SMOKINCHOICES (and other musings)

November 30, 2009

I wannabe David Brooks

Filed under: Bruce Sringsteen,David Brooks — Jan Turner @ 3:48 pm
Tags: ,

To say I was wowed by this intimate glimpse into David Brook’s inner workings on this personal level is frankly, an awkward understatement.  I have noticed minute changes in David Brooks over time as he appears as a respected political pundit on many of the television shows I am prone to watch.     While I have always admired his intelligence, thoughtfulness and manner of speaking,  I nevertheless have been impressed with a deepening – growing breadth and a certain sensitiveness.    We are all humans, capable of growth, change and limitless capacity,  but I must admit I never expected to find another from this field  with  those rarefied  qualities I so missed with the untimely loss of  Tim Russert last year. (see 7-01-08 post,   Dr. McDougall and Tim Russert)   So, in case you missed David’s latest . . . .

Emotional Education Comes Through   “the BOSS”

David Brooks writes for the New York Times

Like many of you, I went to elementary school, high school and college. I took such and such classes, earned such and such grades, and amassed such and such degrees.

But on the night of Feb. 2, 1975, I turned on WMMR in Philadelphia and became mesmerized by a concert the radio station was broadcasting. The concert was by a group I’d never heard of —Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band. Thus began a part of my second education.

We don’t usually think of this second education. For reasons having to do with the peculiarities of our civilization, we pay a great deal of attention to our scholastic educations, which are formal and supervised, and we devote much less public thought to our emotional educations, which are unsupervised and haphazard. This is odd, since our emotional educations are much more important to our long-term happiness and the quality of our lives.   In any case, over the next few decades Springsteen would become one of the professors in my second education. In album after album he assigned a new course in my emotional curriculum.

In a normal schoolroom, information walks through the front door and announces itself by light of day. It’s direct. The teacher describes the material to be covered, and then everybody works through it.   The knowledge transmitted in an emotional education, on the other hand, comes indirectly, seeping through the cracks of the windowpanes, from under the floorboards and through the vents. It’s generally a byproduct of the search for pleasure, and the learning is indirect and unconscious.

From that first night in the winter of 1975, I wanted the thrill that Springsteen was offering. His manager, Jon Landau, says that each style of music elicits its own set of responses. Rock, when done right, is jolting and exhilarating.   I followed Springsteen into his world. Once again, it wasn’t the explicit characters that mattered most. Springsteen sings about teenage couples out on a desperate lark, workers struggling as the mills close, and drifters on the wrong side of the law. These stories don’t directly touch my life, and as far as I know he’s never written a song about a middle-age pundit who interviews politicians by day and makes school lunches at night.

What mattered most, as with any artist, were the assumptions behind the stories. His tales take place in a distinct universe, a distinct map of reality. In Springsteen’s universe, life’s “losers” always retain their dignity. Their choices have immense moral consequences, and are seen on an epic and anthemic scale.    There are certain prominent neighborhoods on his map — one called defeat, another called exaltation, another called nostalgia. Certain emotional chords — stoicism, for one — are common, while others are absent. “There is no sarcasm in his writing,” Landau says, “and not a lot of irony.”

I find I can’t really describe what this landscape feels like, especially in newspaper prose. But I do believe his narrative tone, the mental map, has worked its way into my head, influencing the way I organize the buzzing confusion of reality, shaping the unconscious categories through which I perceive events. Just as being from New York or rural Georgia gives you a perspective from which to see the world, so spending time in Springsteen’s universe inculcates its own preconscious viewpoint.

Then there is the man himself. Like other parts of the emotional education, it is hard to bring the knowledge to consciousness, but I think important lessons are communicated by that embarrassed half-giggle he falls into when talking about himself. I think a message is conveyed in the way he continually situates himself within a tradition — de-emphasizing his own individual contributions, stressing instead the R&B groups, the gospel and folk singers whose work comes out through him.

I’m not claiming my second education has been exemplary or advanced. I’m describing it because I have only become aware of it retrospectively, and society pays too much attention to the first education and not enough to the second. In fact, we all gather our own emotional faculty — artists, friends, family and teams. Each refines and develops the inner instrument with a million strings.

This month, my kids attended their first Springsteen concert in Baltimore. At one point, I looked over at my 15-year-old daughter. She had a look of slack-jawed, joyous astonishment on her face. She couldn’t believe what she was seeing — 10,000 people in a state of utter abandon, with Springsteen surrendering himself to them in the center of the arena.

It begins again.

November 29, 2009

Paleo, archived (Acne)

The Paleo Diet
Loren Cordain, Ph.D.

November 27, 2009 Volume 2 Issue 1
(Originally published May 15, 2006)
Hello! Welcome to The Paleo Diet Update. For the next few weeks we will be publishing archival issues of The Paleo Diet Update while we work on our new monthly edition of the newsletter. We appreciate your readership, interest, and enthusiasm for The Paleo Diet and hope that you find items of interest from our archival editions of the newsletter.


The Paleo Diet Blog

We’re pleased see the response from the Paleo Diet community to our new Paleo Diet Blog! We will continue to provide useful nutritional information to our our readers, as well as an interactive format for our readers to view past questions submitted from the Paleo Diet community and the answers provided by our team. We encourage you to check out new articles, browse our Q&A, and submit your own questions or comments.

Loren Cordain, Ph.D., Professor

Loren Cordain, Ph.D.

In This Issue
The Dietary Cure for Acne
A 10,000 Year Old Riddle
of Bread and Milk Solved
Fruit and Vegetable Waxes:
Are They Safe?
Recipe of the Month
Success Story of the Month:
Optimize Fitness and Well Being
The Dietary Cure for Acne
At the time of this newsletter’s original date of publication, May 15, 2006, Dr. Cordain announced the release of his third book, The Dietary Cure for Acne. In the original article in that newsletter Dr. Cordain states:Although the medical and dermatology communities generally have gone on record stating that diet and acne are unrelated, there is now extensive evidence to show otherwise — including a recently completed clinical trial from my colleague Neil Mann’s laboratory at RMIT in Melbourne1, 2. In this book I review the four immediate causes of acne and then show how various elements of diet ultimately influence these four immediate causes. In addition to the high dietary glycemic load that is ubiquitous in the typical Western diet, I explain how other common foodstuffs, including dairy products3, may provoke acne symptoms. The book is available as an e-book at my web site:
A 10,000 Year Old Riddle of Bread and Milk Solved
IntroductionMost nutrition students know that dietary proteins are not absorbed by the intestines because they are broken down into their component amino acids by enzymes in the gut during the digestive process. Even if dietary proteins escape proteolytic (protein shearing) degradation in the gut, they are normally denied entry into the bloodstream by various gut, liver and immune system barriers.


For the past 20 years the pharmaceutical industry has been keenly interested in figuring out a way in which to get intact proteins past the gut barrier and into the bloodstream — and rightly so. A billion dollar market would be instantly opened up to any company that could develop a procedure to transport insulin (a large protein molecule) across the gut barrier without directly injecting it into the bloodstream. An insulin pill would be a diabetic patient’s dream come true. Well guess what? The day in which an insulin pill will become a reality is getting closer.

As a Paleo Diet fan, you may be scratching your head and saying, “So-what – why should I be interested in an insulin pill. Shouldn’t proper diet and exercise be the preferred approach for treating type 2 diabetics?” You are absolutely correct, but the relevance of the insulin pill for Paleo Diet devotees is not to be necessarily found in the clinical application, but rather in the pathway whereby intact proteins gain access to the bloodstream. This pathway and its nutritional ramifications represent one of the most fascinating and relevant evolutionary tales in all of human history.


Although cereal grains, legumes and dairy foods represent staples for most of the world’s people, these foods were infrequently or never consumed by humans living prior to the advent of agriculture 10,000 years ago4. Both cereal grains and legumes are rich sources of proteins called lectins. In particular, whole wheat contains the lectin, wheat germ agglutinin (WGA), peanuts contain the lectin, peanut agglutinin (PNA), and kidney beans contain the lectin, phytohemagglutinin (PHA).

Because of their sturdy molecular structure, lectins are resistant to the gut’s proteolytic enzymes and have been found fully intact in the guts of both humans and animals5, 6. Further, at least two animal studies have demonstrated that dietary WGA and PHA are rapidly transported across the gut wall into systemic circulation7, 8. Following consumption of tomato juice, tomato lectin (TL) has also been found in systemic circulation of both rats and humans9. More recently, a single study in humans reported the presence of intact PNA in the bloodstream of healthy adults following ingestion of 200g of salted roasted peanuts10.

Because of their resistance to digestive enzymes and their ability to rapidly cross the intestinal barrier, lectins have been intently studied by pharmaceutical scientists interested in creating a vehicle for delivering drugs into systemic circulation without the need to directly inject them with a hypodermic needle11. Until 2003 it was unknown how lectins could so rapidly cross the gut barrier and enter the systemic circulation.

However, recent studies using WGA as a drug delivery vehicle have identified the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGF-R) as the “back door” by which WGA gains entry into gut cells and then into circulation12.

Hormones and Receptors

A hormone is a chemical substance that is secreted into body fluids and transported to another organ or tissue, where it produces a specific effect upon metabolism. Hormones most frequently gain entry into organs and tissues by binding a receptor on the surface of the organ or tissue. You can think about the hormone as a key (referred to as a “ligand”) and the receptor as the lock. If the key fits the lock, then metabolic processes are put into place in organs and tissues which influence their metabolism.

The EGF-R is an unusual receptor in that it is expressed on the inside (luminal side) of the gut rather than on the blood (serosal) facing side13. The reason for this anomaly is that saliva contains a hormone, epidermal growth factor (EGF), which binds to the EGF-R. So when you swallow saliva, you swallow a hormone (EGF) which may bind the EGF-R located on the luminal side of the gut. EGF found in saliva facilitates gut healing when it binds the EGF-R.

Since WGA, PHA and PNA14, as well as high wheat diets in normal, healthy humans15, may cause extensive damage and disruption to the epithelial cells lining the gut, it is likely that these lectins induce gut cells to up regulate (increase) the numbers of EGF-R to facilitate healing. However, the down side of increasing gut EGF-R in the continued presence of dietary lectins in the gut is that it creates a vicious cycle for enhanced lectin entry into these cells, and thence into the systemic circulation.

Whole Grain Cereals and Vitamin D Metabolism

Nutritional scientists have known forever and a day that excessive consumption of whole grain cereals severely impairs vitamin D metabolism and can lead to the bone disease, rickets16. In fact, as far back as 1918, before vitamin D was discovered, a scientist in England by the name of Mellanby routinely induced experimental rickets in puppies by feeding them an oat diet17. Epidemiological studies of human populations consuming high levels of unleavened whole grain breads show vitamin D deficiency and rickets to be widespread 18-20. A study of radio-labeled vitamin D in humans consuming 60g of wheat bran daily for 30 days clearly demonstrated an enhanced elimination of vitamin D in the intestines21.

The EGF-R, WGA and Rickets

Mechanistically, scientists have never really understood why excessive consumption of whole grains, particularly wheat, could cause rickets. However, with the recent discovery that WGA gains access to the systemic circulation by binding the EGF-R in the gut, it became increasingly clear that WGA and similar whole grain lectins could impair vitamin D metabolism.

Because of its affinity to the EGF-R, WGA circulating in the bloodstream has the capacity to gain entry into any cell expressing the EGF-R. It should be noted that epithelial cells located in skin tissue express the EGF-R. Consequently the keratinocytes within the epidermis, because of their expression of the EGF-R will internalize WGA if it is present in peripheral blood. Keratinocytes are also the site of vitamin D synthesis upon ultraviolet (sunlight) irradiation of 7-dehydrocholesterol in the cell.

Once within skin keratinocytes, WGA blocks the nuclear pore 22, 23, a structure that normally allows passage of certain cellular hormones and large molecules into the nucleus which then cause gene transcription. In particular, WGA blocks the cellular transport of the vitamin D receptor and its endogenous ligand (vitamin D) to the nucleus24, 25 which may result in impaired vitamin D utilization, and systemically increases the risk for rickets.

Neolithic Food Introductions and Rickets: Evolutionary Implications

The Neolithic (new Stone Age) was the period between 6,000 and 10,000 years ago when Agriculture first began in the Near East and then gradually spread to Northern Europe and elsewhere. As former hunter gatherers adopted a farming way of life, their diets changed rather dramatically. Whereas cereal grains were rarely or never consumed by hunter-gatherers, whole grain emmer wheat and barley became staples as hunter gatherers transitioned into early farmers (4, 16). Because whole wheat flour contains sizeable amounts of WGA (30-50 mg/kg)26, a typical Neolithic farmer could easily have consumed 15-25mg of WGA per day on a regular basis. High intakes of WGA like these have the potential to severely impair vitamin D metabolism and thereby increase the risk for developing rickets.

Although rickets is rarely fatal in children and adolescents, it can cause flattening of the pelvic bones in females which may permanently narrow the birth canal. A rickets-induced, narrowed birth canal would have greatly increased mortality for mother and child during childbirth27. In England between the 16th and 18th centuries, the maternal mortality rate was estimated to be 24 to 29 deaths per 1000 births, and many of these deaths were directly attributed to maternal rickets27. It is likely that maternal mortality would have been higher still under the more primitive birthing conditions during the Neolithic. Hence, the reliance upon whole wheat as a staple food in Neolithic people would have represented a powerful negative evolutionary selective pressure that surely was responsible for millions of deaths over the course of thousands of years.

Prevalence of Lactase in Northern Europeans

Northern Europeans and their descendants are unusual amongst the world’s peoples in that they maintain the ability to consume cow’s milk without digestive discomfort because their guts produce lactase, the enzyme necessary to digest lactose, the sugar found in milk. Between 70 to 90% of Northern Europeans maintain the adult lactase persistence (ALP) gene, whereas the presence of ALP in most of the world’s people is much lower, ranging from approximately 3 to 25 % (Figure 1)28.

Figure 1. The percentage of some world’s people with the ability to digest lactose in milk.

The standard evolutionary explanation for the presence of ALP in Northern Europeans is that once they had adopted dairying, selection for the ALP genes allowed lactose in milk to be digested without gastrointestinal disturbances and diarrhea. Consequently, ALP enabled calcium and other nutrients in milk to be readily digested, thereby enhancing nutrition and increasing survival28. One of the problems with this explanation is that many of the world’s societies with long histories of dairying, such as the Mongols, the Herero, the Nuer, the Dinka, the Zulu and the Xhosa have low levels of the ALP gene and are generally lactase deficient28, 29. These people have taken a behavioral approach to reduce the lactose in milk by consuming it as fermented products (sour milk, kumis, and yogurt) or as cheese. Certainly, Northern Europeans could have taken this approach. So the evidence suggests that the selection for ALP in Northern Europeans must have occurred for reasons other than the additional calcium and food calories found in fermented milk products.

Extreme Dermal Depigmentation in Northern Europeans

In addition to maintaining a high frequency of ALP, Northern Europeans are unique amongst the world’s people in that they exhibit extreme dermal de-pigmentation. Blond or red hair, very light skin and blue or gray irises are external characteristics that rarely occur together in any other people of the world. The standard evolutionary explanation for extreme dermal de-pigmentation is that Northern Europeans resided at high latitudes where sunlight was seasonally restricted causing impaired vitamin D metabolism30, 31. Accordingly, the selection for light skin enhanced vitamin D synthesis during brief periods of sunlight exposure in these high latitude, sunlight compromised people. The problem with this explanation, as has been previously pointed out, is that other world’s people living at similar or higher latitudes have not evolved extreme dermal depigmentation32 as depicted from the Biasutti map below (Figure 2).

Figure 2. The Biasutti map depicting skin pigmentation in the world’s peoples29.

Putting It All Together: The Bigger Picture

The reason why Northern Europeans evolved extreme dermal de-pigmentation was two fold. First vitamin D metabolism was slightly compromised in these people from reduced sunlight exposure by living at higher latitudes. But more importantly, regular consumption of whole wheat, because of its high WGA content, pushed vitamin D metabolism to the breaking point, likely causing an epidemic of rickets during the Neolithic. Remember that WGA gets into the bloodstream by binding the EGF-R, and then impairs vitamin D metabolism by blocking the nuclear pore, thereby preventing vitamin D from doing its job. So, one evolutionary strategy employed to overcome WGA’s deleterious effect upon vitamin D metabolism was to select genes coding for lighter skin so that more vitamin D could be synthesized during intermittent sunlight exposure.

The second evolutionary strategy taken by natural selection was to reduce or impair the uptake of any WGA that was ingested from wheat. This is where the selection for the adult lactase persistence (ALP) gene comes in. Raw cow’s milk is a rich source of epidermal growth factor (EGF) and contains 325ng per ml33. In contrast, the processing of milk to make fermented milk products will greatly reduce or destroy EGF as it is unstable when exposed to heat, light and acidity33-35. By ingesting raw cow’s milk Neolithic people would be directly dosing themselves with EGF which then could compete with and displace WGA for the EGF-R. Further, EGF from cow’s milk would facilitate gut healing to reduce the number of EGF receptors elicited by the destructive effect of WGA on the gut lining. The net effect of additional EGF from cow’s milk would be to impede entry of WGA into the bloodstream thereby improving vitamin D metabolism, which in turn would reduce the incidence of rickets.

Neolithic individuals bearing the ALP genes would gain selective advantage over those who didn’t have this gene because they could drink EGF containing cow’s milk without gastrointestinal discomfort. Consequently, over the course of hundred of generations, there would have been a rapid selection for the ALP genes, not because the calcium and food calories in milk provided crucial nutrition, but rather because the EGF in milk countered the rickets producing effects of WGA from whole wheat consumption. Thus, the extreme dermal depigmentation and high prevalence of the lactase enzyme in Northern Europeans were caused by the same negative selective pressure: high consumption of WGA containing whole wheat. Perhaps there are additional lessons to be learned by us all from this 10,000 year evolutionary experiment in eating whole grains.

Fruit and Vegetable Waxes: Are They Safe?
When you visit the produce section of your local supermarket, have you ever noticed the glossy wax that is frequently present on cucumbers and apples, and sometimes on bell peppers and other fruits and vegetables? Have you wondered why these waxes were applied and if they are safe or if they may have any deleterious health effects?The purpose of fruit and vegetable waxes are fourfold: 1) to reduce shrinkage from water loss, 2) to provide a barrier to gas exchange which prolongs shelf life by simultaneously reducing the oxygen content and increasing the carbon dioxide content of the fruit or vegetable, 3) to improve appearance by adding a shiny film, and 4) to sometimes provide a carrier for fungicides or other chemical agents to prevent microbial decay36-38.


The waxes applied to fruits and vegetables can take on many different formulations incorporating a variety of waxes and other substances. Listed below are five common waxing formulas37:

  1. 18.6% oxidized polyethylene, 3.4% oleic acid, 2.8% morpholine, 0.01% polydimethylsiloxane antifoam.
  2. 18.3% candelilla wax, 2.1% oleic acid, 2.4% morpholine, 0.02% polydimethylsiloxane antifoam.
  3. 9.5 % shellac, 8.3% carnauba wax, 3.3% morpholine, 1.7% oleic acid, 0.17% ammonia, 0.01% polydimethylsiloxane antifoam.
  4. 19% shellac, 1.0% oleic acid, 4.4% morpholine, 0.3% ammonia, and 0.01% polydimethylsiloxane antifoam.
  5. 13.3 % shellac, 3.0% whey protein isolate, 3.1% morpholine, 0.7 % oleic acid, 0.2% ammonia, 0.01 % polydimethylsiloxane antifoam.

Note that morpholine is a common element in almost all waxing formulas and is permitted for use in the U.S., Australia, Canada and other countries, but not in Germany. Morpholine’s function is to serve as a solvent and fungicide39, 40. Morpholine, by itself, in the doses that are present in fruits and vegetables probably does not constitute a health risk39, 40. However, during the digestive process, if there are nitrites simultaneously present, morpholine is chemically changed into Nnitrosomorpholine (NMOR), a potent carcinogen in rodents. The estimated safe lower limit for NMOR is 4.3 ng/kg body weight per day. It has been estimated that for adults, consuming waxed apples and a mixed diet, NMOR ingestion can approach (3.6 ng/kg body weight) the lower limit of safety. However, these estimates did not actually measure NMOR formation in humans40. Additionally, nitrite ingestion is quite variable in humans41. Hence, it is entirely possible that chronic consumption of waxed fruit and vegetables containing morpholine could present a slight risk for cancer in certain individuals.

Shellac is a common ingredient in many waxes and is derived from the hardened secretion of the lac insect, Laccifer lacca. It has been reported to elicit allergies in some susceptible people, as has carnauba wax36. Waxes generally cannot be removed by regular washing. So if you prefer not to consume waxes, you must buy un-waxed produce or peel the fruit or vegetable.

Fruits and vegetables which are waxed include: apples, avocados, bell peppers, cantaloupes, cucumbers, eggplants, grapefruits, lemons, limes, melons, oranges, parsnips, passion fruit, peaches, pineapples, pumpkins, rutabagas, squash, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, turnips and yucca. Since many of these fruits and vegetables are typically peeled and the peel is not consumed, only a few common fruits and vegetables present a problem.

Until only very recent times, fruits and vegetables were generally harvested when ripe and brought to market without wax coatings. Even today, fruit and vegetables can be harvested, packed, and stored without the use of waxes, and storage life can be extended through careful handling36.

The relative cancer risk of not eating fresh fruits and vegetables is much greater than the small risk posed by consuming waxed fruits and vegetables. Personally, I prefer my produce wax-free, and as fresh as possible.

Recipe of the Month
Broiled Pork Tenderloin Zesty Rub1 minced garlic clove
1 tablespoon paprika
1 tablespoon dry mustard
1 tablespoon ground coriander
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon red wine
1 pound of very lean pork tenderloin, trimmed of all visible fat


Mix dry spices and garlic in a mortar and pestle – add in the oils and wine to make into a paste. Rub the paste onto the pork one hour before broiling. Broil pork 2 to 3 inches from heat source for about six minutes per side or until it is cooked to desired condition.

Success Story of the Month
Dr. Cordain,My name is Jonathon Edward, I’ve corresponded with you via e-mail on many occasions. I just want to let you know how incredibly grateful I am for your research. I own both of your books and have read through all of the research on your site (can’t believe it’s free!). I’ve been following the plan for well over a year now and have never looked or felt better. Headaches, allergies, and skin problems that used to constantly plague me have vanished and people constantly comment on my “radiant appearance.” The Paleo diet combined with an excellent exercise program (CrossFit) has allowed me to effortlessly optimize my body composition. I’ve stabilized at a lean (single digit body fat)/muscular 160 lb (I’m 5’6). My workout performance continues to increase as well. The benefits have extended to my family as well. In the past couple of months I’ve managed to get my mom and dad on the wagon and they have both experienced enhanced health and vitality. The plan has helped to alleviate aches and pains and is providing a route for my mother to get back to her ideal weight. Both of them are also experiencing higher levels of energy and greater resistance to fatigue. Needless to say, the plan has been a panacea for all involved.


The intention of this e-mail was not to write a testimonial, but I figured you ought to know the impact your research has had on the lives of my family and myself. I am an undergraduate student majoring in Biochemistry and I am seriously considering graduate level work geared toward research in evolutionary diet and medicine. I was wondering if you offer any type of summer internship to bright students (currently have a 3.91 GPA and am pursuing honors in the major) interested in Paleo nutrition oriented research? If not, do you have any suggestions? I genuinely would like to start contributing to the field while still an undergraduate.

Last but not least, I am a personal trainer and have been, with great success, implementing the Paleo Diet with all of my clients. Their first homework assignment is to pick up your book and read it cover to cover. After that, I like for them to go to your site, among others, and familiarize themselves with the vast amount of science backing up the plan. The individuals who fully commit themselves to the regimen + the training program I develop, progress toward and reach their goals with unbelievable rapidity. Along the way to reaching their aesthetic and performance goals, they optimize their health and well-being without trying. Your research lends itself to optimized body composition, performance, health, and longevity. Truly amazing! In the future I’ll be writing various articles outlining how to integrate intermittent fasting into the plan and how to tweak the plan for muscle/strength gain, performance enhancement, and fat loss.

I know that one of your main goals is to disseminate scientifically validated information that will change people’s lives for the better. I want to let you know that you’re accomplishing that goal in the lives of my family, clients, friends, and in my own life. Thanks again.




  1. Smith R, Mann N, Makelainen H, Braue A, Varigos G. The effect of short-term altered macronutrient status on acne vulgaris and biochemical markers of insulin sensitivity. Asia Pac J Clin Nutr. 2004;13 (Suppl):S67.
  2. Smith R, Mann N, Braue A, Varigos G. Low glycemic load, high protein diet lessens facial acne severity. Asia Pac J Clin Nutr 2005;14 (Suppl): S97.
  3. Adebamowo CA, Spiegelman D, Danby FW, Frazier AL, Willett WC, Holmes MD. High school dietary dairy intake and teenage acne. J Am Acad Dermatol. 2005 Feb;52(2):207-14.
  4. Cordain L, Eaton SB, Sebastian A, Mann N, Lindeberg S, Watkins BA, O’Keefe JH, Brand-Miller J. Origins and evolution of the Western diet: health implications for the 21st century. Am J Clin Nutr. 2005;81:341-54.
  5. Pusztai A, Ewen SW, Grant G, Peumans WJ, van Damme EJ, Rubio L, Bardocz S. Relationship between survival and binding of plant lectins during small intestinal passage and their effectiveness as growth factors. Digestion. 1990;46 Suppl 2:308-16.
  6. Brady PG, Vannier AM, Banwell JG. Identification of the dietary lectin, wheat germ agglutinin, in human intestinal contents. Gastroenterology. 1978 Aug;75(2):236-9.
  7. Pusztai A, Ewen SW, Grant G, Brown DS, Stewart JC, Peumans WJ, Van Damme EJ, Bardocz S. Antinutritive effects of wheat-germ agglutinin and other N-acetylglucosamine-specific lectins. Br J Nutr. 1993 Jul;70(1):313-21.
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  10. Wang Q, Yu LG, Campbell BJ, Milton JD, Rhodes JM. Identification of intact peanut lectin in peripheral venous blood. Lancet. 1998 Dec 5;352(9143):1831-2
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  21. Batchelor AJ, Compston JE: Reduced plasma half-life of radio-labeled 25-hydroxyvitamin D3 in subjects receiving a high fiber diet. Brit J Nutr 1983;49:213-16.
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  32. Jablonski NG, Chaplin G. The evolution of human skin coloration. J Hum Evol 2000;39:57-106.
  33. Yagi H, Suzuki S, Noji T, Nagashima K, Kuroume T. Epidermal growth factor in cow’s milk and milk formulas. Acta Paediatr Scand. 1986 Mar;75(2):233-5

November 28, 2009

Vit D vital for Heart

Filed under: heart disease — Jan Turner @ 10:42 am

Vitamin D deficiency linked directly to heart disease

By Guy Montague-Jones, 20-Nov-2009

Related topics: Research, Vitamins & premixes, Cardiovascular health

Researchers from Utah presented fresh evidence this week linking vitamin D deficiency to heart disease at the American Heart Association’s (AHA) Scientific Conference in Orlando, Florida.

Vitamin D has a good reputation even in the worthy company of other vitamins, having been associated variously with cardiovascular health, strong bones, cognitive health, cancer protection and immune health.

Scientists from the Heart Institute at Intermountain Medical Center in Salt Lake City now claim to have dug up stronger evidence supporting the cardiovascular benefits of vitamin D. They also claim to have more firmly established the link between a lack of the vitamin in the diet and heart disease.

Observational research

For more than a year, the Intermountain Medical Center research team followed 27,686 people who were 50 years of age or older with no prior history of cardiovascular disease.

The participants had their blood vitamin D levels tested during routine clinical care. They were divided into three groups based on their vitamin D levels – normal (over 30 nanograms per milliliter), low (15-30 ng/ml), or very low (less than 15 ng/ml). The scientist then followed them to see if they developed some form of heart disease.

Researchers found that people with very low levels of vitamin D were 77 percent more likely to die, 45 percent more likely to develop coronary artery disease, and 78 percent more likely to have a stroke than those with normal levels. They also found that participants with very low levels of vitamin D were twice as likely to suffer heart failure.

Study significance

Commenting on the significance of the results, Brent Muhlestein, director of cardiovascular research at the Intermountain Medical Centre, said: “This was a unique study because the association between Vitamin D deficiency and cardiovascular disease has not been well-established.”

Muhlestein went on to say the previous studies have demonstrated links between vitamin D deficiency and risk factors related to heart disease like blood pressure, glucose control, and inflammation.

This latest research is distinct from these studies because it tackles the link between vitamin D and heart disease directly. And although the study is only observational, Muhlestein said it is based on a population pool in Utah that is well suited to the task in hand.

“For example, because of Utah’s low use of tobacco and alcohol, we were able to narrow the focus of the study to the effects of Vitamin D on the cardiovascular system,” said Muhlestein.

In any case, he said the conclusions create an impetus for further study.

“We believe the findings are important enough to now justify randomized treatment trials of supplementation in patients with Vitamin D deficiency to determine for sure whether it can reduce the risk of heart disease,” added the researcher.

Fri, 27 Nov 2009

November 27, 2009

H1N1 hype & facts don’t match

Filed under: FDA,vaccine — Jan Turner @ 2:18 pm
Tags: , , ,

There appears to be no end to this dichotomy of scaring our people to death with all this hype of how dangerous the H1N1 Flu is, while a great many of our intelligent, trained, credentialed medical people not only here, but around the world are saying just the opposite. What is one to believe?  I side with all those medically educated  individuals who know enough about this problem and the products and testing or lack thereof, to have arrived at choices which prevent them from any personal participation for themselves or their families.

Science is science.  Tests have results which lead to evidence.  I try to avoid “hype” – heaven knows we are given far too much of it!  Tho I have posted on this subject very much, it is in the interest of informing people in order to make more informed choices which “protect” their families.  This is after all, what we are all after.   Where does this confusion come from?     More importantly   – WHY?  Whose interests are driving this – dare I say   (?) – – coverup?  What is going on?


CDC: Data show that H1N1 vaccine is safe

By Mike Stobbe

ATLANTA — There’s no evidence that the H1N1 vaccine is causing serious side effects, U.S. health officials said yesterday, in their first report on the safety of the new vaccine.
Since vaccinations began in early October, the government has been tracking the safety of the swine-flu vaccine. By mid-November, about 22 million Americans had gotten the vaccine, and there were about 3,200 reports of possible side effects, mostly for minor problems such as soreness or swelling from the shot.
Health officials didn’t expect to see serious problems: The H1N1 vaccine is basically the same as the regular winter-flu vaccine. And there were no signs of trouble in the tests conducted in the thousands to find the right dose.
Still, it is “very reassuring” to see that confirmed in the first report, said Dr. Anne Schuchat of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “The vaccine data so far really suggests this is a safe vaccine.”
The information comes from a voluntary reporting system that patients and doctors can use if they think something went wrong after a vaccination. Of the H1N1 reports, 177 were considered serious, including 11 deaths.
There’s no evidence that those deaths were because of the vaccine, and there was no common underlying medical condition seen in those fatalities, CDC officials said.
Since it was first identified in April, swine flu has sickened an estimated 22 million Americans, hospitalized about 98,000 and killed 4,000. It has proved to be similar to seasonal flu but a bigger threat to children and young adults.
Health officials are increasingly worried about severe cases of bacterial pneumonia seen in nonelderly adults this fall. H1N1 and bacteria can act as a dangerous one-two punch.

November 19, 2009

B.E.D. – video intro

Filed under: Body Ecology Diet (BED),Donna Gates — Jan Turner @ 10:19 am
Tags: ,

Received this lovely video today and wanted to share with those of you who don’t already subscribe to Donna Gates Body Ecology’s newsletter.

Introduction to Body Ecology – New Video
Curious about the Body Ecology system of health and healing? Find out the 18 reasons Body Ecology is the best diet for your health goals, including how to get started. This is a must-see for anyone curious about the benefits of healthy eating. Give the gift of good health — share this video with your loved ones who want to learn how to create their best health.

November 17, 2009

Deceptive Flu Blitz

Global Research, October 29, 2009

Obama Administration Launches Deceptive Swine Flu Propaganda Blitz

To Counter Growing Criticism from Scientific and Medical Community

By Richard Gale and Dr. Gary Null                           Progressive Radio Network 2009-10-26

President Obama and his top health officials are engaging in a major public relations effort to divert attention away from whether its swine flu vaccine is effective and safe – to whether there is enough of it to go around. And the media, as always, is cooperating fully. This echoes the way media debate was manipulated during the Vietnam and Iraq Wars. Instead of debating whether we should even be fighting those wars, the media debated only whether we were using the correct military strategy.

Increasing numbers of scientists and doctors are issuing harsh criticisms of the Government’s plan to vaccinate (forcibly if necessary) virtually the entire U.S. population with what they claim is a poorly tested vaccine that is not only ineffective against swine flu, but could cripple and even kill many more people than it helps.

The CDC’s public relations campaign has been running “scare” ads that portray swine flu as a full-blown “pandemic” responsible for snuffing out countless lives, and which, unless stopped by universal vaccination, could kill millions of American citizens. But scientists and health officials throughout the world have called the governments claims unjustified and deliberately misleading.

For example, Dr. Anthony Morris, a distinguished virologist and former Chief Vaccine Office at the U.S. Federal Drug Administration (FDA), states that “There is no evidence that any influenza vaccine thus far developed is effective in preventing or mitigating any attack of influenza” and that “The producers of these vaccines know they are worthless, but they go on selling them anyway.”

And in November 2007, the UK newspaper The Scotsman, made public warnings by the inventor of the “flu jab,” Dr. Graeme Laver. Dr. Laver was a major Australian scientist involved in the invention of a flu vaccine, in addition to playing a leading scientific role in the discovery of anti-flu drugs. He went on record as saying the vaccine he helped to create was ineffective and [that] natural infection with the flu was safer. “I have never been impressed with its efficacy,” said Dr. Laver.

We hear the assumption being made by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) that the number of deaths from the H1N1 virus is at pandemic levels and now a “national emergency.” One would assume that with all of its resources, the New York Times’ October 26 front page story on the CDC’s statistics would be accurate: 20,000 hospitalizations and 1,000 deaths due to the swine flu. However, this is all fiction. And it is a fiction solely based upon the CDC’s own contradictory statements and actions.

Our independent investigations into the clinical trials and statistical studies of influenza vaccines reveal glaring discrepancies. Let us not forget that it is this same New York Times, with its “star” reporter Judith Miller, who led America into believing that Saddam Hussein possessed weapons of mass destruction, tried to purchase yellow cake uranium from Niger, and had dealings with al-Qaeda. And let us also remember that it is the same CDC and health officials in Washington, including President Ford and his top health advisor F. David Matthews, who pushed through and propagandized an untested vaccine during the 1976 swine flu scare, which resulted in thousands of severely neurologically damaged Americans and about 500 reported deaths. Aside from permanent paralysis, many of these vaccine victims also underwent torturous processes for many years to get the government to recognize their illnesses and help cover their costs. Not only was the CDC’s prediction and vaccination campaign for the 1976 flu season a total disaster, it also turned into a deadly scandal, witnessed across the United States on 60 Minutes when Dr. David Sencer, then head of the CDC, confirmed that the vaccine was never field tested, that there were only several reported incidents of H1N1 infection and none of these had been officially confirmed, and then lied about the CDC having no prior evidence that the swine flu vaccine could cause severe and permanent neurological damage. The end result from the 1976 debacle cost the government $3.5 billion in damages, two-thirds were for severe neurological injury and death directly due to the CDC’s vaccination campaign.

Therefore, being anti-vaccine or pro-vaccine is not the most urgent issue. What is critical is whether or not there is legitimate, sound science to support either position; in this regard, the vaccine manufacturers and our federal health agencies have failed in the past, and continue to fail today. And they fail dismally. There is absolutely no evidence for sound-scientific protocol or anything resembling a gold-standard behind the swine flu infection statistics and vaccine efficacy and safety clinical trials to support Obama’s and his health advisors’ claims. Instead, the reports on hospitalizations and deaths due to the H1N1 virus are grossly distorted. What we are really witnessing is “official” science and statistics that are little more than propaganda.

One unfortunate development over the years is the notion that there is such a thing as a “flu season.” The truth is that we move annually into periods where there are dramatic increases in flu-like causing pathogens, however, the majority of these are unrelated to any strain of influenza virus. There can between 150 and 200 different infectious pathogens—adenovirus, rhinovirus, parainfluenza, the very common coronavirus and, of course, pneumonia—that produce flu-like symptoms, and worse, during a “flu season.” For example, how many people have heard of bocavirus, which is responsible for bronchitis and pneumonia in young children, or metapneumovirus, responsible for more than 5 percent of all flu-related illnesses? This is true during every flu season and this year is no different. Furthermore, all flu vaccinations, including the swine flu, are useless for protecting people from these many prevalent infectious organisms.

If we take the combined figure of flu and pneumonia deaths for the period of 2001, and add a bit of spin to the figures, we are left believing that 62,034 people died from influenza. The actual figures determined by Peter Doshi, then at Harvard University, are 61,777 died from pneumonia and only 257 from flu. Even more amazing, among those 257 cases only 18 were confirmed positive for influenza. A separate study conducted by the National Center for Health Statistics for the flu periods between 1979 through 2002 revealed the true range of flu deaths were between 257 and 3006, for an average of 1,348 per year.

The recent CBS Investigative Report, published on October 21, is one example. After the CDC refused to honor CBS’s Freedom of Information request to receive flu infection data for each individual state, the network performed independent outreach to all fifty states to get their statistics. Their report contradicts dramatically the CDC’s public relations blitz. For example, in California, among the approximate 13,000 flu-like cases, 86 percent tested negative for any flu strain. In Florida, out of 8,853 cases, 83 percent were negative. In Georgia and Alaska, only 2.4 percent and 1 percent respectively tested positive for flu virus among all reported flu-like cases. If the infectious-rate ratios obtained by CBS are accurate, the CDC’s figures are significantly reduced and agree with earlier predictions that the H1N1 virus will be simply an unwelcomed annoyance. So we are in the midst of an enormous medical hoax, a design and purpose that has yet to unfold completely, that will nevertheless reap huge revenues for the vaccine industrial complex.

Another example is a recent alarmist report issuing from Georgetown University, also usurped by federal health officials and their multimedia comrades to fuel a campaign of fear and panic. The report announced that over 250 students were infected by swine flu when in fact none of these students were tested for H1N1 infection. The university’s figure was based solely on a count of student visits to the health clinic and calls into an H1N1 hotline.

This is not the first time the CDC’s predictions for influenza strains have been overstated and miscalculated. In an interview on Swedish television, Dr. Tom Jefferson, head of vaccine studies at the prestigious international Cochrane Database Collaboration, after reviewing hundreds of influenza studies and statistical analyses, has said the WHO’s and CDC’s “performance is not very good.” And in an ITN News interview last month, Jefferson called the swine flu pandemic a “juggernaut they [the WHO, government agencies and vaccine makers] created.” For the 1992-1993 season, the prediction was off by 84 percent. For the 1994-1995 season, it was off 43 percent for the primary strain and off 87 percent and 76 percent for two other strains. The Laboratory Center for Disease Control’s study comparing vaccine strains with the strains appearing during the 1997-1998 season found the match was off by 84 percent. Again Dr. Jefferson in a Der Spiegel interview remarked,

“there are some people who make predictions year after year, and they get worse and worse. None of them so far have come about, and these people are still there making these predictions. For example, what happened with the bird flu, which was supposed to kill us all?… Swine flu could have even stayed unnoticed if it had been caused by some unknown virus rather than an influenza virus… An influenza vaccine is not working for the majority of influenza-like illnesses because it is only designed to combat influenza viruses. For that reason, the vaccine changes nothing when it comes to the heightened mortality rate during the winter months.”

Our review of all clinical trial studies conducted by the H1N1 vaccine makers for pre-licensing in the American market—CSL, Novartis, Sanofi-Pasteur, Medimmune and now GlaxoSmithKline—reveals they were poorly designed and feebly executed. Any professor in molecular biology or virology would fail a graduate student who presented a paper relying on research conducted in the manner of the studies the vaccine corporations submit to the FDA. Nevertheless, it is this lack of sound randomized, double-blind controlled placebo studies, particularly for inactivated virus vaccines, that our government is declaring definitive and is using to justify mass vaccination of our population.

Last week, Switzerland’s health authorities rejected Novartis’ new swine flu vaccine, Celtura, being targeted for women and children, because the company’s studies were insufficient to guarantee its safety. In addition, the new Novartis vaccine, which uses a cell base from dogs, was found to be contaminated with canine-specific bacteria. The Swiss newspaper, Tagesanzeiger, also noted there remains some suspicion that Novartis’ new vaccine may be a repackaging of an earlier 2008 vaccine responsible for killing almost two dozen homeless people during an illegal clinical trial in Poland. This is the same Novartis whose Fluvirin H1N1 vaccine being distributed in the US relied only on a hasty clinical efficacy and safety trial enrolling only a small number of healthy adults. Novartis likely remains unperturbed. The Swiss pharmaceutical giant has reported a $6.1 billion profit so far this year and expects to boost sales for the final quarter with its swine flu vaccine.

In July, the CDC announced it would cease testing and counting H1N1 virus infections. Their public reason was simply that they are convinced there is a pandemic and, therefore, accurate monitoring was unnecessary. On August 30, the CDC declared the states should report influenza and pneumonia-associated hospitalizations and deaths together, not singling out actual cases of H1N1 infection if there happen to be any actually confirmed from a laboratory. This has always been the CDC’s policy, and the 36,000 figure of annual flu deaths repeated ad nausea on their website and spewed from the media’s health pulpits for several years straight, does not distinguish between pneumonia, influenza and other flu-like pathogenic deaths. Perhaps it would make very little difference because the current rapid diagnostic tests for the H1N1 virus can range in only 10-50 percent accuracy.

Elsewhere in the world, particularly in Europe, civilians are increasingly rejecting the H1N1 vaccine. Recent polls in Germany and Austria show only 13 and 18 percent respectively willing to take the shot. In Sweden, four vaccine related deaths have been announced and almost 200 healthcare workers have reported becoming more seriously ill from the vaccination than they might have from a flu infection. In the US, anywhere from 90-99 percent of adverse events go unreported.

If people would simply shut off the CDC’s supported propaganda noise being blasted across the airwaves and newspapers— the spectacle of newscasters being inoculated, interviews with government health officials or private doctors and academics receiving consultation fees from drug makers, and the drivel of the New York Times—and simply do their homework, Americans would wake up and realize the hoax behind the swine flu pandemic. All of the information is before us. Nothing is hidden. All the contradictions and hypocrisies are contained within the massive vaccine industrial complex—including the government health agencies and professional medical associations. The lie is too large for them to not expose themselves if we simply look.

Richard Gale is the Executive Producer of the Progressive Radio Network and a former Senior Research Analyst in the biotechnology and genomic industries.

Dr. Gary Null is the host of the nation’s longest running public radio program on nutrition and natural health and a multi-award-winning director of progressive documentary films, including Vaccine Nation and Autism: Made in the USA. Dr. Null is also the plaintiff on a law suit against the FDA to prevent the launch of the swine flu vaccine until safety studies have been thoroughly conducted.

November 12, 2009

FDR’s 2nd Bill of Rights

If you never heard of this – I would really recommend reading it. Jan

(the 2nd Bill of Rights appears closer to the end of this State of the Union address)

State of the Union Message to Congress

January 11, 1944

This Nation in the past two years has become an active partner in the world’s greatest war against human slavery.We have joined with like-minded people in order to defend ourselves in a world that has been gravely threatened with gangster rule.But I do not think that any of us Americans can be content with mere survival. Sacrifices that we and our allies are making impose upon us all a sacred obligation to see to it that out of this war we and our children will gain something better than mere survival.

We are united in determination that this war shall not be followed by another interim which leads to new disaster- that we shall not repeat the tragic errors of ostrich isolationism—that we shall not repeat the excesses of the wild twenties when this Nation went for a joy ride on a roller coaster which ended in a tragic crash.

When Mr. Hull went to Moscow in October, and when I went to Cairo and Teheran in November, we knew that we were in agreement with our allies in our common determination to fight and win this war. But there were many vital questions concerning the future peace, and they were discussed in an atmosphere of complete candor and harmony.

In the last war such discussions, such meetings, did not even begin until the shooting had stopped and the delegates began to assemble at the peace table. There had been no previous opportunities for man-to-man discussions which lead to meetings of minds. The result was a peace which was not a peace.  That was a mistake which we are not repeating in this war.  And right here I want to address a word or two to some suspicious souls who are fearful that Mr. Hull or I have made “commitments” for the future which might pledge this Nation to secret treaties, or to enacting the role of Santa Claus.  To such suspicious souls—using a polite terminology—I wish to say that Mr. Churchill, and Marshal Stalin, and Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek are all thoroughly conversant with the provisions of our Constitution. And so is Mr. Hull. And so am I.

Of course we made some commitments. We most certainly committed ourselves to very large and very specific military plans which require the use of all Allied forces to bring about the defeat of our enemies at the earliest possible time.  But there were no secret treaties or political or financial commitments.  The one supreme objective for the future, which we discussed for each Nation individually, and for all the United Nations, can be summed up in one word: Security.  And that means not only physical security which provides safety from attacks by aggressors. It means also economic security, social security, moral security—in a family of Nations.

In the plain down-to-earth talks that I had with the Generalissimo and Marshal Stalin and Prime Minister Churchill, it was abundantly clear that they are all most deeply interested in the resumption of peaceful progress by their own peoples—progress toward a better life. All our allies want freedom to develop their lands and resources, to build up industry, to increase education and individual opportunity, and to raise standards of living.   All our allies have learned by bitter experience that real development will not be possible if they are to be diverted from their purpose by repeated wars—or even threats of war.   China and Russia are truly united with Britain and America in recognition of this essential fact:

The best interests of each Nation, large and small, demand that all freedom-loving Nations shall join together in a just and durable system of peace. In the present world situation, evidenced by the actions of Germany, Italy, and Japan, unquestioned military control over disturbers of the peace is as necessary among Nations as it is among citizens in a community. And an equally basic essential to peace is a decent standard of living for all individual men and women and children in all Nations. Freedom from fear is eternally linked with freedom from want.

There are people who burrow through our Nation like unseeing moles, and attempt to spread the suspicion that if other Nations are encouraged to raise their standards of living, our own American standard of living must of necessity be depressed.  The fact is the very contrary. It has been shown time and again that if the standard of living of any country goes up, so does its purchasing power- and that such a rise encourages a better standard of living in neighboring countries with whom it trades. That is just plain common sense—and it is the kind of plain common sense that provided the basis for our discussions at Moscow, Cairo, and Teheran.

Returning from my journeyings, I must confess to a sense of “let-down” when I found many evidences of faulty perspective here in Washington. The faulty perspective consists in overemphasizing lesser problems and thereby underemphasizing the first and greatest problem.   The overwhelming majority of our people have met the demands of this war with magnificent courage and understanding. They have accepted inconveniences; they have accepted hardships; they have accepted tragic sacrifices. And they are ready and eager to make whatever further contributions are needed to win the war as quickly as possible- if only they are given the chance to know what is required of them.

However, while the majority goes on about its great work without complaint, a noisy minority maintains an uproar of demands for special favors for special groups. There are pests who swarm through the lobbies of the Congress and the cocktail bars of Washington, representing these special groups as opposed to the basic interests of the Nation as a whole. They have come to look upon the war primarily as a chance to make profits for themselves at the expense of their neighbors- profits in money or in terms of political or social preferment.

Such selfish agitation can be highly dangerous in wartime. It creates confusion. It damages morale. It hampers our national effort. It muddies the waters and therefore prolongs the war.

If we analyze American history impartially, we cannot escape the fact that in our past we have not always forgotten individual and selfish and partisan interests in time of war—we have not always been united in purpose and direction. We cannot overlook the serious dissensions and the lack of unity in our war of the Revolution, in our War of 1812, or in our War Between the States, when the survival of the Union itself was at stake.

In the first World War we came closer to national unity than in any previous war. But that war lasted only a year and a half, and increasing signs of disunity began to appear during the final months of the conflict.

In this war, we have been compelled to learn how interdependent upon each other are all groups and sections of the population of America.

Increased food costs, for example, will bring new demands for wage increases from all war workers, which will in turn raise all prices of all things including those things which the farmers themselves have to buy. Increased wages or prices will each in turn produce the same results. They all have a particularly disastrous result on all fixed income groups.

And I hope you will remember that all of us in this Government represent the fixed income group just as much as we represent business owners, workers, and farmers. This group of fixed income people includes: teachers, clergy, policemen, firemen, widows and minors on fixed incomes, wives and dependents of our soldiers and sailors, and old-age pensioners. They and their families add up to one-quarter of our one hundred and thirty million people. They have few or no high pressure representatives at the Capitol. In a period of gross inflation they would be the worst sufferers.

If ever there was a time to subordinate individual or group selfishness to the national good, that time is now. Disunity at home—bickerings, self-seeking partisanship, stoppages of work, inflation, business as usual, politics as usual, luxury as usual these are the influences which can undermine the morale of the brave men ready to die at the front for us here.

Those who are doing most of the complaining are not deliberately striving to sabotage the national war effort. They are laboring under the delusion that the time is past when we must make prodigious sacrifices- that the war is already won and we can begin to slacken off. But the dangerous folly of that point of view can be measured by the distance that separates our troops from their ultimate objectives in Berlin and Tokyo—and by the sum of all the perils that lie along the way.

Overconfidence and complacency are among our deadliest enemies. Last spring—after notable victories at Stalingrad and in Tunisia and against the U-boats on the high seas—overconfidence became so pronounced that war production fell off. In two months, June and July, 1943, more than a thousand airplanes that could have been made and should have been made were not made. Those who failed to make them were not on strike. They were merely saying, “The war’s in the bag- so let’s relax.”

That attitude on the part of anyone—Government or management or labor—can lengthen this war. It can kill American boys.

Let us remember the lessons of 1918. In the summer of that year the tide turned in favor of the allies. But this Government did not relax. In fact, our national effort was stepped up. In August, 1918, the draft age limits were broadened from 21-31 to 18-45. The President called for “force to the utmost,” and his call was heeded. And in November, only three months later, Germany surrendered.   That is the way to fight and win a war—all out—and not with half-an-eye on the battlefronts abroad and the other eye-and-a-half on personal, selfish, or political interests here at home.   Therefore, in order to concentrate all our energies and resources on winning the war, and to maintain a fair and stable economy at home, I recommend that the Congress adopt:

  • ) A realistic tax law—which will tax all unreasonable profits, both individual and corporate, and reduce the ultimate cost of the war to our sons and daughters. The tax bill now under consideration by the Congress does not begin to meet this test.
  • A continuation of the law for the renegotiation of war contracts—which will prevent exorbitant profits and assure fair prices to the Government. For two long years I have pleaded with the Congress to take undue profits out of war.
  • A cost of food law—which will enable the Government (a) to place a reasonable floor under the prices the farmer may expect for his production; and (b) to place a ceiling on the prices a consumer will have to pay for the food he buys. This should apply to necessities only; and will require public funds to carry out. It will cost in appropriations about one percent of the present annual cost of the war.
  • Early reenactment of. the stabilization statute of October, 1942. This expires June 30, 1944, and if it is not extended well in advance, the country might just as well expect price chaos by summer.

We cannot have stabilization by wishful thinking. We must take positive action to maintain the integrity of the American dollar.

  • A national service law- which, for the duration of the war, will prevent strikes, and, with certain appropriate exceptions, will make available for war production or for any other essential services every able-bodied adult in this Nation.

These five measures together form a just and equitable whole. I would not recommend a national service law unless the other laws were passed to keep down the cost of living, to share equitably the burdens of taxation, to hold the stabilization line, and to prevent undue profits.

The Federal Government already has the basic power to draft capital and property of all kinds for war purposes on a basis of just compensation.

As you know, I have for three years hesitated to recommend a national service act. Today, however, I am convinced of its necessity. Although I believe that we and our allies can win the war without such a measure, I am certain that nothing less than total mobilization of all our resources of manpower and capital will guarantee an earlier victory, and reduce the toll of suffering and sorrow and blood.

I have received a joint recommendation for this law from the heads of the War Department, the Navy Department, and the Maritime Commission. These are the men who bear responsibility for the procurement of the necessary arms and equipment, and for the successful prosecution of the war in the field. They say:

“When the very life of the Nation is in peril the responsibility for service is common to all men and women. In such a time there can be no discrimination between the men and women who are assigned by the Government to its defense at the battlefront and the men and women assigned to producing the vital materials essential to successful military operations. A prompt enactment of a National Service Law would be merely an expression of the universality of this responsibility.”

I believe the country will agree that those statements are the solemn truth.

National service is the most democratic way to wage a war. Like selective service for the armed forces, it rests on the obligation of each citizen to serve his Nation to his utmost where he is best qualified.

It does not mean reduction in wages. It does not mean loss of retirement and seniority rights and benefits. It does not mean that any substantial numbers of war workers will be disturbed in their present jobs. Let these facts be wholly clear.

Experience in other democratic Nations at war—Britain, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand- has shown that the very existence of national service makes unnecessary the widespread use of compulsory power. National service has proven to be a unifying moral force based on an equal and comprehensive legal obligation of all people in a Nation at war.

There are millions of American men and women who are not in this war at all. It is not because they do not want to be in it. But they want to know where they can best do their share. National service provides that direction. It will be a means by which every man and woman can find that inner satisfaction which comes from making the fullest possible contribution to victory.

I know that all civilian war workers will be glad to be able to say many years hence to their grandchildren: “Yes, I, too, was in service in the great war. I was on duty in an airplane factory, and I helped make hundreds of fighting planes. The Government told me that in doing that I was performing my most useful work in the service of my country.”

It is argued that we have passed the stage in the war where national service is necessary. But our soldiers and sailors know that this is not true. We are going forward on a long, rough road- and, in all journeys, the last miles are the hardest. And it is for that final effort—for the total defeat of our enemies-that we must mobilize our total resources. The national war program calls for the employment of more people in 1944 than in 1943.

It is my conviction that the American people will welcome this win-the-war measure which is based on the eternally just principle of “fair for one, fair for all.”

It will give our people at home the assurance that they are standing four-square behind our soldiers and sailors. And it will give our enemies demoralizing assurance that we mean business -that we, 130,000,000 Americans, are on the march to Rome, Berlin, and Tokyo.

I hope that the Congress will recognize that, although this is a political year, national service is an issue which transcends politics. Great power must be used for great purposes.

As to the machinery for this measure, the Congress itself should determine its nature—but it should be wholly nonpartisan in its make-up.

Our armed forces are valiantly fulfilling their responsibilities to our country and our people. Now the Congress faces the responsibility for taking those measures which are essential to national security in this the most decisive phase of the Nation’s greatest war.

Several alleged reasons have prevented the enactment of legislation which would preserve for our soldiers and sailors and marines the fundamental prerogative of citizenship—the right to vote. No amount of legalistic argument can becloud this issue in the eyes of these ten million American citizens. Surely the signers of the Constitution did not intend a document which, even in wartime, would be construed to take away the franchise of any of those who are fighting to preserve the Constitution itself.

Our soldiers and sailors and marines know that the overwhelming majority of them will be deprived of the opportunity to vote, if the voting machinery is left exclusively to the States under existing State laws—and that there is no likelihood of these laws being changed in time to enable them to vote at the next election. The Army and Navy have reported that it will be impossible effectively to administer forty-eight different soldier voting laws. It is the duty of the Congress to remove this unjustifiable discrimination against the men and women in our armed forces- and to do it as quickly as possible.

American standard of living higher than ever before known

It is our duty now to begin to lay the plans and determine the strategy for the winning of a lasting peace and the establishment of an American standard of living higher than ever before known. We cannot be content, no matter how high that general standard of living may be, if some fraction of our people—whether it be one-third or one-fifth or one-tenth- is ill-fed, ill-clothed, ill housed, and insecure.

This Republic had its beginning, and grew to its present strength, under the protection of certain inalienable political rights—among them the right of free speech, free press, free worship, trial by jury, freedom from unreasonable searches and seizures. They were our rights to life and liberty.

As our Nation has grown in size and stature, however—as our industrial economy expanded—these political rights proved inadequate to assure us equality in the pursuit of happiness.

We have come to a clear realization of the fact that true individual freedom cannot exist without economic security and independence. “Necessitous men are not free men.” People who are hungry and out of a job are the stuff of which dictatorships are made.

Second Bill of Rights

In our day these economic truths have become accepted as self-evident. We have accepted, so to speak, a second Bill of Rights under which a new basis of security and prosperity can be established for all regardless of station, race, or creed.

Among these are:

The right to a useful and remunerative job in the industries or shops or farms or mines of the Nation;

The right to earn enough to provide adequate food and clothing and recreation;

The right of every farmer to raise and sell his products at a return which will give him and his family a decent living;

The right of every businessman, large and small, to trade in an atmosphere of freedom from unfair competition and domination by monopolies at home or abroad;

The right of every family to a decent home;

The right to adequate medical care and the opportunity to achieve and enjoy good health;

The right to adequate protection from the economic fears of old age, sickness, accident, and unemployment;

The right to a good education.

All of these rights spell security. And after this war is won we must be prepared to move forward, in the implementation of these rights, to new goals of human happiness and well-being.

America’s own rightful place in the world depends in large part upon how fully these and similar rights have been carried into practice for our citizens. For unless there is security here at home there cannot be lasting peace in the world.

One of the great American industrialists of our day—a man who has rendered yeoman service to his country in this crisis-recently emphasized the grave dangers of “rightist reaction” in this Nation. All clear-thinking businessmen share his concern. Indeed, if such reaction should develop—if history were to repeat itself and we were to return to the so-called “normalcy” of the 1920’s—then it is certain that even though we shall have conquered our enemies on the battlefields abroad, we shall have yielded to the spirit of Fascism here at home.

I ask the Congress to explore the means for implementing this economic bill of rights- for it is definitely the responsibility of the Congress so to do. Many of these problems are already before committees of the Congress in the form of proposed legislation. I shall from time to time communicate with the Congress with respect to these and further proposals. In the event that no adequate program of progress is evolved, I am certain that the Nation will be conscious of the fact.

Our fighting men abroad- and their families at home- expect such a program and have the right to insist upon it. It is to their demands that this Government should pay heed rather than to the whining demands of selfish pressure groups who seek to feather their nests while young Americans are dying.

The foreign policy that we have been following—the policy that guided us at Moscow, Cairo, and Teheran—is based on the common sense principle which was best expressed by Benjamin Franklin on July 4, 1776: “We must all hang together, or assuredly we shall all hang separately.”

I have often said that there are no two fronts for America in this war. There is only one front. There is one line of unity which extends from the hearts of the people at home to the men of our attacking forces in our farthest outposts. When we speak of our total effort, we speak of the factory and the field, and the mine as well as of the battleground — we speak of the soldier and the civilian, the citizen and his Government.

Each and every one of us has a solemn obligation under God to serve this Nation in its most critical hour—to keep this Nation great — to make this Nation greater in a better world.

Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and MuseumNational Archives |


What I was thinking when I posted the   2nd “BILL OF RIGHTS”

Letting off a little steam

We as a nation are  reeling from busted bubbles,  loss of dreams, loved ones, homes, jobs and yes, hope!  Too many of us have nowhere to turn.  One advertised job brings hundreds if not thousands out to compete for it.   And yet we continue to read of the major injustices in our capital and on Wall street, the banking industry, the pharmaceutical industry and all those agencies who are supposed to be making life safe and possible for us, but – serve corporate interests instead.  Most of all, the man we all fell in love with,  placed our hope in and trusted – our president Barack Obama.  There is no question that so much of what he faced was inherited as he came into office – the status quo was not something he created, but vowed to fix! He said lobbyists were no longer going to run the way things are done in Washington.  It breaks my heart to see that not too much has changed.  The corporate foothold seems stronger than ever.  Many promises have not been addressed which needed immediate attention.  Don’t ask, don’t tell was an affront to the nth degree.  Can hardly believe the apparent renege.

Health-care issue

The biggest issue however was and remains the health-care reform.  Many of us who follow issues which extend beyond our own shores were definitely tuned into the single-payer concept.  It works and seemed it could be our salvation.  For we get less, spend more and it is destroying our economy.  So when the public option was put forward as the way we COULD solve this problem, Many of us adjusted our thinking and got behind it.  But President Obama let us all down.  Instead of leading the charge and demanding unity with all the momentum he had and the good will of almost all of us, he let it go slipping away on a rudderless ship.  There was NO negotiating of pharmaceuticals – a gift of unfathomable proportions. The effort toward bi-partisanship was naive and misguided.  And tho people are dying daily without medical help because they can’t afford it, even if what is in the works now becomes law,  it seems we’re talking some years down the road for anything to “Help People” so where is that sense of urgency, compassion and understanding?  Who really flushed public option down the toilet?

Reform needed on many levels

Tho I referred to health-care as the biggest issue (for millions of us – it is!).  it seems to me that our country hasn’t a prayer of a chance if  something isn’t done about the lack of controls governing Banking, Wall Street, PhRMA, FDA, EPA, Health and Human Services and so on.    We put the fox in charge of the hen house with Sommers and Geitner – both incredibly smart and savy men, but come on, weren’t they in “charge” and highly positioned when all the biggest mistakes were made?  It is almost a year now and we still haven’t even begun the “new rules” and reorganization process.  By now we should be seeing some justice and pay-back – – big time.  What is causing this foot-dragging?  Is it the people in charge?  A question of true priority?  You know, a lot of us out here are trying hard to play by the rules.  Many have no access, but those who do have credit cards are experiencing unjustified interest rate hikes.  These poor banks are having a hard time covering expenses and need these increases.  This is insult upon injury.    Yes, much needs the attention of Washington.

. . . -+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-                    . . .

Sorry, I didn’t mean to get quite so carried away.  It’s just the ingrate in me I suppose.  The truth is, I really do believe that Barack Obama is the right man for the job.  He has made so many right moves that sometimes it made my head swim with all that he was doing and planning.  Much progress has been made.    AND THIS IS NOT THE FIRST TIME WE AS A NATION HAVE BEEN SO DESPERATELY AT WITS END.

Franklin Delan0 Roosevelt

And this brings me to FDR. This man was so revered that he remains the only man ever to have been elected to (4) four terms in office.  His health was poor and those war years had taken much out of him.    He had traveled  much for the “Big Three Meetings”  (Winston Churchill and Joseph Stalin)  He had declared his intention to retire for he had been ill,  lost about 15 lb’s and leaders were saying that he probably wouldn’t last thru the term if he ran again.  As his life showed, he was devoted to    service and his fellow man.    He died April 12, 1945 of a cerebral hemorrhage,   a few months short of realizing his victorious dream.  It was his great wisdom and diplomatic skill which  carried him and he was mourned the world around.

When FDR came into office in 1933 everything seemed to be in a state of disaster.  Three out of 4 men were out of work – there were no jobs. The banking panic had begun about 3 weeks before he took office.   He was brilliant and creative and unlike any other.  He tried new and different things.  Days after taking office he began crafting recovery and reform laws  and sent them to congress.  There was the Agricultural Adjustment Act (AAA),  the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA), the Nat’l Industrial Recovery Act (NIRA) and other New Deal Agencies.  Soon came the Civil Works Administration(CWA) which helped the mayors and governors of states- –  they built streets, roads, bridges, schoolhouses, cleaning up parks and neighborhoods.    They had the Civilian Conservation Corp (CCC) which gave work and training to many;  and the Works Progress Administration (WPA) which employed more than 2 million annually.    While all this was the life-line needed for the desperate, hungry unemployed, proud  Americans, there was nevertheless, much bickering going on about the useless waste of all this spending and the debt being amassed.   Sound familiar? There was raising of taxes and borrowing.   In December of that year (1933)  prohibition was ended and many other reforms came rolling down the pike.  By 1935, there was Social Security with unemployment relief and old age assistance.

So, yes – we’ve been here before.  FDR put much in place that truly helped people keep-on-keeping-on.  They revered this man with his fireside chats and tell it like it is style.  It helped us survive.  We were given a leg up to help ourselves.  We are all Americans here.  I know the story and presumably, you do too.  That was a difficult time.  I am not trying to show anybody up with this trip down memory lane.  After all, our American ship has become a lot bigger than it was 64 years ago.  It will be harder to turn a boat this big around than it was back then.  That’s why we need “more muscle” now than back then. It is going to take a lot to get the job done.  We can’t be waffling and slipping and sliding. So now, I finally get to the point.

Perhaps a lot of you know about the second  “Bill of Rights” but I must confess I never heard of it until recently on Bill Moyer’s Journal a few weeks ago on PBS.  I looked it up.  A little copy and paste and then we can all share it together and be thankful that  FDR was  here once upon a time.   (it follows this article about our status of certain  states having a terrible financial time right now  – – its a short one)  Thanks for hanging with me and allowing me to rant.   Jan


10 states face fiscal calamity

Study: California, 9 others must act soon to stem tide

By Judy Lin
ASSOCIATED PRESS,                                                                                                                                                                                       November 12, 1009

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — A study released yesterday warns that nine states are barreling toward an economic disaster similar to California’s ongoing fiscal crisis that has been marked by IOUs and budget-busting deficits.   The budget woes could mean higher taxes, accelerated layoffs of government employees, more crowded classrooms and fewer services in the coming year for some of the nation’s mostpopulous states.    Arizona, Florida, Illinois, Michigan, Nevada, New Jersey, Oregon, Rhode Island and Wisconsin join California as those most at risk of fiscal calamity, according to the report by the Pew Center on the States.
Double-digit budget gaps, rising unemployment, high home-foreclosure rates and built-in budget constraints are the key reasons.   The analysis urged lawmakers and governors in those states to take quick action to head off a wider economic catastrophe. The 10 states account for more than one-third of America’s population and economic output, according to the report.

“While California often takes the spotlight, other states are facing hardships just as daunting,” said Susan Urahn, managing director of the Washington, D.C.-based center. “Decisions these states make as they try to navigate the recession will play a role in how quickly the entire nation recovers.”
California leads the most vulnerable states identified by Pew, which describes it as having poor money-management practices. According to the Legislative Analyst’s Office, California has made nearly $60 billion in budget adjustments — in the form of cuts to education and social-service programs, temporary tax hikes, one-time gimmicks and stimulus spending — since February as tax revenue plunged. Many of those fixes aren’t expected to last. The state’s temporary tax increases will begin to expire at the end of 2010, while federal stimulus spending will begin to run out a year after that.
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger estimates that California likely will run a deficit of between $12.4 billion and $14.4 billion when he releases his next spending plan in January. The top estimate amounts to 17 percent of the state’s $84.6 billion general fund budget, the main account for day-to-day spending.   Schwarzenegger warned that the toughest cuts are ahead.



November 7, 2009

Honeybees (CCD) from cell phones?

Honeybees Face Towering Threat From Cell Phones

Posted by: Dr. Mercola
November 07 2009

Studies  have brought out evidence to support the theory of colony collapse disorder (CCD) among honeybees due to bioactive microwave radiation from cell phones and their relay towers.

Recent experiments have found that worker bees fail to return to their hives when their navigation skills are interfered by the mobile microwaves. Cell phones were placed near beehives. These hives collapsed totally in 5 to 10 days, with the worker bees failing to return to their homes.

The radiation also causes damage to the nervous system of the bee and it becomes unable to fly.

The parasites, wildlife and other bees that normally raid the honey and pollen left behind when a colony dies, refuse to go anywhere near the abandoned hives.  The phenomenon of CCD and resultant crop loss were first noticed in the U.S. several years ago, but it had spread to most European countries by 2007.


The Pioneer September 18, 2009

Dr. Mercola”s Comments

The threat of losing entire honeybee colonies is far more serious than just a farmer losing his livelihood or you having to go without honey for a while.  Honeybees are critical components of agriculture, used to pollinate many of the nuts, fruits and vegetables that feed the world.

A full one-third of the U.S. food supply depends on pollination from bees. Apple orchards, for instance, require one colony of bees per acre to be adequately pollinated. The California almond crop alone requires 1.3 million colonies of bees, and bees actually add an estimated $15 billion in value to crops like these.

So if bee colonies continue to be wiped out in unprecedented numbers, major food shortages could result, adding to the current food crisis.

In an average year, beekeepers expect to incur losses of between 5 and 10 percent. But in 2007, U.S. beekeepers surveyed by the USDA Agricultural Research Service reported a total loss of about 36 percent of their bee colonies, up from 13.5 percent the year before.

When nature’s pollinators start to mysteriously die off, it is a major clue that something is out of balance. This mysterious malady has been dubbed “colony collapse disorder” (CCD), and while a definitive cause has yet to be determined it seems cell phones may be playing a role.

How Cell Phone Towers Could be Killing Bees

Early findings pointed to a virus, a fungus or a pesticide as the most likely suspects in CCD, however it’s hard to ignore the research from at least two studies that point to cell phones as a major threat.

When cellular phones were placed near hives, the radiation generated by them (900-1,800 MHz) was enough to prevent bees from returning to them, according to a study conducted at Landau University.

Scientists believe the radiation produced by cellular phones may be enough to interfere with the way bees “communicate” with their hives. Cellular phones may create a resonance effect that interferes with the movement patterns bees use as a kind of language.

Most recently, experiments by Sainuddeen Pattazhy, a researcher and dean in the department of zoology at SN College, Punalur, Kerala, also found that microwaves from mobile phones appear to interfere with worker bees’ navigation skills.

When Pattazhy placed mobile phones near beehives, the hives collapsed completely in five to 10 days. The worker bees failed to return home and vanished, never to be found. Adding to the mystery, parasites, wildlife and other bees, which would normally raid the abandoned hives, would not go near the collapsed colonies. Pattazhy said:

“The navigation skill of the worker bees is dependent on the earth’s magnetic properties. The electro-magnetic waves emitted by the mobile phones and relay towers interfere with the earth’s magnetism, resulting in the loss of the navigation capacity of the bee. Then it fails to come back. Also, the radiation causes damage to the nervous system of the bee and it becomes unable to fly.”

A Combination of Deadly Factors?

Cell phones appear to be a likely threat to bees around the globe, but there may be a cumulative effect going on that is making it more and more difficult for bees to survive, let alone thrive.

For instance, tens of billions of bees are transported across the United States to pollinate oranges, almonds and other food crops. Though the pollination is a normal part of nature, transporting bees thousands of miles in the backs of trucks to a new location is not. Some experts believe this process is stressing bees, quite literally, to death.

Other possible causes of colony collapse disorder have also been pinpointed:

  • Pesticides
  • Genetically modified crops
  • Micro-organisms that compromise the immune system
  • High-fructose corn syrup (HFCS), frequently used for feeding by certain bee farmers

Most researchers are pointing to a combination of the above factors. For instance, Penn State scientists analyzed pollen, beeswax, adult bees and larvae and found dozens of chemicals, including pesticides, present. These chemicals, especially when combined with these other stresses, are more than capable of overwhelming the delicate system of the honeybee.

What Does This Mean for YOU?

Just as you are bombarded with toxic chemicals from the air you breathe, to the soil your food is grown in, to the toiletries you use and the water you drink, bees are the true canaries in the coal mine, showing us what’s in store for you and me if we don’t clean up our act on several fronts.

And this includes the use of cell phones.

Wireless technology is already being linked to the death of migratory birds and numerous well-researched studies show that brain damage from cell phone radiation may be a fast-approaching new epidemic.

If the disappearance of honeybees, and its corresponding threat to the world’s food supply is not enough to make you think twice about holding a mobile phone to your head, perhaps this will:

  • Last year, a well-circulated Swedish study found that people using cell phones doubled their risk of developing brain cancer and acoustic neuroma (a tumor that damages your hearing nerve).
  • The study also showed that people who started using cell phones before the age of 20 were more than five times as likely to develop brain cancer.

So maybe it’s time to realize that the honeybees losing their way is not an isolated event. It’s a sign that the very fragile ecosystem we all depend on to survive is not quite balanced. Something is off kilter and it’s time to determine what it is … and then restore that balance as quickly as possible.

And in the meantime, I suggest you take the problems facing the honeybees as a major warning sign, and learn what you can do to protect yourself now.

Abraham on long life

Filed under: Abraham-Hicks,long life — Jan Turner @ 9:26 am
Those that we see who are living long lives don’t do so without powerful intent that keeps drawing. In other words, what continues the motion forward itself is the continuing setting forth of the new intent that draws life through. In fact, intending for long life assures that you must be leading the parade; people don’t start diminishing their life until they stop leading and start falling back into the ranks of the parade, trying to do what others are leading them to do.


— Abraham

Excerpted from the workshop in Buffalo, NY on Tuesday, May 20th, 2003 #251

Our Love,
Jerry and Esther

Visit Us Online | Modify Details ©1997-2009 Abraham-Hicks Publications.

November 6, 2009

U.S. health care ranks where?

Filed under: Life expectancy — Jan Turner @ 6:30 pm

This Breaking News from the Columbus Dispatch Forum should be worth thinking about. . . was for me.    Jan

U.S. has best health care in the world? Hardly

NICHOLAS D. KRISTOF       Nikolas D  Kristof  writes for the New York Times

The moment of truth for health care is at hand, and the distortion that perhaps gets the most traction is this:
We have the greatest health care system in the world. Sure, it has flaws, but it saves lives in ways that other countries can only dream of. Abroad, people sit on waiting lists for months, so why should we squander billions of dollars to mess with a system that is the envy of the world? As Sen. Richard Shelby of Alabama puts it, President Barack Obama’s plans amount to “the first step in destroying the best health care system the world has ever known.

That self-aggrandizing delusion may be the single greatest myth in the health-care debate. In fact, America’s health-care system is worse than Slov — er, oops, more on that later.

The United States ranks 31st in life expectancy (tied with Kuwait and Chile), according to the latest World Health Organization figures. We rank 37th in infant mortality (partly because of many premature births) and 34th in maternal mortality. A child in the United States is 2 1/2 times as likely to die by age 5 as in Singapore or Sweden, and an American woman is 11 times as likely to die in childbirth as a woman in Ireland.

Canadians live longer than Americans do after kidney transplants and after dialysis, and that may be typical of cross-border differences. One review examined 10 studies of how the American and Canadian systems dealt with various medical issues. The United States did better in two, Canada did better in five and in three they were similar or it was difficult to determine.

Another study, cited in a recent report by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Urban Institute, looked at how well 19 developed countries succeeded in avoiding “preventable deaths,” those where a disease could be cured or forestalled. What Shelby called “the best health-care system” ranked last. The figures are worse for minorities. An African-American in New Orleans has a shorter life expectancy than the average person in Vietnam or Honduras.

I regularly receive heartbreaking e-mail messages from readers simultaneously combating the predations of disease and insurers. One correspondent, Linda, told me how she had been diagnosed earlier this year with abdominal and bladder cancer — leading to battles with her insurance company.  “I will never forget standing outside the chemo treatment room knowing that the medication needed to save my life was only a few feet away, but that because I had private insurance it wasn’t available to me,” Linda wrote. “I read a comment from someone saying that they didn’t want a faceless government bureaucrat deciding if they would or would not get treatment. Well, a faceless bureaucrat from my private insurance made the decision that I wouldn’t get treatment and that I wasn’t worth saving.”

It’s true that Americans have shorter waits to see medical specialists than in most countries, although waits in Germany are shorter than in the United States. But citizens of other countries get longer hospital stays and more medication than Americans do because our insurance companies evict people from hospitals as soon as they can stagger out of bed.

In the United States, 90 percent of hernia surgery is performed on an outpatient basis. In Britain, only 40 percent is, according to a report by the McKinsey Global Institute.   Likewise, Americans take 10 percent fewer drugs than citizens in other countries — but pay 118 percent more per pill for the ones that they do take, McKinsey said.

Opponents of reform assert that the wretched statistics in the United States are a consequence of unhealthy lifestyles and a diverse population with pockets of poverty. It’s true that America suffers more from obesity than other countries. But McKinsey found that overall, the disease burden in Europe is higher than in the United States, probably because Americans smoke less and the U.S. population is younger.

There is one American statistic that is strikingly above average: life expectancy for Americans who have already reached the age of 65. At that point, they can expect to live longer than the average in industrialized countries. That’s because Americans above age 65 actually have universal health-care coverage: Medicare. Suddenly, a diverse population with pockets of poverty is no longer such a drawback.

That brings me to an apology.
In several columns, I’ve noted indignantly that we have worse health statistics than Slovenia. For example, I noted that an American child is twice as likely to die in its first year as a Slovenian child. The tone — worse than Slovenia! — offended Slovenians. They resent having their fine universal health coverage compared with the notoriously dysfunctional U.S. system. As far as I can tell, every Slovenian has written to me. Twice. So, to all you Slovenians, I apologize profusely for the invidious comparison of our health systems. Yet I still don’t see anything wrong with us Americans aspiring for health care every bit as good as yours.
Nicholas D. Kristof writes for The New York Times.

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