7 thoughts on “News/Politics 11-30-19

  1. Can You Trust What Medical Journals Publish?

    https://www.americanthinker.com/articles/2019/11/can_you_trust_what_medical_journals_publish.html

    “I have repeatedly questioned the validity of medical journal claims in regards to politically charged issues like air pollution and climate change, as well as global warming here at AT. More recently, I showed how a major medical journal violates basic rules on scientific inquiry.

    There is another important problem with medical research as reported in medical journals and then often expanded by the lay press as big news: that medical journal articles are often proven wrong for unreliable results or promotion of treatments that are not beneficial or not any more efficacious than treatments they propose to replace.

    I was reminded recently of this problem by an article in Emergency Medicine News, a medical specialty newspaper, that reported on a study by Dr. Vinay Prasad, a comprehensive review of randomized clinical trials in the Journal of the American Medical Association, The Lancet, and the New England Journal of Medicine identifying 396 medical reversals. Reversals are cases where medical journal articles are found to be faulty, misleading and just plain wrong.

    When high-flying medical researchers on environmental issues use bad methods and report false results, it is motivated by political agendas usually, but when medical researchers report what end up being unreliable results in other areas, it is often due to biases and fallacious thinking and lack of effort to assiduously test their results and repeat them to assure that the hypothesis is valid and reliable and the results are testable and verified.

    Some “rules” turned out to be wrong, for example tight blood sugar control, mechanical chest compressions, protocols for treatment of sepsis (infections with severe complications). The unreliability problem is troublesome, since the study shows that many recommended treatments and strategies are not efficacious.

    Here are some additional specifics from the Prasad study:

    Mechanical compression was not better than manual compressions for CPR. (JAMA. 2014;311[1]:53)
    Early and aggressive methods for care of patients with sepsis (severe infection) were no better than usual care. (JAMA. 2017;318[13]:1233)
    The REACT-2 trial found that routine use of an immediate total-body CT did not impact mortality or benefit compared with conventional imaging and selective CT scanning in patients with severe trauma. (Lancet. 2016;388[10045]:673)
    Platelet transfusion after acute hemorrhagic stroke was found by the 2015 PATCH study to worsen survival in the platelet transfusion group (68%) compared with the standard care group (77%). (Lancet. 2016;387[10038]:2605)
    The authors were so alert to the problem that they created a website for best practices that, like other such practice websites, intends to alert physicians to the realities of the research mistakes and misinformation.

    Medical reversals and rejection of medical protocols and suggested treatments are too common and the result of bad methods and scientific dishonesty. Real science honesty would identify the problems and discover the unreliable information, and the studies would not be published.

    The reports of this or that new breakthrough should be assessed with care by the public and medical professionals.”

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  2. You don’t need to “make a case” for me, but if you feel the need to for others……

    https://thereader.mitpress.mit.edu/choosing-down-syndrome/

    “My son Aaron, aged nine, has Down syndrome. If you look at photos of our family, his disability might not be readily apparent. He wears glasses, and he likes to pull his baseball cap down low over his forehead, which makes the characteristic almond shape of his eyes difficult to see. At first glance, Aaron might look like any other nine-year-old — and that seems fitting because much of his life revolves around the activities of a typical boy his age: sports, playing with pets, going to school, watching cartoons.

    As a parent of a child with Down syndrome, I was alarmed when I first heard about the high rates of abortion of fetuses prenatally diagnosed with the condition in the United States. These rates range from 67 percent to 90 percent and above. But after a bit of reflection, this reaction of alarm might not make a lot of sense. Though my wife and I chose to bring Aaron into our family after his prenatal diagnosis, some might think that the opposite choice made by others would not affect Aaron or our family. Why should someone like me care about whether others choose to abort a fetus with Down syndrome? Isn’t it just a personal decision?

    I haven’t been able to shake my sense of alarm, but now I understand it better. My worry about the choices of other prospective parents is a protective impulse. What are the motivations behind the choice to abort, I wonder. There is reason to believe that these choices are often influenced by bias against people with Down syndrome. And if people are biased against those with Down syndrome, then such attitudes directly threaten the wellbeing of my son.

    Why believe that bias is a motivating factor? For one thing, other possible explanations don’t add up. For instance, having Down syndrome doesn’t negatively affect one’s sense of wellbeing, a position supported by research. Moreover, I think that most people know about this relationship between Down syndrome and wellbeing. After all, the happy child with Down syndrome is a common cultural stereotype. So people likely do not choose abortion over concerns about the quality of life of such children.

    Similarly, concerns about negative effects on families of parenting a child with Down syndrome are unfounded. Research shows that such families tend to be as stable and well-functioning as families that include only non-disabled children. Again, many people know such families, and know that they flourish. So I doubt that widespread abortion of fetuses with Down syndrome is motivated by worries about family functioning.”

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  3. Impeachment round one goes to the champ. 🙂

    ————-

    Haha! 🙂

    https://thefederalist.com/2019/11/22/how-republicans-won-phase-one-of-impeachment/

    “How Republicans Won Phase One Of Impeachment

    The first phase of impeachment did not go well for Democrats. It needed to be a time when support for the inquiry and impeachment grew. Instead, it shrank.”

    “With the likely conclusion of Rep. Adam Schiff’s impeachment proceedings, it’s worth taking a step back and looking at how things went for the majority Democrats and minority Republicans on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence.

    Democrats ideally would have started their inquiry with credible bipartisan support and run things in such a way that public opinion developed in their favor. Public opinion would build pressure on Republican members toward an impeachment vote that had even stronger bipartisan credibility.

    That did not come even close to happening. To begin with, not only was the vote to begin proceedings not bipartisan, there was bipartisan opposition to it. Polling initially looked promising for impeachment, with media outlets attempting to claim significant bipartisan support for inquiry and removal, but then the polling moved in the wrong direction for Democrats.

    Emerson polling showed that support for impeachment flipped since October from 48 percent support with 44 percent opposing to now 45 percent opposed and 43 percent in support. Among key independents, the switch was even more pronounced. In October, 48 percent supported impeaching President Donald Trump, with 39 percent opposed. Now, 49 percent of independents oppose impeachment, while only 34 percent support it.

    A new Marquette University Law School poll found that 40 percent of registered voters in the swing state of Wisconsin think that Trump should be impeached and removed from office, while 53 percent do not think so. Another 6 percent weren’t sure.

    A new Gallup poll shows that Trump’s approval has ticked up two points since the impeachment drama began, with 50 percent of Americans opposed to it and 48 percent in support. Henry Olsen notes that Gallup polls all adults, not just registered voters, meaning that a poll of registered voters would have Trump’s job approval even higher and impeachment opposed by closer to a 52-46 margin.”

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  4. FBI Diagnosed With CIA Disease

    https://amgreatness.com/2019/11/28/fbi-diagnosed-with-cia-disease/

    “An inspector general’s report underscores how the FBI departed from its tradition of professionalism and honesty in pursuit of domestic political influence.”

    “The Justice Department’s inspector general this month reprimanded the FBI for the manner in which it recruits and supervises its “confidential human sources.” To the layman, this seems about technicalities. In fact, it shows that one of the CIA’s deadliest dysfunctions now infects the FBI as well.

    This disease consists of choosing and rejecting sources for the purpose of indulging the agencies’ and their leaders’ private agendas rather than to further intelligence work on the public’s behalf.

    Necessarily, the language of the inspector general’s November 19 report is vague: “Ineffective management and oversight of confidential sources.” This means the FBI has failed to use “adequate controls” in its validation of human sources, which has resulted in “jeopardizing FBI operations, and placing FBI agents, sources, subjects of investigation, and the public in harm’s way.”

    The inspector general’s concern with the FBI’s source management stems from the investigation into the FBI’s involvement in the 2016 presidential campaign, including by taking seriously the infamous Steele dossier that it knew was a fabrication as well as, likely, some Russian communication intercepts that also should have been rejected on strictly professional grounds. In short, the FBI departed from its tradition of professionalism and honesty in pursuit of domestic political influence.

    Choosing and recruiting sources, validating and managing them, is the very heart of intelligence. Doing it badly, taking sources that come easy—especially dispensing with due skepticism about the ones that contribute to one’s own agendas—is professional corruption. But doing it right is hard. To the extent that intelligence agencies find it difficult to fulfill expectations, they are tempted to substitute such corruption for the competence they lack. The pursuit of agency interests or even personal agendas takes over.”

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  5. More bad news for Dems. 🙂

    ————

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