Wednesday, 23 April 2014 14:55 Basil Venitis Editorial Dept - Lifestyle
Addiction to fat, sugar, salt, and cola is killing you. Medical research shows our health is greatly affected by what we eat. Eat an abundant variety of vegetables. Choose a rainbow of fruits every day. Choose whole grains, such whole wheat bread, brown spaghetti, and brown rice. Choose fish, poultry, beans, or nuts, which contain healthful nutrients. Use olive and other plant oils in cooking, on salads, and at the table, because they reduce harmful cholesterol and are good for the heart. Drink water or tea without sugar. Consumption of colas is associated with chronic kidney disease.

Walter Willett , a frequent reader of venitism, muses that every day the government's food stamp program buys Americans 20 million servings of soda, paying billions for a program that fosters the obesity that the government then has to pay again for in increased health care expenditures.

Willett laments the U.S. agricultural policy over the past four decades has created a food system where healthier fruits and vegetables are relatively expensive while high-starch, processed foods and red meats are cheap and widely available. The first farm bill was passed in the 1930s as a way to help the nation's struggling agricultural sector, which at the time not only fed the country but, in a more rural America, also provided many jobs.

With ensuing technological changes in the years after World War II, the United States ramped up its subsidies, steering production toward what at the time was thought to be a healthy diet of starches and meat. The prices of those staples came down in the ensuing decades, while those left alone by government policy — fruits and vegetables — became more expensive. What is cheap today is what we made cheap. What we ignored, we made more expensive.

Wednesday, 20 March 2013 20:30 Alan Caruba Editorial Dept - Lifestyle
In 1955 when I was graduating from high school, Allen Ginsburg, the now celebrated poet, was writing 'Howl' and on his way to joining the handful of writers who would become known collectively as the “Beats” and icons of the “beat generation.” It was and still is hokum.

The lives of Ginsberg, Jack Kerouac, William S. Burroughs, and others in their circle included drug addiction, alcoholism, homosexuality, and an adolescent self-involvement that translated itself into their writing and, as they burst on the cultural scene in the latter 1950s, helped to shape it, and set in motion changes in attitudes and behavior that are with us today.

At the time I regarded all the discussion of their writings as rubbish. In college I read Kerouac’s novels, “On the Road” (1957) and “The Subterraneans” (1958) and thought of them as little more than embellished diaries written by someone without enough imagination to invent characters, basing them on his fellow “beats” such as Neal Cassady and having little in the way of a plot.
Wednesday, 06 March 2013 12:08 Basil Venitis Editorial Dept - Lifestyle
Good riddance! Pope Benedict has been a backward pope, polarizing than unifying Catholics. Benedict never managed to grow beyond the conservative professor of theology Joseph Ratzinger.

The pope did not build bridges. His election led to an increasing split within the Church. On the one side were the disappointed advocates of long-overdue reform. On the other were the fundamentalists and misogynists.

There is now a schism within the Conference of Bishops. During his years in office, Pope Benedict could not stop the misogyny of bishops. His efforts to address the abuse scandals that rocked the Catholic Church all over the world were too little, too late. He and his bishops never managed to regain the trust subsequently lost.

Tuesday, 14 August 2012 00:00 Editorial Dept - Lifestyle
Let the chatteratti and political pundits say what they will, dancing around the issue of gay marriage on Obama’s chances of reelection, but I will tell you plainly that he has swallowed a poison pill.

Gay marriage is a deal-breaker for a vast swath of American voters that includes Catholics as well as the black and Hispanic communities. Urbanites and suburbanites may say that are okay with gay marriage, but what they tell pollsters and what they say privately among friends and family is far different. Americans may want to be tolerant, but their distaste for the gay lifestyle and incessant demands for acceptance is deeply offensive to most people.

Thanks to what will be seen as a historic gaffe by Vice President Joe Biden, the President was put in a vice as he was seen to vacillate—evolve—his position regarding gay marriage, but elections often turn on such issues. Yes, the economy will be the dominant issue of the 2012 election, but the President found himself in a position where he could not avoid taking a position. It was diametrically different from the one he expressed in the 2008 campaign.
Sunday, 18 March 2012 00:00 Jennett Meriden Russell Editorial Dept - Lifestyle


Friday, 24 December 2010 00:00 Human Rights Watch Editorial Dept - Lifestyle

Laws, Policies Put Already Vulnerable People at Even Greater Risk - Discriminatory laws and policies against homosexuals and other sexual minorities in Iran put them at risk of harassment, violence, and even death, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. Iran's sexual minorities, especially those who identify themselves as lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender (LGBT), are victimized both by state and private actors in part because those actors know they can get away with it.

The 102-page report, "We are a Buried Generation: Discrimination and Violence Against Sexual Minorities in Iran," based on testimony from more than 100 Iranians, documents discrimination and violence against LGBT people and others whose sexual practices and gender expression do not conform to government-endorsed socio-religious norms.

Human Rights Watch analyzed these abuses within the context of the government's violations against its general population, including arbitrary arrests and detentions, invasions of privacy, mistreatment and torture of detainees, and the lack of due-process protections and fair-trial guarantees.Members of sexual minorities in Iran are hounded on all sides," said Sarah Leah Whitson, Middle East director at Human Rights Watch. "The laws are stacked against them; the state openly discriminates against them; and they are vulnerable to harassment, abuse, and violence because their perpetrators feel they can target them with impunity."


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