Saturday, July 11, 2009

Food for thought...

I really need to be more attentive of this site.

Healthy Foods...

We are what we eat - so the saying goes.

Ain't it the truth.

Americans cram pounds of crap down their gullets every day and spend billions trying to get rid of said crap after the fact. We want it fried, dried, fresh or frozen, packed with sugar, racked with salt, high fat, high carb, low fat, low carb, boiled and baked, covered in sauce, bathed in glaze, roasted, toasted, basted, tasted, leftovers wasted, extra foam, no room, skimmed, trimmed, take out the fat, heavy on the cream...three times a day.

We're fat. We're lazy. We love to tell our kids to eat their vegetables then give them a Big Mac 'cause we haven't got time for dinner. Our refridgerators hold six condiments, leftover Chinese, something brown, and a box of baking soda. We haven't a clue.

A single blueberry has all the natural ingredients to save our bacon but we add 2 grams of sugar, 8 grams of fat, dress it up like a work of art, give it a $13.00 price tag and call it dessert.

We give billions of dollars to people to tell us this and make us do something about it. They bend us, break us, pull our muscles, bruise our egos, take us to task, lift that bale, tote that barge, give me $800, now you're in shape.

We live in front of a box of shiny lights that sucks the imagination out of us like a puddle evaporating in the sun. It tells us what crap to buy, what to look for, what is in and what is out. It tells about a new gooey bar of processed sugar and fat that has more unpronouncable ingredients than a medical research project that's just waiting for your gluttonous consumption.

Whole industries have sprung up in the last 50 years that serve no purpose but to fill our arteries with cement. We spend decades of time and millions of dollars to break our bodies down then lament the high cost of fixing them up. No one wants to see to the root of the problem - no, that would be sacrilege. Thou shalt not bite the hand that feeds you this crap. We are a gloriously Capitalist Society and, God willing, will stay that way through every coronary bypass, diabetic coma, liver transplant and 31 flavors of cancer treatments.

And God help us if we run into those who've taken the pledge. Instead of going after the root cause of our food calamity - over-processing - they select certain types of food to rail against. No meat, no fish, no sugar, no milk, no eggs, no carbs, no fat, no dairy, no calories, no way, no how, no left turn, do not pass GO, do not collect $200.

Vegetables are a vital form of food, one that should be on every table at every meal. But so are meat or fish. The answer is not exclusion of food but balance and moderation. We have to re-learn to prepare our own food in a way that's healthy. Make the time to fix your own damn food. Take the time to feed your children what they need. Give them a reason to eat healthier. Fill them full of nothing but sugar and fat and you make them dependant on that crap like an alcoholic. Fast food is a multi-billion dollar industry because we are too damn lazy to cook the good stuff. Convenience has replaced responsibility. Parents would rather spend 30 minutes and $50 on fat, salty crap then spend $20 and an hour to feed their family a healthy meal.

Long ago we sat at the dinner table and ate like families. We prepared the food, set the table, got all the kids together with Mom and Dad and ate as a family. We discussed the day, asked each other about this or that, got kudos for the good stuff, got reamed for the bad; we saw each other as part of something wonderful. If someone was absent, they had their dinner set aside for their return - provided it was an acceptable reason. Screwing around with friends was not a good reason so no dinner was saved. There was a price to pay for missing dinner. No one could raid the fridge for goodies later, dessert was earned by good behavior not provided pro bono.

But we put all that aside. We enrolled our kids in soccer and ballet and baseball and softball and tae kuan do and boy scouts or brownies or any of dozens of other afterschool activities. Not just one though, we signed them up for two or three sports just to keep them busy so we could work longer at the office, see the girls at the club or finalize the sale of the Johnson house. We have to make an appointment to see the kids or our spouses. Every family member is glued to the cell phone or the blackberry, twittering, texting or talking to a spider's web network of other mindless robots, grabbing a quick bite at Mickie D's or Jack in the Box before heading out to the Mall. Even when we finally get back to the homestead, we plop our butts in front of the Shiny Box to watch the latest and greatest dreck ever conceived by demented minds about something called 'reality' that has no connection to the actual word just a distorted play on semantics about worthless pathetic victims of their own greed and gluttony.

We no longer use the dinner table to sit and eat. We use it to organize our bills, put the laptop down to work, or kept nice and clean with place settings of sparkling dishes in stylish colors that will never be obscured by gravy or spaghetti sauce. We eat standing up, staring zombie-like into dead space while talking into an electronic cockroach attached to our ear. Family members with white strings coming out the sides of their heads run in and out of the kitchen oblivious to everything except the sugary sodas in the fridge or the chocolaty sludge bars in the cupboard. Dinner isn't roast beef with gravy, mashed potatoes and green beans; it's a chili cheese burrito fresh out of the microwave with a Coke and a Ho-Ho.

We talk about change. We talk about doing what's right. We talk, talk, talk, talk until we can't speak any more. But we don't do.

Eat your own food. Drink real water. Buy fresh. Grow it yourself. Let your belly do all the processing. Spend your time with the kids at the park with frisbees, a ball and glove, or a volleyball. Eat dinner at the table then see a movie. The television isn't a lamp. Talk about what's on TV then decide if it's worth turning it on.

Get to know members of your family, I hear they're kinda cool.

Update: I posted this as a diary on the Daily Kos to see what response I would get. It only got about 3 feet from the line of scrimmage... Oh, well. So much for fame and fortune! I'll stick to my own neighborhood for now.

So Mote It Be,
David A.

Thursday, July 09, 2009

What does it take?

What is it about the Right wing? They seem to live for hypocrisy. Usually, each of us can be counted on to do something or say something hypocritical – hell, its human nature. But we get schooled by friends or adversaries and shown back to the real world with our egos lowered a few notches. Not the Republicans. They seem to thrive on hypocrisy. It’s not even criticism anymore. They wear it like a badge of ‘honor’.

They speak out of every corner of their mouths, spewing any spurious tidbit of bullshit pulled straight from Karl Rove’s ass without any sense of regret. When called on it, they just wave the flag and accuse you of being a traitorous commie fascist who eats babies with hot sauce. They then smile at you and go on like nothing was out of place.

They speak to groups that they know will sit loyally in their seats without comment or criticism, staring into dead space with all the mental faculties of a dandelion, the attention span of a flea and the curiosity of driftwood.

I weep for America if these are the people that represent the electorate. We put Barack Obama in office but couldn’t defeat right wing crazies like Michelle Bachmann, John Boehner, and Eric Cantor. The current political playing field will look a lot different in 2012, no one will be looking at what’s best for America only what is popular.

Color me concerned, even a bit frightened.

The Democrats are in a position to cement their majority. They can take the lead on the issues that really matter to the ordinary people of America, not the lunatic fringe of the Right. These are inroads that can only reap rewards on those Democrats courageous enough to walk the talk. Courage is the only price they have to pay. Too bad it’s too big a price for many of those we put in Congress.

I watch the news. I watch the sessions of Congress and the meetings of committees led by people I used to admire and respect. All I see is fear and cowardice. The road to recovery is paved and clearly mapped out. All we have to do is put on our shoes and start walking down the road. Seems even that is too much for our leadership.

The Republicans have made their position crystal clear. They will do everything in their power to obstruct and destroy President Obama’s agenda. They will NOT compromise on this. Their leadership has voiced this in every memo and every media outlet right and left. Even the most inattentive backwoods hermit knows that the GOP is not going to help Obama in any situation.

Why do we still seek their support for our legislation? We know their answer. We know that they will vote NO. They may make noises resembling support or acquiesce but, in the end, all of our hard work making concessions will be for naught as they vote it down. So, why try? Leave them to their hypocrisy. The voters made them irrelevant; let’s keep them there. We have loose cannons in the Democratic caucuses that need to be addressed, why waste our energy and resources on a fool’s errand?

We, the progressive activists, put the hammer to nail building this agenda and the voters put their stamp of approval on it. They said, “YES, DO THIS!” Now, we put the message out to our elected officials and they fumble it trying to do this ‘bipartisan’ bullshit. It’s like the kid who gets his lunch money taken away every day bringing extra coin in the hope that the bully will leave him enough to eat with.

What is the definition of insanity? Doing the same thing in the same way over and over again but expecting different results?

We have to get a hold of this process immediately before the damage gets too big to fix. The Democratic leadership has to be pulled back into reality before they give away all of our lunch money to the Republicans. We’re bigger than them; we can say, “NO, I’m keeping my lunch money! Get Lost!”

Health care is the big issue dancing in the spotlight now. It’s so big it can affect the lives of every American right away. The only real solution is staring at us with big blue eyes. There has to be a viable, aggressive public option that can effectively compete with the private insurance companies. Too many legislators have accepted bags of coin from the insurance industry for real reform to take place. They are actively working against the best interest of the people in order to satisfy the will of their wealthy overlords. The money is too good to ignore. The smell of greed overwhelms the will of the voters.

This is what we have to fight. This is the face of our enemy.

Firedoglake has taken the lead in bringing some of the senators to task for their connection to the corporate lobbying groups with promising results. However, there are some who are anchored in their ways of greed and graft with their industry sugar daddies. Some of those people chair the very sub-committees and committees that we need to advance the public option. As it sits now, the public option has been watered down to the point of being an easy target for the insurance companies should it become law. It would be forced into obscurity and end up worthless and neutered by the forces it was originally supposed to compete with. Then, we would be back to square one with another failed attempt at reining in the one thing that would do the most to bring us out of this recession/depression. As Obama said, we can’t afford to fail this time. A failure now would doom Americans to many more years of skyrocketing health care costs, millions more denied care or coverage and an economy swirling down the bowl for no other reason than abject greed.

Aren’t we supposed to be better than that? There was a time when I thought we were.

So Mote It Be,
David A.