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A Question of Birth

 

This is an honest question.

For many years, before we even heard about the LGBT movement (with increasing letters added), we heard from the gay community that being gay was a matter of birth. The reason a person is gay is because they were “born that way.” There was an assumption there is a genetic disposition to gay orientation, so it is wrong to even suggest that a gay person could change. California legislators came to believe it was necessary to pass laws against “conversion therapy” because it would be wrong to try to change how someone is “born.”

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On today’s Daily Standard podcast, deputy online editor Jim Swift and reporter Andrew Egger discuss President Trump’s handling of the disappearance of Saudi dissident Jamal Khashoggi and take a look at how the issue of preexisting conditions is shaping Missouri’s toss-up Senate race. Plus, proof that President Trump calls his television surrogates to discuss… Charlie Sykes?

This episode of the Substandard is sponsored by Audible.com. Start your 30 day free trial at audible.com/standard, or text “standard” to 500500.

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Gosnell: Averting Our Eyes From a Serial Killer

 

http://wilkesbarrescrantonig.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/7/2013/07/Kermit-Gosnell.jpgGosnell: The Trial of America’s Biggest Serial Killer is must-see cinema. It reveals very inconvenient truths, from which we, as a society, have averted our eyes and stopped our ears. For many years, in Philadelphia, poor women, and their newborn infants, were prey to a serial killer, given license to kill by state authorities. When police stumbled upon the killer’s lair, in a prescription drug raid, the powers of the state, and the media, were bent towards denying or disappearing the truth. This is not fiction. The killer, Dr. Kermit Gosnell, was convicted on three counts of first degree murder, one count of involuntary manslaughter, and a mind-numbing number of lesser charges. Go see this movie, to understand what is really driving the battle for the Supreme Court.

Be assured, this PG-13 film does not contain blood and gore. Instead, the filmmakers skillfully convey outrage and horror, through the actors’ reactions, to things the camera slides past. Among the talent involved, Andrew Klavan wrote the teleplay, Nick Searcy directed, and the husband and wife team of Ann McElhinney and Phelim McAleer, wrote the screenplay and produced. The movie was crowdfunded through Indiegogo, raising $2.3 million dollars after Kickstarter dumped them, allegedly for political reasons.

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You Are Probably Not Going to Die of the Flu

 

Let’s suppose you need to travel from Los Angeles to the East Coast. For this exercise, you have three means of transportation available: Commercial airline, car or motorcycle. We all know that flying is by far the safest means of transport, but there are lots of reasons to go by car. Maybe you’re moving and […]

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Poor Unfortunate Soles, Part 2: The Fit

 

I know that in the past my shoes were nasty.
I wasn’t kidding when I said they hurt, well, like a witch.
But you’ll find that nowadays, I’ve mended all my ways,
Repented, seen the light, and made a switch.

It’s time for part two of our series, and this post will address measuring and fitting. Some may find this an odd place to start — surely arch supports are more important, right? Sure, proper support of the underside of the foot is important, but the dirty secret that shoe people are loath to divulge is that putting an orthotic in a $30 shoe that fits correctly will result in a happier customer than a $300 high-end shoe that doesn’t fit. So before we can fit the nooks and crannies of the bottom of one’s feet, we have to address the other five surfaces.

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On My Soapbox: Don’t Forget Your Flu Shot!

 

Last winter, in the span of a week, I had two things happen: A family friend buried his healthy 50-year-old sister-in-law, who went to Mexico feeling fine, and came home in a coffin a few days later, dead from the flu. They tried to get her home to an ICU bed in Los Angeles, but there were none available, all taken up by other flu patients. The doctors the family were in communication with in L.A. were monitoring her condition and assured the family there was nothing more they could have done for her in the United States.

Later that week, on Christmas Day, our baby slept 19 hours straight until we decided to wake him up. He was disoriented and had a low-grade fever for an hour after we woke him up, and barely wanted to eat. After consulting his pediatrician (who is a bit too trigger happy about going to the ER) and a pediatrician friend (who is far more laid back on such matters), we decided to bring him into the hospital to be evaluated. It was the middle of the flu epidemic, and despite the two of us being vaccinated, I was hyper-vigilant about staying away from people coughing, not letting the baby touch anything, and washing hands with hand sanitizer. While we were waiting to see a doctor, we heard one of the attendings talking to a family in the cubical next to ours. She told the family “This isn’t a severe enough illness to warrant an ER trip. You have all been exposed to the flu while you were sitting here. We had a child die in this hospital from the flu this week.” Not exactly what you want to hear sitting beyond the curtain with your sick baby. Thankfully, the baby was fine, and neither of us came down with the flu.

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A Spoonful of Sugar: Urbane Cowboys Podcast with Avik Roy

 

In the latest Urbane Cowboys podcast, we talk with Avik Roy of the Foundation for Research on Equal Opportunity about healthcare policy, equal opportunity, and social capital. https://soundcloud.com/…/ep-9-a-spoon-full-of-sugar-with-av… More

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Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America get a kick out of Hillary Clinton trying to damage efforts to confirm Brett Kavanaugh by spreading a birth control lie that was thoroughly debunked days ago – even by liberals. They also recoil as an angry anti-Trump voter tries to stab a Republican congressional candidate in California and the mainstream media largely ignore the incident. And they blast MSNBC host Joe Scarborough for arguing, on 9/11, that President Trump is damaging the United States far more than any terrorist ever has or could.

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Some Thoughts on Herd Medicine

 

Farmer Bernie has 1,000 cows on his dairy farm. He learns that if he adds a certain new antibiotic to their feed, he is likely to experience a 10% higher yield of milk. Unfortunately this antibiotic causes a potentially fatal allergic reaction in about 0.005% of cows. There is a test he could do to identify the allergic cows ahead of time, but the testing is expensive. Also, separating out the allergic cows each day at feeding time would be impractical. What will Farmer Bernie do?

We all know what he will do. He and his Progressive friends are doing it right now, in their administration of our increasingly centralized healthcare system. And in doing so, they have firmly established a set of ethical precepts that perhaps we had better stop and think about.

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Poor Unfortunate Soles, Part 1: The Foot

 

Me: The only way to get comfy feet … is to get comfy shoes yourself.
Customer: You can do that?
Me: My dear, sweet child, that’s what I do. It’s what I live for. To help unfortunate soles like yourself.

Yes, I am a shoe expert who is happy to help you find the perfect shoe. (Well, shoes. You really need at least two to rotate between, but I’m getting ahead of myself.) But lest we find ourselves like mice knowing the ultimate answer to life, the universe, and everything is 42 without knowing the question being asked, you cannot find the perfect shoe without knowing your foot and its needs.

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Charmed Substances

 

It’s been thirteen years this month since John Ioannidis published an article in PLoS Medicine entitled Why Most Published Research Findings Are False. Arguably, this article kicked off interest in the replication crisis. He’s back again, this time in JAMA, to warn us to be skeptical of nutrition research, as if we needed that warning. “The field needs radical reform.”

The majority of nutritional advice advocating the consumption or avoidance of specific foods (superfoods, killer foods) is based on epidemiological studies. Ioannidis notes that “…almost all foods revealed statistically significant associations with mortality risk.” Yet the causal connection is rarely established even as dietary recommendations are made based on such studies. Taken at face value, the results lead to unlikely conclusions that fail the sniff test:

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Let’s Blow It Up

 

In a recent comment, Ricochet member @DonG wrote, “The drug industry in the US is a giant racket enabled by a corrupted regulatory system.” After over 20 years of working in medicine, and doing occasional part-time work for pharmaceutical companies in the cardiovascular field, I find that statement to be precise and accurate. Fascism is an explosive word, almost like Nazi. But this is, precisely, fascism. It’s not socialism. Our government does not want to own the means of production; it just wants to control it. Regulate the heck out of it, get private industry to do what you want, then tax the crap out of it to fund a welfare state huge enough to buy sufficient votes to get you re-elected. It’s simple, really. It’s too bad that the term “fascism” is widely viewed as a pejorative because it’s a perfect description of much of our government.

To get back to Don’s point regarding the pharmaceutical industry: This is what excessive regulation creates. You destroy everybody, except for the few corporations enormous or well-connected (usually the same thing) enough that they can withstand the regulatory pressure with top-flight, very expensive legal departments. Then you control and profit from those few. You can’t control 1,000 drug companies, but you can control six of them; maybe eight. Note that this type of evolutionary pressure selects out those who are good at government, not those who are good at creating new drugs. As is true in every industry.

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