Monday, December 21, 2009

Can You Hear Me Now? You're Getting Cancer

San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom has decided that his run for governor is behind him and his mystery trip to Hawaii is now non-news, so he needs to get back into the race to the bottom of the political heap. And how does a good liberal do that? Make a big announcement that he is going to protect us from ourselves. Moderate/conservative writer Debra J. Saunders (yes, there is such a thing) jumped on the Newsom announcement in the San Francisco Chronicle. Cell phones might, maybe, could, sort of, theoretically cause cancer.

In a major long-term study of cell phone usage among rats, it was found that 25% of all rats that use cell phones more than seventy hours a week tend to develop cancer. OK, I made that up. But the genuine studies that have been conducted have demonstrated a very tenuous correlation between cell phone use and certain types of rare cancer, even among humans. A few junk scientists who have tried to contact polar bears on their cell phones received no answer from the bears, and concluded that the poor things had died of cell phone-induced cancer. But that's about it for the "settled science."

As Saunders so aptly put it, "In other cities, mayors usually try to make it easier for local businesses to prosper. But in the Special City, the mayor somehow manages to find ways that, if anything, make it harder for commercial enterprises to compete with out-of-town retailers. In San Francisco, that's not a priority. Newsom wants to require cell phone companies to post warnings for an ostensible cancer threat that has not been established."

The FCC and the ultra-cautious World Health Organization have found no measurable risk of developing cancer from excessive cell phone use. But details like that are not about to stop our crusading mayor. The American Cancer Society has actually turned Newsom's proposed warning on its head. "Patients with brain tumors do not report more cell phone use overall than the control [groups]. In fact, most of the studies show a trend toward a lower risk of brain tumors among cell phone users, for unclear reasons."

But just like Al Gore's direct connection to divine authority, Newsom has apparently received the Holy Word from on high, and isn't going to let mere human scientific studies interfere with his new crusade. Using the European standard of the "Precautionary Principle" (which states that if any abstract, unprovable, unscientific harm could occur in the mind of a zealot, then the activity must be banned or regulated), Newsom wants to require that all cell phone retailers post warnings about the dangers of cancer resulting from cell phone use. The science is settled, the clarion call must go out--"Use a cell phone, die of cancer." It's right up there with cancer caused by living near high-voltage electrical transmission sources. It's just easier to put away your cell phone than to move your house to get away from an imagined danger.

Newsom is therefore in-sync with the nanny Board of Supervisors. They want to protect the good citizens of San Francisco by reducing any conceivable risky behavior into non-existence. Of course that doesn't explain why they aren't just a tad concerned with risk when it comes to having "sex tents" on the streets for the purpose of public sex during the Folsom Street Fair, or how to explain that with two generations of public warnings, The City still has about 900 new cases of HIV each year.

Run, Gavin, run! If you want to be the firstest with the mostest, you're going to have to move fast. Someone else is out to steal your thunder, and on a national level. Representative Andrea Boland (D-Maine) is proposing federal legislation to require such warnings across the entire United States. As for myself, I'm just going to ignore the whole thing and go breathe in some second-hand smoke under a large power transmission tower.

21 comments:

StanH said...

I’m truly surprised that city of SF doesn’t show up at your house Lawhawk and tuck you in at night. Don’t you know that Mayor Bloomberg NYC will see this, and enact this posthaste, watch out Bev.

USArtguy said...

"In a major long-term study of cell phone usage among rats, it was found that 25% of all rats that use cell phones more than seventy hours a week tend to develop cancer."

In a corollary of that same study a consensus of survey takers concluded 25% of liberal politicians actually turn into rats.

Tennessee Jed said...

Hawk - I plan to continue to use mine. I figure I will probably die anyway, and if algore is right, it won't matter since global warming doesn't discriminate between cell phone users and non-users.

Writer X said...

Next thing you know Gavin will establish a credit system for cell phones, much like the carbon credits. And his supporters will proclaim it to be revolutionary. Anything to separate people from their money.

AndrewPrice said...

We should ban them. Yep. We should ban anything that anyone thinks could be dangerous. . . science be damned. Cell phones, alar, carbon. Heck, I hear that the mere existence of polar bears causes cancer. Ban 'em.

BevfromNYC said...

StanH - I'm sure it's on Mayor Mike agenda (unless he has investments tied up in cellphone manufactureres or providers. However, I go on records - Anything that keeps people from yacking all day long 2 inches from me on the bus is alright with me.

Just wait, warnings for RSI (repetative stress injury) for texting and hearing loss for music listening can't be far behind.

BevfromNYC said...

Andrew - I'm with you. Ban everything but spinach, water, and breathing (as long as you don't exhale too much). I just read that trees release CO2 when they die. We should cut them all down now.

LawHawkSF said...

StanH: They don't tuck me in yet, but I have noticed that there are pinholes in various strategic parts of the walls of my apartment, and I hear strange clicking whenever I'm on the telephone. And there's that strange cable company van that's always parked across the street. It never moves, but I occasionally see men in nondescript uniforms going in or coming out about every eight hours. Hmmmm.

LawHawkSF said...

USArtguy: Now that makes sense.

LawHawkSF said...

Tennessee: It's like the bumper sticker. "Eat right. Get plenty of exercise. Die anyway."

LawHawkSF said...

WriterX: But it's only right. They'll use the tax money for the cancer medical research that won't be done and the medical treatment we won't get under Obamacare.

LawHawkSF said...

Andrew: I hear that the Board of Supervisors and the Mayor are considering a bill to remove all knives and forks from the citizens' kitchens. They could be used as weapons, and children might hurt themselves with them. Chopsticks, however, will be retained to avoid charges of ethnic cleansing.

LawHawkSF said...

Bev: Anything Bloomberg can do, Newsom can do first and do better. Nyah, nyah, nyah!

patti said...

you totally forgot that you are gonna get hungry under that transmission tower. how about a double-meat burger run with large rings?! me to arteries: incoming!

BevfromNYC said...

Yeh, LawHawk, but does Newsom have his own private jet or bought an election with his own money?? I didn't think so... ;-P

LawHawkSF said...

Patti: Thanks for reminding me. I'll stop by my local Greasyburger on the way.

LawHawkSF said...

Bev: I have to grant you those two, and add that Newsom won't be getting a third term. Maybe you win after all. Damn. On the other hand, when does New York City get sex tents? Gotcha on that one.

BevfromNYC said...

Okay, LawHawk, I have to admit, Bloomberg wouldn't suggest sex tents. Drat, you win this round...

LawHawkSF said...

Bev: Maybe we should switch mayors. Newsom could learn about third terms, and Bloomberg could learn about sex.

HamiltonsGhost said...

Lawhawk--So when does your city start requiring cancer warnings on electric cars? There is as much solid evidence that electric cars cause cancer as there is that cell phones and transmission lines cause cancer. That is to say, a few nutcases have suggested it, so it must be dangerous. Those pesky EMFs (electromagnetic fields) surrounding electric cars could kill a lot more people than little, tiny cell phones.

LawHawkSF said...

HamiltonsGhost: That should be an exercise in mass paranoid schizophrenia. The City wants everyone to drive electric cars the size of my son's first pedal fire engine. And now they'll have to drive them with big warnings saying "stand back, this car will give you cancer." Better than a car alarm. Don't ya just love the Precautionary Principle?

Bring back the Stanley Steamer!

Post a Comment