Weekend Update 04-30-2011

Posted: April 30th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Weekend Update | 6 Comments »

The 60 minutes special on Mt. Athos is pretty amazing. I definitely recommend it. The behind-the-scenes travelogue is pretty interesting too.

Sojourner Truth (via Elizabeth Esther). Best line? “Where did your Christ come from? God and Woman…Man had nothing to do with it”

Robert Reich is right. When one side is proposing a vision for our country that essentially rips it apart and destroys it in order to benefit a tiny percentage of the wealthiest, there is no “middle ground” to find. There is nothing reasonable or worth discussing in the Republican budget. They’ve declared open war on the American people. It’s time to respond.

I wanted to point out Krugman’s post on the Progressive budget alternative in order to highlight his last sentence. “We supposedly face a fiscal crisis; why shouldn’t significant tax hikes be part of the response?” And that, of course, highlights the completely irrational turn our nation has taken. The critics of our little experiment in government here always said it would devolve. We seem to be doing our utmost to prove them right. And here’s the column fleshing out that thought in an excellent manner.

Indeed, since the Republicans have already voted along party lines for the Ryan budget, which piles on $6 trillion more dollars of debt in order to fund more tax cuts for the wealthy, they should at least vote to raise the debt ceiling to a level required by their own plan, right?

I guess the Republican motto is, “Kick’em when they’re down!” Seriously, though, real life is turning stranger (and meaner) than fiction. Maybe we should bring back the Dickensian orphanages too.

Krugman illustrates how any Republican plan that actually tries to cover most Americans ends up looking like “Obamacare” or “Romneycare.” That’s because Obama actually adopted the approach advocated by Republicans going all the way back to Nixon for his plan in the mistaken belief it would have bipartisan support. Instead, he revealed that Republicans have no plan, have been lying to the American people for decades, and basically don’t really want Americans to have access to health care. They hold most Americans in utter contempt and are no longer shy about showing that contempt. Strangely, a lot of those same people still vote for them. It’s one of the most bizarre things I’ve ever seen. He also illustrates the utter cruelty behind the proposals to raise the Medicare age.

Families celebrate diagnosis of incurable disease. Honestly, “celebrate” is probably too strong a word. I was certainly upset when two of my kids were also diagnosed with celiac disease. Nevertheless, celiac disease is an incurable disease you can truly control in a way that you can’t any others. And there is a certain relief in knowing what you have and that you have some power over it. One odd thing, though. Used to be that we never or rarely had anyone offer to bring a meal to us — no matter what was happening. Now, since my wife’s hospitalization, we’ve had a number of offers. We appreciate the kindness behind those offers, but ironically since all of us except my wife have been diagnosed with celiac disease, we have to decline.

Cool. Republicans are having to face a dose of reality. And unlike the fake “health care” mobs mustered by right wing activists and spurred on by Fox and talk radio, these are actually their real constituents expressing their anger. It will be nice to see the GOP disintegrate next year. (Knock on wood.) More on the anger they are facing here.

Bob Moore: A Man with a Mill and a Mission. His products were certainly a god-send after I was diagnosed.

A Chicago public school bans homemade lunches. My older kids sometimes qualified for reduced price school lunches when they were younger. But most of our children throughout much of their schooling ate lunches from home. My daughter has always hated school lunches. Of course, now she’s diagnosed with celiac disease, so a school lunch is out of the question. I see their policy at least has a medical exception clause, but I think that even with it, the policy is extremely wrong-headed. My guess? The policy has nothing to do with health. It’s in place to maximize the profits of the company contracted to provide lunches. Am I being cynical or just realistic?

Paul Ryan, the GOP flim-flam man.


6 Comments on “Weekend Update 04-30-2011”

  1. 1 Ruth Ann said at 8:05 am on April 30th, 2011:

    I watched the 60 minutes program on Sunday. It was very inspiring. Thanks for the link to the travelogue.

  2. 2 Scott said at 12:35 pm on May 2nd, 2011:

    Glad you enjoyed it. I didn’t watch the program live. But then I rarely watch anything when it airs.

  3. 3 Elaine said at 8:44 pm on May 2nd, 2011:

    No new post today? Hope all is well.

  4. 4 Scott said at 4:27 pm on May 3rd, 2011:

    The only reason there were three posts last week (other than Weekend Update which I blurb in small segments of time throughout the week) was because I had written and scheduled them a good while back.

    More posts will come, but probably not before next week or the week after.

  5. 5 Otter said at 6:14 am on May 8th, 2011:

    On public lunches- it’s not cynical to think that they’re increasing profits for a contractor. I’d bet, though, that a lot of it is just the desire for control. Some school administrators seem never so happy as when they are proving that they could enforce a useless rule and make children and parents obey. Not the good ones, of course- but do good ones ever make the news?

    Nobody can make you food that’s safe? That stinks! We have a few people with celiac disease at my little church, and some of us are learning to cook with quinoa and rice flour. They have to trust us a lot at potluck though- I don’t know if I would trust someone quite that much or not.

  6. 6 Scott said at 1:52 pm on May 8th, 2011:

    There is a certain discipline required when cooking for someone with celiac disease. You do have to eliminate obvious things like wheat flour, but that’s just the beginning. You have to learn to read and interpret ingredient labels. Unfortunately, while wheat is a top eight allergen and must be explicitly noted on the label, rye and barley are not. Barley (in various forms) can often sneak in as a component of a “natural flavor” or sometimes as a source of dextrose. And then you have to exercise discipline preparing food. The counters, utensils, pots, and pans need to be thoroughly cleaned and then kept clear of any gluten-containing ingredients. Most people lack that discipline. It takes time to acquire.

    There’s an element of that same trust required when eating out, but the truth is that restaurants have various procedures and disciplines in place for food safety and have long had to deal with food allergies. While celiac disease won’t produce the immediate, dramatic, and life-threatening effect that a peanut allergy (for example) will, it’s in a restaurant’s best interest not to injure their customers or, if they can’t prepare anything for them safely, tell them that up front. Austin has more safe options than many parts of the country, but we still don’t eat out that often.

    Potluck. We’ve been to a couple of those since being diagnosed. We bring food we can both eat and share. Somebody usually brings a vegetable or a fruit tray. Those are pretty much inherently safe, but otherwise we don’t tend to eat other people’s food. The danger is not just in the food itself, though. There’s also the risk that a utensil that has been used in an unsafe food will be used in your otherwise safe dish as well.