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Daily Archives: October 29, 2015Image
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Daily Dose with Jack Harrison
It’s called “conventional wisdom,” but I’ve got a much better name for it: perpetual stupidity.
Docs continue to offer knee-jerk treatments not because they work… not because they save lives… and not because they’re needed.
No, they do it simply because “that’s how it’s always been done.”
This perpetual stupidity isn’t just wrong. It’s DEAD wrong, as new research reveals once again how “conventional wisdom” is KILLING patients.
And if you’re about to go in for surgery — whether it’s a minor outpatient procedure or a major operation — this is one study you have to see.
Because if you’re on beta-blockers right now, or if your doc tells you to take the drugs before surgery, your odds of dropping dead afterward jump through the roof!
Beta-blockers slow the body’s response to stress. The drugs can choke off the flow of adrenaline and slow the pumping of the heart.
The “conventional wisdom” is that since the trauma of even minor surgery can get the heart racing faster than an Indy car, beta-blockers can help keep the body calm.
You see where this is going, right?
Turns out there’s a reason you’ve got a built-in response to stress and trauma: YOU NEED IT!
When you block that response or slow it down, your body can’t fully protect itself. And when your body can’t fully protect itself, your operation could go badly wrong.
As a result, beta-blockers won’t cut the risk of heart complications during surgery. They’ll INCREASE the risk of complications such as stroke, heart attack and even death within 30 days of the procedure by a shocking 50 percent.
And we’re not talking about the risk of heart surgery here. The study of some 55,000 people excluded heart surgery and looked at everything else — so you could go in for, say, a gall bladder procedure and end up suffering a heart attack if you’re on beta-blockers.
So don’t give in to the perpetual stupidity. If you’ve got surgery on the calendar and your doctor’s office calls and tells you they want you on beta-blockers, get a second or even third opinion.
And if you’re already on these drugs, maybe it’s time to get off — because it turns out you probably don’t even need them in the first place! Learn more in this free report from the Daily Dose archives.
Blocking the blockers,
Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, right, and John King, who will succeed Duncan as secretary in December, visited a D.C. school this month. (Evelyn Hockstein/For The Washington Post)
Fourth-graders and eighth-graders across the United States lost ground on national mathematics tests this year, the first declines in scores since the federal government began administering the exams in 1990.
Reading performance also was sobering: Eighth-grade scores dropped,according to results released Wednesday, while fourth-grade performance was stagnant compared with 2013, the last time students took the test.
And the tests again show large achievement gaps between the nation’s white and minority students as well as between poor and affluent children, an indication that the nation’s disadvantaged students are not gaining ground despite more than a decade of federal law designed to boost their achievement.
Researchers have long cautioned that it is difficult to identify the cause of any fluctuation in scores on this testing program, the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), which is also known as the Nation’s Report Card. But many people look to NAEP scores as an important barometer of U.S. student achievement because they are the only exams that have been given nationwide over a long period of time, capturing the performance of rich and poor children of all ethnicities in urban, suburban and rural communities.
The year’s declines come amid a period of great tumult in American public education.
Recent demographic shifts mean that schools are grappling with the challenge of educating an increasing number of students who come from low-income families and are learning how to speak English. And in recent years, most states have adopted sweeping educational policy changes, including teacher evaluations tied to test scores and Common Core academic standards that have changed what and how students learn in the classroom.
U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan defended those policies in a call with reporters Tuesday, saying that massive changes in schools often lead to a temporary drop in test scores while teachers and students adjust. But the new standards and other policies, Duncan said, are poised to improve student achievement — and students’ lives — in the long terdatam.
“Big change never happens overnight,” Duncan said. “I’m confident that over the next decade, if we stay committed to this change, we will see historic improvements.”
Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers, said that slipping NAEP scores are evidence that the nation’s focus on using standardized tests to judge teachers and schools has failed. The scores should trigger a change of course, she said, pointing to the Obama administration’s acknowledgment that students are spending too much time taking standardized tests of dubious value.
“Not only is there plenty of anecdotal evidence that our kids have suffered, these latest NAEP scores again show that the strategy of testing and sanctioning, coupled with austerity, does not work,” Weingarten said in a statement.
Students at U.S. public and private schools have taken the NAEP every two years since the early 1990s. The exam is the country’s most consistent measure of K-12 progress, and because it has been in place for so long, it can offer insight into the effects of demographic and policy changes.
But researchers caution that deeper analysis is needed to understand the potential causes of this year’s drop. And they said it’s too soon to tell whether the results are the beginning of a trend or just a blip.
The new results — on a scale of 0 to 500 — show two-point losses in eighth-grade math and reading and a one-point drop in fourth-grade math. Fourth-grade reading scores were statistically unchanged.
Scores have risen considerably since the first exams in the 1990s and, despite this year’s declines, are still among the highest posted by American students.
The 2015 scores show that 64 percent of fourth-graders and 66 percent of eighth-graders are not considered proficient in reading. In math, 60 percent of fourth-graders and 67 percent of eighth-graders are not considered proficient.
The new data also show how states and 21 large cities fared. Individual state performance mirrored the nation’s, with more states showing scores that dropped rather than increased. The news from cities was somewhat more positive: On average, performance among urban school systems was flat compared with 2013.
Maryland had some of the largest drops in the nation and was the only state to see declines in both subjects at both grade levels. They came as Maryland tested many more students with disabilities and non-native English speakers than before, bringing it in line with other states.
The District bucked the national trend, posting some of the biggest increases in the country at the fourth-grade level. Eighth-grade scores were flat. It was the second time in a row that the city, whose school system long had a reputation as one of the nation’s most troubled, has stood out for its improvement on the NAEP.
D.C. Schools Chancellor Kaya Henderson attributed the success in part to the city’s early adoption of the Common Core State Standards. She also credited consistency of leadership — Henderson is in her sixth year as chancellor — and the city’s investment in universal preschool for 3- and 4-year-olds.
Virginia’s scores were virtually unchanged from 2013.
The highest-scoring state in three of the four tests was Massachusetts, which has often topped NAEP rankings. Minnesota, New Hampshire and Vermont also were top performers in 2015. New Mexico and Mississippi were among the lowest-scoring.
Matthew Chingos, a researcher at the Urban Institute, said it is not very useful to compare overall state scores to one another because states are educating such different populations of students. A state with a more challenging student population can be doing a relatively good job with those students but still trail states with student populations that are whiter or more affluent.
For example, in 2013, fourth-grade students who were learning English as a second language scored higher in Texas than they did in Oregon, while other students in the two states scored about the same, according to a brief Chingos published Monday.
But Texas has far more non-native English speakers than Oregon, so its overall NAEP score was lower.
“If you want to compare across states, if you want to say how kids in Massachusetts versus Mississippi are doing, you really do need to make these adjustments,” said Chingos.
“It can have a big impact on which states are doing better and which are doing worse.”
By CASEY HARPER FOR DAILYCALLER.COM, see video
Today I was given an assignment in school that questioned my faith and told me that God was not real. Our teacher had started off saying that the assignment had been giving problems all day. We were asked to take a poll to say whether God is fact, opinion or a myth and she told anyone who said that a fact or opinion was wrong and that God is only a myth.
The West Memorial Junior High School teacher refused to consider the students’ position when they objected.
She started saying, telling kids that they were completely wrong and that when kids would argue, she had told them that we would get in trouble. When I tried to argue, she told me to prove it. And I tried to reference things such as the Bible and stories that I’ve read before from people who have died and went to heaven but have come back and told their stories, and she told me that both were just things that people were doing to get attention.
The 7th grader said the teacher threatened the students with a failing grade if they believe that God is real.
In a shocking speech Friday at the University of Chicago Law School, FBI Director James Comey hit back at President Barack Obama’s early release of drug traffickers and the Black Lives Matter movement.
The speech, which was posted on the FBI’s website, detailed Comey’s experience tackling the drug trade in 1990s Richmond, Virginia, and how supposed inequalities in policing are more to do with the neighborhoods where drug crime happens than police racism.
“Here in Chicago, just last month, more than 50 people were shot in just one weekend,” Comey told the audience.
“The next weekend, the numbers rose even higher. An 11-month-old boy was shot in the hip. His mother and grandmother were shot and killed right next to him. In cities across the country, we are seeing an explosion of senseless violence.”
Comey made clear who suffered most from this violence.
“When I worked as a prosecutor in Richmond, Virginia, in the 1990s, that city, like so much of America, was experiencing horrific levels of violent crime,” Comey said.
“But to describe it that way obscures an important truth: For the most part, white people weren’t dying; black people were dying … if you were black and poor, it didn’t matter whether you were a player in the drug trade or not, because violent crime dominated your life, your neighborhood, your world.”
Comey then took an oblique shot at Obama’s new drug sentencing initiatives that will release thousands of “non-violent” drug offenders beginning Oct. 30.
“The notion of a ‘non-violent’ drug gang member would have elicited a tired laugh from a resident of Richmond’s worst neighborhoods,” Comey said. “Because the entire trade was a plague of violence that strangled Richmond’s black neighborhoods. The lookouts, runners, mill-workers, enforcers and dealers were all cut from the same suffocating cloth.”
Comey then took his biggest swipe, at the expense of Black Lives Matter protesters.
“As we did that work, I remember being asked why we were doing so much prosecuting in black neighborhoods and locking up so many black men. After all, Richmond was surrounded by areas with largely white population,” Comey said.
“My answer was simple: We are there in those neighborhoods because that’s where people are dying. These are the guys we lock up because they are the predators choking off the life of a community,” he explained. “We did this work because we believed that all lives matter, especially the most vulnerable.”
Ouch. In just one speech, Comey obliterated much of the mythos upon which the president’s ill-considered crime policies are based.
We wonder whether or not Comey will be able to keep his job. We certainly hope so, especially after a brilliant speech like that — the FBI director’s job is supposed to be shielded from politics.
However, we all know how Barack Obama feels about the truth and the lack of tolerance he has for those who tell it.
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- Note taken from Health Sciences Institute e-Alert – Jenny Thompson – 10/26/15
I don’t think the moon landing got this much press!
You probably saw it covered by CNN, The New York Times and just about every other media outlet you can imagine. The American Cancer Society has just revised its breast cancer screening guidelines, claiming you can start mammograms later and get them less often.
One newspaper even called the change “drastic.”
But the only thing that’s drastic is the bullseye groups like ACS keep painting right on millions of American women’s breasts.
Because all these new guidelines prove is that ACS and the billion-dollar cancer industry are just as obsessed as ever with mammograms.
And they’ll stop at nothing to get millions of us to risk our good health — and even our lives — with dangerous tests we don’t need.
New guidelines, same old havoc
Getting it a little less wrong isn’t the same thing as getting it right.
And that’s the best thing you can say about ACS’s new breast cancer screening guidelines.
They’re a little less wrong than they used to be — but still dead wrong and downright dangerous for millions of us.
You see, for years ACS has been recommending annual mammograms, starting when you turn 40. And they kept pushing these screenings even though research proved that breast tissue in younger women is too dense for mammograms to be reliable.
In fact, a study from the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force found that for every 10,000 breast screenings for women in their 40s, one life is saved. Meanwhile, thousands of women are subjected to dangerous radiation exposure, stressful false-positives, and barbaric treatments they never needed (more on that in a moment).
So faced with the overwhelming evidence — the same evidence I’ve been sharing for years — that “early and often” mammograms do more harm than good, ACS did what it does best.
Nothing. Or, in this case, next to nothing.
According to the new ACS screening guidelines:
- Instead of starting mammograms at 40, you’ll start them at 45.
- ACS is still recommending mammograms every year from 45-54.
- Once you’re 55, you can start getting them every other year “for as long as a woman is in good health.” In other words, practically forever.
- You can skip the manual breast checks during routine physicals (I don’t think any of us will miss those).
Does that sound like “drastic” change to you? Hardly.
The fact it, ACS isn’t abandoning the mammogram ship at all. They’re still recommending them to millions of women who don’t need them, and the words “mammogram” or “mammography” appear a whopping 164 times in the new screening guidelines.
And that means ACS, other cancer groups, and thousands of mainstream docs will still be pushing the same three debunked mammogram myths on women everywhere.
Myth #1: Mammograms save lives. A study published in the British Medical Journal last year followed nearly 90,000 Canadians for 25 years and found that those who got mammograms had the exact same rate of breast cancer deaths as those who skipped them.
The only difference? Women who received mammograms were far more likely to be over-diagnosed and sent for radiation, chemo and even mastectomies they might not have needed.
Previous studies have found there is no advantage in finding breast cancers with a mammogram when they are too small to detect in an exam done by hand. Plus, there’s the fact that one in five cancers found by mammograms are the kind that should not be treated.
Myth #2: Mammograms are safe and effective. As I’ve told you before, mammograms require a brutal squashing of your breasts that can prompt the spread of existing cancer. And the radiation from mammograms can help plant the seeds of cancer.
The Institute of Medicine found that thousands of cases of breast cancer a year are linked to medical radiation, like the kind you get in mammograms.
Myth #3: Mammograms are the only way to catch cancer early. To groups like ACS, screening means one thing — mammograms. There’s no mention in the guidelines of digital thermography or ultrasounds — two safer, radiation-free and more effective types of screening.
But maybe the biggest myth is that mainstream doctors are going to stop forcing early mammograms on us just because of a slight change of heart from ACS.
When the USPSTF changed its guidelines in 2009 to put the kibosh on routine screenings before age 50, one hyperventilating authority actually accused the group of murder! You can’t get more dramatic than that!
Look, it doesn’t matter if you get screened at 18 or 80, mammography is backward and barbaric.
But one thing there should be no confusion about whatsoever is the importance of doing a self-breast exam every month. And that’s something any trained nurse can show you how to do.
To Your Good Health,
“New breast cancer guidelines: screen later, less often” Elizabeth Cohen, October 20, 2015, CNN, cnn.com
450 lucky dogs that were once homeless, now live together in a sanctuary in Serbia. A man who may seem ordinary is truly an angel that walks among us. Sasa Pejčić couldn’t stand a single dog suffering, or pick to save a few, so guess what…he saved them all! This amazing place is run thanks to donations by The Harmony Fund, an American based charity that aids small animal rescue havens like this one. Watch this incredible video of Sasa’s happy pack. You may need to grab some tissues for the overflow of happy tears!
Read more at http://blog.theanimalrescuesite.com/dodo-dog-450/#5VcXziKUKgXzv2mU.99