Saturday, May 08, 2021

Saturday 9: Mom

Sam’s Saturday 9: Mom (2016)

On Saturdays I take a break from the heavy stuff and have some fun…

Unfamiliar with this week's tune? Hear it here

1) Meghan Trainor's mom gets a vocal credit on this song ("featuring Kelli Trainor") because the audio of a mother/daughter phone call is included on the recording. Who is the last person you spoke to (not texted!) on the phone?
A friend.

2) The earliest version of this song was a poem co-written by Meghan and her brother as a gift to their mom. Do you enjoy writing/crafting/baking or [insert your skill here] gifts for people?
Crafting… my photos

3) Meghan's mom ran Jewel of the Isle, a jewelry store in Nantucket, MA. Have you ever visited Massachusetts? If so, where have you gone?
Um… I am sitting in my living room on Cape Cod as I write this. As for Nantucket I have never been there but I have been to its sister island Martha's Vineyard, my brother and sister-in-law are going to Nantucket in two weeks to visit a friend who lives there.

P.S Nantucket is for the very rich, no big mansions but quaint summer cottages that have been converted to year round homes. Because it is hard to bring a car out to the island many keep a second car on the island and many of them are Cadillac Escalade or Lincoln  Navigator.

4) Mother's Day is a big holiday for card shops. So are birthdays, weddings, and dozens of other special occasions. Hallmark sells greetings for everything from "Congratulations on Your New Job" to "Happy Retirement." Who received the most recent card you bought?
They were Christmas cards.

5) While Crazy Sam was growing up, her mother used to scold her for leaving dirty dishes in the sink. Sam admits it: as an adult she still puts off washing her dishes. Are you more like mother or daughter? Do you clean up after every meal, or do you let the dishes stack up?
Well up here at the cottage I do the dishes at night.

6) Mother's Day is for grandmothers, too. Sam grew up calling her grandmother "Grandgran." What did you call your grandmother?
My paternal grandmother we called Noni and my maternal grandmother Nana

7) The German word for "mother" is "mutter." What other German words do you know?
Um… I didn't even know “mutter”

8) In the United Kingdom, Mothering Sunday is celebrated. It's on the fourth Sunday in Lent (March 14 this year) and in addition to flowers and cards, mothers are treated to Simnel cake. Are you going to indulge in any sweets this weekend?
Could be. I happen to have some chocolate truffles and some of them might just mysteriously disappear during the weekend.

9) To celebrate Mother's Day, Sam is giving away her mother's favorite: Hershey Bars! Would you prefer classic milk chocolate, dark chocolate, or milk chocolate with almonds?
Sometimes I feel like a nut and sometimes I don’t
But dark chocolate has way too much caffeine, it is enough to set my heart a fluttering and that’s not good.

Thanks so much for joining us again at Saturday: 9. As always, feel free to come back, see who has participated and comment on their posts. In fact sometimes, if you want to read & comment on everyone's responses, you might want to check back again tomorrow. But it is not a rule. We haven’t any rules here. Join us on next Saturday for another version of Saturday: 9, "Just A Silly Meme on a Saturday!" Enjoy your weekend!

Friday, May 07, 2021

A Sad Milestone

Sadly we set a new record last year in the murder of trans people…
US hits new record for transgender killings. Puerto Rico is the epicenter of the violence.
USA Today via Yahoo News
By Marc Ramirez
May 6, 2021

But on April 13, 2020, Diaz was found beaten and hanged at a men’s correctional facility to which she’d been wrongfully assigned in Bayamon, becoming the ninth of what would be 44 transgender killings in the United States and its territories last year. It was the country’s deadliest year on record.

Nowhere has the crisis been more pronounced than in Puerto Rico, where 12 transgender victims, most of them women, were killed in a two-year span. The violence comes amid a shifting national debate on transgender rights and moves by the territory to deal with its long history of brutality against women.

Puerto Rico’s transgender community and its allies blame the killings on a mix of religious fundamentalism, transphobia, indifference from authorities and lingering economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and Hurricane Maria.

The culture looks down on trans and gays, it is a very macho society. It is a society where masculinity is worship and any feminine traits in males can lead to bullying and violence, in addition crimes against women are rampant.
Puerto Rico accounted for six of last year's 44 transgender killings. The victims ranged in age from 19 to 33. Most were shot multiple times. Two were burned in a car. One was stalked and killed on her birthday, the incident coldly documented on social media.

Only one case has produced arrests and it was handled not by Puerto Rico police but by the U.S. Department of Justice, which is prosecuting it under federal hate-crime charges.

Police, activists said, don’t treat such crimes seriously, consistently misgendering victims of violence, failing to collect data about anti-LGBTQ offenses and rarely applying hate crime laws.
In that sense, she said, the killings there should be considered “not as isolated events, but as part of a pattern of systematic elimination of trans individuals in the Latin American region.”
The ACLU reports that…
Puerto Rico has the highest per capita rate in the world of women over 14 killed by their partners. The numbers are disturbing, and climbing: 107 women were killed by their intimate partners in a five-year period from 2007 to 2011. The number of women killed by their intimate partners jumped significantly in 2011, to 30 women killed. That year, the number of women killed by their partners in Puerto Rico was six times higher than Los Angeles, which has about the same population of 3.7 million. In 2006, the PRPD reported 23 murders of women at the hands of their partners or spouses, placing Puerto Rico first on an international list comparing the number of women killed in each country/territory.

The ACLU documented cases of women killed by their partners and ex-partners who had repeatedly gone to the PRPD for help and were denied adequate assistance. Further, the PRPD is failing to ensure that women confronting domestic violence utilize the legal options available to them, and it is failing to enforce existing protective orders by arresting abusers who violate orders that are in place.
And crimes against trans people just don’t show on their radar. If the police don’t care to investigate rapes, domestic violence, and murders of women how do you think we fare?

Thursday, May 06, 2021

Undue Influence

I am old enough to remember the political campaign for the 1960 presidential election, it was a major campaign issue that Kennedy was a Catholic. The big issue was if the Catholic Church would have undue influence on Kennedy, I remember at the time the Bishops saying that they recognize that in the interest of government elected officials might have to go against church teachings as they govern.

Jump forward 60 years.
Bishops’ move to press Biden not to take Communion reflects power struggle in split Catholic Church 
The Conversation
By Steven P. Millies
May 5, 2021

President Joe Biden is the highest-profile and most powerful lay Catholic in American life today – but he also holds policy views that diverge from many Catholic bishops. And that is causing some problems.

The dilemma looks like this. The Roman Catholic Church teaches that abortion is the taking of a human life, no different from murder, and so grave a sin that it incurs an automatic excommunication. Yet prominent Roman Catholics in public life – including Democrats such as Biden and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi – support abortion rights. It has led to concern from some Catholic bishops that a contradictory picture of Catholic faith is being presented to the public.

In response, U.S. bishops reportedly are preparing a pastoral statement expected to be released in June that would instruct Catholics about when they should and should not receive Communion. The effect of that document would be to exclude Catholics like Biden and Pelosi from full participation in the church.
This is really blackmail. For a religious person to be told that they cannot take part in the sacraments is exerting undue influence, or the equivalent of arm twisting against politicians.

Right now the arm twisting is focused on abortion. In the past it has been focused on us. I know for a fact that when we were discussing the non-discrimination bills the politicians kept on asking what was the Catholic Church position on the bill.

As the number of religious people in the U.S. decline their influence is increasing. Politicians fear the political weight of an organized block of voters giving them an unproportionate  amount of power compared to their size.

The Republicans packed the court with evangelical Christians who put the Bible above the Constitution. The most radical Supreme Court justice is Amy Coney Barrett who was placed on the bench just days before the election and was nominated by evangelical Christians organizations because she is anti-LGBTQ+ and anti-abortion. She has said that she would overturn Roe vs. Wade.

The article goes on to say…
The reason the issue has come up now in the U.S. appears to be more about concerns among bishops over their waning influence.
The conservative Bishops are out of touch with their parishioner and is an attempt to win back their authority over the parishioners.
It also could backfire as an attempt to wrestle back authority for U.S. bishops. A preelection debate over the sincerity of Biden’s Catholicism proved divisive among the faithful. Biden, through baptism and participation in the other sacraments, is a Catholic. There is no question about that.

Because they reflect intense divisions in the church, these efforts to disqualify the president from the sacraments and the church are, I believe, a threat to church authority today. Nothing that furthers or deepens those divisions will help the bishops or the Catholics that they lead.
The decline in attendance is partly caused by the conservatives themselves…
'Allergic reaction to US religious right' fueling decline of religion, experts say
Percentage of churchgoing Americans is steadily falling, and the swirl of rightwing politics and Christianity is playing a key role
The Guardian
By Adam Gabbatt
April 5, 2021

Fewer than half of Americans belong to a house of worship, a new study shows, but religion – and Christianity in particular – continues to have an outsize influence in US politics, especially because it is declining faster among Democrats than Republicans.

Just 47% of the US population are members of a church, mosque or synagogue, according to a survey by Gallup, down from 70% two decades ago – in part a result of millennials turning away from religion but also, experts say, a reaction to the swirling mix of rightwing politics and Christianity pursued by the Republican party.

The evidence comes as Republicans in some states have pursued extreme “Christian nationalist” policies, attempting to force their version of Christianity on an increasingly uninterested public.
In an article on the NBC website they look in to where all the anti-trans bills are coming from…
Ehardt worked with the Alliance Defending Freedom in crafting the measure, The Idaho Press reported. Founded in 1994 by Christian conservatives, the Arizona-based group has provided legal counsel for a variety of efforts to curtail LGBTQ rights, from defending gay-marriage bans to ensuring the right of businesses to refuse LGBTQ customers. Perhaps most notably, the ADF defended Jack Phillips, the owner of a Colorado bakery, Masterpiece Cakeshop, in his 2018 Supreme Court case over his refusal to sell a wedding cake to a gay couple.
It is the ADF that is representing the cis-gender women in the Connecticut lawsuit against trans athletes.
In October 2019, three months before sponsoring the bill, Deutsch [A South Dakota state Republican] attended the Summit on Protecting Children From Sexualization in Washington, D.C. Panelists included representatives from the ADF, the Heritage Foundation, the Family Policy Alliance and the Kelsey Coalition, a group of parents who claim their children have been harmed by transgender health care practices. Attendees were given a gender resource guide for parents detailing how to oppose trans-affirming policies in their schools and communities, according to The Washington Post.
As religions decline their political influence increasing… it is time to stand up to them and break the strangle hold they have over politicians.


I just want to point out that not all religions are involved in politics some do stay out of politics, it seems like the affirming churches are not exerting undue influence on the politicians.