Saturday, September 26, 2009

Yahoo news, or the Onion?

This is just the sort of soft journalism that is chasing away serious news seekers. Still, it's pretty funny.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

1st amendment rights under fire

I am glad to see that active citizens are filing a lawsuit against Pittsburgh police. The G20 convention protests would certainly not have been the first or most incredible instance of institutional suppression of peaceful gatherings, even in our dear union. I hope the lawsuit does much to discourage this sort of behavior in Pittsburgh.

1st amendment rights under fire

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Health Care Op-Ed article

I mentioned an article in the last post, an op-ed, and linked to it.

This article is well written, full of great one-liners and stingers, and is worth the meager time it asks to be read. It's written by Michael Pollan, journalism prof at Berkeley, author of "In Defense of Food: An Eater's Manifesto," in which he puts forth the idea that we should stop eating edible food-like substances and eat food. (And while we're at it, actually eat, instead of just stuffing the face.) He points out that, just as health insurance companies took an interest in seeing a reduction in smoking once they realized how much each smoker was costing them, they are likely to do the same when forced to accept people with other preventable illnesses, many of which are direct results of indulgence in what is coming to be called the western diet. He puts forth the idea that agribusiness is so big and powerful that no one has been able to fight them thusfar, but that if insurance companies go after them, well, we might start to see some change in the way food is grown, distributed, prepared, and consumed. Worth reading.

As one who believes that much of our woe comes from imperfect living, much of which is all but required of us to participate "freely" HAHAHA in society, I am hopeful of this change.

I was about to write that "While our abilities to affect the course of things may be quite limited, perhaps we are responsible; perhaps, as my father believes, it is our responsibility to leave the world better than we found it. Well, for our generation, this is an extremely difficult task on some axes. I'd be happy to see a change in sign of the second derivative for now.", but could not in good conscience write the first subordinate clause. Only men, women, and groups thereof ever have "changed the course of history," as the arrogant phrase goes. Be empowered, oh ye with guts and gumption, or the will to get them growing! There is much to be done!

Health, Western

(The title of this blog is not meant to imply that the physical health of any person or population is distinct and separable from mental and spiritual health.)

I did much of my growing up in College Station, TX; my youngest brother, almost all of his. College Station is home to Texas A&M University, known to many as the home of the bonfire tragedy of about 10 years ago. My mother describes it as "the young, white, Republican capitol of the world," and I think you have to add "Christian," and probably "conformist" to the list.

John, my youngest brother, calls it a social experiment.

With that in mind, it may be less surprising to know that my brothers and I have all developed non-standard perspectives on society, judging more harshly the effects of socialization and inclusion to the group, and generally thinking more analytically, more critically about societies large and small.

This has led John to devote his life to spiritual betterment for himself, and to seek to educate and enlighten the public for his work. He sees our society as thoroughly unsustainable. People are unhappy and unhealthy, power and wealth are concentrated, and the environment is suffering. Species are dying out, and climate change is so complex that even the world's best don't know what to expect.

I'm pleased that health care reform is in the wind. That was a really good speech.

I was pleased to read a good op-ed article in the paper the other day. The more I learn about agribusiness, the less meat I eat. I'm on the fence about fish even! It sucks to learn this stuff. Ostriches don't save the world, though, and as we have a world, or it has us, or however you want to look at it, and who knows but no-one.

What to do.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Another test

This is a test of email to post mail2blogger system.