Obamacare causes unemployment

What an absolute horrorshow the coverage of the Supreme Court announcement was.

To be absolutely clear, as a Canadian, I cannot fathom how people are seriously shouting to the rafters that the health care system in the States amounts to “socialism”, considering the Individual Mandate is a demand that people buy into an insurance policy from a capitalist oligopoly on penalty of governmental fines.

Providing medicare-for-everyone, or implementing single payer, would have been significantly better moves. And those would have been rightly considered socialist moves, because they undercut a marketplace where capitalism values money over lives. Even still, the middle class will pay significantly less overall as a result of the tax credits the bill provides. This isn’t a bad incremental improvement, but doesn’t go nearly far enough to rectify your health care system’s problems. (Hint: they all have to do with making money off of human misery.)

What a shame that one guy lost his job though. Obama’s ruining your economy! ZOMG!

Cell phones annoying, says science

Cellular phone technology has come under scrutiny in recent years — meaning, since it has come into popular use — by technophobes and technostress victims alike. Despite being evidently harmless, innumerable claims of it causing cancer, tinnitus, headaches, and any number of non-specific symptoms have emerged such that many scientific studies have been undertaken to show that they could actually cause issues in human beings. Aside from heating water and thus living tissue, until now, no definitive study has actually stated outright that the cranks postulating cancers are full of it. At least, if you’re willing to discount this meta-analysis I reported on a while back, anyway. Said meta-analysis, while it says every study up til now has shown absolutely no link between cancer and cell phone use, it doesn’t actually call the cranks positing the link over and over again “full of it”, so I guess it gets a pass.

So imagine my surprise when The Atlantic ran a post stating, “Cell phones are more annoying than they are dangerous“. Pretty much exactly what I thought.
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Canadian acupuncturist: “Cervical cancer is for prostitutes”

Our allies at Skeptic North cover a Canadian acupuncturist who claims that cervical cancer is a disease for prostitutes and promiscuous women.

My research about cervical cancer at the time told me it was very rare and that it occurred most often in women who had multiple sexual partners, who also had multiple sexual partners. In other words, the nurse said, it’s mainly a disease of prostitutes.
Well, I said, “That’s not me!”

Although my gut instinct was horror that she would imply that women with cervical cancer are prostitutes or they deserve their illness, I was willing to give her the benefit of the doubt. Maybe she was simply recounting what this extraordinarily judgmental nurse had told her. Maybe she wasn’t actually implying that only whores** get cervical cancer as some sort of retribution for their immoral behaviour. (Though in my head I couldn’t help wonder if she also feels that AIDS is a “gay disease.”)

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Israeli gynaecological conference: no women speakers allowed

Orthodox Jewish leaders in Israel have been quietly handed a victory by Benjamin Netanyahu, where they exclude woman doctors from a conference about a topic that decidedly should not be male domain except by virtue of patriarchy: gynaecology. The conference will discuss the care and medical treatment of issues pertaining to women’s reproductive organs but not a single woman will be presenting.

The conference on “Innovations in Gynecology/Obstetrics and Halacha [Jewish law]” is being held by the Puah Institute this Wednesday in Jerusalem. It will include such topics as “ovary implants,” “how to choose a suitable contraceptive pill” and “intimacy during rocket attacks,” in which there are many qualified female professionals, but none will be permitted to speak, at least not from the podium.

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Whooping cough outbreak in Hope, BC

Twenty new cases of pertussis have been reported in the Hope area since August. While previous outbreaks have been due to children going unvaccinated, in this case, it seems the outbreak is resultant of people not getting their boosters.

The health authority is asking healthcare professionals and members of the public in the Hope area to be alert for the signs and symptoms of Pertussis, or whooping cough.

“It has been many years since British Columbia has had an outbreak of Pertussis so there is very little natural immunity,” said Dr. Paul Van Buynder, the Fraser Health Authority’s chief medical health officer, in the statement.

Buynder is advising residents to ensure all the vaccines of all family members are up to date.

“The best protection against Pertussis is to get vaccinated. Pertussis in very young children can lead to hospitalization and even death,” he said.

“The vaccine that most people get when they are infants only offers protection for four to 10 years, so there are many people without adequate coverage.”

My own pertussis vaccination status is well out of date. I need to remedy that.

Canadian-made HIV vaccine headed to human trials!

And I damn well want every syringe to be stamped “Made In Canada”. The FDA has approved a 40-person trial of a vaccine against the human immunodeficiency virus developed by Dr. Chil-Yong Kang of the University of Western Ontario.

“FDA approval for human clinical trials is an extremely significant milestone for our vaccine, which has the potential to save the lives of millions of people around the world by preventing HIV infection,” said Kang.There have been three clinical trials for an HIV vaccine in the past using live viruses that failed.There have been three clinical trials for an HIV vaccine in the past using live viruses that failed. (Apichart Weerawong/Associated Press)

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Meta-analysis: Still no link between cell phones and cancer

Via Skeptic North, good news for the side of science in the ongoing manufactroversy driven by people who are deathly afraid of wireless technology. A new meta-analysis of prior studies shows no link, causal or otherwise, between cellular phone usage and any of the forms of cancer commonly claimed by anti-wifi advocates. I’m sure this won’t stop them from repeating their claims that there must be damage if only we look at specific variations of the EMF spectrum.

We are constantly reminded of the failure of society to recognize the dangers of tobacco, let alone do something about it, and the industry led effort to suppress information and increase uncertainty in the pubic is held up as proof that all industries will stop at no lengths to protect their investment, despite dangers to the public. In the face of this, we need a scientific outlook to unblinker us from determining an unbiased truth. A new systematic review published in October’s Bioelectromagnetics is an excellent illustration of how we determine causality.

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