Posts made in September, 2012

When politicians practice medicine misery and death follow

Posted by on Sep 29, 2012 in Politics, Social Issues | 0 comments


Today we get to mix medicine and politics. Since conservatives who have no medical training and are utterly, horrifically ignorant about how human physiology works are happy to tell doctors how, when and for what conditions they may treat women  it seems appropriate.   I wanted to take a look, not at the lies told about how women can prevent pregnancy in the case of “legitimate” rape or other such vile poppycock but rather at the illustrious, or should I say shameful history of these kinds of willfully ignorant policies and their affect upon the population of the United States.

First we can take a look at Lyme Disease which the Romney campaign has decided can be used to generate votes in Virginia.

Why is he doing this?  Well it looks like a move to protect doctors from malpractice lawsuits.  This is the same kind of thing the GOP is looking to protect doctors who lie to women about the status of their pregnancy from.  It’s hideous and if it succeeds here it’s a gateway to protecting doctors who decide what kind of treatment to give someone based upon personal beliefs.  It might be tempting to think that is ok so long as they’re only denying pregnant women life-saving treatment , or say denying gays life-saving drugs or treatments but what about a racist doctor?  What about a 7th day Adventist who believes that blood transfusions are evil?

This is even more insidious though because it plays on ignorance.  Americans want a magic pill for everything and the abuse of antibiotics is already leading to drug resistant strains of diseases that were once easily treatable.  So not only is the treatment in the article damaging to the people undergoing it, it is damaging to society as a whole because it leads to more drug resistant strains of diseases.

The ignorant dismissal of facts that lead to these kinds of horrors is not new.  The south, especially Mississippi in the past, and North Carolina today have a track record of denying science at the cost of thousands of lives.  Just recently in North Carolina the legislature there decided to make it a law that the sea level could not rise any more.   Would that I were joking:

“Backed by real estate developers, the Republican-led General Assembly passed a law requiring that projected rates of sea level rise be calculated on historical trends and not include accelerated rates of increase.”

Like that’s going to change what’s about to happen on their coast.  What’s going to happen is all of the speculators who bought coastal land to develop are going to sell houses to people who are ill informed and make their money leaving home owners left holding the bag when their houses are swept out to sea.

I mentioned Mississippi.  In the early 1900’s a disease called Pellegra was killing people in the south so a doctor named Joseph Goldberg was dispatched to find out what was going on and hopefully find a cure.  He determined it was a dietary disease of some kind which flew in the face of the accepted theory that it was a germ.  To prove his thesis Dr. Goldberg ran an experiment that turned out exactly as he expected.  Despite the evidence the officials refused to believe him.  Their refusal to accept experimental data lead to thousands more preventable deaths, much to Dr Goldberg’s frustration.  Eventually it was discovered that the disease was caused by a lack of Niacin which is one of the B vitamins.

“In 1915, he conducted experiments on inmates at a Mississippi prison, who volunteered for the study in exchange for a pardon. Because it was a farm prison, its inmates had a fairly balanced diet. Goldberger’s volunteers were given the poor Southern diet he had seen associated with pellagra. That was the only difference. The other inmates ate the usual farm fare. Every effort was made to prevent and rule out infectious transmission. And within months, the volunteers came down with pellagra. Then the researchers tried to catch the disease from those already suffering — they couldn’t. The pellagra symptoms disappeared when the volunteers were given meat, fresh vegetables, and milk.

Despite this conclusive evidence, Goldberger had trouble convincing others what he had found. He spent the rest of his life looking for what exactly was missing in the diet that caused pellagra, but this would not be uncovered until after his death. He also was thwarted by the medical world’s obsession with infectious disease, newly understood and in some cases treatable, and the political world’s resistance to hearing that poor social conditions could cause disease.”

“Goldberger’s conclusions were correct but unpopular in the South because of their negative implications for the Southern way of life.”


Ignorance costs lives.  Willful ignorance is vile.  Hatred costs lives.  These articles, this evidence, demonstrates that we can draw a line of misery and death from the past to the present through political ideology, ignorance and science denial.  This is important because this is what conservatism is bringing to the table for the future of our nation.  This is what we can expect going forward if we do not face the truth and vote according to facts rather than fictions.

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Voter Suppression, a Mayor on Food Stamps and shame on the hatemongers

Posted by on Sep 28, 2012 in Getting it Wrong, Politics, Social Issues | 0 comments

I was going to blog about the couple in Texas who are challenging the registration of democratic voters in Ohio in an attempt to disenfranchise voters since their candidate is so weak.  “As Ouren declared during the group’s national summit in April, and repeated again in Boca Raton, his recruits’ job is chiefly to make voters feel like they’re “driving and seeing the police following you.” He aims to recruit one million poll watchers around the country. […]”  How un-American, how traitorous.  Also how short sighted.  These traitors somehow believe that once they have handed power over to their puppet masters they won’t be treated to the exact same shenanigans they are practicing on everyone who disagrees with them now.   Voting is our right, it is the foundation upon which our entire Nation was built.  Moreso than anything else America was founded upon the idea of a government of the people, by the people and for the people.  Again, this is where a philosophy of selfishness leads, this is where an ideology of looking out for number one leads.

The thing I finally decided to actually blog about though was the following story about Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton who attempted to live on food stamps for just one week.  By just the fourth day he complained of being tired and unable to focus because he couldn’t find time to cook food to eat and he had no money for anything for lunch.  Our Food Stamp program does not provide enough assistance to do anything but stave off the worst effects of starvation.  That’s why people buy cheap, non-nutritious food that is full of empty calories.  They are actually starving if that is their only source of grocery money.


We send children to school like this and somehow expect them to learn something.  But the real crime is that the Republicans want to slash the school lunch program.  They want to limit the number of calories in a school lunch which might be the only meal a kid gets for the day.

“House Republican leaders, fearing a divisive and messy intraparty floor fight, may want to hold off a floor vote until after the November elections to avoid being portrayed by conservatives as big government spenders who approved $969 billion in outlays over 10 years, and by liberals as the party that wants to virtually gut school lunch and food stamp programs.”

There are children who are trying to learn something so they can claw their way out of poverty and instead of helping them we as a Nation are continually electing leaders who slash funding for our schools.  We are standing by and watching as evil, short sighted and greedy politicians rouse an ignorant and often times delusional rabble citing government waste to gut programs that actually work to help build the future of our nation and its people.  They never cut defense spending.  They never think twice about committing to yet another war but they sure are happy to dismantle our public schools and gut the programs that give poor children a good meal once a day.

These people, these exact same people have the audacity, the Chutzpah to claim to be Christian?  Really?  And here I thought Jesus was called the Prince of Peace.  I mean I’ve been reading my Bible and I don’t see one place where it says “Blessed are the warmongers”  or “Blessed are those who balance a military budget on the backs of children and the poor.”  Frankly I’m not interested in a god like that.  I am offended that these evil false prophets dare to take the name of my God on their lips.  I am outraged that there are church-going people who just blindly follow along with these clearly false teachings.

Shame on them all.  Shame on the politicians who use hate and fear to garner votes and shame on the ignorant and unfaithful who fall for it.  Shame on the hatemongers and those who allow hate to fill their hearts.  Hate is very corrosive.  We are seeing that in America today.  Hatred is tearing our country apart.  Hate always destroys the vessel that tries to contain it.

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Green Bay Packers 1:1:WTF

Posted by on Sep 25, 2012 in Social Issues, Sports | 0 comments

I like the Green Bay Packers.  I also like the Seattle Seahawks.  Don’t ask me why, I just do.  That being said what happened last night was just awful all the way around.  I’m not going to pile blame on the officials, they do the best they can under high pressure circumstances.   I’m sure the official who made the call on the field thought he saw what he called.  I will pile blame on the NFL and the obscenely wealthy owners who chose the referee salary as the place to get cheap.

According to an article in Sports Illustrated, the average salary for an NFL player is approximately 1.19 million dollars per season.   This while the officials, the men who are responsible for seeing that the rules are followed who, as we saw last night, can actually change the outcome of a game despite players actions are paid less than a tenth of that.  There is so much money in the NFL it’s really an insult to pay the officials so little.  We’re talking table scraps for the people who have one of the most important jobs on the field.  Not because they don’t have the money but for the sake of greed.

This has cost the Packers a win they should have had and given the Seahawks a win they cannot in good conscience really claim.  That’s terrible for both teams.   Both teams played hard.  Both teams showed a lot of heart.  Yes mistakes were made and yes the Seahawks seemed to get a little fatigued in the second half but they never gave up and the Packers seemed re-energized in the second half.   It’s a crying shame that the game ended the way it did for both teams.  Football players are sportsmen first and foremost.   These are the same guys who nine times out of ten give the opposing player a hand up on the field after a hard play.  These guys deserve better from the NFL.  Sadly this is what greed looks like.  It’s the people who give their best to a goal that seem to get hurt by greed.  It’s the people who put their all into something that get screwed by suits at the top who don’t put in their own sweat or tears who just sit back, raking in the profits.  It’s interesting in the above linked article that they mention how corporations have used the same greed to screw their workers out of the same things the NFL is trying to screw the refs out of.

This is also what the 1% is trying to do to the entire country.  Our government officials, especially those bought and paid for by the Koch Brothers like the Tea Party members, are destroying the foundation of our country in much the same way incompetent and untrained officials have destroyed the Packers official win/loss record for the first part of the season.  We see the same thing in so many corporations where the CEO makes 700% of what the lowest paid worker does.  That lowest paid worker is oftentimes the person who is actually making the product, actually doing the work.  Think about that.

We cannot compete in a global market, we cannot build a robust future economy if we refuse to pay teachers a salary that will draw the best into the school system to teach our children.  Teachers have been the scapegoat of the Republican anti-government mantra for far too long and we are going to pay for it by losing our place in the global economy as a powerhouse of innovation and economic prosperity.  Instead we will see a continued slide into third world status where we have a few very wealthy people living well and cities surrounded by dumps and slums.  That is where greed is taking us.

We cannot call ourselves a free country if we disenfranchise people who don’t vote the way the Republicans or Tea Party members decide they should vote.  We cannot call ourselves a free country if we legislate what kind of health care half the population can access and insert government between a patient and their doctor.  That is not freedom.  That is the call that leads to what should be an interception but instead gives the offense a game winning touchdown.  And it starts with greedy people failing to properly support the people upon whose backs the  game rests.

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When time and money are both scarce and you need healthy meals try these

Posted by on Sep 24, 2012 in Theo-Philosophical Treaties on The Issues of The Day | 0 comments

A friend turned me onto this site. I know a lot of people need to cook healthy meals and with the economy the way it is everyone is struggling. Even if you can afford to buy more nutritious foods, saving a few dollars on the grocery bill can help east the budget in other areas.

Also I know that working full time leaves little time for cooking. The most precious thing we have is time so saving a bit of time while still preparing nutritious meals is something that I think many people will appreciate. To that end I would like to share a link to a web site that has some wonderful crock pot meals that can be assembled and frozen ahead. Then just throw everything in the crock pot and have a hot, delicious and inexpensive meal after a long day at work.

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Curiosity sends gorgeous pictures

Posted by on Sep 23, 2012 in Science | 0 comments

Of course the Mars rover Curiosity is sending home gorgeous pictures. Everything about Curiosity is a testament to the human spirit of exploration and innovation. We put a nuclear powered rover on an alien planet. That’s astounding and wonderful. So here’s a link to the latest article and some gorgeous pictures.

Also here’s a link to NASA’s website. NASA is one of the best things we have done as a country since we wrote the Constitution and declared our independence. It is a shining monument of what government can do that is right and forward thinking.

Go, look, be amazed and thankful. I personally love to look at the images from Hubble when I’m browsing the NASA website.

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