Archive for January 6th, 2011

Don’t Let The Bedbugs Bite

No, really.

And the Denver Post doesn’t seem to have any answers.  In a 760-word article about the problem, insecticides, the one thing that actually killed the bugs, are dismissed because the bugs seem to have mutated around them.  And we are told, “get over it,” rather than invent new pesticides.

Bedbugs are easy.  The bite, cause welts, and they hurt.  But they don’t actually carry disease.  Mosquitoes carry disease, and millions have died because we won’t spray them in Africa, either.

They’re also more invasive and troubling than coyotes, another old-new urban pest that the local authorities tell us we can’t do anything about, although we did something about them for decades.

Silent Spring has been thoroughly discredited, but its effects in the public imagination live on, to our detriment.

The point of civilization is to civilize, not to live in a higher-tech, but all-too-literal, state of nature.

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Donald Berwick’s America

As we all know, President Obama’s choice to head Medicare and Medicaid, Donald Berwick, is a big fan of the British National Health Service.

Powerline has made a practice of chronicling the NHS’s success, from dead babies, lack of basic diagnostic equipment, patients texting their own neglect, others not being able to do so, and tales of horror from those who made it here, to safety.

In case all that hasn’t convinced you that maybe we could do better with some other model, perhaps this will.  Britain is apparently unable to cope with the flu, H1N1:

The deaths are mostly among children and young adults, with five cases in the under-fives and eight cases among those aged five to 14.

The release of the HPA figures comes as hospitals across the country begin cancelling planned operations to free up intensive care beds to deal with rising numbers of seriously ill flu patients.

Managers of hospitals in Newcastle, Manchester, Norfolk, Leicester and London have already declared they have had to put some elective operations on hold, including heart surgery. That list is expected to grow.  (emphasis edded)

And this:

In one of the worst flu outbreaks in recent years, surgeries in Oxfordshire, Kent, Derbyshire, Hertfordshire and Gloucestershire have all reported vaccine shortages.

Dr Peter Holden, a GP in Matlock, said: “In Derbyshire – with just over one million people in total – we have 1,300 doses left.

H1N1 was last year’s flu scare, which for a number of reasons, never materialized here.  But with not one, but two flu cycles to prepare, Britain’s medical system couldn’t produce enough vaccine, and is now having to postpone heart surgery because of the rush of flu cases.

How long before Berwick’s recess appointment expires?

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