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Comment Re:And... (Score 1) 168

One more note (or several) on the supposed "War on Women"...

In just the past few months, I've seen a number of things put out by the Democrat Party that concern me as a woman. They released this "Story of Julia", for starters, which explained in detail how a woman cannot expect to succeed in America without numerous government programs basically replacing the husband or father as the patriarchal entity that smooths her path, gives her free stuff, and basically makes it possible for the poor little muddle-headed woman to live her life. Is independence truly an unfeminine trait to them?

The Obama Campaign assistant manager claimed that women do not look at the past when evaluating a candidate - they only look "ahead". I'm sorry, but I for one am capable of viewing both the past *and* the future when deciding where my vote goes. In that same week, the Obama Campaign website released an "e-card" encouraging women to basically vote with their "lady parts". Sorry for the crudity, but what would you imagine would happen if Republicans released an "e-card" encouraging men to vote with their dicks? That little beauty caused plenty of indignant "I vote with my brain!" responses and was quickly taken off the site.

Of course, it didn't help that one liberal (quickly disavowed by the campaign) claimed that Ann Romney couldn't speak for women because she "never worked a day in her life", which pretty much means that she didn't have a high-paying career. (Ann Romney has taken many prestigious positions within charitable organizations, where she performed many career-like duties, but without compensation.)

And then there is the contraception mandate. You'd think that would be a 'slam-dunk' for women, right? Well, as it happens, the 'contraception' includes an abortifacient. Over half the women in this country believe that an abortion kills a living human being, so you could imagine how it goes over for them to be forced to pay for other women to do it. (Even women who are pro-choice are generally averse to being forced to fund other women's abortions, as many of them believe that it is *personally* wrong.) Add in the number of women who aren't happy about their husbands having to pay for other women's contraception... it's generally considered a private thing here, so there are many women who feel rather as if their husbands (or themselves, for that matter) were being forced to buy lacy underwear for other women.

Here's something that may put this into perspective: 80% of women have used artificial contraception at some point in their lives, but over half of them want to see this contraception mandate ditched. It is not, as I'm sure it is being portrayed in places like Europe, a tiny holdout of "religious freaks" who are objecting to this.

In the United States, 20% call themselves "liberal", 40% call themselves "moderate", and 40% call themselves "conservative". From the media, though, you could easily get the impression that the percentage of conservatives in this country is so small that half of them have the last name of "Duggar".

Comment Re:And... (Score 1) 168

The skewed perspective on the Republican Party and conservatism is mostly due to the major news media organizations, whose members are overwhelmingly Democrat. They have a bad habit of, well... As you can see from my description of these "conservative hippies", few Republicans are as they are represented!

The "women's rights" thing is something the Democrats are pushing as hard as they can, on the basis that President Obama decided to suddenly mandate that *all* employers, even Catholics and Evangelicals, even church organizations, must make a point of paying for the contraception (including chemical abortions) for all of their female employees. Now the Democrats are claiming that any removal of that mandate constitutes "sending women back to the Stone Age", despite the fact that most of us women do believe that we are actually capable of managing our own fertility, and not a few of us are affronted by the notion that our government needs to turn our bosses into our 'sugar daddies'. But you see how clever it is? Hand women something they have never had before, generally don't need, and several of them don't want (I'm off The Pill permanently due to medical problems, for instance, but the mandate doesn't cover condoms), and then they claim that any attempt to remove it is an Attack Against Women.

As for the HPV vaccine, this is what it does: For an unknown period of time and with a barely-understood level of effectiveness, it may prevent a woman from contracting four out of over a hundred strains of HPV. These two strains in particular "make up for 70% of HPV-caused cervical cancer". That's a fancy way of saying that if the body does not clear the HPV naturally from its system, as occurs in 90% of cases, the other 10% have increased their likelihood of developing cervical cancer later in life by about 2%. Unfortunately, the vaccine is being implicated in a rather large number of serious, permanent disabilities resulting from an allergic reaction. There are several lawsuits ongoing from victims, many of whom are now partially paralyzed and likely to remain so for the rest of their lives.

To make matters worse, one recent study showed that roughly 25% of young girls who received the vaccine were under the impression that it reduced or eliminated their chances of catching *any* STD, so they believed that they would no longer have to use a condom or practice any form of safety in sex.

So these conservative families (and in this area I have to agree with them) are not happy about any effect to have the government force their daughters to be given the vaccination. The government's efforts in this area are doubly interesting since none of the other vaccines, not even polio, measles, rubella, tuberculosis, etc. are currently mandated by law.

"It's not really fair to paint all liberals with the brush of the Democrats, just like it isn't fair to paint all conservatives with the brush of the Republicans. Often, it is somebody who thinks they have a good idea to help people, and then they get carried away. Everyone is just a person, remember that. Often people are out of touch or don't comprehend the full effects of their actions, even if they have the best intentions. Also, people see children in conditions they wouldn't want for their children and get worried, that is just cultural exposure."

Alright, I do agree with you on that one.

Comment Re:And... (Score 1) 168

Basically. Not just socially, though. These families are not only socially conservative, but economically conservative as well. Makes sense... they're more likely to be single-earner or small businesses, and both types tend to get disproportionately hit with any special tax rules "for the rich", even if they're making below 150% of the poverty level.

I'm guessing it's because they engage in the kind of behavior that liberals seem to think only the rich are prone to. There aren't just families who have a vegetable garden because it doesn't have pesticides. Chances are, they started that vegetable garden because, without it, they'll never make the food budget work. Liberals also have had a habit of mandating behaviors in the past couple of decades... they are against vouchers and often antagonistic to homeschooling, plus they try to force things like the HPV vaccine or, in some cases, government official visits of parents with infants (when no abuse has been reported or suspected!). This places these families in direct opposition to the Democrat Party, even without their typically conservative social values such as being pro-life.

So these new "conservative hippies" tend to vote Republican and then complain about how even the Republicans aren't small-government enough. I am not as conservative as they are, and that's saying something...

Oh yes, and the chances are high that these families are either Protestant Christian, Wiccan, Buddhist, or straight-up atheist. They are more likely to live in rural areas. They tend to have more children and produce less waste than the average American family.

Comment Re:And... (Score 2) 168

Not all people who are concerned with cancer risk are hippies. But yes, there is a strong branch of conservative Republicans who are concerned with things like hormones fed to milking cows, pesticides, 'unnecessary' medical interventions, and various things that may raise cancer risk. They tend to work towards 'sustainable living'. They often have large gardens, raise animals in a mini-farm, and choose to hire a midwife for home births instead of going to the hospital to have a baby... unless the pregnancy is actually high-risk. There are several of them who homeschool primarily because they believe that it is a more natural way of learning... some of them do unschooling, which I am wary of... I think it can sometimes be done correctly, but the parent and the kid have to have the right kind of personality and learning style.

I'm not quite that far along those lines. But I do use unbleached flour and aluminum-free baking powder in my cooking, buy beef from a local farmer (a quarter cow at a time, about 175-200lbs, hormone-free and half grain-fed, half grass-fed), pick my own produce as possible from local farms (who use *fewer* pesticides - though nothing I buy is *fully* "organic") and used to keep chickens before I got pregnant the third time.

Comment Re:Welcome to our world (Score 1) 1205

On the other hand, we've managed to survive the economic disaster pretty well with our vegetable garden, our farmers' markets, and taking grocery trips only once every two weeks due to the extra freezer, larger pantry space, and larger trunk space in the car.

I've offered these tips to people in Europe only to get a good laugh and an explanation of why they can't do it. They have to do their grocery shopping once every couple of days at latest, because they don't have room for food storage. They can't plant a garden, because they have *no yard*. And even if they had an extra pantry shelf, you can't balance a week's worth of groceries on a moped, never mind two.

We may reap what we sow, but in the event of catastrophic breakdown of that lovely lil transportation system and that lovely lil city life, I'll take four acres over a trolly car anyday.

Comment Re:The key is the teacher (Score 1) 301

My homeschooled son has several very good friends. One of them is also homeschooled.

They also span the spectrum of race, economic status, living conditions, and vary up to two years in age. That is one of the big reasons why I chose homeschooling... to free up his socialization time so that he can spend time with kids who are not exactly like him. I also value the ability to keep his socialization with children in his age group, even if his academics move above that level. An eight-year-old who can do algebra does *not* necessarily have the emotional maturity of a twelve-year-old.

If he was in public school, our local public school? There might be one single non-white kid in his class, but probably not. All of them would be upper-middle-class. All of them would be suburban-to-rural. Almost all of them would come from typical white-collar two-parent homes. All of them, assuming he didn't place one or two grades up, would be within six months of his own age. Right now, two of my son's "bestest" friends are an Asian foster boy from the city and the very rural son of a cow farmer. He would *never* get that in the local public school system.

Comment Re:I homeschool. (Score 1) 301

Actual statistics on homeschooling show that the majority excel, and that those whose parents only have a highschool diploma do as well *or better* than those who have bachelor degrees and higher. So you might want to dump the "Your kidz r so stoopidz I'm glad you're paying for other people's superior human beings instead" attitude or... well, continue prizing your own anecdotal evidence over actual established fact.

Comment Re:So (Score 1) 775

Er... are you aware that his actual "pointing out the logical fallacy" boiled down to simply calling it "superstitious nonsense"?

How, pray tell, is "Because God told me so" less convincing than "Because you're stupid"?

I have no problem whatsoever with criticizing a position and pointing out fallacies. My problem is with what that teacher did, which was simply to demean the position through insulting language without offering any logical argument.

When my mother was in highschool, one of her teachers picked up a Bible. He read a couple of chapters at random and said, "Now isn't that just the stupidest thing you ever heard?" He also was not sued. Was she an idiot to feel as if he had created a hostile environment for Bible-believers in that class? How logical was his criticism?

Comment Re:Just like the "war on illegal variable X" (Score 1) 338

False dichotomy. You may as well say that parents are child abusers if they don't tell their five-year-olds how to engage in oral-anal sex. God gave man a great deal of knowledge and even let him name all the creatures he'd be caring for. Satan wasn't out to "give man knowledge". If he was, then he would've given them at least a hint that what they were about to learn was going to destroy the lives of countless descendents through war and tyranny. He was just out to give us enough rope to hang ourselves.

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