Tag Archives: politics

Good News Monday: It’s Now Legal to Grow Hemp

Well, sort of.

Back in December, President Trump signed the bipartisan 2018 Congressional Farm Bill, which treats hemp as an agricultural commodity and removes it from the Drug Enforcement Agency’s list of schedule 1 drugs.

However, the Farm Bill also empowers states to regulate (or ban) the production and sale of hemp within their borders.

Anyone who follows US politics will not be surprised by the inconsistency.

 

Stayin’ Sane

Most days, the political news makes me want to pull the covers over my head and stay in bed for the next several years.

Take transgender military personnel. These brave folks are dodging bullets and land mines – are we seriously worried about whether they pee standing up or sitting down?

But, in the struggle to feel optimistic, I have a simple suggestion: buy wine. Not to drink, although drinking is to be encouraged in these fraught times, but to save.

This occurred to me yesterday, after stopping at one of our favorite wineries, Yamhill Valley Vineyards and buying a case of wine that won’t mature until 2020 or beyond. (Dare I suggest that we have a better chance with pinot than with our current president maturing by 2020?)

grapes-1952073_640

Think about it: You buy a bottle that is drinkable now but is going to be so much better if you have the patience to wait a few years. (This may be the only area in which I am patient. Just ask my Long Suffering Husband.)

Your wine can be a little time capsule. You could wrap it in a current newspaper and hope that 6-8 years from now the news will seem quaint and vaguely amusing. You can put it away somewhere cool and comfortable and just visit it occasionally to make sure it’s doing ok. You can start collecting recipes of yummy food that will be perfect to eat with your special bottle. Be creative! Have fun!

Our friend Linda, the tasting manager at Yamhill, is taking this whole optimism thing to a new level. She has found a new love, lost over 100 pounds, and looks gorgeously, radiantly happy as her wedding approaches. What’s more of a leap of faith than marriage, right?

cork-1574810_640

Let’s all check in with each other in 2020, open our bottles, and toast our collective survival. Good times ahead! xx, Alisa

[Unsponsored post. All photos from Pixabay.com.]

Requiem for Decency

Well, America — you got what you wished for.  And now the vulgarians are at the gate.

This blog is not about politics.  But the vitriol, racism and sexism unleashed during this election are unprecedented, and I can’t in good conscience refrain from comment.

Clearly, we have a lot of work to do. The Trump victory shines a spotlight on the dismal lack of education in our country — a discouraging number of voters who have never learned either civics or civility.  Voters who can’t tell when they’re being manipulated by lies and innuendo.  Voters who think a charlatan with no history of helping another human being is going to make their lives better. Voters who think “different” means “enemy”.

Black, brown, Muslim, Jewish, Latino, college-educated, LGBT, female… all our rights are at risk.  We’ll have to stand together over the next four years to make sure our voices are heard, our needs are met, and that this is a one-term setback for progress, not a wholesale abandonment of American values.  We’ll have to create a unified coalition to unseat the politics of hatred once and for all.

Our children and grandchildren deserve nothing less.

This should be a wake-up call for everyone.  And if you supported Trump, take a good look in the mirror.  The America your “victory” has created is about to become a dangerous and unpleasant place to live.  For you, too.

R.E.S.P.E.C.T.

I was going to write about something else this week; something more lighthearted than lewd remarks made by a person running for office.

But I feel the need to go on record: crude, demeaning, objectifying language about women is not “locker room banter” or some benign indication that “boys will be boys”. And no half-assed apology after the fact dilutes the message.

Remember that old saying, “Sticks and stones may break my bones but words can never hurt me”? Not true. Words have power. And allowing language that insults women to go unchallenged encourages a culture which is one small step away from a date rape, abusive marriage, serial cheating, or any situation in which a woman is viewed as “less than”.

In my twenties, when I was a junior copywriter, I had a supervisor who was very tall, very large and very intimidating. I knew he had a bit of a crush on me so I kept our conversations brief and professional. One day, he came into my office, closed the door, and pushed me up against the wall as he attempted to kiss me.

Another time, a different man – married, and also my boss – slipped me the address of a friend’s apartment, saying he had been asked to “apartment sit” and hoped I would meet him there to “relax” outside of the office.

These weren’t the only incidents.

In those days, women joked off advances to save face for the men and to hang onto their jobs while maintaining a decent working relationship. There was no term such as “sexual harassment” and if you’d gone to HR you would have been told, “They didn’t mean any harm; just laugh it off”.

I’ve read that many of today’s young women reject the term feminist, thinking it equates to “man hater” or means they are unfeminine. That’s because they haven’t had to fight overt sex discrimination at every step of their careers. They take equality for granted, even though women are still paid less than men.

But here’s the thing. When a man talks about a woman in terms of her body parts, or comes on to someone who isn’t interested, it isn’t flattering – it’s offensive. Just as saying, “I love women” is patronizing and reductive.

It’s not a compliment when someone grabs your ass, tells a buddy about your great rack, or jokes that you are “hard to get”. Whether he’s 17 or 70.

I’ve been lucky. I’ve never been raped, and I’ve never had to make the agonizing decision whether or not to have an abortion. I don’t know what I would have done. But I know this: my body is nobody else’s business – to flatter, insult, violate, or make decisions for.

In the immortal words of the great Aretha Franklin, “All I’m asking for is a little respect”!