Tuesday, February 14, 2012

A repost, because it's important.

and because I am neither as smart or as wise as Karina...

Government Pork, by Karina Fabian

Once there was a wonderful town full of people who loved to eat, and many wonderful and varied restaurants that served excellent food: Italian and French, Japanese and Mongolian, Middle Eastern and even a kosher delicatessen. Not everyone liked every restaurant, of course, and some people even thought particular restaurants were odd, but they appreciated the variety available to all.

There were also a lot of pig farmers in the area, and people enjoyed the fresh pork. One year, they had a mayor who loved fresh pork. He thought it was the right of everyone in the town to have pork at any meal they wanted. “Why,” he’d say,” if there was only one meal I could give my kids, it’d be pork chops!” Of course, lots of the people loved pork as well, and they applauded his enthusiasm.

One day he sat in his office, thinking about how much he and others liked pork, and he decided that every restaurant should serve pork, at every meal. Oh, maybe not every individual would want to eat pork, but they deserved the right to have it on their plate so they could choose! And so, he set out a decree that all restaurants would serve some form of pork in every meal.

Well, the delicatessen and the Middle Eastern restaurant were upset by this. They couldn’t serve pork—it was against their religions. So they went to the Mayor and asked to be excused from this rule. “After all,” they said, “people know we never serve pork.”

“But you should. People have the right to pork. Some of you customers eat pork. Even some of your employees enjoy a good ham!”

“And if they wish to, they may–but not in our restaurants,” the owners said. “It’s against the kind of restaurants we are to serve pork. And we have customers who do not want pork, who would be offended and do not want to pay for pork.”

“Well, I’m offended that you won’t serve it—and I’m sure other pork lovers agree that your attitude is most disagreeable.”

“Our customers and our employees know where we stand, and they continue to frequent our restaurants and work for us. We serve them well, but we do not serve them pork. We have the right to our own menus. We should not be forced.”

But the mayor stood firm. “No,” he said. “Everyone has the right to have pork, and it’s my duty to make sure it’s always available, whether you agree or not. It’s healthier than beef anyway. If you don’t like it, you can pay a fine and stop serving food—or you can close down.”

The restaurant managers refused to change their menus. Many people stood by them—because they, too, would not eat pork and didn’t want to pay for it; or because they agreed that restaurants should choose their own menus; or because they didn’t like the mayor telling people how to run their own businesses. The movie theaters stood by him, because they were afraid if the Mayor could change menus, he might also start dictating what shows would be played.

The pork lovers, however, were incensed. How dare the restaurants not give them pork if they wanted it?

“I can’t eat beef; what should I do then?” one demanded. “Do you just want to send me away to starve?”

“We have other dishes,” they said. “Our menu and service would be no different than before. We can feed you many things; just not pork.”

Nonetheless, the press, too, said that the two restaurants would rather let people starve rather than eat pork.

Despite the outcry of the pork lovers, more and more people said, “Let them choose their own menu!”

One day, the Mayor called the restaurant owners into his office. He had a compromise, he said.

“I won’t make you buy pork. You don’t have to prepare it, or touch it. Instead, all restaurant suppliers will have to supply pork to every restaurant, free of charge, and for those that don’t want to serve the pork, suppliers will cook it and put it on every plate themselves.”

“But there would still be pork in our restaurant!” the owners cried. “Besides, they will increase the price of meat to cover their new expenses.”

“Oh, they wouldn’t do that. I’d tell them not to. Besides, the point is you wouldn’t be actually serving pork. See how well that works? Everyone gets pork and you can say you never provided it. And if your patrons don’t want to eat it, they don’t have to; it’s enough that it’s there for them.”

So, problem solved?

A note from Karina: The HHS compromise is no compromise—it’s an escalation, making it impossible not only for the Catholic Church to live according to its beliefs, but any small business that may also believe as the Church does. I wrote this parable to try to put the debate out of the “contraception/women’s health” light and show the other issues at stake. Feel free to copy this story and use it on your own blogs. If you do, please include this link to sign a petition to stop the HHS mandate (or if you know of another petition, include it)

Karina Fabian is the author of a number of books, including non-fiction and horror genres. She came to my attention as the co-editor of Leaps of Faith, an anthology of Christian science fiction.

Monday, February 13, 2012

February Snowy (!!) Daybook

Outside my window... sunshine, blue skies, and SNOW. We've had snow on the ground for three days now, which is the longest it's lasted all winter so far. Of course, it's supposed to be 40 degrees on Wednesday...

I am thankful for... a "normal" week, for a change. No major events until Saturday.

From the kitchen... Meatloaf, boiled red potatoes, and broccoli. Tomorrow I will bake a cherry pie as part of Roger's Valentine present.

I am wearing... tan cotton pants, a red/rust long-sleeved Tshirt with more-or-less-matching cotton socks, black loafers, and a tan/navy/green/rust shawl/scarf that I got in Stratford many years ago. I'll change into hiking boots when Roger gets back and we go to walk the dog.

I am creating... flannel blankets for a baby-shower gift. Nice, big, ones (45 inches square) because the ones you can buy are only useful for about three weeks.

I am going... to a workshop on Saturday "Celebrating the Triduum with the New Roman Missal." I hope to learn something useful.

I am reading... Behind the Seams, by Betty Hechtman. It's a crochet mystery, pure fluff, but fun.

I am hoping... that the weather report is wrong, and the snow stays around. But I'm not optimistic.

I am hearing... the refrigerator running, and the cat scratching in the litter box. I need to deal with that tomorrow: trash day, and the litter definitely needs to be changed. With only one cat, I get away with leaving it just that little bit too long. :-(

Around the house... things are calm and tidy. Did I mention it's a NORMAL week? I actually just washed all the cookie-storage cans from Christmas, and will pack them away as soon as they're totally dry.

A few plans for the rest of the week... NORMAL! Enjoy normal!

Words I'm pondering : "You fear too much." Roger tells me this quite regularly. I am convinced that it's true, but I need to work out a plan to change it. Hopefully before I'm 80.

Here is a picture thought I am sharing... Nerd humor. Because I can. (Click on the image if it's too small for you to see.)

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

A to Z

This is shamelessly borrowed from Manda, because I will do anything to avoid the thinking required to do a "real" post.

A. Age:
61, minus three weeks. Well, 20 days, if you have to be exact.

B. Bed size:
King. When we got married our bedroom only had room for a double, and Roger -- who is taller and larger than I am -- tended to take his half out of the middle. We are on our third king.

C. Chore that you hate:
Mopping the floor. I've done it less than 50 times in 30+ years of marriage. But that is because Roger, who is AWESOME, does it himself/trained the kids to do it.

D. Dogs:
My family has had two. I tolerate them.

E. Essential start to your day:
Tea. From loose leaves, in a preheated pot, with freshly boiled water. Or from a bag, if I can't pull that off.

F. Favorite color:
Blue, or possibly pink..

G. Gold or silver:
Gold. I wear silver, but gold.

H. Height:
5'6"ish. I always thought I was 5'8", but when my daughters hit that, I wasn't anymore. Only Branwen is still shorter than I am.

I. Instruments that you play:
Flute and guitar. But not very often anymore.

J. Job title:
Organizer-in-chief. Otherwise known as Mom/Grandma.

K. Kids:
Arwen: 29. Branwen: 27. Miriel: almost 25.
Brandon: 23. Tirienne: 21. Kelson:19

L. Live:
Fort Gratiot MI

M. Mother's name:
was Mildred/Millie.

N. Nicknames:
Hon. (My dad used to call me McClee. I miss it.)

O. Overnight hospital stays:
Tonsillectomy in third grade, and Arwen and Branwen's births. (The other four kids were born at home.)

P. Pet peeves:
Misplaced apostrophes. Grammar and vocabulary sloppiness, such as using "phased" for "fazed" or "mantle" for "mantel."

Q. Quote from a movie:
"Nobody is as handsome as David. Even David."
Sabrina;1995 (Actually, pretty much anything from this or You've Got Mail. My family are memorization nerds.)

S: Siblings:
My brother Patrick.

T: Travel favorite: Stratford Ontario.

U. Underwear: Yes, I wear it.

V. Vegetable(s) you hate:
Beets. If I had $10 for every time my dad tried to persuade me that Harvard beets were good, I could put all my grandchildren through college. And don't even get me started on "redbeet eggs!" (hardboiled eggs pickled in beet juice and vinegar.)

W. What makes you run late:
It would have to be a disaster. I am perpetually, habitually early.

X. X-rays you've had:
Teeth. The time I didn't break my elbow. The time I DID break my elbow. The time I broke my nose. I'm a klutz.

Y. Yummy food that you make:
Check the "tasty Tuesday" labeled posts.

Z. Zoo animal:
The neurotic polar bear in the Louisville zoo. (My kids had better get this reference...!)