Reason Roundup

That 'Vaping-Linked Lung Disease' Might Not Really Be Linked to Vaping

Plus: delusions about the First Amendment, hype about the Apple Card, and more...

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There's a bit of panic brewing in the press over lung problems that could be linked to vape products. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) "reports more than 150 cases of possible vaping-linked lung disease," says The Hill. Others make even bolder claims.

"More than 100 vapers have contracted a severe lung disease," The Verge reports. "Vaping lung disease: CDC reports 153 cases," says USA Today. Ars Technica warns that "vaping-linked lung disease cases" have jumped "from 94 to 153 in 5 days."

But read closely, and it becomes apparent that nobody actually knows if vaping is causing this mystery disease or not. Nobody even knows if there is a disease, or how many people actually have it. That's what the CDC is at the beginning of investigating.

For now, all officials know is that states keep reporting people with cases of mysterious lung and chest problems. "Many states have alerted CDC to possible (not confirmed) cases and investigations into these cases are ongoing," says the CDC. Symptoms include shortness of breath, chest pain, and coughing—all common issues that can stem from a range of causes and ailments.

"The CDC and impacted states haven't identified a cause," notes The Verge. Nor has it actually verified suspected cases.

Those reporting the problems all say they have used vape products—albeit not what sort. Which leaves us with another possibility: that some particular faulty product or line of products is indeed causing trouble, but that this is not an issue with vaping at large.

We know that some patients in potential cases used THC-containing vape products, not nicotine-containing e-cigarettes. The Vapor Technology Association told The Hill that no nicotine e-cigarettes have been linked to the lung issues:

The e-cigarette makers' trade group called for public health officials to "refrain from assigning unsubstantiated blame until the facts are known," and said traditional nicotine-containing e-cigarettes are being wrongly conflated with THC-containing products.

In actuality, we don't know at all what folks with many of the suspected cases were smoking, nor what other habits they may have shared, such as any history of regular cigarette or marijuana smoking. We don't—and this is pretty damn crucial—even know if all of these patients suffer from the same affliction at all.

The fact that cases have spiked dramatically in the brief time since news of this "vaping lung disease" started spreading suggests we may have a different sort of contagion on our hands. Perhaps people who vape have been starting to freak out upon hearing the "lung disease" news and either suddenly noticed new symptoms (which also sound a lot like symptoms of a panic attack) or began interpreting ongoing symptoms in a new way.

Or maybe vaping is going to kill us! That's certainly possible. The point is that right now, anything is possible. And until we know more, it's irresponsible for folks to spread panic about products that have been helping many people leave more dangerous habits behind.


FREE MINDS

Ken "Popehat" White tries to dispel some of the most common delusions about the First Amendment. "If you've read op-eds about free speech in America, or listened to talking heads on the news, you've almost certainly encountered empty, misleading, or simply false tropes about the First Amendment," writes White at The Atlantic. "Those tired tropes are barriers to serious discussions about free speech. Any useful discussion of what the law should be must be informed by an accurate view of what the law is."

White tackles popular tropes like "you can't shout 'Fire!' in a crowded theater" (wrong!), "hate speech is not free speech" (wrong!), and more. "Many free-speech issues that are controversial politically and culturally, by contrast, are utterly banal legally, and the Court has offered no signs of change," he points out.


FREE MARKETS

"It's a credit card, not a 'virtual interface.' There is nothing novel about a credit card." At Forbes, writer Frances Coppola throws some water on tech-media hype about the new Apple Card and its purported potential to "disrupt" traditional banking:

A credit card is, as its name suggests, simply a line of credit which is drawn upon when using a card to make purchases. Apple's card may be fancy (and fragile), but behind it is a bog standard credit facility, just like every other credit card in the world. So the question is, who is issuing that facility?

Credit card facilities are provided by banks. Cards may be branded by a retailer, but the actual issuer is always a bank….

Apple Card's strapline "Created by Apple, not a bank" implies that the credit line is provided by Apple itself. If that were the case, then Apple Pay would be groundbreaking. It would mark Apple's transformation into a bank—and a bank of such a size and reach would indeed eat the lunch of existing banks.

Sadly, the strapline is misleading to the point of dishonesty….The card that is "created by Apple, not a bank" is actually issued by—a bank."

That's right, Goldman Sachs is behind the "no bank" Apple Card.


ELECTION 2020

  • Radio host, ex-congressman, and former Trump supporter Joe Walsh may run against the president in the Republican primaries.
  • "For Harris, the health care morass is also threatening to become an ominous symbol for why, after her surge following the first debate, she's fallen back since early July to where she started," reports Politico. "She now polls closer to Pete Buttigieg and Beto O'Rourke than Sanders and Elizabeth Warren."

QUICK HITS

  • The Justice Department sent the National Association of Immigration Judges a link to a white nationalist website post that made anti-Semitic attacks on judges
  • DARPA—you know, the group that "defends" our country by archiving and analyzing millions of sex work ads and dreaming up new ways for those in power to surveil citizens—would be the model for a creepy new "Health Advanced Research Projects Agency" that Trump is considering.
  • An embarrassing number of people—including U.S. Secretary of Energy Rick Perry—have fallen for an age-old internet hoax circulating on Instagram this week.
  • The U.S.-China trade war escalates again as China announced new tariffs on American automobiles, oil, and some industrial products.
  • Trump's tariffs and trade wars are accelerating economic slowdown that could plunge us into a recession, writes CNN Business analyst Matt Egan. The chief investment officer at Morgan Stanley Wealth Management, Lisa Shalett, told him that "it is highly, highly likely that the US economy will continue to slow down" in 2020.
  • More on the Family Tree DNA/FBI link.
  • The European Union is reportedly devoting $100 billion to encourage Euro competitors to companies such as Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google, and Microsoft.
  • If you're not watching Derry Girls, you should be.
  • Why are inmate suicides up?
  • Police in Marshall County, Alabama, are proudly testing new frontiers in the War on Drugs. On Tuesday, they arrested residents for possession of THC extraction from marijuana plants.
  • A must-read from Emily Yoffe for Reason:

NEXT: David Koch, R.I.P.

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  1. David Koch, R.I.P.

    Many celebrate his caricature’s passing.

    1. Hello.

      I shoulda known.

    2. Oh? I think his caricature will live forever.

  2. Hello.

  3. He was one of the least famous, least powerful men to be brought down by the #MeToo movement.

    But his accusers like many others got to enjoy the glory of victimhood. Small price to pay.

    1. A net gain in utility. All good.

  4. Why are inmate suicides up?

    Trump’s austerity.

    1. Criticizing the Clinton’s obv

  5. “The report added, “Non-U.S. citizens, who make up 7% of the U.S. population (per the U.S. Census Bureau for 2017), accounted for 15% of all federal arrests and 15% of prosecutions in U.S. district court for non-immigration crimes in 2018”

    https://www.dailywire.com/news/50939/doj-2018-non-citizens-7-population-accounted-15-hank-berrien

    Jeff will be by with some bare assertions to state why the above doesnt count shortly.

    1. That’s certainly worth considering when arguing about the criminality of immigrants. But it’s unclear what it really means. The fact that the numbers have changed a lot in recent years suggests the question of whether it’s because of a change in immigrant behavior, or a change in federal prosecution priorities or methods.
      And of course, if you want to ask whether immigrants are more or less criminally inclined than citizens, you really need to be looking at state prosecutions/convictions since that’s where almost all actual crimes are prosecuted.

      1. You can look at the Lott study of Arizona which Iinked to yesterday. Hint, it shows higher crime rates for illegal immigrants.

        1. Fine. I’m just interested in an accurate answer, not looking for data to support what I already assume to be the case.

        2. No, it doesn’t:

          The Fatal Flaw In John Lott Jr’s Study, and why white supremacist maggots like YOU lie all the time.

          By the way, you WILL be replaced. Get your tikki torch, you homicidal motherfucker, while you can. Make a fool of yourself, you Goddamned liar.

          1. “Make a fool of yourself”

            You’re doing enough of that for everyone.

          2. You’re doing a great job of imitating my beaner relatives. They’re just as ethnocentric and unwarrantedly full of themselves as you are.

          3. Old Mexican, looking at the link, is the argument that the small number of potentially legal immigrants are just going batshit nuts in committing crimes and making the illegals look bad in the process?

            Also, “legal immigrants who violate the terms of their visa” are, you know, no longer LEGAL immigrants.

            Good link. I suppose you think it proved your case…but you’ve been wrong before.

            1. “is the argument that the small number of potentially legal immigrants are just going batshit nuts in committing crimes and making the illegals look bad in the process?”

              No. The argument is that if the numerator includes legal and illegal alien inmates, the denominator needs to include legal and illegal alien residents for it to be a valid calculation. Not using the same standards for both renders any calculation virtually meaningless.

              And I’m not sure why you think the number of legal aliens is likely to be small. From a quick check, about 13% of the people in Arizona are foreign-born (that would include people who are now citizens), which is fairly substantial. The larger the number of legal aliens, the bigger the distortion from only including them in one side.

              1. Shush now. The proper use of statistics is now frowned upon here at REASON. What must be done instead is to carelessly take ratios of numbers in order to generate a scary percentage that supports one’s preconceived bias.

    2. Illegal aliens also have a 100% crime rate.

      Every illegal cross of the US border is a crime.

      1. According to some studies we’re all felons.

        1. Your citation fell off.

            1. So Fiction?

              I don’t commit a felony a day.

              1. Lying about committing a felony is a felony.

                So – you just committed your felony of the day today

      2. Open borders advocates like to scream out immigration laws dont count. So this study looked at non immigration crimes. So they are busy moving onto the next set of talking points which appear to be “but state laws should matter more.” Since most states dont keep immigration status on their conviction records, this is a largely futile effort, even though we do have one in depth study for Arizona with the Lott study that most open border advocates ignore cause Lott was a meanie or something like that.

        1. the next set of talking points which appear to be “but state laws should matter more.”

          No, the point is that state laws do matter more. Because that is where the great majority of crimes are prosecuted. The federal numbers are relevant, but only a small part of the picture. How is that not valid? Or am I missing the point? What do you think these numbers tell us?

        2. Open border people want open US borders [period]

          They will say and do whatever that takes. Some of them lie, ignore facts, ignore what some Americans want, and the ignore the current Rule of Law.

          Only a few open border people, like Ken Schultz, advocate open borders based on the advantages that more immigrants can bring. He also acknowledges the negatives.

        3. “So they are busy moving onto the next set of talking points which appear to be “but state laws should matter more.”

          There are around 2 million people in state prisons and 220,000 people in federal prisons. That’s an order of magnitude greater. The state incarceration rate will drive the overall rate.

    3. I remember a little while ago reading a Jeff comment along the lines of: most illegal immigrants will be handled by the federal system because there’s an additional crime – illegally immigrating – which puts them in federal jurisdiction, while U.S. citizen’s crimes are often handled by states. This system will naturally cause illegal immigrants to be over represented in federal arrest and prosecution statistics.

      If the above is true, its a pretty compelling explanation of why the statistics are the way they are. At the time I read it, no one had responded to Jeff’s comment, so I’m not sure if it was refuted. I am interested if anyone actually addressed the rebuttal.

      1. Note how no one has responded to your comment. Hmm.

        1. I’ll respond to it.

          I do not believe that a state crime of shoplifting will be moved to federal jurisdiction if there is an immigration issue involved. In fact, I’m not sure there is a federal analog for most crimes, so it is hard to see how this would work.

          What I think would happen is that the Feds would be there to pick them up after trial – having been convicted and moved to the head of the line for deportation. Of course, that depends on the state as well, since some states have decided that it is in their interest to hide these people from the feds.

          1. Is that how it’s handled definitively? If I’m understanding this right, you’re saying the person gets 2 trials – one at the state level followed by another at the federal level.

            If so, that would negate or at least make what Jeff said less compelling, considering the above link specifically excludes immigration crime from the statistics.

          2. No. Not shoplifting.
            But drug crimes? Absolutely.

          3. But we are all conjecturing. That we cannot speak definitively highlights the fact that the study cited does not clearly show higher overall crime rates for illegals. Maybe, maybe not. More information is needed.

    4. Jeff’s sock is also here! Those stats still don’t indicate overall crime rate or crime severity. If illegal immigrants and natives have the same overall rates, but the illegals are 15% more likely to fall under federal jurisdiction, you would see the same stats as above. Same crime rates but some difference in jurisdiction rates could result in this discrepancy.

  6. DARPA—you know, the group that “defends” our country by archiving and analyzing millions of sex work ads and dreaming up new ways for those in power to surveil citizens…

    That’s what they were doing on the island punching those numbers in? I really needed to pay better attention to Lost‘s finale.

    1. No, you made the right call.

  7. Trump’s tariffs and trade wars are accelerating economic slowdown that could plunge us into a recession, writes CNN-

    STOP RIGHT THERE.

    But, yeah. Shouldn’t we be cheering this news, though? As it also plunges Trump’s chance at reelection.

    1. What do we want?

      Recession!

      When do we want it?

      Now!

      1. Before reason posted this there were already compilations of all of the major media players giddily pumping a recession and its impact on Trump’s re-election chances.

        Summary: a very long clip of the “R” word being repeated many times by every face you recognize on TV, interposed with longer clips of “I’m not advocating for a recession, but this certainly hurts Trump’s chances”, followed by more clips of every face you recognize from TV saying the “R” word. Repeat for about 3 minutes.

        They’ve been cheering this on *hard*.

        I’m reminded of 1989. The press pushed “recession” before, during and well after the very shallow and brief recession – one that economists still say was primarily driven by consumer confidence. It is an old playbook.

    2. The fucking Idiot-in-Chief is trying to stare down the Chinese right before an election year when Democrats won’t even vote on his shitty Mexico-Canada “deal”.

      This trade war is for nothing but the Con Man’s vanity.

      1. If you knew as much about economics as you did child porn, you might be listened to.

        1. Liar. I bet you’re stupid enough to think that The Dotard will “win” this trade war and avert a recession in 2020.

          1. You think someone cares to be called a liar by someone who looks at naked child pics? Lack of non child porn knowledge all around.

            1. You Trump Trash have all been reduced to calling his opponents pedos. You really are pathetic.

            2. Buttplug was never banned. He just lost his password. Then miraculously found it.

              #StopSmearingButtplug

              1. #StopSmearingButtplug

                The Buttplug is clean.

          2. I hope your not a financial advisor – the recession isn’t coming until 2022 at the earliest.

            1. You don’t know either.

              Without the unnecessary trade war 2020 becomes unlikely though.

              The manufacturing index just hit the lowest level since 2009.

                1. Manufacturing sector contracts for the first time in nearly a decade
                  PUBLISHED THU, AUG 22 2019

                  The U.S. manufacturing PMI (purchasing managers index) was 49.9 in August, below the neutral 50.0 threshold for the first time since September 2009, according to IHS Markit.
                  New orders received by manufacturers dropped the most in 10 years, while the data also showed export sales tanked to the lowest level since August 2009, the data shows.,/I>

                  CNBC

                  You Trump sycophants don’t like data

                  1. You slimy piece of shit, read the link I posted.
                    Yes, the index is down by some two or three percent and scumbags like you and CNBC will claim “IT’S THE END OF THE WORLD ‘CAUSE TRUMP!!!!!!!!!!!!” just like you did a couple of weeks back when the Dow took a 3% dip from record highs.
                    There is NOTHING in your posts which are worth of anything other than a failed day trader with a coke habit and daddy-issues; did you ever pay that bet, scumbag?
                    Fuck off.

              1. A recession happens when there are two consecutive quarters of negative growth. We are nowhere near that currently with unemployment at 3.7%.

          3. “Liar. I bet you’re stupid enough to think that The Dotard will “win” this trade war and avert a recession in 2020.”

            If turd didn’t post lies here, he’d post nothing at all.
            Fuck off, turd.

    3. It certainly speaks to where we are as a nation when roughly 40% cheer on a recession because of the potential for political gain.

  8. On Tuesday, they arrested residents for possession of THC extraction from marijuana plants.

    Alabama is the isolated South Pacific island and those cops are the Japanese soldier still fighting a war years after it was lost.

    1. Excellent analogy.

  9. Radio host, ex-congressman, and former Trump supporter Joe Walsh may run against the president in the Republican primaries.

    This will get him ratings?

    1. Life’s been good to him so far.

      1. What’s wrong with this guy? Is he Rocky Mountain High or something?

  10. That’s right, Goldman Sachs is behind the “no bank” Apple Card.

    Oh shit. That will give the Apple loving hipsters heartburn. They are getting in league with the Vampire Squid if they sign up.

    1. Poor turd. Hoping to find someone as pathetic as he is.
      And failing.

    2. “Oh shit. That will give the Apple loving hipsters heartburn. They are getting in league with the Vampire Squid if they sign up.”

      Nah. A lot of those hipsters bemoan large corporations and globalization on their Ipads and don’t notice ANY disconnect there.

  11. “Ken ‘Popehat’ White tries to dispel some of the most common delusions about the First Amendment.”

    For a fascinating left-libertarian discussion of the limits of free speech, I highly recommend Reason contributor Noah Berlatsky’s piece Is the First Amendment too broad? The case for regulating hate speech in America.

    #BringBackBerlatsky

  12. That’s right, Goldman Sachs is behind the “no bank” Apple Card.

    I’ll take my Diners Club Card, backed by Master Card, thank you very much.

    1. Mastercard/Visa have free car rental insurance as a benefit.

      1. I’ve got a fidelity visa. Points go right into retirement account.

        1. Niiiice!

          Fidelity does a decent job handling investments. Part of my portfolio is with them. No real complaints.

  13. The European Union is reportedly devoting $100 billion to encourage Euro competitors to companies such as Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google, and Microsoft.

    LOL – what a bunch of fucking idiots.

    1. I’ll bet they have a plan! For maybe 5 years.

      1. They may as well stack that $100 billion on a pallet and set it on fire. I love the idea of a “united” Europe, it’s nice to take a train from Sweden to the Czech Republic and not have to stop at every border, but stupid shit like this makes it reasonable to understand why a country like the UK would say “fuck off”.

        1. Yeah, they really should have done the Schengen zone and free trade between members and stopped there. The United States of Europe was never going to work.

        2. “They may as well stack that $100 billion on a pallet and set it on fire.”

          What makes this really amusing is the lack of need for that money. If some Euro-weenie came up with a competitor, the *market* would give him all that dough without one pol ever being involved.
          Pols think running a business is like running their mouths; anyone can stand up and do it. That’s the reason they’re pols and other people make the world go ’round.

          1. They think that money is always the problem. Goes along with the anti-capitalist BS.
            It’s the same with poverty. These people are poor, so the problem must be that they need more money. But we’ve spent decades throwing money at poverty and there are still plenty of poor people. Slightly more materially comfortable poor people, but still poor people.
            Maybe the problem isn’t just that the mean capitalists have all the money.

            1. Well, that, and the fact that until you reach the point when everybody has exactly the same amount of money, there will always be some people on the bottom.

              1. Sure, but if you look at why the particular people who are on the bottom are there you will find a lot of people are there because of the decisions they make, not because of lack of money or opportunity. And also a lot of people who just don’t have the intelligence or ability to get very far, which is a tougher problem. But for the people who are poor because they don’t make good financial decisions, giving them more money is not going to help and in many cases will just make it worse.

        3. Where do you think they plan to get that $100 billion?

          Hint: Look for “settlements” with Google, Apple, Facebook et. al. for various antitrust and privacy violations in the coming year.

          The EU comes around confiscating cash every 5 years or so. It is just another way they play “protectionism” without being overt about it.

  14. Lincoln Chafee: ‘I’d Be Open’ to a Libertarian White House Bid

    https://www.thedailybeast.com/lincoln-chafee-id-be-open-to-a-libertarian-white-house-bid?ref=home

    I bet this fucker is at least a free trade, free market type unlike the Dotard.

    1. Lincoln Chafee was Bill Weld before Bill Weld.

      No thanks.

  15. Reported rapes go up in the summer.
    Ice cream sales go up in the summer.
    Ice cream causes rapes.
    Q.E.D.

    (do I get a CDC grant now?)

    1. The CDC already exists, so it may be a smart play to ply them for money but to really hit the big time, you need to talk around the idea that rape reports get more common in summer and that ice cream sales go up in summer and let the association ferment until clinicians across the country are suddenly discovering correlations between people claiming to be raped and having consumed ice cream.

      We’ve known for decades that climate change would increase everyone’s incidence of lung disease. So, really, as temperatures climb and more people vape and eat ice cream, we should just be on the lookout for unpredictable effects.

    2. ice cream could be favored post-rape treat also.

  16. Joe Walsh

    Who?

    1. No, Eagles. But it’s not that Joe Walsh.

      1. +100 , excellent.

  17. ”Many free-speech issues that are controversial politically and culturally, by contrast, are utterly banal legally, and the Court has offered no signs of change,” he points out.

    Except giving a cop the middle finger – for some reason it appears that is up for debate now.

  18. “They used about a dozen different types of devices, many of which looked like they were purchased from the street, Mr. Haupt said. None was major vaping brand names.

    . . . .

    The injured people bought the CBD products “from what they were calling pop-up shops,” said Edward Hill, director of the county’s public health department. Those vendors “sell their product and then they’re gone in an hour or two.”

    The patients told the health department they had bought vaping products from those sellers because they were roughly half the price of those sold elsewhere by licensed distributors, Mr. Hill said.”

    https://www.wsj.com/articles/vaping-is-suspected-in-severe-lung-illnesses-11566508797?

    One of the great things about being a libertarian is that we don’t need to tell noble lies–reality has a libertarian bias. There’s no reason to pretend that bathtub gin can contain bad shit that will harm you. One of the reasons alcohol should be legal is because black market sellers often go unaccountable for selling products that hurt their customers. If Jack Daniels sells whiskey that makes their customers go blind, we all know where to find them and who to sue. If the problem here is that licensing requirements are so high that they double the price of vaping to consumers–and that lets the black market continue to thrive–then the solution certainly isn’t to ban vaping. That would just increase the size of the black market. The solution is to lower the cost of licensing–maybe to zero.

    1. The solution is to lower the cost of licensing–maybe to zero.

      One of the great things about being a free market capitalist is that there are many, many solutions to any single problem and we can implement more than one. Constant social reminders of ‘caveat emptor’ and a general social disregard for those who don’t heed it don’t require any modifications to licensing.

    2. Ken

      If it can be made on the black market it will be no matter what the regulatory cost. People still brew up moonshine, grow black market weed, and cook up vape stuff because it easy and there will always be a market for it.

      It is not just about regulation or cost. Some people prefer the lemon kush, or homemade booze. Heck I have drank some of that homemade stuff couple times, hell of a kick in what my buddy makes. He is a trusted source and doesn’t sell anything just a hobby. But I think people will always do stuff like that.

      1. “The patients told the health department they had bought vaping products from those sellers because they were roughly half the price of those sold elsewhere by licensed distributors”

        Fewer people would buy from unlicensed sellers if the cost difference were lower.

        More people would buy from licensed sellers if the costs were the same.

        All of the sales would be black market if they criminalized the sale of vaping–and that would likely increase the danger to consumers that they’re trying to minimize.

        That was my point.

        1. Lot of assumptions there. I am all for eliminating excessive regulatory cost but the reason people will pay more for the branded stuff is because of the regulations and the seal of approval.

          There will always be a way to make something cheaper than the brand name approved stuff.

          So it may make some difference but how much is hard to say.

  19. “And until we know more, it’s irresponsible for folks to spread panic about products that have been helping many people leave more dangerous habits behind.”

    The vaping industry appears to have purchased a copy of the tobacco playbook . . . and a list of credulous mouthpieces-for-hire.

    1. Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland
      August.23.2019 at 10:47 am
      “The vaping industry appears to have purchased a copy of the tobacco playbook . . . and a list of credulous mouthpieces-for-hire.”

      the bigotted asshole appears to favor a panic from ignorance rather than dealing with facts.
      Which, if you waste much time reading his pathetic drivel, is no real surprise.

    2. Only an uneducated person would post a pre-freshman level ad hominem fallacy and be proud of it. What you did, there, is worse than putting your elbows on the dinner table. You’re picking your nose. It’s embarrassing to look at it. You don’t seem to be knowledgeable enough to be ashamed of your embarrassing behavior.

      1. The vaping industry has been funding right-wingers who have resumed spreading the “teach the controversy,” “too soon,” “anti-elite,” “anti-science,” and “anti-government” clouds behind which the tobacco industry hid its wrongdoing and lies for decades.

        Carry on, clingers. While you still can, anyway.

        1. “The vaping industry has been funding right-wingers who have resumed spreading the “teach the controversy,” “too soon,” “anti-elite,” “anti-science,” and “anti-government” clouds behind which the tobacco industry hid its wrongdoing and lies for decades.”

          See, this isn’t about maybe offering a safer activity. Nope. To pathetic shitbags like this one, it’s all about finding villains!
          BAD GUYS WHO RUN BUSINESSES!
          Fuck off.

        2. So, when you quoted someone, you weren’t accusing that person or their employer of being a paid mouthpiece for the tobacco industry. You were leveling a charge at an entire industry of people as if they were a cabal that is guilty of spreading lies and falsehoods about the dangers of vaping?

          All the claims I’ve seen suggest that the dangers or vaping are mostly about the precautionary principle–and not wanting to see people get addicted to nicotine in the first place. These dangers of vaping that the entire vaping industry is lying about–do you have a link to those dangers or are you just making shit up?

          1. Vaping is dangerous because when the regulatory burden runs them all out of business, people who were vaping will start smoking.

        3. So what? Is vaping a good alternative to smoking or not? Should people be able to make their own decisions or not?

        4. Weird conspiracy theorist.

        5. I’m getting this mental picture of 3-yr.-old sitting in a high chair, looking his parent square in the eye, and sticking his other finger in the other nostril.

    3. What more dangerous habit was smoking helping people leave behind? Genocide?

  20. “Danish ex-PM attacks Trump for comments on defense spending”
    […]
    “A former Danish prime minister on Thursday lashed out at U.S. President Donald Trump for his tweet about military spending, saying defense willingness is not just about the amount of money spent.”
    https://www.ajc.com/news/world/danish-attacks-trump-for-comments-defense-spending/tHMxJZ3j6990puZZirLmyO/

    Pretty sure the Japanese tried substituting ‘Bushido Spirit’ for ‘military spending’ in WWII, and we all know how that worked.
    Siddown, shaddup and pay your bills, twit!

    1. I’d buy that line from the former PM…except the whole THEY SIGNED A FUCKING TREATY SPECIFICALLY LAYING OUT WHAT THEY WERE OBLIGATED TO DO.

      If they choose to ignore the treaty, why is it so horrible for the US to do the same?

      1. That 2% is not a NATO obligation. It is merely a silly pledge by pols

        If it were a NATO obligation – the NATO budget alone would be $725 billion (2% of 36.2 trillion) – and the US would be sending about $400 billion per year to NATO – for NATO to decide how it will be spent.

        There are serious issues re non-US reliance on US defense infrastructure/capabilities – but the fact is that the US has less than zero interest in formally subordinating any of those capabilities to NATO and absent that there is no way for any of those countries to even pay for that if they wanted to.

        What the US is really demanding here is that Europe help fund American adventurism elsewhere in the world. And Europeans are intelligent enough to know that that does not mean the US will either become more multilateral in those engagements or will change our own inclination to simply blow things up rather than use broader modalities (crappy term – but so is ‘soft power’ which sounds like a pillow fight at a teenage girls pajama party).

        It is long past time that NATO either cease to exist or morph into a truly multilateral ‘collective defense’ organization.

    2. So I suppose I should avoid havarti for my grilled cheese then and stick with American or cheddar because Denmark is on the bad list now. Also those cookies in the round blue tins. Those are right out.

      I know Denmark is in NATO but wait, Denmark has an army? Who knew ? I thought maybe couple guys with rifles who get together on the weekends.

  21. Radio host, ex-congressman, and former Trump supporter Joe Walsh may run against the president in the Republican primaries.

    I thought he would just Walk Away.

    1. Perhaps he figures Life’s Been Good.

  22. “The Justice Department sent the National Association of Immigration Judges a link to a white nationalist website post that made anti-Semitic attacks on judges”

    Bill Barr doing the job for which he was selected and for which he auditioned.

  23. Defense willingness may be about more than the money spent, but their NATO commitment is 2% of GDP regardless.

    They say the rent is too high? Um . . . okay, the lease you signed says it’s 2% of GDP anyway. If you want to amend the lease, there’s a way to do that.

    1. Supposed to be response to Sevo.

  24. There’s another alternative to Facebook and Google materializing:

    [Knewz] will pull from sources including the Journal, the New York Times, and the Washington Post, as well as local papers, digital-news sites and magazine publishers. In the mix are conservative outlets like the Daily Wire, the Daily Caller and the Washington Examiner, as well as progressive sites such as Daily Kos and ThinkProgress.”

    —-Variety

    https://variety.com/2019/digital/news/news-corp-knewz-aggregation-google-bias-1203310873/

    News Corp’s issue isn’t just that Facebook and Google have been biased against conservative viewpoints in the way they serve news to their users. It’s also that they both denigrate results from News Corp’s properties–as well as fail to properly reimburse News Corp for what they do show. Regardless of motive, however, it doesn’t take the Supreme Court or an act of Congress to get a better alternative to Facebook and Google’s news aggregation. A competing news aggregator that target’s Facebook and Google specifically on the basis of bias is precisely the best solution to that problem–and one that you can’t get from antitrust law.

    1. Does News Corp still own My Space?

  25. The Dotard just ORDERED all US companies to bring their supply chains to the US from Asia/China. Market getting killed.

    Fuck the Con Man and fuck all you Trump Trash.

    1. Such an angry dildo.

      1. Buttplugger knows that the FBI is on to him, so he’s getting extra agitated.

    2. He has a plan.

  26. You ridiculous white supremacist MAGGOTS voted in a dictator:

    Trump is going to “order” American companies not to source from China

    Yea. Order. Because that’s what Nazis do.

    You stupid, ridiculous, racist motherfuckers, I hope you get EVERYTHING you deserve.

    The gloves are off, white supremacists.

    1. so no on decaf then?

    2. OK, fine. You take off your gloves, we will take off our safety catches.

    3. “The gloves are off, white supremacists”

      WTF you gonna do about it bitch? Oh yeah, cry.

    4. Swallow a bullet, OM.

    5. The gloves are off, white supremacists.

      You said that already, you stupid chollo.

  27. >>>Joe Walsh may run against the president in the Republican primaries.

    Ministry of Funk No. 49

  28. “More than 100 vapers have contracted a severe lung disease,” The Verge reports. “Vaping lung disease: CDC reports 153 cases,” says USA Today. Ars Technica warns that “vaping-linked lung disease cases” have jumped “from 94 to 153 in 5 days.”

    So, what are the numbers on mysterious lung disease among non-vapers? The numbers are meaningless without some kind of baseline.

    1. Hard to tell considering ‘mysterious lung disease’ encompasses symptoms like diarrhea and headache.

      If I’m not mistaken, Syndrome Z is the next available ‘anonymous mystery disease’ moniker.

      1. Sure it can. A hypersensitivity pneumonitis can present a lot like the flu with headache, weight loss, respiratory and GI symptoms. It makes it a difficult diagnosis. So there may very well be something or some things in the vape causing a reaction like this in a subset of people.

        Could just be a random blip but worthy of looking into. CDC is pretty good at this stuff.

        One key thing is it responds to steroids. The other is the radiology findings. That narrows the differential.

        I posted a link and post below if anyone is interested.

      2. Just to add. It may have been going on for some time. As I mentioned it is a difficult diagnosis and this constellation of symptoms is often just chalked up as idiopathic or unknown cause and the correlation is just now getting noticed.

        Still it is not at all clear at this point.

  29. Facebook announced that it was entering the dating business.

    Pretty tricky for a site that will ban you for mentioning gender. I guess you get the surprise package.

  30. As Gannett, GateHouse merge, newspaper cost-cutting persists

    Less and less opportunities for reason staff to get a job somewhere else.

  31. “Patients presented with respiratory symptoms including cough, shortness of breath, and fatigue. Symptoms worsened over a period of days or weeks before admission to the hospital. Other symptoms reported by some patients included fever, chest pain, weight loss, nausea, and diarrhea. Chest radiographs showed bilateral opacities, and CT imaging of the chest demonstrated diffuse ground-glass opacities, often with sub-pleural sparing. Evaluation for infectious etiologies was negative among nearly all patients. “

    Ground glass opacities and rapid onset of symptoms.
    Responds to corticosteroids.
    Infectious disease ruled out.

    This is a very familiar pattern. Broadly you could call it pneumonitis and sounds a lot like acute eosinophilic pneumonia or something similar.

    This probably is related to something or different contaminants in the vape products producing an acute reaction in a subset of people.
    https://emergency.cdc.gov/newsletters/coca/081619.htm

    1. Honestly this seems like its worth looking into. That’s a lot of scary words that I don’t understand, actually. Haha

      1. It is an allergic reaction basically.

  32. There’s a big problem with fake cannabis vape cartridges. I bet that’s what’s causing the lung problems.

  33. The Justice Department sent the National Association of Immigration Judges a link to a white nationalist website post that made anti-Semitic attacks on judges

    Completely untrue. This is another “niggardly” case, where someone took the term “kritarch” — Greek for “rule by judges” and decided to pretend it was anti-Semitic. It’s embarrassing that supposedly professional news organizations are spreading this lie uncritically.

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