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Midweek links

  • Emory Hospital, which has successfully treated four U.S. Ebola sufferers, shares its learnings and its protocols. (Tip o’ hat to PT)
  • Obamacare and the part-time workforce. I know this isn’t a good thing for people who want full-time work or for people who prefer honesty and small government. But in the long run, one of the best things that could happen to health insurance is to break its artificial link to employers. Maybe O’care will eventually do that.
  • Flu shots: actually bad for the elderly.
  • GOA alert to gun owners about our status as “domestic terrorists.” Nothing new or surprising; just lays a lot out in one place.
  • Yes, the “greatest orator of his generation” has truly lost his mojo. (Never did understand where that “greatest orator” thing came from, anyhow. Just because the man speaks English better than “Mumbler” Bush? But then, some border collies have a better grasp of language than both Bush presidents.)


  1. Fred
    Fred October 29, 2014 1:21 pm

    I just had my first flu shot EVER forced upon me involuntarially by the hosp in Calif,or wear a mask for 12 straight hours a day times 5 months a year.

    FASCIST NANNY STATE BS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. Pat
    Pat October 29, 2014 1:24 pm

    Shel said, “And some older hospital workers undoubtedly face the choice of getting the shot or getting fired.”

    I was never given that alternative, but they weren’t happy about my refusal to take the shot.

    Hospitals honestly can’t understand refusal “in the face of overwhelming evidence” (their words) of the good the shots can do. The only year I got the flu was the year I took a shot —— and swore, Never Again.

    The author: “After the Simonsen study, many international studies also arrived at the same conclusion. You probably haven’t heard much about these “incendiary” findings. Too much money being made promoting flu shots?”

    Exactly! And those drug companies are international in scope, so have influence not just in the U.S.

  3. Fred
    Fred October 29, 2014 1:33 pm

    In Calif 50% of healthcare workers refuse flu shot…we know better than to buy the hype.

    State couldnt have that,oh no,no choices here on what we stick in our bodies.

    This is a very bad trend,camels nose under the tent,who is next.We know that,all of us thanks to Obamacare and our being made into state property,not free men.

  4. Claire
    Claire October 29, 2014 1:37 pm

    One more reason I definitely don’t envy anybody who’s in the health care field these days.

  5. Claire
    Claire October 29, 2014 1:41 pm

    Bad enough that I have this conversation (or something like it) at least once every fall:

    “Have you gotten your flu shot yet?”

    “Nope. I don’t get ’em.”

    “But they’re perfectly safe and 97 percent effective!

    “Have you actually checked the data for yourself? At best, they’re 50 percent effective. And that’s optimistic. The 97 percent claim is based on what appears to be a deliberate mis-reading of the data.”

    “Well, I heard on [name of TV show] that it was 97. But even if it’s only 50, that’s still better than nothing, isn’t it?”

    “Doesn’t it even bother you that people lie to you to get you to do something that’s supposedly for your own good? Doesn’t that make you wonder what else they may be distorting or not telling you?”

    “Ooooh, Claire. You’re so paranoid.”

  6. MamaLiberty
    MamaLiberty October 29, 2014 1:44 pm

    I never had any doubt but that dogs could learn English. It’s frustrating that they can’t speak it, but most of my dogs have even learned to spell… like “cookie,” or “walk.” Now the challenge for me is to understand more of the Corgi language. I’m learning slowly and, thank goodness, Laddie is very patient. 🙂 My friends tell me he has me well trained already. LOL

  7. Fred
    Fred October 29, 2014 4:52 pm

    LOL Mama,ours spell too!

    Ive read less than 1% effective with flu,so guess its the source that we pick to get our numbers.

    Ive nothing against folks taking em,just not my cuppa tea.

    My Dr just asked me if Ive had mine today,(needed my scripts renewed).Said yes,what do you think of colloidal silver?His eyes glazed over,spun around,started to look like the girl in the exorcist movie….heeheehee…..

  8. Laird
    Laird October 29, 2014 5:29 pm

    I don’t get flu shots and I’ve never had a conversation quite like that. Most people just let it go when I say no. Actually, it might be kind of fun!

    As to Obama being considered a “great orator”, he is a fine reader of words someone else has written for him. But listen to him extemporize and you quickly realize how bad a speaker he really is. Reagan was routinely ridiculous for being “just an actor”, but in reality that’s all Obama is. He’s an empty suit, a post turtle. (If you see a turtle on top of a post you immediately know 3 things: he doesn’t belong there; he doesn’t know what to do there; and he didn’t get there by himself.)

  9. Connie
    Connie October 29, 2014 5:55 pm

    Thoughts on flu shots, and the article/study cited above. First, I’m an RN, just so you know.

    Why it may not work on elderly folks- their immune systems do not work like younger people, so they probably do not get the same benefit.

    Why the mortality rates increase- If they think they are immune they may not stay away from sick people or limit their time in public so they get exposed and sick. I have heard people say, “I’ve had my flu shot, so I’ll take care of the sick grandkids so you can go to work”.

    I didn’t read anything in the study that said the flu shot actually made anyone sick or was the cause of death. That’s not including Guillain-Barre which impacts 1:100,000 according to the cited study.

    Most current flu shots are inactive virus, you cannot catch the flu from them. This was not true in the 70’s when it was common to get the flu from the shot. Also the nasal spray vaccine is a live vaccine.

    I am not rabid about getting flu shots. Didn’t get one last year or the year before. But I’ve had the flu twice, in 1968 & 1983, so maybe I have some immunity. I have noticed that when I get the flu shot I have fewer colds.

    But reading this it sounds like anyone over 60 would be better served practicing good infection control and staying away from the sick grandkids. This is also true for anyone wishing to avoid the flu.

  10. Claire
    Claire October 29, 2014 6:56 pm

    Connie — thank you.

    “I didn’t read anything in the study that said the flu shot actually made anyone sick or was the cause of death.”

    Agreed. Thanks for the professional insights — and especially that last paragraph.

  11. Claire
    Claire October 29, 2014 6:57 pm


    “I don’t get flu shots and I’ve never had a conversation quite like that.”

    Good. Might be because you don’t have any mother-hen women friends, too — or at least none who dare mother you.

    Also, just to be clear, I’m not opposed to anybody getting flu shots. I’m sure they sometimes do help some people. I’m only opposed to uncritically believing untrue claims about them.

  12. Matt, another
    Matt, another October 29, 2014 8:26 pm

    In 1988 I caught the flu. Don’t recall if flu shots were in fashion then or not. The flu almost killed me. Local hospital was full so was cared for at home. Thank God, the family self quarantined and I didn’t pass it to the wife or kids. Since the shots have become fashionable it is hit or miss if I get one. My elderly parents avoid them on doctors instruction.

  13. Fred
    Fred October 30, 2014 12:02 am

    Another thing the co author pointed out in one of the links,maybe it doesnt ‘work’ on elderly because they already have dealt with the virus,and have strong natural immunity already.

    I like that natural immunity myself.

  14. Fred
    Fred October 30, 2014 12:07 am

    Off topic,Im just finishing reading The Hot Zone,about Ebola.Its an easy read,yet full of medical facts,about the discovery of it,outbreaks,case histories.Yet reads like an action novel.

    If you want a good source to learn about E,this is a really good one.

    2 things Ive taken away from it,CDC has Brilliant scientists,and extremely incompetent management,and nothing has changed unfortunately.

    Runs about 8 dollars,used/delivered on Amazon

  15. MamaLiberty
    MamaLiberty October 30, 2014 5:19 am

    Yes indeed, Thanks Connie. Good to have another nurse here.

    To vastly oversimplify the deal, think about how a vaccine is supposed to work, and the things that can affect how that turns out.

    The vaccine, whether “live” or killed, “works” only by stimulating the immune system to create antibodies that will recognize future infections and fight them naturally. A good, functioning immune system is required. This assumes reasonably good health overall, fair to good nutrition and hygiene.

    There are categories of people who are deficient, and for whom vaccines are probably useless, even when they are not actually dangerous.

    1. Babies. Babies do not have a strong, functional immune system until they are about a year old. This can vary greatly, but a newborn has very little functioning immune capability, and even less if not breast fed, which is why giving them “shots” is both useless and potentially damaging.

    2. The elderly. This actually applies mostly to those who are struggling with other serious health problems, especially metabolic dysfunctions and poor nutritional status. Elders in good health have, for the most part, been exposed to so many germs that they have already formed a serious anti-body army. Conversely, those with a poor immune system are not apt to be able to utilize the vaccine.

    The fact that they may well believe the vaccine “protects them” and leads them to expose themselves unnecessarily, is a very good point. I’ve seen that with so many things. People who get the vaccine need to take the same care not to be exposed as anyone else.

    3. Anyone who is immune compromised because of general poor health, known auto-immune problems, poor nutrition, serious drug abuse, AIDS or the like. They can’t benefit from vaccines much because they have too poor an immune system to start with. There’s little or nothing to stimulate. These folks should be very cautious about accepting vaccines of any kind.

    Then, last but not least, there are or may be contaminants and ingredients in vaccines that are not beneficial. As with anything else that could affect your long term health even more than the germ the vaccine is supposed to protect against, so t is wise to investigate carefully, and made decisions on the basis of known benefit exceeding the risks, known and unknown.

    I’ve had only a few doses of antibiotics in my life so far, never had a “flu shot.” I’ve never had the flu in my life – and almost no infections of any kind – in spite of serious exposure over a long nursing career. I suspect I have a very healthy immune system… and would not take any kind of vaccine at this point. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. 🙂

  16. Bear
    Bear October 30, 2014 7:56 am

    One other point on how vaccines work: The idea is to present the immune system with a “template” of the actual flu virus so the body will recognize an incursion and begin churning out antibodies.

    [simplified]At the current state of the art, flu vaccines are specific to a particular virus. So the manufacturers/CDC watch for flu around the world and try to predict the variant that will predominate the flu season. If they guess wrong (and they often do, through no fault of their own but from the sheer numbers of rapidly mutating flu viruses to choose from), the flu shot you get may not help in the slightest no matter how good your immune system.

    There is work being done on broad spectrum flu vaccines, but it’s tricky. If it’s too broad spectrum, it can cause additional problems. If it isn’t broad enough, it’s little better than the usual targeted vaccine.[/simplified]

  17. Laird
    Laird October 30, 2014 8:00 am

    “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”

    My thoughts exactly.

    Re the comments by Connie and MamaLiberty, to the effect that the elderly largely do not benefit from flu shots either because of their existing immunity acquired over a lifetime or because of poor immune systems, isn’t the government’s whole claim that it is precisely the elderly (and children) who should be getting these shots? If the science is “settled”, as this study seems to prove, why is that fact being suppressed, and why are we still being hectored every year with the same bogus claims? I understand that the drug companies (and every corner pharmacy) have a financial interest in this, but it’s distressing to learn that the CDC (which many of us, up until now anyway, had viewed as one of the more functional and benign arms of government) is fostering the fraud and is engaged in a willful cover-up of the truth.

    I guess the moral of this story is that there is no aspect of government which will not, sooner or later, be totally corrupted and turned to the forces of, if not outright “evil”, at least crony capitalism. One more piece of evidence (as if any were needed) for the minimization of the state in every respect, even the parts generally viewed as being “good”.

  18. Claire
    Claire October 30, 2014 10:03 am

    LOL! Karen, sounds as if Bo already “speaks” sign language with his tail. That’s funny. Sucks for Bo’s poor owner, of course. But still funny.

  19. Bear
    Bear October 30, 2014 10:54 am

    See? That’s why I prefer cats.

  20. Claire
    Claire October 30, 2014 1:02 pm

    Bear — Yep, cats will just come tear your throat out while you sleep. Much more honest and direct. Eliminate the statist middlemen. 😉

  21. Bear
    Bear October 30, 2014 2:46 pm

    I was safe. I kept the kitty kandy in a basket hanging from the ceiling away from climeable bookcases and the like. They couldn’t afford to kill me.

    Besides, I never once dressed them up in Halloween costumes.

  22. Paul Bonneau
    Paul Bonneau October 30, 2014 5:53 pm

    Flu shots that kill people actually do serve a purpose: removing from the population the fools who, by that time in their life, should have learned that it is crazy to believe government.

    Just teasing, gang. 🙂

    [Why the mortality rates increase- If they think they are immune they may not stay away from sick people or limit their time in public so they get exposed and sick.]

    The human factor – human beings respond to incentives. As soon as they figure out how to stomp that out of us, why then their vaccines will do better! 🙂

    This is like people driving faster when they wear seatbelts, thus causing more accidents.

    It’s known as unintended consequences…

    My favorite is the reverse reaction found by some municipal governments in Europe. Several cities now have removed all traffic controls in their towns, going to the extent of eliminating even curbs separating pedestrian from vehicular traffic. This forced drivers to become much more involved with their immediate environment, rather than just assuming people won’t get in their way, and fatality rates went way down.

  23. Ellendra
    Ellendra October 31, 2014 8:32 am

    Elderberry extract has been shown to help against influenza. You can find it in the cough drop section under the name “Sambucol”.

  24. Shel
    Shel October 31, 2014 9:12 am

    I’ve often thought our traffic is over-regulated, especially when I see vehicles stopped in three directions at an intersection and no one coming in the fourth.

    In 1967 Sweden switched from driving on the left to driving on the right. They had either white or yellow lines painted in the center of the road. One color referenced driving on the left and the other driving on the right, so the driver would know if the dashed line on one side meant it was O.K. to pass. At 5:00 on a predesignated Sunday morning all traffic stopped. At 5:05 it started again, this time on the right side instead of the left. It was their first Sunday in 7 or 8 years without a traffic fatality. I was told that for some years afterwards, in fact, fatalities continued to be down.

    FWIW, the National Motorists Association has noted that the fastest 15% of drivers have the best accident record and the slowest 15% the worst.

  25. Paul Bonneau
    Paul Bonneau October 31, 2014 10:47 am

    I wrote this letter to the editor of the Cody (Wyoming) newspaper not long ago:
    Cody has been getting a pretty unfriendly look lately.

    I went down a single block of Sheridan Avenue, and on one side only, counted six signs that amounted to petty dictates: Two commanding no bikes or skateboards on sidewalks, two with commands about restricted parking, one commanding that turns be made from the center lane only, one commanding that no U-turns be made. There were also instructions on how to use crosswalks! Let’s not forget the silly lines painted making the boxes for people to park their cars in. With so many signs, how do drivers find time to pay attention to traffic?

    I expect fascistic nonsense from the federal government; but it gets annoying to see it at the town level. Perhaps tax dollars can be spent on a boondoggle a bit less obnoxious? Maybe a nice “bridge to nowhere”?

    We get plenty of foreigners here. What must they think when they see this? “Americans are children who must be directed at the minutest level?” Sorta gives lie to the image of self-reliant cowboys and such. Ah, but we all understand: “Don’t worry, the government will take care of you.” I feel better now.

  26. Laird
    Laird October 31, 2014 11:23 am

    Karen (and Claire): Hey, for once the police didn’t shoot the dog! So I guess this is one of the “good” stories, right?

  27. Karen
    Karen November 1, 2014 5:46 am

    “Hey, for once the police didn’t shoot the dog! So I guess this is one of the “good” stories, right?”


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