Friday, July 28, 2006

Campaign Convictions

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Republican leaders are willing to allow the first minimum wage increase in a decade but only if it's coupled with a cut in future inheritance taxes on multimillion-dollar estates, congressional aides said Friday.

"It's political blackmail to say the only way that minimum wage workers can get a raise is to give a tax giveaway to the wealthiest Americans," said Sen. Edward Kennedy, D-Massachusetts.

A person working 40 hours per week at minimum wage makes $10,700, which is below the poverty line for workers with families. Inflation has eroded the minimum wage's buying power to the lowest level in about 50 years. Yet lawmakers have won cost-of-living wage increases totaling about $35,000 for themselves over that time.

...[T]he Senate GOP aide professed confidence the bill could advance through the chamber next week [saying], "It's the one chance for Democrats who want to get a minimum wage increase."

It'll be interesting to see how this all plays out. The GOP is known for their spin doctors, and for hating "liberals"... not that we don't hate them right back... but this development could go in a thousand different directions, with many repercussions for those involved.

If I ever posses a multi-million dollar estate, I hope someone taxes the shirt right off my back.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Mental Illness and... Justice?

Andrea Yates, who drowned her five children in 2001 after suffering postpartum depression, was found innocent today by reason of insanity. I agree that she does not belong in a prison but, rather, in a mental institution, where she will likely spend the remainder of her life.

The tragedy of the case is lies in its preventability. She had a history of suicide. She had a history of depression, of postpartum depression. From the New York Times:

'One of her psychiatrists, Dr. Eileen Starbranch, who told the court that she ranked Ms. Yates “among the five sickest patients she had ever seen,” warned the Yateses in 1999 that Ms. Yates could suffer another psychotic episode if she had more children. Ms. Yates went on to have a fifth child after that warning.'

So I ask you, why has her husband not been held somehow responsible in this case? Obviously I am not a lawyer, nor at all familiarized with court proceedings, but my guess would be that he had the final say when they had that last child. They lived in Texas, the Bible belt, and she herself told police that Satan was inside her and she was trying to save the children from hell. It's reasonable to assume that she submitted herself not only to God but to her husband.

From, on the subject of Andrea and Rusty:

'They eventually moved in together and spent much of their time involved in religious study and prayer. They were married on April 17, 1993. They shared with their guests that they planned on having as many children as nature provided.'

'Michael Woroniecki was a traveling minister from whom Rusty purchased their bus and whose religious views had influenced both Rusty and Andrea. Rusty only agreed with some of Woroniecki's ideas but Andrea embraced the extremist sermons. He preached, "the role of women is derived from the sin of Eve and that bad mothers who are going to hell create bad children who will go to hell." Andrea was so totally captivated by Woroniecki that Rusty and Andrea's family grew concerned.'

'In March of 2000, Andrea, on Rusty's urging, became pregnant and stopped taking the Haldol [an anti-psychotic drug]. On November 30, 2000, Mary was born. Andrea was coping but on March 12, her father died and immediately her mental state digressed. She stopped talking, refused liquids, mutilated herself, and would not feed Mary. She also frantically read the Bible.'

So there you have it. Rusty wanted that fifth child. So essentially he ended six lives.

And today, he is living free, remarried.

Chapter 2

I don't like starting to write. Once I get going, smooth sailing, but my beginnings always feel so awkward and forced. Is it that I can't wait to get going, or that I'm afraid? Whatever the reason, the result seems to be the same. Were I to sit down and begin a novel, I would need to start on Chapter 2 to even hope for a decent intro. ... My favorite literary opening is that of Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston. She just.. nails it. It is her Genesis to a true masterpiece.

I can't believe I just made a Biblical allusion. Thank you, AP Lit!

Anyways. This is supposed to be my more grown-up LiveJournal. While, certainly, adults can be pretentious, I would prefer not to classify myself as an adult just yet. I'd like to think of myself as too idealistic to be a "grown-up." Thus this should be an unpretentious, though serious and thought-filled, blog of sorts. Without writing, I have nothing by my smile and frown to convey my thoughts.

So here's something to start off the right way... or at all. Excuse my disjointed, rusty writing and hope it will improve over time. I took this lovely quote from a recent news article about a severed hand found in the home of an exotic dancer, along with a collection of human skulls. Here's the chick's mother's take:

"She has a flair for the dramatic," Patricia Ann Kay said. "I have never tried to stop my children from doing whatever they want. As long as they are happy, aren't hurting anyone, and it's keeping them out of the poor house."

Perhaps writing will keep me out of the poor house. Preferable to stripping.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

It's Time

to make a real commitment to this. Writing, like any other skill, corrodes as a result of neglect.

It's at least a new direction.