One of the strategies I use to keep up and understand important news is to use others to find them for me. I found that the Columbia Journalism Review, Democracy Now, The Raw Story, and AlterNet are good sources. Here are some stories from the recent past and today that might spark your interest.
Even though jobs and the economy are often tied together in the news, we have a system now where corporations continue to increase efficiency. In the latest Bloomberg Business Week, the story points out that corporations are now tapping into the ingenuity of its common workers to improve efficiency and productivity. The results have been outstanding with an increase of 50 percent in productivity.
I hope, but despair that since the bottom line controls everything we do including our morality or lack of and these productive workers will be fired because they did too good a job for the market. We have seen this recently in the hack "corporate-influenced" panel deciding that we don't need any vitamin D than we are getting now with 80 percent of Americans at levels 20-30 nanograms per milliliter of 25-hydroxy Vitamin D non-active metabolite.
Every cell in our body including our skin has a receptor for vitamin D. Cancer develops when our cells become less sticky and come apart. Vitamin D helps makes them stay together. Although I have not read anything yet about why we need higher levels of this metabolite in our blood, it is common sense that if we do not enough of this, it will be easier for cancers to thrive. When we are deficient in vitamin D metabolite in the blood, cancer cells develop a protein that blocks the vitamin D receptor when enough of these cells develops.
For example, ovarian cancers which are normally caught too late are very deadly even when the patient is given lots of vitamin D. Epidemiological studies show that those who live near the equator where they get lots of direct sun have 75 percent less breast cancer unless girls and women coverup such as in Saudi Arabia where many teenagers get breast cancer in a very sunny climate. Sunscreens do the same thing. They block UVB, the burning rays, which generate vitamin D3 in our skin.
For a light skin person without much clothing or sunscreen, in just 15 minutes in noon sun, they can make up to 22,000 IU of vitamin D3! This means our body needs lots of vitamin D!
Tanning salons which have been wrongly thought to cause cancer may do just the opposite. Just 5 minutes each day may be enough. Ignore those stories about redheads getting melanoma from overusing tanning salons. Remember even the smartest people make dumb decisions by relying on someone else doing their thinking for them. Start a new trend. Think! God would have invented sunscreens if the sun was so bad for us. Without it we know when to put on a shirt or go into the shade. We have a perfect enough alarm button!
The small amount of active 1,25-hydroxy Vitamin D metabolite from the kidneys is primarily used to transport calcium through the intestinal walls and deliver it to the bones. If we already have enough vitamin D3, increasing the non-active 25-hydroxy Vitamin D metabolite will not change the amount of active 1,25 hydroxy vitamin D in our blood. The active form is produced in all our cells from the non-active form and any excess is destroyed with an enzyme.
Children who are deficient in 25-hydroxy vitamin D metabolite up to the age of 15 have close a 100 percent chance of developing multiple sclerosis while those who do have enough at an early age do not develop MS even when they become deficient. The early years from the fetus age, brain development and synaptic connections require vitamin D metabolite. Mothers are now deficient because of sunscreen and more time spent indoors so breast feeding does not help much.
Jim Kawakami, Dec 3, 2010, http://jimboguy.blogspot.com
Here's some of what's new and interesting on The Audit, the business desk of the Columbia Journalism Review. We hope you enjoy these now or over the holiday, and Happy Thanksgiving.
Bernanke Falls in the Forest: Audit Deputy Chief Ryan Chittum writes that Ben Bernanke, Federal Reserve chairman, Republican, Bush appointee, calm technocrat, called for more fiscal stimulus (government spending and/or tax cuts) now to boost a flailing economy. Big story, huh? Maybe—just not in the press. This is a must-read on the press's deaf ear to a Fed chairman's unusual fiscal recommendation. …
Buried Lede: Chittum says all the biz/econobloggers went gaga over a nugget of information buried deep in Gretchen Morgenson’s column yesterday: that Countrywide held onto notes that it was supposed to have passed on to bond-servicing firms. This is not a detail, and could have wide implications in the foreclosure fiasco. That it was found in the 18th paragraphs says either that Morgenson has a lot in her notebook or she buried the lede. Probably both.
Screwed: Ryan Chittum tips his hat to The Miami Herald, which dug up a telling anecdote for the foreclosure scandal, the mortgage crisis, and how both are two sides of the same coin. It’s a stunning story about how a woman refinanced her home to get $50,000, wound up getting defrauded at every turn, and is set to lose it to the bank.
http://rawstory.com Dec 3, 2010, The Raw Story UK
Democracy Now http://www.democracynow.org Dec 3, 2010,
Corporate America Reports Record Profits
http://www.democracynow.org/2010/11/24/headlines New government data show U.S. corporations made record profits in the third quarter, earning at an annual rate of more than $1.6 trillion. That’s the highest figure since the government began keeping track 60 years ago. Overall corporate earnings are up 28 percent from the same time last year. Companies, however, have not been using the record profits to hire more workers. The Federal Reserve is predicting that the nation’s official unemployment rate will remain over 9 percent for at least another year.
Pope: Condoms Can Be Used to Stop AIDS
The Catholic Church appears to be easing its opposition to the use of condoms. In a new book, Pope Benedict endorses the use of condoms in order to prevent the spread of HIV, but the Church remains opposed to the widespread use of condoms and other forms of contraception. In South Africa Nonkosi Khumalo of the Treatment Action Campaign criticized the church’s record.
(Emperor Constantine decided to make Rome’s State Religion Christianity because he needed soldiers to maintain the Roman Empire. He also outlawed abortion and he and the new Christian Church wanted more babies for War and Church. This has been more important for the Catholic, Evangelical, and Mormon Churches than other religions. Jim)
Nonkosi Khumalo: "I think it is a bit too late for the Catholics to now, 2010, wake up and think, 'You know, we should now say it openly and say people should use condoms,' because there has been a lot of infections that could have been prevented, that we could not prevent because we hold dearly our values in terms of what the church expects of us. But I think it is taking us forward. I think we should welcome it. I think it is very liberal of the Catholic—I hope others would follow suit."
Tensions Escalate on Korean Peninsula
South Korea has found the bodies of two civilians who were killed Tuesday in a North Korean artillery attack on the island of Yeonpyeong near the disputed maritime border. The attack also killed two Korean Marines and injured over a dozen people. U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called Tuesday’s fighting one of the "gravest incidents" since the end of the Korean War. Meanwhile the Guardian newspaper reports South Korea’s defense minister has raised the possibility that U.S. nuclear weapons could be deployed in his country for the first time in nearly 20 years.
Major Investment Firms Subpoenaed in Insider-Trading Case
The Wall Street Journal reports the U.S. Attorney’s office in Manhattan has subpoenaed several major investment firms as part of a widespread insider-trading investigation. Firms subpoenaed include hedge-fund giants SAC Capital Advisors and Citadel, the big mutual-fund company Janus Capital Group, and Wellington Management, one of the nation’s biggest institutional-investment firms.