Saturday, September 15, 2018

"The riskiest vaccine? The one that is not given."

I like this: "The riskiest vaccine? The one that is not given," Science 4/27/17.
bit.ly/2xks33L. "Two of every three alleged injuries related to vaccines have been dismissed over the past 30 years by the US's vaccine court."

Did you even know we had a vaccine court? The video explains more about it.
--
Bret Stephens, the conservative columnist the NY Times took on a while back from the WSJ, got plenty of grief when he first came on because of his (rather mild, it turned out) position on anthropogenic global warming. But I think the people who judged him prematurely got it wrong -- Stephens has written a lot of good columns in recent months & weeks, about Trump, and including this one about China's heavy-handed oppression of Uighur Muslims. I'm finding that I agree with him more often than I disagree, and that he makes his points quite elegantly.

Certainly better than that immature idiot, Ross Douthat, who can't wait to turn the US into a theological state.
--
Antarctic sea ice is currently the lowest of any Sept 14th in the satellite era, going back to 1979.

37 comments:

David in Cal said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
David Appell said...

David in Cal wrote:
"There was the shooting of Steve Scalise at the Republican Congressional baseball practice. Only the quick action of a policeman prevented multiple assassinations. Then. There was the attack on Congressman Rand Paul by an neighbor who didn't like his politics. The attack caused five rib fractures, including three displaced fractures, and later required medical attention for pneumonia. The immediate impetus for this attack on Paul was an argument over gardening waste, but it seems likely that political differences also played a role. Just a few days ago, a Democrat attempted to stab a Republican Congressional candidate with a switchblade knife. Fortunately, the knife didn't work right, so the assassination failed."

And you blame this on Democrats, instead of on a few crazy people?

That says a great deal, David.... And frankly, it smells very very desperate.

David Appell said...

Do you really think Nancy Pelosi doesn't get death threats??

That only Democratic crazy people make death threats?

Or will you only be happy once someone actually shoots Nancy Pelosi? Or Joe Biden? Or Barack Obama?

David in Cal said...

David - of course I don't want to see anyone assassinated. But, there's all the difference in the world between a death threat and an actual murderous attack.

I invite you to think about this: what liberal slurs led to the shooting at Steve Scalise and other Republican Congressmen, the beating of Rand Paul, and the attempted murder of Congressional candidate Rudy Peters? IMHO Donald Trump and his supporters are more maligned against than liberals and the media are. Hillary's "basket of deplorables" as well as the casual accusations of racism and bigotry tend to dehumanize Trump and his supporters.

This is not new. There's an old adage, which I think has some validity: conservatives think liberals are good people with wrong ideas; liberals think conservatives are bad people with wrong ideas.

Cheers

David Appell said...

David, shut the fuck up.

You have no idea at all what death threats politicians get, of either party.

Wanna talk about dehumanization, David? Remember when Trump mocked a disabled person?

http://www.latimes.com/85160455-157.html#

So tell me again about dehumanization, David. Go right ahead.

David Appell said...

Defend this imbecile, David.

https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/news/640/cpsprodpb/144A5/production/_86890138_86889447.jpg

David in Cal said...

David - Yes, Trump is offensive and disgusting in a number of ways.

Layzej said...

"There was the shooting of Steve Scalise at the Republican Congressional baseball practice. Only the quick action of a policeman prevented multiple assassinations. Then. There was the attack on Congressman Rand Paul by an neighbor who didn't like his politics."

The president of the USA has encouraged folks to beat up their political opponents. Those words are heard by crazy people on both sides of the isle.

I'm not saying the president is responsible for all crazy acts, but I would imagine that some people are emboldened towards crazy acts when their president condones and encourages those acts.

David Appell said...

There was the shooting of Steve Scalise at the Republican Congressional baseball practice. Only the quick action of a policeman prevented multiple assassinations. Then. There was the attack on Congressman Rand Paul by an neighbor who didn't like his politics."

There was the guy who shot up the pizza place in DC, because he believed the rumors that Hillary Clinton was running a child sex ring.

Chris Harper Mercer, who killed nine people at a Umpqua community college in Oregon in 2015, said he was a Republican (according to reporting from CBS News).

Dylann Roof, who killed nine people at a church in Charleston, South Carolina, in 2015 - motivated by racism.

The Rand Paul incident -- it was over piles of brush.
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/06/15/us/politics/rand-paul-attack.html

Stop believing everything you hear, David.

David Appell said...

"Do many mass shooters 'end up being Democrats', as Rep. Tenney said? No,"
By Dan Clark, Paul Specht on Friday, February 23rd, 2018.

https://www.politifact.com/new-york/statements/2018/feb/23/claudia-tenney/do-many-mass-shooters-end-being-democrats-rep-tenn/

Polifact rated the claim a "pants of fire" lie.

David Appell said...

Mass Shooters Are All Different. Except for One Thing: Most Are Men, NY Times 2/7/18
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/02/17/us/mass-murderers.html

David Appell said...

The death in Charlottesville last year (hit by car) by a member of the alt-right.

Last year's two murders on a Portland, OR train by Jeremy Christian, who described himself as a white supremacist.

"Is This List of Democrat Shooters Accurate? A viral list of dozens of shootings purportedly committed by Democrats is based on faulty, inaccurate, and unsubstantiated claims," Snopes 6/22/17. Rated "mostly false."
https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/democrat-shooters-list/

David in Cal said...

David -- I hope you don't mean to imply that Republicans are to blame for attacks by explicitly racist group. Surely you know that Republicans disavow these groups just as Democrats do.

cheers

Layzej said...

In many cases these folks represent the republican party. There may be factions that disapprove, but there they are.

"In at least five state and national races across the country, the Republican Party is dealing with an uncomfortable problem. Their party’s candidates are either a card-carrying Nazi, a Holocaust denier, a proud white supremacist, or all of the above."

I'm not sure why the republican party attracts these folks, but I have a few ideas!

David in Cal said...

Layzej - Five candidates are is not "many". It's a tiny, fringe percentage. There are 511,000 federal, state and local elected positions.

BTW the Democrats attract a few bigots, too. E.g., anti-semite Al Sharpton, who once helped inspired a anti-Jewish riot in which a Jew was murdered.

Casual accusations of widespread Republican bigotry are a way of dehumanizing Republicans. It's done at the highest levels. Recall Hillary Clinton's "basket of deplorables" comment, which may have cost her the election. Last weekend, Biden followed up by calling Trump supporters "the dregs of society." That's unfair, untrue and unhelpful.

David Appell said...

David in Cal said...
David -- I hope you don't mean to imply that Republicans are to blame for attacks by explicitly racist group. Surely you know that Republicans disavow these groups just as Democrats do.

Earlier you identified a knife attacker as a Democrat, attacking a Republican. Why the labels there?

To answer your question, I think Trump is partly responsible for attacks by the alt-right, and Congressional Republicans are responsible for not standing up to him. Republicans have a long history of racism, racist dog whistles, and racist policies.

Layzej said...

Point taken. There are many very good Republicans, and it's unfair to tar them all with the same brush. But there is a real problem and it doesn't help to ignore it.

It would help the Republican image if the man at the top wasn't reaching out to and defending the Nazis and racists. Or if the folks immediately below him had the moral fortitude to call him on it.

As it is, the party is doing what they can to keep those "deplorables" as part of their base, even if they don't like the optics of having them represent the party directly.

Then there's the Breitbart and Fox news machinery that supports and promotes the white nationalist cause.

The problems are deep rooted and are only exacerbated by the tacitly complicit and sometimes explicitly complicit republican party.

layzej

David in Cal said...

Earlier you identified a knife attacker as a Democrat, attacking a Republican. Why the labels there?

Because he explicitly said that opposition to Trump and to Republicans was the reason for his attack.

Fazeli “approached the victim in an aggressive manner and made disparaging remarks about his political party and elected officials”, authorities said.

“All of a sudden we hear someone screaming, ‘F— Trump, f— Trump!’” Peters told the San Francisco Chronicle.


However, in fairness, I should say Fazeli was anti-Trump and anti-Republican. I therefore assumed he was a Democrat, but the article doesn't explicitly say that.

David Appell said...

One example, wow.

I could just as well provide these examples...

"Study shows two-thirds of U.S. terrorism tied to right-wing extremists," SPLC, 9/12/18.
https://www.splcenter.org/hatewatch/2018/09/12/study-shows-two-thirds-us-terrorism-tied-right-wing-extremists

...but you'll ignore it, as you did for the fact checks I linked to above.

David, you are falling for claims that the people who want to divide the country and incite rancour and outrage WANT you to fall for. You're playing right into their hand. And you're *contributing* to this anger and by making the claims you have, on scant/no evidence. Why? What do you get out of it? What does it do for you?

David in Cal said...

David, I have no confidence in the SPLC. Here are three articles explaining why: feehttps://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/the-southern-poverty-law-center-has-lost-all-credibility/2018/06/21/22ab7d60-756d-11e8-9780-b1dd6a09b549_story.html?utm_term=.545c93ee1199

http://theweek.com/articles/759498/sad-hysteria-southern-poverty-law-center

https://www.bloomberg.com/view/articles/2017-09-07/southern-poverty-law-center-gets-creative-to-label-hate-groups

IMHO the biggest source of terrorism in this country is not Democrats or Republicans: it's Radical Islam.

On the issue of whether liberals or conservatives are doing more to divide the country, we will just have to agree to disagree. I have no doubt that you and Layzej are people of good will and that you support POVs that you believe are good for the people.

Cheers

Marco said...

DiC, no need to have any confidence in the SPLC. There's the underlying data here:
http://www.start.umd.edu/gtd/search/Results.aspx?expanded=no&casualties_type=&casualties_max=&success=yes&country=217&ob=GTDID&od=desc&page=1&count=100#results-table

Depending on where you live, radical islam may well be at the absolute bottom of your list of worries.

Layzej said...

DiC: "I have no doubt that you and Layzej are people of good will and that you support POVs that you believe are good for the people."

For the record, I know that the same is true of you, and I expect we have much in common and share many political views. That's not a good reason to ignore the serous problems with republican leadership, the media behind it, and the Nazis and racists they pander to.

J said...

"On the issue of whether liberals or conservatives are doing more to divide the country, we will just have to agree to disagree."

A good measure of who's "doing more to divide the country" is people's willingness to compromise.

Until this year, there was a consistent gap in the polls: Democrats reported wanting politicians of both parties to compromise at a rate that was about 15 to 20 percentage points higher than Republicans.

Finally, this year, that gap has closed. Democrats' willingness to compromise has now collapsed to nearly the same low level as Republicans'.

https://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2018/09/democrats-are-giving-up-on-compromise/

This confirms other evidence that (a) Republicans have historically been more aggressively partisan, but (b) in response to that, Democrats are starting to catch up.

Likewise, polls have consistently shown that Republicans were more likely than Democrats to say that:

* "[The other party] is a threat to the nation's well-being."

* "It's important to me to live in a place where most people share my political views."

* "I would be unhappy if someone in my immediate family married a member of [the other party]"

I have not seen data to confirm this yet, but I would bet that those gaps are starting to close, too, just like the "willingness to compromise" gap.

Anonymous said...

"DiC, no need to have any confidence in the SPLC. There's the underlying data here:"

Thanks for posting that link. An analysis of those data for 2017 showed that in the US, most terrorist attacks were inspired by right-wing ideologies (37), followed by left-wing ideologies (11), unknown causes (10) and Islamic extremism (7):

https://qz.com/1355874/terrorism-is-surging-in-the-us-fueled-by-right-wing-extremists/

Over the previous decade, right-wing terrorism was by far the most prevalent within the US, followed by Islamist terrorism, with left-wing terrorism the least prevalent:

https://www.vox.com/world/2017/10/2/16396612/las-vegas-mass-shooting-terrorism-islam

David Appell said...

David in Cal said...
IMHO the biggest source of terrorism in this country is not Democrats or Republicans: it's Radical Islam.

That's not at all what the data say. See the link posted by Marco above:

https://qz.com/1355874/terrorism-is-surging-in-the-us-fueled-by-right-wing-extremists/

Personally I'm far more afraid of being shot by some gun nut in a movie theatre or mall than I am by any "Islamic terrorism." Several years ago my sister had to run out of the Clackamas Mall (near Portland) when there was a shooting there (2 killed, 1 wounded). It was some confused 22-yr old kid who stole an AR-15.

David in Cal said...

@12:22 - One can prove anything by cherry-picking one's statistics. Your link, which I thank you for, then links back to a New York Time article with the unblushing headline, "Homegrown Extremists Tied to Deadlier Toll Than Jihadists in U.S. Since 9/11" (my emphasis). The obvious question is why "since 9/11"? There's every reason to include that horrible event in any analysis of terrorist attacks and no valid reason to omit it.

Another question for us statisticians is whether to count number of attacks or number of casualties. Consider the number of dead and injured in [9/11 + Washington D.C. snipers + the Pulse nightclub shooting + Major Hasan + the 1993 World Trade Center Bombing, which killed six people and injured more than 1,000]. I think this total is a good deal larger than the number from all other causes put together.

P.S. I feel personally involved with 9/11. My parent company at the time was half a block from the World Trade Center. When I went into Manhattan, I use the PATH train into the WTC. I sometimes attended meetings or other functions in the WTC. I knew quite a few people who worked there. Some of them escaped, some were killed. Also, a beloved cousin luckily went to work late, so she was not in the PATH train that was trapped under the WTC when it collapsed.

David Appell said...

Another question for us statisticians is whether to count number of attacks or number of casualties.

What should I fear most: a world where one major building falls, killing a few thousand people, or a world where a thousand buildings fall, each killing 2-3 people?

I would fear the latter more, by far.

Consider the number of dead and injured in [9/11 + Washington D.C. snipers + the Pulse nightclub shooting + Major Hasan + the 1993 World Trade Center Bombing, which killed six people and injured more than 1,000]. I think this total is a good deal larger than the number from all other causes put together.

In 2016 the US saw 38,000 gun-related deaths, 11,000 of them homicides. That, for just ONE YEAR, is much higher than everything you listed above, which spanned about two decades.

http://time.com/5011599/gun-deaths-rate-america-cdc-data/

David Appell said...

The US has killed hundred of civilians (at least) in the middle east, in countries we're not at war with or in countries that had nothing to do with 9/11.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Civilian_casualties_from_U.S._drone_strikes#Total_numbers

How about we call this "Christian terrorism," in alignment with your "Islamic terrorism?"

David in Cal said...

David, I agree that criminal activity is a much bigger factor than terrorism. In fact, during a period of dramatic mass killings at universities and other locations, the overall murder rate was dropping.

Marco said...

"Consider the number of dead and injured in [9/11 + Washington D.C. snipers + the Pulse nightclub shooting + Major Hasan + the 1993 World Trade Center Bombing, which killed six people and injured more than 1,000]. I think this total is a good deal larger than the number from all other causes put together."

DiC, excluding 9/11, you'd have 4 events with a lower combined death toll than the Oklahoma City bombing.

Also, The Washington DC sniper case is quite complex, with radical islam likely *not* the motive.

Layzej said...

This was certainly a case of Christian terrorism. I'd bet that Radical Christianity has been a much bigger problem than Radical Islam in Canada.

David in Cal said...

Interesting point, Layzej. After a while, one starts debating semantics. Was that Mosque attack "Christian" or was it "Anti-Muslim"? Here's what I mean.

-- The WTC bombers were motivated by their version of Islam. They weren't attacking any particular religious group. In fact they killed Christians, Jews, Muslims, etc.

-- But, what motivated the Quebec Mosque bombers? Was it their version of Christianity? Or, was it just bigotry and hatred of Muslims?

David Appell said...

"The WTC bombers were motivated by their version of Islam."

Too simple. They were also motivated by hatred, and belief that extremism and violence solves problems. And whatever other messed up ideas they had in their heads.

Calling them "Islamic terrorists" tars the entire Islamic religion, which is a faith followed by ~1.5-2 B people around the world. Why should they all be colored by the a terrorist act by ~20 people who also followed Islam but in an extremist way? But they are, as the racist reactions of some Americans since 9/11 shows.

David in Cal said...

We have to call them something. They are an important movement, which perpetrates and encourages terrorism in many countries.

We do the same thing with other groups, like "alt-right", "white supremacists", "white nationalists", and "Christian Conservatives". These labels tar right wingers, whites and Christians just as much, or as little, as "Radical Islam" tars Muslims.

Cheers

Layzej said...

Was that Mosque attack "Christian" or was it "Anti-Muslim"?

Are bombings of abortion clinics motivated by Christianity or is it anti-abortion? What's the difference? It comes from the same place.

But in this case the perpetrator was a Christian and described himself as a crusader. He was also a big Trump fan, but my guess is that it had more to do with Christianity. The "righteousness" of religion empowers people to perpetrate such a heinous acts.

-- The WTC bombers were motivated by their version of Islam.

I presume that's true, but do you have a source for that? I only ask because if we presume that a Christian terrorist isn't motivated by radical Christianity then we should do the same here.

They weren't attacking any particular religious group.

They were attacking Americans. Possibly American foreign policy had something to do with it? My guess is that American foreign policy certainly had something to do with it, but without religion they would have lacked the "righteousness" required for the task.

In fact they killed Christians, Jews, Muslims, etc.

They also killed Muslims so it must have been inspired by Islam? That really doesn't follow.

David in Cal said...

Layzej-- You are right to question the motivation of the WTC bombers. Wikipedia has a long list of possible motivations. I was too glib in pointing to just religious beliefs. Most of the suggested motives (but not all) involve Islam, but in different ways

-- Fatwa, stating "We -- with God's help -- call on every Muslim who believes in God and wishes to be rewarded to comply with God's order to kill the Americans and plunder their money

-- UBL "The aim [of the United States] is also to serve the Jews' petty state and divert attention from its occupation of Jerusalem and murder of Muslims there."

-- Western Immorality (Implicitly, immoral as compared with Islamic principles)

-- Iraq sanctions by the US

-- US military presence in Saudi Arabia, which houses the holiest sites in Islam

-- Daniel Benjamin and Steven Simon, in their book, The Age of Sacred Terror, argue that 9/11 terrorist attacks are purely religious.

-- Bernard Lewis is the best-known exponent of the idea of the "humiliation" of the Islamic world through globalization.

-- Doran argued that the attacks are best understood as being part of a religious conflict within the Muslim world. In an essay, Doran argued that Bin Laden's followers "consider themselves an island of true believers surrounded by a sea of iniquity".

Cheers

Layzej said...

Most of the suggested motives (but not all) involve Islam, but in different ways

Just so there's no confusion, I want to reiterate that I have no doubt that Radical Islam played a major role. There's not much outside of religion that could give a man the "righteousness" to perpetrate such a crime.

Likewise, there are likely complex motivations for the Christian "crusader" who shot up the Mosque, but I have no doubt that Radical Christianity played a major role. The fact that radical Christian sects like the KKK have the support of the president is troubling, and I suspect it will(/has?) lead to a rise in Christian terrorism.