Adonis Diaries

Archive for the ‘health/medicine’ Category

Heavy pollution of all kinds hidden from the everyday observation of common people. The dangerous regions for pollution have Not been transferred, and increasing dramatically.

Pollution is here to stay and to increase: Air quality, water quality and food quality…

So far, the colonial powers crazily printed money with no reserves of any kind with the excuse that their people need to survive without working and producing what could sustain any economuy.

The global debt has reached $300 trillion. Mind you that the entire world produce goods to what amount to $5 trillion. The remaining GNP are plain reshafling and transferring debts in and out of countries.

The colonial powers borrow from one another at 3% and lend to other nations at 8%.

Every country has a national debt, excepting China. Japan is the second most indebted nation after the US. China is maybe the only country infusing “fresh money” into the world economy by buying bonds.

No colonial power will ever pay a dime on the Principles of its loans: they pay the interests after devaluing their currencies.

Syria was the other nation with zero national debt before 2011, and that is why Syria had to be punished with civil war that is still going on.

Saudi Kingdom and the Emirates were also infusing “fresh money” until the US started to blackmail them to fund terrorist movements and buying irrelevant weapons that they cannot repair, maintain or even use them.

So far, only China is infusing “fresh money” in this financial system of distributing “debt money” that amount to One $ trillion every single day by investment multinationals that do Not add any value to sustain the global economy.

It is the poorer nations that are adding value to products generated cheaply by millions of workers, badly paid and working in unsafe environment.

Green climate?

All the equipments and machines meant to generate green climate absorb plenty of rare minerals in order to work and function: Aeolien, sun plates to generate electricity, electric cars, computers…

Extracting rare minerals (about 10 of them) and processing them generate horrendous pollution to phreatic water, rivers and air quality.

People who work in rare mineral activities have low life expectancy. Actually, China is putting to work all the citizens who were displaced from their lands due to series of giga dams along the Yellow River and other rivers. And heavily polluting the Mekong River that crosses most of South- East Asia countries.

Just for the extraction of graphite in China is a worst reminder of colonial powers early industrialization period that hired children to excavate coal for their iron industry.

Lithium is a main element in the batteries of all equipment, and especially for electric cars. Bolivia is the set to generate most of this “rare element”. The open air deposit covers a land as vast as little Lebanon (10,000 sq.km).

Many colonial powers bid for the construction of Lithium plants and China ended up building it.

Actually, the colonial powers conducted a coup d’etat against Evo Morales in order to stabilize the price of Lithium and amass plenty of reserve of this ingredient.

Copper is another major element in the pipes and conducting coil for electricity.

Although copper is Not within the rare materials, Northern Chili is being depleted of its major vast open air extraction “pit”, in size and depth. Areas within 300 km radius of this pit are heavily polluted and 30% are dying Not from natural causes.

This observation is culminating in the constant erection of utility centrals powered by coal to feed the copper extraction.

Norway is set to have only electric cars on its street in the next decade. And Norway is sustaining its “green” program by exporting oil. Actually, it is an Iraqi immigrant, a petroleum engineer who started Norway extraction of oil in the sea and instituted its “Sovereign Fund” for the next generations.

The emission of CO2 and methane is increasing. Methane is 10 times worse than CO2 as the permafrost in the Poles are melting. Worst, the colonial powers are happy that they soon will be able to extract oil/gas from the arctic and that the northern “icy” water way is opened for maritime transportation.

Green climate? No see pollution around for most of us but here to stay and dying believing that pollution has been under “control”.

Note: This Covid-19 pandemics has decelerated the frantic “trade” in air, route and maritime transport. A few cities experienced clearing of its air pollution for a short while. It didn’t make a dent on climate change: the UN has confirmed, as facts, that the last 5 years were the worst in “natural” calamities. Reversing this trend to sustain a slow “normal nature recovery” requires a world trend in adopting “frugal” lifestyle and away from this fixation of constant “Growth economy”.

Maybe this slowing down of the economy didn’t make a dent in the short term on climate change, but it gave hope that the mental and emotional readiness of people to adopt an alternative standard of living and lifestyle will transcend the multinational greed.

A good time to die (October 16, 2008)

We know by now that decisions for resuming experiments on atomic explosions, in open air or underground, are bad news.  

We know that decisions to leave man out of the loop of programmed launching of guided ballistic missiles are wrong decisions.  

We are learning that the ozone layer is good and protects the living organisms from lethal doses of ultraviolet radiations; that the depletion of ozone over the Antarctic is very bad news.  

We recognize that the increased concentration of CO2 may be causing the “Greenhouse Effect”, melting the North Pole and increasing the Oceans water level.  (Methane increased emission from the poles from the melting of permafrost layer is extremely bad news)

We have this gut feeling that the deforestation of the virgin forests in the Equator is degrading the quality of air and increasing the numbers of tsunamis or cyclones or tidal waves or hurricanes.  

We blame those who still insist on residing around the targeted sea shores as if these cataclysms would disappear any time soon.  

We are less sure how the high tension pylons amidst towns alter the health of children. Active citizens must have learned the lesson to no longer wait for the results of funded research by multinationals and experiments when health and safety are of concern.

We know that our intelligence is intrinsically malignant, but the most malignant are those vicious, lengthy and recurring cycles of the decision processes to settle on remedial plans of actions.

We frequently don’t know the mechanisms to resolve what we initiated and much less these processes that takes decades to recognize the problems and reach agreements to act upon and persevere in our programs.  

Earth has mechanisms to stabilize harms done to it, but it requires man to leave it alone for hundreds and thousands of years.

Every time man creates a problem to earth’s quality and stability we have to wait for a valiant scientist to sound the alarm.  

Then we have to wait for this scientist to affiliate with a recognized international figure to give credit and weight for his discovery.  

Then we have to wait for the convinced scientists and professionals to sign up a manifest and present it to the UN so that the UN might receives a wake up call to take on its responsibilities in order to preserve human rights for clean air, clean potable water, clean environment and human rights for health and safety and security.  

Then we have to wait for one superpower to admit that what is happening is bad, that the level of tolerance, invariably set by unprofessional specialists in the field, is no longer acceptable.  

Then we have to wait for one superpower to unilaterally agree to distance itself from the pack of wolves and actively remediate.

Then we have to hear the complaints of economic infeasibility of regulations to remedial actions and

Then we have to set a period that lengthens to decades to start an effective program that agrees to everyone concerned.

Albert Schweitzer in his book of selected three calls to action “Peace or atomic war” describes the fundamental process that was initiated to put a halt on live atomic explosion experimentations.  

You discover that physicists and not medical specialists volunteer to set levels of tolerances to radioactive emissions.  

You hear Edward Teller, the “eminent” physicist and “father” of the hydrogen bomb say “We have got for our national security to keep testing for a harmless hydrogen bomb”; as if States at war intend not to inflict harms!  

The UN had to wait for 9235 scientists and headed by Linus Pauling to sign a manifest in January 1958 explaining the lethal harm to the next generations of radioactive emissions.  

Then the US Administration gradually stopped financing apologetics in Newspapers that the experiments constitute no tangible harms.

De Gaulle of France sank an entire atole in the Pacific to test His open nuclear bomb. The French operators (in shorts and naked chest) and the people in the adjacent islands were Not warned. Most of them died from Not natural causes.

16,000 US navy personnels on a destroyer were ordered to turn their faces into a direction and cover the faces. They were Not warned that a nuclear test is going to be experimented. The marines could see the bones of their comrades from the X-rays and many were blown off. 15,000 of them died, and Not from natural causes.

After the US, Britain and the Soviet Union were forced to agree on a moratorium to open air explosions they resumed their nuclear explosions in “controlled, secure, and safe” underground testing fields

I never stumbled on a manuscript describing the consequences for underground nuclear testing.  

Usually the consequences are of long term nature and time-line researches are too expensive to follow up.  

My gut feeling is that these underground testing are directly linked to the current drastic increase in large scale seism, volcano eruptions and tidal wave catastrophes.  

Earth may sustain one major destructive factor but it requires more than one main factor to destabilize earth and its environment.

Written by Dyami Millarson

Underlying tooth decay, there is a constant battle between demineralisation and mineralisation.

Dental caries may simply be defined as the cumulative result of the cyclical ebbs and flows of demineralisation and mineralisation.

Remineralisation is the term used for the normal daily process whereby the teeth, namely the enamel and dentin, are repaired from demineralisation.

Enamel is the material that covers the outside layer of the teeth above the crown. It is one of the most mineralised and hardest parts of the human body. Enamel is a composite of both organic and inorganic components, and the same is the case for dentin.

Dentin is the hard dental tissue that is the whole body of the tooth . Alternatively, dentin may be more specifically defined as the dental layer under the enamel which covers the surface of the teeth.

Enamel and dentin are also seemingly contrasted with the latter being defined as a mineralised dental tissue and the former as a mineralised dental structure,

Context is relevant for understanding the definition of mineralisation: Mineralisation in this article deals with tooth decay, it is relevant to specify that biomineralization is meant by this.

In the context of soil science, mineralisation is the process by which organic matter is converted to mineral nutrients, which are easy to absorb for the roots of the plants growing in the thus mineralised soil.

However, biomineralization is the process by which biological organisms produce minerals ), and that is the process we are interested in for understanding tooth decay and we mean biomineralization when we speak of tooth mineralisation.

The science of biomineralization is the study of biologically produced materials, such as human teeth, as well as the study of the biological processes leading to the formation of such organic-inorganic composites ).

As a refresher for the reader who might be inundated with new facts, enamel and dentin are composites of both organic and inorganic components.

The formation of hard dental tissues, such as enamel and dentin, involves the following two processes:

  1. a biological process which includes cell signalling and
  2. a biochemical process where the biomolecules interact for the formation of crystal apatite .

Apatite refers to any member of a series of phosphate minerals and apatite comes from an Ancient Greek word for deceit, as apatite resembles a plethora of other minerals .

Apatite is the most common phosphate mineral, and is the main source of phosphorus required by plants in the soil . Apatite is also relevant for soil mineralisation.

Apatite is not popular as a gemstone because it is too soft, and thus considered too brittle for most jewellery use.

Calcium phosphate, which is another name for apatite, is what the bones and teeth of humans and animals are made of, and the biological apatites, of which the aforementioned human and animal hard tissues are composed, are usually hydroxyapatites, also known as hydroxyapatites without an l in the third syllable .

Apatite found in bone has a unique chemical composition as well as unique geometry and the basic composite structure of bone, as seen from the nanoscale, consists of collagen fibrils densely mineralised with hydroxy(l)apatites.

Collagen is the single most abundant protein in the animal kingdom and may simply be defined as an insoluble, hard, fibrous protein that accounts for one-third of all the protein in the human body.

Although there are 16 types of collagen in total, 80-90% of the collagen which is found in the human body consists of types I, II and III.

The collagen molecules as found in the body pack together and form long thin structures known as fibrils.

Type I collagen, of which the vast majority of the fibril-type collagen in the human body consists, is not only found in the human bones and skin, but also in the connective tissues, tendons and fibrous cartilage .

Cavitation occurs once the enamel and dentin do not have the proper structure anymore for maintaining their mineral framework, and remineralisation may be regarded by the dentist as an insufficient treatment at that point).

Remineralisation is therefore a form of preventative medicine, i.e., the dentist seeks to prevent the formation of cavities by means of dental remineralisation .

However, demineralisation is Not a continuous one-way process, but it is a cyclic event characterised by waves of mineralisation and demineralisation.

Although dental remineralisation may, in practice, be employed by the dentist for the prevention, repair and reversal of dental caries, which is a synonym of tooth decay by the way, there is a definite limit to what mineralisation therapies by the dentist can do, provided that they are not accompanied by proper dental care at home.

It is therefore vital that the following be answered:

  1. what, then, is proper dental care? Here are some dental care tips: brush your teeth no less than twice a day and keep in mind more than twice a day may be desirable,
  2. brush your tongue as well,
  3. flossing is equally important as brushing your teeth and so you should never skip this, floss all of your teeth properly no matter how difficult it may be to reach them and so take the time for a proper flossing routine,
  4. drink plenty of water instead of sugary beverages, and generally avoid foods that contain lots of sugar and carbohydrates as well as foods that have a low pH, i.e., foods that are acidic .
  5. Microbial activity is associated with the onset of dental caries, and when one eats too much sugar, carbohydrates or foods with a low pH, one is feeding those cariogenic bacteria with nutrients that they need for breaking down one’s teeth, and so limiting sugar, carbohydrates and low-pH foods is a practical and viable strategy for preventing the onset of tooth decay in the mouth.
  6. Saliva plays an important role in protecting the teeth against damaging microbial activity and natural anti-microbial agents, such as spices, herbs and probiotics, seem effective for controlling cariogenic microbes, i.e., micro-organisms responsible for dental caries

Although my keen interest in phonetics already made me instinctively interested in the mouth, one of the main reasons I was alerted to the importance of oral hygiene was the ageing-related fact that good oral hygiene reduces mortality risk and a good dental care regimen should therefore be taken extremely seriously by those who wish to follow a longevity-promoting lifestyle.

Seeing the link between oral hygiene and longevity is undoubtedly an indispensable health-boosting insight, and I have become much more attentive to dental care ever since I became aware of this fact.

I recall that I watched cartoons as a child about bacteria that were destroying the teeth, and that is when it first dawned upon me that micro-organisms were responsible for tooth decay, which is what made me very concerned about cleaning my teeth and so I never experienced a single cavity until 2020 around my 26th birthday when I had been lax with dental care for a while due to experiencing prolonged heightened levels of stress, which usually makes one vulnerable to developing dental caries.

Natural compounds extracted from the following herbs and spices may be effective against cariogenic bacteria: Bauhinia forficata, Curcuma xanthorrhiza, Licorice Root, Eurycoma longifolia jack, Cinnamomum burmannii, tea tree, Sterculia lychnophora Hance, Melia azedarach L., Tamarix aphylla L., Cinnamon bark, Acacia arabica, Ginger-garlic paste, clove, Acacia catechu, Thuja orientalis, Camellia japonica, Quercus infectoria, Pongamia pinnata, Cymbopogon citratus.

I use a few drops of tea tree oil mixed in a cup of water as my preferred mouthwash product, though one should be careful not to ingest the tea tree oil and therefore one ought to make sure to wash one’s mouth thoroughly with water after one has finished gargling with the mix of tea tree and water to rinse one’s mouth.

When my gums hurt or if my gums are bleeding, I may apply some tea tree and it usually works; I usually spit it out after 10-15 minutes of holding the tea tree in my mouth with increasing saliva formation, and then I wash my mouth with water.

Micronutrients may be essential for oral health, because research has demonstrated that they reduced oral inflammations, such as gingivitis and periodontitis .

Gingivitis, which is basically an inflammation of the gums, is a commonly occurring, mild form of gum disease . This inflammation may be caused by bacteria and if this inflammation is left untreated, it may develop into periodontitis, which is a much more serious medical condition than gingivitis .

Interspersed with all the factual information, let me add one more personal anecdote to this article: I believe that I may have been experiencing an inflammation of my gums due to bacterial overgrowth this year, and what helped me in my case was having more dishes with lots of pepper.

I noticed already this summer that my gums had receded a little bit, and for this reason, I may look into the topic of regrowing the gum in another blog article.

When it comes to habits preventing the formation of oral cavities, it is best to avoid sugary foods, but in case we do choose to engage in such a guilty pleasure, it is recommend that the sugary foods be eaten with a meal rather than between meals .

Although it may be counterintuitive to have sweets with meals, it is truly the best habit for the teeth, and my mind is instinctively making the following analogy: many vitamin and mineral supplements ought to be taken with meals because this is the best habit for the gut.

(Such instinctive analogies that my mind draws for me usually have a mnemonic function.)

As perceived within the context of the notion that saliva may be important for protecting and repairing the teeth, it might be advisable to include salivation-promoting foods in one’s diet: peas, bananas, Brussel sprouts (*31).

Which vitamins and minerals are healthy for teeth?

Vitamins A, B and D, magnesium, iron and not to forget calcium and phosphorus, are relevant for dental and skeletal health

The functions of the following vitamins and minerals are not to be overlooked: vitamin A builds the enamel and keeps the gums healthy, vitamin D deposits calcium in the jawbones that support the teeth and it boosts dental mineral density, phosphorus repairs and protects the enamel, and calcium forties the enamel

While one needs sufficient calcium to fortify one’s teeth and bones, one ought to commit to memory that one needs vitamin D for the absorption of calcium

One may obtain vitamin A from dairy products, oily fish and liver products such as beef liver, lamb liver, liver sausage, cod liver oil, king mackerel, salmon, bluefin tuna, goat cheese, butter, cheddar

One may obtain vitamin B from leafy greens, turkey, legumes, sunflower seeds, yoghurt, milk, mussels, trout, salmon, clams, chicken, eggs, oysters, beef

One may obtain vitamin D from red meat, oily fish, egg yolks and liver products

One may obtain magnesium from nuts such as almonds and cashews, seeds such as pumpkin seeds and chia seeds, leafy greens such as spinach, legumes such as black beans and in smaller quantities from fish and meat

One may obtain iron from beans, nuts, dried fruit, red meat and liver products

One may obtain calcium from leafy greens, dairy products and fish where one also consumes the bones such as is the case with sardines (*41).

One may obtain phosphorus from poultry products such as eggs and chicken and turkey, dairy products such as yoghurt, milk and cheese, lentils, nuts such as cashews, pumpkin seeds, seafood such as salmon and scallops, quinoa, beans, amaranth, sunflower seeds, liver products, potatoes, and beef

Some may also recommend bone broth as a way to help the teeth recover from dental decay

Personal note: I clean my teeth by dipping my brush in white vinegar and adding a little bicarbonate of sodium. You save on all these expensive toothpastes. Best to brush before going to bed in order Not to allow bacteria to accumulate during sleep for lack of salivation. Drink water to wash the teeth before brushing the teeth.

Forcing a COVID vaccine would violate The Nuremberg Code

When the Nazi atrocities were uncovered after World War II, where experimental procedures, drugs and vaccines were forced on unwitting subjects, the Nuremberg Code was written by American attorneys, which states,

The voluntary consent of the human subject is absolutely essential. This means that the person involved should have legal capacity to give consent; should be so situated as to be able to exercise free power of choice, without the intervention of any element of force, fraud, deceit, duress, overreaching, or other ulterior form of constraint or coercion.

And should have sufficient knowledge and comprehension of the elements of the subject matter involved, as to enable him to make an understanding and enlightened decision.” 

Since the data does not exist to have “sufficient knowledge and comprehension of the elements” of the COVID vaccine and how it will impact human beings, it violates the Nuremberg Code to force the coming vaccine on anyone.

(Many physicians claim that the covid-19 vaccine include several other dangerous viruses that will ultimately kill you since there are no remedies to them)

When you force a liability-free product on people does not increase their trust in the product or the authority that is forcing the product on them.

The PREP Act takes all liability away from the manufacturers of the vaccines. Which means that If they maim or kill anyone, no one can sue Moderna, AstraZeneca or Sanofi.

#1 – The world’s top vaccinologist says he may not take a COVID vaccine

When asked if he would take the COVID vaccine, the world’s most prominent vaccinologist Dr. Paul Offit said, “Sight unseen? No.”

Vaccinologist Dr. Peter Hotez is concerned that the coming coronavirus vaccine may cause “immune enhancement” which means the vaccine could help someone get sicker when they come in contact with the virus they were vaccinated for.

Immunologist Ian Frazer, co-inventor of the HPV vaccine has said we don’t know how to make a coronavirus vaccine, and we don’t know if any being currently developed will work.

#2 – A COVID vaccine currently does not exist

While there are currently many COVID vaccine trials, we do not know which, if any, will be safe and effective.

The top vaccinologists mentioned in reason #1 have told us there has been almost 20 years of work trying to create vaccines for coronaviruses, and every attempt to date has failed.

Immunologist Ian Frazier stated, “At the moment we don’t know how to make a coronavirus vaccine work. That’s why there are 100 vaccines under testing using every conceivable approach. We don’t know if any of them will work.”

#3 – On average a vaccine takes 7 to 15 years to come to market, not 2

The COVID vaccine will be one of the fastest vaccines ever to come to market. There can be no argument that it is an experimental treatment.

Vaccines take 7, 10, 20 even 30 years to fully develop, test for efficacy and safety, before bringing to market. The “warp speed” of 2 years means the data simply won’t exist on what the long term effects of the vaccine are, and everyone who gets the vaccine will be part of a mass experiment

#4 – The top experimental COVID vaccines have already caused adverse reactions

AstraZeneca has had a case of transverse myelitis (similar to polio) occur in a woman after she received her second COVID vaccine during experimental trials, according to CNN.

Symptoms of transverse myelitis are extremely similar to polio and can completely destroy someone’s life.

Moderna has admitted in an SEC filing that their vaccine ingredient LNP “may lead to systemic side effects related to the components of the LNP which may not have ever been tested in humans.”

Additionally their vaccine is an mRNA vaccine which has the potential to permanently alter human DNA. We don’t know this for sure, because an mRNA vaccine has never been deployed on a large population of people ever in history.

Sanofi was the company that launched the dangerous and deadly dengue yellow fever vaccine.

They took 20 years to develop that vaccine, but it ended up being a historic failure as children in the Philippines were injured and even killed by it, according to NPR.

Do you trust Sanofi to get the COVID vaccine right in a mere 2 years?

#5 – In 20 years of trying to make coronavirus vaccines, all have failed

If, as Ian Frasier tells us, no one has ever made a successful coronavirus vaccine since they tried in the early 2000s, why does anyone believe we can do it successfully in just 2 years today?

#6- The swine flu vaccine in 1976 was fast-tracked, killing and injuring thousands

The swine flu vaccine injured and killed thousands. Many people developed Guillain-Barré Syndrome (GBS) from the swine flu vaccine, which is a horrifying condition that causes paralysis. 

60 minutes did an in-depth expose on the damage the swine flu vaccine caused thousands of Americans. History has show us it is never a good idea to speed through the process of making and deploying a vaccine.

#7 – Donald Trump has already indemnified the top 3 COVID vaccines

Moderna, AstraZeneca and Sanofi are developing what people consider the most likely vaccines to come to market. All of these vaccines have been declared countermeasures, and the PREP Act has been invoked by Donald Trump’s HHS Secretary Alex Azar.

The PREP Act takes all liability away from the manufacturers of the vaccines. If they maim or kill anyone, no one can sue Moderna, AstraZeneca or Sanofi.

The only legal compensation that may be available would come from the Countermeasures Injury Compensation Program. This is not a real court, but rather a program setup and run by the federal government.

#8 – COVID has a death rate under 1%

COVID-19 is a nasty illness and can be deadly, but we really need to be asking ourselves if we need a fast-tracked, risky vaccine that may do more harm than good when the death rate for COVID is below 1%.

#9 – Forcing a vaccine on the public sews distrust in authority

Right now as the conversation around the coming COVID vaccine gains momentum, the public’s trust in vaccination is dropping.

When you force a liability-free product on people that does not increase their trust in the product or the authority that is forcing the product on them. Some people are calling the coming COVID vaccine “an idea so good it has to be forced on you.”

NY Teachers Against Vaccine Mandates for Educators http://chng.it/NfSGhmfL 

Hollywood turning into cesspit plagued by junkies and violent criminals

Hollywood’s Apocalypse NOW:

Rich and famous are fleeing in droves

By CAROLINE GRAHAM . 

Gold’s Gym has become synonymous with the Hollywood Dream.

Set just a few hundred yards from the ocean in sun-kissed Venice Beach, Los Angeles, Gold’s was the backdrop for Pumping Iron

This 1977 documentary followed a young, unknown Austrian bodybuilder called Arnold Schwarzenegger as he prepared for the Mr. Universe contest.

The film turned him into an overnight sensation.

He would go on to become a global superstar, marry a member of the Kennedy clan, and become Governor of California

A makeshift tent city made up of flapping tarpaulins and cardboard boxes surrounds the gym on all sides.

Junkies and the homeless, many of whom are clearly mentally ill, walk the palm-lined streets like zombies – all just three blocks from multi-million-dollar homes overlooking the Pacific.

Stolen bicycles are piled high on pavements littered with broken syringes.

TV bulletins are filled with horror stories from across the city.

Of women being attacked during their morning jog or residents returning home to find strangers defecating in their front gardens.

Los Angeles is a city on the brink. ‘For Sale’ signs are seemingly dotted on every suburban street as the middle classes, particularly those with families, flee for the safer suburbs, with many choosing to leave LA altogether.

British-born Danny O’Brien runs Watford Moving & Storage. ‘There is a mass exodus from Hollywood. And a lot of it is to do with politics.’ His business is booming. ‘August has already set records and we are only halfway through the month’

‘People are getting out in droves. from LA. Last week I moved a prominent person in the music industry from a $6.5 million [£5 million] mansion above Sunset Boulevard to Nashville.’

‘The homeless encampments are legal and there’s nothing the police can do. White, affluent middle-class folk are getting out. People don’t feel safe any more.’

O’Brien, 58, who moved to LA from London 34 years ago, is also planning to move to Tennessee.

A homeless man on Hollywood¿s Walk Of Fame. Junkies and the homeless, many of whom are clearly mentally ill, walk the palm-lined streets like zombies ¿ all just three blocks from multi-million-dollar homes overlooking the Pacific

A homeless man on Hollywood’s Walk Of Fame. Junkies and the homeless, many of whom are clearly mentally ill, walk the palm-lined streets like zombies – all just three blocks from multi-million-dollar homes overlooking the Pacific

With movie studios still shuttered because of the coronavirus pandemic and businesses only just starting to remove the wooden boards put up after city-wide rioting following the death of George Floyd while being arrested by three white officers in Minneapolis, LA is now in the grip of white flight.

Lou Ferrigno became friends with Schwarzenegger when both worked out at Gold’s. While he might not be quite a household name like Arnie, Ferrigno starred in the TV series The Incredible Hulk and became one of the wealthiest bodybuilders in the world, with a fortune of $12 million.

President Donald Trump appointed him to his council on fitness, sports and nutrition in 2018.

But Ferrigno, for all his impeccable connections, has become fed up with what he describes as the ‘dramatic decline’ in LA. He and wife Carla recently sold their £3 million home in Santa Monica and moved into a 7,146 sq ft mansion two hours north of LA.

Carla says: ‘One morning around 7am I opened the curtains in our beautiful Santa Monica home and looking up at me from our driveway were three gang members with tattoos on their faces sitting on our retaining wall. They were cat-calling me and being vulgar. I motioned I was going to call the police and they just laughed, flicking their tongues at me and showing me their guns.’

Her husband added: ‘We put the house up for sale after 40 wonderful years and moved north. We feel lucky to have made it out. Now we are in a wonderful place and very happy.’

Renee Taylor, an Oscar-nominated screenwriter and actress who appeared in the hit TV sitcom The Nanny, recently sold her Beverly Hills home after half a century and moved to the East Coast.

‘I feel so sad for my friends left in Beverly Hills who had to suffer through looting and rioting,’ she says. ‘I got out just in time.’

The virus only made matters worse. There are homeless encampments in some of the most instantly recognisable tourist traps.

Stretches of Hollywood Boulevard – embedded with glittering stars representing those who achieved their dream of fame and fortune – resemble a Third World shanty town rather than the heart of America’s second-largest city.

Outside the Chinese Theatre where Marilyn Monroe and other screen icons are immortalised by their handprints in concrete, the Michael Jackson and Superman look alikes who usually pose with tourists have been replaced by vagrants begging for change.Hundreds of LA’s homeless are still without protection

One of the city¿s homeless ¿ there are more than 66,000 people sleeping rough every night. The virus only made matters worse. There are homeless encampments in some of the most instantly recognisable tourist traps

One of the city’s homeless – there are more than 66,000 people sleeping rough every night. 

The virus Covid-19 only made matters worse. There are homeless encampments in some of the most instantly recognisable tourist traps

Meanwhile, the visitors snap photos of a large Black Lives Matter logo painted down the middle of the street.

Car parks beside the beach in Santa Monica – a popular tourist destination for Britons – are filled with bashed-up motorhomes, each housing several people.

The authorities have even put portable toilets on the streets to try to stop the homeless relieving themselves on private property.

The Westwood area of LA, home to some of the most upmarket blocks of flats in the city, has been renamed ‘West Hood’ by locals appalled by rising crime.

Veteran publicist Ed Lozzi says: ‘The city was changing before coronavirus brought us to our knees. The homeless problem has been escalating for years, exacerbated by weak politicians making bad decisions.

‘Hollywood has always been the wokest of the woke, so politicians have done nothing to stop people sleeping on the streets. It’s not illegal and the weather’s nice, so they keep coming.

‘There is insufficient housing, inadequate mental health care. Add in Covid and it’s a perfect storm.

‘When I first arrived in LA 40 years ago, the town smelled of orange blossoms. Now the streets stink of urine. There is a beautiful park in Westwood but you can’t go there because there are people slumped on the ground and you step on a carpet of needles.

‘White flight is real. The elites and middle classes are leaving. People are taking losses on the sales of their homes to get out.’

The divide between rich and poor has never been more glaring.

Just yards away from Gold’s sits the sprawling LA headquarters of internet giant Google.

The car park is housed in a building designed by architect Frank Gehry to look like a giant pair of binoculars.

Private security guards wander round as a handful of employees returning after lockdown drive into the complex in their Teslas, Porsches and Range Rovers.

Charity worker Robert (he declined to give his last name) mans two portable toilets opposite the Google HQ. Recently released from jail, this menial job is the only work he can get. He says two people have overdosed in the toilets in the past two weeks.

‘I have a Narcan pen which brings them back to life after they overdose on opioids. I’ve had to use the pen twice since the beginning of August.

‘The situation is terrible. I don’t blame those who can afford to get out of the city for doing so.’

Some 66,000 people now sleep rough every night in LA – up 12.5 per cent on last year.

‘There’s no hope any more. The rich are getting richer and there’s nothing for those on Skid Row. Trump has done nothing to help the poor. All he cares about are his rich friends making more money. If I had money I’d get out too.’

The pandemic has made many in Hollywood realise they don’t need to live in LA – or anywhere near it – to keep working.

Talent manager Craig Dorfman has moved to upstate New York. ‘A lot of people in the industry are re-evaluating their lives and saying,

‘You know, I never really loved LA. Where would I like to live? Because I can do what I want to do from anywhere,’ ‘ says Dorfman.

Fashion stylist Leah Forester and her film producer husband Bill Johnson have rented out their home and moved to the Mexican beach town of Careyes with their two children.

‘We wanted to be in the most healthy, supportive and serene environment we could be in so that we could have some sense of control over our immediate surroundings and our destiny,’ says Forester.

Comedian Joe Rogan, who makes $30 million a year from his self-titled podcast, has quit LA for Texas and says: ‘When you look at the traffic, when you look at the economic despair, when you look at the homelessness problem that’s accelerated radically… I think there are too many people here.

‘I think it’s not tenable. I don’t think that it’s manageable.’

Ironically, the celebrity enclave of Malibu – home to such leading members of the ‘wokerati’ as Leonardo DiCaprio – has cracked down hard on the homeless, bringing in local laws to prevent people parking their motorhomes along the beach overnight.

‘They’ve kicked the homeless problem into other areas of the city like Westwood and Venice,’ says publicist Ed Lozzi. ‘It’s a classic case of ‘not in my back yard’.’

Meanwhile, some of Tinseltown’s biggest stars are developing back-up plans, should the situation worsen. Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson recently took Greek citizenship and have told friends they intend to spend more time in Europe.Skid Row residents force Eyewitness News van to turn around

More tents in Melrose Place, one of the trendiest addresses in Los Angeles. Stretches of Hollywood Boulevard ¿ embedded with glittering stars representing those who achieved their dream of fame and fortune ¿ resemble a Third World shanty town rather than the heart of America's second-largest city

More tents in Melrose Place, one of the trendiest addresses in Los Angeles. Stretches of Hollywood Boulevard – embedded with glittering stars representing those who achieved their dream of fame and fortune – resemble a Third World shanty town rather than the heart of America’s second-largest city

Producer Dana Brunetti, business partner of disgraced actor Kevin Spacey and producer of the Fifty Shades Of Grey films, has acquired Italian citizenship ‘because Italy is part of the EU – it gives me a lot of options if the s*** hits the fan’.

Nicole Kidman and husband Keith Urban have homes in LA, Nashville and her native Australia.

A source says: ‘They have been spending a lot of time in Nashville. There they can give their kids a more normal upbringing. They have been talking about getting rid of the LA place.’

When the news broke last week that Prince Harry and Meghan have chosen to make their home two hours north of LA in the upmarket hamlet of Montecito, the news shocked no one.

One Oscar-nominated writer told me: ‘They saw enough of LA those times they left Tyler Perry’s house to make them not want to raise Archie in a place like this. LA has always attracted beautiful and talented people from around the world who come here looking for fame or money or both.

‘Now the streets look like Haiti after the earthquake. It’s dirty, dangerous and work has dried up. Even when studios start to open up, people will choose to work from other places.’

The most recent high-profile name to quit Hollywood is Tesla billionaire Elon Musk, a darling of the showbusiness crowd.

Actor Robert Downey Jr has said it was Musk who inspired his portrayal of Tony Stark, the eccentric billionaire inventor in the Iron Man movies.

Elon Musk has recently sold his compound of 4 homes in Bel Air for a combined total of $62 million (£47 million) and is said to be considering a move to Texas, where he is building Tesla’s $1 billion new factory.

‘When the real-life Iron Man moves out of Hollywood, you know it’s all over,’ says a source at one of the major studio

Note: San Francisco was in no better shape in 1991-92. Homeless people crowded all the main streets. It was no longer a pleasure to walk the streets toward the many parks. I had visited West Hollywood in 1976 and walked to Beverly Hills and it was clean and nice to walk to.

Many wounded children went un-noticed: Even when pictures are displayed?

One Photo of a Syrian Child Caught the World’s Attention. 7 injured children went Unnoticed.

By ANNE BARNARD and HWAIDA SAAD. August 21, 2016

BEIRUT, Lebanon — Omran Daqneesh, a small Syrian boy from the embattled rebel-held section of Aleppo, somehow snapped to attention millions of people around the world, who watched and shared the arresting video of him as he wiped dried blood and thick soot from his face. (Turned out to be a faked picture, disseminated by the terrorist group of White Helmet, financed and controlled by the UK)

The widespread interest in 5-year-old Omran surprised the doctors who treated him, the photographer who shot the video and many Syrians who wondered whether the world had only just discovered how children have suffered every day in a war that has raged for more than five years.

On Saturday, Omran’s 10-year-old brother, Ali, died of wounds he suffered during the same attack, medical workers said.

Ali’s death, which did not draw the same instant social media outpouring as Omran’s suffering, only underscored how many Syrian children are dying under the radar of the wider world.

Watch LaterEmailFacebookTwitterWhatsApp

Video Omran Daqneesh, 5, was rescued after an airstrike in the Syrian city of Aleppo.Within hours, a photo of his dust- and blood-covered face captured the world’s attention.This is the story behind the image.

Omran was injured on Wednesday by either a Syrian or a Russian airstrike — Russia has denied involvement — that destroyed the building where his family lived in eastern Aleppo.

On Thursday, a pro-government website published a photograph of a young girl that it said was hurt — around the same time as Omran — by rebel mortar attacks on the government-held western side of the city.

The rebels have no air power, (but chemical weapons and missiles and tanks and canons?) and the devastation in Aleppo has been greater on the rebel-held side

Andrew Bossone comment:

Adding to the many photos “unnoticed”

Omran, the Face of Aleppo’s Suffering, Is Just One of Syria’s Young Victims mobile.nytimes.com|By Anne Barnard and Hwaida Saad Syria’s Cinderella?

One monitoring group, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, said that 100 children had died on the city’s eastern side this month alone, and 49 on the western side. (And the US was angry when safe passages were opened to fleeing Syrians)

For each family, the loss is immeasurable. And there are children constantly caught up in battles in other places, on all sides, across war-torn Syria.

Omran’s picture has resonated for reasons obvious and unknowable. Here are images of seven of the many other children treated in the past week at hospitals in the same region (and in other regions? Selective propaganda images?).

They are taken from among several that were posted by doctors and other residents of Aleppo on a WhatsApp group for journalists.

Ahmad Tadifi,

Doctors did not know who this child was when he arrived at the same hospital that treated Omran. On Wednesday, Ahmad had been separated from his family — as happens to many children in the chaotic aftermath of an attack — in the Mashhad neighborhood of Aleppo.

He underwent surgery for serious injuries to his head, groin and right arm and leg. Later identified, Ahmad was kept in the intensive care unit of the hospital along with his father.

Late on Friday, he died from his injuries.

Rouwaida, 5, and Rana Hanoun, 7 months

The Hanoun sisters were wounded on Wednesday in the same airstrike that injured Omran.

They were among 12 children under 15 who were treated at the same hospital in Aleppo. Both of the girls had suffered shrapnel wounds, but were treated and then released on Thursday morning.

Doctors shared their picture with the WhatsApp group around the same time they shared the photograph of Omran.<img class=”span-asset-img ” src=”https://cdn1.nyt.com/images/2016/08/22/world/22SYRIA2/22SYRIA2-articleLarge.jpg” />Rana Hanoun, 7 months.

Aisel Hajar, 2

<img class=”span-asset-img ” src=”https://cdn1.nyt.com/images/2016/08/22/world/22SYRIA3/22SYRIA3-jumbo.jpg” />Aisel Hajar, 2.

Aisel suffered wounds to her head and to one of her legs on Tuesday, and was treated at Al Quds hospital.

The severity of her injuries could not be confirmed because doctors were busy treating new cases. But activists have nicknamed her “Syria’s Cinderella” because of a picture that one took of her shoes — Mary Janes, worn with white socks.<img class=”span-asset-img ” src=”https://cdn1.nyt.com/images/2016/08/22/world/22SYRIA5/22SYRIA5-articleLarge.jpg” />Aisel Hajar’s Mary Jane shoes.

Amal, 4, and Hikmat Hayouk, 6

<img class=”span-asset-img ” src=”https://cdn1.nyt.com/images/2016/08/22/world/22SYRIA7/22SYRIA7-articleLarge.jpg” />Amal Hayouk, 4.

The Hayouk siblings suffered cuts and bruises when an aircraft opened fire on Wednesday over the Sakhour neighborhood, and they were treated around the same time and at the same hospital as Omran.

The children’s wounds were relatively minor, but an adult relative suffered a critical neck wound.<img class=”span-asset-img ” src=”https://cdn1.nyt.com/images/2016/08/22/world/22SYRIA8/22SYRIA8-articleLarge.jpg” />Hikmat Hayouk, 6.

An unidentified boy

Efforts to identify this boy, below, were unsuccessful. He was treated on Tuesday night at the Omar Hospital and released, said Baraa al-Halabi, a citizen journalist who photographed him.

None of the medical workers who could be reached remembered the boy, which is not unusual in the overwhelmed hospitals.<img class=”span-asset-img span-asset-img-vertical” src=”https://cdn1.nyt.com/images/2016/08/22/world/22SYRIA6/22SYRIA6-jumbo.jpg” />An unidentified boy.

Four children, no picture

At 3 a.m. Saturday, a barrel bomb landed on a house in the Jalloum quarter of Aleppo’s old city, destroying the house and killing seven members of one family — including all four children — said Abdelkafi al-Hamdo, a friend of the father’s.

The children were Aisha, 12; Mohammad, 11; Obaida, 7; and Afraa, 6. There is no picture of their injuries to show because they were pulled dead from the rubble.

Their father, Ali Abu Joud, recorded this video of three of his children’s bodies wrapped in shrouds. His voice can be heard breaking as he tells them goodbye, calling them “habibati” — my darlings — “birds of heaven, gone to the one who is better, gone to God.”

Notes:

Pictures and videos can make a slight difference. If the world media conglomerates were Not owned by US and Saudi Kingdom, this ugly and savage civil war in Syria would have ended long time ago.

So many brutal casualties were committed throughout Syria but the media turned a blind eye.

The same case for the Yemeni children dying from malnutrition and lack of basic medicines.

Same case for South Sudan

And Ethiopia where the government has been killing demonstrators

And No coverage of the suffering in Eritrea (controlled by the US and Israel)

This article was posted in October 2014 by Ricken Patel. Just a reminder of our Covid-19 pandemics and how the world community is fighting it.

Ebola, Covid-19…: Pandemics vs People

Ebola could threaten us all, and the most urgent need to stop it is for volunteers.
If just 120 doctors among us volunteer, it will *double* the number of doctors in Sierra Leone. Other volunteers – in health, sanitation, logistics – can help too.
This is a call to serve humanity in the deepest possible way, to accept serious risk for our fellow human beings.

Three weeks ago, hundreds of thousands of us went offline to fight climate change. This week, we’re going offline to help stop Ebola.

The Ebola virus is spiraling out of control. Cases in West Africa are doubling every 2-3 weeks and the latest estimate says that up to 1.4 million people could be infected by mid-January.

Talking about exponential growth is frightening

At that scale, this monster threatens the entire world.

I just read that the UN has only $100,000 in its fund for the Ebola outbreak

Mind you that AIDS harvest over 1.5 million each year (as much as Malaria and Dysentery combined).

Though, malaria is the number one disease followed by dysentery that put heavy burden on the States in Africa and Equatorial countries.

Previous Ebola outbreaks have been repeatedly contained at small numbers. But the scale of this epidemic has swamped the region’s weak health systems.

Liberia has less than 1 doctor for every 100,000 people. Governments are providing funds, but there just aren’t enough medical staff to stem the epidemic.

That’s where we come in.

If just 120 doctors among us volunteer, it will *double* the number of doctors in Sierra Leone.

Other volunteers can help too — lab technicians, logisticians, water and sanitation workers, and transport workers. Volunteering means more than time. It means risk.

Health professionals have already died fighting Ebola.

But if there’s any group of people that would consider taking this risk for their fellow human beings, it’s our community.

Great things come from listening to the deepest voices within us.

If you’re a health professional, or have other skills that can help, I ask you to take a moment, listen to the part of you that you most trust, and follow it.

Raising your hand to volunteer is the first step.

You’ll need to get, and provide, a lot of information to ensure you’re well matched to an available position. You will likely need to discuss this decision with your loved ones, and you can withdraw from the process later if you choose to.

For this effort, Avaaz is working with Partners In Health, Save the Children, and International Medical Corps, three of the leading organisations fighting this deadly disease.

We are also consulting with the governments of Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Guinea, and the World Health Organization.

While there is substantial risk, there are also clear ways to contain that risk. 

Ebola is spread through bodily fluids, so with extreme care, the risk of contracting it can be minimized.

So far, 94 health care workers have died of Ebola in Liberia, but almost all of them have been national health workers, who are far less well equipped than international volunteers. 

With treatment, the chances of surviving the virus are better than 50%.

Many of us, from police to activists to soldiers, have jobs that involve risking our lives for our country.

It’s the most powerful statement we can make about what’s worth living for. Taking this risk to fight Ebola, makes a statement that our fellow human beings, wherever they are, are worth living for:

If Ebola spirals further out of control, it could soon threaten us all. The fact that a weak health care system in a small country can let this monster grow to a size that threatens the world is a powerful statement of just how interdependent we are. But this interdependence is far more than just interests.

We are connected, all of us, in a community of human beings.

All the lies that have divided us – about nation and religion and sexuality – are being torn down, and we are realizing that we really are one people, one tribe. 

That a young mother and her daughter in Liberia fear the same things and love the same things as a young mother and her daughter in Brazil, or the Netherlands.

And in this unfolding understanding, a new world is being born.

Out of the darkest places come our brightest lights.

Out of the depths of the Ebola nightmare, let’s bring the hope of a new world of one people, willing to give, and sacrifice, for each other.

With hope and determination,

Ricken, John, Alice, Danny, and the whole Avaaz team.

Note:  See the video

Fighting Ebola street by street

Good people are all around the globe! Disasters too –

Thanks Ben C. Solomon for this great video about ‪#‎ebola‬ –
Sean Casey makes me think of u and all the great work u and ur colleagues are doing!http://www.nytimes.com/video/world/africa/100000003161313/fighting-ebola-outbreak-street-by-street.html?playlistId=100000003105684&region=video-grid&version=video-grid-headline&contentCollection=Ebola+Outbreak&contentPlacement=0&module=featured-videos&action=click&pgType=Multimedia&eventName=video-grid-click

More information:

Up to 1.4m people could be infected with Ebola by January, CDC warns (The Guardian)
http://www.theguardian.com/society/2014/sep/23/ebola-cdc-millions-infected-quarantine-africa-epidemi…

Known Cases and Outbreaks of Ebola Virus Disease, in Chronological Order (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
http://www.cdc.gov/vhf/ebola/outbreaks/history/chronology.html

Ebola ‘devouring everything in its path’ (Al Jazeera)
http://www.aljazeera.com/news/africa/2014/09/ebola-devouring-everything-path-201499161646914388.html

Ebola death rates 70% – WHO study (BBC)
http://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-29327741

Unprecedented number of medical staff infected with Ebola (WHO)
http://www.who.int/mediacentre/news/ebola/25-august-2014/en/

Iraqi Birth Defects: Usage of depleted uranium shells for years

I watched a documentary on the cable ARTE yesterday on the birth defects suffered by babies in Iraq after the US invasion of 2003.

And today Hot Posts is disseminating what Rania Khalek wrote. This is a reblog with minor editing. 

Rania Khalek posted on March 20, 2013 in her blog “Dispatches from the underclass”

The United States may have finished dropping bombs on Iraq, but Iraqi bodies and babies will be dealing with the consequences for generations to come in the form of birth defects, mysterious illnesses and skyrocketing cancer rates.

Al Jazeera’s Dahr Jamail reports that contamination from U.S. weapons, particularly Depleted Uranium (DU) munitions, has led to an Iraqi health crisis of epic proportions.

Children being born with two heads, children born with only one eye, multiple tumors  disfiguring facial and body deformities, and complex nervous system problems…” are just some of the congenital birth defects being linked to military-related pollution.

In certain Iraqi cities, the health consequences are significantly worse than those seen in the aftermath of the atomic bombing of Japan at the end of WWII.

(Dr Samira Alani/Al Jazeera])

(Dr Samira Alani/Al Jazeera])

The highest rates are in the city of Fallujah, which underwent two massive US bombing campaigns in 2004.

Though the U.S. initially denied it, officials later admitted using white phosphorus (like what Israel used on Gaza).

In addition, U.S. and British forces unleashed an estimated 2,000 tons of depleted uranium ammunition in populated Iraqi cities in 2003.

DU, a chemically toxic heavy metal produced in nuclear waste, is used in weapons due to its ability to pierce through armor.

That’s why the US and UK were among a handful of nations (France and Israel) who in December refused to sign an international agreement to limit its use, insisting DU is not harmful, science be damned.

Meanwhile, the Pentagon’s refusal to release details about where DU munitions were fired has made it difficult to clean up.

Today, 14.7% of Fallujah’s babies are born with a birth defect, 14 times the documented rate in Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Fallujah’s babies have also experienced heart defects 13 times the European rate and nervous system defects 33 times that of Europe.

That comes on top of a 12-fold rise in childhood cancer rates since 2004.

The male-to-female birth ratio is now 86 boys for every 100 girls, indicating genetic damage that affects males more than females.

(Dr Samira Alani/Al Jazeera)

(Dr Samira Alani/Al Jazeera)

(On a side note, these pictures are rather sanitized compared to other even more difficult to look at images. See here if you can bear it.)

If Fallujah is the Iraqi Hiroshima, then Basra is its Nagasaki counterpart.

According to a study published in the Bulletin of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology, a professional journal based in the southwestern German city of Heidelberg, there was a 7 fold increase in the number of birth defects in Basra between 1994 and 2003.

According to the Heidelberg study, the concentration of lead in the milk teeth of sick children from Basra was almost 3 times as high as comparable values in areas where there was no fighting.

In addition, never before has such a high rate of neural tube defects (“open back”) been recorded in babies as in Basra, and the rate continues to rise. According to the study, the number of hydrocephalus (“water on the brain”) cases among new-born is 6 times as high in Basra as it is in the United States.

These phenomenon are not isolated to Fallujah and Basra. The overall Iraqi cancer rate has also skyrocketed:

Official Iraqi government statistics show that, prior to the outbreak of the First Gulf War in 1991, the rate of cancer cases in Iraq was 40 out of 100,000 people.

By 1995, it had increased to 800 out of 100,000 people, and, by 2005, it had doubled to at least 1,600 out of 100,000 people. Current estimates show the increasing trend continuing.

As Grist’s Susie Cagle points out, “That’s potentially a more than 4,000% increase in the cancer rate, making it more than 500 percent higher than the cancer rate in the U.S.

Dr. Mozghan Savabieasfahani, an environmental toxicologist based in Ann Arbor, Michigan, told Jamail that “These observations collectively suggest an extraordinary public health emergency in Iraq. Such a crisis requires urgent multifaceted international action to prevent further damage to public health.”(

Dr. Samira Alani/Al Jazeera)

Instead, the international community, including the nation most responsible for the health crisis is mostly ignoring the problem.

To make matters worse, Iraq’s healthcare system, which was once the envy of the region, is virtually nonexistent due to the mass exodus of Iraq’s medical doctors since 2003.

According to recent estimates, there are currently fewer than 100 psychiatrists and 20,0000 physicians serving a population of 31 million Iraqis.

Dahr Jamail was on Democracy Now this morning discussing the horrific effects of military-related pollution in Iraq:

Yanar Mohammad, President of the Organization for Women’s Freedom in Iraq was also on Democracy Now and addressed the toxic legacy of birth defects in Iraq. (I interviewed Mohammed for a piece I wrote for Muftah about the deterioration of Iraqi women’s rights since the invasion, which you can read here.

)https://www.youtube.com/embed/5eBgRcgLNW0?version=3&rel=1&fs=1&autohide=2&showsearch=0&showinfo=1&iv_load_policy=1&wmode=transparent 

How childhood trauma seriously affects health across a lifetime?

In the mid-’90s, the CDC and Kaiser Permanente discovered an exposure that dramatically increased the risk for 7 out of 10 of the leading causes of death in the United States.

In high doses (of  childhood trauma ), it affects brain development, the immune system, hormonal systems, and even the way our DNA is read and transcribed.

Folks who are exposed in very high doses have triple the lifetime risk of heart disease and lung cancer and a 20-year difference in life expectancy.

And yet, doctors today are not trained in routine screening or treatment. 

The exposure I’m talking about is not a pesticide or a packaging chemical. It’s childhood trauma.

By Nadine Burke Harris

Patsy Z and TEDxSKE shared a link.

What kind of trauma am I talking about here? I’m not talking about failing a test or losing a basketball game. 

I am talking about threats that are so severe or pervasive that they literally get under our skin and change our physiology: things like abuse, neglect, or growing up with a parent who struggles with mental illness or substance dependence.  (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder)

For a long time, I viewed these things in the way I was trained to view them, either as a social problem — refer to social services — or as a mental health problem — refer to mental health services.

And then something happened to make me rethink my entire approach.

When I finished my residency, I wanted to go someplace where I felt really needed, someplace where I could make a difference. So I came to work for California Pacific Medical Center, one of the best private hospitals in Northern California.

 Together, we opened a clinic in Bayview-Hunters Point, one of the poorest, most underserved neighborhoods in San Francisco.

Prior to that point, there had been only one pediatrician in all of Bayview to serve more than 10,000 children, so we hung a shingle, and we were able to provide top-quality care regardless of ability to pay. It was so cool.

We targeted the typical health disparities: access to care, immunization rates, asthma hospitalization rates, and we hit all of our numbers. We felt very proud of ourselves.

And I started noticing a disturbing trend. A lot of kids were being referred to me for ADHD, or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, but when I actually did a thorough history and physical, what I found was that for most of my patients, I couldn’t make a diagnosis of ADHD.

Most of the kids I was seeing had experienced such severe trauma that it felt like something else was going on. Somehow I was missing something important.

Before I did my residency, I did a master’s degree in public health, and one of the things that they teach you in public health school is that if you’re a doctor and you see 100 kids that all drink from the same well, and 98 of them develop diarrhea, you can go ahead and write that prescription for dose after dose after dose of antibiotics, or you can walk over and say, “What the hell is in this well?”

So I began reading everything that I could get my hands on about how exposure to adversity affects the developing brains and bodies of children.

And then one day, my colleague walked into my office, and he said, “Dr. Burke, have you seen this?” In his hand was a copy of a research study called the Adverse Childhood Experiences Study.

That day changed my clinical practice and ultimately my career.

 The Adverse Childhood Experiences Study is something that everybody needs to know about. It was done by Dr. Vince Felitti at Kaiser and Dr. Bob Anda at the CDC. Together, they asked 17,500 adults about their history of exposure to what they called “adverse childhood experiences,” or ACEs.

Those include physical, emotional, or sexual abuse; physical or emotional neglect; parental mental illness, substance dependence, incarceration; parental separation or divorce; or domestic violence.

For every yes, you would get a point on your ACE score. And then what they did was they correlated these ACE scores against health outcomes. What they found was striking.

Two things:

Number one, ACEs are incredibly common. 67% of the population had at least one ACE, and 12.6%, one in eight, had four or more ACEs.

The second thing that they found was that there was a dose-response relationship between ACEs and health outcomes: the higher your ACE score, the worse your health outcomes.

For a person with an ACE score of four or more, their relative risk of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease was two and a half times that of someone with an ACE score of zero.

For hepatitis, it was also two and a half times. For depression, it was four and a half times.

For suicide tendency, it was 12 times.

A person with an ACE score of 7 or more had triple the lifetime risk of lung cancer and three and a half times the risk of ischemic heart disease, the number one killer in the United States of America.

This makes sense.

Some people looked at this data and they said, “Come on. You have a rough childhood, you’re more likely to drink and smoke and do all these things that are going to ruin your health. This isn’t science. This is just bad behavior.”

It turns out this is exactly where the science comes in.

We now understand better than we ever have before how exposure to early adversity affects the developing brains and bodies of children.

1. It affects areas like the nucleus accumbens, the pleasure and reward center of the brain that is implicated in substance dependence.

2. It inhibits the prefrontal cortex, which is necessary for impulse control and executive function, a critical area for learning.

3. And on MRI scans, we see measurable differences in the amygdala, the brain’s fear response center.

So there are real neurologic reasons why folks exposed to high doses of adversity are more likely to engage in high-risk behavior, and that’s important to know.

But it turns out that even if you don’t engage in any high-risk behavior, you’re still more likely to develop heart disease or cancer. 

The reason for this has to do with the hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal axis, the brain’s and body’s stress response system that governs our fight-or-flight response.

How does it work? Well, imagine you’re walking in the forest and you see a bear. Immediately, your hypothalamus sends a signal to your pituitary, which sends a signal to your adrenal gland that says, “Release stress hormones! Adrenaline! Cortisol!” 

And so your heart starts to pound, your pupils dilate, your airways open up, and you are ready to either fight that bear or run from the bear.

That is wonderful if you’re in a forest and there’s a bear. (Laughter) But the problem is what happens when the bear comes home every night, and this system is activated over and over and over again, and it goes from being adaptive, or life-saving, to maladaptive, or health-damaging?

Children are especially sensitive to this repeated stress activation, because their brains and bodies are just developing. 

High doses of adversity not only affect brain structure and function, they affect the developing immune system, developing hormonal systems, and even the way our DNA is read and transcribed.

For me, this information threw my old training out the window, because when we understand the mechanism of a disease, when we know not only which pathways are disrupted, but how, then as doctors, it is our job to use this science for prevention and treatment. That’s what we do.

So in San Francisco, we created the Center for Youth Wellness to prevent, screen and heal the impacts of ACEs and toxic stress.

We started simply with routine screening of every one of our kids at their regular physical, because I know that :

1. if my patient has an ACE score of 4, she’s two and a half times as likely to develop hepatitis or COPD, she’s four and half times as likely to become depressed, and she’s 12 times as likely to attempt to take her own life as my patient with zero ACEs.

2. I know that when she’s in my exam room.

For our patients who do screen positive, we have a multidisciplinary treatment team that works to reduce the dose of adversity and treat symptoms using best practices, including home visits, care coordination, mental health care, nutrition, holistic interventions, and yes, medication when necessary.

But we also educate parents about the impacts of ACEs and toxic stress the same way you would for covering electrical outlets, or lead poisoning, and we tailor the care of our asthmatics and our diabetics in a way that recognizes that they may need more aggressive treatment, given the changes to their hormonal and immune systems.

So the other thing that happens when you understand this science is that you want to shout it from the rooftops, because this isn’t just an issue for kids in Bayview.

I figured the minute that everybody else heard about this, it would be routine screening, multi-disciplinary treatment teams, and it would be a race to the most effective clinical treatment protocols.

Yeah. That did not happen. And that was a huge learning for me.

What I had thought of as simply best clinical practice I now understand to be a movement.

In the words of Dr. Robert Block, the former President of the American Academy of Pediatrics, “Adverse childhood experiences are the single greatest unaddressed public health threat facing our nation today.”

And for a lot of people, that’s a terrifying prospect. The scope and scale of the problem seems so large that it feels overwhelming to think about how we might approach it.

But for me, that’s actually where the hopes lies, because when we have the right framework, when we recognize this to be a public health crisis, then we can begin to use the right tool kit to come up with solutions.

From tobacco to lead poisoning to HIV/AIDS, the United States actually has quite a strong track record with addressing public health problems, but replicating those successes with ACEs and toxic stress is going to take determination and commitment, and when I look at what our nation’s response has been so far, I wonder, why haven’t we taken this more seriously?

At first I thought that we marginalized the issue because it doesn’t apply to us. That’s an issue for those kids in those neighborhoods. Which is weird, because the data doesn’t bear that out.

The original ACEs study was done in a population that was 70 percent Caucasian, 70% college-educated.

But then, the more I talked to folks, I’m beginning to think that maybe I had it completely backwards. If I were to ask how many people in this room grew up with a family member who suffered from mental illness, I bet a few hands would go up.

And then if I were to ask how many folks had a parent who maybe drank too much, or who really believed that if you spare the rod, you spoil the child, I bet a few more hands would go up.

Even in this room, this is an issue that touches many of us, and I am beginning to believe that we marginalize the issue because it does apply to us. Maybe it’s easier to see in other zip codes because we don’t want to look at it. We’d rather be sick.

 Fortunately, scientific advances and, frankly, economic realities make that option less viable every day. The science is clear: Early adversity dramatically affects health across a lifetime.

Today, we are beginning to understand how to interrupt the progression from early adversity to disease and early death, and 30 years.

From now, the child who has a high ACE score and whose behavioral symptoms go unrecognized, whose asthma management is not connected, and who goes on to develop high blood pressure and early heart disease or cancer will be just as anomalous as a six-month mortality from HIV/AIDS.

People will look at that situation and say, “What the heck happened there?” This is treatable. This is beatable. The single most important thing that we need today is the courage to look this problem in the face and say, this is real and this is all of us. I believe that

Is it the less information the better in critical split-second decision cases?

ER of Cook County Hospital (Chicago) on West Harriston Street, close to downtown, was built at the turn of last century.

I was home of the world’s first blood bank, cobalt-beam therapy, surgeons attaching severed fingers, famous trauma center for gangs’ gunshot wounds and injuries…and most famous for the TV series ER, and George Clooney

In the mid 90’s. the ER welcomed 250,000 patients a year, mostly homeless and health non-insured patients…

Smart patients would come the first thing in the morning to the ER and pack a lunch and a dinner.  Long lines crowded the walls of the cavernous corridors…

There were no air-conditioners: During the summer heat waves, the heat index inside the hospital reached 120 degrees. 

An administrator didn’t last 8 seconds in the middle of one of the wards.

There were no private rooms and patients were separated by plywood dividers.

There were no cafeteria or private phones: The single public phone was at the end of the hall.

One bathroom served all that crowd of patients.

There was a single light switch: You wanted to light a room and the entire hospital had to light up…

The big air fans, the radios and TV that patients brought with them (to keep company), the nurses’ bell buzzing non-stop and no free nurses around… rendered the ER a crazy place to treat emergency cases

Asthma cases were numerous: Chicago was the world worst in patients suffering from asthma…

Protocols had to be created to efficiently treat asthma cases, chest pain cases, homeless patients…

About 30 patients a day converged to the ER complaining of chest pains (potential heart attack worries) and there were only 20 beds in two wards for these cases.

It cost $2,000 a night per bed for serious intensive care, and about $1,000 for the lesser care (nurses instead of cardiologists tending to the chest pain patient…)

A third ward was created as observation unit for half a day patients.  

Was there any rational protocol to decide in which ward the chest-pain patient should be allocated to?

It was the attending physician call, and most of the decisions were wrong, except for the most obvious heart attack cases…

In the 70’s, cardiologist Lee Goldman borrowed the statistical rules of a group of mathematicians for telling apart subatomic particles. Goldman fed a computer data of hundreds of files of heart attack cases and crunched the numbers into a “predictive equation” or model.

Four key risk factors emerged as the most critical telltale of a real heart attack case:

1. ECG (the ancient electrocardiogram graph) showing acute ischemia

2. unstable angina pain

3, fluid in the lungs

4. systolic blood pressure under 100…

decision tree was fine-tuned to decide on serious cases. For example:

1. ECG is normal but at least two key risk factors are positive

2. ECG is abnormal with at leat one risk factor positive…

These kinds of decision trees… (The early artificial programs)

The trouble was that physicians insisted on letting discriminating factors muddle their decisions. For example, statistics had shown that “normally” females do not suffer heart attack until old age, and thus a young female might be sent home (and die the same night) more often than middle-aged black or older white males patients…

Brendan Reilly, chairman of the hospital department of Medicine, decided to try Goldman decision tree.  Physicians were to try the tree and their own instincts for a period.  The results were overwhelmingly in favor of the Goldman algorithm…

It turned out that, if the physician was not bombarded with dozens of pieces of intelligence and just followed the decision tree, he was better off in the allocation to ward process…

For example, a nurse should record all the necessary information of the patients (smoker, age, gender, overweight, job stress, physical activities, high blood pressure, blood sugar content, family history for heart attacks, sweating tendencies, prior heart surgeries,…), but the attending physician must receive quickly the results of the 4 key risk factors to decide on…

Basically, the physician could allocate the patient to the proper ward without even seeing the individual and be influenced by extraneous pieces of intelligence that are not serious today, but could be potential hazards later on or even tomorrow…

Mind you that in order to save on medical malpractice suits, physicians and nurses treating a patient must Not send the patient any signals that can be captured as “contempt”, like feeling invisible and insignificant  https://adonis49.wordpress.com/2012/07/26/what-type-of-hated-surgeons-gets-harassed-with-legal-malpractice-suits/

Many factors are potential predictors for heart attack cases, but they are minor today, for quick decisions…

No need to overwhelm with irrelevant information at critical time.  Analytic reasoning and snap judgment are neither good or bad: Either method is bad at the inappropriate circumstances.

In the “battle field” the less the information coming in, the less the communication streams and the better the rapid cognition decisions of field commanders…

All you need to know is the “forecast” and not the numbers of temperature, wind speed, barometric pressure…

Note: post inspired from a chapter in “Blink” by Malcolm Gladwell


adonis49

adonis49

adonis49

December 2020
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