The Dreams of Reason
 I commend to your attentionthis essay by Hunter (somewhat lengthy in the context of today's short attention spans) and this by Lili Loofbourow (equally lengthy). They make somewhat similar points, with different framing, so pick the one you like. The version in a pistachio shell is that it's pointless to accuse Republicans of hypocrisy, or lying, because they aren't even pretending to actually believe anything they say. It's all bullshit, 100%. That also means it's pointless to try to have a discussion based on facts and logic, because neither of those words means anything to them and their followers. This is tr...
Source: Stayin' Alive - September 21, 2020 Category: American Health Source Type: blogs

Sunday Sermonette: Rock Stars
With Numbers 20 we start killing off the generation of Moses. As important as this chapter is to the plot, much of it is vague and a bit mysterious. First Miriam dies, and that's it. No further information, no ceremony, no nothin'. At least she is one of the very few (two, unless I'm forgetting something?) women the since the Exodus to even have a name. Then there is the terrible crime committed by Moses and Aaron that apparently results in Aaron's death. It's a bit hard to discern.20 In the first month the whole Israelite community arrived at the Desert of Zin, and they stayed at Kadesh. There Miriam died and was bur...
Source: Stayin' Alive - September 20, 2020 Category: American Health Source Type: blogs

He's gone full Nazi
 Not even trying to pretend any more." You have good genes, you know that, right? You have good genes. A lot of it is about the genes, isn't it, don't you believe? The racehorse theory. You think we're so different? You have good genes in Minnesota. " (Source: Stayin' Alive)
Source: Stayin' Alive - September 19, 2020 Category: American Health Source Type: blogs

Yes, they are literally trying to kill you
 I'll link to Dr. Black, rather than directly to the NYT, because of the paywall: A heavily criticized recommendation from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention last month about who should be tested for the coronavirus was not written by C.D.C. scientists and was posted to the agency ’s website despite their serious objections, according to several people familiar with the matter as well as internal documents obtained by The New York Times.The guidance said it was not necessary to test people without symptoms of Covid-19 even if they had been exposed to the virus. It came at a time when public heal...
Source: Stayin' Alive - September 18, 2020 Category: American Health Source Type: blogs

Wednesday Bible study: Dept. of WTF?
However exotic it seems to modern sensibilities, most of what we have read so far is at least explicable. God does magic tricks to demonstrate his awesome power, or affirm the privileges of the priesthood; he slaughters people who challenge the priesthood or complain about his plans; the priests offer to perform abortions when it turns out a man is not the father of his wife's unborn child; the priests keep piling on the loot through sacrifices and tithes; the laws create a form of civil order, or serve as markers for tribal identity. But the point of Numbers 19 is entirely mysterious. The idea of " uncleanness &...
Source: Stayin' Alive - September 16, 2020 Category: American Health Source Type: blogs

A violation of norms
 Clutch your pearls and fall on the fainting couch. The editor-in-chief of Science Magazine, the flagship journal of the American Association for the Advancement of Science,has written a political editorial!To wit: This may be the most shameful moment in the history of U.S. science policy.In an interview with Woodward on 7 February 2020, Trump said he knew that COVID-19 was more lethal than the flu and that it spread through the air. “This is deadly stuff,” he said. But on 9 March, he tweeted that the “common flu” was worse than COVID-19, while economic advisor Larry Kudlow and presidentia...
Source: Stayin' Alive - September 15, 2020 Category: American Health Source Type: blogs

Dumbth
 Via Paul Campos, an intrepid reporter for The Economist visits Youngstown, Ohio on the traditional anthropological expedition to find the mysterious Trump Voter. I'll leave it to the Big Professor to comment specifically on this but sheesh.“He’s done a great job, he’s got everyone back to work. I’m pretty much 100% for him,” said Kyle, a 30-year-old electrician. “He shoots his mouth off but at least that shows he’s honest,” said Jason, a pipe-fitter, who said he especially liked Mr Trump’s commitment to reducing the national debt. “He’s done more for o...
Source: Stayin' Alive - September 14, 2020 Category: American Health Source Type: blogs

Sunday Sermonette: Review Lesson
Now seems a good time to take stock of what we have read so far. In Genesis and Exodus, the priesthood has not appeared. While there is no real systematic elucidation of the nature of society, people appear to live in small bands ruled by a hereditary patriarchy. God speaks directly to whoever he wishes, or by means of messengers. There is no designated intermediary. The origin of these stories is murky, but it appears they are derived from oral tradition that got transcribed at various times. Sometimes there are variants of the same story, or contradictory stories. (There is a priest mentioned in Genesis, Melchizedek, but...
Source: Stayin' Alive - September 13, 2020 Category: American Health Source Type: blogs

Saturday insanity roundup
A major difficulty with blogging nowadays is that there is just too much to write about. But I did come up with a theme that will let me put a few items together. I'm not exactly sure what to call it, but it's broadly about that river in Egypt.First let's consider Brexit and Boris Johnson's latest. Leaving the EU was never going to be anything but bad for the UK economy but they did finally make a deal that would have spared the British people the worst. But now the governing Tories have reneged. Their motivation is not entirely clear, but it has to do with the intractable problem of the Ireland-Northern Ireland border, wh...
Source: Stayin' Alive - September 12, 2020 Category: American Health Source Type: blogs

Diversity and Inclusion
Yep, most institutions of higher education nowadays have a statement about diversity and inclusion, and they typically back it up with a more specific Diversity and Inclusion Action Plan. Mine does, and we also have equivalents for the school and the department.Contrary to what some people seem to think, this does not mean that we will admit students or appoint faculty who are less qualified than competitors simply because they belong to what we call Historically Underrepresented Groups, which has the unfortunate acronym of HUG. (That includes underrepresented racial/ethnic groups, and also sexual and gender minorities.) W...
Source: Stayin' Alive - September 10, 2020 Category: American Health Source Type: blogs

Our times
It is now an indisputable fact, based on publicly available audio recordings, that the entity occupying the office of president of the United States is a psychopathic mass murderer on the order of Pol Pot. Meanwhile, the corporate media present nightly newscasts that mention something about this tangentially and then go on to spend most of their allotted half hour on snow in Colorado and a minor earthquake in New Jersey, among other exigent issues. This is true. (Source: Stayin' Alive)
Source: Stayin' Alive - September 10, 2020 Category: American Health Source Type: blogs

Wednesday Bible study: Rod race
So this whole long stretch of the Book of Numbers is about one project and one project only: to hammer on the privileges of the House of Aaron. God has variously tortured and killed people who protested against it, but if that wasn't enough to convince you, he does a magic trick. BTW, a point of vocabulary. Cohen or Kohan simply means " priest. " The Bible uses the term for priests who serve other gods than Yahweh. Within the Levite tribe, which as a whole has special duties related to maintenance of the tabernacle and certain rituals, is the subset of the descendants of Aaron, who alone are Kohans and can p...
Source: Stayin' Alive - September 9, 2020 Category: American Health Source Type: blogs

Krugged
I am guessing that will become a new verb. Anyway, I have refrained from saying anything about thebizarre tale of Jessica Krugmanbecause I didn't think I had anything particularly to add to the discussion. On reflection however, I think I do.As readers presumably know, this is a historian of European Jewish heritage who grew up in Kansas City, but spent her professional career pretending to be of African heritage. Her scholarly work concerned the African diaspora, and by all accounts I have read it was well regarded. There is much about this story that is somewhat puzzling, and also revealing. One of the more disconce...
Source: Stayin' Alive - September 8, 2020 Category: American Health Source Type: blogs

Sunday Sermonette: God sure likes to kill people
Numbers 16 is very long, but actually in Hebrew texts it's divided into 2 chapters. Anyway, God once again threatens to kill everyone but Moses talks him out of it, which is getting to be an old story. Actually, in this chapter it happens  twice. But God does kill a whole lot of people, first by burying an unknown number alive, then burning 250 to death for doing exactly what God had told them to do, and then God kills 14,700 in a plague. The political point of all this is to reaffirm the status of the descendants of Aaron -- the Kohanim -- as priests. Other members of the tribe of Levi performed various tasks connect...
Source: Stayin' Alive - September 6, 2020 Category: American Health Source Type: blogs

The symbolic and the real
I dunno about you, but I find it very odd that it appears the most impactful scandal of the Age of Dump is something he said in private. I do believe he said that casualties of war are losers and suckers. Apparently several people have confirmed this, albeit anonymously, to numerous reporters and I don't know why anybody would make that up. It's the kind of idiotic thing he would say, and he has expressed similar sentiments about John McCain's capture in public a few times. For some mysterious reason that was okay.But you know, massive, epic failure on the greatest public health crisis in a century; separating children fro...
Source: Stayin' Alive - September 5, 2020 Category: American Health Source Type: blogs

Economics 101
I believe I've used that title more than once before, and it's normally to trash the way economics is usually taught. But there are a few generally accepted ideas about how markets and capitalism work that get de-emphasized or completely overlooked in most public discourse.I'm going to oversimplify a bit here, but the details I'm eliding don't matter very much. To put it simply, businesses set prices based on what people are willing to pay for their stuff. As Chucky notes, the situation of perfect competition and the situation of monopoly are different, but the preceding statement is still true, it just plays out different...
Source: Stayin' Alive - September 3, 2020 Category: American Health Source Type: blogs

: Wednesday Bible study: The priests rake in more swag, and some serious psychopathy
In Numbers 15, Yahweh takes the opportunity to give the people orders for stuff they are supposed to do when they entered the promised land, which will not happen until for forty years later. Hopefully they'll remember! Specifically, in addition to the sacrifices they have already been ordered to make, they will need to throw in a lot of grain and olive oil, and sometimes wine. Well, a priest has to eat! Then something extremely ugly happens. 15 TheLord said to Moses,2 “Speak to the Israelites and say to them: ‘After you enter the land I am giving you as a home3 and you present to theLord fo...
Source: Stayin' Alive - September 2, 2020 Category: American Health Source Type: blogs

The Biden Tax Plan
 Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren both discussed the idea of a wealth tax during the primary campaign.However, that's not what Joe Biden is proposing. Biden's proposal would:Increase the corporate tax rate from 21% to 28%Eliminate the cap on income subject to the Social Security payroll taxTax capital gains as ordinary income for people earning more than $1 million a yearRaise the marginal rate on people making more than $400,000 a year from 37% to 36.9%Close some inheritance tax loopholesNotice what this would not do. It would not raise the taxes of anybody earning less than $400,000 a year by one penny. There is ...
Source: Stayin' Alive - September 1, 2020 Category: American Health Source Type: blogs

Violent rage
For those of us who are finding it very difficult to understand how 40% of people polled say they are going to vote to re-elect Orange Julius, we need to keep in mind that a lot of people are morally defective.Via Digby. (Source: Stayin' Alive)
Source: Stayin' Alive - September 1, 2020 Category: American Health Source Type: blogs

More on universal basic income
 We had a bit of a discussion here a few days ago about this idea, which is the most straightforward form of wealth redistribution. What if the government just gives everybody money every month? There are permutations of this. It could be enough to live on, or just a supplementary amount. It could have some strings attached. For example, in some low income countries it comes with a requirement that children attend school. But let's simplify the discussion and just say everybody gets a check that at least constitutes a poverty level income. Sigal Samuel at Voxdiscusses an experiment that is about to get underway i...
Source: Stayin' Alive - August 30, 2020 Category: American Health Source Type: blogs

Sunday Sermonette: A puzzling tale
Numbers 14 is one of the longer chapters. The basic idea -- that the people are condemned to wander in the wilderness for forty years -- is well known. However, I suspect that few people have actually read it and know all the details. It is a mystery why ten of the scouts would have given the report about the giants and the people in Canaan being formidable if it wasn't true. It must have been their honest opinion but why would God send them to scout out the land if he already knew what the right answer was supposed to be? That's the first puzzle.14 That night all the members of the community raised their voices and w...
Source: Stayin' Alive - August 30, 2020 Category: American Health Source Type: blogs

Choosing among outrages
 I think a lot of people are feeling a sort of mental and emotional paralysis lately as the Trumparian cult commits one atrocity after another. But I have to pick one so I'm going to the Residentordering the CDC to change the guidelines on Covid-19 testing, so that testing of people who are known to have been exposed is no longer recommended. This was done of course because the Great Pumpkin has the idea stuck in his pea-sized brain that if fewer people are tested, the number of reported cases will be lower. I should not have to explain why this is idiotic. People who do not have symptoms can transmit the virus t...
Source: Stayin' Alive - August 28, 2020 Category: American Health Source Type: blogs

Wednesday Bible study: What's in a name?
Numbers 13 advances the plot, but in a strange way. I don't know why it was so important to list the names of all the explorers and their fathers. Only two of these characters take on any individual importance. And then there is the report of what they find. I'll discuss that when we get to it.13 TheLord said to Moses,2 “Send some men to explore the land of Canaan, which I am giving to the Israelites. From each ancestral tribe send one of its leaders.”3 So at theLord’s command Moses sent them out from the Desert of Paran. All of them were leaders of the Israelites.4 These are their nam...
Source: Stayin' Alive - August 26, 2020 Category: American Health Source Type: blogs

The ultimate outrage
 Okay, probably not. Nobody knows what the ultimate outrage is, we've fallen into a black hole of outrages and there is no bottom. But for the Commissioner of the FDA to stand up before TV cameras in the White House and tell a blatant lie because his God Emperor ordered him to is such a grotesque perversion of public responsibility, professional ethics and basic morality that I don't see any room underneath him.Specifically,James Hahn told the world that 35 out of 100 people who would otherwise die from Covid-19 would survive if given convalescent plasma. That was a lie, which Hahn repeated to the world on orders, bec...
Source: Stayin' Alive - August 25, 2020 Category: American Health Source Type: blogs

The real Economics 101
 I commend to your attention this essay by Aaron Benanav, which purports to be about Uber and Lyft but is really making a much broader argument. As I have noted here before, and elsewhere, these companies have no prospect of ever making a profit. Investors have bought billions of dollars worth of their stock, which allowed founders and early investors to walk away with vast fortunes, while the rest of the billions is feeding a continual bonfire of immense losses. They lose money on every transaction, yet they have intentionally fueled ever-growing losses by investing in expansion to new markets. In the process they ha...
Source: Stayin' Alive - August 24, 2020 Category: American Health Source Type: blogs

Sunday Sermonette: Identity crisis
 Numbers 12 is puzzling in several ways, which the Midrash (a rabbinical commentary on the Torah) attempts to explain. The first puzzle is that Miriam and Aaron complain about Moses's " Cushite " wife. KJV has " Ethiopian " which is close enough. Cushite refers to people from the area south of Egypt, including what is today Sudan, Somalia, and Ethiopia. But when Moses fled after killing the Egyptian he sojourned among the Midianites, which is the identity of his wife Zipporah and her father. We don't know what direction he fled, but we do know that the Midianites are from Palestine. In one version ...
Source: Stayin' Alive - August 23, 2020 Category: American Health Source Type: blogs

HiST
 My grandparents gave me a subscription to Scientific American when I was twelve or thirteen, and I've kept it ever since. I save the issues and I have a bookshelf full of them. SA has now come out with its 175th anniversary issue, which reviews the history of the magazine, and of science and technology during the past 175 years. (The title of this post, HiST, is the common name for the Smithsonian museum of the history of science and technology.)I would break down HiST as four intertwining strands: scientific knowledge, technological capability,  the socio-cultural context, and the economic context. Science, and...
Source: Stayin' Alive - August 22, 2020 Category: American Health Source Type: blogs

The community health center crisis
Federally qualified health centers, most of which are in a category called community health centers, are vital health care infrastructure. They are non-profit community based organizations that receive federal support to provide primary care services in medically underserved areas, and to serve the uninsured and underinsured. Most of their income is from Medicaid and Medicare, and they charge on a sliding scale (going to zero) for people who are uninsured. They typically provide pre-natal care, may have dentistry and other specialty care, and substance abuse and mental health treatment. Right now they are in crisis. T...
Source: Stayin' Alive - August 20, 2020 Category: American Health Source Type: blogs

What Digby sez. . .
This report was signed by every single Republican on the committee. (Source: Stayin' Alive)
Source: Stayin' Alive - August 19, 2020 Category: American Health Source Type: blogs

Wednesday Bible Study: Descent into the bizarre
 We've had some really weird chapters before, but Numbers 11 is in competition for the Bizzarro Award. Many of the stories and prescriptions in Leviticus and Numbers can be explained as having an essentially political motive -- to entrench the power and wealth of the priesthood, or to create and enforce social order. Much of it, obviously, is about the glorification of God and demonstration of his power. Numbers 11 is in the latter category, but God's behavior is just lunatic. There is also a somewhat puzzling story in the middle of it all that may be explicable in political terms but is difficult to interpret. From h...
Source: Stayin' Alive - August 19, 2020 Category: American Health Source Type: blogs

This is double plus ungood news
 It's one study, and it isn't very long follow-up, just two or three months, butthis is a very ugly result. German researchers did magnetic resonance imaging of the hearts of 100 people who had recovered from Covid-19. Two thirds of them had not been hospitalized. It turned out that 78% of them had abnormal results indicating inflammation of the heart muscle, and/or reduced cardiac functioning, regardless of the severity of their illness. They don't fully explain how the sample of patients was obtained but they describe them as " unselected, " in other words they are assumed to be representative of all patie...
Source: Stayin' Alive - August 17, 2020 Category: American Health Source Type: blogs

Sunday Sermonette: Herb Alpert in the desert
 Numbers 10 is another of those chapters that is obviously based on two original documents. And again, it is a narrative of a fictitious past that doesn't have any obvious relevance to the time it was written, let alone the present. I don't imagine it is ever the subject of a sermon or a Bible lesson. But it's in the Bible so we have to read it. I make a couple of comments along the way.10 TheLord said to Moses:2 “Make two trumpets of hammered silver, and use them for calling the community together and for having the camps set out.3 When both are sounded, the whole community is to assemble before ...
Source: Stayin' Alive - August 16, 2020 Category: American Health Source Type: blogs

Tyranny
 Dr. Black is nonplussed by the people who are outraged about being required to wear masks. You don't have to think about it for more than a second to realize that we are legally bound by all sorts of rules intended to protect public health. You can't drive above the speed limit -- well, okay, not a whole lot above it -- you can't sell contaminated food, you can't dump sewage in the river, you can't play football without a helmet. To be sure, some people still chafe at seat belt laws and emissions tests, but for the most part we've gotten used to those and they were never the occasion for outraged mass movements....
Source: Stayin' Alive - August 14, 2020 Category: American Health Source Type: blogs

The post-reality reality
 Here is a presentation by David Neiwert about the explosive growth of the preposterous Q-Anon fantasy not only in the U.S., but around the world.This is highly disturbing, to say the least. This is an utterly preposterous belief system that it seems no sane person could think was anything but an elaborate joke, for even an instant. For those of you who just returned from a vacation in outer space, the basic idea is that prominent Democrats are actually leaders of an international child sex trafficking ring that not only sexually assaults the children but also murders them, extracts hormones from them, and eats them. ...
Source: Stayin' Alive - August 12, 2020 Category: American Health Source Type: blogs

Wednesday Bible Study: The road to nowhere
As we have noted many times, the divisions into chapters and verses were made by medieval monks, and they often seem odd. Numbers 9 is obviously two separate segments. I'll insert comments where I have something to note.9 TheLord spoke to Moses in the Desert of Sinai in the first month of the second year after they came out of Egypt. He said,2 “Have the Israelites celebrate the Passover at the appointed time.3 Celebrate it at the appointed time, at twilight on the fourteenth day of this month, in accordance with all its rules and regulations. ”4 So Moses told the Israelites to celebrate the ...
Source: Stayin' Alive - August 12, 2020 Category: American Health Source Type: blogs

A poli-sci digression
 I commend to your attentionHenry Farrell's review and his personal take on Hacker and Pierson'sLet Them Eat Tweets. I actually don't have much to add to this, you should read it, but I'll pull quote the gist.Hacker and Pierson draw their description of the “Conservative Dilemma” from Daniel Ziblatt’swork on nineteenth century conservative parties, generalizing and extending his basic idea. The conservative dilemma is straightforward: conservatism is not likely to be a politically popular cause in a democracy. Conservatism is the political movement that represents the interests of those who have agai...
Source: Stayin' Alive - August 11, 2020 Category: American Health Source Type: blogs

Hey indeedy for this headline . . .
 Two decades of pandemic war games failed to account for Donald Trump.  What's interesting about this is that they never realized they needed a way to simulate ineptitude. The scenarios foresaw leaky travel bans, a scramble for vaccines and disputes between state and federal leaders, but none could anticipate the current levels of dysfunction in the United States. The gist is that public health specialists have been running simulations of pandemics knowing that they will happen and that nations, and the world, need to be prepared. In these simulations, the U.S. was presumed to have the most robust ...
Source: Stayin' Alive - August 10, 2020 Category: American Health Source Type: blogs

Sunday Sermonette: Wake me up when it's over
 The Old Testament is of course part of Christian scripture and it is taught -- or rather some of it is taught -- to children in Sunday school and some passages are sometimes read in church. However, Christians generally are completely unfamiliar with most of it. Christian awareness of the Torah pretty much extends to Genesis and Exodus, the broad narratives of which are familiar; and occasional, very selective passages from Leviticus and Numbers, particularly the condemnation of homosexuality, some of the more relatable ethical principles but none of the less relatable ones, and the benediction we read recently. But ...
Source: Stayin' Alive - August 9, 2020 Category: American Health Source Type: blogs

Crimes against humanity
 My electricity has been out since Tuesday, and due to the utter indifference and incompetence of our electric company, Eversource, I probably won't get it back till next Tuesday. But that's not the crime against humanity. Blogging will have to be light nevertheless, because I can only charge up my devices at my neighbor's house -- who have a generator -- and then I need to ration my computer use.In any case, in addition to the utter blithering idiocy and downright deliberate mass murder that constitutes the Resident's disastrous failure to mitigate the Covid-19 pandemic -- and I don't need to go over that again, we'v...
Source: Stayin' Alive - August 7, 2020 Category: American Health Source Type: blogs

Wednesday Bible Study: The priests rake in the swag
A good part of Leviticus and numbers consists of instructions to give stuff to the priests, but Numbers 7 takes it to 11. There isn't much else to be said about this. The tally at  the end comes to 60 pounds of silver and 3 pounds of gold, I believe. That should let them live in style.7 When Moses finished setting up the tabernacle, he anointed and consecrated it and all its furnishings. He also anointed and consecrated the altar and all its utensils.2 Then the leaders of Israel, the heads of families who were the tribal leaders in charge of those who were counted, made offerings.3 They brought as their...
Source: Stayin' Alive - August 5, 2020 Category: American Health Source Type: blogs

I highly recommend . . .
. . . this lengthy but by no means too longpiece by Ed Yong in The Atlantic. He pulls no punches in demolishing the sheer idiocy, incompetence, psychopathy and mendacity of the current " administration " in bringing catastrophe on the U.S. However, he puts it in the context of our radical underinvestment in public health infrastructure, which the administration exacerbated but which already existed; the deeply embedded inequalities, including institutional racism; the lack of rights and protection for workers; and the denial and rejection of science and expertise which have long had the country on the path of dec...
Source: Stayin' Alive - August 4, 2020 Category: American Health Source Type: blogs

Scientific Method
People often talk about " the " scientific method but in fact there is no such thing. Scientists use many different methods, depending on the nature of the question, the availability of information, and the feasibility of approaches. You'll often see facile remarks such as " correlation does not imply causation, " which is in fact not necessarily true. The confidence one can have in causal inference based on purely observational data depends on many factors.The entire concept of causation is philosophically slippery, I must say at first. I won't get into a deep discussion of this because it's an entire ...
Source: Stayin' Alive - August 3, 2020 Category: American Health Source Type: blogs

Sunday Sermonette: What's this all about, anyway?
Numbers 6 is one of the more puzzling chapters in the Torah. It isn't clear what the point is of being a Nazirite (spelled Nazarite in the KJV) or why somebody would want to do it. Apparently there was considerable Talmudic debate about this but they never got to a consensus. By declaring oneself a Nazirite, a person assumes exactly three restrictions: don't cut the hair, don't consume any products of the plant genus Vitis (not just alcoholic wine) and don't get near a corpse. Other than that there are no affirmative responsibilities and you can do whatever else you want. This is apparently a state of special " consec...
Source: Stayin' Alive - August 2, 2020 Category: American Health Source Type: blogs

Why the Black Lives Matter protests didn't contribute to Covid-19 epidemic
There isn ’t evidence that Black Lives Matter protests have led to a noticeable increase in COVID-19 cases, despite early concerns from health officials.HealthLine explains why.Apaper looking at virus data from protests between May 26 and June 20, found “no evidence that urban protests reignited COVID-19 case growth during the more than three weeks following protest onset.”“We conclude that predictions of broad negative public health consequences of Black Lives Matter protests were far too narrowly conceived,” the authors of the National Bureau of Economic Research paper wrote.That lines up wi...
Source: Stayin' Alive - August 1, 2020 Category: American Health Source Type: blogs

What we don't know is hurting us
Back when CDC had a real director, his name was Tom Frieden. He now heads an organization called Resolve to Save Lives, which has come out with a report on the woeful state of reporting by the states on important data about the Covid-19 pandemic.Indicators critical to understanding the pandemic ’s course were often missing, it found. Not a single state currently reports the average turnaround time of a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test, as press reports abound of tests in many regions taking a week or more to come back, a delay that renders testing nearly useless in controlling th e disease’s spread. The tes...
Source: Stayin' Alive - July 31, 2020 Category: American Health Source Type: blogs

Darn that reality
Herman Cain dying of Covid-19 has gotten a lot of attention. He was famously photographed at the Tulsa campaign rally fizzle unmasked and undistanced, and had campaigned against face masking continually as part of the required fealty ritual to Dear Leader. (Congratulations on your Darwin award.) Much less attention has been paid to the death ofBill Montgomery, co-founder of the wingnut youth organization Turning Point USA, which is now busily deleting all of its anti-mask Facebook posts. Louis Gohmert, the stupidest person in congress -- and that's saying something -- has actually blamed his infection on wearing a mask, ev...
Source: Stayin' Alive - July 30, 2020 Category: American Health Source Type: blogs

Wednesday Bible Study: I demand that Franklin Graham, Jerry Falwell Jr., and Robert Jeffers read this
This being Numbers 5. I don't really know about Judaism in this regard, but the Catholic church didn't prohibit abortion until the late 19th Century, in reaction to the feminist movement of the time; and it did not become a cause celebre for Christian evangelicals until the mid-20th Century. In case you haven't noticed, anti-abortion crusaders never actually quote the Bible, and that's because they can't. There is no condemnation of abortion anywhere in the Bible, Old Testament or New, and in fact it is condoned and even, in Numbers 5, affirmatively promoted under the specific circumstance that a woman has become pregnant ...
Source: Stayin' Alive - July 29, 2020 Category: American Health Source Type: blogs

A bizarre right wing obsession
As we know,  Resident Dump is prone to magical thinking -- whatever pops into his head, that he says aloud, becomes true by the God-like power of his words. Three million illegal aliens voted for Hillary Clinton. His inaugural crowd was the biggest ever. The coronavirus is just going to disappear, you'll see, it will be like magic . . .I could go on endlessly but you already know that he's insane. So one of the nonsensical ideas that popped into his head was that an anti-malarial drug, hydroxychloroquine, is actually a miracle cure for Covid-19. That is biologically completely implausible -- it is toxic to the metazoa...
Source: Stayin' Alive - July 28, 2020 Category: American Health Source Type: blogs

Zombie lies eat my brain
Hydroxychloroquine flunks Phase III trial in mild-to-moderate Covid-19The study adds to the growing body of evidence that the drug, promoted early in the pandemic by President Trump, is ineffective, despite its getting a briefly renewed lease on life earlier this month thanks to a retrospective analysis.  Results of new clinical trial published late last week have found that hydroxychloroquine – the malaria and autoimmune disease drug that President Donald Trump promoted as a potential “game changer” early in the Covid-19 pandemic – not only failed to improve outcomes in those with mild-to...
Source: Stayin' Alive - July 27, 2020 Category: American Health Source Type: blogs

The Times they Have A-changed
Andrew Gelman is a quantitative social scientist whose blog I recommend if and only if you are a wonk. Anyway his latest post is really enlightening.This was an actual question in a 1969 Harris survey: Now let me ask you which, in your opinion, is worse, if you could only choose one: a) A homosexual or b) A doctor who refuses to make a house call to someone seriously ill?I suppose the good news is that the doctor won (was worse) hands down, but about 20% chose the homosexual, and 10% or so weren't sure. I do remember a pediatrician coming  to our house once when my brother had a bad strep infection to give him a ...
Source: Stayin' Alive - July 27, 2020 Category: American Health Source Type: blogs