28 May 2008

I hate telling them.

Went to a psychiatrist today, been putting it off for months. I refuse antidepressants, I'm done with those as long as I have a say in it. But I had to go as an alternate to another neurologist, since my stroke doctor at the Neurosciences Institute is one technically, he won't monitor my meds so anyway, long story short I went to see the psychiatrist for this stupid bullshit...I was told each appointment was like 10 minutes only, and I had to sit in the damn office with him for over 1/2 hour going over history, over and over and over, and I hate that more than anything. Part of me just wanted to get up, walk out on it, but I need these meds. Like I said, been putting it off for months.

And then, after all that, he needs a letter from the stroke doc saying it's okay to be on these meds even though I'm on the Coumadin. Fucker. The stroke doc was the one who referred me. Isn't that enough? Not to mention that after all that, too, like the entire Neurosciences Institute are in Chicago, til 10 June. So I can't even get the letter until after that...if he agrees to write it.

Pissed. Scared. Hating. Thoughts on playback loop. Those who know me, know the history (histories?) and it gets complicated when outsiders are involved. This is going to fuck with me for awhile. Whose goddamn idea was it for me to go there anyway?

26 May 2008

Excellent advice.

This is amazing; I came across it the other day and read it a few times before deciding to post it. These are words from Tecumseh, of the Shawnee tribe:

"So live your life that the fear of death can never enter your heart. Trouble no one about his religion; respect others in their view, and demand that they respect yours. Love your life, perfect your life, and beautify all things in your life. Seek to make your life long and its purpose in the service of your people. Prepare a noble death song for the day when you go over the great divide.

Always give a word or a sign of salute when meeting or passing a friend, even a stranger, when in a lonely place. Show respect to all people and grovel to none.

When you arise in the morning, give thanks for the food and for the joy of living. If you see no reason for giving thanks, the fault lies only in yourself. Abuse no one and nothing, for abuse turns the wise ones to fools and robs the spirit of its vision. When it comes your turn to die, be not like those whose hearts are filled with the fear of death, so that when their time comes they weep and pray for a little more time to live their lives over again in a different way. Sing your death song and die like a hero going home."

20 May 2008

Odd thoughts.

No point really explaining since I barely understand it myself, and never fully...one of those moments when my mind is everywhere and nowhere, singing "Boomdeyada" to myself and writing nonsensical emails. Silliness! Doc appointments coming up, I hate them always, i keep going through cycles of going like I should, then I decide I don't really need meds or check-ups or anything, and I skip everything, then I get hellaciously ill and have to spend a few days inpatient at Sunrise. But seriously, I hate it, I hate when I'm told I should just give up and go on disability and I hate when they tell me I don't "look" sick, and on and on...

[i love the whole world, its such a brilliant place]

I need to sleep. I need to meditate maybe. I need my calming oil. Tenno, how much is it?

I'm in a weird place: I'm not happy but I laugh easily. I feel alone but I'm surrounded by those who care about me. I'm sensitive but I can take alot of shit.

Gonna get "Tom's Rules" tattoo'd on my neck. Aw yeah.

Maybe I'll read my ISES Solar Power Pocket Reference Guide. Y'know what's funny? I love PV, I'm so excited by it, and yet I will fall asleep every time I get into heavy studying. Ironic. Haha.

17 May 2008

Graduation: the single most busy day I've had all year.

It's crazy how this all worked out.

First thing in the morning, dressed in jeans and a corset, I went to see Papa G's wife, Camille, who is a professional make-up artist and hair stylist. I mean seriously professional: she does the shows here in town, programs, films...it's amazing. She offered to do my make-up for graduation which is very cool, since I really don't wear make-up and don't have incredible skills. So anyway I was there at 09h00, and Papa G saw my Jeep, and I saw his Porsche...I love the Jeep but it's a Porsche, his was cooler. Camille took me back to her salon and she is so much fun to be around. I'm not usually keen on meeting new people, I get nervous, but I was so relaxed around her. And she has all these incredible products, I really want to get some in the coming months: she told me what each does, why it's better than regular store-bought crap, and the price. Granted, it's seriously expensive to start off with but as I'm approaching 30 (I know!!) I need good moisturizer and such. So we talked and she made me look awesome and we were done at 11h30, which scared me as graduation was at the hall at noon, so I hauled ass, picked up Tannah, and got to the hall at about 5 minutes till. I feel bad, since I kinda had to rush out of there, but I made another appointment to see her, so that'll be really cool. :)

Graduation ceremony: hot, cramped, and the first 1-1/2 hours were "support your union" speeches. Awards were given out, then they called names for our certificates and such. This graduation was different than any other I'd been a part of or been to: the grads sat with their families, not in a reserved area in the front. The reserved area was for NECA members, visiting IBEW-based guests, instructors and other super-important people, I guess. So as they called each grad's name, we had to wander through the sea of people to get to the front, get our free goodies and certificates, shake hands with half a dozen people, and pose for a photo with our local's president. Tim said I looked great (he's my hero from 2nd year) and as I walked past, Tom stood up and gave me a hug...my first sober one! Haha that was great on so many levels.

Mingling and such, then to show my parents the Jeep (they approved), lunch with them, and off across town to see Tannah's cousin Lisa, a newly-licensed cosmotologist, to get my hair done up for the graduation party. She's always wanted to play with my hair and nothing's better than doing what you love and getting paid for it. She did little twists and curls, it looked really good...simple, not too much hair spray and such (have to be at work at 06h00 tomorrow...you know, like in 7 hours) but feminine and pretty. I loved it. From there we went home, I crashed for an hour, got dressed in a cute little retro-kind of short dress, and then off to the Palms for the party.

Free drink tickets are always good for a party, especially a party for electricians. Granted, I didn't drink at all since I was still remembering my hangover earlier in the week and I knew I had to be at work early the next day. But I sat with Sanj and her man, and saw Ryan and Pam, Mark (whose wife just found out she's having a baby), Luke, Lee, James, Alicia (who reminded me how hilarious it was when I got hopped up on 3 double espressos during class in 2nd year and passed out at the end), Dan, Wizzard, Joe...dozens of others...drinking and getting crazy. We had a nice dinner, filet mignon and shrimp, and some kind of raspberry tart, and the centerpiece on the table was definitely something to talk about: a 4x4 j-box holding a hard hat (donated by various contractors) filled with a bouquet of flowers. And mixed into these flowers were spring nuts, wires, CAT-V cable, and a lightbulb. Bizarre, but cute. I almost was gonna steal one.

Then Tannah and I took some photos and went home. Both of us were exhausted, but he joked that he was going to sleep in all day tomorrow and have a nice leisurely Sunday while I was stuck at work. That's okay...working tomorrow means double-time. On journeyman wages. Aw yeah.

15 May 2008

Got my JW ticket...and not draggin!

Today after work, having served my two penalty days, I went to the union hall and picked up my new inside journeyman wireman dues ticket. It has "GRADUATED" stamped right on the front, which is good, since others will know I'm still an idiot and will continue to be for awhile. As Papa G says, "Nothing's smarter than a 5th year apprentice, nothing's stupider than a 1st year journeyman." And that's me!

Now...the "not draggin" part...in the apprenticeship, it's tradition to pick up your tools and quit without notice ("drag up") as soon as you recieve your JW ticket. It's not my intent to do that. I like my contractor, I like who I'm working for and with, and I'm not giving that up as long as I have any choice in the matter. Besides, what if we get into doing solar? That would be so kickass.

Now also, in seeing my new JW ticket, I got excited. The Toyota is in the shop, and I decided I wanted a Jeep. I've wanted one for years and it's never worked out, so with my poor Rav-4 being fixed and having to drive around a tiny little Mazda 3, I went to the Jeep dealership with Tannah. Yes, it was an impulse buy. I really shouldn't have done it. It's a 2007 silver Jeep Wrangler, and I need to pull myself up by the roll-bar to get into it, and the petrol mileage is shit, and I'm sure he earth is weeping at my newly skyrocketing carbon footprint as we speak...but I love it anyway.

Now I'm just going to have to work serious overtime to pay that off. That's right, I've now become an overtime whore. In addition to being a solar whore. Ah well...there's worse things to be in this world.

13 May 2008

Never had such an awful hangover.

Last night, I thought I'd done well. I knew I had to be in to work today, didn't want to suffer with a hangover, so I really paced myself: two Guinness before the test (can't take an exam sober, we all know that), then once I passed I drank some Crown Royal, Miller Light and something Russian at the tailgate behind the school. I ate of course, and I didn't just slam anything. I had a Captain & Coke and of course a shot of Patrón. And I ate again. I just broke up my drinks with appetizers really. And before you all think I got crazy and drank all night, the exam started at 15h30 and I was done, with my passing score, less than an hour later. My last drink was around 18h00, when I actually ate dinner and fucked off for two hours before driving home.

(Of course it took me a bit longer to actually get home, since I got rear-ended at a stop light 5 minutes from my house. Not at all my fault. Yes, we exchanged information.)

So anyway, around 02h00 I started throwing up everything I'd put into my body during the last 24 hours, it seemed. It was horrendous. And that continued well after I came to work. Everyone thought it was the funniest thing. They started talking about runny eggs and country gravy...yuck...I spent the entire day wanting to die but I promised I'd show up, since I got to go to the ASES convention. It just sucks that I was completely worthless.

When I got home I was still suffering, and Tannah was nice enough to make me some grießklößchen suppe, which is like a dumpling soup. It was so calming to my belly. :) I still don't think I ever want to drink again, at least for the rest of the month, but everyone says it was so bad because I mixed beer and liquor, and in the wrong order. We'll see.

Now I just have to worry about the Toyota that got smashed. It's bad. :( Not totaled but I think the entire back end will have to be replaced. The entire hood of her Lexus went underneath my Rav-4. I should get a call from the shop and the insurance adjuster tomorrow. Here's hoping.

05 May 2008

Solar 2008 was awesomesauce!

Oh my God where do I begin??

My apologies...I didn't have access to any free WiFi and didn't feel like looking for any around San Diego so I didn't update...and for that, I'm writing an abridged version of all that occurred. But, because I didn't get online, I did so so much around the city!

I arrived Friday midday, and after settling in and experiencing my first few sliders at Fuddruckers, I ventured out to Coronado (an island off the coast, just outside of San Diego). It was chilly, I played in the sand and got soaked from chasing waves, but it was awesome. I saw a huge ship doing donuts (hilarious), people surfing and actually catching fish and an amazing sunset. It was a great way to start things out.

Saturday I went to the convention center and it was a clusterfuck at first. No one seemed to realise that public registration didn't begin until 10h00, and there were no signs, some computers went down, no one knew what was going on and there was alot of frustration. I was patient...I knew things would work out. I didn't get into the exhibit hall right away however; I went to a few seminars including "Roof Installations for Commercial Buildings" and "Two Decades of PV in Germany: Best Practises". Then I went into the exhibit hall where I saw Chris, Deirdre, Snow, and two I hadn't met previously, Bo and Heather. They were all going out later to get to drinking and seeing as I get huggy when I'm drunk (and a few other reasons...heckity-darn...LOL Buelita), I took Chris' number so I could meet up later if I wanted. I got tons of PV goodies: a Solar Sisters shirt from SEI, a really awesome book with PV formulas from ISES, some freebies...then I decided to head out and see what there was to see in San Diego.

I managed to learn the ins and outs of the trolley system and got to spend a few hours at the Red Bull Air Races. I'm not usually into that kind of thing but it was different, so why not? Plus I got a Smirnoff Ice, which is yummy. I spent some time looking at boats and such as well, including the pirate ship (yay for ASES-sponsered pirate party! No joke) and wandered the Gaslamp District for quite awhile. Of course I had lost Chris' number, so I wound up wandering without them, but it was great anyway...again, different.

I guess one could say that different was the theme of my entire weekend. In a good way, of course.

Sunday I went back to the convention, but took a detour to the mall and got a really sweet batik-style sirt. I'm usually not one for dresses and such but it was supercute so I got it. (Besides I had to waste some time before the convention opened back up to the pubic.) I took more time to see each booth at the exhibit hall; Fat Spaniel, Fronius, NABCEP, Conergy, Kyocera, AEE, Sonnenkraft, Solmetric SunEye, DC Power Systems...I mean I could go on, but a very well-balanced selection. I had loads of fun, and really learned alot. The technology coming out is great...Tyco Electronics had a way impressive ground clip that I just adore, there are some new mounting systems out, Schüco had a beautiful PV-window hybrid display that I fell in love with...plus Ritter-Sport had made special solar-themed chocolates, and cool freebies all around.

I saw Snow again, and he was nice enough to take some time to go through some of the material with me and help answer my questions about a few of the products. I paid him back by showing him the most incredible ground clip...no really, it was that kickass. He showed me alot of the classes and seminars he was going to take and I think maybe next time, if I can, I'm going to do the full convention because the classes looked like something I'd really want to get into. We'll see about next year maybe.

Then I went on an adventure and took the trolley all the way to San Ysidro and actually contemplated going into Mexico but I didn't have a passport, and it was a little chilly and I was without a jacket, and...eh...I wound up not. But I saw a lot, and that was good. Mexican food with Cinco de Mayo in mind, then a ton of DVDs, and already I was sad to go, even though I missed home.

Today I woke up, showered, packed, had yummy Greek food (a gyro and cardamom tea!), then spent about 25 minutes in an airport being wand-ed and felt up by the TSA people. Well, sort of...I set off the alarm (yay piercings) and there was a girl who hadn't been trained yet on pat-downs, so I was used as a training exercise: it was cool kinda, learning how they go about things and what exactly the procedure was, since her supervisor walked her through it. It turned out it wasn't just my piercings, as McCarran Airport had suspected; it was my underwire bra, the rivets in my jeans...the waistband to my jeans was turned inside-out and felt up too. It was...interesting. But I didn't have to take anything off (or out) so I was happy.

So that's it in a nutshell. There's some other goodies I'm sure, but this is long enough. :)

03 May 2008

Something to ponder.

Imperialist Power, the FLDS Community and Why We Should Care
By Ayla Serenemoon

Throughout history the world over, imperialists have known how to break a culture – you take away their children. During the burning times in Europe my own great grandparents, seven times back, were thrown in jail, accused of witchcraft, along with their neighbors. Their children, eight total, ranging in age from 17 to 4 years old, starved to death, were shipped as indentured servants to the United States or, as in the case of my great aunts, were shipped to England to become maids.

In the United States Native American children were forcibly removed from their homes and given to white schools for re-education into Western culture (Smith). Children of the Saami, the indigenous people of Northern Europe and Russia, were taken by the imperialist Europeans moving into the area and re-educated away from their tribal, pagan, culture in the 1900s (Grahn).

It's a pattern acted out across the globe by conquering armies and brutal leaders – take the children, break the family and then rebuild them in the image of the power at hand. Conformity through the cruelest torture – turning your own children against you.

On Wednesday, April 2nd, 2008, I went to bed in America, by Thursday April 3rd, 2008, it was no longer clear to me where any of us were living. Why? Because on that warm and sunny Thursday Texas state authorities raided the Yearning for Zion (YFZ) ranch in Eldorado, TX (Johnson and Dougherty). Acting on a call to the child protective authorities, which was later shown to have been a fraud, police and CPS officers stormed this quiet community with tanks, guns, riot gear and large busses (Jessop).

They rounded up the women and their over 400 children and bussed them to various locations including a coliseum. Tagged like cattle these women and children were denied the ability to pray, made to drink mysterious liquids, submit to unexplained medical exams, kept in cold conditions without adequate blankets and eventually all the children 12 months and older were forcibly peeled off their crying and grieving mothers and taken to hundreds of foster homes around the state (Jessop). Siblings were split up (Adams) and a trauma that is likely to last generations began.

As a woman, as a mother and as a feminist I am outraged both at the US government for perpetrating this crime against these women and children and by the lack of response from the liberal, feminist and motherhood communities of the US and the world.

Time and time again I read article's which imply or outright state that these FLDS children should be removed from these women because they are growing up in a patriarchal, fundamentalist group where men have total control, women are married off very early to much older men, children are sheltered, home schooled, kept from any outside influences such as TV or newspapers and lets not forget, by our standards, they dress "funny". Angie Voss from the Texas department of Family and Protective Services testified that because abuse may happen at some point in the future it is justified to steal over 400 children from their mothers (Sly).

If these children and women are in harms way because of the fundamentalist teachings of the FLDS community and their practice of early and plural marriage remind me again how it serves anyone to take these beloved children from their devoted mothers? Wouldn't it serve everyone better to investigate the men, their power and practices? Why are the children and mothers being made to serve the punishment of crimes they themselves did not commit?

I'm not going to suggest that young girls are not sometimes being pressured to marry much older men in the FLDS community – that would be ludicrous, we all know it happens. But what I am saying is that our society's quick judgment of them for it is out of place, the punishment happening does not fit the crime and the numbers of teen mothers in the YFZ community has been exaggerated in the media since day one.

This raid of the Texas FLDS community is nothing short of an imperialist assault on an ethnic and cultural minority. An ethnic and cultural minority was defined by High Commissioner van der Stoel in his keynote address at the opening of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe's Minorities Seminar in Warsaw in 1994. He stated, "First of all, a minority is a group with linguistic, ethnic or cultural characteristics, which distinguish it from the majority. Secondly, a minority is a group which usually not only seeks to maintain its identity but also tries to give stronger expression to that identity (www.osce.org)."

We need to start seeing these men, women and children with their conservative clothing, their long braided hair, their practice of simple living, and yes, even their practice of plural marriage, as elements of their unique and valid culture and certainly not automatic evidence of child abuse either present or potential.

Of the 139 women seized and imprisoned, to date, April 29th, 2008, the highest estimate is that 31 of these women are teenagers between the ages of 14 and 17 who are either pregnant, mothers or both. This number must also be taken with a grain of salt because according to Salt Lake attorney Rod Parker, a spokesman for the FLDS, of the three teenage mothers originally identified by CPS, one teenager refused to take a pregnancy test, one is 18 and the other is 17. He also contends that the state's new count of 31 teenage mothers includes 17 adult women who are being classified incorrectly as minors (Adams).

So let's look at these numbers and run a little comparison. The low end of the reports say there are 3 teenage mothers out of 139 women total, the high end of the report claims 31 teenage mothers out of 139 women. So anywhere from 2 % to 22% of the women seized by authorities at the Yearning for Zion FLDS community were teenage mothers.

According to Victor C Strasburger, MD University of New Mexico, about one million teens on average becomes pregnant every year in the US. About one third of these pregnancies end in abortion, one third in miscarriage and one third are carried to term. More than half of these mothers are 17 years or younger when they get pregnant for the first time. Approximately 40% of young women become pregnant by the age of 20 and the US has double the adolescent pregnancy and birth rates of any other industrialized nation (Strasburger).

Considering that 3 to 31 teen mothers were found out of supposedly 53 teenage girls taken captive, we can clearly see that the number of pregnant girls in the FLDS community is not that out of step with the US population in general. 40% of US women become pregnant by the age of 20 and within the FLDS teenage women we find that anywhere from about 6% to 56% of teenagers were pregnant, mothers or both at the time of the raid (also bare in mind that 1/3 of all US teen pregnancies ends in abortion and the FLDS community does not believe in abortion thus resulting in a higher number of teenage girls who have carried their babies to term in comparison to the US average).

Still you may think something has to be done when a fifty year-old man rapes a 14 year-old and we know this can, and has, happened in the past. But how does it punish the rapist by taking the child from the mother? Is the mother any less of a mother because she had her child young?

Does it matter if a fourteen-year-old gets pregnant by choice or rape as it relates to her maintaining custody of her child? Absolutely not. Cases of rape and abuse should be fully investigated and action taken but rounding up all the women and children was a wrong first step to take by the Texas CPS. Individual family investigation would have been preferable.

The FLDS community has a practice they term "bleeding the beast" (Kaye) which means applying for and receiving as much social welfare support as they can in the form of food stamps, cash aide, medical services, WIC, and other government programs. Anyone who has ever applied for a government program before knows that to take part you and your child must have a birth certificate and social security number.

The FLDS are not simply breeding like crazy in the desert with no way to track who's being born, who's dying, who's sick, who's disabled, etc. They are all easily traceable and a family-by-family investigation would have been a time consuming processes but would have spared all the heartache and torture these families have gone through.

The reaction I usually get when defending aspects of the FLDS community goes something likes this, "But what if you're a young girl who falls in love with a young boy your age and you aren't allowed to marry him because you're being told you have to marry some 50 year-old man? That's oppressive and wrong." Yes, not having the freedom of choice is oppressive and in an ideal world we would all have the freedom of choice in our lives that we wanted.

However we in the US have absolutely no right to judge the FLDS community for their practice of pressuring girls into certain marriages because we do it to women everyday here in the US. What would happen to that 16 year-old FLDS girl who chooses to run away with a 16 year-old boy instead of marrying the 50 year-old man? Most likely they will both be shunned in some form or another by their family, peers and society within the FLDS community, perhaps even kicked out entirely.

Let's take a look at this in the terms of the prevailing American culture. What if an 18 year-old woman fell in love with a 50 year-old man? Would they be able to go to church and have a beautiful and happy wedding day surrounded by supportive friends and family? I seriously doubt it. In fact I met a couple two years ago who had recently moved to my town. She was in her very early twenties and he was almost fifty.

They had met and feel in love in their home community of Southern CA. Their love was so demonized by friends, family and their community at large (which is one of the most liberal in the country) that they had to move across the state to get a little peace and start a much desired family without being sneered at in the supermarket check out line. Via community pressure they were essentially kicked out of their home because they bucked the convention in their love.

Teen pregnancy and large age differences aside I think that many in the US and the Western world are not outraged enough by this raid and rape of the FLDS culture because the FLDS people are so "weird". They stay in their own close-knit communities with little or no contact with the outside world, they don't watch TV, they control their children's schooling, they dress nearly as conservatively as the Amish and each woman has many children. It seems that the majority opinion from many good liberal, conservative and/or feminist people would never consider supporting the rights of the FLDS women to live as they do.

In American society at large we believe that because we had a women's movement in the 1960's and 70's that we have gained independence from constrictive gender and social roles. Women in America often look down on FLDS women and find them ignorant, quaint and oppressed. However any society has restrictions, limitations and social norms. The FLDS dress a certain way, have certain jobs or positions open to them, worship in a certain way and often have numerous children, yet their practices are viewed as narrow by outsiders.

I want to argue, that our current American society is no less restrictive then the FLDS – we simply express those restrictions differently. We have an accepted way of dress in our society. To dress outside the norm can mean to be refused service at a business (no, shirt, no shoes, no service). To not conform to American society's dress code can also mean being turned down for a job, credit application, bank loan, home loan, social services, or even entrance into a building.

To look different in our society, whether that be your clothes, hair, to shave or not to shave, etc. can limit your access not only to employment but to food itself. You will be targeted by police officers, security guards and if you must appear in court, for a child custody hearing for example, you must either conform your appearance or risk severe discrimination – if you are taken seriously at all to begin with.

These restrictions are expressed in our society in other ways as well. If you are of a different faith other than the Judeo-Christian "norm" you also can be turned down for employment, housing, services and be targeted by law enforcement. Although discrimination based on faith is technically illegal in the US it happens every day. I myself choose to birth-at-home, practice an alternative faith, home school my children, and practice a vegetarian diet and for this I have been targeted in one way or another many times.

This is a common tale among people in our society who are alternative in their lifestyle whether that be wiccan, gay, bisexual, polyamorus, home birthers, etc. There are many factors in place both in society and within our own families to keep us in the roles and places our society has set for us. How is that any different than the factors set in place to encourage these young women in FLDS community to marry young, have many children and live a conservative lifestyle?

As odd as you may find their lifestyle this does not make them criminal nor does it make them abusers of their children. Many religious communities have a form of dress they practice including but not limited to; the Amish, Orthodox Jews, and Muslims. Many communities have little to no contact outside of their own communities including; again, the Amish and the LDS church (especially Utah LDS members who rarely encounter a non-LDS person unless they live in a large metropolitan area such as Salt Lake City).

I personally do not allow my children to watch TV; I also limit their exposure to the more materialistic and violent aspects of Western culture. I home school my children so that I can control and improve their education and teach them my values, which is the right of every American citizen including those FLDS families. Many Americans live in small, close-knit communities and practice a simple way of life like the FLDS members.

This simple, humble, way of life for the FLDS begins with birth. They birth at home for the most part, and their children are always with their mothers. These children have been raised their whole lives with constant attention and love from their extended families. They have grown their own food, cook meals, said prayers, and slept next to their family members everyday. Can you imagine the suffering these children are now going through being shoved into the huge, wide, unfamiliar world with no family nearby to comfort them, without the love of their precious and ever present mothers? These FLDS children are not even accustom to daycare, they have always been with their mothers and siblings.

But what about the plural marriage, you may wonder. Certainly that's oppressive and damaging to both the women and the children. Not by a long shot. Many people in our US culture practice what is known as serial monogamy. While having little tolerance for other marriage practices, we in the West, often get married, commit infidelity, divorce, separate and remarry.

According to the anonymous author of the book Spiritual Polyamory (polyamory being a modern term to describe loving more than one person, at one time), the adoption of a more tribal marriage style encourages freedom, honesty, and self-empowerment. Not relying on one person to make you whole, you instead rely upon yourself and your inner strength to contend with feelings of jealousy and lack of self worth (Spiritual Polyamory, author remains anonymous).

Polygamy is not just practiced by the FLDS members. Many biblical characters are polygamists; cultures in the Sudan and East Asia are polygamist as well. Islam, Judaism, Hinduism, Buddhism and Paganism all have examples either past or present of polygamy.

If we let this invasion and rape of the FLDS community continue who will be next? Will they perhaps remove the children of polyamorus, transgender or homosexual families? Will they routinely be taking children from any teen mothers in our country from now on? Will CPS be investigating Irish Catholic families with eight children simply because they have a lot of children? What about the Amish with their style of dress, no electricity, young marriages and large families? Will families controlling their children's education either through home school or private school find themselves targeted next?

As a united community of moms, dads, liberals, conservatives, feminists, home schoolers, grandparents, aunts, uncles, etc. we must stand up and say no to what has happened in Texas. We must put our feet down and say that suspected or potential abuse is no reason to strip the civil liberties of a group of people and exercise cookie cutter politics on them in mass. We must reign in the rouge agency of child protective services across this country and stop the abuse that CPS is visiting upon countless families who live alternative lifestyles. We should all care, and once we realize we do, we need to all act.

Ayla Serenemoon, M.A., Women's Spirituality, is a mother and writer living in Northern California. Ayla lived near the FLDS community of Utah in 2004 and shared such features with them as the same grocery stores and home birth networks. Ayla's husband grew up next to, and attend school with, the FLDS community of Hilldale, UT. Ayla blogs over at www.motherlovergoddess.blogspot.com and welcomes contact from anyone interested in organizing social events, sit-ins or protests regarding the treatment of the FDLS women and children. She can be reached at aylayoga@gmail.com

Works Cited

Adams, Brooke. " Texas ups tally of teen moms from FLDS polygamous sect." Salt Lake City Tribune. 29 April 2008. < http://origin.sltrib.com/ci_9091635 >.

Anonymous, Spiritual Polyamory, New York: iUniverse, Inc, 2004.
Jessop, Willie. "Captive FLDS Children." captivefldschildren.org. 29 April 2008.
< http://www.captivefldschildren.org/>.

Grahn, Judy. "The Saami." Uncommon Kinship Class. New College of California, San Francisco, CA. 24 March 2006

Johnson, Kirk and Dougherty, John. " Sect's Children to Stay in State Custody for Now" New York Times 19 April 2008: Nytimes.com. .

Kaye, Randy. "How polygamy affects your wallet." Anderson Cooper Blog 360, Cnn.com. May 11 2006. < http://www.cnn.com/CNN/Programs/anderson.cooper.360/blog/2006/05/how-polygamy-affects-your-wallet.html>.

Sly, Randy. "Testimony: Pregnant Teens At FLDS Ranch " Free Republic. 18 April 2008. < http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-religion/2003787/posts>

Smith, Andrea. " Soul Wound:
The Legacy of Native American Schools." Amnesty Magazine. 2007. < http://www.amnestyusa.org/amnestynow/soulwound.html>.

Strasburger, Victor C. "Teen Pregnancy Rates in the USA." Coolnurse.com. 2007. < http://www.coolnurse.com/teen_pregnancy_rates.htm>.

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01 May 2008


Aced my 5th year final yesterday.
Kicked ass on the 6" rigid today.
Gonna love every minute of Solar 2008 this weekend.

Life is good.