Friday, March 20, 2009

Eat the View

It's better than "Eat the Rich," even if that did end with a belch and you can't go wrong ending with a belch. But still...

So there's been this grass roots campaign to encourage the Obama's to "eat the view," i.e. plant a vegetable garden on the White House lawn to provide food for the executive mansion with any overflow going to local food cupboards and soup kitchens, and according to news reports, they are doing just that! I think it's really cool. Michelle Obama puts a pretty big emphasis on healthy foods for her kids and guests, and the school her kids go to serves organic fare, so she already has her finger on the food button, but I'm still kind of surprised they actually went for it. Apparently, Laura Bush served mostly organic food while she was in the White House, but didn't make it public knowledge.
I think it's a really good example to set: the commander-in-chief using sustainable gardening techniques and weeding a vegetable garden for his family... It shows people that personal and community gardens are possible and realistic. I know there are questions and controversies about the benefits of organic vs. conventional, especially when it comes to run-off and the use of manure, but no one disputes that local is the way to go, and a White House garden is definitely local (for them)! So, hoorah!

Not only will there be vegetables, herbs and berries, but "a White House carpenter who is a beekeeper will tend two hives for honey." Very cool.

too fat to save your life

(Original post 2/03/09) There are physical requirements to qualify for a number of jobs, including police officers and firefighters, but judging from the specimens I see there are no continuing requirements, and possibly no requirements at all for emergency medical responders, automotive track personnel or security guards. I don't think it is discriminatory or in poor taste to require that the people tasked with saving or protecting our lives be able to get in and out of a vehicle with ease, be able to run a certain distance to respond to an accident, be able to walk up an entire flight of stairs without having to stop and mop your brow, be able to get your arms around your belly and operate a fire extinguisher...

UPDATE 3/20/09: Oh look, science backs me up, bitches!

Friday, March 13, 2009

dumb, dumb, dumb, dumb, dumb

I'm confused. Are they saying that Anna Nichole Smith was too stupid to be allowed to have prescription drugs without handholding? I guess the charges are technically valid (dispensing without a prescription, dispensing pills to a known addict...), but ultimately the responsibility for her death really lies on her shoulders, don't you think? SHE is the one who took the pills. Are we going to start suing the hardware store clerk who sells the rope or the water company for providing the water that enables someone to end their life? Maybe I'm reading too much into this, but at some point it becomes your own responsibility to monitor your drug intake, no matter how many legal or illegal pills you have at your disposal.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

who throws a shoe?

Well, Muntader al-Zaidi throws a shoe. Twice. At President Bush. And for a time, it seemed to be catching on. What has happened to Mr. al-Zaidi since has been the subject of some debate.

You shouldn't throw anything at anyone, and you certainly shouldn't throw things at visiting leaders from other countries. But should you be beaten and tortured for this? No. Should you be punished with a jail sentence? Possibly. You shouldn't throw things. But three years? It's less than the seven initially expected, but it still seems a bit much for expressing a sentiment that so, so many people felt and feel.

Now I may have disliked President Bush and opposed many if not most of his policies but, unlike some conservative commentators with whom I disagree vehemently, I did not wish that he would fail. That is the stupidest thing I have ever heard. Or, at least the stupidest thing I've heard this month. I might have liked to throw a shoe or two at him, or at least shake him until he came to his senses, but I am not nearly as oppressed and wounded and destroyed as so many Iraqis are, and I never had the opportunity to be that close to the president. Which is probably a good thing. However, I can sympathize with a man who is so desperate and so hopeless that he feels his only recourse is to display his dissent through shoe-throwing. I do not condone it, but neither do I condemn it. And somehow, three years in prison does not seem a punishment on par with the crime.