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Messages - meepmeep

It is hard to try to remain sympathetic to people that continuously vote aganst their own best interest, would follow Trump off a cliff, and think they have cornered the market on patriotism.

In this case, I don't think the predominant demographic voted against their interest. Upper class white people's main interest is taxes, and Republicans cut taxes, so they're naturally inclined to vote Republican. I think Trump didn't do as well in the district because he is Trump, but Handel is not Trump. She maintained a bit of distance between herself and Trump, enough to make it easy for voters who don't like Trump to vote for her anyway because, what the hell, who cares about the rest of that bullshit as long as she's going to cut my taxes?

The thing about Republicans not liking Trump is that many of them take issue with his style more than his substance. If he stopped tweeting and learned to keep his mouth shut and listen to his handlers, they'd support him completely.
I will destroy you.

Also it's worth noting that Obama did worse than Clinton so maybe this Ossoff underperformed compared to Clinton take isn't exactly the right framing. Maybe it's Clinton who overperformed.

And it's funny how "is Republican and not the other side" is more than enough for a Republican to win an election in a district that's heavily Republican but the real problem is the Democrats haven't convinced enough Republicans to vote for them because the Democratic candidate wasn't far left enough. Lol.
Yes, now that I have the election results, it's so obvious which races we should've focused on! Boy, everyone else is such a dummy.

I doubt a populist campaign would've helped. Wealthy white people who settled in the suburbs because of the blacks don't give a single fuck about a living wage, so that comment was never going to hurt  Handel. Maybe mentioning Trump more could've helped but it also could've backfired.

As for the money, if he had won by a single vote, everyone would be talking about money well spent. And let's not forget that Handel's campaign spent considerably more.
Am I missing something or is this take super dumb? (eta there are 2 more tweets there, click to see)

It seems pretty obvious to me that ruralness per se does matter. Being further removed from government services alone absolutely affects your view of what government does and doesn't do. Not having much contact with people who are different from you absolutely affects your view of what those people are like. This seems like pretty fucking basic shit.
Politics and Current Events / Re: Removing Assad
Not surprised at all but, still, holy shit:

An investment group that U.S. authorities say is run by Russian mobsters and linked to the Russian government sent at least $900,000 to a company owned by a businessman tied to Syria's chemical weapons program, according to financial documents obtained by CNN.

The company allegedly tied to Russian mafia was called Quartell Trading Ltd., and the U.S. Department of Justice claims it is one of the many vehicles into which millions of dollars of stolen Russian taxpayer money was laundered a decade ago in connection with the so-called "Magnitsky affair," perhaps the most notorious corruption case in Vladimir Putin's Russia.

Balec Ventures is owned by Issa al-Zeydi, a Russian whom the U.S. Treasury Department sanctioned in 2014 for his connection to the Scientific Studies and Research Center, the hub of Syria's nonconventional weapons program, including its manufacture of Sarin and VX nerve agents and mustard gas.
So you're saying there's more racism and xenophobia in white rural American enclaves where they rarely even encounter anyone who isn't exactly like themselves? Astonishing!
My brother's friend grew up in rural Iowa. Two things he didn't see in real life until he moved to Chicago in his mid 20's: shrimp and black people.

That is so weird to me. The first town we lived in here in the US is technically considered urban, but it was more like a crowded suburban place where everything is close together because the town was founded in the 1700s. I went to school with kids of lots of different backgrounds even though the majority were Irish/Italian Catholic/Jewish. It seemed like every other one of my classmates got to celebrate both Christmas and Hanukkah, and I was kind of jealous. There were black kids, East Asian kids, Indian kids, Pakistani kids, Latin American kids. Immigrants and native born.

We ended up moving to a more whitebread town. I actually met up with 3 of my old friends last week because one of them had a baby shower at her mom's house, and we talked about this a bit. One of them is black, and she always used to joke about being the token black friend since there were so few black students at school. She ended up going to college at Columbia and she said she was so relieved to be around more people like her and a bunch of weirdos who were okay with everyone being their own kind of weirdo. And she said that being in an environment like that made her look back at some of the shit people said to her in high school and realize just how ridiculous it was. Like the time when these white girls were arguing with her that they were more black than she was because they listened to rap and she didn't. lol okay sure.

But yeah. I'm glad I grew up in a more diverse place. That unease you feel when you're obviously the outsider is a really unpleasant feeling.

The Washington Post-Kaiser Family Foundation survey of nearly 1,700 Americans -- including more than 1,000 adults living in rural areas and small towns -- finds deep-seated kinship in rural America, coupled with a stark sense of estrangement from people who live in urban areas. Nearly 7 in 10 rural residents say their values differ from people who live in big cities, including about 4 in 10 who say their values are "very different."

That divide is felt more extensively in rural America than in cities: About half of urban residents say their values differ from rural people, with about 20 percent of urbanites saying rural values are "very different."

"Being from a rural area, everyone looks out for each other," said Ryan Lawson, who grew up in northern Wisconsin. "People, in my experience, in cities are not as compassionate toward their neighbor as people in rural parts."

Yes, but, what if your neighbor is a black or a queer or Jewish?

Rural Americans express far more concern about jobs in their communities, but the poll finds that those concerns have little connection to support for Trump, a frequent theory to explain his rise in 2016. Economic troubles also show little relation to the feeling that urban residents have different values.

Rural voters who lament their community's job prospects report supporting Trump by 14 percentage points more than Clinton, but Trump's support was about twice that margin -- 30 points -- among voters who say their community's job opportunities are excellent or good. Trump also earned about the same level of support from those who say they don't worry about paying their bills as those who couldn't pay their bills at some point in the past year.

Rural residents are nearly three times as likely (42 percent) as people in cities (16 percent) to say that immigrants are a burden on the country.

"They're not paying taxes like Americans are. They're getting stuff handed to them," said Larry E. Redding, a retired canning factory employee in Arendtsville, Pa. "Free rent, and they're driving better vehicles than I'm driving and everything else."

Wait a goddamn minute, you mean I've been paying taxes all this time like some fucking sucker when I didn't have to? Also where can I sign up for my free rent and nice vehicle?

The poll reveals that perceptions about abuse of government benefits often go hand in hand with views about race.

When asked which is more common -- that government help tends to go to irresponsible people who do not deserve it or that it doesn't reach people in need -- rural Americans are more likely than others to say they think people are abusing the system. And across all areas, those who believe irresponsible people get undeserved government benefits are more likely than others to think that racial minorities receive unfair privileges.

In response to this poll question -- "Which of these do you think is the bigger problem in this country: blacks and Hispanics losing out because of preferences for whites, or whites losing out because of preferences for blacks and Hispanics?" -- rural whites are 14 points less likely than urban whites to say they are more concerned about blacks and Hispanics losing out.

"The culture and the type of people you see, they're different" in big cities, said Bethany Hanna, a homemaker in Saint Albans, W.Va., who said she visits urban areas on missions with her church. "It tends to be the type of people who are getting more assistance. .?.?. And the way you hear people talking, the viewpoints that they have on certain matters, it leans toward a pretty liberal opinion. Some of it's an entitlement thing. They say 'that's not fair,' or 'I deserve this,' that kind of thing."

I'm shocked that someone on a mission with their church would encounter people who need more assistance. Weird!
Science / Re: Chronic Lyme Disease
Yup, central Jersey. Somerset county.

I grew up knowing to watch out for ticks and look for the telltale bull's eye rash, but it has never been as bad as it is this year. I never found a single tick after being out in the backyard at this house since we moved here in the late 90s, but now my mom is seeing them on the front porch. They have a very narrow strip of wetlands behind the house, but it's been well over a decade since the vast majority of it got removed to build more houses. It's thin enough that you can see the houses on the other side, but there's enough brush there for deer to stop by on a daily basis.

I immediately stopped walking the dog anywhere near the perimeter where the brush starts, but he's still getting ticks. I found one right near his eye after a quick pee run where he was outside for no more than 2 minutes. He's a hound and keeps his nose to the ground, and that short amount of time in the lawn close to the house was enough for him to catch one of those questing little fuckers. His preventative has a remarkably quick kill time (starts taking effect at around 8 hours), so I'm not terribly concerned about him getting sick. Disease transmission takes over 24 hours, though it's possible that the medication could fail. But I do worry about him bringing live ones into the house that could potentially somehow end up on one of the humans.

It doesn't help that my stubborn Spaniard of a dad doesn't listen to me when it comes to this stuff. He says he just crushes them with his bare hands (!!) and, meh, whatever, they're just ticks, "psssh, like I haven't seen one of these things before." Because medicine figured out all it ever needed to figure out when he was young so whatever wasn't a problem in the past couldn't possibly be a problem now. And what the hell would I ever know about dogs or science or medicine or diseases involving dogs?


We see a lot of ticks down in northern VA, too. We had plenty of clients coming in during warmer months to get them removed, so I can't imagine how many more people felt comfortable doing it themselves at home. We also saw a lot of dogs positive for Lyme and Ehrlichia canis/ewingii, and by the time I left, we were seeing a lot more Anaplasma phagocytophilum/platys positives, too. I view our fluffy little buddies as an early (or not so early, really) detection system, a canary in the coal mine. A lot of those positives for all these infections were asymptomatic (or maybe had symptoms the owner didn't notice or waited out, which then resolved), and the only reason we caught them is because we use the 4Dx SNAP test for annual heartworm testing. If it were heartworm alone, we wouldn't realize how much some of these diseases are spreading because there'd never really be cause to test for them in a healthy-looking patient. It makes me wonder whether subclinical infections are common in humans, and if so, how many cases are we not even seeing in the stats?
Science / Chronic Lyme Disease
Interesting piece in WaPo:

Chronic Lyme disease is a diagnosis that some health-care providers use to describe patients with a variety of symptoms such as fatigue, generalized pain, and neurological symptoms.

It's a confusing term because it's been used to mean many different things. Some practitioners have used the diagnosis to describe lingering symptoms after infection with the bacteria Borrelia burgdorferi that causes Lyme disease. Others use the catchall term to describe patients with subjective symptoms but no evidence of ever having been infected with the tick-borne illness.

Many of these patients have experienced significant debilitation from their symptoms and failed to find relief after seeing conventional medical practitioners. As a result, some turn to alternative medicine clinics or practitioners who sometimes identify themselves as Lyme disease specialists, or "Lyme literate" doctors, who may subject patients to a host of unproven treatments, the report said.

Typical symptoms of true Lyme disease include fever, headache, fatigue and a skin rash that may have a characteristic bull's eye shape. If left untreated, infection can spread to joints, the heart and nervous system. The recommended treatment is generally a two-to-four-week course of antibiotics. The CDC estimates about 300,000 people are diagnosed with Lyme each year, and the numbers have been on the rise.

Federal health officials don't know the number of people who undergo treatments for chronic Lyme disease or the complications that result from such treatments. But based on information received in the past three years from state and local health departments, and from clinicians who have treated patients who have become very sick as a result of these treatments, "we really have a sense that both the treatment and scope are broadening," Nelson said.

"Health-care providers are seeing the fallout," she said. "These treatments are really dangerous. This is just the tip of a very large iceberg that no one is talking about."

The CDC report:

Based on what I've learned from working with dogs, treating with doxycycline after a positive ELISA is standard practice, but it's common to see subsequent positives even in symptomatic dogs that see symptoms reside with treatment. In some cases, a quantitative measure of antibody can help clear up what might be going on, but not necessarily. There was one canine model study done years ago that showed antibiotic therapy didn't completely eliminate the bacteria and that immunosuppressed dogs (in this case, infected dogs given corticosteroids) saw reactivation of symptoms. There's some suspicion that doxy might help through its anti-inflammatory properties more than anything.

If it's the same in humans, then chronic Lyme is a possibility if antibiotics don't completely clear a person of the organism and if it can be reactivated in certain circumstances. Or it could be that the bacteria are completely cleared but that enough damage/change makes people susceptible to inflammatory flare ups. But the topic has become politicized, and there are a bunch of nutty advocacy groups and bullshit documentaries out there among all of the quacks.

Then there's the vaccine. We've been vaccinating dogs for a long time, and within the past 2-ish years or so, they've released new chimeric recombinant vaccines on the market that are able to target the type of outer surface protein on the bacteria that tends to vary. Being unable to target that class of proteins is what made the old vaccine not so great. Once upon a time, there was LYMErix, but since it got pulled from the market, no one has dared introduce another vaccine. So here we are with hundreds of thousands of people getting infected every year.

It's extremely frustrating because tick-borne diseases are a huge problem. In recent years, people doctors have been catching up and paying attention, but there are still too many out there who don't know enough about these diseases and who don't take them seriously enough. And it's only going to get worse as these diseases spread and as milder winters contribute to the explosion in populations of different tick species all across the country. As more and more people become infected by these various diseases, we're heading towards a fairly significant shitstorm what with our gaps in knowledge mixed with the army of Drs. Google out there.

When I was in high school, my friend had some mystery illness that turned her into a near skeleton with fibromyalgia and all sorts of problems. She eventually found one of those "Lyme literate doctors," who had her blood tested multiple times before finally getting a positive for Lyme. Looking back on that now, it's pretty :unsure: . That doctor also ended up giving her a bunch of shit for treatment, including these amazing foot pad thingies that you stick on the soles of your feet at night and in the morning you can see all the toxins they pulled out! :ohmy: She first introduced me to this world of warring groups of advocacy groups who believe they know the REAL story that the other villains (other doctors, CDC, FDA, Big Pharma, the AMA, other disability advocates who are jealous, space aliens probably) are hiding. It's insanity.

So, guys, be careful and check yourselves for ticks all the time and keep your pets on preventatives. I had never found a single tick on my dog until this year. He's been staying at my parents' house, and on his first or second day here, I pulled 5 ticks off of him in a single fucking day and have found several more since. I found one live one next to him on the couch that had probably hitched a ride on his fur without actually biting him. Little fucker could've easily hung out and bitten a human instead. My mom has found lots of them on her clothes and found one attached on her back that she had me take out. And we've got all three of the major fucking species out here. The little motherfuckers are everywhere, and things are bad enough this year that you might find them on you even if you never go through wooded areas, so watch out.
I'm also not giving them any benefit of the doubt and assume that they're going to go right back to the 2ND AMENDMENT SOLUTION rhetoric the next time it suits them.

e.g. look at this disingenuous bullshit

Exactly. They're reacting this way because it's currently politically convenient. No indication your average GOP asshole is going to magically change in the long term. Don't be so fucking naive.
don't lose faith. piss tape is real and strong and it will be known to all someday.

Yes, be patient, friends. Big news doesn't drop until mid to late afternoon or well into the evening. Recently it's all been after 5 pm, sometimes later in the night.
again I'm surprised.  the shooting seems to be causing them a serious gut check about their rhetoric.

oh guapo. How adorable.
I mean, it could just be referring to the Kushner story in WaPo today or it could just be a vague bizarro statement he was pressured to release but I'm going to pretend there's news coming tomorrow. Seems to be a good bet these days anyway.

 :siren: :siren: :siren:  PEE PEE TAPE INCOMING :siren: :siren: :siren:

I'm going to be at work doing anesthesia all morning. :noo:
Politics and Current Events / Re: Trumpocalypse
bili why
Our front desk staff at the ER couldn't stop a middle aged thin woman from barging into the treatment room after her cat. We also had a client threaten to shoot up the hospital. These places often have panic buttons, but it's hard to serve the public and have serious safety measures in place. I don't want to think about it anymore. :meeps: