It's not against the law to falsify the news - Capitalism out of control

FOX News told reporter: "We'll tell you what the news is. The news is what we say it is."

Reporters Steve Wilson and Jane Akre were first asked by FOX News and later bribed, to downplay a story they had on a cancer-causing growth hormone called Posilac which is growth hormone for dairy cows which is absorbed by humans through milk. The reporters decided to blow the whistle on FOX News and filed a law suit. After the ordeal was over, it was discovered in the appeals court that it's actually not against the law to falsify the "News."

Video takes 10 minutes and is well worth watching.



Daily walk lowers diabetics' heart risks

Reuters reported on November 15, 2007 on a study which appeared in the October, 2007 issue of the International Journal of Sports Medicine which found that people who with Type II diabetes who walk for 20-30 minutes per day have a much lower incidence of heart disease and stroke.

People with type 2 diabetes may lower their risk of heart disease by committing to a daily walk, new research suggests.

In a study of 102 adults with type 2 diabetes, Japanese researchers found that those who stuck with a daily walking regimen for 17 months had a lower risk of developing heart disease or suffering a stroke than those who stopped exercising.

The study participants, who ranged in age from 35 to 75, were instructed to take a 20- to 30-minute walk every day. Among the 64 who managed to achieve this, just 1 - or 2 percent -- suffered a stroke and none developed heart disease during the 17-month study.

In contrast, of the 38 participants who failed to stick with their exercise prescription, 7 -- or 18 percent -- developed heart disease or had a stroke.

Walking is a behavioral change which no physician or pharmaceutical company are going to make money from, and patients have to actually do something other than pop a pill or undergo medical procedures; they will actually have to make some life style changes to save their lives. Are people able and willing to do this? By and large, no, not without proper motivaton and encouragement which is sorely lacking in our culture.

The largest killers in our culture are behaviors which only the individual can change: drinking too much alcohol, using illicit drugs, eating too much, smoking, and lack of exercise. The most signicant changes in health care costs, productivity, mental health, and life expectancy could occur if people could modify the above behaviors.

I, myself, have Type II diabetes and I was walking pretty regularly 30 minutes a day until some Plantar Fasciitis in my left heel really slowed me down and then stopped me from walking every day. However, lately, with some Advil, it seems to be improved and I need to get back at it because even though I am 61, I would like to live another 25 years.

Link: MedlinePlus: Daily walk lowers diabetics' heart risks.

Drunk driving has killed 29 times the number of people killed in the World Trade Center attacks so far since 09/11/01

I am preparing a talk I am to give next Thursday, April 26, 2007 dealing with the ripple effects of DWI on communities in conjunction with National Crime Victim's Rights Week.

It has been 14 years since Brigd and Ryan were killed on March 10, 1993. Brigid was 5 and Ryan was 8. If they were alive today, Brigid would be 20 and Ryan would be 22. Not a day goes by that I don't think about them.

I thought I would post some of the data which I am reviewing for my talk. There will be several articles on my blog over the next few days.

17,000 Americans are killed very year in DWIs in the United States. Since the World Trade Center tragedy in which 2,973 people were killed, 85,833 have been killed in DWI crashes which is 29 times the number killed in the World Trade Center.

We are entering prom season, a time of celebrating with alcohol for many young people. Here is a very graphic image produced by MADD, Mothers Against Drunk Driving


Bert Sacks case going to U.S. Supreme Court

Kamalphilbertiraq20001 Amy Goodman, host of Democracy Now, interviewed Bert Sacks on 01/23/07 regarding his refusal to pay a $10,000.00 fine for bringing medicine to Iraqi children in 1997 when the U.S. sanctions apparently prohibited such humanitarian aid. It is estimated that over 500,000 Iraqi children died as a result of U.S. sanctions.

You can read more about Mr. Sacks' views on his blog, Bert On Iraq.

Mr. Sacks has refused to pay the fine and his case has been appealed all the way to the Supreme Court. You can listen to Amy's interview or read a part of the transcript of the interview by clicking the link below.

Link: Democracy Now! | Peace Activist Bert Sacks Challenges U.S. Fine For Bringing Humanitarian Aid to Iraq in 1997.

Muslim cab drivers in Minneapolis - St. Paul refuse to serve passengers carrying alcohol


Many Muslim cab drivers in Minneapolis/St. Paul area refuse to serve passengers carrying alcohol according to an article in the October 1, 2006 issue of the New York Times.

Hundreds of Muslim cabdrivers at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport may soon be required to put different colored lights atop their vehicles after refusing to take customers they know are carrying alcohol.

The proposal, which would allow airport workers to direct travelers to cabs more efficiently, needs approval from the airport’s taxicab advisory committee, and airport officials hope to have the lights ready by year’s end.

If the proposal is adopted, cabdrivers without the light who refuse a fare will be sent to the back of the line, which often means a three-hour wait.

Some said they would rather wait for another fare than carry a passenger with alcohol. “It is forbidden in Islam to carry alcohol,” said Muhamed Mursal, a cabdriver.

Pat Hogan, an airport spokesman, said a handful of drivers began refusing to carry alcohol 10 years ago. Now he estimates that three-quarters of the 900 airport cabdrivers are Somali, most of them Muslim.

Mr. Hogan said drunken passengers have not had trouble getting a cab, just the ones who mention that they are carrying a bottle. He said, “It’s slowly grown over the years to the point that it’s become a significant customer service issue for us.”

Link: Muslim Cabdrivers May Have to Signify Alcohol-Free Cars - New York Times.

Obesity Increases Chances of Early Death

Obese_people Reuters HealthDay reported on 08/23/06 on an article in the August 24, 2006 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine on the relationship of obesity and longevity. Everyone is aware, or should be aware, of the health risks associated with obesity, but a new study affirms the observation that obese people die young at significantly higher rates than people of normal weight.

Leitzmann's team found that people who were overweight when they were 50 had a 20 percent to 40 percent increased risk of dying prematurely. For those who were obese, the risk of premature death was two to three times that of normal-weight people. "That translates into a 200 to 300 percent increase in the risk of premature death," Leitzmann said.

The researchers did not look at specific causes of death, but Leitzmann said the primary causes of premature death in this group were heart disease and cancer.

The advice to reduce the risk of premature death is obvious. "People need to maintain a normal weight throughout adulthood and avoid developing excess weight," Leitzmann said. "And if you are overweight or obese, lose the excess weight."

I am obese and have been for 30 years. This morning 08/25/06 I weighed 266 down from 286 on July 14. My goal is 185. I am 60 and want to live into my 90s. So the fat has got to go.

Link: MedlinePlus: Obesity Increases Chances of Early Death.

Alcohol industry profits from underage drinking.

Reuters reported on May 2, 2006 on a study which was published in the May, 2006 issue of the Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine which found that the alcohol industry makes billions of dollars from underage drinking.

Underage drinking is worth nearly $23 billion a year to the alcohol industry, or 17.5 percent of all money spent on spirits in the US annually, researchers from New York's Columbia University report.

And abusive drinking by both underage people and adults may account for nearly half of all money spent on alcohol each year.

"What we see here is that there is a large conflict of interest for the alcohol industry between profitability and public health," Susan E. Foster of The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia told Reuters Health.

She and her colleagues used information from four national studies, including a total of 260,580 people aged 12 and older, to estimate the value to the alcohol industry of underage drinking, as well as the value of abusive and dependent drinking.

Just over one-quarter of underage drinkers met standard criteria for alcohol abuse and dependence, Foster and her team found, compared to 9.6 percent of those 21 and older.

Underage drinking and alcoholism are tightly linked, Foster noted. People who start drinking before age 21 are twice as likely to become addicted to alcohol, while the risk of becoming an alcoholic is four times greater among those who begin drinking before their 15th birthday.

The researchers estimated the value of underage drinking as $22.5 billion, while adult abusive drinkers accounted for $25.8 billion. Together, the value of underage and abusive drinking was $48.3 billion, or 37.5 percent of the total. Using a different dataset, the value was estimated at $62.9 billion, or 48.8 percent of all money spent annually on alcohol.

When Janet Jackson's breast was exposed during the Super Bowl half time show two years ago people went nuts and the FCC has fined CBS over 3 million dollars. And yet how many beer commercials did kids sit though that were oh so very engaging and entertaining during this "family hour" event? Had to be at least 15 or 20, right? And parents didn't make a peep. It's breasts they are concerned about not booze and yet breasts never killed anyone and beer kills tens of thousands of people a year in DWIs, alcohol poisoning, drunken accidents, etc.

So, people what's the problem? Breasts or booze? And who is engaging in the most insidious assault on our kids? That's right, its the breweries and distilleries. Janet Jackson's breasts should be the least of our concern when it comes to our kids watching the Super Bowl or any sports show. Its the breweries and distilleries glamorizing the use of alcohol as the way to have a good time, to celebrate life, to kick back and relax, to get the girls or guys and to "par - teeeeeeeeeeeee".

Link: Alcohol industry profits from underage drinking?|?

High mortality risk of anorexia nervosa confirmed

Reuters reported on February 23, 2006 on a study in the March 2006 issue of the International Journal of Eating Disorders which found that women with severe anorexia nervosa die at a rate of 9 times more than healthy women. The study also found that the earlier treatment is begun, such as in adolescence, the better the outcome, as compared to women who didn't begin treatment until they were adults.

Fichter and his team followed 103 women who had been hospitalized for anorexia nervosa at an average age of about 25. The researchers point out that anorexia nervosa patients who are treated during adolescence fare much better than those who undergo treatment as adults, like the women in the current study. Patients in this study had unusually severe disease and some resistance to treatment, and most had attempted treatment previously.

Overall, the study participants fared worse in the 2 years following treatment, then showed gradual improvement over the next 10 years.

At 12 years after hospitalization, almost 30 percent of the study participants still had anorexia nervosa. Just over half had no major eating disorder. Overall outcome was good for 27.5 percent of patients, intermediate for 25.3 percent, and poor for 39.6 percent. Seven patients had died, all from causes related to the disease.

Link: MedlinePlus: High mortality risk of anorexia nervosa confirmed.

Breastfeeding interferred with by marketing of infant formula according to GAO

The Governmental Accounting Office issued an interesting report on February 8,2006 on breastfeeding and how marketing of infant formula interfers with the achievement of the public health goals of Healthy People 2010.

Millions of U.S. mothers and infants each year forgo the health benefits of breastfeeding and rely on infant formula. Infants who are breastfed are less likely to develop infectious diseases and chronic health problems, such as diabetes and asthma, while breastfeeding mothers are less likely to develop certain types of cancer. Recognizing the health benefits of breastfeeding for infants and mothers, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Healthy People 2010 campaign has recommended that more U.S. infants be breastfed and that babies be breastfed for longer periods of time. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), the U.S. would save a minimum of $3.6 billion in health care costs and indirect costs, such as parents’ lost wages, if breastfeeding increased to meet these Healthy People goals. Breastfeeding rates are particularly low among infants who participate in the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC).

To view and/or download a copy of the report in PDF click here.

December is National Drunk and Drugged Driving Prevention Month

During 2004, alcohol-related motor-vehicle crashes resulted in 16,694 deaths in the United States, accounting for 39% of all traffic fatalities.

Can you imagine that?  16,694 deaths from drunk driving! That's three times as many people killed every year as were killed on 9/11, and Americans killed in the Iraqi war so far.

Deaths from terrorism are minute compared to the slaughter on our highways, and yet what does our President and Vice President focus on, being convicted drunk drivers themselves?

How many dollars do breweries and distillaries contribute to politicians to get favorable consideration when legislation proposed to limit drunk driving is being debated?

Friends, this holiday season you don't need to worry about being killed by terrorists or hurricanes or tornadoes, but you do need to worry about your being killed by your drunk neighbor, buddy, or perhaps, if you are a kid, a relative.

December is National Drunk and Drugged Driving Prevention Month (3D Month). During 2004, alcohol-related motor-vehicle crashes resulted in 16,694 deaths in the United States, accounting for 39% of all traffic fatalities. This amounts to one alcohol-related death every 31 minutes (1). Moreover, approximately 21% of all crashes that killed children aged <14 years in 2004 were alcohol-related (1), and nearly two thirds of children killed in alcohol-related crashes were in the same car as the drinking driver (2).

Link: Notice to Readers: National Drunk and Drugged Driving Prevention Month --- December 2005.