Monday, 18 August 2014

Benjamin Netanyahu Is Blocking Peace

Since my post in November 2012 titled " Imagine ", I have not commented on this blog on world events affecting the welfare of people generally, or in a specific area of the planet. In the past few years, great numbers of people have been displaced as a result of ongoing conflicts in Syria, Iraq and Palestine to name a few. I intend to solely concentrate on the Palestinian issue in this post simply because it has gone on for the longest period of time, and generates lots of emotions worldwide relating to its ultimate resolution.

Benjamin Netanyahu, the current prime minister of Israel, is an impediment to peace in the Middle East in my view. During periods of calm, he refuses to negotiate freely with all the Palestinians. He says he cannot negotiate with Hamas because they refuse to recognise the state of Israel. Yet, as the present troubles testify, Hamas represent the people of Gaza, and he is therefore bound to negotiate with them if there is to be a meaningful and lasting settlement. His refusal to negotiate with this wing of the Palestinians means he doesn't want a settlement of the problem during his premiership.

The siege of Gaza by Israel due to which all land, sea and air routes into this narrow strip of land are blocked creates " prison " conditions within it, and greatly interferes with all normal living conditions for the 1.8 million people affected by it. This continued siege gives rise to hatred starting at an early age, and support for Palestinians who want to destroy Israel by force. Therefore Netanyahu's policy towards Gaza is only serving to continue a very unstable situation, thereby ensuring continued suffering and bitterness for Palestinians down the generations.

If Netanyahu thinks there is no precedent in world history for negotiating with "terrorists" , he should talk to the British. In October 1921, both the then British prime minister, David Lloyd George, and Winston Churchill, sat down at a table with Michael Collins to negotiate what has become known as "The Irish Treaty". In November 1920, less than a year earlier, Collins and his men had scores of British agents operating in Dublin rounded up and killed, and the British press at the time labelled him " a terrorist and number one enemy of the country ". Collins didn't see himself as a terrorist but a freedom fighter who did not recognise Britain's right to rule Ireland.

In more recent times, the British cleverly used Sinn Fein to arrive at an understanding with the IRA in Northern Ireland that if significant concessions were made at the negotiating table in favour of the nationalist community then the violence would cease. At the present time, the agreements so reached on many issues, and embodied in the Good Friday Agreement in 1998, appears to be holding. The lesson to be learned from Ireland says: there is a good chance violence will stop if the underlying issues giving rise to the violence are addressed and fixed in a way that allows peace to prevail.

I do recognise Israel's right to defend itself. However, the corresponding right of the Palestinian people to a state operating alongside Israel is what has been neglected for the past 60 years or so. The onus therefore is on all parties with an interest in the region, peace and justice to deliver to the Palestinian people a viable functioning state they can call home. If such a state were delivered to the Palestinians, would there then be any support in a place like Gaza for people who want to launch rockets into Israel ? I don't think so, and if it did happen they would be quickly apprehended by Palestine's own security forces. The main stumbling block to peace appears to be Benjamin Netanyahu in that, judging by his performance to date, I cannot see him making the big moves necessary to deliver it.

If you have got anything to say on this post, use the comments box below for that purpose.

Monday, 4 August 2014

How to Prevent Constipation

Constipation is the cause of lots of health problems including colon cancer. Whilst definitions of what constitutes constipation can vary dependant upon who you listen to, my definition is that you are constipated  If your bowels do not move once per day on average. What I am saying is If you do not go to the toilet for a pooh at least once per day, you should assume that you are constipated and take action as outlined in this post. If you bowels are sluggish and only move two or three times per week, then you are constipated and should take action to remedy the problem.

The main causes of constipation are as follows: insufficient intake of water or other suitable liquids; lack of fibre in the diet; lack of raw fruit or vegetables in the diet; drinking too much coffee or tea; eating too many fried foods; consuming too many sugar- laden foods and drinks; and lack of exercise. One of these, or a combination of more than one, can give rise to constipation thereby having a negative effect on your health.

In lots of cases, the problem of constipation is not reported to the doctor at all because the patient is unaware of the problem. In cases where it is reported, doctors have generally responded by prescribing laxatives, stool softners, bulking agents or mineral oil. The first three bring about a dependency on a substance to cure a problem which could be solved naturally by paying particular attention to what constitutes diet; and mineral oil can remove essential minerals and vitamins from the body as a side effect of its use.

The first measure you should take to combat constipation is to make sure you are drinking 6-8 glasses of water or other suitable liquids daily. Water softens stools and aids their elimination from the body via the anus. Other suitable liquids can be fruit or vegetable juices which have no sugar added. Green, herbal, dandelion  or ginger teas are also in this category.

With regard to your solid food intake, it is essential that you are getting enough fibre in the diet. An adult needs 20 grams or more (about an ounce) of fibre a day. Good sources of fibre are wholegrain bread, brown rice, potatoes with their skins, rye crispbreads, wholegrain breakfast cereals, natural green vegetables, fruits with their skins (after washing thoroughly in order to get rid of any preservative sprays). Fibre aids the excretion of digested foods from the body in a timely manner so they do not hang about inside and cause constipation.

Other foods which alleviate constipation are almonds, apricots, asparagus, blackberries, cabbage, carrots, cherries, figs, baked beans, french beans , kidney beans, leeks, lettuce, oats, oranges, peaches, plums. raspberries, red currants, rhubarb, spinach, strawberries, swiss chard, tomatoes, garlic and unsweetened yoghurt. For more on this, go to my June 2013 post titled "  Make Use of the Cleansers ". Foods and drinks to be avoided are fried foods, biscuits, cakes, tea, coffee, bananas, and both white rice and white bread.

Vitamin C taken to bowel tolerance (stop when diarrhoea occurs) can immediately bring relief from constipation. The latter taken in higher than recommended doses has proven to be safe. Magnesium oxide, up to 2000 mg daily, can also help. Psyllium husks taken as directed on the label can help combat a deficiency of fibre in the diet. The herb cascara sagrada increases the secretions of the stomach, liver and pancreas thereby aiding the breakdown of food. It also cleanses the colon and helps rebuild tissues. The herb senna increases intestinal movements and aids the removal of toxins from the body.

One adjunctive measure you should employ is to engage in at least 30 minutes of exercise daily. This could be brisk walking, jogging, swimming, cycling, dancing or anything else that takes your fancy. Regular exercise aids digestion and the efficient elimination of waste materials from the body.