Friday, March 25, 2011

It is time the nations of the Middle East come together for regional security and this is a good first step.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton speaks at the State Department in Washington on Wednesday.

The sincere problem that has existed for decades in the Middle East is the void of an Arab authority maintaining vigilance over the region.  It has always been handed off to The West with very poor result.  The Arab nations frequently witness citizens opposed to Western forces in their country, including cultural reasons.  This coalition currently includes several jets from two Arab nations.  Those nations still need the support of The West in building strength and competency that will evenutally bring these nations to lead.

I sincerely believe this coalition is the first step in achieving a higher order of authority for the Middle East.  Now, not only Israel will be viewed with competency in securing its borders, but, other nations can speak to defense competency that will provide safety and security for their citizens.  It is they that will lead to bring a new government to Libya. 

In other words, "As the USA steps down, hopefully in time, the Arab nations will step up." 

...Clinton, responding to the NATO decision in Brussels, (click title to entry -thank you) claimed significant progress in the air campaign led thus far by U.S. forces.

But she sounded a note of caution, saying that while forces loyal to Mr. Gadhafi have been pushed back from the rebel stronghold of Benghazi and elsewhere, they remain a "serious threat" to the safety of the Libyan people.

"In the days ahead, as NATO assumes command and control responsibilities, the welfare of those civilians will be of paramount concern. This operation has already saved many lives but the danger is far from over. As long as the Gadhafi regime threatens its people and defies the United Nations, we must remain vigilant and focused," she said.

Clinton said Arab leadership and participation in the coalition is "crucial", and welcomed the announcement that the United Arab Emirates will deploy 12 aircraft to no-fly-zone enforcement, joining Qatar as the second Arab contributor....

I can hear the Right Wing now, "Next thing you know they'll be bombing here."  The 'Anti-American Hate stationed in the Middle East'  already did that on September 11, 2001.  It is time the Middle East achieved a strong peace where they can solve their own problems.

The Health Care Reform and Affordable Care Act is making huge in roads to improveing the quality of care Americans receive.

The law has forced health insurance companies to focus on their members.  Insurance companies are required to spend 85% of their premiums on health care, which means they cannot simply 'hike' premiums to add to their CEO bonus.

Annual exams won't cost members anything while their screening costs are mostly eliminated. 

Additionally, Pharmaceutical Companies no longer are spending huge amounts of money on 'solicitation' of physicians with free trips, dinners and other perks.  Those incentives have to be measured in a different way now and cannot ad to the premiums patients pay for their medications.

No one can be turned away for a pre-existing condition. 

Those are all remarkable improvements in the way health care is taking shape in the USA.  They are leaps forward to 'respect' of the patient and not 'esteem' for the CEO and his profit machine.  Americans' health is not to be a 'profit margin.' 
I am proud of this law and the protections it provides for all citizens in the USA.

2014 will be a great year.’s because of this law (click title to entry - thank you)  and the resulting GAO follow-up that we received a great piece of advice for people covered by private health insurance.
If you are denied coverage, file an appeal.
The GAO said the data it reviewed indicated that health insurance denials are frequently reversed on appeal. In looking at data from four states, the GAO found that 39 percent to 59 percent of appeals filed with insurers in those states resulted in the insurer reversing its coverage denial. Additionally, data from a national study on appeals conducted by a trade association for insurance companies showed that coverage denials were reversed about 40 percent of the time...

Denial KILLS. 

Don't accept adverse decisions.  Appeal through the processes provided to you and complain to state consumer protection agencies if your state still has one.

It works.

...At, (click title to entry - thank you) we’re starting to hear how the Affordable Care Act has made a real difference for Latino families. That’s why there is no turning back for Latina moms like Tracy Muñoz of Norfolk, Virginia.

"My 21-year-old is taking a year off from school," she wrote MomsRising. "He is having to pay back school loans from the first year. He works a full-time job with a small business. He cannot afford health insurance on his own, and we cannot afford to pay for it for him. Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, we were able to add him onto my company’s policy. We were also able to stave off any premium increases, again, thanks to ACA.  Health Care Reform has given us a sense of security that we all needed at a time when I have not had a pay increase in 2 years."  

"I am the mother of a beautiful 6-year-old girl named Paloma," wrote Magdalena Clark of Houston, Texas. "Paloma was diagnosed with severe Autism when she was 2-years-old.
"We recently found out that with the new Health Care Reform (Affordable Care Act) we are finally able to provide our daughter with the (therapy) that she desperately needs. We are so happy. It’s been the first great news we have received in these past 4 years."...

A Year Later-Health Reform Law Working

There is monumental rhetoric in the Right Wing Media as they lie their way into the elections of 2012.  It is so terrible that Rove and his plutocrats have crearted their own news event to use as a 'wedge issue' over the Affordable Care Act.  The Republicans are sincerely evil people.  They'll advocate an invasion into Libya, but, they won't provide for qualtiy care for America's children.

There is not sincere brevity to any of the SENSATIONALISM over the law and this testimony by a pediatrician proves it.

As a pediatrician, (click title to entry - thank you) I've seen my work transformed by the Affordable Care Act, which celebrated its first birthday on March 23 ("Health care law alters political landscape," March 24). Before the passage of health reform, many of my diagnoses felt like mixed blessings: On the one hand, I was providing answers, relief, and medical management or cure to a child in need but on the other, I was burdening this child — perhaps even a newborn — with a "pre-existing condition" that would obstruct him or her from receiving needed care in the future.

Before the ACA, insurance companies routinely dropped or refused coverage to people with pre-existing conditions. Thanks to the year-old law, that abusive practice is no longer allowed. When I hear a wheeze through my stethoscope, or detect a mass in the abdomen, or recognize signs of depression in a teen-ager, I know with relief that I do not have to prescribe future desperation as I treat the crisis of the moment.
Dr. Ari Silver-Isenstadt, Laurel

The evacuation surrounding the Fukushima Nuclear Plant in its early days has proven effective.

...According to a 25 March 2011 Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency press release, (cick title to entry - thank you) the results of the examinations indicated that the dose rate "of all the 66 children including 14 infants from 1 to 6 years old had no big difference from the level of background and was at the level of no problem in light of the view of Nuclear Safety Commission."...

The important aspect to this report, which appears at the IAEA website, is that the initial RESPONSE by the Japanese and its citizens was correct.  They evacuated the area where the danger WAS BEGINNING in time to save lives and with a large margin of safety.  The Japanese government is to be congratulated for its rapid response to a highly dangerous set of circumstances.

From the same website:

Update on Conditions of Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant

At Unit 1 ...While the pressure in the reactor vessel remains high, Japanese authorities are reporting that it has stabilized.

At Unit 2 engineers are working for the recovery of lighting in the main control room, and the instrumentation and cooling systems.

At Unit 3, ...three workers were exposed to elevated levels of radiation on 24 March.

At Unit 4, the spent fuel pool was sprayed with around 150 tonnes of water using concrete pump truck.

Units 5 and 6, cooling started again 21 minutes after repairs were made.

At the Common Spent Fuel, ...the water temperature of the pool was around 73 °C.

As of 24 March, 10:30 UTC workers continue to inject seawater into the reactor pressure vessels of Units 1, 2 and 3 and are preparing to inject pure water.

These are the current conditions for the six nuclear facilities in question, they have been compromised in the recent past so while the cuurrent conditions are optimistic, except for Unit 3 and Unit 4, the environment did receive contaimination.

Mar. 25 2011 - 4:43 am

...Two weeks into the crisis (click here) caused by Japan’s run-away nuclear reactors, the government has expanded the zone it considers too dangerous for residents to remain. Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano said the decision to urge people living between 20-30 kilometers (12-18 miles)  from the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power facility to “voluntarily evacuate” was not because of any increased risk of radiation from the power plant....

I remind, the USA presented a warning to USA citizens in Japan to evacuate the area to 30 miles.  It is proving to be prudent and providing a GOOD safety zone with peace of mind.  Now, the current Japanese assessment and increasing 'safety zone' is based on current conditions and continuous monitoring.  It is not that the Japanese are wrong in regard to their vigilance and safety of its citizens, it's policies are different.  The USA standard is based on the understanding citizens of the USA value their peace of mind.  While the two countries see the safety zone slightly differently it may be based in the way they exert their polices and monitoring.  The USA did not have active monitors in the way Japan does.  Whether one method of determining the safety zone is better than another is a discussion I am sure will happen at the IAEA.

Radioactive elements found in seawater off Japan (click here)

Published On Thu Mar 24 2011

VIENNA—Japanese scientists have found measurable concentrations of radioactive iodine-131 and cesium-137 in seawater samples taken 30 kilometres from land, the UN nuclear watchdog said Thursday.
“The iodine concentrations were at or above Japanese regulatory limits, and the cesium levels were well below those limits,” the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said.
Japanese authorities had given the agency data on samples collected on March 22-23, after detecting iodine and cesium in the water near the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant....

The contamination noted in the seawater off the coast of Japan is NOT due to helicopters ferrying seawater to the nuclear reactors.  Nice try to conceal the truth, but, that isn't the cause.  The cause is the wind and percipitation that existed. 

Why is it important to monitor these levels of dangerous substances?  Because, culturally, the Japanese value seafood.  To INSURE all the people are safe from ACCUMULATIONS of these radioactive 'elements' on in areas where they don't belong, the Japanese scientists are taking every measurement possible to determine 'individual' levels and the potential for accumulation over time.

The Japanese government has been magnificent in 'being ahead of the curve' in monitoing ANY effects post earthquake and tsunami of the radioactivity that is a part of the environment.

The estimations regarding the core breach of at least one of the nuclear facilites may result in a sarcophagus.  The first sarcophagus ever noted to the human experience was Chernobyl in 1986.  It has been effective, however, radiation is radiation and it deteriorates structures in ways that other dynamics do not.  Twenty-five years for a concrete structure is about half the life of what one would expect for any such structure if not containing a highly radioactive power plant.  If there is some leakage from the Chernobyl sarcophagus it is more a statement of how effective it has been in the face of incredible odds for it to be otherwise.

The problem with the Japanese facilities is its close location to ocean water and being use the radioactivity is contained from further effecting the fisheries.  It will a little more tricky than Chernobyl.  But, if anything Chernobyl has proven it can be done and gives us a 'baseline' to the longevity of the sarcophagus as a containment structure while best finding still yet another solution to extent the safety surrounding these damaged and dangrous plants.