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Thursday, March 29, 2007

Papamoka Medical News Round Up...

This sort of post may or may not pop up from time to time but one of the things that interest me is current medical research in a plethora of human maladies. Most people just scan the medical headlines and the first sentence or two but I’m gobbling up the information in my brain for reason still unknown to myself. Some people collect spoons or antiques or baseball cards, which makes sense. Why do I collect this stuff? That question I ask myself many times over.
Please note that no medical advice is offered from this site or the author of this post. For the full story please click on the links provided.

Parkinson’s Drug Pulled From Market

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Reports of heart valve damage are causing a drug used by thousands of patients with Parkinson's disease to be pulled from the market.
The Food and Drug Administration says pergolide, which is sold under the name Permax and also in generic versions, is being withdrawn at the agency's request.
– The New York Times 3/29/2007

Then I came across this piece over at Reuters...

Alzheimer's vaccine works on mice: Japan scientist

TOKYO (Reuters) - Japanese scientists have developed an oral vaccine for Alzheimer's disease that has proven effective and safe in mice, the director of a research institute behind the project said on Thursday.

The team is preparing to move to small-scale clinical trials in humans, possibly this year, said Takeshi Tabira, director of the National Institute for Longevity Sciences in Aichi, central Japan.
"We hope the Phase I trials go well," Tabira said. "Animals are able to recover their functions after developing symptoms, but humans are less able to do so. It may be that this only works in the early stages of the disease, when symptoms are light."

When administered to mice suffering from the disease, which causes dementia and is currently incurable, the vaccine reduced the amount of amyloid plaques in the brain and improved mental function.

Amyloid plaques are believed to be at the root of Alzheimer's -- a growing problem for aging populations around the world. The disease affects five million in the United States alone, the Alzheimer's Association said in a report last week.
– Reuters 3/29/07

For some medical problems there are indeed a few steps back while in others there is huge potential for great leaps forward. In both of the cases I focused on there is no known cure. Parkinson’s is such a devastating disease that has a huge family of other symptomatic relatives that also are not curable. If you have ever spent any time in a relatively small cities’ Neurology Clinic then you would really get a grasp at how vast the effects of it are and that it does not just afflict the seniors amongst us.

Alzheimer’s is supposedly going to be a very prominent part of the future lives for the now retiring Baby Boomers. Some reports estimate that 14 million of us will be afflicted with it and there is now hope on many fronts for those folks.

One of the reasons I wanted to do this piece was to show all the folks that America may have a huge piece of the medical research pie but there are other nations that are cutting into that piece of pie. It’s a big pie so there is enough room for all. Biotechnology and medical research is a growing industry in America and yet it is also growing around the world in places most people would not think of. Ireland, England, Germany, and Japan are investing heavily not only in their own nations but here in America as well.

I found this interesting highlight on one cities desire to lure the new technologies and research in biotechnology from around the world. The city of seven hills called Worcester located in central Massachusetts has the blue print for success for this booming industry…

Worcester is playing a key role in a new industrial revolution – the biomedical revolution. The Massachusetts Biotechnology Research Park stakes claim to the caption "The Center of Excellence in Biotechnology." The Research Park was created to support the growth and expansion of biotechnology and medical device companies throughout the region. The Park's occupants range from a world headquarters of internationally known industry leaders to promising young companies just emerging, each attracted to the continuous support and proven commitment of Worcester as New England's other Medical Capital. Abbott Bioresearch Center, ViaCell, Athena Diagnostics, Hypnion and Advanced Cell Technology are among the firms represented in Worcester's biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, and medical devices industry. – Worcester. Right Place, Right Time

One thing that just amazes me about this great country of ours is that we are forever creating new industries for future generations to benefit from. As one is lost to overseas or border nations three or four others pop up to become the next inspiration for the world to try and keep up with.


***** has linked to this post...

Cross posted at the Gun Toting Liberal

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Saturday, March 24, 2007

Elizabeth Edwards, the Woman of the Century

Courage comes in many forms that some would call heroic and yet others would willingly argue the act portrayed was not courage but simple human emotion gone haywire. One can not explain why one man would toss himself onto the tracks of an inbound train to save a complete strangers life other than he just did what he felt was right. Then again in the same thought pattern you can never truly understand why the six Worcester, MA firefighters lost their lives trying to save what was thought to be homeless people supposedly still in the Cold Storage building fire not long ago. They were firefighters and that is what they do for their fellow man.

In both of the cases I’ve sited the individuals choose a road much higher and greater than the normal every day person would have. Self preservation would have been the normal attribute associated. In the case of the New York man diving to the rails to cover a fellow rider suffering a seizure there were many other people waiting for the same train and yet he alone let go of his children’s hands to save another’s persons life. The firefighters of Worcester knew the building was close to collapse and yet each of them knew there was still hope to save a life and walked into the heart and soul of Worcester’s history by paying the ultimate price as firefighters.

Elizabeth Edwards, with her second battle with cancer just on the horizon reminds me that some things in this life are bigger than oneself. She has the courage of her convictions and I could honestly picture her diving onto the tracks of an oncoming train or racing into a burning building if America’s future were at risk. Her personal and honest belief in her husband’s ability based on what he can do for America as President is that strong.

Ready for Another Tough Campaign
Her Cancer Back, Elizabeth Edwards Remains Open and Upbeat
By Lynne Duke and Lois Romano
Washington Post Staff Writers
Friday, March 23, 2007

Not once did the shadow of fear cross her face. Elizabeth Edwards stood before the nation, a graceful fighter steeled for personal tragedy again. The cancer is back and in her bones, a lung and possibly elsewhere. The news seemed worse than bad. Yet Edwards conveyed no hint of being hobbled by an incurable cancer. Self-pity was nowhere on the scene.


A staunch advocate for her husband’s campaign and his closest adviser, she made clear yesterday she wanted her husband to continue campaigning because “it’s unbelievably important that we get his election right. And in my view, there’s nobody who’s offering people in this country a more positive and delineated vision about where we can go than John.”

“Of course” John Edwards would have offered to suspend his campaign, says Chris Downey, the former wife of former Rep. Tom Downey, who befriended the Edwardses when they first came to Washington, “because he cherishes her. He cherishes his family. That’s what he would do. He would stop everything.”

But Downey and other friends say it would be Elizabeth’s way to insist that her husband campaign on.

“Quite frankly, I suspect she was the one to say, ‘Don’t suspend the campaign.’ She is not a quitter,” said Debbie Dingell, a friend of Edwards. “She wouldn’t think of it. They are a total team. She’s sensitive to people, trends and political situations in a unique way. She is a very strong and a very decent woman.”

Edwards has long been the center of her husband’s world, the one whose advice he has always sought and for whom who he would practice his opening statements before a trial, said Bonnie Weyher, a friend from law school. She recalls a well-told story about Edwards having to make a split-second legal decision during a trial and looking to his wife in the gallery for her nod.

During the 2004 presidential race, Elizabeth Edwards almost always traveled with her husband, and aides knew she was the ultimate gatekeeper and her husband’s closest adviser. She sat in on every debate practice and “not as a cheerleader,” said one person involved in that campaign.“She was very well versed in all the issues and had no trouble telling him, ‘That was an awful answer,’ ” the source said. “He clearly relied on her heavily.”
– The Washington Post

I’m finding that the more I hear of John and Elizabeth Edwards the more I believe that behind every great man is an even greater woman propping him up. I’m not saying that Mr. Edwards would be a lump of babbling political flesh without her support but she is the steel supports of his platform. She is the driving force of the Edwards campaign.

John Edwards first instinct upon hearing of her cancer was I’m sure to shut down his campaign for President and gather his family around the mother of his children to support her and be there for her during the toughest battle the human mind and body will ever face. That would be the simplest path to take and Elizabeth Edwards will never take that route and what more she will never allow the love of her life do so either.

John Edwards is facing an amazing and complex situation in his life and yet he has the greatest asset bar none that supports him for the greater good. His wife could have been selfish, self centered and cowering in the face of her Cancer and yet she is willing to go full steam ahead for him. I honestly admire them as a couple and my heart felt prayers are with them both through what will be a very difficult road to travel.

Elizabeth Edwards has redefined courage in a new way that defies logic until you really sit down and think about it. She alone has shown us all through her actions that even in the facing of ones own mortality you must still stand strong in support and defense of what you believe to be the best path for your nation. This my GTL friends is a very amazing woman and her husband has been blessed to be able to say that she is my friend, my best friend, and my wife.

God Bless you and your family Elizabeth Edwards. My personal best wishes for your own personal campaign against Cancer and with the political campaign of your husbands.


Cross Posted at The Gun Toting Liberal

Other people discussing this story…

Our good friend Steve Soto over at The Left Coaster has this to say… The best case scenario, given the fact that they saw a need for a press conference and cancelled an event earlier today is that Edwards sees a need to put the campaign on a hiatus in the coming weeks and months while they deal with whatever medical challenge she now faces. The worst case scenario is that she is facing a setback and, well, the campaign then becomes an afterthought.

Say your prayers tonight for the Edwards family.

Our good friend Joe Gandelman over at The Moderate Voice has this to say… John Edwards’ dramatic press conference announcing that his wife Elizabeth’s dreaded breast cancer had returned, but that the couple decided he should press on with the campaign anyway, truly seemed the real thing. It was a moment in Presidential campaign 2008 — which actually begun about a milli-second after the calender changed to 2007 — that transcended politics.

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Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Pet Food that Kills, Recall issued

In pretty much every home in America there is the unspoken family member that we all love and cherrish. Our cat or our dog are family members just as much as Mom or Pop are. Some people such as myself refer to the dog as my baby boy. He’s the first one to greet me and the last one to say good night before he beds down with one of the girls. Kids and pets are sometimes like brothers and sisters, the love is always there.

Could it be possible that I could poison my baby girl with her cat food or my baby boy with his regular dog food? Apparently, that fact is a reality. The Boston Herald has this alert to its readers and I hope they don’t mind to much that I borrowed it to alert my readers as well…

Tainted food eyed in feline’s death

By Peter Reuell/ Metrowest Daily News

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

“Fluffy,” a beloved blue-eyed family cat from Milford, could be the Bay State’s first casualty in a tainted pet-food crisis sweeping the nation.

Some 60 million cans and pouches of a variety of brand name cat and dog foods - possibly containing contaminated wheat gluten - have been recalled after reports of mostly cats perishing from kidney failure.

“What makes me angry is if we had this information a week ago, it would have saved her,” said Denise Tracy of her pet cat she plucked from a free litter more than a decade ago.

“We had to put her down Thursday night,” Tracy said, adding her 16-year-old son held his pet as the fatal shot was humanely administered. “It was very heartbreaking,” said the mother of five. “I’ll never forget the veterinarian’s words: ‘Her heart has stopped.’ ”


Now Tracy is left to console her son and four other children while trying to warn every pet owner she knows. Even her dog “Rosie,” a Cairn terrier, feels the loss of a playmate.

“I never expected it to be so emotional,” she said last night. “Everybody is upset. It’s been a funeral parlor around here.”

The recall now covers dog food sold throughout North America under 51 brands and cat food sold under 40 brands, including Iams, Nutro and Eukanuba. The food was sold under both store and major brand labels at Wal-Mart, Kroger, Safeway and other large retailers.
– Boston Herald

Menu Foods Income Fund has a complete list of dog and cat food that has been recalled. Please check your pets food against this list and toss it out if you find it on there. There is nothing worse than losing a pet that you love just as much you would your own children. If it is preventable then I want to get the message out there to save lives.

Pet owners and lovers of dogs and cats please link to this post. The life you save is important in so many ways to you and your family.

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Saturday, March 17, 2007

Blizzard for St. Patricks Day in Southie

The wearing of the green might be covered with a little of the white stuff this St. Patricks day in South Boston. Just like every year the politicians will gather for the annual St. Patricks day breakfast to toss a few jabs and jokes at one anothers expense.

Given our current Governors "mistakes" and personal problems with his wife it would be understandable if he did not appear for the event. Governor Patrick however has an alternative opinion and has made it be known that he will be attending seeing that he is on the menue to be served.

Bay State pols know too well: Nothing’s fair in love, politics
By Joe Fitzgerald - Boston Herald Columnist

Saturday, March 17, 2007 - Updated: 07:54 AM ESTThe barbs will be flying at the St. Patrick’s Day breakfast in Southie tomorrow, reminding hapless targets that, as Hyman Roth reminded Michael Corleone, this is the business they’ve chosen, the rough-and-tumble world of Massachusetts politics.

It’ll all be seen as jovial, but it can be brutal if you don’t know how to fight back.

That’s why potential punching bags such as Tim Cahill, our stodgy state treasurer, and John Kerry, our imperious junior senator, end up looking even more foolish when it’s revealed they attempted to purchase jokes, as if a cheerful spirit could be acquired with a check. - Boston Herald

The St Patricks Day breakfast airs on March 18 starting at 10:00 AM. Enjoy the fun.


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Saturday, March 10, 2007

Immigrant Round Up by INS in Mass Goes Wrong

You can come to this nation illegally and probably get a good job eventually. You can also come to this nation illegally and get a real crappy job. Either way you broke the law in doing so and eventually you could be caught. Given that fact you as an individual should be deported post haste. Millions of people from all over the world make the honest effort to gain accepted residence to the shores of America and it takes time. Breaking the laws of our nations immigration policy is taking the easy route and that is not acceptable to any American citizen. By some polls over 90% of the American people are against you.

What about the children born on American soil from illegal alien parents that are working in our nations businesses? They are in fact the children of illegal immigrants but they are also American citizen by birth right. The children have the full protection of our nation and the laws that we all take for granted. That fact can not be taken away from them at any point in time regardless of the laws broken by the parents. I want to be clear on the fact that those rights should never be taken from them either. It is what you would call the ultimate oxymoron of our nations immigration policy and broken system.

And yet the business owners that hire the illegal aliens with huge government contracts walk away free from persecution while hiring illegal aliens to perform the work. Immigration and business wanting cheap labor can not have it both ways. Speaking out of both sides of your face while ignoring your nations immigration problem as a business owner is just unacceptable.
So what happens to the children?

Judge: Don’t transport any more detainees

By Marie Szaniszlo
Saturday, March 10, 2007

A federal judge yesterday barred immigration officials from whisking out of state any more of the New Bedford sweatshop workers who were detained earlier this week after a controversial raid that has sparked outrage and captured nationwide attention.

U.S. District Judge Richard G. Stearns ordered that any of the 361 alleged illegal immigrants working at Michael Bianco Inc. who have not yet been sent to detention centers elsewhere remain in Massachusetts.

“Our focus is on the children and those other vulnerable people who were affected by this,” said Gov. Deval Patrick. “It is a humanitarian crisis, and it is not over yet.”

Authorities allege the company’s owner, Francesco Insolia, allowed employees to work in sweatshop conditions while he made $91 million in U.S. military contracts, an allegation he denies.

Meanwhile, the roundup of mostly women from Central America has left behind scores of children, some of whom may not yet have been identified and placed in proper care, social service workers say.

State Social Services Commissioner Harry Spence and two teams of 18 social workers are scheduled to fly to Texas today to interview immigrants who were sent to detention centers near El Paso and Harlingen.

“U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement had no idea of the impact of what they were doing,” said Ali Noorani of the Massachusetts Immigration and Refugee Advocacy Coalition. “I would characterize it as ICE trying to clean up the mess it created.”

Marc Raimondi, an ICE spokesman, had no comment.
- The Boston Herald

Governor Deval Patrick is showing guts and his personal convictions when he is facing a slam dunk from a Republican President that has done nothing about illegal immigration. Twelve million illegal immigrants are in our nation and the Federal Government decides to make Massachusetts a test case for its get tough policy?

Part of that policy from our God fearing and loving President that was the former Governor of Texas is to fly everyone off across the nation out of the state they were arrested in. There is a reason for that policy and it is called politics. Putting the fight in the most liberal state in the union ensures that the message of the GOP being tough on illegal immigration is a campaign advertisement that no amount of money the GOP could ever buy.

Only problem for W is that Governor Patrick has a damn good reason to make this mud slinging debate argument that will stick to the GOP for decades. It’s called children of illegal immigrants. While the President and his crafty crew of Neocons thought they had our Governor nailed to the cross there just happened to be some toddlers that the State has to pick up the tab for. They are legal citizens and Bush and the INS just made them all orphans. Who picks up that tab when Mom or Dad were paying the bills quietly? President Bush must have been power napping when this was talked about. Where some folks count sheep he was counting barrels of oil to fall asleep.

Don’t get me wrong, I do not condone illegal immigration. Do it right and you are welcome to be my neighbor. Do it wrong and Bush will orphan your kids eventually. No ifs or ands about it. Governor Deval Patrick is the only Governor fighting the separation of families and he is on the right side of this issue. He does not set the immigration policy for America but he sure as hell knows that it is past the point of repair. Voice your opinion and let it be heard but his nation needs an immigration policy that works effectively and if the President and the Congress does not set it then someone has to push them in the direction that makes common sense.

Governor Patrick 1, President Bush 0


States Rights 1 and Federal 0

Other folks talking about this issue...

Immigration Watch by Jon Jay Ray
The Journal is the Reward
Skippy the bush Kangaroo


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Tuesday, March 06, 2007

I. Scooter Libby Found Guilty… The fix wasn’t in?

I. Scooter Libby Found Guilty… The fix wasn’t in?

With this verdict the American justice system has proven itself to be fair and balanced. Frankly, I had concerns that the case would be tossed out with the one juror being compromised. True to her word the scales of justice were balanced and the trial and the jury came to a verdict that America hoped for. Not what the administration hoped for but it is a start.

From my point of view I think that Scooter was the fall guy for our Vice President but that is just my honest opinion. With the appeals already filed this case will drag on for years long after the folks asses that he covered are out of power. What is the end result of this trial is that our nations intelligence agents have been backed up and our courts will prosecute you no matter who you are if you out an agent. Even if it was a memory lapse.

Libby Found Guilty in CIA Leak Case

By Amy Goldstein and Carol D. Leonnig
Washington Post Staff Writers
Tuesday, March 6, 2007; 5:08 PM

A federal jury today convicted I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby of lying about his role in the leak of an undercover CIA officer's identity, finding the vice president's former chief of staff guilty of two counts of perjury, one count of making false statements and one count of obstruction of justice, while acquitting him of a single count of lying to the FBI.

The verdict, reached by the 11 jurors on the 10th day of deliberations, culminated the seven-week trial of the highest-ranking White House official to be indicted on criminal charges in modern times.


In a 14-minute news conference that followed, Special Counsel Patrick J. Fitzgerald said prosecutors were "gratified by the jury's verdict today."

Asked about the defense's vow to seek a new trial, Fitzgerald said prosecutors would "not be happy" about retrying the case. "We think it was a fair trial. We think the verdict should stand."
- Washington Post

So now that the trial is over do you figure that W is breathing a sigh of relief or sweating bullets over the next corruption trial his administration might face. Pick an issue and a real special prosecutor would find it in a heartbeat. With all the signing statements this President has made not one damn piece of legislation is legal or worth the paper it is written on. Something still stinks in our nations capitol. Even though the trash has been put out it still smells up the house.

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Thursday, March 01, 2007

Governor Patrick Presents the Solution to MITT’s Mess

Before everyone goes off the deep end and labels Governor Deval Patrick as the red headed step child that needs to be slapped around every other day lets take a deep breath. Governor Patrick did not have anything to do with the mess he was handed two months ago when he was sworn into office. That mess called the budget, Governor Deval inherited was the bastard step child of former Governor Mitt Romney and the legislature in office over the last four years.

While Mitt was off gallivanting around the nation as our states Governor the store was left unlocked and the money was pouring out of every cash register that the legislature could get their hands on. Was Deval Patrick there when all of this was going on? No he was not! Neither was Governor Romney. That is the hypocrisy of this issue. Nobody is pointing the fingers at Mitt Romney the golden boy of the GOP. Nancy Reagan must have loaned good old Mitt one of Ronnie’s Teflon suit coats because nothing is sticking to him at all.

Critics blast Deval’s cuts to human services, needy: Say gov’s budget plan contradicts promises

By Casey Ross and Jessica Van Sack
Thursday, March 1, 2007

After pledging to protect funding for poor and vulnerable citizens, Gov. Patrick is facing harsh criticism for slashing salaries for social workers, reducing services for the mentally ill and eliminating water-rate relief for cash-strapped homeowners.

“This is the governor who last night said he wasn’t going to balance the budget on the backs of the poorest people in Massachusetts,” said state Sen. Richard Tisei (R-Wakefield). “What we’re looking at today is a direct contradiction to that.”

The criticism emerged after Patrick released a line-by-line accounting of a $26.7-billion budget that slashes spending by $515 million and squeezes businesses for about $300 million in new taxes. The governor’s cuts drew immediate heat yesterday, with human service advocates decrying a $16 million cut to a fund that boosts the salaries of social workers.
- The Boston Herald

It’s kind of ironic that nobody else is pointing to the fact that this is Mitt’s lack of leadership when Governor Patrick by state law has to present a balanced budget. Two months into office and everyone is bitching that their lot in life is our current Governors fault! Yes it is and no it is not his fault. Did he make promises on the campaign trail? Yes he did and as a private citizen he would never know that the budget books were being cooked to the tune of $1.3 Billion dollars in the red by the then forever traveling to other states sitting Governor.

Folks need to wake up and listen to what is reality. Stop pointing the finger at whom is to blame and look at the situation with an open and clear mind. Would Deval Patrick the private citizen have run for the states highest office knowing that the books were out of whack and promising something he could never deliver. The simple answer to that question is a dead flat no.

The Governor is clear that he has a mission that he wants to follow and he can not solve all the states problems but the things he can do he will attack on a one by one basis as he promised in his campaign. With a tight budget his hands are tied but he is a clever individual and progress is all he knows. Cut the guy some slack and let him do the job we elected him for rather than slapping him around for something he had no control over. It's kind of ironic that the Bay State Republican's are mounting this attack on Governor Patrick when they were the ones in good old Mitt's back pocket taking every dollar they could while he was "away" on state business.

On the first Thursday of every month Governor Patrick hosts or participates on a live broadcast on 96.9 FM Talk in Boston to take your calls and talk to you the people of the state. Does he have all the answers, no, but he is brutally honest to a fault about his opinions and where he stands. Margery Eagan and Jim Braude of the Eagan and Braude fame offer the air time to him and if you want to know what your Governor thinks then you should listen in on the first Thursday of every month between one and two in the afternoon. You can call or email the Governor and it will enlighten you.

Sidebar, Jim this is not posted to build your ego, I listen because Margery is a Fox!


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