Complicating Conception: The Desires of Parents and the Rights of Children

A 2013 article about Infertile parents who desperately seek a child might see anonymous sperm donation as the solution to their fertility difficulties. But as the stories in the Anonymous Us collective reveal, the difficulties faced by donor-conceived children are just beginning...[emphasis added]

by  Christopher White

 

In the new film Delivery Man, Vince Vaughn plays David Wozniak, a man who discovers that he’s the biological father of 533 children—all conceived through his anonymous sperm donations. Now, almost two decades after his “donations” (from which he netted over $20,000), 142 of those children have filed a lawsuit against the sperm bank to reveal his identity. They want to know their biological father, gain access to their medical histories, and discover their roots.

The film is fictional—but it’s not far from reality. In 2011, the New York Times reported the story of one donor with 150 confirmed offspring. There have only been a handful of major studies following children who were conceived via anonymous gamete donation, yet certain key trends are emerging as they reach adulthood. Although these adult children have mixed opinions about the means in which they were conceived and the limits of such technologies, they’re almost all united in one belief:  anonymity should be removed from the equation.

[Note:  “They want to know their biological father, gain access to their medical histories, and discover their roots.  ... for the children conceived through these technologies, the difficulties are just beginning.”

Readers of Public Discourse are already familiar with Alana S. Newman, founder of the Anonymous Us Project and, most recently, editor of Anonymous Us: A Story Collective on 3rd Party ReproductionIn this volume, Newman compiles over one hundred stories of donor-conceived individuals who, like the kids in Delivery Man, long to know their biological parents.

“While anonymity in reproduction hides the truth,” writes Newman, “anonymity in storytelling helps reveal it.” Accordingly, these stories offer a glimpse into the reality faced by many donor-conceived children. Some contributions are angry, others are conflicted. All, however, reveal a deep loss. Consider just a few of the sentiments shared within the volume:

Who are you to deny me half of my family tree—branches rich and strong with stories I may never be told? Who are you to give away my heritage, knowing it will be replaced with something false?

I am a human being, yet I was conceived with a technique that had its origins in animal husbandry. Worst of all, farmers kept better records of their cattle’s genealogy than assisted reproductive clinics … how could the doctors, sworn to ‘first do no harm’ create a system where I now face the pain and loss of my own identity and heritage.”

“As a donor-conceived person, I have a sense of being part of an underclass … Having a child is a privilege not a right.

There’s also the story of a young donor-conceived adult who was raised by a single mother.

After her mother’s early death, she’s since been desperately searching for her donor father and potential other siblings in hopes that she might have some remnants of a family to piece together.

Another young woman tells of her own struggle with infertility when she and her husband were trying to conceive. After telling her mom of their difficulties, her mom casually suggests artificial insemination—informing her for the very first time in her life that this was the means in which she was brought into the world. Countless other stories capture the experience of donor-conceived children finding out their origins after their social father is diagnosed with a major medical condition—only to be told not to worry because it won’t affect them, since they’re not actually biologically related. The grief stemming from the medical difficulties is then compounded by an unexpected family identity crisis.

The entries included in the Anonymous Us collective aren’t just limited to the testimonials from donor-conceived children. Stories from medical providers, sperm and egg donors, and parents who chose to conceive via this method fill the pages of these raw and emotional testimonials.

While some entries are an effort to justify past decisions, others speak with great candor about the regrettable outcomes of such a practice.

One Italian sperm donor reflects on the experience of his own family life and laments that the children whom he helped bring into this world won’t be able to have similar memories:

“I have only a sister, but many, many cousins … and every time I meet them and all the relatives, we love to talk about similarities in the features, the body, the way we talk and move, because this gives us a stronger sense of identity and it is beautiful to have such a 'big family' … I hope this little story can help people in learning from the mistakes of the past.”

In another entry, a former egg donor regrets the fact that she’ll never be able to meet her son or daughter, admitting that she only participated in the practice because of the lucrative financial incentives attached to selling her eggs: “I don’t even remember what I spent the money on,” she writes. “Debt, dresses, and dinners probably. I’d give you $10,000 this very second to meet my kid. Biggest oops of my life.

In the United States, there’s an open and unregulated market for gamete donation. Unlike Canada and most European countries, which limit the number of times a man can sell his sperm and have mandatory database registries where donor children can access their biological parents' medical histories, the United States enforces no such regulations. This lack of regulation is due, in large part, to legislators’ failure to listen to the voices of donor-conceived children. “How can we as a nation make wise decisions about family structure, third-party reproduction, and gamete donation,” asks Newman, “without the participation of and insights from those who have been most directly affected by these practices?”

Just how many donor-conceived children are born each year is anyone’s guess, due to negligible tracking and regulation. At a recent conference for fertility-industry attorneys, I listened to a prominent children’s psychologist (who favors the practice of third-party reproduction) speak about the potential psychological issues donor-conceived children might face. In a moment of candor, she admitted, “We never thought about the future families. We only set out to fix the infertility.

And this is precisely the problem with donor conception: the desires of the parents always trump the needs of the children.

The stories in the Anonymous Us Project and Delivery Man demonstrate the real suffering and loss felt by donor-conceived children. Yet, in considering the problem of infertility, we also encounter countless couples who experience great distress and grief as a result of their inability to conceive. Infertility is a deeply painful and often isolating experience for millions of couples.

The CDC estimates that 10 percent of women trying to conceive are infertile; hence the increasingly common decision to pursue assisted reproduction. This drive to have children is understandable; social science research reveals that the presence of children in a marriage leads to greater happiness, increased financial security, and a lower likelihood of divorce.

We must acknowledge the painful truth that, as infertile couples seek to remedy their suffering through third-party reproduction, they are unwittingly inflicting pain on their future children.

Eventually, those children must wrestle with the circumstances surrounding their conception. In aiming to satisfy their very natural desire for offspring, infertile couples go to great lengths to create children who are destined to experience complex crises of identity and purpose.

This transgenerational suffering precipitated by the experience of infertility is one that must be met with compassion, to be sure. Yet we must also offer a corrective that acknowledges the limits of desire and love.

Rather than supporting an inward focus on one’s own pain and loss from infertility, we ought to encourage infertile couples to give deep consideration to the suffering that children conceived from these technologies may face. Moreover, rather than privileging one’s own desire for a child as the ultimate goal, we must encourage a preemptive compassion and empathy that should motivate infertile couples to refrain from pursuing such means.

 In one of the most revealing entries of the Anonymous Us collective, a former sperm donor criticizes the industry he profited from: “I now realize I was wrong. This whole system is wrong. Please forgive me, but I am not your father, nor did I ever intend to be.” Similarly, in one of the scenes from Delivery Man, when one of the donor children discovers that Wozniak is his biological father, the son seeks to spend time with him. Annoyed by this prospect, Wozniak brushes the kid off, telling him that he has a real family to attend to.

Infertile parents who desperately seek a child might see anonymous egg or sperm donation as an imperfect, though still acceptable, solution to their fertility difficulties. But as the stories in the Anonymous Us collective reveal, for the children conceived through these technologies, the difficulties are just beginning.




[Note:  “They want to know their biological father, gain access to their medical histories, and discover their roots.  ... for the children conceived through these technologies, the difficulties are just beginning.”

Indeed, their difficulties are just beginning.  We’ve been told for decades that “the” Human Genome Project (HGP) had decoded all the genes of “the” human chromosome, only to learn recently that they missed over half of them -- not to mention that there is no such thing as “the” human genome (every human being’s genome is unique), their sample was a pool of samples from people all over the world, that they admit that they only decoded the “extrons” (about 15-2-% of the total number of genes), that they skipped the “junk DNA” genes in the “intron” (about 85% of the genes), that they only decoded a nuclear chromosome -- yet the human genome is defined as all the DNA in a human cell, both nuclear and extra-nuclear, e.g., mitochondrial, etc.  So how could “the” HGP data -- which is now admitted to be erroneous -- be used as the “blueprint” for any genetic research experiments or as the source of knowing/understanding any human genes, including those that donor-conceived children are seeking?  Can’t. (See:  http://www.designntrend.com/articles/9627/20131214/never-seen-before-secret-dna-code-unusual-meaning-scientists-find.htm).

And more genes than simply those from a man’s sperm or a woman’s “egg” could be involved.  Consider, simply, the epidemic rise in the use of genetic engineering and the desire for “designer babies” (genetically designed to “prevent diseases”, even down through the generations, e.g., the recent concerns about “3-parent” embryos -- or genetically designed to produce children with certain hair and eye color, etc.), eugenics agendas of many types, etc.  Simply put, “genes” are “genes”, and will act as genes wherever they are injected;  any “foreign” genes injected into the “infertility” or “disease” pictures complicate the donor-conceived children’s future pain. 

What foreign genes?  Producing :desired” genetic traits for their children would require genetically engineering the sperm, the “eggs”, both, or the embryo resulting from fertilization.  Where do those genes come from that supposedly would express the desired traits in the children?  Usually from early human embryos reproduced by couples who already express those traits.  Those foreign genes must then be inserted into the sperm, the “egg” or the “embryo” by means of a vector -- usually a virus or a bacteria -- both of which have their own genes.  If iPS stem cells are used -- i.e., iPS cells can be coated with a tetraploid coating, and then implanted, and the iPS embryo can be allowed to develop up to the formation of germ line cells (primitive sperm and “eggs”) in the embryo, then those germ line cells are used in fertilization to reproduce a new embryo (which embryo would retain the foreign genes used during the iPS deprogramming process, as well as retain those from the tetraploid coating derived by fusing two embryos together to make the “coating”).  This technique requires foreign genes, in addition to the ones already mentioned, called “transcription factors” -- pieces of foreign genes derived from early human embryos.  Few if any records are kept concerning the various sources of these genes.  And many of these “splices” of genes are already known to cause tumors.  No one is quite sure where any of these genes land once injected;  no one knows for sure what products any of these genes make, or if all of this manipulation causes serious mutations in any of the genes involved, etc., etc.  How could donor-conceived children ever find out about any diseases they are genetically predisposed to now?   No one knows what serious diseases these genes could cause.  Very few if any serious records are kept concerning the “sources” of all these genes.  So who’s the “biological donor” now?  The man whose sperm was used and genetically modified?  The woman whose “egg” was used and genetically modified?   The embryo who was genetically modified?  The embryos from whom the “desired” foreign genes are derived that are injected into the sperm, “egg” or embryo?  The foreign genes from the viruses or bacteria vectors used?  The foreign genes that produce the transcription factors used?  The embryos fused to make the tetraploid coating, or the iPS embryo produced.  How many “biological” fathers and mothers could such donor-conceived children end up with?!

And why was the research that should be required to answer these critical questions never performed before experimenting with vulnerable infertile patients?  ...  And why are so many women (and men) infertile now?  Questions, questions, questions -- with no one giving answers. The article first appeared here. --  DNI]


Google Caught Misleading Users About Tracking Location Data

by Jack Davis


Google can always find you.

Contrary to claims Google was making to consumers, The Associated Press reported that some Google apps “automatically store time-stamped location data without asking.”

According to the AP, when a user simply opens the Maps app, that user’s location is stored.  Asking for weather updates means that a phone will note where the user was when the request was made.

But the AP also found random searches for subjects such as  “chocolate chip cookies,” or “kids science kits,” resulted in the phone tracking a user’s latitude and longitude.

Jonathan Mayer, a Princeton computer scientist, had his lab test and verify the AP’s findings. The AP reported that whether the apps were installed on iPhones of Android phones, the results were the same. Mayer said that’s a problem.

“If you’re going to allow users to turn off something called ‘Location History,’ then all the places where you maintain location history should be turned off,” Mayer said. “That seems like a pretty straightforward position to have.”

The company said users are informed of what their phones are up to.

“Location History is a Google product that is entirely opt in, and users have the controls to edit, delete, or turn it off at any time,” the company said in a statement, Bloomberg News reported.

.“… we make sure Location History users know that when they disable the product, we continue to use location to improve the Google experience when they do things like perform a Google search or use Google for driving directions.”

Google needs to know where users are, one commentator said.

“They build advertising information out of data,” said Peter Lenz, the senior geospatial analyst at Dstillery, an advertising technology company. “More data for them presumably means more profit.”

After the report revealed Google’s practices, the Electronic Privacy Information Center wrote to the Federal Trade Commission saying that Google’s action “clearly violates” a 2011 settlement with the government over Google’s privacy practices, the AP reported.
12:04 PM - 15 Aug 2018
WIRED‏Verified account @WIRED

If you use Google Maps, Google is tracking you right now. Even if you turned off Location History, the search giant still tracks and stores your location. There's a way to stop it—but it takes a lot of digging. Here’s a handy step-by-step guide Here

Google also responded to the report by making a change in what it told consumers, according to a follow-up AP report

Google formerly told users that “with Location History off, the places you go are no longer stored.”

Google now says, “This setting does not affect other location services on your device.” It adds that “some location data may be saved as part of your activity on other services, like Search and Maps.”

Google is owned by Alphabet Inc.

cience



Time is a River Lost that Cannot be Touched Again

by Anonymous


I love this story. Lay down what's bothering you, breathe in the fresh air and read to this story.

Time is like a river. You cannot touch the water twice, because the flow that has passed will never pass again. Enjoy every moment of life. As a bagpiper, I play many gigs. Recently I was asked by a funeral director to play at a graveside service for a homeless man. He had no family or friends, so the service was to be at a pauper's cemetery in the Nova Scotia back country. As I was not familiar with the backwoods, I got lost and, being a typical man, I didn't stop for directions.

I finally arrived an hour late and saw the funeral guy had evidently gone and the hearse was nowhere in sight. There were only the diggers and crew left and they were eating lunch. I felt badly and apologized to the men for being late.

I went to the side of the grave and looked down and the vault lid was already in place. I didn't know what else to do, so I started to play.

The workers put down their lunches and began to gather around. I played out my heart and soul for this man with no family and friends. I played like I've never played before for this homeless man. And as I played "Amazing Grace", the workers began to weep. They wept, I wept, we all wept together. When I finished, I packed up my bagpipes and started for my car. Though my head was hung low, my heart was full.

As I opened the door to my car, I heard one of the workers say, "I never seen anything like that before, and I've been putting in septic tanks for twenty years."

Apparently, I'm still lost....it's a man thing.

Illegal Immigrant Arrested While Driving Wife to Hospital Is Wanted for Murder in Mexico

by Will Racke


An illegal alien who was arrested in southern California while taking his pregnant wife to the hospital is wanted for murder in Mexico, immigration authorities said Saturday.

Joel Arrona Lara, 36, was detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers on Wednesday at a gas station in San Bernardino, California. At the time, Arrona was taking his wife, Maria del Carmen Venegas, to the hospital for a scheduled cesarean section, CBS 2 Los Angeles reported.

News of Arrona Lara’s arrest quickly spread nationally, with several media outlets characterizing it as an example of the Trump administration’s heavy-handed crackdown on illegal immigration.

Venegas told CBS 2 in Spanish that Arrona Lara had never been stopped by police and didn’t have a criminal record of any kind, including traffic violations.

But immigration authorities say Arrona Lara is not just an otherwise law-abiding illegal immigrant.

He is also wanted by Mexican authorities for murder.

“Mr. Arrona-Lara was brought to ICE’s attention due to an outstanding warrant for his arrest in Mexico on homicide charges,” ICE spokeswoman Lori Haley told The Daily Caller News Foundation.

Security footage from the gas station shows Arrona Lara getting out of his car and being intercepted by ICE officers. A visibly distraught Venegas is then seen using a phone shortly after Arrona Lara is taken away.

Arrona Lara’s lawyer, Emilio Amaya Garcia, accused ICE officers of endangering Venegas and her unborn baby.

“In this case, not only did they put the life of the mother in danger, but also that of the child, who is a citizen of this country,” he told Univision on Thursday.

Arrona Lara has reportedly been living illegally in the U.S. for 12 years. ICE released the following statement about his arrest on Friday:

“Mr. Arrona-Lara, a citizen of Mexico illegally residing in the United States, was taken into custody Wednesday by ICE Fugitive Operations Team officers in San Bernardino, Calif. Mr. Arrona-Lara is currently in ICE custody pending removal proceedings with the Executive Office for Immigration Review.”

“ICE continues to focus its enforcement resources on individuals who pose a threat to national security, public safety and border security. ICE conducts targeted immigration enforcement in compliance with federal law and agency policy. However, ICE will no longer exempt classes or categories of removable aliens from potential enforcement. All of those in violation of the immigration laws may be subject to immigration arrest, detention and, if found removable by final order, removal from the United States.”


A version of this article appeared on The Daily Caller News Foundation website.

Voters Consider Energy Price Hikes in Arizona, Nevada, Washington

by H. Sterling Burnett


Voters in Arizona, Nevada and Washington state will soon decide if they want to pay more for less reliable electricity.

Progressive California billionaire Tom Steyer is trying to take California’s energy policies on the road. California energy prices are among the highest in the country, and Golden State residents suffer more non-disaster-related blackouts and brownouts than any other state. In a vain effort to control the weather 100 years into the future, California has adopted policies that restrict fossil-fuel use and severely limit residents’ energy choices. The result: high energy prices and unreliable electricity that works only when the sun and wind cooperate.

At a time when residents and businesses are fleeing California to seek more affordable energy and homes, California is now trying to export its misguided energy policies beyond its borders.

This November, voters in Arizona and Nevada will consider ballot proposals that would mandate an increase in the proportion of electricity generated from renewable power sources to 50 percent by 2030. Both measures are bankrolled by Steyer.

Additionally, Washington state voters, for the second time in three years, will consider a ballot initiative to impose the nation’s first tax on carbon-dioxide emissions.

The plain truth is, if voters approve these initiatives they will be paying higher prices for energy with little or no environmental benefit. Numerous studies have revealed that states with renewable energy mandates have experienced increased energy prices. The Brookings Institution found replacing conventional power with wind power raises electricity prices by 50 percent. Even worse, replacing conventional power with solar power triples electricity costs. In short, the higher the mandate, the higher the costs.

Europe is further along the renewable energy path than the United States, and the results are telling. Despite a 25 percent increase in wind power and 6 percent growth in solar over the past decade, carbon emissions actually increased in 2017, by 1.8 percent, due to the fact that “idling fossil fuel plants must be quickly brought online when the wind doesn’t blow and the sun doesn’t shine, and, just like cars in traffic, idling engines produce more carbon emissions,” as reported by Nevada’s Sparks Tribune. Meanwhile, electricity costs across the European Union have increased by 23 percent during the past decade.

The same is true in the United States. Under its current renewable power mandate, Arizona produces 7 percent of its energy from wind and solar, an amount required to increase to 15 percent by 2025. The Energy Information Administration reports that meeting the current 7 percent requirement has already added $304 a year to the average Arizonan’s electric bill — meeting the 50 percent standard proposed in Steyer’s ballot initiative could cost Arizona residents an additional $2,100 annually.

The results are the same for Nevada. Over the last five years, the average Nevadan saw his or her electric bill rise by 11 percent, despite that nationally rates fell on average by 1 percent — and declined even more in states without green-energy mandates. This is due in part to Nevada’s existing renewable energy mandate.

A 2013 study commissioned by the Nevada Policy Research Institute showed that simply meeting the current requirement (utilities get 25 percent of the electric power they supply by 2025) would likely raise power prices by an additional 11 percent. This would also cost the state more than 3,000 jobs. Requiring 50 percent renewable energy just five years later, after the low hanging “inexpensive” power switching as already been accomplished, will make rates and job losses skyrocket even further.

Washington state’s carbon-dioxide tax would impose a penalty of $15 per metric ton on carbon-dioxide emissions, rising $2 per ton annually until the state meets its goal of reducing emissions 50 percent below 1990 levels. Evergreen State auditors found residents would pay approximately $2.2 billion more in taxes during its first five years of implementation, with gasoline prices likely to rise by 13 cents per gallon and the costs of home-heating oil likely to rise by 15 cents per gallon in 2020, the year the tax would take effect.

The higher energy prices and increased energy instability will be for naught with regards to preventing global warming. The United States is already reducing its emissions without such draconian policies, but even if it weren’t, nothing done in the United States can prevent a global rise in emissions because developing countries are adding huge amounts of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere as they industrialize.

Only the IRS, politicians and climate fanatics could love these high-cost, no-return ballot initiatives. Let’s hope Arizona, Nevada and Washington state residents see through the green smokescreen the ballot initiatives’ advocates are emitting.


Greens Call for Clear Out of Climate Deniers

by Ross Hawkins


{A 2014 article with a disturbing message, truth is subservient to an ideological agenda - ED}


The Green Party of England and Wales has called for a purge of government advisers and ministers who do not share its views on climate change. Published 14 February of 2014.

Any senior adviser refusing to accept “the scientific consensus on climate change” should be sacked, it said.

Party leader Natalie Bennett said the rule must apply to all senior advisers, including those with no responsibility for environmental issues.

David Cameron says he suspects recent storms are linked to climate change.

Speaking recently, the prime minister said that while a single weather pattern could not be attributed to climate change, many scientists were talking of a link between the two and the UK should be prepared for more extreme weather.

But some Tory MPs and peers, Lord Lawson being the most prominent, have cast doubt on scientific theories on climate change which argue human activity is predominately responsible for recent rises in global temperatures. 

‘Emergency’

The Greens are now insisting the government gets rid of any cabinet minister who takes a different view on climate change.

Ms Bennett said: "We need the whole government behind this. This is an emergency situation we're facing now. We need to take action. We need everyone signed up behind that."  Pressed on the issue, she agreed that even the chief veterinary officer should be removed if he didn't sign up to the view on climate change also taken by the Green Party.

A policy document released by the party said: "Get rid of any cabinet ministers or senior governmental advisers who refuse to accept the scientific consensus on climate change or who won't take the risks to the UK seriously."

Ms Bennett added: "It's an insult to flood victims that we have an Environment Secretary (Owen Paterson) who is a denier of the reality of climate change and we also can't have anyone in the cabinet who is denying the realities that we're facing with climate change."

She said her party took the consensus view shared by many other organisations including the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

In September, the UN-backed body said it was 95% certain that humans were the "dominant cause" of global warming since the 1950s.

The party also wants to see staff cuts at the Environment Agency reversed, a bigger budget for the Agency and tougher rules to prevent development on flood plains.

It says money spent supporting fossil fuels should be redirected to help victims of flooding.


NY Post Bombshell Report Means Rosenstein Massively Rigged Cohen Trial

by Lisa Payne-Naeger


Sometimes I wonder if Donald Trump knew what he was really getting himself into when he decided to run for president and drain the swamp.

Everywhere he’s turned he has met roadblocks, opposition and betrayal as he tries to infuse policy he thinks will make America great again.

And ever since he was accused of colluding with Russia to sway the 2016 election, the constant turn of events have played out like a bad daytime drama. The latest twist in the plot centers around Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, and if reports are true, he could be in a heap of trouble.

On Saturday, Michael Goodwin wrote in the New York Post that Rosenstein ordered United States Attorney Geoffrey Berman to recuse himself from the investigation into the Michael Cohen case, which in turn would leave his office staffed with Obama administration holdovers from Preet Bharara’s tenure as Berman’s predecessor.

Berman was appointed to the Southern District of New York position by President Trump after he fired Preet Bharara, an Obama appointee.

Since his firing, Preet has made his feelings known that he is not a Trump supporter. The bias is clear. Looks like the president made a good call on that one.

Preet Bharara‏Verified account @PreetBharara

Preet Bharara Retweeted Henry J. Gomez

Some people hate this president BECAUSE they love this country

Preet Bharara added,

Henry J. GomezVerified account @HenryJGomez
Ronna Romney McDaniel, addressing the RNC at its winter meeting: Democrats "hate this president more than they love this country."
8:20 AM - 2 Feb 2018

Preet Bharara‏Verified account @PreetBharara

So Trump can unilaterally pardon anyone, absolutely pardon himself, impose his will on DOJ, ban all Muslims, levy any tarrif, and start any war but he CANNOT tell Sessions, whom he slaps down daily, to ease up on separating infants from parents at the border? Ok

Chris Strohm of Bloomberg reports the significance of this move as they allege the strings of this case are being pulled not by the Justice Department, but by prosecutors in the Southern District of New York.

“Cohen’s guilty plea was secured as part of an investigation led by the U.S. attorney’s office in Manhattan, not by Special Counsel Mueller or Justice Department headquarters, another frequent target of the president’s derision. Instead, the deal was made by Robert Khuzami, deputy U.S. attorney for the New York office,” he wrote.

“But neither Rosenstein nor Mueller is calling the shots for the investigation in New York, according to two people familiar with the matter. The U.S. attorney’s office for the Southern District of New York, commonly known as SDNY, has the independence to take investigative steps and charge people without approval from Rosenstein, one of the people said.

So while Rosenstein was consulted about Cohen’s plea, which implicated Trump in campaign finance crimes, he didn’t sign off on it or approve it, the person said. It’s not clear whether Attorney General Jeff Sessions’s recusal from Mueller’s probe extends to the investigation in Manhattan.”

To sum up the significance of this move, let’s just say that the SDNY is now driving the bus on any developing investigation into the Cohen case. While the Justice Department still holds oversight as all U.S attorneys still answer to Rosenstein, previously the SDNY has enjoyed independence of operation outside the U.S. Attorney’s office.

And the lines of communication are open and free between SDNY prosecutors and investigators in Robert Mueller’s office.

Bloomberg also states: “Rosenstein made the decision to give the Cohen case to SDNY following a referral from Mueller. That also ensured the investigation could continue even if Trump somehow managed to fire the special counsel, a politically dangerous move that many Republicans have warned the president to avoid.”

So, if it is true that Rosenstein intentionally moved the trial to SDNY, it might be more than a suspicious coincidence that a Trump-appointed attorney was ordered to recuse himself from the case leaving it to less-unbiased attorneys general.

What a mess and an endless saga of betrayal. Trump appointed Jeff Sessions as Attorney General in February of 2017, only to have Sessions recuse himself from the Russia investigations in the beginning of March of that year.

This left Rod Rosenstein in charge of overseeing the Russia investigations and he appointed Robert Mueller as Special Prosecutor in May of 2017. Since that time there has been no evidence of Russian collusion, but the Mueller team has bull dogged members of Trumps inner circle and charged them with various unrelated crimes.

You can’t make this stuff up, folks. These latest allegations are almost a kin to jumping the shark for television sweeps week.

I guess we will see who wins in the ratings race in November.







Entire Plane Quarantined in New York City After Mysterious Illness Breaks Out Among Passengers

by Chris Agee


John F. Kennedy International Airport was the site of a quarantined commercial jet Back in Sept 2018 according to news reports.

The Airbus A388, operated by Emirates and arriving in New York from Dubai, had about 500 passengers on board.  An airline statement suggested about 10 individuals became ill while in the air. Some early reports suggested the number of affected passengers might have been 10 times higher.

“Emirates can confirm that about 10 passengers on board flight EK203 from Dubai to New York were taken ill,” said a company spokesperson.

She described the resulting quarantine as a precautionary measure, adding that passengers “were immediately checked by local health authorities and those needing medical attention will be attended to.”

WNBC reported that the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention was spotted at the airport along with Port Authority police officers. Authorities declined the news station’s requests for comment.

NYC Scanner‏ @NYScanner

Queens: JFK Airport, Emirates flight 203 from Dubai was heading towards NY landed after 100 passengers feeling sick aboard the plane, FDNY & hazmat on scene investigating.

6:49 AM - 5 Sep 2018
Though all passengers remained aboard at the time of the Emirates spokesperson’s statement, she indicated that those not affected by the as-yet unidentified illness would be able to deplane shortly.

One man who told Reuters reporters that he was among the passengers on the quarantined craft said they have little more information than those watching the situation develop from the outside.

“All we have been told is that there are some sick passengers and that we need to remain on board,” Larry Cohen wrote in a statement to the news organization.

About two hours after the landing, a statement from the office of New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio revealed that about half of the passengers remained on the plane.

CameliaEntekhabifard‏Verified account @CameliaFard Sep 5
Replying to @tgoudsouzian

Survived!!! So scary. Told many many people including the crew members in Econ get very ill all taken to hospital and many remained in the plane quarantined! #JFK evacuated for our arrival. All customs having mask except us!

One passenger told local reporters that apparent symptoms of the illnesses began before the plane boarded in Dubai.

“When they were standing in line to board, people were coughing,” said Erin Sykes.

She added that many of the passengers “were not covering their mouths” when the coughed, leading her to take whatever precautions she could during the flight.

“I proceeded to put my jacket and the blanket over my head for the entirety of the flight because so many people were coughing, and so dramatically,” she said.

She described the resulting quarantine as a precautionary measure, adding that passengers “were immediately checked by local health authorities and those needing medical attention will be attended to.”

According to Sykes, passengers also complained of stomach maladies.

What Sort of Energy Do You Want For Your Future?

by H. Sterling Burnett


The world is facing a stark choice. Should governments restrict energy use by dramatically raising the price of fossil fuels to fight purported human-caused climate change? Or should they permit the continued use of comparatively cheap, entirely reliable fossil fuels by rejecting carbon cap-and-trade schemes, carbon taxes, and mandates restricting the use of fossil fuels?

Put simply: People need to ask themselves whether they want to pay more for the energy they already get.

Advance reports of a new U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) study indicate those who believe humans are causing allegedly dangerous climate change are in for some bad news, as The Hill recently reported: “[g]overnments across the globe are ‘nowhere near on track’ to meet their goal of preventing global warming of more than 1.5 degrees Celsius higher than the pre-industrial period.”

According to the IPCC report, only a massive, worldwide transformation of electric power, transportation, and agricultural systems can prevent the global temperature from rising the 2 degrees Celsius or less nations committed to as part of the Paris Climate Agreement.

Commenting on the report, Ola Elvestuen, Norway’s environment minister, said,“We are moving way too slowly. We have to do more of everything, faster. To reach the goals of the Paris agreement we need large structural changes.

There is a big problem, though: Governments are having a hard time convincing the people in their nations the radical restrictions on fossil fuels many climate alarmists are calling for are worth the minimal climate change benefits that might flow from the living-standard sacrifices they will be forced to make. Worse still, IPCC’s own calculations show these radical policies would be insufficient to prevent the targeted temperature rise.

Even the minimal actions taken or proposed by governments so far carry a steep price tag. For instance, in 2016 and 2018, the U.S. House of Representatives adopted resolutions rejecting a tax on carbon-dioxide emissions based on research showing a modest tax of $28 per ton would result in decreased economic activity, eliminating as many as 21 million job equivalents over the next four decades while potentially reducing workers’ wages by 8.5 percent. A separate study indicates a carbon tax of $37 per ton would incur a loss of more than $2.5 trillion in aggregate gross domestic product by 2030—more than $21,000 in income loss per family—and lead by 2030 to the destruction of more than 500,000 jobs in manufacturing and more than one million jobs overall.

Canada’s Financial Post reports Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s $50-per-ton carbon tax would cost households in Nova Scotia $1,120 per year. In Alberta, the tax would cost $1,111 annually. Even in Manitoba and Quebec, the two provinces where energy prices are projected to increase the least as a result of the tax, households will still pay an additional $683 and $662, respectively, for their electric power each year.

There’s more bad news for Canadians: Many climate alarmists say to reduce carbon-dioxide emissions to the degree necessary to avert catastrophe, carbon prices must increase to $100 per ton or more. Under such a scenario, “households in Alberta will pony up $2,223, in Saskatchewan they’ll pay $2,065 and in Nova Scotia, $2,240. In fact, at $100 a ton, the average price for households in all provinces is well north of $1,000 per year,” says theFinancial Post.

In response to rising energy prices, the premiers of four of Canada’s provinces have decided to scrap provincial taxes, programs, and fees imposed to implement Trudeau’s carbon tax.

Canada isn’t alone, either. A report by IHS Markit says the average price per ton of carbon emissions in G20 nations that have established a carbon trading market to reduce emissions is just $16 per metric ton, but the price needed to meet the minimal targets of the Paris Climate Agreement should be closer to $80 per ton, according to those who believe such measures are necessary to fight climate change.

A recent article published by Vox cites research indicating even a $50-per-ton carbon tax in the United States would be too low to reduce carbon-dioxide emissions 80 percent below 2005 levels by 2050—a stated goal of the Obama administration.

The Rhodium Group estimates to reach “80 percent (or more appropriately, 100 percent) reductions, carbon prices would likely need to exceed $100/ton by mid-century.”

Politicians, faced with the punishment of losing support from voters unwilling to pay more for less-reliable energy, are proving increasingly unwilling to impose the high price on carbon they themselves state is necessary to avert climate catastrophe. As evidence, leaders in Australia, Brazil, and Canada are publicly eschewing their commitments to reduce carbon-dioxide emissions, although they remain unwilling to pull out of the Paris Climate Agreement as the United States has done.

Elsewhere, in China, Europe, and Japan, for instance, leaders publicly proclaim their fealty to the Paris agreement while missing mid-term emissions-reduction goals, quietly approving new coal and natural gas power plants, and selling more fossil-fuel-powered vehicles.

I have good news. Since the best evidence suggests humans aren’t causing a climate apocalypse, Paris’s failure is nothing to be concerned about. In fact, its failure means it’s more likely there will be abundant energy for all.






Arizona Foster Mother Found Guilty of Child Abuse after Scalding Young Devani

by Health Impact News/MedicalKidnap.com Staff


The Arizona woman accused of scalding her adoptive child causing third degree burns to 80% of her body resulting in the amputation of all 10 toes has been found guilty of 2 of the 3 charges brought against her.

Samantha Osteraas was found guilty by a jury in Tucson Arizona for child abuse. Image source.

Samantha Osteraas of Tucson, Arizona, faces between 10 and 24 years in prison for hurting Devani, the little girl that the Arizona Department of Child Services placed into her care after removing her from a foster home where she was being abused in a pedophilia pornography ring.

A Pima County jury of 9 women and 3 men deliberated for 8 hours before reaching their verdict on Friday afternoon, October 19, 2018. According to News 4 Tucson, Osteraas:

…was found not guilty for the first count of child abuse. However, the jury did find her guilty for the lesser charge of reckless child abuse.

For the second child abuse count, she was found guilty.

One of the court watchers who was present for the emotional trial said that the jury decided that she was not guilty of “negligent child abuse,” which was the first count of abuse. They stopped short of saying that she burned Devani intentionally.

They did, however, find that Samantha Osteraas was guilty of delaying treatment after the burns occurred.

Samantha Osteraas during her trial for scalding the child she adopted. Source – KOLD 13 News.

See Devani’s heartbreaking story of being taken from innocent parents who had never harmed her, then placed into one abusive situation after another:

Arizona Child Removed from Loving Family and Placed into Foster Care Where She was Repeatedly Raped – then 80% of Body Burned

Arizona Places 2 Year Old Child in Foster Pornographic Pedophile Ring – Foster Mom Burns 80% of Her Body


Advocates – Devani Is Beautiful!

Seven-year-old Devani appeared in court on Friday, October 12, to tell the judge and jury what happened to her. Court watchers told Health Impact News that they didn’t know what to expect when they saw her. None of them had seen her since before the incident.

They knew that she had suffered severe burns to most of her body and had undergone numerous surgeries and skin grafts. She had been placed into a medically-induced coma at one point, and her organs had been shutting down.

Devani has undergone 29 surgeries since being burned just after Christmas of 2016.  All 10 of her toes had to be amputated. Advocates had no idea if the little girl would be able to walk again.

They were happy to see her walk into court on her own:

She looked so beautiful! She is so strong.

Two different advocates told us that it was clear from Devani’s demeanor that she refused to wear the label of “victim,” even though she has suffered more abuse than most people can imagine.

Devani has a different legal name after being adopted by Samantha and Justin Osteraas, but her advocates say that they will always call her by her real name, Devani Rose.

Devani, before the abuse that left her with a lifetime of physical scars and pain. Source – Justice for Devani Rose Facebook page.

See our coverage of Devani’s testimony here: Trial Begins for Little Arizona Girl Placed with Pedophiles in Foster Care and Burned by Adoptive Mom

Real Parents Not Allowed to See Devani in Court

Devani’s parents and grandmother, who are still fighting and praying that, somehow, their little girl will be returned to her family, were not allowed to see her testify.

They simply wanted to see her with their own eyes, something they have not been allowed to do since she was so brutally injured under state supervision. A simple request to be permitted to see her through a crack in the door or from behind a 1-way glass window was denied.

According to one witness, Guardian ad Litem Thea Gilbert brought in a psychologist to court to argue that seeing her birth parents would be “traumatizing” to the child. However, no mention was made of the potential trauma of seeing the woman who has scarred her for life.

Devani testified that Samantha Osteraas held her down in the bathtub with a pink towel. She named Osteraas and pointed her out to the jury.

Court watchers told us that they saw the trauma on the child’s face when she looked at Osteraas and their eyes met. They reported that their hearts broke as Devani “froze up” for about a half a minute.

Abuser – She Did This to Herself

Tucson.com reports that Osteraas denied holding her down. Her version of the story was that the 5-year-old child did this to herself:

Osteraas testified the child got into the hot water on her own and then stayed there until Osteraas found her in a dazed state.

There were “so many inconsistencies in Samantha’s story,” according to one of the court watchers we talked to.

The prosecuting attorney did not buy her story, either. Tucson.com reports:

Deputy Pima County Attorney Alan Goodwin had urged jurors to use common sense in deciding whether a child would sit in scalding water as the burns deepened, and whether a mother who claimed to care would wait hours to get help. The girl was “on death’s door” before Osteraas sought help, he said.

Devani – before she was burned over 80% of her body by Samantha Osteraas, the woman permitted to adopt her by DCS. Source – Justice for Devani Rose Facebook page.

17 Calls Made Over 5-Hour Period Before 911 Called

He pointed out that the burns were so severe that she lost her toes. Yet, the accused waited for possibly 5 hours before making the phone call that should have been her first response. Phone records cited in court showed that Osteraas made 17 phone calls to various people before calling 911.

She said repeatedly that she was “in shock” and that was why she made 17 phone calls to a paramedic neighbor and his wife as well as to her husband before finally calling 911.

If that were true and she was in shock, wouldn’t it have been easier to call 911 than a neighbor?

Defense attorney Jeff Rogers suggested to jurors in closing arguments Thursday that the child may have been in such a confused state that she mistook her mother helping her out of the bath for holding her down. (Source).

He argued that the delay in calling for help was not intentional. Rogers was reportedly disappointed that the jury did not agree, and he says they plan to file an appeal. This is standard in criminal cases.


Sentencing – Aggravating Circumstances or Leniency Due to Abuser’s Own History in Foster Care?

Tucson.com reports that Samantha Osteraas will be sentenced on December 3. There are several factors involved in determining the length of her prison sentence, which could range from a minimum mandatory sentence of 10 years up to a maximum of 24 years.

The jury believes that there were factors present that increase the severity of the crimes committed against Devani:

After the verdicts were read, the jurors returned to the deliberation room to decide whether prosecutors had proven three so-called aggravating factors in the case:
  • that the child had suffered emotionally,
  • that she was 5 years old when the crime occurred, and
  • that she was harmed by someone in a position of trust.

The jury found all of these factors were proven, which will allow the judge to consider them when determining Osteraas’ sentence.

Samantha Osteraas during her trial for abusing Devani. Photo source: Tucson 4 News.

Samantha Osteraas herself was adopted as a child. Her defense attorney pointed to her “very rough childhood,” which included abuse and foster care. Based on those factors, Jeff Rogers intends to request leniency in her sentencing.

The irony is that these same factors – being a victim of childhood abuse (or domestic violence as an adult), and growing up in foster care or being adopted – are frequently used by Child Protective Services agencies and social workers all across the United States to argue against leniency on birth parents.

Many loving parents who are falsely accused in the system hear in court that, because they have a history of being in foster care themselves, they cannot possibly know how to adequately parent.

These criteria do not actually determine the ability or suitability of anyone to parent, but social workers and attorneys pick and choose how to use facts such as these to twist to fit whatever agenda suits them in the moment.

The reality is that some children who grow up in the system, or who face any other challenge, are able to work through their pain and overcome the difficulties, while some grow up to repeat the patterns of abuse they experienced.

There was no leniency on Devani’s mother Michelle Tremor-Calderon when the state of Arizona terminated her parental rights and placed her child into horrific situations that she never would have faced in her mother’s care.

Now that the trial is over, Devani is still not with any of her family. Her legal name remains one assigned to her by her adopters, Samantha and Justin Osteraas. As far as we can determine, Devani is in yet another foster home.


Why Is GAL Thea Gilbert Still Allowed on the Case?

Shockingly, her Guardian ad Litem, Thea Gilbert, remains on her case. The attorney who is supposed to represent the child’s best interest has been with Devani’s case since the beginning.

Thea Gilbert – court-appointed attorney for Devani. Photo source.

Gilbert approved her placement with the now-imprisoned David Frodsham. Even after Devani’s mother Michelle Tremor-Calderon and transporter Beth Breen told Thea Gilbert that the child was terrified and showed clear signs of being sexually molested, Gilbert ignored them.

She and other Pima County social workers ignored the stories of other foster and adopted children in the home telling that they were being repeatedly raped and trafficked. One of the children has now aged out and is suing the state for millions of dollars for placing him and his brothers in such harm.

See: Arizona Foster Care System Revealed as Pedophile Ring: Former Foster Child Tortured for Years Sues for $15 Million

Despite being informed of the harm to Devani, Thea Gilbert recommended to the court that the Frodshams be allowed to adopt Devani.

According to KOLD News 13:

In November 2015, DCS investigated reports of sexual and physical abuse [by David Frodsham]. Those allegations were unsubstantiated.

Yet, they report:

DCS removed the child from the home of her biological parents in April 2013 when neglect allegations were substantiated.

[Note: these allegations against the parents were investigated by Health Impact News as well. We examined the DCS documents as well as the exonerating evidence, which clearly proved that the allegations were false from the very beginning. Source.]

After the pornography pedophile ring was busted by ICE, Gilbert approved Devani’s placement and subsequent adoption by Samantha and Justin Osteraas, despite clear warnings that the woman was prone to violence.

Two of the foster parent placements approved by Thea Gilbert and the Pima County DCS face at least a decade in prison each for heinous crimes committed against children.

Still, Thea Gilbert not only remains involved in the case, but she also refuses to so much as recuse herself.

When will those responsible for placing this child into harm’s way be held accountable? Are we truly to believe that they are above the law?

Why are the standards for non-biological fosters and adoptors consistently far more lenient than those to which biological parents are held?

There is a Facebook page established by supporters to continue to fight for “Justice for Devani Rose.”