vodkaThere is no doubt that excessive consumption of alcohol was a critical health problem in the Soviet Union. Trapped in a grim purgatory empire, the serfs of socialism had few outlets for human expression and drinking provided one of the few means of escaping the endless rhetoric of Marxist paradise so contrary to everyday experience. The realm of Putin, the KGB officer, and his henchmen continues to inspire ordinary Russians to seek solace in vodka.

Voice of America News reported on September 1 that former British Prime Minister Tony Blair wrote in his newly published memoirs, A Journey: My Political Life, that he does not regret his decision to engage Britain in the war in Iraq, stating that he did not foresee the “nightmare” that has unfolded there. The book was published on August 31, the day that the United States formally ended its combat operations in Iraq, while leaving behind an “advisory” force of 50,000 personnel.

The marketplace solves so many “problems” that it is amazing how often people turn to government or resort to violence to force their opinions down other people’s throats. Giorgio Fidenato, an Italian agronomist, has been developing six strains of genetically modified corn seeds which he believes are resistant to the corn borer, a pest that annually causes extensive losses to farmers. The European Union has rules which allow Fidenato to plant these particular crops, but the Italian government requires special permission from the Agriculture Ministry.

For years, fast food restaurants have been under attack by consumer groups interested in imposing healthy choices on American citizens. Within the past two years, the Obama administration increased efforts to force Americans into living healthier lifestyles by way of legislation that impedes upon personal liberties. Cities across the country are passing trans fats bans, forcing retailers to look for healthier, but more expensive, alternatives. However, one group of researchers believes they have found a solution that would make both fast food restaurants and consumer groups happy: Administer cholesterol-lowering drugs with every meal.

In preparing for the 2012 Olympics in London, the British tourist office, VisitBritain, has issued a list of “obscure and demanding dos and don’ts” that it expect British workers, from cab drivers to hotel workers, to observe to avoid offending foreign visitors.

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