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Wed Oct 22, 2008 at 05:38 AM PDT

Voting for "that socialist pig"

by Janusdog

I just got off the phone with my brother, a small business owner in NYC.

We talked about my husband's difficulty finding a job, and that I felt that a lot of the companies my husband is discussing working for are holding off on making decisions about investing time and money in the US (they're European) until they see who is going to be president.

My brother indicated that both candidates "suck" and he hates both of them.

I said, "Great.  Stay home"

He said, "Oh, I'm not staying home, I'm voting against that socialist pig."

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Tue Oct 21, 2008 at 07:31 AM PDT

Slammed by economy; still donating

by Janusdog

My husband lost his job a few months ago and we are nearing the end of our "cushion".  We are getting to the point that we might have to borrow money from a parent.  Oh, and he's in his forties and I'm in my late 30s.  That is nothing short of embarrassing.

However, since we already donated the maximum to Obama when things were doing well, I think that I still have an obligation to counter some of the more destructive measures on the ballot this fall.

Today it was $50 for No on Proposition 8.

That's gonna hurt.  But it's a good hurt.

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Good morning, fellow fitness enthusiasts!

I tossed around what I was going to write today, waffling between this topic and gym etiquette, but then I went to my mixed martial arts class and noticed a distinct drop in the number of attendees...most likely due to economic reasons.  Our gym is not inexpensive -- luckily we paid for six months up front before Mr. Janus lost his job.  So, it ended up being a no-brainer that I should write something about losing fat and gaining muscle without an expensive gym membership.

Don't get me wrong, I love group classes, because I find them more motivating than working out alone.  I love gyms with cutting edge classes.  But is a gym membership absolutely necessary?  

Absolutely not!  

Here are some ways to start getting ripped and healthy for very little cash.

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Fri Oct 03, 2008 at 01:10 PM PDT

The Haunting, or The Family Narrative

by Janusdog

Who is rich? He that is content. Who is that? Nobody.

-- Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790)

When I was practicing as a psychologist, we used to talk frequently of the family narrative.  The family narrative is a story passed down from generation to generation that substantially affects the psychology of the family and how they "do business" as a unit.  Every family has narratives; many tell of the family's immigration, relationships with famous people, or the family's roots.  Sometimes the truth is stretched --instead of that Civil War soldier being a deserter, he is steadfast in his bravery.  Most frequently, they reflect a sense of family pride at overcoming adversity.

But sometimes -- only sometimes -- narratives envelop the family like those dark rooms in the Tower of London that make you just a little uncomfortably cold.  For our family, the Depression stories are our ghosts.  And my ghost, a little farm boy, is keeping me up nights.

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Wed Sep 24, 2008 at 06:44 AM PDT

"Yonder Sits the Fourth Estate"

by Janusdog

After the French Revolution, Edmund Burke referred to the Press Gallery in the House of Commons as "The Fourth Estate." He indicated that they were more important than the clergy, nobles, and commoners in framing political issues.  

Day after day, I read of the boiling frustration with the MSM here.  And then there is today's exuberance that, in a small way, a glimmer of the old NYT returned with the coverage of McCain's small Freddie problem.  But by en large, the MSM is viewed as incompetent, spineless, useless, and easily manipulated.

One day I made a mistake in debating with my conservative Republican father.  I used the word "they" to describe...I don't remember, government, culture, something...and he retorted, "Who is THEY?  THEY is US."

I don't always agree with him, but I have to admit that he got me.  So when I read about the frustration about the MSM, I am reminded that 'they is us' and The Fourth Estate of the future is likely stacking blocks in your living room, laughing about the extremely repetitive adventures of SpongeBob, or is having an Emo-Angsty fit while wearing all black, plotting a tattoo in spite of your wish they do not get one now, and swearing under their breath at you.

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Thu Sep 11, 2008 at 08:21 AM PDT

The price of anti-intellectualism

by Janusdog

It wasn't there for very long.

Every day I get into work and check out my page on iGoogle.  I have my custom page set up to give me the general headlines, as well as those in business, health, and science & technology.

For a very short period of time (as it was released about one hour ago),  the headline in Science said:

Europe leaps ahead on physics frontier

To write this diary I went back to my iGoogle page and it was gone.

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Fri Aug 22, 2008 at 06:47 AM PDT

HHS "Bush Rule" released.

by Janusdog

HHS Secretary Leavitt has made the HHS health provider "conscience clause" a proposed rule that will go into effect in 30 days after the comment period.  This rule does not include contraception per se as the draft did,  but expands the ability of medical personnel to deny access, including Catholic ERs.  10% of ERs are Catholic so if you go there after a rape they will be able to deny you emergency contraception because they define that as "abortion."  As the WSJ article states, anti-choicers will not stay within the definition of "abortion" and will attempt to impede contraceptive access as well.

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Fri Aug 15, 2008 at 07:27 AM PDT

That planet must be a nice place

by Janusdog

I suppose it was only a matter of time until the chaos and economic implosion came home.

Mr. Janus and I had been doing fairly well in our respective jobs.  For the past few months I was aggressively paying down my credit cards, and I was feeling lucky we were in that situation as the for sale signs went up in our neighborhood.

Well, yesterday, the economic disaster just got personal.

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Wed Jul 16, 2008 at 07:09 AM PDT

Dear Cindy and Laura,

by Janusdog

I didn't sleep very well last night.  One of the reasons was that I had gotten the news about the proposed redefinition of contraception to mean abortion.  As I'm sure I don't need to tell you, this means that allowing hospitals to refuse to dispense Plan B to rape victims is plausible.  "Discriminating" against pharmacists who will not dispense birth control or Plan B will also not be acceptable. As an owner of a pharmacy, say, I couldn't refuse to hire someone who blatantly told me that they didn't believe women should be allowed to take birth control pills.  Last night HHS and Bush did nothing less than propose chaos in health care ethics -- the provider has more rights than the patient.

So there I was at 2:30 this morning, trying to get comfortable and fall back asleep.  I was not very successful.  

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Everyone's been talking theoretically about the everlasting legacy of Bush(es) nomination of conservative judges with an eye to overturning Roe.  One of the Fundies' strategies is death by a thousand cuts -- make acquiring an abortion so burdensome that it is not attainable at all.

A main battleground is South Dakota -- and South Dakota is well on its way to making all abortions illegal in the state.  Follow me after the jump to read about the latest barrier that has just been ruled constitutional.  It goes without saying that other states will now pass similar laws.

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Tue Jun 03, 2008 at 06:21 AM PDT

My dearest could you?

by Janusdog

Dear Brother,

You know what I do for a living.  You know that I work to make sure that the underserved and uninsured get proper and evidence-based healthcare, especially reproductive health services (not just abortion, but yes, abortion).  I know you're familiar with the trajectory of my career, in which I abandoned bringing healthcare to the wealthy because they can well afford it anyways, preferring instead to find a way to bring quality service to all and reduce health care disparities.  I also know that you know that there is nothing you can say that will ever convince me that women's reproductive health is "just one issue out of many."

You know that I own a shirt saying, "Tell your mama I'm voting for Obama."

And we both know that you have a daughter.

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Everyone has been so distracted by the election that no one has been paying attention to single issues -- and by this single issue I mean abortion and reproductive justice.

Well, while we were sleeping,  The Family Research Council plans to present Bush with a petition next Monday from 80 pro-life groups with the request he extend the global gag rule on abortion domestically via Executive Order.  The gag rule will be tied to Title X funds and will prohibit clinics that receive money to provide reproductive health care to the poor to even discuss abortion as an option with their patients, likely regardless of socioeconomic status.

Are you horribly awake now?  I wasn't sleeping but I wish I was dreaming.

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