Baby, baby, please let me hold him

24 11 2013

This makes no damned sense.

No, I’m not talking about ACA/Obamacare criticism—there are legitimate political questions about the size and role of government in the provision of the general welfare—but the notion that maternity care only benefits fertile women:

A “single male, age 32, does not need maternity coverage,” [Representative Renee] Ellmers said. […]

[…] Harvard economist Greg Mankiw, a former Mitt Romney adviser, asserted: “Having children is more a choice than a random act of nature. People who drive a new Porsche pay more for car insurance than those who drive an old Chevy …. Why isn’t having children viewed in the same way?”

[…] “My [Nicole Hopkins, writing in the Wall Street Journal] asked ‘Do I need maternity care at 52?'”

No, men don’t get pregnant, yes, having children is a choice, and no, most 52-year-old women do not need maternity care.

That is all irrelevant, however.

Garance Franke-Ruta concentrates on the empirical realities facing mothers in the US in her analysis of the anti-maternity care argument, but even that analysis is beside the point.

What is the point? Every single goddamned person who is and was ever on the planet was born to a woman, and was cared for by someone else—almost always the woman who gave birth. It is a basic condition of our existence.

There is no human life, no society, no politics, no world, without children being born and raised.

We do not exist without care.

Which is precisely fucking why maternity care affects us all, and ought to matter to us all.  Goddammit all.

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Give peace a chance

24 11 2013

A preliminary deal to pause, and eventually reverse, Iran’s nuclear weapons program: good.

Good for the US, good for Iran, good for the world—and yes, when I write “good for the world”, I include Israel in that calculation.

Benjamin Netanyahu, and his various supporters in the US, would disagree. They consider this a “disaster” and, generally, bad for Israel. Former UN Ambassador Wilford Brimley John Bolton goes so far as to urge Israel to bomb away anyway, but as he’d likely suggest bombing someone who cut in front of him at Starbucks, I don’t how seriously anyone should take his analysis.

If the Israelis do bomb Iran (for presumably their own reasons), I don’t know how much cover they could expect from the US. There are many members of Congress who are, as the phrase goes, “staunch allies of Irael”, but I don’t know how staunch the rest of the American populace is. Yes, polls regularly show high levels of support for Israel, but it’s not at all clear that that support would hold if Israel were seen to be drawing the US into yet another Mideast war.

Would such a backlash be driven by anti-semitism? Some of it, yeah—there’s a fair amount of anti-Jewish sentiment in the US—but mostly by a sense of ENOUGH, the same sense of ENOUGH that lead to a backlash against a possible US strike on Syria.

Not going to war is a good thing. Kerry isn’t Chamberlain, Rouhani isn’t Hitler, and the P5+1 group and the UN aren’t the League of Nations. It’s possible this could all go sideways, but it’s also possible that this might, just might, lead us away from war and toward peace.

A good thing, yes?