Sunday, August 28, 2016

HIV, counterfeit medicines and the Clinton Foundation

did the Clinton's highly praised program to fund HIV treatment by using counterfeit medicine which was cheaper?

The counterfeit/inferior drug problem, mainly from China and India, probably kills more people than heroin.

I just listened to a C2C program (I listen to it via internet radio in the afternoon but it is here on youtube)

 where the Clinton Foundation was accused of using inferior and cheaper generic medicines for HIV patients in Africa that didn't work. The source of the medicine was from India.

Right wing site WND has the story. read the whole story for the links if you don't believe their reporting

Ira Magaziner, the chief executive officer and vice chairman of the Clinton Health Aids Initiative, known as CHAI, approached the Indian company, Ranbaxy, in 2002 to negotiate a deal. It allowed CHAI to assume a controlling position to administer the airline-ticket levy program through UNITAID, a program of the U.N.’s World Health Organization in Geneva. CHAI proposed to Ranbaxy that “they could put the developing countries together to form a sort of ‘buying club’ that could “ramp up economies of scale and lower cost,” according to Professors Ethan B. Kapstein of Arizona State University and Joshua W. Busby of the University of Texas at Austin in their Cambridge University Press 2013 book “AIDS Drugs for All.” ....
 A Kaiser Health News “Morning Briefing” dated Nov. 21, 2003, reported former President Bill Clinton “visited Indian generic drug Ranbaxy Laboratories’ pharmaceutical plant in Gurgaon, India, to show support for Indian companies that have agreed to manufacture low-cost generic antiretroviral drugs for nationwide HIV/AIDS treatment plans in four African and more than 12 Caribbean countries.” 

So getting cheaper generics so you can buy more medicine and treat more people. What could go wrong?

BMJ article on the problem of substandard medicines lists a lot of things that can go wrong.

Uh, just ask anyone who lives outside the elite bubble in third world countries: A lot of the cheap stuff (not just medicine) is shoddy, poorly made, or doesn't work very well.

Ironically, a couple years ago, the "Green" type anti big pharm types were blasting major drug companies for overpricing these drugs, insisting that the HIV programs should buy cheaper generics, either made locally or generics, as was done here.

The Clinton founation website brags:

When the Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI) was founded in 2002, only 200,000 people were receiving treatment for HIV/AIDS in low and middle income countries, with medicines that cost over $10,000 per person per year. Over a decade later, more than eight million people are receiving treatment and CHAI has helped reduce the cost of medicines to around $100 to $200 per person per year in many countries. Countries have repeatedly proven that it is possible to rapidly scale up treatment services. For the first time, there is real promise that we can turn the tide against HIV/AIDS.

The Atlantic pushes this meme saying they "made a deal" with the companies and the high price was the middle men making lots of profit.

2006 The NYTimes article said Clinton was playing catch up on the issue of HIV in Africa and again is full of praise

But: Uh Oh: US Justice dept report: the Indian company Ranbaxy got a 350 million dollar fine for their fraud. 2013

They were faking a lot of their data in quality control.

The conservative think tank AEI report on the problem here. A lot of it is about Ranbaxy being licensed to sell the cholesterol lowering medicine Lipetor, in the US. But the report includes this snippet:

It was surprising that the FDA was prepared to overlook Ranbaxy’s drug quality problems. In 2005, whistleblowers from Ranbaxy alerted the FDA that members of Ranbaxy’s staff were deliberately cutting corners in producing HIV medication to be bought with US taxpayer funds. The FDA and US Department of Justice identified two questionable Ranbaxy plants and 30 suspect medications, yet only restricted their US-bound sales in 2010. 

Fortune magazine on the Great Valentine's day raid on the company and an expose on the company. 2013

in Gurgaon, as Thakur’s project managers gathered data and interviewed company scientists and executives, he says, they stumbled onto Ranbaxy’s open secret: The company manipulated almost every aspect of its manufacturing process to quickly produce impressive-looking data that would bolster its bottom line.
“This was not something that was concealed,” Thakur says. It was “common knowledge among senior managers of the company, heads of research and development, people responsible for formulation to the clinical people.”

India Times story on how their companies make drugs cheap (patent infringement is admitted in the article)

NIH report 2015 on the danger of counterfeit medicine
Poor quality medicines are a real and urgent threat that could undermine decades of successful efforts to combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis, according to the editors of a collection of journal articles published today. Scientists report up to 41 percent of specimens failed to meet quality standards in global studies of about 17,000 drug samples. Among the collection is an article describing the discovery of falsified and substandard malaria drugs that caused an estimated 122,350 deaths in African children in 2013. Other studies identified poor quality antibiotics, which may harm health and increase antimicrobial resistance. 
full report HERE.

the problem is worse, because substandard drugs (i.e. where the medicine is in the pill, but either is in too low a dose or in a form that the body can't absorb) increases the mutation of antibiotic/ anti malaria resistance.

The Zimbabwe Herald notes that drug resistance to HIV is becoming more common, and attributes that to poor compliance in taking medicine.

more about their program HERE. which is run by USAID PEPFAR and the UN. No mention of the Clintons.

Ironically, it notes that often the blood levels of the drugs are higher in Africans (probably due to lack of body fat or because the liver metabolism is slower) Presumably that fact comes from a single study in Malawi. but it would mean that mildly substandard medicine might work.

AHO report: various studies mention: one, in 2005, the HIV medicine problem was tiny 2%  in comparison to 10 to 37 percent in Malaria medicine.

But you know, there are very few articles about African patients and their response to treatment.

Australian reporter MichaelSmith has a long article about the HIV medicine problem.
including the Clinton Foundation using HIV meds from Ranbaxy for people in Papua New Guinea.

This article lists Australian taxpayer money going to the foundation, and notes a small problem: Bill Clinton signed a lot of papers when he was not officially head of the Clinton Foundation and did not have the legal standing to do this.... and notes other irregularities having to do with money.

Australia gave 70 million dollars.

His sidebar also has lots of links about fraud on his sidebar, including Clinton fraud for a hospital that never was in Papua New Guinea.

and the most WTF article on the money trail:

Trump and family donated 100 thousand to the Clintons (2015).

finally, no discussion of HIV in Africa could be complete without noting a lot of quackery is out there

when HIV epidemic started, a lot of people went to native healers because one: western medicine didn't help and two: the symptoms of HIV (getting thinner and thinner) was a known symptom of witchcraft associated illness (no quite superstition: Think Slow poison by an enemy).

But with Presidentw  Bush's program, hope arrived. Not much in the US press about this because of their political bias of course.

but this might be behind the Clinton's wish to be seen as do gooders: Envy.

Whatever. I don't care if they do it for the wrong reasons, my question is if the money is actually going to the ones it is supposed to help.

And no, I don't give to many charities: But I do send school fees to a friend in Zimabwe for her nephews and nieces who were made fatherless by HIV before anyone was aware of the problem.

not well organized but I started posting this to my other blog and it sort of grew..

Fentanyl updates

some of the overdoses are from a similar drug used to sedate large animals...

ordinary lab testing can't tell the difference between this and fenanyl and it is very similar in it's actions.

and guess where it is coming from?

Like fentanyl, carfentanil is dangerous not just to users but to anyone who comes into contact with it. Grains of it can be absorbed through the skin or inhaled. According to the DEA, most fentanyl analogues in the United States are being manufactured in China and transported through Mexico.

more HERE Carfentanil

China's drug page on Wikipedia.

a lot of it is supplying precursor chemicals to refine heroin in Burma etc.

But more recently it has gone into the manufacture and supply business.

more HERE. (International Business Times UK).

China has become the "chemical and pharmaceutical wholesaler and retailer of new psychoactive substances in the world," according to a new Europol report.
It warned that it is possible that criminal organisations will become even more active, given the large profits and low risk of production and distribution of these substances.

 The report, the EU Drug Markets Report 2016l....according to South China Morning Post, adds weight to previous reports that point to China and its expanding pharmaceutical industry as "playing an increasingly important role in the international drug trade."

Remember, in China, as in the Philippines, a small "gift" will get the regulators to look the other way.

And China, along with India, is one of the sources of "counterfeit" and cheap but inferior generic drugs.

The counterfeit/inferior drug problem, mainly from China and India, probably kills more people than heroin.

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Drugs and drugs

The CDC just released a page about the increases of Fentanyl overdoses in recent months.

You might notice all those "heroin" overdoses that Drudge links to? Many of these are Fentanyl laced heroin.

Now, this caught my eye because of two things:

One, Fentanyl has long been used as a short term anesthetic, but is not an ordinary prescription drug. (Indeed, for awhile it was known as the favorite drug for anesthesiologists to get addicted on because it was short acting but gave a wonderful high).

Then they developed a Fenanyl patch. This was also wonderful, because it meant our cancer and pain patients didn't have to keep taking pills and swing between being sleepy and being in pain.

It could however cause problems since it took awhile to work, and in chronically ill patients who got another illness, it could cause a decrease in respirations and alertness (this happened to two of my patients, both elderly).

It was also good because it gave us an alternative for patients who were in pain but kept "losing" their medicines. We started one patient on the patch, and her daughter came in to the ER the next day withdrawing, showing us why her medicines were being lost.

However, druggies are inventive, and after a few years, the druggies found out how to process the patches to get the drug out, which left us with another medicine that could be abused.

However, the recent huge increase in fentanyl overdoses makes me wonder: why now, and where it is coming from?

I posted earlier about how the Mexican cartels were switchinlg from marijuana to meth, cocaine or heroine now that marijuana is essentially "legal" many places (many of the "medical marijuana" clinics are scams for druggies).

So where is the fentanyl coming from?

From the Mexican cartels, of course, with help from China, where they buy the precursors of the drug.


Three weeks before El Chapo was re-captured, we returned to Sinaloa to meet with heroin producers who were mixing the drug into their product. “There’s almost nobody making pure heroin anymore, because el diablito is so much stronger,” one trafficker told us. His family sourced the precursor chemicals from China, he said, and paid a Colombian chemist $50,000 to teach them how to cook up fentanyl. While the majority of the fentanyl causing overdoses across the U.S. is from this illegal stockpile produced by Mexican cartels, a portion of it also comes in legal pharmaceutical forms, according to the DEA. But it's hard to get accurate numbers on just how much of the deadly fentanyl is from prescriptions -- most medical examiners and coroners are unable to tell the difference between pharmaceutical and black-market versions of the drug, THE CDC POINTS OUT.
I wonder how much fentanyl is being sold on the black market with the knowledge of drug companies?

and how much is "diverted" or stolen or just carelessly or deliberately sold to pill mills?

Related item: Rappler has an article about how Duterte's "war on drugs" isn't needed because the amount of drugs used was going down by ordinary means.

Ah, but that was just running in place because the big shots getting paid off weren't being caught.

Now that the mid level dealers are being arrested or worse, the low level users are turning themselves in.

Not only is the local building that used to be the city hall now a drug rehab area, but the local churches are getting involved with rehab.

The college students and the elite media are up in arms huffing and puffing about how terrible his drug war is, because of the killings.

Two comments: They didn't seem upset about killing related to drug users or overdoses in the past. They only worry now because maybe the cops are scared and might not take the usual payment to look the other way?

comment two: They really believe the statistics?

they note the numbers of arrests went way down starting in 2002 and only recently have started going up again.

Figure 2. Sources: PDEA and DDB, as collected in the Philippine Statistical Yearbook 2015.

Hmm.. wonder what could be behind that?

This Inquirer article points out how the big shots get away with it. The big shot is innocent, the family member is innocent, and the guy caught who works for him and was caught red handed gets off with a little help from their friends.

or as Rappler puts it:

What can explain these correlated trends? Could they be an indication of the changing aggressiveness of past administrations in going after drugs? Or could they be indirect measures of the rise and fall of the drug problem on the ground? Understanding the causality (rather than just the correlations) behind these trends highlights the need for further research.

most of those going into rehab are on shabu.

wikipedia page

According to Reuters, the President-elect of the Philippines Rodrigo Duterte has predicted the country could become a 'narco-state' if the country's tide of drug addiction is not pushed back. In 2012, the United Nations said the Philippines had the highest rate of methamphetamine use in East Asia, and according to a U.S. State Department report, 2.1 percent of Filipinos aged 16 to 64 use the drug, which is known locally as "shabu".[4] On Metro Manila, most barangays are being affected by illegal drugs.[1]

some of this is made locally, but China is the main source of drugs. with the Mexican cartels starting to become involved.

Of course, Americans shouldn't point fingers....

the big shots are making millions laundering money through their banks and foundations.

Friday, August 26, 2016

The PC non hippocratic killer doctors are coming

Wesley Smith has the latest ACLU suit against Catholic hospitals, and warns that when euthanasia comes, they may end up closing.

Two comments: These suits have been going on for at least 25 years. But the way the "forcing new unwanted laws on people via the courts" work is that if you get turned down 25 times, and finally find one judge (or one Supreme court justice to make it a majority) voila: Instant law

Who needs democracy when the courts will do it for you?

Second comment: The PC nuns will help them.

Item: A Tuscon hospital where the ethics board approved an abortion and the bishop cracked down is now a secular hospital.

Item: The Catholic hospital association caved in on ObamaCare, even though when Obama refused to let the democrats add a "no abortion" clause, the bishops pulled out. The nuns of the CHA justified it saying he promised to make this part of the law by fiat/executive order, but of course he didn't: He appointed pro abortion people to judge that contraception and abortion pills be paid for in any and every insurance policy, and sued Christian groups who objected.

A good place to watch is Canada: Are the hospitals there closing? Are the bishops objecting to their lax euthanasia law

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Bugs not Bombs

Disease has always killed more soldiers than bombs or bullets.

headsup TeaAtTrianon Germs in warfare

Military History Now:

read the whole thing. All those romantic films leave this part out.

Missing from the report: That much of the laundry and cooking was done by "campfollowers".

Lack of baths and not cleaning clothing frequently led to lice and typhus. Typhus killed thousands of Napoleon's troops on his Russian expedition, starting before he even entered that country and spreading through the army during it's march to Moscow.

Ironically, there are a lack of reports on the Russian Imperial Army's attitude against disease in that war, but one suspects they too suffered...

a BBC article about how the French started the Crimean war includes this;

The human cost was immense, 25,000 British, 100,000 French and up to a million Russians died, almost all of disease and neglect.
more HERE

and the most famous survivor of WWI "Trench fever", JRRTolkien, may have caught it from dead German soldiers, since his unit captured German trenches and stayed in these for several days.

Poorly  built latrines led to typhoid and dysentary and cholera (and note my previous post about poorly built latrine that led to the Cholera epidemic in Haiti).

bad diets led to poorly nourished soldiers who were prone to get disease and sometimes suffered from scurvy or pellegra from vitamin deficiency

Most of the discussion is about 18th and 19th century soldiers.

Not mentioned: STD....for example, it was syphilis caught from the lovely ladies of Naples that destroyed the army of CharlesVII  in 1495.

Or the problem of smallpox in the American revolution: American born rarely had had the disease and lacked immunity, whereas many of the Europeans had had a case of it as children so were immune.

Washington mandated smallpox innoculation (with a weak version of the actual virus, since this was before the cowpox virus was found to confer immunity). As a result, his army was safe, unlike the Americans who invaded Canada or the black slaves who joined the Loyalists, both of whom were decimated by smallpox.

but even after the vaccine was available, a lot of the casualties in the Franco Prussian wars were from a localized smallpox epidemic. from Military History Now:

While a smallpox outbreak gutted the French military to the tune of 23,000 lives, the German armies lost fewer than 460 men to the disfiguring and often-fatal virus. Why? Because before marching off to war, Prussian leader Otto von Bismarck ordered his troops vaccinated against smallpox. France didn’t. Yet although German soldiers were safe, the disease spread rapidly across the continent following the conflict, thanks in part to the advent of railroads. By 1875, as many as a half-million Europeans were dead from smallpox.
more HERE

the man who was behind the complete eradification of smallpox, DA Henderson, has just died. Probably saved a couple million lives.

Instapundit had a discussion, with links to an article that noted, since Anthrax defrosted and caused a mini epidemic, could smallpox do the same? Link3
more at the UKMail

well, anthrax causes spores which can last quite a long time in the environment. But viruses usually can't live long outside their host.

Nature Article discusses here.

Scientists have actually done a few studies on smallpox in mummies and even dug up corpses frozen, partly to learn about which strain caused the deaths and if it was the same as modern smallpox.

So far however, the virus was degraded and could not cause infections.

Scientists at Russia's VECTOR lab in Koltsovo had been thinking about this possibility years earlier. In 1991, a team set out for another village in Yakutia to try to isolate virus DNA from a handful of corpses that had been unearthed by a flood. The researchers were unable to recover any viable virus, or even any dead virus that had retained its shape. “It was a great disappointment,” Henderson says. The tissue was well preserved and the virus should have been present. But the Russian scientists were among the best in the business, he says. “If they couldn't get it, it was ungettable.”

the real danger is that some state backed terrorist organization could synthesize the virus because the genome is known.

What probably stops that is the idea of "blow back": The germ would get back and kill them too.

But don't feel too safe: in one of these articles it notes that there is a worry that influenza virus from defrosting corpses could still be viable, and some people think that this is how migrating birds pick it up to spread when they fly south.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Mother Gaia wants you to be childless

NYTimes  lets a graduate student of "bioethics" insist Zika is good because it will encourage people not to have any nasty kids

I never really bought the Gaia principle, but this is the perfect disease to present as evidence of its existence. Perhaps the earth is scratching an itch.

don't blame Mother Gaia, blame Mother Rachael and her minions who stopped the mosquito spraying to save the birds and killed a couple million Africans by allowing a resurgence of Malaria, dengue, yellow fever, etc.

headsup Instapundit

best comment is to point out that Brazil's birth rate is already below replacement level.
and a lot of discussion if the author is a "scientist". Actually it doesn't matter if she is a trained scientist: The problem is that the discussion is based on emotions and a utopian idea of ZPG as good for you, and a eugenic inspired idea about who should live, and even fantasy (mother Gaia gave us Zika to tell us to stop having babies) not hard reality based on facts.

Facts: A few thousand children will be born handicapped from Zika. Many will develop problems too late to abort them, so the pro aborts are making moms think if they live in Florida etc. they should abort the kid early just in case.

In Brazil the "experts" are using Zika to pressure the country to liberalize abortion law. But since you only can pick up microcephaly late in pregnancy, this means late term abortions, which are risky to mom and can leave you with a live baby, not to mention few doctors will be willing to do this. So how many moms will self abort because of the scary publicity and die? But of course, this will allow the experts to "prove" you have to allow more abortions.

Fact two: More kids will be born with Fetal Alcohol syndrome than with Zika microcephaly.

Fact Three: We docs saw the same scare tactics during the 1960's Rubella epidemic and thalidamide scare that was used to push legal abortion in the USA.

Notice no more Rubella in the US? It's the MMR...

but the same type of non scientific emotional feminist thinking is scaring moms from having their kids get MMR. And unvaccinated immigrants are still at risk.
and the WHO notes that worldwide there are 100 thousand cases of fetal rubella syndrome a year.

The Malthusian ideas that encouraged the British to see the Irish potato famine an opportunity, the Eugenics ideas of the 1900s which talked about the inferior races (i.e. the Irish and Jewish immigrants )  the Nazi idea of ubermensch and American ideas that one should sterilize the "unfit" in the 1930's and the Population bomb ideas of the 1970's are now being sold to you in the name of Zika

Or maybe in the name of "global warming".

This last article is in NPR, and argues that in fifty years the world will be uninhabitable from global warming, so don't have kids because they'll all die anyway.

I seem to remember similar arguments in the 1960's, we're all gonna die in a nuclear war so don't have kids because they'll all die anyway.

And then the predictions of Paul Ehrlich that even the NYTimes noticed didn't come true.

br />

the NYTimes article say:

Ehrlich’s opening statement was the verbal equivalent of a punch to the gut: “The battle to feed all of humanity is over.” He later went on to forecast that hundreds of millions would starve to death in the 1970s, that 65 million of them would be Americans, that crowded India was essentially doomed, that odds were fair “England will not exist in the year 2000.” Dr. Ehrlich was so sure of himself that he warned in 1970 that “sometime in the next 15 years, the end will come.” By “the end,” he meant “an utter breakdown of the capacity of the planet to support humanity.”
As you may have noticed, England is still with us. So is India. Hundreds of millions did not die of starvation in the ’70s. Humanity has managed to hang on, even though the planet’s population now exceeds seven billion

so what happened?

New discoeries.

The man who saved a million people by the Green Revolution.

ne thing that happened on the road to doom was that the world figured out how to feed itself despite its rising numbers. No small measure of thanks belonged to Norman E. Borlaug, an American plant scientist whose breeding of high-yielding, disease-resistant crops led to the agricultural savior known as the Green Revolution. While shortages persisted in some regions, they were often more a function of government incompetence, corruption or civil strife than of an absolute lack of food.

and, of course, with modern medical care that lets all your kids live, moms don't feel the need to have 7 kids. Right now, the population is expected to stablize soon, and in many countries, the negative demographic crisis is the problem.

And don't say: Muslims (Turkey and Iran have less than replacement birth rates). And I suspect that as China introduces modern farming etc. into Africa will mean that many countries there will soon stablize their population. (The "green" NGO's pretty well discouraged the green revolution and now discourage GMO crops that could feed people. And too many of these NGO's are against change that would destroy the good old fashioned days, something they see as utopia, but is actually days of hunger, want, and dying early of diseases that could be prevented)

None of the failure of his predictions has stopped Ehrlich from saying he was right.

What is being ignored is technology. again from the NYT article:

Some preternaturally optimistic analysts concluded that humans would always find their way out of tough spots. Among them was Julian L. Simon, an economist who established himself as the anti-Ehrlich, arguing that “humanity’s condition will improve in just about every material way.” In 1997, a year before he died, Mr. Simon told Wired magazine that “whatever the rate of population growth is, historically it has been that the food supply increases at least as fast, if not faster.”

But none of this is science: it is emotion driving the idea. Check the NPR article which all the opinions are emotional reactions to what they think are scientific predictions.

and of course, Ehrlich was inspired to write the population bomb because he saw a lot of poor people in India on the street.

and both the latest NYT editorial and the NPR article is about people who want to be praised when they live a selfish life without responsibility without having the mess and noise of children to distract them.

Robert A. Heinlein

“You can sway a thousand men by appealing to their prejudices quicker than you can convince one man by logic.”

― Robert A. HeinleinRevolt in 2100/Methuselah's Children

Saturday, August 20, 2016

CDC on US violence as a public health problem: suicide is the big problem

LINK this is about a survey that included about half of these deaths in the area surveyed.

I should note that this is a survey of certain states but covers all death: Not just by gun.
Box2 at the bottom lists them.

and suicide was the really big problem no one is discussing

In 2013, more than 57,000 persons died in the United States as a result of violence-related injuries (1). Suicide was the 10th leading cause of death overall in the United States and disproportionately affected young and middle-aged populations. It was among the top three leading causes of death for persons aged 10–34 years and among the top five for persons aged 35–54 years. American Indian/Alaska Natives were disproportionately affected by suicide; it was the second leading cause of death among those aged 10–34 years.
a smaller population was surveyed, and they noted: it's a white thing (also very bad in the Native American community).

Suicides occurred at higher rates among males, non-Hispanic whites, American Indian/Alaska Natives, persons aged 45–64 years, and males aged ≥75 years. Suicides were preceded primarily by a mental health, intimate partner, or physical health problem or a crisis during the previous or upcoming 2 weeks
 those "males over age 75" are the ones committing suicide: their depression distorts their thinking.because they don't feel life has meaning and.. They don't want folks to bother to care for them... this needs to be addressed but alas, every sympathetic pro euthanasia propaganda piece merely reinforces their "decision".

As for the young and Native Americans: Sigh. Often lack of meaning here too, and often their depression and disordered/negative thinking is increased by their drug use (self medication with illegal drugs).

and the philosophy of euthanasia purfumes the air of despair even for these kids, since it popularizes the idea that if life is miserable you should end it.

now let's get to the other part: Black lives matter?


Homicide was the 16th leading cause of death overall in the United States but disproportionately affected young people (1). It was the third leading cause of death for children aged 1–4 years and persons aged 15–34 years, the fourth leading cause for children aged 5–9 years, and the fifth leading cause for persons aged 10–14 years and 35–44 years. Homicide disproportionately affected young African American males; it was the leading cause of death among those aged 15–34 years.
and the details from the more limited study:

 The majority (66.2%) of deaths were suicides, followed by homicides (23.2%), deaths of undetermined intent (8.8%), deaths involving legal intervention (1.2%) (i.e., deaths caused by law enforcement and other persons with legal authority to use deadly force, excluding legal executions), and unintentional firearm deaths (<1%). 
yes, deaths involving legal intervention are there (1.2%). This is one percent of all violent deaths, but would be 4% of all homicides.

the table for this is here (from only the survey)

TABLE 1Number,* percentage, and rate§ of deaths, by incident type, manner of death, method used, and location where injury occurred — National Violent Death Reporting System, 17 states,  2013
CharacteristicNo. (%)Rate
Incident type
Suicide, single12,487 (66.5)13.0
Homicide, single3,836 (20.4)4.0
Undetermined intent, single1,672 (8.9)1.7
Unintentional firearm, single125 (<1.0)0.1
Suicide, multiple17 (<1.0)**
Homicide, multiple166 (<1.0)**
Undetermined intent, multiple11 (<1.0)**
Legal intervention,†† single/multiple220 (1.2)**
Homicide followed by suicide225 (1.2)**
Other combinations of deaths6 (<1.0)**
Total18,765 (100)19.5

other words, deaths from law enforcement is a very small percentage of violent deaths in the USA.

most of the deaths were arguments/fights etc.

but they note most of the "legal intervention" deaths were non Hispanic black males

 Homicide rates were higher among males and persons aged 15–44 years; rates were highest among non-Hispanic black males. Homicides primarily were precipitated by arguments and interpersonal conflicts, occurrence in conjunction with another crime, or were related to intimate partner violence (particularly for females). A known relationship between a homicide victim and a suspected perpetrator was most likely either that of an acquaintance or friend or an intimate partner. Legal intervention death rates were highest among males and persons aged 20–24 years and 30–34 years; rates were highest among non-Hispanic black males. 
table one, again at the bottom, has a lot of the details. Again, note that this is a limited survey of 17 states, not the entire country:

a shorter summary:

Manner of death
Suicide12,747 (66.2)13.3
Homicide4,459 (23.2)4.6
Undetermined intent1,698 (8.8)1.8
Legal intervention††222 (1.2)0.2
Unintentional firearm125 (<1.0)0.1
Total19,251 (100)20.1

now we get to why.

The following tables are from the survey group, and mix both suicides/ homicides/accidents in the tables.

and alcohol (66%) and meth (10%) were the most common drugs involved (I point this out because the conspiracy sites often blame anti depression medicines, often which are given to someone who is already suicidal in an attempt to treat their depression and to stop suicide.. So the anti depression meds were taken by 33 percent, but remember this included those who committed suicide. The real problem is if 66 percent of the suicidal hadn't received it... but then, of course, the homicides are in the mix too, so the question is unclear. ).

Toxicology variableTestedPositive
No. (%)No. (%)
BAC11,403 (59.2)4,289 (37.6)
Alcohol <0.08 g/dL1,258 (29.3)
Alcohol ≥0.08 g/dL2,910 (67.8)
Alcohol positive, level unknown121 (2.8)
Amphetamines6,845 (35.6)627 (9.2)
Anticonvulsants4,532 (23.5)518 (11.4)
Antidepressants5,528 (28.7)1,836 (33.2)
Antipsychotics4,688 (24.4)411 (8.8)
Barbiturates5,487 (28.5)134 (2.4)
Benzodiazepines6,757 (35.1)1,959 (29.0)
Carbon monoxide2,522 (13.1)390 (15.5)
Cocaine7,477 (38.8)778 (10.4)
Marijuana5,894 (30.6)1,415 (24.0)
Muscle relaxants4,556 (23.7)337 (7.4)
Opiates8,127 (42.2)2,586 (31.8)
Other drugs/substances**3,503 (18.2)3,471 (99.1)

but note the number of people with benzodiazepam type medicine (29%) and marijuana (24%) is higher than even meth. (9.2%)

so why didn't I mention those as major causes of violent death?

One problem is both these medicines have long half life, so you don't know if the person took a dose awhile back, and just had a small amount in the system or if he actually was "high" on these that interfered with his ability to think, especially in the case of suicide, or disinhibited him to get into a situation where he or she was killed. (The Michael Brown case comes to mind: attacking a store clerk then attacking a cop).

and one doesn't know if the carbon monoxide was the means for suicide or if, again, it was interfering with their ability to think straight.

another caveat: 60 percent in the survey were tested for alcohol reported in this table. (and about sixty percent of them tested positive for alcohol).

But only about 33 percent of those in the survey group were tested for drug use, so we don't know if only those suspected of using drugs etc were tested, meaning the numbers would seem higher than if you tested everyone. So the numbers might not apply to the entire population.

Water purification part one and two

Cross posted from my main blog

Graphene based sheets for water filtration take two

See previous post on water purification

I can't find any of the graphene foam sheets for sale, but NewAtlas has an article on what they are and how they work.

The biofilm is created as a two-layered structure consisting of two nanocellulose layers produced by bacteria. The lower layer contains pristine cellulose, while the top layer also contains graphene oxide, which absorbs sunlight and produces heat. The system works by drawing up water from underneath like a sponge where it then evaporates in the topmost layer, leaving behind any suspended particulates or salts. Fresh water then condenses on the top, where it can be drawn off and used.
it doesn't require pipes, and it uses solar power.
more HERE.
full article for later reading HERE 

The advantage over old fashioned water filters is explained in the StrategyPage Article:

Together, this material when placed on the surface of polluted water uses sunlight and a sponge-like process to purify the water that can then be directed (by gravity) to containers. Field tests have shown that it works and the next step is to mass produce the graphene-based biofoam sheets and distribute them widely so regional variations in water and climate can be tested and tweaks made to the composition of the sheets for different conditions. 

alas, it doesn't look like it is commercially available, although graphene is being used in water filters and in all sorts of other things.

Guess I'll have to read up on it.

although for those of us in the third world, unless it is cheap and easy to find (i.e. the Chinese sell it cheaply) we will have to stick with old fashioned ceramic pot water filters.

also for later reading: Low cost water purifiers for the developing world.

Water Purification

In my essay below, I pointed out the importance of water purification, and that providing clean water and properly placing latrines was a basic military practice for 2000 years.. or maybe3000 years, if you read Leviticus...

So today StrategyPage has an article on water purification, and discusses a new method developed for the military.

This is done with sheets of thin, multi-layer foam material that consists mostly of cellulose (what trees are made of 0f) and a layer of graphene (a form of carbon that is extremely thin, strong and cheap) with specific bacteria. Together, this material when placed on the surface of polluted water uses sunlight and a sponge-like process to purify the water that can then be directed (by gravity) to containers.
Field tests have shown that it works and the next step is to mass produce the graphene-based biofoam sheets and distribute them widely so regional variations in water and climate can be tested and tweaks made to the composition of the sheets for different conditions.

they also discuss waterGenSpring, which extracts water from humidity, and  the Lifesaver portable water bottle, and other methods that are now available to the military and civilians.

watergen for troops includes a back pack type using a battery.

More on WaterGenSpring products here.... yup. Essentially the same as a dehumidifiier, and they sell product for dehumidifying/drying too...

 ah but would my civilian dehumidifier work for disaster situations? Discussion here.
both of these are follow ups from this essay on cholera and water

It's the water supply, stupid

AustinBay's column summarizes the media bias that has gotten so bad that he notes Howard Kurtz has even notice it.

Which is why I hesitate to comment on politics: the bias, at least in the BBC and European press in 1980 when Reagan ran (and I lived in Africa and mainly had access to European news). Reagan was a cowboy who would destroy the world. He was an incompetent actor (never mind he was head of his union and later governor of a state with an economy larger than many nations).

And when he stopped Carter's mushy approach to defense, hundreds of thousands of western Europeans marched against Reagan the warmonger.

Fast forward a couple years: Uh, the Berlin wall fell down somehow disappeared was taken down by ordinary people.

The fall was not spontaneous: It was sort of pushed by JP2, Reagan and Thatcher, but the press hated all three so now we hear it was rock and roll or economics or something else: Anything but a policy of freedom lovers.

The leftist debacle in Venezuela gets visits from actors and other leftists hailing the policy that is destroying that country, while the millions (yes, millions) of Colombianos marching against their leftist drug pushing FARC gets ignored, as does the fact that FARC essentially has lost the war and Colombia is a poster child for capitalistic economic recovery.

as a whole, problems going on outside of the media bubble chamber tend to be ignored. Zika hysteria, but no one worried about the yellow fever epidemic in Angola and the Congo (and a couple of cases in China?)

How about the silence of the media about Haiti. The Clintons for while were the big heroes here...Whoops: link about their work on the water supply has vanished.
even the WAPost admits their high profile work and billions of money donated didn't quite get things fixed, and goes into details if you read the whole thing. Building a fancy hotel is nice, but what was needed was basic pipes and wells and water systems in the slums, and that is a big job.

In other words, the failure of the UN and the Clinton foundation help to Haiti is below the fold. Instapundit links to a NYTimes article where the UN finally takes responsibility for the cholera epidemic there that killed 10 thousand people.

Uh, cholera was brought there by UN Peacekeepers from Nepal, because the germ was the strain seen in that country. And yes, some people do become cholera carriers, but such cases are rare.

Cholera it is spread by the 3F route: Fingers, feces, and flies. And that "feces" part means latrines that leak into the water supply that people drink. Defecate in latrines, wash your hands, keep the dishes clean, clean up the water supply, vaccinate everyone in sight,  and voila, end of epidemic.

This long article gives the background:

In this case, it seems that one of the UN Peacekeepers was one such carrier, and that he spread it via the usual means. The bacteria got into the river that was downstream from the camp of the UN peacekeepers  (poorly placed latrines? Defecating outside the latrine?) and then people used river water.

So we have a poorly nourished population, low vaccination rates, a collapse of the infrastructure, and lack of clean water. Epidemics are the usual result.

Read the whole article: although it is mainly about how Brazil stopped the epidemic from being brought into that country by illegal Haitian immigrants. The article notes that Brazil's last cholera epidemic was when a weaker cholera strain spread in several SAmerican countries in the 1990's.

It is nice to know that the UN now says that it's peacekeepers will be checked for the carrier state and treated with antibiotics in the future.

Uh, basic latrine building knowledge seems to be lacking. Call in the Marines... actually, just call in your local National Guard for advice. Basic latrine building is part of the training.

One of hte vital jobs of the US National Guard is supplying clean water to disaster areas. The unit I belonged to in PA supplied water to Johnstown during the 1977 flood.

But when the disaster happens in a country that is already a disaster, and then you get an earthquake/ typhoon etc. the problems are a bit overwhelming.

At least when we had our typhoon and flood here in the Philippines, and the city water supply was contaminated, we just turned on Lolo's deep well pump and supplied our neighborhood. Ah, but if it was an earthquake, would the pump still work if the buildings collapsed? And we used generators for electricity.. What if there had been no more gas or diesel in the local gas station? Yes, in the long term alcohol or biodiesel could be made, but that would take time.

And we are on an earthquake fault, as is much of Manila. They hold periodic earthquake drills. Presumably if the big one hit there, people would return to their villages, and we are close enough to be a place for refugees.

I helped with a vaccination team that gave out routine MMR and DPT shots to rural areas after the Nicaraguan earthquake in the 1970's... We worked in rural areas, where populations had increased due to such refugees.

But it doesn't take a natural disaster to spread disease: The cholera epidemic in Zimbabwe was due to the gov't not taking care of the infrastructure left by those bad white people who once ran the country.
No, it wasn't ignorance: lots of locals actually were able to do the work. But it was corruption: why spend money doing the job when you could siphon it to your family and get rich? True, the cholera was there when I worked there: But it was in local rural areas (not where I worked) and quickly isolated.

so preppers, remember: it's not just that you need two weeks of water when the big one comes, but you need to know how to clean up the water.

When I first visited here we still used the ceramic/clay pot to filter our water, and for hot water we boiled a bunch in the morning and put it in a thermos to use. But Lolo had a deep well dug for water before we moved here. A couple years later, the local water was clean to use, so we started using the city water which was easier, but we left the pump intact.

But for preppers in the US, it just points to the problem you might face if "the big one" comes.

in Oklahoma, my "emergency" bag included a small hand pump water filter, but luckily we never got a direct tornado hit.

But prepper sites do have DIY ways to filter water if you are interested.

I always laugh at preppers discussing what gun would be best for a disaster scenerio: Uh, fellahs, you'll probably be dead of diarrhea first.

And ladies, check out NFP articles, unless you want to have a baby every year. Your main risk is death in childbirth...