Facepalm Newsoids 33: Potty Edition

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Dodgy Democrats in the News: 1. By now you might have been aware of the Secretary of Defense, Lloyd Austin, having had to spend several days in hospital without warning President Biden about it. While he was hospitalized he left much of his responsibilities to Kathleen Hicks, who herself was on vacation to Puerto Rico (8 Jan). 2. Calls for U. S. Democrat Senator Bob Menendez’s resignation have been growing since had to deny charges of accepting bribes from Egypt; he now has to defend himself from charges of accepting bribes from Qatar (2 Jan).

And by the way, how is that cure for cancer going? A team of just over a dozen scientists from the University of Maryland, working doggedly around the clock now know what makes your pee yellow. While it may not help in understanding cancer, it can lead to a better understanding of jaundice and inflammatory bowel disease. (4 Jan)

Toilets in the news. 1. Why I don’t vacation in Florida: An Orlando, Florida man named Paul Kerouac is suing Dunkin Donuts for more than $100,000 in injury claims after a toilet exploded in a Dunkin Donuts site in Winter Park, Florida a year ago. He emerged from the rest room that day, covered in feces, urine and other debris, but the employees there seemed pretty chill about it, and assured him that it happens all the time and that it was no big deal, according to the lawsuit. (4 Jan) 2. Why I don’t vacation in Australia: A spotted black snake, known to be venomous, was lurking inside a toilet in a rural town in Queensland, Australia. Snake expert Tennile Banks had to travel to the toilet stall in Goodiwindi where the snake was, to wrestle it into a bag, after which it was released into the wilderness. (4 Jan)

Just crashed in for a dip. A man from Leeds, Alabama named George Owens, crashed his car into a pole in a Bass Pro Shop parking lot, proceeded to undress naked, then run into the shop and take a cannonball dive into their large aquarium. Police arrived on the scene, and after a while he climbed out of the pool, falling about 12 feet on to a concrete floor, unconscious for a minute or two; long enough for the police to handcuff him. After he came to, he was uncooperative, and so they had to drag his naked body across a bare concrete floor by his handcuffs. He was found to be under the influence of drugs. His family has confirmed that he has been suffering from mental health issues. (5 Jan) (Video)

 

Visits: 193

Facepalm Newsoids XXVII

Facepalm Panda. Image from tenor.com

Putin Thinks he’s Milli Vanilli. Putin was asked by the South African government that when attending the BRICS Summit, that he simply attend by videoconference. The reason is that, because South Africa is a member of the World Court, they would be obligated to arrest Putin for war crimes should he turn up on their soil. So six days ago, he shows up on video conference, but he was lip-synching his speech to that of a voice actor, who spoke with a much deeper voice which drew associations to 70s soul singer Barry White. (Aug 22)

Penis Squeezing Not Penalogically Appropriate in a Penal Institution.  Minnesota prisoner Wilbert Glover accused prison guard Richard Paul of squeezing his penis during a strip search. The 8th Circuit Court of Appeals determined in its 9 pages of findings that squeezing his penis was not “penalogically necessary”, and constitute an “unreasonable use of force”. A possible interpretation of this ruling is that he should be more gentle next time. (25 Aug)

Latest Findings in Medicine.  According to the UK Daily Mail, doctors are now saying that you shouldn’t toss your kid or ride a child on your shoulders in a room with a ceiling fan. In a recent 8-year period, there were over 20,000 ceiling fan related injuries involving children, according to the medical journal Pediatrics. (18 Aug)

Latest Florida Headlines.  5 young women arrested for intentionally clogging a toilet with toilet paper at a wing joint, leading to a chaotic brawl with employees. (24 Aug) Grade 3 teacher shows up drunk on the first day of school. (24 Aug) Jealous spat leads to girlfriend’s head being dunked in a bucket of tar. (31 Jul) Woman uses cockroach spray to poison man’s drink. (18 Aug) Man arrested in Ocala, Fla., for stuffing $300 worth of Wal-Mart meachandise down his pants. (17 Aug)

Police Blotter. In Daytona Beach, Fla., 38 year-old Nicole Maks murdered her male roommate, and was covered with his blood. She doused herself in Diet Moutain Dew, thinking it would erase the DNA evidence, but she only ended up being covered in blood and a sticky soft drink. She was charged with first-degree murder. (16 Aug) An 83 year-old man in Chester County, Pa, has been charged with murder after fatally shooting his 61 year-old roommate over an argument about a dog. (22 Aug) The Porch Bandit of Georgia. Robin Swinger is being charged with a felony theft of an entire $3000 porch sitting on private property, but not attached to a house. (23 Aug)

Visits: 619

The disappearance of misc.activism.progressive and the emergence of Thought Crime Radio

Almost four years ago, the articles in the USENET newsgroup misc.activism.progressive ground to a halt, and moderator Rich Winkel has all but disappeared from the USENET, whom I learn resided in Harrisburg (up until 2010, at least), a half hour or so drive from his former employer, the University of Missouri. He is now a computer systems analyst, and in his spare time, is a writer for the Thought Crime Radio blog.

misc.activism.progressive (MAP) was a moderated newsgroup which accepted submissions from authors of left-leaning articles. Opinions ranged from the mainstream NY Transfer News Collective (who often sent articles from, or based on news from Reuters, Wall Street Journal, the UK Independent and other feeds from the popular press) to the conspiracy theorists at InfoWars.

Some time between 2007 and 2008, one of the biggest contributors to MAP, NY Transfer News Collective, stopped posting articles, and its parent company, Blythe Systems seems to have folded, leaving no Internet trace of itself. The daily output of MAP was cut in half as a result.

Postings gradually died out until March 2011 when they died out completely. As far as I had been able to search out, there appeared to be no warning of this in previous years. Mind you, one would have to search through tens of thousands of posts going back to 2007 just before things started to peter out. By about 2010, name searches for “Rich Winkel” began to come up empty, but his email address was still around.

This newsgroup was always a great source of thought and news regarding labour, politics, and “alternative voices” (as long as you stay away from Infowars). It was always weak on health and science coverage. Medicare was well-covered (because that was more about government, and they were always better at that), but articles along the lines of “chemical xyz can kill you” were usually flaky and withered once you did your own research.

Measles epidemiology and junk science

To take a very recent example, Rich Winkel attached his name to this article, written a few days ago, which claims zero deaths from measles since 2003, but 108 deaths due to vaccines during the same period. The first quote he offers for the zero figure was by CDC’s Dr. Anne Schuchat, filtered though Associated Press, filtered through Fox News, filtered though the blog Vaccine Impact. The VAERS database he refers to says in its disclaimer that any statistics mentioned should not be taken as cause-and-effect. Anyone with high school math can tell you that correlation does not imply causation. VAERS says that they take in all reported data such as mortality after the injection of a vaccine whether or not the death was associated with a vaccine. The deaths, in other words were recorded in the database even if there were pre-existing conditions, accidents, or whatnot.

But of course, zero is a powerful number. I mean, zero. Zero! How can you argue with zero? Well, in fact you can. Going back to the CDC’s epidemiological data, there are deaths on any year between 2003 and now caused by Measles in the United States. It’s just that the number of measles outbreaks themselves is so low in the United States that it would not surprise me that the numbers would be extremely low (during 2003-2012 between 1 and 4). If I were the CDC chairman, I would round those number to zero, too.

And that would be one death for every dozen or so cases – some years, that a dozen cases would be all of the measles cases in a country of nearly 300 million inhabitants. On the other hand, the 108 figure is quoted without saying how many Americans were vaccinated during the past 12 years. Once I do the research from the source (rather than from quotes of quotes), I seem to get a picture of a successful immunization program, and the 108 deaths (out of the hundreds of millions of vaccinated Americans) could have been due to anything. One death out of a dozen for measles is a larger number than 100 deaths out of 300 million for vaccinations, by several orders of magnitude.

Death is one of the end products of measles, by the way. The CDC reports that, worldwide, 168,000 people died as a result of measles in 2008 alone. That number is pretty sobering.  This is a significant decrease from over 700,000 deaths in 2000. The CDC says that all of these numbers are low, since measles tends to be under-reported. But the 78% decrease, no doubt happened due to a successful immunization program. The CDC says the worldwide numbers cannot go down to zero, since there are counrties such as India, which are slow to apply the recommendations of the WHO, or cannot afford to.

The Florida cases reported by the CDC back in September, 2014 consisted of four child siblings, all between the ages of 7 and 13, none of whom were vaccinated. Measles is transmitted through the air by affected people coughing or sneezing. Did it spread? No, it didn’t. Why? The children in the school they attended, as well as the staff, were immunized, according to the same article. The children attended an amusement park where it was likely someone with measles was there from another country (this is usually the main disease vector in the United States for catching measles in any given year).

The family of those children claimed a religious exemption from vaccinations, and for some time the children recieved a free ride from needing to be immunized thanks to being around their immunized classmates (this is called herd immunity), but that was no protection once they came close to anyone with the actual disease.

Questioning whether the vaccine “works” is a distracting issue (actually, a non-issue since whether the measles vaccine works is beyond debate by any informed person including the CDC and the WHO), and a confusing, obfuscatory barrage of decontextualized factoids from this-and-that source does not advance any useful discussion.

The Philosophical issue of vaccinations

The issue here isn’t about a non-working vaccine or about big bad pharma making money off immunizations (which they are, but in at least this one case, it is well-earned IMO), but Rich Winkel misses a greater philosophical question that can indeed cause much genuine and badly-needed debate:

The parents of these children deny their children the vaccination, making a claim to associated with their freedom of religion. Should the need to protect the population from disease override the indiviual’s freedom of religion for the good of the general population?

I would weigh in that surely, not immunizing your children places them in harm’s way, and you ought to be seen as a negligent parent if you chose this path, regardless of your beliefs; but at the same time, you are exposing others to disease by their lack of protection. The viruses don’t care about your rights, that’s for sure.

But hey, that’s just me. This is more of a topic which would play to Rich Winkel’s strengths, and it truly is a debate suppressed by the major media organs of our culture. I would leave the non-debate as to whether the Vaccine “works” to Fox News.

Visits: 136

Alive but without my permission: Worrisome medical reports from around the globe

From actual medical reports and medical registers.

  1. The patient has no previous history of suicides.
  2. Patient has left her white blood cells at another hospital.
  3. Patient’s medical history has been remarkably insignificant with only a 40 pound weight gain in the past three days.
  4. She has no rigors or shaking chills, but her husband states she was very hot in bed last night.
  5. Patient has chest pain if she lies on her left side for over a year.
  6. On the second day the knee was better and on the third day it disappeared.
  7. The patient is tearful and crying constantly. She also appears to be depressed.
  8. The patient has been depressed since she began seeing me in 1993.
  9. Discharge status:- Alive but without my permission.
  10. Healthy appearing decrepit 69-year old male, mentally alert, but forgetful.
  11. Patient had waffles for breakfast and anorexia for lunch.
  12. She is numb from her toes down.
  13. While in ER, she was examined, x-rated and sent home.
  14. The skin was moist and dry.
  15. Occasional, constant infrequent headaches.
  16. Patient was alert and unresponsive.
  17. Rectal examination revealed a normal size thyroid.
  18. She stated that she had been constipated for most of her life until she got a divorce.
  19. I saw your patient today, who is still under our care for physical therapy.
  20. Both breasts are equal and reactive to light and accommodation.
  21. Examination of genitalia reveals that he is circus sized.
  22. The lab test indicated abnormal lover function.
  23. Skin: somewhat pale, but present.
  24. The pelvic exam will be done later on the floor.
  25. Large brown stool ambulating in the hall.
  26. Patient has two teenage children, but no other abnormalities
  27. When she fainted, her eyes rolled around the room.
  28. The patient was in his usual state of good health until his airplane ran out of fuel and crashed.
  29. Between you and me, we ought to be able to get this lady pregnant.
  30. She slipped on the ice and apparently her legs went in separate directions in early December.
  31. Patient was seen in consultation by Dr. Smith, who felt we should sit on the abdomen and I agree.
  32. The patient was to have a bowel resection. However, he took a job as a stock broker instead.
  33. By the time he was admitted, his rapid heart had stopped, and he was feeling better.
  34. The patient refused autopsy.

I’ve seen this posted in lots of places, and I got it from a friend, but I also found it printed twice on this page. In turn, that blogger attributed these same quotes to two different hospitals. In actual fact, I don’t believe these came from any single hospital.

Visits: 109