January 11, 2008 archive

Important If True: Cheesy Remakes edition

“Important If True” is an irregularly-scheduled Mojo Swap Meet wherein the diarist cobbles together a collection of seemingly random thoughts, no single one of which, taken by itself, may be worthy of attention, but which, when presented en masse in a veritable mélange, a pastiche, as it were, of cerebral offal, might thus put to rest any niggling doubts that you may have had about whether the effort would be worth it. Or, to paraphrase someone, you should waste no time in reading this . . .

– but definitely spread the mojo around in the comments! Thanks for reading!

Too Many People Anyway

The Cancer That Shouldn’t Be

Cervical cancer is almost entirely preventable with a new genetic test. Yet doctors still cling to the highly unreliable Pap smear. Something is very wrong here.

Christine Baze and her husband of seven years were planning to start a family in 2000 when she found out she had cervical cancer. At 31 she underwent a hysterectomy followed by three months of drugs and radiation.

Baze was, as she describes it, “the girl who was doing everything right,” getting annual Pap smears that screen for pre-cancerous cervical cells. But the Pap test missed the cancer that had been growing inside her for a decade. Each test had returned a negative result. With early detection, Baze could have treated her cancer with chemotherapy and radiation.”I was devastated, and incredibly pissed at my doctor’s office. If they’d found the tumor three years earlier, I could have kept my uterus and had a child,” says Baze, now 39 years old and executive director of the Yellow Umbrella, a cervical cancer prevention group she founded in 2002.

It borders on the scandalous that cervical cancer, among the few cancers that are preventable, kills 310,000 women a year worldwide. In 2007, 11,150 women in the U.S. were diagnosed with it. Half of them had not had a recent Pap test. Another third did get tested but got false negatives from the 65-year-old Papanicolaou biopsy. The Pap test is valuable, having cut the rate of cervical cancer by 70%, but it is archaic. It calls on a lab technician or machine to peer at a daub of cervical cells under a microscope to spot the abnormal precancerous ones. This artisanal approach yields false negatives between 13% and 45% of the time…


If you read the article carefully, the genetic test wouldn’t totally eliminate cervical cancer but it would make it almost as rare as intelligence in a Republican.

It is hardly the only cancer that could be detected and cured early with newer screening methods but what do we care?  Not much money in that compared to treating cancer.

Best,  Terry

Four at Four

  1. The Washington Post reports the Pentagon now says Iranian boats may not have made radio threat after all. “The Pentagon said yesterday that the apparent radio threat to bomb U.S. warships in the Persian Gulf last weekend may not have come from the five Iranian Revolutionary Guard speedboats that approached them — and may not even have been intended against U.S. targets… Pentagon officials insist that they never claimed Iran made the threat.” Um… yes the anonymous Pentagon officials did.

  2. Anthony D. Romero of Salon notes Our shameful Guantanamo anniversary.

    Today, America’s Guantánamo era enters its seventh shameful year. If we are ever to regain our standing as a nation committed to the rule of law and fundamental human rights, we must close the detention facility at Guantánamo Bay now, reaffirm our commitment to international treaties and our own Constitution, and either release or prosecute fairly the men who have been held so long in a legal and moral black hole…

    But the appalling fact that innocent men have been imprisoned and abused at Guantánamo is not the only reason why its closure is of such urgent importance. The most profound and enduring stain of Guantánamo is its corrosive effect on America’s reputation and standing, and on respect for the rule of law worldwide…

    In truth, Guantánamo has demolished America’s moral standing because the government chose to abandon our time-tested criminal justice system. In its place, they’ve erected a new regime of military commissions that permits — according to recent congressional testimony by the Pentagon general who oversees it — evidence obtained through torture, including the brutal practice of waterboarding.

  3. The Sydney Morning Herald reports on the Political dilemma over Guantanamo.

    Now, after years of revelations of CIA ‘ghost’ prisons, controversial interrogation methods and the mess of Iraq, George Bush is widely disrespected and his nation’s reputation is tarnished. Guantanamo has been a disaster for the US and the very word is now shorthand for Bush’s mistakes. Even the US Defence Secretary, Robert Gates, acknowledges that the facility needs to be closed to help restore America’s moral authority…

    Of the roughly 275 prisoners remaining at Guantanamo, only 10 have been charged and only three cases are pending trial. The earliest predicted trial date is May, but that may be derailed by legal action in the US civil courts…

    Robert Gates and the US Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice, have advised the President to close Guantanamo. Bush himself admits he wants to. The problem is what to do with the prisoners. If they are moved to American jails, they will have to be charged and tried under US law. Evidence gathered through coercive interrogations will not be admissible in regular courts and so Bush would risk watching the likes of Mohammed and Hambali walk free. An easier option is to leave the Guantanamo problem – along with Iraq – for the next occupant of the Oval Office to solve.

  4. Andrew Stroehlein, Director of Media and Information for the International Crisis Group, writes US warns citizens to keep clear of Guantanamo protests. “I received a fairly disturbing message from the US Embassy in Brussels yesterday, a high-importance mass email warning all American citizens in Belgium not to go near a small Amnesty International demonstration that is happening this afternoon. It’s so unbelievable, I produce it here:”

    BrusselsWarden@state.gov [mailto:BrusselsWarden@state.gov]
    Sent: 10 January 2008 11:43
    To: BrusselsWarden@state.gov
    Subject: Warden Message
    Importance: High

    Warden Message
    20080110 Warden Message – Demonstrations – January 10, 2008

    Spontaneous demonstrations take place in Belgium from time to time in response to world events or local developments. We remind American citizens that even demonstrations intended to be peaceful can turn confrontational and possible escalate into violence. American citizens are therefore urged to avoid the areas of demonstrations if possible, and to exercise caution if within the vicinity of any demonstrations. American citizens should stay current with media coverage of local events and be aware of their surroundings at all times. Upcoming demonstration information follows: …

    While scarcely being covered in the news, there have been worldwide protests against the United States and Guantanamo today.

Vote Dodd in Michigan, fight wiretaps

So what if he’s withdrawn, he’s still on the ballot, and there’s no delegates at stake anyhow.

15% for Dodd would send a message to Michigan’s Senators, Reps, and hopefully the rest of the Congressional Dems that an extension of wiretap authority is unaccesptable. It’s not just immunity, Reid’s now, according to the Wall Street Journal, going to put up an 18 month extension of the Protect America Act, extending authority for warrantless taps.

The “problem” the bill was intended to fix, a FISA Court decision requiring warrants for foreign to foreign calls transiting US soil, is no big deal. If there’s reason to believe the calls sare terrorist communications, there’s still a process for getting FISA warrants.

Pass nothing, let the stinker expire.

To Whom It May Concern

Some of you may have noticed my absence from this site. Most of you probably not. But to clear up any misinterpretations, I am not boycotting this site. It is just that I have been horserace blogging at my other site Talk Left. DD is not about that.

When I have something of substance to write about, you can be sure I’ll write it here as well.

Hoping that the New Year has gone well for all of you so far.

Security Trumps All

Why is everyone so afraid of a totalitarian, authoritarian police state, anyway?

Everything else ain’t worth shit without you’re safe and secure, right?.

I have an idea – let’s make a list of all possible things to be afraid of, and make anybody who makes you nervous a felon.

Just think how much easier and better life will be. No more forgetting your bank card – just wave your hand over the scanner. Never have to worry about losing your wallet again – you’ll be your wallet. Want to clear customs? Just walk through this electronic gate please, sir. Is my sentence over – can I leave this place now? One second – let’s scan you…. Yep, you can go now.

Security trumps all.

It’s a big, bad, nasty dangerous world out there. Full of fanatical killers who hate you because you’re free. You got to make sure you’re safe. That’s the most important thing, right? Everything else ain’t worth shit without you’re safe and secure, right?.

Right. No question.  



Just adding a bit of visual emphasis, Meteor Blades says it all below. Please comment there. This will be on our Front Page today until it is time for the news @4

Pony Party, Phone it in Friday

some random cover tunes

there’s something weirdly beautiful about this performance…

Making change


It is the buzzword of the campaign so far.  It is the message that Barack Obama has based his campaign on (that, and hope).  It is the message that John Edwards is representing when he talks of taking on corporate interests.  Hillary Clinton talked in New Hampshire about the fact that she spent 35 years making change and will continue to make change.

While there are some differences between the three, it is evident that each one does bring an element of change, even if more of it is lip service.  I, as well as many others in the progressive blogosphere (and elsewhere) want to see drastic changes from the past decade.

Even the republicans are getting into the change business now – I just heard Mitt Romney on the Today Show talk about how he can bring change.   Almost a year ago, Chuck Hagel said that the republican party must change.  Ron Paul seconded that comment a few months ago.  Mike Huckabee said last week that change is necessary.  And John McCain – the ultimate DC insider (regardless of his double, um, “straight” talk) said after the Iowa caucuses that “change is coming”.

It’s Amway vs. The Empire

Now that we Democrats have once again been consigned to the fringes and the Republicans are digging up a corpse to attempt to stanch the stench from the former leading confessed Republicans, barring an asteroid striking the earth the race is pretty much between The Empire and Amway.

I don’t know if anyone else here enjoys the titillation of getting political news from Marketwatch (hey, when you get too old for even Viagra).  Might tell you something about the primary places I haunt but even ghosts have perversions.

Docudharma Times Friday January 11

This is an Open Thread: Hiding in Spider Holes Not Allowed

Friday’s Headlines:Young Feminists Split: Does Gender Matter?: Kerry backs Obama to ‘turn new page’ in US politics: The rotten heart of Italy: See Naples and die (of the stench): Bush Outlines Mideast Peace Plan: Japan PM forces navy bill through

Public senses economy going south

Table talk among average Americans mirrors the anxiety reflected on the campaign trail and in Washington: times are getting tougher.

SEDALIA, COLO. — The numbers stopped adding up some time ago, and every month, Shane Covelli gets angrier.

He sells heavy equipment on commission, and construction firms aren’t buying. Covelli has sold his Corvette, stopped taking his wife out to dinner, pulled his son from the ski team. He has withdrawn nearly $50,000 from his retirement accounts and started taking extra work, laying carpet and pouring concrete evenings and weekends. Still, he owes more than he earns, and he can’t seem to fix it.

“It’ll take the country four or five years to dig out of this,” said Covelli, 44. “By then, I’ll be bankrupt.”

President Bush this week set aside months of sunny talk to warn that the nation’s economy faces challenges. “Many Americans are anxious,” he said.

What are you reading? Stories and literature

The regular list, plus some thoughts on literature vs. stories

If you like to trade books, try BookMooch.

cfk has bookflurries on Weds. nights

pico has literature for kossacks on Tues. nights, but it’s on hiatus

What are you reading? is crossposted to dailyKos

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