Thursday, 19 January 2012

Michael Noonan and Emigration

Our esteemed Minister for Finance Michael Noonan has stated that “It’s (emigration) not being driven by unemployment at home, it’s being driven by a desire to see another part of the world and live there.” Now pardon my language but I'm really riled up over this. Have you ever heard such bullshit in all your life? Unemployment is 14.5% leaving over 400,000 people (myself included) out of work in this country. And Michael Noonan thinks this has nothing to do with the increase in emigration. Really? If it was all just because of a different lifestyle how come emigration has only risen during the recession? How come people have to leave their partners and children behind? Is that for the lifestyle choice? How come people so desperately want to come home, if they did it for a lifestyle choice?
The hypocrisy of his statement also sickens me. His party tore Mary Coughlan asunder a couple of years ago when she said something similar.

Fine Gael have tried to project themselves as the antithesis of Fianna Fáil. That Fianna Fáil were out of touch with the real world. That Bertie and his cronies were squandering money (which they were). But judging by Noonan's comments Fine Gael haven't a clue what's going on either. It's easy to be on a six figure wage plus expenses and think that all the little people are having a grand old time of it down below. But are we really surprised by the man who, as minister for health, treated the victims of the Hep. C. scandal so cruelly and ruthlessly? Do we really expect that man to feel sorry for us, as we struggle with financial uncertainty? Do you honestly think he cares that you're missing your family and friends? Of course he doesn't because he has never had to worry about meeting his next mortgage payment. He has never had to toss and turn and wonder if he's ever going to get a bloody job. And he knows when his daughters are fed up abroad he can pay for them to return.

Let us eat cake, let our government eat humble pie!

Monday, 9 January 2012

New Year and a cure for cancer - I think not!

Apologies on the delay in writing since Christmas, hopefully I still have some of my four readers left *wave*.
This has been doing the rounds on facebook over the past week. With some of what I consider intelligent people all up in arms about how dichloroacetate (DCA) is apparently a new medical miracle providing a cure for cancer and no one taking notice because the monsters that are big pharma think it's too cheap to produce and would rather have you dying. Lots of comments thanking the powers that be on Facebook for getting this out there since mainstream media won't.
Two points - firstly don't trust anything you read on the internet or elsewhere without delving a little deeper, secondly definitely don't trust anything you read on Facebook for fuck's sake!
Anyway back to the DCA, if you follow the links from to the University of Alberta we find an entirely different story. Clinical trials in humans with cancer have not been conducted in the USA and are not yet final in Canada, emphasizing the need for caution in interpreting the preliminary results. Even the researchers themselves say that no conclusions can be made due to the small scale studies they ran, and also said that they didn't know if improvements in patients were due to DCA or other treatments the patients had been receiving. Following its initial publication, The New Scientist later editorialized, "The drug may yet live up to its promise as an anti-cancer agent – clinical trials are expected to start soon. It may even spawn an entirely new class of anti-cancer drugs. For now, however, it remains experimental, never yet properly tested in a person with cancer. People who self-administer the drug are taking a very long shot and, unlikely as it may sound, could even make their health worse. It is clear that DCA is an intriguing drug, and may become part of the oncologist's tool belt but we also have to remember that cancer is a wily little bugger, there will probably never be a 'single' cure for cancer because cancer is a set of diseases that are so diverse that the cures will also have to be diverse.
As to the Big Pharma thing - do people honestly think that it's beneficial to a pharmaceutical to keep a 'cure' for cancer under wraps. Yes they are in it for the money, do we seriously think that any pharmaceutical company in a recession wouldn't see the benefit of being the first company to produce a cure?
Sott is just blowing this whole thing out of proportion in a badly worded and factually confused article that is currently winging it's way to a Facebook page near you.