Saturday, July 28, 2012

News: Merck's Dealings Merck-y. Whooping Cough. Banks and Health. Greenland Ice. Olympic Facts. GM Babies. Breast Density Bill. Warnings On Statins. 14th Amendment.

News, Some New, Some Old:

Why Did the Wall Street Journal Bury the Merck Fraud Story? 

“Merck's dealings are, at best, quite merck-y.”   “It was big news when court documents were unsealed revealing a whistleblower lawsuit accusing drug giant Merck of fraud and lying about the true efficacy of its mumps vaccine. Just about every media, large and small, picked it up and the world was abuzz about the hundreds of millions of dollars the lawsuit claimed Merck had defrauded from the U.S. government.

The Wall Street Journal published the story in the form of a Dow Jones news release written by Jon Kamp on June  22, 2012, and links to the story began popping up on social media like Facebook.  Then, suddenly, the link to the story no longer worked, and if anyone clicked on the link in social media, it would show up "page not found." Apparently the story had been pulled, and when search engines and Internet archives wouldn't even show it, it looked as if it had never been published on the Journal's site at all. It was erased nearly clean--except for a small stock-watcher's website,, which did a good job of erasing it from its main site but didn't catch it in the cache.

The question is, why did the WSJ pull the story and try to erase as if it never existed when there were actual court documents for evidence?”

UPDATE: The Wall Street Journal replied to our inquiry on Tuesday July 24th at 3:12 PM CST.  The story has since been restored on their site, and they are looking into how the story was temporarily dropped.   From:


Massive outbreak of whooping cough proves vaccine is ineffective. 

The children of parents who opt out of vaccines not generally affected.


“Pertussis cases have been rising steadily for a number of years, officials say, but nothing like this year's spike. The current unusual spike has led health officials around the country to look into why so many cases are suddenly occurring. Theories being floated include better reporting of cases and better detection methods, an evolution in the bacteria that causes the sickness, or problems with the vaccine.
AP said the vaccine that had been given to kids for decades was replaced in the late 1990s after concerns about rashes, fevers and other side effects surfaced. The newer version is considered to be safer but now there are fears it doesn't remain as effective over the long haul, according to Dr. Anne Schuchat, head of the CDC's immunization and respiratory disease programs.
What the dramatic uptick in pertussis cases does not appear to be linked to; however, is an increasing number of parents in some of the most affected states exempting their children from vaccines. Washington state; for instance, has one of the highest vaccine exemption rates in the country, but CDC officials said most of the children who have come down with whooping cough were vaccinated.”   Learn more:



Surprising Links: How Big Banks Manipulate and Influence Your Health

“As explained by Brown, the drug connection goes back to the 19th century. John D. Rockefeller’s father was actually, literally, a snake-oil salesman.

“He was a patent remedy seller. The drugs, of course, are oil-based, and John D. Rockefeller was an oil magnate. He also had a bank. So did J.P. Morgan. The drug industry—the patent remedy industry—was in competition with the natural herbal remedies, and the homeopathic remedies. And the way they prevailed in the whole system was that, first of all, they funded the American Medical Association—the AMA Journal, which got their funding from advertising. And if your drug was advertised in the AMA Journal, then you’ve got the AMA’s seal of endorsement... It was a cartel.”

It sounds incredible, but 40 percent of the cost of everything we buy is interest, according to research by Margrit Kennedy, a German researcher. This interest is entirely hidden, so you don’t know you’re paying it. This is because at every stage of development of a product, interest is paid, again and again. For example, a business must typically take out a loan in order to pay for raw materials and the workforce before it can have a final product to sell. The same goes for each of the businesses in the supply chain, and for each and every retailer.

“If the state owned the bank... then the people get the interest back...” Brown explains. “For example, in North Dakota, the state’s revenues, by law, go into the Bank of North Dakota, so they have a huge deposit base and a huge capital base....

That means the state could save 40 percent on its projects, which means we could either cut taxes by 40 percent, or we could have 40 percent more services provided with the same amount of taxes that we pay now.  We just have to change bankers. Instead of banking with Wall Street, we should be banking in our own bank (where we get the profits) or cooperative system (where it all comes back). Banking, instead of feeding off the economy, should feed the economy.  And it could be a sustainable system.”     

More at: and    More info how PBI bank works:


Satellites See Unprecedented Greenland Ice Sheet Surface Melt.     07.24.12

Extent of surface melt over Greenland's ice sheet on July 8, left, and July 12. right.

“Extent of surface melt over Greenland’s ice sheet on July 8 (left) and July 12 (right). Measurements from three satellites showed that on July 8, about 40 percent of the ice sheet had undergone thawing at or near the surface. In just a few days, the melting had dramatically accelerated and an estimated 97 percent of the ice sheet surface had thawed by July 12.  As a whole, they provide a picture of an extreme melt event about which scientists are very confident.” Credit: Nicolo E. DiGirolamo, SSAI/NASA GSFC, and Jesse Allen, NASA Earth Observatory       From:


10 Amazing Olympic Facts You Might Not Know


Olympics Facts Scarff, Getty Images

“With the Olympics coming to London this summer, we thought we’d take a look at some amazing facts and traditions that make up part of this celebrated global event.

The first Olympics, which got started in ancient Greece, only allowed men to take part. These days, men and women from across the planet compete for Olympic gold. Athletic records have been set, heroes have been made, rivalries formed and even a few tragedies have occurred. Nations have gone at it every four years (with a few exceptions) in both team and individual events for more than a century now. Athletes compete for pride, fame and Olympic glory, and the desire to be the best. Here are a few stories surrounding the history of the Olympics.:”   Read More:


World's first GM babies born

“The world's first genetically modified humans have been created, it was revealed last night.  The disclosure that 30 healthy babies were born after a series of experiments in the United States provoked another furious debate about ethics.  So far, two of the babies have been tested and have been found to contain genes from three 'parents'.

Fifteen of the children were born in the past three years as a result of one experimental programme at the Institute for Reproductive Medicine and Science of St Barnabas in New Jersey.

The babies were born to women who had problems conceiving. Extra genes from a female donor were inserted into their eggs before they were fertilised in an attempt to enable them to conceive.  Genetic fingerprint tests on two one-year- old children confirm that they have inherited DNA from three adults --two women and one man.

The fact that the children have inherited the extra genes and incorporated them into their 'germline' means that they will, in turn, be able to pass them on to their own offspring.  Altering the human germline - in effect tinkering with the very make-up of our species - is a technique shunned by the vast majority of the world's scientists.

Geneticists fear that one day this method could be used to create new races of humans with extra, desired characteristics such as strength or high intelligence.”  “Will these Genetically Modified Babies Alter Human Species?”   Read more:


NY Breast Density Bill Signed into Law, Albany, NY (July 23, 2012)

Are You Dense? Fact #3

The addition of a single screening ultrasound to mammogram increases detection of breast cancers that are small and node-negative.

"The cancer rate plummets in women with dense breasts to only 40 to 50 percent of cancers picked up on a mammogram. That's about the odds of a coin toss. This is ineffective screening by anyone's standards."

“Governor Andrew M. Cuomo signed legislation that is designed to help improve breast cancer detection and prevention by requiring mammography services to inform patients if dense breast tissue is found during an exam.

"Early detection can save lives and this new law will give women who may be at a higher risk for breast cancer the information they need to consult with their physician about follow-up screening and other preventive measures," Governor Cuomo said. "I commend the bill sponsors for their work on this important legislation."  The entire Press Release is here.

“Breast density is one of the strongest predictors of the failure of mammography screening to detect cancer.  2/3 of premenopausal women and 1/4 of post menopausal women have dense breast tissue.  Women who have extremely dense breast tissue are at a 4 to 6x greater risk of developing breast cancer.”  More at:


FDA adds diabetes, memory loss warnings to statin labels: Cause for concern?

“The FDA said it is making labeling changes to the medicines that are used to prevent heart related problems associated with cholesterol. According to the FDA, the full list of statins include: Lipitor (atorvastatin), Lescol (fluvastatin), Mevacor (lovastatin), Altoprev (lovastatin extended-release), Livalo (pitavastatin), Pravachol (pravastatin), Crestor (rosuvastatin), and Zocor (simvastatin).   In addition to statins, the new labeling changes apply to several combination drugs that mix older statins with newer cholesterol medicines, including Advicor, Vytorin, and Simcor.

New labels will warn of memory loss and confusion reported among certain patients taking statins. The problems were generally not serious and went away after patients stopped taking the drugs, according to the FDA.

The updated labels will also mention elevated levels of blood sugar, associated with diabetes, that have been reported in some patients taking statins. A growing number of studies published over the last five years have found a link between statin use and type 2 diabetes. Last June, a report in the Journal of the American Medical Association concluded the increased risk was small but real for people taking higher doses of any statin, HealthPop reported.”


On This Day:

14th Amendment adopted, Jul 28, 1868:

“Following its ratification by the necessary three-quarters of U.S. states, the 14th Amendment, guaranteeing to African Americans citizenship and all its privileges, is officially adopted into the U.S. Constitution.

Two years after the Civil War, the Reconstruction Acts of 1867 divided the South into five military districts, where new state governments, based on universal manhood suffrage, were to be established. Thus began the period known as Radical Reconstruction, which saw the 14th Amendment, which had been passed by Congress in 1866, ratified in July 1868. The amendment resolved pre-Civil War questions of African American citizenship by stating that "all persons born or naturalized in the United States...are citizens of the United States and of the state in which they reside." The amendment then reaffirmed the privileges and rights of all citizens, and granted all these citizens the "equal protection of the laws."

In the decades after its adoption, the equal protection clause was cited by a number of African American activists who argued that racial segregation denied them the equal protection of law. However, in 1896, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Plessy v. Ferguson that states could constitutionally provide segregated facilities for African Americans, so long as they were equal to those afforded white persons. The Plessy v. Ferguson decision, which announced federal toleration of the so-called "separate but equal" doctrine, was eventually used to justify segregating all public facilities, including railroad cars, restaurants, hospitals, and schools. However, "colored" facilities were never equal to their white counterparts, and African Americans suffered through decades of debilitating discrimination in the South and elsewhere. In 1954, Plessy v. Ferguson was finally struck down by the Supreme Court in its ruling in Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka.”



Misty and I went to get Jay, while Ray put one more coat of paint on the pieces of wood made to cover the spaces at the peak of the trim boards on my house.  By the time Jay was ready, and we had walked the dogs, Misty and Maddie down there, and arrived back here, the paint was dry, so Jay went up the ladder and installed them.  Then he caulked it all. 

Mindi arrived with 5 of her dogs to be boarded for a few days, while Ray was trimming the hedge.  The recent rains had made it grow quite a bit.  He had been asked to keep the back gate closed while he was doing that, as all dogs go in my back yard to do their thing before being boarded in my grooming room. 

Mindi only has two poodles left out of the original seven that I have been boarding for 15 years, so ‘Punkie’ and ‘Caesar’ are 16 years old.  ‘Suggy’ is their 7 year old poodle offspring.  The others are ‘Puddin’, a Yorkie, and ‘Booger’, a Doxiepoo/Yorkie mix, and he looks like a black/tan wirehaired Dachshund.  “Precious” the dachshund didn’t come this time, she went with her Dad in the truck.  Mindi left the other dogs at home with a neighbor feeding them. I lose track of how many they have in total.  I know there are two Doxiepoos, (dachshund/poodle), ‘Buddy’ and ‘Princess’, as I have boarded them sometimes.  “Booger’ is their latest addition, and he is ‘Puddin’, the Yorkie’s son, sired by Buddy, as they don’t always get their dogs fixed in time!  What a mess of dogs!  Good thing they live out in the country.

The three poodles hadn’t been groomed for a while, so cutting them down took up the rest of my day.


Dizzy-Dick said...

wow, how do you remember all the dogs' and cats' names? I have more trouble remembering people's names than I do their pet's.

LakeConroePenny,TX said...

Thank you for your comment, DD.

As I have been around these dogs for all these years, I remember their names.
It's people's names that befuddle me.
Happy Tails and Trails.Penny.