Goshen News, Goshen, IN

February 9, 2013

NOT THAT YOU ASKED, BUT ...: Plenty of things to make you go ‘Hmmmmm’


— I have an enquiring mind. That’s a good trait for a journalist/writer to have. It does help the interview process go smoother when you have questions to ask. It also helps in the creative writing process, too, as being inquisitive leads to researching which usually leads to more story ideas!

The bad thing about having an enquiring mind is that it sometimes keeps you up at night pondering things. Then there are the things that just make you go … hmmm.

I’ve had some of those lately. Like while watching the Super Bowl and the partial blackout happened and then hearing the sportscasters say it happened two other times when the 49ers were playing. Really? HMMMM. Wonder if those blackouts caused a change of momentum in the 49ers favor, too. Hmmm?

Now, I’ve always liked the 49ers, was/am a big Joe Montana fan and my eldest son once counted them as his favorite team — so I’ve cheered for the 49ers many times. But this year, I was rootin’ for the Ravens. I have family near the Baltimore area and I’m a fan of the movie “The Blind Side” based on Ravens offensive tackle Michael Oher’s life.

So I was pretty excited when the Ravens started out aggressive and took such a big lead and I really didn’t think the delay was going to affect the game much.

Frankly I don’t like totally one-sided games, so I was glad the 49ers came to life in the second half. But the power outage just seemed a little too conveniently timed, coming right after the 108-yard kickoff return touchdown by the Ravens — especially when I heard it was the third such incident in 49ers history.

Just sayin’ — hmmm.  

The other subject that’s been making me say hmmm a lot lately is the seeming confusion of my fellow Americans over whether they want independence or not. It seems to me that the same people that will argue that our government has no right to tell businesses what to do or force people to have health insurance think that the government should tell us what to eat, drink, smoke and how to parent our children.

So we think it’s an abomination for the government to interfere in businesses in any shape or form, even it means protecting workers’ jobs, offering a living wage and affordable health care options for families, because “this is America! We have rights! The government screws everything up,” but we think it’s OK for them to regulate junk food consumption?  Hmmm … I’m so confused!

I’m referring to a recent Associated Press story that stated one-third of Americans felt the government needed to step in and help more with the obesity problem, including supporting a tax on high sugar, high fat foods. Seriously?

I know that one-third is not the majority but I’m still surprised that many people really want Uncle Sam/Big Brother in their shopping carts, refrigerators and sitting down to eat with them, slapping their hands with a tax for not eating healthy enough.

There’s no question that we have easier access to not-so-good-for you foods, that it is less costly to eat less healthy and that our portion sizes have increased but where does personal responsibility come in?

When I go out to eat at a restaurant (or fast food place) these days I either choose half-portions when available, junior sizes of sandwiches or plan to take half the meal home for a later meal. How hard is that?

I for one, would much rather the government’s involvement be in keeping our food sources safe, regulating harmful additives, informing and educating the public about the effect of nutrition on our health and leave the choices of our food and drink consumption to us.

In the same issue of the paper that week was the article about a local hospital requiring all employees to have a flu shot or risk termination. Much like our federal government on the health insurance/abortion/birth control mandate, the hospital offered a religious exemption and then reportedly they determined what was religious enough.  This was disturbing to me and definitely made me go HMMM.

I feel that if being required to take a flu shot was not part of their verbal or written agreement when they were hired, it should not be a reason to terminate employment. The flu is not the plague. While contracting the flu can cause serious health problems, there is also no guarantee that getting a flu shot will keep one from contracting some strain of influenza.

Therefore, it should still be a personal choice — health care professional or not. I was also surprised that more people did not sit up and take notice over that story.   

How our weather can go from sunny and 60 degrees one day to 25 and snowing the next, makes me go hmmm. I value all life but why we need mosquitoes is something I don’t understand — except maybe for bat food. But why do we need bats? I know there’s a reason for everything, but until then ... there’s just some things that make you go hmmm.

Denise Fedorow is a correspondent and columnist for The Goshen News. Her column, Not That You Asked, But appears every other week.