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December 2018

We care about the children, really we do

This HND piece covers the abhorrent practice of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), widely practiced in several countries, and now imported into the so-called first world. A cynical observer would conclude that this absolutely destroys the "magic dirt" theory, whereby immigrants from the third world instantly become more civilized once they trod on the soil of the US—or other first world destination.

More to the point, though, millions of little girls are affected by FGM, and it was made illegal via federal law in the US in 1996. Many corresponding state laws followed. Don't you know, though, that the federal statute would be declared unconstitutional by a "conservative" federal judge just a month or so ago. As such, a doctor in Michigan who allegedly performed 100 or so of these procedures had many of the charges against her dropped. Needless to say, this decision was widely condemned.

Read the complete article.

Medicare for all

This HND piece examines the misguided proposal now in Congress of Medicare For All. First of all, it bears little resemblance to our current Medicare, in that there is NO cost-sharing. Zero out of pocket is unknown anywhere in the world, with the possible exception of Cuba. Indeed, co-pays in other socialized systems are around 20 percent.

To call it a budget buster is an understatement. If tax revenues were doubled, it will still not make up the shortfall. Moreover, the ten-year $32.6 trillion estimated added cost makes unrealistically rosy assumptions of admin cost savings and the willingness of providers to cut their fees by 40 percent. Incandescently stupid, and more so than most socialistic tripe.

Read the complete article.

A look at drug testing

This HND piece delves into the matter of drug testing, from its beginnings to the present. Millions of such tests are run each year in private industry, sports teams, and for compliance with government regulations. There are some who think it is pointless, but ask them how they would feel if all such DOT tests were eliminated? They would have no problem with an impaired pilot, right?

False positives can still be a problem, including the fabled poppy seeds/opioid detection issue. In rare cases, lab errors can occur. Lab certification is great, but proper education of the employees is also essential.

Read the complete article.

No smell like an old smell

This HND piece focuses on the phenomenon of old-person smell. Yes, this is really a thing. Research indicates that it is caused by the compound 2-nonenal, which is a product of bacterial action on certain omega-7 fatty acids, that are more common in older individuals.

Ironically, this odor is not necessarily characterized as "bad," when compared to other human body odors. In fact, it is described as "similar to old pomade and candle wax, having a fishy or resin-like smell." The odor has also been described as unpleasant--greasy, grassy. While the compound is diffciult to remove from skin with conventional hygiene, research indicates that extracts of persimmon (containing tannin) are quite effective in its removal.

Read the complete article.