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.
The Coach's Team 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.
Loren Feldman Feldman does videos, marketing, commentary and...puppets. He also understands tech and art.
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!
Quiet Music Nick Francis is a superb music programmer. Of course, it helps that he has an encyclopedic knowledge of music. Stream, subscribe, enjoy.
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.
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.
Weasel Zippers Conservative commentary from all over the Web. Updated constantly.
Zero Hedge Works to...
Widen the scope of financial, economic and political information available to the professional investing public; provide analysis uninhibited by political constraint; liberate oppressed knowledge
This HND piece describes the continuing failure of such agencies as FDA and CDC to protect the public. Among other things, we quote good friend Lawrence Muscarella on the horrible problem with heater-cooler devices, as used in many open heart procedures.
The inescapable concussion is that if institutions fail, then our last line of defense is...plaintiff's attorneys. But, wouldn't it be better if these bloated agencies actually did their job in the first place?
This HND piece puts the spotlight on Ibogaine, a hallucinogenic drug with demonstrated anti-addictive properties. Not surprisingly, these properties were discovered inadvertently by a heroin addict, as he and a group of friends were experimenting with other drugs.
They were astonished to find that they lost their cravings for heroin, and had no withdrawal symptoms, either.
However, being classified as a Schedule I drug, ibogaine is stigmatized, and even if it weren't, ti is a naturally-occurring substance, so there is no inherent interest by Big Pharma. Fortunately, there is plenty of positive literature on the matter, and the powers-that-be are finally taking an interest.
This HND piece continues the discussion of the medical effects of cannabis. In this piece, we examine Cannabis and cancer, and cite a few positive studies.
There are demonstrated anti-tumor properties, as well as effects against the nausea and vomiting often induced by chemotherapy. Ironically, there are two FDA-approved drugs for the nausea/vomiting indication, which are nothing more than synthetic versions of the naturally-occurring chemicals in Cannabis. Yet, Marijuana is a Schedule I drug (the worst classification), and one of the first drugs classified). Note that Schedule I drugs are so classified, in part, because they have "no currently accepted medical treatment use in the U.S."
Ah...but who determines what is "medically acceptable"? Surprise, surprise! The entire asinine classification system is 99% politics and 1% science.
This HND piece delves into a brief history of how the trucking industry became regulated in 1935, which messed things up so badly that much of it became de-regulated in 1980. Of course, new regs would follow shortly.
This gets us into the bizarro world of required physical exams for truck drivers. Let's be kind and say that the integrity of these exams varies quite a bit. At the bottom are "doctors" who hang out a truck stops, and will basically pass anyone, to legit MDs who...yes...occasionally have to fail drivers, which unfortunately means that they cannot work as drivers anymore.
The other problem is the inconsistency of what drugs they test for, and what drugs are prohibited, but are not tested for.
This HND piece compares the overblown, incompetent management of our Department of Veterans Affairs (and the attendant problems) with overblown, overpaid, and incompetent management of private healthcare institutions.
Naturally, we discuss the absurd "Disney" comparisons made by VA Secretary Robert McDonald, and comment on his less than successful career as CEO of Procter & Gamble. We then segue into some hard-hitting commentary from healthcare reformer Roy M. Poses, MD.
FDA is one of those agencies that seems to retain a good reputation—outside the realm of people who are actually familiar with how it works. For most who have had the misfortune to deal with it, it is widely despised.
This article delves into the frankly horrific story of diabetes meds, and then segues into FDA's latest failure—the endoscope-related infections. In a sense, this is failure beyond failure, since FDA was finally starting to kick some butt in this affair, only to completely back off.
For an agency that STILL touts its thalidomide victory form the ealry 1960s (while keeping quite silent on the matter of American thalidomide babies), it's time for big changes.
This HND piece starts with a walk down Chinese drywall memory lane, but ends up at a very current case. An unfortunate Florida homeowner—and we are certain that there are many more like him—got caught up in the state's nonsensical criteria for tainted and corrosive drywall.
In defense of the Sunshine State, it simply went along with the absurd recommendations of the Consumer Product Safety Commission and ASTM. CPSC chose orthorhombic sulfur (S8) as its qualifying standard, despite plenty of contrary data--and this was data that CPSC paid for, and represented superb analytical work. Another epic fail from CPSC, and from the once-respected ASTM.
This HND piece is a follow-up to an earlier story describing how three healthcare-related non-governmental organizations (NGOs) are conspiring to undo hard-fought improvements in work rules, pertaining to surgical resident physicians. The NGOs in question are the American Board of Surgery, the American College of Surgeons, and the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME).
Now, the research—such as it is—supporting more hours for the residents, has been published in no less than the New England Journal of Medicine.
Mark well that this is a double travesty, in that the research itself clearly violates long-established ethics guidelines, and it being published in NEJM violates the Journal's longstanding policies on accepting manuscripts from human subjects research. In short, this is failure beyond failure, only it doesn't seem to matter. Inasmuch as NEJM surely has no shortage of submissions, it is simply mind-boggling that they would fast-track such crapola.
God knows why the academic surgeon from Northwestern heading up the study would waste his time with this egregious nonsense, or why the editorial board of the Journal has turned into a bunch of feckless Kool-Aid drinkers.
This HND piece covers the devastating report released a few days ago by Senator Patty Murray (D-WA). Murray was dragged into the world of endoscope reprocessing and infection control when famous Virginia Mason Medical Center of Seattle became one of the first hospitals to report deaths related to tainted endoscopes. Who knows how many went unreported?
Making matters worse is that the entire situation reveals epic failure at all levels, not the least of which is the good old FDA. Bear in mind that the processing (cleaning and sterilizing) of these scopes is left up to hospital employees who are among the lowest paid.
Murray's report proffers a number of recommendations, and we comment on these.
This HND piece goes after the absurd—but widely publicized—IARC findings regarding red and processed meat products. Bear in mind that of the 985 substances IARC has tested for carcinogenicity, only one has been put into its Group 4 (Probably not carcinogenic to humans).
Note also that in epidemiological terms, relative risks of 1.18 and 1.17—as are indicated with processed meat products and red meat, respectively—are statistically insignificant, and one wonders why the "experts" at IARC ignored this. Indeed, as a rule of thumb, an RR of at least 2.0 is necessary to indicate a cause and effect relationship, and a RR of 3.0 is preferred.
Compounding this epic journey into junk science, IARC does almost nothing to change the public perception of its ratings. Its classification system does not assess the carcinogenic risk of the given agent, but rather, its rating of the quality of supporting evidence.
Thus, included in the dreaded Group 1 (Carcinogenic to humans) are alcoholic beverages, asbestos, benzene, diesel exhaust, mustard gas, tobacco products, and now...processed meat. However, this does not mean that processed meat is as carcinogenic as tobacco products or asbestos, even if that's what any number of bogus authorities and fear entrepreneurs are now claiming.
The irony here is that IARC has recently been mocked by real scientists for its nonsensical work on formaldehyde. Among other things, it based its cancer assessment on an unpublished and ridiculously flawed and inconsistent study from China. At least, formaldehyde is a chemical with known dangerous properties. But red meat?