‘Send something on Twitter about me wishing altthe coaches and players good luck tonight and how it’s a privallagse to compete in this gray game of football.’

Get vaccinated.

‘Patients, she said, don’t care about Medicare fraud, and they don’t care about the money that is lost.’

“They don’t realize there is a danger to spending more time in the operating room,” [Roberta] Clarke said. Most patients, too, she said, don’t know their doctors are performing concurrent procedures. “This is not transparent,” Clarke said.


Bee-dle-dee bee-dle-dee dee,

Three surgeries.

Bee-dle-dee dee dee dee.

Three surgeries.

Bee-dle-dee dee dee dee.
And I’m the only surgeon!

Bee-dle-dee dee dee dee.
I like it.
Bee-dle-dee dee dee dee.
Much money.
Bee-dle-dee dee dee dee.
The stiffs don’t know!

Bee-dle-dee dee dee dee.
Four surgeries.

Bee-dle-dee dee dee dee.
Five surgeries.
Bee-dle-dee dee dee dee.
And I’m the only surgeon.

Bee-dle-dee dee dee dee.
You lie there.

Bee-dle-dee dee dee dee.
You die there.

Bee-dle-dee dee dee dee.
More dough for me!

‘The chairman of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center’s Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery has for years systematically billed for unnecessary surgeries or surgeries he didn’t perform and directly harmed patients, all with UPMC’s knowledge, the federal government said in a lawsuit filed Thursday in federal court.’

And you’re gonna love the details.

Dude seems, among other things, to have taken a bunch of way, way old people and convinced them they should have demanding, elaborate surgery because you know they have so many more quality years of life ahead!

Dude is accused of having

regularly performed as many as three complex surgical procedures at the same time, failed to participate in all of the “key and critical” portions of his surgeries, and forced his patients to endure hours of medically unnecessary anesthesia time as he moved between operating rooms and attended to other patients or hospital matters.

Or golf game or whatever. What the hell did they care? Most of them had dementia anyway.

The point was to “increase surgical volume, maximize UPMC and UPP’s revenue, and/or appease [the dude].” Appease cuz he’s apparently one hell of a greedy egomaniac/control freak who, it says here, “endangered patients and cost the government millions in false billings.”

But look. If you could immobilize hundreds of people for hours and now and then hack away at them while at the same time fielding calls from patients also interested in having their last days destroyed through unnecessary surgery, wouldn’t you do it?

PIttsburgh loves him cuz he brings in SOOO much money. Like Lady Bracknell, it has for years ‘decided entirely to overlook’ his sick and vile behavior.

In January 2015, when Dr. Luketich [that’s the dude] had left the OR while a patient was under anesthesia and couldn’t be found for more than an hour, [the head of surgical oversight] emailed him and said such behavior was “irresponsible,” the [federal] suit said.



On one particular day in 2015,

‘Dr. Luketich was scheduled to perform five surgeries in five operating rooms. In OR 26 and 27, he was listed as the primary surgeon. In ORs 12, 16 and 25, he was listed as the assistant. In OR 27, the patient was undergoing a “substernal gastric pullup” that should have taken six to eight hours. Instead, the patient was on the operating table for 12-and-a-half hours. Residents performed critical parts of the surgery and then waited, with the patient under anesthesia, for Dr. Luketich, as he required them to do.

“The patient was left with unsupervised surgical trainees while Luketich was involved with four other procedures in four different operating rooms and not immediately available,” Dr. D’Cunha’s suit said.

As a result, according to the complaint, the patient suffered complications, including an inflammatory response that led to the loss of her hand.

“Luketich explained to the patient’s family (as he did with many families) that this was an unfortunate but possible risk from surgery,” Dr. D’Cunha’s lawsuit said. “However, it is not a risk when the surgery is completed within the expected time and when a surgeon is attentive to a patient and does not unnecessarily prolong the procedure.”‘

Foucauldian Ethics


Onaccounta they’re real anti-vax there and that’s so fucking stupid.

Montana: Land o’ Guns (highest rate of ownership in the country), Suicide (second only to Alaska), Alcoholism (highest rate of alcohol-rated traffic fatalities in the country), Covid, and All Other Conceivable Forms of Early Death .

One more picture from Wee UD’s year in England with her family in 1960.

I’m not good at remembering very old days, but I do recall a picnic lunch at the country house of Brigid Balfour, a scientific colleague of my father’s in London and, yes, related to the Balfour of the Declaration. She was also related to Gladstone! It was a sunny day, and we ate out on the grass, on a very big blanket.

Steely Dan

Beset by accusations of research fraud, Duke professor and public intellectual Dan Ariely has held his ground, admitting a bit of sloppiness but nothing like making up data. Yet an analysis of details in a 2012 paper he wrote about honesty (!) suggests that he may well be responsible for bogus numbers in one of his influential psychological experiments.

And this is not the first time questions have been raised about Ariely’s research in particular. In a famous 2008 study, he claimed that prompting people to recall the Ten Commandments before a test cuts down on cheating, but an outside team later failed to replicate the effect. An editor’s note was added to a 2004 study of his last month when other researchers raised concerns about statistical discrepancies, and Ariely did not have the original data to cross-check against. And in 2010, Ariely told NPR that dentists often disagree on whether X-rays show a cavity, citing Delta Dental insurance as his source. He later walked back that claim when the company said it could not have shared that information with him because it did not collect it.

Ariely is also up against his field’s now-notorious “replication crisis” — a nice way of saying that SCADS of psychological experimental results sure look a whole lot like bullshit. Go here for details.


A photograph in this article features Ariely hanging with Jonah Lehrer at a 2008 science festival. Much like Ariely, Lehrer was a much-celebrated brainiac with frenetic entrepreneurial energy until he went pffff.

Jonah Lehrer’s 2012 book Imagine: How Creativity Works was pulled from shelves after it was demonstrated to contain fabricated quotes purportedly from Bob Dylan and WH Auden. He subsequently admitted to plagiarising the work of others in his blogposts, while critics noted apparent plagiarism and disregard for facts throughout his published work.

UD’s got nothing against operators. America is Land O’ Operators. He’s an operator/He’s a real player, as Fountains of Wayne puts it, and we got ’em growing on trees around here. But don’t believe anything they tell you.

Way Exciting Physics News.

As the ancient ballad has it:

Particles must decay,
Large, large, hadroon.
Beauty quarks fade away,
Large, large, hadroon.
‘Lectrons are sacked in war, muons are scattered far,
Truth is a fixed star, large, large hadroon.

American Ingenuity…



The Sackler Wing, India.

It’s inevitable that true scientific ethos…

… is going to collide more and more dramatically with this administration. The people who run the country are getting desperate, while their scientific advisors – like Tony Fauci – stubbornly do the only thing they can do: hang tough on behalf of empirical method. Utterly random figures like trade advisers can throw all of the enthusiastic hydroxychloroquine newspaper articles they want at Fauci; Fauci will never do anything other than point out the way science works and hope this will get through to most of the people in the room.

‘Countries including Japan and South Korea, which have managed to control the disease, have universal BCG vaccine policies.’

Trials of BCG, which UD‘s father championed in the 1970’s to treat early stage bladder cancer (‘BCG remains the gold standard treatment for patients with intermediate- and high-risk [non-muscle invasive bladder cancer.]’), are now ongoing in several countries.

Among Possible Immune System Strengtheners Against Coronavirus, UD is rooting for BCG…

… for family reasons. Her father, Herbert Rapp, spent most of his career (Branch Chief, Immunology, NIH) working with BCG as a possible treatment for some cancers; now, AAAS, Science Magazine, and Foreign Policy announce that clinical trials of BCG’s effectiveness against coronavirus will soon begin. (Here’s a 1972 New York Times article on cancer immunology and my father’s work. You need a subscription to read it.) Researchers will investigate whether it “can rev up the human immune system in a broad way, allowing it to better fight the virus that causes coronavirus disease and, perhaps, prevent infection with it altogether.”

It would be very gratifying to UD if her father’s decades-long faith in the significant immunogenic properties of BCG were confirmed in this globally powerful way. (“This was the heyday of immune therapy with bacteria called BCG Bacillus Calmette–Guérin,” recalls one of his colleagues. “Herbert J. Rapp deserves the credit for leading our laboratory’s efforts that led to successful immunotherapy in people with early stages of bladder cancer.”) But she’s her father’s daughter – she figures the chances of this are slim.

People are always learning the importance of skepticism the hard way, as in the current case of medical fraud Gregory Rigano, who has already seduced Fox News and the huckster in chief. Keep calm, and listen to Fauci.


UPDATE: An allusion to UD‘s father’s work in today’s Bloomberg News:

[BCG is] a common immunotherapy for early-stage bladder cancer…

‘Price-fixing lawsuit deals another blow to already fragile Teva…’

Fragile. Fragile. Such a pretty, gentle word… Not really a word UD would instinctively apply to a massive, criminally insane pharma company, but okay, fragile. Teva is fragile. Fragile Teva.

When I say insane, I mean crazy like a fox… If your bottom line’s looking shitty, you illegally and conspiratorially increase the price of your drugs by… oh… a fragile one thousand percent or so. Yes, you might in doing so attract the attention of attorneys general all over the United States and some fragile shit could hit the fan and make things even worse for you… But… maybe you’ll get away with it!

Meanwhile, the rest of the big strong world whose only fragility is advanced MS or ALS wonders how it will pay for its medicine because fragile Teva keeps increasing the price..

It takes guts to attack your tribe…

… but when lives are on the line, principled people are willing to do it. This orthodox Jew for instance, took to the pages of the New York Times to denounce his people for ignorant and destructive anti-vax beliefs among some of them. And now the sister, brother, and niece of anti-vaxer Robert Kennedy Jr have denounced his dangerous opposition to immunization.

Robert F. Kennedy Jr.—Joe and Kathleen’s brother and Maeve’s uncle—is part of this campaign to attack the institutions committed to reducing the tragedy of preventable infectious diseases. He has helped to spread dangerous misinformation over social media and is complicit in sowing distrust of the science behind vaccines.

She was the 2017-2018 Faculty Assessment Mentor for the Entire University of Rhode Island School of Pharmacy.

[Michelle] Caetano has been on an alternative work assignment outside the [URI] classroom since the legal process began, URI has said. She moved from NECC to URI in August 2012, according to her attorney, just before the outbreak was discovered. URI did not immediately respond to a request for comment Thursday after the verdict.

So Caetano, now convicted of a felony for her part in writing bogus prescriptions for the drug compounding firm [New England Compounding Center] responsible for the meningitis deaths of 76 people in 2012, remains on the University of Rhode Island faculty. Is she still giving out advice on assessing the behavior of her faculty colleagues?

You can’t make this shit up.

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