Letters to the Editor – September 30, 2009

RE: Ask a health and fitness specialist, Sept. 14, 2009

Ben Hodges’s weight loss advice is based on the failed conventional wisdom that weight loss is simply a matter of burning more calories than you eat. The workings of the human body are a bit more sophisticated. Your body balances energy intake with expenditure; changing one will change the other. The more calories you burn, the more calories your body will demand. Likewise, the more calories you eat, the more calories your body will burn. The reverse is also true: if you eat less, your body will burn less. You simply can’t trick your body into losing weight by such a crude method.

Obesity is a hormonal problem, caused by an insulin disorder (insulin is the fat storage hormone.) A high-carbohydrate diet (especially refined carbohydrates) is the cause of insulin problems and thus obesity and disease. Ironically, Atkins was right. The obvious solution: cut the carbs. That means sugar, grains, potatoes, pasta, rice, etc. Get your calories from meat and fat. Fat is your friend (including saturated fat.) Eat as much as hunger dictates. Starvation doesn’t work.

Now you may be thinking, “If this is true, then how could all the experts be so wrong?” The answer is that the science has been distorted by political incentives ever since the government started giving health advice. Think about it: a researcher who shows that the government’s health advice is actually causing obesity and disease will have a much harder time getting public research funds than a researcher who confirms that the government is right. Over the past three decades, this insidious process of artificially promoting certain politically correct hypotheses has badly distorted the science. Sadly, the cost has been obesity, disease, and suffering for a great many.

– Toban Wiebe

RE: Lies behind Darfur

The article in last week’s issue of the Manitoban by editor Omar Al-Ramlawi (Lies Behind Darfur) which makes the claim that the so-called “unrest” in the Darfur region of Sudan is a simple tribal squabble – nothing the West need be concerned with – is offensive, a gross misrepresentation of the facts and incredibly dangerous. Indeed, it is opinions like the one promoted by Al-Ramlawi (similar to those promoted by Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir and Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad) that have led to the Western world allowing the genocides in Rwanda and Darfur to occur, despite the lessons we were supposed to have learned following the Holocaust.

Let’s be perfectly clear, what is going on in Darfur is genocide.

While not as efficient as the Nazis nor as quick as the Rwandan Hutus, the Sudanese Janjaweed (Muslim Arab militias; funded, armed and trained by the Sudanese government) are just as ruthless. American photojournalist Brian Steidle, author of the firsthand witness account The Devil Came on Horseback has perhaps given the most horrifying Western account of the genocide still ongoing in Darfur. He describes how government troops prevent rebel SLA and JEM forces from protecting villages being attacked by the Janjaweed and how, as an observer attached to the African Union “peacekeeping” force in Darfur, he saw, daily, the crimes against humanity inflicted by Arab militias and government gunships on innocent African villagers.
Steidle and others, including the International Criminal Court, have produced photographic and physical evidence (beyond their own firsthand experiences) which show, beyond any reasonable doubt, not only that over 400,000 innocent Africans have been brutally raped and murdered by government-sponsored Arab militias, but also that an estimated 2,000,000 people have been displaced – resulting in mass starvation and disease.

Holocaust survivor and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Elie Wiesel has said that; “Indifference…, is the epitome of evil.” Do not be indifferent. As Canadians, we have a responsibility to speak up when someone like the author of last week’s article promotes indifference; we have a responsibility to protect those who cannot protect themselves. If you still aren’t sure, I urge you to read Brian Steidle’s The Devil Came on Horseback and do your own research.

And as for the editorial staff of The Manitoban – shame on you. Publishing nonsense like Al-Ramlawi’s article is counterproductive and serves only to demonstrate your own immaturity. Shame on you.

– Corey Shefman

RE: Promoting competitive food for our campus

Kevin Doole’s article laments the lack of healthy food provided on campus. Students have been complaining about the quality of food for years. Since then two new restaurants have opened on or near campus: Degrees and Edna Fedya (an offspring of the Stella’s chain). Doole discounts Edna Fedya as being “way the hell out in Smartpark.” He complains that he doesn’t have the time for a twenty minute walk, but demands healthy options. But what is healthier than a brisk walk at noon hour? I have gone to Edna Fedya over lunch and the service is quick, I am able to make it back in an hour easily. I have also ordered my food take-out by phone and it was ready when I got there. I think Kevin Doole was too quick to reject the “little-known cafe” and should go for walk!

– Daniel Buchanan