Thursday, July 28, 2005

Treatment with Dignity...NOT

Mental health hospitals in California seem to believe that they don't have to treat their patients with respect, or appropriate medical care.

Several hospitals have been under investigation by the U.S. Justice Department for abuse of patients. They are also being accused of obstructing the investigations.

To me, the people that need the most care in life are children and the disabled. There is no excuse for abusing a mental patient. It is even a larger monstrosity when the abuse is taking place at a mental health facility.

If this type of behavior is acceptable in a hospital, is it no wonder that we have the type of behaviors that we do in open society?

When hospitals dope up patients so that they are easier to control, instead of increasing staffing, there is a serious problem.

When hospitals try to obstruct federal investigations of their acts, they know they did wrong. They can't hide behind the excuse that the investigation was taking up too much of their time.

Hell, they're giving patients twice the meds they're supposed to get just to keep them mellow be mellow too. Probably too damn mellow.

That's not the way to 'treat' someone though.

These people aren't placed in a mental hospital to give the staff something to do in their spare time. It's their job to treat these people. I would also hope that it is something that they felt called to do for the benefit of mankind. Sadly, that doesn't seem the case in California.

Wal-Mart turns Chinese

Wal-Mart has just opened a new store in Shanghai, China. This, to me, is not that big of an event. Well, except for one thing that nags at the back of my mind.

When Wal-Mart first started making its big push, several decades ago, its big advertising spiel was that it bought and sold American made goods at every opportunity.

While 'buying' American made products, it drove the manufacturers into the ground by forcing them to sell at cut-rate prices. If the manufacturers wouldn't sell at the prices that Wal-Mart mandated, they would simply buy from China. All the while saying that they bought American.

The small shop owner in many towns throughout America couldn't compete and went under. The workers at the stores, in need of a job, end up at Wal-Mart. More often than not working for less than they made before.

I guess now they can run the same spiel on the Chinese. 'We buy Chinese whenever possible' they can spout, as they probably look to cheaper manufacturers elsewhere. I suppose we can call it Wal-Mart nationalism.

Since Sam Walton died the company has changed its spiel from 'we buy American' to 'everyday low prices'. Wal-Mart does sell at low prices. It's to bad they chose to do so while undercutting the American way of life for the ordinary wage earner in America.


Rainbow Trout
The Agricultural Research Service has developed a technique of producing rainbow trout that grow larger than natural. Larger trout are desired by the consumers and the aquaculture industry.

The 'frankentrout' are triploidal, meaning that they have three sets of genes and are not able to reproduce. This sounds good at the outset, but the methods of producing triploidal trout leave something to desire.

To make a triploid, the scientists take a normal trout embryo and expose it to heat and pressure during early development. This doubles the number of chromosomes to four sets, also called a tetraploid. These tetraploids are then mated with a natural biploid and the resulting offspring is a triploid.

The triploidal fish are not able to reproduce. This prevents them from changing the genetic makeup of the natural trout, should they escape the rearing facilities.

The problem is with the tetraploids that are used to make the triploids. What safeguards are in place to prevent them from escaping into the environment? They ARE capable of mating with the natural stock and will result in sterile offspring. The triploidal offspring would also out-eat the natural stock making them less effective at surviving.

Trout rearing facilities are generally alongside streams and rivers, in low-lying areas. These facilities are prone to flooding. Granted they aren't going to flood every year. The facilities in West Virginia, where this is being done, has flooded several times in the last twenty years though. It only takes one escapement of tetraploidal fish to totally ruin the native stock of rainbow trout.