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Why can’t republicans stop talking about abortion and gay people and start talking about jobs?

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They are the most genitalia and sex obsessed group of people I have ever encountered.
And that’s saying a lot.
They scream “small government” and run on a platform of jobs. Then since 2010, ten states have banned abortion past 20 weeks. When none had a ban before. And how many jobs bills have they proposed? Try zero.

I wrote this 8 months ago & it sat as a draft.
But published it today as it is sadly still relevant.
So that’s really all I have to say.

 

Photo from politicalcarnival.net & @gottalaff on twitter

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Palliative care hits home… hard.

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Palliative care hits home… hard.

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It’s Sunday night, 1am, and Toby has finally settled down. He has two different types of cancer, end stage, and is rapidly declining. It’s sad really that his appetite is fantastic, always has been, but after he eats he’s uncomfortable, nausea and pain for hours. He can’t find a comfortable position. We try all sorts of things. It’s never the same. His regimen of medications is extensive. His prescription diet is not cheap. I’ve been averaging five hours of sleep, interrupted, for a month now. I’m used to operating on little sleep. Insomnia has been an issue for me for years. But stressors push me off balance. And this- caring for my terminal pet- is most definitely a stressor. I’m not complaining, mind you. But the fact is that caring for a terminally ill pet is a lot of work. And it can be hard. As a house call veterinarian who sees a lot of palliative and end of life appointments, I have this conversation on almost a daily basis in some form with my clients. Is he in pain? What is going to happen? How long does he have? How will I know when it is time? Am I being fair to him? Everyone asks those questions, including me. And I don’t know the answer to most of them. And that drives me crazy.

Cancer is an evil thing. I’m watching the effects of it on Toby, who has gone from a chubby 20 pound french bulldog to 14 pounds. His favorite thing in the world is eating and his appetite is still strong. But he is painful and nauseous for hours after every meal. That is part of the evilness of it all. His favorite thing-eating- causes him discomfort and pain. Some nights are quiet and I am thankful for those. Others are not and one of us holds him for hours. He is normally very stoic, so I know he is very uncomfortable. And he gets so upset and anxious. And he isn’t an anxious dog. And I know I am doing everything I can to help. And I know it is getting worse. And I don’t know how long we can keep doing this. And of course, as soon as I have those thoughts he has a few good days in a row. So I am taking the approach of taking it one day at a time. Or at least trying.
I’m not very good at that.

One thing that has been helpful is keeping a journal. Recording his meals, his meds, his symptoms, his vitals, poos and pees, etc. He could have a very eventful or stressful day but a week later I won’t remember the details. Recording things helps keep it all together for the big picture. And you can find patterns. And gradual changes will be clearer and more visible. It helps me determine where he is, where he seems to be going, and what we can do to help him along the way. The thing I have to remember, that we all have to remember, is that they will keep going. They will keep trying. And when we can tell they are sick, they really don’t feel well. The big question is always… when do we stop? When are we doing it just for us. When are we not being fair to him? And that’s a hard one.

He still skips around a bit. Not nearly as much as he used to. But he does.

He cuddles. And just wants to sleep next to someone.

And when he is uncomfortable, he seeks attention and wants to be held. And he does seem to respond and settle down.

But it’s so hard to see him feeling so bad. Every day. Triggered by meals- his favorite thing.

And he is weak in the rear end. And occasionally incontinent.

And he is so skinny. He’s lost 25% of his body weight. He is losing weight no matter how much he eats.

And he gets so anxious. So, so anxious, when he’s feeling sick. It breaks my heart.

The pomeranian & the cat sleep next to him more and now groom him. They know something is different too.

So when my clients look at me and ask those questions, I answer as honestly as I can. And it depends on the pet and the client and the situation, of course, but I know how badly everyone wants to know. And I know how it feels to just want someone to tell you that you are doing the right thing. Every day I hear that now and I think of Toby. And I talk to my clients about him because I can relate. Most people think it must be hard to do that kind of work, especially right now. I don’t think it is hard at all. Sad and challenging sometimes, yes. But it is one of the most rewarding aspects of what I do.

I’ve been through this part of having a pet before. This part is so hard and sad. It isn’t new to me. But it’s never easier. Going through it now gives me a different perspective, or at least a fresh perspective on this part of it all. It allows me to relate on a more personal level with my clients. I think it helps them not feel so alone. I know those appointments help me not feel so alone. I see what people will do for their pets. I see all of the factors that have to be considered. I see the heartache every day.
Every day.

I feel it’s my job now to provide information, compassion, and dignity. If more can be done, I let people know. If it can’t, I help people figure out what can be done at home to provide time and comfort, for as long as possible. And what that looks like. And where is the line that shouldn’t get crossed for that pet. And I try to objectively help people figure out where that line needs to be. And how to be ready to make a decision that palliative care is no longer best for the pet. When does uncomfortable become suffering? I ask Toby that every day. If he could talk, that’d be really helpful. Instead, I use my judgment. He has such a sweet face. And it breaks my heart that we have reached this point. I look at how he is and I know that when he declines again, he won’t be able to sustain a comfortable life. I don’t know when that day will be. I look at him and I can’t bear the thought of him being in pain, unhappy, suffering. I look at him and I can’t bear the thought of losing him. Of him being gone. Both such sad scenarios. But one ends the pain for him. And that’s the only kind thing I have left to offer.

So I know we are going down that road. I don’t know how long that road is going to be. Or what we’ll encounter. I just know I love him. And I’m thankful to him for being in my life and for reminding me what my clients are feeling, and helping me connect in those moments just a little more. I try to look at it as a gift. I won’t be taking anything away except pain and discomfort that can’t be fixed. But until then, we take it one day at a time. What matters most is what we do for them at the end. And if I can help that be less scary or painful or stressful or uncomfortable, then it is my honor to do it. For Toby or for anyone. And now, at 2:00am, he is snoring by my side, so all is well.

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Petition the White House & AG Office

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I don’t know about you but I’m sick of the GOP bullshit. Someone blatantly falsified White House e-mails & then released them to the press. I smell a rat in Congress. A line has been crossed. I demand answers. Join me. Sign the petition for an investigation. Americans deserve the truth.

http://t.co/aEJj4zOrSNsign the petition now!

What the Bible has to say about homosexuality… and a few other things. (Yes, it’s a long post. The Bible is long, ok?)

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Here’s a collection of quotes of things that God does not like from the Bible: I’ll give my summary or example at the beginning of each one, followed by the actual quote. And then you’ll get a bit of commentary. Hey it’s my blog. No one’s making you read this. (Except my partner who I make proofread everything- sorry sweetie… )  So, here we go! A quick summary of God’s immutable rules:

Having slaves is cool as long as you buy them locally: Leviticus 25:44: “Both your male and female slaves, whom you shall have, shall be of the nations that are round about you; of them shall you buy male and female slaves.”

No tattoos or piercings: Leviticus 19:28: ‎”Do not cut your bodies for the dead or put tattoo marks on yourselves. I am the LORD.”  (So that Jesus tattoo on your arm was a bit misguided.)

Don’t wear cotton-poly blends: Deuteronomy 22:11: “Do not wear clothes of wool and linen woven together.” (I told you to rethink that jacket.)

Yes, you can sell your daughter as a slave but she will never be freed like your son might: Exodus 21:7: “”When a man sells his daughter as a slave, she will not be freed at the end of six years as the men are” (Good to know during recessions like this.)

Just don’t go anywhere near a woman when she is having her period: Lev. 15: 19-24: “‘When a woman has her regular flow of blood, the impurity of her monthly period will last seven days, and anyone who touches her will be unclean till evening. Anything she lies on during her period will be unclean, and anything she sits on will be unclean.  Anyone who touches her bed will be unclean; they must wash their clothes and bathe with water, and they will be unclean till evening.  Anyone who touches anything she sits on will be unclean; they must wash their clothes and bathe with water, and they will be unclean till evening.  Whether it is the bed or anything she was sitting on, when anyone touches it, they will be unclean till evening. If a man has sexual relations with her and her monthly flow touches him, he will be unclean for seven days; any bed he lies on will be unclean.” (They really want to make sure you know not to go near a woman who is having her period.)

No working on Sunday: Exodus 35:15: “For six days, work is to be done, but the seventh day is a Sabbath of rest, holy to the LORD. Whoever does any work on the Sabbath day must be put to death.” (So pray you don’t get the Sunday shift at StarBucks- it’s death for you!)

Don’t eat shellfish: Lev. 11:10: “But whatever is in the seas and in the rivers that does not have fins and scales among all the teeming life of the water, and among all the living creatures that are in the water, they are detestable things to you, and they shall be abhorrent to you; you may not eat of their flesh, and their carcasses you shall detest. 12‘Whatever in the water does not have fins and scales is abhorrent to you.” (So, sorry, no more Red Lobster for you!)

Don’t shave your head or beard: Lev. 21:5: ” They shall not make baldness upon their head, neither shall they shave off the corner of their beard.” (Vin Diesel has some repenting to do.)

Women who have slept with another dude are off limits: Lev. 21:7: ” They shall not take a wife that is a whore, or profane; neither shall they take a woman put away from her husband: for he is holy unto his God.” (Too bad this one isn’t enforced- the Kardashians wouldn’t be able to continue procreating.)

If you’re a preacher’s daughter that has sex outside wedlock, you’ll be burned to death: Lev. 21:9: “And the daughter of any priest, if she profane herself by playing the whore, she profaneth her father: she shall be burnt with fire.”

Only marry a woman who is a virgin: Lev. 21:14: “A widow, or a divorced woman, or profane, or an harlot, these shall he not take: but he shall take a virgin of his own people to wife.” (Funny that again, it’s just women who must be a virgins-I wonder why God is so concerned with women’s sex lives but not men’s?)

If you’ve got almost any kind of physical deformity, you can’t approach the altar of the Lord- sorry: Lev: 21: 18-21: “For whatsoever man he be that hath a blemish, he shall not approach: a blind man, or a lame, or he that hath a flat nose, or any thing superfluous, Or a man that is brokenfooted, or brokenhanded, Or crookbackt, or a dwarf, or that hath a blemish in his eye, or be scurvy, or scabbed, or hath his stones broken; No man that hath a blemish of the seed of Aaron the priest shall come nigh to offer the offerings of the LORD made by fire: he hath a blemish; he shall not come nigh to offer the bread of his God.” (Funny how that seems to directly contradict what Jesus taught.)

Don’t eat rabbit or pork- or touch a football:  Lev. 11:6-8: “And the hare, because he cheweth the cud, but divideth not the hoof; he is unclean unto you. And the swine, though he divide the hoof, and be clovenfooted, yet he cheweth not the cud; he is unclean to you. Of their flesh shall ye not eat, and their carcase shall ye not touch; they are unclean to you.” (So much for Easter Sunday- ham and football- both forbidden.)

Mules are unholy. Don’t mix crops in your field: Lev. 19:19: “Keep my decrees. “Do not mate different kinds of animals. Do not plant your field with two kinds of seed.” (These are just random and weird.)

Anyone who takes the Lord’s name in vain shall be stoned by the entire community: Lev. 24:13-16: “Then the Lord said to Moses: Take the blasphemer outside the camp. All those who heard him are to lay their hands on his head, and the entire assembly is to stone him. Say to the Israelites: ‘Anyone who curses their God will be held responsible; anyone who blasphemes the name of the Lord is to be put to death. The entire assembly must stone them. Whether foreigner or native-born, when they blaspheme the Name they are to be put to death.” (Seems harsh.)

Mediums/fortunetellers should be stoned: Leviticus 20:27:  “A man or a woman who acts as a medium or fortuneteller shall be put to death by stoning; they have no one but themselves to blame for their death.” (Bad news for Dionne Warwick.)

Also, apparently, if you’ve ever called Dionne Warwick, you’re in kinda big trouble too: Leviticus 19:31 “Do not turn to mediums or spiritists; do not seek them out to be defiled by them. I am the Lord your God.” The penalty for that? Lev.20:6: “As for the person who turns to mediums and to spiritists, to play the harlot after them, I will also set My face against that person and will cut him off from among his people.”

Hitting your parents is punishable by death: Exodus 21:15:  “Whoever strikes his father or mother shall be put to death.” (although I’d think he’d create a loophole for Tatum O’Neal and Lindsay Lohan.)

If another country disagrees with you religiously, it’s ok to invade them and kill them all. In fact, God will be happy about that:  Deuteronomy 13:13-19: “Suppose you hear in one of the towns the LORD your God is giving you that some worthless rabble among you have led their fellow citizens astray by encouraging them to worship foreign gods. In such cases, you must examine the facts carefully. If you find it is true and can prove that such a detestable act has occurred among you, you must attack that town and completely destroy all its inhabitants, as well as all the livestock. Then you must pile all the plunder in the middle of the street and burn it. Put the entire town to the torch as a burnt offering to the LORD your God. That town must remain a ruin forever; it may never be rebuilt. Keep none of the plunder that has been set apart for destruction. Then the LORD will turn from his fierce anger and be merciful to you. He will have compassion on you and make you a great nation, just as he solemnly promised your ancestors. “The LORD your God will be merciful only if you obey him and keep all the commands I am giving you today, doing what is pleasing to him.” (I think we might still be taking this one too literally.)

Cursing God’s name is punishable by death: Leviticus 24:10-16:  “Any Israelite or foreigner among you who blasphemes the LORD’s name will surely die.”  (Death for saying Goddammit. Wow.)

If someone goes against God, kill not only him, but all men, women, children, and animals around him:  1 Samuel 15:2-3: “I will punish what Amalek did to Israel when he barred his way as he was coming up from Egypt. Go, now, attack Amalek, and deal with him and all that he has under the ban. Do not spare him, but kill men and women, children and infants, oxen and sheep, camels and asses.” (Mass murder as punishment for one guy’s sin. What could possibly be wrong about that?)

If someone asks you to hit them and you don’t, you’d better hope God wasn’t commanding you through them or a lion’s gonna kill you ass:  1 Kings 20:35-36:  “Meanwhile, the LORD instructed one of the group of prophets to say to another man, “Strike me!” But the man refused to strike the prophet. Then the prophet told him, “Because you have not obeyed the voice of the LORD, a lion will kill you as soon as you leave me.” And sure enough, when he had gone, a lion attacked and killed him.” (I just like this one because it’s bizarre and features death by lion. WTF?)

If you’re having sex with your brother’s wife, and you, ya know, pull out early to avoid getting her pregnant, God will be displeased with you (bc you didn’t get her pregnant) and make you suicidal: Genesis 38:9-10: “Onan knew that the offspring would not be his; so when he went in to his brother’s wife, he wasted his seed on the ground in order not to give offspring to his brother. But what he did was displeasing in the sight of the Lord; so He took his life also.” (OK. This is my favorite. Really? If you’re gonna screw your brother’s wife, make sure you inseminate her with your sperm. Really?)

If your junk is deformed, you can’t come to God’s altar. Sorry dude: Deuteronomy 23:1 reads (this is the God’s Word translation, which spells it out better), “A man whose testicles are crushed or whose penis is cut off may never join the assembly of the Lord.”

If you’re an illegitimate child or a descendant to anyone who was, you can not approach God’s altar: Deuteronomy 23:2 reads, “No one of illegitimate birth shall enter the assembly of the Lord; none of his descendants, even to the tenth generation, shall enter the assembly of the Lord.” (Sorry Oprah. No praying at the altar for you. Or any of your descendants.)

Ladies- all that jewelry and those braids. God isn’t a fan- : Timothy 2:9: “Likewise, I want women to adorn themselves with proper clothing, modestly and discreetly, not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly garments.” (Only pertains to women so I guess Mr. T is ok- except for the shaved head.)

Anyone who is divorced and remarried is an adulterer. (Not such good news when you see Leviticus’ punishment for adulterers below): Mark 10:11-12, “And He said to them, ‘Whoever divorces his wife and marries another woman commits adultery against her; and if she herself divorces her husband and marries another man, she is committing adultery.” (Rush should have been stoned 3 times by now.)

Adultery is punishable by death: Leviticus 20:10:  “If a man commits adultery with another man’s wife, both the man and the woman must be put to death.” (Ergo: Newt Gingrich and Calista Gingrich must be put to death.)

Don’t argue with priests or judges. Ever: Deuteronomy 17:12:  “Anyone arrogant enough to reject the verdict of the judge or of the priest who represents the LORD your God must be put to death. Such evil must be purged from Israel.” (So… don’t question authority?…)

If you are in a fight with another dude, and your wife tries to protect you and she touches the other guy’s junk, even accidentally, you’ve got to cut off her hand: Deuteronomy 25:11-12: “If two men, a man and his countryman, are struggling together, and the wife of one comes near to deliver her husband from the hand of the one who is striking him, and puts out her hand and seizes his genitals, then you shall cut off her hand; you shall not show pity.” (That’s just weird. I mean, how did THAT rule come about?)

Mind your angry oxen: Exodus 21:29:  “If you are an ox that has attacked a person once already or if you are its owner and it kills someone the ox shall be stoned, and his owner also shall be put to death.”

And finally, the most famous one of all, the one that is the word of God, even when all of the above are ignored on a daily basis:  Leviticus 20:13:  “If a man lies with a male as with a women, both of them shall be put to death for their abominable deed; they have forfeited their lives.” (Interesting women lying with women isn’t mentioned at all- free pass for lesbians? or maybe women just didn’t matter in that society…?)

Just to be clear, Jesus never said a word about homosexuality. Only the old testament. Which dictated most of the rules above. He did say a lot about the hungry and poor, though…

Also, let’s note what activities are punishable by death according to the Bible:

Murder

Adultery

Rape

Sodomy

Working on the Sabbath

Not crying out while being raped

A woman not being a virgin on the night of her wedding

Worshiping other gods

Witchcraft

Taking the LORD’s name in vain or cursing his name

Cursing a parent

Kidnapping

Homosexuality (but only male)

A woman speaking in church

Bestiality

Being a psychic or spiritualist

Lying about virginity (women)

Not penning up a known dangerous bull

Sexual activity with a woman who is menstruating (possibly- so why chance it)

Raping a virgin who is engaged (if she’s not engaged, you can just pay her father and it’s fine)

Being a rebellious son

Also- not necessarily capital offenses (depending on the source) but definitely not OK with God:
Consuming blood, including blood in meat
Cooking a goat in its mother’s milk
Eating fat
Eating pork
Eating a meat more than three days old
Eating shellfish
Transvestism
Consuming the meat of strangled animals
Consulting a psychic or spiritualist
Planting more than one kind of seed in a field
Wearing clothing woven of more than one kind of cloth
Cutting the hair on the sides of your head or clipping of the edges of your beard
Tattoos
Touching the dead carcass of a pig
Disobedience by slaves

So it looks like it’s not only the gays that need to be concerned. In fact, given that there’s really only one line in the Bible about homosexuality, some of those other things on the list are actually more thoroughly reviled by God. So when you’re about to go get your Jesus tattoo, just remember, you’re no better than the gays.

A Religion I’d Follow:

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I have a  hypothesis I want to run by you. It’s kind of out there, but just read the whole thing before you decide whether or not you think it’s bullshit. Then, if at the end you still do, go ahead and tell me. That’s fair.

First I should start by saying I consider myself agnostic. What I mean by that is that I don’t know whether or not there is a God, but I don’t believe in the one defined by modern Christianity… ie…the Bible is the Word of God. I believe it’s a moral code. And I don’t know whether it was inspired by any greater being or not. But if it was, I’m about to propose the God I would believe in and a church I would attend.

First we just have to assume that a God exists. What if God inspired the Bible all that time ago with the intention that we would take it, read it, consider society at the time it was written, learn from science over thousands of years, and then develop our own moral code, informed by facts and history, as our society matured? I know that’s crazy talk. It means that instead of being a narcissistic power freak, God would be a kind and teaching God. He would give us the room to evolve and grow as our understanding of the world grew. He wouldn’t hold us to some set of standards developed by men thousands of years ago… when slavery was normal, women were property, our understanding of science and the world was minuscule. I mean, we thought the world was flat until someone figured out it wasn’t. But the Bible said it was. How do you explain that? I can’t.

I’d like to think that if there is a God, he isn’t worried about whether I’m eating pork or shellfish, crushing on my neighbor’s wife, or attracted to the same sex. I think he’s hoping we all figure out how to live together without murder, rape, robbery. He’s hoping we just aren’t assholes. He’s hoping we keep in mind the things that are really important- the things Jesus taught: Love. Forgiveness. Compassion. Peace. Maybe he’s hoping we’ll figure out how to work together, in communities, and possibly with structured governments to ensure everyone is cared for? I know. Crazytalk.

I’d like to think if there is a God, he’s hoping we take everything he’s given us- life and a moral code… and also science and evidence… and putting it all together to create and even broader understanding of life. But we don’t seem to be doing that. We just seem as a society to be using the Bible to condemn people we don’t agree with. Meanwhile we ignore the parts of the Bible that condemn the things we think are OK. How is that following his word?

I don’t think it is.

An actual church sign in the town where I was born today, May 9, 2012. Submitted without comment.

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I have a few words for the citizens of North Carolina who voted for Amendment 1:

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Making same sex marriage illegal doesn’t make our families go away.

Making same sex marriage illegal only makes us stronger in the ways you detest the most.

Making same sex marriage illegal only makes our children less safe.

Making same sex marriage illegal only means my spouse isn’t guaranteed the right to see me in the hospital.

Making same sex marriage illegal doesn’t make it wrong. It makes you wrong.

Making same sex marriage illegal doesn’t make our families go away. It just makes us love each other more.

Making same sex marriage illegal only makes us pay more taxes.

Making same sex marriage illegal will not protect your marriage unless one of you is gay.

Making same sex marriage illegal will not protect your marriage. You not lying and cheating will do that.

Making same sex marriage illegal only makes it so that an estranged family member can displace a widow from his/her home after the death of a long term partner.

Making same sex marriage illegal only means we have to pay attorneys for protections you get for free and take for granted.

Making same sex marriage illegal is really just a dick move.

So congratulations, North Carolina. The bigots can celebrate now, but you have just ensured that your state will be studied in history classes and children will be amazed that people ever thought like that.

Way to go, North Carolina.

You sure showed the gays.

And your ass.

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