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Euthanasia For Alzheimer’s Patients Supported By Majority Of Caregivers

alzheimer's patient

Lacking a moral compass, society is on a certain course to extermination of the most vulnerable, which could be any one of us someday. Worse, those who should be involved in the moral debate no longer have the tools of rational argument at their command.  TN Editor

The medically vulnerable have rarely been in greater jeopardy. Alzheimer’s disease patients are at particular risk. In a recent poll from Quebec—where lethal-injection euthanasia is legal—a chilling 72 percent of caregivers favor permitting Alzheimer’s patients to be euthanized, even if the afflicted person never requested euthanasia. If the patient requested euthanasia in writing upon becoming incompetent, the percentage of caregivers approving is a horrific 91 percent.

Both scenarios are against the law, though perhaps not for long. With lethal-injection euthanasia now legal throughout Canada, predictable efforts are under way to permit patients to create binding written orders to have themselves killed if they lose mental capacity.

This approach is already legal in the Netherlands and Belgium, two countries that seem to be competing with each other to craft the most radical euthanasia policies. What if the Alzheimer’s patient, having lost the ability to make his own decisions, is not suffering terribly after all? Tough. His former desire is deemed controlling over his current state of happiness. Indeed, in an awful case from the Netherlands, a struggling elderly Alzheimer’s patient was held down by her family as she fought against being lethally injected. Dutch authorities determined that the homicide was permissible, since “the doctor acted in good faith.”

If only euthanasia advocates could be sued for false advocacy. For years, they have soothingly assured wary societies that only those with the capacity to choose to be killed would have access to facilitated death. That promise was always highly questionable. “Choice” has never been the point of euthanasia—otherwise euthanasia should be available to anyone, sick or well, who wants to die. Rather, the goal is to normalize killing as an acceptable remedy to suffering, even—as we are seeing with the Alzheimer’s policy—when the patient is incapable of making a rational decision.

Where assisted suicide is legal in the United States, it is still not allowed for people who lack decision-making capacities. This restriction may be a matter of political tactics, rather than of bedrock principle. A few years ago, Barbara Coombs Lee, head of the assisted suicide advocacy organization Compassion and Choices, said that assisted suicide for Alzheimer’s patients was “an issue for another day, but no less compelling” than legalization for the competent terminally ill—strongly implying that allowing life-terminations of people with dementia would follow once the country accepted the Compassion and Choices agenda.

Indeed, Compassion and Choices already targets the elderly with instruction in suicide by self-starvation, known in euthanasia movement parlance as “voluntary stop eating and drinking” (VSED). From its how-to guide:

Many people struggle with the unrelieved suffering of a chronic or incurable and progressive disorder. Others may decide that they are simply “done” after eight or nine decades of a fully lived life.

Alarmingly, the American Nursing Association adopted a policy in support of the right to commit VSED without intervention, stating, “A patient’s decision regarding VSED is binding, even if the patient subsequently loses capacity.”

VSED is, presumably, legal. But what if an incompetent dementia patient who willingly takes food and water had instructed in an advance directive that he wanted to be denied sustenance when incompetent? Increasingly, prominent bioethicists contend that caregivers should be forced to withhold spoon-feeding, which is to say, should be required to starve patients to death. For example, in the May-June 2014 Hastings Center Report, Paul T. Menzel and M. Colette Chandler-Cramer argue:

The principle behind [advance medical directives] is that people do not lose their rights when they become incompetent; someone else just has to exercise those rights for them. The driving element behind VSED is that forcing people to ingest food is as objectionable an intrusion on bodily integrity, privacy, and liberty as imposing unwanted medical treatment. Thus, if incompetent people do not lose their rights to refuse life-saving treatment, then people do not lose their right to VSED when incompetent either.

This is rank bootstrapping. Advance directives govern the provision or refusal of medical treatments. A patient may refuse a feeding tube in advance, because “artificial nutrition and hydration” is considered a medical treatment in law. But spoon-feeding isn’t a treatment, it is humane care—no different ethically from turning a patient in order to prevent bed sores, or providing proper hygiene. Just as an advance directive instructing that a patient should not be kept clean must be disregarded, so too should a directive instructing that a patient should be starved to death.

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Despite Angry Parents, Common Core Curricula Still Widely Used

Common Core Education Standards were created by non-governmental organizations and yet citizens have never been able to regain control. These NGOs did not have education expertise, and had no mandate from national, state or local governments to butt in to public affairs – they just did it!  TN Editor

Most of the states that first endorsed the Common Core academic standards are still using them in some form, despite continued debate over whether they are improving student performance in reading and math.

Of the states that opted in after the standards were introduced in 2010 — 45 plus the District of Columbia — only eight have moved to repeal the standards, largely due to political pressure from those who saw Common Core as infringing on local control, according to Abt, a research and consulting firm. In Oklahoma, Gov. Mary Fallin signed a bill to repeal the standards in 2014 less than six months after defending them in a speech. She said Common Core had become too divisive.

Twenty-one other states have made or are making revisions — mostly minor ones — to the guidelines. Illinois kept the wording while changing the name. In April, North Dakota approved new guidelines “written by North Dakotans, for North Dakotans,” but some educators said they were quite similar to Common Core. Earlier this month, New York moved to revise the standards after parents protested new tests aligned to Common Core, but much of the structure has been kept.

“The core of the Common Core remains in almost every state that adopted them,” said Mike Petrilli, president of the conservative Thomas B. Fordham Institute.

Launched in 2010 by a bipartisan group of governors and state education chiefs, Common Core sought to bring scholastic standards to the same high level nationwide. The standards quickly became controversial when the Obama administration offered states federal dollars to nudge them to adopt it. States’ rights activists cried foul, saying the effort undermined local control. Meanwhile, some teachers criticized the standards as confusing and out of synch with students’ needs, while others feared that non-fiction would crowd out the works of Shakespeare.

President Donald Trump and Education Secretary Betsy DeVos spoke out against the standards, but the issue has been largely out of their hands. A 2015 law prohibits the federal government from promoting any set of standards, including Common Core.

A national survey by Education Next, a journal published by Harvard’s Kennedy School and Stanford University, found that support for nationwide academic standards rose over the past two years, as long as the name Common Core was not used.

Measuring the direct impact of Common Core is difficult. A study last year by the Brown Center on Education Policy with the Brookings Institution showed that adopters of Common Core initially outperformed their peers, but those effects faded. It’s also unclear if the gains were caused specifically by Common Core.

“I think it was much ado about nothing,” said Tom Loveless, the author of the report. “It has some good elements, some bad elements. Common Core nets out to be a non-event in terms of raising student achievement.”

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China’s Huawei Demonstrated World’s First 5G Network Slicing App For Smart Grid

5G is blazingly fast and will transform entire industries, like Smart Grid, to enable dedicated, real-time data collection and transfer. Wherever there is a data sensor, it will connect with other sensors, cloud apps, AI programs, etc. Welcome to the Internet of Everything.  TN Editor

At the PT Expo China 2017, in Beijing, Huawei is exhibiting the world’s first 5G network slicing application for smart grids. The application is based on Huawei’s 5G Core solution Service-Oriented Core (SOC), part of Huawei’s E2E 5G solution.

The exhibition demonstrates the overall automated establishment of 5G network slicing customised to service requirements. In addition, the exhibition demonstrates how the ultra-low latency of 5G can help restore power, within just 300 ms, to an area where the power lines have been damaged or power is lost for some other reason.

It also shows how 5G enables a smart distribution network and how it ensures secure, reliable, and stable operations on the power grid as a whole.

5G does not just offer higher data rates, it also enables a wide range of diverse industries to achieve digital transformation. The power grid industry is a typical vertical industry which could benefit. It requires high security, reliability, and performance for the proper provisioning of diverse services. According to Huawei’s Wireless X Labs research, constructing a smart distribution network on top of a communications network is key to an efficient, high-quality power grid.

Traditionally, the distribution network is constructed based on a dedicated or public carrier network. Building a dedicated network is expensive and inflexible. Public networks cannot isolate services well enough to keep services secure and latency low.

5G network slicing is the ideal choice, dividing the telecommunications network into isolated network slices, allowing the power grid to be customised to specific industry needs. 5G network slicing lets utilities deliver reliable, high-performance services at a low price.

Using 5G network slicing for smart grid services is a brand-new approach. Network resources provided by carriers can be converted to mutually isolated network slices, to meet the differentiated network requirements of various services on the smart grid. Network slicing can also be used to collect data on electricity usage, for distributed power, for pile control at electric vehicle charging stations, for precise load control, and for other crucial services a smart power grid should offer.

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Steve Bannon And Henry Kissinger Create Project To Warn About China

Kissinger and Mao

Henry Kissinger is one of the most notorious founding members of the Trilateral Commission, and his role in the Trump era has been vastly underestimated. Teaming up with Steve Bannon on any kind of ‘project’ is a disturbing development.  TN Editor

According to an interview in Bloomberg Businessweek, Steve Bannon and Henry Kissinger have had several meetings and are preparing a project to sound the alarm about what Bannon views as the primary economic threat to America:

If we don’t get our situation sorted with China, we’ll be destroyed economically. The forced technology transfer of American innovation to China is the single biggest economic and business issue of our time. Until we sort that out, they will continue to appropriate our innovation to their own system and leave us as a colony — our Jamestown to their Great Britain, a tributary state.

This is a bit of hyperbole, referring to England’s Jamestown Colony of Virginia, formed in 1607, but it illustrates the fear that Bannon is presenting of a reversal of roles between China and America, with China becoming the dominant world economic power.

Henry Kissinger, 94, was the Secretary of State in the administration of Richard Nixon whose “secret meeting” with China in 1971 permitted Nixon to “open China to the West” and invigorate US-China relations. As an international consultant, Kissinger has visited China more than 80 times since then. He is considered by many to be the most brilliant geopolitical strategist of our time. Most recently, Bannon met with Kissinger twice in September at Kissinger’s country home in Connecticut.

Both Bannon and Kissinger are experts on world and military history, and Bannon is also an expert on Generational Dynamics, so he understands that a new war between China and the US is approaching. As regular readers know, I’ve worked with Steve Bannon off and on for almost ten years.

Bannon frames the conflict with China in economic terms. He says that China is harming the U.S. by engaging in unfair trade practices, such as the forced transfer of U.S. technology to Chinese companies. According to Bannon, China’s historical disposition toward trading partners is exploitative and potentially ruinous:

There have been 4,000 years of Chinese diplomatic history, all centered on ‘barbarian management,’ minus the last 150 years.

It’s always about making the barbarians a tributary state. Our tribute to China is our technology — that’s what it takes to enter their market, and [they’ve taken] $3.5 trillion worth over the last 10 years. We have to give them the basic essence of American capitalism: our innovation.

What does Henry Kissinger think of all this? As it happens, Kissinger spoke at a Columbia University conference earlier this week. Possibly with his meetings with Bannon in mind, his speech emphasized that America and China must have been economic relations to avoid World War III and global destruction:

China’s Belt and Road Initiative, in seeking to connect China to Central Asia and eventually to Europe will have the practical significance of shifting the world’s center of gravity from the Atlantic to the Pacific and will involve the cultures of Eurasia, each of whom will have to decide what relationship to this region they will see, and so will the United States.

It is said by many scholars that never before has a power grown in one region as China is doing and that its interaction will lead to tensions and maybe even war. We do not have this choice. That would be a road to the disaster and would do to the world what World War II did to Europe.

Bannon and Kissinger share the view that China and America are headed for a world war, and both are them are (in my view) desperately looking for a way to avoid it, by means of an economic alliance.

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Global Gateways And Local Governments: How Cities And Migration Interlink

City-State future

The UN and the globalization process has shifted focus to global cities as the ultimate answer to Sustainable Development. Why? Because they predict 60% of people will live in a city by 2040, representing as much as 75% of global economic activity. Follow the money.  TN Editor

Cities are centres of demographic, social, economic and political change, and magnets for migrants from near and far. The interplay between migration and urbanization poses both challenges and opportunities for the migrants, communities, cities and governments concerned. Chief of the Demographic Analysis Branch in UN DESA’s Population Division, Jorge Bravo, explains why.

What is the link between cities and migration? What are the trends and future estimates for these processes?

“Much of the internal population movements are from rural to urban areas, or between cities. Also, cities are in many cases the leading destination of international migrants, owing to the urban concentration of economic opportunity and availability of services. A number of cities serve as “global gateways,” hosting a large proportion of international migrants, partly because of the economic attractiveness of the cities, and also because of the migration networks that are located there.

Urban living is, increasingly, the global norm: about 55 per cent of the world population in 2017 was living in urban areas, and this figure is projected to reach 60 per cent in 2030. Most of the world’s migration is internal – within national boundaries. But the number of international migrants, or persons living in a country other than where they were born, is also significant and has increased globally from 173 million in 2000 to 244 million in 2015.”

Do we have any specific data on migrants living in cities?

“There are several studies on the issue. Professor Marie Price of George Washington University, for example, researched a global sample of 200 cities. She found that in 2015 there were 22 metropolitan areas with over 1 million foreign-born residents. Nine of these were in US and Canada, five in the Middle East, four in Europe, two in Australia, and one each in Africa and East Asia. Professor Price found that nearly one in every five foreign-born people inhabited one of these 22 major cities in 2015.”

How can we use this “gravitational pull” of cities to help migrants and spur development at the same time?

“Cities have more infrastructure and services to receive a larger number of migrants. But the degree of integration and the extent of migrants’ contributions depend critically on government policies, also at the local level. For example, research on the residential concentration of international migrants suggests that in both the U.S. and Western Europe, the areas with high immigrant concentration tend to be politically more favourable to diversity, while the opposite is true in areas with low numbers of immigrants. On a regional level, we have examples from South America. In countries like Brazil, Argentina and Chile, national and city governments have implemented flexible measures to provide documentation, residence and work permits to migrants.”

Recently, experts gathered at the UN to discuss sustainable cities, human mobility and international migration. What were some of their main conclusions and recommendations moving forward?

“The experts agreed that cities are the space where internal and international migration meet. They called for more and better data to effectively manage both processes, starting with comparable definitions of what is a city and who is a migrant. The existing information shows that refugees and migrants are mostly becoming city dwellers in their host countries. At the same time, there is no evidence to indicate that the arrival of migrants increases urban poverty. The experts also discussed empowering local governments, who have no governance over migration, yet are the ones who are most exposed to its consequences. We have also heard calls for including gender and environmental considerations into the debate on urbanization and migration.”

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NASA: We’ve Grossly Underestimated How Much Cow Farts Contribute To Global Warming

Dairy cows

The all-out war on carbon is a war on humanity itself but the hysterics stop just short of comparing man to cattle. After all, man breathes out carbon dioxide with every breath and  flatulates 5-20 times per day. Such is the cycle of life in a carbon-based world. In the end, carbon suppression is human suppression.  TN Editor

A new NASA-sponsored study shows that global methane emissions produced by livestock are 11 percent higher than estimates made last decade. Because methane is a particularly nasty greenhouse gas, the new finding means it’s going to be even tougher to combat climate change than we realized.

We’ve known for quite some time that greenhouse gases produced by cattle, sheep, and pigs are a significant contributor to global warming, but the new research, published in Carbon Balance and Management, shows it’s worse than we thought. Revised figures of methane produced by livestock in 2011 were 11 percent higher than estimates made in 2006 by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)—a now out-of-date estimate.

It’s hard to believe that belches, farts, and poop from livestock could have any kind of global atmospheric effect, but it’s an issue of scale, and the nature of methane itself.

There are approximately 1.5 billion cows on the planet, each and every one of them expelling upwards of 30 to 50 gallons of methane each day. We typically think of farts as being the culprit, but belches are actually the primary source of cattle-produced methane, accounting for 95 percent of the problematic greenhouse gas.

And problematic it is. Methane is about 30 times more efficient at trapping the Sun’s radiative heat than carbon dioxide over a timescale of about a century. There may be more CO2 in the atmosphere than methane, but by unit, it’s the more destructive greenhouse gas. Both NASA’s Carbon Monitoring System research initiative and the Joint Global Change Research Institute (JGCRI) contributed to the study.

Wolf’s team re-evaluated the data used to produce the IPCC 2006 methane emissions estimates. The prior estimates were based on relatively modest rates of methane increases from 2000 to 2006, but things changed dramatically afterwards, increasing 10-fold over the course of the next 10 years. The new figures factor an 8.4 percent increase in methane emissions from digestion (otherwise known as “enteric fermentation”) in dairy cows and other cattle, and a 36.7 percent increase in methane from manure, compared to previous IPCC-based estimates. The new report shows that methane accounted for approximately 16 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions in 2016. Other human activities, such as the production and transport of gas, oil and coal, along with the decay of our organic waste, also contribute to global methane emissions.

Importantly, the new estimates are 15 percent higher than global estimates produced by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and four percent higher than EDGAR (Emissions Database for Global Atmospheric Research).

“In many regions of the world, livestock numbers are changing, and breeding has resulted in larger animals with higher intakes of food,” noted Wolf in a release. “This, along with changes in livestock management, can lead to higher methane emissions.” To which she added: “Direct measurements of methane emissions are not available for all sources of methane. Thus, emissions are reported as estimates based on different methods and assumptions. In this study, we created new per-animal emissions factors—that is measures of the average amount of CH4 discharged by animals into the atmosphere—and new estimates of global livestock methane emissions.”

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