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The Modern Day Mess

Part One: What Set Me Off

I am thouroughly disgusted by Rush Limbaugh's comments and accusations, the ones directed at every female who is on birth control. I am disgusted by people, some of whom I know personally, who support his vile, ignorant, anti-intellectual, archaic views on women's health care. Same for all the politicians and pundits and religious leaders who have become an echo chamber for Limbaugh's hate and mysoginy. It's not news that he's a morally-bankrupt, loudmouth malcontent, but this time he's gone too far.

As Americans, we are all entitled to our own brand of surreal opinions, but when we stoop to the level of mimicking something without any forethought or evidence, we are doing a great diservice to our own nation. An extremely offensive opinion on an important right for which women had to fight for decades, boiled down to a single soundbite, spreading like the plague. Bizarre, isn't it.

Part Two: Using Logic (and Math) to Understand Things

Certain people are decrying that their tax dollars go toward paying for female contraceptives. First of all, this isn't 100% accurate. Especially for the Catholic or any other church, which are organizations that don't even pay taxes. Sidenote: a group of celibate men, deciding the fate of women's health rights, especially of a reproductive manner, is laughable.

Currently contraceptives are either payed for out-of-pocket by the person themselves, or it's part of their private medical insurance, for which they also pay themselves. A very limited amount is covered by the diminishing government-supported or -supplemented insurance plans. Since "entitlement" programs amount to 0.5% of the defense budget, I would guess that somewhere around 0.001% or less of the entire national budget is spent on anything related to birth control.

And if you really want to get technical, the small majority of people who use tax-paid birth control still buy groceries and clothes and pay bills, which are taxed, so really they end up paying some or most of it back. They just needed that small portion of assistance to make ends meet. How dare they.

But it's not really about the tax money, is it? This is just a new way for misogynists and zealots to control women's reproductive rights, since the old ways failed. "Religion sounds too silly anymore. Taxes are hip, let's use that instead!"

Secondly, not all birth control pills are used strictly for sex. Some women and teenagers take them to regulate their incredibly painful or erratic menstrual cycles -- it's literally a dire medication for these patients, and their life is miserable and full of agonizing pain without it. Yet it's been decreed by the birth control naysayers that Viagra, for male erections, is fine apparently. But if not for sex, or "spilling the seed," what else is Viagra for exactly?

Thirdly, which is more expensive: a minuscule amount of taxes going toward women's reproductive rights, or paying for a child born to a mother and/or father who can barely support it, so they're forced to go on welfare or another government program. It's simple mathematics.

Fourthly, they're stating that because of their moral, religious objection, we should all be blanketed by the laws of their twisted interpretation of a religious text that is so old, so morphed, so irrelevant to modern life that only strange, sad people, whom time forgot, still take any part of it literally, not to mention, as is my understanding, the words "abortion" and "birth control" never appear in the text. The only mention I recall having anything to do with this subject is men not being allowed to masturbate. So really they should be burning bottles of Viagra, boxes of tissues, the millions of wank magazines, and castrating male offenders.

Part Three: Moral Taxes, Evil Taxes

I, too, have objections to what taxes are spent on. Corporate welfare, war, creation museums, just to name a few. We all have our own objections. But we are not demanding that, because of our belief in this faith or that faith, everyone should adhere uniformly to it. Yes, I get angry when the separation of church-and-state is blatantly violated. I get angry when we kill people for no reason other than greed and bloodlust. But I'm not going to justify my indignation by citing a religious text, an argument which should have zero basis in the national dialog anyway; instead I would prefer to have a rational discussion. The concept of "compromise", which should always be an option, is so rarely heard or used anymore that I sometimes stumble to even remember the word.

Zealots hide behind the Constitution, after attempting to dismantle it, piece by piece, to fit their own ideology. They scream and rant because the Constitution is meant to protect us from theocracy, and they have absolutely nothing of value to add to the conversation. They've regressed into little children who don't yet understand how the world works, and when they don't get something they want, they throw a tantrum and call people names.

I would like to add that my theory on why this birth control issue has suddenly reemerged with a vengeance on the political scene is that it's a great, polarizing distraction from the real issues our country is currently facing. Joblessness, homelessness, war for oil, abandoned veterans, lack of funding for public schools, crippling student debt, a giant income gap, corporations and banks turning us into drones and slaves, people becoming apathetic and reveling in their ignorance, the impending war on Iran, environmental decimation, and so on.

Part Four: Reality

How do politicians avoid discussing real, important topics, when those politicians' balls are in a corporate lobbyist's vice? They change the subject. They send out talking points to news organizations. They rile up religious people because they know how to steal the show. They brainwash the population, dumb it down, subdue them. They turn us against one another, creating scapegoats and imaginary enemies. Anything to keep their money rolling in and the people preoccupied with fear, hate, and ignorance.

Why is this not plainly obvious yet? For the reasons I stated above. It's designed to be circular.

So let's take it out on the women, the Mexicans, the Muslims, the poor, the unions, the teachers, the single parents, the old people living on Social Security. Let's take it out on the cancer patients who can't afford life-saving operations. Let's take it out on soldiers whose worth ends as soon as they escape death in a foriegn land.

Let's do everything we can, except solve problems. That's the motto of our crumbling empire. "If there's no money to be made, fuck it." This is where we are now. Blind nationalism is a plague.

March 2012

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