Category Archives: epidemics

King County defends safe injection sites as a “public health service”

druge injection

I understand there is an opioid epidemic in the U.S. right now. I would rather see taxes used for a rehabilitation facility than for an injection site. Yet I’m sure it’s much harder to get an addict into rehab than it is to allow them to shoot up.

From MyNorthwest.com: King County (Washington state) health officials took to Facebook to address mounting concerns over planned safe injection sites.

Public Health Officer Jeff Duchin and Brad Findgood, who previously co-chaired the county’s Heroin and Prescription Opiate Addiction Task Force, were on hand during the live event hosted by Public Health – Seattle & King County.

“These are locations that are public health services, that provide a safe space for people who are already using drugs in public spaces,” Duchin said. “… allow them to come indoors, under the supervision of a healthcare worker, use their drugs and have an overdose reversed if they should suffer from an overdose …”

“Certainly, we don’t believe someone should be pushed out onto the street after they are given clean injection equipment … and told to go inject in an alleyway, or in a restroom of a coffee shop, unattended, where you could die alone when we could save a life,” he continued.

But anxiety over the actual safety of safe injection sites has grown in King County. A Bothell councilmember even started a petition to ban them. It’s those concerns that Duchin and Finegood attempted to address.

Do safe injection sites encourage drug use?

The closest facility to Seattle is in Vancouver B.C. But the safe injection system has been used in Europe for some time, Finegood said. Therefore, there is evidence and studies available to help gauge their effects.

Duchin argued that the facilities don’t increase drug use, rather, they divert current drug use and directly engage users and more efficiently address the problem.

Duchin points out that there were similar concerns surrounding needle exchanges. Now, he says exchanges are a “safe and effective intervention to save lives and prevent disease.”

“I think we are going to see the same thing with these supervised consumption facilities in the United States. We’re just a little bit behind the curve,” he said. “Giving people a safe place to inject who are already injecting in unsafe ways, doesn’t in any way invite more drug use,” he added.

Where will the facilities be located?

What is known is that one facility is planned for Seattle and another for greater King County. But no exact locations have been decided.

“We have no interest in siting these in a community that doesn’t have these problems,” Finegood said. “The idea behind a supervised consumption space is: Where are the problems already happening? Where are people overdosing outside? Where are needles being discarded outside? Where are people dying from heroin use?”

“We have a lot of that information … people are already using publicly. We know that,” he said. “I came across somebody overdosing last week on my walk to the bus. A colleague walked into a Starbucks a couple weeks ago and somebody was overdosing in the bathroom. These things are happening already. This is just an intervention that says, You do not need to use alone. You do not need to be stigmatized, or have prejudice, or discrimination because of your illness. Come indoors, talk to a healthcare worker, and we can help.”

Duchin said there is no timeline for when the safe injection sites will open. He said officials would have liked to have them up and running “yesterday.”

Read the rest of the story here.

DCG

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WHO spends more on travel costs than fighting AIDS

margaret chan UN

Traveling large: UN Health Agency Director-General Margaret Chan

Your tax dollars at work.

From NY Post: The World Health Organization is spending more money on the travel bug than on fighting AIDS or malaria, according to a new report.

The UN health agency blows around $200 million a year on travel costs so its honchos can fly business class and stay in five-star hotels — more than what it reserves for battling some of the world’s biggest health crisis, the AP reports.

“We don’t trust people to do the right thing when it comes to travel,” the agency’s finance director Nick Jeffreys was caught saying at a 2015 seminar, according to the report.

WHO last year spent around $71 million on AIDS and hepatitis, $61 million on malaria and $59 million on tuberculosis, the wire service reports — although it does allocate a generous $450 million to polio every year.

Meanwhile, the agency’s director-general Dr. Margaret Chan racked up a $370,000 travel bill in one year, and recently stayed in a $1,008-a-night hotel in Guinea, the AP reports.

WHO is nevertheless asking for more moolah to fight disease — and taxpayers will be footing the bill.

UN member countries pay for the agency’s $2 billion annual budget, and the US is the largest contributor.

The agency defended itself by saying “the nature of WHO’s work often requires WHO staff to travel” and noting that it reduced travel costs by 14 percent last year — although that came after the particularly pricey 2014 Ebola outbreak, the AP notes.

And other aid agencies manage to fly staff around on much tighter budgets — the UN’s children’s agency UNICEF spends $140 million a year and has twice the staff, while Doctors Without Borders forbids business-class travel and spends on $43 million a year despite having more than five times as many staffers, the outlet reports.

DCG

New perverse sex trend: ‘stealthing’

Women who engage in casual “hookups” beware.

There is a new, but widespread, sexual practice that some men engage in, called “stealthing” — the male’s surreptitious removal of his condom during coitus, without notifying or obtaining the consent of his sexual partner.

Not only does “stealthing” leave the woman feeling betrayed and violated, which some call “rape-adjacent” or rape by deception, it also renders the woman susceptible to sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and unwanted pregnancy.

Alexandra Brodsky of Yale Law School reports this in her article, “‘Rape-Adjacent’: Imagining Legal Responses to Nonconsensual Condom Removal,” Columbia Journal of Gender and Law, Vol. 32, No. 2, 2017.

From interviews with people who have experienced condom removal and online accounts from victims, Brodsky determined that nonconsensual condom removal is a common practice among young, sexually active people. Both men and women have fallen victim to stealthing. Some realized their partner had removed the condom at the moment of re-penetration; others did not realize until the partner ejaculated or, in one case, notified them the next morning.

Internet forums provide not only accounts from victims but encouragement from perpetrators. Promoters provide advice, along with explicit descriptions, for how to successfully trick a partner and remove a condom during sex. “Stealthing is controversial,” writes Mark Bentson, who runs a website dedicated to teaching others how to trick their sexual partners into condom-less sex.

Note: Bentson’s Twitter feed indicates he’s a homosexual, who claims to have sodomized married men. Condomless sex between homosexuals is called “barebacking” — a dangerous practice that’s increasingly favored among young “gay” men. See:

So why do some men do this?

From articles and an online sub-community of “stealthing” perpetrators, Brodsky gleaned that the men who engage in this deceptive practice view “stealthing” as their masculine “right” to “breed” — spread and deposit their “seed”.

One commenter on an article about stealthing wrote, “It’s a man’s instinct to shoot his load into a woman’s *****. He should never be denied that right. As a woman, it’s my duty to spread my legs and let a man shoot his load into my wet ***** whenever he wants.” Another defender, commenting on a blog post detailing one man’s “strategy” for stealthing, explained: “Oh I completely agree with this. To me you can’t have one and not the other, if she wants the guy’s **** then she also has to take the guy’s load!!!” One commenter on the blog post asked whether the sexual partners of “stealthers” “deserve to be impregnated,” to which another replied: “Yes, they deserve it. That’s how god created this universe, we are born to do it.”

Men who stealth assault other men display similar rhetoric focused on a man’s “right” to “breed” and spread his seed—even though there is no conceivable way that his semen could ever impregnate another man.

At present, Brodsky knows of no victim of nonconsensual condom removal has considered bringing legal action, and there is no record of a court case in the U.S. But, as Brodsky observes, “Nonetheless, survivors experience real harms—emotional, financial, and physical—to which the law might provide remedy through compensation or simply an opportunity to be heard and validated.”

The rest of Brodsky’s article is on what legal avenues victims of stealthing might take — in criminal law and tort law. She concludes:

“[T]he current legal landscape has failed to send a clear message that nonconsensual condom removal is unethical…. While overlooked by the law, nonconsensual condom removal is a harmful and often gender-motivated form of sexual violence. Remedy may be found under current law, but a new cause of action may promote the possibility of plaintiffs’ success while reducing negative unintended effects. At its best, such a law would clearly respond to and affirm the harm victims report by making clear that ‘stealthing’ doesn’t just ‘feel violent’—it is.”

In the morally corrupt but litigious landscape of American society, the threat of lawsuits and of arrest, if a case of “rape by deception” can be made, are the only ways to punish the perpetrators and curb stealthing.

There is already an international precedent.

Lauren Tousignant of the New York Post points out that in January 2017, a Swiss court convicted a man of rape after he took off his condom without telling his partner. The court concluded that it was rape because the woman would have said no to sex if she knew the man would remove his condom.

~Eowyn

New study finds link between child vaccination and autism – CENSORED

The much-maligned anti-vaccine movement is fueled, in good part, by parents’ suspicion that childhood vaccination causes autism.

The clinical term is Autism Spectrum Disorder: a developmental disability that ranges from mild disabilities of speech and language impairments, to serious developmental disabilities such as cerebral palsy and autism.

Indeed, the statistical data confirm that autism is on the rise. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):

  • In 2000, 1 in 150 children were diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).
  • In 2012, the number of children with ASD increased to 1 in 68.
  • ASD is about 4.5 times more common among boys (1 in 42) than among girls (1 in 189).

Now, a new study of 666 home-schooled children has confirmed that there is an association between childhood vaccination and autism.

The study is a survey (questionnaire) of 415 mothers who are members of home-school organizations in 4 states: Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Oregon. The mothers were asked whether their children had been vaccinated, and about the children’s health conditions. Among the health conditions are neurodevelopmental disorders (NDD), defined as Autism Spectrum Disorder, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, and/or a learning disability.

The study found a “significant association” between vaccination and autism. (A statistically significant association means the probability that the association occurred by chance is extremely unlikely.) The study also found that the association between vaccination and autism is compounded if the child is male and/or preterm, i.e., born prematurely at fewer than 37 weeks gestational age.

The study was conducted by a research team of four, comprised of:

  1. Dr. Anthony R. Mawson, Professor at the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, School of Public Health, Jackson State University (JSU).
  2. Dr. Brian D. Ray of the National Home Education Research Institute, an organization in Salem, Oregon which conducts homeschooling research, and publishes the journal Home School Research.
  3. Dr. Azad R. Bhuiyan, Associate Professor, Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, JSU.
  4. Binu Jacob, a former graduate student at JSU.

Mawson, et al., published their research findings in an article titled “Vaccination and Health Outcomes: A Survey of 6- to 12-year-old Vaccinated and Unvaccinated Children based on Mothers’ Reports,” in a 2016 issue of the journal, Frontiers in Public Health 4:270 (2016).

Frontiers in Public Health describes itself as an open access “peer-reviewed journal aimed at the scientific community interested in the broad area of public health.” The journal’s editorial board is comprised of:

  • Joav Merrick, Health Services, Division for Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, Ministry of Social Affairs, Jerusalem, Israel. Merrick is the journal’s main editor. His title is “Field Chief Editor”.
  • Rustam Aminov, Technical University of Denmark
  • Ross Bailie, University of Sidney, Australia
  • Nina Bhardwaj, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, NY
  • John B. F. de Wit, University of New South Wales, Sidney, Australia
  • Jimmy Thomas Efird, East Carolina University, Greenville

But if you go to the article’s link (http://journal.frontiersin.org/article/10.3389/fpubh.2016.00270), you will not find it. Instead, you ‘ll get this message:

Error 412

The requested content is not yet available.
Article 231518 is not yet publicly available.

That means the journal pulled the article, which, unless it was for a legitimate reason (e.g., research errors), is a form of post-publication censorship.

Fortunately, Rich Winkel of Thought Crime Radio found the article on Google Cache: http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:3ulOESkkTPAJ:journal.frontiersin.org/article/10.3389/fpubh.2016.00270+&cd=2&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us

I tried to access the article on Google Cache, but got another Error message:

404. That’s an error.

The requested URL /search?q=cache:3ulOESkkTPAJ:journal.frontiersin.org/article/10.3389/fpubh.2016.00270+&cd=2&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us was not found on this server. That’s all we know.

That means the article has been scrubbed from even Google Cache!

But Winkel did manage to capture the article’s Abstract before it was scrubbed:

Front. Public Health | doi: 10.3389/fpubh.2016.00270

Vaccination and Health Outcomes: A Survey of 6- to 12-year-old Vaccinated and Unvaccinated Children based on Mothers’ Reports

Anthony R. Mawson1*, Brian D. Ray2, Azad R. Bhuiyan3 and Binu Jacob4

  • 1Epidemiology and Biostatistics, School of Public Health (Initiative), Jackson State University, USA
  • 2National Home Education Research Institute, USA
  • 3Epidemiology and Biostatistics, School of Public Health (Initiative), USA
  • 4Former Graduate Student, Jackson State University, School of Public Health (Initiative), USA

ABSTRACT

Background: Vaccinations have prevented millions of infectious illnesses, hospitalizations and deaths among US children. Yet the long-term health outcomes of the routine vaccination program remain unknown. Studies have been recommended by the Institute of Medicine to address this question.

Specific Aims: To compare vaccinated and unvaccinated children on a broad range of health outcomes, and to determine whether an association found between vaccination and neurodevelopmental disorders (NDD), if any, remains significant after adjustment for other measured factors.

Design: A cross-sectional survey of mothers of children educated at home.

Methods: Homeschool organizations in four states (Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Oregon) were asked to forward an email to their members, requesting mothers to complete an anonymous online questionnaire on the vaccination status and health outcomes of their biological children ages 6 to 12.

Results: A total of 415 mothers provided data on 666 children, of which 261 (39%) were unvaccinated. Vaccinated children were significantly less likely than the unvaccinated to have been diagnosed with chickenpox and pertussis, but significantly more likely to have been diagnosed with pneumonia, otitis media, allergies and NDDs (defined as Autism Spectrum Disorder, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, and/or a learning disability). After adjustment, the factors that remained significantly associated with NDD were vaccination (OR 3.1, 95% CI: 1.4, 6.8), male gender (OR 2.3, 95% CI: 1.2, 4.3), and preterm birth (OR 5.0, 95% CI: 2.3, 11.6). In a final adjusted model, vaccination but not preterm birth remained associated with NDD, while the interaction of preterm birth and vaccination was associated with a 6.6-fold increased odds of NDD (95% CI: 2.8, 15.5).

Conclusions: In this study based on mothers’ reports, the vaccinated had a higher rate of allergies and NDD than the unvaccinated. Vaccination, but not preterm birth, remained significantly associated with NDD after controlling for other factors. However, preterm birth combined with vaccination was associated with an apparent synergistic increase in the odds of NDD. Further research involving larger, independent samples is needed to verify and understand these unexpected findings in order to optimize the impact of vaccines on children’s health.

Keywords: Acute diseases; Chronic diseases; Epidemiology; Evaluation; Health policy; Immunization; Neurodevelopmental disorders; Vaccination, Acute diseases, chronic diseases, Epidemiology, Evaluation, Health Policy, Immunization, Neurodevelopmental disorders, Vaccination

Citation: Mawson AR, Ray BD, Bhuiyan AR and Jacob B (2016). Vaccination and Health Outcomes: A Survey of 6- to 12-year-old Vaccinated and Unvaccinated Children based on Mothers’ Reports.Front. Public Health4:270. doi: 10.3389/fpubh.2016.00270

Received: 17 Sep 2016; Accepted: 21 Nov 2016.

Edited by: Amit Agrawal, Gandhi Medical College, India

Reviewed by: Kelly Hsieh, University of Illinois at Chicago, USA; Linda Mullin Elkins, Life University, USA

Copyright: © 2016 Mawson, Ray, Bhuiyan and Jacob. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) or licensor are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence: Prof. Anthony R. Mawson, School of Public Health (Initiative), Jackson State University, Epidemiology and Biostatistics, 350 West Woodrow Wilson Avenue, Jackson, 39213, Mississippi, USA, amawsn@gmail.com

Needless to say, the scrubbing from a journal as well as from Google Cache of an already-published article that confirms parents’ suspicion that vaccines are linked to autism, will only fuel more conspiracy talk.

Our skepticism concerning the article’s scrubbing has good reasons given the credentials of the study’s lead author and the fact that the article was approved for publication by an editor and two peer reviewers.

anthony-mawson

The lead author of the study is Dr. Anthony Mawson, a naturalized U.S. citizen who was born in England and received his Ph.D. in epidemiology from Tulane University. Mawson is currently a Visiting Professor of Epidemiology and Biostatistics at the School of Public Health in Jackson State University (JSU). He is a well-published scientist with 59 publications in various journals:

  • For Mawson’s page at JSU, click here.
  • For Mawson’s cv (or resume), click here. According to his cv, Mawson has submitted a co-authored article (with Brian D. Ray and A. Bhuiyan, the same co-authors of the now-scrubbed Frontiers in Public Health article), provisionally titled “Vaccination and health outcomes,” to BMC: Health Services Research, an open-access, peer-reviewed journal.

Professor Mawson can be reached at:

  • 5359 Briarfield Road, Jackson, MS 39211
  • Tel: 601-991-3811; 601-622-2597 (cell phone)
  • Email: amawsn@gmail.com

H/t Jim Stone

UPDATE (Dec. 6, 2016):

My undertanding is that since the journal Frontiers in Public Health had accepted Mawson et al.‘s paper, it should be published and subjected to the usual process of public review and replication. Instead, the journal’s Chief Editor withdrew the paper because of “numerous complaints” based simply on the paper’s Abstract.

Please contact the journal’s Editorial Office and ask for the paper to be published. Here’s the email address:

publichealth.editorial.office@frontiersin.org

Update (May 10, 2017):

Thanks to reader RP, here’s Dr. Mawson’s censored article in its entirety.

Also, Mawson’s study did find a publication outlet — a 2017 issue of the Journal of Translational Science, 2017. See “Pilot comparative study on the health of vaccinated and unvaccinated 6- to 12-year-old U.S. children“.

I recommend you read TruthAlert’s well-reasoned and well-sourced post, “Some thoughts on the globalist agenda, vaccines and population control“.

~Eowyn

WikiLeaks Podesta emails: Clinton Foundation works with Big Pharma to keep AIDS drug prices high

WikiLeaks is the gift that keeps on giving.

Gay men presumably are Hillary Clinton supporters. So enthused are they that when Hillary formally announced she’s running for the presidency in April 2016, a San Francisco homosexual immediately launched an “I’d Bottom for Hillary” campaign and began selling t-shirts and tank tops “that promote one’s willingness to receive anal penetration (metaphorically, of course) from the former Secretary of State who is now the top (ahem) Democratic candidate.” (See “Homosexuals join Hillary Clinton 2016 in ‘I’d bottom for Hillary!’ campaign” )

I'd Bottom For Hillary

Gay men account for most HIV/AIDS cases, so lower costs for AIDS prescription drugs are in their interest.

Well, gay men should know that a Podesta email chain on December 8, 2011, published by WikiLeaks (here), reveals that the Clinton Foundation opposed lowering the costs of AIDS drugs in the United States.

Note: “Podesta email” refers to thousands of emails of John Podesta, chair of Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign, which were hacked and made available to WikiLeaks. To read the Podesta emails that have been released by WikiLeaks, click here.

The particular email chain in question began with an email between two Clinton Foundation officials, Ira Magaziner and Amitabh Desai, with a cc to John Podesta.

Note: Ira Magaziner, 68, is a former senior advisor for policy development and chief healthcare policy advisor to President Bill Clinton who is currently the CEO and vice chairman of the Clinton Foundation’s Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI). CHAI supposedly works to save lives in low and middle income countries by helping people gain access to essential medicines and health services.

Amitabh Desai is the Director of Foreign Policy at the Clinton Foundation.

ira-magaziner-amitabh-desai

In his email to Desai, Magaziner expressed dismay that Bill Clinton had made remarks at a World AIDS Day event urging that domestic AIDS drugs prices be lowered, without first “consulting” with the Clinton Foundation. Magaziner said the Foundation opposes publicly pressuring drug companies to lower their prices on AIDS drugs because doing so would “seriously jeopardize” the Foundation’s “negotiations” to lower drug prices in poor countries (assuming the Clinton Foundation actually does that — see “The High Cost of AIDS drugs in Africa” by Julia M. Hernandez, J.D.). Magaziner said the Foundation has “always” assured drug companies that the Foundation would not pressure them to lower drug prices because that would lead to a “slippery slope” of lower drug prices in the U.S. and Europe. He then said Bill Clinton’s intemperate remarks had ruined the many years of “positive relationships” the Foundation had labored to build with pharmaceutical companies — relationships that the Foundation must now repair.

Here’s the email:

From: Ira Magaziner
To: Amitabh Desai
Cc: Bruce Lindsey; John Podesta (john.podesta@gmail.com) <john.podesta@gmail.com>
Sent: Thu Dec 08 03:35:29 2011
Subject: FW: Domestic AIDS Memo

Ami:

This note and the attached memo are in response to your inquiry as to whether CHAI [Clinton Health Access Initiative] has any thoughts on how to proceed on the comments President [Bill] Clinton made on lowering domestic AIDS drugs prices at the World AIDS day event. Attached is a detailed memo with recommendations on how CHAI and President Clinton could be helpful in the domestic fight against AIDS. We have been working on this memo since the last CHAI board meeting when this issue first came up and had planned to send it to President Clinton and the CHAI board in December for further discussion.

We were taken by surprise by President Clinton’s comments on world AIDS day and wish that someone had consulted with us before he made these comments. As you will see when you read this memo, we think that publicly pressuring the US and European AIDS drug companies to lower prices and bringing pressure to allow generic AIDS drugs into the United States will have limited if any success and could seriously jeopardize our negotiations to continually lower prices in poor countries. We also believe that there are other more impactful ways to address the US AIDS crisis today. We have always told the drug companies that we would not pressure them and create a slippery slope where prices they negotiate with us for poor countries would inevitably lead to similar prices in rich countries. If we were going to change our view on this, we should have informed the companies before President Clinton went public with his statement and attempted to negotiate a way for them to participate in and get credit for whatever steps we could have persuaded them to take to help the crisis in the states. We might or might not have been successful in getting them to do something, but we believe the chances of success would have been higher than by trying to pressure them through a public campaign. It has taken us many years to build positive relationships with these companies while at the same time pushing them to continually lower their prices. We will now have to try to repair these relationships.

Since President Clinton’s comments were made, we have been contacted by a number of advocacy groups who are now intending to wage a public campaign to bring in generics and lower drug prices. We do not feel we can participate in this without jeopardizing our work around the world. We cannot oppose what they might do, but we also cannot be publicly supporting it either. This campaign will not get started until January, so we have some time to figure out and act upon our own strategy. If we do try to do something in this area, we suggest that we approach the innovator companies that can currently sell products in the US with the idea of making donations to help clear the ADAP lists. For a variety of reasons, the companies will likely favor a donation approach rather than one that erodes prices across the board. I would guess that they would also likely favor a solution that involved their drugs rather than an approach that allowed generic drugs from India to flood the US market at low prices or one that set a precedent of waiving patent laws on drugs. This will be complicated to work out, but it might be possible. We would have to initiate discussions with multiple state health officials as well as HHS in addition to talking with the drug companies. If President Clinton wishes for us to be proactive, we suggest that we try a cooperative approach first. We can go to war with the US drug companies if President Clinton would like to do so, but we would not suggest it.

Whatever we decide, we need to make a decision quickly and President Clinton and CHAI need to be in synch. I do not think it is a good idea for President Clinton to be taking one position and CHAI another. Once we have decided what to do on the drug question, we can then decide if we want to work with state health authorities in the ways that the memo suggests to implement programs to expand testing and treatment. CHAI management is willing to expand the mandate of CHAI to add a focus on domestic AIDS, though this will involve having to build an organization to do the work and significant time and resources. We would need to go to the CHAI board for approval as it would represent a major add on to the strategy that we presented to the board and that the board approved at its last meeting. And of course if we do this, we need to find a way to get it funded. I do not know if President Clinton has any thoughts on funding for a domestic AIDS project. Even a negotiation on how to clear the ADAP lists by getting drug companies and state officials and the federal government to work together on a deal would take a significant amount of time and resources to accomplish. We can undertake it, but unless we can get the work funded or the board gives us leave to do it as an unfunded project, we could not move forward. Perhaps we should have a discussion with President Clinton about next steps.

Thanks

Ira

In a follow-up email on the same day (Dec. 8, 2011), Ira Magaziner indicated that the Clinton Foundation also has “agreements” with big pharmaceutical companies on other drugs as well:

“we [the Clinton Foundation] have done a number of agreements with big US and European pharmaceutical companies . .  . for second and third line drugs and for new drugs in the pipeline that are coming forward,” as well as “vaccines and for TB and malaria drugs.”

Isn’t there a law against price-fixing?

To see the email chain for yourself, go to WikiLeaks.

Back in April when gay men began their “I’d Bottom for Hillary” campaign, betcha they never thought they would be BOHICAed this way.

See also:

~Eowyn

Epidemic of loneliness due to decline in religion & church attendance

Carolyn Moynihan reports for Mercator Net, Sept. 12, 2016, that according to The New York Times, there is an epidemic of loneliness in “advanced” economies:

  • In Britain and the United States about one in three people older than 65 live alone, and studies show 10% to 46% of those older than 60 are lonely.
  • In 2012, about 20% of older people in Canada reported feeling lonely. But you don’t have to be old to feel isolated: in a study of 34,000 Canadian university students, almost two thirds reported feeling “very lonely” in the past 12 months.

Dr. Carla M. Perissinotto, a geriatrician at the University of California, San Francisco, calls the epidemic of loneliness a public health crisis. She says, “The profound effects of loneliness on health and independence are a critical public health problem. It is no longer medically or ethically acceptable to ignore adults who feel lonely and marginalized.”

A study she conducted showed that, among adults over 60, those who reported feelings of loneliness had significantly higher rates of declining mobility, difficulty in performing routine daily activities, and death during 6 years of follow-up. This association remained significant even after taking into account people’s age, economic status, depression and other health problems.

University of Chicago neuroscience researcher John T. Cacioppo, who studies the social nature of the human brain, puts loneliness on the same instinctive level as thirst, hunger or pain – as a survival mechanism. In an interview he says:

“One of the things that surprised me was how important loneliness proved to be. It predicted morbidity. It predicted mortality. And that shocked me. When we experimentally manipulated loneliness, we found surprising changes in the “personalities” of people. There’s a lot more power to the perception of being socially isolated than any of us had thought.”

Cacioppo’s research has shown links to high blood pressure and impaired immune responses. Other research implicates loneliness in heart attacks and suicide.

Many things beside social circumstances — not having family members nearby or not having friends — contribute to the loneliness epidemic. The following two seem especially significant:

  1. Ethos of individualism: American culture’s emphasis placed on individualism makes “independence” the highest virtue and an excuse for not “needing” others or for not getting involved in the lives of needy people. But the reality of human life is interdependence — we need each other. In fact, a main argument for euthanasia is that people do not want to be dependent – even on their families – and this could become society’s “decent” option for lonely people.
  2. Decline of religion and church attendance has removed an important social as well as spiritual support for people of any age. Researchers reported from a European study last year that joining a religious organization is more beneficial to mental health than joining charity, sport, education or political groups for a sample of people over 50. Epidemiologist Dr. Mauricio Avendano, one of the authors of the report, noted:

“The church appears to play a very important social role in keeping depression at bay and also as a coping mechanism during periods of illness in later life. It is not clear to us how much this is about religion per se, or whether it may be about the sense of belonging and not being socially isolated.”

In the case of Christianity, it teaches us that even if we don’t have a loving family on earth, we have a loving Father in Heaven. Our faith also teaches us how to be loving mothers and fathers, husbands and wives, sons and daughters, brothers and sisters, friends and even enemies, so no one should ever feel abandoned.

Coming Home1

A personal note: I like to think that, in addition to its manifest function of informing, this blog, Fellowship of the Minds, also serves a social purpose by providing political conservatives and Christians with a sense of fellowship and camaraderie. I take some solace in knowing that FOTM did that for at least two of our faithful readers in their last years: Wild Bill Alaska and pnordman. Wild Bill, a military veteran, used to send me jokes, many of which I posted on FOTM; pnordman was a sweet and kind woman, who showered FOTM with her lavish praises and appreciation. Whereas pnordman lived with one of her sons and his family, in Wild Bill‘s case, our fellowship was particularly important because he had lived alone in a modest studio apartment — which I found out only after his passing from cancer. Their respective real names are William Barnham and Patricia Nordman. Both were true blue Christians. May they rest in peace with our Lord.

See also “Being alone is bad for our health,” Oct. 10, 2015.

~Eowyn

Syphilis increases by a stunning 232% among homosexual men

The alarming headline on yesterday’s Drudge Report says:

Syphilis soars . . .

When you click on the embedded link, it brings you to a Guardian story titled, “Syphilis is on the rise when it should be confined to history“.

But both headlines are deceptive.

A more accurate headline should be:

Syphilis soars among homosexuals

Scene from a gay "pride" parade

Scene from a gay “pride” parade

Verity Sullivan reports for The Guardian, Aug. 24, 2016, that infection rates of syphilis, the disease caused by the bacterium Treponema Pallidum and passed on through unprotected oral, vaginal and anal sex, are sharply rising in the UK.

According to the 2016 Public Health England (PHE) syphilis report, while rates of syphilis in heterosexuals remain stable, men who have sex with men (MSM) accounted for 90% of all syphilis cases in 2015, with a 232% increase in diagnosis over the last five years. More than half of the homosexual men diagnoszd with syphilis in 2015 were also infected with HIV, as well as a separate STD (sexually-transmitted disease), e.g., gonorrhea.

All this is happening despite safe sex campaigns, targeted prevention efforts, and free and accessible sexual health care.

Experts try to explain the sharp rise in syphilis among homosexual men with the following:

  • Higher numbers of partners, i.e., rampant promiscuity, is “a key reason”.
  • Use of apps such as Grindr, venue based and group sex.
  • The reported increased use of Chemsex (recreational drugs used during sex), which lowers sexual inhibitions and makes the likelihood of using a condom less likely.
  • “Sero-sorting” – when men choose partners who have the same HIV status, in theory negating the need to use a condom. However, this puts both partners at high risk of contracting a plethora of STIs.

London is the epicenter of syphilis:

  • In 2015, London accounted for 56% of all cases in England.
  • Since 2010 the number of cases of syphilis in Londoners has increased by 163%, with a 22% increase in the year from 2014 to 2015.
  • The borough of Lambeth has the highest rates, closely followed by the City of London and Southwark.

Verity SullivanAsking what is to be done, The Guardian reporter Verity Sullivan gave a typical liberal PC knee-jerk response, advocating more and better sex ed in schools, proposing “further study” of “the complex background to increasing rates” of STDs “in high risk groups” (although she had just explained the reasons why), and blaming the “massive budget cuts” faced by “sexual health and homosexual support services”. Her conclusion, once again, is more government:

“Responsibility is now on the government to ensure the needs of some of its most vulnerable populations are being met.”

No, Ms. Sullivan. The explanation for the sharp 232% rise in syphilis among homosexual men is this:

Homosexuality is a psychological and spiritual disorder. Sodomists are severely disordered men because the anus is not designed for sexual penetration.

See also:

~Eowyn