Category Archives: Health

GOT CATARACTS?

I was having vision issues at last year’s exam.  My prescription was not getting the job done.  Bifocals were fine, but reading across the room was practically impossible.  It was also difficult for street signs and other things.  Doc gave me a stronger prescription, but also reminded me as he had been doing for several years that I had cataracts.  The lady who orders the glasses told me the prescription change was so insignificant that it would not noticeably improve my vision.  The problem she said is the cataracts.  Doc already told me that cataract surgery was totally my decision.  Not particularly excited about someone poking around in my eye with a sharp object, I decided to reassess after my next exam.

Over the next year, reading at a distance was near impossible.  Fuzzy vision was becoming my norm.  Night driving was dangerous.  Lights from oncoming traffic that used to be an annoying glare was now a vision obliterating glare.  Think of turning on the high beams while driving in thick fog and you will come close to what I experienced.  It simply was not safe.

When the next exam rolled around the Doc and I discussed cataracts.  He told me again there is never a time when one must have cataract surgery.  It comes down to a quality of life decision.  He did tell me that the cataracts were doing what cataracts do – getting worse.  The one in my left eye even had a cloudy spot.  I decided to have the surgery.

There are two types of lenses, monofocal and multifocal, and just as many opinions on for whom which is best.  One major aspect to consider is that most insurance will pay for the monofocal, but not the multifocal which is considered a premium lense.  With the multifocal, also comes the surgeon’s fee.  The monofocal will correct the distance vision, but leave you needing reading glasses.  The multifocal corrects all ranges of vision including, in many cases, eliminating the need for reading glasses.

After reading everything I could find, beyond what the Doc gave me, I decided to get the multifocal lenses.  Probably the biggest reason for me was I did not want to tote around reading glasses or have bifocals so I could read the dashboard while driving.

Doc said the medical standard is to do one eye at a time and he suggested the left first as it appeared to be in the worst shape.  The prep for cataract surgery is much longer than the actual surgery.  After about an hour or so, I was wheeled into the operating room and about 10 minutes after the Doc walked in I was wheeled out.  The prep consists of the standard paperwork and an IV in case they need it and a place for the anesthesiologist to squirt the la-la juice although I was wide awake for the entire process.  They also filed my eyes with what feels like gallons of eye drops and this continued in the operating room where they scrubbed my eye for surgery and put in a lot of numbing drops.

The eye had so much dilating drops put in that remained dilated for the most part of two days.  I left the hospital with three different drops to use three or four times a day until they were gone – around three weeks worth.

So was it worth it?  On the day of surgery, while still dilated I started to question the decision.  However, the spectacular halos disappeared as my pupils returned to normal.  Having one eye done at a time let me make an assessment almost immediately.  The first thing I noticed was how much brighter and colorful everything is.  By covering one eye at a time, I discovered that I had been seeing the world through a dull yellow hue.  The walls in my house looked white rather than off white.  Colors changed causing me to push some shirts to the back of the closet because they were just too doggoned bright.  High definition television actually looked like it.  I could trim my whiskers without bifocals or the magnifying mirror.  Since I had been wearing glasses for near twenty years I discovered that I actually have eyebrows, and crow’s feet, and…. .

There are some issues with sunlight, so I need to don the Ray Bans when venturing out.  There are also some issues with halos around lights at night, but unlike the glare from cataracts I can still see.  For me, the light issues are a fair tradeoff to discarding glasses.

Both eyes are done now.  I can read without glasses in most cases.  If the lighting is poor, or the print is light such as white letters on a colored background I may need the reading glasses.  I have no issues with any range of vision.   The new lenses do seem to pick up the fluttering light of fluorescent bulbs and computer screens, but it is not a big deal.

For me, I will take the multifocal intraocular lenses (IOL) to glasses any day.

© 2017 J. D. Pendry

Big Pharma Advocate Scott Gottlieb Chosen To Head FDA

The world has 6.8 billion people…that’s headed up to about 9 billion.  Now if we do a really great job on new vaccines, health care, reproductive health services, we could lower that by perhaps 10 to 15 percent. – Bill Gates, Member of Bilderberg Group

When speaking to drug manufacturers in late January, Donald Trump said, “We have a fantastic person that I’ll be naming fairly soon who’s going to streamline the FDA. You’re going to get your products approved or not approved, but it’s going to be a quick process. It’s not going to take 15 years…. Surprised you can’t get them to move faster.”

He told the gathered pharmaceutical industry leaders that his administration would reduce taxes, regulations, and the time it takes for product approval, but that they must lower drug prices and bring manufacturing jobs back to the United States.

The FDA appointment has been closely watched by the pharmaceutical industry and consumer activists alike: reducing regulation is one of Trump’s top priorities. In a February speech to Congress, Trump promised to “slash the restraints” on drug approval, complaining about the “slow and burdensome approval process” at the FDA.

I’m all for reducing the exorbitant taxes, regulations on business, bringing manufacturing back to America, and lowering drug prices, but like many others, I’m very disturbed at rushing drug product approvals.

Gottlieb would help reach the goal of faster drug approval or denial, and therein lies a huge danger to the public.

 

 

 

 

 

 

FDA Commissioner Nominee

When the President announced FDA Commissioner nominee, Scott Gottlieb, Big Pharma let out a huge sigh of relief.

Scott Gottlieb is a Washington fixture with a medical degree, experience at the FDA and in the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. He is a fellow at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) and an allegedly respected health policy analyst.  AEI is funded and endorsed by well-known globalists and socialists, although it masquerades as right-leaning.

He has been a venture partner at New Enterprise Associates since 2007, and is an independent director at Tolero Pharmaceuticals, and Daiichi Sankyo Inc, and a member of GlaxoSmithKline‘s product investment board.

Gottlieb’s deep ties to the industry he would regulate go back more than decade, and he currently serves on the board of three pharmaceutical companies. His venture capital firm, New Enterprise Associates, funds 150 others. Gottlieb received more than $400,000 from Big Pharma between 2013 and 2015, according to a database maintained by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

In 2013, Senator Mitch McConnell appointed Gottlieb to serve as a member of the Federal Health IT Policy Committee which advises the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and is responsible for making recommendations on the meaningful use standards as part of the HITECH Act (electronic health information technology).  McConnell heavily favors Gottlieb.

Big Pharma is delighted with this choice!

Glaxo Smith Kline Pharmaceuticals

Glaxo is ranked the top vaccine producer, and Gottlieb is on their board, although he would have to resign in order to head the FDA.  No one likes that a prospective head of the FDA took $410,000 from GlaxoSmithKline. But maybe this isn’t the same as putting a charter school advocate in charge of the education department.  Ahem.

GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), Merck & Co., Pfizer, and Sanofi account for 80 percent of global vaccine revenues. Although these “big four” vary significantly by portfolio and pipeline size, GSK of the United Kingdom ranked first in terms of research and development, pricing strategy and registration, and manufacturing and supply, according to a report released by the Access to Medicine Foundation.

By the way, Merck’s two-dose vaccine against chicken pox, a common childhood disease, has now accounted for a painful epidemic of shingles. Link

There are so many negatives regarding vaccines, especially those given newborns, and resulting autism, that Trump has actually spoken with Robert Kennedy, Jr. regarding research on same, as well as heading a vaccine safety commission.  I’ve heard nothing since March, but would hope that RFK, Jr. is still in the lineup.  He was interviewed by Tucker Carlson and made his case.

Gottlieb on Vaccines

In a confirmation hearing before the U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Energy, Labor, and Pensions on April 5, 2017, Scott Gottlieb, MD, stated categorically that there “is no causal link between vaccination and autism.”  Think there isn’t some collusion here since he sits on the board of one of the largest vaccine producers?

Back in November of 2016, another new study claimed there was no link between vaccines and autism.  What the media didn’t tell you was that the study was done by The Lewin Group, a consulting firm that lists major vaccine makers among its clients.

Sharyl Attkisson reports what the news doesn’t tell us. “As an aside, according to OpenSecrets.org, The Lewin Group’s parent company, United Health Group, is a key government partner in Obamacare. Its subsidiary QSSI was given the contract to build the federal government’s HealthCare.gov website. One of its top executives and his family are top Obama donors.

Gottlieb’s Rush to Market

“The truth is, the FDA’s required trials reveal limited information,” Gottlieb wrote in an op-ed in the Chicago Tribune in 2005. “In many cases, it is only after drugs are on the market for many years and given to thousands of patients that their true benefits (sic.) are revealed.”

Well, if he believes that, why then is he doing exactly the opposite?

When three people in a multiple sclerosis drug trial lost blood platelets and one died, he stated that stopping the study was “an overreaction” because the disease, not the drug, might be to blame.

Gottlieb wrote accusatory emails to underlings when FDA scientists rejected Pfizer’s osteoporosis drug candidate Oporia, forecasted to earn $1 billion a year.  Boniva, advertised by Sally Field, and Fosamax have been linked to femur breakage and jaw bone disintegration.

Surely everyone has seen the advertisements for Chantix, Pfizer’s stop smoking drug.  Gottlieb rushed it to market, but a string of suicides and the violent death of Dallas musician Carter Albrecht leave many with doubts about the drug.

Gottlieb even trashed the Women’s Health Initiative (WHI) study that found hormone replacement therapy (HRT) was bad not good for women’s health, saying the results “were rushed to print with a cleverly orchestrated PR blitz.”  Most women now think of HRT as cancer in a bottle.  And Eli Lilly’s Evista is another horror story.

FDA’s Approved Dangerous Drugs

I certainly can understand that a promising drug not yet cleared by the FDA could possibly save lives, and this is the reason our President feels the drugs must be available.

However, when we look at the history of the FDA and drugs which have gone to market and then have been pulled because of extreme adverse effects, it would seem that 20 year studies should be the norm.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thalidomide was a widely-used drug in the late 1950s and early 1960s for the treatment of nausea in pregnant women. It became apparent in the 1960s that Thalidomide  resulted in severe birth defects in thousands of children, especially in the United Kingdom.

Over 10,000 children were born with Thalidomide related birth defects throughout the world. The United States was largely spared this tragedy thanks to the work of one woman, Dr. Frances Oldham Kelsey, a new employee of the FDA. Her insistence on sufficient documentation kept Thalidomide off the U.S. market for over a year, adequate time for doctors to uncover the link between Thalidomide and birth defects. Thanks to Kelsey, fewer than 100 were born in America.

Dr. Kelsey went on to write the rules that govern most clinical drug trials today. She retired from the FDA in 2005 at age 90.

Remember Vioxx, Merck’s illegally marketed drug for arthritis? Vioxx was introduced into the market in 1999 but was not approved by the FDA for rheumatoid arthritis until 2002. While it is not illegal for a physician to prescribe a drug for an unapproved use, federal law prohibits a manufacturer from promoting a drug for uses not approved by the FDA.  The FDA estimated in 2004 that Vioxx was responsible for more than 57,000 deaths.  Merck & Co. has agreed to a massive $950 million settlement with the U.S. government and 43 states over the way it marketed the painkiller Vioxx.

FDA officials say they asked Pfizer — the maker of Bextra — to remove it from U.S. pharmacies because risks of heartstomach, and skin problems clearly outweighed its benefits as an anti-inflammatory.

Celebrex, a closely related drug also made by Pfizer, from the class of pain relievers known as Cox-2 inhibitors, will be allowed to remain on the market. But it will be forced to carry strict new warnings alerting doctors and patients that it elevates the risk of heart attacks and strokes, the FDA says.

The blood thinner Xarelto was approved by the FDA.  It is now facing 18,000 lawsuits for extreme bleeding.

The FDA and big Pharma have admitted that antidepressants increase the risk of suicide by over 800%, according to court documents in a trial against GlaxoSmithKline.  Ann Blake Tracy of Coalition for Drug Awareness has exposed the side effects of these drugs, violence and suicide.

Remember Zelnorm for irritable bowel syndrome?  Surely most have seen the commercials.  It has been recalled because of a higher chance of heart attack, stroke, and unstable angina (heart/chest pain).

Drug Recalls

The list of drug recalls by the FDA is huge.  A recall is issued when a drug becomes dangerous to the consumer.  Drug safety is supposedly strictly monitored by the FDA in the U.S. before going on the market.  Once it is on the market the FDA and the drug manufacturer continue to monitor the effectiveness and safety of the drug.  If any problems arise regarding safety of the drug then a recall is issued.  Here is a short list of 35 FDA approved drugs pulled from the market.

In an interview with Vioxx whistleblower Dr. David Graham, (senior drug safety researcher at the FDA), he said the following, “On the safety side, I think that the American public can’t be very confident. They can have some confidence because it turns out that most drugs are remarkably safe. But, when there are unsafe drugs, the FDA is very likely to err on the side of industry.Rarely will they keep a drug from being marketed or pull a drug off the market.  Unfortunately, that’s the way the FDA is currently structured.”

Here is Graham’s Senate testimony regarding the dangers of Vioxx.

Conclusion

Although I fully understand the desire to get lifesaving drugs to our citizens in record time, the big concern is the danger these drugs pose to the public when they haven’t had long term studies.  Last year, over half a million Americans were hurt by FDA approved prescription drugs, and 100,000 of them died.

How did that happen? If some prescription drugs are that dangerous, how are they getting approved?

The answer is not simple. There are good people involved in the process. But the incentive in the system has become totally distorted.

Scott Gottlieb’s association with these large pharmaceutical companies gives me great pause as to his commitment to the American public rather than Big Pharma.

I would urge our President to think twice about streamlining the FDA to get drugs approved more quickly.  In the end, it may be extremely detrimental, not only to the public, but also to our President.

The low-salt diet is a big, fat lie!


* Do all of our loved ones & friends KNOW ?

* Note: Taken from The Daily Dose with Jack Harrison 5/7/17

I’d rather drop dead early than live to the age of 100 gnawing on low-salt soy nuggets.

That wouldn’t be a long life.

It would be a PUNISHMENT!

Fortunately, you don’t have to sentence yourself to joyless, life-sapping, low-salt meals to live longer and healthier.

You can live better than ever, as new research CONFIRMS that the most common meal-ruining advice of all is full of… well… let’s just say it’s full of tofu.

You’ve heard it a million times: Cut your sodium intake.

Remove the salt, and your blood pressure levels are supposed to drop. Maybe you’ve tried it. Maybe you’ve tried it and found it didn’t do squat — and if that’s the case, the new study finds you’re hardly alone.

This wasn’t some piddling short-term study that looked at day-to-day levels of salt and BP. It followed THOUSANDS of men and women from their 30s into the 60s for DECADES.

They found that over 20 or even 30 years, folks with salt intake below 2,500 mg per day DIDN’T have lower blood pressure.

It was HIGHER!

More importantly, these poor saps following mainstream medical advice — eating bland low-sodium dinners because they were positively terrified of what would happen if they sprinkled a little salt on their food — didn’t have a lower risk of heart disease, either.

The research team behind the new study says the current average sodium intake for most Americans of between 3,000 mg and 3,500 mg per day — more than DOUBLE what the American Heart Association is pushing on most folks — is perfectly fine, especially if you’re getting those other nutrients.

That’s in line with other studies. One even found that cutting your levels below 3,000 mg per day is actually every bit as bad for you as super high sodium levels of 7,000 mg per day.

If you need to bring your BP levels down, forget salt. The answer, according to the new study, is potassium. As your levels rise, your BP will drop — especially if you increase your magnesium and calcium along with it.

So, if your doc has been pushing the low-sodium advice, he owes you an apology.

I doubt you’ll get one.

But you CAN apologize to your taste buds. Rescue the salt shaker from whatever dark corner it’s been banished to, and bring it back to the center of your dinner table.

Yes, it IS possible to get too much salt — if you’re eating processed foods (especially sauces, dressings, and flavorings).

But if you cook your food fresh and add salt to taste, you’ll enjoy both good meals and even better health.

To good taste,
Jack Harrison

The Fluoride Myth

Do all of our loved ones & friends KNOW ?
* Note: Taken from Health Sciences Institute e-Alert – Melissa Young – 5/1/17

* So, how many generations of lowered I.Q. will be enough to motivate getting TOXIC Fluoride out of public water supplies ?

Dear Reader,

The beginning of this year marked the 72nd anniversary of the biggest public snow job ever. And it’s one that is still haunting us today — water fluoridation.

To fluoridate the water supply — or not — has become one of the most contentious issues many communities are facing. Right now, locations as diverse as Durango, Colo., Battlefield, Mo. (aptly named!) and Meadville, Pa. are in the midst of heated debates over it.

In Spokane, Wash., a resident is buying up billboards to warn that fluoride is a health hazard and “public health quackery.” And on the other side of the world in Auckland, New Zealand, a group opposed to water fluoridation is asking for the Prime Minister’s chief scientist to have a debate with them.

But what if an impartial, scientific group were to take a good, long look at all of the research out there that we keep hearing “proves” just how beneficial putting fluoride in the water is in preventing cavities?

Well, one actually did just that.

And what it found should have ended this debate once and for all.


‘Nobody would even think about it’

A news anchor reporting on a local water fluoridation clash calls it a “tale of two opinions.”

But the “opinion” that water fluoridation will prevent kids, and even adults, from getting cavities is looking more like a big round of Swiss cheese than a “safe and effective” public health measure.

Two years ago, the Cochrane Collaboration, a widely-respected group of doctors and scientists who are said to conduct scientific reviews of the highest level, released a scathing report on this practice.

As the group discovered, after painstakingly poring over every single study out there, they found there is no evidence that dumping the chemical in our water can prevent tooth decay. None.

In fact, after pulling out all the past research that was available, some going back decades, they only found a total of three studies done since 1975 that were comprehensive and reliable enough to include in their research.

So how is it that whenever a fluoride debate comes up, we always hear about the thousands of studies proving how effective it is? That mysterious research must be written in invisible ink that only CDC officials can see!

As you can imagine, when this review was published, experts were shocked.

Trevor Sheldon, dean of the Hull York Medical School in the UK, said that he couldn’t believe “the low quality of the research” on water fluoridation. He added that if fluoridation were to be submitted to health agencies such as the FDA today, the research is so bad “nobody would even think about [approving] it.”

UMass scientist Thomas Zoeller said that the review is “pretty shocking,” and does not “support the addition of fluoride to drinking water.” Other experts were equally surprised to learn that the “evidence” to support the practice just doesn’t exist.

After a brief spate of publicity in 2015, however, the findings seemed to disappear faster than a melting snowflake.

Now, it looks like we’re back to the same old debate over fluoridating towns and cities all over the U.S., and once again we’re hearing about reams of research that supposedly prove it prevents tooth decay.

But as an eAlert reader, you know that the issue is much more than whether fluoridated water provides protection against cavities.

As we’ve been telling you for years, fluoride is a toxic chemical that can damage your thyroid, lower your child’s IQ, and up your risk of having a bone fracture and has even been linked to cancer — especially a rare form of bone cancer in young men.

But despite the serious health risks and the lack of any reason whatsoever to dump this poison into our water, the scam continues. Fluoride is even being added to some bottled waters!

If your water is fluoridated (which you can find out by calling your local municipal water authority), you’ll need a reverse osmosis filter to remove it.

And if someone tries to tell you about all that research proving how water fluoridation is saving our teeth, you can tell them that fable no longer holds water.

To Fracturing the Fluoride Myth,

Melissa Young

Sources:
“Spokane woman buys billboards to fight against fluoride” Peter Maxwell, April 13, 2017, KHQ, khq.com

 

WARNING: New prostate cancer scam… exposed!

What a coincidence!

Turns out there’s an easy way to predict which men with prostate cancer will be treated with body-wrecking, energy-sapping, dignity-robbing radiation.

It’s got nothing to do with the stage of the cancer… the location of the tumor… or the prognosis of the disease.

It’s whether or not the doc owns the radiation equipment!

If the doc who spots your tumor has his own radiation machine, then that’s what you’re getting. And, according to a new study, you’ll be pushed into it whether you need it or not.

Overall, men who see docs who own this equipment are 61 percent more likely to get blasted with radiation than guys who see docs who DON’T have one of these things.

And for men with often-harmless low-grade cancers, the numbers are uglier than a tumor.

Guys with “favorable risk” — in other words, men with localized tumors unlikely to grow — shouldn’t be treated at all in most cases. They can kick back, relax and enjoy life knowing the cancer will almost certainly never pose a threat.

Every now and then, a doc can check up on the tumor to make sure it’s not growing, a practice known as “active surveillance.”

But it seems men aren’t always getting that choice… especially when they see a zap-happy doctor who owns a radiation machine.

The new study finds these low-risk patients are 89 PERCENT more likely to get blasted with radiation!

It’s a similar story for men who see docs who own external beam radiation machines. Those crooks will make you 45 percent more likely to get treated for a low-risk tumor.

The docs behind the study claim owning machines also increases the likelihood that men who really do need treatment end up getting it.

And, sure, the odds of men with more serious tumors getting blasted with radiation jumps… but… is that REALLY the best we can do here?

Radiation, surgery, and chemo are just about the most primitive treatments out there, and often leave men so miserable with side effects including fatigue, incontinence, and impotence that they might WISH they had the cancer back.

But there’s a reason men are being pushed into treatment, even when they don’t need it.

Money.

Docs who own the equipment on average milk out an extra $2,000 out of every man treated with it.

Compared that to the ZERO DOLLARS they make off guys who go for “active surveillance,” and you can guess which one gets the bigger sales pitch.

Don’t fall for it.

If you have cancer — in your prostate or anywhere else — don’t rush into the first treatment a doctor recommends.

Get a second or even third opinion, and make sure one of those voices is from a naturopathic physician experienced in cancer care.

With an answer for cancer,
Jack Harrison

ALWAYS FOLLOW THE MONEY

According to the Open Secrets website, Blue Cross/Blue Shield, insures over 80 million Americans and has a Federal Government contract to review and process Medicare claims.  During the 2016 election cycle, they made $6,346,640 in campaign contributions and spent $25,006,109 on lobbying efforts.

The top organization recipient was the Cleveland 2016 Host Committee (Republican Convention) receiving $1,000,000.  They were followed by the National Republican Congressional Committee at $187,800, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee at $121,830, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee at $119,431, the National Republican Senatorial Committee at $111,000, and the DNC Services Corp (a Political Action Committee (PAC) extension of the Democrat National Committee) at $102,845.

This is redefining spreading the wealth around.

The top political candidates receiving Blue Cross/Blue Shield money were Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton at $256,101 (they thought she’d win too) followed second by House of Representatives candidate and Speaker of the House Paul Ryan at $60,850.  Way down the list, but there just the same, is Presidential candidate Donald Trump at $12,235.  The list of House Republican candidates receiving Blue Cross/Blue Shield money either through PACs or from individuals is long. Actually longer than the Democrat list and certainly, in my view, long enough to make suspect any potential Republican crafted health care legislation or vote.  You will also find “Republican Freedom Caucus” names on the list including past Chairman Jim Jordan (OH) and new Chairman Mark Meadows (NC), my very own Congressman Alex Mooney (WV) among others: Mick Mulvaney (SC), Ron Desantis (FL), Jim Birdenstine (OK), Trent Franks (AZ), Dave Brat (VA), Keith Rothfus (PA), Gary Palmer (AL), Jeff Duncan (SC), and probably some I missed, and the topper former Representative and now Health and Human Services Secretary, Tom Price.  Perceptions are hell, but it appears to me that insurance cash runs deep in Washington even through the “Freedom Caucus.”  Freedom from what?  In the words of that great philosopher Kris Kristofferson:

Freedom’s just another word for nothin’ left to lose,
And nothin’ ain’t worth nothin’ but it’s free,

Oh, the tangled web we weave.

I certainly do not have a problem with legal campaign contributions, but I get concerned when an insurance carrier as large a Blue Cross/Blue Shield spreads around this much cash and even more concerned when this many politicians elected and sworn to fix our looming health care disaster are recipients of it.  When that happens, what real chance does average Middle Class America have at getting legislation that favors them?

Well Mr. Trump, you were going to repeal and replace Obamacare.  That is one big reason why you were elected and why you have a Republican House and Republican Senate.  It appears however, that before you can do any of that, you need to drain the swamp. And another great philosopher once told me:

When you are up to your ass in alligators, it is hard to remember that the mission was to drain the swamp.

Mr. President, you were elected because Americans have tired of Washington as usual.  The Washington establishment is largely bought and paid for by corporate donors (Paul Ryan Major Donors 2016) (Mitch McConnell Major Donors). The two men most needed to accomplish your promised bold agenda are beholden to health insurance companies, investment companies, big banks, and Koch industries.

As your Rolling Stones campaign music says:

“you can’t always get what you want, but if you try sometimes you can get what you need.”

You are going to have to beat off a heck of a lot of alligators before you can pull the plug that drains that swamp.  To get “what you need” is going to require a coalition of decent men and women regardless of political persuasion willing to solve problems and serve the people before they serve their donors or their rigid ideology.  Only you can put out the call for these people to come forward and serve America.  That is why we elected you.  And to paraphrase the words of another Stones hit, time ain’t on your side brother.

© 2017 J. D. Pendry

PRESIDENT TRUMP, HERITAGE FOUNDATION IS CONTROLLED OPPOSITION

NewsWithViews.com

Don’t fear the enemy who attacks you, but the fake friend who hugs you.

The government is best which governs the least, because its people discipline themselves. —Thomas Jefferson

In my last article, I documented Heritage Foundation’s drafting and promotion of job destroying NAFTA, but Heritage is also responsible for many other ills that American citizens face today, including healthcare and education.

Who Funds Heritage

Heritage is not required to disclose its donors, but according to a Media Transparency report in 2006, donors have included the John M. Olin Foundation, the Castle Rock Foundation, the Richard and Helen DeVos Foundation (founders of Amway and father-in-law to newly appointed Education Secretary, Betsy DeVos), Bradley Foundation (board members include Federal Reserve and CFR members), the Koch Brothers and Claude Lambe Foundation, and Richard Mellon Scaife, who gave over $30 million to Heritage.

Scaife supported abortion, and paid for a full-page ad in the WSJ in 2011, “From the Desk of Richard M. Scaife – An Open Letter to Fellow Conservatives: Why Conservatives Should Oppose Efforts to Defund Planned Parenthood.” His mother was a good friend of Planned Parenthood founder, Margaret Sanger, and had her in for tea every Sunday afternoon.

The list of President Trump’s Supreme Court justices was culled with the aid of the Heritage Foundation and Federalist Society. Only two justices on the list are truly pro-life. There are now 70 signees on the Coalition Letter on the Pledge for a Pro-Life Nomination for Justice Scalia’s Seat on the Supreme Court.

Over the past 25 years, Heritage has also been funded by private foundations such as Pew Charitable Trust which also funded many GOALS 2000 initiatives. Bill Clinton signed the Goals 2000 law on March 31, 1994, creating new education bureaucracies and facilitating federal control of local education institutions. William Greider’s bestseller, Who Will Tell the People: The Betrayal of American Democracy reveals other benefactors: “Heritage received grants from Amoco, General Motors, Chase Manhattan Bank (David Rockefeller) and right-wing foundations like Olin and Bradley.”

Heritage and National Healthcare

As John Adams said, “Facts are stubborn things.” Heritage has promoted much that is anathema to our Constitution. Let’s look at the facts.

Assuring Affordable Health Care for All Americans is the Heritage Foundation plan, written by Republicans and endorsed by the so-called conservative right. You will notice that Stuart M. Butler wrote this Heritage monograph. Butler is a Brit who is a senior fellow at the liberal Brookings Institute, the same Institute that is promoting the privatization of education. Please pay particular attention to Item #2 on page 6 of this document wherein it states, “Mandate all households to obtain adequate insurance.”

James Taranto, who writes the Wall Street Journal’s “Best of the Web” column, put forth a lengthy and informative discussion on the conservative origins of the individual mandate, whose inclusion in Obamacare is today its most controversial feature on the Right.

Taranto writes that he was there when the Heritage Foundation was promoting the mandate:

Heritage did put forward the idea of an individual mandate, though it predated Hillary Care by several years. We know this because we were there: In 1988-90, we were employed at Heritage as a public relations associate (a junior writer and editor), and we wrote at least one press release for a publication touting Heritage’s plan for comprehensive legislation to provide universal “quality, affordable health care.”

As a junior publicist, we weren’t being paid for our personal opinions. But we are now, so you will be the first to know that when we worked at Heritage, we hated the Heritage plan, especially the individual mandate. “Universal health care” was neither already established nor inevitable, and we thought the foundation had made a serious philosophical and strategic error in accepting rather than disputing the left-liberal notion that the provision of “quality, affordable health care” to everyone was a proper role of government. As to the mandate, we remember reading about it and thinking: “I thought we were supposed to be for freedom.”

The plan was introduced in a 1989 book, “A National Health System for America” by Stuart Butler and Heritage Senior Researcher, Edmund Haislmaier. We seem to have mislaid our copy, and we couldn’t find it online, but we did track down a 1990 Backgrounder and a 1991 lecture by Butler that outlined the plan. One of its two major planks, the equalization of tax treatment for individually purchased and employer-provided health insurance, seemed sensible and unobjectionable, at least in principle.

But the other was the mandate, described as a “Health Care Social Contract” and fleshed out in the lecture. [Link]

Now, Stuart Butler claims we shouldn’t blame Heritage for the Obamacare mandate. He links to the Amicus brief filed in the 11th circuit court of appeals, dated May 11, 2011. If you read the Amicus brief, notice Edwin Meese’s name as well as Randy Barnett, of Georgetown University who has long been promoting a Constitutional Convention with Michael Patrick Leahy of Tennessee.

I find it interesting that the Affordable Health Care Act was signed into law by Barack Hussein Obama on March 23, 2010, but Heritage Foundation didn’t file their Amicus brief until over a year later. Ahem!

Heritage’s Mandate for Leadership

In 1980, Heritage published their Mandate for Leadership to guide the incoming Reagan Administration and its transition team. Working the high-level inside track on these personnel hiring’s was Reagan’s “Kitchen Cabinet,” of which Council for National Policy member, Joe Coors, was probably the best-known member.

A Reagan loyalist since the 1968 GOP convention, Coors began spending a lot of time in Washington, D.C. and at the White House. The attempt at governance by the Kitchen Cabinet became so elaborate that they actually established an office in the Executive Office Building across from the White House.

Embarrassed by the image of a covey of millionaires seeming to run parallel and sometimes conflicting personnel recruitment operations, senior White House staff produced legal opinions saying that it was illegal for a private group to occupy government property, in this case a White House office.

Although Coors produced a legal opinion arguing there was no violation of law, Coors and friends were evicted. Heritage could hardly claim diminished relations with the Reagan Administration, however, as an estimated two-thirds of its Mandate recommendations were adopted in the first year of the Administration.

Further, Heritage was using a letter of endorsement from White House Chief of Staff, Ed Meese, CNP charter member, in a December 1981 fundraising effort. In his letter of endorsement, Meese promised Heritage’s president, Edwin Feulner, that “this Administration will cooperate fully with your efforts.” The newly elected Ronald Reagan passed out copies of the Mandate at his first Cabinet meeting, and it quickly became his administration’s blueprint. By the end of Reagan’s first year in office, 60 percent of the Mandate’s 2,000 ideas were being implemented. After leaving the Reagan Administration, Meese joined the staff of the Heritage Foundation and is still there today.

Meese and his cronies were also involved in the theft of the Inslaw/Promis software that enabled the Justice Department to track criminal prosecutions. [Link] Meese had his intelligence buddies put a trap door in the software so the Bushes could monitor everyone. The Justice Department started sharing the illegally obtained PROMIS software with other agencies, including agencies where PROMIS was modified for intelligence purposes and sold to foreign intelligence operations in Israel, Jordan, and other places. Michael Risconsciuto of the Wackenhut security firm (former FBI and CIA) had testified that he was contracted to install a “trap door” in the software to allow the CIA to tap into PROMIS software worldwide. It appears that the original petty crimes of the Justice Department led to the exposure of a sensitive national security operation. [Link]

It also monitors all of us, and today there’s an even greater software program out there…but that’s another story.

Edwin J. Feulner, formerly the president of Heritage Foundation, had a yearly income including deferred compensation of $1,098,612. Former Attorney General, Edwin Meese, takes home half a million a year from Heritage. This is where your $25 monthly donations go…to enrich the lives of these top dogs. Feulner is also a charter member of the Council for National Policy (CNP).

The Rockefeller/Heritage Connection

Education researcher Chey Simonton states in her article on the Rockefeller/Heritage Connection,

“The top men of the Heritage Foundation, first Weyrich, then Ed Feulner, and now Jim DeMint, with the trust and cooperation of masses of sincerely committed conservatives, have been in a position to further elitist Rockefeller goals. (These are the Rockefeller Republicans Phyllis Schlafly called the Kingmakers, in her book, “A Choice Not an Echo.”) Along with radical World Government advocate, Walter Hoffman of the World Federalist Association, they participated on the 16 member U.S. Commission on Improving the Effectiveness of the United Nations. Working with the US Information Agency, Feulner also participated in facilitating the infamous 1985 US-Soviet Education Technology and Cultural Exchange Agreement. Soviet pedagogy, based on behavioral conditioning for a compliant collective labor force, is a dream come true for the dozens of multinational corporations funding all the think tanks promoting American education reform. The humanist Carnegie Foundation, a century-long collaborator with Rockefeller philanthropy, facilitated the Soviet side of this Exchange Agreement.”

Remember, in 1934, the Carnegie Corporation called for a shift from free enterprise to collectivism. They wanted the Soviet planned economy. [Link]

Thus, Heritage’s communist connections, were established rapidly after the historic meeting between Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev at the Geneva Summit.

Feulner was appointed by Reagan as chairman of the U.S. Advisory Commission on Public Diplomacy. The commission was responsible for expediting a signed Soviet-American Educational Exchange Agreement. The National American Legion was one of hundreds of conservative groups refusing to do anything about the US/Soviet Education Agreements.

In 1995, education researcher, Charlotte Iserbyt, identified conservative “Wolves in Sheep’s Clothing,” who not only gave the Soviets access to American education, but whose act of treason “virtually merged the two educational systems.”Leading the pack for an educational exchange initiative was none other than:

“Edwin Feulner, former President of Heritage Foundation, who strongly supported the U.S.-Soviet education agreements, and who had an office in Moscow, supported Soviet-style magnet schools (i.e., tax supported choice/charter schools), and had state affiliate organizations across the nation writing charter school legislation that reads like it has been written by the U.S. Department of Education, the Carnegie Corporation and the National Education Association.”

“Paul Weyrich’s constitutional-convention promoting American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) gave an award to Oregon’s Department of Education for its education reform, especially the work force training component and its certificate of initial mastery (CIM) necessary to get a job. Same old Common Core folks! See the June, 2011, WSJ article, “Industry Puts Heat on Schools to Teach Skills Employees Need.”

We must remember, the 1955 UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) book, MENTAL HEALTH IN EDUCATION, is the earliest reference to the need for “choice” in education. The Charter Schools concept, strongly marketed around the country by Heritage affiliates, with the help of many CNP members in every state, attempts to link patriotic free enterprise themes to a blatantly unconstitutional system of corporate fascism to business/government partnerships in the education of our children.

At the same time, note that Heritage founder, Paul Weyrich, once served as advisor to former Russian President, Boris Yeltsin of Chechnyan genocide fame. He wrote about it in an article in the Heritage affiliate, Townhall Magazine. In 1987, Weyrich also wrote an article in The Washington Post, A Conservative’s Lament, which virtually recommended a new Constitution and parliamentary form of government for the U.S.

Both Feulner and Weyrich were also involved with other powerful players and shadowy figures, some from the right and some from the left. They have been included in groups formed to reinvent the UN, supposedly to face the 21st century. It is becoming more and more evident that Weyrich and Feulner were in fact organizing a tight group that represented the merger of right and left, which we have seen over the past 65 years, and which was quite obvious in our recent election.

OBAMACARE, DESTROYING THE MIDDLECLASS

NewsWithViews.com

Lack of transparency is a huge political advantage. And basically, you know, call it the stupidity of the American voter or whatever, but basically that was really, really critical to getting the thing to pass. —Jonathan Gruber, an architect of the Affordable Care Act, on the passage of Obamacare.

In general, the art of government consists of taking as much money as possible from one party of the citizens to give to the other. —Voltaire (1764)

This article is about escaping the horrid results of Obamacare, and the pain it has already caused, and is still causing. It is also an inside look of just what has happened to families like mine because of government control of the medical industry. The cost of healthcare has increased exponentially in 2017, especially for middle America, while the availability has decreased at the same rate.

Obamacare has given us deductibles that are impossible to reach! Was the goal to rid the country of the baby boomers by destroying their ability to afford healthcare? One wonders because of the obvious wealth redistribution.

It is why we need your help President Trump, and we need it now.

Destroying Free Market Healthcare

In my previous article on Obamacare, I went back to the core of how this entire rotten takeover of healthcare was initiated by our own government starting in 1910. The powers that be knew that with the first “black president” in our White House, the takeover of 20% of our economy could easily happen, and it did. The Republicans all voted against it, which they tout every time it’s mentioned, but what they don’t tell you is that when they had an opportunity to defund it, they refused. All the political promises of repealing this albatross went by the wayside once they were re-elected.

Thus, what Americans now have is the world’s most expensive, most bureaucratic, and arguably least functional health care system. This system cannot be “reformed.” It can only be escaped from, until its dysfunction in the face of superior alternatives (i.e. the free market system of a representative Republic) collapses it.

It will require a paradigm shift of major proportions, especially in this age of entitlements, dependences, and a population that can’t think without a book of rules to follow because they’ve been so dumbed down for the last 50 years. We cannot simply “repeal and replace” Obamacare. We need a different way of thinking about public health, and it has to be under the heading of free enterprise, allowing the market to dictate rather than the government.

The fact that our President wishes to replace it makes me crazy. Why replace it? Health care is not a right. Progressives have pushed these so-called positive rights on all Americans, and they do not exist in our founding documents. These positive rights are enumerated by none other than the United Nations’ Universal Declaration of Human Rights which claims that everyone has a right to health care. Horse hockey! Our nation was once one of personal and individual responsibility, not this communal leveling of the playing field where everyone is equally poor except for the ruling elite.

Of course, there’s no such thing as free health care. The government has no money of its own which means that it cannot “give” anyone health care without first taking away something from someone else, and that’s us, the working and now shrinking middleclass taxpayer! We pay, and we pay, and we pay.

Social Security and Medicare

Are Social Security and Medicare/Medicaid sanctioned by our Constitution? Not on your life! Again, it is government control of segments of the population. However, let’s make something crystal clear. When the politicos of DC and our state legislators talk about entitlements and include Social Security and Medicare, they are wrong! Neither are entitlements! We have paid into both all our working lives.

Roosevelt gave us Social Security in August of 1935, and everyone who worked after that date has paid into it all their lives. In July 1965, under the leadership of President Lyndon Johnson, Congress enacted Medicare under Title XVIII of the Social Security Act to provide health insurance to people age 65 and older, regardless of income or medical history, and since then, we’ve paid into it!

This isn’t government aid, this is money we gave the government, and they should give back. Why do you think there have been no increases in Social Security for four years? Because we’re supporting more than 20% of the population, legal and illegal in true welfare programs. Let’s look at what they are without including the boondoggle of Obamacare costs to the middleclass taxpayer.

Real Entitlements

The U.S. Census Bureau recently took a closer look at participation in six major welfare programs from 2009 to 2012, which were:

Medicaid, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) better known as food stamps, Housing Assistance, Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Temporary Assistance to Needy Family’s (TANF) which is cash benefits, and general assistance.

Their report however, doesn’t discuss other kinds of support that people might receive, such as the Earned Income Tax Credit, free school lunches, the Women, Infants, Children Nutrition (WIC program), Head Start, energy assistance programs, and Pell Grants. While it doesn’t capture the full spectrum of welfare in the U.S., the results still provide a clearer picture of who is receiving public assistance, and it sure isn’t the middleclass.

Check out the cost of welfare for immigrant and native households by the Center for Immigration Studies.

Ours is a system that’s rife with abuse and which discourages people from making responsible decisions. Whatever your take on welfare, there’s no denying that these programs to help the poor cost a lot of money, and are riddled with fraud and corruption. I’m not against helping the truly needy, but I want to stop all those who are gaming the system, and I believe our new President understands that.

The Middleclass Cheated Again

Socialists like Obama and Hillary think only of the masses, not an individual’s personal rights. Their beliefs are anathema to the freedoms granted by God in our Constitution’s representative republic. Yes, we’re a republic, not a democracy, and there’s a big difference! These elitists think only of the votes they garner from their welfare recipients, not those of us who are the grassroots and backbone of America’s middleclass society.

As an adult, I have always been part of the middleclass. I have worked since I was 12 years old. After marrying, I worked a full-time job and often had a part-time job on the side. Many of my readers will echo the same story. We were taught to work to attain the needs for our family, and our work ethic was top of the line.

As a young woman, I received healthcare in all my jobs, and rarely used any of it other than for my daughter and our yearly checkups. However, the costs back in the early 70s were negligible. The employers paid nearly everything, and rarely do young people even think about healthcare, much less use it. This is the reason so many chose to pay the fines rather than the higher fees for Obamacare.

Changes in Healthcare

When my husband and I moved to Knoxville in 1987, his company insurance was pretty much fully funded. Our deductible was $250.00 a person and prescriptions were three to five dollars. Insurance back then paid nearly the entire cost of care, unlike today where they pay only 70% after you’ve met the huge deductible.

What a difference 30 years makes, especially with Obamacare. As costs rose, first came the Flexible Spending Arrangement or Flex Plan (part of Government Cafeteria plans). This was adopted where tax free monies could be put aside from an employee’s paycheck to cover costs not covered by insurance, up to $5,500 at the employer’s discretion, with a carryover into the next year for a short period of time. We took the full $4,000 per year the company allowed, and it worked well for several years. A portion was deducted from each paycheck to cover the Flex Plan.

With the inception of Obamacare, the law changed the allowable Flex Plan to a maximum $2,500. This meant that we paid more out of taxable monies for healthcare costs not covered by insurance, but our healthcare still wasn’t too bad, as the deductible was $1,000 per person, and the payout 70/30 after that.

Big Changes in 2017

We all knew from research that in 2017, after Obama left office, the rules of the Affordable Health Care Act (what an oxymoron) would drastically change, affecting higher costs not only to individuals but to employers, and especially to middleclass Americans. This is another reason Donald J. Trump was elected.

This year for us, the deductible through employer is $4,000 per person for in-network and $6,000 deductible for out-of-network. Flex Plans would not cover the deductible, so an HSA is a better choice. HSA is a Health Savings Account, and is also tax free monies like the Flex Plan. Anyone can put monies into the HSA, and employers may fully fund it for their employees, if they’re flush enough to afford it. Between my husband’s employer and us, we were allowed to put in $7,750 for 2016. We were forced to take an insurance payout of $6,500 that would have been taxable, so we dumped it into the HSA to cover the deductible, otherwise there would only be the $1,250 employer donation in our HSA.

The entire problem with high deductibles at our ages is that you must have the funds to put into an HSA in order to have the tax-free cash to pay the costs until you meet the deductible. Many folks are on fixed incomes, and everything increases yearly except their incomes. For four years, Social Security recipients haven’t had an increase despite costs rising. Yet, our congress critters get a 10% raise every year, unless…get this…they vote against it. Nice how they make these laws for themselves, isn’t it. And remember, they are exempt from Obamacare and have the Cadillac of healthcare plans.

In order to plan for next year, not only has the cost of healthcare through my husband’s company risen, which is deducted from the paycheck, but we have to take an additional $250.00 per paycheck to put into savings for next year’s HSA which will hopefully cover deductible, that’s if the deductible doesn’t go up again.

Obamacare has not only hurt American workers, but the strain on employers to cover these rapidly increasing costs and still insure their employees is another knife in the back of small businesses.

Wealth Redistribution

There are many in America, including illegal aliens who are receiving many benefits from our government, paid for by taxpayer’s dollars. Yet, those of us who have worked all our lives are stretched to the limit trying to afford health care in our later years.

The Republicans in Congress claimed they had a plan ready to repeal Obamacare, and still give options to those who signed up for it. Yet, now we hear it may take longer. For us, this means we will basically have no health care because of the cost and deductibles.

The real end result is the fact that working middleclass Americans are getting royally screwed once again. Monies which could have been spent on vacations and purchases which would have helped the economy, are now being held back because we need it for medical costs. At this time in our lives we expected to have more to spend, but our government has seen to it that we have less.

Mr. President, repeal Obamacare now. Let the free market work. Remember, healthcare is not a right. Wealth redistribution is the name of this entire game. We are paying more, and receiving less, while welfare recipients and illegals get their care free, and our representative republic is ignoring us.

President Trump, we’re counting on you!

Lower blood pressure WON’T stop this condition

* Do our love ones & friends KNOW ?

* Note: Taken from the Daily Dose with Jack Harrison – 2/17/17

It’s a moment with more suspense than the climax of the latest Hollywood thriller.

You’re on the edge of your seat… but you’re not in the movie theater.

You’re at your doctor’s office!

It’s those tense, quiet moments when he takes your blood pressure – but even though you’re holding your breath, there’s no mystery ending here. You know how it’ll unfold.

You’re going to get a lecture about all the reasons you need to keep your BP as low as a limbo dancer.

Well, friend, it’s time for a new script, especially if your doc is the kind to yammer on about what they call “aggressive targets.”

That’s the wacked-out notion that drugging seniors until their systolic (“top number”) BP levels drop below 120 will practically give them superhuman strength.

Docs claim those low levels won’t just protect your heart, they’ll also keep you stronger than a moose and steadier than The Duke. They say that if you want to keep your physical function in tip-top shape, you’ll need BP levels that sink to rock bottom.

But new research proves it’s a pound of baloney.

Over three years, seniors suffering from declining physical function who hit those targets saw zero improvements on some of the most basic tests of what you need to get through everyday life.

That included tests that measured gait and walking speed along with the ability to handle a flight of stairs.

But the folks who needed help the most… the ones spiraling into the decline of aging… got NO BENEFIT at all even when they hit those “aggressive” targets.

Folks who were already doing well by those measures saw a tiny boost, but it was so small the researchers admitted it was “statistically insignificant.”

Now, even if you print out this article and bring it to your doc… even if you bring the darned study itself… he’ll claim those low targets will still cut your heart risk.

Maybe it will – but that’s not the only thing that could happen.

The biggest study to test the 120-target found that while it DID cut heart risk, it also took an average of THREE medications for seniors to hit that level.

That DOUBLED the risk of deadly side effects including kidney failure, dangerously low blood pressure, and screwy imbalances of potassium and sodium in the blood.

Bottom line here is that even some of the biggest mainstream groups have resisted lowering those BP targets – and some have actually RAISED them, finally admitting that seniors with slight elevations in blood pressure SHOULDN’T be drugged.

The only one who benefits from those low targets? Big Pharma, of course… because when you need to take three drugs to hit those goals, that’s triple the profits for them.

Pocket the savings for yourself for a change!

Easing the pressure,
Jack Harrison

URGENT: Spot the warning signs of this deadly new risk

* Do our loved ones & friends KNOW ?

* Note: Taken from the Daily Dose with Jack Harrison – 2/6/17

Diabetes is like a wrecking ball aimed at your entire body… but there’s no part of your insides that gets slammed quite like your poor pancreas.

It’s ground zero for the disease, as it struggles to pump out insulin.

Eventually, you can practically see the smoke coming out of the pancreas as the beta cells just plain burn out.

Now, the latest research shows how that’s only the beginning of your troubles… because if you have diabetes, you could end up with something far worse than a worn-out pancreas.

You could be in the express lane for pancreatic cancer!

You don’t want the “C” word in any part of your body, if you can help it.

But you REALLY don’t want it THERE – because pancreatic cancer is one of the deadliest forms of the disease.

The moment you get diabetes, your risk of pancreatic cancer jumps.

In fact, 50 PERCENT of all pancreatic cancer patients were diagnosed with diabetes roughly six months earlier.

It’s as if the diabetes is the first warning sign!

Over the first three months with diabetes, your risk of pancreatic cancer more than triples. Between three and six months, it more than doubles.

The risk starts to tail off after about a year, but even then, it’s still 70 percent higher.

Now, not all that risk is coming from the diabetes itself.

One of the true causes is those new meds the doc will switch you to when your diabetes gets worse. Some of them have been linked REPEATEDLY to pancreatic cancer.

In fact, your pancreatic cancer risk jumps by SEVEN TIMES if your doc puts you on more powerful meds.

Some docs will even start you out on those drugs – and it turns out all that risk’s for nothing, since many of these new meds are actually NO BETTER than plain old metformin in many cases.

That stuff’s certainly no picnic, but it’s a whole lot safer… and might even CUT the risk of pancreatic cancer!

But why stay on metformin if you don’t have to? Switch to a back-to-basics low-carb diet, and you could work with your doc on a plan to cut and even ELIMINATE all your meds.

Of course, it’s not just the meds alone at work here.

The disease itself could be tearing your poor pancreas apart – and even if you don’t end up with cancer, you could end up with other pancreas problems.

The lesson? If you develop diabetes suddenly or the disease starts getting worse, get yourself checked out – because pancreatic cancer’s no joke.

It’s a killer disease, but if you can get it caught and treated ASAP you have a shot at beating it.

Protecting your pancreas,
Jack Harrison

Asthma or Something Else???

* Do our loved ones & friends KNOW ?

* Note: Taken from Health Sciences Institute e-Alert – Melissa Young – 1/23/17

Dear Reader,

After recovering from a lung infection several years ago, Becky Hollingsworth started to suffer from shortness of breath.

Her doctor said he knew what it was. The 72-year-old from Ontario, Canada had “post-pneumonia” asthma.

Only she didn’t. Actually, she didn’t have asthma at all.

Hollingsworth is just one of an untold number of patients — of all ages — who have been misdiagnosed and immediately put on risky prescription drugs to treat a condition they never had in the first place.

And when you hear one of the big reasons why this is happening so often, you may not believe it.


Waiting to exhale

For four years, researchers from the University of Ottawa carefully studied and monitored over 600 Canadians who had been told by their doctors they had asthma.

And they found a shocking 33 percent were misdiagnosed as having the lung disease.

Dr. Shawn Aaron, head of respirology at the university and lead investigator of the study, said that the big take-away is that many of these patients were “misdiagnosed because they’re not being properly investigated to begin with.”

In other words, it appears that a whole lot of doctors are coming to a snap decision that patients are suffering from asthma based on a cough, wheezing or shortness of breath. And then zipping them off prescriptions for drugs just as fast.

But while there is a simple and fast diagnostic tool, called a “spirometer,” that measures how much air you can blow out of your lungs, many doctors don’t use it. Dr. Aaron believes that’s because they either don’t know how to do the test or just don’t have the time.

As he commented, before anyone would be diagnosed with diabetes, they would have their blood sugar tested. Well, the same logic applies in diagnosing asthma.

And the consequences of being told you have the disease are huge. Drugs commonly prescribed include steroids, which have loads of side effects that include fungal infections, osteoporosis, high blood pressure, eye diseases such as cataracts and glaucoma, and even diabetes.

In addition, bronchodilators used to open up airwaves can cause anxiety, tremors and a rapid heartbeat.

As I said, the research done to determine that these patients didn’t have asthma was very extensive. For example, first, all test volunteers received a spirometry test. Those who tested negative were given an asthma trigger. If they didn’t react to that, their medications were tapered off and eventually they stopped taking the meds altogether and were tested again.

And if you’re wondering what was really wrong with all these patients, their actual conditions ranged from seasonal allergies to heartburn — with 28 percent having nothing wrong with them whatsoever.

Only two percent were found to have other serious conditions such as heart disease.

So, if you’ve been diagnosed with asthma, Dr. Aaron says there are two very important steps you need to take.

#1: Insist on a spirometry test to make sure you’re not treating a condition you don’t have.

#2: If you do in fact have asthma, and it’s under control, ask your doctor to reassess your condition and find out if it’s possible to wean yourself off of any drugs.

That also jibes with practice guidelines stating that if asthma is well-controlled for three months doctors should always reassess a patient with the goal of cutting down on drugs whenever possible.

Obviously, there are many reasons why you may be having episodes of wheezing and trouble breathing, asthma being just one of them. Also, children with mild asthma frequently outgrow the disease entirely, and even adults often go into remission.

Right now, around 25 million in the U.S. have been diagnosed as having asthma, with the numbers on the rise.

Imagine if just a fraction of those cases were misdiagnosed! We may never know how many patients are now taking incredibly dangerous drugs for no reason at all.

To Breathing Easy,
Melissa Young
Sources:
“Asthma may be misdiagnosed in one out of three adults: Study” Katrina Pascual, January 18, 2017, Tech Times, techtimes.com

 

Opioid Pain Killers

Do our loved ones & friends KNOW ?

  • Note: Taken from Health Sciences Institute e-Alert – Melissa Young 1/17/17

Dear Reader,

Over the past couple of years, it’s been hard to miss the exploding opioid painkiller crisis.

For some, and under just the right circumstances, they can bring much needed pain relief. But they also can take you in the opposite direction before you know it — with tragic consequences.

But here’s something you probably haven’t heard about these drugs.

When patients with chronic pain use them, all those terrible risks are intensified.

And then there’s another one — and it’s a heartbreaking irony.

Opioids can actually make chronic pain even worse.


‘Not the answer’

Opioids are an amazingly easy trap to fall into.

Last year, a study found that seven common operations, such as hip and knee replacements or even keyhole gallbladder surgery, can put you at significantly greater risk of becoming addicted.

Now, a new study from two doctors with the Pennsylvania-based Geisinger Health System have found that when used for chronic pain, opioids can actually prolong it.

Not only can these drugs suck you in like quicksand, but if they’re used for more than three months, they can interfere “with the body’s natural resolution” of pain, said the authors.

Along with that, patients can begin to suffer the effects of what the researchers call “unique long-term toxicities.” These can include depression, cognitive impairment, infections, sleep disruption, fractures from falls, and other risks including addiction… and death.

We can only hope that this message gets through to doctors loud and clear because this is one of the most dangerously over-prescribed class of drugs in the world. And it’s no wonder. You’re in pain, you take a pill, and in a few minutes you have relief.

If only it were that simple.

Previous research has found that even with short-term use, opioids are incredibly dangerous. In fact, a study from Vanderbilt University Medical School that examined the data for over 45,000 patients discovered that more of them had died from taking these drugs at prescribed doses than from an accidental overdose. That’s because they can kill by slowing down breathing, causing an irregular heartbeat, and triggering heart attacks and sudden death.

The Geisinger team puts it like this: “Opioids are not the answer. Chronic pain rehabilitation, exercise, cognitive behavioral therapies, acupuncture, yoga, or tai chi are all better options than opioids.”

As general advice goes, that’s an excellent start. But you’ll need to consult with an experienced pain specialist to find out what therapy — or combination of therapies — will be most effective for your specific condition.

For instance, these are just a few of the studies of non-drug therapies for chronic pain that we’ve reported on over the years:

  • For chronic neck pain, chiropractic adjustment sometimes gives patients significantly more relief than either exercise or NSAID drugs.
  • Acupuncture can be just as effective as conventional drug therapies in treating chronic lower back pain.
  • Raising vitamin D levels with supplements reduces pain triggered by inflammation in osteoarthritis.
  • Omega-3 fatty acid supplements also reduce the inflammation that is often at the root of various types of chronic pain.
  • Identifying and eliminating food allergy triggers — especially dairy — can often alleviate rheumatoid arthritis pain.

Obviously, there are many factors that contribute to chronic pain. Pain specialists can work with you to find the most effective relief so you’ll never end up teetering at the edge of the dangerous abyss of opioid drugs.

To Safe Healing,
Melissa Young

Sources:
“Geisinger physicians report opioid therapy to be ineffective in treating chronic pain” Geisinger Health System, December 8, 2016, Medical Life Sciences, news-medical.net

 

Drugs that Make Seniors Sick

* – As a personal note: THIS certainly sheds light as to WHY Dr. Nils Gaddis advised me to stay away from Benadryl.

* Do all of our loved ones & friends KNOW ?

* Note: Taken from Health Sciences Institute e-Alert – Melissa Young 1/3/17

Dear Reader,

They’re the drugs that are making seniors sick – and sending them to the ER in droves.

These meds also happen to be among some of the most commonly-used ones — both Rx and OTC — to help with things like getting to sleep at night and managing pain. They are even taken daily for allergies!

And when you hear some of the names, I know you’re going to be shocked.

In fact, you probably have one – or more – in your purse, car or medicine cabinet right now.


Dementia in a bottle

Brain shrinkage, dementia, Alzheimer’s… it’s hard to imagine the news about this class of drugs, called anticholinergics, could get any worse.

But it has.

A recent study from the Indiana University Center for Aging Research looked at what the researchers called the “anticholinergic burden.” That means, how much of these kinds of drugs you take.

And the bigger that burden is, the more chance you have of ending up in the ER.

For example, some of the ones with a stronger effect are sleeping pills and OTC antihistamines (I’ll give you more examples below). The researchers discovered that just taking one of these drugs daily can up your risk of being admitted to the hospital by 33 percent!

Even meds that are considered to have a weaker anticholinergic effect can increase your odds of landing in the hospital by over 10 percent, simply by taking them every day.

These drugs work by blocking an important brain chemical — and it just so happens to be one that is essential for memory. So, it’s no surprise that last year researchers found that people who take this class of meds for prolonged periods of time have a higher risk of dementia.

But even as little as two months of daily use would be enough to cause “cognitive impairment.”

The Indiana University researchers have been looking at how these drugs can damage the brain for over a decade now, including some recent findings about how they can even cause your brain to shrink! But this is the first time that actual prescription data has been analyzed to see what the real world effects of ER visits and hospitalizations might be.

Drugs with anticholinergic activity cover a vast expanse of all different kinds of meds, so I can’t list them all for you, but here are some of the more common ones.

  • Oxybutynin (Ditropan), Toviaz and Detrol, taken for overactive bladder. Oxybutynin is also found in an OTC version called Oxytrol.
  • Chlor-Trimeton, Benadryl, and Atarax, taken for allergies.
  • Tylenol PM and Advil PM.
  • Dramamine, taken for nausea and motion sickness.
  • Paxil and other antidepressants.

Since there are dozens of drugs that fall into this category, it’s easy as can be to take two or more. And along with all the studies that have been coming out, many people have been reporting forgetfulness, confusion and being in a “fuzzy” state while taking them.

One woman told a consumer group how after taking Ditropan for OAB for four years she would arrive at work with no memory of the drive there. Another reported how after taking a variety of these types of meds for many years, now in her 50s she’s forgetting how to use common, everyday objects.

Whether you can stop taking any of these drugs cold turkey or not depends on which ones. Some, such as antidepressants, need to be discontinued very slowly. But if you’ve been taking any medication for long periods of time, you should consult with your doctor to find out the best – and safest — way to get off of it.

The Aging Brain Program at Indiana University has made up a long list of anticholinergic drugs that you can find here.

To Thinking Clearly,
Melissa Young
Sources:
“Anticholinergic drugs linked to increased rate of emergency department and hospital visits” Indiana University, December 21, 2016, Medical Life Sciences, news-medical.net

If at first you don’t succeed… Re-Chantix

* Do all of our loved ones & friends KNOW ?

* Note: Taken from Health Sciences Institute e-Alert – Jenny Thompson – 12/26/16

Dear Reader,

I hope you had a very merry Christmas!

And if quitting a smoking habit tops your list of New Year’s resolutions, there’s something important you need to know.

The Pfizer stop-smoking med Chantix hasn’t gotten any safer.

Nevertheless, the FDA waved its magic wand and that big, scary black-box warning — the one about the risk of suicidal thoughts, hostility and depression — went poof!

And along with it went the opportunity for many doctors and their patients to realize that trying to stop smoking with Chantix can turn into one of the most frightening ordeals imaginable.


If at first you don’t succeed…

The FDA just signed off on the deal of the century for Pfizer.

For the last seven years, the drugmaker has had to endure the terrible financial hardship caused by a statement on Chantix that starts out by warning of “SERIOUS NEUROPSYCHIATRIC EVENTS.” And that’s right on the first page of the label, no less.

But don’t start a fundraiser for them just yet! Despite that handicap, the pharma giant still managed to bring in over $670 million on the drug last year.

And while it has been busy the past few years trying to get rid of that black box warning, Pfizer has also been hard at work on confidentially settling Chantix lawsuits to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars and involving thousands of patients — ones like Billy Bedsole Jr.

When Billy was prescribed Chantix in 2007, what was supposed to be an improvement in his health turned into an “incredible ordeal” that included memory loss, depression, and thoughts of suicide. He ultimately landed in the hospital.

Another patient’s experience with Chantix put her in a psychiatric ward. And to get her there, it took five EMT’s and several firemen! She became paranoid, aggressive, and totally confused and started having hallucinations.

So you would think that black-box warning would have stuck on Chantix like superglue.

Yeah, you would think.

But apparently when you’re Pfizer, it seems all you have to do is keep trying, and the FDA will eventually grant your wish. And that’s true even if the evidence you’re using is filled with flaws and big payments to the doctors who conducted the studies it’s based on.

The group Public Citizen, which has been fighting not only for Chantix to keep that black box, but for the FDA to make it even stronger, calls this a “dangerous precedent” for the future of drug safety in the U.S.

The group also warned that doctors and patients need to be aware that Chantix can cause “violent and suicidal behavior, paranoia and psychosis,” whether those warnings are on the label or not.

Certainly anyone who decides to stop smoking once and for all deserves a truckload of support and credit – not the risk of being subdued and taken to a mental hospital!

The good news is that there are some natural ways to try and kick the habit that don’t involve taking dangerous drugs.

For example:

  • Watch what you eat. Some foods and drinks are much more likely to make you want to smoke. In a study done at Duke University, smokers reported that red meat, coffee and alcoholic beverages made their cravings stronger. On the other hand, milk, fruits and veggies had the opposite effect.
  • Try GABA. Gamma-Aminobutyric acid (GABA) is often used for controlling anxiety. But a study out of Yale found that taking a GABA supplement may actually make smoking less pleasurable.
  • Don’t be a camel! Make sure you keep drinking enough water to help flush the nicotine out of your body. Especially when you first quit, not skimping on water will help you to beat some of the cravings.

So, here’s to a smoke-free and Chantix-free 2017!

To Your Good Health,

Jenny Thompson
Sources:
“Black box warnings removed from Chantix, Zyban” HealthDay, December 19, 2016, webmd.com

Watch your prostate!

* Do all of our loved ones & friends KNOW ?

* Note: Taken from The Daily Dose with Jack Harrison – 12/26/16

Christmas is over, but there’s plenty of fruitcake still around… because docs are going absolutely NUTS!

The PSA test has flunked every single study that’s come along. It’s so bad that even major mainstream health organizations like the U.S. Preventive Service Task Force won’t recommend it any longer.

Yet a new survey finds nutty doctors are STILL pushing this ugly test on unsuspecting patients!

The Medscape survey finds that more than half of docs – 54 percent – believe the benefits of the PSA test “always” or “often” outweigh the risks.

Throw in the number who say those benefits “sometimes” outweigh the risk, and the total jumps to 90 percent.

These aren’t just opinions. They’re leading to ACTIONS too, with 60 percent saying they “always” or “often” push the test on their patients.

Another 29 percent “sometimes” use it.

Only 4 percent of docs have ditched it completely despite the fact that even the guy who discovered PSA calls the test “a profit-driven public health disaster” and said it’s “hardly more effective than a coin toss.”

One reason the test is such a failure is that it can’t distinguish between common harmless tumors and rare deadly ones.

Most of them are in that first category. They’re completely harmless – but shady urologists won’t admit that to their patients.

They’ll pretend your life is on the line.

As a result, the PSA test has led to aggressive and painful treatments for harmless cancers – including treatments that could put you in diapers for the rest of your life.

Many guys also lose the ability to “do it,” and some never have sex again.

Yet they actually THANK their doctors because they’ve been conned into believing those treatments saved their lives.

And they’d rather be alive and in diapers than pushing up daisies.

Well, friend, it turns out you don’t have to make that choice. A second new study shows that nearly every guy diagnosed with prostate cancer eventually dies of something else.

The study finds NO DIFFERENCE in the death rate between guys dutifully screened for prostate cancer every single year… and guys who get screened only occasionally or even NEVER at all.

Put yourself in that last group.

Unless you’ve got some complicating factor – like a close relative who died of this disease – screening is far more likely to hurt you than help.

And if you DO find out you have cancer, it may not need treatment at all… because guys who choose the “watch and wait” approach live just as long as men who rush into drugs and surgery.

With a ‘no way’ for PSA,
Jack Harrison