Tag Archives: book review

Against Our Better Judgement; book summary

No one, including the President can get much done without the support of a majority of the legislators. We need to elect  a congress who will work together to promote peace and protection of the environment. Wars on terror have seemed to only cause increased terror and destruction and for what benefit or whose benefit?

Alison Weir is a journalist who didn’t like what she saw when she visited Palestine in the early 2000s and so she started reading and was brave enough to have written a book. It is still dangerous to people’s careers to report on the treatment of Palestine by Israel. It is a short book, 93 pages of text, and 109 pages of footnotes with further details, and 24 pages of works cited, and three pages of books for further reading which didn’t make it into the 93 pages of text. Her original goal was to write an article but it kept getting longer. Her goal was to share this information with the American public because Palestinians are still being mistreated and killed without cause or repercussions. We as a nation are continuing to support this apartheid situation.

This is not a book review in the normal sense of the genre, consider it a book summary or an attempt at the more condensed article that the author may have first envisioned. I encourage you to read the book as there are many more details which I didn’t attempt to include, it is a concise and well written book, but I also know that it is a busy world and not everyone has time to read a book, even an important book that is short in length and tall in character.

This summary was not written with consultation or permission of the author of the book Against Our Better Judgement, please see the website IfAmericaKnew.org for a link to the book and for more information about conditions in modern day Palestine  — any errors contained in this summary are my own and the opinions expressed are my own.

The book “Against Our Better Judgement; The hidden history of how the U.S. was used to create Israel,” by Alison Weir (2014) suggests that our nation has had people in positions of power since the early 1900s who have been promoting a Zionist agenda to takeover Palestine and create a nation for “all” Jews to live. However the Jews throughout the world were more interested in staying settled where they were and were not interested in being singled out as an exclusionary religion. The group working for an Israeli nation were known as Zionist and many Jewish people were anti-Zionist. The media and financial support for creating a nation for Jews in Palestine had become too powerful however. Speaking out against Zionism became dangerous:

“Berger and other anti-Zionist Jewish Americans tried to organize against “the deception and cynicism with which the Zionist machine operated,” but failed to obtain anywhere near their level of funding. Among other things, would be dissenters were afraid of “the savagery of personal attacks” anti-Zionists endured. ref.155. (page 38, Against Our Better Judgement)

There was a lot of dark money already in play as people in the Zionist movement were also involved in banking and the creation of the Federal Reserve. Fund raising efforts also were very successful among people of the Jewish and Christian faiths — creating a nation in the Promised Land for Jewish people sounded nice.

Zionist supporters did get an agreement from the negotiations with Great Britain during World War I promising that if the U.S. could be brought into WWI to help Great Britain win the war, then Jews would be allowed to settle in Palestine. The region where Palestine is located was under the control of Great Britain at the time. And the U.S. was able to be encouraged by Zionist supporters to enter WWI and we did help win the war for Great Britain. And Jewish immigrants were allowed to settle in the Palestine region. The area at the time had been mainly populated by Muslims and Christians living without conflict.

The early Zionist settlers found out however that Jews living peacefully elsewhere did not have a strong urge to move to a desert to grow oranges. European Jewish settlements started experiencing violence that was publicized as hate crimes of anti-semitism but were actually undercover Zionists hurting Jews in order to cause fear and promote immigration to Palestine.

The German people who ended up on the losing side of WWI had some knowledge of the Zionist influence used to bring the U.S. into the war. During the build up to WWII this may have added to the power of Hitler and the Nazi regime. However Zionist worked with the Hitler regime during the 1930s and Jews who wanted to settle in Palestine were allowed to leave and to transfer their financial assets to Palestine. During WWII the areas where Jewish people lived in close communities ended up making it easier for the large numbers of victims of the concentration camps and death chambers.

And the large numbers of deaths made it easier for Zionist efforts after the war was over to work on international sympathy for the cause of having the Palestine area be made into a nation called Israel – partition was promised – Arab groups were supposed to be able to have their own place in the area but it .didn’t work out that way and the plan was “Against Our Better Judgement;” it was expected that a dual nation was not the ultimate goal and that there would be blood shed:

An internal State Department memorandum accurately predicted how Israel would be born through armed aggression masked as defense:

“…the Jews will be the actual agressors against the Arabs. However, the Jews will claim that they are merely defending the boundaries of a state which were traced by the U.N…. In the event of such Arab outside aid the Jews will come running to the Security Council with the claim that their state is the object of armed aggression and will use every means to obscure the fact that it is their own armed aggression against the Arabs inside which is the cause of Arab counter-attack.” (ref.195) (page 48, Against Our Better Judgement)

At the time Zionists were working towards support of a voting majority of the members of the United Nations to accept Israel as a new nation President Truman was in office. He was also pressured to vote to partition the nation of Palestine:

‘Truman wrote in his memoirs: “I do not think I ever had as much pressure and propaganda aimed at the White House as I had in this instance.”‘

The paragraph continues with information by the author of the book:

“There were now about a million dues-paying Zionists in the U.S.” (ref.206) (page 51, Against Our Better Judgement, by Alison Weir, 2014)

And financial incentives were involved as we learn in the next paragraph:

“Then, as now, in addition to unending pressure there was financial compensation, Truman reportedly receiving a suitcase full of money from Zionists while on his train campaign around the country.” (ref.207) (page 51, Against Our Better Judgement, by Alison Weir, 2014)

Enough nations did end up voting for the partition of Palestine to create Israel and there was bloodshed as the fledgling nation cleared out Arabs and Christians, and even went after some British people:

“Begin, head of the Irgun militia, sent the following message to his troops about their victory at Deir Yassin:

‘Accept my congratulations on this splendid act of conquest. Convey my regards to all the commanders and soldiers. We shake your hands. We are all proud of the excellent leadership and the fighting spirit in this great attack. We stand to attention in memory of the slain. We lovingly shake the hands of the wounded. Tell the soldiers you have made history in Israel with your attack and your conquest. Continue thus until victory. As in Deir Yassin, so everywhere, we will attack and smite the enemy. God, God, Thou has chosen us for conquest.'” (ref.246) (page 60, Against Our Better Judgement, by Alison Weir, 2014)

There was an eye witness report of the blood shed that had occurred there:

“Deir Yassin in April 1948 — before any Arab armies had joined the war. A Swiss Red Cross representative was one of the first to arrive on the scene, where he found 254 dead, including 145 women, 35 of them pregnant.” (ref.240) (page 59, Against Our Better Judgement, by Alison Weir, 2014)

Begin ended up traveling throughout America six months later on a tour that the State Department had tried to deny but which had the support of “11 Senators, 12 governors, 70 Congressment, 17 Justices and numerous other public officials,” (ref. 249) (page 60) but the attempt by the State Department to deny Begin’s visa “was overruled by Truman.” (ref.250) (page 61, Against Our Better Judgement, by Alison Weir, 2014)

“Begin later proudly admitted his terrorism in an interview for American television. When the interviewer asked him, ‘How does it feel, in the light of all that’s going on, to be the father of terrorism in the Middle East?’ Begin proclaimed, ‘In the Middle East? In all the world!'” (ref.251) (page 61, Against Our Better Judgement, by Alison Weir, 2014)

At least 33 massacres of Palestinian villages occurred, half of them before a single Arab army joined the conflict. (ref.232) (page 58) The Zionist militias had more weapons (ref.233) (page 58) “and by the end of Israel’s ‘War of Independence’ over 750,000 Palestinian men, women and children were ruthlessly expelled.” (ref.234) (page 58, Against Our Better Judgement, by Alison Weir, 2014)

Zionists had been working within the United States under assumed names during the late 1930s through 1948 under a variety of “organizations, including the ‘Emergency Committee to Save European Jewry’ and ‘American Friends of a Jewish Palestine.‘” (ref.252) (page 62, Against Our Better Judgement, by Alison Weir, 2014) The groups had support from many people.

“Baumel reports that an American Jewish leader who had immigrated to Palestine wrote to Eleanor Roosevelt asking her to withdraw support from the Brando production, [”We Will Never Die!’ celebrating the Jewish contribution to Western civilization”] because its profits ‘were being used to fund terrorist activity.'” (ref.261) Eleanor ignored this advice apparently unaware that it was well founded.” (page 64, Against Our Better Judgement, by Alison Weir, 2014)

Another supporter did withdraw support after finding out that the fund-raising organizations were all connected to the same group and who were connected to terrorism:

“One supporter, best-selling author Pierre van Paassen, resigned when he learned that various Delegation-spawned ‘committees’ to save Jews were all tied to horrific terrorist actions in Palestine.”

“He declared that he did not believe they had the means or intention to truly save Jews from the Nazis, writing: ‘To speak bluntly, that “Committee to Save the Jewish People of Europe” is a hoax, in my judgement a very cruel hoax perpetrated on the American public, Jewish and non-Jewish alike.'” (ref.264) (page 65, Against Our Better Judgement, by Alison Weir, 2014)

“…critics point out that it [the group] did not manageto rescue any Jews during the Nazi holocaust,” (ref.265, “though it may have helped contribute to the pressure on President Roosevelt to later create a War Refugee Board.” (ref.266) (page 65, Against Our Better Judgement, by Alison Weir, 2014)

“The group had numerous opponents among Jewish leaders, both Zionist and anti-Zionist. (ref.267) Some, unlike the general public, were aware of the secret connections to Menachem Begin’s Irgun, whose violent tactics many found abhorrent, particularly when they targeted the British at a time that England was fighting to defeat Hitler — the most effective way, many felt, to rescue Jews.” (page 65, Against Our Better Judgement, by Alison Weir, 2014)

The main leader of the many ‘committees’ operating in the U.S. to raise funds was working under the name “Peter Bergson” but was really named “Hillel Kook.” (page 62) His “uncle was Rabbi Avraham Yitzhak Kook, often known as ‘Rabbi Kook the Elder.””…and eventually became the ‘Chief Rabbi of Palestine.‘” (page 66) He is the founder of “an ideology that merged a Kabbalistic version of religious Judaism with political Zionism, founding an extremist religious Zionism that continues in existence today.” (ref.273) (page 67)

“The Kabala teaches that non-Jews are the embodiment of Satan and that the world was created solely for the sake of Jews. (ref.274) Rabbi Kook, who achieved saintly status among his followers in Israel and the U.S., stated: ‘The difference between a Jewish soul and souls of non-Jews. . . is greater and deeper than the difference between a human soul and the souls of cattle.'” (ref.275)

American money raised by just one of the organizations, between 1939 and May 1948, would be the equivalent of $3.5 billion in today’s dollars. (ref.309) (page 73, Against Our Better Judgement, by Alison Weir, 2014) The money was used in part to buy guns for the immigrants already settled in Palestine “for use in taking over the land for a Jewish State.” (ref.306) (page 72, Against Our Better Judgement, by Alison Weir, 2014)

After WWII was over the Zionist movement ran into the same trouble again — refugees didn’t want to move to a desert — they were forced to anyway. Even Jewish orphans were forced to leave families that had been hiding them safely throughout WWII and who frequently had come to love the children and would have happily adopted them. The children were then placed in temporary orphanages in Belgium and were forced to speak only Hebrew. They also weren’t allowed to leave the facilities to seek out whether any of their relatives had survived in order to prevent them from possibly staying in Europe instead of going to Palestine. (page 75-76, Against Our Better Judgement, by Alison Weir, 2014) “Displaced persons” some of whom may already have had visas approved for immigration to other countries were forced to go to Palestine instead drafted into military service. (page 78-79) Where they weren’t treated with equally as the Zionists:

“Israeli author Tom Segev reports that most of the immigrants from Germany were refugees who came ‘against their will… They were not Zionists.’ In Israel they were ‘objects of condescension and contempt.'” (ref.326)

“The American public, however, was led to believe that European Jews desperately wished to go to Palestine, and the well organized, well funded, and frequently ruthless operation behind the emigration was hidden from view. (page 79-80, (page 75, Against Our Better Judgement, by Alison Weir, 2014)

Palestinian Arabs weren’t the only population to suffer massacre and forced eviction by the Israeli forces when the nation was voted into existence.

“Journalist and academic Anders Strindberg reports: ‘In the process of “Judaizing” Palestine, numerous convents, hospices, seminaries, and churches were either destroyed or cleared of their Christian owners and custodians. In one of the most spectacular attacks on a Christian target, on May 17, 1948, the Armenian Orthodox Patriarchate was shelled with about 100 mortar rounds — launched by Zionist forces from the already occupied monastery of the Benedictine Fathers on Mount Zion. The bombardment also damaged St. Jacob’s Convent, the Archangel’s Convent, and their appended churches, their two elementary and seminary schools, as well as their libraries, killing eight people and wounding 120.'” (ref.335) (page 83, (page 75, Against Our Better Judgement, by Alison Weir, 2014)

One financial control is held over a nation’s politicians and its media than history is reported according to the goals of the financiers. Propaganda does not actually mean history didn’t happen but if enough people are led to believe a one-sided story then it is almost as if history didn’t happen.

I will be celebrating Nakba Day this year on May fifteenth [for more info: Nakba Day (The Catastrophe) fifteenth of May, 1948] and as many years as I survive — in honour of the many Arabs, Christians, Jews and British people who lost their lives to Zionist terrorism. And I may visit a cemetery on May seventeenth in memory of the eight people who lost their lives during the shelling of the Armenian Orthodox Patriarchate, on May 17, 1948.

Our nation was founded on a strong belief in the separation of church and state but our priorities were manipulated by financial incentives and threats. It is time to end WWII and let Palestine be free again. Our nation’s War on Terror is actually a war on common sense and a war on decency and a war on the future of the planet. It is past time to stop terrorizing the world and to stop funding apartheid.

And, a second copy of this statement:

This summary was not written with consultation or permission of the author of the book Against Our Better Judgement , please see the website IfAmericaKnew.org for a link to the book and for more information about conditions in modern day Palestine  — any errors contained in this summary are my own and the opinions expressed are my own.

/Disclosure: Opinions are my own and this information is provided for educational purposes within the guidelines of fair use. While I am a Registered Dietitian this information is not intended to provide individual health guidance. Please see a health professional for individual health care purposes./

And If You Feel that Your Physician, Nation, or Planet has been in a Bad Relationship with Pharmaceutical Companies, Then There’s a Book for You Too

This is a continuation of the last post and an earlier series of posts on bad relationships — something I seem to have experience in going back to my childhood. Before I get to the book though, a discussion of my disclosure statement seems pertinent — that statement in italics at the bottom of the page:

  • /Disclaimer: This information is provided for educational purposes within the guidelines of fair use. While I am a Registered Dietitian this information is not intended to provide individual health guidance. Please see a health professional for individual health care purposes./

The part that is pertinent to the book regarding a possible bad relationship with pharmaceutical companies is the last line:  “Please see a health professional for individual health care purposes.” The problem that I’ve experienced in my own health care and that of loved ones is that “individual health care” no longer seems to be very available in the medical system that is currently in mainstream use within the United States. We have switched to a medical system based on “evidence-based medicine” rather than focusing on individualized care of each patient.

To quote myself — The evidence is in, “evidence-based medicine” isn’t working. It is based on clinical trials that group large numbers of people into experimental and control groups and then present the averages as evidence that an experimental treatment worked better than placebo – which might be an actual benign treatment given to the control group to make them and the  research team “blind” to which people are in an experimental group and which people are in the control group. A “double blind” study is considered the gold standard of clinical trials because feasibly the people within the groups and the researchers are blind/unaware of which people are receiving a treatment and which people are receiving a placebo. So feasibly there would be no bias among the researchers regarding whether the experimental treatment had helped or harmed. In reality though, it is extremely difficult to make a truly “blind” study because usually there are differences in negative side effects or treatment benefits among the people in the various different experimental or control groups.

My university training was a bit unusual from the usual curriculum followed by registered dietitians because I switched majors and universities at a midpoint.

As a dietitian I was trained in college and during my one year internship regarding how and where to look things up fro unusual diagnoses or symptoms, because dietitians are expected to understand all of the body’s systems and all of the body’s nutrient needs and all of the diagnoses that might affect them. While some dietitians specialize many are expected to provide nutrition assessment and counseling for all patients no matter how unusual their diagnosis or symptoms may be and we are frequently expected to do that with minimal lab tests. We are trained to do a thorough assessment of visual and other symptoms in addition to an in depth interview regarding the patient’s understanding or their symptoms and  to inquire about their usual lifestyle and dietary habits.

Recently I learned that that is no longer the standard approach for physicians, as 80% of a diagnosis is frequently based on lab tests within the current medical system.

The number of years of university or medical training that a dietitian, family doctor, or medical specialist had received in the past has little to do with my concerns over evidence-based medicine or my own care as a patient however. While I can only directly speak for my own two years of training which focused on genetics or my five years of training focused on dietetics (I switched majors), in all likelihood none of us received any training on the cannabinoid receptor system or its role in nutrition, general health or in specialized fields of health care as it is illegal in the United States to research the medical aspects of the cannabinoid system.

I do not feel very safe as a patient personally or for the safety of others seeking healthcare within the current medical system, not just due to evidence-based medicine but also due to the lack of knowledge about basic physiology that has been forced on the medical industry due to the inappropriate listing of marijuana as having no medical benefits. It makes it illegal for researchers in the U.S. to study the cannabinoid system except regarding how the cannabinoid system might relate to addiction or substance abuse and what isn’t researched isn’t taught in medical schools or other university health programs.

However the cannabinoid receptor system has medical benefits throughout all areas of the body whether cared for by medical specialists or by general practitioners or by dietetics professionals. Cannabinoids are in breast milk. They help stimulate the infant to suck and helps prevent low weight gain and failure to thrive. The cannabinoid receptor system helps the fetus implant within the uterus and they are some of the earliest receptors to develop in the fetal brain. There are increased numbers of the receptors in the uterus and increased levels of vitamin D receptors in the placenta. The two systems work closely together and both cannabinoids and hormone D can affect levels of most of the main neurotransmitters in the brain. I’ve been doing independent reading in academic texts and online journal articles since 2010 regarding the cannabinoid receptor system and it has greatly helped advance my understanding of my own health issues and specialized needs related to genetic anomalies. I’ve been slightly unhealthy  with skin eczema and allergies since birth which always suggested to me that I was born with something different than average, but I didn’t know what and my symptoms were never severe enough to rate as “sick” on lab tests. – “annoying hypochondriac” seemed to have scored some points though (more on genetics a little later in this post).

A primary goal in dietetics is to preserve skin integrity – preventing pressure sores from becoming necrotic for example or to prevent intestinal symptoms from worsening in a way that might allow increased permeability of proteins large enough to cause allergies if allowed into the more sterile environment of the body. The gastrointestinal tract is lined with skin that is slightly different than our outer skin but both areas have similar functions to prevent foreign proteins or bacteria or other parasites from entering the interior of the body — our bodies are shaped more like a doughnut with an open center rather than like a solid substance.

Supporting evidence-based medicine has also become a primary goal of dietetics though as the phrase and techniques are now used throughout the insurance payment system and even dietitians need to eat (pun intended). My university training was in 1984-86 and 1988-93, I not only switched majors and universities, I also got married and had a baby in between. My interest in dietetics grew with my appetite and my expanding belly while I was learning firsthand what being a pregnant person was like — uncomfortable is a key word. But I had a midwife who was very experienced and helped me work through the discomforts of pregnancy and guided me towards foods that were both nutritious and easy to digest.

Healthy food and cooking from scratch had also been part of my childhood upbringing so dietetics was a natural fit and genetics had lost some of its interest for me when I learned in my work study job within a genetics research lab (1984-86) that most projects in the field of genetics took twenty years to complete — my attention span at the time did not seem to be twenty years long, however it turns out that my interest in genetics has been lifelong and personally beneficial: see older post. Nutrigenomics [2] is a newer field of study that works with individualized dietary support based on an individual’s genetic structure, metabolic defects that affect nutrient needs are not uncommon and can increase risks for physical and mental health symptoms.

Back to the point, evidence-based medicine in the modern era is largely based on clinical trials that are funded by pharmaceutical companies. Data is often not used if it produces negative results. Research articles are frequently written by ghost-writers who may further manipulate the statistics to produce “statistically-significant” results that favor the experimental pharmaceutical being tested. Negative side effects may be dropped from the results or manipulated in a variety of ways. New drugs only require two statistically significant clinical trials to be approved by the Food and Drug Administration. [1]

Physicians are directly marketed to by pharmaceutical companies and indirectly marketed to within academic journal articles that were actually written by the pharmaceutical teams of ghostwriters whose focus includes marketing diseases that are managed by the company’s patent-protected medication. Instead of individualized care we are now more likely to be treated by physicians that have to follow guidelines that are set based on whatever was officially published about the evidence-based clinical trials  — rather than on the unknown amount of hidden data regarding negative side effects of the experimental drugs. Physicians who go against guidelines can face reprimands from their workplace or open themselves up to increased malpractice risks because they weren’t following the evidence-based guidelines. However the newer drugs may not be more effective or safer than older drugs or very different chemically but the value to the pharmaceutical company is that the newer drugs are patent protected and may have a price mark up that might be 50-80 times higher than the older drugs available as generics. Patent protected pharmaceuticals may have a 2500 percent markup above the company’s production costs. Since the end of World War II when health care expenditures totaled about 1% of the U.S. budget we are now spending over 17% of the budget (GDP, Gross Domestic Product) on health care costs (page 157 and 185).  [1]

Following evidence-based guidelines was supposed to increase health and reduce costs but the evidence suggests that it hasn’t.

These “evidence-based” guidelines can then become incorporated into private insurance or Medicaid standards of care which then are forced on children and their parents and other patients who may have went to a physician with a minor complaint relating to our stressful modern lives but who may then be placed on anti-depressants or anti-psychotics that have been associated with increased risk for suicide and even homicide as well as significant weight gain, elevated cholesterol or diabetes. Asthma drugs and other pharmaceuticals may also be initiated before lifestyle changes are discussed or the patient is given time to try. Pharmaceutical risk management of lab test numbers has replaced individualized health care. [1]

The book for more information about evidence-based medicine’s takeover of individualized health care is “Pharmageddon,” by David Healy, (University of California Press, 2012, Berkeley). [1]

/Disclaimer: This information is provided for educational purposes within the guidelines of fair use. While I am a Registered Dietitian this information is not intended to provide individual health guidance. Please see a health professional for individual health care purposes./

If laughter is the best medicine, then self advocacy may be the second best, and a U.S. physician has written a prescription for both; a book link

There are no guarantees in life except that it doesn’t end well but a physician has written a guide that may help patients navigate through the U.S. medical system. The book “Prepare to Defend Yourself . . . How to Navigate the Healthcare System & Escape with Your Life,” (2014) by Matthew Minson, MD is a patient guide written with sensitivity and humor . . . and the cartoons are funny too. [1]

The author shares the background history of medical care and addresses how changes in the current medical industry has made individualized care of patients more difficult for physicians and for patients. The guide has helpful worksheets of information to keep on hand in case of emergencies, [2], and questions to ask before an emergency occurs (ideally, get the book now, before you need it).

The book’s publication was with the support of the Texas A & M School of Rural Public Health, “whose mission is to improve the health of communities through education, research, service, outreach, and creative partnerships.” The author completed his medical residency in Anesthesiology but since then has worked extensively in the field of emergency and disaster response at federal and corporate levels. [3]

More information about the book and copies of worksheets from the book are available on the website: preparetodefendyourself.com.

Happy April Fool’s Day, but the need for self advocacy as a patient is no joke. Arm yourself with knowledge and a side of laughter, the end result will be the same but quality of life is something to protect every day.

/Disclaimer: Opinions are my own and  the information is provided for educational purposes within the guidelines of fair use. While I am a Registered Dietitian this information is not intended to provide individual health guidance. Please see a health professional for individual health care purposes./

A very important book, “Half the Sky”

Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide (2009is a book by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalists Nicholas D. Kistof and Sheryl WuDunn. The book has also been made into a PBS series. The authors shares stories and statistics from around the world about women and girls and men and boys. Women’s rights are human rights and frequently the stories show that helping women helps the whole family and even the whole community. [halftheskymovement.org]

“Women hold up half the sky.” -Mao Zedong

Women are certainly holding up their half of the sky in China where some of the world’s richest women now work and live.

The following quote makes me glad I wasn’t forced to get braces for my crooked teeth and that I wasn’t expected to have my body cut in sensitive areas in order to suit the marital expectations of my cultural group. The speaker has helped groups of women and families work together to change long held customs.

“Everybody has to change together, or you will never be able to marry your daughter,” Molly says. “My mother put me in braces, and I bled and I cried for two years, and an African woman could have come over and said: ‘How can you do this to your daughter?’ And my mother would have said, ‘I saved from my little salary to straighten my daughter’s teeth, so she can get married. How dare you say I am cruel!'” – Molly Melching, Tostan program, page 227

The book Half the Sky  presents the painful issues that women and girls and their loved ones are facing around the world on a daily basis. The book covers adult topics, uncomfortable but better to face and discuss than to suppress and hide behind closed doors. Women with education and income tend to spend more on the health and education of their children. Girls with more education tend to have children later which is also safer for their bodies.

Women can hold up their half of the sky better when they have skills and confidence and are allowed to speak about their concerns. Half the Sky is a doorway to some of their stories, both painful and hopeful. Contact information is included for the organizations that are described in the book. (2009)

Coffee is a methyl donor, yippee for my DNA

Proper methylation of DNA regulates which sections of DNA are active and will be used to direct metabolic activities in the body and which sections are turned off. Some people have metabolic defects in their ability to methylate normally. Problems in the normal methylation cycle may be more common for people on the autism spectrum and in some other genetic conditions like Down’s Syndrome.

The following website has a book available to read online that includes information about metabolic differences that have been found to be more common for people on the autism spectrum. Methylation differences in metabolism are discussed in Chapter 2 of the book Autism: Pathways to Recovery, by Dr. Amy Yasko. In the chapter coffee and Ritalin are described as methyl donors, and it is suggested that they might be helpful for some people for that reason.  Defects in the normal ability to methylate DNA is impaired in some people which may leave their immune systems over active with autoimmune symptoms or underactive and more susceptible to actual threats. [dramyyasko.com/resources/autism-pathways-to-recovery/chapter-2/]

A book available online, thanks to the author Dr. Amy Yasko. She mentions in the opening paragraph of Chapter 1 that the U.S. population grew by 13% in the 1990s and the number of people with autism grew by 172% in the same time frame. Read more: [dramyyasko.com/resources/autism-pathways-to-recovery/chapter-1/]

In 1975 the rate of autism was 1 in 5000.  Approximately one child of every 88 born in the year 2000 were found to have autism and the rate was 1 in 68 – one infant out of every 68 children born in 2002 were found to have autism. [aplus.com/a/scientist-claims-half-of-children-will-have-autism-by-2025]

There may not be a ‘cure’ for autism but there are nutritional strategies that help manage some of the more common metabolic differences if parents and health professionals are allowed to acknowledge the existence of the differences.

/Disclosure: I am not recommending coffee for children or infants.  This information is provided for educational purposes and is not intended to provide individual health guidance. Please see a health professional for individual health care purposes./

“Health is not a product.”

According to Pete Egoscue, a human anatomy specialist, health is an individual responsibility rather than a product that can be bought and sold. He states that “Health is not a product,” on page 48 of the book, The Egoscue Method of Health Through Motion: A Revolutionary Program That Lets You Rediscover the Body’s Power to Protect and Rejuvenate Itself, (Harper, 1992), by Pete Egoscue with Roger Gittines.

The human body is designed to move in an upright position throughout the day and the involuntary actions of the lungs and heart are assisted by the voluntary actions of walking or running. Sitting or laying down for long hours can train the body to expect there to be continued lack of motion which can then lead to feeling pain when moderate exercise does occur. Similarly, poor posture habits over time can lead to feelings of chronic pain, and the painful feelings may be experienced in areas of the body that aren’t obviously related to posture or exercise habits. Correcting the underlying posture problems and strengthening muscle groups in a balanced way can sometimes correct the feelings of pain with out having to have surgery or replacement of painful joints. [1]

Pain from poor posture according to the book can sometimes be felt in areas of the body that you wouldn’t expect such as migraine headaches or TMJ pain in the jaw (temporomandibular joint pain). [1] I first read this book decades ago and I did find the exercises helpful for coping with migraine pain and with other aches and pains that I may not have noticed initially until there was improvement in the more severe condition. The book includes detailed guidance for evaluating which areas of the body might be problem areas for the reader and then continues with descriptions of exercises and practice routines for retraining the muscle groups in a balanced way.

/Disclosure: This information is provided for educational purposes and is not intended to provide individual health care guidance. Please see a health professional for individualized health care services./