Saturday, March 23, 2013

Iraq War. $4 Trillion IOU. Fall of the Alamo. Grape Seed Extract for Cancer. "Alligacin". Superbug CRE. Z-Pak and Zmax. Ranger Rick’s® Geocache Trails. Wrong Watermark. GMO Poll. Pipeline Explosion. It’s ‘OK’.


For “Summary Saturday”, News, Some New, Some Old:

Iraq War Cost $800 Billion, And What Do We Have To Show For It?

“For the past few months, a strange thing has been happening in the central Iraq town of Fallujah. Thousands of citizens, virtually all of them Sunni Muslims, have been gathering in public squares to protest the oppressive Shiite-led government in Baghdad. Sleeping in tents and wielding Twitter feeds and YouTube accounts, the young Sunnis have attempted to take democracy, and a certain sectarian disaffection, into their own hands.

It's not quite the Iraqi Arab Spring -- although that's what it's been tentatively called by some -- but it is a reminder of the stark failure of nearly a decade of American-led warfare in that country.

When President George W. Bush announced the invasion into Iraq in March 2003, the goal was to remove a dangerous dictator and his supposed stocks of weapons of mass destruction. It was also to create a functioning democracy and thereby inspire what Bush called a "global democracy revolution."

The effort was supposed to be cheap -- to require few troops and even less time. Instead, it cost the United States $800 billion at least, thousands of lives and nearly nine grueling years (see the graphic below for a further breakdown of various costs).”

More at:



Iraq war ends with a $4 trillion IOU

Veterans’ health care costs to rise sharply over the next 40 years

WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) — “The nine-year-old Iraq war came to an official end on Thursday, but paying for it will continue for decades until U.S. taxpayers have shelled out an estimated $4 trillion.

Over a 50-year period, that comes to $80 billion annually.

Although that only represents about 1% of nation’s gross domestic product, it’s more than half of the national budget deficit. It’s also roughly equal to what the U.S. spends on the Department of Justice, Homeland Security and the Environmental Protection Agency combined each year.

Near the start of the war, the U.S. Defense Department estimated it would cost $50 billion to $80 billion. White House economic adviser Lawrence Lindsey was dismissed in 2002 after suggesting the price of invading and occupying Iraq could reach $200 billion.”  More at:


Grape Seed Extract May Beat Chemo in Late-Stage Cancer

Grapes on the Vine

“The benefits of grape seed extract in cancer are well documented, but modern medicine won't do anything with it until the mechanism of action has been found, so that it can be isolated, purified, made poisonous and owned by a single company for enormous profits.

The more advanced cancer is, the less effective chemotherapy is. However, a new study has shown that grape seed extract has exactly the opposite quality: The more advanced the cancer, the less extract that's needed to kill it. On top of that, the study also shows that grape seed extract targets the cancer cells that become most resistant to chemotherapy.

In the face of this remarkable new development, it's likely that grape seed extract is more effective in treating late-stage cancer than modern medicine's chemotherapy. Not only does it take less and less of the substance to kill cancer cells, it's able to target the cells that have become drug resistant, thus making chemo useless!

Yet again, the common misperception that modern medicine's treatments are stronger or more potent or better in any way is shown to be mistaken. Sadly, it's a mistake that can kill.”  More at:


177th anniversary of the fall of the Alamo.

“March 6th marked the 177th anniversary of the fall of the Alamo. Solemn events recall Alamo fallen.

A member of the San Antonio Living History Association fires a musket (center) as others stand at attention Wednesday March 6, 2013 in front of the Alamo during the "Dawn at the Alamo" ceremony on the 177th anniversary of the battle for Texas independence. About 300 to 500 Mexican troops are said to have been killed or wounded in the battle and at least 189 Alamo defenders died in the battle or were executed. Photo: JOHN DAVENPORT, San Antonio Express-News / ©San Antonio Express-News/Photo Can Be Sold to the Public

A member of the San Antonio Living History Association fires a musket (center) as others stand at attention Wednesday March 6, 2013 in front of the Alamo during the "Dawn at the Alamo" ceremony on the 177th anniversary of the battle for Texas independence. About 300 to 500 Mexican troops are said to have been killed or wounded in the battle and at least 189 Alamo defenders died in the battle or were executed.

“You have all joined us this morning to remember, and perhaps experience a feeling for the dreadful moments of Texas history.”

The ceremony, augmented this year with recorded music and sound effects, included the reading of eyewitness accounts; laying of wreaths; a Mexican bugle call of oración; a bagpiper playing “Amazing Grace”; and recitation of the prayer of St. Francis in English and Spanish.  Volleys fired by a musket and rifles also highlighted the event.

With chilly winds muffling the noise, some 1,500 Mexican troops launched an assault.  Travis, the young Alamo commander, was among the first to die atop north wall before the Texians fell back into the compound.  Historians estimate at least 60 defenders fled south or west, but were quickly killed by mounted lancers. The defenders, from at least 22 different states and six foreign countries, ranged in age from 15 to 56, and included several Tejanos, of Spanish or indigenous descent. Roughly 20 noncombatant women, children and slaves survived.

About 300 to 500 Mexican troops are said to have been killed or wounded, many hit by “friendly fire” amid the chaos.  The church was the last to fall, and David Crockett and six of his men “fought on until they were literally overwhelmed.”  More at:


Alligator blood tested as new antibiotic

CALCASIEU PARISH, LA (KPLC) - “In the bayous of Southwest Louisiana and Southeast Texas, researchers have discovered a potential medicinal breakthrough from alligators.”

“These keepers of the bayou are known for their tenacity, but behind the alligator's piercing eyes and sharp teeth is an immune system that is as ferocious as the primitive creature.”   More at:


It's possible you could be treated with an alligator blood product one day.

 Alligator antibiotic: Alligator blood tested as a new antibiotic. IMAGE  “Alligator blood is being studied for use as an antibiotic, but any marketable drug remains years off.

Some day you may go to the pharmacy to ask for an order of "alligacin," an antibiotic made from the blood of alligators. That's the hope of researcher Mark Merchant, whose tests show that proteins in their white blood cells kill infections that can kill humans including e-coli, staph infections and a strain of HIV.”  More at:


Doctors Struggling To Contain New Bacteria 2013

“A new family of antibiotic-resistant bacteria, known as CRE, is raising concerns across the medical community because of its ability to cause infections that defy even the strongest antibiotics. The antibiotic resistance is spread by mobile pieces of DNA that can move between different species of bacteria, creating new, drug-defying bugs.” 

More here:


Common Antibiotic May Raise Risk For Fatal Arrhythmia

human heart

“The popular antibiotic azithromycin may cause a potentially fatal irregular heart rhythm in some people, the FDA says.  Also sold under the names Zithromax and Zmax, and often called a Z-pack, the antibiotic can cause changes in the electrical system of the heart, leading to arrhythmia. The medication can also trigger a form of rapid heartbeat called torsades de pointes.

The FDA says patients at risk for problems include those who have what's known as a prolonged QT interval, low blood levels of potassium or magnesium, an abnormally slow heart rate, or who take drugs to treat arrhythmias.”   More at:


Turning Screen Time Into Green Time

A high-tech treasure hunt known as geocaching is helping parents coax their children outdoors, away from indoor electronic devices

A family goes geocashing in a North Carolina forest“POWELL FRANKLIN, JR., AND HIS WIFE JENNIFER were looking for a way to pry their young daughter Emma away from computers and televisions and get her outdoors more often. “My generation was probably the last one to grow up playing outside all the time,” says Powell. Indeed, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation, U.S. children between the ages of 8 and 18 now spend an average of 7.5 hours a day indoors in front of an electronic screen.  “Geocaching is a great way to marry screen time with green time,”

NWF launched Ranger Rick’s® Geocache Trails two years ago. Today nearly 80 of these wildlife-oriented routes are located across the country in parks, nature centers, campgrounds, zoos and even aquariums. All of them are family friendly and easy for newcomers to navigate, and most can be accessed year-round.”  More at:


An ex-Santa Fe cop is facing charges for making fake money.    Wrong face in watermark.


GMO Poll Finds Huge Majority Say Foods Should Be Labeled

Gmo Poll“Americans are largely uncertain over whether genetically modified foods are safe for the environment or safe to eat, but the vast majority say that foods containing genetically modified ingredients should be labeled, according to a new HuffPost/YouGov poll.

Although respondents were near unanimous in saying genetically modified foods should be labeled, many expressed uncertainty about the environmental or health consequences of growing and consuming them.”    More at:



Marshall County Pipeline Explosion: West Virginia Residents Ordered To Evacuate Area

March 22 (Reuters) - “A Williams Co. natural gas gathering pipeline ruptured in Marshall County, West Virginia, a spokesman confirmed on Friday.
images[5] At approximately 12:20 p.m. (1620 GMT) on Friday, company personnel "detected a possible line rupture on a 24-inch natural gas pipeline near Cameron on Fish Ridge Road," the spokesman told Reuters in an emailed statement.
Cameron is a city in Marshall County, located in the northwestern part of the state.
"Williams immediately shut down the affected pipeline and isolated the rupture to the suspected area," the spokesman said.
No injuries or property damage has been reported and the cause of the rupture is under investigation, he added.
Local press reports earlier said a 36-inch gas line exploded but no fire was reported and area residents were being evacuated as a precaution.”  More at:


On This Day:

OK enters national vernacular, Mar 23, 1839:

“On this day in 1839, the initials "O.K." are first published in The Boston Morning Post. Meant as an abbreviation for "oll correct," a popular slang misspelling of "all correct" at the time, OK steadily made its way into the everyday speech of Americans.

During the late 1830s, it was a favorite practice among younger, educated circles to misspell words intentionally, then abbreviate them and use them as slang when talking to one another. Just as teenagers today have their own slang based on distortions of common words, such as "kewl" for "cool" or "DZ" for "these," the "in crowd" of the 1830s had a whole host of slang terms they abbreviated. Popular abbreviations included "KY" for "No use" ("know yuse"), "KG" for "No go" ("Know go"), and "OW" for all right ("oll wright").

The man responsible for unraveling the mystery behind "OK" was an American linguist named Allen Walker Read. An English professor at Columbia University, Read dispelled a host of erroneous theories on the origins of "OK," ranging from the name of a popular Army biscuit (Orrin Kendall) to the name of a Haitian port famed for its rum (Aux Cayes) to the signature of a Choctaw chief named Old Keokuk. Whatever its origins, "OK" has become one of the most ubiquitous terms in the world, and certainly one of America's greatest lingual exports.”



Misty and I had our walk down at Jay’s, as he wanted to go into the next town with me for Mikey’s vet appointment.  Even though Mikey is about the same size as Misty, I got a larger carrier than hers down from the attic for him.

While waiting for the vet, everyone could hear poor Mikey coughing from all over the clinic.  The vet immediately said that Mikey has a collapsed trachea, and being overweight didn’t help.   He gave Mikey a shot, and said this is something he will have for the rest of his life. 

After we left the vet, we were near where my washing machine had been repaired, so we picked it up.  I was glad it was an overcast day, so that Mikey wouldn’t get hot in the carrier in the car, as we had to make a few stops.  Jay stopped at Home Depot to return something.  I hadn’t been shopping for a while, and so I parked under a tree while I quickly grabbed a few things at Krogers, and the Dollar Store.  Mikey was quite content and we came back to my place.

Some of the vet’s instructions were that Mikey can’t wear a collar anymore, so I fitted him with a harness, and Jay switched the rabies tag over to it. 

When I took Mikey home, I found out that Sam was letting him self-feed Beneful, (1st. ingredient: corn meal) so I took that away from him, and told Sam 'no more grains'.  No wonder the poor dog was unhealthily fat.   I drove into our town to Walkers Feed Store and bought Mikey some Taste Of The Wild Dog Food.   

I put some of the Beneful in a Ziploc bag with a 1/2 cup measuring cup and showed Sam 1 measure of TOTW and 1 measure of Beneful until gone, then 2 measures of TOTW, as you can’t change an animal’s food right away. The Vet Tech, Lisa, (super sweet lady) suggested that Mikey needs one of those automatic feeders in case Sam forgets that he has fed Mikey and feeds him again.  Introducing Sam to the idea of some wet food isn't an option right now, he is having trouble digesting all this anyway.

A few years back I used to board a little dog with a collapsed trachea, and the main thing was to keep her cool and quiet so she wouldn’t pant and cough.  So I asked Sam if he would keep his home a bit cooler for Mikey, I hope he remembers.

So that took up just about my whole day.


Dizzy-Dick said...

Glad Mikey will be O.K. (had to use O.K. since you told us about its origin) as long as he doesn't wear a collar.

LakeConroePenny,TX said...

Thank you for your comment, DD.

No, Mikey will never really be "OK". Anytime he gets excited or hot he will start panting, and the trachea will close up again, which makes him cough.

It is such a shame he was fed all that cornmeal food, and got so overweight. The vet hopes that the natural meat food, and grain-free diet will help. Dogs were never built to eat corn, just like cattle weren't.

Happy Tails and Trails, Penny.