POSTED ON NOVEMBER 12, 2008:
Love Letters/Hate Mail
Eat Plants, Not Cancer
The recent "Stand Up to Cancer" television extravaganza hopefully inspired viewers to take steps to combat cancer. We can all stand up to cancer every time we sit down to eat, by choosing vegetarian foods.
Plant-based foods are high in fiber and phytochemicals, which knock out carcinogens and fight inflammation. A joint report from the American Institute for Cancer Research and the World Cancer Research Fund indicated that "people who eat various forms of vegetarian diets are at low risk of some diseases, including some cancers." Studies show that vegetarians have less than half the cancer rate of meat-eaters.
If you want to win the war on cancer, visit www.VegCooking.com for a free vegetarian starter kit.
Senior Writer, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA)
The Right Place
Downtown should welcome the providers of social svcs for the homeless. It is very astutely stated in Michael Bates' article (see "To Have and Have Not" in the Aug. 14-20, 2008, issue) that the structure of downtown lends itself to providing shelter for the homeless. What are city planners going to do? Tear all the buildings down and rebuild them so the pigeons (homeless) won't nest there?
Michael Bates covered all the bases when he talked about how much less accessible the services the homeless now appropriate will be. Steve Whitaker has worked in the trenches for years to help the homeless.
R. Kaiser Nelson is going to seriously alter the way of life of many homeless as well as John 3:16 Mission. It seems that the do-gooders seldom listen to the people in the trenches as to the true needs of a huge situation as this. This has far more ramifications than the shallow R. Kaiser Nelson or the councilman ever thought of.
A five story complex for the homeless is absolutely ludicrous. Anyone who's worked in the mental health field knows it's asking for trouble when you put that many people in that close of proximity. It's going to become more like a hospital than a care facility. COME ON, Ruth Kaiser Nelson is full of beans when it comes to knowing what is best for the city.
It's Immenent Domain w/ a twist. I hope the city councilman who bent over for her cannot sleep at night because of his compliance in the situation.
- TJ Stansell
Disease of Addiction
"Addicts are not bad people who need to get good, they are sick people needing to get well," said Ellen deGraad, licensed drug/alcohol counselor, in her sermon at the UU Church of Stillwater, OK, September 14, 2008.
She continued, "Years of using alcohol and drugs cause the brain to become inflamed. You will not get well or good behavior from an inflamed brain. By definition a disease is chronic, progressive, fatal and relapse-able."
It all begins innocently enough. Her patients tell her they started through social or peer pressure, to fit in, to ease tension, or stress, to numb the emotional pain of past trauma, to enhance life or to increase productivity.
What they don't realize is that their bodies would begin to change on a cellular level. No one told them that once a cucumber becomes a pickle, it can never be a cucumber again. No one told them they risked a lifetime disease.
deGraad continued, "Addiction is a dis-regulation of the pleasure center of the primitive (reptilian) brain, the part of the brain that deals with survival. Is it any wonder that the addictive process is so strong? The American Psychiatric Association endorses the proposition that drug dependencies, including alcoholism, are diseases and that their treatment is a legitimate part of medical practice."
Her view is that religious communities need to rethink current policies of punishment and incarceration. As family and friends become sick drug war laws continue to punish rather than treat the problem. It is a disease owned by individuals, families, and the nation.
- Ron du Bois
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