Are Presidents Required to Pass a Mental Health Test?


Why Candidates for the Highest Office Should Undergo a Psychological Evaluation.

 

Donald Trump Supreme Court Nominees

 Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump has identified two people he’s nominate to the U.S. Supreme Court if elected. Tom Pennington

Presidents are not required to pass mental health exams or psychological and psychiatric evaluations  before taking office in the United States. But some Americans and members of Congress have called for such mental health exams for candidates following the 2016 election of Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump.

The idea of requiring presidential candidates to undergo mental health exams is not new, though.

 In the mid-1990s, former President Jimmy Carter pushed for the creation of a panel of physicians who would routinely evaluate the most powerful politician in the free world and decide whether their judgment was clouded by a mental disability.

“Many people have called to my attention the continuing danger to our nation from the possibility of a U.S. president becoming disabled, particularly by a neurologic illness,” Carter wrote in a December 1994 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Why the President’s Mental Health Should Be Monitored

Carter’s suggestion led to the creation in 1994 of the Working Group on Presidential Disability, whose members later proposed a nonpartisan, standing medical commission “to monitor the president’s health and issue periodic reports to the country.” Carter envisioned a panel of expert physicians who were not directly involved in the care of the president determining whether he had a disability.

 “If the president of the United States must decide within minutes how to respond to a dire emergency, its citizens expect him or her to be mentally competent and to act wisely,” wrote Dr. James Toole, a professor of neurology at Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center in North Carolina who worked with the working group.
 “Because the presidency of the United States is now the world’s most powerful office, should its incumbent become even temporarily unable to exercise good judgment, the consequences for the world could be unimaginably far-reaching.”

There is currently no such standing medical commission in place, however, to observe a sitting president’s decision-making. The sole test of a candidate’s physical and mental fitness to serve in the White House is the rigor of the campaign trail and elector process.

Why Mental Fitness Became an Issue in the Trump Era

The idea of requiring presidential candidates to undergo mental health evaluations arose in the general election campaign of 2016, primarily because of Republican nominee Donald Trump‘s erratic behavior and numerous incendiary comments. Trump’s mental fitness became a central issue of the campaign and became more pronounced after he took office.

A member of Congress, Democrat Karen Bass of California, called for a mental-health evaluation of Trump before the election, saying the billionaire real-estate development and reality-television star exhibits signs of Narcissistic Personality Disorder. In a petition seeking the evaluation, Bass called Trump “dangerous for our country.

 His impulsiveness and lack of control over his own emotions are of concern. It is our patriotic duty to raise the question of his mental stability to be the commander in chief and leader of the free world.” The petition carried no legal weight.

A lawmaker from the opposing political party, Democratic Rep. Zoe Lofgren of California, introduced a resolution in the House of Representatives during Trump’s first year in office encouraging the vice president and the Cabinet to hire medical and psychiatric professionals to evaluate the president. The resolution stated: “President Donald J. Trump has exhibited an alarming pattern of behavior and speech causing concern that a mental disorder may have rendered him unfit and unable to fulfill his Constitutional duties.”

Lofgren said she drafted the resolution in light of what she described as Trump’s “increasingly disturbing pattern of actions and public statements that suggest he may be mentally unfit to execute the duties required of him.” The resolution did not come up for a vote in the House.

It would have sought the removal of Trump from office by employing the 25th Amendment to the Constitution, which allows for the replacement of presidents who become physically or mentally unable to serve.

Trump Declines to Make Health Records Public

Some candidates have chosen to make their health records public, particularly when serious questions have been raised about their well being. The 2008 Republican presidential nominee, John McCain, did so in the face of questions about his age – he was 72 at the time – and previous ailments including skin cancer.

And in the 2016 election, Trump released a letter from his physician that described the candidate as being in “extraordinary” health both mentally and physically.  “If elected, Mr. Trump, I can state unequivocally, will be the healthiest individual ever elected to the presidency,” wrote Trump’s doctor. Trump himself said: “I am fortunate to have been blessed with great genes — both of my parents had very long and productive lives.” But Trump did not release detailed records about his health.

Psychiatrists Can’t Diagnose Candidates

The American Psychiatric Association banned its members from offering opinions about elected officials or candidates for office after 1964, when a group of them called Republican Barry Goldwater unfit for office. Wrote the association:

“On occasion psychiatrists are asked for an opinion about an individual who is in the light of public attention or who has disclosed information about himself/herself through public media. In such circumstances, a psychiatrist may share with the public his or her expertise about psychiatric issues in general. However, it is unethical for a psychiatrist to offer a professional opinion unless he or she has conducted an examination and has been granted proper authorization for such a statement.”

Who Decides When a President Is Unfit to Serve

So if there’s no mechanism in place by which an independent panel of health experts is able to evaluate a sitting president, who decides when there might be a problem with his decision-making process? The president himself, which is the problem.

Presidents have gone out of their way to hide their ailments from the public and, more importantly, their political enemies. Among the most notable in modern history was John F. Kennedy, who didn’t let the public know about his colitis, prostatitis, Addison’s disease and osteoporosis of the lower back. While those ailments certainly would not have precluded him from taking office, Kennedy’s failure reluctance to disclose the pain he suffered illustrate the lengths to which presidents go to conceal health problems.

Section 3 of the 25th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which was ratified in 1967, allows a sitting president, members of his cabinet – or, in extraordinary circumstances, Congress – to transfer his responsibilities to his vice president until he has recovered from a mental or physical ailment.

The amendment reads, in part:

“Whenever the President transmits to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives his written declaration that he is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, and until he transmits to them a written declaration to the contrary, such powers and duties shall be discharged by the Vice President as Acting President.”

The problem with the constitutional amendment, however, is that it relies on a president or his cabinet to determine when he is unable to perform the duties of the office.

The 25th Amendment Has Been Used Before

President Ronald Reagan used that power in July 1985 when he underwent treatment for colon cancer. Though he did not specifically invoke the 25th Amendment, Reagan clearly understood his transfer of power to Vice President George Bush fell under its provisions.

Reagan wrote to the House speaker and Senate president:

“After consultation with my Counsel and the Attorney General, I am mindful of the provisions of Section 3 of the 25th Amendment to the Constitution and of the uncertainties of its application to such brief and temporary periods of incapacity. I do not believe that the drafters of this Amendment intended its application to situations such as the instant one. Nevertheless, consistent with my longstanding arrangement with Vice President George Bush, and not intending to set a precedent binding anyone privileged to hold this Office in the future, I have determined and it is my intention and direction that Vice President George Bush shall discharge those powers and duties in my stead commencing with the administration of anesthesia to me in this instance.”

Reagan did not, however, transfer the power of the presidency despite evidence that later showed he might have been suffering from the initial stages of Alzheimer’s.

President George W. Bush used the 25th Amendment twice to transfer powers to his vice president, Dick Cheney. Cheney served as acting president for about four hours and 45 minutes while Bush underwent sedation for colonoscopies.

Dutch scientists use smell to recreate JFK, Diana and other famous deaths


Dutch scientists are recreating the deaths of some of the world’s most famous personalities by reconstructing their last moments using scents and sounds.

From the sweet smell of Jacqueline Kennedy’s perfume mingled with the scent of John F. Kennedy’s blood to Whitney Houston’s last drug-fuelled moments in a Beverly Hillsbathtub, scientists at Breda university say they offer visitors a unique, if somewhat macabre, historical snapshot.

“We all have seen the images of JFK’s assassination, but what did it smell like?” asks Frederik Duerinck, from the communication and multimedia design faculty of Breda’s Avans university of applied sciences.

To find out, visitors with a sense of the morbid are invited to lie in a series of four silver metal boxes similar to those found in a morgue.

The boxes, which are pitch-dark inside, are rigged with pipes leading to bottles containing pressurised smells.

A soundtrack is played and on queue different scents are released into the box to recreate a specific “final moment.”

For around five minutes, visitors can relive the smells and sounds believed to have surrounded four people whose deaths are etched into the world’s collective memory: Kennedy (1963); Princess Diana (1997); Moamer Kadhafi (2011) and Whitney Houston (2012).

Strong chemical odour

For instance, those wanting to experience Houston’s final moments are transported to a bathtub at the upmarket Beverly Hills HOTEL where the diva died in February 2012 at age 48.

A coroner ruled that the singing legend died of accidental drowning, with cocaine and heart disease listed as contributing factors.

To the sounds of splashing water and Houston’s voice, a visitor first gets a whiff of generic cleaner, used in HOTELS AROUND the world, followed by the olive oil the singer used in her tub.

Then a strong chemical odour, similar to that of cocaine fills the box, grabbing its occupant by the throat, followed by the sound of rushing water and then silence.

“Smell is rarely used in communication and we wanted to explore its uses,” said Duerinck. “It’s a very powerful means of communication.”

Scientists have proved that smells are linked to the part of the brain that regulates emotion and memory.

Odours are often used in the retail industry to trigger a buying mood in customers.

“Who doesn’t want to buy a loaf after catching a whiff of fresh bread?” said Duerinck, who together with other lecturers and students has put together an inventory of odours and is devising new ways of using smell: for instance in story-telling.

“It’s quite surprising and spectacular,” said Riks Soepenberg, 31, who experienced a recreation of Kadhafi’s last moments as the former Libyan strongman was hunted and killed by rebels in October 2011.

“You can watch the pictures as many times as you want, it’s just not the same thing,” he said of the attack on Kadhafi’s convoy, forcing the long-serving leader to hide in a drainage pipe before being murdered.

‘I felt myself being hunted’

“I almost felt myself being hunted,” said Soepenberg.

In the coming months the installation will be taken across Europe.

“We’ve conducted extensive research,” said Wander Eikenboom, another lecturer at Avans about the authenticity of the experience.

“There’s already a lot of information available on the Internet, such as what perfume Jackie Kennedy or JFK were wearing,” said Eikenboom.

“Whitney Houston’s autopsy report for instance, is also available,” he added.

But the scientists admit battling to recreate the right scent for Jackie Kennedy’s perfume, which is no longer made.

“We had to rebuild something that resembled it as closely as possible,” said scientist Mark Meeuwenoord.

The inventors of the “final moments” smells said in any case, exact historical accuracy was not their aim.

Rather, they wanted to explore new ways of “smelling” old stories.

Test of famous faces ‘helps to spot early dementia.


Asking patients to identify pictures of famous people, such as Elvis Presley and Diana, Princess of Wales, may help spot early dementia, say researchers.

Doctors currently use simple mental agility tests to screen for the disease, but US experts believe a face recognition test should be used too.

A small study in the journal Neurology found it could flag up the beginnings of one type of dementia in 30 patients.

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Trials are needed to see if it works for other forms of the disease.

The research at Northwestern University in Chicago found that people with early onset primary progressive aphasia (PPA), a rare form of dementia, struggled to identify black and white prints of 20 famous people, including John F Kennedy, Albert Einstein and Martin Luther King.

Participants were given points for each face they could name. If they could not name the face, they were asked to identify the famous person through description instead.

‘Lot of nuances’

Compared with 27 dementia-free volunteers, the 30 participants with PPA scored poorly on the famous face test.

While it is normal for anybody to forget a name or a face from time to time, failing to recognise someone as famous as Presley suggests there could be a deeper-rooted cause.

Brain scans of the participants with PPA revealed loss of brain tissue in areas that deal with recognising faces.

Tamar Gefen, lead author of the study, said it would be useful to add the test to the others that doctors use to spot early dementia.

… as would correctly identifying Albert Einstein

She said: “It could be incorporated into a battery of tests for dementia. There are a lot of nuances and differences in dementia so it is good to use different tests.”

Doctors already screen by asking questions such as “What month and season is it?”

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The celebrity test would need to be adapted for the individual. Someone aged 45 might not be expected to recognise film stars from the 1930s, and a patient in their eighties might not be familiar with current pop stars, for example.

Dr Marie Janson, of Alzheimer’s Research UK, said: “It’s important to be able to give an accurate diagnosis for people with dementia so they can gain access to the right care and treatments, but the different forms of dementia can be difficult to identify.

“Studies such as this could increase our understanding of the way the brain is affected by different forms of dementia, but we must invest in research if results like these are to be used to move towards better diagnosis.”

A spokeswoman for the Alzheimer’s Society said: “Tests like this could help identify rarer forms of dementia which might otherwise be overlooked.

“However, problems with facial recognition are not a symptom of all types of dementia, so more research is needed to see whether adaptations of this approach could have wider use.”

Source: BBC

 

Benjamin Fulford – Extra Update – Obiturary : Dr. Michael Van De Meer, AKA Dr. Michael Meiring, AKA??? The Real James Bond


The fictional character James Bond does not hold a candle to the real McCoy, the man I knew as Dr. Michael Van de Meer. In one of his rare moments of immodesty, Dr. Van de Meer once told me that “what James Bond does is rather tame compared to what I have done.” This man was unique and will be sorely missed by all who knew him.

When I first met him in person, he showed me an attaché case containing an Uzi and 7 passports, all real and all with his photo on them. The attaché case had a bullet proof lining. While I was visiting him in the Philippines somebody tried to kill him by dumping large amounts of insecticide into the ventilating system of his hotel room. This was apparently not an unusual sort of occurrence for him. In any case, I was privileged to get, through him, a glimpse at the reality of top of world espionage and intrigue. To him CIA stood for Christ In Action.

Dr. Van de Meer used to go by the name Dr. Michael Meiring until he had both his legs blown off by a bomb he said was set by people working for his arch-enemy George Bush Senior, the head of the Nazi Odessa group.

Although Dr. Van de Meer was very reluctant to discuss his past, every once in a while he would release little nuggets of information about his extraordinary life. He said he grew up in a castle near the ancestral home of Sir Francis Drake. He also once let slip that he was a cousin of Queen Elizabeth and Evelyn de Rothschild, who he described as “not very nice people.”

His father, he claims, was a senior official in the British Raj, who worked with Mohandas Gandhi. My own research has led me to believe he at one point held the hereditary title of Lord Mountbatten, something he always denied.

What I learned through him is that when the British overlords left India, they took with them all the historical gold and treasure they could get their hands on. This gold was then allocated to a fund meant to be used for the benefit of the planet earth and its people. Many other nations and groups also allocated their historical treasures to this fund.

When a group of Nazis and fascists murdered President John F. Kennedy and started illegally using this money to finance their project for a fascist “New World Order,” Dr. Van de Meer set out to stop them.

The early James Bond movies are based in part of Van de Meer’s battle against them. The cat-petting villain Ernst Stavro Blofeld, who featured in the original James Bond films written by Ian Fleming, was based on Admiral Wilhelm Canaris, according to MI5 sources. Canaris was not executed during World War 2 for trying to assassinate Hitler and in fact became head of the Nazi Odessa underground after World War 2. It was Van de Meer and his team’s battles against Canaris and his group that formed the basis of the original James Bond novels. Van de Meer himself appears briefly as a young British businessman in the movie Thunderball. Canaris was eventually defeated by Van de Meer only to be replaced by George Bush Senior as the head of Odessa.

Of course Dr. Van de Meer admits he was no angel and he had one huge regret in his life. When he was a young medical doctor in the 1950’s he was sent to Africa to work with Dr. Jonas Salk, a man known to us as the developer of the Polio vaccine. According to Dr. Van de Meer, who then went by the name of Dr. Michael Meiring, Salk and his team killed over 200,000 African green monkeys and sent their blood to the US (Nazi) biological weapons facility at Ft. Detrick.

He found out the blood was being used to develop a disease aimed at depopulating Africa. It is now known as HIV or AIDS.

From that point on his career is something of a mystery. He once told me though of a narrow escape in the Congo where he was forced to confront mass murdering gun-men after crossing a Congo river filled with “hundreds of thousands of bloated dead bodies.”

After his time in Africa, Van de Meer spent 20 years in Asia, mostly the Philippines, researching the mystery of the missing “Yamashita gold” that imperial Japan stashed there during World War 2. He was one of the primary sources for the book “Gold Warriors,” written by Sterling Seagrave.

What Van de Meer learned was that much of the world’s historical gold was being plundered by Nazis. He set out to stop them and that was when Canaris disciple Bush bombed him.

Here is testimony of that event by a good friend of Dr. Michael’s:

The Dr. Michael I met was a neatly-dressed, well-groomed, gentleman, who moved with the power of a body-builder, the grace of a dancer, and the confidence of a man accustomed to command.  Strikingly handsome, with sky-blue eyes that held one’s attention, he spoke with a high British accent.

Dr. Michael was a man on mission.  Once, he opened the Bible that was always near his bed, turning to a passage where God said he would reveal all the hidden wealth in the world, and restore it to the people.  Dr. Michael told me that God had commissioned him to fulfill that promise, to relieve poverty, to renew the land, and to restore Creation to its intended state. In nearly every conversation with me, Dr. Michael found an opportunity to affirm his commitment to returning to the poor and oppressed that which had been taken from them.  He was passionate about building a world network of teaching hospitals and vocational education centers, and engaged in an unrelenting search for the necessary resources. At age sixty-four he would bound up four stories of stairway to his room, with no accelerated breathing.

After breakfast one fateful day, we parted ways.  Dr. Michael, formally attired in a 3-piece suit, went to a meeting, while I took care of business related to the rural youth center I was building.  We agreed to meet again an hour later, to discuss a rural development proposal that had been handed to Dr. Michael.

Less than an hour later, I was stepping out of my room when I heard the explosion. I ran down the hall, turning two corners, and arriving at Dr. Michael’s room within seconds.  Heavy black smoke and extreme heat were pouring out of his door.  Two streams of blood led me away from his door and down the stairway.  Several flights down I saw two men dragging the corners of a bed sheet in which the body was wrapped. On the street a red pickup truck was waiting, into which the body was dumped.  As the body fell out of the sheet, the Dr. Michael I saw looked absolutely like a well-burned road kill, with limbs twisted at impossible angles.  The pickup truck sped off through the heavy traffic, and out of sight.

A few hours later, after initial surgery, the attending plastic surgeon met me in the hall at Doctor’s Hospital, Davao’s finest.  The surgeon informed me that the patient had sustained third-degree burns, much of it full-thickness, over forty-eight percent of his body, had severe burns of his mouth and throat, had inhaled and ingested flame-retarding chemicals,  had lost the lower portion of both legs,  and would probably lose his left arm.  The damage was far beyond the threshold for human survival.  That the patient still lived was miraculous, he said, but the attending physicians had no expectation that he would survive much longer.

When Dr. Michael was returned to his room, he was wrapped in gauze from top to bottom, with only a space for pulmonary and stomach tubes, and just his right ear, arm and hand free (Think “The Invisible Man”!).  He immediately signaled with his free hand that he wished to write.  I put a pen in his hand and held a legal pad on which he scribbled, “Better to be a live dog than a dead lion!”  Over those difficult days, by writing humor and showing a personal interest in each person attending him, he kept everyone in his environment in a positive attitude. Dr. Michael wrote instructions to his attending physicians, many quite unconventional, but all exhibiting a deep knowledge of trauma medicine. He did not lose consciousness, always refused anesthesia, and never appeared to sleep.  He insisted upon inserting his own breathing and feeding tubes, and dictated his own healing diet.  On the third day, one doctor told me, “We don’t know who he is, but we are learning much from this man.” Although he credited me with saving his life, ultimately it was Dr. Michael himself who was responsible for his survival.

My own connection to Dr. Michael began a few years ago after I survived my own murder attempts by the same group of Nazis. He contacted me through Kerry Cassidy after I appeared on an interview on Project Camelot. He saved my life by telling me that Madame Wu was bad mouthing me to the Triads because she was being blackmailed by George Bush Senior about a slush fund she had illegally accumulated overseas. I later heard that Madame Wu was tortured to death after the Chinese found out about her treason.

In any case, Dr. Van de Meer provided me with an education in the secret world at the very top of the financial system. He also pointed me and Neil Keenan towards the Green Hilton Memorial accord as being the reason for the Kennedy assassination and the historical root of the financial crisis we now face.

The members of Asian secret societies who knew him said that despite his tendency to look down on them, they knew he was, in his heart of hearts, a good man who they wanted to work with.

That is why they approached me and asked me to send $750 billion dollars’ worth of gold backed Kennedy bonds to him. I asked for his snail mail address in order to send him the bonds. It was shortly after he sent me his address that he suddenly died “in his sleep” despite being in robust health and full of plans for the future.

His family refuses to talk about his death and no official autopsy has been made public. We are certain he was murdered and know who was responsible. Rest assured Dr. Michael will not have died in vain. He will be avenged and his dreams of “ending poverty and turning the deserts green” will be realized.

Source: Galactic Free Press.