January 4, 2012

Please Give Generously

Tomorrow, we launch a new charity.

Posted by Kate at January 4, 2012 2:18 AM

The 'elites' do have trouble coping with the real world.
I'd rather ban allergic kids than peanuts,schools would run smoother without them or their parents around.

Posted by: wallyj at January 4, 2012 12:39 AM

Spit, snot, mold and fly shit aint that bad...long as it don't kill ya...

Posted by: syncrodox at January 4, 2012 12:48 AM

"Please Give Generously."

I'll give them peanuts! Hahaha! Sorry.

Posted by: Black Mamba at January 4, 2012 12:50 AM

...that could be construed as insensitive..

Posted by: syncrodox at January 4, 2012 1:03 AM

Give them free puffers.

Posted by: Revnant Dream at January 4, 2012 1:06 AM


Posted by: Soccermom at January 4, 2012 1:28 AM

That's a good theory, but isn't an allergy an over-reaction of the immune system? Is that an indication of weakness? I'm pretty sure I have a lot more anti-bodies in my system, than my kids have. They never drank raw milk, or creek water, or snake-infested well water. They never stepped on rusty nails, or cut themselves with a knife that had animal blood on it, or got bitten by animals with 4 and 2 legs. Even so, their resistance to infections is every bit as good as mine. Maybe it takes a couple of generations to wear off. And, maybe you have to insulate your kids from other kids, til they start school.

Posted by: coach at January 4, 2012 1:35 AM

We keep things clean in our house, but you will never ever find hand sanitizer here. We also let our kids get a taste of the crap they shouldn't be eating. They'll learn sooner than later that putting your mouth on something the dog chews isn't the best choice. Farm animal crap? they've picked it up, but we did stop them from trying it.

My wife is allergic to shellfish. We hope that our girls don't have the same. She said the other day that she is ready for the girls to give it a try. I am so looking forward to having seafood with someone.

Posted by: Knacker at January 4, 2012 2:07 AM

Well, I was an immigrant kid from the UK and in the days when trains, houses and factories were all powered/heated by coal. I never knew any other kids with allergies but we sure suffered from grit in our eyes. I think this study is another one of the blindingly obvious variety - the more you are exposed to while the immune system is developing, the better off you'll be later on.

Posted by: Aviator at January 4, 2012 2:10 AM

Could be it's a tiger blood thing...wha.? it happens...

Posted by: syncrodox at January 4, 2012 2:28 AM

Allergies are not a good thing to have as they reflect an immune system that isn't functioning properly. We evolved in an environment where there were hosts of parasites just ready to invade our bodies and setup residence there. That's what the arm of the immune system that causes allergies is for. We don't get parasitic infections anymore but we also don't get exposed to as many antigens as before. IMHO, autoimmunity is a bad thing and the article played down the deleterious effects far too much.

When the arm of the immune system that reacts to parasites is overactive, the other part of the immune system that responds to viral and bacterial infections is underactive. One of the things that I've noticed in my practice is that a lot of the kids with major allergies also have heliophobic parents. The kids are slathered with sunscreen before even the briefest contact with sunshine and the sunscreen lobbies must have done a good job as the parents are quite ignorant about sunlight and vitamin D. The same parents that rant about "un-natural" chemicals in their food seem to be particularly ready to expose their children to un-natural levels of UV. I expect that the precipitous drop in population vitamin D levels is also of significance in the rise in childhood allergies and rise in auto-immune diseases. Another factor is the increase in omega-6 fatty acids combined with a marked reduction in omega-3 fatty acids in processed food. Omege-3 fatty acids are immunosuppressant and omega-6 fatty acids are pro-inflammatory. We don't need a hyperfunctioning immune system now except when we're exposed to a true infectious threat.

Posted by: Loki at January 4, 2012 3:02 AM

Regarding the "professor" thing...Is formal education level really related to good hygiene? I see all sorts of very highly-educated people in my day-to-day work, and they don't seem to be any more likely to use soap in the bathroom than your average hockey fan. Granted, the only ones who completely skip the sink are recent immigrants from developing countries where clean water is a luxury, but the fact is that "hygiene" comes from a family who can teach you that there's a difference between a dropped potato chip and an unwashed hand full of feces.

On that kids are currently learning that the 5-second rule applies at home, but not at the bowlng alley. So far, no weird allergies or other reactions.

Posted by: RW in Big C at January 4, 2012 3:57 AM

George Carlin could have told you this 30 yrs ago.

Watch it, George would be a hero of us right wingers today.

Posted by: tim in vermont at January 4, 2012 5:19 AM

Can we deliver the peanuts via slingshot?

...just wondering.

Posted by: Curious at January 4, 2012 5:32 AM

This is commonly referred to as attempting to dress up a stranglehold on the stupendously obvious.
There have been studies or at the very least surveys done that showed something even more exact.
When communism collapsed in eastern Europe there followed a massive migration of "freed inmate
family units" out of rural areas where sanitation was minimal into cleaner cities at home and abroad
which were being made even more sanitary by the now widespread availability of newly marketed
western style commercial/consumer cleaning products of all kinds. Some time later it began to be
noticed that children who were raised entirely in the new improved environment vs their older siblings
who had ALWAYS SHARED THE SAME CITY HOMES but had been born and raised for their early
years on primitive farms had much lower rates of asthma impairment, for example.

Posted by: Sgt Lejaune at January 4, 2012 6:02 AM

'Allergies' have become a pretentious bourgeois affectation. Been saying it for years. Nice to have scientific confirmation.

If you doubt that 'illnesses' can have social/psychological and even aspirational components, read a sane book about the history of hysteria, 'the vapours' and other psychosomatic ailments. In her book about cancer, Susan Sontag notes that poets used to pretend to have TB, because it was a sign of a superior sensibility.

Apparently the show Portlandia, which spoofs urban hipsters, will depict an "allergy pride" parade this season :-)

Posted by: Kathy Shaidle at January 4, 2012 6:27 AM

'Allergies' have become a pretentious bourgeois affectation.
Kathy Shaidle at January 4, 2012 6:27 AM

So, you sayin' all those medic alert bracelets with the word "work" engraved aren't real?

Posted by: Jamie MacMaster at January 4, 2012 7:10 AM

The progressive utopia has us all whirled in a blender into a bland sameness. How ironic that while supporting this blandness, modern western moms strive to identity that which is "special" about their child: allergies is a biggie.

If you want to embrace "progressive" ideology, begin with abandoning any concept of self. You are not special. You are just a grey cog in a larger, more important entity known as "society". Illogically, this greater whole is composed of unimportant "special" people. Nobody is important (except for the celebrities whose follies drive media sales). Everybody is a victim.

Posted by: shaken at January 4, 2012 7:46 AM

Goes along with the findings that homes with pets, especially dogs, tend to have children who subsequently develop lower rates of asthma and have generally more robust immune systems. Perhaps sharing the ice cream cone with Fido isn't such a bad idea in the long run.

Posted by: DrD at January 4, 2012 7:49 AM

The dirtiest people I know are granola-progressive types. They all happen to be white, non-immigrants, for what its worth.

I was shocked speechless when my granola friend changed his 1 year old on my new carpet. Then he gave the dirty diaper to the child to play with, sorta like a football.

My 4 year old neice regularly crawls around on the floors of restaurant stalls. Her granola mom sees nothing at all wrong with that.

I dunno, I just dont see the health benefits of keeping your kid in a perpetual state of sickness.

Posted by: Eagle at January 4, 2012 8:17 AM

I maintain the the liberals n' progs are the first organisms in history to successfully defeat Darwin.

Ordinarily such stupid and weak people are culled from the population by natural selection. But with leftie social engineering - even gays can now adopt! Health nazis patrol the play grounds and universities (sorry for the redundancy) and keep the tards from offing themselves in humourous and painful ways. Those that participate in self destructive and antisocial behaviours are rewarded and protected rather than punished. (Witness the druggies and their 'safe injection sites). And of course, consider the liberal welfare state in general - far from solving any social ills caused by people that need to be housed and fed - all the welfare state does is create MORE parasites that need to be housed and fed.

An asteroid or nuclear holocaust might straighten things out.

Posted by: Big Bad Jim at January 4, 2012 8:20 AM

Allergies probably only seem more prevalent today due to people not dying from them early.

Same way more people die of cancer at 80 whereas 100 years ago they'd die of heart attack at 50.

Posted by: jeff at January 4, 2012 8:28 AM

Kathy Shaidle: "'Allergies' have become a pretentious bourgeois affectation."

Exactly my sentiments. I suspect that it's affluent, overly protective mothers who "observe" and report "allergies": Little Susie's slightly sensitive to some substance and it's overblown into a life-threatening allergy -- which demands that no student in Susie's class or her school is allowed to bring said substance within a mile of Susie.

Whole school communities are held hostage by this faux scrupulousness.

I know some teachers who sneak peanut snacks into their lunch bags, eat them surreptitiously, never letting their bare hands touch the offending almonds, peanuts, cashews, whatever, then wash their hands afterwards and rinse out their mouths just in case some student has a genuine life-threatening allergy. The packaging goes back into the lunch bag, never the school garbage can.

When I was a student, I had peanut butter sandwiches every day of my life (I made my own lunches, pb was the line of least resistance). I'm not sure what I would have done if the schools had banned them. Jelly, I guess.

Posted by: batb at January 4, 2012 8:43 AM

This is bunk. Food allergies can be simply explained by one word: Formula. Since infant formula was introduced and marketed to the general public as a suitable replacement for breastfeeding, food allergies have skyrocketed. There may be a correlation between highly educated people and an increased use in formula, but certainly better hygiene has nothing to do with food allergies. Babies of professors don't wash their hands, their toys, or the bugs they stick in their mouths when mommy isn't paying attention.

Posted by: pete at January 4, 2012 8:57 AM

I think hyphenated last names is a likely cause for most allergies. A simple cost-effective study should be done.

Posted by: wallyj at January 4, 2012 9:01 AM

Or, it could be that the majority of food allergies are bullshit? I ain't sayin - I'm just sayin'.

Posted by: Jason M at January 4, 2012 9:46 AM

A recent peanut study found that less than 20 percent of those who assert they have peanut allergies actually have them. Of those 20 percent less than 12 percent were in danager of dying.

Posted by: Rose at January 4, 2012 9:57 AM

'Good point, Pete.

Breastfeeding creates antibodies in a baby's system. So, many women working outside the home, to add to the reasons, "necessitated" many more babies being fed with formula. Add to that, high-end women being much more likely to advocate for their substance-sensitive kids and demand that the school manage their kid's problem, rather than the kid him/herself, and, voila, you've got a full-blown "allergy crisis."

Posted by: batb at January 4, 2012 9:58 AM

The smelly, unwashed hoi polloi have no allergies, it sez here...

Posted by: mojo at January 4, 2012 10:35 AM

Just goes to show you that what doesn't kill you can make you stronger! Saw that idea in action all over India when I worked overseas.

Posted by: Jan in Alberta at January 4, 2012 11:51 AM

Tim In Vermont:
I was thinking about that skit as I was reading the comments, and lo & behold, there it was. He is absolutely correct. It seems to me there was a saying along the lines of "a dirty baby is a healthy baby", meaning a child playing in the dirt will, in the long run, be healthier than one who doesn't.
Lack of breast feeding, no doubt, also contributes to a lack of an immune system.

Posted by: RGB at January 4, 2012 12:06 PM

Something that's been bugging me for a long time. I went to a small town high school, Class of '70, with about 250 kids.I don't remember anyone who had allergies to nuts or asthma. What have they added to peanuts? Is this possibly the cause? My mother told me that years ago that PB had to be kept in the fridge. Butter also (that I knew). In regards to asthma, all these chemical air fresheners can't be good. Why do you need an automatic spritz whenever someone walks by? Spray the sofa or carpet with Fabreeze (sic?) and then place your child on it. Sounds good but why don't you just clean it? Chances are these people are vehemently anti-smoking but have no qualms about spraying chemicals all over their domain.

Posted by: RGB at January 4, 2012 12:25 PM

I was totally unable to tolerate the fat in Mom's breast milk, so was raised on skim milk (i.e. blue water as Mom called it). She made sure my immune system was compensated for and boosted by playing outside, in the dirt, on the farm, with animals. We were also made to eat everything on our plates with the provision: "No room for those peas? No room for dessert, then." Worked every time. No allergies to ANYTHING in my family. We also weren't allowed pop drinks or much fruit juices ... milk (when my stomach was finally able to tolerate it and still guzzle at this stage of nearly-50) and water were the staple liquids to grow up on. Pulling a carrot fresh out of the garden, wiping it on the pantleg and popping it into the mouth is still a special treat.

Posted by: Muledeer1945 at January 4, 2012 1:06 PM

I blame global warming.


Posted by: Colin in BC at January 4, 2012 1:19 PM

Wonder also how many allergies are a state of mind. Had a friend with a "severe" allergy to "whatever was in wine" hit the punch bowl for 5 or 6 glasses of great punch at the Christmas party only to find out the next day it was 70% wine. She was fine and no one told her, as she had told no one, until it came out in conversation days later. She would not believe us when we did tell her and remains convinced she is "allergic".

Posted by: peterj at January 4, 2012 2:43 PM

"Back off, liberal wimps! I have a peanut and I'm NOT AFRAID TO USE IT!"

Posted by: Ellie in T.O. at January 4, 2012 4:08 PM

Tim in Vermont / batb / Kathy Shaidle

Thanks Tim for that Carlin-germs clip.
Hilarious. "We swam in raw sewage -- to cool off". Greatly relieved to hear that it's ok to eat food dropped on the floor. I confess to doing this sometimes after a good look around tho usually not for broccoli. Also confess to something less that 100% consistency on the hand-washing. Growing up in NFLD we just weren't trained to do this. I confess to also having said on a couple of occassions to my scolding wife, "I didn't p** on them".

I agree with Kathy about the bourgeois affectation (a way of feeling special). BUT strongly disagree with her about Carlin not being funny. He kills me. Always has.

This study: what's the point? What new behaviours would it recommend to the higher echelons? To get more down and dirty?

Posted by: Me No Dhimmi at January 4, 2012 4:32 PM

Mom always said "get the phook out of the house-go play outside where the solar radiation,mold and bugs are".... well not in those exact words.

Posted by: eastern paul at January 4, 2012 4:34 PM

There is a huge psychologic component to allergies. The primary problem with this is that the belief that one is allergic to something can cause a serious allergic reaction. I remember talking to a medical receptionist once about her chronic urticaria and she'd mentioned she hadn't had an outbreak in years. I was curious and asked some more questions and as we talked she suddenly broke out in hives on her arms. That's an example of how much control the brain has over allergic reactions (or in this case triggering an urticarial memory).

Perhaps the need to have allergies is part of the victim culture that is being fostered nowadays. What might have been a trivial problem 40 years ago can suddenly become life threatening now and, yes, this is a form of mass hysteria. Everyone can develop hives as this is just a natural response to the release of histamine and other vasogenic molecules from skin mast cells. The neurologic aspect of allergies seems to be little studied and, IMO, rather than schools banning everything that a student might potentially be allergic to, the "afflicted" student should instead be sent to a psychiatrist rather than an allergist.

I've seen one case of a life threatening peanut allergy where the ERP just managed to intubate the guy in time but that's in 20 years of doing hospital medicine. Most respiratory allergic reactions can be treated with an injection of epinephrine. I doubt that I'd ever get a grant to study the mass hysteria aspect of allergies as people use projection far too much as a defense mechanism nowadays.

Posted by: Loki at January 5, 2012 2:56 AM

Kathy Shaidle: "'Allergies' have become a pretentious bourgeois affectation."

Holy smokes but that is well said Kathy. Ditto for attention deficit disorder, etc. etc. etc. the list is long. It's highly fashionable among the pinko-educated for your kid to have at least 2 or 3 ailments.

These are the same parents who slather their kids in sunscreen and then wonder they have no vitamin D in their systems.

These are the same parents who believe in timeouts instead a clip on the rear end.

Posted by: TJ at January 5, 2012 6:09 AM

Perception and reality can merge into lifelong belief. Overseeing a fairly large staff I realized many years ago that if you think there is a problem,... there is a problem. I had one case where a woman became itchy and soon I had more than 20 people itching and scratching, with the consensus that fleas were the culprits. Had to bring in a expert at lunch hour who after extensive investigation found nothing. Gave the staff the afternoon off and had the pest control fumigator with backpack on gently spray the carpet, making sure that the last of the departing staff noticed. Once everyone had left he put his stuff away and we had a coffee. He had plain tap water in the backpack and after coffee and a tocken $100. for his time he also departed. Never had another problem with itching. Long story but it does show the power of perception and how quickly it can create problems. In my case it was easier to fight perception with same and it worked well.

Posted by: peterj at January 5, 2012 1:11 PM