PearlY 2 hours, 51 minutes ago on Letter - Alcohol linked to many disorders

Dr. Casebolt quotes the WHO's finding that "even one glass of wine daily can cause breast cancer".

If only people were taught the basics of statistics and reasoning!

Most people should be able to see right through that WHO statistic to ask the much more meaningful question: How often? The answer is, from one glass of wine a day, it's only a very small increased risk. Even at 2-5 drinks a day, the risk is only 1-1/2 times higher, which is hardly an earthshakingly higher risk. Compare that to the risk of getting lung cancer from smoking: A 23 times greater risk. That's meaningful.

That being said, nobody's life is likely to be ruined because they were persuaded by Dr. Casebolt's less-than-meaningful statistics to quit drinking alcohol, and alcohol really is dangerous to some people some of the time, so maybe he's even saving some lives. The worst harm he's causing is that he'll make a bunch of people who DON'T quit drinking worry about their health more than they should. So I can't get as steamed about it as SteveBody.

As for Dr. Casebolt's final question: If one of ten flights originating in Walla Walla crashed, I'd fly out of Pasco until they found the saboteur.


PearlY 20 hours, 51 minutes ago on Letter - All rights should be responsibly respected

I'm pretty sure the Founders never imagined an Internet, either, or the ability to write letters from Golden, CO, to Walla Walla, WA, that arrive virtually instantaneously. If we follow your line of thought, we should happily relinquish our freedom of speech in any format that didn't exist in the late 18th century. You first.

Ideas have killed more people than guns. And so many of them are "unnecessary", right? Why shouldn't the government regulate them so that "irresponsible" people don't propagate any dangerous ones? After all, who has anything to fear from their government?


PearlY 1 day, 5 hours ago on Op-Ed: Stronger gun laws needed to fix public-health crisis

One thing you will rarely, if ever, see any anti-2nd Amendment group explain is HOW the laws they propose would have prevented any of the tragedies they exploit, unless by preventing not only the shooter, but millions of other gun owners who are NOT dangerous, from possessing a firearm. Yes, if you confiscate all the guns now held in private hands, it is possible you may reduce the number of shootings (though not necessarily the number of murders or suicides), but don't these anti-gun-owner groups keep telling us they aren't planning on confiscation?

I can't think of any widely publicized mass shooting in the last few years that would have been prevented by the laws recently passed in Washington State. I'd really like to hear from some anti-gun-owner advocates which incidents they believe would have been prevented, and how.


PearlY 2 days, 8 hours ago on Letter - How has liberalism become distorted and hateful?

There are $5-8 TRILLION more dollars at stake for whichever party can seize power ($5 trillion more in 2010 than in 1980, plus the roughly $3 trillion more that Democrats would add to government spending if given their way. Stands to reason that the fight over a much bigger pot is going to draw more acrimony out of the participants.


PearlY 2 days, 8 hours ago on Editorial - No room for xenophobia in America

There have been dramatic changes starting in the 1940s and escalating since the 1960s in government-funded social safety nets available to the poor, with everything from Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, welfare, food stamps, subsidized housing, minimum wage levels, mandatory emergency health care, mandatory employee benefits, racial preference hiring, bilingual education, and public sector employment levels.

It's naïve to assume that people considering migration to the US today are too stupid to be influenced by the wide array of benefits potentially available to them here, and continue to be motivated only by the far more limited opportunities that were available to immigrants of a century ago? That makes no sense.


PearlY 2 days, 9 hours ago on Letter - The dangers of critical thinking

There's little well-conducted work on the question of whether "smart" correlates with "Democrat" in any strong way. But there is one interesting and well-conducted study reported at:

The primary take-aways seem to be that cognitive competence is NOT correlated with political affiliation, and further that higher cognitive competence generally only leads us to be better at rationalizing why our own views are right, rather than being open-minded and rationally considering all views. As the writer put it: "People skilled at systematic reasoning use that capacity to justify their beliefs rather than seek the truth." Congratulations, Martin, on showing us how that's done.


PearlY 3 days, 11 hours ago on No rise in mass killings, but their impact is huge

One concrete step that could at least reduce the number of casualties of mass shootings is to actively encourage those who have weapons training and otherwise qualify for concealed carry permits, such as veterans, former law enforcement, and NRA-qualified instructors and skills-certificate holders, to carry their firearms regularly.

If Chris Mintz, the brave veteran who was shot seven times while trying to stop the shooter and protect others, had been armed, the number of dead and wounded would surely have been much lower. The victims of this attack had to wait for armed people (police) to get on scene, instead of already having with them the means of defense that ultimately stopped the shooter. As the saying goes, when every second counts, the police are minutes away.


PearlY 3 days, 11 hours ago on Editorial: Mass killing in Roseburg strikes close to home in Walla Walla

Almost always related to mental illness, mass shootings were much rarer before progressives seized on them as an opportunity to abridge 2nd Amendment rights.

Now, every nutcase looking for a way to express his grievances, make his mark on the world, and validate his disturbed existence has a virtual guarantee that will happen - a guarantee, for one thing, that President Obama will leap to broadcast the nutcase's sick deeds across the world stage - if he just shoots up a bunch of people, and that the publicity will be even greater if the people are especially appealing to the media, like children or college students.

The media can't be muzzled because of the 1st Amendment, but liberal politicians could give them less to feed on. Liberal politicians COULD just express their sorrow without politicizing the issue or even treat such deaths the way they do the far more frequent deaths from car crashes or medical mistakes or other equally tragic events, but what would be the point of that, right?


PearlY 4 days, 14 hours ago on Update: Thirteen dead in Oregon college shooting

"A single death is a tragedy. A million deaths are a statistic." Josef Stalin.

About 1,205 people were killed yesterday by avoidable medical mistakes. But don't expect to read about this "carnage" in the paper or expect progressives to care about it, because those tragedies can't be used for political demagoguery against the rights of citizens protected by the 2nd Amendment.


PearlY 5 days, 12 hours ago on Editorial - Kentucky clerk can’t stay out of the spotlight

Sure, identity theft, fraud, trespass, vandalism, robbery, looting, arson and beat-downs are all OK with you in aid of the "fight for equality", but demanding an accommodation to freedom of religious expression is abhorrent. As I said, lots and lots of Democrats are fine with wide-spread law-breaking, and you apparently are one of them.