Excellent Blog
2007 Inspiring Blog
Rockin' Girl Blogger

“Starbase Portland: The Big Picture”

November 20th, 2011

my husband made this movie — check it out.

– nancy

xo

n

gratitude day 19: in support (again) of Occupy Portland

November 19th, 2011

grateful that no shots or tear gas was fired by Portland Police in riot gear who we saw this afternoon, just before dark fell. not saying that they’re not mixing it up as we speak, but they weren’t hurting anyone right when we saw them. we were driving home from my mom’s (Northeast Portland) back out to west side, and there they were heading east over the Burnside Bridge. a whole van of them, hanging off both sides of truck, and inside was full, too.

full riot gear. to me, they looked excited. their body language and all but how can you you tell when someone looks like this.

reminded me of the stormtroopers and made me sick to my stomach. only they’re even more suited up, nowadays.

peaceful protesters need to be left alone. we are peacefully, respectfully telling the government that the U.S. healthcare system is a mess, the banks are on the take, the schools are sinking down, we’re sick of the buy-outs (and criminals walking free who should have been jailed for their crimes), we are tired of war, and the money spent on wargames, bombs and guns.

we want the babies fed, we want to be able to get the bills paid, and we would like to go back to work, please, if only there were jobs out there for us. (jobs that pay a living wage? oh, i’m sorry, is this too much to demand? am I being too demanding? would you like to tear gas me? yeah, i bet you would.)

my note to the Portland Police in Riot Gear, and their Mayor, Sam Adams: it’s like I used to tell my old, drunk friend J when we were out at the bars: if you go out looking for a fight, you’re going to find one. you don’t need to mix it up. please just hear what we are saying, and help.

we have the right to peacefully assemble, and we do have freedom of speech.

Sam, call off your dogs.

– wacky mommy

ps silent vigil tonite at 10 p.m. in front of City Hall, Portland, Ore.

pss this good news showed up about an hour after I posted last night. and then there’s this, too. peace, nancy

gratitude day 18

November 18th, 2011

grateful for photographic and written documentation.

gratitude day 13: Occupy Portland

November 13th, 2011

sending gratitude and support to the Occupiers in downtown Portland. (on Facebook and Twitter too, of course.)

some of the coverage:

CBS News

Huffington Post

Christian Science Monitor

Reuters

Condi Rice protest, 5 pm TONITE Weds. Oct. 19th in Portland, Ore., aka “Lil Beirut”

October 19th, 2011

Rock it. Portland’s peace community will speak out against Condi Rice’s appearance at PSU Fundraiser 5 pm TONITE Oct. 19, 2011 at the Oregon Convention Center, NE 1st Ave. and NE Lloyd Blvd.

day of atonement, again, for Neil Goldschmidt

October 7th, 2011

So. You think they’re atoning today for Yom Kippur? Neil Goldschmidt, Sandra Mims Rowe, Peter Bhatia? And all of their cronies who helped them cover up years of sexual abuse?

I think they probably are not. (Here are Neil and his buddies, yucking it up at late Senator Mark O. Hatfield’s funeral.) (Sometimes, people try to make you look bad, and sometimes you look bad all by your own self.)

Rest in peace, sweet girl. You deserved a lot more. I send you love, and peace.

– wm

Friday BlogHer Book Review: Amy Kalafa’s Lunch Wars

September 30th, 2011

Oh, yeah, I’m tagging this one six ways ’til Sunday. Because when it comes to food? There’s a war on in this world. (This is a paid review for BlogHer Book Club but the opinions expressed are my own, by the by.)

I just finished reading Amy Kalafa’s book, “Lunch Wars” (Jeremy P. Tarcher/Penguin, 2011, 370 pages, $17.95). Kalafa is producer/director of “Two Angry Moms,” a documentary about kids and school lunches. Kalafa is also a holistic health and nutrition counselor and a Lyme disease consultant.

I like the way she set up the book. It’s a handbook and how-to guide, thus the book’s subtitle: “How to Start a School Food Revolution and Win the Battle for Our Children’s Health.” She wrote the book in response to the questions she was asked as follow-up to the documentary, which was a joint effort with Susan P. Rubin, mom and activist, as well as director of A Better Way Holistic Health, a private health counseling practice in New York. Kalafa lays out the numbers, the descriptions, the basic facts, the stats and everything else you need to know to be convinced that our kids are having health problems in this nation, and that some of that stems to their diet. (If you weren’t convinced of that already.)

She also addresses food and poverty, health problems and lack of exercise, PTA wars, school gardens, and pretty much everything under the sun. She’s good, and I found this book to be useful and well-written. She casts a wide net, but she also gets really specific about the issues. She brings up pretty much everyone involved in food politics — from Jamie Oliver to Martha Stewart to Eric Schlosser to Michael Pollan. (Yes, Martha is a political person. She might not be out lobbying, but every time she discusses gardening and talks about organic food, yes, that’s political.) Kalafa sprinkles profiles with other food activists and notables throughout the book — it was a nice touch and makes the book even more credible than it already was.

What I can’t get around is this: You can slap down an Uncrustables sandwich on the counter, wet, soggy, stale and grim, in its crinkly plastic wrapping. Next to it, how about a fresh loaf of whole wheat bread, a jar of peanut butter and the jam jar? You can make a sandwich — a lovely, fresh sandwich, perhaps even one that includes organic peanut butter, jam and bread — and you can ask your guest, “Which looks better?”

The just-made one, of course.

“This is crap” (pointing to the Uncrustables); “This is not crap” (pointing to the fresh sandwich). “Do we really want the kids eating crap?” No, of course not. But you know who’s in bed with the school districts and their money? Smucker’s (Uncrustables), Tyson (crappy chicken pieces). the dairy industry. Then everyone shrugs.

Those of us who have been fighting this battle for years are feeling, right now, empowered and helpless at the same time.

School food = big money for companies. Oh, the dairy industry? Why am I going after them? Because of the chocolate and strawberry milk, that’s why. Rot those teeth, kids, we’re not paying the bills. Whoops! Your parents lost their job(s) and dental insurance? No dentist for you, baby. Maybe if you work rilly rilly hard, and are smart like Tyson and Smucker’s, you can afford insurance! Maybe you should start saving for dentures, though, just in case.

My posts are always too long, my apologies, but here are some fast thoughts:

1) Why can’t kids get water during lunch? (I mean pitchers and cups on the table, not a shared drinking fountain across the room, that, by the way, is broken)
2) Is it that much trouble to offer more vegetarian food? It’s cheaper, and healthier…
3) Why not let the kids get seconds instead of tossing the leftovers in the dumpster?
4) When I see someone using a dirty rag to wipe down a table, then wiping the floor with it, then wiping another table, it makes me want to hurt that person. Gah.
5) We have enough food in this world to go around. So why are so many people going hungry?
6) I still hate war. Food, not bombs. Books, not bombs. Love, not killing…
7) When my daughter was a newborn, the first thing another mom said to me was, Once she’s in school, you won’t want her to eat school lunch. (My thought, “What am I getting into here?”)
8) Growing up, the schools I attended were considered middle-range for poverty, probably. Lots of families with no money, lots of kids eating free or reduced lunch. We had the best cafeteria ladies ever, and everything was homemade and delicious. The parents used to eat with us all the time cuz the food was so good. So when I would read in books about the “horrible” school lunches, Tuna Surprise or Mystery Meat or whatever, it always baffled me.

Why aren’t more people making calls about this? Sending e-mails? Having lunch with their kids, if possible? (Brown bagging, obviously.) Telling the school districts and the USDA that the food lunch program, as it exists now, is unacceptable, especially for kids who are in poverty? For many kids, school breakfasts and lunches comprise most of what they subside on. If you are what you eat, then they are a sausage biscuit, chased with chicken nuggets, tater tots, and as much ketchup, ranch dressing and chocolate milk as they can wolf down and guzzle. There are also a whole lot of kids in the world who can’t digest milk, are allergic to peanuts and/or tree nuts, who are vegetarian, or celiac, who just plain don’t like milk and would prefer water, who don’t need the sugar from juice… on and on.

They are not being served.

It doesn’t take much to offer beans and brown rice instead of a peanut butter sandwich (I’m thinking of kids with allergies). And beans and rice instead of chicken nuggets? Always a good idea. The costs are lower, too. In the cafeterias, they’re giving our kids meat that is not even acceptable animal feed, the grade and quality are that abysmal. I could just throw something right now. How about a box of stale, nasty, frozen pizzas?

I’m remembering an evening many years ago. A friend had dropped by, and brought a friend with her. I didn’t know this person. She started interrogating me about my baby’s diet, Well, we’re vegetarians. If she wants to eat meat when she’s older, she can, but this is how we cook (beans and rice, whole grains, greens, vegetables and fruit. She didn’t like cow’s milk, once we were done nursing — at age 2 — so she drank soy milk, fortified with calcium and iron).

This woman, who was in my space, in my kitchen, started screaming at me that I had to give my daughter meat (we tried, actually, on a number of occasions — neither of my kids has ever cared for meat. But the woman never heard this, because she just kept screaming at me). “You could give her a hot dog! You could give her a hamburger!”

Oh, my Lord. It was awful. I had to stop her, so she would leave. My friend? She just stood there, silent.

I was a new mom — I used to second-guess myself constantly. So I finally came up with, “Why is it OK to take a kid to Jack in the Box, expose them to e coli and they can die from it, but there’s something wrong with what I’m doing?”

She left.

All these years later, it still pisses me off.

Ah, the Lunch Wars and the Food Wars. I’ll keep fighting until you lose.

– wm

Portland news — homeless activism

June 9th, 2011

If you’re in Portland, Oregon, check out Pitch a Tent for the Right 2 Survive.

Cuz we all have the right to survive, and be safe.

Peace.

– wm

Refuting Steve Rawley

June 7th, 2011

This fractures me.

Is Eileen Brady Anti-Labor?

June 2nd, 2011

Hmm. Check this one out. And why is it no one is asking?

– wm

« Previous PageNext Page »