Just my $.02. Wherein the knitter talks, and talks, and talks, and maybe rants a little.
Posted by Miss Knotty on March 25, 2010
Warning: This is a somewhat political commentary. I’m not out to debate and I don’t want you to beat me about the head and shoulders trying to “persuade” me how you’re right and I’m wrong. It won’t change my opinion, but it will make me think that you’re an a$$hole. It’s MY OPINION. Conversely, if you’re interested in building bridges and increasing understanding, in communicating respectfully and honoring my opinions, just as I honor, even if I disagree with, yours, I’m willing to talk. Trolls will be deleted. Soon I’ll be back to knitting content and it’ll all be all right. Truly. Honestly. But I feel too strongly about this to just let it slide, for now.
I have very few bars on conversation. There’s little I won’t discuss and I’m ALWAYS willing to hear a fresh opinion… If it’s shared in a way that’s merely declarative and meant to open discussion (and none of this “I think Double Pointed Needles are Evil” business, either. We both know double pointed needles are awesome.). I have no time for people who HAVE to be right or have to have the last word, and I have no PATIENCE for people who try to insult me or my intelligence simply because our opinions differ, and who think that I must be a knuckle-dragging, racist, provincial hick who believes everything I see on Fox news because it’s the only “Fair and Balanced” news outlet left blah blahbitty blah blah because I feel differently about the government and how involved it should be in our daily lives than someone else might. (Also, I don’t watch Fox news. Nor do I watch (or endorse) any of the other cable news outlets; they only ever tell news that strengthens their agendas.) It’s not my place to sway their opinion, but I do want the avenues of discussion to be open in BOTH directions. More often than not, I meet people who say they love to debate, but they’re less concerned with an honest, open exchange of opinions than they are about climbing on a soapbox and beating their opinion into me, like those crazies over at Westboro Baptist Church, until I “give in” to their point of view, just to shut them up, and then I stop talking to them, walk away, and discuss with someone else what a jerk that person is (I usually don’t get differences of opinion on that score, especially if the new conversant was watching the prior conversation). But I do have a big three that I typically veto: Religion, Sex (or Sexual Preference), and Politics. Religion….. Mine field. Sex/Sexual Preference: Inappropriate in mixed company, and aaaawwwwkkkkkwwwaaaaarrrrd, and Politics…. Aaah politics. That great divider.
However, with the passing of this so-called Healthcare Reform Bill, which I believe doesn’t actually speak to healthcare reform at all, but to health insurance reform, I feel that I must say something. I’m being bombarded from left and right with new data to process about all of this every day, and it’s kind of frightening how viscerally some folks are reacting. I AM concerned about what’s going on at the top of government, and I am very alarmed at how involved the government wants to get with my daily life, when I really believe that this movement toward (still larger) government is overreaching and intrusive. Local government should govern the daily things. The issues of police, fire, courts, etc. should be handled by city government, and, if needed, state government. The Federal government is responsible for protecting the Constitution and the citizens’ rights, and for building and maintaining foreign relationships. Our current Governmental structure is like a CEO who concerns himself with the number of staples in the copy room; they’re trying to micromanage, but in such a way as to be an annoyance, and a hindrance to true progress.
I do believe that health INSURANCE reform, to reign in certain abuses by insurance companies, is necessary. It is a hindrance to the free market when a single citizen cannot get health insurance quotes simply based on their height, weight and age, and some bizarre math problem that calculates BMI (Body Mass Index), which is a useless number without knowing several more factors relating to an individual’s overall health, and/or denying an individual access to coverage based on pre-existing conditions, whether or not those conditions are costly to an individual or insurance company. For the record, we all have a pre-existing condition: We’re alive, and someday we’ll die.
However, I think that an overhaul of multiple systems is necessary for any real “Health care reform” to happen. Starting with Medicaid, Welfare, Food Stamps/WIC, American Farmers and the FDA. Stanching the flow of illegal immigrants into this country is a major area of concern too, but that’s really too big of an issue for me to tackle here, and it’s not central to the health care debate.
I’ll start with what I see as the easiest one first:
FDA: Please STOP certifying chemicals and engineered- rather than grown- “foods”. Just stop it. If people weren’t stuffing their faces with chemical garbage instead of actual, recognizable, unaltered food, and washing it down with liquid poison sodas and “diet” drinks that only serve to further dehydrate and leech necessary nutrients and minerals from the body, thus creating a thirst/hunger craving and continuing the cycle, then taking so-called “Miracle Drugs” to counteract all that poison, then we might not have the obesity “epidemic” that we’re seeing today. If people were eating actual food instead of stuff-that-might-once-have-been-food-but-has-now-been-processed-to-a-point-of-tastelessness-such-that-we-have-to-put-inestimable-amounts-of-sugar-to-mask-the-nasty-taste-and-add-chemicals-which-will-extend-the-shelf-life-until-after-the-Zombie-Apocalypse, people might be healthier (crazy, I know.)! Their brains might register fullness, instead of continuing to eat “Foods” that have been created in a laboratory instead of a kitchen, and might contain nutrients, instead of fillers and bulking agents. The American palate might grow sensitive to the amount of sugar it’s consuming, back it off, and we might, just might, see a drop in the amount of reported diabetes cases, since we’ll no longer be stuffing ourselves with ______ose…. (insert favorite “ose” here: Maltose, dextrose, sucrose, glucose, fructose…..).
American Farmers: Please let your fields rest. Start crop rotation. Let your fields lie fallow for a season before replanting so that you can preserve and re-establish the natural nutrients and minerals in the dirt. Stop using atrocious amounts of pesticides that kill more than the “bad” bugs. Stop genetically experimenting on our crops – creating a more glutenous wheat is creating a more gluten-sensitive population. Why has no one made this connection?
Stop feeding your female livestock Estrogen. It’s HURTING ALL OF US. Girls who eat foods laced with Estrogen are reaching puberty earlier and earlier – the average age used to be 15-16. Now it’s girls ages 8-10. Boys who eat foods laced with Estrogen are losing Testosterone (Estrogen is a stronger hormone than Testosterone, sorry guys.) and aren’t developing properly through puberty. (Being a girl, I can’t speak to the boys’ problem first hand, but I will tell you that I began puberty at age 11. Infer at will.) Making your cows produce more milk and your chickens produce more eggs is hurting the animals AND the people who consume the meat, eggs and dairy products from those animals. Also, if you fertilize with poo from hormone-treated animals, you’re putting HORMONE-LACED POO ON YOUR PLANTS. Which is then leaving traces of hormones on your crops AND IN YOUR DIRT, for the future plants you plant there. Thanks for that.
Food Stamps/WIC: Based on what I have seen in the grocery store, I’m pretty sure that about 90% of what’s on the WIC/Food Stamps program are “food” items that aren’t actually food. Please do not allow/make people buy these “foods”. American Cheese Food is not food. Nor is it cheese. It’s edible and you won’t die (immediately) from it, but it’s not food. Please don’t eat it or sell it to people. If you can find everything on the the ingredients list in a grocery store, or if there ISN’T an ingredients list (Grapes, apples, pears, pomegranates, artichokes, asparagus, lettuce, beans, peas, lentils….), then it’s probably food. Otherwise, don’t sell it as food. People! Don’t eat it! It’s not food! It’s a cleverly-packaged facsimile, laden with chemicals and preservatives, and sugar, to hide the chemicals and preservatives!
Welfare: I don’t deny that Welfare is likely very badly-needed care for some of the population. However: When a person has a baby while on Welfare, and then proceeds to have baby, after baby, after baby, and CONTINUES TO BE GIVEN MORE MONEY AFTER EACH BABY, that’s what’s called a passive rewards system. You are “rewarding” the person who is leeching off of a broke and broken system by giving them more and more money (the “reward”), however small that value may be, when their CHOICE is to continue to procreate. I’m not endorsing abortion or birth control here. I know certain religious groups would scream and run away. (Well, or firebomb my apartment.). But there is such a CHOICE as KEEPING YOUR DANG LEGS CLOSED WHILE YOU’RE ON THE DOLE. If you continue to procreate (A CHOICE) while someone else is paying your way, you are being irresponsible and don’t deserve the GIFT that’s being handed to you. WELFARE is not a privilege or a right. It’s also not honorable if you are capable of working. People go on and on about refusing to accept “charity”, but continue on Welfare and Medicaid throughout their lives. Got news for you: You’re accepting charity. If you’re on Welfare and Medicaid and you are not disabled and are fully capable of working, then you need to STOP ACCEPTING CHARITY, FIND A JOB, ANY JOB, AND GET TO WORK. Part of the problem is the mentality that a person is “too good” for this job or that job. That you “deserve better” than to start by flipping burgers, emptying trash cans or cleaning toilets, and work your way up (it’s called paying dues.). Your children are watching you and are learning more by your example and learning to “work” the system, instead of actually going out, getting an education and breaking the cycle of poverty, and ending the system of entitlement, and thinking that you’re owed something. For once, think of the example you’re setting for your children. I heard a story from a friend of mine that sent CHILLS down my spine. She was (is?) an Awana teacher and she went around asking the kids (8-ish years old) what they want to do when they grow up. An 8-year-old little girl looked her square in the eyes, with a SMILE on her face, and said, “I wanna have babies and be on Welfare, like my Mommy does.” I don’t think that most children that age really grasp the idea of irony or sarcasm, so I have to guess that this child was (is?) in earnest. Unbelievable. I’m not a child advocate generally, but think of the children.
STOP REWARDING PEOPLE WHO ARE ABUSING THE SYSTEM. If a person gets pregnant while on Welfare, bump them off of it. The government DOES have a right (and a responsibility) to punish people who are abusing the system. People get arrested and incarcerated for tax evasion – why is Welfare abuse/fraud treated any differently?
I’m very down on Welfare because I’ve seen enough instances of people abusing it that I don’t believe it’s being administered properly, or maybe at all. Once I see controls in place that force personal responsibility and stop rewarding people for irresponsible behavior, I might be a little more inclined to think that it’s a system worth saving. People who choose to have babies while they’re on someone else’s tab are irresponsible and should be punished, not rewarded with more money, even if that money is a pittance.
I’ll grant that I probably couldn’t live on Welfare, (certainly not in my current style of living), but even if I were laid so low that I needed public assistance, I’d likely take it ONLY until I could find work and then I’d get off of it as quickly as possible, or try to avoid going on it at all. Thankfully, I haven’t been laid so low (yet [knocks on wood]), and I have friends and a support system that would probably carry me through if something were to happen (god forbid), but you never know.