Tuesday, October 28, 2008
Oh the irony.
Get the full story from CNN.
Author Michael Pollan, whose best-selling books have prompted readers to think differently about food, is now asking the next president to rethink the nation’s food policies...
One of Mr. Pollan’s concerns is that national policies subsidize the least healthful calories that we eat. He notes that the “building blocks” of fast food are soy and corn, used to make hydrogenated soy oil, the protein and starch in cattle and chicken feed, and high-fructose corn syrup used in sodas and sweets.
“That’s what we’ve been heavily subsidizing, encouraging farmers to grow more of, and that’s what makes fast food so cheap,” he said. “Meanwhile over in the produce section, the head of broccoli costs more than a fast-food hamburger. Why is that? We do very little to encourage farmers to grow what are called specialty crops, which is actual food you can eat. We need to level the playing field between the unhealthy and healthy calories.”
He has also called for a new definition of food.“What if we had a definition of food that said a food is something that doesn’t just have calories but has a certain amount of nutrients and micronutrients?” he asks. “If your product did not reach a certain threshold of nutrients per calorie, it’s just not food. We’re not even going to call it junk food. We’ll call it junk.” (full article)
Sunday, October 26, 2008
Natural law must not be confused with theology, and instead must be examined through a secular humanist lens. Indeed, natural law mirrors the fundamentals of basic human rights. By virtue of being humans, we are entitled to specific liberties (and I would also argue that animals and nature also have certain rights...but that is another discussion)
More importantly, the United States Constitution does not grant any rights--it merely specifies that there are certain rights which the government cannot take away. If our own government does not give us rights, it is clear then that liberty precedes government.
Natural law is also crucial because, in a purely positivist and democratic framework, the majority would lawfully be able to take away certain rights. In my book, despite mob mentality, certain rights should never be taken away. These rights can be viewed as basic human rights, or as rights derived from natural law.
Perhaps in another law, we can argue about which rights are "natural" and which are not. Tricky, as this is not written down in sea foam. But fun to think about nonetheless.
Thursday, October 23, 2008
McCain believes that this is a state issue--but as he is likely to croak sooner than later, one must give Palin's bible-beating banter strong consideration.
Check out the full article.
Monday, October 20, 2008
One can only laugh at George W. Bush for so long. The damn thing just dragged. The film also would have been much better if it stopped once Bush reached the White House. As we are still in the midst of the Iraq debacle, it's just too soon to try and recapture it in film. I was bored and antsy.
I also am not sure how fact-based the movie even is. I question how the relationships between W. and his daddy, and W. and his wife were created. I should look into this.
Overall, don't waste your time.
I must say, Condy suffered the most. Her portrayal was so awful that it was painful to watch.
Sunday, October 19, 2008
This secret makes me want to throw myself off of a building. Please--treat me differently because I have a vagina! There is nothing I love more than the vestigial organs of legally-sanctioned sexism. Oh, the days when I was actually only property, and was bought and paraded like a doll! I love the watered-down socially praised remnants of such a life.
I prefer when the first person to reach a door holds it open for those to follow. That is the pragmatic/polite approach.
But while I am on the topic--let me just vent a little and shed light on my own prevailing indoctrination. As a person with a vagina who prefers not to be differentiated based on my genitals, I take issue with men holding the door open for me simply because I am a woman (and not based on convenience, who got there first, etc).
At the same time, it happens nearly every day that a phallus feels the need to assert his maleness and awkwardly reach over to get to a door first, or wait for me to exit an elevator when he is ahead of me, etc...and I feel like I just have to take it, pass a sweet smile, and say thank you. On a rare occasion, if I sense a person is extra-friendly, I can make a joke to shed light on the fact that discrimination offends me, but more often than not I feel that it would be bad for the overall movement to offer some sort abrupt commentary that was likely be misconstrued as rude and further stigmatize women favoring equality.
But that is not what weirds me out.
What is bizarre is that when I say "thank you," I subconsciously switch into some stupid cutesy voice--the same one that comes out when I talk to parents or extended family--and I can't help but think it's still in there. That need to enact a specific form of culturally accepted femaleness just comes out on auto-pilot sometimes, and it grosses me out.
“As gifted as he is, he is essentially going to execute the Republican agenda, the orthodoxy of the Republican agenda, with a new face and a maverick approach to it, and he’d be quite good at it,” Mr. Powell said. “But I think we need a generational change.”full article
In offering his endorsement, Mr. Powell becomes the highest profile Republican to add his support to the Democratic ticket. Aides said it was not yet known whether the two men would campaign together – or what Mr. Powell would do alone – in the final two weeks of the presidential campaign.
Friday, October 17, 2008
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
The same loyalty chemical is found in human brains, and scientists said the research could provide insight into treating human grief and separation.Working with mouse-like rodents called prairie voles, scientists have found that close monogamous relationships alter the chemistry of the brain, fostering the release of a compound that builds loyalty, but also plays a role in depression during times of separation.
The scientists found that after four days away from their mates, male voles experienced changes in the emotional center of their brains, causing them to become unresponsive and lethargic. When given a drug that blocked the changes, however, lonely voles emerged from their funk.
The study might also "shed light on why couples remain in relationships that are bad for them"
Others call for scrutiny in anthropomorphizing voles. Read the whole thing.
P.S. the voles were killed to examine their brain chemicals.
Saturday, October 11, 2008
The ruling, which cannot be appealed and is to take effect on Oct. 28, held that a state law limiting marriage to heterosexual couples, and a civil union law intended to provide all the rights and privileges of marriage to same-sex couples, violated the constitutional guarantees of equal protection under the law. (read more)
Thursday, October 9, 2008
I would love to hear a reporter ask politicians if they favor testicular cell testing over embryonic cell testing.
Get the full story.
Monday, October 6, 2008
Perfect timing--I am going to go gluten-free for a week...one of these weeks...when my life calms down...whenever that could possibly be...certainly not this week...hoping to get my life together by next week...
Wednesday, October 1, 2008
COURIC: Do you think there's an inherent right to privacy in the Constitution?
PALIN: I do. Yeah, I do.
COURIC: the cornerstone of Roe v Wade
PALIN: I do. And I believe that --individual states can handle what the people within the different constituencies in the 50 states would like to see their will ushered in in an issue like that.
COURIC: What other Supreme Court decisions do you disagree with?
PALIN: Well, let's see. There's --of course --in the great history of America rulings there have been rulings, that's never going to be absolute consensus by every American. And there are--those issues, again, like Roe v Wade where I believe are best held on a state level and addressed there. So you know--going through the history of America, there would be others but--
COURIC: Can you think of any?
PALIN: Well, I could think of--of any again, that could be best dealt with on a more local level. Maybe I would take issue with. But you know, as mayor, and then as governor and even as a Vice President, if I'm so privileged to serve, wouldn't be in a position of changing those things but in supporting the law of the land as it reads today. (source)