Archive for May, 2012

The Trayvon Martin case

Tuesday, May 29th, 2012

There have been astonishing new developments in this case in the past week or two. Naturally, the new information is the work of private bloggers and it has not yet reached the news media. When it does, and it may not until the George Zimmerman case comes up for judicial determination, there may be an explosion.

First, the research done by bloggers began with Trayvon’s Facebook page, which until last week was on view. On it he had open discussions with friends about drugs, both marijuana and a concoction of Dextromethorphan, Arizona Iced Tea watermelon juice flavor and Skittles, the candy. These components, mixed together, make a cocktail which gives a potent high from sipping it over an hour or two. The mixture is referred to on the street as “purple drank,” and the process as “sippin.

Trayvon’s Facebook page contained many of the references to this cocktail. There is information that chronic use, which is evidenced by the entries on Facebook for nearly a year, can lead to brain damage and behavioral abnormalities. Some of that behavioral effect can be seen in the 7-11 video recently released. Some of the networks showed part of the video, edited and speeded up to make Trayvon’s behavior look more normal. The comments at most of the sites showing the video mention that his encounter with George Zimmerman was “moments later.” It was actually nearly an hour later and there is considerable discussion about what took place. Some versions of the video show three other men meeting Trayvon and may show him conducting a transaction with them.

He has an interaction with the 7-11 clerk. The audio is edited from this segment but the clerk points to a shelf behind the counter and shakes his head. That shelf is where Dextromethorphan is kept. The drug, also referred to as DXM, is the effective cough suppressant in cough syrup and those brands containing it are labeled “DM.” When I was a child, codiene, a more effective cough suppressant, was in popular use but abuse of it for recreational purposes made it prescription only. DXM is headed the same way for the same reason. In fact, chronic use of DXM is dangerous and may cause behavioral changes including rage reactions to minor stimuli. The Arizona Iced Tea watermelon juice flavor and Skittles were found in his pockets, as well as a lighter but no cigarettes.

The best site for explanation of this new information is here (a video), an here, and it is especially important to read the comments, which will take an hour, but there is a lot of information there. The reference to “Treepers” refers to the parent site, Conservative Tree House, a group site with two major bloggers, Sundance and Dedicated Dad, who tell most of the story.

Prepare to spend a couple of hours going through all this but it contains the answer to what happened, I believe. The purple drank concoction, is also referred to as “lean” because it makes the user lean and move slowly, which describes Trayvon’s behavior in real time in the 7-11. This has not yet hit the news, and may not until the court date, but it is powerful. There are also some suggestions from the Facebook entries that Trayvon was selling marijuana to classmates but that is secondary to the story of the shooting.

It is also significant that the father and the girlfriend went out to dinner leaving Trayvon and Chad, the son of the girlfriend, alone. The father turned off his cell phone when he went to bed and did not know anything was amiss with Trayvon until the next day. There are many questions about all this but most are covered at the links I provided.

A Domestic Terrorist

Saturday, May 26th, 2012

There is a story that I have been aware of for a long time, several years. it is here. The events were long ago but there have been recent developments that I was unaware of. The perpetrator of this crime, or crime wave to be accurate, has turned into a leftist activist and seems determined to hide his past.

The story seems to begin with a murder.

An under age girl was involved(PDF).

the newspaper article

The murder of the grandmother was a punishment, apparently, for her disapproval of this perverted relationship. Unfortunately, her husband, who was a witness, died soon after his wife’s murder so the killer was never tried for this crime.


The Mommy track

Thursday, May 17th, 2012

This photoshopped parody of a Newsweek cover is simply hilarious. Everyone knows that Obama’s sudden “conversion” to support of single sex marriage is pure fund raising pander. It might cost him some votes but black churches are unlikely to turn on him and the others who would be offended won’t be voting for him anyway.

The one beneficial effect is to instantly end the questions raised about evangelical support of the Morman candidate. Obama has consolidated Romney’s base for him in one statement.

Why Obamacare is much worse than many think and why it must be stopped.

Monday, May 14th, 2012

The Supreme Court will rule on he constitutionality of Obamacare this year. The arguments and the issue which got the most publicity was the individual mandate. I don’t actually care much about this although it may well violate the Constitution. There are far worse things in the legislation and they should be emphatically rejected by the Supreme Court. The worst of the issues is discussed in detail here. This is a really frightening piece of legislation and I cannot imagine that the Court will let it stand. Of course, given the absence of argument, the Court will have to find this itself.

Perhaps nothing in the Obamacare legislation embodies the top-down, command-and-control nature of Progressive healthcare more than the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB), a 15-member panel of “experts” to be appointed by the President. There are three particular features of the IPAB that illustrate this fact: The IPAB will control all healthcare spending, public and private. The IPAB has been awarded near-dictatorial power. And the IPAB is designed to be a nearly immutable entity.

How is this accomplished ?

Specifically, Section 10320 (in the Managers’ Amendments portion of the legislation) grants the IPAB, beginning in 2015, the authority to limit all healthcare expenditures, that is, all healthcare expenditures, and not just expenditures by Medicare or government-run programs.

To emphasize this expanded authority, Section 10320 changes the name of the “Independent Medicare Advisory Board” to the “Independent Payment Advisory Board.” It directs the IPAB, at least every two years, to “submit to Congress and the President recommendations to slow the growth in national health expenditures” for private healthcare programs. Furthermore, it designates that these “recommendations” may be implemented by the Secretary of HHS or other Federal agencies “administratively” (that is, without any action by Congress).

Thus the federal government can control, under penalty of criminal prosecution of doctors, private health care spending ! This goes well beyond Medicare and Medicaid. It will prevent, unless stopped, people from spending their own money on health care.

That is not the worst of it. The IPAB cannot be changed or repealed by Congress. This is unprecedented in US law. Even the ill-advised Prohibition Amendment, promoted as another moral obligation by progressives after World War I, could be repealed by another constitutional amendment.

A quick reading of Section 3403 might leave one with the impression that the IPAB is a sort of Mr. Rogers of healthcare – a mild-mannered, friendly, always-helpful, but ultimately undemanding agent for good. This is the impression imparted by the first few paragraphs of the Section, which paint the new entity as an “advisory” board, whose main task is to develop “proposals” and “advisory reports,” which “proposals” and “advisory reports” would solely consist of various “recommendations,” that ought to be “considered” for the purpose of cost reduction.

Nothing could be further from the truth. This language is simply another example of supplying a new law, which is far more radical than the authors would like people to know, with a soothingly misleading introductory paragraph. The IPAB is actually designed to be as all-powerful as it’s possible to be.


Derbyshire redux.

Wednesday, May 2nd, 2012

I recently expressed my opinion about the shameful treatment of John Derbyshire by National Review, his former employer, which dropped him as a writer because of a piece he wrote in another online magazine. One of his statements which seemed to be the most objectionable to NRO was “(9) A small cohort of blacks—in my experience, around five percent—is ferociously hostile to whites and will go to great lengths to inconvenience or harm us. A much larger cohort of blacks—around half—will go along passively if the five percent take leadership in some event. They will do this out of racial solidarity, the natural willingness of most human beings to be led, and a vague feeling that whites have it coming.

(10) Thus, while always attentive to the particular qualities of individuals, on the many occasions where you have nothing to guide you but knowledge of those mean differences, use statistical common sense:

(10a) Avoid concentrations of blacks not all known to you personally.

(10b) Stay out of heavily black neighborhoods.

Two weeks ago, an incident in Virginia validated a couple of Derbyshire’s bits of advice to his kids (the premise of the piece).

There’s outrage in Norfolk, Va., today after a white couple was attacked by dozens of black teenagers, and the local newspaper did not report on the incident for two weeks, despite the victims being reporters for the paper.

Even today, the Virginian-Pilot did not cover the crime as news, but rather as an opinion piece by columnist Michelle Washington.

“Wave after wave of young men surged forward to take turns punching and kicking their victim,” Washington wrote, describing the onslaught that began when Dave Forster and Marjon Rostami stopped at a traffic light while driving home from a show on a Saturday night. A crowd of at least 100 black young people was on the sidewalk at the time.”

Tonight, Bill O’Reilly played tape made at the scene. There were several young black men who had not participated in the attack. What they said was “If you go into a neighborhood you don’t know (and are white), you had better be careful.”

Apparently the young man driving the car got out of the car after a rock was thrown at it. He said, “That was a big mistake.” He and the young woman in the car were attacked by about 20 to 40 men from the crowd on the sidewalk. One of the young black men interviewed on O’Reilly’s program mentioned the Trayvon Martin case.

How does this differ from what Derbyshire warned about ?

Another issue is the delay in reporting the attack by the local paper.

It happened four blocks from where they work, here at the Virginian-Pilot.”

The Virginia Pilot did not mention the attack on its own employees for two weeks. Why ?

Could this be related ?

That is the Pilot’s publisher and he was just confirmed as Obama’s new Deputy HUD Secretary.

The U.S. Senate on Thursday approved the appointment of Maurice Jones, publisher of The Virginian-Pilot, to be deputy secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

No, it couldn’t be related.

Hairy surgery story

Wednesday, May 2nd, 2012

I’ve sort of lost my enthusiasm for Gerald and Sara after having the copyright farmer creep around here. A commenter said he would like to hear a hairy surgery story so here goes.

About 20 years ago, I got a call from the emergency room at San Clemente Hospital. They had just admitted a man who had had an aortic aneurysm repaired at Kaiser about six weeks before. He was now passing blood per rectum and was shocky and pale. This is a diagnosis you can make on the telephone. It is also an extreme emergency. A leaking native aneurysm is bad enough. I’ve seen patients survive for hours in that case, including a couple who refused surgery until it was almost too late. When the patient has had aortic aneurysm, or aortic bypass surgery, this story means that the suture line at the junction between the graft and the neck of the aorta above the graft has eroded into the small intestine, the duodenum usually, adjacent to the graft junction. The aortic flow is being blocked from the gut only by a clot. When that clot goes, the patient will exsanguinate into the gut, a matter of a couple of minutes.

I called the OR at the hospital and asked everybody to come in as fast as they could. It was about 9 o’clock at night as I recall and, fortunately, the elective surgery for the day had all been completed. That was a small hospital with two big operating rooms, whereas the trauma center that my partner and I ran had 14. There was no time to think about transferring him.

When I arrived, everybody, including the anesthesiologist on call, was there. There had been some problems with anesthesia in the past but that night we had a good sturdy gas passer. Faint heart has no place in a case like this.

An internist friend happened to be there and he liked to assist in surgery, unlike most internists. He was fun to have around, even in a big hairy case, so I asked him if he could stay. It was going to be an all-nighter, but he was enthusiastic. Fortunately, I had used self-retaining retractors for years and these are almost an assistant surgeon in themselves. The types I used fastened to the table and had multiple blades, including some that were malleable, so they could be positioned and left in place. They never got tired.

The anesthetist put the patient lightly to sleep and we got the blood bank to get some type-specific blood on hand, there was no time for cross match but it would be done as we went along. I made the incision about 30 minutes after he hit the ER door.

What we found was what I expected; a large hematoma around the aortic suture line where the duodenum crosses the aorta. In the days when I was still in training, we saw quite a few of these cases because the anastomosis had been done with silk sutures. Silk lasts for years but not forever and the pulsatile aorta never heals completely to the graft. To make things worse, many of the early grafts were made of Teflon, which just does not heal to tissue at all. The combination of silk sutures and Teflon grafts gave those of us of that generation plenty of experience with “false aneurysms” at the suture line of prior aneurysm repairs and bypasses. In that case, the suture line had come apart but the surrounding tissues were strong enough to prevent complete rupture. I can remember a couple of cases where, when I opened the false aneurysm (having clamped the aorta above), the graft was lying free in the center, not attached to anything.

In this case, the cause of the problem was either a suture line that had not been adequately separated from the duodenum by pulling tissue between them as a barrier, or an infection. No matter the cause, it was infected now as duodenal contents were bathing the graft. Once, in a previous case, a gastroenterologist had endoscoped a patient for mild GI bleeding. Far down in the duodenum, he saw what looked like a piece of celery. He asked if we wanted it biopsied. My partner laughed and said, “No, that’s the graft.” It was stained green and had eroded the duodenum but the suture line was intact. Her aortic surgery had been years before.