Thursday, June 30, 2016

Chemo doesn't work?

A couple of days ago, one of my cousins shared this on Facebook.

According to this, chemotherapy doesn't work 97% of the time...

My cousin's mom has suffered from breast cancer and I know he's had other relatives who have gotten cancer and eventually died.  It seems to be hereditary for his mother's family (her husband is my dad's brother).  But for some reason, he decided to share this video with the comment that pharmaceutical companies and doctors are really just greedy and "in it for the money".  My cousin makes a living as a professional musician in Nashville and probably has little to no experience with medical care other than being an occasional recipient and observing friends and family members receiving it.  His opinion is probably not based on facts, but emotion, anecdotes, and personal experiences.

One of my other cousins, a woman in her sixties who lost both of her parents to cancer, chimed in on the thread about chemo, saying that she agreed that chemo drugs were nothing but poison sold to the public as a means of simply keeping them sick and making money.  This other cousin is an organic farmer.  She grows and sells organic produce.  So, if I wanted to, I could probably make the same claim that she does about big pharma.  Her business depends on people believing that organic food is curative.  She's kind of selling the same thing big pharma is.  The one difference is that everyone has to eat in order to live while prescription drugs are only necessary for a portion of the population.  But one doesn't have to eat organic food to avoid starvation.  Part of my cousin's livelihood involves selling people on the idea that organic produce is always better.

I will add that I'm not really fond of this particular cousin.  She's one of those people who comes across as really nice, but if you look deeper, there's an undercurrent of bullshit.  She's the type of person who will be nice to your face, but secretly disdain you.  I could be wrong about her, but that's the impression I've always gotten.  A few years ago, I discovered that she blocked me on Facebook.  Then, years later when my dad died, she re-friended me.  I always got the sense that she did it because she felt like she should, not because she actually has any regard for me.  I suppose I should have just ignored her request, but you know how it is when you're dealing with family, right?  This cousin is also a devout Christian and is always posting religious crap.  She also probably doesn't appreciate my egregious use of the f word.

I can't say that there isn't some greed involved with medicine.  The practice of medicine is very much a business.  However, some of the accusations made in the video are pretty serious and there aren't any real sources to back them up.  After a couple of minutes of watching, I started feeling skeptical.  Still, other people seem to believe what naturopath Peter Glidden is claiming in his interview.  I've seen this video being passed around Facebook with many people, probably quite a few who have watched their loved ones suffer from cancer, thinking that the claims made are true.  Snopes says otherwise.

I have a little more faith in traditional medicine than my cousins do, although I will admit that I never go to see doctors unless I'm about to die.  I just don't like going to doctors.  They make me very nervous.  It's not because I think they're trying to make a buck off of me.  I think it's mainly because I was traumatized by a doctor.  Rationally, I know that not every physician is going to hurt me, but I still feel panicky when I'm faced with the prospect of going to see a doctor.  Still, if I do see a doctor, I will definitely consider their advice without automatically assuming that they're crooks.

Just like not all doctors are harmful like the one who traumatized me, not all doctors are simply hoping to score a quick buck.  Besides that, an equally powerful force in medical care is the insurance business, whose job it is to keep costs down.  If there is truth that doctors are getting "kickbacks" for prescribing chemo, why aren't we hearing a lot of noise from health insurance companies?

People go into medicine for all sorts of reasons.  I can't imagine that someone solely focused on making money would choose medicine as a career.  It costs a lot of money to become a doctor.  Once you're finished with your training, you have to have malpractice insurance.  And you also deal with patients who can't or won't pay, which drives up costs for everyone.  The training is brutal and the hours can be long and thankless.  Yes, there are greedy, corrupt doctors out there, but there are assholes everywhere.  Look around.  And again, while pharmaceutical companies are powerful and perhaps greedy, so are health insurance companies.  They are at war with each other.  My cousin the organic farmer doesn't like health insurance, either.  Hope she's never in a catastrophic accident with no ability to pay for her medical care.

I guess my point is that when it comes to videos like the one above, it makes sense to take a good look at the hard evidence and not just emotional anecdotes from the uninformed.  Most people hate the idea of having chemotherapy, and for very good reason.  Chemo can be brutal.  It's ineffective against a lot of cancers and can make life hell for those it does treat.  But it doesn't make sense that doctors who prescribe chemo are simply out to make money while their patients needlessly suffer and die.  Many doctors are also a little bit narcissistic, which means that when their patients die, it reflects poorly on them.  It just doesn't make sense to me that cancer docs only care about money.

I thought about sharing the Snopes take on this video, but decided I didn't feel like opening a can or worms today.  It's raining and I have enough on my mind as it is. 

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Madame Knowitall...


Yesterday kind of went to shit sometime during the afternoon.  I was watching Desperate Housewives and suddenly got the urge to drink wine.  I probably felt like having wine due to a scene involving Lynette getting drunk.  So I got some wine and started drinking, then had chicken with Bill.  Somehow, we got on the topic of my family and I got really upset.

I've been feeling really stressed out lately over a number of things not really related to my relatives, unless you want to talk about heredity and health issues.  So, the combination of drinking wine, being anxious, talking about my relatives, and being annoyed about other things led me to a minor meltdown.

I don't really want to write too much about my meltdown because it's kind of embarrassing.  What I do want to write about is an incident that occurred prior to the meltdown.  I belong to a Space A group on Facebook.  Space A, for those who don't know, is basically a cool privilege extended to veterans that allows them and their "dependents" the chance to take military flights for next to nothing.  Bill and I have flown Space A three times and it's a lot of fun.  The Facebook group is also fun, mainly because sometimes there's drama.

Anyway, yesterday someone asked about finding ways to get from Mildenhall Air Force Base in England to Italy.  They were likely hoping for Space A flights, but also asked about local airports.  I mentioned that Norwich Airport is an option from Mildenhall.

Some "knowitall" promptly "corrected" me by saying that flights out of Norwich tend to be expensive and that Stanstead Airport is a better option.  My response, which was admittedly a little prickly, was that Norwich was not more expensive a few months ago.  I specifically looked at Stanstead when we were traveling in England because I had used it on an earlier flight to England.  I figured it would be easier and cheaper for us to fly out of the area from there.  But I could not make it work for the dates we were traveling.  It was either insanely expensive or the travel times were way too long.  

When I was planning our trip to Scotland and England, I hadn't even considered Norwich.  In fact, I didn't even know that airport existed.  When I saw it as an option, I looked into it and found an inexpensive KLM flight to Amsterdam that had an agreeable flight time.  From Amsterdam, you can pretty much go anywhere you want.  So that was the basis of my comment.  I honestly thought it was a helpful suggestion, but clearly it wasn't.

My explanation...  she sort of acquiesced after my last comment.

I mean... nice that you live in England and all, but that doesn't make you a fucking expert on the costs and scheduling of flights, does it?  Even if it's true that a flight out of Stanstead would be cheaper and more convenient, what's wrong with offering another option?  It could turn out that Norwich is a better choice, even though they shittily make you pay an extra 10 GBP to get through security.  I swear, sometimes when I try to help people, I come away sorry for the effort.

Sorry.  I'm in kind of a bad mood this morning.  I probably ought to go back to bed.  

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Redneck Woman...

You know the song, right?

Gretchen Wilson sings a live version of her song, "Redneck Woman".

For some reason, as I'm sitting here on a sunny late June morning, I am reminded of a huge country hit by Gretchen Wilson.  I never really got into her music, even though I admire her big voice.  I don't think we've heard much from her lately, but I could be wrong.  I no longer have my finger on the pulse of music like I used to.  

Anyway, about ten years ago, I used to sing karaoke all the time at our local officer's club.  The KJs were a nice couple who enjoyed country music.  The male half of the duo could not sing at all, but every Friday night, we could count on hearing him wail Bob Seger's "Turn the Page".  Sometimes, he'd make requests of me and ask me to sing certain songs.  For instance, he was a fan of "Sin Wagon" by The Dixie Chicks.  I was happy to oblige when he requested that one.  He also liked "Traveling Soldier" by The Dixie Chicks.

One song he often requested that I could not and would not do is "Redneck Woman" by Gretchen Wilson.  It's not that I didn't recognize it as a well-loved hit.  It's not even that I didn't get the song's appeal to a certain demographic.  It's just that I could not relate to the song, at all.

I grew up in a place where there were many proud rednecks.  I had a number of friends who self identified as rednecks.  Sorry, though, I am not a redneck.  I couldn't be one if I tried.  I couldn't do a convincing job singing "Redneck Woman".  Aside from that, while I'm not averse to shouting a good "Hell yeah!" in public, I don't shop at WalMart for anything, let alone lingerie.  It's not even that I'm particularly fussy about my undergarments.  I like plain old cotton undies and bras.  But I wouldn't buy them at a discount store.

I would drink beer all night, but I also love Champagne.  And I don't buy the cheap stuff that is sweet.  That's not really Champagne.  The beer I drink is also not American watery brew, either.  

I have no baby to put on my hip, though I like being barefoot.  And I like Skynyrd, too...  

I just can't relate to "Redneck Woman", even though I don't look down on redneck women.  Many of them are fun to hang out with.  They tend to be fairly genuine folks and I appreciate that more than anything else in a person.  But it's just not me.  Redneck women tend to be simple and uncomplicated country girls who stay in one place and don't do a lot of book reading.  They don't usually care much about grammar or museums or performing arts.

That being said, I have to admit enjoying "Redneck Girl" by The Bellamy Brothers.

But I don't relate to this song, either...  It's just not me, even though I grew up around the type.

Just another random early morning thought before I take my dogs for their daily stroll around the neighborhood...


Monday, June 27, 2016

Insulting ...tom...

I have blogged about ...tom... a few times already, but I see that he fascinates people.  Since he's so fascinating and enjoys the attention, I figure I'll blog about him again.  He truly is an interesting character.  I could probably spend a lot of time psychoanalyzing him.  There's got to be a reason why he behaves like such an idiot all the time.

I will admit that yesterday I posted a status update as a means of baiting him.  I knew he'd respond and he didn't disappoint.  While Bill and I were out and about, I asked him if he thought I was "nice". Bill said he thinks I'm nice to those who deserve it.  So I posted about it on Facebook, knowing that ...tom... would have something snarky to say.

This is the discussion so far...

Some of my "real friends" have been watching this spectacle with interest.  More than one person has asked why I don't block ...tom...  A couple of people have supplied me with clever memes to use when he's being a dick (which is pretty much all the time).  But most of all, I think my friends enjoy the show as ...tom... curiously continues to harass me with his stupid comments.  It's like dealing with a six year old who's been deprived of attention for too long.

If anything, ...tom... gives me a reason to come up with creative insults, much like some Scots did when Donald Trump came to Scotland and made a stupid gaffe about Brexit.  I could take the time to sit here and invent all sorts of colorful ways to be abusive.  I never post on ...tom's... page, by the way.  He goes out of his way to post on mine and be as annoying as possible.  It makes me wonder if his mommy didn't love him enough when he was growing up.

But, in reality, the best thing to do is probably just go ahead and kick him off my page.  I hate to do that.  I don't enjoy blocking people.  It still may be the best thing to do, though, even though he gives me things to write about.  It's better if I write about annoying people in the news, isn't it?  On the other hand, people are interested.  Yesterday's post is performing quite respectably hits wise.  People love a good fool.



Sunday, June 26, 2016

"I ain't unfriending"...

A few days ago, I shared an article I read about how Confederate flags are somewhat popular in Italy. I was interested in the article because I had seen Confederate flags at an Italian truck stop last December.  One of my Facebook friends is Italian and had explained that many people from southern Italy identify with the flag, even if they might not understand why it's controversial in the United States.

Spotted in an Italian truck stop near Switzerland.

A bunch of my left leaning friends commented on the story and it very soon devolved into a discussion about whether or not the Civil War was about slavery.  My Italian friend, who happens to be very well-educated, got into a disagreement with another friend who insisted that the war was entirely about slavery.  Other posters joined in, mostly Americans with liberal proclivities and a lot of shame over America's history with slavery.

I posted the article Wednesday and the discussion is still going.  At a couple of points, it got a bit prickly, but I have mostly stayed out of it until yesterday morning, when I was tiring of the ongoing debate.  I wrote:

"Funny how this devolved into an argument about the Civil War when I was just interested in the flag's presence in Europe and have actually seen it displayed in Italy."

I wrote that because originally the topic had been about the flag's presence in Italy and why Italians and other Europeans embrace it.  It turned into a debate about the Civil War and racism.  Everybody ignored my comment until we got input from ...tom...

I recently told ...tom... to fuck off for the umpteenth time.  That's what I do whenever he enters a discussion in a way that is offensive.  He is often offensive because he seems to get off on it.  But anyway, he wrote this...

" Funny how this devolved into an argument about the Civil War when I was just interested in ... "


" ... but by 'something' of a scholar do you mean a PhD historian with many publications in peer-reviewed journals, or a self appointed one? "

another ...drolllol... Cause you can not have an opinion worth listening to if you aint . . . *sniff* . . . 'published'.

#PassiveAggressive much..??

The first part of his comment was a quote from me.  The second part refers to something my Italian friend wrote to another friend who said that he was "something of a Civil War scholar".  ...tom..., who had not been part of the discussion, chimed in with his typical stupidity and snark.  So my response to that was...

"Fuck off and die, ...tom... :D. (_!_)"

I figure it was appropriate.  He keeps coming back for more.  And he responded...

"Always such a warm and loving response . . ..

I aint unfriending . . .feel free to do so if you wish to.


Okay... so I take this to mean that he is offended when I tell him to fuck off and invites me to unfriend him (as if I need him to invite me to do that).  But he's not going to unfriend me.  He's going to try to drive me to do it.  Well, isn't that just dandy?  It's actually kind of abusive, if you think about it.  Bill's ex wife used to do something similar.  She'd tell Bill he didn't love her and would eventually leave her.  He swore he wouldn't, so she kept doing more and more things to upset him.  Her behavior grew more and more outrageous until finally, her prediction that he would leave came true.

My guess is that ...tom... doesn't necessarily like it when I tell him to fuck off.  I mean, he seeks a reaction and attention, but he'd rather I take him seriously.  But he refuses to disengage or unfriend because he wants me to be the one to sever the relationship.  I may do that at some point, but I thought it would be fun to play with him.  So I wrote...

What makes you think I'd want to do that?

I got no answer from ...tom..., though my Italian friend wrote...

"Tom, you are like a child, you walk into someone else's conversation, but you have no frame of reference. Shut the fuck up, Tom."

He got likes from people who were enjoying the spectacle, but not commenting.  I suppose I'll keep ...tom... around for comic relief.  And so I can keep telling someone to fuck off without feeling guilty about it.

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Ordinary People...

It was very sunny and hot last night in our town.  Because of the heat and the fact that we ate a seven course dinner on Thursday night, Bill and I decided to stay home and watch movies.  We watched Thelma & Louise... or, at least I did.  Bill was preoccupied by a new toy.  Then I ended up downloading Ordinary People.

Ordinary People is a wonderful film that was released in 1980.  I was eight years old in 1980, so I was a little too young to appreciate that film when it was new.  Nine or ten years later, I took a high school psychology class.  My teacher was very fond of using movies, especially televised "movies of the week", to illustrate certain psychological conditions.  I can understand why she liked to employ that technique.  Since we had daily fifty minute periods with her, a good movie of the week could keep us occupied and entertained for several days.

For instance, she wanted to teach us about Narcissistic Personality Disorder, so we watched Small Sacrifices over the course of a week.  I remember she also showed us The Karen Carpenter Story, a film I've seen many times, in order to teach us about anorexia nervosa.  That particular film was entertaining, but it was pretty dramatized.  I even watched parts of it yesterday and cringed at how hokey it is.  She showed us Sybil to teach us about what used to be known as multiple personality disorder.  To teach us about survivor's guilt and closed off mothers, she showed us Ordinary People.

This particular teacher, by the way, was also a big fan of paperback books about people with issues.  I remember one assignment she gave us was to read a true story about someone-- true crime, an autobiography, or a biography-- and do a written and oral report on it.  I chose to read Starving For Attention by Cherry Boone O'Neill.  My teacher had not read the book, so she read it and commented on how skinny Cherry was in the photos.  I remember other people read books by Ann Rule.  Someone else reported on super creepy Cameron Hooker, who enslaved a woman in a box for years.  I think I may have gotten my love of true crime from that class.  I bet psych teachers are no longer allowed to teach by showing movies and having students read true crime.  What a pity.

But anyway, the first time I watched Ordinary People, I was a teenager.  Though the film was only about ten years old the first time I saw it (the equivalent of it having been made in 2006 today), I remember thinking it was dated even then.  I probably felt that way because of the scene where the lead character, Conrad (played by cutie pie Timothy Hutton), was at McDonald's with a girlfriend and a bunch of unruly kids come in and sing the McDonald's jingle that was popular at the time.

"Nobody can do it like McDonald's can!"  This ad actually makes me nostalgic for the days when I enjoyed eating fast food.

I do remember the film made an impression on me.  I thought it was a good movie, though maybe I didn't reflect on it as much as I could have at the time.  What can I say?  I was only 17 years old.  

Timothy Hutton wins an award for Ordinary People...

Though Bill was not really into watching the first part of the movie, he did finally join me at a crucial part of the film, as viewers get a real look at what is plaguing Conrad and his parents.  The small family was left behind after their beloved older son, Buck, was killed in a boating accident.  Conrad had been there when his brother died, wasn't able to save him, and was left with crushing survivor's guilt.  After the accident, Conrad had attempted and failed to commit suicide.  His mother was ashamed of him, thought the counseling was a waste of time, and couldn't show him the love and acceptance he needed.  His father was trying very hard to hold his marriage and his son together.  

Conrad went to see a psychiatrist named Dr. Berger (played by Judd Hirsch).  He's resistant to therapy at first.  He thinks it's a waste of time.  But Dr. Berger is insightful, empathetic, and patient, and eventually, they get to the root of Conrad's problems.  That leads to a very emotional breakthrough that ultimately leads to healing.

Conrad's breakthrough

Bill's mother took him to see Ordinary People when he was a teenager.  At the time, he was too young to appreciate it.  Now that he's much more mature, I caught him looking at the film with different eyes.  As he watched the above scene, his eyes filled with tears.  He was profoundly moved watching a young man in pain having a breakthrough and confronting his pain. 

I've often told Bill that I think he would benefit from talking to a good therapist.  That's not because I think he's "crazy" or distressed, but more because he's really been through a lot.  We've been married thirteen years and I'm still learning about some things that he's faced in his past.  Although I can comfort him, my viewpoint is bound to be biased and limited in perspective. 

He smiled at me and said that I had helped him a great deal.  I'm glad to hear that, though as his wife and an educated but unlicensed social worker, I'm not exactly the best person to help him make sense of his past.  For one thing, when it comes to Bill, I lack objectivity.  Because I love him, I sometimes slip into sympathy rather than empathy.  

For another thing, though only a couple of courses separated me from what becoming is known as a "micro" social worker (I went macro), the two courses and the accompanying internship made me more of a administrator than a clinician.  So even if I were practicing social work, I probably wouldn't be in a job that would have me counseling people one on one.  I was actually trained to manage those people.  

I myself saw a therapist for several years.  At the beginning of my time talking with a licensed clinical psychologist, I really needed help.  I was very depressed, anxious, and occasionally feeling suicidal.  I don't know how serious I was about planning to kill myself-- probably not very.  I was in a lot of distress, though, and I was miserable.  If I hadn't done something, I might have ultimately become so desperately mired in hopelessness that I might have gone ahead and done something drastic.  

It took several months before I started feeling better.  I needed medication and talk therapy.  I did things like going jogging at a local park and taking voice lessons to jar my body out of its heavy depressed state.  Finally, I started feeling much better, stronger, and ready to make my own decisions.  I broke out of depression and moved on with my life, though for the first years, I had some setbacks.  As time went on, I learned how to let more things roll off my back.  Even when I get upset now, it doesn't last like it used to.  I find that I care less about things that used to put me in a tailspin for days.  Things that used to overwhelm me and make me cry no longer do.  In fact, I rarely cry anymore.  I used to cry all the time.  It's like my body can't do it anymore.

These days, I struggle a lot more with anxiety than depression.  I worry about all kinds of things, mostly stuff that I can't control.  I think about what could happen and drive myself crazy.  Bill worries when I worry, mainly because he wants me to be happy and feel safe.  But I think I would take the feeling of anxiety over soul crushing depression any day.  I thank my shrink for helping me overcome those feelings.  I guess watching Ordinary People made me remember that time in my life when I was a little lost like Conrad.  I am fortunate in that some people helped me past that time.

"Mothers don't hate their sons..."

Incidentally, I read last night that shortly after Ordinary People was released, Mary Tyler Moore lost her only son.  I wonder how this film affected her in the aftermath of dealing with that loss.  Having to face her own personal tragedy must have made this particular film especially hard for Mary Tyler Moore.  She had taken her son, Richie, to a screening of it just months before he died after accidentally shooting himself.

Friday, June 24, 2016

The heat is on, a German shooting, and Britain decides to leave the E.U.

Well, it's finally gotten hot here in Germany.  I ended up setting up the air conditioner yesterday and it helps make my office tolerable.  Bill may be picking up another air conditioner for our bedroom tonight because neither of us cares to spend weeks sweating all night.  Summer can be lovely in Europe, but it can also be pretty uncomfortable.  July will probably be sweltering.

In other news, Britain has shockingly voted to leave the European Union.  That's causing quite the stir in Europe and Britain.  Currencies are in flux as people around the world wait to see how this will affect everything.  Our stocks finally started to rebound after the winter.  I bet they take another plunge.  Some of my British friends seem pretty upset about the news.  I know a couple have also applied for citizenship in the E.U.

Yesterday, there was a shooting in Viernheim, a town between Frankfurt and Stuttgart, Germany.  We live a couple of hours away from Frankfurt, but that didn't stop people from asking if we were somehow affected by the shooting.  We weren't this time.  When we lived here in 2009, there was a school shooting in Winnenden, which is close to Stuttgart and affected us more personally.  Sixteen people died in that incident, including the 17 year old perpetrator.

The gunman who opened fire yesterday was killed after shooting in a cinema.  He reportedly took several people hostage, though no one else was hurt.  Apparently, the guy was not a terrorist; he was a "confused" individual.  Whatever he was, he's now dead.  Homicide is very rare in Germany, although it has one of the highest weapons per head rates in the world.  However, anyone under age 25 who wishes to purchase a weapon must undergo a psychiatric evaluation that includes anger management and personality tests.

Unfortunately, I'm afraid there will be more violence as time passes.  The world seems to be changing and not in a good way.  I do feel safer here than I do in the United States, though.

I'm glad it's time for the weekend.  Birthday week went by quickly and pretty soon it'll be July, which is rapidly becoming my least favorite month of the year.  On the other hand, it would be hard for July 2016 to suck as much as July 2014 did.  And at least next month, we get to see Van Morrison play.  That will be fun!

So... as June winds down, I will pray that July won't suck balls.  Maybe later, I'll have something more to bitch about.


Thursday, June 23, 2016

Causes of death in the USA...

Yesterday, a conservative friend of mine from high school posted this ridiculousness...

Notice there are no sources listed, so these numbers could have been pulled out of someone's ass.

According to Snopes, these claims are only partially accurate.  However, when I look at a list of how people die and one of the reasons listed is Accident (unintentional), I have to wonder how seriously I should take the list.  Who has an accident on purpose?  Isn't it a given that an accident is unintentional?  

I see "murder by gun" is at the bottom of the list while abortion is at the top.  Clearly, the people who originally made this list on are pushing an agenda.  At the bottom of the list at the original source for this meme, there's a link.  Click it, and you'll find yourself reading a Christian testimonial.  

Many Christians are against gun control and are pro life, which is really the crux of what this meme is about.  Their message seems to be, "Give us our guns and keep having babies, even if we don't want to help support the new babies with decent, affordable, accessible healthcare, quality education that is available to everyone, and enough jobs that pay enough to make raising said babies feasible."  Pray, pay, and obey.    

I decided to share the meme myself because I knew some of my friends would laugh at it.  My old "friend" ...tom..., who is apparently also very conservative, was the lone person who seemed to take it seriously.  This was his comment.

When I first saw this image/meme ...I assumed it was addressing the recent "murder by gun" hysteria.

The last year of reported abortion statistics by the CDC is 2012. Not sure how anyone could speak authoritatively to any of these numbers for 2016.

That said ...there were 699K-plus abortions in 2012 ...not including numbers from the heavily populated state of California. That number ...divided by two and a bit ...would still put abortion at or near the top of this list.


My response was, "So?"

Do right wingers ever stop to think about what the world would be like if those 700,000 abortions in 2012 ...tom... writes about never happened?  Really!  That's a whole lot of new people being born in a world that already sucks.  700,000 new human beings needing clothing, shelter, medical care, and parents with work that pays enough to support them.  700,000 more people-- in 2012 alone-- consuming the world's limited resources.  Maybe we have enough room on the Earth to accommodate them, but do we have enough resources?  Do we have enough people out there who care enough about other people to help take care of all of these new babies, some of whom will not be born healthy?  And if there were really 700,000 additional babies being born every year (in the United States alone!), how long can the Earth accommodate them?

Now, I have said before that I am no fan of abortion.  I personally find it horrifying.  However, I have yet to meet a single person who remembers being in the womb.  I have, on the other hand, met plenty of people who have really struggled in life.  While I don't think it's necessarily a bad thing for people to struggle a bit, I also don't think it's for anyone else to decide how much is too much for another person.   Having a baby can be a joyful experience for some women.  For others, it can be disastrous for them, as well as their child.

I also don't think pregnant women who don't want to be pregnant should be forced to stay pregnant, especially in a country where healthcare is not really accessible or affordable to everyone.  For some reason, it seems like the people who are most vehemently pro life are men.  They will never have to deal with the experiences or risks of being pregnant and, a lot of times, they aren't the ones dealing with the aftermath of pregnancy.

Adoption is a good option for those who can stand to do it.  On the other hand, adoption can come with its own horrors.  It's not such an easy thing for a woman to give her child up to someone else, even if she never wanted to be pregnant.  Those who can do it and want to do it are to be commended.  But those who can't shouldn't be condemned.  Adoption is also a hard option.  Giving a baby up for adoption often means spending a lifetime wondering where that child is and wondering how he or she is doing.  Being pregnant is risky.  Even though medical science has come a long way, women do still develop health problems in pregnancy and can die in childbirth.   

While many adopted children grow up happy and loved, some adopted children really have a difficult time.  I know this is purely anecdotal, but one case in point is Bill's ex wife.  She was adopted and her mother later had biological kids.  She grew up thinking she didn't "rate" because she wasn't her mother's biological daughter.  Moreover, her mother apparently allowed her stepfather to abuse her so he'd leave the bio kids alone.  I am not at all trying to imply that this scenario occurs in every family with adopted kids.  I know several other people who were adopted and had good experiences.  But I will also say that many of the adopted people I know also grew up wondering about their origins.  That's tough on them as well as their biological parents, who may or may not want to be "found" later on.    

As I was writing this, ...tom... came back with this comment.


If your intended point was to poke fun at the numbers . . .well, the numbers have some validity.

If your intent was simply to "spread bullshit" . . .not sure you really succeeded. Perhaps a more thorough explanation of what you find to be "bullshit" would be helpful.

' who struggled mightily to not reply ' so what..?? ' . . .but suspected Jenny was up for a thoughtful exchange . . .. '

To which I wrote,

No, not really. I shared this because it is clearly bullshit and I felt like having a laugh among friends. If you don't agree, that's your prerogative. And, as I have told you before, I have "thoughtful exchanges" with people who approach me with respect rather than passive aggression and insults to my intelligence. Everyone else can fuck the hell off.

Hopefully, he will do just that.  For some reason, ...tom... enjoys trying to goad people into debating with him.  I post something controversial on my Facebook page and he thinks I should have to engage in an argument.  Not so.  ;-)

ETA:  After I posted this, I got comments from Papa Smurf, who promptly went into ridiculousness.  Check this out.

What would the USA be like it there were half a million babies born every six months?
LikeReply119 hrsEdited
Walmart at 2pm on a Saturday, that's what.
UnlikeReply717 hrs
LikeReply17 hrs
 Ah yes, the equation of lowlife would be mothers, abortion and Walmart.
Pretty sad commentary.

LikeReply2 hrs
 In all seriousness... an extra 700,000 babies born in the United States alone is a pretty heavy burden for the Earth to bear. We don't have affordable and accessible healthcare and education as it is. Many people are struggling to make a living to su...See More
LikeReply2 hrsEdited
 Kinda like the burden BabyBoomers will be placing on the youth of today.
LikeReply1 hr
Yes, very true. Our population is aging and that is a stressor for everyone.
LikeReply1 hr
 Shoot us or just let 'em die with the flue or whatever?
LikeReply1 hr
 Oh please.
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He continued with this...

 Saying it is half true, half not. Kinda like the remarks said here, some are true.
I deem Tom's abortion stats as very true and verifiable.

LikeReply2 hrs
 So what? This thing was originally conceived by a Christian organization with a right wing agenda. That's what makes it bullshit. If you want people to take it seriously, present it in a neutral way that isn't about steering people to religion or promoting the right wing mindset. Explain why the world needs so many more people in it. How does that benefit society? Tom's abortion stats are true and verifiable. I looked them up myself. I still maintain that an extra 700,000 babies being born each year to people who are not ready to be parents is a huge burden for society to bear. These are new people that have to be clothed, fed, housed, educated, and given healthcare. We can't even offer those things to all of the people who have already been born. What we really should be doing is promoting accessible and affordable birth control and effective assistance for those who choose to have their babies and need help. We should not be putting up ridiculous memes that are actually about finding Jesus. I agree, abortion rates are nothing to celebrate, but I'd love for the pro-lifers to offer workable and compassionate solutions that aren't solely about their world view.
LikeReply1 hrEdited