Janelle’s story, why she’s voting for Hillary Clinton

September 22, 2016

Just watch.

What do you think?

When a good woman like Hillary Clinton runs for president, doesn’t she deserve your support? She’s got the back of so many people, and works for millions more.

Clinton’s campaign biography:

Hillary Clinton has served as Secretary of State, Senator from New York, First Lady of the United States, First Lady of Arkansas, a practicing lawyer and law professor, activist, and volunteer, but the first things her friends and family will tell you is that she’s never forgotten where she came from or who she’s been fighting for throughout her life. Hillary was raised in a suburb of Illinois where she attended public school and was raised a Methodist by her parents. She attended Wellesley College, and went on to study law at Yale. After attending Yale Law School, she went to work for the Children’s Defense Fund, going door to door in New Bedford, Massachusetts. After serving as a lawyer for the Congressional Committee investigating President Nixon, she moved to Arkansas where she taught law and ran legal clinics representing poor people. She co-founded Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families, one of the state’s first child advocacy groups. As First Lady under President Bill Clinton, Hillary tenaciously led the fight to reform our health care system so that all our families have access to the care they need at affordable prices. Hillary led the U.S. delegation to Beijing to attend the UN Fourth World Conference on Women and gave a groundbreaking speech, declaring that “human rights are women’s rights and women’s rights are human rights once and for all”—inspiring women worldwide and helping to galvanize a global movement for women’s rights and opportunities. Hillary was then elected to the U.S. Senate, becoming the first woman senator from New York. She repeatedly worked across the aisle to get things done, including working alongside Republicans after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. When Congress wouldn’t do enough for rural areas and small towns, Hillary didn’t back down. She launched innovative partnerships with the tech industry and provided support to local colleges and small businesses. When President Obama asked Hillary to serve as his secretary of state, she answered the call to public service once again. She was a forceful champion for human rights, internet freedom, and rights and opportunities for women and girls, LGBT people and young people all around the globe. Now she’s running for President because everyday Americans need a champion and she wants to be that champion.

Texas Gov. Abbott sides with cancer, brags about it

October 23, 2015

I get e-mail from Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, and all too often it leaves me shaking my head in disgust.

This one came today. I suppose one needs to understand that the e-mail is intended to mislead the recipients about what Gov. Abbott is doing.

In the War on Cancer, Abbott has sided with cancer. As Attorney General in the later stages of the wilting administration of the beleaguered Rick Perry, Abbott refused to investigate a Texas Constitutionally-established, billion-dollar fund to support cancer research whose administration then-Gov. Perry had turned over to old political friends.

Tens of millions of dollars of taxpayer money went into black holes of bank accounts of Perry’s political supporters.

Abbott should have recused himself from any investigation by his office, because under the laws setting up the research fund, he was on the board.  Any investigation would need to answer the question about what Abbott had done to be sure the funds were spent as the law intended.

Conflicts of interest don’t bother Greg Abbott, though, so long as the conflicts work in favor of his friends, and political donors.

Fortunately for Texas, there is another, separate office to investigate public wrongdoing in state agencies, the Public Integrity Unit of the Travis County District Attorney’s office. That office indicted one of the cancer agency’s officials (he was convicted of misappropriating $11 million in public funds), and promised to indict more.

This so angered Perry he stepped all over the Texas Constitution to bring down the Travis County DA — and that earned Perry his own indictment after an investigation by a GOP-led task force.  Oh, yeah, there were other shenanigans by Perry that he might have wanted to cover up; but the cancer research abuse already sent one Perry buddy to jail.

You get the idea. Cancer research is political in Texas, and probably not all that serious a concern to GOP elected officials. Cancer is something poor people get. Republicans have health insurance.

For years, Planned Parenthood clinics in Texas and the rest of the nation offered free cancer screenings and checkups to women who otherwise could not get them for lack of money. These services have nothing to do with abortion, but a lot to do with obstetrical and gynecological care poor women cannot get otherwise.

Well, now Greg Abbott has ordered funding for those health care services to stop.

Read Abbott’s fund-raising letter — yes, he wants me (and you) to donate to his unholy campaign against women’s health care — and pay particular attention to how he avoids any mention of what kinds of services this funding cut-off will kill. He wants you to think he’s fighting abortion.

Which might be oddly and rarely true, if his denial of cancer screenings enables cancer to kill a woman who might have later gotten an abortion, or destroy her ability to conceive at all.

See the letter, sent with the subject, “Another win against Planned Parenthood”:



Abbott cuts funding for cancer fightAbbott cuts funding for cancer fight disclaimer_______________________________________

So there you have it. Greg Abbott wants you to send him money, because he’s stopped poor women in Texas from getting cancer screenings.

Because, abortion, liberty, guns, and probably, illegal immigrants.

And, because he can get away with it.

How stupid must a Texas politician be to think promoting cancer will help any of those problems? How conniving must one be to try to hoodwink Texans into sending him money, neglecting to mention it’s money to support cutting medical care to women who need it?

How stupid must Texas voters be, if they don’t see through this corrupt ruse?


Health care for women . . .

June 5, 2012

What is the largest cancer screening program for  women in the U.S.?   Anyone know?

Notes from Women are Watching:

Since January of last year, bills targeting women’s health have been introduced in all 50 states. But women will remember who turned their backs on us and who voted to keep us healthy. On Election Day, women will be fighting back. Find out who’s standing up for you, visit: http://www.womenarewatching.org


In 2011, times were tough. Recession. Joblessness. So many of us struggling to make ends meet. But for women, times were about to get a lot tougher.

The newly elected U.S. House of Representatives made it their business to cut women off from the health care they depend on.

The House passed the Pence Amendment, which would bar Planned Parenthood from receiving federal funds for any purpose, including preventive and lifesaving services:

Women across America united to defend their access to care.

Champions in Congress stood strong.

And so did President Obama.

The US Senate stood with women and defeated the Pence Amendment.

But sadly that was just the beginning.

Bills targeting women’s health have been introduced in all 50 states since January of last year.

Make no mistake, this is the most relentless attack on women’s health in 40 years.

Politicians have been playing ugly games with women’s lives.

One year after we brought the Pence Amendment down, we remember who turned their backs on us, and who voted to keep us healthy.

November is just around the corner.

Soon it will be our turn to vote.

National Radon Action Month: Test to see whether your home is safe

January 5, 2012

Press release from EPA today:

January 4, 2012

EPA Recognizes National Radon Action Month: Test for Radon Gas to Protect Health

21,000 Americans die from radon related lung cancer each year

– The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is encouraging Americans this January, as part of National Radon Action Month, to take simple and affordable steps to test their homes for harmful levels of radon gas. Radon, a colorless odorless gas, is the leading cause of lung cancer among non-smokers. Radon can seep into a home from underground and if left to accumulate, high levels of radon can cause lung cancer. Improving indoor air quality by increasing awareness of environmental health risks, such as radon gas, supports healthier homes and communities.

“Testing for radon is an easy and important step in protecting the health of your family,” said Gina McCarthy, EPA Assistant Administrator for the Office of Air and Radiation. “Radon can be found in every single state. Nationally, elevated radon levels are in as many as one in 15 homes – a statistic that is even higher in some communities.”

Approximately 21,000 people die from radon related lung cancer each year in the United States, yet elevated levels of this health hazard can be prevented through these simple steps:

  • Test: EPA and the U.S. Surgeon General recommend that all homes, both with and without basements, be tested for radon. Affordable Do-It-Yourself radon test kits are available at home improvement and hardware stores and online or a qualified radon tester can be hired.
  • Fix: EPA recommends taking action to fix radon levels above 4 Picocuries per Liter (pCi/L). Addressing high radon levels often costs the same as other minor home repairs.
  • Save a Life: By testing and fixing for elevated levels of radon in your home, you can help prevent lung cancer while creating a healthier home and community.

Radon is a natural, radioactive gas that comes from the breakdown of uranium in soil, rock and water. It can enter homes through cracks in the foundation or other openings such as holes or pipes. In addition to testing for radon, there now are safer and healthier radon-resistant construction techniques that home buyers can discuss with builders to prevent this health hazard.

In 2011, EPA announced the Federal Radon Action Plan, along with General Services Administration and the Departments of Agriculture; Defense; Energy; Health and Human Services; Housing and Urban Development; Interior; and Veterans Affairs. This action plan will demonstrate the importance of radon risk reduction, address finance and incentive issues to drive testing and mitigation, and build demand for services from industry professionals.

More information on how to Test, Fix, Save a Life, obtain a text kit, or contact your state radon office: http://www.epa.gov/radon or call 1-800-SOS-RADON

More information on the Federal Radon Action Plan: http://www.epa.gov/radon/action_plan.html


Warning: Universal coverage will save lives, money and pain

July 22, 2009

Utah Savage tells the story:

My friend Z is doing amazingly well, considering. She is complying with her oncologists. But now that the radiation is burning her throat, and the chemo is making her queazy, the doctors are prescribing drugs that will alleaviate these problems. But Z doesn’t believe in Western medicine and when it came time to sign up for Medicare she assumed that she would never get sick enough to ever need the part A, B and D of Medicare coverage. Now she needs them all and the enrollment period won’t come around again until November. It is part D that would have paid for her drugs. It is part D that would make a drug that costs $150 at most $3.50. I audibly gasped when she told me that she didn’t have part D. I couldn’t help myself. I said, “But you need part D.” She was furious and shouted, “Don’t tell me what I should have done. That doesn’t help me now.” And of course she’s right. Now that it’s too late, it doesn’t help to tell her what she should have done.

If you’re healthy, you never think you’re going to need insurance and prescription drug coverage. And if you’re young you never think your going to get ill. But everyone needs insurance. That is why the healthcare debate is so terribly important. We need a public option. Please call your Congressional Representative and lobby for a public option for healthcare. We need you healthy. We need you paying attention to the issues that will make a difference in all our lives.

We are not allowed to drive a car without insurance and we don’t think twice about that. But we are so careless when it comes to insurance for our own health. It should be mandatory that everyone is covered with health insurance.

Does your mileage differ?  Tell us in comments.

Treatments for multiple myeloma? Take it easy with green tea

June 23, 2009

Contrary to Tinfoil Hat Philosophy, researchers are rather intensely studying green tea and potential good health effects it may have.

The bad news is that an early study shows green tea inhibits the effects of one of the common treatments for multiple myeloma, Bortezomib.  Bortezomib (BZM) causes tumor cells to die, but some elements in green tea inhibit that effect.  Does the tea keep the cancer cells alive, or interfere with the cancer-killing drug?  Not sure.

It’s clear that cancer patients undergoing treatment that includes drug or chemo therapy need to inform their physicians if they are using green tea or other alternative treatments in addition.

Is this such a surprise?  We’ve known for years that grapefruit juice multiplies the effects of some blood pressure medicines, which means that grapefruit is one fruit blood pressure and cardiac patients probably need to avoid.  Foods that have medicinal effects may also have effects that counteract the medicines physicians provide.

The paper shows up in the current issue of Blood (free subscription may be needed for access to the full text):

“Green Tea Polyphenols Block the Anticancer Effects of Bortezomib and Other Boronic Acid–Based Proteasome Inhibitors”

Blood. 2009 Jun 4;113(23):5927-5937, EB Golden, PY Lam, A Kardosh, KJ Gaffney, E Cadenas, SG Louie, NA Petasis, TC Chen, AH Schönthal

Here’s the abstract:

The anticancer potency of green tea and its individual components is being intensely investigated, and some cancer patients already self-medicate with this “miracle herb” in hopes of augmenting the anticancer outcome of their chemotherapy. Bortezomib (BZM) is a proteasome inhibitor in clinical use for multiple myeloma. Here, we investigated whether the combination of these compounds would yield increased antitumor efficacy in multiple myeloma and glioblastoma cell lines in vitro and in vivo. Unexpectedly, we discovered that various green tea constituents, in particular (-)-epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) and other polyphenols with 1,2-benzenediol moieties, effectively prevented tumor cell death induced by BZM in vitro and in vivo. This pronounced antagonistic function of EGCG was evident only with boronic acid–based proteasome inhibitors (BZM, MG-262, PS-IX), but not with several non–boronic acid proteasome inhibitors (MG-132, PS-I, nelfinavir). EGCG directly reacted with BZM and blocked its proteasome inhibitory function; as a consequence, BZM could not trigger endoplasmic reticulum stress or caspase-7 activation, and did not induce tumor cell death. Taken together, our results indicate that green tea polyphenols may have the potential to negate the therapeutic efficacy of BZM and suggest that consumption of green tea products may be contraindicated during cancer therapy with BZM.

Watch. The crank science sites will pick up on this study and argue that it’s just one more demonstration that scientists can’t get the story right. Reading just the abstract, however, you can see that the paper talks about a specific chemical action of specific components of green tea against a specific type of cancer treatment. This paper could just as easily be read to say that green tea helps prevent senescence in cells, and it does the same thing it tumor cells, which isn’t at all what we want.

It will be very, very interesting to see how this research gets covered in the popular, mass and internet press.

DDT linked to testicular cancers in next generation

May 2, 2008

Rachel Carson’s careful citations in her book Silent Spring have been reinforced by a recent study that shows a more direct link between DDT and human cancers, contrary to claims by lobbyists, junk science purveyors and practitioners of voodoo science.

Another study suggests DDT causes damage to the reproductive organs of children of people exposed to the pesticide.  The connection is again to the daughter product, DDE.

Danger appears to result from exposure in utero or from breast feeding.  The Reuters India story said:

Researchers led by Katherine McGlynn of the U.S. government’s National Cancer Institute examined blood samples provided by 739 men in the U.S. military with testicular cancer and 915 others who did not have it.

The link between DDE and cancer was particularly strong with a type of testicular cancer known as seminoma, which involves the sperm-producing germ cells of the testicles.

If diagnosed, testicular cancers are among the most treatable.  It generally strikes men in their 20s and 30s.  About 8,000 new cases per year show up in the U.S.  In an average year testicular cancer kills 380 Americans.  The NCI study suggests about 15 percent of cases in the U.S. can be attributed to DDT exposure.

It is possible some of the men who later developed cancer of the testicles were exposed to DDE at very young ages — in the womb or through breastfeeding, the researchers said.

“In testicular cancer, there’s a fair amount of evidence that something is happening very early in life to increase risk,” McGlynn said in a telephone interview.

DDE remains ubiquitous in the environment even decades after DDT was being banned in the United States — and is present in about 90 percent of Americans, McGlynn said.

“The trouble with these chemicals is they hang around a long time. It’s in the food chain now,” McGlynn added. People who eat fish from contaminated areas can absorb it, for instance.

The study was published on-line in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute on April 29, 2008, ahead of print publication.

Image from Testicular Cancer Diagnosis page at M. D. Anderson Center in Houston, Texas

Image from Testicular Cancer Diagnosis page at M. D. Anderson Center in Houston, Texas


How DDT could work in aggressive breast cancers

April 18, 2008

A Quebec research team finds that DDT’s breakdown product, DDE, could promote aggressive breast cancer growth; news report on forthcoming journal paper.

Other news on cancer and DDT:

Cancer and DDT: Current information

July 13, 2007

Okay, this piece is biased, too — but they give references so you can check it out.

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