Friday, March 1, 2013

That's Bologna: Blog Title & Processed Meat Product That Nobody Should Ever Eat. Ever.

(Full disclosure, I do not eat meat of any kind, and stay away from dairy 99% of the time. Sometimes I cannot say no to a homemade cookie with butter in it, but I really try hard! I would not call myself a vegan because I wear leather and eat dairy sometimes, but I don't eat meat. I just don't. For lots of reasons, so this is a particularly biased post- all the more reason to read it!)

Yes! There is pink slime in here! Delicious!
taken from
We have all seen Pink Slime. It's disgusting. Many of the people I know try to eat natural meat and buy organic milk, but they are not the norm, and after learning more about the food that is sold in our grocery stores, I am not sure buying organic milk is enough. On a personal note, my boyfriend, Alex, always suffered from allergies. He had high blood pressure for several years, but we could never figure out why. He worked out, he didn't smoke, he didn't drink alcohol very often, and he was young and skinny! Why was his blood pressure so high? His doctor thought he should go on medication for this problem, and would most likely stay on these meds forever. We saw Forks Over Knives and after years of not eating meat, decided to give up dairy as well. That movie does a great job of making you feel like dairy is the most evil thing on the planet, and it worked on us! Long story short, his allergies are gone. His blood pressure is completely normal, and he is healthier than ever. Now, it's possible he had a lactose issue (and he drank a lot of organic! milk,) but my theory has since been that everybody could probably benefit from quitting the dairy, and I am not just basing this off of anecdotal evidence. It's science, ya'll!

My bologna has a first name, it's
P-R-O-C-E-S-S-E-D my bologna
has a second name, it's C-R-A-P...
taken from
I hate when people assume that because I don't eat meat or dairy, I am going to try to push my views on everyone else and judge them for eating meat. Well, that's not really my thing. I don't really care what you eat, and I appreciate when people don't really care what I eat. In fact, I wasn't going to blog about food at all when I began this blog because I didn't want everyone to call me a hippie, but this blog is for calling out bologna, and the food industry is full of bologna. Both kinds. So go ahead- call me a hippie. I don't mind.

I was watching one of my favorite shows this evening, and saw an interview with Michael Moss, New York Times investigative reporter and the author of the new book Salt Sugar Fat: How the Food Giants Hooked Us. (I will be purchasing this book with my amazon gift certificates, and I hope you will all buy it too- it looks incredible.) It was a timely interview for me, as the ladies I went to lunch with today were talking about this book and how insane the food industry is. I was intrigued, but much more excited to read it after seeing this interview. It was eye-opening to say the least. The second half of the segment was an interview with Melanie Warner, who has a book out called Pandora's Lunchbox: How Processed Food Took Over the American Meal. (Yes, I have enough amazon cash for both- done!) I am not going to go through the whole segment, as I could write about this all night. Instead, I am going to give you a few teasers and kick you if you don't hope you watch the two short videos posted at the end of this short rant.

"Every year, the average American eats as much as 33 pounds of cheese. That's up to 60,000 calories and 3,100 grams of saturated fat. So why do we eat so much cheese? Mainly it's because the government is in cahoots with the processed food industry. And instead of responding in earnest to the health crisis, they've spent the last 30 years getting people to eat more. This is the story of how we ended up doing just that...Philip Morris became the largest food manufacturer in the United States starting in the late 80s, when it acquired General Foods and then Kraft... when [they] came under increasing pressure for nicotine and tobacco- the Philip Morris officials turned to their food people and said, 'You guys'- and this is private of course- 'You guys are going to face the same issue we're facing over nicotine with salt, sugar, fat and obesity..."- Micheal Moss on Democracy Now.

If you don't find that interesting, and don't want to learn more, I don't know what to say! Let me try one more:

"...I was really surprised to learn where some of these vitamins come turns out that they're- these vitamins aren't coming from the foods that contain them. Like Vitamin C does not come from an orange, and Vitamin A does not come from a carrot...they come from things that aren't actually foods. Vitamin D, for instance, was probably the most shocking. It comes from sheep grease, so actually the grease that comes from sheep wool. You have giant barges and container ships that go from Australia and New Zealand over to China, where most of- a lot of our vitamins are produced. About 50 percent of global vitamin production comes from China inside these huge factories, very industrial processes...[it is] converted, through a number of chemical steps and chemical processes, to Vitamin D, which is added to our food and used in supplements."- Melanie Warner on Democracy Now.

Lick meeeee for a dose of Vitamin D?
First a pitstop at a factory in China!
taken from
"Fortified with vitamins" has a very different meaning than it did two minutes ago, right? Watch the videos for yourself, read the books, and let me know what you want to eat. I know cheese is delicious, you don't have to tell me. However, there is no denying that the food industry is evil, and that most Americans eat a horribly unhealthy diet, which ends up costing you and I lots of money. (See, Republicans? You are paying out of your pocket to help these food companies get rich off of our unhealthy populace! Not fair! Don't you guyz hate bologna like that? )

 I am off to plan my summer garden. What about you?

Friday, February 15, 2013

No Money, Mo Problems: Why Investing in Space Matters

I am late to this game. My boyfriend, Alex, has been on top of this issue for a long time, and I have always kind of blown him off or argued these same points: Why spend money on space programs when we have so many poor people in this country/there are so many hungry people/have not done anything to fix global warming/have other, better, more important thangs to spend our collective money on? Well, it turns out this is all total bologna. There are lots of reasons to spend money on space exploration that will positively affect life on Earth, and maybe even save life on Earth. 

Does anyone use this device? Thank NASA!
taken from
Technology transfer is one reason. When we study space, we learn a lot about the world we live in. We learn a lot about humans. We learn a lot about how to make life on Earth less complicated, in turn figuring out more efficient ways to grow food, clean our water, and create new materials and gadgets that will make life on Earth better, particularly for people in developing countries. Much of the technology we take for granted today came from our study of outer space. 

Spending money on space exploration and spending money to eradicate hunger are not mutually exclusive. In fact, much of the technology that allows us to eat healthier food, grow food more efficiently, and keep our food supply from rotting came from our study of space. Finding foods that hold up well in outer space is research that can be applied to our everyday lives, and did you hear about the solar powered refrigerator that was invented by NASA? I think people in developing countries will agree that this is a fabulous invention. Again, Congressional budgets are more complicated than this- money that is currently being spent on federal welfare programs would not be cut to fund more space programs. It's just not a zero sum game, and this is a very short-sighted way to look at what investing in the future really means. You were right, Alex. I was wrong. There is a first time for everything. 

taken from the
Technological developments aside, this post comes to you on a very exciting day for astrophysicists and space enthusiasts alike. It has also been a terrifying, horrible day for those in Russia's Chelyabinsk region, where a meteor the size of a bus injured approximately 1,200 people. I live with a science freak. All he could talk about for the last several days was this asteroid, which missed the Earth by 17,150 miles, and was three times the size of the meteor that injured all of the people in Russia. NASA didn't know about the bus-sized meteor that crashed into the Russian mountains, which apparently happens every thousand years or so. 

Call Bruce Willis and Ben Affleck, stat!
taken from
The asteroid that killed the dinosaurs was about 6 miles in diameter, and there has been talk the last couple of years that this asteroid, which is 1 mile in diameter, could crash into the Earth in the year 2028.  They have decided that this is highly, highly unlikely, and the asteroid will probably miss Earth by a pretty significant distance-- but still. I am not huge on conspiracy theories, and I don't get scared easily, but the fact remains that asteroids have led to mass extinctions in the past. It could easily happen again. The good news? We have lots of ideas about how to stop this from happening. The bad news? As usual, we are too cheap to allocate the resources necessary to do anything about it. Ironically, it's not really the crashing of the asteroid into the planet that causes mass extinction- it is the large amount of debris that such an impact causes shooting into the atmosphere that kills everyone. The climate changes too quickly... rapid climate change can cause mass extinction? Who knew?

Hey, kids! Space is still cool!
taken from
I am not saying that we need to invest in space exploration just to save ourselves from a mass extinction. In fact, I think studying space has lots of positive impacts on all of humanity, including getting children excited about learning and science- a simple outcome maybe, but its importance cannot be overlooked. Politicians talk a lot about "investing in our future." Investing in space exploration is a great way to invest in the following areas: asteroid impact prevention, agricultural research, water conservation research, drought prediction, technological advancements, education, and how to improve the management of our natural resources. Whether the investments in space directly impact these areas or become inspiration for future projects, it is all money well spent. So let's do it, Congress! Cut the bologna, and invest in space exploration! 

EDIT: This comment makes this blog post even stronger, adding points I thought of but promptly forgot about, as well as more examples of why space exploration is important. I am biased since he's my boyfriend, but I think this comment adds a lot to the post. In case you don't click on the comments button below, I have added it here.

Alex Stephens:
"The truly excellent thing is that nerds, dorks, and amateur enthusiasts the world over have already been cooking up schemes to avoid global disaster. The most practical one is hardly intuitive though.

Unlike “Armageddon”, the best way to prevent an asteroid from annihilating the Earth isn’t by placing nuclear bombs inside of it but by gently and repeatedly pelting the object with thousands of tiny impacts. You send up a rocket, essentially a ‘space shotgun’, to intersect the path of the approaching asteroid. When it’s in position, the mechanism shoots out tons and tons of smaller marble to fist-sized bullets that start punching away. Gravitational equations show that many tiny impacts are more powerful than large singular blasts. If launched soon enough, and if intersected far away enough, the asteroid can be nudged off course from the Earth.

On to technology now.

One excellent example of 'space technology' comes from the initial failure of the Hubble Space Telescope in the early 90s. After being placed into orbit, it was discovered that the lenses on Hubble were faulty. Images of distant cosmic objects (Star, Galaxies, Nebulae etc) were distorted and blurry. It would take the convincing of Congress + 3 more years before the replacement lenses could be sent up and fitted on.

So what did we do until that time came? American mathematicians began writing new algorithms to decode and re-process the blurred images to make them viewable. Indeed it worked. That breakthrough, that hard work trying to fix a problem, led to the revolution in imaging for mammography. Yep. Women the world over can be thanking NASA for accidentally producing faulty space lenses.

The point is obvious and repeated in so many other examples. When America pushes the boundaries of what's possible, even if it makes a mistake, the resulting process nets enormous benefits for everyone.

And so Julia is quite right! Investing in one venue, SPACE!, is an investment in everything and in everyone. It's only a shame is takes near cataclysm for everyone to demand protection, demand responsibility, and demand a future." 

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Senators! Tell President Obama he is WRONG!

This is how Harry Reid should feel
about drones, don't you think?
taken from
If President George W. Bush were still in office, the Senate would be jumping up and down about the drone attacks that violate Constitutional law and kill American citizens without due process. Remember when liberals were horrified about the illegal detention of suspected terrorists people who looked scary at Guantanamo Bay? (I still am, for the record.) Why aren't we even more angry about the unlawful killing of American citizens without due process, and drone strikes that kill so many civilians

President Obama cannot be held to a different standard than George W. Bush was. He cannot hide behind the Powers of War forever, and isn't he a Constitutional scholar? In this case, I absolutely believe he is abusing his powers, and I cannot believe people are not more angry about this. Drone strikes are inherently undemocratic, and in my opinion, do not make us safer in the long run, just as holding prisoners illegally at Guantanamo did not make us any safer. It's total bologna. 

The only dude worth watching on that there TV...
taken from
The episode of Moyers & Company that aired on February 1, 2013 was on this very topic, and the two panelists, Vicki Divoll, a former general counsel to the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence and deputy legal advisor to the CIA's Counterterrorism Center, and Vincent Warren, the Executive Director of the Center of Constitutional Rights, made a very strong case against the President's current policies. 

Although there were many moments during the discussion that I found myself going, "Yes! Exactly! Why aren't we more upset about this?" I thought there were several quotes that made this point much more sustinctly than I ever could- These people are S.M.A.R.T. (Moyers does it right, doesn't he? Just love him.) Here were a few of my favorites:

"I'm not convinced that the US doesn't torture at this moment just because President Obama said that we don't. One of the reasons why I'm not convinced is because there is so much information that is still remaining classified, that there's so much work that the Obama administration could have done, particularly in the last term, around pursuing accountability for the Bush administration that they're not doing," said Vincent Warren. 

Isn't the resemblance a little scary with regard
to torture/drone attacks/lack of accountability
when it comes to this stuff? Creepy...
taken from
Yes- why didn't President Obama pursue accountability for those involved with the torture and illegal detainment that the Bush administration loved so much? Remember? He said he was going to. I remember in 2009 when everyone was saying, "the past is the past. Liberals need to just let it go." Well, it seems that they listened, and apparently even followed suit. We can't trust this administration when it comes to torture either. And Guantanamo is still alive

"Anwar Al-Awlaki, he's a United States citizen born in New Mexico. I'm not saying he's not, probably wasn't a very bad man. But that's hardly the point. We have lots of very bad people, who perhaps we would like to put behind bars or even execute, depending on your point of view on those things...there's plenty of evidence that lots of people are suspected of doing lots of things. And that doesn't mean we shoot them from the sky," said Vicki Divoll. 

If we are shooting people "from the sky," why should we think we are any better than the people we are fighting against? We cannot fight terrorism with terror, and I think we have to call President Obama out on this load of bologna.  Vicki Divoll made the argument that the Senate needs to make the first step.  Liberals, personal politics win over partisan politics in this case! If Democrats do not hold each other to higher standards than those of the Bush administration, who will? We know it won't be the Republicans...

*I encourage you to watch the entire episode of Moyers & Company, which you can find here

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Football is SO Important.

Hey, we like football, too!
Happy Superbowl Sunday, everyone! I am going to take this time to blog about something that has always driven me crazy. Football is a sport by men, for men. Sure, some women like to watch it, but it is largely a sport that excludes women, particularly from playing. (Don't tell me about that female second-string  high school punter you knew of- that makes up what, like .0001% of players at the high school level? Please.) I don't mean to be a hater, but I am sick of people making such a big deal about football and making such a small deal about things that actually matter. I'm glad people have something to watch to take their minds off of work, family, and life's crap, but I am not glad people have an excuse to stay uninformed and ignorant of what matters. 

I am happy to see that football is becoming a more welcoming and open place to the gays, kind of, (as long as they are good at playing football,) and I know the NFL and NCAA are a huge boost to the economy, generating billions of dollars each year. But I am still sick of hearing conversations between two men who know statistics, players, and coaches like the back of their hand, but they have no idea who the vice president is. We all know these people, don't we? They seem to be the norm, and I think it's bologna

Do you need to watch this again?
This is my blog, and my opinion, and I think there is a time and a place for football. I am all for kicking back and relaxing, but do your job first. I'm not talking about your occupation or career, I am talking about your job as a citizen of the United States. If you don't know how a bill becomes a law, who your state senator is, or who redraws the Congressional Districts, you are not doing your job.  So, by all means, watch the game today. Laugh at your favorite commercials. But tomorrow, when the season is over, take the time to learn about the country you live in and what role you play as a super lucky citizen of this amazing, albeit at times crazy, place. 

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Holy Homophobic

I was thinking of something to write about in this post, and thought, "maybe I could write about how it seems like homophobia is finally starting to subside..." Well, then I saw this article on Huffington Post, and thought, "holy bologna! I have never been so wrong in my life."

I'm not gay! Not that there's anything
wrong with that...
A guy in Tennessee sent his dog to be put to sleep because he thought he was gay. Let me write that again. A guy in Tennessee sent his dog to be put to sleep because he thought he was gay. First of all, the ridiculousness of a dog being gay because he humps another male dog (a classic sign of dominance,) is not lost on me. The worse part is that this guy thought that the dog should die because he wanted to hump another dude. 

There is evidence that dogs and other animals can, in fact, be gay. There is stronger evidence that this owner was a total a$$. 

Thank goodness somebody else adopted this little baby, and he wasn't put to sleep just for doing something that feels totally natural to him. (Dogs hump other dogs. It's a fact.) Feels totally natural to him. Let's go with that.

Why are we so scared of gay people in this country? Why is it so scary/threatening/icky to so many people? I am very understanding about other people's ideas and opinions, but I will never understand why there is so much hate for the gays. The Bible says it's wrong theories don't hold water, and I strongly believe it is just the "ick" factor. Well let me tell you something, straight people- I don't want to see you make out in public either, but I don't think it should be illegal. 

taken from
Legislating lifestyles and sexual choices is something that is only ever largely tried by the freedom-loving right. (I know I am like the millionth person to point this out, but it seems like people still don't get it.) If you are reading this and believe anything on the following list, please comment and tell me why. I literally cannot understand this kind of hate.

Why is it so threatening? 

1. Gay people should not be able to get married because it threatens the sanctity of marriage.
2. If gay people are around, I could "catch" gayness or some kind of sexually transmitted disease.
3. God will punish me if I go along with this gay thing.
4. Natural disasters happen because God is mad that we are so darn tolerant of those gays. 
5. Gay people do disgusting things in their... own beds...
6. I am afraid a gay person will hit on me.
7. I don't want to associate with a gay person for fear that others will think I am gay, too.
8. I am scared that maybe I am gay, too, but would never say so. 
9. Any other reason you don't think gay people deserve the same legal and human  rights  as everyone else.

For the record, I do think we are finally making some strides in changing people's minds about what it is to be gay and why every single person deserves the same rights as every other person. Of course we are still a country of scaredy cats- we are still racist, we are still afraid of people with other religions, and we are still scared of people with physical and mental disabilities. The difference? We have never created legislation to exclude these groups from participating as full citizens.

So, what's the deal, you little homophobes? Why is gay so scary that you are willing to kill your dog?

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Glenn "Bologna" Beck

Want freedom? Add a gate! Get rid of competition while
you're at it. I am soooo conzervative!!
taken from
I haven't heard much from Glenn Beck recently. He used to be the "it" guy on Fox, remember? Now he is on some weird internet channel talking his usual nonsense to nobody some people, I guess...

I have always considered Beck to be full of bologna, but since he hasn't been around lately, I thought, "hey- maybe there's a small tiny improbable possibility Glenn Beck has gotten his bologna together, after all."

He hasn't.

Did anyone else catch this segment on The Daily Show the other day? Not only does it exemplify the wackiness that is Glenn Beck, it does a great job of showing the hypocrisy that the right denies but is so, so full of.

Lazy post? Maybe. Video worth watching? Absolutely!

The Daily Show with Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
America 2: Now With More Freedom - Glenn Beck's Utopia
Daily Show Full EpisodesPolitical Humor & Satire BlogThe Daily Show on Facebook

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

God Dammit, Senator Graham.

Ten hours listening to these people? Bunch of liars
and kiss-asses. It's gonna be a long day...

taken from
What happened in Benghazi was horrible. Misjudgments were made by many, and of course there is plenty of blame to go around. The way the Senate Foreign Relations Committee treated Secretary of State Hillary Clinton last week was also horrible, and I was glad to see that they didn't get away with it in the media. Their idiotic rude, repetitive questions and outright disrespect for her did not go unnoticed by media pundits. The Benghazi thang was kind of blowing over, in large part because of Secretary Clinton's well-made point about Congress being too screwed up failing to approve the requested amount of money to adequately fund security at American embassies. (You go, Secretary Clinton! I loved the committee's faces when she said that.) 

The Senate approved John Kerry as the new Secretary of State today with the support of 94 Senators, including Senator Lindsey Graham (R) of South Carolina. Now, I have never been a fan of Senator Graham- (I mean, really, what's to like?) but I was especially horrified by his ridiculous claim to Greta Van Susteren, of Fox News, that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton "got away with murder." (Not a very nice going away present, huh, Madam Secretary?) Excuse me, got away with murder? Interesting, I thought it was crazy Islamist militants who did the murdering...

Funding, Shmunding.
She should have protected them, anyway.

taken from
"I haven't forgotten about Benghazi," Graham said. "Hillary Clinton got away with murder, in my view. She said they had a clear-eyed view of the threats. How could you have a clear-eyed view of the threats in Benghazi when you didn't know about the ambassador's cable coming back from Libya?" Yeah, Secretary Clinton, if that is your real name, and why didn't you have more security in place, huh? Inadequate funding on the part of who? Congress?       


I suppose it is politics as usual, and I should not be surprised at Senator Graham's untrue bogus ridiculous assertions. I just can't help it. Hillary Clinton was a superb Secretary of State by all accounts. She repaired relationships all over the world that were strained during the Bush years, and accomplished a whole lot in four years. So, how dare Senator Graham taint her last days as Secretary of State with this nonsense? If you do a search of Hillary Clinton's Legacy right now, it is tarnished by Graham's sentiment and talk of the attacks in Benghazi ruining the otherwise impressive job she did, as if it were all her fault. Do I have to be the one to say that it's because she has all those icky lady parts? Well, I said it. (It also doesn't help that she has a (D) after her name.)

God dammit, Senator Graham. You took a horrible situation and made it worse. I have a feeling you aren't leaving any time soon, but- you look a little tired. I hear Florida is a nice place to retire to, if it's still there...