Monday, October 13, 2014

Too ugly to win the election? You have to be kidding.

NH State Representative Steve Vaillancourt
In the "what the absolute f***" news today, apparently a New Hampshire State Representative believes that looks are what win elections, and that US Representative Ann McLane Kuster will lose her seat because she's "ugly as sin" and looks like a "drag queen."

This is insane! What decade are we living in here? Does anyone still really believe that looks are what makes a good candidate? If so, why hasn't anyone told the men that? Seriously - when is the last time you heard anyone say a man couldn't run for office because he wasn't attractive enough? Or asked a male politician about his wardrobe, hair style, makeup choice? (You know they wear makeup for the cameras.) Or what about balance - women in politics are asked about their children, how they expect to balance their position with their home lives, are criticized for their parenting choices. But aren't men parents as well? Why are they not quizzed on backup childcare for voting days?

But just going back to the main point - this is what Vaillancourt actually said:
"Let's be honest," Vaillancourt writes. "Does anyone not believe that Congressman Annie Kuster is as ugly as sin? And I hope I haven't offended sin. If looks really matter and if this race is at all close, give a decided edge to Marilinda Garcia."
As much as I hate to give this asshole traffic, here is a link to his actual blog post about it. It seems he has a thing for the young, pretty candidate opposing Rep Kuster.  He used an unflattering screenshot of Kuster, but a glossy, smiling, shot for her opponent. This is Rep Kuster's photo from her website.

She's not a young twentysomething like her opponent, but ugly? No. It's sad that he can't talk about any of the issues, her voting record, sponsored legislation, or any valid reason for not supporting Kuster. He only focuses on her appearance.

He is a prime example of what is holding women back in politics.

Thursday, October 9, 2014


Allergy rash on 2 year old Sophie
Way back in July 2012, when Sophie was 2, we discovered she had an allergy to artificial colors. That was the beginning of a new reality for us.

However, today I was feeling nostalgic and was going through old posts in her birth board on, and found two posts I made about the same thing happening! One was in November 2010, when she was only 8 months old, and then again in February 2011, right after her first birthday. Both posts mention her common symptoms- eczema spots we couldn't get rid of, the rash on her face after eating something with food dye. And both times she had the full body rash like she did in 2012! I also in retrospect figured out another incident, a few months before the final one in July, that would have been from the same allergy (she had eaten a cupcake before breaking out, but again, didn't make the connection until much later).

I know "hindsight is 20/20," but I wish I had put this all together earlier! If  I had remembered the breakouts from one incident to the next, if I had started researching causes earlier - what might have happened?

Probably nothing, except an earlier diagnosis. The post from February 2011, I mentioned she was taking amoxycillin. Guess what the liquid contains - Red 40. That is a medication she can't take now, because there is no version on the market (for liquid at least) that is not dyed pink. The pharmacist checked the last time it was prescribed to her.

So what is the point of this post?

If your child has sudden, unexplained rashes, keep a very detailed journal. Foods eaten (even if nothing was new), medications, beverages, anything that could have been consumed. And keep it in a safe place, and refer back to it whenever the rash recurs. Even little rashes - most of the time Sophie just had very red cheeks and a few small bumps around her mouth. Now we've learned that is a consistent reaction of hers to eating something with artificial colors.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Tennessee constitutional amendment 1 - What is it really saying?

Protester at a clinic, via Morguefile
In case you haven't heard, there are four amendments to our state constitution to be voted on next month. Some are not very major - an amendment outlawing state income tax, which is already the case, and an amendment allowing charities to hold lotteries - but Amendment 1 is potentially huge for women in our state.

Here is the text of the amendment:
Proposed Constitutional Amendment No. 1for the November 4, 2014 General Election BallotShall Article I, of the Constitution of Tennessee be amended by adding the following language as a new, appropriately designated section:Nothing in this Constitution secures or protects a right to abortion or requires the funding of an abortion. The people retain the right through their elected state representatives and state senators to enact, amend, or repeal statutes regarding abortion, including, but not limited to, circumstances of pregnancy resulting from rape or incest or when necessary to save the life of the mother.

Supporters of this amendment say that this is no big deal, not restricting legal abortion at all, just using "common sense":
Voter approval of Amendment 1 in 2014 will allow the people of Tennessee and their elected representatives to restore common sense protections for women and the unborn, including inspection and regulation of abortion facilities by the Tennessee Department of Health.
In reality, though, facilities that provide abortion services ARE inspected and regulated. Also, protections are currently in place to protect women. Here is the current law in Tennessee.  Partial-birth abortions, always a talking point for anti-abortion groups, are already illegal. Even though these groups try to make it an issue every time, it is not even legal. Babies are not pulled out of the womb and killed, no matter how many graphic billboards these groups pay for. And there are restrictions in place - written consent from the mother (or parent if a minor), and a 48-hour waiting period after meeting with the doctor. The Yes On 1 organization also implies that women from other states flock to Tennessee to have abortions performed. In reality, women must prove state residency to receive an abortion. The amendment also mentions funding of abortions - this is not now, and never has been, in question. Taxpayer funds are not used to provide abortions and if this amendment does not pass, that will not change. 
In short, this amendment paves the way for the current law, decided by the State Supreme Court in 2000,  to be overturned at the whim of voters. Supporters want to take the decisions out of our hands and put them in the hands of the government. It is insulting to all women, to imply that our reproduction requires legislation for us to make the best decisions for ourselves and our families.
More information: Vote No on 1
And in case you don't want to follow the link above, here is the text of the state's abortion law:
Code Section
39-15-201 to 209; 37-10-301 to 307
Statutory Definition of Illegal Abortion
(1) Failure to meet standards for legal abortion including residency requirement; (2) attempted criminal abortion; (3) coerced or compelled abortion; (4) administering to pregnant woman medicine, drug, or any substance or instrument with intent to destroy such child(5) Partial Birth abortion: no person shall knowingly perform a partial birth abortion except when necessary to save life of the mother if endangered by a physical disorder, illness, or injury.
Statutory Definition of Legal Abortion
First trimester with woman’s consent upon advice of her M.D., after first trimester and before viability with same, but in a hospital. After viability, necessary to preserve life, health of mother
Impermissible abortion: Class C felony; mother attempting to procure a miscarriage: Class E felony; M.D. fails to use due care to preserve life of baby born alive or violation of 48-hour waiting period: Class E felony; abortion on non-Tenn. resident: Class C felony; coercion to obtain abortion: Class A misdemeanor; M.D. performs abortion on minor violating consent statute: misdemeanor
Informed, written consent of mother, 48-hour waiting period between M.D. giving mother information and consent; after viability, same as first trimester except M.D. must certify in writing to the hospital that procedure was necessary; by at least one parent must consent to abortion to be performed on minor; no parental consent necessary if emergency; minor may petition court for waiver
Mother must produce to M.D. evidence she is bona fide resident prior to procedure except in medical emergency, (but M.D. must still give information to mother)
First trimester, licensed M.D. upon his medical advice and woman’s consent; after first trimester to viability, licensed M.D., licensed hospital; after viability, only to preserve life of mother
- See more at:

Monday, October 6, 2014

Stay tuned...

A new Inspired Life is coming soon!

I'm going to redo the whole site - design and content - to reflect where I am now. As I get older (I turned 36 a couple weeks ago!) I'm less and less inclined to censor myself to please imaginary "others" and have decided to write about what I want to write about, even if I know people I love won't agree with me.

See you soon!