Two recent stories on ABC's national news may have done more harm than good. The first one was about drugs used for osteoporosis, stating that a handful of people (of the millions who use them) have broken their femurs. The next day they did a follow-up, to say that most people who are on the drugs are safe, but I can only imagine how many spooked patients called their doctors asking for an explanation.
Last night, there was a story that was supposed to explain how, after a 19 month law suit, it was decided that vaccines do not cause autism. This story just glossed over the facts, but included an emotionally charged interview with a mother of an autistic child who insisted that it was a conspiracy, conducted by government scientists, working for government judges, who all, for some reason, want to give kids autism.
The first story, in my eyes, failed to convey that 99.999% of the time, drugs for osteoporosis prevent bone fractures, not cause them. And the second story failed to mention that all of the authors of the study linking vaccines and autism have withdrawn their names, while the lead author of the study was convicted of fraud. Also, no mention that herd immunity is not as strong as it used to be, so the dangers of not being vaccinated are exponentially greater.
So, if you're not satisfied with Diane Sawyer's news, just come to this blog!
Friday, March 12, 2010
I am poor, so I am rich. Or, going under in order to stay afloat. These paradoxes came to mind when we did our taxes yesterday. We were shocked to find out that Arizona is giving us a $50 tax refund, although we didn't pay any state income tax. And the federal government is giving us $800 just for being poor, plus EIC, not to mention the full refund of what we paid during the year! Is this a stable economic situation, paying out lots of money to those who don't pay taxes? How long can this last? I'm not going to complain right now, being on the plus side... but I'm not looking forward to watching my money be so generously distributed to the economically challenged!
Among readers of this blog, it is decided that we believe the inch/mile/ounce/gallon system is preferred. However, the statistical significance is poor if we want to know the opinion of all Americans. Maybe we should get the census gatherers to ask the same question, and get some more data on this interesting topic.