VA Study Shows Parasite From Vietnam May Be Killing Veterans


A half a century after serving in Vietnam, hundreds of veterans have a new reason to believe they may be dying from a silent bullet — test results show some men may have been infected by a slow-killing parasite while fighting in the jungles of Southeast Asia.

The Department of Veterans Affairs this spring commissioned a small pilot study to look into the link between liver flukes ingested through raw or undercooked fish and a rare bile duct cancer. It can take decades for symptoms to appear. By then, patients are often in tremendous pain, with just a few months to live.

Of the 50 blood samples submitted, more than 20 percent came back positive or bordering positive for liver fluke antibodies, said Sung-Tae Hong, the tropical medicine specialist who carried out the tests at Seoul National University in South Korea.

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Inspection- The Rock on Which I Stand

Another brief break from politics and social issues.
 November 22, 2017: my mother died 49 years ago today. I must admit I was so young I hardly remember her, but I can still give thanks. I’ve written this before. Being a topic I love, I’m sure I will return to it again and again. Consider it a “review,” a new take on an old topic, or maybe I’m just still learning to swim…

by Ken Carman

Inspection When parents die feeling alone: swimming in a more empty, endless, sea, is not unexpected…
  I know Chip Kiefer from school, and performing in Old Forge for over 10 years. It’s been a tough year for the Kiefer family. Early this year Chip’s mother passed. I’m not sure if I ever met June Kiefer; if I did it was briefly. I’ve met Charles Kiefer: incredibly nice man. About a month ago Charlie passed too, so I understand some of my emotions there even though I didn’t know him all that well either. Yet, even when I heard about June, to quote a Fogelberg song, “I felt that old familiar pain.” Maybe it’s just me thinking of my friend and understanding this is something we all go through, at least until we escape through that final tunnel headed somewhere, anywhere… We find out when we get there. Read more

During the campaign, Trump said, “I could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody, and I wouldn’t lose voters.” I used to think that statement was hyperbolic, but it seems more and more likely to be true. Fuck, he might just do it to prove himself right. (I can hear him now telling Steve Doucey he’s never even been on Fifth Avenue.) I never had many Trump-supporting friends on Facebook to begin with, but the few I did have spent the last year systemically antagonizing everyone they knew, almost challenging them to sever ties. By way of a fun example, here is the kid who sold a bunch of my friends pot in high school:

Imagine trying to have this kid (now an adult, despite the nature of the above post) to Thanksgiving dinner. How do you engage with someone who doesn’t just not care if their aggressive political stances upset you, but wants you to get upset—someone for whom “this makes people upset” is actually the whole reason to have that stance in the first place?

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The “Redneck Revolt” Is Showing Up at Gun Shows and KKK Rallies to End White Supremacy


Last year, following the presidential election, I wrote a column  suggesting that people who identify as White consider working in their own families and communities to address the racism and bigotry that helped to put Donald Trump in office. I asked what if the well-intentioned White allies who have moved to urban centers to “help” communities of color had instead remained in their own communities—however racially regressive and intolerable—and worked to make them better at engaging in race relations.

I later discussed two communities doing this kind of work. In Maine, a Truth & Reconciliation Commission investigated how generations of Native children had been taken from their homes, against the wishes of their families, and placed in foster care with White families. From that process came the organization Maine Wabanaki REACH, a cross-cultural group that worked to implement suggestions that came out of the commission to help heal that community. And the Truth-Telling Project, founded in Ferguson, Missouri, following the police-killing of Michael Brown, is not only working within its community to address police violence enacted on the mostly Black community, but also with White communities in other states. The TTP is helping them with their approach to truth-telling in their local areas, and unlearning racism.

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