Tag Archives: disease

Reality . . . two millionths of a percent.

So, the swine flu is going to kill you, right?

Let me put this into perspective. Right now there are about 160 reported deaths from the swine flu world wide. This is not the number infected, but the number killed. But what does this number really mean.

First, compare this 160 deaths world wide to the 36,000 people who die each year in the U.S. to the common flu. In other words we are more worried about a disease that is at least 225 time less likely to kill us then the common flu.

So how has this flu affected the world population of over 6 billion people? Well, run the math and you realize that only .000002% of the world population has died from this disease, as opposed to the .01% of the world population that has been killed by genocide in Sudan since 2003 (675,000).

So why is there the worry? By last numbers there is between 2600 and 2700 reported cases of this flu for which there is supposedly no natural immunity. The fear is that a single sneeze could effect hundreds of people which could lead to a pandemic.

It is time for brief lesson on disease. Most  diseases inhabit our body for at least a day before they exhibit symptoms. This is because the symptoms are usually the result of the disease attacking our body and our body using its resources to attack the disease. In fact, for many cases of the common cold, by the time you exhibit symptoms, the cold is already destroyed in your body and your body is just tired from the fight.

So, I get the swine flu and a day later I exhibit symptoms and am quarantined, etc. How many people did I interact with the day before? How many hands did I shake? How many times did I lick my finger and rub it against something?

How many people did those 2700 confirmed cases interact with before (and even after) the disease surfaced? I would estimate about 54,000 people (20 interactions per person). So why aren’t there 54,000 people infected. Why aren’t we all wiped out as our body has “no natural defenses”?

The reason is because this is a created or imagined disease. It is sort of like the monster you feared when you were younger because you believed he was in your closet. There was some minimal evidence of a monster (boards creaking, darkness), but the reality was that your mind created the monster and cause you to be afraid of him.

So we have this monster before us. There is some evidence before us as we look at the deaths and infections, but the reality is that we have allowed ourselves to be scared into a fear. The media has become our brain as they show pictures of people wiping the legs of a school desk (honestly, who will be licking the legs of a school desk?) and have traveled to Mexico to show the place this all started and have told us that buildings have been shut down for this virus.

This is the monster that we have allowed our brain to create a monster for us where, in reality, there is nothing (or almost nothing). Sure, we should be concerned about this, but worried? No way.

In fact, what this really reminds me of is the movie “Wag the Dog”. Anyone seen it? The premise is that a “war” is made up by the political administration so that people will be distracted from the real issues surrounding the administration. Our media, finding nothing to report on the administration (since the administration is doing nothing good, but the media can’t report that) needed something else to scare us with. Something to distract us from the real news. Their answer . . . Thank God for Swine Flu!

The reality is that AIDS and HIV continue to kill millions, genocide continues to be acceptable in Africa, abortions of black babies continues to exceed the number of live births of black babies, and we recently rewarded large companies dieing in a capitalist society by changing the rules for them. But no, the real news that we should all “obviously” be worried about is that a disease that pales in comparison to any other disaster we have been facing for years may be sitting at our door ready to pounce on us when we are not looking.

Dead Sexy

In a previous article, Priorities Of Preservation, I discussed the importance Christianity puts on the entirety of an person: body, mind, and spirit.

While the world, in a misguided and myopic view constrained by sin, only really cares for the preservation of the body. And through ignorance, loses the whole person.

In a report released last week which most have already heard of or commented on, it was noted that 1/4 of the US Teenage Female population is infected with one of several Sexually Transmitted Diseases.

The immediate cry was that Abstinence Education must be completely abandoned and further explanation of the ins and outs of safe sex be taught to every child.

I find those making that argument to be their own worst enemies, and I am determined to sit and watch them tear themselves apart trying to make sense of what they’ve said.

Better have a good belt to hold these sides in. The problem is, this is no laughing matter: peoples lives are at stake.
At the blog dbTechno (“Providing Science And Technology News Since 1996”) under the headline “Teens Having Sex, Getting STD’s Due To Lack Of Knowledge” (strongly caution) there is a small picture of three bikini-clad young women shaking their derrières before the camera. This was the picture Google had selected on it’s news aggregator to highlight the several articles on this topic this morning.

In our sexified culture it is considered “emancipated” for a woman to be so “comfortable” with her sexuality that she feels willing to flaunt her body either scantily clothed or free of clothes before the whole world.

I don’t think that it is a sign of a healthy self-image that women are willing and even choose to clothe themselves that way.

I am not for arbitrary requirements in clothing, but it is saddening that, younger and younger, we are compelling out daughters and sisters to choose between frumpy and scandalous.

Removing their modesty with bits of lycra and spandex.

Revealing their bodies for the eyes of all the world.

And then we worry that too many of them are having sex.

I think a healthy self image will result in true self-worth, where the woman will not feel compelled to dress “sexy” to get the approval and acceptance of others.

When a woman is dressing revealingly they are revealing their insecurity, not their assuredness.

The Florida Sun-Sentinel Editorial Board this morning published an article titled “Abstinence-Only Education Needs To Go” (no scandalous images here) in which they completely demolish their own claims, twice.

First, early in the article they lay claim to the moral high ground:

From here, it would be easy to play the blame game. But that would be unproductive. It doesn’t matter if you’re the pro-sex education or abstinence-only type, the statistics speak for themselves, and what matters most is that something be done to make our children more sexually responsible and safe.

And then, in the very next paragraph:

Let’s start with re-tooling the failed abstinence-only approach backed by the Bush administration. Let’s teach teenagers about contraceptives and other precautions that could help protect them if they are sexually active.

Yes, lets avoid the blame game, and lets look at the facts. The Bush Administration has indeed backed and supported an abstinence-only education approach, because no one who practices abstinence contracts an STD, no one. It make sense to back a winner. But how many education programs has the Bush Administrations policy actually affected? Good question.

I would be willing to bet that with state policy, and NEA policy, and DoE policy, there is precious little abstinence-only education going on in the public schools of America.

The article then goes on to make an astounding statement. I very nearly cheered, at work, when I read this:

Abstinence teaching has its merits. It not only promotes a sure-proof defense against STDs and unwanted pregnancies, but also the idea that sexual activity requires a high level of maturity and understanding. An adolescent who engages in “protected” sex prematurely may not run the risk of physical infections, but could be exposed to long-term emotional and psychological damage.

And then gets to the…

BOTTOM LINE: Place more emphasis on contraceptives and STDs in sex-education classes.

And they reached that how?

With this simple caveat they have attempted to justify their entire tortured argument, and by extension, rationalize their continued support for the torture of young minds and bodies with illness both physical and psychological:

Like it or not, half of the teenage girls in this country are already sexually active, according to the study. Something has to be done to make them wiser in their choices, or we soon could have an even bigger public health crisis on our hands.

Do they not see the cruel irony?

Because we’re a bunch hapless, helpless dolts who’ve bought the lie that children are capable of making their own informed decisions regarding sex and mature relationships.

Because we’re a bunch of laissez-faire non-present parental units who feel no particular responsibility to counter the culture’s claims that boys are animals and girls are meat.

Because we’re a bunch of lazy do-gooders who value intentions over actions and outcomes and are willing to allow our children to do whatever they please so long as it makes them feel good.

We will complete ignore what we already know to be true: that premature involvement in adult relationships, emotional and physical, will not only harm the body but will also damage the mind.

So long as we tell enough of them to use condoms, we are perfectly willing to let them hop into bed with any yahoo or floozy who comes along.

Yea, that’s advanced society and parental love for you.

See also:

The Condom Conspiracy: Sex, Lies, STIs and Teenage Girls – the evangelical outpost

While we have Planned Parenthood and sex educators claiming that condoms can “offer effective protection against most serious sexually transmitted infections” the report finds there’s no scientific basis for that claim.

STD Data Comes As No Surprise, Area Teenagers Say – Laura Sessions Stepp and Katherine Shaver in the Washington Post

The Marrow girls offered several reasons why teenagers have sex.

“It’s to fit in, peer pressure,” Christine said, noting that virgins are often mocked. Also, “sex sells on TV.”

Khadijah chimed in that some young girls found their inspiration in the popular R&B singer Rihanna, whose latest album is titled “Good Girl Gone Bad.”

But Christina suggested something closer to home. “Write this down,” she said. “Bad parenting.”

Ynnuf Ffuts

Anybody else think the average IQ of people in the news is falling faster than the thermostat in Chicago this winter?

In case you still think they actually have anything to add to any debate anywhere, these juicy tidbits ought to rearrange your thinking:

  • Healthy Lifestyle Is the Secret to Longer Life, Researchers Say

    Not smoking, regular exercise, maintaining normal weight, and avoiding diabetes and high blood pressure seem to be the secrets of living to age 90, researchers say.

    No! Really?

  • Some with chronic illnesses function as well as healthy peers

    Even people who develop heart disease or diabetes late in life have a decent shot at living to 100, according to a study published Monday.

    “You don’t necessarily have to be in good health for all of your life to attain age 100,” said Dellara Terry, the study’s lead author and an assistant professor of medicine at Boston University School of Medicine.

    It’s a choice. It is always a choice. Humans are moral directors: we decide. When faced with a challenge, true strength tries harder.

I laugh.

End Of January Election Links

Obama and Hillary being childish
Obama and Clinton being children:
There’s a bold line between idealism and fantasy,
neither of them have grown enough to know the difference.

With big thanks to Sweetness & Light.

McCain is the front runner, but he’s not won yet. America’s Mayor has endorsed him after ending his own bid to become America’s President. The Governator is expected to endorse him as early as today. (Politico)

McCain will be a “hold-your-nose-and-vote” nominee because even he will be preferable to any alternative.

It is telling that, following exit polls, we know that liberals and moderates voted for McCain in Florida, while conservatives voted for Romney.

Speaking of Romney, he has some tough choices to make: Will he write the big check?

Huckabee needs to get his personal vendetta against Romney out of his eyes, drop out of the race, and endorse the one man who will support a real conservative agenda who still has a chance of winning.

Liberals Anonymous is looking for new members:

Liberals Anonymous (LibAnon) is a nationwide organization of current, former, and recovering American liberals and Democrats. Its sole mission is to establish and maintain recovery programs designed to help similar individuals overcome the plethora of congenital illnesses inherent in postmodern American liberalism with which they are embittered. Liberals Anonymous accomplishes this worthy goal by making the idiosyncratic elemental disease nature of liberalism self-evident to the afflicted individual.

(From the American Thinker)

Back to Romney, and Hugh Hewitt. Ace of Spades apologizes for not getting it right…

I can’t keep knocking Hewitt for being a bit overly enthusiastic about being, ultimately, right. If some of us had seen the lay of the land as well as Hewitt and supported Romney as the best realistic consensus conservative candidate, we might not be in the position we’re in now.

…and endorses Romney.

Jay, do you truly think the media darling candidate is your candidate? Come on, you’re better than that. I know it.

And Orson Scott Card thinks religion may play a bigger part of this than we realize:

After the Iowa caucuses, an African-American friend of mine from Los Angeles wrote to me, scoffing at the idea that Obama’s victory there meant that a black man could now be elected president.

I thought he was too pessimistic. But then came Hillary’s “comeback” in New Hampshire.

I keep hearing about how the pollsters “got it so wrong” and how Hillary’s victory came from the Democratic regulars getting out the vote for her.

And Mitt Romney’s defeat was also laid at the feet of many causes, none of which sounded particularly solid to me. Yes, McCain is something of a “favorite son” in New Hampshire now. But he also has another “virtue” that Romney and Huckabee both lacked: He’s not openly religious.

I suspect that racial and religious prejudice are both playing more of a role than anyone is willing to admit.

Read Card’s latest WorldWatch.

Riehl ponders:

Has anyone stopped to think that if McCain gets the GOP nod, there will come a time when the party has to draft a platform with an obstinate, if not defiant, McCain – an often angry man with a history of holding conservatives in disdain?

We need speeches like this more often. Bob Corker, Senator from Tennessee, in debate on the tax rebate checks said:

“What I see in this package is nothing but a political stimulus,” said Corker. “It’s a stimulus to make the American people think that we, as a body, are doing something to actually cause the economy to be stronger.”

(From Copious Dissent)

My chief argument against this package is that it is not tied to taxation. Those who pay no taxes will get as much as those who pay taxes. That is wrong.

This will tie economic stimulus and government largess together irrevocably. Government is a burden. A necessary burden, but a burden nonetheless. The way the government to affect the economy meaningfully is to lighten itself, not to quixotically throw money back to us who were compelled to surrender it to them in the first place. That is adding insult to injury.

Back to Romney. American Thinker asks why the other candidates hate Governor Romney. Some of the answers:

  • He can win
  • He isn’t beholden to special interest groups
  • He believes America’s best days are ahead of it

And once more, from the American Thinker: What does that ACU score really mean for McCain?

So where did McCain differ from the ACU?  The big areas were taxes, campaign finance reform, the environment and, most recently, immigration.  There was also a smattering of support for trial lawyers; federal intervention in health, education, safety or voting issues; internationalism; and some social issues.

It Aint’ No Gay Disease

Update: Bumped, Will and I have been going at it for a few days. Read the comments…

The Study:

In the UCSF study, researchers found that men in a clinic for HIV-positive patients who had a history of having sex with men were 13 times more likely than other HIV-positive patients to get a particular form of community-associated staph infection called MRSA USA300. But this does not mean that there is a new “gay” form of MRSA, the study’s authors say. USA300 has been around since 2002 and has appeared in at least 38 American states among heterosexual and homosexual patients. What is new is the rapid rate the bacteria spread among this particular population of gay men, studied between 2004-2006. Why these men are more vulnerable than the heterosexuals studied is still a question. Researchers stopped short of labeling USA300 a sexually transmitted disease, but they did note that the infections in the men they studied were commonly found on parts of the body where skin-to-skin contact occurs during sexual activity.

The Rebuttal:

Gay men’s health advocates point out that MRSA can be spread through any kind of skin-to-skin contact, either sexual or nonsexual, without regard for sexual orientation. And they have been very critical of the media for its focus on the sexual aspects of the story. “It’s very unfortunate,” says GMHC’s Stackhouse. “It’s very stigmatizing, it’s alarmist, it’s homophobic and it’s just unnecessary.”

There you have it. Just because the disease can be transmitted by other forms of skin-to-skin contact, the fact that it is 13 times more likely to occur in those who engaged in homosexual relations than in those who didn’t means it’s homophobic to consider homosexual behaviour an increased risk for MRSA.

Read it all on Newsweek.