Thursday, April 30, 2015

Foundation Gate: The Clinton Foundation: Link Fest From The Nachumlist


Below is just one of those reports nachumlist has collated for you. Have fun. 

Via Free Beacon:
Hillary Clinton’s proposal to get money out of politics could allow the federal government to restrict or ban the publication of a book that has embroiled her presidential campaign in controversy, experts say.
Clinton called for a constitutional amendment to “get unaccountable money out of” politics in an op-ed for the Des Moines Register published Monday. Her campaign did not respond to requests for additional details, but legal experts say similar efforts over the past two years would have profound effects on Americans’ free speech rights.
Constitutional amendments introduced by Democratic senators in 2013 and 2014 could give the federal government the authority to prevent expenditures by a publisher, for example, to produce or publicize books critical of political candidates.
Thank You nachumlist, WFB, and Nick.

Psychiatric Genetic Political Hocus Pocus: Now People's Genes Determine Whether They're Liberal Or Conservative

Featured Blogs April 26, 2015
There seems to be no end to illogical and even comical “findings” from MZ-DZ twin method comparisons, where the original twin researchers argue that the greater behavioral resemblance of reared-together MZ (monozygotic, identical) versus same-sex DZ (dizygotic, fraternal) twin pairs demonstrates the “heritability” of the behavioral characteristic in question. Among these we find a twin study whose authors concluded in favor of a genetic basis for being a “born again Christian” (65% heritability), another that found important genetic influences on tea and coffee drinking preferences, and still another that found that theheritability of “loneliness in adults” is 48%.
In a similar manner, in an April 13th, 2015 article published in The IndependentBritish twin researcher Tim Spector argued that his TwinsUK study findings show that “research with twins suggests picking who to vote for in an election might have more to do with your genes than the policies of the parties.”1 Twin research in political science goes back to 2005 and earlier,2 and has not gone unchallenged in the field.3 Spector and colleagues asked 612 reared-together pairs of twins born in the United Kingdom “whether they intended to vote, what their political party of choice was and…their personal rating of the main party leaders.” Predictably, like most studied behaviors and behavioral disorders, MZ pairs correlated higher than DZ pairs for several characteristics, a result that twin researchers attribute to genetics on the basis of their assumption that MZ and DZ pairs grow up experiencing similar environments. This is known as the MZ-DZ “equal environment assumption” (EEA). As I show in my recent book The Trouble with Twin Studies, and elsewhere, the evidence clearly shows that MZ twin pairs grow up experiencing much more similar environments, and experience psychological closeness and attachment to a far greater degree, than experienced by DZ twin pairs. Although most twin researchers now recognize that MZ childhood environments are more similar, they uphold the validity of the EEA on the basis of circular arguments and other types of illogical reasoning.4

In a statement that even most of his twin researcher colleagues would disagree with, Spector upheld the EEA by claiming, without qualification, that “both identical [MZ] and non-identical [DZ] twins normally share the same environment while growing up.” This false claim allowed him to conclude that the greater behavioral resemblance of MZ pairs is caused by genetic factors. According to Spector:
“We found that voting Conservative [Tory] (or not) is strongly influenced by genetics. When it came to voting Tory, we found that 57% of the variability (differences or similarity) between people’s voting preferences were due to genetic effects. This percentage is called heritability. That means the identical twins were more likely to vote the same way than the non-identical twins–suggesting [that] an underlying genetic influence was stronger than environmental or random factors. For UKIP [UK Independence Party] voting preferences, there was also a moderately strong heritability of 51%. This was closely followed by Labour and the Green Party both with 48%. The exception seemed to be voting for the Liberal Democrats, which was affected entirely by environment, with no genetic influence.”

Based on accepting both the validity of the EEA and the controversial “heritability” concept, Spector concluded that the heritability of voting Conservative (Tory), UKIP, Labour, or Green was “moderately strong,” whereas there was no genetic influence on voting for the Liberal Democrats. In addition, Spector concluded that “geography also played a possible role–as voting for the SNP [Scottish National Party] in Scotland was also completely environmental.” Apparently, there are genes predisposing people to vote for some (British) political parties, but not for others!
Suppose that Spector had found that MZ pairs correlate at 75% for supporting the Tories, and that same-sex DZ pairs correlate at 25%. Because simple heritability estimates are based ondoubling the MZ-DZ correlation difference, in this case the heritability of voting Tory would be 100%, which would lead to the absurd conclusion that “the policies of the parties” had virtually no influence on whether or not someone voted Tory.

Turning to the candidates running for office, Spector wrote,
“The question of whether a leader would make a good prime minister produced mixed responses. David Cameron [Tory] had the stronger genetic influence on opinions, with 50% heritability, followed by Nick Clegg [Liberal Democrat] at 37%. Views on all the other party leaders were purely environmental.”

UK residents carry genes predisposing them to vote for Cameron or Clegg, according to the logic of Spector and the twin method, but carry none for the other candidates.

In addition to defending the twin method’s untenable equal environment assumption, twin researchers of political behavior, and of behavior in general, focus narrowly on the twins they study, and usually overlook obvious real-world natural experiments contradicting their claims.5 For example, the people living in “socialist” North Korea and “capitalist” South Korea are members of the same ethnic population, but are divided for political and military reasons. Koreans on either side of the demilitarized zone that separates the two countries hold differing political views and support different political leaders, for reasons having nothing to do with genetics. For the same reason, we would expect attitudes toward “government provided health care” to show marked differences between people of British ancestry living on either side of the U.S.-Canada border. Genetic predispositions also do not explain why Germany was heavily anti-Nazi in the late 1920s, and heavily pro-Nazi just a few years later. The list of examples is endless.

Spector concluded that “the findings of this study suggest that our choices at the polling booth may not be as free or rational as we would like to believe.” Very true, but the reduction of free will and rationality is not “in the genes,” but is instead a product of manipulation and propaganda by powerful political and economic (corporate) forces through education, the media, the Internet, religion, speeches, and so on. Voting patterns are also influenced by the common practice of parties and politicians campaigning on the basis of one program, and then carrying out a different program once in office (usually referred to as “broken campaign promises”). The Independent is not a satirical publication, and Spector’s article seems more appropriate for the science/technology section of The Onion.

Twin researchers in political science continue to uphold the validity of the EEA in twin studies of behavior,6 at times relying on convoluted and illogical arguments.7 But the fact remains that MZ pairs’ more similar political views, party affiliation, candidate choices, and voting patterns can be completely explained by the more similar treatment they receive growing up, in addition to their greater tendency to model their behavior on each other, their much greater levels of closeness, loyalty, and attachment, and their greater tendency to experience identity confusion than DZ pairs.8 This conclusion is supported by the ongoing failure to identify genes for political characteristics at the molecular genetic level.9

Twin researchers sometimes claim that the arguments of their critics should be questioned because these critics do not perform twin studies, and therefore are not experts on twins. This occurred in a recently reopened debate on twin research in American criminology, where criminologists Callie Burt’s and Ronald Simons’ conclusion that twin studies are methodologically and conceptually flawed was criticized by twin researchers in the field. These twin researchers attempted to counter Burt and Simons’ critique, in part, by claiming that they “have never worked with twin data, and they show no signs of being familiar with the large and substantial body of work that supports the use of these behavioral genetic methods.”10 Aside from the fact that Burt and Simons possess great knowledge of the criminology twin and adoption study literature,11 expert status is not always necessary to debunk a research technique or scientific theory, if the technique or theory is based on obviously false assumptions.

In fact, people outside of twin research and behavioral genetics are better equipped to see the glaring problems and false assumptions underlying studies of twins reared together and of twins reared apart—problems and false assumptions that twin researchers do not allow themselves to see, or dismiss with illogical arguments. As the pioneering twin research critic Leon J. Kamin once wrote,

“The [twin] investigators, after all, tend to analyze their data in the same ways, reflecting the same theoretical preconceptions. The problem is nothing so simple as the suppression of embarrassing data. Theoretical commitment makes it unlikely that embarrassing patterns within the data will even be noticed.”12

Indeed, theoretical commitment to the twin method and its equal environment assumption often compels twin researchers to overlook obvious embarrassing patterns both within their data and in society, and at times leads them to arrive at absurd conclusions such as the claim that preferences for some political parties and candidates have a “strong” or “moderately strong” genetic basis.13
* * * * *
1. Spector, T., (2015, April 13th), General Election 2015: Do Your Genes Determine How You Vote? The Independent.   
2. Alford et al., 2005, Are Political Orientations Genetically Transmitted?, American Political Science Review, 99, 153-167; Joseph, J., (2010), The Genetics of Political Attitudes and Behavior: Claims and Refutations, Ethical Human Psychology and Psychiatry, 12, 200-217.
3. Charney, E., (2008a), Genes and Ideologies, Perspectives on Politics, 6, 292-319; Charney, E., (2008b), Politics, Genetics, and “Greedy Reductionism,” Perspectives on Politics, 6, 337-343; Charney, E., (2012), Behavior Genetics and Postgenomics, Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 35, 331-358; Charney, E., (2013), Nature and Nurture, Perspectives on Politics, 11,558-561; Charney, E., & English, W., (2012), Candidate Genes and Political Behavior,American Political Science Review, 106, 1-34; Shultziner, D., (2013), Genes and Politics: A New Explanation and Evaluation of Twin Study Results and Association Studies in Political Science, Political Analysis, 21, 350-367.
5. Like most twin researchers, Spector believes that “twins provide a unique natural experiment for research.”
7. For example, in 2012 Kevin Smith and a group of leading political science twin researchers concluded that even if the critics are “wholly correct” that the causes of MZ-DZ differences are “exclusively environmental,” this finding would “provide reasons for political science to pay more rather than less attention to the biological basis of attitudes and behaviors.” It is illogical, however, to state that political scientists should “pay more attention” to biological influences on political attitudes and behaviors if explanations for MZ-DZ differences are “exclusively environmental.” See Smith et al., (2012), Biology, Ideology, and Epistemology: How do We Know Political Attitudes are Inherited and Why Should We Care?, American Journal of Political Science, 56, 17-33, p. 17. For a critical analysis of this study, see Joseph, 2015; Joseph, J., (2013), The Use of the Classical Twin Method in the Social and Behavioral Sciences: The Fallacy Continues, Journal of Mind and Behavior, 34, 1-39.
8. See Joseph, 2015, Chapters 7 and 8.
9. Hatemi et al., 2014.
11. Burt, C. H., & Simons, R. L., (2014), Pulling Back the Curtain on Heritability Studies: Biosocial Criminology in the Postgenomic EraCriminology, 52, 223-262. See also Burt, C. H., & Simons, R. L., (2015), Heritability Studies in the Postgenomic Era: The Fatal Flaw is Conceptual, Criminology, 53, 103-112.
12. Kamin, L. J., (1981), Commentary, in S. Scarr (Ed.), Race, Social Class, and Individual Differences in I. Q., (pp. 467-482), Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, p. 480.
13. As the author of an eight-word response to the same Spector article reprinted in the April 15th, 2015 edition of The Guardian put it, “Science has gone flipping mad these days, unbelievable.” See the comment by “Thompson1001.”

The Gene Illusion: I bring a critical perspective to claims in the media and the scientific literature that genetic factors underlie psychiatric disorders. My new book, “The Trouble with Twin Studies: A Reassessment of Twin Research in the Social and Behavioral Sciences,” is available from Routledge.

Thank You Dr. Joseph and MIA.

The next time your political blowhards sound off about 'Mental Health' funding, mail them this post.

So long as Governments keep laying out bowls full of OPM for this stuff there will never be any shortage of 'researchers' coming around to feed on it.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Risperdal Lawsuit Filed Against HHS & Sec Burwell, FDA & Sec Hamburg

Injury Lawyer News;

A Risperdal lawsuit has been filed against the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), as well as key officials in those departments.
The complaint, which was filed by a Pennsylvania law firm, alleges these agencies failed to consider a citizen petition by the law firm that requested a change in labeling for the anti-psychotic drug Risperdal. The plaintiffs claim the FDA denied the request without a proper meeting or hearing, or even without considering all the evidence submitted by the plaintiffs to demonstrate the dangers of Risperdal, particularly to children.

Complaint filed in federal court

The complaint was filed in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania on January 29, 2015. Defendants listed in the complaint include the HHS, FDA, Sylvia Mathews Burwell, Secretary of the HHS, and Margaret A. Hamburg, M.D., Commissioner for the FDA. The plaintiff in the complaint is a law firm that has represented hundreds of children who have suffered serious injury after taking Risperdal and its generic counterparts.
The plaintiff filed a citizen complaint with the FDA after receiving confidential documents establishing the dangers associated with Risperdal consumption by minors. The information came to the plaintiff as a result of their representation with young clients that had been injured by the drug. In the petition, the plaintiff requested the FDA to obtain those documents directly or release the plaintiff from confidentiality orders put in place by Risperdal manufactures Johnson & Johnson and their subsidiary Janssen.
According to the complaint, the FDA denied the plaintiff’s petition and “expressly refused” to consider facts the plaintiff had submitted involving the inadequate labeling of Risperdal. The plaintiffs further state in their complaint that the FDA’s denial “puts at risk numerous pediatric patients who are prescribed Risperdal drugs.” Risperdal and generic versions of the drug have been linked to serious side effectsin young male patients, including abnormal breast growth and other issues with sexual development.


article footnotes/resources

  1. Forbes, J&J Sees Male Breasts and Quickly Settles Risperdal Suit,

  2. Medscape, Antipsychotic may Boost Gynecomastia Risk,

  3. U.S. National Library of Medicine, Risperidone-Induced Symptomatic Hyperprolactinaemia in Adolescents,

  4. The Philadelphia Courts, Complex Litigation Center- Mass Tort Information,

  5. U.S. National Library of Medicine, Psychosocial Impact of Adolescent Gynecomastia: A Prospective Case-Control Study,

Thank You ILN.

Murder, Rape, Neglect In California Mental Health Institutions

Digital Journal;

By Brett Wilkins     Apr 18, 2015 in Health
Sacramento - More than 800  pages of records released by the California Department of Public Health have revealed horrific crimes, including deadly physical abuse and neglect, rape, and brutal beatings, inside five mental health institutions.

According to the documents, which were first obtained by the Center for Investigative Reporting, 13 developmentally disabled residents have died as a direct result of abuse and neglect at five state-run homes for more than 1,100 developmentally disabled men, women and minors: Fairview Developmental Center in Costa Mesa, Lanterman Developmental Center in Pomona (now closed), Porterville Developmental Center in Porterville, Canyon Springs Developmental Center in Cathedral City and Sonoma Developmental Center in Eldridge.

The report documents many incidents in which staff physically and sexually abused residents. In October 2013, a psychiatric technician at Canyon Springs choked a patient. A Porterville staff member kicked a patient who was having difficulty while using a toilet in January 2013. A blind Sonoma patient was struck in the head in November 2005. A Porterville resident died in 2003 after staff members used an "inappropriate restraint" to take him down after he stole a set of keys. Improper restraint was also blamed for the death of a wheelchair-bound female Porterville patient in 2011.

In December 2010, a 6'3", 400-lb. (191 cm, 181 kg.) Porterville orderly ferociously attacked a patient who had disobeyed an order to remain in place. The patient, who has the cognitive level of a 10-year-old, had gone to his room to lay down, infuriating the orderly, who threw the victim to the floor before stomping on his back. As other staff members held the man down, the orderly climbed on him and choked him until he lost consciousness and suffered a heart attack. "Fuck him," the orderly said as staff attempted to revive the patient, who survived but spent 11 days on a ventilator in an intensive care unit.

In other cases, staff neglect resulted in residents raping and sexually abusing other patients. At Porterville, staff "failed to ensure that clients were protected from sexual abuse" and failed to protect women housed with "male clients who had criminal sexual histories." At Canyon Springs, staff also failed to protect residents from sexual abuse. One resident with a history of "overly sexual behavior" was involved in "at least nine incidents of abuse" targeting other residents. Sometimes staff members were the perpetrators of sexual abuse; several cases of assault and improper touching and relationships are documented. A male employee at Sonoma was also arrested in 2012 after masturbating in front of female patients.

Neglect has also proven deadly. At Porterville, an improperly restrained patient was left unattended and was strangled by a seatbelt in March 2011. "Lack of supervision" was blamed for the November 2004 choking death of a Fairview patient. That same year, another Fairview resident deemed a "choke risk" was "fed inappropriate food" and choked to death. Another Fairview patient died after falling out of a bed "because side rails weren't operable or appropriate." In September 2011, Fairview was also blamed for the death of a patient with "a history of pulling out his tracheostomy tube" who "was left unattended by facility staff" when he killed himself by removing the tube from his throat.

"Failure of the facility to protect" a Lanterman resident from "repeated client-to-client altercations" was cited in a 2003 beating death. Also at Lanterman, a patient "with history of bowel obstruction" died of medical neglect after suffering seizures, sepsis and bowel obstruction. Failure to notify medical staff and immediately initiate CPR is blamed for the October 2010 death of a Sonoma patient. A misplaced feeding tube by Sonoma nurses who "didn't follow policy" resulted in the slow, painful death of a patient in 2012. Multiple deaths due to medication or treatment errors are also documented in the report.

There have also been many cases of resident-on-resident violence at the five facilities. Multiple brutal assaults at Fairview in early 2012 left one resident hospitalized with "skull and facial fractures and bleeding in the brain." Another victim was pulled to the ground and kicked in the face. Yet another Fairview resident suffered multiple fractured ribs in a vicious attack.

Later in 2012, Fairview staff "neglected to provide adequate interventions" during an assault that left a resident with a broken nose and eye socket. At Canyon Springs, one resident tortured another by repeatedly burning him with cigarettes. In December 2002, a Sonoma patient stabbed another in the eye with a butter knife.

The abuse was sometimes deadly. In July 2011, a teenage Fairview resident smothered another teen with a pillow and stabbed the victim with a pencil. The report cites the "facility's neglect" as a contributing factor in the brutal slaying.

Verbal and psychological abuse, as well as humiliation, are documented with regularity. Multiple patients who soiled themselves were forced to wear their dirty clothing as punishment. Others were called derogatory names, including "retard." The report also documents health and sanitation violations, including a rat and cockroach infestation in the Porterville kitchen.

Despite overwhelming evidence, police repeatedly failed to prosecute or even investigate crimes involving mental institution residents. California Department of Developmental Services (DDS) spokeswoman Nancy Lungren told Digital Journal her agency "obviously regrets" the abuses that occurred at the state institutions, but that the Department of Public Health documents—which consist exclusively of citations for violations—tell "only one side of the story."

"It's not all bad if you visit the facilities," Lungren said in a phone interview. She insisted the facilities named in the DPH citations "are committed to the health and safety of [their] residents and are continuously improving conditions in areas found to be deficient in the citations." Lungren added "there are plans of correction in place" to address the issues highlighted in the citations. She said corrective actions include "firing people, upgrading staffing and changing how we do things."

Recurring incidents of resident abuse in state institutions have rekindled a long-running debate among mental health professionals, advocates and policymakers about the effectiveness of housing patients in larger institutions. While some important health outcomes have been demonstrably superior in such facilities, many professionals favor housing patients with relatives or in small group homes. According to research published by the National Council on Disability, an independent government policymaking agency, this home- and community-based services (HCBS) approach boosts patient independence, behavior and happiness.

HBCS advocates also say their approach is more likely to encourage patients to participate in their own wellness process.

"The problem with many institutions, and I'm not saying this is true for all of them, but many take a clinician point of view, which means mental illness is diagnosed as a disease that needs to be treated, not as a person that can participate in their own recovery," Maureen DeCoste, communications director of the Mental Health Association of San Francisco, a charitable advocacy, education, research and service organization, told Digital Journal via email. "Often, this type of treatment can be dehumanizing [and] the person becomes secondary." DeCoste said that this may not be applicable to the abuse documented in the DPH citations.

Others argue larger institutions play an important role in patient care and that the movement to deinstitutionalize the developmentally disabled and mentally ill has been a failure.

"Asylums for the severely mentally disabled would provide stability and structure," wrote Christine Montross, a psychiatrist at Butler Hospital in Providence, Rhode Island in a recent New York Times op-ed. "They deserve the relief modern institutionalization would provide."

Thank You Digital Journal.

"They deserve the relief modern institutionalization would provide."

Oh yes, by All Means. 

"The program, Congressman Snapdoodle, is sound."

"It's simply underfunded."

"Just give us a few Billion more and we'll fix it, . . .  by paying it out in bonuses to our Top People who will straighten it out just like they did at the Veterans Administration."