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Author Topic: Is the Right Wing Anti-Science?  (Read 31329 times)
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« Reply #30: September 19, 2010, 04:00:00 pm »

Her encouragement was helpful in getting the WIC program re-tooled for example.  The program now offers whole-grain bread and fresh fruits and veggies. 

Sperran

This reminds me of Jamie Oliver taking on the school lunch program in Food Revolution.

This is a many faceted problem.
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« Reply #31: September 19, 2010, 04:39:41 pm »


Because she's rich and her kids are thin? That's why she shouldn't be concerned with school lunches? If she were poor with chubby kids you'd think she was more "qualified"? Maybe because she worked in a hospital she saw a few people with preventable diseases. Maybe she doesn't want the obesity rate to climb higher and higher, and shorten the lives of the next generation. This is what I talked about, what she's saying is right, but because of who she is, for some, it becomes wrong. What about celebrities or any person who does charitable acts? Should they cut it out, after all, what does Bono or a soccer mom know about poverty--they didn't grow up in a poor African village?

I said no such thing.  What I said was that I could see where people in general could be offended by it, and that I was.  You're likely right w/r/t pundits; they're probably just being opportunistic assholes (I know, you're stunned).  But the general public is a different story.  I know we don't like to talk about class in this country, but obesity has a strong class component.

Quote
And I think many people in the public eye are concerned about things like poverty, but one person can't fight or stand behind so many issues. That's why miss America picks one.  Cheesy She can't spread awareness about bullying and poverty and childhood obesity and sickle cell anemia and diabetes and low self esteem and spousal abuse and drug trafficking and everything else all at the same time, and expect good results.

Which is why I felt that there are more important issues to concern herself with.  Please understand, I don't really care what she chooses for her pet cause, I was just making the point that not everyone who took a little offense at her choice hates her because they hate her husband or something.

I don't like her, but that's because she gives me a vibe similar to the one I get from Rachel Ray.  I get the feeling that she's an evil bitch to her subordinates.

Quote
And this is just my opinion, of course, but I don't think obesity in the U.S. is a stupid cause. Maybe if the issue was Obesity in Ethiopia. We are dying of early deaths and for the first time in our history, our kids are projected to live shorter lives than their parents. If it doesn't get better, it will only get worse. I would like the next generation to have an easier life. And how can they do that if their bodies are breaking down at an early age?

Perhaps "stupid" was a poor choice of word.  "Ill-considered" is a little closer.

We'll never solve the obesity problem until we address poverty.  One of the costs of poverty is that you can't afford a lot of healthy foods (have you priced fresh Brussels sprouts lately?!), but a more important cost is the lack of free time.  You can't grow a bunch of your own food, and then cook (and god forbid, store) all that food if you're working 2 jobs.  Gardening and cooking take up a lot of time, which a lot of working-class people don't have. 

Not to mention the fact that, if you didn't grow up with a parent who cooked things like dry beans and other healthy foods, you have no real idea how to do it, and of course, no time to take a class on it.  A class which, btw, may or may not even be offered where you live, assuming you can find a way to pay for it, and somewhere to take the kids while you're there. 

F'ex, awhile back I decided to try to make bigilla using dry beans.  I had no real idea what I was doing, since my mother rarely used dry beans for anything, but I figured the directions on the bag would be enough.  Since I couldn't find broad beans, I decided to use large Lima beans, on the theory that they looked pretty broad.  I soaked them per the directions on the bag, and by the time they were done soaking, the skin had come off about a third of them.  So, I figured it was supposed to come off, and popped the rest of them out of their skins, and cooked the beans.  It was a disaster; they completely fell apart in the water, and it looked like giant mashed potato flakes floating in the pot.  They were completely ruined, and damned if I could tell you why that was, unless I shouldn't have peeled the remaining 2/3.  And that's just a small example of my culinary incompetence.  The only cheap, healthy staples I can make w/o much trouble is eggs and oatmeal and rice.  And what if my broke ass didn't live w/other people?  I'd be completely unwilling to try making new things on my own, because I'd be afraid to risk the loss of money when I inevitably screwed it up the first time.

And crime is a factor, too.  If you live in a crime-riddled neighborhood, you're not going to let your kids out to play, or go for walks yourself, for fear of being victimized. 
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« Reply #32: September 19, 2010, 05:00:06 pm »

This reminds me of Jamie Oliver taking on the school lunch program in Food Revolution.

This is a many faceted problem.

I liked that program. Jamie got resistance as well. I believe people claimed they were angry because an "outsider" was "telling them how to live". (Who does he think he is? Showing our kids what asparagus is--jackass   Wink) But American nutritionists, doctors, chefs, even puppets and cartoon characters have been saying the same thing (Eat better, move more) for decades and were ignored.

I don't think that was the issue. I think people were simply stuck in their ways and were unwilling to change their bad habits. I also think fatty and sugary foods are addictive. In this case, If Jamie had said "Eat more grease, it's delicious, mates", I'm pretty sure they would have taken it as validation that their diet isn't so bad because the slim British chef implied it wasn't so bad. "See, our weight gain is probably glandular, can't do anything about that". 
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« Reply #33: September 19, 2010, 06:41:06 pm »

We'll never solve the obesity problem until we address poverty.  One of the costs of poverty is that you can't afford a lot of healthy foods (have you priced fresh Brussels sprouts lately?!), but a more important cost is the lack of free time.  You can't grow a bunch of your own food, and then cook (and god forbid, store) all that food if you're working 2 jobs.  Gardening and cooking take up a lot of time, which a lot of working-class people don't have. 

Not to mention the fact that, if you didn't grow up with a parent who cooked things like dry beans and other healthy foods, you have no real idea how to do it, and of course, no time to take a class on it.  A class which, btw, may or may not even be offered where you live, assuming you can find a way to pay for it, and somewhere to take the kids while you're there. 

Addressing food issues is a way of addressing one piece of poverty.  If you start a big campaign like a "War on Poverty" you will have a hard time getting very far.  (Just ask LBJ.)  People have a hard time wrapping their mind around big, global concepts but can deal with smaller aspects.  Like I said, efforts are being made to address the poverty aspect by retooling the WIC program.  And there used to be more in place.  You keep talking about the cooking classes.  There used to be free cooking classes for recipients of food stamps and WIC that the government did away with under the last Republican Congress. 

That being said, the obesity/health issue is a bigger issue than just people in poverty.  It isn't just people in poverty that end up eating poorly and end up obese or malnourished.  Food also ties into so many important policy issues...WIC, food stamps, school lunches, agriculture subsidies, health care costs, advertising laws, etc.    It's a fascinating area of study.

Sperran
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« Reply #34: September 19, 2010, 06:42:03 pm »

I fail to see what's disingenuous about it.  As someone who's career was in health care before she became First Lady, she has a little more gravitas, for lack of a better word, than Hillary, whose actual work was in law, did.  The people who railroaded Hillary are the right-wing radio hosts who have a set-in audience now.  Nobody outside that audience seems to give a shit what Rush thinks about anything, so I think it would be a little harder to ruin her over it.

And on top of that, from what I've seen on the news, Michelle's incredibly popular for a First Lady.  So, again, she could do things with more success than Hillary could, I think.

Plus, I didn't just say health care; it was an example among several of things I feel are more pressing issues.

Hilary CLinton was roundly attaccked on all sides because the first lady isn't supposed to be involved in something so big, she's supposed to have pet causes.
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« Reply #35: September 19, 2010, 06:54:10 pm »


Perhaps "stupid" was a poor choice of word.  "Ill-considered" is a little closer.


My main concern here is she's not giving controversial advice. Her advice is not really based on opinion. It's solid, common sense advice we all got from out grandparents. "Eat your greens and step away from the TV every now and then". If she were advocating some fad diet, I would have pause, but she's not. You don't have to like her as a person. But just because you don't like her, doesn't mean what she's saying is wrong. If George Bush was saying this, I'd say "I don't think he's the brightest, but he's definitely got a point". I think ignoring good advice, because you don't like the person, is shooting yourself in the foot.

It's fine if you think there are more important issues. But obesity is an epidemic. Even if the kids aren't obese, it doesn't mean they are healthy. I don't think eating better has to be expensive. It takes a little education and planning. Buying in season and from farmers markets are very cheap. Most vegetables are not generally expensive. Location makes a difference, of course. I can buy a weeks worth of veggies for under $15. You have to know where to look and when to buy. Sure, if you buy organic, hydroponic, out of season stuff from the exclusive health food store in the expensive part of town, it will be expensive. There is a learning curve. It takes experimentation. And not everyone who can afford the "best" food, chooses it. Skinny and unhealthy Americans and overweight and unhealthy Americans can be found in all income levels.

And if you must eating fast food, get the healthier option. I'd rather spend more time on my food and maybe a little more money now, than spend thousands of dollars on health care and medication in a few years. Not to mention the loss of income from time taken off for illness. Diabetes and heart disease runs in my family so I can't afford to eat taco bell everyday. But that's my priority. For some people it's hard, but it's worth it. I think health should come first.

I think people are intimidated to try new things. They say it's too expensive and time consuming. I think, for many, it's because they won't see immediate results, don't think diet is that big of a deal, are used to what they eat and think heart disease or diabetes is something that happens to to other people. If we could see what diet truly does to our body, we'd try to make the time for it. We do so for many frivolous endeavors. I know I do. I know there are some people who work 18 hour days and have no days off, but I don't think this is the average American. And even when I worked those hours last holiday season, I still managed to choose the healthier option out of the vending machine. I think the average American can replace their bag of Doritos with a bag of baked chips or some of their potatoes with broccoli. And if you feel you can't make a healthy food choice, at least eat smaller portions. I'm not saying everyone must start an organic garden and eat expensive heirloom vegetables. I'm saying put more salad on your plate and less mac and cheese. We all know we should....buuuut, mac and cheese is so damn tasty!  Grin 

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« Reply #36: September 19, 2010, 09:40:52 pm »

My main concern here is she's not giving controversial advice. Her advice is not really based on opinion. It's solid, common sense advice we all got from out grandparents. "Eat your greens and step away from the TV every now and then". If she were advocating some fad diet, I would have pause, but she's not. You don't have to like her as a person. But just because you don't like her, doesn't mean what she's saying is wrong. If George Bush was saying this, I'd say "I don't think he's the brightest, but he's definitely got a point". I think ignoring good advice, because you don't like the person, is shooting yourself in the foot.

It's fine if you think there are more important issues. But obesity is an epidemic. Even if the kids aren't obese, it doesn't mean they are healthy.

My not particularly liking her doesn't really have anything to do w/it.  I don't particularly like Michael Pollan, either, but recognize that he has a point.  All I was really saying is that, just because someone's less than thrilled by her choice of pet project, doesn't mean it's some twisted partisan thing.  There's plenty of reason to feel that way.  I suppose it's not entirely rational, but that doesn't mean it's entirely stupid, either.

As for obesity being an epidemic, yeah, it's getting out of hand; I just think there's a lot of things that're getting out of hand, a lot of which are also contributing factors in our exploding obesity rates.

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« Reply #37: September 19, 2010, 10:54:04 pm »


Addressing food issues is a way of addressing one piece of poverty.  If you start a big campaign like a "War on Poverty" you will have a hard time getting very far.  (Just ask LBJ.)  People have a hard time wrapping their mind around big, global concepts but can deal with smaller aspects.  Like I said, efforts are being made to address the poverty aspect by retooling the WIC program.  And there used to be more in place.  You keep talking about the cooking classes.  There used to be free cooking classes for recipients of food stamps and WIC that the government did away with under the last Republican Congress. 

Wasn't Medicare and WIC and a bunch of other programs the result of/part of the War on Poverty?  If so, I'd say he didn't entirely fail.

And I had no idea WIC did cooking classes.  Why the hell would they do away w/something like that, considering the shear potential monetary savings?

Quote
That being said, the obesity/health issue is a bigger issue than just people in poverty.  It isn't just people in poverty that end up eating poorly and end up obese or malnourished.  Food also ties into so many important policy issues...WIC, food stamps, school lunches, agriculture subsidies, health care costs, advertising laws, etc.    It's a fascinating area of study.

I know; that's why I've been trying to teach myself to cook.  It's really slow going, but it's important I learn to pickle my own kale before the zombie apocalypse. Cheesy
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« Reply #38: September 19, 2010, 11:03:01 pm »

And I had no idea WIC did cooking classes.  Why the hell would they do away w/something like that, considering the shear potential monetary savings?

I have two possible answers for this. 

1.  Stupid short-sightedness.

2.  A larger and more insidious plan to cut off food assistance entirely and let people starve and/or beg at food pantries.

Sperran  (not much of an optimist)
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« Reply #39: September 20, 2010, 07:37:56 am »

2.  A larger and more insidious plan to cut off food assistance entirely and let people starve and/or beg at food pantries.

Some Republicans have made no bones about their desire to get rid of all government assistance to normal people.
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« Reply #40: September 20, 2010, 10:01:24 am »

Wasn't Medicare and WIC and a bunch of other programs the result of/part of the War on Poverty?  If so, I'd say he didn't entirely fail.

\

No, he didn't entirely fail, he just didn't manage a resounding success.
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« Reply #41: September 20, 2010, 11:42:30 am »


No, he didn't entirely fail, he just didn't manage a resounding success.

Well, yes, but in fairness, you know how this country is about helping the poor and improving social equity.

OH NOES! IT'S TEH SOCIALIZMS!!
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« Reply #42: November 05, 2010, 08:49:09 am »

In fairness on Michelle's childhood obesity campaign:  Her kids are thin, like most wealthy kids.  I can easily see how people would be offended that this rich lady with skinny kids is obsessed with poor people's fat ass kids.  I know I was, and for that reason, too.

Plus, it just seems like a stupid pet cause.  She was a hospital admin, IIRC,; you'd think she'd be more concerned about our broken healthcare system (yes, obesity is a part of it, but I don't think it's the biggest piece of the puzzle by a long shot).  Or childhood poverty, what with the Recession and all.  Maybe our broken education system, the environmental degradation, or any of the thousand-plus other problems that are more important to our national survival.

Well, for one thing, I think she was pretty much told that she couldn't be on the HC wagon because of the debacle of Hillarycare in the 1990's.  The whole complaint back then was "nobody elected hillary, so why does she get a say in public law".  Had M. Obama been in the middle of the HC debate, it probably would have failed like the Clinton HC reform.
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« Reply #43: November 05, 2010, 09:09:55 am »

Well, for one thing, I think she was pretty much told that she couldn't be on the HC wagon because of the debacle of Hillarycare in the 1990's.  The whole complaint back then was "nobody elected hillary, so why does she get a say in public law".  Had M. Obama been in the middle of the HC debate, it probably would have failed like the Clinton HC reform.

First Ladies are allowed pet projects, not actual meaningful legislation. 
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« Reply #44: November 05, 2010, 09:13:16 am »

Some Republicans have made no bones about their desire to get rid of all government assistance to normal people.

There are those who say the Constitution guarantees only protection to the people
But .....
If it is, as they would like you to think, a Christian Nation, then the point is moot since the Biblical mandate to help the poor and suffering is clear
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