Brazil 2016: The Swimming in Feces Olympics

olympics

Devastating Associated Press investigation into next year’s Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro:

RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — Athletes in next year’s Summer Olympics here will be swimming and boating in waters so contaminated with human feces that they risk becoming violently ill and unable to compete in the games, an Associated Press investigation has found.

An AP analysis of water quality revealed dangerously high levels of viruses and bacteria from human sewage in Olympic and Paralympic venues — results that alarmed international experts and dismayed competitors training in Rio, some of whom have already fallen ill with fevers, vomiting and diarrhea.

It is the first independent comprehensive testing for both viruses and bacteria at the Olympic sites.

Brazilian officials have assured that the water will be safe for the Olympic athletes and the medical director of the International Olympic Committee said all was on track for providing safe competing venues. But neither the government nor the IOC tests for viruses, relying on bacteria testing only.
[…]
Olympic athletes are almost certain to come into contact with disease-causing viruses that in some tests measured up to 1.7 million times the level of what would be considered hazardous on a Southern California beach.
[…]
More than 10,000 athletes from 205 nations are expected to compete in next year’s Olympics. Nearly 1,400 of them will be sailing in the waters near Marina da Gloria in Guanabara Bay, swimming off Copacabana beach, and canoeing and rowing on the brackish waters of the Rodrigo de Freitas Lake.

Read the rest.

John Griffith, a marine biologist at the Southern California Coastal Water Research Project, examined the protocols, methodology and results of the four rounds of AP tests in the three outdoor water sports sites. All three sites were found to be unsafe.

Kristina Mena, a U.S. expert in risk assessment for waterborne viruses, examined the AP data and estimated that international athletes at all water venues would have a 99 percent chance of infection if they ingested just three teaspoons of water — though whether a person will fall ill depends on immunity and other factors.

 
The IOC should have pulled the plug on the Rio Olympics after the infrastructural trainwreck that was the 2014 Brazil World Cup, which was by comparison a much easier task to begin with.

Instead, the IOC responded to the AP report by saying Brazil should just stick to bacteria testing and that it would all be ok. In reality, many athletes already training on site reported becoming extremely sick repeatedly.

Even local Brazilians aren’t benefiting from this hosting opportunity:

As part of its Olympic project, Brazil promised to build eight treatment facilities to filter out much of the sewage and prevent tons of household trash from flowing into the Guanabara Bay. Only one has been built.
[…]
Rio Mayor Eduardo Paes has said it’s a “shame” the Olympic promises wouldn’t be met, adding the games are proving “a wasted opportunity” as far as the waterways are concerned.

 

Good news about … malaria?

Yes, there is good news about malaria: the rate of annual mortality from the disease has reached an all-time low. The United Nations reported on July 6th that deaths due to malaria were projected to be just 20 per 100,000 people in at-risk-populations in 2015, down from 48 per 100,000 people in 2000 – a decrease of 58%, which indicates that more than 6 million lives have been saved in the past 15 years.

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Malaria is a parasite spread to humans through mosquito bites. Symptoms of malaria are flu-like and include high-fever, vomiting, diarrhea, and can lead to death if not treated properly. The United Nations and others committed to achieving the Millennium Development Goals have been fighting malaria largely through the distribution of hundreds of millions of insecticide treated mosquito nets, education campaigns of the symptoms of malaria, and improved treatment of malaria-infected patients.

The United Nations also announced that they would need at least another decade to achieve the Millennium Development Goals, which were originally slated to be achieved by this year. The fight against malaria is hardly over, yet it is still serves at as a reminder of what can be achieved when resources and appropriate technology are committed to a problem in the developing world.

Information and chart from the United Nations’ Millennium Goals Report 2015.

Non-violence has cost at least 2.7 million Black US lives

Imagine if health and mortality outcomes for Black Americans were identical to White Americans. How many Black Americans’s lives would have been saved? According to a new study, it’s at least 2.7 million from just 1970 to 2004:

Overall, in the US, the mortality rate for blacks, across age and gender, is almost 18 per cent higher than the rate for whites.

But while Gray’s and other high-profile killings make the headlines, the far greater cause of premature death in African Americans is stress-related disease, says Arline Geronimus of the Stanford University Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences in Palo Alto, California. For example, the diabetes rate for black people is almost twice as high as for whites, and blacks have higher rates of cancer and heart disease.
[…]
Using cause of death data from the US Centers for Disease Control, Geronimus and colleagues calculated that if blacks died at the same rate as whites, 5.8 million African Americans would have died between 1970 and 2004. The actual number of black deaths over that timespan was 8.5 million, meaning that African Americans had 2.7 million “excess deaths”, compared with whites.
[…]
Geronimus says she and her colleagues likely underestimated the number of excess African American deaths. For one, they accounted for only 35 years, which means they missed all excess deaths prior to 1970, the year in which good-quality comparable data first became available.
[…]
Journal reference: Social Science and Medicine, DOI: 10.1016/j.socscimed.2015.04.014

 
The U.S. Civil Rights Movement lost a lot of momentum after the 1968 assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. Many of the younger leaders who tried to pick up the pieces in the 1970s and 1980s sort of gave up and decided to accept the partial gains of the 1960s and leave things at that for the indefinite future. White American society then mythologized Dr. King — who had been hated pretty roundly when he was alive — and put his non-violence doctrines on a pedestal as the only right, true, and acceptable path to progress.

He believed that violent uprisings, while understandable, were not acceptable under his religious faith and wouldn’t “solve” anything. However, his movement also benefited from the more violent riots and “scarier” rival groups whose visible discontent with the status quo shocked many White Americans (or at least their policymakers) into action because they realized that the Black population wasn’t actually happy with their lot in life.

But the study discussed above also reveals another truth about the realities of strict adherence to non-violence. Yes, violent revolution results in needless deaths, but so does no revolution at all. Those who die needlessly in the latter case just die quietly and poor, instead of on the scaffold or in front of a firing squad.

In other words, as demonstrated in this study, people do die as a result of non-violent gradualist/incrementalist strategies. It’s just a different set of people. When you demand all resistance to fatal oppression be non-violent, you tell the oppressed to accept the interim cost instead of returning it. Hardline pacifism essentially externalizes the human costs that would be experienced in a violent social revolution or uprising back onto the oppressed people, all in the hope of a peaceful rectification of the situation. Which I bring up not necessarily to suggest that the other way is better than non-violence but rather to force acknowledgment of what strict non-violence really means.

Put yet another way: Since 1970, at least 2.7 million additional Black people have literally died quietly from poor health and mortality outcomes, relative to White people, just so we didn’t have to experience a violent social revolution to give everyone justice. And talk about “justice too long delayed is justice denied”

To make my point yet starker, let’s do some actual comparisons to some famous, semi-politically-motivated major revolutionary purges, genocides, and mass killings:

– French Reign of Terror: Less than 42,000 executed
– Russian Red Terror and Civil War purges: 50,000-2 million killed
– Rwandan Genocide: 500,000-1 million murdered
– Pol Pot’s Khmer Rouge: 1-3 million executed, starved, or worked to death
– Armenian Genocide: 1.5 million death-marched or executed
– Soviet Ukrainian Holodomor: 2.4-7.5 million intentionally starved

So, perhaps it still pales in comparison with events on the level of the Holocaust (11 million murdered), but this point remains: Poor health outcomes have resulted in genocide-level “excess” death figures for Black America since 1970. Actual revolutionary terror waves intentionally ordered by radical governments have killed fewer people than the number of Black Americans that racist neglect and traumatic poverty have killed.

But yes, please, let’s discuss broken business windows and smashed police cars some more…


Previously from AFD:
“After Baltimore: In defense of riots” by De Ana
“After Ferguson: In defense of non-peaceful resistance” by Bill

Some CA schools approaching 9 in 10 unvaccinated rates

From an op-ed by Robert Gammon in East Bay Express:

End the Vaccine Exemption

As the measles outbreak in California continues to spread — the number of reported cases reached 73 on Monday — it’s becoming increasingly clear that the state should end its so-called “personal belief” exemption for childhood vaccines. Currently, California is one of about twenty states in the nation in which parents can use the personal belief waiver. Most states only permit medical or religious exemptions for childhood vaccines.

For the measles vaccine to be effective for everyone, about 92 percent of the population needs to be have been fully vaccinated. But because of the personal belief waiver and the anti-vaccination movement, many communities in California fall well short of the 92 percent threshold. As a result, the measles, once thought to have been eradicated, has come roaring back to life.

But the anti-vax crowd shouldn’t have the right to endanger the health of the rest of us. The movement, which fears a link between childhood vaccines and autism, gained traction during the Aughts, following the revelation that the federal government had ordered the removal of the mercury-based preservative thimerosal from vaccines. Thimerosal had been used widely since the 1930s, and a study in the late 1990s claimed to have uncovered a link between the preservative and the rise of autism nationwide. That study has since been widely discredited. Moreover, thimerosal is no longer used in vaccines for children six and under (except for some flu vaccines).

As such, there is no longer a basis for the personal belief exemption in California. New York City doesn’t have it, and only 0.2 percent of public school students there have been exempted from vaccines, according to the Los Angeles Times. In California, wealthy parents who send their kids to private schools appear to be especially prone to using the exemption. For example, according to the LA Times, at the Berkeley Rose private school, the parents of 87 percent of kindergarteners in 2013 used it.

That’s not only dangerous, it’s disturbingly anti-science. Measles is a serious disease with serious consequences. And vaccines work — if they’re widely used. California, in other words, should stop pandering to the anti-vax crowd.

 
EIGHTY SEVEN PERCENT exempted from vaccines. In one school.

youhavefailedthiscity


In case you missed it…
Arsenal For Democracy – Dispatches from the end of the empire:

Apparently our ancestors crossed the harsh Great American Desert in search of a better life so their descendents a century and a half later could go to a children’s amusement park in Orange County and still contract the same damn diseases because somebody’s parents in the year Two Thousand Fifteen of Our Lord have the same understanding of infection transmission as any given covered wagon driver.

Dispatches from the end of the empire

Apparently our ancestors crossed the harsh Great American Desert in search of a better life so their descendents a century and a half later could go to a children’s amusement park in Orange County and still contract the same damn diseases because somebody’s parents in the year Two Thousand Fifteen of Our Lord have the same understanding of infection transmission as any given covered wagon driver.

“People Not Vaccinated for Measles Urged to Avoid Disneyland”

People who haven’t been vaccinated against measles, including children too young to be immunized, should avoid Disneyland after new infections were linked to the theme park, California public health officials said Wednesday.

So far, 70 people in five U.S. states and Mexico have contracted measles in an outbreak that was traced to Disney parks in December and has since spread into the community. The vast majority of infections — 62 — occurred in California, and the tally is expected to rise.

Health officials uncovered new measles cases linked to visits to Disney parks in January after the incubation period of the original outbreak.

Since measles is highly contagious, people who have not received the measles-mumps-rubella, or MMR, vaccine are susceptible and should avoid visiting Disney “for the time being,” said state epidemiologist Gil Chavez.

 
We’re now reaching a particularly decadent phase of our decline where people are reintroducing eradicated disease outbreaks to America solely by voluntarily refusing to make use of widely available, decades-old, very basic medical science solutions.

It’s one thing if your civilization is wiped out by a disease you had no way to resist. It’s another if you’re too arrogant to vaccinate your children against easily preventable 19th century diseases and thus endangered everyone else.

America, F@#$ Yeah. We’re number one.

plaguedoctor-oc-dl

No budget for “those” kind of diseases…

Sad truths from a New York Times article on an experimental Ebola vaccine that had been successfully tested with monkeys to great fanfare and then sat on a shelf untested on humans for almost ten years…

Its development stalled in part because Ebola is rare, and until now, outbreaks had infected only a few hundred people at a time. But experts also acknowledge that the lack of follow-up on such a promising candidate reflects a broader failure to produce medicines and vaccines for diseases that afflict poor countries. Most drug companies have resisted spending the enormous sums needed to develop products useful mostly to countries with little ability to pay.

 

Credit: Wikimedia

Credit: Wikimedia

October 15, 2014 – Arsenal For Democracy 103

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[repeats] Guest expert Sydnee McElroy MD of the “Sawbones” podcast explains the science of vaccines (March 2013). Guest historian Pilar Quezzaire on the crisis in northern Nigeria (May 2014). Guest expert Abby Stoddard from Humanitarian Outcomes on violence against aid workers (November 2013). New introductions by Bill.

Discussion Points:

– How were vaccines invented?
– What is the significance and origin of the north-south divide in Nigeria? How did colonialism change the country? Who are the Boko Haram?
– How do kidnappings affect international humanitarian aid organizations?

Full episode:
Oct 2014, Interview Repeats – Arsenal for Democracy 103

Related links
Segment 1

Sawbones: “Dr. Mesmer and the Power of Animal Magnetism”

ABC News: “NYC Measles Outbreak Spreads to Lower East Side”
Think Progress: “Orange County, California Is Experiencing Its Worst Measles Outbreak in Decades”
New York Magazine: “Immune to Logic: Some New York City Private Schools Have Dismal Vaccination Rates”

Segment 2

More articles on Nigeria at Arsenal For Democracy

Segment 3

Humanitarian Aid Workers: Aid Worker Security Report
BBC: Sahara kidnappings: A massive money-making business
NYT: Paying Ransoms, Europe Bankrolls Qaeda Terror

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