The Nurse Protests: ‘Maine is Apparently Considering Making its Self-Quarantining Guidelines Slightly Less Voluntary’Posted: October 29, 2014 | |
Noah Rothman writes: This should be perfectly intuitive for anyone who has had even fleeting exposure to human nature, but it is easy to suspect that an administration that reflexively bleats “science” in lieu of a cogent argument may lack the requisite experience to know that people will instinctively resist internment.
The media appeared certain that they had in nurse Kaci Hickox a figure they could transform into a victim of the imperious bully Chris Christie when she was involuntarily quarantined after returning to the United States from West Africa where she aided Ebola victims. In creating an object of pity out of Hickox, the press perhaps believed they could take some of the heat off of President Barack Obama who, in opposing the quarantining of those returning from West Africa, is on the wrong side of 80 percent of the public just days before a national election. Read the rest of this entry »
Experts now designing the next set of dietary recommendations remain mired in the same anti-fat bias and soft science that brought us the low-fat diet in the first place
For WSJ, Big Fat Surprise author Nina Teicholz writes: The top scientist guiding the U.S. government’s nutrition recommendations made an admission last month that would surprise most Americans. Low-fat diets, Alice Lichtenstein said, are “probably not a good idea.” It was a rare public acknowledgment conceding the failure of the basic principle behind 35 years of official American nutrition advice.
Yes, it’s good for you
“The USDA committee’s mandate is to ‘review the scientific and medical knowledge current at the time.’ But despite nine full days of meetings this year, it has yet to meaningfully reckon with any of these studies—which arguably constitute the most promising body of scientific literature on diet and disease in 50 years.”
Yet the experts now designing the next set of dietary recommendations remain mired in the same anti-fat bias and soft science that brought us the low-fat diet in the first place. This is causing them to ignore a large body of rigorous scientific evidence that represents our best hope in fighting the epidemics of obesity, diabetes and heart disease.
“Instead, the committee is focusing on new reasons to condemn red meat, such as how its production damages the environment. However, this is a separate scientific question that is outside the USDA’s mandate on health.”
The Dietary Guidelines for Americans—jointly published by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) every five years—have had a profound influence on the foods Americans produce and consume.
- Yes, Saturated Fat is Good: Undoing Decades of Government Misinformation About Health
- Settled Science on Saturated Fats Revised
- Federal committee devising new dietary guidelines based on… climate change
Since 1980, they have urged us to cut back on fat, especially the saturated kind found mainly in animal foods such as red meat, butter and cheese. Instead, Americans were told that 60% of their calories should come from carbohydrate-rich foods like pasta, bread, fruit and potatoes. And on the whole, we have dutifully complied.
By the turn of the millennium, however, clinical trials funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) were showing that a low-fat regime neither improved our health nor slimmed our waistlines. Consequently, in 2000 the Dietary Guidelines committee started to tiptoe away from the low-fat diet, and by 2010 its members had backed off any mention of limits on total fat. Read the rest of this entry »
— Mark J. Perry (@Mark_J_Perry) October 29, 2014
Ebola Nurse Halloween Costumes Arouse (Concern)
“The fact that there’s a sexy ebola nurse costume proves the sexy costumes have gone out of control.”
– Individual on Twitter experiencing full-blown Halloween costume panic
Online retailer BrandsOnSale, which bills itself as a “Unique Costume Shop and more” unveiled the new ensemble days ago, featuring a short white dress, face shield, breathing mask, safety goggles and blue latex gloves at $59.99 per costume. A pair of bright yellow knee-high rubber boots can be purchased at an additional cost.
The Internet met the news of the costume with mixed responses.
“I’m in complete and utter disgust,” one Twitter user reacted, while another questioned the costume’s existence. Read the rest of this entry »
Gehrke writes: Insurance-policy cancellation notices issued as a result of Obamacare regulations ought to be perceived as “invitations” to purchase new plans, a Health and Human Services official told the Virginia legislature.
“If you got one of the notices that your policy was going to be discontinued because it didn’t adhere to the law, it meant that now you could go into the health-insurance marketplace…”
“So, I just want to remind you that you weren’t losing insurance you were just using that insurance plan and were now being invited to go into the health insurance marketplace.”
Look at this person being invited to put his hands up. pic.twitter.com/7B6D6mY0T4
— Charles C. W. Cooke (@charlescwcooke) October 28, 2014
RED MESA, Ariz. — Ian Shapira reports: The fans poured into the bleachers on a Friday night, erupting in “Let’s go, Redskins!” chants that echoed across a new field of artificial turf, glowing green against a vast dun-colored landscape.
“This is one of the reasons why it’s so hard to change the name. I don’t find it derogatory. It’s a source of pride.”
– Superintendent Tommie Yazzie
Inside the Red Mesa High School locker room, Ted Nugent’s “Stranglehold” blared on the stereo as players hurried to strap on their helmets and gather for a pregame prayer and pep talk.
“This is your time, right?” the team’s assistant coach demanded.
“Yes, sir!” the players shouted. “Redskins on three! Redskins on three! One, two, three, Redskins!”
“I don’t know what she means that it’s a racial slur. It’s not a racist slur if it originates from a Native American tribe…It’s always used in the context of sports.”
– Mckenzie Lameman, 17, a junior who is Red Mesa’s student government president
The scene at this tiny, remote high school was as boisterous as it was remarkable: Nearly everyone on the field and in the bleachers belongs to the Navajo Nation. Most of the people in Red Mesa not only reject claims that their team’s nickname is a slur, they have emerged as a potent symbol in the heated debate over the name of the more widely known Redskins — Washington’s NFL team. More than half the school’s 220 students eagerly accepted free tickets from the team for an Oct. 12 game near Phoenix, where they confronted Native American protesters who were there to condemn Washington’s moniker.
None of that mattered to the Red Mesa Redskins as they marched onto the field for their game against the Lobos of Many Farms High School. It was homecoming, and the players knew they needed to keep winning if they wanted to make their first appearance in the state playoffs in five years.
Red Mesa students, parents and alumni stamped the bleachers, clutching signs that read “Fear the Spear” and “Redskin Nation.”
“There were 62 high schools in 22 states using the Redskins moniker last year, according to a project published by the University of Maryland’s Capital News Service.”
Sitting in the front row, Superintendent Tommie Yazzie basked in the crowd’s festive mood and in the sight of the newly built football field, which cost nearly $400,000 in federal aid at a school that struggles to pay for computers and wheelchair-accessible bathrooms.
“This is one of the reasons why it’s so hard to change the name,” he said with a smile, trying to make his voice heard over the cheers. “I don’t find it derogatory. It’s a source of pride.” Read the rest of this entry »
— Wall Street Journal (@WSJ) October 26, 2014
For centuries, firearms have been indispensable to black liberation: as crucial a defense against tyranny for Frederick Douglass and Martin Luther King Jr. as for Sam Adams and George Washington.
For the New York Times, Charles W. Cooke writes: Conventional wisdom holds that firearms are the preserve of conservative white men. You would never know this at my local shooting range, which happens to be in a majority African-American area, and has a clientele that reflects that fact. There, as a white man, I’m often in the minority; just one more guy who likes to fire weapons — another person to chat to and share stories with. It is, I’d venture, how things should be.
— Kevin D. Williamson (@KevinNR) October 26, 2014
By rights, the Second Amendment should serve as a totem of African-Americans’ full citizenship and enfranchisement.
“A Winchester rifle should have a place of honor in every black home, and it should be used for that protection which the law refuses to give.”
– Ida B. Wells
For centuries, firearms have been indispensable to black liberation: as crucial a defense against tyranny for Frederick Douglass and Martin Luther King Jr. as for Sam Adams and George Washington. Today, however, many black Americans have a decidedly mixed relationship with the right to bear arms.
The first major ban on the open carrying of firearms — a Republican-led bill that was drafted after Black Panthers began hanging around the State Legislature in Sacramento with their guns on display — was signed in 1967 by none other than Gov. Ronald Reagan of California.
In August, as the outrage over the police shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., dominated the news, an African-American group calling itself the Huey P. Newton Gun Club took to the streets of Dallas, rifles in hand, to protest.
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Local businesses were supportive, and the city’s police chief confirmed in a statement that his department “supports the constitutional rights of all.” On Twitter, the hashtag #blackopencarry prompted a warm response from conservatives.
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The federal Gun Control Act of 1968 was primarily a reaction to the scourge of “Saturday night specials” — cheap handguns owned by the poor and the black. The National Rifle Association opposed neither law.
Until around 1970, the aims of America’s firearms restrictionists and the aims of America’s racists were practically inextricable. In both the colonial and immediate post-Revolutionary periods, the first laws regulating gun ownership were aimed squarely at blacks and Native Americans.
And yet, that same month, a 22-year-old black man named John Crawford III was shot dead by the police in an Ohio Walmart after a white customer claimed excitedly that a man was pointing a gun at his fellow patrons.
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Later, the store’s security footage revealed that Mr. Crawford had been holding a BB gun that he had picked up in the sporting goods department, and that the caller’s testimony had been wrong. Ohio is an open carry state. That didn’t make much difference for Mr. Crawford.
“Malcolm X may have a deservedly mixed reputation, but the famous photograph of him standing at the window, rifle in hand, insisting on black liberation ‘by any means necessary,’ is about as American as it gets.”
Until around 1970, the aims of America’s firearms restrictionists and the aims of America’s racists were practically inextricable. In both the colonial and immediate post-Revolutionary periods, the first laws regulating gun ownership were aimed squarely at blacks and Native Americans. In both the Massachusetts and Plymouth colonies, it was illegal for the colonists to sell guns to natives, while Virginia and Tennessee banned gun ownership by free blacks.
In the antebellum period, the chief justice of the United States, Roger B. Taney, wrote a grave warning into the heart of the execrable Dred Scott decision. If blacks were permitted to become citizens, Taney cautioned, they, like whites, would have full liberty to “keep and carry arms wherever they went.” Read the rest of this entry »
Texas Hospital’s Secret Weapon in Ebola Contamination Training: Further Proof That There’s Nothing Tabasco Sauce Can’t DoPosted: October 24, 2014 | |
Texas Health Workers Use Tabasco to Help Train for Ebola
Doctors and nurses practice dressing and undressing in their protective gear to avoid contamination, but if they feel the tingle of Tabasco on their skin, they know they’ve been contaminated.
As Texas health workers prepare two new biocontainment units to help treat any future Ebola patients the state might have, they’re are using one piece of training equipment from a neighboring state that may surprise you: Tabasco sauce.
“…it gives feedback immediately.”
– Dr. Bruce Meyer, an executive vice president at U.T. Southwestern Medical Center
At the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, where one of the units is being established, the staff has been practicing treating fake patients who have been sprayed at random with the peppery sauce as a stand-in for Ebola virus-laden fluids. Doctors and nurses practice dressing and undressing in their protective gear to avoid contamination, but if they feel the tingle of Tabasco on their skin, they know they’ve been contaminated.
Capsicum frutescens: The hot pepper chemical has also been used in other medical settings, including dermatology and neurology for pain and itch relief.
“In a way, it gives feedback immediately,” said Dr. Bruce Meyer, an executive vice president at the hospital, giving credit to the hospital’s director of infection prevention, Doramarie Arocha, for the idea.
Tabasco sauce is made by Louisiana-based McIlhenny Co. from red peppers called Capsicum frutescens, which are made spicy by the chemical capsaicin. When skin comes in contact with this chemical, the brain’s pain and temperature receptors get activated at the same time, causing that tingly, hot feeling. The hot pepper chemical has also been used in other medical settings, including dermatology and neurology for pain and itch relief. Read the rest of this entry »
A physician with Doctors Without Borders who returned to New York City after treating Ebola victims in West Africa has tested positive for the virus
Dr. Craig Spencer, 33, developed a fever and gastrointestinal symptoms after working for the humanitarian organization in Guinea, one of three West African nations hardest hit by Ebola.
“De Blasio said earlier on Thursday that Spencer had been in direct contact with ‘very few’ people. However, the Times said Spencer traveled by subway to a bowling alley in the city’s Brooklyn borough on Wednesday night and took a taxi home.”
A specially trained team wearing protective gear transported Spencer to Bellevue Hospital from his Manhattan apartment, the city said in a statement.
The first confirmed case in America’s largest city set off renewed fears about the spread of the virus, which has killed nearly 4,900 people, largely in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea.
The first person diagnosed with Ebola on U.S. soil flew from Liberia to Texas and later died in a Dallas hospital. Two nurses who treated him became infected with the virus and one took a commercial flight with a fever, prompting officials in several states to take steps to become better prepared to contain the virus. Read the rest of this entry »
Heather Mac Donald: The Public-Health Profession is More Committed to Social Justice than to Sound SciencePosted: October 22, 2014 | |
Infected by Politics
For City Journal, Heather Mac Donald writes: The public-health establishment has unanimously opposed a travel and visa moratorium from Ebola-plagued West African countries to protect the U.S. population. To evaluate whether this opposition rests on purely scientific grounds, it helps to understand the political character of the public-health field. For the last several decades, the profession has been awash in social-justice ideology. Many of its members view racism, sexism, and economic inequality, rather than individual behavior, as the primary drivers of differential health outcomes in the U.S. According to mainstream public-health thinking, publicizing the behavioral choices behind bad health—promiscuous sex, drug use, overeating, or lack of exercise—blames the victim.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Healthy Communities Program, for example, focuses on “unfair health differences closely linked with social, economic or environmental disadvantages that adversely affect groups of people.” CDC’s Healthy People 2020 project recognizes that “health inequities are tied to economics, exclusion, and discrimination that prevent groups from accessing resources to live healthy lives,” according to Harvard public-health professor Nancy Krieger. Krieger is herself a magnet for federal funding, which she uses to spread the message about America’s unjust treatment of women, minorities, and the poor. Read the rest of this entry »
Autopsy: ‘A forensic pathologist who reviewed the autopsy says the wounds don’t show that Brown was running away or had his hands up’Posted: October 22, 2014 | |
The evidence supports Wilson’s claim that Brown’s hand was on or near his gun
The official autopsy and toxicology report on Michael Brown shows he was first shot at close range and had marijuana in his system. Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson has told investigators that Brown went for his gun inside the police vehicle. The autopsy shows two close-range wounds, one of which has discharge material inside it consistent with a shot as close as one inch. Brown’s blood was also found on the gun. The evidence supports Wilson’s claim that Brown’s hand was on or near his gun. A forensic pathologist who reviewed the autopsy says the wounds don’t show that Brown was running away or had his hands up. Read the rest of this entry »
The latest Reason-Rupe poll finds 70 percent of Americans favor legalizing over-the-counter birth control pills and patches without a doctor’s prescription, 26 percent oppose such a proposal, and 4 percent don’t know enough to say. There has been a slight uptick in support for OTC birth control, rising from 66 percent in May of 2013. Moreover, Reason-Rupe finds that women across income groups highly support legalizing OTC birth control at about the same rates.
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists have announced their support for such a proposal arguing it could improve contraceptive access and use and decrease unintended pregnancy rates. Republicans too have been pushing for this reform, with Democrats surprisingly reluctant.
“As an unapologetic pro-life Republican, I also believe that every adult (18 years old and over) who wants contraception should be able to purchase it. But anyone who has a religious objection to contraception should not be forced by government health-care edicts to purchase it for others. And parents who believe, as I do, that their teenage children shouldn’t be involved with sex at all do not deserve ridicule.”
Planned Parenthood and some Democrats have pushed back, expressing concerns that legalizing OTC birth control would require women to pay for it, rather than have it paid for by their health insurance premiums. For instance, Rebecca Leber explained:
“For low-income women, cost can be what’s most prohibitive. Under the Affordable Care Act, the pill and other forms of contraception count as preventative care, which means insurance covers them completely—without any out-of-pocket expenses.” Read the rest of this entry »
George Sidebottom suffered from ‘moral and religious delusions’. He was a resident at the center from 1894 until 1912
The paintings, poetry and accounts of cricket matches from British psychiatric patients are among some 800,000 historic documents about to go online as part of a project to digitize mental health records from the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries.
“This partnership will bring some rare and important historical material from a fascinating period of medical history into an open and free online resource.”
– Simon Chaplin, head of the Wellcome Library
The Wellcome Library has been digitizing thousands of documents related to the United Kingdom’s medical history. The organization announced last week that it is partnering with several archives to make a searchable database of texts and images from the York Retreat, St. Luke’s Hospital Woodside, Crichton Royal Hospital, Gartnavel Royal Hospital and Camberwell House Asylum.
“This partnership will bring some rare and important historical material from a fascinating period of medical history into an open and free online resource,” Simon Chaplin, head of the Wellcome Library, said in a statement. “Broadening access to such collections is at the heart of the Wellcome Library’s digitization project, and we are delighted that others are joining with us to make this possible.”
The trove will focus on records dating from the 19th century and the 20th centuries, tracking the movement away from institutional care, according to the Wellcome Library. Read the rest of this entry »
Flights between the U.S. and Sierra Leone, Liberia, and Guinea will now require additional screenings
For National Journal, Sarah Mimms reports: October 21, 2014 Travelers flying between West African nations affected by Ebola and the United States will now be subject to additional screenings and “protective measures” to help prevent the disease from spreading into the U.S., the Homeland Security Department announced Tuesday.
“We are continually evaluating whether additional restrictions or added screening and precautionary measures are necessary to protect the American people and will act accordingly.”
All passengers flying from Sierre Leone, Liberia, and Guinea into the U.S. will be required to enter the country through five major airports: Dulles International Airport in Virginia; John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York; Newark Liberty International Airport; Chicago O’Hare International Airport; and Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. Read the rest of this entry »
The Pentagon announced Sunday that it will create a 30-person team of medical experts that could quickly leap into a region if new Ebola cases emerge in the United States, providing support for civilian doctors who lack proficiency in fighting the deadly virus.
“Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, appeared on the Sunday talk shows, noting that there are just four medical facilities — in Maryland, Nebraska, Montana and Georgia — that are equipped to treat Ebola patients.”
Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel ordered the Pentagon’s Northern Command, which has a prime focus on protecting homeland security, to send this new team to Fort Sam Houston in Texas for high-level preparations to respond to any additional Ebola cases beyond the three confirmed in the country.
The announcement came as federal health officials tried to calm the nerves of Americans rattled by Ebola’s arrival on U.S. soil. In Texas, dozens of health workers and others who came in contact with the lone man to die in the United States from Ebola are in the final stage of an emotional three-week isolation from the public, hoping that by early this week they can resume their lives if they show no hint of the virus.
“We need to have more than just the four in which you have people who are pre-trained so that you don’t come in and that’s the first time that you start thinking about it.”
– Anthony Fauci on NBC’s Meet the Press
“To be on the safe side, we stay home. . . . In my community, people used to come in and out of my house. Because of all the news [about Ebola], no one comes around,” Aaron Yah said in a telephone interview from his two-bedroom Dallas apartment, where he and his wife, Youngor Jallah, and their four children have cloistered themselves, skipping work and school until health officials assure them they are safe.
Jallah’s mother was engaged to Thomas Eric Duncan, the Liberian man who died Oct. 8 in a Dallas hospital. “People don’t have education about it, and if they knew we didn’t touch anything [in her apartment], maybe they be different,” he said. Read the rest of this entry »
London (AFP) – Aid agency Oxfam on Saturday said Ebola could become the “definitive humanitarian disaster of our generation”, as US President Barack Obama urged against “hysteria” in the face of the growing crisis.
Oxfam, which works in the two worst-hit countries — Liberia and Sierra Leone — called for more troops, funding and medical staff to be sent to tackle the west African epicentre of the epidemic.
Chief executive Mark Goldring warned that the world was “in the eye of a storm”.
“We cannot allow Ebola to immobilise us in fear, but… countries that have failed to commit troops, doctors and enough funding are in danger of costing lives,” he said.
The worst-ever outbreak of the deadly virus has so far killed more than 4,500 people, mainly in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, but isolated cases have now begun to appear in Europe and the United States.
“The Ebola crisis could become the definitive humanitarian disaster of our generation,” a spokesperson for the British-based charity said as it appealed for EU foreign ministers meeting in Luxembourg on Monday to do more. Read the rest of this entry »