Pyramid Scheme

Pyramid Scheme

Pyramid Scheme

The latest chatter in cyberspace.
April 20 2005 6:54 PM

Pyramid Scheme

Bloggers discuss the new food pyramids, ponder the genocide in Darfur, and react to the latest delay in the nomination process for John Bolton.

Pyramid scheme: Bloggers are heaping multiple servings of scorn upon the U.S. Department of Agriculture's 12 new food pyramids, which use an Internet-based tool to dispense nutritional advice based on people's age and activity level.

"Frankly, if the new food guide pyramid puts more responsibility on the consumer, so much the better," writesRyan Healy at The Health Blog, which commends the USDA for recognizing that one size doesn't fit all but disagrees with the overall recommendations. Since the new pyramids are available only online, "[p]oorer and computer illiterate Americans, who are the most likely to be overweight, are being left in the dark," grousesDadTalk, the blog of an L.A. Times system analyst. * "Meanwhile, Americans will blot out the words 'whole-grain cereals' and 'eat a variety of fruit' from their brains and not truly understand how their eating habits must change." A Stitch in Haste's libertarian KipEsquire snipes, "Here's my pyramid: eat less, exercise more, avoid the garbage Doesn't look like a pyramid? Too bad."

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And Wonkette's Greg Beato lays on the sarcasm even thicker: "Once again, homosexual activists have hijacked a trusted icon of sensible nutrition to brainwash schoolkids into thinking sodomy is a perfectly wholesome alternative to lunch at McDonald's. …[The pyramids are] riddled with homosexual code-words like 'meat' (homosexual for cock), 'nuts' (homosexual for big, heavy balls) and 'milk' (homosexual for man syrup). Nice try, fruit-lovers! The boycott starts now."

Read more about the new food pyramids, and check out the ridiculed pyramids for yourself.

Still dying in Darfur: Last September, Colin Powell characterized the ethnic conflict in Darfur, Sudan, as genocide. Since then, the international community's tepid response has slowly heated up. Alas, so has the conflict. On Monday, U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan said that the violence is increasing.

Comparing the media's paltry coverage of Rwanda to its lack of emphasis on Darfur, Stuart Buck, a member of the Coalition for Darfur, urges U.S. action and agonizes, "One has to wonder if, ten years from now, we'll be saying to one another 'I vaguely remember hearing about the genocide in Sudan. It took place about the time of the Michael Jackson trial, right?' "

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Responding to Max Boot's Christian Science Monitor column titled "Where Are the Antiwar Activists on Darfur?," a D.C. lawyer at Learning to Love the Law wonders why activists criticize the U.S. government instead of the Sudanese one: "[I]s it just that everyone knows that the United States is the only country on the planet that might possibly be shamed into better behavior by the act of publicizing the abuses our agents commit? Certainly no one thinks that the Sudanese Muslim Arabs are ever going to stop killing the black African Christians and animists, and everyone knows that no one important will ever be prosecuted for those crimes."

Read more about Darfur; Sudanwatch and Waveflux provide roundups of Darfur news and history.

Oy, Voinovich!: Yesterday, Republican Sen. George Voinovich asked for more time to decide whether he should vote to send John Bolton's nomination for U.N. ambassador to the full Senate; this postponed the vote until next month and may stymie Bolton's nomination.

Many Republicans are growling at Voinovich's perceived defection. Dismayed conservative Ankle Biting Pundits writes: "Sometimes you wonder if the GOP deserves to have a majority in the Senate. After today, the answer may be 'No'. Showing the spine of jellyfish (this is becoming a habit) the GOP was unable to have a committee vote on the eminently qualified John Bolton to be UN Ambassador."

Liberals are delighted. A commentator on ultra-Democratic MyDD exclaims, "We is WINNIN'ONE! Things are turnin' baby. This matters. Bush losing one matters. It's precedent for the judicial fights. And we are winning this on the merits without filibustering." Evidencing a more cautious optimism, The Liberal Oasis advises the Democrats to stop arguing that Bolton won't be a good manager; instead, they should emphasize "that such a dishonest and abusive person is not the person who should be the face of America at the UN."

Read more about Voinovich; read Slate's coverage here.

* Correction, April 21, 2005: This piece originally stated that DadTalk is the blog of an L.A. Times systems consultant. It is actually the blog of an L.A. Times system analyst. Click here to see the correction.

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