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Catalonia, Phillipines, California, and Sugar?

What's going on in the world and on your dinner plate.

Intro:​ Hey Cascadians, greetings to you all, be you in Oregon, Washington, British Colombia, Jordan, Beijing, or anywhere else in the world. Many, even in our own party, don't realize truly how wide reaching our support is. This week I decided to turn our attention outward to look at the world and how events are playing out. Catalonia's independence, the president of the Philippines, California's success, and the health impacts of the sugar in our current diets as approved by the United States government.

Catalonian History:​ Catalonia is a bioregion within the northeast of Spain. The people of Catalonia currently have seek independence from the greater state of Spain. The people of catalonia currently recognize themselves with the demonym of Catalan and see themselves already with an independence that Spain has yet to grant them. Catalonia has seen itself as an independent state and recognized an individualized history since the mid medieval ages. Starting in the 9th century Charlemagne formed the region out of the counties of Barcelona and several others to form a barrier between the Frankish Empire and the Muslim Ruled Spain, this initial formation of regions created a semi-independent area that owed allegiance to both the Frankish people and the people of Spain. This conflict and sectionalization led to a feeling of independence. In the 11th and 12th centuries Barcelona developed a prominent and dominant position in the union of the counties, began to call itself Catalonia, and, with the marriage between Ramon Berenguer IV and Queen Petronilla of Aragon, formed a dynastic union and joined the nation of Aragon and began to enforce and normalize the traditions and behaviors of Catalonia. In the 14th and 15th century the king Ferdinand I married the queen Isabella and formed the union for the Kingdom of Spain which put the Catalan people under the control of the Spanish. In the following years Napoleon briefly annexed Catalonia for France and then it was won back into Spain later on. In the 19th and 20th Century Catalonia became the industrial strong point point in Spain and has retained this strength to this day.

Catalan​ Independence: Currently, the people of Catalonia are generally unified in the decision to secede again from the Spanish Republic and live as an independent region. Much like Cascadia, the Catalan people have had a strong economy and it is on the rise due to the attraction to the Spanish coast, the attraction to Barcelona for vacationing, and the region's powerhouse industrial tech production, contributing nearly 45% of all Spain's industrial export. The strength of the region may lie in its industry but due to the region it inhabits they have a strong agriculture and a connection to the Balearic Sea which allows for import and export. The Catalan people live in an essentially perfect environment that could thrive economically and politically without Spain. Catalonia, on the surface, shares many qualities with Cascadia but has decades, and potentially centuries, of a head start. Catalonia currently has attempted secession multiple times; most recently in 2012 they developed a consensus by both political parties in the Catalonian to approve a referendum to secede set to propose in 2014 before the Spanish parliament. In 2013 the people and parliament of Catalonia approved a declaration of independence but early the next year the Spanish court system deemed it unconstitutional and the Spanish Parliament denied the request. Later in 2014 Regional President Artur Mas proposed a non-binding informal vote for independence with an over 80% approval rating. In 2015 they set to hold another vote to more accurately gauge feelings on independence even though the Spanish court system had already deemed these actions unconstitutional and illegal. Currently Artur Mas is on trial due to acting against the constitution especially since they had set a final, binding vote on the subject in September in direct opposition to the Spanish Governments' ruling. This was not so much a blow to the people but instead acted as a catalyst to an extent as nearly 40,000 protestors drove over 5 hours from Barcelona and the surrounding areas to Madrid to protest his trial and imprisonment. Furthermore Mas's sucessor, Carles Puigdemont chided the Spanish government for attempting to punish Mas for answering the call of the people and claimed that the informal vote acted as "a day of happiness and democratic strengthening." Currently the relationship between Barcelona and Madrid is ever tense and uneasy. As Spain further pushes for Catalonia to remain part of Spain, the Catalans feel further attacked.

Rodrigo Duterte, President of the Philippines: Rodrigo Duterte is the 16th and current president of the Philippines and is of Filipino decent. He is currently 71 years old. Duterte's view on drug use is extreme and a massive problem. Duterte currently has a policy in place that states that all drug users and sellers are to be arrested and killed if caught. His reelection campaign centered around his drug use policy which promised to kill tens of thousands of criminals and further urged people to assist by participating in killing the drug users. Prior to his initial presidential election he was a mayor and attracted massive attention from organizations such as the Human Rights Watch for killing street children, petty criminals, and drug abusers and utilizing an illegal vigilante group known as the Davao Death Squad. After taking office on June 30th 2016, he killed over 2000 between hi election and December 2016. A reporter for the New York Times spent 35 days in the Philippines and during those thirty-five days he witnessed or heard 57 murders. A local had this to say "They are slaughtering us like animals," after witnessing the killing of a man in the streets. This monster, meanwhile, had this to say in September "Hitler massacred 3 million Jews. Now there is 3 million, what is it, 3 million drug addicts (in the Philippines), there are," he said in a speech in his hometown of Davao City. "I'd be happy to slaughter them. At least if Germany had Hitler, the Philippines would have (me). You know my victims, I would like (them) to be all criminals, to finish the problem of my country and save the next generation from perdition." To clarify, this man has publicly likened himself to Hitler with a desire to kill three million people for drug addiction. This is a man that, currently, president Trump has commended for his ingenious drug war strategy and success with killing 4,500 people in five months. Not only has Donald Trump publicly commended and endorsed Rodrigo Duterte, he has invited the man to the White House, effectively showing his allegiance with Duterte. If nothing else, this shows that by forming our own independent state we would be putting ourselves on the right side of history by helping to stop this monster.

Calexit Approvals:​ Almost as if it were tradition, it is time to talk about Calexit. Currently the approval rating by the people of California for the Calexit is at an all-time high. 1 in 3 Californians approve the secession of California. The poll was conducted in late January of 2017 and had a sharp increase of 12 percent since the previous poll, this number has inevitably increased in the wake of Trump's Executive orders and approval for a referendum has gone through and set for April of 2019.

Sugar and buying locally:​ Recently I watched a documentary on the risks of consuming too much sugar so, to raise awareness of the dangers of excess sugar, I have decided to communicate to you guys about the many risks to health of sugar that have arisen due to an increase in the amount of sugar in foods that is caused by a difference in recommended sugar intakes as in the United States we don't have a guideline (check a nutritional facts label). The general global daily sugar intake recommendation for a 2000 calorie diet is around 10 grams per day where as the USDA recommends somewhere around 24 grams per day for women and 36 for men which causes health issues at that amount. These health issues have caused an increase in childhood and adulthood obesity and diabetes. This has been on a steady and growing incline since the 70's due to a scare about fat in our diets which resulted in our cutting back fats in food which wasn't the problem. Unfortunately cutting back on fats made the food taste horrible and as such they put in more sugar to compensate for the bland or foul taste which ended up contributing more and more to the obesity rates in this country. Now that people may be starting to become aware of this the companies who produce food are pushing back against change due to the addictive qualities of sugar which brings up the profit.

Risks of Sugar

  1. Sugar has been linked to the development of cancer.
  2. When we consume too much sugar our bodies can't regulate the sugar intake and both raises insulin levels and stores the sugar it can't process
  3. Causes diabetes
  4. Robs the body of energy
  5. Causes heart problems
  6. And contributes to ulcers and gallstones.

Sugar is highly dangerous and under the current ruling of the USDA is going to harm the people of the US which affects us. The people of Cascadia deserve much better than what we are given, we deserve to be healthy. While we currently don't have the power to negate the ruling we do have the ability to buy locally instead of from out of state.

By buying locally we support our economy and local farmers but more importantly don't deal with the same sugar problem provided by the United States.

Benefits to buying locally

  1. Local food helps to negate the harmful impact of allergies by helping to build the immune system for someone as they consume the local foods.
  2. Local foods are good for the environment as it maintains farmlands and other green regions that are owned by farmers, this keeps the government from purchasing and developing those lands.
  3. Buying locally also gives you safer and more delicious crops as they are purchased and sold in fewer steps with less time traveled for contamination and a clear and easy means by which to find out how food is prepare. Contamination and over processing ruins flavor. Furthermore this food is picked seasonally when it's appropriate to your region which bolsters flavor.

Overall, by supporting local grocers and farmers you can get better products that are healthier and help you to do your part for the cause.

Outro:​ Thank you for reading another blog, please share this one around and help to grow the support. I apologize for last week but I wasn't available. Thank you for the support and feel free to comment and subscribe.

Sources:

https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/289081
http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2017/01/24/poll-reveals-1-in-3-california-support-calexit.html

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-trump-california-secession-idUSKBN1572KB

http://www.dw.com/en/catalonia-approves-independence-referendum/a-35985408

http://bodyecology.com/articles/25_reasons_to_avoid_sugar.php

http://msue.anr.msu.edu/news/7_benefits_of_eating_local_foods

http://www.rodalesorganiclife.com/wellbeing/the-shocking-truth-about-how-much-sugar-youre-eating

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-20345073

http://www.yaleeconomicreview.org/archives/2223

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/02/06/world/europe/artur-mas-catalonia-independence-trial.html

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rodrigo_Duterte

https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2016/12/07/world/asia/rodrigo-duterte-philippines-drugs-killings.html

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philippine_Drug_War

http://www.cnn.com/2016/09/30/asia/duterte-hitler-comparison/

http://www.cnn.com/2016/12/03/politics/trump-duterte-phone-call/

http://www.nbcnews.com/politics/first-read/why-trump-s-call-philippine-president-rodrigo-duterte-matters-n691971

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/China%E2%80%93Philippines_relations

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