weebles wobble 30


A twelve-year-old getting liposuction is the most revolting documentary sequence I have seen in quite some time.

The scene was from a movie called Killer at Large: Why Obesity is America’s Biggest Threat.  I thought the film did a credible job of “uncovering” the truth that hides in plain sight on every street in every city in America.  Good facts and figures, even if they did miss a couple of obvious connections that are vitally important to the debate.

Check out the trailer after the break.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SRSGUZrOU_w&hl=en&fs=1&color1=0x5d1719&color2=0xcd311b]

What struck me most about this movie was how the filmmakers gave us a pass for faulty DNA and too much stress as triggering our massive over-consumption of food, but failed to make the leap to the actual cost of all those fat people getting sick or to explain the mechanisms that allow them to feed their “hardwired evolutionary urges” in the first place.  We are to the point now where two-thirds of the country is overweight or obese.  Let’s chew on that one again.  Two-thirds of the citizens of the United States of America are either overweight or obese.

That shit doesn’t just happen by accident.  This high-calorie reality was created, through means both public and private.

A favorite film of mine on the subject of why this country is getting so fricking fat is King Corn. In this brilliant documentary, the filmmakers take the audience through a typical growing season in the American Midwest.  We learn all about the nutritionally-bankrupt corn they grow instead of the variety of fruits and vegetables that used to thrive there.  We witness the destruction of the family farm as the engine of rural economic development.  We learned who is responsible for the epidemic of corn-fed zombies roaming our malls looking for their next value-sized 1,400 calorie meal.  A former Secretary of Agriculture named Earl Butts was the culprit.  Apparently he thought it was too much work growing up on a farm and wanted to make things easier on farm folk.

The irony is almost absurd.

The reason this leads me to the conclusion that corn and corn subsidies are the single biggest cause of increased health care costs is actually pretty simple.  Overweight and obese people are sicker than skinny people, all other data points being equal.  The diseases they get are chronic and many take a long time to kill them with the possible exception of cancer.  There is also that general feeling of being sick when you eat too much.  If I felt that way all the time, you can bet your plus-sized ass (I am only guessing, but I have a 2/3 chance of being right) I would be at the doctor all the time looking for a cure.

I know this sounds kind of harsh and it is meant to.  We can spend a trillion dollars over the next ten years fixing health care and it will never be enough if we don’t fix our fat problem.  That means taking commodity corn off the government subsidy list.  It also means shifting those dollars toward subsidizing real family farms growing crops that are actually nutritious and need no more processing than a pair of teeth, saliva and stomach acid.  We take hemp off the banned substances list in order to use it to reinvigorate our soil and take away the need for petroleum-based fertilizers.  We figure out ways to create a close-looped system that can feed us without enormous inputs or hazardous outputs.

That means kill the factory pig and cow farms, too, and agree to spend 20% more for our meat as long as it is locally and ethically produced.

I recently went the emergency room thinking I was having a heart attack after having worked out a little too hard.  It was a weird combination of sore pectorals combined with sore trapezoids.  Anyway, the nurse hooked me up to an EKG within fifteen minutes of arriving and let me know I wasn’t having a heart attack and sat me in the waiting room to speak to a doctor.

For six hours.

This is one reason I don’t use the medical system in addition to feeling pretty good from a health perspective.  I left without seeing a doctor, but that is another blog post.  The main thing I was cognizant of the entire time we were waiting was the enormous amount of enormous people waiting to be seen,  There are even double-wide chairs for some.  I would say 80% of the people waiting with us would be overweight or obese.  That may not have been why they were there, but it is pretty good anecdotal evidence of the problem.

This is just a rough sketch of what I think makes an enormous bottom-line impact on health care costs.  If we ignore the America diet and the growing size of our collective bellies, no amount of health care reform will be enough.  No public plan could raise sufficient funds through taxes or premiums to cover a nation of 320 million weebles on the edge of falling down.  Not going to happen.  No matter how many insurance companies will kill or how many rules we create or whatever medical IT system emerges.

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30 thoughts on “weebles wobble

  • matyra

    Jason, great points all. It’s the implementation that is difficult. One could envision a synergy between the FDA and whatever health care organization oversight board (probably the Dept of Health and Human Services (HHS)?). But it would also take a lot of legislation to roll back some of the bad practices that our government subsidizes.

    One thing that has to change how Americans think that food is a form of freedom. Sure, what we buy and eat is our choice. But when much of our “food” isn’t (I think we were joking about cookie dough manufacturing recently) food at all and instead is a conglomerate of empty carbohydrates and chemicals, then it’s just something that’s built to deceive people into believing it is food.

    Other thinks ripe for a smackdown: Restaurant portion sizes. Corn syrup (try Mexican coke sometime–we gave up a lot of taste when we went to corn syrup). Sugar is subsidized too. Factory farming.

    My thinking is that what’s happened to our food system is analogous to what happened to our transportation system. We focused on one thing too much and now have sprawling waistlines; increased traffic in our hospitals; and more oversized people that tend to roll over, get sick more often, and increase costs dramatically. It’s time to diversify our food system, think about health along with or instead of purely profitable foods, offer cheaper healthy choices, and look into what it is that we call food.

    Rant, and bad traffic analogy, over.

    • Jason Everett Miller

      It’s a great analogy, I think. A saner design would be focused on urban development with rural areas for growing real food close to population centers.

      Instead, we paved over farmland and turned farms into commodity-corn facilities. All that excess corn turned our previously nutritious meat products into fat transport systems. We subsidize big business at the expense of small business when it is the latter that truly sustains an economy while the former goes on destructive binges of limited resources.

      We do everything exactly wrong, so the problem isn’t what solution to try first. It is to try a more holistic approach to the whole system. We won’t get rid of Washington DC’s inertia until we banish our own. Vote out incumbents who perpetuate this unsustainable status quo by finally turning out for primaries in greater numbers than the mostly symbolic general election in November.

      The problem is huge, but the solutions are surprisingly simple. Our “leaders” don’t want to actually change or they would have already gotten there ahead of a couple of powerless bloggers on a blog that probably won’t bob to the top at this point. I don’t think we are all that smart or that they are particularly stupid. We have the system we have because that is what they wanted to create and maintain.

      It is a Medusa monster of our own creation that we must kill to save ourselves. It is going to require more effort on behalf of both party’s rank and file to get it done than we have been capable of since World War II. Perhaps the Civil Rights era.

      A long damn time in any case and our challenges are even greater today.

  • miguelitoh2o

    I think there’s also a strong component of exercise, or the lack thereof, that contributes to our general health and well being. A less sedentary and more physically active lifestyle would go a long way toward counteracting at least some dietary lapses. Diet accounts for a lot of what you’re describing, but if the average 65 year old American has spent 9 years of his/her life watching TV, the odds are we’re not getting enough exercise as well. I guess it could be worse, had we spent those 9 years watching TV in a doctor’s waiting room.

    • matyra

      This is somewhat related to how we’ve designed our cities. In cities where walking is acceptable or even necessary, people walk a lot more. If we are serious about climate change mitigation, there needs to be more than CAFE standards that are changed. How planners think about city design is actually pretty important–right now most absolutely to drive to do the most mundane chore.

      Think Texas. Big sprawling cities where only the crazy or broke walk. Also the state where many of the most overweight people wobble.

      • Jason Everett Miller

        Or think of Super Size Me the movie. Spurlock had to move to LA in order for the experiment to work. He walked too much as a resident of NYC. We have the answers we need. Somehow we have lost the will.

    • Jason Everett Miller

      I think our sedentary lifestyle combined with a newly toxic diet has led to our current dilemma. Either one alone would have been OK, but combined we have a perfect storm of high-calorie diets combined with a couch-potato public, all of it made worse through short-sighted government policies that rob Peter to pay Paul.

  • dickday

    Preventive medicine is a must.

    And, as you point out, health care is a complicated subject.

    I remember when a hero of my childhood, Micky Mantle received a liver transplant.

    As far as I was concerned, the man ‘earned it’. Ha!

    I still believe it although he did not live that much longer. The press just took after him for a drinking problem.

    What if he had been taking steroids? What if oxycontin was the issue?

    The fact is that men and women sit on boards that decide these issues. Every day. These boards or panels end up with more power than the courts at times. Who will live? Who will die?

    Now, Jason, we know from an anthropological perspective as well from a psychological perspective one rule:

    THE OTHER GUY’S SINS ARE WORSE THAN MY OWN.

    I do not have an answer. Three times in my life I went on my own diet exercise program and lost between 60 and 80 pounds. Always took 6 months or so.

    We as individuals have responsibilities.

    And rich people will always be able to buy health care. We cannot stop that.

    Should a system be set up so that ‘fat people’ and smokers and drinkers and drug users and over thin models and ‘untrained’ veggies and red meat lovers and fast food junkies lose their access to health care.

    And how much info do we glean from ‘application forms’

    The one thing we glean from ‘House’ is that people lie about their sins. And sometimes the patient has put himself in a situation where he is at risk and does not know it.

    Another issue may be:

    Whose responsibility is it for the disease or injury and should the person or corporation carry through on that responsibility.

    Worker’s Comp is set up so that the the employer is paying for medical care related to the disease or injury (thru mandatory ins)

    No-fault ins is set up so that the driver’s insurance company pays for treatment of injuries received in an automobile accident (again mandatory no-fault ins)

    Liability insurance may be responsible for treatmentof injuries related to pollution,
    accidents that are part and parcel of the industry’s forseeable impact on society….

    I do not have THE answer.

    BUT I WANT EVERYONE TO HAVE ACCESS TO GOOD, QUALITY MEDICAL CARE and I want this 17% inflation rate on this industry to STOP RIGHT NOW and I do not feel that for profit corps are the answer to this mess.

    THE END

    Oh and fine post Jason.

    • Jason Everett Miller

      All good distinctions, DD.

      The thing I found to be most startling was the rapid rise in health care costs, across the board, almost exactly matches the rapid rise in obesity over the last two decades. That no one is discussing the correlation to rising costs is absurd.

      As you point out, there are all kinds of behaviors that are potentially damaging to us, but the basic building blocks of the American diet are poisonous in many ways even without overindulgence. I think we could consume red meat without ill affects if it wasn’t loaded with antibiotics and the cows fed nothing but corn, not to mention other cows. We used to have essentially the same diet, only in smaller servings and without the nutritionally-bankrupt fillers.

      I smoke American Spirit cigarettes, perhaps five or six a day, but am rarely sick. Is it moderation? Is it smoking a brand that has zero additives? Is it my mostly healthy diet and daily walking? Is it all of the above? I don’t think we have to be militant in order to fix the problems inherent in the system, most of them self-created through precedent and inertia.

      I would love to rewind some of our so-called improvements back to a time when we did it the right way. I think that is a message both liberals and conservatives could get behind with the proper tone and tenor.

  • OldenGoldenDecoy

    My Father was from Iowa . . .

    Home of big fat hogs, home made ice cream, and Killer Corn . . .

    He and his sister both died from the effects of diabetes. Ugly deaths.

    I have had no signs whatsoever of diabetes, but there were early signs of bad cholesterol and in my case weight does not have a thing to do with it .

    I am 6-3 and 160 lbs. and have maintained that exact weight since high school. I’ve always run stairs and also bike 12 miles daily.

    Twelve years ago during my big 5-0 check up I had high levels of LDL. Be it that my weight and blood pressure were no problem, controlling the cholesterol was simply accomplished by changing my ratio of greens, grains, vegetables and legumes (grown locally within 25 mi) versus my saturated type fat food intake (raised locally with strict conditions). 5 to 1. Two ounces of meat to 10 ounces of greens, grains, vegetables and legumes.

    My Mother had high LDL cholesterol in addition to low-blood pressure and she was always thin of build. She had to take medication for her problems and died of cardiovascular disease.

    And as small note: I consume nothing with high-fructose sweetners. I do eat a moderate amount of fresh fruit in season only grown here at home.

    Hey! I might live another 20 years. Then again, I may drop dead this afternoon, but if I do, at least my last years will have been quality years.

    Great blog piece here Mister Bluster . . .

    Recommended!

    ~OGD~

    • Jason Everett Miller

      Thanks for dropping by. Glad to see the bluster could be put to good use.

      I suspect your example is one that many could follow when “diet and exercise” aren’t enough. It seems to me that you made specific choices that had specific returns without a huge net change to your lifestyle. I have always been thin as well, no matter what my diet and exercise was at the time, so I think I wasn’t really healthy until we eliminated 90% of the high-fructose corn syrup from our diet.

      We still have pure-cane soda in moderation and other “naughty” things as well. They just aren’t made from shit. That seems to have made all the difference with very little real effort on our part beyond shopping at the farmer’s market and Whole Foods at a net increase of perhaps 25% or 30% in our food bill, which we made up for by not eating out as much.

      The most frustrating part for me is that this is all relatively new and almost entirely absent from our common narrative.

  • synchronicity

    First of all, all of the problems we face are much more complex than we would like. Suggesting we can’t get health care reform because of the the economy is silly because real reform would save so much money… well health care costs, the economy, our food supply, lack of education, and on and on…are interrelated.

    Our lifestyle and way of going about things in general isn’t working for us. Our country needs an overhaul.

    Now my story on obesity. First of all I was a very normal child, active, with a normal metabolism. We ate a lot of canned vegetables, soup, complete garbage, but I am sure the meat and local produce we ate back then had more nutritional content than the meat and produce you would find in a regular grocery store today.

    My mother was overweight during my childhood, not any longer. At one point my father tried to mess with me sexually and while I was able to stop things from escalating into a full blown assault by telling people and alienating both my parents, I also ended up being the talk of the town and experience difficulty not just from the experience itself but then the trauma of teenage boys coming to my door, asking to play with me, propositioning me, etc. My mother’s response was to start sharing her ‘comfort’ food with me. She taught me to stuff my emotions and by getting fat, I was no longer the target of young or old men’s sexual desires. I weighed 276 pounds by the time I was twelve. I was also raised as a Christian Scientist so I never went to doctors for physicals or when I was sick.

    I lost a lot of weight when I was 16 basically starving myself wanting to be normal again and ended up nearly dying from gall stones. My first encounter with doctors was to have surgery, that I personally insisted on after a near death experience.
    Later in life, after my first serious relationship partner turned out to be shizophrenic and incredibly unhealthy I retreated again into food and the comfort of weight/being unattractive as safe.
    Another thing that happened was that I had a drive to heal myself. From the time I was 9 I asked to see psychiatrists but was denied. When I went off to college I started seeking psychotherapy and personal growth opportunities. I later moved to Boulder, CO and started dancing a lot and eating healthier because it’s sort of rampant here. I started buying organic produce and meat and also found many opportunities for healing. Eventually I lost a lot of weight and my lifestyle became much healthier than it was during my childhood. It took time though to overcome some of the bad habits.

    At the highest point my weight was 350 pounds. I have probably lost hundreds of pounds over the years and while I would still be considered overweight for my height, I would no longer be considered obese. While I might enjoy being the ‘perfect’ weight, to have lost so much weight and kept it off for so long now is satisfactory me.

    I shared all of this because I have a certain personal perspective on this subject. Health is not just physical, it is also emotional, mental, psychological, and some might argue spiritual. The cheapest food tends to provide the highest amount of calories and contain the least amount of nutrition. It is very easy to be suffering malnutrition while being obese because of this fact.

    The field of psychology has not evolved much over the years and I had the good fortune of stumbling on many very effective tools that many people would frown on just because of the simplicity and the sources. Many people pay someone to sit with them while they constantly reactivate trauma and don’t ever heal much of it. I was always very driven for real progress. In demonstration of how psychology has not evolved very much as a whole, I have counseled the head of the Integral Psychology department, to his own amazement and he wondered how ‘I’ was able to do what I did (to which I respond, Awareness, practice, study, personal experience and interest).

    The breakdown of systems from food production and cost to education, to psychological help are so big you can drive a truck through them. How do you locate where all of these breakdowns began? Where and how do you fix them? They ALL need to be addressed, not one without the other.

    In summary I guess my point is yes, the fact is a majority of our country is obese… and what else are they… educated, emotionally healthy, psychologically healthy, living in healthy environments, etc.? Pick that one factor, obesity, and limited reasoning for it’s existence and it’s just a new way to compound the problem by making it seem simply a result of irresponsible behavior. It is so much more complex than that.

    • miguelitoh2o

      Emotional components to obesity are undeniable. My comment above about TV watching/lack of exercise could easily have an emotional health factor in its’ frequency in our population. Something about living our lives in a state of stress, largely dissociated from the particulars of our existence, (where does our food come from? Our clothing? etc.), then trying to reconnect with ourselves while basking in the glow of our 37″ plasma screens, leaves something essential to our well being unaddressed. Now the computer is replacing some of our TV viewing for many of us and while it is more interactive than the boob tube, it also doesn’t clear out one’s mind like the rush of endorphins from a good workout might. As a side note I have put on weight since I started blogging, though I also quit smoking about the same time. I killed my TV years ago. Maybe my computer should be next?

      • synchronicity

        As you suggest our entire lifestyle is unhealthy and the level of obesity is one ‘symptom’ of that.
        Congrats on quitting smoking.

    • Ramona

      I shared all of this because I have a certain personal perspective on this subject. Health is not just physical, it is also emotional, mental, psychological, and some might argue spiritual. The cheapest food tends to provide the highest amount of calories and contain the least amount of nutrition. It is very easy to be suffering malnutrition while being obese because of this fact.

      Synchro, bravo for telling your story so beautifully. We need to study obesity and overweight from all aspects, not just from the amount or kinds of food we eat.

      I remember well the argument that poor people tend to be overweight, so it must mean they’re uncontrollable gluttons. My argument was the same as yours–sugars and starches are filling and cheap, but calorie-laden without much nutrition. You can buy a box of macaroni and powdered cheese for something like 33 cents–about the cost of a small orange–and feed two or three kids. Which one would someone with no money choose?

      This is a great topic with some great comments. Thank you, all.

    • Jason Everett Miller

      Thank you for so much for being brave enough to add a personal aspect to this national dilemma.

      I don’t think it is entirely a matter of personal will-power that has led to this problem. The very food society says its okay to eat is what is killing us. We created this problem through government regulations to encouraged certain business practices instead of others.

      I think we are failing each other by not being cognizant of the choices we make every day and by allowing the current status quo to be the replacement for something that was much healthier, if still vulnerable to the vagaries of human nature.

    • Jason Everett Miller

      PS: I am very sorry for any inconsiderate words. They are mainly for shock value because I think we have failed our fellow citizens in so many ways and can’t seem to see the forest for the trees.

      • synchronicity

        No need to apologize Jason. I was merely trying to demonstrate through my own story the complexities and actualities that can lead to obesity along with those you mentioned.

    • synchronicity

      One more point here. I don’t know how many people joke about ‘hating’ gym class. But that certianly doesn’t lend itself to actually helping kids be more active. Discovering physical activity that we enjoy is the key. I ‘love’ to dance. I will dance sweating and out of breath. I love to hike with a friend. I enjoy swimming slow deliberate laps for an hour, it’s sort of meditative and I make a deliberate attempt to swim each stroke in balance. My point, kids learn to hate activities from being in gym class, often being shamed and embarrassed, instead of having fun being active. I don’t know that many grown ups that would ride their bike, run, etc if they didn’t enjoy doing it… so there’s another piece of this puzzle.

  • destor23

    Ban the use of high fructose corn syrup in consumer products and you solve a lot of the problem. The stuff is pure poison.

    • Jason Everett Miller

      It amazes me it isn’t already illegal given the data. The organic farming organizations should hire those people as their lobbyists.

      • destor23

        Indeed… but we got corn subsidies AND sugar subsidies in place now and no one willing to give up either.

        So sad. Sugar’s not even really that bad for you if it’s unrefined and used in moderation. Corn’s good for you too. Natural and stone ground or right off the cob.

        I’m not one of those who believes everything is better without modern farming or even some genetic modification. I’m all for higher crop yields, especially in a world where people are starving. But, come on… high fructose corn syrup? For what purpose?

        • Jason Everett Miller

          I don’t think the sugar subsidies even come close to what’s going on with corn.

          Not only is it used as a sweetener, which is bad enough nutritionally, but it used as a cheap filler for just about every other food and everything that is left over gets fed to livestock, making them fatter and less nutritious.

          It really is a perfect storm of stupidity.

  • clearthinker

    This is really a fantastic blog, Jason, I’m glad you started it.

    Most people probably know about SUPERSIZE ME, but it’s worth mentioning if they don’t.

    I would also recommending reading the book FAST FOOD NATION, although you can get the articles it was based on here.

    Both of these entities (of which I know you are aware) deal with the corporate aspects of consumption. Of course, as OGD points out above, a little control and mastery of your environment goes a long way.

    About 10 years ago, I decided to halt my intake of soda. I now only drink water with meals. Interestingly, I dropped about 5 lbs immediate, just be switching to water. In addition, by constantly hydrating with a hydrating element, my skin looks pretty young. It turns out that by providing the proper solvent for all of one’s biochemical reactions, the body tends to hum merrily along much better.

    PS Please blog about the 6 hour wait. I suspect that could be a comedy/tragedy classic here.

    • Jason Everett Miller

      That wait was absurd. After three hours, I started to get curious as to just how long it would take. After five hours, I was ready to hurt someone. There were people in there longer than I was who seemed in worse shape, too.

      That’s what I get for having insurance. I can’t imagine the level of service for those without that little white card.

      Super Size Me was a great flick, though I think he opened himself up to unnecessary criticism by virtue of the “experiment” he conducted. No one eats that much McDonald’s, so it became easier for Americans at large to simply ignore the larger message. Both puns seem needed. Spurlock made the same mistake that Michael Moore makes – using sensationalism to sell an already sensational story.

      Some stories sell themselves.

  • Cindy Etal

    Excellent post, Jason.

    I’m observing little bits of raised awareness on this subject. For example, HuffPo had a link to a piece about 12 foods for optimum health in Forbes of all places. I emailed it to all my relatives and they actually read it.

    Community gardens are springing up in our area and Earth Boxes (box garden in a kit) have become popular. It’s too hot right now to plant here, but three households of my family will each start up a box garden with different types of food crops when it cools off in September. We’ll have good variety come harvest time if we’re vigilant in controlling pests and fungi. I’ve gotten information from our county extension service about beneficial insects and strategic placement of the boxes. They love to hear from us.

    Sometimes people have to reach a point where their lives are intolerable in order to change their lifestyles. It looks like lots of them are fast reaching that tipping point. They’re realizing no one can eat right and exercise for them. I’m cautiously optimistic change is afoot.

    • Jason Everett Miller

      Thanks for the kind words.

      I agree that awareness is slowly rising and that a tipping point for a great many things is finally at hand. I would love to see farming policies that don’t make community gardens necessary. We didn’t always grow food this way. If you get a chance, see King Corn. It amazed me that one man could have such a detrimental effect on an entire country via one ill-considered policy.

      I suspect most people are barely on board with eating fresh vegetables, let alone growing them. I, for one, am quite adept at killing plants unless they aren’t meant to be eaten. We try to buy as much as we can from the farmer’s market each week in Dupont Circle. Second largest on the east coast behind Union Square in NYC. We are lucky given our locations.

      Now, I just need to get my exercising back up to speed to I can avoid heading back to the hospital, despite the narrowness of my ass.

      • Cindy Etal

        Jason, you are so right about farm policies. The system of subsidies is particularly egregious. They’re outdated and largely responsible for the disparity in price between processed foods and fresh. It has to be overhauled.

        We’re fortunate here to have several thriving organic food stores with outstanding selection, much of which is locally grown. I can’t remember when I last bought any kind of ready-made food. I’m willing to pay for organic and do without other things.

        It’s become a habit to chop vegetables and toss them in the steamer when I get home from work. The rest, i.e. kitcheree, chana masala, etc., I prepare on weekends and freeze in glass containers. I work out to some video or other while dinner is cooking. It’s become a way of life.

        Several members of my family are overweight. However, it seems a combination of internet/emails and television have (surprisingly) awakened them to related health issues, which is good to see. The right message is somehow filtering through all the garbage. They’re beginning to associate consequences with what they eat.

        Thanks for suggesting “King Corn,” and good luck with the exercising!

  • AlaskaGrown

    JEM –
    Excellent post – see Ramona’s post and Bill Moyer’s interview today as well and you’ll get the corporate insurance angle:

    http://www.pbs.org/moyers/journal/07102009/watch2.html

    You’d think the insurance companies would figure this out and start paying or lobbying for organics, preventative care, etc. But then the premiums go down, not up…

    In the meantime, buy organic locally grown food absolutely as much as you can. Grow your own in the backyard, in pots on the porch or by a window. Walk. Bike.

    Fundamentally, we as a society must change our relationship to consumption, and this economic and health crisis is the tip of the rapidly melting iceberg.

    • Jason Everett Miller

      Thanks, AG. I am Alaska grown myself.

      I did see Ramona’s post as well as the program it referenced. Bill Moyers should be a network anchor. The guy is hidden on PBS, which makes it hard to have an impact. Then again, I guess if he was on the corporate media, he wouldn’t be nearly as good.

      I am surprise the tobacco lobby hasn’t already gotten weed legalized. The short-sightedness of a lot of industries baffles me. I read a report that Defense Secretary Gates actually wants to work toward lower DoD budgets as the current rate of spending is unsustainable. That is one of those pigs flying moments that I thought I would never see from a professional warrior. Too much truth in that statement.

      I suspect this “new-found” sense of logic and propriety will soon become the norm now the jig is almost up.