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OTHERS

Every now and again I come across thoughts, essays and contributions on the web, pertaining to Big Brother imbecilities,  which need to be relativised. I hope the originators do not object to my shamelessly using same here.

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The Great Prostate Mistake

by Richard J. Ablin

EACH year some 30 million American men undergo testing for prostate-specific antigen, an enzyme made by the prostate. Approved by the Food and Drug Administration in 1994, the P.S.A. test is the most commonly used tool for detecting prostate cancer.

The test’s popularity has led to a hugely expensive public health disaster. It’s an issue I am painfully familiar with — I discovered P.S.A. in 1970. As Congress searches for ways to cut costs in our health care system, a significant savings could come from changing the way the antigen is used to screen for prostate cancer.

Americans spend an enormous amount testing for prostate cancer. The annual bill for P.S.A. screening is at least $3 billion, with much of it paid for by Medicare and the Veterans Administration.

Prostate cancer may get a lot of press, but consider the numbers: American men have a 16 percent lifetime chance of receiving a diagnosis of prostate cancer, but only a 3 percent chance of dying from it. That’s because the majority of prostate cancers grow slowly. In other words, men lucky enough to reach old age are much more likely to die with prostate cancer than to die of it.

Even then, the test is hardly more effective than a coin toss. As I’ve been trying to make clear for many years now, P.S.A. testing can’t detect prostate cancer and, more important, it can’t distinguish between the two types of prostate cancer — the one that will kill you and the one that won’t.

Instead, the test simply reveals how much of the prostate antigen a man has in his blood. Infections, over-the-counter drugs like ibuprofen, and benign swelling of the prostate can all elevate a man’s P.S.A. levels, but none of these factors signals cancer. Men with low readings might still harbor dangerous cancers, while those with high readings might be completely healthy.

In approving the procedure, the Food and Drug Administration relied heavily on a study that showed testing could detect 3.8 percent of prostate cancers, which was a better rate than the standard method, a digital rectal exam.

Still, 3.8 percent is a small number. Nevertheless, especially in the early days of screening, men with a reading over four nanograms per milliliter were sent for painful prostate biopsies. If the biopsy showed any signs of cancer, the patient was almost always pushed into surgery, intensive radiation or other damaging treatments.

The medical community is slowly turning against P.S.A. screening. Last year, The New England Journal of Medicine published results from the two largest studies of the screening procedure, one in Europe and one in the United States. The results from the American study show that over a period of 7 to 10 years, screening did not reduce the death rate in men 55 and over.

The European study showed a small decline in death rates, but also found that 48 men would need to be treated to save one life. That’s 47 men who, in all likelihood, can no longer function sexually or stay out of the bathroom for long.

Numerous early screening proponents, including Thomas Stamey, a well-known Stanford University urologist, have come out against routine testing; last month, the American Cancer Society urged more caution in using the test. The American College of Preventive Medicine also concluded that there was insufficient evidence to recommend routine screening.

So why is it still used? Because drug companies continue peddling the tests and advocacy groups push “prostate cancer awareness” by encouraging men to get screened. Shamefully, the American Urological Association still recommends screening, while the National Cancer Institute is vague on the issue, stating that the evidence is unclear.

The federal panel empowered to evaluate cancer screening tests, the Preventive Services Task Force, recently recommended against P.S.A. screening for men aged 75 or older. But the group has still not made a recommendation either way for younger men.

Prostate-specific antigen testing does have a place. After treatment for prostate cancer, for instance, a rapidly rising score indicates a return of the disease. And men with a family history of prostate cancer should probably get tested regularly. If their score starts skyrocketing, it could mean cancer.

But these uses are limited. Testing should absolutely not be deployed to screen the entire population of men over the age of 50, the outcome pushed by those who stand to profit.

I never dreamed that my discovery four decades ago would lead to such a profit-driven public health disaster. The medical community must confront reality and stop the inappropriate use of P.S.A. screening. Doing so would save billions of dollars and rescue millions of men from unnecessary, debilitating treatments.

Richard J. Ablin is a research professor of immunobiology and pathology at the University of Arizona College of Medicine and the president of the Robert Benjamin Ablin Foundation for Cancer Research.

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Green hysteria

by unknown
All of you out there across the globe who have fought so hard to tackle the hideous enemy of our planet, namely carbon emissions, you know …….that bogus god you worship of “Climate Change” or “Global Warming” ……….well, I feel it is necessary to inform you of some bad news. It really does pain me to have to bring you this disappointing   information.

Are you sitting down?

Okay, here’s the bombshell. The current volcanic eruption going on in Indonesia (Gunung Merapi) since its first spewing of volcanic ash has, in just 1 week, NEGATED EVERY SINGLE EFFORT you have made in the past five years to control CO2 emissions on our planet – all of you.

The volcano in Iceland recently took just 4 days to achieve similar results. Of course you know about this evil carbon dioxide that we are trying to suppress – it’s that vital chemical compound that every plant requires to live and grow and to synthesise into oxygen for us humans and all animal life.

I know, I know…. (group hug)…it’s very disheartening to realise that all of the carbon emission savings you have accomplished while suffering the inconvenience and expense of: driving Prius hybrids, buying fabric grocery bags, sitting up till midnight to finish your  kid’s “The Green Revolution” science project, throwing out all of your non-green cleaning supplies, using only two squares of toilet paper, putting a brick in your toilet tank reservoir, selling your SUV and speedboat, vacationing at home instead of Bali, nearly getting hit every day on your bicycle, replacing all of your $1 light bulbs with $10 light bulbs …well, all of those things you have done have all gone down the tubes in just a few days.

The volcanic ash emitted into the Earth’s atmosphere in just four days – yes – FOUR DAYS ONLY by that volcano in Iceland, totally erased every single effort you have made to reduce the evil beast, carbon. And there are around 200 active volcanoes on the planet spewing out this crud at any one time – EVERY DAY.

Oh, I don’t really want to rain on your parade too much, but I should mention that when the volcano Mt Pinatubo erupted in the Philippines in 1991, it spewed out more greenhouse gases into the atmosphere than the entire human race had emitted in its entire 40 MILLION YEARS on earth. Yes folks, Mt Pinatubo was active for over one year – think about it.

Of course I shouldn’t spoil this touchy-feely tree-hugging moment and mention the effect of solar and cosmic activity and the well-recognised 800-year global heating and cooling cycle, which keeps happening, despite our completely insignificant efforts to affect climate change…

I’m so sorry. And I do wish I had a silver lining to this volcanic ash cloud but the fact of the matter is that the bush fire season across the western USA and Australia this year alone will negate your efforts to reduce carbon in our world for the next two to three years. And it happens every year.

Just remember that your government just tried to impose a whopping  carbon tax on you on the basis of the bogus “human-caused” climate change scenario.

Hey, isn’t it interesting how they don’t  mention “Global Warming” any more, but just “Climate Change” – you know why? It’s because the planet has COOLED by 0.7 degrees in the past century and these global warming bullshit artists got caught with their pants down.

And just keep in mind that now that you will have an Emissions Trading Scheme – that whopping new tax imposed on you, that will achieve absolutely SFA, except make you poorer.

It won’t stop any volcanoes from erupting, that’s for sure!

...for president

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AFFIRMATIVE ACTION

A Polity of Castrati or the Soprano Nation
by Fred

“All of the world’s problems are products of the male ego,” said a swaggering bulldagger she-cop in Law and Order the other night — to which someone might respond irreverently, “Woman, everything that keeps you and your sisters from squatting in caves and crushing lice is a product of the male brain.”

It is curious: Women seem to have no idea how profoundly they depend on men, and not just to fix thingy-wingies that make cars go…. The pattern is that men invent and women use. Men invented cars, and women learned to drive them, usually without having the foggiest idea of how they work. Men also invented refrigerators, television, aircraft, hair-dryers, and tampons. Since women with few exceptions do not think technically unless they have to, they are unaware of the inordinate amount of inspired brainwork that led over millennia to computational fluid dynamics, band theory, the double helix, and TCP/IP.

We hear much triumphalism from women these days about the “male malaise,” the poor performance of boys in class, their inattention in school. Why are these things happening? It’s not that girls are doing better. They’ve always been dutiful, have pasted pictures neatly into projects, and have done their homework on time while boys take longer to get to grips and settle down. It’s always been like that, why has it become an issue?

Much of it I think results from the relentless imposition of female values on all of society. Once, boys were boys and girls were girls. Now all must be girls, or nearly so.

This matters. Males value freedom over security; women, security over freedom. Men love venturing into the wild, whether in Silicon Valley or unexplored jungles, if any; women do not. Men are fiercely competitive; women, concerned with order and comity. Men are physical, enjoying, even needing, rough sports; women are not.

To a man of my generation the country today is unbearably controlled, restricted, safe, and feminised.

This ought to be worrisome, even to women. When men are free, they prosper. They go at it with single-minded determination and not a whole lot of humility. This balls-to-the-wall ethos, wing it and see what happens, screw the PhD, eighteen-hour days of frantic programming on Jolt Cola and Cheetos, we’ll slit the competition’s throat with this new app—this is guy stuff. Men like these have made life comfortable enough that feminists have time to complain. Constantly.

The qualities that make life bearable for males have been squeezed out of society by angry women. In the schools, dodgeball is violence, and must be replaced by a cooperative game led by a caring adult. If a third-grader draws a soldier, he is led out of school in hand-cuffs. If he is bored to suicide by some witless gal from a “teacher’s college,” he is drugged. This compulsory niceness is sheer female passive-aggression against males. It works.

The anger of women is real, easily noticed in the frequent snotty remarks and the portrayal on television of men as boobs and louts. Yes, there are among women exceptions and degrees. The anger remains. Why?

I suspect that the reason is the abrogation of the implicit no-compete clause that once existed between the sexes. In the past, boys were certain things and did certain things; girls were other things and did other things. The girls didn’t drag race against the boys, or think of challenging them at basketball. A girl would try to be valedictorian, but she saw herself as competing against other contenders, not the male sex.

Then came femlib. Women now explicitly saw themselves going head-to-head against men as a sex. It wasn’t a wise fight to pick. Women of ability went into all manner of fields and performed well, as doctors, dentists, editors, reporters, and so on. But it wasn’t enough. Since they were competing not as individuals but as a sex, it was crucial to them that women equal men arithmetically in everything. They couldn’t.

In sports it was hopeless. If there is an Olympic sport other than perhaps nymphette gymnastics or synchronized swimming in which women best men, I am unaware of it. NASCAR would dearly love to have female drivers to encourage women to buy tickets, but it can’t find any who amount to anything; Formula One is worse.

Intellectually things were not so stark. Bright women abounded, and it was easy—thank god, think bright guys—to find women who were smarter than almost all men. Yet it remained that males outperformed females by a large margin on the SAT math section and by a lesser margin, but still a margin, on the verbal. The imbalance occurred on GREs, National Merit, and tests of IQ. Worse, at higher and higher ranges of intelligence, the men outnumbered the women by larger and larger amounts. This is settled science among psychometricians. It is also the glass ceiling. It was, further, the impetus behind affirmative action.

Affirmative action theoretically was intended to give the under-performing classes initial entry, after which they were expected, or said to be expected, to catch up. In fact it quickly became the equivalent of a golf handicap on the able.

Since affirmative action is patronage exchanged for votes, and unrelated to ability, we began to see female ambulance crew who, though perfectly good medically, could not carry stretchers. There were—are—female fire-persons who can neither carry the unconscious nor handle hoses.

Women had found that they could get by political means what they could not on their merits. While many women could compete at most levels on their ability, not enough could do it to produce the desired arithmetic equality. Ah, but women are the backbone of a consumerist society, the buyers, the shoppers. Thus television began pitching ads to women, and telling women what they seem to want to hear, namely that men are dull-witted slugs. Cop shows became populated by unsmiling pistol-toting robo-dyke detectives who confused chronic PMS with manhood. While surveys show that women know less about politics than do men, they vote in larger numbers, and thus could demand special preference. Here we are.

It isn’t going to stop. The country daily becomes more authoritarian, watched, feminised, regulated, and pervaded by disguised hostility that seeks to avenge itself on others. Advancement today depends on race, creed, colour, sex, and national origin instead of an ability and drive. In the schools boys will continue to be drugged, repressed, and made into puerile eunuchs.

The question becomes: Where is this leading? What does feminisation accomplish? What can we expect of a nation run by and for women?

Fewer wars, just possibly. Declining international competitiveness as schools focus on therapy instead of integration of hyperbolic functions. Miserable little boys gagging down totalitarian niceness and Ritalin. Young men who see no point in going to fifth-rate universities rigged against them. And boredom. Oh god, the boredom.

schizophrenia

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5 Comments

  1. bison says:

    hmmm- how about a volcano tax?

    • Realist says:

      …easy my friend, don’t give the authorities food for thought. Single digit IQ’s seldom have a sense of humour and are incredibly susceptible to suggestions, particularly if made in jest.

  2. Fin says:

    Hi Ernst – your Green Hysteria rant is, unfortunately, scientific twaddle. A quick check on the US Geological Survey website reveals:
    Volcanic versus anthropogenic CO2 emissions
    Do the Earth’s volcanoes emit more CO2 than human activities? Research findings indicate that the answer to this frequently asked question is a clear and unequivocal, “No.” Human activities, responsible for some 36,300 million metric tons of CO2 emissions in 2008 [Le Quéré et al., 2009], release at least a hundred times more CO2 annually than all the world’s degassing subaerial and submarine volcanoes (Gerlach, 2010).

    The half dozen or so published estimates of the global CO2 emission rate for all degassing subaerial and submarine volcanoes lie in a range from 132 million (minimum) to 378 million (maximum) metric tons per year (Gerlach, 1991; Varekamp et al., 1992; Allard, 1992; Sano and Williams, 1996; Marty and Tolstikhin, 1998; Kerrick, 2001). If estimate medians and author-preferred estimates of these studies are used to lessen the influence of outlier estimates, the range is restricted to about 150-270 million metric tons of CO2 per year. The current anthropogenic CO2 emission rate of some 36,300-million metric tons of CO2 per year is about 100 to 300 times larger than these estimated ranges for global volcanic CO2 emissions.

    In recent times, about 50-60 volcanoes are normally active on the Earth’s subaerial terrain. One of these is Kīlauea volcano in Hawaii, which has an annual baseline CO2 output of about 3.1 million metric tons per year [Gerlach et al., 2002]. It would take a huge addition of volcanoes to the subaerial landscape—the equivalent of an extra 11,700 Kīlauea volcanoes—to scale up the global volcanic CO2 emission rate to the anthropogenic CO2 emission rate. Similarly, scaling up the volcanic rate to the current anthropogenic rate by adding more submarine volcanoes would require the addition of over 100 mid-oceanic ridge systems to the sea floor.

    Global volcanic CO2 emission estimates are uncertain, but there is little doubt that the anthropogenic CO2 emission rate is more than a hundred times greater than the global volcanic CO2 emission rate.

    • keibsch says:

      Fin; Green Hysteria;
      I suppose one sees what one wants to see. CO2 after all is neither the issue of the essay nor the danger but, as mentioned, a necessity of life. However, since the “carbon footprint” has been made the boogeyman and the other muck, so called greenhouse gases I presume, are largely ignored by popular consent; I personally find the musings a fitting reminder of the potential financial and political lucrativeness of fear-mongering as opposed to responsible practical counter measures beyond legislative and financial punishment. (But I’m not holding my breath there either, the obituary on common sense has been written a long time ago)[Anthropogenic? What about the non-human oxygen consumers? Do I detect a certain partisan US Geological Survey slant?]
      keibsch