IN HONOR OF MEMORIAL DAY: During World War II, President Franklin Roosevelt pledged that Filipinos who fight for the United States will be granted citizenship and military benefits. As a result, over 200,000 Filipinos fought side by side with American soldiers during World War II. Shortly after the war ended, that promise was taken back with the Recission Act of 1946. It was not until 2009 when President Obama signed a bill that would give Filipino World War II veterans a lump sum compensation of $15K ($9K for those living in the Philippines) to the less than 18,000 veterans who are still alive today. Yes, such an amount is not commensurate to the benefits they missed out on for over 50 years, but yet to this day a majority of them still have not received such meager compensation. So, LET US REMEMBER THE FILIPINO VETERANS WHO WERE NOT ONLY VICTIMS OF WORLD WAR II, BUT ALSO VICTIMS OF INSTITUTIONALIZED RACISM.
Legalize It of the Day: A 20-year, federally funded study conducted jointly by researchers at UCSF and UAB found that smoking marijuana once a week, or even once a day in some instances, did no long-term damage to the lungs.
The study, published today in the the Journal of the American Medical Association, tracked 5,000 individuals across 20 years, and compared their usage of marijuana and tobacco to their health stats.
Cigarette smokers saw a considerable loss in lung function over time, but participants who smokes marijuana as often as once a day for seven years saw no change.
Additionally, no harmful effects were recorded in individuals who smoked marijuana occasionally for longer.
According to the study’s authors, one possible explanation for the results may be THC — the active ingredient in marijuana. The compound is known to combat inflammation, and may be responsible for offsetting irritants that cause lung problems.
Dr. Stefan Kertesz, the study’s co-author, also posits that an unintended side-effect of marijuana usage is the strengthening lung tissue as a result of breathing deeply during inhalation.
And as if all that wasn’t enough, researchers found that pot smoking might actually improve lung function. “At levels of marijuana exposure commonly seen in Americans, occasional marijuana use was associated with increases in lung air flow rates and increases in lung capacity,” Kertesz said.
He did note that the increase was not enough to “make you feel better,” but, then again, if you’re smoking marijuana, chances are you’re already feeling pretty great.
War Is Over of the Day: After nearly nine years of bloodshed, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta declared the US war in Iraq to be over.
The announcement was made during a symbolic ceremony which saw the lowing of the American flag in Baghdad.
“After a lot of blood spilled by Iraqis and Americans, the mission of an Iraq that could govern and secure itself has become real,” Panetta said. “To be sure, the cost was high — in blood and treasure for the United States, and for the Iraqi people. Those lives were not lost in vain.”
Of the 1.5 million US troops who served in Iraq over the years, just under 4,500 were killed in action. As many as 30,000 were wounded. Scores of soldiers from other coalition countries lost their lives as well.
On the Iraqi side, over 16,000 members of the Iraqi Security Forces died. Tens of thousands more were wounded.
The exact number of Iraqi civilians killed or wounded during the war may never be known, but is believed extremely high.
Though December 15th will be henceforth mark the end of the Iraq War, some 15,000 people will remain behind to operate the US embassy, making it the largest of its kind in the world.