Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Defeat and the Dossier Explain Everything

By | December 9th, 2018|537 Comments

Donald Trump’s former consiglieri Michael Cohen, along with being charged with tax avoidance and improper business deals, allegedly is guilty also of trying to leverage money and attention by exaggerating his influence with candidate and later President Trump.

In other words, Cohen to spec followed the standard creepy daily fare for Washington and New York wannabe fixers. But did we need Robert Mueller’s 18 months and $40 million to uncover and redirect to federal attorneys what was largely self-evident? Could not the U.S. government long ago, without the prompt of a special counsel, have uncovered that Michael Cohen did not fully pay his taxes—in the manner of an Al Sharpton, Timothy Geithner, and Tom Daschle?...........To Read More.....

Fighting Democrats’ Dirty Politics

By | December 10th, 2018
 
The midterms are in the rearview mirror and the chattering classes are back to debating fake collusion with Russia and a looming indictment of the president. Before the midterms, Republican voters were told this election was consequential. After the midterms, we’re told it is just one more split-government election, move along.
 
I’m not moving along so easily, and neither is my circle of patriotic MAGA friends.


Losing the House of Representatives was a crippling blow on immigration, the cornerstone of the Democrats’ drive to permanent domination. Any hopes of Democrats accepting Trump’s 2016 victory as normal politics is dead, and now they have Congress from which to harry and hobble the president.  Democrats justify their crossing every line of normal political behavior in America by manufacturing a Russian crisis out of thin air. The only “crisis” is that Republicans won an election, fair and square.

The Three Rules of Democrat Dirty Politics 101


Democrats have three major strategies of dirty politics that we can and must counter.

Rule No. 1: Outnumber Republican voters with immigrants...........
Rule No. 2: Cry Racism and Rape .................
Rule No. 3: Blacklisting Conservatives............

We see the same blacklisting in government. The federal civil service is 90 percent Democrat.
Justice Department employees gave 99 percent of their political contributions to Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign.............

Republican politicians are doing exactly nothing to protect us. ..............The Left is composed of moral midgets, and we stand on the shoulders of giants. Those giants fought their battles, we have to fight ours. Politicians are not doing the job for us. We’ve all got to step up and get into the game, or we’ll lose our country.............To Read More.....
 

The European New Right and the Struggle to Save the West

Thomas Jackson, American Renaissance, December 1992
Against Democracy and Equality, Tomislav Sunic, Peter Lang,, 1990, 196 pp. (now available through Arktos)

In America today, those who see the fundamental problems the nation faces live almost in an intellectual vacuum. This is because the United States does not even recognize its most dangerous enemies: racial and cultural dispossession, growing hatred of our European heritage, and the fatal loss of nerve that has permitted this to happen.

When public discourse touches on these subjects at all, it is to celebrate them as signs of a new, better America. Thus, for those who see the road to the new America as the road to oblivion, it is easy to think that they are alone, and that their country faces a unique horror that no one else ever imagined or thought about...........To Read More.....

The Man Who Defeated Communism

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn’s Centenary

Roger Kaplan for The American Spectator

At The American Spectator, we always agreed that it was quite fair and true to admonish our neighbors (and now our children and even grandchildren) to remember that the Soviet Union was defeated, and thus the Cold — often hot — War won by the Free World, largely thanks to three men: Ronald Reagan, Karol Jozef Wojtyla, and Lech Walesa.

We thought as well, however, that you could not beat the Soviet Union before communism was exposed for what it really was, and this required an inside job. It was done by a man who took almost everything communism could throw at him — we say almost because he did not get a bullet in the neck in the basement of the Lubyanka prison — and lived to write it down — it and much besides: the whole appalling story.

The 40th American president — ably aided by Lady Margaret Thatcher during those last dicey years of West vs. East, convinced the Soviet leaders that they would never conquer a coalition of free men living in free nations. The Polish Pope — John Paul II — showed them their lies and the cant with which their apologists in the West sought to cover them could not replace the faith carried by the eternal truths of the West’s great faiths. The Gdansk ironworker showed the working class they could break the chains communism put on them........To Read More....

What Is Putin’s Game?

The latest in Ukraine is a revival of the treacherous long game he’s been committed to all along.

Jed Babbin December 10, 2018

Between America’s most dangerous adversaries — Russia and China — it’s a toss-up which is the single most dangerous. The threat an adversary poses is best gauged by determining its intentions and capabilities. That analysis makes China, which has much greater capabilities than the Russian Federation, the greater danger.

We have to add to the measurement of those nations’ capabilities and intentions the personal characteristics of those nations’ leaders and their governments, the nation’s proximity to America’s vital national security interests, and the difficulty in determining the nation’s intentions. The scale tips in favor of Russia because of the nature and personality of Vladimir Putin.

The late Walter Laqueur’s book Putinism is a study of both the man and the government he has formed around him. History is replete with military dictatorships and monarchies that ruled by a claim of divine right. As Laqueur demonstrates, the Putin government is neither of those kinds of autocracies. It is a government of the “siloviki” and, while it may not be unique in history, it is unique today.............To Read More.....

Comey, Careless and Corrupt

His admissions to Congress were stunning.

George Neumayr December 11, 2018

Drunk on his own self-deluded rectitude, James Comey has become one of the most insufferable voices on the Left. He teaches “ethics” at William & Mary, but it is hard to imagine a more unethical FBI director than one who signs off on the most invasive spying warrants imaginable without bothering to verify them, or even know their rationale. That came out in his shameless testimony last Friday in closed session with Congress.

As Paris burns, 50,000 in Rome rally in support of populist government defying EU mandarins

Saturday saw a new tale of two cities. Paris, in the throes of a popular revolt against the globalist,warmist, high-tax regime of Emmanuel Macron, was exploding in another weekend of violence that saw "1,385 arrests, setting a record for a single day in postwar France. Meanwhile, in Rome, a buoyant crowd of at least 50,000 celebrated six months of power for the populist coalition that won power in Italy.

CNN reports:.............Read more

Naked partisan: James Comey's mask comes off

December 10, 2018 By Monica Showalter

With the Mueller team failing to indict President Trump for collusion with the Russians, Mueller's ally, former FBI director James Comey has gone to Plan B: exhorting Democrats to beat Trump at ballot box.

According to CNN:
Former FBI Director James Comey asked American voters Sunday night to end Donald Trump's presidency with a "landslide" victory for his opponent in 2020. "All of us should use every breath we have to make sure the lies stop on January 20, 2021," Comey told an audience at the 92nd Street Y on New York City's Upper East Side. He all but begged Democrats to set aside their ideological differences and nominate the person best suited to defeating Trump in an election.  
What we are seeing here is the partisan agenda of Comey exposed as those desperate cries to Democrats go out........... To Read More.......

Comey Lied

Daniel John Sobieski

In the normal course of events, one could understand the hundreds of “I don’t knows” and “I don’t recalls” former FBI Director James Comey during Friday’s testimony. Most FBI investigations are handled out of the field office in which the illegality allegedly occurred with the FBI Director not privy to all the details. But it was Comey who decided to run the whole Trump collusion and obstruction investigation out of FBI headquarters. He should have known and remembered every detail of his actions and those under him................

Comey on Friday asked us all to believe that the man who remembered enough to write a book suddenly had total memory loss, saying “I don’t know” or the equivalent some 245 times. Comey claimed little knowledge of the Steele dossier yet he signed a FISA warrant based on it to spy on candidate and then President Trump all while he knew it was a fraud. His defense in front of Congress on Friday was that he didn’t know it was a fraud or he forgot.

James Comey is a serial liar and arguably a serial felon who supervised and directed Andrew McCabe, Peter Strzok, and Lisa Page in an organized deep state coup to keep Hillary Clinton out of prison and Donald Trump out of the White House.  More

Macron facing a crisis that he created by baiting Trump

December 10, 2018  By Thomas Lifson

An arrogant politician expressing contempt for Donald Trump and his supporters experienced a surprising and humiliating defeat in late 2016 in our presidential election. A corresponding scenario seems to be playing itself out again in Paris.

A year and a half ago, in the wake of President Trump leaving the Paris Climate Accord, France's President Emmanuel Macron asked for a fight on climate change, in an address delivered in English, making it clear that his target was Donald Trump and the American electorate. As Andrew Bolt, writing for the Herald-Sun in Australia, noted, he asked for a fight and "he got one" – but against his own citizens rebelling against taxation intended to drive them from their cars. His words, "France will not give up the fight," have come back to haunt him.

CBS provides a partial transcript, making it clear that Macron was sticking his nose into American politics, appealing to anti-Trump people to come to France to continue the struggle:............. More

Club For the Galacticly Stupid: Ocasio-Cortez Inadvertently Reveals That Medicare-for-All Proponents Don't Have a Plan

Americans don't support single-payer. They support Medicare-for-All, which is just a meaningless catchphrase.

By Peter Suderman Dec. 6, 2018

Rep.-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D–N.Y.) tweeted this week that two thirds of the cost of Medicare for All could be offset by cutting $21 trillion in Pentagon spending wasted on accounting mistakes:...............One might charitably describe her response as an error predicated on a misunderstanding. The report she referenced, from an article in The Nation, looked at 18 years of Pentagon budgets; Medicare for All would cost about $32 trillion over 10 years.

And the Congressional Budget Office projects that the U.S. will spend about $7 trillion on the military over the next decade, so eliminating all Pentagon spending—an unrealistic goal even if you believe that the military budget is far too large—wouldn't even free up a quarter of the necessary funds. In addition, the article she cited doesn't actually say there's $21 trillion that could be diverted to something other than Pentagon spending.

It found that defense dollars are being tracked and shifted around in dubious ways, with the same dollar sometimes accounted for multiple times. The money she wants to spend doesn't even exist.........Medicare for All, which...isn't actually a plan. It's an empty catchphrase symbolizing more government support........To Read More.....

The Equal-Pay Myth that Refuses to Die

December 2, 2018 by Dan Mitchell @ International Liberty
 
While capitalism is the only system to produce mass prosperity, I actually support free enterprise more because it is a moral system based on voluntary exchange. The various forms of statism, by contrast, are based on government coercion.


But non-coercion not the only moral reason to support capitalism. I also applaud that free markets penalize racism and sexism. Simply stated, narrow-minded people are going to lose business to ethical competitors and forego income if they make choices based on animus rather than what makes economic sense.

This doesn’t mean an end to racism and sexism, but it certainly suggests that systemic and pervasive discrimination is very unlikely without government intervention (such as the Jim Crow laws that created government-enforced racism).

This is why I’m naturally suspicious of the claim that there’s a gender pay gap.

Mark Perry and Andrew Biggs of the American Enterprise Institute summarize the issue, pointing out that wage differences reflect personal choices and economic realities
…the 20% gender wage gap is actually a tiresome statistical myth that persists in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary. …The reality is that men and women make very different career and work choices, and frequently play very different family roles, especially for families with children. While gender discrimination undoubtedly occurs, it is individuals’ choice – not discrimination – which accounts for the vast majority of gender differences in earnings. …Compensating wage differentials are differences in pay that are designed to attract employees to jobs that otherwise would be undesirable. …The undesirable aspects of certain jobs can range from the mundane to the gruesome. For instance, men have longer average commute times to their jobs than women. In the U.S., the average male spends 33 more hours commuting to work each year. How much extra pay would you demand to spend the equivalent of four additional eight-hour days sitting in traffic or on a bus riding to work? …men are also much more likely to be injured or killed on the job. Economists have long found that, all else equal, more dangerous jobs pay higher average wages than safer jobs. And the 20 jobs with the highest occupational fatality rates are on average 94% male and 92.5% of workplace fatalities overall are men.
Writing for the Hill, Christina Hoff Summers of AEI issues a challenge that left-feminists are unable to answer. They never even try.
Everywhere we hear that for the same work, women only make 77 cents for every dollar a man makes. Think about that. If it were true, why wouldn’t businesses only hire women? Wages are the biggest expense for most businesses. So, hiring only women would reduce costs by nearly a quarter — and that would go right to the bottom line.
She points out that academic research repeatedly had debunked the claim that there is systemic discrimination that requires government intervention.
…this claim has been debunked over and over again. …The 23-cent gender pay gap we often hear about is simply the difference between the average earnings of all men and women who work full-time. It does not account for differences in occupations, positions, education, job tenure, or hours worked per week. When economists account for these relevant factors, the wage gap narrows to a few cents. By now, even feminist wage gap activists agree — at least when pressed.
Speaking of academic evidence, the Wall Street Journal opines about some recent research from Harvard economists.
Progressives claim that the pay difference between men and women is caused by sexism that government must redress. But a new study offers compelling evidence that the choices and priorities of women account for much of the disparity. The study examined data from the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority because it is a union shop with uniform hourly wages in which men and women adhere to the same rules and enjoy the same benefits. Workers are promoted based on seniority, not performance. Male and female workers of the same seniority have the same options for scheduling, routes, vacation and overtime. Under such rigid work rules, even a sexist boss or manager would have little ability to give men preferential treatment. Yet even at the Transportation Authority, female train and bus operators earned less than men. To explain why, Harvard economists Valentin Bolotnyy and Natalia Emanuel looked at time cards and scheduling from 2011 to 2017, also factoring in sex, age, date of hire, tenure, and whether an employee was married or had dependents. They found that male train and bus operators worked about 83% more overtime hours than their female colleagues and were twice as likely to accept an overtime shift on short notice. …The study ratifies the common-sense observation that men and women often have different priorities, and the best way to accommodate them is through the marketplace, not the untender mercies of government.
Notwithstanding all this evidence, some journalists are willing to publicize nonsensical numbers. Here are some excerpts from a column by Annie Lowrey in the Atlantic.
Do women earn…a shocking 49 cents on the dollar, as calculated by the social scientists Stephen Rose and Heidi Hartmann in a new analysis published by the Institute for Women’s Policy Research? …According to Rose, …the most accurate way to compare women’s and men’s earnings is to take the career-long view. “When you look at all women versus all men over time, the gap is 51 cents,” he said, referring to the 15-year figure. …What might help close this wide, long earnings chasm? Rose and Hartmann suggest…paid family leave and child-care subsidies…public-policy changes would give women more control over their working lives, and would help foster a more equitable workplace. And that would be good for everybody.
I’m guessing Ms Lowrey knows this study is tripe because she seeks to preserve her credibility by noting that pay gaps basically disappear when using honest numbers.
The most common way to measure the gender earnings gap is to look at how much women working full-time and year-round make, and compare it with what men working full-time and year-round make. …That number has some significant shortcomings, researchers have long argued. Women work different kinds of jobs than men do and have different levels of work experience, too. …Comparing apples to apples and oranges to oranges, women earn close to what men earn: Women in similar workplaces with similar titles and similar credentials make pretty much what their male peers do, whether they are fast-food employees making close to the minimum wage or corporate executives making hundreds of thousands of dollars a year.
But she doesn’t explain why the study is garbage.

To understand that, we’ll turn to Carrie Lukas, who debunks the IWPR numbers for National Review.
The study claims that the wage gap has been woefully understated, and that in reality women “earn just 49 cents to the typical men’s dollar, much less than the 80 cents usually reported.” How did they come to this jaw-dropping conclusion? Simple. They have redefined the “gender wage gap.” They are no longer looking at full-time workers, or even at consistent part-time workers. Rather, they are comparing the earnings of all women and all men who worked at any point during a 15-year period. More than four out of every ten women took more than a year out of the work force during that period, which was nearly twice the rate of men. As a result, women, on average, earned a lot less. That’s hardly a shock. …IWPR is misleading readers with the suggestion that the “wage gap” is really 49 cents on the dollar. …those who care about women’s economic advancement should seek to build an awareness of the very real consequences of the choices women make they decide what to study, which fields to enter, and how to plan their work lives so they can make informed choices.
Let’s close with this video from Ms. Sommers, which includes some rather amusing information about hypocrisy in the Obama White House.



P.S. Since I mentioned the previous administration, it’s worth noting that one of Obama’s appointees to the Council of Economic Advisers refused to defend the White House’s absurd claim that women only got 77 cents for doing the same work as men.

P.P.S. Given its track record of shoddy and biased output, is anyone surprised that the Paris-based Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development is pushing dishonest gender pay data?

Cartoon of the Day

Political Cartoons by Michael Ramirez

A Look At Drug Testing

By Michael D. Shaw December 10, 2018 @ HealthNewsDigest
 
Workplace drug testing was jump-started by President Reagan’s 1986 executive order mandating it for federal employees. In 1988, Congress passed The Drug-Free Workplace Act (41 U.S.C. 81). This law requires some Federal contractors and all Federal grantees to agree that they will provide drug-free workplaces as a precondition of receiving a contract or grant from a Federal agency. Interest in such testing surely increased during the so-called era of “drug hysteria and skyrocketing incarcerations” (roughly translated as the 1990s).

Related to this are the testing protocols required by the Department of Transportation for employees of companies under its jurisdiction.

Drugs.com consulted 14 sources to compile its Drug Testing FAQs. Here are some highlights…

Drug testing is the evaluation of a urine, blood, or other type of biological sample to determine if the subject has been using the drug or drugs in question. Typical reasons for such testing include:
  • College or professional athletic drug testing.
  • Post-accident drug testing—a vehicular or on-the-job accident which may have involved human error and resulted in casualties or property damage.
  • Pre-employment drug screening test or random, work-related drug testing to identify on-the-job drug abuse.
  • Safety-related drug testing—if an employee’s job could lead to safety issues if judgement or physical ability were impaired.
Even as some companies are relaxing their policies on drug testing, presumably due to low levels of unemployment, few will argue in favor of having impaired employees on the job. Besides, the National Institute on Drug Abuse states that alcohol and drug abuse, including tobacco, costs the economy over $740 billion per year. These costs are related to crime, lost work productivity, and healthcare.

Over 9.5 million urine drug tests were positive in the U.S. workforce in 2015. The rates increased to 4% of workers tested in 2015 versus 3.9% the year before, per Quest Diagnostics. The Department of Health and Human Services certifies laboratories who may conduct drug testing for federal agencies and specific federally regulated industries.

However, no biological assay is perfect. In 2010, at a meeting of the American Psychiatric Association, results were presented from a study that reviewed scientific articles on drug screening published between January 1980 and September 2009. One finding pegged the rate of false positives at 5-10%, and false negatives at 10% to 15% of cases. According to study author Dwight Smith, MD, eating as little as a teaspoon of poppy seeds—less than the amount on a poppy seed bagel—can produce false-positive results on tests for opioid abuse.

That poppy seeds can create false positives was confirmed again in 2015, although urine testing was affected far more than oral fluid testing. The topic of false positives in drug testing is covered in some detail in this Drugs.com posting.

There is also the matter of quality control within the drug testing lab. Even though this issue was first raised at the dawn of testing, misadventures, while rare these days, are still being reported. This recent communication details leakage of specimen containers and cross-contamination.

Andrew Easler of Easler Education Inc. believes that properly educating the lab personnel is key. That’s why he founded the well-regarded DrugTestingCourses.com. Here are some comments from Andrew:

“Drug testing collectors and breath alcohol technicians will fail without quality drug and alcohol testing training programs. These professionals are supposed to be trained as the sentinels charged with alerting communities, employers, and law enforcement to those among us who may suffer from chemical dependency problems. When this process breaks down because of a flaw in the training and education system, bad things can happen.”

“At best, if the drug or alcohol testing process fails, an individual who could have been identified and treated continues to suffer and potentially puts the community at risk. At worst, if the testing process fails such that someone under the influence not only goes untreated, but is then allowed to work in a safety-sensitive position—operating a truck, train, or aircraft, for example—the consequences can be dire.”

The sky is falling?!?

Ridiculous report claims humans have killed more than half the world’s wildlife in past 48 years
Greg Walcher
A recent World Wildlife Fund (WWF) report claims humans have killed more than half of all the wildlife in the world since 1970. Alex HortonBio Follow The report attracted media mass attention, even though the actual 145-page essay doesn’t really say that, much less prove it.
More ironic, the political focus is mostly on countries where the declining wildlife populations do not live, and the solution suggested is so vague it couldn’t possibly address the issue.
The hype about the document, an annual harangue called the “Living Planet Report,” is not surprising, considering the source. This is the same organization that told us a decade ago we would all have to abandon Planet Earth.
“Earth's population will be forced to colonize two planets within 50 years if natural resources continue to be exploited at the current rate, according to a… study by the WWF. [The study] warns that the human race is plundering the planet at a pace that outstrips its capacity to support life. The report… reveals that more than a third of the natural world has been destroyed by humans over the past three decades.”
That was a remarkable conclusion, especially considering that 71% of the Earth’s surface is water. That means humans would have to have destroyed virtually every square inch of land on Earth for the report to be credible. So it’s incredible that the WWF and its annual report continue to attract media attention.
This year’s diatribe claims almost 60% of all the fish, birds and animals on Earth have been killed by people in two generations. It proposes “a new global deal for nature,” a companion for the Paris Climate treaty. Except unlike Paris, the proposed “new deal for nature” has no numbers and no specific goals. In fact, there is no definition of what the agreement might entail.
Rather, it includes vague suggestions that we’re not locking up enough land from public access, nor creating enough national parks, wildlife refuges, wilderness areas and other “unpeopled” places. For the United States, that means the WWF is not satisfied that laws, regulations and other actions have already prohibited mining, drilling, timber harvesting and other human activities on 427 million acres of federal land. That’s the size of Arizona, Colorado, Montana, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming combined, and it does not include state and private lands that have also been closed to most human activity.
The report’s language is decidedly European and American, using policy terms common to the western environmental industry. For example, it discusses the “progress” in removing dams in the USA – levying special criticism on agriculture in the Rio Grande Valley – and approvingly cites efforts to designate more wild and scenic rivers.
It continues the ongoing criticism of western mining, timber production and “unsustainable agriculture,” accusations with which we’re all too familiar. In truth, these people simply want to stop most human uses of land, water and other resources of the American West.
There is another major problem with using this report to further that goal. The wildlife it laments do not live in the American West. Many are found in countries where energy-deprived, jobless, hungry, desperate people cut down forest habitats for fuel, eat wildlife to survive, and kill other species to sell their ivory, horns or meat for a few dollars.
Also, keep in mind that the reported declines in wildlife populations are based on computer modeling, not actual counting of actual animals. Still, even if you give such a report the benefit of the doubt, as many will, the dangers cited are from “warming oceans choked with plastic,” allegedly toppled rain forests, and supposedly dying coral reefs. Thus, populations are said to be tanking worst in the oceans and tropics, including an 89% decrease in South and Central America.
But make no mistake – the U.S. is nonetheless at fault. The report claims “crop failures brought on by climate change” are the reason caravans of Central Americans stream to the United States illegally. That’s why we must “urgently transition to a net carbon-neutral society and halt and reverse nature loss – through green finance and shifting to clean energy and environmentally friendly food production.”
How those terms are defined or implemented in a truly ecological, sustainable manner (more vague, malleable, politicized terms), the report does not say.
In a way, the details in this report may actually disprove its own conclusions. The U.S. and Canada are among the countries that use the most natural resources. Yet the worst wildlife declines are in the tropics, not in North America. The prime examples cited are African elephants, whale sharks, orangutans in Borneo, wandering albatross near Antarctica, jaguars in South America, gharial crocodiles in India and Nepal, and giant salamanders in China.
To note just one example where the WWF gets its “green finance” and “clean energy” facts completely upside down, a major reason orangutans are disappearing is that their habitats are being cleared to make room for palm oil biofuel plantations. How that is ecological or sustainable the WWF does not say.
The World Wildlife Fund is not the only Chicken Little constantly warning of a dire future. A similar article, published in the National Academy of Sciences journal last spring, was even more shocking. It claimed that since the dawn of civilization, humans have caused the loss of 83% of all mammals and half of all plants on Earth.
That’s because, WWF says, “the vast and growing consumption of food and resources by the global population is destroying the web of life.” However, the WWF and many other environmental industry groups, also oppose modern mechanized farming practices and seeds that significantly increase yields, allowing farmers to feed more people from less land. Still more ironies and non sequiturs.
So while you stop driving cars and heating your homes, you might also need to stop eating – while you pack for the trip to some other planet.
If we are not Chicken Little, is the sky still falling?
 
Greg Walcher is president of the Natural Resources Group and author of “Smoking Them Out: The Theft of the Environment and How to Take it Back,” now in its second printing. He is a former head of the Colorado Department of Natural Resources.
 

Publish and perish: Scientific fraud on the rise

No TIME for Accuracy, Posting Shameful Milk-Parkinson's Story 

A researcher whose work was supported by the Federal government, among others, has agreed to retract two of her papers published in 2009 in the pages of Environmental Health Perspectives and the Journal of Biological Chemistry, respectively.

Dr. Mona Thiruchelvam, a former assistant professor at the University of Medicine and Dentistry, New Jersey (UMDNJ), committed research misconduct by fabricating data, according to an investigation by the university and the Department of Health and Human Services Office of Research Integrity (ORI). The ORI, which announced its findings on Thursday (June 28), determined that she falsified cell count data supporting her thesis that certain now-rarely-used pesticides might have increased the risk of Parkinson s Disease among exposed workers.

All too often, says Dr. Ross, it seems that researchers in fields focused on finding toxic effects of chemicals including pesticides are willing to play fast and loose with the scientific method in order to support their tenuous theories. This case, of course, is unusually appalling, given the exposure of the misconduct. And unfortunately, I d bet that this researcher s fraudulent studies will continue to be cited long into the future as supportive evidence for a link between pesticides and various diseases, despite the revelations of falsified data.

ACSH s Dr. Ruth Kava notes, too, that this kind of misconduct is doubly perturbing because of the wasted money and time other researchers will have spent trying to duplicate or further expand upon the fraudulent data.

 

 

Exposure to pesticides a risk factor for Parkinson s? Not so fast!

ASCH Staff @ American Council on Science and Health

A new study published in the journal Neurology tries to suggest that there may be an association between exposure to pesticides and solvents and Parkinson s disease. Even the study authors are blatantly aware of the shortcomings of their study when they say, the evidence is limited, or at least inconclusive, because of lack of definitive agreement between cohort and case-control studies. Yet that didn t stop them from publishing it. This meta-analysis was based on 89 prospective and case-control studies considering a range of chemicals pesticides, herbicides, insecticides, fungicides, rodenticides, solvents, organophosphates, paraquat, and DDT, among others and their relation to Parkinson s. After analysis, researchers concluded that risk of developing Parkinson s was increased by 33 percent to 80 percent due to exposure to these chemicals.

The analysis was a first-rate mess. Conclusions from the included studies were not in agreement the majority of the time, and even higher quality studies showed statistically significant associations for solvents, paraquat, and well-water drinking but they also found reductions in Parkinson s for exposure to insecticides, farming and well-water drinking.

How can something well-water drinking both increase risk of Parkinson s and also decrease risk? The answer: garbage science. As if to prove this point, the case-control studies differed in terms of study quality and size and in the prospective studies, estimates of exposure were not determined in the same way. And secondary causes of Parkinson s were completely ignored by the authors.

ACSH s Dr. Gilbert Ross says, This is a prime example of a bad study; it could be used as an illustration in a college text on how not to do epidemiology. First of all, there was so much variation between studies, a point even the authors are aware of, that definitive conclusions cannot be made. And results were clearly contradictory as pointed out in the well-water example previously. The one good point made by study authors was that no association was found between DDT and Parkinson s.

ACSH s Dr. Josh Bloom points out that the entire premise is biologically implausible. He says, There is no way that you can lump these substances together and draw any type of valid conclusion. They are all chemically different, work by different mechanisms, and each one is processed in the body in a different way. This is like saying since a cannon ball is round and kills people, all other round objects are dangerous. He continues, According to this logic, perhaps the Department of Homeland Security ought to think about banning Nerf Balls.

Consequences of Exploding National Debt Are Far-Reaching

By Romina Boccia December 7, 2018

Asawin Suebsaeng and Lachlan Markay have a piece in the Daily Beast citing an anonymous source that claims President Donald Trump is unconcerned with the national debt.

From their piece:
“Trump noted that the data suggested the debt would reach a critical mass only after his possible second term in office. 
“‘Yeah, but I won’t be here,’ the president bluntly said, according to a source who was in the room when Trump is said to have made that comment during discussions on the debt.”
The president’s alleged statement reflects a common stance among too many policymakers in Washington. The president may have merely voiced what many members of Congress think and how they themselves act. It’s all about incentives............As the U.S. fiscal situation becomes increasingly unsustainable, change is inevitable. Lawmakers should approach these changes with deliberation by reforming current policies gradually to enable the American people to adjust to any changes without doing unnecessary harm............To Read More....

DNC Chair Tom Perez Suggests Christians Are Stupid

By Bill Donohue December 7, 2018

DNC Chairman Tom Perez has a problem with Christians. He thinks they are stupid.

Speaking on December 6 at a liberal gathering in Washington, D.C., Perez appeared unhinged as he delivered a whining speech over the inability of Democrats to get their message across. He identified three obstacles: “Fox News, their NRA newsletter, and the pulpit on Sunday.”

Perez then unloaded on the clergy and the faithful, making a veiled stab at President Trump. “That person on the pulpit is saying, ‘Ignore everything else that this person has done and is doing. We have to focus on one issue of Roe v. Wade.’ And people buy it because that's their only source.”..........To Read More.....

My Take - It is a bit amazing to me how many Catholics are Democrats and vote for Democrats.  Why?  Because they support abortion, promote abortion, and do everything in their power to get public money to perform abortions.  If that's what they're supporting then they're guilty of heresy!  For that matter anyone who claims to be a Christian or a Jew and a Democrat is a heretic.  Why is that so hard to get?
 

Desperately seeking perfection

December 10, 2018 By Sam Younnokis

So if the USA is a terrible horrible place, what country/nation do the (millennials/elitists) critics think we should try to be like? Have the critics spent a year in whatever country that is?

It seems reasonable that they should, to be sure they know what that country looks like instead of relying on second and third hand reports. After all, changing the nature of our nation is not going to be cheap or easy. Even “climate chaos” mongers do a little (ultimately flawed) research. Let's be scientific and be sure to gather evidence before we commit to such an all-encompassing endeavor.

It sounds promising when critics say that we should give free medical care and education to everyone, and maybe in some ideal world that would happen. Where is it happening right now? Nowhere.

If we think about it in terms of “free diversity advice”, how many people with diversity-related degrees are willing to work for free? Even if their college debts were forgiven, they still have to pay rent and buy food. They cannot afford to work for free. Neither can medical caregivers like doctors and nurses, nor education providers like teachers and administrative staff................Read more

My TakeLeftists demand perfection, if they're not in charge.  When they are in charge everything, and I mean everything, is not only imperfect it's not long before everything turns into a disaster.  That's history and that history is incontestable.

Years ago when there was a big march and demonstration by "liberals" against some world economic summit NPR ran an interview with (yeah, shocker isn't that, I actually listen to NPR)  a young demonstrator asking her what she was protesting and what she thought should replace the current system.  She said "great minds were working on this".  As they continued to question her along the lines that she was protesting against something for which she had no alternative, she came back to her default setting - "Great minds were working on this".  Which of course means nothing. 

This default setting concept is consistent among the left.  When questioned at a Senate hearing regarding Global Warming a Sierra Club representative had his default setting, which was - "97% of scientists agree".  No matter what questions he was asked, or facts presented to show that was inaccurate, he kept coming back to - "97% of scientists agree".   Well, what does that mean.  Please enjoy my article, How Many Constitute 97%?,  for the answer.

Why do they do this?  Because facts and consistency of thought are anathema to the left, whether it involves economics or the environment, and for the same reason.  Their only concern is grabbing as much money and power as possible irrespective of reality or factuality.  That is the only moral foundation for the left.  They will adopt or abandon any position necessary to attain it.  Any position they adopt will be done with passion and unending emotion pointing an unending finger of condemnation at anyone who disagrees.   If, or when, they abandon those positions, they will do it with equal passion and emotion,  and with the same level of condemnation against anyone who disagrees, even if that was their position yesterday.  

One thing will be always be true about leftists.  They will never care about facts if those facts do not support the most popular philosophical flavor of the day.  Which means no matter what they say they don't care about the people their positions impact any more than did Stalin or Mao, both of whom murdered tens of millions of their own people to attain their goals. 

To be a leftist is to be irrational, misanthropic and morally defective.  Show me any country controlled by leftists and leftist central planning and control systems that doesn't operate in that manner.  How about Venezuela? 

Here's reality.  Everyone wants perfection, but in the real world the best we can hope for is the most acceptable imperfection.  Capitalism isn't perfect, but it's the most acceptable imperfection. Socialism is not only imperfect, in practice, it's insanity. 







DiGenova: Deputy AG Rod Rosenstein 'Deserves the Guillotine'

By Michael W. Chapman | December 7, 2018

Commenting on Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation of alleged collusion in the 2016 campaign, legal analyst and former federal prosecutor Joe diGenova said Mueller will not charge the president with a crime -- there is no evidence Trump did anything illegal -- and that history will show this entire exercise was crafted to "frame Donald Trump for a crime he did not commit."

The "Mueller investigation is a joke, has been a joke, should be over," he said.

DiGenova, who helped prosecute attempted presidential assassin John Hinckley, added that Mueller "has played his role beautifully with the assistance" of Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who is the "single, most fundamentally dishonest lawyer in America" and who "deserves the guillotine."............To Read More.....

A Book That Changes the Counterterror Paradigm

How Jamie Glazov’s remarkable "Jihadist Psychopath" can break the West out of its suicidal death spiral.
 

Refugee Women and Children Water-Cannoned to Death Near US Border

But the Democrat/media complex glorifies the perpetrator.
 

Monday, December 10, 2018

Quote of the Day

“It is a maxim founded on the universal experience of mankind, that no nation can be trusted farther than it is bound by its interests.” - George Washington

Cartoon of the Day

Political Cartoons by Steve Kelley


LOL: Clintons' International Speaking Tour Is Such a Flop They Just Made This Drastic Move
 

Anthem Kneelers and Wife Beaters

Posted by Daniel Greenfield 0 Comments Sunday, December 09, 2018 @ Sultan Knish Blog

Last year, 49ers linebacker Reuben Foster kneeled in disrespect to the national anthem. This year, he was arrested twice on domestic violence charges.

The anthem kneeler was arrested for the second time on Saturday, Nov 24, at the Grand Hyatt hotel in Tampa, Florida. He was charged with one count of first-degree misdemeanor domestic violence after allegedly slapping the phone out of his girlfriend's hand, pushing her and then slapping her across the face.

Foster had been previously arrested for domestic violence against the same woman, earlier that year, in California. This time around, after multiple brushes with the law, the 49ers finally decided that they might be better off without him. And so the Redskins quickly swooped in to claim him.

Doug Williams, a former player and currently Redskin executive, dismissed Foster's arrest as "small potatoes" before later being forced to apologize because of the outcry.

Williams had previously participated in an anthem protest last year.

Foster’s domestic violence crisis occurred only a few days before a video showed Chiefs running back Kareem Hunt kicking and shoving a woman in his Cleveland apartment building. Another man claims to have been violently assaulted by Hunt in a Kansas City nightclub back in January.

TMZ described the video as showing Hunt attacking the woman. “As more people came into the hallway, Hunt had to be restrained several times as he made advances toward the woman and other people. At one point, he appeared to knock two people over with a shove, including the woman he initially shoved. At the end of the video, Hunt kicks the woman as she’s crouched on the ground.”

"It was just a long night," Hunt told ESPN. "I could have took responsibility and made the right decision to find a way to de-escalate the situation."

Even though the actual assault had happened back in February, the NFL had mostly ignored it.

Hunt, like Foster, had disrespected the anthem, by kneeling, explaining, “It’s kind of a bad situation going on right now. I really don’t like to talk about it much.”

Media hot takes quickly tried to contrast the players with Colin Kaepernick, Nike’s anti-American celeb, but Foster and Hunt were also anthem protesters. No team wants Kaepernick because of his mediocrity attitude toward any team that would have him. Defaming America is never the problem at the NFL.

NFL players joining in anti-police protest is natural because of the high rate of crime in the NFL.

Foster and Hunt are only 2 of 33 players who were arrested this year on charges ranging from drug smuggling to drunk driving to assaulting the elderly to sexual assault. While Foster got the NFL’s War on Women started back in February, King Dunlap was also arrested that same month for violating a protective order put in place by his girlfriend of 12 years and the mother of his two children.

According to her complaint, Dunlap had ripped a bathroom door to shreds and then came out with a hammer. According to his lawyer, it was a misunderstood effort to reach a joint resolution.

Dunlap's girlfriend had alleged that the 6-foot-8 football player had “put his hands around my throat, and had me pinned up against the wall with my feet dangling, screaming in my face”.

King Dunlap had participated in at least some of the anthem protests by raising his fist.

Adam Gotsis of the Broncos followed closely on Dunlap’s heels with an arrest for an alleged rape from his Georgia Tech days. Prosecutors eventually decided not to prosecute him. The year before, Gotsis had made headlines by being the only white player to join the anti-American protest of other Broncos players.

Michael Bennett, of the Seahawks and the Eagles, made Colin Kaepernick look like John Wayne and Martin Luther King. He not only sat out the anthem, declaring, “I’ll protest the anthem until we’re equal”, but even wrote a book titled, “Things That Make White People Uncomfortable.” The book was co-written with Dave Zirin, a white man who covers sports for The Nation and who had tweeted support for Marc Lamont Hill, after the former CNN commentator was let go for endorsing the murder of Jews.

"There's a reality that I'm a black man in America, and there's things that are going on pertaining to minorities, pertaining to women, pertaining to kids, pertaining to religion, and we can't be hiding behind it," Bennett had rambled.

He was arrested in March for an assault on an elderly black paraplegic woman.

The 6-foot-4, 274-pound football player allegedly shoved the 66-year-old woman and shouted at a police officer, "You all must know who I am and I can own this m***. I'm going down to the field, whether you like it or not."

The woman, who was paralyzed from the waist down, suffered a shoulder injury.

Chief Acevedo, the first Hispanic man to head the Houston PD, also found Bennett’s actions very “uncomfortable”. “I’m grateful that a guy who decides to push a 66-year-old black female paraplegic little old woman that’s trying to make a living making a fraction of what he’s making not only did they have to put up with his verbal abuse but had to put up with his physical assault,” he said.

There’s no word on whether Bennett and Zirin are working on a sequel, “Things That Make Elderly Black Paraplegic Women Uncomfortable.”

And that’s how March wrapped up in the NFL.

"It’s time for the racism and bigotry, for those things to go away. Those things have no place in society, no place in America, no place in any country, and that’s my two cents," Chris McCain of the Los Angeles Chargers had declared, when it came to the anthem protests.

It cost him more than two cents when he was charged in June for grabbing a woman' neck and spitting on her. While McCain initially claimed the woman was lying, he pleaded no contest to two charges of battery in October.

The issue isn’t just that the NFL is filled with entitled criminals. That’s not news to anyone.

The anthem protests are not the outraged grievance of an oppressed minority, but of a 1% that, like Bennett, believes it should be able to get away with anything, without the police getting in the way.

But, as this tally in a year of the NFL’s War on Women shows, the victims of their violent entitlement are often women.

When the police are prevented from doing their jobs, it’s the most vulnerable who suffer the most.

And those vulnerable people are often black women.

The anthem protests are as much about domestic violence as they are about police brutality. For many NFL players, police brutality means anything that interferes with their right to start fights in bars, drive drunk, smuggle drugs and beat women. Especially their wives and girlfriends.

The endorsement of the anthem protests by the Left is an endorsement of domestic violence.


Daniel Greenfield is a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center. This article previously appeared at the Center's Front Page Magazine at the above link.

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Thank you for reading.

Should Uncle Sam Subsidize Wages?

November 29, 2018 by Dan Mitchell @ International Liberty
 
Washington is a place that gets infatuated with trendy ideas. A few years ago, everyone was talking about a “universal basic income” because of the strange assumption that millions of people will be unemployable in the future.

That idea was mostly embraced by folks on the left (though not Joe Biden), but there’s now a related idea on the right to provide “wage subsidies” so that unemployable (or difficult to employ) people can get work.

A leading proponent is Oren Cass of the Manhattan Institute, who wrote The Once and Future Worker: A Vision for the Renewal of Work in America.

National Review published an excerpt from his book.
Work has enormous social value for the individuals who engage in it and for the formation and stability of their families, the opportunities of their children, and the vibrancy of their communities. Ideally, the labor market would settle in a place where productive, family-supporting work was available to all people in all places. But nothing in the theory of economics guarantees such an outcome… If we really want to “pay for jobs” — and we should — then we should do it directly. …a…“Federal Work Bonus,”…an additional $3 into your check for every hour worked? That would be a wage subsidy. …a wage subsidy aims to produce that effect in the labor market. Workers unwilling to sell their labor for less than $12 per hour may be worth only $9 per hour to an employer. No job will emerge in that scenario. With the insertion of a $3-per-hour wage subsidy, by contrast, the employer can pay the $9 per hour that the work is worth and the worker can receive the $12 per hour that he demanded. Thus will appear a job where none existed before. …The value of the subsidy would be set relative to a “target wage” of, say, $15 per hour and would close half the gap between the market wage and the target. A worker would initially receive a subsidy of $3 per hour in this case, equal to approximately $6,000 per year if he worked full-time.
The wage subsidy Cass advocates is similar to the “earned income tax credit,” which is basically a redistribution program that is administered through the tax code.

But Cass wants the EITC to be universally available rather than primarily targeted at households with children.
The federal earned income-tax credit (EITC) already operates something like a wage subsidy, offering low-income households large tax refunds that can exceed what they paid in taxes to begin with. But the EITC gets paid long after the income is earned — at tax time the following year — based on an opaque formula. It creates none of a wage subsidy’s immediate, transparent effect in the labor market. …The EITC also skews its benefits heavily toward households with children. A single person working full-time at minimum wage would get a credit of $41, less than 1 percent of what his colleague with kids can expect.
For what it’s worth, Cass acknowledges that employers might capture some of the benefits of a wage subsidy.
If the government offers a $3 subsidy atop a $9-per-hour job, the result will not necessarily be a $12-per-hour job. The employer might instead cut the market wage to $8, to which the government would add $3.50 — half the $7 gap to the target wage of $15 — leaving the worker with $11.50. …How workers and employers respond to the subsidy will vary based on labor-market conditions. What we do know from studies of the EITC and a similar program in the United Kingdom is that, in those instances, roughly 75 percent of the financial benefit accrued to workers.
Now let’s discuss the policy implications.

Cass openly admits that a wage subsidy is a form of redistribution, and – much to my dismay – he doesn’t object if at least some of that new spending is financed by higher taxes.
Subsidizing wages is a particularly well-tailored response to the challenges that globalization presents for American workers. First, the wage subsidy is the appropriate mechanism for redistributing gains from the economy’s “winners” to its “losers.” It comes closest to doing this directly, by taking tax revenue drawn from higher earners and inserting it directly into the paychecks of lower earners. …it is redistribution. And yes, high-income taxpayers will finance it. …The roughly $200 billion price tag for a wage subsidy might require some new tax revenue, but its funding could come largely from the existing safety net, which already dedicates more than $1 trillion annually to low-income households — including many with workers.
The following excerpt also rubbed me the wrong way since he seems to be saying that it would be better if Washington had expanded redistribution instead of lowering the corporate tax rate.
…in debates over the 2017 tax-reform package, which ultimately increased the ten-year federal deficit by $1.5 trillion for the sake of reducing the corporate tax rate, while failing to deliver even the small EITC increase for childless workers that Ryan had once championed. Indeed, while the Khanna proposal in its 2017 form is not a serious one, even it could have been implemented more cheaply than the tax reform that ultimately passed. The deficit spending would have been equally costly, but at least the labor market and its low-wage workers would have been the chief beneficiaries. …the Republican party’s relative disinterest in the labor market is made apparent by its preference for a tax cut over a wage subsidy.
This is very troubling. In the long run, faster growth is much better for low-income workers.
I’m not the only skeptic of this plan.

Writing for the Week, AEI’s Jame Pethokoukis argues that Cass bases his idea on a misreading of the economy.
One of his innovative analytical insights is that economic growth from globalization is bad for workers. …This is a terrible reading of history… America would be worse off today if it had somehow kept the closed “golden age” economy of the 1950s and 1960s. Its lack of openness greatly harmed American workers… Too much of American industry became complacent, unproductive… Likewise, would America have a more thriving economy today without Silicon Valley? …Cass’ reading of the data isn’t much better as he adopts the stance of many leftists that most Americans are no better off than decades ago. Yet a recent Congressional Budget Office study shows a nearly 50 percent increase in middle-class incomes since 1970, with incomes for the bottom fifth up some 80 percent.
And Michael Strain, also with the American Enterprise Institute, was similarly critical in a column for Bloomberg.
Economic growth is under attack. Or, more specifically, the idea that public policy should place a large amount of emphasis on the economy’s rate of growth is under assault… Traditionally, conservatives have placed a premium on growth as the best way to advance the fortunes of all Americans. But in recent years, some on the right have [been] playing down the importance of growth to the well-being of many working-class Americans. The latest argument for that position comes from Oren Cass… Cass argues that the results from decades of policies designed to encourage GDP growth are “embarrassing” and have “steered the nation off course.” …conservatives have been right in their traditional focus on growth. Let’s recall why. …the hot U.S. economy is the best jobs program available for lower-wage and vulnerable workers. …this strength is benefiting low-wage workers more than other groups. …Growth doesn’t just help low-income and working-class households in the short term. Over longer periods, seemingly small changes in the growth rate have large consequences. In the past four decades, for example, real GDP per person has increased from about $28,000 to over $55,000, growing at about 1.7 percent per year. If growth instead had been 1 percent, average GDP per head would be about three-quarters what it is today.
Needless to say, I strongly agree with Strain’s final point about the importance of faster growth.

Though I confess to being at a disadvantage when judging these anti-Cass columns since I haven’t read the book.

However, to the degree that Cass truly has given up on growth (i.e., accepting some form of the “secular stagnation” hypothesis), then I side with Pethokoukis and Strain.

But that’s not my main concern. Here are the four reasons that motivate my objection to wage subsidies.
  1. Redistribution should not be a responsibility of the federal government. Indeed, I want all redistribution devolved to state and local governments (or to the private sector).
  2. Cass says the program will cost $200 billion. Like with most government programs, I assume the actual fiscal burden will wind up being much higher. Especially after the left starts a bidding war.
  3. Existing wages subsidies are riddled with fraud because the government effectively gives people lots of money simply for filing a tax return, yet rarely bothers to confirm they actually earned the income.
  4. Wage subsidies actually turn into wage penalties (i.e., punitive implicit marginal tax rates) when income rises above the target level and the handouts are withdrawn.
The bottom line is that Cass is right that it’s better to subsidize work rather than idleness.

However, Americans already are too dependent on Uncle Sam. It would be even better if we simply achieved more growth by adopting the tried-and-tested recipe for prosperity.

A Look At The Joint Commission

By Michael D. Shaw October 29, 2018 @ HealthNewsDigest
 
According to the US Department of Health and Human Services, the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (generally referred to as the Joint Commission) is a private, not for profit organization established in 1951 to evaluate health care organizations that voluntarily seek accreditation. Currently, the Joint Commission evaluates and accredits more than 16,000 health care organizations in the United States, including 4,400 hospitals, more than 3,900 home care entities, and over 7,000 other health care organizations that provide behavioral health care, laboratory, ambulatory care, and long-term care services.

While competitive accreditation bodies do exist, the Joint Commission (JC) still has about 80% of the market. The “Joint” in the name reflects the fact that the American College of Physicians, the American Hospital Association, the American Medical Association, and the Canadian Medical Association teamed up with the American College of Surgeons as corporate members to create the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Hospitals. In 1987, the name was changed to its present designation.

The JC likes to trace its origins back to legendary American surgeon Ernest Amory Codman (1869-1940), who pioneered the notion of tracking medical outcomes (Codman called them “end results”), to improve the quality and safety of health care. He was one of the founders of the American College of Surgeons, which promoted his end results philosophy in its “Minimum Standard for Hospitals” in 1919.

Despite his many significant accomplishments in medical quality control and surgery, Codman infuriated his peers with undiplomatic attacks on their mercenary nature—as well as the failure of healthcare institutions to be diligent of end results. Owing to the collegial nature of medical practice, especially back then, Codman lost patients and died in relative obscurity—too poor to afford a headstone.

But, lucky for him, a mere 56 years after his death, the JC established its Codman Award “to showcase the effective use of performance measures, thereby enhancing knowledge and encouraging the use of performance measurement to improve the quality and safety of health care.”

JC accreditation is based on a survey performed by JC personnel called “surveyors.” During this process, surveyors select patients randomly and use their medical records as a roadmap to evaluate standards compliance. As surveyors trace a patient’s experience in a health care organization, they talk to the doctors, nurses, and other staff who interacted with the patient. Surveyors also observe doctors and nurses providing care, and often speak to the patients themselves.

The survey entails more than 250 hospital accreditation standards, addressing everything from patient rights and education, infection control, medication management, and preventing medical errors, to how the hospital verifies that its doctors, nurses, and other staff are qualified and competent, how it prepares for emergencies, and how it collects data on its performance and uses that data to improve itself.

This sounds great until you discover that the JC seldom pulls accreditations from hospitals. In September, 2017, the Wall Street Journal ran a scathing article on how hospitals with serious safety violations (and associated deaths) were allowed to maintain their gold seal of approval. The WSJ investigated JC surveys from 2014 to 2016. In 2014, about 350 hospitals with Joint Commission accreditation were in violation of Medicare requirements that year, and about a third of those facilities went on to have additional violations in 2014, 2015, and 2016.

In one particularly egregious case involving Cooley Dickinson Hospital in Northampton, MA, the safety problems were bad enough—including three related patient deaths within a few months—that Medicare was considering cutting off funding. Yet, this facility could still display its gold seal of approval. As such, there are certainly those who are not big fans of the JC.

And now, a new study out of Harvard concludes that:
“US hospital accreditation by independent organizations is not associated with lower mortality, and is only slightly associated with reduced readmission rates for the 15 common medical conditions selected in this study. There was no evidence in this study to indicate that patients choosing a hospital accredited by the Joint Commission confer any healthcare benefits over choosing a hospital accredited by another independent accrediting organization.”
Patient outcomes were examined at 4,400 U.S. hospitals, 3,337 of which were accredited by the Joint Commission and 1,063 that underwent state-based review between 2014 and 2017.

The researchers also noted that, “Hospital accreditation is a central element of the quality strategy for many countries and is thought to be an important component of maintaining quality and safety of care delivered. However, given the minimal benefit seen with accreditation in this study, it raises the question of whether our national efforts need to emphasize accreditation as much as they do.”

Well said, and unfortunately that complaint can also apply to many accreditation bodies and standards organizations outside of healthcare. For example, the well-known ISO 9001 quality standard is largely a matter of getting all the correct paperwork in place. But that is no guarantee that there will be any quality in the products or services themselves. Likewise, until hospital accreditation takes much greater notice of patient outcomes, it will be of questionable value.