Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Letter to Thom:

Dear Thom:

Hello again. Unfortunately I have had only a few chances to listen to you.
But I did buy your book. I am so busy with studies I am not sure if I will have time to read all until January, but I do look forward to reading it.
I am sorry about your father.

After looking at what happened today, I again think that you need a conservative admin to balance out your leadership. I volunteer because I am sure I will be able to work well with not only Bill but also Sue. Which the latter I enjoyed always discussing with, and her classes are very interesting also.

One of the things that is very hard for me is that people are still talking about me in disparaging ways without a way to defend myself or to even explain myself.

But I think that you do have a problem with at least one poster. And that is Ren. While I don't want him banned but he has continually baited members by calling them about anything imaginable including now INFLATABLE COCKROACHES.
Since I do not have the grace of your forum, I have posted about some of the most egregious transgressions:
So this brings up another issue. I have always been respectful and hospitable to your new members to the board. Even welcoming them when I have a chance. But Ren has shown a total disrespect to any member that has shown any semblance of being conservative. So if you are desiring to have a diverse forum that any point of view can come and discuss the issues of the day then this kind of behavior by some of your members will not be beneficial.

And this is why I am asking multiple times to have my banning rescinded. After looking at many blogs/forum and boards, I think you have the best one out there for diverse points of view with people that do look into the issue more than just a glancing look.

Your members read more and gather their information from very diverse sources. Which has added to my collection also.

Ronald Rutherford
Your devoted member.

Lancet II/Should we trust this Report?

I hope to add more to this post later but for now a couple of quotes of note:

1. "Estimates of deaths in Iraq all suggest that the death rate has risen since the invasion. But they have been much lower than the latest figure. Iraq Body Count, a left-leaning website that compiles deaths from media reports, quotes a maximum of just under 49,000. US government officials have given figures of 30,000-50,000. And a household survey, conducted in May 2004 by the United Nations and published last year, concluded that the war had caused at least 18,000-29,000 deaths, mostly from violent causes. The only privious estimate of the same order of magnitude is a fugure of around 100,000 excess deaths in the first 18 months of the conflict, published in 2004 by Gilbert Burnham and his colleagues at John Hopkins University in Baltimore (L. Roberts et al. Lancet 364, 1857-1864;2004), the same researchers who are behind the new work."

Yes no coincidences here!!!
2. Yet despite the weakness of other measurements, the new figure has surprised researchers. Perhaps the most significant concern is the baseline rate for pre-invasion death reates used in the new study. The latest survey, which included questions about the situation before the invasion, put this at 5.5 deaths per 1,000 people per year, in line with figures on Iraq from the US Census Bureau. Iran, which has a well-run health system, has a similar rate, but Iraq was at the time suffering from years of sanctions. Some sources, including the United Nations Population Division, list a pre-invasion figure of 9.7

This is very important issue if the base rate was too low then Lancet is giving too much weight to EXCESS deaths.
The discrepancy does not invalidate the new result, and if the researchers underestimated the pre-war death rate, it's possible that they may have also underestimated the post-war rate. But some researchers say the paper should have been addressed the issue. "There should have been more intropection," says Beth Osborne Daponte, a demographer at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburg, Pennsyvalia. "That increased my discomfort."

Yes my discomfort also and maybe a touch more. But I think it is a more serious problem than just saying well they could have undercounted the post-war death rate. If the data was faulty to begin with then we can never know about pre or post death rates accuracy. And just because one is underestimated, does not signify that the other should also follow suit. As time drags on there is a tendency to forget or loose documents from the oldest data points. So that cavalier explanation does not hold water for me.
Other researchers share that discomfort. Debarati Guha-Sapir is director fo the Centre for Research on the Epidemiology of Disasters in Brussels, She has some methodological concerns about the paper, including the use of local people-who might have opposed the occupation-as interviewers. She also points out that the result does not fit with any she has recorded in 15 years of sudying conflict zones. Even in Darfur, where armend groups have wiped out whole villages, she says that researches have not recorded the 500 predominately violent deaths per day that the Johns Hopkins team estimates are occurring in Iraq.

So are we to believe that there is more deaths happening in Iraq than any other trajedy since the Pol Pot regime? Of course this is convenient for those that want to attack the idea of the freeing of Iraqi people from a dictator.
Some, such as Daponte, would have liked the authors to have better addressed their method's shortcomings before releasing a result with such political impact.

Yes they had to release it 3 weeks before an election. They say they wanted it debated which is a fair thing to say, but then you release it 6 months before the election and then follow up with the final draft report and supporting documentation later. Now we just have a summary and supposedly a complete report will come out later. So are we are to evaluate this without all the information before an election? Although I doubt that we will ever have the complete raw data report.
Burnham says he would now like to study patterns of migration in Iraq and the state of the health system. He would also like to estimate deaths based on a sample 4-5 times bigger than that used so far. But survey teams are in danger on the streets of Iraqi towns, and Burnham doubts whether the need for more detailed data justifies the risk.

I can sympathize with the risk, but then does this make it right to produce results with such wide margins that is known to stir up emotions? And for the next two years we will hear the 655,000 killed by USA, which is not the truth.

655,000 War Dead?

Monday, October 16, 2006

Letter to Bill:


Hello again.
I think that if you were looking at the situation objectively, then you would conclude that many people on Thom Hartmann's board are not respectful of other members. And many of the transgressions have been brought to your attention. So I wish to include some more to your list.
Is one example of how Ren attacks newcomers to the forum before they are even welcomed into the group. I have seen this same pattern by Ren before of PERSONALLY attacking newcomers when they may look like they are conservative. Even for myself I was personally attacked by Ren for no apparent reason (as well as Sunrise).

But one quote from above link, I want to include here also:
"Once again, I don't have a clue to what you are trying to say. Would you like a link to a site that can give you some insight into malignant self love, narcissistic personality disorder, or some such? Might be helpful. Can't think of anything else at the moment."

Antifascist has also said a lot of derogatory things about me even after I no longer have access. Why?

Ronald Rutherford

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Open letter to Thom (II)

Hello Thom:

I have been busy preparing for my written exams for the last two weeks.
So today I want to bring out a couple of more points on behalf of my situation.
First: since I have been banned, I have been disrespected by board members without the ability to 'defend' myself. Usually former members are given the respect since they can no longer state their postion or reasons. I feel this is unfair for my reputation. Just as you present yourself as who you truly are, I have not hidden behind psuedo names.

Secondly, I feel that I would gain immensely by being allowed back as a member. I don't think I have learned nearly all that I can as an individual from your board and the environment there. If we both believe that individuals need environments where they can grow as better citizens, then I think your board is the best place that I can do that development. If this means I need to change then so be it.

Thirdly: since the new upgrade on software allows individuals to 'ignore' others, then I see no problem with being allowed back since people can choose to ignore me all they want.

Fourthy, asking for reconsideration two to three months is too great of a punishment even if I did what I was accussed of.

Fifthly, many people actually want me back on the boards. I know that it comes from mostly conservatives, but still people like me. ;>

So I would appreciate if you would reconsider your position in regard to my banning.

Ronald Rutherford

October 7, 2006