Morning Ed: Health {2017.07.05.W}


Will Truman

Will Truman is the Editor-in-Chief of Ordinary Times. He is also on Twitter.

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112 Responses

  1. Avatar Damon says:

    H2: You know, sometimes i get an inch in there. A bobby pin works fine. It’s a very satisfying scratch. I don’t get too deep, but I’m not gonna stop. Frankly, I’m tired of this constant “zomg don’t put stuff in year ear”. Don’t make me chamber a round.

    H4: So what happens if your doctor, in his self driving car, is stuck in traffic? Or will his car broadcast a signal to have all the other cars get out of the way? And how will that exactly work when, say, there already is a traffic jam, and the self driving cars can’t move off the road because 1) the other cars can’t move, 2) doing so would cause a lane violation 3) and cars can’t scrunch up due to minimum distance specs in the self driving cars?Report

  2. Avatar LeeEsq says:

    H4: What if your doctor is playing golf and your delivered to the golf course? That doesn’t seem helpful to the patient.Report

  3. Avatar Michael Cain says:

    H8: In Colorado, there’s a surge of struggling rural hospitals being acquired by the big Front Range hospital groups. The business model appears to be (a) move back-office operations from ruralia to the Front Range where they are much cheaper to provide and (b) moderate price increases for insurers. My impression is that the price increase thing is possible because, for example, 1600-bed UCHealth has a lot more leverage than 40-bed Yampa Valley Medical Center.Report

    • Avatar Road Scholar says:

      I’m curious, Michael. Are these hospitals privately owned? Because in my neck of the plains (NW Kansas) the predominant model seems to be publicly-owned county hospitals administered by non-profit trusts.Report

      • Avatar Michael Cain says:

        The rural ones are generally private non-profits, often owned or at least affiliated with a religion. Publicly-owned hospitals were never a particular thing in Colorado, and the Taxpayer Bill of Rights (TABOR), passed in 1992, was the last nail in the coffin for that idea. Denver General had to be renamed and converted to a TABOR enterprise with a restructured budget in 1997 in order to get its revenues and expenditures “off the books”.Report

        • Avatar Road Scholar says:

          I believe ours is supposed to be, at least mostly, “off the books” as well. But I don’t believe the structure necessarily precludes the county throwing some cash at it if needs be.

          Frankly, I don’t think TABOR was the brightest idea.Report

          • Avatar Michael Cain says:

            Probably not, although TABOR hasn’t been the complete disaster many warned about. Those who predicted “If state/local government makes a compelling case for relief, voters will grant it” have largely been right.

            I suspect that what’s happening in Colorado now depends on the right mix of big hospitals and little hospitals. According to the Kaiser Family Foundation and Wikipedia, Kansas has 2.9M people, 82K square miles, and 131 community hospitals. Colorado has 5.5M, 104K, and 81.Report

            • Avatar Jaybird says:

              Gameplan for marijuana activists in states where Marijuana is not yet legal: do a quick analysis and see which will be easier to pass between legal marijuana and TABOR. If it’s TABOR, marijuana legalization will follow within a decade.Report

  4. Avatar Oscar Gordon says:

    H2 I can handle sticking a thing in my ear to relieve an itch, thank you very much. But ear candling? No thank you!

    H9 Part of me really hopes this is somebody trolling SJWs/antifa, but it’s a thin hope.Report

    • Avatar PD Shaw says:

      H9: The paper is cited 342 times, but can’t tell if citations are positive or negative, or limited to Canadians.

      Drawing on the work of the late French philosophers Deleuze and Guattari, the objective of this paper is to demonstrate that the evidence-based movement in the health sciences is outrageously exclusionary and dangerously normative with regards to scientific knowledge. As such, we assert that the evidence-based movement in health sciences constitutes a good example of microfascism at play in the contemporary scientific arena.


  5. Avatar Oscar Gordon says:

    H6 we used to use cola to clean brasswork. Coca-Cola never seemed to care about that Off-Broadway usage.Report

    • Avatar Saul Degraw says:

      But they never want to let those Off-Off Broadway people use their product!!!Report

    • Avatar Kimmi says:

      Russians use Coca Cola to clean electronics and computers.Report

      • fillyjonk fillyjonk says:

        I have heard of people using it to clean chrome on cars.

        there’s also the old childhood “science” experiment of putting a tooth that fell out into soda to see if it will dissolve. (I never did, so I have no idea if it actually works, but I always heard that the acid in cola would eventually dissolve a tooth. I did do the chicken-bone-in-vinegar experiment and it got rubbery, but not as rubbery as I expected it would)Report

        • Avatar Oscar Gordon says:

          We’d use the cola in a mix with bug juice, fill a 5 gallon bucket with it, and drop the brass work in the bucket for a day or so. They you just fish it out with a pair of tongs or chemical gloves, hit it quick with a wire brush, and rinse it off.Report

      • Avatar Troublesome Frog says:

        We had a fingerprinting product (one of the big full-hand slap sensors) in the field years ago in a very hot dry country and one of the hints to users is to make sure the hands are moisturized so you get good contact on the optics. The way the glass was designed, it was actually possible to wet the entire surface down and put your hand on it, so that’s what these guys were doing. A few things that made this interesting:

        1) We never planned for this, so the gasket around the optical assembly was not designed to hold a puddle of standing liquid. It will seep slowly into the case.
        2) The electronics “hang” from the top of the chassis, so you can get quite a bit of liquid in there before things are guaranteed to go sideways.
        3) Some people were even using Coca Cola when water wasn’t handy. Apparently water isn’t conductive enough when you’re really trying to ruin an expensive piece of electronic equipment, so adding some electrolytes and acid really kicks the whole thing up a notch.

        The inside of that device was *not* pretty when it finally came back for warranty service. I’m fairly certain the warranty doesn’t cover that type of thing.Report

        • Avatar DavidTC says:

          3) Some people were even using Coca Cola when water wasn’t handy. Apparently water isn’t conductive enough when you’re really trying to ruin an expensive piece of electronic equipment, so adding some electrolytes and acid really kicks the whole thing up a notch.

          Deliberately pouring Coke on an electronic hand scanner is quite possibly one of the most looney-tunes things I’ve ever heard of. For one, Coke is not going to help that gasket.

          But forget the ‘electrolytes and acid’, what about the sugar? Forget about what the Coke is doing to the rest of the device, the scanner is eventually not going to read fingerprints because some moron kept building up a layer of sugar on it!

          Or where they, like, occasionally rinsing it off? Like, not only pouring water on it, but giving it a scrub to knock the dried sugar loose?

          Also, obligatory: Do you want ants? Because that is how you get ants.Report

          • Avatar Troublesome Frog says:

            I think the consistent rinsing action of a variety of fluids kept a candy interface from being visible to users, but it probably was affecting the images. The system worked a bit like this, so adding a candy coating with a different refractive index should have a weird nonlinear effect–probably one that goes from unnoticeable to “holy crap, where did the image go?” over the course of microns.

            In terms of surface pollution, we found some really gross stuff from hot countries where everybody smokes. Orange “fingerprints” annealed into the sensor surface of lower priced sensors that used plastic optics instead of glass. Like Satan had eaten a bag of Cheetos and then scorched his finger onto it.Report

    • Avatar North says:

      I am genuinely uneasy about how caustic Coke and Coke Zero are but that doesn’t stop me from drinking the latter.

      I recall a case of some customer fraudulently claiming to have found a dead rodent in her bottle of Coke and Coke was like “Yeah you put that in there because if it’d been in our product for any length of time there’d have been nothing left for you to find.

      And yet I still drink Coke Zero.Report

      • Avatar Aaron David says:

        That there is a Bob and Doug MacKenzie joke.Report

      • Avatar Slade the Leveller says:

        Years ago I worked in a shampoo factory, and I had access to the QC lab. One day aa coworker and I used a pH meter to check some Coke. It was less tha 2, which means you’re essentially drinking phosphoric acid. Didn’t stop me either.Report

      • Avatar DavidTC says:

        I am genuinely uneasy about how caustic Coke and Coke Zero are but that doesn’t stop me from drinking the latter.

        I don’t want stuff that caustic anywhere near my body, which is why I had my stomach surgically removed because turns out it’s utterly full of acid, acid so strong it would burn me if it got anywhere else, acid so strong it was constantly eating my stomach lining! I mean, how was that possibly safe?

        No, seriously, this seems one of the odder things to worry about. Anything you ingest is going to be dissolved by the acid that is already inside you.

        Here’s a fun thing to think about: Water is the closest thing we know to a universal solvent. It dissolves more substances than any other liquid. If you were some random collection of chemicals that didn’t evolve on a water planet, water would be extremely dangerous to you, probably more than Coke. (Or, rather, the parts of the Coke that were water would probably be more dangerous than the other parts.)

        Water just happens to be incredibly common on this planet, so all the things we happen to make containers out of end up being stuff that isn’t dissolved by water, because we don’t really have any large solid things that can be dissolved by water on this planet, because they, duh, would already be dissolved.

        And thus, despite more things being dissolvable by water than anything else, we tend to think water doesn’t dissolve things because everything we’ve ever used to hold water (And other liquids, which with humans most of the time are mostly water.) is exactly what water cannot dissolve.

        It’s sorta the reverse anthropic principle of dissolvability: We underestimate the amount of stuff that can be dissolved by water because….on this planet, most of that stuff already got dissolved by water. Before we got here.Report

        • Avatar Kolohe says:

          To be fair, that much acid is probably not good for your teeth, which aren’t generally exposed to gastrointestinal pHs.Report

          • Avatar DavidTC says:

            Humans have been drinking wine for millennia, which can easily get down to the same pH as Coke. They’ve also been eating lemons and limes that long.

            Hilariously, for ‘enamel erosion’, Coke, despite having one of the lowest pHs, is actually as safe as any other. This is because not all acids erode enamel the same, and the actual bad acid there is citrus acid, which Code doesn’t have.

            If you actually care about teeth enamel, and for some reason hold soda in your mouth for hours at a time, the things to steer away from are the citrus based sodas. Spirit, 7 Up, Mountain Dew, etc. They might have a higher pH, but it’s the citrus acid that’s the thing that does the damage.

            And, of course, for God’s sake don’t ever eat lemons or put lemon slices in your water.

            Or, weird thought, try not holding food and drinks against your teeth, and instead swallow them into your stomach.Report

            • Avatar Kimmi says:

              whatever you do, don’t brush your teeth directly after drinking things that aren’t water. or eating sugars. (it’s not just the acid that’s bad)Report

        • Avatar North says:

          Teeth are the focus of my consternation rather than the plumbing.

          The rest of your meditations, however, were pure perspective crack and I enjoyed musing on them immensely.Report

        • Avatar Brandon Berg says:

          Note that many people suffer from gastritis, which can be aggravated by even mildly acidic food and beverages.Report

  6. Avatar Brent F says:

    This might be of interest to the site collective.

    Non-expert opinion is that this is either ignorance by a Utah practioner about how Canadian law works or grandstanding. It’s vanishingly unlikely that an Alberta court will acknowledge that Utah had any jursidiction to make this ruling:

    Canadian private international law uses a “real and substaintial connection” test for determining whether to acknowledge a foriegn judgement from Morguard. The Utah default judgment passes almost none of the tests to see if a foriegn judgment is to be considered valid.Report

  7. Avatar DensityDuck says:

    Any thoughts on the CNN “we COULD dox you but that would be WRONG” thing?Report

    • Avatar Will Truman says:

      I been trying to collect my thoughts for a post on the matter, but can’t seem to get them organized. It’s been a pretty big chunk of my tweeting for the last 48 hours, so people can get my genius take there. The short version is:

      1) I wouldn’t be sorry for this dude to get exposed.
      2) I think less of CNN for the blackmail implication. (“We’re not publishing because he’s being a good boy, and if he stops we may change our mind on that.”)
      3) I would think less of CNN if they were to expose him, despite #1, because the animating factor seems not to be the actual bad things he’s done than the animated GIF whose main sin was targeting a news organization.
      4) I think CNN just kind of stumbled into this, but between this and trying to get Trump kicked off Twitter, it’s pretty remarkable how they took a situation like this and came out of it looking kid of bad.Report

      • Avatar DensityDuck says:

        I’ve seen two lines of response to people criticizing CNN:

        A. Why are you defending this guy who is a mean jerk?
        A.1 He’s definitely wrong for having done what he did.
        A.1(a) Here are all the other awful things he’s done
        A.1(b) He deleted his post and apologized so clearly he knows he was wrong
        A.2 He should definitely be punished for doing a wrong thing.
        A.2(a) People who do wrong things shouldn’t have any expectation of lenience
        A.2(b) It’s important to punish wrong things so that they don’t get normalized
        A.3 Criticizing CNN is defending this guy.
        A.3(a) Attacking wrong people isn’t wrong
        A.3(b) This guy criticized CNN, therefore if you criticize CNN you’re like this guy

        B. What CNN did wasn’t wrong!
        B.1 CNN is a private company and can do what they like.
        B.1(a) There’s no First Amendment implication here
        B.1(b) He made statements in a public place and they have every right to respond
        B.1(c) Anonymity mostly enables abusive racist harassers anyway
        B.2 CNN has a right to defend themselves.
        B.2(a) He used their intellectual property without permission
        B.2(b) Trump is totally attacking CNN like all the time now
        B.3 They didn’t ACTUALLY do anything to him.
        B.3(a) All they did was use publicly-available information
        B.3(b) It says right there in the message that they didn’t post his info

        I don’t think any of this holds up, but it’s what I’ve seen.Report

        • Avatar Jaybird says:

          Popehat just posted his take.

          Best paragraph (emphasis added):

          I found this alarming and ugly. CNN should publish the name or not publish the name. For CNN to tell him what he should or shouldn’t say in the future, and threaten him that they will reveal his name in the future if they don’t like his speech, does not make them sound like journalists. It makes them sound like avenging advocates, and lends substantial credibility to the argument that they pursued him because he posted a GIF about them. I don’t know what they actually intended — they’ve denied intent to threaten and claim this was only to clarify that there was no agreement. If so, that could have been conveyed much less like a threat. However they meant it, this is reasonably interpreted as a warning that the Redditor must speak only as approved by CNN or suffer for it. That’s grotesque. Legal, but grotesque.


      • Avatar Oscar Gordon says:

        I just love how somehow the CNN-Trump brouhaha is a bigger deal than the fact that a mad midget has managed to actually launch an ICBM.Report

        • Avatar gregiank says:

          Well actual issues are for chumps. Complaining about the media is where the action is at. Especially complaining that the media is overly focused on scandal and trivialities, then obsessing about media scandal and trivialities.Report

          • Avatar Kimmi says:

            3 years till the tipping point, Unless We Take Action Now. That’s what one of the scientists had to say.
            How much of the news is a distraction?
            How about nearly all of it.Report

        • Avatar Kimmi says:

          yes, it is. NK is a tinpot dictator that America could have knocked over at any time in the past 20 years, saved for emergency Wag The Dogging.Report

      • Avatar Kolohe says:

        Um, I um…thought y’all weren’t doing this anymore? Talking about the Story Of The Day in the Topic Of The Day.

        Totally your house, and totally your rules, which you can decide to do with whatever you like. I like it either way.

        But I did think it was a neat mental exercise to try to fit the Story Of The Day into the Topic of the Day when one could. But not just blurt it out.Report

        • Avatar Will Truman says:

          There was a request not to throw political things into the grinder, but that was intended as a temporary cool-off move (I thought I said something like “this week”). Things do seem to have gotten better. If it’s because people thought that was an ongoing rule, maybe it should become permanent.Report

      • fillyjonk fillyjonk says:

        First, a question: is this doxxing (as in: giving out the guy’s address, cell phone number, e-mail addresses, all his online handles) or is this “doxxing” (as in giving the guy’s name, which, yes, could mean a determined person could find the rest of that stuff, but not quite the same as “here’s his SSN, and his DOB, and his parents’ names and addresses…)

        I feel less concern about the giving-the-guy’s-name than I would about a document-dump of all his info, including names and addresses of relatives (which I have been led to believe has happened in some true doxxing cases).

        That said: I tend to feel that “that which would be abhorrent to you, do not do to another.” If one agency releases information that, say, allows a person’s grown kids (1) to be harassed at college or work, then in this climate, we’ll see a spate of it, tit for tat.

        (1) could happen to underage kids but I think that would be particularly unseemly, for someone to harass someone’s school-aged kids just because that person was maybe a jerk online.

        I dunno. I kind of like being able to be pseudonymous online but I also recognize that I’m one angry person away from them revealing my actual identity, and so I try to use discretion and not be a dirtbag to people….Report

        • Avatar Kimmi says:

          Nothing like waking up to the idea that someone stabbed your sysadmin’s mother to death in her house.

          Doxxing is one thing. Murder’s quite another.Report

          • Avatar Kimmi says:

            And y’all can bear this in mind next time you hear V’s claims that “When We Do It, It’s Right and Just And Good”, in that she’s claimed that one should unmask bigots (under which category I apparently fall — I, naturally, disagree, and simply call myself an asshole for the referenced behavior).Report

      • Avatar Kazzy says:

        HAS has said he wasn’t threatened or blackmailed. CNN said what they said to make clear they made no deals. They retain the right to publish and have opted not to. The decision to do so or not is theres and is not contingent. They did not negotiate.Report

        • Avatar DensityDuck says:

          Sure is a nice life you’ve got there. Be a shame if something were to, y’know, happen to it. Maybe you wanna be careful what you say online from here on out? After all, the decision to publish your name or not is ours and not contingent on anything, and we certainly haven’t entered into any negotiations.Report

        • Avatar Will Truman says:

          He has said he didn’t feel threatened by it, but they also hold his livelihood in their hand. So if he wasn’t being threatened, he’d probably say it didn’t seem like a threat. If he wasn’t being threatened, he’d definitely say he didn’t think it was a threat. Which is a heads-we-win-tails-we-lose situation for CNN, but one of their own making. The text reads how it reads.

          I believe them when they say it wasn’t intended to be blackmail. I don’t think it was intended to be, but I think what they had planned works in a way that is functionally indistinguishable from it. If their withholding the information was contingent on his doing what they want him to do, it’s the use of making private information public as an expression of power over that person. A word for that being “blackmail.” In a general sense, if not a legal one. (And I don’t think a legal one.)

          Basically, I think CNN is mostly guilty of not thinking this through. The ramifications of their stance. And I think they’re understandably mad, which perhaps made them not see it.Report

          • Avatar Stillwater says:

            Basically, I think CNN is mostly guilty of not thinking this through.

            Not sure I agree. Publishing the guy’s name is either newsworthy or it isn’t, but claiming you know the guy’s name and aren’t publishing out of respect for his privacy isn’t newsworthy. It’s something else, vaguely if not overtly threatening, and apparently well considered.Report

          • Avatar Jaybird says:

            This is what happens when you give in-house counsel the day off on the 4th of July.Report

        • Avatar Jaybird says:

          Ted Cruz made a reference to this Georgia Law.

          The general take now floating around is something like “they should have doxxed him or they should not have doxxed him but Shroedinger’s Doxxing is possibly illegal.”

          Dude should lawyer up.
          He might get a payday out of this.Report

            • Avatar Kazzy says:

              So Vox took a side? By reporting what’s happening?

              Do you even read your own comments?Report

              • Avatar Jaybird says:

                I would say that Vox took the side of the appearance of impartiality.

                And, to do so, they had to criticize the actions of CNN.

                To tie this into something I said earlier, here:
                CNN just shot themselves in the foot. They might have just shot other media orgs in the foot but the other media orgs don’t know it yet.

                This is Vox pointing out that their foot was *NOT* shot by CNN.Report

              • Avatar Kazzy says:


              • Avatar Jaybird says:

                Which part?

                The part where Vox is taking on the appearance of impartiality?

                The part where Vox is criticizing CNN?

                The part where Vox is communicating that CNN’s actions should not reflect on journalism as a whole and, instead, talked for a while as to what Vox would have done?Report

              • Avatar Kazzy says:

                The part where you’ll talk out of whichever side of your mouth best allows you to subtly carry water for the Trumpists.Report

              • Avatar DensityDuck says:

                “The part where you’ll talk out of whichever side of your mouth best allows you to subtly carry water for the Trumpists.”

                Remember, folks, there’s people who think Jaybird is the problem child here, the disruptive troll who’s only here to argue and provoke.Report

          • Avatar Will Truman says:

            Of course, to get the payday he will have to disclose his name, which would cut against the potential damages!

            But seriously, I think the terms of the agreement have to be a lot more specific than they were here for it to be illegal.Report

            • Avatar Jaybird says:

              How much/little would it take for you/your significant other to quit your job?

              I’m thinking “two million”. A nice house in a suburb in Wyoming somewhere less than 20 minutes from a Walmart will cost somewhere around $200,000, and 3% of 1.8 million is $54,000.

              It should be possible to get 3% on your investments, right? You could live on $54k if you didn’t have a mortgage, right? Maybe get a job at the hobby store if you needed beer money…Report

          • Avatar Kazzy says:

            What property?Report

              • Avatar Kazzy says:

                Well, if Ted Cruz said it, why bother to see if it even makes sense.

                Note: Cruz is not from Georgia.Report

              • Avatar Will Truman says:

                Ted Cruz is also a politician.Report

              • Avatar Kazzy says:


              • Avatar PD Shaw says:

                He might be a better lawyer than politician.

                Edit: He might be better at law, than in getting along with others.Report

              • Avatar Will Truman says:

                He definitely has the skillsets to be a better lawyer than a politician. But his desire is to be a politician.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater says:

                If being a Senator is any indication, he’s also a pretty good politician. Especially so since literally no one likes the guy.Report

              • Avatar George Turner says:

                The Georgia Law would be difficult to prosecute, as CNN didn’t get money or anything of value from HanSolo.

                New York’s coercion statute would be much easier.

                A person is guilty of coercion in the second degree when he or she compels or induces a person to engage in conduct which the latter has a legal right to abstain from engaging in, or to abstain from engaging in conduct in which he or she has a legal right to engage, or compels or induces a person to join a group, organization or criminal enterprise which such latter person has a right to abstain from joining, by means of instilling in him or her a fear that, if the demand is not complied with, the actor or another will:

                5.?Expose a secret or publicize an asserted fact, whether true or false, tending to subject some person to hatred, contempt or ridicule;

                Kentucky’s coercion statute would be a little bit trickier. I just spent about two hours going over CNN’s case with the prosecutor I live with. He wouldn’t take any action unless he saw the messages between CNN and HanSolo.Report

              • Avatar DavidTC says:

                New York’s coercion statute would be much easier.

                It’s also…a misdemeanor. The fine is a few thousand dollars at most. CNN can pay that in their sleep.

                Although not sure why we’re using New York’s law.

                CNN is based in Atlanta.

                Presumably the offense would have to be charged either there or wherever this guy is….and there are vast practical problems with the latter, namely, that other states have no way to find that out.

                Also, parts of this law seems weirdly broad. Specifically, look at ‘Accuse some person of a crime or cause criminal charges to be instituted against him or her; ?or…’

                Under this law, it appears that if I have the legal right to do something, but you think I don’t, and you say ‘If you do that I will call the police and tell them you just did that and they will arrest you for it’, you have just, legally, committed a crime under this act.

                Note that’s not the same as ‘filing a false report’, which requires knowing falsehoods. This just says if you try to stop someone from doing something legal by saying you will accuse them of a crime, you are in violation of the law. Even if you are merely mistaken, hell, if you are basically correct about the law but, for example, the courts strike down the law…if they were behaving legally, magically, you were breaking the law with that ‘threat’.

                I don’t think you telling someone ‘What you are doing is illegal and I will call the police if you don’t stop’ should be illegal just because you are factually wrong about that thing being illegal. That’s not ‘you’ using coercion, that’s you promising to go get the state and have them use their legally allowed coercion. Presumably, if the act is really legal, the police will refuse.

                And #6 is just absurd on free speech grounds. It says it is illegal to call for a boycott of business unless you ‘purports to act’ for the group that the act or omission favors.

                This would make it weirdly illegal for me to call for a boycott of a food place [Edit: Or, rather, tell the owners I was going to call for if they didn’t stop] that refused to serve gays if I was doing it because I thought thought the owners were bigots for doing that, but legal if I was doing it because gay people want to eat there. And this appears to only work if there’s some group of people who can benefit. What if my problem is how they treat their dogs or something?

                So it’s legal for me to say ‘Do not shop there until they stop doing X.’, but it’s somehow not legal for me to say to them ‘If you do not stop doing X, I will tell everyone not to shop there until you stop doing X.’? I really don’t understand the logic of that legal distinction there.

                Surely my public statement of boycott has those demands implicitly in it, and wouldn’t we rather people attempt to solve problems in private before starting public boycotts?

                In general, anti-blackmail laws are already a bit dubious under the first amendment because they basically are trying to say that it’s illegal for someone to offer not to say something in exchange for money…which is literally how non-disclosure agreement work, and those seem legal.

                It gets even more dubious when it’s not about money, but ‘any legal behavior’, which can result in weird things, like here, where it’s somehow illegal to say you will tell other people about what someone is doing if they don’t stop doing it, but perfectly legal to actually tell other people about what someone is doing when they don’t stop doing it. That really sorta sums up the entire absurdity that is anti-blackmail laws.

                And then there are even weirder things in this law. This entire law seems a bit dubious, making me wonder if there’s some subtlety we’re missing, some restriction on how these sort of laws can work.Report

              • Avatar George Turner says:

                In your example of innocently committing the crime, there would be a lack of mens rea, which is required quite a bit more explicitly in the Kentucky coercion statute which also throws in additional snags.

                (1) A person is guilty of criminal coercion when with intent to compel another person to engage in or refrain from conduct, he unlawfully threatens to:

                (c) Expose any secret tending to subject any person to hatred, contempt or ridicule or to impair another’s credit or business repute;

                (2) A defendant may prove in exculpation of criminal coercion committed under subsection (1)(b), (c) or (d) that he believed the accusation or secret to be true or the proposed official action justified and that his sole purpose was to compel or induce the victim to desist from misbehavior or to make good a wrong done by him.

                The Kentucky statute has “with intent to compel” (mens rea) and “unlawfully threatens”. Well, can a legal disclaimer be an “unlawful” threat? Perhaps. There we’d have to wade through other statutes that would define threats, etc. We even have an odd KY supreme court precedent that to be terroristic threatening, the threat cannot be conditional (“If you don’t pay me what you owe I’ll beat you up” is not a threat, it’s a warning). That odd interpretation stems from an incident which ended in a shooting between a drug dealer and a deadbeat buyer, and the defense wanted jury instructions that would offer the charge of terroristic threatening, a misdemeanor. They appealed on the grounds that the jury wasn’t given the lesser option, and the appeals court came up with the “if” clause exception. But the coercion statute requires conditionality (change your behavior or else) and a threat, so who knows what decision would come out of that sausage factory.

                And then it offers the affirmative defense (2) that the accused was only trying to get someone to stop their misbehavior. Given the SJW’s at CNN, and how angry and focused they are, they could probably successfully assert that one. “We saw racism on the Internet! We had to stop it!”

                And it’s still only a class A misdemeanor.

                I brought up New York law because that’s where angry protesters are gathered outside Andrew Kaczynski’s house. Yes, he and a bunch of other top people at CNN were almost immediately doxxed.

                As I said, they have challened 4chan and reddit, where weaponized autism is the norm.Report

              • Avatar Kimmi says:

                4chan is dead.
                Long live Knives!Report

              • Avatar DavidTC says:

                #2 under that law was almost what I was looking for, although that ‘sole purpose’ seems a bit odd.

                We even have an odd KY supreme court precedent that to be terroristic threatening, the threat cannot be conditional

                Does the condition have to be likely, or even conceivably possible?

                Could I threaten to blow this place up unless the sun explodes in the next ten minutes? (Edit: Or ‘unless you cause the sun to explode in the next ten minutes’, maybe that would work better.)

                And then it offers the affirmative defense (2) that the accused was only trying to get someone to stop their misbehavior. Given the SJW’s at CNN, and how angry and focused they are, they could probably successfully assert that one.

                In reality, I don’t really think CNN did what people sorta think it did, I don’t think they asked him to do anything.

                I think they tracked down the post and asked the guy for any comments before they run the story (Like they do anyone), and he said ‘Oh shit. I’ll get fired when people realize this was me. Don’t tell anyone, I’ll take it down and erase all that stuff if you promise not tell anyone my name’, and they said ‘Okay’.

                And CNN just explained this really shittily in such a way it looks like they were threatening him, when in reality CNN probably doesn’t care what he does and this was just a reporter trying to be nice and not give his name, and then poorly explaining why they didn’t give his name. (Instead of the rational thing, which would have been to simply not talk about the origin of the video as if they had never learned it.)

                Or, to put it another way: If CNN actually wandered around threatening to expose who people were, they probably would issue the threats privately, instead of printing them in their articles! That’s really weird as a blackmail tactic, especially since this is a past tense thing, so they already had to threaten him privately anyway.

                ‘Sure, you already caved to my private threat and I seem to totally have gotten away with it, but let me get this bullhorn and announce in front of everyone that I have threatened you. Mwahahaha!’.

                There’s villainy, and there’s cartoonish self-defeating villainy.Report

              • Avatar DensityDuck says:

                “You just have to understand that I said this shitty thing totally not on purpose and you have to understand that I’m not that kind of person who does this and you have to understand that if I really MEANT to do the thing you’re saying I did then I’d do it totally differently” has, traditionally, not been seen as an affirmative defense against having said something shitty.

                But then, we’re just supposed to understand that It’s Different When It’s Not The Left, which, well, see what’s happening to HanAssholeSolo right now.Report

              • Avatar DavidTC says:

                not been seen as an affirmative defense against having said something shitty.

                I don’t understand your point.

                The laws about blackmail have, traditionally, been pretty narrow, because it’s a form of speech. (Lack of speech is still speech.)

                CNN has to have done pretty specific things to have committed blackmail, and I’m not entirely sure they did.

                As I pointed out, if he offered to remove the stuff and apologize if CNN would not run his name, CNN did not commit blackmail. Blackmail has to be initiated by the guilty party….people can accept all the moneys and favors they want to keep silent, they just can’t ask for them.

                At this point, information is now coming out that he’d actually removed the video before CNN even talked to him, possibly because he’d been hit with a copyright claim.

                Which makes the idea that CNN blackmailed him into it less likely. Yes, they still could have, in theory, blackmailed him into keeping it down, but to actually win a blackmail case against CNN the courts would have to show that CNN’s supposed threat was a reason that it is being kept down, which is going to be hard to do as it was ‘kept down’ before CNN even showed up.Report

              • Avatar Kazzy says:

                Stop using facts. It is much more convenient for certain narratives if we call it blackmail.Report

              • Avatar Kimmi says:

                Do you remember Geneva?
                [Classic trick for getting favors out of people in Washington. Skirting the legal definition of blackmail is an art.]Report

              • Avatar DensityDuck says:

                “I don’t understand your point.”

                My point is exactly what I wrote; that “I said this thing in a shitty way but you just have to understand I didn’t mean it the way it sounded” hasn’t gotten anyone off the hook in the past, so why now?

                If you want to say that it’s improper to describe what CNN did as blackmail because there’s a Specific Legal Definition of “blackmail” and such terms can only be used per that definition, that’s fine, but can I quote you on this when you tell me that this-or-that rotten behavior is representative of some other thing with a Specific Legal Definition?

                I agree that this isn’t something where we could expect criminal sanctions against CNN or its staff.Report

    • Avatar Jaybird says:

      My thoughts. “Oh shit. Oh shit oh shit ohshit ohshitohshitohshit.”

      CNN just shot themselves in the foot. They might have just shot other media orgs in the foot but the other media orgs don’t know it yet.

      But if Trump was having a bad day yesterday or the day before, you wouldn’t know it now.

      Remember the Mika thing?
      Doesn’t that feel like a million years ago?Report

      • Avatar Jaybird says:

        By responding to the meme in the way that they did, they give credibility to the narrative contained in the meme.

        They’re communicating that they see this as a fight in which they are “us vs. them” rather than “here’s what happened”. People are justifying CNN’s behavior with arguments like “do you want anti-Semitic tweets like the guy’s other tweets to be sent out anonymously?” rather than “yeah, this was totally a thing that happened that needed to be covered” and *THAT* is reinforcing the the “us vs. them”.

        Everybody knows that CNN is “us vs. them”.

        Which means that this is about sides.

        And the people saying “CNN said this, this, and this and said it in this particular order and deleted this paragraph and now is saying that, that, and that” are the real journalists covering something that happened.

        Oh shit. Oh shit oh shit ohshit ohshitohshitohshit.Report

        • Avatar Kimmi says:

          Calm down. Life will go on.
          We’ll always have Al-Jazeera, right?Report

        • Avatar DensityDuck says:

          It is a classic liberal blunder to insist that the thing you’ve been accused of Never Happens and then go on to do exactly the thing you’ve just been accused of.Report

      • fillyjonk fillyjonk says:

        I kinda want to joke and say “What Mika thing?” but I do remember it but yes, it does feel like it was ages ago.Report

      • Avatar Kazzy says:

        We’re at the funny part in the lash-gasm where hyperolic reactions like yours have caused someone like me who was initially critical/questioning of CNN to defend them against bullshit allegations. Well done… you’re everything you claim to revile!Report

        • Avatar DensityDuck says:

          Aaaaaaaand this is why we can’t, actually, have discussions like this here.Report

          • Avatar Kazzy says:

            Yep. Me. I’m the problem. Enjoy your bubble snowflake.Report

            • Avatar DensityDuck says:

              “Enjoy your bubble snowflake.”

              Would you prefer that nobody give a shit about each other’s feelings?

              Because I don’t think that’s what you actually want, but it’s damn sure what you seem to be advocating here.Report

        • Avatar Jaybird says:

          Good! Notice that sort of thing!

          It’s very important to notice when you are taking positions based not on what you’ve seen but based on *WHO* is arguing.

          Just don’t stay there.Report

          • Avatar Kazzy says:

            Except that’s not what I said. Nice try though.

            I’m arguing what’s being said. I’m arguing against the idea that CNN blackmailed a 15-year-old or doxxed someone or ruined all media… cuz none of those things happened.

            So instead of saying, “Yea, CNN seems to have f’ed up,” we’re saying, “Man, Trump the Smaller is full of shit claiming the guy is a teenager.”Report

            • Avatar Jaybird says:

              My argument isn’t that CNN blackmailed a 15-year-old, nor that CNN doxxed someone, nor that they ruined all media.

              My argument is that “CNN shot themselves in the foot”. By that I mean “they damaged their own credibility”. How, you might ask?

              They’re communicating that they see this as a fight in which they are “us vs. them”

              So instead of saying, “Yea, CNN seems to have f’ed up,” we’re saying, “Man, Trump the Smaller is full of shit claiming the guy is a teenager.”

              We were?

              I thought I was saying “CNN seems to have shot themselves in the foot”.Report

              • Avatar Saul Degraw says:


                Don’t you think it is kind of rich that people who spent countless hours making threats against women and minorities are now crying foul at getting in trouble for doing so?

                Seriously, why are you defending the right of people to anonymously make bigoted attacks on people? Is this a moral high ground? Why such a lovefest for the gamergater racists and sexists?Report

              • Avatar Jaybird says:

                Don’t you think it is kind of rich that people who spent countless hours making threats against women and minorities are now crying foul at getting in trouble for doing so?

                In this case, did the guy get in trouble? I thought that CNN said something like “we know who he is and reserve the right to reveal who he is if he doesn’t straighten up and fly right”.

                Seriously, why are you defending the right of people to anonymously make bigoted attacks on people?

                I’m more attacking the stupidity of how CNN handled this.

                Is this a moral high ground?

                No, not particularly. Is that what you’d like to do? Turn this into a moral argument?

                How’s this? If CNN wants moral authority, they have to do better than communicate that they are one of the sides against Donald Trump. By abdicating this moral authority, they are doing harm to themselves and to the country as a whole.

                It’s like they’re actively *TRYING* to get DJT re-elected.

                Why such a lovefest for the gamergater racists and sexists?

                This question is kind of a kafka trap (in the vein of “when did you stop beating your wife?”).

                What I was engaging in was not a lovefest of the guy CNN threatened with doxxing.

                It was more of a “holy crap, CNN just shat the bed” than an exploration of whether the bed itself deserved to be shat in.Report

              • Avatar Damon says:

                Yeah, CNN comes off real good as a net work channel here.

                Real f’in professional.Report

              • Avatar Troublesome Frog says:

                I thought that CNN said something like “we know who he is and reserve the right to reveal who he is if he doesn’t straighten up and fly right”.

                This is it. If CNN had simply outed the guy, I’d be wiping tears of laughter from my face. But this one had me scratching my head.

                The whole thing with news agencies is that they’re not supposed to participate in the story. They probably didn’t see it that way at the time. They probably thought they were going to look like they were taking the high road because of all of the controversy over doxxing people. But that one-liner suddenly turned them from an observer into a participant.Report

              • Avatar Kimmi says:

                I’M demanding that people just sit the fuck down and stop Operation Paperclip and Murdering people. And yes, I will fucking defend anyone’s anonymity when those are the consequences.

                If you’re really on the side of the people with bloody knives, I pity you. (And I thank god that I don’t have to look at the police reports)

                There are REAL CONSEQUENCES for doxxing people, including bigoted idiots.Report

            • Avatar DensityDuck says:

              ” instead of saying, “Yea, CNN seems to have f’ed up,” we’re saying, “Man, Trump the Smaller is full of shit claiming the guy is a teenager.””

              What’s this ‘we’ stuff, kemo sabe? So far you’re the only person here who’s said anything about Trump Junior, or anyone’s age.Report

  8. Avatar DensityDuck says:

    [H8] Well, of course their revenue went down. Wasn’t the point of the PPACA to reduce medical costs? And “medical costs” is “hospital revenues” looked at from the opposite direction.Report

    • Avatar Michael Cain says:

      One of the things the ACA did was reduce direct payments to hospitals for charity care and use the money to help fund the Medicaid expansion. This was supposed to be approximately revenue neutral but buy more health care by shifting things from the ER to more normal treatment channels.

      Of course, some states haven’t taken the Medicaid expansion and their hospitals took a hit. IIRC, a couple of states that didn’t expand Medicaid have sued in federal court asserting that the cut to charity care payments was illegal or unconstitutional or both. I think the case is still working its way through the appeals process.

      I haven’t read the AHCA or the BRCA in enough detail to see if they restore the charity care spending. My suspicion is not.Report

    • Avatar Kimmi says:

      PPACA reduced medical costs by shifting profit from insurance companies to hospitals. “Medical Costs” == Actual Hospital Moneyz PLUS Insurance Overhead.Report

  9. Avatar Jesse says:

    Interesting that conservatives now believe “a random dude” who wrote about wanting to stab Muslims & used the n-word about a black child deserves to have no consequences as a result of that, but ya’ know, it’s totally on every POC who sneezes wrong and gets shot 75 times by the police.Report

  10. Avatar DavidTC says:

    I have never understand how people think ear candles even work.

    Yes, that’s wax in ears. Uh, you have that part right.

    Now, do you know how candles work? The heat from the flame melts the wax, which then wicks (duh) its way up the wick and is then burned, create a self-perpetuating cycle until you run out of wax to melt.

    To recap, to make wax move, the wax has to melt first. Meeeeelt. Liquids wick. Solids do not.

    Your earwax is, and I know this is complicated, inside your ear.

    If there is enough heat to melt the wax inside your ear, there would almost certainly (Barring some weird small directional tool that could put the heat directly inside your ear, which the candle is not.) be enough heat to cause serious discomfort. Yes, wax doesn’t melt at a particularly high temperature, but light a candle, and try holding your finger at the farthest distance that the wax has melted at. Pretty uncomfortable, right?

    The wax in your ear is also touching your skin. So while you have that candle, now stick your finger in the wax. You will notice this hurts. (Notice the earwax is also touching incredibly sensitive parts of your ear, so it would be worse than that.) Note this would apply even if you had some magical way to just melt the earwax and not burn you…the melted earwax would, uh, still be touching you, and thus still burn you, duh.

    When the wax cools on your finger, try melting it back off by holding your finger over the candle. Have a lot of fun doing that without burning yourself. Or if you want to try a real example, put some wax on the tip of your middle finger, then make a small O with all your fingers and thumb, and try to melt the wax on your middle finger tip by catching the heat inside that O without burning the shit out of your hand.

    You will notice that, inexplicably, none of this pain seems to happen when you do ear candling. And that is because NONE OF YOUR EARWAX MELTS during that, you idjits. That would be incredibly painful, both to apply enough heat to cause that to happen, and if it actually did happen, it would probably hurt like hell.

    In fact, they’ve tested the heat of ear candles…at the point you are supposed to put in your ear, the heat is often below body temp, which means it probably isn’t going to melt something in contact with your body.

    I can’t even imagine how anyone thinks this works. The only single bit of evidence this ‘works’ is the crap inside the candle at the end, which it is trivially easy to figure out isn’t really earwax, because it happens when you light the thing not in an ear! (Also ears do not have tiny burned bits of fabric in them, which is what those nastly-looking black things are that everyone always acts shocked were in their ears. They were not. They are parts of the burned wick, you dumbasses.)

    But, anyway, fun fact: a few drops of hydrogen peroxide will soften ear wax, and is what ear drops use to do that. Or some people use a mixture of hydrogen peroxide and vinegar and water. Probably some people just use vinegar, I dunno. Wax is a substance that’s pretty easy to break down with things you can safely pour on your skin, so just frickin do that to your ears, duh. As an added bonus, a few drops of those cost approximately no money assuming you already have bottles of those, and involves you laying on your side for five minutes instead of an hour.

    Or some people just use hot water, let it sit in there for a minute, repeat. Wax melts at about 125 degrees, so if you take the ‘hottest water you can put your finger in without feeling like you have to remove it’ (Which is about 130-135 degrees) and put a few drops of that water in your ear, it can soften the wax.

    It’s kinda funny how we have alternative medicine idiots promoting something that not only is dangerous, but that actually can be done with hot water.Report

    • Avatar DensityDuck says:

      “I have never understand how people think ear candles even work.”

      Oh, the people who do it don’t have any idea either! But they put the candle in and there’s stuff on it when they take it out, so it must work somehow.Report

    • Avatar Road Scholar says:

      I thought they were supposed to be hollow and somehow created a mild suction effect. Like (maybe, don’t really know) you light it, which heats the air in the hollow, stick it in your ear, then blow it out, then the air in the hollow part cools and contracts causing a gentle suction.Report

      • Avatar DavidTC says:

        Like (maybe, don’t really know) you light it, which heats the air in the hollow, stick it in your ear, then blow it out, then the air in the hollow part cools and contracts causing a gentle suction.

        Yes, that is one of the supposed ways they work.

        But it is not possible to remove anything from inside your ear via suction unless you rip out your eardrum. There is no airflow through the ear.

        That’s why you have to open your mouth wide to equalize pressure, because the inside of your mouth eventually connect to the other side of the eardrum. It is also why you shouldn’t clap your hands over ears.

        I mean, I’m sure there’s some mild disturbance of the air, but if you have stuff laying around in your ear that will fall out via the extremely mild suction that a candle could possibly create, you’d probably be better off just aiming that ear downward and shaking your head a bit. Or, even better, put some water in there and let it drain out.

        Stupid ear candling is done with your ear aimed upward, and there’s no way in hell that mild suction is overcoming gravity.

        It’s sorta hilarious that it is very good that both claimed methods that ear candles work do not work, because they both would be extremely dangerous and risk deafness if they did what they described!

        Molten wax against your eardrum, or bursting your eardrum and then pulling enough air through it to break loose solid wax. YOU DECIDE!Report