What is in the water in San Francisco?

•May 19, 2011 • Leave a Comment

San Francisco has long been a city with its own accord. Propelled to astounding heights by the Gold Rush in the mid 1800’s, growth and development of the city has never really slowed down. (Except that I think it burned to the ground like three times, but whatever.) So it’s no surprise that San Francisco leads the way in some of the more liberalized movements. It is perhaps most well-noted for the large support and populations of homosexuals that call the city home. Lately, however, they’ve been in the spot-light for some less than glamorous reasons.

First, it was the whole McDonald’s Happy Meal escapade. The Board of Supervisors voted to enact a ban on giving out toys in Happy Meals that don’t meet a certain criteria. According to the Los Angeles Times, in order for the restaurant to offer a toy with the meal, the meal (including the drink) must have less than 600 calories, and no more than 35% of the calories can come from fat. On the surface, this looks like a great idea, right? Obviously, our nation is facing an obesity epidemic, and the startling statistics continue to rise. Childhood obesity is is no exception, and it seems that if we want to keep the problem from increasing even more, we would need to teach our children healthy eating habits. After all, a healthy child has a much better chance of maintaining a healthy body weight into adulthood. So what’s the problem here, you ask?

Problem is, I wasn’t a fat kid. There. I said it. My mom wasn’t either, nor my dad. Actually, no one in my family who is a blood relation to me was a fat kid. We grew up on home-cooked meals and before the days of video games slowly sucking the life-juice out of your muscles. I ate when I was hungry and stopped when I was full. However, it was always a big deal when I got to go grocery shopping with my grandmother (aka: Ninny) on the weekends. That meant that not only could I pick out when I wanted for snack and breakfast at home, but also that I was more than likely going to get McDonald’s or Burger King afterwards. This was like an incentive for me to behave-my-butt in public! We’d head out to Wal-Mart where I’d “help” Ninny get all the stuff on her list, and then she’d take me to get a kid’s meal. Usually I’d eat most of the hamburger, a couple fries, and spend the rest of the ride home breaking the cheap plastic toy I just had to have. And you know what? I don’t see that there’s a gott-damn(!) thing wrong with that! If your child has an otherwise healthy diet, what’s wrong with letting them cheat every once in a while? The key to a healthy life and body is everything in moderation! Even too much water can kill you, folks, but that doesn’t mean we let the government ration it out! The fact that the San Francisco government has made it ILLEGAL to serve your child a normal happy meal with a fake Barbie doll is BULLSHIT, and you should be personally offended that they couldn’t trust you with the judgement of your own child’s meal.

But that’s not all, guys. Stay with me here. It gets a little weird now.

A non-profit group known as MGMbill.org (MGM being male genital mutilation, naturally) has made an initiative to ban circumcisions within the city. And it made it to the ballots!! First of all, let me just say on behalf of every0ne…WTF?!!??!!?? Second, dude…why? I can’t even make full sentences about this in my shock. No, but seriously, they do give some reasons as to why they feel the measure should be passed. For one, they believe it is not within a parent’s right to make such a decision for their child. Second, they believe that it decreases sensititivy and pleasure in the penis. Third, they feel it is no different than female circumcision (0_O) which is generally frowned upon by everybody. I didn’t really believe any of this myself, so I took some initiative and checked out the facts on Discovery Health!

 Everyone agrees that circumcision is not medically necessary, but the beneftis behind it are pretty numerous. The lack of foreskin really helps cut down on infections. That includes simple things like UTIs, but also it can greatly reduce your risk of contracting HIV! Apparently, the warmth and moisture inside of the foreskin is a perfect breeding ground for nasty little critters like that. Also, being circumcised can decrease your risk of developing penile cancer! That information right there is enough for me to believe that, yes, the parents DO have a right to make this choice for their sons! Of course it’s probably an invasive and painful procedure for the baby, but so are things like vaccinations and braces! We give those out to our kids all the time, knowing that they are going to inflict pain, but they make the child better off in the long run. To address their second point, not all men lost sensitivity from the loss of their foreskin. In fact, some men have even reported an increase. (Lucky guys, right?) And, finally, if you think male circumcision is ANYTHING like female circumcision…then I pity all your previous female partners for your obvious lack of knowledge of female anatomy. Female circumcision is often also referred to as “female genital mutilation” even in the healthcare field because it is FREAKING GENITAL MUTILATION…but also for the more to the point reason that it “ELIMINATES” a woman’s ability to enjoy sexual stimulation. The health reasons for it are also nil, as it is done mostly to keep women in impoverished countries from going all hoe-tastic. So, no, it’s not the same. But nice try guys. I believe that this decision is completely and totally up to the parents. I have no idea where the government gets off thinking that they could ever hope to impose a ban like this, especially beings how many people do this for religious reasons. San Francisco may well be on its way to becoming a police state.

Do you think this is a redonkulous as I do?!!





Breaking the Cycle

•May 18, 2011 • Leave a Comment

When I was a little girl, I was convinced that the Republican party had a good thing goin’. Oh yes. I fully believed that this was one nation under GOD, and that the few people I knew who were actually Liberals must have just been immoral. I even grew up believing that the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan were naturally the best response to 9/11. I didn’t dislike gay people, but I thought marriage should be left to same-sex couples. Abortion really did seem like murder.

And then I branched out. I got even older and met new people. I went to college, and began scouring the far corners of the internet in my thirst for knowledge. I changed my mind about religion, politics, and the world in general. I learned that a political party cannot accurately represent all of my ideas. Sadly, I also learned that many people who do align themselves with one party or another, (particularly just Conservative or Liberal) often don’t even know anything about the party itself. They just know that their mother/father/grandma/grandpa/brother/sister/cousin/friend/co-worker/whatever is also a Republican/Democrat, and so should they be! That’s not how it works, though! I know other people sometimes wonder how Conservatives can be so narrow-minded about things, but you have to realize that it’s all they know. They were raised from birth to believe that what the Bible says is the unquestionable truth, and for them there is no other choice but to be a Conservative! Obviously, the same goes for Liberals in that the majority of them believe the things they do because of how they were raised.

The trouble with this is that nothing ever stays the same. Change happens constantly, and at lightning speed these days with the abundant amount of technology we have at our disposal. This is not the same America that your grandparents–or even your parents–grew up in. In order to stay current and relevant to the rest of the world, we have to have the ability to evolve and move forward. It’s the same in nature. It’s not the strongest of the species who have a better chance of survival, but the ones who respond the best to change. Values, morals, and ideas are constantly changing as we’re presented with more and more situations in our country. If you continue to align yourself with those around you simply because you don’t know any better, you cannot make informed decisions about your country. How can you know who you really should be voting for when you don’t even know what they stand for? I was appalled when I watched street reporters walking around and asking people their reasons for voting for their preferred candidate in the 2008 elections. They had some of the most ridiculous answers. I remember one woman in particular who mentioned that she’d be voting for Obama because she belived that he’d send people checks in the mail. Just free money–no big deal.

It is for these reasons that I somtimes think the party system should be done away with altogether. People familarize themselves with the labels, but not necessarily the policies. I once talked to a girl who went to high-school with me who told me she was a Democrat simply because her grandmother was. Additionally, she also told me that Bush was an idiot because he was sending too many people overseas and leaving our country completely vulnerable to attack. (Because apparently the National Guard doesn’t do that.) At any rate, I propose that instead of instead of having ballots that list a politician’s party, maybe we should have big ballots that list the politician’s stance on relevant issues.

                                                                                    (A visual aid. Totally legitimate.)

Impractical? Maybe. Better than what we got? Definitely.

What do you think about our bipartisanship? Would you say that most people you know who choose a side are well-educated on the issues? Do you feel we get bogged down in the constant back-and-forth of it all? Let me know.