Archive for the ‘Health’ Category

Evil, Evil Cupcakes

June 19, 2009


Who can make school administrators hyperventilate?   What sends teachers into cold sweats?  Who can kill a Valentine’s or end-of-school party with a simple phone call campaign?   No Child Left Behind?  Mandatory testing? 

No, it’s a shrill, preachy, obsessed, helicopter mom whose greatest fear is that her darlings will – ‘horror’ – eat a sugary treat at school.  Here’s a woman who really knows how to kill a class party.   MeMe Roth has made a one-woman industry out of fighting sugar and fat in all its public school incarnations.  Just visit her website  at National Action Against Obesity and you’d swear the webmaster for PETA was working on this as a side job.   Does anyone see the big rebellion coming along when her kids decide they don’t want to be indoctrinated in Mom’s ‘sugar is bad’ propaganda camp anymore?  When they hit 16 it won’t be binge drinking they go for, but all night pig outs at friend’s houses, eating Crispy Creme donuts and shotgunning Big Red.

I live in San Antonio, Fat Capital of the US, so I’m well aware of the dangers of childhood obesity.  Every day I see the results of poor parenting and poverty and I can empathize a bit with MeMe Roth’s ideology.  I also happen to be the mom of a chubby boy so I do my share of  preaching about healthy eating habits.  I encourage lots of physical exercise and sports, and teach him food awareness and nutrition.  I review the school menus, and applaud the ban on cafeteria vending machines.   However, am I abusing my child as MeMe Roth believes, by allowing him to eat a cupcake during school parties?    I think there’s more abuse in the rules she enforces on her own kids than the simple fun of celebrating a classmate’s birthday with a small cupcake and a juice box.  

Where is the moderation in this crusade?   Many parents have become so focused on optimizing their childrens’ chances for success, beauty and health, they suck out a lot of what makes childhood fun and memorable.    I think it’s a pretty good bet that many of the  children of zealots do not take up their parents’ causes when they grow up.   They see where concern and reasonableness end,  and instead become a source of childhood embarrasment and resentment.

Swine Flu Report #2

April 29, 2009

It’s a bad day to be a pig in Egypt.   This is just the kind of overreactionary effort that isn’t going to help anything.    I wasn’t aware that a predominantly muslim country had a large swine production capacity, but 300,000 of the critters are ironically marked for extermination because of who and what they are.    A lot of Coptic pig farmers just got put out of business.

Meanwhile, muslim lawmakers in Kuwait and Bahrain are pressing the case that if only they’d been following a pig-free policy all along, swine flu would be restricted to the infidel, pig-eating countries.

“The outbreak of this flu, which has killed dozens, will make our case stronger to outlaw pork from the kingdom,” lawmaker Sheikh Adel Al-Moawada, who heads the Bahrain parliamentary foreign affairs and security committee, was quoted by local media as saying.

And who gave this guy a passing grade in his infectious disease studies at medical school? 

“We are unlikely to have an outbreak since we don’t have pig farms here. We don’t have pig products and [the region where the strain emerged] is miles away from Kuwait,” said Dr. Khalid Al-Hasawi, deputy director-general of Kuwait’s Infectious Disease Hospital.

My kids know more about the infectious spread of Swine Flu, Mexico Flu, North American Flu, Non-Kosher/Non-Koranic Flu, or whatever the heck PC name you give this thing.   Pigs are not direct infectious vectors now.  You cannot get sick from eating pork.  For that matter, you could kiss a pig and not get infected.     (By the way, have you ever seen so much hoopla over the naming of a disease  ?   This ranks right up there with the re-naming of French fries to “Freedom” fries by some uber-patriotic idiots in the Congressional cafeteria back in the early days of the Iraq War.)

It’s Wednesday here, which for us Orthodox Christians is a fasting day, pork and pork products included.  But first thing I’m gonna do tomorrow morning is have a bacon and egg breakfast taco, then a delicious ‘Hog Dog’ from a stand down the block (a grilled, bacon-wrapped hot dog with grilled onions and peppers), finally completing my porcine palate at dinnertime with the last of the Pascha ham in a big pot of slow-cooked lima beans.  (Tomorrow my ankles are gonna be as big as ham hocks!)

UPDATE:   It didn’t take the Coptic Christians of Egypt long to react to this ridiculousness.   The Copts have been taking it for a long time by the muslim majority in Egypt.   Churches burned, murders, arrests, forced conversion, but it takes hurting someone’s livelihood to finally cause the pot to boil over.   I hope the Coptic community doesn’t suffer personal and governmental reprisals, but people can only be pushed around for so long.