White Coat Underground

Archives for May, 2010

In memoriam

According to my family’s recollection, none of our relatives has died fighting for the United States. My grandmother was from a small town in what is now Belarus and most people in the family were born, lived, and died there. One of her brothers, though, did something remarkable. If family memories are correct, he left…

Blogkeeping

I’m off to watch my daughter march in some sort of neo-fascist parade (Daisy scouts) and then off to the hospital, but first some quick housekeeping issues: You can subscribe to WCU’s feed here. You can have updates delivered by email. There is a facebook page on which updates are posted. The PalCast is on permanent…

A cruel hoax

As summer approaches and people spend more time outdoors, many parts of the country will start to see cases of Lyme disease. It is carried by deer ticks and is especially common in the Northeast. Tick bites often go unnoticed, but the rash of Lyme disease is pretty characteristic and occurs in about 70-80% of…

As my regular readers know, I’m not a big fan of our current health care system. Our bloated, industry-driven system manages to deliver less effective care at a higher cost than most other industrialized nations. The system is Byzantine, unnavigable, and dangerous, and is kept that way in the name of the Holy Market. But…

Quack updates

A few news items of import: Andrew Wakefield, formerly a licensed to practice medicine in England, has officially lost that privilege.  Others have covered this more comprehensively than I’d ever be able to, but this is big news.  Wakefield is the father of the modern anti-vaccine movement.  His study of a putative relationship between the…

Too many too soon?

Too many too soon: that’s Jenny McCarthy’s rallying cry.  The disingenuous activists of the antivaccine movement use this motto as a foot in the door, claiming that they are not truly “anti-vaccine”, just pro-”safe vaccines”.  This is despite the fact that vaccines have proved themselves to be one of the safest and most effective medical…

Mmmm…. #baconblogwars

Of all the crappy things I eat, bacon is probably the crappiest. Thankfully, I eat it only rarely, but if you were to put a pound of cooked bacon in front of me, I would eat a pound of cooked bacon and ask for more. But since I want to live long enough to watch…

I hate writing about politics, but the mainstreaming of racism since the election of Obama makes writing about politics a moral imperative. We’ll start with Dr. Rand Paul, who is running for one Kentucky’s senate seats. The usual racist dog whistles are apparently too subtle for Paul, which is good. I’d rather a politician be…

A challenge to homeopaths

Dana Ullman, a Huffington Post blogger who never fails to bring the stupid, has now gathered all the idiocy he can find, put it in a wheelbarrow, and dumped it into his latest piece up at HuffPo. In this piece, he calls on readers to stop all medications (except, presumably, the voodoo potions he approves…

If there were a parallel universe, and in that universe medicine, instead of being based on science, was simply a gemisch of various folkways and superstitions, medicine in that universe would be called “naturopathy”. “Remember. Hey, how come this never works with water?” I’ve discussed the absurdity of naturopathy nux vomica ad nauseum, but a…