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Member since: Thu Sep 25, 2008, 03:38 PM
Number of posts: 3,169

Journal Archives

Baba Brinkman is Back...

Here is a great new rap from his new digital album, The Infomatic EP:

Naturalizm (Featuring Syqnys)

"Science is more than a body of knowledge. It's a way of thinking, a way skeptically interrogating the universe with a fine understanding of human fallibility. Where religion gets into trouble, is in those cases that it pretends to know something about science." Carl Sagan

Whenever I debate opponents of naturalism
They act like I viciously attacked their position
And that's when I can get half to actually listen
It's like their minds are trapped, shackled in prison
When I mention evolution, the panic it hit's 'em
Yeah, they act like I'm advocating cannibalism
It's a man-eat-man world, just animals living
In a pointless universe, try like mad to convince 'em
But I can't, without getting' passionate with it
Watch how far naturalists being passive will get 'em
Forget about my radical stance on religion
Watch a naturalist debate a fanatical Christian
On the one side, you have someone with PhDs
On the other, call 'em "freeze" they have zero degrees
And then we have to sit there and hear from the sleaze
Like it's a real debate, you hearing me? Please!



The Debate Abbreviated and Approximated .... EPIC ROMNEY FAIL / EPIC OBAMA WIN

While Mitt Romney was "playing battleship" "all over the map" with his "horses and bayonets", he received a "call from the 1980's and they requested their foreign policy back." Angered, Romney "prematurely tightened his sanctions" against Iran and "started a trade war" with China. However, strangely enough, Romney then simultaneously "defended Chinese tires" and "planned to create jobs in China." Romney at this point "saw his position among other things" as untenable and decided to start "airbrushing history" by loudly declaring - "I love teachers!"

...of the Romney campaign

All facetious comments aside, President Obama looked great in this debate: he had his usual command of the issues and decisively defeated Mitt Romney. After the debate, the Fox News propaganda collective (Kelly, Baier, Wallace, Hume, et al.) looked like it wanted to cry. It took them several outright lies and misstatements to build their courage back up.

Insurance Status and Trauma Care in Massachusetts as Studied in 1994: Have There Been Changes?

The following paper is a study from 1994. It concludes essentially that uninsured trauma patients obtained less care and died with a greater frequency than those trauma patients who had insurance.

What follows is an excerpt from the paper, the paper's PubMed entry and the links to two criticisms with their respective responses as published in the AJPH Letters to the Editor section:

Acutely Injured Patients with Trauma in Massachusetts: Differences in Care and Mortality, by Insurance Status
Jennifer S. Haas, MD, MSPH, and Lee Goldman, MD, MPH


Trauma is the fourth leading cause of death in the United States(1), and it results in substantial morbidity. The annual cost of traumatic injuries is estimated to be more than $100 billion(2). Some data suggest that 30% of trauma-related deaths may be prevented by appropriate prehospital and in-hospital care(3,4).

Although previous work has demonstrated that the uninsured (5-8) are less likely to receive certain health care services, these studies have usually examined elective procedures or ambulatory services for which differences in rates of use may reflect patients' preferences. In addition, it has been difficult to control for differences in disease severity for chronic medical problems(9). Finally, differences in procedure rates may not be associated with differences in health outcomes. Because of these limitations, no conclusions can be drawn as to the appropriateness of the observed variation.

To address whether lower rates of resource use by uninsured patients are associated with worse health outcomes, we studied patients with acute trauma. Since these patients are acutely injured, the relationship between in-hospital care and mortality may be more direct than for chronic health problems. Also, patients' preferences are less likely to explain differences in the use of procedures. Furthermore, the severity of injury can be measured reliably for patients with traumatic injuries in administrative data sets. The goal of this study was to examine whether resource use and mortality differed by insurance status for patients hospitalized with acute trauma.


AJPH Paper: http://ajph.aphapublications.org/doi/pdf/10.2105/AJPH.84.10.1605

Am J Public Health. 1994 Oct;84(10):1605-8.
Acutely injured patients with trauma in Massachusetts: differences in care and mortality, by insurance status.
Haas JS, Goldman L.
Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, MA 02115.

OBJECTIVES: This study was designed to determine whether resource use and mortality differed by insurance status for patients with acute trauma.

METHODS: All adults emergently hospitalized in Massachusetts during 1990 with acute trauma (n = 15,008) were examined.

RESULTS: After adjustment for confounders, uninsured patients were as likely to receive care in an intensive care unit as were patients with private insurance (odds ratio [OR] = 0.97, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 0.85, 1.11) but were less likely to undergo an operative procedure (OR = 0.68, 95% CI = 0.63, 0.74) or physical therapy (OR = 0.61, 95% CI = 0.57,0.67) and were more likely to die in a hospital (OR = 2.15, 95% CI = 1.44, 3.19). Compared with patients with private insurance, those with Medicaid were less likely to receive an operative procedure (0.85, 0.75-0.97), were equally likely to receive care in an intensive care unit (OR = 1.05, 95% CI = 0.86, 1.30) or physical therapy (OR = 0.90, 95% CI = 0.79, 1.02), and were no more likely to die (OR = 1.28, 95% CI = 0.69,2.39).

CONCLUSIONS: These results suggest that the uninsured receive less trauma-related care and have a higher mortality rate. The excess mortality in uninsured patients may be avoided if their resource use is increased to that of insured patients.

PubMed Entry: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7943478

AJPH Criticism and Response I: http://ajph.aphapublications.org/doi/pdf/10.2105/AJPH.85.8_Pt_1.1164
AJPH Criticism and Response II: http://ajph.aphapublications.org/doi/pdf/10.2105/AJPH.86.3.407-a

The House Committee on Science, Space and Theology...

Given that both Rep. (R-MO) Todd Akin and Rep. (R-GA) Paul Broun, Jr., M.D., are members of the House Committee on Space, Science and Technology maybe the committee should consider changing its designation to the House Committee on Science, Space and Theology. The committee would then be more in line with the lunatic ravings of some of its members.

Below is a listing of the committee membership with links to the more notable of their recent ravings. If anyone knows of other scientifically illiterate statements that have been made by members of this committee, please note that below with a link. It might be interesting to see how many of the members are ill-informed and are willing to show it.

Lastly, here is a image of Paul Broun making a fool of himself:

Committee Members, 112th Congress

* indicates the members who are clearly scientifically illiterate.

Republican Members
Ralph M. Hall, Texas
F. James Sensenbrenner, Wisconsin
Lamar S. Smith, Texas
Dana Rohrabacher, California
Roscoe G. Bartlett, Maryland
Frank D. Lucas, Oklahoma
Judy Biggert, Illinois
W. Todd Akin, Missouri*
Randy Neugebauer, Texas
Michael T. McCaul, Texas
Paul Broun, Georgia*
Sandy Adams, Florida
Benjamin Quayle, Arizona
Charles J. "Chuck" Fleischmann, Tennessee
Scott Rigell, Virginia
Steven Palazzo, Mississippi
Mo Brooks, Alabama
Andy Harris, M.D., Maryland
Randy Hultgren, Illinois
Chip Cravaack, Minnesota
Larry Bucshon, Indiana
Dan Benishek, Michigan

Democratic Members
Eddie Bernice Johnson, Texas
Jerry F. Costello, Illinois
Lynn Woolsey, California
Zoe Lofgren, California
Brad Miller, North Carolina
Daniel Lipinski, Illinois
Donna Edwards, Maryland
Ben Ray Lujan, New Mexico
Paul Tonko, New York
Jerry McNerney, California
Terri Sewell, Alabama
Frederica Wilson, Florida
Hansen Clarke, Michigan
Suzanne Bonamici, Oregon


Colbert's Take On Prison Labor, Unicor's (i.e., unicor.gov) "Escape-Proof Guarantee" and ALEC

Here is Colbert's take on the important issue of prison labor in his segment "The Word":

Here is Unicor's guarantee of customer satisfaction - Unicor's unconscious word choice or attempt at dark humor seems inappropriate at best:

Escape Proof Guarantee

We take great pride in teaching inmates a good work ethic and marketable job skills in order to produce high quality goods and services for our customers. We are committed to your complete and continual satisfaction. If, at any time, an item we have provided does not entirely meet your expectations, we will cheerfully and promptly repair or replace it, entirely at our expense.

For information contact the Customer Service Center at (800) 827-3168


Democracy Now has also done a piece on prison labor (August 5, 2011) and ALEC's connection to it. This is linked to in a post on The Nation's website:

How ALEC Turned Prisoners into Corporate America's Cheap Labor Force
Kevin Donohoe

What do breaded chicken patties, office chairs and cruise missiles used in Libya have in common? They are all made by America's 100,000-strong secret workforce: prisoners.

Since the 1990s, the American Legislative Exchange Council has helped states turn prisoners into a source of cheap labor for corporate America. On Democracy Now!, Mike Elk explains the hidden history of ALEC and prison labor, and the group's latest effort to privatize America's parole system. You can read Elk's piece on ALEC's prison policies here.

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