Category Archives: Politics

What are you going to do now? Femivore?

A dear friend sometimes calls me a femivore. (Just a note, I don’t eat women in any sense of the word.) What she is referring to is the earning of a graduate degree, and the subsequent packing in of in my former high-paying rather crappy paying, but cool job, to raise hens, garden, craft and take care of the ol’ family. Remember that article in the New York Times? The Femivore’s Dilemma? It rubbed a lot of people the wrong way and understandably so.

I’ve been thinking about that term a lot recently as I now get to say ‘I work’ and don’t have to scramble to describe what I do in some neat little socially acceptable package. It makes the response so much easier when people ask what I do. The truth is though that this work, this freelance title I get to claim, is only part of the work I do. Part of the problem, maybe all the problem, is to do with the focus on paid work as the sole valuable contribution a person makes to society. I work a lot of the time, but only part of it is paid in cold hard money, the rest of the time isn’t only hanging out in the backyard, raising hens, growing veggies and pretending to be domestic. It is about making a more livable community & environment for my child, my family and for other children and families. That means that I now have a little more time to invest in actions that make a difference to what is important to me, political actions, social actions.

I’m lucky enough that this paid gig is with an organization is all about helping Tucson families, TMC for Children. What am I doing? I’m helping with TMC’s expansion of pediatric services from a social media perspective. Check it out, like and follow as appropriate Facebook and Twitter. There is a blog in the works too.

Most importantly, I do get to spend more time with Bean, Green and taking care of my health. Alright, I have more to say on this matter, but I have to get on with the rest of the day. Femivore? Neh, that label isn’t for me. What about you?


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Filed under Acting Up, Politics, priorities, Social Media, TMC for Children

Follow-up on Craptastic Legislation

Not exactly the same, but related to the last post.
This speech by a 19 year old Iowan about his family to the Iowan legislature as they debate House Joint Resolution 6, which threatens to end civil unions, is powerful. Our legislature should listen to this young man. Of course, that assumes that our legislature are capable of listening to anything other than the drone of the Tea Party. Dang it, I hate that they’ve co-opted the term tea party.


Filed under Adoption, Politics

AZ Tax Credit Debate/Rant

So over at TucsonMama we’re having a little discussion about the AZ Tax Credits. For non-AZ folks just skip this whole thing. AZ folks please carry on reading.

My argument, tax credits suck the big one, but they’re what we have right now so give to those schools with the biggest need, not necessarily to your neighbourhood school.

Margaret’s argument: the public school tax credit is the cowardly legislature’s way to give us the back door to help the schools. She also argues for giving to her neighbourhood school which while in need has less need that other local schools.

I think she is too generous about the nature of the legislature. The majority of the legislature is not just cowardly, but mainly without heart or brains, and I don’t think they’re just trying to give us a a back door way to help. Ummm, the second part of her argument demonstrates exactly my point, why the tax credit sucks.

Those with the cash flow redirect taxes to their local school where kids stand a better chance of having enrichment outside and the students at the schools where parents don’t have cash flow and where need is greatest suffer again. SUCKS. So, if we have this sucky system lets at least stand up and target the schools where kids are in real desperate need.

The tax credit thing works this way. You can give $200 as an individual, $400 for a married couple to a public school of your choice before end of day on Friday and it will count toward your 2010 state tax liability, or increase your refund. Basically, you get to direct some of your taxes. You can do this online. If you need more information please let me know. There are all kinds of issues with this, but as Julia says in the comments:

1. Tax credits allows us to direct money where we believe it is needed most. So, if the will of the legislature is to cut education, this is one thing individuals can do to say in at least a small way “we think this is important”.
2. It’s been said that a system is only as strong as it’s lowest common demoninator. Meaning, no matter how good one school is (and if you are lucky to have your child there, you are lucky indeed), the overall system is measured by the weakest in the system. All should be supported, but if we can elevate the most poverty stricken schools, the broader community will benefit.

So really it isn’t even a donation, just a cash movement and tax direction thingee. If your cash flow allows it, please direct some of your local state taxes to a local public school in need. You have until the end of the day on Friday to do this. If you don’t know where to direct it and are up for a Tucson school I list the TUSD schools in greatest need on my TucsonMama post.

There is a similar tax credit you can use for qualified AZ charities. $200 for an individual, $400 for a married couple. We gave to the Diaper Bank of Southern Arizona (big surprise there) and to the Educational Enrichment Foundation, but there are a host of worthy AZ charities including Planned Parenthood that qualify.

Finally, there is a private school tax credit. There is so much shit wrong with this credit I could barely bring myself to take part. I called some folks involved in early childhood education and they said that while problems abound with this credit, right now the state leg has done such a number on early childhood that using the credit toward preschools is a good way to go. In the end we donated to a local secular preschool that is based at a progressive church which stresses social justice.

Alright, my rant is over.


Filed under Acting Up, Diapers, Education, Politics

Brilliant video. Sad truth, but brilliant video.


Filed under Politics

What are you going to do now?

It is the constant question since I announced my resignation. A question I struggle to answer:

So, what ARE you going to do now?

Students ask, friends ask and some not so friendly folks comment too*. Since when did my job become all that I am? A few days ago a student asked, incredulous that I might have something more to me that just my work at the University,

But when I think of you, I think of you in this room, talking with us and you seem so happy and comfortable here.

I was finally able to laugh out loud and answer him somewhat confidently,

I am happy doing this work with you and the other students, but there is more to my life than this office, and the work I do here. I’m going to live life. I’m going to invest some time in the parts of life that have been suffering from lack of attention.

I think he understood. I work with a group of highly motivated, often singularly driven, young adults, and that there might be more than a career goal aspiration seems completely alien to them. The student and I had a long talk about balance in life.

My friend Rebecca, wise woman that she is, suggested that I just rotate my answers each week. I think this is a fine idea. The stated answer this week?

I’m going to enjoy being a parent to my daughter to a greater extent.

Actually, this is true for each week.
tulle light
A somewhat lazier start to the days than previous.

* I got a nasty comment a few days ago on a picture that I had taken of Democrat Raul Grijalva. I assume this person had searched on Flickr for Raul Grijalva and seeing my support for Congressman Grijalva left a comment to the effect that they were going to send $ to his opponent and I should enjoy my ‘unemployment’.

There was something that seemed like intimidation about this comment. Effectively, it was an anonymous comment from someone I don’t know, that made light of my decision to resign, and was not asking me why I felt the way I do about Grijalva, just that I was wrong. I deleted the comment and blocked the individual from leaving further comments. Flickr has a fairly clear terms of use policy. Thing is, I don’t believe this individual is even in the state of Arizona, and what really floors me is the repeated Biblical references in their Flickr account. How does an individual who purports that Jesus is their guide justify leaving nasty little messages on a stranger’s pictures?

If you have a question about my politics. Be specific and ask. I’m willing to discuss. I am not going to getting into a pissing match. Okay, maybe a little.

This goes out to the individual who left the message:
I take it you have read my blog given you knew about my resignation. Maybe you’re reading now. Upon receiving your comment I decided to donate to Grijalva, Goddard, Camenisch, Kotterman, AND Giffords, and they’re getting some of my time in phone calls etc. Thank you for prompting me to get off the couch and donate time and money.


Filed under Navigation of Dangerous Water (Parenting), Politics, priorities, Resignation

One of the most important votes this election in AZ

Superintendent of Public Instruction.
I can’t believe anyone would consider voting for Huppenthal, but just in case:

You have a choice.
1. An individual who has dedicated her life to educating Arizona’s children and who by all accounts has been a strong and ardent voice for our children and our state for many years.

2. An individual who seeks to undermine the public education in Arizona and so further undermine our state economy. (You want higher paying jobs in AZ, invest in our children and their teachers);whose professional experience with schools is as a career politician.

Guess which one I’m voting for.


Filed under Arizona, Attempts at mind expansion, Politics