Category Archives: Politics

According to Time Magazine – The Top 10 Green Ideas

Time Magazine had a recent article about the top 10 Green Ideas. The health of our environment is critical as our own health is closely tied to it. Here is Time’s top 10:


#1. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) – This group of scientists were the ones to come out and show, global warming is real and we need as interconnected humans, to do something and to do it now. We have to stop the denial and move ahead before we are so overwhelmed, we would be unable to make a difference.

#2. The U.S. Climate Action Partnership (USCAP) – Since our government is idiotically refusing to lead the charge against global warming, corporations together with the USCAP are taking over. According to the Time article “USCAP called for mandatory cuts of 60% to 80% in carbon emissions by 2050, and a uniform nationwide market for carbon. When big business is this far ahead of government, it’s clearly time for a change.”

#3. The Green Supply Chain – Companies like Wal-Mart, Procter and Gamble as well as Unilever are pressuring their suppliers to cut greenhouse-gas emissions and try to combat climate change.

#4. Avoided Deforestation – This is a no-brainer. We need our forests to save us from ourselves. We need to stop cutting down trees with no thought of tomorrow.

#5. Green-Collar Jobs – Instead of thinking that we cannot become more efficient because we will lose jobs, which is what our present Administration in the White House thinks, we can build jobs by creating new jobs that are green and friendly to the environment like organic biodynamic farming.

#6. Plug-in Hybrids – There is a company that can convert a car into a plug-in hybrid. CalCar is the company and while it is expensive, the technology is moving forward.

#7. E-Flex – Cars that can be made to run on newer technologies as soon as they came out.

#8. Congestion Pricing – Make people pay to use their cars in cities like New York. When I visited there I was astonished at how many people drove cars into Manhattan unnecessarily. It was insane. London and Singapore have already implemented this system.

#9. Carbon Capping – This idea puts a limit to how much carbon burning companies can do. The government would charge a fee for each unit of burning and then refund it to the people most needing help.

#10. Geo-engineering – This idea is to create large projects to help cool the planet. No one know if any idea on the table will work, but there is a sense of urgency to start thinking about ways before it is too late.


What I would add to the discussion is the need for everybody to do something, anything, each and every day to help combat global warming and also to reduce our polluting ways. Stop using pesticides, buy only organic when possible, vote with your dollars and buy ecologically superior products. We can do something, the important thing is to do it and do it now.

Cost of Health Care – Time is Running Out To Gain Control

In a recent New England Journal of Medicine article, Drs. Pater Orszag and Philip Ellis talk about the problems with our health care system that no candidate for the Presidency of the United States is truly addressing. It is nice to talk about universal healthcare but we can’t do it on the backs of our children and destroy our economy. They propose  two simple (if that is possible) measures to begin to reign in our medical costs.

First off, there is little strong research on treatment comparisons between expensive and cheaper therapies. One example I always use is how insurers are willing to cover the expense of the drug Nexium® which can run hundreds of dollars a month over Prilosec® which is over-the-counter and runs under $50 a month. Why? For two reasons one is that the pharmaceutical industry is more about profits and less about improving the health of people. The second issue the authors bring up is that there is no incentive to cut costs.

At my last few lectures, I noted that insurance companies have no reason to cut costs as long as payments, in the form of your health insurance premiums are greater than costs. The incentive is actually to perform more expensive procedures because the higher the cost, the higher the premiums charged and the more money there is to enrich the stockholders and meet Wall Street’s expectations. If their profit margin is to make 18% for each dollar they spend because they will only charge you more in premiums, what procedure would you think they would want to pay for, one for $1,000 or $100? Yup, the more expensive one.

While I am not a big fan of government intervention, it is imperative it happens here before economic disaster occurs. The idea that industry and the free market will benefit society and that trickle down economics benefits the greatest number in our society are two ideas who need burial. Trickle down is what George Bush Sr. once called “voodoo economics”. Free market is a nice idea, but the bottom line is that excessive greed does not benefit the greatest number of people when it comes to medical care.

Incentives to cut costs, independently measure efficacy in treatment protocols, not just those limited to pharmaceutical models needs to be put in place. We don’t need another male libido drug, we need better treatment for staph, tuberculosis and other deadly diseases that may not be financially enriching for the pharmaceutical industry.

We need more preventive health care, more dietary interventions to stem the tide of obesity and we need to stop the rampant polluting of our environment by greedy, profit above all businesses. We do these things and bite the bullet and we will save our future. Will we? I seriously doubt it unless we elect a leader with enough personality to have the populace back the reforms necessary.

The Bush Administration Pulls Another Fast One

President Bush and his cronies wouldn’t know what the the idea of independent science meant if they were forced to sit in on a lecture about it for a week. Instead of allowing Dr. Julie Gerberding, director of the Atlanta-based CDC, freedom to tell the truth about global climate change, they “eviserated” the report forcing her to leave out much of what we need to know about the consequences of global warming.

This is why the denialists have pulpits with which to hoist their “don’t worry, be happy” nonsense. This administration refuses to allow the CDC or the Surgeon General the independence they need to protect the public. They hide the truth and feed the media conflicting data to protect the polluters who fund their campaigns.

Read more about this abomination here at President Bush is the most “anti-science” President in our nation’s history. He needs to be replaced.

Veto Spending by the Democrats but Not the Republicans

I find it quite unbelievable that President Bush would veto the SCHIPs insurance bill to help people pay for medical care for children because it’s too expensive but when the Republican’s were in control and spending money like drunken sailors on their last day on dry land, he didn’t seem to worry about our money. When Senator Ted Stevens (R) of Alaska put a multi-million dollar appropriation for a bridge in the middle of Alaska that would have served around 100 people; the President didn’t use his line-item veto power to save us money. No this self-proclaimed “compasionate conservative” who would watch over our money and bring back fiscal responsibility, is the most politically motivated President we have ever had.
If a Republican wants to spend billions of tax payer dollars is that somehow different than when a Democrat does it? Apparently. Giving billions and billions of dollars to the pharmaceutical industry via the Medicare reform bill which stopped negotiated pricing for drugs is okay but spend the same money to help insure children isn’t? Compassionate? You be the judge.
Spend hundreds of billions of dollars on wars in foreign countries is ok, but helping our citizens live better lives is not ok. Enrich Halliburton but not our citizens is what this administration is all about. Corporate handouts, not aid to the people.
How can any self-proclaimed Republican or conservative stand by and not ask for his immediate resignation? No wonder recent polls show that Americans are not optimistic about our future. We don’t think we’re moving forward because we’re not. Our once great nation has seen the most disastrous Presidency’s ever.

A Win For The Good Guys – Phthalates Being Banned in California

Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signed into law a ban on the use of the common toxin and plasticizer phthalates from being used in any product that would come in contact with children under the age of 3. This hormone disruptor is showing up in urine samples of way too many people and has already been shown to damage DNA in male sperm, cause shortening of pregnancies, depression of testosterone in men, possibly causing insulin resistance and obesity. While this is a good first step, more needs to be done.

While banning a toxin like this is important, educating the public is more important. We are constantly being bombarded by thousands of chemicals each day with the only reassurance being given coming from the poison makers themselves. Phthalate users and manufacturers would have you believe that their products are safe and there are no health problems associated with their use but independent researchers would beg to differ. If you want more information about this issue go to either the Environmental Working Group’s website or to the journal Environmental Health Perspectives and search for phthalates. You may never use plastics the same way ever again but you will be protecting your health.

Losing a Child Due to Negligence and a Medical System Gone Awry

This past Sunday, a little girl, 2-years old was sent home by her HMO physician with a case of croup. In the medical/for-profit environment our health system has become, they did not want to admit her, despite her labored breathing because that might cut into the bottom line. So, trying to save some money for the corporation the girl was let go, parents told to get a vaporizer which they did and three hours later, the girl died.

I’ve ranted about our broken health care system many times in my speeches, and here on my blog site but this takes it to another level. Pharmaceutical companies, HMOs, and hospitals are more and more being driven by MBAs who answer to their stockholders, demanding more profits, sacrificing healthcare in a spiriling madness that now has taken yet another life. Isolated incident? Of course not. Preventable? You bet.

Our nation needs to completely revamp its abysmal health care system. It’s broken and it will never get up. When profit is more important than life, we have created a system that has degenerated to its lowest level. Physician error deaths are way too high and I have very little doubt that this is not due to a lack of caring, or gross negligence but more due to a poisonous atmosphere that doctors have to work in that deprives them of giving proper care to their patients. This needs to change and change now. No more innocent lives need to be lost.

Bush Vetoes Bill for Child Health Care and Goes Back on Campaign Promise – Again!

In a not too surprising action today, President Bush, decided to once again break a campaign promise he made in 2004 in order to continue to fatten the wallets of his supporters in big business.  His veto of an expansion of the Child Health Insurance Bill wasn’t just about “fiscal responsibility” he and his fellow Republicans who supported his veto claim. It was also about removing mercury from vacines. He claimed it would cost too much. To whom?  The pharmaceutical industry with it multi-billion dollar profits?  Of course. Who pays for this? The poor and lower middle class.

In 2004, President Bush said:

“I support the removal of Thimerosal from vaccines on the childhood national vaccine schedule. During a second term as President, I will continue to support increased funding to support a wide variety of research initiatives aimed at seeking definitive causes and/or triggers of autism. It is important to note that while there are many possible theories about causes or triggers of autism, no one material has been definitely included or excluded.”

He went back on that campaign promise which will allow the further poisoning of children. You might say that there was a paper published that said that thimerasol used in vaccines was safe wasn’t there?  Look down a few articles back and see my comments on that horrendous “study” (they called it a study, I call it drivel).

I am a firm believer in cutting back on a bloated government, but not when it comes to health care for children. It is my hope that Congress overturns this veto and shows that they care about our children. This trend of subsidizing big business on the backs of the poor and middle class needs to stop now.

EDIT: I want to add something here about Bush’s reasoning behind his veto. He claims that it would allow people who make over $83,000 to get coverage for their kids. According to this blog, that’s just a lie.

Health Care Reform – Reform Ourselves First

We continue to hear politicians running for President yap about health care reform and how our system is broken and doesn’t help millions of Americans which, on the surface is true, but they refuse to acknowledge another real dillema and that is the need for tens of millions of Americans to reform themselves first. The explosion of type II diabetes in our country is not due to the high cost of medical insurance, it is due to us eating too much fast food, drinking too much soda and thinking that exercise is the use of a remote control and standing up to go to the fridge to get a beer.

We can easily blame the food industry who sells us items they call food but we make our own decisions and many of them are obviously wrong. As I walk through Costco or Wall-Mart and look at the shopping carts of people who are so obese that they waddle, I notice very little in real food. Mostly I see chips, sodas, frozen pre-made meals, and all other sorts of junk with little in the way of fresh or healthy foods. These are the same people who we have to pay for when their open heart surgeries are done, when they line up at the pharmacy to fill their 5 or 6 prescriptions that cover up their decades of unhealthy living.

You want to eat junk, pay higher premiums. You want health care, act like it means something. When it comes to adults, we need to force people to accept responsibility for their actions. For children, we need to give them universal health care and health education.  If their parents won’t change, teach the children to. If we don’t, our society will eat itself out of existance. What the terrorists outside our country want to do to us, we are already well on our way to doing to ourselves.

Pharmaceutical Company Payoffs

We all suspected that Big Pharma pays large fees to physicians to speak about their drugs but the latest news out of Minnesota is downright disgusting. Turns out that groups of practitioners in many states “advise” which drugs to select for Medicare use. One such “advisor” was paid over $350,000 in a year, but claims it had nothing to do with their judgement. Yeah, right and I have some prime swamp land in the desert to sell you. To read more about this issue, click here.

This is plain outrageous. This is tatamount to bribery which, if I am not mistaken, is illegal. The recorded votes on which drug is approved and who voted for what is absurd. This is unethical and needs legislation which probably won’t happen due to the deep lobbying pockets of Big Pharma and their stranglehold on Congress.

How much longer can we as a people, citizens of the United States, take this kind of chicanery?  They are stealing our tax dollars to enrich their pockets. Congress needs to stop subsidizing the pharmaceutical industry.  They flat out don’t need it. It is high time we all demand better.

Breast Cancer and Hormone Replacement Therapy – A Major Indictment

In the April 19th, 2007 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine, a special report was issued showing a significant drop in the incidence of breast cancer starting in mid-2002 through 2003 due in large part, according to the authors, to the drop in the use of hormone-replacement therapy (HRT) due to the release of the Women’s Health Initiative report. The decrease was largest in women over the age of 50, those most likely to use HRT.

An observation I have is that this study shows the effects of artificial hormones that are prescribed to women but what about the multitude of toxins in our environment that have estrogenic effects like bisphenol A?  How about phthalates?  What about all those other chemicals that are known to disrupt the endocrine system?  Our bodies, male or female, are awash with these carcinogenic chemicals. This is why it is critical to do what you can to avoid exposure and to get your body efficient at detoxifying itself.

Another issue I have here is how the pharmaceutical industry has responded to this travesty. Instead of a mia culpa, it is attacking natural hormone replacement therapy produced by compounding pharmacies. These are far safer than the horse urine derived toxins the harmaceutical industry foisted on unsuspecting women. Senator Ted Kennedy is helping his harma buddies by introducing a bill to ban compounding pharmacy’s from making this and other healthy compounds. Shame on Mr. Kennedy for being so blatantly purchased by an industry that continues to put out one dangerous drug (Vioxx, et al) after another.