atomic_fungus (atomic_fungus) wrote,
atomic_fungus
atomic_fungus

#1893: The point: you missed it.

In Fungus post #1889 I discussed the liberal tendency to mangle statistics in order to support their positions, which otherwise are unsupportable.

It garnered this comment, which I'm going to dissect, or "fisk", in the common parlance of the Internet.
Making up a single "fictional" anecdote does nothing to support your claim that the U.K. underreports infant mortality rates by U.S. standards or the U.S. overreports them by U.K. standards. You would need to provide a comprehensive comparison of the way the U.S. and the U.K. compile their statistics on this issue.
The decision not to attempt to save the life of a baby born at 22 weeks is based on the fact that a little over 99% of such children die despite medical efforts to save them, that they are subjected to a excruciating pain and prolonged suffering before they die. And those very, very few that manage to survive experience grave complications and birth defects. In view of this, establishing some sort of guidelines seems to me to make sense.
Your comparison seems to imply that doctors in the U.S. follow no guidelines for deciding at what point a prematurely born child cannot be saved. That is not true. Nor is it true that U.K. doctors are obliged to hold to the standard recommended by the National Health Service. These guidelines are not mandatory, and any doctor can override them if he sees the most remote possibility the premature baby stands a chance.
Your implication that a "liberal" made this observation, citing the CIA World factbook's statistics on infant mortality rates is equally without substantiation. I, at any rate, don't see being concerned about the U.S. infant mortality rate and wishing it were higher to be position inherently "liberal" or "conservative." No, it strikes me as something any American citizien should be concerned about, regardless of political--or, for most people--tribal orientation. These "liberal" and "conservative" tags that people bandy about are clearly more expressions of tribal identifications that of any personal political viewpoints people have come up with on their own.
Making up a single "fictional" anecdote does nothing to support your claim that the U.K. underreports infant mortality rates by U.S. standards or the U.S. overreports them by U.K. standards. You would need to provide a comprehensive comparison of the way the U.S. and the U.K. compile their statistics on this issue. WTF is with the quotes there? Looks like he's trying to use quotes as emphasis, which is a no-no, but whatev.

I don't need to support my claim. First off, this isn't a high school debate team. Second, in some circles, what I wrote is known as "an example". (Note correct use of quotes there.) My discussion was about how liberals use tricky numbers to prove what otherwise they cannot prove. If you doubt the validity of my claim, go look up the numbers yourself and provide proof I'm wrong--but that has nothing to do with the central point of my post, which is that liberals never compare apples to apples, because comparing apples to apples disproves their theses.

Or, here's a better idea: go write your own blog and post that stuff there.

The decision not to attempt to save the life of a baby born at 22 weeks is based on the fact that a little over 99% of such children die despite medical efforts to save them, that they are subjected to a excruciating pain and prolonged suffering before they die. And those very, very few that manage to survive experience grave complications and birth defects. In view of this, establishing some sort of guidelines seems to me to make sense. Who gets to set those guidelines? In England, the NHS death panels do it; they decide what procedures will be reimbursed and which won't. By controlling the purse strings, NHS decides which babies are cared for and which are not, and the decision is entirely fiscal.

Your comparison seems to imply that doctors in the U.S. follow no guidelines for deciding at what point a prematurely born child cannot be saved. That is not true. Try reading what I wrote, instead of talking about what I implied. The Fungus has a fairly strong "write what you mean" policy; if we mean something, we say it. We don't "imply" or "hint", though we are well-known for using sarcasm and irony.

In any event, in the US the final decision for a baby's treatment generally comes down to what the parents want, not what some group of faceless bureaucrats a thousand miles away wants. This is not the case for England.

Nor is it true that U.K. doctors are obliged to hold to the standard recommended by the National Health Service. These guidelines are not mandatory, and any doctor can override them if he sees the most remote possibility the premature baby stands a chance. Sure he can. And if he chooses to ignore NHS guidelines, then who pays the bill when all is said and done? Does NHS reimburse for procedures which were performed outside of NHS guidelines? Somehow I doubt it--and I'd wager the doctors in question therefore don't "override" NHS very often.

Your implication that a "liberal" made this observation, citing the CIA World factbook's statistics on infant mortality rates is equally without substantiation. More whining about proof. You're making a bunch of statements here and not backing them up, yet you insist I back up mine.

I, at any rate, don't see being concerned about the U.S. infant mortality rate and wishing it were higher to be position inherently "liberal" or "conservative." "Wishing it were higher?" Where on God's green earth did you get that from? No one wishes for any infant mortality rate to be higher--well, some feminists do, but other than them, no one. My discussion was about the liberal Democrat methods of the use of statistics for proving the unprovable and defending the indefensible.

No, it strikes me as something any American citizien should be concerned about, regardless of political--or, for most people--tribal orientation. These "liberal" and "conservative" tags that people bandy about are clearly more expressions of tribal identifications that of any personal political viewpoints people have come up with on their own. The dismissal of "liberal" and "conservative" as "tribal" almost always comes from people who fancy themselves intellectuals and political moderates--who almost invariably end up voting "Democrat". (Check the records to see how many "Independents" are former Democrats. Do the same for Republicans.)

Please notice what's going on here: this anonymous poster takes exception to what I wrote, but doesn't actually discuss what I wrote about. He chose to focus on the example I presented rather than what it was meant to illustrate.

An anonymous liberal came here to the Fungus and made the statement that infant mortality in the UK is lower than in the US, as part of supporting the idea that socialized medicine is superior to the US medical system. I then wrote (in #1889) that the two statistics are not gathered with the same criteria, and that this is a typical method liberals use to garner statistics to support their otherwise unsupportable positions.

Rather than discuss that, the more recent anonymous poster has chosen to focus on the question of how premature births are handled and why they are handled that way. His shortest paragraph--the first one--dismisses my assertion as unsupported, and he chides me for making unsupported statements...and then he goes on to make a ton of unsupported assertions.

It's one of the rules, you know: a conservative must support both sides of every argument, but a liberal need never provide any substantiation of anything he says.

None of this does anything to refute my assertion that the UK and the US report premature births in different statistical categories.

What it does manage is to obfuscate the question, and that's always the next refuge of the liberal: find something to confuse the issue, to turn the argument into something which is about feelings and fairness rather than facts and figures.

99% of children born at 22 weeks die. I understand that. But Great Britain does not report those deaths as "infant mortality", and the United States does...and so the infant mortality rate of the United States appears larger than that of Great Britain's. Liberals who support socialized medicine in the US quote this statistic as showing how wonderful socialized medicine is, when in fact it proves nothing of the sort.

That is what I was talking about.

* * *

Who posted this? I mean, who posted the video on YouTube with that poorly-written description?
As the President continues to work on immediate job creation, he discusses his proposal for a new fee on the largest financial institutions to ensure that every cent of taxpayer assistance gets paid back. Saying that, were not going to let Wall Street take the money and run, he goes on to discuss the ongoing push to make sure banks can never put our economy at risk again. January 16, 2010.
That's sixth-grade writing for crying out loud. Let's fix it:
As the President continues to work on immediate job creation, he discusses his proposal for a new fee on the largest financial institutions to ensure that every cent of taxpayer assistance gets paid back. Saying, "We're not going to let Wall Street take the money and run," he goes on to discuss the ongoing push to make sure banks can never put our economy at risk again. January 16, 2010.
Someone at the White House clearly doesn't know beans about how to use quotation marks.

Get that man (or woman) a copy of The Chicago Manual of Style.

* * *

Bring pork rinds back from Mexico, face a $1,000 fine. Because, yeah, if you bring improperly-cooked pork rinds back from Mexico and feed them to your pig, your pig might get sick.

*sigh*

* * *

General Pershing in the day when people understood how to deal with barbarians.
Just before World War I, there were a number of terrorist attacks on the United States forces in the Philippines by Muslim extremists.

So General Pershing captured 50 terrorists and had them tied to posts for execution. He then had his men bring in two pigs and slaughter them in front of the now horrified terrorists.

Muslims detest pork because they believe pigs are filthy animals. Some of them simply refuse to eat it, while others won't even touch pigs at all, nor any of their by-products. To them, eating or touching a pig, its meat, its blood, etc., is to be instantly barred from paradise (and those virgins) and doomed to hell.

The soldiers then dug a big hole, dumped in the terrorist's bodies and covered them in pig blood, entrails, etc. They let the 50th man go.

And for the next forty-two years, there was not a single Muslim extremist attack anywhere in the world.
Simple, effective.

Would that we could use such tactics today.

* * *

WoW:

Gunbunnysmit hit 60th level last night. I've spent time in instances with fellow guildies, and reaped the rewards. Whee!

Such a stimulating life I lead.
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