Missing vaccinations: The canary in the rural health care coal mine

This is a systemic failure, not a religious backlash:

Pitt County Schools was forced to suspend a number of students who did not receive vaccines after sending warnings to about 300 as a deadline approached last month, officials said.

State law requires students have standard vaccinations in place 30 days after enrollment unless they have a religious exemption. If students do not have the vaccines, they are suspended until they receive them. The number of suspended students was not available at the meeting. The school system did not respond to subsequent requests to provide the information.

Pitt County is actually in better shape coverage-wise than other regional counties, but when you get outside of Greenville, it doesn't seem that way. The lack of vaccinations signals another troubling issue: A lot of the children are not receiving periodic well-care treatment, and that is unsettling, to say the least:

Monday News: Southern discomfort

ARMED CONFEDERATE FLAG SUPPORTERS IN PITTSBORO OUTNUMBERED BY ANTI-RACISTS: Among the groups represented were Heirs to the Confederacy, ACTBAC, CSA II, the Virginia Flaggers and the Hiwaymen, an Arkansas-based group that flocks to far-right events such as Unite the Right in 2017 in Charlottesville, Virginia, which left one counterprotester dead. Under an array of flags, they grilled hot dogs and played country music. About 200 members of antiracist and progressive groups held signs and waved flags on the other side of the road. The group included liberals as well as people further left on the political spectrum, a coalition that was sometimes prickly. Pittsboro locals were joined by people from Hillsborough, Durham and Charlottesville, some of whom also protested Silent Sam, the Confederate monument at UNC-Chapel Hill that activists brought down last year. Saturday’s event was the latest in a series of face-offs in Pittsboro that has left many locals feeling weary. The county commissioners plan to declare the statue public trespass by Nov. 1, making it eligible for removal, The News & Observer has reported.
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/local/article236438178.html

Sunday News: From the Editorial pages

editorialpages.jpg

MEDICAID EXPANSION CAN AND DOES IMPROVE ACCESS TO CARE: Since Medicaid expansions began in 37 other states in the nation, there have been a great number of studies examining what happened. They invariably show that the insurance expansions improved access to care. More than half a million uninsured North Carolinians who could gain insurance if the state expanded Medicaid would be able to afford medical care. This occurred in both urban and rural areas. Part of the answer is that safety net providers, like community health centers, stepped up to the bat to expand capacity, knowing that Medicaid expansions would help make this possible both by increasing Medicaid revenue and reducing uncompensated care pressures. Moreover, many medical practices have learned how to become more efficient and effective, by increasing collaborations with other health professionals, including nurse practitioners, physician assistants, nurses and care coordinators.
https://www.wral.com/leighton-ku-medicaid-expansion-can-and-does-improve-access-to-care/18700910/

Some West Virginia state parks and other sights of interest

Jane and I just got back from a two-week camper van trip to West Virginia, where there are many good state parks, state forests and national parks. They're concentrated around the New River Gorge and the Allegheny mountains. For us, a "good" park means several hiking trails (preferably loops of three miles or less), campground toilets, reasonably flat campsites, and smallish. Extra credit for quiet and dark at night.

Duke University hosts town hall on funding of Islamophobic networks

If you're wondering why it's so pervasive, wonder no more:

The Washington-based Council on American-Islamic Relations says in a news release that Dr. Abbas Barzegar is scheduled to speak Saturday at a research-based advocacy town hall hosted by the Duke Graduate & Professional Student Council. The town hall will be held Saturday evening in the Schiciano auditorium of Fitzpatrick building on Duke's campus.

In addition to discussing research on funding of hate groups, Barzegar will highlight CAIR's work on federal-level litigation related to criminal justice and government surveillance.

Just to give you an example of how effective these anti-Muslim propagandists are, CAIR itself has been labeled as a "hate group" by many (even in government) just for defending Islamic citizens who are/were attacked. But the work that Dr. Barzegar and his team have done has exposed something more insidious than just the hateful rhetoric. Much of the funding for these groups has been "laundered" through legitimate mainstream philanthropic funds, which serves to hide the identity of the bigots behind the movement. Since most reading this will not be able to attend the town hall, here are some excerpts from the Report itself:

Saturday News: The discrimination administration

joshstein.jpg

AG STEIN JOINS LAWSUIT CHALLENGING FAIR HOUSING RULE CHANGE: “Fighting discrimination and ensuring everyone is treated equally is central to building stable, successful communities in North Carolina,” Stein said in a statement Friday. “The existing rule helps ensure equal housing opportunities for everyone – I urge HUD to abandon its proposed weakening of these critical protections.” Disparate impact refers to policies that are formally neutral but in practice adversely affect a protected class, regardless of intent. The proposed HUD rule change drew sharp opposition from several civil rights groups, including the Americans Civil Liberties Union and National Fair Housing Alliance. Among the proposed changes, the burden to prove disparate impact moves from the defendant — such as a landlord or lender — to the plaintiff, often a renter or home-buyer. It also requires the plaintiff to prove the challenged policy is “arbitrary, artificial, and unnecessary.”
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/article236413243.html

Pencil-Whipped: Inspector who falsified hog lagoon tests found guilty

cafonightmare.jpg

The ethical quagmire in this story stinks worse than the hog lagoons themselves:

After a State Bureau of Investigation probe, Houston pleaded guilty to 28 counts of falsifying records, a Class 2 misdemeanor. Yesterday Superior Court Judge Henry L. Stevens, IV, sentenced Houston to two consecutive sentences of 30 days in jail, which were suspended. Houston is on supervised probation for 12 months, must pay a $500 fine plus court costs, and complete 50 hours of community service.

The judge also prohibited Houston from sampling lagoons or doing bookkeeping in the swine industry other than for his family farm.

First of all...could you not find somebody else for the job who wasn't also a hog farmer? Forget about his side-job for a moment; the dude was regulating his competition. As to that "side-job," he wasn't moonlighting, he was daylighting. Charging people for his work, while also drawing a salary from taxpayers. About that headline ^ above: when I was in the military, we had to document *everything*. Equipment inspections, weapons usage, disciplinary actions, you name it. "Pencil-whipping" is when somebody fails to (or forgets to) do something, but signs off that it was done to cover their ass. Sad story continues:

Pages

Subscribe to Front page feed