Sunday, March 31, 2013

Then Who Could Save Us?

Some cartoons speak larger truths — like this one.

The really good news is this: Good Friday is followed by Easter Sunday.Happy Easter!

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Doctors' Views of Obamacare

Dr Mark Moyad was introducing another doctor at a medical conference, but he had a few words first about doctors' true feelings about Obamacare. This introduction (which can be seen here) is transcribed below. I suspect you'll all appreciate this, whatever your views.

I've talked to allergists, and the allergists voted to scratch it, but the dermatologists advised not to make any rash moves.

The gastroenterologists had sort of a gut feeling about it, but the neurologists thought the Administration had a lot of nerve.

The obstetricians felt they were all laboring under a misconception.

Ophthalmologists considered the idea short-sighted.

Pathologists yelled "over my dead body", while the pediatricians said "oh, grow up".

The psychiatrists thought the whole idea was madness, while the radiologists could see right through it.

Surgeons decided to wash their hands of the whole thing.

The internists thought it was a bitter pill to swallow, and the plastic surgeons said "this puts a whole new face on the matter."

The podiatrists thought it was a step forward, but the urologists were pissed off at the whole idea.

The anesthesiologists thought the idea was a gas, and the cardiologists didn't have the heart to say "no".

Finally, in the end, the proctologists won out, leaving the entire decision up to the asses in Washington.

Yes, I laughed at this. A lot.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Hygiene vs. Health

Mrs Critter had a dental appointment, and I was in the lobby while she saw the dentist. There, I saw a magazine I'd never run across before — Living Without, described as "The magazine for people with allergies and food sensitivities." It was the August/September 2012 issue, and it had a really interesting article in it (on pages 44-47) called Fishing for a Cure which talked about an alternative treatment for a group of autoimmune disorders. These disorders include — depending on who you talk to — multiple sclerosis, asthma, autism, eosinophilic esophagitis (EoE), inflammatory bowel disorder, Crohn's disease, multiple food allergies, and other disorders.

The striking thing to me was not the specific alternative treatment (the Helminth treatment which is, in some cases, the only available treatment — a treatment that is not available in the United Statees). It was what the article said about how our modern lifestyle may have affected this class of disorders. The article notes that

The biome depletion theory says that, as a result of better hygiene — afforded by post-industrial advances, such as toilets and water treatment facilities — people in developed countries are no longer exposed to, and therefore no longer harbor, some of the microscopic bacteria with which humans have historically had a symbiotic relationship. As a result, people in developed countries are missing some of the key microbes that keep the immune system in balance.
We — I — had previously thought about the fact that there seemed to be a lot fewer folks with this kind of disorder in the past. I had attributed this to three things — (1) the lesser awareness of a youngster, (2) the likelihood that medical advances have allowed those with these disorders to live full lives who would have died of them rather young in previous generations, and (3) the fact that exposure to some of these things probably innoculated us against some of their effects (sort of like a smallpox vaccination).

It now appears, however, that there is another factor involved — that some of the things we now protect ourselves from were actually helpful to, and maybe even necessary for, our health and well-being. That is, the better hygiene we are all so proud of may have deprived our children of many of the symbiotic bacteria that have kept us healthier in the past, as well as removing the harmful bacteria that made us sick in the past.

In other words, we may have done some of this to ourselves by being so sterile. Which suggests my sons are healthier because they spent so much time playing in the back yard dirt when they were young.

It looks like we actually need some of the "pathogens" we have dealt with for many generations. That also means that, in a very real sense, dirt is our friend.

Friday, March 1, 2013

He's Sure We're Gullible

President Barack Obama evidently thinks the American public is stupid, or at least very gullible. President Obama gives us a whole laundry list of bad things he says will happen if the sequester he proposed is allowed to take effect. But, as Mona Charen notes,

Even if these “draconian cuts” are implemented, the federal government will spend more this year than it did last year.
That's just another way of saying these "draconian cuts" aren't even cuts — they're just minor reductions in the rate of growth of government spending.

And then there's this:

In 2007, the government was 40 percent smaller than it is today. Were poor people sleeping under bridges? Were the elderly starving? Were planes grounded? Was food unsafe to eat?
I think I agree with this assessment:
The president’s doom-saying is so absurd that a mature country would hoot him off the stage. As it is, the housebroken media credulously report his obviously partisan scare-mongering as fact.

Mark Steyn makes a similar point in saying

Can you pierce the mists of time and go back all the way to the year 2007? Back then, federal spending was 40 percent lower than it is today. In a mere half-decade, has all that 40 percent gravy become so indispensable to the general welfare that not even a teensy-weensy sliver of it can be cut?
It may very well be that, as a number of observers have suggested, President Obama is really worried the sequester brings none of his dire predictions to pass. Then what would he scare us with?

The Sequester & etc.

The sequester is a huge problem — at least according to President Obama. But it's just another manufactured crisis. It's like this:

And the root cause of this problem is this:

This, too:

Heaven help us all!