kay_gmd: (true love)

We have a shortage of organs for transplants. Yet no one suggests that we should register our blood type etc and be responsible for donating organs as needed. Not even ones we could lose with minimal negative effect. No, in fact we don't even use organs that are clearly no use any more because someone has died. In order to use someone's organs the person with the organs has to volunteer and if the organs are to be removed while the person is alive they have to demonstrate that they're not volunteering under duress.

I'm an organ donor by the way. Please use anything I haven't used up once I'm done with it.

If I died without ID or someone who knows me nearby they couldn't use my organs.

It doesn't matter who needs those organs it could be the President, the Pope, a drug addict, a rock star, or a young adult with all the potential in the world or all of the above. None of them get the organs unless they can verify that I chose to be a donor.

No individual has more rights to my body than me, even if I'm dead.

There isn't massive disagreement on this issue until I get pregnant. Then even though I could not be required to give up one organ to sustain the life of another or multiple other people I am required to give up my body.

(Not currently in California. Here I could have the potential that might become a child removed, but if those who oppose abortion get there way that might change. )

I've been pregnant. My understanding is that my pregnancy was more or less middle of the road. It ended almost 6 years ago.

While I was pregnant I lost lung capacity, my digestive system went wonky, my feet expanded, I lost endurance on my bike, my memory became less reliable, and my hormones shifted (I used to very rarely cry, during pregnancy books and commercials could make me cry, I've mellowed some but not back to where I was).

I plan to remind my sweet child of this as needed through the years, but it was okay because it was something I had chosen.

When someone says that abortion kills that is no more accurate than saying that not donating organs does. If that's the case and one still opposes abortion then I expect them to also require everyone to register to donate organs. I could use an ear, I know people who could use several other organs.

If one is claiming that the problem is just that the government pays for it:

First yes it is a medical procedure any state that covers medical care should cover all medical care. Otherwise treatment is based on something other than medical need.

Second in the US sadly it doesn't, some states do including California.

Third governments nearly by definition gather your money to do something you don't want them to. The government is also going to use it to do a bunch of other stuff you do want.

Fourth considering the relevant cost in relation to the population for the vast majority of us if we're contributing to it at all it's likely less than a penny.

So either get everyone signed up for an organ registry, and answer when the collectors call, or stop trying to keep people from choosing who they donate their wombs to.

kay_gmd: (fair)

Last Thursday I left practice early to attend the part of the board meeting where the board discussed the resolution that "We All Belong: Sfe and Welcoming Schools for All" you can find the resolution here:


Resolution 37-17 (Item VII of the agenda)

I participated in a discussion session where we discussed 5 key points. While I don't have the texts we discussed then, my impression was that these were stronger, and addressed a broader swath of children. I'm glad that the resolution is protective of immigrants and religious minorities because I see these groups as the most threatened right now, but I thought I remembered more general data protection and more focus on LGBTQ+ in the discussion. I fully accept that this is my particular filter, but I'd like it to be stronger there.

I also thought we talked about more concrete actions. This one is much more important. We will need to be watching for the concrete practices and policies that will make this more than a pretty piece of paper.

That said I am thrilled that DJUSD adopted this. It is a strong statement of our community values and it gives all of us pushing for support of all students something to point to. It is our city on the hill beacon that we stand for all students.

I failed to do my homework so I spent a bit of time when I first got there pulling it up and reading it on my phone.

When I got there public comment on this item had begun. All comments were generally positive, with some suggestions for edits.

I was particularly impressed by the statements from the mother and father of the Islamic school (I'm not precisely clear on the meaning of the titles in this context, but these two obviously included parental love and nurturing for their students in the duties).

She spoke with power and articulation and focused on how much more we are similar than different. She quoted Mia Angelo. She wore a full burka. When she started speaking I'd been trying to look something up, and I had to stop to listen because she had that presence.

He spoke more humbly. He spoke of his experience going to high school the day after September 11th. The bullying and hurtful experiences he had, and the teachers who helped him through. Then he spoke of his students, of their needs to be included, and to have time for prayer.

I pray daily, but as a Methodist, there's no particular time that is proscribed for prayers I do it right before bed because that is a time that works for me, but that doesn't mean it is not a real need for others. I was reminded of when we had some Muslim housemates. We helped them move in, and as prayer time came up there was consternation. It was a new place, and they weren't sure which way was east. We managed to find information that covered their need. It emphasized for me how even with our many similarities it is in supporting our differences that we show we are welcoming.

There were many other speakers. Anoosh represented Yolo Rainbow Families well. I was happy to see Montgomery well represented.

The Trustees of the board spoke. There was enthusiasm and word-smithing. The resolution was adopted with plans to edit, but not change the substance.

There were a couple of issues that weren't fully addressed:

How will parents be reached? The parent communications system works reasonably well for me, but there was a notable lack of Hispanic participation in a discussion item which was in large part trying to make sure our students of varying immigration status are welcome. When we had our previous discussion meeting we made some suggestions hopefully good methods will be used. The response when this came up was lacking in specifics, and used an example that overstated the parent board interaction.

How will training get to staff and students? This to me is the real crux of the issue. I'm thrilled that we have this resolution to point to but changing the climate in the schools is the real work.

And the wonk question: what policies will be put in place because of this. This is never exciting or popular, but it is what turns the light of a resolution into the salt that does the work of making the world, or in this case the school district a better place.

Like the Women's March this is a great first step, but it is nearly nothing if we do not follow it up.

Know this.

We are here.

We are watching.

We will roll up our sleeves and work with you.

But this is a great mountain of work that you have set yourselves to do, and we expect you to follow through.
kay_gmd: (fair)
So this went up on facebook first, but I want to keep it here too.

I'm second generation Chinese American. My dad moved with his family from China to Hong Kong as a young child, and then came to the states for college.
He was an electrical engineer. He created a company,that he eventually sold,and then he did East Asian sales for Silicon Valley telecom companies. Now he's retired in Thailand, apparently when he was traveling for work he noticed that Thailand was the most relaxed place to be.
Dad's first move was because his dad was on the wrong side of the war in China. His family had papers, but they were refugees. They didn't want to leave China, it just wasn't safe for them to stay.
The US has never lived up to the bold statement on the Statue of Liberty, but it has been the quest to do so that has made us strong. It has brought the diversity of thought and culture that has allowed us to grow and thrive as a nation. That is all to the good.
I'm glad that it turns out that doing good has good results, but it isn't actually the main reason we need to welcome immigrants and refugees. We do good because it is the right thing to do.
Hospitality is a tenant of Christianity as well as many other religions. When someone comes knocking we welcome them in. It's not usually because we're happy to see them, or even because we're where they really want to be. It is because our home is a less bad option for them.
We are called to welcome our neighbor and the stranger, and our neighbors is defined to be everyone. When Christ talked about sorting out the good from the bad he did not talk about how well we knew or followed the law. He talked about how well we treated those less fortunate.
There is never any indication that these people we offer hospitality to will be model citizens. Some will. Some won't. Just like any sufficiently large population. We welcome to help, but we also welcome to be people we can take pride in being.
Build a bigger table if you want to build something, so that we can share meals, we don't need a wall.
kay_gmd: (fair)
I've been hearing a lot of people saying something to the effect of

"Even if Trump voters arent themselves racist, sexist, homophobic etc, the fact that he was didn't stop them from voting for him! That's a deal breaker for me!"

I have to say as a biracial, bisexual, liberal mother of a gender creative child that makes a lot of sense to me. But after seeing a few of these something was bugging me.

I don't know all the reasons people voted for Trump, and I may be totaly off on this, but an anology occured to me.

If my house was on fire, and a firetruck came zooming up to my house with a giant swastika painted on it I wouldn't even see that swastika until I was sure the fire was put out. or even if I did I surely wouldn't stop the firefighters while my house was still in danger.

Once the fire was out I'd raise holy hell, but I wouldn't, during the fire, have the bandwidth to care.

I'm not hurting in life. I've got a great job, and a great family, and I don't have any fear that this is likely to change. So, to me while this election was urgent. I wasn't going in feeling like my livelyhood was on fire.

It seems like helping people not feel that way would be a good way to help make sure we can focus on the issues that we find vital.

I don't think we can reasonably expect people to focus on the safety of others when they are conserned about there own. There are people who do that. These are great people. They should be praised. They should not be the new standard. If we're honest I suspect most of us don't live up to that. I know I don't.

Mr. Trump has put a spotlight on the people we have not adequately served. It's easy to be angry at them, or doubt their inteligence, or morality. It's even possible that it's right to feel that way. If we want to move forward as a country we need to find a solution that doesn't rely on anyone feel like a lesser citizen. If we don't we may fix the problem for now, but we're just setting it up to get worse for our children.

My impulse is to push the guaranteed minimum income as a part of the solution, but I think one of the areas where government trying to help people falls far short is going in saying we know the solution we'll do this thing that we came up with in our government office. Many of these things do help. But many don't, and even if they do help there isn't buyin from a lot of the community.

What we need to do is find a way to listen to eachother to seek to understand. In this process we're likely to hear a lot of things that set our teeth on edge. We're going to want to shut people down and tune them out because of that, and we can't afford to do that. We need to find ways to understand eachother. My hope is that in that process we will be understood, but the primary goal is to understand. To find the pain, and work together to relieve the pain.

I want to say that we also have pain, and it is legitimate, and it also needs to be addressed.We should work on that too. But the pain of the Trump supporters just added immensley to the rest of our pain. I suggest we focus a lot of our effort there.
kay_gmd: (fair)

It's a tough day today.

I started wanting to write something last night when it started really looking like Trump might win (I had a blessedly meeting filled afternoon, and between that, and taking Kosh to her Daisy
Scout meeting I didn't see results that I took seriously until about 8.

 My first thought in response to a Trump presidency, was to offer Governor Brown help with building the California wall. That was an angry and scared response. In content it's a bigger version of moving to Canada. Take me and mine out of the control of this government with this man at the top of it.

I had various ideas, but my dad consolidated my thoughts. I checked my email this morning, and my dad, who is retired in Thailand had emailed all 4 of us kids with encouragement to move to Canada.

That gave me a target.

This concept is tempting (like a California sesesion would be), but it's really terrifying if you follow it.

It's already too easy to keep yourself in an echo chamber. And in this case most importantly for our governmental leaders to keep themselves in echo chambers.

It would be one thing to run from Germany in the 1930s you could be running to someplace that could reasonably have been expected to be stronger than Germany. The United States is too powerful for that to be reasonable.

Therefore we desperately need everyone who is upset with the election results to stay in the United states, and to get active.

We need to  build relationships across socio economic barriers and across parties. We need to find the areas where we agree, and build movements based on those. It's going to be hard, and it's going to be scary, but it's our best chance to minimize the damage of this presidency.
That said there's no way in hell we're leaving California, My hope is that we're a big enough economic engine that we'll be able to maintain what we're doing.
Love and prayers to all,

This is what I wrote to my family.

That's more or less what I think, although I'm a little torn. There were people who said a Trump presidency would bring the revolution. I'm not 100% sure what that is, but I'm open to that potentially, but I'm tentative.

Regardeless if the next step is revolution or moderation and regroup for 2018 there are some steps I think we all benefit from.

We need to take care of ourselves. In as much as we can we should cut ourselves slack and allow ourselves to vent as we need to. We should try not to do something in anger or grief (or whatever strong emotion) that will haunt us a month from now.

Love and express your love for those we love. Give and get more hugs (or whatever sign of affection is best for the people involved) Make sure our groups know that they are safe, and if there is a real lack of safety do what we can to make it more safe.

As we have spoons/energy we need to be kind and loving to others. Do what we can to show that people are good and loving.

Give ourselves time. Time to think, and plan, and feel.

Be as well as you can be.

kay_gmd: (fair)
I'm involved with a parent group online, and like so many while it is titled a parent group it is mostly a mommy group. There are daddys that post, but on this particular post none of the comments apppeared to be from males.

So the post was, and I'm being lazy and paraphrasing:

Argh my husband!
We're trying to have another kid, and I'm ovulating, and we need to have sex tonight or tomorrow night and I suggested sex tonight and he rolled over and went to sleep. He really wants another kid. I want to get it started now so I'm not in my 3rd trimester in the dead of summer. Needed to vent!

This fits well in this group, and seems reasoonable, but then we get into the comments. I know don't read the comments, but it's a facebook group, so half the conversation is there, and usually this group is mostly with the helpful advice and sympathy.

Comments included:
I would have jumped on, asleep or not

Poster:I've explained to him that al he has to do is lie there

Commenter A: Suggest preapproved "taking advantage of"

Poster:He's not getting off that easy

Me:trying to be sympathetic, but if we switched the gender on this it would sound rapey. i thought the rule was enthusiastic consent.

C.A: Does sound rapey. Only started when trying to have child. Even when I push it he could say no/indicate lack of interest. Explicit Consent is hard when your busy.

P: We are both consenting.

Further elaboration

P: not getting off that easy comment just a joke, sorry if I offended anyone else.

It was really this last that got me, and if you've made it this far I appreciate it.

Full disclosure i'm paraphrasing, and probably dropping a lot of the nuance of the conversation, and we didn't have any trouble at all conseiving Kosh.

I grew up in the 80-90s when political correctness was something that came up in conversation a lot more than it does now. It was akward, and it was taken to extremes like maternity leave (seperate from paternity leave) for men. But the pendulum swing on it can be dangerous, and in many areas like this one is more illustrative of a problem in the culture than we want to admit.

One issue is that even though something is intended as a joke that may not be clear to everyone interacting with it. This is especially true of the internet. You don't know whonwill see your joke,and if someone doesn't know it's a joke that someone might look at this as reinforcing a behavior, and that builds the cultural norms. This can be especially problematic around sex related interactions, and with racist, or any other ist you like jokes.

But more importantly what does it say when ts is how we joke?

How did it become funny to threaten someone, or belittle someone. What does it do to our culture, and show to our children when we use threats and insults to make ourselves happy?

This isn't all I wanted to say, but maybe it's enough to let me stop trying to compose it in my head.
kay_gmd: (fair)
So I know I'm behind the times, but I read about the Stubenville Rape this morning, and I was incensed.  Really what the fucking fuck.

Cut here for anyone who doesn't want to read about it.Cut here for anyone who doesn't want to read about it. )

Edited to correct these weren't college boys they were high school boys.
kay_gmd: (fair)
On the fuzzy gentler side of sexism:

The other day I did a site visit for work.  It was really interesting, and I learned a lot, and it's always nice to get out of the cubicle maze for a bit.

There was a group of us, and we got done early so we went to lunch.  I was driving, so I wasn't paying much attention to the conversation in the van, but one of my coworkers we'll call Mike had been giving another one a hard time about not trying to get a promotion.  A second coworker we'll call Greg took a moment while the two were away from the gentleman not seeking promotion took a moment to try to encourage Mike to be less pushy, and not give his coworkers a hard time.  Greg and Mike are both in my office while the other guy is in a different office at the commission.

Greg is one of those guys that makes the office move more smoothly.

So since I ended up sitting next to Mike I tried to chip in.  We conversed for a while, and eventually I mentioned that I thought I probably should have moved out of Grants and Loans earlier putting myself in the place of the guy from the other office.

Mike blew this off with  “yeah, but you were building your family" or something like that.  I was in Grants and Loans for 5 years, over that time I got one promotion.  I'll give myself about a year for maternity leave, and recovery from being gone.   Which puts me in almost the same situation as the guy he’d been bugging.

Now, I don’t really want Mike to be pushing me to be trying to get a promotion, but it seems like this is symptomatic of a larger thing where men are expected to push to get to the highest level in their job, and women are not.
This concerns me both for the men who have found the right spot, and don’t want to move in their career, and for the women that do, and for all the people in between.

Doing what feels good for you:

I've been listening to the Zen Parenting podcast https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/zen-parenting-radio/id414414318. ; In general I get a lot out of the podcast, but they spent some time talking about the flu shot.  They had some good ideas about ways to keep healthy, but they said that they did not get the flu shot, and encouraged the listener to do what felt right for them.

If you're living in isolation that's okay, but the point of vaccination is to build herd immunity.  So not taking a vaccine doesn't just effect you it effects your whole community.  That's why people are saying get the flu shot.  We don't really care if you want to get the flu we care that you not become a flu carrier.  [livejournal.com profile] hsifyppah has a much more articulate post on this, but I'm not finding it.

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