“Late Monday night a federal judge in New York, Raymond Lohier, granted the Obama administration an “emergency” stay that temporarily blocks a ruling by U.S. District Judge Katherine Forrest last week blocking the NDAA.
“Lohier offered no explanation or rationale for the temporary stay. However, the Justice Department has asked the appeals court to block the injunction,” Politico reported late last night.
“The Obama administration characterized the ruling by Forrest as unconstitutional.
“The Justice Department said the ruling was “unprecedented” and argued that the executive has the right under the Constitution to detain anyone indefinitely without due process. The Fifth Amendment specifically mentions due process of law. …”
“When the US government ignored repeated warnings by its own scientists and allowed untested genetically modified (GM) crops into our environment and food supply, it was a gamble of unprecedented proportions. The health of all living things and all future generations were put at risk by an infant technology.
“After two decades, physicians and scientists have uncovered a grave trend. The same serious health problems found in lab animals, livestock, and pets that have been fed GM foods are now on the rise in the US population. And when people and animals stop eating genetically modified organisms (GMOs), their health improves.
“This seminal documentary provides compelling evidence to help explain the deteriorating health of Americans, especially among children, and offers a recipe for protecting ourselves and our future.”
“The featured article in the latest newsletter from Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) gets straight to the point with its headline:1 Back to School – Is the Child Sitting Next to Yours Immunized?
“The article goes on to berate vaccine exemption options and parents who use personal belief exemptions to opt-out of vaccines for their children. It stops short of ordering parents to march into their children’s classrooms and demand to know who’s vaccinated and who’s not (health privacy laws prevent that anyway).
“It peppers you with enough scare tactics – along with links to information on vaccine exemptions and states that allow personal belief exemptions – to leave readers convinced they need to do something to stop vaccine exemptions.
“All across the United States, people are fighting for their right to choose not to be injected with vaccines against their will, and this is just the latest tactic in a coordinated effort aimed at eliminating all vaccine exemptions.
“The Gates Foundation is even funding surveillance of anti-vaccine groups. Seth C. Kalichman, professor at the Department of Psychology, University of Connecticut recently received a $100,000 grant to establish an Anti-Vaccine Surveillance and Alert System.
“The intention is to “establish an internet-based global monitoring and rapid alert system for finding, analyzing, and counteracting misinformation communication campaigns regarding vaccines to support global immunization efforts,” GreenMedInfo.com reports.2 …”
The AAP report on circumcision: Bad science + bad ethics = bad medicine
For the first time in over a decade, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has revised its policy position on infant male circumcision. They now say that the probabilistic health benefits conferred by the procedure just slightly outweigh the known risks and harms. Not enough to come right out and positively recommend circumcision (as some media outlets are erroneously reporting), but just enough to suggest that whenever it is performed—for cultural or religious reasons, or sheer parental preference, as the case may be—it should be covered by government health insurance.
That turns out to be a very fine line to dance on. But fear not: the AAP policy committee comes equipped with tap shoes tightly-laced, and its self-appointed members have shown themselves to be hoofers of the nimblest kind. Their position statement is full of equivocations, hedging, and uncertainty; and the longer report upon which it is based is replete with non-sequiturs, self-contradiction, and blatant cherry-picking of essential evidence. Both documents shine as clear examples of a “lowest common denominator” mélange birthed by a divided committee, some of whose members must be well aware that United States is embarrassingly out of tune with world opinion on this issue.
On a global scale, medical experts are steadfastly divided on the question of whether the circumcision of male minors confers any – let alone significant – health benefits. Indeed, child health experts in Britain, Germany, Scandinavia, Australia, New Zealand, and Canada are firmly of the view that non-therapeutic circumcision (NTC) confers no meaningful benefits, and that it should be neither recommended to parents nor funded by health insurance systems.
In view of this empirical uncertainty on the medical question, it is problematic to assert, as the AAP does in its new report, that a person does not retain the right to decide whether he wishes to keep his own healthy foreskin–and preserve his genitals in their natural form–and that the right belongs instead to his parents.
Parents can of course give proxy consent for needful therapeutic procedures aimed at treating a known pathology–if the pathology presents a grave threat to the child, and if the intervention cannot be delayed until the child understands what is at stake, and if there are not safer, more reliable, more effective alternative treatments. A healthy foreskin, however, is not a pathology. It needs no treatment at all. To remove it, therefore, on grounds of “proxy consent” is to misunderstand–quite dangerously–the ethical limits of parental authority.
A more reasonable conclusion than the AAP’s, then, is that the person whose penis it is should be allowed to consider, for himself, the available evidence (in all its chaotic murkiness) when he is mentally competent to do so—and make a personal decision about what is, after all, a functional bit of his own sexual anatomy and one enjoyed without issue by the vast majority of the world’s males.
Flawed Studies Used to Claim Circumcision Reduces HIV Infection
An article in the December Journal of Law and Medicine cites numerous flaws in three African studies that claim male circumcision reduces transmission of HIV. (see: the article here)
According to the article, the studies, which are being used to promote the circumcision of up to 38 million men in Africa, had selection bias, inadequate blinding, problematic randomization, experimenter bias, lead time bias, supportive bias, participant expectation bias, time-out discrepancy, and lack of investigating of non-sexual HIV transmission among other confounding factors and problems.
The absolute reduction in HIV transmission associated with male circumcision for the three studies was only about 1.3%. The African studies had cited the relative reduction in HIV transmission, a misleading figure. Reports in the popular press have been even more misleading. Furthermore, there are at least 17 observational studies that have not found any benefit from male circumcision in reducing HIV transmission. Since condom use after male circumcision is essential to prevent sexual transmission of HIV, circumcision does not have any additional value.
Ronald Goldman, Ph.D, executive director of the Circumcision Resouce Center and author of Circumcision: The Hidden Trauma, stated, “This article is another serious, critical analysis of flawed research that is being used to promote circumcision. We have seen such claims about the ‘preventive benefits’ of circumcision for over 100 years. They have all been refuted. No other normal, healthy body part is cut off for supposed ‘preventive benefits.’ From our psychological work, we know that there is a compulsion on the part of some circumcised men to have others circumcised.
Unfortunately, it appears that this compulsion continues to drive some professionals and authorities to promote circumcision without proper critical analysis. They also ignore the serious sexual and psychological harm caused by circumcision.”
“The Canadian press recently broke the story that new research confirms initial findings that the flu vaccine appeared to actually increase people’s risk of getting sick with H1N1, and cause more serious bouts of illness to boot.
According to the Vancouver Sun:1
“Researchers, led by Vancouver’s Dr. Danuta Skowronski, an influenza expert at the B.C. Centre for Disease Control, noticed in the early weeks of the [2009 H1N1] pandemic that people who got a flu shot for the 2008-09 winter seemed to be more likely to get infected with the pandemic virus than people who hadn’t received a flu shot. Five studies done in several provinces showed the same unsettling results.”
In March last year, ABC News reported:2
“There is renewed controversy surrounding influenza vaccines, with some studies showing people immunised against the seasonal flu might have been at greater risk during the swine flu outbreak…
‘What was a bit surprising when we looked at some of the data from Canada and Hong Kong in the last year is that people who have been vaccinated in 2008 with the seasonal or ordinary vaccine seemed to have twice the risk of getting swine flu compared to the people who hadn’t received that vaccine,’ [Professor Collignon from the Australian National University] said.
ANU microbiologists say it is the opposite of what vaccines should do.
Professor Collignon says the findings of the study also highlight the benefits for healthy people who are exposed to some illnesses. ‘Some interesting data has become available which suggests that if you get immunised with the seasonal vaccine, you get less broad protection than if you get a natural infection,’ he said.
‘It is particularly relevant for children because it is a condition they call original antigenic sin, which basically means if you get infected with a natural virus, that gives you not only protection against that virus but similar viruses or even in fact quite different flu viruses in the next year.’
‘We may be perversely setting ourselves up that if something really new and nasty comes along, that people who have been vaccinated may in fact be more susceptible compared to getting this natural infection.'”