Monday, October 22, 2007

SCHIP, crying talk show hosts and stuff

Like the guy on the E! Soup show said, unless you've been in a vegetative state, you have probably heard about Ellen DeGenere's breakdown about her doggie situation last week. And if you're a faithful reader of my blog you know that I do, on occassion, watch Ellen. I did not see this particular episode, had to youtube it. Something about the whole incident disturbed me.

Its not that I don't begrudge Ellen her feelings (I am not making a decision on whether she is right or not as I have not heard the other side of the story), I guess what bothers me is that in the same week Ellen was crying over this dog, Congress was unable to pass the S-CHIP bill. The dismissal of the S-CHIP bill means that in the near future, thousands of middle class American children's health is in danger since they probably will not have access to health care. This means things like that which happened with the litle boy in Maryland (kid died of an untreated cavity which bloomed into a brain infection) will happen more freqently in the supposed "last remaining superpower" of the world. The S-CHIP bill covers children whose parents are not poor enough to qualify for Medicaid but usually not earning enough to afford their own private health insurance (i.e. working at Starbucks making $22,000 a year).

Look I love animals like the next person; animals should be treated with compassion, and kindess..but its this idea of putting animals over humans that I can't reconcile.

In one sitting, Ellen moved a country to death threats against this shelter...why can't that momentum be used for humans as well? Can you just imagine what would have happened to that bill if Ellen had cried about that on Tuesday, chances are VERY good it would not have been defeated two days later on Thursday.

NPR's commentator John Ridley I think says what I'm feeling. He writes, "I like animals. However, I don't value them over beings who walk upright, have opposable thumbs and can one-click their music over iTunes."

Maybe that makes me a horrible person, but suppose that just 1/10th of the empathy shown to animals in this country was extended to humanity, can you fathom the effect it would have....maybe even make the world a better place?

*Read the entire John Ridley piece here -


Blogger Random Kath said...

It's interesting - I really hadn't heard that much about the Ellen incident, except through some newspaper mentions and a few blogs (not much TV watching lately) so I just thought it was the usual background noise, like Lindsey or Britney.

I HAD however been following the S-CHIP legislation very closely - it is related to what I do for a living, and I was seeing stuff EVERYWHERE about it - in the media, in papers and on blogs. There was a big ruckus raised, but I think the problem is that unless you are really looking, you won't see it - and most people aren't really looking. All sorts of coalitions and advocates were rallying on this, but I thing it is a failing that we tend to be preaching to the choir - to those who already care enough to be somewhat involved. And for those of us who are already involved, it seems that when we do raise the alarm on these types of things, they are met by the general public with a collective shrug.

In S-CHIP's favor, this time there was more of an outcry in the press, but ultimately there are a large number of people who don't really care that much. It hurts, but it should just spur us to get more organized and get more people involved.

OK, at this point I may have wandered off track, but it does get to the question of what people really care about, and sometimes they do disappoint . . .

4:05 PM  
Blogger JoeinVegas said...

And just where in your paper is the list of American soldiers killed in Iraq this week?
People would rather hear about the junk that takes their mind in useless directions than face reality.

4:09 PM  
Blogger Random Kath said...


Actually, the Washington Post is really good about listing the dead and wounded in the A section every day. Every two months or so, they also do a two or three page spread listing the photos and hometowns of those who died in the interim period:

So many of them are so YOUNG! and once in a while, I will see someone who reminds me of my sister, and I will get so upset . . .

The WP has also done an amazing job at following up on the treatment of our wounded veterans, those at Walter Reed and out in rest of the country.

VA Gal: Didn't mean to hijack your comments section today - but I had just received an e-mail alert about another chance at SCHIP. Congress is going to bring up another bill in the next few weeks - tell your family, friends and acquaintances to watch for it and make sure to let your members of Congress know that you want to see it passed. Be proactive! :-)

4:42 PM  
Blogger Virginia Gal said...

Joe - oh I gave up on the Iraq war months ago, after 1 million people around the world protested this action, we still went in and after repeateded protests or peace rallies at DC, we still elect Bush, people can be quite deaf when they want to be...certainly it would be nice if this country mourned the dead soliders more than we mourn the move of a dog from one house to another but we see that is not going to happen...I think it goes back to my original question..where the hell are our America's priorities nowadays?

Random Kath - I called my rep last week and asked his voting record on this issue (to let him know I wanted him to pass it) - he had voted for it and I'll just call to confirm he's keeping that vote to pass it. Please let me know if there is anything else I can do - thanks for working on this!

2:23 AM  
Blogger mommanator said...

here here fellow bloggers, I could not say any better than you all!
Can't there be real news and TV personality news for those of us who really dont care about them unless on our own terms. I get so sick and tired of all of the BS!
It muddies up the news soooo much!

9:23 AM  
Blogger Tony said...

I feel a great deal of empathy for both.

For Ellen, because she is such an animal rights crusader.. it's not that she doesn't care for kids but she does feel strongly for the animal.

She feels sad and guilty about the dog because she feels responsible for what happened.... and it hurts her.

as for the kids and the insurance... well we have our "wonderful" president to blame for that.... no money for insurance, but plenty of money for his war.

10:40 AM  
Blogger Virginia Gal said...

Mommantor - I say an Amen to that - why does our newsmedia dumb down the news so much?!

Tony - ahh yes our wonderful president, oi does he sleep at night denying children health care? Exactly how is that being a compassionate conservative?! Man just thinking about it boils my blood.

12:06 PM  
Anonymous Maidink said...

I love animals. I love children more. I had pets before I had kids. Before kids, I always said my pets came first. After my kids, I gave away all my pets to various farms and no-kill shelters. Sorry, but my kids trump all animals.

As for Bush and his kybosh of the healthcare bill, without knowing all the facts and the reasons he had for doing so, I can't interject. And NO I'm not saying that because I'm a Republican. Besides, I'm a RINO, thank you very much!

12:32 PM  
Blogger Darla D said...

This is all just too depressing. The only reason I heard about the Ellen thing was because they were talking about it on NPR's Wait Wait Don't Tell Me. Sometimes I miss having TV reception, but more often I think, thank god I wasn't subjected to THAT. And I'm glad my kids aren't watching constant images urging them to grow up fast, be sexy, thin, and beautiful or you are worthless - oh, and buy this that that and that or you won't be happy or cool or have friends. They get enough of that elsewhere - they don't need to get it in their own home.

And the funny thing is, when you ask them what they want for their birthday, they really have to think about it. No one is telling them what to want.

When they grow up I hope they will take more interest in things like the S-CHIP bill than in pointless celebrity stories. More likely they'll be social outcasts with no clue about popular culture!

4:36 PM  
Blogger Virginia Gal said...

Maidink - What's a RINO? I'm glad to hear kids trump animals, you know what's sad I bet there are people out there who would flip that order. Crazy, no?

Darla - you're girls are going to turn out so great I wouldn't even worry. I'm seriously worried that when (or if) I have kids I'm going to totally mess them up...honestly I should have you raise my kids (smile). I think its so sweet that they think about what they want for their birthday - you're girls are already well adjusted I forsee even more amazing things for them in the future!

12:41 PM  
Blogger Darla D said...

You are sweet, VA Gal! I think that no matter how hard we try, we will always in some way fall short with our kids - who can be perfect? And it's not as if they come with a decent owner's manual. I was astounded when they let me walk out of the hospital with the first one after she was born. Didn't they KNOW I was totally clueless? Didn't they CARE? Good thing the girls haven't figured out that we're going on a wing and a prayer, here! :-)

10:09 PM  
Blogger Brenda said...

I'm with you kid! Mistreating animals is Wrong! Being the only civilized country in the world who does not provide basic medical care to it's tax-paying citizens is WRONG!

2:03 PM  
Anonymous Virginia Gal said...

Darla - too bad I probably won't be rich enough to have someone else raise my little rugrats, that's the best, ha ha : )

Brenda - amen sister!

12:33 AM  
Blogger CS said...

Apparently I've been in a vegetative state becaus ethis is all news to me. But, I can say that animals should be treated humanely, but not as humans. Children come first. Period.

11:20 PM  

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