Saturday, March 25, 2017

I Now Support Abolition of the Death Penalty

I once tried to buy a briefcase in the souk of Fez, Morocco. I said, this looks like plastic, and you are charging for leather. He replied, it is European leather. Ah, I said.

I now support abolition of the death penalty.

1) We should have the European death penalty. It is quite lively, and it is called, suicide. The US prisons accomplished the greatest achievement in psychiatry of the 20th Century, at no cost, no program, no treatment, no additional staff. They nearly eliminated prison suicide by a warden policy change, eyesight supervision. No one knows about this greatest of achievements in psychiatry, to come close to eliminating the hard, harsh outcome of psychiatric disorders, death. Meanwhile suicide in European prisons is massive, with violent offenders properly at the highest risk, numbering in the hundreds, if not in the under-reported thousands;

2) The opiate overdose epidemic will be causing the attrition of the violent criminal class. That will be thanks to Chinese imported carfentanyl, an opiate 10,000 times more potent than morphine. It standard use is by veterinarians needing to deeply anesthetize elephants for prolonged major surgeries;

3) CRISPR/cas9 technology will soon fix the defects that result in criminality and in addiction. These defects were well described in the mid 19th Century. This change will be despite the all out obstruction by the lawyer profession, trying to save their totally worthless, and toxic, government, make work jobs.

The law, a worthless form of rent seeking, is in deep failure. It never addresses problems, only technology does.The Supreme Court once abolished the death penalty. That decision caused a lot of lawyer unemployment, from the immediate layoff of the entire death penalty appellate bar. They raked in $billions a year of tax payer money, returning nothing of any value. The Supreme Court quickly corrected its mistake. They now have the death penalty exquisitely tuned for its sole real purpose, lawyer employment.

Almost no one is executed. There were three dozen executions a year, in the face of  soaring murders in many cities, now at a total of 15000. Yet, $billions are being spent on death penalty legal appeals. It takes decades, not years to execute a murderer. This is a  condition perfectly tuned by the  Supreme Court in the Baze decision, of maximizing lawyer employment, while making the death penalty worthless.

To every remedy there is a dose response curve. Too little does not work. Too much is toxic. The same applies to the death penalty. Imagine giving a miracle drug like penicillin. Give a dose to one in hundred pneumonia patients. Price it at $10 million. Wait 10 years after the onset of pneumonia. It will not be effective, and people will claim, penicillin is too expensive, does not work, abolish it.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Computers Should Replace all Prosecutors, Judges, and Jurors in a Trial

Prosecutorial discretion is a  euphemism for total lawyer personal bias, incompetence, and idiocy. There is no group in our nation that is stupider than the lawyer profession. Students in Life Skills class, learning to eat with utensils, and to put on shirts on their own, would represent a marked upgrade in decision making if placed on the Supreme Court. They would have 10 times the common sense than the mentally crippled lawyers now controlling it.

Robots running legislative enacted algorithms should be making all prosecutorial decisions. Death penalty, even in absentia, to anyone trying to hack one. As usual, only technology will rescue us from the plague of lawyers besieging this nation. Lawyer prosecutors can be re-hired to roll one into court.

Chess has 37 possible moves. Computers beat all humans long ago. Go, the Chinese board game, has a billion possible moves. Recently, a computer beat the best human Go player. It made a move the champion said no human could have thought of.

Legal decisions are far closer to the limited game of chess, than to the vast game of Go. A computer should even be able to look 10 moves ahead.

If people do not like the outcomes of computerized legal decisions, they have the recourse of electing legislators who will change the algorithms.

Computers making errors should be liable in torts, as should their programmers, as should the legislatures causing damages by their carelessness in writing the algorithm. Due to the nature of sentencing decisions, and the far higher standards of performance of a sentencing computer, the wrongful decisions should be subject to strict liability.

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Surprising Mental Health Results

I thought they were all nuts.

Cat ownership not linked to mental health problems
University College London New
New UCL research has found no link between cat ownership and psychotic symptoms, casting doubt on previous suggestions that people who grew up with cats are at higher risk of mental illness.

Recent research has suggested that cat ownership might contribute to some mental disorders, because cats are the primary host of the common parasite Toxoplasma Gondii (T. Gondii), itself linked to mental health problems such as schizophrenia. However, the new study, published in the journal Psychological Medicine, suggests that cat ownership in pregnancy and childhood does not play a role in developing psychotic symptoms during adolescence. The study looked at nearly 5000 people born in 1991 or 1992 who were followed–up until the age of 18. The researchers had data on whether the household had cats while the mother was pregnant and when the children were growing up.

"The message for cat owners is clear: there is no evidence that cats pose a risk to children's mental health," says lead author Dr Francesca Solmi (UCL Psychiatry). "In our study, initial unadjusted analyses suggested a small link between cat ownership and psychotic symptoms at age 13, but this turned out to be due to other factors. Once we controlled for factors such as household over–crowding and socioeconomic status, the data showed that cats were not to blame. Previous studies reporting links between cat ownership and psychosis simply failed to adequately control for other possible explanations."

The new study was significantly more reliable than previous research in this area since the team looked at families who were followed up regularly for almost 20 years. This is much more reliable than methods used in previous studies, which asked people with and without mental health problems to remember details about their childhood. Such accounts are more vulnerable to errors in recall which can lead to spurious findings.

Previous studies were also relatively small and had significant gaps in the data, whereas the new study looked at a large population and was able to account for missing data. The new study was not able to measure T. Gondii exposure directly, but the results suggest that if the parasite does cause psychiatric problems then cat ownership does not significantly increase exposure.

"Our study suggests that cat ownership during pregnancy or in early childhood does not pose a direct risk for later psychotic symptoms," explains senior author Dr James Kirkbride (UCL Psychiatry). "However, there is good evidence that T. Gondii exposure during pregnancy can lead to serious birth defects and other health problems in children. As such, we recommend that pregnant women should continue to follow advice not to handle soiled cat litter in case it contains T. Gondii."


Monday, March 13, 2017

Sell, Sell, Sell

Sell your DC Beltway region home, before all those federal employees have to move out.

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Reply to Doximity Request for Nominations of Psychiatric Hospitals Offering the Best Care

Most academic hospitals are staffed by trainees. Their supervisors spend only half their time on patient care, and have half the experience of clinicians.
Furthermore, all hospitals are now subject to implacable pressure from insurance companies to discharge patients after a few days. So the sole care that takes place in hospitals is to provide some eyesight supervision for dangerous patients. They are loaded up on medications with strong sedative side effects to quiet them. That way they may be discharged safely, with a lesser risk of litigation against the hospital for malpractice. Most psychiatric medications take weeks to work, since the brain is a very slow changing organ.
Upon discharge, the sedative side effects wear off after a couple of weeks, and the patient is back to his original level of distress and dangerousness.
There is no quality psychiatric hospital care in the United States. Any result you may come up with will be quite misleading to desperate families.
David Behar, MD

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Snail Venom Potential Alternative to Opiates in Chronic Pain



Feb 20, 2017 1:00 PM
A tiny snail may offer an alternative to opioids for pain relief. Scientists at the University of Utah have found a compound that blocks pain by targeting a pathway not associated with opioids. Research in rodents indicates that the benefits continue long after the compound have cleared the body. The findings were reported online in the February 20 issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
The opioid crisis has reached epidemic proportions. Opioids is highly addictive and according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 91 Americans die every day from an opioid overdose. The medical community is in need of alternative therapies that do not rely on the opioid pathways to relieve pain.
“Nature has evolved molecules that are extremely sophisticated and can have unexpected applications,” begins Baldomera Olivera, Ph.D., professor in biology at the University of Utah. “We were interested in using venoms to understand different pathways in the nervous system.”
Conus regius, a small marine cone snail common to the Caribbean Sea, packs a venomous punch, capable of paralyzing and killing its prey.
In this study, the researchers found that a compound isolated from snail’s venom, Rg1A, acts on a pain pathway distinct from that targeted by opioid drugs. Using rodent models, the scientists showed that a9a10 nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChR) functions as a pain pathway receptor and that RgIA4 is an effective compound to block this receptor. The pathway adds to a small number of nonopioid-based pathways that could be further developed to treat chronic pain.
Interestingly, the duration of the pain relief is long, greatly outlasting the presence of the compound in the animal’s system.
The compound works its way through the body in 4 hours, but the scientists found the beneficial effects lingered. “We found that the compound was still working 72 hours after the injection, still preventing pain,” said J. Michael McIntosh, M.D., professor of psychiatry at the University of Utah Health Sciences.  The duration of the outcome may suggest that the snail compound has a restorative effect on some components of the nervous system.
“What is particularly exciting about these results is the aspect of prevention,” said McIntosh. “Once chronic pain has developed, it is difficult to treat. This compound offers a potential new pathway to prevent pain from developing in the first place and offer a new therapy to patients who have run out of options.”
The researchers will continue to the next step of pre-clinical testing to investigate the safety and effectiveness of a new drug therapy.

Testing a new nonopioid compound
Previous research had shown that RgIA was effective in rodents, but the scientists wanted to ensure they had a compound that would work in people. To do this, they used synthetic chemistry to engineer 20 analogs of the compound. In essence, the scientists started with a key (RgIA) that fits into a lock (the pain pathway receptor a9a10 nAChR). Using the key as a template, they developed new keys (analogs) with slightly different configurations.
The scientists found one key that best fit the lock: the analog RgIA4 tightly bound to the human receptor.
To test whether the compound relieved pain, the scientists administered it to rodents that were exposed to a chemotherapy drug that causes extreme cold sensitivity, as well as hypersensitivity to touch. “Interactions that are not normally painful, like sheets rubbing against the body or pants against the leg, becomes painful,” said McIntosh.
While the untreated rodents experienced pain after exposure to the chemotherapy drug, rodents given the compound did not experience pain. Nor did rodents that were genetically altered rodents to lack the pain pathway receptor. This work demonstrates that a9a10 nAChR acts as a pain pathway receptor, and that RgIA4 prevents the receptor from being activated.
Most pain medications available today work through a limited number of pathways and are not sufficient to alleviate chronic pain. “RgIA4 works by an entirely new pathway, which opens the door for new opportunities to treat pain,” said McIntosh. “We feel that drugs that work by this pathway may reduce burden of opioid use.”
###
McIntosh and Olivera collaborated with colleagues from University of Utah, University of Florence, Italy, A.T. Still University, University of Mississippi Medical Center, Kineta, Inc., Seattle, and the Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Salt Lake City.
The research was funded by National Institutes of Health, Department of Defense, and Kineta, Inc.

Friday, March 3, 2017

Class Action Claim by Prisoners on Death Row Forced to Die of Natural Causes by Delaying Tactics of Defense Lawyers and of Appellate Judges

More than 90% of us will die a prolonged, painful, and humiliating death, preceded by loss of many functions. And, we have not killed anyone, nor been convicted of any crime.

The use of ipse dixits, expressions of false feelings, and inappropriate hyperbole by the lawyers, in arguments against the death penalty serve to churn up controversy. The latter is to sustain the lucrative death penalty appellate business. It is in bad faith.
I would like to see a reverse litigation. The rent seeking lawyer has delayed the execution so long, that most condemned die of natural causes, the above prolonged, painful, and humiliating death mentioned above.
So, the murderer of little Jessica died of anal cancer after prolonged torments by the medical profession, including diagnostic procedures, surgeries, chemotherapy. His estate should have sued the appellate lawyers and judges for a wrongful death. They caused his horrifying torments. They did so with knowledge of his cancer and its agonizing and humiliating consequences. This finding should subject these cruel and greedy lawyers to exemplary damages for malice. To deter.
I know the rent makes the lawyer cruel, heartless and inhuman. Given a choice, anal cancer and its medical management or the firing squad, which would each of the lawyers here pick for themselves or for a loved one.
I would support an aggregate claim by all condemned prisoners who died of painful natural causes as a result of the appellate lawyer's irresponsible obstruction of the death penalty for wrongful and horrifying death by natural cause. The claim would be by the class of condemned prisoners against the classes of appellate lawyers nd and of appellate judges. The self dealt immunities of the judges would violate the due process rights of the plaintiffs, and violate any state constitution provision granting access to the courts.

No method of execution comes close to the cruelty of the natural deaths of death row inmates. Appellate lawyers and judges should be deterred.