Sometimes I worry that people who read my words here might not think I’m sincere or being authentic, especially when I rant about how important it is that we create useful dialog instead of increasing the political divide in this country. Maybe I’m preaching but not applying these things to my own life and conversations with my friends and/or family?
But then I spend 4 hours when I should be sleeping, researching two separate topics as a way of undoing the damage done by inflammatory language. So, you know, I PROMISE YOU I AM BEING AUTHENTIC. I sacrificed sleep to read up and think about two issues in an effort to stop this weird dichotomy we have in this country where we’re all separated by fear and hate. NOT ME! I do research to try to bridge the gap! Because I’m a dork. An authentic dork.
First Topic: Stats Given For Planned Parenthood
I spent a lot of time with numbers from Planned Parenthood last night after a friend sent me a link to an inflammatory article criticizing the 3% stat I and others use. It was hard to read the article because I abhor the language so much, but I did for the sake of research. (For the record – I’ve seen supporters of Planned Parenthood be as inflammatory with constant accusations that people care more about making sure babies don’t get aborted than taking care of them in poor families once they’re born.) If you want to see where that number comes from, look at pages 27 and 28 of the Planned Parenthood annual report. The inflammatory article I read seemed to minimize the importance of contraception and STD diagnosis and treatment services, and the author didn’t like that some pregnancy tests were considered “services” and since I can acknowledge other people might feel the same way (which is ridiculous in my opinion because pregnancy tests are part of all services when it comes to STD diagnosis and treatment) then I wanted to come back and offer that link to the complete breakdown of services. I will make sure I offer that link from here on out if anyone questions that statistic. Also FactCheck.org looked into their numbers as well and found they were legitimate. So, while I’ll be more careful throwing that 3% number around, I’ll provide other links and data and maybe stick to the FactCheck.org line “roughly 10 percent of its clients received an abortion” as it leaves less room for people to mock pregnancy tests as being an unimportant part of a woman’s health care.
Also – The Washington Post did the financial breakdown showing how defunding Planned Parenthood would not really effect the abortion rate as much as people hope it would.
SO! I just wanted to prove I practice what I preach and when someone brings attention to arguments against numbers I use I do the research to provide information explaining those numbers. I have no desire to discuss this with the author of that inflammatory article because people who write like that are not the type of people who can hold reasonable discussions, but I did want to provide data for anyone else out there who is more reasonable and maybe dislikes abortions but likes free healthcare for women and therefore would like more information on the topic. There is nothing I can do to bridge the gap between the extreme sides of our country, but if I can provide information to help people cope with inflammatory news sources then I will do my part.
Second Topic: Emergency Preparedness
We had a large cell outage in our area yesterday. And I saw several posts from people using this as an opportunity to remind everyone of the potential terror of mass cyber attacks to our power or communication grid.
And dude – that scares me too. BUT! Instead of making people scared, let’s help make people prepared. Or let’s try to remove vulnerabilities. SOMETHING. But I don’t like just trying to make people scared without giving action or aid.
And while I subjected my poor friend to my diatribe and research on their Facebook post (I have no idea why people don’t unfriend me, I’m totally THAT annoying friend that posts Snopes articles or asks for sources or provides links explaining things instead of just letting people rant. I kinda hate that about myself. BUT! Like I said! AUTHENTIC!) I figured I’d share the same information and commentary here.
FIRST: The CDC guide for emergency preparedness. This is very important in terms of what to have, and how to store it. Especially writing dates on everything you store. My family needs to be better about this, we tend to let life get in the way. HOWEVER – if anyone was reading this blog in 2011 you know that our whole city was without power for 5 days and it wasn’t disastrous. The community actually was really great and helpful and people who needed refrigeration for meds found it in businesses or neighbors who had generators. It was actually a really cool thing to experience, no one panicked or fought over resources. We all just patiently waited, and did a lot of playing outside.
SECOND: Part of our vulnerability to attacks is our crappy infrastructure. I have not done a lot of research on this topic and I tried a little but HOLY CRAP there’s a lot out there. I guess I’m looking for maybe an organization that is focusing on trying to improve our communication/electrical infrastructure either through private industry (if you’re anti-government) or legislation (if you’re pro-government). I’d love to hear discussion from either side – what is anyone proposing we do to improve our infrastructure so we’re not such a tempting target? Our electrical grid is outdated and our cell service seems to have no redundancy. Anyone have information? I found this paper and it seemed a little informative but also maybe a big biased in areas so I’d love more information.
Topic 3: This is why I don’t sleep
Now do you see why I wake up at 3am? Some random person writes an inflammatory article about PP stats and another person is (rightfully) scared of cyber attacks in our city and suddenly I’m reading annual reports and googling “WHY IS THE US INFRASTRUCTURE SO TERRIBLE?” at 1:30am.