Justice (…?) is a dish best served cold

I had no access to a television or the internet outside of my blackberry last night, but facebook and twitter were aflutter as the news went viral: under President Obama’s command, a CIA strike resulted in the death of the infamous long, sought after Osama Bin Laden.  Shortly following that announcement, the amusing, one-liner thoughts on the matter began: ‘Obama got Osama!’, ‘Obama 2012! Obama’s got this next election in the bag’, ‘Obama and Osama are probably related, lol’.

My thoughts on the matter will be brief.  Politics is something I never got into due to some really unfortunate Social Studies-related experiences in High School and a racist American history teacher who I unfortunately had two years in a row.  Even today, I have to fight my incredible unwillingness to stay politically informed and force my ass over to CNN.com or the New York Times website… It’s like my adolescent obesity, it was really easy to fall into a terrible rut, but now incredibly hard to develop the right habits to get out of it.

But I digress.  My thoughts are short, simple and sweet: this doesn’t feel like justice to me, it feels more like a long, sought after revenge.  And the elation of some Americans to this news is a bit unsettling to me.

I don’t think we should rejoice over the death of any man.  His life was no more ours to take than the lives he was responsible for taking.  Dr.  Martin Luther King, Jr. once said: “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”  Following that logic, good can only vanquish evil.  Therefore, violence and hate beget more violence and hatred.  No matter what atrocities he was guilty of, putting more death, hatred and negativity into this world in the wake of Osama’s terrible legacy will by no means make it a better place in the future.

However, I hope this means that the war that was started ten years ago in the hopes of ending this reign of terror will now end.  Maybe ceasing to add bloodshed and death by ending this war will be the beginning of that light that will drive out some of the darkness in our world.

And this by no means will lead to the end of terrorism… the causes, and fuel behind terrorism still exist.  The perverse justifications behind terror in the mind of its perpetrators are far larger than one man, and the death of one man won’t change that (even if that man was as great a figure as Osama Bin Laden).  We should not herald this as a victory, but rather ask ourselves, where do go from here?  What back lash will this bring from his followers?  We should be pensive and start having dialogue about the repercussions of this event for America, for the Middle East and for the rest of the world.

So many things are happening in these times… I can’t help but be reminded of a biblical verse (pardon my French, but I learned the Bible in French, lol):  “…la scène de ce monde est en train de changer (the scene of this world is changing)” 1 Corinthians 7:31 .   Right now, these words are ringing with such truth in my head.  My generation and those who have come along for the ride these past couple of decades have witnessed much in such a short period of time… Just really wonder what the culmination of these events will be and what it will mean for the future.  Godly fear was instilled in me young.  So I can’t help but think after witnessing so many cataclysmic and telling events that, as the Bible warns, a terrible end is near.

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Shut Your Big Fat Mouth

I absolutely hate it when people trivialize big issues.  In an age where reputable sources of information are easily accessible, ignorance is inexcusable, even more so when you’re in a position of influence.  For the sake of sparing others around you the poison of your ignorance, educate yourself.  Do not add to the rhetoric of half-truths, hearsay and unbacked opinions!

Why this desperate appeal?  Sarah Palin time and again proves how dangerous ignorant rants can be.  This time she spoke of an issue, or rather commented on the addressing of an issue, of which I feel strongly: obesity.  As a food scientist and an aspiring doctor, it’s a public health issue that I hope to tackle head on.  Also, I suffered from childhood obesity, and I’ve only recently been able to control my weight within the past few years (for those who haven’t seen me since graduation, I’ve lost about 35 pounds to date :-)).

I don’t get what Sarah Palin’s trying to prove when she opens her mouth.  It seems she’s against anything that any democrat supports.  If Obama says the sky is blue, she’d find a reason to say that it’s not.  So her recent criticisms of Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move” Campaign which targets childhood obesity, is really just hot air.  She claims that government needs to step back and stop interfering with people’s lives and let parents make their own decisions about what to feed their children.

As I understand it, participation in “Let’s Move” campaign is more or less voluntary.  It is not law, it is an INTIATIVE.  Obama may lobby for certain legislation that support the initiative, but participation in the “Let’s Move” campaign is not compulsory in anyway.  The point of the campaign is improving the health of the younger generation, which is disproportionately afflicted by obesity.  The national goals of the initiative hope to bring changes to the nutrition of school lunches and the legislation that regulates food in schools.

I may be speaking from my own personal experience here, but as I remember, unless the child had some dietary requirement, parents rarely interfered with what the schools fed their kids before…  So how is the initiative to feed the nation’s children healthier meals any more intrusive to parenting than the way school lunches operate now or have in the past?  Anyway, parents are always trying to get their kids to eat more vegetables (at least my Mom always did)…. so shouldn’t salad bars at schools and healthier options be a good thing?  I don’t know, I don’t have kids… if I did, maybe I too would be outraged, à la Sarah Palin!

The First Lady’s goals are admirable to say the least.  The fact is that obesity statistics in the Western world are staggering. In the UK in 2009, 61 % of the total population was either overweight or obese.  The obese percentage of the country’s population has consistently been increasing, particularly in households earning the least in the nation (I think this well known fact is telling and supports the claim of the complex nature of the disease’s development, which is something that is rarely addressed when treated, but more on that later).  In the US, the obesity trends have been just as disturbing (take a look at this animation here).   Two-thirds of Americans are either overweight or obese and the national average of obese adults is well over 20%, with something like a third of adults classified as obese.

In the spread of any disease during an epidemic, one of the populations at a higher risk of infection are children.  Obesity, though not infectious, is no exception.  In the US, childhood obesity has more than tripled in the past 30 years, predisposing the upcoming generation to a plethora of chronic diseases such as hypertension, hypercholesterolemia, and heart disease, just to mention a few.  It is predicted that one in three children born after 2000 will develop type II diabetes.  The children are our future and with this health crisis afflicting them, the future of the Nation’s health is in jeopardy.

I don’t get it.  It seems that Palin isn’t even aware of the magnitude of the obesity epidemic or else she would be praising Michelle Obama for her efforts.  Considering the potential economic and public health consequences, shouldn’t it be something she’s more aware of as a mother (0r, more appropriately, as someone who has Presidential ambitions)?  Just do us all a favor, Palin, please, for your own sake and ours: just shut your big, fat mouth (but we all know she won’t… damn that first ammendment…)!

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Take me away from here… Nightmares live where you live…

~ L. Astounded