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Comment Re: Castro dead (Score 1) 279

Not that I think the embargo was a particularly good policy, but I have to point out that if your awesome alternative to capitalism specifically requires trade with the US in order to succeed, it's reasonable to wonder if you really have an awesome alternative to capitalism.

Comment Re:You know, just saying they can't bend the inter (Score 1) 135

You can't 100% censor anything, but you can get pretty darned close if you put your mind to it. If, say, software piracy carried the death penalty and the UK government was given all of the technical tools available to to chase down software pirates, you'd better believe that causal piracy would drop a lot closer to zero than it is right now. Then the only remaining question is how much people are willing to fight back to get the law repealed, or if they'll just say, "Meh, it's not worth making an issue of."

In that sense, there's nothing special about the Internet. It just happens that in most modern countries, they haven't tried all that hard and the stakes have been pretty low.

Comment Re:Slapping time (Score 1) 656

Actually, the Japanese, who had followed this discussion, decided to postpone the measles vaccination, after which the autism rate in young children suddenly and spectacularly dropped.

The only study I'm aware of is from 2005 and it shows nothing of the sort. Is there some new data that shows a change in trend later on? If so, how do we account for the timing?

Comment Re:Slapping time (Score 1) 656

Funny enough, Prof. John Walker-Smith had the money to actually appeal the decision of the GMC in court, and was vindicated by the judge. So he (and Wakefield) was right after all.

What was the ruling, specifically? I'm having a hard time finding it. Given the truly damning findings against Wakefield, I'm very interested in seeing which ones they repudiated and why.

However, later the CDC found out by itself that MMR led in a disproportional way to much more cases of autism in African Americans than in white Americans.

Do you have a source for that?

Comment Re:About time. (Score 1) 656

That is a good thing and I'm glad people with real medical problems have more options. At the same time, if it became trendy to roll around in wheelchairs, we'd see a lot more accessibility work in cool businesses, but I'd still have to roll my eyes at an able-bodied hipster giving a business owner shit because there weren't enough accessible tables for his wheelchair.

Comment Re:About time. (Score 1) 656

22 Vaccines from Birth to 15 months alone. You are so 100% sure that 22 schedule is safe and effective? Without Proof or even evidence? That is sciency, not science.

If you have proper statistics, you should be able to draw some pretty solid epidemiological conclusions from them, even without a double-blind study. Different age cohorts will get a different vaccine schedule because, as you note, it changes over time. You can also run comparisons against other countries with different vaccination schedules. So far, I don't see any evidence that anything troubling is going on, but maybe you have something interesting to share?

This sounds a lot like the "cell phones cause cancer" stuff. No, there has never been a specific double-blind study to test it, but there's tons of aggregate data, and it looks to me like we've had to torture the data pretty hard to get a positive result, so I'm pretty satisfied that I don't need to worry too much.

Comment Re:Indeed (Score 1) 270

I'm hoping it will at least come up only when a little bit relevant. Right now it's, "I'm stuck at a red light. Fucking Crooked Hillary!" or, "This mac and cheese is terrible, but not as terrible as Donald Trump!"

We get it, people. You think you're topical and clever. You have feelings and ideas and stuff about current events. We just don't want to hear them.

Comment Re:Let's teach critical thinking (Score 2) 212

That works as long as you're one of the lucky seniors who remains sharp as a tack until your last dying breath. For most, there's a window when they're still in charge of their own finances but have moments when they're easily confused and forgetful. My grandmother is in her 90s and spent most of her life being one of the smartest people in any given room and was plenty cynical and suspicious about scams and criminals, but she's now reaching a point where she has days when she has no idea what bills she's paid or how many times she's paid the same one. Those are the types of people most scammers are looking for.

If you're in your 40s and you fall for this sort of scam, I don't know what to say. Your life savings was probably going to end up going to a megachurch or pyramid scheme at some point anyway. But most of us are going to end up losing our ability to handle this type of thing eventually, so it's best if we put some effort in to stopping this kind of shit.

Comment Re: Indians are immoral (Score 1) 212

A goodly chunk of those people are also retired folks who worked and paid income tax most of their lives and are now on a small fixed income, drawing down their savings rather than earning taxable income. A lot of the data on both income inequality, debt and taxes paid is explained pretty simply by lifecycle factors. Young adults have no savings, borrow money, earn crappy incomes. Middle age people are paying off debt, saving for retirement, earning decent incomes. Old people are earning very little again but drawing down debt instead of borrowing.

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