ACA

From One Feminist to Another

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I’ve seen a lot of both positive and negative responses to Emma Watson’s UN speech. I was asked for my opinion of her speech by a few people on Facebook and Twitter. So, here I am, typing away.

So, without further ado, here is my bucket of thoughts on the matter -

I didn’t hate it, I didn’t like it, personally I felt it was much like my favorite stuffed bear I had as a child. Not Emma Watson, mind you, but her speech. I loved that bear. My bear was soft, fluffy and comforting. It somehow made me think that the Boogeyman would avoid my room. Well, in reality, the Boogeyman never existed, and my bear would have been completely useless if an intruder broke in to kidnap me. My bear would have just sat there in its adorable clown outfit while I was raped and murdered. Emma’s speech was adorable, and completely useless. It was a teddy bear pretending to be a Rottweiler. Not only that, it furthered the idea that us civilized people are ridiculously narcissistic.

Example: The woman living in the Middle East being stoned to death after she was raped is not so concerned about Obama’s White House paying their female workers less.

Example: The homosexual sentenced to death in Saudi Arabia is, I’m guessing, not so concerned about whether your male friend can feel free to let his emotions floweth.

Example: The little girl suffering through genital mutilation is probably not worried about the fact that Emma was called “bossy.”

To quote Justin Timberlake, “cry me a river” came to mind.

Now, I’m not saying that little issues shouldn’t be addressed, but addressing them in a room with world leaders – a large portion of them still allowing women to be brutalized – is wildly silly. It’s like sitting in a room with Michael Vick and his followers and trying to encourage them to support a Tempur Pedic dog line because your buddy Fido seems to be a bit achy in the morning.

“When I was 8, I was called bossy because I wanted to direct a play we would put on for our parents. When at 14, I started to be sexualized by certain elements of the media. At 15, my girlfriends started dropping out of sports teams because they didn’t want to appear masculine” she boldly proclaims to the man that thinks women should be held down and mutilated so that they don’t feel pleasure during sex.

“At 18, my male friends were unable to express their feelings” she tearfully says while trying to convince a world leader that thinks homosexuals should be beheaded.

“Both men and women should feel free to be sensitive” she says to a world leader who let dogs eat his uncle.

Side note: For people that claim to respect science more than anyone else, those that applaud the idea that men and women should be treated the same emotionally have completely rejected biology so as to create their own overarching moral system. Period. Men and women are different, suicides and depression increased when we started denying this.

So, in the end you can say, “It was meant for the world, not just for the men and women in the room!”, and yet it will still be about as effective as Obama’s hashtag diplomacy in getting anything done. It is ivory tower theatrics, Thurston and Lovey Howell-esque rhetoric. No offense, Emma darling, but the way I feel about your speech is similar to how your side would feel if Romney complained about money. It’s like a pageant contestant saying that they want to end world hunger while standing in a $2000 gown with a cloud of hairspray looming above their head. It’s adorable, it’s predictable, and “powerful” according to a magazine that will spend more than I will make in a lifetime ensuring that they get the first photo of the next celebrity baby named after a piece of fruit. Excuse me if I don’t raise my glass of Dom Perignon to their ability to relate to the little people and decide what is “powerful.”

Sounds harsh? Yes. Yes it does. Life is harsh.

Moving on…

Emma cited Edmund Burke saying, “all that is needed for the forces of evil to triumph is for good men and women to do nothing.” In actuality, that wildly popular quote was never found in his writings, and for the sake of the discussion I’ll post his exact words:

When bad men combine, the good must associate; else they will fall, one by one, an unpitied sacrifice in a contemptible struggle.”

Same meaning, but interestingly enough, I doubt that she would use Edmund Burke as a point of reference in any other way. Why? Well, when he was making these statements, he was simultaneously saying that the preservation of citizens and the success of a country are intrinsically linked to Christianity. He spoke on the rights of ALL men, and the need for restraint of passions frequently. Not to put words in his mouth, but I’m going to go out on a limb and say that he’d have quite a few words for women dressed in vagina costumes fighting to remove rights from innocent infants. He wouldn’t support the various government programs that are aimed not at equality, but at giving the weaker sex as many handouts as possible so as to keep them enslaved (I didn’t call them weaker, liberals did by their actions). That’s not equality, Emma.

She spent a good portion of time discussing why she believes feminism has lost its zest. She claims that it is all about the false man hating rhetoric. I would challenge that position. I would say that it is because we have stripped feminism of its purpose. We have lost sight, Emma. I would say that we traded principles for weapons grade stupidity. There is a woman that sent her child to school with vagina cookies, Emma. Vagina cookies. Then she told the teacher that didn’t particularly appreciate them that she wished her future husband would abuse her for not happily accepting the vagina cookies. There is a woman who changed into a man, and then fought to teach breastfeeding AS a man. He won. A major part of the 2012 election revolved around the words “free contraception.” We call Beyonce empowering for prancing around in a thong and doing sexual favors for her man because she  “just wanna be the girl you like.” The word “feminism” is rejected by women with brains not only because so called “feminists” act like man haters, but also because they’ve dumbed us down to petty, weak, ignorant, drama loving toys who don’t care about what is happening to our own sex in other countries.

See, Emma, back in the day women’s rights meant something. We started off saying, “WE ARE MORE THAN OBJECTS!!!!” and have now moved to “LOOK, WE ARE SHINY OBJECTS!!!!” and we pretend that it has something to do with loving our bodies. We started off by saying that life in the womb was sacred, now we are just vending machines that can be emptied and reused. The feminist movement started off by saying that we have minds, that we have individual opinions, and that we should have the right to voice those opinions and be taken seriously. Now we have moved towards the idea that if we don’t support Sir Nurses-A-Lot we don’t care about female empowerment. Emma, I can’t take the lady that sent cookies decorated as vaginas to school with her 2nd Grade daughter seriously. Honestly, at this point I wouldn’t be surprised if she finger paints on her walls with peanut butter and calls herself Picasso.

Feminists of today do not deserve the title. Say I take a can of Spam and slap the label “Steak” on it… Would that make the Spam a steak? No. It would make me desperate to sell you Spam under false pretenses so as to get a higher profit that I shouldn’t receive. This is what feminism has done. It has taken what the original feminists believed to be oppression, and labeled it by a familiar name that makes other people think that they are doing something worthy of their accolades.

Emma spoke of being sexualized, as though it was unwelcomed. Yet she took home a paycheck from Burberry and Lancôme. That’s not an issue in need of calling in the feminist brigade to save her from the grimy hands of men, that’s an issue that feminists themselves have created. They are not consistent in their complaints. They don’t want to be sexualized, but when they get paid to be sexualized it is beautiful because then it is somehow taking pride in their body. They have decided when they get to be a victim, and that doesn’t work.

The problem is that feminism works kind of like a 5 year-old child left to clean his room by himself. Mom comes to the door and suddenly he’s cleaning, Mom walks away and then he is playing again. Emma Watson steps up to a microphone and suddenly it’s all about respecting ourselves and equality, Emma steps away from the microphone and it goes back to being reruns of the vagina monologues and genital pastries. They fight phantom monsters because going after the real monsters are too scary. They don’t have the ability to be a voice for brutalized women because they are too scared to step out of line and be labeled an anti-feminist. The feminists I know are only as brave as their edgy t-shirts and tampon earrings will permit them to be. Heaven forbid they say something that Wendy Davis, Sandra Fluke, and Hillary Clinton wouldn’t agree with.

Feminism hasn’t become a negative term because it has been given a bad rap, it has become a negative term because the current leaders and voices of the movement are idiots.

Some people may be reading this and thinking, “Well, Emma never said that she blatantly supported abortion, nor did she go into detail on her own personal beliefs.” I concur, but that is irrelevant. What is relevant is who is absorbing her message, and what conclusions they come to. What group did this empower? That matters. As much as I’d love to think that there will simply be a bunch of little girls running around saying, “I’m not bossy” – while I hope they one day grow up into someone that isn’t rendered powerless or weakened by a 5 letter word – I know that it won’t end there.

I know that the people doing a fist bump were the individuals that wish to allow little boys into little girls rooms because they “feel different,” without taking any care to evaluate what that might do to the little girls. Because the child that feeds their rhetoric is important, the other children aren’t. A confused little boy shouldn’t have to use the little boy’s room, but the vast number of little girls who will now be confused just need to “get over it” and learn tolerance.

I know some of the individuals who screamed “AMEN” during her speech are the very people that think slicing an infant’s spine at 8 months along is acceptable.

I know that some of those rejoicing over this speech are the very individuals who have turned their back on women, called Islam the religion of peace, and ignored the screams of the millions of brutalized women. All in the name of the cause though, right?

I know that many of those giving Emma accolades are the very same people that don’t think that I should have a gun to protect myself. They fight on behalf of men that may wish to brutalize me, and yet call themselves feminists.

THAT is what matters.

I would have been more impressed had she pointed to her audience and said something similar to the following:

“We as women will give a voice to the child brides and the victims of sex slavery. We will fight for the women that you have allowed to be brutalized. We will ask good men to join us, and we will stand up to men like you. We will stand strong, we will be powerful, and we will be heard. We will show you that we are not mere objects, that we are not weak, and that those silenced by your governments will be remembered. We will not support a porn industry that has aided in the slavery of women. We will no longer let you insult our intelligence. We will be valued. We will not fall for propaganda that leads to us electing leaders that have empowered you. Leaders that have helped you to continue harming us. We refuse to adapt the victim mentality.”

I know I sound like I’m being hard on Emma. I am. I think she means well, but I don’t agree with her on many points, and I refuse to pretend like I do. I support the original goals of the feminist movement, and I support my ability to come to a conclusion that is not spoon fed to me by the religion of feminism. Because THAT is what feminism was originally about.

- MB

Defining a Hero

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A while back I wrote Defining a Monster (click here for link to post), this is my follow up:

My 5 year-old nephew runs into the room slamming his fists to the ground, pretending as though he were the star of an action packed blockbuster. Our masked vigilante valiantly fighting the evils of the world that’s located inside his vivid imagination with his staggering height and built muscles, which also only exist in his vivid imagination. He’s still at the age where he thinks that finishing off his potatoes will bring instant results to his muscle mass. I remember being little and constantly thinking of stories in my head, I look at him and just think of the wheels that must be turning. The momentary bravery it takes to fight the elusive “bad guy” that he’s created, and then the innocence of the hero that suddenly needs milk with his brownie and pizza.

As we entered the new year, I noticed a lack of excitement that normally accompanies the determination that somehow gets harpooned into our souls when the clock strikes midnight. It was as if we spent all of 2013 sailing closer and closer to Cape Horn, and as we stood on the ship deck counting down the minutes to midnight we contemplated the dangers of the waters soon to be traveled. Instead of the ball dropping in time square, we saw the high winds, the sharp rocks, the daunting icebergs; all of the dangers ahead would surely find us to be inexperienced sailors in well over our head, and they would undoubtedly take advantage at every possible turn. I don’t think it’s a secret, 2014 is not a number known for its coming joys for America.

Since the new year we have faced insurance difficulties, as well as an updated projection from the CBO for what we should expect for future full-time job loss due to the ACA. The expected numbers more than doubled, and the part time epidemic is set to take hold due to insurance regulations.  Additionally, yet another poor job report was released last week that seems to prove the pessimistic economists to be prophets. I’ll definitely be talking about some of those issues in the coming posts, but today I wanted to do something different.

I am not always the most delicate in my deliverance of opinion. I find the truth to be best when it’s laid out bare; admittedly, concerns over the brittleness of eggshells rarely infiltrate my mind. Reason is of the utmost importance to me, to a fault I might add. There’s no denying that God has His hands full with me and my unbridled skepticism, I surely earn my place on the cross daily. Have you ever played 20 questions with a 5 year old? Now imagine your patience level by question 50. Now tack on a couple million questions and you might have a feeling for what God endures from this daughter of His.

Issues & debates are puzzles, puzzles need to be solved. Period. I have to shut that part of me down sometimes, followed by walking away due to the fact that shutting that part down is normally not a process I’m willing to perform twice. My tolerance level for discursiveness is not what one would note as “desirable“, for me it’s like taking the organized puzzle pieces and throwing them on the ground in an attempt to complete the puzzle. It doesn’t make sense. More so, I find that we are far too delicate in matters that call for unabashed truth, and often brash in matters that call for delicacy. It’s the human condition colliding with Christianity that I wrote about in my last post. So while some may charge me with being too critical of the Christian, “my own kind”, I’ve always been more apt to lean on the side of logic and ignore the social norms of Sunday night potluck positivity.

Growing up I loved things that glowed in the dark; stars on a ceiling, secret notes on black paper, etc. (Clearly I was meant to be a spy.) But I always remember those things being so dull when all of the lights were on. You couldn’t see them or admire their contributions to the dark in a fully lit room. We used to run and find a room that had no windows, the darker the better; every step into the darkness made the secret words on black paper easier to read, every bit of sun that disappeared made the stars brighter. Some may accuse me of dwelling on the negative, or obsessing with the world. That’s their opinion. I don’t dwell on the negative, I just care deeply about those swallowed up by the negative. I’m not obsessed with the world, I simply hurt for those in its grasps. And sometimes, I turn off all the lights and look in the darkness for that glimmer of light that refused to buckle in to the black. My admiration for those glimmers of light and how Christ used them outweigh any assumptions of my obsessions with the repugnance of the world in my mind. To be honest, I am filled with hope, overflowing with gratitude for my Savior, and breathlessly amazed at how He moves in this world. As the song goes, I pray that my heart continues to break for what breaks His.

SO, in honor of the approaching sharp rocks, I couldn’t think of anything more fitting than to write about a few men that saw danger and met it with heroic determination. In a world where Iron Man is idolized and Thor is worshiped, sometimes the most heroic of men go unnoticed. Right now I’m content with my nephew’s infatuation with Captain America and his powerful shield that brings down the evil that stalks the world, but someday I hope his adoration and interests are held by men who didn’t need a shield; men with hearts that shook the world more than The Hulk’s mighty fists ever could. The logic that appealed to the natural instinct of self-preservation in these men was trumped by the logic of human worth and hope, which is itself an act that defies the idea of a Godless world and speaks to the greatest form of proof for Him that we can experience daily. That is why sometimes it’s a good thing to acknowledge the dark.

We do not know what a Jew is, we know only men.” – Words spoken by Andre Trocme when asked by the Nazis to produce a list of Jews. Andre lived in Le Chambon-sur-Lignon, France during the Holocaust. He, along with his wife, were responsible for helping what is believed to be over 4000 Jewish refugees find homes in his city. He, as the “spiritual leader”, encouraged the townspeople to do the work of God. He continued to tell his followers that when the Nazis came and took him away – for his refusal to provide a list – that they were to continue in the effort to save as many as they could. He woke up every morning to the realization that his life could end, or that he would be imprisoned, and everyday his ethical convictions drove him to continue. Thankfully, he survived the war and passed away in 1971.

Giovanni Palatucci was an Italian Police Official and chief of the Foreigners’ Office. He was put in charge of the Adriatic seaport of Fiume (Croatia). In 1938 the anti-Jewish laws were put into place, and he disobeyed said laws. He forged travel papers for hundreds of Jews so that they could flee persecution. In 1943 the government fell and was occupied by the Nazis. He was ordered to arrest the Jews and have them deported to concentration camps. Simply defying orders would have led to his termination and be of no help to the Jews, so he devised and executed a plan to have over 5000 Jews sent to a refugee camp that was managed by his uncle. He then destroyed records of all the refugees, and they were saved from the imminent doom that would have met them in Nazi concentration camps. He died at the age of 35 after being arrested by the Gestapo and sent to a concentration camp for his actions. He knew what his actions would cost him if exposed, and yet he charged ahead with a bravery that would put us all to shame.

Chiune Sugihara was a Japanese Diplomat. As vice-consul for a Japanese consulate in Lithuania, he kept his country updated on the actions of both the Nazis, and the Soviet troops. Once the Nazi invasion of Lithuania began, the Jews were scrambling for ways to escape the Nazis that were rounding them up like cattle. It is unknown how many Jews Chiune saved, some speculate that it was 5000, others believe a more accurate number to be 10,000. He was issuing visas to anyone that came to him, writing them for 18 hours a day, violating direct orders in the name of human compassion. Even while he was en route to the train station after being reassigned, he was handwriting visas and throwing them out the car window for desperate Jews. Many of the passports in the crowd were still unstamped when he boarded the train, so he threw his official stamp into the crowd for them to use. Hence why the number of Jews he saved is impossible to even try to calculate.

“I cannot allow these people to die, people who have come to me for help with death staring them in the eyes. Whatever punishment may be imposed on me, I know I should follow my conscience.” – Chiune Sugihara

Chiune Sugihara was finally recognized in 1985 for his heroic rescue of so many Jews. He passed away in 1986.

Does it not concern anyone else that these men disobeyed direct orders, put their lives on the line, one actually losing his life, and yet we don’t speak out about issues because we don’t want to be “divisive” with our dinner party friends? Does that not get to anyone else? Slavery, persecution, etc. are taking place all over the world, and who we vote for decides if we’re going to continue financially supporting those acts. You don’t even have to hide persecuted individuals in your home and disobey the laws of your country, you just have to say the truth! You just have to speak! Educate! Stand up for what is right!

In the next year many families will face financial turmoil. They’ll take on an insurance payment that is equal to, or possibly exceeds, the cost of a mortgage payment. They’ll cut, scrimp, and will no longer save. Is being low on money the worst thing to happen to a person? FAR from it. But this is just the beginning. Families will not be able to afford their deductibles, people will go without healthcare. Healthcare will continue to decline as it becomes less care and more of a conveyor belt health service. People will become numbers, elderly will be declined the care they desperately need. Businesses will start preparing for the ACA, jobs will be cut, unemployment compensation will be insufficient. Families will lose their homes or get creative in their living situations. These are just the facts that we have to step back and recognize them for what they are.

How many of us have heard (or said), “God is in control, I’m not going to concern myself with worldly issues.”?? I know I have heard it PLENTY of times.

The problem: The bible is full of action against evil.

God is in control, but that doesn’t mean that we don’t have a responsibility to be a voice for the voiceless. As I said earlier about my need for rationality, I look at the world and ponder the theory that silence from Christians is what’s needed, but I find that ideal lacking in any evidence that would substantiate its viability. I’m not asking you to spend this year hiding Jewish refugees in your walls, I’m just asking you to have conversations, to try and educate those around you. Speak the truth. If you don’t know what to speak of, then research the issues plaguing this nation, connect with those who know about those issues and ask questions so that YOU can spread the word. What our government is doing to healthcare has happened elsewhere. What our government is doing to guns has happened elsewhere. What our government is doing with police power has happened elsewhere.

All of those attempts to “reduce crime”, “increase affordable healthcare”, and “make the streets safer” don’t work. In all actuality, those supposed “efforts” make things far more dangerous, careless, and elitist. If you pointed to a wolf and said “that’s a sheep, trust me!”, I still wouldn’t approach the “sheep” because common sense says that it will kill me. Pointing to the ACA and saying that it’s affordable healthcare doesn’t make it affordable, nor does it guarantee that my family will receive healthcare; as a matter of fact, it does the opposite for many hard working families.

Prepare yourself for the midterm elections, learn about your candidates. Don’t just research their opinion on one topic that will benefit your wallet, research what they stand for and how it will affect the rest of the world. The powerful governments “elsewhere” were strengthened by a populous that only cared about themselves, let’s not be that populous. I’m going to make a good number of blog posts about some of the candidates. If you live in a state and would like specific information on candidates, please message us.

Take a moment to thank God for men like Trocme, Palatucci, and Sugihara. Our world can be a dim place, it can be filled with overwhelming hatred and a callousness that makes us weep for the innocent lives that become trapped within its grip for reasons unanswered. But there are heroes that forge through the darkness regardless of what lies wait in the shadows, those men exist in our world today as well. Would you have the fortitude to be one of them?

Enemy-occupied territory – that is what this world is. Christianity is the story of how the rightful king has landed, you might say landed in disguise, and is calling us all to take part in a great campaign in sabotage.” – C.S. Lewis

-  MB

Hero

My Conversation With the ACA Live-Chat Rep

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[08:07:14 am]: Thanks for contacting Health Insurance Marketplace Live Chat. Please wait while we connect you to someone who can help.
[08:07:16 am]: Please be patient while we’re helping other people.
[08:07:19 am]: Welcome! You’re now connected to Health Insurance Marketplace Live Chat.Thanks for contacting us. My name is Kenneth. To protect your privacy, please don’t provide any personal information, like Social Security Number, or any other sensitive medical or personal information.
[08:07:28 am]: Kenneth
Welcome to the Health Insurance Marketplace, my name is Kenny, how may I help you?
[08:07:41 am]: Mb
Good Morning, Kenny
[08:08:40 am]: Kenneth
Good Morning Mb, How may I help you today?
[08:08:53 am]: Mb
Question: My Doctor that I have been going to for years has announced that he will retire due to the ACA. Have you been hearing a lot of that?
[08:09:58 am]: Kenneth
Unfortunately, yes I have.
[08:10:06 am]: Mb
Question: I have heard a lot of that. My fear is that if all of these doctors start quitting, our healthcare will be very poor.
[08:11:25 am]: Mb
What’s the point in being covered if you won’t get adequate care anyway?
[08:12:32 am]: Kenneth
Good point. Unfortunately, I don’t have an answer to that.
[08:13:42 am]: Mb
Ok. Sorry I’m taking up your time, this just has me very concerned because I have a chronic lung condition and I’m very upset about losing my specialist.
[08:14:19 am]: Kenneth
Understandable. No need to apologize.
[08:15:20 am]: Mb
Can the ACA guarantee me that I will receive the same value of care for my preexisting condition that was stabilized by a very effective specialist?
[08:17:15 am]: Kenneth
Well I do know, that pre-existing conditions cannot determine whether or not you can get the same sort of coverage. They are changing that so people with pre-existing conditions can still receive the same care they have been getting at, hopefully, lower costs.
[08:19:06 am]: Mb
But it won’t be the same level of care if specialists and high end doctors all quit.
[08:19:14 am]: Mb
Another question, if you don’t mind.
[08:20:12 am]: Mb
My Grandfather is incredibly sick and bedridden. What exactly is this “death panel” that everyone is talking about. Can you explain exactly how that works?
[08:22:21 am]: Kenneth
Unfortunately, I haven’t heard of anything like that. Looking in my information, I don’t see anything regarding hospice or anything like that. I apologize for the inconvenience.
[08:23:31 am]: Mb
Is there a government panel that decides to approve/deny treatment for terminal or low survival percentage patients?
[08:25:56 am]: Kenneth
Not that I know of. I would think that would be up to the Health Insurance Company.
[08:28:10 am]: Mb
Howard Dean (former Dem National Committee Chairman) made this statement: The IPAB will be able to stop certain treatments its members do not favor by simply setting rates to levels where no doctor or hospital will perform them.”
[08:28:12 am]: Mb
Is that true?
[08:28:50 am]: Kenneth
I do not know unfortunately. I don’t have any information that says yes or no to that statement.
[08:30:46 am]: Mb
Doesn’t the IPAB come to life if Medicare cost goes above the approved level? If you reduce reimbursements to the provider isn’t that a form of rationed care? Once again, I appreciate that you are trying to answer these questions for me.
[08:33:30 am]: Kenneth
I thank you for the kindness, but even with that, I wouldn’t have an answer to that either.
[08:35:37 am]: Mb
Well, that’s all I have for now. I feel as though with the lack of information provided (not just specifically from you) I’m not very comfortable with this healthcare whatsoever.
[08:37:12 am]: Kenneth
I can certainly understand that. You have raised some key points that I will definitely look into.
[08:40:01 am]: Mb
That would be great. Bless your heart, you’re probably getting a lot of these questions. I feel the need to voice the important questions…because as my hero Andrew Breitbart once said, “They think we should sit down and shut up, and that is ending right now”…
[08:41:19 am]: Kenneth
Amen to that.