Four Stories for a Saturday

Four completely unrelated stories caught my attention today.

The first:

Michelle Obama has launched a fierce defence of the healthy eating initiatives she championed as first lady.

In thinly-veiled criticism of the policies of the new administration, Mrs Obama told the audience: “This is where you really have to look at motives, you know.

“You have to stop and think, why don’t you want our kids to have good food at school? What is wrong with you? And why is that a partisan issue? Why would that be political? What is going on?”

You know, perhaps American parents don’t want to be told what to feed their children, adopting the rather old-fashioned view that maybe they are best placed to decide? And perhaps they don’t like being lectured by a woman whose sole reason for anyone knowing her name is that she happened to be the wife of a president whose policies were soundly rejected at the last election. Would it have been too much to ask that she maintain a dignified silence once her husband left office?

While in the White House, Mrs Obama championed the “Let’s Move” campaign, which encourages exercise and healthy eating among young people.

She being uniquely positioned to decide what constitutes healthy eating for millions of people, of course.

The second:

At least 20 people have died after a tourist bus fell from a cliff near the southern Turkey seaside resort of Marmaris.

Another 11 were injured when the driver lost control of the minibus and ploughed through a crash barrier.

Local media said no foreign tourists were among the passengers.

About 40 people were on board, according to Amric Cicek, governor of Mugla province, who suggested the brakes may have stopped working.

But the mayor of Marmaris, Ali Acar, told Turkish newspaper Hurriyet: “I think that the accident was a result of driver error.”

This is a reminder that, for all of Turkey’s recent economic growth and the emergence of a decent airline, its roads remain dangerous places. The government really ought to do something about this, if it can find time.

The third:

Prime Minister of Canada and internet darling Justin Trudeau has shown the rest of the world’s leaders how to do publicity once again – by bringing his three-year-old to the office.

Of course, it’s not the first time the 45-year-old internet-savvy politician has caught global attention.

The liberal politician has been applauded by his supporters for supporting Syrian refugees, marching at a gay pride parade, and openly declaring himself a feminist.

Naturally, the BBC fails to realise that these antics are precisely why much of the world think him a laughing stock.

“So precious … I’m old enough to remember seeing photos released of you and your dad [former Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau] when you were little,” one Facebook commenter volunteered.

Would that be the one where he’s being held by family hero Fidel Castro?

If only we were able to get the view on Trudeau from Cuban Facebook commenters.

The fourth:

A Mexican businesswoman who headed a group of 600 families searching for their disappeared relatives has been killed.

Miriam Rodríguez Martínez was shot in her home in the town of San Fernando in Tamaulipas state.

She was known for successfully investigating the kidnap and murder of her daughter by a local drug cartel, the Zetas.

The information she gave the police ensured the gang members were jailed.

A brave, brave woman indeed.

The group she established was part of a wider trend which mushroomed after the October 2014 disappearance of 43 students from Ayotzinapa in the southwestern state of Guerrero.

Frustrated by a lack of government help, groups of families began their own searches for people who had disappeared in their areas, taking courses in forensic anthropology, archaeology, law, buying caving equipment and becoming experts in identifying graves and bones.

There are now at least 13 of these groups across the country.

One of the points overlooked by those who oppose Trump’s immigration policies is that the current practice of allowing Mexicans to move to the USA and remit monies back home is that it drastically reduces the pressure on the ruling elites to sort the place out. The USA acts as the safety valve for Mexican governmental fecklessness, and short of an incentive to do anything other than keep themselves wealthy and protected, the country is rapidly becoming a failed state. The fact that relatives of murdered citizens have had to form their own forensic teams because the police can’t or won’t do the job shows just how bad things have got. When the Mexican government started squawking about the wall, Trump should have slapped their president around the face with a strong right hand (or perhaps got Mattis to do it) and put these feckless parasites firmly in their place. Although there is the argument that American drug laws is what has created this situation, but if that’s the case then let’s hear the Mexicans make it.


9 thoughts on “Four Stories for a Saturday

  1. Well, that covered a bit of territory. The Kiss-Baby-Imperative imperils babies around election time.

  2. I’m all for a healthy diet. But I wonder what it might be. As a precaution I shall just eat a mixed diet, one that includes plenty of fish. Wise man, that Jeeves fella. And no more fictional than the Obamas.

  3. Although Mexico is not yet a narco state, there are certainly geographic areas within it that are with all the attendant destructive results highlighted in your article. Like any market system it starts with demand and this is where the US in the case of Mexico could do something that might minimise the social damage throughout the supply chain from the end user to the primary producer and that ain’t by building a wall. For mine that change would have to start with the decriminalisation of it’s consumption.

    I doubt that the US judicial and criminal systems, intelligence agencies, banks, elites and other beneficiaries have any appetite for this change and the impact that it would have on the structure of their historical cash flows from this trade. There is some hope judging by the progress made with the recent decriminalization of marijuana in some states but I wouldn’t be holding my breath for any changes with respect to heroin or cocaine

  4. @dearimeie have a look at the CIA Factbook list of countries by life expectancy, take the top third and study their diets to help you understand what might be the best nutrition as diets alone cannot be be considered in isolation of other aspects of your living environment.

    Years ago I done a corporate health program with a bloke called Dr John Tickell and he had me hot to trot on the Okinawan diet. I have however since changed my view based on me reversing a Type 2 diabetic condition and both of my sons being diagnosed with gluten type food allergies. If you wanted a quick answer and in isolation of other parameters then I would say that the Eskimo diet is the healthiest.

  5. “Would it have been too much to ask that she maintain a dignified silence once her husband left office?”

    There are lots of First Ladies whose names come to mind when the word ‘dignity’ is mentioned. Michelle’s isn’t one of them.

  6. @bardon,

    The Cretan diet is supposedly excellent too.

    Personally, I’m on the Oliver Reed diet which was likely to have resulted in a very old age but for the unfortunate defenestration.

  7. In short: Best to avoid Michelle Obama, Turkish Roads, Pierre Trudeau and Mexican gangs. Otherwise, feel free to carry on.

  8. In short: Best to avoid Michelle Obama, Turkish Roads, Pierre Trudeau and Mexican gangs.

    Heh, that’s about the gist of it, yes!

  9. Food that children will not eat is not a healthy diet.

    ‘… shown the rest of the world’s leaders how to do publicity.’ That would be Donald Trump surely. Among other things has anyone seen a jetliner or tall building with ‘Trudeau’ in big letters on it?

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