Sunday, May 13, 2012

3532 You don't know you're 1/8 anything. Stop it.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

The art of life is to show your hand.
-- E. V. Lucas --


Some woman somewhere running for some office or something has come under fire because her opponents claim that in applications she had claimed mixed heritage and used a university's diversity goals to achieve her position, and it is now discovered that her claimed mixed heritage consists of 1/32 Cherokee.

Bullpoopy.  You can't claim any genetic heritage less than 1/2 without a DNA test, and anyway, it's possible to be more culturally Cherokee than a full-blooded Cherokee, without having a single Cherokee gene.

Let's establish some definitions and ground rules.  Even 100% heritage is questionable, but let's grant that it does exist.  Most people confuse race and culture anyway.  Let's pretend that they're both valid classifications for various arguments, and for this argument I'll use common claims, not technical racial classifications.

So, let's assume someone who is 100% (let's call that 1/1) Cherokee has a baby with someone who is 1/1 European/Caucasian.  We can validly say that the baby is 1/2 Cherokee and 1/2 European/Caucasian, because half of its genes are pure Cherokee and half are pure Caucasian. (But if the child is raised Cherokee, does the proportion of genetic material matter?  Couldn't we say the child is culturally Cherokee, no matter what the genetic makeup?)

After that point, genetically speaking, all bets are off.  Because subsequent generations get a random mix of genes from the mother and father, the combination of 1/2 Cherokee/Caucasian and 1/2 Cherokee/Caucasian can produce offspring who can be genetically 1/1 Cherokee or 1/1 Caucasian, or any fraction between.  It just depends on what genes they happened to get.  The next generation is even more emulsified.  That's how white couples have black babies, and black couples have white babies.  Random combinations of available genes.

So anyone who says "I'm 1/4 German, 1/4 Welsh, 1/8 Polish, 1/8 Native American, 1/8 ..." is full of crap.  Without a DNA test you don't really know.  It's more accurate to just say, "I had a Cherokee great-great-grandmother, a Welsh great-grandmother, ...."  That at least is probably true.

So the woman who got her job at a university because she was 1/32 Native American?  The university should be ashamed. They should know better.  (So should she, unless she is at least 1/32 culturally Cherokee.  How do you measure that?  By counting and classifying her recipes and food preferences?)

3531 Marriage or civil union?

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Hold a true friend with both hands.
-- Nigerian Proverb --


I don't understand the fuss.  I really don't because the difference between them is just the words.  If (and that's a big if - of course it should) civil union grants all the same rights and privileges as marriage, then what's the fuss?  I don't get it.

The only difference between civil union and marriage is involvement of religion. 
Marriage is actually a religious thing which has been accepted as a legal thing. 
Civil union is a legal thing without necessarily the involvement in or approval of religion. 
Otherwise there is no difference.  It's just the word used.

My first two marriages were in churches.  The first would have been accepted by everyone as marriage.  The second one was not accepted as marriage by Ex#2's church because I was a divorcee.  So were we married?  As far as the government was concerned, yes, because of the legal aspect.  As far as his religion was concerned, no, and only because of the religious aspect. 

The third was by all definitions a civil union.  Jay and I swore fidelity and signed some papers (a contract!) in a judge's office.  So were Jay and I married?  I say no, not by the religious definition of marriage.  It was a civil union, and only a civil union!  It granted all the rights, responsibilities, and benefits of religious marriage, but it was purely a civil union!  It was a contract we entered into.

However, anyone in a civil union can by convention call themselves married.

So what's the fuss, and why are folks rejecting civil union and demanding marriage?

Insisting that "marriage" is between and man and a woman, only, is injecting religion into civil contracts.  I thought our constitution prohibited that.

I really don't understand all the fuss.  Anyone "joined" by a judge or JP is already in a civil union.  Why are people so hung up on the words?  It's just a word!

3530 Urology update

Sunday, May 13, 2012

The fragrance always remains in the hand that gives the rose.
-- Heda Bejar --


Wow.  Several days to catch up on.  This being my diary to help my failing memory (damn Versed!) I have to be careful not to leave large blank swaths of time.

Tuesday of last week I had an appointment with the urologist.  Frustrating.  He'd received the results of my latest kidney ultrasound.  He was looking for cysts.  They didn't find any.  They didn't find any in the February ultrasound, either.  Or in any of the CT scans.  Now he wants some kind of fancier kidney scan, with radioactive contrast.

I'm remembering the trauma I went through with the IVP last year, the IVP that was ultimately useless, which had I known what they were looking for, I could have told them it would be.  I absolutely don't want to go through that again.  No way.  So I asked the doctor if this was absolutely necessary, and he said yes.  When I pressed for why, he said because "the condition is progressing".  This conversation was in the hall as I was on the way out and he was heading to the next patient. 

Progressing?  Every test has been the same!  They've all said exactly the same thing since last year at this time.  Progressing?  How?  I'm beginning to think he's just malpractice-shy and is covering his tail with tests.

I'm afraid if I try another urologist (there's only one other locally, and he's just down the hall from this guy), he'll want to repeat everything.  I don't want that.

I'm ready to spit nails.