Do Republicans realize they’ve just called for the repeal of welfare reform?

The “welfare reform” passed during the Clinton administration was based on the idea that welfare recipients would be required to work.

Welfare reform was billed as the end of the free ride for all those lazy moms sitting at home doing nothing except raising their kids and cashing their AFDC checks. The new law replaced the old Aid to Families with Dependent Children with TANF — Temporary Assistance for Needy Families. And TANF meant those lazy moms were going to have to earn that assistance.

Those of us who objected to this new law at the time argued that, actually, those moms already were doing work — they were raising their kids. This objection got slapped down by, among others, the Republican Party, which insisted at the time that raising kids wasn’t real work and didn’t count.

This led to some odd aspects to the work requirement for TANF. Stay home and raise your kids and you’re not counted as working. But if you and your neighbor swap kids for the day, you could both declare yourselves to be in the daycare business, because taking care of someone else’s kids does count as work.

In any case, I was pleased yesterday to learn that the Republican Party has changed its mind:

Bravo! Welcome to the proper side of this debate!

And now that they’ve conceded that mothers who stay at home to raise their children are, in fact, doing work, I assume the next step will be for GOP lawmakers to get right to work themselves rewriting the work requirements for TANF to acknowledge that, yes, “Moms Do Work,” and that therefore it’s redundant and wrong to tell the single mothers receiving TANF that this important and difficult and legitimate work doesn’t count.

Or maybe not.

Maybe the slogan on the GOP’s banner above was just shortened for space. It might be that what they’re really saying is “Wealthy White Married Moms Do Work That We Count As Work, But Non-Wealthy and/or Non-White and/or Non-Married Moms Who Stay Home With Their Kids Are Still Just Lazy Freeloaders And Their Work Still Doesn’t Count.”

One or the other. The Republican Party cannot say “Moms Do Work” and “Mom’s Work Doesn’t Count” at the same time.

Seriously, the Mom-a-palooza of the past 48 hours hasn’t changed the Republican Party line. Women with children are still being tag-teamed by the free marketeer and the social conservative wings of the GOP. No matter what women do, it’s their fault. If they get a job and earn a living in the marketplace, then it’s their fault because they should be staying home to raise their children. If they stay at home to raise their children, then it’s their fault because they need to stop being so lazy and go get a job. If you’re a mother, the GOP says, then whatever it is you’re doing is wrong.

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  • Andrew Galley

    That troll must be getting pretty plump by now.

  • Lori

    Part of the requirement for my undergrad degree in psych was a certain number of volunteer  hours, which had to be split between at least 2 different locations/types of service providers and a longer, more formal internship at a 3rd location. I did half my volunteer hours at the local rape crisis center and my internship at a state shelter that provided short-term care for teenagers in crisis.  The main focus was on providing a safe place for runaways, but we also housed kids transitioning to/from foster placements and out of  juvenile detention.

    Working at the rape crisis center had me temporarily convinced that all men were abusive. While working at the teen shelter I often felt like every appearance of happy family life was just a facade constructed to cover abuse and neglect. I knew intellectually that neither of those things was true, but it was sometimes difficult to fight the feeling any way. It’s a common problem and I doubt anyone works in a social service setting without experiencing it to at least some extent. Being effective and professional requires you to set aside those distorted feelings. One of the ways that you can tell that a person is either fundamentally unsuited to the work or is suffering from burnout is that s/he is unable to maintain the necessary realistic outlook.

    Assuming that m015094 actually works at a clinic it’s obvious that he doesn’t belong there because he can’t tell that the slice of the world he sees is not the whole picture. I feel incredibly sorry for any patients who have to deal with him and thoroughly disgusted with the clinic administration which has apparently failed to take appropriate action WRT to his attitude.

  • m015094

    Do you know how I treat my patients? I offer them all the options available to them. And, unlike others, I am actually cognizant of how much things cost.  I know how to also act as a social worker and get people on HHC or medicaid and where they can get service for low or no cost services and prescriptions without insurance. 

    Many times they don’t even know that programs for help exists, which I see as a failure of society in general.  It’s obviously an attitude perpetuated on this message board – to play the victim instead of spending an honest amount of time researching the options for your own health.  I hear a lot of excuses about why people CANNOT do things and not about what they’ve done for themselves. 

    You’re right, it get’s old and I often get jaded.  But I think by giving people a healthy dose of reality is never a bad thing.  Sometimes you have to tell them the decisions they are making are bad.  I counsel (re: I criticize)  every single smoker and overweight person I see for living a destructive lifestyle.  You may think I’m a dick for doing that, but it’s so they don’t kick the bucket at 40 and abandon their kids.  I’ve also pulled teenage fathers off to the side and given them a lecture on being a good father – something probably no one has told them in their young life.   I’m not here to be their friend, I’m here so they don’t mess up their lives. 

  • EllieMurasaki

    The people who advocate “personal responsibility” are very often the same people who flat refuse to have anything to do with making sure people know that comprehensive sex ed and women’s health clinics even exist.

    When you “counsel” “overweight” people, do you also provide them with the financial means to buy food that’s nutrient-rich instead of calorie-rich and nutrient-poor? If not, fuck you, and my sincere sympathies to everyone you’ve “counseled”. Health at any size. Google it.

  • m015094

     You sound angry.  Did I offend you because of your weight?

    Hey, look, you’re making more excuses, just like I said people do.  Instead of trying to shop healthy and not buy crap food, you’d rather blame me for not giving people money.  You win. 

    Are you going to sit there and tell me a person with a BMI of 37 is healthyafter giving them self hypercholesterolemia and type II diabetes?  Nice try, but nobody is buying it.  Well, maybe you are, but you are in denial. 

    BTW, a bunch of bananas costs less that the big bag of Doritos. Just so you know. 

  • Tapetum

     Speaking of needing to know the science… You do know that weight health, right? That exercise and good diet do not necessarily lead to lowered weight (especially over time), but do lead to better health? Because my fat ass, would love to invite you to witness it cross the finish line at a half marathon in two weeks – or to come by the dojo on any given class night, where I’d be happy to run you into the ground for a couple of hours. Being lectured by someone about how I need to exercise more and eat better just convinces me they’re a condescending ass. It also tends to make me laugh, because I’ve yet to be told this by anyone who puts in even half the exercise time I do – nor do most of them watch what they eat near as closely.

    When you’ve trained for a triathlon for six months, and watched every bite you eat for the same period of time, and lost a grand whopping 3 pounds? Then you can talk to me about weight. You might try dropping by a few HAES sites. You might learn something.

  • Sgt. Pepper’s Bleeding Heart

    I was telling a doc last year about how I’d noticed an improvement in my cardiac fitness and muscle strength since starting on an exercise program, and he said “Don’t do that. Exercise will increase your apetite”. Sigh.

    Good luck in the half-marathon!

  • Tapetum

     One of my doctors apparently ran all their patient stuff through an automated recommendation system (zie wasn’t my doctor long). About a week after my first visit, I got an automated call that managed to simultaneously inform me that I needed to exercise more (weight and cholesterol), and exercise less (because at 15 hours a week, I was in danger of burnout). My husband and I had a good long laugh over that one.

    In my experience, mild-to-moderate exercise doesn’t seem to alter my appetite much, heavy exercise increases it, really heavy exercise kills it.

  • EllieMurasaki

    One banana has about a hundred calories and costs what, forty cents? So that’s two and a half calories to the penny. One honey bun costs a dollar and has six hundred calories. That’s six calories to the penny. And bananas are perishable; I would not be able to buy a two-week supply of them on payday. Nor could I get them from the vending machine at work. So I’d have to go to the grocery store every few days instead of every two weeks. That’s five miles round trip out of my way, call it twice a pay period, so ten miles every two weeks, at about twenty-five miles a gallon is point four gallons, at $3.85 a gallon is $1.54.

    You want me to buy bananas for breakfast instead of honey buns, you fucking well give me a dollar forty for every honey bun you want me to forgo, so I have $2.40 to spend on six hundred calories of banana instead of $1.00 to spend on six hundred calories of honey bun. Plus the $1.54 (or more, because gas prices don’t like falling) every two weeks so I can get to where I can buy the damn bananas. Some people actually do have budgets that fucking tight. (And I have a good job. I make nearly twice minimum wage, and sometimes there’s overtime.)

  • Eris

     I love bananas and eat them a lot. Sadly, I found a rotten banana on top of my fridge today. It was both gross and wasteful. I was sad.

    It irritates me that people never factor in spoilage into their calculations of healthy food costs. I’ve gotten home from the store before to realize that the package of fruit that I JUST BOUGHT had mold in the middle of it, to say nothing of the number of times I’ve forgotten about a piece of produce for a couple of days. I can find a granola bar in the pocket of my coat months later and it’s still good.

  • http://jamoche.dreamwidth.org/ Jamoche

    It irritates me that people never factor in spoilage into their calculations of healthy food costs.

    So much this. And storage area, too – most of the “you can make your own food for pennies a day!” advice assumes you’ve got someplace to put all the food you buy in bulk and that you’re going to use it all up before it goes bad.

  • m015094

    More excuses.  Just what I expected.  Do you want somebody to force feed you how to live your life , or do you want to start living it yourself. 

    You said that you make twice minimum wage.  Great. So that $1.54 extra on gas every two weeks is what to you? Maybe 7 minutes of work at your job.  Priorities are important.  Somewhere along the line you forgot that. 

  • Tapetum

     Because employers are so delighted with employees who unilaterally decide to work more hours, and are just thrilled to give them bigger paychecks.

    Pardon me, but what planet do you live and work on? Because this one is Earth, and it bears no resemblance to the place you’re describing.

  • m015094

    Yes, because 3.5 minutes a week = working more hours. 

    Come on.  Use your brain. 

  • Eris

    Then what the fuck are you trying to say? If a person tells you, “I can’t afford to buy Y,” and you tell them, “Well, it will only take you X number of minutes to earn enough money to buy Y,” what could you possibly be saying if you aren’t telling them to work X number of minutes more than they already work in order to earn enough money to buy Y? Are you trying to say that because it only took a few minutes to earn the money, that they suddenly have fewer demands on the money? Or was that just some kind of masturbatory statement that didn’t mean anything?

  • Tapetum

     I’ll take option “B” for $500, Alex.

  • m015094

    If something takes up that little time every week, and you cannot budget your time and money around that, you’ve got some serious planning problems. 

    Are you telling me you could not budget an extra $2 out of your weekly budget?

    Why is this message board full of people unwilling to take any responsibility for their lives and just make excuses of why they cannot do things?  Are you playing the  victim role Eris? 

  • Eris

    The victim? Ah, but all I’ve told you about myself is that I’m a geneticist and that I work on salary. You know nothing else about me. You don’t know my weight, you don’t know my diet, you don’t know anything. So as much as you would like to judge, you’re going to have trouble with that. So have fun swinging away, trying to portray me as some mirror vision in your head.

  • m015094

    So, maybe you were referring to other people then.  Or do you have a hard time budgeting $2 into your weekly salary?  

    I’ve worked minimum wage and I know it sucks.  I also had priorities and no expectation of buying  things I couldn’t afford.  Some people on this board cannot or do not want to understand that concept. 

  • Eris

     My statement was simple: if a person needs more money before they can buy Y, then it is not necessarily the case that they can work more hours in order to earn more money to buy X. I provided you with two examples of how this might be the case. It is that simple.

  • EllieMurasaki

    Because employers are so delighted with employees who unilaterally
    decide to work more hours, and are just thrilled to give them bigger
    paychecks.

    To be fair, my employer hands out overtime like it’s candy. When there’s candy available. (That is, a big enough backlog of priority seven shit to justify having a dozen or so people come in Saturday to clear it out.) Three weeks from now there’ll be another fortyish dollars in my paycheck because I worked this morning. (Yesterday morning. Whatever.) But I can’t budget for having that fortyish dollars, because overtime is not a regular thing. And anyway I need to save the money for a computer that will run the stupid fucking software that operates the stupid fucking tests for the stupid fucking Word course that I need to pass in order to get my degree, not spend the money on luxuries like bananas.

  • EllieMurasaki

    No, I decided I want to earn more than twice minimum wage and I decided I don’t want to be in debt all my life. Eating vaguely healthily now is not a priority compared to getting my degree now and paying off my student loans now and eating well after that degree has got me a better job. If you want to argue my priorities, I am perfectly happy to argue my priorities, but in the end it is my life and my decisions, and eating honey buns instead of bananas means my loans go away that much sooner. Meanwhile, if you want me to eat bananas instead of honey buns, you fucking well give me a dollar forty for every honey bun you don’t want me to eat. And I am still waiting for an acknowledgement that your saying a domestic abuse victim shouldn’t have married the bastard is your blaming the victim.

  • m015094

     “And I am still waiting for an acknowledgement that your saying a
    domestic abuse victim shouldn’t have married the bastard is your blaming
    the victim.”

    Ok, I’ve explained before, but I’m going to explain it again – just for you.  I didn’t say what you’re thinking I said.

    I said that if you are in an abusive relationship (1), then you shouldn’t get married(2).  Do you see that 1 comes before 2 in my example?  Now, does it happen the other way around, where a person thinks the relationship is fine, they get married, and the person becomes abusive after? Of course it does. 

    Why don’t you re-read my posts where I state that the person doing the verbal and/or physical abuse is ALWAYS at fault?  I’ll wait.  

    Oh, and nobody should have to give you that dollar forty to eat better other than yourself.  Why are you trying to make your owe bad habit of eating sticky buns somebody’s  problem other than your own?  One you could easily fix, but you seem more interested in making excuses.

  • EllieMurasaki

    And the abuse victim who doesn’t want to marry her abuser when he does want to marry her has…what options, exactly? Keep in mind that the most dangerous time for her is when she’s trying to leave him and the first few months when she thinks she’s successfully left him.

    My breakfast budget is a dollar a day. I require six hundred calories to get from breakfast time to lunchtime. Do please explain, O Wise and All-Knowing One, how I can get six hundred calories every morning without eating honey buns and without exceeding a dollar per morning.

  • m015094

     How about instead of telling you I suggest you figure it out for your self.  I know you want someone to hold your hand through life and tell you what to do, but eventually you’ll have to grow up.  I think now is a good time. 

  • EllieMurasaki

    I’ve tried figuring it out for myself. The conclusion I came to is that honey buns are the most efficient use of my breakfast money. If you don’t like that conclusion, provide an alternate.

  • Eris

     No, mo15094, she doesn’t want someone to hold her hand through life and
    tell her what to do. She does, however, want you to stop telling her
    what to do without any understanding of or concern for her actual
    situation. However, you seem incapable of doing that. You seem hellbent on telling her that the way she has figured out is wrong and that she should change it, but you have nothing to offer her to actually get that change to happen. You judge without having any desire to help.

  • Tapetum

     Nothing like a good round of condescension to make one feel good, eh mo15094? EllieMurasaki seems to be behaving like a perfectly decent adult to me – she’s thought about her priorities, put them in order, and is making sensible decisions based on them. You’re the one telling her that her priorities are all wrong and that she should re-order her life based on what you think she should prioritize.

    She is taking the pretty reasonable position that if you want her to put your priorities in front of her own, then you should to the work to ensure her priorities (graduating, paying off her loan, etc.) don’t suffer. Otherwise your preferences can go fly a kite.

  • hidden_urchin

    It’s really nice to see that I’m not the only one who thinks this way.  (I’m sorry you’re going through it, though, because it totally sucks.) 

    My breakfast budget is 21 cents a day.  Unfortunately, I can only get a max of 320 calories.  Two days a week I can only eat 160 calories to maintain this budget.*  (Instant oatmeal)

    For lunch, I can spend just over a dollar (1.07, actually).  This meal provides 340 calories. (Salad on pocket bread with OJ)

    Dinner is where I spend the most at just under 1.50.  I also get the most calories at 500. (PB&J with yogurt)

    I also budget for a 35 cent/day snack like a granola bar for an extra 150 calories or so.** 

    This is on top of riding my bike over 4 miles a day as I commute to and from class and running 3.5 miles a day.

    So…yay for being a poor student?

    *Those are the two days when I don’t have class until after lunch so I can afford to be lethargic all morning.

    **Also, I am fully aware this is not at all an ideal diet.  It’s not a pleasant one either.  There’s no variety and I can finish eating in under five minutes.  I’m frequently hungry because those amounts of food are not enough to get me from one meal to the next comfortably. 

    And y’all know what the really sad part is?  I’m still one of the lucky ones.  There are people in the US who don’t get even three lean, repetitive meals a day.  In a country like the US that is just pathetic.

  • Matri

    [mo mode]
    Oh, so you don’t have any money for a proper meal? Well you should have thought of that before you turned into a teenager!
    [/mo mode]
    [/poe mode]

  • hidden_urchin

    LOL

    I know, I know.  I totally should have gone for that minimum wage, dead-end job instead of going back to grad school to get an engineering degree.  Silly me, making my future ability to support myself (and a potential family) a priority!

  • EllieMurasaki

    Thirteen hundred calories a day? No wonder you’re always hungry. I cannot function at all on fewer than eighteen hundred.

    I bet Mr. Personal Responsibility here advocates against expanding food stamps and WIC. Can’t let people be dependent on government handouts, after all. And I bet he advocates for restricting food stamps and WIC to only cover the foods he deems sufficiently healthy. I remember when my family was on WIC (because Mom, being a good Catholic, doesn’t believe in contraception, and Dad kept not getting promotions he deserved). Florida wasn’t so bad, they gave Mom a check with a list of acceptable foods on the back and we could go to the grocery store and trade the check for food, but Mississippi, we got what the WIC lords and masters decided we got and we got it from the WIC warehouse instead of the grocery store. Milk processed to stay drinkable for months if unopened.  Powdered eggs. Disgusting stuff, and a waste of taxpayer money because not a one of us would eat them.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    Didn’t the USDA about ten-fifteen years ago warn that weight loss was virtually inevitable on a diet of less than 1500 calories per day? i.e. people who can’t get enough caloric intake have actual health risks from their bodies not getting enough. :(

  • hidden_urchin

    Yup.  I’m trying to restructure my budget to allow me to squeeze out more for food because of that issue.  Honey buns might be the way to go. ;-)

  • EllieMurasaki

    Here’s hoping for your success. For the record, I don’t recommend honey buns; they are doubtless responsible for the cavity I had to have filled in August.

    …which reminds me, still haven’t gone looking for a new dentist. Had to leave the old one because they don’t take Dominion Dental and a smaller lump comes out of my paycheck for Dominion Dental than for the dental insurance my old dentist does take. And anybody who says insurance companies don’t interfere with patients’ choice of medical providers can go fuck themselves, sideways, with dental pointy poky things.

  • hidden_urchin

    Well, that’s just miserable (both the cavity and the insurance issue).  Here’s wishing you luck in finding a new, good dentist and also in keeping those cavities at bay with only a $1 for breakfast and a 600 calorie requirement. 

  • EllieMurasaki

    Here’s wishing you luck in finding a new, good dentist and also in
    keeping those cavities at bay with only a $1 for breakfast and a 600
    calorie requirement.

    Thank you.

  • hidden_urchin

    Thirteen hundred calories a day? No wonder you’re always hungry. I cannot function at all on fewer than eighteen hundred.

    Yeah, according to my doctor I should be eating closer to what you are.  I can generally fuction OK, though, if I schedule my meals correctly in relation to when I have to do something.

  • The_L1985

    Minimum wage, 40 hours/week, 52 weeks/year = $15,080/year.

    So twice that is only $30,160/year.

    I don’t make much more than that, and the only reason I don’t have to count every single penny is because I:

    1. Already had a car when I moved out.

    2. Have wealthy parents:

    2a. I was able to sock away almost a whole year’s salary into savings before I moved out, and was able to use that money to buy furniture and pay the security deposit (I rent my home; I would own, but wealthy investors bought all the inexpensive properties out from under me).

    2b. Also, my parents gave me, out of the goodness of their hearts, an old leather sofa, a printer, a bagless vacuum cleaner, and a good-sized HDTV.  They did not have to give me any of those things.  (Yes, all of these things were used.  That’s not the point.)

    2c.  My parents paid, out-of-pocket, for me to earn my bachelor’s AND master’s degrees.  That’s roughly $30k up-front, probably about $60k or more if I’d gotten a student loan and had to pay interest on top of that.  (And I went CHEAP: community college for an AS, transferred to a nearby state college for my BS, and got my MA from WGU online.)  So that’s a HUGE amount of money that most college graduates would owe, but which I personally don’t have to worry about at all.

    2d. My parents are also paying for my auto insurance, so that my savings doesn’t take a hit (I can afford to pay it myself with the amount I’ve got in savings, but until the car is completely paid off, my auto insurance payments would result in a net loss of about $3600/year).

    2e.  They are also paying $10/month to have me on their cell phone family plan, as opposed to the $45/month I’d pay for the exact same plan on my own.  I do not have a landline.

    3. Made out a budget for two-paycheck months, so that I can put the extra check into savings on the rare three-paycheck month.

    4. Live only about a mile or so from work.  I cannot express how much of a difference a shorter commute makes in terms of budgeting.

    I have a lot of advantages that Ellie does not.  Most of them come from having wealthy parents.  The difference between me and you is that I know when I’m lucky, and am not afraid to admit it.

  • hapax

     Am I the only one thinking that when m01509 claims to “work in a clinic” and “counsel patients”, what zie is really doing is hanging around across the street, holding up picket signs and yelling “Hey, you stupid fat slut, why don’t you just keep your legs crossed?”

    Of course, it’s perfectly possibly that zie actually wears a white coat and a stethoscope, and sees clients one by one … and apparently says the same thing.

    After all, *someone* must keep voting for those evil clowns in Arizona.

  • EllieMurasaki

    No, you’re not the only one.

  • wendy

    I suppose you’ve never heard of “food deserts” — there’s whole great swathes of our cities (usually the part where poor people live) that don’t have grocery stores, or fruit stands, or greemarkets. They have fast-food joints, and little corner stores with things that come in boxes and things that come in cans (usually marked up 30% from what middle-class people pay in their middle-class neighborhoods).

    I guess this is where you tell me those families should use their personal responsibility to spend an extra couple hours after work taking a bus to go to a better store (two or three times a week, because there’s a limit how much you can carry on the bus and then walking a mile from the busstop)…

  • Eris

     Ah, yes, I remember when I first encountered the bus rule that you could only bring two bags of groceries on with you. *sigh*

  • The_L1985

     That’s when you buy those oversized reusable shopping bags.  I can fit ALL of my groceries for the week in two shopping bags. ;)

  • hidden_urchin

    That’s when you buy those oversized reusable shopping bags.

    Or use a backpack and two reusable shopping bags (assuming you can physically do this, of course).  I walk to and from the store so I like to carry the heavy stuff on my back instead of in my hands.*  As I tell the cashier, “Heavy stuff in the backpack.  Squashable stuff in the bags.”

    *1.5 miles each way.  I’m lucky.

  • hagsrus

     Are you allowed a wheeled cart, one of those canvas ones? I’m lost without mine as carrying bags in my hands sends my back into agony. Perhaps NY buses are more tolerant, especially of eccentric-looking old women like me!

  • m015094

    Because I happen to live in NYC and can personally speak about “food deserts.”  Do they exist? Yes, to some extent.  For example, I live in Harlem and if I want to buy organic food (I don’t because it’s a waste of money, IMO) I have to get on the bus or subway and head 30 blocks to Trader Joe’s or 100 blocks to Whole Foods.  I’ve been to Whole Foods once.  Waste of money.  We used to have a “gourmet” market right on 125th st, but it closed because there was no demand. 

    Now, does that mean I cannot get fresh food? Nope.  There are 2 grocery stores within a 10 minute walk near my apartment – not to mention “markets” (some with fresh produce) about every 2-3 blocks.  Yes, the markets are more expensive, but that’s why I buy when stuff is on sale at the grocery stores.  Also, the produce on the sidewalk markets is cheaper here than when I’ve been to Costco.  It’s definitely as pretty or clean, but it’s cheap. 

    I guess the bottom line is that, yes, I’ve heard of food deserts, but I take it with a grain of salt because, like anything, people complain about the bad (no Whole Foods) and not the good (cheap produce). 

    Mind you, that’s in NYC.  I have no idea how food deserts work in other cities and rural areas.  I know my grandparents (both farmers in very rural areas), bought in bulk.   One also had a garden for vegetables and used his own livestock for milk, eggs and meat. 

    And BTW, yes, living in the city means compromises like that I don’t have a car and I take the railroad to work.  Somehow 8 million people get by here.  And is food more expensive? Yeah, probably, but not much where I live.  If you go south of 110th st (where all the rich white people live) the markets charge an arm and a leg.  I’m talking about $1 for an apple and $6 for cereal. 

  • wendy

    I’m one of those rich white people (upper west side) — I know for a fact Harlem’s been gentrified over the last few decades, there’s no food deserts there. It’s been many years since transportation’s been difficult in Manhattan. Brooklyn, on the other hand, or Queens, or the Bronx… and it’s much worse in other cities. In Chicago or Los Angeles or Dallas or Tulsa, most of the poor people don’t live within a mile of any place that sells produce, don’t live within 1/2 mile of a busstop, and it’s 1/2 hour or more on that bus to get to such a store. Buses that don’t run all that often after 6pm, and stores that close at 10. 

    Mrs Obama’s been pressing hard to get community gardens and greenmarkets into such neighborhoods, but that’s just one more thing that pisses off the right wing. “How dare she try to tell people what to eat, what to feed our kids. Just more government trying to interfere with our parental rights.” Or something. 

  • m015094

    I was quite interested by this so I looked up some more info.  The USDA has a food desert map.

    http://www.ers.usda.gov/data/fooddesert/fooddesert.html

    Kinda cool.  Interesting thing is that it doesn’t look like NYC has any food deserts now except for Far Rockaway(if you trust the map).  Most of the regions appear to be rural.  Those cities you mentioned do look pretty bad though.  I’ve never lived there so I don’t know what’s in those neighborhoods.  I have lived in San Diego and the food desert areas include

    1. Lindbergh Airpot
    2. Sea World
    3. UCSD
    4. Miramar Air Staion

    I think their map need updating there. 

  • Sgt. Pepper’s Bleeding Heart

    Actually, the page says that around 75% of the food desert tracts are in urban areas, and around 82% of people living in food deserts are urban residents.

    I imagine they will update their map when the latest Census data becomes available.

  • P J Evans

    They show two in my area. One of them is half industrial area, and the other is CSUN.

  • hagsrus

    “Mind you, that’s in NYC.  I have no idea how food deserts work in other cities and rural areas.”

    Well, there’s the thing. We’re very fortunate in New York, both for food and transit, and the resources to which you can refer your clinic clients are probably more generous than many other places. If you need to refer a client for an abortion there are unlikely to be unreasonable obstacles other than possibly paying for it.

    But there’s a whole other country out there… and it isn’t Women’s Country.

  • m015094

    Well, I don’t actually work in NYC (I’m a bridge and tunnel guy in reverse), but I live here for now.  I have seen some of the medical programs here (HHC) for the less fortunate and I thought they were pretty good.  Kind of crowded, but not the worst I’ve seen. 

    You’re right. Access in the NYC is about as easy as it gets.  Abortions are expensive – even at Planed Parenthood, not to mention a traumatic procedure (physically and emotionally) that a woman shouldn’t ever have to go through.  I guess that’s why I get pissed off about people’s lack of knowledge or stubbornness when it comes to obtaining and correctly using birth control.

  • The_L1985

    NYC is the opposite of a food desert.  As you yourself said, there are even specialty organic food stores, in addition to grocery stores and farmer’s markets.  Food is insanely plentiful where you live, and if you don’t like the local selection, you can hop on the bus or taxi or train or subway and go to another part of town.

    I have been to, and lived near, areas where there are no grocery stores or farmers’ markets of ANY KIND within a reasonable driving distance.  That is what a “food desert” is.  It is a place where the ONLY food you can get is McDonald’s.

    In a non-rich area, there is no Whole Foods or Trader Joe’s.  Boo-fucking-hoo, those stores are every bit as overpriced as you say they are.  In a “food desert,” there is no Publix, no A&P, no Winn-Dixie, no Kroger’s, no Piggly Wiggly, no Albertson’s, no Food World, no Bruno’s, no Food Lion, no Food Giant, no fruits and vegetables for sale at all.  There are no sit-down restaurants either:  not even Denny’s, Dairy Queen, Friendly’s, Shoney’s, Ponderosa, Applebee’s, and other relatively inexpensive places.

    Go to the 7-11.  Look at what passes for “food” there.  Now look at the McDonald’s dollar menu (healthy selections, like salads, always cost WAY more than a poor family can afford).  Now imagine living in a place where that is all there is to eat within a 10-mile radius.  That is what is meant by a food desert.

    There are places like that in the United States.  Rural areas.  Urban areas in towns with little or no public transport.  (Do you even have any idea how insanely lucky you are to live in one of maybe 3 or 4 cities in the US with good public transport?!  There are cities like Birmingham, AL where there is ONE bus, that travels along ONE road up and down the county, and it reaches your stop once every other hour.)

    Have you ever even left the city?  Do you know what life is like anywhere other than the City That Never Sleeps?  I’m sorry, my mind is boggling at the idea that taking the railroad to work is a “sacrifice” or “compromise.”  I’ve lived in places where if you can’t afford a car or pickup, you’re screwed.

  • m015094

    I’ve lived all over the country.  Areas of NYC used to be food deserts, but Obama passed some legislation in 2008 to help the city out. 

    And  I bet YOU own a car, right?  You entitled brat.  Why don’t you just waive that in the poor people’s face some more when you’re picking up your DQ Blizzard or picking up groceries at Piggy Wiggly.

  • The_L1985

    Seriously?  I fucking KNOW that I’m luckier than 90% of the people here.  That’s neither here nor there.

    The point I’m making is, people shouldn’t HAVE to be lucky in order to afford the things they need to survive.  My point is that everyone should be able to get to a grocery store that sells fresh vegetables (organic or otherwise).  Everyone should get a good education, including comprehensive sex education.  Everyone should be able to eat, pay the rent, AND pay for utilities, and everyone who can’t afford to do so without help should be able to GET that help without having to be treated like some kind of subhuman.

    I am a college professor at a not-for-profit career college.  I have students who cannot afford to spend $1, once, on a calculator for math class.  I have students who cannot afford to buy new pencils and have to borrow pencils.  My heart aches every time I overhear my students talk about the sacrifices they have to make, just so they can try to earn a degree that MIGHT get them a job that earns them enough to support their kids.

    I have many students who have a full-time job, are full-time students, AND have children under the age of 2 at home.  They are already burning themselves out, they’re working so hard to better themselves.  It kills me every time I have to mark a problem wrong on a single one of their papers.  I feel like a fucking MONSTER with every F I have to hand back.  I do everything within my power to help these students, because if I can help even one of them to get a degree, I will have at least done SOMETHING.

    Fuck you for implying that I am stony-hearted enough to take ANY of my privileges for granted, or that I don’t think anything should be done to help these people.  You don’t know me.  You don’t know any of the commenters here.  You just want to feel like you’re smarter than the rest of us.

    I’ve known people like that.  They generally are not nearly as intelligent as they wish to appear.  They certainly aren’t as compassionate.

  • AnonymousSam

    So much this. My life changed in a big way when I moved across the country from a rural middle-of-nowhere area where the nearest town was a twenty minute drive and a good couple of hours’ walk to a city with a bus system that could get me just about anywhere I wanted to go on that half of the state.

    Granted, I went poor soon after I moved there, but that was due to not expecting that my college degree would make as little difference in a city as it had in the middle of nowhere. I had all the access I could ever want, but no ability to utilize it.

  • Eris

     Oh for the love of . . .

    Yes, because people are overweight and smoke because no one has ever told them that it was bad for them. Yes, they were simply unaware! It’s not like fat people ever get flack or there are warnings about cigarets anywhere to be found. I’m sure that your scorn-filled lectures will turn their lives right around. If only everyone would follow your lead and criticize every person who they saw doing something they disapproved of! Why, if there is a fat person in a crowd of thirty people, just think of the wonders it would do it every single one of those thirty  people let the fat person know how they are doing The Wrong Thing.

  • m015094

    No, you’re right.  I forgot.  We should encourage bad behavior. 

  • Eris

     Yes, because allowing people to make their own decisions about their own bodies is a bad thing. Instead, we must repeatedly “inform” them of how bad they are being, even though we know perfectly well that they have been “informed” of all this before and will be “informed” of it again. It’s not up to us to allow them to live in peace.

  • Lori

    You’re right, it get’s old and I often get jaded.  But I think by giving people a healthy dose of reality is never a bad thing.  Sometimes you have to tell them the decisions they are making are bad.  I counsel (re: I criticize)  every single smoker and overweight person I see for living a destructive lifestyle.  You may think I’m a dick for doing that, but it’s so they don’t kick the bucket at 40 and abandon their kids.  I’ve also pulled teenage fathers off to the side and given them a lecture on being a good father – something probably no one has told them in their young life.   I’m not here to be their friend, I’m here so they don’t mess up their lives. 

    And with this you  prove my point. It’s true that you’re not there to be their friend, but it is not true that you’re there so that they don’t mess up their lives. You’re there to provide medical care. The fact that you serve it up with a heaping dose of condescension,  judgement and bullying makes you unfit for the work. You should not be working at the clinic and there is something very wrong with the administration that allows you to continue.

    The lectures you deliver clearly make you feel good about yourself and your superiority. I doubt they’ve helped many of your patients. Based on my experience in social work I very strongly suspect that they’ve actively hurt some by making them reluctant to seek further medical care because they assume that all providers will be as abusive as you are. So try not to strain a muscle patting yourself on the back. You need to be in top shape so that you can do what you clearly should have done a while ago—find another job.

  • Trixie_Belden

    Many times they don’t even know that programs for help exists, which I see as a failure of society in general. It’s obviously an attitude perpetuated on this message board – to play the victim instead of spending an honest amount of time researching the options for your own health. I hear a lot of excuses about why people CANNOT do things and not about what they’ve done for themselves.

    Look, just about all the sentences in this paragraph contradict each other.

    Many times they don’t know that programs for help exists, which I see as a failure of society in general

    OK,  do you agree that you can’t blame people for not taking advantage of a program that they never even  knew existed?  How would being more “personally responsible” help if you don’t even know what you don’t know?
    If “society in general” is failing them, then shouldn’t “society in general” step up to the plate and get them more information about the programs they need?  “Society in general”  would have to include the government, right?

    “It’s obviously an attitude perpetuated on this message board – to play the victim instead of spending an honest amount of time researching the options for your own health” 

    I am certain that everyone here on this message board is completely in favor of people being given all possible information about any available programs for help.  But what about the people who simply can’t do the kind of “research” you believe they should?  What about people who, for whatever reason (and I mean not just a reason that you would find valid, but whatever reason),  just can’t get their sh*t together?  Is it better to get angry with them because they CANNOT do things, or to try and help them do what they can?  That’s part of your job, right?

    Some other commenter has already asked you this question, but I have to ask again because I’m curious.  You wrote about having the conversations with the women in your clinic, who have unplanned pregnancies and didn’t use birth control and how it makes you want to facepalm.  Why do you think the women are in this situation?  Do you think they’re stupid?  Do you suspect even though they say it was an unplanned pregnancy maybe deep down they just really want to become pregnant because it makes them feel important or something?  Did you ever ask them why they believed they would not become pregnant?  Did you ever ask why they did not use contraception?  Do you have any ideas for how you could avoid having those conversations again?

     

  • Eris

    m015094, I take it that you aren’t going to answer my question about the supposed motivation for these hypothetical women who run around refusing to use free, easily accessible birth control when they can’t afford to feed the children they already have?

  • P J Evans

    That would require admitting that hse is wrong, and that people here are actually right.

  • Eris

    I find this discussion to be incredibly odd. Now, I’m not a pharmacist (I’m a geneticist), but this whole argument seems to be something along the lines of

    Person A: There is no significant difference between chocolate that is processed in the same facility as peanuts.

    Person B: No, there is a big difference. I’m allergic to peanuts.

    Person A: Just look at the ingredients of two bars of chocolate, one processed in a facility that handled peanuts, and one that didn’t. Neither have “nuts” in the ingredient list.

    Person B: Still, there can be trace amounts–

    And so forth. Seriously, unless one is arguing that all versions of a drug are 100% the same, then arguing that people can’t possibly have a bad reaction to one but not the other makes no sense. After all, they can have all kinds of differences in their inactive ingredients. Hell, someone could have an off reaction to one of the differing DYES.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    *blink* *blink*

    m015094:

    You’re talking about T(1/2),  the study was talking about Tmax.

    At this point, you’re sounding like someone desperately hoping to find points to nitpick over in order to prove you’ve “won” the argument.

    If T_max differs by a known constant factor relative to T_1/2 (I assume this is the biological elimination half-life), then you’re trying to use semantics and the fact that not everyone here is a pharma person to “prove” you’re right.

    If there is a difference due to definitions of the terms, I still would lean to the notion that you are splitting hairs, I would say.

    Incidentally, people like you who fancy themselves the “lone realists” who “snap people out of it”?

    Are usually insensitive and rude. You don’t think an overweight person can’t look at their fucking bathroom scale? You don’t think society doesn’t hammer them enough ovet it? News flash: They’ll never tell you, because of the credentials after your name which gives social weight to what you do and say, but believe me when I say that behind your back it’ll be “that asshole doctor told me I need to lose some weight. Gee, I needed to fork out a $50 co-pay to hear what I get from my mother for free?”

  • http://jamoche.dreamwidth.org/ Jamoche

    Interesting thing popped up on my Livejournal flist today:

    If this bill passes the senate then women of Arizona would be forced to provide documentation that birth control is for medical purposes only. The “company” would not be required to cover birth control if it was for prevention of conception. Additionally this bill would give companies the right to fire women if they discovered that she was using a contraceptive to prevent pregnancy

    Yeah. At least here in CA (*), when you’re interviewing women you can’t ask them if they plan to have kids – that opens you up to discrimination issues of the “not giving women jobs on the assumption they’re just going to quit soon to have kids” sort. But hey, with this bill not only can you ask something even more intrusive than that, but you can know they’re going to have kids because you made it very difficult for them not to.

    (*)Don’t know if it’s a federal thing or not, I only ask techy questions in interviews anyway.

  • AnonymousSam

    And with that, the troll reveals his true nature.

    But hey, just in case you still cling to the vestige of authority, allow me to prove once and for all that shame, scorn and “realism” don’t accomplish the ends you claim they do: We’ve been telling you for the past 24 hours to stop being a prick, and yet here you are. Clearly your model of practice is deeply flawed.

    </thread>

  • Sgt. Pepper’s Bleeding Heart

    But hey, just in case you still cling to the vestige of authority, allow me to prove once and for all that shame, scorn and “realism” don’t accomplish the ends you claim they do: We’ve been telling you for the past 24 hours to stop being a prick, and yet here you are. Clearly your model of practice is deeply flawed.

    Internet–>AnonymousSam

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    Additionally this bill would give companies the right to fire women if
    they discovered that she was using a contraceptive to prevent pregnancy

    (O_O)

    I just….

    Can someone please tell me if, like, we’re stepping into this, like, time warp where we’ll be frozen in amber in 1952 for ever and ever?

    Because otherwise I just don’t EVEN.

  • Lunch Meat

    m015094:
    Have you ever made a mistake? That’s a rhetorical question. I know you have. We have all made mistakes, some of them with bigger consequences than others. In high school I forgot to turn in paperwork that could have potentially gotten me a full-tuition scholarship to college instead of the smaller scholarship I ended up with. I was 16; these things happen; fortunately it didn’t ruin my life.

    The problem is that when sex and marriage and kids are involved, mistakes become a lot bigger and a lot more impactful and the negative consequences multiply exponentially. A 16-year-old girl could have consensual unprotected sex with a teenage boy she doesn’t know all that well. That’s one mistake. Potentially it’s something she learns from and she’s more careful with the next boy. But maybe she gets pregnant. Maybe she’s pressured into not having an abortion and marrying the boy. Maybe he’s abusive and she has to leave. Maybe she moves in with another man to help care for the child, but then she has to choose between birth control for herself and food for her kid.* Maybe she slips up or the pill fails and she has another kid. As her situation in life sinks lower and lower her options become less and less. She has less access to programs that could help her. It becomes all she can do merely to survive, let alone get out of the mess that she’s in.

    All this is because of one mistake. One mistake that could have been prevented with better education, better access to birth control, better mentoring as a teenager. But she made a mistake, like we all do. So her life should be ruined, her future dreams destroyed, and she should be doomed to move from minimum-wage job to minimum-wage job, from low-rent apartment to low-rent apartment, while trying to care for multiple kids with no help from society? Why? Because of “personal responsibility”? She needs to be punished for the REST OF HER LIFE so that she knows she was irresponsible at 16? How does punishment, scolding, and refusal to help financially accomplish anything good? Why do women have the potential to have their lives ruined in this way for one stupid mistake while men don’t?

    Irresponsible people don’t need to be punished by adding more responsibility while taking away ability. That’s stupid. Punish people for crimes, not mistakes. Care for people who make mistakes, teach them not to do it again, and GIVE THEM THE ABILITY AND RESOURCES not to do it again. This means, when you have a woman with one unplanned pregnancy, you give material help right then, before the problem gets worse. This does not mean scolding. This means getting her affordable housing and daycare, a job that will support her family while letting her raise her child, access to birth control so it doesn’t happen again, and mentoring and education so she’s better informed and more mature about sex and relationships.

    *If you can’t afford $10 for birth control, you can’t afford a(nother) kid. It’s basic math. And, no, the PP where I live does NOT give out free condoms. They charge, even for the latex ones.

  • Emcee, cubed

    Being that the AZ law expressly violates HIPPA, I don’t expect it will go very far. The first time someone tries to ask for someone’s medical records or requires an employee to divulge confidential information, it’s a federal lawsuit waiting to happen.

  • http://jamoche.dreamwidth.org/ Jamoche

    I didn’t think about HIPPA, but I figured it violated somebody’s labor laws. I don’t think it has much of a chance of getting on and staying on the books but the mere fact that it had enough support to get this far is scary.

  • Lunch Meat

    Oh, and those girls who are raised by single mothers working multiple jobs to feed them? Who’s going to make sure they get good sex ed? Who’s going to drive them to their appointments to get birth control prescriptions? Who’s going to teach them how to interact with men in a mature way? Who’s going to give them hope for a future where they’re not raising multiple kids at a minimum wage job? Who’s going to show them that they have the potential to live a better life?

    It’s a systemic problem. We’re not going to get anywhere by scolding and refusing aid to those who need it.

  • Emcee, cubed

     Actually, my impression was he was a janitor or night watchman or something, since he hasn’t actually come up with any specific credentials. Maybe a receptionist, but I doubt it, since I don’t think anyone would let him talk to actual people.

  • Rhubarbarian82

    mo’s confirmed something I’ve suspected since about page 2 of this thread: one of the reasons he doesn’t care about women who are single mothers after getting out of an abusive relationship is that he, himself, is an abusive person.

  • Eris

    What Tapetum said. It’s all well and good to say, “Oh, it only would take you X number of minutes in order get Y,” but that doesn’t mean employers are willing to pay for that X number of minutes. For example, I’m salary. I get a fixed amount of money no matter how many hours I work. Other people get paid by the hour, but their employers will not put up with them working overtime so as to buy more things like bananas.

  • Eris

    m015094, you ask, “Why are you trying to make your owe bad habit of eating sticky buns somebody’s  problem other than your own?” but the truth is that EllieMurasaki isn’t trying to make it anyone else’s problem YOU are. YOU are the one who has taken it upon yourself to lecture/criticize/counsel all the fat people that you see. YOU. EllieMurasaki didn’t come to you and ask for money for bananas, she said that if you were so interested in her eating the bananas, you could pay for it. You’re the one involving yourself in this, not EllieMurasaki.

  • m015094

     If  your dentist told you that you should brush your teeth and floss daily, would your reply be  “Ok, doc, if you pay for my tooth paste and floss I’ll be right on that.”

    Or….would you skip the tooth paste and floss and just wait until you get a cavity?

    See my point? 

  • EllieMurasaki

    You’re neither my doctor nor my dentist and I didn’t ask for, and I certainly didn’t pay good money to get, your advice.

    That said, dental health is in a different category than nutrition. A person getting poor nutrition has a rather better shot at a job than someone with poor teeth, because someone with poor teeth is visibly poor in a way that someone with poor nutrition is not. Your doctor says you need to eat more healthy, you shrug and explain that you can eat the way you do now or you can eat healthy food and a lot less of it. Your dentist says you need to brush your teeth more, you find the money for more toothpaste, even if it has to come out of the food budget.

  • Eris

      EllieMurasaki, I thought I’d share a
    recipe that I used a lot when I was really poor. I thought you might try
    it and see if you like it.

    Cost of  total ingredients:

    42 oz box of oats Oats: $3.99

    24 oz box of raisins: $3.29

    16 oz bag of walnuts: $7.98

    2.37 oz jar of ground cinnamon: $3.19

    Water: –
    Total: $18.74

     
    Cost per meal

    ½ cup of oats Oats: $.13

    ¼ cup of Raisins: $.19

    1/8 cup of walnuts: $.24

    ¼ tsp of cinnamon: $.03

    Water: –

    Total cost: $.59

     

    Calories per meal:

    Oats: 150

    Raisins: 130

    Walnuts: 90

    Cinnamon: –

    Water –

    Total: 370

     

    How to make: Put 1 cup water into a pot and bring it to a
    boil (usually I do this over medium/medium-high heat). Add oats, raisins, and
    cinnamon. Reduce heat to low. Cover, Wait until the water is absorbed (about 15
    minutes). Add walnuts. Eat.

     

    For me, this is a really wonderful breakfast because it is easy
    to make, cheap, has enough protein to keep me from being hungry an hour later,
    and made up of things that don’t go bad easily. The worst thing about it is that it has a high up-front cost; if you want breakfast today and only have $1 in your pocket and none of the ingredients bought, you’re stuck. I tend to add both more walnuts
    and cinnamon, because I love them and can afford to do so. If you wanted more
    calories (I was trying to get fewer calories when I was making this rather than
    more), you could pretty easily add some milk or brown sugar.

     

    I’ve really slowed down on eating this breakfast because I
    ate it almost every day for two years, and now I’m pretty tired of it. But I think it
    really is good, and I plan to eat it again once I’m less overwhelmed by the
    amount of it that I’ve eaten.

     

    Unfortunately, this can’t help hidden_urchin, as it’s almost 3 times his daily breakfast budget. Ack.

  • EllieMurasaki

    That sounds pretty good, actually. I’ll make a note of the ingredients for next shopping day. Thanks!

  • m015094

     “dental health is in a different category than nutrition”

    That’s about the dumbest thing I’ve seen you write.

  • EllieMurasaki

     “dental health is in a different category than nutrition”

    That’s about the dumbest thing I’ve seen you write.

    Do tell.

  • The_L1985

     If I can’t afford toothpaste and floss, my choice HAS to be one or the other.  In fact, I’ve known people whose teeth rotted out of their mouths because they needed dental work and couldn’t afford it.

  • guest

    Good book about obesity and health:

    http://www.amazon.com/The-Obesity-Myth-Obsession-Hazardous/dp/1592400663

    This was the most important factor in making me realise what an idiot I’d been about this subject (though thankfully not idiot enough to EVER express negative opinions aloud to people who wore bigger than a size 8), and how I’d ignored plenty of evidence that had been right in front of my nose for years.  It’s written by a lawyer, not a doctor, so its style and arrangement of argument may have been more convenient to me than things written by medical or health-trained people.

    I’d love to see all the regular commenters here gather around whatsisface and tag-team explain to him in great detail exactly where he’s gone wrong in his life and what stupid mistakes he’s continuing to make (picking pointless nitpicky fights with people on the internet, when those same few minutes could be used to do useful things, is probably one).

    Food suggestion that has always worked for me–if my calories/time are limited, I find they’re best used in the morning, because I get the energy from them all day, than in the evening, when I’m physically winding down and going to bed (though as a student maybe you use your evenings/nights to get your intense studying in, in which case maybe you do need the most energy at dinnertime!).

  • Dan Audy

    For those struggling to get sufficient (and preferably healthy) calories into their diet I found a couple items fairly useful when I was in that financial zone.

    The single best thing I’ve come across is what my wife used as her go to for “we need to eat but we have no food” recipe called ‘Biscuits from nothing’.  About $0.95 of ingredients for over 1700 calories in a batch.  The only downside to it is that in order to take advantage of the low price you need to buy large amounts initially and store them which can be difficult with a really tight budget or constrained space.
    —-
    You need 2 cups of flour, 1 tbsp baking powder, 1/8 tsp salt, 1/4 cup of shortening (or lard), 1 cup of evaporated milk.  Preheat oven to 450.  Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl.  Then using a fork, cut the shortening into the flour mixture until it is blend and looks like a bunch of crumbs.  Make a large hole in the flour mixture and pour in all the milk, stirring until blended well.  Flour a board or table and knead the dough just a little.  Roll out with a floured rolling pin to 1/2 inch thick.  Cut and place on cookie sheet and bake for 12 minutes.
    —-

    What I primarily relied on was eating boiled oats for breakfast (healthier and cheaper by blending my own instead of using instant), a pita with tuna for lunch, and alternating lentils and brown rice with frozen vegetable (peas being the best calorie/cost).  My budgeting wasn’t quite as tight which gave me some small leeway in creating a bit of variety with a few spices (curry goes a long way) and extra veg.

    These were my go to items though I’m not super confident that the prices are still accurate since that was about a decade ago.

    Lentils – $0.21 for a half cup serving that provides 250 calories along with respectable amounts of protein and fiber which are often hard to afford.  I think they are delicious, particularly if you can afford to spend a bit more on spices or toss in a vegetable but aren’t bad just plain with a bit of salt.  Easy to cook, bring them to a boil in 3 times the water of the dried lentils, simmer until tender (about 20-25 minutes).  These are pretty easy to form the backbone of other recipes with a few other cheap ingredients to allow for variety.

    Brown Rice – $0.18 for a half cup serving that provides 170 calories.  Slightly longer to cook than white rice but much more nutritious.  Bring to a boil, uncovered, in 1.5 times more water than you used dried rice, cover and simmer for 20 minutes, remove from heat and allow to sit for at least 10 minutes (slightly longer waiting periods will make the rice less chewy).

    Potato (Russet) – $0.35 for a potato that will give you 170 calories, useful amounts of vitamin C, iron, and potassium.  A bit pricier on a per calorie basis but I always needed a bit more variety than many people can tolerate and would have this be part of my ‘special’ weekly dinner.

    Frozen Green Peas – $0.25 for a one cup serving worth 125 calories,  lots of vitamin A and a little bit of other vitamins.  Microwave in a bit of water or boil/steam them until hot.

    Onion (Brown) – $0.13 for a one cup serving providing 90 calories, and is a significant source of vitamin C.  I added these to almost everything for a bit of different texture and flavour and I still do now that I can afford to not.  Boil or fry until soft and translucent for sweeter flavour, eat raw for sharp taste.

    Eggs – $0.35 per egg providing 90 calories and a bit of protein.  Lots you can do with these but hardboiled is probably the easiest but also is useful as a binding agent allowing you to make things like lentils into patties or loaves to experience a different meal using the same primary ingredients.

    Dry Whole Wheat Pasta – $0.25 per 2 ounce serving which has 200 calories.

    Canned Pasta Sauce – $0.28 per half cup which contains around 90 calories, vitamin A, and vitamin C.  Combines well with pasta to add variety despite being less ideal on the price/calorie front on its own.

  • Turcano

     I really hope that this “brown onion” you’re referring to is a regional term and not “onion you found hiding in the garage for six months.”

  • Sgt. Pepper’s Bleeding Heart

    Huh? Brown onions are normal vegies. In fact, I use them much more often than white onions.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_CE6FTHLHRMXUGOOGCMG3ROXBH4 David

    I’m guessing you’re referring to what’s more commonly referred to as yellow onions?  The ones with the golden brown skin?

  • Sgt. Pepper’s Bleeding Heart

    Yeah, probably. Although they’re not more commonly called yellow onions here.

  • Turcano

     Okay, a Google image search informs me that brown onions are white onions with brown skins.  Confusion resolved.

  • Eris

     See, this is the kind of information that I found helpful when I was really poor and struggling to find affordable things to eat. You see, I had been raised eating boxed food, and so when I tried actually cooking for myself, everything tasted awful. I was lucky in that I knew someone who was generationaly poor (rather than temporarily poor) who took the time to give me some recipes and other tips for making inexpensive, healthy, tasty food. If she had just sneered at me and told me I should take personal responsibility for my eating, I’d have been eating out of boxes and much poorer. I was so incredibly grateful for her knowledge and willingness to share it.

    However, I was also very fortunate in a way that some people aren’t. I was eligible for $200 a month in food stamps, I had a car to drive me to the store to buy groceries, there were several grocery stores in my town, there was a thrift store for me to buy used cooking utensils, my apartment had a stove, and I had enough time and energy to prepare the food. It was painful for me to see other people who had to try to get by without one or more of these things.

  • EllieMurasaki

    These were my go to items though I’m not super confident that the prices are still accurate since that was about a decade ago.

    After ten years there’s no way the prices are still accurate. Fuck inflation anyway. I can note all the things for next shopping day, though, see what the prices are like now, and if I can motivate my sorry ass to cook things other than five-calories-a-penny microwave ramen for lunch I’ll be in much better shape. Thank you!

  • Eris

    Ack, that had a lot of formatting issues. Oops. Sorry everyone!

  • Eris

    Also, I’m going to include a belated but hearty “fuck that” to the whole idea that BANANAS are a solution. Bananas, while delicious, are one of the most finicky fruits in existence. Have you ever tried taking a banana anywhere with you as a snack? I have, and unless you’re carrying them around in your hand the whole time, they’re going to end up squashed, mushy, brown, and leaking banana juice all over whatever you put them in. Every other fruit that I’ve ever brought anywhere is sturdier than bananas. The only fruit that I’ve found to be really portable are apples. Oranges are somewhat portable in that they don’t end up squashed and leaking so much, but they’re difficult to actually eat, as you are going to need somewhere to wash your hands after you’re done peeling it. Furthermore, bananas do not keep you full; if all you ate was banana, you’ll soon be hungry again. And as Ellie said, they go bad, and they are (in my experience) one of the fastest fruits to go bad.

    It really pisses me off when people offer up a “solution” without actually having tried that solution to see if it works. BANANAS. Christ.

  • P J Evans

    I put my lunch banana in a bag clipped inside a messenger bag, with the rest of my lunch tucked next to it. (Keeps the banana relatively unbruised.) It’s going to be brown anyway, because when they get speckly I put them in the fridge (slows ripening down to where one hand will last a week).

  • Lunch Meat

    Wow, this thread is totally full of people not doing research or discussing possible solutions to problems. Everyone’s just whining, playing the victim and asking the government to give handouts. It’s so true that all we do is complain and not take responsibility, instead of having productive discussions about priorities, resources, and ways to do a lot on a very little amount of money that clearly shows we’ve done research and taken responsibility for our own health. It’s so good that we have mo15094 here to explain everything we’re doing wrong.

  • The_L1985

     …Seriously?  You’re either a sock puppet or a sycophant, because the entire thread has been a “productive discussion about priorities, resources, and ways to do a lot on a very little amount of money.” 

  • Lunch Meat

    Sorry, I was trying to overstate that so much that it would be obvious I was being sarcastic. Apparently I failed. My mistake.

  • The_L1985

     Ah.  My bad. ^^;  I guess I didn’t recognize you.

  • Lunch Meat

    Ah.  My bad. ^^;  I guess I didn’t recognize you.

    No worries. If there’s one thing that the trolls here show, it’s that you can’t parody stupidity obviously enough that parody will always be obvious as parody because it’s stupider than stupidity. I should have known better than to try.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Patrick-McGraw/100001988854074 Patrick McGraw

     

    If there’s one thing that the trolls here show, it’s that you can’t
    parody stupidity obviously enough that parody will always be obvious as
    parody because it’s stupider than stupidity.

    Poe’s Law in action.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Patrick-McGraw/100001988854074 Patrick McGraw

     Given Lunch Meat’s usual posts, I am 100% certain that it was sarcasm.

  • Eris

    Crap, I should have included in my recipe that I use Old Fashioned oats. I don’t know how it would turn out if you used other kinds of oats (like steel cut or quick oats).

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_CE6FTHLHRMXUGOOGCMG3ROXBH4 David

    I’d just like to point out that using “letting children starve” as a disincentive to people having more children than they can afford has a long and storied (or should that be sordid?) history and is still practiced in many parts of the world.  We have also tried “being forced to sell your children as slaves” and “being forced to prostitute your children”.  So far these deterrents have been decidedly ineffective at preventing poor people from having children.  But then again, maybe we need to let the experiment run a few thousand more years, just to make sure.

  • hidden_urchin

    @ Dan Audy and Eris: Thanks for the recipe ideas.  I am going to be moving in July and will have a lower total rent+utilities cost so I can shift that money over into the food budget.  I’ve saved y’all’s suggestions for when that happens.

  • Erista

    test

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1079200227 Ann McGregor

    As Ann Richards once said:  
    They blame the low income women for ruining the country because they are staying home with their children and not going out to work. They blame the middle income women for ruining the country because they go out to work and do not stay home to take care of their children.

  • hagsrus

    Toothpaste: baking soda is a good substitute if you aren’t in need of fluoride. Also dentists often have giveaway samples of floss, toothpaste, and even brushes.

    Soybeans are an excellent food, the only vegetable as far as I know that actually provides complete protein. I buy a bag of the frozen “peas”, steam them for ten minutes, then stash them in the fridge for quick breakfasts. Only drawback: they may not be available in non-Asian areas.

  • The_L1985

     They are available here in Florida pretty widely.  They’re also sold as “edamame,” because apparently using the Japanese name for something makes it better(?)

  • Lori

      They are available here in Florida pretty widely.  They’re also sold as “edamame,” because apparently using the Japanese name for something makes it better(?) 

    At least around here using the Japanese name marks them as people food, as opposed to animal fodder.

  • WingedBeast

    @m015094

    I see you putting a lot of effort into telling people how they should live their lives, but not actually, you know, helping them.  Now, I know that you don’t think you have any obligation to help, but you do seem to think that your telling people how to live their lives *is* helping them.  But, the more effort you put in, there, the more you’re facing your own ignorance as to the situations of other people, the more effort you have to put into advising people on the propper priorities of how to live their lives.

    Wouldn’t it all be more efficient just to, you know, help people?  Rather than telling people who have strict budgets of both time and money that it’s their fault for not having enough of either, thus leaving people stuck in the desperate and immediate needs of survival that leave them without resources to improve their lot for the future, or the lot of their own children, etc, that the cycle of desperation and people making bad decisions could be greatly improved by, you know, helping people?

    You can on blaming the poor, the abuse victims, the victims of circumstance, and those victims of making bad decisions while not having the kind of economic or familial infrastructure in place to still maintain a relatively good economic position despite those bad decisions*.  But, the only thing that ensures is that you’ll have another generation of the same to blame tomorrow.

    *A teenage girl of a wealthy family hasn’t made any better decisions if she winds up pregnant, but she’s damn lucky to have more assistance and money to help her avoid the desperation.  Even bad decisions has to combine with a lack of the luck of economics of birth to get you into these desperate strates.

  • MM

     Your last point applies especially. The level of support and opportunity available to a working-class sixteen year old girl who gets pregnant is simply not going to be the same level of opportunities available to the Bristol Palins of the world. Oh, she shouldn’t have had unprotected sex?  Sure.  But she’s one of those kids who was told in school by the same set of teachers
    who taught her math, geography, and spelling, that the holes in condoms
    were larger than the HIV virus, and condoms are only 75% effective
    anyway, so when her boyfriend who took the same class said why bother, how did she know her teachers were wrong?  Where would she get her information?

    I think the real question is, if you take mo’s point that the women seeking services are doing so as a result of bad decisions on their part (I don’t agree with this assessment, and the point has been more than made how huge numbers of factors apply to how and when people have children, many of which are luck and environment) then you still have to ask, what kind of bad decision, and how many of same, does someone have to make before you can say in good conscience: your children deserve to suffer for the mistakes you made.  Not using a condom? Not finding the right birth control pill?  Not having a job with insurance to cover the $30-40/month most pill scripts actually cost?  Not living near enough to a Planned Parenthood to ask for a lower-cost version?  What about the “bad decision” to have sex, whether or not the couple is married, or is in a long term relationship?  Is that a bad decision that means their children deserve not to have adequate food, shelter, health care, and education?

    In short, if mo doesn’t like helping those who “don’t deserve” it, exactly what sins of the parents disqualify a child from deserving help?

  • Lunch Meat

    And here’s the problem with trying to help the kid without helping the parents: as someone who’s field of study is youth ministry, it’s really hard to convince teens that society cares about them, that they have potential and a future, when it’s obvious to them that society doesn’t give a shit about their parents and thinks their parents are worthless drains on society who aren’t capable of anything.

  • guest

    Another possibly useful food tip–miso.  Expensive compared to lots of other things, but a little goes a long long way, it keeps forever, and one bowl of miso soup in the morning and seriously you won’t be hungry for the rest of the day.

  • Erista

    I’m told that Quinoa is a grain-ish food (you cook it like a grain, technically it’s a seed) that provides complete protein as well, if you’re looking for a non-meat complete protein. I think it’s pretty good, too. This website has good instructions for cooking the Quinoa (I’ve never made the spiced Quinoa, just the regular Quinoa that I use to make something else):

    http://kblog.lunchboxbunch.com/2010/08/make-fluffy-quinoa-every-time-how-to.html

    The internet tells me I spent $12 for the 26 oz package I bought. I use about 1/4 uncooked Quinoa for my purposes (i.e. I measure out 1/4 cup, cook it which makes it into more than 1/4 cup, and use it to make my other recipe), which costs about $.75 for the Quinoa alone.

    Lunch is the meal that I never figured out how to get working. Breakfast and dinner, yes. Lunch I have trouble with because I need to get it cooked before I go to work and have a way to actually get it to work.

  • hagsrus

    “I need to get it cooked before I go to work and have a way to actually get it to work.”

    Cook the night before, stash in plastic container in fridge, then carry it with you? Or isn’t it palatable cold?

    Didn’t know quinoa was a complete protein. I must give it a try.

  • The_L1985

     I often take the pre-washed vegetable baggies, portion them out into individual Tupperware, and eat them cold as a “salad.”  Some days I add a little season salt, but it’s pretty good even completely plain, without dressing.

    If you can afford fresh vegetables (I don’t know what the selection/prices are like where you are) a homemade salad can be wonderful.  Waaaay cheaper than the individually-packaged salad bowls at the store too.

  • Erista

     Hmm, maybe I can figure out this clip thing; I would like to take bananas to eat for lunch. What kind of clip do you use?

  • P J Evans

    I use binder clips. The bag is one of those heavy-duty plastic ones that are used for mailing soft parcels – white outside and silver inside (if I knew where to buy them, I would). It’s sturdy and waterproof, and big enough to hold the entire lunch.

  • Lori

    Speaking as someone who has had to get by on very tight food budgets, I suggest being wary of white rice. IME it’s easy to get into the habit of eating it frequently and/or in fairly large amounts because it’s cheap, doesn’t require a lot of pans and utensils and is filling. The problem is that it appears eating a lot of white rice is a serious risk factor for Type 2 diabetes.

    http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2012/04/study-of-the-day-regularly-eating-white-rice-raises-diabetes-risk/254721/

  • Sgt. Pepper’s Bleeding Heart

    Speaking as someone who has had to get by on very tight food budgets, I suggest being wary of white rice. IME it’s easy to get into the habit of eating it frequently and/or in fairly large amounts because it’s cheap, doesn’t require a lot of pans and utensils and is filling. The problem is that it appears eating a lot of white rice is a serious risk factor for Type 2 diabetes.

    I remember my mum throwing her hands up in despair upon learning that a diet rich in white rice, pasta and bread is a risk factor for Type II diabetes, heart disease and obesity, becausejust about every one of our meals growing up consisted of one of these . Carbohydrates are cheap and filling. There’s no way in hell you can feed a family of seven on a diet high in fresh fruit and vegies, lean protein, and low in complex carbohydrates on a low income in a rented house with no access to farmers’ markets.

  • P J Evans

     I’ve had times when rice was a big part of the evening meal, being relatively cheap. Add some frozen veggies from a big bag, or a hot dog cut in bite-sized pieces, and it’s at least semi-nutritious. Lunch was a peanut-butter-and-honey sandwich (it will hold for several hours, travels well, and doesn’t need a fridge).

  • Lori

    I remember my mum throwing her hands up in despair upon learning that a diet rich in white rice, pasta and bread is a risk factor for Type II diabetes, heart disease and obesity, becausejust about every one of our
    meals growing up consisted of one of these . Carbohydrates are cheap and filling. There’s no way in hell you can feed a family of seven on a diet high in fresh fruit and vegies, lean protein, and low in complex carbohydrates on a low income in a rented house with no access to farmers’ markets.

    I had basically the same reaction. It’s difficult-to-impossible to make low cost meals that are filling without resorting to large amounts of carbs, but if you’re that broke you certainly can’t afford to become diabetic*. Brown rice and whole wheat pasta are less dangerous than white, but they’re also more expensive. If you’re on a really tight budget the difference in price can easily be prohibitive. It’s an ugly double bind and I’m not sure what people are supposed to do about it. Telling millions of people to just learn to live with feeling hungry all the time so they don’t end up with a deadly disease  is not a solution.

    *Seriously. I knew this before, but I’ve been very forcefully reminded of it recently. My ex was diagnosed w/Type II diabetes a couple months ago & I have been just stunned by how much his basic supplies cost. And he has insurance.

  • http://blog.trenchcoatsoft.com Ross

     

    Seriously. I knew this before, but I’ve been very forcefully reminded of
    it recently. My ex was diagnosed w/Type II diabetes a couple months ago
    & I have been just stunned by how much his basic supplies cost. And
    he has insurance.

    Qft. When I was diagnosed several years ago, I added up the sticker price of what it took to keep me healthy. With insurance it was a reasonable cost (Though testing supplies are in the razor blade and inkjet cartridges class of supplies usury. WHen my employer got bought, the new much larger company’s health plan was markedly less generous about it, raising my maintenance costs by several hundred dollars a year), but without insurance? Slow. Painful. Death.

    And, of course, since I now have a Pre-Existing Condition, without Obamacare, buying my own insurance would be pretty much off the table.

    And because it’s slow, I can’t imagine that if I lost my job and money were tight, I’d be in a position to say “We’ll eat next month; I’m going to pay for my medication this month.”

    There is a certain kind of terror-and-relief to confront the knowledge that the most likely way I am going to die is that at some point I will no longer be a sufficiently profitable asset to my employer, at whcih point I will die slowly and painfully from a highly controllable disease.

    THere are certain diseases now where the “cure” pretty much is literal money. Like in that South Park episode about HIV.

  • Tonio

    I
    might be the only person who interpreted Rosen’s comment as a slam
    against rich people, not against women who don’t work outside the home.
     

  • Lunch Meat

    Are you encouraging people that cannot financially support themselves to have MORE kids?  Because that’s what I was against.  Not helping those already in need.

    If you’re against having kids that you can’t afford, and in favor of helping those in need, why the hell are you commenting on a post about welfare reform instead of a Quiverfull forum?

  • AnonymousSam

    The bottom line is very simple: No one wants people to have more children than they can afford, but most of the people here are not interested in punishing people who have made mistakes, and part of helping people who have made mistakes is having to help people who make mistakes and don’t consider them as such.

    You know that phrase, “I disagree with what you say, but I’ll defend to the death your right to say it”? The same concept applies here. Part of ensuring freedom is having to put up with people having the freedom to do things you disagree with. And that’s purely assuming the people in question are having children purely to milk the system, which is far from the case for the vast majority of people on welfare, even if welfare were somehow bestowing luxury upon recipients. The numbers quoted earlier show that to very much not be the case.

    The Republicans are making this a binary choice: You either have a safety net or you don’t. There is no conditional if/then statements here. Let them decide who’s worthy of welfare and no one will have any at all.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    Oh yeah, for anyone interested, the sum total direct aid commonly understood as “welfare” was a grand total of $34-some billion for the last complete fiscal year I could get my mitts on.

    For comparison? Military spending averages around $500 billion a year.

  • phantomreader42

    I think I may have figured m015094 out.  Now, this is gonna sound a bit farfetched, but bear with me.
    m015094 is a time traveler.  It comes from a future where people realized that the GOP is packed with willfully ignorant, greedy, stupid, hypocritical, bigoted, delusional sociopaths and told them to fuck off.  Without the reactionary, science-hating, anti-contraception fetus-fetishists, it became politically feasible to make birth control and sex education freely available to everyone, so m015094, having grown up in a world where everyone has free access to usable birth control, is incapableof comprehending that this is not the case in our world, no matter how many times the facts are explained, no matter how many counterexamples are offered. 

    But that’s not the only change in m015094’s world.  Improved education and increased funding for the sciences enabled researchers to reveal and manipulate the fundamental nature of space and time, thus making it possible to alter the past.  In m015094’s world, it is literally possible to rewind time and undo mistakes retroactively.  An unwanted pregnancy does not need to be aborted, it can be erased from the timeline as if it never happened.  The same goes for an abusive relationship.  Again, m015094, having grown up in a future where unwanted children can be “unbirthed” and undesirable circumstances can be erased as easily as rerolling a character’s ability scores in a game of Dungeons and Dragons, is incapable of comprehending that people in our timeline do not possess the capability to rewind time like the protagonist of the videogame “Braid” (and m015094 probably believes that said game is in fact a documentary of some sort).
    So, yeah, it’s obvious everyone has been talking to a visitor from the future!  Well, either that or a willfully ignorant delusional sociopath…

  • MM

    This seems timely: http://wxch.nl/HFtevL “Why is the Teen Birth Rate in the United States so High and Why Does it Matter?”

  • Kit

    So this is horribly edited in MS Paint, but in the spirit of Lee B.’s post, please enjoy my version below. My theory is, the GOP just has terrible grammar and punctuation.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Margaret-Whitestone/100001682409207 Margaret Whitestone

    Wealthy women who have to come up with lists of orders for the nanny, the maid and all the other household servants work.   Those other women who stay home and do everything themselves are lazy freeloaders.  

  • MichaelDrew

    I mean, they can say it’s work and not think that you should be paid by the government to do it.  No one goes around telling people thinking about engaging in the procreative act that the result of that act will not involve incurring a legal obligation to perform work for which you will not be paid.  Indeed, that is exactly what we tell them it will involve. To the extent conservatives say that mothers are doing something wrong by not staying home with children but also doing something wrong if they don’t have enough income to raise the kids well, they’re saying that the thing they’re doing wrong is not having someone around who can and will do work that will provide that income, and who is willing to offer up that income for that purpose. They’re saying that what was done wrong in that scenario was undertaking a course of action that resulted in procreation with a person who wasn’t determined to be able to reliably do that.  Now, I don’t buy any of that as a moral matter, and I do support publicly providing the means for single mothers to raise kids well while staying home with them because it makes people’s life better. But as a matter of logic, it isn’t a necessity that conservatives must think that if raising kids is work, that it should come with public compensation.  They can just believe that the work of raising kids you breed is expected to be done without monetary compensation, and if that means that you don’t work and are poor, or work and live an impossible harried life, well that just means you morally f*cked up somewhere along the way, and deserve your condition.  It’s logically coherent, however heartless and destructive of human potential.

  • Jenny Islander

    I just, as in literally just now, got off the phone with Alex at the local Baptist food bank, which is also the local TFAP distribution point.  This time last year, a 1-2 person household could pick up 30 pounds of food per month and there was always a lot of protein in the box.  Now it’s 15 pounds of food per month and he only gets high-protein items once or twice a year.  And there are more cuts coming.

    What the hell is this supposed to do?  What, if people are hungry enough they will sell organs or turn to prostitution or pull $20,000 out of their butts and start a business with it?

  • Lori

      What, if people are hungry enough they will sell organs or turn to prostitution  

    Both of which are illegal and will actually get you thrown in prison, unlike the illegal things that the already rich do in order to become richer (see: Wall Street fraud & the total lack of any bankers ending up in the slammer for it). 

    Breaking the law because you’re poor and desperate: Bad character, needs to be locked up to keep the rest of us safe

    Breaking the law because you’re just that greedy and besides the rules don’t apply to you: Engine of growth and/or job creator

  • Jenny Islander

    Yes, but being clapped into jail for breaking the rules because obeying the rules would lead to starvation will render you conveniently invisible.  Being poor is just fine with our fine amurrican punditry as long as you are poor and silent.

    Oh, and for anybody going 30 POUNDS OF FOOD THEY DIDN’T PAY FOR MAH TAX DOLLARS AAAIEEEE, this portion of the 0.59 cents of your tax dollar that goes to welfare programs, back before it was cut, provided, basically, one item per 1 or 2 people per day.  One can of beans.  One can of creamed corn.  One jar of spaghetti sauce.  One box of figs.  Now that same item has to stretch for two days.  One can of creamed corn, two people, two days.

  • http://deird1.dreamwidth.org Deird

    One good thing that has resulted from this incredibly long argument: I have finally got off my arse and volunteered for the local foodbank. Thank you, Mo, for getting me enraged enough about the plight of the poverty-striken to volunteer…

  • Sgt. Pepper’s Bleeding Heart

    On the bonuses from this thread:

    I’ve noticed a whole bunch of new (at least to me) names in this conversation. Welcome, anyone who is new or newly delurked :)

  • http://deird1.dreamwidth.org Deird

    Also: always known them as brown onions. I have never before realised that non-Aussies call them something else.

    *is weirded out*

  • JustoneK

    The best thing about this thread was the recipes.

  • belledame

    Hi.  I’ve made occasional attempts to be more spiritual.  Does anyone have any good ideas about how to deal with (even by distance) Republicans without being reduced to strangling rage?  Thanks. 

  • belledame

    Seriously?  I fucking KNOW that I’m luckier than 90% of the people here.  That’s neither here nor there.The point I’m making is, people shouldn’t HAVE to be lucky in order to afford the things they need to survive.  My point is that everyone should be able to get to a grocery store that sells fresh vegetables (organic or otherwise).  Everyone should get a good education, including comprehensive sex education.  Everyone should be able to eat, pay the rent, AND pay for utilities, and everyone who can’t afford to do so without help should be able to GET that help without having to be treated like some kind of subhuman.

    QFT.
    This really does seem to be what it boils down to.  Many of the problems we face as a society are only still problems because a significant part of the population doesn’t WANT to solve them; because they don’t believe their welfare is connected with those other people, and because whatever it is that makes them tick, they need other people doing worse than they are to make it all worthwhile.
    Yeah, part of it is just bureaucratic/systematic incompetence.  Part of it you could maybe chalk up to culture and personal experience.  Part of it is the hoarding impulse: more is more is based on -some- universal principle, I guess.  But a lot of it?  Some people didn’t get enough hugs or something as children, and they’re taking it out on the rest of us by being greedy, miserable bastards.  That’s pretty much the it.  

    What do you do with that?  Since we can’t actually strangle people and that really wouldn’t help in the long run anyway.  But, what?  Seriously. 

  • belledame

    Seriously, what do these people tell their kids when their little friend wants to use the crayons they’ve been bogarting all morning?  

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    It’s easier to share when the stuff you’re asked to share isn’t perceived as central to your being. It’s ironic that children, generally self-focussed anyway at that age, are also group-social enough that they normally put up only a nominal fuss before finding out that sharing means you get the thing back you gave away, under the usual circumstances.

    I guess the fact that society imbues money and the physical objects obtainable with money with such importance is why some adults seem to have forgotten how to share when nicely asked.

  • OuyevolituB

    Exactly.  It’s also probably why Planned Parenthoods are shutting down left and right in Texas.  Yes, it’s somewhat due to a-hole Rick Perry cutting funds.  But those funds only accounted for a third of the cost to run the clinics.  So, surely when news of the funding issue hit the news there should have been a massive influx of donation money to Planned Parenthood, right?  Well, there wasn’t and now three more clinics are closed in the Dallas area. 

    People suck.  It’s sad that we have to  rely on the government to forcefully take money from tax payers so we can give it to charity and not just do it for the sake of being a good person. 

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/XKPYVYKGXJKOSC6CKNE74Y7IDY Sdfsdf

    I have monster headphones.The monster beats headphones‘s concept is in the depths of my mind.I listen to music with monster diddybeats everyday life.


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