Michael.Massing + history   471

Yankee Doodle Meaning
It’s no surprise then that Shuckburgh’s doggerel about Yankee doodles—simpletons riding ponies and trying to look hip by sticking feathers in their hats—hit a sensitive nerve. Americans, anxious to prove their sophistication and show their loyalty to the Empire, were instead treated with mocking distain. But over the next few years, something happened. Americans developed a different sense of themselves and—perhaps most importantly—a different sense of the label “American.”

The transformation began as early as 1755. British General Edward Braddock had been sent to drive the French out of the Ohio Valley, but he proved an arrogant fool. He rejected a treaty offer from Native Americans in the valley, and then he walked into an ambush where the French and these same Native Americans cut his army to shreds. The only member of Braddock’s force that performed with distinction was George Washington. The 23-year-old colonel had two horses shot from beneath him while rallying his troops, and rumor has it that the coat he was wearing was found to have no fewer than four bullet holes after the fighting. After Braddock was killed, Washington assumed command of a portion of the army and organized its orderly and safe retreat.
Yankee  Doodle  George  Washington  US  history  satire  mockery 
6 weeks ago by Michael.Massing
SIDS: Historical Perspective | American Sudden Infant Death Syndrome Institute
My first job dealing with SIDS was in 1976 with the Florida SIDS Counseling and Information Project. We were one of many statewide projects funded through the National SIDS Act of 1974.

In those days SIDS was viewed as neither predictable nor preventable. Parents were left with the fear that it might happen to their baby and they were helpless to prevent it. Emphasis was on research to learn more about these deaths and counseling for parents whose children died.

Epidemiological research (first conducted in New Zealand then replicated in other countries) identified several modifiable risk factors such as tobacco exposure, prone sleep and more recently bed sharing. Public health campaigns were introduced to teach parents ways to reduce the risk. As a result of these efforts parents can now feel empowered. Although not all deaths can be prevented, the chance of it occurring can be significantly reduced. Rates of sudden infant deaths are less than half what they were in the 1970s.

Another important breakthrough in research was in the 2000s. Hannah Kinney and colleagues at Harvard Medical School found evidence linking sudden infant death to abnormalities in the brainstem, a part of the brain that helps control heart rate, breathing, blood pressure, temperature and arousal. This abnormality may reduce an infant’s capacity to respond to breathing challenges. Click here for more information.

For this type of pathological research to be conducted and replicated, tissue samples from infants who have died suddenly must be made available. The American SIDS Institute with others implemented the SUID Tissue Consortium. This is a project whereby permission is obtained from parents whose infants have died suddenly and the tissue is banked at the NICHD (National Institute of Child Health and Human Development) Brain and Tissue Bank for use by researchers. To read more about the SUID Tissue Consortium, click here.

In summary, I’ve seen a lot of progress related to sleep-related infant deaths in the last 3 decades. However, there are still about 4,000 deaths occurring in the US each year. This is way too many. Join with us to help fund research that hopefully will lead to ending these tragic deaths.
SIDS  diagnosis  cause  of  death  infant  mortality  definition  history  research  epidemiology  pathology  abnormality  brainstem  autonomic  nervous  system  data  bank  SUID  human 
9 weeks ago by Michael.Massing
Sudden Infant Death Syndrome and Unclassified Sudden Infant Deaths: A Definitional and Diagnostic Approach | Special Articles | Pediatrics
The definition of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) originally appeared in 1969 and was modified 2 decades later. During the following 15 years, an enormous amount of additional information has emerged, justifying additional refinement of the definition of SIDS to incorporate epidemiologic features, risk factors, pathologic features, and ancillary test findings. An expert panel of pediatric and forensic pathologists and pediatricians considered these issues and developed a new general definition of SIDS for administrative and vital statistics purposes. The new definition was then stratified to facilitate research into sudden infant death. Another category, defined as unclassified sudden infant deaths, was introduced for cases that do not meet the criteria for a diagnosis of SIDS and for which alternative diagnoses of natural or unnatural conditions were equivocal. It is anticipated that these new definitions will be modified in the future to accommodate new understanding of SIDS and sudden infant death
SIDS  SUID  mortality  infant  cause  of  death  classification  definition  revision  AAP  American  Academy  Pediatrics  peer-reviewed  research  co-sleeping  citation  history  data  evidence  post-mortem  investigation  human 
9 weeks ago by Michael.Massing
Sudden Infant Death Syndrome and Unclassified Sudden Infant Deaths: A Definitional and Diagnostic Approach | Special Articles | Pediatrics
The definition of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) originally appeared in 1969 and was modified 2 decades later. During the following 15 years, an enormous amount of additional information has emerged, justifying additional refinement of the definition of SIDS to incorporate epidemiologic features, risk factors, pathologic features, and ancillary test findings. An expert panel of pediatric and forensic pathologists and pediatricians considered these issues and developed a new general definition of SIDS for administrative and vital statistics purposes. The new definition was then stratified to facilitate research into sudden infant death. Another category, defined as unclassified sudden infant deaths, was introduced for cases that do not meet the criteria for a diagnosis of SIDS and for which alternative diagnoses of natural or unnatural conditions were equivocal. It is anticipated that these new definitions will be modified in the future to accommodate new understanding of SIDS and sudden infant death.
SIDS  SUID  mortality  infant  cause  of  death  classification  definition  revision  AAP  American  Academy  Pediatrics  peer-reviewed  research  co-sleeping  citation  history  data  evidence  post-mortem  investigation  human 
9 weeks ago by Michael.Massing
My dad was tortured by the Gestapo for 4 days and thrown in a concentration camp for being in the Norwegian Resistance
My dad was tortured by the Gestapo for 4 days and thrown in a concentration camp for being in the Norwegian Resistance. Growing up, he would tell me things he learned in the Resistance. I thought, I'm never going to need this stuff. Here's some things of those things #Thread
history  tactics  Nazism  Gestapo  strategy  Norway  resistance 
july 2018 by Michael.Massing
'Star-Spangled Banner' critics miss the point - CNN
Francis Scott Key owned seven slaves through inheritance, and, as attorney for the District of Columbia, he notoriously prosecuted the abolitionist Reuben Crandall in the aftermath of the 1835 race riot in Washington. Key was not an abolitionist, yet he was not an ardent supporter of slavery either and is better understood as one dedicated to ending slavery.
Key freed four of his slaves in 1842. To one, Clem Johnson, Key offered to provide a "home until his death." As a founder and officer of the American Colonization Society (1816--1964), Key viewed slavery as a moral wrong that required a solution.
Rather than abolish slavery, however, the society purchased slaves and offered them passage to Africa. That most American slaves had been born on American soil and had never set foot in Africa made the American Colonization Society controversial. The group struggled, never receiving government support, and its often troubled African settlement eventually became the independent nation of Liberia in 1847.
Key is complicit to the extent that he was a pragmatist, who, like nearly all of America's founders and early leaders, inexcusably put the prevailing social order ahead of universal human freedom. In the context of his era, however, Francis Scott Key was surprisingly progressive.
During Key's day, Washington was a bustling capitol of a new nation that hosted both a thriving commercial slave market that traded enslaved black people as commodities as well as the largest community of free blacks in the United States. To serve this community, Key helped establish the Georgetown Lancaster School for freed people of color and even taught there. Over 1,000 black children were students at the school, and most attended tuition-free.
As detailed in Marc Leepson's recent biography, Key put his skills and reputation as a lawyer at the service of blacks suing for freedom, most notably in an 1825 case of the slave ship Antelope (a precursor of the Amistad). Speaking to the US Supreme Court, Key described the treatment of slaves as "extreme cruelty" and slaves as "unhappy victims." Key said that those aboard the ship "are men, of whom it cannot be affirmed that they have universally and necessarily an owner." Key lost this case, but most of the enslaved captives were returned to Africa — a moral, if not legal victory.
Key also lost cases for Sally Henry, a woman named Kitty, and William Jordan. They remained enslaved, but Key won the freedom of Harry Quando in 1830 and Joseph Crawford in 1834. Typically, he undertook these cases gratis, without expectation or potential for payment of legal fees. Key even led a fundraising effort to help defend a man, woman and child represented by an abolitionist lawyer.
On the other hand, Key also represented slave owners as clients suing in court for the return of their then-legal "property." In Key's professional career, the matter often seemed a legal one. Those illegally enslaved should be freed. Those legally slaves had to be freed by their owners voluntarily or purchased and released from bondage. Any moral objections Key had against slavery were often shamefully set aside at times in his legal practice.
Thus, it is remarkable that the fourth verse of "The Star-Spangled Banner" begins with this opening line: "O thus be it ever, when freemen shall stand between their loved home and the war's desolation." When Key used the word "freemen," he used a legal term encompassing any man who was free, that is both blacks and whites. As a lawyer, Key used language precisely.
Key  slavery  Scott  history  US  national  racism  Francis  Banner  anthem  Star-Spangled 
june 2018 by Michael.Massing
The unexpected connection between slavery, NFL protests and the national anthem - CNN
"I cannot stand and sing the anthem. I cannot salute the flag. I know that I am a black man in a white world."
That might sound like Kaepernick, whose refusal to stand during the national anthem in 2016 invited strong condemnation and rendered him a pariah among many in his own league.
Those actually are the words of Jackie Robinson, beloved baseball pioneer and civil rights activist, writing in his 1972 autobiography, "I Never Had It Made."
When Kaepernick first started getting attention for sitting during the pre-game anthem last year, the struggling quarterback said he would not stand "to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color."
Key  slavery  Scott  history  US  national  racism  Francis  Banner  anthem  Star-Spangled  baseball  Jackie  Robinson 
june 2018 by Michael.Massing
Other voices: Flag, anthem represent our constant struggle to expand liberty and justice for all – Twin Cities
In a column for The New York Times this week, San Francisco 49ers’ strong safety Eric Reid put a new spin on NFL anthem kneeling. Before joining Kaepernick in protesting the anthem, the two discussed “systemic oppression against people of color, police brutality and the criminal justice system.”


“We chose to kneel because it’s a respected gesture,” Reid explained. “I remember thinking our posture was like a flag flown at half-mast to mark tragedy. It baffles me that our protest is still being misconstrued as disrespectful to the country, flag and military personnel. We chose it because it’s exactly the opposite.”

The anthem and flag don’t represent injustice. They honor our country’s constant struggle to expand liberty and justice for all. Most Americans, including those who kneel, share this vision.
national  anthem  protest  kneeling  symbolism  culture  history  US 
june 2018 by Michael.Massing
Neither Key nor National Anthem are racist
“Perhaps the most notable aspect of Key’s character was his advocacy for African Americans, whose cases he accepted free of charge. Many of them involved free blacks who were hijacked into slavery, as depicted in the film ‘Twelve Years a Slave.’ He won many of those cases.”
....
“Like Jefferson – who owned several hundred slaves – Francis Scott Key’s record on slavery is mixed. While Key freed a few of his slaves, he did not free them all. Soon after he set up legal shop in Georgetown, Francis Scott Key began representing slaves and freed African Americans in legal disputes, including civil actions in which slaves petitioned for their freedom.

“On the other hand, Key also represented slave owners in legal fights to retain their runaway human property. In 1812, for example, Key defended Hezekiah Wood, whose slaves, John Davis and his siblings, had sued for their freedom because their mother, Susan Davis, had won her freedom because her mother was a free white woman born in England. The Supreme Court ruled in Key’s client’s favour.

“Still, Francis Scott Key had a deserved reputation as someone who spoke out against the evils of slavery and offered his legal services gratis to slaves and former slaves. A newspaper editorial published after his death noted that Key had been an early opponent of slavery: ‘So actively hostile was he to the peculiar institution that he was called ‘The N——Lawyer’...because he often volunteered to defend the downtrodden sons and daughters of Africa. Mr. Key convinced me that slavery was wrong – radically wrong.’ ”
Key  slavery  Scott  history  US  national  racism  Francis  Banner  anthem  Star-Spangled 
june 2018 by Michael.Massing
In Defense of “The Star-Spangled Banner” | Mask of the Flower Prince
While Key’s prosecution of Reuban Crandall is damning, and makes for uncomfortable reading, the reality is that as a lawyer and district attorney, he was paid to make a case for an unpleasant cause. I doubt any lawyer would want us to extrapolate his or her beliefs based on the prosecution of one particular case. Indeed, Key was later to fight legal cases on behalf of Africans suing for their freedom.

....Key’s views on slavery were particularly complicated. Like George Washington before him, Francis Scott Key did ultimately free some of his slaves. He also founded the American Colonization Society, which worked to buy slaves from the American owners and repatriate them to Africa, leading to the creation of the independent country Liberia in west Africa. Later, he was a proponent of educating freed people of color, helping to establish the Georgetown Lancaster School for this purpose.
Key  slavery  Scott  history  US  national  racism  Francis  Banner  anthem  Star-Spangled 
june 2018 by Michael.Massing
Colin Kaepernick Is Righter Than You Know: The National Anthem Is a Celebration of Slavery
So when Key penned “No refuge could save the hireling and slave / From the terror of flight or the gloom of the grave,” he was taking great satisfaction in the death of slaves who’d freed themselves. His perspective may have been affected by the fact he owned several slaves himself.

With that in mind, think again about the next two lines: “And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave / O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave.”

The reality is that there were human beings fighting for freedom with incredible bravery during the War of 1812. However, “The Star-Spangled Banner” glorifies America’s “triumph” over them — and then turns that reality completely upside down, transforming their killers into the courageous freedom fighters.

After the U.S. and the British signed a peace treaty at the end of 1814, the U.S. government demanded the return of American “property,” which by that point numbered about 6,000 people. The British refused. Most of the 6,000 eventually settled in Canada, with some going to Trinidad, where their descendants are still known as “Merikins.”
history  Banner  national  Scott  anthem  Key  US  Star-Spangled  slavery  Francis  racism 
june 2018 by Michael.Massing
Where’s the Debate on Francis Scott Key’s Slave-Holding Legacy? | At the Smithsonian | Smithsonian
Shortly after a race riot in Washington, D.C. when an angry white mob set upon a well-known free black restaurant owner, Key likewise sought to crack down on the free speech of abolitionists he believed were riling things up in the city. Key prosecuted a New York doctor living in Georgetown for possessing abolitionist pamphlets.

In the resulting case, U.S. v. Reuben Crandall, Key made national headlines by asking whether the property rights of slaveholders outweighed the free speech rights of those arguing for slavery’s abolishment. Key hoped to silence abolitionists, who, he charged, wished to “associate and amalgamate with the negro.”

Though Crandall’s offense was nothing more than possessing abolitionist literature, Key felt that abolitionists’ free speech rights were so dangerous that he sought, unsuccessfully, to have Crandall hanged.
Key  Scott  US  national  anthem  Francis  Star-Spangled  Banner  history  slavery  racism 
june 2018 by Michael.Massing
The case against antifa - Vox
[an unfortunate title for an article that more accurately, using historical data, makes a case against political violence]
political  violence  effectiveness  strategy  US  history  data 
september 2017 by Michael.Massing
Don’t Take Your Vitamins - The New York Times
In December 1972, concerned that people were consuming larger and larger quantities of vitamins, the F.D.A. announced a plan to regulate vitamin supplements containing more than 150 percent of the recommended daily allowance. Vitamin makers would now have to prove that these “megavitamins” were safe before selling them. Not surprisingly, the vitamin industry saw this as a threat, and set out to destroy the bill. In the end, it did far more than that.

Industry executives recruited William Proxmire, a Democratic senator from Wisconsin, to introduce a bill preventing the F.D.A. from regulating megavitamins. On Aug. 14, 1974, the hearing began.

Speaking in support of F.D.A. regulation was Marsha Cohen, a lawyer with the Consumers Union. Setting eight cantaloupes in front of her, she said, “You would need to eat eight cantaloupes — a good source of vitamin C — to take in barely 1,000 milligrams of vitamin C. But just these two little pills, easy to swallow, contain the same amount.” She warned that if the legislation passed, “one tablet would contain as much vitamin C as all of these cantaloupes, or even twice, thrice or 20 times that amount. And there would be no protective satiety level.” Ms. Cohen was pointing out the industry’s Achilles’ heel: ingesting large quantities of vitamins is unnatural, the opposite of what manufacturers were promoting.

A little more than a month later, Mr. Proxmire’s bill passed by a vote of 81 to 10. In 1976, it became law. Decades later, Peter Barton Hutt, chief counsel to the F.D.A., wrote that “it was the most humiliating defeat” in the agency’s history.

As a result, consumers don’t know that taking megavitamins could increase their risk of cancer and heart disease and shorten their lives; they don’t know that they have been suffering too much of a good thing for too long.
history  vitamin  supplements  risk  legislation  regulation  FDA  lobbying  industry  capital  benefit 
july 2017 by Michael.Massing
Rocky Flats Made Nukes. Then It Made A Mess. Now It's About To Become A Public Park. | HuffPost
In 1957 and 1969, out-of-control fires at the factory nearly resulted in catastrophe. Both fires sent plumes of radioactive waste into the air, contaminating miles of land downwind. Officials never notified the public of the first fire ― only acknowledging it more than a decade after the fact, when scientists from the nearby University of Colorado tested land near Rocky Flats and noted that the plutonium contamination was “the highest ever measured near an urban area, including the city of Nagasaki.”
environment  US  history  Cold  War  EPA  FBI  DoE  capital  military-industrial  complex 
june 2017 by Michael.Massing
Summary of Notifiable Diseases — United States, 2011
Varicella (ChickenPox). Number of reported cases — Illinois, Michigan, Texas, and West Virginia, 1995–2011
varicella  zoster  vaccine  chickenpox  herpes  shingles  history  efficacy  endemic  epidemiology  surveillance  reporting 
april 2017 by Michael.Massing
Low Carb Diet for Diabetes
Richard K. Bernstein, MD, is a well-known advocate of carbohydrate restriction. Diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes in 1946 at age 12, he developed a very-low-carbohydrate diet in the early 1970s after years of struggling with large blood glucose fluctuations, vision problems, early kidney disease, and pain from neuropathy (nerve damage). He found that by consuming 30 grams of carbohydrate per day — 6 grams for breakfast and 12 grams each for lunch and dinner — and consequently needing only small amounts of insulin to “cover” such small amounts of carbohydrate, his blood glucose could kept in the normal range.

Dr. Bernstein has continued to follow this regimen for the past 40 years and prescribes it to the patients he treats with both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes at his practice in New York City. In his book Dr. Bernstein’s Diabetes Solution, he writes, “If the kinds of foods you’re eating give you consistently unpredictable blood glucose levels, then it will be impossible to normalize blood sugars.” To prevent such unpredictability, Dr. Bernstein recommends that dietary carbohydrate come only from nonstarchy vegetables, nuts, and other slow-digesting carbohydrate sources.

Steven Parker, MD, is the author of Conquer Diabetes and Prediabetes: The Low-Carb Mediterranean Diet and owner of the Diabetic Mediterranean Diet website (http://diabeticmediterraneandiet.com). Both the book and website provide low-carbohydrate and ketogenic versions of the traditional Mediterranean diet. Parker’s low-carbohydrate version contains 60–100 grams of carbohydrate per day, and his ketogenic version 20–40 grams. The ketogenic version is so named because while some people develop higher blood ketone levels with a “regular” low-carbohydrate diet, many people need to keep their carbohydrate intake under 50 grams per day to see higher ketone levels.

Dr. Parker does not treat people with diabetes on an outpatient basis, but he discusses low-carbohydrate eating plans with the patients he encounters in his job as a hospitalist in Scottsdale, Arizona. He believes carbohydrate restriction can play a valuable role in blood glucose control. And although he recognizes the effectiveness of Dr. Bernstein’s plan, Dr. Parker recommends 60&ndahs;80 grams of net carbohydrate per day for long-term management because he feels it is more acceptable and easier to maintain. (Parker defines net carbohydrate as total carbohydrate minus grams of fiber.)

Helen Hilts, MD, has been prescribing a low-carbohydrate diet to her patients with diabetes for several years. She is the medical director of the DiabeVita medical practice in Scottsdale, Arizona. After being diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes nine years ago, she began following a very-low-carbohydrate diet based on her own research as well as a mentorship with Dr. Bernstein.

“I have a few hundred patients who have followed a very-low-carbohydrate diet for at least two years,” she says. “I recommend no more than 30–45 grams of carbs a day, and those only come in low-carbohydrate vegetables, Greek yogurt, nuts, small portions of berries or tomatoes, etc. No roots, fruits, grains, or liquid milk.” Dr. Hilts follows the same eating plan and maintains an A1C under 5% without medication.

“I see more doctors and diabetes educators reluctantly accepting very-low-carb as viable because they have seen such good results in their patients,” she says, noting that cardiologists seem to accept carbohydrate restriction faster than endocrinologists. “They understand carbohydrates’ effects on insulin resistance, hyperinsulinemia, lipids, and the metabolic syndrome.”

After being diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes in 1998, Keith Runyan, MD, had a difficult time controlling his blood glucose levels on the low-fat diet he was advised to follow. While preparing for his first Ironman triathlon in 2011, he began researching dietary strategies to keep his blood glucose stable for long periods. By February 2012, he had devised the very-low-carbohydrate, high-fat, whole-foods–based diet that he continues following today. Dr. Runyan says that he no longer has large blood glucose fluctuations and that hypoglycemia is now a very rare occurrence for him. In addition, he reports having better energy levels during endurance exercise, as well as overall. He recommends this way of eating for the patients with diabetes, obesity, and kidney disease seen in his St. Petersburg, Florida, medical office.
low  carb  carbohydrate  diet  type  1  2  diabetes  T1D  T2D  mellitus  mealplanning  restriction  science  history  guidelines 
march 2017 by Michael.Massing
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