There has been some anger… I guess you could call it that — about the number of Americans in Canadian school systems (outnumbering Canadians) as well as Canadians being taught American history in school, instead of our own.
I wouldn’t agree that Canadians having a lack of knowledge, or a lack of patriotism in Canada is exactly new information to most Canadian citizens. Is any Canadian surprised here, that we don’t remember any Canadian history from school? Really? I’m not.
We are all well aware that our knowledge of Canada is abysmal. And I agree that young Canadians should be taught Canadian history, and not American history in school, but I also believe that today, in the 21st century, it is a very dangerous thing to lack information on the United States as a country unto itself as well as its stance in world politics at the moment.
To be honest, while I don’t agree with much of what the United States is doing, I am also very anxious about Canada’s aggressive, uninformed, shooting-their-mouths-off willingness to shoot down Americans as a whole, regardless of American individuals stances on current events. (Or past ones).
The vehement stance of Canadians against American citizens as a whole is very prevalent. I would say that on average of the Canadians that I talk to, 95% of them have something bad to say about Americans. And 90% of the time, they are generalized, uneducated options.
This runs across all age-groups and boarders on something like racism. Not to the same extremes - but there is a hatred of many Canadians towards Americans - and it is very willingly, and very loudly expressed.
Almost any Canadian you talk to has something bad to say about Americans, and often, they are grossly misinformed, nor do they know any Americans personally.That’s the fucking kicker for me. Where are they getting their information from? Fox news? The latest Hollywood comedy? Probably. They have simply heard that Americans are overweight, over-privileged, ignorant jerks who uniformly wish for the destruction of all other countries and the rise of their own, and these Canadians run with that “information”. They are also very reluctant to hear what I might have to say about Americans being some of the most self-driven, hard-working, and well educated people I have ever met.
So while I do agree that it is unfortunate that we, as Canadian citizens do not know enough about our own history, or even our own current culture, we should perhaps be focusing more on not parading that ignorance for the world to see and educating ourselves; before we start criticizing the Americans in our school systems, and the Americans themselves.
I’m just gonna point out the obvious here through the words and experiences of Brandon Stanton, humans of new york
The longer my tour went on, and the more I saw of the country, the fewer gaps remained for my imagination to fill with danger. The remainder of my trip was an exercise in being repeatedly underwhelmed. I was underwhelmed by the danger. I was underwhelmed by the religious fanaticism. And I was especially underwhelmed by the anti-Americanism. Everything that Western media had conditioned me to expect from Iran, I found in far lesser quantities than I’d anticipated. The only thing present in a larger-than-expected dose was normalcy. The entire country was plagued by normalcy. I couldn’t seem to get away from it. Everywhere I looked—on street corners, inside of shops, and even inside of homes— there were normal people doing normal things.
read the rest of the article, here
You think the FDA has your back? Sure, they recently proposed two new regulations to up food safety measures, specifically how food processors and farmers can work better to keep their fresh products free of dangerous bacteria (remember that killer cantaloupe outbreak from 2011?). But while it may seem like the government is out to protect us from bad—even fatal—food-borne illnesses, which cause some 3,000 deaths a year, they don’t completely have our best interest—or health—in mind.
“For numerous suspicious and disturbing reasons, the U.S. has allowed foods that are banned in many other developed countries into our food supply,” says nutritionist Mira Calton who, together with her husband Jayson Calton, Ph.D., wrote the new book Rich Food, Poor Food due out this February.
During a six-year expedition that took them to 100 countries on seven continents, the Caltons studied more than 150 ingredients and put together a comprehensive list of the top 13 problematic products that are forbidden by governments, outside the U.S., due to their detrimental effects on human health.
“If you see any of the following ingredients listed on the nutrition label, don’t buy the product,” Calton warns. “Leaving these banned bad boys on the shelves will speak volumes to grocery stores and food manufactures about what informed consumers simply won’t tolerate.”
RELATED: Eating healthy doesn’t cost as much as you think! Learn how to eat delicious, nutritrious food without breaking the bank.
Ingredients: Coloring agents (blue 1, blue 2, yellow 5, and yellow 6)
Found In: Cake, candy, macaroni and cheese, medicines, sport drinks, soda, pet food, and cheese
Why the U.S. Allows It:We eat with our eyes. “Recent studies have shown that when food manufacturers left foods in their natural, often beige-like color instead of coloring them with these chemical agents, individuals thought they tasted bland and ate less, even when the recipe wasn’t altered,” Calton says. This may explain why the use of artificial dyes—the most popular being red 40, yellow 5, and yellow 6—have increased five-fold since 1955.
Health Hazards: Back in the day, food coloring came from natural sources, such as saffron and turmeric. “Today most artificial colors are made from coal tar, which is also used to seal-coat products to preserve and protect the shine of industrial floors,” Carlton says. “It also appears in head lice shampoos to kill off the small bugs.”
Ingredient: Olestra (aka Olean)
Found In: Fat-free potato chips
Why the U.S. Allows It: Procter & Gamble Co. took a quarter century and spent a half a billion dollars to create “light” chips that are supposedly better for you, Calton says. They may need another half a billion bucks to figure out how to deal with the embarrassing bathroom side effects (including oily anal leakage) that comes with consuming these products.
Health Hazards: “This fat substitute appears to cause a dramatic depletion of fat-soluble vitamins and carotenoids, robbing us of the vital micro-nutrients,” Calton says, adding that many countries, including the U.K. and Canada, have banned it.
Ingredient:Brominated vegetable oil (aka BVO)
Found In: Sports drinks and citrus-flavored sodas
Why the U.S. Allows It: BVO acts as an emulsifier, preventing the flavoring from separating and floating to the surface of beverages, Calton says.
Health Hazards: “Because it competes with iodine for receptor sites in the body, elevated levels of the stuff may lead to thyroid issues, such as hypothyroidism, autoimmune disease, and cancer,” Calton says. That’s not all. BVO’s main ingredient, bromine, is a poisonous chemical that is considered both corrosive and toxic. It’s been linked to major organ system damage, birth defects, growth problems, schizophrenia, and hearing loss, which explains why it’s been nixed in more than 100 countries.
Ingredient:Potassium bromate (aka brominated flour)
Found In: Rolls, wraps, flatbread, bread crumbs, and bagel chips
Why the U.S. Allows It: This flour-bulking agent helps strengthen dough, reducing the amount of time needed for baking, which results in lowered costs, Calton explains.
Health Hazards: Made with the same toxic chemical found in BVO (bromine), this additive has been associated with kidney and nervous system disorders as well as gastrointestinal discomfort. “While the FDA has not banned the use of bromated flour, they do urge bakers to voluntarily leave it out,” Calton says.
RELATED: Trying to lose weight? Be sure you don’t fall for any of the top nine most popular diet myths.
Found In: Breads, frozen dinners, boxed pasta mixes, and packaged baked goods
Why the U.S. Allows It: While most countries wait a week for flour to naturally whiten, the American food processors prefer to use this chemical to bleach the flour ASAP.
Health Hazards: It’s not enough to just ban this product in Singapore. You can get up to 15 years in prison and be penalized nearly half a million dollars in fines for using this chemical that’s been linked to asthma and is primarily used in foamed plastics, like yoga mats and sneaker soles.
Ingredients:BHA and BHT
Found In: Cereal, nut mixes, gum, butter, meat, dehydrated potatoes, and beer
Why the U.S. Allows It: “Made from petroleum [yummy!], these waxy solids act as preservatives to prevent food from becoming rancid and developing objectionable odors,” Calton says. A better solution may be natural rosemary and sage. In a 2006 study, some organic herbs and spices proved to be efficient at preventing oxidative decay in meat, which ultimately could improve the shelf-life of these products.
Health Hazards: California is the only state that recognizes the U.S. National Institute of Health’s report that BHA is may be a human carcinogen, a cancer-causing agent.
RELATED: Fight the Big C naturally! Fill up with these cancer-fight superfoods.
Ingredients:Synthetic hormones (rBGH and rBST)
Found In: Milk and dairy products
Why the U.S. Allows It: Gotta keep moo-ving things along. Dairy farmers inject cows with genetically-engineered cow growth hormones to boost milk production by about 10 percent, according to Calton.
Health Hazards: “Cows treated with these synthetic hormones often become lame, infertile, and suffer from inflamed and infected udders,” Calton says. Humans, who consume these cows byproducts, are in no better shape, she adds: “The milk is supercharged with IGF-1 (insulin growth factor -1), which has been linked to breast, colon, and prostate cancers.”
Found In: Poultry
Why the U.S. Allows It: Big brother FDA permits arsenic in chicken feed to promote growth, improve efficiency in feeding the birds, and boost pigmentation. “The arsenic affects the blood vessels in chickens and turkeys, causing them to appear pinker and, therefore, fresher,” Calton says.
Health Hazards: The European Union has outlawed the use of arsenic since 1999, Calton says, and the Environmental Protection Agency classifies inorganic arsenic as a “human carcinogen.” Take matters into your own hands by sticking to organic birds only.
The United States reached a defining moment on Friday when Wayne LaPierre, the execute vice-president of the National Rifle Association, described his organization vision of the country in a news conference carried live on television.
Only in the past weeks, since the massacre of 20 small children and six adults at an elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut., has the U.S. begun to recognize the magnitude of its problem with guns. It took a tragedy of that scale to do so.
And what was Mr. LaPierre’s answer? To post an armed police officer in every school. To organize communities into what sound like vigilante teams or militias for children’s protection. To call for an “Active national database of the mentally ill.” To lament make-believe violence in video games and films, while failing to address the plague of real-life gun violence in the U.S. And to attack the media for what he described as a cover-up of the dangers of violent video games played by children.
Mr. LaPierre did Americans a service. He gave them a chance to see the face of gun culture for what it is - fear-mongering and demagogic. He railed about the injustice of leaving an unarmed principal to die at the hands of an “evil monster.” He asked why banks have armed guards but not schools. His answer to the threat posed by guns is more guns, in the hands of “good guys.”
He would turn America into an armed camp. Why stop at armed police in front of schools? What about daycare centres? Summer camps and swimming pools? What about playgrounds? Universities? Hospitals? Churches? There have also been mass shootings at fast-food outlets and movie theatres; what about armed guards there, too?
Mr. LaPierre says, “The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.” Has it really come to that? Is the only way to protect American children to raise them in the shadow of gun-toting lawmen? And does the threat of good, old-fashioned shoot-‘em-ups in the hallways make them any safer? Is this the “blanket of safety” to which he refers?
Amazingly, he offered in a spirit of seeming generosity to “make this program available to the world.” As if the United States had anything to teach the world about guns.
What country would wish to emulate its gun policies? Or for that matter the resulting gun-related death statistics, the highest in the developed world? Americans are 20 times as likely to be killed by a gun as a person in another developed country. Is this something any other developed country would aspire to? The United Kingdom? It has a near-complete gun ban. Canada? Almost impossible to own a handgun for personal protection. Germany, France, Japan? Guns are highly restricted.
One country we’re aware of with something like the ubiquitous armed guards he describes is Haiti. Is that what the Americans want - to be more like Haiti?
Adam Lanza, the 20-year-old loner who shot and killed his mother and then the 26 victims at the Newtown school, got his guns from his mother - who was treated by the system as a “good guy.”
An “active national database” or registry of “the mentally ill” is a twisted concept. Instead of registering and controlling assault weapons and handguns, your register and control people. There is something totalitarian in the suggestion - as if the country were divided into “the good guys” and “the mentally ill,” and the state’s role were to protect the former from the latter. There is no such division in humankind.
How would Mr. LaPierre define “the mentally ill”? Whom would he place in such a database? People suffering depression? Anxiety? Half the country could end up on such a list. Who knows, a few of them might be card-carrying NRA members. Nor would registering the mentally ill make of a dent anyway. There is a far greater correlation between gun violence and alcohol, than with mental illness, for example. Sometimes even good guys with guns can turn into bad guys with guns after a few beers.
Mr. LaPierre and the National Rifle Association, through a war chest that generously funds the campaigns of many members of Congress, especially Republicans, have been holding America hostage to the gun. And now Mr. LaPierre has given Americans a chance to see the true face of the U.S. gun lobby, and it is a frightening one. Do Americans really want to live in the kind of country the NRA envisions? It would no longer be the land of the free, or home of the brace. It would be a nation in lock-down.
- The Globe and Mail, Saturday, 22 December 2012
SO THERE’S THAT
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