Monday, January 31, 2011

Defense Industry Lockheed Prophets of War Korean Iraq Wars Arms Industry

Tags: Lockheed Money Machine Pierre Sprey William Hartung Prophets of War Military Industrial Complex Korean War Iraq War Expanded NATO for Profit

William Hartung, an analyst I have grown to trust, talks often about the Military-Industrial Complex. Since it got bad reviews on with thinly veiled propaganda campaign that the book is boring. After watching the After Words where Pierre Sprey, a former F-16 engineer for Lockheed, I noticed that “independent” reviewer Steele lied about what was said by the Sprey interview on the After Words www.C-Span program.

Be aware that propaganda is everywhere in the good old USA. Carnegie … Peace organization is anything but that.

Lockheed which nearly went out of business after making so many lousy planes in World War II such as the P-33 which Germans had a field day shooting down due to the former not being able to maneuver well. Lockheed made some very good planes before Northrup left, a really innovative engineer such as the A-10 and Lockheed F-16. The A-10 loaded with one pound uranium tipped bullets which could penetrate walls of buildings and kill those inside, was heavily used in Iraq. The massacre in Falujah has largely gone unreported.

Why did Lockheed push for the Korean War and succeeded? To save their company! We placed our man Rhee from New Jersey into the dictatorship in South Korean and he invaded North Korea many times to finally start a war. Lockheed was making loads of money while soldiers did not even have decent books and equipment. Many died when they should have lived. If you read the honest history books, we cared shit about the South Koreans. We just wanted a war.

Some of you may recall the Neocon’s Project for the New American Century manifesto issued in 1997 to invade Iraq, a country devastated by our so-called Invasion of Iraq to save Kuwait. Sprey called this nonsense. Apparently Lockheed was behind this too! Lockheed VP, Bruce Jackson directed this effort. He started the “Committee for Liberation of Iraq.”

During the Reagan administration when the Stars Wars program was not going well because one test after another failed to stop missiles. Lockheed to heat up the attack missile so it could be easily detected by infrared sensors! The fraud was soon discovered, but it got the appropriations from congress before that.

What shocked me the most was the extent that Lockheed was responsible for starting the military-industrial complex and the Cold War when the Soviet Union had a problem even feeding themselves was not that involved in invading other countries.

I now know why Clinton expanded NATO in spite of the obvious threat to Russia. By including these former Russian satellite countries, they had to switch to American arms including planes. Yes, Lockheed was involved here too.

Lockheed still makes the C-130, the huge cargo plane in spite of Boeing’s far superior transport plane that Boeing diverted to build the 747. The Air Force doesn’t want the C-130, but the Lockheed lobby still prevailed. Yes, Obama got rid of the useless and bad F-22 fighter plane, but only when they approved the F-35 in Georgia, an even worse plane.

Why does this keep going on? Its jobs, jobs, and reelections.

Jim Kawakami,

After Words: William Hartung, "Prophets of War," hosted by Pierre Sprey

Last aired: January 3, 2011

pastedGraphic.pdf Enthralling and explosive, Prophets of War is an exposé of America's largest military contractor, Lockheed Martin. When President Dwight D. Eisenhower gave his famous warning about the dangers of the military industrial complex, he never would have dreamed that a company could accumulate the kind of power and influence now wielded by this behemoth company.

As a full-service weapons maker, Lockheed Martin receives over $29 billion per year in Pentagon contracts. The company has produced spy satellites; helped the Pentagon collect personal data on U.S. citizens; provided interrogators for employment at Guantanamo Bay; manufactured our highest-tech aircraft; and more. Lockheed Martin’s reach into all areas of US defense and American life is staggering. William Hartung's meticulously researched history follows the company's meteoric growth and explains how this arms industry giant has shaped US foreign policy for decades.

“The author explores how deeply Lockheed's tentacles have penetrated American economic and political life, pulling the curtain back on decades of unsavory dealings… and echoes President Eisenhower's argument that the only way to ensure against 'military-industrial' abuses is to have 'an alert and engaged citizenry.' This book is a fine step in that direction.”

Publishers Weekly

"Fifty years after President Eisenhower's Farewell Address, should Americans still worry about the military-industrial complex? In Prophets of War, William Hartung answers that question with an emphatic yes — now more than ever.”

—Andrew J. Bacevich, author of Washington Rules: America's Path to Permanent War

"I don't think anyone has made the story of the powerful rise of the military industrial complex as clear and engaging as Bill Hartung. In a time when everyone is focused on the financial community, he shows that it has been the defense industry that has long been America's most dangerous and debilitating systemic risk."

—Jeff Madrick, author of The Case for Big Government

Prophets of War provides a sobering look at the continuing power and influence of the military-industrial complex, and a call to action for citizens seeking to stop its staggering waste of their tax dollars."

—Lawrence J. Korb, Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress and Former Assistant Secretary of Defense

"Hartung provides a detailed, thorough, and sometimes shocking account of the enormous influence the world's largest defense contractor has on American policy. Through the shadows of Capitol Hill, he tracks the tactics and rhetoric used to cloak profitable contracts as urgent national security issues. In Prophets of War, Hartung offers a 21st century case study of the strength of the modern military-industrial complex, and forces us to wrestle with our own understanding of the relationship between national security and fiscal sanity. This is must reading for all who want to understand the raw power of money in setting national security policy."

—Joseph Cirincione, President, the Ploughshares Fund

"William Hartung has gifted all activists for peace, democracy, human rights with a powerful book. To combat the dire circumstances we now live within — heralded by Eisenhower's warning about the military-industrial-congressional complex — read Prophets of War. Only "an alert and concerned citizenry" can return us to the rule of law and international sanity. This splendid book filled with essential facts is urgent reading — for hope, for life."

—Blanche Wiesen Cook, John Jay College & The Graduate Center, CUNY and author of The Declassified Eisenhower, and Eleanor Roosevelt (vols I, and II, III forthcoming)

“Bill Hartung’s “Prophets of War” is a searing indictment of the collusion between Lockheed Martin, the Pentagon, and Congress to boost the company’s profits at the expense of the American taxpayer, making the country on occasion less, rather than more, secure. He documents the company’s shameful corporate history at the apex of the military-industrial complex in meticulous detail. With dry humour he reveals the pork-barrel politics that have sustained Lockheed Martin but that undermine America’s democracy. A must-read for anyone concerned about the health of that democracy and the folly of so much of the national security discourse that underpins it.”

—Andrew Feinstein, former ANC Member of Parliament and author of After the Party: Corruption, the ANC and South Africa's Uncertain Future

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Retirement Survival Young Leave Suburbs for Jobs in Cities USA Hegemony Over?

Tags: Retirement Place Smaller City Culture University Health Climate Models Politics Young Less Seniors USA Hegemony Over Africa Latin Amer Asia

Once I felt medically secure and able to leave the superb heathcare from my doctors at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, the hospital of the Movie Stars and Beverly Hills, I did a lot of reading and thinking about where to live the rest of my life. Don't miss videos PBS Need to Know and Shock of Gray by Fishman below.

Unfortunately one of the most important consideration is that since I am a racial minority, I excluded the South and Mid west and only considered the coastal communities. However, the retirement guides missed what was most important to me. The tolerant nature of the people in a smaller city with cultural amenities, a university, and health amenities of a high caliber.

I also read a lot about weather and looked at about a half dozen climate models which differ slightly in their long range predictions as to where the most drastic effects are going to occur. The Southwest will incur longterm droughts, the Northeast will incur much precipitation, the Southeast will have numerous violent storms and droughts, and the Mid west many violent storms and droughts. That left the West coast from California to Washington and the Mountain States. The Mountain States will have serious water aquifer problems in the future.

That left Northern California, Oregon, and Washington. Seattle and the coasts of California, Oregon, and Washington are due for very serious big earthquakes and Tsunamis so I had to look inland.

I next wanted to be away from International airports and more conservative parts of Oregon and Washington and avoid ragweed, a serious allergic agent for me. Eugene, Oregon won hands down. So I spent a week walking around Eugene and ate at restaurants to evaluate the people who live here. I also wanted to be away from many seniors who generally tend to be easily irritated from progressive politics, noise and loud music.

It is nice to be away from East coast and Los Angeles aggressiveness and rudeness. Is it too much to expect strangers to be respectful of others?

I live in an apartment complex with many University of Oregon students. At least my upstairs neighbors study very hard so are quiet most of the time. There is a volleyball and basketball court outside my computer room. The only time I have problems shutting out noise is when I am trying to sleep.

If you are not a skim type of reader of novels, you will enjoy John le Carre' Our Kind of Traitor: A Novel about criminals having corrupt friends in high places and even in the national security agencies. More truth than fiction. Search Carre at

Jim Kawakami, Jan 30, 2011,

Seniors Survival Getting Difficult Young Leave Suburbs for Cities,

Is USA Hegemony Over?

Wikipedia: Hegemony: political, economic, ideological or cultural power exerted by a dominant group over other groups Need to Know, PBS, Friday 10 PM

Watch the full episode

How will seniors get around in our car-happy suburbs? Also: the State of the Union and the state of the Congo. Plus: an animated editorial by Steve Brodner.

See Ted C. Fishman and Shock of Gray on Fishman's visits to Rockford, Ill outside of Chicago and Sarasota, Florida a huge retirement community.

Rockford, a former industrial suburb, has lost jobs and only the retirees are left to fend for themselves. The infrastructure is lacking and public transportation is sparse. Fishman concludes that the best place to live is to live in a city where services are available. Sure assisted living facilities are available but they cost $4,000 a month.

Sarasota, Florida is one of the largest retirement communities where there is a conflict between the young healthcare workers who are immigrants or youth who like loud music.

I won't say much here, but more than a few people are thinking that USA control over the Emerging Growth countries is waning rapidly. It started in Africa in Tunisia and then spread to Algeria and the Middle East (Egypt, Jordan) and Latin America. The chaos in the Congo resulted from our complicity in assassinating Lumumba.

Egypt's winter of discontent

The size and strength of protests in Egypt have caught everyone by surprise, but the seeds of discontent were planted on many fronts, writes Robyn Creswell.

Who will lead Egypt after Mubarak?

WikiLeaks cables: Protests not in 'Egyptian mentality'

Does America have 'blood on our hands' in Congo?

Alison Stewart talks to author Adam Hochschild on the fiftieth anniversary of the assassination of Congo's first democratically elected leader by Belgian and — it is speculated — American operatives.

01/27/2011 15:13

Jordan's king fears riots and announces reforms. More than a thousand arrests in Cairo
The monarch wants to avoid the violence that has hit Egypt and Tunisia. Police arrest one thousand demonstrators in the streets against the Mubarack government. Demonstrations in Yemen.


Amman (AsiaNews) - King Abdullah II of Jordan has announced new programs and economic reforms, after protests against high prices in recent days in Amman. The King urged politicians and officials to be closer to people's needs. According to local media, King Abdullah wants to avoid the climate of popular discontent resulting in riots that have hit Egypt and Tunisia. ...'s-king-fears-riots-and-announces-reforms.-More-than-a-thousand-arrests-in-Cairo-20620.html

Live from the Egyptian Revolution
by Democracy Now!'s Sharif Abdel Kouddous

Cairo, Egypt—I grew up in Egypt. I spent half my life here. But Saturday, when my plane from JFK airport touched down in Cairo, I arrived in a different country than the one I had known all my life. This is not Hosni Mubarak’s Egypt anymore and, regardless of what happens, it will never be again.

In Tahrir Square, thousands of Egyptians–men and women, young and old, rich and poor–gathered today to celebrate their victory over the regime’s hated police and state security forces and to call on Mubarak to step down and leave once and for all. They talked about the massive protest on Friday, the culmination of three days of demonstrations that began on January 25th to mark National Police Day. It was an act of popular revolt the likes of which many Egyptians never thought they would see during Mubarak’s reign. "The regime has been convincing us very well that we cannot do it, but Tunisians gave us an idea and it took us only three days and we did it," said Ahmad El Esseily, a 35 year-old author and TV/radio talk show host who took park in the demonstrations. "We are a lot of people and we are strong."

In Cairo, tens of thousands of people--from all walks of life--faced off against riot police armed with shields, batons, and seemingly endless supplies of tear gas. People talked about Friday’s protest like a war; a war they’d won. "Despite the tear gas and the beatings, we just kept coming... Read More

Monday, January 24, 2011

Climate Change "Confronting the Climate Cranks,"

Tags: Climate Change Atlantic Currents Wind Patterns Melting Glaciers Warming of Oceans Causes

Warming Equatorial and Arctic Waters Changes Ocean Currents and Wind Directions Contributing to More Violent Storms and Severe Droughts

I wrote a blog which takes a more scientific approach why all of us should be worried. Being passive as Americans except the far Right Wing, makes it inevitable that we will eventually believe those who are willing to fight for what they believe, for their own profits at the sacrifice of future generations. The link to the whole blog is at .

My article is on the more technical scientific side, but I hope clear enough for most of you to at least partially understand. That is why I did not e-mail my earlier blog out, but today I decided to do that anyway.

Dee Walmsley from Canada sent me an article about global warming from The Nation "Confronting the Climate Cranks," today in the hopes that more of you will take the time to try to understand why climate change also produces unpredictable storms and droughts now affecting our nation and that it is a crisis which will become worse when we continue pumping more warming gases into the atmosphere. Not many realize that the moisture in the atmosphere due to warmer oceans also provides an atmospheric blanket which enhances warming.

In our more recent earth's history or about 12,000 years ago our ocean released a huge amount of carbon dioxide which led to a sharp warming of earth which stayed stable until the last century due a switch from whale oil and wood to petroleum oil.

Based on what I know so far, volcanic eruptions, possibly due to the extra weight of all the glaciers melting during the Pleistocene era which ended about 11,000 years ago, distorts the earth's mantle which led to more volcanos erupting put out particles which shield us from the sun's radiation.
This started the cooling of the earth which possibly led to the fall of the Roman Empire where failing crops caused huge social eruptions.

Climate Change will become a huge problem for China which is already experiencing desertification of Northern China where half of the wheat crops are grown. The South thanks to the cooler face of the Himalayas still has increasing glacier buildups unlike the India face where glaciers are receding. This is
now happening in India which resulted in a huge jump in food prices.

The huge problem we have is that Reagan through Bush have transformed our middleclass society into one where the top few percent have benefitted while the rest of us live in largely quiet desperation.

How can we afford to buy or keep our homes? How will be able to afford helping our sons and daughters go to college? How much food and medicine do we have to cut without sacrificing our health? Will we become another Third World nation with the rich using armed guards and bullet proof cars with armed guards guarding our children as it is now in Brazil and Mexico? Do we need to have another Great Depression before we wake up again? How can we prevent the rich from buying our government for their own profit even more than it is now?

As I see it, our only hope is for the aggressive and violent right wing of our society to really understand that what is happening to them economically is due to corporations controlling our government and its officials to help them get low tax rates or pay no taxes at all which half of the major corporations do not pay taxes including General Electric whose CEO is now an economic advisor to the Obama administration. During the Bush administration 50,000 plants were closed and sent overseas to China and other Third World nations with a loss of FIVE MILLION JOBS.

Note that overseas holdings are not taxed until brought back to the USA. The Republicans fixed that under Bush by allowing corporations to bring back overseas holdings without having to any taxes at all for one whole year!

If you listened carefully to Olbermann in his farewell statements, it left me no doubt that Comcast has already intervened to change the format and freedom given to Olbermann to report the facts as he saw them. Just like he refused to report on the fake Monica Lewinsky scandal to undermine Clinton and enable the Republicans to pass laws that led to the collapse of our financial system in 1,999 and 2,000. He quit MSNBC then as he has now done. He is a independent maverick, a rare commodity in our highly hierarchical society where we almost always agree with our bosses. MSNBC will, I'm afraid, become more like CNN.

Jim Kawakami, Jan 24, 2011,

Dee Walmsley sent me an article about global warming from The Nation

Confronting the Climate Cranks

"These anomalies could triple the probability of cold winter extremes in Europe and northern Asia," says Vladimir Petoukhov, lead author of the study and climate scientist at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research. "Recent severe winters like last year's or the one of 2005-06 do not conflict with the global warming picture, but rather supplement it." …

Changes in Winds Resulted in Cold Winters in Europe and USA, Far More Severe and Longer-Lasting Cold Due to Changes in Flow of Warm Atlantic Ocean Currents ScienceDaily (Jan. 15, 2011) — The unusually cold weather this winter has been caused by a change in the winds. Instead of the typical westerly winds warmed by Atlantic surface ocean currents, cold northerly Arctic winds are influencing much of Europe.

However, scientists have long suspected that far more severe and longer-lasting cold intervals have been caused by changes to the circulation of the warm Atlantic ocean currents themselves.

Now new research led by Cardiff University, with scientists in the UK and US, reveals that these ocean circulation changes may have been more dramatic than previously thought.

The findings, published January 14, 2011 in the journalScience, show that as the last Ice Age came to an end (10,000 -- 20,000 years ago) the formation of deep water in the North-East Atlantic repeatedly switched on and off. This caused the climate to warm and cool for centuries at a time.

The circulation of the world's ocean helps to regulate the global climate. One way it does this is through the transport of heat carried by vast ocean currents, which together form the 'Great ocean conveyor'. Key to this conveyor is the sinking of water in the North-East Atlantic, a process that causes warm tropical waters to flow northwards in order to replace the sinking water. Europe is kept warmer by this circulation, so that a strong reduction in the rate at which deep water forms can cause widespread cooling of up to 10 degrees Celsius. ...

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Longevity Lower Layoffs Low Socioeconomic Position, Job Control, High Demand

Tags: Longevity Lower Layoffs Low Socioeconomic Position Low Job Control High Job Demand Reagan Greenspan Social Security Campbell Soup Greed Investors Wall Street

Some of the draconian measures supported by the Republicans in raising the age at which working people can get Social Security do not take into account that the affluent and wealthy Americans live about 15-20 or more years than working Americans.

The main problem with Social Security is not that the current model will lead to bankruptcy, but because of the basic unfairness it has become since the Reagan and Greenspan made changes in Social Security by doubling our payments to the fund so Reagan could cut taxes for the rich and borrow the Social Security at half the prevailing market bond rates or they are now borrowing our money for very low percent interest.

Some of the ideas that have surfaced is to get rid of payroll deductions and Federal Taxes for those making family incomes $75,000 or something in that range adjusted for inflation.

They already tax us by paying much lower wages than the benefit they provide for the job. Campbell Soup has improved efficiency by over 100 percent in the last several years as I have reported earlier by asking their workers to improve the manufacturing process. Their likely benefit will be a loss of jobs when they want to make even more profits because of the greed of we investors, corporate executives, and Wall Street demand profit increases every quarter or else we sell their stocks.

Half of working Americans making less than $50,000 per year have increased their longevity by only two years over many decades! As income goes up, the time of death occurs much later, but these affluent and rich folks who live much longer get many more years of Social Security Payments so they should pay much more for more years than they do now. For those currently on or are going to receive Social Security, tax them heavily to make up for the unfairness in the law since Reagan and Greenspan doubled the payments for working Americans. The top rate should be adjusted for inflation.

So the average increase in longevity is likely to be mostly the top 20 percent, and perhaps top 10 percent now. Just read the local obituary page every now and then and you will find that rich people seem to live much longer on average. I forgot the exact number of the recent analysis of longevity, but the affluent and wealthy lived a much longer life than the average working Joe including White Collar Workers.

Note the use of the word average is used to hide the distribution of income, salaries, and other topics of interest to all of us. Median income is more revealing. The average of $10,000 poor workers and and affluent workers salary of $150,000 is $80,000.

When the top one percent make as much as the bottom 90 percent (2006) gives us a good idea about how much society has changed since Reagan with the Middleclass being the biggest loser and the top 2 percent being the big winners by at least a factor of ten.

Jim Kawakami, Jan 23, 2011,

Is Your Job Killing You? How Work Influences Longevity, Katherine Hobson, USNews Health, Feb 20, 2009,

Excerpts: … After a major downsizing among municipal workers in Finland, the risk of death from a heart attack went up fivefold for those who lost their jobs. … people who lost a job in their 50s were more than twice as likely to have a heart attack or stroke in the next decade. …

Underlying all of this is the fact that a person's socioeconomic position—of which employment is a key part—is associated with differences in longevity, regardless of the economic climate …

The pecking order. It's pretty clear that something about the workplace pecking order affects health. One factor seems to be how much control employees have over the demands associated with their respective jobs. "Pressure by itself wasn't a key factor," says Marmot. "It's a combination of high demands and low control."

That combination—often found in lower-ranking, lower-paying jobs—is associated with an earlier death, and also with cardiovascular disease, mental health problems, sleep issues, and among other maladies, says Benjamin Amick III, a professor of behavioral sciences and epidemiology at the University of Texas Health Science Center's School of Public Health. … (Keith Olbermann who has resigned from Countdown on Friday gave the longevity numbers. )

Beyond individual behavior, society needs to take as hard a look at helping people pursue nurturing, gainful employment as it has at new drugs and the latest diet trend, says Hadler. "It's important to be comfortable in your own skin," he says. "People need to feel valuable."

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Moms Nice No More Nurturance Overload Amy Chua Winslet Mildred Pierce HBO

Tags: Moms Niceness Kaput Nurturance Overload Gone Amy Chua Tiger Mom Winslet Mildred Pierce HBO

We live in a hierarchical society which is getting tougher and tougher where CEOs who are not brutal enough get thrown out. Arianna Huffington in her new book Third World America: How Our Politicians are Abandoning the Middle Class and Betraying the American Dream, "a world in which there are only two classes: the rich ... and everyone else such as in Mexico and Brazil, where the wealthy live behind fortified gates, with machine-gun-toting guards protecting their children from kidnapping."

She further says that “America’s middle class, the driver of so much of our creative and economic success--the foundation of our democracy -- is rapidly disappearing, taking with it a key component of the American Dream: the promise that, with hard work and discipline, our children will have the chance to do better than we did, just as we had the chance to do better than the generation before us.”

Huffington uses the term Shorting of the Middle Class which is covered in websites such, and with many examples of the brutality and indifference by CEOs in firing employees. One example shows that highly productive and often promoted employees are expendable too. “Dean Blackburn of Alameda, California was a classic success story. Raised in Minnesota by a single mom who worked as a teacher, he was “middle class by default.” Through a combination of smarts and hard work, he made his way to Yale, the, for 17 years,” and progressed to IT director.”

“In February 2009, at age 35, he was laid off on the last day of the month so the company did not have to pay another month of healthcare benefits … that hurt more than the layoff itself -- just knowing that the president of the company was exactly that calculating and that unfeeling about my own and my family’s well-being” … “Ultimately it’s not about a dip in corporate profits, but a change in corporate attitude -- a change that means no one’s job is safe, and never will be, every again.”

What will it take to wakeup the American voters who through laziness or being overworked do not seem to realize that both parties are beholding to corporations with the Republican Party more cruelly beholding to the large corporations?

Huffington relates what happened in the past when “before becoming prime minister of England, Benjamin Disraeli wanted to issue a wake-up call about the horrible state of the British working class. So, in 1845, he wrote a novel, Sybil, which warned of the danger of England disintegrating into “two nations between whom there is no sympathy … as they were inhabitants of different planets.” The book became a sensation, and the outrage it provoked propelled fundamental social reforms.”

Those of you who watch during the day will see that both the Senate and House members make speeches before an largely empty House and Senate.

This afternoon Nancy Pelosi, former Speaker of the House, spent her time telling stories about what has happened to real individuals because of the passing of the Healthcare Bill and real people who died because they did not have the privilege of having Healthcare. One involved a brother who died because he worked for a small company with health insurance while his sister with the same inherited disease is living a healthy life because she has health insurance.

The numbers of 129 million Americans losing their health insurance because of preexisting conditions such as childhood cancers and other disease. The health insurance labeled pregnancy as a preexisting condition where the women could not get insurance or if there was violence in a household, the woman could not get insurance!

In 1995 I read Korten's book When Corporations Rule the World which really opened my eyes regarding the reality missing form the press and media what globalization was doing to both the Third World and to Americans. We have now reaped the ills from exporting jobs and importing cheap labor has done to the infrastructure and lives of Americans.

Wikipedia: "David C. Korten (born 1937) is an American economist, author, and former Professor of the Harvard University Graduate School of Business, political activist and prominent critic of corporate globalization, "by training and inclination a student of psychology and behavioral systems".[1] His best-known publication isWhen Corporations Rule the World (1995 and 2001). …

He formed the view that the poverty, growing inequality, environmental devastation, and social disintegration he was observing in Asia was also being experienced in nearly every country in the world, including the United States and other "developed" countries. He also concluded that the United States was actively promoting—both at home and abroad—the very policies that were deepening the resulting global crisis. …

I voted for Ralph Nader in 1996 even though I was still a registered Republican and voted for McCain in the Republican 2,000 primary and then campaigned for Al Gore and worked hard to get rid of one of the managers of Clinton’s Impeachment in the House. We won both races and Al Gore was the winner nationally by any permutation of the recount which was misreported on the front page of the New York Times. Executives and Editors determined all the titles of articles and placement on the front page. The jump pages revealed the real truth.

Can the right parenting help children get the skills to be active rather than passive to what is happening to them?

Children are in some ways related to all animals. Survival as adults depends on more than just nurturing. They must develop discipline and be trained to survive in our brutal world. Immigrants do well with proper parents because they are in the survival mode. I remember an editorial in the New York Times who worried about the effect of what interracial marriage will do to the culture of the highly successful Japanese-Americans.

We who live comfortable lives now is due to being raised in the golden age from 1945 to 1975 which had incredible prosperity for the development of a large middleclass. Then we got inflation and Ronald G.E. Reagan’s corporate takeover of America.

Jim Kawakami, Jan 19, 2011,

No More Nice Moms, Judith Warner, NY Times, Jan 11, 2011, There was bound to be some push back. All the years of nurturance overload simply got to be too much. The breast-feeding through toddlerhood, nonstop baby wearing, co-sleeping, “Baby Mozart” co-watching; the peer pressure for never-ending singsong-voiced Mommy niceness, the ever-maddening chant of “good job!”; compulsory school “involvement” (that is, teacher-delegated busywork packaged as a way to Show Your Child You Care), the rapt attendance at each and every school performance, presentation, sporting event — the whole mishmash of modern, attuned, connected, concerned, self-esteem-building parenting.

The reaction came in waves. There were expert warnings, with moralists claiming that all this loosey-goosey lovey-dovey-ness was destroying the hierarchical fiber of the American family, and psychologists writing that all that self-esteem building was leading to epidemic levels of pathological ninnyishness in kids. Then there was a sort of quasi-hedonist revolt, cries of rebellion like Christie Mellor’s “Three Martini Playdate,” mother-toddler happy hours (postpregnancy liberation from “What to Expect” sanctimony!) and take-the-kid-out-all-night hipster parenting.

Then came “free range” parenting, an appellation with the added advantage of sounding both fresh and fancy, like a Whole Foods chicken; “simplicity parenting” (recession-era lack of cash dressed up as principled rejection of expensive lessons); and, eventually, a kind of edgy irritation with it all: a new stance of get-tough no-nonsense, frequently called — with no small amount of pride — being a “bad” mother.

“Bad,” of course, is relative. “I’m such a bad mother” these days tends to be a boast, as in, “Can you believe that I just said, ‘Not now,’ to my 4-year-old?” The un-self-questioning 1960s-era mother — she of the cream-of-mushroom soup in a can — evokes wistful memories. “Surrendering to motherhood” is over; as a cautionary tale, this spring HBO is running a new miniseries of “Mildred Pierce,” a Todd Haynes remake of the 1945 Joan Crawford film, in which Kate Winslet will play a mother whose life is devoured by her attempts to meet the demands of her grasping, never-satisfied daughter. (“She gave her daughter everything,” the tagline for the trailer reads. “But everything was not enough.”)

The new toughness is only partly about saving Mom’s sanity. A bigger goal is producing tougher, more resilient and (of course) higher-performing kids. “You have to be hated sometimes by someone you love and who hopefully loves you,” writes Amy Chua in “Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother,” a just-published parenting memoir that clearly aspires to become a battle plan for a new age of re-empowered, captain-of-the-ship motherhood. …

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Vitamin D Benefits Fructose Worse than Other Sugars Increase in Intra-abdominal Fat Blood Lipids

Tags: Vitamin D Benefits Dr. Blog Fructose Worse than Other Sugars Metabolically

Often when physicians talk to each other, they are often inclined to discuss things that cannot be proved absolutely, but common sense often trumps high intelligence when a situation is quite complex such as treating patients with differences that cannot always be established by tests or known scientifically.

Creative doctors who think from parallel memory instead of the slow prefrontal cortical approach linear approach often don’t need absolute proof to start using a procedure or changing their diet approaches. Here Dr. Greg Hood, Internal Medicine, decided that possible drawbacks are minor compared to getting their patients to use higher levels of vitamin D3 has so many possible positive effects that he does not have to get official approval to start using higher levels of Vitamin D3 supplements to improve the health of his patients. The pluses are so enormous that he figured out that it would be irresponsible to not give his patients vitamin D3 advice.

My Internist also saw the benefits of vitamin D3 supplements very early to treat me and it had an enormous benefit in treating my usually deadly skin autoimmune disease, a previously incurable disease.

I might add that many times the diet recommendations by officials of our government often seem to be stupid. One famous Chef tried to change the eating habits of the most obese Americans in the USA in Huntington, West Virginia. The school cafeterias did everything possible to sabotage his efforts including the government. He failed.

Now they are going the other way by recommending six fruits and vegetables a day! Many are going to fruit juices to try to conform with this recommendation while ignoring the high amount of fructose taken in this way. That is what Letterman was trying to do to lose ten pounds. told him you are taking in too many calories so it is no wonder you are not losing weight. Letterman was embarrassed and soon said goodbye.

Want to lose weight? I wanted to lose internal belly fat which is mostly made up of triglycerides which are now considered a deadly fat. So I did a two week fructose fast according to the recommendations in the book The Sugar Fix by Dr. Richard J. Johnson, MD. Then I keep my daily fructose level to less than 40 grams daily. He has a table of most foods and their fructose content. Unless the container says cane sugar or beet sugar, it is high fructose corn syrup. I still eat all I want, but I am now not constantly hungry. That is what Letterman complained about. I easily lost ten pounds without hunger!

Jim Kawakami, Jan 18, 2011,

Blog: Weekend Call: Office protocols: Vitamin D ñ one physicianís experience

Greg Hood, MD, Internal Medicine, 10:21PM Jan 15, 2011!comment=1 Office protocols can significantly streamline and ease the work which needs to get done in the day's work. Having a protocol for evaluation and management of vitamin D deficiency and vitamin D insufficiency is an excellent example of individualizing management of a medical issue for your office.

Vitamin D has been discussed in a number of recent articles on Medscape. My particular interest in vitamin D goes back 8-10 years. Having received the traditional education in medical school about vitamin D I managed it just as everyone did during my residency and years in practice in San Diego. However, within a couple years of practicing in Kentucky I had noticed that some conditions, notably osteoporosis, did not respond as favorably to treatment in Kentucky as they had in southern California.

The only logical conclusion when treatment outcomes for patients of the same demographics and treatment recommendations were significantly different was that there was a difference based in the geography. In this case latitude and average temperature differences make a significant difference in the amount of ambient Sunlight to which patients were being exposed.

As a number of studies and reports have stated over the last several years there are many indications that the level of vitamin D reported to be "normal" and the amount of vitamin D required to achieve this from supplementation have been woefully inadequate.

I also think the recent calls for a reduction in calcium supplementation appear prudent. From my reading, a patient who is vitamin D deficient absorbs roughly 15% of their ingested calcium. As the vitamin D levels improve the corresponding increases in calcium absorption should mitigate what may have been excessive calcium recommendations, in essence putting the milk cart before the horse.

Recently, there have been recommendations to increase the RDA of vitamin D. The proposed increases are conservative to say the least. The lower limit of normal, 32 from our lab, and the new recommendations for intake are merely sufficient to avert rickets and osteomalacia, hardly the harbingers of good health.

As implied by the seminal NEJM article I have seen between a third and forty percent of my patients who came to me thinking that they had fibromyalgia resolve their symptoms when treated to vitamin D levels in the 70s, and another third report their symptoms lessen in intensity. Over 85% of the MS patients I see have been vitamin D deficient.

I agree that there is not concrete, double blind validated proof of many of the assertions about correcting vitamin D levels. However, when one considers the potential that something as simple as this may move the needle on the incidences of pancreatic cancer, breast and ovarian cancer it is hard to argue against working more robustly in the normal range.

One study out of Canada, a low vitamin D/Sun exposure area, stating that vitamin D deficient women were more likely to get breast cancer, that their cancers were more aggressive, and responded less well to treatment certainly begs the question of why to not treat this problem more rigorously.

Yet the degree of increase is not my biggest gripe with the recommendations. To date I have yet to see sufficient attention paid in the guidelines to customizing the RDA for latitude. Patients in Key West are given the same advice that patients in Bangor, Maine receive. It deserves mentioning that simply living in a latitude south of Atlanta doesn't mean one will have Sun exposure. I have seen patients from Miami who avoided the Sun who had undetectable levels of vitamin D. Colleagues from San Diego have told me that they have seen a progressive frequency of vitamin D deficiency as sunscreen use has escalated.

It is for all the above reasons that I believe vitamin D protocols are something useful for you to consider in your office. If you haven't been already, test at least the at risk patients including those with dark skin, those with low bone density, fibromyalgia, osteomalacia, multiple sclerosis, and those whom are heavy users of sunscreen or whom avoid the Sun by virtue of their jobs or schedules. As you get a sense of your own practice's frequency of deficiency you may wish to expand the circles of patients you test.

This testing will give you an idea of how much vitamin D supplementation is needed for your area. As you see patients who come back with very good levels and review how much they've been taking it may help guide you to preferred replacement levels at your latitude. Many of my patients are taking between 2000 and 5000 units of over the counter vitamin D a day. Some do better with the size of the prescription vitamin D and do better keeping up with one pill on a scheduled basis than daily vitamins. In either case it is important to continue to monitor their levels and response to therapy, especially if they are taking 4000IU a day or more, or prescription capsules. Once you get familiar with how vitamin D responds in your area you may be able to move the monitoring on this somewhat expensive blood test to a less frequent interval, every two years in some cases of maintenance therapy, for example.

It is important to build into your protocol exceptions of patients with whom you will wish to avoid vitamin D supplementation, or at least will proceed with more caution, and more intensive monitoring, such as patients with sarcoidosis and other granulomatous conditions, those with cancer or undiagnosed/uncorrected hypercalcemia.

It typically takes 10-12 weeks for patients to note symptomatic relief. Serum levels of vitamin D should be stable within 3-4 months from initiating therapy so this can be a good time frame in which to retest, at least as you get used to supplementing and in higher risk patients. As a goal target blood level, +/- 75nmol/L is appearing appropriate at the time of this writing. Targeting this range I have yet to make a patient vitamin D toxic. If you are using the prescription vitamin D it is helpful to ask patients when they took their last capsule prior to testing, because if you check the day or so after the last capsule you may not see a steady-state result. It is also helpful to build into your protocol monitoring of serum calcium, and at times PTH and ionized calcium levels.

Those hoping for a cookbook protocol to be laid out in this entry are surely disappointed. Unfortunately, this issue underscores the importance of using one's brain, training and observational skills in optimizing the delivery of healthcare. However, this issue equally underscores how using these skills can optimize and streamline management within your practice of health issues. Once you've worked out the details monitoring protocols, refills, and patient recalls can be customized and benefit your patients and your office flow.

Disclaimer: This article is general discussion of information and opinions on the part of one internist. Derivation of protocols or individual treatment decisions by health professionals who read this are their own choices from their own clinical judgment. Lay persons who read this should consult with their healthcare provider prior to embarking on, or adjusting their health approach. Nothing discussed should be considered a substitute for a personal interaction with your own physician or healthcare provider. Author accepts no risk or responsibility for decisions others make based upon the opinion(s) as stated above.

Dangers of a High Fructose Diet, University of California, Davis Professor Peter Havel, CBC News April 20, 2009 All sugars are not created equal when it comes to how our bodies metabolize the sweeteners, a new study suggests. People who drank beverages sweetened with fructose, but not glucose, showed an increase in intra-abdominal fat and blood lipid levels and decreased sensitivity to the hormone insulin, researchers reported in this week's issue of the Journal of Clinical Investigation.

The findings suggest that fructose-sweetened beverages can interfere with how the body handles fat, leading to medical conditions that increase susceptibility to heart attacks and strokes.

The results could be important given that in 2005, the average American consumed 64 kilograms (140.8 LBS) of added sugar, a sizeable proportion of which came through drinking soft drinks, said study author Peter Havel of the University of California at Davis and his colleagues.

Consumption of sugars and sweeteners in the U.S. went up by 19 per cent between 1970 and 2005, according to a commentary accompanying the study.

Increased use of high-fructose corn syrup as a sweetener in pop in the last few decades has been proposed as one dietary change fueling obesity in developed countries, Matthias Tschöp and Susanna Hofmann of the University of Cincinnati-College of Medicine noted in their commentary.

The most common form of the syrup contains five per cent more fructose than glucose and is perceived as sweeter, according to food and drink manufacturers.

Metabolic changes

In the 10-week study, 17 subjects consumed a quarter of their calories from fructose-sweetened beverages and another 15 subjects drank the equivalent amount in glucose-sweetened beverages. Participants had an average age of 50 and a body mass index of 29, which is considered overweight.

Both groups put on the same amount of weight, but only the fructose group showed the other differences.

People drinking the equivalent of about six cans of soft drinks a day in fructose became less sensitive to insulin, which helps control glucose levels in the blood, and showed signs of dyslipidemia such as high cholesterol.

Fructose is no worse than glucose if taken in moderation, said Dr. David Jenkins, who holds the Canada Research Chair in nutrition and metabolism at the University of Toronto.

"We're talking about excess in people who are gaining weight, people who are overweight to begin with and people who are not exercising to begin with," Jenkins said.

The long-term effects of fructose remain unknown, but it's clear that chronic overconsumption of dietary sugars in general is harmful to health, the commentators said.

"For our part, we will continue to aim for moderation of balanced caloric ingestion without excluding the occasional sweet soda," they concluded.

Some manufacturers have released sugar-free versions of soft drinks, and the corn industry has responded with ads suggesting high-fructose corn sweeteners have "the same natural sweeteners as table sugar." Read more: