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.
The title of this HND piece is taken from a mordant lyric in Richard Fariña's 1966 folkie love song "Children of Darkness." In this case, our "foul command" is officialdom, and its pathetic reaction to serious outbreaks of the dreaded superbug Carbapenem resistant enterobacteriaceae (CRE), related to endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP).
High profile cases include Seattle's Virginia Mason Medical Center, and UCLA"s Ronald Reagan Medical Center.
The FDA has been asleep at the switch—to be kind about it, while the rest of the players are blaming each other. Cover-ups have surely occurred. Associated deaths have attracted plaintiff's attorneys, but the burden of proof will be on the plaintiffs, to show that the CRE was indeed caught during the hospital stay. Fortunately, this can now be done with DNA analysis.
Lax procedures in disinfecting the endoscopes are likely at fault, but the hospitals insist that they have always followed the manufacturer's instructions. This is subject to some debate, of course. It is expected that many more such cases will emerge in the coming months.
This HND piece suggests that many docs will be better off by simply absorbing the (now) one percent Medicare reimbursement penalties. But, that's only the beginning.
Never mind the billions that have been spent by the Feds ramming inferior electronic health record systems down the throats of the health care industry. The simple fact is that the majority of users hate them! And, they can harm patients.
As per health informatics guru Scot Silverstein, MD... "Why are we implementing patient care tools that are not tested for harms, not evaluated for harms, not reported systematically for harms, while the government does not refute the statement that harms are caused by EHRs and admits the true magnitude of harms is unknown?"
This HND piece exposes the idiocy of the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee's leaked pronouncement on cholesterol in the diet. Namely, that is has very little effect on serum cholesterol. It's bad enough that this has been known for decades, but it is even worse that anyone listens to these ghouls...and believe me, many people do.
My take is that this is simply a clever tactic whereby they can tell people to not worry about their diet, since no matter what, cholesterol just needs to be controlled with statins. And, don't even get me started on the fact that the entire cholesterol/lipid theory of coronary heart disease has been debunked dozens of times over.
More than that, I'm convinced that the vast majority of statin users have serious side effects, but are either told to ignore them because of the "greater good" of CHD prevention, or simply that the muscle pain or memory loss they are experiencing is just a sign of old age.
As to the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee, their risible, decades late embrace of the obvious in no way makes up for the bad medicine that will inevitably appear in the 2015 Guidelines: Advocacy of the high carb/low fat/low salt diet, despite massive amounts of data demonstrating its ill effects.
This HND piece takes a dim view of Federal Trade Commission's favorite new target: hospital mergers. Contrary to the conventional wisdom, antitrust action almost never benefits the consumer. Rather, it is a foolish and overblown regulatory overreach, if not textbook fascism.
It is no secret that hospitals are under extreme financial pressures, from both the insurance industry and the government. Simply put, revenues are down, and strategic mergers are one of the best ways for these institutions to stay viable—and serve their communities.
Yet, the FTC doggedly pursues its simplistic numbers game, with a playbook unchanged from the days of John D. Rockefeller, or even A&P, which was sued for having food prices that were too LOW. It is way past time for the FTC to understand the markets it regulates, and to finally do the right thing.
This HND piece is a follow-up to the previous week's entry. Here, we start out with more e-cig nonsense, courtesy of the inaptly named California Department of Public Health.
Alas, the attack on e-cigs is by no means the extent of the bad medicine being promulgated by officialdom every single day. What about the Establishment's ghoulish adherence to the ruinous low fat/high carb diet, which beyond any doubt is the cause of the current epidemic of obesity and type 2 diabetes? Add to that the truly deranged insistence on a low sodium diet, despite hundreds of studies proving its ill effects.
And, of course, there's the long-discredited (but still aggressively promoted) cholesterol theory of coronary heart disease, and the questionable value of statin drugs.
Perhaps, the bald-faced official lies about e-cigs—so easily disproved—will be the tipping point in the public's war against evil public health policies.
Have you ever wondered why groups such as the American Lung Association and American Cancer Society are against e-cigarettes? This HND piece explains this seeming paradox...and a whole lot more.
As you might expect, it's all about the dollars, and falls nicely into the old "Bootleggers and Baptists" angle on prohibition. Indeed, the smoking prohibitionists line up on the same side as Big Tobacco and Big Pharma on this issue.
Another year, another drug kickback settlement. This HND piece covers the qui tam action which resulted in a $39 million settlement against Daiichi Sankyo. In this particular matter, the defendant violated both the False Claims Act and the Anti-Kickback Act.
The drugs in question are Welchol (cholesterol-lowering); and Benicar, Azor, and Tribenzor (antihypertensives).
Yes, the company got dinged, but what about the bribed doctors? Read the complete article.
This HND piece describes something that is all too rare these days: A shining example of great science.
With the media chock full of junk science on matters ranging from climate change to this week's new food or chemical scare, the brilliant research of Kim Lewis and associates, in isolating an antibiotic that does not seem to induce resistance, is quite exciting. His group calls this potential miracle drug Teixobactin.
The key to Lewis' discovery is a device they call an ichip, which lets them culture bacteria that previously could not be grown in vitro. It is likely that other wonderful discoveries will emerge via this same method.
Now is as good a time as any to address the false dichotomy between "faith" and "reason."
Ask any believer to defend his faith, and he will probably relate certain personal experiences that convinced him that God was working in his life. There would seem to be no way that these events could have occurred randomly. Of course, this contention can't be proven, so at some point, he just has to believe.
Ask an atheist how he knows that Timbuktu exists. He read about it in a book, he saw a picture of it. Thus, he had to believe that the book was true, or his teacher was correct, or what he calls Timbuktu, is actually Timbuktu. More than that, he has to believe that the definitions of the words in the book are true as he is taught, not to mention the significance of the letters and numbers, themselves. In addition, during any conversation, he has to believe that the words he speaks are also the words he (and others) hear. None of this can be "proven" rationally.
Even if he were to visit this town himself, ultimately, he would have to believe the signs in the town identifying it as such. At some point, he has to accept a basic item on faith.
In fact, the very paragon of rationality—Euclidean geometry—relies on several key assumptions, which can never be proven. i.e. they are taken on faith, right?
Since there is no such thing as non-antecedent reasoning, there is ultimately no difference between faith and reason.
This HND piece gives a summary of the criminally botched case of psychiatric patient Dan Markingson—at the hands of the University of Minnesota. This acutely psychotic patient was wrongly placed on a clinical trial, and—despite protestations from his mother that he was suicidal—killed himself with a box cutter to the throat.
If you think that a corpse, lying nearly decapitated in a bathroom, would trigger an investigation by the U, you are quite mistaken.
What makes this story so awful is that despite all sorts of misdeeds by the researchers and the drug company involved, it is just business as usual. The good news is that an army of folks is moving against the U, and maybe the putrid mess that is our clinical trials system could change.