Saturday, July 4, 2009
Afterwards I'll be going to a sane friends party.
Friday, July 3, 2009
(snarky pic stolen somewhere on the net)
I just hope she doesn't start campaigning for 2012 right away. That would be way too long to maintain an appropriate level of satire.
Or (pure speculation) is there an Argentinian hiking type story about to break?
At least it's not another Michael Jackson story.
Thursday, July 2, 2009
Saddam Hussein told an FBI interviewer before he was hanged that he allowed the world to believe he had weapons of mass destruction because he was worried about appearing weak to Iran, according to declassified accounts of the interviews released yesterday. The former Iraqi president also denounced Osama bin Laden as "a zealot" and said he had no dealings with al-Qaeda.
Hussein, in fact, said he felt so vulnerable to the perceived threat from "fanatic" leaders in Tehran that he would have been prepared to seek a "security agreement with the United States to protect [Iraq] from threats in the region."
I knew most of these things already, but in the media's war lust they got buried. Shrub wanted a war, and no facts were going to stop him. Smart analysis showed that there were no WMD's, and even if there were a few they weren't really a threat.
As we've seen, getting into a war in Iraq was a whole lot easier than getting out will be. But I wish for one big first step: Can we put shrub and the cheney on trial for war crimes yet? That would be the best first move toward healing the damage they've caused.
ADELPHI, Md. — A federal advisory panel voted narrowly on Tuesday to recommend a ban on Percocet and Vicodin, two of the most popular prescription painkillers in the world, because of their effects on the liver.
The two drugs combine a narcotic with acetaminophen, the ingredient found in popular over-the-counter products like Tylenol and Excedrin. High doses of acetaminophen are a leading cause of liver damage, and the panel noted that patients who take Percocet and Vicodin for long periods often need higher and higher doses to achieve the same effect.
Acetaminophen is combined with different narcotics in at least seven other prescription drugs, and all of these combination pills will be banned if the Food and Drug Administration heeds the advice of its experts. Vicodin and its generic equivalents alone are prescribed more than 100 million times a year in the United States.
During my recovery from my broken humerus, I went through some serious pain that is treated with Hydrocodone (Vicodin). The main problem for me was the limit I could safely take (I have a tolerance level for opiates that rivals that of an elephant) because of the Acetaminophen content, and it's potential for liver damage. In the hospital, they could give me morphine, which is much safer, but once out of the hospital, that wasn't an option. (aside: Oxycodone (Percocet) does almost nothing for me when it comes to pain. All it does is make my brain as mushy as Lush Rimbaugh's. Stupid and still in pain is not a desirable situation.) I repeatedly wished that I could get Hydrocodone (which I needed) without Acetaminophen (which I didn't need), but thanks to the pharmaceutical lobby that wasn't an available opton.
I'm way better now, and rarely need to take a pain pill. But for millions of people with chronic pain, this could be really major. Getting rid of the Acetaminophen is a good idea, but Hydrocodone and Oxycodone need to still be available for those who need them. That's an issue that is still unresolved, what alternatives will be offered.
How typical of health care in America. The pharmaceutical companies can push Acetaminophen (which can kill you) into a wide variety of medications. But most of us can't get Medical Marijuana, which is safe AND effective.
Sunday, June 28, 2009
A Canadian company is one permit away from reactivating an Arizona uranium mine near the Grand Canyon where conservationists have been pushing for protection from new mining operations, a state official says.
Thousands of mining claims dot a 1 million-acre area around the canyon, but Arizona Department of Environmental Quality spokesman Mark Shaffer says only Denison Mines Corp. has a pending air permit with the agency for a site about 20 miles from the canyon's northern border.
Most of the claims for uranium are staked in an Arizona strip, a sparsely populated area immediately north of the Grand Canyon National Park known for its high-grade uranium ore. The silvery white metal is used in nuclear energy and weapons and for medicine.
But nearby residents and environmentalists, who are pushing to ban new mining in the area, are worried about possible groundwater contamination, destruction of wildlife habitat and the transport of radioactive material. Some miners and their families have blamed exposure to uranium for deaths and health effects, including cancer and kidney disease.
While the mining companies insist that modern techniques are safer for the environment, there's a lot of skepticism based on the history. I'm of the opinion that no new mining should even be considered until the old mines have been cleaned up.