Friday, April 28, 2006


The Left wants all sorts of groups respected -- but not American Southerners

Historic preservationists are clashing with a civil rights group and at least one Congressional budget hawk over plans to spend millions of dollars to restore the former home of Confederate President Jefferson Davis. Hurricane Katrina caused an estimated $25 million in damage to the house, called Beauvoir. It was built in the 1850s and served as Davis' retirement home after the Civil War.

At the behest of the National Trust and other historic preservation organizations, Senate Appropriations Chairman Thad Cochran, R-Miss., has included $80 million to restore storm-battered historic property in a $27 billion emergency hurricane package the Senate is scheduled to debate this week. "These funds are important to ensure the full economic and cultural recovery of the coast," says Jenny Manley, Cochran's press secretary.

Mississippi NAACP President Derrick Johnson disagrees: "We adamantly oppose the restoration of Beauvoir. It is one of the most divisive symbols in this state and in this state's history."

The money to restore historic places may be challenged by Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla. "He would be concerned about this not being a true emergency," says John Hart, Coburn's press secretary. "When people are homeless, that should be the first priority." Beauvoir officials also are seeking private money for the rebuilding effort.


Presumptuous Amsterdam mayor lectures other EU mayors on homosexual rights

But fails to mention the huge numbers of homophobic Muslims in his own city

The mayor of Amsterdam has sent letters to his counterparts in eight European cities warning that gay intolerance is on the increase and asking them to uphold homosexual rights such as allowing gays to get married and to hold demonstrations. Job Cohen said he is "particularly concerned by the news that homophobic attitude and behaviour is propagated by measures and policies of local authorities in some of the new EU-member states," according to the AFP news agency.

The Netherlands introduced gay marriage five years ago, and Mr Cohen is urging other countries to do the same. Mr Cohen's letter was sent to mayors in Warsaw, Prague, Lisbon, Dublin, Vienna and in the Baltic capitals of Riga, Tallinn and Vilnius, as well as to EU justice commissioner Franco Frattini. The move comes after a motion by city councillors, concerned by recent attacks on homosexuals in Europe.

In the letter, Mr Cohen says he is alarmed by measures in some cities to ban gay demonstrations. He calls on his colleagues to "adhere to the universal declaration of human rights, and to do everything in your political power to open up marriage for same-sex couples and safeguard the right of public demonstrations in your city."

When he was mayor, Polish president Lech Kaczynski tried to block a gay pride march in Warsaw in June while Portugal recently turned down a lesbian couple's request for a marriage licence. Recently the Latvian and Lithuanian parliaments decided to table amendments to their constitutions prohibiting same-sex marriage. But countries such as the Netherlands, Belgium, Spain and the UK have recognised same-sex marriages or partnerships. On 1 April 2001, Mr Cohen became the country's first public official to wed same-sex couples. The Netherlands was one of the first country in the world to allow gay and lesbians to legally marry. Official statistics show that 8,000 same-sex marriages have taken place in the Netherlands since they became legal.



Two reports:

Experts stunned by tubby tots

Children as young as four are battling obesity, research shows. And children appear to be losing the fat fight as they get older. A Royal Children's Hospital study found almost one in five kindergarten kids (19.5 per cent) are overweight or obese. And just a year later 21.1 per cent were battling the bulge. Dr Joanne Williams, of the hospital's Centre for Community Child Health, said young overweight children were likely to still have weight problems as adults. "We're just watching the rates go up and up and up, and nothing's being done about it," Dr Williams said. "These kids get teased at school, their self-esteem is low, they have a poor quality of life and there are huge consequences later on in life."

Researchers measured the waistline, height and weight of 340 children aged four to six for the study, which has been submitted to the International Journal of Obesity. Dr Williams said advertising led parents to falsely believe they were feeding kids healthy foods when their diet was packed with sugar and fat.

Health Minister Tony Abbott has refused to crack down on junk food ads during children's television hours. He said parents, not the Government, should be responsible for what their children ate. But Deakin University nutrition lecturer Dr Tim Crowe said junk food TV advertising should be outlawed from 4pm-6pm to remove some temptation from households. "We have to acknowledge we are dealing with a health problem so serious that a group of children are not going to outlive their parents," he said.

Many parents did not seem to recognise when children were overweight. "We are not sure of the reasons why. Perhaps it is because they look at other kids and think their own are not fat," he said. [It's because the mothers themselves are fat!]

More here.

OF COURSE kids are getting fatter on average. It is predominantly overweight working class women who are giving birth these days. Huge numbers of slim bourgeois women now consider themselves too grand to have kids. And obesity is highly hereditary. So the increasing prevalence of fat kids is exactly what you expect now that fat women are the main ones having kids. Going on about the evils of junk food or the wickedness of advertisers is flailing at the air.

Schools to put cap back on soft drinks

Water and milk will be the only drinks allowed in some Victorian schools. The primary schools plan to scrap sugary soft drinks this year. Children will be urged to bring water bottles to class in the government-backed trial. Parents will be encouraged to pack only water and milk with lunches. Program co-ordinator and child health researcher Dr Lisa Gibbs said regular water drink breaks would improve students' attention span. Promoting water and milk was also good for teeth, Dr Gibbs said. Six government and private schools in the western and northwestern suburbs will be selected for the trial under the Go For Your Life campaign. The project could spread if successful.

"The idea in the first stage will be that if a student brings a drink into the classroom it can only be water," Dr Gibbs said. "If you have brought a soft drink, it will have to be kept in your bag during class times and only drunk at lunch time. "The eventual aim would be that you would only be allowed to bring water or milk to school." The plan coincides with a ban on sales of high-sugar soft drinks from canteens and vending machines in government primary and secondary schools by year's end.

More here

And what good is that going to do? Milk is extremely calorific and hence fattening. The kids would probably get fewer calories out of drinking fizzy drinks

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