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Thursday, September 15, 2016

The Corruption That Is Monsanto and Bayer │ A Psoriasis Medication Brings Spike in Sucides │ The Health Benefits of Flax-Seed

So darned often I will become involved with responding to an E-mail at night before I get to bed, and this happened last night.  I don't recall my bedtime, but it had to have been at least 12:15 a.m.

My first major break in sleep resulted in a bathroom visit around 5:02 a.m. ─ my younger brother Mark was downstairs, and seemed to be about to put on his boots and jacket and head on out for his day of work.

My eldest step-son Tho is away to Harrison Lake or someplace with his girlfriend and friends, and won't be back until probably Sunday.

I returned to bed and derived subsequent snatches of sleep.

There came a point in the morning when I had just sought a comfortable position to seek the possibility of further sleep, and I may have begun to slip into some.  But I suddenly thought or imagined that I heard the doorbell ring twice in quick succession:  "Ding-dong/ding-dong."

A check of the time revealed it to be 7:45 a.m.

I figured that I imagined the event, and was not at all animated over it.  But it was late enough that I decided to get up.

My youngest step-son Pote and his girlfriend were still in bed.  They were to remain so until late in the morning.

Normally they do not both have Thursday off work, so I had no idea what was going on.

I spent far longer in the morning getting an edit started on an old post at my Siam-Longings website than I anticipated.

When I first looked up the old post, I discovered it to have absolutely no content, so the edit was absolutely essential.

I expect to be involved with it for a few more days.

Meantime, I had initially nurtured the possibility of getting out to do some shopping, but the work on the post took overlong; and it was disturbing to me having the young couple present.

I finally decided that the excursion had to be postponed.

After Pote and his girlfriend finally got up late in the morning, it was becoming quite bothersome having them hanging about.

However, during the noon-hour I heard them head out the front door.  Since I did not know if they would be gone for some while, or if they had just nipped out to a nearby 7-Eleven store, or even a Starbucks or McDonald's not too far away, I decided to round up myself some breakfast.

After eating, I still had my privacy.  And since it has been yet another gloriously sunny day in a streak of such days ─ and because I had missed out on yesterday due to my ineptitude at changing a bathtub tap washer (it took me hours) ─ I decided to get in some sunning.

So, donning a pair of cut-offs, I ventured out into the backyard and spent just over 40 minutes seated in a chair, and facing into the Sun.

This will be the last of an unusually long streak of sunny September days.  Things are to cloud over tonight, and the rain is coming for tomorrow and Saturday.

It is presently 3:09 p.m., and I am still blessedly home alone.  It would be nice to have my wife Jack around for awhile, though ─ provided she was in good spirits.


This is one of quite a number of photos I took of her on her cellphone on September 8.

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I wish to post a scathing condemnation of Monsanto that I read today ─ it is from the Organic Consumers Association:

#BillionsAgainstBayer
Bayer and Monsanto finally agreed to say “I do” yesterday (September 14), striking a $66-billion deal that Monsanto CEO Hugh Grant tried to sell as a move to improve “the lives of growers and people around the world.”

Wall Street Journal reporter Jacob Bunge painted the news in a different light. Bunge implied that behind the Bayer-Monsanto buyout, a similar proposed merger between Dow and Dupont, and the recently approved ChemChina-Syngenta deal, runs the story of an industry in trouble.

“The dominance of genetically modified crops is under threat,” wrote Bunge on Wednesday. Bunge interviewed Ohio farmer Joe Logan who told him:
“The price we are paying for biotech seed now, we’re not able to capture the returns,” said Ohio farmer Joe Logan. This spring, Mr. Logan loaded up his planter with soybean seeds costing $85 a bag, nearly five times what he paid two decades ago. Next spring, he says, he plans to sow many of his corn and soybean fields with non-biotech seeds to save money.
With farmers giving up on biotech seeds, a global public wise to the destruction wrought by poisons like glyphosate (Monsanto) and neonicotinoids (Bayer), and a food industry increasingly under pressure to remove GMO ingredients, the Gene Giants figure all they need to do is get bigger—and more powerful—and they’ll be able to use their clout to step up the bullying of farmers, governments, scientists and the media.

Outraged consumer and environmental advocacy groups are already calling for regulatory agencies to block the Bayer-Monsanto match-up. Agency officials will no doubt go through the motions, solemnly promising a “thorough review” before they do what they almost always do—hand multinational corporations a blank check.

As soon as the media frenzy dies down and officials think the coast is clear, the Bayer-Monsanto “marriage made in hell” will likely be blessed by the powers that be.

Two of the world’s most foul corporate criminals will be one. Monsanto will pack up its headquarters and head overseas. The much-maligned Monsanto name will be retired.
But a corporate criminal by any other name—or size—is still a corporate criminal.

This merger only heightens the urgency, and strengthens our resolve, to hunt down the corporations that are poisoning everything in sight. We will follow them to the ends of the earth, if need be. We will expose their crimes. We will end the toxic tyranny.

We will become the Billions Against Bayer. And we will need your help.

Monsanto (and Bayer) are on trial. You be the judge. 
They need to go down ─ I despise Monsanto and its evil work.

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Have you ever heard of brodalumab?

It's a medication yet to be approved, but is apparently getting supported by America's FDA for the treatment of psoriasis.

In past trials of the medication involving a total of 6,200 people, six of them committed suicide. 

Is that significant?

Well, a professor of psychiatry described that suicide rate as being about 3½ times worse than for people using a placebo in those studies.

I guess we have to keep in mind that people suffering badly from psoriasis, rheumatoid arthritis, and psoriatic arthritis are probably more likely to suicide than are healthy people not undergoing any unrelenting physical suffering.

But the fact that those suffering folks NOT taking brodalumab were so far less inclined to suicide than were those people who were taking this medication that is supposedly helping them, does to me set off clear warning signals.

Yet one doctor who is advocating for the medication claimed that the increase in the suicide rate was a mere suggestion ─ not a signal of anything.

Incidentally, the doctor ─ one Lynn Drake ─ is on the FDA panel backing brodalumab's approval ─ any surprise?

You can read a report about this here, if you are interested:

Medscape

Concerning Dr. Drake, I found the following in an america.aljazeera.com article from October 2013 titled Conflict of interest charge leveled at FDA advisory panel chair:
Dr. Lynn Drake, a lecturer at Harvard Medical School and current chairwoman of the panel that advises the FDA on drugs to treat skin and eye conditions, was scheduled to counsel drug companies at the conference on ways to improve their chances of winning favorable recommendations for their products.

The stated aim of the conference is to help companies "walk away with strategies to successfully present before a committee and avoid potential roadblocks."
She may have been forced to cancel out of that upcoming conference, but what are the odds that it was the one and only time she has ever been tapped for that sort of advice?

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I wonder how easy it is to grind flax-seed?  Would it gum up the works of one of those coffee-bean grinders, for example?

Metabolic syndrome is nothing to be blasé about, and there are undoubtedly many of us who are unaware that we are amongst those afflicted with it.

But apparently flax seed ─ a mere 30 grams daily ─ has been shown to dramatically reduce metabolic syndrome symptoms.  

In one trial, subjects lost both body-weight and inches of midsection flab ─ in fact, there was a marked improvement overall in their body mass index (BMI).

Even insulin resistance was lowered, helping keep away the onset of diabetes.

You can read about the study at nutraingredients-usa.comFlaxseed supplementation may aid metabolic syndrome management.

I read about this two weeks ago, and had intended to try and remember to look for flax-seeds the next time I was shopping, but I completely forgot about it until today.

The flax seeds need to be ground because we can't digest them whole ─ they'll just pass right through us, even if they're cooked.  And because of how darned small they are, we'd never be able to chew up a bunch of them effectively ─ we would still be swallowing so many of them whole.

So how much is 30 grams?  From what little research I have done, it would be a bit over four tablespoons ─ perfectly manageable, if they were easily ground.

I also like that they are very high in lignans, something I recently learned are loved by our gut microbiota ─ lignans are prebiotic, and encourage the proliferation of the sort of gut bacteria we want.

But you can read about a host of other flax-seed lignan benefits here

So all I have to do is try to remember to look for some the next time I am shopping, and then see if they grind easily, and without fuss and a mess.

By the way, Pote and his girlfriend showed up again just after 4:00 p.m.

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Here it is ─ time for me to close off with a 41-year-old journal entry from back when I was 25 years old, and living in a basement housekeeping unit in New Westminster

The house I was renting the room in was located on Ninth Street at Third Avenue.

On the day's agenda was a long haul afoot to visit my mother Irene Dorosh, who lived in the Kennedy Heights area of Surrey.  Her home was my main mailing address; and although the little house is now gone, its address was 12106 - 90th Avenue.

The "long haul afoot" I was going to take on this day to reach her home was to cross over the Pattullo Bridge and follow the King George Highway all the way to Newton's 72nd Avenue.

At that point, after turning right onto 72nd Avenue, a set of railway tracks are just a short distance along.  I would turn right onto those, and then follow them until I was able to access 90th Avenue, the street my mother lived on.

Her home was just six or so houses down the street on the right-hand side.

In preparation for this long walk, I had retired the evening before at 9:15 p.m. 
MONDAY, September 15, 1975

I logged up so much sleep I didn't arise till 4:45 a.m.; well it is I showered early last eve, for I found it necessary to skip this morning, tho I am fair meat.

I have one more Bank Account Contest entry to mail today.

I left here for mom's about 5:45 a.m.; the night dawn was clear until some way beyond the bridge, then I hit the fog.

My only breakfast was an apple I picked up just this side of Whalley

From Kennedy Road I jogged to the tracks on Newton.

I was still in a fair fog when I reached mom's at 8:30 a.m., having pared 15 minutes off my Saturday time.

I weighed in at about 186.

I ate quite well, feeling a jot guilty for this.

I really appreciate mom ─ her company and generosity; I just hope we can win the upcoming lottery, being involved on each other's tickets; 13 more days.

My feet were really aching, but again, my runners prevented the burning sole sensation.

I disliked my day walk home; once the lottery win is mine, these distasteful jaunts will be unnecessary.

I left a note in Bill's car saying that I prefer to smorgasbord on next Monday rather than Saturday.

Alex as yet was still working.

My $50 S.A.N.E. cheque was awaiting me here.

The day was cloudy till early afternoon.

My trek today seems to have involved some cartilage ills to my left shoulder.

I wish that Penthouse wasn't here.

Bed at 9:30 p.m.
I have mentioned that "Bank Account Contest" a few times before, but I have no memory of what it entailed. 

It would seem that I located an apple tree somewhere before arriving in Whalley, and one of its fruits broke my fast that morning.

The jogging began at Kennedy Road, which most people today know as 88th Avenue; and I ran the remainder of the distance to the railway tracks crossing 72nd Avenue (Newton Road).

That stretch of running cut down my time considerable over what it had taken me on Saturday to cover that route.

No one in my family ever did win big on a lottery, and I so regret that I was never to enjoy the company of either of my parents during their last days of life.  

My folks had long separated by this time, and had gotten divorced.  My mother had remarried to a man named Alex Dorosh.

His employment was under threat of a strike, but as yet it had not been an action the union had taken.  Had the strike been in place, then Alex likely would have been  home ─ I always preferred him away.

Upon leaving my mother's home to return to my room in New Westminster, I took the direct route home.  I would follow Scott Road (120th Street) to where the railway tracks cross it at 99th Avenue; and then I would turn right onto the railway tracks and follow them until they again crossed Scott Road not too very far from the Pattullo Bridge.

But I had done that walk so often that I had grown to hate its sameness ─ and the busy traffic of the afternoon rush-hour was in flow.  I really hated the traffic.  

My old friend William Alan Gill had a bachelor suite not too far from my room, so I often left notes for him at his car.  We usually got together on the weekends, and quite often visited a smorgasbord together. 

I arrived home to find that a $50 cheque had arrived.  I worked one day a week ─ usually Friday ─ for a New Westminster charitable organization called S.A.N.E. (Self Aid Never Ends) as a swamper on their blue pick-up truck.  That cheque was probably for my services for a month.

I was also receiving a single person's rate for social assistance each month.

S.A.N.E. and New Westminster social services had some sort of employment initiatives or incentive programme in place between them.  

Today, S.A.N.E. is known as Fraserside Community Services Society.

Apparently the pornographic magazine my friend Bill had recently given me was issuing considerable temptation, but I may have managed to get to bed early without compromising my self-esteem.
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