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Muddling Through

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Member since: Fri Jun 13, 2014, 07:54 AM
Number of posts: 20,084

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How Oprah Helped Spread Anti-Vaccine Pseudoscience

"Calls for Oprah Winfrey to run for president may have begun as a joke, but in the wake of her rousing Golden Globes speech, speculation has swirled. CNN even ran live updates on a potential “Oprah 2020” campaign on Monday. President Donald Trump told reporters he doubts Winfrey will run, though he also declared he would win a campaign against her.

Some progressives welcomed the idea that Winfrey, a popular media icon whose star power could eclipse even that of Trump, might take on the president in 2020. Winfrey, who endorsed Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, is well know for championing a wide range of important causes, such as promoting reading and founding the Leadership Academy for Girls in Johannesburg, South Africa. But there’s one area in which Winfrey and her would-be opponent are surprisingly alike: Both she and Trump have helped spread the inaccurate—and dangerous—myth that vaccines cause autism or other health problems.

The supposed link between autism and vaccines has been repeatedly and unequivocally debunked by scientists and public health officials. (See here, here, here, here, here and here, for starters.) The theory has roots in an error-filled (and later retracted) 1998 British study claiming a link between autism and vaccines. Following the paper’s publication, measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccination rates dropped in Britain, and measles cases rose sharply in the ensuing years. Researchers reported a decline in US vaccination rates. Years later, the discredited theory continues to negatively impact public health.

Winfrey’s role in this controversy dates back to 2007, when she brought Jenny McCarthy, the Playboy model and actress, onto her show to talk about autism. McCarthy’s young son, Evan, had suffered a series of seizures at two-and-a-half years old and was later diagnosed with autism. McCarthy was adamant that the MMR vaccination Evan received as a baby caused his autism. On the show, McCarthy told Oprah she had been instinctually uncomfortable with allowing the doctor to give her son the vaccine. “I said to the doctor, I have a very bad feeling about this shot,” McCarthy recounted. “This is the autism shot, isn’t it?”"

Balance of article at the link:
Posted by Muddling Through | Wed Jan 10, 2018, 10:26 AM (6 replies)

Bill Clinton once lost the nuclear codes for months, and a 'comedy of errors' kept anyone from

finding out.

This sounds about normal for the Clinton White House.

"The process the president has to go through to launch the US's nuclear weapons isn't as simple as pressing a button, but the key component of that process — the codes needed to authorize the launch — are never far from the president.

At least they're never supposed to be.

According to Gen. Hugh Shelton, who was chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff from October 1997 to September 2001, the number of redundancies in the nuclear-launch process "is staggering." All of steps are "dependent on one vital element without which there can be no launch," he wrote in his 2010 autobiography, "Without Hesitation: The Odyssey of an American Warrior."

That element, the president's authorization codes, is supposed to remain in close proximity to the president at all times, carried by one of five military aides, representing each branch of the military. The codes are on a card called the "biscuit" carried within the "football," a briefcase that is officially known as the "president's emergency satchel."

However, around 2000, according to Shelton, a member of the department within the Pentagon that is responsible for all pieces of the nuclear process was dispatched to the White House to physically look at the codes and ensure they were correct — a procedure required to happen every 30 days. (The set of codes was to be replaced entirely every four months.) "

Balance of article at the link:
Posted by Muddling Through | Thu Jan 4, 2018, 08:25 AM (8 replies)

Oil-Rich Venezuela Is Out Of Gasoline

This is known as "Bad Luck".

"Oil-Rich Venezuela Is Out Of Gasoline

By - Dec 30, 2017, 6:00 PM CST

After lining up for an entire day to get a plane ticket to visit her relatives in the western city of Mérida, Josefina García did not know if she and her octogenarian mother were going to reach their final destination on time for Christmas.

The airport is located 76 kilometers away from the city and when they tried to book a cab in advance to take them to the place where they were going to stay, the taxi company said they could not make bookings because there is a shortage of gas and management did not know if they were going to have enough fuel on the day of Josefina’s arrival.

Once they landed, the 61-year-old and her mother found a cab that had enough gas to take them to a certain part of the city where a cousin would pick them up. In the meantime, another cousin was lining up for gas. He was able to fill his sedan’s tank after waiting for more than six hours.

According to the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, the highest proven oil reserves in the world, including non-conventional oil deposits, are in Venezuela."

Balance of article at the link:
Posted by Muddling Through | Wed Jan 3, 2018, 02:13 PM (8 replies)

100 Years. 100 Million Lives. Think Twice.

"In 1988, my twenty-six-year-old father jumped off a train in the middle of Hungary with nothing but the clothes on his back. For the next two years, he fled an oppressive Romanian Communist regime that would kill him if they ever laid hands on him again.

My father ran from a government that beat, tortured, and brainwashed its citizens. His childhood friend disappeared after scrawling an insult about the dictator on the school bathroom wall. His neighbors starved to death from food rations designed to combat “obesity.” As the population dwindled, women were sent to the hospital every month to make sure they were getting pregnant.

My father’s escape journey eventually led him to the United States. He moved to the Midwest and married a Romanian woman who had left for America the minute the regime collapsed. Today, my parents are doctors in quiet, suburban Kansas. Both of their daughters go to Harvard. They are the lucky ones.

Roughly 100 million people died at the hands of the ideology my parents escaped. They cannot tell their story. We owe it to them to recognize that this ideology is not a fad, and their deaths are not a joke."

Balance of article at the link:
Posted by Muddling Through | Tue Jan 2, 2018, 08:25 PM (2 replies)


Woot Woot!

Posted by Muddling Through | Mon Jan 1, 2018, 10:29 PM (8 replies)
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