Sunday, October 10, 2004


"A single cup of coffee a day can produce "caffeine addiction," according to a study from Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions, which has declared caffeine the most "behaviorally active drug" on the planet.

Caffeine withdrawal is a genuine "mental disorder," according to the study, which was funded in part by the National Institute on Drug Abuse. "Caffeine is the world's most commonly used stimulant, and it's cheap and readily available so people can maintain their use of caffeine quite easily," said Roland Griffiths, professor of psychiatry and neuroscience at Hopkins, and the study director.

Based on his findings, Dr. Griffiths anticipates that caffeine withdrawal could be included in the next edition of the national Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, compiled by the American Psychiatric Association and considered the veritable bible of such things among medical professionals.

That would make "addicts" out of an awful lot of people. According to industry statistics, about 80 percent of American adults regularly consume caffeine, averaging 280 milligrams a day - two mugs of joe, or three to five soft drinks.

Dr. Griffiths already has plans for those who want to kick their caffeine habit. "We teach a systematic method of gradually reducing caffeine consumption over time by substituting decaffeinated or non-caffeinated products," he said.

Others have had similar ideas. In March, Albany-based Soy Coffee began promoting "National Caffeine Awareness Month" to raise the American consciousness about "detection and prevention of caffeine addiction in the U.S." In a statement last year, the coffee substitute manufacturer noted that "caffeine can hurt a person's overall health and well-being," declaring that "caffeine is not only considered habit forming, but also addicting."" [But does the Soy stuff taste any good?]

More here. (Via Bits Blog).


"Disease and crime are concentrated in areas where undocumented immigrants are more commonly found. An estimated 7 million undocumented immigrants now reside in the U.S. While the nation wastes its money and energy planning to thwart or combat imagined terrorism via the Department of Homeland Security, carriers of biological and other threats walk over the southern border into the U.S. on a daily basis. Over 1 million Mexicans will attempt entry this year. It's an invasion.

Recently an outbreak of hepatitis traced to a Mexican restaurant in Pennsylvania was inexplicably traced to contaminated green onions, not the most obvious cause, undocumented food workers who harbored hepatitis. For the most part, hepatitis is a blood-borne, not a food-borne disease. The hepatitis outbreak infected over 650 individuals, caused 9000 Americans to undergo immune globulin shots, and killed 4 people. If Americans found out restaurants can commonly infect their customers from food workers, it would be a blow to the restaurant industry. Better blame the green onions. Let's concede the onions, grown in Mexico, were contaminated from fecal material. Did all the green onions imported from Mexico end up in one single restaurant? There were no other outbreaks of hepatitis elsewhere from green onions. There were 13 restaurant workers who had hepatitis. They were the likely source of the transmitted infection.

While the unions resist mandatory hepatitis vaccination for food workers, the government mandates that newborn babies be jabbed with hepatitis vaccines before they can leave the hospital. The logic in this defies understanding until one realizes that newborn babies of immigrant families can more easily acquire hepatitis. So all the rest of American babies are given the vaccines.

The problem is with immigrant families who are not properly screened for disease as they enter the U.S. A recent study conducted by the Centers for Disease Control reveals that young infants from Hispanic families are at the greatest risk for whooping cough, presumably because the disease is transmitted from their unvaccinated family members who may have immigrated to the US from Mexico where vaccination rates are low"

More here.


But you can display any number of pictures of the murderous Che Guevara

"A New Jersey public-school teacher claims she was bushwhacked by her principal yesterday when he ordered her to "get out" of the building after she refused to remove a photo of President Bush and the first lady from her classroom. The White House-issued photo of the Bushes was pinned to a bulletin board that held portraits of George Washington, Benjamin Franklin and a copy of the Constitution.

"I wouldn't touch politics in my classroom with a 10-foot pole, but [the principal] felt I was making a political statement," said Shiba Pillai-Diaz, 33, a seventh- and eighth-grade English teacher at Crossroads South Elementary School in Monmouth Junction. "It was meant to be a picture of the current president, nothing partisan about it," said Pillai-Diaz, a Republican mother of one who volunteered at the party's convention in Madison Square Garden.

The controversy erupted Thursday night when a handful of parents objected to the photo during a back-to-school parent-teacher conference. Pillai-Diaz said three parents demanded the photo be removed - or complemented with a picture of Sen. John Kerry.

Pillai-Diaz said she notified the assistant principal, Mark Daniels, of the brouhaha during a break in the conference and that Daniels defended her right to post the photo. But yesterday, Pillai-Diaz said Daniels changed his tune and demanded she remove it before her first class. "He told me that if I care about my employment at the school, I would take down the picture," she said. When she refused, the matter was taken up by the principal, Jim Warfel, who Pillai-Diaz said accused her of "causing disruption and hatred" with her "inflammatory politics" and told her to "get out" of the building. Pillai-Diaz said she stormed out of the building and was told by Warfel to hand over her keys.

When she returned for her belongings - after The Post placed calls to school officials - Pillai-Diaz said she was greeted by the superintendent, Gary McCartney. Pillai-Diaz said McCartney warned her against telling her story to the press, saying "it will be beyond [his] ability to help" her if she did. She told The Post she was not sure if she would return to school Monday. "Basically, I'm being told to choose [between] my job and my principles," she said.

More here.

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