Thursday, November 16, 2006

"Hungry" versus "Food Insecurity"

Now comes the U.S. Department of Agriculture with its latest report regarding Americans' access to food. According to the Washington Post, the lead author of the report says that the group of people who prepared the report don't have a scientifically accurate description of "hunger" and so that word is not longer used in the USDA's report. Rather, the report uses a comparative system of "food security" classifications, such as "low food security", "food insecurity", "very low food security", and so on.

Hmm... I used to think that "hungry" as a word was pretty easy to define; it was when I hadn't eaten in a while and I wanted something to eat. I bet a lot of the respondents or subjects of the USDA report who haven't had food on their tables in a while could understand the term. I sure could.

So, I've got an idea for motivating the writers of next year's report to come up with a definition of "hunger": Let's just give them bread and water for the week leading up the drafting of the report, and maybe, just water, for the last couple of days before report writing starts. My guess is that they'd figure out a definition of hunger then.

But then, they'd probably say that hunger (when they'd defined it) could be assuaged by that vegetable, catsup. After all, Ronald Reagan said it counted as food, so it should be good for dealing with an undefineable condition....

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Pelosi, Oh, Pelosi! Come On, Guys, Don't Blow This!

Great, just great... I'm talking about the dust-up Nancy Pelosi's caused by sending a letter around the House of Representatives saying that John Murtha's her made man to be House Majority Leader, vice Steny Hoyer, who very much wants that job, and who seems to have the backing of a lot of Dems presently in the House. I say presently, because the new guys, the incoming freshman Congressmen/women are going to have their own thoughts on all of this as well. Which way the new guys will go remains to be seen, but conventional wisdom now has it that Hoyer's got the votes for the job.

The thing is, Pelosi, in my book, appears to be practioner of the very same principles/habits of the Republican/Republican leadership, especially as pertains to corruption (or charges thereof, against Murtha). Regarding Murtha, she seems to value personal loyalty (that of Murtha in support of Pelosi's campaign to be House Minority leader), more than perceptions/allegations that Murtha's engaged in questionable actions benefitting his brother and another guy, and their consulting firms.

Pelosi doesn't seem to realize (or worse not care) that ignoring the views of the majority of her colleagues while dismissing whispers of corruption makes her look a lot like the leaders of the party the Democrats just ousted.

Most Americans voted just now to throw out the Republicans because of two things: Iraq and corruption. Pelosi hasn't said anything about what she plans to do re: Iraq. But she's taken the initiative in showing that she really doesn't take the concept, even the whiff, of corruption seriously.

Well, I've got news for Pelosi: She better listen really closely to people arguing against Murtha's nomination and more, she should heed those arguments. Or she might not be around in two more years....

Thursday, November 09, 2006

It's Nice to Sleep with the One You Love

Oh, K, how do I relate it? How do I relate what it's like to have you turn off the light and then snuggle down into what you call "your place", your face against the hollow below my collar bone, your leg thrown over my hips, your arm across my chest, your breath gently against my neck.... It's a lovely way to go to sleep, and if I never woke again.... Well, what nice way to leave this life? I love you, K. mua, ym

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

What Do We Do Now?

Well, results are in, as they say, and it looks like the Dems won the House, almost in spite of themselves, and they may do the same in the Senate, although we probably won't know that until sometime in December, given Virginia's arcane recount regs and the closeness of that race between Webb and Allen. Rumsfeld's just resigned as I write this, and we're going to have an interesting new Speaker of the House, a woman, Nancy Pelosi, for the first time in the House's history.

Most commentators/bloggers, etc. see all this as rejection of Bush et al's Iraq policies, and I'm sure that's a key factor. Still, I'm sure that there were/are lots of voters like myself who've never liked this administration's my-way-or the-highway approach as it rammed through initiatives injurious to America's middle class, including tax cuts of all sorts clearly intended to benefit the wealthy, changes (I wouldn't dignify them with the term "reforms") of MediCare/MedicAid also intended to benefit wealthy Republican cronies in the so-called health care industry, both HMO's and pharmaceutical companies (NB: U.S. health indicators overall, per the WHO, have us as country number 13 or 14 in the world), and... well, so on.

As well Bush and his pals, with some Democrat collaborators like Liberman (damn, I wish that man hadn't won; what a hypocritical, crypto-Repub!) have done serious, long term damage to citizens' rights to habeas corpus, freedom from illicit detention, torture, and so on. They've turned our country into a quasi-Gestapo-like state where the "authorities" can do damn well what they please with anyone that's deemed to be, whatever, a "person of interest", a "person with suspected ties/sympathies to terrorists", a "terrorist"(real or imagined, Bush and his team gets to make the call), and.... agh, it makes me gag.

...And we're not even talking about things like the damage this man and his government have done to the environment ("Global warming? What global warning?"), packing the courts with anti-abortion types (no stem cell research unless Nancy Reagan endorses it!), political hacks and nitwits who manage "faith-based initiatives" or who screw up Katrina responses - or Iraq, come to think of it.

Finally, there's the lying, cheating, corruption, hypocrisy, and just plain, disgusting bullying inherent in this group of people, all the way from Bush himself, his Darth Vaders, Rove and Cheney, Rice, Rumsfeld, and the list goes on, through Tom Delay and other corrupt, lying Congressmen, down into the ranks of the Repub party itself, as well as the operatives they've placed throughout the U.S. Government, always with an eye toward bending/distorting decisions to benefit themselves or their friends personally, or to forward their twisted agendas in areas such as health (the FDA's disgusting hold-off of Plan B pills for months), environment (two Secretaries of Interior continually overturning/ignoring sound technical recommendations on the environment because they were adverse to economic interests of party supporters), and so on....

Well, maybe, just maybe, some American voters have awakened to the realities of all of this after a six-year, self-induced coma in which they/they went along with all of this. Goddamn, what a fucking, frustrating mess....

So now, what will the Dems do? As has been said, Bush is still Bush and he still holds the reins of power, especially when it comes to foreign policy, with Iraq, that running, pus-filled sore of a mess foremost in that arena. What can/should the Dems do at this point? Well, I'd hold a long, long, public, very public, series of hearings/investigations of how we really got into the messes of Iraq, Afghanistan, Iran, North Korea, of all of the arrogant, screwed up decisions that were made (without or without public knowledge) and all of the attendant, corrupt business dealings that have squandered our money, in particular in juicy, non-competitive contracts on the military and civilian aid fronts in Iraq and Afghanistan.

We should use all of that in preparation for the 2008 elections in order to enlighten the electorate as to just what kind of government they bought into in 2000 (almost) and in 2004. And by the way, I haven't forgotten cowardly, fine-line walking types like Clinton, Kerry, Feinstein, and of course, Leiberman, who really should have been voted out this time or should be voted out the next time. The fact that these pusillanimous, talk-out-of-both-sides-of your-mouth-at-the-same-time sorts should even/even be considered as national leaders is a sad commentary on the dearth of principled, courageous leaders within the Democratic Party, and,unfortunately, the ignorance/stupidity of Dem membership itself.

The Dems need new leadership capable of getting us out of Iraq, of getting us respected once again in the world, and of taking care of middle class needs in this country, particularly as pertains to health care (we should have a national, universal, health care system with free care for all), education, particularly higher education (reinvigorate the University of California system, for instance), strengthen our borders against illegal immigration (I know, I run against the liberal mainstream on this; see a posting I did on this some months ago), and a ton of other areas that have languished/been ignored/been abused/been corrupted, as a resulted of the not-so intelligent design of Bush y cia...

Blah.. Well, I've vented for the moment. More later, as I can get away from the chocolate business.... And finally, fuck Rumsfeld; he got a lot of our boys and girls killed and killed a lot more Iraqis in the bargain. Stuff happens, indeed....