July 13, 2011

July 13th, 2011

Dear Sofia,

Is signing a document that says one-man-one-woman marriage benefits both spouses and their children in a number of ways a bad thing?

There's an uproar about a "Marriage Vow" political officials have been presented with and their interest in or refutation of what it contains. Here's part of the preamble:

"Enduring marital fidelity between one man and one woman protects innocent children, vulnerable women, the rights of fathers, the stability of families, and the liberties of all American citizens under our republican form of government."

It goes on to state that:

"Our exceptional and free society simply cannot endure without the transmission of personal virtue, from one generation to the next, by means of nurturing, nuclear families comprised of sexually-faithful husbands and wives, fathers and mothers."

The group who penned the 'Vow' asks those who sign to publicly pledge fidelity not only to their spouses (obviously), but to not signing into effect any legislation that would threaten to redefine marriage as anything other than one man, one woman. They also include statements about child rearing ("children raised by a mother and a father together experience better learning, less addiction, less legal trouble, and less extramarital pregnancy"), "anti-human rights forms of totalitarian control" such as Sharia Law (Islam), reproductive rights ("robust childbearing and reproduction is beneficial to U.S. demographic, economic, strategic and actuarial health and security") and rights of the yet-born and children.

Here's a passage I particularly like:

"[I vow to uphold] Humane protection of women and the innocent fruit of conjugal intimacy – our next generation of American children – from human trafficking, sexual slavery, seduction into promiscuity, and all forms of pornography and prostitution, infanticide, abortion and other types of coercion or stolen innocence."

"Stolen innocence" truly is contributing to a disintegration of our society.

I read this vow and wondered, why is it so controversial to sign it? Politicians - including our President - do not hide their affiliations with special interest groups or "special" groups of people they'd like to show favor to in their legislation. So why is making it public that you plan to uphold the institution of marriage, thus protecting children's well-being in the process?

We live in an age of "do whatever you want." Men and women commit adultery at the drop of a hat (sometimes out of mere boredom) with no care to the consequences befalling their children. Or, if they are childless, the pain and suffering it causes the non-offending spouse, and the disrespect it shows for marriage itself. All in the name of selfish desire.

When people marry, they take a vow. It's in front of witnesses of some kind, who hear the couple pledge their fidelity which extends to the grave. How, then, is signing a paper that effectively says you're going to govern with the same "you" as made a verbal vow such a crime?

I don't get it.


July 11, 2011

July 11th, 2011

Dear Sofia,

We're being hit hard by the "recovered" economy. That's mostly because the economy is still a mess; very few jobs have been created despite our government officials saying the opposite.

Your dad is looking for work - which is about 100 times more difficult than it was even two years ago when I was last looking. You and I are going on Friday for our WIC interview. What's WIC? It's a government assistance program that provides food stamps and such to those in need. I don't have any pride about it because right now we can definitely use the help.

A report today said there are nearly 5 people per every job opening right now. A measly 18,000 jobs were created in June of this year, not nearly enough to provide for the millions of Americans now receiving aid like WIC and unemployment benefits.

A lot of people think (and this has been proven, to a small extent) that people who receive unemployment stay on it longer and without simultaneously looking for work. But that isn't everyone, and when there aren't jobs to even apply for, why would people even bother to look?

That's no excuse for people to sit around and smoke cigarettes, watch daytime t.v. and generally be lazy while they collect a check, mind you. I come from a liberal family, but they have a good work ethic. I had my first job at age 12 (working at a pet store informally), and my first legal job at 14. And, with the exception of a short stint in the state of Michigan - which currently pays benefits to 267,000 people and has been a terrible state for jobs for years - I've been employed full time ever since.

I like to work. I don't like to be idle; an idle mind is the devil's playground. The main thing I dislike now about work is not being with you during that time. However, my job makes me feel purposeful (at least enough of the time to defray some of my guilt).

My point is, having work to do is good for people. It gives them a feeling of self-worth, of pride in being able to provide for their families, being part of something bigger than their own small corner of the world, having the opportunity to contribute their own ideas, having people with shared experiences ready at hand.

When there is no work to obtain, is it any wonder people sit on their heels and waste time?

People want to work. Where are the jobs?


A funny post script: Last night, your dad and I scraped together all the change we could find in the house to buy a treat (ice cream). I paid 65 cents of it in pennies! Not that we need ice cream, of course, but it goes to show the kinds of ridiculous things people do when they're so broke...

July 6, 2011

July 6th, 2011

Dear Sofia,

I've been having so much fun away from work that I completely lost track of the date today. I had to look at the computer calendar to find out it is July 6th.

You, me and your dad have mostly just been hanging around. You go to bed early and we have some time together as adults, to eat dinner and watch a program.

On the fourth of July, we had no special plans. You did have a very patriotic dress to wear (a gift from auntie Becky). I made a red, white and blue garland that you couldn't stop admiring (thanks baby!), we baked shortcakes for dessert and dad had to scooter to the next city over to find some fireworks for us. But you loved the sparklers so much it was worth it.

We almost went to the zoo, but didn't. We tried to go swimming in the lake, but it was too smelly (from algae or something). I planned to take you strawberry picking, but changed my mind.

No matter. We had a great vacation anyway. When you feel like you're always somewhere else - work, visiting, in your own mind - then home is your getaway.



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