Category Archives: Medicine

The Uncomfortable Hiatus, by James Howard Kunstler

Things that cannot continue must change. From James Howard Kunstler at kunstler.com:

And so the sun seems to stand still this last day before the resumption of business-as-usual, and whatever remains of labor in this sclerotic republic takes its ease in the ominous late summer heat, and the people across this land marinate in anxious uncertainty. What can be done?

Some kind of epic national restructuring is in the works. It will either happen consciously and deliberately or it will be forced on us by circumstance. One side wants to magically reenact the 1950s; the other wants a Gnostic transhuman utopia. Neither of these is a plausible outcome. Most of the arguments ranging around them are what Jordan Peterson calls “pseudo issues.” Let’s try to take stock of what the real issues might be.

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Medical Cannabis Offers New Hope for Those With Inflammatory Bowel Diseases, by Dr. Joseph Marcela

This is a great compendium of diseases for which medical cannabis can be beneficial. It’s insane that it’s not legal across the US, and that the federal government places it in most dangerous controlled substance category. From Dr. Joseph Mercola at lewrockwell.com:

The marijuana plant contains more than 60 different cannabinoids; chemical compounds the human body is uniquely equipped to respond to. The two primary ones are cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the latter of which is the psychoactive component.

Cannabinoids interact with your body by way of naturally occurring cannabinoid receptors embedded in cell membranes throughout your body. There are cannabinoid receptors in your brain, lungs, liver, kidneys, immune system and more.1

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Immigrants and Disease, by Walter Williams

Another problem with illegal immigration, from Walter Williams at lewrockwell.com:

The Immigration and Nationality Act mandates that all immigrants and refugees undergo a medical screening examination to determine whether they have an inadmissible health condition. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has technical instructions for medical examination of prospective immigrants in their home countries before they are permitted to enter the U.S. They are screened for communicable and infectious diseases such as tuberculosis, malaria, hepatitis, polio, measles, mumps and HIV. They are also tested for syphilis, gonorrhea and other sexually transmitted diseases. The CDC also has medical screening guidelines for refugees. These screenings are usually performed 30 to 90 days after refugees arrive in the United States.

But what about people who enter our country illegally? The CDC specifically cites the possibility of the cross-border movement of HIV, measles, pertussis, rubella, rabies, hepatitis A, influenza, tuberculosis, shigellosis and syphilis. Chris Cabrera, a Border Patrol agent in South Texas, warned: “What’s coming over into the U.S. could harm everyone. We are starting to see scabies, chickenpox, methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus infections and different viruses.” Some of the youngsters illegally entering our country are known to be carrying lice and suffering from various illnesses. Because there have been no medical examinations of undocumented immigrants, we have no idea how many are carrying infectious diseases that might endanger American children when these immigrants enter schools across our nation.

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‘Monsanto’s History Is One Full of Vast Lies’, by Nils Klawitter

Nils Klawitter at Spiegel Online, spiegel.de, interviews Brent Wisner, the lawyer who won the recent $289 million verdict against Monsanto.

On Aug. 10, lawyer Brent Wisner, 34, scored a landmark verdict on behalf of his client, cancer patient Dewayne Johnson. A court in San Francisco ruled that Monsanto was guilty of concealing the potential health risks associated with its weed killer glyphosate, which is sold in the United States under the brand name Round Up. The jury ordered the company to pay $289 million in damages to the plaintiff, who had used Round Up at his job as a janitor for a school district. The court said Monsanto should have labeled the product’s possible dangers for consumers. Monsanto, which was recently acquired by German pharmaceuticals giant Bayer, has denied any link between the product and the disease.

Wisner spoke to DER SPIEGEL about the case in an interview.


DER SPIEGEL: Your law firm is widely considered to be on the side of consumers. You have targeted pharmaceutical companies and intractable airlines. When did you start taking a closer look at Monsanto?

Wisner: It’s kind of in my blood. Even my father was a bit skeptical of pesticides. He networked with farmers and became an activist against the whole chemical thing. Then, two-and-a-half years ago, I received a call from Teri McCall. She was the widow of a farmer who had died of cancer and who had worked for over 30 years with Monsanto products. That was the impetus for our investigation. This summer, Dewayne Johnson approached us as well.

DER SPIEGEL: The dangers of Monsanto products have been under discussion for decades. Why did a court only decide to address the issue now?

Wisner: There are several reasons. The most important was probably the classification by the International Agency for Research on Cancer, which is part of the World Health Organization. In early 2015, they evaluated glyphosate as “probably carcinogenic to humans.” Monsanto’s CEO responded by calling it “junk science.” Before that, nobody had collected so much data and looked so deeply at the issue. That was a wake-up call.

Attorney Brent Wisner: "Monsanto executives don't care about their reputations at all."

AFP

Attorney Brent Wisner: “Monsanto executives don’t care about their reputations at all.”

DER SPIEGEL: How much does Monsanto have to do with the fact that a verdict was reached only now?

Wisner: A lot! Monsanto has an internal program called “Let Nothing Go.” The aim of this program is to attack scientists who are critical of Monsanto products. They go after people directly and discredit them. They also pay others to do so.

To continue reading: ‘Monsanto’s History Is One Full of Vast Lies’

4 Years After CDC Whistleblower Comes Forward: Nothing Happens, by Doctor Brownstein

A doctor admitted the CDC was falsifying data on autism and vaccines and has been completely ignored. The effort to obfuscate the isse of autism and vaccines has been monumental, and we may never get to the bottom of it. From Dr. Brownstein at drbrownsteln.com:

It was four years ago, August 2014, that a senior CDC scientist—Dr. William Thompson–claimed whistleblower protection by claiming that the CDC had committed fraud by hiding and manipulating data that showed the MMR vaccine was associated with a higher risk of autism.   In August, 2014, I wrote,  “Now, there may be proof that the CDC not only knew about the link between the MMR vaccine and autism but they changed the data in a landmark 2004 study to hide the damning data. What did the heads of the CDC do when they were notified of this fraud? They altered the data and reported in 2004 (1) that there was no association between autism and the MMR vaccine. Who wrote this article? William Thompson, PhD, the very same whistleblower, was one of the authors of that 2004 study. Dr. Thompson  claimed he was suffering with regret and remorse over the damage that has been done to our children over the last ten years.”

According to the CDC, we are currently suffering through an exponential increase in autism since the 1970s.  In 1970, the autism rate was 1 in 10,000.   In 2018, the rate of autism epidemically increased to 1 in 59 children.   That is a 169-fold increase in autism in U.S. children over nearly 50 years!

You would think a senior CDC scientist who claims malfeasance at the CDC is responsible for the rapid rise in autism would immediately trigger Congressional investigations to find out the truth.

However, our dysfunctional Congress would prove you wrong. Four years later, there have been no investigations by Congress.  There has been no presidential vaccine safety commission studying the matter.

Four years later, there has been nothing.

I am sick of writing about this travesty.

To continue reading; 4 Years After CDC Whistleblower Comes Forward: Nothing Happens

Explaining the High Cost of US Health Care: No Skin in the Game, by Mike Mish Shedlock

Here’s a radical idea. Why not try the same system for health care and medical insurance that brings you a superabundance of reasonably priced groceries at any one of thousands of grocery and superstores: the free market. We’ve tried everything else and all we have is a gigantic mess. From Mike Mish Shedlock at moneymaven.io:

Costs are expensive because there is almost no skin in the game. Graft has taken over.

The Wall Street Journal has an interesting article on healthcare: Why Americans Spend So Much on Health Care—In 12 Charts.

The U.S. spends more per capita on health care than any other developed nation. It will soon spend close to 20% of its GDP on health—significantly more than the percentage spent by major Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development nations.

What is driving costs so high? As this series of charts shows, Americans aren’t buying more health care overall than other countries. But what they are buying is increasingly expensive. Among the reasons is the troubling fact that few people in health care, from consumers to doctors to hospitals to insurers, know the true cost of what they are buying and selling.

Contributions to employer-sponsored health coverage aren’t taxed, which makes it less expensive for companies to pay workers with health benefits than wages. Generous benefits lead to higher spending, according to many economists, because employees can consume as much health care as they want without having to pay significantly more out of their own pockets.

The prices of many medicines are hidden because pharmacy-benefit managers—the companies that administer drug benefits for employers and health insurers—negotiate confidential discounts and rebates with drugmakers.

Price Growth Since 2000

Hospitals are becoming more consolidated and are using their market clout to negotiate higher prices from insurers.

Tax Benefits

Contributions to employer-sponsored health coverage aren’t taxed, which makes it less expensive for companies to pay workers with health benefits than wages. Generous benefits lead to higher spending, according to many economists, because employees can consume as much health care as they want without having to pay significantly more out of their own pockets.

The tax benefit is the country’s biggest single income-tax break, costing billions to government revenue.

To continue reading: Explaining the High Cost of US Health Care: No Skin in the Game

It’s Time to Give Up on Britain’s National Health Service, by Antony Sammeroff

Actually, it’s long past time to give up on Britain’s NHS, but better late than never. From Antony Sammeroff at mises.org:

“Woe unto you, when all people speak well of you, for so their fathers did to the false prophets.”

— Luke 6:26

Our National Health Service just turned 70! According to a recent article in The Guardian by Polly Toynbee , The NHS is our religion in the UK and that’s why the conservative government can’t destroy it. Of course, the Conservative government have never actually tried to destroy the NHS. They haven’t even reduced the amount spent on the NHS. They haven’t even halted increases in healthcare spending. The only thing they have done is reduced the rate at which spending is going to continue to increase.

Before the National Health Service was created in Great Britain our nation was a world-leader with an unrivalled record in making major medical breakthroughs. People came from all over the globe to study medicine, and to be treated in the UK. Dr. John Snow proved that the source of cholera epidemics was the water supply in London. Edward Jenner pioneered a vaccine for smallpox in rural England, and Sir Almroth Wright one for typhoid. Sir Humphrey Davy, also a Briton, first suggested the use of nitrous oxide as an anaesthetic in 1800. Sir Joseph Lister pioneered the use of antiseptics in operations in 1865 using impure carbolic acid, saving countless people dying from infections after surgery. Alexander Flemming, the Scottish physician discovered Penicillin in one of the charitable hospitals in London in 1928. Howard Florey and Ernst Chain, brought it to fruition working in a laboratory in Oxford in 1941. Britain had established the best record in the world for achieving major medical advances and had just developed the landmark drug of the 20th century, as well as playing a leading role in 5 out of the 7 leading medical breakthroughs between 1750 and 1948 when the NHS was established.1 Britain is no longer a leader in medical advances. Despite its costliness, nepotism, and other flaws, America’s private system has taken the lead.

Britain has less of the latest equipment and the old equipment is often being kept beyond the time when it is safe.2 If a private company was using out of date intensive care machines and x-ray machines, obsolete cancer care equipment, and operating tables over twenty years old – double their safe life span – the champions of the NHS would no doubt be clamouring for more government oversight and regulation. When government agencies are culpable, they are more or less given a pass on public outrage because they are perceived to be acting in the public interest rather than for profit.

To continue reading: It’s Time to Give Up on Britain’s National Health Service