The Palm Beach Post from West Palm Beach, Florida on December 2, 1997 · Page 20
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December 2, 1997

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The Palm Beach Post from West Palm Beach, Florida · Page 20

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West Palm Beach, Florida
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Tuesday, December 2, 1997
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20A THE PALM BEACH POST TUESDAY. DECEMBER 2, 1997 The Palm Beach Post TOM GlUFFRIDA, Publisher EDWARD SEARS, Editor LON DANIELSON, General Manager TOM O'HARA, Managing Editor RANDY SCHULTZ. Editor of the Editorial Page JAN Tl'CKWOOD, Associate Editor TOM HIGHFIELD. YT Circulation LARRY SIEDUK, IT & Treasurer GALE HOWDEN, Director, Community Relations BOB BALFE, Director, Production LINDA MURPHY, Director, Human Resources KEN WALTERS, Director, Marketing and Research kansas A, Oregon j V l y "0 rrtK7n aren't all You wouldn't lfcit' L crooked, j X,: here. .... wrnipife " 1 ' Save the Ag Reserve, but save schools first paim Beach County must be The Palm Beach Post's editorial cartoonist, Don Wright, is on vacation. for the dietary elite Rancid fat n entire generation of Americans LSl has erown ud feeling superior be cause they ate right while their friends were stuffing themselves with but-terfat, red meat and fried foods. The margarine industry particularly has prospered on the theory widely promoted by the food police that it is less likely to clog your arteries than butter. Robert Reno You know the type: loudly munching their carrot sticks, haughtily dipping into their corn oil spread, blowing half their disposable incomes at health-food stores. And every time one of them croaks, the others merely redouble their fiber intake and inhale some more anti-oxidants. Sweet butter, lard, bacon drippings, heavy cream all the things that somehow got Julia Child to the great age of 85 have been branded public health enemy No. 1 with such regularity that there didn't seem to be much argument left. Well, it turns out the blessed Julia has more of her marbles than most of the health-food zealots who've been disparaging decently prepared food ever since saturates, polyunsaturates, monounsatur-ates, fiber and cholesterol became the defining terms of the American diet. But don't take it from me. A 14-year study of the fat intake of 80,000 nurses, conducted by the Harvard School of Public Health and Boston's Brigham and Women's Hospital, has just been released. Think of it: While all these sultry Stop putting black past aim Beach County commission ers should not let a proposed Here with a referendum to raise school "construction money. Last week, the commission unani- fjnously agreed to ask voters to approve 2R00 million in bonds to buy develop i;ment rights from landowners in the ; Agricultural Reserve. The goal is to "preserve agriculture businesses and ; prevent intense development that would cost taxpayers millions in new schools, roads and services. ;The Ag Reserve vote could be a gbpd idea. But there's enough greed, hypocrisy and political maneuvering in- yolved to ruin it. C ', For three years, the county com-hnfesion has refused to let voters decide a package that would raise money for school construction and impose growth ; limits to keep new schools from being Swamped. Commissioners kept that 'package off the ballot because developers didn't like the growth limits. Now, because of state and local political developments, the most controversial details of the growth limits have been put off. If the school board will finally act, it can have a straight up-or-down vote on construction money in September or November of 1998. But those are the same elections tentatively mentioned for the Ag Re-serve vote. Passing the proposed half- ' cent sales-tax increase for school con-, struction will be hard enough. Asking for $100 million in Ag Reserve bonds at the same time would be too much. In scheduling any Ag Reserve vote, the county commission snouia aeier to tne school board's plans. There's another problem with the Ag Reserve vote. Some commissioners, such as Burt Aaronson and Karen Mar cus, truly want voters to approve the mraipv Rut nthpre curh ae Krn Fncfpr and Mary McCarty, are just looking for an excuse to say the public doesn't care J.1 ClLj 111 111 fhe United Nations probably will let Iraq sell more oil for food. The only thing wrong with the decision is its timing. . It looks as though Saddam Hussein is being rewarded for blocking and harassing U.N. weapons inspectors. Instead of getting bombed, he's getting more food. ': Hussein is exploiting two weaknesses. The coalition that fought the Gulf War doesn't exist anymore. What changed to a coalition to contain Hussein. Now, led by Russia and France, it s becoming a coalition to make money in Iraa. ' ' The second weakness isn't really a weaKiiess. me unueu auues nas a conscience. We know there's something wrong with punishing Iraq's dren for Hussein's sins. Hussein could lift all economic sanctions by complying with inspections, but he won't. The U.S. role in dealing with Iraq is .to take the hard line, both militarily and in the U.N. Security Council. The threat that the united btates will act on its own has kept Hussein from being even more defiant. And it's the U.S. threat that has kept the inspections teams operating in Iraq. ; ' France and Russia haven't earned Good World Citizen medals for their conduct. They benefit from the U.S. stance it's the only thing keeping Hussein in check but at the same The politics nvone who remembers whv f Florida went to an appointive Public Service Commission 20 years ago would know why it's a bad idea to go back to an elected commis-,"sion. PSC races drew few voters. In ; election years, commissioners would ; make a show of rolling back a couple of . 'high-profile rate requests. Once the . ballots were counted, they would retrieve their n bber stamps. But Sen. Charlie Crist, R-St. Petersburg, has been in the Legislature only since 1992, and Rep. Nancy Argenziano, R-Crystal River, was elected just last year. Both were barely out of their teens in 1978. Thus, when the PSC granted a rate increase for Florida Power Corp., which serves the districts of both legislators, the obvious answer was, "Change the system." IfRen. Crist anjl Rep. Argenziano wanted to be useful, thev would file bills n Sure a referendum OH buying farmland doesn 't hurt the ef- r fn l -jj rtossmnms Jm 10 Dum more Classrooms. about preserving the Ag Reserve. They wouid be sure to interpret a "no" vote on the bonds as voter approval for development. But that conclusion would not necessarily be justified. If all commissioners don't actively campaign for passage and it's hard to picture Mr. Foster and Ms. McCarty doing so voters might not understand the importance of saving the Ag Reserve. And what if developers, as they have in the past, run an expensive and deceptive campaign of negative ads? If the county commission wants to know whether voters want to save the Ag Reserve, they should ask directly. Before putting the bonds on the ballot, put this question to a vote: Should Palm Beach County continue its stated policy of limiting growth in the Ag Reserve? But commissioners probably are afraid to be that straightforward. There's an irony in the $100 million figure for buying Ag Reserve development rights. That's precisely the amount that Mr. Foster and other state and county officials secured for friendly developers who needed State Road 7 widened so they could build more homes and make their land more valuable. There was no public referendum on that money. It simply was understood that the money had to be found. That's the attitude the commission owes Palm Beach County residents when dealing with the Ag Reserve. The bonds are one way. If that fails, commissioners should keep looking for other ways. But too many commissioners aren't looking for a way to win. They're they're looking for a way to give up on saving the Ag Reserve. OllVJl V L IA.M.M. The bad part is the timing -which our gulf coalition partners are willing to overlook in the pursuit of profits. time take advantage of it. By taking Hussein's side against America, France and Russia expect favorable treatment when Iraq is opened to business. Though he is coming out of this confrontation a little ahead, Hussein isn't the cagey player he sometimes gets credit for being. If his goal was to have economic sanctions lifted or significantly loosened, he has failed. At best, he can hope that the U.N. will allow Iraq to increase the amount of oil it will sell in the next six months to $3 billion from $2 billion. The money from those sales goes into U.N. accounts and is spent on food and medicine for Iraqis, compensation for Kuwaitis and to pay the cost of U.N. weapons inspections. With U.N. reports showing 1 million Iraqi children under age 5 suffering from malnutrition, there is no way for the United States to oppose that increase. To keep from getting caught in six months when the new arrangements come up for renewal, the United States should insist on discussing long-range humanitarian goals for Iraq now. Otherwise, the next renewal will create the next crisis. of power Florida had elections for Public Service Commission. They drew few voters and many dollars from utilities. tions. Gov. Chiles must make his choices from lists presented by the PSC Nominating Council, whose members are appointed by legislative leaders. The council has repeatedly tried to force politically connected appointees onto the governor. In 1993, he had to sue when the council split the list for two vacancies to try to stop him from picking the two best candidates. An elected PSC would be made up of politicians who do not understand the economics of power and telephone companies. But(any politician understands that thoye companies are the best source for campaign contributions. are hydrogenated to promote firmness and resist rancidity. So let's all hear it for rancid fat. Every trendy restaurant from Manhattan to Miami will soon be offering broccoli cooked in soft fat guaranteed to be rancid. Huge tubs of vegetable fat will soon be left out in the sun to spoil just to feed the growing demand for rancid margarines, which, of course, will sell for double the price of the unspoiled brands and will be marketed aggressively as the food of life.' I guess the questions this raises are: - How badly have Americans been taken to the cleaners in the past 40 years, not just by charlatans marketing fad diets and miracle cures, but by mainstream dietary wise men peddling advice that turns out to be either worthless or harmful? And will diets high in carrots, red wine, oat 'bran, fish, green tea, soybean curd, alfalfa sprouts, olive oil and broccoli be revealed in the next Harvard study as causing anthrax? I If the latest study on trans fats becomes, as seems likely, conventional diet wisdom, then an awful lot of packaged foods being marketed as "healthy" or "lite" will have to be relabeled or reformulated and a lot of people who thought they were eating wisely will have to change their diets. Meanwhile, Julia Child will live to be 100 by making it a firm rule to eat all the things that taste good. Maybe our stomachs know something we don't, something they haven't discovered yet, even at the Harvard School of Public Health? B Robert Reno is a columnist for Newsday. on the block as Hottentots by Dutch settlers in South Africa. (The Khoi-Khoi tended to store fat in their buttocks, not stomachs and thighs.) After Baartman died in 1815, Europeans remained riveted to her anatomy. Her skeleton and body parts were preserved and put on display in the French Museum of Mankind until 1986, when they were placed in storage. The Christie's affair must be seen in the context of black people's efforts to gain control over how they were and are depicted and represented in both European and American popular culture. Earlier efforts to gain control over their own cultural products centered on getting world, state and local expositions to highlight black achievements. For example, Maryland's Frederick Douglass vociferously protested black exclusion from the 1893 World's Fair in Chicago; but the question white exposition officials constantly asked was: "What achievements?" The next step black people made was to reform white museums. The goal was hot only to get these museums to stop advancing stereotypes in exhibits, but also to get them to grant full access to black museum-goers without Jim Crow accommodations. The black museum movement grew out of black people's frustrations with the practices of white museums. But this movement developed late, during the turbulent 1960s, when authentic black artifacts were scarce (often hidden in the basements of museums like the Smithsonian). Even when black cultural products and artifacts are up for auction at places like Christie's, black museums are generally too financially strapped to outbid the larger white museums. Christie's should be commended for responding in a positive manner last week to the voices of black protest. It is hoped that Christie's pledge to donate the slavery-related items to museums . will set an example for others to follow. It is a small step but an important one since the cultural war, like the black struggle for first-class American citizen- , ship, is continuous and protracted. Elmer P. Martin is a sociology professor at Morgan State University and co-founder of the Great Blacks In Wax Muse- urn. He wrote this article for Thq. Baltimore Sun. b n, .' Julia Child got to the great age of 85 on sweet butter, lard, bacon drippings, heavy cream -all public health enemies. nurses were feeding their faces, the nosy folks from Harvard were watching. So guess what fat product was most likely to cause them to keel over with an infarction? (The envelope please.) And the killer is: margarine. Even the high priestess of dietary correctness, Jane E. Brody, seemed dumbfounded by the results. Just think of all the potatoes that have gone down the gullets of America without benefit of butter just because Americans believed that margarine was better for them. And as the Harvard study showered egg on the faces of America's dietary elite, a new fat was born. It's called trans fat, and the nurses who ate a lot of it had a risk of heart attack 53 percent higher than those who didn't even those who gorged on the conventional greases such as pig fat, lard, butter and all the cheeses that taste best. The most common source of trans fat in your supermarket is margarine, but don'f look for it on those supposedly comprehensive new food labels approved by the Food and Drug Administration. Trans fat isn't even listed, so new is this pernicious threat to our health. Trans fat results when vegetable oils Mr w POROTAKB BK8B THE ASSOCIATED PRESSFILE PHOTO Historic images of African-Americans, such as these belonging to Jeanette Carson of Hyattsville, Md., have generally been sold and held by whites. cans as inferior and degenerate, while stripping Africa of invaluable artwork and artifacts to enrich their own civilization., Those black people who kept an eye on Europe were outraged over that continent's practice of taking Africans from their homelands to be exhibited as freaks and alleged proof of white supremacy. As recently as a year ago, South African government representatives appealed to the French government to return the remains of Saartjie Baartman, a woman who was billed as the Hottentot Venus and paraded naked around 19th-century Europe. Baartman created a national sensation in France that was on a par with that created by the famed black dancer, Josephine Baker, in this century. But throngs paid not to see Baartman dance, but rather to ogle her buttocks. They could pay more for the opportunity to touch her to see firsthand that she ( was not padded. Baartman was a member of the Khoi-Khoi people, knowff I till ' .K I f COLORED Christie's decision not to sell slave papers to the highest bidder is a welcome development in the struggle for black cultural survival. By Elmer P. Martin ecently, Christie's, the famed New York auction house, became the target of a decades-old strug gle of blacks: The fight for black cultural survival. After a public outcry, Christie's withdrew from sale several 19th-century slavery documents slated to be auctioned to the highest bidder. Instead, Christie's will donate the items to museums. Equating Christie's aborted sale with cultural exploitation is a continuation of a cultural war that gained momentum among black people after Emancipation. At the turn of the century, the battles on the cultural front took many forms as black people were bombarded with negative images of themselves everywhere. In minstrel shows, whites blackened their faces and performed as imitative black folks. Circus sideshows, called 'nig shows,' depicted black people as "missing links," America's consummate freaks. Movies such as The Birth of a Nation portrayed the Ku Klux Klan as heroes and black men as rapists of white women. Many advertisements depicted big-eyed, jet-black "darkies" eating watermelon with wondrous delight. Early in this century, black people from all walks of life joined in the struggle for black cultural liberation just as they would do later during the better-known civil rights movement of the 1960s. Black educators waged war on children's literature featuring such characters as Little Black Sambo downing piles of pancakes, the Ugly Ducking decrying its blackness and the popular Ten Little Nigger Boys fated to be killed one by one. Black scholars combated the scientific racism of the time, which claimed to have developed irrefutable, scientific proof of black genetic inferiority. Many black intellectuals complained loudly about the hypocrisy Europeans displayed when they characterized Afri- to get the Legislature out of PSC selec-

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