Double-Blind or Double-Barrelled?

Anyone who’s read the Unbreakable series knows I have strong opinions about Big Pharma. What they may not know is that those opinions are based on my own experience working as a statistician in the pharmaceutical industry. Ten years of massaging the numbers left me a permanent skeptic. Every time I hear someone talk about such-and-such a drug or treatment being backed by “good science” like double-blind studies, I just roll my eyes.
This story in Newsweek focuses on one particular drug, Tamiflu, but it’s just one of many. Trust me, all the positive results are twisted to sound way better than they are, and the side effects are always downplayed or explained away as not related to the drug. Just know this: for every prescription drug you take, every vaccine you receive, every treatment you subject yourself to, it’s the same—neither you nor your doctor nor the FDA knows the true risks and benefits of these chemical concoctions. Caveat emptor.
Read the full article here: Big Pharma Plays Hide-the-Ball With Data

Johnny Depp Redux

The Disgraceful Entrapment of Jesse Snodgrass: Keep the Narcs Out of Our Schools
Just read this piece by Darcia Helle. It’s amazing, and it’s just what she says: disgraceful. This is an example of law enforcement at its absolute worst—using our children to further their own agendas and budgets, and having nothing whatsoever to do with keeping people safe from serious threats. This school district and police department should be embarrassed and ashamed of themselves. Is this what they call service? Is this what we taxpayers are getting in return for our money? They should be the ones serving time.

Catholics Fight Obama on Religious Freedom

Catholics oppose contraceptionBishops, Cardinals, and other leaders of Catholic organizations are filing suit against the Obama administration, charging that the President’s health care plan infringes on religious freedom. The plan mandates that all employers cover contraceptive services, such as exams, counseling, and prescriptions for contraceptive products. Roman Catholics oppose the use of non-natural methods of contraception (which they consider tantamount to abortion), so the mandate pits the Church squarely against its own stated principles. The administration has suggested that it will make exceptions for religious organizations, but its definition of such leaves out Catholic schools and universities and Catholic publications. Religious leaders have previously tried to come to an agreement with the White House on this issue, but so far have been unsuccessful in finding a compromise. Read more on this issue at Deseret News, The NY Times, or Reuters News Service. You might also want to visit this website, dedicated to the cause.