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Saturday, October 22, 2022

Links - 22nd October 2022 (2 - Cancel Culture)

Marni Soupcoff: Cancel culture reaches new heights with New York Times, Hollywood firings - "two of its high-profile journalists were resigning: veteran health and science writer Donald G. McNeil Jr. and audio producer Andy Mills. Both men had been the subject of previous controversies, yet their departures took place long afterwards, apparently the result of more recent internal and external pressure on management to hold them further to account than was initially felt necessary for the past transgressions. The loss of McNeil is especially troubling because he has done a stellar job of reporting on the COVID pandemic, foreseeing the lockdown and effects the virus would have on North America long before most of his peers. His sin occurred a couple of years ago. The reporter was serving as an expert guide for a group of high school students on a trip to Peru. One of the students asked him his opinion on whether a classmate should have been disciplined for using a racial slur. McNeil answered the student by asking for more information, repeating the racial slur as he did so.   The Times conducted a review of the incident at the time and chose not to fire McNeil. But they started to change their minds on Jan. 28 of this year after a Daily Beast report made the episode public. At first, New York Times Executive Editor Dean Baquet emailed Times staff that McNeil’s remarks “were offensive” and McNeil “showed extremely poor judgment,” but “it did not appear to me that his intentions were harmful or malicious.”  “I believe that in such cases,” Baquet’s message continued, “people should be told they are wrong and given another chance.”  It was a position that did not last long amidst complaints from staffers... The CEO of PEN America, a non-profit dedicated to protecting free expression, commented: “For reporter Donald McNeil to end his long career, apparently as the result of a single word, risks sending a chilling message.” The departure of Andy Mills on the same day was somewhat cloudier. “Caliphate,” a podcast Mills produced, had withstood an embarrassing blow in December when the Times officially announced the award-winning program had failed to meet the newspaper’s “standards for accuracy.” But Mills maintained a prominent position in the New York Times podcast world despite the problems — which led to complaints that he was being treated better than the female journalist host of “Caliphate,” who had been reassigned. That is when allegations of inappropriate behaviour about seven years before at a past job were reinvigorated, and Twitter exploded with what Mills has characterized as “gross exaggerations and baseless claims.” The public shaming, some of it engaged in by Times staffers, was enough to cause his departure... Gina Carano was fired from The Mandalorian over a frowned upon Tweet, and it’s becoming hard to keep track of who is cancelling whom in the recent controversy over a Variety movie review of actor Carey Mulligan’s performance in Promising Young Woman. (Mulligan accused the reviewer of sexism for implying she was not attractive enough for her role, the reviewer expressed bewilderment and promised that as a gay man he was not evaluating women’s hotness, Variety issued an apology for the review, then the National Society of Film Critics condemned Variety for its shabby treatment of the reviewer and demanded Variety remove the apology.)  Meanwhile, Glenn Greenwald has written a disturbing post about how New York Times tech reporters have essentially become professional speech tattletales, with reporter Taylor Lorenz recently excoriating a Silicon Valley entrepreneur for using a slur in private group conversation — which he did not use.  The circumstances of each of these incidents can be reasonably debated, and one need not come out on the same side every time, but the overwhelming trend of repressing free discussion is disturbing, and never more so than when exercised by an institution such as the New York Times, which is supposed to view free expression as its raison d’être."
Context only matters to bigots

Mobbing of medical resident reveals double standards for social justice - "[Zachary Kuehner]'s case interested me particularly because of a common theme that preoccupied those attacking him, whether they were fellow students, university administrators, media or third-party groups: namely, that a practising physician who voices heterodox political opinions—that is, opinions that do not dovetail with Critical Race Theory (CRT) and intersectionality—on Black Lives Matter or Islam or Indigenous issues is unfit to serve the medical needs of certain people, because he is a threat to their "cultural safety... CBC reporter Ryan Cooke published an article about the Call to Action, leading with the fact that Kuehner's Twitter bio now read "Resident doc, mutt owner, sometimes travel writer," but that it had up until days before also contained the word "Islamophobe." Indeed, having read the tea leaves contained in the Call to Action, and realizing that sarcasm cannot coexist in harmony with Wokeism, Kuehner had deleted the word... London, Ont. emergency room doctor Tarek Loubani published an article on Medium.com, "Dear Zachary Kuehner, if you're not a White Supremacist, you sure fooled us." Loubani's diatribe is unnuanced (he calls Kuehner an "asshole," for example), and refers to three op eds Kuehner wrote as seeming "like classic dog-whistle racism / white supremacy, complete with White Man's Burden undertones." To me they seemed objective, balanced, free of any racist undertones whatsoever, let alone of "white supremacy," and perfectly consistent with the standards of civil discourse one associates with the classic liberal polemical tradition.  You be the judge: one, two and three. Personally, I would assess all of them as anti-racist in character. Loubani ignored readily available articles by Kuehner that are explicitly pro-diversity, such as Je Speak Inuktitut and Why I Love Canada: We're an ethnic hodgepodge because they so clearly rebut Loubani's "white supremacy" narrative. Loubani's name may ring a bell for many readers. That is because medicine is only one of his two passions. The other is political activism against Israel as part of the International Solidarity Movement (ISM). The ISM supports Hamas (officially named a terrorist organization in Canada, the U.S. and by the European Court of Justice) and encourages activists to take "direct action" that often puts them in confrontation with the Israeli military during operations. ISM has been described as "embracing Palestinian militants, even suicide bombers, as freedom fighters."  Loubani himself took a well-publicized part in one such direct action in Gaza during the 2018 Great March of Return where he was allegedly shot in the leg by an Israeli sniper and tended to by a "medic"- killed by the Israeli military—whose alleged martyrdom was plangently lamented to credulous media people by Loubani until the "medic" was exposed as a Hamas terrorist. My point in recalling Loubani's anti-Israel history is not only to discredit this "radical grandstander" (in journalist Margaret Wente's words) as a moral authority on anything, but to demonstrate the gross hypocrisy that informs the entire case against Zachary Kuehner... He stands in solidarity with a terrorist organization—Hamas—whose proudly bruited raison d'être is the eradication of the state of Israel and the ethnic cleansing of every Jew in their homeland. (In the words of the Hamas leader in Gaza, Yahya Sinwar: "Tear their hearts out.") How can any Canadian Jew feel safe in his hands—that is, according to criteria he has himself established, criteria that coincide with those expressed by the complainants at MUN, the NCCM and Dr. Cohen of CWIM... Apart from law, there is no profession in which the right to equal treatment is more sacrosanct than medicine. To uphold a belief system in which putative mental discomfort to a Muslim, Black or Indigenous student/patient trumps a physician's right to (civil) freedom of speech, but in which the putative discomfort of a Jewish or any white heterosexual male student/patient may be ignored should be anathema to the medical community."

Disabled non-binary transgender social justice warrior is CANCELLED by super woke internet mob - "A disabled trans activist and author was canceled by a super woke mob after their job at defense contractor Lockheed Martin was revealed by a Twitter user.   Ana Mardoll, whose books have sold thousands, was first doxxed on July 30 as being employed at Lockheed's Fort Worth facility... 'I stay because I'm on an unusual part-time arrangement for medical reasons. It's hard to find a remove WFH job that will give me medical insurance but let me work 10-20 hours a week.'... In 2020, Lockheed won an award for disability inclusion."
No one is safe from the mob

To The Leftist Vultures At Media Matters: Kiss My Ass - "I have been successful in fighting against the left’s agenda, especially the trans agenda. Those who support the sexual mutilation of children know full well that I am a threat to them. We’re winning and they’re losing. And they know it. They cannot engage with our arguments, they cannot oppose us on the battlefield of ideas, so instead they look for another way. Now they’re convinced they’ve found their kill shot against me by using the same method they always use: digging up ancient history — doing the internet equivalent of rummaging through garbage cans — to find things done and said years ago which can be used to defame and, they hope, silence me today.  Yes, my PR team over at Media Matters apparently wasn’t satisfied to promote just my current show, so they decided to go back 15 years to my time as a rock radio host on an obscure station in Delaware. They spent, it would seem, many tedious hours listening to segments and bits from my time as a shock jock in my early 20s. It could not have been easy to sit through. I commend their persistence. Now they’ve compiled their findings into an “expose” that promises to reveal my “sordid past.” Honestly, I never thought of myself as having a sordid past. I figured my life was far too boring for that. But it turns out that I am a more interesting person than I had previously thought.  As for the vultures at Media Matters, and the Leftists who’ve picked up this hit piece and run with it, they are not very interesting. They are as pathetic and desperate as I’ve always known them to be. The Left isn’t interested in investigating children’s hospitals that literally castrate and butcher children. In fact, such investigations are an act of terrorism, they insist. But they will take the time to scour the internet for evidence that I made offensive remarks when I was 23 years-old. That, in their minds, is far more relevant to the public. A matter of much greater national urgency... In their hit piece, Media Matters presents evidence that I used racially insensitive humor, that I told inappropriate jokes, that I engaged in other offensive activities. All of that is, of course, true. They also accuse me of physically abusing our radio interns by tasing one of them as a joke. This is also true, and I submit, still funny. In fairness, I got tased too. In fact, I invented a game called taser trivia where, as the name suggests, you are asked trivia questions and if you get it wrong, you get tased. Media Matters didn’t post that video but they should. It’s quite shocking.  That’s the sort of content you missed out on if you didn’t live in southern Delaware in the early 2000s... my enemies have thrown every last thing they can at me. The whole kitchen sink, and a few appliances to go with it. I am not the first to get this treatment and I certainly will not be the last. Their objective is nothing less than the wholesale destruction of my life and my career. That is the price they expect me to pay for opposing them effectively. They hope to force me to submit and apologize, at which point they will shoo me away with my tail between my legs, out of public view, out of the arena, off into obscurity. This is my punishment, the life sentence they expect me to serve, for trying to stop them from abusing and butchering children. And it’s not just me they are after. They want to send a message to you that if you stand up against them, this is what happens. They want to make me into another head on a spike, a warning to anyone else who might think about defying them.  Well here is my official answer, for the record: kiss my ass. I do not apologize. In fact by all rights you sick freaks should be the ones apologizing for lying and defaming me, and doing it all because I’m trying to prevent you from sexually mutilating children. You child abusing psychopaths. I wouldn’t apologize to you soulless parasites if I had a gun to my head. Instead I will just tell you all to piss off. I apologize for nothing. I concede nothing. I will never surrender even a single inch of ground to a pitchfork mob full of degenerate idiots. The secret that they never say out loud is that nobody is truly canceled unless they consent to it and willingly play their assigned role. I do not consent and I will not play the game."

Anti-woke comic book defies cancel culture, earns $1.7M in four days - "Writer, content creator and musician Eric July is adding a new feather to his cap: comic book creator. July officially launched his first comic book “Isom #1” through publishing company Rippaverse on Monday — and it’s been a smashing success.  July’s book has already brought in more than $1.7 million in pre-orders in just the first four days. Nearly 19,000 people have pre-ordered — but not everyone is happy about it.  The release of “Isom #1” created somewhat of a stir on social media, particularly Reddit, where promotional videos for the comic book were banned from certain subreddits for “supporting comics from hate groups.”   But July tells Fox News Digital his comic book company is no such thing. “A lot of it has to do with the fact that I am a person that they simply do not like”...   July said a lot of entertainment today is out to “beat people over the head with stuff like social justice” and left-leaning agendas.  “To see the industry go in the direction that it’s gone kind of lights a fire under you,” July said. “It’s not like it’s getting any better. These people are doubling down on everything that they’re doing no matter how often the fans reject it.”  So, he created Rippaverse."
He's black too. So the woke trying to cancel him are embodying anti-blackness

Bean Dad Canceled After Letting 9-Year-Old Daughter Figure Out a Can Opener - "When the girl finally did puncture the can with the little wheely thing (really, how much do any of us really know about can openers?), she was triumphant, and  dad was too. Then came the commenters... Pretty soon the haters grew so vocal—some calling his actions child abuse—that Bean Dad took down his whole thread (preserved here). Then came the memes, of course. And then came the digging up of his prior tweets, some of which were shockingly and indisputably racist and anti-Semitic."

The 1793 Project Unmasked - "Ironically, the same subset of people ostensibly exercised about emotional safety—the woke left—seem frequently inclined to level unsubstantiated accusations that inflict emotional harm. This makes it difficult to believe that these Twitter warriors' true aim is the promotion of psychological comfort. Did any of them consider Uhlig's mental health after the man was baselessly accused? Does anyone care about Roman, who probably did not expect her enemies to ransack her Myspace page for evidence of racism and then pillory her for a photo taken when she was 23? What about Shor, thrown to the wolves for making a reasonable objection to what one wing of the protesters was doing? That sounds like terror, not safety. Call it the 1793 Project."

NFL Removes All Coaches, Players, Fans Who Have Ever Said A Bad Word, Only Tim Tebow Remains | The Babylon Bee

Boeing communications chief resigns over commentary published in 1987 - "A top Boeing executive has resigned over an article he wrote more than three decades ago in which he advocated that women should not be permitted to serve in combat roles in the military.  Niel Golightly, the senior vice president of communications, stepped down following an employee complaint about the article, published in 1987"
Everyone needs to know how what they write will be judged 3 decades in the future. The solution is to never publish anything

NY Times praises 'cancel culture' but skips its own racist history: Goodwin - "In a recent article about Mount Rushmore, The New York Times said of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln and Teddy Roosevelt that “each of these titans of American history has a complicated legacy.”  Reporters Bryan Pietsch and Jacey Fortin casually summarized the woke herd’s litany of grievances: Washington and Jefferson owned slaves, Lincoln was “reluctant and late” to issue the Emancipation Proclamation and Roosevelt “actively sought to Christianize and uproot Native Americans.”  Rushmore’s sculptor, Gutzon Borglum, didn’t escape unscathed. “Borglum had been involved with another project: an enormous bas-relief at Stone Mountain in Georgia that memorialized Confederate leaders,” the reporters wrote.  There was little in the story that was remarkable, and that was the point. The Times, as the chief media cheerleader for the chaos unfolding across the nation, routinely eviscerates America’s heroes, its culture and, through the paper’s 1619 Project, its founding.   Four years after it abandoned its traditional standards of fairness to try to defeat Donald Trump, the paper is now fixated on rewriting the story of America. The drive-by attack on the Rushmore presidents was part of its cancel-culture agenda.  Yet the Times has never applied to its own history the standards it uses to demonize others. If it did, reporters there would learn that the Ochs-Sulzberger family that has owned and run the paper for 125 years has a “complicated legacy” of its own.  That legacy includes Confederates in the closet — men and at least one woman who supported the South and slavery during the Civil War. In fact, Times patriarch Adolph S. Ochs contributed money to the very Stone Mountain project and other Confederate memorials the Times now finds so objectionable. To be clear, I detest the Times’ determination to judge and revise history using criteria conceived 20 minutes ago. The paper’s Marxist-inspired activism and race-based fetish have taken it so far off course that it no longer functions as an actual newspaper.  Having spent my formative journalistic years at the Gray Lady, I came away with immense respect for the editors’ commitment to fair and impartial news coverage. That commitment started with Ochs, who, from the day he took control of the Times in 1896, insisted on a strict separation of news and opinion, a tradition that lasted more than a century. It was those traditions — fairness and safeguards against reporters’ bias — that gave the paper its credibility and made it the flagship of American journalism.  But those days are gone, with the standards eroded slowly at first and then abolished under current Executive Editor Dean Baquet. Every story these days is an editorial as the paper demands that every institution and individual conform to the Times’ views, or be denounced as racist, homophobic, Islamophobic and misogynistic. Because of the Times’ exceptional influence, its demagoguery is playing a major role in shredding the fabric of our country.  At the very least, the paper ought to be honorable enough to apply its freshly minted standards to its own past. If it did, I believe the owners, editors, reporters and stockholders would be shocked by what they discover... with the exception of the last two top editors, all others were white men. Before Baquet, who is black, there was Jill Abramson, who was fired after three years. The paper’s last public editor, Liz Spayd, said she was struck by the “blinding whiteness” of the staff when she first entered the newsroom. The Times, like many other corporations of all kinds, has been sued by black employees charging racial discrimination.  In any other company, and with so much wealth accumulated by one family, that record would be fair game for the paper’s journalists, especially given the Confederate connections. In that spirit, it’s time for the Times to clean out its closet and live by the standards of purity it demands of others. For a thorough, honest examination of its checkered past, the paper should assign a team of its top investigative reporters to the project.   They would get total access to corporate leaders and documents and be free to interview their colleagues. Their marching orders would be to examine the Times in the same way they would examine any other institution, which means they are free to use anonymous quotes. In effect, the paper would be taking a big dose of its own medicine.  Whatever the results, they should be published on the front page, under the motto that Adolph Ochs put there in 1897: “All the news that’s fit to print.”  Then, hopefully humbled and cured of its supremacy delusion, the Times could get back to being a real newspaper and report the news instead of fomenting chaos and division."

Harry Potter 20th anniversary: why I never read Harry Potter as a kid
Liberals claim conservatives are just as into cancel culture as them, and Harry Potter is always cited as an example. But if telling other Christians not to read Harry Potter is "cancel culture", then Jews and Muslims are trying to cancel pork

Cambridge Union drops plans to ‘blacklist’ speakers after John Cleese pulls out - "Keir Bradwell, the president of the 200-year-old debating society, assured members that a blacklist would be created after Andrew Graham-Dixon, the art historian, offended some students by performing an Adolf Hitler impression to make a point during a debate last week. Monty Python star Cleese responded on Wednesday by announcing that he was “blacklisting” himself “before someone else does” by pulling out of his own Cambridge Union engagement.   The controversial proposal for a ban on certain speakers was later scrapped... The historian, known for presenting documentaries on BBC4, was criticised by students for adopting a German accent to express, in character, the artistic views of Hitler.   The speech, in a debate on the objective existence of “good taste”, was intended to illustrate that the Nazis had objectively bad taste due to their racist views. But it was criticised by some students and described as “absolutely unacceptable” and “utterly horrifying” by Zara Salaria, the equalities officer at the Union.   Mr Bradwell faced criticism on campus that he did not curb the Hitler impersonation while presiding over the debate. He later tried to reassure his peers that Mr Graham-Dixon would not return to the union by proposing a blacklist, subsequently described as “Stalinist” by critics.   Cleese, who impersonated Hitler in an episode of Monty Python and performed a goose step as Basil Fawlty, responded to the blacklist by pulling out of an event scheduled for Friday... It is understood there were concerns among some scheduled speakers that the Cambridge Union, long considered a bastion of free speech, had succumbed to censorship. But the speakers received assurances from the union that there would be no formal ban on guests being invited to speak. Mr Graham-Dixon, who has been contacted for comment, has previously defended his address to the union during the debate on the motion “this house believes there is no such thing as good taste”.  He released a statement saying: “The intention of my speech was to underline the utterly evil nature of Hitler and his regime. He caricatured Jewish people and black people and homosexuals in all kinds of terrible ways and curated a huge art exhibition – called Degenerate Art – as propaganda for his poisonous views.  “In my speech I caricatured him, briefly, paraphrasing HIS crass and insensitive statements about art and race. I’d hoped this was crystal clear to all present. My point was that evil ideas in the sphere of art can have untold and even atrocious consequences in the rest of life.  “Those familiar with my work will know that I have always spoken out against racism or any form of discrimination.”  Mr Graham-Dixon has also previously said: “Mr Bradwell’s implication that I am racist and anti-Semitic by placing me on his list is utterly rejected, and in the context surprising. The speech I gave was a strident attack on Hitler’s racism and anti-Semitism.”"

Melissa Chen on Twitter - "The media Leftists have now hit upon a new narrative: cancel culture doesn't exist. It doesn't exist because book burnings are not ACKSHUALLY book burnings. They're just "cultural change." But what if that "cultural change" involves book burnings, as most cultural revolutions do?"
"Ben is right about this one. There were a lot of "ACKSHUALLY no one banned or canceled Dr. Seuss books" in my replies. Here's the thing: if the last few months have shown you anything, it is that the slippery slope is indeed slippery AND that "cultural changes" can be just as"

The Firing of Australian Doctor for Social Media Posts Exemplifies the Political Takeover of Medicine - "Human Rights lawyer, John Steenhof, in his contribution to the 2021, Dr. Kevin Donnelly compilation, ‘Cancel Culture and the Left’s long March.’... Writing under the heading ‘Slouching Towards Groupthink,’ Steenhof described how “Doctors and other health professionals are increasingly being forced to align with a cultural-left agenda through creeping limits imposed by Codes of Conduct.”  Any breach of the Code, Steenhof explained could “lead to Doctors being struck-off by the Medical Board.”  This, he said, was compounded by the Medical Board’s move towards “leftist critical theory concepts about issues like cultural safety, white supremacy, and colonisation.”...   As Human Rights lawyer, John Steenhof concluded, “Jereth is a good doctor. He does his job well. He treats his colleagues well. He treats his patients well.”  But, Steenhof said, “none of that matters. Solely on the basis of his internet posts, this good doctor’s career has been ruined.”  Cementing his point, Steenhof argued, this “happened not because Dr. Jereth did the wrong thing but because Dr. Jereth said the wrong thing – and all originating from an anonymous complaint from an activist. Another example of cancel culture by way of the legal system.”  Noting how problematic the precedent actually is, Bill Muehlenberg observed: “Now if doctors say the “wrong” thing on private social media pages, the powers that be, can hound a doctor like this right out of business.”"

‘I see cancel culture every single day’ - "Writers, artists and comedians once delighted in pushing boundaries. Causing offence was seen as a necessary by-product of challenging art. But in today’s climate of wokeness, all that has changed. Artists are either too afraid to ruffle feathers, or are themselves trying to enforce the new woke diktats. Can the arts – and comedy in particular – survive this stifling climate?... Dreyfus: The woke are the most puritanical, humourless bunch I have ever come across in my life. In fact, I wish Mary Whitehouse would come back. She was only ever upset when you said something about Jesus or used a bad word. Ultimately, she was harmless. These people today are much more insidious because they don’t just want to stop you from saying something that offends them – they think you have no right to exist. Look at Roy Chubby Brown, who had his gig cancelled recently. He could not even go out and perform. He was not allowed to exist. When people say cancel culture does not exist, I laugh, because you see it every single day. You might not find Roy Chubby Brown funny – I do not find him particularly funny – but there are people who do and they are being treated like children. Why shouldn’t they go and watch whoever they want to? It’s not like he is Joseph Goebbels. People are so puritanical. We are in the era of The Crucible again.
O’Neill: Absolutely. Look at the incident at the Old Vic, where Terry Gilliam was reportedly given the boot. Gilliam is a cinematic genius. He was going to direct Stephen Sondheim’s Into the Woods. Sondheim had given his blessing to the production. But apparently it had to be stopped. Not because of anything in the show, but simply because Gilliam had criticised the #MeToo movement and had made a joke about identifying as a black lesbian. He blasphemed and therefore had to be cast out. Isn’t this the resurrection of the blacklist?
Dreyfus: It’s McCarthyism. And to do it to Terry Gilliam shows that these people have no sense of history. If you know anything, you know that Monty Python was anarchic. They all said and did anarchic things. The whole debate over Life of Brian looks really calm and quiet in comparison to today. The adults are indulging the children. When the children complain, the adults accept it. That makes them as bad as the children. "
O’Neill: If Life of Brian came out today, wouldn’t it be the trans activists protesting outside the cinemas rather than the Christians, because of that hilarious scene where Stan wants to become Loretta?"

Matt Walsh says his best-selling 'Johnny the Walrus' book was removed from Amazon's LGBTQ section as well as Target's website: 'The canceling begins' - "As of Thursday, conservative commentator Matt Walsh's "Johnny the Walrus" — a children's book that skewers leftist gender ideology by way of a story about a boy who pretends to be a walrus — was ranked number 1 on Amazon's list of "Best Sellers in LGBTQ+ Books."  But not any more.  No, his book didn't slip in the rankings. Instead, Walsh pointed out Friday that Amazon removed "Johnny the Walrus" from the LGBTQ+ section entirely."

An Astronomer Cancels His Own Research—Because the Results Weren’t Popular - "eminent astronomer John Kormendy retracted an article intended for publication in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences from a preprint website. His article focused on statistical results relating to the evaluation of the “future impact” of astronomers’ research as a means to “inform decisions on resource allocation such as job hires and tenure decisions.” Online critics attacked Kormendy’s use of quantitative metrics, which may be seen as casting doubt on the application of diversity criteria in personnel decisions, at which point Kormendy felt the need to release an abject apology... Of course, statistical analyses of real-world human data are always subject to the possibility that systematic biases can inappropriately skew the claimed results. And I would never suggest that Kormendy’s work is beyond criticism. But the traditional scientific manner of engaging in such criticism is that other scientists present alternative proposals, and explore other data sets, to search for possible flaws in the original analysis. That is how science should be done. Those who claim in advance, without new analysis or data, that someone else’s research results are “harmful” or threatening, without challenging its accuracy, should consider another profession... It is hard to know what specifically induced this kind of Maoist mea culpa. But Kormendy (or someone with authority over him) presumably was swayed by the online tempest. And an unfortunate effect will be that anyone observing how this played out will be warned off making their own inquiries in this field, for fear that they will meet the same fate. This is one reason why scientific articles should never be retracted simply because they might cause offense. Truth can hurt, but too bad... Unfortunately for Kormendy, the “real world” is also a place in which claims of victimization and inequity now dominate many academic discussions, to such extent that attempting a modest contribution to better science can be attacked—and, in this case, literally expunged—by those who believe that a quantitative exploration of certain data sets can be harmful or threatening."

Ricky Gervais: I wanna live long enough to see the younger generation not be woke enough for the next one | The Post Millennial - "Comedian Ricky Gervais called out cancel culture in his hit podcast series Absolutely Mental... Gervais has been a longtime critic of social justice and cancel culture, and he has been particularly critical of attempts to get people fired over their opinion. "If it is choosing not to watch a comedian because you don't like them, that's everyone's right," he said. "But when people are trying to get someone fired because they don't like their opinion about something that's nothing to do with their job, that's what I call cancel culture and that's not cool.  "You turning off your own TV isn't censorship. You trying to get other people to turn off their TV, because you don't like something they're watching, that's different."... Gervais continued, "Everyone's allowed to call you an a**ehole, everyone's allowed to stop watching your stuff, everyone's allowed to burn your DVDs, but you shouldn't have to go to court for saying a joke that someone didn't like.  "And that's what we get dangerously close to. If you don't agree to someone's right to say something you don't agree with, you don't agree with freedom of speech," Gervais concluded."

Mount A suspends professor after investigation into complaints about blog - "The internal review was launched in February, after several students complained to the university's student union.  Jonathan Ferguson, who was president of Mount Allison Students' Union at that time, said the union received multiple complaints about Azar's blog.  The complaints were not about any one post specifically, he said, but rather about "what this professor was saying throughout her blog … denying systemic racism in New Brunswick or in Canada, talking about BIPOC students in unkind ways, labelling Black Lives Matter a radical group."   During the controversy in February, Husoni Raymond, a St. Thomas University graduate who was mentioned in Azar's blog, tweeted: "Disappointing to see a professor who's still ignorant to what racism is and will be using her power within the institution to uphold racists ideologies. Racism IS in Canada. Racism IS in NB."  Raymond was responding to a post by Azar in which she said, in part:  "NB is NOT racist. Canada is NOT racist. We do not have 'systemic' racism or 'systemic' discrimination. We just have systemic naivety because we are a young country and because we want to save the world.  "Oh, one quick question to Mr. Husoni Raymond: Upon your graduation from St. Thomas University, you have been named the 2020 recipient of the Tom McCann Memorial Trophy for your 'strong leadership and character' … If NB is as racist as you are claiming, would one of its prestigious universities be honouring you like that?"...   Several of Azar's posts quote from Black Lives Matter's Facebook page, in one instance questioning its push to be included in New Brunswick school curriculum and in another instance referring to its rating of political parties on their stand on Black Lives Matter issues as "ill-disguised communist propaganda."  "At the end of the day, it is unprofessional to comment on students' beliefs," Burke said.  "We believe that students have a right to a safe learning environment and should feel safe" bringing up certain subjects in the classroom. But for Mark Mercer, head of the Society for Academic Freedom and Scholarship, the university's decision is a blow to academic freedom and to the vital tenet of free speech on campus...   Mercer said universities are "signalling" their commitment to the goals of social justice movements by vigorously prosecuting allegations.  But in so doing, he said, they will ultimately put a chill on the expression and discussion of ideas.  That has already happened, Mercer said.   "Many students and professors are now fearful not only of expressing the views they themselves hold, but even floating certain ideas to see what the criticisms are" because they're worried they'll be sanctioned, he said.  "I don't think universities have done very well at creating safe spaces for discussion.""
If you criticise a student's views, that makes him feel "unsafe". Good luck teaching like this

Marx and Poverty

"In spite of his having made £400 by speculating in American funds, Marx was obliged to write to Engels yet another begging letter...

Engels duly came to the rescue and went as far as guaranteeing Marx £200 p.a., with the possibility of another £50. In November 1866 Marx's hopes were momentarily raised by the death of an aunt in Frankfurt but the result was only a meagre £12. The family was soon threatened with eviction and Marx had to get small loans from acquaintances ‘as in the worst refugee period'. The situation was made even worse by the necessity of keeping up appearances in front of Paul Lafargue, who was then paying court to Laura. Marx once again expressed a desire to go bankrupt — but instead ordered champagne and gymnastic lessons for Laura on the doctor's advice. During 1867 Marx recognised that Engels had given him ‘an enormous sum of money' but claimed that its effect was negated by his previous debts which amounted to £200. The next year, on his fiftieth birthday, he bitterly recalled his mother's words, ‘if only Karl had made Capital, instead of just writing about it'. Things were so bad that Marx seriously considered moving to Geneva...

In November 1868 the financial situation became intolerable and Engels asked Marx to let him know firstly how much he needed to clear all his debts and secondly whether he could live thereafter on £350 p.a. (Engels himself enjoyed an income from 1860 onwards of never less than £1100.) Marx described himself as ‘quite knocked down', asked Jenny to calculate their total debts and discovered that they were ‘much larger' than he had imagined." Engels let himself be bought out of Ermen and Engels earlier than he had anticipated and left the firm — to his immense jubilation and the popping of cham- pagne corks - on 1 July 1869. Three weeks later, however, Marx noticed that jenny was still not managing with the weekly allowance that he gave her. On pressing her about it, ‘the stupidity of women emerged... Women plainly always need to be controlled !' Engels accepted this with good grace and Marx's financial troubles were, at last, finished. It has been calculated from their correspondence that from 1865 to 1869 Engels gave Marx no less than £1862."

--- Karl Marx: His Life and Thought / David McLellan

Links - 22nd October 2022 (1 - Covid-19)

Alex Washburne on Twitter - "This is a good example of how academics try to exclude diverse opinions (and people) from the field.  Dr. Chan has made extremely good arguments about the origin of SARS-CoV-2, and now Dr. Neil is accusing her of "conspiracism for money" & calling to remove her from a panel. Dr. Chan has been professional. She disagrees with others in the field, incidentally with people like Dr. Neil. Dr. Chan has made her arguments very well, and yet she's been subjected to constant abuse from this cartel of researchers seeking to silence her. This is not okay."

You Do Not "Follow" Science ... You Confirm or Refute It - "There’s a very firm psychological reason why the catch phrase of the day is ‘follow the science’ and not ‘confirm the science’, ‘validate the science’, ‘debate the science’ or ‘replicate the science.’ Science is never settled or followed unless evil is trying to set a trap for the public"

Jordan Schachtel @ dossier.substack.com on Twitter - "They all lied to the people *Bill Gates and other "experts" on vaccination ending the pandemic, stopping infection and transmission etc*"
Of course, the cope is that the science changed. Clearly this shows that "science" is infallible and anyone who disagrees with it is a far right conspiracy theorist "denier"

Meme - "The last century's "settled science' is often the next century's pseudo science. *lobotomy*"
Meme - "In the 1940's-50's a Lobotomy represented the leading edge of psychiatric science and many considered the procedure "settled science." Infact, in 1949, the inventor of the procedure, Dr. Antonio Egas Moniz, was awared the Noble Prize for his discovery. Thousands of patients had their SELF destroyed by this procedure and became docile, robotic, non-humans"

Meme - "When somebody says they trust the science, they're not doing this:
*lab work*
They're just doing this:
*watching talking head on TV*"

Meme - Amihai Glazer @AmihaiGlazer "States where physicians are highly paid have lower Covid-19 mortality per capita. *correlation with awful fit*"
"What's the R-squared on that line? It looks like an extremely poor fit to the data."
"The ubiquitous misuse and tyranny of SST [statistical significance testing] threatens scientific discoveries and may even impede scientific progress."
"Follow the science"... from people who don't even know what they're talking about

Jordan Peterson Slams COVID Tyranny: ‘F***ing Leave Me Alone’ - "I got vaccinated, and people took me to task for that, and I thought, all right, I’ll get the damn vaccine. Here’s the deal, guys. I’ll get the vaccine; you f***ing leave me alone... And did that work? No. So, stupid me, you know?"
Since the "science" changes so much, it can't be the gospel truth

Meme - Mark D. Levine @MarkLe... 09 Jun: "BREAKING: Masking for children aged 2-4 in NYC schools and daycare centers will not longer be mandated. Beginning this Monday, June 13, masks"
Dr. Jorge Caballero stands 09 Jun: "NYC: set yourself a reminder to check COVID data in 6 weeks."
Daniela Jampel @daniela127 Aug 2: "NYC: How's everyone doing?"
HisNameWasRobertPaulson on Twitter - "Oh the irony of Dr. Caballero's handle "data driven" indeed . . ."
Tezos Chairman | Ethereum OG on Twitter - "@DataDrivenMD isn’t so data driven, but he’s got all the current things in his profile." ("come for facts, stay for snark, & #WearAMask | immigrant | #BlackLivesMatter | #StopAAPIHate | @CodersCOVID, Advisor @Doximity | Prev @StanfordAnes @AminoHealth")
Follow "the science"!

Jean-Paul R. Soucy: Why we must not 'follow the science' - The Hub - "“As [prime minister], I will let science dictate mandates, not arbitrary political whims,” tweeted Jean Charest in response to Ottawa’s announcement about dropping federal vaccine mandates. It was a familiar refrain, the practically mandatory invocation by a politician of “following the science” as the justification for any change in public health policy, whether dropping restrictions or reinstating them, cutting isolation periods, or defending random testing at airports. But does anyone believe it?  In practice, it is rarely a change in “the science” that motivates a change in policy. Oftentimes, it seems to be a change in what is politically expedient that does so.  Politicians have been all-too-happy to embrace the rhetorical dodge of “following the science”. By pinning the responsibility for their decisions on “the science”, they avoid having to explain the true reasoning, which might open them up to criticism and debate. It is easier to present a policy as the only option, resulting from the unassailable authority of science instead of the sum of numerous subjective considerations, each one a new opening for attack.  However, this political game is not without consequences. First, it tarnishes the credibility of scientific evidence as an input into the scientific process. It is no secret that many Canadians have succumbed to misinformation during this pandemic. For example, a recent survey by Abacus Data reveals that the belief in a mass cover-up of coronavirus vaccine deaths is disturbingly common. What is underappreciated is the role of politicians’ careless use of language in fuelling this erosion of trust... In reality, “science” cannot dictate policy, because science cannot weigh the value of particular freedoms against specific risks, any more than it can tell you how to feel about a sunset. Policy is about making trade-offs, based on a set of values and goals, in the light of evidence. Unfortunately, the nature of these trade-offs has been frustratingly opaque throughout the pandemic. This has also made policies more difficult to revise. Consider the case of border closures in March 2020, which were considered unthinkable until days later when they were considered essential. More recently, the same arbitrary-feeling decision-making was employed regarding random testing at airports and federal vaccine mandates. Transparency regarding the evidence used to inform decisions, as well as the goals being pursued and the trade-offs being considered, would make it easier to periodically review and adapt these policies so that changes feel less haphazard... “Follow the science” is a slogan, not a strategy. Worse, it has been used as a fig leaf to cover for political expediency and partisan jockeying. The biggest loser in this charade is the public. Trust is the currency of public health and transparency is a critical part of building and maintaining this fragile commodity. Transparency means being clear not only about the evidence informing our policies but the values and goals motivating them. Appealing to some rarefied version of “the science” can only harm the effort to rebuild trust in our institutions."

UK Is Top Destination for European Travelers, Beating Spain - Bloomberg - "The UK’s resurgence as a travel hot spot was partly driven by the government’s decision to scrap all remaining Covid-19 travel restrictions in March, marking an end to nearly two years of measures. These included expensive Covid tests and quarantine"
Of course, if your aim is really to destroy the economy...

Duration of effectiveness of vaccines against SARS-CoV-2 infection and COVID-19 disease: results of a systematic review and meta-regression - "For severe COVID-19 disease, vaccine efficacy or effectiveness decreased by 10·0 percentage points (95% CI 6·1–15·4) in people of all ages and 9·5 percentage points (5·7–14·6) in older people. Most (81%) vaccine efficacy or effectiveness estimates against severe disease remained greater than 70% over time... COVID-19 vaccine efficacy or effectiveness against severe disease remained high, although it did decrease somewhat by 6 months after full vaccination"
"Covid vaccines work, so you should get vaccinated. But they stop working, so you should get boosted"

Waning 2-Dose and 3-Dose Effectiveness of mRNA Vaccines Against COVID-19–Associated Emergency Department and Urgent Care Encounters and Hospitalizations Among Adults During Periods of Delta and Omicron Variant Predominance - "Vaccine effectiveness (VE) against COVID-19–associated emergency department/urgent care (ED/UC) visits and hospitalizations was higher after the third dose than after the second dose but waned with time since vaccination. During the Omicron-predominant period, VE against COVID-19–associated ED/UC visits and hospitalizations was 87% and 91%, respectively, during the 2 months after a third dose and decreased to 66% and 78% by the fourth month after a third dose. Protection against hospitalizations exceeded that against ED/UC visits."
Clearly we need to force everyone to take 6-monthly boosters for the rest of their lives to prevent infection, even though protection against severe disease remains robust

Tucker Carlson: Our leaders, the media lie about potential treatment for coronavirus when we need the truth - "in a lot of ways, hydroxychloroquine is the ideal medicine. If it turns out to be an effective treatment against coronavirus, things will change fast in this country and for the better. Is it an effective treatment? We don't know that. Scattered reports from health care providers across the country, including in New York City, suggest that it may be. It is currently being prescribed in France, and at least one study suggests that it works.  In an interview on Tuesday, Dr. Anthony Fauci said that "of course" he'd be willing to try hydroxychloroquine on coronavirus patients if you were treating them directly. A patient in Florida credits the drug for his rapid turnaround.  More trials are currently underway, including one in New York, the epicenter of the outbreak here. This is how science works. It works incrementally in different places at the same time and in the end, effectively, if you let it.  At the very least we should all be following developments in hydroxychloroquine's use with interest and measured hope"
From March 2020
Some hater claimed that "tucker's followers literally kill themselves cause he says so" because "he told people to take hydroxychloriquin". But if you see what he actually said, it was very different (not to mention how telling people to take HCQ is not the same as telling them to kill themselves. This is a great illustration of liberal fake news. This is in the same vein as the hit job when Colin Powell died, where liberals once again pretended Carlson said something totally different to what he did

Sean Speer: Operation Warp Speed didn't cut corners on vaccines, it saved lives - "It’s easy to forget that the prevailing view through much of last year was that Operation Warp Speed’s goal of having a vaccine ready by January 2021 was highly improbable. The previous record for the quickest vaccine development was the mumps vaccine, which took four years from collecting viral samples to licensing and producing the drug in the mid-1960s. And the typical time frame could extend well beyond a decade. The mainstream media and leading members of the scientific community voiced significant doubts about Operation Warp Speed’s prospects and even its underlying motivations. There was a widespread sense in those early days that it mostly amounted to a public relations distraction from the Trump administration’s initial failure to manage the pandemic. This point is worth emphasizing: from the chief scientist at the World Health Organization to leading medical journals and virtually everyone in between, it’s fair to say that there was a high degree of early skepticism about Operation Warp Speed’s long-run prospects. Just consider a May 2020 article in Vanity Fair, for instance, which called it “dangerous” and “likely to fail,” or a CNN report the following month that warned it may undermine public support for vaccines more generally... Operation Warp Speed’s US$10-billion ($12-billion) public investment involved some funding for research and development. Moderna, for instance, received US$1 billion to develop and test its vaccine. But its main contribution was to pre-purchase millions of doses from Pfizer and Moderna before the companies even knew if the vaccines would work. One might think of it as a massive financial prize to reward them for their innovation."
Too bad the world didn't "follow the science" and plan to lock down for 4 years
One cope I saw was that Pfizer didn't benefit from Operation Warp Speed - pretending that having a guaranteed market didn't help

Effective Pandemic Response is Not About Preparation - "If we examine the countries that have responded best to COVID-19 (especially, the small Asian nations of the Pacific coast), we see that the factor that distinguishes them is competence. This concept is largely orthogonal to “preparation” as it is usually interpreted in the U.S."

Two Kinds of Pandemic Failures - The Atlantic - "Political debates in the U.S. are too dominated by rival factions hyperfocused on one truth. The “blue” faction knows that a better-funded government is necessary to solve important problems. The “red” faction knows that getting the government out of the way is necessary to solve important problems. Neither faction is wrong, but both are often blind to ways that their rivals are right, in part because they focus so much on the other side’s dumbest arguments."

How we lost our collective memory of epidemics - "Over the past 70 years richer nations have gradually lost their sense of danger concerning epidemics and serious infections. We must now reacquire this instinctive memory."
Ironic, given that they overreacted wildly to covid, unlike with previous pandemics

Adverse effects of COVID-19 vaccines and measures to prevent them - "Recently, The Lancet published a study on the effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccines and the waning of immunity with time. The study showed that immune function among vaccinated individuals 8 months after the administration of two doses of COVID-19 vaccine was lower than that among the unvaccinated individuals. According to European Medicines Agency recommendations, frequent COVID-19 booster shots could adversely affect the immune response and may not be feasible. The decrease in immunity can be caused by several factors such as N1-methylpseudouridine, the spike protein, lipid nanoparticles, antibody-dependent enhancement, and the original antigenic stimulus. These clinical alterations may explain the association reported between COVID-19 vaccination and shingles. As a safety measure, further booster vaccinations should be discontinued. In addition, the date of vaccination should be recorded in the medical record of patients. Several practical measures to prevent a decrease in immunity have been reported. These include limiting the use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, including acetaminophen to maintain deep body temperature, appropriate use of antibiotics, smoking cessation, stress control, and limiting the use of lipid emulsions, including propofol, which may cause perioperative immunosuppression. In conclusion, COVID-19 vaccination is a major risk factor for infections in critically ill patients."

The mad meltdown over ‘V Day’ - "Obsessive Britain-basher Fintan O’Toole took umbrage at the ‘V Day’ pun and complained about ‘petty patriotism’ surrounding the vaccine roll-out...   O’Toole was even moved to ask ‘what’s so great about going first?’, adding that ‘very little is really gained by jumping ahead of other countries by a few weeks’. It seems all the lives that an earlier roll-out would save, and the economic cost of lockdown it would cut short, aren’t worth it.  Earlier on in the pandemic, O’Toole complained that lives were ‘sacrificed’ on the altar of British exceptionalism. Now he complains that saving lives has allowed ministers to say something positive about the UK.   Meanwhile, another Guardianista, Joel Golby, also managed to contrive some outrage about the vaccine. He pointed out that the UK ‘had nothing to do with this vaccine’ and sneered at the ‘dumb’ and ‘weird’ excitement over Britain’s fast approval and roll-out...   But the award for the most deranged response must go to Philip Ball. Writing in the New Statesman, he accused ministers of ‘openly indulging in rhetoric normally associated with far-right nationalists’. Really? Being proud of the roll-out of a vaccine is the new fascism? That’s what people mean when they talk about far-right extremism? This miserable trio’s ridiculous comments echo those of Dr Emily Cousens, the academic who said, to much mockery, that she did not want Oxford University, where she teaches, to be the first to develop a Covid vaccine. Back in April, she wrote in the Huffington Post that she was ‘worried that it will be used… to fulfil its political, patriotic function as proof of British excellence’...   It speaks to the depths of miserabilism among Guardianistas and Remoaners that even the swift arrival of a life-saving vaccine is no reason to be cheerful."
From 2020. We are still told that liberals don't hate their countries

Pfizer’s CEO on the Big Gamble That Brought Us the COVID Vaccine - Freakonomics - "JENA: Why did you choose the mRNA platform versus any number of ways you could have tried to develop a vaccine?
BOURLA: I was very reluctant to choose it. Moderna, the decision for them would be, shall we do a vaccine or not? There was only one way they can do it — mRNA. This is where they are good. Ourselves, we were mastering all technologies. But my scientists came and said, let’s try mRNA. And that was very counterintuitive. I challenged the decision. I said, “Are you kidding me? You want to put in a pandemic all our bets into a technology that never delivered a product? Why don’t we go with something else?”"
Weird that the CEO of Pfizer didn't get the "fact check" that mRNA vaccines are not new and have been around for 20 years

‘Too risky’ to allow 5 in same household to dine in: MTF - "It is “too risky” for five members of the same household to sit together in a restaurant, said Lawrence Wong, co-chair on the COVID-19 multi-ministry taskforce (MTF), on Wednesday (20 October)."
Delegates at Bloomberg forum in Singapore can dine in groups of 5 at specific venues - "Local and foreign delegates at the Bloomberg New Economy Forum (NEF) next month will be subject to strict measures, including being fully vaccinated to ensure their safety and well-being as well as that of the community, the authorities said on Sunday (Oct 24)."

Think You’ve Never Had Covid-19? Think Again - WSJ - "About 40% of confirmed Covid-19 cases are asymptomatic, according to a meta-analysis published in December in the Journal of the American Medical Association. More than two years into the pandemic, most people worldwide have likely been infected with the virus at least once, epidemiologists said... Immunologists are studying whether exposure to one type of pathogen can trigger an immune response against others including SARS-CoV-2. A study published in the journal Science Immunology this month found some people had T-cells in their guts and on their skin before the pandemic began that appeared to help them fight SARS-CoV-2.  There is some evidence that some people who may have been exposed to certain coronaviruses before the pandemic are equipped with cells that attack SARS-CoV-2 before it can spread, said Steve Jameson at the University of Minnesota Medical School."

Why risk-aversion is bad for us - "The days when we used to complain about ‘health and safety gone mad’ now seem like a golden age. Being warned that the contents of a coffee cup may be hot seems like a mild annoyance compared with the current restrictions on our lives. The Health and Safety Executive has long had a perfectly serviceable approach to keeping us safe. Its aim is to reduce risk to a level that is ‘as low as is reasonably practicable’. It says we must ‘accept that risk from an activity can never be entirely eliminated unless the activity is stopped’.  But the government’s response to Covid has entirely contradicted that principle. In his evidence to the Science and Technology Committee in March, Chris Whitty said that lifting lockdown restrictions could not be speeded up because ‘You want to be absolutely confident it is safe’. Extreme risk-aversion is now built into policy.   An ‘as low as is reasonably practicable’ approach to risk would tell us that because granny has now been vaccinated, the chances of killing her by hugging her are tiny – so go ahead. Instead, ministers insist we must say no to any physical contact until all risk is eliminated. That is neither reasonable nor practicable.  It also ignores the dangers of this ultra-cautious approach. US hospitals, for example, became so focused on preventing falls among frail patients that they ended up with an ‘epidemic of immobility’, reports found in 2019. A policy of absolute safety led to people becoming bed-bound, because it was deemed too unsafe for them to get up. Their muscles wasted away and they were unable to walk independently again. That was much worse for their long-term health than the risk of falls. And in inquiry after inquiry into recent terrorist attacks, the fire and ambulance services have been found wanting because their procedures insist on extreme risk-avoidance. Those attending major incidents are not permitted to exercise personal judgement about what risks to take – and so the fire crews at the Manchester Arena bombing took two hours to enter the scene. People wounded in the London Bridge attack were also left for hours because ambulance crews were told it was too risky to tend to them. The emergency services were following the Chris Whitty rule – they had to be ‘absolutely confident’ that it was safe, even if the delay meant people would die. Throughout the pandemic, a refusal to accept some level of risk has led to excessive and illogical rules which have made things worse. The period of Covid self-isolation was initially set at 14 days, even though the chances of being infectious after seven days are tiny. It was belatedly reduced to 10 days, but that’s still longer than in countries like France. This excessive caution probably ended up increasing risk, as more people would likely have complied if the isolation time was shorter. What is particularly galling is that this policy of absolute safety has actually been set aside when it has suited the scientists and politicians. Moving to a three-month gap between vaccination doses had clear risks...   There will, no doubt, be pressure to ban any activity that could land us in hospital. Football and rugby cause many injuries every year. Climbing, cycling and horseriding, not to mention drinking and overeating, are all risky activities that place pressure on health services. Will they be curtailed, too?  The commitment to absolute safety will be extremely bad for all of us. As the writer Greg Lukianoff and the psychologist Jonathan Haidt argue in The Coddling of the American Mind, ‘human beings need physical and mental challenges and stressors or we deteriorate’. If the government claims to be able to stop bad things happening and instead make life a safe space, we will not be able to cope when things inevitably turn nasty."
From 2021

'This is healthy': Cosmopolitan promotes plus-sized 'wellness' despite COVID-19 obesity risks - "After profiling more than a dozen women who supposedly prove wellness isn't "one size fits all," Cosmopolitan is facing backlash for suggesting there is nothing unhealthy about being overweight amid COVID-19 obesity risks... "The body positivity movement preys upon & exploits woman who are insecure about their weight. Telling overweight people they can be perfectly healthy without losing weight may be a great way to sell magazines, but it's a crappy thing to do if you care about public health"... "This is how the left has warped so many minds: we're told if we fail to *celebrate* obesity it means we *hate* obese people"... "I'm just tired of pretending true things aren't true. In this and many other areas of life," added self-described "anti-feminist" Inez Stepman who serves as a senior policy analyst at the Independent Women's Forum. The Daily Caller News Foundation's associate editor Katrina Haydon compared the Cosmopolitan's "This is healthy" layouts to when Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot declared, "Science is back baby."... "You have a higher chance of dying from China Virus because you're fat than not wearing a mask"... Ahmed urged the nation to focus on biological and metabolical faculties that influenza infections target. Research on the latter demonstrated that the "obese may be more contagious," she said, "by increasing the timeframe in which they continue shedding a virus after an infection, with huge implications for mitigation strategies." She then extended this discovery to the coronavirus, "because the immune defects are the same.""
If it's justified to force people to get a covid vaccination because we pretend it reduces infectiousness, can we force people to lose weight for the same reason?

Government is not the divine source of ‘truth’ | The Spectator Australia - "‘Unless you hear it from us, it is not the truth,’ declared New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, in a chilling speech related to Covid health advice.  The 2020 clip was dug up by The Daily Wire yesterday, reminding the world what the crucible of government overreach looked like from the sober reality of 2022.  And it is not a pretty sight.  The hubris, delusional self-importance, and elevation of government to a position of ‘absolute unquestioned truth’ is a sign that New Zealand’s leadership has gone beyond its charter and waded into a China-style system of absolutism.  They were not alone in this behaviour.  There is no clearer indication of an authoritarian sickness taking hold than comments like this from the Prime Minister.
'You can trust us as a source of that information. You can also trust the Director General of Health and the Ministry of Health. For that information, do feel free to visit – at any time – to clarify any rumour you may hear.  ‘Otherwise, dismiss anything else. We will continue to be your single source of truth.  ‘We will provide information frequently. We will share everything we can. Everything else you see – a grain of salt. And so I really ask people to focus.’...
  It is easy enough to point out the obvious flaw in Ardern’s reasoning. Health advice coming out of governments around the world – including New Zealand – has been wrong. Repeatedly. And it is never corrected or the state-issued fines returned with an apology.   That is without considering the undemocratic nastiness that the government’s position led to where epidemiologists were quoted as saying horrific things like ‘with no jab, no job, no fun’ or inaccurate alarmist predictions like ‘if 95 per cent of the population is vaccinated, there will be death, disease, and hospitalisations for the last five per cent’. This is not being reflected in figures.  The last two years have revealed the weakness, not strength, of centralised expert opinion.  Those nations that chose to diverge from World Health Organisation advice provide us with a rare insight into better options, such as Sweden who respected the individual sovereignty of its citizens. Without disobedient nations, we would never know that this approach worked.   For the majority of nations, the population has been treated to the silencing of dissenting medical voices, threats to de-register practitioners who did not believe it was in the best interests of their patients to expose them to unnecessary risk, and the sacking of thousands of health workers – all of whom with more knowledge in the industry than Prime Ministers or Presidents – that did not agree with the government decree. Ardern’s statement in particular undermines the founding principle of science – which is that science is an evolving system of knowledge whose expansion and advancement relies on diversity of thought, competing ideas, fresh data, and open challenges...   Is mask-wearing a good idea? We don’t know. The government insists that it is essential to safeguarding the population but wide studies on the topic have repeatedly failed to produce the physical evidence necessary to justify mandates while incidental evidence pouring in from mask-wearing nations shows no clear indication it has any impact at all.  Were lockdowns the right approach? They were ordered by the government, and yet there is an increasingly opinion that they did more harm than good and should never be attempted again.  What about the Ardern pursuit of a Covid Zero New Zealand? How many press conferences were given insisting that New Zealand had conquered the virus and that government measures would protect New Zealand forever? These policies are now being labelled as ‘absurd’ and ‘damaging’. Most disagreed with the government advice at the time and warned that they were living in a fantasy bubble, prolonging and even worsening an inevitable outbreak – which is exactly what New Zealand is experiencing now with one of the fastest growing outbreaks in the world... There’s a reason governments are desperate to become the central source of information and truth – fending off opposing thought requires evidence and robust debate. Ministers do not want health policy challenged on merit because it would lose. It signals political weakness."

New Zealand COVID death rate at record levels - "Emergency departments, general practices and medical centres are under pressure. However, Health Ministry data shows hospitalisation levels remain below those seen during the March peak.  The government is resisting pressure from some doctors to reinstate curbs on public gatherings or mandate the wearing of masks at schools."
Weird. I thought they were successful with covid because their leader was a women and they had strict lockdowns and they were responsible

NZ has mask mandates and isolation, but the Omicron daily death rate is still 'very concerning' - "On the World Health Organization's ranking of daily new confirmed COVID-19 deaths per million people, New Zealand has been among the worst-performing nations this week.   New Zealand has announced a change in how it will report its COVID-19-related deaths, moving to a model where cases are only counted in mortality figures when the disease has been the direct reason for the loss of life."
So much for mocking countries which front-loaded covid deaths as havng failed

Nikolaus on Twitter - "So how are you keeping sane throughout all of this "covid is over" gaslighting?"
"I'm not. I've been trapped inside for 2.5 years except for necessary (and terrifying) drs appointments. I've just started cutting off everyone I see acting like everything is okay because frankly I'm fucking tired of being an afterthought to the whole of society."
Nikolaus on Twitter - "People saying "I deserve to be able to go to a party, vacay, show, cons etc." When you say that to me after having to isolate for 2.5 years because of other people's comfort and supposed entitlements, all I hear is you're trying to excuse potentially killing someone else.
Unless you absolutely have to be there, there is no excuse you can give that would ever make your lack of boredom worth anyone's life."
Clearly the world needs to shut down for the rest of time and the economy needs to be destroyed and people starve due to the immunocompromised. Unsurprisingly, its bio is: "Level 40, neurodivergent trans guy. Immunocompromised from multiple conditions, with allergies to practically everything. (INCLUDING myself and the Sun.)"

Thursday, October 20, 2022

Links - 20th October 2022 (2 - Veganism)

Protesters against Starbucks vegan milk prices shuts down West End - "“Man, this was entertainment,” said Wendell Johnson, who had a front row seat at the protest. “Man, they were fast. Within seconds they stopped the whole Starbucks. They just shut it down. No one could come in, no one could come out.” Over a dozen Metro Police cars shut down the streets as protesters cemented their feet to make their point.  “Starbucks claims they area about sustainability,” Tricia Lebkuecher with PETA said. “Yet, it still charges customers up to 90 cents extra for non-dairy milks.”  She said the coffee empire’s extra charge on vegan milk hurts the planet... As with any protest, there was opposition. That came from across the street where Gavin Paraiso held a sign saying, “soy milk sucks.”"
In leftist economics, things are free after all. You can never pander enough to activists

A Choice With Definite Risks - NYTimes.com - "Soy protein is not good for a baby’s first food for the same reason that soy formula is not good for newborns. It’s a poor source of calcium, iron and zinc — and much too high in estrogen. It also lacks adequate methionine, which babies and children need to grow properly. Lastly, soy damages the thyroid, which compromises immunity and stunts growth.  Vegans may believe it’s possible to get B12 from plant sources like seaweed, fermented soy, spirulina and brewer’s yeast. Alas, these foods contain mostly B12 analogs, which, according to the health writer Chris Kresser, “block intake of and increase the need for true B12,” a vital nutrient for mental health.  Mr. Kresser argues that this is one reason studies consistently show that up to 50 percent of long-term vegetarians and 80 perent of vegans are deficient in B12. “The effects of B12 deficiency on kids are especially alarming,” he writes. “Studies have shown that kids raised until age 6 on a vegan diet are still B12 deficient even years after they start eating at least some animal products.” In one study, the researchers found “a significant association” between low B12 levels and “fluid intelligence, spatial ability and short-term memory.” The formerly vegan kids scored lower than omnivorous kids every time."

The Game Changers (2018) List of athletes failed by veganism - "The Game Changers (2018) is a documentary that promotes veganism as the recipe for advanced athleticism. In this documentary, an array of athletes are showcased as superhuman in ability, all attributing their success to a vegan diet at least in part.  However, that’s not where the story ends. What happened to these vegan athletes? Many of them have abandoned the vegan diet, gotten injured, have left their sport soon after, or were never vegan in the first place."
Since vegans love to gush about vegan athletes.

Vegetarian and Vegan Trends Pushing More People Into Deficiency Risk - "28 per cent of vegans and 13 per cent of vegetarians have been diagnosed with a nutrient deficiency following a blood test... Yet, despite this, more than six in 10 people claimed that their plant-based diet provided all of the nutrients they need."

Why I Am No Longer Vegan - "In the past year and half I have seen more doctors and specialists than I care to count. I’ve seen conventional doctors, naturopathic doctors, homeopaths, chiropractors, acupuncturists, nutritionists, dietitians. You name it, I’ve tried it. I’ve had countless tests done, from hormone panels, to thyroid, iron, vitamin A, D, B12, iodine, and more. I tried DOZENS of supplements (at one point I was taking upwards of 50 supplements a day just to feel normal). A lot of progress was made thanks to certain supplements, but not enough to get my health back to normal. "I always took my important supplements (vitamins D, B12, and even a multivitamin for good measure)...  About a year and a half ago (early 2018) I started to lose extreme amounts of hair in the shower. I’m not talking about a few extra hairs in my brush or on my pillow. I mean huge handfuls that would require me to clean the shower drain at least 3 times over the course of a 5-10 minute shower or else I would end up taking a bath instead...  In addition to the hair loss, I lost my periods, had extreme fatigue yet horrible insomnia, shortness of breath, shin rashes, digestive discomfort and acne so severe I could hardly sleep.  No matter what I ate, right after dinner I was always bloated, gassy, and felt painfully inflamed. Most of the time after I ate I looked pregnant. I was in so much physical and emotional pain that I became a very unpleasant person to be around.  I played around with different foods, macronutrient breakdowns, and a host of other things while still maintaining a vegan diet, but nothing seemed to help.  No matter what food I cut out or added back, it stayed the same. My skin was terrible, my energy was low, and it was really hard finding foods that didn’t irritate my body.  I saw countless doctors and specialists. Eventually, after getting multiple rounds of blood work done, I learned I had severe hormonal imbalances, anemia, leaky gut, celiac disease and several nutrient deficiencies despite my diligent supplementation and varied plant-based diet.  My iron, B12, and vitamin D were extremely low, as well as iodine, selenium, zinc, copper, and a few others.  My body was unable to absorb iron and other nutrients in my food and supplements. In order to absorb nutrients, I needed to heal my gut. There were many foods I had to eliminate to heal my gut such as certain nuts, grains, and legumes. Continuing on a vegan diet without these foods would only lead to further deficiencies...  In the past year and half I have seen more doctors and specialists than I care to count. I’ve seen conventional doctors, naturopathic doctors, homeopaths, chiropractors, acupuncturists, nutritionists, dietitians. You name it, I’ve tried it. I’ve had countless tests done, from hormone panels, to thyroid, iron, vitamin A, D, B12, iodine, and more.  I tried DOZENS of supplements (at one point I was taking upwards of 50 supplements a day just to feel normal). A lot of progress was made thanks to certain supplements, but not enough to get my health back to normal."
I'm sure she was just ignorant and one more supplement would've done the trick

Vegans and vegetarians may have higher stroke risk

How a vegan diet could affect your intelligence - "recent concern about the nutritional gaps in plant-based diets has led to a number of alarming headlines, including a warning that they can stunt brain development and cause irreversible damage to a person’s nervous system. Back in 2016, the German Society for Nutrition went so far as to categorically state that – for children, pregnant or nursing women, and adolescents – vegan diets are not recommended, which has been backed up by a 2018 review of the research. After the Royal Academy of Medicine in Belgium decided a vegan diet was “unsuitable” for children, parents who force a vegan diet on their offspring in Belgium could even one day find themselves in prison... 555 Kenyan schoolchildren, who were fed one of three different types of soup – one with meat, one with milk, and one with oil – or no soup at all, as a snack over seven school terms. They were tested before and after, to see how their intelligence compared. Because of their economic circumstances, the majority of the children were de facto vegetarians at the start of the study.  Surprisingly, the children who were given the soup containing meat each day seemed to have a significant edge. By the end of the study, they outperformed all the other children on a test for non-verbal reasoning. Along with the children who received soup with added oil, they also did the best on a test of arithmetic ability... the holes in our current understanding of what the brain needs to be healthy could potentially be a major problem for vegans, since it’s hard to artificially add a nutrient to your diet, if scientists haven’t discovered its worth yet...   The latest nutrient in question is creatine – a white, powdery substance often found in fitness shakes. Its natural function in the body is to supply our cells with energy, so it’s revered by gym obsessives as a way to improve their endurance.  But it’s also important to the brain – and studies have shown that increasing your intake can provide a range of benefits, such as a better recognition memory and reduced mental fatigue. Recently it’s started to gain traction as a smart drug.  It’s well-established that vegans and vegetarians have significantly lower levels in their bodies, because plants and fungi don’t contain any.  This has led scientists to wonder whether a creatine deficit could be holding some people back. For one study, researchers tested how the intelligence of vegetarians and omnivores changed after five days on supplements. “We found that the vegetarians seemed to benefit particularly,” says David Benton from Swansea University, who led the research.   In contrast, the omnivores were relatively unaffected...   “I tell people all the time, if you're going to be a vegan or vegetarian, that's fine,” says Wallace. “I’m certainly not advocating against it. But there are 40 or something essential nutrients. So, I mean, it really would take a lot of research for vegans to get everything the brain needs,” he says. Some nutrients that a typical vegan diet is low or lacking in, like choline, creatine, carnosine and taurine, are extremely bulky, so just taking a standard vitamin tablet won’t be enough. Instead, they need to be taken individually."
Apparently a diet that is a full time job is a good thing. One vegan claimed that healthy eating was "not hard" and "exactly the same as being omnivorous". Yet the vegan cope when confronted with people with health problems due to veganism is that they didn't eat right and more care in their diet would've solved the problem

Zac Efron reveals why he stopped being vegan: ‘Morally, of course, I still wish I was’ - "“My body wasn’t processing the vegetables in the right way. So, I decided to stop it and try something new”... Efron is not the first celebrity to open up about their decision to stop following a vegan diet, as Miley Cyrus revealed in 2020 that she quit being vegan because her brain “wasn’t functioning properly”.  “I was vegan for a very long time and I’ve had to introduce fish and omegas into my life because my brain wasn’t functioning properly,” the singer told Joe Rogan on his podcast The Joe Rogan Experience, adding that there were other health factors that influenced her decision as well, such as intense hip pain and her realisation that she was “pretty malnourished”."
Of course the cope is that he wasn't committed/informed enough (people were also claiming he had a plant-based diet and wasn't vegan). But even if it were possible for everyone to be a healthy vegan, the fact that it is so hard to do so is hardly a ringing endorsement for the lifestyle

Ukraine: Vegan refugee struggling to find a home - "A woman who fled Ukraine has said she feels "isolated" after failing to find a vegan-friendly host.  Oksana Kopanitsyna said being in the same room as someone eating or preparing meat was like "someone was cutting a child in front of you".  Now living in a bed and breakfast in Ystrad Mynach, Caerphilly county, she said her beliefs were being tested as she looks for her own place to live... She has said she would stay in any home she is offered, but cannot share a fridge with non-vegans or be in the room when they are cooking or eating animal products.  "I will have my own fridge I will keep in my room and I going to pay them for electricity," she said.  "How would it be for you if someone was cutting a child in front of you or keeping body parts in the fridge and you just see a hand or half of face? That is what it feels like for me."... The charity Vegan Society said someone's veganism needs to be taken as seriously as religious and allergy requirements and it was understandable a vegan refugee would want to live "in a plant-based household where their values and views are shared by others"."

Vegans block access for customers wanting milk in four UK cities - "Demonstrators from the activist group Animal Rebellion appeared at numerous supermarkets this week for their 'anti-dairy' protest armed with signs reading ‘Plant-Based Future’ and ‘Rewild our Land’, and attempted to stop shoppers from purchasing milk.  They entered a Whole Foods in London and Marks & Spencer’s stores in Southampton, Birmingham, and Manchester... In a statement, the group expanded on their reasoning behind the protests, saying 'millions of consumers will be unable to buy dairy milk' once it begins taking action in the first two weeks of September.  "We have spent months trying all the proper channels to engage with the government on the scientific consensus to transition to a plant-based future, but they have chosen to ignore us," Animal Rebellion’s statement said.  "We have been left with no choice but to step into civil resistance to pressure government action to preserve our futures.  "We are announcing our intentions in advance so the British public [can] prepare for a disruption to the milk supply this September.  "We apologise for any stress this may cause during a cost of living crisis, but the government are sleepwalking every single one of us into poverty, misery, and climate and ecological collapse. We cannot sit by and let this happen." The group are well known for promoting a plant-based lifestyle and using extreme measures to get their message across. This includes members recently spilling full bottles of milk all over the floor at the Harrods Food Hall in London as part of the 'anti-dairy' protest."
When life is too good. The UK seems to have more activists protesting about meaningless bullshit than other countries, e.g. Extinction Rebellion, Insulate Britain etc
Why people hate vegans

Vegan restaurant 'left with no choice' but to close and reopen as new one selling meat - "A vegan restaurant has come under fire for reopening as a new eatery and no longer being 'exclusively vegan', stating being fully plant-based isn't 'sustainable'.  The Mango Tree – a cafe and restaurant located in Taunton, England – founded itself on its 'care for [the] environment, [its] crew, [its] customers and all lives on Earth'.  However, the eatery has since faced backlash for revealing that it's set to close and reopen later in the year under a new name with 'new menu options' that 'won't be exclusively vegan'... The revelation has been met with fierce backlash from some customers, with one branding The Mango Tree 'unethical'... The Mango Tree claimed 'despite lots of marketing, many special offers, offering dine in and takeaway, introducing the use of home delivery partners, and working incredibly hard to be as efficient as possible, not enough of the local population used us regularly enough to make continuing in the current format sustainable'.  The restaurant explained it was left with only two options. To rebrand and introduce non-vegan items to the menu or 'close permanently'."
So much for rights not being like cake and other people getting more not meaning you get less

Vegetarian Women Face Higher Risks for Hip Fractures - "Women who are vegetarian are more likely to experience hip fractures later in their lives than those who eat meat regularly... Vegetarians may not consume sufficient nutrients for proper bone and muscle health, which could increase their risks for falls and fractures... Previous studies have suggested that vegetarian men and women have poorer bone health, on average, when compared with meat-eaters"

Most Vegetarians Lapse After Only a Year - "84 percent of vegetarians and vegans return to eating meat, says the Huffington Post. Most lapse within a year, while nearly a third don't last more than three months.   The study falls in line with previous research. According to Skeptoid, “ex-vegetarians outnumber current vegetarians by a ratio of three to one.”... the researchers “found that a majority of them lacked social support, vegetarian-themed group activities and didn't like sticking out from their friends... Other reasons for giving up: having trouble with animal-based cravings and the difficulty of doing anything cold turkey, so to speak.”  Meat is tasty, but meat is also nutritious. Eating a balanced vegetarian diet is certainly possible, but it takes deliberate decision making to compensate for the nutrients typically delivered by meat. According to a separate survey, says Skeptoid, “[a] full thirty-five percent of participants indicated that declining health was the main reason they reverted back to eating flesh.”"

A Summary Of Faunalytics’ Study Of Current And Former Vegetarians And Vegans - "Former vegetarians/vegans were asked to give the primary reason they stopped eating the diet. Of 908 codeable responses, the reasons for lapsing mentioned were: unsatisfied with food (293 people; 32%), health (237 people; 26%), social issues (120 people; 13%), inconvenience (115 people; 13%), cost (56 people; 6%), lack of motivation (56 people; 6%), and other (228 people; 25%)."

Meme - ""#TheBeatlesIn5Words Both surviving members are Vegan #animals #Vegan #FridayFeeling"

Meme - "If vegans say restaurants should offer vegan options Vegan restaurants should offer meat options. Change my mind"

YouTuber Mari Lopez who claimed veganism cured her of cancer and homosexuality dies of cancer

Restaurant scraps plant-based dishes after becoming fed up with ‘holier-than-thou’ vegans - "The Kitchen at London House on the Isle of Wight went online to defend itself against “nasty” and “bullying” vegans who were outraged at their decision to refuse to cater to their diets.  Addressing its critics, it said: “If you want vegan food, go to a vegan restaurant.”  The popular high street restaurant in Ventnor said that though it used to serve some vegan food, they decided to stop because of a “militant minority” that spoilt it for the majority...   The menu boasts mains including short rib of beef, confit duck leg cassoulet, sea bass – and a sole vegetarian option of goats cheese fig tart... others supported the restaurant’s decision, with one user telling disgruntled vegans, Nice to see vegetarian[s] catered for rather than being lumped in with the tasteless vegan nonsense that some slop up” and another writing: “Can’t wait to come visit”...   “We have in the past catered for vegans. Everything from Vegan cream teas, even had special Vegan bacon made so they could enjoy BLT’s amongst other things.  “We stopped. Why? Because we got fed up with the arrogant, ‘holier-than-thou’ attitude.” Sally Cooper, the bistro owner who wrote the Facebook post, said that she made the decision to stop catering to vegans after staff started to get abused.  Before the pandemic, the cafe served vegan cream teas and vegan bacon, she said. But customers started to complain that vegan products were being stored in the same chiller cabinets as meat...   “It’s a small kitchen,” she said. “We produce tasty, home-cooked food. We don’t want to cook plant burgers, pulses and beans. It’s not our food.”  She said that since her post she had received a call to the shop from a man who had called her a ‘disgusting, dreadful woman.”"

Vegan group sparks fury for demanding a roundabout called Pork Pie Island be renamed - "A  vegan group has sparked mockery after calling for Leicester’s Pork Pie Island roundabout to be renamed.  Controversial animal rights group PETA wrote to Leicester Mayor Sir Peter Soulsby to ask for the name change, writing “this is not a pie-in-the-sky request”.  They suggested that it should instead be called “Vegan Pie Roundabout”, sparking mockery from locals. The roundabout in south Leicester is named after a nearby library which is said to resemble a pork pie when viewed from above... James Aris, from the Countryside Alliance, called the group “renowned attention seekers” and said “they are best ignored and no politician should take them remotely seriously”."

Woman stunned by vegan plane ‘meal’ served on Air Canada flight - "A passenger on an Air Canada flight was left stunned at the “meals” she was given during the flight after she ordered several vegan meals, but was served only a bottle of water.  Miriam Porter, a travel blogger on TikTok who goes by the name @TheKindTraveler, was on a flight travellling from Toronto, Canada to Frankfurt, Germany when the incident occurred... Ms Porter says she was eventually given some food, but it was a makeshift meal a flight attendant cobbled together from leftover business class trays"

New psychology research finds meat eaters tend to have better mental health than vegetarians - "vegetarians/vegans were at a greater risk of depression, anxiety, and self-harm... The two studies that provided some evidence of causality had mixed results. A randomized controlled trial found that vegetarians reported significantly better mood than omnivores and fish eaters after the trial, but a longitudinal study found a vegetarian diet was predictive of depression and anxiety.  “Correlation does not imply a causal relation and we present several explanations for our results. For example, individuals struggling with mental illness may alter their diets as a form of self-treatment; vegan and strict vegetarian diets may lead to nutrient deficiencies that increase the risk of mental illness; many individuals with eating disorders use veganism and vegetarianism as a ‘cover’ to hide their illness; and individuals who are extremely sensitive to or focused on the suffering of animals may become both vegetarian and depressed/anxious as a result”... “There are two major questions that need to be addressed. First, why do most vegans and vegetarians return to eating meat? Is it a biological drive to overcome nutrient deficiencies or are the perceived benefits overwhelmed by the social stigma of non-Western dietary patterns? Or perhaps, is it that the novelty and attention lose their effect over time while the effort required to maintain a vegan and vegetarian lifestyle remains the same. Second, what is the temporal pattern of the relation? In other words, does the shift in diet occur before or after the psychological issues are manifest?”  Dobersek and her colleagues decided to conduct a systematic review because the research on meat-abstention had become increasingly contradictory... “Our study provides further evidence that because humans are omnivores, it is illogical and potentially unhealthy to recommend “eating a varied diet” followed by a long list of foods, beverages, and nutrients to avoid (e.g., meat, eggs, sugar, salt, fat, fruit juices, cholesterol, etc.). This is especially true, as my co-authors demonstrated, when the proscriptions and recommendations are based on a ‘fictional discourse on diet-disease relations.'” The study, “Meat and mental health: a systematic review of meat abstention and depression, anxiety, and related phenomena“, was authored by Urska Dobersek, Gabrielle Wy, Joshua Adkins, Sydney Altmeyer, Kaitlin Krout, Carl J. Lavie, and Edward Archer."

The Failure to Measure Dietary Intake Engendered a Fictional Discourse on Diet-Disease Relations - "Controversies regarding the putative health effects of dietary sugar, salt, fat, and cholesterol are not driven by legitimate differences in scientific inference from valid evidence, but by a fictional discourse on diet-disease relations driven by decades of deeply flawed and demonstrably misleading epidemiologic research. Over the past 60 years, epidemiologists published tens of thousands of reports asserting that dietary intake was a major contributing factor to chronic non-communicable diseases despite the fact that epidemiologic methods do not measure dietary intake. In lieu of measuring actual dietary intake, epidemiologists collected millions of unverified verbal and textual reports of memories of perceptions of dietary intake. Given that actual dietary intake and reported memories of perceptions of intake are not in the same ontological category, epidemiologists committed the logical fallacy of “Misplaced Concreteness.” This error was exacerbated when the anecdotal (self-reported) data were impermissibly transformed (i.e., pseudo-quantified) into proxy-estimates of nutrient and caloric consumption via the assignment of “reference” values from databases of questionable validity and comprehensiveness. These errors were further compounded when statistical analyses of diet-disease relations were performed using the pseudo-quantified anecdotal data. These fatal measurement, analytic, and inferential flaws were obscured when epidemiologists failed to cite decades of research demonstrating that the proxy-estimates they created were often physiologically implausible (i.e., meaningless) and had no verifiable quantitative relation to the actual nutrient or caloric consumption of participants. In this critical analysis, we present substantial evidence to support our contention that current controversies and public confusion regarding diet-disease relations were generated by tens of thousands of deeply flawed, demonstrably misleading, and pseudoscientific epidemiologic reports. We challenge the field of nutrition to regain lost credibility by acknowledging the empirical and theoretical refutations of their memory-based methods and ensure that rigorous (objective) scientific methods are used to study the role of diet in chronic disease."

Eating Vegetables May Not Protect Against Heart Disease, Study Suggests - Bloomberg - "Researchers say past studies may not have taken into account lifestyle factors such as smoking, drinking alcohol, and meat intake – and socioeconomic factors such as a person’s education, income and wealth.  They add that evidence from previous studies has been inconsistent.  New results from a large-scale UK study shows that a higher consumption of raw or cooked produce is unlikely to affect the risk of CVD."

The Role of the Anabolic Properties of Plant- versus Animal-Based Protein Sources in Supporting Muscle Mass Maintenance: A Critical Review - "Plant-sourced proteins offer environmental and health benefits, and research increasingly includes them in study formulas. However, plant-based proteins have less of an anabolic effect than animal proteins due to their lower digestibility, lower essential amino acid content (especially leucine), and deficiency in other essential amino acids, such as sulfur amino acids or lysine. Thus, plant amino acids are directed toward oxidation rather than used for muscle protein synthesis. In this review, we evaluate the ability of plant- versus animal-based proteins to help maintain skeletal muscle mass in healthy and especially older people and examine different nutritional strategies for improving the anabolic properties of plant-based proteins. Among these strategies, increasing protein intake has led to a positive acute postprandial muscle protein synthesis response and even positive long-term improvement in lean mass. Increasing the quality of protein intake by improving amino acid composition could also compensate for the lower anabolic potential of plant-based proteins. We evaluated and discussed four nutritional strategies for improving the amino acid composition of plant-based proteins: fortifying plant-based proteins with specific essential amino acids, selective breeding, blending several plant protein sources, and blending plant with animal-based protein sources. These nutritional approaches need to be profoundly examined in older individuals in order to optimize protein intake for this population who require a high-quality food protein intake to mitigate age-related muscle loss."
i.e. plant protein is inferior to animal protein

Hufu: The Vegan Cannibal's Alternative to Human Flesh - "Hufu was a tofu-based product designed to taste like human flesh, providing an alternative meat source for health-conscious cannibals. Hufu founder Mark Nuckols was reading the book Good To Eat: Riddles of Food and Culture by anthropologist Marvin Harris, while eating a tofurkey sandwich, when the idea came to him: a healthy, vegan alternative to human meat.  Nuckols launched Hufu in 2005, and the initial stock of 144 boxes of Hufu Classic Strips sold out in just two days...   “Hufu was originally conceived of as a product for students of anthropology hungry for the experience of cannibalism but deterred by the legal and logistical obstacles,” the now defunct Eat Hufu website stated. “However, our preliminary market research revealed the existence of a larger segment of the public that was interested in the availability of a legal and healthy human flesh substitute, as well as vegetarians and vegans. We also found that Hufu is a great product for cannibals who want to quit. Hufu is also a great cannibal convenience food — no more Friday night hunting raids! Stay at home and enjoy the flavorful, convenient human flesh alternative.”... The website offered articles on famous cannibals and cultural traditions, merchandise and recipes: Hufu Stroganoff, Lechter’s Liver with Fava Beans, and Aztec Human Stew for anyone who wants to “vicariously participate in one of the great Aztec customs, the human sacrifice festival.”  Sadly, Hufu closed up shop in 2006."

'Vegan' Eleven Madison Park offers secret meat menu for the rich - "Just call it Eleven Madison Pork: It emerges the city’s most exalted vegan restaurant has a secret meat room for the mega-rich.  This May chef Daniel Humm had announced with much flowery fanfare that his Eleven Madison Park restaurant would reopen in June from its pandemic closure with a fully plant-based vegan menu. But not just any meager meatless menu: It’s 12 courses for $335.   Humm hammered his message home by telling the New York Times the restaurant would no longer serve meat or seafood, huffing, “The current food system is simply not sustainable, in so many ways.”...   However, it seems those principles are off the plate in the restaurant’s private dining room — which insiders tell Page Six is targeted to corporate events and is a big money-maker for the establishment.  The private dining room at Eleven Madison Park comes complete with a meat-heavy menu that includes foie gras, beef tenderloin, roasted chicken and pork. New York Times food critic Pete Wells just slaughtered the restaurant in his review, adding at the end, “It’s some kind of metaphor for Manhattan, where there’s always a higher level of luxury, a secret room where the rich eat roasted tenderloin while everybody else gets an eggplant canoe.” Page Six has exclusively obtained the private dining room menu, which features dishes such as the highly controversial foie gras, beef carpaccio and butter-poached lobster with black truffle and celery root."
Elites want the hoi polloi to suffer while they retain their luxuries (we see this with climate change too)

Vegan student complains to college over farming module that included visiting an abattoir - "  Fiji Willetts, 18, was encouraged by her tutors to complete a course on animal husbandry as part of her degree in Animal Management.   The module requires students to work on a farm and possibly visit a slaughterhouse.   Ms Willetts, from Downend, in Bristol, claimed that one tutor at South Gloucestershire and Stroud College said skipping the unit would result in an “automatic fail” - which is denied by the college.   In a letter to the Government-sponsored Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA), she said learning which animal breeds yield the highest amount of milk, meat and eggs would cause her “extreme anxiety”.  Ms Willetts, who has been a vegan for the past four years, claimed that attending the Unit 19 Farm Livestock Husbandry would be in breach of the Equality Act 2010 as veganism is a “protected characteristic”.    But officials at the college have strenuously denied her claim that it was mandatory to take the farming modules and say she was offered alternative courses.   The college said that on at least “three separate occasions” they reassured both Ms Willetts, and her parents, that the unit had been “ethically planned” and would not be delivered in a way that “disregards” her beliefs or “disadvantages” her...   Neither of Ms Willetts’s complaints to the college or the EFSA were upheld.   The college said that information sought from the Equality and Human Rights Commission confirmed that “obligations do not apply to anything done in connection with the content of the curriculum”.  “This means that you are not restricted in the range of issues, ideas, and materials you use in your syllabus and will have the academic freedom to expose students to a range of thoughts and ideas, however controversial.”"
Amazing. Can a Muslim oenology student skip wine tasting?

No, Kwasi Kwarteng, we aren’t all going to go vegan - "Kwasi Kwarteng, secretary for business, energy and industrial strategy, now thinks that people going vegan could help the UK hit its targets for cutting carbon emissions... Most people, though, don’t want to give up meat and animal products. And even fewer will appreciate the government passing judgement on their dining habits. Even if we did all go vegan, it wouldn’t achieve much in the grand scheme of things: Brits make up a small percentage of global meat consumption, and meat production makes up a small proportion of emissions anyway. The government’s absurd new target – to cut carbon emissions by over 75 per cent by 2035 – will require major sacrifices from the public. Kwarteng’s comments confirm what we already knew: that our politicians don’t care about our living standards or quality of life and have become obsessed by the sort of green lifestyle hectoring once confined to the fringes. The Tories have turned into the parliamentary wing of Extinction Rebellion."

Dear Prudence: My white girlfriend told my black mom that eating vegan is like the civil rights movement. - "Mom refuses to talk to my girlfriend until she apologizes, and my dad sides with my mom"
"Your parents are behaving appropriately in light of your girlfriend’s racism, and she should apologize immediately. It is possible—easy, even!—to advocate for vegan principles without comparing black people to animals. Comparing black people to animals is racist (not “maybe” stumbling lightly over the line of racism, but fully fledged, fully dredged, head-to-toe, top-to-tails racist), your girlfriend was being racist, she should apologize for her racism, and she should stop saying racist things."
So much for intersectionality - we are told that blacks are more likely to be vegan because they know what oppression is like

Vegan activist 'killed more than 90 newborn rabbits' during rescue - "A vegan activist who was shot at while ‘rescuing’ animals from a Spanish farm has been accused of killing more than 90 rabbits during her mission.  Barcelona-based ‘Mythical Mia’ claimed she had saved 16 rabbits from the land in Osona, Catalonia, before being allegedly shot at by angry farmers."
Doing the "right thing" is more important than saving animals. This is like how PETA euthanises so many animals

Great British Bake Off’s first vegan contestant faces online backlash – for riding horses - "The Great British Bake Off’s first vegan contestant has been forced off Facebook after being called a hypocrite for riding horses.  Freya Cox, 19, was targeted by social media users who criticised her for taking part in what they deem to be a cruel sport."

As plant-based meat growth stalls, what does it mean for the category? - "“I don’t think that we are going to turn on a switch and convert meat eaters,” Holland said. “We’re just seeing no evidence of that over the past several years, and so I think I think we’re seeing a bit of that [reluctance to adopt plant-based] now.”"
No one wants this shit

Growth, body composition, and cardiovascular and nutritional risk of 5- to 10-y-old children consuming vegetarian, vegan, or omnivore diets - "Vegan diets were associated with a healthier cardiovascular risk profile but also with increased risk of nutritional deficiencies and lower BMC [bone mineral content] and height. Vegetarians showed less pronounced nutritional deficiencies but, unexpectedly, a less favorable cardiometabolic risk profile. Further research may help maximize the benefits of PBDs in children."
Aka "Children Are Much Shorter And Weaker When Raised On Trendy Vegan Diets, Study Shows"

Plant-based meat not nutritionally the same as real meat: study - "the beef contained 22 metabolites that the plant-based substitutes did not have. The plant-based meat, meanwhile, contained 31 metabolites that meat did not include. Researchers found the largest disparities were in vitamins, amino acids and types of saturated and unsaturated fatty acids found in both food products among other variables... several metabolites proven to be vital to human health were found either exclusively or in greater amounts of beef, including creatine, spermine, anserine, cysteamine, glucosamine, squalene and the omega-3 fatty acid DHA, researchers said.   “These nutrients are important for our brain and other organs including our muscles,” Stephan van Vliet, a postdoctoral researcher at the Duke Molecular Physiology said in a statement. “But some people on vegan diets (no animal products), can live healthy lives – that’s very clear.”"
Many of the metabolites can't be found in plants, which explains why vegans tend to be unhealthy

Plant-based diet doesn’t always mean it’s healthy - "plant-based meats are often high in sodium, ultra-processed and not any healthier than the meat they imitate. Meanwhile, nearly half of the consumers think they are more nutritious... Diets that substituted animal products with the plant-based alternative were below the daily recommendations for vitamin B12, calcium, potassium, zinc and magnesium, and higher in sodium, sugar and saturated fat. Even with added vitamins and minerals, these products are not nutritionally interchangeable, says Stephan van Vliet, a postdoctoral associate at the Duke Molecular Physiology Institute.  “Meat made from plants isn’t meat made from cows and meat made from cows isn’t meat made from plants,” he says.  Animal sources like meat, milk and eggs are complete proteins, meaning they contain enough of the nine essential amino acids we must get from our diets every day.  Plant-based foods like fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds and grains often lack one or more of these amino acids and need to be eaten in combination... focusing on protein is too “simplistic,” says Dr van Vliet. “Foods contain hundreds to thousands of compounds that are capable of impacting human metabolism and health.”...   He sees plant and animal source foods as complementary in our diet, where some nutrients are better obtained from animal sources and others from plants... Just because it’s made from plants, doesn’t mean it’s healthy. “I do think it’s very confusing for the consumer,” says Dr van Vliet.  “It’s probably not the chicken, but everything else that comes with the chicken nugget that is probably detrimental to our health.”"

Association between meatless diet and depressive episodes: A cross-sectional analysis of baseline data from the longitudinal study of adult health - "Depressive episodes are more prevalent in individuals who do not eat meat, independently of socioeconomic and lifestyle factors. Nutrient deficiencies do not explain this association. The nature of the association remains unclear, and longitudinal data are needed to clarify causal relationship."

Peta calls for sex strike against meat-eating men 'to save the world' - "The call for a sex strike on carnivorous males has caused outrage in Germany, which is famous for its love of sausages... The German branch of Peta pointed to research last year from Plos One, a scientific journal, which showed men caused 41 per cent more pollution than women because they eat more meat. Peta said that such “toxic masculinity” required enforced chastity and even a ban on having children. Every child not born would save 58.6 tonnes of CO2 a year... To make matters wurst, Peta also called for “a hefty meat tax of 41 per cent” for men to save the planet from global warming emissions caused by agriculture. “Now there is scientific proof that toxic masculinity harms the climate,” Mr Cox added, “a ban on sex or procreation for all meat-eating men would also be purposeful in this context.”... In 2003, a sex strike helped end Liberia’s brutal civil war, which earned organiser Leyma Gbowee a Nobel Peace Prize."
So now eating meat is "toxic masculinity". We always knew this concept was useless, so

Meme - "Hunting but make it vegan"
"girl didn't know the word for "gathering""

The Ecologist archive: The myths of vegetarianism. - "Vegetarianism and veganism, despite claims made by adherents, are neither healthy nor natural diets. Indeed, only in the 20th century, with the advent of vitamin pills and supplements, has it been possible to follow a strictly vegan diet without dying of malnutrition. Contrary to popular myth, a diet with a very low fat and cholesterol content is extremely dangerous, and meat and dairy products are not the main cause of heart disease and cancer - which are practically unknown in traditional meat-eating societies...
Myth 1: Meat consumption contributes to famine and depletes the Earth's natural resources...
The pasturage argument ignores the fact that a large portion of the Earth's dryland is unsuited to cultivation. The open range, and desert and mountainous areas yield their fruits to grazing animals, not to arable crops. Unfortunately, the bulk of commercial livestock is not range-fed, but stall-fed. Stall-fed animals do not ingest grasses and shrubs (like they should), but are fed an unnatural array of grains and soybeans - which could be eaten by humans. The argument here, then, is not that eating meat depletes the Earth's resources, but that commercial farming methods do. Such methods also subject livestock to deplorable living conditions where infections, antibiotics, steroids and synthetic hormones are common. These all lead to an unhealthy animal and, by extension, an unhealthy food product.
Myth 2: Vitamin B12 can be obtained from plant sources
Of all the myths, this is perhaps the most dangerous. Vegans who do not supplement their diet with vitamin B 12 will eventually get pernicious anaemia, a fatal condition, as well as nervous and digestive system damage. Claims are made that B12 is present in certain algae, tempeh (a fermented soy product) and Brewer's yeast. All of them are false. Like the niacin in corn, the B12 present in algae is not available to the body. Tempeh, though a healthy food, does not contain B 12. Further, the ingestion of too much soy increases the body's need for B12. Brewer's yeast does not contain B12 naturally; it is always fortified from an outside source. The only reliable and absorbable sources of vitamin B12 are animal products... In my own medical practice, I recently saved two vegans from death from anaemia (iron and B12) by convincing them to eat generous amounts of dairy products.
Myth 3: The body's need for vitamin A can be met by plant foods. Vitamin D can be obtained by exposure to sunlight
Vitamin A is principally - and usable, full-complex vitamin D entirely - found in animal products. Plants do contain beta-carotene, a substance that the body can convert into vitamin A, and the impression given by some vegetarian sources is that beta-carotene is as good as vitamin A. This is not true. First, the conversion from carotene to vitamin A can only take place in the presence of bile salts. This means that fat must be eaten with the carotenes. Additionally, infants, people with hypothyroidism, gall bladder problems, diabetes, or infants either cannot make the conversion or do so very poorly. Lastly, the body's conversion from carotene to vitamin A is not very efficient: it takes 4-6 units of carotene to make one unit of vitamin A. What this means is that the sweet potato (containing about 25,000 units of beta-carotene) you just ate will only convert into about 4,000 units of vitamin A (assuming you ate it with fat and do not have a thyroid or gall bladder problem). Relying on plant sources for vitamin A is not a wise idea. This is why good old fashioned butter is a virtual must in any diet. Butter from pasture-fed cows is rich in vitamin A and will provide the intestines with the fatty material needed to convert vegetable carotenes into active vitamin A. Relying on sunlight for vitamin D is equally unwise. Even in tropical areas, where people are exposed to a great deal of sunlight, native diets are rich in vitamin D from animal foods. Vitamins A and D are all-important in our diets, as they help the body to use proteins and minerals.
Myth 4: Meat eaters have higher rates of heart and kidney disease, cancer, obesity, and osteoporosis than vegetarians
Such stupendous claims are hard to reconcile with historical and anthropological facts. All of the diseases mentioned are primarily twentieth century occurrences, yet people have been eating meat and animal fat for thousands of years. Furthermore, several native peoples around the world (including the Innu and the Maasai) have traditional diets very rich in animal products, but do not suffer from the above-mentioned maladies... It is usually claimed, too, that vegetarians and vegans have lower cancer rates than meat eaters, but a 1994 study of California Seventh Day Adventists (who are largely vegetarian) showed that, while they did have lower rates of some cancers (e.g. breast), they had significantly higher rates of several others (brain, skin, uterine, cervical and ovarian).
Myth 5: Saturated fats cause heart disease and cancer, and low-fat, low-cholesterol diets are healthier
As noted above, diets of native peoples the world over are rich in saturated fats, and heart disease and cancer are primarily modern diseases. Saturated fat consumption, therefore, cannot logically cause these diseases. As with the poorly-done studies of the Innu, modern day researchers fail to take into account other dietary factors of people who have heart disease and cancer. As a result, the harmful effects of refined sugar and vegetable oil consumption get mixed up with animal fat consumption...
Myth 6: Vegetarians live longer and have more energy and endurance than meat eaters
Surprising as it may seem, some prior studies have shown that the annual all-cause death rate of vegetarian men was slightly higher than that of non-vegetarian men (93 per cent vs. 89 per cent) and that the same was true of women (86 per cent vs. 54 per cent). Dr Russell Smith, author of an authoritative study on heart disease, showed that as animal product consumption increased among some study groups, death rates decreased. Such results were not obtained among vegetarian subjects...
Myth 7: The 'Caveman' diet was low fat and/or vegetarian...
Present-day African tribes readily consume the fatty portions of animals, especially organs such as brains, liver and tongue. The Aborigines, another hunter-gatherer society, also have a diet rich in saturated animal fats. Stefansson reported that the Innuit and North American Indian tribes would worry when their cache of caribou was too lean: they knew sickness would follow if they did not consume enough fat... On his journeys, Dr. Price never once found a totally vegan culture. Anthropological data support this: across the globe, almost all societies show a preference for animal foods and fats. Price also found that those peoples who, out of necessity, consumed more grains and legumes had higher rates of dental decay than those who consumed more animal products. Archaeological evidence supports this finding: skulls of prehistoric peoples who were largely vegetarian have teeth containing caries and abscesses (and show evidence of tuberculosis).
Myth 8: Saturated fat consumption has increased in the 'developed' world in the 20th century, with a corresponding increase in heart disease and cancer
Statistics do not bear such fancies out. In the US, for example, butter consumption has plummeted from 18lbs per person a year in 1900 to about 5lbs per person a year today...
Myth 9: Soya products are adequate substitutes for meat and dairy products...
On a purely nutritional level, soybeans, like all legumes, are deficient in cysteine and methionine, vital sulphur-containing amino acids. Soybeans are also lacking in tryptophan, another essential amino acid. Furthermore, soybeans contain no vitamins A or D, required by the body to assimilate and utilise the bean's proteins. It is probably for this reason that Asian cultures that do consume soybeans usually combine them with fish or fish broths (abundant in fat-soluble vitamins), or other fatty foods.
Myth 10: The human body is not designed for meat consumption"

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