Today commences the 40-day Lenten season of fasting and penance preceding Easter. In a tradition dating at least to the 11th century, Christians will be marked by the ashes of last year's Palm Crosses to the exhortation: "Remember, O man, that you are dust, and to dust you shall return."
Tradition dictates that one give up a persistent vice. I mentioned last year that President Obama gave up capitalism. But the government could surely use a bit of fasting and abstinence this year - cutting back on pork even one day a week would be a good start!