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December 2013
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February 2014

January 2014

CRE and TRSV: A tale of two infections

This HND piece examines two very scary pathogens. CRE has a mortality rate of about 50%, and TRSV jumped species, from a plant virus to the likely cause of bee colony collapse disorder.

Supposedly, CRE occurs mostly in health care facilities, and seems to strike already sick patients, who are undergoing some sort of invasive procedure--usually endoscopy. But, it can also affect patients with cathethers. CRE stands for carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriacae. Since the carbapenem antibiotics are considered the last line of defense, this is truly bad news.

Read the complete article.

A great way to lower health care costs...ignored

It's bad enough we're stuck with the inapt name "Affordable Care Act." This HND piece examines the best and easiest way the powers that be could have lowered the costs of health care. Only they didn't.

With defensive medicine comprising more than 7 percent of the total cost of health care, the fact that tort reform was purposely ignored speaks volumes about the incompetence and corruption of our great leaders. Nice to know that a few thousand plaintiff's attorneys can overrule what's best for 300 million Americans.

Read the complete article.

Having a pet can improve your health

We change pace here a bit with this HND piece.  Yes, there really are proven health advantages to owning a pet.  In fact, therapeutic animal/human interactions go back to 9th century Belgium, at least.

The article discusses several specific health benefits, including the use of dogs to detect when a diabetic goes dangerously hypoglycemic.  Also included is the story of a New England based pet store operator, who also offers his on line of high quality pet foods.

Read the complete article.


Bureaucrats to the rescue

This HND piece starts off with two recent examples of medical over-treatment, one of which produced fatal results. So, what is the answer to such outrages, you ask?

Why, more government regulation, of course. And this time, it's a beaut!

Starting on January 1, 2015, the HHS secretary will be able to control every single detail of your medical care. This is yet another "hidden" aspect of Obamacare. Yes, indeed. Who better to decide than abortion fanatic and soulless bureaucrat Kathleen Sebleius, aided and abetted by the ghoulish Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel and powered by ideas from Dr. Donald Berwick, former Administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

Wait until you read some of the good doctors' quotes. Joey Mengele would be so proud. Read the complete article.

Question for the global warming crowd

Today, in the DC metro area, we will experience a nearly unprecedented 42 degree F temperature drop. This is explained by an large Arctic front moving in.

OK, but here's my question: If the atmosphere has a supposed "greenhouse" effect, how is this possible in 24 hours?

Yes, yes, I know. Weather is not climate. Except, the Arctic front (weather) is clearly operating contrary to your ridiculous greenhouse concept. And, either your greenhouse theory applies, or it doesn't.  [In the simplest debunking, no matter how well-insulated your coffee cup might be, it does not cause the coffee to become warmer than it orignally was.]

How can climate be anything BUT the totality of weather?

Please explain. (And don't bother with a begging the question answer such as "The temperature drop would be much greater without the Greenhouse effect.")

Pay plenty of attention to the man behind the curtain

This HND piece examines the notion of "unbiased reporting," and asks if it is even possible to create any form of communication without bias.

Superficially, we can question the motives of anyone who gets paid for championing a certain point of view, but really, what constitutes a “pure” motivation? It is easy enough to criticize evil corporations seeking to maximize their profits, but what about greedy academics on the lookout for their next grant, or non-profits trying to raise funds by sending out scary appeal letters?

In the health care field, Big Pharma has long been criticized for its practice of paying doctors to promote drugs, as well as tying their sales reps’ compensation into the number of prescriptions written for particular drugs. To its credit, GlaxoSmithKline will be ending both of these customs, and other drug companies are expected to follow suit.

More examples are given, as well as a plea for some transparency.

Read the complete article.

Peter and the wolf

This 1936 work by Sergei Prokofiev is familiar to children throughout the world, and has been recorded dozens of times. There are at least three animation versions, the first being from Disney in 1946.

For my money, the best version of the work is a 2006 stop-motion animation version by Suzie Templeton. In Templeton's telling, there is no narration or dialog, and she is not afraid to darken things up a bit. Still, the ending is positive for Peter and his wolf alter ego.

Check out this multiple award winner.

The Deadskins

People living in the DC metro area have a special fondness for the Washington Redskins, a team whose glory days are 20 years in the past. This past season was possibly the worst in the team's modern history, as they went 3-13, and played in an extremely weak division.

The current owner—Daniel Snyder—bought the team in 1999 for $800 million, and has been generally hated by all but the players he dotes on. Indeed, Snyder has been called a "jock sniffer" by none less than Frank Herzog, longtime announcer for the 'Skins, who left on bad terms in 2004. Noting that he is not an impartial observer, it is still relevant to quote some of Herzog's recent thoughts:

First and foremost, you’ve got to remember one thing, This is Dan Snyder’s train set, and if he wants to run the locomotive off that round curve and crash it, he can do that. Because he owns it. And until you buy two or three hundred million dollars worth of the football team, you have no say. And that’s the way it is for the fans. So Dan Snyder’s gonna do what he wants to do, and the question is, what’s he gonna be able to do? Now he’s got to get a new coach.

A prospective coach is gonna look at the situation and say, why should I go there? The guy is obviously a jock sniffer. All he wants to do is be buddy buddy with the football players, which automatically makes me half the coach I could possibly be, because they could go to the owner. Why do I want to do that? And then, if I’m gonna do that — if the money’s gonna draw me — I have to set up a relationship with Dan Snyder where we can agree about how things are gonna work, what the hierarchy is and what the chain of command is. Then, if I can get all of those problems solved, I have to turn around and look at the football team where the No. 1 priority is a quarterback who was an option quarterback who’s trying to be a drop-back quarterback and it’s not working. He couldn’t learn under Mike Shanahan’s simple system; what makes me think he can work under my system? It’s a nightmare.

Right now, things are very very bad as far as the Redskins are concerned in the whole NFL community, and among the coaches. They know what’s waiting for them here, and I think they’re going to be very, VERY careful before they take the job.

This off-season should be...interesting.