If you’re of a certain age, you probably remember the fluoridated water controversy of the 1950s and early 1960s. I’m old enough to remember it and the other day I came across a brief discussion of the controversy in the book I was reading which whetted my appetite to see how accurate my memory of the issue was. What I found, I think, is that my memory of the controversy was only partially correct and incomplete. I thought I’d write about here at Ricochet because the actual story is 1) more interesting than the cartoon version I remembered, 2) I believe the story has been somewhat mythologized and distorted, and 3) the fluoridated water wars continued long after the early 1960’s and to a certain extent still exists.More
Marriage and Love In high school my friend Josh and I once discussed marriage and love. Was true love even real? Do people marry other people for reasons of character or more material considerations? Was anyone even capable of keeping their virginity for marriage? He and I had different answers to these questions. More
I cannot add words to make this any more ironic: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5335457/CDC-director-RESIGNS-buying-tobacco-stocks.html More
The headline of a recent Washington Post article claims that the Trump administration is banning words at the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). But yesterday, the director of the CDC said the following – “there are no banned words.” These claims seem contradictory, so who should we believe? More
The Zika virus has been back in the news again. Via our own Jim Geraghty, the biggest headline concerns an open letter to Dr. Margaret Chan of the World Health Organization (copied to the International Olympic Committee) urging that the 2016 Summer Olympics be either postponed or moved from their current location in Rio de Janeiro. The letter has over 200 signatories, most of whom are medical doctors, including a number of epidemiologists and public health specialists who, as Jim puts it, “don’t appear to be paranoid nut-jobs.” Money quote:
It is indisputable that […] holding the Games as scheduled has a greater risk of accelerating the spread of the Brazilian viral strain than the alternatives. Postponing and/or moving the Games also mitigates other risks brought on by historic turbulence in Brazil’s economy, governance, and society at large—which are not isolated problems, but context that makes the Zika problem all but impossible to solve with the Games fast approaching. We are concerned that WHO is rejecting these alternatives because of a conflict of interest. Specifically, WHO entered into an official partnership with the International Olympic Committee, in a Memorandum of Understanding that remains secret. There is no good reason for WHO not to disclose this Memorandum of Understanding, as is standard practice for conflicts of interest. Not doing so casts doubt on WHO’s neutrality, for reasons described further in the Appendix.
As the arrival of America’s newest pre-existing condition dominates the headlines, worries over the Ebola virus have wreaked havoc on Wall Street, causing the S&P 500 to post its worst three-day slide since November 2011. But if Ebola thinks it can just waltz into this country and diminish Wall Street’s wealth, then Ebola doesn’t know President […]
You know that things are getting really serious when Barack Obama cancels a fundraiser for any reason — especially when he cancels two fundraisers and actually calls a cabinet meeting.
The fact that he did so today suggests that he is really worried about something of genuinely vital importance — that he thinks that the news that a second nurse working at the Texas Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas has tested positive for Ebola might have an impact on the midterm elections three weeks from now. In his judgment, no doubt, It makes things even worse that, on the day before she tested positive, after her temperature rose well above normal, the lady in question contacted the CDC, and those who answered her call sanctioned her flying home on a commercial jet from Cleveland.More
I have lived long enough, now, to have seen it again and again. Something goes badly wrong involving a corporation, a university, a religious denomination, or a branch of government, and the executive in charge or a designated minion goes before the press to engage in what is euphemistically called “damage control.” The spokesman does not level with the public. He or she tries to be reassuring and — more often than not — by lying, succeeds in undermining confidence in the institution he or she represents.
This is what is now going on with the Centers for Disease Control. In recent years, this well-respected outfit has branched out, opining in a politically correct manner on one issue after another outside its proper remit. Now it is faced with a matter absolutely central to its responsibilities — actual disease control — and it flips and flops and flounders because the ultimate boss, the President of the United States, cannot bring himself to put limits on contacts between Americans and the citizens of the countries in Africa where there is an Ebola epidemic.More