American Council on Science and Health The American Council on Science and Health (ACSH) is a consumer education consortium concerned with issues related to food, nutrition, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, lifestyle, the environment and health. ACSH is one of the few fearless voices of reason on these matters.
Christopher Whalen One guy who really understands the financial crisis. Brilliant insights. Links to his other sites.
Coach Is Right Coach Kevin Collins has an impressive resume, and uses all of his talents to demolish the Left. Site includes some guest columnists, as well.
Discussions In Infection Control This blog, designed and written exclusively by Lawrence F Muscarella, PhD, gives you the most comprehensive discussion of healthcare-associated (hospital) infections (or, “HAIs”), infection control, and both instrument and endoscope reprocessing in the world.
Dr. Malcolm Kendrick Provides much-needed balance to the increasingly strident health care lobby that seems intent on scaring everyone about almost everything.
Formaldehyde Facts Your antidote to formaldehyde phobia in the media, from ACC's formaldehyde panel.
Health Care Renewal Expert analysis of what's wrong with American health care. Advocating for accountability, integrity, transparency, honesty, and ethics in leadership and governance of health care.
Health News Digest One of the best and biggest health sites on the web. New content on a daily basis, geared to the professional and informed lay audience.
Interscan Corporation The independent pros in gas detection, known for taking on the tough applications. Site has much technical material, way beyond mere product touts.
Jewish World Review One of the original news/opinion aggregate sites. Founder/Editor-in-Chief/Publisher Binyamin L. Jolkovsky calls it "The intersection of faith, culture and politics." Loaded with content tending toward politically conservative. An oasis for energetic Judaism.
JunkScience.com Steven Milloy and company do a great job in exposing junk science, which he defines as: Faulty scientific data and analysis used to advance special and, often, hidden agendas. Lots of good content.
Lifehacker Tips and downloads for getting things done
Overlawyered Chronicling the high cost of our legal system. Water Olson and company explore an American legal system that too often turns litigation into a weapon against guilty and innocent alike, erodes individual responsibility, rewards sharp practice, enriches its participants at the public’s expense, and resists even modest efforts at reform and accountability.
Paradigms and Demographics Ohio-based "bug guy" Rich Kozlovich dishes on junk science, junk politics, and many other matters. Rich is also on the prowl 24/7 for supplemental content written by Others. And he still has time to kill pests!
Selwyn Duke Hard-hitting and well-written conservative commentary, from a modern day renaissance man. The Duke is not afraid to ruffle some feathers, or invoke his Catholic faith, either.
SenSoft International Expert assistance on GSA, VA, DOD, and other federal contracts. Yes, there really can be great customer service in such an esoteric space.
Small Dead Animals An artist from Saskatchewan posts a lot of common sense. And the commenters are actually intelligent. Who knew?
The BPA file Prolific blogger Alan Caruba puts another notch in his gun with excellent coverage of this era's most senselessly demonized chemical.
The Excel Addict Most of us use Excel. Some of us use it a lot, and are constantly looking for easier ways to do things. Francis Hayes--the Excel Addict--offers plenty of free tips, a regular newsletter, and an inexpensive book to download.
The International Network of Cholesterol Skeptics Everything you know about cholesterol causing heart disease is wrong, and this website is run by eminent doctors who are trying to set the record straight. But, with billions of dollars in drug sales at stake, it won't be easy.
The Nutrition Experts The name says it all. Jo-Ann Heslin and Karen Nolan have sold millions of books, and have re-launched their information-packed website. What's more, they encourage website visitors to submit questions.
Warning Signs Alan Caruba's blog is a daily look at events, personalities, and issues from an independent point of view.
Weasel Zippers Conservative commentary from all over the Web. Updated constantly.
On November 21st, the Washington Post ran a Special Report on diabetes, featuring a series of supposedly informative articles. The report was sponsored by Novo Nordisk, a big name (maybe the biggest) in diabetes care. No doubt, they have every interest in getting people off their meds...
To be kind, the report was a profound waste of time, and very much in keeping with so-called "diabetes education," provides zero takeaway for the diabetic. I vented a bit via e-mail to the report's editor, Mary Jordan.
Dear Ms. Jordan--
Talk about a missed opportunity! As one who writes a weekly health column for a major website, perhaps I was naive to think that your coverage of this topic would include something other than the tired old cliches, which—by the way—have only worsened public health. Here is why there is an "epidemic" of diabetes:
1. The conflation of the very real and devastating autoimmune condition of Type 1 (real) diabetes with the lab finding of hyperglycemia, which has quite cynically been named "Type 2 diabetes." After all, it is so much easier to build a brand with 29 million sufferers than less than 1 million.
2. The criminal advocacy of a low-fat/ high carb diet by both the ADA and AHA, despite mountains of evidence to the contrary.
3. The advocacy of expensive, harmful, and often avoidable pharmaceutical therapy to promote glycemic control. Might I suggest that you actually read the papers, endlessly cited, which are purported to "prove" the necessity of tight glycemic control, but in fact do no such thing.
Moreover, the record of pharmaceutical therapy in this area is far from stellar. Indeed, there is really only one drug that probably is safe and effective, and that is Metformin. Ironically, though, Metformin does little to directly lower blood glucose. Instead, it mitigates so-called "liver dump," whereby for many people, during a period of not eating, the equivalent of as much as 70 grams of carbs is forced into the blood by the liver.
Of course, as Diane Kress has pointed out, the same mitigation effect can be achieved by consuming 15-20 grams of carbs.
4. As to insulin therapy for type 2s, this is the single most absurd aspect of the "epidemic." To be sure, insulin will almost instantly lower blood glucose, and that is why it is essential therapy for type 1s. But, consider this: 80% of type 2s are obese. Insulin lowers blood glucose by forcing the glucose into the cell. In other words, insulin will make a fat person more fat! But then, he will need even more insulin, which will make him still fatter...
His insulin resistance occurs *because* he is fat, as the body's defense to prevent him from gaining more weight.
5. However, the most basic reason for our "epidemic" is that the "diabetes" blood glucose level has been lowered from 160 milligrams per deciliter to 140 milligrams per deciliter to 125 milligrams per deciliter. Good luck finding any scientific evidence behind this. It sure does create more diabetics, though, right? Bear in mind that dozens of things can temporarily raise blood glucose, including stress. Stress can easily raise this number by 30 points.
OK, then. What if someone who is already stressed gets his blood tested to discover it is 126? He is now given the provisional diagnosis of type 2 diabetes, and I promise you is more stressed. He comes back a few days later, and this finding is confirmed.
You might ask: What if he never shows this hyperglycemia ever again? It doesn't matter. He is now a diabetic for life, which means at the very least that his life insurance will be forever rated.
We have more treatment, more drugs sold, and higher insurance rates for life, regardless of any other health findings. Cool racket, no?
You might try doing some real journalism next time.
This HND piece applies the "treating symptoms, rather than causes" criticism to how we approach mental illness. It's no secret that there are serious limitations to psychoactive drugs, even if they are champion best-sellers.
We highlight some works that offer new pathways to therapy, and give a plug to Marcia Angell, MD, for her efforts in exposing the questionable practices of Big Pharma. Read the complete article.
This HND piece takes a hard look at Obamacare, in the wake of the resounding defeat suffered by Dems in the recent midterm elections.
Let's see. The uninsured have been reduced from 45 million to...41 million, at only a cost of multiple billions. Virtually everyone's insurance rates have gone up, despite Obama's ridiculous statement that a family would save $2500. And, if that's not bad enough, the budget folks have admitted that they cannot even figure out what this boondoggle is costing.
The ACA is hands down the worst piece of social legislation ever passed in US history—-and may well retain that distinction until the end of time.
This HND piece examines a relatively new trend in health care: Direct Primary Care. This is a better version of concierge medicine in that there is no insurance involvement. For a monthly fee, you are prepaid to see the doc as often as you like. And, freed from the hassles of dealing with insurance companies, the doctor's overhead is lowered by an average of 40 percent.
What's more, this sort of intelligent prepaid plan puts health insurance back to what it is supposed to be: Coverage for catastrophic illness, not every day stuff.
Many folks are now familiar with this so-called "health economist" from MIT, based on the viral video in which he talks about the stupidity of the American voter. As recently exposed by the Washington Times, this limo-liberal fraud, just like his fellow Bay Stater Liz Warren, has gotten quite well compensated working on behalf of the common man.
Greedy Gruber knocked down much more than a cool $1 million for his bloviations--most of which are now being at least superficially disavowed by the White House.
Now, more material is coming to light...
This from a talk he gave in 2012 at the University of Rhode Island (hat tip Washington Examiner)...
"In America, we have a pernicious feature of our tax code, which says that if MIT pays me in wages, I get taxed. But if your employer pays you in health insurance, you do not." [Is it pernicious when something does not get taxed, Jon?]
Gruber explained that most Americans become defensive and object when policymakers try to change this, because they don't want their health insurance to be taxed. But it wasn’t until Secretary of State John Kerry, another Massachusetts "hero,” came along that he realized how to sell such a plan successfully.
"John Kerry said, ‘No, no. We’re not going to tax your health insurance. We’re going to tax those evil insurance companies. We’re going to impose a tax that if they sell insurance that’s too expensive, we’re going to tax them. And, conveniently, the tax rate will happen to be the marginal tax rate under the income tax code."
"So, basically, it’s the same thing: We just tax the insurance companies, they pass on higher prices that offsets the tax break we get, it ends up being the same thing. It’s a very clever, you know, basically exploitation of the lack of economic understanding of the American voter."
What makes this mess even worse is that Gruber is absolutely clueless regarding how health care is actually delivered in the real world.
But then, that makes him the perfect expert witness! He is an academic that can be paid to provide gravitas to "prove" any asinine theory.
Regular readers know that my enthusiasm for what currently passes as "science" is...under control. So, this HND piece proffers a few suggestions on how to fix this terrible mess. For added fun, I provide a few examples of just how far gone government sponsored "science" really is.
Recommendations are made regarding peer review, grant review, and keeping politics out of science--as if the machinations of Hitler and Stalin in that area were not lesson enough.
This HND piece gets you up to speed on Ebola virus disease, the latest health scare. For a disease discovered in 1976, it is astonishing how clueless the authorities seem to be about such basic items as mode of transmission. Since this is all about infection control, our old friend and noted infection control guru Lawrence Muscarella PhD weighs in with a few choice comments.
We also consider what can happen when public health becomes politicized.
The takeaway in this HND piece is: Thank God for medical rebels. We discuss two of the most important in history: Andreas Vesalius, founder of the modern science of anatomy, and Ignaz Semmelweis, the brave and shunned Hungarian physician who battled the idiotic establishment regarding infection control.
Even if things aren't quite as primitive as they were in Semmelweis' day, we still have the medical establishment, still doing its level best to avoid thinking outside the box. Thankfully, we also have our medical rebels.
This HND piece is really a three-part health care story. It starts with a brief history of how health insurance experienced outrageous mission creep in the wake of Medicare, and then segues into the saga of how some entrepreneurs saved a bankrupt Bayonne Medical Center from closing for good, only to have to fight the insurance companies on reimbursements.