Thursday, October 28, 2010

My Digestive Nightmare

Many of my friends have asked how Jack is doing, and I've started to lovingly refer to him as my Little Digestive Nightmare. In May he was diagnosed with allergies to Milk, Eggs and Peanuts and was forced to put him on Alimentum Formula. I kept him on that liquid gold, and I do mean gold, as in it was costing us $250 a month to feed just Jack, until September. At that point I decided to put him on soy formula and then soy milk. He didn't show any negative effects to the formula switch, so I thought we were good.

Of course I did have my concerns about putting Jack on so much soy, but I weighed my options. Keep him on Alimentum and go broke or take my chances with premature puberty and elevated levels of estrogen because of soy. I went with soy and decided to trust God with puberty.

I also like to wait to see if the Dr. brings things up. Whenever I hear something I default to, "I'm probably being paranoid so I should wait and see what other evidence comes up." And I really trust my pediatrician so I waited till Jack's one year appointment to see if she brought up the whole estrogen thing, and SHE DID! So I immediately took him off soy milk and switched him to rice milk, er, rice drink.

But that wasn't the only thing we may have discovered at his appointment. He only gained 13 ounces in three months. So, now we're looking at whether or not he's allergic to soy. I go back in a few weeks to see if he's gained much weight. If not I'll have to do another allergy test and then probably eliminate all soy from his life.

In the meantime, I'm supposed to give Jack anything he wants to eat, except of course anything with dairy, eggs or peanuts! Quite the dilemma. I have been making lots of meats and I've also been adjusting many of my recipes to egg-free and dairy-free. Peanuts aren't too prevalent in our menu, so that hasn't been too difficult to eliminate.

The best find came this week when I was told that flax seed can be an egg substitute by dear Katie. It has helped tremendously. Muffins and pancakes this week! Yeah! And the biggest blessing in all of this is that Mati and Reagan haven't noticed anything different! I'm thrilled!

And so the nightmare may not be so bad..."Here comes the sun, little darling..."

Monday, October 18, 2010

And The Props Keep Coming! 300's

Prop 301

Prop 301 would move public money from the Land Conservation Fund to the state general fund. There is about $20 million in the Land Conservation Fund. This money was both publicly funded and privately donated specifically for the conservation of state trust land and for implementation of conservations management.

I do not think that now is the right time to be concerned with the conservation of land. Land and environmental issues are a luxury; issues for times of plenty. We are not in those times. It is time to trim the fat and get serious about cutting budgets. And while this prop does not deal with cutting the state budget, it at least moves in the direction of using what we have rather than saving this for conservation purposes, which benefits very few. The environmentalists have a strong hold on this state and I think we should be honest about what’s important right now; environmental issues are not.

Also, I find it suspect that the Arizona Educations Association is against this proposition. What dog does the NEA have in this fight? I can only think of one reason the NEA would want this to fail is that they love taxes and fear that any cut to a budget would come from the education budget. Not that this a long-shot; bureaucrats love to threaten cuts to education so that the people will cry out uniformly, “NO!” and say yes to taxes. Nevertheless, if the NEA is against it, I’m for it.

I’m going to vote Yes on this proposition. The Arizona Tax Research Associations, the state’s only taxpayer organization, supports this prop because it would guard against higher income taxes since the money from the Fund would be accessible for the general fund. I’m for anything that moves in the direction of fewer taxes.

Prop 302

This proposition would terminate the Early Childhood Education Board, which oversees the spending of money collected by an $.80 tax on tobacco products. The money that is currently in the fund would be redirected to the general fund and specifically appropriated for health and human services for children.

As unpopular as this is, I’m voting Yes.

I think there is far too much spending on early childhood education. Although this proposition does not repeal the $.80 tax on tobacco product (which I would love!), it does repeal and terminate the AZ Early Childhood Development and Health Board. I’m always for less government and fewer bureaucrats.

There are several pages of “against” letters on this one. And as far as I can tell they are all people who have a financial interest in keeping the Early Childhood Education and Health Board going. I just can’t help but be dismayed by how much dependence the state government has created with this, and other, programs. It’s sad.

And I’m still voting yes.

With that, I’ve worked through the state level propositions. You’re on your own for judges! I really hope this has helped a few of you.

Let's Talk About Pot: Prop 203

Prop 203 is the Legalization of Medical Marijuana proposition to the Arizona constitution.

I have been weighing this for at least the last 10 years, and most recently for the last 24 hours.

Do I believe that it is wrong to smoke pot? Yes. It is an illegal substance.

But I am of two minds about that. I'm not convinced that marijuana is any more dangerous than alcohol, of which I am a willing consumer during non-gestating periods of my life. My concerns with marijuana are that it is a gateway drug, and that it has not been proven to be any more effective at actual pain relief than the multitude of FDA approved pain killers. And pain management is the question at hand.

Pain is a tricky, completely individual feeling. I just don't think it's right to legalize a substance on so subjective a feeling like pain.

I have a couple moral points about the legalization of marijuana. For one, I hate that the government would collect tax revenue off of someone's vices. I find it abhorrent that the government, on the one hand tells a consumer to stop smoking and on the other raises the taxes on cigarettes so as to keep the revenue flowing for social projects. The government has a vested interest, then, in keeping the addiction going. This is the same for gambling, in my opinion. The government loves to tax people's vices, even if those vices are self-damaging.

The other point is that it does, as CAP said, send a very "dangerous message to our children that illegal drugs are not only acceptable, but beneficial." This is perhaps the most damaging by-product of legalizing "medical" marijuana.

I will be voting No on this proposition. Marijuana has not been proven to be a more effective pain manager than any of the other medications. And I believe that this proposition is simply an attempt to mainstream the use of pot so as to normalize the behavior.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Let’s Talk About Props Baby! The 100's

Absentee ballots have arrived and the political nirvana is about to come to a climax! I just love voting. It’s the essence of America: getting to choose for oneself our elected officials and it’s also the opportunity for the voters to choose laws directly.

Arizona has one of the most liberal, as in liberty, means of making laws. We have propositions and referendums. A proposition is a law that is passed by means of a general election. Referendums are the recalling or changing of laws through a general election. Both bypass state legislatures and are started and funded directly by the people, or interest groups. It is a true democratic effort. And I love it.

However, the tricky part of propositions is that the wording can be confusing. A lot of the groups who write these props do their best to construe the language so that the voter will not quite understand which way they are voting.

I thought it would be beneficial for me, as well as for you, my loyal reader, to go through the props and tell you how I interpret them and how I will vote.

Prop 106

The Healthcare Prop-This proposition allows Arizonans the right to opt out of Universal Healthcare, a.k.a. ObamaCare. It protects a person’s right to choose for themselves what their healthcare coverage will be, and furthermore, allows a person to choose not to be covered by insurance and pay privately for medical services, without threat of penalty or fine. It also allows the companies of Arizona to opt out of Universal Healthcare without penalty or fine.

I am for this proposition and will be voting yes. ObamaCare is unconstitutional because it coerces an INDIVIDUAL to belong to and pay into a health care system. You cannot, according to the U.S. Constitution force someone to buy something. This proposition puts into law the ability for the citizens of Arizona to opt out of ObamaCare. This is very similar to what Missouri did in August by passing a referendum against ObamaCare, saying that ObamaCare shall have no effect on Missourians.

Prop 107

Prohibiting Affirmative Action in the State of Arizona-This proposition suspends affirmative action in the State of Arizona. It would ban affirmative action programs that give preferential treatment to or discriminate against any individual or group on the basis of race, sex, color, ethnicity or national origin. It does not prohibit persons who have met the discrimination threshold to pursue legal recourse.

I am voting Yes on this proposition, surprise, surprise. I think affirmative action is a disaster for this country. To discriminate against a perfectly qualified person just because that person does not look or believe a certain way is utterly despicable and to have it state sponsored is outrageous.

Also, the fact that the Arizona chapter of the National Organization for Women and Phil Gordon are against this is reason enough for me to vote for it!

Prop 109

Wildlife and Hunting Conservation-This proposition makes wildlife in the state in trust for the citizens; says citizens have a legal right to hunt and hunting is the preferred method of wildlife management; and prohibits the legislature from enacting any rules that unreasonably restrict hunting, fishing or harvesting wildlife. This prop does not affect any laws relating to trespass or property rights.

I am voting Yes for this proposition. I do agree that hunting is a natural and scientifically-proven preferred method for wildlife management. This prop will prevent the legislature from passing laws that restrict hunting unnecessarily. This is important when you consider the dismal situation in the San Joaquin-Sacramento delta area, where the California judges have cut water off from this important farming community in favor of a tiny fish-the smelt, virtually destroying an entire industry, and where they now enjoy a 20% unemployment and cannot grow the crops that a lot of the country rely on.

Prop 110

Ability for the state to sell or lease public trust land-This proposition allows the state to lease or sell the public trust land for use, as long as it is in the public interest.

I have no problem with this prop and will be voting Yes. This is especially important to the military installations and the protection of the land it utilizes.

Prop 111

Amend the Arizona Constitution to rename the Secretary of State to Lieutenant Governor.

I have no problem with this one and will vote Yes. This is for all those people who don’t understand that the Secretary of State is the successor to the Governor, mostly out-of-staters and people who don’t remember their Arizona Constitution.

Prop 112

Provide for a six month period before a general election to put Propositions or Referendums on the ballot, instead of the current four month period.

I am voting Yes on this prop. The Center For Arizona Policy is for this, and that’s good enough for me. They say that four months is too short a time period to verify signatures and to make any necessary legal challenges, and to properly craft ballot language. I’ll go with that.

Prop 113

Protecting the Secret Ballot-This prop guarantees the right to a secret ballot during all elections, and most importantly, during union elections. This is the infamous “card check”. Card Check is the opportunity for unions to coerce their members into voting a certain way since the ballot will not be secret. There is lots of talk of this at the national level, which is why this is on the ballot.

I will be voting Yes on this prop. I believe that a person should be allowed a secret ballot and it should be protected by the law.