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Total number of comments: 3 (since 2016-04-09 14:05:05)

John Carson

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  • Is Hillary Clinton responsible for rise of ISIL, as Bernie's Campaign Manager Alleged?
    • Isn't one of the problems with this critique of Clinton that it can't imagine Arabs (or anyone else) acting except at the instigation of some western power? The strong causal claims--Clinton or the US or whom ever -- caused Daesh seems to be part of an imaginary where no one else can really act in powerful ways on the world. I'm not rejecting the claims that various western interventions have had powerful effects in helping shape what happens, but it would be nice to also acknowledge the agency of those living in the region.

  • Dear Jenny McCarthy and Bill McKibben: Coal Plants are causing Autism, Let's Sue Them!
    • Hi Juan. The push to get rid of coal plants is important for all sorts of reasons, as is the need to remove toxins such as mercury and diesel particulates from the air.

      Would that eliminate autism, however? No. Would that reduce autism? Maybe, though one associational study, even a good one, is not the firmest foundation on which to build such strong claims.

      And what does this study show? For all heavy metals the incidence of autism is about 1.2% in quintile 1 (lowest exposure group) and 1.4% in quintile 5 (highest exposure group). That increase matters (decisively if you are someone who is affected), but it is not an enormous change. So one wants to be careful about just what kinds of benefits are claimed for getting rid of coal plants.

      Jenny McCarthy is nutty in sticking to her claims about vaccination and autism, but I'm not sure this study shows that the main culprit in the increase in autism is coal. As I said, there are lots of other good reasons to get rid of coal-fired plants.

  • Obama and the End of Al-Qaeda
    • Wonderful reflection, Juan, on the death of Bin-Landen, the history leading up to the event, and the possibilities for the future. Thanks!

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