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Comment Re:When did progress... (Score 1) 895

A very fair response. Thanks! I've only listened to Beck briefly and I agree his show had no informational content. As for Limbaugh's "anti-science trolling." This is his position on AGW? Or something else? I've heard him a few times. While I don't trust him, he still seems like a useful counterpoint to the MSM for digging up stories that would otherwise get buried. He seems closer to Rand's beliefs than most pundits.

I sincerely apologize for calling you a 'troll.' Your concerns are entirely valid. I just wasn't sure of your position.

But at least don't actively associate yourselves with their opinion pundits (as opposed to their news anchors, which perhaps have a modicum of journalistic integrity still left in them) to the extent of having entire rallies organized by them. Is that too much to ask?

I didn't know that that had happened. You make a good point.


Comment Re:When did progress... (Score 1) 895

if these are the kind of people the tea party is embracing (as supporters and/or leaders), I can only take that as a clear message that rationalist fiscal conservatives are simply not welcome.

Unless we're talking about "palling around" with Hitler, what sane political movement has tried to alienate its supporters?

"Simply not welcome" is, I think, an overly strong claim on your part. Quite the contrary, it seems the issue is that they're so welcoming of even lukewarm fiscaly conservative allies that they're willing to overlook quite a number of other glaring issues. And to some extent, yes, this big tent hurts them to some extent because, given how much the media dislikes the movement, they will be painted with the stigma of the most controversial among them. The problem, as I see it, is that fiscally conservative elected politicians are in desperately short supply. Look at Schwarzenegger out here in California. He ran on a platform of fiscal conservativism and the unions absolutely rolled him once he was elected, to the point that he was spending campaign donations to push for higher taxes. Schwarzenegger re-instated the car tax that he campaigned against, and so on. If a Californian wants to vote for a fiscally conservative representative here they have virtually no selection among incumbents. Nationally, George W. Bush pushed for Medicare Part D and dramatically increased the debt. A fiscally conservative representative is a man(or woman) who is voting himself a pay cut in terms of power, and the pickings are pretty slim. Far from such people not being welcome by "Tea Partiers", it seems that they're desperately hard to find among incumbent elected officials. And with many Republicans unwilling to keep their campaign promises, the movement is dead in the water unless such allies are found, or else elected into office.

I haven't had a chance to go to one of the rallies yet, but I've posted articles from an organizer who sounded like a rational fiscal conservative. John and Ken on KFI out here in the LA area seem like pretty strong rational classic liberals, which is a fiscally conservative philosophy and they've devoted a ton of air time to organizing.

If you're a rationalist fiscal conservative, shouldn't you also hope for your own sake that I'm right? Or are you just concern trolling here?

As for consequences, I believe I've explained myself quite thoroughly. If you insist on responding to what you think I wrote instead of what I actually wrote (hint: the part about newcomers, having no record to speak of, needing to win my trust and instead, associating ("palling around" perhaps? =P) with the worst kind of politicians and media hacks - leaders or not)).

I read that. Should the "Tea Partiers" have protested coverage by Fox News? Would that have served them? "Guilt by Association" seems to be a standard diametrically opposed to a realpolitik standard of "what are the consequences?" They have to earn your trust by producing good results. Fair enough. You don't want to jump on the bandwagon until a lot of others have gotten it rolling. But you write like they've already lost your trust. That seems to me, at best, premature. I'm not a fan of Fox News in general. Their coverage of scientific topics is godawful. But I'm certainly a fan of any coverage that they give to economically conservative issues. ...and the Soviet Union did some good in bringing down Hitler during WWII, in part with American provided supplies. etc. etc. and so on.

As Churchill once quipped "If Hitler Invaded Hell, I Would At Least Make A Favorable Reference To The Devil In The House Of Commons."

Comment Re:When did progress... (Score 1) 895

Regarding your repeated assertion that Sarah Palin is a "leader" in the movement (as opposed to a keynote speaker at an event)



If you want to argue that Sarah Palin has effectively hijacked the movement and done something horrible with it, the onus is on you to prove that her involvement has had any actual "consequences" whatsoever. Because I missed that election where a bunch of rampaging tea partiers got Palin elected president, or effectively springboarded her to any power whatsoever. If you can't show that, you have no 'bad consequences' to criticize. None. Which is what leads me to believe you're using the exact standard, of intentions rather than consequences, which you claimed to hate. (And in this case, possibly not even an accurate diagnosis of those intentions.)

Comment Re:When did progress... (Score 1) 895

Life expectancy is strongly linked to lifestyle. Japanese Americans who keep their traditional lifestyle have comparable lifespans to people in Japan. America has a lot of immigration and people born with malnutrition die sooner. American hospitals record live births that die within 24 hours as babies that die at 0 days old, not as stillbirths as many European countries do. And because of that, America saves far more premies than Europe, which also reduces lifespan because premies die sooner.

France does have far higher unemployment than the US. And given current trends, it's likely to grow.

In informal poling (rather than government statistics) people in Brittan were more likely to report being a victim of theft than Americans. And don't even get me started on Greece.

France does have an interesting semi-market based healthcare system, though. If we had to have socliazed medicine, which I don't want, I'd want something like France has.

Comment Re:When did progress... (Score 1) 895

Would you say the same thing if the actors included, say, Michael Moore who the Democrats allowed to speak at a party convention? Should we write off all Democrats because of that? I'm not exactly a fan of Palin's "folksy" style of communicating. I think she's a horrible public speaker who was unprepared for the national stage. But the media has treated her like garbage. After the election, she was hit with 27 bogus ethics complaints, and has exonerated herself of 26 (one still pending.) If someone did that to a Democrat, there would be endless talk about a 'climate of hate.' We would be asked whether a democracy could function under those conditions, and forced to conclude that it could not. But how many people even have a clue that that's the reason she said she resigned? Instead, we get insinuations that she 'did it for the money' because of deals she made. It is a dishonest narrative, and the media and those who blindly follow the media should understand that there's going to be pushback for these vicious, anti-democratic tactics.

Comment Re:When did progress... (Score 1, Insightful) 895

Folks on the left are rarely fair about the issue of intelligence. Kerry's grades were as bad as Bush's and Gore did pretty awful in school as well. But this is all swept under the rug. Gore can mistakenly call CO2 as a leading indicator rather than a lagging indicator in his movie (or maybe it was deliberate dishonesty?) and noone calls him on it. I'm certainly not a big fan of Palin, But I am sick of people asserting; "we don't have to address conservative's economic arguments, because we (or our leaders) are THAT SMART!"

Comment Re:Utter bullshit. (Score 1) 882

Indeed, secrecy is not how science is done. But for those recommendations made based on IPCC data, it is certainly how policy is made. Meaning that policy has not been based on proper science.

After years of refusing to let researchers see the temperature records on which the UN's IPCC based its assertions of global warming, the two scientists in charge now claim the original data has been lost or erased. Including the data they received just this year. source

Add this to the radiosonde data which failed to find warming in the troposphere - which is crucial for establishing a 'greenhouse' cause for global warming. The dataset was then adjusted. In any case, after all this garbage I hope people finally retire the trope about how AGW has been firmly established and how we have to do allow all kinds of brokers to regulate our economy. There's been a LOT of fudging of data. If these files are genuinely all accurate, it may help people realize that.

Comment Re:Don't forget: (Score 1) 258

The travesty is the fact that mainstream medicine is regulated and sued to death, to the point that care becomes unaffordable for many who could otherwise afford it, not that natural medicine is unregulated.

In any case, I don't think that you have 'big natural' in the same way that you have 'big pharma' since there's not the same barrier to entry with natural products that there is with pharmaceuticals. There are virtually no patents. No 100 mil to produce a drug (that you then want to see brough to market.) Those kinds of conditions strongly favor a few major players. And they favor regulatory capture.

While I'd agree that there are a lot of scams related to CAM (particularly homeopathy) and that people could afford to be more credulous I don't agree that there's no mechanism for how some of the stuff works (even some homeopathy), or evidence that it does. Naturopathy has well documented mechanisms. It's not unreasonable to think that acupuncture might relieve pain. Acupuncture demonstratably alters blood flow, among other physiological changes.

In addition, research shows acupuncture can help manage postoperative dental pain and alleviate chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting. It also appears to offer relief for chronic menstrual cramps and tennis elbow.Mayo clinic

(Granted, pain related studies are very hard to objectively conduct. )

Comment Re:Slashkos (Score 1) 1053

Huh? The rule of law in China is quite a bit weaker compared to the United States. I taught in Nanjing in 2004, and most of my Chinese friends could tell stories of powerful folks getting out of murder sentences via bribery among other things. Plus there were many smaller problems; beggars were organized and people would deliberately hobble orphan children so the children could beg. I got to see one official upturning a street vendor's fruit basket. My friend told me the vendor hadn't paid her protection money. etc. etc.

I don't mean to be harsh, but either you've horribly misunderstood me, you don't know what you're talking about, or both.

Comment Re:wow only 77 (Score 3, Interesting) 1053

Well, not exactly. You'd get a clearer picture if you broke the US population down by demographics.

The US has more immigration, for one thing, and a greater disparity between rich and poor. Our drug problems seem to be worse. Mexicans use our Emergency Rooms for free and then go back to their country so they don't have to pay, but we're stuck with the bill. Or some stay here. Mexican immigrants have lower life expectancy.

Stillborne births are counted differently in some European countries, with a baby sucking one breath in the US being counted as living for one day, while the same baby in some European countries (don't know about the UK) would be called a stillbirth and ignored by the statistics. (Accounting for this still just brings the US up only into the top 15 or so countries in ranking, but it is a factor.)

The high end care in the US is some of the best in the world, and people come here from Europe for cancer treatment. Also, the fact that the US doesn't have price controls and Europe does means that the American market is the primary engine funding drug development. Europe is basically a free rider. If America enacted price controls on drugs (and why shouldn't we, to be economically competitive with the rest of the world) then Europe would see the drugs its cost-controlled medical system had access to dwindle.

Incidentally, the rate of organ transplants in the US is much higher than in Europe.

Also, frankly, the average American diet is awful. To give just one example; we don't test cattle for BSE (Mad Cow) because "it's never been found on this continent" though the lack of testing would make it impossible to find it so it's kindof a circular argument. US cows are slaughtered younger, so symptoms wouldn't appear in infected animals. Also, wild deer have been found with a BSE like prion, indicating that it is, in fact, on this continent. (Avoid US beef like the plague that it is.)

And hydrogenated oils should have been, by the FDAs own standards, approved only as an additive rather than a foodstuff.

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