KABUL, Afghanistan — In his last phone call home, Lance Cpl. Gregory Buckley Jr. told his father what was troubling him: From his bunk in southern Afghanistan, he could hear Afghan police officers sexually abusing boys they had brought to the base.“At night we can hear them screaming, but we’re not allowed to do anything about it,” the Marine’s father, Gregory Buckley Sr., recalled his son telling him before he was shot to death at the base in 2012. He urged his son to tell his superiors. “My son said that his officers told him to look the other way because it’s their culture.”Continue reading the main storyRelated Coverage Readers React to Afghan Allies’ Sexual Abuse of BoysSEPT. 21, 2015 Taliban Raid Frees Hundreds of Inmates From PrisonSEPT. 14, 2015 An image of Ahmed Shah Massoud in Kabul. At least two people died Wednesday as his supporters marauded through streets. Afghans Celebrate a National Hero, and Fighting Breaks OutSEPT. 10, 2015 U.S. Denies an Airstrike Killed 11 Afghan Narcotics OfficersSEPT. 7, 2015Rampant sexual abuse of children has long been a problem in Afghanistan, particularly among armed commanders who dominate much of the rural landscape and can bully the population. The practice is called bacha bazi, literally “boy play,” and American soldiers and Marines have been instructed not to intervene — in some cases, not even when their Afghan allies have abused boys on military bases, according to interviews and court records.PhotoGregory Buckley Sr. believes the policy of looking the other way was a factor in his son’s killing. Credit Kirsten Luce for The New York TimesThe policy has endured as American forces have recruited and organized Afghan militias to help hold territory against the Taliban. But soldiers and Marines have been increasingly troubled that instead of weeding out pedophiles, the American military was arming them in some cases and placing them as the commanders of villages — and doing little when they began abusing children.“The reason we were here is because we heard the terrible things the Taliban were doing to people, how they were taking away human rights,” said Dan Quinn, a former Special Forces captain who beat up an American-backed militia commander for keeping a boy chained to his bed as a sex slave. “But we were putting people into power who would do things that were worse than the Taliban did — that was something village elders voiced to me.”The policy of instructing soldiers to ignore child sexual abuse by their Afghan allies is coming under new scrutiny, particularly as it emerges that service members like Captain Quinn have faced discipline, even career ruin, for disobeying it.After the beating, the Army relieved Captain Quinn of his command and pulled him from Afghanistan. He has since left the military.Four years later, the Army is also trying to forcibly retire Sgt. First Class Charles Martland, a Special Forces member who joined Captain Quinn in beating up the commander.“The Army contends that Martland and others should have looked the other way (a contention that I believe is nonsense),” Representative Duncan Hunter, a California Republican who hopes to save Sergeant Martland’s career, wrote last week to the Pentagon’s inspector general.In Sergeant Martland’s case, the Army said it could not comment because of the Privacy Act.When asked about American military policy, the spokesman for the American command in Afghanistan, Col. Brian Tribus, wrote in an email: “Generally, allegations of child sexual abuse by Afghan military or police personnel would be a matter of domestic Afghan criminal law.” He added that “there would be no express requirement that U.S. military personnel in Afghanistan report it.” An exception, he said, is when rape is being used as a weapon of war.AdvertisementContinue reading the main storyThe American policy of nonintervention is intended to maintain good relations with the Afghan police and militia units the United States has trained to fight the Taliban. It also reflects a reluctance to impose cultural values in a country where pederasty is rife, particularly among powerful men, for whom being surrounded by young teenagers can be a mark of social status.Some soldiers believed that the policy made sense, even if they were personally distressed at the sexual predation they witnessed or heard about.“The bigger picture was fighting the Taliban,” a former Marine lance corporal reflected. “It wasn’t to stop molestation.”Still, the former lance corporal, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to avoid offending fellow Marines, recalled feeling sickened the day he entered a room on a base and saw three or four men lying on the floor with children between them. “I’m not a hundred percent sure what was happening under the sheet, but I have a pretty good idea of what was going on,” he said.But the American policy of treating child sexual abuse as a cultural issue has often alienated the villages whose children are being prey
Archive for September, 2015
One evening in June 2011, at their home in a suburb of Portland, Ore., Melissa Lee and her husband sat down to a dinner of spaghetti and meatballs with their 10-month-old daughter. It was one of the first times Ruby Lee ever tasted meat. What followed, over the next few days, was a new parent’s nightmare of fever, diarrhea, listlessness, and doctors—culminating in an urgent phone call about blood test results: “Get Ruby to the hospital now.” Ruby’s bloodstream was infected with a virulent bacterial strain
Salmonella Heidelberg, from the ground turkey she had eaten. She was one of 136 victims in that outbreak and among the 47.8 million cases, including 3,037 deaths, of food-borne illnesses in the United States that year. Medical detective work and DNA fingerprinting soon traced the outbreak back to Cargill, the privately owned agribusiness giant based in the Midwest, which had to recall more than 35 million pounds of ground turkey.
Ruby spent seven days in the hospital on an intravenous drip line. (The needle had to be moved from hand to foot to arm because her tiny body kept rejecting it.) Then she spent four days at home with an antibiotic line threaded into her heart. “The bacteria strain that she got, we didn’t find out till later, was antibiotic resistant,” Melissa Lee recalled not long ago. “So the fact that the antibiotic they gave her actually worked was a minor miracle.” Four other commonly prescribed antibiotics would have failed. “It was sheer luck that they gave her the right one.”
The problem for Ruby Lee and 2 million others in the U.S. who contract antibiotic-resistant infections every year is this: When antibiotics knock out unwanted bacteria, they make room for other bacteria, which are by some quirk in their genetics protected from the effect of the antibiotic. These survivors proliferate and eventually become so dominant that the drug simply has no effect on the patient. It’s natural selection, and the more antibiotics are in use, the faster it happens. The result is that important antibiotics no longer work against staph infections, urinary tract infections, gonorrhea, tuberculosis, and a growing list of other diseases. We thought we had conquered these ancient killers at the beginning of the antibiotic era (which started on D-Day, 70 years ago today), but our old enemies are back.
So after a lifetime in which a doctor could usually wipe away almost any infection simply by applying pen to prescription pad, we now stand at the brink of “a post-antibiotic era.” That’s according to an April 2014 report from the World Health Organization, and it could mean “an end to modern medicine as we know it,” Dr. Margaret Chan, director-general of WHO, recently warned. “Things as common as strep throat or a child’s scratched knee could once again kill.” In Britain, the top health official has said that antibiotic resistance threatens to become an “apocalyptic scenario,” with effects comparable to those of a catastrophic terrorist attack.
Ruby Lee was sickened by antibiotic-resistant
Salmonella in ground turkey.
We know some of the culprits. The astonishing power of antibiotics to conquer disease made people so giddy at first that they proposed adding the drugs to canned foods, or even spraying them into the atmosphere at hospitals. Patients demanded antibiotics even when they weren’t necessarily appropriate, for a baby with an ear infection or a viral sickness. But doctors and hospitals began to see the results of misusing antibiotics almost immediately, in the form of resistant illnesses. With many old antibiotics no longer effective and no new ones coming onto the market to replace them, the medical community is now curtailing misuse of antibiotics to keep the last few lifesaving drugs effective for at least a few more years.
One large area of antibiotic misuse has hardly changed at all, however, partly because until recently no one knew just how astonishingly large it is: The single largest consumer of antibiotics worldwide since shortly after World War II isn’t the medical community at all; it’s the meat industry. The antibiotic era had just begun when researchers accidentally discovered that the addition to feed of low, or subtherapeutic, doses of antibiotics made livestock grow faster, possibly by suppressing bacteria in the gut.
From the start, researchers knew that chronic exposure to antibiotics would inevitably cause bacteria to become resistant. But the meat industry has argued that this resistance remains confined to animals and does not spill over to affect human health; the most it seems it will concede is Cargill’s statement on its website that “it is an ongoing debate about whether animal antibiotic use can adversely affect human health.” Proponents of continued livestock use also point out that antibiotics have made it possible to keep animals healthy in large-scale production facilities—enabling industry to provide cheap meat in abundance for American dinner tables. Routine use of antibiotics, and the resulting lower cost of meat, has been a significant factor in the doubling of meat consumption in this country, from just over 90 pounds per person in 1940 to 184 in the peak year of 2004. (Incidence of heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, obesity, and certain cancers has spiked over the same period; medical science links all of these conditions to excessive meat consumption, which has put enormous pressure on the health care system entirely apart from the effects of antibiotic resistance itself.)
But scientific evidence about the public health risks of antibiotic use in meat production is becoming increasingly precise. That now pits much of the health care community and a broad coalition of political, social, and retail organizations against the giants that dominate the meat business—among them Cargill, Tyson Foods, ConAgra, Perdue Farms, Smithfield Foods (acquired by the Chinese firm Shuanghui International in fall 2013), and JBS S.A. (the Brazilian firm that acquired Swift + Company in 2007). Those companies account for the lion’s share of the 90-billion-plus pounds of red meat and poultry produced in the U.S. each year. Executives at these companies sometimes acknowledge the need to move away from some antibiotic uses, if only because of changing consumer attitudes on the issue. But antibiotics have made it possible to grow more animals faster and in more crowded conditions—the central premise of the highly concentrated modern livestock industry—so the prospect of reducing their use has little appeal. Moreover, demands for changes that could eat into the meat industry’s bottom line come as it faces sharply increased feed costs and annual meat consumption that’s down 18 pounds per capita since 2004. (Accounting varies, but meat producers still manage to rake in well over $100 billion a year.)
The companies that supply the antibiotics—Zoetis (which spun off from Pfizer), Eli Lilly’s Elanco, and Phibro Animal Health are some of the biggest suppliers—also have little incentive to change. Selling drugs for use in livestock and companion animals has been one of the industry’s few bright spots, according to pharmaceutical analyst Steve Scala at Cowen and Company. It’s been a stable source of growth at a time when the human side of the business looks flat, with drugs becoming more expensive and difficult to develop.
But the antibiotics controversy could become a drag on that market, because cases like Ruby Lee’s are becoming disturbingly more common. Infections that resist antibiotic treatment now kill at least 23,000 Americans every year and cost the economy as much as $35 billion annually in added health care and lost productivity. Though doctors, hospitals, and patients who over- and misuse antibiotics bear some of the blame, new studies are for the first time implicating livestock antibiotics, too, and that has increased the demand for limits.
Britain’s top health official has warned that antibiotic resistance threatens to become an “apocalyptic scenario,” with effects comparable to those of a catastrophic terrorist attack.
Until recently, antibiotic use in food animals has been largely hidden from public view. It started in 1949, when the drug company Lederle Laboratories (which would become part of Pfizer) introduced antibiotics for routine use in food animals. A company scientist later admitted that Lederle described the new product at first merely as a source of vitamin B12, rather than as an antibiotic, “to avoid any registration problems.” It was another year before the Food and Drug Administration found out that American food animals were being fed antibiotics on a routine basis, and the FDA did not learn for another 60 years exactly what a whopping dose of antibiotics our food animals were consuming. But a law passed in 2008 required drug companies to report their agricultural sales more fully, and in 2010, the FDA shocked the world when it announced that 28.7 million pounds of antibiotics—80 percent of all use in this country—were being devoted to livestock production rather than to human health care.
Even now, drug industry executives almost never talk directly about this hefty business of selling antibiotics to livestock producers. Several of the biggest makers of antibiotics for livestock declined multiple requests for interviews with executives involved in that part of company business. Zoetis emailed its policy statement on the issue. An Elanco spokesperson acknowledged that antibiotic resistance is a problem in both human and animal medicine, but not that livestock antibiotics have been a factor in the developing crisis. He said the company would comply with measures being developed by FDA “to narrow the use” of antibiotics in food animals.
The pharmaceutical companies’ reticence makes sense. Their business depends on the goodwill of doctors and on a reputation for providing safe and effective drugs. Yet it’s becoming apparent that drug companies have for decades been promoting and profiting from the overuse that’s part of the antibiotic resistance crisis, to the considerable peril of doctors and patients everywhere.
Hence, when journalists phone to talk about livestock antibiotics, pharmaceutical companies generally send them on to Ron Phillips, who works two blocks from the White House in Washington, D.C. He’s a vice president for legislative and public affairs—that is, a lobbyist—for the Animal Health Institute, an association of animal drug manufacturers. In an interview, Phillips argued that the industry is innocent of the charge of causing the resistance epidemic for what can seem like logical reasons: Only about half the antibiotics used on farms are medically important to humans, and the connection to human health care is a lot less clear than when doctors put antibiotics directly into human patients. Antibiotics also get added to feed in relatively small doses—a fraction of a standard therapeutic dose. “Animal antibiotics make our food supply safer and people healthier,” the Animal Health Institute declares on its website. Phillips cited a study suggesting that animal use of antibiotics accounts for no more than 3.5 percent of the resistance problem.
But that study turns out to be more than a decade old, based on a questionnaire answered by 20 people, and written by a consultant to Pfizer. That’s how it often goes with the science in support of antibiotic use in food animals. When proponents cite “more than 12,000 studies” backing its safety and effectiveness, they are generally referring to studies sponsored by the same drug companies that are selling the antibiotics. These studies mostly took place in the 1950s and seldom lasted more than a few weeks.
More recent studies indicate that it is routine for resistance to spill over from food animals to people, in ways we are only beginning to recognize. When the poultry industry in Quebec voluntarily (and temporarily) stopped using a cephalosporin-type antibiotic marketed by Pfizer Canada a few years ago, government researchers noticed that levels of resistant Salmonella and E. coli on supermarket chicken soon dropped. So did resistant Salmonella infections in humans. When the industry reintroduced the antibiotic, resistant bacteria reappeared in both meat products and human consumers. A Pfizer spokesperson commented that injecting the drug into chicken eggs before they have hatched, as the poultry companies had been doing, is an off-label use, and Pfizer does not sell for off-label uses. (This is a measured response considering that Pfizer in the first decade of the 2000s settled four separate cases involving criminal and civil charges, including once paying a fine of $2.3 billion for marketing human drugs for off-label use. And it’s estimated that 20 to 30 percent of drugs are prescribed off-label.) An author of the study countered that Pfizer sold the companies the vaccination machines used to administer the drug.
Here’s Another Way to Get Antibiotics Off of Farms: Tax ‘Em
In another recent study, researchers shopping at supermarkets over a two-year period found resistant E. coli on almost every chicken product and to a lesser extent on beef and pork. Genetic analysis showed “extensive similarities” between the resistance genes in the E. coli on food and those in human patients suffering resistant E. coli infections, said James R. Johnson, M.D., a professor of medicine at the University of Minnesota and an infectious disease specialist at the Veterans Administration Health Care System in Minneapolis. Moreover, the drugs to which the E. coli were resistant were the same antibiotics that were being fed to livestock.
Proper cooking would of course kill these bacteria, but consumers still face a risk as they handle the raw meat in the kitchen. Children can pick up Salmonella and Campylobacter bacteria, Johnson said, just from riding in a supermarket cart with meat products nearby. In most cases, that kind of contamination is temporary: Different bugs prefer different hosts, and they pass through with no apparent ill effects.
E. coli is different. The same strains inhabit the intestines of humans and animals alike, and the species routinely swap them back and forth. It usually doesn’t matter much, so long as they stay in the gut. But they don’t, said Johnson, and there has been a frightening increase in the resistant infections that occur when E. coli gets in the urinary tract, the blood, and even the brain. Patients may go days or even weeks before doctors can find an antibiotic that still works. One result is that a seemingly routine urinary tract infection can now sometimes kill. Worldwide, an estimated 800,000 people die each year from extra-intestinal infections of all kinds caused by strains of E. coli. Even vegetarians are at risk: Over the past few years E. coli outbreaks have occurred in sprouts, packaged salads, spinach, and cookie dough.
For those who defend agricultural use of antibiotics, such studies add up to correlation, not causation. If the same resistance genes turn up in humans and food animals, said Charles Hofacre, a professor at the University of Georgia, that may just mean that overmedicated humans are infecting the food animals, rather than the other way around.
Johnson acknowledged that patients who die “tend to be older, sicker, more debilitated, more health care dependent, and more antibiotic exposed, all of which predispose to having a resistant strain.” Life is complicated like that, and it means that causation is elusive, much as it was when public health officials were trying to demonstrate the link between tobacco and cancer.
“It’s going to be quite difficult to slam-dunk prove that any of these resistance genes emerged because there was antibiotic usage in a food animal,” said Hofacre.
But while we argue about proof, said Tyler Smith, a researcher at The Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future, “we are squandering a medical miracle on the basis of very limited evidence that it is necessary to produce animals.” Denmark and Sweden have already sharply restricted the use of antibiotics in food animals, he noted, without “long-term negative effects on industry.”
The lack of Hofacre’s “slam-dunk” proof, combined with pressure on Congress from agricultural interests, has led the FDA to take an uncharacteristically light-handed approach to livestock antibiotics over the years, an approach that has earned it some scathing criticism. “For over thirty years,” a federal judge declared in a 2012 ruling, the FDA “has been confronted with evidence of the human health risks associated with the widespread subtherapeutic use of antibiotics in food-producing animals and…has done shockingly little to address these risks.” A court also ordered the FDA to act on its own 1977 finding that use of tetracycline and penicillin in livestock feed contributes to drug-resistant bacteria strains and should only be used for therapeutic purposes, and demanded that the FDA belatedly determine whether five other antibiotic classes are safe to use in food animals.
In contradictory fashion, the FDA is appealing that order while, it says, it is pressuring drug manufacturers and meat producers to use antibiotics more judiciously. Under current rules, for instance, a farmer can walk into an agricultural supply store, buy a bottle of veterinary penicillin off the shelf, and treat his own animals with the drugs. Instead, the FDA proposes for the first time to require a prescription from a veterinarian for use of antibiotics in food animals. Over the next three years, livestock producers would also phase out the use of antibiotics merely to promote growth, one of the four uses (or “labels”) allowed under current FDA rules.
Things as common as strep throat or a child’s scratched knee could once again kill.
– Dr. Margaret Chan, director-general of the World Health Organization
But that would be voluntary, and getting rid of the growth-promotion label might not reduce antibiotic use. Drug companies understand “that there are other ways to get antibiotics into animals without calling it growth promoting,” said Gail Hansen, a veterinarian and senior officer, human health & industrial farming, at The Pew Charitable Trusts. One veterinarian who defended current practice even argued that routine feeding of subtherapeutic antibiotics could increase under the new rules, merely re-labeled as “prevention.” To further complicate the issue, the same federal judge who reprimanded the FDA in 2012 has described its voluntary approach as “contrary to the statutory language,” adding that the agency has “forsaken” its obligation to ensure the safety and effectiveness of drugs.
Opacity about agricultural use of antibiotics also continues to handicap the agency, according to Tyler Smith at Johns Hopkins. The FDA can readily track human antibiotic use and draw detailed maps correlating it with local patterns of antibiotic resistance. But under current rules, it has no idea where agricultural antibiotics go after leaving the drug companies for the feed mills. The feed mills are required to record, but not report, how they mix the antibiotics into their products. That loophole, said Smith, means that an FDA epidemiologist trying to figure out why resistant infections are hospitalizing more people in a particular area has to visit the mills to inspect the physical records. But there are hundreds of them.
A slaughterhouse in Colorado. Antibiotics enable meat producers to grow animals more quickly in confined spaces, boosting profit margins. (Photo: Glowimages/Getty Images)
European governments, meanwhile, have responded to the resistance crisis with aggressive disclosure requirements. Germany now collects data on both human and animal use of antibiotics down to the postal code level, making it easier for researchers to correlate usage patterns with changes in antibiotic resistance. Denmark has instituted a “yellow card” system to flag excessive antibiotic use by individual farms.
William T. Flynn, a deputy director for science policy at the FDA’s Center for Veterinary Medicine, thinks it’s doubtful anything that rigorous “would even be workable” here, he said, given the scale and complexity of U.S. agriculture. Instead, the FDA has sought public comment on options for improved disclosure. Some of those comments will be included in the agency’s next summary report on the issue, said Flynn, and may help the agency evaluate whether its voluntary strategy for reducing use of antibiotics on livestock is working. Industry has rejected reporting requirements as too cumbersome and costly. But secrecy may lose its appeal as farmers and the livestock industry begin to confront their own potential vulnerability on the front lines of the resistance crisis.
Changing the debate in startling ways is rapidly expanding research on the microbiome. Advances in DNA technology now allow researchers to study the microbes living within our bodies and in our domesticated animals in unprecedented detail—and that promises news both good and bad for the meat industry.
The harbinger of this change was a bacterial strain that first came to the attention of public health officials in 2003, after Eric and Ine van den Heuvel, a farm couple in the Netherlands, scheduled their six-month-old daughter for surgery to correct a congenital heart defect. Before Eveline could be admitted to the hospital, a test showed that she was carrying an unknown strain of Staphylococcus aureus bacteria resistant to the potent antibiotic methicillin. Researchers dubbed it MRSA ST398 (for “methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus strain 398”). Investigators soon turned up other cases in Eveline’s family and in the surrounding community. This was a big deal: Methicillin was developed to treat bacteria resistant to most penicillins, and was one of the best drugs available for treating staph infections, which anyone can get from activities as routine as changing a diaper.
There has been a frightening increase in the resistant infections that occur when E. coli escapes the gut; it can take doctors weeks to find an antibiotic that still works.
All of the cases were closely tied to pig farms like that of the van den Heuvels, where antibiotics were routinely administered to healthy animals. Researchers went to work gathering samples of ST398 from humans and livestock in 19 countries. To investigate the strain in detail, they turned to whole genome sequencing, a powerful tool that now costs as little as $300 to analyze an organism’s complete DNA (down from $500,000 just a few years ago). This technology makes it possible to trace the recent evolutionary history, or phylogeny, of a bacterial strain and determine when and where a particular trait entered the genome.
“We went in thinking it was a pig strain,” said the principal investigator, Lance Price, professor at George Washington University and a leader in the field of genomic epidemiology. Instead, ST398 turned out to be a case of the humans contaminating the animals—but with a troubling wrinkle: The antibiotic methicillin worked just fine to control the original human strain of ST398. But after it jumped species, living in pigs forced it to adapt. By the time it jumped back to humans, exposure to the antibiotics used in pig farming encouraged the growth of a mutant strain with a resistance gene, rendering methicillin powerless. (It took months—and abandoning the use of agricultural antibiotics—but the van den Heuvels were able to purge Eveline of the strain and get her the heart surgery needed to save her life.)
A few years ago a small pilot study in this country found ST398 in 20.5 percent of pig farm workers. Michael Male, coauthor and veterinarian to Iowa pig farms, cautioned that this may just be a case of temporary contamination, not colonization or infection. ST398 is also a relatively innocuous strain of MRSA, at least so far. But he added, “It raises everybody’s eyebrows.”
It may also raise eyebrows among liability lawyers. Up to now, the cost of antibiotic resistance has fallen on society at large, not on hospitals or companies that misuse antibiotics. But over the next few years, whole genome sequencing could turn that around so the costs are borne by the individual company whose practices created the antibiotic resistant strain or promoted its spread.
Because of the ability of the new technology to do detailed detective work, said Rob Knight, a microbiome researcher at the University of Colorado, it won’t be like the fight over tobacco, in which it took decades to make the statistical connection to cancer convincing. “If you have the complete genome and the phylogeny that points you right back to one geographically isolated source that’s on one particular company’s feedlot, that’s going to be really hard to argue against,” Knight said. “And it’s easy to explain in the courtroom: Here’s the genome, and here’s how it matches up with this genome that we found on this company’s feedlot, and here’s 100,000 genomes from all over the country that don’t match.” In short: “slam-dunk” proof (provided that database of 100,000 genomes gets built).
How Much We Eat, As Illustrated by Beef Sculpture (PHOTOS)
Antibiotic resistance has figured in liability lawsuits only if it has complicated a client’s treatment, said Seattle attorney William Marler, who specializes in food poisoning cases. (He represented Ruby Lee, for instance, after conventional DNA fingerprinting tied her Salmonella strain directly to ground turkey from Cargill.) But resistance could play a bigger part in future lawsuits. “The one thing that genetic fingerprinting has done, and whole genome sequencing will do,” said Marler, “is, it narrows and solidifies what’s a case and what’s not a case.”
The other factor that may end or limit the practice of routine feeding of antibiotics to livestock is the market. Consumer Reports found in a survey last year that 61 percent of shoppers said “antibiotic-free” meat was worth an extra nickel a pound to them—and 37 percent said they’d pay up to a $1 a pound more. Restaurants from Panera Bread to Chipotle Mexican Grill have already anticipated this demand by enacting policies to reduce, phase out, or eliminate sourcing from suppliers that use antibiotics, as have supermarket chains such as Wegmans (stung in 2012 by an E. coli outbreak from a salad mix) and Whole Foods Market.
And some livestock producers are waking up to the idea that just getting rid of the “growth promotion” label may not be enough. “In the past, the big companies were less willing to have an honest, serious conversation about cutting back on antibiotics, and I am seeing that change,” said Helene York of Bon Appétit Management Co., which runs 500 cafés and restaurants for college campuses and corporations, including Google and Starbucks.
Bon Appétit decided back in 2003 that its poultry suppliers should not be routinely administering antibiotics, and in 2007 that its ground beef should be from animals that have never been given antibiotics, period. At first it struggled to find suppliers, said York. But the big meat-producing companies that once gave the company the polite brush-off now “know that how they are going to grow has to be more responsible than how they got to where they are.”
Shares of Pfizer’s animal health subsidiary Zoetis jumped 21 percent on
their New York Stock Exchange debut in February 2013, raising $2.2 billion.
Pictured is CEO Juan Ramon Alaix. (Photo: Brendan McDermid/Reuters)
So far the rising concern about antibiotic resistance has been good news mainly for companies like Niman Ranch and Coleman Natural Foods (owned by Perdue) and independent farmers like Russ Kremer in Missouri. They’re making a market for premium-priced meat in those people in the Consumer Reports poll.
Kremer started out in the 1970s attending farming social events sponsored by drug companies, and he believed what they said about the magic of subtherapeutic antibiotics. But his own bout with a resistant infection, and a fear that he was helping to create “monster bugs” on his farm (which is, no kidding, in the unincorporated community of Frankenstein), caused a change of heart. The first year after “kicking the drug habit,” he recalls today, he saved $16,000 on drugs and veterinary fees, and his pigs were healthier to boot. Kremer now helps other farmers switch to the “sustainable value-added market.” They use probiotics—microorganisms thought to be beneficial—to keep their animals healthy and boost growth rates. Oregano oil is a standard ingredient. So are derivatives from colostrum—a form of milk produced just after childbirth—to help stimulate immune function.
It may sound like something out of the food co-op fringe, but this is where research into the microbiome promises to deliver good news even for the largest meat companies and perhaps also for their customers. Until recently, producers have been largely in the dark about the microbes that live in and around their livestock. They’ve never really known, for instance, exactly what it is that antibiotics do that makes animals grow faster. But microbiome research makes it possible to understand the microbes involved at every stage in an animal’s life—and also tweak them. That’s putting the big livestock companies, and the drug companies that supply them, on a new path.
I think we’re on the path to abandon antibiotics, and we’re going to get there sooner rather than later.
– Mike Robach, vice president of food safety, Cargill
In response to the shifting marketplace, Eli Lilly’s animal health division, Elanco, is currently expanding its line of growth-promoting natural enzymes as an alternative to antibiotics in livestock feed. Likewise, probiotics are now a hot topic at Perdue Foods: “I would’ve said, 10 years ago when we were looking at it, that probiotics didn’t prove out any of the claims. Today they are much more refined,” said Bruce Stewart-Brown, senior vice president of food safety and quality for Perdue. “We’re still learning about these products and how they work in different kinds of chicken. But, oh, yeah, we use ’em.”
At Cargill, source of the meat that poisoned Ruby Lee with antibiotic-resistant Salmonella, researchers have been experimenting with competitive exclusion, a technique for getting chicks started by inoculating them with “good” intestinal bacteria so there’s no room for “bad” bacteria to take hold. “The turkey recall of 2011 got us thinking again,” said Mike Robach, vice president of food safety. “This popped out at us.” Early in 2012, company researchers treated half the turkey chicks in a test population with competitive exclusion. The other half served as a control, receiving no special treatment. Next day, researchers fed both groups a meal deliberately loaded with Salmonella. A week later, the treated birds had only a 10th as much Salmonella as the controls. If the technique wins FDA approval, said Robach, “it would allow us to continue to reduce the use of antibiotics in these animals.”
Would his company ever abandon subtherapeutic antibiotics completely? Robach would not put a timeline on it. But he didn’t flat-out dismiss the idea either. “I think we’re on that path,” he said, “and we’re going to get there sooner rather than later.”
The question is whether the industry will shake its antibiotics addiction before Chan’s nightmare scenario of “an end to modern medicine as we know it” comes true.
Either way, consumers may continue the trend toward giving up on mass-produced meat altogether. Ruby Lee is now a normal, healthy three-year-old—and a meat lover. Melissa Lee and her husband haven’t become Portlandia-style foodies. They aren’t health nuts. But the experience of seeing their child so deathly ill and a victim of antibiotic resistance has led them to avoid meat raised on a steady diet of antibiotics. “We’re just very careful what we give her, how we cook it, what it comes in contact with, everything,” she said.
They have plenty of company. In a survey by a marketing firm for the meat industry, 41 percent of consumers expressed concern about antibiotic use—and 23 percent said they were switching to naturally raised products, or not buying red meat at all. A spokesperson for the survey company said it was all a misunderstanding, and that consumers simply need to be educated.
American healthcare has received heavy criticism in recent decades due to its cost/outcome profile. The sources of poor performance in the United States are many, to be sure, and yet one source rarely gets mentioned, namely, primary care. Anyone following healthcare trends in the United States over the past decade will find few critiques of the deficiencies of primary care. In fact, the press clippings for primary care highlight the positive: a desire for more primary care providers (PCPs); a call for more coordination of care by PCPs; and the development of supportive structures around PCPs called “medical homes” and “accountable care organizations.” One would assume that primary care is working well and that we just need to expand it in various ways. Yet, there is a body of information, both vast and well-known, if not well understood, that would suggest otherwise. Why then is everyone eager for more of the same?The first answer to this question is that there is nothing wrong with primary care practitioners. They work hard, for less money than other medical specialists, and help their patients in many ways. To be clear, PCPs are not the problem with primary care. Instead, primary care is underfunded and is not structured with the right players and the right practice leaders. Another way of saying this is that the problem lies within the primary care setting, and I will argue that current proposals for medical homes and accountable care organizations will not fix this clinical delivery dysfunction. I will propose an alternative structure that delivers better care.We know that 70 percent of primary care visits stem from psychosocial issues1. Are PCPs equipped to understand and effectively address these issues? In general, PCPs have not been selected for clinical practice due to their temperament or desire to deal with psychosocial issues, and they receive very limited training to do so. It can be said then, with some exceptions, that they are not equipped to be effective in this regard. What about the lifestyle issues and health behaviors that drive over 50 percent of our health status? How are PCPs at helping people with their diet, exercise, stress, sleep, social isolation, and feelings of loneliness, all of which are significant health risk factors? Again, it can be said that PCPs are not effective, and yet, to be fair, no one has a formula for success, not even behavioral health professionals.While these facts should lead us to question the adequacy of the primary care model today, it appears fully ripe for dismantling when we recognize that behavioral health disorders are the number one source of disability today. Depression leads this group by far, with anxiety and substance use disorders contributing significant impairment. This is not just a U.S. phenomenon – the World Health Organization notes that depression is the leading cause of disability worldwide. In terms of healthcare costs in the United States, people with depression and anxiety have costs that are 70 percent higher than those without a mental health diagnosis, and people with depression are four times more likely to have a heart attack.There are numerous troublesome facts like these, but even more worrisome is the reality that 80 percent of the people with behavioral health conditions get no treatment for these disorders. When PCPs identify them for treatment, they typically only get psychotropic medications, even though psychotherapy is remarkable effective and produces no side effects2.While these facts challenge the rationale for the primary care model, they would be mitigated somewhat if we could point to a primary care workforce that is deeply satisfied, growing in numbers, and eager to meet these clinical challenges. The unfortunate reality is that a shortage of PCPs is projected for the future – by conservative estimates, 45,000 too few by 2020 – and physicians generally view primary care as less desirable than other specialties due to lower income and increased time demand. Choose your image, either the elephant in the room or the emperor with no clothes, but how can we not simply state that the primary care model is irreparably broken and in need of replacement?Team-based careLet’s start with a key element of the medical home model, namely, team-based care, and then let us reorient the model by replacing the primary care physician with a behavioral health specialist as the team leader. In so doing, we might excel at: detecting the psychosocial issues that are motivating office visits; addressing strategies for changing critical health behaviors; and finally, diagnosing and treating unrecognized conditions like depression, anxiety and substance use disorder. These issues require a team rather than a single behavioral health clinician. We still need nurse practitioners to be on the front line for treating infections and injuries – more or less, the acute conditions – and we need PCPs to be the senior physicians addressi
A new study has revealed that our chairs our killing us, suggesting that sedentary behavior and lack of physical activity are linked with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD).Prolonged sitting time and reduced physical activity contribute to the prevalence of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) in a study of middle-aged Koreans, supporting the importance of both reducing time spent sitting and increasing physical activity, say researchers.Physical activity is known to reduce the incidence and mortality of various chronic diseases. However, more than one half of the average person’s waking day involves sedentary activities associated with prolonged sitting such as watching TV and using the computer and other devices.In the current study, the researchers found that both prolonged sitting time and decreased physical activity level were independently associated with increasing prevalence of NAFLD. Remarkably, these associations were also observed in patients with a body mass index (BMI) of less than 23.Lead investigator Seungho Ryu from Sungkyunkwan University School of Medicine explained that they found that prolonged sitting time and decreased physical activity level were positively associated with the prevalence of NAFLD in a large sample of middle-aged Koreans.The study is published in the Journal of Hepatology
Older people should boost their intake of Vitamin D with supplements to ward off dementia, a new study suggests.Researchers have found people over the age of 60 with low levels of the essential vitamin experienced mental decline up to three times faster than those with adequate readings.Vitamin D – known for its importance for bone health – is obtained primarily through sun exposure as well as egg yolks, cheese and fish oil.The new study, published in the journal Neurology, discovered that it also has a major impact on how the body, including the brain, functions.Joshua Miller, professor of nutritional sciences at the Rutgers School of Environmental and Biological Sciences in the US, said, “There were some people in the study who had low vitamin D who didn’t decline at all and some people with adequate vitamin D who declined quickly. But on average, people with low vitamin D declined two to three times as fast as those with adequate vitamin D.” The study, involving 382, people took place over an eight-year period between 2002 and 2010.The participants range in age from their 60s to their 90s and included those with normal cognition, mild mental decline and dementia.
MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. — After visiting Silicon Valley this summer for a tour of tech companies including Apple, Google and IBM, the director of the National Institute of Mental Health is coming back — this time to work.Google’s life-sciences division, now its own subsidiary of parent company Alphabet, said Tuesday that it has hired Thomas Insel, a neuroscientist and psychiatrist who since 2002 has run the branch of the Maryland-based National Institutes of Health that works on understanding and treating mental disorders.“Tom is coming on board to explore how the life-sciences team at Google could have an impact on the huge challenges related to understanding, diagnosing, and treating mental illness,” the company said in a statement.Insel wrote a blog post in late August describing his visits to Silicon Valley tech giants and startups that are working on health ventures, noting that “technology is not the answer to all problems, but it may help those with mental illness even more than those with other chronic, serious medical conditions.”
32.3K5682Comment625California Gov. Jerry Brown Sends Ben Carson The Climate Evidence He Couldn’t Find”Climate change is much bigger than partisan politics.”Headshot of Dhyana TaylorDhyana TaylorPolitics Intern, The Huffington PostPosted: 09/11/2015 03:36 PM EDT | Edited: 09/11/2015 05:04 PM EDTASSOCIATED PRESSRetired neurosurgeon turned Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson received a flash drive on Thursday full of the evidence for climate change that he has apparently been looking for. California Gov. Jerry Brown (D) mailed Carson a copy of the synthesis report from the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), along with a letter asking Carson to utilize his “considerable intelligence” to review the material. The IPCC is the scientific body created by the United Nations Environment Program and the World Meteorological Organization to provide regular assessments of the state of climate science for policymakers.Brown’s letter came after Carson asked to see the science demonstrating climate change was caused by human activity during a visit to California earlier this week. “I know there a lot of people who say ‘overwhelming science,’ but then when you ask them to show the overwhelming science, they never can show it,” Carson told The San Francisco Chronicle. “There is no overwhelming science that the things that are going on are man-caused and not naturally caused.””Gimme a break,” Carson added. Brown said the flash drive contained the “overwhelming science” Carson wanted. “These aren’t just words. The consequences are real,” Brown wrote in his letter. “Climate change is much bigger than partisan politics.” Carson, who currently places second in HuffPost Pollster’s 2016 polling, which aggregates all publicly available polls, has frequently dismissed scientific evidence of climate change. “We may be cooling. We may be warming,” Carson told Bloomberg in a November 2014 interview.The IPCC’s synthesis report concludes that human influence on the climate system “is clear and growing.” The IPCC has said that there is 95 percent certainty that human activity is the primary cause of global warming.Brown’s state is already dealing with a deep drought that scientists believe is driven at least in part by global warming, and he has become a major champion of action on the issue. During the first Republican primary debate in August, Brown sent an open letter to the candidates requesting an answer to only one question: “What is your plan to deal with the threat of climate change?” Carson’s campaign could not be immediately reached for comment.
Woman Says She Endured 8 Days In Psych Ward Because Cops Didn’t Believe BMW Was Hers”I do think race played a part in this.”Headshot of Christopher MathiasChristopher MathiasNational Reporter, The Huffington PostPosted: 09/11/2015 04:02 PM EDT | Edited: 09/11/2015 05:57 PM EDTPIX11NEW YORK — Kamilah Brock says the New York City police sent her to a mental hospital for a hellish eight days, where she was forcefully injected with powerful drugs, essentially because they couldn’t believe a black woman owned a BMW. In her first on-camera interview about her ordeal, which aired Thursday, the 32-year-old told PIX11 that it was all a “nightmare.”It’s a nightmare, Brock’s lawyer told The Huffington Post, that never would have happened if she weren’t African-American. Brock sued the city earlier this year in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. She contends that her constitutional rights under the Fourth and 14th Amendments were violated and that she suffered “unwanted and unwarranted intrusion of her personal integrity, loss of liberty [and] mental anguish.” The suit details how Brock pulled up to a traffic light in Harlem on Sept. 12, 2014, the music on her car stereo playing loudly. An NYPD officer approached her and asked why she was driving without her hands on the steering wheel, according to the suit. “I said I was dancing, I am at a light,” Brock told PIX11. “He asked me to get out of the car.”For unclear reason, Brock contends, she was taken into custody and transported to the NYPD’s 30th Precinct, where she was held for a few hours before being released without being charged with any crime. She said she was told to come back the next day to pick up her car, a 2003 BMW 325Ci.When she showed up at a police substation to get the car the next day, Brock said, “I just felt like from the moment I said I owned a BMW, I was looked at as a liar. They put me in handcuffs and said they just need to put me in handcuffs to take me to my car. And I said OK, whatever it’s gonna take to get to my car.””Then EMS approached me,” she continued. “And they said we’re gonna take you to your car. And I’m like, in an ambulance? I’m going to my car in an ambulance? I’m going to my car in an ambulance? I was just so confused.”Brock was taken instead to Harlem Hospital, where medical records obtained by her attorney, Michael Lamonsoff, show she was injected with powerful sedatives and forced to take doses of lithium.”He held onto me and then the doctor stuck me in the arm and I was on a stretcher and I woke up to them taking my clothes off, specifically my underwear,” Brock tearfully recalled for PIX11’s Nicole Johnson. “Then I went back out again. When I woke up the next day, I felt like I was in a nightmare. I didn’t understand why that was happening to me.” Medical records also show that over the course of her eight-day stay, personnel at the hospital repeatedly tried to get Brock to deny three things before she could be released: that she owned the BMW, that she was a professional banker, and that President Barack Obama followed her on Twitter. The lawsuit says it was these three assertions that were the basis for the city determining that Brock was delusional and to diagnose her with bipolar disorder. But according to Lamonsoff, Brock had no history of mental illness. She did own the BMW. At the time, she was employed as a banker and had worked at Citibank, Chase and Astoria Bank. And Obama does follow Brock on Twitter, just as he follows 640,000 other people. When Brock was finally released from the hospital, the lawsuit states, she was slapped with a $13,000 medical bill.A white woman would not have been treated like that, Lamonsoff argues.Courtesy of Michael Lamonsoff”If a white woman was trying to reclaim her BMW impounded by police, would she have been made a victim?” he said to HuffPost. “Would she have been questioned? Would she have been subject to sarcastic comments? Would she be made to justify who she was in order to ask for help? I don’t think so. I do think race played a part in this.”Institutional bias against African-Americans is well-documented and contributes to the racial disparities in how laws are enforced. Just this week, James Blake, formerly the fourth-ranked men’s tennis player in the world, was tackled and handcuffed at a midtown Manhattan hotel by police officers who confused him for a suspect in a crime. Blake, who is black, suffered cuts and bruises and was detained for about 15 minutes, until officers realized who he was. “In my mind, there’s probably a race factor involved, but no matter what, there’s no reason for anybody to do that to anybody,” Blake said after the incident.Responding to Brock’s lawsuit earlier this summer, the city claimed in court filings that she had been “acting irrational, she spoke incoherently and inconsistently, and she ran into the middle of traffic on Eighth Ave” during her encounter with police.Lamonsoff told HuffPost that “those allegations
The unapologetic cop who body-slammed tennis great James Blake outside a Midtown hotel without identifying himself as an officer allegedly tried to cover up the bogus arrest.Officer James Frascatore failed to inform his superiors that he threw Blake to the sidewalk and cuffed him in the mistaken belief that he was a wanted credit card thief, police said Thursday.It took Blake coming forward to the Daily News with accusations of being manhandled by a plainclothes cop outside the Grand Hyatt Hotel to put the incident on the NYPD’s radar.“My concern is that after the release, there’s department protocols that should have been followed but apparently were not,” Police Commissioner Bill Bratton said. “Mr. Blake has made a number of comments to the press. That’s how we became aware of the matter.”When asked what cops are supposed to do in such situations, one high-ranking source said, “Void the arrest, make notifications and say, ‘I’m sorry!’”Frascatore, a four-year NYPD veteran who in the past has been accused of using excessive force and failing to identify himself as a cop, was placed on desk duty and had his gun and badge yanked after detectives viewed the surveillance video from the hotel.“I have concerns about the takedown,” Bratton said. “The movement was a fast approach. Basically, grabbing Mr. Blake by the arm, moving him forward and then taking him down to the ground and immediately rear-cuffing him.”EXCLUSIVE: EX-TENNIS STAR JAMES BLAKE TACKLED BY WHITE COPSCop That Slammed James Blake to the Ground Has a Cloudy PastNY Daily NewsBratton later confirmed he and Mayor de Blasio apologized to Blake, who agreed to meet with him, with Internal Affairs Bureau investigators, and de Blasio.“Mr. Blake had no role or involvement in the criminal investigation that we were conducting and was totally innocent,” Bratton said.Earlier, Blake, who is black, said an apology would be appreciated, but he wants something more.“I’d like an explanation for how they conducted themselves because I think we all need to be held accountable for our actions, and police as well,” he told ABC News.The Civilian Complaint Review Board has also opened an investigation, sources said.JAMES BLAKE RESEMBLES MAN WANTED BY NYPD FOR ALLEGEDLY USING STOLEN CREDIT CARDSThe watchdog group is well-acquainted with Frascatore. As of last year, he had five complaints filed against him, according to court documents obtained by WNYC.NYC PAPERS OUT. Social media use restricted to low res file max 184 x 128 pixels and 72 dpiPrevious Next NYC PAPERS OUT. Social media use restricted to low res file max 184 x 128 pixels and 72 dpi Mayor Bill de Blasio attends the funeral of Assistant Deputy Warden Belinda Nicks at the Pleasant Grove Tabernacle on Fulton Street in Brooklyn, New York City on Wednesday, September 9 2015. (Gardiner Anderson for New York Daily News) James Blake of U.S. reacts during his match against Novak Djokovic of Serbia at the U.S. Open tennis tournament in New York September 4, 2010. NYC PAPERS OUT. Social media use restricted to low res file max 184 x 128 pixels and 72 dpi NYC PAPERS OUT. Social media use restricted to low res file max 184 x 128 pixels and 72 dpi EnlargeJefferson Siegel/New York Daily NewsNYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton defended the officers who tackled James Blake.In one case, Frascatore was accused of using too much muscle and abusing his authority while arresting a man for marijuana possession. He also charged the man’s girlfriend with evidence tampering after she moved her beau’s bike following the arrest.All criminal charges were later dropped. And the CCRB recommended that Frascatore be retrained on police protocol after determining that he failed to give his name or shield number during the arrest, WNYC reported.Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association President Patrick Lynch came to Frascatore’s defense.“Placing this officer on modified duty is premature and unwarranted,” he said.OFFICER WHO TACKLED JAMES BLAKE FOLLOWED ARREST PROTOCOL, BUT HE SHOULD’VE APOLOGIZED, NYPD TRAINING SPECIALIST SAYSFrascatore is white. Blake, who was once ranked the No. 4 tennis player in the world, told The News he believes there was “probably a race factor involved.”Bratton insisted race didn’t figure into the arrest.Bratton Defends Cops Who Tackled Tennis Star James BlakeNY Daily News“Sorry, race has nothing at all to do with this,” he said. “If you look at the photograph of the suspect, it looks like the twin brother of Mr. Blake. So let’s put that nonsense to rest right now.”Blake, who was on his way to a corporate appearance for Time Warner Cable at the U.S. Open, found himself in the cops’ cross hairs after he inadvertently walked into the middle of an NYPD sting operation on a Internet credit card theft ring.LUPICA: BILL BRATTON DOESN’T KNOW FOR SURE WHAT HAPPENED TO JAMES BLAKEFrascatore was one of six cops stationed outside the hotel ready to pounce on whomever showed up to pay the courier delivering some high-end designer shoes,
After three years, 30 percent of the outdoor activity group had developed nearsightedness, compared to almost 40 percent of kids in the control group, according to the results in JAMA.That means kids who spent more time outside were 23 percent less likely to develop nearsightedness, the authors write.The study doesn’t investigate why time outdoors might protect eyesight, but He said that some experimental work suggests brighter outside light affects eye growth in a way that inhibits myopia.To maximize the benefit, schools in China should increase outdoor time further, including recesses, and encourage parents to bring children outdoors over the weekend, he said.“One issue that needs to be addressed is the potential skin and eye damage from UV exposures, but these can be managed by standard UV protection measures,” He said.
New guidelines apply to people with an elevated risk of heart disease.Doctors have long recommended taking a low-dose aspirin daily to reduce the risk of heart problems, but in the past year, those recommendations have seen reversals, with some experts saying that for people who have not had a cardiac event, a daily aspirin isn’t not only unnecessary—it’s dangerous. And it won’t prevent a first heart attack.Now, an expert panel, United States Preventive Services Task Force, is recommending daily aspirin to prevent heart attacks, stroke, and colorectal cancer.In a draft report published Monday, an independent group of physicians appointed by the Department of Health and Human Services suggested adults between 50-69 years old and at an elevated risk for heart disease take a low-dose aspirin daily.The recommendation goes on to say that those in the next age bracket of 60-69 with a high risk for heart disease consider taking a lower dosage amount, as the risk of stomach and brain bleeding—common side effects of aspirin intake—increase with age. There is no recommendation for aspirin intake listed for those under 50 or those above 70.This marks the first time a prominent American medical association has issued a recommendation to take aspirin to prevent cancer. It follows a growing body of research that shows that aspirin may be more powerful in the fight against cancer than originally thought, reports the New York Times.The draft guidelines have garnered some criticism, with some worrying that some healthy people might take aspirin and introduce more problems rather than allay them.As with any health measure, the guideline strongly advises that people consult with their physicians before beginning an aspirin regimen
The evocative title of Timothy Snyder’s new book—Black Earth: The Holocaust as History and Warning—is a reference to the fertile soil of Ukraine, where Adolf Hitler hoped to establish lebensraum, or “living space,” for the German race. And yet it could also be seen as an allusion to what Snyder argues is the underappreciated importance of ecology in Hitler’s worldview. Snyder, a history professor at Yale University, is building on his 2010 book, Bloodlands: Europe Between Hitler and Stalin, which highlighted the devastation visited upon World War II’s often-ignored but hugely consequential Eastern Front. But whereas Bloodlands examined Nazi and Soviet atrocities in Eastern Europe, Black Earth travels inside the mind of Hitler himself—a mind from which sprang the murder of 6 million Jews.Related StoryThe Lies of Adolf EichmannIn Black Earth, Hitler’s quest for lebensraum is placed in a global context. Snyder, for example, asserts that Hitler was inspired in part by the wide-open spaces of the American West, quoting the German leader as complaining, “Neither the current living space nor that achieved through the restoration of the borders of 1914 permits us to lead a life comparable to that of the American people.” The book focuses on the integral role that the state and its institutions played in determining the effectiveness of Hitler’s genocide. Where states were destroyed, Jews were murdered; where the state remained intact, Jews could find some protection in bureaucracies and passports. It was in the stateless regions of Eastern Europe where the Nazis were able to experiment with and calibrate the Final Solution, which they then tried to export back west.One of the most revelatory parts of the book is Snyder’s diagnosis of Hitler’s warped worldview. And it’s perhaps the most relevant today amid a fierce debate, in the pages of The Atlantic and elsewhere, over whether Iranian leaders are anti-Semitic and whether they can be counted on to conduct foreign policy rationally given their professed desire to eliminate Israel as a Jewish state. “I think [Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s] ideology is steeped with anti-Semitism, and if he could, without catastrophic costs, inflict great harm on Israel, I’m confident that he would,” U.S. President Barack Obama told The Atlantic’s Jeffrey Goldberg in August, in defending the nuclear deal with Iran. “But … it is possible for leaders or regimes to be cruel, bigoted, twisted in their worldviews and still make rational calculations with respect to their limits and their self-preservation.”Hitler is often depicted as the prototypical totalitarian—a man who believed in the superiority of the German state, a German nationalist to the extreme. But according to Snyder, this depiction is deeply flawed. Rather, Hitler was a “racial anarchist”—a man for whom states were transitory, laws meaningless, ethics a facade. “There is in fact no way of thinking about the world, says Hitler, which allows us to see human beings as human beings. Any idea which allows us to see each other as human beings … come[s] from Jews,” Snyder told me in an interview. As Snyder sees it, Hitler believed the only way for the world to revert to its natural order—that of brutal racial competition—was to eradicate the Jews.Last week, I spoke to Snyder at length about the nature and import of Hitler’s ecological anti-Semitism; the spectrum of anti-Jewish sentiment in Europe during the 1930s and 1940s; the intersection between anti-Semitism and rationality, and whether the question of rationality is even worth considering. An edited and condensed transcript of the conversation follows.Edward Delman: In your book, you offer a portrait of Hitler as a brilliant tactician, but one who operated on the basis of a truly warped worldview based around racial struggle. Just so we can lay the framework: What would you say were the basic principles of Hitler’s worldview, and what did that mean for how he viewed the idea of nation-states, or ethics, and other universalist principles we assume as given?Timothy Snyder: So what Hitler does is he inverts; he reverses the whole way we think about ethics, and for that matter the whole way we think about science. What Hitler says is that abstract thought—whether it’s normative or whether it’s scientific—is inherently Jewish. There is in fact no way of thinking about the world, says Hitler, which allows us to see human beings as human beings. Any idea which allows us to see each other as human beings—whether it’s a social contract; whether it’s a legal contract; whether it’s working-class solidarity; whether it’s Christianity—all these ideas come from Jews. And so for people to be people, for people to return to their essence, for them to represent their race, as Hitler sees things, you have to strip away all those ideas. And the only way to strip away all those ideas is to eradicate the Jews. And if you eradicate the Jews, then the world snaps back into what Hitl
WASHINGTON — The Food and Drug Administration halted the sale of four R.J. Reynolds cigarette products on Wednesday, saying a scientific review found that they were potentially more harmful than the company had claimed.The agency ordered retailers who sell any of the cigarettes — Camel Crush Bold, Pall Mall Deep Set Recessed Filter, Pall Mall Deep Set Recessed Filter Menthol and Vantage Tech 13 — to stop selling them immediately and to dispose of them within 30 days or face financial penalties or criminal prosecution.“These decisions were based on a rigorous, science-based review designed to protect the public from the harms caused by tobacco use,” Mitch Zeller, director of the Center for Tobacco Products at the F.D.A., said in statement.Officials for R.J.R. were not immediately available for comment.Under a 2009 federal law, the F.D.A. can reject cigarettes and other tobacco products that its scientists believe pose greater public health risks than comparable products already on the market, a sharp departure from past practice, when tobacco companies could change existing products and introduce new ones at will.These four products were introduced during a grace period set up by the law. R.J.R. applied for so-called “substantial equivalence” status at that time. To be considered “substantially equivalent,” tobacco products must be shown to have the same characteristics as a predecessor product, or to have different ones that do not raise new questions for public health. Over the past two years, the agency has blocked products that were not the same as predecessors on a number of occasions.On Wednesday the F.D.A. ruled the four R.J.R. products were not the same as their predecessor brands, and ordered them removed from the market.The agency said it took the action against the four products because it concluded that the products had higher amounts of harmful ingredients, higher levels of menthol, or the addition of new ingredients that raised new questions for public health.“The agency will continue to review product submissions and exercise its legal authority and consumer protection duty to remove products from the market when they fail to meet the public health bar set forth under law.” Mr. Zeller said.Cowen and Company, a financial services firm, said in a research note that the products make up less than 1 percent of R. J. R’s total cigarette sales volumes, so is not likely to be a major financial issue for the company. It said the R.J.R. would likely file a legal injunction to get the action suspended, or pull the products and then contest the findings legally.
When my first baby was born, the doctor handed her to me and said, “Meet your future teenage daughter.” Then she got on the phone with her own teenage daughter, and the two of them got into a loud argument about what to eat for dinner. I still remember the daughter’s aggrieved voice, audible through her mother’s flip phone: “That is REVOLTING and I would rather eat DOG FOOD.”My husband and I raised our eyebrows at each other over our own daughter’s downy head. Surely this sweet, elfin, cashew-shaped bundle would never pick a fight with us about veal scallopini. We’d be there for her and hear her; if she became a vegetarian, we would develop a taste for seitan. When this baby reached adolescence, our groovy brand of friend-parenthood and open lines of communication would upend the traditional I-hate-you-don’t-leave-me dynamic.(Are you laughing? I am.)Fourteen years later, here’s what I’d tell my new mom self about my current teenage daughter — who, despite occasional tiffs, really is well worth the wait.Elisabeth EganElisabeth Egan is books editor at Glamour and the author of a new novel, “A Window Opens.” (Beowulf Sheehan)1. You never know who will come downstairs in the morning. One morning, she’ll be all smiles and cheer — she loves your new sweater. The next day, she’ll be mute and scowling. She’ll gesture with her chin at the sweater you’re now wearing for the second day in a row because she said she liked it, and this time she’ll say, “Are you really wearing that?”2. Most of the time, she doesn’t want a hug. But when she does, she’ll wrap her arms around your waist and rest her head on your shoulder, and the effect is reminiscent of happening upon a warm spot in a freezing cold lake. You don’t know why it’s there — maybe you don’t want to know — but you float there for a while, enjoying the view. Fifty percent of the time, as she’s extracting herself from your arms, she’ll say, “Can I have money to buy Julia a birthday present?”3. You know you need to keep your opinions to yourself. The problem is, sometimes she wants your opinion: on clothes, on a sticky situation with a friend, on whom she should write about for her project for Women’s History Month. You will share a rewarding dialogue, but the next day, when you say, “Did you learn anything interesting about Susan B. Anthony?” she’ll look at you as if she has no idea what you’re talking about. In fact, she’ll look at you as if she has no idea who you are. #coldspot4. After a decade of making late-night small talk with baby sitters, nothing beats having your own teenager meet you and your spouse at the front door in her pajamas. She says her little sister was scared, “so I put her to bed in my room.” She wants to know if the two of you had fun, if you liked the movie, what you had for dessert. #warmspot5. You think she’s wasting her money on cheap black booties from Forever21.com. When they arrive in the mail, you’re pleasantly surprised that they look chic and stylish on her. When she goes to bed, you try them on. Guess what? You look like a 41-year-old mom wearing cheap shoes.6. Her school has a mock trial, model UN, dance team, chorus and science Olympiad. You ask if she has considered signing up for any of these activities. No way, she says, nobody does these things. What about the chorus? You heard they take a year-end trip to Dorney Park & Wildwater Kingdom. She rolls her eyes: “Trust me, Mom, nobody joins the chorus.” You wonder who was on those buses outside the school last spring.Raising kids who like each other for lifeRaising kids who like each other for life7. For years, she couldn’t wait to ride in the front seat. Now that she’s finally eligible, she’ll opt for the third row of the minivan instead. You tell her you weren’t born yesterday; she needs to put away her phone while you’re driving. You are not her personal chauffeur.8. She’ll encourage you to join Instagram, and she’ll remind you to like her pictures. If you write, “I love this face” beneath one, the comment will quickly vanish. She wants your vote, not your adoration.9. She spends a lot of time on her bed, texting, and she isn’t interested in volunteering at a soup kitchen or learning how to knit. Your mom helpfully points out that she is an excellent student: “When you were her age, you were failing math and Spanish and you lost four wallets in three months.” This is strangely reassuring.10. Her friends are adorable, chatty, charming, funny, polite, responsible and kind. Their mothers promise they aren’t like this at home. The mothers who tell you that they’re best friends with their 14-year-old daughters are not your people. Just be happy to have friends your own age, especially a few who have known you since you were her age.11. She knows she can tell you anything (doesn’t she?), but you’ve noticed she saves big revelations for when your friends come over. When you ask her why, she says you’re nicer when your friends are around. Who isn’t?12. Her texts are full of heart emo
Perhaps in an effort to entertain and likely get something off of his chest in one fell swoop, a Norwegian flight attendant informed passengers aboard a Monday flight from Paris to Stockholm that a couple had been discovered fornicating in the plane’s bathroom, the Local reported.The flight attendant, who broke the news in Swedish from the cockpit upon landing, stopped short of pointing out the two passengers.”He said something like ‘we’d like to send our best wishes of happy reproduction to the couple that ventured into the toilet earlier on,'” a Swedish passenger told the Local. “People around the plane started cheering and laughing and there was a lot of gossiping about who it could have been.”Meanwhile, some English or French speaking passengers were likely left confused by the message. The couple remain anonymous and its unclear how the flight crew found out about their antics. Norwegian confirmed to the Local that a member of the cabin crew delivered the message, but would not offer any other comment regarding the incident. Nonetheless it’s safe to say the couple’s mile high initiation went much smoother than previous attempts. Recently, there have been several incidents in which passengers were caught in the act, and in some cases, charged with committing a crime.The New York Daily News reported a 26-year-old woman was convicted of committing an indecent act along with several other charges earlier this year stemming from a sexual act aboard an Air Canada flight in 2014.
Mixing a brew of biblical prophecies, the Hebrew calendar, a volatile economy, world politics, a reported near-death experience and astronomical occurrences, hordes of Utahns have become convinced that calamitous events are imminent — maybe by month’s end — and are taking every precaution.They are called “preppers” and are buying up food-storage kits, flashlights, blankets and tents. Some are even bracing to leave their homes — if need be.At American Fork’s Thrive Life, which sells mostly freeze-dried food, sales have shot up by “500 percent or more in the past couple of months,” says customer- service representative Ricardo Aranda. “There is a sense of urgency, like something is up. A lot of people are mentioning things about September, like a financial collapse.”TOP JOBS3 From3form Recruits Talented And Committed …Check out all the Trib TopJobsVIDEOSJordan Jensen, a salesman at Emergency Essentials, said his Bountiful store has been “crazy busy, sales up by definitely a large amount.”Those 72-hour emergency kits are “almost impossible to keep on the shelves,” Jensen says, “and we get a shipment every day.”A lot of customers, he says, believe “this is the month it will all happen — with a ‘blood moon’ and a currency collapse and everything.”Here’s how the doomsday scenario plays out: History, some preppers believe, is divided into seven-year periods — like the Hebrew notion of “shemitah” or Sabbath. In 2008, seven years after 9/11, the stock market crashed, a harbinger of a devastating recession. It’s been seven years since then, and Wall Street has fluctuated wildly in recent weeks in the wake of China devaluing its currency.Thus, they believe, starting Sept. 13, the beginning of the Jewish High Holy Days, there will be another, even larger financial crisis, based on the United States’ “wickedness.” That would launch the “days of tribulation” — as described in the Bible.They say Sept. 28 will see a full, red or “blood moon” and a major earthquake in or near Utah. Some anticipate an invasion by U.N. troops, technological disruptions and decline, chaos and hysteria.Some of these speculations stem from Julie Rowe’s books, “A Greater Tomorrow: My Journey Beyond the Veil” and “The Time Is Now.”Rowe, a Mormon mother of three, published the books in 2014 to detail a “near-death experience” in 2004, when the author says she visited the afterlife and was shown visions of the past and future.Though Rowe rarely gives specific dates for predicted events, she did describe in a Fox News Radio interview “cities of light,” including scores of white tents where people will live in the mountains and sometimes be fed heavenly “manna.” She saw a “bomb from Libya landing in Israel, but Iran will take credit.”And “Gadianton robbers” of Book of Mormon infamy, meaning secret and corrupt leaders, are “already here.”Her purpose in speaking out, Rowe told interviewer Kate Dalley, was “to wake more of us up. … We need each other as we unify in righteousness and continue to build a righteous army. When we need to defend the [U.S.] Constitution, we will be ready.”For the past year, the popular writer has been sharing her experience and visions at Mormon venues nationwide, drawing crowds of eager — and worried — listeners. Her two books have sold more than 20,000 copies apiece.In a rare move, officials with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints sent a memo to administrators and teachers in the Church Educational System, saying, “Although Sister Rowe is an active member of the [LDS Church], her book is not endorsed by the church and should not be recommended to students or used as a resource in teaching them. The experiences … do not necessarily reflect church doctrine, or they may distort doctrine.”The late Mormon apostle Boyd K. Packer said in the October 2011 LDS General Conference that the “end” was not near and urged young Latter-day Saints to plan to live long, productive lives.”You can look forward to doing it right: getting married, having a family, seeing your children and grandchildren, maybe even great-grandchildren,” Packer said.
Whenever I first heard the word “microaggression,” sometime in the last five years, I’m sure I was unaware how big “micro” could get. The accusation of a microaggression was about to become a pervasive feature of the Internet, and particularly social media. An offense most of us didn’t even know existed, suddenly we were all afraid of being accused of.We used to call this “rudeness,” “slights” or “ignorant remarks.” Mostly, people ignored them. The elevation of microaggressions into a social phenomenon with a specific name and increasingly public redress marks a dramatic social change, and two sociologists, Bradley Campbell and Jason Manning, have a fascinating paper exploring what this shift looks like, and what it means. (Jonathan Haidt has provided a very useful CliffsNotes version.)Western society, they argue, has shifted from an honor culture — in which slights are taken very seriously, and avenged by the one slighted — to a dignity culture, in which personal revenge is discouraged, and justice is outsourced to third parties, primarily the law. The law being a cumbersome beast, people in dignity cultures are encouraged to ignore slights, or negotiate them privately by talking with the offender, rather than seeking some more punitive sanction.Microagressions mark a transition to a third sort of culture: a victim culture, in which people are once again encouraged to take notice of slights. This sounds a lot like honor culture, doesn’t it? Yes, with two important differences. The first is that while victimhood is shameful in an honor culture — and indeed, the purpose of taking vengeance is frequently to avoid this shame — victim status is actively sought in the new culture, because victimhood is a prerequisite for getting redress. The second is that victim culture encourages people to seek help from third parties, either authorities or the public, rather than seeking satisfaction themselves.The debate over microaggressions often seems to focus on whether they are real. This is silly. Of course they’ve always been real; only the label is new. Microaggressions from the majority to the minority are as real as Sunday, and the effect of their accumulated weight is to make you feel always slightly a stranger in a strange land. The phenomenon is dispiriting, even more so because the offenders frequently don’t realize that their words were somewhere between awkward and offensive (once again).On the other hand, in a diverse group, the other thing you have to say about microaggressions is that they are unavoidable. And that a culture that tries to avoid them is setting up to tear itself apart.I’m using microaggressions broadly here: to define the small slights by which any majority group subtly establishes its difference from its minority members. That means that I am including groups that may not come to mind for victim status, like conservatives in very liberal institutions. And no doubt many of my readers are preparing to deliver a note or a comment saying I shouldn’t dare to compare historically marginalized groups with politically powerful ones.I dare because it highlights the basic problem with extensively litigating microaggressions, which is that it is a highly unstable way of mediating social disputes. Deciding who is eligible to complain about microaggressions is itself an act by which the majority imposes its will, and it is felt as alienating by the minorities who are effectively told that they don’t have the same right to ask for decent treatment as other groups. As a conservative social scientist once told me, “When I think of my own laments about being an ideological minority, most of it is basically microaggression.”The stream of petty slights, laughable misunderstandings and smug assumptions are not just a perpetual irritant. They are also experienced by members of the targeted group as a message: “You don’t quite belong here, and therefore, you are under constant, if low-level risk, that the majority will not protect you if something goes wrong, or perhaps, will take steps to expel the outsider.” And they’re experienced this way whether you are eligible for victim status or not, which is why I get a surprising number of notes from conservative academics, expressing some rather milquetoast opinion and then closing with: “Please don’t publish this, because I don’t have tenure yet.” I have never gotten such a note from a liberal academic, nor do liberal columnists of my acquaintance report getting similar notes from, say, liberal history professors expressing their support for abortion rights.If you establish a positive right to be free from alienating comments, it’s hard to restrict that right only to people who have been victimized in certain ways, or to certain degrees. It’s easy to say everyone has a right not to be alienated. It’s also easy to say “you should only seek social or administrative sanction for remarks that are widely known and understood to be offensive slurs.” It is very, very
Over the years, resveratrol, an antioxidant found in grapes, chocolate and red wine, has been touted as a possible antidote to Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, diabetes and many other conditions. Now, the first study in people with Alzheimer’s suggests that the compound, when taken in concentrated doses, may actually have benefit in slowing progression of this disease.Researchers at 21 medical centers across the United States looked at the safety and effectiveness of taking high doses of resveratrol in an experimental pill — equal to the amount found in 1,000 bottles of red wine — in people with mild to moderate Alzheimer’s.The researchers looked at several biomarkers of Alzheimer’s, and found that people who took up to four pills a day for a year had higher levels of amyloid-beta proteins in their spinal fluid than those who took a placebo (control) pill.Although accumulation of amyloid-beta in the brain is a hallmark of Alzheimer’s disease, patients actually have lower levels of this protein outside of the brain. The study finding suggests that resveratrol could help change the balance from amyloid-beta buildup in the brain to circulating protein in the body.Resveratrol capsulesResveratrol capsulesEven if concentrated forms of resveratrol pills like the kind used in this study were available, it’s too soon to recommend going out and getting some just yet.”The study is encouraging enough that we should certainly go ahead and do a [larger] clinical trial because we showed that it is safe and does have significant effects on Alzheimer’s biomarkers,” said Dr. R. Scott Turner, professor of neurology at Georgetown University Medical Center and lead investigator of the study, which was published on Friday in the journal Neurology.The main goal of the current study, which included 119 patients, was to find out whether high doses of resveratrol could be safe. The only small concern they found was that patients taking resveratrol lost about two pounds during the one-year study, and weight loss is already a problem with Alzheimer’s, Turner said. In comparison, the control group gained about 1 pound.Much more research is neededThe study was not big enough to answer some important questions, such as whether patients taking resveratrol actually had lower levels of amyloid-beta plaques in their brain, and most importantly, whether they experienced less decline in their mental faculties.A large, phase 3 clinical trial getting at these issues could start in as soon as a year, Turner said. (The current study was a phase 2 trial, typically meant to evaluate safety and get an early look at efficacy of a new drug.)Related: Is Alzheimer’s disease preventable?Even for the relatively small number of participants in the study, the researchers did see indication that resveratrol could improve cognition. Patients in this group had slight improvements in their ability to carry out daily tasks, such as remembering to brush their teeth. And anecdotally, patients who took resveratrol told the researchers that they felt like they were maintaining their mental ability. (Neither the participants nor the researchers knew who was taking resveratrol and who was taking placebo.)”To really get a better feel of how effective this could be you really need to do larger studies for longer periods of time (such as several years),” said James A. Hendrix, director of global science initiatives at the Alzheimer’s Association, a research and advocacy organization. “Other potential therapies we’ve had had some early exciting results and then they didn’t pan out in later trials,” he added.The ‘MIND’ anti-memory loss diet18 photos: The MIND diet prevents memory loss and may prevent Alzheimer’sIf resveratrol does pan out in further research, it may add to the medications that are currently available, such as Aricept and Exelon, which slow, but do not halt, progression of the disease, Hendrix said.Ultimately, it will probably be a combination of several drugs, as well as diet, exercise and social and mental stimulation that help stave off the rapid mental decline that is often associated with Alzheimer’s, he added.Antioxidant may be most effective in combinationThis is one of the first studies to look not only at these biomarkers, but also the metabolites of resveratrol in spinal fluid, to show that resveratrol is probably getting into the brain, said Dr. Giulio M. Pasinetti, who is the Saunders Family Chair and professor in neurology at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. However, he added that changes in biomarkers may not necessarily lead to mental and behavioral improvements, which larger studies will address.In addition, resveratrol on its own might not end up working as well as a combination of resveratrol and other polyphenol compounds found in red wine, grape juice and grape seed extract, which could help people at risk of Alzheimer’s and those who already have mild symptoms, Pasinetti said.Related: Healthy diet may improve memory, sa
As a preventive cardiologist, Dr. Erin Michos knows the importance of exercise. As a marathon runner, she practices what she preaches.So imagine her surprise when Dr. Michos realized she is a victim of “sitting disease,” a revelation she had after donning an activity tracker.”I run an hour a day, but I was shocked to see how few steps I took in the other 23 hours,” she says.Having a step-tracking device opened Dr. Michos’ eyes and helped motivate her to move more during the day. “Now I’m accountable.”Dr. Michos and fellow Johns Hopkins cardiologist and runner Dr. Roberta Florido outline strategies to combat sitting disease, a modern-day malady that fuels the risk of heart disease and other ailments even among those who exercise regularly.What is “Sitting” Disease?You hit the treadmill regularly. You go the gym five times a week. You get enough exercise, right? Not necessarily. Turns out, even a daily jog in the park won’t cancel out the ill effects of sitting for hours on end.The notion that being sedentary over prolonged periods is unhealthy is neither new nor surprising. What is new — and quite disillusioning to those who work out regularly — is that daily exercise is by itself not enough to make up for all those hours sitting at a desk.Indeed, mounting evidence suggests that those who spend hours with little movement are at higher risk for developing blood clots, diabetes, cardiovascular disease and a constellation of other maladies fueled by insufficient physical activity.But How Can I Be Sedentary if I Exercise Every Day?The word sedentary comes from the Latin “sedere,” which means “to sit.” Sitting may be the most prevalent form of sedentary behavior, but it is by no means the only one. Any prolonged activity that requires you to use very little energy is a form of sedentary behavior.Exercise physiologists use a number called MET to capture how much energy one uses during specific activities. MET, which stands for metabolic equivalent of task, is the basic unit of energy use. One MET refers to our resting metabolic rate, or baseline. Moderate walking equals 3 to 4 METs, while running equals about 8 METs. Sedentary activities generally expend no more than 1.5 METs.Current guidelines from the American Heart Association call for 150 minutes of moderate physical activity per week, or about 30 minutes of exercise five times a week. But these guidelines fail to address energy expenditure during the rest of the day. Assuming the average adults spends 16 hours a day awake, 30 minutes of exercise a day constitute a paltry 3 percent spent actively. An exercise routine that adds up to 150 minutes a week translates to 2 percent of active time. It should come as no surprise that the 97 percent of time most adults spend in a low-activity state affect their physical well-being.The Dangers of Sedentary LifeThere is growing evidence linking sedentary behavior with poor health.Absence of muscle contraction during long, uninterrupted stretches of inactivity can unlock a cascade of negative biochemical reactions. Research shows that the bodies of sedentary people are not as good at breaking down blood sugar and cholesterol, chief culprits in diabetes, heart attacks and strokes. People who spend more time sitting have higher levels of blood sugar and disease-fueling fats called triglycerides, as well as lower levels of heart-protective HDL cholesterol, or “good” cholesterol. Sitting for too long has also been shown to increase the amount of calcium and fatty buildup inside the heart’s arteries — a leading cause of heart attacks and strokes.A 2003 study of more than 50,000 women followed over six years found that each two-hour increase in daily TV viewing led to a 23 percent jump in obesity. For every two additional hours a day that women spent sitting at work, their obesity risk jumped by 5 percent. Sedentary behavior also increased the risk of Type 2 diabetes by 14 percent.Another disturbing finding: A newly published review of 47 studies reveals that regardless of exercise, people who spend more time inactive had notably higher risk not only for diabetes and heart disease but also for cancer. They were also more likely to die prematurely! And although more physically active people fared better overall, they were far from immune to the negative effects of sedentary behavior.But wait! There is some good news. Before you give up on exercise thinking “Why even bother!” consider this: Adding two minutes of light activity to every hour you spend sitting can lower your risk of dying by one-third, according to a 2015 study in the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology.Simple Ways to Infuse More Activity into Your DayCount your steps. Monitoring how many steps you take can be a great motivator to get up and move. You don’t need a fancy activity tracker with a gazillion functions. A simple pedometer will do. Aim for at least 5,000 steps daily, although 10,000 or more is ideal.Sit less, move often. Here’s the re
Like bullies and illnesses, lawsuits can be ignored, but they won’t go away. Denise Norton learned this valuable lesson the hard way this week when she found out that a lawsuit she has tried to ignore could wind up costing Norton her North Seattle home.Her neighbor Woodrow Thompson filed a lawsuit alleging that the sound of barking from Norton’s dog, Cawper, was intentionally causing him “profound emotional distress.” In his detailed, 36-page complaint, Thompson claimed that the canine’s “raucously, wildly bellowing, howling and explosively barking” was capable of reaching 128 decibels. For context, the U.S. Occupational Safety & Health Administration — the Labor Department agency tasked with enforcing safe working conditions — says a person should not be exposed to a noise of 115 decibels for more than 15 minutes a day. That said, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Noise Meter, Thompson’s claim would mean that Cawper’s bark is louder than an ambulance siren and just slightly softer than a jet engine at takeoff.“In my head, everything was so bogus that he’d been doing, I don’t know why, I just didn’t think it was real or something,” Norton told the local ABC News affiliate, KOMO-TV. That’s why, even when she was served with papers, Norton simply didn’t respond.Unfortunately for Norton, however, the suit was very real, and because she didn’t challenge her neighbor’s claims, Thompson — who has not spoken to the press — won $500,000 by default.“The sheriff comes, puts the papers on the garage and the wall and everything and saying they were going to put the house up for sale,” Norton said. Now she and her family are fighting to reverse the decision — spending a good chunk of their savings on lawyers — before they lose their home.Mike Fandel, a civil attorney unrelated to the case, explained to KOMO-TV that winning a frivolous lawsuit is easy when the other side doesn’t respond. Getting the case dismissed now that a judgment has been made, on the other hand, will be a challenge.“If you think it ought to be dismissed, it will only be dismissed if you ask the court to do it,” Fandel said. Norton acknowledges her mistake and is determined to fix it.“How can you give somebody a half-a-million-dollar lien over a dog barking?” Norton asked, defending Cawper. “He’s just a loving, nice dog.”
Attraction is an interesting beast; what one person finds attractive, another can be grossed out by completely. There is so much more to attraction than having white teeth, a great smile, a nice thick head of hair, rock hard abs, a swimmer’s body, and a symmetrical face. Once someone decides they want to get to know you, everything about you, including how you speak, your views on life, and your behavior, will play into whether you are attractive to that person. And if you are guilty of any one of these five behaviors, you could be making yourself less attractive.1. You play gamescouple having fun, dateSource: iStockWhat are you, 10 years old? Girls might like games, but women are disgusted by them. Playing games is a power tactic, and a popular one for the pick-up artist: You want to be in control of the relationship. This involves playing hard to get and justifying the ridiculous rules of when to call or text, lest you show too much interest. Just don’t do this. Showing her that you would make a fantastic partner is the best way to up the ante to your appeal.Also, playing games is a sign of disrespect and immaturity. As I said before, a woman will not put up with games. She’s been through a lot, and she finds it incredibly unattractive.2. You smellgrooming, hygiene, smelly guySource: iStockI’m so sorry to bring this up, but it’s just so unappealing and unattractive. I’m not referring to how you smell after a gym session, I know you can’t avoid being a little stinky; I’m talking about bad hygiene in general. On the opposite end of the spectrum, I’m also referring to you dousing yourself in Axe Body Spray to cover up your bad smell. Gentlemen, the scent you give off, pheromones, which are actually odorless chemical compounds, are intended to create sexual attraction on a physical level. However, this natural women-attracting scent is canceled out if you stink.3. You’re not being yourselfDon’t be the guy you think we want you to be: Just be yourself. This includes not lying in person or on your online dating profile. Be true to you and what you represent; someone will absolutely find that insanely attractive.4. You’ve got a lousy attitudeThis runs the gamut from being overly aggressive or just plain ‘ol negative about everything. You can be the most beautiful man on the planet, but if your attitude stinks and you want to incite the world, we’re moving on to the next.5. You’re passivedancing, coupleSource: iStockWomen want you to make the first move. Women want you to want them. Women want you to ask them out. There is nothing that substitutes a man who goes out and gets what he wants. Being a wallflower in both the dating world and in life is extremely unattractive: It’s important to know when to stay in the background and when to rise to the occasion. It’s in our genetic make-up to want to be with a man who’s a leader and wants to show us the world.
You don’t need to be an expert about personal finance, know which stocks are the hottest, or come from an affluent family to strike it rich.”Like most things in life, becoming good at attracting money is no different than becoming good at anything else, be it being a sub-par golfer, losing weight, or mastering a second language,” writes Steve Siebold, author of “How Rich People Think.”He would know, being a self-made millionaire who has studied over 1,200 of the world’s wealthiest people.To get good at accumulating money, you can start by shifting your focus, Siebold finds: Rich people focus on earning, while average people focus on saving.”The masses are so focused on clipping coupons and living frugally they miss major opportunities,” Siebold says. Meanwhile, the wealthy are focusing their energy on not just earning — but earning a lot of money.This doesn’t mean rich people don’t save, the self-made millionaire clarifies: “The wealthy also know saving is important. But they know earning money is even more important. Most people are more concerned with the modest gains they accumulate from their savings and investments than they are with using their billion-dollar minds to create a fortune.”This focus on earning must be consistent and deliberate.”Even in the midst of a cash flow crisis, the rich reject the nickel and dime thinking of the masses,” Siebold explains. “They are the masters of focusing their mental energy where it belongs: on the big money.”There’s no need to abandon practical saving strategies. But, if you want to start thinking like the rich, “stop worrying about running out of money and focus on how to make more,” Siebold advises. “Constantly worrying about money is no way to live. Dream about money, instead.”
A self-made millionaire says a seemingly innocuous daily habit could be keeping you from getting rich – Yahoo FinanceAuthor: SupremePundit
Stop complaining — out loud and in your head — if you want to improve your finances.Much of what separates wealthy people from average people is mental — rich people simply think, act, and make choices differently than the rest of us.In “Secrets of the Millionaire Mind,” author and self-made millionaire T. Harv Eker identifies a seemingly harmless daily habit average people engage in that the rich refuse to: complaining.”Complaining is the absolute worst possible thing you could do for your health or your wealth,” Eker writes.When you complain, you’re focusing on what is wrong with your life — and what you focus on tends to expand, Eker explains.”Like attracts like,” the self-made millionaire writes. “When you are complaining, you are actually attracting ‘crap’ into your life.”This leaves very little room for growth, particularly financial growth.A fact often overlooked — or dismissed as elitist — is that your friendships and relationships could also have a major impact on your financial success. Steve Siebold, a self-made millionaire who interviewed over 1,200 rich people, found that the wealthy are deliberate about choosing their friends, and their choices have implications for their success and their net worth.Eker makes a similar point about negativity. Separating yourself from other complainers is just as important as resisting the urge to complain personally, he emphasizes: “Negative energy is infectious. Plenty of people, however, love to hang out and listen to complainers. Why? It’s simple: They’re waiting for their turn!”It’s an easy cycle to fall into, but a costly one.If you’re in a financial rut, or looking to grow your wealth, stop complaining — out loud and in your head, Eker advises, and help yourself out by surrounding yourself with an upbeat, successful crowd.”Remind yourself that you are creating your life and that at every moment you will be attracting either success or crap into your life,” he writes. “It is imperative you choose your thoughts and words wisely!”
Get ourtop storiesand moreDelivered to yourinbox for free!Battle of the best browsers: Edge vs. Chrome vs. Firefox vs. Safari vs. Opera vs. IECortana and Edge take the shine off Microsoft’s excellent OSHow to watch Apple’s iPhone 6S event today, and chat with us liveWant some Internet in your Windows 10 Start Menu? Here’s how to pin your favorite websitesGoogle will automatically pause Flash ads and videos in Chrome starting Sept. 1While we’re not sure who’s exactly to blame for the invention of the Internet’s most widespread nuisance, we do know of a number of solutions if you’d rather start videos on your own accord instead of being subjected to an unwarranted wall of sound when you’re navigating popular sites. Below are the best methods for stopping both HTML5 and Shockwave Flash videos from autoplaying in Google Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Microsoft Edge, and Internet Explorer. Related: How to delete browser cookies in Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and IEGoogle ChromeStep 1: Launch Google Chrome as you would normally.Step 2: Click the customization button — depicted by three horizontal lines — in the upper-right corner of window. Afterward, select Settings from the resulting drop-down menu.Step 3: Scroll to the bottom of the page, clicked Show advanced settings, and scroll down to the Privacy section.Step 4: Click the gray Content settings button and check the box beside “Let me choose when to run plugin content,” housed within the Plugins section.ChromeAutoplayOffNow, every time a video appears on a site, a gray box with a puzzle piece will appear instead of autoplaying. If you wish to watch the video, simply right-click the gray box and select “run this plugin.”FirefoxflashStopperFlashStopper enabled in FirefoxThe latest versions of Firefox lack a setting for fully disabling autoplay. Such being the case, the best way to disable both Shockwave flash and HTML5 videos from autoplaying in Firefox is with a browser add-on. Flash Stopper, which is readily available form the Mozilla store, is a free add-on that does exactly that.Once installed, the add-on will display an icon in the toolbar where you can manage settings and exceptions for websites and content you’d like to autoplay. Unless you make an exception, however, the add-on will squash all content that would otherwise play automatically.Internet ExplorerClick the gear icon in the upper-right corner of IE to begin. Next, select Safety and click Turn on Active X filtering. This should stop certain content from autoplaying, though, it likely won’t completely solve your problem. Follow the brief instructions below to get full-scale video stoppage.Step 1: Select Tools from the menu at the top of the window, followed by Manage add-ons.Step 2: Double check that Toolbars and Extensions is selected in the resulting pop-up window. Then, double-click Shockwave Flash Object.Step 3: Click the Remove all sites button toward the bottom of the window to disable autoplay videos.IEAutoPlayerStopFrom here on out, whenever a website has video content, the videos will either appear blank or not at all. A discrete bar will also appear at the bottom of the browser asking to allow Flash. You can simply click yes to allow the video to play, or hit the “x” to close the bar. Videos will only play if you allow them.Related: Battle of the best browsers: Which one is the best?Microsoft EdgeThankfully, Microsoft has made it is easy to block autoplaying videos on the new Edge browser — almost deceptively so. With just the flip of a switch, you can browse annoyance-free.Well, mostly.Microsoft Edge has an option to prevent Adobe Flash player from running, meaning autoplaying videos that use Flash will be DOA. But if you’re looking to block HTML5 videos, which is a format that’s being used more and more these days, you’ll be at a loss given Edge has no such capabilities. Still, it’s worth going through with the procedure to reduce the number of autoplaying videos you run into.Step 1: Launch Edge, click the More actions button in the top-right corner, and select Settings.Step 2: Scroll down to the bottom of the settings window and click the View Advanced Settings button.Step 3: Locate the Use Adobe Flash Player option and toggle the switch beneath to off.
Stirling What?Now if you don’t know what a Stirling engine is, it is essentially a one piston wonder. It operates on the basic principles of cyclic compression and expansion of a gas (such as air), using temperature differential to move the piston. It is considered to be a closed cycle system which means that the fluid is permanently contained within the system (piston chamber). Unless you are an engine guy, that probably makes no sense to you whatsoever. All of that is fancy talk that simply means the piston goes up as the fluid gets hotter and is driven back down as it rapidly cools.Advertisement The up-and-down movement is connected to a drive shaft of sorts, which in turn is connected to a fly wheel that can be used to power whatever you need it to. These engines were originally found in big factories during our industrial age, because they were very efficient, and their ability to use just about any heat source made them extremely popular. Yet today these engines have obviously been replaced by more efficient ones that use more cylinders and are a lot less noisy to boot. Still though, you have to admit that what this guy did is pretty clever. He takes two Coke cans and works a bit of magic. The upper can is used to house the main mechanical components, while the lower can is used to house the heat source. He uses a standard lantern base with a lighted wick as a heat source. He takes a piece of wire and bends it with some electrical pliers to get his crankshaft fashioned, and the fly wheel… well that is a used grinder blade as it turns out. Like I said, pretty clever.However, I know what you’re thinking. What does he use as the membrane between the two chambers to create the closed system? That is essential so the hot air doesn’t escape and render the engine useless. The answer is a bit surprising. He uses a balloon. How do I know this? Well that’s easy, too. No, I cannot see inside the can with my x-ray vision. I simply found his other video that explains how to make your own sterling engine out of two coke cans. This one is time lapse so you can pause it should you get stuck or need to look at a section of it a bit longer to get it in your head. Of interest, too, is the reservoir tray. He actually adds a bit of cold coke to that tray to make the engine speed up! Funny how those thermodynamics work at even the most rudimentary level eh? Anyway, for what it’s worth this certainly is a fun little foray into what a guy can do when he’s bored and has a few extra parts laying around.
Trouble is brewing in the orderly world of subatomic physics.New evidence from the world’s largest atom smasher, the Large Hadron Collider in Geneva, Switzerland, suggests that certain tiny subatomic particles called leptons don’t behave as expected.So far, the data only hint at these misbehaving leptons. But if more data confirm their wayward behavior, the particles would represent the first cracks in the reigning physics model for subatomic particles, researchers say. [See Photos of the World’s Largest Atom Smasher]Reigning modelA single model, called the Standard Model, governs the bizarre world of the teensy tiny. It dictates the behavior of every subatomic particle, from ghostly neutrinos to the long-sought Higgs boson (discovered in 2012), which explains how other particles get their mass. In hundreds of experiments over four decades, physicists have confirmed over and over again that the Standard Model is an accurate predictor of reality.But the Standard Model isn’t the whole picture of how the universe operates. For one, physicists haven’t found a way to reconcile the microcosm of the Standard Model with Einstein’s theory of general relativity, which describes how mass warps space-time on a larger scale. And neither theory explains the mysterious substance called dark matter, which makes up most of the universe’s matter, yet emits no light. So physicists have been on the hunt for any results that contradict the Standard Model’s basic premises, in the hopes that it could reveal new physics. [Beyond Higgs: 5 Other Particles That May Lurk in the Universe]Cracks in the foundationPhysicists may have found one such contradiction at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), which accelerates beams packed with protons around a 17-mile-long (27 kilometers) underground ring and smashes them into one another, creating a shower of short-lived particles.While sifting through the alphabet soup of short-lived particles, scientists with the LHC’s beauty experiment (LHCb) noticed a discrepancy in how often B mesons — particles with mass five times that of the proton — decayed into two other types of electronlike particles, called the tau lepton and the muon.The LHCb scientists noticed slightly more tau leptons than they expected, which they first reported earlier this year. But that result was very preliminary. From LHCb data alone, there was a high chance — about 1 in 20 — that a statistical fluke could explain the findings.”This is a small hint, and you would have not been supremely excited until you see more of it,” said Hassan Jawahery, a particle physicist at the University of Maryland in College Park, who works on the LHCb experiment.But this same discrepancy in the tau-lepton-muon ratio has cropped up before, at Stanford University’s BaBar experiment, which tracked the fallout from electrons colliding with their antimatter partners, positrons.With both data sources combined, the odds that the tau-lepton-muon discrepancy is a byproduct of random chance drops significantly. The new results are at a certainty level of “4-sigma,” which means there is a 99.993 percent chance the discrepancy between tau leptons and muons represents a real physical phenomenon, and is not a byproduct of random chance, the researchers reported Sept. 4 in the journal Physical Review Letters. (Typically, physicists announce big discoveries, such as that of the Higgs boson, when data reaches a 5-sigma level of significance, meaning there’s a 1 in 3.5 million chance that the finding is a statistical fluke.)”Their values are totally in line with ours,” said Vera Luth, a physicist at Stanford University in California who worked on the BaBar experiment. “We’re obviously thrilled that it doesn’t look totally like a fluctuation. It may actually be right.”Strange new worlds?Of course, it’s still too early to say with absolute certainty that something fishy is going on in the world of the very small. But the fact that similar results have been found using completely different experimental models bolsters the LHCb findings, said Zoltan Ligeti, a theoretical physicist at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in California, who was not involved in the current experiments. In addition, the B-factory at the atom-smashing KEK-B experiment in Japan has found a similar deviation, he added.If the phenomenon they’ve measured holds up with further testing, “the implications for theory and how we view the world would be extremely substantial,” Ligeti told Live Science. “It’s really a deviation from the Standard Model in a direction that most people would not have expected.”For instance, one of the top contenders to explain dark matter and dark energy is a class of theories known as supersymmetry, which posits that each known particle has a superpartner with slightly different characteristics. But the most popular versions of these theories cannot explain the new results, he said.Still, the new results aren’t confirmed yet. That will have to wait until the team begin
Aside from the truly questionable safety issue of someone riding around on a bicycle with a presumably loaded weapon (what would be point otherwise?) slung over your back, the picture implies quite a lot, doesn’t it? Here are two happy-go-lucky young white women without a care in the world, free to ride around the bucolic countryside with semi-automatic weapons. And because of that freedom, the rate of gun deaths in their country is among the lowest in the world, which supposedly means a couple of things simultaneously: First, it means that widespread gun ownership must prevent gun violence. Second, it means that having lots of guns doesn’t cause gun violence. Therefore, if you are upset about gun violence you should want every young American woman to be carrying loaded weapons slung over her back on her bike rides.Let’s take a look at what’s actually likely to be going on in that picture. Switzerland’s high rate of gun ownership is tied to the fact that it does not have a standing army so virtually every male citizen is conscripted into the militia where they receive comprehensive weapons training. Since they are a militia, they keep their government issued weapons (without ammunition) at home. Therefore, many of the guns in Swiss homes were issued to them by the government and most Swiss gun owners are highly trained in gun safety. This is in contrast to many untrained American yahoos who hang around Starbucks with loaded AR-15s leaning dangerously against the table top while they sip their mocha frappucino.When Swiss militia members complete their service they are allowed to keep their weapon once they’ve been approved for an acquisition permit and can prove they have justification for having it. Private ownership of guns, along with ammunition, is also allowed under an acquisition permit with certain restrictions, including against those with criminal records and history of addiction and psychiatric problems. And with a law worthy of Orwell’s worst nightmare, every gun in Switzerland is registered by the government.Unless those two laughing women on the bicycles are transporting those weapons to a gun show or are members of the militia reporting for duty (in which cases the guns must not be loaded) or they are security personnel licensed to guard Roger Federer, they are probably breaking the law. “Open carry,” as we understand it in the United States, is only allowed in those very limited circumstances.So, the first part of the meme’s implicit argument, that large scale gun ownership prevents gun violence is disproven by the good old USA. Switzerland may have have high gun ownership per capita but so do we. And our crime rate is the highest in the developed world — by a mile. Clearly having a bunch of guns is not the key to a low crime rate.The second part of the argument, that large scale gun ownership doesn’t cause a high crime rate is more complicated. Certainly nobody is saying that guns fire bullets all by themselves. What most people who seek restrictions on gun ownership believe is that having easy access to firearms makes it too easy for flawed humans to make lethal choices in situations that do not have to be lethal. To the gun control advocate, the “freedom” to own guns for fun and profit doesn’t outweigh the freedom to not be shot. To the gun proliferation advocate, the more guns the more freedom. That argument will not be resolved by anything Switzerland does or doesn’t do.What is interesting about the Switzerland comparison is something entirely different. As we’ve seen, Switzerland’s rate of gun ownership is tied very directly to its militia. And one cannot help but think of our own 2nd Amendment to the U.S. Constitution which states: A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.Why would the founders put that militia stuff in there like that if they were simply creating a fundamental right to bear arms? Switzerland’s militia is a good illustration of why they did that. The gun owners in Switzerland aren’t armed in order to repel a home invasion by criminals. They are armed to repel a foreign invasion. Granted, that is now something of a symbolic gesture considering modern armaments, but it’s fundamental to the way the Swiss think about their guns. And it is very different than the way we think about this.This article by the BBC magazine discusses the gun culture in Switzerland and it features a quote which sums up the Swiss attitude: “The gun is not given to me to protect me or my family. I have been given this gun by my country to serve my country – and for me it is an honour to take care of it. I think it is a good thing for the state to give this responsibility to people.”Contrast that with the common American attitude:“The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in goverment
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – A 24-year-old mother is in custody after her dirty, barefoot 4- and 6-year-old children were found living in a wooden shipping crate in an underground cave in Kansas City, Missouri.The woman was charged Friday with two counts of felony child endangerment.Jackson County detectives were serving a search warrant for an alleged stolen car operation in the caves on the city’s east side Thursday when they found the children, alone, in the 8-by-10-foot crate furnished with vehicle bench seats.Prosecutors say the children were poorly clothed, barefoot and covered in dirt, and the younger one was eating from a cup of dry ramen noodles.A spokesman for the Jackson County prosecutor’s office said Saturday he didn’t know if the woman has an attorney
Since Robert F. Kennedy’s assassination on June 6, 1968, his widow, Ethel, has been his torchbearer. Unlike her late sister-in-law, Jackie Kennedy Onassis, she never remarried, never sought a path or identity that was hers alone. She held herself up as the martyr, the good Catholic widow left to raise 11 children alone, the empress of Hickory Hill.She was content to be the other Kennedy widow, the domesticated antidote to the glamorous, globe-trotting Jackie.Today, Ethel Kennedy is 87, the clan’s de facto matriarch — a dubious position given the neglect shown toward her own children.Modal TriggerIn his new book, “RFK Jr.: Robert F. Kennedy Jr. and the Dark Side of the Dream,” author Jerry Oppenheimer delves into Bobby’s upbringing — or lack thereof — to understand why the scion of our greatest political family has never accomplished much. Oppenheimer contrasts Bobby’s upbringing to that of John F. Kennedy Jr.“John, after his father’s death, was brought up by a controlling and domineering mother, but one who obsessively looked out for his care and well-being,” he writes. “Bobby, after his father’s death, was essentially given up by his angry, widowed mother.”Problem childEthel Kennedy met her future husband in December 1945 on a ski trip with her college pal Jean Ann Kennedy, Bobby’s little sister. Ethel was 17 and smitten.“Her only interest was the Kennedy family,” Oppenheimer told People magazine in 1991. “The Kennedy name, what Bobby could do in the future, what the other Kennedys were doing, what Jack’s future was. She just gave her life over to them.”They married in June 1950, and by July 1951, their first child, Kathleen, was born. Ethel spent much of the decade pregnant, but that didn’t stop her from traveling extensively with Bobby in pursuit of his political future.The children, Oppenheimer writes, were afterthoughts. Bobby, the third-eldest, was a sensitive boy who turned to animals for company. There was little adult supervision.“It was incredible,” a former nanny told Oppenheimer. “There wasn’t anybody to say, ‘Don’t do that.’ It was hard to control them.”Ethel was 40 and three months pregnant with her last child, daughter Rory, when her husband was assassinated. Bobby Jr. was 14, and one week after his father’s funeral, the family celebrated his brother’s 13th birthday. Bobby slipped laxatives into everyone’s drinks as a prank.“Just leave home!” Ethel yelled at him. “Get out of my life!”She often used such language with him. “Her moods could swing drastically,” Oppenheimer writes, and soon after, she “literally beat Bobby with a hairbrush.”Modal TriggerRobert Kennedy Jr. and mom Ethel at his father’s funeral in 1968.Photo: WireImageUnable to cope with her grief — let alone her children’s — Ethel shipped Bobby off to a series of boarding schools, each less prestigious than the last, each forced to expel the namesake son of a martyred political icon.Bobby wasn’t even 15 and was already using drugs heavily. He insisted each school allow his pet falcon to stay in his room. He formed a gang, The Hyannis Port Terrors, and one of his favorite practical jokes was bumping the fender of a passing car, having a pal collapse in the road, then yelling, “You’ve killed a Kennedy!” He once spat in a cop’s face.Ethel did nothing. She was sealed off in her McLean, Va., estate. Only her dead husband, his legacy and her privilege as a Kennedy widow existed. Nothing Bobby did got her attention for long, and that attention was usually negative.“I never witnessed a civil conversation between Bobby and Ethel,” one of RFK Jr.’s ex-girlfriends told People in 1984.When Bobby was arrested for buying pot in 1970, Ethel threw him in the bushes. “You’ve dragged your family’s name through the mud!” she yelled.“Almost anything could trigger a fight between them,” another family friend said. “She would scream at him for 10 or 15 minutes without letting up and tell him to leave, which he did. Later, it would be like it never happened.”‘Horror Hill’In his 1994 biography of Ethel, “The Other Mrs. Kennedy,” Oppenheimer writes of her “uncontrolled rage” and the abuse that extended to her household staff. Her brother-in-law Peter Lawford was shocked when Ethel berated a new maid for going to throw out some old scraps of paper.“You stupid n- - - -r,” Ethel yelled. “Don’t you know what you’re doing? You’re destroying history. Get out of my sight! You’re fired.”One of Ethel’s secretaries, Noelle Fell, told Oppenheimer she was surprised by such outbursts.“She would say things like, ‘Those black people are stupid,’ ” Fell recalled. “I really don’t think she liked blacks or Hispanics. She couldn’t stand it if they didn’t speak English.”One such maid, who brought sanitary pads when Ethel asked for face cream, got a hard slap in the face. She quit on the spot.Modal TriggerRobert and Ethel Kennedy pose with their children (from left) Joe, David (standing), Bobby Jr. (sitting), Kathleen and Courtney.Photo: Getty ImagesSuch high turnover contrib
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Burning Man founder: ‘Black folks don’t like to camp as much as white folks’ | Culture | The GuardianAuthor: SupremePundit
Burning Man founder Larry Harvey has countered criticism of the lack of racial diversity at the festival by saying that part of the reason there are so few black attendees (known as burners) is that “I don’t think black folks like to camp as much as white folks”.In an interview with the Guardian, Harvey vowed that “we’re not going to set racial quotas”, defended the presence of rich Silicon Valley executives at the festival, and said he will personally go undercover this week to investigate the luxurious camps of ultra-wealthy tech bosses said by the New York Times to boast chefs, air conditioning and servants.According to the most recent Black Rock city census, compiled yearly by a team of academic demographers and anthropologists to determine the makeup of the festival, 87% of burners identified as white; 6% identified as Hispanic, 6% as Asian, and 2% as Native Americans (figures rounded) – on the latter of whose ancestral lands the event occurs. The smallest demographic of burners – 1.3% – identified as black. According to the census, which also measures income, this means that the temporary city is home to twice as many people who earn $300,000 a year as it is to black people.The art of Burning Man: skeletons, temples and flaming TetrisRead moreSo given that the first of the festival’s 10 principles is “radical inclusion”, what does it mean that the festival’s vision of a utopian society is 90% white?“This has never been, imagined by us, as a utopian society,” Harvey answered. “I’ll believe in utopia when I meet my first perfect person, and this community is made up of 70,000 imperfect persons.“That being the case,” he continued, “I think it’s a little much to expect the organisation to solve the problem of racial parity. We do see a fast-increasing influx of Asians, black folks. I actually see black folks out here, unlike some of our liberal critics.”Dan Drahos dances at the Robot Heart during the morning hours at Burning Man.FacebookTwitterPinterestDan Drahos dances at the Robot Heart during the morning hours at Burning Man. Photograph: Jim Urquhart/ReutersBlack burners are not an abstract concept for Harvey: “My family is half black,” he said. “I see black people! And they’re here. Though I got a lot of criticism for once saying, ‘Well I don’t think black people like to camp’.” Harvey’s comment drew nervous laughter from other Burning Man staff and members of international media at a press conference before the Guardian’s interview. “There are some historic reasons for that, especially in the United States.”Asked later to expand on this, Harvey told the Guardian: “Remember a group that was enslaved and made to work. Slavishly, you know in the fields. This goes all the way back to the Caribbean scene, when the average life of a slave in the fields was very short. And, so, there’s that background, that agrarian poverty associated with things. Maybe your first move isn’t to go camping. Seriously.”The rest of the year, Harvey lives in the historically black Fillmore neighborhood of San Francisco. “My wife is from Jamaica. My ex-wife. My stepchildren – and then there’s my son. So, it’s a biracial family.“In my neighbourhood,” he added, “the thing to do was to get a good-looking car, and people would sit on stoops, and you’d stop your car in the middle of the street and you’d start talking. That was society. And that involved a lot of display, a lot of dress, a lot of attention to style. But the idea of getting down in the dirt? Not particularly popular.”“You think I am full of crap?” Harvey asked the Guardian. Not entirely: his responses are not entirely out of line with what some (though not all) black burners have told me.Participants gather to watch the flames from the art car El Popo Mechanico during Burning Man.FacebookTwitterPinterestParticipants gather to watch the flames from the art car El Popo Mechanico during Burning Man. Photograph: Jim Urquhart/ReutersBut Harvey had harsh words for a diversity consultant the organisation hired who “was black, and lesbian, and she had a niche in the nonprofit world, because they’re always trying to check off those boxes, in terms of quotas, so they can say [they are diverse].“At a certain point, she made a speech which was pro forma, which I didn’t know was the speech she always made, about the racial question. I said ‘Well, I don’t think black folks like to camp as much as white folks!’ And she said ‘You son of a bitch!’ And then there was a guy, who did a sort of white man shuffle in response, and said,” – Harvey dropped his voice – “‘We understand.’”Afterwards, Harvey went to the consultant. “I took it seriously, and I said, ‘Listen. You’ve got to have connections with all these black arts or community groups. And I will go anywhere and talk to anyone you direct me to.’ She never got back to me. And it’s only later I realised I had never seen her with a black person. She lived in a white nonprofit world. She didn’t really represent the black community. She
Burning Man founder: ‘Black folks don’t like to camp as much as white folks’ | Culture | The GuardianAuthor: SupremePundit
PHILADELPHIA (AP) – The man accused of abducting a Philadelphia woman seen on surveillance video struggling while being grabbed off a city street has pleaded guilty to a federal kidnapping charge.Delvin Barnes, whose primary address was in Charles City County, entered the plea Thursday. His plea agreement calls for a sentence of 35 years in prison.The 38-year-old Barnes allegedly grabbed Carlesha Freeland-Gaither near a Philadelphia bus stop last November and forced the screaming, struggling woman into his car. She was 22 at the time.A massive manhunt ensued and federal agents found them three days later in his car in Jessup, Maryland.Barnes is also charged in the abduction of a 16-year-old girl in Virginia in early October 2014.Barnes allegedly hit her with a shovel and took her to a mobile home where he doused her in bleach and gasoline before she escaped.
The owner of the barbers was confused, because he didn’t have the tools to cut a woman’s hair, and his shop was advertised as a men’s barbers
Standing on a picnic table in the Highlands’ Willow Park, 18-year-old Nan Elpers removed her top as cameras started to roll.
Stone-faced, she held her shirt to her side, taking in the scene. Beside her on the table, women held #FreetheNipple posters. In front of her, hundreds of men, women and children stopped talking to take photos or show support. Within seconds, many of them started to applaud.
It was a good turnout for Kentucky’s first #FreetheNipple walk, where hundreds of men and women joined a national movement that has sparked similar marches in 60 other cities around the world — including a recent Manhattan march that drew 300 topless women.
In the Cherokee Triangle park Saturday, dozens of still-covered women waited for Elpers to talk.
“Lina Esco started this campaign in New York to change public policy,” Elpers told the audience. “She did that. In New York, this is legal. In Kentucky, this is legal. This is not a protest. This is a promotion of the understanding, the acceptance and the personal acceptance of women’s bodies. We are not here to change laws. We are here to change minds.”
Women and men of all ages and sizes removed their shirts to participate in the walk, which headed from the park down Bardstown Road to the Douglass Loop and back, passing two farmers markets, numerous restaurants and dozens of filming men along the way.
Arric Fendwick, holding his phone camera up at an intersection on Bardstown Road, said he was filming the march for friends who didn’t believe it was happening.
“It is a shocking thing,” Fendwick said, “because it’s in the city limits, not on a nudist campus or on a beach or in a private home, in a backyard. It is shocking seeing women getting together, bonding and doing something they feel is a positive thing. … It’s a new generation now. Do what you feel.”
Twelve Louisville Metro Police Department officers escorted the march, blocking traffic and keeping the marchers to the sidewalks. Elpers said she was grateful for the city’s support after the event took on a life of its own, far exceeding the response she anticipated when she first made a Facebook event inviting friends to join her in the cause.
“One of the things that has been so important to me and made this event so much more real is that I’ve gotten comments from women and girls I know, then on Facebook, people that I’ve never met before have given me their very personal reasons for supporting this campaign and why they need it,” Elpers said.
Mariah Harrod and Michelle Kim, students at Centre College, drove from Danville, Ky., to attend the march after learning of the campaign through supporter and pop culture icon Miley Cyrus.
“I think it’s definitely time and it’s clearly unfair that women can’t reveal their nipples in a social setting without being like considered immoral, scandalized or even possibly arrested,” Harrod said.
Several of the women participating said they were unsure if they’d take off their tops or show their support while remaining clothed, but some chose to remove their shirts after seeing dozens of other women do so.
“That’s a huge thing,” Elpers said, “because this is as much a self-acceptance campaign as it is a public acceptance campaign, and it’s been really powerful for a lot of people here.”
EVERY summer for many years now, my family has kept to our ritual. All 20 of us — my siblings, my dad, our better halves, my nieces and nephews — find a beach house big enough to fit the whole unruly clan. We journey to it from our different states and time zones. We tensely divvy up the bedrooms, trying to remember who fared poorly or well on the previous trip. And we fling ourselves at one another for seven days and seven nights.That’s right: a solid week. It’s that part of the ritual that mystifies many of my friends, who endorse family closeness but think that there can be entirely too much of it. Wouldn’t a long weekend suffice? And wouldn’t it ward off a few spats and simplify the planning?The answer to the second question is yes, but to the first, an emphatic no.Continue reading the main storySign Up for the Opinion Today NewsletterEvery weekday, get thought-provoking commentary from Op-Ed columnists, The Times editorial board and contributing writers from around the world.Frank BruniPolitics, social issues, education and culture. The Spirit and Promise of Detroit SEP 9 The Joe Biden Delusion SEP 2 The Real Threat to Hillary Clinton AUG 29 Trump-ward, Christian Soldiers? AUG 25 Gay and Marked for Death AUG 21See More »I used to think that shorter would be better, and in the past, I arrived for these beach vacations a day late or fled two days early, telling myself that I had to when in truth I also wanted to — because I crave my space and my quiet, and because I weary of marinating in sunscreen and discovering sand in strange places. But in recent years, I’ve showed up at the start and stayed for the duration, and I’ve noticed a difference.With a more expansive stretch, there’s a better chance that I’ll be around at the precise, random moment when one of my nephews drops his guard and solicits my advice about something private. Or when one of my nieces will need someone other than her parents to tell her that she’s smart and beautiful. Or when one of my siblings will flash back on an incident from our childhood that makes us laugh uncontrollably, and suddenly the cozy, happy chain of our love is cinched that much tighter.There’s simply no real substitute for physical presence.We delude ourselves when we say otherwise, when we invoke and venerate “quality time,” a shopworn phrase with a debatable promise: that we can plan instances of extraordinary candor, plot episodes of exquisite tenderness, engineer intimacy in an appointed hour.We can try. We can cordon off one meal each day or two afternoons each week and weed them of distractions. We can choose a setting that encourages relaxation and uplift. We can fill it with totems and frippery — a balloon for a child, sparkling wine for a spouse — that signal celebration and create a sense of the sacred.And there’s no doubt that the degree of attentiveness that we bring to an occasion ennobles or demeans it. Better to spend 15 focused, responsive minutes than 30 utterly distracted ones.But people tend not to operate on cue. At least our moods and emotions don’t. We reach out for help at odd points; we bloom at unpredictable ones. The surest way to see the brightest colors, or the darkest ones, is to be watching and waiting and ready for them.That’s reflected in a development that Claire Cain Miller and David Streitfeld wrote about in The Times last week. They noted that “a workplace culture that urges new mothers and fathers to hurry back to their cubicles is beginning to shift,” and they cited “more family-friendly policies” at Microsoft and Netflix, which have extended the leave that parents can take.AdvertisementContinue reading the main storyAdvertisementContinue reading the main storyHow many parents will step off the fast track and avail themselves of this remains to be seen. But those who do will be deciding that the quantity of time with their brood matters as much as the intensity of it.Continue reading the main storyRecent CommentsBill Knox 2 days agoThank you, Frank. You write the most exquisitely beautiful, truthful columns, with your own self laid bare. I feel so privileged to savor…John 2 days agoThis is why I never miss an opportunity to drive my children to school.Galen 2 days agoThis is you for this column, Mr. Bruni. You are always perceptive, but this is the most broadly helpful and profoundly important column… See All Comments They’ll be lucky: Many people aren’t privileged enough to exercise such discretion. My family is lucky, too. We have the means to get away.But we’re also dedicated to it, and we’ve determined that Thanksgiving Day isn’t ample, that Christmas Eve passes too quickly, and that if each of us really means to be central in the others’ lives, we must make an investment, the biggest components of which are minutes, hours, days. As soon as our beach week this summer was done, we huddled over our calendars and traded scores of emails to figure out which week next summer we could all set
If you need validation that being at work before 10 a.m. feels like “torture,” here it is.Early schedules go against the body’s natural “clock” and can impact learning and health, Paul Kelly, an honorary clinical research fellow at Oxford University’s Sleep and Circadian Neuroscience Institute said, BBC reported.Kelly addressed a crowd at the British Science Festival in Bradford, England, and said making people under age 55 work before 9 a.m. is not conducive to a productive work force.’We cannot change our 24-hour rhythms,” Kelly said. “You cannot learn to get up at a certain time. Your body will be attuned to sunlight, and you’re not conscious of it because it reports to the hypothalamus, not sight.”He noted that staff and students are usually sleep deprived and called the problem an “international issue.”Kelly and researchers at Oxford University are currently recruiting 100 schools around the United Kingdom to take part in a study on delayed school start times and student performance.
Three-time Olympic runner Suzy Favor Hamilton has written a book about her post-athletics foray into the world of high-priced escorts.In “Fast Girl: A Life Spent Running from Madness,” Hamilton chronicles her struggles with undiagnosed bipolar disorder that began in earnest after the 2000 Summer Games and eventually drove her into thrill-seeking behavior.See the most-read stories in Sports this hour >>”My bipolar was driven toward sex,” she told People magazine. “It could have been driven towards drugs and alcohol, or gambling. I found sex was the biggest high to fuel my mania, which is common with bipolar people.”Hamilton has a history of depression in her family. Her brother committed suicide in 1999.In the People interview, she talked about the 2000 Olympics, when she surrendered the lead in the 1,500 meters on the final turn and collapsed short of the finish line. She now says she fell intentionally Years later, under the influence of a new antidepressant, she persuaded her husband to hire an escort for a threesome, hoping it might spice up their struggling marriage. That episode led to her working as a $600-an-hour escort.”Sex was the biggest high to fuel my mania,” she said. “I still crave that high. I can’t say I’ll never act out in that way again.”
(Multix)Meet the Multix. It looks like an auto rickshaw that has been to the gym. But this mini-pickup truck is more than that.Targeted at small businessmen, the Multix can also double-up as a generator to light up homes, power tools or even run a DJ console.A joint venture between U.S.-based Polaris Industries and India’s Eicher Motors, the vehicle is designed to be small enough to steer through congested city roads in the South Asian country, but still it comes with an independent suspension system and 225 millimeters of ground clearance to tackle potholed or flooded streets.The Multix will be offered for test rides from July in 30 Indian cities with customer deliveries starting in August.Dealership prices start at around 233,000 rupees ($3,670.)Eicher Polaris Pvt.—the equal joint venture company formed in July 2012—says the Multix went through rigorous testing, equivalent to traveling 1.8 million kilometers in both the U.S. and India. They say the vehicle has a “tubular frame structure and roll-over protection system that provides structural stability and reinforced safety.”With its 511-cubic-centimeter diesel engine, the Multix can travel more than 28 kilometers to a liter, according to the companies. Its dual-cab can transport up to five people and has up to 1,918 liters of luggage space—big enough for a family vacation.
This Lincoln shut down the Street Car Takeover in H-Town!
Source: 1964 Continental Airs It Out
The Duke Engines 5-cylinder Axial engine, a 1,000cc beast tiny in size, which features little to no vibration, no valves, fewer moving parts and makes 125 hp. We hope to see it in a motorcycle soon, but in the mean time we spoke with the Chief Technology Officer at Duke Engines, Dr. Mike Fry, to find out how practical the engine really is, what its limitations are, and the future of Duke Engines.
Three more motorists have been confirmed killed by defective General Motors ignition switches, bringing the death toll to 80.
Presidential candidate Donald Trump’s proposal to deport all 11 million immigrants living in the country illegally, along with their U.S.-born children, sounds far-fetched. But something similar happened before.During the 1930s and into the 1940s, up to 2 million Mexicans and Mexican-Americans were deported or expelled from cities and towns across the U.S. and shipped to Mexico. According to some estimates, more than half of these people were U.S. citizens, born in the United States.It’s a largely forgotten chapter in history that Francisco Balderrama, a California State University historian, documented in Decade of Betrayal: Mexican Repatriation in the 1930s. He co-wrote that book with the late historian Raymond Rodriguez.”There was a perception in the United States that Mexicans are Mexicans,” Balderrama said. “Whether they were American citizens, or whether they were Mexican nationals, in the American mind — that is, in the mind of government officials, in the mind of industry leaders — they’re all Mexicans. So ship them home.”It was the Great Depression, when up to a quarter of Americans were unemployed and many believed that Mexicans were taking scarce jobs. In response, federal, state and local officials launched so-called “repatriation” campaigns. They held raids in workplaces and in public places, rounded up Mexicans and Mexican-Americans alike, and deported them. The most famous of these was in downtown Los Angeles’ Placita Olvera in 1931.Balderrama says these raids were intended to spread fear throughout Mexican barrios and pressure Mexicans and Mexican-Americans to leave on their own. In many cases, they succeeded.Where they didn’t, government officials often used coercion to get rid of Mexican-Americans who were U.S. citizens. In Los Angeles, it was standard practice for county social workers to tell those receiving public assistance that they would lose it, and that they would be better off in Mexico. Those social workers would then get tickets for families to travel to Mexico. According to Balderrama’s research, one-third of LA’s Mexican population was expelled between 1929 and 1944 as a result of these practices.That’s what happened to Emilia Castañeda and her family.Castañeda was born in Los Angeles in 1926 to immigrant parents. Her mother died while she was growing up, and her father struggled to get work during the Depression. When Castañeda was nine, Los Angeles County paid to put the family on a southbound train to Mexico. They lived with relatives, but often had to sleep outdoors for lack of space.”The oldest of the boys, he used to call me a repatriada,” Castañeda remembered in a 1971 interview, using the Spanish word for a repatriate. “And I don’t think I felt that I was a repatriada, because I was an American citizen.” Castañeda didn’t return to the U.S. until she was 17, by which point she had lost much of her English. Her father never returned.Balderrama says these family separations remain a lasting legacy of the mass deportations of that era. Despite claims by officials at the time that deporting U.S.-born children — along with their immigrant parents — would keep families together, many families were destroyed.Esteban Torres was a toddler when his father, a Mexican immigrant, was caught up in a workplace roundup at an Arizona copper mine in the mid-1930s. “My mother, like other wives, waited for the husbands to come home from the mine. But he didn’t come home,” Torres recalled in a recent interview. He now lives east of Los Angeles. “I was 3 years old. My brother was 2 years old. And we never saw my father again.”Torres’ mother suspected that his father had been targeted because of his efforts to organize miners. That led Esteban Torres to a lifelong involvement with organized labor. He was eventually elected to the U.S. House of Representatives, and served there from 1983 to 1999.Today, Torres serves on the board of La Plaza de Cultura y Artes in Los Angeles, a Mexican-American cultural center. In front of it stands a memorial that the state of California dedicated in 2012, apologizing to the hundreds of thousands of U.S. citizens who were illegally deported or expelled during the Depression.”It was a sorrowful step that this country took,” Torres said. “It was a mistake. And for Trump to suggest that we should do it again is ludicrous, stupid and incomprehensible.”
The U.S. Knowingly ships 2000 American horses per week to Mexico for slaughter for human consumption. These horses regularly have received POWERFUL Equine Drugs with FDA labels stating NOT FOR FOOD ANIMALS. Prevention? This is a sick joke