“My rule of thumb is pretty simple: whenever you hear a quote about Obamacare, it’s more illuminating to remove the “care” part. And Obama is a symbol of change people cannot understand, are frightened by, and seek refuge from.”—The Tea Party As A Religion « The Dish (via redcloud)
“Although I have felt compelled to write things down since I was five years old, I doubt that my daughter ever will, for she is a singularly blessed and accepting child, delighted with life exactly as life presents itself to her, unafraid to go to sleep and unafraid to wake up. Keepers of private notebooks are a different breed altogether, lonely and resistant rearrangers of things, anxious malcontents, children afflicted apparently at birth with some presentiment of loss.”—Joan Didion (via michaelleviton)
“Think about that for a moment. The only way the Speaker can keep his job is to inflict serious economic damage on the country. That’s the measure of his mettle. We can get lost in the tick-tock of this, and forget to step back and realize that this remains one of the most reckless, nihilist gambits by any political party in my adult lifetime – up there with impeaching Clinton, which, at least, wouldn’t have plunged the entire world into a second depression. The more extremist they get, the more dangerous they become. If we can survive this self-induced fiasco, we have surely one overwhelming imperative – to get as much constructive things done in the next year and then launch a huge effort to rid the House of these fanatics in 2014. It won’t be easy, but it’s getting urgent.”—The Dish (via azspot)
One in six people in this country, or roughly 48 million Americans, face this reality. At the same time, they confront other obstacles and manage to deal with more pressing challenges every day. The statistics are alarming. However, it wasn’t until I participated in the challenge and heard stories from the hundreds of people who responded to my blog posts that I really understood what a life of food insecurity means.
One person wrote me, “It’s not about a weeklong ‘challenge.’ It’s about months. It’s about deciding whether to eat or buy heart medicine or diabetic drugs. … It’s about knowing that this week is followed by another and another and another. It’s not about (whether or not food is) boring. It’s about living.”
I believed at first that by taking the challenge to eat on $4.50 a day diet, I could raise awareness about hunger. What has become clear is that those who are “food insecure” — or even those living close to that edge — are all too aware of their circumstances.
Helping the hungry is not a zero sum game. We can discuss policy, and undoubtedly each of us will land on one side or the other of the political debate.
Unfortunately, the debate we often hear in Washington leads to thinking that the issue can be seen in black or white, right or wrong, good or bad.
We all know there are people who abuse the system. I have no doubt that there are some people who accept SNAP benefits when they either don’t need the assistance or may not use them appropriately. But SNAP is really an efficient program. There are small problems with the system — but there always are in large, complex systems.
Tens of millions of people, most of whom are elderly or have children, rely on this safety net to help them cope with very difficult situations beyond their control. And we can all acknowledge our shared responsibility to help these fellow citizens survive and ultimately create productive lives of dignity.
Throughout my SNAP Challenge, I kept returning to the same questions: What kind of society do we want to live in? Do we want to live in a country that turns a cold shoulder to the problem of hunger, or one in which we work together to face it head on?
We, in corporate America, must be part of the solution. At Panera, we have tried to stretch ourselves to think of how to address hunger in new ways and challenge others to do the same. We have developed five nonprofit "Panera Cares" community cafes with no set prices and have donated hundreds of millions of dollars in products to food banks. Our view is that unless we at Panera take care of the world that we live in, there won’t be any society left to support us.
If the past week has taught me anything, it’s that hunger is not a problem of “them,” it’s a problem of “us.” Hunger exists in every community, in every county, in every state. Simply put, this is our problem to solve, and it’s time to do so.
“How many more times do we have to say that weapons of mass destruction were used, and as bad as it is to decapitate somebody, (using chemical weapons) is by no means equal. We can’t use this false moral equivalence about what’s going on right now. They tried to do it in the second World War, they tried to do it in Bosnia, they tried to do it in Rwanda, and they’re trying to do it now. There is no moral equivalence.”—
CNN’s CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, not having any of your “but bombs and other conventional weapons of warfare are just as bad as Syria using chemical weapons” bullshit, on AC 360.
On Sunday the Baton Rouge Advocatereported on a disturbing trend: A full decade after the Supreme Court struck down anti-sodomy laws as unconstitutional violations of a right to privacy, the East Baton Rouge sheriff’s department was continuing to enforce the state’s…