Don’t Call. Don’t Write. Let Me Be. This is an excellent article by the New York Times outlining the many opt-out mechanisms available to reduce unwanted solicitations and the sharing of personal information. “The popularity of the do-not-call list unleashed a demand for other opt-out lists. A consumer can now opt out of the standard practice of their banks or loan companies selling their information to others. Other opt-outs stop credit card companies from soliciting consumers or end the flow of junk mail and catalogs. While most of the opt-outs are intended to make life less annoying, they can also have the side effect of protecting personal information that can be misused by identity thieves or unscrupulous merchants. ”
I can’t recommend enough that you go read Chris Clarke’s latest about his ailing dog Zeke. It’s beautiful and heartfelt, and it should certainly touch the coldest of hearts.
This is chilling in far too many ways. “President Bush has signed a directive that gives the White House much greater control over the rules and policy statements that the government develops to protect public health, safety, the environment, civil rights and privacy. In an executive order published last week in the Federal Register, Mr. Bush said that each agency must have a regulatory policy office run by a political appointee, to supervise the development of rules and documents providing guidance to regulated industries. The White House will thus have a gatekeeper in each agency to analyze the costs and the benefits of new rules and to make sure the agencies carry out the president’s priorities.”
Grand Rounds: 3.19 is focused on consumer-driven healthcare. There’s plenty of informative writing from the medical blogosphere, so be sure to check it out.
Experts Call for Monitoring of Cats, Dogs for H5N1: “The discovery of Avian influenza in cats and dogs has heightened concerns about a virus that experts had thought was basically infecting chickens, ducks and other fowl. Health experts have called for closer monitoring of the H5N1 virus in domestic animals after Indonesian scientists detected it in stray cats near poultry markets in some parts of the country. They worry that if the virus adapts to mammals it could more easily spread among people.” It’s also important to point out they’ve discovered the virus in pigs. While still not indicative of a looming pandemic, these findings warrant close scrutiny.