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March 15, 2007
shall require a substantially new manner of thinking if mankind is to
1. Lechaim! Ten Foods for Long Life?
2. Is Everyone “LOCO”?, Part 5
4. Fun Fact
5. You Don’t Say!
6. About Montebello E-News and “My Montebello”
Lechaim! Ten Foods for Long Life?
A friend e-mailed a PowerPoint explaining why ten foods helped us live longer. While we have to keep in mind the point of the February essay “The Eleventh Commandment”, namely, that we must not believe something just because some source asserts that it be true, I list these ten foods, anyway. It would be good, using a suggestion from that essay, to bring a group of friends together to research and reach a conclusion about the claims about those ten foods.
The ten foods are
1. tomatoes; antioxidant lycopene reduces the risk of some cancers by 40%;
2. olive oil; reduces the frequency of death from heart disease and cancer;
3. red wine in moderation and purple grape juice have about four times the antioxidant activity as orange or tomato juice;
4. garlic; antioxidants fight cancer, heart disease, aging; prolong cancer survival;
5. spinach; antioxidants and folic acid fight cancer, heart disease, and mental disorders, perhaps even Alzheimer’s;
6. whole grains; fights cancer; helps stabilize blood sugar and insulin;
7. salmon and other fatty fish; Omega3 fatty acids fight chronic diseases;
8. certain nuts; cut heart-attack deaths and lower blood cholesterol;
9. blueberries; antioxidants can retard aging and reverse failing memory;
10. green or black tea; can cut heart-disease risk in half.
How these foods are prepared and how much of them is ingested daily are important with regard to the health benefits.
There remains a nagging question. If a Montebelloan from Latin America, the Middle East or Asia is healthy and is faithful to a fatherland diet, should she change her diet to emphasize the ten above? Is there merit to the argument that our bodies have become accustomed to a fatherland diet, this based on generations of our forebears eating certain foods? (I say this as I just finished some homemade yogurt and an apple.)
In light of human diversity based on genetics, mentioned in the first part of the essay “Is Everyone ‘LOCO’?”, can a list like the one above be good for every American? Just as importantly, could the modern-day diet of America be good for anyone, in light of the quantity and quality of alterations of ingredients over the past fifty years and the need for our bodies to adjust to such alterations? Could it be said that, if we “toughed it out” for a couple of generations, by the late twenty-first century our descendents’ bodies would have adjusted so as to handle the transfats, saturated fats, and hormones of the modern-day American diet? Said a different way, advantageous human mutation to overcome insidious alimentation?
As if this were not enough to make our heads swim, the environment enters into the picture. Somebody might argue that, because of the novel toxins in the American environment, the ten foods above would become essential for everyone, regardless of our genetics, because the foods would fight those toxins to which all of us are exposed these days. (Of course, there would be exceptions for those with allergies or food intolerance.)
Is our conclusion, then, that there is no conclusion?
If you answer the multiple-choice questions below and e-mail to email@example.com with “Lesson answers” in the subject field, you will be credited toward a “certificate of recognition in community affairs” to be awarded in 2007 by a local nonprofit organization.
1. In trying to answer the questions posed in this week’s lesson, we should
(a) stop reading and take a nap, hoping that we awaken with the answers.
(b) have that suggested meeting with friends.
2. Is the fundamental problem that
(a) we are assailed by too much incomplete or faulty information, or even disinformation, making it impossible to make an informed decision?
(b) our market economy is based on never-ending consumption, which is based on a never-ending appeal to our irrational [impulsive] natures and on including addictive additives?
"Now that we have exceeded so many of our limits -- personal, emotional, relational, physical, financial -- we have no margin at all. Yet because we don't even know what margin is, we don't realize it is gone. We know that something is not right, but we can't solve the puzzle beyond that. Our pain is palpable, but our assailant remains unnamed."
-- Richard A. Swenson, M.D., American physician, author, educator
In part 1 about “LOCO”, “Limits on Constructive Output”, it was said that our lives were too complex for us to make the right decisions all the time. In part 4, we were told that greater local autonomy and new collective goals would help in alleviating this complexity. We end by exploring how to deal with our complex system of justice.
First, we must realize that finding the truth is not the only goal or even the ultimate goal of our system of justice. This should not be shocking when we consider that the pursuit of truth is limited by the fourth, fifth, and eighth amendments to the Constitution.
Furthermore, finding the truth is complicated by human physiology even when we want the truth. We forget, we interpret events differently, and our minds even remember events which never happened.
On top of those, most of us have grown up in a tradition—this distinguished from faith—which accepts the death penalty, an irreversible punishment.
Finally, the rehabilitation and punishments do not have a satisfactorily high rate of effectiveness, because the conditions in society and physiology which caused a crime continue to exist after the incarcerated have done their time, which means that the temptations and tribulations giving rise to recidivism lie in wait for released felons.
Those alone should make us pause to consider: if the truth cannot be assured, are the punishments appropriate? One would be compelled to conclude, “No”. If we agree that the system is broken and needs fixing, what should be done?
We must realize that the conditions in society and physiology are not going to change, at least not quickly and significantly. Our ever-more-competitive market economy is not going to change, and we are not going to tamper with human genetics to turn out kinder, gentler people. Those obstacles do limit our options.
One small possibility for hope might arise from a different perspective on incarceration. Would it not be relatively cost-effective and less dangerous if we spent funds to build communities in which released felons would be given a second chance, these communities kept apart from the rest of society, without any chance of felons leaving those communities and mixing with the rest of society until they were legitimately financially stable and restitution had been paid to victims? Much could go wrong, as imagined in the movie “Escape from New York”, but the idea of a community in which released felons created their own government and economy within our constitutional framework, accumulating assets and awakening aspirations, should be worth trying, more so if holding assets and having aspirations acted as a deterrent to recidivism.
This would not be some scheme to reward bad behavior; rather, this would be a solution that would do less harm to a person if we misjudged his or her innocence. As for those who did do the crime, there would be less harm to us, because they would have to earn their living and make restitution while kept at a safe distance, and would be more likely to become law-abiding, because, if they did not become so, they would risk their newly-earned assets.
FOR EVERYONE. On Friday, March 16, 2007, Montebello Housing Development Corporation will break ground on our new project, Bella Monte Homes. The groundbreaking ceremony will be at 236 South Third Street from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Speakers for the day will be the Mayor of the City of Montebello, Norma Lopez-Reid, and the Montebello Chamber of Commerce Chairman, Humberto Garcia. We will have great food and entertainment by Ellas Son Mariachi Trio. For more information: (323) 722-3955.
FOR EVERYONE. Rotary International District 5300 and the Rotary Foundation present the twelfth annual peace conference on Saturday, March 31, 2007, at Azusa Pacific University. The subject is “Latin America and Hispanics in the United States”. Admission is free, but we have to register. “This conference, like previous ones on Africa and the Middle East, will present ideas on how to eradicate poverty through entrepreneurship education that leads to new business formation and job creation. The huge unemployment in Mexico and other Central American nations leads to migration north in search of jobs. The migrants say they would far rather stay home with their families and in the neighborhoods and culture they grew up in. But in order to put food on the table for their families, they take enormous risks to come north. …” For more information, http://www.district5300.org/peaceconference/index.html .
It is illegal to walk a camel down Palm Canyon Drive in Palm Springs between the hours of four and six p.m.
Before we start bashing the French:
Several of the ideas in the [U.S.] Constitution were new, and that a large number of ideas were drawn from the literature of Republicanism in the United States, from the experiences of the 13 states, and from the British experience with mixed government. The most important influence from the European continent was from Montesquieu, who emphasized the need to have balanced forces pushing against each other to prevent tyranny. (This in itself reflects the influence of Polybius' second century BC treatise on the checks and balances of the constitution of the Roman Republic). John Locke is known to be a mild influence, and the due process clause of the United States Constitution was partly based on common law stretching back to the Magna Carta of 1215.
How our lives might have been different:
Furthermore, Cyrus the Great's Charter of Human Rights had an astounding influence on western democracy, especially the Founding Fathers of America. As early nation builders, they were required to read two historical manuals on statesmanship and decide which system they wanted to implement. One was Machiavelli's 'The Prince’, an Italian philosopher who famously advocated a government based on fear and deceit, and who said "it is better to be feared than loved". In stark contrast to Machiavelli, was Cyropaedia, meaning the Teachings of Cyrus, the Iranian King, which stated that government should be benevolent and that “it is better to be loved than feared”, the exact opposite of Machiavelli’s advocation. Today, there are a half dozen copies of Cyropaedia found at the library of Congress in Washington, D.C., with one of many personal copies belonging to Thomas Jefferson. Quoted from www.wikipedia.org.
To learn about this newsletter, Montebello E-News, and the accompanying, growing Web site, “My Montebello”, visit www.mymontebello.com. Also, you will find instructions and contact information for submitting announcements for publication in this newsletter.
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