Some Good Eating…During Bad Times

~~By InsightAnalytical-GRL

I follow an “interesting” diet and was looking for some way to avoid “light mayo” and all the junk that it contains. (I don’t eat eggs, so I don’t eat “real” mayo, even organic, and I avoid soy products as well.

I did some hunting and found a great blog called “One Frugal Foodie” which is full of non-dairy recipes as well as recipes that are vegan, gluten-free and food allergy-friendly and which also focuses on VALUE, which we are all looking for today as the economy struggles. (Blog has a subtitle: Eating Well Should Not Be Expensive.)

The site also has a great blogroll.

So, if you want to eat well and not break the bank, check out:

http://www.onefrugalfoodie.com/

Musings on the Recession and the Effect on Police Departments–With Chicago as a Prime Example

~~By InsightAnalytical-GRL

This story caught my eye today–the effects of the economic mess we’re in on police departments across the nation.

What kicked in was the thought about the warnings of unrest that we’ve read about, as things get worse.  Well, it seems that the seeds of this are beginning to awaken.  From the AP:

Even cops losing their jobs in recession

CHICAGO (AP) — As hundreds of jobs in Chicago’s police department go unfilled, officers who once patrolled the streets with partners are riding alone in what some cops bitterly call “rolling coffins.”

Chicago?  Obamaland?  Well, why be surprised, I guess.  Chicago isn’t going to get any special attention with regard to the safety of its citizens–it’s probably entirely appropriate that  one of the enabling factors  that could result in widespread unrest and offer the opportunity for a complete clampdown by the power-hungry Obots would be rising in Chicago.  Obama et al apparently don’t give a crap about Chicago now even though it’s “their town,” just as they don’t give a crap about most things people really need these days.

Oh, there’s some money in the stimulus package but it’s not enough:

Exactly how many officers are losing their jobs and how many positions are going unfilled are unclear. But one after another, departments are telling the International Association of Chiefs of Police that officers are being laid off or taking furloughs, positions are being left vacant, and police forces are closing or consolidating.

“I’ve been in law enforcement for 25 years and if you would have talked about laying off policemen, people would not have believed you,” Dye said.

The cuts come as police departments are being asked to take on more responsibilities, such as investigating domestic terrorism, said John Firman, director of research for the police chiefs association.

There is some help on the way, in the form of federal stimulus money, but the need may far outstrip the aid. For example, the $1 billion that the Justice Department’s Community Oriented Policing Services received to hire officers nationwide is less than one-eighth of the money agencies requested, said Fred Wilson, director of operations at the National Sheriffs’ Association.

This is another one of those initiatives that are so typical of this Administration and Congress lately: lots of talk, then the back-off in terms of money and commitment.

I remember when Bill Clinton got the 100,000 officers on the street and the positive results in terms of a decline in crime.

But, it’s different now.  Chaos and unrest will be just fine with Obama as he pulls those militarized units out to quell “unrest.”   This is where the intimidating words and threats to politicians behind the scenes will turn into the kind of thing people will actually be able to see.  Well, maybe…the mainstream media probably will not show domestic unrest, will it?

More from Chicago:

Also, more cops are being attacked on the streets, and police say that is because they can no longer flood the scene with officers when they respond to a call. The number of incidents of battery against a police officer in Chicago rose from 2,677 to 3,158 between 2007 and 2008, according to department statistics.

Meanwhile, in Broward County, Florida, the cut in jail officers is affecting key programs that are aimed at keeping future crime at protecting children from addicted inmates:

…”jail programs that, among other things, help inmates overcome addiction and stop beating their kids.

“We are at the point where we are literally out of options,” [Sheriff Al]  amberti said. “I never thought in a million years this would happen.”

And in other places, programs that are in place to mentor youths are also being eliminated:

“Now we’re going to be responding when a kid slaps his mom instead of having him in a program where they can teach him to respect his parents,” said Lt. Charles Carlson.

All this “hope and change” doesn’t sound too pleasant, does it?  Even though cops can be a pain sometimes, what happens when all law and order breaks down at the local level?

Well, then somebody else will have to step in and they will be under the direction of the Obots. Doesn’t that make you feel better?

And I’m not just talking about an increase in criminal activity as an excused to clampdown from on high.  There’s the question of law-abiding citizens being “criminalized” if they begin to dissent. Do you think we’ll be looking  like Iran or China and many other places around the world when things get a bit “disquieted” ?

Domestic Violence and Healthcare Reform: Will the Abused Get the Help They Need?

By InsightAnalytical-GRL

Are you surprised?  I would imagine that New Mexico is no different from many other places here in the U.S.

ABQJOURNAL NEWS/STATE: Domestic Violence Increases in N.M.

Authorities say domestic violence is on the rise in New Mexico, and the recession is likely to blame.


Prosecutors and police can only speculate about the cause of the uptick, but District Attorney spokesman Pat Davis said it’s easy to draw a line between the recession and the violence.


“There’s something new going on, and it certainly seems to correlate with the economy,” Davis said. “Our numbers sure show it.”


Fourteen percent more felony domestic violence cases were referred to the Bernalillo County District Attorney’s Office in the first quarter of 2009 compared to the same time last year. Felony cases usually involve weapons or serious injury.


Davis said it seems likely that people feeling the economic pinch are buying alcohol and drinking at home instead of paying more for drinks at bars. Then after drinking at home, they are venting their financial troubles on family members.


The DA’s Office usually sees an increase in domestic violence from year to year, which Davis said they attribute to population growth and more victim awareness about how to report incidents. This year, however, the increase is much sharper than normal.

MORE

And as the health care debate begins, here’s an interesting bit of information about the specific health needs of women who are victims.

According to MedlinePlus from the National Institutes of Health:

Health-Care Costs Go Up, and Stay Up, for Abused Women

Women who are physically or psychologically abused by their partners spend more each year on health care, even years after the abuse stops, a new report says.

The long-term study of more than 3,300 women in the Pacific Northwest revealed that women in ongoing abusive relationships spent about 42 percent more a year on physical and mental health-care services than did women not in abusive relationships.

Even those who had not been subjected to abuse in at least five years spent 19 percent a year more for health care than those who had never suffered abuse from an intimate partner, according to findings by a team from Ohio State University, the Group Health Cooperative, and the University of Washington in Seattle.

“Along with all the physical and emotional pain it causes, domestic violence also comes with a substantial financial price,” Amy Bonomi, an associate professor of human development and family science at Ohio State and a co-author of the study, said in a news release from the university.

SNIP

The study, which included data from 1992 to 2002, found that physically and psychologically abused women sought help from mental health services at least twice as often as women who were not abused, Bonomi said.

“This lends support to the idea that mental health providers should always ask women about their abuse history when they first come in for treatment,” she said.

I’m sure that in 2009 the price being paid is even greater…both physically and monetarily. I’m wondering how the types of care that are involved will be addressed very well in any “reform.”  As it stands now, mental health costs are often paid at a LOWER rate than treatment for “physical” conditions.

About a year and a half ago, a National Census of Domestic Violence Services was conducted over a 24-hour period. Nearly 70% of identified domestic violence programs participated.  Take a look at the National Summary and you’ll see how large the unmet need is…

***

Here are a couple sites which have rundowns on the on the scope of domestic violence here in the U.S.

http://www.drkathiemathis.com/domestic-violence.html

http://www.bellaonline.com/articles/art45047.asp

HUGE BREAKTHROUGH in Breast Cancer Diagnosis; When Will We See It in the U.S.?? (If Ever…)

By InsightAnalytical-GRL

According to the medical industry, mammograms are a must for early detection of breast cancer.  The benefits of early detection is well worth the risks of being irradiated on a regular basis.

What if there was a much simpler and safer way to test for this disease?

Well, a few days ago on Radio Australia I heard a segment on Australia’s “Smart 100 Awards.” In fact, the number one “smart idea” was a simple procedure to help in the discovery of breast cancer.

This isn’t a new story. In fact, 10 YEARS AGO, a retired professor of physics named Dr. Veronica James published an article on the subject in Nature magazine.  As reported on March 4, 1999 by ABC (Australia):

Pubic hair may reveal early breast cancer › News in Science (ABC Science).

C. Johnson, The Lab


A single pubic hair may provide all the information needed for early detection of breast cancer, preliminary studies by an Australian scientist suggest.Hair from breast cancer patients has a different molecular structure to hair from healthy subjects, Dr Veronica James and colleagues report in the current issue of the journal Nature.Moreover, all hair samples from women who were healthy but carried the BRCA1 gene – which is associated with a high risk of breast cancer – showed the same structural anomaly, raising the possibility of an early diagnostic test.

SNIP

The changes in molecular structure showed up when hairs were bombarded with a beam of highly focused x-ray beams, generated in synchrotron facilities in Japan and the USA. A synchrotron is a device that accelerates protons or electrons in a magnetic field. When the accelerated protons or electrons are suddenly stopped, the energy is released as intense x-ray beams.

SNIP

Initially Dr James studied scalp hair only. When the data looked interesting she set about looking at a larger sample of hairs, but on that occasion the results were inconsistent.

“We saw all sorts of odd-bod changes. But it looked like some of the hair had had treatment. One sample was black, white and yellow.”

When she eliminated hair samples that had been permed less than three months before collection, the pattern was clear.

To avoid problems caused by hair treatment, she approached Professor John Kearsley, an oncologist at St George Hospital in Sydney, and asked if patients could supply pubic hair samples.

SNIP

If a reliable test proved possible, the cost could be as low as $20 a sample.

“You would just put a few hairs in an envelope. You wouldn’t need access to a mammography machine.”

MORE

Imagine that. No mammography machine. No pain, no radiation.  And the original testing was done on machines in Japan and here in the good old U.S. of A.

10 years later…

I wake up to hear the interview with Dr. Peter French, the Chief Scientist at Fermiscan, Ltd., who describes the whole process again. This is the NUMBER ONE innovation honored in  Australia this year.  And, there is actually a TEST now According to the Fermiscan website, the company has already completed a  “2,000 patient trial and has commenced a clinical study using the Fermiscan Test in conjunction with current screening to assess the use of the test by physicians in a clinical setting.”

Here’s the transcript of the interview:

8 June  2009

Hair Test to Detect Breast Cancer

How a strand of hair can test for breast tumours

Hair Test to Detect Breast Cancer
Contact: Dr. Peter French, Chief Scientist
Fermiscan Holdings Ltd
Level 5, 48 Hunter Street, Sydney, NSW 2000
International Telephone: +61 2 9245 4460

TRANSCRIPT:

DESLEY BLANCH : A revolutionary test that detects the first signs of breast cancer from a few strands of a woman’s hair was named as the most innovative product in Australia in the inaugural Smart 100 Awards. Here’s how it works. The Australian researchers report that hair from women with breast cancer can be distinguished from hair obtained from women without the disease — by exposing hair samples to high-powered X-rays from a synchrotron particle accelerator.

When hair is exposed to x-rays, the radiation is defracted in a distinctive pattern by the alpha-keratin that forms hair.

Fermiscan’s test is based on technology developed by Veronica James, a retired physics professor from the University of New South Wales in Sydney and from whom the company has acquired the patent rights.

Dr Peter French is chief scientist at Fermiscan Holdings. Here is part of an interview he gave me last year, where he explains X-ray defraction and how its pattern differs between normal hair and hair from women with breast cancer.

DR PETER FRENCH : X-ray diffraction is really sending X-ray particles through substances, often biological substances such as hair or crystals of proteins or DNA and, as they go through, some of those particles are deflected by the underlying structures of the substance that they hit. So in the case of hair, they’re deflected by as you said the alpha-keratin that makes up the hair fibre.

Most go straight through, but a few are deflected and after they’re deflected or they bounce off the underlying structures, they end up interfering with each other and causing a distinctive pattern of, mainly, arcs. So you see a picture of a circle in the middle with a whole lot of arcs around it and the arcs reflect the spacings of the underlying structures of the hair.

Now this has been a technique that has been used to look at hair structure for probably 50 years, so there’s nothing new in that. What was new was that the advent of the Synchrotron technology, which was really available from the late 90s enabled Dr James to show that in some cases, that women had an extra additional feature in the pattern, which wasn’t an arc it was actually a circle and this circle appeared in the hair from women who had breast cancer and she published this originally in “Nature” in 1999 and that was really how the work started.

DESLEY BLANCH : And, how early do you believe your test could detect this disease?

DR PETER FRENCH : We’re still working on that. So far though, we know that we can detect cancers that are at least 9 millimetres in size and probably smaller, and that’s certainly, usually below the level that a woman can feel the cancer with breast self-examination, for example.

DESLEY BLANCH : And where’s the hair cut from and how much hair is required for the test?

DR PETER FRENCH : We need about 20 strands or fibres of hair and it’s cut from the back of the head, usually behind the ear, which is the area of the hair which is usually less environmentally damaged. Some environmental damages which can cause us problems in the tests include dyeing and perming of the hair, and therefore we need about four weeks of regrowth post any dyes or perms so that we can get an accurate result with the test. So hair is simply cut from behind the head and we examine the part of the hair very close to the scalp.

DESLEY BLANCH : And what does breast cancer do to the hair structure?

DR PETER FRENCH : Well, this is still an area that we’re trying to understand. The mechanism would be something along the lines we propose that the breast cancer itself secretes a range of cytokines, growth factors and other proteins that can cause a change in the way that the hair follicle works and it does this by secreting these proteins and other molecules into the blood stream. The blood stream contacts the hair follicle and we believe that some of these molecules can cause a change in the way the follicle works and the way that it puts out the highly ordered normal strands of hair.

DESLEY BLANCH : And do we understand the reason for the ring pattern?

DR PETER FRENCH : Again, this is an area that we’re investigating. The ring usually means that there’s a disordering of an ordered crystalline-like pattern and so what we believe is that it’s likely that the normal highly ordered arrays of alpha-keratin filaments that are present in the hair are disrupted in some way by the presence of the cancer secreting these molecules into the blood stream.

DESLEY BLANCH : Fermiscan Holdings’ Chief Scientist Dr. Peter French describing their breast cancer test which was voted in at Number One in Australia’s Smart 100 Awards.

So the question becomes: when does this great idea make it’s way over here? And, if there ARE trials one of these days, how long with the FDA drag its feet in approving such a test? Or will this major breakthrough die overseas at the behest of our wonderful, profit-oriented “health care system”?  It will be ironic if women here are deprived of this test, considering that the initial research by Dr. James was run on machines in Japan and HERE, in the U.S.

Go visit the Fermiscan website and read the details of the trial and look at the simple charts. It seems that for women under 70, the sensitivity of the test is about 74%.  This is only 4% lower than mammography and ultrasound combined.  (Ultrasound and mammograms alone are only about 50%.  Sensitivity refers to the ability to actually CORRECTLY detect cancer.

Sounds pretty darned good to me for a test which involves snipping a few hairs…

NJ GOP Primary “Exit Poll” (6/2/09): Dumbass Republicans Galore to Rival Dumbass Democrats

By InsightAnaltyical-GRL

Ah, this Jersey Girl couldn’t resist the pull of the GOP primary, so I trotted over to NJ.com to catch up and found this video…love the attitude of the reporter.  His comment at the end is priceless…

The dumbass GOP faithful I can do without, just like I can do without the idiots now swooning over the Obama crowd…

ENJOY! Try not to be sick…or… scroll down the NJ.com page and visit the Jersey Shore (links on the left)

Vodpod videos no longer available.

more about “GOP“, posted with vodpod

Checking in with PEACHES! Much Better Than Geithner Getting Laughed At in China…

By InsightAnalytical-GRL

I’ve posted an update on my peach crop over at http://openrangeramblings.wordpress.com/2009/06/01/peaches-and-other-garden-delights/.

Take a peek at the HUGE picture I have up of part of the delicious pickings.  Managed to get a few this year…in fact, the most ever!! Picked the last few today.  Congratulations to me for outwitting the squirrels and the bugs and many thanks to the universe for some rain and good temperatures!

This harvest makes me feel very happy and a nice change from worrying about my money being in the hands of  Timothy Geithner et al.  I wish I could laugh like those Chinese students did today!  Idiot Geithner…what made him want to go talk to students?  At least the Chinese leadership wouldn’t laugh outright in public.  Can’t believe the stock market went up so high today after the Geithner performance…