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Health Care Discussion December 31, 2008

Filed under: Take Action! — aprasek @ 1:26 pm

Last night, I gathered with a group of about 30 to discuss our current healthcare crisis (it’s a crisis in my opinion).

Change.gov initiated discussions like ours to encourage communities to gather and talk about healthcare. The discussions started on December 15th and must be completed by today (December 31). Summaries of the discussions must be submitted to Change.gov (i.e. Tom Daschle, Secretary-designate of Health and Human Services) by January 4th, so that a report can be created for the President-elect. 

It was truly empowering to gather and share ideas to benefit the health of all Americans. I was inspired by the realization that no matter your political/party preference, we can all work together to create positive change (Democracy IN action versus Democracy inaction). We all have an integral voice and a vital role to create a country that survives (preferably flourishes) and supports its people.    

Here were the questions (provided by Change.gov) that we discussed:


  • 1. Briefly, from your own experience, what do you perceive is the biggest problem in the health system?
  • 2. How do you choose a doctor or hospital? What are your sources for information? How should public policy promote quality health care providers?
  • 3. Have you or your family members ever experienced difficulty paying medical bills? What do you think policy makers can do to address this problem?
  • 4. In addition to employer-based coverage, would you like the option to purchase a private plan through an insurance-exchange or a public plan like Medicare?
  • 5. Do you know how much you or your employer pays for health insurance? What should an employer’s role be in a reformed health care system?
  • 6. Examples of preventative services Americans should receive: mammogram, flu shot, cholesterol screening. Have you gotten the prevention you should have? If not, how can public policy help? (I know there are debates on these specific screenings. However, the question is more about ACCESS to prevention services not the efficacy of specific screenings.)
  • 7. How can public policy promote healthier lifestyles?


We still have a bit of time, so let’s discuss here. I’ll include this blog discussion in with our summary from last night. Just comment on this post to share your thoughts on any of the questions above… 


How Clean is Coal Ash Sludge? December 29, 2008

Filed under: Environmental Wellness — aprasek @ 7:02 pm

There has been a lot of support for “clean coal technology”… but from this view, it doesn’t look like coal is quite so clean:


The coal ash spill that happened in Tennessee last week is beyond dirty. More than 500 million gallons of coal ash sludge is now flowing down the Emory river. Mercury, cadmium and other heavy metals can be found in high concentrations in coal ash. Increased media attention has been given to the spill after experts revealed this to be the largest environmental disaster of its kind in the United States.

Talk about a “Clean Coal” PR nightmare. I’m curious how the coal enthusiasts will respond.

Read more about “clean coal” and the spill from the Sierra Club and Greenpeace (who is calling for a criminal investigation of the spill).


Treecycling December 26, 2008

Filed under: Environmental Wellness — aprasek @ 1:01 pm

Visit Earth911 for info on recycling locations (for real trees) and some interesting facts about Christmas trees.


Create a wonderful weekend,



FDA Warnings for Diet Pills December 23, 2008

Filed under: Physical Wellness — aprasek @ 12:24 pm

If weight loss is high on your New Year’s resolution list, you may be tempted to use a diet pill. Unfortunately, most diet pills (also called weight-loss supplements) are money down the toilet. However, the FDA has a list of 25 pills that aren’t just a waste of money, but that also have some serious side-effects. And these aren’t measly “anal leakage” side effects.

Some of these supplements have carcinogens in them (cancer causing substances). Others contain banned pharmaceuticals. Some contain active pharmaceutical ingredients at levels that far exceed FDA recommendations.

Unfortunately, you won’t see these dangerous ingredients on the label; they are often undeclared in these supplements.

Here’s the FDA’s list of the tainted 25 supplements:


Fatloss Slimming 2 Day Diet      3x Slimming Power
Japan Lingzhi  24 Hours Diet 5x Imelda Perfect Slimming 3 Day Diet
7 Day Herbal Slim 8 Factor Diet 7 Diet Day/Night Formula
999 Fitness Essence Extrim Plus GMP
Imelda Perfect Slim Lida DaiDaihua Miaozi Slim Capsules
Perfect Slim Perfect Slim 5x Phyto Shape
ProSlim Plus Royal Slimming Formula Slim 3 in 1
Slim Express 360 Slimtech Somotrim
Superslim TripleSlim Zhen de Shou
Venom Hyperdrive 3.0     


 Read the full FDA warning for more information about these products.


Clean Coal December 22, 2008

Filed under: Environmental Wellness — aprasek @ 11:21 am

This is good, it’s from the Reality campaign:



Find out more about “clean coal”.


McHenry Cancer Cluster: Just a Coincidence? December 19, 2008

Filed under: Environmental Wellness,Physical Wellness — aprasek @ 12:48 am

Check this out:

Watch CBS Videos Online

14 out of 1,000 McCullom Lake Village residents have brain cancer (the national average is 7.3 out of 100,000). The fact that a “coincidence” is even being considered by Rohm and Haas is disgusting. This is exactly how chemical companies have gotten away with causing injury and death to innocent people.

It’s as simple as this: Are innocent people showing negative side effects? Is it possible that a chemical is causing this? Is the chance greater than 50 percent? If so, these companies should take responsibility and pull the chemical out of use.

Share your thoughts on this. Let’s get some discussion going on these ethical issues…


Prostate Exams for Christmas Too! December 17, 2008

Filed under: Physical Wellness — aprasek @ 9:45 pm

So happy that CBS is celebrating a bit of diversity; not only is there a Chanukkah Prostate exam to choose from, there’s also a Christmas one to wrap up and give to that special man in your life. Just remember, along with the milk and cookies you leave for santa, place a latex glove (size large) near the fireplace mantel.