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HEARTLESS: medical device patients have no recourse

If your FDA-approved medical device injures, disables or kills you, that's too bad. The "doctrine of pre-emption" protects manufacturers from all liability. You're on your own. You have no recourse. The multibillion-dollar global conglomerates that design and produce these (often laughably flawed) devices, admit they assumed President Obama would revoke the handy pre-emption escape hatch, which is unfair and irrational -- not to mention cruel -- but it has remained intact. Well-funded lobbyists: priceless.

The Beggar Wears Prada -- or Why I Stopped Giving to Public Radio

Get ready to change the channel -- it's almost time for NPR's Autumn Pledge Drive!

(Be sure to get the "officially sanctioned" Carl Kasell doll as a thank-you gift!)

The twice yearly public radio pledge drive is imminent. If you listen to those fools pleading, cajoling, making "rational" appeals and glorifying their role in your life long enough, it can make you physically ill. Switch to a rock station and listen to Eminem's "Berzerk." It'll drive you less crazy.

America is a failed democracy with a twisted, corrupt economy

America, we are constantly reminded, is the richest, most powerful, most industrious and inventive nation on Earth, a beacon of democracy, a model for those who aspire to lives of liberty, equal opportunity and material comfort.

To quote the tell-it-like-it-is singer, Cee Lo Green, "Ain't that some shit?"

Our future: Everything in modulation

Don't worry. Be happy☺.

In a recent post, I documented the desperate -- even ruthless -- effort to gain acceptance of vagus nerve stimulation for the treatment of depression. The medical-device industry is investing millions in order to reap billions in the burgeoning field of neuromodulation. But if you're not depressed: "Don't worry. Be happy!" Before long, they'll be peddling something that may change your life, too. Your brain is their playground.