My friend Martha Rosenberg just republished her fantastic book.
I cited the first edition in Butchered by "Healthcare." I recommend this to all my readers.
This is a sample chapter:
Pay No Attention To That Drug Price… or Its Side Effects
Who remembers Gilead Science's Sovaldi, one of the first such hepatitis C drugs, priced at a shocking $1,000 a pill or $84,000 for a course of treatment.[i] — extortion pricing said some? Lawmakers worried that the opportunistic prices would sack entitlement programs, and they did; in 2014 alone, Medicare and Medicaid spent over $5 billion on Sovaldi and Gilead's follow-up drug, Harvoni. [ii]
In 2017, Harvoni ad campaigns on T.V., in broadcast, and on posters along train commuter lines unabashedly stressed screening, warning people that if they were born between 1945 and 1965, they could have hepatitis C, not even know it. Even if you have no symptoms, you might silently be at risk and need these drugs, said the Pharma messaging, often called "disease mongering" because it employs fear of diseases to grow customers and screening as a marketing tool to enlarge demand and the "patient pool."
The shift to scare tactics and a push for screening was not coincidental. According to the pharmaceutical trade website Fierce Pharma, Gilead's hepatitis blockbusters at the time were "in freefall, and its pool of eligible patients has shrunk dramatically thanks to the success of its meds". If "all baby boomers got tested for the virus, though? That could help stem the tide —and it's exactly the move the company is recommending with its latest awareness push," continued the site.[iii]
Price was only one problem. The lucrative hepatitis C drugs, for example, had been rushed to market so quickly a severe side effect had been missed: the drugs' penchant for reactivating pre-existing hepatitis B![iv] When the overlooked safety signal surfaced, the FDA had to add to the label a post hoc warning about the dangerous side effect, but the drugs were already widely in use [v], causing critics to wonder if patients had served as "guinea pigs."
In 2017, the New York Times reported additional, undisclosed risks with hepatitis C drugs.[vi] Of 250,000 patients treated with them, 524 experienced liver failure and 165 died, wrote the newspaper. "An additional 1,058 had severe liver injury, and in 761, the drugs appeared not to work."
Other Dangerous Drugs
And there are other popular drugs whose side effects are almost buried by drug makers to protect sales.
* Long-term use of proton pump inhibitors (PPIs), aggressively marketed for gastroesophageal reflux disease and other gastrointestinal disorders, is now linked to the "risk of fractures, pneumonia, Clostridium difficile diarrhea, hypomagnesemia, vitamin B12 deficiency, chronic kidney disease, and dementia," according to the Mayo Clinic Proceedings.[vii]
* The seizure drug Topamax@ was found to present a two to five-fold increase in the risk of cleft lip or cleft palate in infants born to mothers who used the drug in early pregnancy. [viii]
* In 2016, the FDA strengthened warnings about the link of fluoroquinolones (a class of antibiotics that includes Cipro and Levaquin) to "disabling and potentially permanent side effects with tendons, muscles, joints, nerves, and the central nervous system." [ix] Two years later, the agency strengthened warnings about "mental health side effects and serious blood sugar disturbances" with the antibiotics drug class.[x]
* In 2019, the FDA held a Joint Meeting of the Pediatric and Drug Safety and Risk Management Advisory Committees to address growing reports of neuropsychiatric events linked to the asthma drug Singulair@ in pediatric patients, including suicides.[xi] The next year, a "black box warning," the highest warning, was added to the drug, and the FDA said it should "only be used to treat patients with allergic rhinitis and asthma that do not tolerate or do not respond to alternative medications." [xii]
* In 2020, the FDA requested the withdrawal of prescription and over-the-counter (OTC) ranitidine from the market, a heartburn drug sold as Zantac@, due to the presence of a contaminant known as N-Nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA).[xiii]
The prices and risky side effects of some of the most popular medications are business as usual for Big Pharma.
(references in the book)
Only 0.3% of scientists agree that humanity is causing climate change—NOT 97%, as falsely claimed by the U.N.
The Green New Deal, the biggest boondoggle in U.S. history, was doomed to failure. E.V.s are not green, when all inputs are considered, like the mining and processing of lithium and making batteries. And wind and solar will never come close to producing enough juice to keep many more E.V.s than are currently on the road charged. Are natural gas turbines producing electricity to charge an "emission-free" E.V. also emission-free? Or is a third of the power still made in the U.S. by burning coal "emission-free"?
Green is a recipe for darkness. On 90-degree summer days here, the power company is pleased that people do not use electric stoves or clothes dryers to avoid "brownouts" from ubiquitous A.C. use, with very few cars needing to be charged.
Yet the climate change cult is in control, and the profitable schemes continue.
Transgender disadvantages by Mike Adams
#1. The surgery goes horribly wrong, and you're left with NO libido at all, permanently.
#2. You decide later you want to switch back but can't because the surgery is irreversible.
#3. You have horrific scars that make you feel unattractive and damaged.
#4. The hormone treatments wind up giving you cancer.
#5. You have problems urinating for the rest of your life.
#6. The doctors conned and coerced you into it as a child or adolescent, and now you realize it was criminal of them, and you can't undo it.
#7. Social media brainwashed you into it, and now you suffer from depression and anxiety.
#8. The surgery destroys your ability to procreate (chemical castration or infertility).
#9. You realize you've wasted tens (or even hundreds) of thousands of dollars to pretend you switched genders.
#10. You wind up blind and with brain damage from the drugs (side effect of puberty blockers).
#11. You get a fatal infection from the gender-bending drugs.
A reader tells me about mercury amalgam removal and 5-G
A good friend felt as though he was dying slowly. Lost all energy, uncomfortable daily, couldn't sleep— you name it. His surgeon wife took him to every doc she could think of. Eventually, all the docs and she— began to believe he was psycho rather than medically ill. He would end up in Germany, where all his amalgam fillings were removed. They said he felt better in a week or so, but he told me he felt like a new person within two hours!!! He was practically doing cartwheels, so much so that his wife, by now a total skeptic of his ailments and a total believer in strictly Western medicine, had hers removed as well! She hasn't even felt sick but noticed an improvement in her overall well-being. They've both become firm believers in the RIFE machine, several other crazy-sounding devices, grounding, eastern herbal medicinals, and all things "woo-woo." His entire issue was amalgam fillings and an extreme sensitivity to 5G. *He knew the DAY my hubs installed some techno thing to speed up our internet. He called days later asking whether we had installed anything 5G, saying he could no longer sleep on that side of his house! We are neighbors.
I know that I am an acquired taste.
The friends I cherish are the ones who tell me when I am wrong so I can sharpen my messages against their critiques. The rule here is that you can be as pushy as you want, but if I suspect you are insincere, I kick you off. It is free speech--sharp sticks are tolerated. When you test my assumptions, we get a chance to learn from each other. When I was writing Butchered by "Healthcare," I had an excellent critic (thanks, M!) who treated me like a retarded stepson. She always got the message across, and I was never offended after getting used to her.
Mistletoe reverses certain cancers.
Dr. Nasha Winters, coauthor of Mistletoe and the Emerging Future of Integrative Oncology, reviews some of the benefits of this ancient herb in the modern world of oncology. Her book is at Anthromed.org, and her Mercola interview is here.
You should have a spider sense about organ donation.
On 'The People's Testament,' Dr. Paul Byrne warns about organ donation and diagnosis of brain death. To avoid trouble, you should have a proper power of attorney, a written statement that you want to be treated regardless of circumstances, and a person who is designated responsible if you are incapacitated. He must be the only one who can change your document. (Basic lesson: the male gender pronoun refers to both sexes. You should not subscribe to the creeping “he/she” or “they” idiocy. When this is extrapolated, it ends in "transgender.”)
Aspartame and cancer”
Dr. John Olney, who founded the field of neuroscience called excitotoxicity, attempted to stop the approval of aspartame with Attorney James Turner in 1996. The FDA's toxicologist, Dr. Adrian Gross, told Congress that without a shadow of a doubt, aspartame could cause brain tumors and brain cancer and that it violated the Delaney Amendment, which forbids putting anything in food that is known to cause cancer. According to the top doctors and researchers on this issue, aspartame causes headaches, memory loss, seizures, vision loss, coma, and cancer. It worsens or mimics the symptoms of such diseases and conditions as fibromyalgia, M.S., lupus, ADD, diabetes, Alzheimer's, chronic fatigue, and depression. Further dangers highlighted are that aspartame liberates free methyl alcohol. The resulting chronic methanol poisoning affects the dopamine system of the brain, causing addiction. Methanol, or wood alcohol, constitutes one-third of the aspartame molecule and is classified as a severe metabolic poison and narcotic. How's that Diet Coke treating you now?
Doomberg switches from Twitter to Substack.
Hamish: How much of this move is tied to the specific ethics of that one platform (Twitter) and that one person running the platform versus a broader philosophical position on how one thinks about the ownership one has over one's audience and the level of control you have?
Doomberg: If the new owner of Twitter had not specifically and proactively throttled all Substack authors, we would almost certainly still be on the platform. It's his private property. He can run his property in any way he sees fit... but the primary driver and the motivation to leave the platform was because of the impact on all of our friends.
Hamish: Notes is small in comparison to Twitter and other social media platforms. It's just beginning; it's a baby, yet you're putting so much of your energy and time there now. But how much do you think of that as a shift of emphasis and investment to this specific short-form content feed versus a more holistic approach to investing in the Substack ecosystem?
Doomberg: It's much more the latter, but we started with zero followers on Twitter, so we're used to building something starting small, and we are beginning not so small on Notes. We have 176,000 emails, which means we have 176,000 potential people to interact with on that platform.
A hard-learned lesson is that you can't make a good deal with a bad person. Whatever you think of the new owner of Twitter, and we don't even need to go down that vertical, the people we have met at Substack have all been genuinely good. And you can make a good deal with good people.
Hamish: You've listed among your key goals "helping other Substackers or helping other Substack writers." Why do you say that?
Doomberg: Well, first of all, it's just a karma thing. We're big believers in surfing the sea of abundance and that the NPV [net present value] of giving is infinite. It costs you nothing to help other people.
But also, the more people who join Substack, i.e., the more authors we help who bring their audiences into the Substack ecosystem, you get that network effect, and maybe one of them sees the [Doomberg] green chicken because of a recommendation, or they see a note or an author they like; or they restack one of our pieces with a compliment. And that's a great way to grow and beat back churn.
And so if there are 30 million subscriptions in Substack today and 2 million of them paid—I don't know the exact numbers, but that feels about right—if that number grows to 250 million subscriptions, is Doomberg better or worse for that? It's better by a lot.
Doomberg: One of the things that we love about Substack is that it's obvious that if somebody is achieving success on Substack, they will eventually get paid, which is just part of the deal. Whereas on Twitter, it was all free. It was free-ranging. And so that's why Twitter is trying to pivot to subscriptions and trying to pay creators. It is not how that entire ecosystem was born nor evolved, so it's a much more abrupt change.
Dialysis companies are a scam.
Dialysis is 7.5 percent of Medicare spending and nearly 1% of the federal budget.
Investigative reporter and author Tom Mueller has dedicated his latest book to pulling back the curtain on the dirty underbelly of the kidney dialysis industry. The book, How to Make a Killing: Blood, Death and Dollars in American Medicine, will be available for sale in bookstores on August 1, 2023. If you have a loved one receiving kidney dialysis at centers run by either DaVita or Fresenius, we urge you to stop what you're doing, buy this book, and read it from cover to cover. The book presents nothing short of an indictment of rabid capitalism run amok, effectively turning what should be a life-saving branch of medicine into a criminal enterprise.
DaVita and Fresenius are a duopoly, controlling about 80 percent of the 6,900 dialysis centers across America, writes Mueller. According to an economist, Ryan McDevitt, who has extensively researched the results of this consolidation and spoke on the record with Mueller, this is what happens when an independent dialysis center is acquired by the duopoly:
"When DaVita and Fresenius acquire independent facilities, they start implementing their best practices, at least from their viewpoint, which means maximizing profits. So they're pumping patients full of drugs. They're cutting back staffing ratios. All the things that make a business really profitable and productive, they're doing. Unfortunately, we find this has severe consequences for patients. Death rates go up, hospitalization rates go up, transplant rates fall, and so on. Any measure that could get worse pretty much got worse, after the big chains acquired independent facilities."
The American Society of Nephrology (ASN) states that the annual economic burden of ESRD is $32 billion. On average, patients with end-stage kidney disease (ESKD) spend $14,399 each month on all Medicare, Medicaid and private insurance plans cover most of the health care costs of dialysis. Most people who are starting dialysis can get Medicare insurance, usually after a waiting period of three months.
The U.S. hemodialysis and peritoneal dialysis market size was valued at USD 36.21 billion in 2022 and is projected to expand at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 6.10% from 2023 to 2030.
In 1972, President Nixon and Congress signed a bill ensuring free dialysis and renal transplants for U.S. citizens. On average, Medicare covers 80% of dialysis costs. Medicare covers most of the costs for kidney transplants, and Medicare B covers 80% of immunosuppressant medication costs. Feb 25, 2022
Number of kidney dialysis clinics: There are an estimated 7,500 clinics providing kidney dialysis services in the United States. Average annual receipts per clinic are $3.3 million, and they have an 18% net profit margin. Jul 29, 2019
Kidney dialysis life expectancy in the elderly depends on other medical conditions and how well they follow their treatment plan. The average life expectancy is 5-10 years but many live on dialysis for 20 or 30 years. Speak to your healthcare provider about how to stay healthy on dialysis.Sep 23, 2021
The Department of Justice announced that DaVita will pay $350 million to resolve allegations that the company violated the False Claims Act by paying kickbacks to induce physicians to refer patients to DaVita-owned dialysis centers to receive treatment for end-stage kidney disease.
The turnover rate for DaVita dialysis staff says it all. It is 70 % a year.
Vegan review (sorry, Martha)
In 1944, Donald Watson watched a pig being slaughtered. This experience convinced him that animal life was sacred and should never be sacrificed for human ends. He decided never to eat animal products again and coined the idea and word "vegan" for his followers. According to prominent plant eater Michael Gregor, acolytes must eat "nothing with a mother or a face." Some of them even avoid leather belts—or killing insects.
It was a new philosophy that had never before or since been successfully implemented for large groups. People who eat solely plants have trouble with long-term health. But they never seem to have trouble with the wholesale slaughter of animals like mice and insects by modern agriculture.
There is, of course, an entire subcontinent of "vegetarians" in India who traditionally consume eggs, cheese, milk, and sometimes fish. But modern America is where the vegan fad rooted the most deeply. Even here, despite cult members shaming backsliders who are caught buying so much as an egg or two, few can continue their strict habit for more than a few years. There are claims about professional athletes who can sustain a vegan living, but they are rare, possibly mythical animals.
Here is a post of mine about the problems with seed oils in our diets: Mercola discovers the Rosetta Stone. This is another critical health issue that is slowly being recognized. For a window into the keto/carnivore world, neurosurgeon Dr. Chaffee says that plants are trying to kill you. He eats primarily beef. I am considering modeling him because diets like his improve Parkinson's, arthritis, and elevated glycosylated hemoglobin, a pre-diabetic marker. I have all three.
How hormone prescribing was suppressed
Only twenty percent of our senior women and even fewer men take hormones. Outside Europe and the U.S., usage is rare. How is this possible? These drugs' "bio-identical" or "human" forms are not promoted because they can rarely be patented to make big money. But they work better and are safer than other medications such as statins, antidepressants, many cancer treatments, and the proprietary imitation hormones made by big Pharma. These industry cash cows are supported and protected, while natural hormones are defamed and restricted. Chasing profits has ruined science.
To explain, here is how the Women's Health Initiative study (WHI) was hijacked and sabotaged patient care. This enormous National Institutes of Health trial (published in 2002) examined 160,000 women aged 59 to 79. It found increased breast cancer for patients taking Premarin, the horse urine estrogen, and Provera, the patented synthetic progesterone. However, those who took only Premarin had a decrease in breast cancer. This proved Provera was responsible, and other trials confirmed it. The WHI should have ended this medication's use for long-term applications, but it did not.
The WHI took 11 years, and by its completion, the two drugs it examined were obsolete. However, the study statisticians claimed they uncovered critical dangers, and the authors sensationalized and embellished their threadbare findings. Medical academics buffed their reputations by declaring they could also see the emperor's clothes. The media joined the parade—baloney sells advertising—and the public soon believed all female hormones were killers. This "man bites dog" story still terrifies everyone. Once a bell is rung, it cannot be unrung.
In the public and medical eye, hormones were branded with cancer, dementia, and other problems. One reviewer wrote that the study authors were "overselling hysteria." In Medscape, John Goldman, MD, wrote, "[The study] has undermined the credibility of the research and the medical community as a whole." Abraham Morgentaler, MD, and others (Harvard) explained how the panic was generated:
The (WHI)… reported an increased risk of adverse events of only 19 events per 10,000 person-years of exposure for the estrogen–progesterone arm [Premarin-Provera] compared with the placebo. This means that if one woman in every generation of a family used estrogen–progesterone for ten years, it would take 50 generations, or about 1,000 years, to see one extra adverse event in that family. The result may have been statistically significant, but they were clinically meaningless.
This was excerpted from Hormone Secrets. Read the rest free here.
I am a grammar Nazi.
We all know them. Those people who fly into apoplectic fits of rage at a misplaced comma. People who can't countenance a misspelled word. People who will dismiss entire arguments because of a greengrocer's apostrophe." (from Corbett Report).
This is true but misses the point. Grammar Nazis produce work that is easier to read.
Drag your friends into my party, and if you want to flatter me, buy a paid subscription. I promise not to ghost you even if Substack gets eaten by a predator. I have my resolve, my email list, and many more subjects that I am compelled to write about. ❤️❤️
“Legal” disclaimer: This information is not medical advice—use it at your own risk and under provider supervision. And, I claim no copyright. As the Lebowski said, you can take any rug in the house, with or without attribution.
You may like this; I did:
Surviving Healthcare stats
James Roguski boosted me with an interview; then, I wrote a few strong posts. In one 24-hour period, I got about 200 new subscribers.
Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn Center — Live Not by Lies
But we can do - everything! - even if we comfort and lie to ourselves that this is not so. It is not “they” who are guilty of everything, but we ourselves, only we!
And so: We need not be the first to set out on this path, Ours is but to join! The more of us set out together, the thicker our ranks, the easier and shorter will this path be for us all! If we become thousands—they will not cope, they will be unable to touch us. If we will grow to tens of thousands—we will not recognize our country!
But if we shrink away, then let us cease complaining that someone does not let us draw breath—we do it to ourselves! Let us then cower and hunker down, while our comrades the biologists bring closer the day when our thoughts can be read and our genes altered.
And if from this also we shrink away, then we are worthless, hopeless, and it is of us that Pushkin asks with scorn:
Why offer herds their liberation?
Their heritage each generation
The yoke with jingles, and the whip.