28 Mar 2018
The world keeps using more antibiotics and it’s making us sick – Philadelphia Inquirer, 2018/03/26
Patients with a fever or congested lungs increasingly are being discouraged from taking antibiotics in the United States, and that’s a good thing. Those symptoms often are caused by viruses, in which case antibiotics — which kill bacteria — are the wrong approach.
But a new study finds that although antibiotics use has declined somewhat in the U.S., the nation remains the leading user of the drugs worldwide, with 3.3 billion doses administered in 2015. As many as one-third of these doses are thought to have been inappropriate, leading to the rise of “superbugs” — bacteria that develop resistance to the medicines.
But too often, antibiotics are deployed against infections that would be better addressed with preventive measures such as sanitation, said Klein, also an assistant professor of emergency medicine and epidemiology at Johns Hopkins University.
Antibiotics promote resistance in this way: Though they may be effective against a specific organism that is causing disease, they kill other microbes in the process. That means clear sailing for any remaining bacteria that were resistant to the drug, enabling them to multiply.
And contrary to popular perception, that problem can arise even when antibiotics are used appropriately, Temple’s Gallagher said.
We still have immune systems in our body, right? Sounds like these drugs compromise our immune systems from functioning optimally. I take very little medicine, and usually let the pain work its way out. When I do take medicine, I don’t need much and it works pretty quickly.
28 Mar 2018
Want to understand how Russians used social media to influence American culture? An in depth study is below.
The Twitter Exploit: How Russian Propaganda Infiltrated U.S. News – University of Wisconsin-Madison, Feb. 2018
The main objective from the Russian effort is to sow discord and strife among ourselves by utilizing a mixture of truth, error, and provocative tweets from both the conservative and liberal perspectives. I know the focus is on how they influenced the election, but to me it’s about dividing and defeating America in general.
Think about it this way. If this is a concerted effort to divide America, and you look at where we are today – their efforts have been extremely effective. It would seem that the antidote to their strategy would be to become more united.
25 May 2017
2017/05/24 – H.R. 1628, American Health Care Act of 2017 – Congressional Budget Office
The Congressional Budget Office and the staff of the Joint Committee on Taxation (JCT) have completed an estimate of the direct spending and revenue effects of H.R. 1628, the American Health Care Act of 2017, as passed by the House of Representatives. CBO and JCT estimate that enacting that version of H.R. 1628 would reduce the cumulative federal deficit over the 2017-2026 period by $119 billion.
24 May 2017
2017/05/24 – Premiums have doubled since before Obamacare, says HHS report – Washington Examiner
The findings, assembled by the Health and Human Services Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation, show that since 2013, one year before the Obamacare regulations were fully implemented, premiums have risen from an average of $2,784 in 2013 to $5,712 in 2017 on the federal exchange, healthcare.gov. This represents an increase of $2,928, or 105 percent.
The 4 page report is here.
27 Dec 2016
US Sold $40 Billion in Weapons in 2015, Tops Global Arms Market
With decades of imperialist meddling around the world and a culture defined by hyper-militarism, it’s no surprise the United States yet again topped the list of global weapons sales last year, signing deals worth about US$40 billion, according to a new congressional study.
The largest buyers of arms in 2015, the report found, were largely U.S. allies in the Gulf region, with Qatar buying more than US$17 billion in weapons last year, followed by Egypt, which bought almost US$12 billion in arms, and Saudi Arabia, with over US$8 billion in weapons purchases.
Nothing like war and conflict to prop up the economy.
Here’s the moral dilemma – Is it OK to feed ourselves through the sales of weapons, assuming that some of these weapons could be used in random acts of terror or war against ourselves?
The Congressional report is here.
Conventional Arms Transfers to Developing Nations, 2008-2015
15 Dec 2016
Portland, Indianapolis rated among best airports; NYC LaGuardia, Cleveland among the worst
Large airports among the top five were Portland, Tampa, Las Vegas, Orlando and Miami. The top five mid-sized airports were Indianapolis, Buffalo, Fort Meyers/Southwest Florida, Jacksonville and Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky.
Only five airports nationally scored below 700 points: LaGuardia, Newark Liberty, Philadelphia, Chicago O’Hare and Boston Logan.
The survey is here.