Janet's Conner

This Blog tell the Truth and will never not tell the Truth. Impeach Bush

Saturday, August 12, 2006

UNDERSTANDING HOW PTSD RAISES HEART DISEASE RISK

PTSD is associated with increase in coagulation factors that may promote atherosclerosis.

VA Wattchdog dot Org
By: Larry Scott
August 11, 2006

NEW YORK (Reuters Health)---Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is associated with increased levels of two coagulation (clotting) factors and may thereby promote atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries) and increase the risk of cardiovascular disease, investigators say.

Several studies have demonstrated the increased cardiovascular risk associated with PTSD, even years after the trauma.

Suggested mediators of this relationship include unhealthy lifestyle, chronic low-grade inflammation, and blood clotting activation, but until now no one had investigated any link between PTSD and a "hypercoagulable" state.

To that end, Dr. Roland von Kanel from University Hospital Berne in Switzerland, and his team recruited 14 adults diagnosed with chronic PTSD and 14 control subjects matched by gender and age who had also experienced a traumatic event but were not diagnosed with PTSD.

The levels of specific PTSD symptoms (re-experiencing, avoidance, and hyperarousal) as well as depression and anxiety were assessed by interview.

From blood samples, the investigators measured blood levels of several clotting factors.

The team reports in the Journal Psychosomatic Medicine that coagulation factor levels did not differ significantly between the two groups.

However, among all 28 subjects, hyperarousal severity and PTSD symptom severity were associated with one speific clotting factor known as FVIII:C.

Also, in the PTSD group alone, hyperarousal and PTSD symptom scores were associated with levels of the coagulation factor fibrinogen, although the association was attentuated after controlling for depression and anxiety.

The team concludes that symptoms associated with PTSD could lead to a hypercoaguable state, which "could be of particular clinical importance in terms of an elevated cardiovascular risk and overall mortality several years down the line."

SOURCE: Psychosomatic Medicine July/August 2006

IN MIDDLE OF TERROR THREAT, GOP BUSTED USING THREAT TO RAISE MONEY

Democrats Assail GOP Fundraising Effort

Washington (AP)---Democrats assailed the Republicans Friday for e-mailing a fundraising appeal mentioning the war on terror hours after British authorities disclosed they had disrupted a plot to blow up aircraft headed to the United States.

Las Vegas SUN
By: Liz Sidoti/AP
August 11, 2006

"In the middle of a war on terror, we need to remain focused on furthering Republican ideas more than ever before," former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani said in a letter that asked for donations to the Republican National Committee.

***Expected terror tactics from the Republican party! How low will they go> People are starting to wonder about their sick tactics.

The RNC blamed a low-level staffer for distributing the fundraising appeal, which the party said had been scheduled for release before news of the plot broke.

***Yeah right! Just like they blame the low-level troops in Iraq for everything! These are very sick people. It sounds like something that they would do.

"Once the RNC learned of this error we ceased distribution of the e-mail," said Tracy Schmitt, a party spokewoman.

***You mean, once you started getting e-mails back about how appalling this tactic was, you stopped!

Democrats didn't accept the explanation.

***Good for them!

"The defeat of the London plot is a warning that we should redouble our efforts to defeat terrorism. It shouldn't be used as a political defibrillator by Republicans on electoral life support," said Paul Singer, a spokesman for the Senate Democrats campaign committee.

The day the Britain plot was foiled, Republicans and Democrats accused the other of doing too little to deter the threat of attack.

***This is a Republican administration and a Republican Congress. "They" are the majority! Almost any legislation that came up by the Democrats, the Republicans wouldn't allow on the floor of the Senate or the House. They did everything that the Bush administration wanted them to do. They are puppets, not men and women. As late as yesterday, Bush was quietly trying to divert $6M from Homeland Security. That request was denied! Thank God! You can read that story on this blog. It was just put in today.

"We must implement the strong recommendations of the independent 9/11 commission to improve airport security screening at checkpoints," said House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, stressing one of the party's principal campaign-year promises in its drive to gain control of Congress.

***Yes, unlike the Bush administration who hasn't taken up any of their recommendations yet!

Ohio Republicans said the Democratic candidate for the Senate, Rep. Sherrod Brown, had voted against money for the very types of programs that helped the British thwart these vicious attacks."

***How about we go and look at their voting records! What else was in that legislation? They aren't telling you that though, are they?

"I don't question his patriotism, but the fact is if Sherrod Brown had his way, America would be less safe," said Bob Bennett, chairman of the Ohio Republican Party.

***Let's get back to what the article is really all about, instead of putting down the Democrats. It was about Republicans asking for money from people because they are so desperate.

Brown, who is challenging Republican Sen. Mike DeWine, mentioned the billions spent on the Iraq war and said the thwarted attacks "underscore the need to refocus our resources on fighting the war on terror."

***Yes, instead of spending all of our money on a war that can't be won at this point. Besides, going to Iraq is what caused the increase in terror across the world, mostly aimed at the American people!

The charges served as a reminder that with midterm elections less than three months away, not even an alleged attack to blow up passenger planes was off-limits to politics.

***Bush knew about this months ago. Why is he just coming out now? He could have found other ways to take precautions than not to take "any" precautions, where the suspects wouldn't have known that we knew about the plot. The Republicans knew. Why didn't they tell any Democrats? Were they hoping to get hit, just like we did on Bush's watch in 2001, where he didn't take any precautions then either?

Throughout the day, the accusations grew more heated with Republican and Democrats criticizing each othr for using the day's events for political gain.

***Instead of doing that, they should be sitting down and doing something about it. But, this was planned by the Republcans to be able to come out and say that they are good for securing the homeland. But they aren't. We've tried their product and want a replacement. It didn't work for the Republicans. That's why they got so angry! They didn't realize how many talking points the Democrats had about this situation!

To be sure, both sides are seeking political advantage on national security. Voters will choose a new Congress Nov. 7, and the polls show the public favoring Democratic control of Congress over Republicans who have been in power for a dozen years.

Additionally, recent polls have found that the Republican edge on terrorism and protecting the country has eroded over the past few months.

An Associated Press-Ipsos poll conducted this week---but before news of the foiled terror plot---found that 40% approved of President Bush's performance on foreign policy and terrorism, down slightly from 44% in July. The percentage was still higher than the number of Americans who approve of his handling of Iraq, the economy and domestic issues.

The disclosure Thursday that British officials disrupted terrorists' plans to blow up aircraft heading to the U.S. gave both Republicans and Democrats an opportunity to emphasize their positions on national security---and highlight the differences facing voters.

ASBESTOS LEGISLATION AFFECTS VETERANS

When you think of the issues that are important to veterans today, asbestos litigation reform might not be the first thing you think of. But thousans of veterans are sick from being exposed to asbestos while they were in the military.

Warrck Publishing online
By: Jack Mason Sr.-Past State Commander, Indiana Dept of the VFW
August 10, 2006

Unfortunately, these military men and women don't have many options for obtaining compensation. The fact is: the only sure way sick veterans will be assured of compensation for their asbestos-related injuries is through a complete overhaul of our asbestos litigation system.

During World War II and up to the Vietnam War, asbestos was used throughout the military for fireproofing and insulation. Because of the long latency period associated with these diseases, many of our veterans from that time are now being diagnosed with asbestos-related diseases.

But veterans are banned from suing the federal government, their employer while they were in the military.

The only companies vets can possibly sue are the ones who supplied the military with asbestos products. But almost all of those companies are now bankrupt, leaving sick veterans with literally no where to turn for help or compensation.

Veterans who are able to enter the court system face lengthy waits for court dates. It has been estimated that hundreds of thousands of asbestos cases today clog our courts and a good percentage of those cases have been filed by people who aren't even sick.

Some members of Congress think the best way to clean the system up is to set up a strict medical criteria system to define who can and can't file asbestos claims in our courts. But this solution won't really help veterans, because it leaves the system in courts.

What veterans need is a solution like S. 3274, a bill now pending in the Senate, which would establish a no-fault victims' trust fund. If this bill is enacted, all truly sick victims, including veterans, would be able to draw from a trust fund financed by defendant companies and thie insurers.

The common sense solution will operate outside the tort system, which means sick veterans would not need to name a defendant company.

This is a solution Congress should rally around. It will ensure that the victims of asbestos exposed get the fast and certain compensation they deserve---not just the civilians.

I therefore call on our U.S. Senators Evan Bayh and Richard Lugar to support this critical bill before time runs out.

BUSH STAFF WANTED BOMB-DETECT CASH MOVED

Bush Administration Sought Permission to Divert $6 Million for Explosives Detection Technology

ABC News
By: John Sololom
The Associated Press


Washington---While the British terror suspects were hatching their plot, the Bush administration was quietly seeking permission to divert $6 million that was supposed to be spent this year developing new homeland explosives detection technology.

Congressional leaders rejected the idea, the latest in a series of steps by the Homeland Security Department that has left lawmakers and some of the department's own experts questioning the commitment to create better anti-terror technologies.

***I told you that all of these terror alerts were a bunch of B.S.! If Bush wanted to divert this $6M, then things aren't as bad as the Republicans are trying to make it sound, and/or, Bush is hoping to get hit again so that he can blame Iran! Don't forget, We already got hit on their watch. Think about it!

Homeland Security's research arm, called the Sciences & Technology Directorate, is a "rudderless ship without a clear way to get back on course," Republican and Democratic senators on the Appropriations Committee declared recently.

"The committee is extremely disappointed with the manner in which S&T is being managed within the Department of Homeland Security," the panel wrote June 29 in a bipartisan report accompanying the agency's 2007 budget.

***I thought the Republicans and the Bush administration have been telling us that they are doing a great job when it comes to protecting the homeland! This doesn't look like a good job to me.

Rep. Martin Sabo (D-MINN), who joined Republicans to block the administration's recent diversion of explosives detection money, said research and development is crucial to thwarting future attacks and there is bipartisan agreement that homeland Security has fallen short.

***I'd love to know the names of the Republicans that are on that committee for the next time they come out and say that the Bush administration is doing such a great job when it comes to protecting us!

"They clearly have been given lots of resources that they haven't been using," Sabo said.

Homeland Security said Friday its research arm has just gotten a new leader, former Navy research chief Rear Adm. Jay Cohen, and there is strong optimism for developing new detection technologies in the future.

***That is far from being an excuse. There is no excuse. You don't divert any funds from research!

"I don't have any criticism of anyone," said Kip Hawley, the assistant secretary for transportation security. I have a great hope for the future. There is tremendous intensity on this issue among the senior management of this department to make this area a strength."

***Then this person is too weak for this job!

Lawmakers and recently retired Homeland Security officials say they are concerned the department's research and development effort is bogged down by bureaucracy, lack of strategic planning and failure to use money wisely.

***Sounds like the wars we are trying to fight. Is every Department under the Bush administration controlled like this? It sure sounds like it!

The department failed to spend $200M in research and development money from past years, forcing lawmakers to rescind the money this summer.

The administration also was slow to start testing a new liquid explosives detector that the Japanese government provided to the United States earlier this year.

The British plot to blow up as many as 10 America airlines on trans-Atlantic flights was to involve liquid explosives.

Hawley said Homeland Security now is going to test the detector in 6 American airports. "It is very promising technology and we are extremely interested in it to help us operationally in the next several years," he said.

***But Bush knew about the attempt to use liquid explosives months ago! Like I said, is Bush trying to get us hit again? Is that why our borders are wide open?

Japan has been using the liquid explosive detector in its Narita International Airport in Tokyo and demonstrated the technology to U.S. officials at a conference in January, the Japanese Embassy in Washington said.

Homeland Security is spending a total of $732M this year on various explosives deterrents and has tested several commercial liquid explosive detectors over the past few years but hasn't been satisfied enough with the results to deploy them.

***The go with the Japanese one for now!

Hawley said current liquid detectors that can only scan individual containers aren't suitable for wide deployment because they would bring security check lines to a crawl.

***That's too bad. We want to be secure, don't we?

For more than 4 years, officials inside Homeland Security also have debated whether to deploy smaller trace explosive detectors already in most American airports to foreign airports to help stop any bomb chemicals or devices from making it onto U.S.-destined flights.

A 2002 Homeland report recommended "immediate deployment" of the trace units to key European airports, highlighting their low cost, $40,000 per unit, and their detection capabilities. The report said one such unit was able, 25 days later, to detect explosives residue inside the airplane where convicted shoe bomber Richard Reid was foiled in his attack in December 2001.

A 2005 report to Congress similarly urged that the trace detectors be used more aggressively, and strongly warned the continuing failure to distribute such detectors to foreign airports "may be an invitation to terrorists to ply their trade, using techniques that they have already used on a number of occasions."

Tony Fainberg, who formerly oversaw Homeland Security's explosive and radiation detection research with the national labs, said he strongly urged deployment of the detectors overseas but what rebuffed.

"It's not that expensive," said Fainberg, who retired recently. There was no resistance from any country that I was aware of, and yet we didn't deploy it."

Fainberg said research efforts were often frustrated inside Homeland Security by "bureaucratic games," a lack of strategic goals and months-long delays in distributing money Congress had already approved.

***But they keep saying that the Bush administration is taking good care of us!!!

"There has not been a focused and coherent strategic plan for defining what we need....and then matching the research and development plans to that overall strategy," he said.

Rep. Peter DeFazio of Oregon, a senior Democrat on the Homeland Security Committee said, he urged the administration 3 years ago to buy electronic scanners, like the ones used at London's airport to detect plastics that mught be hidden beneath passenger clothes.

"It'been an ongoing frustration about their resistance to purchase off-the-shelf, state-of-the-art equipment that can meet these threats," he said.

The administration's most recent budget request also mystified lawmakers. It asked to take $6M from Homeland Security S&Ts 2006 budget that was supposed to be used to develop explosives detection technology and instead divert it to cover a budget shortfall in the Federal Protective Service, which provides security around government buildings.

***What a bitch!

Sens. Judd Gregg (R-NH) and Robert Byrd (D-WV), the top two lawmakers for Senate homeland appropriations, rejected the idea shortly after it arrived late last month, Senate leadership officials said.

Their House counterparts, Reps. Hal Rogers (R-KY), and Sabo, rejected the request in recent days, Appropriations Committee spokeswoman Kirsten Brost said. Homeland said Friday it won't divert the money.

BRITISH TROOPS IN IRAQ ARE "UNDER-EQUIPPED"

British troops fighting in Iraq are under-equipped and overstretched, a group of MPs has warned.

BBC NEWS
August 10, 2006

The all-party committee said the soldiers needed more helicopters and better-protected patrol vehicles to shield them from roadside bombs.

Committee members visited Iraq in June and also say operations in Afghanastan are being done on a "shoe string."

Defence Secretary Des Browne insisted the British froces in the country were "stretched, but not overstretched."

***Sounds familiar!

And he claims that many of the equipment problems were being dealt with.

***That sounds familiar too, doesn't it?

Committee chairman James Arbuthnot, a Conservative MP, said the troops now faced a "significantly higher threat" in southern Iraq.

"We cannot send them on operations without giving them the tools they need to do the job. The MoD must address equipment shortages and capability gaps as a matter of urgency."

Mr. Arbuthnot told BBC radio 4's Today programme his committee had also recently visited British troops in Afghanastan and had similar concerns there.

***How can both the Bush and Blair administrations expect anything to get done when their troops don't have the right equipment?

"There was a feeling that the whole thing was being done on a shoe string and that we are not spending enough money on the troops we are puting into danger, and that we are asking [them] to do extremely difficult things on our behalf," he said.

***According to Bush, this war was supposed to pay for itself with Iraqi oil. If they cannot keep the insurgency away from those fields by now, they will never accomplish it. We will be paying for this war on the taxpayers' backs and our equipment will always be obsolete, because there isn't any money to pay for it to get fixed! And the result of that will be a lot more dead soldiers!


"Courage and dedication"

The MPs said their research had raised fundamental questions over whether the armed forces were structured, trained and equipped to fulfill their role.

They promised to return to those questions in the future.

***There's nothing like the present. That's typical, keep putting it off!

BBC security and defence correspondent Rob Watson labelled it a "remarkably critical report" from a "usually constrained" committee.

Mr. Browne said he welcomed the scrutiny, adding: "I am glad the committee recognises the professionalism, courage and dedication or our people in Iraq."

***How long are those troops going to stay as dedicated as they are when they have no equipment to fight with?

"On helicopters, we have a long-term programme to increase operational availability levels---and we continue to explore ways of meeting short-term needs."


"Appalling"

The MPs were particularly concerned with the use of Snatch Land Rovers, which have been deemed "ineffective" against the more sophisticated roadside bombs.

They said the Land Rovers were originally designed for use in Northern Ireland and offered "far too little protection" against the increasingly sophisticated roadside bombs seen in Iraq.

Mr. Browne offered an urgent review of them after a number of soldiers were killed.

And the Ministry of Defence is sending extra Cougar vehicles. Mr. Arbuthnot said this was good news but they were not ideal and the government had not acted quickly enough.

Colonel Bob Stewart, who was a British commander with the UN forces during the civil war in Bosnia, agreed with the committee about the Land Rovers.

"It's been appalling that so many of our soldiers have suffered as a result of raodside bombs and these Snatch Land Rovers," he said.

"The Land Rovers were not designed for the job they're doing now."

Liberal Democrat defence spokesman Nick Harvey said equipment and capability shortages in Iraq could "prove fatal and must be urgently addressed."

"The government's reckless decision to cut the size of the Army is having obvious consequences," he said.

"With major operations in Iraq and Afghanastan, a reassessment of whether our capabilities are sufficient to meet our commitments is long overdue."