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FCC Vote Marks Effort To Take Greater Control of the Web

acacia Re:Take Control? (323 comments)

These links prove nothing. The Atlantic article's graphics in fact prove my point, but they go on to conjecture by saying that because the GSE's made money, they caused loose lending standards in banks, which is BS by any measure. Fannie and Freddie had nothing to do with other banks determining the risks that those institutions were willing to take on. The bump in origination's was due to the refi boom of 2001-2003, which of course was due directly to the Fed's policies. Those policies had their roots in the deep recession that followed the dot-com bust and 9/11.

more than 4 years ago
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FCC Vote Marks Effort To Take Greater Control of the Web

acacia Re:Take Control? (323 comments)

It is incorrect to attribute the housing bubble to Fannie and Freddie. The loans they were allowed to purchase (remember, they don't originate any) were highly regulated and were substantially less risky. The GSE's saw significant erosion of market share in 2005-2008, due mostly to the securitization of Option ARM's, no-doc loans, etc. provided by companies like Countrywide, WAMU, Citi, and others which were being used to purchase ever more expensive homes.

If you are looking for organizational villians, look no further than the banks that went bankrupt (like Countrywide) and the survivors who had just enough strength and political influence to not fail (i.e., Citi) as well as ratings organizations who stamped anything that was an MBS with an A rating.

While the OFHEO response to changing market conditions for the GSE's was an increased allowance of low-doc loans, even so the market share owned by Fannie and Freddie was trending down until the markets broke and they became monopsony buyers of loans following the credit crunch. Then regulations were changed and we're back to the conditions of 2004 and before, where loans must be conforming, albeit with the revision of conforming loan limits for certain high cost markets. In a very real sense, Fannie and Freddie today are doing exactly what they were chartered to do. If there was no Fannie or Freddie today you couldn't get a refi, much less a new mortgage.

more than 4 years ago
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US Forgets How To Make Trident Missiles

acacia Ther jobs were outsourced - end of story (922 comments)

The American team packed this stuff up and shipped it off to India, they (the American) teams were forced to transition the knowledge, and then they were given 90 days to find new jobs.

The Indian outsourcer initially provided packing foam, which didn't meet project specifications. They took a second pass with aluminum cans, which still didn't work. Then as they tried to correct the problem the whole team to which it was outsourced got better paying jobs and the IP was lost. The division VP claimed victory with a cost reduction and since there were no immediate orders for the foam that couldn't be filled nobody could or would bludgeon him with the reality, that they lost a competency that was mission critical. ;-)

Yes, I'm joking. Doesn't make it untrue.

more than 5 years ago
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What the Papers Don't Say About Vaccines

acacia Re:That is impractical. I mean, impossible. (737 comments)

And second, as for your reaction to the DTaP vaccine, there is a widely known side effect of the vaccine (specifically the "P" part against Pertussis, aka Whopping Cough). We are well aware of the side effect and it is known. That is not the same as speculation about an unproven side effect believed by the public and rejected by most of the scientific community. Hmm, sounds a *lot* like the Global Warming denier community. Oh wait, but those guys are kooks, right? *You're* just being skeptical, right?

That being said, your physician is either an idiot, or to be fair, maybe this wasn't known in 1960s UK - the solution to the DTaP reaction you describe is to administer just the D and T portions and not adding the Pertussis part. Congratulations, you were not immunized against Tetanus or Diptheria.

If the reaction to DTaP was well known and preventable, but there was nothing done about it, is that practitioner acting responsibly by administrating it anyway? How reckless and irresponsible is that - to knowingly induce harm (albeit in a small percentage of cases) when that harm can be avoided by something as simple as a scheduling change and separate shots?

Knowing that practitioners have been arrogant and reckless in the past regarding a certain subject does not inspire confidence in their recommendations on that subject in the future. Hence the discussion around this subject we have today. If medical practitioners as a group have acted in a way that reduced their credibility to near zero it is their own damn fault that they have opened themselves up for anyone to comment credibly.

Relative to "unproven side effects", well, let me offer this. Speaking from personal experience, my brother Patrick (born in 1968) also almost died from the DTaP vaccine. He experienced seizures and a high fever within a day after receiving the DTaP vaccine. In the week following that vaccine these seizure recurred, and he subsequently started to show autistic behavior. In his case, he grew up severely mentally retarded. He has never developed mentally beyond that of a two year old. He can only say a couple of words, literally cannot wipe his own bottom, and has been a tremendous challenge for my parents, my brothers, and quite frankly for me.

Personally, I too have had some, but smaller, reactions to vaccines. I experienced a high fever and weird sleepwalking incidents immediately after receiving a booster shot in high school. I have no recollection of the event - my mother told me about it afterward.

So don't tell me that there's no connection. Bullshit. A connection exists and I've experienced it in a very, very personal way. The science just has not yet caught up with reality.

I will only know my brother as the retarded brother. I will only know the embarrassment and difficulty of having my brother the way he is. The way this condition impacted my life is very negative, and very emotionally draining even to write this - years separated from my direct contact with him. To hear your cavalier response relative to side effects and separation of shots makes me want to reach through the screen and punch you. You'd never cut it as my doctor. If they knew they should separate these shots, why didn't they? If they are not separate now, why not?

The response to those rhetorical questions invariably boils down to doctors did not know everything back then, but they know more now. I will grant you that you know more now, but you still do not know everything around the topic. What you prescribe now may have its own side effects, but your calculus ultimately discounts that. It ultimately boils down to what is most cost effective and least effort for the broadest population. To me, with what I have lived with, and what I hope for my children, that is unacceptable. There certainly is the need to approach this issue at the macro level, but as the parent of a patient (two of them, soon to be three) I only care about my children, and your calculus is biased toward the broader population and your personal compensation. I don't fault you for either, of the latter, BTW - but it also means that your recommendations don't necessarily align with my children's best interest.

So given my personal and family history with vaccines, should I give them to my children? Is an allergic reaction to certain vaccines hereditary? On fathers side, mothers, side, both, skipping generations, etc?

YOU DO NOT KNOW. Modern science does not know. So we as parents and our pediatrician have to make that decision ourselves. And I am not willing to make my children part of a science experiment.

My children will ultimately be vaccinated, but on a delayed schedule, when we hope they are not as developmentally vulnerable. They will receive vaccines as individual shots, not in groups. That is the best compromise I can strike given my families personal experience with vaccines, discussions with our pediatrician, and what my mind processes as scientifically relevant and statistically probable.

Maybe when we see better research on alternative immunization programs (such as that upon which my family has decided) we can, collectively, put some of the questions around this issue to bed. But don't tell me that the cookie cutter approach of today is the only way and 100% correct. It was not correct for my brother, for me, and for many others.

more than 5 years ago

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