Saturday, June 28, 2014

Crooked Politicians?

On June 13, 2014, Joe Fontana was found guilty of fraud, forgery, and breach of trust for actions that took place in 2005 when he was a Liberal Party cabinet minister of the Federal Parliament of Canada (see the Maclean’s article here).  As a result, Fontana resigned from his position as Mayor of London, Ontario, Canada on June 19, 2014.  The conviction relates to using taxpayer money to pay for his son’s $1,700 wedding reception in 2005.

Fontana stated, “I obviously need to digest what has taken place, talk to my legal team, and look at what I’m going to do.”  He also said that he regrets “that all this had to happen, especially for the people of London.”  Furthermore, Fontana said that he was “very surprised, shocked, [and] devastated” by the verdict.

Before we move on, let’s take a moment to digest the situation.  So, this story relates to one politician and one incident.  But, are we naïve enough to believe that this only applies to a solitary politician?  Might there be some politicians who have done similar things on occasion?  Of course not!  All politicians are upstanding citizens who only want what is best for their constituents!  Yah, right!

Now, consider the following train of thought: Since the inception of government in our respective countries, how many times have politicians lied to the people?  How many times have politicians made closed-door agreements or shady business transactions at the expense of the people?  What about other government employees who have expense accounts?  Since our governments have been put in place, how much money have the people been defrauded of?  Given the amount of politicians and government employees who have come and gone, I could never come up with a figure that would approximate this amount of money.  Would it be sufficient to cover the deficit?  Maybe, you never know!  But I digress…

Coming back to the reality of these types of circumstances, we must also ponder the level of trust that we citizens place in the hands of politicians.  After all, politicians have repeatedly shown us that they cannot be trusted!  Nevertheless, we continue to elect these types of people and they continue to disappoint us.  What I find repugnant is the fact that an abundance of the politicians who are “discovered” like Fontana claim that their actions resulted from innocent mistakes.  And, worse yet, they often get away with only a slap on the wrist!  For those who are charged and found guilty, a conviction of “breach of trust” is an enormous understatement!  And what do we do about it?  Squat!

The whole affair is sad.  These positions as our “representatives” are nothing but revolving doors.  The way things are going, anytime that a politician gets singled out for inappropriate behaviour or caught for any wrong-doing or crime, they’ll be able to get away with the whole thing with an excuse as simple as, “I blame it on fast foods!”

- B. J. T. Pepin

Friday, June 13, 2014

To the Belly It Goes, and in the Belly It Stays

According to a recent article, “Obesity research confirms [that] long-term weight loss [is] almost impossible.”  The evidence presented is clear: Long-term weight loss applies to a small minority of people.  With the exception of short-term, fairly easy weight loss, research demonstrates that our biology eventually brings us back to our original weight…and often a little bit extra.

Why is it that we continually hear stories of those who have won the battle?  Why aren’t the so-called experts telling us the whole story?  To me, the answer is simple: We have been duped!  It’s the stories of these few people that keep the myth alive!  And “why do they do it,” you ask?  It helps to perpetuate, if not grow, the weight loss industry!

Researchers are supposedly divided over the reasons why body weight tends to stick around.  Some point to biology, saying that our bodies are efficient biological machines that have evolved to not lose weight.  Then there are the social forces and everything else that leads people to gain weight in the first place.  The article also refers to the stigmatization that would ensue if the truth was broadcasted and the harsh effect that this would then have on people.  The author of the article points out that, “lost in all of the noise about dieting and obesity is the difficult concept of prevention, of not putting weight on in the first place.”  To that, I say: Great point!

So, is our society ever going to really hear the truth?  Fat chance!  Oops!  Pardon the pun…

Imagine what would happen if everyone found out the truth.  All of the weight loss companies would have to pack it in.  All of the exercise gurus would be discredited.  The “health food” producers would stand to lose a lot of money.  In essence, the weight loss industry would quickly go down the tubes!

Then, there is the fast food industry.  Given this truth and the associated forces at work that keep the weight on, the fast food conglomerates are relishing the situation because they stand to profit from it!  Why?  Well, no matter how you slice and dice it, people are in a catch 22: To lose weight, they have to prevent things from progressing to the point where they have extra weight, but once it is too late, there isn’t much that they can do.  So, what will people do if they have already put on extra weight?  They will simply resign themselves to the truth that they won’t lose weight and turn towards something that gives them pleasure.  And what’s that?  You know the answer: Fast foods!

So, there you have it!  I rest my case!  Since the ingestion of fast foods clearly contributes to weight problems, I can honestly say: Blame it on fast foods!

- B. J. T. Pepin