Things to Regulate

This sums up so much of how I feel about U.S. politics


Thank You, Maryland Delegates

Many of them were opposed, and some were on the fence. One admitted to changing his mind after listening to testimony from loving same-sex couples. Overall, the Maryland House of Delegates rose above the contentious rhetoric this evening to strengthen the value of family in our state. It wasn't an easy decision for some of them, but they chose to do the right thing.

It's not a sealed deal yet, however. The Maryland state Senate still has to vote on it, and Governor O'Malley has to sign it (which he's promised to do). The "anti-gay marriage" people have already promised a petition to take the whole thing to a referendum. Well, bring it on! I'm fairly positive that we as a state can pull off this act of decency.

Delegates who voted yes (If you live in MD, call and thank these ppl):

Alston, Tiffany T. (D)

Anderson, Curtis S. (D)

Barkley, Charles E. (D)

Barnes, Benjamin S. (D)

arve, Kumar P. (D)

Beidle, Pamela G. (D)

Bobo, Elizabeth (D)

Bohanan, John L., Jr. (D)

Bromwell, Eric M. (D)

Busch, Michael E. (D)

Cardin, Jon S. (D)

Carr, Alfred C., Jr. (D)

Carter, Jill P. (D)

Clagett, Galen R. (D)

Clippinger, Luke H. (D)

Conaway, Frank M., Jr. (D)

Costa, Robert A. (R)

Cullison, Bonnie L. (D)

Dumais, Kathleen M. (D)

Feldman, Brian J. (D)

Frick, C. William (D)

Frush, Barbara A. (D)

Gaines, Tawanna P. (D)

Gilchrist, James W. (D)

Gutierrez, Ana Sol (D)

Guzzone, Guy J. (D)

Hammen, Peter A. (D)

Harrison, Hattie N. (D)

Haynes, Keith E. (D)

Healey, Anne (D)

Hixson, Sheila E. (D)

Holmes, Marvin E., Jr. (D)

Hubbard, James W. (D)

Hucker, Tom (D)

Ivey, Jolene (D)

Jones, Adrienne A. (D)

Kach, A. Wade (R)

Kaiser, Anne R. (D)

Kelly, Ariana B. (D)

Kramer, Benjamin F. (D)

Lafferty, Stephen W. (D)

Lee, Susan C. (D)

Love, Mary Ann (D)

Luedtke, Eric G. (D)

Malone, James E., Jr. (D)

McHale, Brian K. (D)

McIntosh, Maggie (D)

Miller, Aruna (D)

Mitchell, Keiffer J., Jr. (D)

Mizeur, Heather R. (D)

Morhaim, Dan K. (D)

Murphy, Peter F. (D)

Nathan-Pulliam, Shirley (D)

Niemann, Doyle L. (D)

Oaks, Nathaniel T. (D)

Olszewski, John A., Jr. (D)

Pena-Melnyk, Joseline A. (D)

Pendergrass, Shane E. (D)

Reznik, Kirill (D)

Robinson, A. Shane (D)

Robinson, Barbara A. (D)

Rosenberg, Samuel I. (D)

Ross, Justin D. (D)

Simmons, Luiz R. S. (D)

Stein, Dana M. (D)

Summers, Michael G. (D)

Tarrant, Shawn Z. (D)

Turner, Frank S. (D)

Valderrama, Kriselda (D)

Waldstreicher, Jeffrey D. (D)

Washington, Mary L. (D)

Zucker, Craig J. (D)

Lines Crossed

The title of the House oversight and Government Reform committee's panel to discuss birth control coverage by religious employers revealed disturbing single-mindedness on an issue that impacts more than one group, and carries severe ramifications for health care policy & gender equality in the US:

“Lines Crossed: Separation of Church and State. Has the Obama Administration Trampled on Freedom of Religion and Freedom of Conscience?”

That's it. No mention of women. By framing this as a religious freedom issue, reproductive rights and women's health are consequently irrelevant to the discussion.

The misogynistic policies and rhetoric in this country have been getting out of control for a while now, but the frightening thing is the relative lack of outrage and protest they've been garnering. The fact that the committee chose to title the above mentioned hearing as they did, and that women were literally not allowed to partake in it, is soaked in patriarchal oppression and discrimination. It really shouldn't be so difficult for Americans to tell wrong from right. In a democratic society, not allowing women to testify on a measure that directly and negatively affects their well-being is WRONG. Plain and simple.

Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) justified his decision to block women from testifying against the issue by claiming it was about religious freedom, and NOT birth control. A decision that would prevent female employees of religious institutions from receiving coverage for birth control is not about birth control, and thus you get to see this picture of the people who were allowed to testify:

This picture has been spread like wildfire on the internet, which indicates that people might have some uneasy feelings about it. We know that it is wrong. We know that it is unfair. As Erin Gloria Ryan of Jezebel put it, this hearing "showed the particular brand of contempt, disdain, and dismissiveness with which the right wing and some religious leaders approach women's health."

These men (and women who internalize their oppression) must really feel threatened by the power and strength of women, otherwise they wouldn't be so frantically trying to infringe on our rights. It would be funny, if it didn't have such dire consequences for health and equality in the United States, and if it weren't so indicative of the hateful fantasy world that many influential people in our country live in.

"And you never ask questions, when God's on your side..."


"Super" Food for Super Bowl

Most Americans living outside of the underside of rocks are aware of the fact that a large sporting event takes place early each February in which emotions run high, advertisements run pricey, and food consumption runs wild. If you are one of these Americans, it's likely you've been invited to a party in celebration of this sporting event, and there's a chance you might go (at the very least to giggle at spontaneous bursts of excitement from a heard of your transfixed friends). If you do, however, be aware that you might need to play a sport all day the next day to work off all the fat and calories you consumed while watching a sport.

There's no doubt that you'll be tempted to indulge because everyone else around you is. Just keep repeating to yourself that mantra we all know and hate: "Everything is fine in___________." I don't have to fill in the last word, because you've already heard it, like, a million times (hint, it's not "Rome"). And if you want to be sure to have a healthy option at whatever party you attend, the easiest way is to bring your own dish. Here is a list of healthy, yummy Super Bowl options I found:

1. Homemade pizza
2. "Activity Snacks" like shelled nuts
3. Kale Chips
4. Baked Chicken Nuggets
5. Vegetarian Chili (my personal fave)
6. Quinoa Pizza Polenta
7. Hummus with vegetables or pretzels
8. Bean Dip or...
9. Guacamole with...
10. Homemade baked tortilla chips

All of these recipes would, of course, be even tastier if you could find local/organic/fair trade ingredients. So, try your best to do all three!

And, I know this sounds like a bummer, but a 6 pack of regular beer can run you around 900 calories. So take it easy, and for goodness sakes, stay away from Anheuser Busch. If you're gonna drink those calories anyway, it might as well be GOOD beer!

If you have more healthy Super Bowl recipes, feel free to share! See you at the commercial breaks :-)