Later On

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Archive for August 10th, 2019

Who’s a terrorist and who’s mentally ill? We looked at 10 years of news coverage to find out.

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Allison Betus, Erin M. Kearns, and Anthony Lemieux report in the Washington Post:

Here we are again. The recent terrorist attack in El Paso has revived an ongoing debate: When do attacks get covered as terrorism and when are they attributed to mental illness?

Our research previously found that attacks perpetrated by a Muslim receive 357 percent more coverage on average than those committed by non-Muslims or unknown perpetrators.

Before the shooting of dozens at a Walmart and shopping center in El Paso, a manifesto was posted online filled with anti-immigrant sentiment. Given its white supremacist language and its expressed intention to make Latinos fear the United States, law enforcement, media and experts alike quickly began calling this a terrorist attack. At the same time, some politicians and media coverage still raised questions about the attacker’s mental health. Most prominently, President Trump gave a speech decrying the shootings in both El Paso and Dayton, Ohio, by saying that “mental illness and hatred pulls the trigger, not the gun.”

Our recent study finds that, indeed, news articles are drastically more likely to call an attack terrorism when the perpetrator is Muslim. But whether the perpetrator is white does not influence whether the news coverage will suggest mental illness. We explain below.

How we conducted our research

A number of observers have suggested that the news media call Muslim perpetrators “terrorists” while white perpetrators are described as “mentally ill.” Political scientists Bryan Arva, Muhammed Idris and Fouad Pervez found that to be true when they compared news coverageof four high-profile attacks, two perpetrated by Islamist extremists and two by white supremacists. To see whether that contrast held up more generally, we undertook a systematic evaluation of all such attacks rather than just a subset of them.

Here’s how we identified cases and collected media coverage of them. We first identified all terrorist attacks, as listed in the Global Terrorism Database, that occurred in the United States from 2006 through 2015. In the GTD, terrorism is defined as “the threatened or actual use of illegal force and violence by a nonstate actor to attain a political, economic, religious, or social goal through fear, coercion, or intimidation.”

During the 10-year period we studied, there were 136 attacks in the United States. We collected U.S.-based print media coverage of these attacks from CNN.com and LexisNexis Academic, which pulls from 15,000 news sources across the world, including major outlets like The Washington Post as well as local newspapers around the United States. More partisan sources like Fox News and HuffPost do not have searchable archives, so we could not include them in the study. We included only articles that primarily focused on the attack, the perpetrator(s) or the victims, finding 3,541 articles that met the criteria. Thirty-six of the attacks did not receive coverage from these sources, so we focus on articles for 100 attacks in total.

We next identified whether each article refers to terrorism or mental illness, using the qualitative data analysis software Nvivo, searching for key terms relating to terrorism and to mental illness. We then compared references to terrorism for Muslim vs. non-Muslim perpetrators and references to mental illness for white vs. nonwhite perpetrators.

When a perpetrator is Muslim, there’s a 488 percent greater chance an attack will be called terrorism

Only 17 percent of the attacks we studied were perpetrated by Muslims — but of the 1,384 articles that mentioned terrorism, 77 percent were covering these attacks. Of course, other factors had an effect; if an attack was perpetrated by members of an identified terrorist group, then coverage was understandably more likely to mention terrorism. And when the perpetrator was known or suspected of having a mental illness, media coverage was less likely to refer to terrorism.

Even controlling for these factors, we found that the odds of an article using the term “terrorism” is 488 percent greater when the perpetrator is Muslim.

But when an attacker is white, it doesn’t increase the chance that media coverage will mention mental illness

To our surprise, we found no differences in references to mental illness based on whether the perpetrator was white. Rather, when the perpetrator was known to have or suspected of having a mental health issue, coverage was understandably more likely to mention mental illness. But when an attack included several perpetrators or when the perpetrator was associated with a known white supremacist or other terrorist group, mental illness was much less likely to be mentioned.

Why does this matter?

Whether intentional or not, by associating terrorism and Islam, the news media distorts public perceptions of threats and misleads the public about who perpetrates terrorism. While some perpetrators of terrorist attacks might be correctly characterized as mentally ill, this is largely atypical. The American Psychological Association finds no link between mental illness and perpetrating violence. The idea that many mass shootings are committed by those who are mentally ill is unsubstantiated.

No matter what the news media may intend, these disparities in coverage are stark. By overwhelmingly framing attacks by Muslims as terrorism — and emphasizing that designation far more than about similar attacks by non-Muslims — the news media both perpetuates misconceptions about terrorism and suspicion of Muslims. That coverage can influence public opinion and policy. . .

Continue reading.

Written by LeisureGuy

10 August 2019 at 3:15 pm

Posted in Daily life, Media, Terrorism

The FBI Told Congress Domestic Terror Investigations Led to 90 Recent Arrests. It Wouldn’t Show Us Records of Even One.

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The FBI has proved unreliable if not deliberately misleading in the past when bragging about their accomplishments (cf. the FBI forensic laboratory). This looks to be another instance of big talk with no accomplishment. Fritz Zimmermann reports in ProPublica:

On July 23, FBI Director Christopher Wray told the Senate Judiciary Committee that federal investigations of domestic terrorism had led to some 100 arrests in the last nine months. While the FBI quickly announced that the number was 90, not 100, the basic message appeared unchanged: The FBI was actively investigating and prosecuting domestic terrorists.

The 90 arrests have been cited countless times since last weekend’s killing of 22 people in El Paso, Texas, by a man suspected of harboring racist views of immigrants. To find out more, we contacted the FBI on Monday, asking who had been arrested, as well as where and when, and what the allegations were in each case.

Four days later, we have been given next to no information about them.

Our first inquiry on Monday was straightforward: We asked for basic information about each of the 90 arrests, which we assumed had all been publicly announced.

An FBI spokeswoman wrote back: “We would not be able to provide you with a comprehensive list of these press releases. As there is no federal domestic terrorism statute so DT subjects are charged under other federal, state, and local charges.”

We understood that those arrested for committing or intending to commit violent acts on American soil are typically prosecuted for an assortment of crimes — murder, say, or illegal possession of firearms — not domestic terrorism, for which there’s no federal charge. The 90 people who were supposedly arrested might have been ultimately prosecuted by local authorities.

But it seemed clear from Wray’s statements that the FBI had done the work of determining which of the cases involving, as the spokeswoman put it, “other federal, state and local charges” involved elements of domestic terror. There had been a formal count. Wray had testified as much.

We wrote to the FBI again: “Thank you for getting back to me this fast and for your answer. I am a bit confused though: The number of DT arrests I was referring to originally comes from the FBI Director and was later clarified by a FBI spokesperson. So where would that number come from? I would be happy if you could clarify this point?”

The spokeswoman responded: “What do you mean? We clarified the number, it’s a comprehensive list of press releases that I’m saying we’re unable to provide.”

The spokeswoman, saying she was speaking “on background,” and thus not to be identified, later suggested that we go on the Department of Justice’s public affairs website and “see what pops up.”

So we did. When we typed in domestic terrorism arrests for the past nine months, five cases came up. But only one of the cases actually involved an American arrested for seeking to harm others in the U.S. — Cesar Sayoc, the man recently sentenced to 20 years for mailing 16 explosive devices to a variety of current and former government officials and the philanthropist George Soros.

Obviously, that was far short of the cases Wray had referenced. It also seemed odd that the FBI would suggest this approach to searching since it had to have done a more comprehensive compilation to equip its director with the numbers he gave the Senate Judiciary Committee.

We tried again: “Thanks for your reply! What I mean is: you clarified the number, so despite DT subjects being charged under ‘other federal, state, and local charges,’ as you wrote, the FBI obviously has information about all these cases. And this is what I’ve been originally asking for. So I would be glad if you could give me the following information about as many of the 90 arrests as possible: who was arrested, where, when and what the allegations were. If you are unable to provide this information or a comprehensive list of press releases I would like to know why.”

On the phone, she again cited the figure of 90 arrests, adding, “These are people that the FBI arrested as a result of a domestic terrorism investigation.”

But she also repeated that the bureau couldn’t give us any information, even press releases, about these arrests. “In their arrests they may not be characterized as domestic terrorists depending on how those arrests were made in the locality, in the state … so it’s just not something the FBI is able to publicly provide,” she said.

Yahoo News on Thursday published what it said was a document detailing the 2018 domestic terrorism arrests involving white supremacists, something the article said Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee had been unsuccessfully seeking from the Department of Justice.

“This map reflects 32 domestic terrorist attacks, disrupted plots, threats of violence, and weapons stockpiling by individuals with a radical political or social agenda who lack direction or influence from foreign terrorist organizations in 2018,” the document cited in the Yahoo article stated. The document, the article said, had been produced by New Jersey’s Office of Homeland Security Preparedness.

Late on Thursday, we tried to make things simpler with the FBI in hopes of getting some kind of firm answer: If the FBI could not quickly list the arrests stemming from domestic terrorism investigations, could it say how many such investigations had been carried out in 2019?

The spokeswoman did not respond to the request. . .

Continue reading.

Written by LeisureGuy

10 August 2019 at 1:13 pm

Allergies: A Consequence of a Hygiene-Obsessed Society

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Joe Schwarez writes for McGill Univeristy Office for Science and Society:

As our hygiene and cleanliness improves it seems we become more susceptible to allergies. It’s as if our immune system is yearning for action, but having no enemies in the form of infectious agents or parasites to battle, it targets harmless substances present in the environment. This constitutes an allergic reaction. Central to this reaction are specialized proteins known as antibodies. Specifically, IgE (immunoglobulin E) antibodies are implicated. They are made when a foreign substance enters the body and then attach themselves to immune cells called mast cells where they lie in wait, ready for action should the intruder appear again. When the allergen does appear, the antibodies recognize it and bind to it. This disturbs the structure of the mast cell, causing it to “wake up” and release various disease-fighting molecules. The prime one is histamine. This molecule, when released, makes local blood vessels more permeable and unleashes the symptoms of an allergy. There’s sneezing, sniffling, watery eyes and all the rest as the body tries to rid itself of the troublesome allergen.

Today our hygiene-obsessed society is focussed on the use of antibacterial soaps, sponges, pillows and even toys. Some people carry around a special germ-killing lotion and slather it on at the first sign of ‘contamination’. Sounds like something out of a sci-fi movie. You greet someone, shake hands and then immediately proceed to cleanse yourself of them with some goo. But this could end up causing more harm than good. Not only does this over-use of antibacterial products breed drug-resistant forms of microorganisms, it may also be contributing to the rising incidence of allergies in our society.

When we’re born, our immune system is considered ‘naive.’ White blood cells, such as the helper T cells, haven’t yet fully developed. There are actually two types of these T cells. Th1 cells fight mostly small invaders like bacteria and viruses which directly attack our cells while Th2 cells are designed to fight the bigger enemies, such as parasites and worms which may lurk in-between cells. It turns out that these Th2 cells are also the cells that initiate IgE production. Therefore it is not surprising that allergy-prone people tend to have more Th2 cells while those without allergies have more Th1 cells. This may be because of the lack or the presence of microorganisms in the environment of a growing child. Here’s the theory then: if there aren’t many ‘bugs’ around, a child doesn’t make as many Th1 cells and so ends up making an excess of Th2 cells which tend to overreact to normally harmless substances such as pollen, dust or certain foods by stimulating IgE production. At birth the Th2 cells are the most likely to be triggered into activity. And if the Th1 cells aren’t sufficiently stimulated, by microorganisms as found in dirt, for example, allergies can result. Th1 cells produce signals that reduce Th2 responses and Th2 cells produce signals that reduce Th1 responses. In other words, there is a delicate balance between these two types of cells.

So we now have a theory of how infections may prevent allergies. We want to get those Th1 cells active so they will curtail the amount of Th2 cells. Rolling in the dirt may do that. But there is another way to prevent Th2 cells from cranking out IgE antibodies. Just don’t give them any enemies to fight. As stated before, if there are no parasites to defeat they will jump at other intruders such as food components. Keeping foods such as milk and peanuts away until Th2 activity is naturally reduced by the aging process can therefore reduce the risk of allergies.

Ok, so we want to let kids wallow in dirt and snatch peanut butter sandwiches from their mouth. Will this really work in preventing allergies? In a May 2000 study published in the Lancet, doctors looked at 61 children aged 9-24 months who all had previous asthma-like episodes to see the effects of exposing these kids to house dust. It turns out that those exposed to more dust ended up having higher Th1 cell activity, diverting the immune system from prompting the allergic Th2 reaction. And that means less likelihood of developing asthma. This meshes with 1997 British study published in the journal Science which showed that Japanese schoolchildren who received TB (tuberculosis) vaccines were up to three times less likely to develop allergies. And those who already showed symptoms of allergies showed a decrease in symptoms after being vaccinated. This is probably because the TB vaccine is a weakened version of the Mycobacterium tuberculosis microorganism and when injected, it prompts a strong Th1 immune response from the child, diverting the immune system from allergic Th2 reactions. That’s not to say children should run out and try to catch TB, but it wouldn’t hurt for them to roll in the dirt a bit so they can come in contact with the harmless forms of mycobacteria.

Clinical experience also tells us that younger siblings are less likely to develop allergies than their older brothers or sisters mostly because the older ones pass on extra germs to the younger ones. And children from bigger families have even less chance of developing allergies likely due to the fact that there are so many different germs floating around. Along the same lines, a German study published in a February 1999 issue of the Lancet found that children who entered daycare facilities at a younger age tended to be less susceptible to later allergies than their older classmates. Another study, this time from Sweden, published in the May 1999 Lancet confirmed that there were fewer cases of allergies in families that avoided antibiotics and vaccinations as much as possible. Both of these studies support the recurring theme of childhood infections reducing rather than prompting allergic reactions.

Dust and dirt may not be the only things you can let sit around your house, pet hair could be good for the kids too. . .

Continue reading.

Written by LeisureGuy

10 August 2019 at 1:08 pm

“Dying the Christian Science way: the horror of my father’s last days”

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Religion, as a genus in the meme-sphere, evolves in some surprising directions (just as do lifeforms—cf. the peacock). In the Guardian Caroline Fraser describes one variant and the real-world consequences:

When I was a baby, my grandfather delighted me by playing a game. He made a fist sandwich, fingers laced together and hidden in his palms, showing me his thumbs closed upon them. Slowly, he would say, “Here’s the church, and here’s the steeple,” raising his index fingers together to form a peak. Then, throwing his thumbs apart, he flipped his interlaced fingers over, wriggling them and crying out, “Open the doors and see all the people!”

My grandfather was a Christian Scientist. His mother had been a Scientist. His only child, my father, was a Scientist. I was raised to be a Scientist.

Now I’m delighted by a different kind of game: counting the churches as their doors close. In 20 years, drastic changes have taken place, but the most arresting is the church’s precipitous fall. It’s getting harder and harder to see all the people, because they’re disappearing.

The early popularity of Christian Science was tied directly to the promise engendered by its core beliefs: the promise of healing. The overwhelming majority of those attracted to the movement came to be healed, or came because a husband, wife, child, relative or friend needed healing; the claims of Christian Science were so compelling that people often stayed in the movement whether they found healing or not, blaming themselves and not the church’s teachings for any apparent failures.

The teachings were radically simple. The founder and leader of the church, Mary Baker Eddy, taught that disease was unreal because the human body and the entire material world were mere illusions of the credulous, a waking dream. Those who awoke and knew the “Truth” could be instantaneously healed. (Eddy was big on capitalised generalities; “Life”, “Love” and “Spirit” were among her other “synonyms” for God.)

What was the “Truth”? We memorised it in Sunday School, the “Scientific Statement of Being”, which assured us that “there is no life, truth, intelligence, nor substance in matter”. Eddy’s definition of man was even more stark: “Man is not matter; he is not made up of brain, blood, bones, and other material elements.” We were instructed to repeat as needed for whatever ailment came along, from canker sores to cancer. The trick lay in the application: allow no hint of doubt, neither aspirin nor vitamin, a dogma so dire it was taken to absurd lengths. During the height of the London fad for the faith, in 1911, novelist VS Pritchett was indoctrinated into the mysteries by his father after “dying Cousin Dick” leapt from his deathbed, “miraculously cured”. Soon after, Pritchett, a lad of 11, was forced to walk to school on a sprained ankle.

As Pritchett discovered, Cousin Dick’s results were impossible to replicate in the real world, and the consequences of Eddy’s strictures – she demanded “radical reliance” on her methodology to the exclusion of all else – quickly caused havoc. Newspapers and prosecutors noticed the casualties, especially children dying of unreported cases of diphtheria and appendicitis. In the early years of the church, this touched off battles with the American Medical Association, which tried to have Christian Science healers, or “practitioners”, arrested for practising medicine without a licence. Since practitioners did nothing but pray, however, their activities were protected by the US constitution. Reacting with righteous zeal, Church leaders doubled down for decades, furtively slipping protections into the law and encouraging insurance companies to cover Christian Science “treatment”. Since it cost very little, the companies cynically complied.

As a result, by the 1970s – a high-water mark for the church’s political power, with many Scientists serving in Richard Nixon’s White House and federal agencies – the church was well on its way to accumulating an incredible array of legal rights and privileges across the US, including broad-based religious exemptions from childhood immunisations in 47 states, as well as exemptions from routine screening tests and procedures given to newborns in hospitals. The exemptions had consequences: modern-day outbreaks of diphtheria, polio and measles in Christian Science schools and communities. A 1972 polio outbreak in Connecticut left multiple children partially paralysed; a 1985 measles outbreak (one of several) at Principia College in Illinois killed three.

In many US states, Scientists were exempt from charges of child abuse, neglect and endangerment, as well as from failure to report such crimes. Practitioners with no medical training (they become “listed” after two weeks of religious indoctrination) were recognised as health providers, and in some states were required to report contagious illnesses or cases of child abuse or neglect, even as their religion demanded that they deny the evidence of the physical senses. Practitioners, of course, have no way of recognising the symptoms of an illness, even if they believe it existed, which they don’t.

A whole system of Christian Science “nursing” sprang up in unlicensed Christian Science sanatoriums and nursing homes catering to patients with open wounds and bodies eaten away by tumours. There, no medical treatment was allowed to interfere with prayer. Assigned only the most basic duties – feeding and cleaning patients – Christian Science “nurses” are not registered, and have no medical training either. Instead, they engage in bizarre practices such as leaving food on the mouths of patients who cannot eat. They provide no assistance for those who are having trouble breathing, administer no painkillers, react to no emergencies. “Do not resuscitate” is their default. But some of these facilities, and the incompetent care they provide, are covered by Medicare, the US’s national healthcare insurance programme.


Still, by this point, few people know or care what the Christian Scientists have been up to, since the average person can’t tell you the difference between a Christian Scientist and a Scientologist. The decline of the faith, once a major indigenous sect, may be among the most dramatic contractions in the history of American religion. Eddy forbade counting the faithful, but in 1961, the year I was born, the number of branch churches worldwide reached a high of 3,273. By the mid-80s, the number in the US had dropped to 1,997; between 1987 and late 2018, 1,070 more closed, while only 83 opened, leaving around a thousand in the US.

Prized urban branches are being sold off by the score, converted into luxury condominiums, museums and Buddhist temples. The branch I attended, on Mercer Island, near Seattle, is now Congregation Shevet Achim, a Modern Orthodox synagogue.

Worldly erosion eats away at the remainder. New York’s Third Church on Park Avenue is still open for spiritual business, but is leased for events during the week, sparking complaints about blocked traffic, paparazzi and partygoers attending celebrity galas in the four-storey neo-Georgian sanctuary. The phrase “God is Love” is traditionally affixed to an interior wall of every branch, but during secular events the words are concealed behind a faux-slate panel, lest they detract from, say, a runway show of Oscar de la Renta resort wear. Alcohol and coffee, shunned by Church members since Eddy’s day, are brought in by caterers.

The slide into irrelevance has been inexorable. The number of practitioners has fallen to an all-time low of 1,126, and during the last decade the Sentinel magazine has lost more than half its subscribers. The Monitor, the public face of the Church, has become a kind of zombie newspaper, laying off 30% of its staff in 2016. It is now available as a five-days-a-week emailed newsletter, or a thin print weekly that has been bleeding subscribers.

Principia, the Christian Science educational institution (a separate entity from the Mother Church), has shed so many students that its future is in question. Its college enrollment was down to 435 in 2018, the St Louis Post-Dispatch reported, while its school had 400 students, with just eight in the first-grade class. With an endowment of $680m, one official noted, “We are going to run out of kids before we run out of money. There just aren’t enough Christian Scientists on the planet.” . . .

Continue reading. There’s much more, and some of it is grim indeed. Lord, deliver us from “Christian” “Science.”

Written by LeisureGuy

10 August 2019 at 10:35 am

Are You There, Race? It’s Me, DNA

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Jonathan Jerry writes for McGill Office for Science and Society (“separating sense from nonsense”):

What would you say is Liam Neeson’s race?

I ask this question because in this era of the gene, of people swabbing their cheeks to know where their ancestors came from, and of racism glazed over with the shiny patina of science, many people feel confused about race. They have heard that it’s a social construct, but that can be hard to square with rumours that only Black people have sickle cell anemia. And if 23andMe can report on your ancestry, isn’t that proof that race exists at the biological level?

The concept of dividing humans into categories has been with us for a very long time. Greek philosopher Aristotle attempted to classify living things in a hierarchy. According to his thinking, some humans were born to be kings, whereas others were determined to be slaves. In the 1700s, Man was divided into a handful of races: Africans, Asians, Native Americans, and Caucasians (Pacific Islanders were thought of as a fifth race by some). It wasn’t just a horizontal classification, but a vertical one too. Thinking of Africans as biologically inferior to Caucasians certainly facilitated their treatment during the slave trade.

When participants to a focus group in 2004 were asked what exactly is a race, they ended up mirroring a debate that had been happening among scholars, because it’s not an easy concept to define. Physical appearance, especially skin colour, was often mentioned by the participants, but it wasn’t seen as sufficient. If we stop at skin colour, however—a common enough shortcut for anyone trying to categorize an individual by race—we quickly run into a problem:

To what races do these women belong? It turns out they are all from the African continent. From left to right, we have a Namibian, an Egyptian, a Malian, and a Kenyan. If “African” is one race, why do all these women look so different?

A useful definition of a race is a group of people who are perceived as sharing biological features. Importantly, this perception varies by culture, because this is not, please excuse the pun, a black-and-white ruling. If skin colour is used to distinguish race, where is the cut-off? It’s not obvious, because skin colour is on a gradient.

But skin colour, hair colour, eye colour, and other physical traits are all under the control of genes, so doesn’t our DNA have something to do with race?

Our eyes tell us lies that DNA can pulverize

The DNA in our cells is littered with variants, little changes from one individual to the next that are responsible for many of our physical attributes and our predispositions to disease. It’s like we all have the same book, except that my edition has a few typos and local spelling differences that yours doesn’t and vice versa (e.g. “color” versus “colour”). When we add up all of these variants, that is what we mean by “genetic variability”, the number of DNA differences from one person to another.

So do you think there is more genetic variability between these two penguins… or between Taylor Swift and Kanye West?

The answer is surprising. Even though our eyes tell us one thing, DNA analysis reveals the opposite. These penguins are more different at the DNA level than our two human superstars. It turns out that humans are less genetically diverse than many animals, including chimps.

In fact any two unrelated human beings on the planet are 99.9% identical in their DNA sequence. Only 0.1% varies, and here’s the most important takeaway message from all this. It also happens to be the most replicated finding in the scientific literature on human variation.

Of this 0.1% that varies, almost all of it (95.7% to be exact) is found between individuals within the same race. Despite what our eyes perceive, there is more genetic diversity within a race than between races

If you didn’t know that, don’t worry: you’re in good company. Three out of four college students taking an introductory course in biology and genetics also do not know this.

And since skull sizes are being discussed again in certain corners of the Internet, 90% of the variability in their volume also occurs within (and not between) human groups.

This is a big snag in the argument that race is a biological reality. This finding—that there’s more diversity within than between groups—is true for most physical traits, with one prominent exception: skin colour. Why? Because skin colour is under tremendous selective pressure. It varies depending on how far from the equator we are, because a darker skin offers better protection against sunburn, skin cancer and related damages. People with naturally darker skin were better adapted to their environment and were more likely to reproduce. The fact that a Maasai and an Aboriginal Australian both have very dark skin is not because they are part of the same biological race, but rather because both have lived under a very harsh sun for generations. So skin colour is not evidence of race being a biological reality.

But what about sickle cell anemia, I hear you ask. Isn’t that a disease that only affects Black people?

Race and medicine

The truth about sickle cell anemia is more complicated than that. The sickle cell trait is a variant in our DNA that offers protection against malaria. Over many generations, people who were exposed to malaria were more likely to reproduce if they had this trait, so this trait was selected for. When you have two copies of it, however, you can develop sickle cell anemia. So do only Black people carry the trait? No. While it is commonly seen in people of sub-Saharan African ancestry, it can also be found in Mediterraneans, Middle Easterners, and Indians. It is not restricted to one race but rather to many populations that were all exposed to malaria.

But there is another example where race seems to play a role in medicine: the drug BiDil, the first race-based prescription drug in the US which aims to treat heart failure. It was said to be a breakthrough for African Americans, but here’s the twist: the clinical trial that led to its approval only tested African Americans. How can you pretend your drug can only treat one race when you haven’t tested it in another?

One final argument for the existence of biological races is . . .

Continue reading. There’s much more.

Written by LeisureGuy

10 August 2019 at 10:15 am

Doppelgänger CK-6 with Fendrihan MKII

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This is the very first of the ultra-premium CK-6 shaving soaps, and I have to say the lather is remarkable. I now want to use a more recent CK-6 soap, because this lather surprised me by its richness. I’ll also use the Green Ray brush.

My Fendrihan Mk II razor, which I continue to like a lot, did an excellent job, and a splash of the Doppelgänger aftershave finished the job and started the weekend on a very good note.

Written by LeisureGuy

10 August 2019 at 9:32 am

Posted in Shaving

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