Is your number up? Consider a lifesaving gift for Valentine’s Day.
High blood pressure (hypertension) is the most neglected disease in our country. It is the single most important risk factor for diseases burdening our health-care system, including heart attack, heart failure, heart rhythm disorder called atrial fibrillation, stroke, blindness, kidney failure leading to dialysis and erectile dysfunction. It ranks in the top five health-care expenses for corporations.
Each of us needs to take ownership of our own blood pressure. Do not make the potentially fatal assumption that a lack of symptoms means blood pressure is not a personal health issue.
The only way to know your blood pressure is to take it and keep a diary outside of your physician’s office. Check it at your local pharmacy.
This Valentine’s Day, consider asking for or giving a lifesaving gift: a fully automatic blood-pressure cuff.
If your blood pressure is consistently greater than 140/90, discuss with your health-care provider what you can do to lower it. Disciplined lifestyle changes are effective.
If medications are necessary, take them as prescribed. Refill them and document whether they are getting your numbers to goal. Visit millionhearts.hhs.gov, and become proactive about your blood pressure.
Tracy L. Stevens, M.D.
Maybe that helicopter Brian Williams was referring to was part of the beanie on his head (2-8, A3, “Anchor to step aside for now”).
Deep chills here don’t assure us of a healthy climate. Formerly, very frigid air stayed in the Arctic, variable moderate air stayed in the Midwest and a fast-moving jet stream divided them.
But as the Arctic has warmed, the lessened temperature contrast has slowed this jet stream. It meanders more, releasing polar vortexes down across Canada into the Midwest, for weeks at a time. This information comes from scientists, and further studies will refine the details.
Responsible people will base decisions on what we already know: Increasing droughts and heat waves, lengthening fire seasons and more storm damages are realities that insurers have built into their rates. Climate models show that all those worsening problems are exacerbated by greenhouse gas emissions.
Don’t be misled by non-scientist legislators out to protect big coal and oil profits. Electricity efficiencies, solar and wind power, and energy storage are ready for large-scale implementation.
It’s time for regulations to reduce carbon dioxide output.
‘Right to work’ woes
I am furious that the Missouri House has approved a so-called “right to work” bill. This is evil legislation that attempts to serve billionaires and keep American wages in an ongoing decline.
We continue to see gross inequalities in wealth and income. Note that the decline of wages in the U.S. correlate directly with the decline of unions.
The Senate needs to defeat this bill or, if necessary, the governor must veto it. It is bad for middle-class Missourians. It serves only the rich or, more particularly, those of the rich who no longer care about the common good and who are not merely complacent about the financial degradation of Missouri’s working people but actively pursue aims that are sinister and display a wicked lack of morality.
We are doing body damage to this society by using legislation to drive wages down. What happens when the consumers of this country can no longer buy what we produce?
It’s becoming increasingly tiresome listening to Republicans such as your columnist, Steve Rose, bemoan the financial catastrophe in Kansas brought on by Gov. Sam Brownback and by the super-majority of Republicans whom the good citizens of Kansas chose to represent the state.
All they’re doing is implementing the Republican Party’s long-stated goal — shrink government to the point that it can be drowned in a bathtub.
Kansas isn’t in crisis. Things are right on schedule in implementing the party’s goal.
Rose and the Republicans who voted for this outfit have chosen to affiliate themselves with the party, so I assume they also subscribe to its principles, which can be summarized as “I’ve got mine you’re on your own.”
Health care costs
It’s almost as if we have a taboo against being honest about certain things. The unaffordability of health care in the U.S. is an example.
Multiple factors contribute to this. But the crux of the matter is that too many people are making too much money off the system, including insurance companies and their employees and stockholders.
Of course, many lower-level health care workers are not getting rich. It’s the movers and shakers in the industry who are really squeezing it for profits.
But what about people who need health care and make $20,000?
What we have are skyrocketing health care costs and many people not getting the care they need.
When the health care system becomes a profit center, we’re in trouble. There are places where market forces should have somewhat of a free reign. But health care is not one of them.
We can’t keep running from this problem. We must face it, and face it honestly.
Let’s focus attention on Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback’s unforgiving lies, which he has again blatantly and without remorse slapped the citizens of Kansas with.
During his TV advertisements while running for his second term, Brownback blatantly lied to all Kansans, saying he would protect the irreplaceable water and environmental resources of our great state for not only ourselves but for our children and grandchildren.
Every farmer in Kansas knows you have to have unpolluted clean water, unpolluted clean soil and unpolluted clean air to produce clean and unpolluted crops, which will ultimately be eaten by us, our children and our grandchildren.
Yet, while Brownback was attending Christmas holiday parties, he had already begun firing state employees who worked in the very environmental programs Brownback campaigned to protect.
I am afraid the evidence is clear that while Brownback claims to be a Christian, he clearly is not a man of his word.
Climate change truth
The popular phrase “global warming” has been superseded by “climate change.” Every major storm is portrayed as a big disaster like the sky is falling.
Surely the general populace knows that weather events are not climate. Add to this every time that the Earth has had a warming experience.
All is for the better. People are healthier, weather events are milder, etc.
One Wichita Eagle headline said, “Kansas had fewest tornadoes in 25 years, less than half the state’s 30-year average.”
Weather event, yes, but where were the sky-is-falling people?
If you forget the computer models and look at something real like history, you can verify that the sky is not falling.
Love ... unavoidably given
With never ceasing devotion
And innovative technique
You captivate innermost senses
That make absolution complete.
With unending revelation,
Your revealing heart testifies
Love ... unavoidably given
That incomparably gratifies.
With unequivocal adoration
A grateful heart identifies
Love ... unavoidably given
To you ... and all it exemplifies!
Happy Valentine’s Day?
Dee Ann Foley Doxsee