- RECTANGULARIZING THE LIFE CURVE
- Strength, cardiac reserve,
reaction time, short-term memory, intelligence, social abilities and so forth can be
maintained and even improved with age. A case in point is the study that that we
talked about last month regarding the nonagenarians who significantly increased muscle
strength and ambulatory abilities through weight training.
- The message of hope here is
that we can do something about the aging process to forestall debility and senescence and
maintain active vital life. Some are going to do this, some are not. Within
the same age group, say those at approximately age 40, the time required for a healthy
individual to traverse 26 miles on foot can vary from as much as 2 hours and 30 minutes to
2 days or even more. The reaction time of active sports players at 50 and 70 were
shown to be very similar to those of sedentary individuals aged 20 to 30.
Intelligence can increase with age, memory can increase with age, social abilities
can increase with age. There is, however, a decline in our potential at any given
age of we were to try our best to develop any particular skill. However, it is
apparent that we can through effort by indeed vital and active throughout life. If
we work hard at self improvement well be a cut above the masses for sure.
- In any case, aging is not
something that we must accede to. At least in terms of the way that aging is
stereotypically viewed. We can take command and not feel
helpless in the process. We must make decisions and the consequences of those decisions
will accrue and multiply either to our betterment or detriment. We can talk about
each individual marker of aging such as cardiac reserve, dental disease, glucose
tolerance, memory and intelligence, endurance and strength, reaction time, skin aging,
blood pressure, pulmonary reserve and so forth and address each of these with specific
actions such as exercise, diet, cessation of smoking, training, practice, avoidance of
excesses such as extreme sun bathing and avoidance of toxins or certain dietary
components. To knowingly indulge in activities with a high statistical probability
of creating debility and shortening life is similar to taking an overdose of sleeping
pills. The irrationality of it is even worse however since the disease that one
potentially subjects him or herself to is far more traumatic and painful. The
overdose of sleeping pills is actually the more sound choice. Nevertheless people
continue on in health robbing behaviors seemingly oblivious to the tremendous price they
and their loved ones will one day pay.
- There are a variety of specific
methods to help increase capabilities in various areas such as increasing the immune
system through the use of certain vitamins such as B6, E, and pantothenic acid, and
increasing mitochondrial respiratory abilities through vitamin C.it has in fact
beem shown in studies of seniors that as many as 2/3 of them receive less than minimal RDA
requirements for several micronutrients. Certainly keeping weight controlled id
likely to help in several areas. We have talked before about the NR40-243 mice which
almost doubled life span from 30 months to 54.6 months from simply eating a low calorie
diet. Much of this can be addressed by simply converting the diet to a more
vegetation-based, fresh, whole, raw food design.
- Sending the message to the body
and the mind that you are alive, well, and vital can do much to forestall the process.
If through exercise you are sending signals to the body to become better, the body
will respond. If through study and intellectual challenge you are sending signals to
the mind to become better, the body will respond. If through study and intellectual
challenge you are sending signals to the mind to become more alert and perceptive, the
mind will respond. As we have said before in the reviews, send the message to your
body and mind that you are a couch potato and simply waiting for the grim reaper and you
will become like a couch potato and the grim reaper will come shortly. Life is
highly adaptable. It is the reason for our existence, it is the key to our
maintaining youthful vigor.
- Lewis Thomas wrote of the
process of death, This is, in high metaphor, what happens when a healthy old
creature, old man or old mayfly, dies. There is no outside evil force, nor any
central flaw. The dying is built into the system so that it can occur at once, at
the and of a preclocked, genetically determined allotment of living. Centralization
ceases, the forces that used to hold cells together are disrupted, the cells lose
recognition of each other, chemical signaling between cells comes to an end, vessels
become plugged by thrombi and disrupt their walls, bacteria are allowed free access to
tissues normally forbidden, organelles inside cells begin to break apart; nothing holds
together; it is the bursting of billions of bubbles, all at once
what a way to go!
I like to think of this process as the quick end to a
vital, productive and happy life. A vigorous adulthood ended with termal collapse
can be seen as a celebration of life.
Public Citizen July/August 1990
Vitalty and Aging, Fries, James F., and
Crapo, Lawrence M., pg 153-7
- CREATURES IN PERIL
- The fate of the humpback and
many other large whales is looking much brighter now -- when the Save-The-Whales movement
began over 30,000 whales were killed annually; now estimates are as low as 300 killed
annually. This isnt perfect, of course, but it is better than it used to be, largely
due to the work of the International Whaling Commission and others like them. Not all
species, however, have been so fortunate. Still threatened with extinction or severe
depletion because of uncontrolled killing are dolphins, porpoises and small whales called
cetaceans. This is because up until now, the International Whaling Commission has only
acted to stop the killing of the ten species of large whales. Now, however, the London-
and Washington-based Environmental Investigation Agency has launched a campaign to obtain
international protection for all dolphins, porpoises, and small whales --including asking
the International Whaling Commission to assume responsibility for a total of 65 species
which presently have no international protection. This would be asking that group to look
after 75 species rather than 10, which would be a very weighty responsibility, especially
since many countries, including Japan, Norway, Denmark, Spain, Mexico and many Latin
American nations oppose controls over dolphin killings. In fact, investigators from the
Environmental Investigation Agency have a conservative estimate -- which they believe to
be a minimal figure -- of at least 500,000 highly intelligent small cetaceans being killed
each year. In Japan. investigators have witnessed two regional populations of Dall's
porpoises being hunted to virtual extinction with approximately 67% of the populations
wiped out just between the years l986 and 1988. There are almost 600 boats still
aggressively hunting these porpoises off Japan's north coast. The
porpoises, small whales and dolphins are being slaughtered not so much for food in some
cases, but even for sport hunting. Entire herds-of small whales are driven into bays and
slaughtered for "sport" in many island nations, with hunters -- tourists
--paying to have native residents assist them in the hunt. So, while you can pay to go
our coasts for the thrill of viewing the whales, in many places you can pay-to go
out and hunt the smaller whales, dolphins and porpoises.
- There is urgent need for
international protection of all of these 65 species of smaller cetaceans. In addition to
the threats we've discussed already, there are the drift-nets -- the floating invisible
walls of death -- which we've talked about before, and there is the very significant
incidental killing associated with the tuna industry The waters which used to be their
safe home are suddenly a terrifying place to have to fight for survival.
The Animal Welfare Institute Quarterly, Vol
39, No 2, Summer 1990
- POLLUTED HOMES
- A recent article in the Journal
of the American Medical Association, based on presentations at American Lung Association's
second annual Science Writers' Forum, reported that some of the unrecognized hazards we
are breathing in our own homes are more dangerous than the outside air even in the
country's most concentrated chemical manufacturing areas. Most exposure to a number of
known or suspected carcinogens actually comes primarily from personal activities rather
than from industrial sources. These would include everyday
activities such as smoking, showering, using room deodorizers, and storing and wearing
- Four commonly encountered known
carcinogens are benzene, chloroform, paradichlorobenzene, and tetrachloroethylene. Let's
begin with benzene, which is-recognized as a cause of leukemia in humans. Prior to these
studies, benzene was thought to mainly be a result of petroleum refining in
urban-industrial areas. However, EPA researchers have revealed that a person's indoor
exposure outstrips the contribution of outdoor pollution four to one. Primary sources of
benzene exposure are smoking -- both active and passive -- and driving, -pumping gasoline,
and breathing vapors entering homes from attached garages. The average smoker (pack-a-day)
takes in nearly 10 times the benzene per day of a nonsmoker, and benzene averages 50%
higher in the air of a smoker's home. Next is paradichlorobenzene which has been found to
cause cancer in animals. This is an important constituent of air deodorizers and
mothproofing products. Deodorizers are heavily used in schools, offices, hotels, and
public restrooms. Tetrachloroethylene, the solvent most commonly used in dry-cleaning
processes, is a known carcinogen in animals. Garments recently dry-cleaned are the major
source of personal exposure to tetrachlaroethylene, while other sources such as paints,
solvents and cleansers account for approximately 10% of total exposure. Finally,
chloroform, another animal carcinogen. is found in minute amounts in most chlorinated tap
water. Studies show that chloroform is released from hot water -- primarily from hot
showers, with half the chloroform released before the water hits the tub. It also is
released from hot dish water and laundry water. Colas and other carbonated drinks and even
milk also contain chloroform. and swimming pools are a major source.
- What to do? -Here are some of
the obvious things we-can do to lessen our exposure to these indoor pollutants, since many
of us do spend approximately 90% of our time indoors. It's good to feel that here are some
pollutants we can actually take immediate and direct action against in order to reduce our
exposure. Better ventilation is the first and most obvious step: -open windows wide in the
warm months, and even leaving some windows cracked in cold weather with some fresh air
entering the home always. Dry-cleaned clothing should be aired outside for several hours
to eliminate-20 to 30% of the tetrachlorethylene exposure, and of course room deodorants
can be eliminated as we can all survive without fake pine scents permeating our air.
Showers should be taken only with the bathroom fan on and/or
opening bathroom windows, and a major relief from indoor pollution would be designation of
your home as a non-smoking home. With common sense and an eye toward natural fresh air,
the indoor pollutants need not be as threatening as they may sound at first glance.
Journal of the American Medical Association. December
8, 1 9&9
- DECEPTION AND FRAUD
- I need a little audience
participation with this topic. I want to show you how incredibly smart I am.
First, I need you to get a piece of paper, pencil, and a calculator. Did you
do that for me? If you didn't, and I see those of you out there who didn't, who
think you are just going to sit and listen to this and not have to do any work. But you
can't do that, you've got to go get -a pen, paper, and a calculator, do that right now and
I'll wait for you. Turn off the cassette, and I'll -wait until you get back.
- Good, everybodys being
good and everybody's ready. I want you to pick any three digit number and write it down on
the paper. This number cannot be a mirror image of itself, in other words it cannot be
like 242or 828 or the like. Reverse the number and subtract the smaller number from
the larger number. For example if you picked the number 324 the reverse number would be
423 and you would subtract the 324 from the 423.
- The answer must now be three
digits. If it is not, say it is 88, put a zero in front of it so that it is three
digits. After youve done that then reverse that number and add it back to the
result of the previous subtraction. In other words, if the answer to your
subtraction was 123 you would reverse the number to make 321 and add it to the 123 and
come up with an answer. Turn off the recorder until you are sure your numbers are correct,
Ill wait for you.
- The answer is and you will know
who I am talking to when I tell you that the answer is 1089. Pretty smart huh?
- The next one is a little more
complicated. I want you to take some change out of your pocket and make sure that it
amounts to only two digits and write the number down on your paper. If you don't
have any change go get it and come back and write down the two digit amount. Turn
off the recorder I will wait until you get back.
- Ok I see everyone's done that.
Take the two digit number which represents the change that was in your pocket and double
it. And as you do this I want you to be very careful to do it exactly as I tell you to do
it and make sure there are no mistakes. That is the reason for the calculator.
If you need some extra time just turn off the recorder I'll wait until you get back
- Ok now that youve doubled
it add 5 to it. Multiply the result of that by 50. After you get the result by
multiplying times 50, add 1,526 to it. After youve done that I want you to add
America's age to that number. America's age as of 1990 would be 214 years. Then I
want you to take this result and subtract the year of your birth from it. If you
were born in 1950 or 1960 you would subtract 1950 or 1960. If you have done this
very carefully exactly as I described you will find that the result even though I did not
see you write down the year of your birth nor did I see how much change you had in your
pocket represents the amount of change in the first two numbers and the second two numbers
represents your age.
- Ive got one more for you
in case you remain unconvinced that I'm real smart. For this one you might like to
look at the back of the summary sheet so you can follow the algebraic logic that one
equals zero. We begin with the equation that X equals 0 we then multiply each side
of the equation by X - 1. This is fair since this is what we were all taught in
algebra class. You can do something to both sides of the equation as long as it is
the same thing. Then since X - 1 x 0 is still zero we end up with the equation X(X
1) = 0. We then divide both sides by X which results in the equation X - 1 = 0 since the Xs
on top and below the fraction on the left cancel each other and zero divided by X is still
- Now if we add plus one to each
side of the equation, the equation ends up being X equals 1. But remember at the
beginning we said X equals 0, therefore, things equal to the same thing are equal to each
other and 0 equals 1.
- If any one has any questions
about how I got so smart and was able to do these smart things drop me a line and I'll
explain -it to you.
- My point here is that certainty
and truth are difficult commodities. That which may seem true, which may seem
absolutely compelling can never-the-less be absolutely false. Deception and
fraud abound. It has likely been there since life began. Animals do it to one
another to eat each other. We do it to one another to eat as well.
- Since I first discussed
scientific fraud a couple of years ago, the literature has been filled with interesting
accounts. It is a very real problem even in carefully controlled scientific
investigation even when the results of the investigation are carefully scrutinized by peer
review. Let me give you some examples.
- Sixty of 137 articles published
by a physician were questionable as to their authenticity. The American Medical
Association was found guilty of trying to discredit chiropractic medicine through
- One reporter said of one
scientific investigator that his volume in writings and research were basically products
of imagination and a thirst for fame and hefty research grants.
- Remember the Tasaday stoneage
hoax that was reported in Science magazine we talked about. Debate is still
continuing in the literature. Now the claim is that the hoax is in fact a hoax.
- Error is often excepted if it
is presented by the right person in the right matter and conforms to present idea
- In Anthropology we can talk
about several forgeries and hoaxes attempting to show the link between humans and primates
such as the Piltdown forgery.
- Morton's 100 skulls used to
show race distinction were widely excepted.
- Those who lie but the theories
they support remain true, their sins are often overlooked, but those who lie and the
theories they support turn out to be false, are incriminated.
- Cholestyramine causes a small
decrease in blood cholesterol levels but this is considered significant whereas deaths
that resulted from cholestyramine administration are not consider significant.
- It is little wonder that fraud
abounds when you consider that 90%-of all scientist who have ever lived are alive today.
They compete for position in over 8,000 medical journals. In 1958 when Crick won the
Nobel Prize for his work on DNA, he had published 18 papers. Now it is believed that
50-100 papers would be necessary to win a Nobel Prize.
- In one study 16 out of 50
physicians submitted false data to sponsoring companies on clinical trials.
- Ninety-two percent of
-scientist know of cheating and 42% said in a survey that they would lie if asked to by
- Gould said, "Unconscious
or dimly perceived finagling is probably endemic in science since scientists are human
beings rooted in cultural context not automatons driven toward external truths."
- Also consider that every major
fraud that catches the public eye reflects 100,000 or more others which are never
- The point here is that we live
in an imperfect world. Even in science a sphere of human activity idealistically
exempt from error and deception, it abounds. This is not to say that much is not
being done to clean things up and to police the reporting of important data that can
affect lives. But it will never be policed thoroughly and fraud will continue.
- Where does this leave us.
If you are relying on the latest journal to discover what is necessary to achieve
health and happiness you will likely be disappointed. There is a good chance that
the data so wonderfully controlled and calculated is in error. There is little that
I have reported to you in the monthly review as I tape this material from journals that is
not subsequently debated in issues of the same journals or other journals.
- Even the finest science money
can buy that required for a new drug usually fails us. After millions of
dollars of proof and assurances of safety, babies are born with deformities, hearts
enlarge, kidneys fail, cancer forms in the final what turns out to be the test
- There is constant debate about
the reliability of experimental models in the literature with no final resolution ever
coming forward. Most individuals faced with more reading than they can ever possibly
accomplish simply pick out that information that fits within their world view, believe it
and apply it.
- What I have tried to suggest in
the Reviews is the need to have a prejudice before we go to the data. That prejudice
is one which argues we are most likely to achieve health by remaining within our natural
context. By using prejudice as a filter for data we are able to sort through
information and keep that which fits and reject that which does not. The current
crisis in the Middle East is a prime example of the inability of
government to act responsibly without a clear directive. One government
official recently argued that the crisis should remind America that it needs to do more
exploration for oil, particularly in the Alaskan wilderness. His argument was he
could not understand how we could care more about caribou breeding in the Tundra
than we do about people filling our oil needs.
- A more appropriate conclusion
in keeping with our earth sensitive world view is that we develop alternate
clean energy sources which would not only stop dependence on imported energy but help
restore the planets balances. Or we could simply reduce our animal product glut
probably the greatest squandering of energy resources which would also make
us totally dependant on imports. Like a scientist cheating to get a grant for his
short term enjoyment, policy makers worry about reelection and cuddling vested economic
interests who support them and profit from things as they are.
- Without a rational, responsible
long-term view we are simply thrown here and there by ever-changing information. We
achieve no true direction and risk being mislead harming ourselves, our family, our
society, and the world as a result.
- So this topic is an appeal not
to be scientific but to be prejudiced. For you who have been listening along with us
you will understand, however, that the two are not irreconcilable.
- BODY RANCIDITY
- We normally think of rancidity
as it relates to food products. However, rancidity can occur any place there are
unsaturated fatty acids, including within the body itself.
- An interesting case report out
of the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine showed that rancidity
cannot only occur within a body but that it can be affected by the quality of nutrient
intake. Although this study involved a herd of Holstein dairy cows, what is
described here has like application for human health and nutrition.
- The problem with the herb began
when the milk produced was found to have an offensive flavor and aroma. It was
discovered that this problem was related to rancidity. Hydrolytic rancidity in milk
occurs when lipoprotein lipase breaks down lipoprotein carriers releasing free fatty
acids. As we have talked about before, once unsaturated fatty acids are freed from
their glycerol triconfiguration, they more readily undergo peroxidation leading to a
variety of rancid end products that give the off flavors and aromas.
- Although the herd seemed to be
generally in good health and most of the udders were free of clinical mastitis and the
somatic cell count within the milk was below that indicating significant infection, the
rancid milk problem continued to plague this farm. More careful
evaluation of the ration showed that there was a deficiency in energy and protein for all
cows producing more than 60 pounds of milk per day. Dietary phosphorus
concentrations were low, but the calcium was excessively high. Upon adjusting the
ration to fix these problems, the problem disappeared.
- The likely mechanism has to do
with some of the details we have discussed in previous sections on lipid biochemistry.
Milk is produced within a cell surrounded by a membrane called the milk fat globule
membrane. This membrane is not unlike other cellular membranes in that composition
of this membrane changes, then it is going to become more fragile and more subject to
rupture. If you remember, membranes are comprised of primarily phospholipids and the
phosphate to form these lipids comes from a common phosphate pool in the body. If a
cow is deficient in phosphorus, which this herd was, then indeed phospholipid synthesis
may be interrupted. Additionally, if the diet is deficient in energy from fat
sources, the rhe lipid make-up of these membranes can also be compromised. Protein
provides the substrate for the synthesis of not only enzymes, but various apoproteins
which are associated with lipoprotein carriers. These apoproteins include A, E, C2,
B-48, and perhaps a host of others as we have discussed in previous sections.
Thus, improperly made fat globule membranes from inadequate food sources to
create phospholipids, unsaturated fatty acids, and proteins can jeopardize the strength
and integrity of these membranes thus making them much more susceptible to degradation and
enzymatic hydrolysis and then subsequent lipoperoxidation.
- It is interesting that once the
ration was changed in this herd, not only did the rancidity problem decrease, but milk
production itself increased as well as the milk fat percentage.
- The physicalogic rancidity that
occurred in this herd is a warning to each of us. The addage that we are what
we eat applies. If our diet is not appropriate, then we cannot expect that the
structure that is being built from that diet is going to be healthy. Increasing
evidence showing the links between free radical damage and a variety of pathologies,
further helps us to understand that with improperly built membranes, we
increase the opportunity for peroxidation and free radical damage within the body.
- In modern dairy farms, cattle
are maintained on rations that are concocted by the farmer. Cattle are often
not allowed free access to their natural food stuffs, bur are rather loaded with
ingredients designed to increase yield. Often in attempting to maximize yield,
health falls through the cracks, much like when human food processors attempt to maximize
organoleptic properties, health falls through the cracks as well.
- This is an interesting study,
demonstrating yet another link between health and what we consume. One must wonder
how much milk is produced that has lower levels of rancidity which are not detected and is
subsequently consumed by humans, particularly children, to then be incorporated into
tissue to slowly work its free radical pathological consequences over time.
Linda D., VMD, Investigating the Cause of Chronic Milk Rancidity in a Dairy Herd,
Veterinary Medicine, August 1990, pp. 901-5.
- HEALTH CARE INSURANCE
- Here are a few true stories
which sum up. in very human terms. what has gone awry with our health care system: In
Detroit, an 18-year old young man who suffered from diabetes died after a hospital turned
him away, refusing to treat him because he had no health insurance. A 35 year old
man suffering from leukemia in San Fransisco had to have his legs amputated because
he delayed treatment due to a lack of health insurance; his doctors say the loss of his
legs was avoidable If only he had been treated. Whether it is or is not critical to our
point here, this type of story goes on and on -- real lives into which tragedy has crept
because of a lack of health insurance. A country full of hospitals and doctors, and people
like you and me turned away to suffer and die because they do not hold the right policy or
have mega-thousands of dollars in assets.
- Before we get into the whys and
wherefores of the healthcare crisis, let me just reflect a bit on what this says about us
as a nation of compassionate individuals. This is a moral scandal which should raise a
real hue and cry from any of us who have a conscience -- but when the thousands of people
are lumped together and called "The Uninsured" - just as with the thousands who
are called "The Homeless" -- it is easier to think of them in a collective
fashion rather than as feeling individuals. This somehow neuters them. if defuses the
point of it all when it is a huge group. This enables us to read about problems like this
in newspapers and periodicals, yet finish our morning breakfast and continue on with our
day with barely a backward thought. Much different than if one of these individuals was to
show up on our doorstep and we were suddenly confronted directly with a valuable person
who needed our help. So we fortunate ones continue to cluck our tongues at the evening
news and do little. even though we most likely would care very deeply if we ever met and
got to know one of these people as individuals.
- Here are some astonishing
facts: more than half of America's uninsured hold jobs and could be considered middle
class people. They're just waiting for a health crisis to come along and wipe out
everything theyve ever saved, and then some. Americans spent more than $600 billion
on health care in 1989, which averages to more than $2,000
per individual. This is 50 percent more than our country allocated for education of
its citizens last year; this amounts to 12 percent of the gross national product.
Comparatively, Canada spends 8.6 percent of its GNP -- and Japan 6.8 percent, and Britain
6.1 percent - these are countries which provide health care to their citizens. In fact,
the U.S. and South Africa are the only two industrialized countries in the world which do
not provide universal access to health care for their citizens. Despite all of our money
spent, the United States ranks an unbelievably low 20th out of 21
western nations for keeping our children alive in their first year of life.
- Taking a look at the problem
from a different angle, if government doesn't pick up the tab here in the U.S., who
should? Many workers are hoping. expecting, and even demanding that someone else -
specifically their employer -- will pay for their health insurance. So much so now that it
has become a major labor negotiation point. Unions are striking and businesses in turn are
trying to drop employees or drastically scale back on health insurance benefits in an
effort to survive financially. This has become such an issue between worker and employer
that while 18 percent of all labor union strikes focused on health care as the prime
bargaining issue in 1986, 78 percent of all strikes revolved around it in 1989. Spiraling
premium rates have created a monster for businesses; feeling the financial pinch of rising
costs, businesses are trying to pass the burden back onto employees somewhat so that
workers are paying an average now of 19 percent more each year in co-payments and
deductibles, even though their wages have not risen comparably.
- What shall we blame this all
on? There are many theories. but the primary ones include the excess money spent on health
care which goes wasted -- some say as much as 20 - 25%-- on excessive paperwork,
duplicative services, unnecessary procedures, operations, drugs, and testing and often
physicians fees. The average doctor's salary has increased almost twice as fast as all
other U.S. workers in the past decade. according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
- But what can be done? A
congressional committee chaired by Senator Jay Rockefeller of West Virginia, called the
Pepper Commission after the late Representative Claude Pepper, has
mulled over this problem and the many options for over two years. They released in March
of this year a set of guidelines aimed at expanding long term care to the disabled and
providing basic medical care for most Americans. The so-called Pepper plan builds on the
existing system and institutions by using a mixture of expanded employer-paid and
government-subsidized insurance. However, the price tag for the government would be
approximately $66 billion to get the plan going, so most are condemning this plan as
- Here are some of the details of
the Pepper proposal: The current situation is that elderly people must be completely
impoverished, stripped of all their assets, before the federal aid for nursing home care
kicks in. Under the Pepper plan, the government would pay for the first three months of
nursing home-type care, and then additional coverage would be provided to individuals with
assets of $30,000 or less or couples with $60,000 or less. All businesses with over 100
employees would be required to provide private health insurance or contribute to a public
plan of healthcare, and businesses with less than 100 employees would be encouraged, but
not required to provide expanded health care coverage. Small and new businesses would
receive tax credits as incentives to provide for their employees' health. Not
surprisingly, however, the National Federation of Independent Businesses, when surveying
its 5,000 members, found that nearly two-thirds 64% - of their respondents believe
that employers do not have a responsibility to provide health coverage. Chrysler
Corporation estimates that each employee costs about $5,300 per year in health care.
General Electric is going to have to find $1 billion in extra revenues in 1990 to take
care of just the increases in their health care costs for employees.
- Not surprisingly. the American
Medical Association has fought very bitterly to keep any major shake ups from happening in
the health care system. This raises a red-flag. Why are doctors the only ones happy
with the status quo? They say that a system any more radical than the Pepper plan -- for
example one like a government-paid one like Canadas -- would cause Americans to wait
too long and make too many compromises for their health care. Many AMA members are
suspected of being somewhat in favor of the Pepper plan only because it wont change
their fee structure or rock their boat too much, and if they don't support some reform
they may appear to be too self-serving. Therefore. many AMA members favor the Pepper plan
or modification of it. perhaps because it is a small and safe change for them and they
fear a more radical change may come if some minor reforms are not made now. In Canada,
which 20 years ago adopted 'cradle to grave' coverage for Canadian citizens, patients
simply present their national health care card and any bills are paid by the provincial
government. The provinces are primarily funded for this out of general tax revenues,
supplemented by sales taxes, taxes on employers, or grants from the federal government.
Although the AMA criticizes the Canadian plan and claims the Canadians pay for the
national health care in limitations, cutbacks, and delays in service and treatment, the
non-profit U.S. group called Physicians for a National Health Program claims that only
elective surgeries, such as cataract operations, may have a one-month delay, and that
there is no place in Canada where they experience the shortage of beds that they do in New
York City, for example. Ironically, except for in highly specialized fields, most Canadian
doctors make about the same amount of money as their American counterparts, and they still
bill on a "fee-for-service" basis.
- Any change would involve an
uncomfortable transitional period as we moved as a nation to the new system. For example,
no one has had a good answer yet as to what we could do with all the workers employed in
health insurance firms -- there are lots of them and they wouldn't be very happy to
suddenly collectively lose their jobs. And the continual argument over the funding of any
government-funded health care project may slow it to the point of failure as so many
special interest groups work to achieve change or no change, to their own advantages.
- In the meantime, 62-year old
widow Venita Gentner, living in upstate New York and still working full-time to support
herself, has no health insurance coverage in spite of being a diabetic with high blood
pressure. She does visit a doctor, but very sparingly. having found one who will accept
$10 per month as payment. However, as she says, "If I do get real sick, I won't be at
the hospital. Since I don't have insurance, that's the last place I'll be. I'll have to
- The answer in part will come
from system reform. But a more fundamental change in our view toward health care is
essential to not only decrease the bills, but decrease the illness. Thats out
strategy in the Review, to educate that many illnesses can be prevented and reversed with
simple eating and lifestyle changes. If you dont get sick, the cost of medical care
is a non issue.
- ADJUST THE THERMOSTAT
- Around the home, consider that
as much energy leaks through American windows every year as flows through the Alaskan
pipeline. So, even though we talked about leaving some windows open or at least cracked
year around so that indoor pollutants such as dry-cleaning solvents and cigarette smoke
are aired, it is just as important to moderate the escape of heat and the entry of cold
air. One good idea would be to let the air in through a cracked window only in the
area of the home In which you will be spending lots of time -- the family room or bedroom
As you move through the house, close windows as you leave an area and crack windows where
you're next spending time. Unused rooms can be sealed off tightly and not even heated.
Recommendations for home room temperatures are 65 degrees in the winter -- wear a
sweater and dial lower on the thermostat if you can -- and 60 degrees or even lower at
night as you sleep; 78 degrees for your air conditioner in the summer -- used only on the
very hottest days, with fans and open windows used on moderately hot days. A little
"discomfort" now will seem like nothing compared to what lies ahead for us all
if we continue in an energy glut.
- Plant Trees
- Keeping your house itself
cooled down, by planting as few as three shade trees around your house, can block incoming
sunlight by as much as 70% and reduce air-conditioning costs by 10 to 50%. Secondly,
keeping your air conditioning unit cool, by planting one or two shade trees around your
outdoor air-conditioning units to shade them can increase their operating efficiency by
- Turn Lights Off
- Its not that a 100-waft
bulb burned 12 hours a day for a year will cost you approximately $40 that year the
real issue is that it will take an astonishing 394 pounds of coal to light that bulb, and
burning that coal to produce the energy to light that bulb creates about 936 pounds of
carbon dioxide and 7.8 pounds of sulfur dioxide. Also, don't be a watchdog just around
your own home where you pay the bills How about at your office? Could you turn on half the
lights in your office? Go without lights on a bright. sunny day? In offices and other
institutional buildings, we tend to go in and turn lights on automatically, just like
starting up the Xerox machine and other equipment. We're not even thinking. In many
areas of many office buildings, lighting is not necessary or could be reduced.
Encourage your child to check at school. Most classrooms have long rows of windows.
Does the teacher encourage them to use as few lights as possible? Are the lights left
burning in large areas such as the cafeteria when lunch is not in progress. or the
gymnasium when no children are at play? All these suggestions can help cool the globe and
- Buying Furniture or Pets
- In case you're in the market to
buy new tables or other furniture, here is the latest on woods that are "out".
We're talking environmentally here, not fashion. Woods to avoid because they're tropical
hardwoods brought to America by the slash and burn logging going on in the rainforests
include: teak, mahogany, rosewood, ebony, and iroko. Pets to avoid, because they're
endangered like the rainforests, include macaws, cockatoos, monkeys, marmosets, pythons,
boa constrictors, iguanas, tortoises, jaguars, ocelots and margays. Go to your local
animal shelter or dog pound and adopt someone who might otherwise suffer in an animal lab
or will be destroyed.
Ways To Save The Planet
- RECIPE OF THE MONTH
- The following recipe is
borrowed from the Ann Wigmore Foundation. One of her books will be included in the
Wysong Library under the section of Vegetarian Based Diets. Her emphasis on live
food eating, particularly through the use of fresh sprouts.
- She calls this a Complete Meal
Energy Soup. First blend one peeled apple, pr use watermelon when in season
including as much of the rind as possible, with one cup of pure water or Rejuvelac,
Rejuvelac is the soak water from sprouting soft wheat seeds. I will explain to you
the preparation of Rejuvalec in another issue, for now try making the soup with simply
pure water if you dont know how to make rejuvelac. Also add a little kelp,
dulce, or other seaweed and then lightly blend in one cup or more of sprouts and other
greens if desired. Dont add to much seaweed material unless you want the soup
to taste fishy. After this is blended, add one half of an avocado and continue to
blend until the soup is smooth. Serve cold, and dont cook it.
- This creates a delicious meal
in itself that is derived from whole fresh live foods with all vitamins, minerals, and
associated nutrients intact and ready to turn you into a healthy dynamo. You can
experiment with the soup in various ways to create different tastes by adding different
sorts of vegetables and fruits. You will find eating something like this, knowing
that it is made up of entirely whole natural fresh live foods, is a source of not
only biological but psychological invigoration.
- HEALTH THROUGH ECONOMICS
- There is nothing inherently
dirty about business or the exchange of money, but its ethos has come to be of a different
kind and character than that which we associate with more altruistic activities such
as health care, politics, social work, environmental restoration, and so forth.
Although many of us perhaps dislike the constant day to day pressure we feel from
having to eke out a living and secure our future, it is nevertheless an intricate part of
American Life, like it or not. A free-market economy has the potential for stimulating
creativity, but also of course graft. If you are doing work you enjoy, and you feel
is worthwhile, then income derived from it can be more a measure of your success in
achieving worthwhile goals than as a means to become fat and pampered.
- The focused pursuit of money,
however, can result in a loss of meaningful life direction. On the other hand,
pursuit of money could result in the capability to accomplish great good with that money.
It all depends upon how you look at it.
- Our economic system permeates
essentially every activity in our society. Its intrusion into the social order, into
politics and science, into the health care professions results in blurring these
disciplines' primary purposes, which is to do good and to better society. But once
profit is made, and institutions build power based on success, such institutions can prove
to be formidable road blocks to further progressive change. In other words, as long
as automobile manufacturers find it profitable to wastefully change models every year and
to continue to produce fossil fuel based vehicles, they will do so and exert great effort
against anyone who desires to succeed contrary to this.
- When I began my undergraduate
work and took courses such as political science, social science, humanities and economics,
I can remember being delighted that obvious answers to most of our problems exist.
At the same time I was perplexed by a continuing lack of application of these
simple answers. It was not until after graduation and years of experience in our
society, that I came to understand, that things are often as they are because it is what
turns money. Things that turn money may have little relation to whether an action is
right or wrong, beneficial or not. They have a way of being justified solely by the way
they male dollars change hands.
- We've touched on this many
times in the Review, but in this topic I wanted to talk about the necessity, from a health
standpoint, of being financially secure. If you are without work, or if you have
sporadic work, or if your future is not well defined, if you are in a position where a
crisis could devastate you financially, if you are exhausted by long hours and work that
nets little more pay then to allow day to day survival, then health both physically and
psychologically could potentially be in jeopardy. We are a country of potential freedom
not absolute freedom. The ability to enjoy full freedom can only come once economic
security is obtained. With this in mind and with the understanding that financial
resources can indeed be used to exert great good I want to mention periodically in the
Reviews some specific leads which may help you in achieving financial security.
I am by no means an expert in this area and in fact find
any time that I must spend working on taxes or other economic necessities somewhat of a
pain. But I have come to realize that money is like a sixth sense without which you
could not make use of the other five as Somerset Maugham once said.
- Here's the first tip. If
you are like most of us who deposit money in local banks to earn whatever interest they
offer it is likely that much money is being lost. It is said that even if you were
going to earn 7 or 8 percent on saved money that you are losing when it is considered that
this interest is taxed and this combined with the rate of inflation will exceed the 8% you
are earning. Therefore, it become imperative to stay with
the game that your extra money be allowed to earn more respectable rates. An
alternate savings account which is believed to be very secure is a money market fund.
One of the top yielding funds is the Dryfuss money market fund. We told one
subscriber about this who had $50,000 in retirement income in a CD in a bank earning 7.2%.
They began earning 9% in this money market fund. The spread between the two will
result in almost $900 in extra earnings for this year alone. Of course this fund's
interest changes just as interest rates in a bank change. It also should be noted
that money markets are believed to be highly secure with only one defaulting in the last
20 years and that was Manville Corporation as a result of asbestos problems. Even in
this case they reimbursed investors out of their own pocket. In contrast, savings
and loans and banks do indeed fail. Although funds in a bank are insured for
$100,000 many have lost money and have waited extraordinarily long periods of time to ever
recoup money from a failed banking institution. This is something you might want to
investigate. Their toll free number is 1-800-645-6561.
- We wont have room this
month but next month I am going to tell you about a way that your adult children can with
a little help from you retire at the age of 65 using an IRA with $1 .65 million dollars
without ever having to contribute any of their own money to it.
- Its an ingenious way to help
secure your childs future at an age when theyre usually barely able to make
ends meet, let alone think about the future.