Food for the Tummy, Food for Discussion, Food for Thought

Ah, lunchtime. The time one’s thoughts turn to food.

Food for the Tummy

Two items related to food.

Food for Discussion
The following are some topics I expect to be heating up the discussion boards:

  • Muslim Politicians. We’re seeing a new trend in politics: more and more Muslims are running for office. Although this is sure to raise the FUD factor from the fearful, it’s nothing new. I remember learning about the fears when Jews got involved in politics (Horrors! It’s that Zionist conspiracy!), and many of us can still recall the fears about John Kennedy being Catholic (Horrors! The Pope will control the government!). I think it is a good thing, for it demonstrates that, no matter what some believe, modern progressive Muslims are just like everyone else: concerned about their family, their community, and they country, and their faith is personal. The distinction is not the religion, but the level of fanaticism. Don’t believe me? Westboro Baptist Church is protesting at Elizabeth Taylor’s funeral.
  • Anchor Babies. Sure to get people riled up is this report out of San Gabriel, where a makeshift “birthing ward” for Chinese women was shut down. For a fee, Chinese women received room and board and a chance to deliver their babies in the United States and become mothers to instant U.S. citizens. Evidently, Southern California is a hub for this stuff.
  • Hypocrites. USA Today is reporting that for all their talk about eliminating earmarks, House Republicans left almost half of the earmarks in the spending bills untouched: $4.8 billion worth (and yet they found the time to go after allocations of less than $200 million … less than 4% of those earmarks… for NPR).

Food for Thought
When you read the comments on these stories (especially the last one), you see articles bemoaning our foreign aid, indicating that the US should not be involved outside of our borders. That’s isolationism, and that doesn’t work… especially in this day and age. Our oil rates went up recently not because of any shortage of supply or refining capacity, but because of fears that Libya would cut their supply. Prices have gone down because of the situation in Japan. Shutdown of manufacturing has not only affected plants in Japan, but is affecting Japanese manufacture’s lines in the US, as well as causing shutdowns for US manufacturers. Problems in Japan are costing US jobs. And Japan isn’t our only worry: Portugul is facing economic collapse, which threatens the entire Euro zone… who tend to buy US products. We’re in a global economy, and we can’t just stick our heads in the sand, be instransigent, or throw temper tantrums to get our way.