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Kathleen Parker thinks we're reading this pope all wrong.
We have reached a new level of political absurdity when the right is mad at the pope and the left wants to anoint his head with oil.

Everyone seems to have his own special version of Pope Francis. Liberals have declared him a crusader for social justice, especially regarding his comments about global inequality. Conservatives fear he just might be a commie. ...

Upon reading the pope’s words about greed and inequality, Rush Limbaugh threw down the word “Marxist” like an overcooked rib-eye. The pontiff’s words, said the man of many words, was “just pure Marxism coming out of the mouth of the pope.” ...

Next comes Adam Shaw, news editor for FoxNews.com and a Catholic, who wrote that the pope is like Obama — the worst invective a good conservative can hurl this side of “You’re a tool of Satan!”

“Just like President Obama loved apologizing for America, Pope Francis likes to apologize for the Catholic Church, thinking that the Church is at its best when it is passive and not offending anyone’s sensibilities,” Shaw wrote. Both men, he implies, “pander to enemies ” and are “professional grievance mongers.” And so on.

Pray, where does one see passivity in Pope Francis? The man is an activist, a street-worker, a foot-washer and an evangelizer. There’s nothing passive or pandering about him. And it would appear that Francis is quite willing to offend sensibilities.

Frank Bruni shows that, while the Pope might be willing to offend sensibilities, those seeking political office in America are much less flexible.
You can make a successful run for political office in this country without an especially thick resume, any exceptional talent for expressing yourself, a noteworthy education or, for that matter, a basic grasp of science.

But you better have religion. You better be ready to profess your faith in and fealty to God — the Judeo-Christian one, of course. And you better be convincing. ...

As full of insight and beauty as the Bible is, it’s not a universally and unconditionally embraced document, and it’s certainly not a secular one. Yet it’s under the hand of almost every American president who takes the oath of office.

It’s in classrooms, some of which teach creationism. The Texas Board of Education has been withholding approval of a widely used biology textbook because it presents evolution as more than just a theory. Thus, in the nation’s second most populous state, whose governor essentially kicked off his 2012 presidential campaign with a stadium rally for tens of thousands of evangelicals, religion is trumping scholarship, at least for now.

"So help me God." "Under God." "In God We Trust." Perhaps we’re meant to register these ubiquitous phrases as unspecific inspirations, vague recognitions of an undefined higher power, general appeals to generous living. But they’re rooted in a given religious tradition and are arguably the gateways to the Arkansas ridiculousness and to the overwrought accusations of a “war on Christmas” that herald the holiday season as surely as Frosty the Snowman and Black Friday do.

Three of four Americans are at least nominally Christian. But that leaves one in four who aren’t. One in five Americans don’t claim any binding religious preference or affiliation, and their ranks have grown significantly over the last two decades. Out-and-out atheists remain a sliver of the population, but a restive sliver at that. On some Sundays in some cities over recent months, they've gathered by the hundreds for church-style celebrations without psalms, making the point that good will and community don’t depend on divinity.

In the spirit of protecting both religion and democracy, I'd like to propose that any politician who mentions their personal religion should be subject to a zillion dollar fine and 400 years in purgatory. Any politician mentioning their opponent's religious beliefs should immediately forfeit the race and have to go to lunch with Bill O'Reilly.

Now that we've been to church, let's see what else is up this morning. Come on in.

Eugene Robinson says a minimum wage increase is not just essential, it's doable.

We know from the debt-ceiling fight... that House Republicans can be induced to do the right thing — if the political cost of doing the wrong thing is unacceptably high. And this looks like an issue on which Obama and the Democrats should be able to get real traction.

The federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour is shamefully low compared with minimum-wage levels in other industrialized countries — nearly $13 in France, for example, and around $10 in Britain and Canada.

The highest minimum wage in a major country is Australia’s — in U.S. dollars, about $15 an hour at the current exchange rate. Conservatives would howl if anyone in Washington proposed such a thing. According to Republican dogma, such a high minimum wage would be the ultimate job-killer, a disastrous move that could only choke off the recovery and perhaps send the economy back into recession.

Apparently, nobody told all this to the Australians. Unemployment there is 5.7 percent, versus 7 percent in the United States. The Australian economy escaped the Great Recession of 2007-08 and in fact hasn’t seen any kind of recession in 20 years. (Oh, and Australia has universal health care, too, but perhaps that’s another column.)

Australia's system, where most benefits are divorced from the control of employers, tremendously changes the balance between corporations and workers. You want economic mobility? Give workers the option to take a better job when they see it without risking the health of their family or their eventual retirement.

Doyle McManus directs your attention to the new star of the Obama administration.

He was Obama's second choice as secretary of State (after Susan Rice). He's the same windy, stiff Bostonian who ran unsuccessfully for president a decade ago. And he's taken on a list of assignments that looked distinctly unpromising: nuclear negotiations with Iran, peace between Israel and the Palestinians, the civil war in Syria.

But in 10 months, Kerry has embarked on a whirlwind of diplomacy. He helped conclude an interim deal with Iran that puts a ceiling on Tehran's nuclear enrichment. He launched new Israeli-Palestinian peace talks with the goal of producing a deal next year. And he secured a date for negotiations to end the war in Syria, although it's still not certain who will show up.

...give Kerry credit. He has dared to take big risks — in notable contrast to his revered but risk-averse predecessor, Hillary Rodham Clinton. Clinton tended to subcontract out the unpromising assignments to special envoys like the late Richard C. Holbrooke, her deputy for Afghanistan. But Kerry has taken them on himself, personally and visibly. If any of them fail — and they all could — he'll take the fall himself.

He'd have been a helluva president.

Maureen Dowd never seems happy with sitting Democratic presidents, but appears to be fond of dead ones.

On Thursday night, we sat around, talking about the lawyer and constitutional expert in the White House, a leader both didactic and charming, peacenik and hawk; the Ivy League academic who improbably ascended to the Oval Office on brains, not beholden to anyone; the Democrat, eager to fight economic inequality and help the 99 percent, who would give a government bailout if he had to; the dapper man with large ears, elegant speeches he wrote himself, a love of golf.

We sat around talking about Woodrow Wilson.

But if you think this is going to be an unvarnished praise-fest.
Despite the superficial similarities to the other smarty-pants in the White House now, Wilson was better in one way — he haunted the President’s Room in the Capitol to keep a sustained dialogue going with members of Congress — and far worse in others.

As one young woman from the Wilson Center put it, "History has judged Wilson as a racist and a sexist."

History's judgement in this is spot on.

David Ignatius sees a conflict brewing between increased need for global intervention and increasing reluctance to get involved.

The crackup ahead lies in the mismatch between the challenges facing America and the public’s willingness to support activist foreign policy to deal with them. Simply put: There is a splintering of the traditional consensus for global engagement at the very time that some big new problems are emerging.

The traditional American response to such puzzles has been to form a bipartisan commission. A model is the pathbreaking 2006 Iraq Study Group, co-chaired by James A. Baker III...

I believe you can stop right there, Mr. Ignatius. If the best example you can find is the effort that led to going into Iraq, then your argument moves directly to "screen door on a submarine" on the scale of effectiveness.

Ross Douthat quite literally spends an entire article  saying... well, not nothing. There are word-ish items lined up into sort of sentency structures. But it's about as close to nothing as you can come while filling a column. Basically, yes Obamacare is fixed, but it's still got problems and maybe those problems will remain a problem and if they remain a problem then Democrats have, you know, problems. Or not. But, they could. So... there.

The New York Times wants more interesting math and science.

American students are bored by math, science and engineering. They buy smartphones and tablets by the millions but don’t pursue the skills necessary to build them. Engineers and physicists are often portrayed as clueless geeks on television, and despite the high pay and the importance of such jobs to the country’s future, the vast majority of high school graduates don’t want to go after them. ...

One of the biggest reasons for that lack of interest is that students have been turned off to the subjects as they move from kindergarten to high school. Many are being taught by teachers who have no particular expertise in the subjects. They are following outdated curriculums and textbooks. They become convinced they’re “no good at math,” that math and science are only for nerds, and fall behind.

Or it could be that they're being taught by dedicated teachers with a strong interest in their subjects, only those teachers keep getting interfered with by politicians who want to prove they are "doing something" while being scientifically illiterate, groups that promote science ignorance, teaching fads driven by academic "stars" who appeal to one of the above, billionaire dilettantes with axes to grind, and media organizations who are certain that they know better than the people actually doing the work.  Anyway...
Finding ways to make math and science exciting for students who are in the middle of the pack could have a profound effect on their futures...
I suggest we start off teaching students that decent education requires decent funding, that the state lottery is a miserable method of securing funds, and maybe toss in some basic economics on how middle class wages have been trending down since trickle down while corporations are sitting on record cash. Maybe that will stir up a little interest in math.

Dana Millbank defends Michelle Obama against FLOTUS critics.

The chattering class is conducting one of its periodic evaluations of Michelle Obama, and, as usual, is finding her wanting. Before, she was too outspoken; now, too demure. A month ago, the New York Times reported that she has been “derided by critics who hoped she would use her historic position to move more deeply into policy.”

Then came Politico’s headline calling her a feminist nightmare. The author, Michelle Cottle, wrote that Obama's "Ivy League degrees, career success and general aura as an ass-kicking, do-it-all superwoman had some women fantasizing that she would, if not find a clever way to revive the 2-for-1 model pitched by the Clintons so long ago, at least lean in and speak out on a variety of tough issues. It was not to be."

...the real flaw in the nightmare critique is that the first lady's traditional take on the role has nothing to do with gender, or race, or anything at all about Michelle Obama. It’s about politics. She simply has no practical alternative.

Andy Coghlan looks at what it takes to eat healthy. Namely, more money.
Eating healthily costs about $1.50 more per day per person, according to the most thorough review yet of the affordability of a healthy diet.

"For many low-income families, an extra $1.50 daily is quite a lot," says Mayuree Rao of the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston, who led the analysis. "It translates to about $550 more per year for one person, and that could be a real barrier to healthy eating."

Rao and her colleagues reached their conclusions after analysing 27 studies from 10 high-income countries, mainly the US, comparing price data for healthy versus unhealthy ingredients and diets. For example, one study compared the cost of a diet rich in fruit and vegetables versus one that was deficient in them. Another compared prices of specific healthy and less healthy items, such as wholegrain versus white bread.

Individual items were closely matched in price. Meats saw the largest difference: healthier options cost an average of 29 cents per serving more than unhealthy options.

Originally posted to Devil's Tower on Sat Dec 07, 2013 at 10:32 PM PST.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Finland: Matheletes :: USA: Hunger Games (15+ / 0-)
    American students are bored by math, science and engineering. They buy smartphones and tablets by the millions but don’t pursue the skills necessary to build them. Engineers and physicists are often portrayed as clueless geeks on television, and despite the high pay and the importance of such jobs to the country’s future, the vast majority of high school graduates don’t want to go after them. ...
    One of the biggest reasons for that lack of interest is that students have been turned off to the subjects as they move from kindergarten to high school. Many are being taught by teachers who have no particular expertise in the subjects. They are following outdated curriculums and textbooks. They become convinced they’re “no good at math,” that math and science are only for nerds, and fall behind.

    Warning - some snark may be above‽ (-9.50; -7.03)‽ eState4Column5©2013 "I’m not the strapping young Muslim socialist that I used to be" - Barack Obama 04/27/2013

    by annieli on Sat Dec 07, 2013 at 11:08:14 PM PST

  •  I thought this was the best part (30+ / 0-)

    of Kathleen Parker's piece:

    The message relating to the financial world similarly targeted the collateral human damage of “unfettered” markets. This is by-the-book Christianity, hardly the moorings of heresy. Yet these Christian sentiments have sent some conservatives reeling to the fainting couch.

    Irony takes a worse beating from Republicans than Wile E. Coyote does from Acme. --Tara the Antisocial Social Worker

    by Youffraita on Sat Dec 07, 2013 at 11:18:46 PM PST

  •  Charles M. Blow on Nelson Mandela (16+ / 0-)

    is imho a must-read from Saturday's New York TImes.

    His piece is called A Lesson Before Dying and is powerful and well-written.

    I offer some selections and use it as an occasion for some further thoughts of my own in Might I suggest reading Charles M. Blow on Nelson Mandela?, which I would be honored should you choose to read.

    "We didn't set out to save the world; we set out to wonder how other people are doing and to reflect on how our actions affect other people's hearts." - Pema Chodron

    by teacherken on Sat Dec 07, 2013 at 11:24:13 PM PST

    •  Most of the "histories" of Mandela and the ANC (8+ / 0-)

      being written, and particularly those on the right calling him a commie and a terrorist, argue for their positions with no sense of or knowledge of the history of the ANC movement and why it finally had no choice but to turn to violence.  The leaders of the ANC spent years attempting to garner support from the leaders of the non-communist nations back in the '40s and '50s before finally accepting aid and involvement of the communist nations of the time, specifically the USSR and Cuba.  Even well into the '60s, when the struggle in South Africa against apartheid was heating up and approaching the boiling point, JFK decided not to support Mandela and the ANC because he considered them to be more communist than freedom fighters.

      It's a sad situation that rank-and-file Republicans don't know enough about the early years of the ANC, Mandela, Oliver Tambo and others to make sensible judgments and are therefore left to spew hatred and engage in nasty rhetoric. but it's far worse that even political "leaders" who should know why the organization turned to communists for support aren't interested in enlightening the public on the subject.

      "In this world of sin and sorrow there is always something to be thankful for; as for me, I rejoice that I am not a Republican." - H. L. Mencken

      by SueDe on Sun Dec 08, 2013 at 06:46:24 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Absolutely. "Terrorist" is a pretty terrible word. (5+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        thomask, badscience, Dobber, RadGal70, SueDe

        George Washington would be a notable terrorist if we were not Her Majesty's loyal commonwealth of America. The word is bandied about to describe anyone resorting to violence whether they have long peacefully tried for change against real oppression or resort to it in the most deadly way as a first resort in an ideological dispute.

        A look at Mandela's "terrorist" period would show to most impartial observers a terror state oppressing a majority of its residents through vicious violence and secret police. It was the South African governments security organization's terrorism that resulted in what might fairly be described as counter terrorism. In fact, while the government's security services often used deadly force against groups and individuals peacefully attempting to bring change Mandela's efforts were specifically directed at infrastructure with efforts to minimize casualties. Later, I believe much later after his imprisonment, there were trends toward violent revolutionary acts—but what the hell would a citizen of Her Majesty's loyal commonwealth of America call that freezing morning at Trenton when loyal troops dozing after Christmas were viciously attacked?

        The only foes that threaten America are the enemies at home, and those are ignorance, superstition, and incompetence. [Elbert Hubbard]

        by pelagicray on Sun Dec 08, 2013 at 08:00:40 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  I'm probably lucky that (6+ / 0-)

    I didn't get DBADed or donutted yesterday.

    OTOH, I should have been treated a whole lot better in school and during the '80s.

    Maybe after New Years, I'll give myself a late birthday and Christmas present and finally get tested for ADD, Aspergers, and Dyslexia. "This year for sure!"

    "If this Studebaker had anymore Atomic Space-Age Style, you'd have to be an astronaut with a geiger counter!"

    by Stude Dude on Sun Dec 08, 2013 at 03:33:28 AM PST

  •  Sad All Over Again...How Bush Stole Ohio In 2004 (9+ / 0-)

    Dog Poop More Popular Than Congress! Alan Grayson

    by wild hair on Sun Dec 08, 2013 at 04:10:30 AM PST

  •  Robinson is right - raising min wage is doable (27+ / 0-)

    as is total health care reform
    and immigration reform
    and gun reform
    and marriage equality
    and gender equality
    and race equality
    and...

                               ...just not with the 113th Congress

    As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them. John F. Kennedy

    by JaxDem on Sun Dec 08, 2013 at 04:13:27 AM PST

  •  Outrageous! (13+ / 0-)

    Calling for the separation of church and state, that is.

    The fascist wing of the GOP will be having the vapors. You know these folks are wrapped in the flag and carrying a bible, so they can cry for more wars.

    A true craftsman will meticulously construct the apparatus of his own demise.

    by onionjim on Sun Dec 08, 2013 at 04:32:25 AM PST

  •  because I want to keep the community informed (11+ / 0-)

    might I point you at Leaves on the Current - another milestone reached, in which late yesterday I updated the Daily Kos community on my wife's condition

    "We didn't set out to save the world; we set out to wonder how other people are doing and to reflect on how our actions affect other people's hearts." - Pema Chodron

    by teacherken on Sun Dec 08, 2013 at 04:34:23 AM PST

  •  Before reading noted imbecile Ross Douthat's .... (7+ / 0-)

    ....fevered blurtations, be sure to don yer "Doubt-Hat"....

    ...and don't EVEN get me started on moronic MoDo's Mutterings...

    "Ronald Reagan is DEAD! His policies live on but we're doing something about THAT!"

    by leftykook on Sun Dec 08, 2013 at 04:35:21 AM PST

    •  Still amazing to me (0+ / 0-)

      that those two get paid for writing their dribble, and more amazing that folks actually read them.

      "I'm totally pro-choice in the matter of abortion. But of course I'm also so radically pro-life that I think every person from birth onward must have full and affordable access to healthcare." - Gail Collins

      by gritsngumbo on Sun Dec 08, 2013 at 09:35:59 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  More food stamps for more people could improve (9+ / 0-)

    health (and lower healthcare costs), especially if some of the increase was limited to healthier categories of foods.

    •  We almost never take the cheaper course of (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      gffish

      preventing something requiring expensive solutions about which we then complain. That applies somewhat to us all. For the "conservative" (read radical right because it isn't conservative at all) that becomes a disease and religion.

      Good nutrition and health care for the youngest and poorest would avoid all sorts of problems that then require the hated expenses.

      Keeping desperately poor, hopeless, "dead end" kids from drifting through spending to avoid that would avoid so much of our prison costs—not to speak of the cost to those individuals and their victims.

      And so it goes.

      The only foes that threaten America are the enemies at home, and those are ignorance, superstition, and incompetence. [Elbert Hubbard]

      by pelagicray on Sun Dec 08, 2013 at 08:14:36 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  people who actually do (0+ / 0-)

        grocery-buying could have told them that healthier food is more expensive.

        (Is it time for the pitchforks and torches yet?)

        by PJEvans on Sun Dec 08, 2013 at 10:07:28 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Healthy food at prices competitive with junk food (0+ / 0-)

          and available to poor inner city residents in food deserts and "scary" parts of town as well as the poor not in inner cities is a national problem and scandal.

          Further, it is not going to be solved by what many tout, farmer's markets. I spend a good bit of time where there is one and it quickly became evident these small farmers could not pay the land taxes, make a living themselves and drive 50-150 miles to the market and sell competitively with the industrial growers. So, what is the focus? Shifting to "official organic" and "boutique" market. Watched older residents of the gentrifying area walk by, look at beautiful produce, walk away with head shaking and saying aloud they couldn't afford it. I've sampled the cheese put out in little crumbles with toothpicks—and decided I'd stick to my favorite import from Spain or New Zealand was better or as good and less pricey.

          This is not at all a simple problem with the economic and cultural realities that exist, yet we must fix it because that ill health that results is causing personal pain and national expense.

          The only foes that threaten America are the enemies at home, and those are ignorance, superstition, and incompetence. [Elbert Hubbard]

          by pelagicray on Sun Dec 08, 2013 at 11:43:53 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  33 years gone from us on this day (22+ / 0-)

    When will we ever learn

    "If you pour some music on whatever's wrong, it'll sure help out." Levon Helm

    by BOHICA on Sun Dec 08, 2013 at 04:37:55 AM PST

  •  So Woodrow Wilson was a sexist was he? (9+ / 0-)

    Well, say no more, 'young woman from the Wilson Center'.
    You mean he didnt reject the  universally accepted mores and practices of his time and magically adopt those of  early 21st century America? Unforgivable! Now pardon me while I burn my bios on Thomas Jefferson. He thought blacks deserved to be slaves, you know. And these collected plays by Euripides. They regarded women as cattle back then you know.

  •  Popes and First Ladies are sure to disappoint ... (19+ / 0-)

    people with narrow perspectives and tiny minds.

    "Where some see a system for encouraging discussion . . . others see an echo chamber of bad grammar, unchecked stupidity, and constructive interference . . . " -- Ars Technica

    by Rikon Snow on Sun Dec 08, 2013 at 04:42:28 AM PST

  •  Kathleen Parker is such an (10+ / 0-)

    exceedingly bad writer.  How does she get paid to do it ?

    So I see only tatters of clearness through a pervading obscurity - Annie Dillard -6.88, -5.33

    by illinifan17 on Sun Dec 08, 2013 at 04:45:55 AM PST

  •  Ross Douthat, Firmly Vague nt (6+ / 0-)

    I want 1 less Tiny Coffin, Why Don't You? Support The President's Gun Violence Plan.

    by JML9999 on Sun Dec 08, 2013 at 04:48:52 AM PST

  •  Psst Maureen (17+ / 0-)

    your resentment is showing again - referring to the President as Barry & smarty pants diminishes your ranking as a very serious person.

  •  healthier foods actually cost less.... (7+ / 0-)

    a vegetarian diet based on whole foods with plant protein from legumes, grains, nuts etc costs much less than one including meat protein..  People just seem to have a problem with wrapping their minds around a change in the unhealthy 'classic American' diet.

    Macca's Meatless Monday

    by VL Baker on Sun Dec 08, 2013 at 04:57:28 AM PST

    •  That depends (14+ / 0-)

      on the availability of fresh vegetables and quality proteins derived from plant sources in your local area, doesn't  it?
      For example, nuts by the pound can be as expensive as a pound of beef and much more expensive than a pound of chicken.

      Your beliefs don't make you a better person. Your behavior does.

      by skohayes on Sun Dec 08, 2013 at 05:24:08 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Both are more expensive (13+ / 0-)

        Than a diet of Little Debbie's and pot pies.

      •  beans & rice plus a few green veggies can and (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        diffrntdrummr, Laconic Lib

        do feed much of the world much healthier than the standard American meat & potatoes diet...and MUCH cheaper! And healthy for our planet too.

        Nothing to learning how to cook a pot of beans...just takes a shift in priorities.

        Macca's Meatless Monday

        by VL Baker on Sun Dec 08, 2013 at 07:02:01 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Green vegetables (5+ / 0-)

          are expensive in inner city grocery stores, and often not available.  

          Words can sometimes, in moments of grace, attain the quality of deeds. --Elie Wiesel

          by a gilas girl on Sun Dec 08, 2013 at 08:16:14 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  money saved on not buying meat can be used (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Janet 707, Laconic Lib

            to buy collards, kale, cabbage other inexpensive greens. Root vegetables are also good buys: carrots, turnips etc.

            Macca's Meatless Monday

            by VL Baker on Sun Dec 08, 2013 at 08:39:54 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Do you live in an inner city "slum"? Walked (7+ / 0-)

              the streets and entered the food stores? I'm beginning to doubt that you have. I have. Meat in any quantify and quality is pretty much off the shelves and shopping list too. The highest calorie, worst and cheapest is a luxury item. Real cheap, high calorie, sugar loaded stuff or the cheapest factory cheese is more likely.

              I've listened to the conversations of people in such places that revolve about "a piece of meat" that may be possible today, one that would make lots of suburbanites run. Not many in such places ever see a roast or steak or much of the sort in their lives. They see stuff usually termed "offal" and things suburbanites would often have to order for a particularly interesting cooking show "soul food" dish or some sort.

              The only foes that threaten America are the enemies at home, and those are ignorance, superstition, and incompetence. [Elbert Hubbard]

              by pelagicray on Sun Dec 08, 2013 at 09:02:12 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  Not where I live... (9+ / 0-)

              honestly, the inexpensive greens require cooking time and space to prepare, something that's not available.  The meat isn't expensive and is more easily prepared.

              Produce is extremely expensive in my local grocery store (i.e. the one I can walk to), even those things you've labeled as "good buys".  And had I purchased these kinds of greens when my kid was young, and then prepared them, I would have ended up throwing them out, because he would not have eaten them (the bitterness was too much for his childish palate).  That makes them even more expensive because it's simply waste.

              The point I'm trying to make is that there are cultural assumptions and some pretty unsolidarity-like blind spots in so many of the food programs and food-based "solutions" that people put forth. Not simply yours, but almost everybody's.

              Food and food ways are very much embedded in people's identities and their everyday circumstances. Advocating changing them in a cavalier fashion that does not pay attention to these connections is both culturally and socially insensitive and a pretty good plan for their failure.

              It's a bit more complex than simply "stop eating meat"!!  

              Words can sometimes, in moments of grace, attain the quality of deeds. --Elie Wiesel

              by a gilas girl on Sun Dec 08, 2013 at 09:27:00 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Yep, all true. And as I pointed out elsewhere here (0+ / 0-)
                Even people "officially challenged in the brains area" living with perfectly fine subsidized kitchens have sensibilities that are pretty damn keen to condescension and "better than thou" attitude, even if done unconsciously by the "great teacher" bringing light to the benighted.
                Even the unconscious "teacher" attitude can quickly turn off people already all too familiar with being "less" and hypersensitive to "let me show you how to do it right." That applies particularly when race or even class and education within a race is at play.

                The only foes that threaten America are the enemies at home, and those are ignorance, superstition, and incompetence. [Elbert Hubbard]

                by pelagicray on Sun Dec 08, 2013 at 12:09:25 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

              •  but yet meat consumption has to decrease... (0+ / 0-)

                for our planet and to improve individual and public health.
                That's why i post recipes.  Many get it but of course there will be some who can not make the change themselves.

                Macca's Meatless Monday

                by VL Baker on Sun Dec 08, 2013 at 07:36:34 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  I don't know that it "has" to decrease (0+ / 0-)

                  as much as the production of meat products has to change.

                  There are alternate ways into improved public and individual health, just as there are alternate ways into a more environmentally sustainable way of life.

                  Taking this one tack, declaring it the thing that MUST happen and then promoting it in a way that is disconnected from how people live is not an effective way to promote either social or behavioral change.

                  (Sorry for the adamant posts, but I do this kind of stuff for a living and am constantly confronted with people who develop programs, campaigns, tools and messages for changing people's behavior that are completely culturally insensitive and so far removed from the day-day living of the people they are trying to "get to do the right thing".

                  It's a very familiar, and as I've noted, not particularly effective pattern.

                  Words can sometimes, in moments of grace, attain the quality of deeds. --Elie Wiesel

                  by a gilas girl on Tue Dec 10, 2013 at 09:16:09 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

        •  Rice, beans and a few green veggies (0+ / 0-)

          is a far cry from a balanced diet, and most of the world supplements  that simple diet with meat, seafood or dairy products.

          Your beliefs don't make you a better person. Your behavior does.

          by skohayes on Sun Dec 08, 2013 at 02:31:57 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  Lentils and beans are cheap. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        skohayes

        And if you aren't determined to be a vegan, eggs are an amazing source of cheap nutrition. Milk and cottage cheese are reasonably priced around here, don't know about elsewhere.

        LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

        by dinotrac on Sun Dec 08, 2013 at 07:25:16 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Agreed, (10+ / 0-)

      although in my part of the country it's hard finding semi-fresh produce that doesn't cost a forelimb and a hoof.

      Getting America off meat just for climate change would be great, but we aren't even making any progress getting off fossil fuels for climate change! We'll change when we have to: after everything breaks down and there's no more meat, no more supermarkets, no more fuel supply. Sadly, we'll break before we bend, because reality is too PC to address directly in polite society. Because the dominant American attitude is a decidedly un-Obamian "No, We Can't!" Because power will deny, deny, deny, right up until the apocalypse — and then helicopter to safety to their well-stocked mountain tunnels. Where they'll console themselves with the thought that they warned everybody that the country was going to hell, but we just wouldn't listen...

      Mine, yours, mine, yours, mine... What a country! And not a penny for "ours."

      by Mike732 on Sun Dec 08, 2013 at 05:31:13 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  But they tend to cost more in time (to prepare). (19+ / 0-)

      To clean, to chop the produce. To boil the pulses. Time is money when you're working double shifts.

      Also, (as someone shops all around town, depending on where I'm working on a given day), I see a definite quality difference between in the fresh produce in grocery stores--even between the branches of the same chains--depending on the neighborhood. Older, bruised fruits and veggies as a rule in certain branches.  

      So even choosing fresh foods costs time for the folks who have the least time to spare.

      •  You've got it. (7+ / 0-)

        I have tried to get a few people on food stamps to change their eating habits by teaching them how to cook from scratch, how to shop and purchase economically and save by making food stretch.  Not happing because they are not interested in spending the time to do it.  Granted they are not very bright but I thought that the idea of having extra money to spend on stuff they wanted would motivate.  The hurdle from learning to doing was too great.  We need to teach and instill these skills when people are young.  Easy food is too available to all of us.  It isn't just the poor.  Most of my friends do not cook.  A good example is the Thanksgiving day turkey.  My friends bring me their carcasses and I in return give them some soup.  They all love turkey soup but will not take the time to make it.  Unbelievable to me.

        Everyone! Arms akimbo! 68351

        by tobendaro on Sun Dec 08, 2013 at 06:40:46 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Am I missing something? (8+ / 0-)

          So you're staying that people on food stamps are "not very bright"?

          Or just the few you've tried to teach?

          Frankly, I'd have a huge problem learning to cook from scratch.

          I work full time and I am very bright but I never learned to cook.  

          Wow, we are so freaking lazy aren't we, those of us who "unbelievably" don't cook!

          I'm glad you enjoy cooking.  I don't.  I'm not good at it.  It's depressing to cook for one, and it's hard to make only enough for me.  It's actually MORE expensive for me because fresh ingredients go bad and leftovers are wasted.  I start work at 7:00 a.m. so no way am I getting up to cook before work.  I generally try to get veggies in by eating salad at work (I have to buy it every day at a salad bar).  I can't imagine going through the whole cooking and mess to clean up thing just to sit there and eat by myself.  

          Maybe your friends just have other things they'd rather be doing than cooking.  

          As I said, I'm glad you enjoy cooking.  Leave off those of us who don't.

          •  Some of this thread is definitely "limo liberal" (4+ / 0-)

            trending in tone. I rather doubt some touting cheaper healthier foods have actually been afoot—as are most of the residents—in a real inner city "slum" where reasonable people will say you take your life in your hands just walking.

            You've got, maybe, two feet (some do not) and occasionally a bit of cash for the bus. For blocks and blocks, miles actually, there is nothing any of us would recognize as a "supermarket," just storefronts. Inside the "grocery" stores one finds a miserable 7 eleven type selection. "We" might "shop 7 eleven" for some quick item at a markup because it is "on the way." They have a worse selection than most suburban quickie marts and more markup. People here talking away about meat! Ever seen the "meat" in one of those places? Fresh veggies? Ha!

            Think largely packaged junk, high sugar, high fat—and not in recognizable meat—high empty calories. Wish I could take some photos, but then I might be taking my life's risk too far (possibly from the owner).

            The only foes that threaten America are the enemies at home, and those are ignorance, superstition, and incompetence. [Elbert Hubbard]

            by pelagicray on Sun Dec 08, 2013 at 09:33:15 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  There is a bit of the liberal version (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              viral, pelagicray, Cassandra Waites

              of why can't all those people just be like us, preaching here.

              I live in a food desert. If I couldn't afford to keep a car on the road, and enough disposable income to by some decent food, I'd be in the same situation.

              Just another underemployed IT professional computer geek.

              by RhodeIslandAspie on Sun Dec 08, 2013 at 09:42:48 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Well I wasn't speaking to your experience (0+ / 0-)

                I was speaking to mine with three specific people.  They are not in a food desert.  And they wanted to learn to cook.  The will was there but the easily available food was to strong a pull.  You are very sensitive. I was in no way speaking broadly, just to my experience with three people.

                Everyone! Arms akimbo! 68351

                by tobendaro on Sun Dec 08, 2013 at 10:58:41 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

            •  99-Cent Store (0+ / 0-)

              will have produce, but it's just a couple of days from moldy.
              Supermarkets will sometimes have the same quality for the same price, marked down to sell. Day-old bread (on the half-price rack) is just as edible.
              My mother sometimes went into the local store in the evening, when they were trying to clear out the meats that couldn't be kept overnight, for good deals.

              (Is it time for the pitchforks and torches yet?)

              by PJEvans on Sun Dec 08, 2013 at 10:16:15 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Supermarket? Even bad ones are pretty scarce in (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Mark Sumner, UnionMade

                the urban food deserts. There are still some pretty vast stretches where the corner market, no daylight (windows covered in steel), food markets might have a bit of wilting greenery if you are in luck.

                The District of Columbia is trying to address the food desert problem. Unfortunately the farmer's markets and some of the new openings are for the upscale residents moving in and prices are out of public assistance budgets. Know of a really nice organic market, very healthy, lots of poor folks walking by and a dozen eggs run $7 up. The same market has a branch in what was a real food desert. Those that can shop there, the old residents make do with those dark and often filthy old style places where $7 might get a day's fat and sugar laden junky food for several people. Macaroni and the cheapest junk cheese, maybe a bit of salt pork for flavor in something else out of a box. Nearest supermarket? Long, long walk or several bus transfers away.

                The only foes that threaten America are the enemies at home, and those are ignorance, superstition, and incompetence. [Elbert Hubbard]

                by pelagicray on Sun Dec 08, 2013 at 10:42:02 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

          •  Read what you want into my words. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            UnionMade

            I am specifically talking about three people I helped who were on food stamps and other aid.  They wanted to stretch their dollars but were not willing to do the necessary work and time commitment to do it.  And yes, all were officially challenged in the brains area.  Not their fault and I possibly expected too much of them.  I however, do think they can learn to cook but they were not able to muster the will.  Easy availability of non-nutritious food was to strong a pull for them.  Talking about three people I know personably and well,  This does not translate to all people on food stamps.  You are all so quick to condemn and judge.  I am not judging them, I am relating the experience.  Where on earth do you get that I think all people on food stamps are not bright?  I was speaking specifically and I feel I was pretty clear about that.

            Everyone! Arms akimbo! 68351

            by tobendaro on Sun Dec 08, 2013 at 10:55:48 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Thanks for the specifics. Your first comment (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              tobendaro

              sounded more like a generalization, because you started out saying "a few" instead of saying something like "I once tried to show three families."

              That "few" made the whole remainder of your comment sound like a generalization, I'm afraid.

              That's how easy it is to be misunderstood. Aren't words the weirdest things?  

        •  Condescending as hell. A bit ignorant as well. (4+ / 0-)

          Lemme see. You were in the person's own food prep area, that neat little kitchen in the broken down old row house subdivided, illegally sometimes, with a luxury kitchen or the public housing one room apartment? Or were you demonstrating at a center.

          Maybe the reality of "home" was why they "are not interested in spending the time to do it"! Ever cooked in a "kitchen" with a floor that might open any minute from dry rot, a counter about the size of a cafeteria tray and brown water from the tap that one hopes is just rust? I haven't either, but I've been in some.

          As for

          Granted they are not very bright but I thought that the idea of having extra money to spend on stuff they wanted would motivate.  The hurdle from learning to doing was too great.
          Whether you are or not it sounds very much like a real asshole spouting from a lofty and privileged position.

          The only foes that threaten America are the enemies at home, and those are ignorance, superstition, and incompetence. [Elbert Hubbard]

          by pelagicray on Sun Dec 08, 2013 at 09:12:40 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Or the utilities shut off and tons of roaches. (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            pelagicray, Cassandra Waites

            I've been in that situation. Sometimes all you can do is get a can of beans and eat it as fast as you can cold.

            •  Or the ceiling falling in with rat and mouse (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              viral, libera nos

              pellets gently falling like dark snow?

              Some of the comments here about how "they" should eat healthy vegetarian, maybe vegan and organic, foods? Reminds me a bit of something that struck me as a child as ignorant, now I'd call racist shit.

              I remember people talking about how how "(N word) stink so bad you can smell them coming" and so on. Well, down the way from our house was the shanty town where "they" lived. Common ground. Paths through what was essentially a half dozen acres of scrub pasture where a few kept a cow or a hog. Dozens of little "cabins" composed of planks, chinked by newspaper and "insulated" by tacked on magazines and newspapers taken from trash (You think they could have subscribed?) and cooking in an open fireplace or a three legged pot over an open fire in the "yard." Remember watching hogs butchered hanging from a tree limb and lye soap made in those "witches pots." On several occasions I spent the night with a kindly woman that lived in one of those one room shacks.

              Lemme see now, bathroom? Nope. If you had to go there was a one holer out back near the well that served a number of shacks (by the way, they burned quickly and the well was the fire department because the real fire department didn't come out for these non-existing residences.) Wash up? Yep, with lye soap, an old rag and some warmish water that had been sitting by the fireplace in an old battered tin lard can.

              Well poor people should eat healthy, we'd all benefit from the better health of us all. First we have to eliminate the food deserts and make good choices fully available at prices a poor person can afford. Then there is the problem of long habit, generations of lack of knowledge about nutrition and other ways of eating. Have to work on that without being condescending shits ourselves.

              Can't remember where I saw it, some video maybe, on helping African Americans in the ghetto learn to use new recipes with more healthy ingredients. One used collard greens and the demonstration included a chef no less, chopping them with a knife on a board—each of which represented probably a week's food budget for the students. Then the chef was informed you never chop collards, you tear them. Oh.

              The only foes that threaten America are the enemies at home, and those are ignorance, superstition, and incompetence. [Elbert Hubbard]

              by pelagicray on Sun Dec 08, 2013 at 11:04:26 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

          •  You are reading (0+ / 0-)

            much into my words.  These three had perfectly fine kitchens in subsidized housing. They lived close to decent food and even a very cost effective produce market.  I took them shopping, helped them choose food and make menus.  I taught them how to cook the food and how to prepare leftovers.  They lost interest quickly.  It was much easier to go get fast food or a sub at the convenience store, and yes all three were disabled in some way mentally.  I am not projecting a scenario here, I actually experienced it and have told of the results.  If you choose to project my experience forward to some fantasy, feel free.  You may sound like the a-hole to me.

            Everyone! Arms akimbo! 68351

            by tobendaro on Sun Dec 08, 2013 at 11:05:20 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Bull. And still condescending as hell. (0+ / 0-)

              You sure made that clear as mud. So,

              a few people on food stamps . . . not interested in spending the time to do it . . . they are not very bright
              Becomes three specific people "officially challenged in the brains area" with "perfectly fine kitchens"!

              And those challenging that crap are in some "fantasy"?

              If you approached those challenged people in the manner I suspect you may have done, based on your statements here your chance of success was probably pretty much a snowball in hell from the get go. Even people "officially challenged in the brains area" living with perfectly fine subsidized kitchens have sensibilities that are pretty damn keen to condescension and "better than thou" attitude, even if done unconsciously by the "great teacher" bringing light to the benighted.

              The only foes that threaten America are the enemies at home, and those are ignorance, superstition, and incompetence. [Elbert Hubbard]

              by pelagicray on Sun Dec 08, 2013 at 11:22:27 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

        •  Turkey soup... (0+ / 0-)

          is my favorite part of Thanksgiving. O.K., the next day.

          And how hard is it?

          Garlic, onion, celery, carcass, water (though Trader Joe's has turkey stock for $1.99/quart, so I added some this year). Simmer for 45 minutes to 1 hour (longer and I find the meat dry and stringy). Separate or strain.

          Sit down with three plates in front of the television and watch football (not really. Dr Who). Separate "soup meat", "dog food" and bones. I'm amazed every year just how just meat comes off the bones-not to mention the "scraps" (skin, fat gristle etc)-have I told you how popular I am with my dog(s)?

          Then, more garlic, more onion, carrots etc. simmer. meat back in, noodles. Season to taste. Soup!

          I really don't appreciate your incivility and rudeness. Armando 7/23/11

          by liberte on Sun Dec 08, 2013 at 09:52:51 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  assumes you can (3+ / 0-)

            buy and cook a turkey, or know someone who will let you have the carcass, and that you have a pot big enough to hold it.

            (Is it time for the pitchforks and torches yet?)

            by PJEvans on Sun Dec 08, 2013 at 10:17:40 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Yoiu are making the point (0+ / 0-)

              I am trying to make.  Good, healthy food is available.  Pots for a dollar can be gotten at thrift stores, garage sales, etc.  In my city there are organizations that will give you a pot for free.  Anyone can ask someone how to do it or read about it for free.  Maybe a bus fare to the library.  In our city turkeys are available and I know plenty of poor people on food stamps who get them for free from various organizations and churches.  Here in my city it is doable with out much effort but many find it easier to just get fast food.  This is not a condemnation it is an observation that people can eat healthier but the easy availability of bad food makes the extra effort not worth it.  I am not condemning, judging or scoffing at anyone.

              Everyone! Arms akimbo! 68351

              by tobendaro on Sun Dec 08, 2013 at 11:12:03 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  This I will quibble with, tobendaro. I just spent (0+ / 0-)

                two weeks keeping my eyes open for a big pot for a church kitchen's holiday cooking. Looked into every dollar and thrift store I passed.

                So far, have found nothing second hand and nothing under $50. And I have a car and my work takes me all around town, so I don't have to invest too much time on the search.

                Once again, your comment sounds a bit Pollyannaish in imagining the amount of time people have to hunt for "good, healthy food," and the price they will have to pay to buy same.

      •  "To boil the pulses"....what is that? n/t (0+ / 0-)

        "Evil is a lack of empathy, a total incapacity to feel with their fellow man." - Capt. Gilbert,Psychiatrist, at the end of Nuremberg trials.

        by 417els on Sun Dec 08, 2013 at 07:08:22 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Pulses (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          UnionMade, 417els

          Pinto beans, kidney beans and navy beans; peas; lentils; and others.

          Dry the fresh seed for long term storage, boil to cook for eating.

          "The problems of incompetent, corrupt, corporatist government are incompetence, corruption and corporatism, not government." Jerome a Paris

          by Orinoco on Sun Dec 08, 2013 at 07:59:43 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  yes, but even "long term storage" (5+ / 0-)

            necessitate a certain lifestyle and economic resources: people who like in tiny apartments with alcoves for kitchens, work 2 and 3 jobs and don't have their own transportation have neither the time, the energy, the space or the means to purchase and lug all the ingredients that it takes to cook from scratch.  Nor do they have the place to store that food.

            When you don't have space for food storage, you have to shop per meal, which is also more expensive.  

            Words can sometimes, in moments of grace, attain the quality of deeds. --Elie Wiesel

            by a gilas girl on Sun Dec 08, 2013 at 08:21:22 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  Thanks. First time I've seen the word. n/t (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            UnionMade

            "Evil is a lack of empathy, a total incapacity to feel with their fellow man." - Capt. Gilbert,Psychiatrist, at the end of Nuremberg trials.

            by 417els on Sun Dec 08, 2013 at 12:17:10 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  My area's supermarket chains code for quality (7+ / 0-)

        For a while, I worked for a grocery distributor.  The supermarkets in my area code their stores into three categories, and similarly code their vegetables and fruits.  So, if your store is a C, it will see C grade produce.  Those designations reflect competition faced by the store, which while not directly a code for affluence, is generally coincident.  

        I should add that pricing reflects local competitive pressures.  Where one or two stores essentially control a market, substantially higher prices can be sustained with a little cooperation (and a few winks and nods).  So, less affluent areas, where monopoly or oligopoly is the rule, not only see lower quality produce, but it will see them at higher pricing.  

    •  Access is a big problem (13+ / 0-)

      And food deserts is just one factor. I work part time in a diverse but largely affluent school district (Ann Arbor) and I see entire trays of food dumped in the trash, and little in the way of compensation on our "fresh foods" bar. About a quarter of our population is free/reduced lunch, and a lot of the discarding of food is simply unfamiliarity: many of the students eat "filler" food at home.

      It's not that most parents don't care: it's that they are constantly juggling the same challenges and consistently choose the same "paths of least resistance". Giving in to a bag of over-processed something and a sugary drink gets them space to concentrate on the rest of the day they have to juggle. I only monitor lunch, but I have asked enough questions over the years about breakfast and the same thing happens there, too. And empty stomachs invariably become ticking time bombs for discipline issues later in the day.

      The needed intervention cannot be handled only at school. And it cannot be expected to be "solved" in a year or a POTUS election cycle. But we must work hard and constantly at it and make it somehow easier for these children and others like them to have and make alternate choices. And for me this is the important part: we should do it as much for ourselves - so that we all live in less stressed communities - as for "those children."

      Change does not roll in on the wheels of inevitability, but comes through continuous struggle. --Martin Luther King Jr.

      by Egalitare on Sun Dec 08, 2013 at 06:04:13 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Unfamiliarity is a big problem. (6+ / 0-)

        I am working with an immigrant group to help provide food to those who are not or cannot work.  Even though they are struggling to find enough to eat, they are unhappy with foods unfamiliar to them.  We have come to the conclusion that their diet is very, very limited.  Only partly due to cost and availability and mostly due to custom and history.

        Even the produce clerks in our local supermarket are unfamiliar with much of what the store carries and have no idea what you'd do with a lot of it.

        •  I'm not an (4+ / 0-)

          immigrant.

          Recently I decided to join a co-op where you buy a box of locally grown veggies each week.

          I excitedly got my first box.  I didn't recognize some of the items.  Why do I want garlic the size of a baseball?

          I had no idea what to do with most of it.  What do I do with three parsnips?

          It didn't last long until I had to throw it away.  And it was too much for one person anyway.

          They said I could split my weekly box with another single.

          But I'd still be receiving fresh, wonderful veggies that I had no idea how to prepare or what they even were.

          I had to quit.

          •  "What do I do with 3 parsnips?" (0+ / 0-)

            Cook 'em!  It's a chance to learn something and expand your food horizons.  

            But I hear you.  We were briefly members of a CSA and received huge amounts of kale, week after week.  Like you, we found that we couldn't use what we received, so we quit.

          •  PS- (0+ / 0-)

            I was not bashing immigrants.  Many Americans here for generations have very limited food experiences, despite the fact that immigrant populations have brought with them familiarity with spices, herbs, produce and cooking techniques formerly little know to most people in this country.

            •  All of the (0+ / 0-)

              spices, herbs, produce and cooking techniques that are known here?

              I don't know them.  I don't know ours.  I would have to take a lesson in order to cook a turkey or a hamburger that wasn't like a hockey puck.  

              Now I want to avoid eating meat, which makes it 100 times harder to figure out what to cook.

              I did one of those "here is the list of stuff you should have in your pantry" things.

              Star Anise?  What is it for?  When will I use it?  

              I know, cooked parsnips.  First of all, bleah.  What do I put on them?  Or what do I put them in?  I would know how to boil them or steam them.

              That's it.

              It's not a "chance to learn something".  It's a pain in the ass I can avoid by not getting them in the first place.

              Just out of curiosity, and this may be just my own filter so forgive me in advance, but are you married?  I mean, you said "we".

              So does someone else help with stuff around the house, the car, paying the bills, dealing with the yard, the kids/dogs, the shopping, laundry, chores, errands?  

              I do all of that stuff.  I know a lot of people do all of that and work full time and probably a lot of them cook, maybe cook for one and are fine with it.

              Frankly I'm exhausted, and it's a combination of having to do all of those things and generally just being alone.

              •  Parsnips (0+ / 0-)

                If you have a little butter or oil: Cut the parsnips into little sticks--about 3-4 inches long and a cross-section like a chopstick (or a little wider in one dimension).

                Heat a frying pan, add a little oil and the parsnips, a little pepper and little nutmeg, ginger or allspice. Stir to toss. Add 1/4 cup water and cover for a minute. Uncover, and continue cooking until they start to brown and are done to taste.

                If desired, add a little butter/oil or lemon, and serve. Leftovers will keep for about a week in the refrigerator.

                •  Alternatively, (0+ / 0-)

                  thinly slice carrots and parsnips cross-wise, place in a heated frying pan with a little butter, lemon juice, pepper and dill (fresh if possible) and a little water. Cover and cook by shaking as if you were cooking popcorn, until you can smell the veggies. Serve.

              •  Almost any vegetable that is larger than a small (0+ / 0-)

                potato (I don't want you to have to figure what is a root or a leaf or whatever), wash it off, cut it into bite size chunks, toss with some oil (preferably olive, but any vegetable oil or butter will do) and stick them in the oven at 350 or 450 or 400 or 375 (they're very forgiving) and poke them with a fork occasionally. When they poke soft, they are done.  And taste great!  Roasted vegetables are my favorite easy thing to make. You can do this with potatoes, sweet potatoes, parsnips, beets, rutabagas, turnips, carrots, celery, onion, heads of garlic, asparagus, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, peppers, cauliflower, tomatoes, etc. (except probably not artichokes at first).

                Roast different ones all together and mash them together for a tasty treat.  Or throw them into some canned broth (or boil up that turkey or chicken carcass for broth) for a hearty, easy soup. You can chop greens (or dice or tear or whatever rocks your boat to get them into smaller pieces) and throw them in the soup.

                Cooking is really easy.  It's kind of like math.  People are really intimidated by it, but once you get the hang of it, it's easy.  You come home, throw a couple of veggies in the oven and forget it for 1/2 hour or 45 minutes.  Kind of like a frozen dinner, just a little longer.

                I was single for 10 years, worked  two jobs, and had to figure out how to counter that hot dog I had every day at lunch.

                The central message of Buddhism is not "Every man for himself." -- Wanda

                by the autonomist on Sun Dec 08, 2013 at 09:02:36 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

          •  Parsnips (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Heart of the Rockies, vcmvo2

            boil, mash, season, mix with squash and pasta, bake with a little cheese.  Invest in an old cookbook (second hand at Goodwill) like Fanny Farmer, Good Housekeeping, Betty Crocker - they have all sorts of recipes for things we rarely eat now.

          •  it helps if you have (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Heart of the Rockies

            one good basic cookbook that includes a lot of recipes that are marked for what they're good for. (I've seen one for mashed potatoes-and-parsnips.)

            That said, the co-op should provide some kind of information with the box for preparing the contents.

            (Is it time for the pitchforks and torches yet?)

            by PJEvans on Sun Dec 08, 2013 at 10:21:18 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  So true (3+ / 0-)

          I've had to teach more than one supermarket cashier how to tell the difference between a cucumber and a zucchini.

    •  The classic or traditional American diet (5+ / 0-)

      had little fresh produce except in season.  It was in the early 1900's that use of refrigerated railroad cars became widespread (using ice) and not until after WW II that mechanically chilled cars were available.

      Both my parents grew up without fresh vegetables and fruits from late fall to early spring.  Unless you consider apples and potatoes, stored in the root cellar, as fresh produce.  Of course there was no heavily processed food, either, and they did their own canning of fruits and vegetables, as well as most of their own baking. Incidentally, one lived to be 87, and the other died at age 91.  

      •  I've been posting (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Heart of the Rockies

        family letters from the Civil War.
        They ate salt pork and corn-meal mush a lot, I think, but enjoyed fruits and vegetables in season, and they did pickle stuff.
        The letters speak of apples and peaches and blackberries, and 'roasting ears' of corn (which we're familiar with), and boxes from home with cakes and jams. Rations were things like sowbelly and hardtack and coffee.

        (Is it time for the pitchforks and torches yet?)

        by PJEvans on Sun Dec 08, 2013 at 10:26:11 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Not where I live... (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      viral, PJEvans, Cassandra Waites

      Sorry, but this is true.  The components of a healthy diet that also fit into a life style where one does not have the where with all to shop at places like farmers markets (i.e. no car) or at multiple grocery stores/wholesale-type clubs (none in the city, all out in the burbs) do make it more expensive in both financial and time resources.

       

      Words can sometimes, in moments of grace, attain the quality of deeds. --Elie Wiesel

      by a gilas girl on Sun Dec 08, 2013 at 08:15:24 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Just tell that to those trying to get by on food (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      viral, PJEvans, Cassandra Waites

      stamps and aid that have to stretch a few dollars and often live in food deserts. Ever shopped for food in the "worst part of the city"? Ever even walked the streets there? The ones where you can walk blocks and blocks in the nearest "business" section and see the "groceries" with barred windows, armored doors and shelves full of junk food with the booze and smokes behind armored glass? Fresh veggies? Ya gotta be joking!

      Those asshats, one particularly rotund one himself getting that way purely voluntarialy, crowing about "obese food stamp people" certainly have not tried to walk in the shoes of someone getting by on them and the food aid and pantries that so often are loaded with near empty calories. People with no transportation but their feet with the nearest grocery store most of us would recognize as such a long bus ride away. Yep, and after a few generations of such one gets into a rut and has to be gently taught how to use real food when it, as is beginning to in some cities, become available in the actual neighborhoods.

      Add "organic" to the list and you pay a premium even in places with lots of choices.

      The only foes that threaten America are the enemies at home, and those are ignorance, superstition, and incompetence. [Elbert Hubbard]

      by pelagicray on Sun Dec 08, 2013 at 08:46:22 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  yes, if you already (0+ / 0-)

      have the money to buy them.
      Going into the grocery store tells me differently.

      (Is it time for the pitchforks and torches yet?)

      by PJEvans on Sun Dec 08, 2013 at 10:09:58 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Parker, Rush, etc. can't grok Christian piety and (9+ / 0-)

    commitment to helping the poor and suffering in the world. It goes against their commitment to selfishness and greed. For them Jesus's teachings would be an amalgam of the philosophies of Ayn Rand and Donald Trump.

    •  Sadly, my most Catholic relative has (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      singe, Cassandra Waites

      dismissed out of hand all of the Pope's teachings on the poor saying that he should stick to what he knows.

      It makes me sad that some hearts are so hardened as to not be able to open their hearts to the truth...  I think the gospel of Fox News may be more powerful than that of God's representative on earth (that's what my relative would call the Pope).

      I want to live in a world where George Zimmerman offered Trayvon Martin a ride home to get him out of the rain that night. -Bishop G. Brewer

      by the dogs sockpuppet on Sun Dec 08, 2013 at 07:38:20 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  i too am a dogs sockpuppet and glad to be....and (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        the dogs sockpuppet

        i too have catholic relatives who are cretins. it is however difficult to understand how those who claim to be following the teachings of Jesus and at the same time want to take away food stamps from the poor do not see the contradiction in their systems of belief. notice that even though i left the church back around 1960 i still capitalize "Jesus" just in case there is a purgatory and i can reduce my sentence a bit if i don't end up with a one way ticket to dante's inferno....

        •  Your last comment made me smile. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          singe, vc2

          Recent papal commentary has made me even consider getting my children baptized lest they end up in limbo for eternity ;)

          I want to live in a world where George Zimmerman offered Trayvon Martin a ride home to get him out of the rain that night. -Bishop G. Brewer

          by the dogs sockpuppet on Sun Dec 08, 2013 at 07:48:02 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I think they did away with Limbo recently....check (0+ / 0-)

            on this because my reading of Papal Encyclicals is spotty. If true it does make me wonder what is going on with all those unbaptized Jewish, Muslim, Buddhist and Wicca babies while we wait for the End of Days?? Probably have them housed in single room occupancy hotels in Mobile Alabama, feeding them Chicken McNuggets and goats milk. .  

          •  He has made this agnostic (well i believe in (0+ / 0-)

            something just not a standard religious god, or i believe in all of them if that makes sense with doubt as well) think to maybe attending church this christmas or sometime in the near future.  Not a catholic one but some other but based on what Pope Francis is teaching it is becoming more likely that I return to some sort of religion.

            Barack Obama: "These guys want to be paid like rock stars when all they're doing is lip-synching capitalism." may21, 2010

            by vc2 on Sun Dec 08, 2013 at 08:44:30 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

  •  Conservatives Have Used Abortion To Try To Attract (4+ / 0-)

    Catholic voters over the years. They ignored the major issue of child molesters rampant in the clergy. I guess you can ignore child molestation. Let the Pope espouse somewhat progressive views on economic and social issues and the McCarthy like hating comes out. Progressives are worse than child molesters.

    •  Yes, But... (6+ / 0-)
      Let the Pope espouse somewhat progressive views on economic and social issues and the McCarthy like hating comes out.
      Other popes have taken stances on economic issues that were well to the left of anything the Democratic party would ever dare run on -- Pope Benedict, for example, called for an international body to regulate the GLOBAL economy.  That got ignored by the right (and left too, I might add.)

      One of Pope Francis' biggest accomplishments thus far has been that he has done something nobody else has done in the past 30+ years --  he has managed to put Republicans on the defensive over Reganomics.

      “I believe all Southern liberals come from the same starting point--race. Once you figure out they are lying to you about race, you start to question everything.” ― Molly Ivins

      by RoIn on Sun Dec 08, 2013 at 07:23:39 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I notice Kathleen Parker (11+ / 0-)

    Is still playing the false equivalency game. Apparently agreeing with the Pope is now "want(ing) to anoint his head with oil" and just as bad as calling him a "Marxist". Except while she cites examples of the latter, the former just seems to have sprung from her own "both sides do it" philosophy.

    "Given the choice between a Republican and someone who acts like a Republican, people will vote for a real Republican every time." Harry Truman

    by MargaretPOA on Sun Dec 08, 2013 at 05:11:11 AM PST

    •  not exactly what she does here (7+ / 0-)

      Yes, she is ritually positioning herself between extremes of left and right. But she doesn't state disagreement with the Pope on anything, nor criticize anyone for agreeing with him -- and, actually, the criticisms in the column are almost all directed at conservatives.

      The trick is that she equivocates on whether the Pope's message has any political implications. She seems unperturbed by "the pope’s criticism of 'trickle-down' economic theory that places absolute faith in markets to be humane and fair," but she says that Francis "never mentions redistribution" [shudder!] and that he is appealing to our consciences.

      I don't spend a lot of time parsing popes, but "redistribution" simply isn't the taboo for popes that it is for wingers. They aren't radical egalitarians or state socialists, but they often have no compunction about saying that some people have too much while others have too little, and they aren't averse to political action to address that problem.

      So I think the main problem here is a false binary. "Conservatives" want to portray any policy views to the left of their flavor of faux-libertarianism as "Marxism," and Parker doesn't really want to take them on.

      "I am not sure how we got here, but then, I am not really sure where we are." -Susan from 29

      by HudsonValleyMark on Sun Dec 08, 2013 at 06:20:52 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I thought it was a pretty good column given she is (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        HudsonValleyMark

        republican. She is someone i can vehemently disagree with but consider sane

        Barack Obama: "These guys want to be paid like rock stars when all they're doing is lip-synching capitalism." may21, 2010

        by vc2 on Sun Dec 08, 2013 at 08:46:54 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  sanity is a low bar, but... (0+ / 0-)

          Yeah, I give her some credit for this one. On the other hand, a few weeks ago there was this:

          In other words, Republicans oppose Obama’s policies, not the man, because they believe the president will so inexorably change the structure of our social and economic system by mandating and punishing human behavior that nothing less than individual freedom is at stake. Under present circumstances, this hardly seems delusional. Does anyone really believe that subsidized policyholders with preexisting conditions won’t eventually face other mandates and penalties related to their lifestyle choices?

          (emphasis added)

          Sorry, no, that does seem delusional (in a non-clinical sense), or just ridiculous. Serious credibility issue there.

          "I am not sure how we got here, but then, I am not really sure where we are." -Susan from 29

          by HudsonValleyMark on Sun Dec 08, 2013 at 05:43:36 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  I don't know where Maureen Dowd reads history. (9+ / 0-)

    If there was a central theme in most historians review of Woodrow Wilson, it was that he didn't condescend to hobnob with congress and therefore the United Nations Treaty failed.  Many of those accounts suggest that Henry Cabot Lodge and his crew of obstructionists in the senate had an inordinate personal dislike for Wilson were as much motivated by that dislike as they were by actual isolationist philosophy.

  •  Politics and Religion. (6+ / 0-)

    I'm still a little sore at Jimmy Carter bringing religion into politics by posing "Vote for me because I'm a moral Born Again Christian! Unlike a certain crooked Quaker!" Which set himself up to have his butt bitten off by the Moral Majority. And we're still suffering from Fundies three plus decades later.

    "If this Studebaker had anymore Atomic Space-Age Style, you'd have to be an astronaut with a geiger counter!"

    by Stude Dude on Sun Dec 08, 2013 at 05:30:58 AM PST

  •  Gotta give the devil her due: (6+ / 0-)
    Upon reading the pope’s words about greed and inequality, Rush Limbaugh threw down the word “Marxist” like an overcooked rib-eye. The pontiff’s words, said the man of many words, was “just pure Marxism coming out of the mouth of the pope.
    I never thought I'd say this about Kathleen Parker, but that image is constructed about as well as any I've read in a while.

    You can't make this stuff up.

    by David54 on Sun Dec 08, 2013 at 06:03:29 AM PST

  •  Demonizing the Pope for speaking Jesus' teaching (12+ / 0-)

    …demonstrates that Christianity is nothing but a prop for conservatives. They have their own version of Jesus (as they do of Reagan) that is constantly adapted to fit their political agenda, depending on which way the wind blows.

    When you demonize feeding the poor and anyone talking about the terrible consequences of wealth inequalities, you are a Christian in name only and leave in Church what happens in Church...

  •  Last night's music thread (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Aunt Pat

    Surprised me. I thought I'd be the only one there that turned sweet sixteen back in 1976. There were a couple of others that did too.

    "Gayett Dayouwd 'n' Bewoogay!"

    "If this Studebaker had anymore Atomic Space-Age Style, you'd have to be an astronaut with a geiger counter!"

    by Stude Dude on Sun Dec 08, 2013 at 06:22:27 AM PST

  •  Everybody's cafeteria. (0+ / 0-)

    The Pope says something against abortion or pop culture and the Conservatives are like "it's time somebody sticks up for some common sense morals" and the Left is like "the Church needs to catch up with modern times."

    The Pop says something about economic inequality and the Liberals are like "a moral authority speaks out about social justice" while the Conservatives are late "the Church is isolated and doesn't understand the realiities of modern day business."

    "If this Studebaker had anymore Atomic Space-Age Style, you'd have to be an astronaut with a geiger counter!"

    by Stude Dude on Sun Dec 08, 2013 at 06:28:23 AM PST

  •  This is silly... (0+ / 0-)

    But the Pope giving a big Stan Laurel grin is throwing me off slightly....

    "If this Studebaker had anymore Atomic Space-Age Style, you'd have to be an astronaut with a geiger counter!"

    by Stude Dude on Sun Dec 08, 2013 at 06:29:32 AM PST

  •  "War on Christmas"? (9+ / 0-)

    The Right needs to look no further than their big retailers.  They have already negated the quasi-religious Thanksgiving by continuing encroachment.  "Doors open at midnight!" then 10, then 8.  This year Toys R Us pushed the Thanksgiving opening to 5PM, meaning  employees had time for Thanksgiving lunch.  I figure 3 PM next year for some stores.
    About 15 years ago, malls and big retailers were closed on New Years & Easter.  The last barrier to "open 24 hours, 364 days a year to serve you" is Christmas.   I expect to see after Christmas sales starting at midnight soon, playing to "get what you REALLY WANTED at doorbuster prices!"  (while we pay minimum wage).  For the corporations, love of money will trump love of God every time.
    But the Right will ignore it all to complain about a White House card that says "Happy Holidays"

    •  But That's The Market (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Laconic Lib

      So that makes it all OK.

      Next year it will be 3 PM.  The year after that it will open all day Thanksgiving and when they start opening Christmas Day you still won't hear a peep out of the right.  That's the market, so that makes it all OK.

      “I believe all Southern liberals come from the same starting point--race. Once you figure out they are lying to you about race, you start to question everything.” ― Molly Ivins

      by RoIn on Sun Dec 08, 2013 at 07:30:13 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Australia (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    arlene

    is not such a good minimum wage argument, but Washington state should be. Australia's economy depends on exporting rock and dirt to China. Also, BHP and Rio Tinto are a large part of its economy.

    OTOH, Australia also has a national internet network. Think of it as single payer broadband.

    "Your victory has demonstrated that no person anywhere in the world should not dare to dream of wanting to change the world for a better place." -- Mandela

    by agoldnyc on Sun Dec 08, 2013 at 06:40:15 AM PST

  •  Evolution is just a theory (8+ / 0-)

    As is gravity.  Even though gravity is just a theory, I wouldn't recommend jumping out of the top floor of a 30 story building to test the theory.

    "We have always known that heedless self-interest was bad morals, now we know that it is bad economics." Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Jan. 20, 1937

    by Navy Vet Terp on Sun Dec 08, 2013 at 06:42:10 AM PST

    •  No, evolution is a fact... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Mark Sumner

      Evolution is a fact. It IS a (exceedingly well-supported) theory that natural selection is a cause of evolution. And t is theory that evolution accounts for the diversity of life on earth. But evolution (like the sun, or death) is a fact that is readily observable - populations change over time.

      Gravity (in the folk sense of things falling to earth) is a fact as well. What Newton did was come up with a theory of why there is gravity (masses have a mutual attraction) and then from that theory came up with the subsidiary theories about how the attraction varied with the masses of the objects and distance.

      •  NVT (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Navy Vet Terp, Cassandra Waites

        is using 'theory' in the scientific sense of the word.
        Electromagnetism is also a theory, and it's one that works very very well.

        (Is it time for the pitchforks and torches yet?)

        by PJEvans on Sun Dec 08, 2013 at 10:30:11 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Indeed, but evolution isn't a scientific theory (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Mark Sumner

          Biological evolution is an observable scientific fact about nature, like growth, death, reproduction.

          It is not a scientific theory that organisms die. There are, however, scientific theories about why organisms die, and what the consequences of death are in nature.

          Similarly, evolution happens - it is an observable phenomenon that has been observed by many people in many different forms and contexts. Why biological evolution occurs, and what patterns and processes in nature can be accounted for by evolution, is the realm of scientific theory.

  •  Money quote (0+ / 0-)

    "One in five Americans don’t claim any binding religious preference or affiliation, and their ranks have grown significantly over the last two decades."

    I used to be a much fiercer firebrand for my religion. I played music in the church band. I was married in the church. My minister was a lifelong friend.

    Then George W. Bush came along and destroyed ANY CONCEPT of God protecting this nation. If God allowed George W. Bush to inhabit the White House, he wasn't much of a God.

    That wasn't lost on MILLIONS OF GOOD CHRISTIANS in this nation.

    Now...I just call myself a Christian, because I can't seem to find a church or congregation that actually follows Jesus's commandments: Love your enemies and pray for them. I mean...who loves Osama or Mexican drug lords? Who, today, is putting their neck out to help the poor?

    Sure as fuck not ANY Republicans. Nor any dirty hippie Democrats. It's lonely being a true practicing Christian...they don't really exist. Bush killed 'em all.

    "I feel a lot safer already."--Emil Sitka

    by DaddyO on Sun Dec 08, 2013 at 06:51:48 AM PST

    •  There are plenty of them. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      tb mare

      But not one is perfect and not one lives a perfect Christian life under your definition. My definition is that most people try to be good.  We are all in a search for what we should be doing.  We try to better ourselves in every way. Religion is a structure for searching not a handbook with every move written down and expected to be followed.  I know many follow religion in that manner but they are wrong.  The search is the growth and perhaps the Truth will never be found.

      Everyone! Arms akimbo! 68351

      by tobendaro on Sun Dec 08, 2013 at 06:58:16 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Seems like the Catholic Church has some (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      vc2

      room for you suddenly ;)

      I want to live in a world where George Zimmerman offered Trayvon Martin a ride home to get him out of the rain that night. -Bishop G. Brewer

      by the dogs sockpuppet on Sun Dec 08, 2013 at 07:44:10 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Evolution IS just a theory - a scientific theory (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RoIn, offgrid, Cassandra Waites

    Scientific theories are about as strong a proposition as you can get for things that can't rise to the level of "laws of science."  A scientific theory is the best interpretation of existing evidence, but will be changed when that is no longer the case.

    I hate the colloquial use of "theory" which is the exact oppositeof the scienctific meaning.

    grumble, grumble, grumble

    Please, call me "Loris."

    by s l o w loris on Sun Dec 08, 2013 at 07:03:35 AM PST

    •  No, evolution is an observable fact (0+ / 0-)

      Evolution (like gravity) is a fact. It IS a (exceedingly well-supported) theory that natural selection is a cause of evolution. And t is theory that evolution accounts for the diversity of life on earth. But evolution (like the sun, or death) is a fact that is readily observable - populations change over time.

  •  this frank bruni must be burnt at the stake... (0+ / 0-)

    to save his soul!

    Sarah Palin is a disgusting racist pig.

    by memofromturner on Sun Dec 08, 2013 at 07:14:55 AM PST

  •  Pope commits ultimate sin: puts teachings (6+ / 0-)

    of Christ above all else.

    What's wrong with the man?

    LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

    by dinotrac on Sun Dec 08, 2013 at 07:26:34 AM PST

  •  I would support just about any pol, of any party, (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    srelar, waterstreet2013

    who takes the oath of office with a hand on the Principia Mathematica.

    I live under the bridge to the 21st Century.

    by Crashing Vor on Sun Dec 08, 2013 at 07:28:11 AM PST

  •  Would today's right-wing "Christians" (5+ / 0-)

    know Jesus if he showed up on their doorstep?

    They claim to know Jesus, but their behavior and attitude toward others seems to contradict their assertions.

    Jesus was a rebel, a liberal activist going against not only Rome, but against orthodox Judaism, and the latter is ultimately what got him killed.  Rome wasn't all that worried about a little-known agitator in Judea -- he was "noise" to them. But to the orthodox leadership -- he was saying things like "love thy neighbor" and throwing the moneychangers out of the temple.  That could NOT be tolerated.

    Funny how this pope brings them back to their roots and they are appalled.  

    I wonder if Jesus showed back up, with today's right-wing "Christians", would he suffer a similar fate as last time.

    The Meek Shall Inherit NOTHING -- Frank Zappa

    by LickBush on Sun Dec 08, 2013 at 07:31:25 AM PST

    •  The Romans did care very much about Jewish (5+ / 0-)

      rebels against the religious establishment. The Herod dynasty was a creation of the Roman empire to give the illusion of some self-government. The Sanhedrin was pre-Roman, but the Romans co-opted it, and made sure it was staffed by toadies who rendered unto Caesar. The Sanhedrin got to run things, a least a little bit, but only if they did the Romans bidding. Anyone who pissed off the Sanhedrin was potentially pissing off the Romans. Priests who didn't do there job and rat out rebels got fired or worse. Jesus was hardly the first or last Jew to be crucified by the Romans.

      What Jesus really said and did is hard to say, since the Gospels weren't written down long after Jesus, so it's hard to say for sure what Jesus really said, or what was put into his mouth years after.

      Just another underemployed IT professional computer geek.

      by RhodeIslandAspie on Sun Dec 08, 2013 at 08:08:32 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yes...all true to an extent (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        RhodeIslandAspie, offgrid

        But honestly, Tiberius and the hierarchy in Rome itself had just as many issues in Gaul and elsewhere as they did in Judea.  If you are saying that Jesus was at the forefront of Roman foreign policy issues, that might be a bit of an overstatement.

        However, your points are well taken with regard to Herod and the more local Roman government in Judea.  I suppose the point I was making was more that Jesus was not killed by the "outsiders" (Rome) but more because he pissed off the "insiders" in the Sanhedrin.  So we're both on the same page.  

        Great comment -- thanks for the exchange!

        The Meek Shall Inherit NOTHING -- Frank Zappa

        by LickBush on Sun Dec 08, 2013 at 09:00:27 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I also didn't mean to say Jesus was important (0+ / 0-)

          on the Roman radar. He was just one of many hundreds of thousands of colonials killed or enslaved by the Romans. I doubt very much that he actually even came before Pilate. Pilate wouldn't have had the time to judge yet another uppity Judean. Some low level official would most likely have had the job.

          Just another underemployed IT professional computer geek.

          by RhodeIslandAspie on Sun Dec 08, 2013 at 09:12:31 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Oh, I think Pilate would have. (0+ / 0-)

            1) He was already in Jerusalem as a show of Roman might for the duration of Passover.

            2) Rome was very very interested in anyone who tried to stir anything up during Jewish religious festivals, like Passover, that involved getting most of the provincial population into a small portion of the countryside around Jerusalem.

            3) Dealing with anyone with a lot of general public sentiment on his side was a delicate position requiring finesse in how things were handled, particularly if the population was all crammed together in one place.

            In other words, Pilate was there and I'm not so sure he'd have left the situation to a subordinate once he realized he had a potential lit powderkeg on his hands.

            The Roman care with royal terms and issues with anyone who used them without permission would have made a really good 'anyone trying that should have known what'd be happening to him once Rome heard about it' justification for an execution that would have been accepted without rioting.

            The Gospel accounts read to me like a couple of very high ranking local leaders playing Pass The Prisoner to keep from being the one the Emperor blames if a rebellion starts tomorrow and making absolutely sure that no one can even whisper in an alleyway that procedural rules were even slightly bent while also agreeing that an execution as soon as possible is the best result for all of their goals.

    •  If Jesus showed up on the doorstep of many (3+ / 0-)

      people who call themselves Christians, he's be shot.  And his murderer would defend himself with a Stand Your Ground law.

      "In this world of sin and sorrow there is always something to be thankful for; as for me, I rejoice that I am not a Republican." - H. L. Mencken

      by SueDe on Sun Dec 08, 2013 at 09:24:47 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Dirty brown hairball ??? (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        offgrid, SueDe

        Likely wearing a hoodie.

        And yes, the rebellion of 66 CE was put down with slaughter of Jerusalem in 70 CE. That led to rewriting of the Christian texts with elimination of the main End of Days claims connected to Jesus -- who in fact did not bring about a Kingdom of Heaven on Earth as prophesied by scripture.

        If you want a straight line on what Jesus was like, the only concurrent text is the Gospel of Thomas. It's not really a gospel on the model of the bible. It's short poems and quotes.

        Not politically correct. In places, strange.

  •  I'm a former catholic, no special feelings (4+ / 0-)

    about popes in general. The big difference with Francis is that he believes in what most people like to think are the best things about judeo/christianity - Kindness, respect and decent behavior to other human beings, especially those in some need. He acts on his beliefs by actually DOING them.

    The right evangelicals talk, but they have nothing to offer any other human beings except anger and sneering contempt...and the desire to control us all, in god's name, of course...

    The evangelicals are fraudulent assholes...Francis is not.

    Bring me the head of Geraldo Rivera.

    by old mark on Sun Dec 08, 2013 at 07:36:48 AM PST

  •  I'm fascinated by this Pople. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Van Buren, Cassandra Waites

    He really hasn't done anything to change doctrine or any major position of the Church, unless you want to count washing the feet of women on Holy Thursday.

    What he has changed is the tone of the Church. It is a more conciliatory, and inclusive tone. And he has changed the emphases of the economic social issues. The CC ha believe in economic social justice for quite a while, and this includes that last two conservative Popes, but it's been put on the back burner for the last two.

    There are no radical changes, but just these small changes have the right wing ready to burn this Pope at the stake, and the Progressives ready wanting to be the first Catholic Saint who got to be a saint while he is still alive. OK, I'm exaggerating a bit here.

    He's panicked the right, and lifted the hopes of the left. I doubt he will make any big changes, but any changes will be too much for the right, and won't be enough to satisfy the progressives. But if he simply has a more open Church with at atmosphere of free discussion of controversial issues, that will be a tremendous step forward. It will be interesting to see what happens here over the next few years.

    Just another underemployed IT professional computer geek.

    by RhodeIslandAspie on Sun Dec 08, 2013 at 08:18:44 AM PST

  •  The Iraq study group didn't lead us into Irag, (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    waterstreet2013

    it was set up three years after we took the plunge, and was a way to try to get us out of there.

    It would have been nice if this nation had looked before it leaped.

    Just another underemployed IT professional computer geek.

    by RhodeIslandAspie on Sun Dec 08, 2013 at 08:20:44 AM PST

    •  Department of State did look. Had a full plan (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      RhodeIslandAspie

      for after the war transition.

      It didn't look anything like the NeoCon wet dream that happened. And the largely secular constitution would have been preserved. And the main socialist enterprises.

      And the Baathists would have been treated like any other political party. A counterbalance to pro-Iranian Shia.

      •  Just wish we hadn't done it. (2+ / 0-)

        The events of the Arab spring indicate that Saddam would be out power today even if we hadn't invaded 10 years ago. The war wasn't just wrong; it was unnecessary.

        Just another underemployed IT professional computer geek.

        by RhodeIslandAspie on Sun Dec 08, 2013 at 10:03:12 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Saddam would have fought it like Assad. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          RhodeIslandAspie

          And his Baathists were perfectly happy to kill how many ever people it took to keep control.

          Remember, they were the modernizers, the people who built the health care system and the schools.

          Against them, it's the 7th Century plus bombs and machine guns.

          •  One big diff (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            waterstreet2013

            We probably would have still had the military presence in the North that was left over from the Gulf War - left there to protect the Kurds.

            That might have been enough deterrence by it's presence. If not, just a little push might have gotten him out of there, rather than an out and out invasion.

            Iraq is not the Arabian peninsula, nor is Syria. They've got much of the ancient baggage of the 7th century, but I don't believe there is any great desire to go that far back by the populace of either nation. But don't expect any real constitutional government either. It's about loyalty to the warlord, the clan, the mullah, the sect, the ethnic group, and about settling scores. The Arab speaking world may not all a bunch of Wahabis, but there also is very little concept of one of nationhood and nationalism in the modern sense of the world.

            Just another underemployed IT professional computer geek.

            by RhodeIslandAspie on Sun Dec 08, 2013 at 10:45:21 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Saddam was modernized Sunni, as secular (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              RhodeIslandAspie

              as Kurds.

              The 7th Century guys are the al Sadr Shia -- close as can be with the hyper-religious Persians.

              •  Saddam was definitely modern. (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                waterstreet2013

                So was the Shah, and the Soviet backed regime in Afghanistan. All had some policies we'd be in favor of. But they all were quite brutal.

                It's really not the job of the Western world to modernize these nations, only they can do it themselves. We were right not to go to the Shah's rescue, and the Soviet's should have let thrown their client under the bus back in 79. If we don't like Iran today, think what a mess it would have been had we attempted to bear every burden to defend the Shah. And Afghanistan wouldn't be the mess it is if the Soviets hadn't got militarily involved.

                I don't know what the solution is. We aren't ever going to make these nations in our own image, and shouldn't try. But the middle eastern Islamic nations that are more open to outside influences, as opposed to be closed societies, tend to me much more free. I don't think Egypt, Iraq, Libya will go down the hard core fundamentalist root, because the people their are too used to having some basic freedoms. I don't think Iraq will. You may have a despot of sorts, and perhaps some Islamic coloring, but I don't think they'll go the radical route. Not enough support, and more importantly these governments will have the necessity of constructing economies that actually function. Even today's Iran is far less repressive that the Taliban's Afghanistan or Saudi Arabia. I fear what exists in Saudi Arabia more than what might come to be in Syria, because who ever inherits Syria has to find a way to make the trains run - Saudi Arabia has so much oil money in proportion to their population, they can buy out the masses with stipends. It's an interesting future for that part of the world, and interesting is not always guaranteed to be good.

                Just another underemployed IT professional computer geek.

                by RhodeIslandAspie on Mon Dec 09, 2013 at 05:49:54 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

  •  Interesting factoid about Woodrow Wilson (4+ / 0-)

    Wilson was the only US President, I believe, who ever had lived in the Confederacy before taking office (at least one did after).

    Wilson's re-segregating of the federal workforce is enough to make him one of the worst Presidents (in terms of actually policy). If George W. Bush has acted like Wilson, the owner of this blog may have ended up stripped of his citizenship and deported (like Emma Goldman), or else in a federal penitentiary (like Eugene Debs).  

  •  The New Yorker has exceptional cartoons (0+ / 0-)

    this week.

    Try them and the Andy Borowitz blog this week.

    There's a classic from a cartoonist name of Cheney. Not Darth.

  •  I get so sick of people telling teachers (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Cassandra Waites, jfdunphy

    to make their subjects fun or enjoyable.  Do people honestly believe we haven't thought of that?  The biggest problem is that we are being mandated to teach one-size-fits-all curricula with unrealistic pacing so that kids can pass tests.  Those of us with real teacher training are frustrated beyond belief as we know how our kids learn and what we need to do.  Now teacher training is more about being compliant and teaching the provided curriculum--not about designing your instruction to meet the needs of your students.

    “It is the job of the artist to think outside the boundaries of permissible thought and dare say things that no one else will say."—Howard Zinn

    by musiclady on Sun Dec 08, 2013 at 10:26:35 AM PST

    •  One of the institutional obstacles (0+ / 0-)

      to learning math and science is that the student is fed chapter size doses, on a schedule where he/she has to juggle 5 or 5 other chapter size doses of other subjects as well.  I found that once I was free of the artificial time constraints of coursework, I could focus on statistics, then algebra, trig and calculus at my own pace, which picked up the deeper I got into the subjects. One of the reasons that home schooling is seen as an alternative is that it allows the student more freedom to pursue an area that has captured their interest. Today's students have the advantage of on-line computer courses, DVDs, better illustrated textbooks, end even blogs that follow their topics of interest. This should actually be an era that rekindles a resurgence in math and science skills, with areas like biotechnology, robotics, and space exploration. Which is only haphazardly covered in the mainstream media, BTW

  •  Help please (0+ / 0-)

    Please help us put pressure on our Governor to expand Medicaid (Phone number) 334-242-7100 or fax 334-353-0004 governoralabama.gov/contact/

     Please support the citizens of Ala. (Medicaid expansion) please sign the petition http://www.crumpton2014.com/...

    Here's his facebook page also (let him have it) https://www.facebook.com/...

  •  Abstract (aka Modern) Algebra will make your (0+ / 0-)

    brain go round in circles (that's a math joke,) but the applied stuff like Calculus....that whole big heavy text book and maybe a some theory to go along with it could be mastered by most college students.  I'm not saying it is easy but hell, I did it.  Takes a lot of work but it can be done.

  •  Australia (0+ / 0-)

    As an American living in Australia, I am continually boggled.

    Australia is the most American place you can be outside of America. We have racial and cultural diversity, untapped natural resources, a recent history, and a predominantly English population. Just like America.

    However, we have national health care, gun control, a living wage, less income inequality, and a better economy.

    Yet every single time I ask a Republican, "If America is the greatest country on earth, why can't it afford the same things Australia has?" And every single time, I get one of two responses:

    a) "The Australian population is different," which invariably devolves into naked racism.

    b) "   ". That's right, dead silence.

    The correct answer is "Because we don't have Fox news and haven't spent the last 30 years destroying the idea of community." Even when I talk to liberals in America, they sound like right-wingers to me now. The right-wing narrative - that there is no such thing as community, that everyone is personally responsible for everything in their lives - is that ingrained.

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