U.S. Public Schools in Free Fall: A Tragi-Comedy in Three Acts

Act 1 —January 18, 2017 —Confirmation hearing for Department of Education Secretary nominee Betsy DeVos in front of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions: A sampling of the future Secretary of Education’s deep thinking on and incisive grasp of the thorny issues involved in educating America’s children:

Senator Chris Murphy: “Do you think guns have any place in or around schools?”

DeVos: “I think probably there [referring to a school in Wyoming], I would imagine that there is probably a gun in the school to protect from potential grizzlies.”

97 total views, no views today

Read More

Guess Who Wants to Get Their Hands on your DNA? With the Help of the Supreme Court, They May Succeed

Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water…not so fast. The first shoe dropped when profit-making companies assailed our eardrums and our intellect to convince us that handing them our DNA for permanent inclusion on their DNA database was a dandy idea. We shredded that hokum in “Hijacking Your DNA – It Could Cost You Your Freedom”. As we pointed out, the two most disastrous consequences of paying one of these outfits to “unlock the secrets of your DNA” — your DNA becomes permanently ensconced on their DNA database giving them co-ownership of what makes you tick and once you surrender your DNA, it might (without your permission or knowledge) be accessed by the long arm of the 17 intelligence agencies that undergird the surveillance state.

84 total views, no views today

Read More

How $6.13 Billion is Turning Healthy Americans Into Patients While Drug Companies are Rolling in Dough

“Abdominal discomfort or pain? Bloating? Constipation? It’s time to Talk to Your Doctor About IBS”
—Novartis Ad

Once upon a time, a rich and greedy captain of industry who headed one of the largest drug companies in the U.S. bemoaned the fact that he was forced to sell his drugs only to sick people, a very small share of the consumer market. What he yearned to do was to sell his potions to everyone, increasing the market for his drugs to infinity.

96 total views, no views today

Read More

Hijacking Your DNA: It Could Cost You Your Freedom

“Police used DNA info on genealogy website to track down Golden State Killer suspect” (CNN, 4/28/18). At first glance, a triumph for law enforcement. Not so fast. The method used to identify the suspect—DNA matching — raises troubling questions about a law enforcement agency getting way over its skis. It was not the suspect’s DNA that provided the clue to his identity but that of a relative. The DNA was culled from a genealogy database that didn’t (because it didn’t have to) inform the relative that his (or her) DNA might wind up as part of a law enforcement operation and then on a government database permanently.

107 total views, 1 views today

Read More