"Scientists sound warning after first death from new H10N8 bird flu reported," blurted the latest flu alarm. A 73-year old Jiangxi Province woman died last December from a new strain of bird flu called H10N8. Following last year's H7N9 scare ...
by Steve Murphy
Diamond Sky Institute, 11/22/2013 6:04:50 PM
Let's say you were put in charge of Obamacare. It sounds like a daunting business -- to provide affordable health care insurance for 30 million uninsured Americans. But what if you ...
by Ted Roberts
Diamond Sky Institute, 11/20/2012 11:07:56 PM
I collect markers of what I call “roadkill” legislation — roadside
signs that demean my intellect or destroy my privileges. My favorite,
of course, is “Click it or Ticket”. Get it? How clever ...
by Ted Roberts
Diamond Sky Institute, 8/10/2010 1:48:56 PM
My small home sits contentedly on a short, modest street that watches
maybe a couple hundred cars a day roll by. My street rolls modestly
along like a country stream until it intersects with a bustling
commercial thoroughfare wider than the Mississippi River. Guarding
this intersection is a tyrannical traffic signal ...
by Steve Murphy
Diamond Sky Institute, 8/9/2010 1:24:14 AM
I decided to read the new ObamaCare law. I started with the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA). It’s 906 pages that reads like the legalese on my widescreen TV warranty. That is, I think I understand what it covers, but my stomach tells me I won’t know for sure until something breaks - when customer service starts reading things to me from the fine print section ...
by SF Murphy
Diamond Sky Institute, 7/30/2009 2:29:40 PM
We’re in a health care crisis. Health care is a catastrophe. Costs are out of control. Millions of people can’t get quality health care. According to President Obama, our health care system is broken and it is “breaking America's families.” Only a huge, trillion-plus dollar, 1000-plus page, government-controlled, universal healthcare program can fix it. Only government can bend the cost curve down to pay for it. ...
by Elizabeth Wright
Citizens Against Government Waste, 2/26/2009
[Get ready for one-size-fits-all healthcare]
As taxpayers begin to grasp the sheer magnitude and the $787 billion price tag of H.R. 1, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, better known as the “stimulus,” more and more details are being exposed as policy makers have time to read and analyze the legislation. There is one section of the bill that has little to do with stimulating the economy and everything to do with overseeing the kind of healthcare Americans will, or will not, receive in the future. ...
by SF Murphy
Diamond Sky Institute, 3/15/2006
[Medical errors and the warm and fuzzy fog of national self-denial]
We are in the midst of a large hospital-construction boom. A recent USA Today article described it as one trending toward luxurious suburban buildings with high tech equipment and hotel-like amenities designed for treating the affluent and well insured. I hope they will be safe ...
by Trevor Bothwell
Apparently not content to confine their legislative excess to Wal-Mart and small business, Maryland Democrats now are threatening the property rights of Maryland boaters, proposing a new bill ostensibly aimed at nothing more than attempting to “protect us from ourselves.” ...
by Steven Milloy
Fox News, 2/9/2006
[Big surprise - our health experts and government nannies are wrong again!]
The widely-believed notion that low-fat diets are good for your health went “poof” this week – although the busting of that myth shouldn’t be news to regular readers of this column. ...
by Leonard Glantz
Washington Post, 12/18/2005
The World Health Organization (WHO), the health branch of the United Nations, has announced that it will no longer hire smokers. Its spokeswoman said, "As a matter of principle, WHO does not want to recruit smokers." The "principle," according to the spokeswoman, is: "WHO tries to encourage people to try and lead a healthy life." ...
by Robert Levy
The Arizona Republic, 10/24/2005
I don't smoke. I don't like smoke. I sit in the non-smoking section of restaurants. In fact, I favor a smoking ban on publicly owned property in closely confined areas where non-smokers have no easy escape from tobacco fumes. ...
by Dennis Constant
Chicago Sun Times, 10/22/2005
Despite the claims of anti-smoking groups that research studies have conclusively proved that secondhand tobacco smoke causes lung cancer, the city councils of Arlington Heights, Evanston and Wheeling rejected smoking bans. The three Illinois municipalities have created significant restaurant industries that play an important role in their economies, and the council members concluded that the risks of loss of businesses were not worth the health benefits that some claimed would result from a ban on smoking. ...
by Jacob Sullum
Montreal Economic Institute, 9/28/2005
In June 1994 R.J. Reynolds took out ads in American newspapers that criticized proposals to sharply raise tobacco taxes. “Today it’s cigarettes,” the company said. “Will high-fat foods be next?” ...
by Radley Balko
Tech Central Station, 9/14/2005
A PETITION from the public health movement, including the American Medical Association, the World Health Organization, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, the Center for Science in the Public Interest, the American Public Health Association, the American Cancer Society, and of every organization generally connected to negating risk and choice at the expense of individual freedom and personal responsibility* ...
by James K. Glassman
Tech Central Station, 8/19/2005
The press these days is obsessed with avian flu. "Officials are preparing as though the virus is the heir apparent to the 1918 international flu pandemic, which killed more than 40 million," says the Baltimore Sun. ...
by Jacob Sullum
[Is obesity is a health issue? Yes. Is it a public health issue? No. What this country needs is a good gluttony and sloth lobby.]
Every time a new obesity study comes out, pundits latch onto it as proof that the government either should or should not take an interest in what Americans eat and how much they exercise. ...
by Martin F. Sturman, MD, FACP
[Incredible: "An independent 1996 study found that 98 percent of scientific papers based on research sponsored by corporations promoted the effectiveness of a company's drug. This corruption reaches from the doctors prescribing a drug to government review boards to university research centers."]
The relationship between medical journals and the drug industry is "somewhere between symbiotic and parasitic," according to the editor of the Lancet, Richard Horton, who testified recently to the House of Commons select committee on health. Dr. Horton described some of the financial incentives that could influence a commercially run medical journal to publish a paper. For example, many of the research papers published in the Lancet are reprinted and bought in bulk by drug companies to use for marketing purposes. It does not require imagination to realize that companies regularly exert pressure on the journal to publish certain papers by arguing that doing so will earn the journal more money. ...
by Rep. Ron Paul, MD
Last week I wrote about a presidential initiative called the “New Freedom Commission on Mental Health,” which issued a report calling for the mandatory mental health screening of American schoolchildren. This new proposal threatens to force millions of kids to undergo psychiatric screening, whether their parents consent or not. At issue is the fundamental right of parents to decide what medical treatment is appropriate for their children. ...
by Ronald Bailey
—"Should we ditch the concept of personal responsibility and construct the therapeutic state?," asked Michael Shapiro, a University of Southern California law professor. ...
by Pierre Lemieux
The National Post, 1/9/2004
[We just want to be happy - like contented cattle]
Dr. Carolyn Bennett, the new Minister of State for Public Health, wants her state to help people stay healthy. The creation of a new Public Health Cabinet position is very significant -- not of something new, but of the recognition of a form of government that we can call the Public-Health State. ...
by James K. Glassman
Tech Central Station, 5/21/2003
Six years ago, after tobacco companies agreed to settle lawsuits filed by the states, the Wall Street Journal published what seemed at the time to be a hilarious parody by Mark Bernstein ... titled A Big Fat Target … ...
by Leonard Evans
Excerpt from Traffic Safety, August 2004
Government airbag policy looks more and more like the emperor with no clothes. Increasingly bizarre pronouncements are offered to conceal its nakedness, including: Don’t place infants in front seats. Don’t allow children under twelve to sit in front seats. If you are short ...
by Jacob Sullum
Reason, July 2000
Simply having one of Thomas Szasz's books on your shelf can lead to an argument. Explaining his most familiar contention--that there is, strictly speaking, no such thing as "mental illness"--almost invariably does. And the very mention of his name has been known to provoke a heated response from certain people. I once asked a psychiatrist I knew if he was familiar with Szasz's work. "Oh, he's crazy!" he exclaimed, inadvertently illustrating Szasz's point that such labels are often used to stigmatize people who offend or disturb us. ...
by Thomas S. Szasz
Independent Review Volume 5 Number 4, Spring, 2001
[Riding in on the Trojan Horse of Health & Safety]
One of the symbols of sovereign states is the postage stamp. Traditionally,
U.S. stamps have depicted a famous American or an important historical
scene. In 1893, to increase revenues, the U. S. Post Office began to issue
commemorative stamps. The first stamps with health-related themes—for example, a
stamp depicting children playing and smiling, commemorating the centennial of the
American Dental Association—appeared in 1959. In 1999, the Postal Service
unveiled two stamps emblematic of the escalation of America’s wars on diseases. On
one, the inscription recommended, “Prostate Cancer Awareness: Annual Checkups
and Tests”; on the other, it exhorted, “Breast Cancer: Fund the Fight. Find a Cure”
(Woloshin and Schwartz 1999). ...