SMOKINCHOICES (and other musings)

May 23, 2015

Crowdfunding @ Kickstarter

So, you think you have a pretty good idea for a new business?  If you could get it off the ground.  This story just might give you something to think about. .  . ya never know (unless you try)   Jan

 Crowdfunding

Everyone wants to be Kickstarter ‘Staff Pick’

By Joseph Pisani ASSOCIATED PRESS

 NEW YORK — Want your project to get selected as a “Staff Pick” on crowdfunding site Kickstarter?   Good luck with that.  

Entrepreneurs and other users have been seeking the secret to getting their projects selected as a “Staff Pick” — a designation that one of Kick-starter’s 98 employees can give a project based on his or her tastes.  

Charming a staffer has perks. Staff Picks can get prime placement on the website, be promoted to Kickstarter’s 2 million followers on Facebook and Twitter, or appear in Kick-starter’s “Projects We Love” email, which reaches more than 4 million inboxes every week.   That promotion can increase donations. Users get in on the promotional activity by updating their pages to add a bright green badge or banner they create themselves, even though Kickstarter discourages the practice.  

Kickstarter’s employees can also donate their own cash to a project. And this year, Kick-starter started using company money to fund projects it favors. That has users scrambling to figure out how to get picked.  

Shelley Harper scoured Google, read blog posts and studied past Staff Picks before launching a Kickstarter campaign for her business, ConQuest Adventure Journal, which makes journals that allow fans of comic-book convention Comic-Con to store autographs, photos and other mementos. Her research turned up no answers.   An email sent to Kickstarter went unanswered. Then, weeks after her campaign launched, it was selected as a Staff Pick. She still has no idea why.   “It’s like this magical thing, and nobody knows how it happens,” said Harper, who raised nearly $12,000 in July to help pay for the printing of more ConQuest journals.  

Kickstarter spokesman Justin Kazmark did not make other employees available to be interviewed but said workers spend much of their day keeping up with projects that are posted on the site and pick ones that have a good video, give colorful updates about the project or have an imaginative idea.   The company says there is no science to how its employees choose their favorite projects. Users find out they were selected in an email: “Someone on the Kickstarter team loves your project,” it says.  

The picks vary widely. Recent ones include a company that makes jewelry from wool, a maker of homemade marshmallows and a company that makes an electric toothbrush that tells users if they are brushing their teeth correctly.  

But Kickstarter does offer clues. Earlier this year, it started using its blog to tell readers what kinds of projects its employees like. Those from Missouri have a chance of impressing staffer Shannon Ferguson.   “I basically just try to back projects from my home state of Missouri,” she said in a July post. Another employee, Katie Needs, said she backed Nerd-wax, a wax that can be rubbed on eye glasses to keep them from falling off the nose, because she’s “a lifelong four-eyes.”   Ferguson and Needs didn’t respond to an interview request.  

Kickstarter rival, Indiegogo, says it does not pick favorites. Instead, projects get promoted to the front page of its website and in emailed newsletters based on what projects are popular among its users.   Why the difference?   Kickstarter wants to play a bigger role in the success of startups, said Paul Levinson, a professor of communications and media studies at Fordham University. It can claim to be an earlier supporter of a startup if it makes it big. A success can help build Kickstarter’s reputation as the place to go to raise cash, he said.  

Some Staff Picks have become very successful. Oculus VR, a maker of virtual-reality headsets, raised more than $2 million on Kickstarter and later sold itself to Facebook Inc. for $2 billion.   But owners of some past Staff Picks say it’s not as big a windfall as they hoped. Harper said ConQuest got a 4 percent bump in donations a week after it was picked, much lower than she expected.

Elemoon, a maker of high-tech bracelets that light up to alert wearers of a call or text, said just 11 percent of its $122,725 in donations came directly from being featured prominently as a Staff Pick on Kickstarter’s technology page.  

Still, every dollar counts on Kickstarter. If a project doesn’t reach its financial goal, the creator doesn’t get to keep any of the money pledged. For example, if someone aims to raise $10,000 in 30 days, but makes it to only $9,990, the project gets no funding. If a project doesn’t reach its goal, Kickstarter feels the pain, too. It doesn’t get to charge its 5 percent fee unless a project passes its goal.  

The chance of a project getting successfully funded jumps to 92 percent if it’s a Staff Pick, up from about 50 percent for non-Staff Picks, said Ethan Mollick, a business professor at the University of Pennsylvania. He studied 48,000 projects but isn’t sure if Kickstarter picks projects that would have been successful anyway.

Kickstarter has also started showing its love by opening its pocketbook. Since March, Kickstarter has given money to nearly 180 projects.

It gave Dr. Stadnyk’s Hot Sauce $30, a day after the hot sauce company was also selected as a Staff Pick. It raised $10,089, above its $6,000 goal, to bottle more hot sauce flavors.

Alex Stadnyk, a co-owner of the company, sent three bottles of the hot stuff to Kickstarter’s Brooklyn offices, a reward that comes with the $30 donation.

“I guess I’m doing something right if they backed it,” says Stadnyk.

_____

ONLINE:

Kickstarter’s Staff Picks: https://www.kickstarter.com/discover/recommended

Projects Kickstarter has backed: https://www.kickstarter.com/profile/kickstarter

May 22, 2015

Fresh Progressive “UP” in OH

Political junkie that I have been over the years, it is hard not to enter in more, but I promised myself – it just takes too much out of me. . .guess you just can’t take the passion out  – old  or otherwise.  Ex-Governor  Ted Strickland, whom I liked is running for Senator here in OH and had thought I’d vote for him.  But have been reading about this young 30 year old PROGRESSIVE with a fine education, civic smarts and a whole lot of new, modern and critical thinking.  I’m seriously deeply interested in him.  

When I realized the Ohio  Democratic Political Party had endorsed Strickland along with the Police Department, many other supporters and they were especially upset over this upstarts “brass you-know-what” to get in there and go for it anyway, well, it was easy to come to the conclusion – – ‘that’s my kind of man.’   Besides, I’m not forgetting how the leadership of the Ohio Democratic party put us in a very deep hole with that good-lookin’ x-fed agent who most certainly was never carefully vetted to become Governor of Ohio which is why Kasich claims to have won by overwhelming margins in order to distinguish himself in his current run for President.  His opponent didn’t have a drivers license — oops for around eight years. .WOW.  Nobody noticed.  Didn’t keep his speaking engagements and didn’t even show up – just walked away.  Boy was I flummoxed.  Couldn’t even find anyone to talk to in the party!  So, I don’t think I’ll be concerned what the “party” thinks in this state.  . . just those I’ve voted for and trust.  Any way, Sherrod Brown could use a bit of help

So, at this point,  P.G. SITTENFELD is looking damned good to me. . .(and I think he may have a real and quite significant future ahead of him.  Guess we’ll see.     Jan

 

P.G. Sittenfeld supports marijuana legalization proposal

                                                                                                                           COURTNEY HERGESHEIMER | DISPATCH PHOTO
P.G. Sittenfeld: “In 2016, I believe rank-and-file Democrats want a competition, not a coronation. And I am running to give them a voice and a choice.”

By Darrel Rowland  The Columbus Dispatch

 P.G. Sittenfeld achieved his goal on Thursday to set himself apart from the two better-known Ohio politicians also running for the U.S. Senate — but not the way he planned.
The 30-year-old Cincinnati City Council member mounted the west steps of the Statehouse to offer “an unapologetically progressive vision” as well as “differences in perspective” from fellow Democrat Ted Strickland, 73, and Republican incumbent Rob Portman, 59. He even joked about becoming the first senator able to write and send his own tweets.Rejecting the push by some Democrats to get him out of the contest, Sittenfeld declared, “The race has just begun.”But talking to reporters afterward, Sittenfeld strayed from his agenda and made even bigger news by announcing his support for the ResponsibleOhio’s for-profit plan to legalize marijuana and amend Ohio’s constitution to allow 10 investor-owned marijuana-growing sites across the state. The group is well on its way to gathering enough petition signatures to put the issue on the November ballot.Sittenfeld said he has long advocated “getting rid of old and broken laws” that allow billions of dollars to flow to “brutal drug dealers and cartels” when it could be used for building roads and bridges. He favors “decriminalization, legalization and tight regulation” of marijuana.His stance places him at odds with both Strickland — the former governor who backs legalizing only medicinal marijuana — and Portman, who opposes full legalization.

“What I support is a whole different approach with regard to drug use, and that is spending less money on the prosecution and incarceration side and more money on prevention and education, which I know works,” Portman said on Thursday on his weekly media call.

Sittenfeld also pointed to his staunch advocacy of gun laws — Strickland touted his “A” rating from the National Rifle Association in his last statewide campaign five years ago — as well as his support for mandatory paid sick days — Strickland headed off such a measure bound for the ballot when he was governor.

And Sittenfeld became the first of the trio to publicly back a possible amendment to the U.S. Constitution on campaign finances to stem the floodgates opened by the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision and ensuing rulings. But he wouldn’t mind if a Superpac that can receive unlimited contributions was formed to help his 2016 run.

During an 11-minute speech entitled “The Future I See,” the 30-year-old Princeton and Oxford grad said, “I am running because Washington is broken — and I believe fixing it will require new faces and fresh voices — the kind of new leadership that will make this campaign an exciting conversation about the future, rather than a stale argument about the past.”

Although he didn’t mention that the Democratic establishment in Ohio and Washington is solidly behind Strickland, Sittenfeld asserted that voters “don’t need to be told who their party’s nominee should be.”

“History shows — and great Ohio Democrats like (former U.S. Sens.) John Glenn, Howard Metzenbaum and (former Gov.) Dick Celeste proved — that testing our candidates in a primary almost always makes us stronger in a general election,” Sittenfeld said. “In 2016, I believe rank-and-file Democrats want a competition, not a coronation. And I am running to give them a voice and a choice.”

drowland@dispatch.com

WTO gets to make our Laws?

Don’t be ‘Pushed around’ — Make own decisions

Received this today from the CENTER FOR FOOD SAFETY.   I know that most of you [like me] want to make decisions like this for me and my family  without some person or Organization on the other side of the world dictating my choices.   This is just more of the same ole, same ole. . . the corporate structure using its “power” to get what it wants any way it can.   .  .  .  just STOP IT!  Let your elected official (Senators, congressmen and the President know how important this is to all of us — especially YOU.  Don’t wait – this is happening now.   Jan

Jan,

On Monday the World Trade Organization (WTO) issued a final ruling against the U.S. country-of-origin labeling policy that allows American consumers to know where their meat is born, raised, and slaughtered.

Consumer and farm advocates fought for more than a decade to get Country of Origin Labels (COOL) for our food — and won! Due to overwhelming consumer and farmer support, country of origin labeling on our fruit, vegetables, and meat became mandatory in the U.S. as part of the 2008 Farm Bill.

In light of the WTO ruling against the U.S., House Agriculture Committee Chairman K. Michael Conaway (R-TX) has introduced legislation (HR 2393) to repeal the Country of Origin Labeling requirements for beef, pork, and chicken. The House Agriculture Committee approved the bill yesterday by a 38-6 vote, sending it to the House floor for consideration.

Don’t let Congress take away our right to know where our food is produced!

Our food safety policies in this country should not be dictated by a closed-door trade tribunal. The WTO has essentially overruled our democratic law making process and demonstrates how trade agreements—like “fast track” approval for the secretive Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement currently being debated in Congress—can lower U.S. food safety standards.

We need Congress and President Obama to stand up for country of origin labeling, not use the WTO ruling to give giant meat producing companies what they’ve wanted all along – secrecy when it comes to where your food was raised.

Rather than throw the baby out with the bathwater by repealing COOL, the U.S. should slow down and take the time to find a legislative solution that works without sacrificing the fundamental purpose of existing U.S. law and regulation.

Now is the time for President Obama to make a forceful defense of these sensible consumer labels and to tell Congress that he won’t sign any legislation that undermines, weakens or eliminates country of origin labeling.

Tell Congress and President Obama to stand up for your right to know where your food is coming from and to protect country of origin labels!

Thanks for everything you do,
Center for Food Safety  

dividers41

Contact Us

CFS welcomes your questions and comments. Please contact us at office@centerforfoodsafety.org, or at one of our offices.

National Headquarters
660 Pennsylvania Ave, SE, #302
Washington, DC 20003
phone (202) 547-9359 | fax (202) 547-9429

May 17, 2015

Acid not relevant 2 ulcer?

To Your Good Health

Acidity of what person eats has little effect on ulcers

Dr. Keith Roach

Q #1: I have recurring stomach ulcers, so I have been researching acid-alkaline diets to resolve the problem. I am frustrated, as some research indicates that a given food is acidic while another source indicates that it is alkaline. How do I know which is correct?

A: Almost all ulcers are either caused by an infection with the bacteria Helicobacter pylori or considered a side effect of a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medication. The acidity or alkalinity of the food you eat has little, if any, effect on developing stomach ulcers.

The reason you see confusion about whether foods are alkaline or acidic has to do with what is being measured. Lemons, for example, are highly acidic; however, if you burn them, their ash residue is alkaline. Though interesting, this has no net effect on body pH — which is tightly regulated by multiple systems.

Q#1:  This Querant asks how to tell the acid/base content of a given food when the experts seem to disagree.  The answer doesn’t seem to remove the confusion, in my opinion.  But this balance within the body has much to do with digestion and metabolism which has great deal to do with health.  A problem lies in the differences between  acid food and acid-forming foods. Acidic foods usually taste acidic (sour or tart) whereas acid-forming foods do not necessarily.   An example could be meat and fish which are  acid-forming foods.   Milk is an alkalizing food, but milk products such as hard cheeses and cottage cheese are acid-forming.  

Its true that our body has different mechanisms to maintain its pH balance to a level which allows our blood to remain between 7.3 and 7.5 which is slightly alkaline, normally.   We have developed away from  the eating habits of our  distant ancestors who quite generally grazed and nibbled throughout the day (having little time to sit down to a meal) and what was available was berries, some plants and tiny insects and worms and the occasional small animal.  And as it happens, that frequent ingestion of small amounts of food was healthful, satisfying and sustaining.  Stuff changes.  Come forward a few thousands of years and we now indulge huge (non-compatible) mixtures of foods that stuff us, but seldom nourish us properly.  Our ancestors didn’t have our digestion problems  as most do nowadays.  

I have discussed “food-combining” and its extreme importance frequently.  You see, foods which can’t DIGEST TOGETHER in the stomach go undigested to the intestinal track where it further putrefies, creating gases which we then ‘pass’  (‘farts’).  They say everyone does it — not true, only those who don’t understand food-combining and what the body needs to work right.  The ideal diet is around 80 to 90% base (alkalizing) and only about 10 to 20% acid-forming foods.  Too much acid-forming foods makes digestion problematical — even if the foods ARE combined well.  Furthermore, acidity sets the stage for almost ALL the quaint-sounding diseases which befall us.

What are these acid-forming foods?  Often have a high calorie value; they are  meat, fish, cheese, bread, cereals, nuts, leguminous vegetables,  and fruit seeds and stones (pits).

Alkalizing foods include fruits, berries, non-leguminous vegetables (including gourds) potatoes and other root vegetables, milk and milk products like skimmed milk, yogurt and buttermilk.

Don’t combine protein with starches;  vegetables go with anything;  try to eat your fruits separately from every thing else, mixed up as in fruit salad, or by itself as a snack.  Proteins combine well w/other proteins and fats which also includes avocado which is a primary ‘fat’ classification. (Beans and grains are or can be problematical).  

If one learns some of these combinations and rules, many of ones digestive problems (even very serious ones) will go away. Drs Hay and Shelton back at the beginning of last century researched this subject and came up with food combining.  It was never accepted nor understood by the larger medical community (so what else is new?)  Many are showing intereest as science has delved deeper. I have an old Dr Wm. H Hay book, and a fantastic 2002 book called the Food Combining Bible by JAN DRIES and INGA DRIES which I had to refer to in response to this question. Highly recommend it.  Check it out at the library.  

Lastly, Dr Roach speaks of the querant’s ulcers and refers to Helicobacter Pylori as the possible cause.  In the event that this intelligent way of eating doesn’t appeal to you. . .wanted to remind any who may want to know that Dr Hulda Clark’s book — the Cure For All Disease, has near the rear of the book all these many, many pages of  so-called frequencies for almost any imaginable disease you can think of.  These are to be used in conjunction with her vari-zapper and possibly other of her machines or equipment she designed.  I have her Zapper which I love and have used for nearly 20 years, but it isn’t programmable to focus on a single disease, like Helicobacter pylori.   Jan 

Q #2: I was recently seen by a family practitioner after not having seen a doctor, except through urgent care, in 15 years. I have Type 2 diabetes, and my recent A1c reading was 7.2. My cholesterol readings, both good and bad, were average.

The doctor mentioned that as soon as I go on Medicare, in 60 days, she wants me to begin taking a statin drug. She indicates that this is “protocol” for diabetes (as a preventive therapy). The side effects of statin drugs seem too dangerous to consider this when my cholesterol levels are good. Heart disease (from my father) is in the family. Thoughts?

A: Statin drugs reduce the risk of heart attacks, and probably strokes, in people with a higher-than-average risk of such conditions. The higher the risk, the more beneficial the medications are.

The side effects, however, are just as likely, whatever your risk of vascular disease. Statin drugs aren’t recommended for those with a low risk, as the benefits are unlikely to outweigh the possible harms.

Many risk factors for heart disease exist. High cholesterol is one, but high blood pressure, smoking, family history and poor diet and exercise are also important risk factors.

Diabetes, both Type 1 and Type 2, increases the risk of heart disease, so it must be considered by your doctor when deciding to recommend a statin. The risk is determined largely by how long you have had diabetes and how well it has been controlled.

Several calculator tools are available to estimate an individual’s risk of heart attacks and death based on risk factors, although the most commonly used one has recently been shown to overestimate the risk.

In my opinion, the decision needs to be personalized, and protocols — however well-meaning and well-done — can’t be substituted for a judgment based on knowing the person along with his or her risks and fears.

Most people with long-standing diabetes have a high enough risk that a statin probably makes sense. Almost everyone with known coronary artery disease should be on a statin, even if the patient’s cholesterol levels are almost normal.

Dr. Roach answers letters only in his North America Syndicate column but provides an order form of available health newsletters. Write him at P.O. Box 536475, Orlando, FL 32853-6475; orToYourGoodHealth@ med.cornell.edu.

Q#2:  Sadly no mention of Diabetes correction or eradication by means of nutrition.  It is unknown how long this person has had diabetes, but to not suggest the simplest and best choice without pharmaceuticals?  Disturbing.

I’m not going to say what I really think about suggesting Statin therapy for this person.  What if she was never going to have a heart problem down the road?  Because her father had heart disease does not say she will!  One doesn’t take this drug for a vague possibility.  This person (fortunately) has done some thinking on his or her own.  It is difficult to hear that you claim ‘statins’ are protective against heart disease and stroke (which is not in evidence).  In fact, the opposite is true.  The deleterious effect on the body is ironically cruel because taking statins reduce the body’s ability to generate its own Co Q-10 which is vitally needed to protect the heart (and almost everything else within the body).  Guess what that does — it raises the risk factor for developing heart disease; I guess you could call that a self –fulfilling prophecy.  Instead of depleting this vital substance, as we age, we need much more of it.     Jan

May 16, 2015

BIG PhARMA movin’ on Cannabis

Research has been going on for a long time around the herb cannabis and like me, most will be stunned to learn  of its efficacy in destroying cancer cells while leaving healthy cells unharmed.  This huge “cancer beast” rampages as millions die from it.. . .and this information is out there?  Be sure to watch the video all the way through, as near the end we are shown how to process the cannabis ourselves to make the hemp oil, concentrate it and  and cure our own cancers – – being “happy” right through it!   (Oh, the lies they told us in school 60 – 70 years ago)      Jan 

          Thank you Dr. Mercola. . . .

  Can’t patent Herbs,. .so people die

Herb That Triggers Cancer Cell Death and Cuts Off the Tumor’s Blood Supply

This incredible cancer treatment is sitting right under our nose, but we’re choosing to ignore it – despite the fact it’s been proven effective against over 9 different forms of cancer, while leaving healthy cells untouched. Is this a case of death by politics?

 

Story at-a-glance
  • Israel is the marijuana research capital of the world, thanks to the work of Dr. Raphael Mechoulam who’s spent his entire career studying the health benefits of cannabis
  • Your body has its own endocannabinoid system, with endogenous chemical messengers very similar to those in marijuana acting on matching receptors located on cells throughout your body
  • Most research to date shows that cannabis offers significant health benefits for minimal risk, thanks to your endocannabinoid system

May 6, 2015

Voted today – set me thinking . .

 It was just a prelim vote for Mayor and a councilman

Tho it seems to be way off – – plenty of time,  we will all be surprised how quickly it gets here. . .the November 2016 Presidential election. . . .

And the experience I had today got me thinking about what’s happening to our way of life.  I wanted to add my voice to the choices being made for our new Mayor and city councilman.  This was a preliminary thing to narrow the choice down to two for the upcoming election.  Not having a car anymore, needed to bum a ride to the voting center not too far away.  I’m a voter.  Take it as a pleasure, privilege and a personal responsibility.  Go figure!  Went to the office of the apartment complex where I live asking if they could give me a ride up when one of them goes to vote.  They were unable to help as no one there was going to vote.  Unbelievable!  Had to bother my son who doesn’t really live near me and fortunately, he was able to help.  When I entered the center, I was the only voter they’d seen in a while.  No one votes anymore.

People are tuned out of the process.  Many have really difficult lives and problems.  Most kids in school aren’t given a workable understanding of how government works and/or any reason why it is important to know this stuff.  If your life sucks – you have an even bigger reason to dig in, find out and by hook or crook — learn a thing or two.  We can all make a difference. . .but only if we try.  How is it that we have lost control, that we are only filling space. . .not going anywhere?  Too many have given up, tuned out. .looked for meaning elsewhere.  If we would just check out these wannabes, see what makes them tick,  how they think,  ask questions, challenge them when their goals don’t match what you or your community needs. . .we could start getting better representation that makes a difference.  But we have to make our lives, our voices count — we can’t just bay at the moon and expect anything good to come down the pike at us.  

Simple math here will reveal the reality!   That top 1% who own everything and rule the roost, who can afford to buy the congressmen and shape the rules and laws. . .get life to be on their own terms the way they want it. . .well, my friends — they amount to only 1 or 2 percent of our total amount of people.  WE ARE ALL THE REST!  Understand what this means.  If even half of us got interested enough to dig a little into this process and actually showed up at the polls, we could take back our government out of the hands of those who feel entitled and above it all,  make some decent changes and get some honest effort out of congress and government in general.  First we have to find out whats going on,  make the time to get involved. . .and hold them ALL accountable.  I promise you, life won’t suck anymore.  What if we could get a lot more people interested enough to care?  Can you imagine what kind of Utopia we could build with 70% or 85% of our nation out to the polls?  Our country could once again become capable of living up to its promise and sacred Constitution and Bill of Rights  where all the people matter, not just the rich.  Our country wasn’t built by rich people, but by ordinary people, FOR the common human being.  Our laws are built on one vote for one person — dollars have nothing to do with it!  We need to get money out of politics altogether.  That’s what Elizabeth Warren is saying and also what Bernie has been shouting about for a long time.  Elizabeth won’t run right now, but Bernie is.  No one person can do it alone (Obama has proved that),  Everyone is gonna have to get involved and we can bring America back to what it should be for us all.

glyph

I can remember back to the earlier days of discussion and hope for the future when  younger Barack Obama decided to give it a go.  How very exciting it was.  And it was a stunning milestone in our cultural history, uplifting our nation with great energy and expectation.   The unfortunate thing however was that not all people were happy about this outcome or the meaning and complexion of the new energy  filling the White House.  Roadblocks, deceit and schoolyard bullies appeared as if from nowhere.  What could have been  a monumental 8 years based on our president’s dreams and vision for us all became a nightmarish struggle.  I do not under stand how he has maintained his dignity and composure  and yes,  his humor and  easy smile.  This is one remarkable man. He has been an excellent president and one can only imagine what could have been accomplished if there had not been such bigotry, antagonism and distrust.  The quality of prejudice is a mystery and sorrowfully unexplainable that some people can nurture such pain and allow it to propagate down through time.  Guess we all learn and grow at different rates.  By allowing the light into consciousness, we can all be capable of seeing the truth that we are in fact — all one people. We pretty much live, love and bleed in the same way.

He wanted to rebuild our infrastructure which has been slowly decaying.  The people needed that too.  Would have turned the jobs picture around!    He ran on the single-payer method of health-care for all.  It didn’t happen and I don’t know why.  It is the only sane and reasonable possibility that could have worked.  I intensely dislike the Affordable Care Act and believe it to be unjust, unfair and totally unreasonable with the MANDATE for all to purchase and use or pay an additional price in fines and greater cost.

My own example is a case in point:  I don’t use allopathic medicine – it is disease care, not health care.  It is a business and not a calling as it once was.  It is too expensive, and specialized (which I also object to).  Prescription pharmaceuticals are chemical in basis and by and large toxic to our natures. . .destructive to health. . . harm more often than help.  Yet this is all one can get with ACA and the insurance companies — none of which offer alternative, non-toxic health care and processes.  Organic, natural or herbal supplements can be expensive and one is not helped with insurance or ACA   And yet I am paying $100+ monthly to medicare and not using it because what I need and want isn’t offered or covered.    I see this as a gun to the ribs of individuals who are able to think for themselves and choose NOT TO BE POISONED with BIG PhRMA’ toxic chemicals.  I resent governmental mandates and the force of Law behind the insanity of runaway costs and power structure of the Medical Complex.  In effect, here again – sold out by my own government!  As Americans, we do have rights of choice for ourselves and our families, without being made to feel like criminals.

Sorry, I got carried away – again, always do.    I’m not willing to alter my thinking on this subject for I feel I am not being served well by the rules in place.  Since I can’t afford the top tier of those Alternative physicians we all like, love and respect, I am forced to buy their books and learn how to help myself, which I have done.   Fortunately for the status quo, I am among a small minority who will go to such lengths to insure my own health.  Disease is complicated.  Health is fairly simple.  Our populace however is being bombarded by toxins numbering close to 100,000 annually, and these are being used in everything, our clothes, furniture, the water we drink, the food we eat, the meds we take, our cosmetics and so on.  We are destroying our earth  – the air, the seas, the once verdant, fertile land, now becoming barren, forests cut down.  It is hard to be healthy with all this going on and our government won’t see fit to insure that controls protect us, our health, etc.  Again,  we need CHOICE in what we eat, put into our bodies, labels to help us determine facts and freedom from toxins, which make us sick requiring we see doctors and take RX drugs and become lifetime, hopeless patients.

A few simple changes could make Americans freer, healthier and happier.  Obliterate the death-grip the Medical Complex has on our lives.  No Mandates.  Freedom of choice for type and quality of care we chose; in other words – recognize Naturopaths, herbalists and various other alternative practitioners as valid just as they do in many countries of Europe. This should always be a personal choice thing.    All food should be labeled so that people can choose whether or not they want GMO’s or anything genetically modified.  Also country of origin should be a given.  Few want tainted stuff from China or Taiwan.  Farmers using natural, ecologically sound and sustainable technologies should be subsidized — not the wealthy mega-farms which are poisoning the earth and laying waste to other-wise healthy soil and killing off the life structure beneath the surface.  Good soil is teeming with life, worms and  bacterial matter which of course is needed for nutritive components in our plants.  Our nutritive value has dwindled dramatically over the decades since farming began using all these poisonous chemicals to fertilize and kill pests and so on.  All harmful to soil and plants.   And last. but not least – – we MUST get money out of politics.  We must negate or reverse what the Supreme Court has done with Citizens United. . . perhaps the most destructive decision ever to fall from SCOTUS lips.

Won’t you guys be happy when I’m gone?  Never seem to know when to quit.  G’nite. . .Jan

May 5, 2015

Bernie’s 1st stop – N.H.

Trust me, I’m not going to bug you about Bernie;  you either get it or you don’t!  A wise man once said and I agree,                                          “To Each His Own”

Bernie hits the trail 

 

Genevieve – (Mother dubbed me this, but you know me as Jan)

Bernie went to New Hampshire on the first official stop of his presidential campaign. Watch this video to see Bernie discuss why he’s running, then share it with your friends and family:
Our campaign for president is about creating a mass movement of people fighting to change our country. Thanks so much for being a part of this effort.

– Team Bernie

Got Clinton fatigue yet?

TIME TO SIT-UP and PAY ATTENTION 

To The Political Process

Trying to wean myself off ‘blogging’  is no easy task, for I miss it dearly.  And the process is worse than giving up chocolate and even bread  (my beloved sour-dough).  Seriously, the benefits of eliminating  grains are so enormous. . .the pain was short lived!  Can count this one a done deal, along with the ten or so pounds which painlessly disappeared.    When I fully comprehended that this indulgence was in a way, contributing to brain deterioration and resulted in the new thinking which classifies the process as diabetes 3.  It was just absurd as I never had diabetes 1 or 2.  Have been able to maintain a rather clean and healthy nutritional standard for myself even with all my swerving from vegetarian to animal protein and kinda back again to mostly plant foods. . . all without guilt and not giving up the joy and pleasure of ‘delicious food’.  Even my sinful (so to speak) love of chocolate.  Here again, I am of the opinion that good chocolate is a healthy plus if not over-done.  I mostly am using 75% to 85% varieties and just a little satisfies.  For years I have used the pure chocolate nibs which are so high in magnesium (one of the true benefits of well-made chocolate).  David Wolfe taught this and have since used it anytime I make morning shakes or smoothies.

But what has all this got to do with the Clintons?  I’ll get there, but may be a circuitous path to arrive at it.  As anyone can tell, I’ve all but quit the blog, for I needed to.  Have always been a doer and felt there wasn’t too much I couldn’t do.  Yet all those things I felt I wanted to do and add to my life i.e.,  making my face and body creams, shampoo, dental needs, colloidal silver,  distilled water, my health protocols and special foods which of course I manage myself – regulating and updating as I go plus the everyday preparing of all food I ingest. Well,  I truly love every bit of it,  but I don’t quite have the juice I’ve always had.  My health and my life are my own responsibility, so it would be foolish to veer off course now, just because I love my blog so much, love doing it — am deeply interested in so many areas  among them politics, ethics and our once enviable way of life here in the good ole USA.  I care deeply about so many things, but I have chosen to honor the life stream which is or may be before me to do the best I can as my life has been a good one, richly blessed and I don’t regard anything to be more important.  So I have had to inch back, it is the right thing to do – for me, but I have lost my much appreciated global readership who probably saw the handwriting on the wall.

Have had much to say over the eight or so years and nearing the 2300 mark in number of posts.  Now I must content myself that  brighter,  more vital and energetic voices are out there now who will bring new and challenging thought to our ever-changing landscape.  Admittedly, I have a sort of an  ‘earth-mother’ complex, wherein I have wanted to encourage all of you to learn about your body and take responsibility for it as your life and your health will never matter to anyone else as much as it does to you.  This is why I have focused mainly on health, how to achieve it, maintain it and to recognize those things which are deterrents to that such as toxins in all forms from pesticides, synthetic everything from vitamins and minerals to RX prescriptions, your toothpaste and mouth washes and cosmetics, but mostly,  genetically engineered foods and GMO’s, and of course, the disastrous manner in which our little animal  brothers are being fed, crowded and abused to the point that there is no point to any of it.  Just greed-power and little else — certainly no claim to health.  Yet to be able to buy all our foods labelled “Organic” is prohibitive for most of us.  All these things are the cost of “progress” on the one hand, and the loss of integrity in almost all the government agencies which were set up to protect everyone on the other hand.  It is now the land of the wealthy owning everything and calling the shots, buying our government, shaping the laws and so on, ad infinitum.   Which, finally brings me to – the Clintons.

It took time, but I finally resolved that each person has a right to choose for him-herself.  No question that Elizabeth Warren is a magnificent power, right where she is.  And perhaps she is showing superior wisdom staying put. .for now.  I accept that, tho it broke my heart for she is what our country needs.  Her smarts, wisdom, manner of speaking off the cuff on any subject — hitting the major points of any issue; coming right from her ordinary, everyday, man-of-the-street perspective, yet with the scholarship of the professor that she is.  She is warm, sincere, unpretentious and calls stuff just the way it is.  She doesn’t pussyfoot; knows who she is and is capable of calling a spade a spade.  It was confusing, the nation was all but mandating that she run.  Wanting, begging.

Bernie Sanders

Have been a fan of Bernie Sanders for decades and wished he’d run, but never thought he would.  As an independent – too many hurdles – they don’t make it easy for other parties!  So he is running as a Democrat.  Bravo Bernie!  I’ve already sent my itsy bitsy contribution to him to run.  100% behind him.   I love Sherrod Brown, he’s the best.  Can’t afford to lose him in OHIO.  That would heat my blood.  I do like Jim Webb, his thoughts and demeanor,  but would need to hear him more.  So why Bernie?  WHY BERNIE?  If there is anyone who truly knows the issues and been fighting them for decades, it’s Bernie.  Like cream always rises to the top, Bernie has done the same.  He has continued to fight the good fight for the everyday man.  The working man.  He is a TRUE  progressive and he will always tell it like it is – intelligently.  You won’t have to wonder what is driving him. He is well-grounded, fluent and ardent – even passionate.  He inspires people. He’s got my money.  My vote  (God willing).

THE CLINTONS, still a team

Have never been a Hillary fan.  Have posted on Hillary so often, not meanly, I hope. . .but it is no secret that I can find no reason to even consider her.  I have never been able to understand the groundswell of admiration many claim to have for her.  At one time I felt she was particularly admirable in standing by Bill during all the hullabaloo around his philandering.  (perhaps because I could not have been that circumspect. . . there are some things one doesn’t share, and a husband is one of them.)

There appears to be nothing of special import regarding her political endeavors, either as first lady, Senator or Secretary of State.in other words – no reason to even consider her.  Where is her claim to fame? – – that she was married to Bill?  Sorry, I don’t believe in dynasties!  It’s just not the American way.  We left our origins to escape dynasties – political or royal.  We have 100’s of millions of others who could serve us better. . .especially if they had ever bothered to learn in school how our government works – unlike most of the so-called tea-partyers who have no idea why they are there and have no decency or common courtesy. . don’t try to make our system work.

Almost anyone could agree that the desire for a woman president is reasonable and desirable. . . a good thing. I’m for it.  But some of the qualities we think of in a woman. . .the teacher, protector, the harmonizer, the doer, the servant to the greater good – – none of that calls to mind Hillary!  Instead, she comports the above-it-all attitude.  She is guarded, seemingly effecting a persona variously to fit individual occasions.  Unable to be who she is, or open.  Only time she is candid is when she is angry. There is a sense of subterfuge.    With recent weeks of news stories and the Clinton Foundation raising all kinds of issues – its actually getting disgusting.  Who needs all this garbage?  Maybe they should both just stick with speaking engagements – they seem to be good at that, and per Bill, they need the money. . .those poor, poor dears.  Yes, sarcasm!  You think either of them are trustworthy?  Jan

April 30, 2015

Overcome cancer many ways

 3 in 100 got Cancer 100 yrs ago – now its 1 in 3

Stuff changes, doesn’t it?   We weren’t dealing with GMO’s, chemical fertilizers, sprays and insecticides.  In those days, simple crop rotation, plowing all the fertile stuff back in.  All healthy – hard work, sure, but life was good.  Progress changed everything and now our odds of facing cancer have dramatically mushroomed to outlandish proportions.  Science tells us that 95% of cancer illness today is brought about by environmental toxicities.   That means even if you do almost everything right, live clean,  eat wholesome foods, you still face a crap-shoot.  We know what misery and odds we face with the current medical statistics  and the landscape we live in.  

Those who have been readers of ‘smokinchoices’ over the years understand how much I rail at the status quo which ignores the simplicity of the more natural approach.  Have covered it all over and over;  not doing that now, but merely passing on some of the info from a marvelous email I received today from a company I respect deeply who functions in the “natural” field with electronic equipment I happen to admire, use and own.  The main thrust here is a man who has devastatingly lost many family members to cancer.  He made it his mission to find out why cancer happens, to discover what options people might have, and also what we might do to prevent it.  It was a heroic task.  It is presented beautifully with many excellent and respected experts.  I love it.  Life being what it is, the following information might just come in rather handy and be beneficial to you.   Jan

 

Healing Cancer …

What to do … if you want to heal your body naturally … even from cancer? A video series, “The Quest for Cures,” brings a sense of confidence in the body’s ability to heal itself—even from late stage cancers after all established treatments have failed.

The original series, featuring 28 doctors, 11 scientists and 9 individuals—passionate people who share numerous therapies as well as their personal experiences to heal cancers—was originally aired in 11 episodes. Ty Bolinger, the producer, has made two episodes of the series available on YouTube.

Watch Part 1

Watch Part 2

Fasting … Health Benefits from even Brief Fasting

Fasting isn’t something at the top of most people’s to-do lists—in fact, the only reason most of us have ever fasted is because it was required for a medical procedure or we wanted a quick way to lose those last few pounds. Surprisingly, recent research reveals the healing power of even a short 2–day fast. A study at the University of Southern California shows amazing results for short-term fasting with both human trials and research using mice. In human trials, individuals were asked to fast for periods of two to four days over the course of six-months. The research, led by Professor Valter Longo of the USC Davis School of Gerontology, indicates fasting can promise major benefits “for the elderly and people suffering from damaged immune systems, such as cancer patients.”

Read Article

Dr. Longo reveals the surprising results that fasting is nearly as effective as chemotherapy in retarding tumor growth in “Dr. Valter Longo – Fasting Cycles Retard Growth of Tumors.”

Watch Video

Also worth reading is a USC News report by Suzanne Wu titled, “Fasting triggers stem cell regeneration of damaged, old immune system.”

Using Humor … Seriously!  

In this four-part series, Pastor Mark Gungor brings us the gift of humor to foster a healing approach to relationships.

Part 1: Using Humor to Understand Our Differences

Internationally known speaker Mark Gungor gets us laughing as he talks about the contrast between males and females in a humorous, caring way—highlighting our differences and foibles with wit and whimsy.

Enjoy a good chuckle watching “The Nothing Box” as Gungor shines the spotlight on how males and females differ… all with the purpose of strengthening relationships.

Part 2: Using Humor to Better Relate to Our Nearest and Dearest

What attracts men to women?Mark Gungor’s answer may surprise you in “Laugh Your Way to a Better Marriage.”Whether you’re in a relationship or not, Gungor’s humor applies … Don’t miss the “Mirror in the Mall” sequence, offering an especially telling insight into our differences as males and females.

Part 3: Using Humor to Understand Our Differences about Sex 

To peals of laughter, Mark Gungor shares three little words men utter during the night … three words, he says, every woman loves to hear. He also uses two symbols to highlight a central issue in marriage—a heart and a happy face—to bring humorous insights to our differences.

In “Sex Is What Men Want from Women”, Mark Gungor says, “God wired us [men] this way. And He did it on purpose. What was that purpose?”

Part 4: Using Humor to Reset Our Relationships 

In this fourth and final installment, Mark Gungor uses humor to show how to avoid bitterness and resentment. Both men and women unconsciously score points during daily living. Men, he says, give themselves high bonuses for everything they do so then sit back and wait for women to catch up. Women score much differently … and expect men to catch up.

Yes, we know, it is a looooong video, but well worth the watch if you are interested in learning how women and men unconsciously score relationships. It helps to broaden our perspective so we can create balanced relationships in our own lives based on love and honor. Creating healthier relationships translates into a healthier life.

We invite you to watch “How to Stay Marriеd and Not Kill Anybody” and learn how to even up the score …

Love Taps Why I think this world should end 

Through the eyes of a poet, Hip Hop artist Prince Ea explores the more destructive influences on humanity and our planet – factors like greed, corruption, racial or religious persecution – all becoming the “norm”.  He shares how we each can counter this and create a better world through kindness … forgiveness … compassion.

Prince Ea inspires us to open our hearts to “the most powerful weapon on the face of the Earth”… “The path to a new beginning starts … within YOU.”

We invite you to watch this inspiring message that if heeded, can transform our world, one person at a time

Watch Video

The Elephant Whisperer 

Elephants are known for their intelligence and their emotional sensitivity. Lawrence Anthony’s faceoff with a hostile matriarch at the head of a herd of elephants that had learned to hate humans is in itself an amazing story, as is how Anthony managed to transform the herd and in so doing saved their lives. The most amazing story of all, however, is the way they listened to their inner guidance—their connection with Spirit—to know that their beloved friend had passed away.

Enjoy their story in “Wild elephants gather inexplicably, mourn death of Elephant Whisperer.”

For more on Lawrence Anthony’s work with elephants, view this interview from 2009, “Lawrence Anthony’s Rehabilitation of Elephants.”

Watch Video

Read Article

Watch Video

Watch Video

Watch Video

Watch Video

Read Article

April 24, 2015

Blood test better than mammograms

Most women really dislike mammograms.  There’s the worry, the discomfort or pain of doing them, and then the angst which follows when  something suspicious arises.  No woman can escape this anxiety. . there is too much threat, hype and discussion out there to ignore it.  For this can undo everything we’ve built in our lives, we can die.  And what other option is there?  With most experts disagreeing on almost everything,  women pretty much have to do this choosing on our own based on hope, what we’ve learned and how informed we actually are.  

Now, most fortunately, science has brought us something new — and it looks pretty darned encouraging.  For this reason, I am putting two articles into this one post.   The first one is the encouraging new technique which is only now becoming available.  It is good news on all levels, [discomfort, anxiety, cost factor and immediacy]. Must read it to fully understand – you’re gonna like it!   The second article, also recently published, is trying to implement  a more cautious and reasonable approach, advising as it has since 2009, lesser mammograms and hoping to dilute the damage factors (false positives and unnecessary treatments for otherwise non-threatening issues).  This can go a long way to allowing women to live without the distraction of all those things which can go wrong with our health . . to be freer and enjoy happier thoughts,  for this is what can keep us healthier as well as happier.    Jan     

 

Blood test may make biopsies unneeded, study shows

Gina Kolata The New York Times >Sunday April 19, 2015 

In the usual cancer biopsy, a surgeon cuts out a piece of the patient’s tumor, but researchers in labs across the country are testing a potentially transformative innovation: the liquid biopsy.It’s a blood test that has only recently become feasible with the latest exquisitely sensitive techniques, and it’s showing promise in finding tiny snippets of cancer DNA in a patient’s blood.

The hope is that a simple blood draw — far less onerous for patients than a traditional biopsy or CT scan — will enable oncologists to quickly figure out whether a treatment is working and, if so, to continue monitoring the treatment in case the cancer develops resistance. Failing treatments could be abandoned quickly, sparing patients grueling side effects and allowing doctors to try alternatives.

“This could change forever the way we follow up not only response to treatments but also the emergence of resistance, and down the line could even be used for really early diagnosis,” said Dr. Jose Baselga, physician in chief and chief medical officer at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York.

Researchers caution that more evaluations of the test’s accuracy and reliability are needed. So far, there have been only small studies in particular cancers, including lung, colon and blood cancer. But early results are encouraging.

A National Cancer Institute study published this month in The Lancet Oncology involving 126 patients with the most common form of lymphoma found the test predicted recurrences more than three months before they were noticeable on CT scans. The liquid biopsies also identified patients who are unlikely to respond to therapy.

“Every cancer has a mutation that can be followed with this method,” said Dr. David Hyman, an oncologist at Sloan Kettering. “It is like bar coding the cancer in the blood.”

The blood tests also allow frequent monitoring of tumors as they spread and mutate or develop resistance to treatment. The only other way to know is with biopsies.

  • “I cannot do a weekly liver biopsy and see how things are going,” Baselga said. “But I can do a blood test every week.”

 

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Panel reinstates caution over annual mammograms

HEALTH HEADLINES

By Misti Crane – The Columbus Dispatch  

A vast divide remains on when and how often women should have mammograms.

In a draft of its newest recommendations released 4-20-15, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force isn’t veering far from its 2009 guidance that didn’t recommend routine mammography for women in their 40s and said every other year was often enough for women 50 to 74 years old.The task force concluded that while mammography does save younger women’s lives, women in their 40’s who aren’t at high risk should weigh whether finding a deadly cancer is worth finding and treating a cancer that might not harm them or undergoing diagnostic tests for suspicious but benign spots.

  • In that age group, the task force said, it’s a delicate balance between risk and benefit.

“Mammography is good. It’s useful, but it has its limits. It has its harms, and we need to balance those benefits and harms,” said Dr. Michael LeFevre, immediate past chairman of the task force and a current member.

Although there has not been widespread retooling of the usual mammography recommendations (every year, 40 or older) since 2009, LeFevre said he’s optimistic that the national climate is shifting in terms of considering risks alongside benefits.

“Women are beginning to say, ‘Maybe we should talk about this,’” he said. “I hope that physicians will learn the science and not just have this knee-jerk reflex that annual mammography is the best thing for everybody from 40 until they die.”

For every 10,000 women 40 to 49 who are screened with repeated mammography for 10 years, an estimated four breast cancer deaths are avoided. That number jumps to eight for women in their 50s, 21 for women in their 60s and 13 for women 70 to 74, according to the task force.

The toll of harm per 10,000 women screened one time goes down with age. For instance, 100 biopsies are needed to find a single case of invasive breast cancer in women in their 40s. That number drops to 60 for women in their 50s and 30 for women 60 to 74.

There continues to be plenty of opposition, particularly in the radiology community, which largely has supported annual exams for all women 40 or older.

“When you find a cancer early, it’s more treatable, and the longer it’s in there the more likely it is to spread and become invasive,” said Dr. Mitva Patel, a radiologist at Ohio State University’s Stefanie Spielman Comprehensive Breast Center.

Although some cancers that are found with routine mammography might not become deadly, medical science hasn’t advanced to a point that determines which will and which won’t, so overtreatment is unavoidable, she said.

The American Cancer Society’s chief cancer control officer expressed concern that the recommendation for younger women could lead to obstacles to coverage. The recommendation carries a “C” rating, which means coverage is not mandated under the Affordable Care Act, according to a Cancer Society statement.

Others said the recommendations are reasonable and reflect a good analysis of the available science.

“The decades that we’ve spent drumming into women’s heads and doctors’ heads that once-a-year for a lifetime, early detection saves lives — the amount of money that has been spent marketing that message — it’s very difficult to overcome that, but we need to overcome it,” said Frances Visco, a breast-cancer survivor and president of the National Breast Cancer Coalition, an advocacy group.

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, which advises the government on the risks and benefits of screening, reviewed scientific studies of mammography and newly commissioned modeling studies conducted by the Cancer Intervention and Surveillance Modeling Network.

Women in their 40s with a first-degree relative who had breast cancer (mother, sister or daughter) appear to be at a two-fold increased risk of developing breast cancer, bringing the risk of harm vs. the potential for benefit in line with women in their 50s, the draft recommendations say.

Mammography’s benefits grow with time, the group stressed. And it emphasized the risks of overdiagnosis: treating cancers, including localized ductal carcinoma, in situations that otherwise would not threaten a woman’s health with surgeries, chemotherapy and radiation.

Clinical trials that have shown that mammography saves lives have included screening intervals from 12 to 33 months, and there’s no clear evidence that annual mammograms are the way to go, the task force’s draft recommendations say.

  • Modeling studies showed a small increase in the number of deaths averted when moving from biennial to annual mammography, but a large increase in harm.

The task force found insufficient evidence to recommend routine mammography after age 74.

It also looked at three-dimensional mammography (tomosynthesis) and additional approaches for screening women with dense breasts and found there was not enough scientific evidence to issue guidance.

Dr. Guillermo Arbona, a radiologist with the group that provides radiology services to the Mount Carmel Health System, said he’s interested in following the evolving science and accepts that recommendations could change with time. But for now, he stands by routine mammography every year starting at 40.

“We see quite a few women in the 40-to-49 age group who do get benefit,” Arbona said.

Over-diagnosis is real, and it’s a legitimate concern, but it’s hard to see how that eclipses the benefit when you do find cancer that could have ended a woman’s life, he said.

Patel said women ultimately should make their own choices about what is best for them, but she worries that conflicting advice will be confusing.

Dr. Lauren Miller, of Riverside Radiology and Interventional Associations, also objects to the draft task-force guidance and expressed similar worries about confusion. She said plenty of science supports mammograms earlier and every year.

Arbona agreed that confusion is bound to arise, but that differing opinions are bound to increase conversations that in the long term can advance medicine.

Said Visco: “We shouldn’t be worried about confusing women. We should be worried about whether we’re telling them the truth or not.”

The public has four weeks to offer input to the task force before the group begins to finalize its recommendations.

To read the full recommendations, go towww.uspreventiveservicestaskforce.org.

mcrane@dispatch.com

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