Government

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When I lived in Boston, I remember walking by the reflecting pools of the Christian Science Monitor building.  My parents said it was a wonderful newspaper but it was somehow “heavy” or scholarly, so they did not want to dig into it every Sunday. Although, they seemed happy to skim the issues I would bring home after my journeys to downtown Boston.

Recently, they ran a piece about how New York is going underwater.  Not that New York City is alone; there are plenty of cities that are slowly drowning.  There seems to be no sense of urgency whatsoever.  On the travel website above, for example, there is only a go-visit-it-before-it-is underwater kind of feeling.  I suppose it would be really nice to get some views under your eyelids before they disappear. If nothing else, this situation ought to serve to confirm that global warming is real science and not a political construct.  The polar icecaps are melting and sea level communities are sinking.  It might sound slow, but it is really quite fast, and things need to be done.

First, we need to applaud Mayor Bloomberg of New York City.  Last I heard, he was a Republican, and most Republicans believe that global warming is more Democratic propaganda than science.  All these storms upon the earth are sinking us pretty fast.  Bloomberg has appointed a commission to look at what this will do to New Yorkers.  I don’t necessarily believe that commissions actually work, but he is at least trying to do something.  That gets him points in my book. Read more on They Should Only Sink…

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Topic:  Research Fraud

For someone who has been a part of many clinical trials, I will be the first to admit that I have very little training in research design or statistics.  Oh, the hours I’ve spent surreptitiously curled up on the sofa of a doctors’ lounge or my own apartment, thinking that somebody paid somebody a lot of money to write “science” so I could figure out how and why I would know things.  It pretty much worked. There were a few mentions of statistics at my delightfully thorough prep school, but there was not so much as a word at medical school.  The research types were always hanging around medical school settings — their brains rented and services bought by the medical side of things — as they did not make much money.  We did receive some wonderful instruction from clinicians as to how to evaluate research literature and decide how to apply it to our practices.

I have a vivid memory of an endearing shy and spindly instructor during a course required for incipient biologists at Boston University.  He had Jewish afro hair, coke bottle bottom glasses, and a more than passing resemblance to a young Woody Allen.  Oh, how he despaired that we were mostly going to be money-chain doctors as opposed to truth-chasing scientists. I remember that once, and only once, did he reach fiery intensity in that class. “Nothing will be published unless the probability that it actually shows what it is supposed to show is greater than 19 out of 20, that means p>.05.  But nobody wants to admit what that really means.” Oh, how silent we were, on the edge of our chairs. Read more on Research Fraud Isn’t Reported To The Public…

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I am happy — really happy — with something the state of California has done.  It is a very, very good thing.  They have become the first state in the nation to ban therapy that tries to turn gay teens straight. I am armed with subjective histories.  My heart, if not my brain, goes to them first. My first private office in California was in San Diego and just happened to be near the center of the alternative lifestyle community of that fine burg.  I heard tear-stained stories from gay guys whose parents had “suggested” therapy of this sort.  One man, who saw me for treatment of a physical pain syndrome, told me how his parents wanted and believed in a heterosexual son.  He cried as he told me about their “Christianity” and their desire for him to father a family.  They would even try to encourage him on dates with girls when he felt “less than nothing.”  Curiously enough, I remember him as being part of one of the most highly committed and long lasting dyadic relationships I have ever known.  He had a loving male partner who brought him to every appointment and waited in the waiting room. When I approach a situation, I do not start with subjective data, however emotional.  I look farther.

I know that the searchers of the human genome for markers for homosexuality have come up empty.  This seems to mean that homosexuality is probably not genetic.  It does not mean it is not biological.  Last time I tuned in, people seemed to believe that homosexuality — at least in males — seemed related to stress during pregnancy.  I was still back in Europe when I read that the largest number of gay males ever born in a similar set of circumstances were the male children born to women who had been incarcerated in concentration camps. Read more on Good for California! “Straightening Out” Gays Is Now Illegal…

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I happened to be watching CNN when Mr. Buckley, the father of an unarmed Marine killed in  Afghanistan, was sharing his story.  He was fighting tears and so was the CNN reporter.  I was not doing too great myself.

I started the American Natural Health Initiative because I think American social behavior simply does not value human life.  It’s not hard to find instances that support this — ridiculous profits for big corporations, the sorry state of our healthcare system, industrial toxins that persist despite knowledge of their danger, or genetic engineering that puts profit above human health.  I am and will continue to be against all of these nefarious anti-human forces. These concerns are dwarfed, however, by the urgency to fight my own country about what the military is doing.  As I say this, please remember that I am an honorably discharged veteran.

First, I openly send condolences to the family of Lieutenant Buckley of Long Island.  I applaud his father’s courage, for it was obviously difficult for him to come forward.  I must thank him for doing so and assure him that his son’s death — which his son saw coming — was not in vain. Lieutenant Buckley was gunned down in the heinous manner of an execution.   An Afghan soldier, armed with an AK47, shot him on a basketball court where there were witnesses.  The Afghan soldier had informed Lieutenant Buckley — as he apparently had in the past — that he did not belong where he was.  For all intensive purposes, the perpetrator has “disappeared.” The stated purpose of the Marines – the unarmed ones in Afghanistan — is to help train our “ally” in police and military operations.  As far as I can figure, the unarmed Marines are supposed to be doing things like playing basketball with our Afghan friends — who are armed.  They even share a barracks. Read more on Marine Killed — But Was It A Casualty Of War?…

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No, you probably haven’t heard of the 51st state, the state of Jefferson.  It’s been removed from most history books and long forgotten.  An initiative that originated in the counties of southern Oregon and northern California, they even had their own flag.  It’s a square with two x’s inside of circles, meaning “we’ve been double crossed.”

Seal Of The Great State Of Jefferson

The people thought they had been double-crossed.

The issue surrounding the attempt to create this state was the same one that was at the heart of the American Revolution.  There was no adequate representation.

At the time, the people of southern Oregon and northern California were talking about a vein of copper that couldn’t be gotten out of this place — and still has not.  They felt decisions were being made by interests elsewhere, such as the southern California movie industry or the state government of Sacramento which was perceived as having little to do with them. Read more on Betrayed…

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I think we’d all agree that kids have tough choices to make at every turn, and this includes what they eat and drink.  A thick, sloppy sandwich served with fries and a sugary soda, or a salad of mixed greens and vegetables from every color of the rainbow with a side of vinaigrette.  Yeah, I get it.

But c’mon, does anyone really think that creating junk food laws for kids is going to help? Read more on Making Criminals of Overweight Children…

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What this man did was wrong.

We all know that killing civilians during war is wrong.

Does it happen?  Absolutely, all the time.  Unfortunately, punishing one officer will not stop it.  It will continue as long as we train and send soldiers into war.

If you or I were sent to a place where terrorist and guerrilla type warriors wanted to kill us, we would be scared.  Moreover, we would be deemed “crazy” if we were not scared. Read more on Thrill Killers In The Military…

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The car was parked but the engine was running.  Just like me – My body was idle but my brain was running.

As I’ve mentioned before, I love to accompany my husband to various stores, but prefer to let him run in to pick up whatever we need while I wait in the car.  I have another companion while he is gone – Public Radio.

I have a friend who is a talented stand-up comic.  She’s not in the “big time” but plays the circuit of comedy clubs across the country. One of her routines is about the time she and her then-husband (you’ll see why they divorced in a few moments) stopped at a convenience store for gas during a cross-country trip.

While husband was inside paying for the gas, my friend decided to go inside for a cold drink or a candy bar.  She wasn’t dressed formally, by any means – her hair was up in rollers to prepare for the evening’s performance, and she was wearing sweats. Read more on Funding Science Should Be A Priority…

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Recent research by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Health Statistics has confirmed a longstanding trend — namely that whites live longer than blacks pretty much consistently, and have for a long time. People have attributed this to the increased difficulty of containing blood pressure in black people — probably a genetic difficulty– which leads to increased rates of both stroke and of heart disease. Both have long been established as being deadly. Plenty of well meaning people have at least tried to deal with this. One of the well-meaning people is me. Many times I have seen people of color for other reasons, checked their blood pressure, been concerned, and referred them to appropriate blood pressure followup by general medical personnel. Of course, I have no way of knowing how many (if any) went where I told them, but I tried.  

I mean, I would tell them, “If there is something extra that can be done to make sure you are around for a  few more years, to see the grandchildren grow a bit or whatever is precious, then it should be done.”   I usually have no problem getting the person to agree, at least in my presence. Menthol cigarettes are a different kind of issue, and therefore a little tougher to be unequivocal about. Read more on Ban Menthols? Our Government To The Rescue!…

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