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In the News -2008

Story ID:3401
Written by:Suzana Margaret Megles (bio, contact, other stories)
Story type:Musings, Essays and Such
Location:various various USA
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Sometimes I am overwhelmed with news - good and bad, but that's to be
expected. We would be in heaven if it were all good. I thought I would
share some of my readings this first month of 2008.

I know that some of you get the AARP News Bulletin as I. Sometimes I just
scan it with a promise to re-read when I have more time. So it was time and
I reread December 2007's carefully and I'm glad I did.

ONE GUTSY LADY --On p.8 was pictured a smiling 76-year old Mona Shaw with
a claw hammer in hand. Angry over alledged shoddy service, she took several
whacks at a computer and a phone near a customer assistance counter before
shouting: "Now have I got your attention?"

After ordering a Comcast feature bundling Internet, phone and cableservice,
Shaw claims that one technician blew off a service appointment at her house
and another left her phone line dead after abruptly quitting work. Shaw said
she went to her Comcast office in August and waited two hours for a supervisor.
Obviously she didn't get any satisfaction, and 3 days latter returned with a
hammer planning to redesign the company's approach to customer relations.

She was fined $345 and drew a suspended three-month jail sentence.
Unrepentant, Shaw says that she didn't want to hurt any employees, but merely
sought "to scare the tar out of them." I think she succeeded. Maybe some of
us had like thoughts at one time or another, but luckily, we decided a hefty
fine too steep a price to vent our frustrations.

NOT FOR ME.-- Some funeral homes are offering more than an urn of ashes to
remember cremated loved ones. In the spirit of celebration, balloon releases
and wine-and-cheese parties are offered as options to people who choose the
less expensive ($2,500) cremations over the traditional $6,000 plus funerals.

HOW AARP BEGAN -- Bill Novelli, CEO wrote -"Sixty years ago Dr. Ethel Percy
Andrus went to visit a retired teacher. When she arrived at the woman's
home, someone else was living there. The person Ethel was looking for lived
out back--in an old chicken coop. She had no money and no medical insurance.

Ethel got mad. She couldn't believe that anyone who had dedicated her life to
teaching children was forced to live in such dire conditions. She also got
organized. With others, she started a campaign to get affordable health
insurance for retired teachers. Well over 40 companies turned her down, but
she persevered and succeeded. Eventually she decided to help other older
Americans as well, and AARP was born."

Ethel is an inspiration. I didn't know her story before and I am pleased that a
woman 60 years ago had the gumption and will to effect such a wonderful
change for these early retired teachers and finally for older Americans
as well.

PET PEEVE -- In the Letter section I am pleased that Michael V. Lurski of
Bethlehem, Pa responded to an article printed (In the News, "Doggie Time").
He wrote: "What seems like a well-intentioned idea--renting a dog--is
actually superficial and harmful. Dogs require long-term commitment with
unconditional love. They are not meant to be shuffled daily from a kennel
to a strange human who wants the feeling of having a pet without any
sacrifice and inconvenience. Renting satisfies only the needs of some self-
absorbed humans." (Totally agree, Michael.)

READER'S DIGEST FOOD CURES -- I really should buy the Reader's Digest
Book called "Food Cures." And were it not that I have been reading about
food cures for the last 10-15 years, I would. I have known for a long time
what the father of modern medicine, Hippocrates once said "Let food be thy
medicine and medicine be thy food."

So it delights me that not only Alternative Medicine doctors were saying this
but a prestigious magazine like Reader's Digest agrees with Hippocrates as
well. I believe since the 1950's or even earlier everyone was writing and
touting the "miracle" of drugs. What a monetary windfall for big pharmaceutical
companies. Finally, a new message--FOOD CAN BE MEDICINE.

And even though many traditional doctors too are beginning to realize the
merits of food cures --according to Reader's Digest they can't or won't tell you
about them because there are "standard protocols" for treating every disease
and they don't include eating healthy food like fruits and vegetables.

In their brochure re their book FOOD CURES they write: "The INSURANCE companies,
PHARMACEUTICAL companies, and the GOVERNMENT put enormous pressure
on your doctor to do everything "by the book."

But now I couldn't believe what I was reading. I never expected the Reader's
Digest to print anything of this nature. When, we, who early on realized that
drugs often caused serious side effects and wrote our views to newspapers
and magazines re this, I believe we were all looked upon as "health nuts" or
kooks. Finally, like the commediene who said he was getting no respect - it
looks like maybe we finally are.

I do realize though that doctors are always in a catch- 22 situation though. Per
RD every first-year medical student knows that magnesium is effective against
migraines. And surprisingly, one of the most powerful headache remedies
around is CAFFEINE. But were the doctor to give you a cup of coffee and a bag
of pumpkins seeds (magnesium) and it didn't work -- people will come back and
ask why weren't standard procedures used? (As if standard procedures work
all the time!)

However, until that time when we will allow doctors to try food cures, they are
forced to follow standard procedures which of course involves drugs, drugs, and
more drugs. But per RD there is nothing which prevents us individually from
learning about the healing powers of food and using it to cure ourselves.

I was amazed by the last page of this brochure which listed 50 plus diseases--
among them cancer, diabetes, heart disease, etc. and where they ask the
question "What do all these diseases have in common?" The answer: THEY

And lastly, I am printing this for myself mostly--copied verbatim from their
page "Shop for medicine in the grocery store not the drugstore" because I
found it so illuminating.

"No pharmacist can compete with Mother Nature because drugs and foods tend
to work in different ways. Drugs work by ISOLATING the "active" ingredient
in a given compound and concentrating it. That makes them very powerful.
BUT IT ALSO MAKES THEM DANGEROUS, leading to the possiblility of side
effects and overdoses.

Foods, on the other hand, work their miracles by virtue of the VARIETY of the
different chemicals and compounds inside them. Just one SPOONFUL OF
SPINACH, for example, contains at least 5 different "phytonutrients" that can
help prevent macular degeneration, strengthen your bones, lower your blood
pressure, and reduce your risk of stroke. That's why it pays to shop for medicine
in the GROCERY store, not the drugstore."

Kudos to the writers. I hope others appreciate their efforts as I.