Are You Armless?

It started off as a normal day. I got up. I removed some more junk from my room. I drove to work. I engaged in the futility of IT support for the same morons who call in every day because they forgot the password they've been using for 6 weeks straight. Then I went to lunch.

As I often do while at lunch, I was sitting in the car eating and listening to talk radio. Bill O'Reilly was on and was discussing the issue of unwed parents and/or single parents. He explained that the lack of family stability is a huge problem in this country. A point I happen to agree with him on. He quoted some alarming statistics, including one where a whopping 70% of black babies are born to single mothers where the father is nowhere to be found. That's just appalling when you think about it. Overall something on the order of 37% of all babies born are born to single mothers.

He went on to explain that this is all a product of a lack of basic personal responsibility. People shacking up, screwing around, and popping out kids left and right that they can't pay for. Happens all the time, and it's not getting any better. Then, it happens. As the show was nearing the end of the time slot, a guy calls in. He explained to Bill that he had two kids from his marriage. Then they got divorced, and then he met his current girlfriend. They aren't married. He proceeds to have 3 more kids with her. All by the ripe old age of 30. So this guy has 5 kids now. He tells Bill, in nearly these exact words: "I had no choice in the matter." Bill thought for a few seconds, then responded with what has to be an all time classic line: "Are you armless?"

"Are you armless?" - It was an insane answer to an insane statement. The shock of it made the caller fumble his words. The point of it was crystal clear though. The guy had every choice in the world. He simply chose to bring 5 children into the world he can't pay for. He didn't use his arms to push the woman away. He didn't use his arms to pull his dick out at the appropriate moment. He didn't use his arms to drive himself down to a store somewhere to buy condoms. He didn't use his arms to go down to the doctor's office and have himself neutered. He made an irresponsible decision and tried to pass it off like he had no choice. Perhaps he's even told everyone he knows the same thing. But today, Bill O'Reilly challenged him on it in such a way that he made the guy think about what he said.

So the next time someone tells you "I had no choice", try it yourself. Ask them: "Are you armless?"
.........................
"It is pointless to resist, my son." -- Darth Vader
"Resistance is futile." -- The Borg
"Mother's coming for me in the dragon ships. I don't like these itchy clothes, but I have to wear them or it frightens the fish." -- Thurindil

Well. I guess that's that then.

       
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Posted on Jul 11, 2007 8:10 pm by Samson in: , | 5 comment(s) [Closed]
Comments
While an amusing anecdote, there's a flaw. Like most statistics, these numbers mean nothing without the rest of the facts and can easily be used to mean whatever those compiling (or using) them choose. For example, in my own case, my current "girlfriend" and I have decided that we're essentially life partners but have also decided not to add the legal side of institutionalization to our lives and thus we remain unmarried, we've had two children together making Dragona count under those statistics as an unwed mother twice, plus she was an unwed mother for her first son (before I met her) in the way that the statistics are actually being applied; however, being able to afford to bring kids into the world or being around to help raise them are not factors for us. We're both here for our children as well as both of us being here for her first son and, while my divorce prevents me from "being there" for my older sons in the ways I'd like to be, I am paying child support and doing what the courts and their mothers allow me to in order to be there for them as much as I can as well. Yet one of my previous son's and all three of Dragona's children count toward those statistics and the generalizations in the above post...

Now, on the other hand, did I have a choice? Obviously I did and we chose to have the children that we had.

I've also used my arms to drive myself down to the doctor to be neutered, since we'd chosen to make this last child our last child.

Does this make us irresponsible or have you also taken the measure you're advocating as responsibility?

       
You might have missed the critical detail here - the 70% stat he quotes was for babies born to single parents. Not specifically to unwed mothers which is a much more general description. He didn't have any specific statistics for situations like yours, but I think he'd agree that you guys are not the typical scenario he was describing. Though I would wager he would still have a problem with your living arrangements to some extent.

As far as my responsibility, I've chosen not to get involved to the point of having children with anyone. I know I can't afford to support and raise a child. So I've made the decision not to have one. So I think that would mean I made the responsible choice knowing I can't afford the financials.

       
My apologies then, I could've sworn that your post had said "unwed/single" before, but maybe I just read that into it because I'm so used to seeing it that way. Even so, most folk who openly express the sort of opinion he's expressing generally don't really make the distinction, but I'm rather glad to hear that you do.. I always knew you were more intelligent than some. ;) I imagine you're correct that he'd have an issue with our situation as well, how could our family be stable without the strong influences of a "proper married Christian home" for their upbringing after all, right? :rolleyes:

Aye, I won't deny that children are very expensive. So, yes, that'd qualify as a responsible choice in my eyes too. On the other hand, I've never known anyone, no matter how wealthy, who felt they could "afford" children financially, it's more about doing what you can for the children the lord sees fit to allow you so they can have the best that one can provide. We're not filthy rich either, but our children get all they need and enough of their wants to live very happy childhoods.

As far as the "no choice" argument, the only portion of my life involving my children that I've had no choice about was what the courts decided when I divorced my last wife and what the courts decided with regard to my eldest child when his mother appeared in court 12 years ago to claim him because I was not notified so I couldn't dispute her claims that I was dead. When I tried to appeal a month later (once I'd heard what she'd done) I was told that the courts didn't want to change the status quo. But that's another (whole big) story for another time.

       
Also, just so you know, Samson, if you wanna borrow some children I've got enough that I can loan you one or two for a while...... ;) That will, of course, re-affirm your desire not to have children from more then a purely financial standpoint... ;)

       
:lol: Aye, that it would, in fact, if you really want that reaffirmation, I'll gladly loan you Dragona's seven year old or my nine year old for awhile. :P

       
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