Header image  
"We Entertain When It Rains"  



Web www.rainydaymagazine.com

RainyDayPolitics's content can now be licensed for your print magazine or web site. Please contact us directly here.  If you have something on your mind, then drop us a note.


March 24,2010

We are thrilled with the signing of the landmark healthcare reform bill yesterday. The fight was brutal and those opposed to the new law are still actively seeking to hinder it in any way possible. We would like to ask...did any of the following pass without opposition?

  • Emancipation Proclamation by Lincoln
  • Women's suffrage by Wilson
  • Lend/Lease by FDR
  • Desegregation of the military by Truman
  • Civil Rights Act by Johnson

Who would stand against these today?

Regardless of how people feel about the new law, staying healthy is probably one of the items on most people's top-ten list. There are many ways to approach that goal: eat properly, exercise appropriately, and have regular medical checkups. When we do get sick, today's pharmaceuticals have a cure for many of the the things  that in previous genenerations would have caused our demise. There are also things we can do for ourselves when we have some of the more common conditions like acne, anxiety, cold sores, and general aches and pains.

Herbs and plants have been used for thousands of years to treat common ailments. The common view is that plant-based remedies are natural, inexpensive, and less harmful to the body than manufactured drugs. Plants have provided Western medicine with some of its most effective drugs: penicillin, morphine, aspirin. Of course, there are plenty of plant-based "treatments" that are poisonous, do not do much of anything, or are just plain useless. The same can be said of some pharmaceuticals. The key is knowledge of what is effective and why.

James Wong, a 27-year-old ethnobotanist, believes that safe, natural remedies can be made from the everyday plants we can grow in our own garden. Grow Your Own Drugs: Easy recipes for natural remedies and beauty fixes, is a book which shows how we can grow, make preparations, and use plants to soothe the symtoms of everyday ailments the natural way.

The second book, A Year With James Wong, has 100 new remedies, a seasonal guide and planner, and foraging tips. The planner takes the reader through from Spring to Winter, advising on what and when to plant, the best time to harvest, and how to create a mini-apothecary at home.

Both books (GYOD, GYOD+) help interested readers navigate the old wives' tales, look beyond the aesthetics, and to see plants as sources of medicine. The books are informative, beautifully photographed, and are wonderful additions to any library. We will try many of the recipes, adding some of the plants to our garden, and report back on how they perform as part of our Backyard Biotech series. [Permalink] -Grow Your Own Drugs

March 1,2010

One of our monthly readings is a magazine call The Scientist. We read it because it is a way for us to keep up with what's happening in the life sciences without having to wade through the heavy stuff in Science. The cover article of the first issue of 2010 was about whether it was time to update some of the current thinking in Evolutionary Theory. We found the article in The Scientist absolutely fascinating, as we had not seen a summary of the various extensions to the Julian Huxley's 1942 book Evolution: The Modern Synthesis. However, that is not the part we wanted to discuss today.

The item which sparked today's article was a line in Richard Gallagher's list of the problems with the study of the life sciences today. The ten problems as seen by the departing editor were all on-target, especially item no.9.

The Creationist crackpots have been trying to discredit Evolutionary Theory for quite awhile now. Stupid ideas have their own energy and momentum. Sometimes it is because those ideas are simple and easy to digest. Other times is because they are comforting. However, it is astounding that a thinking person who has managed to graduate from a certified high school can possibly entertain such clap-trap. Yet, this backwater idea (and the dismissive tone is intentional) continues to take energy away from serious scientific dialogs.

We want serious thinkers and scientists to challenge conventional wisdom (like Galileo disproving Aristotle's theory on falling objects), to upset the apple cart based on observations (such as Copernicus showing that the Sun and not the Earth is the center of the Solar System), and to open new worlds with genius intellect (Einstein resetting everybody's perception of time and space).

Extending Darwin's theory on Evolution does not make his original thinking invalid, it makes the understanding of our world more accurate. There are an enormous amount of things Science does not know and cannot yet answer. What we do know is that at no point would we ever want to repeat the past mistakes of the use of Faith to confine or define the facts of Science. In THAT we have faith. [Permalink] -Darwein 3.0

January 19,2010

We are not sure what the final turnout will be, but the lines were pretty short when we got to our local voting spot this morning. This normally snoozer of a Senate race has gotten such national attention that is is hard to imagine we won't get a strong turnout in spite of the crappy weather.

It is equally hard to imagine how Coakley could lose to Brown in this race. Just look at the difference in the quality of the signage for god's sake! Professionally printed (Coakley) vs hand-drawn by 3-rd graders (Brown). Where we voted, there were no "Vote For Brown" signs at all! It was "Coakley" only.

After completing our civic duty, we stopped by our favorite bakery (GREAT ham & cheese croissants, god-awful Green Mountain coffee) and attempted to get a read from the locals on how this election is going to swing. Unfortunately, none of the folks were in a chatty mood and basically just ignored us.

OK...even with our crack reporting skills, we have no feel at all for how this race is going to turn out tonight. Regardless, we already have mandatory state healthcare coverage. So, as a state, we don't much care how the healthcare bill is going to do nationally. Just remember this, if you get sick, stay where you are. We don't want any of your germs and we certainly are not going to cover your ass. [Permalink] -Special Election Day

January 18,2010

When the "special election" was annouced for Senator's Kennedy's seat, we didn't think it would be all that interesting. Being Massachusetts, we figured it would be a choice between a few obvious Democrats and some token Republican.

We are now a day away from the election and things are anything but quiet. We have received a bunch of emails, several calls, and a pretty impressive bunch of direct mail pieces from both candidates. Unfortunately, none of which said anything substantive or persuasive. It appears the biggest beneficiary of this election will be the advertisers. It is hard to believe that there is even a race, but there is, and it is going to be a squeaker...if you trust the polls.

"Some" would like to see the Democrats lose tomorrow because "their" candidate lost in 2008. Some would like to see Scott Brown win so that the Republicans can hinder the vote for the Healthcare bill. Others (although possibly the same) would rather not see President Obama succeed at any cost, even if to the detriment to this country. Tomorrow's vote is no longer just about Coakley Vs Brown. It is about leadership, change, and moving forward. It is also about fear, frustration, and impatience. It is about everything, and not all of it is logical.

By tomorrow evening, the crazy storms now outside--one the weather, the other this senate race--will have passed. It will be a very interesting Tuesday. If you live in MA and want to have a say, get out there and be counted. We will be voting bright and early. [Permalink] -Coakley Vs Brown


September 11,2009

We all remember where we were when the events of the day unfolded eight years ago.  Eight years is a long time.  Lives have gone on.  Things we would not have imagined then have come to pass. 

Today, we stop to remember, reflect, and to remind ourselves that there is still unfinished business from that day.  To those who hide, hoping we would grow tire or lose our resolve, be on notice that we are coming for you.  It may not be tomorrow, but we are coming and we will knock loudly at your door.  [Permalink] - Eight Years Later


September 5,2009

We have been pondering a few questions about healthcare, health insurance, and personal health in general:

1. Why would anyone think that insurance companies are on their side?  Insurance companies are a "for profit" enterprise.  There is NOTHING wrong with making money, but if that is their motivation... why would they EVER be eager to pay out?  Car insurance companies can make money because most do not policy holder do not get into an accidents.  This is not true for Health insurance companies.  Everyone will eventually need health care.

Healt Insurance companies can only make money only if they continue to raise their premiums along with the cost of healthcare.  Sooner or later, EVERYONE will get old and will need some kind of care.  Once there are more older insured policy holders than younger new subscribers, the for-profit health insurance model will begin to fall apart.  This is because at some point the premiums to make the business profitable will be unaffordable.  This is one of the reasons why we need a different approach to paying for healthcare than just worring about how to pay for health insurance.

2. Why should we have to pay for the unhealthy habits of others?  People with riskier jobs have higher life insurance premiums.  People who are less experience or have bad driving records have higher car insurance premiums. Shouldn't people with bad health habits pay a higher insurance premium?  Looking around at the folks in the mall the other day, we realized that there are a LOT of folks that are "of size."  While it may be true that a small minority of folks may be "big" due to medical reasons, the majority are "oversized" because their diet is "oversized."  There is nothing wrong with eating as much as you want, but shouldn't the incentives be to encourage better and healthier behaviors?  If not, then at least don't make the rest of us pay for it.

3. Why do we even need to have health insurance at all?  Nobody stay healthy forever.  Everyone is going to need some kind of healthcare sooner or later.  Shouldn't we try figure out how to PROVIDE healthcare rather then trying to figure out how to "insure" against having to pay a huge healthcare bill?  Everyone drives on the US interconnected highway system.  Everyone chipped in to paid for its creation, its upkeep, and its improvements.  We don't generally have private ownership of roads because everyone needs it.  If we did, we probably would need a rider in our car insurance policy just in case we needed to drive on a road which turned out to be cost prohibitive.

RainyDaySolution: Live better, not just longer.  What if we, as individuals, change our attitute from living as long as we can to living the best we can?  How should RainyDayMagazine readers interested in this idea start thinking about what they would need to do to achieve this?

1. Have insurance to provide coverage for non-age related catastrophic events (accidents, infections, etc...).  This would be insurance to pay for things which we couldn't anticipate (breaking a bone, appendicitis, etc...). 

2. Find health practioners who can help maximizing the quality rather then the quantity of life...maintaining flexibility, strong muscular and skeletal structures, and alert mental capabilities.  These things cannot be solved by a pill, but achieved over time through certain behaviors and lifestyle.  We believe they are within reach of the motivated.

What are we saying.... We are saying that health insurance and healthcare are not the same thing.  We are saying that amount of care and quality of life are not the same thing.  We are saying that those who can afford it may live longer, but they may not live better.  We are saying that we may not have all the anwers, but maybe if some of us start thinking about the problem from a different perspective, we can come up with alternative solutions that are more under our control.  [Permalink] - Healthcare Questions


August 15-16,2009

We refer to folks such as Ann Coulter, Bill O'Reilly, and Sarah Palin as the "Fright Right."  These demagogues of the far right offer nothing but falsehoods and fear in the guise of "dialog."  These non-politicians bring nothing to the table in terms of solutions.  Their tactic is to inject FUD (fear, uncertainty, and doubt), their ideology is simple-minded, and their agenda is no more than pure self-aggrandizement. 

However, to ignore them in the hope that their ideas will be seen for the follies that they are is a mistake.  As any good gardener knows, weeds must be pulled or they will choke out the fragile seedlings before they have a chance to establish their roots.  The process of weeding is constant, tedious, and sometimes difficult work, but it must be done.  Such is also true of the efforts necessary to counter the FUD from the Fright Right.  Just look at the nonsense about the made-up controversy of the "death panel" in the recent news regarding the debates of health care reforms.  Lightweights such as Palin would not be in the news if she was not the poster-child for this kind of lunacy.  However, those who are working seriously to make progress on healthcare issues must still take energy away from their efforts to address this kind of "moonlanding was a hoax" viral drivel.  We feel it is time we join the fight to help push back the darkness.

To put our money where our mouth is, we would like to take this opportunity to announce that starting in September, we will be adding a new section called RainyDayPolitics to RainyDayMagazine.  We plan to stand up, speak out, and be counted.  We urge our readers to engage, add to the dialog, and help weed out the crap...grass.   [Permalink] - Countering the "Fright Right"



Recent History
Ancient History

Rainy Day Magazine is a Publication of Rainy Day Entertainment© 2009