Friday, November 21, 2008

Does God Exist?

Turek vs. Hitchens Debate: Does God Exist? from Andrew Ketchum on Vimeo.

If you have a couple of hours to spare, listen to Christopher Hitchins debate (the rather shouty, preachy) Frank Turek as to whether God exists or not.

Die Turkeys....Die!

Sarah Palin's idea of "levity.

Krugman Scares Me

I really don't like it when Paul Krugman writes a column about the economic downturn, especially when he is worried.
How much can go wrong in the two months before Mr. Obama takes the oath of office? The answer, unfortunately, is: a lot. Consider how much darker the economic picture has grown since the failure of Lehman Brothers, which took place just over two months ago. And the pace of deterioration seems to be accelerating.

Any chance we can move Inauguration Day up so we can get some leadership in this country? The Democrats in Congress need it as badly as do the Republicans, maybe more so. Why are politicians sitting on their behinds while our economy goes down the tube?

Iraqi's Don't Want Us

Are these people ungrateful or what? You'd think the USA invaded their country for reasons based on "misinformation"; you'd think we were responsible for the deaths of ten's of thousands (at a minimum); you'd think we used despicable torture techniques in a horrifying prison (which no higher level person has yet to be held responsible); you'd think we liberated the majority who will now get revenge on the minority after we leave (of course they will).

Why are these people so ungrateful? I'm sure if the USA was wrongly invaded, we would be very greatful.

UPDATE: It seems that Washington Post columnist Michael Gerson disagrees. Things in Iraq are going really swell.
The cost of this success has been high for America, and some may argue that it has not been worth the price. But it is still a success.

Ok, let's all agree our adventure in Iraq was successful. That means we can come home now.....right?

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Did Bush "Out" Eliot Spitzer?

Yes, the mainstream media is not always our friend. Story number 25 of the top 25 censored stories can be read here.
The exposure of New York State Governor Eliot Spitzer’s tryst with a luxury call girl had little to do with the Bush administration’s high moral standards for public servants. Author F. William Engdahl advises that, “in evaluating spectacular scandals around prominent public figures, it is important to ask what and who might want to eliminate that person.” Timing suggests that Spitzer was likely a target of a White House and Wall Street operation to silence one of its most dangerous and vocal critics of their handling of the current financial market crisis.
Was Eliot Spitzer going too far in implicating the Bush Administration in the subprime crisis? What is the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency? What role did they play in the subprime crisis? Will we ever find out?

There are 24 other stories that have not been covered very well by the mainstream media and surely not by FOX News.

Democrats Censor Lieberman

I guess we showed Joe Lieberman! As Josh Marshall says, Lieberman expelled from Pilates class in Senate gym. Joe Lieberman has been shown what happens when you become a traitor to your party......pretty much nothing. One thing hasn't changed in least not yet. Democrats are spineless. Now I'm almost hoping Lieberman will investigate the Obama White House for the next 4 years. It would serve us right.

By leaving Lieberman in charge of the important Homeland Security and Government Affairs Comm., Democrats have also shown us they don't really care if they have a competent Chair of their committees.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Atherosclerosis, Inflammation and Statins

One of my favorite medical topics was addressed in the NYT today, on the opinion page no less. "Who Should Take a Statin?" discusses a recent study which had to be prematurely ended so the placebo group could get the medicine too.

I've always been convinced that levels of C-reactive protein show a strong correlation with coronary artery disease. C-reactive protein levels in your blood are an indication of overall inflammation levels in your body. The study discussed in todays NYT's showed that treatment with a statin, a cholesterol-lowering drug, not only reduced cholesterol but also resulted in reduced levels of C-reactive protein.

The effects of statin treatment were amazing.
Those who got the statin had 54 percent fewer heart attacks, 48 percent fewer strokes and 20 percent fewer deaths from all causes. The participants included men 50 and older and women 60 and older with no history of heart disease or high cholesterol. But they all had high levels of CRP, and many had such other risk factors as high blood pressure, obesity and smoking. Whether the statin helped because it reduced normal cholesterol to even lower levels or because it reduced CRP levels is not clear.
If inflammation is the cause of coronary artery disease, then what is the cause of the inflammation? Could it be infection?

There are any number of papers correlating high levels of C-reactive protein as a cardiac risk factor. Find one of them here. There have been entire scientific sessions concerning infection and atherosclerosis. One review can be found here.

I'm currently reading Paul Ewald's book "Plague Time: The New Germ Theory of Disease". Ewald points out that infections can cause chronic disease such as gastric ulcers, cancer and possibly many, many others such as IBD, arthritis, coronary artery disease and even schizophrenia. If you don't want to read Ewald's book, you can find an article in The Atlantic Online by Judith Hooper discussing the book.

The "plagues" we need to worry about are not Ebola or Bird flu. We need to start concerning ourselves with the causes of chronic diseases that are currently responsible for high mortality in the USA. Whether infections are responsible for some of these diseases needs to be seriously considered.