Sunday, September 25, 2011

"Doctor Cell Phone" will get nursed along by the FDA

Could your phone cut the umbilical cord as well? That seems easy enough.
    (Sept. 25, 2013) Oh great: Today, the Food and Drug Administration will officially begin approving some cell phone apps as medical devices without requiring authentication. This would be welcome news, if the FDA hadn't shown itself to be totally incompetent. And these are apps, the federal agency admits, that pose "moderate" or "high" risks to users. WTF? Could the woman pictured above, who just pounded her baby with sonar, have caused some harm? Who knows?
    In three previous blog posts, we have documented the appalling failure of the FDA's approval process for  medical devices that multibillion-dollar multinational corporations spent years developing. Time after time, despite a protocol that requires extensive clinical trials and "documentation" by these profit-crazy firms, the devices that the FDA has enshrined as "safe and effective" have proven to be unsafe and ineffective. Its "overworked and overextended" staff has a similarly dismal record in its drug-approval charade.That's why we have all those warning letters, recalls and class-action lawsuits: The FDA is a big-time bungler.
   Now they're going to "clear" cell phone apps, with no studies or authentication? Fasten your seatbelts.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Obama's Brewing While America's Stewing

"This stuff makes your feel like you could totally change the world!"

    (sept. 24, 2012) Do you know what's really special if you are unemployed, homeless, hungry, despondent, uneducated, bankrupt, or chronically ill?
    A cold, frosty beer, you clueless dude!
    And President Obama, having utterly failed at every other "solution" to our rapidly imploding country, is busy in his own little White House brewery, concocting an elixir that will make us feel happy and carefree, despite the fact that we are unemployed, homeless, hungry, despondent, uneducated, bankrupt, and chronically ill.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Doughnuts and big dough: Edward Jones' new TV ad whets varied appetites

It's magic: You eat it up (so trustingly!) and Edward Jones gets fatter.
   (Sept. 18, 2014)  Financial services firm Edward Jones is at it again, cultivating its "neighbors helping neighbors"  persona in a new TV ad that is being aggressively aired across the country. In it, a tenderhearted financial advisor accommodates a young couple's schedule by venturing out into the darkness to meet with them at his modest storefront office in a neighborhood strip mall. He is a lonely, noble figure as he earnestly heads along deserted streets toward his destination. As if he isn't adorable enough already, he stops first at a doughnut shop, to sweeten the dealings he'll be proposing to ensure that his wide-eyed clients' financial future is secure and prosperous. ( 
    His own future certainly is, if he follows the script handed down from headquarters. And Edward Jones itself is still thriving, despite having been censured by the Securities and Exchange Commission for failing to disclose kickbacks from selected mutual funds. Several class-action suits involved hundreds of millions of dollars in compensation for angry clients. The firm became notorious for hidden fees and exorbitant commissions. For a couple of years, it backed off , using simple, generic advertising. Now it's reclaimed its former mythology, once again projecting that "It's a Wonderful Life" image. Maybe the Johnny Appleseed ambiance will warm hearts and forge trust once again.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Is There a Dr. Oz in the House? Millions of 'large ladies' eat up his "miracles"

UPDATE Dec 20, 2014: Researchers find most of Oz's remedies to be "bogus."

UPDATE June 17, 2014: Oz was assailed in a Congressional hearing today for his "fraudulent" and "deceptive" claims about weight-loss scams, such as his recent show on "3 Ways to get your fat to eat itself." He defended himself by saying merely that he tends to use "passionate and flowery language." He was warned to tone down his "huckster" approach and to show more respect both for his audience and his medical credentials. He was referred to as a "buffoon" and a "charlatan." The same could be said for members of Congress, but the proof about Oz's disrespect for the truth can be found in Oz1, Oz2 and Oz3, behind the tabs at the top of the page.

Oz says being fat is "the kiss of death." So what is he doing to his wife?
    (Jan 18, 2013) Lisa Oz is smart, beautiful, successful, charming and spiritual. 
    Fans of the "Dr.Oz Show" share many of these qualities, but the Good Doctor says they're not enough. 
    "You need to get rid of all those extra pounds you're hauling around," he says.
    Being overweight doesn't just decimate your self-esteem and limit your lifestyle choices, according to him. "It's a death sentence," he warns.
    Since his debut in September, 2009, he has promoted one "astonishing," "game-changing," "effortless" weight-loss miracle after another. Pills, potions, teas, lotions and exotic remedies from around the globe will bust your belly fat and blast your butt fat even as you "don't lift a finger" and "eat what you want." Be lazy AND skinny, he grins.
    He implores his viewers to lose weight and save their lives. Does he implore his wife?

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Elderly Girl's Ravishing Secrets to High-Spirited Longevity

     Elderly Girl is not even 100 years old yet, but for years, the media have been showing up every time she has a birthday to ask, “What is the secret of your longevity?” 
    Have you ever had some TV reporter, drowning in perfume and made up like a porn star, enter your living quarters and ply you with patronizing, intrusive questions while a gang of technical gorillas blinds you with lights and zooms in like you were some newly discovered virus? Elderly Girl is serving notice that this annual ritual is over. 
    She will share her secrets right now, for all to print out and tape to their boudoir doors, and then she will disappear, forevermore, from the tawdry spotlight of celebrity. One can only tolerate so much curiosity, envy and love.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

You're full of it, lady

Are you a woman, or a luscious, silken, fragrant heap of toxic chemicals?

Scientists say women use hundreds of chemicals on their bodies daily.

    (sept. 2014) Blueberry fingers and cantaloupe toes. How could I have lived so long without longing for, and demanding,  such sweet treats?
    I was flushed with anticipation as I explored a large display of beautifully bottled liquid soaps at Big Lots last month. They were on sale for a dollar. (I later learned that they cost $10 at Kohl's and $5 on Ebay.) Their labels were artful depictions of  Lavender, Peach Mango, Lemon Citrus, Cherry Vanilla and Grapefruit Daisy, among others. The BlueBerry Blossom would look so pretty in my upstairs kitchenette, and the Cucumber Melon was perfect for the color scheme in our main-floor kitchen. I bought one for every sink in our house, and several for my shower stall. I would have a Honeydew Mint bosom and a Lime Banana bum. My days would be a succession of delectable sudsings. 
    Little treats can breathe new life into a routine existence. What a delight to embody the lusciousness of Nature. Kiss me, you fool. Or actually, never mind. I'll kiss myself!
     It wasn't until I'd been using these exquisite products for several days that I idly turned the bottle around, and read the ingredients.
    Oops, I did it again. I got taken in by hype and imagery, which readily shut down the part of my brain that knew the truth. These products were a shocking brew of creepy chemicals, which can zoom straight through your pores into your bloodstream. It wasn't a "simple pleasure" -- it was a complex poison.

Monday, September 5, 2011

"Heroic" pilot takes a nice, long ego trip, and gets rich while he's at it

Sullenberger sullied his name with his shameless opportunism

Dear Sully Sullenberger:
    It was sweet of you to "carefully select" me to receive your leadership DVD  for only $595, plus shipping and handling. Thanks but no thanks. I wouldn't pay $5.95 for it. And anyway, I'm not leadership material.
    I'd rather be a follower, if I could only find a principled, heroic leader. You, sir, don't meet my criteria.
    When you accomplished your "Miracle on the Hudson" in 2009, skillfully landing your crippled aircraft in the river, you didn't risk your life to save others. You saved your own life, and incidentally saved those of your passengers and crew, by being poised, experienced and focused. That's admirable, but it's not heroic. 
    Even though all you did was fulfill your duty -- in an unforgettable setting and with undeniable dignity -- you eagerly embraced the title of Hero, and milked it for all it was worth. You acknowledged that the nation needed a stalwart protagonist. The news media are always falling all over each other trying to find some heretofore unknown person who will touch our hearts, elicit our tears and boost their ratings. You graciously served as a vessel for our collective emotional hunger.
    You didn't stop there, though. You weren't about to let us use you as an inspirational figure for free. You've turned your soft landing into hard cash. You've made yourself a millionaire by exploiting our respect for you. You charge as much as $40,000-plus to give a speech! That's not heroic -- it's just plain tacky.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

What happens in my Vagus stays in my Vagus

Patient beware: Being part of a clinical trial is a trial indeed 

   (September 2013)  A highly unpleasant spotlight, which turned me into a Vagus showgirl for five years, has finally been turned off. I just completed a Cyberonics, Inc., clinical trial of the Vagus Nerve Stimulator, to assess its effectiveness in helping those who suffer from treatment-resistant depression. It was a ridiculous, scandalous experience.
    I don't trust Big Pharma, and I don't trust the multibillion-dollar medical device industry. My cynicism was vindicated by the bizarre combination of incompetence and ruthlessness that characterized this study.
    Beware of becoming part of a clinical trial. Your privacy, as well as your time and well-being, may be seriously jeopardized.
    In trial after trial, the VNS device that was being tested in the study that involved me, has shown itself to have extremely limited value (up to a 90 percent failure rate). But Cyberonics (which sounds like a sci-fi cabal that unleashes evil robots), is determined to keep trying until it wears down its opponents and qualifies for CMS (Medicare and Medicaid) reimbursement, so it can achieve its dream: a fabulous financial windfall. (UPDATE: On Dec. 1, 2014, it was rejected again, as being "unproven and unnecessary," even though the ever-sloppy FDA approved it 10 years ago.)