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May 2011

Unthinkable (2010)

Once in a great while, you'll find a direct to DVD gem. This one features name talent, and a very non-PC story.

What you've got is a homegrown terrorist, who claims to have set up three nuclear devices in major urban areas, that will detonate in a few days if his demands aren't met. He lets himself get captured, and his interrogation takes up most of the pic.

Given the millions of lives that are at stake, torture is definitely on the table—or is it? Samuel L. Jackson as a CIA contractor-interrogator needs to use all means necessary, including those that are "Unthinkable."

Read my complete review.

Is it diabetes...or just hyperglycemia?

My latest HND piece examines the sketchy world of Type 2 diabetes, a disease defined so nebulously that it is becoming a parody of itself. Can it be cured? Good luck getting an authoritative medical answer on that one. The insurance underwriting answer, of course, is "no."

If the signal symptom is a fasting blood glucose on two occasions higher that 125 mg/dL (6.9 mmol/L), then what about someone who has been diagnosed as such but is is able to get below that level consistently without drugs (usually by improving his diet)? That would pass as a "cure" for me, but then I'm not in the diabetes industry.

And, what an industry it is! Not content with the 2 million or so Americans who have real insulin-dependent type 1 diabetes, the industry lumps in the more than 20 million type 2's—and in some cases the 79 million "pre-diabetics"—to create a gigantic cohort of sick people who need costly medical attention, and often drugs. BTW-these numbers vary from one authority to another, and even within websites of the same authority, and are described differently by me in the HND article.

Considering that type 2's, for the most part, do not experience the dangerous complications sadly common to the type 1's, some brave souls have even suggested that there is no such thing as type 2 diabetes. Rather, it is some sort of hyperglycemia—usually caused by obesity, and thus insulin resistance. As to the etiology in those type 2's who aren't obese? Good luck finding an answer on that one, as well.

In any event, the link between obesity and type 2 diabetes is nowhere near as clean as the industry would have you believe.

Read the complete article.

Greening up trade shows

That's the title of my HND piece from a few days ago. Inasmuch as these conventions are truly a giant waste of resources in this age of instant and eco-friendly communications, organizers of the events are forced to make the appearance of being Green.

Of course, the Greenest thing would be to conduct virtual trade shows, and some of the organizers are doing just that. For the most part, though, the organizers are coming up with mostly trivial ways in which the exhibitors can be more environmentally conscious, such as bringing only the amount of product literature they really think they will pass out, and suggesting less disposable (i.e. non-trinket) sorts of booth giveaways.

Another item of interest is more sustainable badge holders, and boojeebeads offers a line of these that can morph into eyeglass holders, after the trade show.

Still, other than being a big fund-raising exercise for the organizers, not much else is Green about trade shows.

Read the complete article.

Not Enough Physicians: The Soft Underbelly of Health Care Reform

That's the title of my latest HND piece, which exposes the biggest fallacy of our so-called "Comprehensive" health care reform. For all of its multi-billion dollars, it adds thousands of bureaucrats, but not a single doctor.

The article discusses something few people are aware of: The number of residency positions for doctors has been essentially frozen since 1997. AND, these spots are all paid for by Medicare.

Cool, huh? The core employees of every teaching hospital are paid for by the Feds. Then why are the rates so high?

Read the complete article.

Steve Milloy has great fun with the limousine liberal leftist hacks at The Nation

"Junkman" Steve Milloy, publisher of the essential pulls out all the stops as he excoriates these uber-hypocrites.

The target here is The Nation's 14th Annual Seminar Cruise to the Caribbean (December 11-18, 2011) with stops in Grand Turk, San Juan and St. Maarten. Milloy notes that just two days before the announcement for the cruise came out, the magazine ran an online feature entitled "Six ways to green your spring break."

Of course, a high-end cruise violates most of the precepts of "Green" travel. But, that's only the tip of the iceberg.

Read his complete posting.

Will computer technology fix health care?

That's the title of an HND article of mine, posted on May 2nd.

The big deal here is becoming what the Feds call a "Meaningful User" of electronic health records (EHR). Any health care facility that obtains this designation is eligible for a piece of the $19 billion stimulus cash set aside under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.

While EHRs should improve health care, there are massive problems to overcome, including the high costs of making the conversion from paper records, security issues, and a critical shortage of IT specialists trained in this aspect of computer technology.

Of course, even if every facility switched over to EHRs, that won't help one bit with the bigger problem of a physician shortage.

Read the complete article.