SMOKINCHOICES (and other musings)

October 29, 2013

Hi-end Pet food

Animals

Premium cuisine for dogs, cats expanding

By Michael Rubinkam ASSOCIATED PRESS

MATT SLOCUM ASSOCIATED PRESS    Freshpet appeals to pet owners who are eating healthier and want the same for their pets, co-founder Scott Morris says.

BETHLEHEM, Pa. — Organic kibble? All-natural chow? Fido and Fluffy don’t know it, but their owners want them to eat better — and they are forking over big bucks to make it happen.

Marketed as a healthier, more-nutritious alternative, some premium dog and cat cuisine has gone the Whole Foods route.

Nowhere is that more evident than in the new $25 million eastern Pennsylvania factory of upstart pet-food-maker Freshpet, where thousands of pounds of fresh meat and poultry are pasteurized and mixed with vegetables, then chilled, packaged and sent to branded, refrigerated display cases in more than 10,000 stores across America.

The 7-year-old company, founded by former Purina executives, is trying to establish a new category in an industry long dominated by kibbles and cans: fresh, preservative-free food that requires refrigeration. With sales exceeding $100 million, executives say they’re on their way.

“People are trying to eat healthier, less processed, simpler foods, and I think they are applying that logic when they’re making pet-food decisions,” said Scott Morris, Freshpet’s president and co-founder.

Major manufacturers such as Nestle Purina and Del Monte Foods also are capitalizing on consumers’ willingness to spend more on food they perceive to be better for their furry friends.

Even through the Great Recession, premium dog and cat food

  •  the latest iteration of which is advertised as natural and organic 
  • has been claiming an ever-bigger share of the market.

Sales of the more-expensive brands jumped 68 percent from 2002 to 2012, compared with 19 percent for mid-priced brands and only 8 percent for economy brands, according to Euromonitor International.

Marketing experts say manufacturers are tapping into a number of powerful trends and emotions: Americans’ interest in healthy eating, the rising popularity of organic food, the tendency to humanize pets.

“People think of their pets not as pets, but as members of their family, and they want to treat the members of their family with the same respect as they treat themselves,” said Molly Maier, senior analyst at market research firm Mintel Group Ltd.

Nestle, the No. 1 pet-food-maker, has reported solid growth in its high-end, “made with natural ingredients” Beyond line. Del Monte, whose brands include Kibbles ’n Bits and Meow Mix, purchased premium pet-food-maker Natural Balance in July. “Higher consumer spending on more premium pet products will continue to drive market expansion,” Del Monte said.

  • Despite its explosive growth, Freshpet remains a tiny player in the $17 billion dog- and cat-food market. Morris sees the company, based in Secaucus, N.J., as fundamentally different, its new “Freshpet Kitchens” factory in Bethlehem using ingredients and processes adapted from human food production.

The company entered the market at an opportune time. A widespread pet-food recall in early 2007 — which followed U.S. dog and cat deaths linked to tainted ingredients from China — jolted consumers and got them thinking about what they were feeding their pets.

  • But the jury’s still out on whether food marketed as fresh, organic or natural helps pets lead longer or healthier lives.
  • Theoretically, it’s hard to argue with the idea that minimally processed and preservative-free food of the sort Freshpet makes would be better for dogs and cats, said Amy Farcas, a veterinary clinical nutritionist at the University of Pennsylvania. But she said the research to prove it is lacking*1

Farcas routinely advises her clients that as long as their dog is the appropriate weight, healthy and energetic, they probably don’t need a diet change.

“Nutritionally, most adult dog foods would be considered appropriate for most adult healthy dogs, though there are differences in ingredients, quality control and other factors among products,” she said via email.

Amy Eagle, 43, of Center Valley, Pa., stopped at a Freshpet display case at Target recently to pick up chow for her chocolate lab, Potroast. She said the dog turns up her nose at anything else.

“It feels like it’s closer to the farm,” Eagle said. “I don’t think I would go to the length of making fresh chicken or beef for her, but it feels like I’m almost doing that.”

(My Comment:

I am pleased to see this kind of attention given to our pets.   I would really love it more if I could be sure that  better nutrition was finding its way into our pets rather than the usual hype, deceit and misinformation we contend with in our own human food.  Look at all the trouble we are having now.    When was the last time you bought something in a package, sack, box or can —  did you check the label?   Have you ever seen any container (a product manufactured and sold to you in something) that didn’t have preservatives of some kind in the label?   Its those things plus coloring agents, fillers and all the processing which would dissuade me from any possibility of believing this could be “organic”.     Use of the word “natural” is only hype and much overdone  

But, like so many others,  — I do the same thing.  Have been buying “BLUE BUFFALO” for Heidi for years now. No grains at all and minimally processed which is how they caught me in the first place.  Without a doubt, I understand that our pets would be so much better off if we just  tossed a whole beef steak at them, or a squirrel or bird, rabbit etc.  But I can’t do that.  She lives indoors with me and I can’t have her leaving dead carcasses and/or pelts, feathers and bones all over the place.  I have all I can do to keep from tripping over her toys  [she refuses to put her toys away, no matter how often I’ve told her].  

Research is not lacking:

#1  above, has Amy Farcas, a veterinary clinical nutritionist is saying the  “research to prove whether or not this  extra care would even be better for our pets”  [loosely interpolated].  Now it’s true I’m not credentialed in this field, therefore can only opine what I believe to be true — what makes sense to me.  However, she is incorrect to say that the research is lacking unless one could disregard more than 900 cats over a ten year span including four  generations doesn’t measure up.  The researcher?  None other than Dr Frances Pottenger, Jr   This fascinating ‘study’ is recounted in a post not done too long ago (6-9-13), called  “Rojek on Enzymes” 

See,   all animals depend on enzymes — us, any of us and any pets of whatever ilk.   Animals cannot digest their food without enzymes health cannot be maintained without nourishment.    Heat, cooking food, destroys enzymes.  Its pretty simple.   Animals per this study I refer to,  who were fed “raw” food did not get diseases; no skin problems, arthritis, cancer, heart etc.   The facts [story] is  fascinating. . . go check it out.  Jan)

October 28, 2013

Coffee 4 Liver-detox, pain relief

Not to Drink – for Liver Detox and Amazing Pain Relief

(Browsing through Elaine Hollingsworth’s  “doctorsaredangerous.com/articles/coffee  site — found this.    Have spoken on this subject before in explanation for my own interest.  I have gone to the repeated effort of doing this and made so much work for myself  and seemed to get the coffee everywhere but in my bottom.    Ashamed to say, I guess I’d need lessons on how to do as I have never executed enemas in my life.   The only one I ever had was in hospital as I was about to birth my son.  Nearly tore the hospital down in protest, but was deeply entrenched with the activity at hand.    The day before, my Ob/gym had said my baby had not dropped yet, so would be another two weeks.  But when my son decided his time had come, he tore through that channel breaking all speed limits.   

On another post  where Dr Mercola is interviewing  cancer specialist Dr. Nicholas Gonzalez in New York, I was intrigued and fascinated hearing him and Mercola discuss and laugh about the procedure.  They were having quite a funny conversation which I enjoyed and vowed – I’m gonna do that.  If Dr Gonzalez does this every morning  before his run, I surely could work it in.  But I wasn’t successful and don’t want somebody else doing it for me — how gross. 

I love that Elaine actually went down to Mexico [back in the day] to see what goes on there and she was impressed.   Its a good read.  Tho, I do have Charlotte Gerson’s book and also Dr Max Gerson’s own accounting of his work.  That’s why I love the process so much and am so enamored with their results for all kinds of illness, not just cancer. 

Coffee Enemas
Even Prince Charles endorses them
By Elaine Hollingsworth

The first time I heard about coffee enemas I laughed. Another weirdo health fad, I thought. But then I remembered that condemning new ideas without thorough investigation is indicative of a closed, dull mind. So I did some reading and even drove all the way from my then home in Beverly Hills, California, to the Max Gerson Hospital in Tijuana, Mexico.

There, I found people in varying stages of cancer who had come for help after long, unsuccessful conventional treatments in hospitals. Most had been given up and sent away to die. Even the worst cases, after a few days on the Gerson detoxification program, were able to discontinue medication, depending instead upon several coffee enemas per day to control their pain.

Subsequently, I spent two weeks at the clinic, learning about the technique and interviewing the patients. The healing I witnessed during this short stay was amazing. Detoxification is the answer for seriously ill people, not chemotherapy that poisons healthy cells as well as cancerous cells. Not surgery that rarely gets all the cancerous cells and makes the surviving cells more virulent. And certainly not radiation. Our immune systems, crucial for all aspects of health, are irreparably damaged by chemotherapy and radiation.

This clinic is, unfortunately, very expensive, and the complex regimen must be maintained for a long time after the patient is discharged. In my experience, it takes two helpers to support one outpatient. Organic vegetables have to be sourced, thirteen juices have to be pressed each day, and a strict schedule must be adhered to. For those who can afford it, Dr Gerson’s technique is superb, and I highly recommend it for seriously ill people in North America.

Coffee enemas had their genesis during a time of dire need: toward the end of World War I, Germany was blockaded and broke. Thousands of injured soldiers were in agony, due to lack of morphine, and surgeons and nurses were desperate. Somehow, with an extraordinary leap of the imagination, a nurse got the idea that an enema might help alleviate the pain of a suffering young soldier. Coffee was the only sterile solution available, and she tried it. To the amazement of everyone involved, the soldier reported great relief,the remedy was used widely from then on, and the rest is history.

Dr Max Gerson, whom Nobel Laureate Dr Albert Schweitzer called “… one of the most eminent geniuses in medical history”, incorporated this unlikely remedy into his famous cancer therapy. The purpose of these enemas is not to clean the colon, but to help detoxify the liver and bring quick relief from pain of all kinds. A headache, a hangover, a yucky feeling – you name it, a properly-administered coffee enema can bring quick relief.

Dr Gerson’s instructions for preparing are: “Take 3 tablespoons of ground (drip) coffee (not instant) to 1 quart of pure water; let it boil 3 minutes and then simmer 15 minutes more. Strain and use at body temperature.” I recommend that you use organic coffee, which is readily available in Australia, and, I presume, in most countries.

Dr Gerson says, in his ground-breaking book, A Cancer Therapy, Results Of 50 Cases, “To make enemas most effective, the patient should lie on his right side, with both legs drawn close to the abdomen, and breathe deeply, in order to suck the greatest amount of fluid into all parts of the colon. The fluid should be retained 10 to 15 minutes. Our experiments have shown that after 10 to 12 minutes almost all caffeine is absorbed from the fluid. It goes through the haemorrhoidal veins directly into the portal veins and into the liver. Patients have to know that the coffee enemas are not given for the function of the intestines but for the stimulation of the liver.”

The best way to administer an enema is to lie on the floor and place the enema bucket on a table so the flow is gentle. Or simply hang your enema bag from the back of a chair.

In July of 2004, the Prince of Wales had the courage to speak out in favour of alternative cancer therapies, specifically the Gerson Therapy. He was rewarded for his open-minded honesty with an extraordinary and rude outpouring of vitriol from the entrenched medical profession. “Cancer Inc.” has had things their own way for too long. They have never had to prove their chemotherapy and radiation are safe (which, of course, they are not), yet claim that the Gerson Therapy is “unproven”.

Come on, doctors, it’s been used since the end of World War One, with amazing success, and if you really want to know the truth, I have a suggestion: go to Mexico and observe, as did I, while nearly-comatose people are brought in by ambulance, on stretchers with morphine drips. They are victims of your “proven” slash/burn/radiate, and they are in agony. Watch them as they respond to the gentle therapy and replace damaging morphine with equally-effective coffee enemas. Listen to their stories of an uncaring medical profession that has stripped them of their dignity and often their life savings, and left them for dead. Follow through, as did I, and discover how many recovered completely. Then, re-think your condemnation of Prince Charles, who really cares, and is brave enough to say so.

Also, give thought to his efforts to popularize organic farming. The world could use more such as he, as well as doctors who speak out about the cancer/pesticide/superphosphate connection, one of the many causes of our cancer epidemic.

Alzheimer’s, story continues

This is important, You simply must consider this fully

Smokinchoices readers understand the ongoing battle I have gone through and how important the Alzheimers disease is to me.  I kept Mother with me 18 years til her death and witnessed her personal loss of self to this horror.  Within two years, I went on to care for my two granddaughters, just shy of 2 and 3.  Their own Mommy’s health broke down and she couldn’t be with them.   Prior to getting them into middle school, I became aware of frailties and lapses and my once fine memory began to struggle. Eventually, I realized the onset and it nearly destroyed me.   I loved my girls so much;  I couldn’t be ‘done’ — there was still so much to do.  Grieved a lot privately, but in time was able to force self to the task of finding solutions. 

Tried most everything which had even a hint of sounding potential.  One could say, I was motivated. . .  .  there surely wasn’t anything on the medical horizon and still isn’t..  Finnish studies determined the importance of B vitamins — did that.   Tried phosphotydalserine for months and nothing noticeable for me.  My personal favorite which became my solution was Coco nut oil that I learned of from Dr Mary Newport when her husband sank into that downward spiral.  She opened her story to the public,  gave interviews and has written a book.  I have several of her interviews up here at “smokinchoices”  So because of her, I use MCT oil and Coconut Oil  (approximately 50-50) daily.  One must become creative to find ways to use it.  Saute with it (takes heat better than olive oil), tho, it pays to be cautious with heat – hi heat is just not good for our food – right?  Cooking (hi temp) destroys nutrients.  Drizzle on salads,  mixes well in your oatmeal and one my easiest ways is in a morning shake with fruits,  a protein powder and other  supplements and of course, some pure water. Need 3 or 4 T-spoons daily

It has brought me back to normalcy.  My memory is still not what it used to be, but at 84, I’m not complaining.  Single-handedly, that’s the answer!  I’m not a purist, but I eat pretty clean.  Have given up  gluten (bread was one of my fav’s in life), won’t go near GMO’s and buy as much organic as I am able to (which is not 100 % sorry to say).   I scream so much about ROUNDUP and pesticides and synthetic fertilizers that even I get tired of hearing me.  But now after this brilliant piece from Dr Mercola which this post is about, I am realizing that my healing from the death-grip of Alzheimers is not just about what good thing I did, but it’s about the other things which I have  managed to stop doing.    So, please absorb the message in this post and do yourself or someone you love a favor It’s life-saving.    Jan

Story at-a-glance

  • Alzheimer’s disease currently afflicts about 5.4 million Americans, including one in eight people aged 65 and over
  • Research suggests zinc deficiency can contribute to Alzheimer’s by promoting accumulation of clumps of defective proteins in your brain, which is one of the hallmarks of the disease
  • The rise in Alzheimer’s prevalence may be related to genetically engineered foods, as herbicides like Roundup are mineral chelators, which means they bind specific nutrients, especially zinc
  • Research suggests the best hope is in prevention focusing on diet, exercise and staying mentally active
  • Avoiding gluten appears to be of critical importance, as is making sure you’re getting plenty of healthful fats (including demonized saturated fats). Fasting also has a remarkably beneficial influence on your brain health

alzheimers zinc deficiencyThis Mineral Deficiency Can Trigger Clumping of Proteins in Your Brain… Then Alzheimer’s
It’s a major hallmark of Alzheimer’s, so fixing this deficiency may be protective… especially avoiding these foods that can rob your body of this important mineral. And don’t forget these “top 3” prevention strategies

October 27, 2013

‘Whipped Goods’ success

LIZ DUFOUR THE CINCINNATI ENQUIRER Just 14 months ago, Lauren Wiley, 26, created Whipped Goods, an online business that sells natural bath, body and home goods.

Ohio woman whips up natural beauty products

By John Faherty • THE CINCINNATI ENQUIRER

Lauren Wiley remembers exactly when she realized she was in real trouble. It was Nov. 24 of last year and Wiley’s new business, Whipped Goods, was 2 months old. • Things had been going fine until that day, known in retail as “Small Business Saturday.” That morning, the orders started coming in. By the day’s end, more than 300 customers had ordered Wiley’s products. Two days later, “Cyber Monday,” it happened again.

“I remember sitting there, at the end of the Monday, and saying to myself: ‘I am going to need some help,’” Wiley, 26, said from her home in Madisonville.

Whipped Goods started as a skin- and hair-care company. The market line has grown since then, but not the business model. Wiley utilizes cooking techniquesmostly whipping, hence the company name — to transform organic and “raw” materials into creams and lotions and soaps.

The company is a product of the confidence of its creator. Wiley believed in what she was making. She was certain that Cincinnati was the right place to build a company like this. And she hoped people would want to spend their money on a company they felt good about. Even one that made nearly everything in a kitchen mixing bowl.

“I’m that girl from Ohio who makes everything by hand,” Wiley said. “This company is designed for the woman who wants to know the origin of her products. For women who like the narrative of a product.”

Wiley remembers sitting in front of her grandmother’s mirror, with all its makeup and lotions, when she was as young as 4 years old. Her mom and dad also let her play in the kitchen, trying to make scented oils, as she was growing up.

  • But after graduating from the University of Cincinnati with a degree in urban studies, Wiley was no longer a little girl playing with makeup. She was a young woman who needed to earn a living.    So while she made hair and skin products for herself, she started working at School Outfitters in Norwood. She learned about e-commerce and marketing and customer service.

From August until October 2012, she sold school furnishings during the day and made and sold beauty products at night. She told her father she could make a living on Whipped Goods.    “I told her to keep working and to show me her numbers after eight weeks,” Robert Doggett said. “After six weeks she showed me, and I told her to give notice. This was what she should be doing.”

So she did. And because she was working from home, because she was doing everything herself, because the raw materials are not expensive, she could start up Whipped Goods without going into debt.

  • “We’ve been profitable from the first day,” Wiley said proudly. “I knew there was a market. It already existed.”

Wiley buys her grape oil, avocado oil and butters from restaurant supply companies. She mixes them into what she calls a souffle, adding scents to make them smell just right, often using lavender and ginger and eucalyptus from her own garden. “Whipping changes everything,” Wiley said. Then she puts them into containers using pastry bags so they look beautiful.   And this, she knew, was important. Customers like to feel they are indulging themselves.

Wiley’s customers started taking photos of their new hair product or skin lotion and placing them on Pinterest or Instagram. Her customers were becoming her marketers.

  • “If it were not for Twitter and Instagram, I would not be where I am today,” she said. “It opens so many markets. To date, we’ve had as many orders from Paris as we’ve had from Cleveland.”

jfaherty@enquirer.com

(My comment:

Is this a stunning story or what?   Lauren may have started her enterprise on the low-down, but understood  the necessary ingredients it takes to project into the stratosphere she wanted.  And she is doing it on her own terms.  I love this success story.    There is much one can learn here.   Like any good entrepreneur — she isn’t afraid of work, getting in and doing it!

And I love that she got the need for elegance and/or beauty.  This is one of my own triggers.  Having had a devotion to ‘beauty’ my entire life;  nature, photography,  the arts – painting,   Crazy about beautiful jars.  I have saved some old cosmetic jars from maybe 30 – 40 years ago.  My favorites are deep, dark blue like lapis lazuli or deep amethyst color.  Put my own home-made cosmetics into them.  Anyway my friends, where there is a will, there’s a way.     Just sayin’. . . . Jan)

Want a Business @ home?

On the money

Want to start a business out of your home?

By Chuck Myers MCCLATCHY NEWSPAPERS

Are you ready to become your own boss?

Starting a home-based business might be the answer. If you’d like to learn about starting one, here are a few places to start:

Small Business Administration: Features insights on starting, financing and marketing a home business, and more — http://www.sba.gov/content/   home-based-business

• Home Biz Tools: Provides an array of articles on home-business ideas and possibilities — http://www.homebiz  tools.com/ideas.htm

• Home Business magazine: Offers home-business resources and articles — http://www.homebusinessmag.com/   business-start

• National Federation of Independent Business: Contains variety of articles related to home-based businesses —www.nfib.com/business-  resources/start-a-business/   home-based-business

(My comment:

I’ve seen friends start up a business at home, only to run into road-blocks – one after another.  It seemed they had done everything right; inquired about what all they would need,  then estimated logical financial needs and necessary everything.   Getting approvals, finding space locations,    Every time they turned around, thinking now they could proceed — — they now find an additional approval needed.  ( This was a food oriented thing).    

I remember thinking — “there should be one central place who could advise from beginning to end what one needs to “DO” this thing (business).  These great people took a beating;  they encumbered themselves, believed what they were told.  But there were so many different facets to it that it seems unscrupulous.  Obviously they were not being given the advice they really needed, even tho this was city officials.  

So I want to suggest one look into all carefully and ask many questions.  Ignorance is never an excuse and the fines if one proceeds without proper licensing, documentation,  — legal stuff, ya know. . .can be dreadful. Follow your dream, but be sure to dot all the i’s and cross every t.  Stay safe and solvent. Jan)

Good folks speak up

(My Comment:  Not everybody takes the time to read newspapers anymore, but I still enjoy them.  I do have my favorite talking heads on TV and favorite channels  — but it can get to be too much, can’t it?  Often an issue is used to beat us to death, over and over,  you see what I mean.     On this day, I had noticed all the “letters to the editor”  which I used to participate in before I became a blogger  but now have less time to indulge this pastime.   I was struck with the complete normalcy and casual intelligence of ordinary people just doing their thing and taking the time to express themselves.                           .This is America speaking!   

These people are expressing common sense, sanely and calmly and rather intelligently in my opinion.   It  makes my day, for it is easy to forget that others feel what we do and yet maintain their balance and keep their cool.  Friends and neighbors, thank you.      Jan)

Letters to the Editor

Put health care on ballot next year   

The solution to eliminating the Affordable Care Act (I refuse to call it Obamacare) really is quite simple: Medicare for everyone.   

Yes, there are those who will disagree. Then let’s start by putting it on the ballot in 2014.   

How would we pay for it?     Bring back all U.S. troops from Afghanistan, for starters.   

Will there be those in the health-care fields who disagree?   Yes, but then, that will be a new ballgame and they will have to learn to adjust to smaller incomes.   

And what about politicians who say no?   Vote them out of office.    Congress must wake up.   It has had it easy and now it is time to suffer with the rest of us lowly Americans.

.DENNIS AGIN,  Columbus

Most in GOP oppose tea party’s tactics

I respond to the Friday letter “Only socialists think tea party is radical” from Allen T. Shepard.   I must acquaint him with a dose of reality:  ordinary folk smarter thanA majority of Republicans are in diametric opposition to the tactics of the tea party.

They are not taking a more-aggressive stand against the tea-party positions only because they are in fear of losing their seats as a result of the bizarre gerrymandering of their districts after the last census. This, in fact, enabled the minority to hold sway despite the fact that the Democrats won a sizable majority of the vote in the last election.

Socialism has absolutely no place at the negotiating table. Ideological intransigence does, as demonstrated by the recent shutdown of our government , resulting in approximately $24 billion in losses in wages, productivity and world confidence in our “democracy.” Dispatch Senior Editor Joe Hallett is not a “socialist,” as Shepard claimed; rather, he is a reasoned reporter who is calling it as he sees it.

The tea party is the true hostage-taker, and by not standing up to it, House Speaker John Boehner has lost a substantial amount of credibility, which he most likely will never be able to recoup.

Reasoned discourse, as in the past, needs to be reintroduced into the halls of Congress if we are ever going to solve our problems. The Ted Cruzes of the world are not the solution; they are the problem.

   .HERRICK F. LAYLIN,    Dublin

Bring troops home, focus on our nation

In view of our country’s dire financial shape, why don’t we give Guantanamo Bay back to Cuba? It is their land. Why don’t we get out of Japan and Germany? World War II ended in 1945.

Why don’t we get out of Korea? The Korean people don’t want us there.

Why don’t we close the 750 to 800 bases around the world and stop building embassies such as the one in Iraq, the largest in the world?

Why don’t we get out of Afghanistan after 13 years? The Russians cut their losses and got out.

Vietnam apparently taught our leaders nothing.

All of the above helped put us where we are today.

  .PAUL B. DIERKSEN Columbus

Issue 17 deserves OK in Gahanna

I have lived in nine Ohio counties and 13 different communities across the state. Those 13 communities range from rural townships to big cities to suburbs. I sometimes look back on them as comfortable places to live, and Gahanna tops the list.

There are many reasons I call Gahanna home. First, it is a well-run city, with an administration and council that are responsive to the needs of the residents.

Second, the Gahanna Division of Police is a superb organization that comes quickly when needed.

Third, the city’s Parks and Recreation Department has something for everyone — from sports leagues and playgrounds for kids to trails for hikers and bicyclists to a senior center for old folks like me.

All residents would suffer if the current lack of city income forced cuts in any of those operations.

Other cities have been in this situation and suffered a gradual decline because of diminishing revenue, and I’m afraid that Gahanna is teetering on the edge of such a situation.

I hope and pray that doesn’t happen here, and that is why I will vote yes on Issue 17, the income-tax-reform proposal, on Nov. 5.

.LEE BAILEY,   Gahanna

Shutdown over, D.C. is back to its old tricks

Now I get it:   We have to raise the national debt ceiling so we can lend countries like Pakistan $1.6 billion (“With relations improved, U.S. to hand Pakistan $1.6B,” Associated Press article, Saturday Dispatch). The article says it’s for “military and economic aid.”

I would like to know who in Washington can honestly say that they track the money to see what it’s spent on.

.BILL SEKULICH,   Delaware

Earmarks work their way into bill

I am irate at the items attached to the bill that was passed to reopen the government (“Earmarks still made it into bill,” Reuters article, Thursday Dispatch). I especially resent the $174,000 payment to Bonnie Englebardt Lautenberg, the widow of New Jersey Democratic Sen. Frank Lautenberg.

Why is she worth more than our men and women fighting this useless war? They get a mere pittance when they come home in caskets and even less when wounded. We should devote all our extra energies to see that these heroes and their families are taken care of.

Most of the senators are well-heeled. Mrs. Lautenberg would do well to donate this money to the Wounded Warrior Project.

Also, does Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., think that a dam in Kentucky will assure him of a win next year? The only worthwhile attachment was the one to expedite military veterans’ claims so that our vets will get what they have all earned.

It’s apparent the members of Congress are interested only in their own careers. Why can’t they ever pass a bill on its merits?

I urge everyone to write their senators about these concerns and to remember this when they go to the polls.

  .PATRICIA L. DeWITT,   Canal Winchester

Kids need responsible dad in the picture

The Dispatch series “Kids shooting kids” (Oct. 13-14) was very sad.

We surely feel the pain that those mothers must feel when they have to deal with those terrible situations on a regular basis.

The one thing I found lacking in the article is information on the fathers. They have fathered these children and abandoned them and their mothers. Without a good father figure to guide the children, all these programs will continue to have mimimal impact.

Without good, strong, positive fathers in the picture, these young people get guidance from the wrong groups. Mothers do the best they can, but it is a team effort, no doubt. The role of a father in raising a son cannot be diminished.

We will have poverty forever, no matter how many trillions of dollars we spend, but a good father as a role model will give a son a much better chance to break that cycle than the irresponsible ones who father the kids and then abandon them

.ROBERT BROWN,   Worthington

October 26, 2013

‘Grand Bargain’ in works (again)

So Bernie, where were you last nite as I was blowin’  my “cool”?

Click here if you are having trouble viewing this email.
Demand answers from the next Fed chair nominee.

They’re at it again.

Billionaires like the Koch Brothers, Pete Peterson, Stanley Druckenmiller and others are leading the charge to cut Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid.

If they succeed, millions of senior citizens, working families, disabled veterans and children will suffer.  We must not allow that to happen.

Today, the middle class is disappearing, real unemployment is extremely high, poverty is increasing and working families throughout the country are struggling to keep their heads above water economically.  Meanwhile, the gap between the very rich and everyone else is growing wider and wider and the wealthiest people and the largest corporations are doing phenomenally well.

WE MUST NOT BALANCE THE BUDGET ON THE BACKS OF WORKING FAMILIES, THE ELDERLY, THE CHILDREN, THE SICK AND THE POOR.

As Vermont’s senator, I have the honor of serving on the Budget Conference Committee which will be negotiating a new federal budget over the next few months — and where I am fearful that a deal could be struck to slash Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid.

As the founder of the Defending Social Security Caucus, please stand with me and our coalition partners in demanding; “No grand bargain in exchange for cuts to Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid.”

Let’s be clear.  Despite right-wing rhetoric:

Social Security is not going broke.  According to the Social Security Administration, Social Security has a surplus today of $2.8 trillion and can pay out every benefit owed to every eligible person for the next 20 years.

Social Security has not contributed to the deficit.  Social Security is funded independently by FICA taxes which are paid by workers and their employers.

The so-called chained-CPI, which recalculates how COLA’s are formulated, is not a “modest tweak.”  If the chained CPI went into effect today, a senior aged 65 would receive $658 a year less in Social Security benefits when he/she is 75, and $1,100 a year less at age 85.  Further, the average disabled veteran would lose tens of thousands of dollars in benefits over his/her lifetime.

Please stand with me today and demand that Congress and the President oppose any grand bargain which cuts Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid benefits.

When one out of four U.S. corporations pay nothing in federal income taxes; when Bush’s tax breaks for the rich remain in place for many wealthy Americans; when the U.S. spends almost as much as the rest of the world combined on defense, there are much fairer and economically sound ways to address the budget than cutting programs desperately needed by the most vulnerable people in our country.

Please stand with me and our coalition partners in protecting the future of Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid benefits.

Let’s go forward together.  Thanks for your continued support.

Sincerely,

Bernie
Senator Bernie Sanders

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Facebk Generation – revolt

Commentary

Time is right for a generational revolt

Thomas L. Friedman

Even after this crisis, eventually the two parties will make another stab at a deal on taxes, investments and entitlements. But there’s one outcome from such negotiations that I can absolutely guarantee: Seniors, Wall Street and unions will all have their say and their interests protected. So the most likely result will be more tinkering around the edges, as our politicians run for the hills the minute someone accuses them of “fixing the deficit on the backs of the elderly” or creating “death panels” to sensibly allocate end-of-life health care.

Could this time be different? Short of an economic meltdown, there is only one thing that might produce meaningful change: a mass movement for tax, spending and entitlement reform, led by the cohort that is the least organized but will be the most affected if we don’t think long term: today’s young people.

  • Whether they realize it or not, they’re the ones who will really get hit by all the cans we’re kicking down the road. After we baby boomers get done retiring, if current taxes and entitlement promises are not reformed, the cupboard will be largely bare for today’s Facebook generation. But what are the chances of them getting out of Facebook and into their parents’ faces and demanding not only that the wealthy do their part but that the next generation as a whole leaves something for this one?

Too bad young people aren’t paying attention. Or are they?

Wait! Who is that speaking to crowds of students at Berkeley, Stanford, Brown, USC, Bowdoin, Notre Dame and NYU, urging these “future seniors” to start a movement to protect their interests? That’s Stan Druckenmiller, the legendary investor who made a fortune predicting the subprime bust, often accompanied by Geoffrey Canada, the president of the Harlem Children’s Zone, of which Druckenmiller is the biggest funder.

“My generation — we brought down the president in the ‘60s because we didn’t want to go into the war against Vietnam,” Druckenmiller told an overflow crowd at Notre Dame last week. “People say young people don’t vote; young people don’t care. I’m hoping after tonight, you will care. There is a clear danger to you and your children.”

With graph after graph, they show how government spending, investments, entitlements and poverty alleviation have overwhelmingly benefited the elderly since the 1960s and how the situation will only get worse as our over-65 population soars 100 percent between now and 2050, while the working population that will have to support them, ages 18 to 64, will grow by 17 percent. This imbalance will lead to a huge burden on the young and, without greater growth, necessitate cutting the very government investments in infrastructure, Head Start, and medical and technology research that help the poorest and also create the jobs of the future.

  • Druckenmiller is not looking to get his taxes cut. He considers Social Security and Medicare great achievements for how they’ve reduced poverty among the elderly. He and Canada are simply convinced that only a Vietnam-war-scale movement by the young can break through the web of special interests to force politicians to put in place the reforms that would actually secure both today’s seniors and future seniors, today’s middle class and the wanna-be middle class.

Druckenmiller urges young people to design their own solutions, but, when asked, he recommends: raising taxes on capital gains, dividends and carried interest — now hugely weighted to the wealthy and elderly — to make them equal to earned income taxes; making all consumers more price sensitive when obtaining health care; means-testing Social Security and Medicare so they go to those most in need; phasing in higher age qualifications for entitlements and cutting corporate taxes to zero, so the people who actually create jobs will have more resources to do so.

At the Harlem Children’s Zone, explains Canada, “we have made a promise to all of our children: You play by the rules, do well in school, avoid drugs, gangs, crime and teenage pregnancy, and we will get you into college and on your way down the path of the middle class” and toward a future of financial security.

  • But, he adds, “the current spending on my generation — I’m 61 — if it continues unabated, will erase any chance my children will have the safety net of social, education and health services they will need. It seems deeply offensive to me that we will be asking these poor children from Harlem to subsidize a generation that is, by and large, more well-off than they are, and then leave them deeply indebted in an America that had eaten the seed corn of the next generation.”

Thomas L. Friedman writes for The New York Times.

(My Comment:

I have to say, this is an eye-opener.  Makes me somewhat ashamed of having squawked about the probable upcoming cuts to the SS income of seniors with regard to the cost-of-living adjustment we generally look forward to.  Life can be a bitch at times.  For most seniors, it ain’t easy;  too old to work with too many problems to allow choices to be easy. 

No one likes to be seen as greedy and or uncaring, but the simple truth of economic disparity in this nation especially coming from the GOP wanting to deprive women, children and all manner of other needy or disadvantaged people and classes just trying to have a life and survive.  But somehow;  the well-to-do continue to to be wealthier with each passing season, no matter who is in charge.  When we are forced to live with the rulings from SCOTUS whereby all of our civilized lives are changed so ruthlessly and we watch helplessly  as laws  are allowed to go against our deepest sense of decency,  it can get pretty frustrating.  One can wonder what the world is coming to. 

There is a sense of indignity which rises and can’t be put down.  2 and 2 still accumulates to the same old 4.  I cannot or will not apologize for whatever is found stirring amongst the grey matter between my ears.  By and large, one survives by focusing on much loftier, happier thought processes; but that is not to say, there aren’t nasty disturbances in the land which cannot be ignored   Like almost everybody else, I must say, its not much fun being on the dirty end of a stick.

There is no question that these decisions are extremely relevant and demand attention.  Who wouldn’t want equal justice for all?  Most especially we want the best for our kids.  That’s what parents are about.  I am so damned tired of hearing about the too-muchness of what the indigent are getting.  They wouldn’t be indigent if we had not lost our sense of civil decency and anyone who worked could easily have a decent life.    Why not more appropriately ask —  —  how much  is enough for the wealthier among us?  Is there any end to this greed thing?

Friedman is one of my favorite thinkers.  But hot dam, I’m upset right now.   Jan)

Wanna build something – do it!

DISPATCH ILLUSTRATION, COMPLETELYROYAL.COM

The perfect fit

Entrepreneur says crowdfunding website was the best way for him to help his belt business grow

By Kurt Ludlow • WBNS-10TV

If Zack Chapple’s belt had any holes in it, he’d probably loosen it a notch or two. • Chapple is breathing a lot easier now that his fledgling men’s fashion business — he markets perforation-free belts — has secured a much-needed capital infusion through “crowdfunding,” seemingly the new best friend of entrepreneurs everywhere. • The 26-year-old Marysville resident said the money increases the likelihood that, someday, his belts will be holding up pants all over the world. • “They hold up quite a few pants already,” he quipped. • Chapple, a software engineer by training, has been selling belts online for about a year, his product line inspired by a belt he ran across during a 2010 visit to his wife’s native country , China. “My wife and I were actually hiking around her hometown, and my belt broke,” he recalled. “I ended up buying a new belt while I was there, and it was something we’d never seen before.”

Although it lacked holes, the belt could be easily adjusted in increments far tinier than a standard belt allows.

Chapple said it was a godsend for someone like him — “kind of a bigger guy” with an ever-fluctuating waistline. (“I’m anywhere from one to three holes different, depending on what week it is or how ‘healthy’ of a meal I’ve just eaten.”)

Much to his wife’s chagrin, Chapple spent the next year showing his new belt to friends, relatives, even strangers.

“We would be standing in line at a food court or getting coffee somewhere, and she would turn around and see me taking off my belt again,” he said. “Everyone I showed this belt to thought it was awesome, and, in that year, I did not meet a single person that had seen a belt like that before.”

Chapple saw something else: a business opportunity. He had one of his wife’s former classmates buy 60 belts and ship them to Ohio, where he resold them at a profit. Eventually, he found a manufacturer closer to home, and Completely Royal was born.

The company’s standard belt features closely spaced vertical ridges, or ribs, instead of traditional holes. The “buckle” contains an angled lever — known formally as a pawl — that, until released, allows the belt to travel in just one direction.

“When you feed it into the buckle, kind of like a zip-tie, it ratchets,” Chapple said, his demonstration producing a rapid-fire “click-click-click” more often associated with a spring-loaded socket wrench.

  • Chapple’s website, completelyroyal.com  , offers leather belt straps in several colors and textures. The corresponding metal buckles come in an even-wider variety of designs and finishes.

Chapple’s next big thing: a ratcheting belt buckle that’s almost indistinguishable from its traditional counterpart — that is, a metal frame with an “empty middle” that showcases, rather than obscures, the underlying leather.

“We found some good examples and had a couple of prototypes,” he said. “We went to the manufacturer and said, ‘This is what we want.’ And they said, ‘Well, if you want to do that, there’s going to be a die cost; manufacturing is expensive.’

“So that’s why we decided we’d go with crowdfunding.”

STEVE MAGUIRE WBNS-10TV    Zack Chapple, right, says the idea for his belt without holes came from one he bought in China. A 30-day campaign on crowdfunding website Kickstarter helped him raise $46,571.

In the past few years, more than 450 crowdfunding platforms, or websites, have sprung up to help artists, designers and cash-hungry entrepreneurs amass grass-roots financial support.

The global management consultant McKinsey & Co. reports that such sites are “revolutionizing everything from philanthropy to micro-lending by allowing many small donors or lenders to pool their resources online to support a common goal.”

Chapple settled on Kickstarter, which, since its launch in 2009, has helped direct $830 million to more than 50,000 ventures, including hundreds of startups such as Completely Royal.

One thing that sets Kickstarter apart in the increasingly crowded crowdfunding industry is its all-or-nothing approach: If a project doesn’t reach its goal in the allotted time, the person or organization seeking financial support goes away empty-handed.

Chapple’s Kickstarter appeal went live on Sept. 17. His goal: to raise $17,500 within 30 days.

The “rewards” awaiting those who joined the “Completely Royal family” ranged from a leather-wrapped shoehorn (available to backers pledging $10) to a “limited-edition gift set” featuring three belts (reserved for those willing to put up at least $250).

“We see timing being the biggest possible issue for us,” Chapple wrote in his online pitch. “Since we are so close to the holiday season, we are a little at risk if we do not hit our goal until the very end of this 30-day Kickstarter.”

Chapple needn’t have worried: He reached his goal in 14 days, and, by the time the specified “funding period” expired on Thursday, 625 backers had pledged $46,571 — more than 2 1/2 times the amount he was seeking. (Kick-starter keeps 5percent.)

  • “The crowdfunding platform is really advantageous, because you’re able to get your idea out to the masses really quick,” he said.

Now, thanks to his successful foray into crowdfunding, Chapple can shift his focus to another make-or-break deadline: Christmas is 67 shopping days away. kurt.ludlow@10tv.com

(My Comment:

I know it may seem I don’t have a clue what’s going on when I keep posting all these ideas about either getting an education, or variously,  pointing up  great ideas which keep presenting themselves to me on how some people are making things happen in their lives.   And while it is NOT related to the  health and healing thrust of this blog-site,   I would suggest that it has much in common in as much as one must be open and willing to think or see in perhaps a new or different way.    Sometimes, we can be so accustomed to our life scenario that we cannot possibly conceive of finding  release from it.  One could say —  we are indeed, attached to our pain or misery or woe whether its illness or poverty.  “Stuff” can get anyone down.  

We must be open to the possibilities, because,  stuff changes.  We change, grow and can expand.  Every cell in our body is always in a state of change.  If cells change – what does that suggest about illness?   And if circumstances are changing and always will (always have) —  what does that say about permanence?  And where does it all start, or happen , or come about?   Only in our thinking! No where else.    What the mind accepts — the body reacts to (will follow).  So as one can imagine, it pays to choose the happier thoughts or prospects that we find pleasure in.  Go for what makes you happy  Be open to the goal and see that and worry less about how you get there. . . . trust that life is good and is meant to be joyful and that you are worthy already and fully as entitled as anyone  in the world to ‘chase your dreams’.  See them, nourish them and be open to life’s surprises.  .  .  .   this is the attitude of youth before it has been so disillusioned, sad and distrustful, which crushes hope and diminishes ones very life force.  Be grateful for the stirring of desire for this is what moves you  and animates one’s energies.   

Go for what you want – – it’s a good thing,    Jan)

October 25, 2013

Surgery best fix 4 obesity (?)

HEALTH UPDATE

Surgery found best to curb obesity

By Makiko Kitamura BLOOMBERG NEWS

LONDON — Weight-loss surgery is more effective than diet and exercise as a treatment for obesity, according to a review of health studies involving almost 800 people.

Surgery such as gastric banding, gastric bypass or sleeve gastrectomy led to, on average, 57 pounds more weight loss after two years than nonsurgical treatments, which included diet, exercise, behavioral therapy and medicines, according to an analysis of 11 studies of 796 obese people.

The research was published yesterday in the  British Medical Journal.

While the results are limited to two years’ follow-up after surgery, the analysis provides further evidence supporting medical procedures to address the obesity epidemic. Obesity raises the risks of diabetes, heart attacks and strokes, and at least 2.8 million people die each year from being overweight.

“This meta-analysis provides comprehensive evidence that, compared with nonsurgical treatment of obesity, bariatric surgery leads to greater body weight loss,” according to the authors, led by Viktoria Gloy at the University Hospital Basel in Switzerland.

  • Surgery also led to higher remission rates of Type 2 diabetes, according to the review. The most-common side effects were iron-deficiency anemia and the need to re-operate. Another complication might be frequent diarrhea.

While diet and exercise are more cost-effective options, studies show that for most people, they are not sustainable for weight loss. As many as two-thirds of those on diets regain more weight than they lost within four or five years, according to an analysis of 31 longterm studies on dieting by researchers at the University of California-Los Angeles.

(My Comment:

It must be fairly evident by now that such a post as this couldn’t find it’s way to my site without being accompanied by  some type of rebuttal by yours truly.  I find so many things wrong with it that I hardly know where to begin.

We’ve been deeply betrayed

First off,  our nation is not suffering  primarily from obesity;  but instead, from the type and form of government we have and the way that it is administered.  We all — even the most ill-informed of us understand the way it is supposed to be  —  i.e. of the people,  for the the people and by the people.  The founders of our nation didn’t go through all that hardship and deprivation and great personal risk to build a glorious future for the corporate structure for millionaires  in which the common folk had no voice!  To be sure,  almost all had a greater vision — in fact were fleeing tyranny and taxation without representation. Does anyone think that is what we have now?  Hold on, I’ve got a gorgeous bridge. . . . .      

What in fact we do have is corruption of the worst kind in which people are routinely sold out to the highest bidder and their water is carried by most of the elected representatives we send to Washington to “SPEAK FOR US,” and best serve our needs.  Protect us.  It ain’t happening.  The world, and America in particular has refused to accept Genetically modified “frankenfood” of almost any kind.  We have Said NO in millions of signatures on petitions to remove them from our lives.  We have demanded labeling laws to which any one is entitled.   Most educated, enlightened people “in the rest of the world” heeded their people and complied.  But not here in good ole U.S.A.  Washington and the the corporate complex will not yield the power they have all become accustomed to. 

The  Feckless Agencies of our Government

So what are we talking about here?   BIG PhRMA,  BIG AG,  the FDA most especially  because they have exercised maximum power and control over the way things are run and what is approved — — yet they claim to have no control over what is approved because, ultimately,  they do no testing of any kind.  They take the word of the corporation who says what they are doing is safe.  And it isn’t of course.  There is no court to arbitrate, no forum to be able to prove anything.  And so it goes.     

The same for Agriculture:  Hold on.  I’m not willing to say the FDA is worse that the Dept of Agriculture.    Our mono-farming is a disaster which is compromising the health of our world. (and the inhabitants thereof).  Nature in her wisdom would never -ever have done mono-farming  (the repetitive sowing of corn or soy or wheat as an example).  It depletes the soil and vibrancy of mother-nature’s well-established overall plan.   Ask anyone with a memory of how it was once done – successfully for multi millions of years and without pesticides or  any synthetic chemicals.  There was a harmony in nature, and it worked.   But currently,  we are all being poisoned by these corporations,  shortening our lives and destroying the quality of the life we are able to squeeze out for ourselves against great odds.  And this ain’t workin either!  Bugs and vermin are evolving faster and larger and more threatening than any chemical company can cope with. 

  • Monsanto is single-handedly destroying the earth with “ROUNDUP” 

So much for what’s wrong with our country today.  But this is just the the prologue.  Against this background,  people are eating like they always have, but guess what, they are simultaneously being starved because there is no nutritive value in what they are ingesting.  You can’t fool mother nature – – its a fact!  You can’t grow full-bodied nutrient-rich  food-stuff in depleted soil, loaded with chemicals and synthetic fertilizers and all those poisonous insecticides etc.,. and expect otherwise.  Giving the body calorie-laden so-called food is only a joke and the body isn’t laughing.  It’s starving and remains hungry.  That’s why people continue to eat.  The body seeks its minerals without which it can’t survive and be healthy.  More to it, but you get the idea.  Same with the corn fed cattle and chickens.  Cattle seeks the greens of the field and chickens need to scratch for their own grubs.  Our animal-protein is coming at a vile, horrific price.    Thank God for the vegetarians among us. 

Got a problem?  See a doctor

So as we slowly starve, our innards start breaking down with all kinds of ills,  then run to see a doctor who then gives prescription meds to fix the problem.  But the body only needs a healthy diet – that’s all it needs.  Giving it a handful more  chemicals is just a further insult – more burden to try to cope with.  It’s all downhill from there.  By continuing to do what we’re doing, we’ll get more of the same.  So we’re an obese nation — yeah, sure.  But first, we are a sick nation with exceedingly poor care.  If only Hippocrates could have stuck around  longer – – “Let food be thy medicine and thy medicine be food”.  

I like to say “You are what you eat”   Perhaps as important is to “Ask more questions”   We must demand better care or take up the task and do it yourself.    I’ve had JJ Virgin here and Brenda Watson showcased as well – both nutritionists.  It’s true one can’t find a Mark Hyman or Joel Fuhrman  around every corner.  But these doctors simply tired of seeing their patients sicken and die needlessly which is often why brilliant men such as these study further and become the benefactors which they are.  They write books, see patients, do live broadcasts and TV specials – just in order to reach more people – – let others know.   It is magnanimous what they do.  All of these professionals have helped people to change their lives and become free from dieting.  One needs information and to learn how to do sensible but effective care of the body.  And it can be tasty.  These patients loose hundreds of pounds and have such a good time with it — they never look back.  It is just a matter of learning how.  Pick any of these 4 names and look em up on the internet — get their books or make an appointment and go see any of them.    

But guess what?   When one drops excess body poundage by cleaning up his dietary habits through learning what the body needs and how to do it,  sure, you loose weight – down to where you need  to be;  but the surprising thing is – all the other afflictions disappear as well, like diabetes, high blood pressure, skin conditions, allergies and so much more.   All from a little effort and info.  That’s a pretty nice side benefit — wouldn’t you say?  And one certainly can’t say any of that to someone who has had these dire surgeries  which permanently alter the body.    There are consequences to these procedures, some of which are not so nice.  Jan)

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