Russian Hack Investigation

Former Presidential Candidate Hillary Clinton seems to want to end her biggest run of her life with the biggest lie of her life. Mrs. Clinton started with an attack towards rival Donald Trump alleging that he is spreading conspiracy theories and smearing our election process (which is true) – but now she is claiming that her shady emails where leaked by Russia. She came up with this theory quickly after the emails were leaked – making the election all the more juicy. The biggest let down from this whole conspiracy is that we, the voter, have never heard any proof. Even the electoral college members wanted a briefing before they voted, and received none. So is there any truth behind the Russian Conspiracy?

Lets recap. Beginning in the Democratic Primaries, emails from the Democratic National Committee and Clinton were leaked to Wikileaks. The topics of the emails are dark, and shady ranging from racist comments to actually conspiring against Bernie Sanders to ensure Clinton’s victory. Even though the emails were legit, Hillary and the DNC cried fowl. So it seems that you can be corrupt and vindictive as long as it is in an email.

Fast forward past Clinton’s and Trump’s victory and more emails are released revealing the sinister workings of the Democratic party. And just as Trump can do anything without blame, Clinton avoided any blame for her emails because she alleged that the Russians hacked her – no mention of her private email server where anyone could probably hacked and no mention of the possibility that a DNC staffer or a Bernie supporter might have leaked the emails (Imagine that person watching the news as everyone thinks Russia leaked the emails). No, Clinton went straight to a Cold War era conspiracy – and now everyone is buying into it without any sort of evidence. No one seemed to make much noise over the claim until Hillary actually lost – then half the country, including President Obama and government agencies started investigating.

Now, imagine for a moment: half the country, the White House, and the FBI and CIA are trying to find proof – and trying to bar Trump from the White House. If this sort of power found evidence of Russian hackers, wouldn’t it benefit them and be a huge moral responsibility to notify us? What are they waiting for? Just recently, the CIA director John Brennan reported, “Earlier this week, I met separately with FBI [Director] James Comey and DNI Jim Clapper, and there is strong consensus among us on the scope, nature, and intent of Russian interference in our presidential election” Both directors and agencies refused to comment on that report. But is there a better time to come our and stop Trump than today? Today is that last chance with the Electoral College voting.

Not only did the Electoral College voter beg for a briefing on the Russian investigation, but Trump, and Wikileaks, and Russia, and half of America is begging for some sort of evidence. Wikileaks even offered to host the evidence, “Obama should submit any Putin documents to Wikileaks to be authenticated to our standards if he wants them to be seen as credible” Russian Presidential Spokesman Dmitry Peskov said it was, “indecent of the United States to groundlessly accuse Russia of intervention in the US election campaign” Mr. Peskov continues, “They should either stop talking about that or produce some proof at last. Otherwise it all begins to look unseemly”

Yes, there seems to be some friendship between Trump and Putin – but Trump has dozens of other foreign friendships just as capable to hack into emails. And yes, there is no doubt Putin would rather have Trump in the White House than Clinton. But that has no bearing on if the claim is true. I, and any reasonable reader want to know what really happened. Maybe someone needs to hack their emails to figure what is going on in our own country. Any claim asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence – and I hope we see some evidence soon.

Now, I am posting this as my last post of the year as I take an hiatus over the holidays. So if it comes out that Russia really did hack the DNC emails – I will be the first to admit that. But keep in mind, whoever hacked the emails, Clinton and the DNC still said all those things. They really conspired against members of their own party. They still betrayed and miss presented their own voters. And Clinton still challenged our election system without revealing her proof.

be on the look out for one of two possibilities: it is proven that Russia has hacked our election, or Clinton is a liar. If the trend proves consistent – it is far more likely to be the later of the two.


Do Vaccines Cause Amish?

“Vaccines cause autism” – this myth is so absurd that even the most credulous don’t even believe it. But that does not stop those who tend to believe despite real evidence to the contrary. In addition to this blatant lack of critical thinking, the Vaccine cause autism group has made up their own evidence to support their claim. Many groups have used fake Amish studies to prove that vaccines cause autism by stating there are no autistic Amish. If this is true, then they may have a shred of evidence to support their anti-scientific, anti-health, anti-children rhetoric. But of course it is not true.

The claim began to pick up steam when reporter, Dan Olmstead conducted a pitiful excuse for a survey in a predominately Amish community in Pennsylvania. In the study, Olmstead foolishly claimed that out of everyone in Lancaster County, he could only find three children with autism and that two of those children were vaccinated.

A local woman told me there is one classroom with about 30 “special-needs” Amish children. In that classroom, there is one autistic Amish child. Another autistic Amish child does not go to school. The third is that woman’s pre-school-age daughter. If there were more, she said, she would know it.

The most fallible part of this anti-scientific “study” is that it relies on two false assumption that the Amish do not vaccinate their children and that the Amish do not get autism. Although they are lower than the average, the Amish do actually vaccinate their children. And, unfortunately, the Amish do have autism within their population anyway of a rate of 1 in 271 in a study confuted by the International Society of Autism Research.

The article that spurred me to write about this myth is a recently published article by snopes – but this is a battle of wits that has been raging for a few decades now. The unfortunate part of this battle of wits the vaccine – autism appears to be unarmed – how do they still seem so adamant?  I think the answer lies in human nature. We have a basic need to believe things we do not understand. It is the way children learn from their parents – it is the way people communicate dangers. Like in Micheal Shermer’s book Why People Believe in Weird Things, people have a need – even an evolutionary one – to believe without investigating evidence.

Some can escape the need for evidence by fabricating their own. Just like Olmstead above, people will try to justify their credulity with fake studies and even sourcing youtube videos like fellow blogger, the “Anti-Vaccine Scientific Support Arsenal”. Here is an example where someone will deny evidence specifically to promote their own cause. It makes one wonder what it would take to convince these people other wise – Can they change their mind when provided evidence, or has their brain rot infected their critical thinking faculties that much?

There shouldn’t be a need for it, but extensive research has been pumped into the study of the autism-vaccine correlation. At every turn, the answer is there is no relation between vaccines and autism. I would be unfair if I did not provide at least a little support for the other side, so before I post, let me mention the best way to explain the autism-vaccine correlation: