goingplaceslivinglife

Travel, Food, and Slices of Life


8 Comments

Facts Be Damned…You Know How You Feel

We are in for a real roller coaster ride the next 18 months….and I hate roller coasters. I do NOT like the feeling of my stomach up in my throat.  I also do not like what I am seeing at this point….knowing it will get even uglier in the months to come.roller coaster

A lot of people like Donald Trump because “he speaks his mind.” In general, speaking out against something that is wrong is an important action. However, there seems to be no analysis by those Trump admirers about the things he say that they do NOT agree with….like lusting for his daughter’s body.  It’s as if they admit he is foolish to speak about something they would then have to start thinking about his decision making about everything.  There also seems to be no willingness to discuss that a leader needs to be somewhat careful with the words he chooses to use, especially when trying to come to some agreement with someone he does not personally like. And Presidents have to do that.wpid-plato-picture-quoteSome people say they admire Ted Cruz, even though he discounts the civil rights of women. It is also true that all I have heard support him are men. But women are half the population. So the President needs to consider all the people.

I have heard people continue to focus on Bengazi whenever Hillary Clinton is mentioned, even if the issue being discussed has no relevance to Bengazi. Even though Republican Congressional investigation could not find any malfeasance. These people know what they feel; the truth is not important. And a President needs to balance the public need to know, the Congressional actions that support or detract, and overall leadership.number-of-congressional-committeess-to-investigate-benghazi

And others keep bringing up communism and how awful it is, as their way to discredit Bernie Sanders. None of these people join in any attempt to share the facts of democratic socialism. They were raised to hate communism and they do not want that. Understood, and I agree. But Bernie Sanders is not a communist nor is he pushing any concepts that would lead a thinking person to believe he is. A President that speaks to needs of most of the population, not just the wealthy, is rare. DemocraticSocialismPeople I know who are definitely NOT in the top 1% of income in this country argue that the wealthy deserve their money. They also say the poor are sucking the Federal budget dry. They never respond to information about the amount of federal spending for public assistance compared to the amount provided as business incentives to corporations that have moved much of their business offshore and enjoy lots of tax loopholes.wealth-divide

People are angry. I understand that. What I don’t understand is the desire to stay uninformed. Unwilling to read full articles and not just headlines.  Eagerness to spread innuendo and untruths because it speaks to some emotion of their own that got massaged.

People, if a message causes you to have a sense of greed or a sense of anger, distrust it. Take a few minutes and do some personal verification from a wide range of news sources…not all conservative nor all liberal in viewpoint.

And if your source of information is not dated, if it does not include the five basic elements of news reporting (who, what, when, why and how)  it is an editorial, not a news article.few factsUse your brain please. Do not sell your country short because you “know how you feel and do not need the facts.”brain-is-like-a-muscle-carl-sagan

 

 

 

 

 


3 Comments

You Have a Choice

Last year the USDA has approved one the latest stupid ideas: send live chickens to China to be processed. Think about it….crowd way too many chickens into a pallet size cage for the trip to China, process them there because workers get maybe $1-$2 per hour instead of the $10 they get paid here, and ship the packaged meat back to the US for sale. China loves the idea because the concept can be modified, they believe, to Chinese raised chicken in time, (Read about it here.)

There is no news since last fall about this decision. In other words, we have no idea if it is happening. One American economist said it does not make CENTS to pay for the transportation over 7000 miles two times, but the rule permits it, so it is perhaps only a matter of time before some corporation figures out how to make it profitable.

Concern about food processed in China is well-founded. There has been toxic dog food, baby food that needed to be recalled and more.

If you shop for the least expensive price, you may be tempted by this. If you still have a working brain cell, you won’t be.

So what is your alternative? You could buy chicken with an organic label. But there is a better choice.

Pastured chickens on Dancing Faun Farm, Oregon

Pastured chickens on Dancing Faun Farm, Oregon

You have farmers near where you live that raise meat chickens. You can learn how they raise them, what practices they use. Chickens that are pastured raised, either free ranging or in chicken tractors, have full time access to eating like birds…..pecking in the dirt, eating bugs and grass seeds. Farmers typically supplement with feed.

Chicken tractor on Avalon Farm, West Virginia, moved daily to provide a fresh patch of grass to the chickens.

Chicken tractor on Avalon Farm, West Virginia, moved daily to provide a fresh patch of grass to the chickens.

Buying locally means supporting a neighbor, a local farmer who works very hard, long hours to bring you healthy food.  It does mean you will never buy a $4 chicken again. Work your food….and health care budget…to allow for $12 chicken and you will feel MUCH better. Chicken no longer is the inexpensive meat meal it once was in our home. It is, in contrast, one of several meat meals we make weekly. We have learned to get three meals from one chicken as well, which reduces its per serving cost.

If you consider the FARMacy an important component to your health, this information is already part of your lifestyle. If this is a new piece of horrifying information to you, you have a lot of catching up to do about the stuff you have been putting into your body-and affecting your health.


2 Comments

We’re Closer Than You Think

THEY want us to be fragmented. THEY don’t want us to realize that we have so much in common that we join against them so they continuously feed us news about how we are fighting each other.

It’s time to stop listening to THEM and start listening to each other.

For example, I know you love your guns and I know you have the right to own them. I also know that since Obama became President the NRA and gun manufacturers have had a massive campaign telling you that your guns would be taken away from you.  Hasn’t happened, has it?  So, take a deep breath and join in the discussion the concerned people are having about all these damn killings. We non-gun owners don’t want you to lose your gun. We want the guns that are “out there” kept out of the hands of 3-year-olds (and 8-year-olds offered inappropriate experiences at gun ranges) and we do want a control on the guns getting into the hands of people who use them to express their anger, like estranged spouses or stalkers with restraining orders.  I think you want the same thing. You want this to be a safer place. Join the discussion. We’re closer than you think.gun-safety-poster

Another example: we hear the unemployment rate is way down, and I suppose that the way the government collects that data, it is. But here on the street we feel something otherwise. My own search for a job in the 18 months we have been in Oregon is a pretty good example.  I have a pretty diverse background and years (and years and years) of experience so I have applied to about 50 positions. I have had four interviews. Yup…and the rest? Some never even acknowledged receipt of the application.  Few sent a message about thanks but no thanks. So, I have stopped looking and am starting my own business. I guess that means I am not counted as unemployed any more. But the reality, of course, is that there is still no income generation flowing into our household budget yet.  So, what’s the problem? Well, in my case it may be ageism, the last bastion of discrimination. They can’t ask birthdate any longer but they do ask date of high school graduation. Duh. let’s see, estimate 18 years old at graduation and age 40-some years. Uh huh. Old…into the trash. Or, “too” experienced. One person actually told me I was overqualified and would be bored. No, damnit! It would be easy! I could do it with one hand tied behind my back, letting me shine for you. (okay, bitch bitch moan moan….deep breath move on)  The point is that current government policies (some good, some bad, some indifferent) have resulted in corporations moving their workforce out of the United States (without any consideration other than their profits to what that does to the local or national economy).  Some places have become so automated human personnel have dropped tremendously in the past few decades. And small business owners hire part-time workers at low wages in order to avoid taxes/fees/whatever. Some places have an amazing revolving door with their new hires but still have not caught on if they just raise the salary and be more discriminating in the expertise of the people they hire they could get someone who could do the job.  Pay a bit more so the worker can have ONE job to help the family manage and have energy to come to work refreshed and eager each day.  Offer decent time off for illness/vacation/personal time so the worker can actually get some things done to maintain their own health, for example, thereby being able and willing to be at work with full attention to the job. I know you feel the same way. We’re closer than you think.

technological-unemployment

Technology and Unemployment: The Future of the Labor Market and … pennpoliticalreview.org

Just about everyone I know has grave disappointment in the education our kids are getting. Schools are testing like crazy and scores are supposedly showing improvement but many people can not read (even this chatty kind of writing) and most can’t do simple math. Life skills? I heard recently from a friend who is the director of a social service program at a local church that she is starting a cooking class for very young kids because in many families there are three generations who do not know how to cook and the household has no cooking equipment. How about being able to present and listen to both sides of an argument? By teaching kids how to debate both sides of an issue you help teach them to listen to two sides of an issue.  You know it is hard to listen to people who rant and rave , but a calm presentation of the “other” viewpoint can be a mind opener. You know I listen to you and I know you feel the same way. We’re closer than you think.EmilysQuotes.Com-purpose-reason-learning-score-test-mistake-failure-education-intelligent-Jeannie-Fulbright

I volunteered to help with a state legislative campaign this past fall after meeting the candidate and listening to his position on the issues. I offered to make phone calls to ask people what they thought was the biggest issue facing the state and here was my experience. Each evening I worked I made 200 calls. I reached 20 people. I spoke with five. The other 15 told me things like they “don’t discuss politics” (wait a second–this is the time to do it-I promise NO argument!), “it’s meaningless what I think” (only if you don’t share it), “I always vote the straight party line” (and how has that worked for you in the past?).  I understand that with the Koch brothers buying candidates who will support their agenda, many people feel that national politics no longer is representative of what they think. (Suggestion: don’t vote for those candidate and yes, you CAN find out who has contributed to their campaign.)  I understand that even on a state level the massive amount of money that is now allowed to pour in influences the decision making. On a local level, we still may have time to grab and hold on to our government…but only if you move now.  There is a lot a grassroots movement can do, but you have to move now. There is a groundswell demanding that state legislatures call for an amendment to the Constitution that will overturn the Supreme Court’s Citizen United decision. Your voice is needed now. I know you feel the same way. We’re closer than you think.citizensunited

THEY want us to be fragmented. THEY don’t want us to realize that we have so much in common that we join against them so they continuously feed us news about how we are fighting each other.

It’s time to stop listening to THEM and start listening to each other.

 

 


2 Comments

What You Said

This election season was the first where I actually volunteered to support a candidate I liked. Ken Moore approached Graham and me while we were enjoying some locally prepared food for lunch at our Farmers’ Market a few months ago. Told us his name and suggested we vote for him. I challenged him to tell me something about his concepts and conversation started that encouraged me we might be able to have a person in the state legislature who had ideas similar to mine.

At that point I was doing the farm work and told them no, I was not walking around, knocking on doors. I wanted a sit-down job, so was assigned to the phone bank. With the sales training I received in past jobs, I can do that without getting perturbed…or so I thought.vote dont complain

The things people said are an indication of how they think….or don’t think in many cases.  We NEVER asked for money. What we asked for was the person’s opinion what the most pressing problem was facing Oregon. What would they want Ken to know so he could be their representative fully.  Simple enough, right? Here are some answers:

“I don’t know. I never thought about that.” What? You don’t have a gut reaction to ANYTHING?

Why are you bothering me!?” CLICK   Hmmm, I was hoping you were an adult who recognized your role in this mess we’re in. You don’t get active, you are part of the problem.

“I don’t get involved in politics.” Excuse me? This is your responsibility as a citizen, to learn and be involved in the running of your city/county/state/nation.  Your abdication of that responsibility means other people make decisions. You may think by ignoring it all you won’t be affected, but guess again.

“All the dead babies”  Yes, abortion is a serious issue, but the MOST important one facing the state? I understand we all have our passions, but there is more to life than any one issue.

“I’m tired of all the political ads on TV.” Well, that’s not exactly an issue a state legislature can address but YOU can turn off your TV.

“All politicians are the same. They promise stuff before election day and then do their own thing.”  It seemed that way to me too before I started making an effort to read and learn. It does take more effort than listening to ads on TV. It means going to meet and greets and actually asking questions and getting answers.  Sitting at home and depending on material in the mail box or ads is not really full information. And then, when they get voted in, sending them emails or letters or phone calls to let them know your position.

“What party is he? I only vote the xxx Party line.”  That is the easy way. It means you can feel you are doing your civic duty but is your brain attached? Do you know anything about each person on that ticket? Do you honestly think each person running has the same exact concepts as you do?

So, as we now know, only about 30% of the registered voters actually bothered to vote. And yet, the bitching and moaning will increase I bet. I will be tempted to ask each complainant if they voted and if so, how they made their decision. And how they are talking to their representative now.

If you can be part of the solution, we can begin to talk to each other and heal this nation. If you hold your beliefs firmly and refuse to discuss and learn anything about any other viewpoints, we will continue to make these same stupid decisions.

What do you say?vote you decidedYou decided. Is this your legacy to our kids and grandkids? A nation that can’t even talk to each other?