States look for solutions as U.S. fentanyl deaths keep rising

NATIONAL

States look for solutions as U.S. fentanyl deaths keep rising

by: GEOFF MULVIHILL, Associated Press

Posted: Apr 5, 2022 / 12:34 AM CDT

Updated: Apr 5, 2022 / 12:50 AM CDT

Source

https://www.borderreport.com/news/national/states-look-for-solutions-as-u-s-fentanyl-deaths-keep-rising/

As the addiction and overdose crisis that has gripped the U.S. for two decades turns even deadlier, state governments are scrambling for ways to stem the destruction wrought by fentanyl and other synthetic opioids.

In statehouses across the country, lawmakers have been considering and adopting laws on two fronts: reducing the risk to users and increasing the penalties for dealing fentanyl or mixing it with other drugs. Meanwhile, Republican state attorneys general are calling for more federal action, while some GOP governors are deploying National Guard units with a mission that includes stopping the flow of fentanyl from Mexico.

“It’s a fine line to help people and try to get people clean, and at the same time incarcerate and get the drug dealers off the streets,” said Nathan Manning, a Republican state senator in Ohio who is sponsoring legislation to make it clear that materials used to test drugs for fentanyl are legal.

The urgency is heightened because of the deepening impact of the drugs. Last year, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported the nation had hit a grim milestone. For the first time, more than 100,000 Americans had diedof drug overdoses over a 12-month period. About two-thirds of the deaths were linked to fentanyl and other synthetic drugs, which can be 50 to 100 times more potent than morphine, heroin or prescription opioids. Texas lawmakers failed to legalize fentanyl testing strips last year, but there’s still a push for access

The recent case of five West Point cadets who overdosed on fentanyl-laced cocaine during spring break in Florida put the dangers and pervasiveness of the fentanyl crisis back in the spotlight.

The chemical precursors to the drugs are being shipped largely from China to Mexico, where much of the illicit fentanyl supply is produced in labs before being smuggled into the U.S.

While users sometimes seek out fentanyl specifically, it and other synthetics with similar properties are often mixed with other drugs or formed into counterfeit pills so users often don’t know they’re taking it.

Advocates say test strips can help prevent accidental overdoses of drugs laced with fentanyl. The strips are given out at needle exchanges and sometimes at concerts or other events where drugs are expected to be sold or used.

Thomas Stuber, chief legislative officer at The LCADA Way, a drug treatment organization in Ohio that serves Lorain County and nearby areas, has been pushing for the test strip legislation. It also would ease access to naloxone, a drug that can be used to revive people when they’re having opioid overdoses.

“This is a harm-reduction approach that has received a lot of acceptance,” he said. “We cannot treat somebody if they’re dead.”

Since last year, at least a half-dozen states have enacted similar laws and at least a dozen others have considered them, according to research by the National Conference of State Legislatures.

In West Virginia, the state hardest hit by opioids per capita, lawmakers passed a bill this month to legalize the testing strips. It now heads to the governor.

The measure was sponsored by Republican lawmakers. But state Delegate Mike Pushkin, a Democrat whose district includes central Charleston, has also been pushing for more access to fentanyl strips. He said the situation got worse last year when a state law tightened regulations on needle exchanges, causing some of them to close.

Pushkin, who also is in long-term addiction recovery, is pleased with the passage of the testing strip bill but upset with another measure passed this month that would increase the penalties for trafficking fentanyl. That bill also would create a new crime of adding fentanyl to another drug.

“Their initial reaction is, ‘We have to do something,’” he said. “It’s not just about doing something, it’s about doing the right thing that actually has results.”

But for many lawmakers, making sure that tough criminal penalties apply to fentanyl is a priority.

California Assemblywoman Janet Nguyen, a Republican, introduced a measure that would make penalties for dealing fentanyl just as harsh as those for selling cocaine or heroin. The Republican represents Orange County, where there were more than 600 reported fentanyl-related deaths last year.

“This is sending messages to those who aren’t afraid of selling these drugs that there’s a longer, bigger penalty than you might think,” said Nguyen, whose bill failed to advance from her chamber’s public safety committee in a 5-2 vote last week. She said after the bill failed that she was considering trying again. 

She said committee members stressed compassion for drug users, something she said she agrees with.

“The less available these pills are out there, the better it is,” Nguyen said. “And that is going after the drug dealer.”DEA: We save lives in Middle America by stopping fentanyl at the border

The same day her measure failed to advance, a Democratic lawmaker in California announced a different bill to increase fentanyl-dealing penalties.

The National Conference of State Legislatures found 12 states with fentanyl-specific drug trafficking or possession laws as of last year. Similar measures have been introduced or considered since the start of 2021 in at least 19 states, the Associated Press found in an analysis of bills compiled by LegiScan. That does not include measures to add more synthetic opioids to controlled substance lists to mirror federal law; those have been adopted in many states, with bipartisan support.

Fentanyl has been in the spotlight in Colorado since February, when five people were found dead in a suburban Denver apartment from overdoses of fentanyl mixed with cocaine.

Under state law, possession with intent to distribute less than 14 grams of fentanyl is an offense normally punishable by two to four years in prison. But fentanyl is so potent that 14 grams can represent up to 700 lethal doses, under a calculation used by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency.

“It’s making it impossible to hold the dealer accountable for the deadliness of the drugs they’re peddling,” Colorado House Speaker Alec Garnett, a Democrat, said in an interview.In El Paso, fentanyl, an OD, and unknown reasons for Downtown jail deaths

He and a bipartisan group of lawmakers last week unveiled a bill also backed by Democratic Gov. Jared Polis that would increase penalties for dealers with smaller amounts of fentanyl and in cases where the drug leads to a death. The legislation also would increase the accessibility of naloxone and test strips while steering people who possess fentanyl into education and treatment programs.

Maritza Perez, director of national affairs at the Drug Policy Alliance, a group that advocates for harm-reduction measures, is skeptical of the legislation that would increase criminal penalties.

“We have the largest incarceration rate in the entire world and we’re also setting records in terms of overdose deaths,” she said.

Democratic governors are focusing primarily on harm reduction methods. Among them is Illinois Gov. Jay Pritzker, who released a broad overdose action plan last month.

Several Republican governors and attorneys general have responded to the rising death toll with administrative enforcement efforts and by pushing for more federal intervention.

Last year, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey called for states to help secure the border with Mexico. Along with trying to keep people from entering the U.S., stopping the flow of fentanyl was cited as a reason. Several other Republican governors have sent contingents of state troopers or National Guard units. 

The Texas Military Department said that from March 2021 through earlier this month, its troops near the border confiscated more than 1,200 pounds (540 kilograms) of fentanyl. By comparison, federal authorities reported confiscating about 11,000 pounds (4,990 kilograms) in 2021 — still a fraction of what entered the country.Gov. Greg Abbott brags about his border initiative. The evidence doesn’t back him up.

Last year, the U.S. Department of Justice filed about 2,700 cases involving crimes related to the distribution of fentanyl and similar synthetic drugs, up nearly tenfold from 2017. Even so, Republican state officials are critical of federal efforts to stop fentanyl from entering the country.

In January, 16 GOP state attorneys general sent a letter to U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken calling on him to exert more pressure on China and Mexico to stop the flow of fentanyl. Those are steps that Dr. Rahul Gupta, the director of National Drug Control Policy, said are already being taken.

In March, West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey called on U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland for more enforcement on fentanyl trafficking and harsher penalties. 

“Fentanyl is killing Americans of all walks of life in unprecedented numbers,” Morrisey said in a statement emailed to the AP, “and the federal government must respond with full force, across the board, using every tool available to stem the tide of death.”

Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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Florida state Rep. Randy Fine plans to push legislation to make it felony child abuse to give minors gender reassignment surgery or drugs

ALEX NITZBERG April 04, 2022

Florida state Rep. Randy Fine said that he plans to push legislation to make it felony chid abuse to give kids drugs or surgeries for gender reassignment.

“I’ve had enough of this nonsense. Next session, I will help shepherd legislation to make it illegal to provide drugs or surgery to a minor for the purpose of alleged ‘gender assignment.’ The legislation will make it felony child abuse punishable by prison and loss of medical license. This legislation would not affect mental counseling,” Fine, a Republican, declared on social media.

While many Floridians would likely support such legislation to protect kids, some state Democrats have already decried the proposal.

“If an adult wants to self-mutilate their body in pursuit of the fiction that they can defy both G-d and science, more power to them — so long as they don’t expect me to pay for it. But no child should be put in the position of making fundamentally life-altering decisions before they are of the age of majority,” he noted. “I can call myself a porcupine, but that doesn’t make it so. It is time for us to dispense with this fantasy — one that is turning our women’s sports into a joke and our schools into a cesspool.”

Democratic state Rep. Carlos Guillermo Smith said that Fine’s proposal ought to “shock the conscience.”

“Florida Republicans are on a dangerous course, retaliating against any person or business who expresses support for the LGBTQ+ community,” Smith declared. “This latest threat to criminalize parents and doctors who provide life-saving care for LGBTQ youth should shock the conscience of all Floridians.”

Democratic state Rep. Anna V. Eskamani called Fine’s plan “dangerous” and said it would hurt “marginalized kids.”

While many Floridians would likely support such legislation to protect kids, some state Democrats have already decried the proposal.

Democratic state Rep. Carlos Guillermo Smith said that Fine’s proposal ought to “shock the conscience.”

“Florida Republicans are on a dangerous course, retaliating against any person or business who expresses support for the LGBTQ+ community,” Smith declared. “This latest threat to criminalize parents and doctors who provide life-saving care for LGBTQ youth should shock the conscience of all Floridians.”

Democratic state Rep. Anna V. Eskamani called Fine’s plan “dangerous” and said it would hurt “marginalized kids.”

https://twitter.com/AnnaForFlorida/status/1511019067108376585?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1511019067108376585%7Ctwgr%5E%7Ctwcon%5Es1_c10&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.theblaze.com%2Fnews%2Frandy-fine-to-push-legislation-to-ban-provision-of-gender-reassignment-drugs-surgeries-for-kids

https://twitter.com/AnnaForFlorida/status/1511019067108376585?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1511019067108376585%7Ctwgr%5E%7Ctwcon%5Es1_c10&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.theblaze.com%2Fnews%2Frandy-fine-to-push-legislation-to-ban-provision-of-gender-reassignment-drugs-surgeries-for-kids
https://twitter.com/AnnaForFlorida/status/1511019067108376585?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1511019067108376585%7Ctwgr%5E%7Ctwcon%5Es1_c10&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.theblaze.com%2Fnews%2Frandy-fine-to-push-legislation-to-ban-provision-of-gender-reassignment-drugs-surgeries-for-kids

Here’s the full story

Florida Rep. Fine wants to make treatments for transgender minors a felony

Orlando Sentinel |

Apr 04, 2022 at 4:20 PM 

In the wake of fierce criticism of the so-called “don’t say gay” bill, GOP state Rep. Randy Fine says he will sponsor a bill aimed at preventing parents and doctors from providing gender assignment treatment to transgender children.

Fine, R-Palm Bay, said Monday the bill he plans to file next year would make providing drugs or surgery to a minor for gender assignment a felony child abuse crime punishable by prison and/or loss of a medical license. He said the bill would not affect “mental counseling” for minors.

Unhealthy Landscapes: Policy Recommendations on Land Use Change and Infectious Disease Emergence

Unhealthy Landscapes: Policy Recommendations on Land Use Change and Infectious Disease Emergence

The could possibly be the rabbit hole from Hell… Some of it seems like it could make sense but that’s how the work. I wonder what one would find if they dug deep – real deep and followed the money Trail on this subject???

Anthropogenic land use changes drive a range of infectious disease outbreaks and emergence events and modify the transmission of endemic infections. These drivers include agricultural encroachment, deforestation, road construction, dam building, irrigation, wetland modification, mining, the concentration or expansion of urban environments, coastal zone degradation, and other activities. These changes in turn cause a cascade of factors that exacerbate infectious disease emergence, such as forest fragmentation, disease introduction, pollution, poverty, and human migration. The Working Group on Land Use Change and Disease Emergence grew out of a special colloquium that convened international experts in infectious diseases, ecology, and environmental health to assess the current state of knowledge and to develop recommendations for addressing these environmental health challenges.

The group established a systems model approach and priority lists of infectious diseases affected by ecologic degradation. Policy-relevant levels of the model include:

specific health risk factors, landscape or habitat change, and institutional (economic and behavioral) levels.

The group recommended creating Centers of Excellence in Ecology and Health Research and Training, based at regional universities and/or research institutes with close links to the surrounding communities.

The centers’ objectives would be 3-fold:

a) to provide information to local communities about the links between environmental change and public health;

b) to facilitate fully interdisciplinary research from a variety of natural, social, and health sciences and train professionals who can conduct interdisciplinary research; and

c) to engage in science-based communication and assessment for policy making toward sustainable health and ecosystems.

Human-induced land use changes are the primary drivers of a range of infectious disease outbreaks and emergence events and also modifiers of the transmission of endemic infections (Patz et al. 2000).

These land use changes include:

  • deforestation
  • road construction
  • agricultural encroachment
  • dam building
  • irrigation
  • coastal zone degradation
  • wetland modification
  • mining
  • the concentration or expansion of urban environments
  • and other activities.

These changes in turn cause a cascade of factors that exacerbate infectious disease emergence, such as forest fragmentation, pathogen introduction, pollution, poverty, and human migration. These are important and complex issues that are understood only for a few diseases. For example, recent research has shown that forest fragmentation, urban sprawl, and biodiversity loss are linked to increased risk for Lyme disease in the northeastern United States (Schmidt and Ostfeld 2001). Expansion and changes in agricultural practices are intimately associated with the emergence of Nipah virus in Malaysia (Chua et al. 1999; Lam and Chua 2002), cryptosporidiosis in Europe and North America, and a range of food-borne illnesses globally (Rose et al. 2001). Road building is linked to the expansion of bushmeat consumption that may have played a key role in the early emergence of human immunodeficiency virus types 1 and 2 (Wolfe et al. 2000), and simian foamy virus has been found in bushmeat hunters (Wolfe et al. 2004).

In recognition of the complexity of land use change and the risks and benefits to human health that it entails, a special colloquium titled “Unhealthy Landscapes: How Land Use Change Affects Health” was convened at the 2002 biennial meeting of the International Society for Ecosystem Health (6–11 June 2002, Washington, DC) to address this issue. The invited experts worked to establish consensus on the current state of science and identify key knowledge gaps underlying this issue. This article condenses the working group’s report and presents a new research and policy agenda for understanding land use change and its effects on human health. Specifically, we discuss land-use drivers or human activities that exacerbate infectious diseases; the land–water interface, common to many infectious disease life cycles; and conclusions and recommendations for research and training from the working group.

Land-Use Drivers of Infectious Disease Emergence

The emerging infectious diseases (EIDs) resulting from land use change can be entirely new to a specific location or host species. This may occur either from “spillover” or cross-species transmission or simply by extension of geographic range into new or changed habitats. More than 75% of human diseases are zoonotic and have a link to wildlife and domestic animals (Taylor et al. 2001).

The working group developed an extensive list of processes by which land use affects human health (specifically, infectious disease occurrence) and of other factors that contribute to this relationship: agricultural development, urbanization, deforestation, population movement, increasing population, introduction of novel species/pathogens, water and air pollution, biodiversity loss, habit fragmentation, road building, macro and micro climate changes, hydrological alteration, decline in public health infrastructure, animal-intensive systems, eutrophication, military conflict, monocropping, and erosion (ranked from highest to lowest public health impact by meeting participants). The four mechanisms that were felt to have the greatest impact on public health were changes to the physical environment; movement of populations, pathogens, and trade; agriculture; and urbanization. War and civil unrest were also mentioned as a potentially acute and cross-cutting driver. Infectious disease agents with the strongest documented or suspected links to land use change are listed in Table 1.

Changes to the biophysical environment.

Deforestation.

Rates of deforestation have grown exponentially since the beginning of the 20th century. Driven by rapidly increasing human population numbers, large swaths of species-rich tropical and temperate forests, as well as prairies, grasslands, and wetlands, have been converted to species-poor agricultural and ranching areas. The global rate of tropical deforestation continues at staggering levels, with nearly 2–3% of forests lost globally each year. Parallel with this habitat destruction is an exponential growth in human–wildlife interaction and conflict. This has resulted in exposure to new pathogens for humans, livestock, and wildlife (Wolfe et al. 2000). Deforestation and the processes that lead to it have many consequences for ecosystems. Deforestation decreases the overall habitat available for wildlife species. It also modifies the structure of environments, for example, by fragmenting habitats into smaller patches separated by agricultural activities or human populations. Increased “edge effect” (from a patchwork of varied land uses) can further promote interaction among pathogens, vectors, and hosts. This edge effect has been well documented for Lyme disease (Glass et al. 1995). Similarly, increased activity in forest habitats (through behavior or occupation) appears to be a major risk factor for leishmaniasis (Weigle et al. 1993). Evidence is mounting that deforestation and ecosystem changes have implications for the distribution of many other microorganisms and the health of human, domestic animal, and wildlife populations.

One example of the effects of land use on human health is particularly noteworthy. Deforestation, with subsequent changes in land use and human settlement patterns, has coincided with an upsurge of malaria and/or its vectors in Africa (Coluzzi 1984, 1994; Coluzzi et al. 1979), in Asia (Bunnag et al. 1979), and in Latin America (Tadei et al. 1998). When tropical forests are cleared for human activities, they are typically converted into agricultural or grazing lands. This process is usually exacerbated by construction of roads, causing erosion and allowing previously inaccessible areas to become colonized by people (Kalliola and Flores Paitán 1998). Cleared lands and culverts that collect rainwater are in some areas far more suitable for larvae of malaria-transmitting anopheline mosquitoes than are intact forests (Charlwood and Alecrim 1989; Jones 1951; Marques 1987).

Another example of the effects of land use on human health involves deforestation and noninfectious disease: the contamination of rivers with mercury. Soil erosion after deforestation adds significant mercury loads, which are found naturally in rainforest soils, to rivers. This has led to fish in the Amazon becoming hazardous to eat (Fostier et al. 2000; Veiga et al. 1994).

Habitat fragmentation.

This alters the composition of host species in an environment and can change the fundamental ecology of microorganisms. Because of the nature of food webs within ecosystems, organisms at higher trophic levels exist at a lower population density and are often quite sensitive to changes in food availability. The smaller patches left after fragmentation often do not have sufficient prey for top predators, resulting in local extinction of predator species and a subsequent increase in the density of their prey species. Logging and road building in Latin America have increased the incidence of cutaneous and visceral leishmaniasis (Desjeux 2001), which in some areas has resulted from an increase in the number of fox reservoirs and sandfly vectors that have adapted to the peridomestic environment (Patz et al. 2000). Foxes, however, are not very important reservoirs for leishmaniasis in Latin America (Courtenay et al. 2002), and a more important factor in the transmission cycle includes domestic dogs.

Ostfeld and Keesing (2000) have demonstrated that smaller fragments in North American forests have fewer small mammal predators. Results suggest that the probability that a tick will become infected depends on not only the density of white-footed mice but also the density of mice relative to that of other hosts in the community. Under this scenario, the density effect of white-footed mice, which are efficient reservoirs for Lyme disease, can be “diluted” by an increasing density of alternative hosts, which are less efficient at transmitting Lyme disease. These results suggest that increasing host diversity (species richness) may decrease the risk of disease through a “dilution effect” (Schmidt and Ostfeld 2001).

Extractive industries.

Gold mining is an extractive industry that damages local and regional environments and has adverse human health effects, because mercury is used to extract gold from riverbeds in the tropical forests. Not only does mercury accumulate in local fish populations, making them toxic to eat (Lebel et al. 1996, 1998), but mercury also suppresses the human immune system. Also, in gold-mining areas, more mosquito-breeding sites and increased malaria risk result from digging gem pits in the forest and from craters resulting from logging; broader disease spread occurs as populations disperse throughout the region (Silbergeld et al. 2002).

Movement of populations, pathogens, and trade.

The movement of humans, domestic animals, wildlife populations, and agricultural products through travel, trade, and translocations is a driver of infectious disease emergence globally. These sometimes inadvertent, sometimes deliberate movements of infectious disease and vectors (e.g., the introduction of smallpox and measles to the Americas by Spanish conquistadors) will continue to rise via continually expanding global travel and by development of Third World populations. Human introduction of pathogens, hosts, or materials into new areas has been termed “pathogen pollution” (Daszak et al. 2000).

Land use changes drive some of these introductions and migrations and also increase the vulnerability of habitats and populations to these introductions. Human migrations also drive land use changes that in turn drive infectious disease emergence. For example, in China’s Yunnan Province, an increase in livestock populations and migration has led to an increase in the incidence of schistosomiasis (Jiang et al. 1997). In Malaysia, a combination of deforestation, drought, and wildfires has led to alterations in the population movements and densities of flying foxes, large fruit bats known to be the reservoir for the newly emergent zoonosis Nipah virus (Chua et al. 1999). It is believed that the increased opportunity for contact between infected bats and pigs produced the outbreak of the disease in pigs, which then was transmitted to people in contact with infected pigs (Aziz et al. 2002).

Another example of human-induced animal movement on a much larger scale is the international pet trade. This movement of animals involves many countries and allows for the introduction of novel pathogens, such as monkeypox, with the potential to damage ecosystems and threaten human and animal health. Monkeypox was originally associated with bushmeat hunting of red colobus monkeys (Procolobus badius); after a localized epidemic emerged in humans, monkeypox persisted for four generations via human-to-human contact (Jezek et al. 1986).

Human movement also has significant implications for public health. Not only are travelers (tourists, businesspeople, and other workers) at risk of contracting communicable diseases when visiting tropical countries, but they also can act as vectors for delivering infectious diseases to another region or, in the case of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), potentially around the world. Refugees account for a significant number of human migrants, carrying diseases such as hepatitis B and tuberculosis and various parasites (Loutan et al. 1997). Because of their status, refugees become impoverished and are more exposed to a wide range of health risks. This is caused by the disruption of basic health services, inadequate food and medical care, and lack of clean water and sanitation (Toole and Waldman 1997). People who cross international boundaries, such as travelers, immigrants, and refugees, may be at increased risk of contracting infectious diseases, especially those who have no immunity because the disease agents are uncommon in their native countries. Immigrants may come from nations where diseases such as tuberculosis and malaria are endemic, and refugees may come from situations where crowding and malnutrition create ideal conditions for the spread of diseases such as cholera, shigellosis, malaria, and measles [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) 1998].

Zoonoses.

The importance of zoonotic diseases should be emphasized. Zoonotic pathogens are the most significant cause of EIDs affecting humans, both in the proportion of EIDs that they cause and in the impact that they have. Some 1,415 species of infectious organisms are known to be pathogenic to people, with 61% of them being zoonotic. Of the emerging pathogens, 75% are zoonotic, and zoonotic pathogens are twice as likely to be associated with emerging diseases than are nonzoonotic pathogens (Taylor et al. 2001). More important, zoonotic pathogens cause a series of EIDs with high case fatality rates and no reliable cure, vaccine, or therapy (e.g., Ebola virus disease, Nipah virus disease, and hantavirus pulmonary syndrome). Zoonotic pathogens also cause diseases that have some of the highest incidence rates globally [e.g., acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS)]. AIDS is a special case, because it is caused by a pathogen that jumped host from nonhuman primates and then evolved into a new virus. Thus, it is in origin a zoonotic organism (Hahn et al. 2000).

Because of the important role of zoonoses in current public health threats, wildlife and domestic animals play a key role in the process by providing a “zoonotic pool” from which previously unknown pathogens may emerge (Daszak et al. 2001). The influenza virus is an example, causing pandemics in humans after periodic exchange of genes among the viruses of wild and domestic birds, pigs, and humans. Fruit bats are involved in a high-profile group of EIDs that includes rabies and other lyssaviruses, Hendra virus and Menangle virus (Australia), and Nipah virus (Malaysia and Singapore), which has implications for further zoonotic disease emergence. A number of species are endemic to both remote oceanic islands and more populous suburban and rural human settlements; these may harbor enzootic and potentially zoonotic pathogens with an unknown potential for spillover (Daszak et al. 2000).

Thus, some of the current major infectious threats to human health are EIDs and reemerging infectious diseases, with a particular emphasis on zoonotic pathogens transferring hosts from wildlife and domestic animals. A common, defining theme for most EIDs (of humans, wildlife, domestic animals, and plants) is that they are driven to emerge by anthropogenic changes to the environment. Because threats to wildlife habitat are so extensive and pervading, many of the currently important human EIDs (e.g., AIDS, Nipah virus disease) are driven partly by human-induced changes to wildlife habitat such as encroachment and deforestation. This is essentially a process of natural selection in which anthropogenic environmental changes perturb the host–parasite dynamic equilibrium, leading to the expansion of those strains suited to the new environmental conditions and facilitating expansion of others into new host species (Daszak et al. 2001).

Agriculture.

Crop irrigation and breeding sites.

Agriculture occupies about half of the world’s land and uses more than two-thirds of the world’s fresh water (Horrigan et al. 2002). Agricultural development in many parts of the world has increased the need for crop irrigation, which reduces water availability for other uses and increases breeding sites for disease vectors. An increase in soil moisture associated with irrigation development in the southern Nile Delta after the construction of the Aswan High Dam has caused a rapid rise in the mosquito Culex pipiens and consequential increase in the arthropod-borne disease Bancroftian filariasis (Harb et al. 1993; Thompson et al. 1996). Onchocerciasis and trypanosomiasis are further examples of vector-borne parasitic diseases that may be triggered by changing land-use and water management patterns. In addition, large-scale use of pesticides has had deleterious effects on farm workers, including hormone disruption and immune suppression (Straube et al. 1999).

Food-borne diseases.

Once agricultural development has expanded and produced food sufficient to meet local need, the food products are exported to other nations, where they can pose a risk to human health. The increase in imported foods has resulted in a rise in food-borne illness in the United States. Strawberries from Mexico, raspberries from Guatemala, carrots from Peru, and coconut milk from Thailand have caused recent outbreaks. Food safety is an important factor in human health, because food-borne disease accounts for an estimated 76 million illnesses, 325,000 hospitalizations, and 5,200 deaths in the United States each year (CDC 2003). Other dangers include antibiotic-resistant organisms, such as Cyclospora, Escherichia coli O157:H7, and other pathogenic E. coli strains associated with hemolytic uremic syndrome in children (Dols et al. 2001).

Secondary effects.

Agricultural secondary effects need to be minimized, such as the emerging microbial resistance from antibiotics in animal waste that is included in farm runoff and the introduction of microdams for irrigation in Ethiopia that resulted in a 7-fold increase in malaria (Ghebreyesus et al. 1999).

Urbanization.

On a global basis, the proportion of people living in urban centers will increase to an unprecedented 65% by the year 2030 (Population Reference Bureau 1998). The 2000 census shows that 80% of the U.S. population now lives in metropolitan areas, with 30% living in cities of 5 million or more. The environmental issues posed by such large population centers have profound impacts on public health beyond the city limits (Knowlton 2001).

Alterations of ecosystems and natural resources contribute to the emergence and spread of infectious disease agents. Human encroachment of wildlife habitat has broadened the interface between wildlife and humans, increasing opportunities for both the emergence of novel infectious diseases in wildlife and their transmission to people. Rabies is an example of a zoonotic disease carried by animals that has become habituated to urban environments. Bats colonize buildings, skunks and raccoons scavenge human refuse, and in many countries feral dogs in the streets are common and the major source of human infection (Singh et al. 2001).

Infectious diseases can also pass from people to wildlife. Nonhuman primates have acquired measles from ecotourists (Wallis and Lee 1999). Also, drug resistance in gram-negative enteric bacteria of wild baboons living with limited human contact is significantly less common than in baboons living with human contact near urban or semiurban human settlements (Rolland et al. 1985).

The Land–Water Interface

Another major driver of infectious disease emergence results from the land–water interface. Land use changes often involve water projects or coastal marine systems in which nutrients from agricultural runoff can cause algal blooms.

Currently the seventh Cholera pandemic is spreading across Asia, Africa, and South America. In 1992, a new serogroup (Vibrio cholerae O139) appeared and has been responsible for epidemics in Asia (Colwell 1996). The seasonality of cholera epidemics may be linked to the seasonality of plankton (algal blooms) and the marine food chain. Studies using remote-sensing data of chlorophyll-containing phytoplankton have shown a correlation between cholera cases and sea surface temperatures in the Bay of Bengal. Interannual variability in cholera incidence in Bangladesh is also linked to the El Niño southern oscillation and regional temperature anomalies (Lobitz et al. 2000), and cholera prevalence has been associated with progressively stronger El Niño events spanning a 70-year period (Rodo et al. 2002). This observation on cholera incidence may represent an early health indicator of global climate change (Patz 2002).

Infectious diseases in marine mammals and sea turtles could serve as sentinels for human disease risk. Sea turtles worldwide are affected by fibropapillomatosis, a disease probably caused by one or several viruses and characterized by multiple epithelial tumors. Field studies support the observation that prevalence of this disease is associated with heavily polluted coastal areas, areas of high human density, agricultural runoff, and/or biotoxin-producing algae (Aguirre and Lutz, in press). This represents the breakdown of the land–water interface, to the point that several pathogens typical of terrestrial ecosystems have become established in the oceans. Toxoplasmosis in the endangered sea otter (Enhydra lutris) represents an example of pathogen pollution. Massive mortalities in pinnipeds and cetaceans reaching epidemics of tens of thousands are caused by four morbilliviruses evolving from the canine distemper virus (Aguirre et al. 2002). Additionally, overfishing has myriad ramifications for marine ecosystems and sustainable protein food sources for human populations.

Cryptosporidium, a protozoan that completes its life cycle within the intestine of mammals, sheds high numbers of infectious oocysts that are dispersed in feces. A recent study found that 13% of finished treated water still contained Cryptosporidium oocysts, indicating some passage of microorganisms from source to treated drinking water (LeChevallier and Norton 1995). The protozoan is highly prevalent in ruminants and is readily transmitted to humans. Thus, management of livestock contamination of watersheds is an important public health issue.

One example of how overexploitation of a natural water resource led to infectious disease is that of Lake Malawi in Africa. Overfishing in the lake reduced the population of snail-eating fish to such a level that snail populations erupted. Subsequently, schistosomiasis incidence and prevalence markedly rose after this ecologic imbalance (Madsen et al. 2001).

Recommendations from the Working Group

Conceptual model: bringing land use into public health policy.

The recommendations stemming from the international colloquium are highly relevant to the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (MEA), a broad multiagency/foundation-sponsored scientific assessment of degraded ecosystem effects on human well-being. A conceptual framework of the MEA already provides an approach to optimize the contribution of ecosystems to human health (MEA 2003). This framework offers a mechanism to a) identify options that can better achieve human development and sustainable goals, b) better understand the trade-offs involved in environment-related decisions, and c) align response options at all scales, from the local to the global, where they can be most effective. This conceptual framework focuses on human well-being while also recognizing associated intrinsic values. Similar to the MEA, focus is particularly on the linkages between ecosystem services and human health. Workshop participants developed a conceptual model (Figure 1). Like the MEA, it assumes a dynamic interaction between humans and ecosystems that warrants a multiscale assessment (spatial and temporal).

By using this framework, policy makers may approach development and health at various levels. These levels include specific health risk factors, landscape or habitat change, and institutional (economic and behavioral) levels. For sound health policy, we must shift away from dealing primarily with specific risk factors and look “upstream” to underlying land-use determinants of infectious disease and ultimately the human behavior and established institutions that are detrimental to sustainable population health. The World Health Organization (WHO) has developed a similar DPSEEA (driving forces, pressures, state, exposure, effect, actions) model that in a similar way describes the interlinkage between human health and different driving forces and environmental change (WHO 1997).

As such understanding increases, it will become more feasible to plan how to prevent new infectious disease emergence. Yet, because these are rare events, accurate predictions will remain daunting. It is already evident that inserting humans into complex ecosystems can lead to a variety of EIDs, but health outcomes depend on the economic circumstances of the human population. In poor and tropical communities, land use change can lead to major shifts in infectious disease patterns. For these situations, many conventional public health interventions can prevent several infectious diseases at relatively low cost. In rich and temperate-climate communities, the infectious disease shifts tend to be more disease specific, for example, in the case of Lyme disease and habitat fragmentation.

Research on deforestation and infectious disease.

Considering the deforestation that usually accompanies agricultural development, new conservation-oriented agriculture should be pursued. As discussed above, water project development and modern livestock management present major health disease risks. However, often the secondary unintended consequences can also wreak havoc; for example, a leaking dam may present greater risks than the reservoir itself. A distressingly large number of development projects not only have adverse effects on human health but also fail to attain their primary economic purposes in a sustainable manner.

Habitat fragmentation, whether caused by forest destruction, desertification, or land-use conversion, affects human and wildlife health and ecosystem processes. There is already much research undertaken by landscape ecologists on the consequences of habitat fragmentation for wildlife, especially larger animals. It would be important to study the effects of landscape fragmentation on public health hazards. Such research could entail three components. The first component consists of gathering baseline data, including using historical data where possible and beginning monitoring programs where necessary. Key data include identifying and quantifying the relevant pathogen load of wildlife, livestock, and human communities in fragmented landscapes. The goals of this data collection are, first, to identify key infectious diseases, both chronic and emergent or reemergent and, second, to document the consequences of fragmentation on relative abundance of wildlife and subsequent pathogen load. For example, the loss of large predators in fragmented habitats in the northeastern United States has led to a superabundance of rodent vectors for Lyme disease.

The second component of the research program would involve health impact modeling, primarily in three areas: a) estimating changes in the relative abundance of organisms, including infectious disease vectors, pathogens, and hosts; b) projecting potential vector or transmission shifts (e.g., should the Nipah virus shift to pulmonary as well as neurologic expression in humans as in swine); and c) projecting the impact of infectious diseases in a region on different geographic scales.

The results of these analyses, if successful, could support the third component of research: development of decision-support tools. Improved decisions on land-use policy could be made from a better understanding of costs and benefits to health and environmental decision makers. In all probability, however, they will be very location specific. For example, to construct an irrigation scheme in India would likely invite a malaria epidemic, whereas the same activity in sub-Saharan Africa may have little effect on malaria transmission. It is worth mentioning that costs and benefits could depend on the time course over which they are assessed. For example, some land-use changes can lead to short-term increases in transmission followed by longer-term decreases (e.g., irrigation and malaria in Sri Lanka) or vice versa (e.g., deforestation and cutaneous leishmaniasis in Latin America).

Policies to reduce microbial traffic/pathogen pollution.

In today’s interconnected world, it becomes very important to invest in the worldwide control of infectious diseases in developing countries, for example. It is also necessary to control transport to stem the flow from one place to the next.

Improved monitoring of trade is warranted in order to target infectious disease introductions. In the attempt to prevent the invasion of a pathogen (and drug-resistant organisms) into the vulnerable areas subject to land use changes, we need to pay greater attention to controls at the sources. We need to document and map these trades and investigate the vectors, the infectious diseases they harbor, and the populations they threaten. Risk assessment should guide surveillance and the development of test kits, targeting point-of-origin intervention to preempt these processes. Assessments must further include nonmarket costs (usually to the detriment of the environment and long-term sustainable health). We should communicate to both the exporters and consumers the need to make their trades clean, economically viable, and certified “clean and green” by an independent scientific agency at the source and/or destination. Additionally, strategies for screening travelers for pathogens that may be introduced to a region should be improved.

Centers of Excellence in Ecology and Health Research and Training.

One approach to developing the issues to which this article draws attention is the creation of a system of regional- or subregional-based interdisciplinary Centers of Excellence in Ecology and Health Research and Training. Based at regional universities and/or research institutes but with very close links to the surrounding communities, these centers would have the following objectives:

  • Providing information based on good science to local communities about the links between environmental change and public health, including the factors that contribute to specific infectious disease outbreaks. The new research agenda must gather information on household and community perspectives about proposals for the use of their land. These perspectives are key to assessing the cost/benefit of a proposed project. Training local professionals in environmental, agricultural, and health science issues, with a particular focus on granting degrees in a new “trans”-discipline linking health and the environment, would be emphasized.
  • Acting as centers of integrated analysis of infectious disease emergence, incorporating perspectives and expertise from a variety of natural, social, and health sciences. Research activities would range from taxonomy of pathogens and vectors to identifying best practices for influencing changes in human behavior to reduce ecosystem and health risks.
  • Incorporating a “health impact assessment” as an important cross-sectorial decision-making tool in overall development planning (parallel to an environmental impact assessment), along with the need for doing more research.
  • Equipping professionals with the ability to recommend policy toward maintaining ecosystem function and promoting sustainable public health for future generations. For example, the link between forest fragmentation and Lyme disease risk could lead to preserving more intact tracts of forest habitat by planning “cluster” housing schemes.
Implementing research and policy programs.

In selecting areas for research and the placement of centers of excellence, it is important to choose geographically representative, highly diverse areas around the world. In addition, research projects should take place in regions or landscapes that have both well characterized and less characterized patterns of infectious disease emergence or transmission for comparison purposes. Local health and environment professionals, who are in the best position to understand local priorities, should make the choices within each region for initial research areas and sites.

Addressing trade-offs among environment, health, and development.

There are some inherent trade-offs when considering land-use change and health. They are ethical values, environmental versus health choices, and disparities in knowledge and economic class. Trade-offs are between short-term benefit and long-term damage. For example, draining swamps may reduce vector-borne disease hazards but also destroy the wetland ecosystem and its inherent services (e.g., water storage, water filtration, biologic productivity, and habitats for fish and wildlife). Research can help decision making by identifying and assessing trade-offs in different land-use-change scenarios. Balancing the diverse needs of people, livestock, wildlife, and the ecosystem will always be a prominent feature.

Conclusions

When considering issues of land use and infectious disease emergence, the public needs to be attentive to entire ecosystems rather than simply their local environs. Although we may not live within a certain environment, its health may indirectly affect our own. For example, intact forests support complex ecosystems and provide essential habitats for species that are specialized to those flora and that may be relevant to our health. If these complex relationships are disrupted, there may be unforeseen impacts on human health, as the above examples clearly demonstrate.

Encouraging initiatives.

Three new initiatives are rising to the challenges presented above. The first initiative, the Consortium for Conservation Medicine (CCM), was formed recently to address these health challenges at the interface of ecology, wildlife health, and public health (Figure 2). At its core, conservation medicine champions the integration of techniques and partnering of scientists from diverse disciplines, particularly veterinary medicine, conservation biology, and public health. Through the consortium, therefore, these experts work with educators, policy makers, and conservation program managers to devise approaches that improve the health of both species and humans simultaneously [more information is available from the CCM website (CCM 2004)].

The second initiative, the new international journal EcoHealth, focuses on the integration of knowledge at the intersection of ecologic and health sciences. The journal provides a gathering place for research and reviews that integrate the diverse knowledge of ecology, health, and sustainability, whether scientific, medical, local, or traditional. The journal will encourage development and innovation in methods and practice that link ecology and health, and it will ensure clear and concise presentation to facilitate practical and policy application [more information is available from the EcoHealth website (EcoHealth 2004)].

The third initiative, the MEA, is an international work program designed to meet the needs of decision makers and the public for scientific information concerning the consequences of ecosystem change for human health and well-being and for options in responding to those changes. This assessment was launched by United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan in June 2001 and will help to meet the assessment needs of international environmental forums, such as the Convention on Biological Diversity, the Convention to Combat Desertification, the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands, and the Convention on Migratory Species, as well as the needs of other users in the private sector and civil society [more information is available from the Millennium Assessment Working Groups website (Millennium Assessment Working Groups 2004)].

Challenges ahead.

As this working group of researchers continues to work on these topics, we face three challenges. First, strong trans-disciplinary research partnerships need to be forged to approach the research with the degree of creative thinking and comprehensiveness required by the nature of the problems. Second, if the work is to influence policy, the choice of questions and the research must be undertaken collaboratively with the local community and also through discussion with decision makers in government, industry, civil society, and other sectors. Third, investigators must consider how they can integrate their findings into the social, economic, and political dialogue on both the environment and health, globally and locally. As links between land use and health are elucidated, an informed public will more readily use such discoveries to better generate political will for effective change.

Figures and Tables

Figure 1 A systems model of land use change that affects public health. This model shows relationships between drivers of land use change and subsequent levels of environmental change and health consequences. Various levels of investigation and intervention are evident and range from specific risks factors and determinants of population vulnerability to larger institutional and economic activity.
Figure 2 The main elements converging under the Consortium for Conservation Medicine. Conservation medicine combines conservation biology, wildlife veterinary medicine, and public health. Adapted from Tabor (2002).

Table 1

SOURCE :

https://ehp.niehs.nih.gov/doi/full/10.1289/ehp.6877

LEVY: The persecution of Freedom Convoy donors is disgustingFebruary 18, 2022

With the Freedom Convoy’s fundraiser on GiveSendGo hacked on Sunday and the list of its donors illegally leaked online, politicians and legacy media have been doxxing and shaming everyone they can find who donated their own money to support the grassroots freedom movement.

I never thought that free speech would have sunk to such a low in Canada that it feels as if the Communist Party has taken over – that people would actually feel targeted and bullied for supporting an important and extremely valid cause.

To give one example, an Etobicoke man reached out to me Wednesday after his name was shared with some nefarious types for donating a mere $10 to the Freedom Convoy.

The man – who didn’t want his name used for obvious reasons – had received a vulgar e-mail at 2 a.m. on Wednesday, out of the blue. He said he was “very unsettled” when he went to bed, and he woke up exhausted.

The email from someone by the name of FruitBussy – a handle accompanied by an extremely vulgar bio – informed my contact that “supporting crime is never a good idea, especially on a platform run by deranged dimwits.”

The email’s recipient remains understandably shaken. 

“It is very distressing what my country and my countrymen have become,” he said. “I am ashamed of my fellow Canadians.”

He is 100% right.

Not only was the GiveSendGo fundraising platform hacked, but someone under the Twitter handle @WatcherToronto has been sharing the lists of donors for the past 48 hours, together with members of our “objective” media and some politicians.

The anonymous tweeter has repeatedly used the hashtags #RamRanchResistance, #FluTruxKlanGoHome, #KKKonvoy and #Clownvoy. Judging from his tweets, he is clearly enjoying his doxxing activities, saying no laws were broken, no one was libelled and the information is all public.Tweets by WatcherToronto

He even advises those who see the lists to write the donors a stern letter.https://platform.twitter.com/embed/Tweet.html?dnt=true&embedId=twitter-widget-0&features=e30%3D&frame=false&hideCard=false&hideThread=false&id=1493877408985976833&lang=en&origin=safari-reader%3A%2F%2Ftnc.news%2F2022%2F02%2F18%2Flevy-the-persecution-of-freedom-convoy-donors-is-disgusting%2F&theme=dark&widgetsVersion=2582c61%3A1645036219416&width=550px

There’s no doubt this is sick and appalling, and it makes me angry to think how far things have gone. But mainstream media on the Trudeau payroll – many of whom are publishing the names and/or contacting the donors – are as much at fault for doing Trudeau’s bidding.

They should be absolutely ashamed of themselves. 

The doxxing that is going on has clearly been enabled by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s implementation of the Emergencies Act on Monday, which is seeing the bank accounts of convoy donors frozen with a court order.

And it’s clearly all about protecting Trudeau, who is looking more and more each day like a supreme dictator. 

I blame Trudeau for setting the tone with his vile talk, and even more, his autocratic actions against the Freedom Convoy. His failure to understand or entertain their concerns speaks to his absolute disdain for ordinary and working-class Canadians.

Ditto for mayors Jim Watson in Ottawa and John Tory in Toronto  – self-serving, virtue-signaling Liberals both. 

And we can’t forget Premier Doug Ford either, once a man of the people who alone among premiers openly supported Trudeau’s decision to invoke the Emergencies Act.

I also blame those Canadians who have swallowed the Liberal party line hook, line and sinker – the uninformed, entitled and intellectually lazy voters with ‘head in the sand syndrome’ who can’t or refuse to understand the long-term ramifications of what is happening.

Perhaps one day in the not-too-distant future, Canadians will get it when their favourite charity is targeted by the government of our supreme dictator.

Until then, and as my Etobicoke contact stated so eloquently, Canada has been overtaken by “wretched, disgusting fascists.”

We’re asking readers, like you, to make a contribution in support of True North’s fact-based, independent journalism.

Unlike the mainstream media, True North isn’t getting a government bailout. Instead, we depend on the generosity of Canadians like you.

How can a media outlet be trusted to remain neutral and fair if they’re beneficiaries of a government handout? We don’t think they can.

This is why independent media in Canada is more important than ever. If you’re able, please make a tax-deductible donation to True North today. Thank you so much.

Worldwide Movement: Massive Freedom Convoy Formed in Helsinki, Finland Against COVID-19 Mandates and High Fuel Taxes – Cops Detain 55 Protesters

www.thegatewaypundit.com/2022/02/worldwide-movement-massive-freedom-convoy-formed-helsinki-finland-covid-19-mandates-high-fuel-taxes-video/

A massive freedom convoy was organized on Friday outside parliament in Helsinki, Finland demanding the resignation of Prime Minister Sanna Marin’s government, cutting 50% of fuel prices, and an end to all COVID restrictions.

Finland was enthusiastic about the Canadian convoy and the Finns set up a Facebook group that has gathered more than 45,000 members in just two days. The group name was called “CONVOY FINLAND 2022.”
CONVOY FINLAND 2022″ is expected to resume daily through Wednesday, February 9, 2022, from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. each day.

TRENDING: National Archives Raids Mar-a-Lago to Retrieve Trump White House Record Boxes – All They Found Were Mementos, Gifts and Letters From World Leaders

The demands to release the blockade of Helsinki are as follows:
  • All corona measures and restrictions in Finland shall be abolished and abolished permanently and permanently.
  • Fuels (both petrol and diesel) must be cut by 50% of the current tax.
  • The current Finnish government must resign.

It was reported that Finland will begin to ease COVID-19 restrictions in mid-February.

Watch on Twitter below

https://twitter.com/ElectionWiz/status/1489736937011396613?s=20&t=02Dt0QQspqGZvHAcXbwlvw

MEANWHILE…. CANADA

GoFundMe removes Convoy to Canberra campaign, refunds $179,000 to donors

Reference links below

Convoy to Canberra https://www.msn.com/en-au/news/australia/gofundme-removes-convoy-to-canberra-campaign-refunds-179000-to-donors/ar-AATzWNt

Canada Convoy https://abc7news.com/freedom-truck-convoy-ottowa-canada-protests-2022/11542456/

What a beautiful time to be alive! What a wonderful push for FREEDOM AND LIBERTY WE ARE WITNESSING AT THIS MOMENT!

I try to keep my opinion out of my blogs. BUT, this Texas Patriot can’t completely do that here. 😁 I love the United States, I love all my fellow citizens, non-citizens across the world regardless of color , creed/religious beliefs, vaccine status, views, political stance, etc. I can still love humanity and disagree with someone else’s position in life.

Just when you think you can’t hold up that long handled shovel in order to dig down the rabbit hole to continue digging up the truth or stand another second of reading the misleading, lying headlines or researching one more published journal written by yet ANOTHER! scientist or listen to one more video put out by another self-proclaimed someone who has ALL the truthful contacts in their pocket…………………

IT HAPPENED!!!!! IT HIT ME LIKE A TON OF BRICKS!

I much more prefer to base my reliance on action rather than words! It hit me like a ton bricks this morning! I’m not witnessing a “select” group of anyone! Whether it be Elites, red/blue politician’s, a chosen political party. This is not a representation of a respective race, a certain gender or group/organization. The resplendent representation is NOT that of those who are only concerned with their own wellbeing or a social group who are standing up for just one “particular” opinion!

IT OCCURRED TO ME….

It occurred to me as I was listening to horns honking by these Truckers that this was WAY MORE than I realized! I feel like I have been on this battlefield forever although I actually have not. Sometimes… after a while my tank runs dry, my emotions shut down and I will have days when it’s just so overwhelmingly depressing that I literally feel myself transcending into a world of my own in order to continue my research and cope with the findings. My very own O-zone. I don’t know a true Patriot that doesn’t feel this way from time to time. However, we go forward. We know God wins in the end. We know that the light ALWAYS outshines the darkness. It’s worth every second of it to us. Hard but worth it. With that said I WELCOME the times when something REALLY HITS ME in such a profound way! The moments… the AH-HA MOMENTS. Call it whatever… waking up a little bit more or discernment, clarity, revealing thought from God, a revelation out of the blue, a divulged moment, a spiritual growth moment, leveling up to another conscious (which I might add that “consciousness” in my opinion is not something we level up to by the way… We ALL were born with one… We ALL have a conscious AND WE ALL CHOOSE HOW TO USE IT). Being from Texas…. I’ll just keep it simple and call it “a brain fart

I am grateful. I proudly state that I believe that I am witnessing a sincere, unapologetic and profound rebellion of normal people who represent ALL OF HUMANITY! They are representing everyone from the everyday blue collar worker’s of the world, and the honest hard-working person in spite of how much money they bring home. Their convoy is fighting for the ones who don’t have a dime left over after paying their bills as well as those who have more than enough to live on and more than most of society.

They are courageously putting their own lives in an increasingly danger of being harmed physically, jailed, fired from their jobs, their own general wellbeing at risk. They are sacrificing the comforts, stability of their financial circumstances, the emotional, possibly physical wellbeing of their children, spouse’s /partners, and families. I am certain it is an extremely and stressful position to be in for ALL INVOLVED…

These trucking convoyers are ALSO representing the silent sleepers that are hidden in the darkness. They are fighting for the individual who is afraid to speak out for what they truly believe in their hearts but scared to admit for whatever reason. Those who have convinced themselves to not think outside the box they are comfortable living in and the individual who has been convinced by whomever to think, react or what not think and how not to react. They are representing those who can’t or won’t speak as a hole! Those who can’t because they are no longer here, those who are too fearful to speak because of fear of losing their jobs and the one’s who are TOO YOUNG and those who are too set in their ways to see things from a different perspective.

Humbled and Proud…

Thousands and thousands of true Patriots from across the world have been fighting in one form or another for such a long time trying to expose the truth as we have come see it based on endless hours of research on our own time for no other reason than to learn the truth about the world we live in and to expose any corruption that may exist in our world because we are hopelessly devoted to honestly and humanity. We are persistent people. We are also humbled when we are able to contribute to ANYONE we might be able to help for the greater good. We are people of spirit of service to others. This is I know to be fact. I thank each and every one of them and pray for a healthy and safe journey, wherever that journey may lead.

I BELIEVE IN PERSONAL FREEDOM! PERIOD! FREEDOM AND LIBERTY IS EXACTLY WHAT THESE BRAVE STAND TRUCKERS FOR AND I AM ON BOARD WITH WHATEVER IT TAKES TO STOP MANDATES! PERIOD!

THIS CONVOY WON’T BE STOPPED!

At least there is finally a group of STRONG MEN (and women) that are WILLING TO STAND UP FOR THE RIGHTS OF HUMANITY ACROSS THE WORLD!

The Ottawa, Canada Government is trying everything they can to stop the heroic #Truckers from intervening in their progressive propaganda.

MAYBE these Truckers can BRING THEIR CONVOY come to #Biden’s FailedBorder.

Maybe…. MAYBE the border will GET A LITTLE TRUE NEWS COVERAGE BY THE MAINSTREAM MEDIA ( #CNN #ABC #CBS #MSN and so on) if our heroic Truckers start HONKING UP AND DOWN THE DISTASTEROUS Fully Open BORDER. Ya think?

Listen to music of the honking horns below. ❤️I love it!! ❤️

https://gettr.com/post/psilor8869

The mayor of Canada’s capital declared a state of emergency Sunday and a former U.S. ambassador to Canada said groups in the U.S. must stop interfering in the domestic affairs of America’s neighbor as protesters opposed to COVID-19 restrictions continued to paralyze Ottawa’s downtown.

HA! Forget it! Not going to happen!

THEY ARE GOING FULL STEAM AHEAD!

Mayor Jim Watson said the declaration highlights the need for support from other jurisdictions and levels of government. It gives the city some additional powers around procurement and how it delivers services, which could help purchase equipment required by frontline workers and first responders.

Thousands of protesters descended in Ottawa again on the weekend, joining a hundred who remained since last weekend. Residents of Ottawa are furious at the nonstop blaring of horns, traffic disruption and harassment and fear no end is in sight after the police chief called it a “siege” that he could not manage.

The “freedom truck convoy” has attracted support from many U.S. Republicans including former President Donald Trump, who called Prime Minister Justin Trudeau a “far left lunatic” who has “destroyed Canada with insane Covid mandates.”

“Canada US relations used to be mainly about solving technical issues. Today Canada is, unfortunately, experiencing radical US politicians involving themselves in Canadian domestic issues. Trump and his followers are a threat not just to the US but to all democracies,” Bruce Heyman, a former U.S. ambassador under President Barack Obama, tweeted.

Heyman said “under no circumstances should any group in the USA fund disruptive activities in Canada. Period. Full stop.”

After crowdfunding site GoFundMe said it would refund or redirect to charities the vast majority of the millions raised by demonstrators protesting in the Canadian capital, prominent U.S. Republicans like Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis complained.

But GoFundMe had already changed its mind and said it would be issuing refunds to all. The site said it cut off funding for the organizers because it had determined the effort violated the site’s terms of service due to unlawful activity.

Ontario Premier Doug Ford has called it an occupation.

https://abc7news.com/freedom-truck-convoy-ottowa-canada-protests-2022/11542456/

RELATED: Freedom convoy 2022: Truckers protest COVID vaccine mandate to cross Canada-US border

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxon tweeted: “Patriotic Texans donated to Canadian truckers’ worthy cause.” and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz said on Fox News “government doesn’t have the right to force you to comply to their arbitrary mandates.”

“For some senior American politicians, patriotism means renting a mob to put a G-7 capital under siege,” tweeted Gerald Butts, a former senior adviser to Trudeau.

In Canada’s largest city, Toronto, police controlled and later ended a much smaller protest by setting up road blocks and preventing any trucks or cars from getting near the provincial legislature. Police also moved in to clear a key intersection in the city.

Many Canadians have been outraged over the crude behavior of the demonstrators. Some protesters set fireworks off on the grounds of the National War Memorial late Friday. A number have carried signs and flags with swastikas last weekend and compared vaccine mandates to fascism.

Protesters have said they won’t leave until all mandates and COVID-19 restrictions are gone. They are also calling for the removal of Trudeau’s government, though it is responsible for few of the measures, most of which were put in place by provincial governments.

Freedom truck convoy 2022: Ottawa declares state of emergency over COVID protests

TORONTO — The mayor of Canada’s capital declared a state of emergency Sunday and a former U.S. ambassador to Canada said groups in the U.S. must stop interfering in the domestic affairs of America’s neighbor as protesters opposed to COVID-19 restrictions continued to paralyze Ottawa’s downtown.

Mayor Jim Watson said the declaration highlights the need for support from other jurisdictions and levels of government. It gives the city some additional powers around procurement and how it delivers services, which could help purchase equipment required by frontline workers and first responders.

Thousands of protesters descended in Ottawa again on the weekend, joining a hundred who remained since last weekend. Residents of Ottawa are furious at the nonstop blaring of horns, traffic disruption and harassment and fear no end is in sight after the police chief called it a “siege” that he could not manage.

The “freedom truck convoy” has attracted support from many U.S. Republicans including former President Donald Trump, who called Prime Minister Justin Trudeau a “far left lunatic” who has “destroyed Canada with insane Covid mandates.”

“Canada US relations used to be mainly about solving technical issues. Today Canada is, unfortunately, experiencing radical US politicians involving themselves in Canadian domestic issues. Trump and his followers are a threat not just to the US but to all democracies,” Bruce Heyman, a former U.S. ambassador under President Barack Obama, tweeted.

Heyman said “under no circumstances should any group in the USA fund disruptive activities in Canada. Period. Full stop.”

After crowdfunding site GoFundMe said it would refund or redirect to charities the vast majority of the millions raised by demonstrators protesting in the Canadian capital, prominent U.S. Republicans like Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis complained.

But GoFundMe had already changed its mind and said it would be issuing refunds to all. The site said it cut off funding for the organizers because it had determined the effort violated the site’s terms of service due to unlawful activity.

Ontario Premier Doug Ford has called it an occupation. https://abc7news.com/freedom-truck-convoy-ottowa-canada-protests-2022/11542456/

RELATED: Freedom convoy 2022: Truckers protest COVID vaccine mandate to cross Canada-US border

Tucker Carlson Drops Bombshell on Nat’l TV: Biden Is ‘Actively and Intentionally Breaking Federal Law’

Fox News host Tucker Carlson released a bombshell accusation against Joe Biden while on-air.

Tucker Carlson Drops Bombshell on Nat’l TV: Biden Is ‘Actively and Intentionally Breaking Federal Law’

By Staff – October 26, 2021

OPINION | This article contains political commentary which reflects the author’s opinion.

Fox News host Tucker Carlson released a bombshell accusation against Joe Biden while on-air.

At the start of his program, Carlson criticized the Biden administration over their willful decision to ignore federal immigration law.null

Carlson directly accused Biden of intentionally breaking federal law.

Under previous circumstances, such actions have been an impeachable offense, Carlson notes.

The administration has turned a blind eye to illegal immigrants streaming across the U.S.-Mexico border, Tucker claims. null

Carlson said, “It’s criminal, and not in a rhetorical sense.”

“Joe Biden is actively and intentionally breaking federal law even as he works to protect himself and his own family from the consequences of these lunatic policies,” he continued.

“Presidents have been impeached for less than that,” Carlson added.https://8f7e4df4c469fb53faddb5ab450d727f.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-38/html/container.html

“In fact, no American President, however, has been impeached not Andrew Johnson, not Richard Nixon, not Bill Clinton, not even Donald Trump has ever even been accused of crimes this flagrant or this serious, not even close.”

“According to new court documents, between January 20 and the end of March, just for example, the Biden administration refused to take custody of 37 illegal immigrants in the State of Texas. Many of these people had additional criminal records.”

Watch the clip:

Take a look at the transcript:

CARLSON: So the administration promptly shut down all workplace immigration raids. Now employers who hire illegal aliens in order to undercut American wages have the full protection of the Department of Homeland Security, because it’s not a corporate conspiracy or anything. Don’t you worry

Now, the rest of the world is fully aware of this. They follow these developments, they have the internet, too. As a result, as you just heard Bill Melugin say, a massive migrant caravan has formed in Southeastern Mexico, in the City of Tapachula.

We want to show even more footage of that, which you did not see in Bill’s report.

You can see the caravan is heading here and smashing through police barricades as it does.

CARLSON: Everybody sympathizes with migrants who want a better life in this country, of course. Our government’s primary concern always must be the welfare of American citizens in a country that’s rapidly getting poorer, which we are. But in general, you sympathize. But migrants who violently break through a police line? No, not allowed here, ever. There is no possible way the U.S. benefits from anyone who would do that. Period.

And by the way, in contrast to previous years, these migrants are not coming exclusively from Latin America, they are coming from as far away as China, and again why wouldn’t they come? The border is now open for everyone. It’s not just Central Americans.

FOX’s Griff Jenkins has been covering these caravans for years and this weekend, he went to Southwest Mexico and immediately saw something very different. Watch.


(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

GRIFF JENKINS, FOX NEWS CHANNEL CORRESPONDENT: We’re in the town of Huehuetan, 16 miles north of Tapachula where this caravan started. You can see them, some children playing on a swing set, but we’re seeing a lot of families, a lot of children out here, and we’re seeing migrants from many different countries not just Central America, which was what was the situation in 2019, that Northern Triangle of Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador.

But we see Haitians in here. We even met one woman from China that we couldn’t speak to her because she didn’t speak Spanish or English. Every migrant we talked to today said they’ve got one destination in mind and that’s the United States.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CARLSON: So why are they coming? We don’t need to guess about that, ask the people who are coming here illegally. They’re not embarrassed to articulate it at all. They are coming because they know immigration enforcement under Joe Biden has been suspended in the United States.

The White House hasn’t simply ended workplace raids, they’ve also stopped turning people away at the border, so people just come in and they know they’ll never be forced to leave. Already, the administration has released more than 160,000 illegal migrants into the country with no supervision whatsoever, without telling the people into whose neighborhoods they’re moving, because they don’t care what American citizens think.

By the way, how many are vaccinated? You can’t go to events, you can’t have a job in this country without being vaccinated, but if you come here illegally, no problem. What does that tell you?

Now, tens of thousands of those migrants according to documents obtained by Fox News have already received work permits. Right. Soon they will receive free benefits and the healthcare that Joe Biden has promised them. That’s why they’re coming. Again just ask them and they’ll tell you.

Continue reading “Tucker Carlson Drops Bombshell on Nat’l TV: Biden Is ‘Actively and Intentionally Breaking Federal Law’”

FBI asks people to report family, friends showing ‘extremist’ behavior

On Sunday, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) asked people to report their family members and friends who are showing “extremist” behavior in an effort to “help prevent homegrown violent extremism.”
Incidentally… They also published an Active Shooter Incidents showing that in 2020 there were 40 active shooters compared to 30 in 2019. All the other numbers were down on this report according to the FBI’s reference.

Active Shooter Incidents in the United States in 2020 Compared to 2019 from FBI

Active Shooter Comparisons
FBI’s Active Shooters Comparison Chart for 2020 and 2019
“Family members and peers are often best positioned to witness signs of mobilization to violence. Help prevent homegrown violent extremism,” the FBI said in a tweet. “Visit https://go.usa.gov/x6mjf to learn how to spot suspicious behaviors and report them to the #FBI. #NatSec.”
“Homegrown Violent Extremist Mobilization Indicators.”
The document outlines a list of 46 “observable behaviors that could help determine whether individuals or groups are preparing to engage in violent extremist activities.”
This link provided by the FBI in 2019 brings users to a document
The top three indicators on the list are:
  • Preparing and disseminating a martyrdom video/statement, last will,
  • seeking religious or political justification for a planned violent act,
  • Attempting to mobilize others to violence, especially family members and peers.
Other indicators include:
  • Encouraging or advocating violence toward individuals, military or government officials, law enforcement, or civilian targets
  • Unusual purchase of military-style tactical equipment other than weapons (e.g., personal protective equipment, body armor),
  • Dehumanizing people who are not in the identity group,
  • Researching or discussing ways to evade law enforcement
  • Lying to law enforcement officers/obstructing investigations.
The 2019 document largely focuses on Islamic extremism
More recently President Joe Biden’s administration has called white supremacy “the most lethal threat” to homeland security.
“According to the intelligence community, terrorism from white supremacy is the most lethal threat to the homeland today,” Biden said during a speech marking the 100th anniversary of the 1921 race massacre in Tulsa, Oklahoma. “Not ISIS. Not Al Qaeda. White supremacists.”
New Announcement Last Month: National Strategy for Countering Domestic Terrorism
Last month, the White House announced the new National Strategy for Countering Domestic Terrorism, an effort seeking to improve how domestic terrorism is defined, identified, and combated, primarily targeting those with racist or anti-government ideology.
The strategy says that experts and evidence have shown today’s domestic terrorists include those who espouse “racial or ethnic bigotry and hatred” as well as “anti-government or anti-authority sentiment.”
However, what I noticed is that anti-law enforcement ideologies such as those espoused by Antifa and Black Lives Matter were not mentioned.
“Racially or ethnically motivated violent extremists (principally those who promote the superiority of the white race) and militia violent extremists are assessed as presenting the most persistent and lethal threats,” the strategy states.
“Domestic violent extremists pose an elevated threat in 2021 and in the FBI’s view, the top domestic violent extremist threat we face comes from racially or ethnically motivated violent extremists, specifically those who advocate for the superiority of the white race,” Garland told lawmakers.

ICAN OBTAINS OVER 3,000 PAGES OF TONY FAUCI’S EMAILS | ICAN – Informed Consent Action Network

ICAN OBTAINS OVER 3,000 PAGES OF TONY FAUCI’S EMAILS | ICAN – Informed Consent Action Network
— Read on www.icandecide.org/ican_press/ican-obtains-over-3000-pages-of-tony-faucis-emails/