The Joy of Giving

As the new year approaches, many of us are speculating as to which form of self-improvement we should implement for the 365 days that lie ahead once that fateful chime rings in to the tune of midnight bliss. Whether it’s starting a diet and battling that bulge, quitting smoking and/or drinking, spending more time with family, being nicer to your siblings, or learning something new (the list goes on and on…), there’s something in particular which I feel could inspire anyone who takes part in it to, not only be filled with gratification but, be inspired and motivated to uphold their other resolutions as well.

During my interview on JLTV yesterday I briefly touched upon a significant problem affecting over 14% of the global population; a huge issue which impacts countless individuals right here in the United States, including inhabitants of Southern California. It also just happens to be one of the many problems I have always sought to help find a better solution for: HUNGER.

Reports show that hunger has now become the most urgent threat to children worldwide with almost one billion people projected to be suffering from it this year alone. The world, fundamentally, has the resources to provide for the current population but it requires correct cooperation for both the domestic and international community to deal with, and effectively resolve, this pressing matter.

The Jewish Federation of Los Angeles has already unveiled a blueprint to combat this ailment which affects more than 1.25 million people right in our very own backyard — to add perspective, that’s roughly the size of Philadelphia’s population. I am also pleased to announce that the Henry Jackson Society will be hosting an event on Monday, December 10th in which David Nabarro, Special Representative of the UN Secretary General for Food Security and Nutrition, and Coordinator for the Scaling Up Nutrition (SUN) Movement will draw upon his wealth of experience on the issues surrounding the Zero Hunger Challenge.

If you happen to be in London, you should absolutely attend our event there which will be held, as the majority of our events are, in Parliament. There’s so much you can do to help; even the smallest gesture has the potential to send ripples and form waves of positivity.

I urge everyone reading this message to do their part and help; whether it’s donating funds, food or your time at local food pantries, your gestures and acts of kindness will certainly leave a lasting impact. Be good. Do good. And you will certainly be rewarded with only good.

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Oinked to Death? A Sattire

porky_pig_350Everyone panic! But don’t forget to remain calm.

Could the swine flu be the pandemic that was predicted to wipe out the human race?

Could we be witnessing the beginning of the end as we know it? (The year 2012 — said to be the apocalyptic end of the world according to the Mayan calendar — is only 2.5 years away. So maybe the swine flu is the disaster that will start it all?)

Or could we possibly, maybe, perhaps, really just be making much ado about…nothing too major?

For starters, here are some swine-a-licious flu facts and stats:

  • According to a World Health Organization (WHO) scientist, 30-40% of the population will become ill in the next six months if the swine flu turns into a pandemic.
  • Both the swine flu found in Mexico and the 1918 Spanish Flu virus are of the H1N1 subtype — the most common cause of influenza in humans. And both viruses appear to have originated in animals — hence the reference to ‘swine’. Get it?.
  • Swine flu CANNOT be spread through consumption of pork products. But a sneeze is all you need to contract it.
  • According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) an estimated 36,000 people in America die from the REGULAR FLU alone each year.
  • So far there have been 155 cases of individuals infected with the swine flu in the U.S. and one death — a 23-month-old baby boy. (The very young and elderly are more prone to getting the flu since their immune systems are usually not very strong).
    • # of people confirmed sickened worldwide (according to the CDC, WHO and gov’t officials) — Mexico:343 / Canada: 51 / Spain: 13 /Britain: 10 / Germany: 4 / New Zealand: 4 / Israel: 2/ France: 2 / Switzerland: 1 / Austria: 1 / China: 1 / Denmark: 1 / Netherlands: 1
    • # of deaths worldwide: Mexico: 15 / U.S.: 1

So what are our government officials saying?

Well, when asked by Matt Lauer — co-host of MSNBC’s “Today” show — what advice he’d give his family members if they plan on traveling any time in the near future, Vice President Joe Biden basically said “JUST DON’T DO IT!” He also advised against traveling in “confined spaces” like airplanes or subways where a cough or a sneeze by a person infected with swine flu could spread the illness.

Shortly after, we learned that a member of Obama’s Energy Department has been showing swine flu-like symptoms just days after returning from Mexico. (EVERYONE SHUT DOWN THE U.S.-MEXICO BORDER!!!!!). And just in case you’re wondering — don’t worry — he hasn’t been withing 6 feet of President Obama.

One word: Q-U-A-R-A-N-T-I-N-E

Everyone relax.

 In a worst-case scenario — I repeat WORST-CASE SCENARIO –, we can expect to see approximately 1,700 U.S. cases of the swine flu over the next month. SO let’s just say this happens until the end of the year…that leaves us with about 11,900 people infected over the next 7 months. That’s STILL less than the 36,000 people who die each year of the regular flu. Plus, with all the dynamic advancements we’ve had in biotechnology — and word of a new vaccine coming out next month to combat the various new versions of the swine flu — most of those, hypothetically infected, people will not even die. This is nothing like what happened in 1918 or 1968. So it’s probably safe to say, you’re going to be OK. CLICK HERE

Follow these tips:

  • Wash your hands
  • cover your mouth when you cough and sneeze. If someone near you DOES happen to cough or sneeze…RUN AWAY
  • Get on your doctor’s good side (I jest)
  • Be grateful you live in the 21st century
  • And most of all…stay calm =)