” means that the baby has an extra chromosome in some or all of the body’s cells. In the case of trisomy 18, the baby has three copies of chromosome 18. This causes many of the baby’s organs to develop in an abnormal way.
There are three types of trisomy 18:
Full trisomy 18. The extra chromosome is in every cell in the baby’s body. This is by far the most common type of trisomy 18.
Partial trisomy 18.The child has only part of an extra chromosome 18. That extra part may be attached to another chromosome in the egg or sperm (called a translocation). This type of trisomy 18 is very rare.
Mosaic trisomy 18. The extra chromosome 18 is only in some of the baby’s cells. This form of trisomy 18 is also rare.
Because trisomy 18 causes such serious physical defects, many babies with the condition don’t survive to birth. About half of babies who are carried full-term are stillborn. Boys with trisomy 18 are more likely to be stillborn than girls.
Of those babies who do survive, less than 10% live to reach their first birthday. Children who do live past that milestone often have severe health problems that require a large amount of care. Only a very small number of people with this condition live into their 20s or 30s.
Both women were happily married. They and their husbands wanted their babies; they were devastated by the news. These women had to choose when, not if the baby they wanted so much would die. One of them said that because their fetus had a condition called Intra-uterine growth restriction, the baby would essentially starve to death inside of her. And then she’d go through labor.
See what I mean about “choice”? It’s way more like being between a rock and a hard place. Or just being in a hard place.
In all my years, and with the numerous women I’ve known who’ve terminated a pregnancy, there was only one who did it casually. She’s a staunch Republican.
So I was delighted when I read about Sister Joan Chittister recently. Because she’s the one who made me realize it’s not us, it’s them.
We’re not necessarily the ones with the wrong term. They are. Because they are DECIDEDLY NOT PRO-LIFE:
I do not believe that just because you’re opposed to abortion, that that makes you pro-life. In fact, I think in many cases, your morality is deeply lacking if all you want is a child born but not a child fed, not a child educated, not a child housed. And why would I think that you don’t? Because you don’t want any tax money to go there.
That’s not pro-life. That’s pro-birth. We need a much broader conversation on what the morality of pro-life is.
Recently, a close friend/relative was diagnosed with a chronic disease. He’s pretty miserable.
It’s a hard thing to accept, that diagnosis. To find out that you have something nasty that you don’t want, and it’ll always be with you. Gee Willikers, who the hell do you thank for that?
Still, having had a chronic disease for forty years, I’ve learned a thing or two that I can pass along.
I’ve learned that basically, it’s a frog’s life. Yup. A while ago I figured out that living life with a chronic disease simply means you’re a frog.
You see, most of the time, life is normal. You hang out in the pond with your family and friends. You eat bugs which is gross, of course. But still, life is good most of the time.
But naturally, life isn’t quite that easy. It isn’t quite that easy if you don’t have health problems. But if you do, well, you have to pay attention to what happens to you. The Devil is in the details. Actually, the devil is in the damn symptoms you probably think aren’t worth bothering with.
You have to watch out for pot. Pots. You have to watch out for pots.
Oh surely you’ve heard about frogs and pots!
No? Let me rekindle that image.
Rumor has it* that sometimes someone (an asshole no doubt) puts a poor, unsuspecting frog into a pot of boiling water. The frog (being smarter than the average bear) immediately jumps out. Of course s/he does! It’s painful! If s/he doesn’t, well, we won’t need to worry about that frog’s gender much longer.
Sometimes with a chronic illness, you get really sick. It’s dramatic, debilitating. It sucks. And generally, the reaction is to JUMP!
Jump! To the phone to call the doctor. Jump! To call the nurse. Jump! To call my husband. Jump! To scream to heaven for my mother (because, in spite of the fact that she is in another realm, when something hurts, I want Mooooooooooooooom!). Jump! To call my sympathetic friends.
Hell, I’ll call whoever will come and help me. Because the water in that pot is too damn hot; I must react. Whatever it takes. I then follow the advice I’m given, and feel better. Much better.
Sadly, it’s not always easy being green. Or having a chronic disease.
You see, sometimes, the frog ends up in a pot of cool, refreshing water. And then, dammit, that same asshole turns on the heat. The results ain’t pretty.
Twice in the past few years, I’ve found myself hanging out in that stupid damn pot after someone turned on the gas (sometimes literally). In retrospect, it seems idiotic of me.. Me! The expert patient, with 40 years of practice! It seems so obvious. But day to day, really, it is not at all clear that the water I’m in has heated up so much that, well, getting out just doesn’t seem worth the effort.
Because, you see, when you have a chronic illness, there are little things that creep up, little pains that are really nothing. Nothing at all. Certainly nothing to complain about. Nothing to worry about. Nothing to mention to that person on the other side of the bed.
Just as surely, it’s nothing worth calling the doctor about. Nothing even worth remembering during those routine visits. Nope, it’s all good.
But then suddenly, unexpectedly, you realize that that little ache, that pain that started off so mild, that has stayed with you and built up. Day by day. Suddenly it becomes unbearable.
So, I thought of what advice I should give to my poor depressed friend.
Pay attention to your symptoms. If you have an acute problem, jump out of the pot. Call your doctor. Duh!
Pay attention to your symptoms. If something little seems hardly worth mentioning – JUMP ANYWAY!!! JUMP OUT OF THE DAMN POT!
More specifically, call your doctor. Let him or her know what is happening. SQUEAK! I know that’s what mice do, but I’m sure frogs squeak too,when they have to, too. It may be nothing, in fact, it probably is. But mention it anyway. And if it is something, there may be help closer to hand than you think.
The two times I stayed in the pot?
The first time I didn’t want to go on a medicine my doctor thought would help me; I read too much. The day after my first dose of that medication I was nearly pain free. Gradually, I had been barely able to walk, sit or stand. I have a good doctor but I didn’t want to follow her advice.
The second time, I was somewhat less stupid. I was away, and developed a painful skin condition, that started up slowly. It was no big deal. NBD at all. Until, after a couple of weeks, it was. When I talked to my doctor, she made a simple recommendation. I followed it and the pain went away.
I’ve lived with Crohn’s for 40+ years. And you know what I’ve learned? Find a good doctor, and listen to him or her. Then just float along as best you can.
Because except for eating bugs, a frog’s life is pretty damn good.
* When I was looking this up on my bible, Wikipedia, I learned that this whole “frog in the pot” thing may not be precisely true. It may not be that a frog will just hang out until it dies while the water heats up. Fuck you Wikipedia. Way to ruin a good metaphor. Go eat bugs, Wikipedia.
All images are from Google. I leap in your general direction, Google images!
Periodically, I take some heat here at FiftyFourAndAHalf for being one sided in my political commentary. For not saying nice things about the GOP. There is some validity to those charges. My bad.
But, frankly, there are loads of folks who write up the other side. I have said that if the Republican Party hadn’t taken Ronald Reagan’s “The Government IS the Problem” quite so much to heart, well, things might be different. I might be different.
But as things turned out, you see, well, I’m a liberal. An unapologetic liberal.
When I look at today’s GOP (which is very different from the pre-Reagan GOP) I am astonished that there are folks who go along with the things these folks are advocating. They’re cra-cray!
Only today, Governor and GOP Presidential hopeful Scott Walker announced that he might just have to bomb Iran his first day in office. You know, before he knows were the bathrooms are in the White House. The minute he gets near the button, well, he might just push it.
Some newly elected prezes watch a parade and dance at the Inaugural balls. But not Scott! Nope! Nope, he will inaugurate his own balls by starting a fucking war.
Even ¿Jeb!, the brother of the last GOP guy to bring us a stupid war, thought that Scotty was going a wee bit too far:
One thing that I won’t do is just say, as a candidate, ‘I’m going to tear up the agreement on the first day.’ That’s great, that sounds great but maybe you ought to check in with your allies first, maybe you ought to appoint a secretary of state, maybe secretary of defense, you might want to have your team in place, before you take an act like that.
Scotty, however, disagreed:
At a press conference after his appearance at the Family Leader Summit here Saturday, Walker was asked if he thinks Bush is wrong. “He may have his opinion. I believe that a president shouldn’t wait to act until they put a cabinet together or an extended period of time,” Walker said.
“I believe they should be prepared to act on the very first day they take office. It’s very possible – God forbid, but it’s very possible – that the next president could be called to take aggressive actions, including military action, on the first day in office. And I don’t want a president who is not prepared to act on day one.
This is not a man who thinks he might have to react to a 9/11-like attack. This is a man with no military experience except the fucking Boy Scouts, And he is planning to go to war on January 20, 2017.
Does this make you feel safe? Secure? Like your children and your children’s children will be hunky dory?
Personally, it gives me a feeling of déjà vu:
Contrast that with the Democrats. They just negotiated an historic agreement to avoid war. To see what we can do to not destroy the planet. Well done, Blue Team!
Wendy Sherman, Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs who was involved in the negotiations, described what happened after the deal was concluded. After the cameras and the reporters were gone.
[E]ach of the foreign ministers of the P5+1 group – the U.S., Britain, France, Russia, China and Germany – and Iran “made a statement about what this meant to them.”
“All of the remarks, by all of the ministers, including [Iranian Foreign] Minister [Javad] Zarif, were very moving, because it was private, and it was about what this deal meant to them.”
But the last spot was reserved for John Kerry.*
“When I was 22, I went to war” – [Kerry said] before choking up.
“He couldn’t get the words out,” [Sherman] recalled. “And everybody was completely spellbound.”
Kerry composed himself and continued, “I went to war and it became clear to me that I never wanted to go to war again.”
Do you have kids? Grand kids? Siblings who might be called upon to fight? Which side should you be supporting?
So I am unapologetic about supporting the folks who believe that before going to war, they should work for peace.
* Kerry would have made a fine president.
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