Monday, July 23, 2018

Black Lung Disease

As noted before, an RN here.  If you’ve worked in clinics, you know there’s a Medicare survey.  These days it’s usually done by the front desk staff.  But if someone’s on Medicare, the first question on the survey (or it used to be) was are you receiving black lung benefits.  And people generally look at you like “huh?” when you ask.  So you then say, “Well have you ever been a coal miner?”  At that point, they get the general idea.  That and that alone is pretty much my knowledge of black lung.  I’ve actually never had anyone as a patient or known anyone personally who had black lung disease.  So I am going to note this from Tom Hall (WSWS):

The rates of black lung disease among coal miners in the central Appalachia states in the US are now at their highest levels in a quarter century, according to a new report by government researchers.
More than one in five miners with more than 25 years experience live with the fatal and incurable condition known officially as coal workers’ pneumoconiosis (CWP), which is caused by irreparable damage to the lungs through long-term exposure to coal dust. The deadly disease continues to ruin more lives in West Virginia, Kentucky and Virginia.
Because black lung develops over time and can take years before victims begin to exhibit symptoms, the researchers warn that their findings actually underestimate the true extent of the disease among active miners. “What you see now in active miners is what you’ll see later in former miners, and potentially greater disease and more progression,” coauthor Cara Halldin told National Public Radio (NPR). “And so, this is probably an underestimate of what we’ll see in the future.” The authors did not mince words in their report, commenting that “[w]e can think of no other industry or workplace in the United States in which this [level of workplace-caused illness] would be considered acceptable.”
Until the late 1990s, black lung disease had fallen by more than 90 percent over the course of nearly three decades, after a series of miners’ strikes and mass protests forced the passage of 1969 federal legislation and later regulations recognizing black lung as an occupational illness and limiting exposure to coal dust. Since the late 1990s, however, the disease has made a rapid and dramatic comeback.
Earlier this year, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) announced that it had identified the largest cluster of patients diagnosed with black lung ever recorded, with 416 cases diagnosed at three clinics between 2013 and 2017. A social worker told NPR that they now see as many cases in two weeks as they used to see in a year, and that they have had 154 new cases since the end of the government’s study.
It’s really easy to forget what some people have to endure for the US to have coal. 

I don’t want to take away anyone’s jobs but I do wish we were clean energy all the way.  That would be wind and solar.  Not nuclear.  I know that they try to sell nuclear plants with the false claim that they’re clean.  They are not.  People around them are exposed even without accidents.  And an accident will destroy everything in sight.  We do not need nuclear power plants.  True clean energy is the answer.

This is C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot" for Monday:

Monday, July 23, 2018.  An attack in Erbil catches more attention from the western media than the attack on protesters.

Let's start with this from Justin Raimondo (ANTIWAR.COM):

In an unprecedented move, the Justice Department has released the FISA application submitted by the FBI to spy on Carter Page, the rather hapless would-be advisor to the Trump campaign who has been smeared as a “Russian agent” – but has not been charged after almost two years.
We’ve never before even seen a FISA application, in which law enforcement agents explain to a judge why it is necessary for them to conduct surveillance on an American citizen, and so this is a special treat. The document that came out of this unique Freedom of Information Act request shows that the FBI had an ulterior motive in going after Page – and that they lied to the FISA court judge.
In order to get the judge to agree to the surveillance, the FBI had to establish a fairly convincing probable cause: at a minimum, agents had to identify multiple sources indicating that an act of espionage may have occurred or is about to occur imminently. This FISA application shows that the FBI had a single source: the unverified “dossier,” compiled by “former” MI6 agent Christopher Steele, bought and paid for by the Clinton campaign to dig up dirt on Trump. The other ostensible “sources” were news articles by journalists whom Steele had leaked to. There was a clear intent to deceive the judge who read this application.

This technique is a familiar one: remember how the neocons used to quote each other as “proof” that Saddam had “weapons of mass destruction”? It’s the old echo chamber trick, and every third-rate smear artist deploys it. The question arises: so is this how the FBI carries out its “investigations” into espionage?

Why did we start with that?  KPFA couldn't tell us about Iraq on Sunday's KPFA EVENING NEWS but they could lie about what Justin just covered.  Woops!  They lied again.  This time their lies are so bad, you can't even defend them.  KPFA needs to get its mouth out of the gutter and its head out of its ass.  Lying to listeners does not build trust.

If you can not lift the injustice At least tell everyone Ali. Shariati

A good motto.  Sadly, it's not the motto of KPFA.

Is this how KPFA will go out?  Lying to listeners?  There's no reason for anyone to donate to hear lies.

While we're correcting the lies of cowards, let's also note this -- I saw it on ANTIWAR.COM.

"Pornography passing as news coverage."  Stephen Cohen is exactly right.  And we're noting the above because his hideous and cowardly wife stabs him in the back.

BREAKING: Gunmen storm the governorate building in Erbil, the seat of the Kurdistan gov't in northern Iraq

ALJAZEERA reports on violence in the KRG where an attack in the capital (Erbil) has resulted in several deaths.  How many people are dead?

TRT (above) reports that 1 KRG employee was shot dead by assailants and states that there were three assailants and all were shot dead.  That would be four killed.  There are conflicting reports with some identifying suicide bombers as part of the attack (FRANCE 24 says there were two suicide bombers who detonated).

TRT notes a car bombing 3 years ago and how violent attacks are rare in Erbil.

The attack follows by less than a week Brett McGurk's announcement of an attack on the Makhmour Mountains.

Our supported joint coordinated operations between Iraqi Security Forces and Kurdish yesterday against hideouts in the Makhmour Mountains.

The attack follows by two weeks the announcement by the US government that construction had started on a US consulate in Erbil (a new one, there's already one consulate in Erbil):

The Bureau of Overseas Buildings Operations Breaks Ground on the New U.S. Consulate Compound in Erbil, Iraq
In a demonstration of enduring friendship and the important bilateral partnership, U.S. Ambassador Douglas A. Silliman and U.S. Consul General Ken Gross broke ground today on the new U.S. Consulate Compound in Erbil, Iraq.
The new U.S. Consulate Compound will provide a secure, modern, and environmentally sustainable platform for diplomacy.  The project is expected to be completed in 2022.
EYP of Albany, New York is the design architect for the project and B.L. Harbert of Birmingham, Alabama is the construction contractor.  
Since 1999, as part of the Department’s Capital Security Construction Program, the Bureau of Overseas Buildings Operations (OBO) has completed 144 new diplomatic facilities and has an additional 57 projects in design or under construction.
OBO’s mission is to provide safe, secure, and functional facilities that represent the U.S. government to host nations and support staff in achieving U.S. foreign policy objectives.  These facilities represent U.S. values and the best in U.S. architecture, engineering, technology, sustainability, art, culture, and construction execution.  
July 7th, the KRG noted:

Erbil, Kurdistan Region, Iraq ( - Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani attended the ground breaking ceremony of the new US Consulate General compound in Erbil, alongside with U.S. Ambassador to Iraq, Mr. Douglas Silliman, U.S. Consul General in Erbil, Mr. Ken Gross, and a number of Kurdistan Regional Government officials.
Prime Minister Barzani, in a speech during the ceremony, described the relations between the Kurdistan Region and the United States as important. He also commended the role of the U.S. forces in assisting the Kurdistan Region to defeat ISIS.
He said building a new compound for the U.S. consulate in Erbil is an important step, and a sign of the U.S. interest in the Kurdistan Region. He hoped that the United States will further strengthen its relations with the Kurdistan Region and Iraq.

The new U.S. Consulate compound is being constructed on a 51-acre with a total budget of 795 million Dollars. The environmentally-friendly compound, which also houses a permanent art collection, is anticipated to be completed in 2022.

 In Iraq, protest continues.  So does the abuse of protesters.


Fresh protests hit southern Iraq Sunday as medical sources said 11 demonstrators were killed in two weeks of unrest, sparked by ire over corruption and lack of public services. Security forces remained deployed around Baghdad after struggling Friday to disperse crowds of angry protesters who took to the streets.
Demonstrations have roiled swaths of southern and central Iraq since erupting in the oil-rich port city of Basra on July 8, when security forces opened fire killing one person.

TRT adds:

Shamefully, much of the international media has barely covered the eruption of popular protests that have swept mainly southern Iraq over the past few weeks. Iraqis in the oil-rich south took to the streets, calling on the federal government to end corruption, institute effective policies to ensure Iraqis had gainful employment, and to put an end to foreign interference, primarily coming from Iraq’s ever troublesome neighbour to the east, Iran. 
In response, the protesters have faced police brutality, and abduction at the hands of pro-Iran Shia militias who have a vested interest in crippling Iraq and making sure that it continues to be a gangland that they can milk dry.

As the protests continue, Hayder al-Abadi has so little to offer that he has to depend upon others.

Emir of ready to assist Iraq amid protests by placing a investment worth $3 billion🇰🇼🇮🇶♥️ its time for neighbouring countries to help aid if the iraqi government itself couldn't gaf

ALSUMARIA adds that the US is stating it will help as well.  "Help," promised by the US Embassy in Baghdad is left undefined.

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