I’m the Wife of a Former N.F.L. Player. Football Destroyed His Mind. – by Emily Kelly – NYT

The superbowl Sunday night was a magnificent game, in which the underdog Eagles got the better of the favored New England Patriots. While I enjoyed the game immensely, in the fine company of  friends, I kept thinking about this article, in that mornings NYT Sunday Review.

“My husband, Rob Kelly, is a retired N.F.L. player. After five seasons as a safety beginning in the late 1990s, four with the New Orleans Saints and one with the New England Patriots, he sustained an injury to a nerve between his neck and shoulder during training camp that ended his career. By the time he retired in 2002 at 28, he had been playing tackle football for about two decades.

Rob had no idea, however, that all those years of playing would have such serious consequences. Safeties are the last line of defense and among the hardest hitters in the game. One tackle he attempted while playing for the Saints was so damaging, he doesn’t remember the rest of the game. He got up, ran off the field and tried to go back in — as an offensive player. He knows this only because people told him the next day.”

“, , ,  Specific details about how he wanted his funeral to be, and his demand that he be cremated, were brought up with excruciating frequency. One particularly dark time, he went five days without eating anything; he drank only water and a few swigs of chocolate milk. He was suffering deeply and barely surviving. My love and affection seemed to offer no comfort or solace. I felt helpless.

It wasn’t until I joined a private Facebook group of more than 2,400 women, all connected in some way to current or former N.F.L. players, that I realized I wasn’t alone.

Our stories are eerily similar, our loved ones’ symptoms almost identical: the bizarre behavior I had tried to ignore, the obsessive laundering of old clothes — our washing machine ran from morning till night.

It was comforting and terrifying all at the same time. Why did so many of us see the same strange behaviors? “Our neurologist said they do it to calm their brains,” one friend told me.

Symptoms consistent with C.T.E. are a recurring topic in the Facebook group. They include memory loss, confusion, impaired judgment, aggression, depression and anxiety. These problems become apparent sometimes years or even decades after a player hangs up his helmet.”

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NYT: The Fight for Health Care Isn’t Over

NYT editorial last Sunday: “In light of these lines of attack, it is imperative that in 2016 voters elect people to Congress and the White House who will support health care reform. It is equally important that as many uninsured people as possible be reached and enrolled in private plans or Medicaid. The greater the number of people who benefit from the health reform law, the harder it will be to dismantle it.”

It is imperative that in 2016 voters elect people to Congress who will support health care reform.
nytimes.com|By THE EDITORIAL BOARD

The French diet–steak, red wine, cheese and chocolate — is rehabilitated.

For some, this will be hard to swallow.
“So, as the guidelines have recommended cutting down on meat, especially red meat, this meant that many people began to increase their consumption of carbohydrates.

Decades later, it’s not hard to find evidence that this might have been a bad move. Many now believe that excessive carbohydrate consumption may be contributing to the obesity and diabetes epidemics. A Cochrane Review of all randomized controlled trials of reduced or modified dietary fat interventions found that replacing fat with carbohydrates does not protect even against cardiovascular problems, let alone death.”

Government recommendations on how much fat and salt you should eat weren’t always based on the best available evidence. That may be changing.
nytimes.com|By Aaron E. Carroll

One of the places where climate change denial has sprung from. Tim Egan, NYT

In case you are interested in where climate change denial has sprung from, Tim Egan introduces some of us to The Competitive Enterprise Institute. Egan writes: The Supreme Court case, to be decided by June, grew out of a gathering in 2010 of far-right attorneys looking for a way to destroy Obamacare.

“This bastard has to be killed as a matter of political hygiene,” said Michael S. Greve, a former chairman of the Competitive Enterprise Institute, during a panel discussion. “I don’t care how this is done, whether it’s dismembered, whether we drive a stake through its heart, whether we tar and feather it and drive it out of town, whether we strangle it.”

The first attempt to strangle it failed by one vote in a 2012 Supreme Court ruling. The next assault is this case, organized by the same Competitive Enterprise Institute, an advocacy group with long ties to climate change denial and tobacco distortion campaigns.

They found four plaintiffs right out of a Rush Limbaugh ditto-headfest, all of whom have come under withering press scrutiny of late. One is just a half-year shy of eligibility for Medicare. Two others are military veterans who appear to qualify for premium-free federal care. Somehow, they claim to be “harmed” by a technicality in the health care law that allows the federal government to subsidize people who don’t get help from the states that did not set up their own markets.”

Republicans are attempting a manipulation of the legal system that would make a mockery of all that conservative legal scholars profess to believe.
nytimes.com|By Timothy Egan