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Wednesday, June 10, 2015

America's CDC ─ Corrupt for Years? │ Omega-3 Fatty Acids Boost Mental Flexibility

My wife Jack brought home quite a quantity of prepared food late last evening when she came home from Vancouver to visit for a short while.

She arrived home just as my youngest step-son Pote was about to drive off in his older brother Tho's car to go and borrow a tie from his friend Julian ─ according to Pote, it is Julian's only tie.

Pote has a job interview today at one of the Nike shops ─ apparently the interview will be held at the Metrotown location. 

Later that evening, as Jack was set to leave, I wondered to her if Pote knew how to make a proper knot in a tie.  She did not at first understand what I meant, so I explained that ties have to be knotted in a certain fashionable way.

So she said that I could just show him.  I had to admit that I never learned how to tie one ─ I have never in my life owned a tie.

To update this, early this afternoon, I noticed Pote all dressed up for his interview and just sitting and killing time.

His older brother Tho never went to work today, so I expect that Tho will be at least driving Pote to the Skytrain.

Anyway, I saw that Pote had a very nice-looking knot in his tie, so I commented, "So you learned how to tie a proper knot in a tie, eh?"

When he confirmed, I then asked where he learned how.  His response:  "YouTube."

But back to last evening.

After Jack left to return to Vancouver, I got busy responding to an E-mail from a former co-worker ─ the same one I sat up late writing to the evening before.

Thus, for the second consecutive night, I was not in bed until some point after midnight.

The sunny, hot weather continues.

It's interesting that some of the States had the wettest May in their history.  Around here, we have had the driest May on record.

I wonder if June will also prove a record-breaker for absence of rain?

I devoted the morning to completing the post I had begun yesterday at my Siam-Longings website, and finally had Thailand Travel Guide published well ahead of noon.   

I have never gone anywhere today as yet, but I really should go to Surrey Place (Central City) and mail the $1,031.00 payment for the annual house insurance.

The due date is Sunday, June 14.  And since there is usually no weekend mail delivery in Canada, I really should try and get the payment into today's mail collection with the hope that it will arrive on Friday.

Pear Cleaners at Surrey Place (Central City) serve as a postal sub-station, so at times like this I try to go there to mail such a time-sensitive item.

However, it won't be a huge deal if the payment is a day or two late ─ it has been before without any consequence.

I might have gotten away before noon, but I wanted to do some dumbbell curls ─ I would not likely be doing them after the hike to Surrey Place and back.

I would also like to visit Save-On-Foods just beyond Surrey Place ─ so all together, I will be getting about a 2½-mile round-trip hike in the day's heat.

It is 1:26 p.m. as I type these words, and I have just heard Tho's car drive off.  I will suppose that Pote is with him, so perhaps I will now take a break from this post and ready for my hike


It is now 3:37 p.m.

Tho had returned before I left for Surrey Place, but we never interacted.

I have to admit that I hate having to mail off a cheque for that much money ─ the next four weeks are going to be very cautious.  I will have to monitor my chequing account just about daily.

Anyway, I did the trip as planned, and returned home to find Tho gone...and the house totally unlocked.

Tho and Pote are utter idiots as far as I am concerned ─ who the Hell goes anywhere anymore and deliberately leaves their home unlocked?

Well, they seem to.

In fact, Tho does it every time he leaves for work, even knowing that everyone else still in the house are yet in bed. 

But on to something else now.

Last year ─ in early June, or maybe even in May ─ I sowed a couple of thousand thyme seeds into a rectangular garden plot set into the front-yard lawn.

I honestly cannot say that I saw any results whatsoever last year.

But could thyme possibly skip the first season ─ or is the spreading greenery doing a fair job of covering that garden plot just weed?  I took these six photos just before I came into the house from my little errand this afternoon:

Occasionally I will pull up a clump of the more-matured growth as it starts to look like it is yellowing a little; however, if most of this is actually thyme and not various weed. I would happily leave it alone.

Does anyone seeing this know?

I realize that there are some weeds in there, including clover.

A concern I have about this stuff is the thick mass of filamentous root these plants spread with ─ a congested network of very fine root.

Would it eventually smother out the perennials?


Several times a week, I seem to be reading about how America's FDA colludes with major corporations like the pharmaceutical companies in getting dangerous medications or equipment marketed as expeditiously as possible.

Now we can officially add the CDC as also serving many of these same corporations ─ it has been lavishly benefiting from enormous amounts of cash while it serves as a mouthpiece for products like useless and unnecessary vaccines, or procedures like mass screenings for fabricated reasons.

This report from the Health Sciences Institute (HSI) was released about six days ago:

A deal with the devil
It's the type of scam you'd expect to read about in a criminal indictment.

A shadowy front group is established to accept millions in dirty cash. And then it kicks the money back to its parent organization as a so-called "donation."

But this scheme wasn't cooked up at an Enron board meeting or by some organized crime syndicate. In fact, it's being run by our government right now.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has told us for years that it doesn't accept money from the drug companies. That its only guiding principles are science and what's best for your health.

But a major medical journal has finally exposed how Big Pharma has spent a fortune influencing -- and even directing -- CDC policy for years. And we're now learning the truth about the foundation the CDC created to practically launder millions in drug company cash.

"CDC does not accept commercial support."

You'll find that disclaimer stamped on just about every recommendation the CDC issues. But there's only one problem -- it's a complete and utter lie.

In fact, the CDC and the drug companies are now engaged in what Dr. Jerome R. Hoffman, an emeritus professor of medicine at UCLA, calls a "devil's bargain."

He's just one of the medical experts who worked with the journal BMJ to shed light on how the CDC quietly filters a fortune in drug company donations through a nonprofit.

Despite its claims of neutrality, the CDC has long been authorized to accept payoffs from the drug industry. But even Congress realized that a direct financial pipeline between Big Pharma and the CDC looked fishy.

So it established the CDC Foundation -- a so-called charity that could collect drug company millions and then kick the money back to the CDC. That way the donations the CDC receives appear to be coming from the CDC Foundation and not the drug makers who actually contributed the cash.

The CDC Foundation website makes no bones about how it "launders" the money it receives. It brags about connecting the CDC with private organizations and about the many millions it's sent over to the mother ship -- the CDC -- to "support (its) work."

But the drug companies aren't just supporting the CDC through these donations -- they're practically controlling it.

You'll remember how the CDC kept promoting Roche's Tamiflu during flu season, even though it's a dud drug that's potentially fatal and has only been proven to shorten your flu by a few hours. But CDC head Tom Frieden even made the outrageous and downright untrue statement that Tamiflu could "save your life."

Of course, BMJ investigators found that the Tamiflu plugs were part of a CDC initiative called the "Take 3 flu campaign." Step 3, of course, was to take an antiviral like, you guessed it -- Tamiflu -- if you get sick.

We know now that Roche was bankrolling the Take 3 campaign -- all through a "directed donation" routed through the CDC Foundation.

Cash filtered through the CDC Foundation also may have influenced a curious hepatitis recommendation the CDC made a few years ago.

In 2012 the agency suddenly decided that everyone born between 1945 and 1965 needed to be tested for hepatitis C. That's called cohort screening and most researchers will tell you it's not good science.

But two years before the CDC called for the screening, its foundation launched something called the Viral Hepatitis Action Coalition. It raked in $26 million from companies like Abbott Laboratories, Merck and Gilead that manufacture hepatitis test kits and treatments.

Of course, that's really chump change considering that Gilead's hepatitis C drug goes for $1,000 a pill. Maybe the CDC should have held out for a bigger paycheck.

The CDC is in the middle of what Dr. Hoffman calls a "very bad arrangement" with the drug companies -- an arrangement that's leaving the agency's credibility in tatters. He thinks it may even take an act of Congress to fix.

Or maybe we can just go back to a simple rule that the CDC and FDA were supposed to operate under -- that government agencies should be free of commercial influence.
It all disgusts me.  If I was an American, I would be ashamed of my government. 

Curiously to me as I have been writing about this, that link results in a Web-page identified as "the bmj", but with this declaration:
Site under maintenance
The BMJ is currently under maintenance. We should be back shortly. Thank you for your patience.
I suspect that it's likely mere coincidence, but it is natheless curious to me.

Even the article's DOI (digital object identifier) 10.1136/bmj.h2362 resulted in the same outcome the first time I tried it, but it now does function properly.

I see that the full article requires a subscription to thebmj.com.  Well, when I found the site unavailable, I searched for a cache of the Web-page, and found the entire article on display.

If that has not changed, and you would like to see the full article, try the following two caches:
By the way, the Health Sciences Institute (HSI) are a member site of NewMarketHealth.com.
Around five days ago, Dr. William Campbell Douglass II came out with an encouraging report on fish oil that anyone concerned with brain function should pay heed to:

Put the spring back in your mental steps with this brain boosting secret
Hit the other side of 60, and every little brain hiccup becomes a heart-stopping moment of silent panic: Is this dementia?

Stop worrying so much. In most cases, it's just Father Time up to his usual tricks.

NONE of us are as quick as we used to be, but that doesn't mean you have to sit back and let nature take its course -- because I've got a simple trick that can goose your brain and help put the spring back into your mental steps.

And this is one trick that should be up your sleeve already.

If you're not taking a fish oil supplement by now, my friend, I don't know what you're waiting for because omega-3 fatty acids are one of the best natural all-around health-boosters there is.

Now, the latest research shows how these essentials could give your brain just what it needs to pull off a trick called cognitive flexibility, or the ability to switch between mental tasks.

Cognitive flexibility is what lets you quickly switch gears from arguing over sports stats at the bar to calculating the tip when the check arrives without missing a beat.

When you're young, it works like a remote control flicking between channels. You don't even have to think about it. Pass the half-century mark, and you might need a couple moments to get your mind off one track and onto the other.

And in some cases, trying to make that switch could leave you scratching your head.

But a new study of 40 cognitively healthy seniors with a genetic risk factor for Alzheimer's finds that boosting your fish oil intake can give you back that cognitive flexibility and even help GROW the part of the brain that lets you do it (if you're keeping score, it's called the anterior cingulate cortex).

Along with protecting your cognitive flexibility, fish oil can also help slow the "brain shrink" linked to dementia and flush out the protein linked to cognitive decline.

The new study was funded by a drug company, which of course wants you to buy some pricey synthetic version of the omega-3 fatty acids. Don't waste your time or money; just stick to a quality fish oil supplement from a maker you trust.

Always flexible,

William Campbell Douglass II, M.D.
I located the entire published study, should you be interested:  Anterior cingulate cortex mediates the relationship between O3PUFAs and executive functions in APOE e4 carriers (doi: 10.3389/fnagi.2015.00087).

For the less scientifically-oriented of us, ScienceDaily.com has their own report on the study:  Omega-3 fatty acids enhance cognitive flexibility in at-risk older adults.  

And perhaps that is where I will leave matters for today.

My step-son Pote has yet to return, so I cannot say yet if he has any assurances from his job interview. 
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