Friday, February 18, 2011

Good morning, everyone. I wasn't sure I was going to post anything today but I found this tomdispatch post by Tom Englehardt that was so on point. As so many of our political news pundits have said since the new congress began and the budget battle heated up, the only debate has been over paper cuts to the 'non-defense discretionary' part of Federal spending. Most shake their heads and wonder why 'SocialSecurityMedicareandMedicaid' (and they are all mentioned in the same breath as if they were all the same program with the same problems) isn't seriously considered. Englehardt asks the same about our 'defense' spending. I have been asking that for some time. The question is akin to the comment one of the demonstrating teachers in Wisconsin (where the Repthuglican Governor hopes to ease the state's budget woes by negating the public employees' rights to collectively bargain): He asks us to take one for the team. But who else is he asking to take one for the team? That is a damned good question and no one is answering because that might open up a discussion of their own sacred cows.

ABC news last night touted their coming series: 'Made in America.' They asked whether one could furnish a home with all American made items and how much it would cost. And they asked the viewers to look around their living rooms and see how many items they could identify that were entirely made in America. We did and the only items we could definitely identify were the doilies--made from American spun cotton thread by my hands. I hope the series is well done and I will be watching.

Mat Yglesias at Think Progress has a nice short blog today on a medical story that appeared last night on the ABC national news. It concerned a population of dwarfs in South America that seen to be highly resistant to cancer and diabetes. Their death rates from those sources are fare less than the general population and medical researchers are hoping to develop a preventative by studying this group. I find it interesting to see the graph because, although the study found the dwarf population very resistant to diabetes and cancer (which the news report stressed), the dwarves were more likely to die of heart disease, convulsive disorders, and alcohol related problems than the general population (which the reporters failed to mention at all). I, like most, would welcome a reliable cancer preventative but not at the expense of having to deal with a higher likelihood of dying from heart disease of convulsive diseases. Yglesias makes a very good point at the end--with the debate over health care 'costs' we often forget that those costs are someone else's means of making a living. Whose living do we decide is expendable?

Susie Madrak at Crooks and Liars has a piece on the Wisconsin mess that people should read. It is one thing to have a budget crisis that many states have which developed from a combination of bad planning and a falling economy. It is an entirely different matter when the governor of a state enacts a massive tax cut to create a budget crisis simply to provide a pretext to break union bargaining rights. I call the second a fraud on the public and malfeasance in office.


Looking to the Stars said...

You had a lot of really good stuff herein your post.
We have a few t shirts that were made in America. We are not making that much here in this country. I got really frustrated a few years ago, when it was buy made in america stuff. Well, I couldn't find that much. I gave up and I buy what I buy. If they want us to buy american then they better start producing more here in america.

The dwarf thing really gets my goat. Because like you pointed out they have other problems. Cancer has been here long before they put a name to it. And I think cancer research is a scam, they should have a cure already. Which makes me think that they might have a cure and are just withholding it so they can get people to donate money to research. It always gets back to greed.

take care :)

Kay Dennison said...

Hallelujah and Amen!!!!

I am delighted with the stand the Democrats are taking in Wisconsin. I come from a blue collar union family and am a former union member myself and since half of my family lives in Wisconsin, I really support these folks. Wisconsin has long been the bastion of progressive thinking and I am proud to see the men and women in the legislature walking the walk instead of just talking the talk.

I agree also that Matt Yglesias was brilliant.

I'm feeling somewhat shell-shocked and scared at at what's happening so if this doesn't make sense, I apologize.