Sunday, May 29, 2005

SECRET MEETINGS About Healthcare

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I am old enough to remember many things. One thing I recall like it was yesterday was Hillary Clinton chairing secret healthcare proposal meetings. The GOP howled like demented bats and crushed her using scary TV ads and accusing her of being secretive.

So, what is in today's health news?
At a time when Congress has been torn by partisan battles, 24 ideologically disparate leaders representing the health care industry, corporations and unions, and conservative and liberal groups have been meeting secretly for months to seek a consensus on proposals to provide coverage for the growing number of people with no health insurance.
Why? Why hide this?
By meeting in secret, the group has tried to shield itself from political pressures.
Excuse me, last time I looked at the propaganda we all swallow daily, this country was supposed to be the leader of the free world and a democracy. This means we should be open to political pressure. The people in this secret cabal are all politically connected up the yin yang. Many are outright politicians. On the far right and from the middle, they have united to stop what?

The left. We want universal health care like all other sane nations have. This means eliminating the various middlemen such as insurance companies and their vast infrastructure which exists to deny health care. So not one person from the left was clued into the existence of this conspiratorial meeting.
The participants, ranging from the liberal Families USA to the conservative Heritage Foundation and the United States Chamber of Commerce, said they had made progress in trying to overcome the ideological impasse that has stymied action on the problem for eight years. The group also includes top executives from AARP, the A.F.L.-C.I.O., the American Hospital Association, the American Medical Association, America's Health Insurance Plans, the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, Johnson & Johnson, the National Conference of State Legislatures, the National Governors Association, Pfizer and the Service Employees International Union.
The unions want to protect their gains, the drug companies want to protect their profits, the other entities have many goals none of which involve keeping us alive.

Our rulers want to use a front organization, in this case, working in secret conspiracy, to present us with a do or die choice: their way or the highway. The simple and obvious choice, to copy the systems of all other civilized countries, won't be offered to us, instead, a useless patchwork quilt of half coverage will be tossed to us and those of us who have full insurance and I happen to be one such, will see it greatly reduced while the uninsured will still be kept in a bad state. The goal is to reduce the money flowing through the health system without interfering with profit centers.
The 24-member group takes a pragmatic approach, members said, looking for incremental steps.

"People are uninsured for different reasons," said Dr. Mary E. Frank, the president of the American Academy of Family Physicians and a participant in the talks. "No one solution will work for everyone. We need different solutions for different groups of the uninsured."
One solution can work for everyone! I don't care why someone is without health insurance! There are a million ways to fall between the cracks. A simple single payer plan will eliminate around 100% of these reasons, ipso facto.

So of course, this is the one option no one is entertaining.

Saturday, May 28, 2005

DIET OF WORMS

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American Diabetes Association home page picture with logo: "Information you can trust"...but read on...

Hyperfat America grows fatter every year. And everyone wants to lose weight. And there is a huge industry devoted to losing weight and surgical proceedures and such all in quest of the holy grail: to look graceful and slim while eating the wrong foods.
So why did this study appear nowhere in the news headlines?
Tufts researchers recently reported that while the leading source of calories in the average American diet used to be from white bread, that may have changed. Now, according to preliminary research conducted by scientists at the Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University, Americans are drinking these calories instead. The research was presented in abstract form at the Experimental Biology Conference in April of this year and a more comprehensive paper is being developed.
Odilia Bermudez, PhD, MPH, studied the reported diets of a large nationwide sample of American adults. Among respondents to the 1999-2000 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), more than two thirds reported drinking enough soda and/or sweet drinks to provide them with a greater proportion of daily calories than any other food. In addition, obesity rates were higher among these sweet drink consumers. Consumers of 100% orange juice and low fat milk, on the other hand, tended to be less overweight, on average.

Bermudez, who is also an assistant professor at Tufts University's Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy, is hopeful that, "by helping to identify the main sources of excess energy in the American diet, this work may contribute to the development of much-needed strategies to combat obesity in the American public."

"These results are startling," she continued, "and indicate that we need a much better understanding of how the American diet has changed. Our paper will look more closely at the issue of sweet drink consumption and its relation to obesity factors among three of the main ethnic groups included in the national surveys: African Americans, Hispanics and non-Hispanic whites."
I printed this news release in full just so it can "see the light of day" so to speak, on Google. It is touching, reading this bulletin. The "much-needed strategies" of course means treating ads for soft drinks including "diet" drinks as toxic and therefore to be eliminated like cigarette ads were eliminated except they were not eliminated. Cigarette ads are all over the print media in huge amounts which is why we seldom see anti tobacco stories. The advertisers determine what is in the news as we detailed here on this blog. There are organizations dedicated to helping people who get diabetes and for preventing this terrible disease. Is the National Diabetes Association going to run this story and demand soft drink companies be banned from advertising and from schools?

Here is an urgent bulletin from the Organic Consumers Association (I recommend this group, by the way, in general): American Diabetes Society Has Been Bought Off By Junk Food & Soft Drink Lobby. After reading this url, I went off to visit the online site run by the NDS.

Seems like the story is true!
The American Diabetes Association (ADA) today announced that Cadbury Schweppes Americas Beverages (CSAB) is launching a three-year, multi-million dollar alliance to support the Association in its efforts to fight obesity and diabetes in America.

As part of the relationship, CSAB has committed to support ADA programs nationally and locally, including Weight Loss Matters and America's Walk for Diabetes. CSAB will incorporate extensive outreach activities using media, promotions, retail programs and grassroots events to increase consumer awareness of health and wellness, and the importance of making smarter nutritional choices.

"We are thrilled to have Cadbury Schweppes Americas Beverages join forces with the American Diabetes Association to help deliver crucial messages to consumers about healthy lifestyle changes," said Larry Ellingson, RPh, Chair of the Board of the American Diabetes Association. "Working together, we can get consumers the tools and solutions they need to reach and maintain a healthy weight and incorporate more physical activity into their lives -- all key to the prevention and management of type 2 diabetes."
Since when has exercise stopped diabetes? If you eat sugar all the time and run marathons, you will get diabetes and get it pretty fast, too.
As part of the agreement, CSAB will incorporate Weight Loss Matters healthy living messages in its promotional, advertising and point-of-sale materials. These messages will focus on the importance of reducing calories and controlling portion sizes and will promote the benefits of physical activity, with an emphasis on walking.

"This is a cooperative approach that we believe is necessary if we are really going to make progress in the fight against obesity and diabetes in America," said Jim Trebilcock, CSAB Senior Vice President - Marketing. "Many people with diabetes enjoy drinking soft drinks. We believe that our wide portfolio of calorie free beverages, including well-known brands such as Diet Dr Pepper, Diet Snapple and Diet Rite, give people choice and control in managing their diabetes."
"Many...enjoy drinking soft drinks"! Indeed. This is why they have diabetes! Duh and double duh! You know, heroin addicts like the heroin high. So should this make it OK? Cigarettes are addictive too. And alcoholics love booze.

You can walk until your shoes wear out and it won't do a bit of good if you have diabetes and are abusing your body by eating empty calories. Period. It is also impossible to "walk off the calories" if your legs are amputated. Most amputations in America are due to diabetes. And the whores running the ADA know this and they decided they want to live in beautiful houses and drive fancy cars and go to nice holiday resorts so why not trick people into dying? The Devil that is Death won't punish them in this life! So as millions of Americans succumb to having their legs chopped off, go blind and fall apart in general, these whores running an association that was supposed to save their lives...tells them lies. The terrible thing is, the official government web site on line tells people with diabetes to do to the American Diabetes Association for advice and help!

This is just like the economic realm: we tell ourselves lies and live within lies and we hope this won't bite back. When we get our economic legs amputated and go blind in the dark thanks to being unable to afford to buy energy, we will wonder what went wrong. We are emailing this article to both the American Diabetes Association and to these folk:
Plano, Texas-based Cadbury Schweppes Americas Beverages (CSAB) is a subsidiary division of Cadbury Schweppes plc (NYSE: CSG - News). CSAB is one of the largest producers of soft drinks and premium beverages in the Americas. CSAB's brand portfolio includes Dr Pepper, 7 UP, Snapple, Mott's Apple Juice, RC Cola, A&W Root Beer, Sunkist Soda, Canada Dry, Hawaiian Punch, Schweppes, Diet Rite, Slush Puppie frozen drinks, Clamato, Mr & Mrs T Mixers, Holland House Mixers, Rose's, Mistic, Yoo-hoo, Orangina, IBC, Stewart's, Nantucket Nectars and other well-known consumer brands. For additional information on CSAB and its products, visit http://www.cadburyschweppes.com/csab.
Ditto these people. They are criminals. Any con man who lies like they lie is a criminal. Of course, they give to the Bushes so they won't be prosecuted for any crimes against humanity.

But if there is a Heaven and a Judge up there, well, the Devil always gets his due.

Thursday, May 26, 2005

WHAT KILLS BIRDS Kills humans

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Royal Society for Protection of Birds

Many years ago, I read Rachel Carson's "Silent Spring". The book scared me and set me on a life long path to save the birds and harmonize with nature. My great godmother, Mrs. Mitchner (yes, that family!) was an early bird expert in the nineteenth century, she was born just before the Civil War began, and she taugh me all about birds. When she was 100 years old, she lived outside in her verandah surrounded by wild birds that she tamed.

I even had a hummingbird land on my fingers there!

Because of the dangers of pesticides, I dedicated myself to organic gardening. This meant research. Gardening with gooses and such.

Here is another reason to avoid pesticides:
Farmers and amateur gardeners who are exposed to pesticides run a higher risk of developing Parkinson's disease, researchers said yesterday.

Previous evidence that suggested an association with the disease was strengthened by the publication of research covering almost 3,000 people in five European countries.

Scientists found that heavy exposure to pesticides increased the chances of developing Parkinson's by almost 50 per cent.

The incurable disease is characterised by tremors, rigidity, shaking of the limbs and difficulty in walking. It is caused by the degeneration of nerve cells in the brain that send chemical messages to neurons controlling the muscles.
There it is! Another nail in the coffin of "kill bugs so they won't bug us". I was against pesticides because of the the delightful bird species that eat bugs need bugs to stay alive. We turn our farms into bug deserts, the birds die! Just for that alone, I was against pesticides. I built swallow houses on my home for them so they can eat bothersome bugs. I love watching them swooping and dropping coconuts....ooops.

I love swallows. And gentle fly catchers. A pair this week are building a lovely little nest right next to the computer room window. I watched them meet and court each other for two weeks, flitting in and out of the peach tree that grows there. Bugs get into my apples and peaches and I eat them anyway. Guess what?

My great godmother used to say, "Bugs are good for you, they are like vitamin B pills!" For healthy chickens, I feed them bugs by letting them out, guarding them from the fox that frolics across the fields while hunting mice, and we wander about, seeking bugs. They eat the grasshoppers and crickets. The turkey flock is even more vigilant in the quest for bugs. Turkeys love bugs and frogs and snakes. Didn't know that? Ever watch a flock of turkeys corner a large snake and then play tug of war? Or trying to swallow a large toad?

Living in nature is easy. When we lived in a tent (yes, for years, actually) a large toad moved in with us. He lived under the hot tub and I made him a little door. We knew when he went outside by the door creaking as he shoved it open. Sometimes, after a rainstorm, I would stumble over him in the dark outside. He would occassionally serenade us in bed, ribbit ribbit craaak. Our son grew up with Mr. Toad. He got quite large. He ate the crickets which is why I loved him and took care of him.

Now the toads live in the garden. I make little homes for them with rocks and boards and watering dishes. They eat the bugs. Surrounding the garden are plants certain bugs don't like. Marigolds and herbs. Farming with nature is possible. We have to figure out how to do this.

Organic farming means imperfect looking food that is healthy, even with the bugs.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

IF IT IS BAD FOR BUGS It is bad for humans

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WTO demonstrators (don't see much of that anymore, thanks to new paramilitary powers)

During the Vietnam war, I was shocked when a GI came into the free clinic complaining about mental instability. I was doing the intake form, asking him questions when he decided to tell me a funny story. While on the ground, as a grunt, a helicopter flew over and as a joke, dumped Agent Orange on him. And the kicker was, he couldn't wash it off because there was no water.

I was stunned. "You know, that is a poison," I said.

"No it isn't. It only kills trees, that is what they told us," he said.

"Things that kill trees can kill humans," I said, nearly in tears. "We all share the same genetic codes".

Why do so many powerful Americans encourage fundamentalists' little hobby horse of antidarwinism? It would seem odd considering that these same powerful people support genetically altering many living organisms. Note how the Christians say absolutely nothing about GM foods? Why Montsano doesn't bother them at all? One would think they would be howling over changing God's living creations. But far from it, they seem childishly pleased with all this. Oh goodie! We can raise our crops with virtually no effort!

Cheap food! No need to weed or grow carefully or rotate crops or work with all other living things! Turn nature into a genetic desert! Who cares! The earth is our and Mother Nature is our whore.

Unfortunately for humans, Mother Nature is not only very old, She is very powerful. And her laws are iron clad. We imagine we are circumventing them but we are only hurting ourselves in the bitter end.
Rats fed on a diet rich in genetically modified corn developed abnormalities to internal organs and changes to their blood, raising fears that human health could be affected by eating GM food.

The Independent on Sunday can today reveal details of secret research carried out by Monsanto, the GM food giant, which shows that rats fed the modified corn had smaller kidneys and variations in the composition of their blood.

According to the confidential 1,139-page report, these health problems were absent from another batch of rodents fed non-GM food as part of the research project.
This news is causing heart failure over here in America. Europe, already sceptical, is now outright going to refuse modern frankenfoods. And they are right.

Why can't we successfully digest frankenfoods? Simple: anything that is toxic to say, bugs, will end up being toxic to humans. This is because bugs and we all descended from the same ancestors, eons ago, ditto the plants, even longer ago. The basic interior structure of the cells of all our bodies are queerly designed by random chance plus mutations plus sheer luck to have various components that work in tandem in all living things. When we short circuit evolution we get all sorts of odd things that just might be very bad for us. This is because attacking other living things rebounds on ourselves.

Like the armor piercing depleted uranium. We win fights but the price is we poison the land and our soldiers who die of lung and brain diseases and their children are born deformed. Great.

Atlantic Monthly, for example, a once fine magazine now a lost right wing propaganda organ, tries hard to convince us frankenfoods are good.
Will Frankenfood Save the Planet?

Over the next half century genetic engineering could feed humanity and solve a raft of environmental ills—if only environmentalists would let it.
What follows is a long screed designed to stampede the reader into supporting this unproven food technology. Instead of long tests, as with any living system, has to take years for several generations and be tested on more than one ecosystem, they run cursory tests and then trumpet there is no problem.

Just last year, another propaganda organ that gets money from the GM food giants makes snide fun of the Europeans.
The European Union recently surrendered to sound science in the debate over genetically modified foods (GMOs). Specifically, EU commissioners lifted the six-year moratorium on GMOs by allowing the Swiss-based Syngenta to sell its sweet corn. David Byrne, the EU commissioner for health and consumer protection, said the corn "has been scientifically assessed as being as safe as any conventional maize. Food safety is therefore not an issue, it is a question of consumer choice."
Of course, there is precious little "consumer choice" here since American corporate entities used bribes to get Congress and the other rulers to pass laws allowing them to hide this information from consumers.

There certainly are no "frankenfood" labels on anything!

There are many things at stake here. I come from the ruling class and I assure you, we ate and still eat, carefully. Often growing our own food even as we jet set around the world, eating at the best places, etc. Trim, healthy and well cared for, the last thing we do is visit McDonald's. We call them "Mc Death's". All rich people hire chefs who carefully shop and religiously avoid food generated for commoners. The rich don't need labels. They know the names of the farms servicing them. I used to make money this way, selling to people who wanted genetically pure food. Honey, lambs, vegetables, chickens, carefully hand cultivated.

If you go to a store and buy eggs, you are getting garbage. Grade D or lower eggs. Trust me on this. My eggs are grade A, namely, the yoke is very bright gold, not yellow. The whites sit in a lovely oval when you crack the egg and drop it in a dish, not watery, the eggs, when you beat them, don't break down quickly but rather, have great whipping strength, I can tell the difference just from touching the shell. Shiny and very smooth is a good egg, bad eggs are chalky.

The horrible things being done to chickens...another topic. One that I feel very strongly about.

Frankenfoods. No.

Sunday, May 22, 2005

DOWNLOADING BUSH'S BRAIN

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Holy shades of Huxley, Batman! A chap in England thinks we can "evade death" by downloading our brains!

So...you download your brains using Microsoft and it get buggy or crashes? Bored teenage hackers break into your brain code and reprogram it with porno? Or maybe it is porno, actually. We all know what people really think about during the day. And what if the brains using computers go around doing stuff like gambling online, for example? Or eavesdropping? Or messing around with the porno sites?
Death could become a thing of the past by the mid-21st century as computer technology becomes sophisticated enough for the contents of a brain to be "downloaded" onto a supercomputer, according to a leading British futurologist.

However, he told the Observer newspaper on Sunday, this technology might be expensive enough to remain the preserve of the rich for a decade or two more.

Among other eyebrow-raising predictions by Ian Pearson, head of the futurology unit at British telecommunications giant BT, is the prospect of computer systems being able to feel emotions.

This could eventually involve such things as aeroplanes being programmed to be even more terrified of crashing than their passengers, meaning they would do whatever possible to stay airborne.

While the predictions might sound outlandish, they were merely the product of extrapolations drawn from the current rate at which computers are evolving, Pearson said in an interview with the newspaper.

"If you draw the timelines, realistically by 2050 we would expect to be able to download your mind into a machine, so when you die it's not a major career problem," he said.
Bush dies. The government downloads the man's brains into a computer. The computer comes alive and begins to talk. "Where are the porno sites?" it asks. Rove says, "We need your instructions for dealing with the budget deficit." The computer flashes on and off and then says, "This Russkie site says women have triple D tits. But I have to give them a credit card number, first. Go enter a number, will ya, Mr. Tops?" Rove gimaces. "We need your input, sir," he says again.

"Whoohoo, this site says they have stallion studs! I like milking them!" The computer flashes harder.

Well, you get the picture. No mind ever goes to waste. They will infest the internet, of course, or die of boredom. Soon we will see, "Naked Women Brains" sites and "Buy Brainigra in Canada cheap" ads and of course, the brains running the Nigerian bank scams will spend all their time flacking for money from other brains.

I see the world going bankrupt.

Sunday, May 15, 2005

Junk Food Battles

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Culture of Life News admits this: we are health food addicts. This means staying trim and trying to keep our health going, a real neccessity due to circumstances. It is obvious if anyone looks at our schools today that many of the students are suffering from eating disorders. The teen girls, to make themselves thinner, starve themselves and the the others are overweight. All Americans struggle with the weight problem and hope there is some magical solution that doesn't involve eating lots of fresh fruits and vegetables...which happens to be our personal diet, by the way.

We have eaten badly in the past. We know how much fun it is. But once one settles in and eats properly it isn't just easy, it is quite pleasurable.

In Texas, of all places, the place that pioneered making money for schools instead of taxes by allowing the big corporate food companies to directly sell to kids, is changing course, drastically.

The Texas commissioner for agriculture is not an obvious soulmate of Jamie Oliver's. Six-foot-two and a lifelong Republican, Susan Combs is a fourth-generation cattle rancher whose "shoot-from-the-hip" style oozes the spirit of the old West.

Yet Texans, as her old boss President George W Bush likes to say, can surprise you.

Susan Combs' new regulations for meals are the strictest in the US
In the teeth of fierce opposition from parents, teachers and her own party, Mrs Combs, 59, is taking on America's obesity epidemic with a school diet revolution that would have Oliver beaming with delight.

When Texan children went back to school last autumn, they found their school lunches had radically changed. Fizzy drinks were banned. Biscuits and crisps were in mini (aka British) packets. Pizza was to be a once-a-week treat - as were french fries. And those foods, along with ice-cream, will be phased out this year.


She is right, of course. This won't mean she will succeed. Many parents and schools pay lip service to healthy eating and bemoan how children are spoiled yet they are the chief engines of this spoilage. Go to any supermarket and watch parents buy food. The fresh food isles are smaller than the sea of prepared foods. The snack food/empty calorie drink isles have mushroomed greatly and now take up a good hunk of the stores. All heavily advertised and prettily packaged. If a store has a "health food" section it usually is a woeful thing which is increasingly filled with manufactured "food subsitutes". If you want a hamburger you might as well consume a cow.

Her bid to take on America's addiction to junk food is seen by many as an infringement of liberty akin to banning the right to bear arms. "Parents think they have a right to bring whatever you like to eat to school," she said.

"All of a sudden I will get 40 letters from one school telling me it's unconstitutional to stop them. 'Why can't we have French fries?' I'm asked.

" 'Well,' I reply, 'state law makes our children go to school and, by golly, we should do them no harm when they are in our care.' "

It is a colossal challenge. As the rest of the world has watched in horrified wonder, for more than two decades Americans have been getting fatter and fatter. In few states is the problem more acute than Texas, where more than a third of school-age children are overweight or obese - more than double the national average of about 12 per cent.


French fries, if they are baked, are OK if they retain the skin on one side and are not consumed in great quantity. The McDonald's version is toxic waste time.

This week, as Right-wing groups and the fast-food industry accused the "anti-obesity lobby" of peddling myths, Bill Clinton, long known for his fondness for the deep fry, began a campaign against childhood obesity.

The former president has lost more than a stone since he had quadruple heart bypass surgery last year. He has teamed up with his successor as governor in Arkansas, Mike Huckabee, who has lost nearly eight stone in the past two years and written the book Quit Digging Your Grave With a Knife and Fork.

Their campaign has drawn positive headlines but the real drive for change is coming from Texas.

Mrs Combs's new regulations for school meals are the strictest - and healthiest - in the nation. When the legislature blocked her plan, she pushed it through by fiat in a recess. Cue outrage from all sides.


We liberals know the conservatives love to meddle in our private affairs, the more private, the more they lust to interfere. When we warn them this sword cuts two ways they scream and continue onwards. Well, if the Pope or Bush can dictate when or if I have a baby then I can tell them what to eat and when to go to bed. Deal?

The religious right wants us to talk religion. Well, we should talk about those old Seven Deadly Sins. You know, the lust and rage and greed and obesity stuff. The stuff that Republicans do blissfully and indeed, consider prime steak virtues. The Christian religion tells us that we should control our animal urges and this includes stuffing our faces with fatty foods while others in the world starve to death.
"This is a battle we cannot afford to lose," she added. "We are huge. We are fat. We deserve our national stereotype.

"When I was growing up, the joke 'fat' image used to be of huge Russian women on the Black Sea. Now the image has moved to Miami."

She blames an array of factors for America's bulging waistlines, including the increase of portion sizes and the decline in exercise at school. "No one sweats any more. No one goes back to class stinking like a boar hog. We are all fresh and sparkling," she said.


This feast of goodies is a recent change in our culture. The Victorian adults ate heartily but they greatly restricted food for the children feeling that an overfed child would be a danger to growing up sober and civilized. So candy was tremendously restricted and indeed, appeared only on very special occassions. A slice of fruit pie was considered a huge reward which is why old cartoons feature children trying to steal the pie all the time. The Victorian kitchen like the medieval ones, was a locked place that didn't allow children to root about. Even up into the seventies, a stock cartoon gag was the one of a boy caught stealing from the cookie jar. Cookies were handed out one at a time, via mother.

Back then, that cartoon gag was old fashioned and woefully out of date. Today's families allow the kids to rampage through the kitchen unimpeded and everyone is eating a diet as if Spanky and his Gang are in charge of planning dinner. Halloween which was a time when children would dress up and beg for fruits and nuts has evolved into an orgy of eating masses of high calorie candies which rot the teeth and destroy the health.

It should be banned.

Here is another story about children and food:

Trying to coax children into eating their greens is a task that defeats most parents, however determined.

The answer, it appears, may lie in vegetable ice cream and frozen yogurts - the latest "disguise" for unpopular vegetables that would otherwise be left half-eaten on the plate or thrown on the floor.

It sounds unappetising, but when vegetables are mixed with sweeter products such as sultanas, mint and oranges, and presented in a tub or cone as ice cream, children take to them with relish. That is the theory, at least.

The ice creams will be launched soon but are being unveiled next Friday at the Baby Show at the National Exhibition Centre, Birmingham. Gerrie Hawes, of Fresh Daisy, an organic frozen baby food company which supplies Tesco, Asda, Sainsbury's and independent delicatessens, said: "A lot of parents have problems with vegetables in their children's diets so I created recipes introducing red cabbage, broccoli, carrots, parsnips and peas into a kid's favourite treat - ice cream.


My mother gave me some sweet pea seeds to plant when I was a child. I watched them grow and then ate the peas. This was often my "dessert". To go out into the garden and harvest these peas. We were also given 10 cents a week after doing chores suitable for our ages to buy one piece of candy after Church. My Victorian grandfather was outraged by this.

When healthy food has to be smothered in sugar they are no longer healthy. Popping a vitamin pill makes more sense in this case. If a child refuses to eat this means the child is no longer hungry. Off to bed! This cruel edict can be a problem but ignoring childish squeals of rage isn't that hard to do. Laughing helps. Children would happily eat only candy if you give them this. Giving the fat little tots more candy so they will eat something else is insanity. The photo of the little boy eating pea icecream in the article cited here says it all. He doesn't need to eat more. He needs to be hungry enough to eat what mommy serves him.

When overseas I have witnessed actual starvation. It sears into the mind. Starving children will eat anything, even plaster and dirt. Spoiled children hold out for candy. Many of the overweight children today come from families whose parents or grandparents went hungry. These parents are understandably anxious to make their children fat and happy. They will indulge in anything to see them eat and smile. I come from generations of upperclass Protestants. They were very set on not spoiling children. Since food was always there and there were never worries about it, the parents could restrict food at will and they did this with a vengence.

All in the name of making their children strong and clever.

Saturday, May 14, 2005

Disability Payments in Jeopardy

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grave
http://www.ancestralbranches.com/tombstones/gravestones.html

Culture of Life News had this a month ago:
I didn't see this headline. But there it is: Medicaid is going to be cut again, this time a huge whack of $10 billion. This means people will die or be much unhealthier. I once took care of a man who was released from the hospital after losing his job. He had no health insurance and his teeth were rotting so badly, he was literally dying from it. Rotting teeth is what shortened the lives of many humans in ancient times like about 100 years ago. I got him Medicaid help. He couldn't get his teeth fixed but he could get them pulled so he at least wasn't running a high fever and dying.

This is what is going to be cut. Rob is alive and well and working today and paying taxes. In the New World Order of the GOP, there would be no help and Rob would be dead and his little girl begging on the streets.


This editor's husband is prematurely retired on SS disability/workman's comp benefits because his boss shut off the air supply to an airtight room where he was working with toxic chemicals as a professional photographer at a prestigious museum. He can't work now nor can I since he can't be left alone for more than a few hours a week at best. Because of this, we watch the news closely when it concerns benefits for those unfortunate people who lose their health prematurely.

Recently, the GOP strove to cut Medicaid to the poor by $10 billion even as they unanimously gave the Pentagon another $81 billion for the neverending war in Iraq. This editor was sufficiently outraged to post this:

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Frist and DeLay as seen by a agnostia brain damaged person.

The entire "Culture of Life" broohaha the Republicans ran that ended with Frist and DeLay calling for the murder of judges and Bush flying to DC for an emergency passing of a bill to give Terri's parents unprecedented access to the highest courts in the land to overturn court rulings....here is reality:

Medicare Patients MAY NOT go before a judge to get treatment

A new federal policy will make it significantly more difficult for Medicare beneficiaries to obtain hearings in person before a judge when the government denies their claims for home care, nursing home services, prescription drugs and other treatments.


Or in another article here at Culture of Life News:

FINANCIAL NEWS

nurse
http://www.florence-nightingale-avenging-angel.co.uk/index.html

Everyone thinks, if you play nice, you won't get gored by an angry bull or ants won't crawl up your pants but in the real world anyone who isn't careful about these sorts of things learns the hard way. You don't play golf when you hear thunder. You don't swim in a rip tide. You don't go out in a blizzard in a bikini.

Krugman talks about medical reform and ends with this gem:

O.K., let's not turn this into a Bush-bashing session. President Bush didn't cause the crisis in American health care. His health care policies have made things only a little bit worse.

The point, instead, is that even though all the evidence suggests that we would be much better off under a system of universal coverage, any such move will be fiercely opposed, on principle, by conservatives who want us to move in the opposite direction.


Our rulers are using every sneaky tricky con game they can devise to prevent us from accessing medical care. They succeeded in stampeding us away from the more common and saner "single payer plan" such as 90% of the civilized world uses. Now they work like rats in the sewer trying to gnaw away at every level of our social safety net, despite the "Culture of Life" propaganda they spew we all know they want us dead and gone. If one isn't a cog serving their machine, one is Solyent Green, to be devoured or incinerated.

We posted here the sad story of the last Schickelgruber in Hitler's family who he murdered because she was mentally ill. Unlike him, of course, ahem. She was in a mental hospital and he had her gassed and burned after she was starved for a while, just to give it to her a tad more forceably.

Even as the right wing screams about Darwin they apply the concept of Nature red in tooth and claw upon the rest of humanity. This is why none of them were particularily moved by the Boxing Day Tsumami.

Now there is more bad news, courtesy of Buzz flash.com:

“For the second day in a row, the Bush administration has admitted that despite past assurances, they never intended to protect Social Security disability and survivor benefits,” said DNC spokesman Josh Earnest. “From steep benefit cuts for the middle class, to risky private accounts, and now no protections for disability or survivor benefits, it’s becoming clearer every day that Bush’s real plan is to dismantle Social Security.”

THEN
Bush: Disability Benefits Won’t Be Cut. “[Bush] said he has no plans to cut benefits for the approximately 40 percent of Social Security recipients who collect monthly disability and survivor payments as he prepares his plan for partial privatization.” [Washington Post, 1/16/05]

NOW
Bush Administration Won’t Protect Disability Benefits. “Future Social Security retirement benefits for disabled workers is a matter for negotiations with Congress as it drafts solvency legislation, the Bush administration said Thursday, declining to say whether they should be raised, lowered or left unchanged. ‘Any plan that maintains current disability benefits will need to address the transition to retirement, and those details will be worked out through the legislative process,’ said White House spokesman Trent Duffy.” [AP, 5/13/05]


When a girl in the Bush family was born disabled and sickly, when she died, her parents went out to play golf the same day and never mentioned her name again, we don't know it and Bush never utters it, either.



The men and women being destroyed in the Iraqi grinder are treated no kinder:

On good days, Cpl. Richard Twohig doesn't throw up or have to spend 12 to 14 hours hiding in bed with the shades drawn. The bad days come about once a week. The headaches are so bad, his knees buckle from the pain. Sometimes, his wife, Sang, has to help him into bed.
Twohig is a former Ranger and paratrooper who used to hunt, fish and play sports. He would dive under the hood of his car and make repairs or chase his 2-year-old son, Damon, or 5-year-old daughter, Elizabeth, around the yard.

Now, even on good days, too much noise or light brings on the headaches. Just the clanking of the weights at a fitness center on Fort Bragg makes him nauseated. His short-term memory constantly fails him, forcing him to have simple questions repeated. He has a constant ringing in his ears.

"I don't feel like a man anymore. I can't do normal stuff," Twohig said.


This is my husband. He is the same. Our lives have been greatly constricted by this mess. There is no money that can "fix" it. Ever. At least to keep the poor men alive and with a semi reasonable life is certainly required if we want to "support the troops" for example.

My husband and I noted today the fact that the magnet ribbons are missing from nearly all the cars now. Maybe people just want tax cuts and cut out the injured and let them die fast so they can have more tax cuts? No one ever knows when they might end up disabled. My husband was extremely fit when he ended up in the hospital, a wreck for the rest of his life. You never know.

This is why society protects people. It protects me and you. God bless if one never needs it ever. But god forfend if one does need help! You never ever know. The fickle finger of fate.

Twohig's mother, Marine Maj. Belinda Twohig, said what happened to him is an injustice. "It is sad to see that soldiers have to fight an uphill battle against the disability board," she said.

She is a Naval ROTC instructor at Florida A&M and sat on a Naval disability board.

"I was appalled. Being a Marine and having been in the military for 26 years, when young men and women are injured, especially in combat, they should be taken care of," she said.

Lt. Col. Nick Gnemi, the third member of Twohig's board, believes that he is entitled to 30 percent disability. He said that there is objective evidence that Twohig has headaches because of the accident, according to his minority opinion.

It is rare that there is a minority opinion in these cases, Waple said.

"The process is not arbitrary or capricious, but is run by a strict set of written rules and procedures for the review, documentation and rating of soldier's impairments," Garvey said.

Twohig said the Army told him when he joined that they would take care of him, and taking care of his family is part of that.

"I didn't expect them to mistreat me or anybody, even if I didn't go to Iraq," he said. "I think they are shafting everybody."


The Pentagon refused to recognize the danger of Agent Orange but were, after many years of litagation and hard work by vets eductating people, acknowledged even as we still refuse to help Vietnam's sick, the courts striking down war reparations yet again...with Desert Storm, the same story and now with this latest war, once again, the bean counters count out our heroes and send them into the gutter to die.

Useless. Get rid of them. So much for "support our troops". And anyone else, for that matter.