Friday, June 24, 2005

BREATHING IS IMPORTANT!

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Trapped by the Berkshire mountains, polluted air will build up this week....(choking badly).

OK. This blog is called, "Culture of Life News" and one thing this editor loves is living. I want to live, I want everyone to be living and happy.

Breathing air is important to living. Three little boys died yesterday and were found today because they suffocated to death in New Jersey. Getting air is vital to living. So while planning my weekend, this is what I learned:

The National Weather Service is warning us we won't have oxygen this weekend!
AIR QUALITY LEVELS IN OUTDOOR AIR ARE PREDICTED TO BE GREATER THAN AN AQI VALUE OF 100. THE AIR QUALITY INDEX, OR AQI, WAS CREATED AS AN EASY WAY TO CORRELATE LEVELS OF DIFFERENT POLLUTANTS TO ONE SCALE. THE HIGHER THE AQI VALUE, THE GREATER THE HEALTH CONCERN.

SUMMER HEAT CAN LEAD TO THE FORMATION OF GROUND LEVEL OZONE...A MAJOR COMPONENT OF SMOG. AUTOMOBILE EXHAUST IS THE PRIMARY CAUSE OF GROUND-LEVEL OZONE AND IS THE MOST SERIOUS AIR POLLUTION PROBLEM IN THE NORTHEAST. OZONE EXPOSURE HAS BEEN LINKED TO ADVERSE HEALTH EFFECTS. NOSE AND THROAT IRRITATION, RESPIRATORY SYMPTOMS, AND DECREASED LUNG FUNCTION HAVE BEEN OBSERVED IN HEALTHY, EXERCISING PERSONS BREATHING AIR CONTAINING ELEVATED LEVELS OF POLLUTANTS. THE RESPIRATORY SYMPTOMS INCLUDE SHORTNESS OF BREATH, CHEST PAIN, THROAT IRRITATION, COUGHING AND WHEEZING IN BOTH ADULTS AND CHILDREN. OZONE LEVELS GENERALLY DECREASE DURING THE EVENING HOURS.

FINE PARTICULATE MATTER, OR PM 2.5, CONSISTS OF TINY SOLID PARTICLES OR LIQUID DROPLETS IN THE AIR THAT ARE 2.5 MICRONS OR LESS IN DIAMETER. PM 2.5 CAN BE MADE UP OF DIFFERENT TYPES OF PARTICLES AND OFTEN COME FROM PROCESSES THAT INVOLVE COMBUSTION AND FROM CHEMICAL REACTIONS IN THE ATMOSPHERE. EXPOSURE TO ELEVATED LEVELS OF PM 2.5 CAN CAUSE SHORT-TERM HEALTH EFFECTS SUCH AS IRRITATION EYE, NOSE, THROAT, LUNG AND SHORTNESS OF BREATH. EXPOSURE TO ELEVATED LEVELS CAN ALSO WORSEN EXISTING MEDICAL CONDITIONS SUCH AS ASTHMA AND HEART DISEASE. PM 2.5 LEVELS CAN BE ELEVATED AT ANY TIME OF THE
DAY.

WHEN POLLUTION LEVELS ARE ELEVATED, THE NEW YORK STATE DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH RECOMMENDS THAT INDIVIDUALS CONSIDER LIMITING STRENUOUS OUTDOOR PHYSICAL ACTIVITY TO REDUCE THE RISK OF ADVERSE HEALTH EFFECTS. PEOPLE WHO MAY BE ESPECIALLY SENSITIVE TO THE EFFECTS OF ELEVATED LEVELS OF POLLUTANTS INCLUDE THE VERY YOUNG, AND THOSE WITH PRE-EXISTING RESPIRATORY PROBLEMS SUCH AS ASTHMA OR HEART DISEASE.
THOSE WITH SYMPTOMS SHOULD CONSIDER CONSULTING THEIR PERSONAL PHYSICIAN.
Excuse me, but this really aggrevates me. My son has asthma and my daughter has allergies and I just like being able to breathe and do things like work and now we are going to suffocate? Huh? This ties everything together.

In the news today is this horror that pisses me off very greatly because this is why I will spend the weekend wondering how to breathe air: From the NYT, just in at 7:30pm:
The Bush administration's plan to let aging industrial plants modernize without buying expensive new pollution controls was upheld Friday by a federal appeals court.

A three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia sided with the Environmental Protection Agency, saying New York and a dozen other states failed to show how key areas of the administration's new regulations violate the 1970 Clean Air Act.

But the unanimous decision also came down against the EPA on two parts of the rule changes, and told the agency to review a third, giving environmentalists some reason for optimism within the 73-page decision.

Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal said the decision prevents further reductions in harmful emissions that would lower the rates for a number of diseases including asthma and cancer. He said his office would review the ruling and decide whether to pursue further legal action.

''The court affirmed that Congress intended the Clean Air Act to protect public health and air quality and repudiated Bush administration attempts to roll back those protections,'' Blumenthal said. ''Unfortunately, the decision upheld parts of the new rule that allow polluters to avoid installing pollution controls in some instances.''
If people want cheap power that is produced with crappy methods that will destroy not only our lives but maybe the whole planet, the least they could do is build a huge dome and confine their crap inside so I can live in peace on my mountain. My mountain has clean air and I want to keep it that way.

Spain and Portugal are suffering from a heroic drought and high temperatures. In Fairbanks, Alaska, my brother-in-law tells me it goes about 90 degrees this year! Glaciers are melting at a mad rate. The Alps might have no glaciers at all in 25 years. The Swiss are trying to cover the glaciers with blankets to keep them from melting! The number one polluter of this planet of these hydrocarbons is the USA. We are number one indeed. And who refuses to sign the Kyoto Accords?
But environmental critics say the changes also will increase sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides that contribute to acid rain and public health woes such as pulmonary and cardiovascular disease, leading to thousands of premature deaths a year.

The judges' ruling said it is not clear if the administration's changes in ''new source review'' regulations -- rules governing industrial sources of pollution -- will lead to greater pollution, or if leaving the old rules in place would deter companies from modernizing.
What if someone I love very much dies from this sort of poison? Eh? This lacsidasical attitude about life and death matters pisses me off since many of the polluter's staff and the people using the cheaper energy are supposed to be worried sick about fetuses!

Even fetuses will die if mommy has no oxygen, you twits. Solar energy pollutes nothing. I can walk by a solar array on a hot summer day and not choke to death. When the sun shines, people put on air conditioners which then need more dirty energy which pollutes the air which forces everyone to turn on more air conditioners. The trees sag and the leaves curl as the pollution drives deep into their cells, killing them. Who makes our oxygen? Guess what, everyone!

Trees.

I have been forced to flee my homes more than once thanks to pollution. Choking, I pack up and take the kids and run literally for my life. The air, thick and brown and worse, the invisible ozone molecules. If you plug your vents and run your heater, you will die thanks to carbon monoxide poisoning. Here we are, turning vast swaths of open land into carbon monoxide death chambers!

On days like these, I wish there was no more gasoline....

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

BRAVE NEW WORLD

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A. Huxley

During the fifties, Orwell's famous "1984" novel seemed to be the model for future police states. We could call it "the Soviet model". There was another English novel about the future, Huxley's "Brave New World" that was about a society with wall sized TV entertainment and TVs for every bed in the hospitals and genetic engineering with Alphas to Gammas produced to run the system and soma was doled out to the lower level humans to keep them peaceful and biddable.

Back then, people scoffed at such a future world and thought it was silly. Both worlds seemed excessive and singular. Alas, both are being implimented in varying, staggered ways. No system ever springs forth like Athena, fully grown and fully armed.

The American application of Futurama is two pronged: 1984 for outsiders and rebels and Brave New World for insiders and conformists.

From Smirking Chimp.com:
It's summer, and the sounds of vacationing children can be heard echoing through playgrounds and beaches across the nation. But, when little Johnny and Janie go back to school this fall, BushCo. has arranged for them to have something extra in their book bags. Not only will they be carrying pencils and crayons and notebooks and rulers, but also, bottles of psychotropic drugs!

Yes, thanks to the Orwellian named "New Freedom Initiative," passed by Congress last year, American kids, aged 3 to 18, can be evaluated at school by state-sponsored "advocates" to see if they are mental cases. If they're evaluated as such, they'll be forced to take drugs, possibly without parental consent.

Welcome to Soma-world, where you can watch your kids be reduced to extras in a "Night of the Living Dead" flick.

If this latest assault on families by BushCo. strikes you as being insane, it is. But, a plan such as this has already been implemented, way back in 1995, in (surprise!) Texas. The Governor pushing this plan? George W. Bush.
I will forgive the author mixing up Orwell with Huxley. One of Huxley's books I loved was about the ruling class trying to perfect themselves so they could be easily identifiable with each other and also unable to breed with lesser humans and also live forever to boot. And in the end, they ended up turning into...monkeys. Geeze. This program is well along, isn't it? Bush or Chimpanzee.com let's you decide.
Ten years ago, Bush embraced The Texas Medication Algorithm Project, or TMAP, an alliance of individuals from the University of Texas, the pharmaceutical industry and the mental health and corrections systems of Texas. It was, largely funded by a Robert Wood Johnson grant (as in Johnson & Johnson), as well as several other drug companies.

TMAP was hailed as a great "success" in Texas by both political hacks and drug companies. Texas was "chosen," in part, because Bush loves Big Bidness and the state has the largest prison system in the country, with over 150,000 inmates plus a lot of folks in the mental health system to experiment on. There's also an incestuous relationship between state government and universities, hospitals, prisons and schools, with regents and administrators appointed by the governor. When it came time to push TMAP? Big pharmacy lobbyists descended like a swarm of blood-sucking bats and campaign contributions flowed to the governor, state lawmakers and even judges.

And, so, the state of Texas decided who needed to be medicated and who did not. Apparently, a lot of Texans needed meds. Big drug companies raked in the dough. Why? Because the state paid for "new", expensive, "state-of-the-art" drugs. (No cheap generics, puleeze.) One bi-product of this great success story? Today, two out of three foster children in Texas are on meds.
Medicines such as these can be liberating...if one uses them carefully and with full knowledge of what it does and why and if one struggles to retrain the mind to work in a functional way, all things children are fairly incapable of doing. The popping of pills to "fix" behaviors is the first step to a drugged up society. Adults self medicate using alcohol and drugs all the time. Kids do this too, as much as they can, because mental torment is hard to live through even though this is part of the key to Understanding the Cosmos. A dreamless world where one ceases to interact with reality is a living death.

The drug companies give heaps of money to the GOP and some to the Democratic party. They do this to insure they make money with the least effort and have as few controls as possible which is why, after reducing the ability of the FDA to control drugs, allowing them to flood markets with inadequet testing, they now want the GOP to cut down the ability to sue for bad drug side effects.

Speaking of which, the number of young people committing suicide or murder after taking antidepressants is troubling, to say the least. From the Independent:
When the body of a 19-year-old student, Traci Johnson, was found hanging from a shower rod in the laboratories of pharmaceuticals giant Eli Lilly, US officials were quick to announce that the death could not be linked to a new anti-depressant drug she was helping to test.

During her stay at the hotel-cum-clinic in Indiana known as the Lilly Lab, Johnson had been taking part in trials for a secret new formula called Cymbalta, a chemical cousin of Prozac, which the company hoped would guarantee huge profits for years to come.

For the drugs giant, her death on 7 February last year was an "isolated tragedy" that did not prevent it from pressing ahead with the Cymbalta trials. It is now on sale in the US and - under another name - in Europe and the UK.

But for the scientific community it was another warning bell about a class of medicines already under scrutiny for possible ties to suicide. After all, Johnson was not depressed. Far from it. She enrolled in the clinical trial as a healthy volunteer in order to earn money to pay for her college tuition. Anyone with signs of depression was excluded.
There is no magic pill that will fix things because many of the problems are not social or health but cultural. Namely, the Brave New World model of entertaining mindlessly is destroying young minds pretty relentlessly. It makes a lot of money for people and peddling bad food and bad stuff to people being reprogrammed with mindless entertainment is causing neurological/biological damage. This is why the general population is getting more and more grotesquely shaped and is malfunctioning more and more at work as well as at home.

Of course, the police are responding by tasering people or arresting kindergarden kids.

Back to the Smirking Chimp article:
In 2003, The New Freedom Commission issued its findings. Surprise! The Commission found that: "despite their prevalence, mental disorders often go undiagnosed" and recommended comprehensive mental health screening for "consumers of all ages," including preschool children. According to the commission, "Each year, young children are expelled from preschools and childcare facilities for severely disruptive behaviors and emotional disorders." Schools, wrote the commission, are in a "key position" to screen the 52 million students and 6 million adults who work at the schools.
This screening of our children isn't so they can be better cared for, is it? What it means is, children will be forced to take drugs. I suppose, I would have been drugged as a child. I was "acting out" periodically because I was abused when I was raped and this caused all sorts of unhappy problems for my childlike mind. And the routine of school is an aggravation for some children, especially bright ones who are bored. When one meets a child whose favorite activity is visiting the library to read adult books, that child isn't "sick" if they are annoyed with grammar school lessons!

We are losing our children in school because our schools are Victorian artifacts embedded in modern society. Few parents want to face the truth about our culture and so they are unable to battle the giant forces arrayed against them and few want to confront the issue of how entertainment/lifestyle choices are moving our children relentlessly into a strange new world. Playing video games or watching TV doesn't harm a child only if a parent takes the time and energy to innoculate the child from mind control. I did this by watching everything with my kids and talking with them about what they watched so they could learn how to analyse presentation as well as content.

A lot of Monty Python goes a long way, too. I note on the web how many of us, at least on the left, have memorized all the Monty Python venue! It a useful code for dealing with modern politics!

And now for something completely different....

Saturday, June 18, 2005

BUSH BULLDOG Won't Let Go of Corpse

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CNN: Jeb Bush
Like a rabid bulldog, Jeb Bush grimly hangs onto Mrs. Schiavo's corpse. Of course, her husband spirited the poor lady away and to keep ghouls like Jeb at bay, he cremated her remains. He wanted to bury her secretly to foil grave robbers. I don't blame him one bit. These people make Dr. Frankenstein look like a humanitarian.

This Bush family really has no shame:
Gov. Jeb Bush asked a state prosecutor on Friday to investigate the circumstances of Terri Schiavo's collapse, saying a new autopsy report revealed a possible gap between when Ms. Schiavo fell unconscious and when her husband called paramedics.

"It's a significant question that during this entire ordeal was never brought up," Governor Bush told reporters in Tallahassee after faxing a letter to Bernie McCabe, the state attorney in Pinellas County, where Ms. Schiavo suffered extreme brain damage when her heart temporarily stopped beating in 1990.
The entire Bush family has a problem with lying. They lie so reflexively, it must physically hurt them to tell the truth so what they do is describe obvious things like, "it is raining" when water if pouring out of the skies but then when asked a direct question about themselves, back to the lying.

The media made a big thing about how other humans occassionally aren't 100% correct when they remember things or note things or use the perfect word, meanwhile, the Bushes can babble insanely or lie outright without any comments from the press.

This dual system is now so out of control, the Bushes can barely touch base with reality anymore since there is zero feed back and they are sheltered from exposure from normal humans like 50% of America.
The question of whether Ms. Schiavo's husband purposely delayed seeking help was never a significant issue in the case. A lawyer for Ms. Schiavo's parents, Robert and Mary Schindler, mentioned it after the autopsy report came out on Wednesday and said he had pointed it out in a letter to Dr. Thogmartin shortly after Ms. Schiavo's death, at age 41, on March 31.
The parents of Terry could have done the world a favor by advocating better diagnosis and care of bulimic patients. It is a terrible mental illness that rots the teeth and destroys the digestive system. It needs more research and analysis since it is a behavior/psychological problem.

The psychological/pathological problem with Jeb Bush, on the other hand, is thornier. His own sister died and the entire family wiped out all mention and memory of her, rather brutally. This is why they all remind me of ghouls when they get all tangled up in talking about or doing things about death.

Yesterday, yet another man was tasered to death in Florida. They taser children. I watched a horrible video of a young woman being tasered twice because she was talking to her husband on the telephone. The indifference to this stuff amazes me. Then they pretend to be interested in saving a brain dead woman.

Not.

This isn't a case of some tenderhearted man interested in saving lives. The Bush brothers hold the American record on executing people, after all. Executioners are not known for their merciful mannerisms. Bush Jr. wanted bin Laden's head frozen so he could gloat over it like some prima dementa Salome.
State Senator Michael S. Bennett, of Bradenton, was among nine Republican senators who helped block legislation in March that could have stopped the removal of Ms. Schiavo's feeding tube. He said he was shocked that Mr. McCabe agreed to review the case, adding that any impropriety would have been discovered during the prodigious court review.

"What evidence was there ever presented by anybody," Mr. Bennett asked, "that would even cause them to go on this escapade?"
I am happy to see there are sane people left in Florida. You would think that all the slimy politicians who oozed all over the Schiavo business would crawl back under the rock but obviously, at this point, only repeated frontal attacks are left to such scoundrels.

Terry's mom and dad could call off these attacks but they won't, not ever. This is beyond a tragedy now.

It is a crime.

BAD CHIPS

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Rush toking up

We all know junk food is bad for one's health. In California, consumers have passed a law, Proposition 65, that lists all the carcinogenic chemicals in fast foods. One of them is Acrylamide.
Public health attorneys in California have potato chip makers in their sights for not listing a cancer-causing chemical present in many brands.

That chemical is acrylamide. It is an industrial chemical used in plastics, pesticides and sewage treatment that also can occur when starchy foods, such as chips, are processed at high temperatures. The World Health Organization has said acrylamide may be responsible for up to one-third of all cancers caused by diet, as demonstrated by laboratory animal studies. Acrylamide is already on California's list of chemicals known to cause cancer, but some chipmakers haven't listed it on their product packaging as required by Proposition 65 statute.

The attorneys have filed Proposition 65 notices with the manufacturers of Lays, Pringles, Kettle Chips and Cape Cod chips. Research has shown those brands have unsafe levels of acrylamide in some of their chip varieties. The study looked at one ounce servings, which ranged from 11 to 20 chips depending on the brand, and determined the acrylamide content was substantially more than the 0.2 micrograms per day amount which prompts the Proposition 65 warning.
Yummy.

I can see it now, "Pringles will make you sick and ugly! Eat them every day!" Actually, that should be the warning label. Make it truthful as well as informative. Add this to the cigarette warnings:
A new study isn’t intended to be alarming. It has limitations, having only looked at genetic markers in white blood cells of about 1,100 healthy white women.

Still, the researchers don’t pull any punches. “Our findings suggest that obesity and cigarette smoking accelerate human aging,” write professor Tim Spector, MD, and colleagues. Spector directs the Twin Research and Genetic Epidemiology Unit at St. Thomas’ Hospital in London. The study appears in The Lancet’s online edition.

Obesity and smoking have both repeatedly been shown to be serious health hazards. However, they can also be overcome. If Spector’s study is right, the finding may be one more reason to go for a smoke-free life at a healthy weight, even if it takes hard work and time to get there.
Or to put it in clear English: Smoking will make you old and ugly. So just for vanity's sake, I would expect smoking and eating Pringles at the same time to be the equivalent of popping oxytoxin and talking on right wing radio: both will make you fat and ugly and will make you sick.

Heh. Pull no punches.

Meanwhile, the mega corporate entities fight local food laws like this one in California:
Legislation aiming to prevent counties, towns and cities from making local decisions about our food supply is being introduced in states across the nation. Fifteen states recently have introduced legislation removing local control of plants and seeds. Eleven of these states have already passed the provisions into law.

These highly orchestrated industry actions are in response to recent local decisions to safeguard sustainable food systems. To date, initiatives in three California counties have restricted the cultivation of genetically modified crops, livestock, and other organisms and nearly 100 New England towns have passed various resolutions in support of limits on genetically engineered crops.

These laws are industry’s stealth response to a growing effort by people to protect their communities at the local level. Given the impacts of known ecological contamination from genetic modification, local governments absolutely should be given the power to protect the health, safety, and welfare of its citizens. Local restrictions against genetically modified crops have provided a positive and hopeful solution and allowed citizens to take meaningful action in their hometown or county.

“Over the past several years in Iowa, we’ve seen local control taken away for the benefit of the corporate hog industry,” said George Naylor, an Iowa farmer and President of the National Family Farm Coalition. “With these pre-emption laws signed into law, we are now losing our ability to protect ourselves from irresponsible corporations aiming to control the agricultural seeds and plants planted throughout the state.”
Yes, they are desperate to have us all under federal controls only so they have to bribe only a few politicians and one party, not two.

Lastly, once again, the Feds try to undo local laws and have no enforcement of Federal laws, all to suit the corporate giants:
The junk food industry won a major victory yesterday, when the U.S. Department of Agriculture rejected a petition that it enforce its own competitive foods rule, which prohibits public schools from selling “foods of minimal nutritional value” during mealtimes in school cafeterias. The rule was designed to promote the health of school children, but enforcement today is lax to non-existent. In the petition, Commercial Alert requested simply that the USDA enforce the rule as written. But the USDA has said “No.”

Stanley C. Garnett, director of USDA’s Child Nutrition Division, wrote to Commercial Alert that “At this time, we do not intend to undertake the activities or measures you recommended in your petition.”

“It is outrageous that the USDA is refusing to enforce its own rules against selling junk food in public schools,” said Gary Ruskin, executive director of Commercial Alert. “They have turned their back on American children, who are suffering from an epidemic of obesity.”

The USDA’s decision comes just days after the Justice Department slashed the penalty it seeks in a lawsuit against the tobacco industry from $130 billion to $10 billion.
Looks like the huge investment in Bush's inauguration bore fruit! Kraft Food alone gave a quarter million for that little sheebang.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

FAMILY TREADMILL

I have been ill for a week but today it was cooler and pleasant and so I went to the grocery store. While waiting in line, I saw the typical woman's magazine and marveled at the perfection of the cover. It hit every button possible as hard as possible.

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As carefully crafted as the most cunningly designed stained glass window or Old Master painting of nymphs and satyrs, this magazine cover hits every possible key, a symphony of jarring cross purposes. Like a marionette on strings, the eye is jerked from one thing to the next.

&spades CPR information. The readers of this women's magazine have to be very alert for any signs of heart attack since the contents of this magazine guarantee a good chance of a heart attack.

&spades Lose weight! This ploy is on the cover of every single women's magazine. All of them have it somewhere. The big bold red letters here are truly, diabolically, in one's face. Talk about chutzpah!

&spades Get rich! Big! Dreams come true! The Tooth Fairy and Santa Claus are very popular. Everyone wants to strike it rich, win big time, be a millionaire.

&spades Make dinner for the family fast as possible. The less time, the better. We are the fast food nation!

&spades Exercise. Unlike the big, red, bold promise above, this one mentions some effort but tries to make it as minor as possible.

&spades Make your hovel "pretty" with knick knacks. And then eternal happiness is yours.

But looming over all of this, filling the cover is a huge photograph of a huge, honking, gigantic, dwarfing the tiny portraits of slender women in the far corner, the Mt. Everest of Eternal Cholesterol Artery Clogging Dessert! It is not only lovingly photographed, in pornographic detail, it is utterly excessive and over the bounds of sanity and health. It is excessively high calorie. Chiffon covered with whipped cream covered with chocolate shavings surrounded by sugar cookies with a sugar and chocolate filling! Oh, and a sprig of zero calorie mint which won't be eaten, anyway!

What is the calorie content of this concoction? I am guessing it is around 4000. And the fat content? Ahhh...50 grams? On a health index, this dessert rates somewhere in the basement. The cream has some nutrition but that is about it.

This magazine didn't just happen to end up looking like this. It was carefully planned, vetted, examined by the resident psychologist and pitched carefully by professionals who know their targets and how to hook them just as good fly fishermen know how to cast a line, set a lure and reel in those fish.

The point of this cover is to lure women inside. Not to educate them in ways to lose weight or find bliss or feed their families. It is to pepper them with ads selling even more rancid, toxic junk foods. Every ad shows pictures of skinny, happy humans devouring this stuff and the unhappy, mostly overweight women purchasing this tricky magazine will see the pictures and think, "If only I buy Hot Pockets ® for my children, they will love me and I won't have to cook a dinner from scratch after work>"

Too tired to exercise, too worn out to decorate the house, at least she can eat some junk food and a fist full of cookies and some jello and gaze at the dreamy cover artwork, imagining the joys of eating that luscious, ludicrous dessert.

Sunday, June 12, 2005

MEDIA ON DIET BINGE/PURGE

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"In a TV ad by Consumer Freedom, Larry Thomas, the "Soup Nazi" from "Seinfeld," orders restaurant customers to go to the salad line."
It seems that the mass media is all over the obesity issue now. Stories and counter stories appear daily. The data is shoved back and forth and confusion reigns because of all the contrary forces at work are creating a veritable hurricane of despair.

Which way to turn? What can we do?

People may think no one really noticed the gradual fattening of the general population but trust me, it is watched very closely. Ever see "Gone With the Wind"? In the opening scenes the fat mammy bustles about the skinny belle preparing her for a dinner by making her eat first so she won't disgrace the family by actually eating at the dinner table! The preservation of this distinction goes back only to the 18th century when sugar came into vogue in Europe. Before then, getting fat was difficult and a sign one was rich. But cheap sugar products from the toil of New World slaves kidnapped from Africa changed all that. Even as the slaves were brutally worked to death, the Europeans grew fat. The very rich noticed it was harder and harder to tell themselves apart from the population at large because the sumptery laws were collapsing, too.

It is very vital for the very powerful and their lower levels of ruling class people to recognize each other from far away. So they came up with the "skinny and pale" scheme which devolved into racism. By the way, when the middle class obtained the pale part, the ruling class switched gears to glorifying the sun tanned look.

In well-to-do homes, food is very strictly regulated. The cook keeps the children out of the kitchen and the governess insures they don't eat on the sly. The food selection process is carefully researched and kept in order. Even so, the fear of fat can turn even princesses into bulimics as they try to cope with all those state dinners with a groaning board.

In the sororities in upper class universities and women's colleges, the selection process involves many things but the number one item is "fatness." You are fat, you are finished.

So why are all the media carrying on about fatness? Well, I suspect the changes in our society are hitting the upper classes and causing even their own kids to gain weight. CNN takes a stab at dieting, for example.
In a no-nonsense approach to weight loss, the American Heart Association's new diet book offers options for the weak. Can't give up pizza? Try eating two slices instead of your regular three. Craving ice cream? Try a sorbet.

"The intent on doing this was to try to get around the faddish diets," said Dr. Robert Eckel, president-elect of the American Heart Association and professor of medicine at the University of Colorado School of Medicine. "The theme is based on behavior, nutrition and physical activity."

Released this week, "No-Fad Diet: A Personal Plan for Healthy Weight Loss" dismisses trends like the grapefruit diet, the very low-fat diet and the low-carb diet. Although the heart association has published heart-healthy cookbooks before, this is its first all-out diet book with a variety of options.
This is the basic, "don't pig out" and "no seconds" and "chew it twice" and "eat your vegetables first" warnings that I heard every dinner all my childhood. Visitors who aren't raging WASPs are shocked to find out we have only what is served and what is served is rationed very carefully. Back in the fifties there might have been horses in the paddock and three cars and a truck in the carport but there were no seconds for dinner.

In this article they even say, "Lose a pound a week" as the proper way to regain WASP power. I have fallen off the diet wagon several times. Each time, that rule is enforced. One gets it beat into the brains at a young age, if you are WASP.

Now here is the NYT investigating an industry group that is trying to convince people that eating junk food is great.
In recent years, Mr. Berman, who is not a scientist, has emerged as a powerful and controversial voice in the debate over the nation's eating habits. In some ways, he has become the face of the food industry as it tries to beat back regulations and discourage consumer lawsuits. Food and restaurant companies, he says, are being unfairly blamed for making Americans fat and unhealthy; he adds that people are smart enough to make their own well-informed choices.

Formed in 1995 with money from Philip Morris, now known as Altria, to fight bans on smoking in restaurants and bars, Consumer Freedom has gained attention for its provocative tactics. Last year, it ran television ads that featured the Soup Nazi of "Seinfeld" fame ordering overweight people to eat salad - a clear jab at what the group considers pushy nutritionists who are trying to suck the joy out of eating.
I remember when all good rich women smoked. This helped cut their appetites and make them skinny. Now, to their regret, it is considered verboten and smart ones don't smoke. But here is the crux of the issue: rich people who want to be healthy and skinny have to make money selling junk food and cigarettes to lower class people so the rich can be rich. So they have to make all this tempting and good for the poor only the propaganda for this backfires when it seduces their own spawn into eating junkfood and smoking.

Time for the smelling salts!
Along the way, Mr. Berman and his group have earned more than a few enemies. Critics say that Consumer Freedom seizes on statistical errors and other nuances to distract from the substance of the obesity debate. "They make a lot of noise, but nobody in academia takes their arguments seriously," said Dr. David Ludwig, director of the obesity program at Children's Hospital in Boston and an occasional target of Mr. Berman's group. "They stand for food industry freedom, not consumer freedom."

Amid the claims and counterclaims, Mr. Berman and his opponents duke it out, taking sides on major questions about obesity, including these: How did Americans become so fat? Who is to be blamed? And how should the problem be solved?
Overweight American workers cost the rulers money. The health problems and the difficulty in doing a day's work thanks to too much fat is becoming a problem for the capitalists running things yet the need to keep the working class consuming mass quantities of junk that is unhealthy is vital to keeping the capitalist system chugging along.

This tension is growing as schools try to stem the tidalwave of obesity problems by reforming their menus and banning soft drinks, for example. To the howls of the industry, of course.
The C.D.C., the government's primary agency for health information, still calls obesity "a very, very important health problem" and "a serious epidemic."

According to the agency, rates of obesity have doubled in the last 25 years among adults and children, and tripled among teenagers. Some scientists and public health officials have suggested that this trend, if left unchecked, could bankrupt the already faltering health care system. A study last year by scientists at the Research Triangle Institute and the C.D.C. found that states' medical expenditures related to obesity were as much as $75 billion a year.
Here it is! The $75 billion.
A watchdog group in Washington, the Center for Media and Democracy, has posted data about Consumer Freedom's financing on its Web site. According to documents they say were obtained from a former Consumer Freedom staff member, corporate contributors to the group as of 2002 included Coca-Cola, Wendy's and Tyson Foods, each of which gave $200,000. Cargill gave $100,000, according to the documents, and Outback Steakhouse gave $164,600.
Just like Cadbury taking over the American Diabetes Association, these companies have a vested interest in turning humans into garbage dumps. They make more money on heavily processed things that use cheap ingredients like the humble potato, corn or rice and of course, salt. Salt is way cheap.

Remember the kids commercials peddling cheap sweet cereals while showing a breakfast of eggs, a glass of milk and bacon? "Part of a healthy breakfast"? Well, that isn't a healthy breakfast on any level. But even back then, years ago, they had to admit the cereal alone was not healthy at all.

I remember the flap when the wife of the owner and founder of Dunkin Donuts said she would never ever allow her husband to eat one. She was hustled off stage and never spoke in public again. As one President of McDonald's after another keels over from heart attacks at age 58-60, at no point does the press or the company speculate about this peculiarity. Wendy's founder floundered and fell to a heart attack, too, at what I consider to be a very young age (under 80).

The founder of the Atkin's diet which is basically all about eating meat with a weak craveat about veggies, he too keels over with a heart attack at a rather young age. They tried to pretend it was something else, but he keeled over nonetheless. He is dead. (heh, sorry, grandmother, had to say it!)

The women who work for women's magazines love to show skinny women on the cover, add some diet blubs and then, in a side box, feature only high calorie desserts. This is rigid as a the designs on a mummy's tomb. The jarring messages are deliberate. The writers and editors took psychology courses at their various elite colleges and they know exactly what they are doing: holding out hope while undermining the victim, keeping her in her place.

Back in the sixties, many women got speed from their doctors, it was legal back then. But soon the addictive side effects became very obvious and I, for one, campaigned against prescribing the drug for weight control. In the hinterlands today, a major industry is the vile meth manufacturing (replacing the departing industries!) which has truly toxic ingredients that eat away at the mouth and gums, destroying the teeth then destroying the person. Yet people take it to be skinny....while eating junk food.

For this is the crux of the problem. You can't just lose weight, look at the poor comatose woman who died so infamously...she starved herself into a coma because she ate mostly junk foods. One can eat a fine, extravagant dinner with fine fruits and vegetables and breads, etc. and keep the weight effortlessly under control. But the deal is, no junk food.

Ever. Period. That is the thing that balks.

Thursday, June 09, 2005

BRUTE FORCE FLORIDA

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Note the policeman's huge size.
Police brutallity on film

As many people know, the war on drugs is merely a war on minorities and poor people. This war has been incredibly brutal as both sides engage in bloody battles literally to the death and as in all wars against peasants, the military/police become increasingly brutal to all "peasants" no matter what.

This dreadful downward violent spiral is now showing up as inappropriate use of deadly or very painful force in situations that have no danger at all, the authorities simply using the forceful shortcut to control, in Florida's case, using tasers on even little school children.

As we showed here last month with the video of a very little girl whose behavior was evidence of a need for some loving attention (yes, love does wonders) being arrested and traumatized, so here in this latest video we see a young woman, pulled over for speeding, calling her husband on the cell phone because she is black and wanted to tell him she was being stopped, the cops, instead of talking politely to her and seeing that she is a young lady immediately within one minute of stopping her, yank open the car door and immediately drawing a bead on her and threatening her. She can't believe it, of course, and tells them to wait one minute but they shoot her!

The severe shock causes her to fall to the ground, screaming. They yell at her to put her hands behind her back but she is having convulsions. They shoot her again. Her screams of pain don't move them, she is a you-know-what (peasant/minority) so they poke at the crying woman with their feet!

They then drag the woman doubled over in pain up and order her to stand.

Well, all I can say, at least they didn't spray her with bullets like we do every day in Iraq! I hope Americans realise the police are heavily involved in the National Guard and they go to Iraq and spray bullets at peasants there then they come home and are ready to respond to anyone by being hyperviolent.

The war on drugs compels police into assuming that any and all traffic stops might turn into shoot outs as people try to hide drugs or get away. This lowers the bar to becoming violent nearly to the ground. Instead of making us all safer, the police become a menace. This woman, for example, was no menace to anyone. Her routine traffic stop should never have escalated the way it did. The presumtion of the police was, she didn't immediately obey orders snapped at her so she deserved to be tortured brutally. Next time, she will obey!

f Here is the photo of a cop fired for abusing people he stopped in traffic. Look at the obviously brutal face. Like the hulking cop in the Florida video, he outsizes his victims. We are selecting some really nasty characters to "protect" us!

You can bet, if the woman in Florida was a cute white lady, they would have been more patient, more respectful and pleasant. This is one of the millions of silent privilages skin color gives one in America. If she were rich and white and stopped for speeding, they might merely chat with her, joke a bit, and then let her go with a verbal warning.

I know this for a fact. I grew up a rich, white chick.

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

SELF DEFENSE

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My local paper, the Times Union, ran this article:
Iannuzzi, a town police officer, was showcasing the skills taught in a new, Rape Aggression Defense class that police are offering at no charge to women in Guilderland.

The class, which has been offered for years at the University at Albany, is designed to teach women basic self-defense and, more importantly, they say, how to avoid dangerous situations in the first place.

Consisting of three, four-hour sessions, the secretive classes are held away from the eyes of men and provide women the rare opportunity to defend themselves in full-contact simulated attacks.
I was one of the very first people to be invited by the police in Tucson, Arizona, to talk about self defense for women. I developed a standard lecture which I taught several police women. This is how the class was run here in Albany:
In this scenario, Iannuzzi was alone and vulnerable and had little choice when she was accosted at an ATM. She waited, screaming "No! Get Back!" Until they grabbed her. A slight but powerful woman, she let fly a precision flurry of open-fisted punches, stunning elbows and punishing knee jabs that sent the larger men wilting to the ground.
OK. This ended up being the typical "fist fighting/karate/judo" lesson which is utterly useless for teaching self defense. They did get my lesson number one right: be very loud. The louder the better. "Stop. You are breaking the law. You will be arrested. The police are coming right now!" I always explain, psychological warfare is tons better than trying to muscle your way out of trouble. These people are very paranoid about the police. "Look, they are coming! Ha!" is very effective especially if you point behind them. Works wonders.

I would tell women, once someone touches you it is much more difficult to stop the confrontation so this is why yelling the above is very effective if there is some distance.

Second, arm yourself. With what? Anything near by. I have used garbage cans, chairs, bricks, all sorts of odds and ends. I sweep them up and scream, "You are under arrest". Why that?

Because again, the assaulters are terrified of being arrested. This always causes them to hesitate. Now, where did I get all this experience?

I used to be part of a patrol seeking sexual assaulters. When I was in college, we young women were frequent prey of predator males. At first, I taught some self defense because I am a trained fighter. But then we decided to do night patrols. I took exclusive territory over the "dark alley/near bars" sector. This was very active. We used to laugh over how frequent the attacks on my decoy was. I would wear a miniskirt and heels. I deliberately experimented with different word combinations and things to use. I found the ultimate way to deal with a man was to destroy his car. One guy jumped out af a fancy car to sexually assault me in one very dark alley. Heh.

I ran around his car, swept up a garbage can and began to whale away at it. He screamed, "Stop wrecking my car" and jumped back in, drove around the block and came back to attack me only I followed him and when he left his car, I put a board with a nail in it under the back tire. I then clapped my hands, he ran after me...straight into the police. He ran back, gunned the engine, drove a short ways and had to give up because of the board nailed into his rear tire.

I loved doing this. I called it "cheap thrills". The police terminated this because of lawsuit possibilities so they had me show the new women police "decoys" how to operate. So this one month experiment ended. But I will assure you, each night I was attacked at least three times! Boy.

More psychological warfare: yelling, "I know who you are and where you live!" This plays on paranoia. Swinging the arm out yelling, "back, back, back" is useful. I use this on 2 ton oxen. All my big animals know this order and surprizingly, many humans respond the same way, they automatically step back. Even one step is enough.

The main thing today is to have a cell phone. I have used this with great delight. It is very simple. Someone looks even slightly suspicious, don't be shy. Whip out the cell phone and be ready to dial 911. If, god forbid, you are attacked, hit the 911 and immediately start yelling your location and describe who is attacking you. I have a long record of citizen arrests. One chief tool I used was to rationally ID the criminal suspect. I discovered if I begin to describe them outloud, nearly always, they run away due to paranoia of being caught. The litany runs like this: weight, height, haircolor, pants, shirt/suit and lastly, shoes.

If the person has a gun: there is only so much one can do. One man actually emptied a .45 on me and missed, by inches, each shot. He went to prison, of course. When someone pulls a gun, assume you are going to die. This means, make tremendous noise, yelling. Nothing is lost. And of course, go bezerk. Again, this is literal life and death.

True story: one guy I nailed I tricked. I was painting with red paint when he tried to steal a bicycle chained to the porch. I lunged at him, stabbed him in the chest with the paint brush yelling, "This is a knife!" and he saw the red and fainted. I then got him in an arm/neck lock.

Another time, three of us stopped a kidnapping next to the U of A. The girl screamed, dropped her books as three men hauled her into their car at a stoplight where I was walking. My girlfriends ran to summon the police while I threw a garbage can in front of the car while screaming at other cars to stop, thus tying up the traffic. The men bailed out and ran and I ran after them, ID'ing them. They were caught.

In NYC a man with a baseball bat assaulted a Chinese couple. I happened to be going to sword practice so I drew my sword and forced him at sword point to surrender until the police came and arrested him.

Knowledge is power. And the best protector of a woman is contact with others and the greatest invention for this is the cell phone. I think all people who are vulnerable should have these. When I was doing citizen's arrests, I had a radio so I could contact the 84th Precinct in Brooklyn but a cell phone would have been better by far.

One big mistake all the classes on self defense make is to teach smaller people and women to hit low. All men attacking women expect this and can easily defend from this, they grab a woman's hair nearly always. This is why I tell women that if they are going for blood, they must attack the nose. Yes, the nose. Since one is shorter, a swift upper cut to the nose is very effective and to do this, the man grabs the woman's hair, yanks her forwards and she slices him on the nose, he lets go, reflexively. I know this for a fact because I have won 100% of my hand to hand battles this way. To do an upper cut, one clutches the right fist to the chest and then as the man pulls inwards, shoot upwards. If you hit the jaw, it still causes him to let go so he can hit back.

If you are really horrible like me, this is when you grab both ears. A sudden jerk, twisting the head.

Brutal details. But fighting is a brutal fact. I know of a number of women in the NRA who think carrying a gun in a purse is a good idea. It is not. Purses are often the target of attackers who want the purse. Why arm them, too? Second, if you hae a gun on your body, don't pull it unless you have the will to kill. If you do pull it, you can end up in prison if the person isn't really a danger to yourself and if you panic and pull, all is over. Way too dangerous and I never ever carried a gun.

Again, calling 911 on a cell phone is tons easier and quicker and most highly recommended.

Monday, June 06, 2005

THE DRUG GULAG

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Freak Brother's books for sale..heh

The world's biggest and longest running gulag is right here in America: our prisons bulge with the masses of people put there caught in the maw of the eternal war on drugs. This exercise in puritanism extends only to the poor, minorities or physically ill.

Rush Limbaugh enjoys his freedom still. So did Bush after being snagged with illegal drugs. All our overlords even admit they used pot and they legislate in their pig sty heaven in DC.
Federal authorities may prosecute sick people who smoke pot on doctors' orders, the Supreme Court ruled Monday, concluding that state medical marijuana laws don't protect users from a federal ban on the drug.
Yes indeedee! Can't have people throwing up from cancer medication enjoying food again. No need to pay any attention to the bulk of research in less Talibanistic lands showing clearly that there are a number of healthy applications for using pot to treat various conditions.

Why, you might enjoy the medicine!

No Mary Poppins singing about a spoon full of sugar makes the medicine go down with these grim Puritans! As they accept bribes from casiono operators and alcoholic beverage makers and cigarette producers, the idea that someone might possibly enjoy and be a little loopy using something that isn't 100% healthy is...pathetic. I can't take this anymore. As our government wastes time putting people in prison for taking drugs it opens the doors for drug companies to make a mint selling a wild number of drugs to the elderly. Arthritis? Take all sorts of drugs that cause heart attacks or liver failure or nausea but do not smoke a joint! You might have fun. That is a no-no.

The side effects of many drugs are very nasty. Pot has side effects, too. But they don't involve kidney nor liver failure nor heart attacks or even strokes. This drug has to be one of the mildest, least prone to side effects of any known drug. Indeed, simple aspirin can cause fatal stomach ulcers, for example.

The problem with pot is the ease of production. Anyone and everyone can simply grow the stuff easily. There is, if it is legalized, no way anyone can profit selling pot which is why the pot dealers are quite happy to leave it illegal too.
Under the Constitution, Congress may pass laws regulating a state's economic activity so long as it involves "interstate commerce" that crosses state borders. The California marijuana in question was homegrown, distributed to patients without charge and without crossing state lines.

Stevens said there are other legal options for patients, "but perhaps even more important than these legal avenues is the democratic process, in which the voices of voters allied with these respondents may one day be heard in the halls of Congress."
Fat chance of that happening with all the hypocrites running around in Congress! How can one have a democratic process if the press is part of the machinery keeping pot illegal?

Guess what?

They make a ton of money on TV and in print selling ads for medicines that will be the last choice of patients rather than the only choice! No mega medicine company wants legalized pot. Nor do the bars and beer pushers or cigarrette people all of whom pay around a trillion dollars together, advertising their crummy, very unhealthy garbage.

Well, I suppose they will return to pondering the riddle, why Americans are suddenly so obese.

Thursday, June 02, 2005

FATAL FHAT FLAP

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OK, something is up. Are we ready for Solyent Green, gang? Suddenly our government is all up in arms about fatty, flabby people. What gives? The NYT features this article about the CDC seeking reason for fat people!
For the first time, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has sent a team of specialists into a state, West Virginia, to study an outbreak of obesity in the same way it studies an outbreak of an infectious disease.
Heh. I have been to West Virginia. And it is easy to see why people are now fat there! Back years ago, they went without food and a lot else. They lived in shanties and worked like slaves in black mines and coughed up their lungs at a young age, etc.

Now they are sitting around, chewing the old cud and getting fat. Thanks to literal and figurative pork. After all, Federal largesse flows into that state and there are food stamps and all sorts of programs provided by evil blue state voters that make life easier for everyone, dastardly, isn't it?

Now they are pigging out literally as well as figuratively.

Time for Miss Nanny State to step in!
But some statisticians said it was hard to see what could be learned from the agency's investigations.

Dr. Daniel McGee, a professor of statistics at Florida State University who has analyzed obesity data, burst out laughing when he heard about it. "My God, what a strange thing to do," he said.

"They'll find out what we all know - that the country is no longer set up for physical exercise," Dr. McGee said. And that schoolchildren "don't get a nutritious diet." And that "there is a lot of high-fat food on the shelves of every supermarket."

But, he said, "that doesn't tell you much."
Well, guess what? This "study" which is a farce, we all know why people like to pig out already, they do this because it is fun and TV and ads bellow every hour and minute of the day to pig out so they pig out! But the CDC is prime pork.

Namely, a bunch of parasites can collect Federal dollars and spend it all in West Virginia goofing around smoozing all over the place at great expense so they can cough up a useless report. Unless they report that all ads for crummy corporate food be banned and the products removed from stores, this is a monumental waste of time.

I remember when the media went crazy over the anorexia/bulimia issue. Back then, I wryly pointed out that skinny people are outnumbered 1 to 100 by fat people. Many people are very defensive about being overweight. I was once overweight and I know how embarrassed I was until.... I was put on this awful medicine, hormonal, that caused me to gain weight for the first time in my long life. At a little less than 40 lbs over weight, I went to the doctor's office for advice. A nurse came into the room to help me with my diet. She had to turn sideways to come into the room. Jabba the Hutette she was, at over 400 lbs!

"You are too fat," she said.

"How dare you come to me to talk about weight problems," I barked back, pointing at her. "We are going to discuss your gross negligence concerning your own weight."

Crying, she managed to leave the room somehow. She was very sick. I know people reading this might be angry that I am talking this way. But her presumption that she could discuss eating habits with anyone except a psychiatrist irked me no end. I lost the weight the old fashioned way: weighed myself at the same time every morning, counted my calories and eliminated all sugar, period. I could eat anything and everything so long as it was in the right size and had no sugar. Voila! Weight gone.

Laughably simple. You can eat bread, spaghetti, yogurt (with no sugar, not prepackaged with fruit, cut up your own fruits!), rice, etc, all those "carbs" were fine...if you eat the right amount! No beer, by the way (nayaya). Oh well. I didn't say it would be fun...

Nonetheless, the Disney film, Pinnochio, had it right: the Bad Boys went to Pleasure Island and ate candy and gambled and ran amok like crazy and they ended up donkeys.

EAT VEGGIES NOT CORPORATE Government tells kids

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A spoon full of sugar....is a disaster
Children and adults are getting fatter and fatter. What a surprise this is. Corporate America is joining with the government to tell people to eat veggies and exercise, ie, live the way I live. Of course, I buy virtually nothing that corporate food companies advertise at great expense.
Choose food portions no larger than your fist. Eat "go foods" -- like lowfat milk, oatmeal and veggies -- every day and save chips and other "whoa foods" for special occasions.

This advice is part of a new government campaign to use kid-friendly nutrition tips to prevent preteens from getting fat.

Simple training did get 8- to 10-year-olds to eat healthier for three years, concludes the biggest study ever to track the impact of childhood nutrition education. But there's more work to do: Snacks, desserts and pizza still made up an astonishing one-third of those youngsters' diets.

Nevertheless, "kids can learn to take small, positive, healthy steps," said Dr. Elizabeth Nabel, chief of the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, which sponsored the research and on Wednesday begins the "We Can!" program to spread the results. "It suggests that kids who learn to eat healthy during their adolescence will continue to eat healthy."
No need to stop the flood of modified corn sweeteners! No need to stop the flood of commercials on children's shows enticing them to pig out on corporate food that is unhealthy and made out of nonnutritional junk! Just like this week with the candy/soda company corrupting the American Diabetes Association getting them to tone down any anti sweetener campaigns or possible pushes to stop the flood of advertising bad food--now this!

The mind reels, actually. Didn't the GOP squawk about "nanny government"? So we have this nanny campaign to beg people to eat veggies and eat sensibly? Isn't that pretty much a matter of choice? If it is not, and it isn't, then what is going on here?

Is this an attempt at making it look like the government gives a hoot if Jr and Jane are fat little tykes? If the government cares so much, they should immediately outlaw all and any ads for high calorie/low nutrition foods! For example, all sugar laced candy being sold as cereal should be outlawed as deceptive advertising.

The government encourages lying. Go check out the cereal boxes! In the nutrition information they list calories per "serving". All breakfast concoctions fall between 130-200 calories a serving! Huh? But then read what constitutes a serving!

It varies all the way from 1/3 cup to 1 1/2 cups! Not due to density, either! They deliberately game the numbers to make everything the same. They figure smart shoppers will know that certain cereals are low calorie, the numbers game is for "losers" who trust people and can't do very good mathematical gross comparisons.
The new study tracked 595 children, half of whom had received, with their parents, special education on how to make healthier food choices. Three years later, kids who had attended the nutrition classes were eating more "go" foods than their peers in every food group except fruit, Van Horn reports in the June issue of the journal Pediatrics. They also ate fewer "whoa" foods, with one exception: pizza. And for desserts, they were more likely to pick lower-fat options like frozen yogurt.

Still, neither group ate enough fruits or vegetables, and the high amount of daily snacking and pizza was stunning, said Van Horn.
Count the number of pizza commercials on TV versus the number of apple or celery commercials. There are one or two generic apple commercials but zero celery commercials. Because raw veggies and fruits are low "value added" items they generate little profit for the corporate machine. Processing animals, for example, using cheap Mexican labor, adds a great deal of value. But making processed food! That is the key. Make it addictive and you can become very rich. Fat is addictive, especially hidden fat. And sugar style sweets are highly addictive! Salt cravings, too. All these together equals bad health if used in excess. Sugar, for example, can be nearly eliminated from a diet and one is the better for it.

The Atkins diet took off because it was all about eating lots of meat with fat. This was supposed to "burn off" by not eating any gluten based products. Of course, this diet is bad for the health unless one is a dog or a lion, but nonetheless, it was embraced happily by hordes of people who want to "pep up" without eating healthy yukkie vegetables.

In the BBC two days ago was the alarming headline that Britain's youth are now around 90% couch potatoes and getting very unhealthy. Yet the assault on young minds continues unabated. Like here, the learned helplessness is puzzling. If this is so very bad, then the nanny state should really step in.

But instead, it opens the umbrella and flies off, goodbye, Mary Poppins!

MORE: This story angers me on several levels:
Casey’s parents had argued that Glenview School District and teacher Kevin Dorken were responsible for the girl’s death because Dorken, who had been supervising the game, was out of the room while the children were stuffing marshmallows in their mouths to see who could hold the most and still say the words “chubby bunny.”

School attorney Thomas DiCianni had argued that because of the way the classrooms were laid out, other teachers could still see into Dorken’s room.

“There would have been no winners had this case gone to the end, regardless of how it turned out,” DiCianni said.

One of Casey’s schoolmates, Elissa Henricks, now 18, took the stand Wednesday and recalled how Casey struggled to breathe. “She tapped my arm and her lips were purple, and I knew she was in trouble,” Henricks said.

According to testimony, the girls ran for help and Dorken tried the Heimlich maneuver on the limp girl, who died a few hours later at a hospital.
Gack. No, telling kids to stuff their mouths with multiple marshmellows...bad, bad, no! Second, bad choice of food. Third--the myth about talking with rocks in the mouth is a myth, not real. Bad, too, for obvious reasons.

Anyway, again, the world never ceases to astonish me.