The Politics of Dementia & Geriatric Care


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Davidson Conference Center @ USC

Davidson Conference Center @ USC

On Friday March 15 [The Ides of March], 2013 I attended a continuing education conference at the USC Davidson center sponsored by the Alzheimer’s Association of Southern California and Keck School of Medicine.   The conference was entitled “The Many Faces of Dementia:  New Diagnostic Guidelines and Their Implications for Care.”  I serve on the Community Advisory Board of Keck’s Memory & Aging Center Alzheimer’s Disease Research Project.  I have written on the subject of the effects of the “sequestration” crisis in federal budgeting in these pages before [] but I learned about some new, long term, systemic problems in the health care system at the conference with a special emphasis on geriatric care in the coming decades.

With the coming of age of the baby-boomer generation, Alzheimer’s Disease numbers are expected to increase dramatically, yet as pointed out by Dr. Michael Wasserman [] at the conference, the number of geriatric certified physicians in America is dramatically declining [A 2007 survey indicated a huge decline in the preceding decade, from 8,800 to 7,100:].  Dr. Wasserman pointed out an extremely disturbing public policy question that he has written about []:  in 2010 alone, the Medicare Trust Fund spent over $9 billion on Graduate Medical Education, but practically none of that money was spent on training geriatric care doctors.  The implications are that:

Many of those same doctors whose training was subsidized by Medicare either limit their practices to Medicare, or refuse to accept Medicare patients altogether! But it gets even worse. Conservative projections suggest that we could use 15-20,000 Geriatricians now, and upwards of 30-40,000 in the coming years. Today we have fewer than 7,000, and the number is going down every year!

Dr. Wasserman indicated that there will be an expected 13.5 million Alzheimer’s patients by 2050 for those geriatricians to deal with.

Dr. Lisa L. Barnes of Rush University in Chicago spoke extensively on the subject of the barriers to diagnosis presented by access to health care in minority communities.  Most of the comparative studies in Alzheimer’s rates have been comparisons between Caucasians and African Americans but only one study has shown that Caucasians are at half the risk of Alzheimer’s disease as African Americans or Hispanics.  While there is no known genetic risk factor unique to minorities, the APOE-e4 gene is reported at higher levels in African American and Hispanic population groups than Caucasians; yet that gene does not seem to cause a higher risk between minority groups and Caucasians for the disease.  Nor do the higher levels of diabetes and vascular diseases appear to cause a higher risk for minorities than for Caucasians as far as Alzheimer’s Disease is concerned.

A fascinating aspect of the data are the statistical differentials based upon education, class and ethnicity.  For example, while Caucasians and African Americans have no appreciable gap in cognition skills testing when they have higher education levels, Caucasians seem to score better than African Americans when both groups are at low educational levels.  African Americans educated in the North also do significantly better on cognition skills tests than African Americans born in the South.

According to Dr. Barnes, perceptions in minority communities that memory loss is simply a function of aging rather than an actual sign of Alzheimer’s or another dementia disease tends to retard prospects for early diagnosis and treatment.  African Americans and Hispanics get to a clinic for diagnosis later in life and disease progression than do Caucasians.

Research shows some very interesting data that was presented at the seminar:

  • Social networking decreases loss of cognition
  • Underlying neuroticism increases the potential for developing Alzheimer’s Disease in Caucasians
  • The higher the perception of discrimination by an individual, the higher the blood levels of C-Reactive Protein (CRP), a substance that surfaces in response to inflammation
  • While African Americans tend to have more brain “plaques” (of Beta-Amyloid) and infarcts, Caucasians with Alzheimer’s tend to have more “tangles.”

Dr. Bruce L. Miller of the University of California at San Francisco spoke on issues associated with a different dementia, Fronto Temporal Dementia (FTD) otherwise known as Pick’s Disease.  FTD tends to afflict persons younger than the usual age for Alzheimers.  It affects the right side of the brain and the left side of the body.

Is there any light at the end of this tunnel?  The Affordable Care Act (“Obama Care”) calls for an annual cognitive screening, but the standard of care has not yet been defined.  It behooves all those interested in health care and its implications for society, politics and the economy to insure that this is well defined and implemented, just as we must address the crisis Dr. Wasserman pointed out in what he called the “relative paucity of training in dementia related issues” exemplified by the decline in certified geriatricians in America.

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Save the Bobcats Youth Football


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California League of Latin American Citizens in collaboration with the National Brown Berets de Aztlan and the Brown Beret National Organization is assisting the ELA Bobcats Youth Football & Cheer organization to keep from becoming just like California Bobcats — an endangered species.
Since October 2012, the office of Supervisor Gloria Molina in collaboration with the LA County Sheriffs Dept and the County Parks & Recreation Dept have been trying to shut down the ELA Bobcats Youth Football & Cheer organization which has provided youth sports at Salazar Park since 1968. The pretext is because of a fight at a Shakey’s Pizza in Monterey Park in October 2012 between two adults (one of whom was from Bakersfield) that had nothing to do with the Bobcats organization or its program.

While that may be an implausible pretext, a more compelling “coincidence” is that on February 16, 2013 Gloria Molina and other politicians kicked off the grand opening of their long planned ELA Sheriffs “Youth Activity League Center” as a tool to allow the LASD to control youth after-school programs in the area and channel children into being law enforcement explorers and/or community snitches.

Sal Castro–teacher supporter of the 1968 ELA Student strike made famous by the movie “Walkout,” now represents the First Supervisorial District on the County Parks & Recreation Commission. Download our petition to him from the “Files” function at the above linked FB page or Email (California League of Latin American Citizens) for a PDF copy of our petition to him which reads:

To: Sal Castro, First District Commissioner,
Los Angeles County Parks & Recreation Commission

While we understand that the role of the County Parks & Recreation Commission is advisory only, we request that the Commission conduct an independent investigation into the revocation of the Bobcats Youth Football reservations for the use of Salazar Park, a facility we have used for decades. We want the Commission to investigate and publicly report on the following issues that we suspect are at the bottom of the actions taken against the Bobcats: (1) the racial, ethnic and class profiling of the youth and parent participants by the Sheriffs Department, (2) monetary motivation of the Sheriffs Department to have the parents pay for extra non-necessary security services, (3) monetary motivation to force parents to pay for new uniforms when none are necessary.

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Passover & Reversion Ceremony 3-30-13


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March 30, 2013, 12 noon; Passover & Reversion Ceremony for the Anusim (descendants of the forcibly converted)

2277 El Dorado Street Torrance CA 90501
The Jewish Existentialist World Society (JEWS) will hold a Passover Seder and Reversion Ceremony for the Anusim (descendants of Jews forcibly converted by the Inquisition and other authoritarian forces) under the auspices of Rabbi-Tlamatini Boruch Yaadov Moshe Ber Ben Osher Shmuel. Potluck and featuring Mesquite smoked marinated Lamb. Vegetarian dishes welcomed too.

Passover is for EVERYBODY who values freedom. For Jews and all who have suffered as slaves, it commemorates our flight from bondage in Egypt. For Christians it is an opportunity to see what Rabbi Jesus’s “Last Supper” was all about. For Muslims the J.E.W.S. extends its message of peace between all the children of Abraham.

Email for an advance copy of our Haggadah and Reversion ceremony script to

Email for potluck suggestions.


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Viva La Mujer Scholarship Event 3-9-13


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Free Ramsey Muniz NOW


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Commutation letter_001 Commutation letter_002

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CALLAC Opposes CA Contracting to RTW States


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CALLAC ltr_001

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Police Reform in the Wake of Christopher Dorner


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Police Reform_001

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500,000+ Hits on this Blog as of Today


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Site Statistics

Unique Pages Served: 20863    Total Sessions: 215401                        Total Page Hits: 500054

It took me from 2006 to November 30, 2012 to get to 400,000.  In 80 days we’ve gotten another 100,000!!!!!!

Thank you readers!



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Independent Investigation of Sri Lanka Atrocities


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Tasha Manoranjan
Advocacy Director
People for Equality and Relief in Lanka

For Immediate Release: February 13, 2013

Tamil Groups Welcome UN Rights Chief’s Call For
Independent International Investigation in Sri Lanka
London/Toronto/Washington D.C.
The British Tamils Forum, the Canadian Tamil Congress, and United States Tamil Political Action Council acknowledge the Report by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, which emanates from United Nations Human Rights Council Resolution 19/2. While welcoming High Commissioner Navanethem Pillay’s continuous commitment to human rights in Sri Lanka, the use of the Lessons Learned and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) as a framework against which to measure progress is a grave mistake. The LLRC’s fundamental and well-documented flaws preclude its position as the authoritative institution regarding accountability in Sri Lanka.
   High Commissioner Navanethem Pillay reaffirmed: “her long-standing call for an independent and credible international investigation into alleged violations of international human rights and humanitarian law, which could also monitor any domestic accountability process.” The strength of the High Commissioner’s recommendations underscores the seriousness of the human rights situation, and adds to the volume of credible reports undertaken by the United Nations, including the Secretary Generals Panel of Experts Report and the UN Internal Review on the failings of the UN in Sri Lanka.
   “The evidence is mounting, and the reports are repetitive: Sri Lanka cannot evade international scrutiny by seeking more time and space. The Human Rights Council should therefore implement the recommendations of the High Commissioner, by resolving to establish a Commission of Inquiry at the forthcoming session of the Human Rights Council in Geneva,” stated Dr. Yaso Natkunam, spokesperson for the United States Tamil Political Action Council.
   “The High Commissioner’s report contextualizes the failure of the Sri Lankan government to meaningfully address its breaches of international human rights and humanitarian law,” concluded Dr. Natkunam. “This report is a strong step forward, and demands stronger, more progressive action on Sri Lanka. It can, and must be used as an opportunity to bring about a more constructive resolution on Sri Lanka based on the principles of accountability, reconciliation, and human rights.”
   The British Tamils Forum, the Canadian Tamil Congress, and United States Tamil Political Action Council are Tamil organizations operating in the United Kingdom, Canada, and the United States respectively.
For Media Inquiries, please contact:
BTF, United Kingdom – 44 79 27 02 3912
CTC, Canada – 905 781 7034
USTPAC, United States – 202 595 3123


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This blog is #19 for 2012!


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2012 Top Criminal Justice BlogsJust learned that I ranked #19 of the top 30 Criminal Justice blogs at this website:

Also, I’m quickly closing in on 500,000 pages hits.  At November 30, it had taken me from 2006 to get to 400,000, so here’s a big thank you to all my readers because hitting half-a-million in so short a time since then is a major adrenalin rush for a self-admitted “intensity junkie.”

Site Statistics

Unique Pages Served: 20806  Total Sessions: 213955                       Total Page Hits: 496478

You won’t be able to find my most recent piece, The Fed’s Vendetta Against Aaron Swartz, because that’s published in Counter Punch’s February 12, 2013 email edition: CounterPunch Vol. 20 No. 2a Digital Exclusive.  In it’s pages, you see exclusive comments from my friends Neil Broom and Kevin Mitnick.  Neil of the Technical Resource Center of Atlanta, Georgia currently serves on the Ethical Standards Committee of the International Society of Forensic Computer Examiners (ISFCE) and the National Leadership Assembly of the American Society of Digital Forensics & eDiscovery (ASDFED). Additionally he is the past Chairman of the Digital Evidence Subcommittee for the International Association for Identification (IAI) and has been a Professional Member of the National Speakers Association.  Kevin was once dubbed the most wanted hacker in the world when he led the Feds on a wild ghost chase until they caught him and threw him in solitary confinement.  He’s now a computer security professional.

Counter Punch is well worth the subscription price of $35.00/year for the email edition, so check out the website at:




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