Shame on us! Child hunger in America

Take a look at the article below.

http://www.boston.com/lifestyle/health/articles/2011/07/28/ranks_of_hungry_children_swell_worrying_doctors/

I am ashamed that there are malnourished kids showing up in hospitals around the country in increasing numbers. It appears from the article and I am open to correction on this that the kids mentioned were eating but they were eating junk food. Hospitals across the country are reporting more malnourished kids since 2007 which is the beginning of the economic trouble which is still with us.  This issue really strikes home with me.  On my mission in Africa I spent a lot of time feeding PB to hungry kids.  The look of joy on a small childs face when he saw a huge slice of bread with PB on it used to reduce us elders to tears.  I don’t believe that anybody in America or the world should be hungry.   So I have some questions for my readers.

Who is to blame for this? 

Parents

Schools

Fed Government

State and Local governments

Our junk food culture

What is to be done about this problem?  Its apparently really easy to get qualified for food stamps.  I see people using them all the time at the local Walmart.  So there seems to be access to food in our society for the poor.

I think the church does a really good job with hunger.  I witnessed a single mom with three little kids in a really old car show up at our building last Wed.  An hour later she walked out with the paperwork for a food order at the local bishops storehouse.

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Did you celebrate?

We are in the Northeast US and our ward had an activity on Saturday and sang songs about the 24th, but the talks were not 24th focused. I felt it was a good mix for a ward where 50% or more of the folks have no ancestors that crossed the plains and half or more of those have never even been to Utah. We also sang “Come, Come Ye Saints” which has always been one of my favorite songs…

What did you do for the 24th and where are you geographically? Was it appropriate for your locale?

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Will You Stand With Jane?

Caught this on Huffington this morning:   The Truth About My Trip to Hanoi .   Looks like Jane Fonda is directly addressing her critics and calling them liars.   I read that she was cancelled by home shopping network because some people objected due to her Vietnam War activism.

I have some admiration for her, because hell, she looks darn good for 70 and I envy that.  She survived Henry Fonda’s parenting and her mother’s suicide.  She stands by what she believes, although I don’t agree with most of it, and it seems she tried to make her life about something meaningful.  However, I won’t be clicking on the link to add my voice of support—-even if everything she said is true and everything her critics say is false.  Which I doubt. Read more »

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My Pilgrimage to Pleasantville (e.g., Rexburg)

I just returned from my annual pilgrimage to the West. This year was for a family reunion. I am always fascinated when I visit the West to see how different things are from my life on the East Coast. This year, our family reunion was in Rexburg. Some of my observations:

1. Wow, there are a lot of kids in Rexburg – There were kids everywhere, whereas they are a bit few and far between in the East
2. There are some very young mothers in Rexburg – Seeing such young mothers in the East is usually limited to the poor areas of large cities
3. There are a lot of pregnant bellies (which are really cute) in Rexburg – Not something I see a lot of in the East
4. There are some large families in Rexburt – Seeing a family with 4 kids in the East will turn heads, forget about 6, 8 or more…
5. People are really nice there – strangers were very friendly and customer service is very good – in the East not so much…
6. The roads are so wide and people drive really slow (most seem to drive the speed limit) – OK this was sort of obnoxious…

Overall, it really feels like you are in a bubble versus the rest of the world. I don’t know if that is good or bad as I can see both sides to it, but certainly it is almost surreal after being immersed in the East coast for so many years.

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Do You?

From time to time in the course of Church life, we are asked to fulfill responsibilities for which others may be better qualified or more experienced. Some of us manage quite multifaceted organizations and really have our hands full. Others, perhaps, don’t have enough to keep us busy. Occasionally, people feel compelled to suggest or complain about certain practices in anothers’ jurisdiction. Below is one such example.

Dear Sister Primary Counselor–

As I carried my two-year-old kicking and screaming out of Church today, I thought I would finally put this in writing. When you guys give treats to the Primary kids, it causes a big problem for their siblings in Nursery. I don’t think I need to elaborate on that, but let me a suggest a few alternatives to offering super-delicious looking treats to your kids as they exit your care to sit in the car on the way home with (generally irrational) children who have none. Read more »

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Bloggernaccle Hysterics Episode 1 Male Grooming Customs

I am embarking upon a series of posts that explore what I call “Bloggernaccle Hysterics” or BH for short. I come at this new series as a mainstream lifelong LDS member with typical LDS views. I will explore common ‘naccle themes and expose them as being more smoke then fire in real world LDS living. I will then conclude the series with a post on an awesome topic that has never been covered in the bloggernaccle.

I wanted to start with dress and grooming standards for men.  I fully acknowledge that these are customs and are not doctrinal.  AKA White shirts, no earrings on males, ties, missionary attire, tats, The male missionary look etc.  One of my favorite church outfits is a dark grey suit with a lavender shirt and a tie that matches my burgundy belt and Italian dress shoes just for the record.  I am sure that Silus and Mikeweho would approve.

Often in the ‘naccle we hear of how damaging these grooming and dress customs are to the church. How it repels converts and chases away vulnerable young people. Based on my Exp in the church I can say that I find this to be not as serious of a problem as the ‘naccle seems to think it is.   This has 2 elements.  Converts and existing members.

Existing Members.

I am sure that from time to time somebody will claim that the reason they went inactive is that somebody made fun of their tat, told them to take off their earring, or told a 16 year old to wear a tie when blessing the sacrament.  In fact you may even have a story like that from your personal experience.  Even with me acknowledging that this may from time to time actually occur I would argue that people typically go inactive for more serious reasons (loss of faith, being offended, decision not to live up to church standards, rebelling against parents etc)  that somebody asked them to wear a tie and that they are using that as a smokescreen to avoid talking about the real reasons.

Missionary efforts

I have seen a lot of converts come and stay and come and go over my lifetime.  My current stake has several units that are full of adult converts.  Guess what?  A lot of these good folks have tats, wear different outfits etc and still come to church.  Do I think that there is some mostly unspoken social pressure on these folks to conform a little to the whitebread LDS grooming standards?  Yes I do!  Do I see it as causing problems for their retention?  It could potentially in a limited number of cases.  But again here I think the real reasons for inactivity or deciding not to get baptized are deeper.  For converts they are being asked to live the WOW, obey the Law of Chastity, pay 10% and one of the biggest obstacles is family pressure to not be LDS.  Sometimes I marvel when I look around at church and realize that a decent percentage of my whitebread ward is composed of converts and they actually stayed!!

So with all of this said… Does the typical post in the bloggernaccle oversell the idea that these customs are really damaging?  Or am I wrong?

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Raising Revenue? Huh???

I have been following the machinations in Washington over the budget/spending/debt ceiling with interest. One area that has made me do a double take is the constant mention by Democrats of raising revenue. Ok, from a business standpoint, revenue is generated when you “sell” something that someone values. You cannot have revenue by just sending someone a bill without providing something concrete (some may argue that the Government does provide services although these are not proportionate to what one “pays”) to the person paying the bill. To me, call it a tax hike and be done with it. We are not stupid – don’t try to hide it or disguise it for something it isn’t… Anyone else befuddled by the “revenue” discussion?

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God said yes……..

I do not remember who taught me to pray, but I recall clearly asking God to help me bless my family and to help me stop cussing. I was eight years old, the product of alcoholic parents, one a church member with a noble heritage, (unbeknownst to me at the time). I’d heard terribly vulgar language from infancy and had adopted that habit. My spiritual teachings had come sporadically depending on where we lived, which changed frequently. I’d wandered into a Christian religious service in the small Nevada town my mother had chosen for the moment and they’d taken me into their hearts. They taught me that the language I was used to using was not acceptable to God, but the habit was very hard to break. So I turned to God in prayer. At the time, it didn’t seem like my prayers were answered as we continued to live in chaos and degradation until legal authorities stepped in to care for my siblings and me. My family, such as it was, was torn apart. And well, you know how the cussing project is going. (Although, to tell the truth, I don’t cuss near as much or as badly as I did when I was eight years old.) Read more »

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