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That Time Of Year

Channeling the Grinch, the conservative prime minister of Australia has threatened to keep the Parliament in session through Christmas if they don’t pass his legislative agenda.

Mr. Abbott did not win a majority in recent elections, so I don’t think this is going to be the threat he thinks it is, but it is certainly a useful bit for the ‘loyal opposition’ to talk about with their constituents.

Via Avedon Carol, a collection of wonderful pictures of real snowflakes.

Because the Republicans have gone totally ‘Hoover’ and are attempting to out-source the social safety net to Scrooge & Marley, I’ve made the decision that my entire Christmas list will be C2C, i.e. cash to charities. Because of what happened to the WIC program under the shutdown, and the food stamp program November 1st I’m sending to groups that feed children on a continuing basis. It makes no sense to me to give people good Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners when the need is there year round. This should be covered under ‘promoting the General Welfare’, but some people don’t seem to be able to read anything that doesn’t directly benefit themselves.

I made a trip to MalWart for a neighbor on Saturday. Locally they have a Sam’s Club next door, and parking was a bigger problem at Sam’s Club. Early Saturday afternoon on the first Saturday in December and I parked about 8 spaces away from the entrance. [I could have parked closer in the next aisle.]

It wasn’t empty, but people were grocery shopping, not Christmas shopping. I got the stuff the neighbor wanted and checked out through the self-service area, because there weren’t very many registers open.

If you have never been to a MalWart, it has a limited grocery section. The selection is really not good, with very limited choices of brands and sizes. As someone who normally shops in Publix, I’m not used to the lack of choice. If you are looking for an unusual jelly or jam, you can’t beat Publix. I wasn’t really impressed with the prices, especially when you factor in how far away it is, but they have people convinced. Also, expect empty spaces on shelves, because they don’t seem to have anyone stocking on a regular basis, and the gaps are noticeable because the shelves are designed for a large quantity of the fewer items they stock.


1 Rook { 12.09.13 at 6:29 am }

Never heard it referred to Malwart before. I’ll have to remember that.

One thing I learned a long time ago; never by the produce at Malwart. It goes bad in about 3 days. I go to a local grocer who charges more for his fruit and vegetables, but they are at least quality enough to last more than 2 days.

2 Steve Bates { 12.09.13 at 9:49 am }

“I’ve made the decision that my entire Christmas list will be C2C, i.e. cash to charities. Because of what happened to the WIC program under the shutdown, and the food stamp program November 1st I’m sending to groups that feed children on a continuing basis.

Bravo, Bryan!

During GeeDubya’s second term, Stella and I volunteered at the local free Christmas dinner, served in the large hall of the George R. Brown Convention Center, which ironically is also the location of occasional political conventions. They already had a slate of food line staff, and assigned us to the welcome crew, a sort of cheering section urging the large crowds of homeless and otherwise hungry people through the hall to the food line.

Never again! I saw the faces of those hungry people… faded, discouraged, without hope… and they didn’t need cheering, they needed a steady, reliable, day-to-day source of a good meal. The hungry in Houston alone would populate a large town or small city. It just isn’t right.

Since then, Stella and I have given each other token presents, putting the rest of the holiday money into known effective local anti-hunger programs. It still hasn’t made more than a small dent in the problem, and probably won’t until O’Bummer turns his serious attention to seeing people housed, clothed. fed and employed. We have negligible influence there… all we can do is hope, and feed a few people through the Food Bank.

3 Bryan { 12.09.13 at 10:56 am }

Don’t even consider anything in the meat case, Rook. If you follow the food recalls, in almost every incident of a meat recall, MalWart is one of retailers listed. They don’t have any butchers working at their stores, so they don’t have anyone who knows the difference between and an eye of the round and an eye of a newt, much less what color meat should be.

For years, Steve, I been supporting groups like Heifer, but they concentrate on people outside the US. This year it became obvious that we have a major problem in the US and no one in government wants to do anything it.

People don’t understand the system. I had a great uncle who lost his farm in the Depression because he couldn’t pay the mortgage. The farm was productive but not enough people had money enough to buy what he was producing, so he didn’t have the money to pay the mortgage. He had milk, cream, butter, cheese, grain, vegetables, and berries, but the bank had to have cash, so he lost it all. There are a lot of homeless people who have enough money to pay rent, but they can’t save the money to pay the deposits to move in. If they do manage to move in, they are one trip to a doctor or dentist from eviction, which means even higher deposits the next time. People just don’t understand the system.

4 Badtux { 12.09.13 at 7:24 pm }

Which reminds me that it’s time for my yearly donations to Second Harvest and the Salvation Army…

5 Bryan { 12.09.13 at 8:33 pm }

Ringing bells is the only steady work you can depend on over the holidays. I’ve been using self-service aisles, which I dislike on principle because they reduce employment, but the big boxes aren’t staffed.