Wednesday, November 29, 2006

AIDS Set To Be 3rd Largest Killer

by The Associated Press

(London) Within the next 25 years, AIDS is expected to join heart disease and stroke as the top three causes of death worldwide according to a new study.

When global mortality projections were last calculated a decade ago, researchers assumed the number of AIDS cases would be declining. Instead, it's on the rise.

Currently ranked fourth behind heart disease, stroke, and respiratory infections, AIDS is expected to become No. 3, said researchers in a new report in the Public Library of Science's Medicine journal. It accounts for about 2.8 million deaths every year. But the researchers estimate a total of nearly 120 million people could die in the next 25 years.

Overall, the researchers predict in three decades, the causes of global mortality will be strikingly similar worldwide _ apart from the prevalence of AIDS in poorer countries. Most people will be dying at older ages of non-infectious diseases like cardiovascular disease, stroke and cancer.

The paper by Dr. Colin Mathers and Dejan Loncar of the World Health Organization estimates of least 117 million people will die from AIDS from 2006 to 2030. In an optimistic future projection, if new HIV infections are curbed and access to life-prolonging antiretrovirals is increased, 89 million people will die from the disease.

``What happens in the future depends very much on what the international community does now,'' Mathers said.

These marked differences should spark changes in current approaches to controlling AIDS now, some experts said.

``It will be increasingly hard to sustain treatment programs, unless we can turn off the tap of new HIV infections,'' said Dr. Richard Hays, professor of epidemiology at London's School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, who was not linked to the study.

``These AIDS numbers point to a need to do more in prevention.''

Simply focusing on treatment or politically uncontroversial prevention methods will not suffice.

``You can't put all your eggs in the abstinence basket,'' said Hays.

``We need a menu of strategies for real people,'' he said, adding condom distribution as well as new methods, such as a vaccine, are needed.

Mathers and Loncar analyzed data from more than 100 countries. The authors looked at the links between mortality trends and income per capita, as well as factors including education levels and tobacco use. Their research also used UN estimates for projected AIDS infection rates and the World Bank's numbers for future income per capita.

Mathers and Loncar then took all of this information and plugged it into a complex modelling equation to predict the top future causes of death and disease.

``This is an important contribution that will help us determine the priorities in public health,'' said Dr. Majid Ezzati, an associate professor of international health at Harvard University, who was not connected to the paper.

While it may be possible to avert some of the impending damage from HIV/AIDS, Mathers said other predictions are unlikely to vary significantly.

As populations age, he explains, they are naturally more susceptible to illnesses like cancer and heart disease than from infectious diseases _ even in the developing world. Life expectancy is expected to increase worldwide, with the highest projected life expectancy in 2030 to be in Japanese women, at 88.5 years.

Mathers and Loncar speculate by 2030, cancer deaths will jump from 7.1 million in 2002 to 11.5 million. The number of deaths from cardiovascular disease is expected to rise from 16.7 million in 2002 to 23.3 million in 2030. Overall, they expect non-communicable diseases to account for 70 per cent of all deaths globally, up from 59 per cent in 2002.

Though economic development may bring better health care, it also has an unfortunate side-effect: more road accidents. Based on rates of increasing car ownership, the World Bank estimates traffic fatalities will increase globally by 66 per cent by 2020. This might be avoided, Mathers said, if developing countries learn from the experience of developed countries, where laws and improved safety practices have sharply cut the numbers of road-related deaths.

Knowing the likely causes of future mortality allows policymakers to attempt to improve the expected outcome. While Mathers and Loncar are unable to account for unforeseen events such as the emergence of new deadly diseases or major outbreaks like a flu pandemic, their projections may help to set the agenda of global health.

``I hope this paper inspires change,'' said Mathers.

``And I hope our pessimistic projections turn out to be wrong.''

© 2006

Friday, November 17, 2006

WisconsinEye set to air by May 2007

Madison, November 16 - the Wisconsin Department of Administration today cleared WisconsinEye to begin installing broadcast infrastructure in the state Capitol for the network's planned C-SPAN style coverage of state government, now set to begin by mid May.

The $650,000 construction project involves installation of behind-the-wall cabling and upgraded wall fixtures to enable camera coverage from the Senate and Assembly chambers, legislative committee hearing rooms, the Capitol Rotunda, the Governor's conference Room, the Attorney General's conference room, and the State Supreme Court Hearing Room.

The DOA action followed final appproval this week by the State Capitol and Executive Residence Board (SCERB) and also the State of Wisconsin Building Commission as required by Wisconsin Eye's licensing agreements reached with the Legislature in July, 2005. the agreements call for WisconsinEye to begin broadcasting legislative proceedings within six months and the Executive or Judicial branch within 18 months after final approval.

"We understand the need to protect the integrity of the Capitol building and have been fully committed to the process of review and approval for our construction project. Today is a major milestone for WisconsinEye and we now look forward to beginning broadcast operations in May," said WisconsinEye President Christopher Long.

WisconsinEye Network is a private, not-for-profit statewide public affairs network whose core missioin is to provide complete, gavel-to-gavel coverage of the actions of state government on television and the internet. A bipartisan donor community of individuals, foundations, organizations and corporations is funding the network's launch.

WisconsinEye's Capitol infrastructure project is fully funded by Wisconsin Eye and involves no cost to the state. WisconsinEye's construction team includes J.P. cullen & Sons, H&H Electric, and Isthmus Architecture, all of which worked on the Capitol Renovation and Restoration Project.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Wal-Mart Charged with Selling Nonorganic Food as Organic

Group Asks USDA to Fully Investigate
Organic Product Misrepresentation

Cornucopia, WI: The Cornucopia Institute, the nation’s most aggressive organic farming watchdog, has filed a formal legal complaint with the USDA asking them to investigate allegations of illegal “organic” food distribution by Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. Cornucopia has documented cases of nonorganic food products being sold as organic in Wal-Mart’s grocery departments.

“We first noticed that Wal-Mart was using in-store signage to misidentify conventional, nonorganic food as organic in their upscale-market test store in Plano, Texas,” said Mark Kastel of The Cornucopia Institute. Subsequently, Cornucopia staff visited a number of other Wal-Mart stores in the Midwest and documented similar improprieties in both produce and dairy sections.

Cornucopia notified Wal-Mart’s CEO Lee Scott in a letter on September 13, 2006 alerting the company to the problem and asking that it address and correct the situation on an immediate basis. But the same product misrepresentations were again observed weeks later, throughout October, at separate Wal-Mart stores in other states.

“This is disturbing and a serious problem,” Kastel said. “Organic farmers adopt and follow a rigorous range of management practices, with audit trails, to ensure that the food they sell to processors and retailers is organic and produced in accordance with federal organic regulations. Consumers, who are paying premium prices in the marketplace for organic food, deserve to get what they are paying for.”

Earlier this year, Wal-Mart announced a sweeping organic foods initiative and declared that they would greatly increase the number of organic offerings for sale in their stores—at dramatically lower prices than the competition. The move by the giant retailer has been under close scrutiny from members of the organic community seeking to assess what impact Wal-Mart’s decision will have on organic food and farming concerns.

A number of other organic food retailers throughout the country, including Whole Foods Markets and many of the nations member-owned grocery cooperatives, have gone to the effort to become certified organic in terms of the handling of their products and have invested heavily in staff training to help them understand organic food production and sale concerns.

“Our management and our employees know what organic means,” said Lindy Bannister, General Manager at The Wedge Cooperative in Minneapolis, Minnesota. “If Wal-Mart intends to get into organics, they can’t be allowed to misidentify ‘natural’ foods as organic to unsuspecting consumers.” The Wedge, the largest single store member-owned food cooperative in the nation, was one of the first retailers to go through the USDA organic certification process.

“One can question whether Wal-Mart has the management and staff expertise necessary to fully understand organics and the marketing requirements essential to selling organic food,” observed Kastel. “At this point, it seems they are attracted by the profits generated from the booming organic food sector but are not fully invested in organic integrity. Given their size, market power, and market clout, this is very troubling.”

Cornucopia’s complaint asks the USDA to fully investigate the allegations of organic food misrepresentation. The farm policy organization has indicated that they will share their evidence, including photographs and notes, with the agency’s investigators. Fines of up to $10,000 per violation for proven incidents of organic food misrepresentation are provided for in federal organic regulations.

This past September, The Cornucopia Institute also accused Wal-Mart of cheapening the value of the organic label by sourcing products from industrial-scale factory-farms and Third World countries, such as China.

The Institute released a white paper, Wal-Mart Rolls Out Organic Products—Market Expansion or Market Delusion?, that made the argument that Wal-Mart is poised to drive down the price of organic food in the marketplace by inventing a “new” organic—food from corporate agribusiness, factory-farms, and cheap imports of questionable quality.

For more information, contact: Mark Kastel, 608-625-2042

Monday, November 13, 2006


Fast Food Nation is a fictionalized film based on the nonfiction book Fast Food Nation by Eric Schlosser. It was filmed on locations in Mexico and the United States (in Texas and Colorado) under the codename Coyote.[1] The movie was produced by Participant Productions and Recorded Picture Company for HanWay Films and BBC Films, and was directed and written by Richard Linklater. It was premiered on May 19, 2006 at the Cannes Film Festival. The film's US release is scheduled for November 17, 2006.

The movie uses a fictionalized approach instead of being a documentary, telling the story from the point of view of people involved in the industry. The ensemble cast includes Greg Kinnear, Catalina Sandino Moreno, Ethan Hawke, Luis Guzman, Patricia Arquette, Kris Kristofferson, Lou Taylor Pucci, Ana Claudia Talancon, Esai Morales, Wilmer Valderrama, Bruce Willis, and Avril Lavigne.

(description from Wikipedia)

Your publisher read this great book, when it was first published, a couple of years ago, and is looking forward to viewing the film when it opens this week. Consult your local sources for theatres and showing times.

watch this video:

We attended a preview of this important film, Tuesday night, at the AMC Theatre, Mayfair Mall.
If you haven't read the book, this film is a MUST SEE! The performances are incredible, and the information is not to be missed.
Unfortunately, it is a dramatization, and not a documentary. As such it does not give you a fraction of the information you get from the book.
At this point in time, my recommendation would be to see the movie first, and then read the book. The book is first rate, hard hitting, and important!
Please don't miss the experience of FAST FOOD NATION - both of them!

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

HBO SPECIAL Hacking Democracy

A documentary showing how DIEBOLD has cheated american voters.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Should Voting be Hazardous to Your Health?

“You Can’t Vote!”, Susan M. Edman, Executive Director, City of Milwaukee Board of Election

She’s 82, breathing on oxygen, confined to a wheelchair, and for the past 12 years, or so, has
voted by absentee ballot. We’ll call her Mary Jane, because that’s her name..

It’s election day, and the ballot has yet to arrive in the mail.

Actually, Mary Jane has been searching for that ballot for two weeks, and for a while was calling
the election commission each day.

First, she heard there was some problem with the ballots, but they would be sent.
Then she heard that it was in the mail, and should arrive any day.

When it still didn’t arrive, she had her son contact the local alderman’s office. Jill Thomas, aide
to Alderman Robert Donovan, called the election commission, and then told Mary Jane’s son,
that she would probably receive two ballots now, that they’re sent by bulk mail, and you’ve just
got to be patient. Her son attempted to speak further, about this and other issues, to which she
responded that she doesn’t have time for such matters, with drug houses, and prostitution, and
what not going on in the district.

So Mary Jane took Ms. Thomas’ word and continued to watch for her absentee ballot in the mail.

Late Monday night, before election day, Alderman Donovan returned her son’s call, regarding
the ballot. At that time, Mary Jane thought she could possibly go without her morning
medications (one of which is her water pill that requires frequent rest room trips), and have her
son push her, in the wheel chair, to the polling place.

The next morning, it’s election day, and Mary Jane doesn’t feel that well, and decides that she
should stay home, and wait for someone to deliver a ballot.. Ms Susan Edman phones to find out
what ‘s going on, and to see how she could help. After several phone calls, Ms. Edman declares
that unless she goes to the polling place, she can’t vote, thereby disenfranchising one of our
senior citizens. She says that the election commission has done all that they’re obligated to do,
and basically, if that’s not good enough - tough.

She did suggest that if the state election commission ordered her to do so, she would deliver the
ballot herself, but Mary Jane would need to call them.

Her son, dutifully phoned the state election commission, and, at that office, Diane checked with
Kevin Kennedy, the head of the commission. The message again: unless you go to the polling
place, you can’t vote.

Through no fault of her own, Mary Jane was told this twice, by two election commissioners.

It is not her fault that the ballot wasn’t delivered, and because of state law, a ballot cannot be
delivered on election day.

The son, proceeded to call Milwaukee County District Attorney, E. Michael McCann. McCann
immediately assigned Assistant DA, Bruce Landgraf to investigate for criminal actions regarding
the lost ballot, and to determine if other ballots went missing.

As for Mary Jane - her son talked her into exercising her constitutional right, and did push her in
the wheel chair, to the polling place. With the help of the poll workers there, she was able to cast
her ballot, but at what cost to her health?

A Fair Wisconsin Votes NO !!


Governor/Lieutenant Governor: Jim Doyle/Barbara Lawton

Attorney General: Kathleen Falk

US Senate: Herb Kohl

US House of Representatives: Gwen Moore 4th District
Bryan Kennedy 5th District

Wisconsin State Senate: Tim Carpenter 3rd District
Jim Sullivan 5th District

Milwaukee County District Attorney:John Chisholm

Milwaukee County Sherrif: Don Holt

Marriage Amendment: NO

Death Penalty Amendment: NO

Troop Withdrawel Referendum: YES

Monday, November 06, 2006

It's all been for this moment!

Dear Friend,

We've been working hard to get to this moment. And, here we are -- we can see the finish line.

But, if we want to produce the Democratic victories our nation so urgently needs, you have one critical task left, and that is to get to the polls and vote.

It has been decades since there have been so many close, down-to-the-wire races for the Senate, for the House, and for critical state and local offices. Many of those races are close today because of what you and other members of the community have done up to this point.

And now, many of those races will be finally decided by what you do in the time between now and the closing of the polls. Please call and email your friends, family and colleagues and ask them to vote on Tuesday. Don't let a single person you know let Tuesday pass without voting.

And there's still time to contact Democratic campaigns in your area to volunteer your time and be part of grassroots efforts to get out the vote.

This is our chance to take the power to lead America out of the Bush Republicans' hands. Winning means raising the minimum wage. Winning means moving towards health care for all, starting with every child in America. Winning means forcing an end to the disastrous war in Iraq, and getting our heroes home.

Winning means firing the incompetents, stopping the corruption, and making America stop being the world's leading denier of global climate change.

Let's get out and do it. You've been amazing all along. You've stood up. Stand up again. Your country is counting on you.

It's on to victory from here.

John Kerry

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Michael J. Fox is Coming to Milwaukee this Monday

Please join Michael J. Fox and me at Serb Hall in Milwaukee on Monday morning as we rally for victory on Election Day – an important victory not just for Wisconsin, but for embryonic stem cell research and the hope it represents.

Michael J. Fox has shown tremendous courage and determination in the fight for embryonic stem cell research.

I am so honored by his support, which I believe will be critical on Election Day.

The event at Serb Hall – located at 5101 W. Oklahoma Ave in Milwaukeeis free and open to the public. Doors open at 9:30 a.m.

Call 1-877-646-2006 or click the link below to RSVP today:

Thank you for everything you are doing – and will do – to achieve victory on Election Day. Sincerely,

Governor Jim Doyle

P.S. If you haven't signed up to help us get out the vote, please do so now. Click the following link:

Friday, November 03, 2006

THE Milwaukee Blog Nominated for MKE online's Blog of the Week contest!!

From: Sara Oceguera

Hi there. I'm the online producer for Just writing to let you know that you are in this week's blog of the week running.

If you're not familiar with the contest, it's where we put five Wisconsin-based blogs up against each other and ask readers to vote for their favorite.

The voting page with more information is at If you have any questions, you know how to reach me. : )


Sara O

We're honored to be included in this online contest.

To participate, by voting, go to the following link: