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Good stuff at the Los Angeles Times

bullet image Here’s another one to properly ridicule the Joseph Califano/CASA “study” on Facebook and teen drinking.

Flash! Facebook causes teen drinking! (Until you read the fine print)

For too long, people like Califano have gotten away with lying — inferring that correlation is the same as causation is a form of lying. It’s nice to see the media no longer uncritically accepting CASA’s nonsense, and even going a step further to educate the public about the difference between correlation and causation. Here’s one example I hadn’t known about before…

At one time, public health experts thought that eating ice cream might cause polio; they noticed that the number of polio cases was higher in places with greater ice cream consumption. It took awhile to figure out that polio increased in hot months, when children played together in often unsanitary conditions. And guess what people ate more of during hot weather?


bullet image Today in the Los Angeles Times, Paul Armentano has Student drug testing doesn’t work [Blowback]

Yet despite these programs’ consistently poor performance, an estimated one-quarter of public schools now engage in some form of student drug testing. They shouldn’t.

Random drug testing of students is an ineffective, humiliating, invasive practice that undermines the relationships between pupils and staff and runs contrary to the principles of due process. It compels teens to potentially submit evidence against themselves and forfeit their privacy rights as necessary requirements for attending school.

Rather than presuming our schoolchildren innocent of illicit activity, drug testing without suspicion presumes them guilty until they prove themselves innocent. Why are we continuing to send this message to our children?

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17 comments to Good stuff at the Los Angeles Times

  • vickyvampire

    More lies from Califano,what else is new.
    Oh a a failed drug teen testing program does not work,I guess that guarantees a waste of money and time using it for years like every other failed program in America.

    Los Angeles MORE CORRUPTION in police department.Sheriff’s Captain this time.

    http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-captain-wiretap-20110828,0,3302154.story

  • kaptinemo

    Concerning the second article, it doesn’t go far enough in detailing the inevitable social damage. Teaching children that rights are malleable fictions subject to modification in the name of hysteria- (and commercially) driven fads like drug testing, and that by teaching them that they really don’t have any rights (courtesy of drug testing) will cause them to adopt a more fascistic view of life…a view that they will, in turn, teach those who first taught it to them.

    Once, not too long ago, it was unthinkable to consider such programs as Social Security and Medicare as being on the fiscal auction block. The ‘Third Rail of Politics’, they were called. Well, the power’s been turned off that third rail, and pols are grabbing it with impunity, thanks to the economy…which, at the risk of sounding like I am patting myself on the back, I did predict would happen.

    For years, I had been warning about a confluence of events – social, political, economic, etc. – that could lead to a battle between generations.

    And here it is. A battle the members of the generation that has sought to strip children of rights and teach them that rights are fictions via the DrugWar are foolishly engaging in.

    Foolishly, because the lessons they are teaching children will come back to haunt them, for the recipients of those lessons have been taught not only to devalue their own rights, but those of the generation that taught them that lesson. And with the economy getting ever worse, look to see very serious discussions in public circles about health care rationing for the generation that expected to have the same health care benefits as the one before it.

    Imagine this. You are old and sick and suffering from intractable pain, and need an operation that you cannot afford without health care.

    Now imagine this: Sitting across the table from you is a member of the younger generation, the one whom you screwed over with being forced to undergo humiliating drug testing. S/he has a very long memory of that burning humiliation…and who caused it.

    They have the power of life and death over you, as they are the ones who make the decisions regarding who will receive the now-rationed health care. A refusal on their part to grant your request means a horribly painful death sentence. And as I said, they have a very. Long. Memory.

    Every day of my life I am forced to recall what my wise old VN War veteran instructors told me, over and over again: “What comes around, goes around.” I try to keep to that basic principle, and follow another, the ancient Golden Rule of treating others as how you wish to be treated. Because, in the end, those who teach will be taught. If what they teach is budding fascism courtesy of the DrugWar, then they should not be surprised when the lessons are applied to them in their old age.

  • Mike R

    There was a recent study I read on Google News. Strong correlation between heart disease and dental plaque. The conclusion was that plaque was breaking away from the teeth and somehow affecting the heart.

    What they really found in the end was that people who don’t take care of their teeth don’t take care of their hearts either. Go figure.

  • Mike R

    Hate double posting but hit post early.

    As drinking is largely as social activity, is it a surprise that teens who are more social (Facebook) would engage more frequently in common social activities?

    A little common sense goes a long way.

  • Servetus

    Joseph A. Califano Jr. is not a scientist, and he isn’t a medical doctor. He’s the victim of a Jesuit education, a lawyer, and a former Secretary of Health, Education and Welfare (HEW) who was fired in 1979 by President Jimmy Carter for being a loudmouthed idiot.

    With his political career spurned and charred, Califano turned to the last refuge of the scoundrel: prohibition. The rest of Califano’s career is an unfortunate commentary on hack bureaucrats who ally themselves with the drug war.

    Washed up, his correlation scam recently exposed by the conservative LA Times, no less; and ever the champion of the absurd, anti-scientific and anti-intellectual marijuana gateway theory, Joe Califano’s ignominious career is a stark warning to anyone who might follow his ill-fated example.

  • darkcycle

    I too was a victim of a Jesuit education. That’s not what his problem is. He’s a jackass, and not a very smart person. That’s his problem.
    It’s not the education (although mine was predictably a very conservative education), it’s what you do with it. An education will teach you HOW to think, an indoctrination will teach you WHAT to think…and I gotta give the J’s credit, I got a hell of an Education. The Bob Jones University types, they indoctrinate. I never once had dogma rubbed in my face.
    Worst part was having to read all that shit in original Greek and Latin. It was valuable no doubt, but I got more from the translations.

  • tensity1

    Here’s a Montana PBS doc on the science of cannabis:

    http://watch.montanapbs.org/video/1825223761

    I thought I’d found this link in one of the comments of a recent blog post here, but I couldn’t locate it. So, thought I’d share, since it was really good, and I don’t want to assume everyone’s seen it already.

  • Duncan20903

    .
    .
    Oh my word, without the MSM playing the stooge to their brain dead propaganda people might start laughing at the prohibitionists.

    I never thought I’d see the day. Christ, what’s next? The fourth estate demanding that government actually prove some of their fantasy land claims?

    Oh well, the LA Times was already on “the list” but it’s still nice to see they’re not backpedaling.
    ———- ———- ———- ———- ———-

    Sometimes I worry about placing too much emphasis on the violation of privacy that comes from collecting urine samples. While it’s no doubt as invasive and just plain wrong as we see it

    Why is it that hair testing never has caught on? Is that just because Dr. DuPont and his henchmen have so much invested in the company that’s selling urine tests? I’ve thought it peculiar for some time that less invasive testing never caught on. Gosh, it’s so easy to baffle a urine test too.

    Has anyone ever wondered about the career path that finds a person collecting and processing other people’s urine for a living? What happens at a social gathering when they’re asked about their profession, “so, what is it that you do?”…”oh, I’m in urine”? So is the stool sample collector a step up or a step down from being a professional urine collector? “gosh it was so nice to get that promotion from the defecation processing unit.” Talk about a shitty job…

    Well I guess somebody has to maintain the integrity of American urine. I’d much rather be pissed off than pissed on.

    • kaptinemo

      Oh, jeez, Duncan, you’re deadly. Good thing I wasn’t trying to drink anything when I read your latest; I sputtered in laughter, anyway…

      But you have a very valid point: who wants to associate with someone directly involved in violating your 4th Amendment rights? Lepers at an orgy would be more welcome…

  • It does not work, and I should know I have a job still 🙂

  • Duncan20903

    .
    .
    Well at least there’s some people taking this subject seriously. In Alaska they didn’t spend their cut of property stolen from presumed drug dealers on FLIR equipped ATVs or new espresso machines for the LE coffee break room. They commissioned a research study into pot growing in Alaska. The startling conclusion that merrywanna grows generate the smell of growing merrywanna may go down as one of the most stunning and unbelievable turn of events in the history of scientific inquiry in recorded history.

    “Detection of marijuana odors was found to be significantly associated with the discovery of relatively large amounts of marijuana – that is, quantities of four ounces or more, as well as 25 or more plants.”

    http://www.sitnews.us/0811News/082911/082911_marijuana_odors.html

    Well there you have it gentlemen, the evidence is in, it has been analyzed in minute detail by the finest research minds money can buy, and it’s now proven the merrywanna smells like merrywanna. Who’da thunk it?

    I just want to know one thing. Where do I find these people with more money than common sense? I’d have told them that pot smells like pot for half of what they paid the people that did the study.

    • darkcycle

      Money well spent…oops,… I meant to say: Well, they spent money…

    • darkcycle

      At least they got it right, they might just as reasonably have concluded:
      “Detection of Doritos odors was found to be significantly associated with the discovery of relatively large amounts of marijuana – that is, quantities of four ounces or more, as well as 25 or more plants.”

    • Duncan20903

      In Alaska the qualification of more than 4 ounces/25 plants is very significant because the Alaska State Constitution strongly protects Alaska residents right to privacy up to those levels.

      It seems the smell of merrywanna is of special interest nowadays. In Illinois the Court of Appeals has ordered a new trial for a man convicted of trafficking because the smell of 147 lbs of cannabis may have unduly influenced the jurors. Christ, who needs LSD when you have straight people bending reality?

      http://www.pjstar.com/news/x227166125/Smell-of-marijuana-leads-to-new-trial

  • claygooding

    When I drove a truck OTR for the last 30 years,,,I got so good at piss tests,,,I could hit a sample bottle doing 30 mph out the passenger window,,,but could not get the DOT
    Inspectors to stand there for me to try,,,,,

    • Duncan20903

      .
      .
      Oh please, they knew that you weren’t aiming for the bottle.

      Are there different procedures in different places? Every DOT-P test I took was at my doctor’s office, and I got to pay the tab out of my pocket. Doc always gave me this queer little smile like he could spot synthetic urine from a 100 yards without a thermometer…that’ll be $175 please.