Category Archives: News

support our troops

You never expected to see that headline here, right? Well, I mean it literally, with no riders or secret motives. Putting aside the people who give the orders, the arguments for or against wars, and the numbers, let’s think about the actual men and women who asked what they could do for their country, then did it.

We’ve heard how much it costs to support the war, in terms of money, human lives, and world sentiment. But how much does it cost to support the millions of American soldiers who served their time? How much to heal their wounds, to treat them for PTSD, to provide educational benefits, to help with housing?

To me, these things are much more important than the war itself, because they affect Americans directly. We should protect our borders and help keep the peace around the world, but we must take care of the people who have sacrificed so much to do that for us. Ignoring our defense is ill-advised and may lead to danger, but ignoring our defenders is heartless. Brutal. Insane. Unconscionable.

I bet it doesn’t come near the $500 billion we’ve spent to have them support us, so why is it that I keep hearing news stories about how we’re not spending enough to help them? Shouldn’t I be hearing conservative op-ed columnists grumbling about how we pamper our veterans, instead of stories about crumbling hospitals, suicide rates, and homeless vets?

Or am I just missing something?

Study: Alzheimer’s symptoms reversed within minutes

This is great news: a recent study showed a remarkable improvement in Alzheimer’s patients given a drug designed to treat immune-related disorders. In one case, the patient’s symptoms were reversed quickly:

The new study documents a dramatic and unprecedented therapeutic effect in an Alzheimer’s patient: improvement within minutes following delivery of perispinal etanercept, which is etanercept given by injection in the spine.

“It is unprecedented that we can see cognitive and behavioral improvement in a patient with established dementia within minutes of therapeutic intervention,” said Griffin [the author of commentary on the study]. “It is imperative that the medical and scientific communities immediately undertake to further investigate and characterize the physiologic mechanisms involved.”

Fighting Alzheimer’s has been pretty-near-hopeless before now, so this is fantastic news. It would be great to see Alzheimer’s turned into just another treatable issue.

Peter Jackson is back on for both (yes, both) Hobbit films

It looks like New Line lived up to my previously-expressed hopes: they resolved their dispute with Peter Jackson, so he’s going to be writing and producing two Hobbit films. According to an Entertainment Weekly article:

It’s back to Middle Earth for Peter Jackson, Fran Walsh, and the boys from New Line. Finally, the years of disputes have ended, and the partners (including co-producer and co-distributor MGM) are gearing up for two new Hobbit movies.

Jackson and his life/creative partner Walsh have always envisioned the big-screen adaptation of The Hobbit as two movies. The first would deal with the 80-year old novel. The second, imagined entirely by Jackson and Walsh, would link the conclusion of The Hobbit to the start of the first Lord of the Rings book, The Fellowship of the Rings. New Line and Jackson will develop the properties over the next year with hopes of entering into pre-production by 2009 for a 2010 and 2011 release.

So we can all do the dance of joy and then wait impatiently for 2010. Yays!