I've frequently distinguished between those who are vaccine-averse and the true, hard core antivaxers. The vaccine-averse tend to fear vaccines because of what they've heard about their supposed adverse effects, while it is the hard core antivaxers who are really originating and spreading the misinformation claiming that vaccines cause autism, autoimmune diseases, chronic disease, neurologic damage, and sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), just to name some. There are even those who claim that shaken baby syndrome is a "misdiagnosis" for vaccine injury. To them, it is, above all, always all about the vaccines. Always.
Even in a massive natural disaster like Hurricane Harvey, which flooded southeast Texas and devastated Houston in late August.
What on earth am I referring to? Take a look at what the antivaccine group, the as-always Orwellian-named National Vaccine Information Center (NVIC) posted information that, apparently to its members, would be the most important thing to think of in the aftermath of a hurricane, Texas Parents: Know Your Vaccine Choice Rights During Hurricane Harvey Flood Emergency. You read that right. While everyone else is concerned about finding housing for hundreds of thousands of people whose homes have been destroyed or otherwise rendered uninhabitable by flooding, preventing the spread of disease, and getting relief to those affected by the hurricane and flooding over a huge swath of Texas, the NVIC is concerned about parents being able to refuse vaccines for their children and thereby leave them vulnerable to serious vaccine-preventable diseases. Get a load of how Dawn Richardson in Austin and Rebecca Rex in Houston, who co-wrote this article, frame their question:
Many parts of Texas have suffered severe flooding and damage where families within our community have had their lives drastically affected. This is just the start of a challenging journey ahead recovering from Hurricane Harvey.
If your family has been displaced and/or your property damaged and need to find new health care practitioners that will take care of your family and respect your vaccine refusal or delay decisions, we can check in with our community to find you the referrals you need where you need them. If you are reading this and have a great referral for a health care provider that is supportive of your rights to decline or delay vaccines, please let us know their names, contact information, and location so we can pass that information on to families in need.
That's right. Their primary concern appears not to be getting shelter, food, and clean water to those who need it, but rather finding health care providers who will take care of the unvaccinated. They're also encouraging parents to take advantage of an order by the State of Texas designed to facilitate the enrollment of children rendered homeless or otherwise displaced by Harvey in other school districts:
If you have become temporarily homeless or your school has become damaged and your child needs to re-enroll somewhere else, please know you have rights.
Students who are experiencing homelessness are to be enrolled immediately. Districts cannot require students experiencing homelessness to provide proof of residency, immunizations, birth certificates guardianship documents, or any other sort of required paperwork before enrolling. Requiring missing paperwork or any other delay to enrollment is a violation of the McKinney-Vento Act.
Basically, NVIC is urging parents to take advantage of a law designed for what is normally a much smaller number of children who are homeless to be enrolled in school immediately in order to enroll their displaced children without the requirement for documentation of vaccine status. The NVIC cites a letter issued by the Texas Department of State Health Services:
The Texas Department of State Health Services issued a letter on Tuesday, August 29, 2017 regarding immunization records and enrollment of students displaced by Hurricane Harvey. As a reminder, students displaced by the hurricane are considered homeless and receive immediate enrollment even without the normally required paperwork (including immunizations). The text of the letter is as follows:
The purpose of this letter is to remind school districts of the current immunization rules that affect students displaced by Hurricane Harvey and to provide information on how schools can obtain immunization histories for transfer students.
The Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) rules relating to immunization requirements for school entry allow a student transferring from one Texas school to another to be provisionally enrolled without proof of required immunizations for up to 30 days. (Texas Administrative Code, Title 25, Part I, Chapter 97, Subchapter B, Section 97.69.) As the 30-day period draws closer to an end, if there appears to be a significant number of displaced students who are still having trouble obtaining their immunization records, DSHS will consider whether a short additional provisional enrollment period is possible.
In other words, the NVIC is encouraging parents to take advantage of the disaster to "stand up for their rights" not to vaccinate their children.
Of course, the more I read this letter, the more I wondered why on earth the NVIC is doing it. After all, as it points out in the latter part of this article, the NVIC tells parents how to obtain a personal belief exemption to school vaccine mandates, and Texas has a very easy process for claiming such an exemption. All it requires is for the parent to request an affidavit form online or by mail and to submit it to the Texas Department of State Health Services. Those of you who are regular readers also know that, if anything, Texas is politically very sympathetic to "personal rights" that allow parents to refuse vaccines. Indeed, as I've recorded, groups like Texans for Vaccine Choice have been very active in the state, scuttling even common-sense legislation that would have required school-level reporting of vaccine exemption rates, so that parents interested in not sending their children to a school with high exemption rates could choose. (Yes, antivaxers are incredibly hypocritical, touting they tout "transparency" and a "right to know" about fantastical imagined "vaccine injury" but denying real transparency to parents concerned about putting their children in a school where an outbreak is more likely.)
I can't help but think that the NVIC, seeing how big a news story Harvey is, for the simple reason that it's caused so much devastation, damaged so much of Texas, and displaced so many people, latched on to a problem that's not really a problem (requests for vaccine "papers" by bureaucratic school officials standing in the way of homeless and displaced children being able to attend school in different school districts) and used it to encourage antivaxers to claim their "rights."
Elsewhere, in response to questions about whether those living in flood zones ought to get a tetanus booster and a response by the CDC that it is generally not necessary (although I can't help but point out that it's always a good idea to stay up-to-date on your tetanus vaccine status regardless of whether you've been exposed to flood waters or not), another antivaxer is .
Meanwhile, ever unable to resist an opportunity, antivaxers plan on heading down to Houston on September 18 and 19 to protest the 20th Global Vaccine and Immunization Summit, which apparently has not been canceled, to protest—because that's just what Houston needs. There'll be a veritable who's who of antivax "luminaries" there, although, oddly enough, it doesn't look as though Andrew Wakefield will be attending.
Again, that's because, even in a natural disaster on a massive scale, to antivaxers, it's always about the vaccines. It has always been about the vaccines. It will always be about the vaccines.
- Log in to post comments
Opportunists of woo/pseudoscience have no conscience when it comes to capitalizing on Harvey. As you note, the NVIC is clearly playing up a non-issue regarding vaccine refusal (especially as the coastal/Houston areas have lower non-medical exemption rates compared to the Austin and Dallas/Fort Worth areas--see https://www.nytimes.com/2017/02/08/opinion/how-the-anti-vaxxers-are-win…). Also, that MLM/essential oil scammer Doterra started selling "relief packs" for victims of Harvey late last months, where for just $100 you can send 4 of their packs to Texas evacuees where each pack contains "dōTERRA Melaleuca Touch, Towel, Toothbrush, Adhesive Bandages, Deep Blue Rub Samples, Salon Essentials Shampoo & Conditioner Sample Packets, dōTERRA On Guard Toothpaste samples, 1.4 oz dōTERRA SPA Serenity Bath Bar " . Wow, what a deal to because everyone who lost their house wants sample packets of essential oils....
Finally, Houston is hosting the 20th Annual Global Vaccination and Immunization Summit on September 18th and 19th. So of course, all the anti-vaxx nut jobs are scheduled to be there to protest, including the Vaxxed bus and all the wretched beings that inhabit it. (https://www.facebook.com/TexasMFA/).
As you note, with anti-vaxxers, it's *always* about the vaccines. Always.
I read that "related" hyperlink and some of the commenters mentioned why don't they just make a Tetanus shot, as if they would actually get that if it were available, and I remember when I worked at Connaught labs we did make a straight tetanus vaccine and I think it was around 2000 that we (Aventis at this time) switched to DTaP. It was around this time iirc that there was a tetanus vaccine shortage. I can't remember if it was a manufacturing issue or a stability issue, at that point Tetanus toxoid was being produced at the Toronto site (well technically Williowdale). For the companies, it's a logistics decision to not make a separate commodity for Tetanus but they would have needed regulatory approval to discontinue it.
Harvey has caused widespread damage to homes and infrastructure causing many people to reside in larger groups for longer periods of time. This makes exposure and spread of VPDs far more likely and far more serious. Many hospitals are not fully operational and have a higher patient load. Into that environment (think month's long plane ride) the antivaxxers want to encourage parents to forgo vaccination thereby risking the health of their children and others in the community.
There ought to be a law.
A more charitable interpretation is that they see a massive dharma-led conspiracy to vaccinate at any opportunity, and they think evil officials will capitalize on the issue to massively vaccinate children against their parents' will.
Which, as you point out, is simply unrealistic in Texas. In a state that has the kind of easy to get exemptions that Texas does,even if any official had such motives - and again, as you point out, that's not their focus right now (there's a real emergency, people) it would be sure to backfire.
But while I think you're right about the promotional motive, I wouldn't put away a sincere believe in a conspiracy and an ever present risk. I think we see a lot of that in actions and writing by anti-vaccine activists. It's a scary world they live in, in their minds.
My response would be that antivaxers are conspiracy theorists by nature, and most conspiracy theorists actually do believe their conspiracies are at least possible, if not actually true. Antivaxers are no different, and I would argue that their potential sincerity does not in any way excuse their actions.
I find the advice at the link about not getting a tetanus shot much worse than the NVIC crap which looks like an attempt to keep their name visible.
People are going to be trying to salvage belongings, and attempting to rebuild homes. Cuts and other injuries seem unavoidable.
What other VPDs will these fools reject? Oh, don't worry about all that splashing around in contaminated waters, people only get cholera in third world countries!
Large parts of the US are a third world country. We have lots of infrastructure in disrepair and politicians who are unwilling to raise the taxes to maintain it. Lots of infrastructure in metro Houston will need maintenance after all this flooding. That includes sewer systems, which of course were overwhelmed by this event.
This supports my theory that anti-vaxxers profoundly despise children, even their own. As MikeMa pointed out, hospitals are already overwhelmed and there's a large population clustered in emergency shelters. If measles or even whooping cough gets a toehold, the death toll would be appalling.
Eric Lund: Wouldn't typhus be a problem too? I believe it's spread by water/saliva.
@PGP (#8)-I don't believe that anti-vaxxers "profoundly despise children". They are badly misinformed, yes, and could even be described as delusional in some cases, but I don't think that they are necessarily bad people.
@PGP (#9)-Typhus is spread by lice, and is not a waterborne disease. However, it could be a problem in overcrowded shelters-it has tended to spread easily in places like prisons and refugee camps, where there is overcrowding and sanitation is poor.
@PGP (#9) Typhus no, as explained by Jonas. There is an increased risk for typhoid fever though.
NVIC aren't the only alties to take advantage of the hurricane disaster in Texas:
- Mike Adams** brags about how he's helped victims personally with his tractor AND
he had a 'sale' where he claims that he would donate 50% of all proceeds at his store for 2 days last week,
yielding 60K USD for charity ( and 60K for him) I imagine his markup is rather high so figure it out
He now is predicting disaster for Florida as an advert for his survivalist supplies. Charities to be named later ( Natural News)
- Gary Null*** is hawking survival products ( dried vegetable powders, water filters et al) and will donate 10% of proceeds on these specifically to a well known charity.
Disasters like these are always an intro for him to ramble on about how people should move to safe places in the country - away from the oceans- and farm organically.
So far, no word from Andy or Jake ( in Austin AFAIK).
** he lives and has warehouses et al outside Austin
*** he owns an estate/ resort/ rental east of Dallas.
Part of my job is emergency preparedness. Because of the widespread destruction caused by Harvey more medical precautions should be in place than normal. Typhoid vaccine should be one vaccine made readily available because of all the contaminated water.
Just wading around in the flood waters may open the door for many waterborne diseases. Crypto may become a problem because it is resistant to chlorine disinfection. The Crypto oocyst is actually becomes etched by chlorine and the Crypto can breakout easier.
People don't realize even brushing your teeth with contaminated water can cause you to be infected with a waterborne disease.
@Daorit Reiss #4:
I'm sorry Dorit, but I'm with Orac on this one. Sincerity is neither a justification nor an excuse. Thousands of white South Africans supported apartheid. Many, if not most, were sincere. Many bought into the conspiracy theory of "swart gevaar" (black danger). Those white South Africans still supported a legal system of discrimination that has been declared a crime against humanity.
Since I wrote the above, Adams has actually named a few charities in the disaster area.
Completely off topic, but there is an autoplay video at the top right of the page that continually brings focus to itself and autoscrolling the page to the top of the article. Please get rid of it.
I guess since Mike Adams never met a conspiracy he didn't like, he's hosting a video from some nutcases who contend that Hurricane Harvey was "engineered" and didn't need to have been so severe or have caused so much damage.
To what end I can't figure out. Maybe since there are so many guns in Texas, "the liberals" are trying to something something false flag something Hillary.
Speaking of being focused on disaster relief, second place in the Misplaced Agenda contest should go to the Houston attorney* who's using his role as a Texas A&M regent to demand the firing of the school's football coach (after a season-opening loss).
*Tony Buzbee, owner of what's reputed to be the most expensive mansion in River Oaks, site of a Trump fundraiser.
Once again, anti-vaxxers will co-opt anything to try and make themselves relevant.
I think that we've only skimmed the surface of disease threats in Houston.
Hepatitis B is waterborne and I would not be surprised if a couple of cases turned up that way.
Let's not forget the various kinds of protozoal disease - dysentery, giardiasis, the infamous "brain-eating" amoeba, etc. I think that we've only skimmed the surface of disease threats in Houston.
Hepatitis B is waterborne and would not be surprised if a couple of cases turned up that way. Hep A, IIRC, can also be waterborne.
Let's not forget the various kinds of protozoal disease - dysentery, giardiasis, the infamous "brain-eating" amoeba, etc.
The Houston area is about to have a bumper crop of mosquitos, and there is a real risk of West Nile, Eastern equine encephalitis, Zika, maybe dengue, and chikungunya turning up. Don't rule out yellow fever as well., which is a VPD. It's prevalent in parts of South and Central America. Even malaria might show up.
Crowding and poor sanitation spreads Meningococcus, which still breaks out in college dorms, military bases, anywhere that mixes disparate populations..
I hope we're all wrong, but I put money on something happening. It's either a very good or a very bad time to be in infectious disease or public health there.
The Houston area is about to have a bumper crop of mosquitos, and there is a real risk of West Nile, Eastern equine encephalitis, Zika, maybe dengue, and chikungunya turning up. Don't rule out yellow fever as well., which is a VPD. It's prevalent in parts of South and Central America.
Crowding and poor sanitation spreads Meningococcus, which still breaks out in college dorms, military bases, anywhere that mixes disparate populations..
I hope we're all wrong, but I put money on something happening. It's either a very good or a very bad time to be in infectious disease or public health there.
Jonas: I dunno. If you look at Age of Autism or (un) Thinking Moms, talking trash about their kids and children in general seems to be a hobby among many of them. Stagliano (can't remember her new last name) stands out in particular as being a master of breastbeating and complaining about her daughters. I think I've seen her type exactly one positive thing about one of her daughters, and never a good word since then. If anti-vaxxers want to make people think they actually like children, they need to examine their spokespeople.
And then there's Mike Adams and Jake Crosby who have turned being horrible people into almost an art form.
Thanks for setting me straight about typhus. I remembered that it spreads in crowded areas and that it wasn't an airborne disease, but I wasn't sure how it spread. I mixed it up with typhoid too, for some reason.
DW: I'm pretty sure Jake wouldn't care. After all, he probably is happy when minorities and women get flooded out.
DB@19: You are aware that in Texas football has the status of a state religion, don't you?
WF@18: I'll grant that Harvey didn't need to have been so severe or have caused so much damage, but the decisions involved should have been made 20-30 years ago. As for the "engineered" part, my guess is that he doesn't want to admit that global warming is happening, and very likely contributed to Harvey being as powerful as it was instead of being another Tropical Storm Allison (2001), which also produced severe flooding in metro Houston but didn't dump quite as much rain. Given Dolt 45's claim that global warming is a Chinese hoax, and that Harvey took out the US's main petroleum port, my guess is that the guy who made the video thinks the Chinese engineered Harvey. But I am aware that I am attempting to apply logic to a conspiracy theory.
I can't claim credit for this nickname; I picked it up from a political blog where I lurk.
@ Eric Lund:
Adams denies AGW and has even speculated that more CO2 would be a GOOD thing ( plants will grow so much better).
Null believes in Global Warming even more than is warranted by research-
YES! we could have a "200 foot sea level"
rise any day now- JUST like that-
as we are in " chaos theory". All predictions are meaningless.
I swear I am not imagining this- he is.
I'm fond of "Donny Two-Scoops" ala Fark.
Why is this surprising? Of course they are all worried about the FEMA camps that have been set up by the illuminati who created this massive flood for the purposes of mass immunization campaigns to sterilize the population. That is the point of this man-made flood, right? So, finding WOKE doctors is extremely important so they can continue to live on this flat planet and avoid TOXEENS! (and if you think I made all that up, think again. I have found convos just like this on AV pages and profiles. Sad, but true. )
Sorry about the duplications. It seems that Opera has gone wonky and weird things happen for a while and get replaced by other weird things, so this time this weird thing that is me is not at fault.
Drifting slightly further off-topic: the sometimes smug tendency in recent days to blame Houston for "laissez-faire regulation", "sprawl" or other sins (including Texas going for Trump) has often become separated from reality.
You could blame the disaster on Houston being settled in the first place on poorly drained land not far above sea level and in the path of tropical storms, but the role of bad planning has arguably been exaggerated:
Speaking of smugness, we had a letter printed in our local paper today congratulating Toledo, Ohio for having more foresight in its flood control planning than Houston. I'm going to take a wild guess that having up to 50 inches of rain dumped in a short time on any municipality is going to create horrendous flooding, no matter how rigorous their regulatory environment has been.
As long as we're dissing Trump:
Donald Trump is a president like Jack the Ripper was a gynecologist.
I saw a great sign in a photo. It read:
"Stupid callous fragile racist sexist Nazi POTUS."
If you don't get it, say it out loud and see if you can resist singing it.
@PGP-Yeah, you're probably right about some of the anti-vaxxers parents of autistic children. They do seem to really resent their children. And of course many of them subject their children to unnecessary and potentially harmful "treatments" to try to cure them of autism (which is child abuse in my opinion).
However, while you might be right about some of the "leaders" of the anti-vax "movement", not everyone who is opposed to or has unfounded concerns about vaccination is like that, and I don't think it's accurate or particularly helpful to say that all anti-vaxxers "despise children". For example some people simply overestimate the risks of vaccination and/or underestimate the risks posed by VPDs, and are easily misled by anti-vax misinformation, but will respond to education. These people who are "on the fence" about vaccination are very different than the "leaders" of the anti-vax "movement", and can often be reached through education.
PGP: I don't blame you for confusing typhus and typhoid. It's easy enough to do.
I am a bit surprised no one has seemed to mention the disease that brought Haiti to its knees: cholera. Unless I missed it?
Sure, no city can withstand 50 inches of rain. But we continue to build in areas we KNOW are prone to flooding. Not just once, not just twice but multiple times. There are homes in the Gulf States whose FEMA payouts quadruple and more their actual value because of repeated claims.
Failure to regulate might not have had much impact on Harvey overall, but it definately is part of a larger problem that is costing taxpayers a pretty penny.
Mikey didn't come up with that himself. That's the spiel of right-wing-radio talker Mark Levin, syndicated by Westwood One, "with a minimum of 7.75 million total weekly listenership," for fourth spot on the audience ladder behind Limbaugh, Hannity and Michael Savage. He has big-time conservative credentials, having served in a variety of positions in the Reagan administration, including chief of staff for Attorney General Edwin Meese, and is currently editor-in-chief of Conservative Review. And he doesn't "speculate" about carbon emissions, he flat out states that more CO2 will make more plants grow, greening the globe...
Adams is sort of a conspiracy-nonsense aggregator, re-broadcasting a gumbo of whatever BS he picks up to his niche audience of groupies. He has no significant social or political influence to speak of. Levin, though, has a massive loudspeaker blaring his anti-science right at Trump's die-hard 35%. His CO2 schtick is among the most laughable bits of silliness I've ever heard. But he, and apparently it, are right in the mainstream these days.
That's more frightening than a thousand Mike Adams rolled together.
Quick, everybody move to the imaginary part of the country that doesn't have storms, fires, tornadoes or earthquakes!
This is my home right now. The world is on fire. It's so smoky that breathing is painful and the light is a dim yellow/orange.
Yep, climate change is a hoax.
No earthquakes here. Just tornadoes and sometimes flooding. (Er, well, there was that one tiny tremor a few years back.)
Panacea: For some reason, similar sounding things are my downfall. It's not just diseases- band names and book names do that to me, so I'll sometimes end up ordering something from the library that is entirely different from what I wanted.
Jonas: I'm not really convinced education is the way to go for anti-vaxxers. Someone smarter than me said 'you cannot educate someone out of a position they did not reason themselves into." And the anti-vax position is all about unreasoning fear, resentment and wanting to be a horrible person.
Though it seems like most people want to be horrible these days. Only dogs want to do the right thing.
ORD -- thanks for the brain worm.
@PGP-It depends. In some cases education is absolutely useless, you're right. It is nearly impossible to reach hardcore anti-vaxxers. They are paranoid and devoid of reason, as you said, and it is virtually impossible to get them to reconsider their views.
But for people who are "on the fence", I do think that providing accurate information may be helpful in some cases. The people who are on the fence are probably ignorant, but they are very unlikely to be anywhere near as unreasonable and paranoid as those who are firmly anti-vax.
Ignorance can be fixed, paranoia generally can't be.
"Anti-vaxer" has no fixed definition here. Sometimes it refers to anyone who expresses any deviation from the approved childhood vaccinations, even just replacing the MMR with separate vaccines on a delayed schedule. (E.g. Trump's "monster shot" remarks make him an anti-vaxer.) Other times it refers only to the dedicated activist fringe typical of AoA and TMR. None of these folks are merely "overestimate the risks of vaccination and/or underestimate the risks posed by VPDs." They are way past having been misled by misinformation, or responding to 'education'. PGP always stereotypes groups as unified around their worst characteristics. So, yes, it's way over-the-top to say that even the vocal AV ranters all "profoundly despise children". But a sizable percentage of the core true believers do definitely have problems with their ASD kids. I think this is a complex phenomenon that can't be summarized with single terms like "despise" or "resent", both of which are probably in there somewhere. Aspects of this feeling are betrayed by the word-use, the kids are 'injured', at best 'ruined' at worst, ASD is a 'blight' or worse, as-good-as-dead. None of which is to say these parents are necessarily detached from their kids. But with that lingo, they don't really see them as fully human. This probably tells us more about the parents' views of life – values, dreams, fears, self-image – than anything about autism disorders.
Dysentery is absolutely horrid -- anything that would lead 19 and 20-yo male soldiers to ask their female comrades for maxi pads to help catch the uncontrollable runs must be pretty ghastly!
But, seriously, don't some of the antivaxxers see VPD as some sort of natural selection, I.e. "Let VPD weed out the week, those who can't survive the diseases without evil vaccines to cheat." What I don't understand is why this thinking is okay with them, that a certain number of deaths is just freshening the gene pool, yet they claim their kids are sooner-special-sensitive and need to be protected so the evil toxins in vaccines can't harm their precious fragile bodies.... Apparently, you can have it both ways in a logic-free zone.
I doubt the vax-hesitant are merely ignorant. It's more complicated than that, but then real "education" has always involved more than just relaying 'facts'. The world is full of contradictory, incommensurable things all presented as fact. What people take as fact depends on who and what they trust, and who and what raises their suspicions.
For example, there's reason for suspicion towards giant corporations in general, and the pharmas in particular. It takes a more 'granular' look at things to understand that vaccines aren't subject to profit-driven bad behavior. On the other hand, people are inclined to put more faith in personal experience and folks close to them they've found generally trustworthy than in distant 'experts'. If anti-vax worries come via trusted word-of-mouth, it takes a deeper level of involvement to counter that than some folks are likely to get.
I don't know of any ethnographic study of the vax-hesitant, but I'd guess most such folks are exposed to anti-vax notions through friends and relatives who are also on the v ax-hesitance spectrum, rather than the hard core true believers – who I'd guess to be way too far over-the-top for the sake of credibility. If you look at anti-vax activist discourse over the years, I think it's far more extreme now than in the peak years, in the heyday of Jenny McCarthy. My guess, consistent with the early numbers post-Disneyland/SB277 anyway, is that vax-hesitance is on the wane and will continue to shrink. However, the number of true believers may well be the same, or even somewhat increased, befitting the polarization and even desperation of our times...
JP @33 the air has just been horrifying the past few days. Up here at least the smoke isn't as close to the ground as it was a month or so ago when things a block away were hazy, but I keep thinking "is this what nuclear winter looks like?" On the plus side (?) the smoky air kept yesterday's temperature ten degrees cooler than forecast... yeah, not so much. The pink sun is interesting, at least.
Here it's down low, up high, it's everywhere. Today was also cooler than forecast here and also weirdly dark. (Which, I guess, duh.)
Yep, same here. Thoughts like "what if this just happened one day and... never went away."
Yesterday, when you could still see the sun, I took a picture of it. It was orange. The smoke got suddenly much worse since then, though.
Yep, same here. Thoughts like “what if this just happened one day and… never went away.”
That's the ending of Brunner's "The Sheep Look Up", when a couple of small-town Irish persons look up at the smoke in the Western sky and realise that "Oh yeah, that's America".
Though it seems like most people want to be horrible these days. Only dogs want to do the right thing.
Oh cats want to do the right thing too. Just that if you're a cat, "the right thing" is "steal food" and "kill some small furry animal".
Jennifer Reich, Calling the Shots is pretty close.
HDB: Ever tried to get a cat to follow orders? I own two of the furry menaces, and everything I say just bounces off their ears.(Of course, I may be biased, as my family has owned one pure calico and three torties, who are basically cat turned up to eleven.)
Dogs will save people and work selflessly is my point.Americans will do neither now.
(Yes, Harvey, but I suspect a lot of those 'civilians' were actually from the Army.)
Jonas: "Ignorance can be fixed, paranoia generally can’t be."
I'm not so sure about that. People like and enjoy being ignorant. And if those fence sitters aren't horrible people, why do they continually support the awfulness of the top anti-vaxxers?
Remember when a commenter chastised Orac for using an unflattering photo of RFK Jr. that supposedly made him look like a loon (as if his antivax nuttery didn't already do that)?
A video of RFK Jr. has turned up on an anti-GMO heirloom seed company Facebook page, and lo and behold: RFK Jr. looks even weirder and more scary, never mind the anti-biotech nonsense he's spouting:
Antivax nuttery and anti-GMO hysteria do tend to run in tandem. I ran across yet another M.D. who combines both fetishes, with a side dressing of HIV denialism:
"AIDS and cancer are neither random nor infectious diseases. Both are characterized by a proton deficit and a reversal of the chimeric/energetic cooperative trend of the eukaryotic nucleus with the mitochondrial endosymbiont."
Got that? Throw out the HIV and cancer drugs, docs, and get cracking on the proton deficit!
I'm going to regret this, but what?
As a previous vaxxer, who you would call "anti". I think the information from NVIC is important to our community. If I was displaced and had a severely impacted child, the last thing I would want to do is to go in and have to start fresh with a new doctor and explain my reasons for no longer vaccinating. I am one of the most vocal people I know on this subject and when we changed insurances 7 years ago, I had anxiety over telling my new doctor my stance. I can't even imagine having to do that while you are in flight or fight and so is your kid.
It was not meant for me to be at the protest this month, but being from California, where we have major natural disasters. Had I already booked a trip for it, I would have canceled my trip to the protest and instead volunteered to help families like mine in that area.
I think this article is purposely supposed to cause huge emotions and stir the pot. Just remember if you do not have a severely disabled child you don't know what we live and what help we need. Thank you NVIC for stepping up and making it easy for families like mine to find that information if we need it.
Johnny: Most of the 'civilians' that came down to help in Houston, are probably not civilians, but people from the military (probably Army/Coast Guard and National Guard), sent down in order to make people think that Americans are compassionate and erase the impression of Charlottesville.
I mean, they MIGHT be exactly who they claim to be, but that's not how people work. For example, during Katrina and Sandy, there wasn't much organized volunteer help at all, not to the extent we're seeing in Houston. Perhaps during Katrina and Sandy, there wasn't a need for propaganda?
@Shannon Primer #38:
So you're claiming that vaccines caused your child to become disabled? What was the disability and what is your evidence that vaccines are responsible?
The NVIC does not provide information, but disinformation.
I do have one question - where did they get the boats? Were they rented from their owners? Does the government keep hundreds of small boats in storage for just this sort of occasion? If so, what about the registration? Did they just use military people who already owned boats for this operation?
Maybe these guys were all drafted -
I think this is the first time I've been ground zero for a conspiracy theory.
As with many disasters, one of the biggest issues with personnel reporting to help in the affected area are those that self deploy. Many of these people have no real skills at what they are trying to do and have no resources.
The WA DOH sent a memo out throughout the state telling people not to self deploy.
This was an issue during 9/11, Katrina and probably Harvey.
If the national guard, reserves etc deploy it is with orders and resources.
"Most of the ‘civilians’ ...are probably not civilians, but people from the military... sent down in order to make people think that Americans are compassionate..."
That's not how people operate? Maybe that's how you operate. You certainly come off paranoid and bitter in your post (I won't call you a cynic. You don't deserve to be grouped with Ambrose Bierce.).
What was the expectation of return profit for the people who formed human chains to pull strangers out of the floodwaters? That's how people operate. Where do volunteer firefighters come from? Why do you think we even have a National Guard in the first place?
Just what gain was expected by the three men on a Seattle train who stood up for a woman wearing a headscarf who was being harassed? The harasser stabbed two of them to death and critically wounded the third. I think they would have done the same even if they knew the risk they were facing.
Where did they get all those boats at Dunkirk? Civilians came in just about everything that would float, aware they faced air attack coming and going, and they went anyway.
Well, Harvey is a kind of Dunkirk writ small. People came out to help their neighbors in need, at inconvenience and risk, which is how most I have known operate.
Here's another example. A few years back a Gurkha soldier who had just retired was on a train back to Nepal. The train was stopped and boarded by a gang of about forty bandits with swords and edged weapons and fake guns. The Gurkha later said he would have quietly given up his wallet. There is no reason to doubt him, considering what happened next. They tried to rape a young girl in his compartment. He drew his kukri - his Gurkha fighting knife - and killed eight bandits, causing the rest to drop their loot and run. Even as superb a fighter as a Gurkha knows that such an unequal fight might cost his life, but he did it anyway. True story; look it up.
Here's one more counter-example - my father. Diagnosed with untreatable pancreatic cancer, and knowing he had only weeks to live, he still turned out to drive a family friend to her doctor. That's how people operate.
I'd hate to be your neighbor.
Rich Bly: No, the issue is that during Katrina and Sandy, approximately zero people were officially deployed, and most people weren't inclined to help. The Red Cross did, but was overwhelmed because of lack of support.
However, during Harvey, you suddenly get a significant military presence and "civilians" who are actually trained. Funny how Republicans suddenly are ok with rescue operations, when they'd let New York and New Orleans drown. It kinda suggests that shenanigans are going on.
Johnny: I imagine that former military personnel was crossreferenced with the registration of boat ownership. It wouldn't be hard to do. A draft is hardly necessary, as any military person is subject to the whims of the army at any time and can easily be found, reactivated and sent whereever. There's no such thing as retirement, really in the Army, there's just 'aging out.'
Yeah, the Pentagon maintains a database of everyone who was ever in the military, that includes among other things, every vehicle they own, and every state sends updates every month. Just in case of, you know, a flood.
Seriously, did you read the link I posted? You might learn something.
When you have to start making up conspiracy theories to support your dour worldview, it might be time to rethink things.
I mean, I posted "Hurrican Harvey was a false flag" on my FB page, but that was a joke intended to poke fun at conspiracy theorists.
It was Portland, actually. Not that it changes the point of your post.
PGP: have you not heard of the Cajun Navy?
ORD: "Maybe that’s how you operate."
Actually, no it's not. I admit to not doing anything heroic yet, but I do try to be polite; stuff like giving up seats, helping search for lost items, opening the door so someone with a baby or groceries doesn't have to put things down to hunt for keys, or walking someone's milk upstairs.
Judging from the responses I get, my upbringing was far from normal.
And well, people electing Trump hasn't given me any hope for America. It's really hard to believe that Charlottesville and Harvey happened in the same country with the same sorts of people. Occam's Razor must apply.
Johnny: I did read that link. But Wikipedia's not a reliable source. (Also, how do you know the Pentagon doesn't have that sort of data?)
JP: Oh, I have no doubt Harvey happened, I'm just not sure about those volunteers.
OK, no wiki.
How about this cite of how people came out with boats to help in NO after Katrina?
And when it comes to understanding databases, you have got to stop watching Criminal Minds. Databases do not work that way.
And do you expect me to believe that all of the ex-military guys that the Pentagon contacted and were told to report with their personal watercraft saluted smartly and said 'Sure, I am proud to do my duty, and I won't breath a word of this to anybody, long live Der Trump'?
that was a joke intended to poke fun at conspiracy theorists.
Parody of the paranoid-ideation crowd is not easy. The false-flag nature of Hurricane Harvey is already an article of faith for Rush Limbaugh listeners.
The joke was a bit of hyperbole intended to poke fun at all kinds of conspiracy theories.
Weather update: IT'S RAINING. Thanks Gott. Sadly it looks like just showers though.
No, the issue is that during Katrina and Sandy, approximately zero people were officially deployed, and most people weren’t inclined to help.
Speaking as a veteran, as a Red Cross volunteer, and as someone who deployed to Katrina and to Sandy (and to Houston later this month): You are fuller of tripe than the belly of a cow.
I know, right? Who other than PGP could dream up a conspiracy theory that says there is a secret government plot to make us USAians think we're really not so bad after all? Why, a government that would do that wouldn't stop at anything.
Jesus F*cking Christ, I know two people just from my neighborhood who were part of a brigade that went to New Orleans to rescue pets. Teh NWAD looks sane by comparison with the stuff you're disgorging.
Limbaugh is also saying that "the media" exaggerates the severity of disasters to help their advertisers sell more batteries, bottled water, etc., and that the warnings about Irma are exaggerations too.
Q: What's the difference between Rush Limbaugh and the Hindenburg?
A: One is a flaming Nazi gasbag. The other is an airship.
If you find a stamped and addressed (but unpostmarked) envelope on the sidewalk, what do you do?
P.S. What's the difference between a tree and a bush?
@Narad, and assuming your question isn't the set up to a joke:
According to the great Google:
Trees are woody plants with one erect perennial stem or trunk at least 9 1/2 inches in circumference (3 inches in diameter) at 4 1/2 feet above the ground (breast height), a definitely formed crown of foliage, and a height of at least 13 feet. Bushes/Shrubs are small woody plants, usually with several perennial stems branching at the base and lower height, being usually less than six metres tall.
It's more context for the question that went before, but the target audience is narrow.
Narad: If the sender is close by, return it to the place from which it came. If not, take the letter to the post office. I mean, that's basic, right?
Shay/ORD: So, maybe some people were deployed. The issue is that in Katrina and Sandy, help was deployed late, intentionally diverted, and was grudgingly sent. Whereas Houston gets ALL the help, immediately. I wonder what the difference could be.
You do realize that Houston is a "blue" city and also one of the most diverse cities in the country in terms of race and national origin, right?
So, maybe some people were deployed.
18,000 active duty service members and 43,000 National Guardsmen for Katrina alone. Where on earth do you get this crap?
Shay: See,"deployed late, and 'diverted.' Like I said, Houston got immediate help, New Orleans didn't. I guess New Orleans didn't have enough rich people.
The fact that we're doing marginally better with Harvey than with Katrina (which was badly bungled) seems like a really perverse thing to be upset about.
As far as I understand, you live in the Twin Cities, which is pretty safe from this kind of thing and is also really white and economically healthy, so your bloviating on the topic strikes me as doubly gross.
I mean it's just a step away from the sh!tlibs on Twitter who were like "I was going to pray for Houston, but then I remembered that Texas voted for Trump lol."
At least the socialists were appalled by this sentiment and were instead doing what they could to actually help out. (Houston has one of the largest DSA chapters in the country.)
See,”deployed late, and ‘diverted.’
DOD report on Sandy, 9am, 11/3 (four days after landfall).
The fact that we’re doing marginally better with Harvey than with Katrina (which was badly bungled) seems like a really perverse thing to be upset about.
No shit. Katrina caught everybody...local, state and Federal government, DOD, Red Cross...with their pants down. We've learned a few things since then.
"You know, the very powerful and the very stupid have one thing in common. They don't alters their views to fit the facts, they alter the facts to fit the views..."
The Face of Evil:Part Four (1977)
JP:"The fact that we’re doing marginally better with Harvey than with Katrina (which was badly bungled) seems like a really perverse thing to be upset about."
You don't think it's suspicious? Katrina was, admittedly, bungled, but the foot-dragging and mishaps seemed pretty darn deliberate at the time.
Shay: No, we didn't learn anything from Katrina. If anything, people today are more ignorant and unkind then they were in 2005. I'm honestly surprised that no one got shot in Houston.
Oh, do go on. You don't think the National Guard's shortage of bodies and materiel might have had something to do with, oh, say, an unwise war, do you?
This. Also, when Katrina happened, we weren't used to natural disasters on such a massive scale. Sadly, we sort of... are now.
WTF? The thing you were originally upset about is that we're doing better with Harvey than with Katrina. Pick one.
Never say never; there's a picture circulating of a bunch of aggro white dudes with guns standing in front of a crudely spray-painted sign that says "Lotters will be shot on sight," or something. (Yes, they spelled "looters" "lotters.") Of course, we all know which races "loot" and which race "finds supplies."
Add to that that one in ten Houstonians is undocumented and won't be eligible for FEMA assistance. They're going to be particularly devastated.
Look, you don't have to be some super-patriot who thinks the Land of the Free has transcended racism to look at a hurricane and go "wow, that sucks, those poor people, I hope we can do better than we did with Katrina." You just have to be, like, not a monster.
(I'm not a patriot myself, I'm an internationalist leftist.)
In a country of over 300 million people, it's really hard for PGD to believe that there might be a few hundred scum who travelled to Charlottesville to be vile, and thousands who didn't travel to Charlottesville but instead travelled to Houston to do good. PGP has an extraordinarily narrow mind.
To be fair, LW (and, yes, I've taken a few pot-shots at PGP myself), PGP is a product of her environment. I almost sorta understand why she thinks people are evil.
If you faced murder or worse every week, you'd be hardened, too. Of you know, move or buy a car. But one of those.
Well, let's not minimize Charlottesville either. When many millions of USians (9%) outright support Nazis and white supremacists, and many millions more are indifferent or think that "both sides" (i.e., Nazis and people who are against Nazis) are in the wrong, it's kind of a terrifying situation.
Holy hell. You live in the Twin Cities. I've been there, and I've walked around various parts of town after midnight and never felt that way. I might as well have been in Portland. (Like, I may have felt very mildly skeeved out in the wee hours in, say, Old Town in Portland, but that's it.)
"Poker face" is pretty standard on public transportation, especially in Russia (have lived in St. Petersburg and stayed for long periods in Moscow), but even being a weird-looking tattooed mannish foreigner (though not obviously foreign), I didn't fear for my life. And I took the metro at night a lot. Drunk. (To be fair, I maybe should have been more worried, but whaddya gonna do? Also, this was some years back.)
Okay, I might be nervous taking public transportation through certain neighborhoods in Detroit. I wouldn't exactly know, though, I only traveled through Detroit with friends who had cars.
On a side-note, I'm drawn to notice that the dynamic duo of assistant DA Rolf Hazlehurst and one Robert Kennedy have revealed their collective legal skill in their attempt to subpoena William Thompson.
It's hilarious. The sheer uselessness of these guys is astounding.
I'd forgotten about that. Man, I can't imagine what could induce me to put myself on in a position where murder was the best I could hope for if I happened to sneeze. Hitchhiking with a random truck driver would seem like a reasonable way to escape if I couldn't afford to pay my way out.
When I was living in NYC and then Jersey City, even the subway at 2am wasn't that dangerous, though I did make an effort to stay awake. A coworker of mine had too much to drink one night and fell asleep on the PATH train. Didn't wake up until the train reached the end of the line. No one so much as stole her purse.
I had no idea the Twin Cities were such a hellhole. Worse than Jersey City. Wow.
LW: I tend to believe in preempting risk. With strangers I can't figure their thoughts, so it's just easier to sit quietly and expressionlessly with a thousand mile stare. It's gotten better since the 'Murderapolis' years. A bit.
With friends, I can generally figure out the pattern of the things they're thinking, so I can easily keep things from getting controversial and often deflect.
And as far as 'a few hundred nazis' go, there were a lot more that couldn't make it to Charlottesville. And nazis (and bad people in general) are like mice- for every one you do see, there are easily twenty more escaping notice.
Shay: No, we didn’t learn anything from Katrina.
You may not have learned anything from Katrina. Others are smarter.
PGP, there are more than 300 million people in America. Are you truly so blinded by hatred that you cannot even imagine a few thousand of them -- a tiny fraction of one percent -- being capable of putting aside partisan differences and responding to the simple human impulse to aid those in distress?
Overly friendly people, these are the one I am on the lookout and the primary driver behind my moves to close down social networking sites which I used to use.
The first one I encountered over a decade ago was a rapist who was stripped off his engineering title later on. I don't remember his exact score that I deducted from the PCL-R but he does rank high. about 2 months ago, I have been contacted by one of his friend.
Second one, also a rapist and also stripped off his engineer title did his engineering degree for the purpose of conceiving bombs using common items found in hardware stores and pharmacy chains. He also had a pilot license (self financed) and took the necessary course to learn how to deep dive. Last I heard, he was living in a forensic psychiatric institute. He wanted to teach me how to deep dive...probably as a gift after I reported him to his medical doctor about his plan to build bombs but the report did not end up with him being placed at the forensic psychiatric institute; he ended up there after I had sufficient evidence that the guy ran a child trade network and I reported him to the police. I do hope, for my wellbeing, that he end up with the figurative equivalent of throwing the key of his cell into the toilet and flushing the chain. Needless to say, our law doesn't allow for that (our law mandates yearly review of his case) but I'm also thinking it's night impossible to reason someone out of a position they didn't reason themselves into and I have to admit, he's a genius.
There was other peoples too but these two turkey remain the most dangerous ones I have personally known.
A counterpoint and what I meant to say is that most peoples I encounter are fine and friendly and I don't have any problems with peoples in general even with vastly different viewpoints but sometime, it feel like I have the one in a million chances of encountering more often than most, some really dangerous peoples. I do take the occasion to learn as much as possible about them not to repeat any possible mistakes that I may have made in my life path but it is sometime, a problem.
People have a perception about the intrinsic relationship between cities and crime which is partially based on fact but right now, NYC is one of the safest cities in the US ( see wikip--- Crime in NYC)
It was worse in the late 1980s and early 1990s- which was when I spent a lot of time on subways, walking and driving. I went to major universities and had an active social life, much of it at night - nothing bad ever happened to me ( involving a crime that is).
I suppose it had much to do with WHERE people live ( poor people living in certain areas are more often victims).
I observed( because I sometimes had to drive from downtown to way uptown) that in certain areas, you hardly ever saw women and girls walking or shopping alone whereas other places were filled with people at all hours. I think that this was a clue.
These days, it seems that most parts of NYC are prime real estate and even the so-called 'Hood' of Bushwick in Brooklyn is so desirable that a weekly comedy show did a sketch about spin classes and dog walkers there.
Actually one of the places where I've felt the most UNsafe -in the US= was in Las Vegas in the AFTERNOON about 10-12 years ago. I had to walk from the Strip to the Convention area and saw a few drug ( and other deals) transpiring by people in cars.
I think that perhaps PGP may not be able to pick up subtle non-verbal hints as well as others can so I can understand her reticence. ALSO if you have to rely upon public transport at all times, you may be observing a biased sample of your city's residents.
LW: What part of "That's not how humans work" are you failing to understand here? Humans are always wired to do the worst possible thing. Also, Steven Pinker is an idiot. There aren't any 'better angels' and never have been.
DW: Well, I can find out what other people are thinking. Reddit is a good place for that, though it confirms that people are awful.
PgP #54, many were 'inclined' to help but were turned away. There was a convoy of trucks filled with hundreds of thousands of bottles of water, some from Alabama. They were turned away at the bridge -- There was to be no relief or saving grace save by the hand of the loving government ("Brownie, you're doing a heck of a job" -- GWB). Meanwhile, the police were looting shoe stores and shooting people in their back; Those bastards are easily startled.
No weapons were recovered at the scene, and both police and civilian witnesses testified that the victims had been unarmed. Later investigation showed that some shots had been fired in the area by trapped residents attempting to attract the attention of rescuers.
The police shooters stated that while approaching the bridge, they had been fired on by civilians, and were forced to return fire. Homicide detective Arthur "Archie" Kaufman was made the lead investigator on the case. He was later found guilty of conspiring with the defendants to conceal evidence in order to make the shootings appear justified, including fabricating information for his official reports on the case. NOPD Lieutenant Michael Lohman also encouraged the officers to "provide false stories about what had precipitated the shooting" and plant a firearm near the scene.
Hmm. What else were they up to?
Hmm. Mass gun confiscation. It was spotty on who would be allowed to protect their belongings. I remember seeing a video of an old lady in an Antebellum house which was high and dry being forced on her knees with her hands behind her head while the 'authorities' searched for guns.
I should imagine all that kind of thing discourages people being 'inclined'.
Partially? The page you cite says that the crime rate for murder, robery, and aggravated assault combined is 585 per 100,000.
In my county, the combined rate for murder, rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, larceny and motor vehicle theft is 13.7 per 100,000. Not 137, but 13.7. (No, I won't name the county, MJD and Captian Sock Puppet have already tried to dox me, and NWOR has ask outright.)
We might be a bunch of truck drivin', gun totin', low IQ, toothless hicks, but we don't hurt nobody.
I had to spend about a month in NYC back about '79, and I developed a theory that living in a big city causes you to loose 63% of your remaining soul every year you're there (those with an understanding of electronics may get the reference). After 5 years, you would effectively have no soul left. I've seen nothing to convince me otherwise.
Also, I'd like to add, Reddit (and 4Chan) are not real life.
I went back and looked closer as the stats, and, well, it is 137.
They reported per 10,000. Who does that?
Still, I'd rather be here.
Well, here people tell you what they're thinking, and that seems to have no effect.
Johnny (#95) writes,
MJD and Captian Sock Puppet have already tried to dox me.
With that false statement, you've just made MJD's top ten list for "Orac's minions".
Q. How is the ranking of Orac's minions like a ladder.
A. The higher you climb, the harder you fall.
I dunno there pardner, you're starting to sound a little PGPish there yourself.
Of course,*chacun a son goute* and all that but
many of the towns right outside of NYC have rates of 100-200.
AND places within Manhattan and Brooklyn probably are WAY below that 500+. Rich folks?. Not always.
When you visited NYC, it was having one of its worse periods.
You may recall crime dramas from the 1970s and later. Not entirely fiction. Drug lords, crooked cops, street gangs and of course, the Mob.
(Thanks, Mssrs Coppola and Scorcese. Even Woody Allen did a few -" Broadway Danny Rose" and "Bullets over Broadway" ).
Obviously they doesn't touch most New Yorkers directly
AND there is white collar crime galore.
SO, you might have to eat next to them when you sample posh eateries.
@Brian Deer #85
Anti-vaxxers continue to fixate on arguments from their halcyon days: e.g., that Andrew Wakefield wasn’t obviously a profit-driven, sociopathic grifter, that Walker-Smith’s appeal magically sorta-kinda exonerated Wakefield, and that “Whistleblower” Thompson’s suggestion that his colleagues’ belief that socioeconomic factors explained their results was proof of pro-vaccine fraud to allegedly counterbalance Wakefield’s anti-vaccine fraud, despite Thompson’s clear statements to the contrary—and despite Thompson’s explicit acknowledgement that, in fact, socioeconomic factors influenced the results of the 2004 DeStefano study: “You could argue that it's the educated black moms that are getting their kids vaccinated earlier and that's why you found that effect [i.e., that ASD was less common among African-American boys whose less-educated mothers exhibited less healthcare-seeking behavior and thus poorer access to both vaccination and diagnosis.]"
I suppose that Hazlehurst, Kennedy, and their fellow-travelers remain mired in the past because more recent data quite clearly refute their position, even though the older data also refutes their position: their weak, years-old posture is the best that they can do.
I would have been interested in learning how, if Thompson had been allowed to address his contradictory statements under cross examination, Hazlehurst and Kennedy might have attempted to refute the recent work that shows that autism begins to develop many months before the administration of MMR, as well as the clear evidence that MMR is not associated with the risk of ASD in children whether or not they are at (genetically-increased) risk of ASD because they are a younger sib of a child with ASD.
"all people are awful" - PGP
"fully 80% of the population has no soul, I know this because I lived in NYC for a month" - Johnny
"the US was founded on slavery, white supremacy, genocide, and imperialism, and has problems with racism and Nazis, but the actual people in the US are about as good or bad as people anywhere, natural disasters suck, especially for certain classes of people, and we shouldn't blame the victims for the fact that they live in a country where politics are run by oligarchs who enrich themselves immensely off of the processes that drive global climate change and can escape the consequences, while income for most people stagnates or falls" - some know it all internet leftist
I was also going to mention last night before the power went out that cis white women are actually by far the demographic least likely to be murdered, and most of the murders that do occur are domestic violence, not street crime.
One more thing: Reddit and 4chan are, in fact, "real life," inasmuch as the internet is a real thing and is used to organize "real world" activities, and so on.
But Reddit and 4chan are also specific gathering places for the worst people in the world. They aren't representative of any population but the "Reddit and 4chan sh!tlord" population.
Which is why no one ever lifted a finger to free the slaves worldwide or, closer to home, bothered to run the Underground Railroad. Also why no one went back into the World Trade Center to help others get out (one of my friends DIED doing that so I really really appreciate your insulting his memory). Also why no one wastes their talents and time becoming doctors when they could turn their high intelligence to business.
It's pointless to try to open even the slightest crack in your utterly closed mind. I think you'd be happier if you gave up just a tiny bit of your hatred and bitterness, but I won't urge you to anymore.
By the way, the mention of street crime reminds me that a dear comrade, Tony Cochran, recently had his wallet stolen in the Warsaw metro and is now left with basically nothing.
He's living in Warsaw and hasn't been long out of prison (10 months, UK), recently had severe salmonella and lost a fair bit of pay, has medical expenses as well, and now this on top of it.
He's a queer ex-JW and he basically has no family because shunning, so he's in a pretty tough spot. If you could throw him even five pounds (link below) it would mean a lot.
Sorry for the blatant pimping, but you know, solidarity forever and all.
Now back to your regularly scheduled programming.
@ Johnny (#95),
You're a good military man Johnny so I'd like to recommend a friend's book about being a doctor and a soldier.
His story is a great piece of American literature that would even make PGP's heart grow three times larger.
Continuation of (#108),
LW: " I think you’d be happier if you gave up just a tiny bit of your hatred and bitterness, but I won’t urge you to anymore."
Yeah, I kinda like not being murdered or hurt,so no. Some people do manage to transcend the standard human wiring, like your friend. Most don't. Whatever you may think, the denizens of 4chan and reddit are closer to the average human than any optimist would like to believe.
Tim: All that kinda supports my point. Why is help being allowed NOW? Why are the police being so wellbehaved now, when they weren't during Katrina? What changed? And who ordered those changes?
MJD: Breaking into psuedonyms are we? I'm pretty sure I've heard of that book before, and I think it's very possible that it's poorly written glurge, since you wouldn't recognize good writing if it bit you. Heck, I imagine you think "Twilight' is a literary masterpiece, even though it's above your reading level.
Johnny: "we don’t hurt nobody."
I'd be willing to bet your county is majority white, yes? I wonder what someone who wasn't white would think of that statement.
When you offered to send me one of your books plus $20 if I would just e-mail you my snail mail address, it sure felt like you were trying to dox me. I can't think of another reason you'd do that, unless you have so many copies of the darn thing setting around that it's the only way you can get rid if them.
I have to admit that PGP pisses me right off with her talk of how bad things are in the country (and the world), and that they're worse out here in suburban and rural areas, and, well, I used DW's post as a chance to shoot back. I didn't think my (half) joke would raise that much ire.
And, yes, I was half joking and half telling the truth. Violent crime is higher in the cities, and NYC is a big city. There's a multitude of reasons, but the reasons are there and the crime is there.
I've been coast to coast and (almost) all around the world, and I've never seen anything like it. Nobody has a soul, but it sure did feel the those in NYC were just a little more soulless than the rest, and that includes all the other big cities I was in.
I saw things in NYC that I never saw anywhere else. I saw bums frying bacon in a trash can lid over a fire they started in the trashcan. I saw an old lady beat the crap out of a taxi with her umbrella, because the taxi stopped inside the cross walk (well, you could say that was justified). I had bums begging to take my tray at a pizza joint, so they could have the 'pizza bones' - and the workers there telling me 'NO' (because then 'they will all be around here') then throwing him out. Crowds gathered around the 3 Card Monte players hoping to see who was scamming who - it was entertainment, trying to spot who was going to be scammed. I saw parking places that rented for more per month than the apartment I was living in at the time.
Maybe it's because I was there a full month, living amongst the locals, and any other time in big cities was more on the order of a week or two at a time, and there were just more opportunities to see mans inhumanity to man.
Yeah, different parts of the city will have different rates, and places that aren't the city will also have different rates. I miss your point.
I also miss your point about the rich.
I thought we were talking about violent crimes. But again, I miss your point. Are you saying that everyone in NYC is a criminal? That sounds like all the more reasons not to go there.
As far as eating in NYC, I found the best food at the hole-in-the-wall places, and the delis. But I think that's true all over the country and all over the world. It ain't 'posh', but it's almost always good. When I'm traveling, I'm looking for something different than I can find at home.
I'm not sure I agree, but we may be looking at this from different points of view.
I'm an old guy, and real life is what happens in places where computers aren't. I am somewhere about 50 or 60 times more active on RI than I am on all other social media. My human interactions mostly take place face to face or via telephone. I'm not counting work related, either - I'm retired.
You young people mostly have a different view, I understand.
This guy? Sorry, there are other demands on my charitable giving at the moment.
Only for 8 years, but, frankly, when I think MJD and books, I do tend to giggle a bit.
48% white, 18%black, 21% hispanic - and several others make up the rest, including mixed race. Wanna try again?
Yeah, I've seen those articles. I've also read his side of the story. He represented himself, which was idiotic. I do have friends who will vouch for his character. (Through whom we were introduced.) I can see how the situation looks fishy from the outside, though. (He's definitely a freak, which I don't mind, and has shown some poor judgment in important ways.)
Also hard not to relate to an ex-JW who grew poor in the rural northwest. I threw him a few bucks, anyway; I pay my mom some rent and help with bills, but I'm not struggling to survive.
I'll get to your other comments in a little bit, just had a visit from some Very Nice Friends who are out in the Gorge for a wedding. It was nice! We're so remote that I rarely get visits from friends.
Also, Steven Pinker is an idiot.
Pinker is a numptie, just not for PGP's reasons.
Re: urban vs. rural: I grew up in a very rural area, and I've lived in cities of various sizes. I just don't think one is "better" or more virtuous than the other. I appreciate both.
Yes, cities face unique problems. (I was going to go into it, but I had the aforementioned visit.) The ghettoization of the poor and minorities is a huge problem with historical roots that has caused a host of other problems.
In terms of homelessness: the homeless tend to live in cities because that's where the resources for the homeless are. When a business is located in a place where the homeless tend to congregate (like Old Town), they can face certain problems if the homeless are "attracted" there, as heartless as it sounds.
In terms of the pizza bones, in college I was part of a homeless outreach organization. We had an "in" with loca pizzerias, and we would collect unsold pizza at the end of the day and distribute it to the homeless. (We had big carts that we pulled on bikes; we also had hot coffee and we took donations of things people told us they needed, like socks.) We weren't generally on the right side of the police; to be perfectly honest, they viewed the homeless as a nuisance, and Olympia eventually passed a law making it illegal to sit on the sidewalk, which is absurd.)
There wasn't any particular ire on my part, I just fine trashing people who live in cities to be as unkind and wrong headed as bashing on rural folks.
(By the way, as a lifelong pedestrian, I'm on the little old lady's side. I've had more close calls with aggressive drivers than I care to coubt.)
I mean I am pretty liberal when it comes to giving people money though. I recently sent some money to a friend from grad school who had to quit because or severe mental illness. She's working, but she lost a couple weeks pay when her work closed to remodel with irresponsibally short notice. And her girlfriend is disabled.
Also a few bucks to a comrade in the path of Irma who was flat broke and needed supplies.
Aaaand a twenty to my heroin addict cousin who came to visit, because I love her and I'm a sucker.
She didn't finish her coffee and POURED IT OUT though, which is highly frowned on in Norwegian culture. Like, cuz, the jail stuff is whatever, it really sucks, actually, and you need to go to rehab, but for Pete's sake, act like a Norwegian.
Sorry for all the rambling.
Oh, sorry: regarding the internet, even if you think it isn't "real life," it inevitably spills over into "real life." See the "incel" Isla Vista rampager, for instance. He found an online community where his alleged grievances were amplified and he was ultimately radicalized.
You see the same thing with the "alt right," which I was following online for quite some time before Charlottesville.
I don't really see that it has a lot to do with age. Yes, I'm nearly a "digital native," but people of all ages are online, and the internet is a huge part of contemporary life.
Uhhhh, so about Mr. Cochran, sorry about that. I'm a bleeding heart and a big believer in mutual aid. But a quite long term friend (once upon a time a Russian student of mine, he's a PhD candidate in comp lit) who is also a comrade has expressee doubts about the situation.
Gahhh, one more comment before I retire, I know I have been going on at length:
If someone has been abusing the kindness and good heated camaraderie of the far left, there will be (actual) ire indeed.
Ok, one more thing, a bit of levity, on Nordic coffee culture (it is a central thing):
And I was ( partially) joking/ being flip.
You can't boil everything down to a few sentences. This is complex social science ( heh).
About the crime figures;
what I meant was that PROBABLY ( I was too lazy to look it up about NYC but I do know the figures around here) many areas of the city- and around it - have crime figures similar to your town DESPITE being urban. A town nearby is 90 ; several others are 150 or so.. Parts of Brooklyn must be very low. ( and because of averaging there must be really high figures as well to get to 500+ overall)
Within the city proper ( and outside it), many areas have become very safe- this is a new development-
USUALLY this is where the richer people live-
now gentrified/ former middle class places like my late uncle's ( with a small investment in remodeling by the person who bought it) will sell for a million and a half or more USD. The price quadrupled in 10 years.
White collar criminals in high end restaurants was snark.
What impresses me about the city -and nearby areas- is that art, culture, fashion, education and commerce thrive. People are usually more tolerant of differences - that's why there have always been enclaves of LGBT, leftists and diverse cultures- even in the 1950s. Plus part of my family is from there.
About restaurant fare:
some of the best food is ethnic and very affordable. I used to have Moroccan , Indian or Japanese ( in the East Village a few years ago) and then go for Italian pastry or gelato afterwards. Almost too many choices.
Yeah, I kinda like not being murdered or hurt,so no.
Funny -- I've managed to survive 62 years believing in my fellow homo sapiens without being murdered. Go figure.
The bicyclists represent far more of a hazard in my experience as a pedestrian, which is why I resent Big Bike's tedious habit of claiming that pedestrians are some sort of political subset to which they're entitled.
Helmet-wearers on the sidewalk almost certainly get the irony.
I have lived several months to more than a decade in suburbs around cities, including two state capitals and northern Virginia suburbs around DC. The longest was living about 12 miles from downtown Denver, Colorado. When I worked there, I was on the years-long waiting list for a building parking pass, and parking was so pricey close by that I had to park my car several blocks away where I sometimes found homeless people nearby. Though I tried to be alert to my surroundings, I don't remember ever feeling that my life was in danger.
In fact, the only violence ever done to me was either familial abuse or acquaintance rape.
I have found that the majority of people in this world are not monsters. I have somehow been blessed to actually find some wonderful people, again and again, at every stop along the way in my life. For some reason, people believe I am very kind and sweet (I keep assuring them that if they ever heard some of my internal conversations, that belief would end quickly), and it does seem to make them treat me kindly.
Then again, I am a disabled former lower middle class white woman. I am statistically more likely to be assaulted or abused by someone I know than a stranger. Science wins?
A friend originally from Chicago feels the same way. I never had a problem with cyclists in Michigan, but there weren't many. Sometimes I was like "get a f*cking bell!" though, when they would pass me from behind.
I like to think I have always been a very courteous cyclist hut ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
And the concept that is so horrific and dangerous that PGP might be murdered for even considering it is ... that there really may be a few thousand Americans who care about human life enough to voluntarily travel to Houston to rescue people.
Funny — I’ve managed to survive 62 years believing in my fellow homo sapiens without being murdered. Go figure.
An in 12 days, I will have managed 41 years with the same belief :)
Oh crap Alain, you just reminded me that I'm turning 30 in a few months.
Actually, I have tried for a few minutes what kind of situation could make one forget his/her birth date or age and even good old pubmed was of no help. I can attest to being atypical as a somewhat fair calendar calculator but takes something big for most humans to forget our age.
Mind I ask why you forgot?
excuse the grammars, I am up since 5am, walk to school and back each day 5 days a week (10.4 km, 6.46 miles roundtrip and frequently, more than that) and wake up at 5am tomorrow morning.
Thanks for the chuckle, Alain.
No joke though, lately whenever someone asks me my age I accidentally say "27." Perhaps I am in denial.
Speaking of ridiculous sleep schedules, it's nearly 10 pm and I'm drinking coffee so I can stay up all night and do translation work that I've been putting off.
My sleep schedule has been bizarre all summer, though. Which is bad for the ol' mental health.
Me too, modulo translation and time zones.
^ "Peace of mind is the most important prerequisite for creative work" was the circular reasoning of the privileged, though, Feynman.
Oh crap Alain, you just reminded me that I’m turning 30 in a few months.
A mere infant. Call me when you hit the big five-0.
Does 2 hippos rescuing a wildebeest from a crocodile count as altruism?