Monday, August 31, 2009

the obese, acid refluxed, chronically achy, Fox channel watching, gun toting and pick up driving crowd

Studies again are revealing the fact that Southern states, led by West Virginia, are not only poorer but have much higher levels of prescription drug intake. Oddly enough, this is generally the same region that is most vociferously opposed to universal health care. This can be analyzed through he class prism or through the state as big brother prism. I would like to think that poorer people opt for less healthier foods because they simply have not been made aware of the benefits of the much reviled arugula, sprouts and other "liberal" food staples.Here in the town of New Paltz, the Latte Drinking, Sushi Eating, Volvo Driving, New York Times Reading, NPR listening crowd wins without a doubt but oddly enough I suspect that the obesity rates are kept down because people are opting to not buy into what some would call "the personal choice" of eating junk food and drinking super Slurpees, and instead spend their spare time tending to their gardens and walking or biking around the many nature trails so easy to maintain and so beneficial to use. People do not realize that it isn't big government that leads to obesity but big business. A garden in your back yard is a lot less profitable than a big barbecue grill. I don't have to go into the economics of it because they are obvious enough; so although the idea of government trying to tell me what food to eat has little appeal to me, the idea that the big corporations which run big government don't even want to give me a choice has even less appeal.
As my husband points it would be a lot cheaper to treat all the obese, acid refluxed, chronically achy crowd than to run 2 wars in two countries that BTW have universal health care paid for by us, the American tax payers, but that's besides the point. War is what it is, promoted by who it is and that's an argument. On another note perhaps connected but still on another note is the question of why it is that the poorest citizens have the worst health, both physical and mental, suffer the most pain and eat the worst diet. Perhaps because they are less educated? You don't have a choice when you are not aware of the possibility of having one!

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Friday, August 28, 2009

Still health care, still and always

Iraq and Afghanistan are two of the countries with universal health care, payed by us, the American tax payer. There has to be some kind of irony least that.
One more thought or two on health care:
The World Health Organization (WHO) definition of Health:
The state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity. (WHO, 1947)
Theodore Roosevelt, Harry Truman, Hilary Clinton all tried and all failed. The same tactics are being used to argue against it.The universal health care plan adversaries must figure that this one is a keeper. The suckers ate the same (so much for wide spread college education), the winners are the same, and the government is the same. And as Mr. Einstein said, "insanity is attempting to do the same thing over and over and expecting different results". The adversaries are doing the same thing and getting the same results, so in all logic the people attempting to implement some kind of sane health reform should have gone about it in a different way... Not sure how but they're the ones getting the bucks and sleeping with the enemy...
Truth Out has some good suggestions...
And this article in the New Yorker authored by Atul Gawande,clearly elucidates us on the state of health in this country.His web site is a marvelously eclectic domain reflecting the Renaissance man that he embodies.
How is it that one can invariably link the world's great family fortunes to either booze, drugs or war? Kennedy's being just such an example as Joe the elder statesman made some of his early fortune running illegal booze during the Prohibition...

Preparing for the beginning of Fall semester at Touro College
The upcoming Career Fair might actually be a good place for me to find much needed advice on work and future internships.

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Wednesday, August 26, 2009

I love it when my country of origins' greats get the attention they deserve. Of course, Jose Saramago, the Nobel Laureate, is often enough mentioned, lately for all the wrong reasons. But outside of intellectual and literary circles who has ever heard of Pernando Pessoa, the poet with the madness and the 4 heteronyms plus who knows how many other poets inside him. Maureen Dowd, the New York Times commentator, whom I've at times criticized for some of her past follies, but unfailingly read, in today's review mentions him and I will take this opportunity to quote this most fascinating of poets:
The poet is a pretender
Who's so good at his act
He even pretends to be pain
The pain he feels in fact

I quote Paul Krugman:" Fox Business News is available in 49 million homes and has 21,000 viewers.That is all."

Observation: I'm driving along the idyllic roads of Ulster County apple orchard country where I now reside and looking in the fields, I see all but Blacks in the fields and ask myself. Where are these people and where do they live. Uncle John, the go to man on all things labor explains to me that what I'm seeing are Jamaican laborers, who are kept from view , get shipped in to pick the apples and shipped out at the end of the season. They live in the middle of the orchards, in trailers and I presume have all their needs met by the owners of said orchards. Will have to investigate.
Interesting dichotomy: Middletown, streets full of African American, mostly Puerto-Ricans and Hispanics, whites hiding out somewhere. New Paltz, that bastion of liberalism, all pretty white students and no people of color.

Ted Kennedy died. And so I assume will universal health care. Let Obama vacation on Martha's Vineyard, while the poor and the wretched continue to do what he was elected to help eliminate: Suffer...
Ah! the politics of the poor and the race politics in this country! where to begin?

Here is another interesting blog...Searching the Inner Me

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Saturday, August 22, 2009

for my daughter, the best

My cousin's beautiful picture of a sunset

Dedicated to my daughter:

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Friday, August 21, 2009

healthy blueberry muffins

I love going up to Minnewaska Park and picking blue berries which I then bring home and make muffins or pies with.
I found my favorite recipe for blueberry muffins and have had many many compliments. I like adding nuts to give them extra texture. They don't fluff up (well, mine don't, anyway), but have a great consistency. You can use other forms of sweetener
Whole Wheat Blueberry Muffins
makes 12

* 2 cups whole wheat flour,sifted
* 1 tsp baking soda
* 1/2 tsp salt
* 1 tsp cinnamon
* 1/2 tsp nutmeg
* 1 egg, slightly beaten
* 1 1/2 cup buttermilk
* 1/4 cup vegetable oil
* 1/2 cup honey
* 1 [generous!] cup blueberries, fresh or frozen

1. Preheat oven to 350
2. Grease muffin tins, or line with papers
3. Whisk together dry ingredients.
4. In a separate bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, egg, oil, and honey until creamy.
5. Toss blueberries into dry ingredients to quickly coat.
6. Pour wet into dry, folding with a rubber spatula just until the batter is moist (but still lumpy.)
7. Spoon into muffin tin and bake 20-30 minutes.

**For an even healthier muffin, substitute unsweetened applesauce for the oil.

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morning potpourri

The Golden Institute was a center for energy efficiency research created with limitless funds by Jimmy Carter and dismantled by the walking cowboy advertisement for "free market" capitalism and succeeding president Reagan. Would we be more energy self sufficient? I believe so!

Health care: Call the White House at 202-456-1111 or email them at:
What else can I say: Call them and tell them that they have already done too many deals,shady and secretive ones with the big health companies, tell them to get a back bone, to actually go through with the commitments they made when asking us to go campaigning door to door, like I did in Pennsylvania. How stupid was I? Very!!And as usual my husband nailed it on the head...But I'll go into that some other time.

Some credit card consumer protection kicked in yesterday, which was the day that I decided to take a pair of scissors to all but my Nordstrom card. They have been consistent, transparent and never attempted any of the chicanery some of the other ones did.They have great clothes, great service and my daughter loves it. I know they make a lot of money and what kind of interest fees they have, but I've always known, I chose to sign up, stuck to my side of the deal and they to theirs. Is that simple or what? Macy's. Walmart, Sears. Newport News, Victoria's Secret, Chase etc...bye bye. I will pay them what I owe to the last cent but they will never get one more cent out of me. There, I've done my bit!
So have I sold out my feminism or I just like dressing up a little bit? I think that a little vanity doesn't hurt anyone. After all there is a big difference between my concept of dressing up and being a fashion slave walking around with the XXI century version of bound feet, extreme heels.

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Thursday, August 20, 2009

turtles and health care

Jolie, our other family member and a looker!

On to health care:
When Truman attempted to install universal health care, in the late 40's, Senior Republican Senator Taft declared, “I consider it socialism. It is to my mind the most socialistic measure this Congress has ever had before it.” Taft suggested that compulsory health insurance, like the Full Unemployment Act, came right out of the Soviet constitution.
So what's new?
I actually went out and canvassed in Pennsylvania for this gentleman who is now selling the people out. It started with Geithner, ex Goldman Sachs employee, but what is going on beats everything.
Obama doesn't care. He has great insurance and so does his family. Again, it's all about his career. What a bum!

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Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Summer is here...finally

Summer has arrived and I'm glad it is almost over. The stickiness, the unbearable slap of hot air in the face when you poke your face outside, the bugs..yeck! bring on the snow!!!
Of course there won't be a health care public option! What do people think this is, Denmark?
No, this is American and may the most viciously rabidly pro capitalism and socialism for the rich. Seriously, have we checked who we have surrounding the prez? Yes, we would have gotten a public health plan with Hilary, but hey, that is exactly why Obama was the anointed one. I made a commentary when I read "Dreams from my father" and I still think it rings true today. Obama is for himself and himself alone. he's made it onto the history books, not much else to be done. been there, done that...
I'm still looking for a place where I can do my internship and I might actually have two, but not sure on either of them. Twisted moment in time...
I have a great video of giant tortoises having sex, not sure why except that I have a turtle and find them incredibly cute...

I wonder why there isn't a Whole Foods up here in New Paltz. It sure seems like it would have the clientele! Perhaps the local activists, among whom I count my aunt Judy were able to keep it at bay as they successfully did with Walmart. Check out the "Going Green with Buses and Bikes" video as well as a lot of other info on this beautiful community.

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Wednesday, August 12, 2009

graft and jobs and connections

Ah! The woes of the unemployed. Worse yet, is getting the interview, informing the prospective employer that you are getting a MSW, and getting about 1/2 a minute of silence on the other side of the line or desk. You have just done one of two things: You have for all practical purposes stated that you will eventually move on or require a higher salary or I suspect most common, you have just made the recruiter feel threatened that you could come to take their job. What one would think would be beneficial to any agency is turning out to be a liability. But I will get a job. If I apply to 5 jobs a day, one or two will come through, I suspect. I hope!
I'm pretty flexible, not making outlandish demands, willing to work on weekends. but alas!
And now I'll go out and do some gardening before the sun becomes too hot on my back. But not before I take a look at the mainstream madia (it is not a typo)!

I believe my real problem is not intelligence or education but lack of meaty governmental connections or a politician for a mother or father. Ssenator Pedro Espada's son, Pedro Espada Jr. sure doesn't seem to have that problem. For someone with a BA in Liberal Arts I suppose his "experience" working for daddy must have weighed heavily when up for consideration. I guess...I assume and I presume...
But then again the example comes from the top, right? This country has become a blueprint for Roman Empire their worst. Read Cicero or Juvenal

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Monday, August 10, 2009


I’m going on down to Yasgur’s farm I’m going to join in a rock ’n’ roll band — Joni Mitchell, “Woodstock”

The Jewish Forward has an interesting book review about Woodstock and the nice Jewish farmer who made his farm available for the Festival, which took place in Bethel Woods:“Max Said Yes! The Woodstock Story,” (Change the Universe Press), written by Abigail Yasgur and her husband, Joseph Lipner. The value of hachnasat orchim, was exemplified by Max Yasgur, in keeping with the prophet Avraham who was famous for opening up his tent to the four corners of the desert to welcome anyone who might come. The women, did all the work that made such hospitality possible such as cooking, cleaning and fetching water, of course, as I suspect happenend in Woodstock. But that's another story!!

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Saturday, August 08, 2009

dawn in New Paltz

UCAN Utility Consumers' Action Network - non-profit, public interest consumer advocacy

And then there's dawn in my house. All is quiet! The birds move efficiently and silently about, catching the proverbial worm and the seed and whatever else there is. And as anyone who has ever been out in the "country" knows that there are plenty of worms to go around and that you don't have to be the early one to get "it". And if there aren't any worms (I'll chalenge you on that!) then, abundance of seeds and herbs and fruit, all bountiful and there for the picking.

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Wednesday, August 05, 2009

a quote

"It has been my experience that those with no vices have very few virtues."
Abraham Lincoln

August in the Hudson Valley

Moving is a bitch!!!
Yesterday, however I had an almost perfect day at the Minnewaska Park lake. Went blueberry picking with Judy and had a wonderful conversation, hung out and ate some of her home grown and home cooked potato beet salad.
Arghhh! The health care bill! Jon Steward is covering it rather well.
Salome and I are officially part of the Minnewaska Distance Swimmers Association. What a nice group of people.
Books: a lot of stuff on social service and health care history in America. Discovered a very interesting report on the decriminalization of drugs in Portugal and the results it has had. It is called "The Effects of Decriminalization of Drugs in Portugal " and it is authored by Caitlin Hughes and Alex Stevens. My Australian buddy at the Redfern Clinic, Andrew Byrne, has nothing but good things to say about the authors, one of whom he personnally knows.

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Saturday, August 01, 2009

out of the kitchen and onto the couch

New Paltz my latest and hopefully for a loooong looong time place of residence.

Michael Pollen's article in the New York Times on food, cooking and television shows on the cooking of food is a must read. His books offer a pertinent analysis of what has become the food industry, and how we, as eater and ill-informed citizens are manipulated by them.

A scholar's attempt at preserving disappearing languages: One of the places where work like Tucker Child's will be preserved and acccessible to the public will be:, is set to start sharing data at summer’s end. “What we’re trading in with language documentation is a new genre of stuff which doesn’t have any publication channel.”

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