Saturday, 25 May 2019

CAIR says 'Aladdin' film will worsen Islamophobia and racism because it's being released under President Trump

The Muslim advocacy group CAIR says that releasing the "Aladdin" film during the presidency of President Donald Trump will worsen racism and Islamophobia, and they want critics to say so.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations says that the story that Aladdin is based on is racist and bigoted.

"The Aladdin myth is rooted by racism, Orientalism and Islamophobia," read the statement from CAIR.

"To release it during the Trump era of rapidly rising anti-Muslim, anti-immigrant and racist animus only serves to normalize stereotyping and to marginalize minority communities," it continued.

The live-action movie is based on the Disney hit animated movie released in 1992 with the late Robin Williams voicing the iconic "genie" character.

But CAIR says that the original story and any movies based on it carry problematic and bigoted depictions of Middle Eastern culture.

"The overall setting, tone and character development in the 'Aladdin' story continues to promote stereotypes, resulting in a perpetuation of Islamophobic ideas and images," the CAIR statement explained. "We urge the public and film critics to scrutinize the new production of 'Aladdin' in light of its historical context and today's toxic environment for all minority communities."

A lengthy Vox article explained the "ridiculously racist" aspects of the original 1992 film:
The 1992 film revels in a lot of Orientalist stereotypes: Its mythos reeks of mystical exoticism, with Agrabah explicitly described as a "city of mystery." Jasmine is a princess who longs to escape an oppressive and controlling culture; her ultimate aim is to gain enough independence to marry for love rather than political expediency, which made her strikingly evolved for the time but seems hopelessly limiting now. Meanwhile, her father, the sultan, is a babbling, easily manipulated man-child. The citizens of Agrabah are frequently depicted as barbarous sword-wielders and sexualized belly dancers.
The live-action remake of Aladdin opened on Friday in theaters.

Here's the preview for the problematic Aladdin film:

Aladdin - Official Trailer

Kanye West bashes liberals for bullying Trump supporters in Netflix interview with David Letterman

Kanye West once again came to the defense of President Donald Trump and his supporters in an interview with the famously anti-Trump celebrity David Letterman.
West launched into a defense of his relationship with the president in the interview set to premiere on Netflix.

"This is like my thing with Trump—we don't have to feel the same way, but we have the right to feel what we feel," West told Letterman while opining on the "Me Too" movement.

He went on to explain that he wore a "Make America Great Again" hat not in support of the president's politics, but as an attempt to remove the stigma surrounding support of the president.

"Did you vote for Trump?" Letterman asked.
"I've never voted in my life," West responded.
"Then you don't have a say in this," Letterman said.

Later, West argued with Letterman when the host attempted to get him to condemn what some call voter suppression efforts by Republican lawmakers.
West instead defended supporters of Trump who were being "treated like enemies of America because that's what they felt."

"Have you ever been beat up in your high school for wearing the wrong hat?" West challenged Letterman.

Letterman asked him who the majority of bullies were, in his opinion.
"Liberals bully people who are Trump supporters!" responded West.
The interview of West will be released on Netflix on May 31.

Here's the trailer for the Netflix show:

My Next Guest Needs No Introduction with David Letterman | Season 2 Trailer | Netflix

Federal judge blocks Mississippi's 'heartbeat' pro-life bill, cites dignity of the mother in decision

A federal judge cited the dignity of women in his decision Friday to block Mississippi's pro-life "heartbeat bill" that would place stringent restrictions on abortions.

"Here we go again," said Judge Carlton Reeves. "Mississippi has passed another law banning abortions prior to viability."

Mississippi was just one state that has passed bills banning abortion of unborn children once a heartbeat can be detected. Opponents of such bills say a heartbeat can be detected often before the woman can suspect she's pregnant.

"By banning abortions after the detection of a fetal heartbeat, SB 226 prevents a woman's free choice, which is central to personal dignity and autonomy," added Judge Reeves.

Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant signed the bill in March, but the court order places a preliminary injunction that prevents the law from being implemented.

The Mississippi law has exceptions for when the life of the mother is threatened by the pregnancy, but not for pregnancies as a result of rape or incest.

Some pro-life advocates hope that a challenge of a heartbeat bill will lead to the U.S. Supreme Court overturning the Roe v. Wade decision that legalized abortion in 1963.

Here's the latest on the abortion debate:

Federal judge blocks law making most Mississippi abortions illegal

Democrat Adam Schiff calls declassification order 'un-American' — and gets torched by his own words

Democratic leader Rep. Adam Schiff of California was criticized by many on social media after his apparently contradictory tweets on declassification of the Russian investigation were discovered.

Schiff, a vehement opponent of President Donald Trump, denounced the memorandum issued by the president on Thursday giving full declassification power to U.S. Attorney General William Barr on the documents that led to the Russian investigation.

"While Trump stonewalls the public from learning the truth about his obstruction of justice, Trump and Barr conspire to weaponize law enforcement and classified information against their political enemies," Schiff tweeted. 

"The coverup has entered a new and dangerous phase," he added. "This is un-American."

But online sleuths almost instantly discovered a previous tweet where Schiff appeared to support the declassification of all documents related to the Russian investigation. And, he cited Trump's reticence against it as evidence of wrongdoing.
"President Obama can and must declassify as much as possible about Russia hacking our elections. Rest assured, Trump won't," he tweeted in 2016. 

The president and his allies have alleged that the investigation in Russian election interference and alleged collusion with the Trump campaign was begun under dubious evidence and motivated by political partisanship.

Here's the latest on the declassification debacle:

Trump gives Barr sweeping power to declassify intel related to Russia probe

How Our Gut Bacteria Can Use Eggs to Accelerate Cancer

“We are walking communities comprised not only of a Homo sapiens host, but also of trillions of symbiotic commensal microorganisms within the gut and on every other surface of our bodies.” There are more bacterial cells in our gut than there are human cells in our entire body. In fact, only about 10 percent of the DNA in our body is human. The rest is in our microbiome, the microbes with whom we share with the “walking communit[y]” we call our body. What do they do?
Our gut bacteria microbiota “serve as a filter for our largest environmental exposure—what we eat”—and, “[t]echnically speaking, food is a foreign object that we take into our bodies” by the pound every day. The “microbial community within each of us significantly influences how we experience a meal…Hence, our metabolism and absorption of food occurs through” this filter of bacteria.
However, as you can see at 1:22 in my video below, if we eat a lot of meat, including poultry and fish, milk, cheese, and eggs, we can foster the growth of bacteria that convert the choline and carnitine in those foods into trimethylamine (TMA), which can be oxidized into TMAO and wreak havoc on our arteries, increasing our risk of heart attack, stroke, and death.
We’ve known about this “troublesome” transformation from choline into trimethylamine for more than 40 years, but that was way before we learned about the heart disease connection. Why were researchers concerned back then? Because these methylamines might form nitrosamines, which have “marked carcinogenic activity”—cancer-causing activity. So where is choline found in our diet? Mostly from meat, eggs, dairy, and refined grains. The link between meat and cancer probably wouldn’t surprise anyone. In fact, just due to the industrial pollutants, like PCBs, children probably shouldn’t eat more than about five servings a month of meats like beef, pork, or chicken combined. But, what about cancer and eggs?

Studies going back to the 1970s hinted at a correlation between eggs and colon cancer, as you can see at 2:45 in my video. That was based just on so-called ecological data, though, showing that countries eating more eggs tended to have higher cancer rates, but that could be due to a million factors. It needed to be put to the test.
This testing started in the 80s, and, by the 1990s, 15 studies had been published, of which 10 suggested “a direct association” between egg consumption and colorectal cancer, “whereas five found no association.” By 2014, dozens more studies had been published, confirming that eggs may indeed be playing a role in the development of colon cancer, though no relationship was discovered between egg consumption and the development of precancerous polyps, which “suggested that egg consumption might be involved in the promotional” stage of cancer growth—accelerating cancer growth—rather than initiating the cancer in the first place.
This brings us to 2015. Perhaps it’s the TMAO made from the choline in meat and eggs that’s promoting cancer growth. Indeed, in the Women’s Health Initiative study, women with the highest TMAO levels in their blood had approximately three times greater risk of rectal cancer, suggesting that TMAO levels “may serve as a potential predictor of increased colorectal cancer risk.”
As you can see at 4:17 in my video, though there may be more evidence for elevated breast cancer risk with egg consumption than prostate cancer risk, the only other study to date on TMAO and cancer looked at prostate cancer and did indeed find a higher risk.
“Diet has long been considered a primary factor in health; however, with the microbiome revolution of the past decade, we have begun to understand how diet can” affect the back and forth between us and the rest of us inside, and the whole TMAO story is “a smoking gun” in gut bacteria-disease interactions.
Since choline and carnitine are the primary sources of TMAO production, the logical intervention strategy might be to reduce meat, dairy, and egg consumption. And, if we eat plant-based for long enough, we can actually change our gut microbial communities such that we may not be able to make TMAO even if we try.
“The theory of ‘you are what you eat’ finally is supported by scientific evidence.” We may not have to eat healthy for long, though. Soon, Big Pharma hopes, “we may yet ‘drug the microbiome’…[as a way of] promoting cardiovascular health.”

12 Crucial Facts About Vitamin K

One of the least-known vitamins, it’s not surprising that there’s a lot of mystique and mistakes surrounding vitamin K. Everywhere I turn, another person is sharing misinformation about this critical nutrient. To help set the record straight, here are some essential facts you need to know about vitamin K:

Food is the Best Source

Food is always the best form of any vitamin and vitamin K is no different. While there may be a need to supplement with this nutrient, food is still the best way to get it.

Vitamin K is Actually a Group of Vitamins

Not just a standalone vitamin, vitamin K is actually a group of fat-soluble vitamins that have similar chemical structures.

Vitamin K1 and K2 are Not the Same

While there are several different kinds of vitamin K, vitamin K1 and K2 are the most common. While they have predominantly the same name, these different forms of the vitamin have different functions and food sources.

Vitamin K1 is Mainly Found in Greens

Also known as phylloquinone, vitamin K1 is primarily found in leafy greens so if you aren’t already loading up on greens, you’ll want to get started to reap the rewards of vitamin K1.

Vitamin K2 is Not Just Found in Animal Products

Most bloggers continue to perpetuate the myth that vitamin K2 is only found in meat. While animal products tend to be sources of this nutrient, they are not the only sources. Vitamin K2 is also found in many fermented foods.

Your Body Can Manufacture Vitamin K

You may not realize that by boosting the health of your gut, you can boost your body’s ability to manufacture vitamin K. The best way to boost your gut health is by eating more fermented foods like sauerkraut, miso, natto, yogurt, kimchi and fermented pickles. 

Vitamin K3 is Best Avoided

Vitamin K3, also known as menadione, is synthetic and is best avoided due to the potential for side-effects.

Vitamin K1 Makes Up the Bulk of Vitamin K

Between 75 and 90 percent of the vitamin K consumed by people is Vitamin K1, not the meat-sources of K2 which many well-meaning but misguided people recommend as a way to get more vitamin K.

Eat More of the Top 6 Sources of Vitamin K

The best way to get more vitamin K is to eat more of the top 6 sources, including (with the amount of vitamin K found in 1 cup): kale (1062 mcg), collard greens (1059 mcg), spinach (889 mcg), turnip greens (529 mcg), broccoli (220), Brussels sprouts (218 mcg).

Vitamin K is Not Just for Blood-Clotting

While it is most known for its ability to ensure healthy clotting of blood, vitamin K can help improve heart and bone health.

Vitamin K is Best Absorbed When Eaten With Fat

Because Vitamin K is a fat-soluble vitamin, it is best eaten alongside some fat to boost absorption. So, add some olive oil to your cooked or salad greens, throw some avocado slices in your vitamin K-rich meal, or add some nuts and seeds with them.

Keep Your Vitamin K Intake Consistent

If you take warfarin or another blood thinner, or have a blood clotting disorder, it is wise to keep your vitamin K intake consistent to avoid any issues with your medication or condition.

How Important is the Sodium to Potassium Ratio in Our Diets?

More than a thousand years ago, for the treatment of hypertension, an ancient Persian medical text advised lifestyle interventions, such as avoiding meat and pastries, and recommended eating spinach. A thousand years later, researchers discovered that a single meal containing spinach could indeed reduce blood pressure, thanks to its nitrate content. All green leafy vegetables are packed with nitrate, which our body can use to create nitric oxide that improves the flexibility and function of our arteries. This may be why eating our greens may be one of the most powerful things we can do to reduce our chronic disease risk.
As you can see at 0:54 in my video below just switching from low-nitrate vegetables to high-nitrate vegetables for a week can lower blood pressure by about 4 points, and the higher the blood pressure people started out with, the greater benefit they got. Four points might not sound like a lot, but even a 2-point drop in blood pressure could preventmore than 10,000 fatal strokes every year in the United States.
Potassium-rich foods may also act via a similar mechanism. If we get even just the minimum recommended daily intake of potassium, we might prevent 150,000 strokes every year. Why? Potassium appears to increase the release of nitric oxide. One week of eating two bananas and a large baked potato every day significantly improved arterial function. Even a single high-potassium meal, containing the equivalent of two to three bananas’ worth of potassium, can improve the function of our arteries, whereas a high-sodium meal—that is, a meal with the amount of salt most people eat—can impair arterial function within 30 minutes. While potassium increases nitric oxide release, sodium reducesnitric oxide release. So, the health of our arteries may be determined by our sodium-to-potassium ratio.
As you can see at 2:30 in my video, after two bacon slices’ worth of sodium, our arteries take a significant hit within 30 minutes. However, if you add three bananas’ worth of potassium, you can counteract the effects of the sodium. As I show at 2:48 in my video, when we evolved, we were eating ten times more potassium than sodium. Now, the ratio is reversed, as we consume more sodium than potassium. These kinds of studies “provide additional evidence that increases in dietary potassium should be encouraged,” but what does that mean? We should eat more beans, sweet potatoes, and leafy greens, the latter of which is like giving you a double whammy, as they are high in potassium and nitrates. The recommendation from a thousand years ago to eat spinach is pretty impressive, though bloodletting and abstaining from sex were also encouraged, so we should probably take ancient wisdom with a grain of salt—but our meals should be added-salt free.