News and Opinion Based on Facts

Friday, December 28, 2012

New Study Shatters Milk Myth For Strong Bones, Kids Need Exercise, Sunshine And A Dairy-Free Diet WASHINGTON -- In a new scientific review scheduled to appear in the March issue of the peer-reviewed journal, Pediatrics, Cornell-trained nutritionist Amy Joy Lanou, Ph.D., and co-authors show that dairy products do not promote bone health in children and young adults. Physical activity does have a positive impact on bone health, while evidence linking bone health with dairy product consumption is weak, at best."Under scientific scrutiny, the support for the milk myth crumbles. This analysis of 58 published studies shows that the evidence on which U.S. dairy intake recommendations are based is scant," says Dr. Lanou, lead author of the study. "A clear majority of the studies we examined for this review found no relationship between dairy or dietary calcium intake and measures of bone health. In the remaining reports, the evidence was sketchy. In some, the effects on bone health were small, and in others, the results were confounded by vitamin D intake from milk fortified with vitamin D. To build strong bones and healthy bodies, children need exercise, sunshine, and a diet rich in fruits and vegetables that helps them maintain a healthy body weight."The level of dairy product consumption in the United States is among the highest in the world, and yet osteoporosis and fracture rates are also among the highest. This "calcium paradox" was an impetus for the current investigation. "We found no evidence to support the notion that milk is a preferred source of calcium," the authors conclude. Dr. Lanou is nutrition director for the non-profit Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM), and her co-authors are Susan E. Berkow, Ph.D., C.N.S., and Neal D. Barnard, M.D.- Founded in 1985, the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine is a nonprofit health organization that promotes preventive medicine, especially good nutrition. PCRM also conducts clinical research studies, opposes unethical human experimentation, and promotes alternatives to animal research.Copyright © 1999-2004, Simoni Creative.

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Hey, kids, don't forget your guns

by Daniel Akst,
December 28th 2012
Here we go again. After the tragic school killings in Newtown, Conn., the leader of the National Rifle Assn. offers a perfectly sensible proposal to put cops with guns in every school — and people jump all over him.
"A paranoid, dystopian vision," said New York's anti-gun mayor, Michael Bloomberg. "The most revolting, tone-deaf statement I've ever seen," said Sen.-elect Chris Murphy, a Connecticut Democrat.
But the only problem I can see with the NRA's proposal is that it doesn't go far enough. For some reason nobody in this country is willing to admit the obvious, which is that the poor helpless kids in that school could have helped themselves, if only we'd let them.
The time has come to get over our squeamishness and arm the children. If those kids in Connecticut had been allowed to bring firearms to school, it's doubtful anyone would ever have attempted the kind of assault that so tragically victimized them. If anyone did, the combined firepower of 20 or more armed elementary school pupils in a single classroom would put a stop to it, and far more effectively than a single dozing constable summoned from the opposite end of campus.
Of course, you can't just give a bunch of kindergartners firearms. They will need training, and the Newtown killings make plain just how deficient our schools are on this score. In most of America you can't graduate without meeting certain requirements in math, physical education or even a foreign language. But every year, our schools turn loose literally millions of kids lacking the faintest clue about how to engage in armed self-defense. Without these skills, so fundamental to the sustenance of democracy, our young people are defective citizens.
We make vaccinations mandatory for most children; why not firearm training? To be admitted to kindergarten, a child would have to demonstrate basic proficiency with a pistol. After that, no child should be able to advance a grade without meeting certain weapons milestones. And any parent who sends a child to school unarmed should have to explain that action to the child welfare authorities. When I was a boy, our teachers checked to see that we'd brought a handkerchief to class. Why not check for handguns? Think of the possibilities for show and tell!
A few selfish families — pacifists and their ilk — will no doubt be exempted. They won't mind that their children thus become free riders, sheltering under the protection provided by other kids who pack heat every day in their lunch boxes.
Not to worry; I'm convinced that enough red-blooded Americans will show up armed every day to stop any future madmen dead in their tracks. Arming the children would pay a special dividend too: an end to bullying, since even the smallest, most socially awkward child can put a bullet between the eyes of his or her tormentor if properly armed.
And then, of course, there are the teachers. It's simply unconscionable that these government-salaried educrats should ever enter a school building unarmed. As one writer observed in the online forum Washington Times Communities, "How different this could have been if, instead of discouraging guns on school property, we welcomed them heartily, accompanied, of course, by strict and proper licensing. How different if the report of the gunman on campus had stirred several teachers or staff members to whip out their own weapons and fire before the masked killer had his way with them."
Arming teachers could have pedagogical benefits as well, working wonders for school discipline.
Surely even the most demented advocates of gun control must see that, with nearly 300 million privately owned firearms already in circulation, no anti-gun legislation can protect the nation's schoolchildren from them. Just as the answer to offensive speech is more speech, the answer to a firearm is another firearm — or a couple dozen, which is about how many should be in the average classroom.
As an American, I'm not troubled by the ban on school prayer nearly as much as I am by our refusal to give our children a prayer of defending themselves. Many states already allow concealed firearms on college campuses. Let's act swiftly to give our precious babies the same chance at life that armed collegians enjoy. If we fail to do so, the blood of future unarmed victims will be on our hands.
Daniel Akst, a former columnist for The Times, is a writer in New York's Hudson Valley.
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Thursday, December 27, 2012

U.S. civilian adviser killed by Afghan policewoman

U.S. civilian adviser killed by Afghan policewoman

by Sayed Salahuddi,
December 24th 2012 6:11 PM

KABUL — An American civilian adviser was killed Monday by a female Afghan police officer at the police headquarters in Kabul, according to U.S. and Afghan officials. The incident appears to be the first " insider attack " since October and the first carried out by a woman.

The adviser, Joseph Griffin, 49, of Mansfield, Ga., was shot as he was looking at a case full of decorative medals in the sprawling police compound, according to Afghan police officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to talk to the news media. "He was shot in his heart and died very quickly afterwards in the hospital," one official said.

The assailant was arrested soon after the attack, which was confirmed by the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF).

"A civilian police adviser was shot and killed this morning by a suspected member of Afghan uniformed police outside the Kabul police headquarters," said Charlie Stadtlander, a spokesman for ISAF. "The shooter is in custody."

Stadtlander confirmed that the assailant was a woman.

According to an Afghan police official, the shooter's name is Nargis, and she is one of 1,850 female police officers trained in the country since 2002.

Griffin was an employee of Falls Church-based DynCorp International. He had "worked in support of several of the company's global training and mentoring programs since November 2000," according to a company news release.

"The loss of any team member is tragic but to have this happen over the holidays makes it seem all the more unfair. Our thoughts and prayers are with Joe's family, loved ones and colleagues during this difficult time," said Steve Gaffney, chairman and chief executive of DynCorp International.

Griffin formerly worked at the Afghan Interior Ministry, which controls the nation's police. The attacker also worked at the ministry, but in the department of gender rights, according to another Afghan official.

The motive behind the shooting was unclear; the attacker was still being questioned Monday.

More than 50 Western troops have been killed this year in insider or "green on blue" attacks, carried out by assailants who are members of the Afghan security forces. A recent Pentagon report to Congress said that many of the attacks stem from personal motives, rather than enemy infiltration of the Afghan police or military ranks.

If officially confirmed, Monday's incident would be the first insider attack carried out by an Afghan woman.

Earlier this year, two American advisers were killed in their heavily secured office at the Interior Ministry by a police officer who is still at large.

Foreign troops led by NATO and the U.S. military briefly suspended the training of some Afghan forces a few months ago in the face of rising insider attacks.

Kevin Sieff contributed to this report.

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Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas!

It is Christmas time, so, love everyone you can,along with the loyal viewers of this blog, Merry Christmas to Mary Kate, Michelle, Evelyn, Mikey, Ricky, Dylan, Patrick, Mary Anne, Linda, Donna, Edna, Maria, Esther, my brothers and sisters and cousins,Shannon and Kate, my great Grandson Camdon, my grandson Logan, my beautiful grandaughter Ashley and everyone in this world!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Richard Engel Freed

NBC chief foreign correspondent Richard Engel and his four-man team, who were held captive by an unknown militia group shortly after slipping into Syria on Thursday, have been freed unharmed following a firefight between their captors and a Syrian rebel group at a checkpoint.

"It's good to be here." Engel said.

Two of the captors have been killed and the remainder have escaped. There have been no claims of responsibility and no requests for ransom.

Engel said, however, that they endured "lots of psychological torture," including being subjected to mock executions.

NBC said on its website and in an emailed statement that the 39-year-old war correspondent and his team --NBC producer Ghazi Balkiz and cameraman John Kooistra -- were abducted, blindfolded and thrown into the back of a truck Thursday morning shortly after entering Syria.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Does Asperger's Lead To Violence?

Not according to most experts. An official said the shooter in Newtown had Aperger's syndrome, but there is no known connection between the disorder and violence. Asperger's is a mild form of autism characterized by social awkwardness. Not much is known about Adam Lanza, identified by the police as the shooter at the Newtown Elementary School. He fatally shot his mother before going to the school and killing 20 children, six adults and himself. High school classmates have described him as bright but socially awkward and painfully shy. Reseach suggests that people with autism do have a higher rate of aggressive behavior than the general population, but not the type of planned and intentional violence seen in Newtown.