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November 2014

Ferguson and Kitty Genovese

What, you may ask, does a tragic police-involved shooting have to do with the brutal rape and murder—50 years ago—of a woman from Queens, NY? That's easy...

Learning absolutely zero from its absurdly inaccurate and biased coverage of the Genovese case, the media did it again—big time—with the Mike Brown/Darren Wilson matter. Everyone seems to remember that "38" witnesses to Kitty's death "did nothing."

Yet, no one seems to remember the name of the vile perp Winston Moseley, or that Genovese was at least his third murder victim. Nor, do they remember that Moseley was caught precisely because the public chose to "get involved," by reporting his suspicious behavior to the police the following day, which led to his arrest.

For what it's worth, there were nowhere near 38 actual witnesses, although that seems to be the number of people interviewed by the police. More than that, there are those who insist their calls to the police precinct went unheeded, and when the cops did show up later to investigate the murder scene, one resident said bitterly "You should have come when we called."

But the Kitty Genovese story is only and forever about how the terrible people of Kew Gardens, Queens refused to get involved—as if the perp didn't even exist.

Likewise, we can debate excessive force in the Mike Brown case, but no one seems to care that had he not acted like a vicious thug, which no one disputes, he would surely be alive today.

Oh yeah. The "official" tainted version of the Genovese case came from the NY Times. What a surprise.

Shouldn’t Ebola infection control be more than just a “good crisis”?

This HND piece looks at the cynical use of the Ebola scare as a vehicle to advance special interests.

One of the first to take advantage of the crisis was the clownish Francis Collins, director of NIH, who rather absurdly claimed that the agency's problems in fighting the disease have been hampered by a series of budget cuts. No one, including people within NIH, was fooled for long. But for Collins, being a political hack has always been more important than acting as a physician.

Then, there's the shrill Ebola-fueled campaign launched by the National Nurses United (NNU). Plenty of details are covered in the piece, but let's just say this: Beware militant Leftists masquerading as a health care union. Yeah, they're so concerned about infection control that they are against their own nurses getting flu shots.

Read the complete article.

How NOT to help diabetics

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.

Is strict allopathy the only answer to mental illness?

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.

A post midterm look at Obamacare

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.

Read the complete article.

A look at direct primary care

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.

Read the complete article.

More from Jonathan Gruber

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.

How to fix science

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.

Read the complete article.

A look at Ebola

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.

Read the complete article.

Doctors versus the medical establishment

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.

Read the complete article.