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Pam Rotella's Vegetarian FUN page -- News on health, nutrition, the environment, politics, and more!

Click to visit VeggieCooking.com Fun link of the month: San Diego Zoo's Panda Cam! Watch their too-cute panda Bai Yun and her new cub growing via live video! Vegetarians usually have mixed feelings about zoos -- they serve some species preservation and education purposes, but also imprison animals, sometimes in very tight and stark spaces. Even so, I think that most animal lovers enjoy the panda-cam.


New format launches August 8th!

ANNOUNCEMENT by Pam, noon 3-August-2009:
Pam Rotella�s vegetarian FUN page will be changing to a news board format starting on 8 August 2009. I chose 8/8 because people like those �double number� dates, e.g. 5/5, 6/6, 7/7, 8/8, etc. Also, 8 is considered a lucky number in China, and it�d be good to have some double-luck for the new launch! Hopefully the transformation will be completed by 13 August (my father�s birthday), but if not, I probably have until 9/9 or 10/10, right?

In the past, this page was the �fun page� of �Vegan Vegetarian Cooking� cookbook author, Pam Rotella, with content mostly written by me, Pam Rotella. The photo galleries were by Pam Rotella, some of the original news reporting was by Pam Rotella, etc.

It was fine to be small at first, but then as my career became more demanding, I didn�t have time to write even a tiny amount of original content. Also, during my daily ventures online for �real news,� I�d find a good number of news articles on nutrition, alternative health, and everything else that were important enough to share with others. Often I�d start my journey for online news by looking at alternative news boards and listening to podcasts at sites like DemocracyNow.org, Rense.com, WhatReallyHappened.com, and InfoWars.com. However, I�d also find great articles not covered by those sites in major newspapers and some other online news providers. And so, I�ve decided to select some of the best news articles every day and post them here, just to keep my readers informed and point them to some of the best sources on the web. Of course I recommend looking at other news boards, but I hope to give people another alternative news board option, with a gathering of things often overlooked (sometimes intentionally) by mainstream news. Remember, some of the largest news outlets have commercial advertisers like drug companies and the defense industry -- will they dare publish something critical of the people paying their bills? I just advertise my cookbook here (and soon prints of beautiful wildlife photography -- stay tuned), and don�t have any financial backers of this site, other than some computer programming jobs that I do.

3-August-2009, Monday:

Former FDA Commissioner David Kessler: �The End of Overeating: Taking Control of the Insatiable American Appetite [DN]
�DR. DAVID KESSLER: Fat and sugar, fat and salt, fat, sugar, and salt stimulate us to eat more and more. Does the food industry understand the inputs? Absolutely. They understand that fat, sugar and salt stimulate us, and they understand the outputs. They understand we keep on coming back for more and more. . .

�It�s the sugar. The sugar is the main driver. But when you add fat to the sugar, it�s synergistic. With my colleague Gaetano Di Chiara, we�Gaetano studies the effect of amphetamine and cocaine on brains� dopamine circuits. Dopamine is responsible for focusing your attention on a specific stimulus. And we always knew that amphetamine and cocaine raise the brain�s dopamines level. But what we did is we studied the effects of not just one nutrient, not just sugar, but sugar and fat, and we found, when you put them together, you get elevations of the brain�s dopamine circuitry. And not only that, it doesn�t habituate. It doesn�t go down time after time. So we see that multi-potent, multi-sensory foods can stimulate the brain�s neural circuitry. . .�

PAM COMMENTARY: It�s not just fat, sugar, and salt -- all needed by the body in limited amounts, incidentally. A person may also overeat if he or she is dehydrated but is not immediately drinking water. They may also overeat if they�re deficient in vitamins, minerals, or essential fatty acids, meaning that the over-processed, nutrient-poor foods can create more hunger by allowing this deficit to continue, etc. Best solution: a good variety of natural, whole foods, and many would also say supplementation to make sure that every needed nutrient is covered, good diet or no.

Antidepressant use doubles in U.S., study finds; 1 in 10 are taking medication to improve mood, fewer going to talk therapy
�WASHINGTON - Use of antidepressant drugs in the United States doubled between 1996 and 2005, probably because of a mix of factors, researchers reported on Monday. . .

��Although there was little change in total promotional spending for antidepressants between 1999 ($0.98 billion) and 2005 ($1.02 billion), there was a marked increase in the percentage of this spending that was devoted to direct-to consumer advertising, from 3.3 percent ($32 million) to 12 percent ($122.00 million),� they added.�

PAM COMMENTARY: One of my friends� daughters had a good insight on depression -- �It�s just life!�

I blame several factors for runaway anti-depressant prescriptions -- those TV ads trying to convince people they need drugs to feel better, a society that doesn�t accept the ups and downs of life, an overall Omega-3 deficiency in the US population, and doctors who are encouraged to prescribe drugs by pharmaceutical salespeople and their own profession�s standards. The big issue is cleaning up the diet and getting enough Omega-3s and B vitamins, though. Depression, if not a natural response to life circumstances (like a death of a friend or family member), is usually just a symptom of a larger problem in the neurological system. It�s physiology, something that gets lost in the big medical profits game.

Brains of psychopaths are different, British researchers find [R]
�A difference between the brains of psychopaths and ordinary people has been identified in a study that could promise new approaches to diagnosing and treating the disorder.

�Research by British scientists using advanced brain-scanning techniques has revealed that a critical connection between two regions of the brain appears to be abnormal in psychopaths.�

PAM COMMENTARY: Time to put George W. Bush et al in the scanner . . .�

Purported Kenyan Obama Birth Certificate Surfaces [AJ]
�A certification of birth document has surfaced placing the birth of Barack Obama in the Coast General Hospital in Mombasa, Kenya, not Hawaii as the Obama administration insists. In the last week, the corporate media has launched an especially vicious attack and dismissed the issue as a fabrication devised by �birthers� who are said to be racists and rightwing extremists. . .�

PAM COMMENTARY: I don�t have an opinion on the validity of Obama�s birth certificate(s), as I don�t have a way of personally authenticating these documents. Mike Rivera of WhatReallyHappened.com has debunked the �Kenyan birth certificate� several times. Because Rivera is located in Hawaii, he was able to get birth announcements out of local newspapers and other documentation of Obama�s birth there. On the other hand, if Obama wasn�t born here, he CAN�T be President. (And why was McCain allowed to run, having been born on foreign soil?) There�s a reason the natural born citizen clause was put into the Constitution. Without it, foreign nationals could take over the country on behalf of foreign governments. There�s also the issue of Presidents who would identify with other countries, or who would use this country�s military or resources on behalf of other nations. That�s on top of the obvious issue that we already have problems with Presidents who didn�t look out for the interests of THIS country.

Media Cover-up; Leading Journalists Expose Major Cover-ups in Media [WRH]
�Kristina Borjesson�CBS, Emmy award winner. Pierre Salinger announced to the world on Nov. 8, 1996, that he�d received documents proving that a US Navy missile had accidentally downed [TWA flight 800]. That same day, FBI�s Jim Kallstrom called a press conference. A man raised his hand and asked why the Navy was involved in the recovery and investigation while a possible suspect. �Remove him!� [Kallstrom] yelled. Two men leapt over to the questioner and grabbed him by the arms. There was a momentary chill in the air after the guy had been dragged out of the room. Kallstrom and entourage acted as if nothing had happened. [Kallstrom was later hired by CBS.]

�Gary Webb�San Jose Mercury News, Pulitzer Prize winner. In 1996, I wrote a series of stories that began this way: For the better part of a decade, a Bay Area drug ring sold tons of cocaine to the Crips and Bloods gangs of LA and funneled millions in drug profits to a guerilla army run by the CIA. The cocaine that flooded in helped spark a crack explosion in urban America. ... The story was developing a momentum all of its own, despite a virtual news blackout from the major media. Ultimately, it was public pressure that forced the national newspapers into the fray. The Washington Post, the New York Times, and the Los Angeles Times published stories, but spent little time exploring the CIA�s activities. Instead, my reporting and I became the focus of their scrutiny. It was remarkable [Mercury News editor] Ceppos wrote, that the four Washington Post reporters assigned to debunk the series �could not find a single significant factual error.� A few months later, the Mercury News [due to intense CIA pressure] backed away from the story, publishing a long column by Ceppos apologizing for �shortcomings.� The New York Times hailed Ceppos for �setting a brave new standard,� and splashed his apology on their front page, the first time the series had ever been mentioned there. I quit the Mercury News not long after that. ... Do we have a free press today? Sure. It�s free to report all the sex scandals, all the stock market news, [and] every new health fad that comes down the pike. But when it comes to the real down and dirty stuff�such stories are not even open for discussion. . .�

PAM COMMENTARY: Great job by Mike Rivera in finding this old compilation. Notice that Gary Webb has already been �suicided� under the Bush administration -- a family who put the word �suicided� on the map. And just when Webb was telling people about another book he�d have out soon, what a coincidence!

Study: Redheads' extra pain may cause fear of dentists
�This led to two studies. In 2004, research showed that people with red hair need 20 percent more general anesthesia than blonds and brunettes.

"A 2005 study indicated that redheads are more sensitive to thermal pain and are more resistant to the effects of local anesthesia. . .

"Her redheaded patients seemed 'anxious and didn't get numb. It's a difficult experience for them,' said Binkley, one of the study's authors. . .

"'I have a [redheaded] hygienist that I have to numb up a lot more than normal,' said Dr. Peter Vanstrom, an Atlanta, Georgia, dentist. 'She's very sensitive...'"

PAM COMMENTARY: Send to all of your red-haired friends -- good teasing material!

Prince William County, Virginia Police Terrorize with Tasers in front of kids... [WRH]
(links to video at Pregnant mother tasered at baptism party)
�Way to keep the peace! Click on the link to watch this group of terrorists from Prince William County, Virginia (Manassas) wreak havoc in front of a bunch of little kids. This was all due to noise? A pregnant mother tased in the back? The guy tasered from three different directions? In front of kids over noise? Talk about traumatizing kids! WTF is wrong with these people?�

PAM COMMENTARY: Ugh! Prince William County YET AGAIN? I�ve heard enough about them, having lived in Virginia off and on during the past few years, including in the DC suburbs. First of all, whenever you hear of some bizarre, fringe, pro-discrimination, anti-constitutional legislation that clearly will eventually be struck down in court, almost always the next words out of the news announcer�s mouth will be �in Prince William County.� I�ve come to know this just from living near there and listening to the local DC news night after night.

Next, I remember sometime within the past year or two when I was driving south on I-95 late at night, trying to get past DC into Fredericksburg. I�d just come from a big snow storm up north, and my headlights had been OK when I left, but of course moisture can get in there if the storm is bad enough (a common problem in older cars). Well, before I even realized that a headlight was out, some cop from PRINCE WILLIAM COUNTY pulls me over and writes me a ticket. I passed through many cities and counties that night, but PRINCE WILLIAM COUNTY was the only one that hassled me.

And unlike other states, where you have a chance to get out of the fine by fixing the light or having the mechanic sign off on the repair, they just wanted me to pay up the more than 100 bucks! It�s like, �We caught your light before you did, so give us money!� Plus when I went online to pay, their web site was set up with a big programming error, where I could see other people�s tickets (and full addresses) if I searched for my own name. (Good thing I�m so honest, & didn�t start saving info from those online forms to sell identities or anything!) They had way too many people in there, like the county is some sort of giant ticket factory! Way too greedy for me, and now this taser thing. But hey, it�s Prince William County! Where else in Virginia would you find cops who think tasers are just another way to have fun being jerks?

Click to visit VeggieCooking.com Back to Pam's NEWS ARCHIVES

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Pam's vegan vegetarian cookbook, with vegan vegetarian recipes

Sources (if found on major news boards):
[AJ] - InfoWars.com, PrisonPlanet.com, or other Alex Jones-affiliated sites
[BF] - BuzzFlash.com
[DN] - DemocracyNow.org
[R] - Rense.com
[WRH] - WhatReallyHappened.com


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All original content including photographs © 2009 by Pam Rotella. (News excerpts copyright by their corresponding authors, news organizations, or other copyright holders, and quoted here typically as "fair use" or "teaser" paragraphs to generate interest in the full articles.)