[ RadSafe ] Re: Radiation Hormesis

Steven Dapra sjd at swcp.com
Sun Dec 30 21:06:06 CST 2007

Dec. 30

(With comments interspersed.)

At 11:46 AM 12/30/07 -0800, John Jacobus wrote:
>No, it does not have to all or nothing, and that is the point.  Ours is a 
>nation of laws, some of which may or not like.  Nevertheless, our society 
>functions.  It is easy and "fun" to take shots at regulators, but they are 
>performing a government duty that was given to them by Congress and the 
>Administration.   If you feel overburden, then maybe you should seek 
>employment elsewhere.

         I don't consider it "fun" to take shots at regulators.  I try to 
confine myself to stating the facts.  Technically you are correct in saying 
the regulators are performing a duty that was given them by 
Congress.  Congress does not perform adequate oversight over the agencies 
it establishes, and hence lacks even an adequate understanding of what the 
regulatory agencies are doing.  The Executive branch is interested in 
gaining more and more power, so naturally it is pleased at the duties it is 
itself performing.

>  (I think it is interesting that some of the comments indicate that much 
> of the problems began in the 1970s during the Nixon administration and 
> his attempt to establish an all-powerful Executive Branch.)
>"The Jungle" may be a work of fiction, but it is based on fact.  The fact 
>that Upton Sinclair was a socialist 
>has nothing to do with the facts that these conditions existed.  Of 
>course, maybe citing that he and Spargo 
>are socialist is to divert attention from the fact that what they fought 
>for has made us a better society.  (It is a common tactic to give a person 
>a label, e.g., liberal, to disparage the person making the argument.  It 
>reduces the amount of thinking required.)

         As Socialists, Sinclair and Spargo wanted to increase the size and 
power of government.  Hence, the muckraking novels that they wrote.  The 
authors had good reason to believe their tales would lead to government 
regulation.  My chief objection is to *Federal* regulation.  States and 
municipalities should have stepped in and done the regulating, not the 
Federal government.  The Feds have no Constitutional mandate to perform 
such regulating.  (Qualifier:  Spargo's book may not have been a novel.  I 
do not know.)

>  Obviously, issues such as child labor and unsafe drugs are old 
> issues.  But are there new 
> issues.  Try<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nickel_and_Dimed>Nickel and 
> Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America by Barbara Ehrenreich.  Consider 
> the current mortgage issues, one of the points of this book is that 
> housing and not food is a significant problem for the working 
> poor.  Maybe we need a really good muckraker (socialist or not) to throw 
> some light on the awarding of no-bid contracts the the Defense Department 
> handed out.  I think many have become too complacent and wrapped in our 
> own lifestyle to see how some of our fellow Americans are doing.

         I can easily go along with what you say about the problem of 

>  I am a firm believer in reading history.  However, history does not 
> repeat itself, historians do.  Rather, history lays out the existing 
> conditions of the times, and the consequences of the choices made.

         History *does* repeat itself.  Read a history of the British 
mis-adventures in Iraq in the 1920s.  There are uncanny parallels between 
what happened to the Brits in Iraq then and what is happening to the US 
today.  ("Inventing Iraq" by Toby Dodge; Columbia U. Press)

>  Back to your question, even though the subject line does not indicate it 
> as such.  Animal testing has certain flaws, but it has its place in 
> medicine 
> <http://whyfiles.org/064angio_cancer/3.html>http://whyfiles.org/064angio_cancer/3.html 
> and scientific research,  and certainly has a long history. 
> <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Animal_testing#History>http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Animal_testing#History 
> However, one of the biggest corundum is how to effectively evaluate 
> cancer risks in humans, not animals.  Some suggestions included the use 
> of biological markers to identify alterations in cell cultures, but it 
> think that this avoids the use of animal and may not be an effective 
> means to evaluate risks to humans.  With regard to regulations of risk, 
> efforts such as the Delaney Clause 
> <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Delaney_clause>http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Delaney_clause 
> was one attempt to bring science into the regulatory process.  In this 
> case, it was more than a regulation factor as the DeLaney Clause was a 
> legislatively law, that only can be changed by legislation. (Am I right Syd?).

         One of animal testing's flaws has to do with the wisdom and 
prudence of extrapolating its results to humans.  Read Edith Efron's book 
and the references cited therein.  The fact that animal testing has a "long 
history" proves nothing.

>I would also like to point out the radiation exposure regulations are NO 
>based on animal studies.  Current regulations are based on the Hiroshima 
>and Nagasaki studies.

         True again.  You would probably acknowledge that there are some 
legitimate differences about the applicability of the H and N studies to 
occupational, medical, and low-level (background) exposure.

Steven Dapra

>Steven Dapra <sjd at swcp.com> wrote:
>Dec. 28
>         Does it have to be all or nothing?  All but anarchists will 
> acknowledge the need for some government.  The debate should be about the 
> amount we need.  My guess is that we could easily get by with a lot less 
> than we have now.  It doesn't have to be Federal either.  State 
> governments should be regulating most of this stuff, not the Feds.
>         I have read "The Jungle," thank you, and although it may have 
> some basis in fact, it is a work of fiction.  "The Jungle" initially 
> appeared in serial form in a socialist journal.  Upton Sinclair, its 
> author was a socialist, and was a founder of the Intercollegiate 
> Socialist Society, later known as the League for Industrial 
> Democracy.  Until you mentioned it, I had not heard of "The Bitter Cry of 
> [the] Children."  According to the Univ. of NM's online library catalog, 
> it is about child welfare and child labor, the author is John Spargo, and 
> the title takes the definite article.  According to Wikipedia (yes, I 
> know about Wikipedia's shortcomings) Spargo was a British socialist; and, 
> like Sinclair, Spargo was a muckraker.  He came to the United States in 
> 1901, became a leader in the Socialist Party of America, and wrote an 
> early English-language biography of Karl Marx.  According to Wikipedia he 
> became "wealthy" off his books.  That's a good one --- a wealthy 
> Socialist.  And so it goes.  Oddly enough, Spargo opposed the New 
> Deal.  Why are you using 100 year old books by Socialist muckrakers to 
> make points about what is happening today in the US of A?
>         By looking on Amazon.com, I found that Markku Ruotsila, an 
> Adjunct Professor of American and British History at the University of 
> Tampere, Finland, has written a biography of Spargo (John Spargo and 
> American Socialism).  According to a brief description of the book on 
> Amazon, Spargo was "a key popularizer of evolutionary socialism in the 
> Socialist Party of America in the early twentieth century."  Also, says 
> the description, he was "one of the earliest forerunners of 
> neoconservatism."  (That's what it says.)
>         As I pointed out in another posting in this thread, appealing a 
> regulatory decision is expensive and exhausting.  Furthermore your 
> polemic has nothing to do with whether or not a substance that causes 
> cancer in animals will also cause cancer in humans.
>Steven Dapra
>At 05:55 PM 12/28/07 -0800, John Jacobus wrote:
>>Yes, there are certainly problems with over-regulation.  Consider how 
>>much better it would be if there were no drug regulations, or drinking 
>>water standards, or regulations on aircraft safety, etc.  Think of all 
>>those jackass regulators who would have nothing to do, and how much 
>>better a society we would be. If you wanted to dump oil into the ground, 
>>go for it.  You don't have to worry about who drinks it.  What would be 
>>great is to eliminate things like fire codes and child labor laws.  We 
>>could certainly eliminate labor costs of manufacturing.

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