Friday, May 16, 2008

I have to admit that I have been a news/information junkie most of my life.  I spent much of my sophomore through senior years in high school participating on the speech and debate team and specializing in extemporaneous speaking at the local meets.  For those who aren't familiar with this specialty the speakers had half an hour create a 10-15 minute speech on a randomly assigned question concerning current events using relevant news reports, newspapers and magazine articles.  We were allowed a three-by-five card with no more than 50 words as a memory aid.  As a result, I acquired an ingrained habit of reading and viewing multiple sources of news and information on a daily basis which has continued to the present.  However, I have become increasingly unhappy with the news that is readily available.  Too often I am presented with boring attempts at titillation rather information, opacity instead of enlightenment, and questionable statements, assumptions and prejudices presented as fact.  Or the news media totally miss stories that I find meaningful and interesting.  It has taken a few days but finally I did find some interesting bits.

Thanks to Ronni at Time Goes By for continuing her coverage of the 'thought crime bill.'  

Hey, Hey, Democrats take a look at this link on Changing Places.  Does anyone else think it is about time we got out of the habit of smearing those with whom we disagree with Nazi era tar?  For anyone who would like to go directly to the Guardian site here is the link.   However the court cases and the history books finally decide the issue I am sure there is one conclusion that will never be written:  for some people profits are the only consideration.   

On the TV news this morning one report mentioned that the United Nations has reported that economic growth world wide has slowed considerably and may be headed for a recession.  ( I just found this link on CNN.com.) The news reader said that the report blamed the U.S. mortgage mess and banking problems.  I don't doubt that that is partly to blame but I would guess that financial speculation on the commodities market also had a good bit to do with the economic downturn.  (The CNN story lists that as a major contributor so my guess seems on target.)  One report last night claimed that speculation has raised the price of oil by at least $25 per barrel.   Ditto my conclusion of the last paragraph.

I read these kind of stories and, after swearing profusely, just shake my head.  If those of us who are 'obese' simply cut our calorie intake by the estimated 18% over 'average' would those calories go the the poor around the world.  I rather think not.  It would probably rot because the poor cannot afford to buy it.  By the way, are those calories consumed as part of fast food or take out meals?  We have had intermittent reports in the U.S. that many of the poor here are obese and many of are obese because poor neighborhoods in U.S. cities are 'food deserts' with no food sources other than fast food outlets and convenience stores which feature a lot of cheap food high in fat, salt and calories but devoid of other nutrients.  Go elsewhere for your food?  Try that when your only transportation is a bus.

1 comment:

lynn said...

I think that people forget that the so-called "poverty diet" is full of bad carbs and processed junk, and that it actually can be expensive for many people to eat right. Plus, have you seen many school lunches? If a kid gets free lunch they have few choices and the options are not very healthy in many school districts.