February 1st, 2012

ed does not approve

Welp I guess I'll kick off Black History Month....

J. Marion Sims.

J. Marion Sims (1813-1883) practiced medicine in central Alabama from 1835 to 1849. He is often credited with being the "father of gynecology," but his methods and practices caused great controversy regarding his place in medical history. During his Alabama years he developed medical and surgical techniques and tools that revolutionized the new field of gynecology and through them had a successful career in New York and Europe. Critics, however, point out that Sims's experimental surgeries, which were performed on enslaved women subjected to forced treatment, caused great suffering and helped to prop up the institution of slavery. Sims thus remains a controversial figure in medical history, despite his contributions to the field.

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I didn't bold too much as it is a good read. While not about an African-American person, still nonetheless important to Black History.
buffy spike black&violet by gilkurtisctx
  • tabaqui

UniLad Magazine Forced To Pull 'Surprise' Rape Article After Twitter Backlash

An online magazine aimed at university students pulled a controversial and derogatory article about rape victims after a huge Twitter backlash.

The National Union of Students (NUS) has called for the website UniLad, which claims to be the "number one university student lad's magazine and guide to getting laid" to be pulled down over the article.

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Source: Huffingtonpost

This is just...sick. Although after the 'can't tell the difference between a 'Lad mag' and a convicted rapist' quotes article, I'm sadly not surprised.... There are screencaps of Twitter posts at the source.

ETA: Massive fail at the source with some comments bleating about 'free speech'.
Gryffindor corgi
  • jettakd

(no subject)

80 Percent of Chicken Growers Never Sanitize Poop-Filled Crates

—By Tom Philpott | Tue Jan. 31, 2012 4:13 PM PST

I was going to call this post "The Poultry Industry's Dirty Secret," but then I got to thinking: Isn't that too broad? It raises the question of which dirty secret—the fact that it turns independent family farmers into low-income serfs? Intentionally feeds arsenic to chickens, which ends up both in meat and in ground water? Severely damages one of the nation's most productive fisheries with tainted chickenshit? Routinely sends out chicken that's infected with pathogens resistant to several antibiotics?

So I added the parenthetical modifier "latest." This one shocked even me. Reports the meat-industry trade journal Meatingplace (sub required):

Survey results seem to indicate that about 80 percent of poultry growers don’t ever sanitize their crates, according to an Auburn University survey of 10,317 farms. What’s more, just 18.3 percent sanitize their trucks and trailers—two areas that contribute to the spread of Salmonella and Campylobacter.

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Source: http://motherjones.com/tom-philpott/2012/01/poultry-industrys-latest-dirty-secret

This is pretty disgusting even by factory farming standards. Anyone have some ideas about which chicken companies to avoid, besides Tyson, which is infamous for being dangerous for consumption and particularly cruel?
Gryffindor corgi
  • jettakd

The Sound of Silence

Where Is the Anti-Choice Outcry Over North Carolina’s Forced Sterilization of Women of Color?

January 27, 2012 by Pamela Merritt

A task force in North Carolina recently ruled that survivors of that state’s eugenics program should be paid $50,000 each in financial compensation. Eugenics is often defined as the science of “improving” a human population by controlled breeding to increase the occurrence of “desirable” heritable characteristics. The practice of eugenics was not limited to Nazi Germany nor is it a well kept secret that’s been waiting to be discovered by organizations opposed to reproductive justice.

In America, state governments set up eugenics boards that determined the reproductive future of thousands. I grew up listening to my maternal Grandmother, a Mississippi native, warn against trusting doctors and passing along lessons she learned from other poor women of color who went into a hospital to give birth only to later find out that they were given a "Mississippi Appendectomy" without their consent. The horrific legacy of these state eugenics boards is one of the reasons why I embrace the reproductive justice framework advocating for the right to have children, not have children, and to parent children in safe and healthy environments.

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Source: Ms. Magazine Online

I'm glad the women are at least getting reparations, but the fact that this ever happened is disgusting and inexcusable.
Gryffindor corgi
  • jettakd

Oral HPV infection more common in men than women: Study

By Dr Ananya Mandal, MD

According to a new US study, oral human papillomavirus (HPV) infection is more common among men than women, leading to an increased risk for men of head and neck cancers. HPV causes the majority of cervical cancers, as well as genital and anal - and head and neck cancers.

The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) study assessed around 5,500 people aged 14 to 69. Around 10% of men had oral HPV, compared with 3.6% of women. The researchers used data from a cross-sectional study as part of the 2009-10 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. They all provided a skin cell samples for testing from their mouths, and were interviewed about their lifestyles and sexual history. Overall prevalence of oral HPV infection was 7%. Prevalence of HPV increased with lifetime or recent number of partners for any kind of sex, vaginal sex, or oral sex.

Smoking and drinking are significant known risk factors for head and neck cancers. But oral HPV infection increases cancer risk by around 50%, according to the research team from Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center. They add that incidence of head and neck cancers has significantly increased over the last three decades, and HPV has been directly implicated as an underlying cause.

Writing in JAMA, the team led by Dr Maura Gillison, said their findings should influence research into the existing HPV vaccines and how effective they could be in preventing oral cancers. “Vaccine efficacy against oral HPV infection is unknown, and therefore vaccination cannot currently be recommended for the primary prevention of oropharyngeal cancer. Given an analysis of US cancer registry data recently projected that the number of HPV-positive oropharyngeal cancers diagnosed each year will surpass that of invasive cervical cancers by the year 2020, perhaps such vaccine trials are warranted,” the authors write.

Jessica Harris, health information manager at Cancer Research UK, said, “As we learn how common HPV infections in the mouth are, and how they are passed on, we can understand more about who is most at risk and how people can reduce the risk of HPV-related cancers. Although there isn't yet any evidence to show whether HPV vaccination is effective at preventing oral HPV infections, results like these are vital to help inform prevention programmes in the future.”

About 12,200 women a year are diagnosed with cervical cancer, while 7,100 people a year develop HPV-related throat cancers, according to the CDC. If present trends continue, by 2020, throat cancers will overtake cervical cancers as the leading cause of HPV-related tumors, Gillison says.

Continue reading at the source

This is really interesting in a morbid way. Hopefully, there will be an equally effective HPV vaccine to prevent neck, throat, and mouth cancer as well soon (if there isn't one already in development). Anything to prevent cancer!
Quite infuriating.

Salary survey: Niumatalolo takes top dollar

USA Today’s cover story on rising salaries for college football head coaches held few surprises: The heads of massive programs in the Big 12, Big Ten and Southeastern Conference make the most, while folks in the Sun Belt and other lower-level conferences are in the low six figures.

Among the service academies, it’s no surprise that Navy’s Ken Niumatalolo leads the pack. After racking up 27 wins in his first three seasons — the best start for a coach in school history — Niumatalolo signed a contract extension in April. According to USA Today’s figures, he’ll make $1,538,190 in 2011.

That figure puts the Navy coach just above the national average of $1.47 million, according to the report. It also gives him a salary higher than those of Air Force coach Troy Calhoun ($866,250) and Army coach Rich Ellerson ($610,000) put together.

Both Calhoun and Ellerson have bonuses that could drive their paychecks up significantly — USA Today lists Ellerson’s max bonus at $350,000, with Calhoun’s at $247,500. Calhoun also will pull down about $23,000 in “other pay” this year, according to the salary database.

It’s not all about money, of course — there are games coming up Saturday: Niumatalolo’s Midshipmen head to San Jose State (Mike MacIntyre, $401,820 salary in 2011), Calhoun’s Falcons host UNLV (Bobby Hauck, $500,000), and Ellerson’s Black Knights visit Temple (Steve Addazio, salary not listed).

Stock - Pink Sakura

Mitt Romney: 'I'm Not Concerned About The Very Poor'

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney said on Wednesday that he's "not concerned about the very poor," citing the social safety net in place for that segment of the populace and adding that he's focused on the middle class.

"I'm in this race because I care about Americans. I'm not concerned about the very poor. We have a safety net there. If it needs repair, I'll fix it," the Republican front-runner said Wednesday on CNN, following his victory in the Florida primary. "I'm not concerned about the very rich, they're doing just fine. I'm concerned about the very heart of the America, the 90 percent, 95 percent of Americans who right now are struggling."

CNN's Soledad O'Brien pressed him on his comments, adding that they may sound odd for Americans who are very poor.

"Well you had to finish the sentence, Soledad," he replied. "I said 'I'm not concerned about the very poor that have a safety net but if it has holes in it, I will repair them.' The challenge right now -- we will hear from the Democrat party the plight of the poor. And there's no question it's not good being poor and we have a safety net to help those that are very poor. But my campaign is focused on middle-income Americans."

"We have a very ample safety net," said Romney. "And we can talk about whether it needs to be strengthened or whether there are holes in it. But we have food stamps, we have Medicaid, we have housing vouchers, we have programs to help the poor."

Programs in the "safety net" are also suffering during the economic recession. Medicaid, for example faces cuts as states attempt to balance budgets at a time when more people are using the program. GOP lawmakers have also eyed cuts in food stamps as food prices rise, even though more Americans are using the the program as a consequence of the economic recession.

Romney's policies call for cutting federal spending and reconfiguring the social safety net. He calls for an immediate five-percent cut to non-discretionary spending, which would hit the safety net hard. He proposes turning Medicaid into a block grant program and undertaking a "fundamental restructuring of government programs and services." He also calls for capping spending at 20 percent of GDP -- a significant cut -- and adds that he "will pursue further cuts" as spending comes "under control."

Romney's statement is part of a pattern of previously poorly-phrased remarks that give his competitors fodder to call the former Bain Capital founder -- who is worth between $190 million and $250 million -- out of touch with the economic recession.

"Don't try and stop the foreclosure process. Let it run its course and hit the bottom," he said last October in Las Vegas, the hardest-hit metro area by the foreclosure crisis.

In January, Romney said, "I like being able to fire people who provide services to me" to explain why he favored competition among health insurers. "If someone doesn't give me the good service I need, I want to say I am going to get somebody else to provide that service to me."

Video at the sauce

a huge safety net, huh? who knew!

Remove foot from mouth, insert other foot.


The mayor of East Haven, Connecticut Joseph Maturo Jr. landed in hot water last week when he suggested he’d “have tacos when I go home” as a Latino outreach tactic. Just days after apologizing for the remark, Maturo served up yet another questionable remark regarding his recent appointment of a Puerto Rican to an advisory board. When asked why he selected a man “of Puerto Rican descent as opposed to one from the dominant group of Ecuadorians,” Maturo replied, “I picked a Latino. Did it have to come from a certain section of the country?” He then added, “Is he not dark enough for you? Light enough for you?” Reacting to the latest comments, Governor Dan Malloy (D-CT) told PIX 11 News, “It’s ridiculous quite frankly. He should be embarrassed by a lot of things that he has said and done since he was reelected.”



UAE ‘straight makeover’ video slammed

LGBT people in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) have attacked a YouTube video ‘tutorial’ which shows how gays can be ‘cured’ or ‘scrubbed clean’ of their sexuality.

The six-minute ‘tutorial’ entitled ‘Be Yourself’ has shocked the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community of the UAE when it was posted a little more than a week ago on YouTube.

The video depicts five young men as the starring characters: Rashid Al-Muaini, Majid Al-Muaini, Ali Al-Ghaithi, Jamel Al-Ghaithi and Mohammad Eissa. The scene is set in a typical suburban neighbourhood of one of the UAE cities (most likely Ajman), where the five meet.

Two are in a traditional Emirati dress of Kandura and Kiffayeh greeted by a visibly shy effeminate guy with long hair, wearing a t-shirt and jeans, who says ‘Hi guys’ in a high-pitched voice, proceeding to shake their hands in a camp manner and playing with his hair.

He is contrasted with two other guys dressed in western style who pass-by and greet in a ‘brotherly’ macho-like manner.

The effeminate guy acts all shy and blushes when he’s invited, with a ‘wink’ to come inside the villa next door.

Once in the villa’s living room, the effeminate man is told that he needs to change his personality. One of the traditional-dressed men asks: ‘will you change it or not?’ He replies ‘yes but now?’ And is told ‘leave it to us’.

They proceed to show the effeminate guy how to mimic masculine gestures. Later he is given a ‘make-over’ where his hands and face are almost violently scrubbed with scouring cloths, and then his nails and hair are cut.

After the make-over the still effeminate guy gets a slap when he is about leave for saying ‘bye guys’ in his high pitch voice, and given a tip: ‘Thicken your voice!’

In the concluding scene all five characters meet up again. The effeminate guy seems less distinguished by his looks. His friends seem happy and proud of what they did and finish by thanking Allah, who helped bring about the ‘change’.

While the title and video may look paradoxical even laughably ludicrous it nevertheless touches upon some profound issues relevant to LGBT people from the UAE. I discuss these with three LGBT rights activists from a group called “Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual & Transexual Rights UAE”.

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Santorum in Colorado

Rick Santorum and the GOP clusterfuck are currently campaigning in my home state of Colorado. Apparently, he stopped through Teller County which is a small mountain county just to the west of me. One of the local TV reporters just tweeted this:

This guy can't be for fucking real.

Twitter link
the shield

Cynthia Nixon clarifies controversial statements on bisexuality

Cynthia Nixon, the actress formerly known as “the Sex and the City character none of your friends wanted to be when you were assigning yourselves Sex and the City characters at brunch,” caused quite a stir when she told The New York Times that her homosexuality was “a choice” earlier this month. Nixon, who has been in a gay relationship since 2004, offended many members of the LGBT community with her remarks, which were taken as a suggestion that being gay is not genetic.

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As a bisexual woman who has "chosen" to be in a gay relationship, I appreciate her statement and respect her right to define herself as she feels is most appropriate for her.

Newt Gingrich also hires horrible people too.

Top Gingrich Adviser: Democrats Abort Black Babies

As ThinkProgress has been reporting, GOP contender Newt Gingrich has built up quite the record of making derogatory, racially-charged remarks on the campaign trail. He frequently derides President Obama as a “food stamp president,” and said he would go to the NAACP and tell African-Americans they should “demand paychecks and not be satisfied with food stamps.” More than 40 Catholic leaders recently challenged Gingrich to “stop perpetuating ugly racial stereotypes” with his divisive rhetoric.

Last night, Gingrich’s most prominent surrogate, former Communications Director Rick Tyler, went on the offensive during an MSNBC interview with Rachel Maddow and the Rev. Al Sharpton when asked about his candidate’s racial rhetoric. He accused the anchors of “race-baiting,” and claimed Democrats are hurting African-Americans:

TYLER: It’s baloney. MSNBC ought to get off this race-baiting kick…The Republican Party was founded by Abraham Lincoln…this was started as a civil rights party. If you go back to the 1856 Democratic platform it’s a racist platform…The Democratic Party — you can ask Al Sharpton about that, I think he would agree that the Democrats have failed in the public schools with the African-Americans. They abort their babies. They’ve done nothing to lift them out of poverty.

Sharpton retorted that it was Gingrich who was making race an issue in the campaign by singling out minorities for excoriation in his speeches.

Tyler resigned over Gingrich’s infamous Greek cruise, but has reemerged as the head of his Sheldon Aldelson-funded SuperPAC, Winning Our Future.


I like how his defense to accusations of racism boils down to "We weren't racist a hundred-and-fifty years ago!" And I have to wonder, how are the Republicans going to uplift black Americans? Because, it seems to me, their answer is bootstraps, bootstraps, bootstraps.

Why ACTA and TPP may be more dangerous than SOPA...

SOPA and PIPA were defeated, but other less obvious threats to online freedom of speech are moving forward.

The Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) was signed yesterday by the European Commission, leading to protests across Europe but especially in Poland where thousands of citizens took to the streets over concerns of online censorship.

Some EU leaders are unhappy as well. Kader Arif, the European Parliament’s rapporteur for ACTA, resigned over the issue on Friday, saying he had witnessed “never-before-seen manoeuveres” by the officials responsible for crafting the treaty.

In a statement, Arif said: “I condemn the whole process which led to the signature of this agreement: no consultation of the civil society, lack of transparency since the beginning of negotiations, repeated delays of the signature of the text without any explanation given, reject of Parliament’s recommendations as given in several resolutions of our assembly.”


US Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) a leading opponent of SOPA, has called the agreement more dangerous than the bills stalled in congress.

“As a member of Congress, it’s more dangerous than SOPA,” he said at the World Economic Forum in Davos.

“It’s not coming to me for a vote. It purports that it does not change existing laws. But once implemented, it creates a whole new enforcement system and will virtually tie the hands of Congress to undo it.”

Find out  more at these sources:

(i) On ACTA and how the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) being negotiated in complete secrecy may attempt to use the tactic of being a global trade agreement to 'hide' provisions related to internet censorship: HERE.

(ii) ACTA moves forward despite protests - what it means for our freedom online: HERE.

(iii) ACTA is more dangerous than SOPA: HERE.

(iv) European Parliament rapporteur quits in ACTA protest: HERE.

(I selected the 'request a tag' tag because we may need an acta/tpp tag?? Thanks!!)

Dancing Totoro
  • mschaos

Mitt Romney Glitter Bombed By Gay Rights Activist

An unidentified gay rights activist glitter bombed Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney today during a campaign rally in Eagan, Minnesota. As Mitt took the stage at a warehouse bash, the activist tossed a cup of joyous glitter on the former Massachusetts governor. "The glitter poured over his hair, stuck to his face and shimmered from his navy blazer," breathlessly reports The Washington Post. For those not in the know, glitter bombing is a spectacular tactic used by gay rights and same-sex marriage advocates against LGBT foes. A few notable glitter victims? Karl Rove, Michele Bachmann, Tim Pawlenty, Newt Gingrich, and Dan Savage.

"Oh, I've got glitter in my hair," Romney exclaimed after the glitzy dousing. "That's not all that's in my hair, I'll tell you that. I glue it on every morning, whether I need to or not."

He later crooned a verse of "America the Beautiful."

In related news, the GOP hopeful made a bold/damaging statement Tuesday when explained to CNN anchor Soledad O'Brien that he doesn't care about poor people. In an interview after winning the Florida primary, Romney said, "I'm not concerned about the very poor. We have a safety net there. If it needs a repair, I'll fix it. I'm not concerned about the very rich.... I'm concerned about the very heart of America, the 90-95 percent of Americans who right now are struggling." Which is to say, he only cares about the middle class (since they vote.) Oy.


Mitt Romney’s trouble is his ~*~near-perfection~*~

When a friend was writing a novel, he was concerned that his protagonist was too perfect.

People can’t identify with perfection, he said. For the character to be sympathetic, he needs to have a flaw. He needs an injury or a wound of some sort so that people can identify with and care about him.

“Why don’t you give him a limp?” I suggested, thinking of my own bum leg from a long-ago car accident. And thus, the character, an otherwise near-perfect man — good-looking, smart and talented — began to walk with a slight pause in his gait. To the reader, it was love at first limp.

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The author is Kathleen Parker, for those of you who don't feel like clicking through.
Gryffindor tie

Susan G. Komen Loses Support After Planned Parenthood Decision

Stacey Tillman, a 47-year-old woman from Sandusky, Ohio, says she has donated over $300 to Susan G. Komen for the Cure each year for the past nine years. The issue is close to her heart, she says, because her aunt had breast cancer.

This year, however, following the news that Komen has pulled breast exam funds from Planned Parenthood for political reasons, Tillman is sending her money straight to the family planning provider instead.

"I donated $250 this morning, and then I'll see what I can do in a couple months if I can get more," she told HuffPost in a phone interview. "I've had family members in financial difficulty that have used Planned Parenthood for pap smears and breast cancer screenings. They're getting my money now because they help the needy and the people who fell through the cracks."

After partnering with Planned Parenthood for the past five years to provide cancer screenings to low-income patients, Komen announced on Tuesday that it would sever ties with the family planning provider because it is under investigation in Congress. However, the groups that prompted that investigation are anti-abortion advocacy organizations that have long criticized Planned Parenthood over the fact that some of its clinics offer abortions.

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same sex marriage bill passes

State Senate approves gay marriage bill

The state Senate passed legislation Wednesday night that legalizes gay marriage. The bill now goes to the House, where it's expected to pass easily.

OLYMPIA — A bill legalizing same-sex marriage in Washington cleared its biggest legislative hurdle Wednesday night in a historic vote by the state Senate.

Lawmakers approved the bill 28 to 21. The measure now heads for the House where it's expected to easily pass as early as next week. The governor supports the bill as well.

Washington would become the seventh state to legalize gay marriage.

The outcome, while expected, culminates more than decade of work by Sen. Ed Murray, D-Seattle, the prime sponsor of the bill, and the gay and lesbian community.

"A lot of people are just stunned, particularly people my age and older, to think this day would actually come in our lifetime," Murray told reporters before the vote.

Gay marriage opponents have promised to challenge any same-sex marriage law at the ballot. A referendum cannot be filed until the governor signs the legislation.

The bill is SB 6239.

Source -


Jesus Horses

Apparently, homosexuals are Islamists

Or at least they have the same agenda according to some. I have no words.

Perkins: 'The Islamists and the Homosexuals Work Out of the Same Playbook'
Yesterday on Today’s Issues, Family Research Council president Tony Perkins claimed that “Islamists and the homosexuals work out of the same playbook” in their attempt to “marginalize” and “silence” critics. Perkins told his cohost, American Family Association head Tim Wildmon, that both Islamists and gays and lesbians attack critics because “if what they do and what they subscribe to is scrutinized, people will turn away from it.” Wildmon wholeheartedly agreed with Perkins and said that Islamists and the gay community want people to “suspend common sense.”
Perkins: The Islamists and the homosexuals work out of the same playbook. They knew that if what they do and what they subscribe to is scrutinized, people will turn away from it, so what they want to do is they want to marginalize and eventually silence anyone who challenges their ideology and their agenda.

Wildmon: That’s called political correctness.

Perkins: Yup.

Wildmon: What you have to do there is you have to deny reality and you have to, you know, you have to suspend common sense.
Link includes an audio clip.
  • yeats

Hey Baby -- How Thick Is Your Bubble?

Noted racist Charles Murray (he of The Bell Curve fuckery) just released a book, Coming Apart: The State of White America, 1960-2010, which noted asshat David Brooks recently cited in his New York Times column. Murray's personal site on the website of noted racist organization, the American Entrepreneurial Institute, gives a summary of the book as follows:
The top and bottom of white America increasingly live in different cultures, Murray argues, with the powerful upper class living in enclaves surrounded by their own kind, ignorant about life in mainstream America, and the lower class suffering from erosions of family and community life that strike at the heart of the pursuit of happiness. That divergence puts the success of the American project at risk.
It's white people problems, in (most likely racist) book form.

The fun part, though, is a little quiz thrown together and based Murray's "research." Somewhat erotically entitled How Thick Is Your Bubble?, this quiz seeks to help you answer the question, "How culturally isolated are you?" Although there are some interesting notions raised by some of the questions, the overall definition of "mainstream American culture" seems...well, I'll let the comm be the judge of it.

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So take the test, and tell the rest of ontd_political whether you're an upper class (white) elite, or a member of mainstream (white) America. Gawker has helpfully broken down the scores for each of our presidential candidates.
sneaky bitches

FROTHY outdoes himself!!

Rick Santorum Tells Sick Kid Market Should Should Set Drug Prices

WOODLAND PARK, Colo. - GOP contender Rick Santorum had a heated exchange with a mother and her sick young son Wednesday, arguing that drug companies were entitled to charge whatever the market demanded for life-saving therapies.

Santorum, himself the father of a child with a rare genetic disorder, compared buying drugs to buying an iPad, and said demand would determine the cost of medical therapies.

"People have no problem paying $900 for an iPad," Santorum said, "but paying $900 for a drug they have a problem with - it keeps you alive. Why? Because you've been conditioned to think health care is something you can get without having to pay for it."

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