GOD AND THE POWERFUL
When we think of “sin” many of us think mainly in terms of gossip and sexual immorality, drunkenness, non-attendance for worship and such. Sin’s bigger than such considerations—not smaller, bigger! The scriptures speak of it as a king that reigns, a law-giver with a law, a slave owner with slaves and other such metaphors. Sin is a cosmic smog that envelopes the planet and finally makes sick every human born into it and then they cough into the air their own contribution to the pollution. It is this that God moved in and as Jesus to deal with—Sin and not just “sins”.
The scriptures make it clear that God established governments, gives them power and then holds them responsible for how they use that power. He gives it that the governments should act as his minister in getting God’s creation goods to the people under their care. Respectable people in places of great power will meet God one day as surely as the moral libertine who thumbs through his dirty little magazine or drools over his online porn. Respectable sins will be answered for just as surely as the sleaze.
God brought Sodom down because, among other things, in its arrogance it wouldn’t take care of the poor and the needy (Ezekiel 16:48-50). God brought Babylon down because, in part, it took advantage of the needy and vulnerable (Daniel 4:27) and God sent Israel into a long exile because, in part, it oppressed the poor and needy in greed and exploitation (Amos 4:1 and elsewhere). Jesus Christ will return and will right all wrongs and all those who have used their great power to exploit the vulnerable and make themselves rich and gain a reputation will answer to him. Those who in their hurry to add even more to their personal treasure so they can live in even greater luxury and do it at the expense of the millions who look to them for protection and guidance—they will answer to Him! And we’re not to look only at sleazy little landlords who gouge their vulnerable hundreds; we’re to look at the highly-respected people in places of great power who in their mansions only read of Dickens-looking rat-traps where extortion flourishes and the poor live in despair.
There’s a day coming when those who have truly been exploited and crushed all their lives will find themselves cared for and catered to and allowed to breathe free and live in honour. There’s a day coming when the powerful will be brought low, when their specious talk and their oily tongues will be silenced. They will not then be speaking to people who don’t know what they're talking about; they will not then be talking to people who can’t answer them back; they will not then be talking to the masses who are overwhelmed by words or “reasons” they don’t understand. They’ll be talking to JESUS!
God bless every person of power who even at great personal cost will blow the whistle on anything that exploits the unsuspecting and unprotected vulnerable who don't count for much other than “things” and “statistics” to be used.
What follows is Jenny Thompson’s report for HSI. I’ve said it before and I need to say it again: I don’t have to find myself in agreement with all HSI’s opinions but it keeps us up to date with what’s going on in the world of the powerful medical brotherhoods.
“Call it “blinders therapy”. Load a patient up with high doses of powerful drugs for three years, and when you see the faintest glimmer of positive results, call it a success and pop the corks for a celebration.
And what about serious adverse side effects? That's what the blinders are for.
Long-term outcomes in a haze
It almost reads like a parody of mainstream medical practice...
Your patient with type 2 diabetes has atherosclerosis (narrowing of the arteries). Solution? Simply pour on the cholesterol-lowering statins and ACE inhibitors in an attempt to get the numbers you want: lower LDL [bad cholesterol] and lower BP.
Unfortunately, you’re treating a human being, not a compilation of numbers.
But don’t bother telling that to the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI) – a division of the National Institutes of Health. NHLBI funded a relatively new trial called SANDS (Stop Atherosclerosis in Native Diabetics Study), which set out to answer the question: Can atherosclerosis be stopped or reversed when the condition is attacked with high drug doses?
* Researchers recruited 500 American Indians: each subject was over the age of forty, had type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol, and high blood pressure
* Subjects were divided into two groups: one group aimed to reach “standard” recommended LDL cholesterol and blood pressure targets, and one group was “aggressive” in aiming for substantially lower targets
* For three years, study clinicians examined each subject once every three months, adjusting doses of statin drugs and blood pressure drugs as needed in order to reach standard or aggressive targets
* Ultrasound was used to track atherosclerosis in each subjects’ carotid arteries
Results: Subjects in both groups met their standard or aggressive targets. Atherosclerosis decreased in the aggressive group, but actually increased in the standard group. Rates of cardiovascular disease events (such as heart attack) were about the same in both groups.
Let’s not fail to put the spotlight on one very revealing detail: About 250 type 2 diabetics with high cholesterol followed a standard statin drug regimen for three years, and their atherosclerosis progression didn’t stop, it ADVANCED. If I’m diabetic and my doctor has convinced me to sign on for a lifetime of statin use, that’s not quite the outcome I would hope for.
As for adverse side effects, here’s how the SANDS authors summed up the risk-benefit ratio in JAMA: “The lack of difference in occurrence of events and the increase in adverse events and serious adverse events attributable to the BP lowering raise the possibility that there may not be favourable long-term outcomes.”
But don't think NHLBI officials will let a little thing like THAT spoil their party!
Here’s the headline Reuters news service went with in reporting SANDS results: “Drug Regime Reverses Heart Disease Risk.” And that’s quite true as long as you completely ignore the details.
Dr. Elizabeth Nabel, NHLBI director, gave Reuters this shiny bright load of happy-talk: “For the first time, we have evidence that aggressively lowering LDL cholesterol and blood pressure can actually reverse damage to the arteries in middle-aged adults with diabetes.”
Of course, Dr. Nabel is well aware that a patient must commit to a lifetime regimen of very high doses of statin drugs in order to push LDL levels as low as they went in the SANDS trial.
An NHLBI press release also offered this quote from the lead author of the study, Dr. Barbara V. Howard, : “Our message to doctors, nurses, and patients is that you can reach your goal levels, and we should work together to help you do that.” In other words:In spite of the clear warning at the end of her own study, Dr. Howard seems to believe we should work together to sign you up for the mega-statin lifetime plan.
And to put things into perspective, we’ll finish up with this note from MedPage Today: Dr. Howard reported serving on the advisory board of Merck. Merck makes Zocor. Zocor was the statin used in the SANDS trial.”
Thompson then added this about the swine-flu vaccine promotion.
“New vaccines never behave in the way you expect them to.”
That ominous observation comes from Dr. Tom Jefferson, who is the coordinator of the vaccines section of Cochrane Collaboration, a research review association.
Even more ominous: His comment appears in a news article that reveals a disturbing concern about the H1N1 vaccine.
Recently, the Health Protection Agency (UK's FDA) sent a letter to about 600 neurologists alerting them to the possibility that the H1N1 vaccine may prompt Guillain-Barre syndrome (GBS), a paralyzing immune system disorder.
As I mentioned before, more than 500 people who received the H1N1 vaccine in 1976 were diagnosed with GBS. Twenty-five of those patients died, while only one death was linked to H1N1.
It’s reported that this newest H1N1 vaccine is being rushed through production and testing so the first doses can be available this month.
Meanwhile, Health and Human Resources officials fear that the seasonal flu shot will be ignored in favour of the H1N1 shot. So this week they’ve started recommending that everyone get their seasonal flu vaccine now, and then get the H1N1 shot when it's available.
This ride is starting to get very scary. Stay tuned... “
©2004 Jim McGuiggan. All materials are free to be copied and used as long as money is not being made.
Many thanks to brother Ed Healy, for allowing me to post from his website, theabidingword.com.