Sunday, September 29, 2013

The Dr. Oz Show Gets It Wrong About Low Calorie Sweeteners

ATLANTA, Sept. 27, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Today's segment of The Dr. Oz Show claiming low calorie sweeteners cause weight gain was not based on scientific facts and made gross exaggerations when depicting average consumer use of sweeteners, according to the Calorie Control Council, whose members include manufacturers and end users of low and reduced calorie sweeteners and other ingredients.
Registered dietitian and nutrition expert Robyn Flipse had this to say when interviewed by The Skinny on Low Cal, Calorie Control Council's blog."What I have seen in my 35 years of clinical practice is that low calorie sweeteners do help people control their weight when they are used along with a balanced diet and regular exercise. But, low calorie sweeteners are only one tool – And unfortunately, not all consumers of diet drinks and low calorie sweeteners are living a healthy lifestyle."
"Dr. Oz likely was referring to the latest flawed opinion piece to make headlines, rather than focusing on the sound body of science that exists when it comes to the safety and quality of low calorie sweeteners," said Haley Curtis Stevens, Ph.D. of the Calorie Control Council (CCC).  "Numerous studies in humans have shown that the consumption of low-calorie sweeteners does not lead to an increase in feelings of hunger or body weight."
Further, research shows that low-calorie sweeteners do not lead to heart disease, diabetes or obesity as was suggested on the program. According to leading health organizations such as the American Diabetes Association, Academy of Nutrition and
low-calorie sweeteners can be used as part of an overall healthy eating plan. Experts agree that excess weight contributes to heart disease and diabetes, not sugar substitutes.
Show Segment Based on Opinion, Rather than Empirical StudiesAs Dr. Stevens noted, Oz is likely referencing recent claims that eating low calorie sweeteners leads to cravings and weight gain. However, the claims ignore the large body of robust scientific research that demonstrates the safety and benefits of low-calorie sweeteners (including studies as recent as 2012 published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition and the Journal of Nutrition "I am surprised that Dr. Oz would present the claims as fact," said Stevens.  
Annual Consumption Levels ExaggeratedAnother misrepresentation during the show concerns the discussion regarding the use of sugar substitutes. People use, on average, less than one pound a year of low-calorie sweeteners. However, Dr. Oz inaccurately depicted a 24-lb average annual consumption of low calorie sweeteners by making the assumption that consumers replace sugar with a sugar substitute in a 1-to-1 ratio. Because sugar substitutes are intensely sweet (150 to 600 times as sweet), requiring very small amounts to attain the same level of sweetness,  they are not added to products at the same level as sugar, an erroneous assumption made by Dr. Oz. 
Other Experts Took IssueAccording to Dr. John Fernstrom, Professor of Psychiatry and Pharmacology at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, "Intervention studies have been conducted over the past few decades, and uniformly show that when artificial sweeteners are introduced into the diet (usually in a "blinded" fashion, so the subjects don't know it), fewer sugars and calories are ingested, and body fat content and body weight are reduced. Low calorie sweeteners by themselves do not make people fat (or diabetic). When overweight or diabetic individuals report consuming more products containing artificial sweeteners, it may be that these products are being consumed to reduce sugar and calorie intake (a good thing), and not the other way around."   
About the Calorie Control CouncilThe Calorie Control Council, established in 1966, is an international association representing the low- and reduced-calorie food and beverage industry. Today it represents manufacturers and suppliers of low- and reduced-calorie foods and beverages, including manufacturers and suppliers of more than two dozen different alternative sweeteners, fibers and other low-calorie, dietary ingredients.   

Friday, September 27, 2013

Manipulators of crowds

 By F Guzzardi
To understand how some people in recent history have been able to manipulate the crowds, it is interesting to read Gustav Le Bon and his "Psychology of crowds". Hitler, Lenin, Mussolini and even some current political and religious  were inspired by his theories.

GUSTAV LE BON (1841-1931), ethnologist and psychologist (he was one of the founders of "Social Psychology") was born in France in Nogent-Le Retrou, was the first psychologist to scientifically study the behavior of crowds, trying to identify the particular characteristics and proposing appropriate techniques to guide and control them. For this reason his works were read and carefully studied by the totalitarian dictators of the twentieth century, which were based their power on the ability to control and manipulate the masses.
In fact, the writings of Le Bon - particularly Psychology of Crowds, published in 1895 were a veritable gold mine for those who wanted to understand the behavior of the mass, the new entity that overlooked the political scene in the last decades of the 'eight hundred and that would dominate the scene in the twentieth century. The birth of the mass, understood as "indistinct large amount of people who act in a uniform manner" that began to take shape in the late nineteenth century.

Lenin, Stalin, Hitler read carefully the work of Le Bon and the use of certain techniques of persuasion in their dictatorship seems directly inspired by his counsels, but also Mussolini was a fervent admirer of the work of French psychologist. "I read the whole work of Le Bon - Mussolini said-and I do not know how many times I re-read his" Psychology of Crowd "It 'a capital work which still often return."
The lightness of certain speeches made by these dictators who exercised an enormous influence on the crowds , sometimes surprising to read , but they forget that they were made to drag the crowds, and not to be read by philosophers. The speaker puts you in intimate communion with the crowd and knows how to conjure images that seduce . The claims are made so authoritarian , which are accepted because of the tone that accompanies them. And normally these suggestions are not accompanied by logical argument or evidence , they are hunted within such self-evident truths , and are crystallized in epigrams and axioms , which are accepted for real , as a result of apparent wit , without anyone think to analyze them . The political fallacies and explanations usual , belong to this class .

The modern dictator , says Le Bon, must be able to grasp the desires and secret aspirations of the crowd and present itself as the embodiment of these wishes and as one who is capable of meeting these aspirations . Also in this case the illusion is more important than reality , because what matters is not to conduct such improbable dreams as to believe the crowd to be able " in history - adds Le Bon - the appearance has always had a role more important than reality . " The crowds are not influenced by reasoning . The crowds are especially affected by what is there wonderful in things. They think in pictures, and these images follow one another without any bond.The popular imagination has always been the basis of the power of statesmen , the sprocket of crowds, which more often than not , they are not intellectuals, but men of action . These are not clairvoyant , but they could not be, because clairvoyance generally leads to doubt and inaction. They belong especially to those neurotics, those excited , semi- alienated those that border on insanity. For the absurdity of the idea that defend or purpose they want to achieve , all the arguments you cant against their firm belief ( in psychiatry, it takes the name of " Pseudopodia fantastic " - those who believe his own lies ) . The contempt and persecution that do not excite them most. Everything is sacrificed , personal interest and family. Even the self-preservation instinct is destroyed in them , so much so that often the only reward they aspire - identifying with a fervent apostle of the faith - is the cross, the martyrdom , the halo of sanctity , and this they leave with their writings is the new "gospel" , the new " doctrine."

If we read Le Bon, discover the secret causes of some events even improbable . That's why Le Bon does not appear in any encyclopedia . Is dangerous ! Although his work never fails on the shelf of the library of pseudo- dictators. The crowds have a general ignorance of the psychology of crowds , which can be as morality (indeed it is) much lower than that of individuals who compose it .However, if one were to place the assets of the people only large coldly reasoned action , the annals of the world - of egregious actions - it would record very few .

 "The masses are more easily dazzled by a big lie that by a small" Adolf Hitler

Thursday, September 26, 2013

The origins of Antisemitism

the railway line leading to entry of Auschwitz (Poland) constituted the final journey of millions of people . At Auschwitz and Birkenau died ca. 3 million people (mostly Polish Jews ) .
 By F Guzzardi

Contrary to what many people think , antisemitism does not begin with Hitler's Nazi Germany - but has its origins many centuries earlier. In the history of German antisemitism has found its most violent form and horrifying deeds - but in reality Hitler had not invented anything new. The Jew is being persecuted people in previous centuries and this for various reasons that we will try to understand it better.

The Jews are the ones who crucified Jesus !
 The first  Jewish persecution born by Christians .For many centuries Christians have spread this demagoguery to justify the persecution of a competitor religious - the Jewish communities had spread throughout Europe this is a problem for Christians who demanded the religious and political power . Their refusal to be Christians , it was a DE-legitimization of the validity of the faith Cristian.The idea of ​​" collective guilt " of the Jews for the death of Jesus was practically a death sentence for tens of thousands of them. This belief is maintained for a long time , at a more or less conscious , in large sections of the population .

The Jews are usurers who get rich on the backs of others!

During the Lateran Council of 1215 the Pope Innocent III , a sworn enemy of the Jews, did release a set of rules that had to mark the fate of the Jews for many centuries. For example, forbade Christians to lend money against interest and advised to exclude Jews from other professional associations . Subsequently, almost all professional associations , referring to these laws of the church, banned Jews from the exercise of their profession and drove these in a trade or business ( money changers , moneylenders , etc. . ) That people, understandably , hated it. Everyone, even the poorest farmers , had to turn sooner or later to a Jew to borrow money and every collection gone bad led to a growing hatred towards them. But even the emperors had a great need of money , which is why usually the imperial powers were much more tolerant towards the Jews from which often depended 

The Jews do not want to integrate into the Western Christian world !Relegated from civil and religious laws in their ghettos , periodically persecuted and even exterminated, Jews developed a strong cultural identity that made ​​them endure and survive. But being different that could be seen even in the way of dressing and in many daily habits , their " cultural resistance " , made ​​them even more objects of suspicion and unfair attacks . He who is different is basically dangerous. This is true today and it was worth even more to the medieval society . The Jews were used as scapegoats for all occasions , were guilty even in the fourteenth century the plague that ravaged half of Europe in Strasbourg , for example, were buried alive in 2000 Jews held responsible for this terrible epidemic .

The Jews want to dominate all countries, to be able to operate according to their interests !
 This is the most "modern" antisemitism, is one invented by the Nazis to channel and divert the thousand reasons for discontent and anger of the people against an easy prey , to give a simple "explanation" to the many injustices in the world that many people could not explain . In all governments, in all international organizations could be found of the Jews , even in important positions , and so it was very easy to find "evidence " for this absurd claim . Antisemitism had become so a struggle of all peoples against an enemy that threatens us all. To be justified , the systematic extermination needed a stronger motivation , more "political " and not just ethnicity or religion.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

The Metaphor of the Roman Empire

JN Sylvestre, Sacco di Roma ad opera dei Visigoti, 1890 -, 2013
JN Sylvestre, Sacco di Roma ad opera dei Visigoti, 1890 -

by F Guzzardi

"The two greatest problems of history," stated J. Reid in the first volume of the Cambridge Medieval History "are how to make reason of the rise of Rome and of its decline."

 The decline of Western countries (Europe and USA) is strangely reminiscent of the fall of the largest empire the world has seen Rome.
The economy is moving in other directions and this is not a matter of chance, In a world that moves to another speeds than that of the Romans, centuries employed by Rome to abdicate, are comparable to decades of today - reading the 'historical analysis of the Roman Empire, there is a great similarity with the problems that is facing the West.

 We now live in Western countries, much the same way they lived in the ancient Romans, we can be owners, obey the laws promulgated by the State, we take our wealth from trade and exchanges. In the Middle Ages, roughly from the fifth to the fifteenth century, things were different; during feudalism (IX-XII century), it may be said that they went in reverse order: the individual property no longer existed, the state was gone, the rare coin , the non-existent town, trade nil, the only source of wealth was land, to which the mass of men was linked from bondage.

 The official historiography trivializes the problem of the end of Rome and the whole ancient civilization attributing it to the invasions of Germanic peoples in the fifth century, but it is an explanation that does not hold. The Romans were accustomed for centuries to fight the barbarians, and to overcome them. The hordes of Germans popping for fertile countryside destroying and burning everything, belong to the popular imagination, not the story. The Visigoths under Alaric who sacked Rome 25 August 410, gathered in Pavia before the assault, we know that there were more than 20,000 women, children and old including: in front of them, there was an immense empire, which stretched the its laws, its order and peace from Scotland to the Persian Gulf, Sudan to the Danube and the Rhine But an empire that was already dead on his own, worn, rotten, spoiled, and the fall of the Roman Empire was not a sudden collapse, but the result of a corrosion that went on for centuries - there are states that have not even lived as long as it took Rome to fall.

To understand what happened, you have to be referred to as had been the Roman Empire and what he lived. Rome, a small village of poor peasants and brave, by dint of its neighbors contend the good land to wheat, had left without knowing it to conquer the world, building one of the largest and most long-lived empires in history without having a clear plan of expansion. Before subdued the closest neighbors to secure their borders, then went on to fight and defeat new enemies on new frontiers, initially only required to do what the circumstances of the moment. Italy submissive; Carthage, possible rival and mistress of the sea, destroyed, and finally, the entire Mediterranean basin subdued. The soldiers won enslaved the conquered countries made ​​lots, their wealth and their treasures - especially those of the East - brought to Rome. The Empire was "a civilization that did not fail nor force, nor in maturity, nor of manhood," as described by H. Urs von Balthasar (Das Ganze im Fragment and the Italian translation: The whole in the fragment, Jaca Book, Milan): Few civilizations were so sure of themselves, so conscious of his own greatness.

 The Rome of the time of Augustus and Virgil , that , in the following century , the good Emperors Antonini , wanted to come back and complete the civilizing work of Athens : Pax Augusta , the order everywhere , law, non-corrupt administration , a liberal state that reduces its services and, consequently , its needs , to a minimum. But his immense wealth were divided not between all the Romans , but among their leaders , the rich, senators and generals, perhaps two hundred families : people immensely , fabulously rich and powerful .

These Romans were not content to enjoy life with great goods at their disposal , but were careful to place the capital because it gave an interest. Then bought the land or made ​​themselves attribute by right of conquest and there produced the cheap grain , thanks to slave labor , thus forming possessions so wide that, for example , in the third century of our era , the whole of Tunisia current did not belong that seven people. And the small farmers , unable to withstand the competition of large landowners , they were forced to give up little by little , low- price their lands. However , the Romans were also coming silks from China , spices from India, Levante art objects that the West did not produce. So little by little , finished the conquest, the money looted in the East returned to the East. The Romans had nothing to export in exchange for their imports, but even if they realized , nothing could stop the bleeding gold. All this lasted about two centuries and suddenly , around 200 , it was realized that there was more money in the Empire. The Emperors could well devalue the currency , put lead in gold, multiply the bronze pieces , no purpose . The prices of the necessities of life soared . In 344 the Egyptian wheat cost 6,680 times more than in 294 . Half a century later , it would take 16 tons of bronze coins for to bay 25 kilograms. All trade became impossible . ( The tax burden , of course, went up : they were trying to make money in any way , and taxes hit both on the person , as his goods. Who lost his , in particular, was the middle class , the " bourgeoisie" , more and more harassed and impoverished ) .
What happens in the West today, reminds us of the fall of the Roman Empire, which was not a sudden crash but a long downward slide, propitiated by the idea of being invincible, and perhaps they were from the military point of view, but it is the nature the man who urges us to let our guard down - Rome is the metaphor of the decline Euro-American, and the Huns, the Germans, the Barbarians, the Vandals - is called  China, India, Brazil, Africa ...

Sunday, September 22, 2013


F Guzzardi

There was a house with a child who was playing a piano, a woman listened to him then people then kings and queens. In Europe There was the times of past Renaissance and the Baroque music, songs and liturgies, intense atmospheres, areas dampened by bronchitis incurable, by envy and arrogance, and pain that turns into art, and art in pain, until the unspeakable. The Europe cries and falls in love, he kneels and applauds, when in an anonymous Austrian house, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart leaves this world.

Born on January 27, 1756, in Salzburg, Austria, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was a musician capable of playing multiple instruments who started playing in public at the age of 6. Over the years, Mozart aligned himself with a variety of European venues and patrons, composing hundreds of works that included sonatas, symphonies, masses, concertos and operas, marked by vivid emotion and sophisticated textures.

Central Europe in the mid-18th century was going through a period of transition. The remnants of the Holy Roman Empire had divided into small semi-self-governing principalities. The result was competing rivalries between these municipalities for identity and recognition. Political leadership of small city-states like Salzburg, Vienna, and Prague was in the hands of the aristocracy and their wealth would commission artists and musicians to amuse, inspire, and entertain. The music of the Renaissance and Baroque periods was transitioning toward more full-bodied compositions with complex instrumentation. The small city-state of Salzburg would be the birthplace of one of the most talented and prodigious musical composers of all time.

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s was the sole-surviving son of Leopold and Maria Pertl Mozart. Leopold was a successful composer, violinist, and assistant concert master at the Salzburg court. Wolfgang’s mother, Anna Maria Pertl, was born to a middle class family of local community leaders. His only sister was Maria Anna (knick-named “Nannerl”). With their father’s encouragement and guidance, they both were introduced to music at an early age. Leopold started Nannerl on keyboard when she was seven, as three-year old Wolfgang looked on. Mimicking her playing, Wolfgang quickly began to show a strong understanding of chords, tonality, and tempo. Soon, he too was being tutored by his father.

Leopold was a devoted and task-oriented teacher to both his children. He made the lessons fun, but also insisted on a strong work ethic and perfection. Fortunately, both children excelled well in these areas. Recognizing their special talents, Leopold devoted much of his time to their education in music as well as other subjects. Wolfgang soon showed signs of excelling beyond his father’s teachings with an early composition at age five and demonstrating outstanding ability on the clavinet and the violin.

In 1762, Wolfgang’s father took Nannerl, now age eleven, and Wolfgang, age six to the court of Bavaria in Munich in what was to become the first of several European "tours." The siblings traveled to the courts of Paris, London, The Hague, and Zurich performing as child prodigies. Wolfgang met a number of accomplished musicians and became familiar with their works. Particularity important was his meeting with Johann Christian Bach (Johann Sebastian Bach's youngest son) in London who had a strong influence on Wolfgang. The trips were long and often arduous, traveling in primitive conditions and waiting for invitations and reimbursements from the nobility.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Global Crisis

F Guzzardi

The best way to explain the global crisis that shakes the world? Just look at the toys stores where .. 80% of the products are of Asian origin. The labor cost significantly more lowest of any western country, pushes companies around the world, to transfer the business in these countries. The economic power shifts eastward and nothing may stop the process.

The paradox is that, a structure of type communist react better to this problem, if the companies were run by government (as in the communist regimes) the problem would be easily resolved.
So we're paradoxical Democrat, who abdicated in favor of former communist regimes, which apply the liberal commercial system?

The democracy that becomes a victim of herself, demonstrating the vulnerability of ideologies that are always subject to revision in the light of changes in Geo political structure of the world.

Reviewing a policy of the state, which would also participate in a minimum contribution, which can prevent the emigration of large companies to other countries, in order to rebalanced the international markets with economic exchanges and the labor force.
Reduce the profits of big companies, increasing jobs and leveling wage standards, an equilibrium would allow better management of international markets with fair profits among the countries most wealthy and those who not.

Best of communist ideology, associated with the foundations of liberal democracy ... is not this the key to a better future?

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

The strategies of War and those of Peace.

F Guzzardi

The Syrian government seems ready to accept the Russian proposal to deliver chemical weapons in the midst of a flurry of diplomatic maneuvers around the world .
Foreign Minister Walid al - Moualem said that Damascus is ready to work to ' Russian initiative and adapt to the Convention which prohibits the use of chemical weapons."I am authorized to confirm our support for the initiative with regard to the Russian chemical weapons in Syria, in accordance with the Organisation for the Prohibition of Weaponschemical , "said Moualem , referring to a written agreement in 1992 and ratified by 189 countries that bans the production , stockpiling and use of chemical weapons.
Despite the usual saviors of the world " anti-American in any case " whose maximum strategy is to insult all this is that it is American and organize a collective prayer to purify their souls , Obama's strategy proves to be very effective and worthy of a great strategist . Personally, I did not recognize Obama in the role of the warrior who launched his country into a senseless war and able to light a fuse dangerous for the whole world and as I had not recognized millions of Americans.
" We are ready to inform about the location of chemical weapons , stop the production of chemical weapons and also show these objects to the representatives of Russia, the other States and the United Nations, " Syrian Foreign Minister added .
These days, some videos circulating on the web leaving assume that the rebels had used chemical weapons to kill his own people?Are they the same people have circulated videos that the responsible for the attacks on the twin towers of New York (  today is the anniversary ) was the President George Bush? The idea of the plot in any case is much more interesting than a reality so obvious that I would not need to comment.That there are no just wars is true, but there is no right even suffering and death inflicted on civilians and children , there are no prisons right , there is no death sentences just and many fine words are appreciable .. but unfortunately not functional if applied to balance of this world, which is based
(Yes ) on the political, economic , diplomatic , strategic and military .
In his address to the nation Tuesday night , President Barack Obama said he would work with other countries to push for Syria ` put its chemical weapons under international control , and finally to destroy them.Obama also said that he would order the military to stay in place in the region, to keep the pressure on Syrian President Bashar Assad. The United States, Obama said in his speech, are an " anchor of global security for nearly seven decades. "" The burdens of leadership are often heavy , but if the world is a better place today is because we have taken ," he added .
Meanwhile, in Syria , rebels and activists believe that the proposal to deliver chemical weapons is a ruse . Those who oppose the regime have told NBC News that Assad will get them getting away with it even after the use of chemical weapons that have killed hundreds of civilians." There is anger and disappointment on the streets now . We were faced with death and under fire for the last two and a half years , while the world was silent," an opposition activist in Damascus, said . "Even after the use of chemical weapons , no one has acted. We only have God to help us. "
The Secretary of State John Kerry will travel to Geneva , Switzerland , Thursday, to meet with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and further discuss Russia's proposal . NBC statement."I think that Bashar Assad has won this battle ," said a commander of the Free Syrian Army , adding that the United States does not seem to care about the loss of Syria. " There will be more casualties and more destruction. "The growing momentum for the plan of Russia, which had already been approved by China and Iran , came only 24 hours after Kerry raised a weapons handover at a press conference in London.Obama said Monday that the plan of Russia has offered a potential path that wards off attacks U.S. military , but Kerry warned that the only reason that Russia is credible solution is due to a threat of force .Kerry said he had been " the credible use of force " by the United States that " for the first time brought this regime to recognize that they have an arsenal of chemical weapons ," adding that the threat of military action "is more convincing if the Congress is with the commander in chief." elderly Senators - including John McCain , R - Ariz. , and Chuck Schumer, DN.Y. . - They have announced that they are working on a new plan that would authorize the president to use force only if Syria does not comply with a UN resolution to eliminate chemical weapons within a predetermined period .
In a further development , a spokesman for the Russian President Putin said he had discussed the weapons handover in a plane with Obama at the G - 20 summit last week, and a senior administration official told NBC News that the two had discussed the concept a year ago. The official said , however, that is not done nothing until there ` was the attack with chemical weapons on Aug. 21 that killed hundreds of people , only then the Russians have shown a willingness to put together a serious proposal .The solution to the crisis is not close, but I think we can finally talk about strategies of pace.  

The U.S. imperialists mentioned a certain press , does not exist except in the responsibility of a country that is based on democracy and has paid a heavy price to defend their freedom. A country that has made mistakes in the past but which proves to be the pivot indispensable for the global balance . The threat of Obama to Syria is proved to be a move on the world stage that may redefine the drawings , maybe less fragile than now but that makes it ever more indefinable the strategies of war and those of peace.