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The Brogan-Ji brain trust says “Wake up, sheeple!” over COVID-19

Kelly Brogan and fellow conspiracy theorists Sayer Ji and Ali Zeck liken submission to public health measures for COVID-19 to childhood trauma and the Stockholm syndrome. What they’re really saying is, “Wake up, sheeple!

If there’s one thing about the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s that it’s really brought the quacks, cranks, antivaxxers, and conspiracy theorists to the fore. Their bad takes and pseudoscience are everywhere. Worse, antivaxxers have allied themselves with COVID-19 deniers and cranks in a way that surprised those who thought that fear of a potentially deadly virus tearing through an immunologically naive world population and causing hundreds of thousands of deaths would mean the death knell for the antivaccine movement but surprised none of us who’ve actually followed the movement for a long time. So when I saw that “wholistic psychiatrist” (and antivaxxer) Kelly Brogan had teamed up with Sayer Ji and Ali Zeck to ask why we stay asleep when COVID-19 is trying to wake us up, I was expecting a lot of nonsense. I got even more than I had bargained for, which is why I’ve dubbed this article a product of the Brogan-Ji braintrust.

Before I dig in, I must first note that I can’t recall having ever encountered Ali Zeck before, which is why this isn’t the Brogan-Zeck-Ji braintrust. (I go with whom I know, and Ms. Zeck will have to earn her way into the name with more pseudoscience.) Apparently, if her Twitter feed is any indication, Ms. Zeck is someone who is a trauma survivor who was, if you believe her, “misdiagnosed and abused by psychiatry” and claims that her bipolar disorder, which had led her to suicide attempts, was healed holistically by Brogan. (Her story was featured in the quack series What Doctors Don’t Tell You.) Many supplements were involved, of course.

Also, I noticed from her Twitter feed that she’s an all-purpose conspiracy theorist:

And antisemitic as well:

Oddly enough, she also follows me on Twitter. Perhaps that will change if she sees the Tweet with a link to this post.

Now, let’s dig in. The article starts out with a whole bunch of things about COVID-19 that, to the Brogan-Ji at least, “don’t make sense.” Consider it a long list of questions that are nothing more than JAQing off. You’ll see what I mean immediately:

There’s a phrase we all keep hearing: It doesn’t make sense. We’ve heard it from citizen journalists, from hospital and police force whistleblowers, and from otherwise compliant and law abiding self-quarantiners whose personal, lived experience simply isn’t adding up to what they are being told is happening by mainstream media. So what is it that doesn’t make sense? Is it:
  • that many medical experts have actually downgraded the potential threat of Covid-19 from initial projections by orders of magnitude, including Dr. Anthony Fauci himself, in a New England Journal of Medicine report where he wrote that “the overall clinical consequences of Covid-19 may ultimately be more akin to a severe seasonal influenza (which has a case fatality rate of approximately 0.1%) …” yet we are seeing unprecedented, draconian style control measures being implemented by executive order?

The article they cite is, unsurprisingly, from late March, and we knew a lot less about COVID-19 back then. Of course, what the Brogan-Ji brain trust ignores is the fact that, even if the overall infection fatality rate of COVID-19 is nearly that low, it could still kill many hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of people, given that, before the virus emerged, the entire human race was immunologically naive to the new coronavirus.

But let’s move on to the conspiracy mongering:

  • that there were staged planning events in October 2019 including Urban Outbreak and Event 201, nationwide CDC Quarantine Program job postings from November of 2019, a coronavirus patent, World Bank pandemic bonds, well in advance of when this pandemic supposedly started, and spontaneously erupted and disseminated globally in a manner that could never be explained through person to person contagion?

This is a favorite of conspiracy theorists, the insinuation or outright claim that, because there was a planning exercise modeling a pandemic event and the government response to it in 2019, that must mean that the COVID-19 pandemic was not an accident, that it didn’t arise naturally, that—yes, this is the implication—it was, as so many cranks have called it, a “plandemic,” the intentional release of virus (engineered, of course!) for the nefarious purposes of (take your pick) the World Health Organization, Bill Gates, CDC, or the Illuminati. Heck, pick all of them, because they’re obviously working together!

Next up:

  • that doctors are being told to code all deaths as covid without so much as the facade of testing when up to 99% of case fatalities are in individuals with multiple pre-existing conditions, the vast majority of them elderly?

This is, of course, a distortion of what was ordered that relies on a misunderstanding of how deaths are coded on death certificates. Death certificates actually do list underlying conditions that contribute to death. However, if you have, for instance, congestive heart failure and then get pneumonia from COVID-19, while the congestive heart failure contributed to your death, it wasn’t the overall cause. Similarly, yes, the pneumonia caused your death, but what caused the pneumonia? COVID-19! Similarly, basically all deaths other than brain deaths in patients on ventilation and other life support result from cardiac arrest as the most proximal cause, but saying that is trivial. What caused the cardiac arrest is the more important issue. As for that last bit about 99% of the case fatalities being in the elderly with pre-existing conditions, first of all, that’s from a cherry picked report from Italy published nearly three months ago. More importantly, even if that were true, it’s an example of a “screw the elderly and sick” attitude that is very prevalent among COVID-19 deniers.

Next up:

  • that hospitals are supposedly full to the brim with intubated patients when hospital staff are being laid off or furloughed, and whistleblowers are speaking to iatrogenic harm and death (including through intubation) being systematically committed by physicians?

It wasn’t so much hospitals that were full to the brim but ICUs and emergency rooms, at least in hard hit cities like New York and, yes, my hometown of Detroit. I guess those stories of refrigerated trucks being used to store and transport corpses in New York and of bodies placed in unused sleep lab rooms in a hospital in Detroit when morgues ran out of room are fiction, too. As for the claim that intubation and mechanical ventilation are actually causing harm in COVID-19 patients, that’s a distortion of a scientific argument over what’s the best way to manage COVID-19 patients going into respiratory failure, including when to institute mechanical ventilation and how to manage ventilator settings. It’s also a controversy that was ginned up by the press, allowing COVID-19 cranks to trumpet “vEntiLAtorS R kiLlInG peOpLE!!!”

As for why hospitals were furloughing staff, the sad fact about our healthcare system is that hospitals rely on high margin elective procedures, such as total hip replacements, for much of their revenue, and, to maintain capacity to handle an expected wave of COVID-19 patients, hospitals stopped doing those elective procedures. The bottom line is that taking care of COVID-19 patients, even in ICUs, just doesn’t generate as much revenue as elective procedures. It’s a huge defect in how our healthcare system is financed.

Unsurprisingly, 5G gets a couple of mentions:

  • that the plan for “return to normal” is being dictated by an unelected software technocrat who happens to also fund GMOs (including non-meat synthetic products), 5G, all of the labs currently working on the vaccine, implantable tracking devices, and the WHO?

And:

  • that 5G networks are being installed during a time of “essential work only” in every major metropolitan area while we are quarantined in our homes?

Yes, conspiracy theories about 5G supposedly making people more susceptible to COVID-19 (or even outright causing it) are a staple of COVID-19 cranks and conspiracy theorists, and apparently the Brogan-Ji brain trust is no exception.

Of course, the Brogan-Ji brain trust express doubt about masks as a preventive measure:

  • that mask-wearing has been enforced when the Surgeon General, the WHO and even Fauci say to not wear them, and elected officials congregated on television have never worn them?

Amusingly, the YouTube video the Brogan-Ji brain trust links to is old. It’s dated May 6 on YouTube, but is really from an interview he did with 60 MINUTES in early March. He’s long since changed his mind on that one, based on evidence, and in early April the CDC recommended wearing masks. As for the WHO, guess what? Its recommendation was not that you shouldn’t wear masks, but rather that you should wear a mask if you are around anyone who has or is suspected of having COVID-19. It was also an old recommendation that was never updated. Oh, wait. It was updated last week. The WHO now says to wear a where there is widespread transmission and physical distancing is difficult, “such as on public transport, in shops or in other confined or crowded environments.” In fairness, the Brogan-Ji brain trust wrote this before the WHO updated its guidelines, but even the WHO never said don’t wear masks; it also said that you should follow whatever guidelines your local health officials recommend, including wearing a mask.

Speaking of masks:

  • that facial coverings ranging from a scarf to a reused surgical mask with mm pore sizes are going to “keep out” what we are calling a virus which is nm in diameter?

As (ostensibly) a physician, Brogan should be very embarrassed to have put her name to a statement this medically ignorant. (But, then, she’s an antivaxxer and HIV/AIDS denialist) As pretty much all physicians know (or should know) respiratory viruses don’t just float around in the air by themselves. They’re spread in respiratory droplets of varying sizes, and it is those droplets that masks can effectively stop. It’s also amusing to see someone who’s promoted germ theory denial as part of her antivaccine views to be so concerned about a virus. Come on, Kelly! Viruses can’t hurt you, given how healthy you are! Why don’t you go to the COVID-19 ward and help take care of patients there without personal protective equipment? (That’s sarcasm, in case anyone wondered.)

There are so many more tropes in her JAQing off, but I can’t resist this one before moving on to the rest of the post:

  • that the list of the virus’s associated symptoms have grown and changed, all the while without there being unequivocal evidence of the virus’s point-of-origin in isolation in Wuhan or proof of global contagion?

No proof of global contagion? Seriously? As for the list of the virus’s symptoms growing and changing, well, that’s just science in action. In December 2019, we knew next to nothing about this new virus. By January 12, the virus was isolated (it’s now named SARS-CoV-2), and its genome was sequenced by January 24. That’s pretty damned fast. Then, as unfortunately more and more and more people were infected with the virus, we saw more and more manifestations of the disease, including the less common ones.

I did a double take at the section after the JAQing off, when the Brogan-Ji brain trust actually takes a germ of a good point and then runs straight off the cliff with it:

This is operative for so many right now who feel the irrepressible tension between what we are being told is happening (a deadly virus is spreading that we need protection from) and the sense that there is more to the story. But so many minimize, dismiss, or otherwise defend the mainstream narrative because to do otherwise would require truly cutting the umbilical cord connecting them to mommy medical system and daddy government. It would require stepping into their adult authority which is their own, individual truth and sovereign power…a terrifying initiation to self that can feel like the world as you know it must end in order to accommodate this new truth and perceived reality.

If we want to feel free, then why would anyone continue to trust and obey an authority that is not here to protect but rather to control and enslave?

It is not unreasonable to be concerned that some will use the pandemic as a pretext to increase authoritarian control. Hell, the Chinese government did just that! However, there’s a difference between reasonable concern and outright conspiracy theories. Guess which side of that divide the Brogan-Ji brain trust falls on?

First, they liken our reaction to authority to children with unhealed trauma from abuse:

How does a child stand up to a parent that is abusing them when they are powerless to defend themselves? They don’t. They acquiesce, submit and align with the reality of their abuser in order to stay safe.

But what happens if we never reclaim ourselves from this imprint? What happens when the feelings that surface when we reconsider allegiance to those big, looming authorities that we imagine could crush us if we don’t comply? This is the pattern of intergenerational trauma we see running through the lineage of humanity now, where unexamined trauma leads to a fugue state of dissociation from self and intuition in service of a preserved trust and loyalty to parentified authorities.

And this is how and why world citizens told to go to their room lest the boogie man get them, dutifully comply, stay inside of their homes, and await further orders, welcoming in the “new normal” for themselves and their children.

This sounds like pure Brogan, given all the psychobabble and fancy jargon thrown around to impress, to make you think the Brogan-Ji brain trust actually knows what it’s talking about. Naturally, they can’t resist going beyond this, to liken people’s relationship to medical authorities to the Stockholm syndrome. She does it, however, while tipping her hand to her true purpose, the promotion of quackery:

There is a name for the psychemotional dynamic of defending the parentified aggressor and we are seeing this surface en masse. It is called Stockholm Syndrome. It refers to a positive bond of attachment formed between a victim of abuse and the abuser. It’s why women defend their right to birth control, antidepressants and medicalized birth, without perceiving the dangerous shadow side of these technologies. And it’s why, today, all around the world, people are shaming, judging, and otherwise deputizing themselves to coerce dissenters into compliance. “Wear a mask! You’re killing people!”

When the wounded and traumatized child is pulling the strings behind the curtain, she says that you can’t handle the emotions that might surface if you choose to relinquish trust and dependency on an outside authority. She says that you will be abandoned, rejected, and may even die. So, if you are feeling powerless, then bully someone else and diffuse some of the discomfort. On an individual level and on a collective level, these dynamics keep us divided against the true oppressor — the authority we unduly empower.

Guess who that authority is. Actually, it’s basically all conventional and especially medical authority. It’s any public health authority recommending science-based approaches to COVID-19 (or any other public health or medical issue, for that matter). here’s what I mean:

In this way, propaganda can be delivered as a mass public relations campaign, hidden in plain sight to manufacture consent. At this point, every single consensus narrative — on climate change, 9/11, the suffragette movement, war, HIV/AIDS, vaccination, and yes, today’s pandemic — is a smokescreen for deeper agendas that we have been strategically manipulated to accept. Strategic marketing campaigns are also behind the transformation that Bill Gates has enjoyed from a corrupt software engineer to a global philanthropist. It has been through philanthropocapitalistic infusion of hundreds of millions of dollars into the global media (including NPR, and even seemingly impartial “fact checking” organizations), that this reputation has been manufactured out of thin air generating a shared public perception that is divergent from if not antithetical to a lived private reality.

It is because of our unexamined traumas that we fail to critically think, question deeply, and see what is for the seeing. And the fear that these traumas keep active in our present day leads us to abdicate freedoms in exchange for the illusion of safety. We may never question whether the perceived danger originated with the very authority to which we have sacrificed our freedoms. This is why today, we see citizens self-quarantining, policing their neighbors, and begging for a vaccine. Create a problem, agitate the public, and offer a solution that would not have been easily introduced without the previous two steps.

Fortunately, I had just swallowed my coffee when I read that. Otherwise, Brogan would owe me a new keyboard. The Brogan-Ji brain trust is accusing everyone of failing to think critically? Truly, it is a good thing that my last irony meter was destroyed by another crank lacking self-awareness and I haven’t replaced it yet! Otherwise, it might have blown up my house, as she destroyed it. The Brogan-Ji brain trust wouldn’t recognize critical thinking if it bit them on the posterior. To them, “critical thinking” means rejecting anything that doesn’t align with their mistrust of medicine, their embrace of quackery, and their belief in pseudoscience and mysticism.

I’ll show you what I mean. In the very next section, the Brogan-Ji brain trust misconstrues critical thinking to mean embrace of some of the battiest conspiracy theories you can imagine:

We slide down the rabbit hole of critical thinking, and we see a the mainstream orthodoxy as reflective of agendas that are highly designed, intentionally deceptive, and strategically organized, whether by extraterrestrial vampires, the deep state elite, or the medical or military industrial complexes, and that reality is anything but what we have been told it is. In this narrative there is a deep conviction that morality has no place in politics and that power and advancement should be sought using any means necessary, no matter the lives lost or people harmed, the overall agenda of the ruling is the objective. There are layers and layers of information and ever deepening realities that begin to reveal a plan hidden in plain sight as in the widely accessible “possible scenarios” Lockstep 2010 document  and Agenda 2030, that reveal an intent to subjugate the human species into a new global governance structure (i.e., new world order), welfare state dependencies, real-time total surveillance and tracking, and biomedically delivered slavery.

This is real Alex Jones/Mike Adams/QAnon conspiracy territory. Tinfoil hats aren’t enough to keep out the mind control rays for our Brogan-Ji brain trust! Lockstep 2020 is a conspiracy theory based on a 2010 Rockefeller Foundation document Scenarios for the Future of Technology and International Development. The document mapped out various possible scenarios that could influence future technological breakthroughs over the next 10-15 years, among which was “Lock step,” envisioned as a “world of tighter top-down control and more authoritarian leadership, with limited innovation and growing citizen pushback.” (Other examples included “clever together,” a world in which highly coordinated and successful strategies emerge for addressing both urgent and entrenched worldwide issues, and “smart scramble,” an economically depressed world in which individuals and communities develop localized makeshift solutions to a growing set of problems.) The Rockefeller Foundation used a fictional global influenza pandemic in 2012 that infects 20% of the world’s population and kills 8 million people, mostly young adults, in order to plan out the various reactions in different political, economic and industrial sectors, and the issues that might arise as the pandemic spreads. Obviously, the Brogan-Ji brain trust thinks it was more of a plan, rather than one scenario of what might happen in response to a pandemic.

As for the WHO 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, it’s simply an agenda with 17 goals for 2030, including ending hunger, protecting the planet from degradation, increasing prosperity, and maintaining peace. It’s hard for me to see anything so horrible in the document, but, then, I’m not a conspiracy theorist. On the other hand, Goal #5 is “Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls”; Goal #10 is “Reduce inequality within and among countries”; and Goal #13 is “Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts.” There’s lots of grist for the conspiracy mill there.

Unsurprisingly, the Brogan-Ji brain trust concludes with a call to “wake up” and “expand your awareness” (after quoting Martin Luther King, Jr.’s famous quote, “For evil to succeed, all it needs is for good men to do nothing, naturally”). With all the woo in about suppressed childhood trauma and the Stockholm syndrome being the cause of people submitting themselves to the agenda of the “parentified authority” in medicine and government, I can’t help but suggest that the central idea of the entire article could have been expressed much more succinctly as, “Wake up, sheeple!”

And, yes, I do appreciate the irony of my telling someone else to make it brief!

By Orac

Orac is the nom de blog of a humble surgeon/scientist who has an ego just big enough to delude himself that someone, somewhere might actually give a rodent's posterior about his copious verbal meanderings, but just barely small enough to admit to himself that few probably will. That surgeon is otherwise known as David Gorski.

That this particular surgeon has chosen his nom de blog based on a rather cranky and arrogant computer shaped like a clear box of blinking lights that he originally encountered when he became a fan of a 35 year old British SF television show whose special effects were renowned for their BBC/Doctor Who-style low budget look, but whose stories nonetheless resulted in some of the best, most innovative science fiction ever televised, should tell you nearly all that you need to know about Orac. (That, and the length of the preceding sentence.)

DISCLAIMER:: The various written meanderings here are the opinions of Orac and Orac alone, written on his own time. They should never be construed as representing the opinions of any other person or entity, especially Orac's cancer center, department of surgery, medical school, or university. Also note that Orac is nonpartisan; he is more than willing to criticize the statements of anyone, regardless of of political leanings, if that anyone advocates pseudoscience or quackery. Finally, medical commentary is not to be construed in any way as medical advice.

To contact Orac: [email protected]

214 replies on “The Brogan-Ji brain trust says “Wake up, sheeple!” over COVID-19”

We know that death is a part of life; notwithstanding we do everything possible to prolong life; but death is always the end product.
Not everyone is at equal risk for death. As we age many diseases emerge such as hypertension, cardiovascular disease, cancer, and autoimmune disease, and the like. The frail elderly are at an elevated risk for death. The robust teenage is more likely to die from self inflicted injury than from natural causes.

We know not everyone is at an elevated death risk due to COVID-19. We know is at elevated risk and that extra-precautions are necessary. There is the cost of locking down the economy. Not just the economic cost, but the emotional cost of increased suicide and domestic abuse; lost joy of life due to depression and anxiety of meeting the bills; and the health care costs of missed appointments for significant diseases such as cancer, cancer screening, and cardiovascular disease, amongst others.

All of this suggests a balanced nuanced response and not a one size fits all response. The over emphasis of the number of cases without reference to the hospitalizations and the number of deaths leads to a false picture of the problem. The mantra of politicians “not one death from COVID-19” or similar rhetoric just rings hollow. Why is a death from COVID-19 any worse than a death from the flu or any other pathogen or disease process? I think this is the problem that many struggle with.
Like

By itself, you’re not wrong. As pointed out by many experts, stay-at-home was designed as a temporary measure to let the federal government put in place the testing-tracing-tracking system needed to contain the virus, and to allow shorting up of equipment and space shortages.

The federal government did not do its job, and we cannot contain the virus. They failed.

We are now at a time where all we can do is harm reduction, and harm reduction does require balancing the harm of measures with harm prevented.

But that doesn’t mean the initial stay-at-home was wrong. It means that it was wasted by an incompetent (and worse) administration. That failed beyond the worst nightmares of its opponents. I don’t think anyone could anticipate the level of government failure.

Precisely. Worse, because of that failure, it is not inconceivable that there will be a lot of locales that have to go into lockdown to some degree or another again, because the government didn’t use the time under the first lockdown wisely and set up the necessary systems to be able to keep the virus under reasonable control without more radical measures.

I thought the contact tracings & reopenings were supposed to be handled at the state level vs federal?

How could the federal government manage the needs of New York County (Manhattan), Kings County (Brooklyn), Bronx County (The Bronx); without significant waste of resources in counties on Montana, Alaska or Wyoming?

It’s somewhat complex. Traditionally, public health starts from the lowest level and goes up. Local government has an important role, under the logic that they know the conditions on the ground best (I’m simplifying somewhat). It is primarily the state and local governments that get to determine policy like lockdown, and yes, they would be doing contract tracing.

But. They are not well placed to handle the supply issues and overall coordination needed for a broad system of testing and tracking and following trends. The expectation was that the federal government would step in and organize testing across the state, and manage the supply chain. We need to know overall patterns to be able to stop spread. The federal government has a role in many outbreaks, and it’s a coordination and supply and helping manage issues the state cannot. The federal government had a role in multi-state outbreaks for decades. When it’s a global pandemic, yes, local authorities have an important role in contact tracing, but the federal government started to take a role in testing – and then dropped the ball.

Medical supply companies specifically asked the federal government for helping in identifying how to ensure coordinated distribution of supplies so that surges one area didn’t mean shortages for other areas. The federal government did nothing and created a situation where states had to compete with each other and with the federal government. Total disaster of management.

@ Pancoin 1

I have already responded to what you write; but you just ignore it.

First, just because someone is older and/or has comorbidities doesn’t make their life less valuable and without COVID-19 they may have lived many more years. I personally know people with mild congestive heart failure and diabetes who lived to their 80s.

Second, flu isn’t as deadly and we have a vaccine. The vaccine doesn’t always prevent illness; but often reduces severity, hospitalizations, and deaths. And we understand the flu. And flu survivors generally do quite well as opposed to COVID-19 which does damage to many organs.

And I have been following this pandemic quite closely. Studies have found at best slightly increased suicides.

And I realize you will reject this; but studies have looked at what we currently know about SARS-CoV-2 and found that had we NOT implemented lockdowns, masks, and physical distancing, more than one million Americans would be dead by now. I’m sure you disagree.

But looking, for instance, at smallpox, prior to vaccinations it killed from 25% to 50%, now none; but you could claim that something else was responsible.

As for the economic cost, if one million had died, it would be far worse, especially because despite what you choose to believe, 5% of deaths were younger than 50 and 15% were between 50 and 64.

And if our government didn’t use our tax monies, create debt, to further corporations and the wealthy and didn’t use our military to help corporations, e.g, oil, copper, making weapons by lying to the American public about reasons for military actions, we would easily have enough money to weather this current crisis. Even now monies supposedly going to help the average American are mainly going to companies, many who were on the brink of bankruptcy before the pandemic and the wealthy. And Trump created another round of tax lowering on corporations and the super wealthy.

And what is more telling, is that American industry to increase profits outsources around 80% of medicines production to China, India, etc and Personal Protective Equipment and we tried to stockpile pandemic supplies; but even before Trump, we cut funding. And Trump ignored a well-developed Pandemic plan developed in 2016 by Obama. If we had had the PPE, if Trump had implemented pandemic plans at least 2/3 of those dead would be alive and we could have handled it less drastically.

So, if the experts, not you, are correct, even close, without the lockdown, more than one million deaths. Would that be OK with you? Are there any loved ones, friends in your life you feel expendable? What level of knowledge do you have about immunology, microbiology, epidemiology, past pandemics?

Did you even read my responses to you previously?

I guess those stories of refrigerated trucks……are fiction too” : Orac.

And I suppose that I merely imagined videos/ photos of graves being dug on an island outside of NYC to bury the dead.

Anyone who lives in NY either knows someone who was hospitalized or died from Covid or knows people working in hospitals. All too real for us.

Nellie McClung and the Pankhursts were part of an astroturf group funded by the Illuminati. Sheesh, I thought everyone knew that.

@ Dorit:

She sure did!
Believe it or not, I’ve heard a few male woo-providers find any excuse to disparage use of birth control ( especially med focused BC- pills. IUDs, Plan B) – it’s dangerous, it’s poisonous, it provokes cancer growth, etc
I think there may be something else at work here. They don’t like women having control over their own bodies: they instead promote less convenient methods ( condoms/ diaphragms) or unreliable methods ( like the calendar/ mucus ) . How 1950s!
Meds are toxic and harm women,
IIRC, Brogan also discourages use of psychiatric meds .Isn’t her field psychiatry?,

She claims that her field is Holistic Psychiatry. OTOH she claims to have received a “Rudin Scholarship for Psychiatric Oncology” while at Cornell, which has no existence outside her fabrications, so her real profession is lying.

I am SHOCKED SHOCKED SHOCKED every time some antivax scammers signal their common ground with the Handsmaid’s-Tale Religious Right,

Not really shocked. Grifters go where the money and stupid people are.

I am so sorry to admit you are right, in some way.
Just today I am trying to convince a friend of mine to find a good diagnostician for her somewhat brittle HBP. Referred her to my MD… but she’s seeing a nutritionist tomorrow. Not that I don’t believe nutritionists can be helpful, but she needs an MD here. Worse, she is raving about some Dr. Leaf. Immediately researched her, not happy with this woman at all. Copied this quote which I wish I the church would heed:
Critics and sceptics love to use any opportunity they can to embarrass the church, but by parading our own naivety, we’re simply embarrassing ourselves.
http://www.debunkingdrleaf.com/the-church

OTOH she claims to have received a “Rudin Scholarship for Psychiatric Oncology” while at Cornell, which has no existence outside her fabrications….

OK, allow me to take care of pettiness in a focused manner: The “NYU School of Medicine, Resident in Psychiatry; NYU Reproductive Psychiatry Program” bit also doesn’t seem to quite match up with their current <a href=”https://med.nyu.edu/psych/education/fellowship-training/womens-mental-health-fellowship>offerings.

Then again,

(2008)

Reverting to the 70’s, “there is some weird sh*t in that Brogan article”.

It even ends with:
“The truth is that we wake up when we are ready, and not one second sooner. And as we do, we’ll need each other to walk the path into the wild unknown to the experience of freedom, joy, and simple beauty that has always been our birthright.”,
followed by a graphic showing types of logical fallacies.

And yes, they really did compare women’s choice to use birth control to being abused – actually, that comment from Dorit is what caused me to read the original.

COVID really brings out the opportunity for us to see the birth of the conspiracy theory equivalent of string theory. Maybe if we combine all the conspiracies into one, everyone can be in on it together and it will cease to be a conspiracy. Problem solved.

NSFW (excepting countries where it is acceptable to get them up against a cliff because they push back better):

So basically Brogan and Ji are saying that they alone know the truth, and the reader should trust no one else.
Since we’re well through the looking glass of inappropriate use of psychology, I’ll just say that “I alone am right, can fix this, know what is best for you” sounds a whole heck of a lot like an abuser.

“We slide down the rabbit hole…and we see the mainstream orthodoxy as reflective of agendas that are highly designed, intentionally deceptive, and strategically organized, whether by extraterrestrial vampires, the deep state elite, or the medical or military industrial complexes, and that reality is anything but what we have been told it is.”

Stated that way, I couldn’t agree more. It’s how the non-critically thinking conspiracy-minded view the world. There are massive, world-dominating conspiracies strategically organized by people with infinite resources, and millions of willing drones to carry out their designs with utter secrecy and frightening efficiency. And yet, a small coterie of powerless, unfunded but brave people on the Internet are somehow able to unravel their plots.

Fuck the conspiracy cranks. Their paranoia is just the fuel pump for their narcissism.

Meantime the real conspiracies run unchecked right out in the open.

@ has

“Meantime the real conspiracies run unchecked right out in the open.”

Yes. That is the real problem with conspiracy theories: they provide cover for, and distraction from, really nasty behaviours, as criticising these behaviours will be equated with conspiracy theories. It’s a real pain in the ass. It gives credence to plausible deniability when plausible deniability should be denied. Pisses me off.

Why do I get the impression those three just did an all weekend bender while playing Psychology Mad Libs??????? That was some really fragrant uncomposted male bovine manure!

Is it just because it’s early here and I haven’t had much kip but Sayer Ji seems to have scrubbed his Wikipedia entry? Seems unlikely that he wouldn’t have one but I’m b£ggered if I can find it. Adding Ji to a name is usually a sign of respect in Hindi so I wanted to find out if the name is real or a matter of self aggrandisement.

@ Number Wang:

I’ve been trying to figure out the name as well!

While there is no Wikipedia** entry, there is one for Green Med Info ( same situation for Adams and Natural News)

BUT there are Rational Wiki about Green Med info and him and an entry on Encyclopedia of American Loons as there well should be.
He used to have a bio at Green Med Info but it has disappeared :it said that he had a ( non-relevant) DEGREE ( one) in philosophy IIRC and that he did “wildcrafting” ( whatever that is)’ and other fol de rol. Some of these people ( Adams) may have studied at woo-niverseities) i.e. non- accredited degree factories that sell fine looking papers and nonsensical courses.

Narad found that he is called “Doug” and that he was arrested for driving drunk with a child in the car ( also at Rational Wiki, with mugshot)
I think that we found that he had money issues at one point I forget where.He sells memberships to GMI.

** currently, woo-meisters like Null are trying to scrub Wikipedia entries or hire people / get volunteers to fix the Wikipedia entry ( see Wikipedia Talk,: Gary Null/ recruiting on his show). I notice that one of his claims ( being faculty at a university) is now gone. I knew that one was bogus but I don’t edit there.

“Sheeple” is code for “all the real experts think I’m nuts so I resort to using an especially stupid word.”

Exactly. When people use “Sheeple” at any level of serious, I know it will be surrounded with nonsense.

We slide down the rabbit hole…

This is their problem right there. They have mistaken the rabbit hole dream for reality.

@ christine kincaid

You write: “I thought the contact tracings & reopenings were supposed to be handled at the state level vs federal?

How could the federal government manage the needs of New York County (Manhattan), Kings County (Brooklyn), Bronx County (The Bronx); without significant waste of resources in counties on Montana, Alaska or Wyoming?”

Wow, black and white, either the federal government steps in everywhere or nowhere. And the feds originally did stockpile pandemic supplies; but cut funding. Pandemics don’t know borders. Trump actually exports PEP during early stages of pandemic. And Trump has allowed price gouging and States to bid against each other. Insane. There needs to be Federal involvement, State involvement, and local public health involvement.

Once more you display just how stupid you are, black and white, all of none.

@ Joel,

I asked Dorit a valid question, Joel & I didn’t argue her answer. She was right; it was more complex than I thought.

And as far as exporting PPE? My entire town of over 3/4 million, had been wiped out of available to the consumer PPE, during the third week of January, in a matter of two days, by ONE person; the same person. A Chinese-American man who literally bought out every medical supplies store, hardware store, grocery store & pharmacy’s entire inventory of masks; telling the stores that he was “sending them to family in China “.

I only know this because I was a few hours behind him to five of those stores, who each reported the same thing, when I asked managers about their inventory. I was standing there when they called their respective local branches to inquire for me. The same guy wiped out my whole town. (I found mine by crawling on my hands & knees in a shelf at a Safeway, finding 3 boxes for less than $5 a box of 20 that he had missed). I first used a mask on January 28th.

By the time the CDC remembered what masks were for (April 3rd); surgical masks were selling for $50 for a package of 4 masks.

As far as this Brogan person goes; I have never heard of her & wouldn’t be listening to her anyway, given her 5G and “empty hospital ” comments. I seem to recall saying “It’s worse than you think “, right here on RI; regarding “What antivaxers think about COVID “.

In February maybe? Too lazy to look it up, need coffee.

And really; why worry about what antivaxers are saying. Reign in your own, for craps sake.

“Waiting for evidence of person to person transmission ” for a NOVEL virus? Lol, no. Better to act like it’s an actual … Virus. No consensus on masks until April 3rd & now the WHO’s asymptomatic carrier flub.

While we’re at it; can someone shut up Fauci up about his: “A second wave isn’t inevitable ” comment? Seriously just gag him already. Oh & my favorite: Melinda Gates just said that:

“Blacks should be second after health care workers to receive the COVID vaccine “!!

Brilliant timing & this one I love because honestly; antivaxers couldn’t have asked for a better event, than for the richest, whitest, most entitled princess to scream “Blacks first!”; regarding a fast tracked vax.

Lol, a prominent BLM personalities FB page has blown up over the last few days with Tuskagee, Guinea pig & Kenyan HCG vax references, after he wrote just one post about her. Oh yeah and a new group just formed that is gaining ground quickly: “Black Autistic Lives Matter”. It’s about damn time. I can see where this is headed, can you? I think I also mentioned somewhere that COVID had the power to destroy the provax agenda & here we are; no antivaxers needed.

PPE? My entire town of over 3/4 million, had been wiped out of available to the consumer PPE, during the third week of January, in a matter of two days, by ONE person; the same person.

You’re always so full of stories. And I suspect that’s exactly what they are. Stories.

Seriously just gag him already.

This one is so loaded with irony that I’d recommend eye protection if poking it with a 19 ga. needle.

So you don’t think high-risk populations should have priority for a vaccine?

I mean, you’ve made it abundantly clear that you don’t want to get immunized against COVID, so why do you care who gets priority? You’re not in line, so why do you care who’s in front?

What exactly is the point of your story about a guy buying masks and sending them to China? My company did that too, in January. Because part of the company is in China and we were helping our coworkers. Because that’s just being a decent person. There was greater need there, then. I see no conspiracy or anything. Also, there is a difference between the volume involved for export (a cargo ship) and however much a single person can buy retail in one geographic location. Again, what was your point?

“can someone shut up Fauci up about his: “A second wave isn’t inevitable” comment?”
“The U.S. can prevent another wave of Covid-19 as long as states reopen “correctly,” Fauci said Wednesday morning in an interview on CNN. “Don’t start leapfrogging over the recommendations of some of the guidelines because that’s really tempting fate and asking for trouble.””
https://www.cnbc.com/2020/05/27/dr-anthony-fauci-says-a-second-wave-of-coronavirus-is-not-inevitable.html
It took me about thirty seconds to confirm what I thought that meant with a Startpage search.

Oh yeah and a new group just formed that is gaining ground quickly: “Black Autistic Lives Matter”.

Evidently antivaxxers are not satisfied with the level of contempt they earned by attempts to co-opt and trivialise Nazi atrocities. Now they’re determined to trivialise BLM concerns as well with some astroturfed FB group. Great.

Joel would say “despicable”, I say “contemptible” because I don’t want to sound like Daffy Duck.

@Narad: Remember the 2008 scandal of milk with melamine? That resulted in a long-lasting wave of private exports of baby formula to China and not just from Hongkong.

@Christine, Also, “My entire town of over 3/4 million”? We can add “Can’t count” to our list. You live an hour away from Denver, per your comment on taking your son to an Immunologist. Denver is the largest city in the state, and the extended metro area has less than 3 million people, with ~half the people in the state. You live too far away to be within its limits.

Seriously, you expect us to believe anything you say when you pull nonsense like this?

You live an hour away from Denver, per your comment on taking your son to an Immunologist.

In Colorado Springs as I recall CK’s domicile being (beware, WWV/WWVB), there was a 2019 population 659,000 according to Gazoogle (not exactly a “town”), versus a statewide 2020 population of 5.8 million, so “my entire town [sic] of over 3/4 million” works out to an excess of only 11.4% on her part.

Pig out of poke, I think.

@Narad: Remember the 2008 scandal of milk with melamine? That resulted in a long-lasting wave of private exports of baby formula to China and not just from Hongkong.

Yes, I remember. I would like some concrete numbers on the predicatey part that follows before rushing headlong into this, writing as a mamesh Similac adoptee.

The “Brogan-Ji brain trust”: I’ve seen culture plates of invertebrate Aplysia neurons form bigger brain trusts.

Given the nature of that thread on 5G, I believe nothing more needs to be said.

that’s what it says on the fucking circuit board, dammit.

This one I hadn’t heard of before. I’m hoping it will cause a hunk of cerumen to plop out of one of my ears.

Great comment on the other Twitter feed Narad linked to:

“Listen to your TRUSTED FRIEND AND FAMILY who YOU have known personally for YEARS!
They are NOT INSANE, or CRAZY!
They can SEE THE TRUTH for what it is!
Why would they be trying SO HARD to WAKE YOU UP if it wasn’t important or TRUE!”

Because crazy and ALL CAPS runs in the family?

That one’s almost as good as the Amazon reviewer who swore Judy Mikovits was telling the truth because no one could write such a long book and it not be true.

“Here’s a story about Ali Zeck who overcame her Bipolar Disorder diagnosis”

Ms Zeck may have overcome her diagnosis. Her actual psychosis, not so much.

@ has

“Ms Zeck may have overcome her diagnosis. Her actual psychosis, not so much.”

A bipolar disorder is supposed to be, roughly, emotional disregulation, in a rather wide acceptation of the term. A priori, not something linked to believing wild nonsense on 5G. And whether or not she believes nonsense on 5G, it is not something on which we can base ourselves to judge whether or not she has problems living her life with her crazy ideas. Many people have utterly crazy ideas and live very normal lives. In this sense, it’s a stretch to systematically link crazy ideas with a notion of disease of the mind.

This being said, I have no clue what her trouble or problem was. And I do not care that much anyway.

@ Dangerous Bacon

You cite: “the Amazon reviewer who swore Judy Mikovits was telling the truth because no one could write such a long book and it not be true.”

Well, I own a book I bought in my early teens and have read several times, Mein Kamp. My edition is 694 pages, a long book. I don’t think most sane people would see any truth in it; but . . .

You’re stronger than I am, Joel. A former acquaintance had a copy of Mein Kampf and I have an interest in World War 2, so I asked to read it.
Not even 20 pages in, I gave up. It was one of the most badly written books I have ever read.

@ Julian Frost

Yep, horribly written; but besides distorted and plain false history, some interesting insights into mob/crowd psychology. However, main point is that I’m a glutton for punishment, force myself to read things that may help with insights into various disciplines. Keep in mind that Mein Kampf was not only a best seller in Germany, though many probably didn’t actually read it, felt pressure to buy it; but also was translated into a number of languages, including English, sold in U.S. and still being sold in U.S. I tried to get an original German edition; but too expensive. Thought, with help of a dictionary, might see how my undergraduate German functioned

Jetzt habe ich die meisten Deutsch dass ich vor vielen Jahren studierte vergessen. Schade!

Not even 20 pages in, I gave up.

I only made it 100 pages into a copy of Infinite Jest that somebody had dumped in the laundry room of an apartment building that I once lived in. It seemed hopelessly dated even in 2007.

“hospital staff are being laid off or furloughed”

What is it with many woosters and thinking that the world stops at the borders of USA! USA USA! ?

The UK has been pulling in recently retired staff, transferring existing staff to Covid work, opening new facilities (y’know stuff we’ve been told since 2010 was undoable and unaffordable) and…and…

Let alone what has been happening in pretty much every other country in the world…But, no, something happened in Merkinania, so that ‘s it for everyone, everywhere.

A rabbit hole Wonderland of nuttery. Mad as hatters and twice as dangerous – guilty of murdering medicine. Queen of Hearts needed.

To quote Jefferson Airplane’s White Rabbit:
“When logic and proportion have fallen sloppy dead
And the White Knight is talking backwards
And the Red Queen’s off with their heads”

“When logic and proportion have fallen sloppy dead”
When I saw that I had to look it up on genius.com, and you have it right. I’m sorry I looked. For over fifty years I have heard that as “softly dead” as in “quietly expired without anyone noticing”, which I think is an improvement on the original.

The Red Queen was a chess piece. Thee Queen of Hearts was a playing card. They are frequently mixed up. Wonderful characters in wonderful books – no pun intended.

@ Leigh Jackson: I actually finally got around to reading Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland because I enjoyed the song, which lead me to the wiki article which pointed out the error about the Red Queen, which was when I realized that while I’d seen many adaptations of Alice, I’d never read the book itself.

I don’t think I got around to Through the Looking Glass, though I did memorize the opening to the Jabberwocky in college (because it was the title of a famous science fiction short story, Mimsy were the Borogoves”).

(Oh, and I first heard the song when it was used in its entirety in an episode of Warehouse 13, a delightfully silly show on SyFy about the warehouse from the end of Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Arc.)

The Food and Drug Administration withdrew its emergency use authorization for hydroxychloroquine and a related drug

…Doctors still will be able to prescribe the drug to covid-19 patients “off label,” if they choose. But the chloroquine that had been authorized by the FDA does not have approval in the United States and can’t be used for other purposes. Both were donated to the government by pharmaceutical companies.

Anand Shah, FDA deputy commissioner for medical and scientific affairs, said in a statement that the agency’s actions “will be guided by science and that our decisions may evolve” as more is learned about the virus and new evidence is available.

https://www.washingtonpost.com./health/2020/06/15/hydroxychloroquine-authorization-revoked-coronavirus/

Brogan-Ji brain trust

… Was that a deliberate Lexx reference?

As for Bill Games, everything I’ve heard says that the ‘transformation […] from a corrupt software engineer to a global philanthropist’ was pretty much a combination of Melinda Gates setting the ideas and other rich families shaming him for not doing at least some philanthropic work.

@ Terrie,

"You’re always so full of stories. And I suspect that’s exactly what they are. Stories."

Out of everything I said; THAT’S what touched a nerve? So what if an antivaxxer & a Chinese-American guy were hunting down PPE during the 3rd week of January, while you were waiting to be spoon fed what to do, think, or say? Sad but true.

@ Narad

Very very good. Didn’t know that song. (P.S.: Hope you’re managing to sort out your current ordeal; wishing you good fortune.)

You were waiting to be spoon fed what to do, think, or say

I know you like to claim that you have “superpowers” (hyperlexia and perfect pitch), but mind reading is not one of them. In January, I was busy nursing my foster dog at the time through two mastectomies. In dogs, the mammary chain stretches from midchest to just under the hind leg, so you can’t do both sides at once. You need to ice the incision multiple times a day to help with swelling, and the second round, she developed a seroma a few days in, which meant a heat pack several times a day. Which means that unlike you, I didn’t have time to dream up stories of me being so much more aware than those around me.

@ Terrie:

Poor doggie!

At any rate, CK insults people- like you- who take her to task : it reminds me a bit of a famous woo-meister I monitor who blasts invectives about Orac, Drs Novella, Fauci, Hotez et al.- how they have little education, are merely parroting the official line. whilst he has the Truth – despite actually being grossly deficient in most subject matter ( which I could document easily and hilariously).

Unfortunately for her, CK has not learned the cardinal rule of the internet: it never forgets. Anyone reading who cares enough could go back a few months and read ( and link) her horror stories about how her son physically endangered her – how he nearly attacked a child in a store, how she feared for care workers at his school, and compared herself to a mother who died from her own child’s attack……it’s all here. Then later on, he is a light unto the world, loved by everyone. A joy.

Then, there are other tales about her mother being tossed from medical school for questioning vaccines, leaving “papers” and other family stories of wonder. How vaccines didn’t work at all, caused autism, death or bad hair.,

She doesn’t absorb any information from Orac, you, Joel or other minions who provide it. This tells me a great deal. There are many reasons that people can’t learn, some of which are intellectual while others are emotional or personality driven. Research shows us that anti-vaxxers value “purity” and “freedom”, and feel that hierarchies are meaningless: thus, an anti-vax mother- to herself- is the equal/ or the better,of people who have studied medicine or science their entire lives ( e.g. Dr Fauci – 60 years? Orac- maybe close to 40?), So, their judgment about self or others’ abilities are suspect.- this is an ability that forms over years from childhood to adolescence but not everyone “gets there”.

Some people can’t learn but can serve as negative examples for readers.

.

@Denice, She came through beautifully, and has since been adopted by a family who adores her. 🙂 I miss her lots, but I miss every foster dog who comes through my home, even when they drove me nuts and I was happy to see them go.

I doubt CK’s son is as awful or as wonderful as she claims. I’m sure he has meltdowns like many autistic people, especially if she drags him into grocery stores. I’ve never met anyone with sensory issues who likes grocery stores. They seem to be the perfect method of torture via sensory overload. For someone who claims to be on the spectrum herself, she seems oddly oblivious to her son’s needs.

And, like many antivaxxers, she flirts with racism, in her case trying to blame vaccines for her son having low porosity hair. What is it about conspiracy thinking that makes people so oblivious to the variety of human experience?

@ Denice Walter

“She doesn’t absorb any information from Orac, you, Joel or other minions who provide it.”

She does try at times, but “something” is always holding her back…

“This tells me a great deal. There are many reasons that people can’t learn, some of which are intellectual while others are emotional or personality driven.”

In general, these interlock. But the only one of these aspects that can be fixed through impersonal dialog is the intellectual dimension. Spotting and understanding internal contradictions are key to that.

“Research shows us that anti-vaxxers value “purity” and “freedom””

The “purity” aspect is the most problematic. It’s a version of the “argument” from disgust and ties in very deeply to aspects of a personality that are very usually not verbalised or verbalisable. “Freedom” is indeed a value, and a rather good one to value. And contrarily to “purity”, one can generally reason someone into the consequences of unreasoned freedom, though it does takes time. Though you do seem to have some tough Tom-like nuts to crack in the US on that topic.

“Purity” is very difficult to reason with, and I’m bloody well aware of that. Take a tea gourmet. Serve him is best tea in the neatest fashion. But just add an infra-homeopathic amount of shit in it. Will he drink it? Very likely not. “Purity” is something that you can almost never reason someone out of, and that’s why I’ve always advocated accommodation when possible with purity semi-fanatics: the cost of conflict on these matters is generally too high.

“And feel that hierarchies are meaningless: thus, an anti-vax mother- to herself- is the equal/ or the better,of people who have studied medicine or science their entire lives ( e.g. Dr Fauci – 60 years? Orac- maybe close to 40?), So, their judgment about self or others’ abilities are suspect.”

Hierarchies are both meaningful and meaningless. Meaningful when it comes to the pragmatics of decision making and to the necessity of a social hierarchy of knowledge and competence to structure a society; something that is quite strongly universal in human societies across time and space. Meaningless because appeal to authority is not an argument, and we should know better than to make it one. And appeal to authority is abused by hierarchies; which is also something that is quite strongly universal in human societies across time and space.

I should add:
there’s a simple way to determine whether your ideas/ theories/ cherished hobbyhorses are worthy of consideration or truly emblematic of crankdom:( and I’d posit this to woo-meisters and internet contrarians alike):

is there anywhere a university that offers courses that revolve around your ideas?

Does a real university anywhere offer courses in anti-vax, hiv/aids denialism, quantum healing or energy medicine as subjects taken seriously? Scepticism or Critical Thinking credits do not count as they eviscerate the aforesaid topics AND universities run by cranks themselves do not count. Real, actual, accredited universities that do not adverstise on match books or sides of buses.

It’s highly unlikely that YOU, yourself, are the next Galileo, chief paradigm shifter that rearranges the history of the world. Neither are your idols.

I daresay, you won’t find one university.

@Denice, I wish I’d gotten a link to the article, but I was talking with my dad recently about the way some people tie themselves into knots to justify not wearing a mask when it’s such a minimal burden. He’d read an article on decision making that showed that there are people who make a decision almost immediately based of their emotional response and then fit information to that decision, while other people gather information then make a decision. I think we can all guess which group antivaxxers belong to.

@ F68.10:

If I may call you, F:
OF COURSE,there’s a world of difference between always kowtowing to authorities and insisting that there is NO DIFFERENCE between anyone at all who happens to pipe up and a person who studies and works in a particular area who GENERALLY has data behind his or her suppositions. ( respectively, Kim Rossi, CK, Handley vs Orac et al) Not only data ( a single study) but a multitude of evidence from many sources.

Of course, there are crappy authorities and gifted amateurs but they are not as frequent as their converse.

People who study formally usually have the ability to sort out what data means rather than wish fulfilling prophecies.( although Ill admit that Duesberg denies hiv; a few Nobel winners have gone rogue)

@ Christine Kincaid

As the saying goes: “even a broken clock gets the time right twice daily.”

So, you were right about the COVID-19 pandemic; but wrong about just about everything else you have written in comments.

As for Terrie being “spoon fed”, again, how stupid. While I tend to err on the side of caution and keep a number of things at home, including nitril gloves (not in anticipation of pandemic but if friend sick, so I can go help them), we should be able to trust our government. Korea and Taiwan acted early on. And, in the past, our government has overreacted, scaring people unnececessarily; e.g., 1950s duck and cover for atomic attacks, absurd at best.

Typical of you to exaggerate everything. But, as you have avoided responding to each and every comment where I showed you wrong, belittling someone else just adds to my contempt for you as an individual.

@Joel, Accusing me to make herself look good is typical Christine. It’s another way she dodges admitting she makes shit up, like the fact that she apparently lives in a town that has a population of over half the population of her entire state.

@ Joel,

"Typical of you to exaggerate everything. But, as you have avoided responding
to each and every comment where I showed you wrong, belittling someone else
just adds to my contempt for you as an individual."

Well, contempt for individuals seems to be a driving life-force for you so I’m glad to help out.

And the reason I don’t reply to your specific comments is because you quote studies & books & I am already aware about the (cue the posh accent): “Vast amount of research showing that vaccines are safe”. I realize I am not an organized writer, so here is one simple question I have:

“Could a cytokine storm experienced by a one or two year old child be disabling the microglia cells that normally conduct synaptic pruning, resulting in Autism?”

If the answer is “no”; then what do you think IS disabling the microglia cells that normally conduct synaptic pruning, resulting in Autism, in one & two year old children?

Note that his is not a vaccine question. A scathing comment containing a link to a “vaccines are safe” study will shut my brain down. Lol; I will regret saying that.

@ Orac

Seems there’s some news on dexamethasone for our mild seasonal flu. A post on that topic would be nice…

Every record has been destroyed or falsified, every book rewritten, every picture has been repainted, every statue and street building has been renamed, every date has been altered. And the process is continuing day by day and minute by minute. History has stopped. Nothing exists except an endless present in which the Party is always right.
George Orwell

@ Sheila

“Nothing exists except an endless present in which the Party is always right.”

Is your brain a whoopee cushion?

@ Sheila

Wow! Quote one author. I can find authors supporting slavery, anti-semitism, fascism, racism, and on and on it goes. By the way, I have read several of Orwell’s books, including 1984, great description of a possible future dystopia; but we haven’t come close (except Nazi Germany, Stalinist Soviet Union) yet. I can still go to a bookstore, the few that remain, a public library, or order from Amazon.com books ranging from Karl Marx to Adolf Hitler and everything in between.

And if you are referring to removing Confederate monuments, you should look at their history. They were erected in the 20th Century as Southern States, in reaction to a budding anti-racist, e.g., NAACP, etc. led to a retrenchment of Jim Crow laws and segregation. As I’ve already written, anyone who studies closely American history will understand that the South seceded, the Civil War, was over slavery. In Congress, in State houses, in Southern newspaper editorials, there were discussions of state’s rights; but only over slavery was secession threatened. And all, or most of the Confederate state Constitutions included clauses enshrining slavery.

So, if you comment is indirectly criticizing removing of Confederate monuments, then I can only assume YOU ARE A RACIST.

But, actually your quote: “the party is always right” does, to some extent fit our current Republican Party that has been hijacked by an extreme right wing element. Historically, the Republican Party represented middle class businessmen, and corporations and the wealthy; but were willing to compromise. Nixon passed OSHA, EPA, minimum wage, etc. However, the strength and weakness of the Democratic Party is its all inclusiveness, minorities, sexual differences, middle class, working class, and, yes, some more attuned with Wall Street. And we have, at least in local elections, people elected from Third Parties, e.g., Green, Libertarian.

Given your past comments, I really don’t find you a very intelligent and/or informed person.

@ Joel @ Sheila

“So, if you comment is indirectly criticizing removing of Confederate monuments, then I can only assume YOU ARE A RACIST.”

Possible, though insulting her likely won’t make her grow out of it. That issue seems incredibly tense in the US seen from here. So more generally, on the topic of racism: first step to grow out of it is to understand how big the world is.

And second step is then to understand how small the world is. Because what you do not understand when it’s located far away, you won’t understand it much more when you’ll see it next to you.

For the specifics of US-style racism, I’ll let you people sort it out by trial by combat on a societal level. Where are my pop-corns?

Maybe I’m not very intelligent but Orwell sure was! How did he know?
I’m not talking about confederate statues, but Churchill? Who saved all our sorry asses from the worst (racist) threat in a century?
A statue Abraham Lincoln, paid for in part by freed slaves, because it has a freed slave depicted?
What’s next, book burning?
As far as me being a racist, never was, never will be. A good friend of mine who happens to be black is coming for dinner tomorrow. My son’s best friend is black, was his best man.
I don’t hate anybody, I am actually commanded by my Lord not to, but to love my enemies. I try to be obedient to that.
I wish I could share with you the peace that that offers!

And yes, the Civil War was over slavery, in spite of the revisionists who want to say otherwise.

I’m going to answer my own question, I guess I haven’t conquered my pride yet.
Orwell was an anti-Stalinist, and the communists did do exactly that, erased history where they could and where it conflicted with their narrative.
One place where his obvious massive intellect confounds me-
he was a socialist. Don’t people see where socialism leads? It centralizes power, and unfortunately mankind is basically corrupt, and we all know “power corrupts; absolute power corrupts absolutely”
This is why I am a capitalist. Obviously not a perfect system (I wish anti-monopoly laws were enforced eg ) but it mitigates does some extent against human depravity.
Can’t help it; more Orwell quotes (please don’t use them against me, I am already doing a self examination; are you?)

“Perhaps a man really dies when his brain stops, when he loses the power to take in a new idea.

All the papers that matter live off their advertisements, and the advertisers exercise an indirect censorship over news

Some ideas are so stupid that only intellectuals believe them

If people cannot write well, they cannot think well, and if they cannot think well, others will do their thinking for them.

No advance in wealth, no softening of manners, no reform or revolution has ever brought human equality a millimeter nearer.

Everyone believes in the atrocities of the enemy and disbelieves in those of his own side, without ever bothering to examine the evidence

During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act”

You can’t even come up with a black best friend, you have to go with “my son’s best friend”? That’s just sad.

@ Sheila

“I don’t hate anybody, I am actually commanded by my Lord not to, but to love my enemies.”

When I read that, the first thought that comes to my mind is that I just wished you indeed were a racist — with many black friends, mind you — instead. But then, I confess it, I’m somewhat twisted on these topics.

“I try to be obedient to that. I wish I could share with you the peace that that offers!”

You’ve never been in my shoes. I do not believe you would even consider uttering this sentence had you been. And I believe you’re having a rather interpretation of Matthew. Moreover, it’s rather immoral to love your enemies, in my view.

“If people cannot write well, they cannot think well, and if they cannot think well, others will do their thinking for them.”

My irony meter hit eleventy.

@ Sheila:
Re: Churchill
1) He didn’t “save us” alone. There were a few other countries involved in WWII, including the USA (material) and the USSR (soldiers). No one goes around putting up statues to Stalin in the UK, now do they?
2) Churchill’s wartime policies exacerbated a famine that killed millions: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/mar/29/winston-churchill-policies-contributed-to-1943-bengal-famine-study

3) And most importantly, and relevant to your 1984 quote: we don’t learn history from statues. If that were true they wouldn’t need name plaques. What a statue (of a human) says is “This Person Was Important”. Or it’s art, which is different.

If you go and see a statue of a Roman emperor, what do you learn? Artistic style, clothing style, hair style. Anything else requires an explanatory plaque. Or even a whole museum exhibit. Or a whole library of books.

Winston Churchill was a complicated man who did some great things and some horrible things (like sinking a French battleship that was not attacking anyone and still fully crewed to prevent it from being turned over to Germany). But there’s no complexity to a statue. For complexity you need books.

@ JustaTech

“Like sinking a French battleship that was not attacking anyone and still fully crewed to prevent it from being turned over to Germany”

I believe you’re referring to Mers-el-Kébir. That attack was in my view necessary. The political context was somewhat wild with the surrender of France, so that needs to be taken into consideration. The biggest problem was that it triggered a long-lasting sentiment of betrayal by the british in the french population and that it solidified ideologically the Vichy regime. But french-british relations in WW2 are a complex thing. In this matter, for instance, with the benefit of hindsight, I believe the union of France and Great-Britain proposed by the british should have been accepted by the “free” french. It would have had rather unpredictable repercussions in the french population, so the matter is not black and white, but overall, I believe it’s a missed opportunity. And a big one.

Churchill was a man of his time, and therefore not overly complicated in my view. But personality-wise, one of my all-time favourites.

@ JustaTech

“He [Churchill] didn’t “save us” alone. There were a few other countries involved in WWII, including the USA (material) and the USSR (soldiers). No one goes around putting up statues to Stalin in the UK, now do they?”

It’s even worse than that: read closely this document from the European Union to the end. To the end…

Who started WW2? The Nazis? Well, not exactly according to this adopted resolution. It was the Nazis and the Soviets. Both of them. And, may I say, if I’m being picky observing the wording in the document, we perhaps shouldn’t exactly say that WW2 was started by the Nazis and the Soviets, but rather by the Soviets and the Nazis… Perhaps… I’m indeed wondering why the last paragraph of that document stands out so strongly from the rest of the text in terms of rhetorics…

That seems like a teeny weeny bit of history twisting. I also would have expected a few words about the Soviets beating the Nazis. But nope. The document said that the Soviets started the war conjointly with the Nazis. But nowhere that they clubbed the Nazis to death.

How much do I love when governments decide what the correct interpretation of history is… It’s not a denial law of Soviet victory — because, sorry, WW2 was won in large part by the Soviets, whether they “started” the war or not… — admittedly, but I’m pretty sure that there are quite a number of politician fucktards who would happily see such a resolution extended into a denial law. Typically in some East European states located in-between Germany and Russia. After all, once you start legislating on such matters, why stop halfway?

(BTW, they did have the nerve and conceit to send a copy of that resolution to the Russian Duma… Just FYI…)

@ Denice Walter

We were having a discussion on the notion of authority and hierarchy, weren’t we? Cough… cough… cough…

More seriously: I’m not disagreeing with you on the matter, but I believe it’s important to recall that constructive communication channels for criticism of authority must be open at all times. That’s the point I wish to make. I am not making the point that you are wrong. Perhaps focusing on one aspect to the detriment of another one. That’s all.

@ F68.10
“I just wished you indeed were a racist — with many black friends, mind you”
That makes no sense to me. I would love an explanation… maybe I will grow.
“You’ve never been in my shoes. I do not believe you would even consider uttering this sentence had you been.” Not sure, again, what you mean. I am sorry if you have experienced racism. I wish I could make it up to you somehow and help you to heal.
“And I believe you’re having a rather interpretation of Matthew. Moreover, it’s rather immoral to love your enemies, in my view.”
Jesus said “Father forgive them for they know not what they do” as he was dying on the cross. Seems like a pretty clear example of what He taught. Love always trumps hatred.

A good friend of mine who happens to be black is coming for dinner tomorrow.

Man, it writes itself.

Orwell was an anti-Stalinist, and the communists did do exactly that, erased history where they could and where it conflicted with their narrative.

I think you would be better served by some of Koestler’s meaningful post-Communist works, viz., The Age of Longing and Darkness at Noon. (I’ve only read the former, but the latter seems to get all the attention.)

@ Sheila

“That makes no sense to me. I would love an explanation… maybe I will grow.”

Racism is something people can grow out of more easily than unwavering commitment to religion. The problem I find with religious people is that on almost any serious argument, they will offer countering views that will not clearly mention their religious commitment. So you have to take your rhetorical machete to cut across the fog of “arguments” to get down to their religious commitment which is the root cause of their inability to engage in other than superficial dialogue. For instance, when you get a “population control = eugenics” statement, as I got from Nathalie White, I can safely bet that it derives, in the end, from a religious worldview. And unless this is reckoned and addressed, discussion tends to run in circles, with spurious arguments. Or they will mention their religious commitment, but as a weapon-argument, and the fact that they are unable to understand that it might come under criticism gives me the feeling I’m dealing with fanatics. Not only a US phenomenon. Met some too in France, and specifically one of the worst kind, masquerading his religious devotional evangelism on more than spurious anthropological claims. Everything he said was bullshit. But criticise his anthropological claim, and he’ll Jesus-shame you. Criticise his Jesus-shaming, and he’ll justify Jesus on anthropological grounds. Made an utter fool of him, and he then glorified in victimisation, claiming that criticising him was persecution, essentially, which thus proved him right since Christ had been crucified. Add to that the love-bullshitting and love-shaming to deflect any argument, and you get my opinion of that kind of nonsensical behaviour. Fed up with this kind of circular nonsense. I’d rather deal with a racist anyday.

This is nothing personal against you, mind you. Merely describing an overall situation.

“Not sure, again, what you mean. I am sorry if you have experienced racism.”

No. Not racism. Something else. Though as my last name sounds jewish (but most positively isn’t jewish and comes from a region of the world renowned for its pork industry…) I met my first antisemites well before I even knew what a jew was. But that’s completely anecdotal.

“I wish I could make it up to you somehow and help you to heal.”

Fed up with people wanting me to heal. Happy to be sick and fine with it. Do not want to be saved.

“Jesus said “Father forgive them for they know not what they do” as he was dying on the cross. Seems like a pretty clear example of what He taught. Love always trumps hatred.”

That’s pretty much patronising when you claim someone doesn’t know what they do. Both religious people and medical doctors have this point in common… As to love that trumps hatred, nope: one can do very awful thing out of love or “love” without realising it’s wrong and/or awful. And thinking that love trumps everything is a useful motto to justify engaging in the most outrageous of denials of atrocious behaviour done out of love. Intentions do count, but actions speak of themselves to those not blinded by “love”, and intelligence is a tool to understand the limits of every justification people may bring to the table. “Love” included.

Moreover, the concept that christianity = love is bogus on more than one grounds. First of all, there is a moral obligation to hate sin (and do not tell me christians do not hate “sinners”…). Second of all, if you dive into theological discussions of why it is important to love your enemies, it is not out of “love”, since christians are technically of the opinion that Hell is for Sinners, that it is a Good Thing and that they should Rejoice that Sinners will be Punished. Love of enemies is a strategic move to evangelise, and also a moral duty to avoid mistaking The Evil and The Damned from other people. But if one could guarantee that no mistake could be made when assessing if someone is Evil and Damned, then Hate and Violence is utterly morally commendable if not a duty in christian theology.

@ F68.10
Oh my gosh I LOVE Sade. I can’t tell you how much I listen to her. I so wish she still did concerts.
I recently read The Girl with the Louding Voice, I would recommend it to get a personal feel for what is going on in the world today relative to modern slavery.
My favorite non- church charity is International Justice Mission, which fights it by partnering with local law enforcement. Wikipedia is negative on it but it is a Christian organization so of course they have to emphasize its failings.
It’s hard to wrap my head around that slavery still goes on in this day and age but it does.

It is with great sadness and yea, reverence that I note the passing of David Dees, the foremost political cartoonist of our time.

“Who the *(#&$% is David Dees?” I hear you ask, unreverently.

Mr. Dees was a Sesame Street illustrator who became a folk artist to the Truther cause, galvanizing Amerika (except for the sheeple, of course) with his trenchant, otherworldly offerings on everything from O-baa-ma and the crimes of Hillary, to the lurid netherworld of GMOs and vaccines. The real forces behind the Covid-19 “pandemic” came into his crosshairs as well (while his Facebook page alludes to a cancer diagnosis, does anyone really believe Bill Gates & Co. had nothing to do with his death? Perhaps Mossad, which moved his bicycle and gave him an itch next to his nose for several years was the actual culprit, punishing him for revealing Israel’s perfidy and the Truth about the Holocaust).

The Merck vaccination scamsters and their fellow travelers did not escape Dees’ talented pen.

http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-Dbj964k778U/Wq9OMft6rmI/AAAAAAAAAmM/knjp9G8BTs8I9tKHojzDMuzddXSprywuACLcBGAs/s1600/checkpoint.jpg

Another example of the master’s artwork:

http://i.pinimg.com/originals/25/40/3e/25403e0f7d26790561ed9cad5700abd8.jpg

I was unable to access his collection of art at Daviddees.com (a temporary glitch? a plot by the Bohemian Grove crowd?), but rest assured, Jeff Rense says he’s taken over the archives and will display the material at a later time. A less than worshipful analysis of Mr. Dees and his life work can be found on Dees’ RationalWiki page.

Trusting I will not be “disappeared” for posting this, I am your humble,

Dangerous Bacon

The guy did have massive talent and innovative technique for illustration. I first stumbled across and began perusing his work back in my ‘inside job’ days.

https://www.renseradio.com/ddees-gallery/gallery-images/029.jpg
https://www.renseradio.com/ddees-gallery/gallery-images/047.jpg

L8r, David Dees; Maybe kick a nice corona pattern in the Heaviside layer on your way out.

ps It is DDees.com but the page is just white for me. Ever scrolling white. Enormous amounts of data transferred; white. Maybe it works best with IE?

@ Sheila

Yep, Churchill was the essential man in Great Britains fight against Nazi Germany; but: 1. he was also a RACIST, fought against dismantling the British empire which mistreated people of color, considered them inferior and 2. though he was essential in the fight to avoid defeat of Great Britain to Nazi Germany, it was the Soviet Union who defeated the Nazis. If evil paranoid dictator, not communist, Joseph Stalin had not executed most Russian generals and even colonels, the Soviet military would have defeated the Nazis early on. When Stalin turned command back to the two remaining generals, the Nazis were in full retreat after the battles of Stalingrad and Kursk. Germany had 192 divisions on the Eastern front fighting the Soviets and only 60, a few elite, but mainly undermanned with young boys and old men, on the Western Front. If we had not landed on D-day the Soviet would have still defeated the Nazis. I am not minimizing the bravery and sacrifice of Americans, Brits, Canadians, Free French, which did liberate France earlier; but simply pointing out that the mythology we defeated the Nazis, we meaning U.S. and Britain, is just that, a myth.

I’m not even sure what you mean by pointing out Lincoln’s statue. He was against slavery; but mainly thought Negros less intelligent than Whites; but should be treated on equal terms. And his thoughts about Blacks evolved, due to Fredrick Douglas, and heroism of Negro soldiers.

As for sharing your peace with me, I have NEVER entertained racism. My dad worked at locker club (during 1950s sailors wore uniforms when going on leave, so kept civies in lockers) and he often invited them home for Sunday barbecues, both white and black. i played with all of them and would visit when ships had open houses. I joined Young Men’s Christian Association when 8, learned to swim, played basketball, volleyball, etc. with blacks and Hispanics, though they were a small minority. And that summer and every summer for years afterwards, attended YMCA summer camp, hiked, camped out, etc. with all races. In addition, as a Jew, I have had and still have people I consider friends that are Arabs and/or Muslims. And when I lived in Israel, I opposed the discrimination and mistreatment of Palestinians, and still do and had Palestinian friends. Oh, I forgot, I was in Europe at the time; but my mother and father were the only whites invited to attend the funeral of a Negro who we had been friends with for over 30 years. And as an undergraduate I participated in civil rights demonstrations and would join Black Lives Matter demonstrations if not for the COVID-19 pandemic.

As for Orwell, yes, he was intelligent; but I can point to brilliant people who are racists, anti-semites, etc. Orwell fought with the Republicans against Nazis backed Franco.

So, as I said, you are either not very intelligent and/or informed. Churchill was essential for survival of Great Britain; but not the defeat of Nazi Germany and he was a racist. I could recommend some good books, e.g., Arthur Herman (2008). Gandhi & Churchill: The Epic Rivalry That Destroyed an Empire and Forged Our Age, and several others.

And as “you are commanded by [your] Lord” great; but many Christians, Jews, Moslems, Buddhists ignore the real teachings of their religions and practice discrimination, racism, etc (look at the Evangelists who support Trump, of course, not all Evangelists). Nice you actually follow what Jesus asked of us. Well, being Jewish, I too follow what Judaism actually asks of us, e.g., “be kind to the strangers in your midst, for were you not once strangers in the Land of Egypt” Unfortunately, the State of Israel is a betrayal of Judaism, a racist state. I could give a link to an excellent paper that summarizes in 20 pages Jewish Bible (Old Testament) and Talmud in how one should treat non-Jews and it is diametrically opposite what the State of Israel does. Besides, Israel is also in breach of international laws and guilty of many war crimes. Doesn’t mean I support or even approve Hamas and others planting bombs in market places, sending rockets into civilians; but for every Israeli killed, several hundred led Palestinians have been killed, including infants and children.

So, you continue with your shallow uneducated comments. Oh well.

<

blockquote>Importantly, the NAPA panel was not permitted to interview the Commerce Department officials who demanded the statement be released…, the White House sought for NOAA to correct the record on the Hurricane Dorian forecast, and orders to NOAA were handed down through top aides to Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, because NOAA is part of the department.

In a memo accompanying the final report, Stephen M. Volz, NOAA’s assistant administrator for satellite and information services and designated scientific integrity determining official, notes that Jacobs and Roberts were under pressure from others involved in the drafting process. Those other officials were not necessarily bound by NOAA’s scientific integrity policy, Volz notes.
.
.
.
Andrew Rosenberg… said: “There are absolutely no consequences for those who actually engaged in misconduct.” He called it “very disappointing.”

“It’s hurricane season again,” Rosenberg said in an interview. “Why would we think this won’t happen again?”

…“The Panel concludes that Jacobs and Roberts felt that the situation they were in was out of their hands and their actions were driven by the direction of unnamed and uninterviewed Commerce officials who may well have been the subjects of the redactions,” McLean writes. “While there may be found causes of sympathy for the oppressed and meek subordinates of domineering autocratic ogres, I hardly can find sympathy in this scintilla of an argument for clemency. If not the single highest person in NOAA, who will stand for the Scientific Integrity of the agency and the trust our public needs to invest in our scientific process and products?”

https://www.washingtonpost.com./weather/2020/06/15/noaa-investigation-sharpiegate/

Wilbur. Ross. He whom brokered the deal allowing tRump to keep his hotels after bankrupcy. Cronie.

@ Sheila

You write: “Orwell was an anti-Stalinist, and the communists did do exactly that, erased history where they could and where it conflicted with their narrative.
One place where his obvious massive intellect confounds me-
he was a socialist. Don’t people see where socialism leads? It centralizes power, and unfortunately mankind is basically corrupt, and we all know “power corrupts; absolute power corrupts absolutely””

Nope, Stalin was NOT a communist, he was an evil paranoid brutal dictator. I actually had two courses in Political Theory as an undergraduate, we read quite a bit of Karl Marx. If Marx had been alive and visited Stalin, he would have been arrested, tortured, and executed. Communism has a transitional phase with the dictatorship of the proletariat. Show me where working people in Stalinist Soviet Union had any say so, even dared to speak up.

As for socialism. Sweden is a social democracy, higher voter turn out, and multi-party system. And Kerala in India actually has for most of its years had a “communist” party, voted in free elections with several other parties running. Kerala has low poverty rates compared to most of India, educates women, good health care, and good relations between all religions, one of the highest standards of living in the Third World. And it was a communist party and they have an active free press.

Once more you show your ignorance, no understanding of communism, socialism, believing because Stalin called himself a communist that he was one, and total ignorance of socialism. The U.S. has a long and brutal history of not only slavery; but mistreatment of working class. Though by comparison they are better, on the whole our government favors corporations and the rich over middle class and working class. And we pay for our health care system through our taxes, 65% of total costs, then turn it over to for-profit companies, who take over 30 cents of every dollar spent in profits, high salaries for executives, and huge bureaucracies that don’t contribute to our health, actually harm it in many ways. And we rank poorly in every process and outcome measure internationally, e.g., infant mortality, life-expectancy, quality of life years with chronic conditions; but the for-profit health care companies use propaganda to get ignoramuses like you to fear “socialized medicine” which Medicare for All isn’t. Even my local newspaper had has several opinion pieces on how much Bernies plan would cost over 10 years; but when I sent a letter giving how much our current system will cost, they didn’t publish it. As I’ve explained in other comments, health care doesn’t fit the assumptions of the market; but people like you, so brainwashed when you hear words like socialism that you don’t look further, just shut off anything thinking and you, loved ones, etc. suffer because of your ignorance.

So, you don’t understand socialism and why Orwell supported it, etc.

And, you don’t seem to be able to clearly even make a case. If you handed in, even in high school, one of your comments, I doubt you would get a passing grade. Unfortunately you represent a significant percentage of Americans. Studies have found that up to 80% of Americans lack basic understanding of science and critical thinking.

@ Joel

“Nope, Stalin was NOT a communist, he was an evil paranoid brutal dictator.”

Solzhenitsyn would beg to differ as to the continuity spectrum between communism and stalinism. More generally, I do see an issue of authoritarianism on the left of the left. It’s not a black and white thing: some do defend civil liberties to quite an extent, but others have a view that quite a number of liberties are antithetic to the establishment of communism. They tend to think they are right somewhat too much…

Of course, we’re not talking about nordic countries, here, which are admirable on quite a number of points. Though it’s sometimes a bit naïve to claim that the model is transposable to other countries as it’s very much dependent on local culture. Socialists in nordic countries are compromise-seeking socialists. That’s not true of socialists in more southern countries, who are much more conflict-driven. And this has an impact on politics, and in my view, a damaging one: a country with conflict-driven socialists has a social system that enshrines the level of conflictuality to the detriment of solution seeking to the aches of the poor. I do not trust my local socialists to create a nordic social system: I know they won’t.

F68.10

Socialist in more southern countries have shorter histories of democracy, have had more experience of oppression.

As for Solzhenitsyn, yikes, you are getting as bad as some other commenters, referring to one person’s opinion. Have you read much about Stalin and Stalinist Russia. He wasn’t on any spectrum left or right. He was Al Capone writ large.

And just as with religion where people ignore the original teachings and pick and choose based on personal biases, tribalism, etc. so do political activists. I assure you that ISIS, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, are a total rejection of what Mohammed taught, so, not on a continuum.

And by the way, Solzhenitsyn wrote that the problem with communism and others was that they had forgotten God. So, maybe, just maybe, besides his experience in the Gulag, he was biased against any system not coming from the Bible???

Now time to watch remaining episodes of the Flash.

By the way, did you even attempt to watch “The Eugenics Crusade”? Really well done. Mentioned that one of the charges against Nazis at Nuremberg was forced sterilizations, so lawyer defending Nazis pointed out that the U.S. states had, under law, carried out 10s of thousands of forced sterilizations.

@ Joel

“Socialist in more southern countries have shorter histories of democracy, have had more experience of oppression.”

True. But I do not believe that this is the only factor. France is a case in point: long democratic tradition but high level of ideological conflictuality. Germany has a shorter democratic tradition, high level of historical oppression, yet Bismarck set up social protection which had to be fought for in France, and unions are much less conflict-oriented than in France.

“As for Solzhenitsyn, yikes, you are getting as bad as some other commenters, referring to one person’s opinion.”

I do not exactly see your point. Though in my opinion, the pre-communist authoritarian tradition achieved similar nonsense though not on the same scale. Solzhenitsyn’s account and Dostoïevski’s experience share quite a number of striking similarities. See The House of the Dead. Nonetheless, the argument of a continuity has been made numerous times and cannot in my opinion so easily be discarded. For instance by Raymond Aron.

“Have you read much about Stalin and Stalinist Russia. He wasn’t on any spectrum left or right. He was Al Capone writ large.”

I do not mind Al Capone too much. I have a fair level of tolerance for criminals, depending on the type. I nonetheless do agree that, on paper, communism, and even more so, democratic socialism, are not on the same level of analysis as batshit insane stalinism. But the slippery slope argument, specifically in countries with little or no democratic tradition like Tsarist Russia, is worrying. As to what I read or not, I confess that, whatever the topic, I’m always under the impression that I haven’t read enough no matter how much I really did read…

“And just as with religion where people ignore the original teachings and pick and choose based on personal biases, tribalism, etc. so do political activists. I assure you that ISIS, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, are a total rejection of what Mohammed taught, so, not on a continuum.”

I tend to disagree with that point of view. There is twisting and severe twisting that is going on, but that twisting can always be traced back to the original teachings. Whether ISIS, Stalinism, or even much more palatable ideologies. And I almost always have a personal problem with the “original teachings” I encounter. Except for a select few schools of thought.

“And by the way, Solzhenitsyn wrote that the problem with communism and others was that they had forgotten God. So, maybe, just maybe, besides his experience in the Gulag, he was biased against any system not coming from the Bible???”

Very possible. The same argument can be made for Dostoïevski. Doesn’t change that we also have to look beyond the “curtain of faith” to see the real nature of the points made. Nowhere is this more obvious than with Dostoïevski.

“Now time to watch remaining episodes of the Flash.”

Enjoy.

“By the way, did you even attempt to watch “The Eugenics Crusade”? Really well done. Mentioned that one of the charges against Nazis at Nuremberg was forced sterilizations, so lawyer defending Nazis pointed out that the U.S. states had, under law, carried out 10s of thousands of forced sterilizations.”

Not yet. I’m trying to write a proto-paper and hand it to someone around the 20th of the current month. So quite “busy”. But I must also say that I’m trying to stay clear of any medical literature: given the frighteningly awful personal relation I have with medicine, I believe I should avoid pushing myself over the edge of utterly irrational hatred: I indeed do get furious when I read vanilla medical literature; so a documentary on eugenics might not get me in a very good mood… And I’ve already done my eugenics literature spree quite a number of years ago when I was trying to understand in what kind of crazy family I got born into. But “The Eugenics Crusade” indeed seems to approach the topic from a very interesting social angle. So I keep it on my todo list.

I am not going to try to refute you. Maybe you are right. And, in fact, if a national health insurance would not bankrupt our country, and if it would not lead to more nationalized sectors of our economy, I would not be opposed. I am just not convinced that it would work in this country, and yes, because it is already a huge corrupt bureaucracy.
I don’t have the energy to research it all myself, but I will do this, because I respect you enough to do it. I have a friend who teaches an access to care course in a post graduate curriculum. Will have a discussion with them and ask for some references, and will get to some of yours.
It would be nice, however, if you would at least not keep repeating false assumptions about me. So far (besides repeatedly calling me stupid) you have more than once labeled me a racist, and keep repeating that all I know about communism/socialism I learned in grammar school. It was my hs teacher btw. She merely introduced me to the topic; I had enough of an interest to plough through The Gulag in the mid 70’s when it first came out. And I have not lost my interest completely although it has waned. I have become a bit of a fatalist about it.

@ Sheila

You write: “If people cannot write well, they cannot think well, and if they cannot think well, others will do their thinking for them.

No advance in wealth, no softening of manners, no reform or revolution has ever brought human equality a millimeter nearer.”

Well, you certainly can’t write well. As for “No advance in wealth, no softening of manners, no reform or revolution has ever brought human equality a millimeter nearer>’
Incredibly stupid. Just read what I wrote about Kerala, India or compare living standards, percent living in poverty, infant mortality, life-expectancy, of Sweden, Finland, Canada, etc with U.S. And by the way, both Sweden and Canada have taken in, on a per capita basis, far more refugees from Middle East and elsewhere than U.S. and don’t have death penalty, don’t have even close number of people in prison, don’t have for-profit prison system, and have various procedures to appeal convictions that actually work, whereas the U.S. has an estimated 100,000 TOTALLY innocent people in prison and our system is greatly biased against admitting mistakes, even if means executing an innocent person.

So, you really are stupid if you don’t think some nations have achieved closer human equality, not perfect; but I don’t expect perfection, don’t see world in black and white.

@ Sheila

Yep, that’s the point, too stupid to think for yourself; just cite one person as if that proves a point. And you, as Christine Kincaid, Natalie White, and others, ignore most of what i write and focus on one thing.

Try to actually carefully read what i wrote, then respond point by point, that is, if you are capable of this, which I doubt.

Actually I agree with you here, regarding achieving more equality. I just found that quote intriguing, hadn’t thought it through, which was stupid of me.

Because I favor admitting it when I make a mistake, instead of pretending I will apologize that I misread Christine’s comment. Going back, it’s possible she meant three-quarters of a million, and I read it as three to four million. That is the approximate population of her extended metro area. I still don’t believe her story of someone bought out every place there, as that would be two counties, but it does mean she was less wrong than my initial impression.

@ Terrie:

While I did read it as three quarters of a million, still. She searched out all of these places ( listed) in a short period of time ? SRSLY
My own county is nearly a million people and more densely packed into a smaller area and I doubt that anyone- Chinese-American or not- could check out all of the medical suppliers, pharmacies, home repair shops so quickly. In fact, I count 4 pharmacies within a half mile of here. Several home repair and medical suppliers within a mile or two.

I don’t know if you’ve ever been to Colorado. but it is certainly not suburban NY or LA. – it’s spread out.
I used to think that South Park was fictional until I went there. IT ISN’T. ( Although I saw more hippies and yuppies than rednecks and NO Cartman)

I was reading it the way you would read text. (Ah, the joys of dyslexia). So if something were described as, for instance, “A blue/green shirt” you would read it as a shirt that could be described as blue or green, and hence I read it as three or four million.

I used to think that South Park was fictional

I much prefer North Park to South Park. It has fewer people and better hiking.

And yeah, there are hundreds of pharmacies and other stores selling PPE in C Springs.

@ Terrie,

Thank you & yes, Colorado Springs is three-quarters of a million.

I went to those stores in one day because my son was still in school & I had a feeling something was going to go wrong. I’m not sure if it was the same man or not but every store did have the same experience.

Strange, Christine, because the official population is UNDER HALF A MILLION. But you keep twisting and exaggerating your stories…… makes it very difficult to believe any thing you are trying to tell us.

Rann, El Paso County has just about 715,000 (2019 estimate). All the main cities in El Paso County are really now part of greater Colorado Springs. It is continuous from Fountain to Monument and from Manitou Springs almost to Falcon. Not many people live in Rush, Peyton, Ramah or Yoder, so as a first approximation, the population of greater Colorado Springs is close to that of El Paso County.

Officially, the Colorado Springs metropolitan area contains all of Teller County (although there is really only Woodland Park and Cripple Creek to contribute population there) and El Paso county – Total population estimated at 739,000. https://censusreporter.org/profiles/31000US17820-colorado-springs-co-metro-area/

@Chris, Yeah, but there is a difference between Colorado Springs and Colorado Springs metro area. Christine has a history of using related terms as interchangeable, such as claiming that her son was “fully vaccinated” because he was vaccinated on schedule until he was three. This is another example, claiming that because none of the stores in her immediate area had masks in stock that one person had cleaned out every store of all PPE (another blurring of terms there) in a two counties.

So you went to all 5 Lowes, all 5 Home Depots, all 7 CVS, all 20 Walgreens in a single days and were offered, without prompting the same story about a Chinese-American man? How did the store employees know he was Chinese-American and not from some other Asian ethnic group?

Also, how many times did you need to fill up on gas after all that driving around?

More to the point, what was the point of this story?

Yeah, but there is a difference between Colorado Springs and Colorado Springs metro area. Christine has a history of using related terms as interchangeable

I am fully aware of this (and I know you made an error in reading her post, who wouldn’t with the way she writes), but I feel it is important that we don’t get sidetracked when reading her stories and focus on the really wrong parts. There is absolutely no way that a single “Chinese-American” person could clean out all the PPE in the C Springs metro area in a day.

I stand corrected, it’s ddees.com (his art galleries remain unviewable for me. They are evidently controlling the site).

Elsewhere it is noted that Dees had stage 4 melanoma and rejected “orthodox” medical treatment.

Orac has made use of Dees’ imagery:

https://www.activistpost.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/toxic-vaccine-dees1.jpg

Another classic:

http://amfirstbooks.com/IntroPages/NonToolbarTopics/Trojan_Horse_Vaccination/Art/David_Dees_Vaccination_Viper.646wx576h.jpg

@ Sheila

One last and major point. I am NOT a racist, not because I’m following a religion, doing as asked by G-d. As I wrote, I interacted positively with people of all races and ethnic groups from a young age. As the civil rights movement accelerated, in my teens a book came out which I bought and read, Black Like Me, about a white journalist who with help of a doctor used chemicals to darken his skin and traveled through the South in the late 1950s. He didn’t hide by faking an accent, that he was from Texas, had a wife and children, etc.; yet he was literally treated like shit, threatened even with killing. He was exactly the same person with his skin darkened. After that book I started reading on prejudice and have continued to do so, including the latest genetic studies; but also that historically blacks have been a major contributor to this nation. Did you know that the final battle of the American Revolution, Yorktown, there were two redoubts, fortified hills, that blocked access to major British units? One French regiment took one of the redoubts and one Negro regiment under white offices took the other. In other words, the final battle of the American Revolution was won by the French and Negroes. The Civil War, Buffalo soldiers, World War I, World War II, if you really looked into American history, Blacks bravely and nobly defended this nation. In fact, after the American Revolution for several years there were statues of Negro soldiers outside some northern states statehouses; but later taken down. And they have contributed in many ways. Read Ronald Takaki’s “A Different Mirror” which gives the history of all groups that have contributed to this nation, not built by Whites alone or even mainly.

I only later started researching what Judaism, Christianity, Islam, etc taught about racism. But it was my early childhood experiences and book “Black Like Me” that played the major role. “Black Like Me” told me that I could be the exact same person, just wake up with dark skin, and my life would be changed for ever. The only difference between me and a Black person is melanin, skin pigment. Some may be more intelligent than me, some more creative than me, some more compassionate than me, some the opposite, and most, as with all races and ethnic groups, somewhere in the middle.

Read the book “Black Like Me” The movie, fairly good but not as good as the book, can be watched for free on YouTube

Joel, just going by Sheila’s two responses, I suggest that you internalize her, as it were, into your previous hortatory comment about not responding to CK or NW.

I have no idea why you are telling me all this Joel, I know it.
Talk about stereotyping! You cannot get it out of your head that I am a racist. That’s the result of propaganda. You hear a lie repeated enough it becomes truth.
I will read it, looking for a good book. Might have read it eons ago but one of the bennies of getting old, it will seem new!

everybody
I am replying to some of the more egregious assumptions about me made.
I only have one best friend, my husband. Otherwise I have a few close friends, one of whom is black. Are you saying I need to go out and make more black friends to prove to you am not a racist? I know my heart. I don’t even see color. I used to attend a church that was almost half black. Racism was an absurdity there, as it is in my current church. If there is racism in a Christian church, they are not my brothers.
Yes Churchill was complicated. So was Lincoln. So are most people. Tearing down statues are just the beginning, mark my word.
I am not going to argue about who won WW2, I am not an expert. But I’m sorry, you cannot diminish Churchill’s role (in spite of more revisionism – just saw a Churchill movie that made me want to puke. My mother lived in England during WW2 and I thank God she’s not here to see what’s going on).
Russia began as a communist state. You are making my point- communism leads to totalitarianism. And I well remember the difference between communism and socialism, I had an excellent teacher in high school social studies. Socialism still centralizes power ->power corrupts->more power->totalitarianism.

From Wiki
:Several past and present states have declared themselves socialist states or in the process of building socialism. The majority of self-declared socialist countries have been Marxist–Leninist or inspired by it, following the model of the Soviet Union or some form of people’s or national democracy. They share a common definition of socialism and they refer to themselves as socialist states on the road to communism
… Modern uses of the term socialism are wide in meaning and interpretation.

So let’s see- socialist/ communist countries:
Former:
USSR (I wish Solzhenitsyn was still alive to ask)
North Korea – formerly a Marxist-Leninist state
Wiki
Current:
Cuba (they are still driving cars from the fifties)
Venezuela – wish all the socialists would go and see how that’s working out for them
China – and I hope you all have an idea how bad it is there for certain people
Laos – Prominent civil society advocates, human rights defenders, political and religious dissidents, and Hmong refugees have disappeared at the hands of Lao military and security forces – Wiki
Vietnam –
the CPV is the only party allowed to rule, the operation of all other political parties being outlawed. Other human rights issues concern freedom of association, freedom of speech, and freedom of the press.
is predominantly a source country for trafficked persons who are exploited for labor.
Bangladesh – (complicated politics, seems like there is a lot of effort towards human rights but:)
Successive governments and their security forces have flouted constitutional principles and have been accused of human rights abuses. Bangladesh is ranked “partly free” in Freedom House’s Freedom in the World report,[234] but its press is ranked “not free”.[235] Wiki
Belarus – I have a Belarusian friend, bad place as far as freedom goes. Check out Wiki if you don’t believe me
The list goes on, included is India.
Let me ask you: if socialism is all it’s cracked up to be, why is everyone trying to come here?
I have relatives in the UK – the health care there doesn’t compare to ours, nor does Canada’s
Please don’t “trot out” Sweden – one success against dozens of failures
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_socialist_states

youtube(dot)com/watch?v=u1xrNaTO1bI

I was raised Southern Baptist, Sheila. I think that gave me issues. And now I’m watching mu relate ives go on down to the local pray and spray kneeling for the good men and women of law enforcement and asking for the healing of our great nation (by making calling a cop a poopy-head a hanging offence).

They go mask free; Even though I’m pretty sure God does not want to see their ugly mugs doing that right now (love thy brother and all might be interpreted as “don’t go henceforth from this place and spread the stuff that comes along with thy words out unto the world”). Unless he is a sick fuck.

https://i.redd.it/78ti3jl56c551.jpg

Jesus’ favorite firearm? A nail gun.

I’ve said it before- church should be last to open.
Crowded bars are also a bad idea.
People are getting sick, will be interesting to see how sick. Hopefully this thing is attenuating, please God!

So you did. I remember now.

Perhaps I’ve been a little too much of a jerk of late over Christianity and churches. It is the mask thing. It really ‘triggers’ me. Those stupid Fox’n’Fools followers are going to pack trump’s ego huts and then spread it everywhere. Hospitals will be swamped, the staff exausted.

But, that is ok. It is only old people right? I hope certain family members don’t have a little oopsie with the chainsaw, get an infection from stringing barbed wire or rubbing the cat’s belly,…, didn’t smell it before eating it.

It would go a long way if only that fat orange asshole would wear one. Then many of his stupid followers would follow and the pussy liberal that may even know they are sick would not need fear “look at that pussy liberal wearin’ that pussy mask breathin’ in her own pussy germs — Grab it, boys! By the pussy.”

http://pussygrabber.com/

(SFW, it is a game)

@ Sheila

You write: “I have relatives in the UK – the health care there doesn’t compare to ours, nor does Canada’s. Please don’t “trot out” Sweden – one success against dozens of failures.”

Stupid on steroids. In international studies both Canada and even UK come out better in health care overall than we do, though UK not much higher. And the highest rank country is France. Have you ever actually seen any of the many international studies? I doubt it. Just the propaganda. And, yep, one will here stories of someone dying while waiting for health care in some other nation; but compared to what? Certainly not all the people suffering in this country.

If you have any interest at all, read my paper: The Case for A Non-Profit Single-Payer Healthcare System at: http://pnhp.org/news/the-case-for-a-non-profit-single-payer-healthcare-system/

It explains both the problems, the many problems, in our health care system, and the international studies. In addition, it has a very long reference list with links to the international studies.

And you write: “Let me ask you: if socialism is all it’s cracked up to be, why is everyone trying to come here?”

France has a very large immigrant population, both legal and illegal. Germany also. Sweden has, on a per capita basis, the largest. Canada has much larger immigrant population than we have. I personally know several from the YMCA I go to who came here from the Middle East. They have siblings in Canada; but weren’t able to get a visa, so they come here. Yep, people from violent impoverished Central America come here. Where else can they go. One more piece of propaganda that you swallowed. And in Sweden, Canada, Germany, France, immigrants get quality health care. Come to this country and you are basically on your own.

Have you ever tried to actually learn anything??? Or is it more satisfying to ignore reality and live in a fantasy world.

Read my article if you dare.

“I have relatives in the UK – the health care there doesn’t compare to ours, nor does Canada’s“
I have lived in all three countries and I call bullshit on your laughably stupid claim.

@Joel
“And by the way, Solzhenitsyn wrote that the problem with communism and others was that they had forgotten God. So, maybe, just maybe, besides his experience in the Gulag, he was biased against any system not coming from the Bible???”
My God, did you read the Gulag Archipelego?
Are you trying to defend the USSR?
So what if he thinks it is their godlessness. Doesn’t change the history.

@ Sheila

You really are a dum shit. No, I’m not defending the Soviet Union because it was NEVER communist, though after Stalin it became less oppressive. The point I was making, moron, was that Solzhenitsyn, justified in his condemnation of Stalinism, also, given many statement he made, would have condemned any system that was NOT from God.

You really are STUPID. I give a nuanced argument and you turn it into black and white. and, just as you cited Orwell, citing Sozhenitizn, one person, is not an intelligent argument. I would NEVER rely on one person.

When the power/internet goes down here, I open up to:

Like an apple tree among the trees of the forest
is my beloved among the young men.

I delight to sit in his shade,
and his fruit is sweet to my taste.

Let him lead me to the banquet hall,
and let his banner over me be love.

Strengthen me with raisins,
refresh me with apples,
for I am faint with love.

His left arm is under my head,
and his right arm embraces me.

Daughters of Jerusalem, I charge you by the gazelles and by the does of the field: Do not arouse or awaken love until it so desires.

— Song of Solomon 2:3

@ Sheila

One last point that sums it up, the difference between me and you and me and many others, though there are many who have my outlook. First, despite everything, I sometimes envy religious people, at least those who use their religion for good. Why envy them? Because they “believe” they are not alone, they “believe” they will be reunited with their loved ones. However, my lacking of racism, my approach to others doesn’t rely on earning brownie points to get into the next life, nor fear of burning in hell, I do it because it feels right. One doesn’t need a religious belief such as “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you,” to understand that life works much better when one feels a sense of community. We achieve much more together. Historically divide and conquer has been and remains the strategy of those in power. Poor Whites vote for Trump because he plays on their racism; but he then uses power to enrich further those already rich, to destroy the environment, more pollution, more sickness and those who voted for him just don’t get it, that his policies are hurting them, that their natural allies should be blacks and others against Trump and the 1 percent. Even in pre-Civil War South, there was a 1% of wealthy plantation owner and a mass of poor whites, and slaves, so by making the poor whites feel superior to slaves, they directed their hate and violence against slaves, instead of uniting with them against the 1%. Divide and conquer. So, if your religion guides you to not be a racist, fine; but I don’t need some God watching over me, just understanding of what makes a better world, a better community, etc, what is the right thing to do.

I am sorry for those who don’t believe in God. It’s not hard, really, just ask Him with sincerity- if He’s not there He won’t answer, and what have you lost? You have to honestly want to know though.
“ my approach to others doesn’t rely on earning brownie points to get into the next life, nor fear of burning in hell, I do it because it feels right.”
I could be wrong, but Christianity is the only religion I know of that you can’t earn your way into God’s favor.

For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. Eph 2:8-9

Saying that all you need is faith and you don’t need works is like saying you’re anti-racist or support LGBTQ+ rights, but never actually doing anything to show you’re an ally.

Makes you feel warm and fuzzy, but adds nothing to healing the world.

I could be wrong, but Christianity is the only religion I know of that you can’t earn your way into God’s favor.

Color me unsurprised that you don’t know anything about Judaism.

1) An omniscient, omnipotent God can’t be benevolent because why would children, infants, get bone cancer? That right there is a huge stumbling block to belief.

2) “Christianity is the only religion I know of that you can’t earn your way into God’s favor.” I’m genuinely dumbfounded by this. Do you know anything about the history of Christianity? Heck, the history of Europe? Do you know what the Protestant Reformation was about? Have you even heard of indulgences?

I’m going to put my head on my desk very gently because it is genuinely upsetting that you’re so ignorant about your own religion.

@ Sheila

“I am sorry for those who don’t believe in God.”

Don’t. Really. In fact, I do not believe in God and wished he existed: you have no idea how happy I would be meet him on Judgement Day and rhetorically blast him on the occasion of my trial. I have really snappy one-liners in the back of my head that I’d wish to throw at him and his “wisdom”. If he exists, he’s a jerk.

“It’s not hard, really, just ask Him with sincerity- if He’s not there He won’t answer, and what have you lost? You have to honestly want to know though.”

The way you describe it, this would be an attempt to self-convince oneself. Though I really do want to know if he exists or not… Not that I care much, but if you want to know if I really do wish to know, yeah, I do. For now, evidence for his existence is non-existent.

“I could be wrong, but Christianity is the only religion I know of that you can’t earn your way into God’s favor.”

Try https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Discordianism.

“For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. Eph 2:8-9”

Yeah. Well I do not care about saving myself. At all. Much more interested in what actions I may have that may bring a more intelligent and sustainable world or society where needless suffering is considered for what it is: Evil.

Note that useful and meaningful suffering, on the other hand, does exist. I have nothing against that. It even needs to be sanctuarised as a Human Right or something akin.

Almost as many ways to be an atheist than there are to be a believer in whatever.

@ Sheila

The more you write, the stupider you get, so: “Russia began as a communist state. You are making my point- communism leads to totalitarianism. And I well remember the difference between communism and socialism, I had an excellent teacher in high school social studies. Socialism still centralizes power ->power corrupts->more power->totalitarianism.”

The Russian Revolution may well have begun with intention of communism, at least Lenin’s version which was not Karl Marx; but Lenin only lived a few years and Stalin took power. So, we’ll NEVER know what would have developed if Lenin had lived. How about Christianity, was the slaughter of non-Christians, forcing everyone to follow one rigid doctrine proof that Christianity was wrong? Christianity has a long and brutal history, Inquisition, 30 years war, Crusades, slaughtering Jews on the Rhine, 4th Crusade slaughtering Byzantine Christians and on and on. I’ve read the New Testament and don’t think Jesus would like what many in history have done in His Name, so, someone claiming to be communist doesn’t differ from someone claiming to be Christian and not being either. As for leading to totalitarianism, do you know the history of the Medieval Catholic Church or how about Puritan’s, kicking out Roger Williams and Anne Hutchinson in the Middle of New England winter because they differed slightly in their reading of the New Testament. Come on, explain to me how Christianity didn’t develop into totalitarianism and brutality, torturing and burning at the stake anyone who even slightly disagreed?

As for Churchill, of course the people of Great Britain think highly of him. He saved them from being occupied by Nazi Germany; but that doesn’t change the fact that it was the Russian people who defeated Nazi Germany and doesn’t change the fact that Churchill was a racist. Interesting how you accept Churchill and Lincoln being complicated people with positives and negatives; but not Karl Marx, Lenin, communists in Kerala. Hypocrite.

How nice to know you got your knowledge from a high school social studies teacher. Well, there are history teachers in former Confederate states who probably teach the lost cause. Now I understand why you are so ignorant.

As I explained, the Indian State of Kerala developed its social programs by a communist party, elected in free elections with several other political parties and still hasn’t become a totalitarian state. And the U.S. isn’t exactly a democracy, gerrymandering, voter suppression, low voter turnout, and the electoral college. And the national security state has been gradually taking what little freedoms we had. You do understand that in a democracy the majority of votes determines the outcome; but George Bush lost by 500,000 votes to Al Gore and Trump lost by 3 million votes to Hillary Clinton. And the Senate can block any legislation; but California has two senators for almost 40 million people and Wyoming has two senators for 550,000 people, so is it democratic that in the Senate, Wyoming has basically 80 times the representation of California. And no other nations comes even close to the amounts of money spent on elections, especially since Citizens United.

As I wrote, you unfortunately represent a significant percentage of Americans, people who haven’t really studied history or politics; but believe what they have been taught or heard without questioning. Pathetic

“someone claiming to be communist doesn’t differ from someone claiming to be Christian and not being either.” Absolutely true.
Btw the early Christians WERE communists. My point is where the type of government tends to lead to.
“ torturing and burning at the stake anyone who even slightly disagreed?”
I read a lot about this, as I am a student of the Bible. It is antithetical to the teachings of Christ. I find it incredibly shocking. Reminds me of a Star Trek episode, where half the people on a planet had a white half face on the left and black on the right, the other half the opposite, and they hated each other for it.
There are a lot of “Christians” today who also follow false teachings and practices. Hurts my heart.
I already said I am not an expert on WW2 and not going to argue about who won it.
“Interesting how you accept Churchill and Lincoln being complicated people with positives and negatives; but not Karl Marx, Lenin, communists in Kerala.”
You continually make assumptions about me Joel. Why?
“ How nice to know you got your knowledge from a high school social studies teacher. Well, there are history teachers in former Confederate states who probably teach the lost cause. Now I understand why you are so ignorant.” My teacher was a socialist. Even then my gut feeling was she was wrong; and I was a Democrat hippie back then.
As far as how our country operates, that was how the founding fathers set it up. Has worked until now, but hatred and division, fueled in large part by a corrupt media, is tearing us apart.
The election money I agree with you on 100%. Unfortunately it is like tort reform and term limits. Never going to change.

I have to ask something.
Why do so many USA’ns view Socialism as the devil, to the point of conflating it with autocracy and tyranny? Germany, France, the UK, the Nordic countries. All follow a social democracy model, none are dictatorships.

Because they get their political education from right wing sources like Fox News, and they think it’s the same as communism.

Do you ever change your channel? Just curious. Much of the MSM are beholden to China for financial investment reasons.

Huh? I generally get my news from written sources, not tv. I try to read from a variety of sources, especially from different countries.

Do you ever change your channel? Just curious.

I switch from (over-the-air) 7.1 and 2.2 for Jeopardy! and The Closer, respectively. That’s the extent of my TV viewing.

Much of the MSM are beholden to China for financial investment reasons.

Could you be a little bit lot more specific about these “financial investment reasons”?

It is quite a lot more deep-seated than this. It likely has its roots in the Cold War, although the far right have been pushing the barrow very strongly since Obama won the presidency.

I remember in the 1980s on meeting my future in laws (neither they nor I knew that at the time, but their daughter had already made up her mind) a discussion about that strange land called Australia (Isn’t that somewhere in Europe?) came up. When I mentioned one of the good things about Australia compared to the US was its socialised health care, the response was “I didn’t know Australia was a communist country”.

@Terrie
I was just trying to be tongue in cheek. I would assume you all read for most news, as do I. It’s quicker than listening to rehashes.
@Narad
Answered below.

I see it from some of my more conservative friends a lot. It predates Fox, going back at least to the 50s when socialism was seen as the first step down the slippery slope to Communism/Stalinism. I remember arguments against “socialized medicine” in the late 60s(?)

But in the internet social media age of the last 10 years or so, it’s devolved into a default buzzword argument against any government program someone is opposed to.

Venezuela seems to be the current favorite example of the evils of socialism.

I have a cousin who is Venezuelan-Swedish (cousin on the Swedish side, his father was quite the black sheep of the family). A few years ago my cousin had to abruptly leave Venezuela for Sweden for his safety.

He’s said, as only someone who has lived both places can, there’s no comparison.

I’m not conflating it. Just observing where it tends towards. Not saying it’s black/white.
Some of the activists in this country remind me of A Tale of Two Cities though.

@ Sheila

You write: “Just observing where it tends towards. Not saying it’s black/white.”

I guess you either didn’t read my comments or didn’t understand them. Nope, social democracies don’t trend toward totalitarianism. And, if any nation is trending towards totalitarianism, it is the United States, the national security state, the drug wars with no knock warrants, the overcrowded prisons with an estimated 100,000 totally innocent. The asset forfeiture laws, approved by the Supreme Court, where, despite 5th Amendment, can’t be deprived of life, liberty, or property without due process of law, can take ones home without even an indictment, let alone a conviction. And the police and national guard brutality against mainly blacks; but all Americans, including killings at Kent State, current tear gassing of clearly peaceful demonstrations.

As for a Tale of Two Cities, wrong. The overwhelming majority of activists are peaceful. It is exactly our right-wing press that tries to link the violence with them. Some aren’t even out because of George Floyd; but an excuse to loot; but his doesn’t excuse the police firing into the peaceful demonstrators.

And, you like to refer to the Gulag. I actually read the book “One day in the life of Ivan Denisovich” way back in early 1960s. It might surprise you to learn that the first concentration camps were American, starting with the Cherokee trail of tears and many Indian reservations were like the Gulag, disease ridden, malnourished, brutalized by soldiers. Then in 1901 in the Philippines, we rounded up 10s of thousands of men, women, and children, placed them in disease ridden areas, polluted water, etc and up to 200,000 died.

And your trending, as I pointed out Christianity also “trended” into totalitarianism and barbarity. You do know that slave owners in South were regular devoted Christian church goes. There is a fascinating book by Christine Heyrmann “Southern Cross” , tells the history of baptist and methodist itinerant preachers who travelled to southern colonies then southern states. They preached against slavery and that women were equal. Result, beaten, tarred and feathered. lynched, and gradually they changed, so that the Southern Baptist Church, retained all the teachings, except changed that slavery was righteous. Talk about “trends”.

So, you base what you know on communism on a middle school teacher. Of course, he had a doctorate in history and wasn’t biased?????

Stalinist Russia and Maoist China were not communist states. Both would have executed Karl Marx if he were alive and visited. And the Russian Revolution was still fighting till almost Lenin’s death, so we will NEVER know what would have happened if Lenin had lived. Stalin was no different than Al Capone, except far more powerful and far more paranoid. Had his best childhood friend murdered because of rumors, etc.

Another couple fascinating books on, among other things, eras of Christian history, are: Barbara Tuchman’s “A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous 14th Century” and Ronald Takaki’s “A Different Mirror,” that America wasn’t built by whites alone and the barbarity that various groups were treated with. Finally, Karen Armstrong’s “Holy Wars”, documenting the absolute barbarity of Crusaders and that the Moslems, in comparison, were much better.

As I wrote earlier, unfortunately, you represent a large cross-section of Americans, poorly educated, lacking critical thinking skills, and even when confronted, as by my comments, with how wrong you are, just keep going.

@ Sheila: Start your knitting! (Just kidding, I’ve never read it.)

I’ll second Joel’s recommendation of Barbara Tuchman’s “A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous 14th Century”. It’s very well written and approachable and very thoughtful. A very limited and poor summary would be “Don’t pick leaders based on who has the least impulse control.”

@ Julian Frost

Good question. Another is why do so many American’s think other universal non-profit health care systems are worse than ours? Simply, our mass media mainly have interlocking boards of directors with some from for-profit health care industry and since our non-democracy where tons of money is spent on elections, where lobbyists wine and dine politicians, where there is a revolving door between government jobs and industry, most Americans believe the lies. And, as I’ve written before, once people believe something, there is good psychological evidence that, even if it hurts them, they refuse to change their minds.

Yep, all the countries you name, you left out New Zealand, are social democracies, all have multi-party systems and all have much higher voter turnout, no gerrymandering, no voter suppression, no electoral college.

Just to see how brainwashed and stupid Americans are, take Sheila, according to her she learned everything she needs to know from her middle school social studies teacher. Wow.

I’ll offer a data point (singular) on why at least some people think the American health care system is great: they confuse it with their personal interactions with the American medical system, which is related but not the same.

My in-laws (lovely people) have always had generally positive interactions with doctors and hospitals, receiving good care, so they just can’t understand that their experience isn’t the average (or even the median).

I’ve shown them the OECD data on health care spending and outcomes and they’ve said “we’ll just have to agree to disagree”. Or “Cousin Frank is a doctor and he says you’re wrong.” But I have a degree in public health! It’s my area of expertise! Dr Frank has never practiced! (But they don’t want to hear me, and they still think I’m a child. Oh well.)

“Just to see how brainwashed and stupid Americans are, take Sheila, according to her she learned everything she needs to know from her middle school social studies teacher. Wow.”
You keep repeating that. Does that make it true I wonder?

Poor education, starting in the 1950’s, and continuing through today. Heck, I went to academically rigorous, private, secular schools and we only very lightly touched on political philosophy and the difference between communism, socialism and Sovietism.

I probably learned more from just asking my parents (who were poli-sci or adjacent in college). Even today it’s something schools tend to just slide past because 1) it’s complicated (not really) and 2) they’re afraid parents will freak out.

So ignorance, some willful and some not.

@ Sheila

You write: “Much of the MSM are beholden to China for financial investment reasons.”

Our “main street” media has, for the most part, been biased way before China’s emergence as an economic power. Just look at how they supported the war in Vietnam, the 2003 Invasion of Iraq. Just look at how they portray health care in other nations. Just look at how they portray other democracies. And, if they are in the pockets of the Chinese, why so many negative articles, Tianamin Square, how they are treating the ughurs. Articles on how they ignore copyrite laws. Yep, there are also more positive articles; but what you write is absurd. And attempts to blame them for withholding COVID-19 information when we know that late December/early January they informed WHO and us that a new deadly virus had arisen. As I’ve written before, maybe they could have informed the world one or two weeks earlier; but South Korea and Taiwan acted on the information and have had the absolute lowest death rates, we didn’t react, Trump more worried about upcoming election than American people; but, our mainstream press, for the most part, had exaggerated China’s culpability. And we are responsible for literally millions of deaths from AIDS because our government refused to do anything for several years and then threatened to withdraw funding from WHO if they passed out condoms in Africa. So, which nation is responsible for more deaths???

@ Joel:

You try so hard to enlighten her but it is an enormous task.
As you probably know, people’s beliefs supply other needs than just that for information. Self-esteem, being in on a secret, being first on your block, being a contrarian, sticking it to the Man ( Woman)

Orac’s writings inspire a group of like-minded followers who believe in the scientific method, are sceptics and mostly liberal politically: so, of course, the easiest thing to do to gain notice would be to scoff at those qualities- regardless of whether they know what they’re talking about or not. So if vaccines are described as safe and effective, the response is automatically, ” No, they’re not!” Experts who are cited are insulted and despised without supporting evidence or data.

When a person opposes what most people would accept as based in reality ( because of research, fact checking, education- not merely authorities’ opinions) it tells use much about that person. They set themselves above the scientific community and results of research.

Is there a way to get through to any of them? I can’t be sure but I maybe one or two of them might allow a little self-questioning. Sheila over the other two might have a glimmer of a hint of a chance to learn. Just a guess on my part.

I do practice introspection. Actually I have learned a lot on this forum.
It appears to me, however, that many here are more close-minded than the ones they rail against.
And if the goal is to enlighten and convince, the tactics of name calling with arrogance will not get you far. Humility is much more appealing and entreating. It’s the same with raising children.

@ Sheila

I could care less what names people call me. I could care less what they think of me as a person. What I care about is the claims they make and how they support them.

And I’ve seen NO evidence that you have learned anything from this forum. You have NOT responded to anything i wrote about the difference between claiming to be communist and following communist teachings or what I wrote about claiming to believe in Jesus; but practicing cruelty, totalitarianism, etc.

As for your considering me more closed minded, just as an example, I have read Adam Smith, Milton Friedman, F.A. Hayek, most strong free market advocates and I’ve read Karl Marx, Lenin, communists, and everything in between. And I’ve actually found some things I agreed with in many of the works, just not some of their overall positions. I’ve read books on Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Buddhism, etc. and actually agree with many of their teachings, just not many of their followers.

All you do is link to one or two articles. So that is being open-minded, finding one or two articles that confirm what you choose to believe and NOT even attempting to respond to what I and others write.

So, another insult. You really are stupid. And assuming you are open-minded, so do many racists, anti-semites, right-wing Christians. Too stupid to know you are stupid

@ Denice

Actually I have few illusions that anything I write will sway Sheila, Natalie White, Christine Kincaid, etc. Not worth my effort if directed at them; but I write, using their comments, so, hopefully, others monitoring these exchanges who are undecided will understand and also to give ammunition for you and others.

If you notice, none of them address my refutations of what they write, or, once in a blue moon, focus on one point, even misunderstanding it. Oh well.

Back to reading. Re-reading Stephen J. Gould’s 1996 revised version of his 1971 book “The Mismeasure of Man.” I read first edition and own second, read when came out. He tears apart attempts to rank races, ethnic groups, etc by various intelligence measures. One nice thing, in intro he explains how he needed to use factor analysis, principle components, to explain. Well, among the many statistics courses I had, one was devoted to factor analysis, so, easy peasy. I also mentioned PBS has a great American Experience 2 hour program: The Eugenics Crusade” I have several books on eugenics movement.

Sheila: “Much of the MSM are beholden to China for financial investment reasons.”

The Wall St. Journal is much more interested in financial investment than other mainstream news media outlets. But it routinely features highly critical coverage of China over erosion of freedom in Hong Kong, mistreat of ethnic minorities, spying on U.S. research institutions etc. There’s an op-ed today in the WSJ about countering Chinese disinformation on health and other issues.

I fail to see evidence that it or other major media are “beholden” to China, Russia or any socialist/communist countries.

The Wall St. Journal is much more interested in financial investment than other mainstream news media outlets. But it routinely features highly critical coverage of China over erosion of freedom in Hong Kong, mistreat of ethnic minorities, spying on U.S. research institutions etc.

Quite a while ago (when I had, y’know, funds for this sort of nonsense), I switched my subscription from the NYT to WSJ purely based on typesetting. This went south within a few years. I’ll have to drop into a Starbucks* and see how the two are holding up.

*Overactive bladder disease.

When you gotta go, you gotta go

Yup.

“One far-right counterprotester, Andrew Banks, 28, of Stansted, Essex, was photographed Saturday morning urinating next to a memorial to Keith Palmer, a police officer who was stabbed to death in the 2017 Westminster terrorist attack.

“Banks later said he had consumed 16 pints of beer the night before and could not find a toilet. He was sentenced to 14 days in jail for outraging public decency, the Guardian newspaper reported.”

One might think he’d have voided those two gallons beforehand.

Hmm.

A court artist’s sketch of Andrew Banks at Westminster magistrates court.

Hair and beard.

But the photo of him being carried is bald and beardless? Artistic liberty, I guess.

The mechanics of this gruesome problem are relatively straightforward. Alcohol is diuretic – it makes you urinate more – hence the sight of drunk people urinating in the streets on a Saturday night. Alcohol is also an anaesthetic: it dulls the urge to go. The combination of large volumes of urine, and a dimmed, possibly non-existent urge to pee can result in a seriously over-full bladder.

While most people will just let the urine out one way or another (possibly in their sleep), some will be so “dulled” that they will not feel the urge to “void”. If it is not emptied, the bladder will eventually be unable to contain the volume, and – like any over-full bag – can burst apart under the pressure. A minor trauma – say, falling down and bumping your over-full bladder during a drunken binge – can also increase the likelihood of this happening.

https://www.theguardian.com/society/2007/nov/20/drugsandalcohol.health
https://www.bmj.com/content/335/7627/992

Yea, that dude been peeing on people, stoned or otherwise, all night.

Well, that was quite a helping of weaksauce. It’s cute that they used the Speedway Bomber as a source, though.

@ Sheila

As usual, you ignore everything I and others write and find one source, a very right-wing source at that. Of course right-wing groups go after any society that doesn’t mirror their politics. And your “left-leaning media” is beyond stupid. As I gave examples, our media supported Vietnam War, 2003 Invasion of Iraq, has attacked China on so many different grounds. I guess your definition of left-wing is anything written that doesn’t conform to what you learned in middle school.

The Federalist has come out against social distancing, on the whole supports Trump, etc. And for several years they added a “black tag” to any crime committed by blacks.

No response to my pointing out had Christianity has led historically to forms of totalitarianism or pointing out that Kerala, India is the most religiously diverse and accepting State in India, highest level of education of women, much developed by a communist party from the beginning; but high voter turn-out and multi-party system. You ignore anything and everything.

You just keep on displaying your lack of critical thinking skills, your incredible stupidity.

They’re playing it fast and loose with “When you purchase a Washington Post subscription, it comes with an advertising supplement called ‘China Watch,'” as well: it’s a monthly insert, according to The Guardian.

I guess that also takes care of the “you won’t find this info on any left- leaning media source” bit, as well.

Hi Orac,

A facebook “friend” sent me this link as if it should make me reassess my perspective around COVID-19 (I am a physician who has spent time in outpatient and inpatient ICU during the surge in my community). Never heard of Zach Bush before but seems like he is really a grade A BS artist.

So far, I am 20 minutes in and I might be too angry to continue watching. Would you care to help with a take down? Thanks in advance.

@ MD in MA

“So far, I am 20 minutes in and I might be too angry to continue watching.”

Well, if you have stopped at 20 minutes, let me tell you: you missed something.

I. Am. Speechless.

Apocalyptic Cult.

Never heard of Zach Bush before but seems like he is really a grade A BS artist.

He has supplements to sell that will fix the non-existent problem with your microbiome.

Joel said:
* you find one source, a very right-wing source at that..”

Well, I hate to be the bearer of bad news BUT..
they have even more company ( and not just FOX;s two channels)
I have recently found OAN- which Cheeto Man likes very much. It is quite horrendous, right up there with RT ( on satellite TV, RT is next door to Scientology) SCIENTOLOGY!!!!
Of course I also have BBC, MSNC, CNN, Japanese news but still…no longer Al Jazeera.

One America News Network (OANN) is where Trump directly got his ‘info’ and tweeted about the Buffalo gravitationally anomalous AARP ANTIFA operative* scanning police equipment so they could jam them.

It seems to have been sourced to a single post by user Sundance on a troll site (Treehouse).

It literally sounds like it was narrated by a Russian-accented computer program. It’s like Siri went to Moscow and had a stroke. Let’s leave aside the veracity of the report, which, come on, and drill down on the fact that Trump watched this piece of creepy video spam and thought: That’ll play. People are saying, just asking the questions, after all.

https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2020/06/trump-crazypants-oann-news-report-narratedrussian-accented-computer.html

https://twitter.com/MiriamElder/status/1270338986767192065

*still brain-damaged. still can’t walk.

Yah, I set aside that torque calculation, but it was about 17 newton-meters. What’s left is the normal force upon impact.

So, 17 Joules. From my first year at junior college, I seem to recall that a 6J impulse to the head can really smart and that there are ~600J in resting compression in an automotive spring on a stationary vehicle.

Not exactly insignificant, I think.

@ Narad

I hope you realize that a supplement does NOT mean that the newspaper is biased towards China. I’ve lived around the world and in six American cities. I’ve seen supplements paid by religious groups, those supporting the military, and many other subjects. Supplements are often bought and paid for advertisements, nothing more, nothing less. Of course, people like Sheila, probably don’t know the difference. In fact, several years ago, an entire page in my local paper was paid for in support of erecting a cross in a military cemetery, obviously paid for by a religious group.

As I mentioned, American newspapers have attacked China for their treatment of uighurs, crackdowns on protests, ignoring patents, growing military threat in South China sea, etc. And mass media in America does bend somewhat to various interests; but not just China. Interlocking Board of Directors ensure, on the whole, negative coverage of Medicare for All. Most Americans are TOTALLY ignorant that international studies rank us poorly on every health care process and outcome measure; yet our health care system costs as much as twice as much as most others. Paying more, getting less.

An excellent book on America media is Ben Bagdikian’s “Media Monopoly”. Not China bias; but where once many cities had several locally owned newspapers, now only a few corporations own most newspapers, so, while local news basically OK for the most part, the Editorials and Opinion pieces narrow range. When I lived in Gothenburg, Sweden, I could get delivered to my door a communist newspaper, social democrat, liberal, conservative. Each had local Gothenburg news, national and international news, and, of course, very different Editorial pages. My local paper has had several opinion pieces by unabashed Trump supporters, making claims that are completely dishonest. Today’s, that Trump has really benefitted our economy, not Obama; yet, employment figures were better under Obama, and stock market did well. Does’t mean I’m a fan of Obama. Another claimed that COVID-19 proves American medicine superior to socialist medicine, ignoring already we had highest number dead and confusing non-profit insurance universal coverage with socialized medicine, quite different entities. Canada is non-profit universal insurance, doctors, most hospitals private. Sweden is socialized medicine, at least it was when I lived there, doctors salaried, hospitals owned by municipality, county, or national.

One last thought. Americans don’t like when Russia, China or any other nation interferes with our politics; but we have been interfering with politics in other countries, especially since World War II, overthrowing legitimate democracies, bribing journalists and newspapers, funding certain candidates, through third parties. As the saying goes: “hypocrisy is the homage vice pays to virtue.”

I hope you realize that a supplement does NOT mean that the newspaper is biased towards China.

Of course. I don’t even think they’re biased toward China one day a month. Still, I think the Post is well enough positioned financially to perhaps skip this one. On the other hand, my understanding is that each page is labeled “advertisement.” I dunno.

In fact, several years ago, an entire page in my local paper was paid for in support of erecting a cross in a military cemetery, obviously paid for by a religious group.

Man, I even remember when fans of the CBS show Jericho</>* bought full-page ads in Variety and, IIRC the Hollywood Reporter (one on the back cover, but again, IIRC).

*It started out well, in great measure ripping off Alas, Babylon, but then got soapy and had to go somewhere. This, unfortunately ended with a cliffhanger because CBS has to be CBS. It took 20 tons of nuts for them to reconsider.

Narad: “Well, that was quite a helping of weaksauce. It’s cute that they used the Speedway Bomber as a source, though.”

Where in that Federalist glurge about purported China connections did you find the Speedway Bomber used as a source (I assume you’re referring to Brett Kimberlin)?

Is he on that enormous roster of Federalist “contributors”? I got distracted going down the list by names like Evita Duffy and Karin Agness Lips.

*I heard a rumor that Brian Deer likes Chinese food, so that means he’s on the China payroll to promote their vaccines.

Where in that Federalist glurge about purported China connections did you find the Speedway Bomber used as a source (I assume you’re referring to Brett Kimberlin)?

Rats, I mixed up Kimberlin and O’Keefe.

Just as an FYI, the reason I haven’t paid much attention to the blog since Friday is a grant deadline, which was today. I should be back to more regular posting beginning tomorrow, after having a chance to recover and maybe have a dram or two of the old single malt tonight to celebrate.

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