Posts Tagged 'Abortion'

Is Anyone Listening?

My buddy Irv called today.

How ya doin?  How come I haven’t seen a blog from you in the last two weeks.  I enjoy them so much that I send them to my Rabbi.   God knows he could use a laugh.

Oh, we were in Chicago for about ten days.  Just got back on Saturday and I’ve been busy sorting my socks and stuff like that.

I didn’t tell him the truth.  That I was too depressed to write.

What a debacle.  What a mess.  What a downer.  Sailing along on rising poll numbers and then he has a president-sized  brain fart and lets you-know-who back into the race.

I finally did fess up to Irv.  And funny thing, he felt the same way…in spades.  Didn’t sleep a wink after the debate.  Sherry had to rub my head for hours, give me a cookie, and tell me it would be OK.

I was so down since last Wednesday that I couldn’t get a single thought in my head that was worth blogging about.  What else could I say about you-know-who that hadn’t already been said a million times. Why bother?  Is anyone listening?

I thought about the high school play we saw in Chicago.  The Wizard of Oz.  Remember when Toto pulls the curtain aside and there stands Frank Morgan pretending to be the powerful wizard.  He stares at Judy, Ray, Jack and Burt.  He says into the mike “pay no attention to the man behind the curtain” and goes on with his wizard impersonation as though nothing had happened.  He might have gotten away with it if Judy and gang were as dumb as some voters.  But being bright kids, they spot the hoax and confront Frank with his lie.  I thought I would write something like that.  But no, it’s already been said and no one cares.

Then just last night around dusk, I was reading and saw a flash of color in the back yard.  A fox.  Next to bears and mountain lions, the rarest of creatures around here. Beautiful.  An endangered species.  So I thought I’d write about Mitt’s views on global warming and his wait and see attitude.  The icecap is melting, it was the hottest summer since the Cubs won the World Series, and the ocean is about to engulf Peoria.  But no, it’s already been said and no one cares.

Or maybe I could write about his tax plan.  As The Onion put it in an imaginary meeting with his staff…“Okay, now, think—there’s got to be a way we can make these numbers add up, there’s just gotta be,” a profusely sweating Romney reportedly told his advisers while furiously calculating how in the world he could institute an across-the-board 20 percent cut in the marginal tax rate while balancing the federal budget within a decade and giving the Pentagon $2 trillion it hasn’t even requested.  Nope, no good either.  Folks already know he hasn’t got a plan and no one cares.

And then I heard Lakshmi Singh broadcasting the 4pm news on NPR.  Something about Mitt doing a flip-flop on abortion.  At the same time, daughter Nancy sends another tongue-in-cheek  Onion article about Mitt’s fibs…”it’s really easy to lie,” said Romney…“For example, if someone accuses me of having a tax plan that makes no discernible sense, I just lie and say that I do have a tax plan that makes sense. I also say there is a study that backs up my plan. See that?  Simple.  None of it is remotely true, of course, but now we’re moving on to the next topic because people are usually too afraid to ask me straight up if I’m lying, because that is apparently not something you ask someone who is running for president.”  Moreover, Romney said, if anyone does accuse him of lying, he will simply say he is not lying, which he noted is just an extension of the overall strategy.

Now, the Onion may be joking but I think they were spot on.  His latest abortion comments are an example of his strategy.   Tuesday’s Des Moines registerMitt Romney does not intend to pursue legislation to restrict abortion if elected president, the Republican nominee told the Des Moines Register’s editorial board on Tuesday…“There’s no legislation with regards to abortion that I’m familiar with that would become part of my agenda.”

Today, the Associated Press reports… A day after Mitt Romney downplayed his plans to fight abortion, social conservatives on Wednesday offered the Republican presidential nominee a not-so-subtle reminder of his pledge to do “everything in my power to cultivate, promote, and support a culture of life in America.”  The head of the anti-abortion group Susan B. Anthony List distributed an article Romney penned last summer vowing to prohibit federal funding for Planned Parenthood, while backing legislation that would “protect unborn children who are capable of feeling pain from abortion.”

ABC reports A little more than 24 hours after he told an Iowa newspaper that abortion legislation would not be part of his agenda if elected, Mitt Romney told reporters today that he would “immediately” move to defund Planned Parenthood.  “I’ve said time and time again, I’m a pro-life candidate…I’ll be a pro-life president. The actions I’ll take immediately are to remove funding for Planned Parenthood. It will not be part of my budget. And also, I’ve indicated I’ll reverse the Mexico City position of the president.”

I’m not so depressed anymore.   Maybe someone is listening.   Maybe the curtain is opening just enough.

What Would Martha Do?

Monday I had the pleasure of seeing my old friend, Martha.

We hadn’t crossed paths for a couple of months.  It was my usual bus driving day and she was my first pickup.  Driving the Help of Ojai big bus is no big deal except when you have to go to Martha’s house located in the East End on an unpaved road whose trees tend to scrape the top of the vehicle as you navigate around the other obstacles planted purely as a test of your driving skills.

As usual, Martha was waiting for me.  Never late, she gives herself extra time due to vision problems and the natural course of things that are too generously packaged with the aging process.

Hi Martha, I said.   Good to see you.  Do you need the lift?

No, I can probably make it up the steps.  The use of the word “probably” gave me the opening I needed.

 Martha, let’s use the lift so that you don’t fall on me and break my leg.


So Martha, what’s new?

Today’s my birthday.

Really.  How old are you?


Merely breathing long enough to reach the age of 98 is reason enough to be impressed.  My first thoughts after “Wow” focused on what it might be like if I ever got that far down this mortal coil.  Which body parts will still function?  Where will I spend my time?  What will I remember?

And then I refocused on Martha.  The lady who until just recently was an active library foundation board member.  Who, until a couple of years ago, drove her car wherever and whenever she pleased.  Who, though never fearful of speaking her mind, still has the grace to not speak badly of others.

Our conversation that morning ranged from the weather to the now departed pedestrian safety signs on Ojai Avenue, and then to the latest in audio books.   I began to tell Martha about my brother’s common interest in audio books but she politely reminded me that I had told her that story a year ago.

Dropping her off at the day’s physician of her choice, I wished her a very, very happy birthday.

Finishing my shift, I headed back up the hill, cleaned up and had  a yummy calorie laden brunch with Sweetie.  I then belched, parked my fanny in front of the computer and began to read the web version of the NY Times.

Missouri Rep. Todd Akin’s face stared out at me.  As we all know by now, Akin, a Tea Party favorite who decries all  abortion save that caused by a marauding orangutan, famously declared that women who had been raped could easily prevent conception by automatically shutting down one or more vital organs.  As so ably displayed by Mr. Akins who regularly shuts down his brain more often than not.

Chastised by members of his own Republican party, Mr. Akins was urged to drop out of his Senate contest with Democrat Claire McCaskill.  Giving it a whole thirty seconds of thought, Akins instead appeared on every conservative right-wing talk show with the exception of the one hosted by Benito Mussolini and reiterated his stand, albeit with an apology for having used the wrong words in explaining how he felt about rape victims.

He declared his intention to continue his mission, undoubtedly decreed by god, to bring the rotten scum of this country (including some members of his own party) to its knees.  To the embarrassment of his party leaders, he has the audacity to highlight the abortion issue so prominently displayed in the GOP party platform prepared for the upcoming Tampa convention.  Why the nerve of Mr. Akin to publicly wave that flag when so many of his fellow party nominees (including the Mitt) are trying to hide under it.  Coupled with the possibility that this debacle could turn the tide of the Missouri election to the Democrats probably was only an afterthought in urging that Akin fall on his sword.

My thoughts wandered back to my 98-year-old friend.  Somehow I thought she might, just this once, break her long-standing rule of never speaking badly of others.  Somehow I thought that, just this once, Martha might echo these lines written by Mr. Akin for the August 20 edition of the Onion.

You see, what I said was, “If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.” But what I meant to say was, “I am a worthless, moronic sack of shit and an utterly irredeemable human being who needs to shut up and go away forever.”

But, somehow,  I think Martha will just laugh her way to 99.


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