The Dead Horse Beatings Will Continue Until Morale Improves/Open Thread

I know that the general human failure to assess risks appropriately  is one of those things we dweebs kvetch about all the time (and certain kinds of insurance purveyors profit from), but what the hell.  Might as well blather on about it again.

Here’s a graphic disinterred from Newsweek’s gravefrom way back in 2010.

I’m really posting this as an addendum to Doug J’s take on the lead/crime story.  He noted that Americans don’t actually realize how much crime rates have dropped over the last couple of decades; the graphic below widens the net of things Americans (and people in general) have trouble accepting in our inevitable encounters with risk. I’m sure pointing this old story out once again will do as much good to the how-great-it-is-to-be-armed as young Kevin Bacon achieved in this scene.  Still, one must but try, so here it is:

beafraid

Just as a hint to where some posting thoughts are going — I was struck in reading both Kevin Drum’s lead story and looking over the juxtapositions above by the number of times the appropriate response to the data comes from the world of public health.  That’s hardly the glamour end of medicine or social policy, but considering the returns we’ve already got from things like clean water and childhood vaccination, public health becomes one way to thin k about essential medicine, social policy — even justice, and economic returns.

The dicey bit, of course, is that if you accept for the moment Drum’s argument that lead in the environment drives all kinds of consequences over decades-long timescales, it becomes brutally obvious that the GOP approach is hopeless.  There’s no government-free market solution to the problem.  Which means that there is no solution to be had from our current Republican party.  Which, I suppose, is why it’s important to repeat what’s been said so often before — the GOP has a fundamentally failed conception of government and society, and hence it’s time as a political force must come to an end.  More to come on this theme.

And with that, it’s the cocktail hour,* and — why not?! — time for an open thread.

*Satan’s Whiskers? Really? Did folks drink that and live?¹

¹Which prompts the hideous and blasphemous pun: if Jesus were an organ donor would he have said “surely my liver redeemeth?”  OK.  I’m sorry.  I’ll shut up now.

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113 replies
  1. 1
  2. 2
    Tom Levenson says:

    @jeffreyw: Take another pizza my heart.

  3. 3
    Baud says:

    There’s no government-free market solution to the problem.

    There’s really no such thing as a government-free market, unless you’re talking about the simplest barter-based economy where you trade cows for wheat and chickens for medical care.

  4. 4
    Alex says:

    Aww, Satan’s Whiskers is delicious! I’ve made them many a time.

  5. 5
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    *Satan’s Whiskers? Really? Did folks drink that and live?¹

    Did they want to live after drinking that?

  6. 6
    jeffreyw says:

    @Tom Levenson: You’ll not be like a meatball and chain.

  7. 7
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Tom Levenson: @jeffreyw: Why? Why do you do this?

  8. 8
    jl says:

    ” There’s no government-free market solution to the [lead pollution] problem. Which means that there is no solution to be had from our current Republican party. Which, I suppose, is why it’s important to repeat what’s been said so often before… the GOP has a fundamentally failed conception of government and society, and hence it’s time as a political force must come to an end. More to come on this theme. ”

    If you removed the meddlesome big government regulations that interfere with perfect free markets in human capital, that would fix it. Indentured servitude for thirty years or more would remove the externality. FDR wrecked everything and turned the country commie when he outlawed it.

  9. 9
    Tom Levenson says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Because we can…tomatoes.

  10. 10
    jeffreyw says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: I must make amends!

  11. 11
    Violet says:

    The GOP needs to be destroyed. They are a destructive force. Maybe they can rise out of the ashes, but first they need to be destroyed.

  12. 12
    LanceThruster says:

    Take a look at what is purported to be the third leading cause of death in US.

    http://jonrappoport.wordpress......r-on-fire/

  13. 13
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Baud: Even in that situation, how do you resolve a dispute? Where do you turn if there is a good faith disagreement over the deal? I mean does a cow equal three heaping bushels of wheat or is it three level ones? If I own the cow, I know what I want. But then why would I buy the cow if I am getting the milk for free?

  14. 14
    Anthony says:

    There’s kind of a major statistical fallacy in that infographic…

  15. 15
    NotMax says:

    Positing the ebb of one category of fear-based bigotry.

  16. 16
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Tom Levenson: Happy hour started early in the Boston area, did it?

  17. 17
    Baud says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    All sales final!

  18. 18
    JPL says:

    Deep question.. Who are the RINO’s? I think they are the tea baggers and john birchers although certain people from Red State would disagree with me.
    Also, too I had Pizza for supper although it was the Trader Joe’s variety.

  19. 19
    The Other Chuck says:

    @LanceThruster: You’ve gotta love how the conclusion is to turn it into an invective against Obamacare. See, by not getting any medical treatment, we were protecting you poor slobs!

  20. 20
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Baud: See that isn’t enforceable without a government, because my friends and I could come over with our spiky sticks and nobbly clubs and demand a rescission of the contract. Courts do have a purpose. Besides, that cow’s a slut.

  21. 21
    Tom Levenson says:

    @Anthony: At least one, I’d say.

    But the basic idea — that, say, the focus on gun crime may not capture the real risks of gun ownership — is one that it’s important to reiterate. Or, more generally that the star quality of a risk is not a good measure of the actual risks faced.

    And really, this is all a gateway post for me to write about something that’s been bugging me for several months now amidst all the nonsense about the Federal government’s fiscal circumstances: it’s the policy, stupid.

    More to come.

  22. 22
    redshirt says:

    Fear is the mindkiller.

  23. 23
    Baud says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    Well, you could have a proto-government in which the norms of the tribe effectively prevented disputes over concluded transactions. Otherwise, you are left with might makes right.

  24. 24
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @redshirt: I am not putting my hand in that box.

    @Baud: Once you have the proto-government, you get lawyers and then socialism and warning labels are inevitable.

  25. 25
    taylormattd says:

    So, any of my Seattle folks who wouldn’t mind moving to Olympia, here’s the job for you:

    http://agency.governmentjobs.c.....bID=572583

  26. 26
    scav says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: All of us cows do our best <eyelash flutter>

  27. 27
    redshirt says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: I saw a NH license plate yesterday: Gom Jabr

    I’m like “Hell No!”.

  28. 28
    Scamp Dog says:

    @The Other Chuck: Exactly. Just leave things to the Free Market (TM), that will get everything fixed in no time at all! Or maybe we just become informed consumers of medical services. One or two Google searches should get you up to speed, right?

  29. 29
    Bobby Thomson says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: heh. I’m enjoying a tall one at Logan right now.

  30. 30
    Machine-Gun Preacher (formerly Ben Franklin) says:

    @LanceThruster:

    I call it and raise you……

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/new.....ation.html

  31. 31
    dmsilev says:

    Was reading through the manual for a new widget that we just got at work and found what has to be one of the all-time best product safety warnings ever:

    Do not explore unlisted hashes. Damage to equipment or injury or death to personnel may result.

    Unlisted hash! Here be dragons!

  32. 32
    Roger Moore says:

    The flip side of this is that many of the things that used to be huge problems have been handled by relatively boring solutions that we barely notice. Improvements to our lifespan have mostly come from prevention (e.g. vaccination, clean water, decent nutrition, etc.) than from amazing cures (e.g. modern surgery, cancer treatment, etc.). We underestimate the importance of bad things not happening and overestimate the importance of dramatic fixes to things that have gone bad.

  33. 33
    cathyx says:

    I didn’t see crazed killer with a gun shooting in a theater, school or shopping mall on that list.

  34. 34
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @dmsilev: Corned beef is listed, right?

  35. 35
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @cathyx: Subset of murder, wouldn’t you say?

  36. 36
    J says:

    If there is no ‘no government-free market solution to the problem’, then it isn’t a problem. That, I think, is the correct teaparty answer.

  37. 37
    JGabriel says:

    David Brooks op-ed today is entitled Suffering Fools Gladly. I haven’t read it, but I assume it’s about self-identifying with his own kind.

    .

  38. 38
    dmsilev says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Well yes, of course.

  39. 39
    cathyx says:

    If you are afraid to die, there are so many reasons to not leave the house.
    Live in fear.

  40. 40
    Machine-Gun Preacher (formerly Ben Franklin) says:

    @Roger Moore:

    The biggest one is good nutrition for infants (formula)

    The bad thing is the contra-indications,from pharmaceutical remedies, which triangulate with geometric progression.

    When the cure is worse than the disease, the only profitable portion, is what Wall Street computes from the stock price.

  41. 41
    JGabriel says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    *Satan’s Whiskers? Really? Did folks drink that and live?¹

    Did they want to live after drinking that?

    Thus explaining why they’re 2.35 times more likely to kill themselves rather than be killed by someone else.

    .

  42. 42
    Tom Levenson says:

    @JGabriel: I was going to rage on that one, but it is just too sad. Not even wrong, as my man Pauli would have said.

    Well, actually wrong, but in a trivial and boring way.

  43. 43
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @JGabriel: It all ties together quite well.

  44. 44
    scav says:

    @cathyx: Ah, but if we throw in the factoid that home is one of the geographic epicenters of risk, we might be able to drive them under their beds in quaking quivering fear. Then we pull out the Radon and the dangerdangerdanger of dust, especially the little stuff you can’t see.

  45. 45
    Yutsano says:

    @taylormattd: Whoa. I actually qualify for that. Hmm…

  46. 46
    RossInDetroit, Rational Subjectivist says:

    I’m home for 2 days, then off early Mon to Connecticut for some reason. Guess I’ll find out when I arrive.

    If you love fiction you have to have read George Saunders. He’s one of the best of the best. The NYT just did a LONG story on him.

    George Saunders Has Written the Best Book You’ll Read This Year

  47. 47
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Yutsano: From the ad:

    Stress Tolerance: Respond to difficult, stressful or sensitive situations in ways that reduce or minimize potential conflict and maintains good working relationships among internal and external customers.

    You may need to work on not teasing trolls.

  48. 48
    Comrade Mary says:

    @jeffreyw: Amends? Please share your pizza recipe with a hungry Canadian running out of food ideas for the weekend. That will make everything aaaaallll better.

    Please?

  49. 49
    Roger Moore says:

    @J:

    If there is no ‘no government-free market solution to the problem’, then it isn’t a problem. That, I think, is the correct teaparty answer.

    If there’s no government-free market solution to the problem, then doing anything about it is an assault on freedom much worse than whatever the problem is. The only exception is if the government solution involves throwing lots of non-white people in jail and/or undermining the 4th through 8th Amendments.

  50. 50
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Comrade Mary: Yeah, that would work.

  51. 51
    Mandalay says:

    This is stat I’d love to see on your chart:

    Home resident deaths arising from home invasion
    vs.
    Accidental deaths arising from having a gun in the house.

  52. 52
    Yutsano says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Apparenty you are unaware of what I exactly do with the IRS. Troll baiting is just me entertaining myself.

  53. 53
    Machine-Gun Preacher (formerly Ben Franklin) says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    You may need to work on not teasing trolls.

    He and Cassidy have a vested interest in teasing. It’s their Raison D’etre.

  54. 54
    scav says:

    oh, and cocktail hour factoid. Until Prohibition, Maraschino cherries were soaked in alcoholic cherry liqueur. Suddenly they appear not only sane but appealing.

  55. 55
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Yutsano: A pressure release mechanism, as it were?

  56. 56
    Cassidy says:

    Quick! Best whiskey for whiskey sours?

  57. 57
    Roger Moore says:

    @Machine-Gun Preacher (formerly Ben Franklin):

    The biggest one is good nutrition for infants (formula)

    Don’t underestimate improved maternal nutrition and generally improved hygiene for reduced infant mortality. Whenever I think of this kind of thing, I wish we still had the kind of government that was willing to put out pro-government propaganda like “So Much for So Little“.

  58. 58
    Yutsano says:

    @scav: If you look carefully you can still find them that way. It’s not something that you find on the shelves at Kroger however.

    @Omnes Omnibus: That and Dawg talking. He’s not totally aware of just how much he lowers my blood pressure. I might tell him one day, but I also made the mistake of calling him sir the other day. I may have unleashed a monster there.

  59. 59
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Cassidy: Some would say rye, but I think a Canadian does just fine.

  60. 60
    jeffreyw says:

    @Comrade Mary: Short version recipe. Crust was 3-1/2 c bread flour, 2 t salt, 1 packet of pizza yeast, 1 t sugar, 2-1/2 T olive oil, one brief rise then drape it over the pan and roll provolone into the edge. Brush with olive oil and sprinkle kosher salt, bake 400+ for 15-20 minutes and finish under broiler to desired color.

  61. 61
    Jim Kakalios says:

    Satan’s Whiskers – Grand Mariner – orange bitters = Bronx cocktail. Very refreshing, and honored with a mention by Nick Charles at the beginning of THE THIN MAN. If it’s on Nick’s dance card (literally in the film) it can’t be all bad, right?

    Chin Chin!

  62. 62
    RSA says:

    I expect that a good number of these (if people really are more afraid of X than Y) could be explained by cognitive biases.

    For example, if we overestimate our degree of control over what happens, I think we’re more likely to be afraid of the actions of other people (e.g., child abduction by strangers) than of accidents (e.g. child drowning). Ditto death by allergy, airplane accident, murder (not under our control) versus death by accidental poisoning, car crash, suicide (assumed to be under our control). Some of the remaining can be explained by greater fear of the unfamiliar (e.g., terrorist attacks versus the flu and shark attacks versus dog bites).

    That is, most of this seems irrational but understandable.

  63. 63
    Roger Moore says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:
    Most of the classic American whiskey cocktails were invented with rye in mind. I assume some of this is because rye is harsher than Bourbon and less fun to drink straight. You can substitute Canadian whisky or Bourbon, but rye is the traditional choice.

  64. 64
    Linda Featheringill says:

    @Mandalay:
    Home resident deaths arising from home invasion
    vs.
    Accidental deaths arising from having a gun in the house.

    Didn’t find numbers but did find this:

    Many individuals do (44 percent of households in Washington state have a gun), and they keep those handguns loaded and unlocked — despite studies, conducted here in King County, showing that people in the home are 43 times more likely to be killed by that gun than is an intruder.

    http://seattletimes.com/html/o.....ivara.html

  65. 65
    jl says:

    TPM Editor’s Blog
    Noted W/O Comment
    Josh Marshall

    ” Bennington, Vermont school teacher turns in a Bushmaster semi-automatic rifle and voluntarily checks himself into a hospital for a mental health evaluation. ”

    http://talkingpointsmemo.com/a.....ment_1.php

    His neighbors were concerned that he was developing ‘issues’.

  66. 66
    Brother Shotgun of Sweet Reason says:

    @Cassidy: Whiskey sours? Been using bourbon since forever. Evan Williams at ~$10.00 a bottle is pretty good. (and it’s the Rude Pundit’s beverage of choice)

  67. 67
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Roger Moore: Yeah, I tend to be a traditionalist with my drinks, but I just am not fond of rye whiskey. So, for whiskey sours, Canadian it is. No fucking sour mix though.

  68. 68
    Mandalay says:

    Another uplifting story for 2013:
    – Part of a soccer crowd in Italy started throwing racial abuse whenever a black player of the visiting team (AC Milan) got the ball.
    – Eventually one of those players, Kevin-Prince Boateng, got sick of it, kicked the ball into the crowd, and walked off the pitch.
    – It gets better: His (mostly white) team mates also walked off in support.
    – It gets even better: The non-racist portion of the crown applauded Boateng, despite the game being abandoned.
    – It gets really fucking good: the chairman of Milan is none other than Sivio Berlusconi. He backed Boateng, and said that his team (one of the most best in the world) will walk off again in any match if there is racial abuse.

    Boateng did far more in 30 seconds to tackle racism in soccer than all the do-nothing pearl clutchers running the game, who are whimpering that he went too far.
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/foot.....buse-video

    How many jobs are there in the western world where you are expected to tolerate and accept overt racism? Those running soccer can DIAF.

  69. 69
    Calouste says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    Stress Tolerance: Respond to difficult, stressful or sensitive situations in ways that reduce or minimize potential conflict and maintains good working relationships among internal and external customers.

    The obvious solution with that job would be to take a few bites from your homemade brownies, wouldn’t it?

  70. 70
    Chris T. says:

    I occasionally wonder if brain damage from lead poisoning is how most of today’s Republicans came to be Republicans in the first place….

  71. 71
    Suffern ACE says:

    @Machine-Gun Preacher (formerly Ben Franklin): I’m not seeing the connection between the hours limits and the death. will more tired nurses be more likely to get a glass of water?

  72. 72
    Mandalay says:

    @Linda Featheringill:

    people in the home are 43 times more likely to be killed by that gun than is an intruder

    Mind boggling. Yet try telling these people that they are actually SAFER without a gun…

  73. 73
    Hungry Joe says:

    @Linda Featheringill: You simply cannot convince people that no one is going to come into their house to kill them; they just know they’re going to use that gun to defend their family. I have a relative who will not venture even knee-deep into the Pacific Ocean because she’s afraid of sharks. Pointing out that the chance of her being killed by a shark is less than 1/10,000,000 and probably less than 1/100,000,000* does no good: “What if I’m the one?” she insists. (At least when she doesn’t go in the water there’s no chance of anyone being shot.)

    * Numbers I pretty much made up. But there’s a shark-related fatality in these coastal waters maybe every decade or so, and when you figure in the millions and millions millions of entries into the ocean every year, well …

  74. 74
    Violet says:

    @Mandalay: In the Euro 2012 tournament, UEFA told the players they’d be “cautioned” if they walked off the pitch in protest due to racism. I’m glad to see that Boateng’s walk off has received so much support. Something has to change there. It’s just appalling.

  75. 75
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Mandalay: It is very seldom that Berlusconi emerges from any story with credit. Good for all of them.

  76. 76
    Cassidy says:

    I went with Jim Beam rye. I didn’t want to spend money on a high end bourbon that I had no intention drinking straight, but still something not rotgut.

  77. 77
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Cassidy: That’ll work for you. Enjoy.

  78. 78
    Calouste says:

    @Violet:

    It was in a friendly match against a 4th division side, so basically an extended training session. I doubt the team would walk off in a competitive match.

  79. 79
    redshirt says:

    @Mandalay: Sadly, they need to keep killing themselves/their loved ones. Perhaps after a lesson strikes home for every single gun nut, maybe then change can be made.

  80. 80
    Suzanne says:

    @Yutsano:

    but I also made the mistake of calling him sir the other day. I may have unleashed a monster there.

    HAWT.

  81. 81
    scav says:

    @Yutsano: oh I like your stores. I found the liqueur and was going to make some but the stuff’s entirely fine without being a luxurious soak for more fruit and I’m not always patient.

  82. 82
    Roger Moore says:

    @Suffern ACE:

    I’m not seeing the connection between the hours limits and the death.

    The claim is that handing patients from one group of caregivers to another is a prime cause of medical errors. The old group may fail to pass on important information about the patients’ condition, or the new group may screw up in passing out responsibilities so that patients don’t get the level of care they need. Proponents of long shifts claim that they reduce errors on handover by reducing the number of handovers. The counter-argument is that caregivers are more likely to make preventable errors when they’re tired, so shifts should be kept to reasonable lengths, and the issue of handover errors should be controlled by having better procedures.

    It’s apparently a major argument in medical circles, with traditionalists favoring long shifts and modernizers advocating shorter. My gut feeling is that the people advocating shorter shifts are probably correct. The problem of errors caused by improper hand-off of patients is at least theoretically solvable by better procedures. The same thing is not true of errors caused by fatigue; the only solution there is not to have people working when they’re tired.

  83. 83
    Machine-Gun Preacher (formerly Ben Franklin) says:

    @Suffern ACE:

    : “I’m not seeing the connection between the hours limits and the death. will more tired nurses be more likely to get a glass of water?”

    Hey ! What am I, some sort of unpaid, volunteer, intern mentor?

  84. 84
    mainmati says:

    Markets are never literally free, i.e. they don’t exist without rules of some sort. Even the simplest barter situations involve discussions – negotiations – about how many bushels of wheat are worth one cow. Negotiations involve agreement about basic rules. So the concept of laissez-faire (free to do) capitalism is literally an oxymoron. What the GOP wants is, in fact, to execute a soft coup in which the oligarchs simply quietly seize the economic system and the government actors in all three branches become simply marionette puppets. Since this involves a long campaign (ALEC and many others) to undermine a large number of constituencies and forms of government, this would take a long time. It is also profoundly and arrogantly unrealistic, which is why we are seeing the rabid thrashings of the right-wing extremists in frustration.

  85. 85
    Yutsano says:

    @Suzanne: Yeahhhh…I’m hoping he just conveniently forgets. He likes to pull the dumb Dawg trick every now and again too.

  86. 86
    cokane says:

    “the GOP has a fundamentally failed conception of government and society, and hence it’s time as a political force must come to an end. More to come on this theme.”

    I’d go a step further, and say they have a failed conception of reality or the natural world.

  87. 87
    jl says:

    @Roger Moore:

    Sad to say that US seems to have more deaths due to ‘misadventures’ in patient medical care than average in OECD, and that includes most EU countries with restrictions on hours. So, there are other factors at play. UK is about at OECD average.

    ‘Misadventure’ is the diplomatic OECD health statistics jargon for mistakes.

  88. 88
    Roger Moore says:

    @jl:
    As I said, though, there are two, opposing considerations:

    1) Patient handovers are a potential source of error, so we want to minimize them by having longer shifts.
    2) Worker fatigue is a potential source of error, so we want to minimize it by having shorter shifts.

    Since the two factors work in opposite directions, the answer has to involve finding a happy medium. We probably don’t want to go with 40 hour shifts, since fatigue errors will skyrocket. At the same time, we don’t want to go with 4 hour shifts, since that will involve too many handovers.

    My gut feeling is that the problem comes with treating handover errors as though they’re an inevitable problem that can only be handled by going with long shifts. Instead, hospitals need to concentrate on minimizing handover errors through better procedures. That will let them use shorter shifts that minimize fatigue errors without causing the total number of errors to skyrocket. The bigger issue is that procedures intended to avoid preventable mistakes (e.g. reliable patient handover, proper medical hygiene, double-checking medications, etc.) need to be as much a part of medical training as direct patient care.

  89. 89
    Ruckus says:

    @Roger Moore:
    Last hospital situation I was in the nurse in charge of a patient had a board in the room with all the necessary info on it. In plain sight and each shift change the nurse had to come in the room and sign the board. Very clear and easy both to understand and to insure that procedures were followed. This was Kaiser, an HMO. At the VA every time you get handed off you get asked for id to make sure anything that is done happens to the correct person. It also insures that everyone has to read the chart to see what is going on.

  90. 90
    bootsy says:

    Tom…

    You know this image misleadingly suggests there is only one shark in the entire ocean.

    Learn something!

    ; )

  91. 91
    Ruckus says:

    @Baud:
    A tribal structure is a government. A commune is a government structure. A pack of dogs has a structure with rules and so on. That’s a government. Most things that involve groups of humans and an awful lot that involve groups of animals end up having structure, and that is a form of government. It might be different that we are used to but they are forms of government. Even libtards and teatards want government, they just want to have a lot less of it than most of us.

  92. 92
    The Other Chuck says:

    @mainmati: Even the most ardent free-marketeers will tell you perfect markets cannot exist without perfect information.

    It’s just that “imperfect information” makes it sound like a few minutes delay in prices, or vague quotes … when it’s really more about a vast number of market makers and movers being complete lying cheating sacks of shit who have rigged the whole game in their favor, and then leverage that power to give themselves the freedom to dump poison in the air and water while shredding the social contract that gets in their way.

    But hey it’s just “imperfect information”, we just need to do our research like good consumers should, right?

  93. 93
    Thursday says:

    Just finished a marvelous book called The Poisoner’s Handbook by Deborah Blum about the birth of forensics in New York in the 20s and 30s. Have to say, if anyone thinks “the free market” would do anything to prevent the free-floating toxins back in the day (and I ain’t just talkin’ lead, here) then we’d still have them.

  94. 94
    Whidby says:

    It would be nice to see a bit more rational risk analysis driving public policy decisions.

    I’m repeating myself here, but about 500 or s children are killed each year in firearms accidents, which is about 10 times the amount that are killed in school shootings. The former could be prevented by education and gun locks/secure gun storage- ideas that are widely accepted. But almost all of oxygen is sucked out of the air by people posturing about the latter.

  95. 95
    Or something like that.Suffern Ace says:

    @Roger Moore: hmm. If only there was some kind of way to communicate what work was done and what needed to be done in a portable medium that could be easily read. No one bothered to read the charts? Everyone was keeping information in their heads? Seems like there could be a solution to that. But then this is a field where even the idea of the “checklist” involves 10 years of serious heated discussion.

  96. 96
    Tom Levenson says:

    @Thursday: Just forwarded your nice thoughts to Deborah.

  97. 97
    gwangung says:

    @Whidby: This is bullshit. Nothing stops the gun lobby from standing for gun safes and trigger locks. NOTHING.

  98. 98
    Comrade Mary says:

    @jeffreyw: I misread that first as a comment on my height, but OMG — thanks!

    I have a bunch of instant yeast on hand (usually use 1/4 teaspoon in my variation of No-Knead Bread), but can this be substituted for pizza yeast? 1 teaspoon? 2 teaspoons?

  99. 99
    Roger Moore says:

    @The Other Chuck:
    The classic example of the effect of imperfect information is the way the value of a car plummets as soon as it’s driven off the lot. Why? Because used cars are a classic example of information asymmetry: the seller knows a lot more about their history than the buyer. Buyers are forced to demand a steep discount to deal with the chance that the seller is trying to unload a lemon.

  100. 100
    Roger Moore says:

    @Whidby:

    The former could be prevented by education and gun locks/secure gun storage- ideas that are widely accepted. But almost all of oxygen is sucked out of the air by people posturing about the latter.

    Except that you have it backward. It isn’t the people posturing about mass shootings who are preventing discussion about safe storage; it’s the gun lobby. They’re opposed to any laws regarding safe storage and have fought against such laws in legislatures and in court.

  101. 101
    El Cid says:

    I’m surprised that there are any of us left who weren’t killed by all the crack babies that Newsweek et al informed us were going to erupt and take over.

  102. 102
    whidby says:

    @gwangung:

    This is bullshit. Nothing stops the gun lobby from standing for gun safes and trigger locks. NOTHING.

    Except that you have it backward. It isn’t the people posturing about mass shootings who are preventing discussion about safe storage; it’s the gun lobby. They’re opposed to any laws regarding safe storage and have fought against such laws in legislatures and in court.

    There’s the gun lobby and then there’s gun manufacturers and then there’s gun owners. The vast majority of gun owners will say they are in favor of “gun safety” or “safe gun storage” when asked.

    I’m not sure where “gun manufacturers” stand in all of this, but I do know that the last few new guns I’ve purchased came with a trigger lock in the case. I’m in California, where there is sort of a requirement for trigger locks with new gun sales, but these guns came from jurisdictions that did not have such laws. The manufacturer realized that it was cheaper to just include locks with all new guns rather than to try to figure out which jurisdictions required trigger locks. They’re cheap. When California instituted the “trigger lock” law a few years ago, there was a program (I believe state funded) that gave away trigger locks. That seems like a good idea.

    As for the gun lobby, I haven’t followed whether the “gun lobby” opposed trigger locks. You may be right. But if there is to be a fight with the gun lobby, it seems that the best battleground to choose is one where most gun owners agree with you and where the problem is 10 times as large as the one where fewer gun owners agree with you.

    And I’m not sure that legislation mandating trigger locks/safes is the best way to go. Enforcement only usually become possible after some parents kid has just killed himself, or a playmate, so DAs aren’t terribly motivated then to charge the parent with a felony. Education would be the better route. But they’re not exclusive, of course.

  103. 103
    whidby says:

    I searched for gun lock + NRA and this site popped up: http://goheeled.com/project-ch.....-gun-lock/

    Not sure who funds it, but it seems like a good idea.

  104. 104
    Kyle says:

    There’s no government-free market solution to the [lead pollution] problem. Which means that there is no solution to be had from our current Republican party.

    Sure there is, because the Repuke party is structured to benefit from perpetuating societal problems. Remove all lead pollution restrictions Strangling Our Free Market Corporate Heroes, etc. Poor people who can’t afford to move get poisoned. Poisoned kids grow up to commit violent commit crimes. The police/courts/firearms/prison industry gets more business, and the climate of fear of crime elects more Repukes.
    All Repuke interests benefit, which to them is a “solution” because no-one else matters except their tribe; you just have to be sociopathic enough to not give a crap about regular people getting poisoned.

  105. 105
    Sir Nose'D says:

    This post, Tom Levenson, is why I would turn gay for you. Oh, and +6. Oh, and yes I teach risk assessment at State U.

    Kisses (in a manly hetero way),

    Sir Nose’D

  106. 106
    chrismealy says:

    I was looking at mortality stats a couple of weeks ago (trying to be the best dad I can be!). Those accidental poisoning numbers are almost all drug overdoses.

  107. 107
    Or something like that.Suffern Ace says:

    @chrismealy: thank goodness. I was worried that we needed to get people to put Mr. Yuck stickers on the bleach bottles again, which seems odd after finally developing child proof containers.

  108. 108
    Corner Stone says:

    @El Cid:

    I’m surprised that there are any of us left who weren’t killed by all the crack babies that Newsweek et al informed us were going to erupt and take over.

    Turns out they don’t actually have the best hand-eye coordination. So just try to not be in the immediate area.

  109. 109
    Origuy says:

    @Calouste: Boateng said he would walk off in a championship game; whether the team would follow him is another question.

    I found this excerpt strange:

    Pro Patria’s president, Pietro Vavassori, announced that he would open the club’s stadium to “all people of colour” at their next match.

    “Our hope is that the other Lega Pro [third and fourth division] presidents also support this initiative,” Vavassori said. “The people who made those chants are not regular fans, but rather people who came to the stadium with the intention of ruining a festive match.”

    The stadium was only open to whites? Lombardy is probably about as white as Idaho, but he makes it sound like they were actively keeping nonwhites out. Nice “no true Scotsman” there, too.

  110. 110
    chopper says:

    @Whidby:

    The former could be prevented by education and gun locks/secure gun storage- ideas that are widely accepted.

    there’s a difference between ‘accepted’ and ‘adopted’.

  111. 111
    chopper says:

    @whidby:

    There’s the gun lobby and then there’s gun manufacturers and then there’s gun owners. The vast majority of gun owners will say they are in favor of “gun safety” or “safe gun storage” when asked.

    gun owners say a lot of things. the vast majority of goopers will say they are in favor of social security.

  112. 112
    Ex Regis says:

    Deaths by cows outnumber deaths by sharks among Americans by a factor of about twenty most years.

  113. 113
    scav says:

    @Ex Regis: hum, maybe a reason to switch to shark tipping as college prank?

Comments are closed.