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Food

Yale Thinks I Have an Eating Disorder

This is outrageous — the Yale Administration’s Mommy-Knows-Best attitude, if that’s what it is…but no, I don’t think it’s that. I think it’s the “You’ll do what I say, OR ELSE, young lady!” attitude. In loco parentis* on steroids! I have to cheer this woman for writing this up, even if she did see fit to post it on HuffPo.

Coming on the heels of Prof. Rubenfeld, he of the Yale Law School, and in light of Yale’s reputation for having an unfortunately highly Progressivist weltanschaaung, I find myself disgusted with Yale altogether. When Lucy grows up I’m sending her to Oxbridge.

Herewith, the whole thing. I just don’t see how to break it up without ruining the flow.

–J.

Yale University Thinks I Have an Eating Disorder

“I don’t know if my body is even capable of gaining three more pounds.”

The nurse looked at me apprehensively. “It’s easy to gain a couple pounds. What I’m afraid will happen is that you’ll lose it again and you’ll just be cheating yourself.”

I couldn’t keep the impatience out of my tone. “So you’re just going to keep checking on me until I graduate?”

“If we don’t tackle your low weight now, it will kill you.”

***

In the past three weeks alone, I have spent ten hours at Yale Health, our student health center. Since December, I have had weekly weigh-ins and urine tests, three blood tests, appointments with a mental health counselor and a nutritionist, and even an EKG done to test my heart. My heart was fine — as it always has been — and so was the rest of my body. So what was the problem?

The medical professionals think I have an eating disorder — but they won’t look past the number on the scale, to see the person right in front in them.

I visited the cancer hospital on September 17, 2013, worrying about a lump in my breast. It turned out to be benign, but I received an email in November from the medical director about “a concern resulting from your recent visit.” My stomach lurched. Was the lump malignant after all?

I met with a clinician on December 4 and was told that the “concern” was my low weight and that I would meet with her for weekly weigh-ins. These appointments were not optional. The clinician threatened to put me on medical leave if I did not comply: “If it were up to the administration, school would already be out for you. I’m just trying to help.”

I’ve always been small. I’ve been 5’2” and 90 pounds since high school, but it has never led to any illnesses related to low weight or malnutrition. My mom was the same; my whole family is skinny. We all enjoy Mom’s fabulous cooking, which included Taiwanese beef noodle soup, tricolor pasta, strawberry cheesecake, and cream puffs, none of which make the Weight Watchers shortlist. I just don’t gain weight easily.

Yet the clinicians at Yale Health think there’s more to it. Every week, I try to convince my clinician that I am healthy but skinny. Over the past several months, however, I’ve realized the futility of arguing with her.

“You should try to gain at least two more pounds.” (What difference does two pounds make?)

“Come next week to take a blood test to check your electrolytes.” (No consideration that I had three exams that week.)

“I know you’ve said in the past that you don’t eat as much when you get stressed out.” (I’ve never said that.)

So instead of arguing, I decided that perhaps the more I complied, the sooner I could resume my normal life.

I was forced to see a mental health professional. She asked me all of the standard questions — how I felt about my body, how many calories I ate. I told her everyone’s body is beautiful, including mine. When I said I didn’t know how many calories, since I don’t care to count, she rephrased the question, as if that would help.

Next step was a nutritionist. The nurse passed a post-it note, saying “Here are two times for the nutritionist next Tuesday. Usually it takes three months to get into nutrition at all.” What a privilege! Now I get to feel guilty about using clinical resources in desperately short supply!

Finally, I decided to start a weight-gain diet. If I only had to gain two pounds, it was worth a shot to stop the trouble. I asked my health-conscious friends what they do to remain slim and did the exact opposite. In addition to loading up on carbs for each meal, I’ve eaten 3-4 scoops of ice cream twice a day with chocolate, cookies, or Cheetos at bedtime. I take elevators instead of stairs wherever possible.

Eventually, the scale said I was two pounds heavier. When I saw her last Friday, I felt my stomach tighten, my heart racing. Would I finally be granted parole?

“You’ve gained two pounds, but that still isn’t enough. Ideally, you should go up to 95 pounds.” I hung my head in disbelief. I’ve already shared with you the memorable exchange that followed.

She had finally cracked me. I was Sisyphus the Greek king, forever trapped trying uselessly to push a boulder up a hill. Being forced to meet a standard that I could never meet was stressful and made me resent meals. I broke down sobbing in my dean’s office, in my suitemate’s arms afterwards, and Saturday morning on the phone with my parents. At this rate, I was well on my way to developing an eating disorder before anyone could diagnose the currently nonexistent one.

It seems Yale has a history of forcing its students through this process. A Yale Herald piece from 2010 told the story of students in similar situations. It’s disturbing how little things have changed. “Stacy” was “informed that if she kept failing to reach [Yale Health]‘s goals for her, she would be withdrawn for the following semester.” Unfortunately, “the more she stressed out about gaining weight, the more she lost her appetite.”

Furthermore, a recent graduate messaged me saying that her cholesterol had actually gone up due to the intensive weight-gain diet she used to release herself from weekly weigh-ins.

It is clear that the University does care about students suspected of struggling with eating disorders. And it should. Eating disorders are particularly prevalent on college campuses and Yale is no exception. However, because the University blindly uses BMI as the primary means of diagnosis, it remains oblivious to students who truly need help but do not have low enough BMIs. Instead, it subjects students who have a personal and family history of low weight to treatment that harms our mental health. By forcing standards upon us that we cannot meet, the University plays the same role as fashion magazines and swimsuit calendars that teach us about the “correct shape” of the human body.

I was scheduled to have a mental health appointment at 9:00 a.m. and a weigh-in at 10:30 a.m. this past Friday. But I’m done. No more weigh-ins, no more blood draws. I don’t have an eating disorder, and I will not let Yale Health cause me to develop one. If Yale wants to kick me out, let them try — in the meantime, I’ll be studying for midterms, doing my best to make up for lost time.

. . .
If you are struggling with an eating disorder, call the National Eating Disorder Association hotline at 1-800-931-2237.

Standing Up to the Christmas Board

My conscience would compel me to suicide if I didn’t pass on this vitally important advice; which would be a shame, as I would not yet have been able to follow it. :(

Etiquette and Common Sense at Christmas

1. Avoid carrot sticks. Anyone who puts carrots on a holiday buffet table knows nothing of the Holiday spirit. In fact, if you see carrots, leave immediately. Go next door, where they’re serving rum balls.

2. Drink as much eggnog as you can. And quickly. It’s rare… You cannot find it any other time of year but now. So drink up! Who cares that it has 10,000 calories in every sip? It’s not as if you’re going to turn into an eggnog-alcoholic or something. It’s a treat. Enjoy it. Have one for me. Have two. It’s later than you think. It’s Christmas!

3. If something comes with gravy, use it. That’s the whole point of gravy. Gravy does not stand alone. Pour it on. Make a volcano out of your mashed potatoes. Fill it with gravy. Eat the volcano. Repeat.

4. As for mashed potatoes, always ask if they’re made with skim milk or whole milk. If it’s skim, pass. Why bother? It’s like buying a sports car with an automatic transmission.

5. Do not have a snack before going to a party in an effort to control your eating. The whole point of going to a Holiday party is to eat other people’s food for free. Lots of it. Hello?

6. Under no circumstances should you exercise between now and New Year’s. You can do that in January when you have nothing else to do. This is the time for long naps, which you’ll need after circling the buffet table while carrying a 10-pound plate of food and that vat of eggnog.

7. If you come across something really good at a buffet table, like frosted Christmas cookies in the shape and size of Santa, position yourself near them and don’t budge. Have as many as you can before becoming the center of attention. They’re like a beautiful pair of shoes. If you leave them behind, you’re never going to see them again.

8. Same for pies. PECAN*, Apple, Pumpkin, Mincemeat.  Have a slice of each. Or if you don’t like mincemeat, have two pecans and one pumpkin. Always have three. When else do you get to have more than one dessert? Labor Day?

9. Did someone mention fruitcake? Granted, it’s loaded with the mandatory celebratory calories, but avoid it at all cost. I mean, have some standards.

[This is the one bad piece of advice.  Good fruitcake is very good.  Choose "blonde" if you truly can't stand the dark, but if you do, you will be missing out on all that rum- or brandy-soaked rich goodness, bursting with pecans and candied orange peel and other delicacies.  And I will not be responsible!  --J.]

10. One final tip: If you don’t feel terrible when you leave the party or get up from the table, you haven’t been paying attention. Re-read tips; start over, but hurry, January is just around the corner.

 

*Author left out all mention of the best Christmas treat of all (the goose and the eggnog trail by a hair):  Pecan Pie.  Your editrix has fixed this inexcusable oversight.

To those who think turkey is dry and bland.

Sorry chaps, but you simply don’t know how to cook it.

Moist, succulent, and a delight to the taste buds.

You have my sympathy.

Crikes oh Lor! A good news Health story.

Almost inevitably it is… Experts warn… Scientists warn… Uncle Tom Cobbley and his Nanny warns, but this one is different, it modestly celebrates the raising of the wrist.

We tipplers have always known that the safe Units crap was made up on the back of an envelope, much like that secondary smoke will laser its way through walls and kill entire families while they sleep, especially the Cheeeldren!

And on the cure for a cold being alcohol (with a little bit of spicy help), I can concur…

Many years ago the Gay Buddhist, my wife and I were working our way down a bottle of Tequila. I had a  stinking cold, and I mean really stinking , coughing up stuff that looked like well masticated Pistachios. Ness curled up and went to sleep, but the GB and I decided to go out for a curry, Cardiff Curry houses staying open till 3 in the morning in those days.

We both had a Vindaloo, and mine was so goddam hot my eyeballs were sweating. Then we went back to the flat and polished off the rest of the Tequila. The next day I woke up and the cold had completely gone.

So raise your glasses ladies and gentlemen…

…As opposed to Imaginary ?

I have just been presented with a can of fancy-schmancy tomato soup.

It says, right there on the label, in LARGE red letters:

“REAL INGREDIENTS !”

Kitten Nearly Dies

Now this, from Melbourne….

http://www.heraldsun.com.au/leader/west/kitten-nearly-dies-from-vegan-diet/story-fngnvmj7-1226682108386?utm_source=Herald+Sun&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=editorial&net_sub_uid=10147177

Kitten nearly dies from vegan diet

Lort Smith Vet Leanne Pinfold says cats should be fed a proper diet. She is pictured with Roger, who is well-fed and available for adoption. Source: News Limited

A KITTEN has almost died after its owners fed it a strict vegan diet.

The horrific case at a North Melbourne animal hospital has prompted a warning about the dangers of people “forcing ideologies” on their pets.

Lort Smith Animal Hospital veterinarian Leanne Pinfold said the kitten was brought in this month by its owners, who were believed to be vegan.

She said the kitten’s diet of potatoes, rice milk and pasta had caused it to become critically ill.

“It was extremely weak and collapsed when it came in. It was almost non-responsive,” Dr Pinfold said.

The kitten was given fluids via a drip, placed on a heat pad and fed meat.

It remained in hospital for three days after which the kitten’s owners were given meat to feed their pet at home, she said.
Dr Pinfold said as obligate or true carnivores, cats needed meat to survive.

She said people who wanted a pet that did not eat meat should consider other animals, such as rabbits.

“Concern for animal welfare has to include a biologically-appropriate diet,” she said. “You can’t force your ideology on the cat.

“Carnivores will seek out meat and your cat is possibly more likely to go hunting and kill local native fauna if you deprive it of meat.”

Dr Pinfold said she had not come across a similar case in her 11 years as a veterinarian.

 

Lard of the Glen.

Apparently a consignment of lard has washed-up in Scotland.

Storms over the east coast have resulted in several unusual relics from World War II washing up on an Angus beach.

Staff at St Cyrus nature reserve said four large, barrel-shaped pieces of lard have appeared on the shore.

The fat is believed to have escaped from the wreck of a merchant vessel that was bombed in WW II.

Scottish Natural Heritage said the lard was still a brilliant white and smelled “good enough to have a fry up with.

Only in Scotland could they elect celebrate…

A washed-up tub of lard.

A washed-up tub of lard.

Angus McHardy [who might just be Scottish], a local resident and retired fisherman, said he remembers similar events in the in early 1940s.

“I’d never seen anything like it,” he said. “There was quite a lot washed up at St Cyrus and beyond, not quite to Montrose.”

“Some barrels were complete and others were just lumps. People collected it. My grandma boiled it up to get the sand out. It was great because we couldn’t get fat during the war.”

He added: “After a storm in the late 60s or early 70s, the lard came up on-shore again. The seagulls thought it was a bonanza.”

Scotland has found a seemingly inexhaustible supply of saturated fats. The First Minister must be delighted. The Hell with North Sea oil when Scotland can lay claim to fat deposits that would put Überwald to shame.

Does this mean the Scottish people will re-elect…

Alex Salmond

Alex Salmond

…despite the best nannying efforts of Ms Sturgeon (why are these Scottish pols so fishy?) to nanny and coerce the population into “health”?

And I speak as someone who has had a lunch of deep-fried cheese washed down with an excellent beer in the Czech Republic.

I thought I’d died and gone to Hebburn…

A few days ago I was in the local Co-op buying bleech or some such. Anyhows, they have an area manager in and he is uttering the latest diktat. The woman on the till is astonished, gob-smacked by it. It went like this…

“You have to stock aubergines – tell Terry*.”

“But, but… what do you ever do with them?”

Area Manager doesn’t look taken aback. Seriously – must be used to it. He tries to talk her down in much the same way a copper might with some bloke on the tenth floor who is planning on jamming himself on the pavement (I assume Area Manager tasted aubergine once in a moussaka on Corfu and had seen the future). If I was a cruel man when I made my purchase I would have whispered under my breath, “I also like kumquats you know…” but the local A&E probably doesn’t have enough defibrillators anyway so I didn’t.

I have never really seen the point of kumquats but the imp of the perverse is a powerful imp.

This is 2012 and the Co-op regards aubergines (“Aubergines, Auber-here, stealing all our vegetable racks!”) as exotic. I mean if you can’t get a frigging aubergine what hope for a jet-pack? Right next door is a proper greengrocer who stocks several types of squash!!! Such decadence hasn’t been seen since the last days of Caligula! We also have a butcher and a deli (this stocks different forms of cheese). Both the local(ish) TESCO and Sainsburys even have a stab at sushi. Just before Guy Fawkes night the Co-op got in a huge consignment of… Easter eggs. Seriously. The Co-op is like Stalin just shot his load… in an aubergine. Even Uncle Joe would have known an aubergine when he saw one being a Georgian and all… The Co-op is fucking chronic.

I “popped” for some tomatoes a bit back and took them to the counter and had to have them returned because I spotted one had grown a Gandalf of a beard of something I’ve only ever seen on a sodding petri dish. And not any of mine (I know how to streak-plate). I mean the ones in movies where Denzel Washington or someone has 24 hours to save the Earth and bed a well-fit co-star (why is there never a phone call that goes like this, “Can we re-schedule for Thursday I’ve got a lot on right now”. “OK, cool, see you then!”). Nah, instead of that I had two slags** gossiping about X-Factor which was clearly more important than serving moi and Terry replaced my toms with a grumplestiltskin of a face-on at a speed matched only by glaciers. He then disappeared out back grumbling about customers actually wanting produce that wouldn’t give them pantomime poisoning***. Presumably for a fag or a wank**** or (most likely) just a general skive.

But the crowning turd in the punch-bowl came Friday before last. Now I was going out to see “Skyfall” (not bad BTW) and dinner was hurried and the Co-op tend to… Well, my wife is vegan and she frequently has said she can find fuck all to eat there. Well I was in the same dilly of a pickle. I thought I’d get a brace of their reasonable Aberdeen Angus burgers (nowhere near as nice as the ones I make but OK) but no! No burgers for Nick! Useless twats. They had replaced ‘em with – I shit ye not – a fucking display of four types of “Rustlers” (more on those soon). So I looked at the shelves for something tasty and quick (bear in mind this is kinda a convenience store/small supermarket) and there was the fifth-root of fuck-all. I got meatballs in the end. So seeing as I have no dietary whatevers I was as stumped as my vegan wife. That is fuckwittery from the Co-op on a cosmic scale. I got something in the end. I suppose I could have got the frozen burgers by Birdseye but that is all eyelids and rectums. Anyway I didn’t have the defrost time if I wanted to see Mr Bond. Not a fucking chance. No chance for anything to be shaken or even stirred apart from the bowels and that in a cataclysmic Old Testament sense.

Oh yea who eat the unclean parts of the ossifrage behold!

There are things in that shop that violate Deuteronomy. And possibly Leviticus.

This is…

…the Rustler’s microwave burger…

… an atrocity that makes being groped by DLT look like some form of “boisterousness”.

Having said that the microwaveable kebab is some form of Crime Against Humanity

And they had replaced all their proper burgerage with Rustlers. Cunts.

They really are a collection of tit-ends. More tit-ends than a fucking dairy farm in Wisconsin. An utter tittery of dunces.

The milk is OK at the Co-Op. There is pity-all you can do to cunterate milk.

But the water! Christ on a bicycle playing the fuckulating Souzaphone. The shop is hideously expensive. Well, some of it is but that is the “ethical water”. They also have normal H20 for people who are not the “saved class” that show their “ethics” by buying expensive tat and know piss-all about basic chemistry. Ethical-fucking-water!

What the the Allah-buggering-piss-flappery is “ethical water”? Is that water that can write a Desmond essay on Spinoza’s juvenalia as well as quenching a thirst? Or is it just water bought by self-righteous self-abusers? Note the hardly disguised selling of indulgences and the piccies of happy natives who’s water is ultimately sold to some school-run mumster with a BMW X-5 to make her feel better about killing the planet with diesel to take Tarquin and Cressida to school. Does anyone other than me think this more patronizing than anything the (obviously evil) British Empire ever did? Anyone thought these folks might not want to be “happy natives” for Co-op customers to feel good and have the opportunity to own a Beemer as well? Nah, that would be so inauthentic for the poor dears wouldn’t it? Better keep ‘em in abject poverty so they can make “authentic things” to be bought by middle-class Indy readers to assuage their consciences over having the X-5…

It sticks in my craw. It really does. I am typing this on an excellent little netbook/laptop by Lenovo (S205). This machine was designed and built in China by people whose parents were probably starving peasants without a pot to piss in or a window to throw it out of. If they had remained “authentic” or Mao-ist or whatever I’d not have this machine on my lap, you wouldn’t be reading this and China wouldn’t be dragging itself into a bright future. A survey a few years ago showed that 80% of “Chuppies” (middle-class Chinese) liked English cider so Bulmer’s planted orchards and built a factory over there. What goes around comes around. It ought to be about creating wealth, not the “selling beads to the natives” approach of Fairtrade nor the re-distribution idiocy of sharing the morsels of the last ration-box on the lifeboat. Wealth is not fixed. I could go on. And I shall, in a later post…

“I took a poo in the woods hunched over like an animal. It was awesome.”

(look it up). So is cholera, doll.

- Drew Barrymore (who promised E.T. to “be good” and then became a pre-pubescent heroin addict). She was muntering around some potless gaff in Central America and thought shitting like an animal was “cool”. OK, if that is her fetish – fine. And maybe it is if you don’t have to do it all the time. But how patronizing is that? Coming (so to speak) from someone who at the time lived in a mansion in Hollywood? I could be wrong but I think that was valued at $20m round the time. Fuck off. You are not part of the solution. You are the problem. Poverty does not bring dignity. They are utterly seperate variables.

Wealth (and aubergines) are not to be ashamed of. Protectionism is something to be ashamed of. We should not be ashamed that we have indoor plumbing but that we actively prevent development in some of the poorer countries by our trade policies and then engage in patronising and pointless genuflection to the Gods of “Fairtrade” as, yes, an indulgence is just wrong. That the EU subsidises (controls) our farmers etc. and that the counterbalance is Fairtrade is obscene. It helps almost no-one.

Why not just cut the Gordian knot?

Why not let us all run and play?

*Terry is the most idle cunt who ever (slowly) walked this goodly Earth. If he moved any slower he’d have moss on him – like a three-toed sloth.
**The first time I was ever in Buxton (genteel spa town etc..) some lad walked past me and my then girlf and he just said, “tits”. Oddly enough the same happened in New Orleans with the same girl. She had nice breasts but a slim build and they went with that and were hardly bazonga material so that’s odd. I find it odd that it happened over six time zones but then you are no longer alive if reality loses it’s eternal power to astonish.
***A terrible malady that makes someone think they are Christopher Biggins and playing Widow Twanky at the Swindon Empire. I have actually sort of met Mr Biggins and he seemed a decent sort. And yes, he was a panto dame at the time.
****For some reason (my filthy mind) I’m thinking of an old Turkish proverb, “A women for duty, a boy for pleasure but a melon for ecstasy!”. They don’t tend to have melons in the Co-op. Perhaps they are too exotic or perhaps Terry has jizzed in them during his many “technical breaks”. Perhaps that’s why the fruit and veg tend toward the manksome?

Scrumpy

RAB’s posting below, with it’s prominent promotion of scrumpy, reminds me of the first time I ever had the pleasure of scoffing the stuff.

It was in about 1981, I was newly arrived in England and was still in sightseeing mode. One Sunday afternoon I went up to the British Museum to have a captains, and called in to the pub opposite, the Museum Tavern, to have lunch before I went on my troll through humanities past.

Well, wasn’t that a mistake. I ordered a steak and kidney pud to fill the void, and I saw a chalked sign advertising scrumpy. Now, I had heard of scrumpy, but I had never had any so I thought this was an opportunity. It was sweet, a bit like dilluted applejuice but with a bit of a bite, and it went down as easily as lemonade. I downed a pint while I was waiting for lunch, so when the pud was delivered I ordered another pint, and downed that while eating. When the food was done and gone I ordered another half pint, not wanting to overdo it, finished that off, and started museumward…..

Then it hit me. I wandered the museum in an alcoholic haze for about 30 minutes, but I really wasn’t getting much out of it. It was a beautiful afternoon, early in the English summer, and taking it easy and relaxing somewhere became my preference, so I left and went to sit under a tree in Bloomsbury Square.

Fell asleep of course.

Great Sunday afternoon that.

How times change…

I have been re-organizing stuff round here (decorating) and found a slim volume aimed at gels from the typing pool in their first gaff. It’s called, “Cooking in a Bedsitter” by Katherine Whitehorn. First published in 1961 this “New and Fully Revised Edition” dates from 1982 [it was probs anachronistic then].

Here is a sample recipe, with preamble:

CURRY

Curry finds itself in this section ["Cooking to Stay Alive" - the other section being "Cooking to Impress" - basically a potential boyfriend/suitor who is simply assumed to generally take you out to nice restaurants but now wants to see your diggings!] because it is useless to try to impress anyone with a curry nowadays unless you have spent several years out East and are prepared to talk about it, as well as cook, for hours on end. When it comes to really elaborate curries it is much better to be on the receiving end, and fortunately most people who live in bedsitters know at least one Indian or Pakistani who is delighted to make a curry for an admiring friend [!]. Moreover, they are apt to know their proportions only in terms of .01 grains of saffron per half a sheep, so that they will often make enough curry for you and everyone on the staircase to feed off for a week.

However, here is an unassuming straightforward curry that will work on meat, fish, or any odds and ends you happen to have over.

I have lived almost all of my adult life (and much before!) within easy reach of Indians, Pakistanis (and Bangladeshis – though obviously that country didn’t exist in 1961 when this book was first written and there are also of course Sri Lankans) who were delighted to cook for a paying customer (or maybe possibly an “admiring friend”) or indeed sell the ingredients so you can do it yourself*. I also “love” the racist assumption that you will have a curry wallah on the staircase and their mission is to feed. And also the similarly racist assumption that a native Brit (whatever that means) can’t cook top-notch sub-continental food without having tales to tell of tiger-hunts, malaria and meeting a guru who gives you the recipe upon a sacred scroll that once wrapped the Koh-i-Noor etc ad nauseum. Rather than a book by, say, Madhur Jaffrey (available from all good book-sellers).

Anyway, here is the recipe. Now note this well because I know of one (admittedly unlikely circumstance – guess – it shall be revealed) where it might prove useful…

Curry for Meat, Fish, Rabbit, or Leftovers.

2 onions
2 tomatoes (or squeeze of tomato paste)
1 teaspoon meat extract dissolved in one cup water
2 teaspoons curry powder
1/4lb/100g meat or fish or mince
1 dessertspoon flour
fat for frying

Fry onions gently for 5 mins. Add tomatoes and flour; stir. Add meat extract and water; stir. Add curry powder and KEEP THE HEAT LOW AT THIS POINT (too much direct heat seems to burn off the taste of the curry and leave only the sting – if this happens, add more curry, if you can bear to [!] ). Add meat or rabbit and simmer 1hr. If fish, add after 1/2hr. (1 1/4hrs)

This is even better if you let it get cold and then heat it up.

I’d argue if you have got this far in producing this dish fit for the very Moghuls themselves it’s utterly superlative if you bin it and then phone Sayeed down at “The Last Days of the Raj” and order a lamb bhuna.

Unless of course via some peculiar spacetime conjunction between our Universe and Discworld you have Fred Colon and Nobby Nobbs round for tea**. Death wouldn’t like it mind – he’s into proper Klatchian.

* I used to live in Levenshulme, Manchester and they even had a hybrid Polish/Iranian grocer.
** Though Mrs Colon always added turnip for the wateriness and sultanas for a “taste of the exotic”.

Complete and utter Bollocks Study of the Week Pt 69.

But bloody nice try guys!

This is the study that all us fellas would absolutely love to be true, but it’s the usual crapola based on statistical insignificance and wishful thinking.

But come on ladies, it might be true, think of all the expensive shit you shovel on your faces in the hope of beating wrinkles, the mad diets you put yourselves through to lose weight, the self help books you devour by the ton… You want to be less depressed, become more affectionate, sleep better (it certainly makes me sleep better, and with a smile on my face!) It’s more than a mouthful, it’s a meal!! Swallow don’t spit!

Culture and food…

Last year I went on two foreign jaunts. The first was to Turkey and the second to a small town in Poland (Silesia). Well, one country is essentially Muslim (though technically secular and I hope shall remain so despite the government there going mental and banning things like elective C-sections for some reason).

Anyway! Food! And culture! I like Turkish cuisine. OK, I had an interesting time in Istanbul (also Troy – a fixer-upper if ever I saw one and Gallipoli (that must have been fucking hilarious). I was struck by the war memorial at ANZAC Cove…

Those heroes that shed their blood and lost their lives…

You are now living in the soil of a friendly country. Therefore rest in peace. There is no difference between the Johnnies and the Mehmets to us where they lie side by side here in this country of ours…

You, the mothers, who sent their sons from faraway countries wipe away your tears; your sons are now lying in our bosom and are in peace, after having lost their lives on this land they have become our sons as well.”

Here it is…

Those are the words of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk. Not a nice man but a great man. Anyway I met Allah in Istanbul (aka “ceiling cat”) who dropped almost on me in the Istanbul underground. He, she or it then proceeded to go “Meeer!” and then buggered off which is what cats do. But the food was good and the beer adequate. “Efes” tastes very American – I shall say no more. Turkish wine mind is almost worse than Greek. Coke is much the same though.

But whilst you could drink yourself to death (and Atatürk did) I only saw one restaurant serving pork. And that was in a former Christian section and it was Spanish. I guess it had to have pig. Without pig the Spanish don’t have a cuisine at all.

But the Turks still generally don’t eat pig. They might drink and fondle women of negotiable virtue and gamble and all that but they don’t eat pig.

My other trip was very different. It was a small town in Poland rather than a Metropolis spanning two continents (they have a statue of a bull that I posed with -oh, you know the legend!). I was just pleased to be in Asia – so I performed no utterly dreadful acts – I did have my first pizza in Asia and very nice it was too. That’s three ticked off! I dunno if I can be much fucked with most of the rest to be honest. Transatlantic does me. If I’m going to be strapped into a duralumin can without a fag for an unfeasible period then it’s Mars or bust! Fuck Bali!

In Poland I was staying with my sister-in-law and her boyfriend. Now in Poland the kebab is the coming thing. But when a Pole talks of “meat” they mean almost exclusively the flesh of the swine. Yes, even with kebabs. Now if you buy a kebab in Istanbul or Manchester a sheep died for it. Not in Poland – a pig copped the unfortunate one. And these are kebab shops run by Islamic immigrants. Some will be Turks or Pakistanis or Bangladeshis (like in the UK) but they are mainly Bosnian and similar in Poland. Now what puzzles me is that I once had a break from the tyranny of the pig and that was wild boar! But what really puzzles me is that when we were picked-up from the airport Marian (my sister-in-law’s boyfriend) had to take it easy around some deer.The Poles regard deer as something for looking at and not driving FIAT Puntos into. I think them also tasty (deer, not FIATs). We could have put the ambling Bambis on the roof-rack.

So there you have it. Culture is determined by food more so, in my book, than by religion or whatever. Of course the intermix is intermixed but that is why we travel! And that is why I like my pierogi over there and Marian always orders lamb here. You see we have other animals good to eat other than pigs (and so do they but they don’t think of them as such).Things beyond the ken of the Poles but then we have turkey (bah!) at Crimble and they have carp (yay!).

I really like Central European food. In the Czech Republic, just past a border-post (then for sale – an interesting property – partially in Poland and partially in the Czech Republic – you could have a DMZ in your dining room! You could plant a minefield!) there is a T-34 tank and a restaurant that fried cheese. And the Czechs can fry a good cheese I can tell you.

Earlier I had had the best Mexican food (not cooked by moi or a Mexican – my office pal Maria was quite good at Mexican food being from Mexico City and all) in the small town in Poland outside of North America (where the vast majority of Mexicans indeed live*). We do Mexican terribly here. I mean the Chiquito chain and all? But then I ate at a TGI Fridays in New Orleans because the alternative was gumbo and I don’t eat invertebrates. New Orleans. A tourist trap (they no longer have a streetcar named “Desire”, they have a bus) ringed by a shanty town (unmetalled roads and gaffs that look like Boo Radley just moved out). It also has the most problematical road system on the planet

*Clue One. Don’t call a Mexican “Central American”. You don’t get invited for dinner.

Damn you for offering us food choice

A visit from SAoT’s matriarch meant that she and Mrs SAoT were watching the Beeboid last night.  After the usual ‘the Olympics is great’ type show tediously explaining the finer points of swimming and something about volcanoes, there was this utterly vile North Korean type thing called “the men who made us fat” or something.

 

There had apparently been two previous episodes of this junk, but since I don’t watch the Beeb I had happily missed them, but this was the sort of background noise that eats into your soul.

 

First, if you want to see who made you fat (assuming you are fat) don’t search conspiracy websites, don’t look to the government or Pravda or the medical community to explain it to you, and certainly don’t listen to a word that some paid advocacy group come up with.  No, just look in the mirror.

 

If someone cannot take personal responsibility for what they choose to ingest, instead blaming some third party against whom they are helpless, then they are more or less doomed.  Needless to say, said advocacy groups are all too keen to relieve them of the tiresome responsibilities of thinking, exercising self-discipline and restraint.  

 

So, to “the men who made us fat” So far as I saw it (I lasted about 25 minutes) UK obesity is all the fault of evil corporations and the men who work in them.  Please note, no women work for food companies in senior roles apparently and cannot therefore be evil.  It’s all men’s fault. 

 

The central thrusts seemed to be stuff which is marketed as healthy may not be.  This woman who was in some kind of regulatory role in the past had taken it upon herself to explain to hapless proles that ‘Sunny Delight’ may not have been that healthy.  Anyone not able to read the label with a list of the contents?  Then there was the staggering revelation that if a Donut is organic it doesn’t mean it’s healthy (sic).    

 

Almost quivering with excitement the program makers had seized upon a report by JP Morgan (boo hiss) to the food industry that government regulation may damage them and that if they were able to take action to prevent that it would be a good thing.  But guess what? Those evil swine in Cadburys did not shift from chocolate to lentil bars ~ oh no.  They continued to sell chocolate and offered some sport equipment if you collected wrappers.  Then they interviewed another woman in a regulatory capacity of some sort (therefore good and the source of all things holy and virtuous) who explained that you need to buy really rather a lot of chocolate to get the free equipment.

 

Well obviously.  The equipment is an additional cost to the company but the Beeb decided to suggest that ‘a person’ would need to eat about forty quids worth of chocolate to get a netball.  No-one thought to say that if a class of kids ate say one chocolate bar a week and simply kept the wrappers then handed them in to the teacher instead of littering, they would have plenty of additional sports stuff double quick.  They gave the regulatory type, an almost uninterrupted bit to camera with patsy type questions for about five minutes before printing two lines of Cadburys reply which was on screen for a few seconds. 

 

Well at this point I could stand no more, but if I may, the food industry, advertising, evil men (etc ad nauseum) do not make me or you fat.  We do by eating and drinking too much.  This is a free choice and it’s far better to have it than be a slim and healthy eastern European shivering in a queue for government bread or a starving North Korean slave.  I am given to understand thhose unfortunates are about five inches shorter on average than their South Korean neighbours due to malnutrition.  Now that is truly evil, not some guy freely selling chocolate bars.     

 

Ayn Rand said “The man who lets a leader prescribe his course is a wreck being towed to the scrap heap” Sounds about right to me. 

I do not care if Joseph had a long coat of many colours or a long sleeved coat – he was a very naughty man.

Athiests tend to regard religion as unimportant (some athiests are actually obessed with religion – but they are a weird minority of athiests), but actually it is very important.

For example Marxism has long used the Heaven-on-Earth promise (it is a lot older than Marxism – indeed it is often called “the oldest heresy”) and the left (the real hard core totalitarian left) still use this method – under such names as the “social gospel”, “liberation theology”, “collective salvation” and on and on.

“Paul you are as paranoid as Glenn Beck” oh no, I am much worse.  I have been banging on about this stuff for years – messing up the lives of innocent people by sending them e.mails full of horrors…..

Anyway dear Time magazine (sent to three million people per week) is dominated in the present issue by…..

You guessed it – the Heaven-on-Earth promise. How we must not think of Heaven as up in the sky or after death…. (none of that silly “sword and sandals religious stuff” as a trendy go-ahead vicar said on the BBC radio show “Sunday” describing his new “People’s Passion Play” – no Romans nailing Jesus to the Cross, no it is set in a factory where the noble workers….) – no Heaven is to be here on Earth and is defined as us all working for the common good under the wise guidence of…. all that we need to do is exterminate the Kulaks (sorry I am jumping the gun there – that will be for issues of Time magazine published after the November election).

Time magazine is not run by fringe types – they are well balanced, rational, cong-sons-of-bitches who certainly would not waste time on religion (which, privately, they think is a bunch of fairy stories) if they did not think it was very important.

So how should people who oppose the politics of Time magazine (and the universities and …. the rest of the insitutional left establishment) deal in relation to religion?

For an athiest it is easy – “religion is crap, and the fact the left are using religous arguements (and totally phony, distorted, religous arguments at that) shows how pathetic they are”.

Well that is O.K. for the minority of the world’s population that are athiests – but what about every one else?

Another approach it to declare everything in the Bible true and good – as if  it were the Koran which is (supposedly) all the word of God and older than the universe. Rather than the Bible – which was written by lots of different human beings, some good, some bad …. all seeking some insight into God, but comming up with very different ideas (for those who doubt that – compare the Book of Joshua with the Gospels).

Actually the “Fundementalists” started off well – even in the 19th century (before the term “fundementalist” was formally used) it was the hard liners who tended to be most opposed to slavery and the persecution of people on the basis of the color of their skin “a Bible in one hand – but a pistol in the other, and do not forget the account book in their back pocket” was the (perhaps rather cynical) sterotype of the hardcore (rather than the moderate, i.e. corporate welfare supporting) American Republican. Campainging against slavery in the South (very much a religious issue – and a war that really started in “Bleeding Kansas” long before the moderate (i.e. corporate welfare faction) Mr Lincoln was elected President.

Or walking up a dusty road in the town of Tombstone Arizonia. And do not forget the “Vengeance Ride” of Mr Earp after his brothers were shot, in different events, in the back (of course such colourful characters as “Johney Ringo” boasted that they had never had to face any person they killed, as “every man turns his back or goes to sleep sometime” – clearly Mr Ringo was not emotionally crippled by an oppressive sense of morality). Mr Earp had no doubts as to the rightness of his actions – after all this was not a matter of some family feud, for he was but the instrument of the Lord, bringing justice to the evil doers. A hero and benefactor – or Judge Dredd (depending on one’s point of view).

Although the fate of the unarmed Mr Tunstall and that of Mr McSween (who had the Bible and the account book – but no pistol) and of the lawyer who Mrs McSween hired to investigate the killing of her husband (all in the general area of Lincoln County, New Mexico – hence “Lincoln County War”) shows the fate of those who do not find a Mr Earp (and friends – including Doctor Holliday, whose status as an obviously dying man gave him a pass on some of his imoral conduct, although no unarmed man or man who refused to face him had anything to fear from Doctor Holliday, -  as Mr Earp admitted we-are-all-sinners and Wyatt certainly admitted he had conduct to repent of ) to come to their aid – although a certain “Billy the Kid” and his “Regulators” did try and even the score.

Interestingly there is a direct connection – for many of the people hired to support the Murphy-Dolan trading monopoly in Lincoln County New Mexico, just happen to turn up in Arizonia and are associated with the “Cowboys” a group of people who (if one wished to put on a positive spin on their activities) specialized in redistributing cattle from people who had too many – and liberating women from their own sexual repression (if need be by active means). All under the wise guidence of “Old Man Clanton” – a type of person that the character Judge Dredd would have no problem in recognising.

“You drifted a long way from the Fundementalists, let alone from the Bible (Joseph and so on) Paul”.

Actually I have not really drifted (this world of personal violence and clash of principles is very much a world that the people who wrote the various parts of the Bible would have recognised – pistols and rifles had just replaced swords and spears) and even the language of the time (a form of speaking even among quite ordinary people) was that of the King James Bible (or that of the Geneva Bible and Tyndale’s Bible that came before the King James Bible – although few films of the old West reflect this way of speaking), but for those who can not see that I have not really moved, I will return to a more direct telling….

The direct origin of the word “fundementalist” comes the early 20th century essays on “the fundementals” (the fundementals of the Christian faith) written in opposition to the emerging “Social Gospel” (i.e. either the code for building a wonderful new world, Heaven-on-Earth, or a genocidal lust for power using religious language as a cloak, depending on one’s point of view – and, of course, there are many other views and moderate, or mixed, versions of the Social Gospel).

The supporters of the Social Gospel were quick to point out that the person who paid the costs of producing the “Fundemantals” essays was a rich businessman (rather similar to the old attack about “Bible in one hand, pistol in the other, and do not forget the account book in the back pocket”), but the essays themselves (as opposed to their funding) are harder to dismiss.

Some aspects of them show a dark side (for example their general attitude towards the Roman Catholic Church – not popular, in those days, with traditional Americans), but they were not “anti science” (as one would now expect from the word “fundementalist”.

They did not believe that the world was created in 4004 BC and that humans were made from dust. Indeed, some of the authors of the “Fundementals” were scientists – including evolution supporting biologists.

The objective of the authors was not to take humanity back to the world view of the bronze age.
Their objective was to protect the fundementals of religion. The view of God as a BEING  ( a PERSON) – not  an abstraction, not as “society”, still less as an Earthly King or President. And the idea of INDIVIDUAL salvation (individual survival after death) rather than collective salvation – they rejected the idea that salvation was creating a wonderful new society that would exist forever. They insisted that salvation was about individual human beings living for ever.

Reject religion if you must – but do not steal religious language (and the very churches themselves) to advance an athiest political agenda – that was the message.

So how do we get from there to the “Monkey Trial” and what modern “Fundematalism” is associated with?

Partly because the cause of fundementalism was taken up by William Jennings Bryan (actually a politician of the left – although a moderate by today’s standards), but also because the mantle of science had been taken up by the Progressives – now “planning” was science, and (please do not forget) this included planning human breeding.

Hunter’s “Civic Biology” (the actual school textbook that was forbidden in the “Monkey Trial”) was full of “scientific racism” and the need to eliminate the inferior (both other races – and inferior members of one’s own race). Oddly enough Hollywood (and so on) leaves this out of the story (they leave other things out also – see Jack Cashill’s  “Hoodwinked” for the other side to this and other central stories of modern American culture).

Even in the South (not known for its high regard for blacks and so on) people were shocked that such stuff should be taught at taxpayer expense in the Public Schools – hene the “Monkey Trial”.

However, the fatal turn had already happened before the Monkey Trial – many (not all) “fundementalists” had already accepted the leftist case that a “scientific” world view meant that the state should control everything – from the economy, to human reproduction.

Science (it came to be accepted) means sending the crippled and the retarded to the gas chamber (a mainstream view in “Progressive” circles), even a moderatly “scientific” view meant the foceable sterialization of “Rednecks” (and other people the state declared “retarded”), oddly enough the Supreme Court case that upheld the power of State governments to forceably sterilize people , “Buck V Bell”, was the case that first made some fundementalists have second thoughts about their hostility to Roman Catholics – as the Catholic on the Court, Pierce Butler, was the only Justice to vote against forceable sterilisation.

Science meant the state control of every aspect of human life – the creation of Hell on Earth in the name of Heaven on Earth.

Of course science means none of these things – the physical sciences are naught to do with politics (as F.A. Hayek tried to point out some decades later).

However, if one accepts the leftist idea that science does mean all these things…. then the reaction of some “fundementalists” (then and now) is only to be expected.

Science is crap, screw science – not in these words of course (the prestige of science is too high for that), but at base.

Almost needless to say this reaction by religious people is utterly self defeating – because it gives up human reason in the name of morality (thus undermining both). It makes the religious people who take this position look utterly absurd – and it makes morality (as well as religion) look absurd.

And one can not even read the Bible with human reason asleep – no matter how religious someone may be. Unless one is content to simply declare that anything in the Bible is good by definition (the Islamic view of the Koran) – which both concedes human reason to athiesm (which means that someone can not be religious and rational at the same time) – and is also absurd in its own terms, as the various parts of the Bible present DIFFERENT opinions (obviously different opinions – unless, of course, one sends one’s reason to sleep so that one does not notice the differences between, say, the Book of Joshua and the Gospels – or even different parts of the Old Testament or different parts of the New Testament compared to each other – for example Saint Paul’s justification by faith is followed by  James, brother of Jesus, argueing for justification by works “Faith is like that: if good works do not go with it, it is quite dead”).

“Are we finally getting on to Joesph” – yes I am, but all the above is relevant.

The story of Joesph is well known – he was a nice man who stored food of seven years of good harvests and fed the people in the seven years of bad harvests.

There are debates about Joseph – but they are over absurd things such as whether the Hebrew really means “long sleeved coat” not “coat of many colours”.

But what does the Bible actually say about Joseph?

If one reads a modern English translation of the Bible (i.e. one reads something that can be clearly understood by people used to speaking modern English – for example the Jerusalem Bible, such as the 1960s translation, edited by Alexander Jones, that I have in front of me) then a rather different picture of Joseph appears.

First of all how did Joseph get the grain that he stored? See Genesis 41.

Joseph imposed (the the power of Pharaoh) a tax of one fifth of all production in the seven years (note – even in good years a tax of 20% will absorb all of surplus a primitive farm produces – the stuff that is not needed for consumption in the present year). Could not people have stored their own food – or sold it to wholesalers who could do so?

“Oh you are just being an ideological libertarian – the government had to do the job, and the main point of the story is that Joesph gave food to the starving Egyptions”.

Sorry, but that is bullcrap.

Joesph did not “give” anyting to the Egyptions he had robbed (sorry “taxed”).

He gave food to his relatives (including those who had sold him to slavery) all of his people he invited to Egypt – to be fed (and their animals to be fed) at the expense of the Egyptions (it is hardly an act of charity to give people stuff that actually does not belong to you – that belongs to the people you have looted).

“But that is a minor matter Paul – there were not many of Joseph’s people, not in comparison to the very large numbers of Egyptions”.

Well we are not sure how many of Joesph’s people there actually were… but that still misses the main point.

See Genesis 47 (again in the Jerusalem translation – so we can actually understand what is being said).

When the Egyptions (the Egyyptions Joseph had looted, sorry taxed, by the power of Pharaoh) begged that Joseph “give us bread” Joseph did not “give” them anything.

First he took all their livestock in return for bread (their livestock  being their independence). Then (when the had eaten that bread) Joseph had them hand over all their  land to Pharaoh in return for food (their own grain – that Joseph, or rather Pharaoh’s soldiers, had looted from them). According to the Jerusalem Bible they then became “serfs” on what had been their own land, according to the King James Bible they became “servants” of Pharaoh. All the land came under Pharaoh – with the exception of the land that belonged to the Temples (the Temple priests of Egypt’s traditional Gods) who had not been taxed – and had somehow managed to store food for the bad years (I thought that only the state was able to do that?). Of course the texts actually have the people being made to beg  Joseph to take their land away and make them the toys of Pharoah (the whole thing is utterly vile – once independent people reduced to cattle).

“None of it happened anyway Paul” – not the point. Perhaps it is all a “fairy story”  (or perhaps it is not) – but the point is that Joseph (like Joshua and so many other leading characters in the Bible) is “very naughty” – or, in more blunt language,  an evil man. For it is evil to tax people to starvation and then make them beg you to take away their livestock (their wealth) and then their land, and then their freedom – in return for the food you took from them (by force) in the first place.

So how should this be dealt with?

Should we simply declare that any actions that the Bible implies are good are good – by definition (the Islamic or Calivinist view)?

Should we “interpret” away the actions – the-Bible-does-not-mean-what-it-says. For example, Joshua did not really attack towns (the people of which had done nothing to him or his folk) and murder everyone in these towns – down to the babies.

If we “interpret” away anything we do not like – then there is no stopping place before the “liberal” “Social Gospel” – with everything in religion “interpreted” to mean a political agenda (with no “sword and sandals religious stuff” as the trendy go-ahead vicar on the BBC show would put it).

There is another alternative.

That we judge the people in the Bible by the same standards we judge everyone else. Regardless of “historical stage” (as Carl Menger showed in the “Errors of Historicism” and the general “War of Method” between the Austrian School and the German “Historical School” to talk of “historical stages” is meaningless in terms of the basic principles of economics – and it is also meaningless in terms of aggression against the weak and helpless being bad, not good).

That the laws of right and wrong are not one thing among men and anther among “elves and dwarves”, and that a man should judge conduct “in the golden wood” by the same standards he would use “in his own house” (Tolkien of course).

If people in the Bible do terrible things we should say they are terrible things, and if the people who wrote those parts of the Bible say they were good things (or imply they were) – they were WRONG.

“But how can people judge these things?” – try reading all the “not relevant” stuff above again.

People do know the difference between right and wrong – and they can (with a great effort) choose to turn away from what is wrong and do what is right (or die trying).

Of course an athiest can do this, but there is nothing against religion in doing so – in using one’s reason, and making the choice to act justly. To oppose those who do evil (yes “evil doers”), to protect the weak and helpless (rather than feed on them like a wolf feeding on sheep), even at the cost of one’s own life. To repent of the bad things that one has done – and to make that repentance real by ones actions. For morality is based on choice – and a forced choice is not a “choice”, in moral terms, at all.

None of the above is “showing contempt for religion”.

On the contrary – it is ignoring or “explaining away” (it-was-a-different-time or the-author-of-this-part-of-Bible-does-not-mean-what-he-says) the wickedness of many figures in the Bible, that shows contempt for religion.

For example, if the author or authors of  (for example) Deuteronomy were capable of seeing that it was wrong to keep someone enslved for more than six years (which they were) then they were capable of seeing that it was wrong to keep someone enslaved at all. And regardless of whether the person was a Hebrew or not (for God made Hebrew and non Hebrew a like).

And if the author or authors of  Deuteronomy were capable of seeing that it was wrong to murder the population of a town that surrenders (which they were), then they were capable of seeing that it was also wrong to set the population of such a town to forced labour. And they were also capable of seeing that it makes no moral difference whatever whether the town is in area of land given to you by God – “not spareing the life of any living thing” (for fear they will teach you about their customs and way of life – however terrible these customs may be) is still a contemptable crime. Or is not the killer of women and children (down to the babies) not a coward as well as a murderer? And how strong can the faith of someone be, if he fears what a child will tell him? Indeed fears it so much that he murders the child, to prevent the child speaking to him.

The just man is someone who stands in defence of a defeated enemy – who protects the helpless from murder. Even if has to create a wall of dead bodies from his own side around the helpless.

“By the way” this is exactly the road of reasoning that that both the Jewish authors of Talmud and the Christian Scholastic theologians (and philosophers) trod. The picture of the “rightious” (the just) that emerges in their reasoning (emerges,  is NOT created by them) is very different from Joshua or Joesph (in Jewish teaching it is not rightious to take people’s food by force and then give it back to them in return for first their livestock, then their land, and their freedom itself).

Deuteronomy was not written by God – indeed as Jews and Christians have always accepted, only a tiny part of the Bible is the direct word of God. So to treat the words of the human authors of Deuteronomy, and so much else, as if they were the word of God (0r to explain them away) is showing contempt for human reason and morality itself – and for the creator of both.

And so with Joshua, and so with Joseph.

This is what matters – the ability to judge (judge justly) the conduct of people on one’s own side. In the past and in the present and in the future. To see the flaws (the crimes) even in great men (such as David and Soloman) and to refuse to ignore evil  deeds, or to explain them away, or to pretend they are good deeds.

What does not matter is whether Joseph had a coat of many colours or a long sleeved coat.

The Plate of the Red Death!

From The Telegraph: Red meat is blamed for one in 10 early deaths!

I note the rather oddly passive phrasing of that.

The Department of Health was last night urged to review its guidance on red meat after a study found that eating almost half the daily recommended amount can significantly increase the risk of dying early from cancer and heart disease.

Cancer and heart disease – wow! That’s a double whammy ain’t it? More seriously though seeing as those are Britain (indeed pretty much all the developed world’s) leading killers then that sounds both vague and scaremongering.

Small quantities of processed meat such as bacon, sausages or salami can increase the likelihood of dying early by a fifth, researchers from Harvard School of Medicine found. Eating steak increases the risk of early death by 12%.

Not to put it too finely Harvard, Cambridge, MA is not exactly cattle-country. I wonder what they think at the University of Texas?

Anyway note what I bolded. Eating how much steak? What a small quantities of bacon? As to things like salami, ham and pepperoni have they noted that, especially, in the UK they are very frequently eaten as pizza toppings and from my wide experience these outfits are very often run by immigrants from Muslim countries so they’re actually made from turkey usually.

Dr Frank Hu, co-author of the study, said: “Given the growing evidence that even modest amounts of red meat is associated with increased risk of chronic disease and premature death, 2.5 ounces (70 grams) per day seems generous. The bottom line is that we should make red meat only an occassional rather than regular part of our diet.”

Dr Hu has just raised the beef ration!

There no follows some guff and statistics but then this gem…

Scientists added that people who eat a diet high in red meat were also likely to be generally unhealthier because they were more likely to smoke, be overweight and not exercise.

So… their point is? Ye Gods almighty if that isn’t getting causality (generally considered important in science) arse over tit! I think the great astrophysicist Arthur Eddington had a dictum about not trusting an experimental result until proven by theory. He was being a bit tongue-in-cheek but there is a point to it.

And finally…

In an accompanying editorial Dr Dean Ornish, of the University of California, San Francisco, said that eating less red meat could also help tackle climate change.

You just knew that was coming didn’t you?

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