A Letter to a Senator

** Please note:  This blog post was written in whole or in part as an assignment for a class that I was taking.  If you decide to use some of my work in your own assignments, please give credit where credit is due and cite your source!  Thanks :) **

Our assignment in class today was to write a letter to a senator or congressman about an issue that was personal to us.  I decided that I would write my letter as though I was actually going to send it out, instead of just writing something kind of generic.  I think I will actually take the time to spiff it up and send it off, too…

Dear Senator,

I am writing to you as a Michigan resident, blogger, student, and Medical Assistant living with Type 2 Diabetes.  As I’m sure you’re aware, there is currently an epidemic of this disease across our nation, with more cases developing every day.  There are stories, advertisements and campaigns being covered about this issue all the time, but many of them are misleading or inaccurate.  People with Type 2 Diabetes are frequently portrayed as obese and lazy, and it is frequently inferred that they have brought the disease on themselves.  While this may be true in some cases, it is more often a development brought on by genetics alone.  Unfortunately, the stigmas being attached to this disease are preventing further research, better treatment plans, or even a cure, from being found.

In many cases, as it was with me, people who are diagnosed are given little instruction and even less education before being sent on their way.  We are expected to control our condition and are chastised when we can’t, but we aren’t given the necessary tools to be able to control it.  Unfortunately, Diabetes differs for everyone.  A fellow blogger once coined the phrase “Your Diabetes May Vary (YDMV)” which is used frequently in the Diabetes Online Community.  Everyone with Diabetes, no matter which type, reacts differently to medication and to food.  We have to figure out what works and what doesn’t and go from there, often alone.  Contrary to popular belief, simply losing weight does not cure this disease.

People living with Diabetes need more support, better nutritional labeling, and more effective education about our condition.  We need more effective advertising about what it is like to live with Diabetes, and better information on how to control it, and to prevent it from developing in the first place.  While a cure would be best, we need help for the more than 25 million people who are living with Diabetes today.

I am writing simply to ask you to take the time to educate yourself about what it’s like to live with Type 2 Diabetes, and to consider this when dealing with legislative decisions about health care, nutrition, and medical research.  This is not a political issue, just an issue about people who need more effective help to be able to get by, and need more understanding from people who can make a difference, like yourself.  There are so many ways that you can learn more about Diabetes.  For starters, there are bloggers who talk about living with this disease every day.  You can find my blog at https://ninjalimabean.wordpress.com/ which links to other blogs.  There are also incredible website communities devoted to helping the many people with Diabetes, like Diabetes Daily (www.diabetesdaily.com) or TuDiabetes (www.tudiabetes.org).

Thank you for your time and consideration.

Making Do… (assignment 4.1)

** Please note:  This blog post was written in whole or in part as an assignment for a class that I was taking.  If you decide to use some of my work in your own assignments, please give credit where credit is due and cite your source!  Thanks :) **

While this started out as a homework assignment, I decided to put it up here as well because I like questions that make me think…

Select one of your personal beliefs that is not an established fact. Examine your reasons for holding this belief. Are the reasons sufficient? If not, why do you hold the belief in spite of insufficient premises? Is it practically useful? Is it unavoidable?

Most of my classmates had already posted their discussions and nearly all of them were about the topic I had intended to write about…. pay it forward, what comes around goes around, and karma.  So I decided to pick a different belief: the power of positive thinking.

I’m not sure that my reasons for following this belief are very actively planned out or insightful.  I believe that no matter what is happening, if you can put a positive outlook on it, even a small bit, things will come out better.  I guess it kind of goes along with the every cloud has a silver lining belief too, that if you look for the positive in something, you’ll find it, somehow.

I guess I hold to these beliefs, even though they have insufficient premises, because it makes life more bearable to look at things in that way.  During a darker time in my life, I didn’t look at things like this, and I think that it contributed to the bleak feelings I was already feeling.  For me, it is practically useful.  It makes working with a cantankerous boss survivable.  It makes trying to have a baby and not succeeding (yet) bearable.  And on the mundane side of things, it just makes every day a little bit brighter.  I like being able to smile at people because I’m generally happy, not forcing the smile onto my face.

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Assignment 3.3 – Critical Thinking

** Please note:  This blog post was written in whole or in part as an assignment for a class that I was taking.  If you decide to use some of my work in your own assignments, please give credit where credit is due and cite your source!  Thanks :) **

This weeks assignment is to:

Select an issue debated in the media, for example, abortion, juvenile delinquency, or business ethics. Identify arguments on both sides of the debate. In two pages, paraphrase the arguments on two sides into a dialogue so that each argument is a response to the preceding argument. Evaluate any potential ethical, moral, or legal issues.

The topic of gay marriage is one that is hotly debated in the media these days.  With so many states and lawmakers making statements about what marriage should and should not be, it is not very difficult to find debate-worthy material for both points of view.

Some of the most common arguments that come up in regards to same-sex marriage are about the institution of marriage being undermined and no longer valid.  Those who oppose same-sex marriage make the statement that marriage is to be between a man and a woman and that anything else is invalid and an abomination.  But what is the definition of “man” or “woman,” and who fits the definition of each into the definition of marriage?  In his article, “What is Marriage Between a Man and a Woman?” on legal, biological, and social definitions, Austin Cline talks about how the definitions of man and woman can be varied due to things like sex changes and hermaprodites born with both male and female sexual characteristics.  If a person is born with female sex characteristics but decides to undergo therapy to be a man, and changes his legal birth certificate to reflect this, can his marriage to a woman be refused or considered illegal?  Cline also talks about a 2002 ruling where just such a case occurred.  This case resulted in the state of Ohio claiming that, by the dictionary definition of a female being “the sex that produces ova and bears young” and male being “the sex that produces sperm to fertilize ova,” that the man is not considered to be a man, and therefore could not marry his female partner.  If this is the case, then what would be the result of a woman who has had a complete hysterosalpingo-oophorectomy?  This surgery removes the uterus, fallopian tubes, and ovaries of a woman, rendering her completely unable to produce ova or bear young.  Is she therefore not considered to be a woman?  Would she be denied the ability to marry a man by that definition?

Some more strict opponents of same-sex marriage turn this into the statement that legalizing same-sex marriage would be a step towards legalizing polygamy.  There is a belief that if a man is allowed to marry a man, or a woman to marry a woman, there would be nothing to prevent marriage to be allowed between a man and multiple women, or between a woman and multiple men, or more!  Brian Tashman notes on his blog that in a radio interview on AFA Today, the American Family Association’s radio talk show, general manager Buster Wilson stated not only that the AFA hates homosexuals, but that if the door is opened to same-sex marriage, people will not just marry those of the same sex, but marriage to a building, a car, or a dog will be allowed as well.  Eric Zorn talks about this in his article from the Chicago Tribune, that just because same-sex marriage is legalized doesn’t mean that multiple-partner marriages will be as well.  They will be held under different laws with different arguments.  He also notes that just because two people of the same sex want to get married it doesn’t mean anything other than that two people are agreeing to join together and take on the same responsibilities of a “traditional” married couple.

Which leads the debate into yet another topic, children in same-sex marriages.  There are many arguments about the fact that marriage is supposed to be for raising children, and gay couples, by definition, cannot.   This has poor basis because if the end result is based on this argument, then many other couples would not be allowed to marry either.  The laws do not include infertile couples or elderly couples who are unable to have children, nor do they include couples who choose to remain childless for no other reason than to do so. (Cline, Arguments).

A similar topic comes up at this point as well, that having a mother and a father is better than having two mothers or two fathers.  While the argument exists that children raised in families including a father and a mother who are married to each other do grow up with certain advantages, one can also look at a society where this is not always the norm either.  If there are studies to prove that children growing up with a mother and a father are healthier or smarter, then there are also studies proving that children growing up in single parent homes or same-sex parent homes are just as smart and healthy (Stanton, 2012).  A study conducted between 1986 and 1992 and published in 2010 reports that sons and daughters of lesbian mothers did better in social, school, and competence testing and were less likely to be troublemakers, and were well adjusted psychologically (Gatrell, 2010).  Studies like this provide quality reasons that this argument cannot be used as a tool against same-sex marriage.

Cline, Austin. (2012). Arguments Against Gay Marriage: Marriage is for Having Children. About.com Agnosticism / Atheism. Retrieved from <http://atheism.about.com/od/gaymarriage/a/MarriageKids.htm&gt;

Cline, Austin. (2012). What is Marriage Between a Man and a Woman? About.com Agnosticism/Atheism.  Retrieved from <http://atheism.about.com/od/gaymarriage/a/OneManWoman.htm&gt;.

Gartrell, Nanette, et al. (2010, June 7). US National Longitudinal Lesbian Family Study: Psychological Adjustment of 17-Year-Old Adolescents. Pediatrics. doi: 10.1542/peds.2009-3153). Retrieved from <http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/early/2010/06/07/peds.2009-3153.abstract&gt;

Stanton, Glenn T. (2012).  Are Children with Same-Sex Parents at a Disadvantage? Facts About Youth. Retrieved from < http://factsaboutyouth.com/posts/are-children-with-same-sex-parents-at-a-disadvantage/&gt;.

Tashman, Brian.  (2011, December 2). AFA Warns That Same-Sex Marriage Leads to Building, Car and Dog Marriage. Retrieved from <http://www.rightwingwatch.org/content/afa-warns-same-sex-marriage-leads-building-car-and-dog-marriage&gt;.

Zorn, Eric. (2012, May 19). The Top Six Arguments Against Gay Marriage (and Why They All Fail). Chicago Tribune. Retrieved from <http://blogs.chicagotribune.com/news_columnists_ezorn/2012/05/the-top-six-arguments-against-gay-marriage-and-why-they-all-fail.html&gt;.