But, alas, the day still requires my full attention. I think I need something besides my morning cuppa to get me motivated.
While I wrack my brain about how to make today a great day, I’ll get the Round-Up going and hope for the best.
From the Huffington Post:If the Bush administration succeeds in its latest request for funding for the war in Iraq, the total cost would rise to $611.5 billion, according to the National Priorities Project, a nonprofit research group.
The amount got us wondering: What would $611 billion buy?
- On being denied your identity:
A study by the Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute reports that adult adoptees should be allowed to see their adoption records. They say that there have been overwhelmingly positive outcomes in states where it is legal for adoption records to be unsealed.Catholic organizations are opposed to unsealing the records fear that women may choose abortion rather than adoption if their identities are in jeopardy. The ACLU in Connecticut is opposed to the release of birth records and considers itself a voice for birthmothers who are reluctant to speak out publicly.
From The Telegraph:
- Bankrupt relationship:
Despite George W Bush’s rhetoric about freedom, the struggle against terrorism is provoking a reaction familiar from the Cold War and nowhere is that clearer than over Pakistan.In the old parlance, General Pervez Musharraf is “our sonofabitch”. He has failed to stamp out extremist groups and close the madrassas that inspire them. He has allowed the tribal areas bordering Afghanistan to fall into the hands of assorted jihadis. And he has sacked independent-minded judges for fear that the Supreme Court declare illegal his re-election as president last month.
Yet, despite this combination of incompetence and brutality, America and Britain continue to back him as head of what has a strong claim to be the most dangerous country in the world.
From Space War:
- US has secret plans to safeguard Pakistan’s nukes:
The United States has secret contingency plans to safeguard Pakistani nuclear weapons if they risk falling into the wrong hands, the Washington Post reported Sunday.But US officials worry their limited knowledge about the location of the arsenal could pose a problem, it said, a week after Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf declared a state of emergency.
“We can’t say with absolute certainty that we know where they all are,” one unidentified former US official told the newspaper, adding that any US effort to secure Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal “could be very messy.”
(Dizzy sez: Um…that’s reassuring…)
From The Huffington Post:
- Fighting Fat and Climate Change:
WASHINGTON — America’s obesity epidemic and global warming might not seem to have much in common. But public health experts suggest people can attack them both by cutting calories and carbon dioxide at the same time.How? Get out of your car and walk or bike half an hour a day instead of driving. And while you’re at it, eat less red meat. That’s how Americans can simultaneously save the planet and their health, say doctors and climate scientists.
The payoffs are huge, although unlikely to happen. One numbers-crunching scientist calculates that if all Americans between 10 and 74 walked just half an hour a day instead of driving, they would cut the annual U.S. emissions of carbon dioxide, the chief greenhouse gas, by 64 million tons.
About 6.5 billion gallons of gasoline would be saved. And Americans would also shed more than 3 billion pounds overall, according to these calculations.
- Women die after Nicaragua’s ban on abortions:
Law won’t allow the procedure even when mother’s life is at stakeMANAGUA, Nicaragua – Two weeks after Olga Reyes danced at her wedding, her bloated and disfigured body was laid to rest in an open coffin — the victim, her husband and some experts say, of Nicaragua’s new no-exceptions ban on abortion.
Reyes, a 22-year-old law student, suffered an ectopic pregnancy. The fetus develops outside the uterus, cannot survive and causes bleeding that endangers the mother. But doctors seemed afraid to treat her because of the anti-abortion law, said husband Agustin Perez. By the time they took action, it was too late.
(Dizzy sez: More disgusting and senseless death, thanks to religious conservatives and evangelicals.)
From The Independent:
- Now doctors say it’s good to be fat:
After years of anti-obesity public health advice, a major new study causes an outcry by concluding that the overweight live longerA startling new study by medical researchers in the United States has caused consternation among public health professionals by suggesting that, contrary to conventional wisdom, being overweight might actually be beneficial for health.
The study, published yesterday in the respected Journal of the American Medical Association, runs counter to almost all other advice to consumers by saying that carrying a little extra flab – though not too much – might help people to live longer.
Struggling dieters, used to being told that staying thin is the best prescription for longevity, are likely to be confused this morning if not heartily relieved. While being a bit overweight may indeed increase your chances of dying from diabetes and kidney disease – conditions that are often linked with one another – the same is not true for a host of other ailments including cancer and heart disease, the report suggests.
In fact, scanning the whole gamut of diseases that could curtail your life, being over weight is, on balance, a good thing. The bottom line, the scientists say, is that modestly overweight people demonstrate a lower death rate than their peers who are underweight, obese or – most surprisingly – normal weight.
(Dizzy sez: Consider this PHAT chick, “heartily relieved” that this study is being publicized. There is so much else to be worried about, in the world, today, it just seems silly that most of us spend so much time obsessing over our weight.)
From Signs Of The Times:
- House HHS Spending Bill Would Ban Mercury From Flu Vaccines:
House and Senate conferees on the Labor/HHS spending bill agreed last week to a compromise amendment by House Appropriations Committee Chair Dave Obey (D-WI) that would force HHS to phase out mercury-laced flu shots for children younger than 3. The measure would take effect for the 2010-2011 flu season. Rep. Dave Weldon (R-FL) had wanted the ban to go into effect by the 2009-2010 flu season but settled for an extra year after the Senate opposed any provision to address mercury in vaccines.The flu vaccine amendment gives HHS the discretion at the start of the flu season to determine vaccine accessibility and offer waivers for health care providers to distribute vaccines with thimerosal.
Thimerosal is used in childhood flu vaccines because it helps prevent contamination of multi-dose vials.
From The Economist:
- Ready to run the movie again?:
The betting is that the Clintons will follow the Bushes back into the White HouseTHE September 29th issue of the National Journal, an inside-the-Beltway magazine, contains a striking news item. Hillary Clinton has quietly signed a deal with the University of Illinois to house her presidential library. The university will put up $15m to help finance the construction and operation of the huge building on its Urbana-Champaign campus, close to where Hillary Rodham was born.
This was, of course, a joke—but it contains a serious point. The political establishment is betting heavily that Hillary Clinton will become America’s next president. And it has reason. Mrs Clinton is way out in front of the Democratic field. The latest Washington Post/ABC News poll puts her 33 points ahead of Barack Obama and 40 points ahead of John Edwards. She raised $22m in the last quarter—more than Mr Obama at $19m and much more than Mr Edwards at $7m. The once-mighty Republican Party is a shadow of its former self, divided not only about who should lead it but also about where it should go. Intrade, a pay-to-play prediction market, shows a 36% chance of the Republicans holding the White House alongside a 12% chance of them taking the House and a 7% chance they might take the Senate.
From The Wall Street Journal:
- Do You Commit Web Rage?:
Web rage is what happens when you combine unfamiliarity with the ability to easily communicate with someone. “That combination is relatively new,” Clay Shirky, an adjunct professor at NYU, tells the Business Technology Blog. “It leads to a pretty unfettered expression of the id.”It used to be difficult to reach the people who make us angry – a journalist who wrote something we disagreed with, a business person who made a decision we thought was wrong. But because of email and the Internet, it’s possible to get in touch with these people in a matter of minutes — and we can do it in a way that doesn’t require human-to-human interaction. It’s a setup that encourages vitriol, Shirky tells us, largely because it frees people from the societal bonds that keep us civil.
(Dizzy sez: A rule of thumb I like to practice is if I wouldn’t have the guts to say something to an individual or even an organization face-to-face, then it’s inexcusable to send my “thoughts” in an email or online post, especially if it’s hateful or vitriolic. There are plenty of ways to get your anger or rage across without posting profanity or threats. Although, I’ll admit that sometimes it’s quite tempting to let loose on some idiot because I think they are a &%$#*! moron.)
This Monday looks like a great day to sit at home with a good book and hot cuppa, but I have to venture out despite my desire to cuddle up under a blanket and avoid the cold, cloudy day we are having here. I guess I’ll have to motivate myself with the fumes of the great (warm) weekend, that just passed, in order to get through, today.
In any case, I have things to do and people to see, so I’ll check in with you all, tomorrow. Take care of yourselves and make it a great day, despite the weather.
While I go take care of things, please be sure to visit the other sites you may find this Round-up posted: