Writing at the intersection of motherhood, feminism and my Latinidad

30 October 2010

2010 Illinois Voters Guide

I truly am honored that friends ask for my opinion about who to vote for and what they should know. I try not to just tell people who to vote for, but offer my opinion why and give you things to ponder.

Tools
I'm not about to just tell you who to vote for, but also give you tools to help you make up your own mind.
Who I plan to vote for
LATE ADDITION:
I am voting AGAINST the Illinois Governor Recall Amendment. If we vote someone in, we must live with them unless they are impeached or until we vote them out. Eric Zorn has a nice piece about why we should vote NO.

I'm not going to go too far down the ballot, just the big (in my opinion) races.

Governor & Lt. Governor: Pat Quinn & Sheila Simon
I wrote about this race a few weeks ago and this is the hardest race for me. I truly believe that Rich Whitney would make a good governor and bring the new innovative ideas to the table to get Illinois out of this mess, I just know that none of those ideas, even if it was handed to Whitney by God himself, would see the light of day due to Speaker Madigan. Thus, I will vote for Gov. Quinn as Brady is too extreme in his beliefs. I've also admired the way Quinn fights for the average citizen.

Point to ponder: In the last election, Rich Whitney won over 10% of the vote which made the Green Party an established party of the Illinois. This means they get to play by the same rules as the Dems and GOP in terms of signatures needed to get on the ballot - HUGE victory. To maintain the Green Party as an established party, Whitney needs to win 5% of the vote (according to WBEZ this morning). It makes me sick that 8% of Illinois is supporting Cohen, while only 6% is supporting Whitney

U.S. Senator: Still wrestling over

I do not trust Giannoulias. I do trust that he'll vote along the Democratic party line. Kirk use to be independent enough for me to consider voting for, even with his support of the war, cause well, the Democrats supported the war too. LeAlan Jones of the Green Party has a great story and is as progressive as I would want a candidate to be. Mindful Metropolis has a great profile of him [dynamic PDF]. I can't give any recommendations on this race.

I know that my friends will yell at me for this saying that we need to keep the Democrats in power. But by putting a man that I don't trust in the history books? That his biggest accomplishment before becoming Treasurer was being Obama's basketball buddy? Nope. Sorry. I want to vote for the person not the party. 

Comptroller: You choose David Miller
David Miller's a dentist! Although I do love the chutzpah of Judy Barr Topinka. The comptroller writes the checks. This should be a great foil office to the Treasurer and General Assembly. Because I wish this office would act as more of a check on the system, I left Judy in the mix. But after hitting publish, this was the one race I felt like I should reconsider. Then on the way to dinner, I read the endorsement from the Gazette Chicago: "In February, we endorsed Judy Barr Topinka for State Comptroller over her less-than-qualified opponents in the GOP primary, but that does not mean we think she’s the best choice for this post." Sometimes it takes reading my thoughts in others writing to smack me across the back of my head.

Cook County Board President: Toni Preckwinkle
Again, do I need to explain this one? Cook County is in a world of pain, hopefully she has some fab ideas.

Cook County Assessor: Forrest Claypool
If I had a Democratic Party membership card, not only would it be full of demerits, but it would definitely be taken away from me for supporting Claypool in this race. I'm not naive. Claypool isn't bias free, no one is. Carol Marin says it best:
There is one, unequivocal, no-holds-barred protest vote on the November ballot. One contest that is nothing short of a bullhorn blasting how fed up people are with the corrupt, conflict-of-interest-ridden politics of this state.

It's the race between Democrat Joe Berrios and independent Forrest Claypool for the seemingly obscure but immensely powerful position of Cook County assessor...

Berrios is a lobbyist in Springfield, where Madigan runs the show. And Madigan's private property tax law firm representing wealthy clients looking for big tax breaks appears before the Board of Review, where Berrios helps run the show. And if Berrios wins as assessor, his power over tax bills only increases...

There is rebellion brewing over this, and not just among voters, but within the Democratic Party itself. And it's not going over well with party leaders. Those leaders, by the way, are named Madigan and Berrios. Madigan chairs the state party. Berrios runs the Cook County party.

Berrios and Madigan think it should be a mortal sin for any Democrat to do anything to embarrass the party. That includes, according to party bylaws, "felony convictions, or actively opposing nominees endorsed by the Cook County Democratic Party."

Only in Illinois would disagreeing with the party be right up there with committing a felony.
And now my dear reader, go forth and vote on Tuesday.

28 October 2010

The Stir's 30 Political Mom Bloggers Who Will Change Your Vote

On Monday I was listed as one of 30 political mom bloggers who will change your vote. When I got the email I was excited. Who doesn't like to get recognized for their work? Especially since I've been really focused on local stuff of late. But Monday I was in a migraine coma, so when I read the email and clicked to the site on Tuesday morning, I only had time to scan through and see that I also got my mug included.

Tuesday night I took a good look at the list which claims to be bipartisan, drawing from both sides of the aisles. Which is pretty true. From my count, I could ID about 10 conservative/Tea party moms and 15 liberal/progressive moms. A few I couldn't quite figure out within 15 seconds and a few seem to be real life moderates. Yeah them! I'm serious. Moderates frustrate me, but they push me to think more than far right folks.

Curiously not everyone listed was listed with a photo, despite the fact that far more than six of us have public photos. Three of the women with photos are obviously women of color. Four of the women on the list are obviously women of color. I say obviously because I know some women of color don't "look" like women of color. I welcome any corrections to my count.

So while I am really honored to be included on this list, I have to question the whiteness of this list. I haven't had time to gather up my own list of moms of color who will change your vote ala Annie at PhDinParenting, they are out there. In fact, you might just want to see Annie's list. There also appears to be a lack of queer mom bloggers listed.

Here are just four more political mamas you should listen to:
  1. Cynematic was technically covered when they listed MOMocrats, but I do think she deserves a shout out on her own;
  2. Mamita Mala is owner of VivirLatino, a media outlet that does pretty much nothing but politics. Even VL's fluff sometimes has a political bent.
  3. Liza Sabater's culture kitchen oozes mom+politics=awesomeness.
  4. MOMBIAN. Enough said.
I don't think that we need to have a representative from every single category because I think there are too many categories (where are my pagan mamas?!). But on the bigger categories, race/ethnicity/sexuality/geography/class/ability, I believe we can do better.

And did anyone else notice that The Stir joined my call for drafting Jessica Valenti to the mom blogger team? 

I wouldn't say, as The Stir did, that Jessica has brought her mamahood to the pages of Feministing yet as she's dealing with recovering from an emergency c-section, her daughter being in the hospital for 56 days and now at home. Not quite the way we all dream of joining the mamahood.

But Jessica's post about her birth experience generated a lot of comments and buzz on social networks. She asked for people to consider how women without access to top notch medical care give birth and to donate to Women Deliver or any group that works on maternal health issues. And I believe proves my point that she has a lot of power at the moment and when she uses that power to shine a light on traditionally mommy issues, she's gonna do a lot of good. Some political bloggers who are moms try to keep the kids out of their politics, but I hope Jessica doesn't. She's done so much for feminism in general that she'd be a great asset to what political mom bloggers are doing. But for now she should just be enjoying that cutie pie grrl of hers and sleeping when she sleeps.

23 October 2010

Guest Post:: New Documentary from Rachel Maddow: "The Assassination of Dr. Tiller"

This was originally posted at Blog for Choice and reposted with their permission. 

The murder of Dr. George Tiller in his church on May 31, 2009, caused great sadness and profound anger for all of us who hold the values of women's right to privacy dear. This heinous murder made headlines at the time, but we must be vigilant in making sure Americans don't forget.

One journalist has not allowed the story to be forgotten: Rachel Maddow. She just announced that she'll air an hour-long documentary on the murder of Dr. Tiller and the latest developments in the investigation. "The Assassination of Dr. Tiller" will broadcast on Monday, October 25 at 9 p.m. ET on MSNBC

Dr. Tiller was a tireless advocate for reproductive health who urged society to "trust women" to make the personal, private decisions that are best for them and their families. Anti-choice extremist Scott Roeder was convicted of Dr. Tiller's murder, and a grand jury is investigating whether Roeder acted with accomplices.

We hope you tune in to MSNBC on Monday, October 25 at 9 p.m. ET to watch Rachel Maddow's documentary. 


22 October 2010

What I learned from Whittier

Media reports say that the Whittier moms have come out victorious. That Whittier will soon get a library INSIDE the school and that La Casita will be renovated and leased to the Whittier parents for community use.

My daughter & I returned to Whittier a few weeks ago to drop off some supplies and a few Spanish-language books. It was day 27, as the photo to the left indicates, and Columbus Day (ironic, I know). The place was far quieter than I was expecting on a school holiday.

The plan was to drop off items and then return to our hectic day of errands. Instead my daughter took off for the playground. It was a nice day and me being the push over I am let her play. That's when I took the opportunity to snap a picture of the 27 Days banner. And that's when a girl playing took the opportunity to come say hi and ask if she could take some pictures too.

"Can I take a picture of you?" And obviously I let this little girl who looks like she could be mi familia. She then started to walk off with my smart phone snapping photos of everything on the playground. The pictures below are of Lucky, her new puppy.
 As the girls and Lucky ran around the playground, I sat and chatted with one of the girls' step-grandfather, J. Yes, as soon as we started chatting, I thought, "Shit. Why don't I have my digi-recorder with me?" Then again, perhaps it was best that we didn't have that between us.

J told me that he takes care of Girl 1 and her cousin Girl 2. He drops them off at school in the morning, then heads out on his seemingly-never-ending search for a new job. In the afternoon he picks up the girls and watches them. At one point one of the girls is clearly doing the potty dance. J tells the girl to ask the Whittier Moms if she can use the bathroom. The girl hesitates...J says that it's because she doesn't speak Spanish.

"Right now they are 5 & 6, they need to focus on learning English. They can pick up Spanish when they are older."

I told J the abbreviated version of my life and how for some of us *AHEM* it's actually quite hard to pick up another language later in life. I also told him that I understand where that decision is coming from.

Here I was at Whittier to show my solidarity in their fight for a library and yes, there are plenty of injustices in our public school system, but to come against this English-first feeling at Whittier wasn't expected. As a dual-language school, I assumed a lot. Too much in fact.

And I bet that same assuming way is what made CPS think they could say that La Casita could be torn down, land sold to a private school and turned into a soccer field. Instead the moms said, "Hell no!" They are still keeping vigil in La Casita until Tuesday's CPS Board of Education meeting where, dear Goddess hopefully, the deal will be finalized and in writing. Because if this deal falls apart a lot more than just La Casita will be lost - the children who saw their moms, tias and neighbors fight and then get shafted will be lost. Thankfully their fight has grabbed attention of local news, blogs and national media outlets. Hopefully this will buffer any ideas of backing out or screwing them over on details.

So what did I learn?
  • That being cynical isn't productive.
  • That change can happen, but you'll have to pull up your sleeves too.
  • That moms are certainly a force to be reckoned with - soccer, security, or whatever label.
  • That kids do want to learn. Talk all you want about electronics, online stuff but kids are naturally curious and want to learn. 
  • That some people are so broken by the all the injustices in this world that they can't muster enough outrage when something like Whitter happens. I get that. Hopefully this will help revive them because...
  • The system wants us to accept injustice because there is so much of it. How else can you explain why CPS would respond to the Whittier mom's demands with "there are 160 other schools without libraries." They want us to accept our place on their timetable. These moms, this community said, "No. You work for us." 

Congrats mujeres!

21 October 2010

Book Review: Beautiful You by Rosie Molinary

Beautiful You: A Daily Guide to Radical Self-Acceptance by Rosie Molinary is a self-help guide for those of us who don't like self-help guides. Beautiful You is a book of 365 daily life prompts that not just asks you to reconsider how you see yourself, but to push you to try new things (stop apologizing: ever notice how many times you start things with "I'm sorry but...") that help you readjust how you view yourself, the world and how you connect to the world.

I did not read every page of this book as I hope to incorporate it into my gallionth attempt to keep a journal with pen & paper. But by randomly reading days and flipping to pages where the titles spoke to me, I liked the book.

I really liked how Molinary lets readers peek into her life (not that she's shy about that as her blog readers already know) such as her tale of how family members made big assumptions about how and if she would add children to her family. This really helped me identify with her and what the book is trying to get us to do.

Whether or not you think this book is radical in any sense is fine with me. Self-acceptance is quite a radical theory in my book. The fact that Molinary is Latina is hugely important to me enjoying this book. She was honest about how being a Latina impacts how she has viewed and continues to view her body in her last book. I am quite sure that she'll bring that same grounding to this book. I plan to start "using" this book after this semester ends. There's no way I can start a new project right now.

To get your own copy please purchase from an indie bookstore or Powells.com.

Disclaimer: The only payment I received was the copy of the book.

* Book links are affiliate links. If you buy your book here I could make a very small amount of money that goes towards this blog. 

19 October 2010

Book Review: Pornland by Gail Dines

This review of Pornland: How Porn Has Hijacked our Sexuality by Gail Dines is overdue not so much because my time has been crunched, but because I'm torn about this book. So forgive this unconventional review.

Why I liked the book:
  • The pornification of our society can't be debated. Playboy tees and pole-dancing-as-empowerment are perfect examples of how porn has become mainstream. How we got here is fascinating to ponder and Dines' theory is one that I believe is worthy of reading;
  • The slipperty slope of how much porn is good for society is also one that I've been chewing on. Is erotica ok? Hard core not? Who decides these lines?
  • The money trail of who funds and profits from the consumption of porn (hotels are a huge benefactor) was mind-blowing;
  • Dines details racist messages in how porn is created and consumed;
  • I do believe that the images we see affect us and how we see ourselves and others. The increase in porn-like images is disturbing. Our acceptance of them is frightening.
  • Dines gives us a great look at how our modern porn industry started, especially how Playboy wrote about how women/wives were emasculating men in the early 1950s, yet I bet that real issue was with the post-WWII pressure to be a perfect family. Yes, the same issues that ignited the modern feminist movement.
  • Dines reveals the purification of Jenna Jameson (corporate media glosses over Jameson's survival of sexual abuse in favor of pushing the story of porn = empowered woman) as well as how "Girls Gone Wild" is a bait-n-switch industry. You think it's just about drunk college girls flashing, but there is hardcore porn happening as well.
Why I did not like the book:
  • There wasn't a middle ground. Dines sets up the debate as all or nothing. Either you like porn or you don't;
  • I find it hard to believe that no one was having anal sex before hard core porn;
  • The section about porn addiction depicts men as helpless to the power of porn. The slippery slope of porn addiction seems to be lubricated & no way to stop the addiction until some once-sweet-young-man ends up abusing his neighbor.
In the end, I think this is a book worthy picking up, especially for those of us who may not think about porn and its implications on society. I mentioned this book to a friend who owns an adult toy store. For her, she's tired of reading about the porn wars.

What I would like to read more about is this theme: As society tightened its gender role box on men and women post-WWII, women attempted to bust out of their boxes through feminism, while it seems that men lashed out at women through jokes all the way to violent hard-core porn.

My main interest in reading this was the pornification of childhood. When I talk about this to others, I often get the "High School Musical" versus "Grease" line. I still haven't brought myself to watch HSM. As for "Grease," I didn't get half of the innuendos until college. Madonna versus Miley Cyrus. The Muppet Show songs versus Elmo & Katy Perry. When discussing the pornification of childhood, I am not saying that my childhood was sex-free, especially when Jack Tripper was an early influence on most things romantic. 

But what really got me moving on this review was the current news about how the porn industry handles HIV-infected people, testing and condom usage. Often I hear, "Oh, how does porn hurt anyone?" Well, this week we are learning that when an industry runs its own HIV lab testing company, it can hurt a lot of people.

Purchase a copy from an indie bookstore or Powells.com and let the debate begin!

Disclaimer: The only payment I received was the copy of the book.

* Book links are affiliate links. If you buy your book here I could make a very small amount of money that goes towards this blog.

17 October 2010

URGENT: Whittier Parents Need Your Support

I just received a call from La Casita that Whittier parents will be protesting outside of Chicago Public School main office:

WHAT:: Support Whittier Parents at protest outside of CPS Main Office
WHEN:: Monday, October 18, 2010
TIME:: 7 am - 10 am
WHERE: CPS Main Office, 125 S. Clark Street

If you cannot attend in person, Whittier parents are asking for you to call CPS CEO Ron Huberman and ask him to sign the letter given to him by Whittier parents in order to end the sit-in and start renovation of La Casita. His number is 773.553.1550

Keep up to date at Save Our Center.com 

I took the above photo almost a month ago when my daughter & I first visited Whittier.

13 October 2010

When will Chicago get to say Madame Mayor again?

Originally posted at Chicagonista


Chicago has always been a fun electoral town, with our machine and “vote early and vote often” motto. But Chicagoans need to hold on to their hats as we prepare for the mother of elections – We’re getting a new mayor!

Once the news got out that Daley decided that he had his full of being mayor, it seemed like everyone who could threw their hat into the ring. Everyone but women at least.

To be the mayor of Chicago one needs to win not just a plurality of votes, but you need 50% + 1 of the votes cast. If not, there’s a run off between the top two candidates. As we saw in the 2008 Democratic primary for Rahm Emanuel’s Congressional seat, a crowded race means one could win with just 20% of the vote. Many believe that may be all that is needed to get into the mayoral run-off. So why haven’t more women jumped into the race?

Read the rest at Chicagonista

Latinas: We’re So Hot We Broke Google

Originally posted at the Ms. Magazine Blog

When Google released “Google Instant”–a “search enhancement” that suggests content before you finish typing your Google search words– I thought it was pretty fun to see which suggestions would pop up as I began typing random words. While I was just goofing around, others were seriously testing out “controversial” words like bisexual, lesbian and Latina.

Wait–Latina?

Yup. Apparently some of the words that gave Google Instant a hard time at launch are also often used when searching for porn. And us Latinas are porntastic. Even college professors think we’re too sexy!

All snarking aside, Latina magazine reports that Google has fixed the problem and won’t just blank out on suggestions when you type Latina (in fact, the first suggestion is Latina magazine!). But type in bisexual and you won’t get any suggestions until you hit “enter.”

Read the rest at the Ms. Magazine Blog

Madama Ambi interviews Gloria Feldt

I can't figure out how to embed the interview over here, but you should head over to Madama's blog to listen to their conversation.

You can get yourself a copy of Gloria's book from an indie bookstore or Powells.com

By using the links above, you just might kick me a nickel or two. I also have not reviewed this book. Suggestion is based merely on the fact that I adore Gloria. 

12 October 2010

Viva la Feminista at Netroots Nation 2010

This post is so way late, but better late than never!

This year was the first time I attended Netroots Nation. My absence was due to my long time feelings towards Kos himself. But enough friends convinced me that I should at least consider attending one of these years. And when Deanna Zandt invited me to be on a panel proposal and we were selected, I figured this was my chance to check it out.

And you know what? It was pretty cool.

As with any blogger conference it's awesome to meet people I've only interacted with thru a computer screen.

I spoke on a panel with Deanna.... Here is a clip from my part of the panel:



I also had the chance to chat with National Education Association VP Lily Eskelsen. We bonded over our kids. I also think she really loved chatting with someone from Chicago whose child is in the Chicago Public School system. We've been Arnie Duncan's guinea pigs longer than the rest of the country.

I was interviewed by Amy Goodman which is still WOW!

I participated in a meet & greet with Elaine Marshall, Candidate (D) for U.S. Senate. Photos from Lisa McIntire's Flickr Set.


Elaine Marshall
I'm making PunditMom think





Sarah Granger making a point
PunditMom

Me and Stephanie Schriock, President of EMILY's List

I really enjoyed listening to Elaine. She was such the Southern lady...Tough as nails and yet classy as hell. I really hope she wins.

The only thing that could really use some work were the caucuses. I felt like I got more out of the Latino caucus than the parents caucus. I think it was because us Latinos had immediate issues to discuss (Arizona, immigration reform) and the parents caucus got off to a slow start with a trivia contest. Damn I wish I had written this in August! I had ideas to suggest. Oh well.

Overall it was a good conference. This year I've been struggling with the fact that while the kid understands that Mommy has to travel for work, she is voicing her strong opposition to this fact of life. Thus, I've been cutting short my travels when possible. This meant that I was in Vegas for just two nights and barely two days of actual conference.

I'm not sure if I will make it to Minnesota or not, but it is close to Chicago and would make for a good family vacation spot.

10 October 2010

Who needs Superman, when you have these moms?

Just under a month ago, a group of full-time working outside the home, single, Latina moms began sleeping in a field house outside of their children's school, Whittier Elementary, on the southside of Chicago.

Why?

They believe that their children deserve a library. No, correct that, that all children deserve a library. Anne Elizabeth Moore on GritTV sums it up nicely:



A few weeks ago I took my daughter out there so we could sit in solidarity. My plan is to visit again tomorrow with some Spanish-language children's book and perhaps some treats for the kids.

Sadly, part of Chicago Public Schools response to this demand is "160 CPS schools are without a library." Really? That's their response? That's just sad.

We don't need Superman to come in and swoop up these kids. We need Wonder Women, like these moms, who are willing to save their school themselves.

I'll report back after our visit tomorrow.

08 October 2010

New look!

Thanks to Dariela Cruz Viva la Feminista has a new logo!

Or should I say a real logo. I had been using someone's art work - with permission of course! - for many years. So when I asked Dariela to create a logo for this blog, I asked her to take inspiration from Atmara Rebecca Cloe's art.

And it's all in time for Blogalicious! Woo!

Thanks so much Dariela. You were great to work with. You had so much patience dealing with an uberbusy & indecisive chica like me.

03 October 2010

The Race for Illinois Governor

As my friends know, I abhor negative campaigning. A lot of you say you do as well, but I've seen studies that say that we are most impacted by negative ads - meaning they work...Up to a certain level at least. I've also read that negative ads hurt if voters feel overwhelmed by them. I've heard from friends who say they want to know why we should vote FOR someone not AGAINST a candidate.

In that vein, I want to vote for Green Party nominee, Rich Whitney. As Eric Zorn said in today's paper:
Of the five candidates for governor at the joint interview, Green Party nominee Rich Whitney was the best spoken, had the best command of the facts and, in my opinion, had the most sensible ideas for moving Illinois forward.

If we only had an instant-runoff voting system where a ballot cast  for a third-party candidate down in the polls, as Whitney is,  isn’t a purely symbolic gesture at the expense of a voter’s second favorite candidate.
 But the reality is that we do have a system that a vote for Whitney could cost Democratic nominee, Gov. Pat Quinn, the election. Chances are that Greens and Dems have more in common and that Whitney wouldn't be siphoning off votes from Republican nominee, Bill Brady.

What kind of Illinois would Brady bring about? This video gives us a taste.



So what am I going to do?

Gov. Quinn did reject abstinence-only sex ed funding which is exciting. The Illinois Dept of Health & Human Services was just awarded $2.2 million in PREP funding. PREP is for "evidence-based programs that reduce teen pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and address other adulthood preparation topics such as healthy relationships, communication with parents, and financial literacy."

When I voted for Whitney four years ago, I wasn't as scared of Judy Baar Topinka as I am of Brady. I also loved the idea that if Whitney broke the 10% barrier, then the Greens would have an easier time getting candidates on the ballot. And that part happened.

Honestly Brady scares the hell outta me. The flier from Planned Parenthood Illinois Action (where I use to blog) states it pretty well:


Illinois is a world of a mess. I think we need strong leadership, but I also believe that women's rights shouldn't be sacrificed in this quest for strong leadership. Of course, all our rights could be sacrificed if the state can't pay all the health care providers & other social service agencies that have been waiting for over a year for their bills to be paid.

I have a feeling I'll be debating this vote up until I have to connect the line on my ballot. I think Whitney has the leadership and vision to get us out of this mess, but he would be severely hampered by the General Assembly who wouldn't want to give a third party any credit. And that, again, brings me to Quinn, who I repeat, supports just about every issue I care about.

On top of all of this is the reality that I work for a state institution. Quinn gave his office big raises, while I continue to see great people lose their jobs and those of us left behind are having to do far more work than our salaries reflect, especially given that last year we had a pay cut.

Care to share who you will be voting for and why?

Sisterhood of the Late Bloomers

In the last few weeks, I've attended a few events where I've been able to catch up with some of the amazing women of Chicago. After learning of me going back to school for my PhD, two of the giants of our community grabbed my arms, held me out and said, "Oh, good for you!" They then proceeded to tell me their tale of going back to school in their 30s and with children.

Not only were these quick conversations great for my tired soul (more on that at Feminista PhD later), but it knocked me for a doozie. Despite being the scholar of women's history that I am, I often forget perspective when it comes to my own life. The women I connected with grew up in an era where not too many women did go to college "on time" and had to go back to school "later" in life with children in tow. The fact that many of us can get through graduate school without worrying if the babysitter is eating away at one's pocketbook is a luxury that many of us, including me, take for granted. It's one that I know from other conversations, they want us to take for granted.

It's funny that as far as we have come, the way somethings stay the same.