Thursday, December 14, 2006

Brain Farts

One of those days where life has a way of intruding into your existence with a series of frustrating events causing cranial angst and the dreaded mental block.

All attempts to come up with a viable topic of discussion have come up empty so far. But I will at least comment on current events and my friends can leave their opinions in the comments;

Democratic Sen. Tim Johnson of South Dakota was in critical but stable condition Thursday after emergency brain surgery, creating political drama over whether Democrats will control the new Senate next month if he is unable to continue in office. (He is recovering after brain surgery)

Bush said Wednesday he would "not be rushed" into a decision on a strategy change for Iraq,saying that in a round of consultations he heard both some interesting ideas and some "ideas that would lead to defeat."

Gunmen in military uniforms kidnapped dozens of people Thursday from a major commercial area in Baghdad, the second mass abduction in the capital in a month, and nearly 30 people were killed or found dead elsewhere in Iraq.

Todays' Democracy Now is worth a look see. HERE

OK team lets get blogging!


Micki said...

Medical conditions

Medical conditions are used to describe a patient's conditions in a hospital. These terms are most commonly used by the news media and are rarely used by doctors in their daily business, preferring to deal with medical problems in greater detail.

A common progression might look like this:

* Critical condition – High risk of death within 24 hours
* Serious condition – reduced risk of death within 24 hours, but requiring frequent observation
* Stable condition – no major fluctuation in vital signs
* Good condition – little significant injury; patient may be discharged shortly

However, a range of different terms are used, including things like, grave condition, extremely critical condition, critical but stable condition, serious but stable condition, satisfactory condition, fair condition, and others. Definition varies between hospitals, and it is even possible for a patient to be upgraded or downgraded simply by being moved from one place to another, with no change in actual physical state.


* What does it mean when a patient is in "critical" or "serious" condition? — The Straight Dope, 1999-10-18

DEN said...

Micki, vivid dreams are a way of gaining wisdom. Follow them and learn.

Micki said...

Den, back in the 60s, I used to have dreams about the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty. More like nightmares. O, ye of little faith!

Micki said...

Little known fact:

The NPT was proposed by Ireland, and Finland was the first to sign.

erling krange said...

More solar investment.
The Norwegian solar energy adventure continues, with Renewable Energy Corporation (REC) announcing heavy investment in their facility in Telemark.
REC said that they would be doubling their production capacity of silicon wafers, needed to manufacture solar cell panels, at their Herøya facility in Telemark County in southern Norway. The investment will make Herøya the world's undisputed largest facility for this type of production and will require a total expenditure of NOK 2.5 billion (USD 407 million). The two new additions to the existing plant will begin operation in Q4 2008 and Q2 2009. REC estimates annual sales income from Herøya will be between NOK 5-6 billion, according to a bulletin released to the Oslo stock exchange on Wednesday morning.

Aftenposten English Web Desk


No doubt, this is one of the growing energy industries of the future.

erling krange said...

Burgers are out
Norwegian youth are gradually phasing McDonald's out of their lives, with a healthy lifestyle becoming more fashionable.
According to new figures from the National Institute for Consumer Research (SIFO), 42 percent of the age group 15-24 ate hamburgers at least twice a month in 1999. In 2005 that number had declined to 29 percent, newspaper Dagsavisen reports. "Young people are afraid of getting fat and the hamburger chains are associated with a lifestyle that is wrong and outdated," SIFO researcher Annechen Bugge told Dagsavisen.
The new statistics also show a strong decline in consumption of sweet carbonated drinks, with sugar-free alternatives and bottled waters taking their place.
McDonald's is not surprised by the development, and have tried to adapt to it. "With the recent focus on healthier food and nutrition I don't think these figures are especially surprising. We adjust and follow the trends," McDonald's communications director Margaret Brusletto told the newspaper. She pointed out that salads are now an alternative at the burger chain, but said that they will never be a health food restaurant, and doesn't see a hamburger as unhealthy. SIFO researcher Bugge feels that the burger chains will not recapture their lost market share. "The golden age of traditional American fast food has past," Bugge said.

Aftenposten English Web Desk


Positive trend!

David B. Benson said...

Today I walked past a pickup truck with a bumber sticker which read "Proud to live in BLUE Washington".

Carey said...

Recently I had the most illustrous dream. I basically wrote a whole novel, (I wasn't actually writing it in the dream, it was more like a movie) spanning a generation and took place in a Middle Eastern country. It fascinated me.

This is an article that somewhat confuses me. See what ya'll make of it.

Israeli 9/11 Hijacker Believes Planes Were Being Landed By Remote Control

David B. Benson said...

carey --- People have made up all sorts of stories regarding the horrific events of 2001 Sep 11. What people OUGHT to concentrate on is the failings of the FBI and on up to Bush 43...

DEN said...

9/11 is a hotbutton topic that will eventually give up it's secrets, but not until the nazi cabal is out!

DEN said...


December 14, 2006 -- On Dec. 11, WMR reported the following:

"WMR has learned from one of its sources in New York that the Federal Reserve Bank of New York actively covered up massive money laundering by the Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation (HSBC) United Arab Emirate branch through its branch in New York. The money laundering consisted of questionable money movements through Dubai that involved individuals linked to "Al Qaeda," including those connected to the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the United States."

We have now learned that the Federal Reserve Bank in Chicago was made aware of possible terrorist-related money movements in a Federal Reserve Board of Governors letter sent to all Federal Reserve Banks a little over a month before the 9/11 attacks. The letter, dated August 1, 2006, requested all cognizant Federal Reserve components, including the bank's Financial Payments and Risk Analysis branches, to pay special attention to Suspicious Activity Reports (SARs) being submitted by component banks.

In fact, some Federal Reserve banks did notice something very suspicious prior to 9/11. There was a dramatic downdraft in Federal Reserve note currency holdings in July and August 2001 (this is referred to as the M1 money supply). In fact, the decrease in Federal Reserve note inventory was 35 percent, equating to billions of dollars. Essentially, there was a run on cash at the banks in the months before 9/11, an event not seen since December 1999, in the weeks before Y2K, and in January 1991, prior to the commencement of Operation Desert Storm in the Gulf.

Kissinger fingerprints all over suspicious pre-9/11 money movements.

In addition, there is also evidence that the run on cash was masked by using Argentina, which was experiencing a banking crisis, to evade detection by United States authorities. The spotlight on suspicious cash transactions was Banca Nazionale del Lavoro (BNL) SpA of Argentina, an Italian bank whose Atlanta branch featured prominently in the BCCI and U.S. Iraq weapons transfer scandals of the 1980s. In January 2006, BNL Argentina was acquired by none other than HSBC, the subject of attention by UAE Central Bank authorities for suspicious transactions prior to 9/11. In addition, Kissinger and Associates employed Timothy Geithner from 1985 to 1988. Geithner is now the ninth president and chief executive officer of the Second District Federal Reserve Bank of New York, the entity that stands accused of covering up information about suspicious "Al Qaeda" money flows from the UAE, Pakistan, and Saudi Arabia for possible terrorist-related purposes prior to 9/11.

"BNL was a client of Kissinger Associates. In addition, the late Democratic Rep. Henry Gonzalez of Texas stated the following on the floor of the House on April 26, 1991: "Henry Kissinger was a paid member of the Banca Nazionale del Lavoro Consulting Board for International Policy. Mr. Kissinger held this position during the height of the biggest banking scandal in United States history-$4 billion in unreported loans to Iraq by the Atlanta branch of BNL . . . Another interesting point to note is the timing of Mr. Kissinger's supposed resignation from BNL on February 22, 1991. That date is just days before the Justice Department announced a 347 count indictment against the former employees of BNL after an exhaustive 18-month investigation. This is quite a coincidence.

BNL was actually a client of Kissinger Associates at the same time BNL's former employees in Atlanta were providing Iraq with billions in unreported loans. This solidifies Mr. Kissinger's link to BNL and raises the question of whether Mr. Kissinger had knowledge of the BNL loans to Iraq.

As I stated last week, many Kissinger Associates clients were doing business with the Iraqis as a direct result of the unreported $4 billion in BNL loans to Iraq. Volvo, whose chairman serves on the Kissinger Associates board of directors, was doing big business in Iraq and it was the beneficiary of BNL loans.

BNL was also the largest participant in the $5.5 billion CCC program for Iraq. Between $800 and $900 million in BNL loans to Iraq were guaranteed by the CCC. BNL was also the second largest participant in the Export-Import [Eximbank] program for Iraq. Over $50 million in BNL loans to Iraq were guaranteed by Eximbank. Through these programs it became common knowledge in the export community that BNL was Iraq's prime banker in the United States.

I also reported last week that Mr. Lawrence Eagleburger had ties to BNL. While he was serving as president of Kissinger Associates, Eagleburger was a board member of a Yugoslavian bank that had a substantial and even incestuous relationship with BNL. BNL was a main factor in the growth of that Yugoslavian bank's operations in the United States.

Despite the many linkages between Kissinger Associates and BNL, Mr. Kissinger still maintains that he had no knowledge of the $4 billion in BNL loans to Iraq.

The fact that BNL was a client of Kissinger Associates also solidifies the link between BNL and two very high ranking Bush administration employees, NSC Director Brent Scowcroft and Deputy Secretary of State Lawrence Eagleburger. Mr. Lawrence Eagleburger and Mr. Brent Scowcroft were both high ranking employees of Kissinger Associates during the period BNL was a client of Kissinger Associates. In other words, part of their paychecks was derived from fees paid by BNL.

The fact that BNL was a client of Kissinger Associates also raises the question of how Mr. Eagleburger and Mr. Scowcroft reacted to the BNL scandal once it became known to them in the fall of 1989. I wonder if either thought it necessary to recuse himself from making decisions on Iraq once the BNL scandal was uncovered?"

Eagleburger is a member of the Iraq Study Group, replacing Robert Gates, Defense Secretary-designate, who was CIA deputy director at the time of the BNL loans to Saddam Hussein. Scowcroft is a close friend of group chairman James Baker. There are still many questions about the strange suicide death earlier this year of Phillip Merrill, the head of the Eximbank under George W. Bush.

We have also learned their was a dramatic spike in diamond market transactions prior to 9/11. Diamonds have been used by "Al Qaeda" and the Russian-Israeli Mafia to launder cash to evade detection by financial surveillance authorities. Many of the diamond transactions occurred in West Africa, a center for terrorist-related financing according to a former chief of the Mossad, who spoke to the editor on background.

Carey said...

Man, Den. Madsen's report makes so much sense. Kissenger, ay, ay ay! What a f$&^%ing criminal. Hell, they all are. This whole thing just gets so juicy, it's oozing with blood.

History doesn't repeat itself, it just rhymes. Mark Twain

Sidney Blumenthal wrote an excellent, erudite essay on Jeane Kirkpatrick and neoconservatism. You might have seen David Corn's post on her which reminded me of all of the reasons I disliked her but had forgotten. I'm getting old.

At any rate, this is top-notch.

Mugged By Reality

Once the warrior queen of neoconservatism, Jeane Kirkpatrick died a critic of Bush's unilateralism. Her death illuminates the conflicting legacies of the movement she helped found.

Micki said...

There are so many phantasmagoric stories that have cropped up regarding 9/11, that I think it's prudent to take most of them cum grano salis -- what we can't take with a grain of salt, however, are the ever-changing stories about why bush took the United States to war with his aggressive, unprovoked War of Choice on Iraq.

His constantly shifting "reasons" for his illegal War of Choice show malice aforethought, IMO. If bush and his boyfriends intentionally manipulated intelligence in order to get the Congress to authorize -- and the public (in general) to support -- military action against Iraq, to take control of Iraq, that could constitute a "high crime" according to the impeachment clause of the Constitution.

If one of the goals is to hold the bush administration accountable (through possible impeachment), rather than constantly focusing our attentions on 9/11 and it's attendant "unknowns," the focus should be on proving that bush and his administration deliberately misued national security intelligence data to start an illegal war. The Iraq War of Choice is ALL BUSH'S DOING -- there are no shades of gray on that.

It can be deemed a felony, a violation of federal criminal law, "to defraud the United States, or any agency thereof in any manner or for any purpose."

Section 371. Conspiracy to commit offense or to defraud United States:

If two or more persons conspire either to commit any offense against the United States, or to defraud the United States, or any agency thereof in any manner or for any purpose, and one or more of such persons do any act to effect the object of the conspiracy, each shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than five years, or both.

If, however, the offense, the commission of which is the object of the conspiracy, is a misdemeanor only, the punishment for such conspiracy shall not exceed the maximum punishment provided for such misdemeanor.

Carey said...


I'm 100% in agreement with you.

That article I posted on an Israeli hijacker was confusing to me. The real issues, however, are what you've just described.

Here's some marvelous tips on socially-conscious holiday shopping. It does go into why (news to me until Saladin informed me) farmed live trees are more environmentally friendly than fake. Darn it! I look at those fake trees with the prelighting and get envious. I hate lighting the tree. Talk about getting confused!

Happier Holiday Shopping

Micki said...

Sheesh, Carey! Mean Jeane K. was even further 'round the bend that many of the current, more active crop of neocons (if that's posible!).

Thanks for linking this article.

David B. Benson said...

carey --- You know that 'Christmas trees' are actually a Germanic pagan custom. You know, Odin and all that crowd. SO maybe you actually don't want any tree at all...

Carey said...

David B.

I have German in my background. Anyway, my son would never forgive me.


John Nichols

Everyone's talking about Illinois Senator Barack Obama and New York Senator Hillary Clinton and the man and the woman to beat for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2OO8.

So who beats the man who is generally portrayed as the leading Republican candidate for the presidency?

According to the latest NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll former North Carolina Senator John Edwards is the strongest contender.

The 2OO4 Democratic nominee for vice president who is pondering a 2OO8 run, tops Arizona Republican John McCain by two points: 43 percent to 41 percent.

McCain beats Clinton by four points: 47-43.

McCain beats Obama by five points: 43-38.

Notably, Edwards has positioned himself as the far more progressive candidate in the race: adopting a strongly anti-war position, aggressively criticizing presidential appointments to the Supreme Court and focusing on his concern about the growing gap between rich and poor in what he describes as "two Americas."

I told you guys I saw Edwards on Hardball's College Tour as was mightily impressed. Out from under having to campaign for John Kerry, I find Edwards a most viable candidate.

I really, really like his wife too. Elizabeth, I believe her name is--one smart tamale and down-to-earth. They both are. You know they lost a son. That can tear a marriage up, but not these two. She too, is a lawyer and suffered from breast cancer.

Micki said...

Carey, not so fast -- I don't think Saladin is the final arbiter on the Great Christmas Tree Debate. There are pros and cons to fake, cut-farmed, and Live Christmas Trees.

There's the drawback if the fake tree is made from PVC -- obvious. There are the labor laws in China and other countries that don't adequately protect workers. There is the risk of carcinogens.

One downside of farmed Christmas trees is that they often require repeated applications of pesticides over their growth cycles, which averages 8-10 years -- that's a lot of chemicals. They are also often sprayed with "greening" chemicals, that give them a uniform shade of green. While they are growing, and then discarded they may contribute to pollution of local watersheds. In addition to the run-off issue, the volume of trees that are discarded can be a huge waste issue for municipalities that don't have programs for pickup and mulching them into compost. (Organic Chistmas trees are not grown in great abundance -- except in the wild, but you'd better have a permit to cut one!)

An uncut, live ORGANIC Christmas tree is considered the most eco-friendly -- with its roots intact AND bought from a local grower, then replanted in your yard once the holiday has passed. However these trees don't always survive -- live trees should spend no more than a week indoors because they “wake up” and begin to grow again in the warmth of your home, then when it goes outside, it reacts negatively to the cold -- and eventually dies. *sigh*

I'm not the final arbiter, either...but...there is often more than ONE SIDE to an issue. Enjoy your tree!

Micki said...

Or don't have a tree at all!

Carey said...


Sal got her information out of the Vegetarian Times. The article I linked does mention that going organic is the best way. As I told David B., my son insists on a tree. He's the final arbiter!

Contrast the poll I just cited above with the front page of the LA Times citing the Times/Bloomberg poll which puts McCain at 50% vs. Clinton at 36%.

Micki said...


King Tut never saw a Christmas tree, but he would have understood the tradition which traces back long before the first Christmas, says David Robson, Extension Educator, Horticulture with the Springfield Extension Center.

The Egyptians were part of a long line of cultures that treasured and worshipped evergreens. When the winter solstice arrive, they brought green date palm leaves into their homes to symbolize life's triumph over death.

The Romans celebrated the winter solstice with a fest called Saturnalia in honor of Saturnus, the god of agriculture. They decorated their houses with greens and lights and exchanged gifts. They gave coins for prosperity, pastries for happiness, and lamps to light one's journey through life.

Centuries ago in Great Britain, woods priests called Druids used evergreens during mysterious winter solstice rituals. The Druids used holly and mistletoe as symbols of eternal life, and place evergreen branches over doors to keep away evil spirits.

Late in the Middle Ages, Germans and Scandinavians placed evergreen trees inside their homes or just outside their doors to show their hope in the forthcoming spring. Our modern Christmas tree evolved from these early traditions.

Micki said...

He's the final arbiter!

Go, Brandon!!!

David B. Benson said...

Aha! Another possiblity is to buy a live tree, root ball and all, and plant it outside right away. Decorate it there!

I know, carey, I know..

Micki said...

I like John Edwards, too. Real.

Micki said...

Dr. B -- that's exactly what I've done! The birds love it!

Micki said...

You might say, it's for the birds!

Micki said...

But, full disclosure, I also have a very small fake tree inside. Wee. Cozy. Amber pinecone lights. Soft. Peaceful.

DEN said...


David B. Benson said...

micki --- The birds will especially love it if you decorate the tree with popcorn strings...

Cª®ºL said...

What the F**K?!?!

Texas legislator introduces bill to allow blind people to hunt
MSNBC - Dec 11, 2006
AUSTIN, Texas - The blind would be able to go hunting if a Texas bill becomes law. The bill would allow legally blind hunters to use a laser sight, or lighted pointing instrument, which is forbidden for sighted hunters, according to State Rep....

DEN said...

Carol, they will probably do better than Deadeye Dick! Blind drunk!

David B. Benson said...

den --- I'm all in favor of shooting lawyers.

When they are in season of course...

DEN said...

If ya can't beat em, shoot em!

Micki said...

Popcorn and suet. The birds give it a "two wings up" review! (Both left.)

Micki said...

Oh, okay. There must be thousands of "legally blind" people just clamoring to get a hunting license, eh? This stupid bill isn't about making it possible for blind people to hunt -- it's about changing the code in Texas to allow headlights, spotlights, laser sights etc. so that the current hunters have an even greater advantage over the "hunted."

Pass the bill, then define what constitutes a legally blind hunter!

Talk about the blind leading the blind! Don't they SEE that this stupid bill is begging for abuse? Especially in the hunting "culture" of Texas.

Ready, AIM, fire! Oops.

Micki said...

I think some seeing-eye dogs are going to walk off the job.

Micki said...

There's more to life than politics...

December 14, 2006
Breast Cancer Rate Falls in U.S., Study Shows
By GINA KOLATA, The New York Times

Rates of the most common form of breast cancer dropped a stunning 15 percent from August 2002 to December 2003, researchers reported yesterday.

They proposed a reason for the drop that was just as stunning: It probably occurred, they said, because at that time, millions of women abandoned hormone treatment for the symptoms of menopause after a large national study concluded that the hormones slightly increased breast cancer risk.

The data analysis, led by researchers from MD Anderson Cancer Center and presented at a breast cancer conference in San Antonio, was based on a recent report by the National Cancer Institute on breast cancer incidence.

Investigators cautioned that they would like to see the findings confirmed in other studies, including, perhaps, data from Canada and Europe, and that they need to see what happens in the next years.

“Epidemiology can never prove causality,” said Dr. Peter Ravdin, a medical oncologist at MD Anderson Cancer Center and one of the authors of the analysis.

But, he said, the hormone hypothesis seemed to perfectly explain the data, and he and his colleagues could find no other explanation.

Donald Berry, head of the division of quantitative science at MD Anderson Cancer Center and the senior investigator for the analysis, called the connection between the drop in rates and hormone use “astounding.”

Overall, for women of all ages and all breast cancer types, the incidence of breast cancer, the second leading killer of women, dropped by seven percent in 2003, or about 14,000 cases, the researchers said. It was the first time ever that breast cancer rates had fallen significantly, something experts said was especially remarkable because the rates had slowly inched up, year by year, since 1945.

But the decrease was most striking for women with so-called estrogen positive tumors, which account for 70 percent of all breast cancers.

In July 2002, the Women’s Health Initiative, a large clinical trial looking at the use of one menopause drug, Prempro, made by Wyeth, found that women taking the drug had slightly higher breast cancer rates. The study’s findings were a shock to many women and their doctors. Until then, many had assumed that Prempro was simply replacing the lost hormones of youth. Within six months, the drug’s sales fell by 50 percent.

Scientists know that hormones can fuel the growth of estrogen positive tumors, which carry receptors for estrogen on their cell surfaces. The hypothesis is that when women stopped taking menopausal hormones, tiny cancers already in their breasts were deprived of estrogen and stopped growing, never reaching a stage where they could been seen on mammograms. Other cancers may have regressed, making them undetectable. And, possibly, without hormones, cancers that would have gotten started may never have grown at all.

“This could well be the study of the year in cancer,” said Dr. Otis Brawley, director of the Georgia Cancer Center at Emory University. He added that it also might help explain why black women got less breast cancer than white women – blacks, he said, were less likely to use hormones to treat menopause symptoms.

Dr. Brawley also said the findings might explain why cancer in black women was more lethal. Hormone- initiated cancers, he said, might be less deadly than those that arose on their own.

Dr. Berry said that the biggest effect overall was in women ages 50 to 69. That, he added, is exactly the group most likely to be taking menopausal hormones. In them, the breast cancer incidence, including all cancers, those that grow in response to estrogen and those that do not, fell by 12 percent in 2003.

The findings of the new analysis were supported by a separate study of breast cancer in California. That study, published in the Nov. 20 issue of the Journal of Clinical Oncology, found an even bigger drop in cancer rates in that state and a correspondingly bigger drop in hormone use starting in July 2002.

Other researchers, who saw Dr. Berry’s analysis in advance of its presentation in San Antonio today, say they found the hypothesis persuasive.

Susan Ellenberg, a professor of biostatistics at the University of Pennsylvania, said the new work was provocative. And, she added, “I certainly don’t see any obvious thing that says, ‘Oh, this can’t be right,’ or any obvious flaws.”

Until 2002, as many as a third of American women over age 50 were taking menopausal hormones. The drugs could relieve symptoms, like hot flashes, and were thought to protect against heart disease. Because the pills were known to slow bone loss, some women used them to protect against osteoporosis. Some women and doctors also believed, although there was no good evidence, that the pills could keep skin youthful, preserve memory, and make women energetic.

The use of estrogen to treat menopause took off in 1966, when an enthusiastic doctor, Robert Wilson, wrote a best-selling book, “Feminine Forever” and aggressively promoted it around the country. He insisted that estrogen, the feminine hormone, could keep women young, healthy and attractive. Women would be replacing a hormone they had lost at menopause just as diabetics replace the insulin their pancreas fails to make.

Before long, the drugs, and, in particular Wyeth’s drug Prempro, a combination of estrogen and progestins, became one of the most popular drugs in history.

The reversal of fortune for the drugs came in July 2002 when the Women’s Health Initiative was halted. Accumulating data from the study indicated that Prempro was associated with a slight increase in breast cancer and a slight increase in heart attacks, strokes, and blood clots. The drug slightly decreased the risk of hip fractures and colon cancers, but those benefits were not enough to overcome its risks, the researchers said. Health authorities cautioned that similar pills must be regarded as having the same risks as Prempro until proven otherwise.

The very next year, in 2003, the National Cancer Institute reported recently, there was a huge decline in breast cancer incidence. It was, Dr. Ravdin said, the largest decline ever for a single cancer in a single year that he was aware of. He and his colleagues wondered what was going on. Breast cancer kills an estimated 40,000 women a year and any decline in incidence can be important.

“We looked at all the possible explanations,” Dr. Berry said. He ticked them off: less mammography screening. But there was no sign of that. Increased use of drugs like tamoxifen that can prevent breast cancer. No evidence of that.

“There was some notion that it might be statins, but that was essentially debunked,” Dr. Berry said.

After July, 2002, Dr. Berry said, the rate “dropped each month and it is exactly where you would expect it to be,” if the declining use of menopausal hormones was the reason.

Dr. Barnett Kramer, the associate director for disease prevention at the National Institutes of Health, said that hormones are certainly the most plausible explanation for such an immediate effect on breast cancer incidence. Most breast cancer is fueled by estrogen and studies have found that removing estrogen, with drugs like tamoxifen that block the hormone, sharply reduces breast cancer rates within a year.

That was also the conclusion of the Christina Clarke, an epidemiologist at the Northern California Cancer Center and her colleagues, when they analyzed breast cancer rates in California. The investigators used data the group had collected for the National Cancer Institute’s cancer surveillance program and data from Kaiser Permanente, a large health insurer. Dr. Clarke said that they had data through 2004 and so could ask whether the decrease in cancer incidence in 2003 continued the next year. It did, she said, although the decline slowed somewhat, as might be expected

The investigators found that the breast cancer incidence fell even more in California than in the rest of the country — the overall drop was 11 percent in 2003 as compared with seven percent nationally. And, Dr. Clarke said, women in California also had been using more hormone therapy than women in the rest of the country.

Kaiser Permanente’s prescriptions for hormone combinations like Prempro fell by two-thirds in 2003 and prescriptions for estrogen alone dropped by one-third, Dr. Clarke and her colleagues reported. (Estrogen without progestin can cause cancer of the uterine lining so should only be used by women whose uteruses have been removed. While there is some question about whether estrogen alone increases breast cancer risk, the Women’s Health Initiative did not find such an effect.)

The heaviest users of hormone therapy were women in affluent places like Marin County where high breast cancer rates had long troubled women and researchers. Women in those areas also largely abandoned hormones after the July 2002 report and their breast cancer has declined accordingly, Dr. Clarke said.

Dr. Marcia Stefanick, a professor of medicine at Stanford and head of the steering committee for the Women’s Health Initiative, said she found the hormone argument persuasive and felt it helped clear up the pervasive mystery about the breast cancer rate in Marin County.

“Everyone kept saying, What is it? What’s in the environment?” she said. Now, she says, its becoming clear. “The best explanation is hormone therapy.”

Cª®ºL said...

Micki, thanks for posting that report. GREAT news! I copy/pasted your article and sent it to a friend of mine that got off the hormones in 2002.

I've never taken them. I decided to suffer thru hot flashes as Mother Nature intended I should. Eight longgggg years now of hot flashes. But, hey......*shrugs shoulders*

Cª®ºL said...

Back to the legally blind. Are you allowed or able to drive a car if you're legally blind? Hmmm?


Micki said...


Full Scholarship for Single Moms with Kids

A full scholarship for a single mom; housing
provided for mom and up to two kids (up to 9 yrs old).

Date: Tue, 05 Dec 2006 13:26:00 -0500

The Sister Thea Bowman Foundation has four scholarships for African-American single mothers and their child to attend the College of St. Mary in Omaha, Nebraska. The Foundation will grant $30,000.00 over a period of four years to the
College of St. Mary on behalf of each student.

In return the College of St. Mary will match that grant with an additional $24,000. The student must be an African-American single mother who has completed high school. She must be from low income housing. She must be able to gain admission to College of St. Mary. She need not
be Catholic.

Each student will have an African-American mentor during her course of study at the College of St. Mary. Each student will also have an African-American host family from Omaha who will also serve as mentor.

Each mother may take up to two children with her to the College of St. Mary. The cut off age for the child is nine. Each mother will live in a dorm with other single mothers and their children. This dorm has been especially renovated to accommodate mothers and their children.

If interested, please contact Mary Lou Jennings, Executive Director of the Sister Thea Bowman Foundation at:

Micki said...

Carol, I'm with you. Say "no" to big pharma.

It could save your life.

erling krange said...

There is something I don't understand. Senator Tim Johnson is in hospital after suffering from a stroke. If he resign, or even worse, die, the Republican Governor of South Dakota, Mike Rounds, will apoint a successor, which will be a Republican, for sure. To me, the strange part is: Did'nt the people of South Dakota elect a Democrat? In this case, according to common sence, a Democrat should take his place in the Senate. In the Norwegian Parliament, if a representative turn sick, there is a deputy from the same party ready to take his place. The balance in the Parliament is not to be interrupted. I think the difference is that, as I have mentioned before, we elect a political party, not a person, like you do in the US. Still, it does not seem right to me.

erling krange said...

US campaigners rally after botched chemical execution.
By Andrew Buncombe in Washington
Published: 15 December 2006
Anti-death penalty activists have seized on an execution in Florida where a prisoner took more than half an hour to die after requiring a second dose of lethal chemicals. Witnesses said that Angel Nieves Diaz, 55, a Puerto Rican convicted of murdering a bar manager in Miami in 1979, appeared to grimace before he died. Officials said it took 34 minutes for him to be declared dead - and then only after a second dose of three chemicals. A spokeswoman for the Florida department of corrections,said that the second dose had been required because Diaz suffered from a liver condition which altered the action of the chemicals. She told reporters: "It was not unanticipated. The metabolism of the drugs to the liver is slowed."
But Mark Elliot of the group Floridians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty, said the execution showed that the prisoner had been conscious after the administration of a supposedly lethal dose.
"Witnesses said he was moving and trying to speak," he said. "This shows that Florida has no business being in the execution business. Our system is broken from top to bottom." In a statement, Florida governor Jeb Bush said the state had followed correct procedures. He added: "A pre-existing medical condition of the inmate was the reason the procedure took longer than recent procedures carried out this year." Diaz's cousin told Associated Press that his family had not known that he suffered from liver disease. In his final appeal the US Supreme Court Diaz challenged the execution chemicals saying they constituted a "cruel and unusual punishment". His appeal was rejected an hour before the execution began. Moments before his execution, Diaz again denied the murder. There were no eyewitnesses but Diaz's girlfriend, had told police he had been involved in the killing.
The governor of Diaz's native Puerto Rico, which abolished capital punishment in 1929, had sought clemency for him.


I am against death penalty, not only because what is written in the article above, but because innocent people have been executed , for sure. This is why Brittain abandoned this years ago due to scandals around executions, where the right criminal confessed after the execution had taken place. To day, the only western democracy to uphold death penalty, is the US. Not all the states, but I don't know how many. I would like to know, though. And which ones.