Author Archives: Dr. Eowyn

Morgan Stanley’s business confidence index has biggest drop since 2008 financial crisis

J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. is an American multinational investment bank and financial services company headquartered in New York City. JPMorgan Chase is the largest bank in the United States, and the sixth largest bank in the world by total assets as of 2018, to the amount of $2.535 trillion. It is the world’s most valuable bank by market capitalization and was named one of the top stocks to buy in 2019.

The Morgan Stanley Business Conditions Index (MSBCI) is an economic barometer based on an internal monthly canvass of industry analysts in JPMorgan’s North America Equity Research. The MSBCI measures general analyst sentiment as well as component indicators that gauge financing, advance bookings, pricing, hiring, capital spending, and expectations. Since its inception in June 2002, the MSBCI has served as a valuable and effective instrument for anticipating directional moves in the U.S. economy.

Morgan Stanley just published its latest Business Conditions Index and it is shocking.

As reported by Maggie Fitzgerald for CNBC, June 13, 2019:

Morgan Stanley’s Business Conditions Index, which captures turning points in the economy, fell by 32 points in June, to a level of 13 from a level of 45 in May. This drop is the largest one-month decline on record and the lowest level since December 2008 during the financial crisis, according to the firm.

Morgan Stanley said June’s conditions index reading showed notable declines in hiring, hiring plans, capex plans, and business conditions exceptions.

Economist Ellen Zentner said in a note to clients that the sharp MSBCI decline “shows a sharp deterioration in sentiment this month that was broad-based across sectors. Fundamental indicators point to a broad softening of activity, but analysts did not widely attribute the weakening to [Trump’s] trade policy.”

In addition to the sharp drop in the Business Confidence Index, here are other economic indicators of a possible economic slowdown:

  • Last Friday’s much-worse-than-expected jobs report from the Labor Department, showing that the U.S. economy added just 75,000 jobs in May.
  • A report on Thursday showed a spike in jobless claims last week.
  • Manufacturing activity last month grew at the slowest pace in two years.
  • The manufacturing subindex business conditions fell sharply to zero, the lowest level for the subindex on record.
  • The services subindex also fell to 18 from 35.

Meanwhile, another CNBC report on June 12 says “risks are rising for an oil price spike as tensions between the U.S. and Iran increase” which would further exacerbate business confidence.

Analysts say oil could be more than 10% higher, but if the situation in the Middle East intensifies, there are risks of price spikes that take oil to as high as $100 a barrel this summer.

Four years ago, in June 2015, Bob Johnson wrote in Veterans Today that the powerful Israeli lobby, American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), was trying to push the U.S. into a war against Iran for Israel’s benefit. (See “Yinon Plan“)

~Eowyn

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US embassies & ambassadors defy State Department by flying LGBT rainbow flag

Two days ago, I wrote a post on the disturbing phenomenon of Democrat elites undermining the United States’ rule of law by simply ignoring and defying whatever laws they choose. I gave two examples:

  1. Sanctuary states, cities and counties. For a list of those sanctuary jurisdictions, go here.
  2. 42 elected prosecutors — the chief law-enforcement officers of their states or counties — who signed a statement refusing to enforce any state laws restricting abortion. For their statement and a list of the names of the 11 attorney generals and 31 district attorneys, go here.

No doubt the reader knows of many other examples. This post is about a third example of lawless Democrats: U.S. diplomats’ disregard and outright defiance of the State Department’s directive not to display rainbow flags on flagpoles during Pride Month, which is June 2019.

Pride Month was formerly called Gay Pride Month. It’s been updated to LGBT Pride Month or just Pride Month. By the way, how come heterosexuals don’t have a Pride Month, not even a measley Pride Day?

The Obama administration had a blanket policy allowing U.S. Embassy buildings to fly the LGBT rainbow flag for pride celebrations as long as the rainbow flag was smaller and hung lower than the American flag.

However, three unnamed U.S. diplomats told NBC News that this year,  embassies were told they can display the pride flag in other places, including inside embassies, but that requests to fly it on the flagpole must be specifically approved by Washington. No approvals have been granted. The denials came from the office of the State Department’s undersecretary for management, Brian Bulatao, a longtime associate of Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

At the same time, however, the Trump administration has announced a campaign to decriminalize homosexuality overseas and President Trump himself issued a tweet and formal statement celebrating Pride Month:

As we celebrate LGBT Pride Month and recognize the outstanding contributions LGBT people have made to our great Nation, let us also stand in solidarity with the many LGBT people who live in dozens of countries worldwide that punish, imprison, or even execute individuals….

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 31, 2019

Talk about mixed signals.

The U.S. Embassy in Berlin is one of the embassies that have requested and been denied permission from the State Department to fly the pride flag on their flagpoles. The embassy’s leading diplomat, U.S. ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell, the most senior openly homosexual in Trump’s administration, finds the State Department’s denial particularly jarring because Grenell is spearheading the administration’s push to end the criminalization of homosexuality in roughly 70 countries that still outlaw it. Grenell, has secured support for that campaign from both Trump and Vice President Mike Pence.

Below is a list of U.S. Embassies that are defying the State Department by displaying the rainbow flag or other “pride” signs this month (NBC News; The Daily Signal):

  1. U.S. Embassy in Berlin, Germany: Ambassador Grenell said “a huge” “gay pride flag” will be hung on the side of the Embassy and his residence, and that “multiple” gay pride events will be hosted at the Embassy and the residence. Grenell himself will, once again and with pride, march in the Berlin Pride parade. Eembassy spokesman Joseph Giordono-Scholz said: “The pride flag will be on as many places as it can at the Embassy.”
  2. The embassy in Vienna flew a rainbow flag below the American flag on a pole hanging from the side of the embassy’s outer wall, as shown on its website.
  3. In Seoul, South Korea, a large rainbow banner is displayed on the side of the U.S. Embassy building.
  4. In Chennai, India, rainbow flags are prominently displayed on the sides of the U.S. Consulate buildings for Pride Month.
  5. The embassy in New Delhi, India has decorated its building with rainbow lights for the month.
  6. The U.S. Embassy in Santiago, Chile, raised the rainbow flag to celebrate the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia on May 17.
  7. Several U.S. diplomats in Jerusalem, Israel tweeted photos of themselves at local pride events, including a March for Pride and Tolerance.
  8. The U.S. ambassador to Nepal, Randy Berry, tweeted a picture of himself surrounded by embassy employees holding up rainbow letters that read “PRIDE.”

See also:

~Eowyn

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Atheist loses lawsuit to remove ‘In God We Trust’ from U.S. currency

A piece of good news, at last, in the contemporary American wasteland.

Do you remember a man named Michael Newdow?

Newdow, 65, is the Californian atheist who’s been jamming the courts with lawsuits.

Newdow’s most recent lawsuit was to have “In God We Trust” removed from U.S. currency on the grounds that the motto is a government endorsement of religion and so violates the Establishment Clause of the U.S. Constitution’s First Amendment. Last year, the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled against Newdow — the judges found that the motto on currency “comports with early understandings of the Establishment Clause” and did not coerce people into practicing a religion.

See DCG’s “Lawsuit demands US remove ‘In God We Trust’ from money“.

“In God We Trust” was first put on an American coin in 1864, and added to both coins and paper bills in 1955. A year after, in 1956, President Dwight Eisenhower signed a law making the phrase the national motto.

Leah Klett reports for Christian Post, citing Fox News, that on June 10, 2019, the U.S. Supreme Court rejected, without comment, Newdow’s appeal.

In 2013, Newdow had partnered with the Wisconsin-based Freedom From Religion Foundation to sue the U.S. Treasury over the motto on currency. In his petition to the Supreme Court, Nedow, a lawyer whose clients are other atheists, had argued that:

  • The government violated his clients’ “sincere religious belief” that there is no God and turned them into “political outsiders” by placing the phrase “In God We Trust” on their money.
  • The placement of “In God We Trust” on money “has real effects on real children” and subjects atheist children to the same sufferings  historically endured by black children as “second class citizens”.

In the words of Newdow’s petition, which refers to “God” as “G-d” — a Jewish practice:

Petitioners are atheists. As such, they fervidly disagree with the religious idea that people should trust in G-d. On the contrary, their sincere religious belief is that trusting in any G-d is misguided. Defendants have conditioned receipt of the important benefit of using the nation’s sole ‘legal tender’ upon conduct proscribed by Petitioners’ atheism (i.e., upon Petitioners’ personally bearing – and proselytizing – a religious message that is directly contrary to the central idea that underlies their religious belief system).

Unless this Court ends the flagrant governmental preference for belief in G-d (and the implicit concomitant denigration of Atheism), the organizations, adults and children bringing this case will spend the rest of their lives – as they have spent their lives so far – as secondclass citizens.

Mat Staver, founder and chairman of religious liberty law firm Liberty Counsel, praised the court’s rejection of Newdow’s petition: “Our national motto ‘In God We Trust’ has been on all U.S. currency for more than 60 years and it will remain there, despite ridiculous attempts by atheists to remove it.”

Newdow’s past litigation includes:

  • Several failed litigation challenges against the “under God” phrase in the U.S. Pledge of Allegiance. In 2004, after suing for the removal of “under God” from the Pledge of Allegiance, his case was heard by the U.S. Supreme Court. But the court did not decide on the merits of the case but instead said Newdow had no standing to sue. See my post, “‘Under God’ stays in Pledge of Allegiance“.
  • Attempts to stop prayers being read at the inauguration of Presidents Barack Obama and George W. Bush.
  • Attempts to prevent government leaders from saying the phrase “So help me God” in the 2009, 2013, and 2017 presidential inaugurations.

See also:

~Eowyn

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Can you pass this 100-question U.S. Civics Quiz?

CivicsQuiz.com has a U.S. Civics Quiz of 100 questions.

Most questions are taken right from the U.S. Naturalization Exam.

To take the quiz, click here, then report to us on your score!

I got a score of 95. How did you do?

Of the 5 questions I got wrong, I strenuously object to Question #2. Also, the supposedly correct answers for Questions #65 and #66 contradict each other.

~Eowyn

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Hollyweird actress Marcia Cross has anal cancer from same STD as husband’s throat cancer

Anal cancer is an uncommon malignancy that starts in the anus — the opening at the end of the rectum. The American Cancer Society estimates that 8,200 cases of anal cancer would be diagnosed in 2017 and about 1,100 deaths a year from anal cancer. The 5-year survival rate following diagnosis of anal cancer is 60% for men and 71% for women.

Most anal cancers (80%) are diagnosed in people who are over age 60. Prior to age 35, anal cancer is more common in men, with an incidence rate 6 times higher in single men as compared to marrried men. That is because receptive anal intercourse or sodomy is strongly related to anal cancer.

Another major risk factor for anal cancer is infection with the human papillomavirus (HPV), a sexually-transmitted disease (STD) that results in genital warts and is a cause of cervical cancer in women. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, (CDC), HPV is the most common STD in the U.S. and affects around 79 million Americans.

Eileen Reslen reports for Page Six that on June 5, 2019, actress Marcia Cross, 57, best known for her role in the ABC television series “Desperate Housewives,” appeared on “CBS This Morning” to give a health update more than a year after her anal cancer diagnosis.

Cross also divulged that her cancer is likely related to her 61-year-old husband Tom Mahoney’s cancer. Mahoney, a stockbroker, was diagnosed with throat cancer in 2009, years before Cross was diagnosed with anal cancer. Cross said that doctors told her the same type of HPV that triggered her husband’s throat cancer could cause cancer in the anus. Both Cross and Mahoney are in remission.

In other words, doctors believe that the sexually-transmitted HPV caused both Mahoney’s throat cancer and Cross’ subsequent anal cancer. Given the timing of the two cancers, Mahoney likely transmitted the HPV to Cross via anal intercourse.

Typical of the Left’s in-your-face defiance and utter lack-of-shame, Cross made her anal cancer into a virtue. She said she was able to get through her anal cancer diagnosis with the help of a group of girlfriends, whom she called her “Anal Angels”. She said:

“I know that there are people who are ashamed. You have cancer! Do you have to then also feel ashamed like you did something bad because it took up residence in your anus? I mean, come on, really. There’s enough on your plate. I kept saying if this doesn’t kill me, it’s the best thing that could’ve ever happened because the experience of being loved like that? It blew my mind.”

Although anal sex is frequently assumed to be confined to the homoexual male population, it has become more “popular” among heterosexual couples under 45. According to a CDC report, “Sexual Behavior, Sexual Attraction and Sexual Identity in the United States,” which polled thousands of people between the ages of 15 and 44 from 2006 through 2008, as many as 44% of straight men and 36% of straight women admitted to having had anal sex at least once in their lives.

Hugo Schwyzer, a professor gender studies and history at Pasadena City College, maintains that “butt sex,” which he extols as “the most selfless of common sexual acts” given the amount of pain the “bottoming” partner endures in its practice, is on the rise due to its frequent appearance in both heterosexual porn and mainstream media as well as an increased pressure from heterosexual male partners. Schwyzer cited several sources casting doubt on how pleasurable anal sex is for women.

Put simply, the anus is not biologically designed to be penetrated.

As I explained in my 2013 post, “Medical consequences of homosexual sexual behaviors“:

The rectum is significantly different from the vagina with regard to suitability for penetration by a penis. The vagina has natural lubricants and is composed of a mucus membrane with a multi-layer stratified squamous epithelium that allows it to endure friction without damage and to resist the immunological actions caused by semen and sperm. In contrast, the anus is a delicate mechanism of small muscles that comprise an “exit-only” passage. With repeated trauma, friction and stretching, the sphincter loses its tone and its ability to maintain a tight seal. Consequently, anal intercourse leads to leakage of fecal material that can easily become chronic. Moreover, the intestine has only a single layer of cells separating it from blood. Therefore, any organisms that are introduced into the rectum have a much easier time establishing a foothold for infection than they would in a vagina. The single layer tissue cannot withstand the friction associated with penile penetration, resulting in traumas that expose both participants to blood, organisms in feces, and a mixing of bodily fluids.

Furthermore, ejaculate has components that are immunosuppressive, designed to allow the sperm to evade the immune defenses of the female. The fragility of the anus and rectum, along with the immunosuppressive effect of ejaculate, make anal-genital intercourse a most efficient manner of transmitting HIV and other infections. Below is a list of diseases found with extraordinary frequency among male homosexual practitioners as a result of anal intercourse. Sexual transmission of some of these diseases is so rare in the exclusively heterosexual population as to be virtually unknown. Lesbians are also at higher risk for these STDs:

  • Anal cancer
  • Chlamydia trachomatis
  • Cryptosporidium
  • Giardia lamblia
  • Herpes simplex virus
  • Human immunodeficiency virus
  • Human papilloma virus (HPV)
  • Isospora belli
  • Microsporidia
  • Gonorrhea
  • Viral hepatitis types B & C
  • Syphilis: gay men contracted syphilis at 3 to 4 times the rate of heterosexuals.
  • HIV/AIDS: A study based upon statistics from 1986 through 1990 estimated that 20-year-old gay men had a 50% chance of becoming HIV positive by age 55. As of June 2001, nearly 64% of men with AIDS were men who have had sex with men, i.e., anal sex.

See also:

~Eowyn

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Lawless Democrats: 42 prosecutors refuse to enforce state laws restricting abortion

It is said that for a democracy or republic to work, there must the rule of law. If you disagree with a law, you don’t just refuse to follow it but work within the system to change the law.

We hoi polloi, whom elites sneeringly dismiss as the “great unwashed,” who refuse to abide by the rule of law are punished. But this is not the case in America today where Democrat elites “do as they will” and blithely ignore or outright violate duly-made laws — with impunity.

An example are “sanctury” cities, counties and states. These are Democrat-governed jurisdictions that ignore, defy and violate the federal government’s immigration laws by providing “sanctuary” to illegal aliens with policies, laws, executive orders, or regulations allowing, and in some cases requiring, local law enforcement to avoid cooperating with federal immigration law enforcement authorities, as in deporting criminal illegals.

For a list of those sanctuary states, cities and counties, go here.

The latest example of lawless Democrats are 42 elected prosecutors — state attorney generals and district attorneys — who have signed a statement of refusal to enforce state laws restricting abortion, referring to the recent passage of anti-abortion laws in Alabama, Missouri and Georgia.

To impress on you the significance of their refusal to enforce those laws, note that:

  • The attorney general in each of the 50 U.S. states or territories is the chief legal advisor to the state government and the state’s chief law enforcement officer. In some states, the attorney general serves as the head of a state department of justice, with responsibilities similar to those of the U.S. Department of Justice.
  • A district attorney (DA) is the chief prosecutor for a local government area, typically a county. The exact name of the office varies by state. Except in the smallest counties, a district attorney leads a staff of prosecutors, who are most commonly known as deputy district attorneys (DDAs). The majority of prosecutions will be delegated to DDAs, with the district attorney prosecuting the most important cases and having overall responsibility for their agency and its work.

The 42 prosecutors’ statement of June 2019, “Joint Statement from Elected Prosecutors“, says:

Several states have recently passed, or are considering the passage of, broad restrictions on abortion…leaving open the potential for criminalizing patients, medical professionals, healthcare providers, and possibly others who assist in these medical procedures….

As elected prosecutors, we took an oath to uphold both the U.S.Constitution and the Constitutions of our individual states. Our U.S. Supreme Court,i n deciding Roe v. Wade, determined that every woman has a fundamental right to privacy which is “broad enough to encompass a woman’s decision whether or not to terminate her pregnancy.”4 As some elected prosecutors have noted, the broad restrictions in the laws passed by these states appear to be unconstitutional under Roe v. Wade….

[N]ot all of us are in states where women’s rights are threatened by statutes criminalizing abortion. What brings us together is our view that as prosecutors we should not and will not criminalize healthcare decisions such as these –and we believe it is our obligation as elected prosecutors charged with protecting the health and safety of allmembers of our community to make our views clear.

Prosecutors are entrusted with immense discretion…. In our view, resources are better utilized to prevent and address serious crimes that impact our community rather than enforcing laws such as these that divide our community, create untenable choices for women and healthcare providers, and erode trust in the justice system….

In sum, as elected prosecutors with charging discretion, we choose not to prosecute individuals pursuant to these deeply concerning laws. Legal precedent, as established by the highest court in the land, has held for nearly 50 years that women have a right to make decisions about their own medical care including, but not limited to, seeking an abortion. Enforcement of laws that criminalize healthcare decisions would shatter that precedent….

The 42 elected prosecutors consist of 11 attorney generals and 31 district attorneys, also known in some states as city attorney, prosecuting attorney or state’s attorney.

The 11 attorney generals, all Democrats, are:

  1. Xavier Becerra, California
  2. Keith Ellison, Minnesota
  3. Aaron Ford, Nevada
  4. Brian E. Frosh, Maryland
  5. Maura Healey, Massachusetts
  6. Kathleen Jennings, Delaware
  7. Dana Nessel, Michigan
  8. Karl A. Racine, District of Columbia
  9. Kwame Raoul, lllinois
  10. Ellen Rosenblum, Oregon
  11. Josh Shapiro, Pennsylvania

The 31 district attorneys, all Democrats, are:

  1. Alabama: Danny Carr, Jefferson County
  2. California: Diana Becton, Contra Costa County
  3. California: George Gascón, San Francisco
  4. California: Jeff Rosen, Santa Clara County
  5. Colorado: Michael Dougherty, 20th Judicial District
  6. Colorado: Beth McCann, Second Judicial District
  7. Georgia: Sherry Boston, DeKalb County
  8. Georgia: David Cooke, Macon Judicial Circuit
  9. Georgia: Paul Howard, Fulton County
  10. Kansas: Mark Dupree, Wyandotte County
  11. Maryland: Marilyn J. Mosby, Baltimore
  12. Massachusetts: Andrea Harrington, Berkshire County
  13. Massachusetts: Rachael Rollins, Suffolk County
  14. Massachusetts: Marian T. Ryan, Middlesex County
  15. Michigan: Carol A. Siemon, Ingham County
  16. New Mexico: Raúl Torrez, Bernalillo County
  17. New York: Eric Gonzalez, Kings County
  18. New York: Cyrus R. Vance, Jr., New York County
  19. North Carolina: Satana Deberry, Durham County
  20. Ohio: Zachary Klein
  21. Pennsylvania: Lawrence S. Krasner, Philadelphia
  22. Texas: John Creuzot, Dallas County
  23. Texas: Joe Gonzales, Bexar County
  24. Texas: Mark Gonzalez, Nueces County
  25. Texas: Brian Middleton, Fort Bend County
  26. Utah: Sim Gill, Salt Lake County
  27. Vermont: Thomas J. Donovan, Jr.
  28. Vermont: Sarah George
  29. Virginia: Stephanie Morales, Portsmouth
  30. Washington: Dan Satterberg, King County
  31. Wisconsin: John T. Chisholm, Milwaukee

See also:

~Eowyn

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Animals who adopt humans: stray cat & a wild fox

Many kind people adopt homeless dogs and cats from shelters.

Sometimes, however, the animals adopt humans, as in the cases of a stray cat who adopted a young couple in a camper van, and a wild fox who befriended wildlife filmmaker Dora Nightingale in her back garden.

~Eowyn

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The Netflix Effect: Teen suicides increased 29% after release of teen-suicide show ’13 Reasons Why’

If you need another reason to dump Netflix, here’s the latest.

Suicide is the third leading cause of death among young people between the ages of 10 and 24, according to the CDC. Studies show that publicized suicides do trigger a ripple effect of additional suicides within communities.

13 Reasons Why” is a Netflix TV series, executive-produced by Selena Gomez, based on a novel by Jay Asher, 43, a writer of contemporary novels for teens, about 17 year-old Hannah Baker, who killed herself. Before she committed suicide, she made 13 cassette tapes, addressed to 13 persons at her school, detailing how and why they contributed to her desire to take her own life. The TV show also graphically depicts Baker’s suicide in a scene in which she slits her wrists and lets her blood spill into her bathtub at home.

Note: In 2017, the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) expelled Asher for sexual harassment. SCBWI executive director Lin Oliver wrote in an email to The Guardian:

Both Jay Asher and [prize-winning illustrator ] David Diaz were found to have violated the SCBWI code of conduct in regard to harassment. Claims against them were investigated and, as a result, they are no longer members and neither will be appearing at any SCBWI events in the future. Both have been expelled from the SCBWI and are not welcome as members, faculty or speakers.

Before and after Netflix aired the first season of “13 Reasons Why” on March 31, 2017, and a second season on May 18, 2018, warnings and alarms were raised about the show:

  • Several mental health groups, including the Royal College of Psychiatrists, had condemned the show as romanticizing suicide.
  • The UK’s National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children reported that young people had cited the show as a trigger for suicidal thoughts.
  • In April 2017, a Florida schools superintendent warned parents that the show was inspiring an increase in self-harming and suicidal threats among elementary and middle school students.
  • A survey published in November 2018 found that of 87 suicidal teenagers aged 13 to 17 who were taken to the emergency department, 43 of them said that they had watched at least one episode of “13 Reasons Why”. Of those who had seen the show, 21 reported that they believe it had increased their risk for suicide.
  • In May 2019, Don Mordecai, Kaiser Permanente’s national leader for mental health, told Business Insider: “There was a kind of romanticization, and at the core of the story was this idea that you can kill yourself and be dead and yet not really be dead. Because, of course, (Baker) continues to be a character – she’s in scenes, and she’s still there in many ways.”

Now, a study has confirmed that the Netflix show indeed triggers teen suicides.

The Catholic News Agency reports, June 7, 2019, that a new study, published in the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, found a 28.9% increase in suicide rates in U.S. boys ages 10-17 in the month (April 2017) following the debut of “13 Reasons Why”. Increases in suicide rates among youth were also found in the month leading up to the show’s release, and through December 2017, nine months after its release.

The study was conducted by multiple researchers from several different universities, hospitals, and the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), which funded the study. For the study, researchers analyzed death rates due to suicide based on data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s web-based Wide-ranging Online Data for Epidemiologic Research.

The study found that the increase in suicides was statistically significant among young males; the increase in suicides among young females in association with the show was not statistically significant. Researchers found the increase in suicide rates even after adjusting for otherwise expected suicide rates during that time period, based on ongoing suicide trends. They also found that suicide rates did not increase during the studied time period for people ages 18-64.

In a press release on the study, the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) said:

The number of deaths by suicide recorded in April 2017 was greater than the number seen in any single month during the five-year period examined by the researchers. The findings highlight the necessity of using best practices when portraying suicide in popular entertainment and in the media.

One of the study’s authors, NIMH clinical scientist Lisa Horowitz, Ph.D., M.P.H., said: “The results of this study should raise awareness that young people are particularly vulnerable to the media. All disciplines, including the media, need to take good care to be constructive and thoughtful about topics that intersect with public health crises.”

In the press release for the NIMH study, the authors concluded that the findings “should serve as a reminder to be mindful of the possible unintended impacts of the portrayal of suicide, and as a call to the entertainment industry and the media to use best practices when engaging with this topic.”

Despite all the warnings and scientific data about “13 Reasons Why,” in June 2018, Netflix still saw fit to order a third season, which will be aired sometime this year. 

See also:

~Eowyn

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Monday Funnies!

. . . and political truth memes.

~Eowyn

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Al Gore, who predicted North Pole would be ice-free by 2016, was paid $320k by Australian govt to conduct ‘climate training’

Nearly 9 years ago, on December 14, 2009, at the UN Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen, Denmark, Al Gore predicted that the North Pole would be completely ice-free in 5 to 7 years, i.e., by 2014 to 2016 (2:14 mark):

“There is a 75% chance that the entire North Polar ice cap during . . . some of the summer months could be completely ice-free within the next five to seven years.”

Not only has the North Pole or Arctic ice cap not melted, the figure below, from the National Snow and Ice Data Center, shows that the Arctic sea ice extent for May 2019 was a massive 4.70 million square miles (12.16 million sq. km.). The magenta line shows the 1981 to 2010 average sea ice extent for the month of May, which, as you can see for yourself, shows that Arctic sea ice has not diminished since 1981.

But that hasn’t stopped the Australian government from paying Al Gore $320,000 of Australian taxpayers’ money to “lead” the recently-concluded 41st Climate Reality Leadership Corps training in Brisbane, Australia, June 5-7, 2019.

As described by the Climate Reality Project:

Climate Reality’s 41st training will explore the climate challenges and opportunities relevant to Queensland specifically and the Asia-Pacific region generally. Led by former US Vice President and Climate Reality Chairman Al Gore, the training will include appearances from elected officials, business leaders, communications experts and top scientists, who will give attendees the skills and knowledge to address the climate crisis and seek fair solutions with their communities. As part of the training, participants will also learn how to give the presentation made famous by [Al Gore’s] Oscar-winning film An Inconvenient Truth and seen in the 2017 follow-up film An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power.

“From dangerous heat waves and storms to the threatened loss of crop yields and the Great Barrier Reef, few places in the world have seen the impacts of the climate crisis more than Australia and the Asia-Pacific,” said Al Gore. “However, in the face of these impacts, Australia, New Zealand, and Pacific Island nations have a tremendous opportunity to champion solutions for a low-carbon, sustainable future, and have the tools needed to transition to a clean energy economy. These nations and their diverse coalitions fighting for a better future represent the hope that we can and will make the changes needed to solve the climate crisis.”

Joanne Nova, an Australian science writer and author of The Skeptic’s Handbook, points out the irony that while Al Gore was “leading” the Climate Reality Leadership Corps training:

Fittingly, The Gore effect strikes again. Snow fell in Queensland. (The last time it fell was 2015.)

H/t Big Lug

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~Eowyn

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