President Donald Trump’s performance in Helsinki was a spot-on impression of the Cowardly Lion. He torpedoed American prestige and security as he capitulated to Russian President Vladimir Putin. Shameless.
At a recent meeting of the World Health Assembly, American officials sought to stop a resolution calling on governments to promote and support breastfeeding. Alarmingly, they threatened to unleash punishing trade measures and withdraw military aid to countries supporting this resolution. (July 9, KansasCity.com, “American opposition to breastfeeding resolution stuns world health officials”)
This unbelievable action goes against more than 40 years of health professionals’ agreement on best practices to protect infant health. It is estimated that 800,000 infant deaths could be prevented annually and $300 billion saved with universal breastfeeding. Not all mothers can breastfeed, but whenever possible, it is preferable.
The U.S. government is putting corporate profits for formula companies ahead of infant welfare.
Where are the legislators who provide oversight to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services? Sen. Pat Roberts of Kansas is a member of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions. Can he hold someone at HHS accountable for this appalling action?
Unfair to Chesney
I attended Kenny Chesney’s concert Saturday, and The Star’s review was inaccurate. (July 16, A5, “Chesney plays through injury at Arrowhead concert”) Its reference to the beer vendors being bigger celebrities than the artists ignored the nearly 100-degree temperature and extreme humidity — and that they also sold cold water.
The mention that the show opened with a video promoting Chesney’s brand of rum seemed negative, but advertising the tour’s sponsor is expected, isn’t it? I thought there was unnecessary innuendo that Chesney’s injury was alcohol-related, though this man is like an athlete and does not indulge while on tour.
Chesney’s songs, party attitude and carefree approach are an eagerly anticipated and brief break from the world we live in. He fills Arrowhead Stadium year after year with multigenerational families. He brings variety with his opening acts.
I think this critic wanted to be anywhere but Arrowhead Stadium on Saturday, and Kenny Chesney bore the brunt of his resentment. I recommend he listen to Chesney’s latest album, then maybe attend his next concert with a different attitude.
Recently, I have been updating materials for a class I will teach this fall and came across an interesting analysis by Joe Navarro, a 25-year veteran of the FBI. Navarro has spent considerable time compiling information about cult leaders and their personal characteristics — guys such as Jim Jones, David Koresh and Charles Manson.
While he offers 50 characteristics, the key points can be summarized as:
▪ They are pathologically narcissistic.
▪ All have an overabundant belief that they are special.
▪ They and they alone have the answers to problems.
▪ They have to be revered.
▪ They demand perfect loyalty from followers.
▪ They overvalue themselves and devalue those around them.
▪ They are intolerant of criticism.
▪ Above all, they do not like being questioned or challenged.
He also states there is a high probability that people who display these traits hurt those around them emotionally, psychologically, physically, spiritually or financially.
You can draw your own conclusions.
In the know
Like the author of a recent Star guest commentary, I am a registered dietitian, and also the host of a radio show about food issues. (July 1, 21A, “Food shoppers don’t learn from alphabet soup”) But unlike her, I support the labeling of GMOs — genetically modified organisms — on food products because I believe it is critical for consumers to be fully informed about how their food is produced.
Agricultural methods influence the quality of our soil, water and the nutrition of our foods. Agricultural methods further influence the health of farm workers and rural communities.
Many consumers don’t realize that most GMO crops — corn, soybeans, cotton, canola and sugar beets — are genetically engineered to withstand spraying with an increasing number of herbicides.
These herbicides contaminate our rivers and could contribute to the risk of cancer and birth defects. They also drift to other fields, harming non-GMO crops.
I serve on the board of the 501(c)(3) nonprofit Beyond Pesticides, in addition to doing other consulting. I advocate for organic and regenerative agricultural methods because they protect public health.