The Tao of Politics

One of my main concerns is: how can I make a difference? There are thousands of political blogs out there. It’s easy to get lost in that ocean. So I may blog about politics on occasion, or I may blog about health issues, depending on where my interests lead me, and where I feel I can contribute something of significance.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Health Notes

There is no magic pill. It seems that for every good thing, there is also something bad about it. Now they're saying that regular aspirin use can reduce a person's risk of skin cancer. That may be true, but regular aspirin use can also cause a person to develop tinnitus, or ringing in the ears. I know people who have committed suicide because of tinnitus. If you don't want to develop skin cancer, stay out of the sun, or use sunblock, etc.

Vietnamese farmers are apathetic about fighting bird flu. If we don't bring them onboard, we may never bring this disease under control.

Everything has a price tag. For some things the price is calculated in dollars or euros, or in some cases human lives. A recent estimate suggests that a possible flu pandemic may cost $550 billion dollars, 100,000 - 200,000 deaths, 700,000 hospitalizations, etc.

Now China is talking about developing genetically engineered chickens, presumably to be immune to the bird flu. I don't like it when science proposes to change an entire species of animal. I just don't think it is a good idea. As far as I'm concerned the chicken is not the problem. I talk about this a lot at my other blog, The Tao of Monsters. But the main problem I have with this article is the way the author seems to actually be promoting this technology, and also seems totally non-skeptical. Dorothy Nelkin wrote a 1995 book Selling Science: How the press covers science and technology. In it she details how the press often promotes the science that it should be reporting on in a non-biased way. I think the author of this article on Chinese GM chickens displays an attitude that is too biased.

Then of course you have countries like Turkey that, even though they have had actual cases of bird flu, continue to downplay the risks involved. I swear this is how the world will end, with us standing around quibbling about whether this is the bird flu or not, while birds drop dead all around us from flu-like symptoms. If the world is to avoid serious consequences from bird flu, it requires that we take serious measures, not half measures.

Bush Joke
How many members of the Bush Administration does it take to screw in a light bulb? Find out at Rational Dissent in an Imperfect World.

Further Reading
French riots --- Sex at school --- Media Minimizing Iraq War Crimes? --- Election Day


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