Diabetes Blindness hope?

Speaking of Diabetes, this article reports an interesting-sounding theory about how people with diabetes sometimes lose vision, how this might be stopped, maybe prevented, maybe even reversed?

Maybe I should get my blood sugar checked, as my GP recommended a few years ago(!), ’cause needles in the eyes sure don’t sound pleasant!  I’m really weird about my eyes as it is, and always have been.

I wonder if this treatment could even be delivered orally?  After all, some meds go just where they’re needed on the basis of distribution throughout the blood, and so get concentrated somewhere because there’s lots of extra blood where needed, eg, anti-inflammatories.  One would have to work on the underlying cause(s) of the retinopathy too, I guess, including the diabetes….  Hmm….

I’m definitely not a doctor.

What about eyepatches delivering the treatment through the skin, one at a time even if necessary, to localize the effect more, versus body-wide via a pill?

But if they slow/stop new vessel formation, they don’t solve the “leakyness” problem….  I guess like that last quote said, this tackles just one aspect of the diabetic retinopathy problem.

Reproductive Rights; Choice; Your body

A woman’s “Reproductive Rights” have been successfully exercised when she has reproduced.  And that’s what a zygote, a fertilized ovum, an embryo, a fetus, an unborn baby, is, a little ‘reproduction’ of her and her/his father.

“Choice” is the “choice” to do something that frequently causes babies.  I deplore rape, incest, molestation, and ill-advised “consent,” and thank God they don’t happen more often; most sex is by “choice” of one kind or another … a couple days before each conception.  You too, who “don’t want to be made a father against your will”: When there’s a baby in there, you already are, usually in accordance with your “choice” to also do something that frequently causes babies.

“The choice to continue the pregnancy”?  Killing your child in your body, who is totally dependent on you like at no other time in her/his life?  If you can’t bear to keep her, and your family, neighbors, friends can’t help, let some other family craving a child adopt him, or something.  In the overwhelming majority of cases in this country pregnancy and childbirth are a marginal risk to you, if any.  But think of the baby.

And mother, “your body” ends where your baby’s umbilical cord begins … and sooner if s/he hasn’t made it there yet from your Fallopian tubes.

But by no means should a mother, a father, a couple, a family be left alone by their neighbors, society, in their time of need or trial!

“Pre-Embryos”?

Maybe I’m out-of-touch, but I’ve just noticed this neologism on the Web, being used for what are more commonly called “frozen embryos” or “pre-implanted embryos,” in the context of in vitro fertilization.  Are the users of the new term trying to persuade us these aren’t actually embryos anymore?

I thought “pre-embryos” were sperm and ova!  Even actual science still calls “fertilized ova” or “zygotes” embryos, and their science embryology.

Maybe I’m out-of-touch again, but I’m starting to seriously wonder about the reliability of these people, some of them alleged scientists!  First there was the Korean guy who deliberately falsified research data, then the Boston guy with the for-profit corporation and misleading news releases and statements; now this.

And some people complain about religion?!!!

I’m not certain an o/Orthodox approach to these things needs to rely on scientists anyway.  Science is always changing, and is supposed to be always uncertain, “open-minded.”  But the ‘temptation’ to see if maybe they’ve got something ‘this time’ is hard to resist.  ‘Benefit of the doubt,’ you know….

But who “was always the Father of Lies”?!?!?!

Digital TV: Worth it?

It doesn’t work in bad weather or over as great distances as analog.  Considering that very bad weather is one time you really need your local TV stations, this really wasn’t well-thought-out.  We might want to reconsider the thinning-out of local (and real) news on the radio!!!

Golden Compass, Harry Potter, etc.

How come material that’s been acceptable kiddie (and adult) entertainment for thousands of years in all cultures including “Christian” ones, all of a sudden is objectionable?  Nobody thinks that stuff is real, after all.  And I know a thing or two about real Paganism, and it’s nothing like that!

Weather Hype

Commercial media (and others who serve them) over-hype actual and even potential forecasts of bad weather because often that lets them activate higher-cost advertising – kind of like the sensationalistic screamer headlines in tabloids, designed to attract more ‘eyeballs’ – often called things like “Operation Snowflake” and “Stormcenter.”  Commercial media have “Snowflake [etc.] sponsors” lined-up in advance each year or bad-weather season.  I’m not sure if they just dump the cheaper ads, or keep both.  But the broadcaster has complete control over when it decides to “declare the Stormcenter open,” and the money rolls in automatically.

I suppose if there were super-excessive abuse by the broadcaster, sponsors might rebel, but I haven’t noticed any change after a number of high-profile examples in recent years, have you?  It may be like playing the one-armed bandit: ‘one of these times’ they’ve gotta hit the jackpot!

Now, maybe not all weather gaffes are greedy.  Also, there’s a natural tendency in U.S. journalism, especially broadcast (TV and radio), to focus on threats and bad news and fear, as Michael Moore pointed out in Bowling for Columbine.  As the saying goes, it does focus a viewer’s attention to know that he is to be hanged in a fortnight – or maybe stuck in a snowdrift then.  Plus, who wouldn’t like to be able to predict news, especially news that affects everyone; when anywhere close to accurate, that’s the ultimate in public service, right?  But compare the 1980s to today, and it’s clear to me the weather hype is exponentially greater.

So one must wonder….

(Meanwhile we could actually use more attention on Global Warming – that’s REAL bad news!)

More on Norman Mailer’s “Left-Conservative”

I didn’t know he’d died.  God be good to him.

Anyway, this Google seems to hold some promise!  Looks like one will have to poke around a bit, if one is not familiar with him, like me.

Another take on Canada’s ‘conservative progressiveness’

from a Boston Globe writer who seems to just about ‘get it’!

I would just add a comment on this paragraph:

The differences between the two countries are captured in their founding documents. As Canadian textbooks often note, Canadian politicians deliberately avoided the eloquence found in the Declaration of Independence, which ringingly celebrates ”life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” Instead, Canada’s much more prosaic bedrock document, the British North America Act of 1867, promises ”peace, order, and good government.”

I wouldn’t call “peace, order, and good government” prosaic, or even excessively deliberately anti-demagogic vis a vis the Declaration of Independence.  Isn’t “POGG” the proper basis for “LLPH”???  Isn’t LLPH “a house built on sand” without POGG?  Couldn’t we use some POGG in America today, after all these years of so much of the opposite?!!!  As the writer says at the end, Canada’s progressive Classical Conservatism is “a conservative worldview – albeit a type of sober-minded conservatism that has few parallels in an ever more radically right-wing America” (emphasis mine).  And of course, most Americans have had to keep struggling for LLPH even since 1776: most Catholics, women, Blacks, non-landowners, the poor, workers, the disabled and elderly, the sick, Classical Conservatives, radicals, cities, immigrants, pacifists, progressives, gay people, Indigenous people/s….

Stephen Harper is no Tory

This piece says a little more about what this blog is about.

U.S. liberals’ progressive conservatism(!)

To hear “conservative” politicians and “pundits,” we try to get government to help the needy, sick, and disabled, as a way of buying their votes, that is, bribing them.  Same with labor and workplace rules for workers and unions … public education for kids(?) and the teachers’ unions … a little more social justice, for city people’s, women’s, people of color’s, immigrants’, and gay people’s votes … reduced censorship and looser broadcast content guidelines for, well, pornographers’ and bohemians’ and atheists’ votes, I guess … Evolution and equality and compassion in said public schools, for, I dunno, Unitarians’, “social engineers’,” and wimps’ votes? … environmentalism for the treehuggers’, EarthFirsters’, and eco-terrorists’ votes … “well-regulated” firearms control for the “jack-booted thug” vote I guess? … and peace, for the huge Muslim vote in this country!

They talk as if we’ve all devoured the Communist Manifesto and Das Kapital, the Quran, Gustavo Gutierrez and Chairman Mao and Madalyn Murray O’Hair, all ‘baddies’ like that.  We’re all free-loving, swinging, acid-dropping, rock-and-roll-listening(!), non-breeding stereotypes from the ’60s – just like they sound!

With my own life’s study and observation, I think the large number of native-born Americans – I don’t have alot of in-depth exposure to Americans born elsewhere at this time – being American (small-R) republicans, *are* somewhat ‘ideological,’ very much attached to the words of this country’s individual liberties, to the vote (preferably free and clean and counted correctly – How hard is that?!), to the Constitution of 1787 as amended and generally as interpreted, and to our accustomed, historical/evolved form of Rationalized Capitalism.  I also think the large number of them, being what might be called center-left in social ethics(!), or such awful terms like ‘caring’ or ‘sensitive’ or ‘polite,’ also believe this status quo isn’t perfect yet, has generally been getting better through the labor of alot of people in our society over the years, and can always be tweaked and improved: “Our best days are yet to come.”  We care about the Common Good, generally for those worse-off than ourselves in this country and abroad, even those different from ourselves.  On a personal basis we are the most philanthropic in the world (though as I’ve said, that may be in part because morally we have to be, since per population or economy, our government is not; in any case, it’s not enough to meet the need and the Common Good).  We generally support fairness especially to those worse-off, even some extra help if they really need it and we can give it.  Our biggest problem is such a disconnect with our government that we always feel overtaxed, but when we’re correctly informed, we’re often even ready to adjust our stances in politics, economics, ecology, society, etc., not because we “flipflop,” but because we discover we didn’t know as much as we thought we did about this or that situation.  It’s a big country, after all, and an even bigger world!

Therefore, when our critics and (supposed) ‘betters’ accuse us of mere cynical angling for power for power’s sake, such charges are patently false.  We don’t wage “class war,” though some of us seek to *end* the one being waged against us!  And we certainly didn’t make up Global Warming because we thought it’d put us back in power, but we espouse doing what we can about it because we just don’t want the planet to FRY as much over the next couple thousand years!!!  I don’t want to engage in potentially false gainsaying, but in the era of Karl Rove, it seems our critics doth protest too much!

In fact, IOTM that the large number of native-born Americans display qualities of progressive conservatism or Red Toryism, of a kind not entirely unlike what I’m constantly discussing in this blog!  Obviously relatively few have studied the British, Canadian, and Australian constitutions and legal and political systems, or other comparative government, or consider themselves Monarchists at this time, or explicit critics so much of Classical Liberalism or Modernity, or, obviously, Orthodox Christians.  But this is only to be expected in an environment of over two centuries of school and media brainwashing.  But the large number of native-born Americans show signs of convinceability, if the truth, the facts, the history and the causes of things, can be gotten out to them, and they can be reminded to think carefully before they vote or lobby, and to remember that what unites us is far greater than whatever may be perceived as dividing us.  Their real ‘conservatism’ manifests itself as it is able, in a country where we exiled or suppressed our true Classical Conservatism, and where heartless, brainless, even unFaithful and traitorous actions masquerade under the name of “conservatism” today.  Actually, as I recently read someone else suggest, we are the ones, in the absence of any other relatively-viable alternative at this time, seeking to ‘conserve’ what good there may be from the republic as described above, while our critics and ‘betters’ defy the agreed Constitution, undermine its interpretation, neuter Congress and the States, and risk “World War 3” several times over, in the last few years alone.

Which is why I blog.

OTOH, our critics are the ones who show signs of blind faith in innovative, false, artificial, unrealistic, inhumane, lethal, unChristian, Classically Liberal and Modernist ideologies … of hypocrisy, cynical manipulation, divisiveness, and incivility … of sinister agenda on behalf of a minority of vested interests … of moral and ethical corruption … of military, foreign policy, fiscal, and intelligence-management malfeasance, misfeasance, and/or nonfeasance … of lost Sovereignty over our own and other countries’ created corporations … of “voodoo economics” which basically are the single biggest cause of most of our people’s real material problems for the whole last generation, such as increased hunger and homelessness, falling wages and health-care coverage and assistance to the needy, rampant profiteering and offshoring instead of the promised reinvestment of corporate and wealthy tax giveaways, etc.

We have a coup?

Rev. Huckabee Gay/AIDS flipflop

Mixed-Blood/Mixed-Race artists

I.e., Young Indigenous and European and/or African.

Currently a show in Phoenix, moving to New York next summer.  They question the ‘required Indianness content’ of artificial Indigenous-of-the-Americas art, identity, etc.  Looks fascinating.

(Damn, Great-great-great-great-Grandma shouldn’ta slept with Whitey!!! 😉 )

THIS JUST IN: GW: Canuck theocons to derail Bali?

Sounds really possible.

Are juries competent?

That is to say, trial juries.  Serious questions!  And “jury comprehension” seems to be a burgeoning field for research … and worry.

(NB: The author is a columnist, so she’s not being dispassionately objective.  Nevertheless….)

Diabetes slams non-whites

Excellent Toronto Star series exposes non-white’s hugely greater risk, possible reasons why, and what you might be able to do about it.

We’re driving ourselves to death

Global Warming: Heat already worldwide killer

According to the senior climatologist for Environment Canada, already and for many years, heat has been the most lethal weather phenomenon worldwide (though cold up there … for now….).  It’s Question 13 on this Toronto Star weather quiz, and includes video commentary from himself.

Obit: First Nations “Picasso,” shaman

Norval Morrisseau, Ojibwa (aka Chippewa) from northern Ontario (which has been called Canada’s Alaska – and no, that’s not really redundant!! 🙂 ).  Sounds fascinating (NY Times link will break w/o $$$) … but this even more so.*  Do yourself a favour and Google himImages too, of course!

(*–Although note that the form of Christianity that devastated his people’s culture was Roman Catholic; Orthodoxy doesn’t treat evangelized peoples like that [the Church doesn’t, anyway…], witness the Alaska Native Orthodox! [LA Times archive fee required for this article]  Why did Catholicism have to destroy Native cultures of the Americas, when it didn’t destroy Irish culture, for instance?  Catholicism became Irish.  Why couldn’t it become Ojibway??)