A Few Bullet Points from the Arctic

I was chased out of my house this morning because the electric company cut the electricity in my neighborhood for maintenance. No worries, I thought: I scooped up my laptop and went off to a local coffee shop.

Unfortunately, I forgot Rule 1 of working on wireless at a local coffee shop in Israel, especially in July: bring a parka. They are keeping the place the temperature of a meat freezer and I can no longer feel my fingers.

Concerns about hypothermia have fatally compromised my ability to construct a worthy post, I’m afraid. So today I’ll provide you with some bullets, a la The Transom or Instapundit, in lieu of a full story.

– Now that they’ve turned their backs on Assad, lost a fortune in Iranian funding, and watched Morsi’s government fall, Hamas is on the ropes. The PLO (remember them?) is advising Hamas to “reflect” and “reassess its position.” The twist in Egypt’s fate has seriously destabilized Hamas, which is good news for Israel. 

– The pace of Lebanon’s descent back into civil war is accelerating. The start of Ramadan was marked by a car bomb in the parking lot of a shopping mall in Bir al-Abed, which is in the center of the Dahiyeh neighborhood of Beirut. Dahiyeh is the location of Hezbollah’s headquarters. Credit for the bomb was taken by a little-known Sunni group as vengeance for Hezbollah’s participation in Assad’s war against the Syrian Sunnis. Fifty-three people were injured by the blast, mostly women and kids out shopping before Ramadan. A major thorn in the side of Sheik Nasrallah and Hezbollah is Salafi cleric Sheik Ahmad al-Assir, whom we have discussed before here (and here). Remember that name.

– In our recent conversation about fat as the new gay, there was some discussion in the comments section about the health benefits of cutting out wheat. I’ve been trying it for the past few days in the hope that it might have some beneficial effect on rosacea. Lo, this morning, what does Ben Domenech hit me with but the news that gluten intolerance might be psychosomatic. I’m going to pretend I didn’t read that and keep on going. Thoughts?

  1. Scott R

    My wife has to prepare for the arctic, too – in July in Cleveland in an office building downtown. What are these people thinking???

  2. John Walker

    According to proponents of the paleo/primal/ancestral diet, there are a number of pernicious things about wheat besides gluten.  Here is a podcast interview Lew Rockwell did with cardiologist William Davis, author of Wheat Belly, describing some of the problems with wheat and his experience with patients under his care who eliminated wheat from their diet.

    I haven’t eaten any wheat (or dairy products) since December 2010.  Among the things I noticed is that a persistent dermatitis I had experienced since before 2000 completely cleared up and has not returned.  My blood pressure dropped from the low yellow into the middle of the green range.  Here is my status report written one year after the dietary change.  I didn’t write one at the two year mark because nothing had changed.

    In my experience and that of others I’ve communicated with, it may take as long as three months to see the full benefits of eliminating non-paleo foods.

  3. Zafar

    re the gluten: if you can convince yourself to forget what you read I think it’s a win win.

    re Hamas destabilising; is it possible that they could be replaced not by the PLO but by those people who are trying to establish an Islamic Caliphate in Rafah? (Like Asad might be replaced by something worse.)  Better the devil you know, or not? 

  4. Valiuth

    With regard to gluten intolerance. The vast majority of humans have no problems digesting gluten the protein in wheat that some people are allergic to. No one is allergic to starch as far as I know.  If you are in fact allergic to gluten you will suffer serious stomach pains. Trust me you will know if you are gluten intolerant because you will be miserable, and then you will feel fine after cutting it out. 

  5. Duane Oyen

    What’s the paleo diet?  Nothing but fire-roasted mastodon?

    I actually make a high-fiber, low carb pizza crust with mostly whole wheat flour, ground flax, oat bran, and added wheat gluten because that’s what you need to hold it all together.

  6. Ross C

    Alar…Sars…salt…Prozac…eggs…saccharin…electrical fields…red meat…fish oil…the four food groups…the food pyramid…the food plate… Oh let’s call the whole thing off.

    I firmly believe that if we left it up to scientist working through the media and government to advise us what to eat we would have mass starvation on the planet.  I would ask one question.  Did your parents live to a ripe old age?  What did they eat?  How did they live?

    The idea that we as a species could develop rampant asthma and peanut allergies and wheat allergies etc within a generation is ridiculous.  These are diseases of affluence, when all our needs our met we will create more needs.

  7. iWc

    I never understood the Israeli tolerance for heat in the first place. Climate has always been one reason why I have a hard time imagining living there.

    Syria, Egypt and Lebanon are all great reasons for Israel to be happy. Its enemies have never been less able to wage war.

    On the flip side, since now IT and not infantry count are what matters for Israel’s defense, the demand that the haredi serve in the army looks more and more like an excuse to make the religious integrate with the secular.

    Why is Israel such a socialist country? How come nobody there seems to believe in letting other people make up their own minds?

  8. Scarlet Pimpernel

    So you can take gluten for punishment?

    P.S. Is Lebanon coherent enough as a country that it makes sense to call it a civil war?

    Nations are not eternal. They rise and fall. They change. Peoples move. Borders change.  Perhaps Lebanon as it was known in the 20th century simply no longer makes sense.

  9. Misthiocracy
    Duane Oyen: What’s the paleo diet?  Nothing but fire-roasted mastodon?

    tumblr_mawa6wQVgd1rsfae9o1_500.pngJust as soon as the cloning technicians get the bugs worked out.

  10. Kay of MT

    Gluten intolerance is not psychosomatic. Gluten destroys the villi lining the small intestine which prevents absorption of nutrients from your food if you are intolerant. Gluten is found in wheat, barley and rye. My dad died at a very young age, my daughter came close to dying at 15 months, and my grandson at age 11 months, a nephew at 11 months. Gluten intolerance is not the same as being allergic to wheat. 

    A couple of books I would recommend, “The Gluten-free Gourmet” by Bette Hagman. She wrote about 4 or 5 more books later. Another book, “Against The Grain” by Jax Peters Lowell. There are several books with the same title so be sure of the author. If you are having dietary problems it may not be gluten, it just might be soy. Read “The Whole Soy Story” by Kaayla T. Daniel, PhD, CCN.

     I do not know if gluten intolerance and soy intolerance are connected but 2 of my dad’s grandchildren have Celiac and 1 great grandchild; One child and 2 grandchildren are soy intolerant and 2 great grand children. BTW, lactose intolerance frequently goes along with this as well.

  11. Larry3435

    Fat is not the new gay.  Fat is the new smoker.

  12. Duane Oyen
    kohana: Gluten intolerance is not psychosomatic. Gluten destroys the villi lining the small intestine which prevents absorption of nutrients from your food if you are intolerant. Gluten is found in wheat, barley and rye. My dad died at a very young age, my daughter came close to dying at 15 months, and my grandson at age 11 months, a nephew at 11 months. Gluten intolerance is not the same as being allergic to wheat. 

    …………………………

     I do not know if gluten intolerance and soy intolerance are connected but 2 of my dad’s grandchildren have Celiac and 1 great grandchild; One child and 2 grandchildren are soy intolerant and 2 great grand children. BTW, lactose intolerance frequently goes along with this as well. · 2 hours ago

    It is undeniable that people get celiac disease and it is a bad thing (my daughter has a nasty dairy allergy).  Any autoimmune syndrome is ugly- I take healthy doses of inhaled steroids for asthma.  And some people simply have overactive immune systems that react to multiple natural (and sometimes physically necessary) antigens.

    But in general, there is a lot of pop-nutrition around that blames gluten more often than it is really the culprit.

  13. Umbra Fractus
    Larry3435: Fat is not the new gay.  Fat is the new smoker. · 14 hours ago

    When they came after cigarettes, we said, “Just you wait. They’ll be trying to take away your snack food next.”

    They laughed.