Philosophical underpinnings

Switching to a true health care model

This HND piece lets me expand on the idea that we should move away from a disease care to a true health care based model of, well, health care.  Everything is on the table, including paying bribes for people to lose weight.

Compare that to the acute health care costs before you laugh, and read the complete article.


The Colorado "Batman" shootings

No doubt, this tragedy will set off yet another pointless discussion on gun control, when the real problem is something far more difficult to deal with. Remove all guns, and the guy could still have done plenty of damage with a machete.

Quite sadly, the problem is the nearly complete disappearance of any sense of morality in our society. From flash mobs to illegal "occupations" of property, to miserable academics basing their career on a false Indian heritage, to the wholesale rape of our economy by evil politicians...What do you expect?

Some will date this moral decline to the abolition of school prayer in the early 1960s. Others will point to Roe v Wade, and still others will mention a national policy of endless war. I would agree with all of these, and could count up many more.

The answer lies not in which feckless politician might get elected this November. Rather, the answer lies in converting ourselves back to---at the very least---some sort of ethical standards, and demanding much more from our so-called leaders.

Réquiem ætérnam dona eis Dómine; et lux perpétua lúceat eis. Requiéscant in pace.


Sex-selection abortion: The real war on women

Well said, although that sort of statement is preaching to the choir. Of course, filicide for sex selection has been going on since the dawn of civilization, and legalized abortion just makes it a whole lot easier.

Perhaps for the purpose of going on-record against this reprehensible practice, some members of Congress proposed a law to ban it, even though there was no chance of getting it passed. For one thing, any move against abortion would be fought tooth and nail, and such a law could never be enforced. It is a sad commentary on our times that the absolute number one issue to all liberals is abortion. This trumps civil rights, gay rights, women's rights, the environment, "migrant" rights, health care, and anything else you might care to mention. Think about that for a moment.

For another, how in the world could you ever prove that sex selection was the purpose of an abortion? You couldn't. Besides, the entire notion of restricting certain types of abortions implies that the other abortions are being performed for "good" reasons. Otherwise, why shouldn't they all be banned?

It has been said that you can judge a society by the way it treats its women. Indeed.


Schooling Mr. McCartney

Robert McCartney is an old school journo with the Washington Post. As he puts it in his own bio...

I write broadly about the D.C. region, including the Northern Virginia and Maryland suburbs, focusing a lot on government and politics, transportation and development, education, crime, the environment and, sometimes, the Redskins. Previously, I was the Metro section's top editor for four years. I've been at The Post since (gulp) 1982.

As you might expect, after being in this environment for so many years, McCartney can't help it. He's a liberal, but really more of an à la mode liberal. That is, while his positions are always predictable, the ones he articulates are usually those which are the most fashionable. Additionally, he likes to shoehorn these into places where they are truly unnecessary.

Case in point: In a recent piece entitled "It took Salahi for me to side with Cuccinelli," he damns Virginia attorney general Ken Cuccinelli II with faint praise. Cuccinelli, of course, is an evil Republican, but now he has does something that Bob Mc can finally approve of. He is suing idiotic White House gate crasher and swindler Tareq Salahi.

Fair enough, but he tries to slip this one by, in a short list of Cuccinelli's supposed misdeeds...

"He twisted himself into legal knots to persecute a former University of Virginia professor for daring to join the rest of the scientific establishment in asserting that humans are causing climate change."

So, I sent an e-mail to McCartney...


Believe what you will about climate change, but assuming that you as a journalist have a limited science background, please note:

1.      Consensus, as you are promoting here, has nothing whatsoever to do with scientific truth. Indeed, as a moment's reflection will indicate, virtually all major scientific discoveries have gone against the prevailing consensus.

 

2.     The only "consensus" that matters in science is if one researcher's results can be duplicated in a specific experiment by another researcher. That, of course, is the reason why scientific research results are published in journals. Bear in mind that the majority of current climate science is based on models--and not real scientific experimental data, so the notion of consensus does not even apply in this case.

 

3.      Given the above, it is extremely disheartening that so many climate scientists are using consensus in an attempt to convince the lay public that they are correct.

 

4.      While consensus never meant much in the world of science, it probably means less than nothing now, in view of the very political nature of obtaining research grants, and being invited to the right cocktail parties, etc.

 

5.      More than that, science by consensus is downright harmful. For example, the prevailing "consensus" lipid/cholesterol theory of heart disease has been disproven dozens and dozens of times in large studies, but since that is still where the money is, the lie continues. Ironically, the studies that supposedly proved this theory in the first place...don't. It's just that few people, including most doctors, actually read them. Yes, statins lower cholesterol; but no, they do not prevent heart disease, except in very limited cases.

 

6.      Finally, PC is more important than a true consensus, anyway. Example: The attacks on BPA, which have been disproven in well over 6000 published articles still continue, since fear entrepreneurs such as NRDC and EWG can use them for fund raising purposes.

 

Sad to say, very little actual science is being done these days, compared to, say, 40 years ago. Back then (and when I was at MIT) it meant something to get a paper published. Nowadays, there are so many journals that they are calling researchers, asking for papers to be submitted. And, the public suffers.

 

I hope this helps.


I'm not holding my breath waiting for a reply. Maybe you should e-mail him also.


Is it good for you...or not?

In this week's HND piece, we take a look at revealed wisdom on a few health issues from yesteryear, and see how it's held up. As you might expect...not so well.

The hope is that people might become a bit more skeptical regarding the so-called "experts," and more proactive regarding their own health.

We also get a few words from our friend Christopher Angell, purveyor of the excellent Angell Organic Candy Bars.

Read the complete article.


Steve Milloy has great fun with the limousine liberal leftist hacks at The Nation

"Junkman" Steve Milloy, publisher of the essential junkscience.com pulls out all the stops as he excoriates these uber-hypocrites.

The target here is The Nation's 14th Annual Seminar Cruise to the Caribbean (December 11-18, 2011) with stops in Grand Turk, San Juan and St. Maarten. Milloy notes that just two days before the announcement for the cruise came out, the magazine ran an online feature entitled "Six ways to green your spring break."

Of course, a high-end cruise violates most of the precepts of "Green" travel. But, that's only the tip of the iceberg.

Read his complete posting.


Some reaction to "Dog lovers and baby killers"

I got an e-mail about that posting...

Loved the piece about DDT. Even my vet makes me feel guilty when I put the needs of my elderly mother ahead of her dogs. We've all gone nuts.

 

Here's my reply:

You can call it going nuts, but another way to look at it is the nearly complete erosion of critical thinking skills. The DDT story is quite similar to the cholesterol story, whereby virtually all the science extant disproves the conventional wisdom, but since it has become a cultural meme, none of this matters. There is simply no amount of information that can be put forward--EVER--to change the public perception on such topics.

Related to this is the kiss-ass A-student in high school who has some limited "mastery" of a particular subject, but never expands on this understanding--for his entire life. A current example is prevalent thinking (especially in the North) of our Civil War, now celebrating its 150th anniversary.

What we are facing these days also is the breakdown of many models, applicable to various facets of our lives. Some of these served us well enough in the past, I suppose, but are now completely outmoded.

One especially bitter example is the way many parents cling to the pathetic notion that a "good education" will guarantee some sort of bright future for their child. There's nothing wrong, of course, with getting that education, but it provides precious little in the way of improving career opportunities. Ask any 4.0 Ivy grad who is unemployed or underemployed.

Indeed, even law and medicine do not provide anywhere near the rewards they once did.

Sadly, I think that it will only get worse.


Thanksgiving wishes with an edge

This blog entry points to my latest "Mike's Comment," a writing exercise that has been going on since about 1996. I make the point that, all things considered, most of us still have lots to be thankful for.

Only, I do this while poking fun at the usual idiots.

Have a blessed and relaxing Turkey Day...and read the complete article.


Tracing back to the moment the Feds went all wrong

It happened earlier than you might think. As a recent Mike's Comment discusses, the fix was in from the beginning. I name names on who screwed it up, but even uber Federalists like Hamilton couldn't have predicted, nor would they have wanted, the mess we're now in.

Continuing my tradition of mocking so-called "landmark" Supreme Court cases, I reveal the one that tore down the whole system. As you might have guessed, old John Marshall had a hand in this case, even if he officially recused himself.

Read the complete article.