Tag Archives: government

Mesothelioma Awareness Day 2014

Awareness. It truly can save lives, especially when that awareness is related to something that is preventable. If everyone knew exactly what poison ivy looked like, do you think the cases of poison ivy would go down? I would say so. What about for something worse… like cancer? If you were aware of how to prevent cancer, would you take the means to do so for yourself? I most certainly would try. And this all brings us back to the title of this post and that one word that might not look so familiar, mesothelioma

We’ll make this clear, mesothelioma is a very dangerous form of cancer that attacks a similarly named lining of your body cavity. It tries to, usually successfully, hurt a part of the inside of your body… obviously, you don’t want that to happen. What causes it? Exposure to asbestos. What is asbestos? You might know already or at least you’ve heard the word, but asbestos is a mineral that occurs naturally on our planet, and it is a known carcinogen.

To put that into perspective, aspartame, which has a very negative public opinion due to its presence as an artificial sweetener in so many processed foods, is declared as a non-carcinogen on www.cancer.org. That was even after studies and lab experiments. (I still don’t consume aspartame because I’m not convinced, yet.) What about arsenic… would you ingest it if you had a choice? You shouldn’t. Asbestos, however, is still used in construction projects throughout the world; developing and developed countries use it in homes, schools, industrial, and commercial buildings. So… how do you know if you’ve been exposed; what are the symptoms?

Here is the scariest part. Mesothelioma sits dormant in your body for 20-50 years after initial exposure to asbestos. Every year, nearly 3,000 new cases are diagnosed. Their average time given to live… 10 months. Although, it’s most common in individuals 50-70 years old, there have been of cases for those in younger generations. The three types that have been identified are in the lining of the lunges (80% of all cases), abdominal lining, and heart lining. All crucial parts of the body and all extremely painful, I’m sure. 

So, what’s the point of me writing this post? Why exactly is FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 26th, 2014 the 10th Annual Mesothelioma Awareness Day? Because your awareness can save your life or someone else’s life. Although the United States Environmental Protection Agency banned the use of asbestos in most products in 1989, by 1991 the US Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals overturned it and most products containing asbestos are still made today. Try to avoid them and try to avoid buildings that were constructed with asbestos.

My personal input to this is that asbestos is easily a billion (maybe even trillion) dollar industry, and people aren’t willing to let that go. Money has significant control over the government and we know that. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Court of Appeals was bought for that decision to overturn the ban because the money in a few pockets is worth so much more to those individuals than the lives of nearly 10,000 Americans a year who die because of asbestos related diseases. 

Become knowledgeable, spread awareness, avoid asbestos, fight the use of asbestos, and save lives. It could be someone you never met, it could be someone you love, it could be you. And stay hungry and fit!

And After the Presidential Debates…

I’m still sticking with my man Barack, and it’s not because I think he’s an amazing presidential candidate… it’s because I would vote for whoever has the best chance of making sure Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan do not win. If it was someone from the Green or an Independent party, that would work fine with me… just not those two. I’m not voting based on who I think can turn around the economy. In this post, I’m not even going to get into depth about political agendas, policies, plans and all that complicated stuff that just breeds lies and unfulfilled promises.

Official photographic portrait of US President...

Official photographic portrait of US President Barack Obama (born 4 August 1961; assumed office 20 January 2009) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I simply cannot vote for a narcissistic liar and a narcissistic liar who cannot relate to the majority of the population of the United States. I don’t mind that Paul Ryan has a normal degree from a so-so institution of higher education. Actually, it’s the only thing that I like about him. I don’t like his pictures of him posing with his backwards hat and poorly built arms. I don’t like the fact that he lied about his marathon time (I believe he said it took him about 3 hours when it was realistically around 4.) If he lies about that, I don’t trust anything he says, so I would clearly never vote for him.

As for Romney, I simply cannot stand the guy. He has no concept of human rights and equality. There is a separation of church and state in this country and he is a religiously-driven man. He claims that he recognizes all religions and the religious freedom in this country, but then immediately says we are all children of the same God. He claims that he wants to give better job equality to women, but won’t let them decide whether they can control their own bodies all of the time. And don’t get me started on his view of gay rights. His smile is fake and evil, he doesn’t care at all about the middle class, and just wants to keep his riches rolling in so he can afford to send his 18 grand children to college. He has no concept of foreign policy, which unfortunately wasn’t highlighted enough last night. I wrote two of my theses on diplomacy and conflict resolution, and the man has no grasp of diplomacy. It’s ridiculous how many people he can offend in one debate. How many tens of millions… hundreds of millions… a billion people he can offend in one debate. And he just lies about way too much. Lie after lie after lie.

Mitt Romney - Caricature

Romney

So I don’t care how many accurate statistics relating to the economy he throws out. He doesn’t know anything about struggle. We were nearly living on credit cards, almost dead broke, struggling to find and keep jobs, and we see Obama and we still see change and hope. And while I doubt Mitt actually wants to help us, his plans could help the economy, but they might make it worse. And I would never throw my morals and values away for the small chance that his hidden agenda might lower the price of gas. That is not worth it. I will not let gays be denied their rights, women be denied their choices, and good people be denied the opportunity to continue helping other people, just so I can pay a buck less at the pump. That’s not worth it. Sorry Mitt, someone like me would never vote for someone like you.

But really, Barack was right when he called you out on the military. Are you trying to compensate for a lack of security? You might have thought your privileges growing up made you the best, but in the world stage, you’ll need a lot more than that.

Livestrong, Lance Armstrong

While debating what I wanted to write about this time, I was shuffling through ideas inside my mind and decided that I wanted to just talk again. Say what’s on my mind and see what people think about it. No recipes, workouts, fitness advice, or anything like that yet… because I am out of shape, very much so.

The recent changes in the Lance Armstrong doping scandal has really had me thinking a lot lately because whenever I go onto ESPN.com to get my daily updates for all the sports that I love to follow, there is some fresh news about the founder of Livestrong. Now, as you will see in all my later fitness-related posts, I am very much so against the use of performance enhancing drugs (PEDs). I will go into more depth about this in a post about supplements, steroids, PEDs, etc., but for now let’s stick with Lance.

English: Cyclist Lance Armstrong at the 2008 T...

Our boy, Lance

Disclaimer: I am not the biggest cycling fan. I am a swimmer who trains triathletes in their swimming. Some of them are cyclists and I have an opinion of them, compared to runners and swimmers. Also, I am not fond of sports that cater to a certain demographic, namely the populations that are wealthier and in more developed countries. However, I realize that with our global situation, there is not much I can do about that now so when I think of cycling, I take this all into consideration. Therefore, I will not let my personal dislike for cycling as a sport affect anything pertaining to Lance or his legacy.

So, a bit of background that most people are aware of pertaining to the most decorated and famous cyclists ever. That statement, I believe, is not arguable. Lance is a 5’9”, 157 lb, 40 year old athlete who started riding professionally in 1992. From 1999-2005, he won every Tour de France, and throughout his career he has won other various races and titles in both rode races, of various distances. Lance also has competed in multiple mountain bike races, triathlons, and marathons. However, Lance is a well known philanthropist who founded the Lance Armstrong Foundation for research and support of cancer victims. This came after Lance fought and won a bout with testicular cancer, which most people know as a result of the millions of bright yellow Livestrong wrist bands. While Lance has the most successful charity created by an athlete, his morals and values have consistently been questioned due to a belief that he has been doping.

Lance Armstrong Foundation

Lance Armstrong Foundation

Now (this is a rant, I will be wrong about many things, but I’m trying to express how I feel), I bet if Lance Armstrong came in second place for every won of those seven races, no one would have ever bothered him. BUT, since he won all seven, there are allegations and stories dating back to 1999, conveniently, of Lance doping. Essentially, Travis Tygart, the current “head” of the USADA (United States Anti-Doping Agency), a relatively recently formed government body,  has really been the person to collect “evidence” in an effort to punish Lance for “cheating.” Tygart claims that he has testimonials from multiple witnesses that claim Lance used performance enhancing drugs, offered them to teammates to help them win, told competitors during races that he uses them, and every other claim imaginable.

List of Major League Baseball players suspende...

PEDs

The funny part is that Lance has hundreds of legitimate drug tests throughout his career, specifically 1999-2005, and he never once tested positive for any PEDs. I think Lance’s evidence is better than anything that Tygart can bring up, besides a positive test. Seriously? Who would ever believe that all of these individuals, who are essentially enemies or rivals, would tell the truth about this matter. Let’s say the guy in second place in the 2000 Tour de France said “of course he cheated, he told me during the race.” And Tygart believed him and used it as evidence in his “case.” Lance is stripped of the title and who gets it? Oh, that same guy… hmm, that’s not sketchy. Seriously, Tygart has a horrible case and argument, AND he has yet to reveal any good evidence. So why would he go through all this trouble? Ego.

Who is Travis Tygart? I bet anything that only one in every one million people know who he is. They’re all either professional athletes, work for the USADA, or have followed the Lance story (I’m sure other people know him, but not many) . His job definitely pays well and who can say if he deserves it… well, I can. You would think that the head of the USADA would focus on athletes that are currently competing in the biggest events in the world. How about you try to catch someone that isn’t past their prime and hasn’t practically retired (to help cancer research of all things). I mean really, you single-handedly (or maybe with the help of some other people close to you) tried to destroy Lance’s legacy.

Travis Tygart

What would that mean? Loss of sponsors for the Lance Armstrong Foundation? Without those sponsors and funding, one of the best charities for cancer research would have to shut down… wow, think about that one. Luckily, so far, all of Lance’s biggest sponsors, like Nike, Anheuser-Busch, Oakley and bunch others, have decided to back him up and stand behind him despite allegations. But Travis Tygart, to get back on track, must have a huge ego and realizes the best way for him to get famous, or infamous, is to go after Lance.

Now, it’s hard for me to go against Lance, not because I like the guy or the work that he’s done, but because he has passed every drug test. If you want to stop doping, then make better drug tests for the future. Maybe you missed a few in the past… well it might be your fault. I know the USADA haven’t been around forever, but you need to start from scratch, set great procedures, and stick to them. What good is stripping Lance of his seven titles going to do? Make thousands of people, maybe more, that got into cycling because of one man, get out of cycling. It’s a stupid effort and a waste of resources for the USADA. Take his titles and ban him for life from cycling. Everyone knows who won those races. Lance, who potentially was on PEDs, managed to beat the best pro-cyclists in the world (I’m sure most of them were on PEDs too).

Lance Armstrong at the team presentation of th...

Lance Armstrong at the team presentation of the 2010 Tour de France in Rotterdam

Next, (and I read this in an article) go after Babe Ruth for drinking beers before a game during Prohibition while tons of collegiate and professional athletes use PEDs without getting any backlash for it. And they might be bad people. Lance isn’t. You might argue that he’s a jerk, or doesn’t tip well, or yield to pedestrians, but he’s raised over 500 million dollars for cancer research and that is a fact. So shut up, Travis Tygart, get over yourself. Just because Lance is better looking, more athletic, richer, helps more people, smarter, etc., doesn’t give you the right to try to one-up him in the only way you can, by cheating. Seriously, I hate cheaters. I once got a 7/100 on an AP Calculus test in high school because I refused to cheat. Romney probably likes Tygart’s status updates on Facebook.