Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Headlines below the fold (plus rants)

Two reports on cyberwarfare by StrategyPage:

China's "volunteer" spammers, spies and hackers.

Iran's attacks against Israel

something to remember the next time the press ignores why Hillary's private email server is brought up: She had her own server so that the "Freedom of information act" (that lets you pry into Gov't documents) wouldn't apply, but it left her open to have secret documents hacked by spies.

Of course, given the fact that my USGov't personnel file (and a couple hundred thousand more) have been hacked, and that a UK 16 year old hacked the email of the CIA director last year, one suspects that gov't servers aren't all they are supposed to be.


where are the killers? Canada is missing 4000 "indigenous" women...

Either reporting is better, or here in the rural Philippines the druggies are bringing in the culture of murder and rape.

Latest NE Journal here.

it also has a report that the gov't will give us funding to build up the infrastructure, so we won't have so many floods.

Good. I hope the local politicians won't steal it.

Related item: Our present mayor is the daughter of the late mayor who ordered the hit on his rivals that killed our nephew...and a week after she became mayor, there was a hit on one of the family members of the clan that killed his bodyguard and a few bystanders.

Yet our mayor got a funeral with the KofC honoring him, and now the InC is putting up banners supporting her reelction.

Sigh I expect it from the Catholics, who in the US are known to bury Mafia members and pro abortion politicians all the time, but the InC? Say it isn't so, bro...

they also might support Duterte for Pres...

in other local news, Manny Pacquiao said something anti gay and then apologized. Being gay is not an issue here in the Philippines, as long as you do it behind closed doors it is tolerated in the same way that "second wives" and bar girls are tolerated...

but with the Obama administration is pushing poor coutnries to change their laws, including pushing gay marriage in a way that will not just change the law (so it can be used to destroy the Catholic and other strict churches) but do it so it will demand you approve of people's moral lapses or face legal penalties...For example: The "reproductive rights" law includes a section mandating that health care providers at gov't clinics can be fined if they refuse to give out contraceptives or advise against using them. Essentially meaning that gov't clinics would be Catholic free. Luckily, the law is on hold, (and besides, no one pays attention to stupid laws they don't like, since a small "gift" will let regulators look the other direction in many cases).

At the same time, there has been an increase in gay tourism and a bar scene in Makati that resembles San Francisco (one gay friend told me he avoids the area now because it is too "rough"). This, plus returning overseas workers, is probably behind our rise in HIV cases in the last few years. Ah, but this is not being addressed: instead, activists are using the HIV increase, which is mainly in gays and drug addicts, to demonize Catholic opposition to mandatory sex ed and their opposition on pushing birth control/condoms on the poor and high school students.

So "born again" folks like Pacman are becoming a target. A million articles about his "apology" saying he said gays are "worse than animals", but
what exactly did he say? No, I can't find the quote, even in Tagalog.

However, I suspect the "animal" quote was condemning promiscuity by those who are pushing Obama's gay agenda, not about local gays per se, since they tend to be integrated into society here in the provinces.

The elephant in the room in this kerfuffle is not same sex attraction, but promiscuity. I gave HIV classes thirty years ago to our NG units, so the huge number of sexual contacts in the aggressive "gay lifestyle" subgroup of gays is an open secret no one wants to talk about.

I laugh when the US papers obediently say everyone here is "shocked" at his remarks. Uh, no. This is the Philippines. The activists who tell us what to think are shocked, but the huge number of pious Catholics and born again Christians probably agree with him, and the rest are busy working for a living and trying to make ends meet.
We have more serious problems to worry about (Dengue fever, anyone?)

But this is a news story because the US paid activists are pushing gay marriage here (along with easy divorce, contraception and abortion).

The backstory: Pacman lost a fight that most folks said he should have won after he was ambushed by a reporter who asked him if he supported gay marriage and he said no... Coincidence, of was probably one of the rich dudes bribed the judges to win a bet, but sometimes one wonders...

Atlas Obscura post on an abandoned cemetary in Argentina...
note this part:

Completed in 1873, the South Cemetery (as some call it) was established to handle an exponential increase in deaths associated with successive outbreaks of yellow fever and cholera from the years 1869 and 1871

yes, the big kerfuffle about Zika virus is about changing abortion laws in South America, not about public health.

Why do I say this? Because it ignores the elephant in the room:  The same mosquito also carries Yellow Fever, Dengue,  and Chikungunya fever...

"From a global perspective, the burden of dengue is huge," said Dr. Mark Loeb, an infectious disease specialist at McMaster University in Hamilton. "It's been estimated relatively recently that there's about 400 million cases of dengue globally per year."
Up to about 500,000 of those cases are severe enough to require hospitalization, and the disease kills about 25,000 people each year, many of them children, he said..

this Rappler report from Aug last year says that there were 55 thousand cases reported (later articles say 100 thousand were expected by the end of last year)...and since most mild cases either never see a doctor/clinic or are so mild that the lab test isn't done, one suspect the actual number is higher.

Wikipedia article HERE.

And remember: If you catch it a second time, it can be much more severe.

There is a vaccine against yellow fever, but the new one against Dengue isn't very good. In the meanwhile, spraying for mosquitoes and maybe basic things like collecting garbage, supplying water (so you don't have to store water in buckets in the home) and of course decent sewers might help. (did I tell you that after several bad floods, and a dengue outbreak we are getting the open air sewers  made larger, and covered? And the garbage guys are cleaning out the smaller open ditches too...Yes, it's election year. Wonder if this will continue next year?)

Alternative: bring back DDT, which is essentially non toxic to humans?

problem: mosquitoes become resistant after awhile, but for an acute epidemic, it is safer in untrained hands than more modern, more toxic pesiticides.

for later reading: Influenza hospitalizations are higher among the poor, and only in the elderly is this due to the difference in getting flu shots.

the higher black hospitalization might not just be racism, or even drug use: sickle cell anemia often results in the statistics on black childhood deaths being higher than poor Hispanics or poor whites.

So where are the telethons for sickle cell anemia?

but what is behind the black MSM epidemic of HIV? Could the reason be lack of taking retroviral therapy in that group?

again, the problem might be that many blacks distrust the medical profession (a result of the Tuskegee study) and since those that have G6PD deficiency might get sick from many medicines, including those used for HIV or it's complications. FYI: if you properly use retrovirals, your viral load goes down and you probably won't infect your partners.

Then there is the problem of insurance or just not seeing health as a priority when you have so many other bad things in your life

 risks are compounded by social determinants of health associated with increased risk and poorer health outcomes that include higher rates of unemployment and incarceration and lower incomes and educational attainment.

CDC report on the problem and how doctors are trying to analyze and prevent the spread of HIV in MSM populations HERE.

 Discrimination by health care providers (22), limited access to gay-friendly health services (23), and barriers to health insurance (2325) also can contribute to HIV-related disparities experienced by MSM. The physical and mental health of MSM can be affected by syndemic conditions, which are conditions that individually or in combination can increase HIV risk. These syndemic conditions include, but are not limited to, substance use and abuse, mental health problems, prevalence of STDs in the community, poverty, unemployment, and experiences of emotional and physical violence and abuse (7).
In other words, a lot of docs just don't want to treat these patients.

and I suspect that many just hate going to clinics because they sense they are disliked or looked down upon. I saw this attitude when I was in medical school 50 years ago, but I haven't worked in the inner city since then, but many of my traditional Objibwe patients (and my Mexican farm worker patients) reported subtle or not so subtle prejudice in physicians who saw them outside the IHS system.

I've seen this in myself: If I have to wait in line longer than other patients in a clinic, I assume it's just because they are triaging and figure I can wait. But when I took my (Colombian born) children and the same thing happened, I assumed we were passed over and put at the end of the line due to racism.


I'm sorry if I seem judgemental in a non PC way, but I am a physician, and certain lifestyles are injurious to health, and other (like sex tourism/casinos/gambling/drugs) are deadly to the entire family.

But in the US, it's okay to condemn obesity, sugar, and transfats, but it's not PC to notice the problems caused by having dozens of sexual partners a year or noticing the half life of Marijuana means a lot more DUI's and work accidents..

Yes, these things go on all the time, but it is simply not healthy for the government to push these things as okay, or even (as in the USA) punish those who try to live by the old rules.

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