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Member since: Wed Feb 10, 2010, 01:12 PM
Number of posts: 4,632

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Text of President Obama’s Speech in Hiroshima, Japan

Source: New York Times

MAY 27, 2016

The following is a transcript of President Obama’s speech in Hiroshima, Japan, as recorded by The New York Times.

Seventy-one years ago, on a bright cloudless morning, death fell from the sky and the world was changed. A flash of light and a wall of fire destroyed a city and demonstrated that mankind possessed the means to destroy itself.

Why do we come to this place, to Hiroshima? We come to ponder a terrible force unleashed in a not-so-distant past. We come to mourn the dead, including over 100,000 Japanese men, women and children, thousands of Koreans, a dozen Americans held prisoner.

Their souls speak to us. They ask us to look inward, to take stock of who we are and what we might become.

It is not the fact of war that sets Hiroshima apart. Artifacts tell us that violent conflict appeared with the very first man. Our early ancestors having learned to make blades from flint and spears from wood used these tools not just for hunting but against their own kind. On every continent, the history of civilization is filled with war, whether driven by scarcity of grain or hunger for gold, compelled by nationalist fervor or religious zeal. Empires have risen and fallen. Peoples have been subjugated and liberated. And at each juncture, innocents have suffered, a countless toll, their names forgotten by time.

Read more: http://www.nytimes.com/2016/05/28/world/asia/text-of-president-obamas-speech-in-hiroshima-japan.html
Posted by proverbialwisdom | Fri May 27, 2016, 09:03 PM (5 replies)

Senator Calls For Full Funding Of IDEA

Source: by Shaun Heasley | Disability Scoop

May 23, 2016

U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., is asking leaders of the Senate Appropriations Committee to increase
funding for special education services. (Senate Democrats/Flickr)

An influential U.S. senator is urging his colleagues to work toward plugging a special education funding shortfall of more than $17 billion.

U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., is calling for the federal government to fully fund the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.

“For far too long, federal funding for special educational services has fallen short by tens of billions of dollars,” Schumer said. “With millions of children living with autism and other developmental disabilities, it’s time to provide full federal funding towards the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, which will help our nation’s children thrive and help countless families breathe easy knowing their kids have the services needed to succeed.”

When Congress originally passed the IDEA in 1975 mandating special education services in the nation’s public schools, lawmakers committed to footing 40 percent of the bill, leaving states and local officials to pick up the rest.

But that never happened. In fiscal year 2016, the federal government plans to cover just 16 percent of the cost of special education for kids ages 3 to 21, Schumer said, a figure that’s some $17.85 billion shy of the original commitment.

Read more: https://www.disabilityscoop.com/2016/05/23/senator-calls-full-funding-idea/22343/
Posted by proverbialwisdom | Tue May 24, 2016, 04:55 PM (1 replies)




2:40 PM - 21 May 2016

Safer Chemicals

BREAKING: A rundown on the improvements and remaining issues still needed in #TSCA reform http://ow.ly/TKdP300rujt

Posted by proverbialwisdom | Sun May 22, 2016, 08:47 PM (0 replies)

NJ.COM: Agreement reached on Lautenberg chemical safety bill


Agreement reached on Lautenberg chemical safety bill

Jonathan D. Salant | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com
on May 20, 2016 at 5:11 PM, updated May 20, 2016 at 5:12 PM

WASHINGTON — Legislation to update a 40-year-old law requiring that chemicals be tested for safety could pass Congress as early as next week as House and Senate lawmakers agreed on a compromise bill.

The Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act would require the Environmental Protection Agency to test chemicals using "sound and credible science" and impose regulations if they are shown to pose a health risk.

The EPA would set priorities for evaluating chemicals and would not first have to show they pose a potential risk. Manufacturers could ask the EPA to evaluate a particular chemical if they are willing to cover those costs.

The agreed-upon measure combined elements of the Senate legislation approved in December and the House measure that passed that chamber last June.


"As with any compromise, this legislation balances the priorities and interests of multiple stakeholders, while producing an agreement that pragmatic industry, environmental, public health and labor groups can ultimately support," said former Rep. Cal Dooley (D-Calif.), president and chief executive of the Washington-based American Chemistry Council.

Still, Jeff Tittel, president of the New Jersey Sierra Club, said his organization would oppose the Lautenberg bill because it allows the federal government to prevent states from imposing tougher regulations of chemicals. State restrictions enacted on or after April 22 could be pre-empted by federal regulations, though they could apply for waivers.

"That to us is a deal killer," Tittel said. "I don't think the senator would support weakening protections in New Jersey."

Posted by proverbialwisdom | Fri May 20, 2016, 10:16 PM (1 replies)

American Acad of Pediatrics March 2016 issue contains this article, simplistic memes notwithstanding


March 2016, VOLUME 137 / ISSUE 3

Childhood Vaccine Exemption Policy: The Case for a Less Restrictive Alternative

Douglas J. Opel, Matthew P. Kronman, Douglas S. Diekema, Edgar K. Marcuse, Jeffrey S. Duchin, Eric Kodish

Abbreviations: MV — measles vaccine, NME — nonmedical exemption, VPD — vaccine-preventable disease

Efforts to restrict parents’ ability to exempt children from receiving vaccinations required for school entry have recently reached a pinnacle. The American Medical Association voiced support for eliminating nonmedical exemptions (NMEs) from school vaccine requirements,1 and California enacted legislation doing so.2 Although laudable in their objective, policies eliminating NMEs from all vaccines are scientifically and ethically problematic. In the present article, we argue for an exemption policy that eliminates NMEs just for the measles vaccine (MV) and is pursued only after other less restrictive approaches have been implemented and deemed unsuccessful.

DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1542/peds.2015-4230
PubMed http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26993127

Published By American Academy of Pediatrics
Print ISSN 0031-4005
Online ISSN 1098-4275

Copyright © 2016 by the American Academy of Pediatrics

Author Information: Douglas J. Opel, MD, MPHa,b, Matthew P. Kronman, MD, MSCEb, Douglas S. Diekema, MD, MPHa,b,c, Edgar K. Marcuse, MD, MPHb, Jeffrey S. Duchin, MDd,e,f, and Eric Kodish, MDg

aTreuman Katz Center for Pediatric Bioethics, Seattle Children’s Research Institute, and
bDepartments of Pediatrics and
dMedicine, University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle, Washington;
cDepartments of Health Services and
eEpidemiology, University of Washington School of Public Health, Seattle, Washington;
fCommunicable Disease Epidemiology and Immunization Section, Public Health–Seattle and King County, Seattle, Washington; and
gDepartment of Bioethics, Center for Ethics, Humanities and Spiritual Care, Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, Ohio

Dr Opel conceptualized and designed the study and drafted the initial manuscript; and Drs Kronman, Diekema, Marcuse, Duchin, and Kodish reviewed and revised the manuscript. All authors approved the final manuscript as submitted and agree to be accountable for all aspects of the work.

Posted by proverbialwisdom | Thu May 19, 2016, 08:15 AM (0 replies)

Does the article's framing fit the magnitude and seriousness of the observations?

Almost a third of children starting (primary) school are not ready for the classroom with many

lacking social skills,
having speech problems,
or not toilet trained,

the survey of senior primary school staff has found.


A third of children not primary school ready

While last month saw thousands of families across England find out where their children will be spending their first day at primary school, new data from The Key suggests that at least 194,000 (1) pupils could be starting ill-prepared for the classroom come September.

Almost a third (2) of children who start school are not considered to be ready for the classroom according to primary school leaders in a new report published today by The Key – the organisation providing leadership and management support to schools.

The State of Education report, based on the views of more than 1,100 school leaders, reveals that almost all (99.5%) primary school leaders say a proportion of their pupils are joining school below the level of school-readiness they expect and nearly a third (31%) believe that over 50% of their new starters are arriving underprepared. This means fewer than one in 100 (0.5%) school leaders consider all of their pupils to be at the expected level when they start.

Lack of social skills (79%), delayed speech (78%) and deficient self-help skills/resilience (69%) are believed to be the most common reasons for children not being at the expected level when they enter school. More than half of primary school leaders also say that underprepared pupils are arriving with reading (58%), writing (56%) and numerical levels (55%) below the standard they’d anticipate.

While some heads said that pupils were arriving without toilet training, others commented on the impact of technology on children being ready for the classroom.

One primary school leader said: “We are having more and more children entering our early years stage with delayed speech and a lack of school readiness. I feel much of this is down to challenging family circumstances alongside the rise of mobile phones and other mobile technology, which means parents are more often to be seen on the phone than talking to their children.”

A headteacher at another primary said: “There is limited parent/child interaction. Four year-olds know how to swipe a phone but haven't a clue about conversations”.

The findings come shortly after baseline tests, intended to measure the abilities and progress of all reception-class pupils in English state schools, were dropped because they were found to be unreliable (3).

Speaking about the findings Fergal Roche, CEO of The Key, said: “It’s predicted that 336,000 more children will enter primary school by 2024 - almost half of whom will be entering in the next couple of years (4). School leaders are already struggling to retain staff and manage their teachers’ workload (5), so add thousands more pupils arriving ill-prepared for the classroom to the equation, and the burden placed on our schools will be huge.

“To lessen this load more should to be done to ensure children are arriving at school with the skills they need to learn. An agreed definition of what ‘school-readiness’ means, could be the first step to helping schools, parents and early years practitioners identify what national or localised support is required to meet this growing issue.”

At secondary school level, the majority of school leaders cited low reading levels (chosen by 76%) as one of the most common reasons for children arriving underprepared, along with lower than expected standards of writing (63%) and numeracy (56%). However, fewer pupils joining secondary schools are thought to be below the expected standard than those joining primary schools. One in 10 (10%) secondary school leaders believe that more than half of their new pupils are ill-prepared, while three in 10 (30%) think that 1-10% of pupils are below expected standards.

School leaders at both primary and secondary levels across the country paint a similar picture, though the problem appears more prevalent in the north. Over a third of leaders in schools in the north west, Yorkshire and the Humber, and the north east (39%, 37% and 34%, respectively) say more than half of their new pupils are not ready for school. London was close behind, with 32% of school leaders believing this, followed by the south west (26%) and south east (21%).

The annual State of Education report attempts to unpick some of the big questions about challenges, concerns and priorities in the education sector today. How is population growth affecting demand for school places? Is there really a shortage of teachers?

Find out more by downloading The Key’s State of Education report and accompanying infographics: www.thekeysupport.com/state-of-education-2016

(1) At least 194,003 children are not considered to be ready for primary school. Primary school leaders were asked to select the proportion of their pupils starting school below the level of school-readiness they would expect. The lower limit of each range of pupils and the % of school leaders/schools were applied to the latest reception class pupil figures to arrive at the total estimated figure. (2015 -https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/schools-pupils-and-their-characteristics-january-2015) See table at bottom of press release for more information.

(2) Latest census data on size of reception classes: 636,761 pupils (https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/schools-pupils-and-their-characteristics-january-2015)

(3) On 7th April, The DfE announced that reception baseline assessment will not be used as a starting point to measure pupil progress following a comparability study: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/reception-baseline-comparability-study-published

(4) The DfE statistical release, National Pupil Projections - Future Trends in Pupil Numbers: https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/478185/SFR24_2015_Projections_Text.pdf

(5) 84% of school leaders found teacher workload difficult to manage over the past year and it is expected to be the third biggest challenge in the year ahead, behind budget pressures/lack of funding and teacher recruitment and retention. The Key's State of Education report 2016: www.thekeysupport.com/state-of-education-2016 http://www.joomag.com/magazine/state-of-education-survey-report-2016/0604114001462451154

About the survey
The Key surveyed a sample of its members in January 2016. The questionnaire for this study was designed by The Key and conducted online using Survey Monkey. 1,188 school leaders completed the full survey. The data has been weighted to match the population profile of schools in The Key’s database in terms of region, school phase and school type The data described in this summary can therefore be taken to represent the views of school leaders on The Key’s database, which in turn provides an indication of the opinions of school leaders in mainstream schools across England.

No, IMO, the article is spin framed around quotes by "one primary school leader" and "a headteacher at another primary." In fact, as Olmsted caustically remarks, "school-readiness deficit syndrome in a third of children, not otherwise seen before (SRDSIATOC-NOSB)" demands urgent concern, and, as highlighted by John Stone, AOA UK editor, education lobbyists at The Key should seek input by both parents and experts in neurodevelopmental disorders.

GOOGLE: Neurodevelopmental disabilities (NDD)
Neurodevelopmental Disabilities (NDD) is a new pediatric medical subspecialty...

Posted by proverbialwisdom | Sat May 14, 2016, 05:39 PM (0 replies)

Essential viewing: United Nations Webcast (webtv.un.org)

Link via...
Posted by proverbialwisdom | Fri Apr 29, 2016, 06:29 PM (0 replies)

"Instead of fighting against disability & disease with cures, a never–ending struggle," prevention.


How Toxins Are Making Our Children Chronically Ill

The U.S. now makes or imports 27 trillion pounds of chemicals per year
(not even counting pesticides, drugs, food additives or polymers).
From autism to cancer

With indisputable data, the Shabecoffs reveal that the children of baby boomers—the first to be raised in a truly "toxified" world—have higher rates of birth defects, asthma, cancer, autism and a frightening range of other neurological illnesses from ADHD to mental retardation, and other serious chronic illnesses, than previous generations.

They reveal that one out of two pregnancies fails to come to term or results in a less than healthy child, that premature births and infertility are on the rise as this generation matures, while the ratio of male babies dwindles.

Causing harm

Poisoned for Profit, based on more than five years of investigative research and reporting, reveals the cumulative scientific evidence connecting the massive increase in environmental poisons to the epidemic of disability, disease, and dysfunction among our nation´s children. More.

The manufacturers and their defense team

The authors conclude that the poisoning of the environment is as grave a threat to the future as any problem confronting our nation.

Yet even as individual parents and pediatricians struggle to fight illness, one child at a time, the public remains in the dark about the enormity of this crisis. Why? because corporations control the system, molding laws to their liking. The book shines a light on the motives and means of corporate-paid lawyers, “product defense” companies, fake grassroots groups, research centers and scientists, including one paid $600 an hour to watch a movie. More.

The Victims

Poisoned for Profit, cast as a crime story, relates what happens to the victims—the families and communities polluted by different toxic substances—by chemicals, heavy metals, industrial manufacturing, and nuclear waste. Here are the stories of Dickson, Tennessee, where an extraordinary number of babies were born with cleft lips and palates after landfill chemicals seeped into the water; and Port Neches, Texas, where so many graduates of a high school near a petrochemical plant contracted cancer that it was nicknamed “Leukemia High”; and a small brother and sister in Indiana who, exposed to pesticides, slipped into severe retardation. More.


Instead of fighting against disability and disease with cures, a never–ending struggle, the authors affirm that we now have the knowledge to prevent harm and they describe the solutions...


"Brilliant... Every parent in America owes a debt of gratitude to Philip and Alice Shabecoff. (Poisoned for Profit) should be high on the ...President's reading list."
---Barry Commoner

"Powerful reporting backing powerful conclusions---it will make those of us with kids shudder, but hopefully it will also make us get out of our chairs and engage in the politics necessary to protect the future."
---Bill McKibben, author of Deep Economy and The End of Nature

"Painstakingly researched and incontrovertible ... This should become an elemental text for all of us who wish to protect ourselves, and should be required reading for those who claim to be public servants."
---Peter Matthiessen, author of the Snow Leopard

"Into an arena filled with confusing claims and counterclaims, Philip and Alice Shabecoff have now brought their remarkable journalistic skills, providing us with clear-headed, accurate assessment of the toxic threat to America's children ... A highly readable indictment so powerful it may finally force action. We have needed this book..."
---James Gustave Speth, author of the Bridge at the End of the World

In a groundbreaking investigation, two veteran journalists definitively show how, why, and where industrial toxins are causing an explosion of birth defects, cancer, asthma, and other serious illnesses in American children. Philip and Alice Shabecoff follow the trail from corporate coffers through highly paid Washington lobbyists, into the laboratories of scientists-for-hire, to the offices of politicians responsible for regulation, and right back to our homes and schools---which are built, stocked, and "cleaned" with deadly toxics. Poisoned for Profit not only brings readers into the lives of children, families, and communities beset by environmental poisons, it also poses solutions to eradicate this crime, and offers parents a practical guide to protecting their children from harm.
Posted by proverbialwisdom | Fri Apr 29, 2016, 04:03 PM (0 replies)

About 5% of children younger than 5 yrs old have epilepsy - about one in every 20 children under 5.

Shocking independent statistic, as posted at the Seattle Children's Hospital website:


Epilepsy in Children

Epilepsy happens more in children than it does in adults. It affects about 1% of the general population - one out of every 100 people. About 5% of children younger than 5 years old have epilepsy. That is about one in every 20 children under 5.

This number does not include children who have seizures caused by a high fever. These kinds of seizures are different from epilepsy. They are called febrile seizures. They either happen only once or only when your child has a fever.


Excerpts from Epilepsy Foundation Community Forum: http://www.examiner.com/article/parents-question-vaccines-as-epilepsy-rates-rise-to-1-20-children-under-five


ASD is estimated to affect more than 2 million individuals in the U.S.
Studies also show that autism is four to five times more common among boys than girls.
An estimated 1 out of 42 boys and 1 in 189 girls are diagnosed with autism in the United States.
Posted by proverbialwisdom | Thu Apr 28, 2016, 09:09 PM (0 replies)

Like learning that HuffPo is owned by AOL which is owned by Verizon: Bloomberg West, 4/17.


Arianna Huffington: Studio 1.0 (Full Show 04/17)
3:54 PM PDT
April 17, 2016

This week on Studio 1.0: Emily Chang sits down with Arianna Huffington, editor-in-chief of the Huffington Post, one time candidate for California Governor, and author of 15 books, including her latest, "The Sleep Revolution." (Source: Bloomberg)

...and Verizon is bidding for Yahoo.
Posted by proverbialwisdom | Wed Apr 27, 2016, 09:42 PM (2 replies)
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