Alright, admittedly, I made the mistake of clicking on a CNN headline about Newt Gingrich and "atheists". Atheists is in quotes there because CNN seems to only share that word when it's in quotes. I know better than going to CNN, and I know better than reading stories about Newt Gingrich, and I really should know better than to read any story about "atheists", but I couldn't help myself.
Ol' Newt is worried that the country is going to become a "secular atheists country" overrun by "radical Islamists."
Now, I know Newt isn't stupid, he's just a craven ass. And I'm allowed to say that because we went to the same undergraduate institution. Newt must know that being an atheist and being an "Islamist" are mutually exclusive positions. Unless he fears the domination of this country by those fundamentalist atheist Christianists.
On the other hand, it's refreshing to see how far we've come as a nation to think that being a Catholic is American and not indicative of a political devotion to papistry that will lead this nation into the fiery pits of hell. Because, as we all once knew, Catholics aren't proper Christians, and Merka is a Kristyen Nayshun.
I'm sorry, it's just the dumb appeal to the lowest common denominator. It burns. It burns because I know that it works. I know that someone is reading that stupid CNN article and thinking, "God, you know, that Newt Gingrich has a point. This country is under threat of Muslim Atheists. And hell, the only thing worse than a Muslim, is an Atheist, and the only thing worse than an Atheist, is a Muslim one."
Excuse me while I go weep.
I’m working from my phone, just got to South Carolina, haven’t got internet, so forgive any wonky formatting.
I just read a piece by Thomas L. Friedman about a “Newsweek” article that ranks the US as the eleventh best country to live. I wonder sometimes if the rest of the world gets bored of us always trying to be first. Some people would say something like well done america for being so high on the list or that’s impressive considering some of the great other countries in the world.
He argues that the reason america sucks (being eleventh would probably lead us to kill ourselves if we had japan’s sense of honor) is because our students aren’t motivated and everyone wants to get rich quick – he seems to think this is an american problem not a human one, for some reason. And he argues that the greatest generation was better, and they were better because they had a better attitude and wanted to make sacrifices. Obsession with being the greatest and number one in everything doesn’t make his ranking of things americans do that are bloody stupid for some reason.
According to Newsweek, it looks like we lag further behind on health and quality of life than we do on education, in absolute terms if not in ranking. Five years difference in average healthy life span isn’t small potatoes. And I call bullshit that the greatest generation had better attitudes. They had a very specific set of circumstances to deal with, and we have a much different one, but anyone arguing that they had better quality of life, healthcare, lifespan, or education is just being ridiculous.
Look at the other top countries and tell me how a country that values independence, freedom, diversity and size can compete with little, rich, homogenous countries? I think we should be amazed that a country with so many immigrants from countries that are much lower on the list is even competing at all.
I’m not saying that there aren’t things, particularly within education and healthcare, that need to be fixed, but I think blaming it on the wrong attitude is a completely shallow and curmugeonly way of looking at what is in fact a very complicated problem because of economy, scale, and a varied population. If he’s got a problem with selfish attitudes destroying america, I’d love to see any evidence that that is true.
I am so angry. I am so angry I don’t even know how to put it in words. But I’ll make the attempt. The American, AMERICAN, Academy of Pediatrics in the United States of America, in the year 2010, is asking the pediatric Doctors, you know the kind with Medical Licenses, to perform female GENITAL MUTILATION.
FGM is a harmful traditional practice with serious health risks that affects up to 140 million women and girls around the world. It is acknowledged internationally as a human rights violation and an extreme form of discrimination against women and girls. This practice involves the removal of various parts of female genitalia and is carried out across Africa, some countries in Asia and the Middle East, as well as in locations where FGM-practicing immigrants reside, including the United States. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services estimated in 1997 that over 168,000 girls and women living in the U.S. have either been, or are at risk of being, subjected to FGM.
Unsurprisingly the people behind this nonsense are men, but my god, I mean, even men have to accept that this is a horrific practice. This is from the pdf they released:
I sent the following letter, the contact information for these unbelievable idiots is at the bottom.
How dare you? How dare you, in the name of “cultural sensitivity”, be so insensitive to the fact that millions of women have lost their lives, their ability to reproduce, and their ability to feel pleasure because of a barbaric tradition that you are now supporting. You are endorsing this behavior! Have you completely lost your mind? Obviously you’ve lost any perspective or moral guideposts.
In America, you are supporting the ritualistic abuse of children who aren’t old enough to decide what is right for them because their parents want to cut off their clitoris to prevent them from feeling pleasure. That is the goal of this behavior. It is disgusting, absolutely disgusting that you feel the need to be so accommodationist that you refuse to take a moral stance here. Cutting off women’s genitals is wrong. You know that.
First do no harm, do you not remember this oath? Tell me how you are doing no harm. Are you not harming psychologically all the poor girls, even if you’ve invented some sort of half-mutilation with no long term physical effects. Guess what, you’re saying that the medical community endorses the idea that women should not feel pleasure. This is the 21st century in America and you’re asking that doctors endorse behavior that wasn’t even appropriate 500 years ago. Will you next be endorsing leeches? Castration for good singers?
Do you not have daughters? I can’t help but notice you are all men. I hope you know that this decision isn’t just wrong, it isn’t just bad, it is evil.
Shame on you. I want a retraction. And an apology. And an individual apology to every girl who’s ever been wounded by this evil practice against their will. You should go door to door.
Ashley F. Miller
Errol R. Alden, M.D. FAAP
Executive Director/CEO, American Academy of Pediatrics
141 Northwest Point Blvd
Elk Grove Village, IL 60007-1019
Phone: +1 847 434 7500
Fax: +1 847 434 8385
Please send copies of your letters to the American Board of Medical Specialties and the American Board of Pediatrics at the addresses listed below:
Kevin B. Weiss, M.D., MPH
President and CEO, American Board of Medical Specialties
222 North LaSalle Street
Chicago, IL 60601
Phone: +1 312 436 2600
Fax: +1 312 436 2700
Alan R. Cohen, M.D.
Chair, The American Board of Pediatrics
111 Silver Cedar Court
Chapel Hill, NC 27514
Phone: +1 919 929 0461
Fax: +1 919 913 2070