Tag Archive | food

Holes in the Safety Net

These are excerpts from an article in the Washington Post.  The url is at the bottom of my post, in case you want to read it in its entirety.  Meanwhile, I have some thoughts:

“President Trump’s first major budget proposal on Tuesday will include massive cuts to Medicaid and call for changes to anti-poverty programs that would
give states new power to limit a range of benefits, people familiar with the planning said, despite growing unease in Congress about cutting the safety
net.

For Medicaid, the state-federal program that provides health care to low-income Americans, Trump’s budget plan would follow through on a bill passed by
House Republicans to cut more than $800 billion over 10 years. The Congressional Budget Office has estimated that this could cut off Medicaid benefits
for about 10 million people over the next decade.”
*****
In spite of negative imagery that paints a picture of people on Welfare and Medicaid as “moochers” and “manipulators,”  The reality is, the vast majority of people receiving these benefits are there legitimately.  Many of them are very ill or disabled.  Moreover, these programs are monitored on a regular basis, making it very difficult to misuse the system.  Anybody caught doing so can be charged with Welfare fraud.
***

“The White House also will call for giving states more flexibility to impose work requirements for people in different kinds of anti-poverty programs, people
familiar with the budget plan said, potentially leading to a flood of changes in states led by conservative governors. Many anti-poverty programs have
elements that are run by both the states and federal government, and a federal order allowing states to stiffen work requirements “for able-bodied Americans”
could have a broad impact in terms of limiting who can access anti-poverty payments — and for how long.”

****
People receiving benefits in many States are already required to “work toward work.”  In my State, for example, anyone who doesn’t have a disability must take part in a jobs program designed to get them into the work force, starting with volunteer work if appropriate.  It is obvious that a rather large group of people don’t know this.  They assume that those on Welfare are whiling away their days while they collect benefits.  Again, the truth:  The days of sitting home and collecting a Welfare check until your youngest child turns 18 are long over and past.
***

“Trump’s decision to include the Medicaid cuts is significant because it shows he is rejecting calls from a number of Senate Republicans not to reverse
the expansion of Medicaid that President Barack Obama achieved as part of the Affordable Care Act. The House has voted to cut the Medicaid funding, but
Senate Republicans have signaled they are likely to start from scratch.”

***
Dear senators:  Our hope lies with you at this point.
One colossal advantage of the Medicaid extension was that small towns could afford to have a medical clinic.  This allows their citizens to receive care in a timely, healthy way in a non acute setting.  They can now have preventative services and important monitoring without driving at least 200 miles, in some cases, to see a doctor or go to the hospital.  This means better care at far less cost per patient.  This also impacts whole communities; not just individuals.
***

“Trump offered a streamlined version of the budget plan in March, but it dealt only with the 30 percent of government spending that is appropriated each
year. In that budget, he sought a big increase in military and border spending combined with major cuts to housing, environmental protection, foreign aid,
research and development.”

***
Do you have a problem with Mr. Trump’s priorities?  I do.
***
“But Tuesday’s budget will be more significant, because it will seek changes to entitlements — programs that are essentially on auto­pilot and don’t need
annual authorization from Congress. The people describing the proposals spoke on the condition of anonymity because the budget had not been released publicly and the White House is closely guarding details.”
****
This is significant because it forces these programs to compete for funding, along with everything else.  Imagine that you rely on subsidies for food, housing, basic living expenses and medical care.  Now think about how secure your living situation will be if that funding is subject to whatever party has the majority and the mood of the nation.  Basics are necessary if people are to have the time and energy to improve their lives…including the development of job skills and the procurement of employment.
***
Programs in danger include:
Medicaid
SNAP (The modern version of food stamps)
Habitat for Humanity (which, by the way, includes some “sweat equity” on the part of the people getting the house.)
subsidized school lunches (Children learn better when they are not hungry…just a thought.)
“The U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness, which coordinates the federal response to homelessness
across 19 federal agencies.”

“Trump has instructed his budget director, former South Carolina congressman Mick Mulvaney, that he does not want cuts to Medicare and Social Security’s
retirement program in this budget, Mulvaney recently said, but the plan may call for changes to Social Security Disability Insurance, seeking ideas for
ways to move people who are able out of this program and back into the workforce.”
***
Social Security already conducts regular evaluations to determine the ability of beneficiaries.  They also offer assistance, such as the PASS Plan (Plan to Achieve Self Sufficiency) so that anyone who is able can become employed.  It is a grave misconception that people are lazily hanging out on Social Security Disability.  Moreover, SSDI is based on a person’s work history:  He or she has paid into the system, at least a little bit.
One more thing:  There are strict criteria for who is eligible or not, to the point that some people who truly would benefit from SSDI are not enrolled.
Mr. Trump really doesn’t know what he is talking about when it comes to Social Security Disability Insurance.

I do have to say, it’s appalling to me that the ones making these decisions have absolutely NO idea about what these programs are, who benefits and what their lives are like, especially Mr. Trump, who is so isolated from the real world.

I think every congressperson, senator and president should have to live for one year on the amount of money that people in poverty relief programs receive, in the same neighborhoods and with the same level of care.  They might…possibly, maybe, I hope…find some compassion.

One more thing:  This “safety net” affects everybody from the poorest to the wealthiest among us, whether people recognize that or not.

There are more points on which to comment.  If you want to read the article, here it is:
https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/trump-to-propose-big-cuts-to-safety-net-in-new-budget-this-week/2017/05/21/62c01f44-3e34-11e7-adba-394ee67a7582_story.html

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WHAT DID HIPPOCRATES KNOW!

Hippocrates was born c. 460 bc , island of Cos, Greece.  He died c. 375 , Larissa, Thessaly.  He was the most famous ancient Greek physician who lived during Greece’s Classical period and is traditionally regarded as the father of medicin.
Here are some quotes from him.  Given our current knowledge, how would you say he did?

 

Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.
Make a habit of two things: to help; or at least to do no harm.
Walking is man’s best medicine.
Natural forces within us are the true healers of disease.
Healing is a matter of time, but it is sometimes also a matter of opportunity.
It is more important to know what sort of person has a disease than to know what sort of disease a person has.
There are in fact two things, science and opinion; the former begets knowledge, the latter ignorance.
Life is short, the art long.
Wherever the art of medicine is loved, there is also a love of humanity.
Everything in excess is opposed to nature.
%%%%%%%%%%%%

I’d say he did quite well.
It’s amazing, how ancient wisdom turns out to be right on!

RAIN

Delicate jewels that fall to earth,
Cleansing, healing;
Bringing new birth.
Liquid refreshment
That makes everyone smile;
Running for shelter
To rest for a while.

 

Living renewal that makes us clean;
Lifting, cheering;
Comfort unseen.
Soothing revival
That encourages all;
Strength for weary souls
so that we stand tall.

 

Heavenly food given to feed;
Sharing, blessing;
Meeting every need.
Source of life poured out
For all prosperity;
Oh come, precious rain,
Spill all over me!

REFRESHMENT

Funny-Dog-Image

Crisp air mixed with sunshine in the morning.
The first bird songs of Spring.
Crocus in full bloom, surrounded by snow.
Beautiful music that stirs your soul.
A baby’s exuberant laugh.
The sound of a brook or rushing river.
A hot meal at the end of a busy day.
A tall glass of water.
Really good chocolate or wine.
A hot bath that soothes aches and pains.
The cozy feel of lying in bed, just before coming fully awake.
The sound of wind and rain outside, while you snuggle in the blankets.
These are some of the pleasures that bring refreshment; do feel free to share others.

DIFFERENT KINDS OF SLAW

Broccoli Slaw Salad cabbage-kohlrabi-19654887

It’s very cold here today, so my main meal was gravy made with ground elk over mashed potatoes.
To go with it, I made one of my different kinds of slaw.

Typically, it’s cole slaw, which is shredded cabbage with a mayonnaise dressing in its most basic form.  People add various things to that:  Carrot, green pepper, celery, pineapple, onion…  I add any of these, plus dried cranberries.

So here’s to messing with basic salad!

I grew plenty of kohlrabi this summer.  It has a wonderful flavor and texture.  When shredded, it makes fabulous slaw.
Then, there’s kale slaw or the one I made today:  Brussels sprout slaw – shred or finely chop the little dickens into tiny pieces.
Broccoli slaw has gained some popularity.  Most of the time, people shred it, stem and all…okay, after peeling it.
Or super slaw:  Kale, cabbage, kohlrabi, broccoli and Brussels sprouts.  Shred them, add the vegetables (and fruits) you prefer, make the dressing and enjoy.
One distinction of slaw is that it is made with cruciferous vegetables, meaning that lettuce, spinach and most other green leafies don’t qualify.

As for the dressing:
Typical cole slaw dressing is mayonnaise, vinegar and sugar.  There are some variations, such as lemon juice, Cajun seasonings, mustard  or plain yogurt in place of some of the mayonnaise.

I like to make mine by warming olive oil to the point that I can melt honey into it – not too hot – I can still put my finger into it.
Then, a sprinkle of salt and balsamic vinegar.
I don’t like to drown my salad because I want to taste all of the goodies, so tend to dress mine a bit lightly.
There it is, slaw however you prefer it!

SOUP

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In mid summer, when the temperature soars, salad is so delicious!

But now, the thermometer can’t seem to get above 40F and really seems to like plummeting into the 20’s.  Salad?  No, thank you:  Too chilling.

It’s soup season:  Hot, warming, comfort food in a bowl.

There are so many variations:  Made from broth, thick and creamy, full of noodles or rice, spicy or not.

My family says I make stoup.  That would be soup with so many goodies in it, one might think of it as stew; yet there is plenty of broth, so a spoon is needed to eat it.

Forget cold soups this time of year – No cucumber, peach or gazpacho for me!

I’m into hot and cozy.

Oh, and pass the warm bread to go with it, please.

PUT TO BED

Today was more like winter than mid fall:  Cold, windy and wet.  I wouldn’t be at all surprised if it freezes tonight…or snows…or both.

 

Thankfully, my “yarden” is all put to bed.  The hoses are picked up, drained and hung; more delicate bulbs have been dug and put into a box.

 

Some things will die now:  The basil, marigolds and zinias.  I’ll have to plant new ones next year.

 

Other things will go dormant:  The maple tree, delphinium, bee balm and such.  Then, when the soil warms and Spring’s happy call awakens them, they will send up new shoots and tender leavs.

 

A number of birds spend the winter here.  They will find seeds and other delightful bites, at least until the snow covers everything in its cold, white blanket.  Then, they’ll hang out in the elderberry bushes, chattering all at once, like the Ladies’ Aid Society having a gathering.

 

I am tucked in for winter, too.  The air conditioner is in the closet, replaced by a storm window; in fact all of the extra shelter of winter is in place.

 

There is a pile of quilts on my bed, instead of the one light blanket of summer.

 

I am not one to like salad all that much, once the weather turns cold.  Oh, maybe one on the side with hot food for the main course.  Soup, stew and pasta seem more appealing.

 

I like the change of seasons where I live.  Each one has its beauty.

 

Right now, while Autumn reigns, we have lovely days with plenty of sunshine mixed with chilly air; a sweater feels so good.

 

When Winter comes to stay for her season, there will be snowy days that call for favorite music and a pot filled with some yummy, warm comfort food on the stove.

 

Spring ushers in warmth, fragrance and new beginnings.  I especially love the smell as the earth thaws.

 

Then, Summer will arrive with her abundance and openness.  Neighbors come out of hiding to greet each other with such joy.

 

Now, then, is the cozy season, when plants and animals sleep; people gather indoors and the world grows quiet.

 

Good night, Yarden;  sleep well, little rodents who hybernate; see you in the Spring, bees who enjoy all the flowers, stay warm and safe, okay?