Daily Archives: June 23, 2014

Ehrhard and hunting

The Sturbridge Villager published my letter to the editor. See page 10 at the previous link.

To the Editor:

Thank you for printing the valuable letter by James P. Ehrhard.

What Ehrhard does not seem to realize is that people he describes out here for whom “guns are a central part of the lives of these citizens” are the ones that scare the living daylights out of me.

The fright comes exactly because I have some of these people in my own family. That is how I know that there are life-long hunters who are unaware that you are not allowed to hunt on Sunday.

I wouldn’t dare walk very deeply into the woods in any part of Sturbridge because I know these people are out there. I can hear their guns from my house.

I am glad that Ehrhard made it perfectly clear what type of a person he is before I go to the voting booth in November.


Not all of us out here have a lot of faith that there isn’t at least one gun nut among all the sane gun owners. Maybe that’s why we favor a school resource officer in our schools. See my previous post Armed School Resource Officers May Have Prevented a Mass Shooting at Oregon High School.

Study links autism to pesticides

The Daily Kos has the story Study links autism to pesticides, I’d like to know if Monsanto funds the antivaxxers now.

The Daily Kos bases a lot of their story on the report from The Fresno Bee UC Davis study links autism to pesticides.

A new study released today suggests pregnant women who live near agricultural fields where pesticides are sprayed are at increased risk of having a child with autism.

The UC Davis MIND Institute published the article UC Davis MIND Institute study finds association between maternal exposure to agricultural pesticides, autism in offspring.

The Daily Kos article adds some information about organophosphate from the Office of Medical and Scientific Justice, whatever that is, from the article What Are Organophosphates? (And Why Are They So Deadly?).

Organophosphates kill because they interfere with the nervous system of both insects and humans. They inhibit an enzyme called acetylcholinesterase. Under normal conditions, acetylcholinesterase sends chemical signals to halt nerve impulses at appropriate times. When the acetylcholinesterase enzyme is disturbed, neurological overstimulation occurs, leading to nervous system dysfunction, causing seizures and death.

Acute exposure can be observed through symptoms of nausea, twitching, headaches and trembling. Most people die because of an inability to breathe. The diaphragm goes into paralysis, convulsions overtake and death ensues.

Long term exposure to these insecticides produces developmental effects including behavioral problems and receding cognitive function, most notably attention deficit.

Not only do organophosphates disrupt the neurons in the body, but they also wreak havoc on the endocrine system. In time, exposure to these chemicals reduces testosterone levels, eliciting femininity in males. Male fertility may be destroyed altogether.

People who have read some of my posts before may start shouting, “Correlation does not mean causation.” Ture, but this is how a scientific study may try to get a handle on that problem.

The risk of autism decreased the farther the pregnant women lived from where pesticides were sprayed, the report said.

If you read the various articles at the links above, there is discussion of the limits to the research and the need for further study. However, I see evidence of enough scientific rigor here to believe that these people are doing a serious scientific study. They seem to be really trying to understand the causes. They don’t seem to be merely pursuing a political agenda. Since I do not know the source of funding for this research, there is always the chance that I will be proven wrong about the impartiality of the research.

Bill Maher on how we cannot change Iraq

The Daily Kos has the article Bill Maher on how we cannot change Iraq.

Quoting Bill Maher, they have:

And finally, New Rule: Now that Iraq is falling apart again, someone needs to drill it into the American psyche that broken nations are a lot like broken people — you can’t fix them.

You can skip the first 3½ minutes of this almost 8 minute video, but that last part is worth its weight in gold.

Chris Matthews schooled by Elizabeth Warren on politics and the Democratic message

The Daily Kos has the article Chris Matthews schooled by Elizabeth Warren on politics and the Democratic message.

This video seems to start a little before the video in my previous post. See Thoughts On Handling A Bully On TV. However, this video has been edited to cut out a lot of the Matthews blather and give more time to Elizabeth Warren’s response.

As I suspected even when I posted that previous post, there may be more to the story than what I saw. Neither video alone is an accurate picture of what happened in the interview. I guess one of the answers to handling a bully is to have your own video editor. Since I haven’t wasted my time watching the whole interview, I don’t know how Elizabeth Warren ever got Matthews to shut up for a moment so she could talk.

Cheney doesn’t want to talk about ‘what happened 11 or 12 years ago’

The Rachel Maddow Show blog has the article Cheney doesn’t want to talk about ‘what happened 11 or 12 years ago’.

In “Monty Python and the Holy Grail,” there’s a scene in which John Cleese’s Sir Lancelot, certain he’s doing the right thing in behalf of a damsel in distress, storms into a castle during a wedding party, indiscriminately slaughtering most of the guests with his sword. The castle owner, eager to curry favor with Lancelot, urges the survivors to let bygones be bygones.

I thought that seeing the scene would have to be better than reading about it.

Maybe here is a case where a picture is not worth a thousand words.