Friday Open Thread

What’s up?

Fellow MTer Mara ran a guest post on her blog Mother of All Trips by a father who attended the inauguration. Parents were discouraged to bring their children, but many African-Americans did. The pictures embedded in the post are too precious for words.

I loved this story in the Seattle Times of the Tuskegee Airmen who attended the inauguration. Thank you to fellow MTer Janetle for highlighting it in her blog Mukilteo Musings. Also, let’s keep her and her family in our thoughts and prayers as she continues to wage a battle against colon cancer.  

The Motherhood blog is discussing a Newsweek story on how Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin — she is still in the news? — is lashing out at the media for misleading coverage about her and her family. Also in the Motherhood: Autism screening and funding is so high on President Obama’s agenda that it is the only disease or disorder singled out on Whitehouse.gov.

A mom over at New York City Moms Blog wrote a funny piece about selling girl scout cookies to her co-workers. It turns out that a couple co-workers also had cookies of their own to sell.

Katy Farber over at Non-Toxic Kids reviewed a green lunch box set. It’s nice not to have to worry about BPAs and other toxic chemicals in food containers.

The OC Weekly had an article about why midwife-assisted deliveries are becoming increasingly rare. Answer: A local hospital’s maternity ward closed. OC Moms blog also discussed the matter.

Also at the OC Moms blog: Some moms are wondering if people are ruder today than yesteryear. Do you agree that people are less polite today — not saying, “thank you” and “please” — than our parents’ time? Please do discuss!

There are a lot of good discussions over at the OC Moms blog. But I was deeply disturbed by the homophobic comments in this thread. Similarly, an article in the Orange County Register about protests at Rev. Rick Warren’s church over his role in the inauguration also spurred massive amounts of comments.


Thanks to fellow MTer GiGi for commemorating the 36th anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision on her blog One Lazy Liberal. In somewhat related news, the Opposing Views blog wrote about Krispy Kreme’s controversial move to give away donuts on inaugural day. Anti-abortion groups accused the chain store of using pro-choice language in its promotion.

Also in Opposing Views: New York Gov. David Paterson is facing steep opposition to his proposed 18 percent sales tax on sugared beverages, including soda. Not surprisingly, it has been called a “regressive tax” by the American Beverage Association.

What else is in the news? What’s up with you?

44 thoughts on “Friday Open Thread

  1. grocery store plastic

    After our recent discussion on eliminating plastic from our lives, I couldn’t help but fixate on all the plastic wrapping when I went grocery shopping this morning. This country is so far behind the green curve. It is not possible to buy any meat (deli) or dairy product without plastic. The store even shrink wraps hermetically sealed prepackaged cheese (why?). I had to argue with the produce lady about not using a bag for my bananas and putting my avocados and apples in the same bag. (I get most of my produce at the farmer’s market, but I still wind up getting a few things at the store.) I’m going to make yoghurt this weekend, but the milk is only sold in tetrapak or plastic. To top it all off, I had to choose between “marinated” chicken breasts (salt and preservatives added–why?) or driving an extra 20 minutes to a place where I could buy un-marinated chicken breasts. I think I need a cup of coffee to help me recover from the trauma.

  2. Regressive taxes

    do indeed hurt the poor. I don’t like sales tax or value added taxes for that reason…that said, if everyone benefitted from the taxes (say, universal health/dental care, year long paid family leave, etc.) I might change my tune. But, the way we do taxes here in the US is very regressive and, well, stupid. Just my $.02, of course.

    • %&$@#!

      Stupid is not a strong enough word for this one.  I’m sure some bonehead lawmaker thinks they are modeling their proposed legislation on cigarette taxes – there’s good evidence that regressive taxation has had a big effect on smoking rates – but that’s a very different situation.  I’m glad to see he’s getting serious opposition, and hope they manage to block this.  

    • Access

      I don’t have a problem w/ taxing soda but only if milk, juice, healthy food is reasonably priced, which it isn’t.  If you’re low-income access to healthy foods just isn’t there, necessarily.

  3. Ladies, it’s here

    I am 40.  In most ways, I am so far from where I thought I’d be or wanted to be.  I’m torn between wanting to change that and deciding to just accept that life happens, and things aren’t really too bad.

    But I’ve got a full plate today.  A play date.  Taking DS to physical therapy.  Gotta do the kids’ laundry since they’re both on their last clean pair of jammies.  Gotta get to the store since we’re completely out of milk (I briefly contemplated putting formula in my tea, but decided to just squirt in some Redi-Whip and let it melt).  My best friend is taking me to lunch tomorrow and to see “Frost/Nixon.”  So maybe I’ll celebrate like a rock star later, but today I’ve just got too much to do!

  4. Grandparent detox

    We’re in the midst of grandparent detox.  They stayed with DD1 during the first half of this week and now we’re the bad cops.  

    My parents are really wonderful with the kids, and overall very aligned with the rules and expectations that we have.  But they love to be “the grandparents”.  As in, “sure, you can have chocolate chip pancakes for dinner and then cookies for dessert!  We’re the grandparents!”.  I support their prerogative to do so 100%, but the detox afterwards is a doozy.  

    This too shall pass…

    –R

    • I’m trying to be a

      reasonable grandparent, but I gotta be honest…when you become a grandparent, something happens to you…you really WANT to give that baby the noisiest toys, etc.  I can’t quite explain it, but I don’t rule out a small element of pay-back…

  5. So true

    DS asked for ice cream every day for two weeks because when Grandma was here, she gave him ice cream every day for a week.  To her credit, she does ask, but she asks right in front of him while she’s holding the carton, so I find it kind of hard to say no.  I guess it won’t hurt him much though.

  6. thank you

    I hate when I buy something in a store, and the clerk says “here you go” when handing me my purchase or receipt, instead of “thank you.” Pet peeve.

    • my pet peeve

      At one supermarket where I shop the cashiers are rigidly scripted, so they do say thank you.  But they look at the receipt first so they can read my name back to me while doing so.  Is that supposed to give me a warm fuzzy feeling?  It’s not the employees’ fault but it drives me nuts.  At the more distant store I prefer the employees seem warm and genuine – checkout is a pleasure even though they don’t know my name.

  7. Tuskegee Airman

    One of the members of my UU church is an original member of the Tuskegee Airman. He is a wonderful old guy who loves to share stories and is living history for our kids!

    • celebrities

      Over on Salon I saw an article describing how Tuskegee Airmen at the inauguration were being swarmed with admirers wanting to shake their hands and have pictures taken with them, while just a few seats away celebrities like Denzel Washington and Jay-Z sat relatively unmolested.  

    • Got an email from a

      former colleague who is a physician and worked down on the Mall in a medical tent on Tuesday.  He said:

      Tuesday I was in a trailer right up against the Capitol.  Mostly, we took care of people getting cold, though there were some other things.  Though inspiring, the wisdom of having folks like the Tuskegee Airmen out in that environment for so long is uncertain.  Many of them ended up with us.

      Poor guys.  

  8. Can I just say

    I was so happy to see this on Nightline last night.  A diplomat greeted President Obama in Indonesian (is that a language? I should know since we had an exchange student from Indonesia…) and Obama responded IN INDONESIAN!  Such a small thing to feel like such a big deal to me!  Then they showed him signing stuff and he read it and then explained it first.  So stinking cool.

    • Tee-hee

      It is cool but the president did live there as a child so it probably wasn’t too much of a stretch.  I thought he himself mentioned that he wasn’t terribly well versed in foreign languages and considered that a weakness in either a debate or an interview.

      Your story reminds me of something funny while I was in college.  One of my classmates was Cuban and was a recent arrival.  He was really cute too.  I can remember a lot of the girls getting all googly over him speaking Spanish like it made him a genius or something and I always couldn’t help but wonder why his excellent English skills were less impressive to them as he probably was raised with Spanish as his primary language.

    • it’s just one thing after another, isn’t it?

      EVERYTHING that has happened this week has been so frackin cool I feel like I am going to burst with the happiness of it all!

    • Indonesian and diplomats

      My daughter’s school has Indonesian as its language requirement. Not a huge fan, I must say. We are very close to Indonesia…but on the world scale, it’s not a very significant language! So it’s good to hear that it can be mildly useful! I’m also taking her to Spanish club…not that that’s a useful language here AT ALL! But just in case she ever goes back to the US… Besides…I can speak it so I can help. Unlike Indonesian!

      And I hear you on that little burst of pride. When our new Prime Minister chatted with the Chinese diplomats in fluent Mandarin, I was in awe. Kind of like a proud parent “See! He’s really smart!”. :)

  9. ooooo oooooo (waves hand madly)

    I know an ACTUAL Tuskeegee Airman who went to the inauguration. He is the father of a friend of mine!  Tells great stories – and not just about his time as an airman.  

  10. How much you forget…

    We started DS on rice cereal this week, and dear lord I don’t remember anything!  How much to feed him, how many times in the day, how messy it is.  CRAZY!

    • We’ve been playing with it

      Just little bits maybe twice this week.  She’s still in that funny stage of spitting things straight back out.
      Dr. Sears’ website usually has great info on this kind of thing btw.

  11. Let’s see……………..

    The Lilly Ledbetter Act passed, and PRESIDENT Obama lifted the global gag rule over women’s reproductive rights and signed so that GITMO will be closed within a year.

    I’d say that my year is off to a pretty awesome start:)

    I’m so glad there are grown ups in Washington again.

    • A facebook friend

      and actually the only conservative (libertarian) I can have a civilized conversation with has been going crazy.  ”He’s using our money to pay for abortions all over the world! He’s setting terrorists free!”  So strange how people can see things soooo differently!

Leave a Reply