Category Archives: Current Events

Guns and America

In the issue of guns and mass killings in our country, everyone immediately lines up on their side of the argument. In this corner, we have gun control. In that corner we have violent media. In another corner we have mental illness. And over there is the bad parenting crowd. In the middle, we have gun owners and advocates who want their guns, no matter what. The arguing never changes and action never happens.

Let’s look at the big picture for a minute.

It’s all of these things.

ALL of them.

An effective solution must incorporate some of everything. Once we understand that, once we ACCEPT that, we can begin to take intelligent action.

With the Big Picture is established, we can begin to break it down. I have no real order to my list, certainly not order of importance. If all these things fit together, there’s no single thing that’s more important than the others. Let’s just discuss them.

Violent Media

Entertainment Industry: this is on you.

You own it. You profit from it. And every man and woman who has worked in a violent movie, written a violent script, drawn a violent graphic novel, created a violent video game: you walked with Nikolas Cruz onto that school ground and pulled the trigger with him.

You can’t get out of it. You are murderers.

Until you stop creating and selling blood and body counts, our society will never be able to solve this problem.

It is possible to create entertainment that has conflict and action (and a good story – remember those?) without body parts and gore, and without deaths numbering in the hundreds or thousands. You create rally cool explosions and ten-minute long car chases that destroy buildings and bridges, and you litter your fictional streets with dead bodies and blood.

We can see only so much of this before we are numb to it, and the dead cease to be people with lives and loves and hopes.

We can see only so much before it’s easy to walk into a school and litter the playground with real bodies.

Mental Illness

There’s little doubt that mental illness plays a part in many mass shootings. At the very least, a shooter is a disturbed individual, and intervention, therapy or medication may have prevented violence. But this issue is part and parcel of our miserable health care system. It will be addressed by solving that problem. The thorny issues of how to spot the problems, how to report them, and when to act on them will begin to be answered once we make mental health a regular part of health care.

Bad Parenting

This issue is always thrown out by the people with perfect children. It almost doesn’t need to be talked about. But as someone who does NOT have perfect children (just darn good ones, but also one very troubled one) I suppose I can say a few things here.

Kids need guidance. They need to learn self-discipline. They need to face the consequences of their choices and actions. All of this happens differently at different ages and with different abilities. The goal is a human who can handle himself in a reasonably intelligent manner by the age of 18.

It’s true that some parents want to make everyone else responsible for their child’s mistakes. That’s just tiresome. If you’re one of those parents, trust me, everyone around you knows it. They are ridiculing you behind your back. I hope that thought embarrasses you. Now go make your kids do some chores and get their homework done.

“Bad parenting” is just a buzzword. The truly troubled individuals who are killing people were not always brought up by bad parents. They weren’t necessarily spoiled or neglected. They probably were not brought up by atheists either, despite all you folks who insist these things happen because we no longer pray in schools.

Something that would really help is better communities. We’ve become too individualistic, too self-reliant. How many of your neighbors do you know? How many of your friends are the parents of your children’s friends? How much time do your children spend doing interesting and constructive things with diverse groups that include people of all ages? Not just church services, and not just youth sports groups. How about picking up litter or building homes for the homeless, or making a trail in the wilds? Is there a community garden they can work in? Volunteer work in a nursing home or hospital, or maybe helping an elderly neighbor clean out gutters? And are you out there with them?

There is so much a community can do for its families. There is so much we NEED to be doing. This is a hugely neglected part of life in America, and we’re paying for it in the currency of lonely, bored children. I don’t mean that kids should never play or hang out with their friends. That needs to be done, too. But they are doing that. What they are not doing is being part of a community, and that’s largely because we, the adults, are not part of the community. We need to change that.

One last point: Did you read the section above on the Entertainment Industry? As parents, we can’t get away with just blaming them. We are responsible ourselves, to keep our kids from seeing bloody and violent movies and video games. I know this is hard, and even impossible, on some level. Kids will access them somewhere, somehow, no matter what we do. But by refusing to allow them, we can at least minimize exposure. And our kids will be more aware of the influence these things can have over them. Whether this helps or not, I don’t know, but the problem is so serious I think we must try.

And parents need all the help they can get, which must come from the community. I’m thinking of rating systems. They’re a joke at this point. Somehow, the movie rating “PG” has become a defacto “R,” with some of those movies containing more and more graphic violence. We’ve all become so used to violence in our entertainment, that we’re exposing our children to it at younger and younger ages. It’s time to demand that this stop.

Now, let’s discuss the elephant in the room.

Gun Control

If you are against restrictions and regulations of guns, you are the problem. You are responsible for every murder done with an assault, automatic, or semi-automatic weapon.

Now that I’ve really made you mad, let me talk about what sensible gun control can look like for civilian Americans:

  1. No assault, automatic, or semi-automatic weapons of any kind, ever. I think the standard should be one bullet per trigger pull. Any weapon that shoots more should be outlawed.
  2. One gun per person.
  3. A license is required before a purchase can be made. In order to acquire this license a person must:
  4. Be at least 25 years of age
  5. Pass extended background check with NO license going to anyone convicted of a felony, battery, assault, domestic violence, stalking, threatening, mentally ill… I’m sure there are more, and also nuances among some of the ones I’ve listed.
  6. Show proof of completion of an approved, official training course in the laws pertaining to guns, and in the handling, shooting, storage, and safety of guns. The course should also include enough first aid to handle accidents.
  7. Show proof of insurance that covers loss, theft, damage to property, and injury/death to animals that were not being hunted for food, or injury/death to humans.
  8. If your gun is lost or stolen, you cannot replace it.
  9. A second gun can be bought only upon surrender of the first gun for recycling or reuse.
  10. Renew license every three years by passing a new test of your knowledge and shooting ability.

Beyond this, we must all follow rules and restrictions for the use of guns. Just like we can’t drive a car anywhere or any way we like, we can’t use guns indiscriminately. For example, no guns allowed in public places.  They should be restricted to hunting situations or shooting ranges. Ammunition should also be highly restricted – perhaps no more than five per year in the home. But you cannot shoot your gun in the home or on your property, unless it’s in self-defense. You must take the gun to a shooting range to practice.

And – this is vitally important – guns can only be purchased at retailers licensed to sell guns. No gun shows, no private sales.

I’ll admit this is all draconian. You’re throwing up your hands and saying there’s no point in having a gun at all under these conditions. Which, frankly, is exactly what I think. That’s my bias, I’m afraid. I don’t understand why you want one or what you want to do with it. Maybe that’s something someone can explain to me.

I know, I know – you want it for self-defense. But in a practical sense, that just doesn’t add up for me. If you are going to safely have a gun in your house, you have to keep it locked away from children, and have the ammunition stored separately. If someone is threatening you or your family, how are you going to have time to get all that together? But if you don’t store it like this, your family lives in constant danger of accidental shootings. Not to mention, it’s very easy for a crook to find your gun and use it against you.

So what’s the point of having it? Honestly, I don’t get it. So, I’m standing by my list.

There is one more very important step to consider before we’re done.

The Cleanup

Putting all these regulations and restrictions in place would be a wonderful start. But it’s only the beginning. The hard work must still be done: finding and confiscating the plethora of guns that are everywhere in our society.

We have to register all the guns that are currently in circulation. And most importantly, we must remove any assault-style, automatic, or semi-automatic gun, and the ammunition they use.

THAT is going to take some work. It will require a national effort that reaches into every city, town, and hamlet. It’s an undertaking fraught with opportunities for danger or corruption., Where do we put the guns we gather up? How do we make sure they are not sold to arms dealers, foreign or domestic? Or stolen by the same? How and where do we safely store and destroy the ammunition?

I refuse to believe it’s too hard to do. We need to roll up our sleeves and do it anyway.

An important first step will be to declare a moratorium on the manufacture and sale of any new guns or ammunition. Don’t whine that this will put people out of a job. Businesses lay off people for far less important reasons. I don’t know if anyone has ever counted, but I am certain that there are more guns and bullets on this planet than will ever be needed.

If you insist on a strong military, then gather everything up and give it to them. They might actually have the infrastructure to handle the influx. And they are the only organization in our country that needs these things.

Once we’ve stopped (or at least, paused) the influx of new guns and ammunition, we start gathering what’s out there. If you already own guns, you have to register them. You have to surrender outlawed types. And no, we aren’t paying you for them. You spent your money on something you had no need for, and that was drastically dangerous to everyone in the country –  that’s on you. The taxpayers are already paying for the damage that’s been done, and now we’re paying to destroy them. We’re not giving you money, too.

If you have lots of guns and bullets, and a law is passed to restrict the number you can have, you’ll have to surrender the extras.

Anything you keep, you will have to pay to register and insure – each one separately. You will have to pass a test, written and practical – to obtain a license to keep them. If you can’t afford to do this, then surrender the guns and ammo.

Marlene, you’re nuts.

Yes, I know this is not likely to be implemented. There are too many people who don’t take the danger seriously enough, or who just don’t care. But America has become a war zone, and as an American, I think that’s intolerable. It’s one thing if a foreign enemy attacks us relentlessly and we are fighting a real war in our country. But we’ve done this to ourselves and that is completely ridiculous. This is a drastic situation and it requires drastic action.

Gun owners and advocates, I’m begging you: take this seriously. Look at what our country has become. Our children – kindergarten through high school –  go to school and practice how to hide in a closet and not make a sound for fifteen minutes. People go to the movies or shopping, or out to eat, and keep looking over their shoulders, pushing worry and fear into their guts, knowing that at any moment, a hail of bullets could shatter everything in their lives.

No reason. No warning.

Knowing that it probably won’t happen, doesn’t help the fear and anxiety go away. We live with it now, every minute of our lives. Our children live with it. And many, many innocent Americans have paid the ultimate price.

Gun owners and advocates, I’m asking you: is this the country you want? Don’t you think it could or should be different? Why won’t you help us?

 

 

 

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The Foundation of Gender Inequality

This article is so perfect, you must go read it right now. It’s NYT, so if you don’t subscribe you might not have access, but I encourage you to try. The title is interesting: “The Men Who Want to Live Forever.” But those men (billionaires, of course) are just an excuse for author Dara Horn to zero in on the bottom line for gender inequality: throughout human existence, women have been almost exclusively responsible for the care, feeding, and comfort of other human beings.

Men have not.

More than any of the millions of words written about patriarchy, sexual harassment, glass ceilings, or male-posturing-resulting-in-war-greed-destruction, this essay brings the point forward in an easy to understand way. Men feel free to do all these things because they (as a gender) have never developed the empathy that comes from the day-to-day caring of vulnerable humans.

I am not saying that all women have empathy, or that they all enjoy caring for other people, or even that all women are good at it. I am not saying that is what women should be doing, exclusive of all else.

I am not saying that all men have no empathy, or that no men ever physically care for someone else. My own son is a nurse – thus I have positive proof that men can be caregivers.

But let’s first acknowledge that male dominance is the Way of Life on this planet, and has been for most or all of human history. Let’s acknowledge that the rules, religions, and laws of human history have been made by men, and for the benefit of men. They exist to protect and ensure the dominance of men.

Let’s acknowledge that through all of our species’ history, very few men spent time in the physical care of other human beings. This is their handicap. This denied them to opportunity to develop deep empathy. As Ms. Horn points out, caring for someone else forces the caregiver to see the world from someone else’s point of view. What does this person need?

And then, one more step beyond figuring out what the other person needs: the caregiver must then fulfill that need.

Oh my gosh, if more men – if all men  – spent their lives sharing equally in the care of vulnerable human beings – children, the elderly, the ill, the injured – I believe we would see the end of patriarchy. Men and women would be partners in the existence of the human species, and in the societies we build.

Because this is the core of life. Not power. Not money. Not dominance.

Caring.

Those rich and powerful men who want to live forever? Let’s see them spend all their years in the care of others. To actually be responsible for the humans around them.

To quote Captain Kirk: “Above all else, a god needs empathy.”

Let’s fix this.

Ursula K. Le Guin. Go in Peace.

Ursula K. Le Guin

 “The speaking of her name and of her words goes on, and will go on, today and tomorrow and for a very long time now. As it should. She was the mother of so many of us, and you should take time to mourn your mother.”

-John Scalzi

 Like so many others, I felt a true loss upon learning of Ursula K. Le Guin’s death. And I feel a strong pull to “speak of her name and of her words.” I’m not a famous writer. I never met Ms. Le Guin, so I have no special stories to share. I only want to speak her name and talk for a minute about her words.

I first read her words when I was too young to truly understand them. Perhaps junior high or early high school. But while I missed much of the depth of her wonderful stories, I did appreciate them. Not just the poetry of them, though that wonder was there. No, what I felt in those words was power and recognition.

Her power was that of a mother, as John Scalzi so appropriately said. Here was a woman writing about nurture and honesty and respect. She wrote stories that fed us and opened us and shamed us. She showed us how to be True People, and she did it in the firmest, gentlest way. She was not a mother you could ignore, or talk back to, or argue with. She spoke with the authority of wisdom.

She was one of the first female writers I read who did that.

And I recognized myself in her words. Her stories were worlds I knew in my soul. I never knew her, and she certainly never knew me, but we were kindred spirits. Her worlds showed me how we could live honest lives, and that it was possible for a society to respect the Earth.

More recently, her words – in countless blog posts and articles – often gave me hope as she wrote about the nightmares of our world today. She had a way of laying a perspective on things we couldn’t control. If she was angry, she said so. If she despaired, she showed us why. If she had a solution, she described it. She reminded us that women were strong and good, and that we had a job to do in this world. She insisted that men were good, too, but not better than women. Equal. She never lost sight of the fact that we are all in this together.

And she never gave up on us.

I will miss her.

 

 

 

Net Neutrality or Just Slow. What are the Solutions?

We’ve had major internet problems for months. We’re in the middle of the San Francisco Bay Area, suburban, but surrounded on all sides by around 500,000 people. We’ve been Comcast customers for years.

Nearly everyday, we either lose internet completely – several times a day – or it’s so slow, our routine is to click on a web page and go do something else. Often, the page never comes up all the way. Or we get messages saying the website is unsafe, or doesn’t appear to be working, or nonsense like that. You’d think it was still 1998 or something.

Comcast helpfully sends out technicians who look at wires outside and pass the problem up the chain to different technicians. We are constantly assured that the problem will be fixed soon. We’ll have a few days of good connection, then ho-hum, back to slowville.

What to do? I’m not sure AT&T would be any better, and I don’t know of any other options around here. So this article got my eye.

At the moment, we supposedly have net neutrality, but you’d never know it if you lived in our house. We have few options and no voice in the service we get. And if net neutrality does go away, we lose big time. So a local co-op sounds like an interesting idea. But I don’t know how it would work, especially around here. Wouldn’t the co-op have to use Comcast’s or AT&T’s infrastructure? How independent would it really be?

Does anyone know about this? What other options are there for us?

Where Comes the National Anthem?

Brent Staples writes a perspective in the New York Times that offers information the average American probably doesn’t know about our national anthem. Maybe you knew already about “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” and its history and reason for existence. I’ve never heard of it.

Most of us know at least a little about “The Star-Spangled Banner,” how Francis Scott Key wrote it after seeing the flag still waving over the fort after a bitter battle. Stirs the soul, yes.

Most of us know Key was a slave-owner. In general, I’m willing to allow historical figures their triumphs even if they held views we now consider vile. “Men of their time” and that kind of thing, but I add the caveat that there were a LOT of other men (and women) of “that time” who understood those views were wrong. So no one gets a complete pass in my book. But I only recently found out about the despicable third verse of Key’s song:

No refuge could save the hireling and slave
From the terror of flight, or the gloom of the grave…

This is probably a reference to the slaves who fought with the British in return for the promise of freedom, assuming the British won the war. I can practically see Key’s as an incarnation of Emperor Palpatine, licking his lips and rubbing his hands in gleeful disdain as he cackles over the cowering humans he owns. “You lost and you are doomed forever! Ha!”

So maybe we should not have used that song as a national anthem. Can’t we be better than that?

“Lift Every Voice and Sing” is better – you can read the lyrics here – although it’s still  not perfect IMO. Personally, I don’t think we can have an anthem that does not acknowledge and honor the native people we slaughtered as we stole their land from them. But the history of this song is a clear tribute to real freedom because that freedom applies to all Americans.

Which is the whole darn point.

American Women Die in Childbirth

As a natural childbirth teacher and doula, I know all this already. But this article in Quartz is a credible and accurate summation of the seriousness of America’s problem.

This post is not intended as a scare tactic for women. I simply want to point out that it’s a serious issue that has not been exposed enough.

I’m going give you one quote from the article, that says all the important points beautifully:

Jennie Joseph, a British-trained nurse midwife who has been practicing in the US for the past 26 years and runs Commonsense Childbirth, a birth center which offers midwifery prenatal care in Orlando, Florida, sums it all up effectively: “It’s racism, it’s classism, it’s sexism: All of these things are at play and […] the intersection with capitalism and power,” she told Quartz. “[Women] are dying of a system that’s broken.”  (I added the bold).

Americans – especially American politicians, along with the religious right – want a country where women have no access to birth control, no access to abortion, no access to adequate pre-natal care and even less access to post-partum care, no societal support in the form of visiting nurses, doulas, lactation consultants, no help in raising the children they give birth to, and NO RIGHT TO COMPLAIN ABOUT ANY OF IT.

Women are not heard in American medicine. This is a real and known problem. Reproduction is just one part of it, but it’s a huge part. Please read the article.

 

 

National Service?

This article in the NYT was interesting. Mind you, I have nothing but derision for Kelly’s attitude toward the American people he’s supposed to be serving, but he’s got the right idea with a national service.

I agree. I think we should have a national service in which all Americans, except for the most seriously disabled, should be required to participate. Not just – or even primarily – military service. We should not live our lives or run our country in devotion to war. There are a thousand other things people could do during their service: build homes, schools, or other public areas, teach, feed, care for elderly or children, serve on juries, pick up litter, serve as emergency responders… we could consistently build and maintain a highly functional society whose people understand they depend on each other.

Timing and length of service is debatable. Immediately after high school? Or after college? Or perhaps there could be alternatives people could choose. Some tasks will require skills or education, so people who go into one of those areas might wait until after college or other training. Some tasks just need a few weeks of OJT, so they might be for new high school graduates.

Like the military, people should be paid for this time in service. Health care is a given, as are a regulated work week, time off, etc. It’s a job, but the work is devoted to something the country needs to have done. There should be a basic training period like the military has, although it may not need to be so physically rigorous. That will depend on the unit’s assigned task (MOS in military terms). But the point of it is to build community among the cohort, and this is something that is sorely needed among Americans today. We are too fragmented and too disposed to ignore each other. Basic training and a couple of years in community service will at least be a time in our lives when we knew what it was to work with others toward a common goal.

And we’ll get things done that need doing. We’ll finally be able to maintain our infrastructure and we’ll have access to bright minds and nimble ideas to improve on the old and build the new. And with the training and skills people get during this time, they’ll be able to go out and find or create jobs that will support them and continue to contribute to society as productive citizens. Who knows, maybe we’ll reduce homelessness, too.

And just maybe, we won’t hate each other so much.

 

ACOG Makes New Recommendations

Holy cow. Is it April 1st? No really, tell me if it is, because this is almost TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE: Approaches to Limit Intervention During Labor and Birth.

Just to have the new recommendations safely in more than one place, here they are, straight from the document:

  • For a woman who is at term in spontaneous labor with a fetus in vertex presentation, labor management may be individualized (depending on maternal and fetal condition and risks) to include techniques such as intermittent auscultation and nonpharmacologic methods of pain relief.
  • Admission to labor and delivery may be delayed for women in the latent phase of labor when their status and their fetuses’ status are reassuring. The women can be offered frequent contact and support, as well as nonpharmacologic pain management measures.
  • When women are observed or admitted for pain or fatigue in latent labor, techniques such as education and support, oral hydration, positions of comfort, and nonpharmacologic pain management techniques such as massage or water immersion may be beneficial.
  • Obstetrician–gynecologists and other obstetric care providers should inform pregnant women with term premature rupture of membrane (PROM [also known as prelabor rupture of membranes]) who are considering a period of expectant care of the potential risks associated with expectant management and the limitations of available data. For informed women, if concordant with their individual preferences and if there are no other maternal or fetal reasons to expedite delivery, the choice of expectant management for a period of time may be appropriately offered and supported. For women who are group B streptococci (GBS) positive, however, administration of antibiotics for GBS prophylaxis should not be delayed while awaiting labor. In such cases, many patients and obstetrician–gynecologists or other obstetric care providers may prefer immediate induction.
  • Evidence suggests that, in addition to regular nursing care, continuous one-to-one emotional support is associated with improved outcomes for women in labor.
  • For women with normally progressing labor and no evidence of fetal compromise, routine amniotomy need not be undertaken unless required to facilitate monitoring.
  • To facilitate the option of intermittent auscultation, obstetrician–gynecologists and other obstetric care providers and facilities should consider adopting protocols and training staff to use a hand-held Doppler device for low-risk women who desire such monitoring during labor.
  • Use of the coping scale in conjunction with different nonpharmacologic and pharmacologic pain management techniques can help obstetrician–gynecologists and other obstetric care providers tailor interventions to best meet the needs of each woman.
  • Frequent position changes during labor to enhance maternal comfort and promote optimal fetal positioning can be supported as long as adopted positions allow appropriate maternal and fetal monitoring and treatments and are not contraindicated by maternal medical or obstetric complications.
  • When not coached to breathe in a specific way, women push with an open glottis. In consideration of the limited data regarding outcomes of spontaneous versus Valsalva pushing, each woman should be encouraged to use the technique that she prefers and is most effective for her.
  • In the absence of an indication for expeditious delivery, women (particularly those who are nulliparous with epidural analgesia) may be offered a period of rest of 1–2 hours (unless the woman has an urge to bear down sooner) at the onset of the second stage of labor.

Do you have any idea how amazing this is? Women have been fighting for DECADES in this country, to have these very things be standard medical practice for the average woman with an average pregnancy. I spent years training expectant parents how to navigate the American medical system in order to BE LEFT ALONE DURING LABOR, unless something is actually wrong. I taught them how to negotiate with their doctor so the laboring woman could stay out of bed, move as much as she wanted, in whatever position helped her, and to deliver in whatever position helped her. To not be put on an arbitrary time table with the threat of C-section hanging like a club over her head.

And now, out of the blue… it’s here. Have we won the war? Will this actually happen? Will doctors take it to heart and incorporate it into their practice? Will medical schools begin to teach students how natural, intervention-free labor can be? Will they let their students see intervention-free labors during training? Will newly-trained obstetricians actually UNDERSTAND that birth is a natural process?

I’m almost hyperventilating, I’m so excited.

As long as it’s not April 1st.

 

 

 

 

Why are Progressive Feminist Groups Banning People?

I found this incident at a lesbian march in Chicago to be very disturbing. If you can’t read the article because you don’t subscribe to the NYT, the gist is that organizers of a lesbian march kicked out a couple of women who carried flags with a Star of David. Evidently, the purpose of the march was for lesbians to celebrate their identities. These women identified as Jewish lesbians.

So many of us are more than one thing. In fact, we all are. Part of life is to deal with the struggle to balance the often contradictory aspects of our natures.

The problem, as the organizers saw it, is that the state of Israel is an oppressor of Palestinians. Therefore, a Jewish lesbian who wants to celebrate both parts of her identity is not welcome in progressive feminism. She would have to deny part of her Self (in this case, hide the flag) if she wished to participate.

In this case, the women in question were not advocating for, or even supporting, the political policies of the State of Israel. They were declaring their Jewish-Lesbian identities. I’m pretty sure the Jewish religion does not condone homosexuality, which means that these women, like many of the “Christian” attendees in the march, have had to deal with disapproval and/or rejection from loved ones and religious figures.

Yet, they are Jewish, and happy to be so, despite the shortcomings of the religion. And let’s not forget, that in the case of Jews, the “Jewishness” is an ethnic identity as well as a religious one. It’s as if I were told I could not be Irish or Italian for the purposes of the march.

It’s a strange line to draw, in my opinion.

Imagine instead, a march where Jewish lesbian feminists walked along with Palestinian lesbian feminists. Because the fight in this march was not about government polices of war or aggression. It was about feminism and gay rights and identity. It was about forging bonds with others of similar, but maybe not identical, persuasions. It was about community.

As long as participants were not advocating for the destruction of another group, they should be able to participate. For example, I could see banning skin-head lesbians (if such exist) who deny the right of existence to lesbians of other colors or ethnicities. But Jewish lesbians are not at all represented in that category. Skin-heads choose to be that way. Jews are born. You’d think the gay community would understand the difference. The Left needs to get this stuff figured out, before we turn into the same bullies we are trying to displace.

ON THE ISSUE OF ISRAEL

I have my own opinions about Israel, mostly along the idea that a bunch of men from western nations had no right to carve up the globe to their preference after WWII, and that includes drawing lines in a country none of them lived in, and forcing the inhabitants to pick up and move out, because they were giving the land to other people.

I have no problem with the Jewish people having a state, especially after the horrors of the Holocaust. The world did indeed have to do something. And I completely understand the desire of the world’s Jews to have a place of their own once again. And yes, I know that the area of “Israel” used to be theirs. But after 2,000 years, it wasn’t theirs anymore, and it was the height of western arrogance to give it to them.

It was all wrapped up in that Judeo-Christian thing, where Christians have to admit that the Jewish god is also their god, and that Jews are the “chosen people.” Christians always struggle with the dichotomy of this Chosen-ness, against the idea that the Jews are “Christ-killers.” They really don’t “like” the Jews and would prefer they keep to themselves, but they’re afraid God will be mad if they act on that. So throughout history, Christians mostly tolerated Jews in their midst while practicing mild-to-medium prejudice and segregation.

Many times the prejudice boiled over and pogroms were enacted. Mostly these were ignored by the rest of the world. Hitler just went too far, while also trying to take over the world. This could not be ignored. And the extremeness of his actions required the rest of the world to make restitution to the Jews.

No argument from me. But again, it wasn’t our place to give them Palestine. Maybe we should have given the Jews Eastern Germany instead of letting Stalin have it. It would have been payment the Germans in particular owed to the Jews, and the Jews would have done a much better job of running the place.

 

 

 

 

From Marion Nestle: What Fruits and Vegetables do Americans Eat?

I almost linked this post straight to Facebook. I’ve been doing that too much lately, bypassing my own blog.

It’s either lack of sleep or plain laziness.

So here’s the link to Dr. Nestle’s post: http://www.foodpolitics.com/2017/05/what-fruits-and-vegetables-do-americans-eat-more-charts-from-usda/.

It’s an eye-opener. People, there are far more vegetables than tomatoes, corn, and potatoes. Oranges, apples, and bananas are NOT the only fruit in the world. For your own health… please branch out!

Pet peeve: potatoes should not even be listed as a vegetable, and juice is not fruit. Use potatoes as a healthy starch (they ARE good for you as long as you don’t fry them), and juice is just candy. EAT the fruit!

What do you eat most weeks?
What are your reasons?
Have you ever tried to branch out into the huge variety of fresh fruits and vegetables available?
What is NOT available where you live?