Friday, November 20, 2015

SAR #15324

For some reason no one talks about Libya anymore.” Altrios
One More Time: The eight terrorists identified so far in the Paris attacks all have EU passports. They were not refugees. Could someone please get a memo to the GOP clown car?
Sound Bite: “And once and for all, the Saudis, the Qataris and others need to stop their citizens from directly funding extremist organizations as well as the schools and mosques around the world that have set too many young people on a path to radicalization.... Saudi financing is still a major source of revenue for terrorist groups inside Syria, inside Iraq, elsewhere.” Hillary Clinton So is indirectly funding extremists acceptable?
Possibly: The US has so many Middle Eastern enemies that the Pentagon may have to bomb Israel just to cover all the bases.
Drumroll Please: Republicans have pushed a bill through the House which requires “strict screening” for Syrian refugees, without specifying what that might mean on top of the 18 month-long process currently in place. Doesn't matter, Obama will veto it if it limps past the Senate. Then the GOPers will attach it to a spending bill and try to bring down the government. And fail. It's all theater.
In The Books: Global temperature rise in 2015 guarantees that 2015 will become the warmest year in recorded history. Until next year.
Self-Imposed Plague: Scientists are very concerned about the possibility of a world ravaged by antibiotic-resistant strains of bacteria, after finding bacteria in humans and livestock in China that are resistant to colistin – the antibiotic of last resort. Bacteria becoming completely resistant to available treatments could plunge medicine back into the dark ages.
Calling Dr. Pauling: Researchers report that high doses of vitamin C kills cancer cells in mice.
Fact-Free Education: The Texas Board of Education says it does not want teachers fact-checking the textbooks creationist religious idiots have forced on the state.
Note: SAR is trying to steer clear of all of the claptrap coming from the Right concerning Syrian refugees. It is simply them feeding the crazies in their corner and – other than proving their complete incompetence to govern – means nothing. I might post a one-pager this weekend just running down the jokes...


Anonymous said...

Hitting A High C Jingle

Cui Bono? Much medical research is criminal, and often enough not just because it is often a fraud. One study does not science make, and one can almost always find a study that will declare the opposite. Pauling had as much to do with science outside of physics as many creationist. It's interesting that the cancer selected for the study was colon cancer, which aspirin or almost any acidic irritant or anti-inflammatory at much lower doses has been shown to be effective at reducing the risk of colon cancer. Yet again, Americans have some of the highest rates of dosing both Vitamin C and having colon cancer.

McMike said...

Re antibiotic resistance. Yes, this, along with hospital-acquired infection has some public health docs completely freaked out. Hair on fire freaked out.

There are also similar concerns (albeit fledgling) emerging about vaccine-resistant viruses. Not just the flu, but also polio, pertussis, and pneumococcal, which may be showing signs of mutating into resistance.

Some people argue that we can win this war on disease if we simply throw more technology at it, and that we can completely eliminate all threats through a program of thoroughness and a strategy of scorched-earth zero-tolerance for disease. The problem is simply, in their view, that we aren't trying hard enough.

I believe that there's a strong similarity here to the GWOT, and to antibiotics. Somewhere along the line, our premises and strategies become part of the problem.

I have no interest in finding out what a world without antibiotics looks like. But what I want does not appear to mean much to nature.

I think we need to prepare ourselves for a new paradigm with disease. Our genetically- and historically-brief honeymoon with conquering disease may be coming to an end. Notwithstanding any desperate last-ditch measures to shore up the barricades and stick our finger in the dyke.

The honeymoon lasted 100 years, give or take. Three generations, as it turns out.

As with our honeymoon burning fossil fuel, and our honeymoon of a "stable" geopolitical situation, and our honeymoon of American affluence and democracy... the wheel keeps on turning.

We can't "win" at playing drone whack-a-mole with ISIS any more than we can "conquer" disease. We should not confuse victories in battles with victory at war.

Consider the possibility that vaccines are following the same script as antibiotics, that both are founded on premises that are inherently temporary, and that the human condition fairly guarantees that we will overdo a good thing, and hasten its unraveling.

George Anderson said...

There will be a certain degree of people 'naturally immune' to certain infectious diseases [the wildcard is will the same immunity cover the lucky beneficiary for a majority of mutated afflictions?] which is to opine that the 'natural' side of the viral/bacterial war for supremacy is still being waged in the wild. Yes, many common maladies have been, albeit temporarily, defeated by improved hygene (yet another fleeting advance.)

Given the increasingly unstable foundation our current civilization rests upon, it is only a matter of time before conditions that persist at the periphery of modern civilization are once again the norm.

That said, the disturbing alterations to the longstanding rules of conflict (especially the automation piece of the puzzle) represents an irrational disconnect in the minds of those who seek to obliviate anyone that opposes their will.

Society will not tolerate an 'exterminator'. Forces within it's own infrastructure will destroy them. (but not before they murder millions)

How ironic is it that the path forward is clear? We need to establish the rule of law, founded upon equality (hasn't been done yet.) with brotherhood/sisterhood, based on equality and participation, for all.

Something that won't happen as long as we allow even one to 'speak for God'.

Religion must be abandoned, like astrology. A bit of quaint nonsense, curious to study but of no importance.

It is NOT religion that is tearing our world apart but the powerful exploiting its differences for personal gain.

For most of us Religion is like Santa Claus, comforting when we're children but eventually you grow up...

McMike said...

Here's my prediction: as the era of antibiotics and vaccines wanes (vaccines are about two decades behind antibiotics on the life cycle curve), we will throw more bigger better technology at the war on disease. Perhaps some flavor of nanotechnnolgy and gene manipulation will be the next generation of how we hope to conquer disease.

Who knows, it may well appear to work for a majority of people, and thus buy us more time (if viewed narrowly through the sole filter of preventing the target disease among the majority of people).

From a broader systems perspective though, I predict we will continue to see a steepening overall decline in healthfulness and a continued overall increase in degenerative and early-onset chronic diseases. Everyone will know multiple people who are just plain sick all the time, with body systems routinely misfiring and self-destructing at what used to be viewed as rare and old-person problems.

Nanotech and gene interventions are bigger bets in terms of complexity, so when they crap out, the losses will be bigger too.

I expect that the adverse reactions to the nanotech and gene therapy will make adverse reactions to vaccines look quaint - if not even subtler and harder to detect in any smoking gun kind of way. Bummer for those who roll a seven, because the system has no use or care for people that don't fit the mold. After all, they are losers who couldn't hack it, takers and whiners too probably. The PTB will of course make the losers invisible, and may well make their families compensate the state for the bullet that killed them.

And just as the idea of not making people miserable in the Middle East is not on the table, simply living a healthful non-toxic life and taking your chances is not an option either.

George Anderson said...

There are those that would argue that nano-tech is at least partially responsible for the (silent) infertility epidemic afflicting the western world. All of my niece and nephews under age 20 come from a own two and her elder sister's three being the only exceptions (there are 7 more.)

I do not disagree with your conclusions, we are on the same page. My post is an attempt to add depth to the discussion.

Charles Kingsley Michaelson, III said...

George - I never felt otherwise.... and much appreciate your contributions.

I, too, have long been aware that "something" serious had happened to human fertility in the USofA. Not sure it's nano-tech(?) specifically or some biochemical crap we've done to the environment, or is just Mother Nature's way of telling us to slow down, there are too many of us already...

Blissex said...

«the Saudis, the Qataris and others need to stop their citizens from directly funding extremist organizations as well as the schools and mosques around the world that have set too many young people on a path to radicalization....»

A coommenter on another blog points out that the funding is well motivated:
«In 1979, what would now be called jihadis seized the Great Mosque in Mecca. This shook the corrupt, dictatorial Saudi monarchy to its thoroughly rotten core. The Mosque was retaken and its occupiers dealt with. But the monarchy knew it had a much bigger problem of which the seizure of Islam’s holiest site was only the tip of the iceberg.

It made a deal with the religious leaders who inspired the attack on the Great Mosque: in return for no jihad at home, jihad was sanctioned abroad.»
«the monarchy poured money into the establishment of radical madrassas abroad»
«it encouraged (and still encourages) its crazies to go fight infidels (Westerners) and heretics (Shiites) and hopefully die in the process: Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, etc. and allows its citizens to fund these efforts.»

That commenter feels that the deal was in the best interests of the anglo-american culture allies: the plausible argument is that a stable Saudi regime is far preferable to Saudi Arabia becoming like Libya or Iraq or Afghanistan.

thistoowillpass said...

> There are those that would argue that nano-tech is at least partially responsible for the (silent) infertility epidemic afflicting the western world. All of my niece and nephews under age 20 come from a own two and her elder sister's three being the only exceptions (there are 7 more.)

A large part of this may have a similar cause as the popularity of Viagra: sexually and reproductively active older women. Women fertility declines rapidly after 25, and arguably for some other reasons too from a purely reproductive point of view the best to time to go for children for a woman is between 16 and 25 (and 25 is already getting a bit too late). But most women in first world countries regard the menopause as discrimination caused by the patriarchy, as it inteferes with their right to "have it all", and the ages of first and last pregnancy have risen continuously. This is likely a temporary phase: women who reproduce less, which includes late, tend to become extinct, and it will happen again that most women will be grandmothers and not mothers by 35-40.