Post 5.14 - Where ya been?

Hello again.

I apologize for this period of radio silence. I'd been writing consistently for several weeks, and I needed a break.

Mostly because I found myself getting angry, and I just didn't know how to keep this blog from becoming a constant, curmudgeonly rant.

You see, I'm just an average, well-educated American. I vote in every election, even my local elections, because it makes me feel like I am part of the process. I also read a lot so that I can be informed about my candidates and the issues, and so I can know what I'm talking about when it comes time to make my opinion known. Even for this blog, I research topics before I write about them -- even if I give an opinion, I try to give a basis for that opinion, or give my readers somewhere else to turn for more information.

But lately, I am enormously discouraged. My four core topics are food, politics, sex & relationships, and pets/animals.
  • In the US, we pay subsidies to agro-industries for specific crops like corn, potatoes, and meat, which is why the American diet is so bad. These products cost less than the truly healthy foods, and with so many people now on food stamps and other assistance, it is a real challenge to maintain any sort of healthy diet. An unhealthy diet leads to greater need for health care for largely preventable conditions like type II diabetes, and our health care system is already for-profit and more expensive every day, adding salt to the proverbial wound.
  • Our two party system is not only dysfunctional, it is hopelessly broken.  No doubt you have seen some discussion of the debt ceiling crisis and what it will mean for the US and global economy should our government be forced to default. The conservatives are hell-bent on destroying any safety net we have in our system for the poor, elderly, unemployed, and otherwise defenseless (read: without lobbyists), and the liberals have no backbone to stand up to them. By the time I am of retirement age, I expect there will be no social security and no medicare for me or my children or grandchildren. Our laws continue to skew worse and worse to favor corporations over individuals, and we are truly facing the end of the middle class in this country.
  • Despite recent advances in New York and California, and the overwhelming success of the "It Gets Better" Project, violence against LGBTQ individuals has increased in New York in the run up to marriage being legal for same-sex couples on July 24. The bile and vitriol coming from opponents to same-sex marriage is unending, and with no basis in fact. Senators Al Franken (D-MN) and Patrick Leahy (D-VT) were highlighted on the internet this week, after dealing with and subsequently deconstructing "testimony" from Tom Minnery, head of Focus on the Family; Franken called Minnery out for misrepresenting a study by the Department of Health and Human Services, while Leahy got Minnery to admit that children of same-sex married partners are disadvantaged by not having the same legal rights as families headed by opposite-sex married couples. Meanwhile, heterosexual celebrities continue to marry and divorce as if it is a disposable arrangement.
  • Finally, I find I can barely tolerate stories about animals on the internet anymore. The kill-shelters in Texas and other states, the resumption of wolf and bear hunting in the West, the animal cruelty from coast-to-coast and the slap on the wrist that offenders get, if they're even caught -- I am disgusted with my own species. We remain arrogant and haven't learned a thing.
So what do I do? I actually read up on these things before I post about them, and the more I learn, the more aggravated I become. And this is aside from anything going on in my personal life that I am already dealing with, from my family, work, and everything else.

This time away has been good for me, and I will continue to write on these topics, but I may add a few more into the mix. I am open to your suggestions.

Monday I will resume with food & nutrition, with my promised recipe for stuffed jalapeños, and we'll see how things go thereafter.

Hope you're having a great summer. :-)

Have a question or a suggestion for a future topic? E-mail me at facetsblog@gmail.com.

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