Two ways to actually help the folks on the Eastern Seaboard (spoiler: Not canned goods).

Last night I found myself really worrying about the next few days in the lives of people who were in the path of Hurricane/Superstorm Sandy. I have a sense that this is the point at which supplies have run low or just plain out, people who are poor or elderly or stuck on the wrong piece of geography have been stuck and without resources for a day too long, the money has been spent and there’s no gas in the car, or no train to your job — if only where you work was up and running, but it’s not.

There’s not a whole lot that people who don’t actually live within walking distance of folks in need of help can do in these circumstances, and the next few days will be what they will be — the federal government will do all it can, the Red Cross will do all it can, neighbors will do all they can, and yet it’s not necessarily going to be very pretty.

As for the rest of us, though, there are two things we can do, one obvious, one a bit less so:

1. Go ahead and make that donation to the Red Cross. If you can only help a little, that’s fine, because a nonprofit can always do more with your $10 than you can (I always think of the fact that for $5, your local food pantry can buy a whole grocery bag’s worth of food, whereas you and I can buy four bags of spaghetti and a can of tuna). You can go to the website, or just text REDCROSS to 90999 to donate $10.

And if you can’t swing even $10 right now (and I’ve been there) remember that they will absolutely still need help in a month or two or six. And not incidentally: By donating to the general “Disaster Relief” fund, you’re providing money that the Red Cross can use wherever it’s needed — and the Red Cross also works in Haiti….

2.  The less obvious thing: Everyone on the Eastern seaboard will, in fact need help in a month or two or six, and they need not only a President who will have their backs and focus on things like recovery and rebuilding infrastructure (not to mention bring an honest approach to the future of climate change), they also need a Congress that will support the President.

I think that I’m not alone in feeling like, barring new surprises, President Obama is pretty likely to win re-election. But, even if that’s so (and it’s far from a foregone conclusion, so don’t get complacent), the Republican Party has shown in word and four years of deed that it is not even a little bit interested in working with this President, for any reason whatsoever. It took President Obama a little longer to figure this out than I might have liked, but he’s figured it out, and we need to figure it out too — and the actionable part of “figuring it out” is working over the next few days to get more Democrats into Congress.

If you can find a few hours to help your local Democrat canvass and/or get out the vote, if you can talk to friends and family and remind them of the importance of casting their ballot even if they don’t think they need to, please do so. If I can, I’ll be going up to Wisconsin on Tuesday to work on getting out the vote for Senate candidate Tammy Baldwin. (And if you don’t know how to go about helping, just Google the candidates’ headquarters and show up — they will be thrilled to see you and tell you when/where you would be of most use).

So, unless you’re within easy travel distance of a neighborhood that needs supplies and helping hands (and if you are, please do what you can!), here’s what you can do: Give money to the people who know how to use it, and get out the vote for the people most likely to do good recovery work.

And if you’re among those knocked around by this storm? All my prayers and best wishes for quick repair and healing, from out here in Fly Over Country. Big love, East Coasters. Hang tight.

Why do black folks vote for Democrats?

Ok, so yeah. The African American community votes pretty solidly for Democratic candidates — this we know. The Washington Post decided to poll folks, asking why they think this might be so.

Hereunder the results of that poll (but note first that an accompanying article stated that the most common answer, from either side of the aisle, was “I don’t know,”  and that the numbers listed aren’t percentages but raw counts, from a poll done of 1,020 adult respondents, using both cell and land lines):

source

So, yeah. Even taking all the caveats into consideration, I still think the results are pretty striking: The vast majority of Republicans polled who think they know why blacks vote for the other party think it’s because African-Americans either: take/want government hand-outs; have been socialized into being Democrats; or are just plain ignorant.

It’s a wonder the GOP hasn’t won over more people of color. An absolute mystery.

Dear Democrats, Progressives, Liberals & assorted American lefties – settle down.

I’ve been seeing a certain amount of glee across my side of the internet lately over the fact that Willard McMittington Romney is a terrible candidate.

The Republican Party establishment doesn’t like him and never has — that’s been established time and again — and the Republican masses are avoiding him in droves. Whoot! They hate their candidate!

Here’s the deal: We knew that. We allllll knew that. The Left knew it, the Right knew it, the media knew it, the White House knew it, and I’m pretty dang sure McMittington himself knew it, and knows it still. How a man so thoroughly disliked convinces himself to continue running is beyond me, and I genuinely think it involves a certain mental dysfunction, but that’s not my point.

My point is this: The fact that that the GOP has selected a terrible Presidential candidate, who (barring disaster, and disasters do sometimes happen) will lose to the Democratic incumbent is not news. It’s not even useful information. Because the point now is Congress.

If the GOP had found someone who could genuinely threaten to unseat President Obama, that would be a very important conversation to have. But they didn’t — which means there’s a very powerful possibility that a large percentage of our folks will simply sit the election out, confident that our guy is safe.

Yet if we have learned nothing else over the past three years, surely we have learned that our guy — and more to the point, the agenda we elected him to bring to fruition — will never be safe from a group of people dedicated to his/its complete failure; plus which, there’s this little thing called “The Legislative Branch.”

The Democrats’ current slim majority in the Senate is not enough to overcome the Republicans’ favorite non-legislative tool, the filibuster, and you might recall that we lost the House in 2010. Which is to say: If we want to not only see President Obama re-elected but to actually see our own goals (writ large) achieved — we have got to do all we can to claw back some seats.

The forces arrayed against us are not insignificant: A) Romney may be weak, but the Republican Party and its moneyed backers are not. They are throwing every dirty, nasty thing they can at Democrats, politicians and rank-and-file, to scare us away from the voting booth, not to mention doing all they can to just straight-up bar the door; B) disasters (see: above) are not unheard of in history and/or politics, and when there exists even the slimmest possibility of a Romney Presidency, with the current GOP at his back, we must not take the threat lightly; C) incumbents are re-elected at a genuinely alarming rate in American politics — to the tune of 80-95% (for a truly sinus-clearing visual of what 80-95% re-elction rates look like, click here).

If we don’t gird our loins and do our damndest to get more Democrats into Congress this fall, we might as well just sit back and await more of the kind of dehumanizing, anti-economic-recovery, pro-big-business shenanigans at which the GOP has excelled since 2008. It’s really that simple.

Fine. I’m thrilled that the Republican Party, macro- and micro-, hates their candidate.

Can we get down to business now?

Sunday morning re-up: The GOP rides into the sunset.

I don’t usually post on the weekends, but the readership of this blog has leapt exponentially since Thursday, when I posted a little reminder to the Republican Party regarding how babies are made. So, given the interest and the audience, not to mention the despair that so many of us are feeling about the anti-woman tactics of the current GOP, I thought it made sense to re-up the post I wrote a month or so ago, in which I posit that the Republican Party, as currently constitued, is not long for this world.

So I despair — and I grieve for the lives currently being ruined by these cruel acts of anger, ideology, and political posturing — but I also hope. I don’t forsee (or even wish for) an end to the Republican Party (a two-party democracy cannot thrive in the absence of two viable parties, and our two-party democracy is far too important to me to lose sight of that), but I do quite genuinely foresee an end to the race-baiting, homophobia, poor-shaming and misogyny. Because the American people simply doesn’t buy it anymore.

(And thanks again, so much, for coming by! If you scroll down, you’ll also find a general introduction to the blog).

*******************************

Ok, I’m just going to say this crazy thing out loud:

It is my professional opinion, as a typer of words for little pay and longtime citizen of these United States, that the GOP as we know it will soon, within my lifetime, be a thing of the past.

BEFORE YOU START TELLING ME I’M WRONG, let’s focus on the words “as we know it.”

I’m not suggesting that the Republican Party will disappear, nor that a third party will rise to threaten it. No apocalypse, no Zombie Lincoln coming back to regain the brand.

I’m merely suggesting that the GOP that very clearly has little-to-no time for gay people, black people, Latino people, Asian people, not-rich people, not-Christian people, or women people, will, within a generation, have to find a new way to keep big business afloat.

My evidence?

The American people.

First of all, fewer than two-thirds of Americans are non-Latino whites. At a certain point, the percentage of the nearly-40% of Americans who are not-Caucasian who get fed up hearing that they don’t know how to work, speak the language of the ghetto, and/or are threatening our economy will reach a tipping point, and the GOP-as-we-know-it will not be able to get them back.

Second of all, the issues on which the GOP-as-we-know-it is campaigning have simply stopped resonating with most Americans. A wee sampling:

Gay marriage is evil/unnatural/will ruin America: Really GOP? ‘Cause 53% of America disagrees with you. Perhaps more to the point, 70% of Americans aged 18-34 disagree – and according Gallup, that number is up from 54% the previous year. Sixteen points in one year!

Birth control is evil/unnatural/will ruin America: I have to admit, I didn’t see this one coming. Abortion? Sure. But suggesting that there’s something wrong with controlling our fertility even if we’re adults, even if we’re married, even if…? Wow. Sorry, GOP, but even Catholics disagree with you here, even when we take into consideration that (contrary to what we were all saying last week) it’s not quite true that 98% of all Catholic women have used birth control (it’s 98% of Catholic women aged 15-44 “for whom a pregnancy would be unintended and who are ‘at risk’ of becoming pregnant“). Apparently, 61% of Catholics support federally-mandated contraception coverage for religiously-affiliated employers — a percentage identical to that of Americans more broadly. (And even on abortion, we’re not really with you: 57% of Americans think abortion should be legal “in all or most cases”).

Increasing taxes on the wealthy is evil/unnatural/will ruin America: Not only do 72% of Americans disagree with the GOP-as-we-know-it on this, but that includes 55% of self-professed Republicans!

Being not-Christian (in a particularly narrowly defined sense of “Christian”) is evil/unnatural/will ruin America: It is true that 78.4% of Americans identify as Christian (51% Protestant, 24% Catholic, the rest various others manners of Christian) — however, not only do 70% of religiously affiliated people (of all religions) believe that “many religions can lead to eternal life,” but 68% believe that even within their own faith community, “there is more than one true way to interpret the teachings of my religion.”

And finally, even the GOP’s central, driving issue — Barack Obama is evil/unnatural/will ruin America – has lost a lot of steam: Today the President has a 47% approval rating (including among Catholics [46%. Let's not quibble]) — whereas the GOP’s nominee (stop it – it will not be Santorum) currently has a net favorability rating that has dropped to -24%. That’s right: “Mitt Romney’s net favorability rating has plummeted to NEGATIVE TWENTY-FOUR PERCENT.” I’ll be honest – I’m not sure what that means or how it’s even possible, but I do know that “47% job approval” is better than whatever the hell that is.

So, gentle reader, here’s the point: Whether its leaders realize it or not, the GOP is pulling away from the American shore. Way, waaaaay away. As its primary function is to protect the moneyed class and promote the world-view (to which I believe many Republicans sincerely subscribe) that being not-poor is a simple matter of will, the Republican Party will soon have to start shifting its place on social issues if it’s going to stick to its larger goal.

Bottom line, this is good. There will always be rich people who want to protect their hoard from the hordes, but as we chip away at the social issues, we’ll also (unbeknownst to them) be chipping away at the economic ones. The more people who are genuinely enfranchised, the better the power will be distributed.

Other bottom line? It’s up to us to give the GOP the push. If we want the Republicans to stop assaulting the rights and dignity of entire American communities, we need to act on the knowledge that Americans don’t like what they say. Whatever the hell kind of not-Republican you consider yourself to be, you have to get involved with the 2012 election. You can start here, or here, or by picking up the phone and calling your local Democrats.

Let’s regain the House, strengthen our hold on the Senate, sweep through our statehouses and city halls, and show the GOP what America really thinks.

Remember 2010: Elections have consequences. Polls don’t matter, unless people vote.

A day in the life of the GOP. And American women.

Over on TPM, Evan McMorris-Santoro sums up the day on which the GOP decided it was time to time-travel back at least sixty years, and drag us all along with them for the trip.

Today. That day was today:

There you have it: modern women being told by Republicans that they’re not qualified to talk about their own sexual health, are dressed like “whores” and probably need birth control because they’re so slutty. And this is just in one day.

For details, click here. But hold on tight, because that time machine moves fast.

And here you were worrying that I was being over optimistic in yesterday’s post. Tch.

The GOP rides into the sunset.

Ok, I’m just going to say this crazy thing out loud:

It is my professional opinion, as a typer of words for little pay and longtime citizen of these United States, that the GOP as we know it will soon, within my lifetime, be a thing of the past.

BEFORE YOU START TELLING ME I’M WRONG, let’s focus on the words “as we know it.”

I’m not suggesting that the Republican Party will disappear, nor that a third party will rise to threaten it. No apocalypse, no Zombie Lincoln coming back to regain the brand.

I’m merely suggesting that the GOP that very clearly has little-to-no time for gay people, black people, Latino people, Asian people, not-rich people, not-Christian people, or women people, will, within a generation, have to find a new way to keep big business afloat.

My evidence?

The American people.

First of all, fewer than two-thirds of Americans are non-Latino whites. At a certain point, the percentage of the nearly-40% of Americans who are not-Caucasian who get fed up hearing that they don’t know how to work, speak the language of the ghetto, and/or are threatening our economy will reach a tipping point, and the GOP-as-we-know-it will not be able to get them back.

Second of all, the issues on which the GOP-as-we-know-it is campaigning have simply stopped resonating with most Americans. A wee sampling:

Gay marriage is evil/unnatural/will ruin America: Really GOP? ‘Cause 53% of America disagrees with you. Perhaps more to the point, 70% of Americans aged 18-34 disagree – and according Gallup, that number is up from 54% the previous year. Sixteen points in one year!

Birth control is evil/unnatural/will ruin America: I have to admit, I didn’t see this one coming. Abortion? Sure. But suggesting that there’s something wrong with controlling our fertility even if we’re adults, even if we’re married, even if…? Wow. Sorry, GOP, but even Catholics disagree with you here, even when we take into consideration that (contrary to what we were all saying last week) it’s not quite true that 98% of all Catholic women have used birth control (it’s 98% of Catholic women aged 15-44 “for whom a pregnancy would be unintended and who are ‘at risk’ of becoming pregnant“). Apparently, 61% of Catholics support federally-mandated contraception coverage for religiously-affiliated employers — a percentage identical to that of Americans more broadly. (And even on abortion, we’re not really with you: 57% of Americans think abortion should be legal “in all or most cases”).

Increasing taxes on the wealthy is evil/unnatural/will ruin America: Not only do 72% of Americans disagree with the GOP-as-we-know-it on this, but that includes 55% of self-professed Republicans!

Being not-Christian (in a particularly narrowly defined sense of “Christian”) is evil/unnatural/will ruin America: It is true that 78.4% of Americans identify as Christian (51% Protestant, 24% Catholic, the rest various others manners of Christian) — however, not only do 70% of religiously affiliated people (of all religions) believe that “many religions can lead to eternal life,” but 68% believe that even within their own faith community, “there is more than one true way to interpret the teachings of my religion.”

And finally, even the GOP’s central, driving issue — Barack Obama is evil/unnatural/will ruin America – has lost a lot of steam: Today the President has a 47% approval rating (including among Catholics [46%. Let's not quibble]) — whereas the GOP’s nominee (stop it – it will not be Santorum) currently has a net favorability rating that has dropped to -24%. That’s right: “Mitt Romney’s net favorability rating has plummeted to NEGATIVE TWENTY-FOUR PERCENT.” I’ll be honest – I’m not sure what that means or how it’s even possible, but I do know that “47% job approval” is better than whatever the hell that is.

So, gentle reader, here’s the point: Whether its leaders realize it or not, the GOP is pulling away from the American shore. Way, waaaaay away. As its primary function is to protect the moneyed class and promote the world-view (to which I believe many Republicans sincerely subscribe) that being not-poor is a simple matter of will, the Republican Party will soon have to start shifting its place on social issues if it’s going to stick to its larger goal.

Bottom line, this is good. There will always be rich people who want to protect their hoard from the hordes, but as we chip away at the social issues, we’ll also (unbeknownst to them) be chipping away at the economic ones. The more people who are genuinely enfranchised, the better the power will be distributed.

Other bottom line? It’s up to us to give the GOP the push. If we want the Republicans to stop assaulting the rights and dignity of entire American communities, we need to act on the knowledge that Americans don’t like what they say. Whatever the hell kind of not-Republican you consider yourself to be, you have to get involved with the 2012 election. You can start here, or here, or by picking up the phone and calling your local Democrats.

Let’s regain the House, strengthen our hold on the Senate, sweep through our statehouses and city halls, and show the GOP what America really thinks.

Remember 2010: Elections have consequences. Polls don’t matter, unless people vote.

Dear GOP: Just shut up about black people already. Good lord.

You know…I don’t know the first thing about being black.

I’m whiter than Angel Food Cake and, except for when I lived in a foreign land, have never even lived much around people who are a whole lot darker than Angel Food Cake. My current abode is in a town known for its diversity, and it’s pretty diverse, but white people are still pretty thick on the ground. And even if I were the only white person in all of Prince Georges County, I would still not know about being black.

Because I would still be white, you see.

But here’s what I do know:

Being told who you are, what’s wrong with you and your life and your loved ones and their lives (with the added bonus of unasked for and nationally broadcast advice) by people who clearly have no idea what your life is like is a fucking pain in the ass. I may be White As White Can Be, but I am a woman, and women tend to hear this sort of thing as a matter of course, regardless of color, and so at least I have a little insight into that part of it.

If I had to hear from national leaders that me and mine don’t know how to work, or are forever gobbling up the nation’s food stamp supply, or have too many babies, or let the Democrats abort too many of our babies, or that we are being kept on a political plantation by means of a political party’s wiles and our own native gullibility — when me and mine have an actual history of actual plantations and actual slavery and actual violent control of and sundering of our families — well, I don’t know what I would do. Because I have never had to live with that. Because however enraged I may get with the blatant, noxious, dehumanizing racism that has been pouring out of the mouths of GOP figures like so many sewers over the past few months — it’s never about me.

But I’ll tell you what: It sounds exhausting. And I simply cannot imagine having to face it every day.

Post-racial America, my Angel-Food-Cake ass.

Oh, and happy Black History Month.

Notes from the post-Republican underground – Dear Democratic base, part II.

The following was just too good to leave buried in my comments, and so I present it to you here: The wit, the wisdom, the flat-out fury of former Republican Paul Wartenberg (a regular commenter at Ta-Nehisi Coates’s place, and the keeper of these two fine blogs: The Amendments We Need and Witty Librarian).

Dear Democratic Base:

I’m not a registered Democrat. I’ve never been a Democrat. I have, in fact, been a registered Republican as far back as 2002… although I will admit that I haven’t voted for a Republican since the 2000 Primary when I voted McCain over Bush.

I consider myself today a no-party affiliate moderate. Except I admit to the truth that I am in fact a bitter ex-Republican who’s soured on a party that’s gone batshit insane on me.

And I am here to tell you one thing about your disappointment with Barack Obama:

ARE YOU OUT OF YOUR DAMN MINDS?

(more…)

Dear Democratic base.

It has come to my attention that the Democratic base is disappointed in their President.

I hear the base feels that elected Democrats have shown contempt for the base since 2008, and is really tired of a lot of things: Being taken for granted, for instance, and Democrats doing stuff that the base doesn’t want them to do — not least, President Obama becoming more and more, as they say, “like Bush.” And so, I’ve been told, the base might just abandon the President (and his party) — and will certainly fight him tooth and nail, tear its hair and gnash its teeth — what with having being thrown so unceremoniously under the bus. And all.

I just have one question.

If y’all are “the base” — what the hell am I?

I have spent my entire adult life working on social justice causes, whether professionally or on a volunteer basis. I believe that every single person on earth deserves fully equal rights, by virtue of their very humanity, and I border on the socialist in terms of what I think the State should be responsible for. I like unions, I hate torture, and I really wanted single-payer health care.

Moreover, I’m a life-long Democrat. I’ve never knowingly voted for a Republican, and I don’t believe I ever knowingly will. I volunteered with the Democrats in 2008 and 2010, and I will do so again in 2012. I’m not sure that the following is anything to brag about, but the simple fact is that I make all of my personal political choices — all of them — based on what will or will not help the Democratic Party. Why? Because like it or not, we have a two-party system, and I want the party that best represents my ideals and philosophy to have an upper hand.

But please note: I said “best represents.” I may be a life-long Democrat, but I am no fool.

I have many disagreements with individual elected Democrats (ask me about Anthony Weiner. Not to mention Chuck Schumer), and with the party as a whole. I have been disappointed by the current President, his positions and policies, on well more than one occasion.

For instance – Gitmo.

I don’t think that Obama is entirely responsible for Gitmo still being open (Congress really did tie his hands), but I do think that he likely could have led with greater conviction in order to convince Congress to do the moral thing. It pains me enormously that we elected a constitutional scholar, yet he appears to be kind of ok with indefinite detention.

And then there’s Israel/Palestine, where Obama came in saying all the right things, and then turned around and commenced to let the Israeli government lead his government by the nose, just like every other President before him.

On health care, I wish the messaging in the lead-up to and during the reform fight had been much, much better — because then the eventual legislation would have also been much, much better than it wound up being.

And I’m not quite ready to let Obama and/or the rest of the party off the hook for losing the House to the damn Tea Party.

I believe that all these matters (and others, no doubt) should be brought before our elected officials. We should advocate for our beliefs, and when Democrats make what we believe to be mistakes, we should tell them so, honestly.

AND YET.

The simple truth is that President Obama has advanced more progressive causes than any President since FDR (not least: health care reform). He ran for the job knowing it would be challenging, and then the job got exponentially harder before he even took office. He is genuinely loathed and feared by millions of Americans — whose fears and loathing are daily ginned up and fortified by people who make their living off of making the President’s job as difficult as humanly possible — and the opposition party has not, as far as I can tell, enjoyed a single day of responsible legislative behavior since he stepped into the Oval Office.

In short: Obama is attempting to do an extraordinarily difficult job under even more extraordinarily difficult circumstances.

I don’t expect him or the rest of his party not to screw up. Nor do I expect them to always agree with me, or read my mind. I expect them to stick as close as they can to the general outline of the party platform, and maintain an even-keeled pragmatism that allows them to recognize when a hill is worth dying on, and when it’s not.

And after eight years of the Bush Administration’s scorched earth policies and contempt for both reason and the American people, I remain grateful that we have a President who acts like an adult, and treats the American people as adults. He’s not perfect — but Obama is pretty good.

So, “base”? Shut up.

You do not get to speak for me, nor do you get to speak for the vast majority of the actual Democratic base — 90% 80%* of whom think Obama’s doing pretty ok, thanks for asking.

There are much greater things at stake here than our personal feelings of pique or individual dreams of instantaneous world improvement. Remember the last time y’all said a Democrat was “just like Bush”?

It was eleven years ago, and Al Gore lost by a hair and a stolen vote.

How’s that working out for you?

****************

*Update: To my very real chagrin, it was called to my attention that I had initially linked to some very, very old approval numbers — my only excuse is that I saw the date on the webpage and then must have gotten distracted. I am very sorry for my error. The corrected statistic (80% Democratic approval) reflects Gallup Poll statistics from March28-April 3, 2011.

Crossposted at Angry Black Lady Chronicles.

Memo to God: Houston we have a problem.

Like a great many people who live in the real world, I spent all of last week dealing — by which I mean: professionally, quasi-professionally (aka: this blog, Twitter, other blogs), mentally, and emotionally — with an enormous slew of horrible things. Horrible, horrifying, horrific things. Things that, one way or another, always happen to humanity, to the world — there are always horrible things happening — but last week, they seemed to cluster together, like metal filings on a magnet, one big spiky bunch of Awful.

I’ve decided, for my own sake and possibly for yours, that I won’t write about those things this week.

At the end of each day’s post, I’ll provide good, useful links to whatever Horrible needs our attention that day, and I’ll continue to tweet about whatever (and that totally counts — it’s called micro-blogging for a reason, people!), but here, in this space, my own writing will go to other things.

*************

And so, to begin:

Memo to God – Engineering failures.

Dear God,

I know that you’re the Divine and all. And just between us two, I’ve come to the conclusion that you’re neither perfect, nor omniscient, nor omnipotent. Which is ok by me, because I figure: You’re still miles ahead of humanity — miles, did I say miles? Leagues away! Lightyears! You’re tons more powerful and -scient than we are, and I lean on you not infrequently for guidance and strength, not to mention the gift of joy when I’ve forgotten it. It’s a good one, that one, the gift of joy. Thank You, especially, for that.

But. Having said all that. With all due respect. If I may. A word.

Have You looked at us?

I mean, really looked at us?

We are made in Your image — this I believe, this serves as the basis for the radical equality that informs all my earthly ideology — but I somehow cannot quite believe that You actually look like… this.

Take — just for one example — the appendix. What’s up with that? You went ahead and put a time bomb inside all of us, but gave none of us a little note, not so much as a tweet, to indicate whose timebombs are actually ticking? And honestly, if we’ve evolved past needing it — couldn’t You have engineered it to wither and disappear from the human mechanism?

That’s my issue, you see. The engineering of it all. Frankly, it’s a bit of a mess.

The appendix is an obvious one, but hey, what’s with all the hair shooting out of men’s faces? Scratching their loved ones and, in modern society, requiring a daily scrape with a deadly object? No really. It helps no one, and literally hurts many.

And since I’ve broached the topic of secondary sexual characteristics, I’d like to tackle a primary one, too: Menstruation? Really?

Women having to bleed every.single.month — frightening generations of men, turning camping in bear-infested woods into an occasional nightmare (so I hear. I never camp. But I hear things), and creating deeply mortifying moments for middle school girls everywhere – seriously? There was no better plan? Was this Plan B? Did Plan A blow up in the lab or something?

I could argue with the fact that we fall apart (I find myself particularly annoyed with the Degenerating Human Eyeball lately) but the truth is, on a very real level (a level at which I sigh a lot), I’m ok with that. I mean: This body is a mechanism. It gets old. It wears down. I understand. The machines You engineered last longer, and often with more elegance, than the ones we engineer, but ultimately, the gears grind and the wheels slow and: Scrap heap. I understand that.

But honestly. The “elegance” thing is not nearly as elegant as it might be. Exhibit A: Farts. Exhibit B: Burps. Exhibit C: Humans emerge from the womb not in the least bit in control of their elimination processes. I mean to say: That baby pooped in my eye*! Was that really necessary?

So, in summary, let’s call this Disgruntled Creation Memo #1, and Your take-away should be: Things need to be neatened up a bit. Loose ends need tying, rough edges smoothing. That which stinks, hurts, or embarrasses — improved.

When I see that all that has been attended to, we’ll move on to Disgruntled Creation Memo #2 – Terra Firma: Must It Really Be So Not-Firma?

Thanks. For everything – I mean it. יהיו לרצון אמרי פי והגיון לבי לפניך יהוה צורי וגאלי  May the words of my mouth and the thoughts of my heart find favor before you, my Rock and my Redeemer — and please don’t forget: Abraham and Moses argued with You and You were totally cool with it.

Kthxbai!

*No, really. Baby #2. Pooped in my eye. How is this not a bug?

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Your day in Horrible:

  1. Saudi Arabia sends troops into Bahrain, one repressive Sunni monarchy that suppresses its Shi’ite citizens rushing to the aid of another – New York Times: Saudi Arabia Action in Bahrain Strains US Ties: “All this is about social control in Saudi Arabia,” said Christopher Boucek, who studies the Middle East at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. “People have been forecasting the fall of Saudi for a long time, and they’ve always been proved wrong. It’s a pretty resilient place.”
  2. Following this weekend’s murder of three children in an Israeli settlement, Gidon Levy in HaAretz - “The IDF has no mercy for for the children in Gaza nursery schools”: “About a third of those killed in Gaza have been children – 311, according to the Palestinian Health Ministry, 270 according to the B’Tselem human rights group – out of the 1,000 total killed as of Wednesday. Around 1,550 of the 4,500 wounded have also been children according to figures from the UN, which says the number of children killed has tripled since the ground operation began.” As MJ Rosenberg points out – for all that we’ve all rushed (absolutely correctly) to condemn this weekend’s killing, neither the US government nor a single American Jewish organization has yet to condemn these killings.
  3. Wis. GOPer Scott Fitzgerald – Dems In Contempt, Not Allowed To Vote In Committees” – Talking Points Memo. (Me – “Awesome.” – Update: By which I mean: “The complete opposite of awesome.” )

Crossposted at Angry Black Lady Chronicles.

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