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  • Calls to CDC on e-cigs ramp up [View news story]
    I see you are hurt by your experiences. My grandfather died of lung cancer though he never smoked. I know what that pain is like to watch from close range.

    But come now, I never said cannabis was beneficial, just that studies show that it doesn't cause cancer on it's own, or certain other lung diseases associated with smoking tobacco.

    nicotine has no benefits that I know of. except as a pesticide.

    The facts are there, and if they were not the facts, the massive amount of anti-drug studies would have found it and trumpeted the results far and wide. It is irresponsible to go around saying that the majority are the other way, when for decades only fiercely anti-drug studies were allowed anywhere. Now that we are able to look, it turns out that our anti-drug organizations have not been entirely honest with our citizenry.

    This is not to say that drugs are good, just that we should not demonize something by stretching the truth about it.

    nicotine and alcohol turn out to be some of the most dangerous drugs around...
    Aug 13, 2014. 12:33 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Kinder Morgan Merger: Where Are The Bears Now? [View article]
    You wanted something for nothing and got "burned" by making a large capital gain. Not a huge problem from my perspective. You must have known that this could happen in our lifetime?
    Aug 13, 2014. 12:14 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Kinder Morgan Merger: Where Are The Bears Now? [View article]
    This is exactly why MLP's are inherently risky. There is political risk from both govt and company managers.

    You didn't think you were getting the tax shelter for nothing did you?

    a very happy owner of KMI and KMR
    Aug 13, 2014. 12:13 PM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Ethical Investing And Philip Morris [View article]
    Occamsrazor,
    I appreciate your honest interest in the subject. No doubt your experiences have had a profound effect on you. I have had my own set of experiences that obviously color my perspective.

    I know of the New Zealand study, and I also know it has been criticized for drawing strong conclusions from a small sample size, but not much else. I will not pronounce on it as I do not have the knowledge to do so intelligently.

    I suppose my only important point was that it seems very few studies take the trouble to control for pre-existing MI, and prefer to advance the idea that it is the drug causing the problem, rather than the conclusion that I find more likely: that the underlying condition is the cause, and the drug can exacerbate what is already there in some people. No argument from me on that. Nonetheless, I see very little good evidence (as opposed to a lot of shoddy "evidence") that any of this is in fact caused by the drug in question. for instance you mentioned all the references to the many studies on cannabis and mental illness in PubMed. Yet the review articels clearly show over and over that they cannot say the drug is the problem, but rather is a symptom of what is already a problem.

    I know from academic as well as personal family experience that native Americans (and Australian aborigines as well as N.Z. Maoris) suffer from many other problems as a community, including high levels of FASD proportional to population. My first instinct is that this is the real cause of a lot of these problems, such as violence and mental illness generally.

    Not to say that drugs taken for recreation are healthy, but I find myself often fighting back against a tidal wave of misinformation that has been promulgated by advocates of the drug war, and I find most of them to be laughably silly and even dangerous. Therefore I never miss a chance to weigh in on a debate.

    I appreciate your discussion, and look forward to more studies that may elucidate why different people seem to react so differently to cannabis, some of which include the unfortunate people you and I are trying to help. (I work for a major charity in Canada right now, and deal with many frontline workers from various addiction services... my bias is that these people have more militant anti-drug views than the public, and so I thought perhaps you might share that in common with them). My own perspective is that some forms of anti-drug actions do more harm than good, but I try to be open-minded about these things as much as possible for someone with strong feelings about it.

    On that note, I hope we both have less to deal with as time passes, not more.

    Long PM, always looking for more
    Jul 16, 2014. 05:30 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Enbridge's Northern Gateway pipeline approved [View news story]
    I suppose cells just magically mutate more in areas where petroleum is extracted/processed/sp...

    Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons are not made-up...
    http://1.usa.gov/1qg8AdT

    "PAHs occur naturally in bituminous fossil fuels..."
    http://bit.ly/1qg8xyJ

    Something about head in the sand...blah blah
    Jul 16, 2014. 03:52 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Enbridge's Northern Gateway pipeline approved [View news story]
    no, describing DilBit as toxic is what I meant :)
    Jul 16, 2014. 03:48 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Calls to CDC on e-cigs ramp up [View news story]
    godwin's law
    Jul 16, 2014. 03:46 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Calls to CDC on e-cigs ramp up [View news story]
    ...aaand that is why wikipedia is a poor source of information. You didn't think I just made it up without looking at the data first, did you?

    It turns out that the presence of carcinogens is not enough for cancers to form, despite the assumptions of various lung and anti-drug associations before the research was done.

    check out the recent review on the topic, it is all over the internet if you look:
    http://wapo.st/1qg7rD3

    " The largest study of its kind has unexpectedly concluded that smoking marijuana, even regularly and heavily, does not lead to lung cancer.

    The new findings "were against our expectations," said Donald Tashkin of the University of California at Los Angeles, a pulmonologist who has studied marijuana for 30 years.

    "We hypothesized that there would be a positive association between marijuana use and lung cancer, and that the association would be more positive with heavier use," he said. "What we found instead was no association at all, and even a suggestion of some protective effect."

    http://ti.me/1qg7rD4

    "... specific properties of marijuana also matter. He says that THC has anti-inflammatory and immune suppressing properties, which may prevent lung irritation from developing into chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), a devastating lung disorder frequently caused by tobacco smoking.

    As for cancer, he says, “the THC in marijuana has well-defined anti-tumoral effects that have been shown to inhibit the growth of a variety of cancers in animal models and tissue culture systems, thus counteracting the potentially tumorigenic effects of the procarcinogens in marijuana smoke.”
    "
    Jul 16, 2014. 03:43 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Canada delays decision on Trans Mountain expansion [View news story]
    right, so then perhaps even more than half is below the average.
    I did hedge my statement with "...up to..."
    :D
    Jul 16, 2014. 02:57 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • How Much Money Are You Planning To Lose In Your Bond Portfolio? [View article]
    drdata,
    Thanks for the response, I knew that LT bond funds are more interest rate sensitive, but I always assumed is was due more to ongoing trading of the bonds in the fund, rather than simply buying of new bonds as old ones mature. I suppose it probably depends what each particular fund is doing. I guess the result is the same for me either way, but I need this money in 30 yrs time, so it would seem there is no downside for me holding my LT fund for now.
    Jul 16, 2014. 02:53 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • How Much Money Are You Planning To Lose In Your Bond Portfolio? [View article]
    Godwin's Law Alert
    Jul 16, 2014. 02:46 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Ethical Investing And Philip Morris [View article]
    Occamsrazor,
    You would be correct in your doubt regarding nicotine as being THE cause, and I see that I have been unclear in explaining the study conclusions. They concluded that the carcinogens caused by burning plant matter needed the potentiating effect of the nicotine in the lungs in order to become cancerous. This was due to the fact that the cannabis only group showed no increased rates of lung cancer despite high exposure to the carcinogens you are worried about.

    I hesitate to so strongly question a trained psychiatrist, as I studied psych in my bachelor of science days, and I respect the profession. That said, I think you are drawing from biased sources, sir.

    For instance, you ominously intone that THC potency is higher now than forty years ago. what is your point? Has THC been found to cause physiological problems?

    Your assertion that "we do know" that cannabis leads to schizophrenia seems to be undermined by this Harvard Medical School study that actually bothered to offer a control: namely comparing families of people with schizophrenia to generate additional controls (non-psychotic family members and non-cannabis using family members).
    http://bit.ly/WhUXOh

    relevant summary form the article:
    "The researchers concluded that the results of the current study, “both when analyzed using morbid risk and family frequency calculations, suggest that having an increased familial risk for schizophrenia is the underlying basis for schizophrenia in these samples — not the cannabis use.

    “While cannabis may have an effect on the age of onset of schizophrenia it is unlikely to be the cause of illness,” said the researchers, who were led by Ashley C. Proal from Harvard Medical School.
    "

    I come from the sciences, where I studied brain chemistry and behaviour, so forgive me if your credentials do not impress me that much. We haven't made much contact, but at first blush it seems to me that you are dismissive of information that might counter your pre-existing views. If I am wrong please offer such information as you think would be convincing, I don't listen to anecdotes, but will change my mind if the facts change.

    You said, "One study does not proof make. We will see over time."
    That was the point of the original study of cancer rates among smokers/cannabis users/nonsmokers that I mentioned, it was a 30 year longitudinal study involving more than five thousand people, so I think the jury is in on what drugs cause what with respect to cancer.
    Jul 16, 2014. 02:36 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Canada delays decision on Trans Mountain expansion [View news story]
    Curtlevy,
    Is it so stupid?

    You do understand that up to half of the average is... below average ... do you not? So in your example, perhaps many people are still low enough to be on government support, which appears to be true.

    I assume you don't want anyone to think about all the suppliers and outsourced WalMart warehouses that pay the minimum wage, either.

    Always there is somebody willing to defend everything WalMart does, whether it makes sense or not.

    Count me in for ending such corporate welfare, I am a real conservative that thinks people ought to entirely pay for their own employees, rather than swindle the taxpayer.
    Jul 16, 2014. 02:04 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • How Much Money Are You Planning To Lose In Your Bond Portfolio? [View article]
    It seems to me you may be talking about bonds, rather than bond funds. My (limited) understanding is that long term bond FUNDS face serious price pressure when rates are thought to rise, as well as when they do rise. What am I missing here?

    My own small allocation to a LT bond fund saw a large drop during the "taper tantrum" on fears of rate increases. By now that was a blip on a march upward for the chart. But when rates really begin to rise will it not drop quite a lot as the fund buys and sells down the slope as time goes on?

    All this assumes rate increases as predicted, just for sake of argument.

    Anyone want to help a young and naive investor forced to have bonds as part of a company pension plan?
    Jul 11, 2014. 02:12 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Ethical Investing And Philip Morris [View article]
    I suppose you don't imagine your perspective to be biased either, working in clinical situations as you do. Do you think your patients may have some confounding variables that might me associated with their pathology other than "MJ showing up in tox screens upon intake"?

    once again they are trying to self-medicate. Effective or not is irrelevant, it isn't very scientific to assume what must be proven. What about the fact that the vast majority of cannabis users do not show MI?
    Jul 10, 2014. 12:22 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
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