Saturday, August 15, 2015

SAR #15227

...eventually commodity prices drop and the whole system collapses.” Gail Tverberg

Chalkboard: The headline read “Low-fat diets beat low-carb diets handily.” This is based on an unrealistic regimen followed by 19 obese people in a laboratory setting 24/7 who, “after six days on each diet” had lost an average of 7.6 ounces more on the low-fat than the low-carb diet. The researchers reported that those on reduced-fat diets tended to burn more calories while they slept. The sex, ethnicity and degree of obesity were not reported. In small print the scientists noted that “Our study suggests it's probably the calories in a diet that matter much more than the carbohydrates or the fat”. But this was not mentioned in the headlines nor on the daily talk shows. Imagine.

Guesswork: In the UK, students might as well guess at the answers to those A-Level tests, because the exam board simply guesses “estimates” their scores anyway. Been doing it for years.

Say/Do: China, denying that a currency war is underway, has devalued the yuan for the third consecutive day. Sure, they are attempting to decrease imports and increase exports, but that's just business.

A Closer Look: First she said, "When in doubt, it must always be the parent's choice."  Then Carly Fiorino, displaying the grasp of data and command of communication with which she led HP into the basement, said that parents can make the choice to not vaccinate their children against “highly communicable diseases” like measles or mumps but have to accept a public school's right to ban their unvaccinated little carriers. But, she insists, parents should have the ability decline “some of these more esoteric immunizations... for a disease that's not communicable” without having the little darlings barred from school, because “there really isn’t any proof that they’re necessary at this point.” Nosireee, Bob. Those esoteric vaccines for non-communicable diseases...

Justice: Chelsa Manning is facing indefinite solitary confinement for reading a magazine and using too much toothpaste. Who needs Guantanamo?

Rosetta Stone: It turns out that the studies of potential gains from the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) predict that US workers would gain about 40 cents a day (their European colleagues would gain about half that). This gains would be “easily dwarfed” by the increased inequality suffered by the great majority of workers. And this is without considering the additional costs from protections for Big Pharma. So it's a “win-whine” situation. 
Out Patients: There are 50 hospitals in the US that charge uninsured patients more than 10 times the actual cost of their care. One of those hospitals is not a for-profit operation.

Civil Rights: The US government says that the pursuit of happiness guaranteed by the Constitution includes the right of the homeless to sleep outside and under bridges.

Porn O'Graph: Where the boys are, and where they came from.


McMike said...

A few facts about vaccines:

- The current recommended schedule is 25 doses in the first 15 months of life, 49 doses in the first 6 years, 69 by age 18. More are being added.

- The listed side effects of the MMR vaccine include severe allergic reaction, seizures, deafness, optic damage, diabetes, encephalitis, brain damage, and death. A non-zero number of children go in for vaccines and come out maimed or dead.

- Of the 700 US cases of measles studied by the CDC since 2008, there were no deaths and no encephalitis. Approx. 20% of the infected required hospitalization, the vast majority of cases were not that severe to require a hospital stay. Approx. 10% of the hospitalized were under age 1. This is largely not an infant problem; the majority infected/hospitalized were over age 5, 44% were adults. Vaccinated people were largely unaffected; the outbreak was confined to un-/under-vaccinated people in 90% of the cases.

- The notoriously tight-fisted vaccine injury fund has paid out billions of dollars in compensation to those who could cross the bar for proving they were directly and immediately harmed by vaccines; most of the awards resulting from the measles family of vaccines.

- There is no formal sophisticated or mandatory system for gathering data on vaccine-related injuries.

- The thought process on HPV vaccines is to immunize children against an STD in order to reduce the incidence of cervical cancer in adults. The chain of causation is this: unprotected sex leads to undetected HPV, in some of the cases. Untreated HPV leads to undetected abnormal cells, in some of the cases. Untreated abnormal cells leads to undetected cancer, in some of the cases. Some of those cancer cases are severe. We are immunizing everyone's children to benefit women who first have unprotected sex, and then later fail to get routine gynecological tests.

Charles Kingsley Michaelson, III said...

Note: Mike had a second, longer post impugning the entire vaccination program in the US. The following reply was written before he apparently withdrew that comment. I had gone to some trouble to respond, so I'm posting my effort...

Mike, you argue that “the vaccine industry” must be corrupt because all of economic and political life is corrupt. Maybe, but that's a pretty broad brush. You complain it is hard to get compensated for vaccine-related harm – but could that be because most claimants are like those seeking compensation for autistic children, have no scientific base for their claim? After all, much of your two comments seem to complain about the science behind the profits.

Then you have the trite throwaway line (which I do frequently, but it's my blog) “Just because measles.” No, not “just because”, although preventing a widespread measles epidemic is rather much the point – we don't have hundreds or thousands of deaths because we have widespread immunization. Finding fault with a program for preventing what it is supposed to prevent is disingenuous at best. But we're not talking just about measles; there's polio – and I grew up in the time of polio and had three relatives who were its victims, two who were crippled for life and one who died in an iron lung. And smallpox and so on.

Perhaps you are right and vaccination is “a pure and unsullied miracle of human achievement for which we dare not peek behind the curtain.” But if you have pierced the curtain and can cite chapter and verse to expose the venality of vaccines that are wildly overpriced, unneeded, or hoaxes, please publish your findings, with footnotes.

But perhaps (“government-mandated captive monopoly revenue streams; created for for-profit drug companies”) it is profiting from the human condition that troubles you. Okay, then lets have the government (the one you apparently detest and distrust) do the research and manufacture the vaccines. All drugs, for that matter – I'd vote in favor.

“Do you really trust the drug companies to be truthful, the FDA to be effective, the testing system to be independent, and the CDC to be wise?” No, but I expect some data to impeach them for being liars about the vaccination protocols.

Or is your real problem with using vaccines to protect “women who have unprotected sex...

McMike said...

I did not withdraw the comment. At least not on purpose. It disappeared. I was wondering actually if you deleted it.

I have no problem with people choosing unprotected sex and failing to get pap smears. I do have a problem with mandatory vaccinating my children to protect people that choose that lifestyle though. That was a cheap shot on your part anyway.

As to what polio was like in the 1940's, or measles in the 1880s, I suggest that a lot has changed in our understanding of disease, in public health and nutrition, and treatment since then. Hell, in the 1880s, germ theory was barely getting traction, and in the 1940's most people still didn't wash their hands after pooping, and many still lacked indoor plumbing, sewage and water treatment was archaic at best, and chronic malnutrition rampant. Modern vaccination industry really ought to stand on modern conditions, not newsreel footage and anecdotes. As I cited above (from the CDC), of the measles cases in the last decade, none were fatal, few were severe, and the vast majority did not involve infants or the already-vaccinated; thus undermining the four major propaganda points used as scare tactics/shaming.

I see no reason or have the space to lay all the details out; I'll not change your mind. Instead I note you still have not answered the fundamental question I asked you: given the systematic breakdowns in trust and accountability across every sector in our economy and public policy, why should vaccines be given a free pass? Despite literally countless examples of FDA fecklessness, and drug company/medical system malfeasance, what warrants faith in their assertions here? What have they done to earn the benefit of the doubt?

Same question for the vaccine injury court. When every other system of recourse is stacked against individuals/consumers and against those dissenting challenging the status quo, what evidence do you have that the vaccine court is different?

The banks have been caught fixing Libor, fixing Fx, fixing muni bonds, and rigging CDOs to fail. Would you call me a kook for wondering if they are also fixing commodities? Would you disregard the question out of hand?

kwark said...

If vaccinations are ineffective and unnecessary how does one explain the elimination of small pox, the near elimination of polio, whooping cough, mumps, scarlet fever, measles and so on? Chance? Luck? Intervention by the flying spaghetti monster? It's an interesting commentary on our society that so much energy is spent finding fault with vaccinations yet so little spent on all the other faults of our medical "industry" that represent a FAR greater threat to both the individual and society. Overuse of prescription drugs, unnecessary surgical procedures to name a few. But yes, let's focus on repeating misinformation or outright lies about vaccinations because, you know, there is a non-zero chance of negative side effects. Seems to me the whole anti-vaccination "movement" represents one of the most cynical sides of our screw you, I've got mine society - let your child take the risk so mine doesn't have to.

McMike said...

I never said they were ineffective. I never said they were unnecessary. Please deal with what I said.

I did say that there is little basis for the trust in the FDA and drug companies, and much evidence to treat them with skepticism.

I did say that vaccines are not "safe" as implied, as in: not without adverse reactions, including brain damage and death.

And I am saying that we need to have a national dialog reconciling individual liberty with mandating chemical interventions, especially in infant children; about where are the limits between what I must do to my own body to benefit others (who themselves may be already compromised and/or making bad choices of their own); about doing a better job studying the long term cumulative effect of the pharmaceutical interventions along with environmental and dietary toxins; about the real modern risks of these diseases in modern context; about the wisdom of trying to eliminate an increasing list of diseases without unintended consequences; and about establishing limits and cost/benefit calculations to a growing list of diseases for which we vaccinate.

In your lower portion you made my case. Overused drugs, (overused antibiotics), unwarranted procedures (along with increasing major reversals in supposed medical certainties).... I'll ask you the same question: what factors makes vaccinations exempt from this situation?

As for the I got mine thing. Screw you too. I choose not to inject myself and my kids - 69 doses - with a stew of chemical, disease proteins, GMO compounds, nano-particles, aluminum, adjuncts, and preservatives. It is a bizarre world where this is considered selfish and radical.

McMike said...

Additional note re vaccine court. I did not mention autism, that's your non sequitur. The stated potential side effects listed on the product insert of the MMR vaccine include encephalitis, brain damage, severe allergic reaction, diabetes, and death. The vaccine court awards are for those types of adverse reactions. Although there has in fact been at least one autism award.

You haven't done a lick of research have you? Did you even know there was a vaccine injury court until I mentioned it?

You also asked me to provide evidence that "expose the venality of vaccines that are wildly overpriced, unneeded, or hoaxes". I in fact said none of these things. It is possible for vaccine advocates to work with what I actually say?

I am saying that the cost/benefit equation is out of whack. (Cost in term of side effects and potential long term consequences of vaccines versus the modern rate and severity of the diseases). I am saying that the regulatory system is inadequate to inform or protect the public from products that are unsafe, have high adverse reaction rates, or are inadequately tested. I am saying that the economic and legal structure reinforces and perpetuates a perverse system of rewards and self-dealing (both commercial and bureaucratic).

Let me ask you this, you say you knew people with polio. Do you also know anyone with multiple chemical sensitivity, chronic fatigue, candida, or lupus? Do you know any children with unexplained arrested neural development, autism spectrum, early onset diabetes, multiple extreme allergies, etc? Don't you wonder even a little what the hell is going on? Is it actually unfathomable to you that injecting newborn infants with a variety of chemical compounds designed to short-circuit our immune system might have something to do with it.