Orly Taitz Revealed?

Raw Story says that Orly Taitz, lawyer, dentist and voice in the wilderness is calling on her followers to ‘bare arms’.

I know we live in troubled times, but Orly– between you and me, at our age sleeves are better. In the summer no one minds, but it’s a little more formal in December. A nice scarf, maybe, draped around the shoulders. That would be a good look for you.

Speaking of looks, I stood up to all those people who claim you are not a natural-born blonde. The Roots of Orly Taitz puts to rest claims that grey can be concealed with highlights.

Saving Lives, It’s What They Do

We have some very good local blogs, one of the best is Rescuing Providence. Michael Morse, in his 34 hour day somehow manages to work the rescue and write about it too.

Where my mission is to keep people from needing emergency services through preventive care, Providence Rescue is there when prevention fails. I have called them to homes many times. They’re my CYA. ‘If you get chest pain, shortness of breath, or feel really awful, call 911′, I say to my patients, after I’ve done all I could.

A perk of this kind of work, providing health care in the community, is driving around our lovely city, seeing things and talking to people. It’s never dull, often nerve-racking, keeps us busy.

Dark and Cold

Richmond Square at the end of Pitman Street

At church this Sunday they were having a genteel argument over whether 2010 is the first year of a new decade or the last of the preceding. Most of the snow from the big storm has melted in two days of warm and mild weather.

Now an arctic front is moving in promising dry cold and wind like a knife. Already I’ve had to put extra salt on the steps.

I watch the sun. I promised myself not to look at the almanac until after the New Year, because now the sun stands still and the days are not getting longer quite yet. I run in and out of houses, overheated for the most part. The elderly complexes are well-protected from the elements. The triple-deckers usually have a designated room where a space heater wins out over the drafts. I would like to go on a retreat, but that’s not how we live, or make our living.

There’s still something special about this time of year. I’m keeping the tree up for a while.

On Demand

I was visiting a nice elderly lady and she had a poster on her wall soliciting donations to stop ‘abortion on demand’. It’s the kind of phrase like ‘strident feminist’ that bursts into the conversation ready for a fight.

Let’s be realistic. You don’t get your teeth cleaned ‘on demand’. If you don’t believe me, try stomping into a dentist’s office demanding to get your teeth cleaned and see how far you get.

There’s other propaganda points. The use of the word ‘convenience’ as if the decision whether to have a baby is not a profound and permanent one, with consequences that affect generations. ‘Just give it up for adoption’ as if that decision is no more important than distributing a litter of kittens.

And ‘unplanned pregnancy’. That’s most pregnancies. It’s an unwanted pregnancy that is a crisis.

What got me on this track is a post where Frederick Clarkson makes some important points about loaded language in the abortion debate, especially as it has taken over the health reform debate.

The anti-abortion Congress members have succeeded in getting themselves labeled ‘pro-life’ by all the press, including NPR. There’s not even a moment’s thought. Their concern for life might not exist in any form except making abortion illegal, but they get to wrap themselves in the mantle of life-lovingness no matter how many Americans die needlessly for lack of access to medical care.

The supporters of the public option, Medicare expansion or single payer have gone from being part of the discussion to being the ‘liberals’ to ‘the left wing’. It’s amazing how far to the left you can move when the rest of the party shifts to the right.

Does anyone care that Americans line up around the block to get into a free clinic– and it’s not a disaster, just another day in a broken system? Is it politically correct to say we need to fix this, or is that being strident?

Was Jesus Rich or Poor?

Here’s an interesting hypothesis I have never really considered before — perhaps Jesus was well-to-do. From CNN:

(CNN) — Each Christmas, Christians tell stories about the poor baby Jesus born in a lowly manger because there was no room in the inn.

But the Rev. C. Thomas Anderson, senior pastor of the Living Word Bible Church in Mesa, Arizona, preaches a version of the Christmas story that says baby Jesus wasn’t so poor after all.

Anderson says Jesus couldn’t have been poor because he received lucrative gifts — gold, frankincense and myrrh — at birth. Jesus had to be wealthy because the Roman soldiers who crucified him gambled for his expensive undergarments. Even Jesus’ parents, Mary and Joseph, lived and traveled in style, he says.

“Mary and Joseph took a Cadillac to get to Bethlehem because the finest transportation of their day was a donkey,” says Anderson. “Poor people ate their donkey. Only the wealthy used it as transportation.”

This argument seems to be trying to position Jesus more as a real person who worried about money and getting by, and perhaps when he wanted to buy something he used the “there will always be poor” rationalization. It’s a subtle point with potentially big implications. What were the gradations of poverty back in the time of Christ, and where did he and his family stand in comparison?

Feliz Navidad is Just the Beginning

First they came for Jose Feliciano, and I did not speak out, because I hate Christmas music. Then they came for Kanye West, and I did not speak out, because I don’t listen to anything that’s not on vinyl. And now they’re doing this..

Josh Riddle, of Denver, and David Rufful, a former Bishop Hendricken star from Warwick, are basketball players at Dartmouth College who have a rap act on the side, calling themselves The Young Cons and aim to spread the words of Jesus Christ, Ronald Reagan and “Atlas Shrugged” through music.

On ProJo.com is a picture of young conservative David Rufful with his arms in the air like a worshipper at a Holiness revival. Maybe in a sense he is speaking in tongues. Or maybe he always talks like this…

“I hate when government dictatin’ / makin’ statements for how to be a merchant / how to run a restaurant / how to lay the pavement / bail out a business but can’t protect an infant,” goes one line in the “Anthem.”

He’s hep to the beat, like us old-timers like to say. We remember when this new thing called ‘rap’ came on the scene. It was about ten years before these guys were born and they used these things called ‘turntables’. It’s complicated.

But if Riddle and Rufful (good name for a band, by the way) are into protecting infants I’m with them. Let’s have a Peter, Paul and Mary chorus of Kumbaya. We have RiteCare in Rhode Island, which provides health insurance to low-income children and families and needs more support. Farmers Markets in the center of the city accept food stamps, helping both families and farmers. Affordable housing– safe, lead-free apartments are a necessity for infants and children. Safe streets, clean air, good schools. I’ll even listen to The Young Cons sing if they can do some community organizing for these causes. I have to say it’s refreshing to find some conservatives whose concern for life doesn’t begin at conception and end at birth. You know, because it’s the born that are a lot of work and worry.

I’m curious about their philosophy. I wonder what Jesus, Ayn Rand, and Ronald Reagan talk about when they find themselves in a hotel lobby somewhere at a conference. Jesus had problems with authority, and a pattern of altruism. Ronald Reagan wasn’t particularly religious, and made up folksy anecdotes about the undeserving poor, whereas Jesus made up parables about the undeserving rich. Ayn Rand was good at laying up treasure where the rust and moth can get at it. I don’t know who collects her royalties now. Do they have cigarettes in Heaven? At least in the other place you can always find a light.

And what is the soul music of conservatism? It’s not rap. More likely country, though the sin and the whiskey and the pain of being down to your last dollar and a thousand miles from home, well, it just makes better music than smug satisfaction. Why are sad songs always the ones we want to hear? Maybe life doesn’t always make sense. Maybe we all need someone someday.