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Topics - meepmeep

1
https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/2017/national/rural-america/

https://apps.washingtonpost.com/g/page/national/washington-post-kaiser-family-foundation-rural-and-small-town-america-poll/2217/

Quote
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."

Quote
"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?

Quote
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.

Quote
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?

Quote
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.

Quote
"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!
2
Science / Chronic Lyme Disease
Interesting piece in WaPo: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/to-your-health/wp/2017/06/15/dangerous-unproven-treatments-for-chronic-lyme-disease-cause-are-on-the-rise/

Quote
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: https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/66/wr/mm6623a3.htm

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.
3


The best thing about the "now is not the time to discuss gun policy" argument is that in America, there's always yet another shooting to restart the "when we can talk about this" clock.  :patriot:
4
Today's poor innocent victim:

Millennials are killing chains like Buffalo Wild Wings and Applebee's
http://www.businessinsider.com/millennials-endanger-casual-dining-restaurants-2017-5

 :stopper:  :stopper:  :stopper:  :stopper:  :stopper:  :stopper:  :stopper:  :stopper:  :stopper:  :stopper:

Is nothing sacred anymore?

Where will I go to buy a $20 plate of microwaved food if Applebee's goes away? :sadcheer:
5
Science / Charles Murray and Sam Harris
https://www.vox.com/the-big-idea/2017/5/18/15655638/charles-murray-race-iq-sam-harris-science-free-speech

Quote
Finally, let us consider Sam Harris and his willingness to endorse Murray's claims -- his decision to suspend the skepticism and tough-mindedness we have come to expect from him. There is a fairly widespread intellectual movement among center-right social theorists and pundits to argue that strong adherence to the scientific method commits us to following human science wherever it goes -- and they mean something very specific in this context. They say we must move from hard-nosed science of intelligence and genetics all the way -- only if that's the direction data and logical, unbiased interpretation lead, naturally -- to genetically based differences in behavior among races.

Moreover, a reflexive defense of free academic inquiry has prompted some to think it a mark of scientific objectivity to look at cognitive differences in the eye without blinking. To deny the possibility of a biological basis of group differences, they suggest, is to allow "moral panic," as Harris puts it, to block objective scientific judgment. But passively allowing oneself to be led into unfounded genetic conclusions about race and IQ is hardly a mark of rational tough-mindedness. The fact is, there is no evidence for any such genetic hypothesis -- about complex human behavior of any kind. Anyone who speaks as if there were is spouting junk science.
6
This article is fucking terrifying.

http://www.npr.org/2017/05/12/527806002/focus-on-infants-during-childbirth-leaves-u-s-moms-in-danger

Quote
The ability to protect the health of mothers and babies in childbirth is a basic measure of a society's development. Yet every year in the U.S., 700 to 900 women die from pregnancy or childbirth-related causes, and some 65,000 nearly die -- by many measures, the worst record in the developed world.

American women are more than three times as likely as Canadian women to die in the maternal period (defined by the Centers for Disease Control as the start of pregnancy to one year after delivery or termination), six times as likely to die as Scandinavians. In every other wealthy country, and many less affluent ones, maternal mortality rates have been falling; in Great Britain, the journal Lancet recently noted, the rate has declined so dramatically that "a man is more likely to die while his partner is pregnant than she is." But in the U.S., maternal deaths increased from 2000 to 2014. In a recent analysis by the CDC Foundation, nearly 60 percent of such deaths are preventable.

While maternal mortality is significantly more common among African-Americans, low-income women and in rural areas, pregnancy and childbirth complications kill women of every race and ethnicity, education and income level, in every part of the U.S. ProPublica and NPR spent the last several months scouring social media and other sources, ultimately identifying more than 450 expectant and new mothers who have died since 2011.

The list includes teachers, insurance brokers, homeless women, journalists, a spokeswoman for Yellowstone National Park, a cofounder of the YouTube channel WhatsUpMoms, and more than a dozen doctors and nurses like Lauren Bloomstein. They died from cardiomyopathy and other heart problems, massive hemorrhage, blood clots, infections and pregnancy-induced hypertension (preeclampsia) as well as rarer causes. Many died days or weeks after leaving the hospital. Maternal mortality is commonplace enough that three new mothers who died, including Lauren, were cared for by the same ob/gyn.

The reasons for higher maternal mortality in the U.S. are manifold. New mothers are older than they used to be, with more complex medical histories. Half of pregnancies in the U.S. are unplanned, so many women don't address chronic health issues beforehand. Greater prevalence of C-sections leads to more life-threatening complications. The fragmented health system makes it harder for new mothers, especially those without good insurance, to get the care they need. Confusion about how to recognize worrisome symptoms and treat obstetric emergencies makes caregivers more prone to error.

Quote
The DOH examined Lauren's records, interviewed her caregivers and scrutinized Monmouth's policies and practices. In December 2012 it issued a report that backed up everything Larry had seen first-hand. "There is no record in the medical record that the Registered Nurse notified [the ob/gyn] of the elevated blood pressures of patient prior to delivery," investigators found. And: "There is no evidence in the medical record of further evaluation and surveillance of patient from [the ob/gyn] prior to delivery." And: "There was no evidence in the medical record that the elevated blood pressures were addressed by [the ob/gyn] until after the Code Stroke was called."

The report faulted the hospital. "The facility is not in compliance" with New Jersey hospital licensing standards, it concluded. "The facility failed to ensure that recommended obstetrics guidelines are adhered to by staff."
7
...apparently coming at 8 am local time. There was an emergency meeting called.

French media are saying Prince Philip has kicked the bucket.

http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/queens-most-senior-aides-call-10351987
8
http://www.reuters.com/article/us-ukraine-crisis-osce-idUSKBN17P0CZ

Quote
One member of European security watchdog OSCE's monitoring mission in eastern Ukraine was killed and two others were injured after their vehicle drove over a mine near Luhansk.

An American man was killed and a German woman was injured on Sunday morning, a spokesman for Austria's foreign ministry said. Austria holds the rotating presidency of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE).

It's pretty crazy to me that there's been a low level war simmering in eastern Ukraine for a long time now with shooting, shelling, and casualties, but nobody ever seems to really talk about it. It's a good thing the State Dept. is currently fully staffed by competent people without questionable agendas! :meeps:
10
It's women's fault:
http://thefederalist.com/2017/04/04/men-women-can-never-just-friends/

 :clap:

lolololololol

The best thing about this piece of trying hard to be funny garbage is that marriage is just a code word for sex, but that word is bad because he is a Lutheran pastor. Because we all know young 20 something dudes who love video games and farts (LOL TACO BELL FARTS) and football are just dying ( :stareicide: ) to get married and have lots and lots of babies in order to secure the future of Social Security and Medicare.

This is why you never see young men on the internet complain about divorce laws or the evil indignities of being forced to pay child support after some bitch fucking tricked them for the welfare checks and WIC. They've just been dreaming of marriage and babies all their lives, and it's such a bitter disappointment to find out all these dumb broads don't want anything to do with that. God, why are women so commitment phobic and so negative about marriage and babies?  ::)

Quote
Conversely, if you find your guy friend attractive, and if you see him as a man of character and heart, then call him right now and tell him that he was placed in the Friend Zone due to a clerical error. Say to him, "You make me laugh and would be a great husband and father. Clearly, you need to be on the express track to the Marriage Zone."

lololololol

I highly recommend every woman call up a guy she casually knows to tell him that he would be a great husband and father. TRUST ME THIS CANNOT POSSIBLY GO WRONG.
11
Hundreds arrested in Belarus after "unauthorized" protest:
http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-39393351

The people were protesting the "social parasite" tax, which sounds like Paul Ryan's wet dream. People who are unemployed for 6 months are required to pay the tax. It's meant to encourage "discipline" and prevent "social dependency."

Anti-corruption protests happening all over Russia now:
https://themoscowtimes.com/articles/hundreds-arrested-as-anti-corruption-protests-sweep-russia-57538

There's been zero mention of it on state TV, of course, and at least one reporter has been arrested for "participating in an unauthorized demonstration" in Moscow even though they had press credentials.

They're even arresting teenagers:


His horribly offensive anti-Russia evil sign says "sell the dachas / build roads."



What's most striking about this is that it doesn't look too different from some of the shit we've seen over here.
12
https://themoscowtimes.com/articles/russias-foreign-ministry-is-telling-citizens-how-to-behave-abroad-and-its-everything-57519

Canada:
Quote
Canada, where samesex marriage was long ago legalized and there is a serious 'obsession' with gender equality,  isn't the best place for retelling 'obscene male' anecdotes and jokes about 'the non-traditionals.' In addition to public censure, in major metropolitan areas with compact 'queer' neighborhoods (in particular, Vancouver, Toronto, and Montreal), you risk penalties in the form of a fine or even felony charges for 'hate crimes.'

"It's better to refrain from demonstrating emotions when dealing with members of the opposite sex, in order to avoid allegations of attempted sexual harassment (on university campuses, the institution of the 'public moral police' is widespread).

Quote
Though foreigners sometimes find it difficult to distinguish one from the other, Canadian citizens can become very offended, if you compare their country to the United States.

:canada:

Israel:
Quote
It's inadmissible to use the word 'zhid' [kike] when addressing any Jew, even if he doesn't understand Russian.

"Visitors to this country should bear in mind Israelites' extreme sensitivity to virtually any criticism of the state of Israel itself, as well as criticism of any aspects of life in Israel."

Kenya:
Quote
Comparing a Kenyan to a monkey can cause the very strongest reaction, as can rudely questioning a Kenyan's mental abilities (knocking yourself on the head, as a gesture during conversation, is considered an insult). If you poke a Kenyan with your finger during conversation, it can also instigate aggression from him.
13
So I saw a new piece of Corey Stewart today, and it made me remember to order my absentee ballot for the primary.

Tell me, TR, who should I vote for? Ralph Northam, the current Lt. Gov., or Tom Perriello?

Not going to lie, Perriello has the advantage here because his dog Jack is listed on his page as the campaign hound:




Anyway, as for Stewart...

If you haven't heard of Stewart, well, he is pretty much pretending to be Trump and is basically a big old piece of shit, but he may not end up getting the Republican nomination:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/virginia-politics/a-voice-of-trumpism-struggles-to-find-an-audience-in-virginia/2017/03/16/566a6ce0-fbcc-11e6-be05-1a3817ac21a5_story.html

Quote
At a public celebration last summer, Corey Stewart, Prince William County's top Republican, praised his county's diversity and welcomed the renaming of a middle school once christened for a prominent segregationist.

Five months later, in the throes of his campaign for the Republican nomination for governor of Virginia, Stewart joined a group railing against the planned removal of a statue of Gen. Robert E. Lee from a park in downtown Charlottesville.

"We've got to defend our culture, we've got to defend our heritage," Stewart barked before supporters that included men holding Confederate flags, according to a video on his Twitter page.

With a ravenous appetite for rhetorical bombast, Stewart is campaigning as an unapologetic disciple of President Trump, echoing the president's populist diatribes against the Republican establishment, undocumented immigrants, political correctness and the media.

Yet in purple Virginia, the only Southern state that Trump lost to Democrat Hillary Clinton, Stewart is struggling to captivate voters. Three months before the June 13 primary, polls show him in single digits, far behind front-runner Ed Gillespie, a former lobbyist and adviser to President George W. Bush, in a field that also includes state Sen. Frank W. Wagner (R-Virginia Beach).

Quote
Stewart, in a telephone interview, expressed no concern about disagreements with allies, saying they are a routine fact of his combative political life. He offered a broad rebuke of those who criticized him at the supervisors' meeting as "the same old liberal whack jobs who have been protesting me for 10 years."

Stewart's credentials as a self-styled voice of Trumpism may seem dubious, since the president's own campaign dismissed him as its Virginia co-chairman in October. Stewart had ignored the campaign's order to refrain from protesting the national Republican Party's treatment of Trump.

"He got fired for not following directions," said John Fredericks, Trump's Virginia co-chairman. "He may own the Trump style but he doesn't own the Trump brand. The Trump people don't like him."

Told about Fredericks's remarks, Stewart said, "I hate that guy," and contended that he was fired "because I was too loyal." He remains devoted to Trump, he said, and is confident that he can ride the anti-establishment spirit the president unleashed to the governor's mansion.

"In-your-face conservatism," Stewart said, describing Trumpian politics. "I'm the anti-establishment candidate who's going to burn the s---house down."

This is the best part!
Quote
During a rally for the statue in mid-February, counter demonstrators shouted Stewart down. He cited the altercation with what he described as "radical left-wing agitators" in subsequent fundraising pleas.

While he was at the rally, Stewart met the leaders of a fledgling right-wing group known as Unity and Security for America, who asked him to return the following week for a news conference. He accepted the invitation.

The group, which has fewer than a dozen members, supports immigration laws "that require that most immigrants come from Western countries," according to its website. Jason Kessler, the leader of the group, tweeted in November that Trump is "the savior of Western Civilization" and that "his acts of bravery have inspired a movement that will outlive us all."

"Corey Stewart showed up when we needed him," said Isaac Smith, a spokesman for the group. "He stood by us."

Quote
Last August, Stewart spoke at the renaming ceremony for the Mills E. Godwin Middle School, a Woodbridge building originally named in honor of a former governor who, as a state lawmaker in the 1950s, led the "massive resistance" movement against school integration. The county's board of education renamed Godwin for an African American philanthropist, George Hampton.

"It's been a long, long, long time in coming, that's for sure," Stewart told the audience at the ceremony. "A lot of things have changed in Prince William County since 1970, and let me tell you something. Those changes have been good."

He described Prince William as "the most progressive, futurist county in the United States."

Recalling the moment, Willie Deutsch, a conservative school board member, said it suggested that Stewart "is more focused on winning over audiences he is speaking to than sticking with a core set of principles."

"At times he may be hard right, at other times he may be more of a pragmatic conservative," Deutsch said. "He reinvents himself to create the version of himself he thinks he needs to be to move to the next level."

Stewart waved off that depiction, saying that his views on immigration and diversity have remained consistent. He said he had opposed removing Godwin's name from the school despite his remarks at the ceremony.

"I wasn't going to rain on the parade," he said.

So yeeeeah. I live in PWC. I don't know if this fucker will show up on my ballot when he's up for re-election for his county seat in 2019 because I don't know if the at-large members are elected by the whole county or by their specific district. He's not in my specific district. But if I see his name anywhere, idgaf who the other person is, I'm voting for them.
14
Politics and Current Events / The Budget Apocalypse
https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/trump-federal-budget-2018-massive-cuts-to-the-arts-science-and-the-poor/2017/03/15/0a0a0094-09a1-11e7-a15f-a58d4a988474_story.html?hpid=hp_hp-banner-main_b-budget-12am%3Ahomepage%2Fstory

This is fucking evil.

Press conference garbage:



Untrue.



The real problem with America is that we feed seniors who need food and companionship by STEALING MONEY from single mom of 2 in Detroit but also we're going to get rid of Head Start and free breakfast in schools and after school programs that feed those same kids of single mom of 2 in Detroit.

I feel legit sick to my stomach listening to these people.
15
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/mar/13/brazil-football-bruno-fernandes-de-souza-murder-girlfriend

Quote
The signing of Bruno comes amid growing concern about femicide and rape in Brazil. To mark International Women's Day last week, the Cruzeiro football team - which is famed for being socially progressive - wore shirts that highlighted the problems with relevant data for each number, for example: "A rape every 11 minutes".

In its latest country report, Amnesty International noted that lethal violence against women had increased by 24% over the previous decade and confirmed that Brazil was one of the worst Latin American countries in which to be a girl or woman. One in three women had suffered physical, verbal or psychological violence over the past year, according to a survey released last week by Datafolha.

Bruno - as he is best known in Brazil - has served less than a third of the 22-year sentence handed down by a lower court for ordering the 2010 killing of his former partner and the mother of his child.

Samudio went missing after she sued the footballer for child support in a high-profile case that threatened a mooted big-money move to Milan.

Bruno confessed to his involvement in the crime. The court heard how he conspired with friends who tortured and strangled the model, then disposed of the body by feeding it to the footballer's rottweilers.

:stare:
16
https://www.statnews.com/2017/03/13/cystic-fibrosis-canadians-americans/

Quote
But some of the paper's most striking results don't have to do with specific treatments. Instead, they have to do with health insurance.

When researchers took the 32,699 American patients who visited American cystic fibrosis centers between 2009 and 2013, and broke them down according to their insurance coverage, the comparison with their 4,662 Canadian counterparts was telling.

The Canadians, all of whom get government-provided health coverage, had the same risk of dying as those Americans who had private insurance. When compared with Americans on continuous Medicare and Medicaid, though, Canadians' risk of death was 44 percent lower. And the disparity was even greater when it came to Americans with no insurance at all.

Medicaid coverage is very different from one state to the next, but those in the cystic fibrosis community were not completely surprised that patients who qualify for the government insurance might not have the best outcomes overall.

Quote
The biggest challenges, he said, are access to medications, given that cystic fibrosis patients often have to take some 10 to 15 drugs every day, some of which may not be covered under Medicaid.

There is, however, a confounding factor: "It's difficult to separate the access to care and your socioeconomic status," said Stephenson.

Yet Gorey's studies have found that even among cancer patients who have similarly low incomes in each country, "Canadians are much more likely to get the indicated surgery, much more likely to get chemotherapy, radiation therapy, much more likely to live longer," he said.

Yes, but, did they consider how many more iPhones Americans are buying? :hmm:
17
Politics and Current Events / Free speech on campus
 :stopper:  :stopper:  :stopper:  :stopper:  :stopper:  :stopper:

http://www.latimes.com/business/hiltzik/la-fi-hiltzik-campus-speech-20170313-story.html

Quote
Consider a dual appearance of former Vice President Joe Biden and former House Speaker John Boehner at Notre Dame's commencement last year. FIRE lists these as the target of disinvitations, but its only evidence is a letter from 89 students saying they were "disappointed and discouraged" by the invitations chiefly because of Biden's tolerance for abortion. But the students didn't call for the invitations to be rescinded or for Biden and Boehner to be prevented from speaking. When commencement arrived, they spoke, peaceably.

Quote
Moreover, not every protest results in a speaker's invitation being withdrawn. Only 24 "disinvitations" in 2016 resulted in a true withdrawn invitation; in FIRE's full database of 331 incidents going back to 2000, only 145 were true disinvitations. Is a protest that fails to result in a withdrawn invitation a blow against free speech? Hardly. In many if not most cases, it's an expression of free speech. Or is an invitation to give a talk on campus supposed to be immune from comment once it's tendered?

The biggest flaw of the FIRE database is its conflation of commencements with campus talks and debates. As anyone knows who has spent even a semester on campus, one of these things is not like the others. Commencements account for about 40% of the incidents in FIRE's database of 331 "disinvitations" dating back to 2000, and seven of the 43 cases last year.

http://www.vox.com/the-big-idea/2017/3/7/14841292/liberal-universities-conservative-faculty-sizzler-pc

Quote
The right is still intent on undercutting what they see as the liberal political power of the university. But they're taking a different tack, pursuing their goals in more structural ways: weakening tenure, slashing budgets, upping teaching loads. It would be easy to dismiss this as simply a result of austerity programs, which have cut public services to the bone in states across America. But in states like Wisconsin and North Carolina, however, the cuts have been accompanied by rhetoric that makes the true goal clear: attacking curriculums and professors who seem too liberal, and weakening the overall power of the university.

Take North Carolina. Since Republicans took over the state government in the Tea Party wave of 2010, the state's universities have been under constant attack. Centers on the environment, voter engagement, and poverty studies have all been shuttered by the Board of Governors, which is appointed by the state legislature.

No sooner had Pat McCrory come into the governor's office in 2013 than he began making broadsides against the university, using stark economic measures to target liberal arts programs, like gender studies, with which he disagreed. His stated view was that university programs should be funded based on how many of their graduates get jobs.

Notably, the McCrory campaign was bankrolled by Art Pope, founder of the Pope Center for Higher Education (now the Martin Center), an organization dedicated to increasing the "diversity of ideas" taught on campus. As its policy director, Jay Schalin, explained in 2015, the crisis at the university stems from "the ideas that are being discussed and promoted": "multiculturalism, collectivism, left-wing post-modernism." He wants less Michel Foucault on campus, more Ayn Rand.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/posteverything/wp/2016/03/11/forget-what-the-right-says-academia-isnt-so-bad-for-conservative-professors/?utm_term=.ef2ecc1673d2

Quote
As two conservative professors, we agree that right-wing faculty members and ideas are not always treated fairly on college campuses. But we also know that right-wing hand-wringing about higher education is overblown. After interviewing 153 conservative professors in the social sciences and humanities, we believe that conservatives survive and even thrive in one of America's most progressive professions.

18
Science / Pain control and the opiate epidemic
A different take, one that often gets totally ignored:
https://www.statnews.com/2017/02/24/opioids-prescribing-limits-pain-patients/

Quote
Many of our colleagues in addiction medicine tell us they are alarmed by the widespread mistreatment of pain patients. We receive anecdotes every week from physicians and pharmacists, most of them expert in addictions, describing pain patients who have involuntarily lost access to their pain medications and as a result have been reduced from working to bedridden adults, or who have become suicidal.

This loss of access occurs several ways. A pharmacy benefit program may refuse to cover the prescription because it has already enacted the changes that CMS is proposing to make mandatory. A physician may feel threatened by employers or regulators, and believes his or her professional survival depends on reducing opioid doses -- involuntarily and without the patient's consent -- to thresholds that the CDC itself described as voluntary and not mandatory. Or state regulators have imposed such burdensome requirements that no physician in a given region can sustain prescriptions for their patients. Such patients are then "orphaned," compelled to seek treatment from other physicians across the country.

Given the expertise in addiction among these physicians, it should be particularly worrisome that they believe the present pill-control campaign has gone too far. And yet, the ethics are clear: It should never be acceptable for us to countenance the death of one patient in the avowed service of protecting others, even more so when the projected benefit is unproven.
19
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2017/02/16/this-is-really-unprecedented-ice-detains-woman-seeking-domestic-abuse-protection-at-texas-courthouse/?tid=sm_fb&utm_term=.8f331964faf5

Quote
A hearing in El Paso County in Texas went from ordinary to "unprecedented" last week when half a dozen Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents showed up at a courthouse where an undocumented woman was seeking a protective order against the boyfriend she accused of abusing her.

The woman, a citizen of Mexico who was living in El Paso had been driven to the courthouse by a victim's advocate from the Center Against Sexual and Family Violence, a shelter for victims of domestic abuse where she had been living.

She left under arrest.

"This is really unprecedented," El Paso County Attorney Jo Anne Bernal told The Washington Post.

It was the first time in her 23 years at the courthouse, Bernal said, that she can remember ICE agents making their presence known during a protective order hearing. The agents had come to stake out the woman, identified by her initials I.E.G., because, Bernal speculates, they likely received a tip from the only other person who knew the time and place of the hearing -- the woman's alleged abuser.

Quote
Already the policies have led to the deportation of an undocumented mother from Arizona who, rather than dodge her check-in with immigration officials, dutifully went and was detained. In Seattle, a 23-year-old man who had been living legally in the United States under the Obama administration's Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program was arrested and detained last week by ICE officials who claimed he was a gang member, something his lawyers deny.

And in Denver, an undocumented mother of four who had been living in the United States for 20 years sought refuge in the basement of a church this week rather than check in with authorities, for fear she too would be deported.

Quote
In El Paso, Bernal said her office, which prosecutes criminal cases and represents alleged victims of domestic violence, like I.E.G., has felt the weight of this policy shift in recent weeks. Call volume has increased from concerned El Paso residents, she said, who have reported checkpoints in certain parts of town and the appearance of ICE agents at routine traffic stops.

The lesson to be learned is don't trust the authorities. Great!
20
Politics and Current Events / SCOTUS Nominee
On tonight's episode...

Will it be https://twitter.com/JusticeGorsuch ?

OR

Will it be https://twitter.com/JusticeHardiman ?

Tune in to find out!

(No, really, they made identical Twitter pages for both of them. They're making both of them travel to DC so one of them can go home without having been nominated.)

USA! USA! USA! :cheer:
21
Politics and Current Events / Trouble in the Balkans
Mostly comprehensive explanation here: http://observer.com/2017/01/nato-deploying-troops-poland-baltics-vladimir-putin/

More about the attempted coup in Montenegro by Russian-backed Serbs: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/nov/11/serbia-deports-russians-suspected-of-plotting-montenegro-coup

More on the Serbia/Kosovo train debacle: http://www.reuters.com/article/us-serbia-kosovo-idUSKBN14Z0NS
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/jan/15/serbia-tomislav-nikolic-kosovo-ethnic-albanians-train

This "invade to protect our ethnic minorities" plan is just a carbon copy of Russia's policy in Ukraine and the Caucasus.
22
Politics and Current Events / Comic relief thread
Because we all need a break from staring at the magnificent hellscape.

The Adventures of Donald the Bin:
http://www.thepoke.co.uk/2017/01/24/amazing-magical-adventures-donald-trump-bin/
23
TR Embassy and Animal Shelter / The Dog Thread
because dogs are the best

A friend of mine shared this from a shelter in MD: https://www.facebook.com/mcasac/videos/1375934772437374/

I want this dog. Because he is a beagle and he's 7 and he HAS ONLY ONE EYE and he needs a home and he looks like my dog. But I can't have a second dog.  :crai:

Oh well, here is my dog:




24
https://www.bloomberg.com/view/articles/2017-01-18/this-economic-phenomenon-is-making-government-sick

Quote
Much of the associated burden will continue to fall upon government budgets, at least under the plausible assumption that the demand for health care doesn't shrink radically. Part of the problem is that fixing people is harder than fixing machines, because it requires the cooperation of what are often recalcitrant patients. That's why productivity improvements are difficult to achieve in education as well. Online learning can be potent and very cheap, but it is hard to get enough of the students to care.

Arguably, we as fallible humans are the ultimate source of the productivity problem, and also a big part of why governments tend to grow. If patients and students would diet properly, take the right medicines and crack open their textbooks, more drastic cost improvements could result.

:wtchrist:

Prevention saves money, but when the bulk of spending is on end-of-life care and catastrophic care, you're never going to see the same productivity increases that you get from automation of manufacturing facilities or computer programming. Like, how is this not immediately fucking apparent to anyone who knows the first fucking thing about healthcare?

Christ, and even ignoring the stupid arguments, the style of that piece is awful. It's so poorly written that it sounds like a fucking freshman writing seminar paper. How can you be such a shitty writer and end up working in academia and publishing in a major outlet? WHAT THE FUCK, guys?
25
Intel chiefs presented Trump with claims of Russian efforts to compromise him
http://www.cnn.com/2017/01/10/politics/donald-trump-intelligence-report-russia/index.html

Quote
Classified documents presented last week to President Obama and President-elect Trump included allegations that Russian operatives claim to have compromising personal and financial information about Mr. Trump, multiple US officials with direct knowledge of the briefings tell CNN.

The allegations were presented in a two-page synopsis that was appended to a report on Russian interference in the 2016 election. The allegations came, in part, from memos compiled by a former British intelligence operative, whose past work US intelligence officials consider credible. The FBI is investigating the credibility and accuracy of these allegations, which are based primarily on information from Russian sources, but has not confirmed many essential details in the memos about Mr. Trump.

Quote
These senior intelligence officials also included the synopsis to demonstrate that Russia had compiled information potentially harmful to both political parties, but only released information damaging to Hillary Clinton and Democrats. This synopsis was not an official part of the report from the intelligence community case about Russian hacks, but some officials said it augmented the evidence that Moscow intended to harm Clinton's candidacy and help Trump's, several officials with knowledge of the briefings tell CNN.

The two-page synopsis also included allegations that there was a continuing exchange of information during the campaign between Trump surrogates and intermediaries for the Russian government, according to two national security officials.