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July 06, 2009

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Neo

Wait till the argument, that the "government as insurer" (who can make healthcare decisions) abrogates the "keep government off our bodies" justification for "legal abortion" as spelled out in Roe v Wade, kicks in.
And here nobody thought that those "conservative judges" were helping to pave the way for "Obama-care"

PD

Based on this study, government health care will mandate that I, a non-drinker, shall be forced to imbibe alcohol for my health. To keep costs down.

AL

Time for such studies without genetic profiling is long gone. Moderate drinking is good to health on average? Does not mean that moderate drinking will be good to you personally.

I remember one study which found that drinking red vine helps to dissolve cholesterol deposits in arteries, and was very beneficial to persons who has that problem, and absolutely without health benefits to persons without such problem.

daddy

"The first study to show that moderate drinkers live longer than either teetotalers or heavy drinkers was published in 1923."

1923?

Interesting, because guess what was going on in the US in 1923? That's right Prohibition, year 3 of no alcohol. So the question is, who paid for this study, who were the subjects, and was it legitimate?

"So, were you a heavy drinker or a moderate drinker, Mr err, Mister John Doe?"

"Can't recall Doc, that was a long time ago...years ago I reckon. But Billy over there, now he was a heavy drinker."
"Was not."
"Was too."
"Was not."
"Was too."
"How da' hell would you know anyhow Clem, you was the town drunk!"
"Was not."
"Was too."
"Was not."
"Was too."
"Ah, So's your old man!"
"My old man was a tee-totaler!"
"Like hell he was. He didn't know the meaning of the word sober."
"Did so."
"Did not."
"Did so."
"Did not."...

daddy

And now having indulged immoderately, let me wander OT and ask if by chance anybody saw hide nor hair of Dana Millbank today on the Sunday Talk Shows. Since he took such umbrage last week at Nico Pitney of HuffPo for colluding with the White House about Press Coverage, I was wondering if Mister Millbank had opined on The Washington Post's White House influence selling scandal. I can't recall exactly who Dana MillIbank works for, but any man with courage enough to call a reporter "a dick" for working for an organization of such questionable journalistic standards as the Huffington Post ought to have some real torrid adjectives in store for the "dicks" that continue to work at the Washington Post after these latest outrages in Press Prostitution don't ya' think. So if anyone heard from Dana Millbank lately, please let me know. I'll be off offering moral support to Billy and Clem above after their grilling by that scientist cause I think they'll need it.
"Do not."
"Do so."
"Do not."
"Do so."
"Ahhh, so's your old man."...

Jack is Back!

Hmm. Interesting post, Tom. Another avenue of government control has just now opened up. Federally owned and operated wine and cheese shops as part of health care reform. Where you are alloted a certain "moderate" amount of pinot noir and Tillamanock Cheddar from your local GS-12 vintner and cheesemonger. In addition to your government issued 12 volt motor car (engine size not battery size) you can now stop worrying about where your next glass of medicinal wine will come from. This will be paid for without a tax increase but as a result of the savings negotiated with the benevolent people of Russia on reducing our nuclear capability in exchange for them not bitching at us for threatening to put missile defenses in Poland. In addition, there is that little income stream we have developed by opening a ton of MIchelle's Fashionista Superstores all over Russia, Cuba, Venezuela, Iran and North Korea.

American Exceptionalism is everywhere, even in your wine!

PeterUK

Live Healthy - Die Bored.

peter

Nice of you to run this piece on a Monday morning, after I spent a perfectly lovely Sunday afternoon having a family celebration with wine and beer.

Fresh Air

Sadly, 43% benefit is not statistically valid for epidemiological studies. If it isn't at least 100% improvement, it's not worth the paper it's printed on. Most medical journals won't take anything under 300% (RR=>3.0).

Unless of course, it concerns secondhand smoke, etc.

Melinda Romanoff

I'm not touching this one.

PaulV

Fresh Air, 43% has nothing directly to due with corelation.

Porchlight

How about: healthier people are more likely to drink moderately. Equally plausible imo.

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Danube of Thought

It's long been established that sitting in the first two rows at burlesque shows causes baldness.

Ras index at -2 today, 53% overall.

hit and run

I won't be sober until next monday, but the drinking will be moderate. Well, the pace will be moderate anyway. No more than two beers an hour, except between the hours of 8pm and midnight, at which point the rate of consumption doubles.

Gotta run. Need a refill.

DebinNC

Insty: Coffee "may reverse Alzheimer's"

Rick Ballard

Will the theft of Goldman-Sachs Front Runner program result in less market manipulation or more? It would seem that net gains/losses would remain constant even with two large players using the same scheme to pick the same pockets. Volatility might be affected though.

Sue

DoT,

I wonder how fast that number will drop when people learn he finds getting treaties ratified in the senate just too hard and will temporarily bypass them to get unilateral disarmament? I suspect he'll lose the middle and never get them back.

Old Lurker

"Treaty Czar" Sue.

Problem solved.

Sue

MayBee tweets it should be "Russia Czar".

jean

Sue you are assuming people will find out.I think it may not be mentioned

Old Lurker

MayBee tweets it should be "Russia Czar".


But that is so, limiting...

Sue

Jean,

Yeah, I'm assuming someone other than Jake Tapper will mention that Obama doesn't think he can get enough votes in the senate to pass a treaty with Russia so he will issue an executive order while they work out the issues. He has 5 months to get it done. And he is already putting out the notion he might have to issue executive orders. What is he going to do that he can't get a treaty through a democrat controlled senate?

sick of spam

I have a theory that the spammer who keeps posting about hot babes being available at some dating site is here because there is so much sarcastic commentary about Michelle Obama's looks.

Dave

Moderate drinkers are more likely to find hot babes or charming men for exclusive interracial dating. DebinNC, If I come across any forgetful elderly mice, I'll be sure to share my coffee.

jean

I also am not sure the general public will be upset if Obama just signs the thing and bypasses the senate.They don't seem bothered by much of his power grab so far.

JM Hanes

PaulL:

"Fresh Air, 43% has nothing directly to due with corelation."

Huh? The authors themselves, acknowledge that other unconsidered factors could explain away the disparity entirely. It only takes looking at how infinitesimal a percentage of adverse effects shapes drug approvals and prescriptions to understand Fresh Air's point.

JM Hanes

AL:

"Moderate drinking is good to health on average? Does not mean that moderate drinking will be good to you personally."

Just so!

With a study like the one above, who knows what the results would be if non-drinkers started having one drink a day, and the one-drink folks quit drinking entirely? Perhaps the study is more specific, but if the threshold is a a generic, self-reported, "one drink" rather than explicit alcoholic content, or if it's alcoholic content unrelated to the vehicle (vodka vs. wine vs. beer for example), the study is also virtually useless in terms of mandating behavior modifications.

In some ways, the fact that the subject here is alcohol only highlights the limitations of the increasingly popular actuarial approach to putative prevention -- and the growing political ramifications attached to it. Recommending one drink a day to alcoholics would clearly be insane. Averaging may be statistically useful in research, but embracing such correlations as determinants in healthcare (as opposed to what used to be called insurance) across a genetically diverse population is a trend which makes a universal, single payer system all the more dangerous to the actual health of a lot of actual people. So much for minority protections!

Not to mention the hypocrisy suggested by Fresh Air. When folks in Boston recoiled in horror at the merest whiff of smoke in a hallway, I had to wonder at the cognitive dissonance which allowed them to live -- and bring up their children -- in a city where you had to wipe black grime off your houseplants and your furniture if you left your windows open. Just imagine Mayor Bloomberg instituting a one-drink regulation in restaurants and bars. The next logical step? Ration cards, of course!

sylvia

Perhaps it's not very scientific but it just makes sense to me that moderate alchohol would help. Alchohol kills germs, it has all kind of anti-oxidants, it dilutes the blood. It's natural, something that humans have been drinking for thousands of years. But like all things, moderation is key.

Also the oldest lady in the world, Jean Calment, 123, drank I think 4 glasses of wine a day. She also ate 2 pounds of chocolate a week and smoked 2 cigarettes a day. Maybe moderate smoking is good too? The problem is keeping smoking moderate though.

PD

I also am not sure the general public will be upset if Obama just signs the thing and bypasses the senate.They don't seem bothered by much of his power grab so far.

Unfortunately, neither does the Senate.

Danube of Thought

"What is he going to do that he can't get a treaty through a democrat controlled senate?"

He needs two-thirds to ratify it. (Second clause of Article II) Regardless of his authority to get it done by Executive Order, any such order can be rescinded by any subsequent president. If I were the Russians (or anyone else) I wouldn't do much disarming in reliance on anything other than a ratified treaty.

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Fresh Air

PaulL--

Epidemiological studies by definition don't concern themselves with causation, only correlation. If the RR <2.0, then chance plays a greater role in the study's conclusion than does an identifiable, distinct dependent variable. Longitudinal epidemiology substitute brute force for causal certitude to make their case.

It's a very slippery slope because of coincidental outcomes, and that's why larger RRs are insisted upon by honorable medical and scientific journals. Political hacks, nonetheless, are still able to dress up studies and blow them by fools in the media. The examples are too numerous to mention, but include every synopsis of secondhand smoke I can think of, the Baghdad death study in Lancet, this one, etc.

Mattsky

I wonder when these studies refer to 'non-drinkers' does this include recovering alcoholic? Recovering alcoholics could pull the numbers down for the non-drinker group. They have already done damage to their bodies from a lot of years of heavy drinking.

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