There are no words

Just a quick thought on this link from Facebook: 

ALBANY, GA (WALB) – Breast feeding is now officially banned in Dougherty County schools.

The school board unanimously approved a policy Monday night that prohibits breast feeding by employees and students.

The policy does direct schools to set up private areas where breast feeding mothers can pump their breasts and store their milk.

Health care workers urged the board to allow breast feeding during non-instructional time.

The Superintendent says the board reviewed all sides before making a decision.

“As a board, and as a superintendent of schools, we looked at this and said they can expel milk. They can save that and then take it home. We just want to make sure that education in schools is designed for it’s supposed to be. That’s basically it. When we looked at the resolutions and the policies – they’re all in point. All of the discussion brought forth, even by the medical field, we tried to look at those to make sure everyone was taken care of and our schools were taken care of,” said Superintendent Dr. Joshua Murfree.

Dr. Murfree says it won’t cost anything to set up breast pumping areas.

The issue came up when a teacher asked if her baby could be brought to school so she could breast feed, and school system leaders realized they had no policy

I just have a couple quick thoughts/ questions about this.  Does that mean babies are not allowed on campus either?  What if someone brought their baby and started bottle feeding?  Would there be a separate “formula and bottle room”? 

I think the last sentence is the best, they realized they had no policy.  Ohhh boy!

There’s a Rockstar on a Red Bull chasing a Monster! Not at school though!

Last week I found a flyer in my daughter’s backpack, it said that the elementary school has banned all energy drinks from the campus.   My eye twitched for a minute.  Since when do elementary age kids need energy drinks?  Yeah, whenever my kid hasn’t had enough sleep I just give her a Monster!  NOT!!  Anyway, it caught my interest and we have a couple of cans of Rockstar Recovery: Energy+Hydration sitting on the counter that I could look at.

So first of all, the school newsletter said; Drinks defined as beverages with added caffeine, are not allowed in all JPS elementary schools.  It goes on to say: According to the APA, the concern with energy drinks is they frequently contain high and unregulated amounts of caffeine.  There was also an article that came home stated that energy drinks contain up to 3,000 mg of stimulants per serving.   Holy CRAP!   Other side effects the article points out include: heart palpitations; caffeine addiction; jitteriness and nausea; insomnia and increased propensity for strokes.  The article points out that the long-term effects of energy drinks on children are unknown but childhood energy drink usage might be linked to future drug use.  

Last year we walked in a diabetes walk and they were passing out Rockstar Recovery: Energy+Hydration drink.  My husband (the diabetic) and I tried some.  We still have them sitting on the counter.  It’s a 16 oz can with 2 servings.  That’s important because a single serving has a whole 80 mg of caffeine but let’s not kid ourselves;  people don’t generally share these so let’s just call it 160 mg of caffeine in a 16 oz can.  160 mg of caffeine is really comparable to a cup of coffee so if you wanted caffeine; coffee is your best bet.  Here is a comparison of different soft drinks and their caffeine content.  We see 8.2 oz of Red Bull has 80 mg of caffeine compared to 175 mg in 8 ozs of coffee.  The caffeine content in pop depends on the brand.  Coke, for example has 34.5mg in an 8 oz serving.  That’s fine if you keep it to 8 ozs but like I said before, if you have a 20 oz bottle of pop, What are the odds that you’re going to share it?  Now imagine going to 7-11 and getting a Double-Big gulp…

So anyway, back to elementary school kids with energy drinks.  I actually think it’s great that school systems are taking a stand and at least saying: Not in our building!   That of course doesn’t stop kids from getting their hands on a Red Bull when they are not in school but really, that’s the parents responsibility.  Some cities have responded to the problem by proposing laws that ban them,  not just on school campuses but banning businesses from selling them to, in this case, the 19 and under set.  That’s where it starts feeling like big brother to me.  One reason, why can’t an 18-year-old get one?   18 year olds can buy cigarettes!   Another reason: I feel that when laws get passed to replace common sense than society gets dumber.  (I’ll talk more about that some other time!) 

One more thing.  Most of the articles that I came across stressed the caffeine as the bad ingredient.  I did come across an article in  Science Based  that talked about the other ingredients that make up the 3,000 mg of stimulants that are so dangerous for kids.  As I said before I don’t have issues with the schools (public or private) saying “You can’t have that here!”  I would even advocate them taking pop machines out too.  What gets on my nerves though are the people screaming: “OMG!!!  THIS IS GOING TO KILL OUR KIDS AND TURN THEM INTO SLOBBERING DRUG ADDICTS!!!!!  There ought to be a law against this trash!”   Usually followed up with incomplete studies, anecdotal evidence and outraged media.  Blah, blah blah, you get the picture!

France bans the burqa: what’s next, clothes?

Ok, sorry for the horrible use of slippery slope but great job France!  Ok, maybe not.  The law was passed in October but there was a six month period set aside for informing the public.  I understand they are mostly doing it for safety but even some of the lawmakers brought up reasons that just make my head spin. 

Before I go any further, I want to say that I don’t care who you pray to.  ALL religions are the same to me.  If you look at history one could infer that all the violence from any one group had more to do with power and control than the love of or relationship with one’s personal deity.  Another thing: as much as I’m for the freedom to express your religious views/ customs (as long as they don’t directly harm others); I’m also against laws that ban speech or drawings that ridicule religious beliefs.  

So according to CNN, in addition to public safety they give this reason for the ban:

“Given the damage it [wearing the burqa] produces on those rules which allow the life in community, ensure the dignity of the person and equality between sexes, this practice, even if it is voluntary, cannot be tolerated in any public place,” the French government said when it sent the measure to parliament in May of last year.

On the surface it looks like the French parliament is on a mission to liberate muslim women.  Yes, even the ones who want to wear the garment.  Yes, of course some women are forced to wear it, which is completely ludicrous. Check out this comment from a post on The Stir:

I as a Muslim woman don’t have the right to demand other women to dress as I do, and they don’t have the right to demand that I dress as they do. Islam gives us freewill and for ANYONE to infringe upon our freewill to choose how we practice our faith is totally unacceptable, from France to Saudi the authorities have no place dictating what I wear. I find it so offensive that other people try to dictate what I wear or don’t wear and base their demands off of their beliefs without being educated on mine. All of these comments that Muslim women are considered lower than dogs, second class citizens ect, the TRUTH is that’s not what Islam says, the TRUTH is that the Quran requires the respect fair treatment and honoring of women. Get off the chain emails and the Islamaphobic websites. The only oppression that I have EVER gotten as a Muslim women is from non-Muslims insulting my faith and trying to “liberate” me from their false stereotypes and ignorance of Islam.

and this too:

Some women ARE forced to cover and that is 100% totally unacceptable and against Islam. Those individuals who are forcing Islam upon people ARE NOT following our religion. The Quran says that there is no compulsion in religion. As a Muslim it’s heartbreaking when I hear of Muslims being forced to do this or that, oppression and force isn’t what our religion is about, it’s not what Prophet Mohammad pbuh taught us. This evil that is occurring is happening because those individuals doing the oppression and forcing are not educated on Islam, they have been corrupted by cultural practices and extremism. That type of behavior is unacceptable. I will say that I have NEVER known any Muslim women personally who is being forced to cover, or even know personally a Muslim women who knows one personally who is being forced. I won’t say that it doesn’t happen, it does, it’s just a very small percentage. Do some “Muslim” countries have laws in place regarding acceptable dress for men and women in public yes, as does the USA, do some of those “Muslim” countries take those laws too far YES, is that acceptable NO

I think it’s fair to add that there is also a punishment for forcing the burqa or niqab.  

Penalties for forcing a person to wear a burqa are part of the law, and they became effective immediately in October.

Forcing a woman to wear a niqab or a burqa is punishable by a year in prison and a 30,000 euro fine (about $43,400). Forcing a minor to do the same thing is punishable by two years in prison and 60,000 euro.

I wonder why they didn’t stop with that.  Even so, how do you prove force?  Is the French government going to set up some clothing police or walk into people’s homes at the slightest sign of a disturbance just to make sure women aren’t being forced to wear something they don’t want to?  Someone else made the comment that [the state] banning the burqa or niqab is:  Not as bad as having a religion force you to wear something.

Oh really?   Well either way, the very small minority of women who choose to wear it are left without a choice regardless.  What kind of liberation is that?

Don’t we all have a right to our choices?

I was bumming around on Facebook and came across this article.  The topic is the seemingly hypocritical nature of the pro-choice crowd.   This was the last part of the article:

Pro-choice advocates are quite right to upbraid Republicans for opposing big government everywhere except the uterus: Do they really believe their own rhetoric about government and individual rights? It’s a fair question. It’s also a question abortion-rights advocates might want to ask themselves.

Disclaimer: Just so everyone knows, I’m Pro-Choice. I’m not here to argue for or against abortion, I thank my lucky stars I was never in that position. That being said: it’s legal, people are still against it, and no one can find common ground.

I’m really only going to delve into the questions of: Do doctors or hospitals have the right to refuse to provide a service if it goes against their morals? I’m also going to touch on the issue of pharmacists and emergency contraception;  a judge in Illinois recently ruled that pharmacists do have the right to refuse to pass out EC.

First, I want to mention one of the amendments that the clowns in Washington came up with.   It’s H.R. 358, AKA The Protect Life Act (interesting name since money seems to be the main concern, not life),  here is a summary and here is the full text.. The PLA was drafted to amend portions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. It has been convoluted and twisted so much that I’m not going to bother to argue for or against it. I also want to add that the bill hasn’t been voted on and probably won’t be. I do want to talk in hypotheticals and explore possible solutions if this ever went through.

So let’s say the PLA did pass and amended parts of the PPACA. This would give doctors and hospitals a choice concerning how they run their business. If the doctor or hospital administration does not agree with abortion and doesn’t feel right performing the procedure, then they don’t have to and don’t have to face legal action because of their moral choice.

This is where many pro-choice advocates say: “Hold up! What about the woman who has a life threatening condition and is unable to safely stay pregnant?” Part of me shares that concern, but the other part of me says: What ‘life threatening condition’ is so dire that one couldn’t be transferred to another facility?

I don’t pretend to be an expert but I have been pregnant twice and from all the pregnancy books I’ve gone through I don’t remember any cases where ”We have to end this pregnancy N-O-W!” conditions exist. That being said, if there are cases like this, I’d like to learn about them.

The life of the mother aside, we know that the majority of abortions are routine. We also know that the women this bill is going to impact are those who have to buy into a healthcare exchange (PPACA), whether they are low-income or have an employer that doesn’t offer health insurance coverage.   It may also affect women who live in more conservative areas but lets face it, in some parts of the country abortion providers don’t have a presence to begin with.

So now I go back to the article from reason.com and answer the question: Do I really believe my own rhetoric about government and individual rights? I’m sorry to say, I don’t have a definitive answer on that.

I have a couple of ideas to deal with some of the unintended consequences this bill may cause. A database of hospitals and doctors who will not perform routine or emergency abortions can be set up. In addition to that, some type of signage needs to be posted outside the building to alert the potential patients of what procedures they don’t offer. That way women don’t need to waste time with a doctor who wont help them or, in the case of the ‘life threatening condition’, the patient could just be taken to a different facility.

Now if there were ever a case where a women who needed the procedure to save her life ended up at a hospital that doesn’t perform abortions, the hospital would then be responsible for stabilizing the patient, finding an alternate location, and arranging the patient transfer. It may be more ’work’ for the hospital but, oh well, at least their conscience will be clean and the woman got the needed medical attention.

With the issue of conservative pharmacists my compromise would be pretty much the same. There should be a national database of pharmacies who refuse to carry and dispense EC, as well as posting signs outside the building in plain view that advertise the fact. Another idea is to take the pharmacy out of the picture to begin with, if not at least partially by letting OBGYN’s dispense the pills?

On the other hand,I have no problems with individual pharmacy chains (example Walgreens, Right Aide, CVS) having some type of contract in place that says:

Company policy dictates: We dispense Emergency Contraception; you, the Pharmacist by accepting a position with our business will be required to fill the prescription. If you refuse, you will lose your job! The customer comes first!

This is absolutely with the rights of the business to enforce and I really wish more companies would take that stand. This would apply to hospitals as well.

In my humble opinion though, if there is an aspect about a potential career that could go against your personal beliefs; then you should consider finding a different career path. Really though, who am I to tell someone what career to get into?

We are such a “rights” hungry nation. We are so worried about our rights that we forget other people have rights too. Our fearless leaders in Washington can’t see that perhaps, The People can solve some of these problems on our own. No, they are too busy trying to please the party base or coming up with ways to screw the people on the other side of the aisle.

One more thing to think about when it comes to the government stepping in to break up our little bitch fights: When taking away someone else’s rights; what rights do you want to give up? Ponder that!!

Say what???

Last week Newt Gingrich gave a speech at Cornorstone Church in San Antonio.  I found his speech on youtube and decided to watch it because, well I hate how the media sometimes tells half of a story.  This comment has gotten the most attention so far:

I have two grandchildren — Maggie is 11, Robert is 9,” Gingrich said at Cornerstone Church here. “I am convinced that if we do not decisively win the struggle over the nature of America, by the time they’re my age they will be in a secular atheist country, potentially one dominated by radical Islamists and with no understanding of what it once meant to be an American.

Now, ‘a secular atheist country, potentially one dominated by radical Islamists’ has made those of us in the secular community laugh our collective asses off.  Besides quips about ‘Atheist Islamists’ most of us just see his words as pandering to the religious right.  Yeah, just telling people what they want to hear to make them feel better.   

According to Politico: Newt proposes a  mandate the teaching of the Declaration of Independence to elementary school children and insisting that immigrants learn more American history.  Besides the word mandate, I agree!   My question would be how does teaching documents such as the Declaration of Independence or Bill of Rights or Constitution do anything for a child unless you also teach what was going on behind the scenes at the time?    Should we also teach the Federalist and Anti Federalist papers too?  Surely, one has to look at the WHOLE picture.  Fortunately, we don’t have to wait for Newt’s mandate!  This organization provides ‘teachers with a Complete Educational Resource on the U.S. Constitution.’  

There is another point he brings up when talking about the Declaration of Independence. 

 “What I think is the central statement in defining America and the thing about which we need to have an argument for the next few years, and that is ‘we are endowed by our creator with certain inalienable rights.’  And why does this matter?  Well it goes to the heart of the nature of power.  There are two competing philosophies: there is the philosophy that says ‘power comes from government and defines who you are’; then there’s the philosophy that says ‘oh no, power comes from god…..” 

He goes onto say that sovereignty rests in the citizen.  He also explains that ‘endowed by their creator’ pretty much puts god in the Declaration of Independence.  I’m not a Constitutional scholar and seriously, we can argue ‘god in the Constitution’ untill the Flying Spaghetti Monster lands in his spaceship (it’s shaped like a pot of boiling water).  I will say this though; it doesn’t MATTER if the Founding Fathers were Christians!  It doesn’t MATTER how many times Abraham Lincoln references scripture in his 2nd Inaugural Address.  It doesn’t MATTER that there are Scriptural references on the Washington and Jefferson memorials.  Those things are NOT in the Constitution, no matter how Newt tries to spin “Endowed by their Creator.”  

Actually, I think Christians should be wary of Newt using their religious morals as a pulpit for his brand of politics.  I came across this comment on a catholic.org article

  1. A politician making a political speech at a church? I hope and pray this NEVER happens at a Catholic Church. I hope our buffer against secularizing, as it were, is to not let our house of God be a mere political podium as the ‘bible’ churches and evangelists permit. Sad. Another protestant compromise of God for the purposes of man and power.

I want to go back to Newt’s “two competing philosophies.”   One claiming power comes from the Government and the other that power comes from god.  Hey Newt, you forgot a philosophy!     My philosophy is that it is not the government or god who gives me my power: My power comes from ME, I define who I am.   Power or self-worth coming from the individual not a third-party: now that’s a concept!  It’s like that old song

No, his mind is not for rent
To any god or government.
Always hopeful, yet discontent,
He knows changes aren’t permanent,
But change is.
All in all, Congratulations Newt!  You really didn’t say anything new!! 

 PS: Below are the links to Newt’s speech. 

Part 1, Part 2, Part 3