April 6, 2013 archive

Apr 06

Syracuse Coach Abuse – not what you think

Syracuse is in big trouble.

Maybe not from Michigan.  The game could be a barn burner or one of Jim Boeheim’s patented defensive awfuls.

That is not what this is about.

Syracuse is reportedly being investigated for abuse of children by an assistant coach but at least some of the accusers are dubious and one has confessed to lying already.  Boeheim has escaped from a defamation lawsuit for having offered only a “personal opinion.”

But that is not what this is about either.

This is about the barrage of advertising locally that Boeheim has survived prostate cancer because he got a worthless PSA screening test.  The inventor himself says men chosen for biopsies on their prostates by the PSA test might as well be selected by the color of their eyes.  But it makes lots of money for the doctors and hospitals and medical labs so under they knife they go.  Most survive but they risk death (rarely), incontinence, impotence, heart disease, diabetes and more. So the doctors and hospitals and medical suppliers can make lots of money.

But since Jim Boeheim has been saved from prostate cancer he may, or may not, have had and may, or may not, have killed him if he had it, Coach Boeheim is now onto supporting a new way of saving people from cancer:

Coach Jim Boeheim Putting Up His Best Defense Against Michigan… and Cancer

Research by Cellceutix has shown Kevetrin to re-activate p53, a protein that has earned the nickname, the “Guardian Angel of the Human Genome” because of its ability to command other proteins in the body to destroy cancer cells. In nearly all cancers, p53 is muted from its normal function, but Cellceutix believes that Kevetrin has the potential of correcting the damage, returning the protein to its role as head coach of the cell cycle.

“I put 100 percent into everything that I do, whether it is preparation for a game or working to find a cure for cancer,” said Boeheim.

http://finance.yahoo.com/news/…

Well that can’t be bad can it?

It has been very bad news for Harlan Waksal and his efforts to cure [cure, not just treat] multiple myeloma – a rare and horrible blood cancer.  In 18 months, after years of testing and filling out forms to get approval to test his novel genetic drug on multiple myeloma, Harlan and his company managed to get one patient for trials.  The others have gone to Jim Boeheim’s pumped pill mill that has about the same chance of all those that went before and failed to squeeze out a few extra hours of life.

Maybe it will work.  Sure hope it does.  Multiple myeloma is a horrible disease as mentioned.

But I would rather bet on Boeheim’s success against Michigan.

Best,  Terry

Apr 06

Cartnoon

Apr 06

On This Day In History April 6

Cross posted from The Stars Hollow Gazette

This is your morning Open Thread. Pour your favorite beverage and review the past and comment on the future.

Find the past “On This Day in History” here.

April 6 is the 96th day of the year (97th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 269 days remaining until the end of the year.

On this day in 1896, the Olympic Games, a long-lost tradition of ancient Greece, are reborn in Athens 1,500 years after being banned by Roman Emperor Theodosius I. At the opening of the Athens Games, King Georgios I of Greece and a crowd of 60,000 spectators welcomed athletes from 13 nations to the international competition.

The 1896 Summer Olympics, officially known as the Games of the I Olympiad, was a multi-sport event celebrated in Athens, Greece, from April 6 to April 15, 1896. It was the first international Olympic Games held in the Modern era. Because Ancient Greece was the birthplace of the Olympic Games, Athens was perceived to be an appropriate choice to stage the inaugural modern Games. It was unanimously chosen as the host city during a congress organized by Pierre de Coubertin, a French pedagogue and historian, in Paris, on June 23, 1894. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) was also established during this congress.

Despite many obstacles and setbacks, the 1896 Olympics were regarded as a great success. The Games had the largest international participation of any sporting event to that date. The Panathinaiko Stadium, the only Olympic stadium used in the 19th Century, overflowed with the largest crowd ever to watch a sporting event. The highlight for the Greeks was the marathon victory by their compatriot Spiridon Louis. The most successful competitor was German wrestler and gymnast Carl Schuhmann, who won four events.

After the Games, Coubertin and the IOC were petitioned by several prominent figures including Greece’s King George and some of the American competitors in Athens, to hold all the following Games in Athens. However, the 1900 Summer Olympics were already planned for Paris and, except for the Intercalated Games of 1906, the Olympics did not return to Greece until the 2004 Summer Olympics, some 108 years later.

Reviving the Games

During the 18th century, several small-scale sports festivals across Europe were named after the Ancient Olympic Games. The 1870 Olympics at the Panathenaic stadium, which had been refurbished for the occasion, had an audience of 30,000 people. Coubertin adopted Dr William Penny Brooke‘s idea to establish a multi-national and multi-sport event-the ancient games were in a sense international, because various Greek city-states and colonies were represented, but only free male athletes of Greek origin were allowed to participate. In 1890, Coubertin wrote an article in La Revue Athletique, which espoused the importance of Much Wenlock, a rural market town in the English county of Shropshire. It was here that, in October 1850, the local physician William Penny Brookes had founded the Wenlock Olympian Games, a festival of sports and recreations that included athletics and team sports, such as cricket, football and quoits. Coubertin also took inspiration from the earlier Greek games organized under the name of Olympics by businessman and philanthropist Evangelis Zappas in 1859, 1870 and 1875. The 1896 Athens Games was funded by the legacies of Evangelis Zappas and his cousin Konstantinos Zappas and by George Averoff who had been specifically requested by the Greek government, through crown prince Constantine, to sponsor the second refurbishment of the Panathinaiko Stadium. This the Greek government did despite the fact that the cost of refurbishing the stadium in marble had already been funded in full by Evangelis Zappas forty years earlier.

On June 18, 1894, Coubertin organized a congress at the Sorbonne, in Paris, to present his plans to representatives of sports societies from 11 countries. Following his proposal’s acceptance by the congress, a date for the first modern Olympic Games needed to be chosen. Coubertin suggested that the Games be held concurrently with the 1900 Universal Exposition of Paris. Concerned that a six-year waiting period might lessen public interest, congress members opted instead to hold the inaugural Games in 1896. With a date established, members of the congress turned their attention to the selection of a host city. It remains a mystery how Athens was finally chosen to host the inaugural Games. In the following years both Coubertin and Demetrius Vikelas would offer recollections of the selection process that contradicted the official minutes of the congress. Most accounts hold that several congressmen first proposed London as the location, but Coubertin dissented. After a brief discussion with Vikelas, who represented Greece, Coubertin suggested Athens. Vikelas made the Athens proposal official on June 23, and since Greece had been the original home of the Olympics, the congress unanimously approved the decision. Vikelas was then elected the first president of the newly established International Olympic Committee (IOC).

Apr 06

More on the 1960’s:

Last night, I found the full movie of “The 60’s” on youtube and decided to watch all of it.  It took awhile, but I began to recognize it as a movie that i’d seen on TV a number of years before.  Here it is:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v…

Apr 06

NCAA Profits Off Athletes, Even Injured Ones

Cross posted from The Stars Hollow Gazette

During the recent madness of the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament, Louisville Cardinals’ player Kevin Ware fractured his lower leg during the game. The injury, caught on camera, was so gruesome that most news outlets refused to show the film or pictures. Fortunately for Ware, the injury, a fractured tibia that required surgery to repair, will most likely not end his college basketball career. He’s lucky, so far. Others have not fared so well, despite the fact that both the NCAA and the schools that are members make millions off these athletes, as well as, from the merchandise and advertising.

A 2009 New York Times article raised concerns about the inadequacy of health insurance for college athletes that the National Collegiate Athletic Association required.

But the association never established clear standards for that coverage when it introduced the rule four years ago, leaving colleges to decide for themselves. While some colleges accept considerable responsibility for medical claims, many others assume almost none, according to a review of public documents from a cross section of universities and interviews with current and former athletes, trainers, administrators and N.C.A.A. officials. [..]

Many students, whether athletes or not, have medical insurance through their parents. But these plans often exclude varsity sports injuries, limit out-of-state treatment or do not cover much of the bill. Some colleges buy secondary policies to fill the gaps, although even these plans have holes. And only players hurt badly enough to require extensive care can turn to the N.C.A.A. for coverage. Its catastrophic insurance carries a $75,000 deductible, which will increase to $90,000 next year.

The absence of mandated coverage for athletes has prompted calls for change.

That was four years ago and it seems little has changed. While the athletes play for free and risk injury that could end not only their playing but their college ambitions as well, since many are on athletic scholarship dependent on their participation. Dave Zirin, at The Nation, recounts what happened in the aftermath of Ware’s injury and the reaction of the NCAA and the university:

On Wednesday we learned that Adidas, in conjunction with the University of Louisville athletic department, will be selling a $24.99 t-shirt with Kevin Ware’s number 5 and the slogan “Rise to the Occasion” emblazoned across the back. His team will also be wearing warm-ups with Ware’s name, number and the slogan “All In.” (This tragically is not a tribute to Chris Hayes.)

You almost have to tip your cap: no non-profit does buccaneer profiteering quite like the NCAA. What other institution would see a tibia snap through a 20-year-old’s skin on national television and see dollar signs? In accordance with their rules aimed at preserving the sanctity of amateurism, not one dime from these shirts will go to Kevin Ware or his family. Not one dime will go toward Kevin Ware’s medical bills if his rehab ends up beneath the $90,000 deductible necessary to access the NCAA’s catastrophic injury medical coverage. Not one dime will go towards rehab he may need later in life.

Kevin Ware was returned to the unversity accompanied by hi s coach and has been declared well enough to attend the “Final Four.” Meanwhile, university officials were mum on what will happen to his scholarship in the fall if rehab doesn’t go well over the summer.

MSNBC’s Chris Hayes addressed the question of NCAA athletes as uncompensated employees of the NCAA and the “fat profits” the NCAA makes off not just the games but the individuals after they leave the team.

If you happen to be among the millions of people who watched the NCAA tournament Sunday, you watched as Louisville Cardinals sophomore guard Kevin Ware broke his leg during an awkward fall after a routine move: an injury so gruesome it left players in tears, and more than a few people feeling sick to their stomachs.

People who saw it in real-time howled involuntarily. Everyone in the stadium was affected. Social media blew up.

Right away, people wanted to know if Ware’s leg was going to be OK, and if he was ever going to play basketball again. But they also wanted to know-I wanted to know-if Ware isn’t going to play basketball again because of this injury, is he going to be able to go back to Louisville next year, and is he going to have a scholarship?

If Ware isn’t going to have a scholarship, what’s going to happen to him? And in any case, who is going to pay his medical bills? Is he covered for this? And most profoundly and urgently, why isn’t Kevin Ware being paid for his labor? [..]

It was gruesome on a visceral level, because of the severity of the injury, but it was also gruesome because while all of us were enjoying the game, all the people making money off of it, including the advertisers, and athletic directors, and apparel companies, had to reckon for a brief instant with the fact that this kid, now in agony, was on the job making their programs possible.

Chris noted an article in The Atlantic by Taylor Branch; it is long but a must read that tell os the scandalous mess that is the NCAA and college sports.

Apr 06

Obama Budget: From Bad to Worse

Cross posted from The Stars Hollow Gazette

Pres. Barack Obama has released his proposed budget that include cuts Medicare and linking Social Security payments to Chained CPI in hopes (there is that ugly word again) of gaining “bipartisan” (another bad word) from Congressional Republicans. Never mind that the fact that the majority of voters do not want cuts to the top three social safety programs, the president is willing to sacrifice the disable, veterans and the elderly for a few tax changes that even if passed, would most likely be reversed in the next six months. This is not “compromise,” it is a sell out of the majority of Americans.

Huffington Post‘s Sam Stein has the breakdown of the proposal that will be releases in all its full gory details next Wednesday:

   

  • The budget would reduce the deficit by $1.8 trillion over ten years — $600 billion of this reduction would come from revenue raisers, and $1.2 trillion would come from spending reductions and entitlement reforms;
  • It would change the benefit structure of Social Security (chained-CPI);
  • It would means test additional programs in Medicare;
  • All told, it would include $400 billion in health care savings (or cuts);
  • It would cut $200 billion from other areas, identified by The New York Times as “farm subsidies, federal employee retirement programs, the Postal Services and the unemployment compensation system;”
  • It would pay for expanded access to pre-K (an Obama priority) by increasing the tobacco tax;
  • It would set limits on tax-preferred retirement accounts for the wealthy, prohibiting individuals from putting more than $3 million in IRAs and other tax-preferred retirement accounts;
  • And it would stop people from collecting full disability benefits and unemployment benefits that cover the same period of time.

Dean Baker shows that these cuts over time are worse for seniors than for the rich:

By comparison, Social Security is about 70 percent of the income of a typical retiree. Since President Obama’s proposal would lead to a 3 percent cut in Social Security benefits, it would reduce the income of the typical retiree by more than 2.0 percent, more than three times the size of the hit from the tax increase to the wealthy.

Chained CPI impact on Income photo btp-chained-cpi-obama_zpsdeb1873b.jpg

The congressional Democratic apologists insist that “certain lines won’t be crossed” which translates that if Republicans realize they can get the cuts to “entitlements’ that they want by temporarily sacrificing the tax and revenue increases this is a done deal.

The president is willing to agree to the entitlement cuts only in exchange for tax hikes in other areas.

“The president has made clear that he is willing to compromise and do tough things to reduce the deficit, but only in the context of a package like this one that has balance and includes revenues from the wealthiest Americans and that is designed to promote economic growth,” the administration official said. “That means that the things like CPI that Republican Leaders have pushed hard for will only be accepted if Congressional Republicans are willing to do more on revenues.”

This is political suicide for Democrats up for election. The Republicans will forever blame Democrats for destroying these programs.

As Paul Krugman points out, this makes no sense other than just Pres. Obama’s need to seek approval of the “Serious People:”

So what’s this about? The answer, I fear, is that Obama is still trying to win over the Serious People, by showing that he’s willing to do what they consider Serious – which just about always means sticking it to the poor and the middle class. The idea is that they will finally drop the false equivalence, and admit that he’s reasonable while the GOP is mean-spirited and crazy.

But it won’t happen.

No, that won’t happen because underneath it all this is what Obama has wanted all along and has continuously said so since 2006. It’s not the GOP that is “mean-spirited and crazy” it’s Obama.

Apr 06

Health and Fitness News

Welcome to the Health and Fitness News, a weekly diary which is cross-posted from The Stars Hollow Gazette. It is open for discussion about health related issues including diet, exercise, health and health care issues, as well as, tips on what you can do when there is a medical emergency. Also an opportunity to share and exchange your favorite healthy recipes.

Questions are encouraged and I will answer to the best of my ability. If I can’t, I will try to steer you in the right direction. Naturally, I cannot give individual medical advice for personal health issues. I can give you information about medical conditions and the current treatments available.

You can now find past Health and Fitness News diaries here and on the right hand side of the Front Page.

Building a Better Sandwich

Building a Better Sandwich photo 25recipehealth-articleLarge_zps73fd86b7.jpg

Sandwiches of all kinds are perfect vehicles for vegetables, and I am always perplexed when I stand at a refrigerator case in an airport looking at the selection of sandwiches and see little more than a thin slice of tomato or lettuce here and there amid layers of cheese, tuna or chicken salad, roast beef and sandwich meats. Vegetables can take the place of those salty sandwich meats and cheeses. They also provide one way to reduce sodium in a sandwich, which is more effective than trying to reduce sodium in breads, which require salt for all sorts of reasons, palatability being just one of them.

~Martha Rode Shulman~

Tomato, Kale, Mozzarella and Pesto Sandwich

You can use a country whole wheat bread for this sandwich, but what I really like to use is focaccia.

Two Tofu Sandwiches:

A vegetable sandwich with or without kimchi.

Mushroom Melt With Parsley Pesto, Kale and Arugula

A vegetarian sandwich that is light on the melt and generous with the greens.

Creamy Goat Cheese and Cucumber Sandwich

A creamy goat cheese and cottage cheese blend provides satisfying and comforting flavor.

Chicken, Chermoula and Vegetable Sandwich

Chermoula, the spicy Tunisian pesto-like sauce made with copious amounts of cilantro, parsley, garlic, olive oil and spices is a great sandwich condiment.

Apr 06

Late Night Karaoke

Apr 06

Random Japan

 photo DSC00074.jpg

POLICE BLOTTER

Cops in Toshima-ku arrested four operators of a brothel called the Otsuka Cosplay Academy for employing a 14-year-old girl as a sex worker.

Authorities in Hachioji believe that a serial arsonist is setting fire to local vending machines in an effort to “steal change.”

A 35-year-old lieutenant commander in the Maritime Self-Defense Force was arrested for “touching a 20-year-old female college student’s lower body” on the Keikyu line.

An Osaka woman was busted for getting her 6-year-old daughter addicted to sleeping pills. The woman told officials that she wanted the girl to go to bed at the same time she did.

Apr 06

Forced sterilization is necessary because…THREE!

We thought everything had been settled in Sweden.

Apparently we were premature.

Two members of the Swedish Parliament are warning the government that forced sterilization of transpeople must continue, else the government will have to recognize a third gender or third sex.

And everyone knows it would be wrong to have three because…THREE!

Conservative MPs Tuve Skånberg and Annelie Enochson, Christian Democrats, have written an op-ed in the Christian newspaper Dagen in which they offer a counter-proposal to the government plan to remove requirements that transpeople be sterilized before undergoing gender reassignment procedures.

The [government] proposal would have far-reaching consequences.  The key consequence being that Sweden would introduce the possibility of creating a third gender, called ‘person’ in the law books – men who give birth.

–Tuve Skånberg and Annelie Enochson