Thursday, April 21, 2011

The children. . .

The recently agreed upon federal budget that resulted in funding cuts of almost $40 billion included a $504 million cut to the Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC).

Taking a closer look at the WIC website, I identified the program mission:  "WIC provides Federal grants to States for supplemental foods, health care referrals, and nutrition education for low-income pregnant, breastfeeding, and non-breastfeeding postpartum women, and to infants and children up to age five who are found to be at nutritional risk."

A program description reads:  "WIC food packages and nutrition education are the chief means by which WIC affects the dietary quality and habits of participants."

WIC has worked hard to make the program incredibly efficient, while also upgrading the dietary quality of the food provided low-income mothers and children.  Here's a description of recent gains in the quality of nutritive food products distributed: 

"New food packages are now being provided to WIC participants in all States. On December 6, 2007, an interim rule revising the WIC food packages was published in the Federal Register. The new food packages align with the 2005 Dietary Guidelines for Americans and infant feeding practice guidelines of the American Academy of Pediatrics. The food packages better promote and support the establishment of successful, long-term breastfeeding, provide WIC participants with a wider variety of foods including fruits and vegetables and whole grains, and provide WIC State agencies greater flexibility in prescribing food packages to accommodate the cultural food preferences of WIC participants."

For years we've referred women with infants to WIC for the nutritious food products needed by their little ones.  Women earning at or below 185% of the federal poverty level have been eligible for the program.  To put that in real terms, a mother with one child could earn up to $338 weekly gross and qualify for WIC food products. 

Clearly, infant nutrition or the lack thereof drives a number of important social and , ultimately, economic and public health outcomes, including obesity, brain development and function, learning capacity, family stability, and overall well-being and health. 

Aren't are children worth the cost?  Isn't the investment one that will serve us all very well over the long haul?


Jeremy said...

Funny how the same people who rallied behind this cut are the same people who rally behind efforts to remove a woman's right to choose based on the "sanctity of life."

Why do we care about fetuses but not the children whom they become?

Anonymous said...

Great point Jeremy -equating murder with a federal handout!

Lorlee said...

It simply saddens me every time Anonymous spews his venom.

What you do for the least of my brethern, you do unto me.

It isn't a federal handout, it is a christian imperative. One wonders how the compassion gene missed you completely

Anonymous said...

Why do you call it a fetus? Does it help you to think an unborn child is less than human?

Larry James said...

In my view to be pro-life one should be consistently so. At the risk of setting off a firestorm among some readers, Jim Wallis was the first person I recall using the phrase "consistenly pro-life." He went on to explain that he was against abortion as a means of birth control. At the same time he was anti-hunger/starvation, anti-war, anti-weapons, anti-poverty, anti-capital punishment, anti-euthanasia, etc. I think his insisting on a consistent posture is crucial and correct.

Anonymous said...

Lorlee if its federal handouts its secular not Christian. Local and area charities are better equipped to handle food handouts, and are generally faith based.

Thanks for the quote - here's one for you "thou shall not steal"

Anonymous said...

Larry, you forgot to mention among Wallis attributes "Marxist"

Chris said...

If you don't have a better than even chance of taking care of your children, then I suggest you postpone having them. Obama is on the trail lauding the welfare state, it's just embarrassing. He really hates people who take care of themselves and their families except for what he can take away from them. He lies everytime he opens his mouth, and the media goes along with him. This idiot needs to be thrown out of office and definately not reelected. Next time I'll say what I really think.

More moey goes to welfare now than is taken in by taxes. This cannot continue. Meanwhile, Obama is doing the class warfare thing.

Obama never worked a day in his life except as a community agitator. If you look carefully, he wasn't successful at that.

As he has shut down the oil drilling, gas is on the way to $5.00/gal. His solution? Buy an electric lawnmower. Now that would really work with my neighbor who has 4 kids. Your elderly parent need a pacemaker? Simple, take a pill.

I have never seen in my life such a poor excuse for a president.

I am more than happy to sign my name.

Anonymous said...

"Local and area charities are better equipped to handle food handouts, and are generally faith based."

Anon - Let's try to stick with facts. Charities do not - cannot - simply do not have the resources - to do even 1% of what the federal government does in terms of food for the poor.

And one can, as Lorlee suggests, perform a "Christian imperative" through government, or at least they can be in agreement - the Ten Commandments and our secular laws both say Thou Shall Not Kill. It does not have to be either/or (religious/secular), but can be both/and.


Anonymous said...

Ken Dallas (obvious alias), you are absolutely brilliant. Now you try to stick with the facts. Government handouts are secular. Take a second and read Lois Lane's rant!

Anonymous said...

Chris, your ability to dismiss the very real challenges facing persons battling poverty in 2011 is astounding! And please, spare us your typical bromide about how poor you were growing up and how well-educated your highly motivated family was to the end that you pulled yourselves up by your own bootstraps!

Here's what you didn't face:


Low-wage jobs as an only option, esp in view of off-shoring and training options.

Neighborhoods neglected systematically by cities who priortized expenditures based on property values.

Poor performing public schools brought about in part by white flight--back to racism.

Poverty is a complex, terribly difficult reality.

Inadequate and ever declining health benefits that affect work, etc.

We live in a time of insane positions. The GOP field of candidates makes Eisenhower, Nixon and Reagan look like true liberals.

Classim is rampant in the culture.

You want to talk about "welfare," start with Wall Street, big corporations and the creative work of lobbyists!

When your done, go read about Jesus.

Chris said...

anon. 5:20

There's racism all right but it's usually against whites.

And just because one is against the murder of pre-born children does not mean the state is responsible for feeding the ones already born. That is the parents responsibility.

Have you noticed how much the state wants to take over the life of children and families? No salt on the table, no bringing your lunch from home, no playing dodgeball, The schools have become, not education centers, but indoctrination centers. If I had school age children I would look carefully at the public school. Have you heard Al Gore say that parents don't know as much as the children and the children should teach the parents?

It's a shame what all this war on poverty has done to a great many families. Can you say generational dependency?

Anonymous said...

What's the difference btwn Lorlee and a fetus? The fetus has potential.

Larry James said...

Anon 9:41, comments like yours here explain why I've gone back and forth on monitored or unmonitored comments. I almost placed this one in the trash, but then decided to leave it up for all to see. This sort of hate speech explains much about why community development, public policy progress is so hard to realize. I simply don't understand the spirit behind such words. Please keep the conversation civil or post elsewhere.

Lorlee said...

And the difference between Lorlee and Anonymous is that she has the courage and honesty to post her real name and photo with her comment.

Easy to be hateful when you hide.

I find it amazing that anyone who supposedly is a Christian -- and maybe you aren't -- can have so little compassion. The bible -- the book that Christians supposedly espouse -- talks about selling all and giving it to the poor. So my new criteria is that if you haven't done so, you probably don't take your book seriously, so why should I.

As to "thou shalt not steal" -- I find it hard to reconcile that with those who so willing steal from the common good. We are all in this together and I don't understand this idea that one can take as much as they want at the expense of all the rest and somehow that is okay.

If you have the courage to come out from behind the mask, I am easily findable.

belinda said...

Larry, i hope you continue to make it easy for me to post comments. i don't post often, but sometimes i just have to say something. there's just no understanding some people's rationale (or lack thereof). i appreciate so much what you and people like you do.

Chris said...

Lorlee our economy is just not set up where there is a big pot and each person takes what they need to live. Fortunately!

If that were the case everyone would be on the brink pf poverty, there would be no hope, there would be widespread depression, both mentally and financially.

If the economy were set up like that, "Thou shalt not steal" would take on new meaning since a big part of the population would be content to live off the rest.

Quoting Dr. Burton Coffman;

"To begin with, there were certain unique conditions in that NT situation that are not matched in modern times anywhere at any time. Furthermore, it must be remembered that the NT experiment lasted but a short while, was not undertaken upon the basis of any command of Christ or the apostles, and that there was never any teaching whatever set up with a view for perpetuating what is in view here. Most importantly of all, the experiment failed, human nature proving then, as it ever has, an insurmountable obstacle forbidding the success of any such society."

Commentaty on Acts, page 62

Anonymous said...

Lorlee are you a liberation theologist or merely impersonating one?

Anonymous said...

Thx Chris and fellow anonymi. Larry pulled my last post - suggesting he thinks his team is not up to the challenge.

Anonymous said...

Nice suck up Belinda!

Lorlee said...

I don't believe much in labels. I simply believe that there is a common good, and we are all responsible for trying to achieve it.

And I believe that there needs to be regulations to try and avert what just happened in the financial sector, regulations to stop the rape of the earth without proper care and recompense and some back stop to try to keep the current robber barons from destroying our democracy.

So call me what you will.

Chris said...

Lorlee, If congress had been minus a few democrats the housing market would not have collapsed which brought on the financial meltdown. And are you aware the founder of "earth day" by the name of Ira Einhorn made compose out of his girlfriend after killing her? You don't hear nearly as much about earth day now as a few years ago only because it's a joke.

Millions of people are dying because of the outlawing of DDT in the name of the earth.

We should take reasonable care of the earth but how about the idea of worshipping the creator more than the created?

You sound like you have been brainwashed by the liberal media.

Lorlee said...

And I think I recognize the arguments as coming from right wing outlets. There really is no liberal media -- controlled by large corporations.

It isn't poor people who brought the country to its knees.

I guess I worry about mountaintop mining, raping of our lands by mineral extraction, air pollution that kills millions. And we will rue fracking for is pollution and destruction of ground water.

Larry James said...

Anon 9:31, I didn't pull your last post. I did notice that while it came thru to my email, it didn't show up here. Please repost. I'll be glad to show it and to further display your attitude and inner life.

Chris, Burton Coffman must not have read the Godpel of Luke. That early community did exactly what they had been hearing Jesus say. They didn't come to it on their own.

Chris said...

Acts Two still implies that the early Christians still retained private property and the means of production. Their example was one of Christian generosity and not of communism as we know it today. If you believe otherwise, suppose you sell your house, car and use the money for the common good.

Anonymous said...


I reposted a summary and checked to see if it was posted. It was. Then it disappeared. Again.

I'm beginning to wonder whether Larry works for CBS News.

Larry James said...

Anon 5:26, again I received the email that contained what you posted, but I did not see it on the comment page; not sure what is happening. I can assure you that I want people to see what you are putting up. Note to my staff, if anyone is removing these comments, please stop now.

In your last comment you tried to justify and explain why you remain anonymous...somehow feeling superior to liberals who put up names w/o connection to real identity. While I prefer that all identify themselves, I don't see how what someone else does let's me or you off the hook about being above board.

RE poor kids: read the Hebrew Bible and Luke, then get back to me?

Chris said...

"there really is no liberal media controlled by large corporations"

Ever hear of CBS,NBC,ABC, New York Times,etc.,etc

Anonymous said...

LJ, Nice Allinsky argument! BTW do you believe in the separation of church and state?

Larry James said...

Here's what Anon put up earlier that somehow disappeared. . .wanted all to see; never want these to be trashed"

Larry, you're more than welcome to repost my text, if you have it. I don't recall every word. The text I posted showed up on your blog for about 5 minutes. Then disappeared.

Here are the sparkle notes from my missing post:

Jeremy's namelink takes you to an anonymous profile. He started the whole thread of angst by trying to make hypocrites out of those (of us) who hate abortion but don't gladly pay for any program to feed poor children.

Lorlee wants us to sell everything we have and give it to the poor. I find it to be a crime against logic to claim that the heinous methods to achieve abortion can be considered not so bad (just a choice), while not wanting to pay for every federal or non-profit handout program cuts against the very fiber of Christianity (you shouldn't have a choice). If anything, we should easily unite against in-utero murder and be able to debate and even strongly disagree about how to care for those fortunate enough not to be aborted.

Lot's of people on this blog are anonymous - even those with names associated with posts.

What is interesting is the freaky way the leftists on this blog desperately need to know who is posting arguments against their lame-brained claims. (OK, this part was not in my original post).

Some of us decline the request. The result is name calling, character assassination, and a wide range of defensive behavior. But that's just how liberals operate.

My inner life: nothing like Angry Al Franken's seething attitude toward Christianity; not controlled by a Kennedy-esque commitment to Irish Whiskey and unbuttoned blouses; not greed-driven as represented by Democrat congressman William Jefferson's cold cash caper, not aligned with Jesse Jackson-Charlie Rangel quality of divisive politics, ...

Basically, I just hate being lied to and I use this site to uncover some of those lies.

Posted by Anonymous to Larry James' Urban Daily at Saturday, April 23, 2011 3:51:00 PM CDT

Larry James said...

Chris, why would large corporations support liberal media??? Your paranoia makes no sense. . .but that's part of the definition, huh?

Anon, yes, I believe in sep of church and state, but not in sep of Christian values and my own engagement in a democratic society.

Anonymous said...

Lorlee, you dont believe in labels (cop-out) Didn't one of your rants contain "And I think I recognize the arguments as coming from right wing outlets."

To my way of thinking "right wing" is a label, unless of course you are referring to Thanksgiving.
Labels help us to clarify and categorize - sort of like an Earth Day without any earth or bs ( Barbara Streisand)

Anonymous said...

Larry, do you hold organized church services for those homeless you tend to, or does the secular nature of your outreach (large federal funding) prohibit it? I doubt seriously that many of these downtrodden would attend a regular church as it would be outside their comfort zone.

Lorlee said...

as someone who has been involved politically at all levels for going on 50 years, I really don't believe much in labels. Too often used to demonize. I used the right wing appellation because I simply recognized most of your arguments as coming from Fox News which most will agree is not center or left. By the way, did you know that Canada will not allow Fox News because they have standards of truth for the news?

Anonymous said...

Lorlee, so you use labels when its convenient, and use "I don't believe much in labels" when you don't want to answer the question?

Chris said...

Lorlee, if Canada had any standards of truth for the media they would never tolerate MSNBC! Unless, of course, you think Rachel Maddow is fair and balanced. The reason Juan Williams was fired from NPR was that he was a contributor to Fox News and went against the liberal line of sucking up to Muslims.

Truth is, the media is almost all liberal, with a few exceptions. Can you not see the way they have given Obama a pass on things they would never give George Bush the benefit of the doubt? One example, among many, is the gas prices. The story line on todays prices is that "of course it is not under Obama's control." When the prices were high under Bush, he was bashed to high heaven, and he was blamed for it. In fact there was a special this week on the difference in treatment of Obama and his administration and the previous one. No, not everyone is paranoid because it has basis in fact.

Since NPR is way liberal, conservatives do not think it should be supported by government grants which is our tax dollars.

Larry James said...

Anon 10:13, the Central Dallas Church has been associated with our work since 1992 when it was planted by the same folks who began our work. As to "religious services for the homeless we tend," our residents and friends in our housing programs are offered a wide range of faith building choices. Several church groups are in CityWalk every week for scheduled bible classes and transportation is arranged and provided to a number of congregations in the city who are very welcoming to our residents. While we don't have a church in the building or at our other community housing initiative (Destination Home), everyone who is intereted is able to choose a church or small group for themselves. Of course, non are mandatory. Lots of great stuff going on in this regard.

Lorlee said...

Never have watched Rachel Maddow nor Sean Hannity. They represent the far ends of the spectrum. They are commentators, I am looking for sources that provide actual news.

Obviously, we will never agree. But actual studies done by independent sources disagree with your assumption that all news is liberal. Further, I think the terms liberal and conservative have been scewed beyond all recognition.

Anonymous said...

Larry - So you minister to your flock's physical needs but do not provide spiritual nourishment?

Larry James said...

Anon 9:46, how can you read what I've written and reach that conclusion? We offer bible study, transport to church, and whatever else our residents want to enjoy. I am about to kick off a bible study in the building for residents and any interested staff on the Book of James. We provide spiritual resources for our residents. As badly as this will disappoint you, we are faith-based, God fearing, bible studying people and organization. We do what we do because of our faith after the manner of Jesus.

Larry James said...

One more time: everyone please read the original post that set off this string. I was commenting on reduced resources to provide adequate nutrition for very low-income children. Where this string has taken us displays clearly the challenge we have today as a people.

Daniel Gray said...

Oh man. I haven't seen a thread like this in years... actually kind of sad how something starts out about helping people in need, and the next thing people want to know is whether or not CitySquare has mandatory Bible studies. I think what people are really wanting to know is, does CitySquare instruct its neighbors in the evils of instrumental worship? Of course that's what the resurrection is about: straining out the finer points of scripture while ignoring the overwhelming call to participate in a new world order.

Hallelujah! He is Risen, Indeed!

Anonymous said...

There is no greater scourge than a pure ideology. Nazism leads to death camps. Communism leads to lowest common denominator subsistence. (Pure) Capitalism leads to gross inequalities of wealth and income. Pragmatism is the answer. Take what works and put it to work- whoever came up with it. If its capitalism plus 40% taxes on the wealthiest, so be it. They'll be fine on their 60% and contribute to the rest.

Anonymous said...

I'm not sure what a pure ideology is, but I think contamination of a Christian belief system with the Marxism of liberation theology is an abomination.
As far as your 40% tax bracket - one of the problems with our tax system is that 50% pay no income taxes, and yet they have a loud voice in determining what the remaining 50% pays. Its representation without taxation - so to speak. of course the greater danger is that the non taxed citizens continue to receive tax credit payments in excess of anything contributed, and that these same citizens can vote themselves larger tax credits through their selection of representation. I am opposed to the theft inherent in the system through involuntary income redistribution.

Anonymous said...

"Ideologies are systems of abstract thought applied to public matters." The problem is when one continues to apply an "abstract thought" to the real world even when it clearly does not work out well. But a pure ideology - that is, one held as an absolute, no matter what the real world consequences - is the most dangerous. The most recent, best example of this was Russian and Chinese Communism. It was a disaster, but the purist ideologues in Moscow and Beijing would not let up. But similar ideological rigidity on the right could have similarly bad results.

So, what I was saying is, be pragmatic. Take what works, stop what doesn't. If some abstract thought you've applied to the real world isn't working, drop it. Try something else. Practiced within the bounds of our free democratic system of government, I think we'd get the best possible results. Not pure capitalism or pure socialism or pure anything. Just what works. What can show results.

Anonymous said...

Why stop at redistributing wealth? Maybe we should consider a variety of other advantages some people have over others and redistribute resources and outcomes to create as much equality as possible. For example, see