BOLT FOR NAKED

So this is awkward. A few months ago, I plugged juices from a company called Bolthouse. They are so good. Yet it turns out the private company that sells them is a key backer of the fight to overturn marriage in California – the Court and Legislature be damned. (Except they likely wouldn’t use a word like damned, because their motivation – which I have no doubt is well intentioned – is religious, and they are likely very polite.)

But did I mention that their juices are really, really good? And, I assume, good for you?

What to do? What to do?

It brings to mind the episode where Kramer is blinded by the new red Kenny Rogers Roaster all-night neon sign, can’t sleep, switches apartments with Jerry, who tries to put them out of business – but ultimately catches Kramer eating the chicken, because it’s so good, he just can’t quit it.

Or something like that.

The good news is that there are alternatives. Odwalla, for one (carrot juice really grows on you – and I don’t need glasses anymore!). And Naked, for another.

The best news would be if the folks at Bolthouse thought about it a little more and concluded that Jesus, had he been a maker of pomegranate-with-mangosteen, would have used His profits to aid the world’s poor and suffering rather than to deprive loving couples of their equal rights.

IN THE FIELD FOR OBAMA

My friend Alex Blum is a pediatrics resident at UCLA. He writes:

A few days ago I drove out to a small town in a rural community in Colorado where I am the Obama community organizer. That morning, I met with a Mormon woman in her mid sixties. She lives in a humble home, next to her red barn in the middle of a corn field. She has a big ‘proud to be a Democrat’ sticker by the door to ‘warn them when they knock.’ I sat down at her kitchen table and while sipping apple juice in a plastic cup I shared with her why I decided to put off starting my job and, with my wife’s blessing, left her in LA for the summer to go to where the Obama campaign needed me. I explained that I am tired of being unable, as a physician, to address the underlying causes of most of the health care problems of my patients: poor urban design with limited access to parks, impoverished neighborhoods with little access to fresh produce, schools where the government stresses test scores and not relationships between students and adults (where are the mentoring programs?).

And why are there kids in this wealthy country without insurance? These are political and policy issues I can’t change while working in my clinic; they didn’t give us the answer to these questions in med school.

And then I listened to her life story.

Her parents were Roosevelt Democrats. She was instilled with the notion of the importance of community. Her husband, now in his 70s, had been a farmer. She was a housewife and raised three children who all then moved away to big cities (Denver and Santa Fe). Both her son and daughter struggle to put their own children through college – her son has 10 children. [Perhaps family planning would be a good thing to teach in school? – A.T.]

She invested all of their retirement savings in what she thought where low risk mutual funds. Over a nine-month period, their mutual funds hemorrhaged nearly to nothing. Her husband and she faced the reality of no retirement to live off of. At 68, he returned to work, on a farm working as a laborer. They now live off of very little money and hope they don’t get sick.

They have no income to upkeep their home and none to move and start over. They can’t sell the home because no one is moving into this rural, poor community. All this is why, she explained, she is going to help change the direction of our country. She agreed to have a group of her friends over to her house, next weekend, and we will all discuss establishing an infrastructure to run local voter registration drives. This was my first meeting with a community member as an Obama Organizing Fellow.

☞ The truth is, there are no easy or quick fixes to problems like hers. But we have to start somewhere. And (it will surprise no one) I agree with Susan Eisenhower – and Alex Blum: electing Barack Obama is the right place to start.

Tomorrow (or as soon as I get some): Ideas About Your Money

 

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