Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Pizzas, French fries a security risk?

Are pizzas and french fries in school lunch programs a security risk?

When Congress decided to override the Obama Agriculture Department's school lunch standards back in November by keeping pizza and french fries on the menu they were only doing what they always do, the bidding of lobbyists representing food companies, the salt industry and potato growers.

The government dietary dictate was, according to Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, needed to reduce childhood obesity.

People like some conservatives and all libertarians weren't outraged over this, instead reinforcing the point that government has no business telling children what to eat.

Some people, the usual ruling class authoritarians, were outraged. These included the bureaucrats at the USDA, the National Academy of Sciences' Institute of Medicine, and Nutrition advocate Margo Wootan of the Center for Science in the Public Interest, among many other professional social engineers.

An AP article on the issue did not record any comments from First Busybody Michelle Obama, who has little better to do than romp around the world on hundred-thousand-dollar junkets and nag people about what to feed their children.

But unexpected outrage came from a gaggle of retired generals calling themselves Mission: Readiness. Seems they advocate healthier school lunches because "obesity is the leading medical disqualifier for military service."

In short, the fact that kids are too fat to fight is a security risk. "Children are our most valuable natural resource," declared Herbert Hoover. To the ruling class, children are valuable natural resources like oil, gas, coal, timber, ore, and our tax money.


Woman left a virtual recluse by Tourette's syndrome 'cured' by electrodes implanted in brain

A woman with Tourette's syndrome who suffered such terrible spasms she became a virtual recluse, has been given her life back following pioneering surgery. Jayne Bargent, 55, said she has been effectively cured of the uncontrollable and violent tics that left her unable to read, cook or walk in a straight line.

She had suffered from Tourette's syndrome since childhood but over the past few years medication taken to treat the condition had started to make it worse.

Doctors at the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery in Bloomsbury implanted two tiny electrodes into her brain which were then connected up to a pacemaker battery in her chest.

The battery delivers mild electrical pulses via the electrodes to parts of the brain which control movement. The procedure, known as deep brain stimulation, or DBS, has already proved effective for other movement disorders including Parkinson's.

It is not known exactly how the stimulation works but it is thought to harmonise the electrical circuitry in the brain.

Within an hour of the electrodes being switched on this week, Ms Bargent, from Hampshire, was showing dramatic improvement. Doctors said she would continue to get better over the coming weeks.

She said: 'It's amazing - I just don't feel like the same person. This is going to give me my life back. I've had three years of getting gradually worse and they press a few little buttons and everything improves dramatically.

'We had stopped socialising. I wouldn't eat in front of anyone because the food would fall out of my mouth. I couldn't even lie on the bed to relax if I was having a bad day because I would still be twitching and have pain in my neck. I couldn't imagine living the rest of my life that way. 'But now I'll be able to phone people, go for walks and start riding again. It's going to totally change my life.'

Her partner Mark Trick said: 'I'm astounded by the difference in Jayne. I cannot thank the hospital enough.'

The hospital and the UCL Institute of Neurology are carrying out the UK's first trial to evaluate the impact of DBS on Tourette's, which occurs mainly in childhood. Only a small percentage of sufferers shout inappropriate comments. Most, like Ms Bargent, suffer from involuntary movements.

The trial is taking place at the Unit of Functional Neurosurgery which is backed by the Parkinson's Appeal, the Edmond J. Safra Philanthropic Foundation and the Monument Trust.


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