Tag: Public Health

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July 1st was National Wine Cooler Day. This called to mind Bartles & Jaymes. Others hear “wine cooler” and think Bruce Willis for Seagrams Golden Wine Coolers. “Cooler” led to “cool” and then to “Kool,” and therein lies a policy puzzle. Reflecting on where the market has gone since those days, an apparent contradiction emerges […]

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Remembering the Fluoridated Water Wars

 
Flyer used by opponents to water fluoridation in Seattle 1952

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.

Before I start, let me provide links to wikipedia articles for water fluoridation and for the fluoridated water controversy for your reference.

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Veneration and Vulnerability: Suicide in the Midst of Prosperity

 

Man does not live by bread alone. As bread was being earned at a record clip, and more people got off the dole, more people in their prime years cut their own lives short. Reflecting back on the U.S. military’s Herculean effort to end suicide in the service, an unwon battle, I am painfully aware there is no clear solution, no magic pill or words. And. I wonder if our changing societal habits and beliefs make vulnerable people more vulnerable.

2017 brought unbroken good economic news, and not just for stockholders. President Trump repeated at every occasion the good news for everyone, including demographic groups who had been lagging in employment. Wages started to rise. And in the midst of all this, the suicide rate increased to a 50-year peak.

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Caution: Using This Product Against Armed Citizens Might Result in Injury or Death

 

A video showing an armed plainclothes Brazilian police woman fighting back against an armed attacked has gone viral and is popping up all over my social media feed. My friend John Corriea breaks down the video from a tactical perspective on his YouTube channel, but caution: There is no blood shown, however, someone does wind up assuming room temperature. The video itself and how’s it’s gone viral, though, have some interesting implications for the larger efforts to fight back against gun control and keep and expand our right to self-defense.

One of the methods currently used by those opposed to the right of self defense is the proven strategy of making guns “uncool,” and holding gun manufacturers liable for their misuse, which is essentially the same methods used against the tobacco companies to limit the use of their products.

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Victor Davis Hanson looks at the hobby horse issues of various identity politics groups—Black Lives Matter, LGBT advocates, modern feminists, and Hispanic activists—and explains how each of them are overlooking more dire threats facing their communities. More

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John Tierney joins Aaron M. Renn to discuss the federal government’s efforts to limit electronic cigarettes (vaping), and the corruption of the public health profession more generally. In the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, public health officials combatted epidemics of cholera and dysentery through improvements in water and sewage systems. In its modern form, however, this once-noble […]

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Failing the Mentally Ill

 

DJ Jaffe joins Stephen Eide and Howard Husock to discuss severe mental illness and the deficiencies in mental-health services in New York City and across the country.

DJ Jaffe is the author of an important new book, Insane Consequences: How the Mental Health Industry Fails the Mentally Ill. He is executive director of Mental Illness Policy Org., a nonpartisan think tank that creates detailed policy analysis for legislators, the media, and advocates.

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I write a weekly book review for the Daily News of Galveston County. (It is not the biggest daily newspaper in Texas, but it is the oldest.) My review normally appears Sunday. When it appears, I post the previous week’s review on Ricochet. Seawriter More

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Chipotle and the Cult of Secular-Kosher

 

Chipotle

Is it important to you that the coffee you drink be fair trade and shade-grown? That the grapes from which your wine is made be locally-sourced? That the food you eat contain not a whiff of genetically-engineered ingredients? Welcome to the world of secular-kosher, where Judaism’s ancient dietary code for ethical eating is discarded in favor of a New Age preoccupation with feeling good about yourself and a healthy dollop of anti-Big Ag posturing.

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Vapor Madness!

 

Screen Shot 2015-05-07 at 4.02.45 PM

In the bad old days, Big Tobacco would have used all the means at its disposal to thwart a new technology that threatened to disrupt the market for inhalable nicotine. But instead of using its relationship with (and leverage over) regulators to throw obstacles into the path of its early-worm competitors, Big Tobacco has read the writing on the wall and begun to supply the demand for e-cigarettes and vaporizers.

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What’s Wrong With Public Health?

 

shutterstock_99777395The Ebola infections in Texas have shown a bright light on fundamental flaws in our public health establishment. The Centers for Disease Control tells us that they have been fighting Ebola for 20 years, know what is needed to stop its spread, yet evidently never anticipated the entirely predictable crisis we now face. We are learning that hospital workers in Dallas were ill prepared, poorly trained and badly equipped to protect themselves when caring for a man sick with Ebola. Now a second first responder is threatened with a miserable death.

Public health, as a discipline, traces its roots to the famous London cholera outbreak of 1854 that John Snow interrupted by removing the handle from a community water pump that was the source of the bacteria. Snow was a physician, surgeon, and scientist. He didn’t hold much with the then popular “miasma” theory of disease. He looked for a germ.

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