Tag Archives: CDC

Capone Syndrome

There is a larger concern in the US today (yesterday too). I have always lived by the premise that guns do not kill people, people kill people. I still live by that believe today, even as people all over the planet cry that guns are the problem. In the UK we see: “There were 726 homicides in the year ending March 2018, 20 more (3% increase) than in the previous year“, which is fine, you can a person with a knife as terminally concrete as a gun can, you merely have to move up close and personal to do so.

Yet that does not explain the American numbers and I accept that. When we consider ‘17,284 reported cases of murder or non-negligent manslaughter in the United States‘ we see that there is a much larger problem in play. Yet there is also the stage that the numbers have declined by 30% since 1991 (24,700 murders at that point). Yet that would be the facts if we take the word of Statista; it is the New York Times who gives us “There were 39,773 gun deaths in 2017, up by more than 1,000 from the year before. Nearly two-thirds were suicides“, which is an entirely different dish to serve. The article (at https://www.nytimes.com/2018/12/18/us/gun-deaths.html) becomes debatable when we see the information they do give us with ‘Nearly two-thirds were suicides‘, so there is an issue, and even as we want to blame guns, these people would have equally gone for pills and optionally tapping the vein with a sharp knife.

So when we see: “In 2017, about 60 percent of gun deaths were suicides, while about 37 percent were homicides, according to an analysis of the C.D.C.” we need to take a larger look at the issue. When we see the numbers, which I accept is disproportionate to most other nations, we need to see that the US has a much larger issue and firearms are not the cause, the economy is. We see part of that reported by the World Economic Forum (at https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2019/05/the-global-suicide-rate-is-growing-what-can-we-do/). Here we see: “Overall mortality, particularly in the middle years, is increasing as a result of the so-called “deaths of despair” due to suicide, alcohol, opioids, and liver disease. Although 94% of American adults believe mental health is equally as important as physical health, most do not know how to identify changes in mental health that signal serious risk, nor what to do in response“, I believe that this is part of the answer, but not the larger impact. Some have taken this path and it can be directly linked to isolation and the lack of quality of life. Yet it will not stop with the US, there is every indication that these waves will hit the Commonwealth (UK and Australia) as well, In Australia we saw in 2018 ‘Australia’s suicide rate is now at 12.6 deaths per 100,000 people‘, whilst it was reported to be 5.7 in 2016 down from 6.6 in 2007, to see that the numbers have well over doubled in 10 years is a large issue and the limelight on this has been switched off.

The reduced quality of life is a larger issue in the US is that the people that are living in poverty is 13.5% (43 million), which is astounding as the unemployment rate is set to 3.7%, so we have a stage where people with a job are still below the poverty line and they are not alone, the UK is pushing into a similar stage. As the BBC reported almost 3 weeks ago “Between 1994 and 2017, the proportion of people in working households in relative poverty rose from 13% to 18%, according to the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) – eight million people in 2017” (at https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-42223497) we see a shift and the governments are not pushing to improve that setting, more important Australia is pushing in that same direction, yet they make matters worse by remaining in denial of social housing and age discrimination.

This now moves back to the beginning, We see the Capone Syndrome, Alphonse Gabriel Capone was boss of the Chicago Outfit and cause for the deaths of a large uncounted amount of people. In addition to that we must give voice that he donated large amounts of cash and was the force behind the charity that served up three hot meals a day to thousands of the unemployed—no questions asked. In all this he was never convicted of charities, not for murders and not for ‘criminal’ activities, the FBI got him on Tax evasion. Here we see the Syndrome, we blame guns, but other issues are the driving force that is causing all this. Whether the latest two are through mental health or economy driven reasons remain to be seen. However, as long as the people keep on screaming gun laws in a nation where hundreds of millions of guns are in open circulation there is a larger option that will not be tended to.

One of these problems is the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. It lacks leadership and at least 3 presidents are cause if this. With a budget of $1.274 billion, with a little over 5000 staff, the ATF has a massive problem. The larger failure known as Project Gunrunner (2010), as well as the dismissal of ATF special agent Vince Cefalu in 2011 with 24 years of experience is showing to be a much larger issue than the media is giving you. The top brass are an Acting Director, and Acting Deputy Director, no official named and permanent elected (read: placed) director and deputy director have been set for the longest time, so there is a large absence of long term plans and that lack has been an issue for a much longer time. In all this the oversight of second hand firearms has been lacking like almost forever. Even as gun laws are adjusted, second hand merchandise will freely move and as such there will be no improved situation.

If these people who are crying and shouting ‘Gun Control‘ actually wanted any of that, then the ATF would get the needed budget of $3.8 billion, they are trying to get done what they can with a 30% budget, in addition, to properly overhaul second hand firearms an additional 1500 agents would be needed. Yet the power players are not willing to touch this economy. The National Shooting Sports Foundation reported that their group paid $6.82 billion in taxes (including property, income and sales taxes), the government does not want to touch it.

We need to accept an understand that this problem is a lot larger and the fact that everyone is looking at a busy crossroad and they are actually only looking and focusing on that one traffic sign called ‘amendment 2’, how is that ever going to fix anything? You can add a maximum speed of 15 bullets per minute to that crossroads, yet when we consider that the roads themselves are part of the problem, an actual large part, whatever you claim to fix, will not fix anything at all, not until you fix the road, the current signs will have a negligible impact.

Now when we look at the El Paso event at Walmart, we see the accused Patrick Crusius and the fact that he killed 20 people and wounded more than that. We see the mention of some ‘manifesto’ implies a larger issue. It could be a hate crime, yet we still need to learn what set him off. The fact that the person was taken into custody (with little to no force according to the Guardian) implies that this person seeks the limelight, which could give a larger rise to a mental health issue, but time needs to tell us that. In Dayton, Ohio we have another setting. Here a man killed his sister and 8 others. Here the shooter did not survive, something clearly set him off, yet what is unknown at present. Here the Washington Post gives us: “The guns had been legally purchased, police said, and there was nothing in Connor Betts adult criminal background that would have raised concerns“, we could argue that gun control might have been some impact, the issue with millions of guns on the open second hand market, there would have been little to slow this person down. So as we learn that ‘Connor Betts never seemed interested in extreme ideologies, nor did he seem racist‘, we see one optional extremist with racism tendencies and one not, and when we realise that we need to consider that the issue is a lot larger and we need to properly address this issue. Yet screaming ‘gun control laws’ all whilst the ATF is not able to do a proper job now implies that the US is currently heading towards a much larger issue soon enough.

By the way, the fact that the ATF issues have been known for the longest time and the last time it was addressed was on May 19th by David Thornton in an article and not after that, optionally even less before that, does that not warrant questions on several levels?

I reckon that the ATF is not a sexy enough topic for the media, but cadavers certainly are. So when we fix that part, we might begin to fix the mass shooting issues at some point in the future and do not forget that the absence of a permanent director has been an issue since before the Obama Administration, he too never addressed it, which after the Newtown shooting should warrant a question or two as well.

This is not about the NRA, this is not about the NSSF and this is not about guns, this is about policy and how to properly go about it, as I personally see it, until there is a clear mandate and a clear path that includes the ATF, we are unlikely see clear resolutions for years to come.

 

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In support of others

Sometimes we have to put our own differences aside and stand with others. There is absolutely no chance that this will not happen to you. At some point, you will go in the ‘damn the torpedo’s’ direction and give support to those who fight the good cause. This is where I found myself when I was confronted with ‘Anti-vaxx ‘mobs’: doctors face harassment campaigns on Facebook‘ (at https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2019/feb/27/facebook-anti-vaxx-harassment-campaigns-doctors-fight-back). First of all, there is no way anyone could support trolling, no matter what the cause is, and in the second degree there is the need to stand up for the issue at hand, it is our health and those of our children, it is important to make a stand.

Now we get to a side that is important. I am in favour of vaccination to a degree, I fully support children vaccination. I also support the bill to eliminate personal and philosophical exemptions for childhood vaccinations. I saw it in the Netherlands, the place where for religious reasons vaccinations were rejected, that place is where there was an outbreak of whooping cough, not something you want a child to experience ever. Other places we see the renewed introduction of measles. All issue that could have been prevented. As such I support that side of vaccination. So when we are introduced to the naturopath Elias Kass, his statements at the Senate committee and five days after his brief testimony, he had compiled a photo gallery with hundreds of screenshots of abusive comments, largely through anti-vaxx Facebook pages. It becomes worse, when we see the quote “an online ecosystem rife with anti-vaccine misinformation, thanks in part to Facebook’s recommendation algorithms and targeted advertising” we see how complete the failure of Facebook is at present. We also see the accusation of “partially instigated by Larry Cook and Erin Elizabeth, two anti-vaccine activists who have built large Facebook platforms“, it comes with the added statement “Cook has gained notoriety as a full-time anti-vaxxer who has raised nearly $80,000 on GoFundMe to pay for fear-mongering anti-vaccine Facebook ads which he targets at mothers. His Facebook page, Stop Mandatory Vaccinations (SMV), has about 130,000 followers, while the related closed SMV Facebook group has more than 150,000 members“. A system that sets close to 250,000 guns aimed at a single target and that is an issue that needs to be addressed.

There are two sides to nearly every story, yet the danger of not vaccinating is just too high to contemplate. People are directed through lies and these anti-vaxx people start it with ‘Vaccines are dangerous and unnecessary for vibrant health‘ (at http://www.stopmandatoryvaccination.com/), A small part is seen when we consider a source: “Measles is one of the leading vaccine-preventable disease causes of death. In 1980, 2.6 million people died of it, and in 1990, 545,000 died; by 2014, global vaccination programs had reduced the number of deaths from measles to 73,000“, it is worse when we consider ‘Measles Elimination in the United States‘ (The Journal of Infectious Diseases, Volume 189, Issue Supplement_1, 1 May 2004, Pages S1–S3). Here we see two parts that are a direct setting. In the WW1 era we get “an average of 5300 measles-related deaths during 1912–1916 (26 deaths/ 1000 reported cases)“, 2.6% of the population would dies of the disease and those were the lucky ones. The rest was rewarded with extras, an average of 150,000 patients had respiratory complications and 4000 patients had encephalitis each year. An estimated 48,000 persons with measles being hospitalized every year, and that is merely the US, in Europe that number would be higher. So when the website gives us: ‘Vaccine Free Living: The Unvaccinated Are Not A Problem‘, we see what I consider to be a lie, the non-vaccinated are the problem, plain and simple, as we see the ‘return’ measles, polio and other diseases, the claim that unvaccinated are not the problem is pretty much blown away. In the Netherlands there was a resurgence of polio in the Bible belt area (no vaccinations through religious convictions) and the impact was huge, 71 people ended up with polio, 71 people confronted with the risk of paralyses. And in the end only 10 recovered, two died and the others ended with paralyses, 59 sitting mostly in a chair not able to move, so parents need to consider the real sources and those who are merely claiming to know the truth. I am not telling you to trust or believe me. I am telling you to go to an educated person, your GP, or an actual a medical professional. The fact that in the last outbreak only 14% recovered from the disease, only 14%, the rest ended up in a bad place, we see that vaccination was essential and there are more diseases where this is the case. And that does not exempt the 14% group, they will optionally face complications down the time track.

When we see the numbers and the statistics on the impact of these diseases, the position of Elias Kass makes perfect sense as does the bill to remove philosophical objection. When we consider the associated press last week with: “Of the 63 cases confirmed in Clark County, 55 were not immunized against measles, immunization status couldn’t be verified for six cases, and two cases involved a child who had received only a single dose of the MMR vaccine“, we see a direct danger when we consider the impact as it was, when the measles get a revitalisation through stupidity, we need to take another look at the site, and we need to set the stage where we can hold Larry Cook, Kelly Galagher and Julianna Pearce financially accountable for the inflicted damage they catered for. In this case ‘freedom of speech’ should not apply, not when it endangers the lives of children; that needs to be a first. Larry might be standing there with a big smile, but he is not laughing. Another blog (at https://www.patheos.com/blogs/withoutacrystalball/2019/02/larry-cook-scared-his-financial-misdeeds-will-be-exposed/) gives us a few points. The piece refers to a piece with a journalist who took an investigation on the money trail. The blog gives us: “Cook told the group he knows the article will paint him in a very negative light. His assumption is probably accurate given his shady background of soliciting money from his followers“, whilst his open response (on that page) includes “She made it seem like it is illegal to earn money online in any way, shape or form” here we see the issue, as he is not denying that he was making money, yet is he an educated and graduated medical professional? He is allegedly making money on the backs of gullible people, in addition, it is a path that endangers the lives of children and that is where parents need to wake up and get the right information, from the right people, not some activist, not a blogger (me), but from a trained medical practitioner.

And the blog gives another part. With: “Two weeks ago Cook opened a new GoFundMe campaign titled “Save Vaccine Exemptions in the USA.” He started the campaign due to the growing pressure in Washington to stop personal exemptions for vaccines. Initially, he said the money would help the parents affected in the area, but he decided to change the fundraiser days later to support the ‘nation.’“, the setting of a changed formation of funding gathering is one that is debatable even under the most positive views.

And Facebook is facilitating this dangerous path; indeed, it is possible that Google facilitates this as well as most video’s use YouTube to get as wide an audience as possible.

We have to be in support of others at times, and when the debate on the actions are optionally endangering children, those who supported that path need to be put into the limelight and the world needs to be made aware that their efforts endangered the lives of children, it is the only way to get the truth out. This was never about some finger pointing at pharmaceutical industries, I know, because when I was inoculated (the first post WW2 generation) I saw the impact, I was almost never ever sick, I avoided the diseases that plagued some, but I remained healthy, and in those days pharmaceutical industries did not have political power, not to the degree they have today. Perhaps I was lucky, perhaps not. I only know that the child vaccinations were effective, when we see that the 50’s had 542.000 cases reported, and we now see that this number has been diminished to 0.1%, we see that the vaccination was a success and vaccination was essential to get there. To have a disease that covered 1% of the population and diminish it to 1 per 100,000, we know that vaccination was the only way to get there. The same for polio, where it once ruled the lives of half a million cases to a mere 22 reported cases in 2017, we need to see another side. As the anti-vaxx people are so intent on blaming greed driven pharmaceutical industries (not entirely unwarranted), we see that the inventor of the polio vaccine Jonas Salk did not make a penny out of it, he never patented it and gave the cure away, the act of something that would have made him richer than Bill Gates and Larry Ellison combined, his act instigated the option to truly eradicate a debilitating disease from this world.

And all this comes with a second side as well, can we allow for the freedom of speech to continue when it endangers the lives of children, more important, when a non-medical professional makes claims that pushes mothers to endanger the lives of their children, is it freedom of speech or would it optionally be negligent homicide?

 

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Bang Bang Common Sense

Jason Wilson brought to light an article (at https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/jun/03/us-senate-hopeful-washington-joey-gibson) that made me think. You see, I am pragmatic and pro guns, I never hid that. Yet in equal measure I have an issue with people bringing their guns to a night club, especially when they are not members of organised crime. So, when you do a dancing backflip and accidently shoot a person as you pick up your gun, FBI agent or not, it raises questions.

This is not me having a go at that officer, there might be a very valid reason for him to have had his piece on him, but making backflips (impressive as it may be) was not the brightest thought to be having. Yet that was not what this will be about. You see, Joey Gibson, the far right Republican Senate candidate is advocating what I call a scenario too dangerous for words. With: “That’s why we’re doing it, there’s people dying. Gun-free zones disgust me because we’re not protecting the kids on the campus. People look at it backwards“, the dangerous precedent is set. Those who do not know, or have proper skill to counter an armed attack end up being dead and handing additional weapons and ammunition to the attackers. I think we all realise that the setting of having an armed response team in any University might not be the worst idea. In that we need to realise that there are trained professionals from the Army, Marines, Navy and police that are now retired that might be more than willing to be there, making a few dollars and being there when there is real trouble. In the first hour it could lower or even prevent fatalities. Making the University a no gun-free zone, letting anyone have a go is not just stupid; it is very dangerous, that approach will increase casualties by a lot. The moment these extreme thinking or mental health cases realise that the university have additional guns and ammunition up for grabs, they might just take the leap with one gun and one clip, which is a realistic and serious danger. Until you have shot a person, or are in the second to shoot someone, that is when you realise that you have what it takes, or not and that second group will be arming the attackers. The second consideration is weapon skill. You might have shot at these nice targets on the range, or puppets standing still, but once they are moving, being accurate is something that would become too unpredictable. So here I am, as a virtual supporter of the NRA stating that this setting is way too dangerous to consider. I never had any kids, but I realise the need to protect the next generation and letting everyone armed on the university makes the danger worse, not safer.

Yet the issue is larger, you see Joey Gibson is not some right extremist. As a Japanese American (or is that American Japanese?) we see that he denounces white supremacists, advocates peaceful actions and is outspokenly anti-antifa (anti-fascist movement). Most of this was seen last year (at https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2017/sep/3/patriot-prayer-free-speech-group-urges-supporters-/).  It was Valerie Richardson that gave the goods in the Washington Times. The issue becomes more murky when we see “So many people were so disgusted about how they treated us. The liberals were literally standing around with peace signs and love signs while antifa is just yelling and cussing and beating the crap out of us and pepper-spraying us“, which gets us to the question why would anyone pepper spray a person advocating peace? Even as the article gives us a lot, I think we are missing out, a better in depth article by a writer (Valerie or someone else) who would actually to an in depth view of Joey Gibson, especially if that person is running for the senate. It seems that the one person giving a decent and perhaps the most valid view was Daveed Walzer Panadero who gave us “urging antifa to stop trying to silence Mr. Gibson and “get that man a podium and a mike.”“, that makes sense, because if we do not know what he stands for, you cannot make up your registered voting mind.

Yet as we go back to the article, where exactly is he plotting? So far he seems to be out in the open. Yet I also acknowledge the setting we see with: “Speakers with handguns or rifles addressed a small crowd in McGraw Square, at the heart of a busy shopping district. At the other side of the square, around 10 members of an armed leftist group, the Puget Sound John Brown Gun Club, stood watching for what their spokesman called a “known white supremacist element”. They carried AR-15s and side arms“, it is a dangerous setting! You see, it only takes one person to lose his/her cool and we end up in a setting where 20 rifles will be used and there is actually zero chance of innocent bystanders not getting hurt. As a pro gun person, I recognise that danger and I see levels or irresponsibility that is way too high, because the trial that follows will all be about ‘the blame game’ and there will be no one around being able to tell who was the first one shooting, in all likelihood that person would be deceased including optionally dozens of others.

The two sided knife is that gun banning will not work, not ever (those who say it will in America are plain nuts). The open gun policy is equally dangerous and until we recognise the fact that guns do not kill people, people kill people this situation will not get better. As I wrote before, until the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) gets a real incentive of resources and funds, this situation will never ever improve. In that regard, Joey Gibson can preach and pray all he likes, yet the setting of no gun-free zones are just too dangerous, that alone might defeat his bid for the Senate or Congress. You see, as I discussed last February with ‘United they grow‘ (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2018/02/22/united-they-grow/), as well as ‘In continuation of views‘ (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2018/02/23/in-continuation-of-views/), we see that the issue was not the NRA, in a much larger setting the issue is with the ATF and the media, as well as the woolly people proclaiming that the NRA is killing their children is the massive issue that the ATF cannot get anything done due to a lack of funds and resources. The largest setting that can do something is not allowed to do anything and the people remain ignorant, deaf and blind to that part of the equation, which implies that not only are things not changing for the better, the view that Joey Gibson is giving us is that no actual progress will be possible adding to the no gun-free zones debacle, it is just too dangerous. Recognising that one element solves a lot of issues and could make changes for the better, yet the ATF is just bound by a budget that is 10 years old, resources closer to 15 years outdated and an absence of clear leadership that goes back from before the Obama administration, so why would progress ever be made?

So by the time we get to the explosives directive of the ATF, we might wonder how many buildings in New York and Los Angeles are still standing at present. Is it not interesting that we are kept in the dark on that setting?

Yet, when we get back to Joey Gibson, there is one side that most were not aware of and it is awesome that Jason Wilson gives us that view. With “Washington is seen as a Democratic state, but that impression conceals a deep divide between urban and rural, west and east, characteristic of west coast states. Money, power and population are centred on Seattle, which is often resented by rural conservatives in the state’s eastern half. Gibson’s rhetoric has always been stridently critical of the liberal cities. In Seattle, he said the city “despises patriots” and “will spit in your face for loving the constitution”“, which most (including me would not have been aware of), so when we consider King and Pierce county to represent 1/3 of the entire state, we see another picture entirely, oh and by the way these two are overwhelmingly Democratic. Even as we might accept Sightline on ‘follow the money‘ (at http://www.sightline.org/2016/10/11/following-the-money-in-washington-state-elections-part-1/), as it shows us issues on campaign funding, it does not give us the influence that the wealthy have in some districts in the east, the results say that this is not the case, yet there is an issue when we look at the map (at https://www.nytimes.com/elections/results/washington). The speculated issue is that rural Washington State is left to fend for itself. We can understand that the logic requires the funds to be set on the coastal area where the cities are, but when we see the Yakima herald (at http://www.yakimaherald.com/news/local/with-percent-in-program-food-stamp-cuts-could-hit-yakima/article_c3fe8d18-429e-11e7-9396-67c7dd7bbd33.html), we see that the cuts are rougher and still in place. That sets the stage for people like Joey Gibson to take the stage and his view does not imply that he is extreme in his thinking, yet the setting of inequality is a much larger issue and it does set the stage that tends to lean to extreme right thinking. Anti-government thinking in a stage where places like Seattle, Vancouver and Bellingham are taken care of, whilst the rest is largely ignored is not a healthy way to move forward. The slightline view on corporate sponsoring merely increases the issue on a view of inequality. That is where (as I personally see it) the right wing foundation comes from and even as it implies that Joey Gibson has no real chance. He is up against Maria Cantwell, who has shown to be pro-business, a successful job creator and stopped Artic drilling which makes her the additional sweetheart of the green parties. As a resident of the Snohomish county and being pro-business she has funding from King, Thurston and Clark County on her side which is almost a third of her state. The pro-business part should also give her Bellingham and if done correctly with the right agreements should deliver Spokane to her and at that point it is pretty much game over for Joey Gibson. So even as we see ‘Joey Gibson and plots’, the setting in Washington State is not ideal for him, apart from the mere common sense that his idea is not one that will work, there will be decreased safety from his gunpoint of view and that will cost him votes as well, especially when one piece of evidence is shown that children would be endangered from his viewpoint, an issue that will come up, with a certainty of close to 100%.

I like the approach he took. Not from the pro-gun point, but from the mere common sense that the installation of no gun-free zones is more than likely to be the start of more casualties. You see, the firearms death rate is low in Washington State and in the lowest tier that is 3.4-9 per 100,000. Washington State is exactly on the 9 border with 686 casualties. It only takes one event to put them in the 9.1-11.0 per 100,000 which takes the entire state to a higher tier, so one event and it is game over for Joey Gibson (source: CDC). In addition the Washington State health services also give us that 2008-2010 data gives 585 firearms casualties, whilst only 119 were homicide, 9 were unintentional and the largest group was suicide with 455. In that regard gun banning would not have any significant change, because when there is no gun, there will still be the opportunity for razors, sleeping tablets, a bathtub and the three in combination with nice soothing filled bathtub. So that will still happen one way or the other, considering that it is on par with motor vehicle crashes (both 8.6 per 100,000) gives additional rise to gun banning not making a difference in the state. Yet the Joey Gibson change is very likely to impact that in a very negative way, where he ends up defeating himself. The direct solution is also seen here, if the ATF had done their job (with proper resources and funding available) there is every chance that the suicide rate would have been positively influences and as that side is 77% of the fire arms fatalities, a chunk of it prevented as assistance to overcome mental hardship was given. Is that not an interesting overlooked fact? And it is not the only one, there are plenty more where that came from, fatalities all preventable by giving the ATF the right tools, resources and staff members.

 

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The other side of sickness

Sky News gave me the idea last night. I was half awake (hence: half asleep) when the news (at http://news.sky.com/story/de-niro-offers-100k-reward-to-media-for-truth-about-controversial-childrens-vaccine-10771445), when de news stating ‘De Niro offers $100k reward‘ became visible. When I woke up completely (a few hours later), I saw the full Monty: “De Niro offers $100k reward to media for ‘truth’ about controversial children’s vaccine“, which was a little more descriptive. Now I am not media, but I have decided to take a look at it. First off, it is never a good idea to meet your idol when he is still alive, but I think Robert got through it OK. What more is there on the article?

The first part is “willing to publicise criticism of a controversial children’s vaccine“, which is an odd start, so the important part is Thimerosal, which is the medication part that needs to be scrutinised. The other part we get is “a substance containing mercury, in the generalised MMR vaccine, which protects children against measles, mumps and rubella“, now we are off to the races. You see, Mercury is toxic, so is Arsenic. Yet Arsenic was used in the past as a treatment (in very small doses) against Syphilis. It is not the only example. In small doses it is used against Osteoarthritis, which contains a substance that got someone ‘accidently’ poisoned to death in the 60’s, yet in those days Boron (the substance in question) was not tested for, because the body will have it. It is merely the concentration that took care of the non-breathing part in the end.

So what is the story with Thimerosal? Let’s start at the beginning.

last_case_07Vaccines go all the way back to 1798 (roughly) when a man named Edward Jenner decided to pioneer a solution against Smallpox. The solution he came up with was to infect a person with the cow version of the disease so that the human body would see the weaker version as a threat and the body would be fast and more effective fighting the actual disease. So I grew up in the 60’s getting all kinds of vaccines and injections, the conclusion in my case was that I have had no real dangerous diseases for well over 35 years. The World Health Organisation proclaimed that after vaccination campaigns throughout the 19th and 20th centuries, the WHO certified the global eradication of smallpox in 1979.

So vaccines are seen as a good thing, so what changed our minds?

There are a few issues that have grown that give voice to the anti-vaccination feelings. Yet, there is documentation out in the open showing exactly the opposite. I witnessed this in the Netherlands (at https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm4914a2.htm), in the time frame between April 1999 and January 2000, which gives us the quote “a cluster of five cases of measles was reported among the 390 students attending a religion-affiliated elementary school in the Netherlands. Persons belonging to this religious denomination routinely do not accept vaccination. Municipal health services (MHSs) investigated and found 160 suspected measles cases among children attending the school. By February 4, 2000, 2961 measles cases, including three measles-related deaths, had been reported by 35 MHSs to the national registry. This report summarizes the investigation of the measles outbreak in the Netherlands, which indicated that measles can be a severe disease among unvaccinated populations in the Netherlands“. This alone should clearly show the essential support for vaccines.

Yet now we see the second element in this. You see, the population on a global scale is getting wearier and less trusting of vaccines. It is a $26 billion market and is expected to grow to $61 billion in the next 3 years. We are confronted with flu vaccines and there is no clear proof or documentation that they are actually a benefit. Even as the 60’s were a clear indication that the foundation of vaccines was sound and essential, the movement of big pharma and the essential need for profit has given vaccines the place where it potentially leaves too bad a taste in the mouths of too many people. This is the place where Thimerosal finds itself in. Mistrusted because of the makers and mistrusted due to a lack of proper information and in similar size the massive misinformation that we now see on the lack of benefits that other medications (like Multi vitamins) find themselves in, and to some extent, the media has been too often, little to no help at all. To a larger extent, they are chasing facts, or not showing the dangers ahead of time in too many cases. At http://www.globalresearch.ca/big-pharma-and-big-profits-the-multibillion-dollar-vaccine-market/5503945, the Canadian Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG) gives us “While the main fixation of anti-vaccine groups is an old, discredited study linking vaccination to autism, another is a conspiracy theory circulated online that both doctors and pharmaceutical companies stand to profit financially from vaccination—which supposedly leads to perverse incentives in advocating for the public to vaccinate. But that argument is historically unfounded. Not only do pediatricians and doctors often lose money on vaccine administration, it wasn’t too long ago that the vaccine industry was struggling with slim profit margins and shortages. The Economist wrote that “for decades vaccines were a neglected corner of the drugs business, with old technology, little investment and abysmal profit margins. Many firms sold their vaccine divisions to concentrate on more profitable drugs“, at this point I offer in opposition, if that was true, why would there be a sudden rush to get into vaccines? If certain diseases have been eradicated, would the need for vaccines not decrease? If the flu cannot be cured through vaccines, what is its benefit? Two question that have not been properly addressed ever. The press have remained on the surface too often and too long. There is too much profit in advertisements for the media, too many concessions and the people notice, the people at large deduce their own wisdom and facts in what they see. Are they wrong?

What is Thimerosal?

The National Centre for Immunisation Research & Surveillance (NCIRS) gives the following Factsheet where we see “There is no evidence that thiomersal in vaccines has caused any health problems except minor reactions, such as redness at the injection site“, another fact shown, a part that seems to be ignored in a few points of visibility. It is “Methyl mercury is more potent; it accumulates in the body because the time taken for the body to eliminate it (known as the ‘half-life’) is about 50 days. Ethyl mercury (in thiomersal) does not accumulate in the body to such an extent, because its half-life is only about 7–10 days“, the dangerous side I was aware of, or the danger I perceived is not a factor here.

  • Thimerosal is also known as thiomersal, hence the quotes from different sources have these two names.

Now we get the issue that is also a cause for concern and it is not the controversial accusation of autism. The issue is that if we accept the initial fact, then why are we given “the American Academy of Paediatrics (AAP) asked vaccine makers to remove thiomersal from vaccines as quickly as possible as a precautionary measure“, when we look (at http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/131/1/149) the quote “Overwhelmingly, the evidence collected over the past 15 years has failed to yield any evidence of significant harm, including serious neurodevelopmental disorders, from use of thimerosal in vaccines“, personally I would love to see that data! There is also “Dozens of studies from countries around the world have supported the safety of thimerosal-containing vaccines. Specifically, the Institute of Medicine, and others have concluded that the evidence favours rejection of a link between thimerosal and autism“. The AAP publications show 7 links to academic papers confirming this.

There is also: “Although there are clear neurotoxic effects of methyl mercury absorption, ethyl mercury has not been associated with those consequences“, so one mercury is not another, yet how deep has this been investigated? As we see that ethyl mercury might have been a massive push for the profitability that vaccines became, there is still the question on the need for vaccines. I am not debating that the larger good exist, that evidence was given in the Netherlands, a place where Measles suddenly resurfaced, in a place where vaccination was rejected on religious reasons. As we reject ‘en mass’ to a larger extent on flu-vaccines and on the pharmaceuticals that need too much profit and as it is seen by many at the expense of them all.

Projection, publication against the interpreted fear and rejection through despise of the pharmaceutical community.

Yet in all this thimerosal is just an element, the actual vaccine in all this is the MMR vaccine. Robert De Niro did not oppose the MMR vaccine, just the use of thimerosal. When it comes to vaccines, there is one paper that does have an impact. It is a paper by Ami Schattner published in 2005 called ‘Consequence or coincidence?: The occurrence, pathogenesis and significance of autoimmune manifestations after viral vaccines‘, which could be seen as alarming (at http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0264410X05003506) giving us “Very few patients may develop some autoimmune diseases following viral vaccination (in particular — arthropathy, vasculitis, neurological dysfunction and thrombocytopenia). For the overwhelming majority of people, vaccines are safe and no evidence linking viral vaccines with type 1 diabetes, multiple sclerosis (MS) or inflammatory bowel disease can be found“, with the emphasis on “The occurrence and significance of autoimmune manifestations after the administration of viral vaccines remain controversial“. Now, if you picked up on it, you will state that Autism is not an autoimmune disease, then you are right. Now for my speculation in this part, if the creation of a Immune system disorders is rare, I am speculating that the creation of autism through vaccination is even more rare than that. A vaccine is the introduction of a disease to the body, so the immune system is actually directly attacked. If that does not abnormally react, the consideration that another disease like Autism, which is a neuro developmental disorder seems extremely unlikely unless the vaccine was specifically for a neuro based disease, and at present it seems less and less likely that it is the case.

An escalation that we are confronted with all due to a fraudulent paper from Andrew Wakefield et al, who decided that 1998 was a good year to misrepresent facts and opposing the MMR vaccine in support of a competing vaccine. It would be my speculated assumption that greed got in the way of his better angels and more likely than not, to an even larger extent by that competing brand as well. It is that competitive approach, with support of a former academic that the mistrust has grown in the people, especially the parents on a global scale. There it is that we find thimerosal, removed in many places as a mere precaution. That against a large supported foundation that thimerosal is not dangerous. So does this make the view of Robert De Niro incorrect?

No!

I believe that he is asking valid question, in addition, let it be sad that his view as stated: ‘he just wants a safer way to prevent diseases‘ is a noble one, especially in an age where the profit needs are pushed through too often and too fast. Procon.org gives us (at http://prescriptiondrugs.procon.org/view.resource.php?resourceID=005528) a list of 35 FDA approved drugs that were later pulled from the market. This includes Accutane that was on the market for 27 years, Cylert for 30 years and Darvon & Darvocet for 55 years. Now, we have to accept that the tests then were not on a level we have nowadays, yet when we read the effect of serious toxicity to the heart, with a death toll of well over 2100 deaths between 1981 and 1999, there is an issue and as such, the request from Robert De Niro is not that outrageous. In opposition we see that the overall testing is a lot better, and if there is enough support that the half-life of Ethyl mercury is 7-10 days, there should be clear warnings with using it, but if there is enough support for the safety, what is the problem? I see it to some extent in ‘does not accumulate in the body to such an extent‘, to what extent does it accumulate? That is the serious question that needs a clear answer. Are there exceptions? Is there an issue to the parts that do accumulate? Questions that are not available at present (as far as I can tell), so in all this Robert De Niro is asking the right question and it gives concern, because is the AAP consideration we see in ‘removing thimerosal use in preservatives as a precautionary measure‘ also a misrepresentation? Is it a precaution, or was this released in 2013, in the time of the Obama Administration, voiced as such to prevent an anti-vaccine panic from happening?

Is that so far out of bounds? The problem is that for the most the media does not have the knowledge, the many who do have the knowledge tend to work for pharmaceutical companies, or they work for government installations working for politicians who depend on the support of pharmaceuticals. It seems that in no way will the people be more likely than not be properly and correctly informed, that part has been proven for almost two decades.

The only part that worries me is that in the end, it is the $100K payment from Robert De Niro for the media to take an optional serious (opposition) stand. When you google FDA you see very little actual news, when you Google Pharmaceuticals you get loads of news, and 99% linked to awards, pricing, acquisition and profit performance. This is exactly why the people are getting less and less trusting of pharmaceutical companies. It is not merely a marketing thing, it is a distrust that comes from several paths of information.

Here we get to Vexxed, a movie by no one else than the debunked and fraud driven Andrew Wakefield who became writer director of the movie after he was gutted in court. A five-member statutory tribunal of the GMC found three dozen charges proven, this was on 28th January 2010. It includes 4 counts of dishonesty. In addition the panel ruled that Wakefield had “failed in his duties as a responsible consultant” which tends to be a very serious charge. The 1998 publication was, on the findings of the GMC’s, noting that elements of the manuscript had been falsified, fully retracted.

The fear the paper brought by Andrew Wakefield have had consequences, a false paper that led to vaccine mistrust and resulting in serious illness and deaths, which now beckons the question, if this result repeats after the movie, can Andrew Wakefield be arrested and convicted of murder? The paper has issues that there was no intent to endanger lives, but the movie is a repeat of the previous event, intent can be the natural acceptance of a repeated fact. The issue I see is that pharmaceutical companies have actively created waves of mistrust fuelling the existence of conspiracy theories, the movie Vaxxed could be seen as such. I have not seen the movie, so I am keeping an open mind, yet the truth is that I am a child of vaccines in the old age, in this new age, where it is less about health, and more about profit, the voice of conspiracy theorists might have valid views. I say again ‘might’, I wonder how these people look at a movie like Contagion, the masterpiece of Steven Soderbergh who shows in a fictional setting the nightmare that the CDC faces in an ongoing fight to find solutions of some of the most contagious and in some cases still incurable diseases. I reckon that if you feel you want the truth, seeing Vaxxed, whilst never seeing Contagion will never ever get you the truth. Because the fear we see in Contagion was a reality after WW2. Millions in a weakened state and diseases like the measles were running freely all over the world, now we see statistics from 1980 with 851,849 European cases, to 16,899 cases in 2014, a clear decrease due to the vaccine regime of the 50’s and 60’s. Now see a mortality rate of 0.1% – 0.2%, whilst in 1900 the mortality rate in the US was 4% for measles. Smallpox in the periods 1900-1904, had a mortality rate of around 11.5%, we can claim (to some extent) that even though there were mitigating circumstances (like hygiene), vaccinations have been a great success. There is little to no opposing debate on that.

So how is this for the MMR vaccine and thiomersal?

This is the issue that Robert De Niro is raising and in addition to him raising this he is asking very valid questions. It is however equally important that a person like Andrew Wakefield should not be taken at his word. This is not merely him versus the world, when you look at all the information, the competitor he promoted remained silent for all this time as far as I have been able to ascertain, there was no open outrage of this competitor coming with academics showing valid numbers in opposition of the tribunal findings, in addition no evidence that there was a danger, that part has never ever been shown. Did the news dig there, did we get a clear low down from the World Health Organisation (WHO)? Is it that far-fetched that as the Andrew Wakefield scandal caused an increase in morbidity due to lower vaccinations that both the WHO and the CDC would have a clear need to intervene with facts? Are these questions so strange?

In that same part we see the Huffington Post in 2014 giving us, via columnist Lawrence Solomon quotes like “Merck, the pharmaceutical giant, is facing a slew of controversies over its Measles-Mumps-Rubella (MMR) vaccine following numerous allegations of wrongdoing from different parties in the medical field, including two former Merck scientists-turned-whistle-blowers. A third whistle-blower, this one a scientist at the Centers for Disease Control, also promises to bring Merck grief following his confession of misconduct involving the same MMR vaccine“, from that point of view, the moment Vexxed was announced, the CDC should have a clear voice stating the issues (if there are any) regarding the MMR vaccine, in equal measure, if Lawrence Solomon is ‘merely’ a columnist, why this news did not make it to the front pages on a global scale, and if this was not true, why did the Huffington Post run with it? (at http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/lawrence-solomon/merck-whistleblowers_b_5881914.html), it even has links with the court documents, which is even more of a concern.

In conclusion I need to state that if we accept that the Andrew Wakefield disaster came with deaths when the paper was published, the deaths that could be proven to stem from Vexxed require the courts on a global scale to indict Andrew Wakefield with attempted murder for those who get sick and murder for those who die due to non-vaccination. This is not a ‘maybe’ or a ‘freedom of speech’ issue. When it causes the intentional deaths of others it is murder, plain and simple!

As for Robert De Niro, he does make a case to get medical solutions to the people in a safer way, but which way cannot be stated, because it is a track that takes a long time, he has the option to get the support of the media and the medical profession to take another really serious look at thiomersal. I still had questions and next to Robert De Niro, I am the clever one (read: nothing wrong with my ego)!

This gets us to the final part that the Washington Post gave us in May 2016. The quote “create an impression that there was a link by falsifying the data“, which we basically covered earlier, yet to see it this harsh is still important and it changes the taste of the movie by a lot. In here we also see “Actor Robert De Niro, who has an autistic son, originally lobbied to put the film on the schedule for the Tribeca Film Festival in March. But several days later, he said he had a change of heart“, which is another matter, in that that his questions and the fact that he puts up $100K is still valid, perhaps even more valid. It is my interest that gets piqued with “Dozens of top journals — including the New England Journal of Medicine, the Journal of Paediatric Infectious Diseases and the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders — have published papers that looked into a possible link and found none“, with the part that the visibility of all this has not been that high, it is my believe that whomever puts the Robert De Niro story out (as it is valid news) should also show all links to these journals, because as it is, Andrew Wakefield gets, due to the global scepticism of pharmaceuticals, a little too much consideration.

So as we gave the smallest consideration for the other side, we must give vision to what is an actual solution for the children of the world, in that the questions of Robert De Niro remain valid, we need to get solution to the people in a safer way and some questions regarding thimerosal remain, perhaps the journalists who are vetting to get a $100K bonus will take another look and answer those questions too. It is not some conspiracy theory thing, it is merely how the AAP decided to voice it, not wrong, just in a way that left us with questions.

 

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Cancer for everyone?

Something set me off today. It was not Melissa Doyle, she looked lovely as ever. Perhaps it was her casual report on how red meat seemed to be linked to cancer. Actually, it was not her at all. It was another research with data linking red meat to cancer. There were two parts that seemed to be an issue. The first one is “People who eat a lot of these meats” the second one I will get to later.

From this I decided to take a trip into US data. The first place we get is Hereford, Texas, which is the beef capital of the world, or so they say. I am not stating that this is not true and it is true that Texas is one of the 5 states responsible for over 50% of all produced beef from cattle and calves. Yet, my mother was from Buenos Aires and you have not tasted true beef until you have tasted a steak from an Argentinian charcoal grill. I am not leaving the subject here, because we have two places were beef rules supremely.

So how is their health?

Dr Karen Humphries seems to know what she was doing and the approach sounded well enough, so what is the issue? Well, when I take an initial look at the statistics the CDC has for Colorectal (Colon) Cancer (at http://www.cdc.gov/cancer/colorectal/statistics/), the data (as incomplete as it is), shows no spike for these 5 states, because there is a valid thought, that outside the metropolitan area’s the home state might be the cheapest place to get steaks, consider that these places are not in possession of a vegetarian explosion (or is it a population explosion of vegetarians?), the overall spike of cancer, should stand out there (read slightly spike).

So, what is the other option?

Perhaps these people do not eat loads of red meat? Are you kidding me? Have you seen the sizes of steaks in them states, they are huge! I can eat a lot but I need to bring my A-game of hunger to these places to finish my plate. So is Dr Humphries wrong?

No, I do not believe this to be the case. She is by the way not the only one on this meaty horse. A 2008 article form Harvard Medical School (at http://www.health.harvard.edu/fhg/updates/Red-meat-and-colon-cancer.shtml) shows a similar conclusion on the data that they have. So why am I questioning this?

I am not questioning these issues perse. Perhaps there is another factor that is not being considered. So am I just on a windmill chase, like a Don Quixote seeking the next windmill? I am not arguing that those who think this are wrong, but consider the next piece of information, which was found at http://authoritynutrition.com/is-red-meat-bad-for-you-or-good/.

The title ‘Is Red Meat Bad For You, or Good? An Objective Look‘ seems appealing enough, however is it therefor true?

They are giving us the following thoughts which some had considered a long time ago. The thought is set in the following quote “However, the meat we eat today is vastly different from the meat our ancestors ate. Back in the day, animals roamed free and ate grass, insects or whatever was natural to them. Picture a wild cow on a field 10.000 years ago, roaming free and chewing on grass and various other edible plants. The meat from this animal is completely different from the meat derived from a cow that was born and raised in a factory, fed grain-based feed, then pumped full of antibiotics and hormones to make it grow faster“.

Here is the question that is raised within me: “Is this research the first evidence of antibiotics and hormones on consumption beef?

That is not really the question people seem to be looking at. So is this a windmill I am chasing, or are we asked to look away? This is not against Dr Karen Humphries, who was investigating the red meat on the people. To be honest, with the amount of red meat offered, I would have loved to have been a volunteer there (I could never refuse a good steak). The information and ‘evidence’ as well as my train of thought took less than 5 minutes to clear, then about 25 minutes to get through the readings and the CDC data tables.  If we look at the Guardian article (at http://www.theguardian.com/news/datablog/2011/jan/24/worldwide-cancer-rates-uk-rate-drops). The issue here is that Cancer is seen in a generic term, which means all kinds of cancer and still Argentina, a massive beef consumer (and yummy it is too) is only on the 46th position, so have I made a case that it is not just about red beef, but are there other elements in play? Which is the second part to all this.

Without more data, the case I am making would only be supposition, yet is this a start? Are there other factors that reduce the dangers in the USA and Argentina? Is there now a valid case against certain hormones and antibiotics? There is no way to tell without a lot more data and more (and better) in depth research. If that is indeed the track we must walk, how should this proceed? You see, in any research there is a goal and a counter goal. You can bet your bottom dollar that pharmaceuticals would not want quick results. If you doubt that, then remember the ‘investigation’ in Syria that we saw in early 2014. The question ‘were chemical weapons used’ (which seemed like a joke) and ‘who did it’ was completely set aside. So here we face a possible approach to it in the way of ‘Could antibiotics be a cause of an increased presence of colon cancer causing bacteria?‘ and ‘Could hormones be a cause of an increased presence of colon cancer causing bacteria?‘ getting the research set up, the data collected and then the actual reporting done might be taking an intense amount of time, but should we therefore not get this done?

I do not pretend to have the answer, yet I do have the questions that were casually not asked in the Channel-7 news. Questions, which are at a first glance seemingly assumed, to some extent by Authority Nutrition, a site that is the child of Kris Gunnars, a medical student. He is also not the man just claiming and assuming issues. His site had an entire tab on evidence, filled with charts that seemed to have been made with proper analytical tools (I did not dig into that data though).

There is another side to all this. Kris voiced it really nice in his article “the meat we eat today is vastly different from the meat our ancestors ate“. We all (including me) seemed to have forgotten about that. As we go forward, what other parts had not been properly looked at? For example, the article ‘History of diethylstilbestrol use in cattle‘ (at https://www.asas.org/docs/publications/raunhist.pdf) gives several answers, but also leaves us with questions. Did anyone look at the evolution of meat as the ‘victim’ (also known as Mr or Mrs soon to be steak) had been treated by these hormones? Let us not forget that this game has been pushed through generation upon generation of hormones. Is the idea so far-fetched that we have changed to context of the BBQ target? Does this amount to poisoning the well? I truly do not know, but it seems that the latest results, in conjunction with the data that Harvard and several other sources have collected, contribute to a new train of thought that we need to take a very serious look at the meat and the cattle as well as their DNA in regards to our beefy food supply. It is the earlier mentioned paper by A. P. Raun and R. L. Preston that leads to two quotes linked to all this. In the beginning “The removal of DES from the market led to the development of a number of other growth stimulation products for cattle” and at the end “If diethylstilbestrol had not been removed, these same resources could have been directed toward the discovery, development, and approval of other technologies for the cattle industry“.

Yet, are we losing sight to the long term effects of these growth stimulants and hormones? If these bowel cancer numbers are linked in any way to these developments, what links are we yet to discover and at what price had beef profit been maximised? The last one is not a blame game moment. At some point hard choices had to be made, consider that Gartners meat in Portland Oregon gets us a Rib Eye for just under $15 (16 oz.), with this the fact that at present beef is at an all-time high according to Reuters (at http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/08/25/usa-agriculture-inflation-idUSL1N0QV0J620140825). What happens when the beef rises above the option to buy as a food source? This is not just the drought or disease which is the latest reasons for the price hike. Consider that 318 million American residents need their dinner, current statistics place the vegetarian population (those who hate plants more than animals) at roughly 10%, which means just over 280 million of meat pieces are needed EVERY DAY! Now, many do not have steak on a daily basis, so the need for beef is not at a deadly level, but…..

What did I just say?

There is the crux, have we been so into the need to get more food that eagerness was too quickly satisfied, but we now see a long term consequence.

LET ME BE CLEAR!

This last part is all conjecture, but is it being looked at? If not, why not? There is a foundation of concern and evidence that the effects of beef on our health seems to have changed, the question becomes how much? Questions I do not have answers to, but I was surprised not to see anyone in the press ask the question and deliver the results, just as is!

That itself is worth a question or two too.

 

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