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Harmed By The Herd
- Recently Vaccinated Kids Are Spreading Pertussis Everywhere
here was fuss in the media last month about a little study of 26 vaccinated Florida pre-schoolers, who got sick with B. pertussis whooping cough or had pertussis-like symptoms during a five-month period in 2013.1 All of the children, aged one to five years attending the Tallahassee preschool, had received three to four doses of pertussis vaccine (DtaP) according to the CDC recommended schedule. Nervous doctors and media pundits selling vaccine orthodoxy warned that vaccine critics would make a big deal out of it.2
Let’s examine the evidence to see if it is logical to make a big deal out of kids in a preschool classroom infecting each other, plus infecting other kids in their homes with whooping cough, even though all of them had been vaccinated.
Pertussis Vaccine Only 45% Effective in Vaccinated Preschoolers
The study, conducted by CDC and Florida public health officials, was published in Emerging Infectious Diseases on January 15, 2016 and revealed that pertussis vaccine effectiveness among children attending the preschool was estimated to be 45%. The average number of days from last vaccination to onset of pertussis symptoms in the pre-schoolers was 22 months, with seven children having been vaccinated within the previous year.
During their investigation, public health officials found that “it was apparent that many physicians were hesitant to provide a diagnosis of pertussis and did not test for this disease, given the recent vaccination history of the patients and despite reporting of an ongoing laboratory confirmed pertussis outbreak.” They added that, “pertussis vaccination should not dissuade physicians from diagnosing, testing, or treating persons with compatible illness for pertussis.”
- Texas Can’t Restrict Candidates from Calling Themselves Psychologists, or Counseling People, Just for Not Meeting Occupational Licensing Requirements
A state can’t make it illegal to call oneself a psychologist or to enforce laws “limiting the ability of individuals to dispense personal advice about mental or emotional problems based on knowledge gleaned in a graduate class,” according to an interesting opinion from the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in regarding a law in Texas. (The decision is from last month, but just came to my attention this week.)
Mary Louise Serafine sued Tim F. Branaman and Darrel D. Spinks, the heads of Texas State Board of Examiners of Psychologists, over their official demand that, while she was running for state Senate as a Republican in 2010, she cease describing herself as a “psychologist” and that she “desist from offering or providing psychological services.” (She described herself as an attorney and psychologist on her campaign website.)
Serafine insisted that this demand violated the First and Fourteenth Amendments. She is not an officially licensed psychologist by Texas law, nor does she have a degree in psychology. She did do a four-year post-doc fellowship at Yale (where she got her law degree) in psychology and was, for a time, a member of the American Psychological Association.
In January 2011 the state Attorney General’s office, in response to the Board’s complaint, sent Serafine a threatening letter about her illicit use of the term.
Serafine claimed that the relevant state law the Board was enforcing “infringed her political speech, commercial speech, equal protection rights, and right to earn a living. She also challenged the Act as vague, overbroad, and a prior restraint.”
A district court rejected all her claims, and she appealed.
The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld some of her arguments. In doing so, they presented some interesting thoughts on the whole “professional speech doctrine” that the Board wanted to use to quash Serafine’s expression, and helped limit the overbearing enforcement of professional licensing laws.
The Firth Circuit points out that “the extent to which a state can use its licensing power to restrict speech is unsettled. The Supreme Court has never formally endorsed the professional speech doctrine” and that “Assuming that the professional speech doctrine is valid, its application should be limited.”
- Judge OKs FDA Decision To Approve Additive Banned In 150 Countries
Last Thursday, a federal judge in California dismissed two lawsuits claiming the Food and Drug Administration illegally approved a dangerous drug for use in animal feed.
The lawsuits were filed by the Center for Food Safety, the Sierra Club, the Center for Biological Diversity, United Farmworkers of America, the Animal Legal Defense Fund, and the Humane Society of the United States. The Center for Food Safety originally filed the suit against the FDA in November 2014, stating the agency violated the National Environmental Policy Act and Administrative Procedure Act when it approved an animal feed additive that contained the controversial drug ractopamine hydrochloride.
Ractopamine is part of a class of drugs known as beta-agonists, which are intended to add muscle weight to animals before they are led to slaughter. Ideally, the drug helps animals gain weight while eating less, resulting in reduced costs. However, imports of beef, pork, and turkey with ractopamine are banned in 150 countries,including China, Russia, and member states of the European Union. Japan, the United States, Canada, South Korea, and 27 other countries still assert meat containing ractopamine is safe for human consumption.
The plaintiffs argued the FDA approved drugs manufactured by Elanco, a division of Eli Lilly, without properly testing ractopamine. An investigation by the Food and Environment Reporting Network (FERN) found that ractopamine is fed to “an estimated 60 to 80 percent of pigs in the United States” and has “resulted in more reports of sickened or dead pigs than any other livestock drug on the market.”
FDA records released under a Freedom of Information Act request also detail pigs suffering from hyperactivity, trembling, broken limbs, an inability to walk, and death.
Elanco Companion Animal Health, a division of Elanco, had previously filed a motion to dismiss the suits, claiming the defendants lacked standing because of their failure to “exhaust administrative remedies.” U.S. District Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers agreed and dismissed the lawsuit. “The FDA citizen petition process is the appropriate procedural mechanism for plaintiffs to raise its contentions in the first instance, before seeking judicial review,” Rogers wrote in her 16-page ruling. The judge made no mention of the adverse health effects witnessed in animals.
The plaintiffs said the “failure-to-exhaust condition” did not apply because the FDA’s approval process is secretive and denies the public a meaningful opportunity to participate in the process. The judge disagreed, ordering both parties to file statements detailing why the judge should not suspend the case by November 19th.
- A federal judge dismissed two lawsuits claiming the U.S. Food and Drug Administration unlawfully approved a hazardous drug for animal feeds
Lead plaintiff Center for Food Safety sued the FDA in one of two consolidated lawsuits in November 2014, claiming its approval violated the National Environmental Policy Act and Administrative Procedure Act.
The additive, designed to boost lean muscle growth in animals, contains the drug ractopamine hydrochloride, which is banned or restricted in dozens of countries, including European Union nations and China.
The plaintiffs say the FDA approved the drug for use in feed consumed by “an estimated one billion pigs, turkeys and cows from 2008 to 2014.”
U.S. District Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers dismissed the complaints on Nov. 5, finding the plaintiffs failed to exhaust administrative remedies: they did not begin by filing a petition with the FDA.
“The FDA citizen petition process is the appropriate procedural mechanism for plaintiffs to raise its contentions in the first instance, before seeking judicial review,” Rogers wrote in her 16-page ruling .
Not So Good Vibrations
- Johnson And Johnson Loses Battle In Lawsuit Against Woman Accusing Baby Powder Causes Ovarian Cancer
A St. Louis jury has recently awarded $72 million to the family of a woman from Alabama whose ovarian cancer death was traced to years of using Johnson & Johnson talcum powder.
After the plaintiff’s death at 62 last year, her son Marvin Salter took over and continued the court battle against the company known for its Baby Powder and Shower to Shower powder which both contained talcum powder.
“Continuing with this trial was indeed painful, but at the end of the day it was what she wanted and because of her wishes is why I continue to move forward with it,” said Salter as quoted by ABC News.
The cancer link has been a contentious one considering a plethora of studies with conflicting conclusions. But an expert testimony by Dr. Daniel Cramer, Director of the OB/GYN Epidemiology Center at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, persuaded the jury of the link between talcum powder use and ovarian cancer link.
“I think the link is a persuasive one. There have been more than 20 epidemiologic studies and a majority of these have found an elevated risk, and when you combine those risks into a single estimate, it is highly significant,” said Cramer as quoted by CBS News.
- Monsanto Stunned – California Confirms ‘Roundup’ Will Be Labeled “Cancer Causing”California just dealt Monsanto a blow as the state’s Environmental Protection Agency will now list glyphosate — the toxic main ingredient in the U.S.’ best-selling weedkiller, Roundup — as known to cause cancer.
Under the Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986 — usually referred to as Proposition 65, its original name — chemicals that cause cancer, birth defects, or other reproductive harm are required to be listed and published by the state. Chemicals also end up on the list if found to be carcinogenic by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) — a branch of the World Health Organization.
In March, the IARC released a report that found glyphosate to be a “probable carcinogen.”
Besides the “convincing evidence” the herbicide can cause cancer in lab animals, the report also found:
“Case-control studies of occupational exposure in the U.S.A., Canada, and Sweden reported increased risk for non-Hodgkin lymphoma that persisted after adjustments to other pesticides.”
California’s decision to place glyphosate on the toxic chemicals list is the first of its kind. As Dr. Nathan Donley of the Center for Biological Diversity said in an email to Ecowatch, “As far as I’m aware, this is the first regulatory agency within the U.S. to determine that glyphosate is a carcinogen. So this is a very big deal.”
- Evaluation of biochemical, hematological and oxidative parameters in mice exposed to the herbicide glyphosate-Roundup®
We evaluated the toxicity of hepatic, hematological, and oxidative effects of glyphosate-Roundup® on male and female albino Swiss mice. The results of this study indicate that glyphosate-Roundup® can promote hematological and hepatic alterations, even at subacute exposure, which could be related to the induction of reactive oxygen species.
- German Beer Industry in Shock over Glyphosate Contamination
The Munich Environmental Institute (Umweltinstitut München) has released shocking results Thursday of laboratory testing it has completed on 14 of the most sold beers in Germany. The probable carcinogen and World’s most used herbicide – glyphosate – was found in all of the 14 beers tested.
Tracked & Traced
- Foursquare Will Tell Businesses When Their Ads Bring You Into An Actual Store
Foursquare announced a new product today that should help brick-and-mortar advertisers measure the effectiveness of their campaigns.
Now, with Attribution Powered by Foursquare, the company is making its data available to advertisers even if they don’t run campaigns in the Foursquare or Swarm apps. Naturally, that data is focused on location — that may be Foursquare’s big selling point compared to Facebook and Twitter, which have also been working to expand their ad capabilities beyond their own properties.
President Steven Rosenblatt said the company has created a representative sample of about 1.3 million people (out of its total of 50 million active users) who have opted in to constantly share their location data with Foursquare. So his team can find users in the panel who have seen an ad, examine their behavior, then compare it to a similar group of users who didn’t.
Do It Yourself
- Canadian medical marijuana users have right to grow, federal judge rules
A Canadian federal court judge has ruled that medical marijuana patients have the constitutional right to grow their own cannabis, striking down a ban introduced by the country’s previous Conservative government.
The court suspended its decision for six months to give Ottawa time to respond.
A group of British Columbia residents took Canada to court in 2013, arguing a new law requiring medical marijuana patients to buy their cannabis from licensed producers, instead of growing their own, was unconstitutional.
They said marijuana grown under the government system was too expensive and did not allow them to control the strains and dosages of their treatment.
The government, which overhauled its medical marijuana program in 2013, argued that its mail-order system was safer for both the patient and other Canadians, who could be negatively impacted by unsafe home grow-ops.
In his decision, federal court judge Michael Phelan said that restrictions imposed by the Marihuana for Medical Purposes law were arbitrary.
“The access restrictions did not prove to reduce risk to health and safety or to improve access to marihuana – the purported objectives of the regulation,” he wrote.
- Brit brewer open-sources entire recipe archive
Scottish brewer BrewDog has agreeably released its entire recipe back catalogue, encompassing the 215 beers developed during its almost 10-year history.
- DIY DOG
You can find out more about investing in BrewDog at www.brewdog.com/equityforpunks
Martin and I (James) started home-brewing back in 2005. We could not find any beers we wanted to drink in the UK, so decided the best thing to do was to brew our own. Armed with some very old Cascade hops and a desire to recreate Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, our brewing adventure started.
Right to Remain Silent
- Kansas DUI law that makes test refusal a crime is ruled unconstitutional
Kansans who refuse to submit to a breath or blood test in DUI investigations cannot be criminally prosecuted for that refusal, the state’s Supreme Court ruled Friday.
The court found unconstitutional a state law making it a crime to refuse such a test when no court-ordered warrant exists.
In its 6-1 ruling, the court found that the tests were in essence searches and the law punishes people for exercising their constitutional right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures.
Under Kansas law, anyone who operates a motor vehicle in the state has given implied consent to submit to such testing.
But the court ruled that the implied consent is not irrevocable and withdrawal of that consent cannot be criminally punished.
“Once a suspect withdraws consent, whether it be express consent or implied (under the statute), a search based on that consent cannot proceed,” the court ruled.
The state’s “compelling interest” in combating drunken driving and prosecuting DUI offenders does not outweigh the fundamental individual rights protected by the Constitution, according to Friday’s opinion.
Debtor’s Death Prison
- Utah Man Dies in Prison for Unpaid Medical Debt
A 45-year-old Utah man, Rex Iverson, died in prison on January 23, 2016, after being incarcerated on a $350 bench warrant for failing to pay a court-ordered civil judgment. In 2013, the Tremonton Justice Court had issued a $2,377 judgment against Iverson for a Christmas Eve 2013 ambulance bill.
Iverson died in a Box Elder County holding cell, while county deputies were absent preparing his booking process. When the deputies returned, they found Iverson unresponsive. The death is currently under investigation by the Northern Utah Critical Incident Investigative Team, but foul play is not suspected.
Box Elder County Chief Deputy Sheriff Dale Ward stated that incarcerating Iverson for being poor was justified because “everybody had worked really hard to give him a break” and that “the bottom line is that Iverson just continued to ignore this thing and what made this one worse is the fact that he was thumbing his nose at a public entity, Tremonton Ambulance.”
California Flu Strikes
- 20 Dead, 200 Hospitalized After Reports US Lab “Leaks” Deadly Virus In Ukraine
Amid the so-called “ceasefire” in Ukraine, yet ongoing shelling in many regions, the Donbass news agency reports that more than 20 Ukrainian solders have died and over 200 soldiers are hospitalized after an apparent leak of a deadly virus called “California Flu” from a US lab near the city of Kharkov.More than 20 Ukrainian soldiers have died and over 200 soldiers are hospitalized in a short period of time because of new and deadly virus, which is immune to all medicines. Donetsk People’s Republic intelligence has reported that Californian Flu is leaked from the same place where research of this virus has been carried out.
The laboratory is located near the city of Kharkov and its base for US military experts.
Information from threatening epidemic is announced by Vice-Commander of Donetsk Army, Eduard Basurin.
Leak of deadly virus in Ukrainian side was published first time on 12.1.2016:“According to the medical personnel of the AFU units (Ukrainian troops) there were recorded mass diseases among the Ukrainian military personnel in the field. Physicians recorded the unknown virus as a result of which the infected get the high fever which cannot be subdues by any medicines, and in two days there comes the fatal outcome. Thus far from the virus there have died more than twenty servicemen, what is carefully shielded by the commandment of the AFU from the publicity”, said Basurin in daily MoD situation report.
Outbreak of deadly virus continues and Friday 22.1.2016 Vice-Commander told new information from epidemic:“We keep registering new facts of growing the epidemics of acute respiratory infections among the Ukrainian military.
Just since the beginning of this week more than 200 Ukrainian military have been taken to civil and military hospitals of Kharkov and Dnepropetrovsk. It is important to repeat that the DPR intelligence previously reported the research being carried out in a private laboratory in the locality Shelkostantsiya, 30 km away from the city of Kharkov, and involving US military experts. According to our information, it is there where the deadly Californian flu strain leaked from,” Basurin said.
It appears it is not just military that is affected, as Radio Free Europe reportsa flu epidemic is sweeping through the eastern Ukrainian city of Kramatorsk — and the conflict smoldering nearby is making the situation even worse. Doctors are unable to identify the exact strain of the virus, because the laboratory they need is across the front lines in separatist-controlled Donetsk.
- Syria war: US and Russia agree new truce ‘to start at weekend’
The US and Russia have agreed terms for a ceasefire in Syria beginning on Saturday but many questions remain over whether the agreement can be implemented on the ground.
The deal would in theory mean an end to fighting between the Syrian regime and all major opposition groups except for al-Qaeda’s Syrian affiliate and the Islamic State (Isil).
The truce, which would begin at the stroke of midnight on Saturday, should also mean an end to Russian airstrikes against rebel forces.
- “We Are Heading Into Anarchy”: Official Says EU Will “Completely Break Down In 10 Days”
Norwegian PM Erna Solberg doesn’t want to have to skirt her country’s responsibilities under the Geneva Convention and she doesn’t want to trample over human rights either, but she will if she has to.
“It is a force majeure proposals which we will have in the event that it all breaks down,” Solberg said, in an interview with Berlingske, describing new measures she believes Norway may have to take if Sweden buckles under the weight of the refugee influx which saw some 163,000 asylum seekers inundate the country last year.
Solberg is effectively prepared to turn everyone away and go into lockdown mode should everything fall apart completely, causing Europe to descend into some kind of lawless, Hobbesian, free-for-all.
If that sounds far-fetched or hyperbolic consider that on Thursday, EU migration commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos warned that the bloc has just 10 days to implement a plan that will bring about “tangible and clear results on the ground” or else “the whole system will completely break down.”
- The Game Changed in Venezuela Last Night – and the International Media Is Asleep At the SwitchDear International Editor:
Listen and understand. The game changed in Venezuela last night. What had been a slow-motion unravelling that had stretched out over many years went kinetic all of a sudden.
What we have this morning is no longer the Venezuela story you thought you understood.
Throughout last night, panicked people told their stories of state-sponsored paramilitaries on motorcycles roaming middle class neighborhoods, shooting at people and storming into apartment buildings, shooting at anyone who seemed like he might be protesting.
People continue to be arrested merely for protesting, and a long established local Human Rights NGO makes an urgent plea for an investigation into widespread reports of torture of detainees. There are now dozens of serious human right abuses: National Guardsmen shooting tear gas canisters directly into residential buildings. We have videos of soldiers shooting civilians on the street.
And that’s just what came out in real time, over Twitter and YouTube, before any real investigation is carried out. Online media is next, a city of 645,000 inhabitants has been taken off the internet amid mounting repression, and this blog itself has been the object of a Facebook “block” campaign.
What we saw were not “street clashes”, what we saw is a state-hatched offensive to suppress and terrorize its opponents.
Here at Caracas Chronicles we’re doing what it can to document the crisis, but there’s only so much one tiny, zero-budget blog can do.
After the major crackdown on the streets of large (and small) Venezuelan cities last night, I expected some kind of response in the major international news outlets this morning. I understand that with an even bigger and more photogenic freakout ongoing in an even more strategically important country, we weren’t going to be front-page-above-the-fold, but I’m staggered this morning to wake up, scan the press and find…
As of 11 a.m. this morning, the New York Times World Section has…nothing.
- France declares State of Emergency Laws to become Part of ConstitutionA state of emergency was declared in France shortly after the Paris terror attacks left 130 people dead and more than 300 injured. Following the declaration of emergency, minsters met shortly before Christmas 2015 to raise the three-month state of emergency limit to six months, which was scheduled to end February 26, 2016.
What has followed since is of extreme precedent. This week, an indefinite timeframe for the state of emergency, was raised. Already slammed for abuse of powers since its creation in 1955, the government have voted to enshrine the state of emergency laws within their constitution.
- Cricket radiatori? Insect pasta takes off in France
From crickets to grasshoppers, one small company in France’s Vosges region is turning to insects for its newest pasta recipes.
- Flint Was the Tip of the Iceberg — Mississippi Tap Water is Toxic — Govt Warns Not to Use It
With residents at risk from lead poisoning, state officials recently released a public statement warning pregnant women and young children to avoid drinking, bathing, or cooking with city tap water. Although the Mississippi State Department of Health (MSDH) had tested homes back in June 2015, Jackson residents did not receive any notice until this week.
While testing homes for lead exposure in June 2015, the MSDH discovered 22 percent had tested positive for lead above the recommended level. At least 13 residences had lead levels as high as 128 parts per billion (ppb), or more than eight times the federal action level of 15 ppb. Instead of immediately analyzing the results or informing city officials in Jackson, the MSDH waited until January to retest the homes.
“Nobody flagged it,” Health Department spokeswoman Liz Sharlot told NBC News.
LunaTicks & PolyTicks
- Egypt sentences 4-year-old to life in prison for murder
An Egyptian military court has reportedly sentenced a four-year-old boy to life in prison after finding him guilty of committing murder at the age of two.
Ahmed Mansour Karni was reportedly convicted in absentia earlier this week in a mass trial in Western Cairo on a charges of murder, disturbance of the peace and damaging state property.
The court indictment listed Karni among 116 other people sentenced over violence at a protest in January 2014 in the province of Fayoum, 70km south of Cairo.
Translation: Ahmed Mansour Karni Sharara. Age 4 years. Sentenced to life in prison for a case that occurred when he was 2.
It is thought that the prosecution made a mistake and instead of writing the name of Sharara’s father, they confused his full name with that of his son.
Defence lawyer Faisal a-Sayd was quoted by the Jerusalem Post as saying that the child’s birth certificate had been presented to the court but the document had not been read by the judge.
“The certificate was presented after state security forces added his name to the list of accused, but then the case was transferred to the military court and the child was sentenced in absentia,” he told the newspaper.
The indictment stated the charges in full as four counts of murder, eight counts of attempted murder, vandalising property belonging to the Egyptian Health Administration, threatening soldiers and police officers and damaging vehicles belonging to security forces.
Karni’s lawyer Mohammed Abu Hurira said the case proved “There is is no justice in Egypt. No reason. Logic committed suicide a while ago. Egypt went crazy. Egypt is ruled by a bunch of lunatics.”
- State Supreme Court Rules Cops No Longer Need a Warrant to Enter Homes and Seize Evidence
The Wisconsin Supreme Court just dealt a death blow to the Fourth Amendment, which is supposed to protect a citizen against unreasonable search and seizure. What’s more, the decision was made by a single, newly-appointed judge who was not even present when arguments were made in court.
In a 4-3 decision, the state’s highest court ruled that evidence seized in a person’s private home during a warrantless search can be used against the person under an expanded view of the “community caretaker” clause.
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In This Doge Eat Doge World
- The people know that they have created this farce and financed it with their own taxes (consent), but they would rather knuckle under than be the hypocrite.Factor VI – Cattle
Those who will not use their brains are no better off than those who have no brains, and so this mindless school of jelly-fish, father, mother, son, and daughter, become useful beasts of burden or trainers of the same.
- Mr. Rothschild’s Energy Discovery
What Mr. Rothschild  had discovered was the basic principle of power, influence, and control over people as applied to economics. That principle is “when you assume the appearance of power, people soon give it to you.”
The Law of War
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