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4001  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Vinod Khosla1 on: January 01, 2011, 06:31:57 PM
Interview in late May 2010 with journalist Elizabeth Corcoran
Venture capitalist Vinod Khosla is investing in energy projects from nuclear power to cheap battery chargers. His biggest bet: that all the energy pundits are dead wrong.
Leading clean-tech investor, Vinod Khosla, stepped up his game this week when he announced that former U.K. Prime Minister, Tony Blair, signed on to advise venture fund, Khosla Ventures. Blair will provide strategic advice about navigating the international politics surrounding energy production as well as make introductions between energy entrepreneurs and world leaders. Beyond the usual solar, wind and efficiency investments, Khosla's firm has been investing in a diverse and eclectic mix of ventures from precision agriculture, internal combustion engines, water, satellites to nuclear technologies.

Khosla, who began investing in clean technology deals in 2004 using his own funds, broadened his reach last year when his venture firm raised $1.3 billion from private investors. On the eve of announcing his alliance with former PM Blair, Khosla invited journalist Elizabeth Corcoran to speak with him about his investment philosophy, his belief in technology and his search for the elusive but powerful "black swans."

Q: You started Khosla Ventures as a private operation with your own money. Now it's a $1.3-billion fund with private investors. What's driving you?
Khosla: Six years ago, I didn't know how much innovation and renovation could be done to the energy infrastructure. Larger change is possible than I had ever imagined. We're working on everything from a nuclear reactor to a $4-cell phone charger for rural Africa built in an Altoid mint box that charges when you throw it into a cooking stove. That diversity boggles my mind. What's very, very clear is that when creative minds start working on problems, there are many more solutions than experts and pundits ever predict.

Q: You say the experts are wrong -- and wrong a lot. Can't we learn anything from the past?
Khosla: I personally only like to look forward.

Q: But surely there's something we learn from the past?
Khosla: What makes me a better mentor—a genuine "venture assistant"--to an entrepreneur, is that I have probably made more mistakes in building technology companies than most people on this planet. But I try not repeat past mistakes.

The problem with forecasts are the embedded assumptions. We make assumptions based on extrapolations of what exists today. Inventing the future is about upending those assumptions.

In 1995, there were billions of dollars investing in the existing telecommunications infrastructure. I was told by almost every major telecom company that the combination of that investment and other forces -- from the unions to the fact that the latest technology had to work with the most outdated switch in rural Iowa -- meant there was no way the Internet would change telecom. Less than 10 years later, the companies that hadn't adjusted to change were severly depressed. Even stalwarts like Lucent and Nortel were facing bankruptcy. AT&T itself was sold for a song to a wireless company. Invention drives that kind of change.

I have an almost religious belief that we're about to see that kind of invention and change in the field of energy.

Q: We had great predictions for alternative energy back in the 1970s. Those fizzled. Why will now be different?
Khosla: The underlying technology wasn't mature enough. The ecosystem wasn't there to support significant entrepreneurial activity. Nobody would fund a nuclear reactor as a startup. And most importantly, the intellectual horsepower wasn't there.

For the last 30 years, there were no fresh candidates for PhDs interested in energy. Today it's the hottest topic at schools like CalTech, MIT and Stanford. Five years after those students graduate, we'll see an explosion of innovation. So getting the attention of the smartest minds is key—and we've never had that in energy.

On black swans—and loons
Q: You say you're looking for intellectual "black swans," those rare ideas that can turn the world upside down. But how do you tell the difference between a black swan and a crazy loon?
Khosla: You don't. Arthur C. Clarke who said: "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic." You can't tell what's crazy and so we encourage crazy. I often suspend disbelief and listen to a story that sounds crazy and impossible. The answer lies in taking more shots on goal -- not trying to predict which shots will go in.

Black swans are extremely rare. We have something like 75 potentially revolutionary technologies in our portfolio. If there were 100 such investment portfolios around the world - 10,000 ideas - then five or six would succeed in changing the world's energy picture.

On Tony Blair and world politics:
Q: Energy policy, especially worldwide, is deeply political. How are you grappling with that?
Khosla: Creating new technology is a necessary but not sufficient condition for creating global change. Understanding local and global politics is now important for us, techie nerds. This is where our relationship with (former U.K. Prime Minister) Tony Blair can really help us. Tony understands far better than I ever will the political and geopolitical forces, as well as organization behavior and social behavior and change.

Q: Your former venture firm, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, has relationships with former U.S. vice president Al Gore and former U.S. secretary of state, Colin Powell. Is this association with Tony Blair just trophy hunting?
Khosla: Absolutely not. If I'm going to build a new technology, I look for the world's experts in that technology. If we're going to interact with policy makers in Europe or Asia, I need a world expert in politics. I'm particularly looking forward to his advice about China, Europe and Africa because of my personal ignorance on the topic. This is about gaining a perspective we don't usually get in Silicon Valley. And that's become critically important in this industry.

Tony and I have a shared passion for the topic of climate change. That's our bond. He was one of the first world leaders to embrace climate change as a priority. He also has a serious interest in Africa, in China, in the Mid East -- all areas critical to the energy infrastructure. I think he's excited about using the lever of innovative technology in the global fight against climate change and in understanding how innovation and policy interact. I've seen his eyes light up when I put him in front of a young PhD student with an idea about how to make a battery that's ten times better than lithium ion batteries. This isn't about making money but about catalyzing change. I expect Tony's contributions to be significant.

On subsidies and the 'Chindia test':
Q: You say you're not a fan of government subsidies. But aren't some of your biofuel companies helped by government support and subsidies?
Khosla: I don't have a problem with taking advantage of subsidies if the government offers them. I'm a capitalist.

But we will not ever invest in a company just because it operates in a subsidized marketplace. Subsidies, quotas, incentives all help new technologies get started. They can be very good policy tools. But if the technology can't achieve unsubsidized market competitiveness within five to seven years of starting production, we won't invest. We believe we're working on global companies. Technology has to work in countries where there are no subsidies or supportive policies.

Q: Do you consider yourself an environmentalist first and an investor second?
Khosla: No. I call myself a "pragmentalist." You can't ask people to buy the more expensive product just because it's "green." Sure, you'll get 5% of wealthy San Franciscans or Germans to buy but you won't have that great sucking sound of massive technology adoption if the economics doesn't work.

Economic gravity always wins. I call it the "Chindia test"— what's the price that will convince people in the developing world to adopt these technologies? Nothing that takes more than 12 months to pay for itself works in India. Electric cars wont be broadly adopted in India anytime soon.

This is something that environmentalists just don't get. They've done a very good job of raising awareness of the problems. But most of the solutions they've proposed are poor, naive, and uneconomic. And they may, in pushing for such solutions, may have hurt more than helped.

The downside of environmental activism
Q: What's an example?
Khosla: Look at electric cars. We'll ship 1 billion cars on this planet in the next 15 years. But the chances that people will pay an extra $5,000 to $25,000 more per car are very slim so a majority will be gasoline or diesel engine cars. And if we do have electric cars, chances are they're be essentially fueled by coal (which is still supplying most of the power for the electric grid).

The focus on electric cars has reduced technologist's interest in reinventing the common gasoline or diesel internal combustion engine even if a new internal combustion engine could reduce carbon emissions far more than a hybrid can. By the way, we are aggressively investing in radical battery technology too.

So instead of supporting "electric cars," we should have policy calling for a certain level of emissions per mile. That would be a technologically neutral policy. Or in electricity—instead of calling for "renewables," policy could set a goal of so much carbon emissions per kilowatt-hour of electricity generated. That policy would open the door for innovations in nuclear power, in "clean coal" power and other areas.

Q: But I thought you said early subsidies could help a new idea get started.
Khosla: And I want to emphasize that the policy maker's job is very complex.

It's even hard to know when you're saying "geologic sequestration" that a more general form of it would be "permanent sequestration," which should have been the policy. No other form of sequestration was on the table at the time. Our transportation policy should be around "low carbon" transportation. That would let every type of technology—from electric cars to novel internal combustion engines—compete against each other. And competition is always good.

Game changing technologies:
Q: Some of these are technologies you're supporting. For instance, you have just invested in a nuclear startup, right?
Khosla: Yes. We just invested in a nuclear reactor technology. It is an unusual bet for us but we got convinced it could be a good rate of return.

Q: What are other investments that you've made that could be game changers?
Khosla: There's a company in Houston called KiOR that can make crude oil from a wide variety of biomass including wood. We are not talking ethanol, but crude oil, which can be dropped into any refinery in the world, just like oil out of the ground. Our cellulosic biofuel investments are all doing well too.

Q: How?
Khosla: The Kior plant uses a standard technique called the fluid catalytic cracking (FCC) process. The innovation—the magic—lies in the catalyst technology. The resulting crude oil can be processed in existing facilities, moved through existing pipelines and mixed into regular crude in any proportion. Unlike an oil refinery, which takes about seven years to build, we are just starting construction on a plant that we hope will be online by mid next year. By the time we build our third or fourth plant, we expect that the cost of this fuel - unsubsidized - will be competitive in a market where crude costs $65 a barrel.

It has no carbon footprint because we're taking wood chip waste as an input. You will get carbon emissions when you burn the fuel. But if the feedstock was naturally grown and harvested locally, then the carbon emissions are balanced by the carbon absorbed when the plants grew.

That's just one. After coal and oil, cement and steel companies are the largest emitters of carbon. We are investing in a cement plant here on the coast of California built by a startup called Calera, that captures massive volumes of carbon dioxide and other emissions from electricity plants and turns it into cement like building materials and aggregate. This company has the potential to lower the lifecycle carbon emissions of a coal plant to below zero, making it "cleaner" than solar, by capturing the emissions from the plant in addition to offsetting the emissions created in existing cement manufacturing. Today it isn't applicable to every coal plant but our technology matrix at Calera is expanding rapidly making more and more plants viable candidates.

A company in Troy, Mich., called EcoMotors, is reinventing the combustion engine. They have an engine that they've run for hundreds of hours that improves efficiency by 30-50%. And then there's New Pax, with an HVAC design that uses 75% less than current technology, and Soraa in Santa Barbara, Calif., that has been working on semiconductors to come up with a light bulb that uses 80% less power than conventional incandescent bulbs, which pays for itself in less than a 12 months. Soraa expects to start selling its light bulbs in 2011. There's no reason not to save power with those kinds of economics.

We're talking about innovations that are one or two years -- not 20 years -- out. I can't even imagine what kinds of answers we'll invent in the next 20. That's the power of entrepreneurship.
4002  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Israel, and its neighbors on: December 30, 2010, 08:00:15 PM
"Did you see the article in the Times on Israeli President Moshe Katsav." 

I doubt that any high up official in any Arab country would have been convicted of such a crime.  This holds Israel to a higher standard.  Kudos to Israel for holding even this guy responsible.

"Not addressing his crimes, but I found his defense interesting.  "Katsav contends that he is innocent and a victim of a political witch hunt, implying that he was a target because he represents Jews of Middle Eastern origin"

I agree, a poor defense.  Reminds me of every single poltician in the US who is ever accused, or proven guilty of any crime.  Their defense is always to claim it is all just politics.
And if they are Black they cry it is racism. 

Perhaps the difference between Moshe Katsav and Bill Clinton is the former case must have had more evidence than just an unsubstianable allegation.
4003  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Flu is here on: December 30, 2010, 07:49:17 PM
4004  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Politics on: December 30, 2010, 01:33:15 PM
"Many Russians here aligning with Republicans"

A number of physicians I work with are from Eastern Europe and generally as far as I can tell they are quite shocked at the left turn this country is taking.
They will tell me they fled Eastern Europe to get away from this and now Obama et al are doing it here. cry

I am so proud of my fellow Jews and their historical accomplishments but I am also so disgusted by the liberal progressive socialist types of which there are many and they absolutely ARE a loose cabal it seems in the MSM and in acadamia, and in politics behind the scenes working incessantly and relentlessly to shove their agenda down all out throats.

For goodness sakes Communism was invented by a Jew.

It was one thing as a well intentioned theory in, what the 1850's, but ain't it obvious by now it doesn't work?

We need someone who CAN convincingly make the case is that we ARE giving the country away. 

4005  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Politics on: December 30, 2010, 01:25:20 PM
Crafty points out:

"he had help - Republicans clearing his path and sprinkling it with rose petals."

Yes and were not many of them the "establishment" 'cans who were voted out?

Agreed, good point and just as, or even more outrageous then the liberal crats.

It has all the appearances of them vengefully "sticking it" to their consituents before they had to leave.  I can only assume they are doing their best to loot everything they can before they go back to their law practices, or lobbying companies to make a killing.

4006  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Immigration issues on: December 29, 2010, 12:58:48 PM
Moving discussion from education thread to here I found this on illegals in military.  It is from 2005.  I am not clear how prevalent it is but it certainly occurs and obviously the military is not going to come clean publically with this so no one knows for sure, I doubt anyone is seriously looking into this with any real diigence.
4007  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Education on: December 29, 2010, 10:23:19 AM
Well how is it ILLEGAL aliens are serving in out military?

Isn't that one of the scams of the DREAM law?

"Well if they are good enough to risk their lives for this country than don't they deserve citizenship?"

First question I have yet to hear one talking head ask is, what in the hell are people who are in this country illegally doing serving in our military?

The foreign invaders keep coming with no control in sight. 

Mark my words:

Bamster if push comes to shove will grant amnesty.  I don't know when but he will.

If far as I am concerned Kalifornia, you are on your own.  You made your bed now lie in it.

4008  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2012 Presidential on: December 27, 2010, 12:41:14 PM
Krauthammer has started a new fad.  Blessed are the liberals to have a conservative lead the charge praising Obama.  Of course they pick up the fumble and are heading for the endzne with it.  See Estrich's column after Krauthammer.  Sound familiar.  Thanks Charles with you on our side why do we need liberals?   I just don't see that there was any genius on Obama's part.  Someone said they give Obama more credit than Congress for DADT and START and the rest.  Why?  In any case as long as we have a MSM that is so biased the Republicans have to do better at PR. 

****Obama's new start
By Charles Krauthammer
Thursday, December 23, 2010; 8:00 PM

Riding the lamest of ducks, President Obama just won the Triple Crown. He fulfilled (1) his most important economic priority, passage of Stimulus II, a.k.a. the tax cut deal (the perfect pre-re-election fiscal sugar high - the piper gets paid in 2013 and beyond); (2) his most important social policy objective, repeal of "don't ask, don't tell"; and (3) his most cherished (achievable) foreign policy goal, ratification of the New START treaty with Russia.

Politically, these are all synergistic. The bipartisan nature of the tax deal instantly repositioned Obama back to the center. And just when conventional wisdom decided the deal had caused irreparable alienation from his liberal base, Obama almost immediately won it back - by delivering one of the gay rights movement's most elusive and coveted breakthroughs.

The symbolism of the don't ask, don't tell repeal cannot be underestimated. It's not just that for the civil rights community, it represents a long-awaited extension of the historic arc - first blacks, then women, now gays. It was also Obama decisively transcending the triangulated trimming of Bill Clinton, who instituted don't ask, don't tell in the first place. Even more subtly and understatedly, the repeal represents the taming of the most conservative of the nation's institutions, the military, by a movement historically among the most avant-garde. Whatever your views, that is a cultural landmark.

 Then came START, which was important for Obama not just because of the dearth of foreign policy achievements these past two years but because treaties, especially grand-sounding treaties on strategic arms, carry the aura of presidential authority and diplomatic mastery.

No matter how useless they are, or even how damaging. New START was significantly, if subtly, damaging, which made the rear-guard Republican opposition it engendered so salutary. The debate it sparked garnered the treaty more attention than it would have otherwise and thus gave Obama a larger PR victory. But that debate also amplified the major flaw in the treaty - the gratuitous reestablishment of the link between offensive and defensive weaponry.

One of the great achievements of the past decade was the Bush administration's severing of that link - first, by its withdrawal from the ABM Treaty, which had expressly prevented major advances in missile defense, and then with the 2002 Treaty of Moscow, which regulated offensive weapons but ostentatiously contained not a single word about any connection to missile defense. Why is this important? Because missile defense is essential for protecting ourselves from the most menacing threat of the coming century - nuclear hyper-proliferation.

The relinking that we acquiesced to in the preamble to New START is a major reversal of that achievement. Sure, Obama sought to reassure critics with his letter to the Senate promising unimpeded development of our European missile defense system. But the Russians have already watched this president cancel our painstakingly planned Polish and Czech missile defenses in response to Russian protests and threats. That's why they insisted we formally acknowledge an "interrelationship" between offense and defense. They know that their threat to withdraw from START, if the United States were to build defenses that displease them, will inevitably color - and restrain - future U.S. missile defense advances and deployments.

Obama's difficulty in overcoming the missile defense objection will serve to temper the rest of his nuclear agenda, including U.S. entry into the test-ban treaty, and place Obama's ultimate goal of total nuclear disarmament blessedly out of reach. Conservatives can thus take solace that their vigorous opposition to START is likely to prevent further disarmament mischief down the road. But what they cannot deny is the political boost the treaty's ratification gives Obama today, a mere seven weeks after his Election Day debacle.

The great liberal ascendancy of 2008, destined to last 40 years (predicted James Carville), lasted less than two. Yet, the great Republican ascendancy of 2010 lasted less than two months. Republicans will enter the 112th Congress with larger numbers but no longer with the wind - the overwhelming Nov. 2 repudiation of Obama's social-democratic agenda - at their backs.

"Harry Reid has eaten our lunch," said Sen. Lindsey Graham, lamenting his side's "capitulation" in the lame-duck session. Yes, but it was less Harry than Barry. Obama came back with a vengeance. His string of lame-duck successes is a singular political achievement. Because of it, the epic battles of the 112th Congress begin on what would have seemed impossible just one month ago - a level playing field.

****Susan Estrich 
Obama the Genius
Was it only a month ago that the chattering class was writing off the president as being almost as thoroughly defeated as the lame duck Congress, as the failed leader who had lost his way, popularity plummeting, accomplishments vulnerable? Insiders worried about who was up next. How much worse could it get? Did he really want to be a one-term president? Any Republican could beat him, friend and foe asserted. (Well, maybe not any Republican, but almost any). And then, like the weather in New England, everything changed.

In politics, the distance between idiot and genius, especially at the highest levels, can be measured in days.

In the past 30, this president has put in place a tax deal that also extends unemployment benefits - and made clear to House Democrats that they could like it or lump it. He pushed to a vote a new nuclear arms treaty with Russia, signed into law the repeal of "don't ask, don't tell" and even got some judges confirmed. That's just off the top of my head.

Even without Rahm, it turns out the president knows his way around tough negotiations and games of chicken, not only forging a compromise but landing himself squarely in the middle. "Triangulation" minus Dick Morris. He has been decisive, tough and confident. When House Democrats revolted, he stood up to them and told them what was what. The once unified Republican bloc splintered. He found the votes he needed. The issue that threatened the early days of Bill Clinton's presidency — gays in the military — was resolved with the stroke of a pen.

Who is this genius?

Who is this natural-born leader?

None other than last month's beaten man.
The man we would wish were president if only he weren't.

Hillary has probably never been more popular. (Sometimes I wonder how she ever lost the nomination what with all the folks who now claim they were for her and were right, to boot. But then, I can remember when public opinion polls during Watergate showed that McGovern must have beaten Nixon.)

It's easy to read the daily polls and see the entire public as a fickle lot constantly racing in one direction or another, radiating anger as they do. But the reality is that it's mostly the middle that's swinging, if and when they pay attention. And that middle — the group that either likes Obama no matter what he does or doesn't like him, on the same terms — is mostly in the ideological middle, not to mention, by definition, nonpartisan.

So when the president acts in a nonpartisan way, when he forces a compromise that keeps the tax cuts for everyone and extends unemployment benefits for folks who really can't find work (even if our grandkids will pay for it) and ends the bickering and backstabbing and intolerable paralysis, those folks are more likely to swing in his direction.

And when Republicans like Susan Collins are willing to be in the picture, when the aisle doesn't bind, he gets points with people who are sick and tired of what mostly sounds, from a distance, like bickering bullies. And even if folks don't see all of it themselves, all the chattering about the president being back on top shapes the coverage and ultimately tends to nudge them in that direction.

And so Barack Obama ends the year not vanquished but firmly at the head of the table, which isn't bad for a guy who last month was taking heat from every direction.

He's on his way up. Mark my words. He's a genius — until, that is, the weather changes.

To find out more about Susan Estrich and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at


4009  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / great idea for study on "sinus health" on: December 24, 2010, 03:14:52 PM
Next step.

Get a Federal grant to study this.  (tax payers would never know)

It must be for a university from a Democratic district.

One study group must hum a total of two hours a day.  Another study group three hours a day.

A control group with no humming allowed.  The groups would  be monitored for a year.  at the end of the year compare sinus trouble rates between the groups.

Think of the jobs created with this money.  A professor who does nothing but put his name on the paper at the end and take credit even though he/she did nothing.   A phD candidate or medical fellow who does ALL the work, and one nurse (who is already employed by the univeristy ENT department).  Eventually a statistician could be consulted, a secretary to type it up, the study sent in to the NEJM for publication.   

This would undoubetdly get money for a professor who has to get government grants to keep his post at the university, the phD candidate works for free, or for little pay, or even pays into his training, and the secretary and statistian could continue to get minimum wage.

And like ALMOST ALL studies in medicine the results whether positive or negative in their findings of a link between humming and "sinus health" the conclusion WILL BE more study is needed to investigate this further!

Sinus health, prostate health, breast health, colon health, healthy heart.....well at least Americans do have healthy appetites.

4010  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / correction on: December 24, 2010, 02:56:27 PM
"do aspire to achieve"


"do not aspire to achieve"

But I would add, that they can anytime they want.
4011  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Media Issues on: December 24, 2010, 02:54:29 PM

Really remarkable how the MSM is manipulating us.

They never mention that this Congress has been probably the most unpopular and least admired of any in history.

Not that that should matter.  Why they have been the most "productive".

I think most Americans, even the swing voters would correct the word productive to "destructive".

Again all I can say is thank God for Fox and talk radio.  If not for them we would all be scratching our collective heads asking could we be the only ones with any common sense in the sinking country.
4012  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Gender, Gay, Lesbian on: December 24, 2010, 02:49:02 PM
In the medical profession it is well known that female doctors do aspire to achieve the same in their careers as the men.  They want fewer hours, they want to spend more with family.  Not all of course but more than with male colleagues.  But that is their choice!  No one is holding them back.  I believe the numbers of females in medical school is over a third now.  And aren't there more women in law school these days then men?

Aren't there also more women going to college?

We always hear how there are less women in science, engineering and so forth.  And we get countless females with phDs telling us from their latest studies that it is due to the way we bring up our children, the culture, socialization, etc.  Differences in male and female brains of course has nothing to do with it.

And in any case who in the world is stopping any female from becoming a mathemitician, a civil engineer, a hedge fund manager, coming up with their own internet company?

I guess it is the same people who are destroying the lives of all Muslims, gays, blacks and Latinos?  We all know this to be true wink nod smiley face etc.
4013  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Swing voters - go both ways??? pun intended on: December 24, 2010, 02:38:22 PM
"if and when we do engage, we keep getting snowed over with bullshit like this"

Yes.  And if not for Fox and talk radio we would never had even known, heard or had any hint of who Bamster associated with including Rev. Wright.

Not one peep, not one ioda, no questioning, no vetting of this from the MSM who gladly, willingly were accomplices in covering up this guy's past.  And of course cover for him now.

Yet the swing voters don't seem to care.  I don't get them at all.  Some must be THAT stupid.  Others I guess want "compromise", others go with the the "flow".
I can't figure them out.  Obviously they are not monolithic and are a heterogenous group.   (Am I allowed to use that word, "hetero" or did I just commit a poltically incorrect crime against humanity) rolleyes
4014  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Cognitive Dissonance of His Glibness on: December 22, 2010, 11:34:25 AM
Doug writes:

"Does anyone remember the scramble of news as the Clintons were exiting the White House."

Yes, and I remember how Clinton gave departing speeches at every single stop along the way of his departure.
At the White House, at the departing airport, at the arriving airport.  It was as though this guy would just not step off the stage (and shut up).
And the MSM loved every second of it.  They still adore him. 

While Bamster folded (as I predicted) he would once he couldn't get his way what has happened is every crat around him is adivising him, pleading with him to "move to the middle" and play the same BS game Clinton did to capture the short memoried swing voters.  It worked for one of the world's great con artists Clinton and therefore Obama must do it.

This was on display when one day Bama is reeking with anger calling tax cuts the holy grail for repubs and the next day he reluctuntly steps off the stage to let Clinton (do what he can't) and discuss the tax cut "compromise" bill.   And then, of course we get some in the MSM attempting to make the case that Obama has been a moderate *all along*.  Did anyone hear Walter Shapiro trying to explain how Obama is misjudged and he is really a moderate centrist Democrat and always has been?  If Obama seemed far left, it was of course, only to play to his far left base.  Not that he is one of them.  Obama is really just left of the middle.

Crat revisionism has no bounds.  No truth.  No honesty.  No reality.  Just whatever suites the promotion of their agenda. Unfortunately swing voters seem to have short memories and wil go the way of the prevailing winds.  I am unconvinced there is some conservative wave overtaking this country.  It is all dollars and cents and whose pockets it goes to or from.   As it always is.  IMHO.
4015  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Buying time till Obama is gone (hopefully) on: December 16, 2010, 04:45:24 PM
By Dick Morris And Eileen McGann12.13.2010
The big question in the Middle East these days is: Who has time on their side?

As Iran races to develop its nuclear bomb-making capacity, we have always assumed that time was on the Ayatollah’s side. The Iranian strategy of delay and obfuscation in its negotiations with the West seems to have succeeded in buying Teheran the time it needs for its spinning Centrifuges to produce enough highly enriched uranium for a bomb. The possibility that Iran may acquire advanced anti-aircraft systems from Russia – even though the Kremlin denies it – seems to make the military option of an air strike on Iranian nuclear plants harder and harder for Israel.

But on the West Bank and Gaza, time has always seemed to be on Israel’s side. Time to build settlements, time to expand those already there, and – most important – time to wait out Obama’s four year term in office all work for Netanyahu.

Then the worm turned! The Stuxnet worm, a Windows-specific computer worm that spies on and reprograms industrial systems. Iran has acknowledged that its nuclear program – the target of the worm – has been damaged significantly. In fact, some speculate that the worm may take a year for Iran to work through. But, since this is the most important use of cyber warfare thus far in history, nobody can really know its full impact.

When one considers the worm in the context of a cruder form of secret war – the targeted assassination of three Iranian nuclear scientists in recent weeks, the agents of the Mossad may have been very busy! And effective! Who knows?

And the United States has finally gotten focused on real sanctions against Iran. Doing what Bush should have done but didn’t, Obama and Hillary (yes – words of praise) have gotten the international community to sanction Iran where it hurts by undermining their capacity to produce oil, reducing their access to gasoline, and curtailing their ability to borrow money.

When we worked for Netanyahu as he approached his election as prime minister last year, we were both deeply impressed by his understanding of the danger an Iranian nuclear weapon would pose to Israel. “It is 1938,” were his prophetic first words when we met in a Manhattan hotel to begin our work. 1938. The war, the holocaust, the slaughter of the Jews seemed to be approaching.

That’s why Bibi’s seeming willingness to play the clock has been puzzling. By waltzing Hillary and Obama around the dance floor of Middle East negotiations, an on-again, off-again settlement building policy, and making noises about peace without actually giving anything up, he appears to be playing for time. And, given Obama’s and Hillary’s inexperience and incompetence in first demanding a settlement freeze and then deciding it had been a mistake to do so, Netanyahu is dancing rings around the pair.

But wasn’t time on Iran’s side? Maybe not.

Perhaps what Bibi is doing – we have had no contact with him since his election – is influenced by the progress he sees in undermining Iran’s nuclear program on the one hand and in keeping Obama to a single term on the other.

Netanyahu watches American politics very, very closely. He probably understands that Obama is inimical to Israel’s interests and likely fully grasps his pro-Arab tendencies. But he also realizes the magnitude of the defeat inflicted upon the president in the midterm elections and sees the probability of his replacement by a staunch Republican friend of Israel in the offing.

So between the worm and the Tea Party, he may figure that time is on his side, after all.

And it may be!

4016  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / CNN discusses the lapband on: December 16, 2010, 04:34:34 PM
My quote from Dec. 4:

"someone was bribed or owns stock options"

Well here it is,

Gee I wonder who were the ones to vote for enlarging the population of people elligible for the lap band.   They don't give the stats here but the evidence is the lap band fails for more than it succeeds over a couple of years.
4017  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Only getting worse on: December 11, 2010, 12:21:13 PM
It is impossible to secure anything electronic.  Impossible.

And not only via internet.  Everything is going wireless.  Everything is being connected.  And with that everything can be accessed.

In our house we are not wireless or connected to internet though we are still being hacked through our home because the wiring has been rigged.

I read article in Scientific American.  It was about how electronic components are made all over the world and shipped around from one fab to another where the final product is put together.  In the article it explains how the chips are so small, so complex, the circuits so confusing that NO ONE could possibly figure it all out.  Even one sitting in an FBI lab.  There is no question espionage whether state sponsored, criminally sponsored or some jerk like Assange could embed into the hardware chips that could sit in wait for years before they start spying and sending out information or someone who is bribed get it off the computer device.  It used to be the final electronic devices were made at one fab so at least there could be some control some oversight.   Now with devices made from parts from many countries there is zero chance for quality assurance with regards to security.  Only an idiot could imagine the Chinese are not giving us parts with "gifts" buried deep inside.

With regards to my own experience I have spoken on message boards for years how no matter what we do we cannot stop the cyberthieves who are well funded, well connected, some dedicated hackers some PHDs (John Joseph Leeson - Central Florida computer Phd.).  Indeed the music industry is flooded with computer geeks.   Disney, Sony, Dreamworks have all done many songs with Katherine' stolen lyrics.  For God's sake these companies invent the devices we use.  Anyone think for one second people connected to them cannot figure out how to steal data?

There is NO hope of stopping this.  Forget it.  One thing for certain is the laws are too slow and will liely never be harsh enough.  We need to make punishment for such crimes as severe as possible.  Assange should certainly be facing life in prison or the death penalty.  We need to make examples of the very very few people who commit these acts and who get actually do get caught.  We do need a branch of the military dedicated to this.  We also need to beef up our law enforcement in this area. 

Forgive me my fellow law enforcement officers but I would rather see them be retrained in computers and continue working till 65 helping with this area.  Forget early retirement but pay for training give a good raise.  We need you to fight the stuff going on right under our noses
4018  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Cognitive Dissonance of His Glibness on: December 10, 2010, 12:43:06 PM
This can mean only one thing.  While it may be good for the country in the short run it could mean four more years of the Bamster.  I'll never forget how Limbaugh would explain his shock how Clinton's approval rateings would go from 40 to 60 "overnight" with "one speech" just by out of no where suddenly sounding like a conservative and after years of being a big lib.  The swing voters are obviously not about ideology.  The time for "big government is over" so said SWift Willie with a perfectly straight face as though he had been that way all along.   I hope we don't see a redux of this:

****White House mum on Obama, Clinton agenda on Friday
             FOX News – 1 hr 25 mins ago
WASHINGTON – The White House is saying little about the agenda of the meeting Friday between President Barack Obama and one of the few people alive to have held his job, former President Bill Clinton.

The two leaders will meet Friday afternoon in the Oval Office. No media access will be provided.

Press secretary Robert Gibbs says Obama is reluctant to discuss details of his talks with Clinton, even with Obama's own White House advisers. Gibbs says Obama wants to keep such presidential conversations "appropriately private."

The spokesman said only that the two men would discuss a range of domestic and foreign matters.

Obama is having to adjust his tactics to deal with an ascendant Republican Party, just as Clinton had to do in the middle of his own first term.****

4019  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Who is going to look out for the "little guy?" on: December 09, 2010, 03:00:09 PM
"There is no such thing as a "free" government benefit"

As long as we have a large proportion of the "little guys" voting themselves benefits from the treasury those of us who pay for this have apparantly no rights.  Obama is for the "little guy".  Yet taxpayers like myself seem to have no say, no rights, are constantly being hounded about helping out and on and on and on.

 **** Small-Biz Killers: Who Pays for Jobless Benefits?

By Michelle Malkin | There is no such thing as a "free" government benefit. Ask small-business owners who are footing skyrocketing bills for bottomless jobless benefits. While politicians in Washington negotiate a deal to provide welcome temporary payroll, income and estate tax relief to America's workers, struggling employers wonder how long they'll have to pay for the compassion of others — and whether they can survive.

The Beltway deal hinges on extending federal unemployment insurance for another 13 months. This would mark the sixth time that the deadline has been extended since June 2008.

State unemployment benefits last up to 26 weeks. Bipartisan-supported Washington mandates have raised that to 99 weeks. The current proposal would raise the total to 155 weeks. The cost of the joint federal-state program is borne by employers who pay state and federal taxes on a portion of wages paid to each employee in a calendar year. (At the federal level, employers must pay 6.2 percent of the first $7,000 of income to keep the system afloat.)

The combined burden of these hidden state and federal payroll taxes has exploded during the recession as President Obama's economic recovery interventions backfire and the jobless rate remains stuck near double-digits. State unemployment insurance funds have gone broke in nearly half the states. As of April 2010, unemployment tax analyst Douglas Holmes testified before the Senate, 35 states and jurisdictions had unemployment fund-related debts worth $39.5 billion. Anti-fraud efforts to prevent scams and overpayments are woefully underfunded.

In an interminable money shuffle, these bankrupt state unemployment insurance funds are now borrowing money from the feds, whose own regular unemployment benefits account and extended benefits account are both in the red. Washington is relying on transfers from the federal general revenue fund to cover loan obligations related to all these hemorrhaging accounts.

Who pays? Dentists, tavern owners, maid services, mom-and-pop shops — small businesses that are the backbone of the American economy. In my home state of Colorado, small and mid-size firms have been saddled with eye-popping unemployment insurance bills that have doubled, tripled and more in the past year. The businesses that have the lowest claims histories are getting punished the most to make up the jobless benefits fund deficit.

Greg Howard, owner of McCabe's Tavern in Colorado Springs, told the Colorado Springs Gazette his bill spiked a whopping 600 percent. "It's enough to T you off a little bit," Howard told the newspaper. "The dollar amount isn't tremendous, but it's going up six times."_

A small commercial painting contractor told me this week that her nine-person company's 1st quarter UI bill has gone from $1,000 to more than $6,500 over the past three years. "It's killing us!" she told me. "How can we hire additional employees? This is a big increase in addition to the health insurance annual increases, etc. We had to reduce our employees' wages by 10 percent this year, and who knows when we will be able to bump them back up?"

Lon Gibson, owner of Legalpool, Inc., told me how perverse unemployment insurance incentives led him to shut down his business in Philadelphia:

"We placed legal staff, especially temporary secretaries and paralegals. Part of our business was to place a secretary at a law firm for a short period of time. … Invariably, however, the temp would apply for unemployment benefits after the assignment. The agency would make a profit of $6 to $10 an hour from the assignment. Later, the bill would come in from unemployment for the temp and thus eliminate the profit we made from the temp! Ultimately, unless the temp didn't file, the money we made on the temp was completely subtracted by required unemployment payments. It was exactly like, to use a football analogy, making a 10-yard gain and consistently having it eliminated by a holding penalty. … I can only imagine what other agencies are going through now with this administration."

__John S., president of Vinyl Headlights Inc., shared his plight:

"We are a variety rock band that travels up and down the East Coast. Yes, everyone thinks we're lefty rockers, but that could not be further from the truth. We're all businessmen, and we provide a service. Since Obama's term, I have been watching our cost of business going up (UI, fuel, licenses, etc.), and we've had to modify our rates lower to keep us profitable. … We have let an employee go to further reduce costs. The last resort is to dissolve the company and send every man for himself. More than likely, all employees would take unemployment. If the government just got out of the way, I could employ people and provide the government revenue, but I am better off employing no one to keep from paying UI and the taxes. If a musician can get it, why can't (Obama)? Oh, wait: He's never had to make a payroll, and private enterprise is the enemy."

These unsung Obama jobs death toll stories are amassing across the nation. Alas, the victims of government wealth redistribution never earn as much of Washington's attention as the beneficiaries.****

4020  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Cyberwar and American Freedom on: December 09, 2010, 01:51:02 PM
***We should think of cyberattacks as guided missiles and respond similarly—intercept them and retaliate. This means we need a federal agency dedicated to defending our various networks. You cannot expect the private sector to know how—or to have the money—to defend against a nation-state attack in a cyberwar. One suggestion recommended by Mr. Clarke is that the our government create a Cyber Defense Administration. He's right. Clearly, defending the U.S. from cyberattacks should be one of our prime strategic objectives.***

Ironic that th internet was born from the military.  (DARPA?)

A single little twirp tucked away in some small bedroom can bring down whole portions of our economy, military, governement, etc.

4021  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Cognitive Dissonance of His Glibness on: December 09, 2010, 01:43:01 PM
"Obama still has said nothing about the largest security breach in American history"

The silence from him is deafening.

Absolutely remarkable.  He should be declaring war on these people; instead silence.

I am at a loss to explain why other than that he ideologically agrees with these enemies of our country.

4022  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Iraq on: December 08, 2010, 12:36:52 PM
The WMD were there.  They were smuggled to Syria or elsewhere at some point.  Or hidden somewhere and not found.
Of course MSM will ignore this.  The opposite of endless coverage of the water boarding of three terrorists as though it was some sort of scandal.

The biggest tragedy of this leak is as pointed out on cable is is highlights just how weak our country is.

A single guy with some computer skills can do such damage and yet, there still has to be a public *debate* as to can we, should we, even do anything to stop him.

More evidence of our decline.  I agree with Doug - not inevitable but clearly the result of idiot policies.

This guy is an enemy of the US.  We should simply put a bullet in his brain to make an example.  And anyone who helps him.

The NYT is not off the hook either though the liberals will force our courts to give them immunity.

4023  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Health Thread (nutrition, medical, longevity, etc) on: December 08, 2010, 12:03:46 PM
Update from CDC on influenza.

One can go back in time to see how it is spreading throughout the US over the past month up to 11/27:
4024  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Decline and Fall of the American Empire-1 on: December 08, 2010, 11:27:02 AM
The difference between unempolyment in the 30's and now is that in the 30's people would do any kind of work.

Now there are jobs available but no one wants to work at these jobs.  It is understandable that no one wants to get up in the AM if they can sit home and get unemployment for around the same amount of money.  That is human nature.   The endless unemployment benefits are making things worse IMO.  And all the while we have people who don't belong here getting and taking work.

Our country is falling apart from within.   Our schools are failing.  Our family situation is crumbling thanks to "progressivism" thus education which really starts at the home is not preparing children for a much more competitive world.

All the while big liberalism is making it worse.

4025  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Tax Policy on: December 08, 2010, 11:10:50 AM
Krauthammer on O'Reilly last night said the tax deal is great for Obama.  It effectively reduces revenues by 900 billion which is another bailout paid for by foreign debt holders, and he gets the unemployment extension, and if it stimulates the economy, the two year extension is perfect for the runnup to the 12 election.

He is clearly going against the grain.

On one hand we want the economy to do better.  On the other hand the Bamster will take all the credit for it if it does and give blame to Repubs if it doesn't.  He is obviously one of the least gracious Presidents we have ever had.  Then again Democrats never are gracious when it comes to giving credit to a Republican.

Yesterday's embarrasing performance by the narcisstic commander in heat goes along with what I suspect is that he will fall apart everytime he doesn't get his way.

Bamster gets credit for health care reform (from the liberal's point of view) despite the fact he had nothing to do with it.  He didn't come up with it.  He obviously didn't understand it.  The House and Senate rammed it through despite polls that it was unpopular *despite* his going all over the place selling it - and yet he will go down in history as the one who got it through.   This according to Charles Krauthammer.

Whether he gets relected will not be as per Charles that he should not be underestimated - it will be a combination of two things:

Whether or not the Republicans can come up with a decent candidate and if the economy/unempolyment turns - leaving us with trillions in debt.
4026  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2012 Presidential on: December 06, 2010, 03:56:33 PM
Ironic that this crowd is angry with him because he is not liberal enough.

I can't think of any more important issue for the USA right now than the don't ask dont tell. wink rolleyes

I nominate Rachel Maddow to spearhead this issue by running for high office.
4027  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Palin phenomenon on: December 06, 2010, 10:25:49 AM
***enjoy how she enrages the left***

Maybe that is it.
I agree with you and her ie. the "left", but,

***I fear her giving O-Barry a second term.***

as you imply she is only enraging or turning people off who are not on the same page.

We need someone who can appeal to at least the "independents" or swing voters (a better description).

I want more people to accept conservative/American ideals. I don't see  her convincing anyone.  Just being a angry mouthpiece for those of us who are already pissed off at the "left".
4028  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Palin phenomenon on: December 06, 2010, 09:50:44 AM
"CCP,  I was wondering if it was her substance or her so-called Fargo / rural northern MN accent that is driving your Palin annoyance.  I don't watch cable but why is she on?"

The accent doesn't bother me at all. I've been to Fargo and like most midwesterners they seem to be friendly types.

She is appearing a lot on Hannity who promotes her like she will be the savior of the world and Greta who seems to love her.  I guess they are counting on those few millions of viewers who apparently like listening to her to boost there ratings.  But everytime I start to listen to her I feel compelled to change the station.

There is something very in your face about her with the shit eating grin, the four eyes, the never ending smart ass anit-democrat remarks, the endless platitudes about the Constitution, freedom, our founding fathers.  After all is said and done I never know anything more after listening to her than I did before.  She talks endlessly and says little. 

Compare her to Newt who is a geniune thinker and intellect.  Compare her to Bolton who I love to listen to.  There is simply no comparison.  I can't quite explain it frankly.  Does any one else here watch FOX and thus get endless promotions of her understand or see and hear what I hear???
4029  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Health Thread (nutrition, medical, longevity, etc) on: December 06, 2010, 09:43:38 AM
I don't recall where I read it but the longer term results of lap band are not very good.  Most people will gain most of the weight back.
That is not true for the gastric bypass which does work much better.

When I do a search all I see are advertisements from surgeons telling you how wonderful the procedure is and how state of the art they are.

But then again most diet business will not tell you that almost all fail after five years 95% of people.

I cannot pull up the link in your post.

I heard something about the donut man's diet.  Isn't he some guy at Rutgers?

4030  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Health Thread (nutrition, medical, longevity, etc) on: December 06, 2010, 09:33:20 AM
The procedure, particularly its cost, which can range from $14,000 to $20,000. The device itself costs $3,000.

Now based on FDA experts 100,000,000 people total will qulify for the procedure.  That's right 100 million.

Using the above numbers that means we could spend 1.5 TRILLION for the people who qualify.

It should NOT be covered by insurance or Medicare for people who are with BMI 30 to 35.  If they choose to pay out of pocket - be my guest.

I do not want to subsidize this.

Why is everything ass backwards with the government?Huh
4031  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Lousy FDA decision. We will all go broke. on: December 04, 2010, 11:42:01 AM
I am shocked by this rec. by an FDA panel of experts.  Lap bands have a failure rate of 80% over a couple of years.  To think that the FDA approves doing this for people who are only class 1 obese is wrong.  It is a very costly procedure with not great results.  The surgeons will get rich though.  As well as the hospitals that do this.  WE will go broke paying for these through skyrocketing insurance costs.  I don't get it.

While obesity is hard to treat this ain't the answer.   Someone was bribed or owns stock options.

****By MATTHEW PERRONE, Associated Press Matthew Perrone, Associated Press – Sat Dec 4, 1:18 am ET
WASHINGTON – About 12 million more obese Americans could soon qualify for surgery to implant a small, flexible stomach band designed to help them lose weight by dramatically limiting their food intake. The Food and Drug Administration will make a final decision on the Lap-Band in the coming months.

The device from Allergan Inc. is currently implanted in roughly 100,000 people each year and usually helps patients lose 50 pounds or more. Under federal guidelines, it has been limited to patients who are morbidly obese.

On Friday, a panel of FDA advisers recommended expanding use of the device to include patients who are less obese. The panel voted 8-2 that the benefits of broader approval outweighed the risks.

If approved for wider use, the Lap-Band could be available to patients like Angela Denson, a 37-year-old Indianapolis woman who wants to lose 80 or 85 pounds. She said she has struggled with obesity since she started having children 20 years ago.

"I've tried diet pills. I've tried Weight Watchers ... all different types of diet plans," she said.

Denson is not quite obese enough for the surgery under the current standards, but she still wants to pursue the procedure to ward off future health problems and feel better.

But experts stress that the Lap-Band cannot stop deeply ingrained behavior that drives people to overeat. And the high cost of the procedure will remain a barrier for many potential patients.

More than a third of all American adults are obese. About 15 million of them meet criteria for gastric banding surgery under existing guidelines, which say a person should have a body mass index of 40 or higher, or a BMI of 35 or higher if the person suffers from a weight-related medical problem such as diabetes or high blood pressure.

If adopted, the proposal would lower the Lap-Band requirement to a BMI of 35 or higher, or as low as 30 with one related health problem.

Doing so would increase the number of eligible patients to 27 million, according to federal health data.

Denson said her insurer denied her doctor's request for a band procedure because her BMI was 39.3, and she had no serious conditions.

Dr. Jack Ditslear said broader approval could help people with lower BMIs avoid dangerous complications down the road.

"We know that being overweight increases the risk of diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease," said Ditslear, a surgeon at Clarian Bariatrics in Indianapolis. "Ideally you want to lose the weight before you have the onset of those diseases."

The adjustable band has been available in the U.S. since 2001 but far longer in Europe and Australia, where it is dominant. A ring is placed over the top of the stomach and inflated with saline to tighten it and restrict how much food can enter and pass through the stomach.

The device was developed as an alternative to gastric bypass surgery, a permanent procedure in which food is rerouted from a pouch in the stomach to the small intestine.

There were about 220,000 gastric surgeries last year, with banding accounting for an estimated 40 percent. Surgeons say the fact that the procedure is reversible and relatively low-risk accounts for its growing popularity.

"As a clinician, it's pretty common for patients to come in because they've heard about banding," said Dr. Eric DeMaria, a surgeon at Durham Regional Hospital. "It's probably the lowest-risk surgical procedure available for morbid obesity."

But there are hurdles to wider use of the procedure, particularly its cost, which can range from $14,000 to $20,000. The device itself costs $3,000.

Susquehanna International analyst Gary Nachman says both insurers and patients are often reluctant to pay.

"It's a very expensive procedure and even if someone has coverage, they may have to pay a copay of a few thousand dollars," Nachman said. "And that's why in a tough economy, we've seen this franchise struggle more than you would normally."

According to Nachman, the payment issues for Lap-Band will only increase if it is approved for patients with less severe obesity. He projects a modest 8 percent rise in Allergan's business through 2014 to about $258 million.

Susan Pisano, a spokeswoman for the industry trade group America's Health Insurance Plans, said she believes a majority of insurers now cover bariatric surgeries.

"They may approach this surgery in a cautious way, but I think there is a broad acknowledgment that there is a place for surgery in the treatment of morbidly obese people," she said, noting that some employers who provide group health coverage choose not cover the procedure in their plans.

The FDA's consideration of the Lap-Band comes as rising health care costs threaten to consume nearly a fifth of the U.S. economy. Obesity-related health care spending is estimated at $147 billion, double the level of a decade ago.

While experts say the Lap-Band can help patients control their weight, it cannot replace healthy lifestyle choices.

"It is a tool to make the lifestyle easier, but not easy. It doesn't help people exercise more or resolve their behavioral issues," said Madelyn Fernstrom, director of the University of Pittsburgh's weight management center. "It's most important for people to understand what it can and can't do."

To change eating behavior, the drug industry has invested billions of dollars to develop weight-loss medications, most of which have not proven effective.

The FDA has rejected two such medications this year alone because of safety concerns.

On Friday the agency issued a lackluster review of a third drug called Contrave, which combines an antidepressant with an anti-addiction drug used to treat alcoholism.

Experts say such drugs have been largely unsuccessful at addressing the main obstacle to weight loss: the brain's fundamental drive to eat enough food to maintain current weight.

Dr. Derek Lowe, a pharmaceutical researcher and blogger, says unless medicine finds a way to address that issue, devices like the Lap-Band will have mixed effectiveness.

"There are certainly people who've had gastric bypass surgery and managed to turn themselves back into their original size by sipping on milkshakes all day," he said.****

4032  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Palin phenomenon on: December 04, 2010, 09:42:53 AM
Another take.  It is not that I disagree with much of what she says - it is almost how she says it.  She is like the nightmare spouse who just shoots off at the mouth (not like mine at all) and doesn't shut up driving everyone nuts.  Whenever I hear her speak, after 30 seconds I find her extraordinarily annoying frankly.  Except for her fan base I believe most other Americans do too.

****The qualities of Sarah Palin
A head for business, a natural communicator—and a disaster in waiting for the Republicans
Dec 2nd 2010 | from PRINT EDITION
 SO WOULD President Sarah Palin have been able to prevent the embarrassment of WikiLeaks? You betcha. “Inexplicable,” was her first tweeted reaction to the affair: “I recently won in court to stop my book ‘America by Heart’ from being leaked, but US Govt can’t stop WikiLeaks’ treasonous act?”

Needless to say, the commentators she derides as the “liberal elite” and the “lamestream media” pounced upon this confusion of apples (Mrs Palin won a copyright case) and oranges (the federal government lacks the legal power to silence WikiLeaks) as further evidence, if such were needed, that the former governor of Alaska should never be trusted to lead the free world. They did the same last week, when she said in a radio interview: “Obviously, we gotta stand with our North Korean allies.” Mrs Palin’s occasional flubs make it easy to underestimate her. But opponents who dismiss her as an airhead do so at their peril.

Consider first her head for business. Mrs Palin has converted her two months of fame as John McCain’s running-mate in 2008 into a global brand and a fast-growing fortune. Her earnings are private, but her first book, “Going Rogue”, was a runaway bestseller and may have netted her $7m or more. Now “America by Heart” is flying off the shelves. She is said to earn about $100,000 per speech, and her multi-year broadcasting deal with Rupert Murdoch’s Fox News reputedly earns her $1m a year. Millions of viewers are now glued to “Sarah Palin’s Alaska”, an air-brushed not-quite-reality television series in which she and her brood cavort with bears and exude familial wholesomeness amid Alaska’s magnificent snowbound panoramas. That is said to be bringing her another $2m for eight episodes.

Next, there is the politics. However telegenic and sassy she is, not even Mrs Palin could keep this glistening bubble of celebrity permanently aloft if it were not for the speculation that she hopes one day to be president. Here, too, she has shown a deftness of touch that only the most purblind critic would refuse to acknowledge. Her quixotic (at the time many said “flaky”) decision in the summer of 2009 to resign half-way through her term as governor has been brilliantly vindicated. Though now a private individual, holding no office and not yet formally seeking one, she has made herself one of the most powerful forces in the Republican Party just when its fortunes have rebounded.

This did not happen by accident. Mrs Palin has rare political qualities. She is bold: she embraced the tea parties well before their impact became obvious. She is innovative: she has perfected the art of using the new social media to reach over the heads of a hostile press. And for all that she lacks the fluency of a Barack Obama, she is a natural communicator. Her Facebook post on “death panels” altered the national debate on health reform. When she asked “How’s that hopey changey thing working out for ya?”, she encapsulated many people’s doubts about their president. Just one tweet (“Doesn’t it stab you in the heart, as it does ours throughout the heartland? Peaceful Muslims, pls refudiate”) galvanised opposition to the so-called Ground Zero mosque. She helped put ratification of the new START treaty on hold. She even turned the president’s articulateness into a weapon against him. “We need a commander-in-chief, not a professor of law,” she told a tea-party convention in Nashville.

But can she become president?

That said, you do not have to underestimate Mrs Palin to recognise that it will be hard for anyone so divisive to win a presidential election. Mr McCain points out that Ronald Reagan, too, was accused of being divisive. But the Gipper was popular among blue-collar Democrats as well as his own party. In contrast, a recent poll found that the obverse of Mrs Palin’s stellar ratings among Republicans was that only 8% of Democrats had a favourable view of her. Another reported that 34% of Americans saw her “very unfavourably”. She says she can beat Mr Obama, but for as long as those numbers hold nothing would suit him better than for the Republicans to choose her as their nominee for 2012.

For the present it is her fellow Republicans—those who are seeking the nomination, that is—who have the greater cause for concern, if only because the attention the media lavish on the Sage of Wasilla drowns out their own messages. Nate Silver, a polling guru, notes that her search traffic on Google is 16 times that of Mitt Romney, 14 times Newt Gingrich’s and 87 times Tim Pawlenty’s. Rivals are loth to criticise her lest she accuses them of belonging to the party “establishment”, a high misdemeanour in these tea-driven times. When Barbara Bush, a former first lady, said she hoped the former governor would remain in the Alaska she appears to like so well, Mrs Palin responded immediately by lashing out at the party’s “blue-bloods”.

Whether Mrs Palin sincerely believes she can and should be president may not become clear for some time. Because her celebrity and income depend on the idea that she might run, she has every reason not to rule herself out of the race too soon. Since she is already famous, she does not have to declare early in order to build up the name-recognition that other contenders still lack.

This suggests that she could keep her party in a state of fevered expectation for months to come. And even if in the end she does not run, she will have an impact on the race’s outcome. In the primaries before the mid-term elections, Republican candidates learnt the value of an approving tweet from the patron saint of the tea-partiers—even though over a third of her picks then failed to win seats in Congress. Joe Scarborough, a television host and former Republican congressman, called this week on the party’s leaders to say in public what they all complain about in private: that she could devastate the Republicans’ cause in 2012. For some reason, none of them wants to speak up first.****
4033  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Palin phenomenon on: December 03, 2010, 03:37:57 PM
Ed Rollins to Palin - your no Reagan.
I don't know why she keeps showing up on Fox cable network.  It must be a ratings thing.  I don't know what she says that is ever different than what she already has said.  She just rants on and on at a thousand miles per hour.  I don't even waste my time listening to her.  She has become a broken record that just won't stop.
I don't understand why people continue to listen to her over and over again.  Am I missing something?:
4034  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Music on: December 03, 2010, 10:16:13 AM
There is and had been crime in Celebration.  Disney used to cover it up to avoid the negative publicity.  ONe PI hired to investigate a rape was told by witnesses they were instructed not to speak.  Mickey Mouse my ass.

****Disney town sees death for 2nd time in week
 Email this Story

Dec 3, 6:50 AM (ET)

CELEBRATION, Fla. (AP) - Authorities were investigating another death Friday in the town Disney built just days after reporting its first homicide in its 14-year existence. This time it was a man who apparently killed himself after shooting at deputies.

Craig Foushee, 52, barricaded himself in a home Thursday for more than 14 hours, according to an Osceola County Sheriff's Office report. He shot at deputies several times, but deputies never returned fire because they were unable to acquire a target and no deputies were injured, authorities said.

Deputies entered the home early Friday and found him dead of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Sheriff's spokeswoman Twis Lizasuain said there was no connection between Foushee and Matteo Patrick Giovanditto, who was found slain in a condominium Tuesday. That homicide was the first for Disney's master-planned, picture-perfect central Florida community with 11,000 residents.

Giovanditto lived alone with his Chihuahua and had been slain over the long Thanksgiving weekend, authorities said. Neighbors hadn't seen him for days, so they filed a missing person's report, then went into his condo a day later and found him.

Giovanditto's death was an isolated incident, Lizasuain said.****

4035  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Ethics?? What is that? on: December 02, 2010, 04:26:26 PM
Remember how Dennis Hastert had some sort of ownership in a mall.  Next to the mall was a road paid for by - guess? - Federal monies.
Remember how Harry Reid had part ownership in a land deal with a similar scam - Federal money used to pay for a road to be built next to this land.
Recall how Pelosi's family is making a fortune in the lobbyist game. 
Notice Delay being convicted.
These are our "leaders".  The joke is on us.
I told you the Rangel thing is a sham.  Maxine Waters is going to get off.  There are no ethics.  No one is holding these people accountable.  The game is rigged.  Most are re-elected. 

***A question of ethics
Voters sent Congress a clear message: End corruption now. Will Democrats listen and, more important, act?
By Jonathan Turley

In her first statement after the Democratic takeover of the House, the presumptive new speaker, Nancy Pelosi of California, pledged that her party would create “the most honest, the most open and the most ethical Congress in history.”

History, however, should give citizens pause before they celebrate the dawn of a new day. Pelosi's promise is eerily similar to the vows of her two predecessors.

Notably, in this election, Democrats took back the seats that they lost in 1994 when Newt Gingrich, who became speaker, led a Republican takeover based in part on his promise to create the most ethical Congress in history. Yet, ethics quickly gave way to earmarks, and Gingrich left the House in scandal.

We heard the same words from Dennis Hastert in 1999, when he became speaker. During Hastert's speakership, the leadership actually loosened ethics rules and prevented some bipartisan reforms from coming to the House floor. Hastert even engineered the removal of GOP members from the ethics committee who had voted to admonish former majority leader Tom DeLay for his misconduct — before DeLay resigned under indictment.

This history explains why lobbyists on K Street are not packing moving boxes in anticipation of an outbreak of good government. After all, these same Democrats remained silent for many years in the face of corrupt practices, often engaging in the very conduct that would now have to be prohibited.

Even so, there is one unexpected glimmer of hope: They might not have a choice. To the surprise of both parties, exit polls cited corruption in Congress as one of the most important issues motivating citizens to vote. President Bush had campaigned for some of the most corrupt members of Congress. His political adviser, Karl Rove, admitted after the elections that “the profile of corruption in the exit polls was bigger than I'd expected.”

Of course, “reform” can take the most curious forms in the parallel moral universe of Congress. For example, in 1997, the mislabeled House Ethics Reform Task Force moved to prevent ethics charges rather than ethics violations. Not only did the members bar citizens from bringing charges, but both parties also entered into a secret 7-year moratorium on any ethics charges by members.

While Republicans richly deserve the lion's share of blame for the grotesquely corrupt 109th Congress, it is only fair to note that ranking Democrats have long fought to preserve and benefit from many of the same loopholes and technicalities.

Democratic whip Dick Durbin of Illinois has been criticized for accepting trips for himself and his wife that were paid for by outside groups such as the not-for-profit Aspen Institute. Likewise, the presumptive Senate majority leader, Harry Reid of Nevada, was recently scrutinized for alleged ethics lapses, including a controversial land deal in Las Vegas and the use of campaign funds to give Christmas bonuses to workers at his luxury condo building in Washington.

None of this means that the Democrats cannot show that they are capable of personal change with needed political reform. Yet, the last Democratic proposals for ethics reforms contain obvious gaps that would allow the continuation of corrupt practices, including some favored by their leadership.

If Pelosi is serious about “draining the swamp,” here are 10 practices that would have to end:

•Free vacations. Prohibit travel for members and their family and staff paid by outside groups, including not-for-profit organizations.

•Playing the market. Bar members from legislating in areas where they have financial interests by closing a loophole in the definition of “outside income,” which excludes investments and stocks. Better yet, require the use of blind trusts by members (already used by executive and judicial officers).

•Quid pro quo deals. End the practice of receiving windfall private deals from partners, who then receive generous government contracts. Require recusal from any matter in which a business partner has a direct financial interest.

•Self-policing. Create an independent office of ethics in which non-members investigate and rule on allegations of unethical conduct.

•Misuse of campaign funds. Prohibit the use of such funds for any purpose other than direct campaign costs for the original recipient, barring the transfer of funds to other candidates.

•Family lobbyists. Bar members from any official contact with family members who are employed as lobbyists and require recusal from any committee with jurisdiction over issues on which a spouse or a child is a lobbyist. Enact an ethics principle that expressly condemns the employment of spouses or children as lobbyists as harmful to the institution.

•Family businesses. Strengthen nepotism rules, including a ban on the hiring of spouses and family as campaign staff or contractors.

•Gifts. Change the scope of prohibited gifts to include the use of private jets by members and catered food for members or staff. Also require the valuation of gifts by an independent ethics committee.

•Club privileges. End all special access to the floor and other areas for former members that allows them free access as lobbyists.

•Earmarks. The primary currency for corrupt practices and pork barrel projects remains earmarks — special pet projects inserted into budgets outside of the usual competitive bidding and appropriations processes. Democrats have proposed changes but not the most obvious: Ban earmarks.

Believing in Pelosi's promise is the ultimate victory of hope over experience. Indeed, Democratic proposals still fall short of a true cleaning as opposed to a quick dust and polish in the “first 100 hours.” Yet, if she implements these 10 reforms, Pelosi can prove that it is possible for reformed sinners to sin no more.

Jonathan Turley is the Shapiro Professor of Public Interest Law at George Washington University and a member of USA TODAY's board of contributors.****
4036  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Celebration Florida on: December 02, 2010, 11:44:53 AM
Katherine and I were one of the first ones to move into Celebration, the town that Disney built.  We moved there from South Florida because we thought it would be a pleasant place to live and since Katherine is visually impaired (legally blind) it would be ideal for to be able to walk to destinations, make friends and maybe a good investment.

Well it was anything but wonderful life.  Our house was wired, our internet connections were controlled, our phone was tapped, we had bugs in placed in the house, our neighbors were bribed to watch for when we left the house, we rented a small efficiency behind our house over the garage to a number of tenants all of whom were plants to rob us, our mail carriers would screw up delivery of our mail so crooks could surveillance it and if needed steal or manipulate copyrights sent to and from the COpyright Office, bank employees were bribed to get in our safety box, new gardners came into town and were immediately doing all our neighbors lawns so they could have access to wireless devices and be near our house, at least once we had three people wearing exterminator outfits like the one we used show up at our porch even though the company denied anyone was sent and they never sent three people at once,  our neighbors never saw a thing, though one did admit she didn't know how we could stand it, and would have committed suicide by then.  A neighbor moved in from Alabama who appeared to have bribed the garbage man to drop off our garbage at his house which was a few houses down his run, we would be watched while we walked our dogs and someone would be going through our house, Katherine's uncle was biribed, her mother, an 80 yo "friend" of hers who I made the mistake of trusting and letting stay in our house, we had a computer phD come into the house (worst mistake of all) and let him have access to all our computers thinking he was looking for evidence for us while instead he was rigging our systems and erasing all evidence, painters painting just the back of our neighbors house for several days in an attempt to wait for us to leave the house (walk the dogs, etc) so they could run in and take whatever they wanted, on the other side of us a guy and girl were doing some yard work and I say a straight stick in the very center of my driveway appearing as some sort of signal that our house was the target house, when I turned my back and went upstairs in our efficiency Katherine could hear the girl screaming to the guy to "get it, get it" right outside a window on the side of our house and Katherine called me and by the time I was able to see what they were doing these two characters were on other side of the the house next to us as though nothing happened.

Our gardner was eventually bribed.  I remember Katherine telling me he was stunned when he saw a sherriff's car come aruond the corner and look exactly at the two of them speaking and immediately turn around and go back the other way.  Even he was startled and siad "did you see that, that was weird".
Eventually he was bribed and possibly intimidated (he had a dirt bike accident) and turned not so nice to us and was obviously going around looking for windows he or his new empolyee could get into.  I could go on.  These stories are only a small part of what was done to us in Disney's little town.  all the while Disney was making money off her lyrics, Lou Perlman was making money off them, Paul Bittles Harlyn KIng or which ever name you want to use was also doing the same. Even one of our tenants, a pyschopath, Joe (a gay waiter at one of the Disney restaurants) said "everyone in Orlando is making money off your songs but you"!

Rascall Flatts got famous as did countless other pop and country singers many of whom are also suddenly going by the phrase "singersongerwriter".
There was lyric streets dot com that has finally gone out of business, Sony Nashville was established with a catelogue of Katherine's song lyrics. 

Yes Celebration was supposed to be a dream town.  It was our worst nightmare.  I was warned that leaving the state would not make this problem go away.  These kind of criminals will easily follow us around.  He was absolutely right.  The exact same thing is happening to us in NJ.  Our house is totally wired. 

We have been and are terrorized. OUr lives has become a living hell.  All because Katherine is a genius talent at writing ready to go sellable music lyrics.  The music industry is criminal from top to  bottom.  Does anyone care?  Short answer - NO at all.  I learned anyone can be bribed.  Any one who thinks otherwise is a fool.
4037  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Media Issues on: November 30, 2010, 09:59:09 AM
Agreed.  The hypocracy of the NYT knows no bounds. There is also the profit issue too.  This latest leak is a great money maker for the news media whereas climate gate probably would not be such good "goosip"

On another note with regards to Hillary's spying who in their right mind doesn't think spying is the approach taken by all in diplomacy?  In some regard this story is like a hollywood gossip magazine.  The pro Hillarites probably think this helps her look strong and pro US standing up for us.  Has anyone read anything that really can substantiate any accomplishment on the Hill's part overseas?

David Corn thinks she should resign in disgrace.  Her credibility with the foreingers is caput so he says.  (LIke she was ever an honest INJUN about anything!) Good luck.  She might resign if she was to run against Obama.  No other way.  She is still unning.  She had an article she pretends to have written published in the Economst this week.  It speaks about America is an still will be the leader in the world etc etc.  Of course she is still running for Prez.

*****Should Hillary Clinton resign as secretary of state due to the WikiLeaks revelations? My friend Jack Shafer at Slate makes a good case. His reason: Clinton, like predecessor Condoleezza Rice, signed orders instructing U.S. foreign service officers to spy on the diplomats of other nations. Cables went out under her name telling State Department officials overseas to collect the fingerprints, facial images, DNA, and iris scans of African leaders, to obtain passwords, credit card numbers, and frequent flyer accounts used by foreign diplomats, and to gather private information on United Nations officials, including Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

Diplomats are not spies (though spies do pose as diplomats). They do collect information -- by working contacts overseas, reviewing the local media, interacting with the population of the nations where they are stationed -- often acquiring intelligence that is as valuable, if not more so, than the secrets snatched by intelligence officials. But there is a line between a diplomat and a spook. The former uses aboveboard methods to find out what his or her government needs to know about other nations; the latter resorts to espionage, wiretaps, bribery, and other underhanded means. There are many reasons for keeping the two roles distinct. Diplomats are awarded immunity and can gain certain access overseas because they are not spies.

Now that the Clinton State Department has blurred the line, U.S. diplomats, who have to contend with the assumption that any U.S. official abroad is really working for the CIA, will have an additional burden to bear when doing their jobs overseas.

Of the many WikiLeaks revelations that have emerged in the past few days -- and more are to come in the next few months, as the renegade website continues to release batches of the 251,287 State Department cables it has obtained -- the news that U.S. diplomats have been turned into part-time spies certainly warrants thorough investigation. Obama administration officials, of course, have tried to make the leak itself the paramount issue. Attorney General Eric Holder has promised prosecutions if "we can find anybody involved in breaking American law." Clinton has called the leak "an attack on America's foreign policy interests," claiming it has endangered "innocent people." Republican Rep. Peter King urged Clinton to determine if WikiLeaks can be designated a terrorist organization. Sen. Joe Lieberman has called on the United States and other governments to shut down WikiLeaks. Sarah Palin, naturally, blamed President Barack Obama's "incompetence" for the leaks, as she erroneously equated this episode with a website posting pages of her new book without her permission.

Yet there have not been such passionate calls for investigating the transformation of U.S. diplomats into undercover snoops. The administration's strategy -- as is to be expected -- is to focus on the easy-to-demonize messenger, not the hard-to-explain message. But Diplomatgate ought to be a top priority for the oversight committees of Congress. Still, this part of the story could easily get lost in the WikiLeaks wash, as multiple revelations appear simultaneously: Arab nations practically encouraging Washington to back an attack on Iran, U.S. diplomats describing Afghan President Hamid Karzai as "driven by paranoia," and -- don't forget this one -- Libyan leader Moammar Gaddafi traveling the world with a "voluptuous blonde" Ukrainian nurse. The diplomats-into-spies news is a scandal on its own. But thanks to WikiLeaks fire-hose approach, this exposé is somewhat overshadowed by the entire documents dump.

As for Clinton, WikiLeaks' scattershot approach is probably helping her. Shafer contends,

No matter what sort of noises Clinton makes about how the disclosures are "an attack on America" and "the international community," as she did today, she's become the issue. She'll never be an effective negotiator with diplomats who refuse to forgive her exuberances, and even foreign diplomats who do forgive her will still regard her as the symbol of an overreaching United States. Diplomacy is about face, and the only way for other nations to save face will be to give them Clinton's scalp. . . .

There is no way that the new WikiLeaks leaks don't leave Hillary Clinton holding the smoking gun. The time for her departure may come next week or next month, but sooner or later, the weakened and humiliated secretary of state will have to pay.
In many other nations, news such as this would indeed prompt resignations of high officials. The United States does not have this noble tradition. Here, government officials hold on for dear life when trouble erupts. (How many U.S. officials resigned when it turned out the Bush-Cheney administration was wrong about WMDs in Iraq? None.) So one can expect Clinton to dig in her heels, as the administration decries the leaker and ignores the leaks. (And with Obama in a weak position politically after the 2010 elections, he's not likely to shove aside a woman who's still fancied by much of his party's base.) Perhaps the coming WikiLeaks leaks will cause additional difficulties for Clinton. But given the ADD of the national media, she probably can survive the current storm. Shafer has a sound argument, but I'd settle for seeing Clinton and subordinates grilled on Capitol Hill about the spookification of U.S. diplomats. But that's probably as likely as the White House inviting Julian Assange to a holiday party.****

4038  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Vitamin D on: November 30, 2010, 09:38:08 AM
Vitamin D levels that are consdiered deficient or insufficient in the blood is quite prevalent.  It seems half of all of us are in that range.  What is the optimal level of blood Vitamin D?  No one is certain.  I shoot for 40 because I've read that lower levels are associated with osteoporotic bone fractures.  Some experts are advocating massive Vit D dosing in order to get people's levels up.  I did this for some months till I read that there is an association of massive dosing and cardiovascular events like heart attacks.  Is it possible that too much can contribute to heart attacks?  No one is quite sure.  However, coronary artery CT scans are actually looking for calcium in the coronaries arteries that is associated with plaque.  Therefore one could question if the high doses of Vit D can increase plaque buildup.

In any case, the cost of measuring Vitamin D is around $200 or 250.  Medicare will only pay for one measurement per year.  Don't think they aren't pissed off about doctors who are ordering a lot of these.  While nothing I read about the below article is wrong per se, don't forget the hidden agenda about the dollars and cents behind this from our government who is going to tell us what we can and cannot have paid for.  This is a good example of what we are in store for:

Google NewsReport: A bit more vitamin D is good, not too much
(AP) – 10 hours ago

WASHINGTON (AP) — Got milk? You may need a couple cups more than today's food labels say to get enough vitamin D for strong bones. But don't go overboard: Long-awaited new dietary guidelines say there's no proof that megadoses prevent cancer or other ailments — sure to frustrate backers of the so-called sunshine vitamin.

The decision by the prestigious Institute of Medicine, the health arm of the National Academy of Sciences, could put some brakes on the nation's vitamin D craze, warning that super-high levels could be risky.

"More is not necessarily better," cautioned Dr. Joann Manson of Harvard Medical School, who co-authored the Institute of Medicine's report being released Tuesday.

Most people in the U.S. and Canada — from age 1 to age 70 — need to consume no more than 600 international units of vitamin D a day to maintain health, the report found. People in their 70s and older need as much as 800 IUs. The report set those levels as the "recommended dietary allowance" for vitamin D.

That's a bit higher than the target of 400 IUs set by today's government-mandated food labels, and higher than 1997 recommendations by the Institute of Medicine that ranged from 200 to 600 IUs, depending on age.

But it's far below the 2,000 IUs a day that some scientists recommend, pointing to studies that suggest people with low levels of vitamin D are at increased risk of certain cancers or heart disease.

"This is a stunning disappointment," said Dr. Cedric Garland of the University of California, San Diego, who wasn't part of the institute's study and says the risk of colon cancer in particular could be slashed if people consumed enough vitamin D.

"Have they gone far enough? In my opinion probably not, but it's a step in the right direction," added prominent vitamin D researcher Dr. Michael Holick of Boston University Medical Center, who said the new levels draw needed attention to the vitamin D debate and encourage more food fortification.

Vitamin D and calcium go hand in hand, and you need a lifetime of both to build and maintain strong bones. But the two-year study by the Institute of Medicine's panel of experts concluded research into vitamin's D possible roles in other diseases is conflicting. Some studies show no effect, or even signs of harm.

A National Cancer Institute study last summer was the latest to report no cancer protection from vitamin D and the possibility of an increased risk of pancreatic cancer in people with the very highest D levels. Super-high doses — above 10,000 IUs a day — are known to cause kidney damage, and Tuesday's report sets 4,000 IUs as an upper daily limit — but not the amount people should strive for.

And Manson pointed to history's cautionary tales: A list of other supplements — vitamins C and E and beta carotene — plus menopause hormone pills that once were believed to prevent cancer or heart disease didn't pan out, and sometimes caused harm, when put to rigorous testing.

Stay tuned: To help settle the issue, Manson is heading a government-funded study that's recruiting 20,000 healthy older Americans to test whether taking 2,000 IUs of vitamin D really will lower their risk for heart disease, a stroke or certain cancers.

In the meantime, it's hard to consume 600 IUs of vitamin D from food alone. A cup of D-fortified milk or orange juice has about 100 IUs. The best sources may be fatty fish — some servings of salmon can provide about a day's supply. Other good sources are D-fortified cereals.

But here's the report's big surprise: While some people truly are seriously deficient in vitamin D, the average American in fact already has enough circulating in his or her blood — because we also make vitamin D from sun exposure, and because many people already take multivitamins or other D-containing dietary supplements.

Wait a minute: Headlines in recent years have insisted the opposite, that a majority of people don't get enough vitamin D, especially during the winter. What explains the contradiction?

Most testing laboratories are using a too-high cutoff for those blood levels, said report co-author Dr. Clifford Rosen of the Maine Medical Center. The report says at least 20 nanograms is adequate for bone health, while many labs instead list people as low if their blood levels are below 30 ng. Serious vitamin D deficiencies are diagnosed when levels dip well below 20, something that hasn't changed.

Rosen called the state of vitamin D testing "the wild, wild West," and said he hoped that "with this report, we can at least temper people's enthusiasm for just taking tons of supplements."

As for calcium, the report recommended already accepted levels to go along with your daily D — about 1,000 milligrams of calcium a day for most adults, 700 to 1,000 mg for young children, and 1,300 mg for teenagers and menopausal women. Too much can cause kidney stones; the report said that risk increases once people pass 2,000 mg a day.

It's true that most studies link poor health to vitamin D levels that are below 20 ng, said preventive cardiologist Dr. Erin Michos, a Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine professor who wasn't part of the study.

But, "I'm not sure I'm going to dramatically change my practice," said Michos, who pushes her patients to boost their levels until they're between 30 and 50 ng.

EDITOR'S NOTE — Lauran Neergaard covers health and medical issues for The Associated Press in Washington.

Copyright © 2010 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.
4039  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: US Foreign Policy on: November 29, 2010, 02:25:08 PM
Good article above.

I was thinking over the weekend that our response to aggression has become predictable.  And that allows us to be manipulated.

Without fail we speak of dealing with threats in predictable ways:

Start with the public announcement of "concern", "top priority", "outrage", "will discuss with allies", etc.
Then the UN security coucil route. 
Then threat of sanctions.
Then bribery attempts.
Then some mild sanctions.
Then stronger sanctions.
Then more strong sanctions.
Then getting "allies" to go along with more sanctions.

Being predictable is a huge weakness.

Suppose we just shut the hell up.  Give a stern and resolute warning or two.  If that doesn't work show we mean what we say.

And out of no where we bomb the living daylights out of one of our enemies.

Make 'em into a parking garage.  (Think of Reagan bombing Qhadafis compound in what '86?)

Sure they will hate us and there will be eternal pacts of revenge.  (Think of Lockerbie)

But we will be respected.  Not feared.  Just respected.  (Qhaddafi surely changed after he saw video of Saddam being dragged out of hole didn't he?)

4040  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2010 Elections; 2012 Presidential on: November 29, 2010, 01:30:10 PM
John Bolton on Aaron Klein radio this weekend and he reaffirmed he is thinking about running for Pres.
His stance is Obama is no paying attention to foreign policy as he works to reconfigure our country at home.
Sounds overall like a winning point.  He has not come out and spoken of the domestic "issues" (pardon the phrase) yet.
4041  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Cognitive Dissonance of His Glibness on: November 26, 2010, 03:43:07 PM
 I wonder who gave him the elbow?  Must either be an independent or someone losing patience defending him:

Let's see.  Probably will receive "get well" cards from China, Iran, NKorea, Russia, Palestinians, Hamas, Hexballah, Hugo Chavez, Fidel Castro, La Raza, Karzai (hehehe - keep the money flowing),

***12 stitches for Obama after errant elbow in hoops
           AP – President Barack Obama, with an ice pack over his mouth, looks out the second floor window of the White …
 WASHINGTON – President Barack Obama needed 12 stitches in his lip after taking an errant elbow during a pickup basketball game Friday with a group of family and friends visiting for the Thanksgiving holiday, the White House said.

First word about the injury came in a statement from press secretary Robert Gibbs nearly three hours after the incident saying that Obama was inadvertently struck by someone's elbow. The individual was not identified.

Obama received the stitches under local anesthesia in the doctor's office on the ground floor White House after he returned home. The medical unit that treated Obama used a smaller filament than typically used, which increases the number of stitches but makes a tighter stitch and results in a smaller scar.

The president had gone to nearby Fort McNair to indulge in one of his favorite athletic pursuits, a game of basketball. It was a five-on-five contest involving family and friends and including Reggie Love, Obama's personal assistant who played at Duke University.

Obama emerged from the building after about 90 minutes of play, wearing a short-sleeve T-shirt and gym pants, and was seen dabbing at his mouth with what appeared to be a wad of gauze. A few hours later, reporters who had gathered on the White House driveway for the arrival of the Christmas tree, saw the president in an upstairs window, pressing an ice pack against his mouth before he stood and walked away.

"After being inadvertently hit with an opposing player's elbow in the lip while playing basketball with friends and family, the president received 12 stitches today administered by the White House Medical Unit," Gibbs said.

Obama's motorcade obeyed all traffic stops, the custom for nonofficial trips, during the return to the White House.

In February, Obama, 49, was deemed to be in excellent health and fit for duty after his first medical checkup as president. Doctors reported then that Obama had yet to kick a smoking habit, takes anti-inflammatory medication to relieve chronic tendinitis in his left knee and should make dietary changes to reduce his cholesterol levels.

Obama was told to return for another physical exam in August 2011, after he turns 50. In addition to regular pickup basketball games, Obama is also an avid golfer.

Obama had no public events scheduled during the long holiday weekend.

His stitched lip, however, could make for some interesting small talk on Tuesday, when Obama is to meet with the congressional leadership. The session originally was announced for Nov. 18, but was delayed after Republicans, who will control the House and increase their numbers in the Senate come January, said they couldn't accommodate the president.

Medical help is always nearby for U.S. presidents. A doctor or nurse is stationed at the White House around the clock and accompanies the president in his motorcade and aboard Air Force One.

Recent presidents have had a number of medical scares.

George W. Bush choked on a pretzel and briefly lost consciousness, falling and hurting his head. Bill Clinton had surgery and used crutches for months for a torn tendon in his knee when he stumbled on steps at the Florida home of golf pro Greg Norman.

The elder Bush, George H.W. Bush, was hospitalized for an erratic heartbeat while jogging at Camp David, a problem later diagnosed as a thyroid ailment. The senior Bush also collapsed at a state dinner in Tokyo, which the White House blamed on an intestinal flu.

Jimmy Carter fainted briefly while jogging near Camp David. Ronald Reagan was shot in the chest in a 1981 assassination attempt.

Former Vice President Dick Cheney, 69, has had five heart attacks since age 37. He had surgery this year to install a pump to help his heart work. Cheney said he has congestive heart failure.****

4042  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Bama, another Lincoln for 2012. on: November 26, 2010, 12:18:14 PM
So the big hollywood lib Speilberg is going to make a movie on Lincoln with Daniel Day Lewis cast as Abe.
Of course the source is liberal historian  Doris Goodwin Kearns ( the plagerizer) who wrote a book about Lincoln's cabinet.

Remember her and other liberal media types claiming that  Obama picking his political adversary (Hill) and for his cabinet was just sooooo

Lincoln, well known long before Kearns was ever born or able to lift lines from others, picked political adverseries for his cabinet because he thought they were best suited for the job.

So of course the comparisons between Bama and Lincoln were all over the MSM.

So now Spielberg wants to give Bamster a boost?

Guess when this movie will come out?

End of 2012.  Is this just a business ploy or also political?  Probably both.
4043  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Cognitive Dissonance of His Glibness on: November 26, 2010, 12:00:05 PM
'When he finally used the term "enemy"'

Remarkable isn't it?  Who would have ever thought a radical like this could ever be President of our country?

I really fear that if the economy and unempolyment improves (of course all on monopoly money) that "duh"Bamster will be all over the place being given credit by mainstream media and he will have a shot at 2012.  Another four years to give our country away and destroy it from inside out. The Fed just keeps making more and more funny money.

We have got to have a great mouthpiece and debater to take bamster on and put him in his place.  So far I still only see Newt who can do that but he also can occasionally say the wrong thing.  And it is always an uphill battle with the MSM complex against anyone from the right.

4044  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Israel, and its neighbors on: November 26, 2010, 10:57:13 AM
"In a best-case scenario, if Israel destroyed the majority of the Iranian nuclear program – the part it knows it knows about – Iran has the expertise and the capacity to rebuild, and would be back where it is today in three to five years."

And of course Iran would send suicide squads around the world to act revenge.

That is why IMO the only real option is nuclear weapons.  You have to set Irans military capacity back to the stone age once and for all.  We also have to send a message around the world. 
Or wait and hope (like a stock you bought whose price is dropped big) and pray for some sort of regime change.

It is obvious our military and "dah"bamster have already decided to live with a nuclear Iran.  The decision is already made.  The rest is a game and dog and pony show and a prayer that ahmadingegad (sp?)  and his like will be forced out.

Israel is on its own from what I can glean from the media. Or if there is something behind the scenes I don't know about.  But I highly doubt it.  Bamster sat in th Church of an anti semite for 20 years.  The liberal Jews can think they will pressure and presuade him all they want. They will not have their way with him like they think. He is from camp of the antisemitic group of blacks.  OF course not all and probably not even most Blacks at all.

You know.  About the only time this President of ours is passionate is when he is pleading the Muslim cause, the minority cause, anything anti - white, pro - muslim, or anything anti American.  The rest of his speeches about America are pure show.  It is obvious to me.  If it ain't obvious to my liberal Jewish friends by now then I can't help them.  Unfortunately it may be too late for Israel by then.
4045  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / link on: November 23, 2010, 12:41:10 PM
4046  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Government programs & regulations, spending, budget process on: November 23, 2010, 11:09:02 AM
Couple of weeks ago I have another man around 40 come in with back pain.   His MRI shows a disc bulge.  Most people his age would show this.

He now wants me to give him a *year" of disability. 

I said most of these calm down in 4 or 6 weeks.

Frankly I am fed up with this stuff.

He can't get a job at a burger king like all the illegals?

I should spend the rest of my life working my ass off so he can sit around and get checks on my dime?

People this is totally out of control.  Till we have politicians who have some darn guts we will continue to sink to the bottom of the ocean.

As far as I am concerned this country does not deserve better.  To think young men and women are risking their lives and limb to defend what - a country of assholes?

And to watch Wall Street honor the medal of honor winner last week.  While insider trading is rampant.  As I said life is a total joke.

The joke is on the honest hard working people - if there are any left.
4047  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Government programs & regulations, spending, budget process on: November 22, 2010, 03:56:25 PM
Jut another outrage.  An example of 20 billion Federal "grant" money use.  We all know this money is used for political gain.

I want my tax money back.  I am sick and tired of being robbed to pay for such crap:
4048  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Politics on: November 20, 2010, 09:57:42 AM
"he represents the strongly Jewish (Democrat) suburb where AL Franken grew up (Infidels/Zionists?) and he represents the rich white elite urban Democrats of the professional and business financial center of the Twin Cities even though he is anti-business and insurance violates Islam. Before congress Ellison made a name for himself defending a gang member who killed a cop.  Ellison led protests chanting "we don't get no justice, you don't get no peace".

My "fellow" angry liberal Jews would rather support this guy than a Republican.  Just goes to further my theory that to them - a Republican - is worse than a Nazi.  Just look at Soros. A holocaust survivor who thinks the best thing is for the government to control us. Of course, he also seems to have his investments appropriately in the right place at the right time while he manipulates our political system.  He/they definitely have screws loose.

Au contraire.  To me these same liberal elites who in their own minds know all, think they are smarter than the rest of us, wiser than us do gooders have far more in common with Nazis than the right.
4049  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Politics on: November 19, 2010, 01:49:47 PM
"Sure he should be thrown out, but that should have been done by his voters who placed no importance on decency."

The same voters who like OJ Simpson.  the same voters who elected a crack addict to DC mayor.
I am sorry.  The joke is on them.
There is hope at the end of the tunnel.  A few like Congresman West of Florida hopefully can wake up more of these people from the angry get the "white boy crowd".
I note that MSNBC angry gay Madcow is going after Congressman West now.  We can't have a successful Black Republican now can we?  Same as the threat of Sarah Palin. Cannot have successful conservative woman can we.  Make them top priority for the liberal hit squads.

4050  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: california on: November 19, 2010, 01:44:08 PM
"The passengers on the Titanic didn't vote to hit the iceberg."

good analogy.

NJ has a lot of the liberal stuff of California, and the union stuff.  Gov Christie has been able to get past it.  I wonder if he would have had a chance in Kalifornia.
Except for her money Whitman was a weak candidate.  I can't even say she was a good CEO as much as she had a winning company with a winning idea.

I am definitely a Republican not a Libertarian.  I could be a strict conservative but I just don't think it possible in this country of entitlements.  I hope I am wrong.

We are fighting a cancer.   
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