Monday, October 5, 2015

SAR #15278

Here & There: There used to be a hospital in Kunduz, Afghanistan. It was staffed by Doctors Without Borders. It, the doctors, their staff and their patients are not there any more, collateralized by the US military much as the students in Oregon were collateralized by the NRA.
Unclear On The Concept: European auto makers want a 70% increase in the permitted level of nitrogen oxide emissions. Kinda because they can't meet the current standards without cheating but as long as they could game the system this wasn't a problem.
Good Old Days: When I was a kid you could say the Alphabet® without paying Google a royalty.
Apple Pie: Since the slaughter of the innocents in Sandy Hook in 2012, there have been at least 986 mass shootings (in which four or more people were shot) killing at least 1,234 and wounding 3,565 more. In the last 12 years guns have killed more Americans than have died of AIDS, illegal drug overdoses and all of our wars – combined. Stop pretending mass shootings will magically stop on their own if we wring our hands hard enough.
Hush! If a trial was likely to expose the use of StingRay technology, the Metro Washington police must notify the FBI which would make sure the case is dismissed rather than let the public know how widespread the use of warrantless surveillance is.
Having A Bad Day: Two anti-vaccination groups that put up $250,000 for research to prove the link between vaccination and autism were less than pleased when the research failed to find any connection.
Education Policy: In the US, more preschool kids are gunned down than are police officers in the line of duty – 82 to 27 in 2013.
An Allegory: If your freezer breaks down and the temperature rises from 31° to 33°. Bad Things will happen. Don't dismiss global warming just because it only amounts to 1.8°F so far. The change will not be gradual and linear, it is more likely to hit tipping points and lurch at us in sudden bursts. Predictions of extreme sea level rise, disastrous climate warming and massive droughts and migrations are more likely to be right than optimistic ones.
Exactly: “Kim Davis was not jailed for practicing her religion. She was jailed for forcing others to practice her religion.”
Das Emissions: VW's deceitful diesels have – so far – illegally dumped a million tons of emissions into the air we breathe. These vehicles are still on the road and most will be for another decade, spewing least another million tons of crap into our lungs. The VW diesel was supposed to have the same emissions as a Honda Civic. Turned out to be emitting the same amount of nitrogen oxide as driving 20 Ford F-450 Super Duty trucks.
Lazy Bums: The Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta says that “the decrease in labor force participation among prime-age individuals has been driven mostly by the share who say they currently don't want a job."
Ignorance Is Bliss: US Attorney General Loretta Lynch says the federal government should not require local police report on the people they kill, as long as they keep count locally, because improving police-community relations is more important.
Game of Nations: Obama says that Syria “is not some superpower chessboard contest.” He's wrong, it is, and Obama is playing checkers and is way behind.
Porn O'Graph: The good life.


McMike said...

Re vaccine study. The search for a link between MMR and autism has become a red herring that diverts us from broader question of overall vaccine safety and side effects. MMR-autism is just a subset of the vaccine safety question, and a narrow one at that.

Not sure what Safeminds is after, perhaps foolishly seeking a PR home run, but they have played into the hands of those vaccine advocates who wish to avoid the more important questions of long-term consequences and of severe adverse reactions - which are a non-zero risk of vaccination, a fact that is buried but not actually in dispute. Some children receive vaccines and then die, or suffer severe reactions including brain damage and a long list of horrific outcomes; this is not in dispute, it's right there on the product labels. Currently, medical science has little idea - and apparently little interest in learning - who will or why they succumb to these reactions.

If you read the entire article, you would see that this study and other studies actually point to possibilities of differences in neurology and development due to vaccines. But that troubling tidbit was lost in the crowing about disproving an autism link. The headline could just have easily read: "studies show that vaccinated brains are altered, and develop more slowly."

I understand the drug company and CDC motivations in distracting us from a dialog about vaccine safety, adverse reactions, and long-term consequences (not to mention about effectiveness and necessity). But I continue to be troubled and alarmed at the strident refusal of supposed truth-seekers to ask hard questions of an industry that is based on such tremendous technocratic arrogance and sociopathic conflicts of interest.

A non-zero number of children will get a vaccine and then suffer terribly and maybe die, and then a self-serving government bureaucracy will send the parents into Kafkaesque neglect and abuse, shielding the drug makers at every step of the way. Does this bother you at all?

In justification for this disdain for real risk from vaccines, many vaccine advocates cite the fear of a disease that made its reputation before the acceptance of germ theory, and that kills well less than 1% of its sufferers in modern developed countries.

McMike said...

It should be noted also that while the results of this "adverse" finding has been published, drug companies are generally under no obligation to share results of the studies they perform which they don't like.

Charles Kingsley Michaelson, III said...

I think that drug companies should be required to "pre-register" any drug trials involving humans with the FDA - disclosing the formulary and the projected use to the FDA but not for publication) - and after the trial be required to publish the results, including the formula and the effect(s) observed. Thus no cherry picking of results and providing the community at large information about what doesn't work, too.

McMike said...

Yes, full reporting of results would be an improvement. More so if it is accompanied by reforms that create independence in the testing system.

kwark said...

Re "Having a Bad Day": I recall one of my grandmothers (then in her mid 90's) commenting on how silly she found the vaccine controversy. Having lost an uncle to Tetanus and two siblings and several (I don't recall how many) cousins to childhood diseases I understand her perspective. But it's true that what seemed like magic bullets at first are not without their own versions of collateral damage.

Anonymous said...

Every act is a compromise, the question is always balance. To demonstrate any cognitive impairment at the small levels indicated with any statistical certainty would requires a very large sample pulled under the strictest controls, which due to the nature of human society are improbable to achieve. (See chapter 3 from "The Nature of Statistics" Wallis & Roberts).

Considering we still dump MTBE into our drinking water, cadmium into the air (as dust from steel belted radial tire wear) all avoidably, for the convenience of driving ourselves to death at the cheapest price point possible, and these have a proven significant impact on both cognitive ability and health, it's a wondrous, mind boggling waste of energy to go after the proven good of immunization. However, that's what makes fanatics interesting to study, the way they latch on to something and bang away at it till their malware driven CPU finds another issue.

McMike said...

re anonymous. Wrong. Vaccines are a compound of disease and animal ingredients, toxic chemicals and adjuncts, GMO ingredients and nano-particles that we deliberately inject into healthy children; putatively to protect them from a variety of diseases, yet few of those diseases pose a significant lasting threat to the vast majority of those children; all done at the behest of criminal drug companies, that are granted blanket preemptive liability shields and monopoly access to captive involuntary markets, and allegedly "regulated" by a feckless/conflicted FDA.

Some number of these children will experience significant if not long-lasting adverse reactions within hours of leaving the doctor's office, including high fever, vomiting, rash, uncontrollable crying, lethargy, etc.

Some number of those children will experience major adverse reactions, including severe allergic reactions, brain damage, diabetes, encephalitis, and death.

The medical community admits it has no way to predict which kids will react badly. Data on adverse reactions is not rigorously collected.

Some parents - sane, educated, rational parents - are asking hard questions about this ever-escalating program.

I will lose interest in the issue somewhere near my children's 18th birthday.

Anonymous said...

There you go, with the first word.
It would be pointless to argue nuance with that switch thrown, but I do have to thank you for making my point.

McMike said...

Now you're projecting. You had already lost me at "fanatics" and "malware."

I am trying my best to respect this blog, and disagree over issues of importance to me, without restoring ad hominem. Perhaps you can do the same.