Sunday, August 31, 2008

No News

See Frank Rich's piece in the New York Times today:
Frank writes about how journalists get it wrong because they're just as discombobulated as the rest of us. They're anxious and fearful because 21st century media (the internet) is eroding all 20th century media. Well, Frank, maybe we'd better get over all that 20th century stuff. The internet has been around long enough that broadcast news should be able to deal with it.
Broadcast news is nonsense these days, as you point out so cogently, and its nonsense because it reports what it wants to happen or what its afraid will happen or what its been told will happen.
No facts.
All speculation and conjecture and hype (i.e. Gossip)
Where's the investigative reporting?
Too slow, right?
Investigations take time-and in this day and age things only happen NOW.
Frank states that Obama and his campaign people are "...on the digital locomotive" and that's why the outcome of this election can't be predicted, Obama's gang operates "under the radar of the mainstream press"
Well, of course they do! Its the 21st Century! Haven't the Big Three Networks been aware of that? Yes, Frank, everything is going to be different---everything IS different.
The Big Three are old news. Big teeth and blue blazers don't cut it anymore. The truth IS out there---and cruising the internet for a half an hour will get you closer to it than Action News will.
Take a break, Linda....(pause)....
Ok, I had to call Hermana and have a chat -- my blood pressure was rising dangerously.
I'll wrap it up now.
Open your eyes, people. Its a new world and you're not going to be able to stuff it back into the same comfortable old paradigm. Run to greet it and make it your friend--you can still love your kids and your husband---you can still eat mashed potatoes and meatloaf. Actually living in the 21st century isn't going to compromise your beliefs or your values--you can integrate your life into this wonderful time and be part of it. Think about what you can bring to the 21st century and stop being afraid of what you're going to have to leave behind.
Grow up. Denial does not become any of us.

Saturday, August 30, 2008


Besides the bovine definition, mavericks are defined as: an independent person who does not go along with current thinking or with the crowd.
And that's a good thing only if said maverick's thinking tends toward the sane.
Ozzy Osborne is a maverick.
Larry, Moe and Curly are mavericks based on the Merriam-Webster definition.
I'm sure you can think of plenty of folks who fit the description.
Just because you're a maverick doesn't mean you look like James Garner in his glorious youth or have a snappy theme song.


This might not be so bad. If McCain gets elected at least he'll have someone to walk past the Oval Office from time to time and smack him in the head.
For all the experience the current Administration has they've done a very poor job, maybe Ms. Palin is the gal to stir it up a bit.
I certainly hope that the Republican ticket doesn't profit from this just because she's a woman, or an evangelical, or pro-life. I like to think that we vote for a person or ticket based on all their attributes put together.
Ms. Palin's attributes are probably considerable when weighed against the average American woman ( and we think we know it all -- or I do anyway). But as a 2 year Governor of Alaska, a state that is vastly different from the rest of the USA, will she carry it off when faced with America and the World? That's a lot of people. In Alaska she only has half a million and they're all subsidized..
Well, Peggy Noonan was looking for a little comedy and here it is. It certainly injects that Soupy Sales flavor into the campaign.
Let's look on the bright side, people, one thing about the unknown is that she may be good.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Obama can't Dance

Hidey-Ho, fellow Americans. I just watched Obama's acceptance speech. I'm impressed by his stirring words and polished ways but, you know, I've heard acceptance speeches before.

I'll reserve judgement on this candidate until he's been in office for a couple of years. Can he stand up to business as usual in Washington D.C.? It's an entrenched system of entitlement and profit-making and taking--the Senate and the Congress and the representatives have gotten comfortable there--it's a machine that needs a monkey wrench thrown in.

America has slipped too far over the line. The line being greed and gluttony and sloth. Is Obama the person to begin to change us back into a country that pushes the envelope of progress and equality?

To be strong as a country or as a global village requires a strong foundation--that would be the people. Healthy, educated and tolerant people; willing to take a hit for the greater good; willing to reach for something that only new generations can grasp; willing to stop wasting time protecting what we've got and walk forward into the future.

The USA has stopped moving forward. When you stop moving and changing you're dead.

We're at a more serious place than we've ever been before. We want the future to look bright but at this point in history the future looks different and we fear difference above all else.

Science and technology have brought us to a place that is too strange for us so we're pulling the wagons into a circle and hiding from the changes we can finally see with our own eyes--changes that are not science fiction any longer.

Well, so why is that picture of Peggy Noonan up there?
I wanted to see what the conservative element thought of Obama's acceptance speech and Peggy's was the first opinion I looked at. She thought that the speech carried some weight but that it was too serious and needed to be lighter and wittier and more joyful---and that the Republicans could take advantage of the lack of comedy and thereby win more voters to their cause.

That may happen. Americans are an anxious bunch these days and in our fear of leaving infancy behind we just may take that sugar tit and go back to protecting our toys.
It will be the death of us.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Technophobes Anonymous

Since getting my laptop last summer I've been trying to learn more about how to use one.
Somehow, this stuff escapes me ( as do many things through the tiny hole the CIA drilled in my skull, in order for me to walk around with aluminum foil wrapped around everywhere except my mouth. ) You should try driving like that, quite a challange.
Back to the subject I'm avoiding. AAARRRGGHHH! This stuff reminds me of trying to learn high school math.
Here are a few of the things I can't wittle out:
1. sending a web address to someone who needs it.
2. downloading some of my emails onto
my documents folder so I can refer to them
later. What the heck are cookies anyway? I thought they were the things I made for Christmas. Maybe I'm expected to push the dough through one of the many little holes that seem to be located all over this thing.
. 3. cut and paste anything except paper dolls.

There are at least 25 more, but I'm typing one handed ( I'm lovin it! ) so it takes me about three weeks to type anything. If something important has come up in that time, I'm totally unaware. Has anybody been picked as Obama' s running mate yet? Has Hilary played nice? Has Bill Clinton persueded a teenager to give him a blow job in his Presidential Library?

Maybe I should stop looking for new ways to use this fargin' thing and just enjoy what I can do. My BFF has tried to teach me things which I promptly forget ( not to mention all of my passwords for different sites which I then have to change in order to forget them for next time.)

When all is said and done ( I've always wondered what that means, said and done it's time to kick the old oaken bucket, flush the toilet, turn around and go home, kick your husband out of the house, finish wallpapering the attic. ) I think I'll take the technophobes way out and do nothing, nothing at all.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Magnificent Bitches Are Filled With Love!

The Magnificent Bitch Sisters love Dennis Kucinich from his top to his toes!

I've been rooting for this man since before the election in 2004. I refuse to shuffle off this mortal coil until Dennis Kucinich is elected President. So, anybody out there that's sick of my big mouth has two choices:

A) Meet me for a no rules, no holds barred, down-and dirty 'Death Match-2008' (which I WILL win , 'cause I got 'tude to spare) or:

B) Start sporting a Kucinich for President 2012 lapel button, bumper sticker, tee shirt, hat, umbrella, tattoo, coffee mug, pichfork, runcible spoon or any other accoutrements you can devise. I'm going to do it. My little donkey has never borne a politcal message, (except that she's a nine-year old, 4-cylinder, gas sipper in a Brave New World filled with SUV's) but she's going to wear one now. I think she'd prefer the button over the bumper sticker, but she'll have to take what she can get. And if it's a button, it's going to be a BIG button.

I'm going to look for one right now.

- Abba Dabba

Monday, August 25, 2008

I'm No Mamie

I have nothing but sympathy for First Ladies. They always have to be on their best behavior. They get criticized every time they put a foot out the door. Their clothes, make-up, hairdo and general demeanor are scrutinized by a salacious public with an electron microscope. They're expected to be the perfect wife, the perfect mother and the perfect hostess to visiting dignitaries, and if anyone thinks they're falling down on the job, they receive (for their sins) a perfect storm of bad press. They have no personal life left to them, which means that they can never go to the cocktail bar at Grand Central Station and have four martinis with their sister. That sounds like pure Hell to me!

I have no clue who thought it would be a good thing for Michelle Obama to speak at the Convention, but I'd bet $10.00 that it wasn't her idea. Some smarmy PR person came up with this and I'm sure that no matter how admirably she pulls it off, she'll still end up crying into her pillow because some putz didn't like how she phrased something or hated the color of her lipstick. And it's going to go on and on like that for four years! Who among us could stand that kind of close inspection? It stinks!

So, if Kurt should ever be elected to the office of President, expect to see me in Groucho glasses and carrying a stiff drink on all public occasions. That'll be my tribute to all the First Ladies who had to smile and make pleasant small talk one hundred percent of the time for almost half a decade of their lives.

I say to all the First Ladies, "Let your freak flag fly, Sugar Pie! Fly it proud! Fly it high!"

- Gerda E. Diesel Dietzel-Dietzel -- Artist, Choreographer, Female.

First Ladies

What do you all think about Michelle Obama addressing the Democratic Convention? I remember being horrified by Elizabeth Dole's infomercial for Bob. It was so scripted and plastic and 'This Is Your Life'-ish.
I adore a strong woman--I try like mad to be one myself.
(Hermana and I have had a conversation recently about MAGNIFICENT BITCH tattoos).
How can a potential first lady present herself and her family to the American public? A population that largely despises intellectuals, elites and females who have forgotten their places (except for Ann Coulter, Elizabeth Dole, Phyllis Schlafly and their ilk--strong women who criticize other strong women for forgetting their places).
I'm afraid that I'm the type of power bitch who camouflages herself behind a sweet, womanly, grandmotherly attitude and then lands like a sledgehammer on my unsuspecting target. Is that legitimate or honorable?
(Who cares... It usually works.)
Hmmmm? Tell me. What do you think?

Saturday, August 23, 2008

I'm Seeing Penguins. They Don't Look Good.

I wrote this in reply to a letter from a friend....(or rather, I wrote something very much like it.)

.....I was a little let-down when I heard it was to be Biden. Actually, Biden has never struck me as the 'Khan' type, Genghis or otherwise. From what I've seen and heard of him, he seems like a garden-variety politician (species - Democrat), who usually manages to say seventeen words when two or three would have done nicely. Ah well, who knows what silliness lurks in the hearts of politicians? But I'd have loved to have seen Chuck Hagel up there. What a statement that would have made.

I'm not as interested in who McCain picks. As I've said before, if McCain is elected President, then we'll have all gotten exactly what we deserve. Another four years of corporate boondoggle and a "you can't get there from here" attitude about the road to diplomatic solutions in nations where we are militarily engaged. Also, Mr Huckabee, while seeming halfway intelligent, is determined to govern according to his religious beliefs and I will have no truck with that! Theocracy scares the willies out of me, as well it should. The Children of Abraham have pretty well fucked things up for the last two thousand years. It's time for someone with a degree in Civics and Constitutional law to sit in the big chair in the Senate. And they can leave their faith at home.

- Maggie

Or maybe I've lost interest because I'm still feeling the aftershocks of that Basevich interview. Whoever assumes the Presidency will be inheriting five decades of botched domestic and international actions, a huge national debt and the final act in the 'energy' passion play. It's going to take more than one little presidential election for us to haul ourselves out of the muck.

And that's exactly what we have to do. We have to haul ourselves out! How many more elections is it going to take for us to realize that government is self-serving, that no member of the beauracracy is going to risk his or her government salary and pension in order to do the right thing, like advocate for gas rationing or raising taxes to
reduce the national debt and balance the budget? What politician or civil servant would ever say that cutting the fat and deadwood out of government would, in itself, save us untold amounts of money, and then offer to be the first one out the door?

The government doesn't run us: We run it. And we run it at our pleasure, though officialdom would like us to forget that. In order to run it right, WE have to be well-educated. WE have to be unafraid. And we have to think about the common good and our rights and responsibilities as citizens, not just of the USA but of the world. It's time we put ourselves in the other penguins shoes.

- Lois Carneiro

Read this

Read this post from Hermana on August 13th.

Hermana is the enlightened one.

Can you imagine a political candidate reaching across the aisle for a running mate?...I think...I think...I can hear John Lennon singing.

Hermana has taken one of those Charles Darwin leaps in evolution. Sadly, politics of any persuasion is too crude and twisted and testosterone-soaked (even the women) for us to expect any sort of elevation in political practices in the forseeable future.

And its a damned shame...when I re-read her post this morning my heart started to sing and I could've sworn it was the first day of Spring. What would I do if I ruled the world?...Hmmm, I must have a testicle somewhere--because I'd just string all them politicians up...except for Dennis, the brave.

Joe Biden

I'm ashamed to say that the only thing I know about Joe Biden is that he plagiarized a term paper in college. I'll study up on him just to reassure myself--I did hear this morning that he said, some months ago, that Obama was too inexperienced and shouldn't engage in on the job training in international issues.
Well, water's under the bridge since then, I guess. I'm looking forward to hearing Obama/Biden explain how it is they've managed to patch things up and how they intend to work together should they be elected. Although the intentions and assertions of politicians are usually usually just thrown out among us, the people, to see how we'll react.
More later....I have to go read the newspaper.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Home Again

I'm just back from the San Juan Islands in the Strait of Juan de Fuca. The photos are from Roche Harbor, Friday Harbor and Sequim. The Jungle photo is of a mural Cath just completed for a child's room.
Sequim is where I got the lavendar fields. It was a perfect day--hot and sunny with the smell of lavendar and the buzzing of bees all around.
I strenuously avoided all newspapers and programs while I was away. I didn't want to spoil the relaxation element of the trip.
*I did hear that GWB scolded Putin and told him that "...this is the 21st century, we don't just invade other countries..." I don't know if that's true or not but if it is true it doesn't suprise me.
*John Edwards cheated on his wife--dope. Why would you do that and then run for president?
It shows a lack of good judgement and for heaven's sake we've gotten enough of that from the faithful guy.
*Bernie Mac died---he was great.
*I just read that McCain has 'surged' past Obama in the polls--what happened?
*The Republican party is going to call itself the GOP for the remainder of the campaign because too many voters associate the word republican with GWB.
See article at the above link.
Why did the candidates consent to be interviewed by Rick Warren??
The USA is hog-tied and twisted by religon as much as any lunatic in Iraq.
OK, I'm back and I'm feeling good. The Blogging will commence.....

Saturday, August 16, 2008

The Limits Of Power

This terrific interview is from Bill Moyer's Journal. The subject of the interview, Andrew J. Bacevich, is a retired Colonel who served in Vietnam, a self-described conservative, and presently teaches history and international relations at Boston University.

Mr. Bacevich offers the most comprehensive view of American politics and foreign policy that I can ever remember hearing. Even when he says things that I don't particularly agree with, he's stunning.

The videos (Parts 1 & 2) are about 25 minutes each in length, and they are well worth the time it takes to view them. Mr Bacevich makes my mind feel very small. (Though bigger than it was an hour ago.) WATCH IT! We all need to watch it! (I'm posting this to Reddit immediately.)

- Maggie (Lois Carneiro)

Marine Drive

When he was 12 years old I gave my son Seth a book called "Sniper" and started the ball rolling without my knowledge.

In 2002, on my youngest son's graduation day, his recruiter came to watch Seth graduate. Sgt Springer then said his good byes to my husband and me and took his leave.

It so happens the Sgt. had accepted our invitation to dinner at a near-by restaurant a few nights before graduation and of course we discussed Seth and his coming time at Parris Island.

The Sergeant went through a thumbnail description of what "boot" was about. The thing he said that I will never forget is the fact of the "breaking down" two week period, after which the building up to make these young people Marines begins. Just before we left the restaurant, the Sergeant leaned down (he was very tall) and whispered to me, "They'll never break your son, he's already a marine"

My eyes got a little teary, but I didn't cry, because I wanted Sergeant Springer to understand the stock Seth came from.

True to his recruiter's word Seth never broke and as a result made Sgt himself after 18 months while he was on the way to his first deployment in the he Mideast.

His Battalion was hugely successful in their deployment, losing one marine (even though one is too many and he and his family will always be in our hearts and prayers) and killed over one hundred Taliban fighters.

In 2006 Seth was picked to enter ARS. After many marines were eliminated from a prior, mandatory service in Rip Platoon in order to qualify and the guys who couldn't make the cut and the others imported from Camp Pendleton, Seth made Honor Graduate over a total in the neighborhood of 200 other worthy marines. His Score was less than .05 from breaking the Camp Story record. His dream of being in Force Recon had come true.

Seth then joined an ARS team and was deployed to Iraq. When his dad arrived to ready his house for home coming, he found a note taped to Seth's door saying " Off to kill the Godless. Be back in 7 months" and he was, after many, many missions. During those missions there were weeks that went by when we heard nothing from him. Natural, of course, but agony nonetheless. He returned unwounded, with the rest of his team, who had his back, since he was the sniper, even though he hadn't yet attended the formal school. The photo you see on this page was taken within 5 minutes after he disembarked from the bus that brought him home to us.

After his return from overseas, he entered the "Sniper School" and graduated as Scout Sniper among 6 other marines out of 27 that started. He was then accepted to "Dive Combatant School" ( a school he didn't think he'd make) and once again graduated with 16 other great marines out of many great marines.

We now await his third deployment, which will take place in just a few short months. During this deployment we may not hear from him at all and may never know his location due to his assignment, but we know he's received the very best training in the world.

We know he'll come home and breathe a sigh of relief when he does. I wish to tell the other moms and dads, wives, brothers and children, we have the greatest fighting force in the world. We've had some fallen and mourn them as no one else can understand but they're doing God's work and will never be forgotten.

My youngest is the pride of our lives, as are his 2 brothers and 1 sister. We support whole -heartedly his duty to his country and it's people, even though there're so many who don't and never will.

I don't feel that it's God's wish for anyone to wage war, anymore than we do. It's in fact, a disgusting practice started by the first humans to walk the earth. However, if we are caught up in this Hell, then let's remember our men are doing their jobs. not having a good time. They all need our help in any form that we can give.

We can't forget the women who also serve, whatever their jobs or training. They're just as brave (and in some cases braver) and important as the other soldiers and marines who give their all as well. Thank you, for your sevice and loyalty. We honor and respect your dedication.

Posted to Reddit.

Barbara Carr

Imagine That This Is My Car.

You'll have to imagine it covered in bird poop and without those odd headlights, but it's a close approximation. My car went into the shop last week for an oil change and came out with a brand new set of front brakes. Six hundred bucks, but she's worth it. She's my little donkey and she's only nine years old.

This morning I tried to get into my little donkey and I was rebuffed. The remote on my key fob didn't seem to be working. I tried the spare. Uh uh. "No problem", I thought, "I'll just use the valet key to open the door." I opened it up, inserted the key fob into the ignition and nothing happened. It wouldn't even turn! (Well, when I say that nothing happened, I meant that the car didn't start. Helpfully, the car alarm did start! It must have thought someone was trying to steal it, poor thing.)

Anyway, here I sit, awaiting the man from Yorktown Auto to come and slip my car the mechanical equivalent of a Xanax. (I did finally manage to stop it from screaming. That was after 20 minutes of frantically thumbing through the owners manual while flop sweat ran into my eyes as I imagined the neighbors calling the police department on me.)

I was supposed to be having a cheese and mushroom omelette right about now. I could have really gone for that omelette too. With rye toast and orange juice.

Cherry Bomb's going to KILL me.

- Maggie

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Running Mates

(This is a reply that I wrote to a letter from a friend.)

Yeah, running mates. The press seems to think Barack will choose Evan Bayh. I could live with that, I guess. It almost never turns out to be who the press thinks it's going to be anyway.

McCain was supposed to be considering that Jindal (sp?) guy, but I think he's cooled off on him.

You know what I would love? I would love it if Barack would stick his neck out and choose a Republican, like Richard Lugar or Chuck Hagel. They both seem to be good, thoughtful guys, and I'd trust them to vote their consciences as much as I'd trust any Democrat. Also it would demonstrate a spirit of bipartisanship, don't you think? I think that one of the most pressing problems we have is an increasing polarization along party lines. People aren't looking so much at the issues as they're looking at how their party stands on those issues. Like it was a football game or something. Go, Team, Go!! And that's just silly.

Ooh, I think I'll post this. (That's what's known as a 'cheap' post; using email as a blog item. I do it all the time. I have some of my best ideas whilst emailing.) Now, I just have to find a good picture for it.

- Maggie

Yeah, the more I think about that idea, the more I like it. Someone has to take a bold step here. What could better illustrate a concern for all of our citizens than running a bipartisan ticket? It would also show that the Executive Branch cares more about moving forward, together, as one people, than it does about political expediency.

It's probably a pipe dream, but if I ruled the world, that's how it would go. (And every day would be the first day of spring, of course.)

- Maggie

Monday, August 11, 2008

Sign Me Up!

City Considers Burials In Egg Cartons, Wicker Baskets COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. -- The Colorado Springs City Council is considering a proposal to offer "green burials" at the city's two cemeteries. The burials would consist of bodies being put in bags, wicker baskets or egg-carton boxes. City officials said the approach would be less expensive than traditional burials. According to the proposal, the city would also cut its costs because such burials would require no watering or sprinkler systems for the plots and minimal mowing.....

I already consider myself lucky that Kurt and I have purchased a plot right next to the Quakers! But to be buried next to Quakers, in an EGG CARTON would be the fulfillment of my fondest desires. What bliss!

- Maggie ("cluck")

Sunday, August 10, 2008

When You Come To The Fork In The Road, Take It!

The Road Not Taken

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;
Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay

In leaves no step had trodden black.

Oh, I kept the first for another day!

Yet knowing how way leads on to way,

I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh

Somewhere ages and ages hence:

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—

I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference. - R. Frost

This is what I'm doing. I'm going by the road less traveled. I'm checking out of the Heartbreak Hotel. I'm leaving Shadowland. And I'd like you to come with me. Be my happy friend, with whom I can laugh and sing.

We all have problems. You and I both have problems of which the other one isn't even aware. I'd like to be able to view those problems from a different perspective. (One that's not quite so close to my rectum.) We don't have control over what other people do, but we aren't powerless when it comes to our own actions. And THAT is the crux of my gist, if you know what I mean.

We only have a few years left, relatively speaking. I don't want to spend them mired in bitterness or anger or fear. There is something happening to me and I don't know what it is. But I'm not afraid of it. I can hear it coming, but I'm not afraid.

No doubt, there will be times when I do grow fearful or angry and bitter. But I won't let fear and anger define me anymore! I'll fight them and I'll win. I'll make other people's causes my cause. I'll look forward to every tomorrow with anticipation instead of dread. I'm going to pull my head so far out of my ass that I'll resemble one of those Burmese women with the brass rings around their necks. That's my goal. That's my task. To reinvent myself before I have no more chances to leave a legacy. It may be that my legacy will be only words. But for my words to be true, I have to live them.

So, here's where I'm at and that's where I'm going. Come with me.

- Maggie (BFF)

I Didn't Make This Up.

POTTER VALLEY, Calif. — A Mendocino County woman who was trying to kill mice in her trailer with a gun ended up shooting herself and another person.

The 43-year-old woman pulled out her .44-caliber Magnum revolver after she saw the mice scurrying across the floor of her trailer on Highway 20 in Potter Valley, sheriff's officials said.

But she accidentally dropped the gun, which went off as it struck the floor. The bullet went through the woman's kneecap, bounced off the keys sitting on the belt loop of a 42-year-old man in the trailer and grazed the man's groin before ending up in his coin pocket.

Authorities did not release the shooting victims' names.

The mice escaped the shooting unharmed.

.....An incident like this illustrates precisely why we should all have a firm grasp of the literary classics. If this poor woman had been exposed to 'Three Blind Mice' in her youth, she would have known that the requisite weapon for dealing with mice is a carving knife! Instead, she chose 'Shock and Awe', in the form of a .44 Magnum revolver, blowing off her own kneecap and endangering the groin (and possibly the future progeny) of her gentleman caller.

There's a lesson here for all of us. - Mother Goose

Saturday, August 9, 2008


Not long ago there was a study done: it stated that most people who take antidepressants are not truly in need of them. Who wrote this crap? There 's not s single person I know who takes them who isn't in need them ( and quite a few who don't take them and need them even more.)

I'm not saying that everyone who takes them is helped by them, but who knows? Maybe they'd be a lot worse off without them.

I understand that there are those patients who actually commit suicide while on antidepressants, but no one has actually proven why they're doing this, with the exception of teenagers, who seem to metabolize these medications differently than adults.

My point in this short commentary is let's map the "Human Genome" and find out if some people (most of them according to the the know-it-alls) who should be able to pinpoint the reasoning behind their careless statement, which might make some patients stop taking a medication that may be saving their lives, even if it doesn't make them ecstatically happy. ( like me.)

The study that was done was not scientifically trustworthy due to the fact that it consisted of many different studies done by many different groups without the cohesiveness of
a single governing body to do a genuinely valid double-blind study by one entity.
Even placebo, if it helps, is it worth it, and the pharmacological mega corps should provide it free of charge.

The gigundo companies have a new generation of drugs coming on the market which might explain why they're now finding "SSRIs" are not as effective as first thought.

Back when Prozac was first accepted for sale after European studies, it was sold for $2.00 a capsule. Now you can buy the identical drug in a generic form for approximately $.17 a capsule, therefore the company must find a new way to screw us once again. WAY TO GO!

How much do you think they'll be able to squeeze out of the desperate people who need relief from a life of excruciating emotional pain they live with, HHHMMM?

Comments? Cherry Bomb

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

"My favorite animal is steak." - Fran Leibowitz

Below (in blue italic) is a portion of a reply that I wrote to a friend who was inquiring about Biblical strictures on diet and the slaughter of animals. As I don't consider the Bible to be an authoritative reference on anything, including food, I simply wrote a precis that might give her an alternate perspective and encourage her to research how food is produced and distributed.

I also wanted her to consider that humans have long used food as metaphor. Different cultures throughout history have complicated the simple act of eating with religion and ritual. Some people consider that they are traveling the moral high road if they eschew beef or bugs, or meat from animals with cloven hooves, seafood without scales, alcohol (Can you imagine?), leavened bread or the fruit of the tree of knowledge. It's time for us to concentrate on how to best serve our bodies needs for nutrition and pleasure in an efficient and safe manner.

on Earth should have enough to eat. We should raise our crops in a way that won't poison the land and the water. We should avoid growing mass quantities of monocultured crops (tomatoes, corn, potatoes) that could be decimated (possibly extirpated!) by disease, insect activity or drought. We should raise and slaughter food animals humanely and cleanly.

These are big, ambitious goals that will require fundamental changes in farming and agriculture, and they won't be easy to implement. But the longer we wait, the more difficult it will become. We have to look to the future.

Dear A,

.......Biologically, humans evolved to be omnivorous. It's true that we eat far more animal protein than we need, (thus providing a good living for cardiologists) but our cells
do require a full complement of essential amino acids in order for them function correctly. There's no culture I know of (not religion, mind you, but culture) that ever chose vegetarianism as their diet. In fact, vegans and vegetarians are able to sustain their dietary choices because of our modern, highly technological society. It's only in the last few hundred years that we've been able to enjoy such a vast variety of plant foods, particularly soy and other legumes which provide amino acids that other plant matter doesn't. (Where would vegetarians be without tofu?) Most vegans and vegetarians also have to take dietary supplements to remain healthy; to replace what they're not getting from animal proteins. This simply wasn't an option for people who lived in earlier times or who live today in poorer conditions than Western societies. To them, meat is precious; costly and difficult to obtain.
Of course, there are monks, yogis, ascetics and various religious sects throughout the world who sustain a largely vegetarian diet in fairly primitive conditions. They also sleep on bare pallets, kneel on stone floors to pray and wear hair shirts in order to chastise themselves. These are the articles of their faith. They suffer (from anemia, almost certainly) as a sacrifice to their God (or Gods).
Factory farming, a cruel practice, is slowly coming under scrutiny in developed countries. It is possible to raise animals for slaughter without causing them to live miserable lives or die in pain and terror. (Reference author Temple Grandin for specifics on humane abattoirs.) It will cost more. We'll have to pay it. And we'll have to get used to eating less meat and more vegetables. It's that simple. Too bad that 'simple' doesn't mean 'easy'.
- Maggie

Monday, August 4, 2008

The Food Issue

It looks like we'll be talking food this week and I'm very glad of it.
Here in the USA we focus too much on food and I think that's due to advertising. Good food, bad food, gimmicky food, vitamin packed food, how much to keep and how to keep it. Freezers packed solid in case of a disaster--which wouldn't include electricity, I'm supposin'. Big box food stores. Vats of mayo...
My, my and now they're predicting food shortages secondary to the expense of getting the food from place to place. A couple of months ago there was a blurb in the newspaper about a shortage of rice; I was at the market the day after that story and all the Minute Rice was gone (!!). Coincidence? I think not--although in addition to American reactionism it also smacks of ignorance and twinkie mentality.
And then there's the bacteria factor--think how much less Proctor and Gamble would see in profits if they didn't terrorize the public about the germs in their food and in their kitchens.
Hermana and I could go on and on...
Required reading for this subject:
Michael Pollan
Mark Bittman
Julia Child (no kidding)
Peter Singer
Anthony Bourdain

Who's pushing 60???

Me!! I expect great things of myself this coming year. Number one is to just keep on living. I can't wait to be 60--its such a nice round number.
When I turned 30 my siblings all gave me things like wrinkle cream and blue shampoo for my hair--which was already very gray by then. For 60 I'll be glad to be on my feet more than 50% of the time. So, hopefully, I'll need shoes.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

"If you prick us, do we not get brown spots?"

Ohh, I have lots to write about the way we produce and distribute our food. I'm a great fan of Michael Pollan ('The Botany of Desire', 'The Omnivores Dilemma'). Too bad I have no time right now. Expect great things from me around the middle of next week!

- Maggie

Friday, August 1, 2008

Port Townsend, Wa: Pictures from a short vacation

Port Townsend, Wa. A lovely town on the Olympic Peninsula.

In a couple of weeks I'm going to Friday Harbor,Wa on San Juan Island up in the Strait.

I'll post the photos.

Animals, Vegetables...

See Nick Kristofs NYT piece today.
Nick expounds on his youth as a farm kid on Oregon and how much he enjoys a good burger. I enjoy a good burger as well and I probably won't stop eating them until price or availability makes it impossible.
Lots has been said and written about eating plants vs animals. I find that I don't have much of an opinion. Like Mr. Kristof I wish that animal were raised more humanely. I wish that human greed didn't focus on the bottom line so much--can we make room for kindness for the animals we raise? Why not?
Peter Singer has written the bible on animal rights and I agree with him about respect for animals--all animals--not just the ones that equate with humans in intelligence. (I see it as an oxymoron--human intelligence).
Now here's the weird part: I think that vegetables should be raised humanely too, with lots of good rich soil to bed down in and lots of sweet, clean water--and then they should be gently picked and washed and sent to market (this would mean greater expense and more immigrant workers--which I'm OK with).
I can't remember which famous person said he wouldn't eat anything with a face but whoever he is he's stupid. Someone else said, in a book, that animals suffer great fear when they're about to be killed so we end up eating elevated amounts of adrenaline and cortisol. How do we know that plants aren't experiencing a type of panic when they're being plowed up by the roots?

Well, my point is that I don't think there's much that can't be consumed, aside from the usual taboo items (other people) and things that are just too ugly to eat (other people). The issue is how you raise your food and how you harvest or slaughter it. It should be done respectfully, with the good of the product being the priority. Animal or vegetable, the good of the product contributes to the good of the human.

I have more opinions on animal and vegetable rights--and minerals too--you'll be interested or horrified to know. I'll hold forth on this at greater length in another post.