Supreme Court candidate Jennifer Dorow has been critical of the cash bail system
Dan Bice Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Deep-pocketed conservatives dropped millions of dollars on TV ads criticizing Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes in this year’s U.S. Senate race for his opposition to cash bail for defendants awaiting trial.
So what are those same interests going to do when a conservative candidate expresses her own concerns about the cash bail system?
We’ll soon find out.
Waukesha County Circuit Judge Jennifer Dorow, a conservative candidate for the state Supreme Court, was a member of the Legislative Council Study Committee on Bail & Conditions of Pretrial Release several years ago.
“We don’t have a workable preventative detention, and more importantly, cash bail is not a best practice any more,” Dorow said on Jan. 29, 2019. “And so if we are going to change anything, we should be looking at a system that eliminates cash bail with a robust preventative detention coupled with statewide pre-trial services because uniformity and funding need to be part of this solution as well.”
Following his conviction, Madison criminal defense attorney Chris Van Wagner said the appeal process for Brooks case would be lengthy and potentially complicated.
A potential appeal could also focus on whether Brooks should have been allowed to represent himself.
“The lawyer can actually claim ineffective assistance of counsel to himself, as crazy as that sounds, and claim that he didn’t get a fair trial in the interest of justice because he should not have been allowed to represent himself,” Van Wagner said. “That seems to fly in the face of common sense and logic as well as Mr. Brooks’ wishes, but I have no doubt that will be considered.”
Today’s read is from Cam Edwards, the co-author of “Heavy Lifting: Grow Up, Get a Job, Start a Family, and Other Manly Advice.” Here’s an excerpt:
Want to know what real gun safety education looks like, as opposed to the “don’t own a gun” definition of gun safety dreamt up by the anti-gun lobby? It doesn’t involve after-school marches to create new, non-violent, possessory crimes out of a constitutional right. It’s not based on trying to make gun ownership taboo, abnormal, or an inherently bad idea. Instead, it’s based on the idea that we live in a world where guns exist and will never go away, so our kids should know how to be safe and responsible with them. Real gun safety involves real guns, and in Wisconsin, 30 high school students have received an excellent education in firearms safety as part of their science class.
Smoking Marijuana More Harmful to Lungs Than Cigarettes: Study
By Lia Onely The Epoch Times Nov 29 2022
A man smokes marijuana in a file photo in Paris, France on May 14, 2016. (Kenzo Tribouillard/AFP/Getty Images)
A recent study suggests that smoking marijuana might cause more harm to the lungs than smoking tobacco.
The Canadian study was published in mid-November in the peer-reviewed journal Radiology.
The research looked at CT examinations that were taken between October 2005 and July 2020 at The Ottawa Hospital and its affiliate hospitals to investigate the effects of smoking marijuana on the lungs.
The researchers grouped chest CT examinations according to marijuana smokers, tobacco-only smokers, and nonsmokers.
The “study suggests that distinct radiologic findings in the lung may be seen in marijuana smokers, including higher rates of paraseptal emphysema and airway inflammatory changes … when compared with nonsmoker control patients and those who only smoke tobacco,” said the authors.
Higher Rates of Emphysema
The study found higher rates of emphysema among marijuana smokers (42 out of 56, 75 percent) than nonsmokers (three out of 57, five percent). Emphysema is a serious lung disease, caused in most cases by smoking damage leading to shortness of breath.
Emphysema was found to be more common among the marijuana smokers (28 out of 30, 93 percent) who were 50 and older than the tobacco-only smokers (22 out of 33, 67 percent ) in the age-matched groups. The tobacco smokers were older, so the researchers created age-matched subgroups.
The researchers included tobacco-smokers 50 and older who smoked one pack a day for 25 years at a minimum. For the marijuana smokers the average quantity they smoked was 0.065 ounces (1.85 grams) per day. However, less than half of this group specified the amount they used.
A subtype of emphysema, called paraseptal emphysema, which affects the outermost parts of the lung, was found to be more common among marijuana smokers than tobacco-only smokers regardless of their age, the study said.
Higher Rates of Airway Inflammation
Markers of airway inflammation were found to be higher in the marijuana smokers group versus nonsmokers and tobacco-only smokers.
For marijuana smokers compared to nonsmokers the rates of airway inflammation were: bronchial thickening (64 percent versus 11 percent), bronchiectasis (23 percent versus four percent), and mucoid impaction (46 percent versus two percent).
Bronchiectasis is a condition where the lung airways become widened, leading to a build-up of mucus that may make the lungs vulnerable to infection.
Mucoid impaction is a condition where the airways become filled with mucous.
For marijuana smokers versus tobacco smokers, the rates of airway inflammation were: bronchial thickening (64 percent versus 42 percent), bronchiectasis (23 percent versus six percent), and mucoid impaction (46 percent versus 15 percent).
Analysis of the age-matched subgroups showed an even more significant difference between the rates of bronchial thickening (83 percent versus 42 percent), bronchiectasis (33 percent versus six percent), and mucoid impaction (67 percent versus 15 percent) in marijuana smokers compared to the tobacco-smokers.
The researchers also looked at non-lung-related parameters one of which was Gynecomastia, a condition that causes enlarged breast tissue in boys and men.
They found it to be significantly more common among marijuana smokers (13 out of 34, 38 percent) than in nonsmokers (five out of 32, 16 percent).
The researchers noted that the small sample size in the study limited their ability to draw strong conclusions.
They also noted that most of the marijuana smokers also smoked tobacco (50 out of 56) and said that the participants’ other health conditions were not accounted for.
The study comes as more states are legalizing the drug.
“There’s a public perception that marijuana is safer than tobacco, and this study raises concern this may not be true,” said study author Giselle Revah, assistant professor in the department of radiology at the University of Ottawa in Ontario, according to CNN.
However, since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and affiliated health authorities have vociferously recommended against ivermectin as a potential treatment for the virus.
In a social media message that has gone viral, the FDA labeled it as a drug for horses and not fit for human consumption: “You are not a horse. You are not a cow. Seriously, y’all. Stop it.”
The post made headlines and was one of the FDA’s most successful social media campaigns. Yet, research findings seem to contradict the public health organization’s recommendations.
A growing body of research shows that ivermectin is an essential treatment for COVID-19. Many doctors have praised the drug for its broad yet effective antiparasitic, antiviral, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer, and autophagic properties.
Ivermectin: Antiparasitic Beginnings
Ivermectin made its name through its significant benefits in treating parasitic infections.
In 1973, Satoshi Omura and William C. Campbell, working with the Kitasato Institute in Tokyo, found an unusual type of Streptomyces bacteria in Japanese soil near a golf course.
In laboratory studies, Omura and Campbell discovered that this Streptomyces bacteria could cure mice infected with the roundworm Heligmosomoides polygyrus. Campbell isolated the bacteria’s active compounds, naming them avermectins, and the bacteria was thus called S. avermitilis.
Despite decades of searching worldwide, researchers have yet to find another microorganism that can produce avermectin.
It was changing one of the bonds of avermectin through a chemical process that produced ivermectin, which was proven successful in treating onchocerciasis and lymphatic filariasis, both of which are debilitating diseases common in the developing world.
Though its broad antiparasitic functions are not well understood, it is known that ivermectin penetrates parasites’ nervous systems, turning off their neurons’ actions, possibly deactivating and killing them.
As part of a donation campaign launched in 1988 by Merck & Co., Inc., the manufacturer of ivermectin, the drug was used in Africa to treat river blindness. Also called onchocerciasis, river blindness is a tropical disease caused by Onchocerca volvulus worms. It is the second-most common cause worldwide of infectious blindness.
The Onchocerca worms mature in the skin of an infected individual (“the host”). After mating, female worms can release into the host’s skin up to 1,000 microfilariae a day; the female worms live for 10 to 14 years. The presence of these worms can lead to scarring in the tissues and, when microfilariae invade the eye, can cause visual impairment or complete loss of vision.
When Merck distributed ivermectin in areas hardest hit by the disease, treatment benefited the residents’ overall health and led to economic recovery. Ivermectin replaced previous drugs that had devastating side effects.
Ivermectin has also proven effective against lymphatic filariasis, known as elephantiasis. Parasitic worms transmitted through the bite of an infected mosquito can grow and develop in lymphatic vessels, which regulate the body’s water balance. When certain vessels are blocked, the areas—typically the legs and genitals—can swell, with the legs enlarging to elephant-like stumps.
The World Health Organization listed ivermectin as an essential drug and has advised many countries to run annual campaigns to rid people of these parasites. Such recommendations are a solid testament to ivermectin’s safety.
For their work, including the discovery of avermectin, in 2015, Omura and Campbell were among three recipients of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine.
It is an indispensable drug for the underdeveloped world, with about 3.7 billion doses administered as part of global campaigns during the past 30 years. To this day, ivermectin remains a staple drug of tropical areas and an essential drug in treating onchocerciasis, lymphatic filariasis, strongyloidiasis, and scabies.
Prophylaxis intervenes in the first phases of COVID-19 infection, which is mainly asymptomatic, when the virus replicates to increase its viral load—symptom onset occurs after the viral load peaks.
Ivermectin can be effective in the early stages of infection. Outside the cells, ivermectin can attach to parts of the virus, immobilizing it and preventing it from entering and infecting human cells.
Ivermectin can also enter the cell to prevent the virus from replicating. SARS-CoV-2 needs cell replication machinery to make more of the virus; ivermectin attaches and blocks a protein critical to this process, preventing viral production.
Additionally, ivermectin can be absorbed from the skin and stored in fat cells for a long time.
“Because it’s lipid soluble, it is stored and slowly released, [so] once you’ve taken a prophylactic dose, and I think it’s like the cumulative dose of about 400mg, that your risk of getting COVID is close to zero and you can actually stop it for a while,” said Dr. Paul Marik, a widely published critical care specialist with 500 peer-reviewed papers to his name, in an interview with The Epoch Times.
Marik co-founded the Front Line COVID-19 Critical Care Alliance (FLCCC), a group of physicians formed in the early days of the pandemic and dedicated to treating COVID-19. According to interviews, many of the group’s doctors have successfully treated COVID-19 with ivermectin. The organization’s other co-founder, Dr. Pierre Kory, has written a book about ivermectin’s use and controversy during the pandemic.
Dr. Sabine Hazan, a gastroenterologist with 22 years of experience in clinical research, told The Epoch Times that she would advise ivermectin use for only a short time in critical patients rather than recommending the use of it as a prophylaxis.
Continuous use of ivermectin—as with all drugs—can make the body dependent on the drug rather than working to fix itself.
2. Ivermectin for Early and Acute COVID
Many peer-reviewed studies have found that ivermectin, when used by itself or in conjunction with other therapies in symptomatic patients, reduces ventilation time, time for recovery, and the risk of progressing to severe disease. (pdf 1, pdf 2, pdf 3)
This is likely due to ivermectin’s anti-inflammatory role in multiple pathways, achieved by clearing out the viral particles by immobilizing them, reducing inflammation, and improving mitochondrial action.
Suppose the early viral replication is not controlled and cleared out soon enough by the body’s immune system. In that case, the infection can become severe or even hyperinflammatory, possibly leading to systemic organ failures.
Ivermectin can also directly interact with immune pathways, suppressing inflammation and reducing the chances of developing a cytokine storm. A cytokine storm occurs when the immune system is hyperactive and hyperinflammatory. Though ivermectin can help to clear out the virus and its particles, the inflammatory state of the tissues and the organs can often cause more damage than the virus itself.
Ivermectin also likely improves gut health, which plays an essential role in immunity by preventing bacteria and viruses from infecting people via the gut.
In a published study, Hazan hypothesized that ivermectin helps COVID-19 patients by increasing the levels of Bifidobacteria—a beneficial bacteria—in the gut.
As the CEO and founder of her own genetic sequencing research laboratory, ProgenaBiome, Hazan noticed that the Bifidobacteria levels in her stools would increase after she took ivermectin. Critical COVID patients would have “zero Bifidobacteria,” which can often be a sign of poor health.
“When people die of COVID, they die from the cytokines—they couldn’t breathe anymore. It’s almost like an anaphylactic reaction. So when you give them ivermectin at the moment they’re about to crash, you’re boosting the Bifidobacteria [and increasing their oxygen],” Hazan said.
She explained that ivermectin is a fermented product of Streptomyces bacteria. Streptomyces are within the same group Bifidobacteria are from, which may explain why ivermectin temporarily boosts Bifidobacteria.
Ivermectin also helps with mitochondrial function. During severe COVID-19, patients often experience pulmonary dysfunctions due to lung inflammation, reducing oxygen flow. This can cause stress to the mitochondria, leading to fatigue, and, when severe, may cause cell and tissue death. Ivermectin has been shown to increase energy production, indicating that it is beneficial to the mitochondria.
Furthermore, ivermectin can bind to the spike protein—a distinctive structural feature of the COVID virus which has a crucial role in its pathogenesis. In systemic disease, the spike protein can enter the bloodstream and bind to red blood cells to form blood clots. Ivermectin can prevent blood clots from forming in the body.
3. Ivermectin for Long COVID and Post-Vaccine Symptoms
The number of studies supporting ivermectin to treat long COVID and post-COVID-19 vaccine symptoms is limited. However, doctors treating these conditions have observed successful results with ivermectin.
Researchers found that in patients reporting long COVID symptoms—including coughing, brain fog, headaches, and fatigue—ivermectin alleviated their symptoms.
Mechanistically, ivermectin can improve autophagy. This process is usually switched off during COVID-19 infections. By switching autophagy back on, ivermectin can help cells clear remnant viral proteins out, returning stability to the cell.
Like acute and severe COVID-19, chronic spike protein triggers inflammation, and ivermectin can reduce such responses by suppressing inflammatory pathways and lessening the damage to tissues and blood vessels.
The Changing Public Health Messaging on Ivermectin
The NIH’s stance on ivermectin has changed several times.
Early in the pandemic, there was little information on ivermectin as a potential treatment for the virus.
The first study that mentioned ivermectin as a potential COVID-19 treatment came from Australia in April 2020. Researchers administered ivermectin to SARS-CoV-2-infected monkey kidney cells in the laboratory and found the drug beneficial in very high doses. However, the researchers concluded that further study was needed. Many health agencies, including the NIH, the CDC, and other global health regulators concluded that ivermectin could kill the virus only at toxic levels.
Even now, NIH’s statement on ivermectin for COVID-19 reads: “Ivermectin has been shown to inhibit replication of SARS-CoV-2 in cell cultures. However, pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic studies suggest that achieving the plasma concentrations necessary for the antiviral efficacy detected in vitro would require administration of doses up to 100-fold higher than those approved for use in humans.”
The study’s lead author, Dr. Jean-Jacques Rajter, is a critical care doctor specializing in pulmonary medicine.
Rajter gave a testimony (pdf) of his findings to the Senate Committee on Homeland Security & Governmental Affairs in December 2020.
The day after he saw the Australian study, one of his COVID patients dramatically deteriorated from breathing normally at room oxygen levels to requiring intubation. The patient’s son pleaded with Rajter to save his mother using whatever options available. Rajter recognized that hydroxychloroquine would be ineffective in the advanced stages of COVID. After much deliberation, he tried ivermectin.
“The patient deteriorated as expected for about 12 more hours but stabilized by 24 hours and improved by 48 hours. After this, two more patients had similar issues and were treated with the ivermectin-based protocol. Based on experience, these patients should have done poorly, yet they all survived,” the testimony read.
More clinical studies were published, showing the benefits of ivermectin as a prophylactic treatment. (pdf 1, pdf 2).
The findings encouraged the use of ivermectin among doctors desperate to find a cure.
Meanwhile, by October 2020, research into COVID-19 vaccines and the use of remdesivir to treat the virus was already in full swing.
According to the FDA, specific criteria should be met for the EUA (Emergency Use Authorization) to be granted for vaccines and medications, including that there are “no adequate, approved, and available alternatives.”
Some doctors say that if ivermectin’s use for COVID had been approved, it would have made the EUAs for vaccines and remdesivir null and void.
Following the Australian study, the FDA published a statement, “FAQ: COVID-19 and Ivermectin Intended for Animals,” highlighting the use of ivermectin in animals and advising against the use of ivermectin for COVID-19.
The NIH also discouraged the use of ivermectin, albeit briefly. On Jan. 14, 2021, the NIH changed its statement, writing that there was no evidence to recommend or disapprove the use of ivermectin. However, in April 2022, the statement changed to strongly disapproving of using ivermectin.
“We [Marik, Kory, and Dr. Andrew Hill, a virologist and consultant to the WHO] had a conference with NIH in January of 2021. We presented our data, and Andrew Hill presented the data he had done…there were a number of studies at that point, which were very positive,” said Marik.
Yet using the FDA’s statement against ivermectin to ban its use in COVID-19 cases would be considered an overreach. Since the FDA approved ivermectin in 1996, this made the drug acceptable for off-label use.
“The fact that it’s not FDA approved for COVID is irrelevant because the FDA endorses the use of off-label drugs at the clinician’s discretion,” said Marik.
As an ironic side effect of the messaging on ivermectin, people suddenly found themselves unable to access ivermectin, and some turned to veterinary-grade ivermectin.
Though veterinary ivermectin is the same product as medicinal ivermectin, the manufacturing standard is not the same as it is for human-grade pharmaceuticals.
Contradictory Research and Campaigns
Though the initial research in 2020 showed promising results for ivermectin, published studies reported conflicting findings by the following year.
The NIH has funded many studies on the effectiveness of ivermectin, the most recent being ACTIV-6.
Individuals can participate in the study once they develop COVID by selecting ivermectin from four other drugs. The drug was sent to them via mail. This method means that some people in the study could have recovered by the time they received the ivermectin.
There are some controversies regarding this study.
The first is that the authors changed the primary endpoints during the study, which is heavily frowned upon as it can affect the validity and reliability of the outcome.
Initially, the primary endpoint was the number of deaths, hospitalizations, and symptoms reported at day 14.
This was changed to the number of deaths, hospitalizations, and symptoms by day 28. In the actual published study, there was another change, with the endpoint being duration of COVID-19 symptoms.
A rapid review published by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) implied that the endpoints were changed because, by the time the study commenced, there were far fewer events of death and hospitalizations; as a result, there would not be enough data for a reliable comparison.
Indeed, the data at the ACTIV-6 livestream showed that the ivermectin group reported only one death; this death would not be considered relevant to the research because the patient was hospitalized and died before he took ivermectin.
There were also further implementations in the study that could impact the observed effectiveness of the drug.
On average, this study’s participants received treatment six days after first reporting symptoms. Patients needed to report eligible symptoms and test positive for COVID-19 before receiving drugs. Due to this added time, about seven percent of the participants had no symptoms by the time ivermectin arrived.
Despite these negative findings for ivermectin, there is still some evidence that may demonstrate that ivermectin can be useful in treating COVID-19.
In the abstract, the authors concluded that taking ivermectin had “a posterior probability of benefit of .91,” this is another way of writing that ivermectin had a 91 percent probability of being more beneficial than placebo.
The percent of probability is below 95 percent, making the benefit of ivermectin insignificant.
Another secondary endpoint showed that by day 14, ivermectin already had a statistically significant 27 percent benefit with 98 percent probability of efficacy.
The FDA and NIH did not respond for comments by press time.
Today’s read is from Adam Fadel, a licensed clinical therapist and founder of the Charlotte clinic the Corner. Here’s an excerpt:
When Sarah (a pseudonym) walked into my office, she looked like hundreds of people I’ve treated for trauma recovery. She was having issues with her husband, she felt estranged from her children and she lacked confidence in herself.
Over the following months, Sarah and I uncovered traumas throughout her life. We found that her marital problems were a combination of her lack of self-confidence and his blunt personality. Her children loved her, but they didn’t know why she sometimes pushed them away. And her fulfillment in life was being stunted by a childhood filled with abuse, shame and, in her late teens, an unexpected pregnancy and an abortion.
The big difference between Sarah and most of my clients is that she had an abortion. And as state lawmakers consider the issue of abortion, they need to keep people like Sarah in mind — women who aren’t shouting their abortion, but instead are silently grieving.
A contributor at the The Federalist wrote that Fadel’s account “further solidifies the reality of what many women actually experience after choosing abortion: grief and trauma.”
“Republicans love to hate Pelosi, and often for good reason. She was tough and even mean sometimes. On issues like COVID and congressional member stock-trading, she helped break trust with the American people. More broadly, she pushed through many policies that will hurt America badly. This record is nothing to celebrate. But as a purely political matter, Pelosi has been by far the greatest congressional leader of our time. She ran her caucus with tight control. Nobody really crossed her, and she got things done. The gap is so huge that the House Republicans she’s gone up against were really never in her league.” Neil Patel
“I’m sick of this s***. How many people need to be murdered? How many lives torn apart? Until it actually stops? We don’t have to live like this. And we don’t have to die like this.” Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot regarding the Colorado Springs mass shooting
“As the mayor of Chicago, you should probably sit this one out.” Alana Mastrangelo
“Actual bravery: Iranian soccer players refusing to sing the anthem, and risking jail or worse. Fake bravery: Europeans threatening to wear rainbow armbands to the cheers of the media, then backing down the minute they were threatened with a yellow card.” Ben Shapiro
The Barking Lot is a regular weekly feature of This Just In…Originally written by both my lovely wife, Jennifer and me, this blog brings you the latest news about our furry friends including articles, columns, photos and videos. Enjoy!
THE WEEKEND DOG-WALKING FORECAST: We grade the weather outlook for taking your pet outdoors.
TODAY: Sunny, along with a few afternoon clouds. High near 55. “B”
SUNDAY: A steady rain in the morning. Showers continuing in the afternoon. High of 41. Chance of rain 70%. “D”
Time now for DOGS IN THE NEWS, canines that made headlines the past week.