Facebook bans image in marijuana legalization advert

After serving up 38 million ads from a group supporting the legalization of marijuana since August 7, Facebook told the group on August 16 that it could no longer use a pot leaf in its ad, since it might promote smoking.

“The image in question was no longer acceptable for use in Facebook ads,” wrote Facebook spokesman Andrew Noyes in an e-mail to Wired.com. “The image of a marijuana leaf is classified with all smoking products and therefore is not acceptable under our policies.”

But the Just Say Now campaign contests that Facebook isn’t harshing on their mellow — it’s censoring them, especially given that marijuana legalization is on the ballot in the upcoming election in California. And it’s calling on its supporters — some 6,000 fans on its Facebook page — to swap out their profile picture for an image of a pot leaf with a banned box over it:

The ads were entitled “End the war on marijuana” and called on users to sign a petition asking President Obama to support the right of states to legalize marijuana.

Facebook’s core audience supports drug legalization, according to polls, and a large number of young adults say they are more likely to vote if legalization is on the ballot, according to Jane Hamsher, the co-founder of the Firedoglake blog, whose helping run the campaign in concert with Students for a Sensible Drug Policy.

“We aren’t trying to sell people pot. This is a policy issue,” Hamsher told Wired.com, noting that more than 50 percent of inmates in the federal prison system were there on drug charges and that law-and-order types like former Reagan administration lawyer Bruce Fein support decriminalization. “The time is right for this and Facebook shutting this down is a real blow when we are trying to open up a conversation…”

“It seems like a decision made to appease somebody’s grandma,” Hamsher said.

More like a decision made to appease some reactionary investor. Or reactionary potential investor.

WalMart meat recall announced

Zemco Industries in Buffalo, New York, has recalled approximately 380,000 pounds of deli meat that may be contaminated with bacteria that can cause a potentially fatal disease, the U.S. Department of Agriculture has announced.

The products were distributed to Wal-Marts nationwide, according to the USDA’s website.

The meats may be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes, which was discovered in a retail sample collected by inspectors in Georgia.

Upon learning of the voluntary recall, Wal-Mart immediately told its stores to remove the meat from their shelves, the company said in a statement.

“Consumption of food contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes can cause listeriosis, an uncommon but potentially fatal disease,” according to the USDA. “Healthy people rarely contract listeriosis. However, listeriosis can cause high fever, severe headache, neck stiffness and nausea.

“Listeriosis can also cause miscarriages and stillbirths, as well as serious and sometimes fatal infections in those with weakened immune systems, such as infants, the elderly and persons with HIV infection or undergoing chemotherapy,” the USDA said.

Golly. That’s not much to worry about is it?

The meats were produced on dates ranging from June 18 to July 2, 2010. The “Use By” dates range from August 20 to September 10, 2010. Wal-Mart noted the recall involves Marketside Grab and Go sandwiches, but not individual packages of deli meat. “We encourage customers who recently purchased this item to return it for a full refund.”

I’ll second that.

What will John McCain prove, today?

Anyone remember this?

1. Conservatives, Tea Party nutballs and even moderate Republicans mostly like the same lies. It doesn’t matter if they are lies. What the lies are may count a little bit – but, when it comes to cant and catechism, repeating today’s favorite lies gets you the votes.

2. When opposed for re-election by right-wingers, move as far to the Right as you can get away with. And, then, a little bit more. Don’t leave out bigotry. Everyone will forget you ever had a moderating position on any issue if you lie and say those positions never existed.

3. Deny you ever were a ‘maverick” – supported bi-partisan solutions to tough questions – ever strayed from bible-based hogwash on any of the issues where you might choose science and reason over superstition.

4. Doing all this gets you victory in today’s Republican primary in the great state of Arizona.

Tai Chi may ease Fibromyalgia symptoms (more effectively than stretching exercises)

The ancient Chinese practice of tai chi may be effective as a therapy for fibromyalgia, according to a study published on Thursday in The New England Journal of Medicine.

A clinical trial at Tufts Medical Center found that after 12 weeks of tai chi, patients with fibromyalgia, a chronic pain condition, did significantly better in measurements of pain, fatigue, physical functioning, sleeplessness and depression than a comparable group given stretching exercises and wellness education. Tai chi patients were also more likely to sustain improvement three months later.

“It’s an impressive finding,” said Dr. Daniel Solomon, chief of clinical research in rheumatology at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, who was not involved in the research. “This was a well-done study. It was kind of amazing that the effects seem to carry over.”

Although the study was small, 66 patients, several experts considered it compelling because fibromyalgia is a complex and often-confusing condition, affecting five million Americans, mostly women, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Since its symptoms can be wide-ranging and can mimic other disorders, and its diagnosis depends largely on patients’ descriptions, not blood tests or biopsies, its cause and treatment have been the subject of debate.

If you suffer from fibromyalgia, take a look at this and tell me if you find it interesting. Thanks.

Faint morning mist in New Mexico

This photo could hardly impress anyone who lived somewhere with humidity. Har.

But, our typical summertime humidity runs around 15 to 25% even during the monsoon season. We get a small amount of monsoon rain before moisture streams from the South dry out completely in the uplift of the Southern Rockies.

Last night we had what NOAA euphemistically calls a “trace” of rain. But, on my first walk along the fenceline with Rally I could see enough moisture had collected in a depression on the East-facing shoulder of the ancient volcano immediately across the valley of La Cieneguilla – to start a breath of mist rising.

I waited for the sunrise to reach the volcano and recorded the moment.

Frank talk about palliative care at life’s end – or “death panels” if you’re an idiot teabagger!

Legislators have begun to recognize the medical, humanitarian and economic value of helping terminally ill patients and their families navigate treatment options as they approach the end of life.

Last week, over the objections of New York State’s medical society, Gov. David A. Paterson signed into law a bill — the New York Palliative Care Information Act — requiring physicians who treat patients with a terminal illness or condition to offer them or their representatives information about prognosis and options for end-of-life care, including aggressive pain management and hospice care as well as the possibilities for further life-sustaining treatment.

The good doctors were worried about thoughtful options getting in the way of the profits normally raked-in during the last couple months of anyone’s life in the United States.

A similar provision in the original federal health care overhaul proposal, which would have reimbursed doctors for the time it takes to have such conversations, was withdrawn when it was erroneously [deliberately] labeled by conservatives as a “death panel” option.

Last week, a study in The New England Journal of Medicine reported that among 151 patients with newly diagnosed metastatic lung cancer, those who received palliative care, which is care focused on symptoms, along with standard cancer therapy had a better quality of life, experienced less depression, were less likely to receive aggressive end-of-life care and lived nearly three months longer than those who received cancer treatment alone…

While some patients, especially those who are young or are the parents of young children, choose to pursue aggressive treatment for their diseases until their dying days, studies have shown that most terminally ill patients opt for comfort care after receiving honest information about their survival prospects and the benefits and risks of further disease-directed therapy.

RTFA. Lots of sensible information and discussion of an ordinary state government aiding the quest for terminal patients to get such information. Something which wouldn’t stand a chance in most states, especially those with an excess of influence given over to bible-thumping nutballs.

I was fortunate enough to contribute a small amount of effort to the introduction of hospices to the United States. Providing real care and kindness to the terminally-ill not being something deemed especially important by the American healthcare community – and most religions.

Something I’m proud to put on my life resume.