Monday, October 26, 2009

Details, Details

They say God is in the details. I posit then that Satan is in the administrative details.

With all the bullshit going on about the healthcare reform bills, all of congress seems to be jockeying for a position to keep their own asses in office, with a minimum of shit sticking to them. Today's announcement by Harry Reid in the NYT sums up the attitude. He's willing to sponsor a public option so long as states have the ability to opt out of it. Wow, I hope he didn't actually have to take a stand on something to get that announcement out. Basically, this is "wink, wink" public option, where the feds could enact it, but all 50 states could balk, which means there's still no help for those walking around uninsured.

While this may be a politically savvy move, because it allows Reid to pass the blame buck, it got me to wondering: when did Democrats become such terrible pussies? Who has the courage to take the national stage and say what's right and stick by it? Healthcare for all is the right thing to do, no matter the cost. We're Americans and we used to be able to solve problems, not be frozen by inactivity on the mere threat of potential costs. We're smart, and financially crafty. Why not force the bastards who came up with all the derivative securities that put the economy in the toilet to come up with a solution to how to get the money?

That's kind of a joke, but the real point is: let's not get so overburdened by the potential problems that we are forced away from every possible solution. We can find a way to pay for this. More importantly, we have a moral imperative to make real changes. Lawmakers are failing their constituents, the populace at large, and historical generations of Americans who dreamed of a better life, by not moving this legislation forward in a meaningful way.

Polls show a majority of the population favors a public option. There should be no impediment to passing one. As always, this is a free country, so if you don't like government getting involved in this stuff or for some reason have a fear of helping out your fellow countrymen, the freedoms that this country grants you include a freedom to express your opinion. Also a freedom to leave any time you want. If you think there's a better deal somewhere else, no one is stopping you, and most places you're likely to go will have better healthcare. Doesn't that piss anyone else off?

Monday, October 12, 2009

Monday - Shotgun Rules

So, it's Monday morning. I've got a mountain of work I'm trying to climb. Only one cup of coffee aboard the system so far, no coherent thoughts in my brain - and isn't that just a great reason to keep reading? - but I want to not disappoint all the readers out there. All, like, three of you who tune in regularly. So rather than have something organized and coherent, I'm taking the shotgun approach, hoping that if I fire enough little nuggets, one or more will stick in you.

  • Glenn Beck is a moron. He's an hysterical little girl, with a shaky grasp of both politics and history, who hopes that if he's shrill enough you won't realize how asinine his ideas are. The irony is that his listeners/viewers apparently don't recognize his tactics as those favored by the very shadowy political movements he wants you to fear. Hitler could shout with the best of them, just like you, Glenn.
  • Nancy Grace seems to come from the same journalistic school. If you're loud, you must be right. Her confrontation with John Gosselin did something I didn't think was possible: made me feel bad for him.
  • The Phillies played baseball in 20-degree weather last night. This to me is a clear sign that places where winter falls this early should not have baseball teams, and that THE SEASON GOES ON TOO DAMN LONG! In the 1970 World Series, with the Oriels of my boyhood dreams, there were two games played by this time in the calendar, and we aren't even out of the playoffs, yet.
  • I have to admit, the Yankees played a couple of great games. I still hate them.
  • Although I can appreciate the historical symmetry of a Dodgers/Yankees series, that's only marginally more interesting than a LA/LA series. Go Phils!
  • Cub Scouts has come a long way since I was a kid. Camping in a fort, with an outdoor movie and indoor plumbing really isn't "roughing it."
  • It's frighteningly easy to get yourself piled with work, just by being a nice person and having a genuine desire to help people out. So I've heard.
  • Many parents don't understand the concept of movie ratings. Apparently, they think: "Yeah, R. That means it's something the family watches together." On a psychotherapy note: if you take your little kid to see Zombieland, you can't complain at them for not being able to get to sleep, or if they start gnawing on your fleshy parts.
  • Nobel Peace Prize. I'm just sayin'.
  • And finally, dinner with famous comics guys is a lot of fun. Listening to Mike Mignola and John Arcudi go at it and getting a glimpse inside the Hellboy universe... good times.
So, there, in no particular order was my week. Go ahead, pick out the pellets.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Talking Smack

So, once again, I was shooting off my mouth about something. Contrary to normal circumstances, though, I wasn't talking about movies, politics, or baseball. I was holding forth on, of all things, Peppermint Patties, and telling boring stories about buying them warm by the bag from the factory, when the conversation took a slight detour into nutritional value and I calmly asserted something to the effect of, "sure, anything with a fat content contains protein," concerning the chocolate covering on the minty patties.

This was at a fundraising dinner at my church, so everyone else at the table was basically too polite to call me on this. There were at least two doctors present who cocked their heads and started to express some doubts on my assertion, but I obnoxiously over-talked them -- hey, I've learned something from the Republicans -- and changed the topic. It got me to thinking, though, that I might just be full of shit on the topic of proteins. It stuck with me all weekend, so this morning, I tried to find a definitive answer.

The first stop was my own pantry. Pop out ye olde bottle of Olive Oil. Check the helpful label. 14 grams of fat per serving, zero protein. Well, that didn't take long. Confirmation that those doctors weren't forgetting their basic biology, they were just being polite to me. Damn it. Perhaps, I comforted myself, I just had gotten things backwards: maybe anything with a protein content contains fat?

I hit the internet to do a little research. Egad. Wikipedia on protein goes on and on about essential amino acids. I finally found a somewhat useful nutritional page on protein. But still no definitive answer on the protein/fat correlation, if there is one. I know enough smart people, that someone reading this blog should be able to provide a quick breakdown, with some possible web references, so I'm asking for some help here. Go ahead, prove me wrong. Post your findings as a comment, please, or send them directly to me and I'll claim the work was my own and publish it in a blog post.

So, do I feel bad about talking smack? Sure, a little. It's embarrassing to realize something you thought to be true actually had no basis in fact. I feel worse about behaving like a boor and dismissing anyone else's opinions on the matter. So, to those of you at dinner. I'm sorry. I can't say I'll never do it again, but thanks for calling me on it, because that's what you should do when people aren't making sense. I took it to heart, did a little research, found out I was wrong. Now, I'm seeking a more informed answer. That's something the Republicans could learn from me.