Category Archives: Public Health

Californians [SMH]

What is wrong with Californians?

In California, a 12-year-old girl can’t take an aspirin from a school nurse, participate in a school  field trip or utilize a tanning bed without the consent of her parents, but that same girl can consent to a vaccination (HPV) or abortion with her parents none the wiser.

That is seriously twisted.

Leave a comment

Filed under Public Health

When Life Imitates Art

In a storyline borrowed from Stargate: Universe, “In just three weeks, online gamers deciphered the structure of a retrovirus protein that has stumped scientists for over a decade, and a study out Sunday says their breakthrough opens doors for a new AIDS drug design.”

Yes, these are the same guys you warn your daughters not to date because they’ll never amount to anything.

H/T Ace of Spades HQ

Leave a comment

Filed under Public Health

Just How Safe Are Full Body Scanners?

Who knows? There’s been no credible testing.

Leave a comment

Filed under Public Health, Terrorism

Free Love: Still Not Free

It appears that the generation that brought us free love and “if it feels good, do it” is paying the price in the form of rising STD rates.

I know it’s a popular misconception among cultural Christians – the non-religious as opposed to people who have made a conscious decision to follow Christ – that God placed strictures on promiscuous sex simply to spoil their fun rather than as a protection against disease but maybe it’s time for them to give the thought some consideration.

Or at least practice safe sex. At their ages, they should know better.

Leave a comment

Filed under Christianity, Pop Culture, Public Health

Excuse Me? Twitter Is Fueling Panic?

In a self-serving piece, CNN makes the case that Twitter is fueling unnecessary panic over the swine flu.

The swine flu outbreak is spawning debate about how people get information during health emergencies — especially at a time when news sources are becoming less centralized.

Buzz about swine flu on Twitter is stirring conversations about how people get health news. Some observers say Twitter — a micro-blogging site where users post 140-character messages — has become a hotbed of unnecessary hype and misinformation about the outbreak, which is thought to have claimed more than 100 lives in Mexico.

“This is a good example of why [Twitter is] headed in that wrong direction, because it’s just propagating fear amongst people as opposed to seeking actual solutions or key information,” said Brennon Slattery, a contributing writer for PC World. “The swine flu thing came really at the crux of a media revolution.”

Twitter’s popularity has exploded in recent months, and Slattery said it’s a new development that a wide number of people would turn to the site in search of information during an emergency.

Setting aside fears about swine flu, the reporter, John D. Sutter, leaves no doubts about CNN’s fears, stating that the controversy comes as news sources are becoming less centralized. As their market share continues to drop, any indication that people are turning elsewhere for primary news sources has to be discouraging and must be the reason Sutter chose to set the tone of the story based on Brennon Slattery’s input. Slattery, a writer for PC World, makes the claim that Twitter is propagating fear.

Maybe it’s just me, but a contributing writer for PC World isn’t where I’d turn to determine if a news source – any news source – was fueling panic in matters relating to public health. I might turn to the CDC. Oh! And look what they have to say.

A spokesman for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, however, said that the online buzz about swine flu is a good sign. It means people are talking about the issue, and that’s the first step toward learning how to reasonably protect yourself.

“I think it’s generally a useful development, but I would encourage people to look to other sources, especially established, recognized medical authorities,” said Glen Nowak, chief of media relations at the CDC. “It shows that people are engaged and they care and that it’s caught their attention — and those all are good things.”

How about that, the health experts at the CDC say, the online buzz about swine flu is a good sign and it’s generally a useful development. But that’s not really the focus of CNN’s story.

Even so, my sense is that panic may be rising, but, seriously, with congress investigating the outbreak, President Barack Obama requesting $1.5 billion to respond to the outbreak, and the World Health Organization raising the pandemic alert level from three to four (out of six), why blame Twitter for fueling panic?


Filed under Media, Public Health, Swine Flu

If I Must Have a Nanny, I Prefer Mary Poppins

The new Liaison to the Automobile Industry with the U.S. Department of Labor

November 28, 2013: Oh, look. A study confirms what anyone with an average IQ and  a modicum of common sense knows instinctively: Children in cars more distracting than cell phones.

April  27, 2012:  Now U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood is calling for federal legislation against cell phone use while driving, but he’s doubling down on the nanny statism:

He said he has called the CEOs of major car companies and encouraged them to “think twice” before placing too many Internet-based systems into new cars.

“Think twice.” What’s that supposed to mean anyway? Will there be “consequences?” That kind of phone call seems more fitting of Don Corleone than a Cabinet Secretary.

The Obama Administration continues to demonstrate their contempt for the free market principles that allowed the United States to provide more opportunity for more people than any other country in the history of the world.

December 14, 2011: It’s been almost three years since I wrote this but – Hey, look! – it’s relevant again with the news that the NTSB is recommending a national ban on the use of cell phones while driving.

Mary Poppins

January 14, 2009: When it comes to nannies, I say, “why settle for less than the best?” Unfortunately, the Nanny National Safety Council says otherwise. Consumer watch dog groups continue their assault on our personal freedoms and private lives. I’d much rather have Mary Poppins and her spoonful of sugar than the National Safety Council and their forced feedings of illusory safety.

Jan Lowy of the Associated Press tells us the group is now advocating a total ban on cell phone use while driving, citing evidence that hands-free as well as hand-held phone use increase the risk of being involved in a collision. They acknowledge that it may be “years” before they achieve their goal of a total ban on cell phone use. (Full Article)

Maybe it will be years because it will take that long to convince people that they’re too incompetent to drive while speaking. Next up on the agenda? Banning chewing gum while walking. Your danger of choking is increased!

The organization’s president, Janet Froetscher, says, among other things, that, “It’s not just what you’re doing with your hands — it’s that your head is in the conversation and so your eyes are not on the road.”

I can understand an increased risk of accidents if people are dialing the phone or, God help us, texting while driving, but I fail to see how carrying on a conversation with someone via means of my Bluetooth headset differs appreciably from carrying on a conversation with a front seat passenger. Except that I’m never tempted to turn and look at my conversational counterpart when speaking over the phone. Oh, but wait! That would actually decrease my risk of being involved in an accident.

I may be in the minority on this issue, but I can say with confidence (based on personal experience), that driving while talking on a cell phone is far less distracting than driving with a toddler climbing out of her car seat behind you while she simultaneously chucks toys at the back of your head, but I don’t hear anyone talking about banning children under the age of five from cars.

And I don’t speak from personal experience on these, but I’m guessing it’s also far less distracting than driving while shaving, reading, eating a hamburger or putting on makeup – all of which I’ve seen more than once – but I don’t hear anyone talking about banning any of those things either.

I thought I’d reached a point in my life where I could be trusted to make some decisions on my own. I would like the government to allow me to do so, understanding that safety cannot be guaranteed; other people may make foolish choices and endanger their own lives and the lives myself and my family. That is one of the risks we take when we live in a free society.

I wonder how far we, as a nation, will let the nanny state intrude in the name of safety before we recognize the crushing weight of oppression.


Filed under Politics, Public Health