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Saturday, March 31, 2007

PANAMA AND THE US

PANAMA VS THE US

I am now living in Panama City for the most of the time during the past year or so visiting the US only on occasion to take care of unfinished business. I plan to revisit the US less and less until I am able finally to cut that umbilical cord. I was born in the US solely by accident for there was where my parents lived when I was born.


I truly believe that everyone born into the world should have the opportunity to decide where to have made s/he would like to live not that at age 18 or 21 I would have enough or been sufficiently knowledgeable or mature to have made a different choice. I have often believed that we in the US are so US-centric that we are not aware that there is an expansive world out there where we could live and probably live happier.


I do not mean to knock the US which is by far the land of greatest opportunity, at least to be successful and make money. There is good and bad in every country. As our needs and desires change we should have the freedom also to change and live where we want. This is true freedom. There are too many individuals in the US who have large homes, an apparently good job, and a lot of money. Some are happy; others are not.


But the US is also plagued by much crime which is now extending beyond the urban areas and into the countryside communities. More men are murdering their wives to seek happiness with another woman relieving themselves from giving half of their property to someone who is not useful anymore. And let us not forget that many women are doing likewise to their husbands for such things as insurance money.


Youth is not spared from this murderous holocaust. Teenagers are killing their teachers and fellow students. The US is rapidly becoming a country of psychos. A week barely goes by without a report of a missing child who is soon discovered dead having been molested by individuals acting out their sick fantasies.


My only exposure to crime now is watching Fox News Television, one of the few US programs available on the tube here in Panama. After coming to Panama I used to watch 5-6 hours of TV programming. Is this not sick? Realizing my errant ways and what this behavior was doing to me, I now watch TV about one to two hours daily only to find out what is going on in the world. After all, there is so much of Anna Nicole Smith, Paris Hilton, Britney Spears, and Tara Conners one can watch with the constant video stream on the upper left or right part of the screen as the commentator is talking. I sometimes believe that Fox News, programming, an effort I once liked and to some extent still do, although preaching their wholesome ways, are in reality practicing voyeurism under the guise of their noble effort to bring us the news fair and balanced. Oh, give me a break!

But, be that as it may, I am weaning myself of my sinful ways and trying to enjoy Panama and its people.

One really needs to free themselves from the shackles of government. The US government claims to be a free nation, but I cannot travel to Cuba even though Cuba will let me in. Several years ago I telephoned the Cuban Consulate in Washington, DC, and asked if I would be able to travel to Cuba. They answered yes, but they also told me the US would probably not allow it. Both were true. I asked whether I would be safe in Havana. The Consulate person answered: yes probably safer than in New York City.

I then called the US State Department and asked them whether I could travel to Cuba. They responded no. I asked the State Department official whether he would agree that we were the freest nation in the world. He responded with an astounding yes. I replied that, if we were the freest nation in the world, why would the US not allow me to go to Cuba whom they considered not to be a free nation. Can you imagine he got mad at me and further added that, if I did travel to Cuba and they found out about it, I would be prosecuted? This anger expressed by the man only proved to me what the Jesuits at Boston College taught me almost 50 years ago when they stated that they were going to teach us logic but not to believe that they were doing us any favor because most people do not think logically. How correct they were.

Considering our free society in the US, just try to preserve keeping your hard earned assets for which you already paid taxes once from the government taxing you a second and third time, and see how free you really are!

I love the politics of Panama, and this is because I know nothing of the politics here. Ignorance is truly bliss and I am enjoying my ignorance.

I truly love and enjoy the Panamanian people. They are on the most part kind and they love American because deep inside, although they would not admit it, they realize they owe their freedom and independence from Columbia to Teddy Roosevelt who assisted them in this effort. And they may not admit it, but they also owe their economy and infrastructure to the US who built the Panama Canal. They together with the other South American countries could never have built it. And so, as I see it, the average Panamanian realizes how intertwined our countries are while they fiercely stick to their own independence. And this is good.

As a parenthetical side light, look at Mexico. Although they have one of the largest reserves of oil their national oil company cannot get it out of the ground. Ever during the time when oil was over 70 dollars a barrel and all the oil producing nations and companies were making tons of money, Mexico’s oil company lost money. The powers at be are so stupid they are unable to get the oil out from the ground and refuse to bring in foreign companies to do it. And so the oil stays in the ground and the politicians fight among themselves.

A similar thing goes on in the US. We have so much oil and much of it stays underground because politicians fight to appease certain voting blocks. But unlike Mexico in our country we have entrepreneurial (if I may coin a new word!) private and public companies which can do the job.

Here in Panama, the government is different. Realizing the great worth of the Panama Canal, they recently voted to add a third series of locks to handle the very large cruise ships and tankers which are unable to pass through the original sets of smaller locks. Panama will in the most part finance the new construction with current revenues from the canal and additional monies from almost every Panamanian bank and industry who wish to be associated with this great National Project. And who will build it. There are many who offered from the mighty US to countries at the other end of the world.

And this is as it is from where I am today! More to come later.

nicola michael c. Tauraso, M.D.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

THE GLOBAL WARMING DEBATE

THE GLOBAL WARMING DEBATE

I never cease to be amazed at how muddy waters can become when politicians get into a debate. The average politician, and especially most politicians when acting in a group, can barely solve political and legislative situations, but they get themselves involved in situations about which they know little. Nothing is more appropriate than the debate about global warming.

On the one hand, we have the politicians, led by ex-vice president, Al Gore, his Hollywood-type sycophants, and a few politically motivated scientists who play the alarming note that, if we do not solve the global warming problem NOW, serious catastrophes will result. On the other hand, we have many reputable scientists who take the position that the temperatures of planet Earth undergo cyclical variations and our present situation of global temperatures is no more than what might be expected.

FIRST, the currently accepted theory is that increasing amounts of Carbon Dioxide (CO2) gas in the atmosphere contributes to destruction of the ozone layer which blocks and modulates the penetration of heat from the sun reaching the planet.

There are many situations contributing to the creation of CO2. Among these are the following:

Natural Sources: volcanoes, forest fires, oceans, some volcanic lakes;
Man-made Sources: fossil fuel and wood burning, cement manufacture, gas flaring.

It is very difficult to estimated the amount of carbon produced each year from natural sources because everybody’s figures are different and it make you wonder the influence one’s political viewpoint has upon these estimates. But after evaluating many sources of information, I have concluded that the influence of natural sources, particularly from volcanoes and forest fires is extremely significant.

There is little doubt that the contribution from man-made sources is also very significant, but again difficult to ascertain from published figures, again this depending upon the political stance of whose publishing the data.

From the data I have analyzed, trying to take into consideration the overall data and the sources, it would appear that natural sources can contribute up to 40-80% and man-made sources about 50-80%. And so we have overlapping figures which would frustrate most honest mathematicians.

SECOND, let us look at what is happening to the polar ice caps. There is evidence showing that the North Pole ice caps are melting. The proponents of global warming is using this evidence to bolster their argument. But they are ignoring that the South Polar ice caps are not melting, that the South Pole is getting colder.

If you drill 200 feet into the polar caps and analyze the ice, you will see that there were periods of warming and periods of cooling. This has gone on for eons. We need to analyze what is happening today against the perspective of what has happened. Most reputable scientists have concluded that our present cycle of warming of the North Polar cap falls within a natural cyclical variation. Also the present cycle of cooling of the South Polar cap also falls within this natural cycle.

THIRD, let us try to analyze the motives of the two camps in this debate. The group who says that we should be alarmed is headed by a politician, Al Gore, whose hands are not clean on this issue. He apparently owns a company which sells so-called carbon credits, what ever that means (and I will get to this later). This company makes money selling carbon credits. With this degree of profiteering, it would be difficult for me to accept the preachings of the Al Gore camp. Selling carbon credits is a moneymaking scheme, let us make no bones about it. EVERYONE SHOULD READ what the Canada Free Press has said: www.canadafreepress.com/2007/cover031307.htm

From where I stand, this scheme involves selling worthless paper which is then sold between companies so that absolutions can be obtained. Going to a confessional would accomplish more for your soul. If you read the attached link you will see that Al Gore’s partner in this company which sells this worthless paper, Maurice Strong, was involved in a company, Molten Metals, that claimed to be able to neutralize by simple physical means radioactivity of a substance. Years ago a broker friend tried to sell me stock in this company which at the time was soaring on the stock market. I did not buy because from my knowledge of chemistry I knew this was impossible. The company soon collapsed when the fraud was discovered, but Maurice Strong profited by selling his stock just prior to the company’s collapse. He and Al Gore have thought up another worthless scheme in this carbon credits deceit. My advice is; DO NOT BUY SHARES IN THIS COMPANY IF AND WHEN IT IS OFFERED.

I believe Al Gore’s involvement in this money-making scheme tells the entire story of this group who is scaring the public to believe what they are saying about global warming. To boot, the Hollywood crowd who has joined the Al Gore camp just indicates how smart they really are.
On the other hand we have the group who says there is nothing about which to be alarmed. Although there are many good honest scientists in this group, we do need to be concerned about those scientists who are clandestinely carrying the banner of industry which would not want to see costly changes made in anti pollution control.

FOURTH, in conclusion, I believe we need to be concerned about the man-made causes of global warming to the point that we need to watch our use of hydrocarbons as a source of energy and control pollution as best we can. We have little control over the natural causes such as volcanoes and forest fires.

We need to recognize that CO2 is needed by plants to photosynthesize, the process by which plants make carbohydrates. Where we can, we need to control what we do which might abnormally add amounts of CO2 beyond what nature requires to do it job. Nature has the ability to correct some of the potential damage which we cause.

If we remember the aftermath of the Mt. St. Helens volcano eruption. It was then believed that it would take many years before nature would be able to overcome the massive devastation caused by the eruption. But it did not take that long before nature recovered, as it has done from time immemorial to devastations of volcano eruptions, floods, forest fires caused by lightening, tsunamis, earthquakes, etc.

We need to be aware of the natural cycles of global temperature, ignore the alarmists, and do what we need to do to contribute to a healthy planet.

nicola michael c. Tauraso, M.D.

Monday, March 26, 2007

ANNA NICOLE SMITHS AUTOPSY RESULTS: COMMENTS

ANNA NICOLA SMITH’S AUTOPSY RESULTS: COMMENTS

After listening to the medical examiner, I feel that one very important point appeared to have been missed. There was evidence that she had an abscess in her buttocks. She was taking an antibiotic, in her case it was Cipro. This would explain why cultures of the blood and perhaps the abscess itself, would be negative.

But what was missed was the possibility of overwhelming endotoxic shock. Even after being on an antibiotic, a release of large numbers of dead bacteria or their breakdown products, especially so-called gram negative bacteria, would result in shock. The resulting shock would have been enough to kill a person, but aggravated by depressive drugs, whether legal prescription or illegal, would have added to the problem. The release of large numbers of dead bacterial by-products could have been aggravated by the antibiotic, a not too infrequent occurrence. An infection with gram negative bacteria might have been the case because these bacteria exist in feces. An infection in that area could have resulted from improper hygiene and the lack of proper sterilization techniques by individuals giving injections in the area.

A release of bacteria or their by products would also explain her high fever. Viral infections do not usually cause such high fevers in adults, but such fevers are characteristic of bacterial infections, especially abscesses. I know this too well for while in Medical School I developed a pelvic abscess from a ruptured appendix. The abscess resulted one day in my having a temperature of 106, almost unheard of in adults. Luckily, a surgeon at the Peter Bent Brigham Hospital, part of the Harvard Medical School hospital complex, operated, drained the abscess, and I survived to tell my story.

nicola michael c. Tauraso, M.D.

more tomorrow on global warming

Friday, March 16, 2007

HOLLYWOOD: CAVEAT EMPTOR

HOLLYWOOD

I named this blurb simply “Hollywood,” but Hollywood’s influence upon American behavior is far from simple. We, aided by the media, have transformed Hollywood into a major force in the United States. Although we champion the fact that we do not have royalty to adore, we have something even more influential.

Watching a major TV news Network recently, the host of that program was asking why the public was paying so much attention to a particular Hollywood star who did something outrageous the day before. Well, the host began the hourly segment with the story which included the same never ending video clip being played over and over. He mentioned it again sometime during the middle of the program, and still again at the end, that is three times during the one hour program.

So I answered his question: stupid the reason why the public is paying so much attention is because of you giving the story so much air time! Not only did this host mentioned and visibly showed the same antics of this person three times, but it was shown three times again on the next 4 hourly shows on the same network.

One needs to ask: who creates all this garbage? It is the media, especially TV. What makes this situation so influential is the fact that TV is visual, and the sense of sight is the most powerful source of brain and mind input. In normal individuals, the other four senses combined do not match the power of sight.

There is only so much news being created each day and the news networks have program after program to fill up time and space, and so the few news items which develop each day must be repeated, repeated, and repeated ad nausea.

I used to watch TV news programs, but I now realize how bad an influence it is. If you want to use TV to bring yourself up-to-date with the news, all you need to do is watch one program with a varied format. The next program with a similar format does nothing more than to re-program the same images already programmed during the previous show. Why do you need that?

As discussed in my book: How to Benefit from Stress, I discuss how detrimental it is to re-hash a negative event which gave you so much grief. If you did not like the experience the first time, why would you want to repeat it?

The brain and mind function like a computer. Every experience is imprinted on to our brain (and mind) and, most importantly, the information is stored there permanently. When we re-hash an event, I do not believe that the previous images are over written. I believe another set of new images is created and stored, therefore allotting more brain space to the same negative event we wish not to have experienced in the first place. Even in a computer when something is erased, a good computer expert can find and recover the information you thought you erase. The brain/mind complex functions similarly.

As I observe the Hollywood types, I find little in their overall behavior I desire to emulate. Many are so screwed up. Their lives are disastrous examples of everything I wish not to be. But the general public eats it all up. When a Hollywood type writes a book on any subject, the public buys it. They are experts on everything under the sun. Many with no experience write diet books. They write children’s books. Can you just imagine Madonna writing a children’s book? What experience does this pitiful person have to write such a book? With no family life to offer, Madonna adopted a baby! It is all a publicity stunt. Are we to emulate this type of aberrant human behavior? Yet this type of behavior is condoned by most. The general public will believe what a Hollywood type writes just because of who they are.

I am a Pediatrician and I have advice for parents. Please monitor what your children are exposed to, especially during the early formative years. Once a child’s mind is set with a set of good wholesome values, then can that child be able to discriminate and process information and put things in perspective in a healthy way (Awaken the Genius in Your Child).

Watch the I Pods and the music they listen to, especially the lyrics. Watch the internet and some of the popular sites. Some of these may influence your children in ways you would not like. Some sites are downright dangerous to teenagers who submit their personal information for the ENTIRE world to see, thus exposing themselves to potential predators.

The internet is a good thing for its potential as a learning tool, but it can also be a very detrimental medium. It can be a great useful source of information and knowledge. But, there are places within the internet you would not want your child to experience. To be aware is to be forewarned.

nicola michael c. Tauraso, M.D.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

HUGO CHAVEZ IS A MONKEY; CONGRATULATIONS TO THE OTHER SOUTH AMERICAN COUNTRIES

HUGO CHAVEZ IS A MONKEY; CONGRATULATIONS TO OTHER SOUTH AMERICAN COUNTRIES

I cannot stand sitting on the side lines on this one. Hugo Chavez is a monkey. He is a caricature of everything which has been wrong with some aspects of South American politics. He is the epitome of a buffoon.

Why and how individuals like Chavez ever get to power? Many South American countries have been held back by individuals such as Chavez. In order to overcome their inability to solve the problems within their own country, they are masters in diverting the argument to blame some one else. So what do they do? They single out the biggest and most successful country in the world and categorically proclaim to their people that this big country, this bully, this person who has a house on the top of the hill is the cause of their problems.

Charlatans have been doing this for years and they will continue as long as they have less educated (and usually also poor) people to listen. If Chavez did not have oil, he would be a no body and he knows it. He is not a diplomat nor does he have anything substantive and useful to contribute to the citizens of his country, not to speak of the world. But, this buffoon is on the world stage spewing forth his brand of hatred.

Fortunately, other South American countries are ignoring him, giving him lip service to his adolescent ranting and ravings. Other governments would do well to fumigate the places he visits in their country. Many South American countries are advancing so rapidly from their held back problems of so many years of the graft of Dictators.

I now live in Panama which, before I came, I thought to be a third world nation. I now realize how wrong I had been. I admit that I was ignorant of everything about Panama which in reality turns out to be one of the best places to live – in many respects better than my life in the United States, my native country. The benefits of relocating and living in Panama will be the subject of another blog. I could not be happier being some where else.

Other South American countries would do well to emulate Panama. Many have already done so. Some South American countries are doing great things. The trouble with many individuals from the United States, they are very US-centric. They think the US is the only country in which to live, and they are truly ignorant of other countries on the Blue Planet. I am very fortunate in having discovered Panama.

Other South American countries would o well to ignore the likes of monkeys like Chavez and carve out their own destiny. Many countries have recognized this and, barring their embarrassment, are moving on.

Within the past week the US has recognized the contribution of Brazil in their pioneering efforts in freeing themselves of petroleum dependence by being one of the world’s greatest producers of ethanol from sugar – a much better and efficient source than corn which is being used in the US. We have entered into an agreement with Brazil to purchase ethanol from them.

It is so disingenuous to hear the US President saying that our purchase of ethanol from Brazil is being done to help the Brazilian economy when, in reality, we are purchasing the ethanol because it is cheaper and we will save money. I do like the President, but he has been in Washington too long. He is beginning to sound like those Washington politicians he promised he would never become. As a Physician I can say that we must always be on guard in preventing exposure to contagious diseases! Why can they not speak the truth?

Nevertheless, congratulations to Brazil for their achievements in this area and to the United States for recognizing how Brazil’s accomplishments can help the US economy.

nicola michael Tauraso, M.D.

BIRTH CONTROL AND THE CATHOLIC CHURCH

BIRTH CONTROL AND THE CATHOLIC CHURCH

I am prompted to write this blog after watching on the Fox News Channel a confrontation between Shawn Hannity and a Roman Catholic priest who was challenging Shawn on his position on birth control.

Apparently, Shawn who claims to be a practicing Catholic – and I am not too sure about this because he did not actually state it -- believes that using condoms as a method of birth control is not according to the teachings of the Church. But, when approaching those who do not believe this, he advocates the use of condoms as a method of birth control in order to prevent unwanted pregnancies, therefore reducing the incidence of abortions.

The priest was calling Shawn a bad Catholic because he advocated the use of condoms even stating he would not give Shawn communion because of it. Shawn, who is by no means a milk toast, in fact, being quite vocal in the positions he takes on almost any subject – a refreshing trait in an individual – took on the priest challenging him in his condemnation.

I tended to side with Shawn on this matter. As I already mentioned, this prompted me to “put my two cents in” on the whole matter of birth control and what I understand to be the position of the Catholic Church.

When discussing birth control we must consider that there are several methods used to achieve birth control:

1. Coitus Interruptus: This is where at the point just before ejaculation the male withdraws the penis. Unfortunately, there are drawbacks to this technique. Many fail to realize that just before that time of ejaculation there is leakage of seminal fluid (pre-ejaculate) which contains much sperm able to get someone pregnant. An important aspect is that it is most important that sperm is not deposited anywhere on the pubic area because this sperm has the tropic ability to desire to enter the vagina. After all, a rooster which does not have a penis is still able to impregnate the female bird.

2. The Rhythm Method: This is where one carefully maps out the days when the woman ovulates and not to have intercourse during that period including two - three days before and after. This will work only if a woman is regular each month and knows exactly when she ovulates. Many women are not regular and often times this method becomes a “crap shoot.” No one knows this better than in the case with my family where we had what we affectionately call our two “Rhythm babies!” By the way, Pope Pius XII condoned the use of rhythm.

3. Condoms: This is as we know to be when the male uses a condom barrier to prevent the sperm from entering the vagina. This also has drawbacks probably only when the male does not remove the penis before he becomes flaccid which may allow sperm to leak out.

4. Intrauterine Devices (IDU’S): With the insertion into the womb of a coiled, usually metal, device the womb rejects the development and attachment of a foreign object, such as an embryo, thus preventing pregnancy. This method has its advocates but there are complications in some women who just cannot tolerate these devices.

5. Birth Control Pills (The Pill): In the early 1960's The Pill was developed. The pill by hormonal action is able to prevent ovulation, thereby preventing pregnancy. Although this has become by far the most popular form of birth control, it too has some minor complications, albeit, of very low incidence. A very small percentage of women cannot tolerate The Pill, and some are not sure of any long term adverse side effects. But, nevertheless, as said, it is the most popular and also probably the safest method of birth control. A major problem with The Pill, especially for the poor, is that it is a costly expense and insurance does not pay for it and very importantly many forget to take it regularly. Pope Paul conceded a woman using a contraceptive for health purposes would not be a breach of Church policy, even if such use brought about temporary infertility. (I wonder how he would feel if our modern day psychiatrists argued the use of The Pill would be a therapeutic tool in treating some one’s fear of getting pregnant.)

6. Abstinence: Let us not forget the absolute method of birth control which is abstinence, a method not considered by those who wish to be sexually active.


THE CONTROVERSY AND PHILOSOPHICAL BASIS

The Catholic Church has a serious problem justifying the use of some methods of birth control, especially the use of condoms. And this is based upon a sound philosophical principle.

I will digress to explain where I am coming from. I was educated at Boston College, a Jesuit College, and there in those days all students had to take Philosophy. In fact, every student had more credits in Philosophy than in their Major. I was a Pre-Medical student majoring in Biology but I had more hours in Philosophy than in Biology. So, in a way, we were all “Philosophy Majors.” In this writing, I am approaching an explanation from the viewpoint of Scholastic Philosophy, the philosophy expounded by the Jesuits. Although the phylosophical principles of other Catholic teachers, such as the Dominicans and Franciscans, may differ in minor ways as how they reach a particular conclusion, they are essentially similar in their conclusions.

Those of us who were Catholic also had to take Religion. Those who were not Catholic could take Religion, but they were not required to do so. One of the basic Religious and Philosophical Principles was that “it was against the Natural Law to set an appetite in motion and at the same time prevent that appetite from achieving its potential.”

Let us examine why lying is considered a sin according to this principle. The so-called “appetite” or function of speaking is to convey truth from one individual to another. When one lies, one sets the appetite in motion then prevents it from achieving its natural goal of conveying truth. A bad result of this is that a degree of trust among men is destroyed when one is expecting truth to be conveyed and it is not. And so, the Natural Law is frustrated and broken.

With the case of sexual intercourse – an appetite – an object is to procreate offspring. There are other reasons for sexual intercourse other than procreation, such as pleasure, but that is not within the area of this discourse. With the use of a condom, one has set an appetite in motion while preventing it from achieving its end according to the Natural Law. And so, on purely philosophical grounds the use of condoms is wrong.



THE PILL

I must single out the use of The Pill, because with its use, the Church had a way out of its philosophical dilemma. With the use of The Pill, the act of ovulation is prevented, thus avoiding the problem of thwarting a natural appetite with its use.

Pope John XXIII set up a Pontifical Commission to study the Church in the modern world. Most members of the Commission argued that it was time for the Church to face the realities of the modern world. They said that with the increasing emancipation of women and the introduction of safe contraceptives it was now time for the Church to change its position.
However, a minority disagreed and published its own report advocating the Church not change.


Pope John XXIII died and his successor, Pope Paul VI – a very weak and indecisive Pope -- alive at the time of the report, decided to take the view of the minority and published the well known Encyclical letter, entitled Humanae Vitae (Of Human Life). This Encyclical clearly stated that the use of The Pill incurred “a mortal sin.”

Pope John Paul II – probably the worst Pope we have had in my lifetime and one who set the Roman Catholic Church back 2,000 years or , at least back to the Middle Ages – decided to support Pope Paul’s view on birth control in his encyclical Evangelium Vitae (the Gospel of Life).

If Pope John XXIII – probably the best Pope of my lifetime were to remain alive, things would have been different.

An Encyclical is a Letter and nothing more than that, but it is promulgated to the entire body of the faithful stating that the Church did not condone the use of The Pill and that it was a Mortal sin to do so.

Important to note is that the Pope did not speak ex cathedra. This is when the Pope promulgates a position but states that it has come from a personal revelation from God. The last time this occurred was on November 1, 1950 Pope Pius XII spoke ex cathedra with “Multicentissimus Deusi” on the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary into heaven. Popes are extremely careful when they speak ex cathedra so that they do not say something – that is, a direct communication from God – which might be proven wrong at some later date.

The fact was that the promulgation about The Pill was just an encyclical – a letter – which other Bishops do not have to follow.

In the Roman Catholic Church, a Bishop is the ultimate authority on matters of faith and morals and in the interpretation of the bible. The Pope cannot tell a Bishop how to interpret such matters. After all, the Pope is just another Bishop. He is the Bishop of Rome. The only time a Pope can over rule another Bishop is when he speaks ex cathedra -- some thing which does not occur often, the last time having been 1950.
So here I am in the Arch Diocese of Washington, DC, where Cardinal O’Boyle states that it is a Mortal sin to use The Pill, and up there in Boston where I grew up, Cardinal O’Connell said use your own conscience. If you think using The Pill is sinful then it is sinful for you to do so, but if you believed it is not a sin, then it is not sinful.
My wife, at the time, did not want to use The Pill because we were under the jurisdiction of Cardinal O’Boyle. My answer was: “Let’s move to Boston!” We solved our problem by placing ourselves under the spiritual jurisdiction of Cardinal O’Connell while still abiding in Maryland. The Jesuits, God bless them, taught me the art of rationalization!

BACK TO HANNITY

As I said earlier, I sided with Shawn Hannity over the Catholic priest who I believe was way out of line in criticizing Shawn on his advocating people who did not believe using condoms was sinful to use a method of birth control avoiding unwanted pregnancies, thereby avoiding the need for abortions.

In life we are always asked to choose the moral path. I acknowledge it is difficult some times to stay the high moral ground, but we do the best we can without harming others who must walk the planet along side. If one had to choose between the use of contraceptives and abortion, the conclusion would be considered a “no brainer,” especially to those who abhor abortion.

nicola michael c. Tauraso, M.D.
Director, Tauraso Medical Clinic
Author of: How to Benefit from Stress, and
Awaken the Genius in Your Child

Friday, March 2, 2007

HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL INJURIES: A Well Kept Secret

HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL INJURIES:
A WELL KEPT SECRET

Few people realize how often football injuries occur in children of high school age. I believe this is one of the best kept secrets both locally and in the world of sports. I also believe that the popularity of high school sports is in part due to the high premium our society places on individuals to succeed and exceed in sports. We are a people in love with sports: football, baseball, basket ball, soccer, hockey, you name it.

But, few realize how many children get injured playing high school sports. Of all the sports played in high school, the major causes of injuries are due to football. In fact, I dare say that football related injuries account for the most of these probably to the extent that the totality of football injuries surpasses the total of all other injuries.

The 16 year old son of a very close friend sustained an injury to the C1 cervical vertebra, the vertebra injured in Christopher Reeves. The C1 vertebra is very special because it is the first of the vertebra located just at the base of the brain and it allows for some rotation motion. In the case of the son of my friend, a chip of bone was displaced laterally. If it were displaced anteriorly, it would have severed the cord and the boy would be a paraplegic.

The boy recovered very slowly, eventually having to have several of his vertebrae fused. It took many months for recovery.

Football-related injuries include injuries to the head and neck area; spinal column and cord; limbs; internal organs, such as liver and spleen; soft tissues; etc. Additionally, death on the field during games and practice ARE also common.

It is inconceivable to me why any competent and caring parent would allow a child to participate in such a dangerous sport. FOOTBALL SHOULD BE BANNED AS A HIGH SCHOOL SPORT.
Football related injuries are common even with the use of protected gear. High school boys are frequently clumsy and many have an attitude of indestructibility. The force of impact can be severe, the reason why the injuries can be so severe.

Contributing to the keeping of this well kept secret is the press. As I peruse the local newspaper each morning I read all about the insignificant things some of our local politicians do the major and minor controversies they create. I read about automobile accidents and the listing of all those individuals arrested. And, I look at the sports pages, the largest part of the newspaper dedicated to a single subject, and read ad infinitum about sports from the most insignificant local to the world stuff.

But NOWHERE can I find in our local newspaper a mention of this 16 year old boy on the verge of total paralysis from the neck down from a football injury at the local high school? No one wants to talk about it. Does anyone care?

Interesting reading for those of you who want to learn more can read the National Center for Catastrophic Sport Injury Research Report of the Annual Survey of Catastrophic Football Injuries 1977 to 2004. www.unc.edu/depts/nccsi/CataFootballData.htm (Search for football injuries)

Another important problem is the incidence of heat illnesses and heat stroke during preseason practices for high school players. A report describes that between 1995 and 2001, 21 high school football players died of heat stroke.
(www.acsm.org/publications/news_releases.htm 68k, 30.aug.2005). Uniforms and protective gear designed to protect players from injuries contribute to the overheating which results in heat related injuries. This is compounded by the custom of preseason practice which traditionally occurs in late summer when it is still quite hot in most areas of the United States.

This study finds that: the primary reasons for a football player to overheat on the field are intensity and duration of practice, the environment, and the uniform ... there’s also a variety of problems that a football player can have related to sweat losses and consequent fluid and electrolyte deficits. That can range from feeling a little off, to not performing well, to heat cramps or heat exhaustion or if it were unattended, even heat stroke. If a player’s body temperature reaches a certain threshold and they can no longer have the capacity to regulate temperature, it can run away from them and readily lead to death.

This should be food for thought for all parents who have children of high school age contemplating playing football.

nicola michael c. Tauraso, M.D.
Director, Tauraso Medical Clinic

PAXIL: A Very Dangerous Drug

PAXIL: A VERY DANGEROUS DRUG

If you are taking PAXIL, you do not know what trouble you are in or will be if you try to stop taking the drug. It is extremely addictive. The following is a review of the literature and foreign labels:
Physicians in the U.S. are bombarded with marketing messages designed to minimize concerns surrounding with drawl. For instance, the pharmaceutical giant, Glaxo-Smith-Kline [GSK] uses the term discontinuation syndrome rather than withdrawal because it infers addictive qualities. In fact, the term discontinuation is not even a legitimate medical term – it is not listed in any recognized medical dictionary. GSK contrived distinction between discontinuation and withdrawal is wholly inconsistent with the language found in foreign labels of Paxil, wherein GSK acknowledges that Paxil can cause withdrawal symptoms. The following have been extracted from other sources:

Italy: Withdrawal symptoms may occur if treatment is discontinued abruptly. Such symptoms include: insomnia, dizziness, sweating, palpitations, nausea, anxiety, irritability, parasthesia, and headache.

UK: Withdrawal symptoms have been reported on stopping treatment: dizziness, sensory disturbance (e.g. parasthesia), anxiety, sleep disturbances (including intense dreams) agitation, tremor, nausea, sweating, and confusion have been reported following the abrupt withdrawal of Seroxat [Paxil].

Ireland: Withdrawal reactions have been reported following discontinuation of Seroxat [Paxil], these include dizziness, sensory disturbance (e.g. parasthesia), anxiety, sleep disturbances (including intense dreams), agitation, tremor, nausea, sweating, and confusion.

Netherlands: Abrupt discontinuation of Seroxat therapy must be avoided as this may result in withdrawal symptoms such as sleep disturbances, sensory disturbances, dizziness, agitation, anxiety, sweating, and nausea.

Spain: Discontinuation of paroxetine administration (especially if it is abrupt) may lead to withdrawal symptoms such as dizziness, sensory disturbances (including parasthesia and sensation of cramps), headache, sleep disturbances, agitation or anxiety, nausea, and sweating.

France: Abrupt withdrawal of the treatment may cause, within one week, symptoms such as dizziness, sensory disorders, sleep disturbances, agitation, anxiety, asthenia, digestive disorders, and sweating. These signs may persist for 1-2 weeks.

For additional information concerning Paxil withdrawal, please refer to www.baumhedlundlaw.com/Paxil/paxilupdate.htm. An interview with Paxil withdrawal suit plaintiff Trisha Spinelli should also be read: www.counterpunch.org/giombetti0912.html

nicola michael c. Tauraso, M.D.

Thursday, March 1, 2007

EMBRYOLOGY RECAPITULATES ONTOGENY The Life and Death of Anna Nicole Smith

EMBRYOLOGY RECAPITULATES ONTOGENY The Life and Death of Anna Nicole Smith

Now what does that all mean?

We are a country obsessed with the Hollywood types. What is wrong with us? In the days when I was growing up as a child of Italian Immigrants, I wanted to meet and talk with individuals such as Dante, Cosimo DiMedici, Galileo, Pasteur, and Nicola Tesla, but they were all dead. But, I did read about them. I wanted to meet and talk with Einstein, Enrico Fermi, and Hemingway, but they all died during my lifetime. And, I read about them, also.

I am not saying that all these people led untroubled lives. Many of them knew adversity. But these individuals left behind legacies upon which those of us who followed benefitted in one way or another.

I never wanted to meet those who represented what I would call the Hollywood types, many of whom also lead troubled lives, but who leave us very little of substantive value.

Our obsession with Anna Nicole Smith is a prime example of what I learned in Freshman College biology: EMBRYOLOGY RECAPITULATED ONTOGENY. As we examine the development of the embryo, we see how the embryo develops the neural crest of primitive creatures, and the gills of aquatic animals, all of these tissues and developing organs having once been parts of earlier developing creatures. We see in the development of the embryo (embryology) the history of our development as a species (ontology).

This reminds me of what we often see that individuals die as they live. We have often heard that if one lives by the sword, one will die by the sword. The life of Anna Nicole was a mess. She was a high class whore, having a baby and at least four individuals who would eventually claim to have been the potential father. What a life!

And what gives her more power are the likes of the Media. I admit that I like to watch Fox News, but even the people at Fox News are obsessed with the likes of Anna Nicole Smith. I find myself just turning the television off because she and it are not worthy of my time. Enough is enough.

What has Anna Nicole left the world? For that matter what legacy have Britney Spears, that Hilton girl, and some of the other entertainment type trash left the world?

Let us for ourselves and, at least, teach our children to seek out to emulate the better of us who inhabit our planet. Perhaps, if we had better role models within our family and our community, we might begin to develop young minds who can aspire to a better life. Our Country is really screwed up. We have more broken homes from which ensue more disturbed individuals, more crime, more pedophiles, more socially sick people.

Tomorrow, they will bury Anna Nicole. May she rot in peace. I should not be so callous. After all, she was at one time a good person but, unfortunately, took the wrong path of drugs. Let us, at least, learn something from her life and death. From those who teach us the correct path in life, let us learn how to proceed down that path. And, let us also learn from those who chose an incorrect path the path to avoid. I once wrote a book How to Benefit from Stress (www.drtauraso.com) which describes ways to avoid those incorrect paths.

nicola michael c. Tauraso, M.D.
Director, Tauraso Medical Clinic

Greenspan and the Stock Market Crash of 27 February2007

GREENSPAN AND THE STOCK MARKET CRASH OF 27 FEBRUARY 2007


First let me say, I have never been a fan of ex Chairman Greenspan and I will tell you why later. But, for now let us analyze what happened to the Stock Market on 27 February 2007.
First they say it all started in China where rumors were that the Chinese government was going to begin taxing capital gains made in the market. Then ex Chairman Greenspan gave a speech in Hong Kong stating that there might be a recession in the United States before the year is over. Initially, the Chinese market began to tumble, and then Wall Street followed.
I do not understand why someone does not stuff cotton into the mouth of Mr. Greenspan He is no longer Chairman of the Federal Reserve. Realizing how much the markets follow his every word, he should realize the implications of what he says.

While Greenspan was Chairman of the Federal Reserve, probably the worst one we have ever had, and I know few would agree with me, no one could understand what he was saying. Every time he spoke there would be at least 5 analysts interpreting what he had said. His way of speaking was referred to as Greenspeak! No analyst would agree to what the Chairman had said.
I have always believed that a sign of an intelligent person was his ability to communicate. In this regard, Greenspan fell far short of the mark. Perhaps he is smarter than I give him credit for. Perhaps he intentionally wanted to be obfuscatory. If he did, he achieved his goal.

The problem with Greenspan is that he never saw an interest rate hike he did not like. He was so obsessed with curbing inflation he did not see the long term implications of his continued rate hikes. In my opinion, Greenspan pricked the market bubble in the market. Every market bubble will eventually burst. It is only a mater of time. But, it could have happened in a different way.
Every economist knows, and I am not an economist, but I do have an analytic mind, that it takes time before an economic policy to begin to be reflected in the market. Look at the tax cuts of President Bush. The market responded by developing one of the greatest economic booms which was reflected in 1) companies beginning to make money and becoming profitable, 2) tremendous job creation with the lowest unemployment rate I’ve seen in my lifetime, even considering the absorption of so many illegal aliens in the work force, and 3) relatively controlled inflation. But this all took time.
Greenspan was raising interest rates so fast he did not give a chance for the market to respond. By the time it did, it was too late. Greenspan overshot the target. He was not a good Chairman, at least, nothing in the class of Mr. Volker who, once he left his post, knew enough to keep his mouth shut , something Greenspan needs to learn.

Another aspect of this is the motives of Mr. Greenspan. Several years ago while he was Chairman I saw a report which stated that Greenspan has almost all his money in United States Treasury Bonds. And what aspect of the market responds favorably to a market downturn? They are Treasury Bonds. Comments of Mr. Greenspan about potential recession spooked the market to go down, and it did on 27 February 2007. But what went up sharply on the same day? You guessed it: Treasury Bonds. Perhaps Greenspan is not as dumb as I thought!

The market will recover. It always does. I do not know why the market has considered Greenspan so great. We tend to give credit to a person who is in power during good times and we think somehow that person caused the good times to happen. But, every thing is cyclical. Here will be good times and there will be bad times. Greenspan was there during one of the good times and people will remember him for that. But, he was also there during the beginning of a bad time. But we, Americans, easily forget the bad times, except, perhaps in the case of Richard Nixon.

Sometime soon: THE REST OF THE STORY!

nicola michael c. Tauraso, M.D.