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NowThis | Bernie asked: how would you pay for free COVID-19 vaccines? 56% Posted Mar 2020

NowThis | Bernie asked: how would you pay for free COVID-19 vaccines?

Comment: 148 days ago

First you over-complicated it, then you doubled down and went off piste tumbling into the dark world of over-stretched medical companies.

Let's take a step back. The coronavirus crisis is going to cost the NHS a lot of money.

So where does that money come from? Why not print it? 

Printing the money - rather than raising taxes, cutting services or borrowing it - is a much more effective and direct way of pumping much needed new money into the economy. Much better than quantitive easing or reducing interest rates.

And the price of bread won't go up. Inflation happens when there is too much money swilling around and nowhere to spend it.

NowThis | Bernie asked: how would you pay for free COVID-19 vaccines? 56% Posted Mar 2020

NowThis | Bernie asked: how would you pay for free COVID-19 vaccines?

Comment: 149 days ago

I think you're over-complicating it. When a company produces a vaccine, it won't come free. So the NHS will have to pay for it. That money can come from cutting services, increasing taxes, or borrowing it.

Or it can be printed. All that means is that new money comes into the economy via the medical company, its staff and suppliers - at a time when the economy sorely needs it.

I see no reason why the price of bread should go up.

NowThis | Bernie asked: how would you pay for free COVID-19 vaccines? 56% Posted Mar 2020

NowThis | Bernie asked: how would you pay for free COVID-19 vaccines?

Comment: 149 days ago

Can someone explain to me why we can't just print the money to pay for vaccines? It won't cause hyper-inflation. The price of bread won't shoot through the roof. 

Jo-Anne McArthur | An inside look at factory farms 56% Posted Feb 2020

Jo-Anne McArthur | An inside look at factory farms

Comment: 155 days ago

"Originally you pretended that so long as people were making an informed choice, you are cool with that." Yes, except I wasn't pretending anything. I'll try one last time - but with guiding notes so you can easily follow along. 

Realise (I'm informing the reader) that when you eat a chicken, you're eating an obese diseased animal that has been heavily chlorinated so that it doesn't kill you. Bon appetite (it's your choice).

Nowhere did I say don't eat chicken. Nowhere did I say US chickens are dangerous to eat. I just accurately described the reality. 

"... I had a hunch that it may be a cover for an animal rights agenda" As I've said before, I'm just an observer, and what I observe is disgusting and a disgrace to the human species. It doesn't surprise me you're OK with the extreme cruelty inflicted on industrialised farm animals - after all you're OK with 450 deaths because bees kill more.

"From my comments, where do you think my bias is? Everybody is biased. It's the way our brains work. But in this case, you are either dishonest (you're trying to misrepresent me because I triggered you), or you're still on Ladybird books. I hope I don't have to start drawing pictures.

"My understanding is that FP thinking is most effective as a tool for innovation so not hugely relevant here, but in so far as it could be it's about deconstructing to core universal truths and building outwards.  What are the core universal truths you're using here?" FPT is an extremely versatile thinking tool. You can use the principles of FPT in the same way as you can use the principles of the scientific method when strict adherence is impossible.

The "universal truth" that I'm building on is - a group of countries who have agreed to abide by the rules they all agree on, will pass COMPROMISED rules that benefit ALL the group. A single country will pass rules that benefits itself.

Building on that, it's easy to see why US rules allow rat hairs in paprika, EU rules don't work that way. They don't have maximum levels of shit allowed in your food.

Saagar Enjeti | Media says Joe Biden's 'cognitive decline' is a Russian conspiracy 53% Posted Mar 2020

Saagar Enjeti | Media says Joe Biden's 'cognitive decline' is a Russian conspiracy

Comment: 156 days ago

Everyone's concerned Biden will lose to Trump. That would be a disaster. But what if he won? It's 4 years of word salads!

Jo-Anne McArthur | An inside look at factory farms 56% Posted Feb 2020

Jo-Anne McArthur | An inside look at factory farms

Comment: 163 days ago

If you turn out to be PA, I'll drink the Domestos myself.

"You back away from your original point, getting woolier and broader with every comment - soon you'll be talking about abstract capitalism to save you coming up with actual evidence that US chickens are dangerous.  That's your fundamental claim, isn't it?" No. Actually, I was with the photographer in the video. She was exposing the cruel and diseased lives of chickens to put people off eating them. I was trying to put people off by reminding them of chlorinated chicken.

I knew even before seeing this video, that the issue of chlorinated chicken was not the chlorine, but the effectiveness of the whole process - ie the chlorine doesn't kill all the salmonella. I also suspect that most people think it's the chlorine that's the problem - ie there's too much chlorine in the chicken. That's why I worded my comment the way I did: "Realise that when you eat a chicken, you're eating an obese diseased animal that has been heavily chlorinated so that it doesn't kill you. Bon appetite." I was quite proud of that. It is accurate, and for those who believe the chlorine is the problem, they may think again.

But your reply "Realise that for most of us it tastes delicious and doesn't kill us." shows you didn't get it. Oh well.

And yes, my comments were getting broader, but not woolier. When you asked me about where I got my data from, I was thinking the same about you. Your data contradicted mine. I could see what was coming - I find data that fits my world view, you find data that fits your world view, mix in gallons of confirmation bias on both sides, and we go round and round in circles and get nowhere.

I didn't really want to do that, so I tried some first principles thinking. But it seems to be going over your head.

Stephen Colbert | Wall Street panics after Trump unveils  coronavirus response 50% Posted Mar 2020

Stephen Colbert | Wall Street panics after Trump unveils coronavirus response

Comment: 163 days ago

Mike Pence in charge of coronavirus? He doesn't even believe in evolution! God help us all.

Jo-Anne McArthur | An inside look at factory farms 56% Posted Feb 2020

Jo-Anne McArthur | An inside look at factory farms

Comment: 168 days ago

OMG, you're more stupid than the chicken! "Great, so despite your reference to 'Domestos', you now accept that the levels of chlorine used are safe - that's according to the EU, and just about anyone else.  Progress." Doesn't progress feel great? I was here right from the beginning when I wrote: "Realise that when you eat a chicken, you're eating an obese diseased animal that has been heavily chlorinated so that it doesn't kill you." The chlorine SAVES your life by killing the salmonella. Chlorine a is a GOOD thing. Just like Domestos "kills all known germs, dead!", so you're SAFE to eat that pigeon you scraped off the pavement. Domestos is a GOOD thing, and I hear it's delicious. Get it now? Having to explain a joke ruins it. 

By the way, that glass of fresh chlorine - that was also a joke. Don't drink it unless you want to increase Big Pharma's profits.

Which nicely leads on to your question "...do you think this 23K people results in "big profits for big pharma?" You conveniently forgot to mention the 48 million who were not hospitalised.

"...Perhaps there's collusion and conspiracy." Perhaps there is, perhaps there isn't. You totally missed the point of the thought experiment, which applies to this question, as it does to the EU. I'll try one last time to explain it as simply as I can, and if you don't get it this time, I can't help you. I don't like the smell of my own palms.

In any population, there are those who seek power. That is human nature. People who seek power will gravitate towards positions of power, like in a government or in a corporation. How effectively they can wield their power depends on the system they are in. A union of dictatorships is inherently less corruptible than a single dictatorship because in the union, all dictators have to agree. It's maths.

So when you say: "The European Commission comes up with an agreement..." (I think you mean 'proposal'), you forget that the Commission itself is made up of representatives from all member countries, and they have to agree on the proposal in the first place. Then the proposal is voted on in the EU Parliament, which is also made up of representatives from each EU country. But when the EU acts abroad, it acts as a single state, ie. in the interest of its members (protectionist) - as you'd expect from any nation like the US or China to do. That's why I would rather trust regulations that come from a union of countries, than from a single country, especially one with the reputation of the US.

A for-profit health industry is very attractive to those seeking wealth and power. If you think your smartphone is too expensive, you can switch brands. But you'll pay anything for medicine that saves your life. People don't go bankrupt because the latest iPhone is too expensive. But they do go bankrupt because they can't pay their medical bill. Not many other industries have this enormous "power" over people's lives. Again, it's the underlying system (a for-profit health system) that is the problem.

If you still don't get it, try taking a lesson in first principles thinking.

MSNBC | Bernie Sanders condemns Putin for election interference 55% Posted Feb 2020

MSNBC | Bernie Sanders condemns Putin for election interference

Comment: 172 days ago

OMG, President Sanders just told Putin to f-off!

Jo-Anne McArthur | An inside look at factory farms 56% Posted Feb 2020

Jo-Anne McArthur | An inside look at factory farms

Comment: 173 days ago

About the chlorine, I never said the EU objected to the chlorine. It's the salmonella hiding under the wrinkles and wingpits of dead chickens they don't like - the parts the chlorine doesn't reach. Imagine you hadn't washed for 5 years. Do you think spraying yourself with chlorine is going to sterilise deep down your arse crack? Just to be safe I suggest you wash down your delicious diseased chicken with a glass of fresh chlorine. I guarantee you, not even the beefiest salmonella could survive bathing in a stomach acid chlorine mix.

"Out of interest, why do you think food poisoning leads to any significant profit for Big Pharma, or pressure on national health services?" 48 million people get sick, 128,000 are hospitalized, and 3,000 die from foodborne diseases each year in the United States. https://www.cdc.gov/foodborneburden/index.html

The point you make about data and stats is a very good one. It's complicated, often contradictory, and there are vested interests purposely pushing misinformation. Neither of us are experts, and we all suffer from confirmation bias - a human condition. That is why, as you suggest, we should "dig a little deeper". After all, the better informed we are, the better our decisions.

So let's dig a little deeper. Here's a thought experiment. Imagine 2 countries, A and B, both of which are run by a government paid for by Big Poultry. But country B is in the EU. The people in country A get what Big Poultry want - the biggest profit possible - which is profit limited only by the maximum acceptable number of poisonings and deaths. That's why US regulations allow a maximum number of rat hairs in paprika. I think this is your position because you think 450 deaths a year is acceptable because bees kill more.

But for country B, it is legally required to follow regulations voted through by all EU countries. Since all EU countries have a national health system, then what they can all agree on is increasing illness in their populations will put an extra strain on their health services - and health services are always stretched due to an ageing population and increasing expectations.

So even if you know nothing about farming practices, and you are not involved in Big Poultry, and you value your health - you'd be stupid to support regulations from country A.

"...the EU has protectionist policies to safeguard its members" It doesn't work like that. You misunderstand what a union is. The EU doesn't tell it's members what to do. It's the members who decide amongst themselves what to do. That's the core difference between a United States of Europe, and the European Union. The President of the EU Ursula von der Leyen has no executive power, unlike POTUS.

"Believe it or not, they may have ulterior motives beyond concern for your health." I do believe EU countries will have ulterior motives, but unless they can persuade other EU countries to come on board, nothing happens. Get it now?

Jo-Anne McArthur | An inside look at factory farms 56% Posted Feb 2020

Jo-Anne McArthur | An inside look at factory farms

Comment: 175 days ago

OK, there's a lot to unpack here. Of course there are chemicals in everything we eat, but quantity matters. Even water will kill you if you have too much. That's the very definition of "too much". Every chemical you ingest has a level that at some point becomes too much. Salmonella survives in chlorinated chickens not because US farmers are stingy with their chlorine (chlorine is cheap), but because chicken skin has many folds where the chlorine often doesn't reach. That is why there are more deaths from salmonella in poultry in the US than EU. But it's not just the deaths. Most people who catch salmonella from poultry don't die. According to one study, cases of food poisoning in the US is 10x that in the EU. In the EU, that puts a strain on national health services. In the US it's big profits for big pharma.

And that's the bottom line. US regulations are written to increase profits for big corporations. Haven't you heard, Congress is bought. But the EU is a union. In unions, any single country cannot railroad through a regulation, because it will simply be voted down by the other countries. So regulations written by a union will favour all members. The results are regulations in the US that produce super cheap chickens (that hygiene stuff is expensive) translating into big profits for big farmer. And when Americans fall ill, that's big profits for big pharma. It's a win-win for corporations. But in the EU, the population falling ill puts a strain on national health services, so EU countries are incentived to regulate for a healthier population.

So when you say "Don't decide what is safe according to what has been approved by your favourite bureaucrats.", I ask you, which regulations would you trust? Regulations paid for by the poultry industry, or regulations voted on by 27 countries, all with self interests.

Jo-Anne McArthur | An inside look at factory farms 56% Posted Feb 2020

Jo-Anne McArthur | An inside look at factory farms

Comment: 177 days ago

I have no problem with chlorine, if used safely. As I understand it, the EU is fine with chlorine (as you say, cleaning veg etc.), but with American chickens, that's a different story. On US farms, no hygiene is practiced until the very end, when the chicken is heavily chlorinated. That is not safe practice and it is borne out in the data. Salmonella deaths per year from US chickens is about 450, in the EU it's about 250. In the UK it's 0. Bear in mind that the EU has a population of about 500 million to 300 million in the US, making the difference even wider.

Realise that when you eat a US chlorinated chicken instead of an EU chicken, you increase your risk of catching salmonella. It's not the chlorine that kills, it's the salmonella.

If as an individual you are happy with that, then fine. You're making an informed choice. But you cannot expect the EU to allow US chickens when they know that it will kill a few hundred extra EU citizens every year.

Jo-Anne McArthur | An inside look at factory farms 56% Posted Feb 2020

Jo-Anne McArthur | An inside look at factory farms

Comment: 177 days ago

Just as long as you realise what you're eating, then you're making an informed choice. I'm cool with that. If you want to scrape a pigeon off the pavement and marinate it in Domestos, be my guest.

Jo-Anne McArthur | An inside look at factory farms 56% Posted Feb 2020

Jo-Anne McArthur | An inside look at factory farms

Comment: 179 days ago

Realise that your delicious diseased chicken doesn't kill you because it is heavily chlorinated. Oh man, my mouth is watering just at the thought.

Jo-Anne McArthur | An inside look at factory farms 56% Posted Feb 2020

Jo-Anne McArthur | An inside look at factory farms

Comment: 180 days ago

Realise that when you eat a chicken, you're eating an obese diseased animal that has been heavily chlorinated so that it doesn't kill you. Bon appetite.

Baby tries ice cream for first time 50% Posted Feb 2020

Baby tries ice cream for first time

Comment: 188 days ago

Why haven't we evolved to love really healthy food like cabbage? 

The Rational National | Attack ads against Bernie backfire 52% Posted Feb 2020

The Rational National | Attack ads against Bernie backfire

Comment: 191 days ago

Bernie's age is a huge advantage. As he put it himself, "I'm too damn old to change."

Trump is really old. He hasn't changed. When he said he would drain the swamp, he lied. Obama was relatively young. He changed. Would Obama have supported TPP before he was elected? I doubt it.

A younger person is potentially more corruptible because they have a longer life ahead of them. 

GMB | Is Britain finished? 52% Posted Jan 2020

GMB | Is Britain finished?

Comment: 196 days ago

OK, let's help out Mark Francois and make him a list of tangible benefits from leaving the EU.

I'll start, err... mmm... scratch skull...  tick, tock... mmm... scratch balls...

Oh I know - the skin of our immigrants will darken as EU immigrants are replaced by African immigrants. The Polish aisle in Sainsbury's will be replaced with Nigerian specialities. How exciting! I never did like Polish food.

That's me done. Any other tangible benefits we can look forward to?

Andrew Yang explains 'Democracy Dollars' 48% Posted Jan 2020

Andrew Yang explains 'Democracy Dollars'

Comment: 203 days ago

Isn’t this a no-brainer, or am I missing something? If it was the ONLY funding parties could legally receive, it would be a true level playing field.

TLDR | Changes to the EU Withdrawal Agreement Bill 35% Posted Jan 2020

TLDR | Changes to the EU Withdrawal Agreement Bill

Comment: 213 days ago

Is this a strategy to leave with no deal? Surely the EU cannot accept these changes. This is not the deal they signed.

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