Thursday, November 11, 2021

Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Butterfat

 More and more these days I find myself saying "Oh, for god's sake" at some inanity. Yes, I'm a grouchy old lady and some of what annoys me, on reflection, probably shouldn't.  But this particular article, its headline shouting FREEDOM to decry public schools' ban on whole fat milk (inspired by the prevalence of childhood obesity,) had me shaking my head.

 Unsurprisingly the article is from a trade journal aimed at dairy farmers. (We got on their mailing list years ago when we had a milk cow and filled out a USDA survey attesting to same.)

But the above headline--what with Veteran's Day and all--got me thinking. What are the American freedoms, the freedoms those vets served and fought and died for? What about the freedom of those children to choose Coca-Cola instead of milk? I'd hazard a guess that some of the same dairy farmers behind this campaign wouldn't see that as a freedom.

 I'd also hazard a guess that many of them wouldn't see freedom from hunger as an American freedom, worthy of support with their tax dollars.

Throwing about a term like "American freedom" in service of an industry is worrying and all too common. In these uneasy days when idiots storm the capitol to overturn a free election and those same idiots claim the name of patriots, when the American flag and the flag of the traitorous Confederacy can be seen in unironic juxtaposition on too many pickup trucks, when too many of our flag-waving politicians seem to have joined a cult, working for the approval of their Dear Leader rather than the good of the country, when far too many of our citizens reject science in favor of Fox News and Google, I find it challenging to be proud to be a US citizen.

And the more headlines like this I see, the more challenging it is. I love this troubled country and still have hope that her better angels will prevail. Without waving flags.


Marcia said...

You wrote it so well. Thank you! I think you need to send a letter to the editor using this post. It needs to get wider readership.

Lately I'm reading less and less national news because it disturbs me so. Like the story of the verbal abuse and threats that Republican congressmen/Women who voted for the infrastructure legislation are being subjected to. They have the right to vote their consciences and for the best interest of their constituents and the nation. What has the Republican party become? You described it well as a cult.

Thank you again!

Anvilcloud said...


KarenB said...

The word "freedom" has become, unfortunately, a dog whistle. I so very much resent how the flag, the word freedom, have been usurped and warped by the cult.

Barbara R. said...

Well said. I did make a conscious decision that I wasn't giving up what the flag stood for just because it had been usurped by the gang of tRump's hooligans. I still like that Francis Scott Key was happy to see it still flying. As a pacifist, I wouldn't put much energy into armed conflicts at any level. Yet I do see how we ended up in Afghanistan for years and years. Yes, let's concentrate on the good things in life!

Sandra Parshall said...

Freedom from hunger in the world' richest country should be an engrained value, first among all. Yet we have veterans living on streets and begging and families existing only with the help of food banks. It's heartbreaking and enraging.

Sally B said...

I find all the "observations" of Veterans Day disturbing because, sadly, our soldiers don't fight for our freedoms or the "values" of our nation. They unfortunately fight for control of oil-rich countries, so that Americans can sit in huge cars with engines and air-conditioners running to keep the dog cool, while the spouse is shopping in the grocery store. They fight so that Dick Cheney receives huge stock options from Halliburton, which was awarded a $7 billion contract in the Middle East for which only Halliburton was allowed to bid. So that our enlisted men are put in harm's way, when Eric Prince and his Blackwater Co. send private military contractors (mercenaries) that kill Iraqi civilivians; the same Erick Prince, brother of former U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos. Corporatocracy deluded into fighting as if democracy

Vicki Lane said...

So well said, Sally!