Category Archives: Political Commentary

Medical Incompetence And Junk Science

This is a frightening story. It’s why I try to avoid hospitals at all costs.

I asked Dr. G, who is now his personal cardiologist, if we needed to do anything to prevent his potassium from going so low again. He said, “If he stays off that drug, he will be fine.” To think that he went through all this because his GP gave him a drug to prevent heart attacks!! What a crazy world we live in.

…The blood pressure medication Dean had taken for 20 years was hydrochlorothiazide. It is the most commonly prescribed medication for blood pressure, not because it is safe or effective, but because it is the one insurance companies choose to pay for!

The dietary and general medical ignorance on display, and the rules, are almost criminal. And I’m sure this is the kind of treatment that my father got when he died of his second heart attack, in 1979. And I consider my high blood pressure (with which I’ve been living otherwise healthily for many decades) to be less risk than most of the prescribed “treatments.”

Obama’s “Scandal-Free Administration”

As regular readers here know, it’s a myth:

All of these scandals were accompanied by a lack of transparency so severe that 47 of Mr. Obama’s 73 inspectors general signed an open letter in 2014 decrying the administration’s stonewalling of their investigations.

One reason for Mr. Obama’s penchant for secrecy is his habit of breaking rules—from not informing Congress of the dubious prisoner swap involving Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl and the Taliban, to violating restrictions on cash transfers to Iran as part of a hostage-release deal.

The president’s journalistic allies are happily echoing the “scandal-free” myth.

If it was “scandal free,” it was only because the anointed media refused to report it honestly.

Gene Cernan

He never wanted to be the last man on the moon, and he almost certainly won’t be, but it’s a shame that he didn’t live to see the next man (or woman) kick up the regolith.

But he didn’t cover himself in glory, or make it more likely to happen, when he testified in ignorance against private spaceflight back in 2010 (the headline of the story is incorrect; they weren’t “defending spaceflight” — they were unwittingly attacking it). He was a hero of the Cold War, and should be honored for that, but his passing shouldn’t be an excuse for a new bout of misguided Apolloism from conservatives.

[Update a while later]

“It appears we are condemned to forego the human exploration of the solar system until the full measure of the first generation of space explorers has passed.” It didn’t have to be, and some of that generation, including Cernan (and Walt Cunningham), didn’t help.

Trump And The Media

deserve each other:

And this has the effect of inoculating Trump against real scandals — and those are inevitable — down the line. So much so that I almost wonder if this wasn’t actually a Trump Organization “false flag” designed to discredit press attacks.

All I know is that I’ve done nothing to deserve either of them.

[Mid-afternoon update]

Geoengineering, Space Tech, And Societal Risk

Some interesting thoughts from Oliver Morton (who I unfortunately missed having lunch with in London last week, maybe next time):

AI worries people more, but geoengineering seems pretty well placed in second place. (Incidentally, what’s up with space as the top societal risk enhancer? If AI takes the laurels in terms of economy, geopolitics and tech, how come space outdoes it in the exacerbation of societal risks? A mystery for another time…)

Indeed. I have some ideas, and that some it arises from ignorance and too much bad SF in television and movies, but I’ll let the commenters have at it.

Pity Eric Holthaus

He’s having a climate meltdown. Which reminds me: Did he ever get that vasectomy?

[Update mid morning]