The Stupid Discourse Goes Stupider

 

Ultimately, the latest right wing blog attempt at fact checking rests upon the notion that there is no possible way that genealogy records could be wrong. 

I’ll let those who have ever done such research stop laughing.  The proof that Obama must be wrong was that the genealogy records were for Charles W.  Payne, not Charles T. Payne. 

Oops. 

Although we were not able to reach Payne directly, Payne’s son, Richard Payne, said his father "definitely served in the 89th Infantry Division" and confirmed that Obama’s account was substantially accurate, except for identifying the wrong concentration camp. Richard Payne declined to say anything further.

Mark Kitchell, who maintains a Web site dedicated to the 89th Infantry Division, said he was able to locate a list of servicemen that includes a Pfc. C. T. Payne who served in the K Company of the 355th Infantry Regiment of the 89th Infantry Division. The list included only the initials for first names.

The 355th Infantry Regimen was the one that liberated Ohrdruf, Kitchell said. Kitchell, the son of 89th veteran Raymond E. Kitchell, obtained the list from the official Division History book, written shortly after the war.

Finally, the National Personnel Records Center, an operation of the federal government’s National Archives and Records Administration, put this question to rest.

Researchers confirmed to PolitiFact that Army personnel records for Payne would have been destroyed in a 1973 fire that consumed many such archives, but they dug up a "Morning Report" dated April 11, 1945, showing Pfc. Charles T. Payne was assigned to the 355th Regiment Infantry, Company K. The Records Center provided a copy of the report. A faxed copy provided to PolitiFact was legible enough for us to make out Payne’s information, but the faxed photocopy of the record is too grainy to be of use if posted here.

There’s no question Obama misspoke when he said his uncle helped to liberate the concentration camp in Auschwitz.

But even with this error in locations, Obama’s statement was substantially correct in that he had an uncle — albeit a great uncle — who served with troops who helped to liberate the Ohrdruf concentration/work camp and saw, firsthand, the horrors of the Holocaust. We rate the statement Mostly True.

Charles Payne is 83, lives in Chicago and apparently never talks about the liberation of the camp.  It’s too bad it had to be brought up again because of a bunch of slobbering children who think they’ve found a conspiracy afoot because a wrong initial in records. 

Today’s Tosser: Illinois Review Goes for Two

WE ARE ALL GONNA DIE!

Because Bill Foster voted for a procedural vote that blocked the Senate FISA bill–as he said he would when he was campaigning.

The real question is why won’t the President sign a bill without retroactive immunity for telecoms. The House can pass that and the Senate can pass that.  The President has promised a veto.  His argument?  Telecoms won’t cooperate if they are subject to following the law.

Errrr….of course the law is that they have to cooperate with a legal warrant so if domestic wiretapping includes a warrant, that’s a completely silly argument.

The real question is why does Jim Oberweis and the Illinois Review gang want to gut the 4th Amendment.

Today’s Tosser: Dennis Byrne

Or perhaps the Chicago Tribune Editorial Board for continuing to print this garbage.

There’s just one problem. According to an analysis in one of the most credible peer-reviewed journals in the country, the Mayo Clinic Proceedings, the risk is real. The study employed an often-used medical research technique called “meta-analysis” that allows researchers to combine data from other studies on the risk to get a larger picture. The result: Premenopausal women who used oral contraceptives prior to having their first child have a 44 percent higher chance of getting cancer than women who didn’t use the pill. If they used the pill for more than four years prior to their first full-term pregnancy, the risk increased 52 percent. Chris Kahlenborn, an internist at the Altoona (Pa.) Hospital and the study’s lead author, suggests one additional woman in 200 could get breast cancer. Extrapolated throughout the population, that could mean thousands more cases every year. I’d say that’s an important story.

I’m assuming Byrne didn’t understand the researcher because in the same issue of the Mayo Clinic Proceedings the editorial addressed the issue and it had something different to say:

Second, although OCs appear to be carcinogenic,7 the relative risk is small, and the absolute risk (excess breast cancers due to OC exposure) is very small. For example, the Oxford pooled analysis estimates that the excess number of cases of breast cancer expected to be diagnosed up to 10 years after discontinuation of OC use among 10,000 European or North American women is 0.5 cases for OC use from age 16 to 19 years, 1.5 cases for OC use from age 20 to 24 years, and 4.7 cases for OC use from 25 to 29 years. These cases are also likely to be clinically localized. Third, although a formal risk-benefit analysis is beyond the scope of this editorial, all risks and benefits of OC use must be considered, not just the risk of breast cancer. Other cancer risks may include cervical cancer and liver cancer in populations at low risk for hepatitis B viral infection. Additionally, IARC has determined that there is convincing evidence that OCs decrease the risk of ovarian and endometrial cancer, and there is accumulating evidence that they may lower the risk of colorectal cancer.7 Other major noncancer risks of OC use include ischemic stroke, venous thromboembolism, and myocardial infarction, but because these are rare events in women of childbearing age, the attributable risks are very small.8,16 Finally, there is a growing number of noncontraceptive health benefits associated with OCs, including relief from menstrual disorders; reduced risk of pelvic inflammatory disease, benign breast disease, uterine leiomyomas, and ovarian cysts; and improved bone mineral density

The essential problem is that a Meta-Analysis is only as good as the controls in the various case control studies.  If the case control studies don’t match control and cases to relevant risk factors, then the outcomes are troublesome to say the least.

In this case, the relevant matching of cases determining the inclusion of the study only included age and general demographic information, while the studies vary upon health and behavioral risk factors such as smoking, general health, and even genetics.

IOW, correlation is not causation and while there is an interesting correlation, for meta-analysis to be useful in such a broad range of studies, the controls need to be similar.

The point is well made in a follow-up letter to the Mayo Clinic Proceedings.  \

Confounding factors are a major issue in the interpretation of all case-control studies. For example, I previously noted that confounding is to be expected in case-control studies of the associations between conditions that are truly caused by high or low levels of steroid hormones and some forms of risky behavior (treated as risk factors).2 In the case of premenopausal breast cancer, the disease is thought to be partially caused by high levels of estrogenic (and perhaps androgenic) hormones. Moreover, the behavioral trait of sensation seeking is associated with high levels of both estrogenic and androgenic hormones.3 In contrast to age-matched controls, a higher proportion of young female sensation seekers would be expected to choose to engage in voluntary “risky” behavior, eg, smoking, OC use, and abortion. Thus, the association of OCs with breast cancer may simply be a reflection of the independent association of both these factors with high levels of estrogens and/or androgens. The point could be tested by assaying the hormones of control subjects and of young women at the time they first choose to use OCs. I hypothesize that, at the time of OC initiation, users have higher hormone levels than controls.

Byrne wants there to be a national scare over a finding that is interesting, but not definitive.  That’s not science.

And it brings into question why the Tribune is promoting this clown and whatever junk science idea he has for the column.  The Trib has very able science reporters who do a decent job sorting out evidence and reasonable interpretations of data.  Why they choose to allow a completely ignorant fool to scare people from a fairly valuable piece of editorial real estate is  the real mystery.

Today’s Tosser: The Entire Disaster Over at Illinois Review

It was too hard to pick just one:

Jill Stanek insists that Terri Schiavo was fully alive and aware

Stanek has some rubbish about how people called her brain dead and approvingly links then to an article that doesn’t just dispute whether she was brain dead, but says

Rarely, if ever, mentioned in media reports are the more than 40 doctors’ affidavits submitted to the court that either contradicted that Terri was in a so-called PVS or stated that she could have been helped with proper rehabilitation.

The media also fails to report the medical records confirming that Terri at one time was beginning to speak, or the videos of Terri interacting with her family and her surroundings, all of which prove that she was very much alive, and very much responsive

Well, no. She had lost half of her brain weight–which was liquefied, The areas of speech were heavily damaged She wasn’t speaking and this continuing effort to deny the reality of her condition is sad.

We get this treat from George Kocan who says:

According to a report by the Daily Herald, a federal judge has decreed that a moment of silence in public schools violates the U.S. Constitution. We are to believe that the First Amendment says “government ‘shall make no laws respecting an establishment of religion.’”

Apparently, the judge relies on a different First Amendment than the one I am familiar with. The real document states that “Congress shall make no laws…” That is a big difference. And it shows how activist judges need to misrepresent the Constitution to make the public accept as law the mythical “separation of church and state.”

Of course, the 14th Amendment applied this to the states and so appendages of state governments are not allowed to make laws respecting an establishment of religion. One has to wonder if these people have read the Constitution. Perhaps they could hang with Rod.

Eaton celebrates indicted and convicted felons after railing about Bob Creamer

George Dienhart declares A vote for Ron Paul is a vote against America

It’s great fun to read. Did you know that you are against America if you are against No Child Left Behind? Yep. Several other fun ones in there, but what’s striking most about the article is that the opposition to Paul isn’t so much on a clearly elucidated set of conservative principles, but on George Bush being right regardless of how incoherent his position is ideologically. For small government? Hell no—it’s unAmerican to back Ron Paul because he’s against federal rules for education and drugs!

The entire piece is a perfect example of the incoherence of people who claim to be conservatives in George Bush’s America.

Ron Paul is a bit loopy, but he doesn’t hate America. For extra fun, check out the comment thread. And I thought the 9-11 Truthers were annoying.

Bob Schmidt puts John (“Mary Rosh”) in some big company:

Overtime civilization has been the gradual process of seeing more and more of the facts, and the truth. The Greeks developed truths of mathematics. The Arabs developed truths of astronomy. Galileo, Newton and Einstein each made contributions. John Locke, Adam Smith, Milton Friedman and John Lott advanced hypothesis about the truth of the laws of economics and of the way things work out among us humans.

John Lott cannot even get tenure anywhere.

And going on 5 years and after the deadliest one, we are winning in Iraq. Again.

Could someone tell me how you get political reconciliation when al Maliki just told the the Sunnis to go jump off a bridge?

Today’s Tosser: Dan Lipinski, Hysterical

Apparently Dan thinks he’s in on the actual politics of his campaign.

But Capparelli, Bennett and Lipinski all angrily deny the two are ghosts running to help Lipinski.

Dan Lipinski is the last person who’d be given that information and perhaps that’s the saddest/funniest thing involved.  Dan is a highly educated decent Political Scientist who has no idea he’s a giant tool.

He probably thinks Ryan Chlada was a real candidate.

Today’s Tosser: Just Cannot Help Herself

Eaton whines:

Frankly, his conclusions are logical for his system of belief about beginnings, which rejects the notion that an Intelligent Designer had anything to do with the way things are on Planet Earth.

Wrong, and I pointed this out:

Nothing Watson said on intelligence is demonstrated by the scientific literature.  And, in fact, his statements are refuted by the literature just as Charles Murray’s claims are.

And history in the United States demonstrates the problem. His assumption of distinct populations that do not interbreed is simply false.  African-Americans in the United States frequently, if not usually, have white ancestors.  Even in the case of isolated tribes in Africa, there is significant genetic evidence that the populations of humans interbreed frequently and such genetic isolation does not exist in reality.

Because Eaton has a caricature of science, she doesn’t understand apparently anything in the post that directly refutes her claim above.  Watson isn’t making a scientific conclusion, he’s making an idiotic bigoted statement refuted by science.
There are not distinct human populations that are not interbred and so at the most basic assumption of Watson’s claim is wrong and nothing logically can follow. Insisting it does does as much abuse to the scientific process as Watson does in his silly claims.

Furthermore, the entire conception of intelligence is flawed as Watson tries to claim.  Of course, the primary person that kind of garbage isn’t Watson, it’s conservative hack Charles Murray.

Finally, evolution isn’t a theory of beginnings–it is a theory about how life on earth changes over time.  More specifically how alleles vary from generation to generation.  Having a basic grasp of what one is talking about is, in most company, considered good form.

Because the intricacies of a micro-organism and the incomprehensible details of something as complex as the human eye or the ear, the brain, the heart, the lungs, not to mention the unfathomable depths of the sea, the infinite universe around us all clearly point to an Intelligent Designer rather than a Cosmic Coincidence, I am a “moron” and a “sh(r)ill beast”?

No, you are moron because you are confusing entire fields of science and multiple theories with one theory that discusses how life has changed over time on Earth.

Evolution doesn’t address God. It addresses biological life that is observable. Unless one believes the evidence for evolution was planted to test one’s faith or perhaps to discover why 42 is so important, it’s the most parsimonious and only non-falsified theory to explain life on Earth as it exists now.

Today’s Tosser: Washington Is Full of Silly, Silly People II

Diane Sawyer

ROBIN ROBERTS (co-host): It’s going to be a long day on Capitol Hill.

SAWYER: It certainly is. Senators facing an all-nighter now as Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid vows to filibuster, talking all night to close out all topics besides a vote on Iraqi troop withdrawals.

ROBERTS: And of course, as they continue to talk there in Washington, our brave troops con — they forge on. And this morning, we have a brand new, inside look at their daily lives and what really happens there on the front lines.

You flunk at least one quiz in Polisci 101 with this kind of stupidity.  Filibusters are held by people who do not want to vote on the bill.  Over time that has meant that even the threat of filibuster means a bill dies, but those wanting to vote up or down on the bill do not have to just walk away.  In fact, the 1964 Civil Rights Act was passed because the Senate stayed in session waiting out Byrd’s filibuster and it was the first time cloture had been used successfully in a civil rights bill and the second time since 1927 that it had been invoked.

Before the passage of a cloture rule in 1917, there was no way to force a vote on a bill.  The Senate has long held that it’s members can debate a bill for as long as they like. Given the 1917 filibuster of enabling legislation for WWI created such a problem for the nation, the Senate limited that right of members.

The only thing Reid is doing is forcing the Republicans to do more than just threaten a filibuster and carry it out–and carry on about how bad redeployment would be for hours while the country supports the idea.

One cannot understand the role of the U.S. Senate in the history of the United States if one does not understand the filibuster and at least some of the central bills it was used for to attempt to stop bills.

Today’s Tosser

Mike Allen demonstrating the vacuousness of the DC press.

Now, Obama’s about to endure a going-over that would make a proctologist blush. Why has he sometimes said his first name is Arabic, and other times Swahili? Why did he make up names in his first book, as the introduction acknowledges? Why did he say two years ago that he would “absolutely” serve out his Senate term, which ends in 2011, and that the idea of him running for president this cycle was “silly” and hype “that’s been a little overblown”?

In interviews, strategists in both parties pointed to four big vulnerabilities: Obama’s inexperience, the thinness of his policy record, his frank liberalism in a time when the party needs centrist voters and the wealth of targets that are provided by the personal recollections in his first book, from past drug use to conversations that cannot be documented.

The first two are rather odd. The introduction to the book explains why he did it. I understand when Lynn Sweet brought this up, but it isn’t exactly an interesting story to say he had a hard time writing it and so he used composite characters. Secondly, the whole thing about claiming his name has different origins isn’t quite right since his name actually does its roots in two different origins–or at least it isn’t an issue of controversy as Mike Allen being too stupid to understand how words develop.

How does a class of people become so vapid? Seriously, his story is not shedding any light, but gossiping about the cool kids are thinking he’s doing too well so they’ll start being hard on him on such issues, even though some are demonstrably false.

a little more from Brother Tosser:

At the DNC meeting, Obama surprised some in the audience by seeming to scoff at the intricacy of public policy. “There are those who don’t believe in talking about hope,” he said. “They say, well, we want specifics, we want details, we want white papers, we want plans. We’ve had a lot of plans, Democrats. What we’ve had is a shortage of hope.”

A former Democratic official in close touch with several of the campaigns said: “Downplaying the importance of specific plans and ideas seems like a really strange strategy from somebody who is clearly very smart, policy-wise, but hasn’t established that with the broader public yet.”

He just wrote a book. It’s fine for the average guy on the street saying they haven’t heard the details of his plans, but for a member of the press to bitch about him not having ideas or specifics, I think you can get on Amazon and buy the damn book.

And Clean Too!–Today’s Tosser

Joe Biden demonstrates to us as he will many, many more times in this campaign, why he will never win the nomination, but will provide a fun target for humor:

Mr. Biden is equally skeptical—albeit in a slightly more backhanded way—about Mr. Obama. “I mean, you got the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy,” he said. “I mean, that’s a storybook, man.”

But—and the “but” was clearly inevitable—he doubts whether American voters are going to elect “a one-term, a guy who has served for four years in the Senate,” and added: “I don’t recall hearing a word from Barack about a plan or a tactic.”

Clean? WTF?

And, of course, Obama has been giving fairly detailed speeches on the war and a new strategy since at least November of 2005.