All are equal in Equal Opportunity Programs

“Some are more equal than others” in the book Animal Farm by George Orwell. (paraphrased)

“All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.”

In the 60’s and 70’s women’s liberation and sexual liberation were somewhat connected. Being a single unwed mother was rare and was disapproved of.  That has changed for the better, women and children are accepted no matter the marital history. However the poverty support programs as they are currently written promote unwed mothers by penalizing couples -giving less support or no support help to married couples or unwed couples where the father is named.

A support net that promotes single parenting and not naming a child’s father is discriminating against the child’s right to know their father and their medical and cultural heritage. Welfare programs in larger areas even inspect for evidence of an unnamed father figure and women can lose their benefits even if the large size jeans were their own. Supporting children is a goal that benefits society and stressful situations make parenting more difficult. Rewriting policies that are more open to two parent households whether it is mom and dad, or mom and mom, or dad and dad, would be a positive goal for the sake of raising healthy and secure children who have adequate caregiving available.

Raising children is a challenge with two parents and raising them with one parent may be less stressful and the wiser choice if one parent is unreliable or abusive, so flexibility in any welfare type support net program is the wisest choice for the children’s sake. And for the future’s sake raising secure well adjusted children is most likely to lead to more well adjusted  prosocial tax paying self sufficient adults. (link elsewhere on this site.: From a previous post: Regarding potential underlying reasons for a person to resort to mass violence – typically it isn’t due to “mentally ill” people unless they were already prone to violence. An increased risk for violence is not associated with depression, anxiety or ADHD. Increased risk for mass violence is significantly associated though with being a male who had experienced child trauma and who is a binge drinker.  (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4318286/ ))

Sexual liberation was openly discussed by some in the past, 60s/70s, but it wasn’t common for the average woman or household (some women were free/open to casual encounters but most others were not; and swinging/key parties were an experiment of the 70s). Now we have fifty percent (roughly) of children growing up in poverty and many of them living in poverty have single parent households. The inequality of women’s pay to men’s pay when broken down into more precise detail is actually more of a difference in mother’s pay to other’s pay. nytimes The salaries of women without children are more comparable to men’s wages.

So who is liberated now – father’s from their previous role as a head of household? Or are they liberated from being anywhere in the household? Maybe but liberated maybe not. Some are in prison as the number of prisoners has increased with the for-profit prison industry. Since 1974 the amount of prisoners has increased from a steady 100/100,000 to 500/100,000 by 2004. nap.edu

Is sexual liberation still around – or just single parenthood? It seems to be the latter, based on my experience it went away with the increase in sexually transmitted disease and the increase in AIDS/HIV that occurred in the 80s and 90s.

What about equality? Are some animals more equal than others? Yes, some do seem to have different rules than others regarding taxation and legal protection and even in television show games we have many that focus on voting who to keep and who to remove from the lineup of contenders. Some animals are more equal it seems, in our modern times.

In my world we are all equal and the animals count too. We need offshore microbes to modify the form of trace minerals found in ocean water into a form that is available in the atmosphere.

Some animals may think they are more equal than other animals but in the long run we may all be looking to microbes for help that they won’t be able to provide in an ocean that is more acidic and warmer. It is hard to predict who will be more equal than who in a greatly changed world, planning ahead now might make the transition go smoother. Stopping change is already too late, it is happening at the more severe rates that have been used in calculations of predicted events.

In the world I grew up as a child in the 70s we cared about climate and cleaning up air and water and women’s liberation included freedom to touch and be touched not just be seen in more exposed and expensive fashions. Fathers were part of the household, not just on visitation days. Was it perfect then? probably not, but is it perfect now? not really. Lack of jobs for many and lack of time for those who do have jobs is a problem in our modern society that isn’t going to change without the creation of new industries. Globalization has decreased poverty around the world but has led to fewer jobs in the U.S. that are as well paying in proportion to the type of pay that a father as head of household might have had in the 50s or 60s. It will require planned change in priorities to create a new job or basic income society. The advantage could be more stable parenting by two parent households.

Men, on average, are still expected to be a good earner in order to win a woman’s partnership as a spouse and parent. cnn.com/american-men-less-marriageable-partner Expectations may be involved in the suicide rate by males which is a problem of our modern society that was also a problem in the 50s and 60s. More men commit suicide than women on average (males ~18-21/100,000, females ~ 4-6/100,000) and both rates have been fairly consistent since the 1950s. statista.com  Social roles being demanding in different ways seems unlikely to explain that consistent of a difference, speculatively, testosterone levels are not directly associated with violence but in individuals whether male or female if prone to violence increased testosterone can increase tendency towards violence and suicide is a violent reaction against the self. (Sapolosky, Behave)

So are women liberated yet? are men? are children? Prisoners certainly aren’t. /https://mic.com/articles/86519/19-actual-statistics-about-america-s-prison-system#.RB8uGOHzW/ And are we sexually liberated yet? I read one study showed an average of less than two encounters per week for couples – we were supposed to be shocked that the use of medical marijuana was associated with a 20% increase in the rate, bumping up close to 1/week to closer to 2/week metro.co.uk/2017/10/27/weed-smokers-have-more-sex-apparently – I was shocked by both rates. It was not a large study, so maybe there’s more healthy fun going on in the world of consensual couples. Although for the busy pace of a full-time job and commute and helping with children’s homework or doing other household chores it can be difficult to find energy let alone time for extraneous activities no matter how fun. For me fun, solo, helps with better mental health and it can have pain killing benefits for a woman. Migraine relief was sometimes only a few minutes of concentration away if I had some privacy. Good and good for you.

Asexuality seems to be the new liberation. Zinc and omega 3 fatty acids and iodine and selenium may all be helpful for boosting that average for men or women. Food sources of iodine and selenium are available here: effectivecare.info/g9-iodine-&-thyroid

Some animals do seem to be more equal than others. George Orwell was right about that part.

The new site that I still need to work on is meant as ideas, not to be considered better or worse than anyone, the point of Equal Opportunity Programs is that all are treated equally, equal service offered in a variety of languages. The site has ideas, just ideas to consider and online translation services can give a rough translation, but currently the site is in English and written from the perspective of someone who worked in the U.S. in a field that was largely staffed by women, so my ideas may not convert well to a modern mixed gender working world, however the goal of Equal Opportunity Employment is that gender ratios in all of the businesses participating would be similar or not matter if they weren’t in similar ratios. Pay and benefits would be equivalent. Goals are a starting point to consider and work towards, ideas are a place to start.

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.  

Banana Republics – an old novel for a current era

11/2017 – the USDA Food Composition Database is still missing critically important information – and until we can discuss that there is much else that isn’t going to be discussed. Note – this is about my concern that the entire public is being victimized by inadequate health care options as well as the information missing from a public database, and the history likely involves the radioactive incidents and factory work that took place in Hanford, Washington. Adequate iodine supply helps protect the body and thyroid gland from developing cancer and yet instead of educating the public regarding that fact the opposite occurred. Radioactive iodine is treated as a therapy for detecting cancer with the use of X-ray machines and for destroying thyroid cancer. Emergency supplies of higher dose iodine are produced for use in case of a nuclear incident but long term adequacy of iodine would work just as well or better than a short term use of high dose iodine if/when a nuclear incident occurred. The negative health effects of radioactive iodine have also been tested on the U.S. public without permission in covert experiments that took place during the Cold War years. See number six: http://theweek.com/articles/622448/8-government-conspiracy-theories-how-could-right/

Another plant can help reduce radiation in the soil – sunflowers have been used to help clean up radioactive hazardous waste sites. So instead of growing banana plants it might be helpful in some areas to plant sunflowers. https://gardencollage.com/change/sustainability/scientists-using-sunflowers-clean-nuclear-radiation/

Happy Holidays anyway – food sources for iodine and selenium, another trace mineral that is important for thyroid health is collected in an initial draft on my newer website: https://effectivecare.info/g9-iodine-%26-thyroid

Don Quixote, USA is a novel by Richard Powell that I read many times as a youth. Banana growing was a serious love for a nerdy young man who joined the Peace Corps and went to a South American country to help teach others. Somehow in the ensuing comedic adventures and misadventures he managed to grow bananas and takeover a Banana Republic – it is never too late to catch up on the classics.

I read the Reader’s Digest version which is mentioned in this book review. Reader’s Digest publishes slightly condensed versions of full length novels and publishes a book that includes four novels. Having read a few of the novels in their original and the Reader’s Digest condensed version I would say, great job Reader’s Digest at putting books in young adult’s and adult’s hands. I have not read the full length version of Don Quixote, USA but trust that it is even better than the Reader’s Digest version. Part of their success might be in choosing great books in the first place.

Book Review: Don Quixote, USA by Richard Powell

The novel is also available in a Kindle version and has an all star review on Amazon: Don Quixote, USA .

Take home lesson – if you don’t like something don’t just smash walnuts, unless you can also grow bananas. Read Don Quixote, USA to find  out more.

/Or spoiler for those who like to take things the wrong way, when the nerdy looking Peace Corps first arrives he is met by the current dictator who liked to crack nuts – smashing them – with the handle end of his pistol. When the now swash buckling Peace Corps member finds himself in the dictator’s chair as the people’s choice he finds the desktop has rounded indentations that do hold the walnut in place for handing cracking with the pistol handle (or whatever type it was, I don’t quite remember). The point in my sharing this is about negative smear campaigns against information – why is iodine information being withheld from the U.S. public when it was once available. No other nutrients seem to be missing and several non-nutrients are included. In 2012 I had an account on a social media site and multiple fake looking accounts were following it in a way that seemed to be trying to link me to the President in office at the time – I closed the account as the simplest way to end the parody followers attempt at a negative smear campaign. I didn’t know who might have been behind the fake looking followers but there were many of the same type of persona.

More on the less amusing history of the term Banana Republic is available on the Smithsonian website: Where we got the term Banana Republic. 

The take home lesson – don’t let your country be taken over by a business dictatorship where money talks, dictators listen, and everyone else asks how high to jump because they know that more than walnuts will be smashed.

Disclosure: Among my many houseplants I have grown a banana plant. they would need more sun than normal indoor light provides to actually produce fruit but as a large, lovely green tropical plant banana plants grow quickly and easily. https://www.thespruce.com/grow-bananas-indoors-1902483

Growing bananas in the right outdoor climate is relatively easy because new sprouts grow around the base of the older fruit bearing plant which can be the size of a small tree. The individual small plants can be dug up, and replanted with more space around them so that they all will be able to have the nutrients and sunlight that they will need in order to become a fullsize fruit bearing plant. I’ve never grown more than one potted plant banana but the book explains the process and it is an important part of the story – the young man changed himself in the process of helping the struggling people grow a more productive product for export. The dictator was overthrown by the will of the people who had grown to appreciate the young man’s help.

The Peace Corps volunteer knew about the amazing properties of the banana plant and his hard work led to a productive country, while the dictator that had been in charge knew more about cracking walnuts. The book includes details about growing bananas as the problem with the dictatorship at the time was a lack of productivity and lack of income.

The lesson isn’t about one Peace Corps worker or one dictator, it is about the group of people learning productive skills – no one alone can grow an entire field of bananas – it took a while for the young man to get enough interest and help.

A row of immature banana plants that need to be separated and replanted in a field. Or needed to be separated and replanted before they got this big. Ideally the sprouts would be used when they first appear and are only a few inches tall. This row would have roots that are too intertwined to be able to be separated.
A full size banana plant in the autumn, with a row of immature sprouts at the base – used for decorative purposes, I just happened to notice them.

And a daily reminder iodine content in our food supply was removed from a public database. This would not have been an accident – government agencies do what they are told. Why would the Obama Administration want to remove iodine information from public use? and why would the Trump Administration continue the policy? Food sources and other information about iodine and selenium is collected in a draft form on a different website: G9: Iodine & Thyroid

Where’s the iodine? Still missing from the USDA Food Composition Database, November, 2017.

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.

Reality check: U.S student health statistics, K – 12, a link

Mental health and chronic illness rates in the grade school and high school population of public schools has increased significantly. It is causing a problem for budgeting special needs staff for education and for nursing support for the chronic illness issues.

Read more, one part of a planned series on the topic: https://www.focusforhealth.org/special-ed/

A few thoughts I and others have had on the topic of special needs issues in children and adults:

Illness is a limiting factor affecting too many people in the U.S. and elsewhere. The rate of autism in children has reached 2% of U.S. children and it is a condition that was not present in the medical history of psychiatric care prior to around 1930.  (DenialBlaxill) Malnutrition of several nutrients including iodine seem to be involved based on my reading (post) so the presence of the condition after 1930 may have to due with the Great Depression’s impact on nutrition.

The planet and its nations can’t afford an increasingly ill population. We are not just overweight (or chronically ill) because we eat too much and exercise too little, some do, but why are we eating too much is the better question to ask. A healthy person has a healthy appetite that guides to balanced amount of food without counting calories and a healthy person has a healthy interest in active play or work that exercises the body. Blaming doesn’t solve problems it just denies responsibility and prevents more helpful answers from being discovered. When health statistics change as rapidly as they have in the U.S. and an increasing number of other nations then it is not a question of individual choice but of environmental changes.

Ninety percent of women are hurting on a daily or monthly basis in a way that only three percent were hurting in the 1920s – what changed? Our diet – it contains significantly less iodine and more bromine than it did prior to the 1920s. Fluoride added to the water supply to protect children’s teeth may also be part of the problem and perchlorates from products we commonly use. If too little iodine is present than the body may store bromine, chloride or fluoride in places that iodine would normally be used. The condition is considered benign and not related to breast cancer risk – except for maybe 5-20% of the people with the problem, pubmed/25970956, which if 90% of women have the problem than the math is looking unpleasant for many women.

I used to be one of the 90% but then I took extra iodine and now I’m not one of the 90% – and that is less painful for me physically but I still feel emotional pain at the idea that 90% of women are suffering each month – unnecessarily in my opinion. The treatment was fairly easy with only a few side effects. Taking selenium, 200 mcg per day is also important which is not mentioned in the PubMed link. Iodine deficiency and hypothyroidism are related conditions which also are associated with an increased risk for autism (post) so 90% of women suffering from a condition that appears to be resolved by simply increasing a dose of iodine seems like a simple solution worth pursuing.

“The incidence of fibrocystic breast disease in American women
was 3 percent in the 1920s. Today, 90 percent of women have this
disorder…” Read more: http://www.jpands.org/vol11no4/millerd.pdf

or also in a post on this site: Why did the USDA remove Iodine from its Food Composition Database?

Toxins in the air, water and food supply have increased and nutrient content of many foods that are easily available have decreased. Denying that is denying a chance to improve before more species are also negatively affected. Blaming individual humans for making poor individual choices doesn’t explain why so many species are suffering loss of fertility and large drops in population.

The planet and its nations can’t afford an increasingly ill population. We are not just overweight (or chronically ill) because we eat too much and exercise too little, some do, but why is the better question. A healthy person has a healthy appetite that guides to balanced amount of food without counting calories and a healthy person has a healthy interest in active play or work that exercises the body.

Blaming doesn’t solve problems it just denies responsibility and prevents more helpful answers from being discovered.  A book I just picked up recently written by a pediatric endocrinologist is upsetting for me to read because blaming the patient for not following the doctor’s advice is a theme rather than considering the possibility that the advice itself might be wrong or incomplete. In my experience as a pediatric nutrition counselor I observed that children are the best at self-regulating their intake and generally did quite well at eating enough but not too much and generally had a reasonable height/weight ratio- except for the few who seemed to be overweight no matter how much their parent tried  to help them achieve a healthy weight for height.

Parents have lost custody or risked losing custody of their children when too large or too small and I’ve written about both issues. Undiagnosed congenital (from birth) hypothyroidism can be a cause of a child being tiny, too slim seeming except their bone structure is also slim so proportionally they tiny child can look healthy for their tiny weight. Force feeding wouldn’t help that child. Other children can be overweight even on limited calories, possibly due to an undiagnosed hypothyroid problem that occurred later than birth. Putting either the tiny child or the overweight child in foster homes would not solve an undiagnosed endocrinology problem. (post about the overweight child, Foster Care case) (post regarding tiny child and Foster Care case)

Holding parents accountable for something that is neglect or abuse is important but blaming them for underlying health problems that aren’t being diagnosed in many many people is wrong and there is no reason to expect that a Foster Care family would be able to make the child gain or lose weight if the underlying reason is an actual health problem.

To continue, after having finished the book, there is some value in it but there are also errors and opinion presented as fact. A dangerous idea is presented, likely meant as a joke but there is no qualifier given that it was a joke and not meant as advice and that the idea shouldn’t be followed. (p125 includes a maybe slip a mood altering substance in someone’s drink idea – no don’t do that ever, even if it is a legal substance and meant to boost the mood, it is illegal. https://law.stackexchange.com/questions/6158/is-it-an-offence-to-spike-someones-drink

References ideally should be included for all information presented as facts in a book with educational goals. The section on nutrition is simplified to the point of dangerous misinformation and sugar is stressed as the primary problem with our processed food diet. It is a problem but not the only one.

Drinking any calorie containing beverage as a thirst quencher is a problem that I observed and counseled parents about for helping children who were heading upward on the weight to height ratio. Within three months usually, when the next appointment would be typically scheduled, the parents often had such success that they had forgotten that there had been a concern. Children are good at regulating food intake however the intake of liquids is not regulated in the same way as solid food. Our brains expect water for thirst because that is what nature provides. Once a baby is weaned from mother’s milk there is not typically any other calorie beverage in the natural world. As cavemen and women we did not milk wild animals or squeeze juice from fruits. We ate the fruits and wild animals as whole foods which are recognized by the brain as filling due to fiber or fats. Carbohydrates alone do not have the appetite satisfying effect on the brain that fiber and fats provide.

Regarding pediatric or adult endocrinology and the increase in metabolic syndrome and Type 2 Diabetes – sugar can increase insulin resistance but so can an absence of magnesium. Sugary processed foods often are not only deficient in fiber but they are also deficient in magnesium and B vitamins which are needed to process the sugar into usable energy.

More about magnesium deficiency and insulin resistance is available here: Association of Serum Magnesium Deficiency with Insulin Resistance in Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus,  (G3.122)

And I discuss it in more detail on a different website: https://effectiveselfcare.info/2017/10/15/if-magnesium-deficiency-is-cause-of-a-diabetic-pain-why-give-opioids/

Magnesium deficiency may also be an underlying problem with migraine headaches and other chronic pain and muscle spasm type conditions. Calcium causes muscle contraction and magnesium allows the muscles to relax again.

To repeat an important point: When health statistics change as rapidly as they have in the U.S. and an increasing number of other nations then it is not a question of individual choice but of environmental changes.

Toxins in the air, water and food supply have increased and nutrient content of many foods that are easily available have decreased. Denying that is denying a chance to improve before more species are also negatively affected. Blaming individual humans for making poor individual choices doesn’t explain why so many species are also suffering loss of fertility and large drops in population.

Evidence based medicine is helpful as guidance but it is just a starting point for individualizing care further for each patient’s needs and if it is based on inaccurate or incomplete research then it may provide inaccurate guidance, but it is a starting point at least.

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.