WELCOME TO OLE' BILL'S WEEKLY NEWSLETTER

August 2010 - Week 3




OLE BILL'S CORNER


OK Troopers, I've been informed that we will once again be in charge of our own beverages. So, since it's been awhile since I've done this, I need to know from a bunch of you, what you want to drink, by name and please include soda-pop names for the distaff or non-drinkers crowd. I will also pick up some chips and dip, nuts (yeah, like I need anymore of those), and anything else you can provide me with. E-mail them to before the end of next week. Thanks, Here's looking at San Antonio!! Ole' Bill

We will be looking at least two proposals this year. Both from me. Anyone else who would like to add to this list, get them in to me ASAP by e-mail or NLT Thurday the 27th of Aug.

PROPOSAL 1. I would like to change the Weekly Newsletter from a weekly to a monthly. This task takes a lot of time each week and I have fallen way behind of posting to the Website because of it.

PROPOSAL 2. I would like for someone to consider taking over the "Secretarial" duties. Same reason as above. Anyone interested in this position, please let me know and I'll send you a copy of the duties and responsibilities.
Thanks, Here's looking at San Antonio!! Ole' Bill


THIS WEEK IN QUARTER HORSE HISTORY


16Aug16: 1st Field Artillery Brigade organized at Le Valdahon, France.
17Aug43: Allies enter messina, ending Sicily Campaign.


REUNION 2010 ATTENDEES

Below are the names of the troopers who have already signed up or plan on attending. I will update this list weekly and post it on the Weekly Newsletter. Jim Skillings was making out his reseveration when he received news that he is scheduled for surgery and won't be able to attend. BB

FORTH CAVALRY ATTENDEES

HHT, 1/4TH cAV

Davidson, Ronald
Wilemon, Jimmy
Kenneth J Costich II
Esquilin, Jorge and Wife


A Troop, 1/4th Cav

Friday, Jerry
Humphrey, Richard
Miller, Paul
Baty, Bill
Snyder, Duke
Warne, Gary
Joe and Barbara Dabney
Valentine, Terry
Corbin, Robert and Wife
Empey, Terry
Jones, Charles
Kampfert, Elke
Kintz, Gerald
Novak, Edward
Row, Nancy


B Troop, 1/4th cav

Kramer, Jeff
Keech, James


C Troop, 1/4th Cav

Baker, Daniel
Benoit, Alan
Brigance, Charles
Seibert, Wilmer
Karl Listl and wife
Capps, Jimmy
Jones Jr, James


D Troop (Air)

Smith, James


Other 4th Cavalry Troopers

Baker, Ralph
Riley, William


FIDDLER'S GREEN


The latest information I have regarding Ed Burke's death is that he will not be buried until Nov 25 in Arlington Cemetary. BRO Society says it will publish more information soon. BB

Terry Valentine Subject: Passing of Ed Burke
I just got this from my friend Jack Durham about Ed Burke from the Society of the BRO. I am very sorry for Ed's passing. He was a good guy.

-----Original Message-----
From: James Stone
Date: Thu, 5 Aug 2010 15:45:47 -0400

I just received an email from Rosie telling me of the passing of Ed Burke today. He was in the hospital with a blood clot and pneumonia in addition to lung cancer.
I'll send out more information as I get it.
Please forward to anyone I may have left out. Jim


CAN ANYONE HELP?


John, thank you for your kind remarks on my book. I am copying your request to John Conley, president of our 1-4 Cav association who, as a troop commander, fought in the Tet battles and may be able to give you some information. Also, to Bill Baty, secretary/treasurer who has a website and sends out weekly newsletters. Also Mike O'Connor, archivist of the research team who can refer you to his site which might be helpful.

Check Combatantbooks.com again in a couple weeks for a book to be soon published, The Angel of Dien Bien Phu, by Genevieve de Galard. I wrote the introduction which might be helpful in understanding more of the French war, and the book itself is a unique inside story of the decisive battle.

Please feel free to email me if you hit further snags in your search.

Best, Bill Haponski

____________________________________________________________

Eberth message:

I just read One Hell of a Ride-- one of the best books I have read on major battle history. If he can help me find an answer to a history question I would be very grateful.

At Tet/68, Task Force Meyer, under the umbrella of Task Force Ware, reported to the Binh Loi Bridge, 3 miles east of Ton Son Nhut to support the 525/519 MI units. TF Meyer was formed around 1-4 Cav and performed a daring rescue of the NCO billets in Go Vap. One man sustained a life threatening head wound at the curve near the motor pool and was Medivac'd to the rear of the 519th. Any help would be appreciated. I have the logs of the 519th from NARA but this rescue is conveniently missing. I do have some tapes from Colonel Duncan of the 519th, which mentions a Major Meyer, 1-4 Cav, who coordinated the rescue.


Thank you.
John Eberth
jeberth@msn.com
419-855-4245
Genoa, Ohio.


ACTIVE DUTY NEWS


DoD Benefit Cuts:
In mid-JUL DoD announced the resumption of the ―Military Spouse Career Advancement Account‖ program; called MyCAA for short. The new and very popular program was suddenly and without warning stopped in February. It will start again on 25 OCT at 8:00 a.m. EDT. The program was created to help military spouses of the active duty to train for careers that they could carry with them as they make the repeated moves required by their spouses‘ military career. It has now been massively limited to save money by both cutting the amount available for tuition and by limiting the spouses who qualify for the program. For enlisted personnel only the spouses of service members who are in Pay Grades E-1 to E-5 will now qualify for this program. This effectively means that the spouses of most service members who are serving a career in the services will de disqualified. Presently 136,583 spouses are enrolled in the program; the changes will disqualify 73,891 of them. This looks like the first step in cutting the benefits for the men and women who intend to serve a career in the military. It is an easy target since it is a very new program that many people do not even know about and do not have an investment in. But these changes will seriously disadvantage future members‘ families and may very well be a sign of things to come. The new program also cuts the total tuition aid an applicant can receive to $4,000 (down from the present $6,000), allows them to spend only $2,000 a year (there is a waiver process for this limitation), and has a 3 year time limitation to use the funding and now can be used only to earn associate degrees, licenses or certification.
[Source: TREA Washington Update 23 Jul 2010 ++]

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Stop-loss Pay Update:
The U.S. Army owes about 120,000 veterans extra pay, and the Veterans Administration is reaching out to find them. The Army is seeking soldiers, veterans and survivors of soldiers whose service was involuntarily extended under Stop Loss Authority between Sept. 11, 2001 and Sept. 30, 2008. The 2009 War Supplemental Appropriations Act stipulates they are eligible for special pay; those eligible will receive $500 for each month or partial month served in stop-loss status. To receive this benefit, those who served under Stop Loss must submit a claim by Oct. 21, 2010. Stop-loss veterans can submit their claims online at www.stoplosspay.army.mil. The Army encourages all candidates to visit its website to check eligibility and submit claims. The website also lists answers to frequently asked questions about the claim process and has a link to the program‘s official Facebook page. Applicants who have questions not covered by the website can e-mail RetroStopLossPay@conus.army.mil or call (877) 736-5554. Veterans can also link to the eligibility and claims information on the VA Vet Center home page at www.vetcenter.va.gov/index.asp. Click on ―RSLP‖ at the bottom of the left side column.
[Source: The Courier of Montgomery County TX article 16 Jul 2010 ++]


TROOPERS CORNER-SOUND OFF!


Thanks to Danny Horn for this article. BB

Ft. Hood Shooter Still Receiving Pay from the Army

WRITTEN BY JOE WOLVERTON, II

John Galligan, attorney for Nidal Hasan is complaining to the press that his client is having difficulty finding a bank to cash his military paycheck. Nidal Hasan is still an active-duty major in the United States Army and as such he continues to draw his bi-weekly paycheck, the monthly total of which is reported to be about $6,000.

As is familiar to readers of The New American, Nidal Hasan is the army psychiatrist charged with 13 counts of murder and 32 counts of attempted murder for the hail of gunfire he unleashed on his fellow soldiers at a processing center on Ft. Hood, Texas on November 5, 2009. On that date, Hasan climbed onto a desk and opened fire on the unsuspecting soldiers and civilians declaring “Allahu Akbar” or “God is Great.” Hasan is a Muslim born in America to Jordanian immigrant parents.

According to an army spokesman, service members continue to receive their pay packets while imprisoned, until an ultimate determination is made of their duty status as a result of a trial on the merits of the case against them. “He is a major in the United States Army and will therefore be paid until he is no longer a major,” explained Lt. Col. Chris Garver.

Hasan was shot by police responding to the scene of the crime and has been in a hospital or jail since the date of the attack. That equates to a sum of about $54,000 that Hasan has received from the army to date. Reportedly, those checks are being delivered to Hasan’s attorney.

In July, the Bank of America informed the UPI that they had terminated Hasan’s deposit account held in that bank. FoxNews.com reported that several local Ft. Hood institutions have likewise refused to accept Hasan as a client.

Galligan expressed worry that his client will not “get a fair trail at Ft. Hood if he can’t even get a bank account….” The army has responded that they are working with Galligan to find a bank that will open an account for Hasan.

The next procedural step in the trial of Nidal Hasan is the continuation of the Article 32 hearing that Hasan's lead attorney, John Galligan, requested a continuance of when it originally convened in June, citing the need for additional time to read and digest the thousands of pages of documents sent to him by the lawyers for the Army. The motion for a continuance was granted and the hearing was rescheduled for October 4, 2010.

The Article 32 hearing is a requisite step in the investigatory process of court martial as established by the Uniform Code of Military Justice. The hearing is similar in purpose and procedure to a civilian grand jury proceeding where a judge receives the testimony of witnesses and counsel to aid his inquiry into the truth of the matter set forth in the charges. At the conclusion of the hearing, the presiding officer will make a recommendation as to the disposition which should be made of the case in the interest of justice and discipline.

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Thanks to Lloyd Howard for sending this in. BB

Have you ever wondered if anyone in Europe remembers America's sacrifice in World War II? There is an answer in a small town in the Czech Republic. The town called Pilsen (Plzen)

Every five years Plzen conducts the Liberation Celebration of the City of Pilsen in the Czech Republic. May 6th, 2010 marked the 65th anniversary of the liberation of Pilsen by General George Patton's 3rd Army.

Pilsen is the town that every American should visit.

Because?..they love America and the American Soldier...even 65 years later.......by the thousands the citizens of Pilsen came to say thank you...lining the streets of Pilsen for miles. From large crowds?

To quiet reflective moments?

Including this American family's private time to honor and remember their American hero.

This is the crash site of Lt. Virgil P. Kirkham, the last recorded American USAAF pilot killed in Europe during WWII. It was Lt. Kirkham's 82nd mission and one that he volunteered to go on.

At the time this 20 year old pilot's P-47 Thunderbolt plane was shot down, a young 14 year old Czech girl, Zdenka Sladkova, was so moved by his sacrifice she made a vow to care for him and his memory.

For 65 straight years , Zdenka, now 79 years old, took on the responsibility to care for Virgil'scrash site and memorial near her home.

On May 4th she was recognized by the Mayor of Zdenka's home town of Trhanova,Czech Republic, for her sacrifice and extraordinary effort to honor this American hero.

Another chapter in this important story.....the Czech people are teaching their children about America's sacrifice for their freedom.

American Soldiers, young and old, are the ''Rock Stars'' these children and their parents want autographs from..

Yes, Rock Stars ! ... As they patiently waited for his autograph, the respect this little Czech boy and his father have for our troops serving today was heartwarming and inspirational.

The Brian LaViolette Foundation will established The Scholarship of Honor in tribute to General George S. Patton and the American Soldier, past and present.

Each year, a different military hero will be honored in tribute to General Patton's memory and their mission to liberate Europe.

This award will be presented to a graduating senior who will be entering the military or a form of community service such as fireman, policeman, teaching or nursing, a cause greater than self. The student will be from one of the five high schools in Pilsen, Czech Republic.

The first award will be presented in May 2011 in honor of Lt. Virgil Kirkham, that young 20 year old P-47 pilot killed 65 years ago in the final days of WWII.

Presenting Virgil's award will be someone who knows the true meaning of service and sacrifice... someone who looks a lot like Virgil?

Marion Kirkham, Virgil's brother, who himself served during WWII in the United States Army - Air Corps. !!!

In closing... Here is what the city of Pilsen thinks of General Patton's grandson. George Patton Waters (another Rock Star!) we're proud to say, serves on Brian's Foundation board.

And it's front page news.. not buried in the middle of the social section..

Brigadier General Miroslav Zizka - 1st Deputy Chief of Staff - Ministry of Defense - Czech Armed Forces.

So please join this amazing journey?

Come visit Pilsen in the Czech Republic during the first part of May 2011, it may also be a life changing experience for you.

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Thanks to Smokey for this little post. BB

World's smallest Cannon

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Good one sent in by Bob Lazzari. BB

What Gen. George S.Patton would have said... This is how General George S. Patton would sum things up... and then catch holy hell from Ike.

He sure had a unique way of expressing his thoughts.

"ATTENTION!

"To ALL those whining, panty-waisted, pathetic Citizens, it's time for a little refresher course on exactly why we Americans occasionally have to fight a war to keep this nation great.

"See if you can tear yourself away from your "reality" TV and Starbucks for a minute, pull your head out of your ass -- and LISTEN UP!!

"Abu Ghraib is not "torture" or an "atrocity!" Got that ?

"Islamic extremists are peaceful people? My Ass! Millions of these warped misled sons-of-bitches are plotting, as we speak, to destroy our country and our way of life any way they can. Some of them are here among us now.

"They don't want to convert you and don't want to rule you. They believe you are a vile infestation of Allah's paradise. They don't give a shit how "progressive" you are, how peace-loving you are, or how much you sympathize with their cause.

"They want your ass dead, and they think it is God's will for them to make it happen.

"Some of you think if we give them a hug or listen to them, then they'll like us. If you agree - then you are a pathetic, naive dumb-ass!

"If they manage to get their hands on a nuke, chemical agents or even some anthrax -- you will wish to God we had hunted them down and killed THEM when we had the chance.

"How many more Americans must be beheaded? You've fallen asleep AGAIN - get your head out of your ass! You may never get another chance!

"NOW GET OFF YOUR SORRY ASS and pass this on to any and every person you give a damn about.

"DISMISSED!"


WARNING TO ALL! THE FOLLOWING JOKES MAY BE EXPLICIT! PLEASE SKIP OVER THEM OR DON'T SAY YOU WEREN'T WARNED


Smokey gets us started this week. BB

The Madam opened the brothel door to see a frail, elderly gentleman.. "Can I help you?" the madam asked. "I want Natalie," the old man replied. "Sir, Natalie is one of our most expensive ladies, perhaps someone else..." "No, I must see Natalie."

Just then Natalie appeared and announced to the old man that she charges $1,000 per visit. Without blinking, the man reached into his pocket and handed her ten $100 bills. The two went up to a room for an hour, whereupon the man calmly left..

The next night he appeared again demanding to see Natalie. Natalie explained that no one had ever come back two nights in a row and that There were no discounts...it was still $1,000 a visit. Again the old man took out the money, the two went up to the room and an hour later, he left.

When he showed up the third consecutive night, no one could believe it. Again he handed Natalie the money and up to the room they went. At the end of the hour Natalie questioned the old man: "No one has ever used my services three nights in a row. Where are you from?" The old man replied, "I'm from Philadelphia."

"Really?" replied Natalie. "I have family who lives there."

"Yes, I know," said the old man. "Your father died, and I'm your sister's attorney. She asked me to give this $3,000 to you."

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Down memory lane with Danny Horn. BB

The Outhouse Poem
(If you don't know what an outhouse is, ask someone older)

The service station trade was slow. The owner sat around With sharpened knife and cedar stick Piling shavings on the ground. No modern facilities had they, The log across the rill Led to a shack marked 'his and hers' That sat against the hill. "Where is the ladies' room, Sir?" The owner, leaning back, Said not a word, but whittled on And pointed toward the shack. With quickened step she entered there But stayed for just a minute, Until she screamed, just like a snake Or spider might be in it. With startled look and beet red face She bounded through the door And headed quickly for the car - Just like three gals before. She missed the foot log- jumped the stream The owner gave a shout, As her silk stockings, down at her knees Caught on a sassafras sprout. She tripped and fell - got up, And then in obvious disgust, Ran to the car, stepped on the gas, And faded in the dust. Of course we all desired to know What made the gals all do The things they did; and then we found The whittling owner knew. A speaking system he'd devised. To make the thing complete, He tied a speaker on the wall Beneath the toilet seat. He'd wait until the gals got set And then the devilish tike, Would stop his whittling long enough To speak into the mike. And as she sat, a voice below Struck terror, fright and fear, "Will you please use the other hole, We're painting under here!"

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Here's Duke Snyder's submission for this week.

The Aisle Seat

Terrorists boarded a flight out of London . One took a window seat and the other sat next to him in the middle seat.

Just before takeoff, a U.S. Marine sat down in the aisle seat. After takeoff the Marine kicked his shoes off, wiggled his toes and was settling in when the Arab in the window seat said 'I need to get up and get a coke.''Don't get up,' said the Marine 'I'm in the aisle seat, 'I'll get it for you.'

As soon as he left one of the Arabs picked up the Marines shoe and spat in it. When the Marine returned with the coke, the other Arab said, 'That looks good. I'd really like one too.' Again, the Marine obligingly went to fetch it.

Whilehe was gone the other Arab picked up the Marines other shoe and spat in it. When the Marine returned they all sat back and enjoyed the flight.

As the plane was landing the Marine slipped his feet into his shoes and knew immediately what had happened. He leaned over and asked his Arab neighbors, 'Why does it have to be this way?'

'How long must this go on? This fighting between our nations? This hatred? This animosity? This spitting in shoes and pi$$ing in cokes?'

THE FEW. THE PROUD. THE MARINES.

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Thanks to my Aunt Jo down in Arkansas for this one. BB

Looks like Arkansas, it was 100 in L.R. yesterday!!!!

This picture pretty much says it all.........

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Here's one from Rob Ferguson that speaks for itself. BB


WEEKLY HEALTH NEWS

Here's an article from Howard Greenfield that you can take or leave. BB

ASPIRIN Info

To add to your body of knowledge:

Dr. Virend Somers, a cardiologist from the Mayo Clinic who is lead author of the report in the July 29, 2008 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology .

Most heart attacks occur in the day, generally between 6 A.M. and noon, Somers said. Having one during the night, when the heart should be most at rest, means that something unusual happened. Somers and his colleagues have been working for a decade to show that sleep apnea is to blame.

1. If you take an aspirin or a baby aspirin once a day, take it at night. The reason: aspirin has a 24-hour "half-life". therefore, if most heart attacks happen in the wee hours of the morning, the aspirin would be strongest in your system.

2. FYI, aspirin lasts a really long time in your medicine chest... years. (when it gets old, it smells like vinegar.)

Bayer is making crystal aspirin to dissolve instantly on the tongue. Theywork much faster than the tablets.

Why keep aspirin by your bedside?

About Heart Attacks - There are other symptoms of an heart attack besides the pain on the left arm. One must also be aware of an intense pain on the chin, as well as nausea and lots of sweating, however these symptoms may also occur less frequently.

Note: There may be NO pain in the chest during a heart attack.

The majority of people (about 60%) who had a heart attack during their sleep, did not wake up. However, if it occurs, the chest pain may wake you up from your deep sleep. If that happens, immediately dissolve two aspirins in your mouth and swallow them with a bit of water.
Afterwards:-call 911
- Then phone a neighbor or a family member who lives very close by
-say"heart attack!"
-say that you have taken 2 aspirins.
- take a seat on a chair or sofa near the front door, and wait for their arrival and... A Cardiologist has stated that, if each person, after receiving this e-mail, sends it to 10 people, probably one life can be saved!

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Medical Information provided by Dr. Edmund Hayes. BB

Doctors Hiring Scribes Because Of Electronic Medical Records
I was visiting with my physician colleague Debbie the other day, which is always a pleasure. She is, by far, one of the best dermatologists I know. She had purchased an electronic medical record (EMR or EHR) a year or two ago and I asked her how it was going.
"Pretty well," she said, "but I've had to start using a scribe. It's just too inefficient any other way. I was losing too much time and money."
Of course she's also losing money by hiring a scribe, but Debbie is very persistent and always wants to do the right thing. This is one reason why her patients and I admire her so much. This is her second EMR, by the way. The first one - purchased for tens of thousands of dollars - was a total disaster and had to be scrapped entirely.

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Prescribing A Drugectomy Standard modern medical practice, he said, is built around disease prevention (think, for example, of statins for cholesterol and various blood pressure medications) and "rescue"-oriented crisis response to injury or acute illness.
Both approaches, which Sloan said work well for the bulk of the population, fail spectacularly when they collide with the special needs and circumstances of the fragile elderly. Preventing heart disease with medication doesn't make as much sense when you're 90 as it does at 45, and "rescue" interventions can often cause more trouble than they cure.
When taken together with the often desperate emotional, physical and economic stresses that face those who care for the elderly at home, the "rescue and prevention" paradigm can lead to sudden unnecessary hospitalization, unneeded and very expensive testing procedures and catastrophic over-medication, Sloan said.

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Study Finds Oral Contraceptives and Hormone Replacement Therapy May Protect Women against Brain Aneurysms
Results from a new study suggest that oral contraceptives and hormone replacement therapy (HRT) may yield additional benefit of protecting against the formation and rupture of brain aneurysms in women. The findings from this first-of-its-kind study by a neurointerventional expert from Rush University Medical Center were presented at the Society of Neurointerventional Surgery (SNIS) 7th annual meeting.
According to the lead author of the study, Dr. Michael Chen, neurointerventionalist at Rush, the retrospective, case-control study was initiated due to the observation that in the two largest brain aneurysm trials to date, cerebral aneurysms occurred most frequently in post-menopausal women. The two trials, the International Subarachnoid Aneurysm trial and the International Study of Unruptured Intercranial Aneurysms, found that 70 percent of aneurysms occurred in post-menopausal women with the mean age of 52 at a time of life coinciding with a severe drop in estrogen levels.
"By understanding the potential link between low levels of estrogen and aneurysms, we can focus our areas of study with the hope of providing women who are at risk for brain aneurysms with preventative therapies," said Chen, who also is assistant professor of neurology, neurosurgery and radiology at Rush University.

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Male Obesity Linked to Low Testosterone Levels
Obesity, a condition linked to heart disease and diabetes, now appears to be associated with another health problem, but one that affects men only - low testosterone levels. Results of a study published online ahead of print in the journal Diabetes Care, conducted by University at Buffalo endocrinologists, showed that 40 percent of obese participants involved in the Hypogonadism in Males (HIM) study had lower-than-normal testosterone readings.
The percentage rose to 50 percent among obese men with diabetes. Results also revealed that as body mass index (BMI) - a relationship of weight-to-height - increased, testosterone levels fell. Read more..... [http://r20.rs6.net/tn.jsp?et=1103605176950&s=1508&e=0010nUoBdnYbmdlWy9sFEcgkfvAfIrVjAI3GBODOBFKdsNa5qYE0NPoukztup7l250f2Ah8PD-GluEoYNGMGf0T9jirnycJxzHlvG_lcCeY8kEl7n1mMSuu90ZHUH1xv6Dh]

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Cancer Drugs May Help Stop Major Parasite
A parasite estimated to afflict as many as 12 million people worldwide relies on a family of genes that should make it vulnerable to compounds developed to treat cancer and other disorders, researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have found.
Scientists searched the genome of the parasite Leishmania to determine that it has three kinds of TOR kinases, proteins that are linked to cell growth and cancer and have been longstanding targets for drug development. When they removed the proteins individually, they found that all three were critical either to the parasite's ability to survive or its ability to cause infections.
"If we can hit any of these proteins with a drug that will inhibit them, we should be able to strike a significant blow against Leishmania," says senior author Stephen Beverley, PhD, the Marvin A. Brennecke Professor and head of Molecular Microbiology. "Given the numerous inhibitors already available, I think there's a pretty good chance that we'll be able to identify a compound that specifically inhibits one of Leishmania's TOR kinases."

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Travel Medicine Clinics Can Help Families Prep For International Vacations Families preparing to vacation oversees this summer can benefit from visiting a travel medicine clinic, said a Baylor College of Medicine pediatrician and travel medicine expert.
"There are many things parents should know prior to travelling to ensure personal safety and prevention of illness overseas," said Dr. Bonnie Word, an assistant professor of pediatrics - infectious disease at BCM and director of the Travel Medicine Clinic at Texas Children's Hospital.
It is important to rely on travel medicine experts to offer these tips, Word said. "While most travelers - especially those with children - are accustomed to receiving advice and immunizations from their primary care physician, it can be a challenging task for the busy practitioner to stay abreast of the latest developments in non-routinely administered vaccines."

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Medications And Sun - The Risk Of Sunburn And Photosensitivity
Oh, Summer! The weather is warm, the sun is shining and it is the time when we try to get outside as much as possible. Summer is my favorite time of the year. I love the beach, days that are filled with light and sunshine, trips to the orchards and hanging out in the backyard. The sunshine that makes the summer such a happy time, improves our mood and fills everything around us with life and energy of course has its darker, dangerous side.
As a source of UVA and UVB radiation the sun may increase the risk of various skin reactions in people on medications. Today I want to talk about medications and sunlight. Many medications that we are taking may increase the risk of photosensitivity or an exaggerated reaction of the skin to the effects of the sun exposure. The photosensitivity reactions are generally divided into two categories: the phototoxic reactions and photoallergic reactions. The phototoxic reactions look like a very bad sunburn and usually you see them on the areas of the skin that are exposed to sunlight. The photoallergic reactions may look like an itchy skin rash and may occur on the areas that were exposed to the sunlight as well on other areas of the body.
UVA rays play a major role in the development of photosensitivity reactions, so to decrease the risk of developing photosensitivity the skin should be protected against both UVA and UVB radiation. At the present time sunscreens are not rated on the level of UVA protection that they may provide. There is a proposal to start a rating system with 4 stars being the highest level of UVA protection. Broad spectrum sunscreens that contain Zinc Oxide and to some extant Titanium Dioxide (may have limited UVA coverage) have both UVA and UVB coverage, they form a physical barrier against UVA and UVB radiation penetrating the skin. Avobenzone is an ingredient that provides reliable UVA coverage and it is available in the sunscreens used in the United States.

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Believe it or not

Dog chews off Michigan man's toe, saves his life
A Michigan man credited his dog with saving his life by chewing off his diseased big toe as he lay passed out in a drunken stupor.
Jerry Douthett, 48, woke up on a Saturday night in late July in his Rockford, Michigan home to find his Jack Russell Terrier, Kiko, had gnawed off his right big toe. "The dog always lays with me on the bed," said Douthett. "That night, I woke up and looked down at my foot, and it was wet. When I looked it was blood, and there was the dog looking at me with a blood moustache."
Douthett's wife, Rosee, rushed him to a hospital where doctors found he was suffering from Type 2 diabetes. His toe was badly infected and surgeons amputated the remainder of the digit.
Douthett's wife, a registered nurse, had been urging him for weeks to have his infected toe examined by a doctor. On the night Kiko ate his toe, Douthett said he had been out with his wife and drank about "six or seven beers" and a pair of giant margaritas "big enough to put goldfish in.


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DA-VA-VETERAN NEWS

Advisory Panels Say Military Benefits Unsustainable
Tom Philpott | August 05, 2010
Advisory Panels Say Military Benefits Unsustainable

A consensus is building among current and former military leaders and defense industry executives that rising military personnel costs threaten the viability of the all-volunteer force.

In July, two separate advisory groups reached the same general conclusions regarding what needs to be done to sustain the force. In the nearer term, they say, one step that must be taken is to make military retirees pay more out of pocket for their health care benefit.

"Unless retirees contribute more for their TRICARE insurance, medical costs will not be brought under control and the national defense they served, and for which they fought and sacrificed, will be harmed," says the final report of the Quadrennial Defense Review Independent Panel.

The panel is co-chaired by former Defense Secretary William J. Perry from the Clinton administration and Stephen J. Hadley who was national security advisor through President George W. Bush's second term.

Longer term, and for the future force, panelists say, work must begin on designing new retirement, compensation and promotion systems to replace inefficient and rigid systems adopted after World War II. The situation is so critical that the Hadley-Perry panel asks Congress to establish a new National Commission on Military Personnel to lead the reform effort.

Arnold Punaro, a defense industry executive and retired Marine Corps Reserve major general, chairs a task force for the Defense Business Board that will deliver its final report to Defense Secretary Robert Gates in October.

Task force "initial observations" for cutting defense costs through best business practices, briefed to the board July 22, reinforces the notion that personnel accounts must be brought under control by modernizing retirement, pay, health benefits and the "up-or-out" promotion systems.

Both studies deal with a far wider range of initiatives to restructure forces and streamline organizations. The Hadley-Perry report can be read online at http://www.usip.org/files/qdr/qdrreport.pdf, and task force observations are at http://dbb.defense.gov/meetings.html.

What both conclude on the need to control health costs and modernize compensation systems, Punaro said, is consistent with findings of the 10th Quadrennial Review of Military Compensation and the 2006 Defense Advisory Commission on Military Compensation. But now, with Defense Secretary Gates' leadership and a new awareness among military leaders to the burden of mounting personnel costs, there's a fresh groundswell for change, he said.

"I've heard a four-star military leader comment that DoD is turning into a benefits company that will occasionally kill a terrorist," Punaro said in a phone interview Tuesday. The remark plays off a popular critique of General Motors before its recent bail out, that union contracts had transformed it into a health care company that occasionally built a car.

Both the business board task force and the Hadley-Perry panel agree that the current force must be protected from the changes to retirement, pay or promotion policies needed to create a more efficient future force.

"Updating military compensation and redesigning some benefits does not necessitate cuts in pay or benefits for current service members," said the Hadley-Perry report.

"These are areas where any adjustment you make will take decades to change," Punaro said. "With something like military retirement, you are not going to break faith with people who joined expecting a certain benefit, even though only 20 percent stay long enough to earn a retirement."

But rapid expansion of military entitlements has become part of "the nation's mandatory spending problems," the task force found. Among "significant unsustainable trends" that the task force listed is paying military retirees and their families "for 60 years after they have served only 20."

Another task force slide give details of how military entitlements have expanded "rapidly" over the last decade with Congress passing TRICARE for Life, a more robust pharmacy benefit, concurrent receipt for disabled retirees, extra-size active duty pay raises, an improved survivor benefit plan, sharp growth in housing allowances, a bigger death gratuity and more.

Punaro declined to criticize any specific initiative. But, he said, "nobody ever sat down and said, 'What's the cumulative effect of all this?'"

The effect, says the Hadley-Perry report, is personnel costs "have grown drastically on a per capita basis."

As the economy recovers and the job market rebounds, Punaro said, the cost of sustaining the military will accelerate even more.

Punaro, who served as staff director of the Senate Armed Services Committee for eight years, noted that much of the recent entitlement growth has helped only retirees and their families, a population that now outnumbers the active duty community.

"TRICARE for Life, the largest new benefit ever passed, was not subject to any kind of serious review or debate, as best as I can tell. Is that the way to pass something like that? And, okay, just because you passed it, does it have to be in existence for 100 years? Bob Gates makes a pretty compelling argument that 'health care costs are eating us alive'."

Punaro criticized military associations that, he said, push continually for benefits with little heed to more pressing defense priorities. Military leaders and lawmakers this decade have been complicit, he suggested.

"It doesn't take a profile in courage to stand up and be for every benefit that anybody has ever dreamed up. That's easy. It takes a lot of courage to be responsible...It looks to some of us that we've changed the slogan 'Praise the Lord and pass the ammunition' to 'Praise the Lord and pass the benefit.' I remember working with military associations when their number one goal was a strong national defense, not more benefits."

********************************************************

VA Presumptive VN Vet Diseases Update:
The President signed the War Supplemental 29 JUL. In that bill is the $13.4 billion in funding for the three newly designated presumptive diseases related to Agent Orange exposure. What does this mean for veterans who have already filed and those waiting to file on these conditions? The money is now in place and the authorization to spend it needs to be completed. The House overwhelmingly passed the VA/Military Construction Authorization bill earlier this week and now the Senate must do the same. The House version authorizes the money for these new conditions. All of this is fine and shows progress, but the main roadblock now is the 60 day hold placed on spending any of the money by Sen. Webb (D-VA) who wishes to take a look at the science and reasons behind the decision to connect these three potentially very expensive, new conditions to service in Vietnam. On 23 SEP, the Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee has scheduled a hearing to examine the reasons and evidence used by Secretary Shinseki to add these three conditions to the list of presumptive diseases related to Agent Orange exposure. NAUS has heard reports that the VA may publish the final rules as early as next week. This could, repeat, could mean that the VA might be able to start paying for these three diseases sometime in October, shortly after the September hearing. The payments would be retroactive to the date of the original claim or death of veteran if survivors are filing the claim.
[Source: NAUS Weekly Update 30 Sep 2010 ++]

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Medicare Scams Update
: Scammers are at it again, this time contacting seniors in an attempt to obtain personal information by asking them to reveal Medicare, Social Security or bank account numbers, or pay a fee to receive a $250 Medicare rebate check. The Department of Health and Human Services and the Michigan Office of Services to the Aging are getting reports of Medicare beneficiaries getting contacted by phone, mail or in person and asked for personal information in exchange for a $250 Medicare rebate check. These one-time rebates are automatically mailed to Medicare recipients when they reach the Medicare Part D prescription drug coverage gap, also known as the ―donut hole. Normally, a Medicare recipient will receive their $250 rebate check within 45 days of reaching the $2,830 expenses threshold for prescription drugs during a calendar year. Once that threshold is met, the recipient must pay all prescription drug costs until expenses reach $3,610. That‘s when low-cost Medicare drug coverage at the catastrophic level kicks in. The $250 rebate check is intended to help citizens offset the cost of prescription drugs. It was part of the health care reform legislation passed earlier this year. The new law addresses the gradual elimination of the donut hole over the next few years. We want to protect our seniors and are warning them to be on the alert for scam artists, said Sharon Gire, director of the OSA. ―These one-time Medicare rebate checks will be mailed to eligible individuals automatically and if contacted, seniors should not provide their personal information. Phone fraud warning signs:
When you give personal or financial information to unknown callers, you increase your chances of becoming a victim of telemarketing fraud. Some warning signs that you may be talking to a scam artist:
They say that you must act ―now or the offer won't be good.
They say that you must send money, give a credit card or bank account number, or have a check picked up by courier.
They say that you don't need to check out the company with anyone, including your family, lawyer, accountant, local Better Business Bureau or consumer protection agency.
They say that you don't need any written information about their company or their references.
They say that you can't afford to miss this ―high-profit, no-risk offer.

Avoid being a victim:
Medicare advises seniors to be wary of individuals who approach them with offers of good deals on Medicare prescription drug coverage. According to Medicare officials:
Be wary of door-to-door salespeople. No one is authorized to come to your door uninvited with the purpose of selling you Medicare prescription drug coverage.
Do not reveal personal health or financial information. Legitimate companies who sell Medicare prescription drug policies are not authorized to request personal information during marketing activities.
Always protect your Medicare number. Like your credit cards and bank accounts, your Medicare number is personal and should not be given to strangers.
Before you reveal personal information or sign a contract, confirm that the company is legitimate. Medicare has a list of approved companies, so it‘s easy to confirm that the company and coverage you choose is legitimate before you sign up or reveal financial information. If a salesperson pressures you to sign up without giving you time to check, run the other way.
Note: If you have questions about Medicare coverage, call 800-MEDICARE, or go online to www.medicare.gov. If you suspect fraud, contact your local police or the Health and Human Services Office of the Inspector General at 800-HHS-TIPS.
[Source: Kalamazoo Gazette article 21 Jul 2010 ++]


WEEKLY INSPIRATION

Prayer of Thanksgiving

God of all blessings,
source of all life,
giver of all grace:

We thank you for the gift of life:
for the breath that sustains life,
for the food of this earth that nurtures life,
for the love of family and friends
without which there would be no life.

We thank you for the mystery of creation:
for the beauty that the eye can see,
for the joy that the ear may hear,
for the unknown that we cannot behold filling the universe with wonder,
for the expanse of space that draws us beyond the definitions of our selves.

We thank you for setting us in communities: 
for families who nurture our becoming,
for friends who love us by choice,
for companions at work, who share our burdens and daily tasks,
for strangers who welcome us into their midst,
for people from other lands who call us to grow in understanding,
for children who lighten our moments with delight,
for the unborn, who offer us hope for the future.

We thank you for this day:
for life and one more day to love,
for opportunity and one more day to work for justice and peace,
for neighbors and one more person to love
and by whom be loved,for your grace
and one more experience of your presence,
for your promise: 
to be with us, to be our God, and to give salvation.

For these, and all blessings,
we give you thanks, eternal, loving God,
through Jesus Christ we pray. 
Amen


Thats all the news for this week. Check back next Saturday. Thanks, Ole' Bill


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