Open Thread

Here is the basic idea of an open thread. This is where a comment, idea, link, or whatever can be posted when it doesn’t necessarily fit the subject matter of any available post. This also can be where people can lodge their complaints or make suggestions, including possibilities for future posts.

Plus, this would be a good place for rants, as I’ll be less discerning in my moderation of comments here. I encourage open discussion. But there are limits. If your comment creates a negative atmosphere or simply lessens my happiness, then it will not be approved. I will use my discretion. Make sure your comment is worthy of your time and my own.

11,558 thoughts on “Open Thread

  1. While the split seems more urban/rural than geographic, it’s still striking how the patterns of northern, upper midwestern, and western states voting blue and southern/midwestern states voting red, even if state by state the difference isn’t that big.

    • The thing is that much of the Midwest and Upper South for many generations used to be union strongholds for the old Democrats. But then starting with Jimmy Carter and worsening with Bill Clinton, the DNC betrayed and abandoned the working class.

      It wasn’t only the white working class that was harmed. If anything, the harm to the minority working class was far worse. There was a video of two black women declaring that Obama was no longer their president after he went to Flint and gaslighted them about the water being clean.

  2. This election is so interesting. On the ground, a lot of “progressive” policies are getting passed even in non-blue states, people are getting elected who are the first of their identities (LGBT black, transgender, etc). Things unimaginable even 10 years ago. But the presidential candidates are neck in neck!

    • I must admit that I’m lacking in excitement. Trump is a horrific human being who is a dangerous loose cannon. But Biden has one of the most horrific right-wing authoritarian and corporatist political records in DC. If there is to be real positive change and progress in this country, it will happen from the bottom up.

      The reason we’re seeing progressive policies getting passed is because the vast majority of Americans are progressive. Trump isn’t progressive and Biden isn’t progressive, but the average American is radically far to the left of the elite in both parties. That is forcing a shift at the local level in state politics.

    • Trump did win a surprising number of minority votes. What was your mom’s motivation? I assume, since she went from Sanders to Trump, at least part of what swayed her was economic populism and/or political reform, right? How did other people you know vote? Did your dad talk about who he supported and why?

      Here is something else interesting. There is only one combined gender and racial demographic Trump did worse this election than last. It was white men, having dropped by something lie 5%. I bet no one expected that. There was another change. In 2016, he did well among white women and suburbanites. But this time, he lost the suburban white women vote. Suburbs are known for their racism, social conservatism, and GOP voting.

      It’s hard to know what the takeaway is about this. There is no obvious way forward for right-wing racist Trump Republicans. Are they going to finally court socially conservative minorities? That would requite a complete overhaul of their party. And what about Democrats? Losing minorities to Trump is a major rebuke to the DNC elite within the Clinton party machine.

  3. My takeaway from this election drama is that progressive ideas, on a local and state level at least, have definately picked up steam in a way unimaginable even a decade ago, but Americans still keep voting for dumbass supremes (both sides) on a national level.

    • I interpret it slightly differently. There still is some democracy at the local level. But there is no democracy at the national level. So, local politics represents the public opinion of the American majority, whereas that is not true of national parties.

  4. What I find striking is that most states have a 50-something/40-something or so percentage split between the candidates. Even the most heavily red/blue states have at least 30% voting for the other guy.

  5. The older tribal man refers to the earlier times when they ate pure ghee. Back then, even old men could stand up without needing support. But now, the young need support when standing. That’s the exact wisdom Weston A. Price learned from many traditional cultures, some of which considered butter to be sacred.

    • That might be a positive, but getting in the big biz game can be corrupting. If they wanted to avoid that corruption, they would be wise to follow the anarchosyndicalist model of democratic employee-ownership. Anarchosyndicalism is the perfect system for tribal ownership and management.

      The main and most successful example of that is the international Mondragon Corporation which operates multiple companies in various countries. Each company is operated semi-autonomously with major business decisions and leadership determined through employee voting. Smaller examples of this done in a more communitarian fashion is the East Wind Community that has been in business for decades. The community members are also the employees, and they likewise operate through voting.

      A similar example, although not democratic, is that of the Hutterite religious communities that collectively own and operate large farms, but they were so successful that other farmers in those states got jealous and passed laws limiting their ability to buy more land. The Shakers used to inspire similar jealousy of their communal agriculture, as they were considered the leaders of agricultural innovation, from technological abilities to horticultural skills.

    • Why don’t they simply return to their native diet?

      In the winter, northern indigenous people ate few if any plant foods. They might have small amounts of dried fruit in early winter and get some partially digested vegetable matter from caribou intestines. That would have been about it. But otherwise, their diet was almost entirely meat for a large part of the year. Even during the spring and summer, plant foods were extremely limited that far north.

      These populations were healthy before the introduction of industrial agriculture. Sure, there is ways to adapt industrial agriculture to the coldest regions, but in terms of health there is no reason to. The only advantage is simply if they enjoyed having more variety. But if being food independent is their desired goal, relying on native foods would be a smarter strategy.

      • I’m sure that requires a hunting lifestyle, with seasonal moving, but Inuit often forced into towns by the Canadian government. So I guess the sedentary town life isn’t as conductive to hunting and fishing the same way. Pollution in oceans has also made some seafood problematic…

        • I understand. Those are all good points. But I think we need to rethink our entire food system. That is the point I’ve made with posts about Eat-Lancet, carnivore diet, and veganism. Our present food system is neither healthy nor sustainable. To find what will be healthy and sustainable will require applying what we already know about traditional food systems, regenerative farming. It will also mean much experimentation at the local level, as local conditions and needs vary greatly.

          For far northern climes, that probably won’t mean imitating a plant-based diet that was developed for agriculture closer to the equator. Most of Canada and Alaska is not conducive to farming, not to say there is nothing wrong with finding ways to grow some plant foods for variety, even if does nothing to improve health. The question is this. Why do they think they need to eat more plant foods than did their ancestors? And why do they want to try to grow non-native plants? Instead, they should see about cultivating the plants that already grow there and were traditionally used.

          As for toxins in wild fish, that is a problem, although the oceans further north tend to have less pollution in them. A simpler solution is grazing caribou, moose, etc on the vast grazing lands they have up there. If they got innovative, they could also raise other native species for meat, from native birds to seal. I bet seal could be easily domesticated. None of that requires each family to hunt and fish. That is why food systems are created. With all the land they have up there, they could easily raise all the meat they needed through domesticated native species. They probably could produce so much that they could export some of it and turn it into a profitable business.

          This is what I mean. People need to start thinking outside of the box. Don’t necessarily try to copy what worked elsewhere. People need to learn to think more locally, about what can most easily, cheaply, and sustainably be done according to the conditions in which they live. Look to nature for answers. The potential sources for food are all around us, if we get innovative in thinking about how to use them in a modern, urban society. In poor communities, local solutions are all the more important, solutions that are simple enough that they require little investment and infrastructure, solutions that if need be can be operated on a very small scale but that when advantageous can be scaled up as well.

          These people are on the right track, though. They are thinking about food independence. But maybe they need to remember their own already established traditions of food independence and how they might be modernized. The wheel doesn’t need to be entirely reinvented. They already know the native sources of food their people have relied upon for millennia. The only thing that remains to do is to adapt those foods to a new social system, that of urban life. Maybe some people in those communities are considering such possibilities.

    • My guess is that it’s based on a recipe from Eastern Europe. But it could be Middle Eastern or even Indian. Possibly Mediterranean as well. It looks like it contains some kind of grain, maybe bulgur wheat. And I could imagine the meat is lamb.

  6. My dad only votes when I tell him to, so he’s not into voting in general. Just picks third parties because (they both suck) though he thinks Truml deserved to lose because of his covid handling (parents take covid seriously). Mom votes regularly and doesn’t vote third party because “they can’t win.”

    • That is always amusing an a bit infuriating. Why do third parties not win? Because not enough people vote for them. How could third parties win? If enough people voted for them. This isn’t rocket science.

      In the 1850s, the wise experts and ruling elite told the American public that third parties like the Republicans couldn’t win. Then the Republican Party won and guided the country through won of the most tumultuous periods in American history.

  7. I think healthy foods is a bit over thought. When I see examples of “healthy eating” in the US it always looks completely unappetizing, like I’d still be hungry after eating it. Probably due to the lack of fat. I’m into holistic health too but I just go with “natural Whole Foods”, which does include fatty meats, ghee/butter, dairy, etc. no overthinking

    • Our bodies can be tricked into eating unhealthy foods. That is what the big food companies have figured out with all the artificial flavors and flavor enhancers, far from limited to MSG. Many whole foods can’t compare with the intensity of flavor in processed foods.

      That is particularly true of the whole foods that get labeled as ‘healthy’. Celery is low fat and low-calorie, and therefore gets called ‘healthy’. But your body knows that is bullshit. But combine that celery in some nutrient-dense cream-based dip and your body will tell you to eat more of it. That celery is simply a carrier for what is actually healthy from all those nutrients in the dairy.

      Our bodies have their own intelligence. Most foods claimed to be healthy aren’t really healthy and our bodies know it. That is why they taste like crap or simply are unappealing and unsatiating. There is a reason nutrient-dense foods like cheese, butter, eggs, bacon, and steak are so delicious. It’s the same reason people traditionally cooked everything in animal fat, often lard, and slathered everything else in butter.

      Animal fats makes everything taste better. That sense of tastiness and satiation is how our bodies tells us it is good for us. It’s not complicated, but we modern humans get stuck in abstract ideologies. We are told to ignore our bodies. It goes back to the Christian theology that asserts the belief that the body is the source of sin. So, anything that tastes good must be bad for you. We need to get past this dysfunctional and dangerous belief system.

  8. Raw veggies are just unappetizing. They’re good when pickled, fermented, cooked with seasonings, in soup, etc. Salads with some vinegar or oil maybe. We’re shown raw veggies as examples of healthy eating but I don’t know many cuisines that include raw veggies much.

    • We’ve talked about raw veggies before. In traditional societies, it is rare to eat raw plant foods, sometimes not even fruit. Raw plant foods are typically considered inedible or dangerous. That makes sense when one considers how most wild plant foods or even early cultivated vegetables often were rather fibrous. And consider all of the disease outbreaks that happen from people eating raw lettuce, spinach, sprouts, etc. With farm animals and wild animals pooping and peeing all over the place, eating a raw plant in a traditional farming or hunter-gatherer society was not advisable. Modern industrial agriculture is more hygienic, but even then outbreaks happen.

    • I’m making some broth right now. It’s not pork bones that were added, though. My favorite bones are beef because of the meaty flavor. But the last couple of times I did put in some pork feet for added collagen. By the way, here is something I wrote about tonkatsu in a post about the Blue Zones:
      https://benjamindavidsteele.wordpress.com/2019/05/28/blue-zones-dietary-myth/

      “The most popular form of pork in the early 1900s was tonkatsu, by the way originally fried in animal fat according to an 1895 cookbook (butter according to that recipe but probably lard before that early period of Westernization). “Several dedicated tonkatsu restaurants cropped up around the 1920s to ’40s, with even more opening in the ’50s and ’60s, after World War II — the big boom period for tonkatsu. […] During the Great Depression of the 1930s, a piece of tonkatsu, which could be bought freshly cooked from the butcher, became the ultimate affordable payday treat for the poor working class. The position of tonkatsu as everyman food was firmly established.” This pork-heavy diet was what most Japanese were eating prior to World War II, but it wouldn’t survive the conflict when food deprivation came to afflict the population long afterwards.”

    • Ultimately, I doubt they can ever be fully disentangled. They might simply be talking about the exact same dynamic or set of factors within our shared psyches and society. We may need an entirely different frame of understanding.

  9. The conflation of culture and race where visible racial differences make one “cultural” is irritating. White Americans also come in different ancestries and cultural backgrounds that influence their worldview. Many parts of Europe are hardly individualistic. My white American classmate from a conserbative hardcore Protestant Christian background is also culturally not mainstream. If she marries an Boston Irish dude and has kids, are they bi-cultural too? And Boston Irish people have distinct cultural traits too

    FWIW my parents perceived white parents as cold lol. To them asian Americans used more baby voices when talking to their kids while white parents would yell at their kids in public over stupid shit like spilling something 😆

    https://undark.org/2017/10/02/science-chinese-somatization/

    • It’s not only culture and race but also region, class, and sometimes gender. Most social science research is done on middle class white college students in the United States. And most medical science is done on middle class white men in the United States. When speaking of American white culture, it’s generally referring to the WASP demographic and the WASPs who are speaking (in politics, media, academia, etc) tend to be middle-to-upper class whites from a WASP background.

    • That is even true within a single society. American regions and races have quite different emotional cultures and behaviors. That is a point my dad made about blacks and whites in the Deep South. There was an established culture going back centuries that blacks shouldn’t express emotions to whites or any person in a superior position.

      But white American culture takes a lack of response as a lack of paying attention, a lack of interest, or something along the lines. It’s been argued this negatively affects blacks getting hired, as they tend not to do simple gestures like nodding their heads and making noises of acknowledgment.

    • I’ve suspected that we all are much more somatic creatures than most of us are willing to admit. That could explain why so much psychological, psychiatric, and neurocognitive health has such strong ties to physical health, including diet and nutrition. This is what Price called ‘moral health’ in referring to psychological wellbeing and pro-social behavior — that is to say people who seemed happy, friendly, easygoing, and helpful in getting along with one another. What if we Americans too often mistake the physical as the emotional and mental, as if there were a Cartesian divide between the two?

    • That could have to do with a number of things. There is an increase of mood disorders, anxiety disorder, and psychoticism. There are social, political, and economic reasons for this. All of these stressors create trauma and surely result in epigenetic changes. It’s primarily concentrated in and increasing among the young generations in urban areas.

      But as you know, I’d also argue for diet and nutrition as contributing factors. From tribes like the Piraha to Price’s traditional people, they were more confident and easygoing. They lacked the worsening neuroticism of so many younger urbanites raised on an industrial diet, not to mention overcrowded populations along with toxins, hormone mimics, etc.

      Also, I’ve argued that carbs, grains in particular, might have had something to do with the hyper-sensitivity of rising levels of autism. Wheat, in particular, wasn’t as widespread until modernity. And wheat consumption keeps increasing with each generation. My vegetarian nieces and nephews eat few fruits and veggies but a ton of bread, crackers, noodles, etc.
      https://benjamindavidsteele.wordpress.com/2019/07/25/autism-and-the-upper-crust/

  10. I score low on neuroticism now on the big five, but I’ve done extensive trauma work around the fact that I grew up in an environment that made being “chill” almost sinful, lots of pressure to be busy, adults modeled neurotic behavior. I think I’m naturally easygoing but I felt ashamed of this when younger because of a hyper-competitive rat-race culture. So I would’ve scored higher on neuroticism before. I see this neuroticism in adults when I walk around still though, feel bad for them I guess.

    • My parents have a strong Protestnat work ethic. And they’ve embraced middle class WASP culture. It’s pretty much a full time job maintaining a middle class lifestyle. They belong to multiple groups where the middle class whites socialize. They are heavily involved, my dad often on committees and boards and in leadership positions. They are constantly working on projects. My dad loves to make spreadsheets for anything and everyone. Also, he’d sometimes spend hours a day on his favorite hobby, investing.

      Their house is always pristine. My mother, of course, is constantly cleanng. And my dad does almost all repairs himself. Even finished a room by himself with putting up a drywalls and a ceiling. Then there is endless outdoor work with the large yards that are typical in the Midwest. The landscapiing too is perfect and obsessively maintaned and mancured. My mom would garden most days of the week when the weather si nice. And my dad has to keep the lawn well-trimmed and free of all weeds.

      They are slaves to their lifestyle. And they really go crazy anytime other people are going to visit. This constant busyness has only slowed down with Covid-19, and it has made my mom depressed that she doesn’t have constant activity to preoccupy her. I suppose all of this is neuroticism, but I’m not sure. It could be more an expression of conscientiousness. Despite all of the obsessive activity, my parents’ embody that otherwse laidback attitude of Midwestern culture. They want success, respectability, and the good life. They constantly keep up with the Joneses. Yet they don’t seem particularly stressed.

      Even so, their lifestyle holds no appeal to me. I’ve tested for big fiive traits in the past, but I don’t remember my results. I’m sure I came up low on neuroticism and conscientiousness. Some of that is obviously inherent to personality, as much of it has been true of me going back to childhood. I was the kid who could have a bloody wound or infected cut and be entirely indifferent about it or simply not notice. And I simply did not care about how I looked as a child. I’d randomly put on clothing that would match on pure accident.

      Some of it might be an autistic-like condition combined with long-term depression. I just don’t care about what many others think is absolutely important. I can only be motivated about what personally interests me and my interests have little to do with what is considered respectable, worthy, and normal to most of the rest of society. I don’t what causes such things. I simply always knew I wasn’t like my parents and didn’t want to be like them. Nor did I have any desire to be a part of the capitalist system, partcularly the social Darwnian rat race. If I have food and a place to sleep, I’m contented.

      Much about Americn society makes no sense to me.

  11. I sometimes think I need to eat more plants, but raw veggies just aren’t appetizing. I improve my veggie intake by making soups or fermented Or pickled veggies like kimchi, but I don’t see myself ever having a side salad with meals or something.

    It’s funny how raw tomatoes are not appetizing, but made into a sauce or soup, it’s great. One cookbook author noted that toddlers who turned their noses up at veggies would happily eat them when put into a soup.

    • Most people think that way. That is because that is what experts and authority figures are always telling us. We are indoctrinated with plant-based ideology from childhood. It’s drummed into our vulnerable little minds. It is told to us in school and shows up even on kid shows.

      Even when vegans and vegetarians change diets to allowing meat, they’ll still typically eat vast amounts of veggies. That is what is seen with the Wahls Protocol. It’s a paleo-like diet where one of the levels is keto. Like many paleo-like diets, Dr. Tery Wahls, a former vegetarian, recommends eating massive amounts of veggies.

      I was like that when I first did paleo. I was eating more veggies than my vegetarian brothers and their families. I had this idea in my head that plants are healthy and so the more plants must mean more health. And it was a lot of work constantly buying, preparing, and cooking fresh veggies. And it was expensive.

      Turning away from the paleo diet, I experimented with other low-carb diets. This eventually brought me to carnivore. But even then, I kept feeling like I needed to add in vegetables. So, I’d always make sure to enclude certan plant foods like kimchi, sauerkraut, fermented pickles, etc.

      But it slowly occurred to me that I didn’t particularly enjoy eating vegetables, not that I hate them either. I decided to experiment with full carnivore again. I find it so much more satisfying. Once I get that indoctrinated voice in my head to shut up and simply listen to my body, I don’t feel much hunger for vegetables.

      Still, I feel like eating some olives or avocado or whatever, I’ll do so. It’s not dogmatic ideology. But it’s taken me a long time to learn to listen to my body. That includes the issue of raw veggies, as I just don’t digest them well. It doesn’t matter what anyone tells you is healthy.

  12. East Asian trauma is underrated. Within our grandparents lifetime, Mass urbanization and migration, WW2, political and social upheaval, imperialism/colonialism, cultural revolution, Korean War, oppressive governments, poverty, inequality, etc. Intergenerational trauma is itself such a new field, and the very limited research regarding Asian Americans mostly SE Asian refugees and their kids. “Model minority” BS even for East Asians ignores the fact that up until the last decade or so present-day white collar East Asians grew up poor.

    • This is probably a confusion of recent waves of immigrants. In the past, immigrants tended to be poor. But on average, immigrants these days are wealthier and more well-educated than the average American. The non-WASP cultures that were formed, such as Asian-Americans, include mostly people who aren’t necessarily recent immigrants. But the well off immigrant groups are those that get all the attention. There are plenty of poor Asian-American communities that get ignored because they don’t fit the stereotype. That is because the people producing the entertainment and news media only live around the wealthier Asian-Americans, many of them being part of more recent immigrations. It would be like judging all Hispanics based on the Cuban communities consisting of the wealthy families that escaped Cuba when it turned communist, even as many other Hispanics have high levels of poverty and trauma.

    • I’d say many Americans of various races and ethnicities feel some equivalent of han, specifically as loss of collective identity and familial separation, along with a general feeling of oppressiveness, anxiety, and depression. American society pulverizes identity down to hyper-individualism and has been built on centuries of endless immigration.

      American culture is purified trauma. But it’s become so all-encompassing that few Americans can even see it for what it is, as it has become normalized as culture itself. With Koreans, there is still a living memory that maybe this isn’t the way things are meant to be, as the history of what caused it is still remembered.

    • I always wish studies like this would also focus on the outliers. There had to be some people who didn’t respond differently with those who didn’t fit a stereotype in an extreme way. So, what made those individuals unique from most others? That would be so much more interesting to understand.

    • I don’t think there is anything necessarily wrong with seeking to medically understand mental illness. Obviously, all mental illnesses would have a biological component since we are biological creatures. The issue is not a problem of the medical model, per se. Rather, what kind of medical model would be most helpful. We need a better model for healthcare in general that sees humans in their entirety: biological, psychological, social, etc. All of its inseparable.

    • That’s nice to that there is beginning to apply this knowledge of collective trauma in a therapeutic setting. This kind of simply wasn’t available in the past. The thing I sometimes if all of us are collectively traumatized in the United States.

    • I never watched either movie. I’m not sure why. It just didn’t seem too appealiing. But I never gave much thought to why. I guess, going by previews, I assumed it would be really stupid humor but probably not stupid in a clever way like Sarah Silverman. From the article, I liked the conclusion:

      “Part of the reason I’m a Marxist-Leninist is culture. Everyone in the West is constantly ridiculing Soviet art and how the media used ordinary people to further the Soviet political agenda. But in Soviet Russia, you actually saw milkmaids and tractor drivers on TV. They were presented as important people.

      “In Western media, you only ever see rich, powerful people and celebrities. If any peasants even make it onto your screen, they will be the butt of a joke or steamrolled into submission to the Gods of Entertainment by a juggernaut like Ellen or Maury Povich. Here, you’re allowed to be aspirational to capital, like a five-year-old who runs a lemonade stand. You’re allowed to be a disaster, like a woman coming from poverty and pregnant with her grandpa’s kid. But you’re not allowed to just live.

      “There are exceptions, but most are borrowed and few are non-fiction because caring about poor people and their issues is considered niche. Besides, would you really want to participate in capitalism if you saw the ways it really affects people?

      “And while media portrayals of the poor are dishonest, they also promote the false narrative that unless you’re rich you can’t be joyful or funny. You can’t feel love or be loved. Sure, the poorer you are the, more expensive life becomes and the more survival drains you, but there is nothing more absurd than the assertion that humanity is expensive and few can afford its luxury.

      “That’s why YouTube and TikTok creators are such a respite for many: they have something that Reese Witherspoon doesn’t, no matter how many wigs she puts on, that Cohen’s most ingenious pranks will never achieve: authenticity. We still just want to see a chill dude from Idaho skateboard to an old-fashioned song. A self-proclaimed peasant from Hebei chugging beer. A bunch of Ghanaians making an honest living by lighting up a funeral.

      “Because this is the content that actually makes the world better. That makes people less racist and more understanding of each other. Xenophobia can’t thrive when people actually know how people of a different class, race, or ethnicity live: it has no alienation to feed on.

      “Yet when you just watch a rich white guy ape existing stereotypes, you only become more assured of what you think you already know. You are fed more racist, imperialist propaganda. The only purpose that serves is to undermine the open-mindedness and connection to each other we need to make sure the Holocaust never happens again. And although it seems like an important pursuit for Sacha Baron Cohen, I’m afraid he will keep failing at it until he recognizes that to avert genocides, you need to understand how they happened in the first place. And it’s always the same: by those in charge of the cultural dialogue substituting stereotypes for humans.”

    • That was sort of the original model of the US political system. The candidate in first place got the presidency. And the candidate in second place was made vice president. But some thought that made it hard for an administraton to get things done. So, they changed it to our present winner-takes-all model. That was a very unwise decision. That single change made our rabid and superficial partisanship inevtable.

    • I was reading the revised and expanded edition of Lev Vygotsky’s classic Thought and Language. He is considered the father of Soviety psychological studies. It’s a good read and was unavailable in the West for a long time. This new edition has a foreword by Alex Kozulin where historcal background is given and it helps explain how different was early Soviet thought.

      Vygotsky did some interesting work wth Alexander Luria about intelligence. When Weston A. Price was traveling to rural communities in the 1930s, these two visited the rural areas of Soviet Uzbekistan and Kirghizia (now the Kyrgyz Republic). Many of these people were still living an essentially peasant lifestyle, as the revolution had little impact at that point.

      They were able to observe the differences between concrete thinking and abstract thinking, the latter havng much to do with fluid intelligence which is the key component to the Flynn effect of risng IQ this past century. But Stalin and other Soviet leaders saw this as dangerous research or as contradicting communist ideology/propaganda, not that Stalin was a principled communist.

      Shortly before Vygotsky’s premature death in 1934, the Stalinists were consolidating their power and enforcing authoritaran control. One of the main battlegrounds was the field of psychology. Their was a clamp down about what was allowed and not allowed. Even though Vygotsky was held up as a respected figure, his kind of research was suppressed.

    • I saw that video. As a cashier, I don’t think I’d try to do that myself. I’m not a fighter, to say the least. But interestingly, as far as I know, no city ramp cashier has ever been robbed in Iowa City over a half century of operations. That is impressive. So, I’m not too worried about it, even when I work late nights alone.

    • I already saw that video too. She handled herself well. She acted with confidence and stood her ground. In this video and in the other, it’s good that the assailants did not have guns. Martial arts can’t necessarily defeat a gun-wielding criminal. And a lot of people are carrying guns in the US. Even though the US doesn’t have overall higher rates of crime than other Western countries, there is a higher rate of crime ending in violence and death.

    • There is a simple solution. Test and monitor for any sociopathic or abusive traits, tendencies and behaviors in all individuals employed as or seeking employment as police officers. Maybe test for all of the Dark Tetrad traits: narcissism, Machiavellianism, psychopathy, and sadism. There is absolutely zero reason for someone testing high on any of these traits to ever be considered for employment in a position of authority where violence can be wielded against citizens.

      Anyone that shows strong evidence of any of these, particularly a pattern of abuse including spousal and child abuse, should not be hired or else immediately fired. For damn straight, when an officer uses unnecessary violence, they should be immediately put on leave and investigated. And when unnecessary violence leads to death, the officer should be immediately fired and arrested, as would happen with any other person. Basically, law and justice, prosecution and punishment should apply equally.

    • Of course, very few of the foods shown in the video would offer much vitamin D. I suppose there were some that were fortified with vitamin D. But the only one that might naturally have vitamin D would’ve been the can of fish. Traditionally, people got vitamin D in the far north from sources like cod liver, either in whole form or as oil.

  13. So ptsd disqualifies you from joining the military, but you will probably come out with PTSD compared with if you didn’t join smdh. Also seeing a therapist for over a year disqualifies you. Given the changes in society and therapy becoming more popular, they might as well run out of eligible people given that young people aren’t known for their superb mental health these days. Also, even without having seen a therapist many people have baggage that would be worth taking to counseling, so it’s not like they’re eliminating people with mental health baggage by discriminating against those who’ve been to counseling.

    https://www.apa.org/monitor/2009/06/stigma-war

    • If anything, the people who refuse to go to counseling probably on average have mental health issues that are greater in number and worse in degree. It’s the untreated mentally ill people who are the greatest worry in our society. That said, I understand some of the reasons people avoid getting help. Even when help is sought, therapy and drugs have little positive effect for many, maybe most, people. Consider antidepressants that have been proven entirely ineffective for most people being prescribed them. But the answer is to improve treatment, which would mean changing the model.

  14. Insurance systems in the US require diagnosis for reimbursement so unless you pay out of pocket a diagnosis is needed. In contrast, in Canada, diagnosis is not needed for insurance reimbursement. As someone who thinks everyone has baggage and wounds and could benefit from counseling with a counselor who is a good fit, I can’t stand the US system or our current either/or model of mental health. Mental health is for everyone, not just those who fit into a DSM label which changes every few years anyway.

    • In general, US healthcare is based on diagnosis. This is related to categorizing and labeling diseases according to sets of symptoms. It simplifies disease in a model designed for bureaucratic capitalism, not only insurance companies but for large for-profit drug companies and hospitals. It serves the purpose for which it was designed and so it is successful to that end.

      The US has a very specific kind of bureaucratic capitalism and it is highly effective for greater profits for big biz. Healthcare-related corporations probably make much more profit in the US than in Canada. In terms of profit, it is irrelevant about which system provides the best healthcare outcomes, best serves the public good, and is most compassionate.

    • Yet, over the decades, they’ve been loosening other standards. They allow less physically healthy and fit people into the military. Also, they accept people with records of criminality, gang activity, white supremacy activism, etc. You’re fine as long as you don’t have mental illness while being an obese, diabetic, criminal who belongs to a bigoted violent gang.

      Then when you come out of the military, you probably will have mental illness and you won’t be fit or anything in society, other than maybe returning to your gang or leading a criminal life. This is why they have the hiring preferences for veterans in government jobs because otherwise many of these veterans would be unemployed. But what kind of bureaucracy do we create when we concentrate all of the most dysfunctional people into government agencies and departments?

  15. Most people suffering (and honestly, most to all people suffer to varying extents) don’t seek help, if even seeking help disqualifies them, what’s the point, wondering with the same symptoms if they never seek help they’d probably get in?

  16. Native Americans, poor people, etc join the military at high rates yet these communities have such rigjt rates of trauma and trauma inducing situations. Given our traumatic society molding “mental disorders” in people, it’s fucked up to discriminate against people for having very human responses to fucked up contexts.

    • That is how social Darwinism operates. It’s been this way for a long time. I don’t know about other societies, but the US has never been particularly friendly toward mental illness. Or rather it’s part of class war. The upper classes can have mental illness and suffer no consequences. The poor and working class or even the lower middle class, on the other hand, have to worry.

      This was seen with the views of neurasthenia in the late 1800s to early 1900s. Among professionals, intellectuals and artists, to have or to claim to have neurasthenia was a badge of honor in that it demonstrated that one was ‘civilized’. It was assumed only the most civilized classes, races and ethnicities were prone to neurasthenia. Whereas poor people with psychological problems were either made homeless, somehow taken advantage of, or thrown into prison.

    • Few people have a good grasp of what trauma means in the real world and everyday experience. Most traumatized people probably don’t relaize they are traumatized and that probably includes the majority of Americans. It’s maybe related to the state of affairs with the lack of public understanding of democracy. We Americans have little sense of the distinction between health and sickness, either on the personal level or societal level.

  17. Mental health also isn’t either/or where you’re either “ill” per the DSM or not. I also think most estimates “rates” of various DSM diagnosis especially the common ones like depression, anxiety, adjustment, PTSD, etc are underestimates. But when people with symptoms are that common, who’s the sick one? Sick individuals, or some collective malaise?

    • It is common sense. And we already have a lot of scientific research about it. We understand the causes and many of the causal mechanisms. Also, we know how to prevent, reduce, and treat many of the factors and problems involved. It would require not only an entire overhaul of the healthcare system but of our entire society. The entire sysem is sick and begins harming people in childhood and earlier. Social stress, lead toxicity, etc is already harming fetuses before birth. In fact, the harm inherited from epigenetics is happening prior to conception.

      • One of the limitations of the ACE score (mine is 3) is that it’s limited to family context. The broader levels of friends/school/town, community, societal Etc, are not accounted for. In my personal trauma counseling for example, I rarely talk about my family or parents, I talk mainly about my experiences in high school among peers and teachers and my hometown

        • It’s a crude, simplistic, and limited measure. But it points in the same direction as plenty of other data and research. We know how various stresses and other stress-related factors (poverty, racism, malnutrition, toxins, parasite load, etc) affect people and the disadvantaged most of all. Continuously and cumulatively, all the large and small stressors add up to a pervasive sense of anxiety and an unrelenting trauma that never has a chance to heal. The worst trauma doesn’t come from family but from the entire society, often systemic and institutionalized. Some Americans live in the equivalent of military-occupied warzones.

          I was looking at the data on gender imbalances. Ya know how right-wingers complain about single black mothers and the lacking black fathers. It’s bullshit, of course, to an extent. Blacks, poor blacks most of all, are disproportionately imprisoned and trapped in the legal system. Even then, some data shows that black fathers on average are more involved with their children than white fathers. There is nothing about blackness that genetically determines parenting failure. But there is an element of truth to missing fathers in another way. Black males have a high mortality rate, from infancy through childhood and into adulthood. This is a symptom of racism, poverty, and inequality.

          So, the black men are missing partly because a lot of them are dead. Interestingly, among all races, the data shows that when women greatly outnumber men, marriage rates go down. The fewer remaining men are less motivated to settle down, but the point is it has nothing to do with them being black. The same pattern is found with gender imbalances among whites. And such gender imbalances are typically a sign of some kind of greater social imbalance and societal dysfunction, such as high inequality and class war that has so terrorized or otherwise harmed the population that so many men have been lost to society. This then forces women into a tough position.

        • About stress, it is interesting that women appear to be better at coping with stress. I’ve seen that indicated in various data and studies over the years. Men tend to burn out, get sick, and kill each other when under stress. Maybe that is an evolved strategy. The masculine impulse is to do something about stress. But when the source of stress can’t be solved or fought or even identified, what results is an impossible situation that often leads to self-destructive behavior and other negative outcomes. Some of it is simply biological, though, such as seen with why there is greater male infancy mortality rate. Males just die easily.

          For most of human existence, it was the men’s job to sacrifice themselves when need be to protect women and children. Men only need to live long enough to reproduce and then they are expendable. The male body wasn’t designed for a long lifespan in the way the female body seems better able to accomplish. In evolutionary terms, an older woman adds more value to a society than an older man. Maybe this has to do with childrearing needs that older women can still offer, even as they age. Whatever the reason, mortality rates are almost always higher for men at any age and under any conditions. Women surely get just as traumatized by stress but they are more likely to go on living.

    • My life is often out of sync with the rest of the world.

      The pandemic has been the opposite of stressful for me. But I’m fortunate in many ways. I’m in a healthy time of my life. A quarter century of crippling depression was alleviated in the last couple of years. My job is secure, even when everything was shut down.

      Yet when my life was shitty for decades, most people went about their lives as if nothing was wrong. The stresses of Covid-19, to my mind, are simply generations of problems coming to the surface. Those problems were already there.

    • I doubt there will be a large shift of populations back to rural areas any time soon. But I could imagine conditions that could make it more probable.

      Definitely, Covid-19 has changed a lot. It does point in a new direction. Industrial, service, and retail sectors of the economy are still largely forced to be concentrated where populations are concentrated.

      But in places that have become deindustrialized, we are finding how much work can be done outside of offices and other central locations. Plus, many jobs are never coming back. In the future, it might become less relevant where you live.

      By the way, in the video, why does one child have her face blurred but none of the other children? That was strange.

    • No matter how much terror and harm caused, the Telegram did absolutely nothing to counteract these violent hate groups until there were “emerging stories of neo-Nazi National Guard and Army personnel networking and plotting attacks on Telegram.” Then and only then, the company began “taking thorough action against some of the most prominent and violence-promoting entities on its platform.” That demonstrates one of the problems with our present capitalist system. It’s the same reason Facebook ended up widely promoting propaganda, fake news and conspiracies, as causing conflict and riling people up was profitable.

    • There were also people of African descent in Germany that was even mentioned by Hitler in the Mein Kampf. They were concentrated in the Rhineland, what is also referred to as Alsace-Lorraine, the border region with a lot of mixed populations. It’s where many Jews were found as well, the location in which Yiddish developed. I’ve mentioned before that all the way back to the colonial era, Benjamin Franklin was complaining about the dark-skinned Palatine Germans from this area.

  18. One thing I notice is that you can sometimes tell when someone’s teeth are straight due to braces or naturally. When they’re due to braces, the facial structure with the narrow and elongated and even asymmetrical is still there. Also, it’s common for the person to have “big teeth” or teeth that seem too big for their lower face.

    • Yeah. I’ve become hyper-aware of asymmetry, narrow jaws, crowded teeth, and disproportionate features. It indicates something that likely went wrong with bone development. I also notice underdeveloped and odd bone structure in general, such as people who have thin bones or an odd gait such as pigeon-toed. Bad eyesight could also have to do with bone structure by crowding the eyeballs.

      What surprises me is how many malnourished-looking people who grew up in good homes with parents that had plenty of money and access to healthcare. If even many wealthier Americans are malnourished, the poor and working class don’t have a chance. How is it, in the wealthiest country in the world with respected scientific research institutions, we still hasn’t figured out something so basic as to ensure it’s populaton isn’t stunted and deformed?

      It’s a serious problem. Bone structure is simply the most obvious result because it can be outwardly seen. But if the bones are stunted and malformed, then likely much else is as well. Malnourishment will cause developmental problems with the brain, nervous system, immune system, and everything else. Certainly, there has been sharp rise of numerous diseases of civilization, neurocognitive disorders, and mental health issues.

      I further think about Weston A. Price’s ‘moral health’. Maybe all of the nutritional deficiencies and related problems contribute to the greater sense of malaise, anxiety, stress, conflict, etc. People just feel crappy and act in strange ways. Their bodies, including their brains, simply are not functioning normally. It’s unsurprising that a culture of trust feels like it’s eroding. People sense something is wrong, but can’t quite figure out what. Maybe a large part of it is simply ill health.

      I’ve wondered if someone like Trump would never exist in a physically healthy society. His diet is based on fast food and he has probably been eating that way his whole life. Of course, he had better access to good quality food than most and his family could afford to eat plenty of animal foods. But still, if not only malnourishment, there is also the issue of all the toxins, pesticides, fertilizers, preservatives, taste enhancers, artificial sweeteners, hormone mimics, etc.

      On top of that, there is the issue of the American diet becoming high in carbs, especially sugar and high-fructose corn syrup, and industrial seed oils. That can cause a lot of damage not only in metabolic health but damage to mitochondrial health. All of these factors can also alter epigenetics and so get passed on, with each generation accumulating all the epigenetic alterations from not only parents but grandparents, great grandparents, etc.

      We Americans first began eating an industrial diet around the time of the Civil War. That was when they began learning how to process and package foods in factories. And that kicked into high gear more than a century ago. So, the damage has had many generations to accumulate. I’m shocked by the such poor health in a rich country but even more shocked by how few people seem to notice or care. It’s become normalized.

    • There is another disturbing detail. Malnourishment can be undone to some extent simply by adding nutrition back in. Bone stunting and malformation can’t be reversed, but many diseases can be such as metabolic dysfunction and even some neucognitive disorders. Most health issues will respond to improved diet and nutrition, even as long term damage can’t entirely be remedied. Epigenetics also can potentially be reset within a single lifetime or at least across generations.

      But what can’t be eliminated is alterations to the DNA itself. That is what makes industrial seed oils so tragic. They are mutagenic. There is seen an increase of de novo (first generation) genetic mutations in certain conditions like autism. Those genetic changes are permanent and will get passed down. We are doing a strange genetic mutation experiment on the modern industrial population. And we are many generations into this experiment.

      These seed oils were introduced to the market around the late 1800s to early 1900s and replaced animal fats in the 1930s. That means my grandparents were the first generation to consume seed oils for all or most of their lives. Now my nieces and nephew brings that to the fourth generation of seed oil mutation. Each generation has more physical and mental health issues than the last.

      Both of my nieces have skinny bones and one is pigeon-toed. All of the kids in this younger generation have more neurocognitive issues than my brothers and I had at that age or that my parents have ever had. What will happen in another generation or two if seed oils remain a major part of the diet? How much more mutation can we take before really serious dysfunction sets in?

    • That is my interpretation of most similar accusations, such as political correctness. Right-wingers are some of the whiniest people around and are constantly language policing, if in a demented and reactionary way. They are projecting their desire to enforce social control through control of language, rhetoric, narrative, and metaphorical framing in order to control how people think, talk, and publicly debate.

      JiffyTube
      “let’s honor a rapist and a slaveowner who put slaves teeth in his own mouth as decoration. there ftfy can you fuck off this sub?”

      hotandtiredanddry
      “It’s ironic that history experts in these comments complaining about the defacement of our “mythical” first president and pointing out that racism still exists missed the several days in history class where symbolic acts of civil disobedience and property destruction are taught as celebrated parts of American history.”

      Somnifor
      “I don’t know how many people here have seen the pioneer statue in person but it is profoundly creepy. I always got the feeling that the sculptor knew they were being asked to make an homage to genocide but needed the commission.”

    • I understand it, but I find it odd. One can see the logic of the thought process. These people are thinking that, if I was treated that badly and if my people had been oppressed for centuries, I would blame those other people and want to have my revenge.

      It’s what one thinks when one’s position feels precarious, which is a valid feeling in such an unstable society that probably will result in mass violence at some point. I just don’t think revenge exactly will be the final tipping point for revolt or whatever. Most people don’t think that way.

      But to be honest, I couldn’t really care. If all the non-white people somehow rose up and overthrew the white elite, maybe killing some whites along the way, I’d see it was sad and unfortunate as is any violence. Still, I doubt I’d be motivated to join my white brethren for a counter-coup to take back our white power and privilege.

      If blacks or anyone else wants to take over running society, I wish them well. I say the same thing in response to the fear of women taking over, as more of them are going to college and moving into higher positions than ever before. But I really don’t feel any desire to defend the patriarchy. It might be an interesting experiment to see what society is like when enough women are in positions of power.

      It’s also similar to those who worry about China becoming the next superpower. I also wish the Chinese all the best in their endeavors. I feel no ill will toward the Chinese succeeding. And I’d be happy if some other country took over the role of being the global superpower for a while. I simply don’t want to be part of an empire and so hope the America Empire ends.

      I don’t hate white people or men or America. I’d prefer to live in an egalitarian society where everyone everywhere in the world was treated equally. But that ain’t gonna happen anytime soon. So, we’ll carry on. I just can’t get too excited about any of it. Demographics and power shifts, as it has over the centuries. It’s nothing new.

      Yet truth be told, I lack confidence that much is going to change in my lifetime. There will be violence here before long, that I don’t doubt. But I don’t see white males being entirely thrown out of power in the near future. And I suspect the American Empire in its present form can go on kicking for a while longer, assuming there isn’t an unforeseen catastrophe that sends it all tumbling down.

      For certain, I don’t look at people of color with a sense of fear that I am their enemy and so therefore they are my enemy, that war of the races is inevitable where one must defeat the other and rule in totality. And average person of color probably isn’t thinking along these lines either. Most of us are just trying to get by in life.

      But if there is a revolt, I might join in. I don’t have any romantic fantasies about any of it, though. If and when a revolt or civil war or whatever comes along, I somehow doubt my chances of survival would be great. That would be even more true if reactionaries or authoritarians either sought to suppress it or co-opt it. A white male police officer, soldier, or thug is more likely to kill me than a revolutionary uprising of colored folk seeking revenge against the White Man.

  19. Dunno if you notice this on Iowa’s campus, but many college sports teams have foreign players. I notice on my campus that the foreign athletes have better facial structure than the US ones

    • I honestly can say that I haven’t a clue. I don’t follow sports in the slightest. I have nothing against team sports. And I enjoyed playing soccer as a kid. But watching sports has never interested me. I’m not sure why that is.

      Maybe it’s my lack of team spirit. Even when I played team sports, I couldn’t be made to care if my team won. I care even less about a team I’m not playing on. My competitive edge is rather weak.

      I prefer hackysack where there is no winning or losing. The physical skill part is the only thing that really gets my attention. I’d rather watch a gymnast, a martial artist, a skateboarder, a juggler, etc.

      About foreign athletes, I do recall in high school that some of the best soccer players I played with were immigrants or came from immigrant families. Some of them were really stocky and muscular, indicating healthy development.

    • It is telling that major sports teams in the West are so dependent on recruiting immigrants and foreigners as players. But what happens after those countries fully adopt the same crappy modern industrial diet? Then where will good players be found? Team recruiters will have to seek out isolated tribes to find the last remaining healthy specimens of the human species.

      • My foray into what mainstream Americans eat might be when traveling for cross country races, we’d stay at a classmates parents house who lived near the race site. Granted it’s for fueling for the race the next morning but I remember pasta and bread and skim milk for dinners.

        • That sounds about right. Around the late ’80s or early ’90s, my mother started buying skim milk and I was drinking it. But we always had whole milk before then.

          Of course, lots of carbs was a given. When one eliminates fat, the only other source of energy is carbs. I don’t recall carbing up for games. But some mother would always bring sugary drinks and orange slices.

          That period really shifted the diet and it was when our present detary ideology fully took hold. It was shortly before that when the 1986 Consensus Convention occurred that finally silenced the critics of low-fat dogmatism.

          That was the final victry of Ancel Keys.
          https://benjamindavidsteele.wordpress.com/2018/08/03/the-creed-of-ancel-keys/

          The Big Fat Surprise
          by Nina Teicholz
          pp. 142-145

          “The Consensus Conference

          “If a large portion of middle-aged American adults are now cutting back on meat and taking statin pills, it is due almost entirely to the step that the NHLBI took next. Dispensing drugs and dietary advice to the entire US population is a huge responsibility, and the NHLBI decided it needed to create a scientific consensus, or at least the appearance of one, before moving forward. Also, the agency needed to define the exact cholesterol thresholds above which it could tell doctors to prescribe a low-fat diet or a statin. So once again, in 1984, NHLBI convened an expert group in Washington, DC, with a public meeting component attended by more than six hundred doctors and researchers. Their job—in an unrealistic two-and-a-half days—was to grapple with and debate the entire, massive stack of scientific literature on diet and disease, and then to come to a consensus about the recommended cholesterol targets for men and women of all ages.

          “The conference was described by various attendees as having preordained results from the start, and it’s hard not to conclude otherwise. The sheer number of people testifying in favor of cholesterol lowering was larger than the number of spaces allotted to challengers, and powerful diet-heart supporters controlled all the key posts: Basil Rifkind chaired the planning committee, Daniel Steinberg chaired the conference itself, and both men testified.

          “The conference “consensus” statement, which Steinberg read out on the last morning of the event, was not a measured assessment of the complicated role that diet might play in a little-understood disease. Instead, there was “no doubt,” he stated, that reducing cholesterol through a low-fat, low-saturated-fat diet would “afford significant protection against coronary heart disease” for every American over the age of two. Heart disease would now be the most important factor driving dietary choices for the entire nation. After the conference, in March 1984, Time magazine ran an illustration on its cover of a face on a dinner plate, comprised of two fried-egg eyes over a bacon-strip frown. “Hold the Eggs and Butter!” stated the headline, and the story began: “Cholesterol is proved deadly, and our diet may never be the same.”

          “As we’ve seen, LRC had nothing to say about diet, and even its conclusions on cholesterol were only weakly supported by the data, but Rifkind had already demonstrated that he believed this extrapolation was fair. He told Time that the results “strongly indicate that the more you lower cholesterol and fat in your diet, the more you reduce the risk of heart disease.”

          “Gina Kolata, then a reporter for Science magazine, wrote a skeptical piece about the quality of the evidence supporting the conference’s conclusions. The studies “do not show that lowering cholesterol makes a difference,” she wrote, and she quoted a broad range of critics who worried that the data were not nearly strong enough to recommend a low-fat diet for all men, women, and children. Steinberg attempted to dismiss the criticisms by calling her article a case of the media’s appetite for “dissent [which] is always more newsworthy than consensus,” but the Time cover story in support of Steinberg’s stated conclusions was clearly an example of the opposite, and on the whole, the media supported the new cholesterol guidelines.

          “The consensus conference spawned an entirely new administration at the NIH, called the National Cholesterol Education Program (NCEP), whose job it remains to advise doctors about how to define and treat their “at-risk” patients, as well as to educate Americans themselves about the apparent advantages of lowering their cholesterol. In the following years, the NCEP’s expert panels became infiltrated by researchers supported by pharmaceutical money, and cholesterol targets were ratcheted ever lower, thereby bringing greater and greater numbers of Americans into the category that qualified for statins. And the low-fat diet, even though it had never been properly tested in a clinical trial to ascertain whether it could prevent heart disease, became the standard, recommended diet of the land.

          “For longtime critics of the diet-heart hypothesis such as Pete Ahrens, the consensus conference was also significant because it marked the last time they could speak openly. After this conference, Ahrens and his colleagues were forced to fold their case. Although members of the nutrition elite had, over the previous two decades, been allowed to be part of the debate, in the years following the consensus conference, this was no longer true. To be a member of the elite now meant, ipso facto, supporting the low-fat diet. So effectively did the NHLBI-AHA alliance silence its antagonists, in fact, that among the tens of thousands of researchers in the worlds of medicine and nutrition over the next fifteen years, only a few dozen would publish research even gingerly challenging the diet-heart hypothesis. And even then, they worried about putting their careers on the line. They saw Ahrens, who had risen to the very top of his field and yet found himself having a hard time getting grants, because there was “a price to pay for going up against the establishment, and he was well aware of that,” as one of his former students told me.

          “No doubt this is why Ahrens, in looking back on the conference, which came to be his swan song, spoke with an uncharacteristic lack of reserve. “I think the public is being hosed by the NIH and the American Heart Association,” he declared. “They desire to do something good. They’re hoping to God that this is the right thing to do. But they are not acting on the basis of scientific evidence, but on the basis of a plausible but untested idea.” Plausible or even probable, however, that untested idea had now been launched.”

    • That was a sweet and happy story, but it was sad that they lost contact for so long. I could understand why the other woman stopped writing. That is what depression can do to a person. The impulse to isolate oneself, though, just ends up making the depression worst.

      I’m still friends with my childhood best friend. I still see him on a weekly basis. Maybe that is why I place such high value on friendship. Two other close friends I’ve known for more than two decades. I don’t have a lot of friends, but the friends I have are important to me. I consider them as equal to family. That has been the hardest part about this pandemic, in not being able to freely socialize.

      The world would be a better place if everyone had lifelong friends. That used to be a much more common experience when people spent their entire lives in the same community. It’s similar to the loss of extended family, something I’m quite familiar with. The breakdown of social ties adds to the sense of stress and anxiety so many people feel these days.

    • I sent that to my sister-in-law. It will make her happy.

      She is a partisan Democrat who hates Trump. She would vote for the most corrupt corporatist, oppressive war hawk, and callous law-and-order candidate as long as they were a Democrat who supported LGBTQ rights.

      That is about all she cares about. If gay people can get married and visit their spouse in the hospital, it doesn’t matter how many poor people, minorities, and foreigners suffer and die nor does it mattere how powerful becomse the big biz plutocracy.

      She is a one-issue voter, but it doesn’t even matter if Democrats actually do anything about that issue. They just have to say the right rhetoric every now and then. Democrats good. Republicans evil. That is the extent of her thought.

  20. Japan has poor facial growth common as well, appearently poor facial growth is more common than older generations despite increased height, but my impression is that generally, Japanese have better facial growth than Americans, though funny-looking people aren’t uncommon either.

    • They have fully embraced a modern industrial diet that is high in carbs and seed oils, not to mention all the other crap from food production, processing, and packaging. Some of the hormone mimics could affect growth, but I don’t know about other substances like ag chemicals and food additives.

      The one thing the Japanese have going for them, in terms of diet, is their eating a lot of wild-caught seafood. But that creates other potential problems like higher mercury levels. And no one has any idea what all that microplastic in seafood does to human biology.

      As I’ve mentioned before, the greater height could be related to high protein intake combined with lower fat intake. It creates a lanky and gangly appearance, often stooping and awkward looking. It would contribute to an odd appearance of something not being quite right.

      • There is an international student athlete I know, he’s built a bit differently than his teammates. Could be his region (from the Caucusus) but he’s naturally stocky and muscular and on a primal level, it’s very attractive. Like, my straight-female lizard brain screams “I want his genes for my kid!” or something, even though he’s shorter than his teammates at 5’7 or so. He is rare in the US honestly. Symmetrical face, naturally straight teeth, well-muscled and stable looking.

    • Other than the liver loaf, I ate variants of all those meals growing up. I wonder when hunted meat and wild-caught fish stopped being a mainstay of the American diet. My mother recalls eating both on a somewhat regular basis when she was a child. During the Great Depression, many people were forced to turn to hunting and fishing for more of their food.

      It was only about a century or so ago when most Americans moved out of rural areas. But even then they maintained their rural practices for some generations. My mother’s extended family hadn’t been rural for a generation or two and were living in an industrial city working in factories and for the railroad. Yet they regularly hunted and fished.

      • I have above-average development for the US though nkt perfect (needed wisdom teeth pulled). I probably consumed lots of seed oils in eating processed foods, but for home cooking it’s all olive oil, sesame oil, butter, or ghee.

        • What oil or fat did your mother (father?) use for cooking at home? Did your parents keep butter and/or ghee around the house? And what about lard? Among both Westerners and Asians, lard used to be one of the most common items in the diet. That changed for most Americans in the 1930s, but using animal fats might’ve lasted longer for immigrant populations. I’m not sure if that would’ve been true for Chinese-Americans.

          The famously long-lived Italian-Americans of Roseto, PA ate a lot of lard: “They smoked unfiltered stogies, drank wine “with seeming abandon” in lieu of milk and soft drinks, skipped the Mediterranean diet in favor of meatballs and sausages fried in lard with hard and soft cheeses.” They were the healthiest Americans a half of a century ago, but have since adopted the standard American diet with a corresponding decline in health and lifespan.

          My parents probably grew up eating a bit more animal fats than was true of my generation. Processed foods really took over the American diet several decades following WWII. Skim milk took even longer to take hold, not really until the 1990s. I doubt drinking skim milk in high school or soy milk in childhood did much good for my physical and neurocognitive development. We did have butter in the fridge, but we mostly used vegetable oil spreads.

          • My parents used olive oil or sesame oil, thougj they enjoyed fattier cuts of meat that are not found in mainstream groceries much. Lots of eggs, my dad loves blue crab and gets it every week when it comes into the asian market. Shrimp, etc. Beef tripe, preserved duck eggs.

          • That sounds fairly healthy. That includes plenty of good sources of animal fat and fat-soluble vitamins. BTW vitamin D deficiency has been shown in numerous studies to be one of the main factors in severity of COVID-19 and the death rate.

    • That is amusing. That article is advising the exact same dietary recommendations that made Americans fat and sick. Asian dietary research has correlated greater health with higher amounts of animal foods, specifically meat. The longest lived populations in the world happen to be in Asia and they also eat the more meat than any population in the world. Eating more meat probably means they have a higher ratio of animal fats to seed oils, a higher ratio of saturated fat and omega-3s to omega-6s.

      The evidence is mixed on the claim that high sodium intake is bad. In fact, there is recent book, Dr.James DiNicolantonio’s The Salt Fix, that uses scientific research to argue that many Americans are getting too little salt in their diet. As for scapegoating saturated fat, there is absolutely zero scientific evidence that has ever proven a causal link to any health issue or disease. American health has declined as saturated fat severely decreased in the diet. Sure, ‘fat’ intake did increase, but this ‘fat’ in reality is mostly seed oils.

      As for calories, they are largely irrelevant as long as you’re not eating lots of starchy carbs, added sugar, and seed oils. Particularly on a keto diet, people both burn calories at a higher rate and naturally find that their hunger is less. On a low-carb diet, most people don’t need to worry about such things. A keto diet, if anything, can be problematic because hunger is so diminished and fasting becomes too easy, and so some people end up not getting enough calories. It’s the carbs that cause constant hunger, snacking, and overeating.

      The bigger issue is what kind of calories one is eating. If one gets rid of the crap with all the carbs and seed oils (including added sugar and artificial sweeteners, along with food additives, farm chemicals, etc), and if one replaces the crap with high quality fatty animal foods (particularly wild-caught and pasture-raised), more calories simply means more nutrient-density, especially more fat-soluble vitamins. Basically, just eat the way humans have traditionally eaten for hundreds of thousands of years and one will have optimal health.

    • It asserts that the Emperor ate simply, but the meals described sure don’t sound simple.

      “On June 8, 1789, Emperor Qianlong took his breakfast in the Yihong Hall (Hall of Partial Rainbow) at a lacquer table. He was served: a hotpot of game with bird’s nest, roast duck and roast meat, a hot pot of thick duck soup with Chinese yam, courses of wild herb salad, cold bean jelly and duck stewed with wine and cauliflower, stir-fried spinach with small dried shrimp, steamed lotus root with glutinous rice, bean curd stewed with mushrooms, sliced chicken and duck cooked with soy sauce, bamboo knotted rolls and steamed small buns, steamed buns stuffed with minced pumpkin and mutton, braised chicken with cowpea, pickles served in an enamel sunflower box, four cold dishes on flange plates, a bowl of cooked round-grain rice and a bowl of boiled cowpeas.

      “On December 13, the emperor took his late meal in the eastern room of the Yangxin Hall. His meal included: a hot pot of chicken with bird’s nest and pine nuts, a hot pot of chicken, smoked meats and Chinese cabbage, a hot pot of shredded lamb stomach and shredded mutton, steamed chicken with fresh mushrooms, pork fried in salt with fresh mushrooms, cold steamed chicken and mutton, cold steamed duck and deer’s tail, pork in thick gravy, shaped cakes, steamed dumplings with minced chicken, salted pork and pickles served in a silver sunflower box, four small cold dishes put on silver plates, chicken soup with cooked rice, thick wild duck soup with Chinese yam and bird’s nest soup with spinal cord.”

    • It always comes back to butter. Westerners in the past used lots of butter. It was the same with lard, but that wouldn’t be listed on the menu. The meats, eggs, vegetables, and potatoes were likely cooked in lard. Health is about the animal fats. There is no traditional society, not even in the West, that didn’t rely upon such things for nutrition.

      From the article, it’s written that, “According to British restaurant critic, Giles Coren,”a hundred years ago, British food was in its golden age.” In Britain, general health improved with the Victorian Age. The enclosure movement in centuries prior had created vast urban poverty. Early industrialization did have some benefits for these urban poor. Farming developments allowed for more reliable yields and mass transportation got it to those urban populations.

      So, even poor people suddenly had greater access to a wide variety of foods. There was an increase in fruits and veggies, but starchy carbs and added sugar were still relatively limited. More important, seed oils, margarines and spreads hadn’t yet replaced animal fats. The increased yield of grains in the 19th century actually went first to feed cattle and pigs. This meant a sudden increase in fatty animal foods. Victorians had a plethor of meats, eggs, and dairy.

      It was this brief window of great health. The benefits of industrialization were showing without the negative consequences of it that would only appear later on. Seed oils, in particular, maybe were the biggest doozy. Some argue that even the high-carb diet we have wouldn’t be nearly so bad if not combined with seed oils. Still, those carbs weren’t helping. Obesity was rising over that century, having already been noted in many books following the revolutionary period.

      This might explain the sudden increase in hunger. “Because meal times were pushed back by the close of the 19th century, other, smaller meals were inserted into the day to fill rumbling bellies. […] The Edwardians never stopped eating. From the time they rose, to even the times they awoke in the middle of the night, food was ready and available.” As the carb intake went up, so did the constant hunger and cravings, eating and snacking. That is what a high-carb diet predictably does when it’s adopted.

      The results were also predictable.”This trend for gargantuan meals obviously had its downsides. […] Fortunately for the ladies, the standards of beauty praised the ample, womanly curves created by nature and enhanced with corsets, which gave them the signature “S” shape most assiduously admired by the men of the period.” The obesity that had begun as a problem a few generations before was becoming ever more normalized in the late 1800s and early 1900s, particularly among the wealthy who had the most access to breads, desserts, cookies, candies, and snack foods.

    • The article makes the third class meals sound horrible. But if you actually look at the menu, it sounds reasonably tasty and nutritious. There is of course plenty of starchy carbs and sugar: bread, potatoes, oatmeal porridge, rice soup, biscuits, sweet corn, marmalade, plum pudding, sweet sauce, fruit, and stewed figs in rice.

      All that carbs isn’t great, but it’s balanced with multple animal food options with every meal: smoked herring, ham, eggs, butter, roast beef, brown gravy, cold meat, cheese, and milk. Even the rice soup was likely made with bone broth or meat broth.

      For third class, the only vegetable listed is pickles. The other menus also have few non-potato veggies on them. Second class is given a choice of green peas and puree turnips, but only for one meal. Third class gets slightly more variety with lettuce, beetroot, and tomatoes.

      That goes to the point others have made that most Americans used to eat few vegetables (Nina Teicholz, The Big Fat Surprise). It was simply impossible to get large yields, prior to industrial agriculture with chemical fertilizers and pesticides. Pests were a major problem. During earlier centuries, maintaining a large vegetable garden was a sign of wealth (Bryan Kozlowski, The Jane Austen Diet).

      Also, most vegetables are hard to store long-term, particularly out of season. People didn’t own refrigerators and even ice boxes wouldn’t have been common. The average person would be lucky to have a root cellar. And there was no mass transportation to bring in vegetables that were out of season in the local area. Basically, you ate the few vegetables you might grow, but then go for much of the year with few, if any, vegetables at all.

      Even plant foods like grains used to be more limited in the common diet. What little grains were available and affordable would have been extended by using grain substitutes, from bark to chalk. Also, of course, potatoes and corn didn’t exist in the Western diet until colonialism.

      That had greatly changed by the time the Titanic was built, as industrial agriculture and mass transportation were taking hold. Grains and potatoes had greatly increased in the diet by then, but not yet other things like fresh veggies and seed oils.

    • The dining options in a smaller town like this are more limited. But there are spring rolls available at a number of Asian restaurants. When the normal non-Covid farmers market is going on, there is one vendor who sells them.

      The Asian community is fairly large for this town. The farmers market has another vendor with Asian vegetables and herbs. There is also at least two Asian grocery stores that I know of with a third one a few minutes away in neighboring Coralville.

    • “They’re often compared to a rich cheese—but that may be because no commonly eaten food in the Western tradition bears any resemblance to a thousand-year egg.”

      Well, I’d argue that is not entirely true. Various Western cultures have had cultured meats, in particular fish. This is part of a more general category of high meats, which are known for being flavorful and stinky. But of course, few Americans eat any of these kinds of foods.

    • The Western world used to have a lot of fermented foods. Ketchup orginated as fermented fish sauce. In America, tomatoes were added and it was no longer fermented.

      The difference in the West is that industrialization happened much earlier. The industrialization of the food system had already begun with canning prior to the American Civil War. Canning largely replaced the need for fermentation as a method of long term storage.

      Industrializaion in the East mostly happened within recent generations and well within living memory. So, there is still some of the pre-industrialized foodways that are still lingering.

    • It’s interesting. I noticed the detail mentioned about the Neolithic Greek teenage girl. It was described that she had a large jaw because of chewing on leather to soften it. That surely contributed. But no amount of chewing could create a jaw like that without a diet of nutrient-dense animal foods. In particular, it would’ve involved plenty of vitamins D3 and K2.

      How is it that experts who spend their entire careers studying human bones maybe still don’t understand the single most important factor for healthy bone development? Where did that leather come from? It was an animal, quite likely a fatty animal, that was killed and eaten. Obviously, she wasn’t eating salads.

        • But if they are so superior of breeds, how have they remained isolated in a single region within Japan? You’d think eventually someone else would have bought or stolen one of these cows or else gotten hold of a genetic sample for genetic engineering. Besidies, that wouldn’t then explain why Japanese food is better quality in general. It seems strange.

    • Very broad cheek bones and well-developed jaw structure. On a subjective level, her face just looks pleasant. Most people have an intuitive sense of this kind of indicator of heatlh, even if they couldn’t consciously say what it was. This is shown in research, such as with facial symmetry being perceived as attractive and being associated with success. Even a lower IQ, less educated person will more likely get hired and promoted simply for being symmetrical. We are evolved to use such proxies for healthy development.

    • I suspect that in some sense that I’m misdiagnosed. I’ve been officially diagnosed with a learning disability and depression. When I was diagnosed with the latter, the psychiatrist also spoke of something like a borderline thought disorder. That might’ve been why I was put on the anti-psychotic Risperdal, although it’s also used for depression. Besides that, I obviously have an autistic-like social disorder that is entirely undiagnosed. I’ve long suspected that they’re all related somehow.

      I struggled a lot as a kid, but there is no known overt and dramatic trauma in my childhood. I have at times had a vague sense that something happened in my childhood. Much of it, though, could be a combination of dietary as I was allergic to bananas and dary, which is why I was put on soy milk with its estrogen-like compounds and that can’t be good for a developing child, especially a boy. Then, because of my generation and place of early childhood, I probably had some lead toxicity from the local factory there.

      There might be no single cause to be diagnosed. But that is true for most modern people in industrialized countries. Between a bad diet, a panopoly of chemicals and socioeconomic stress, it’s unsurprising that there are rising rates of not only physical diseases but also mental/neurocognitive issues: addiction, mood disorders, personality disorders, psychosis, autism, ADD/ADHD, neurodegenerative brain disorders, etc. It seems the Dark Tetrad (narcissism, Machiavellianism, psychopathy, and sadism) is also increasing, along with authoritarianism, social dominance , and the reactionary mind.

      One can sense all of the stress and anxiety also rates to worsening trauma in the general population. Research has shown that continuous low-level stress is more traumatizing than isolated events of major stress. I often think of Keith Payne’s book, The Broken Ladder, that shows how the stress of high inequality causes aggression, mental illness, addiction, and strange, antisocial behavior. The American population is already the WEIRDest on the planet and continuously getting weirder. Interestingly, there are some overlap of traits between the WEIRD and the Dark Tetrad.

  21. I have great physical health by US standards, but trauma is a bitch. I’ve gotten better about it within the last 3 years when my trauma was finally recognized. But chronic trauma starting with abandonment in childhood then chronic emotional neglect and living in a toxic culture that emphasized toxic schemas and beliefs just further distorted my sense of self and view of the world. As someone who remained a scared abandoned toddler internally, A culture that emphasized that ones worth was tied to external achievement and not who one is, that tolerated abusive or shitty behavior if the person had status (which gaslit me), was insult to injury

    • Physical health is relative. I too have great physical health compared to many people I know and compared to the average American. But my health is pretty crappy compared to the populations studied by Weston A. Price. Toxins also can play an odd role. Lead toxity can lower your IQ while mercury sometimes increases IQ. But someone with a hgher IQ because of mercury would not be a more overall healthy and functional person. Plus, stress and trauma profoundly affect physical health and alter epigenetics. That can then lead to unhealthy habits and lifestyle. It’s all of one piece.

    • “The rations, distributed twice a month, originally included lard, flour, coffee and sugar and canned meat, generically known as “spam,” which has been linked to an increased risk of diabetes among Native people.”

      The lard and spam were the healthiest foods give to them. Spam was also given to Okinawans after the war, in replacement of the pigs they lost during the war. It became a favorite food among them. Older Okinawans eating spam maintained their health.

  22. Speaking of collective trauma, what happened in Minneapolis with the death of George Floyd and its aftermath, is a collective trauma for the Twin Cities. It’s one of those events that changes the soul of a place and its people. MSP was never very innocent to begin with, now its even less innocent. And it will never be the somewhat nationally overlooked, cold place with a relatively high quality of life/hidden gem, hidden due to the cold. It’s lost that, forever? Whatever MSP becomes, overlooked will never be one of them again. Even if the climate stops people from moving en masse.

    • That is in the context of the collective trauma blacks are already carrying. We are well within the epigenetic effect of slavery, Jim Crow, race wars, sundown towns, redlining, etc. Research also shows that where slaves were concentrated there still is higher poverty and inequality to this day, not only among blacks but also among whites. Then there is a long-term study like the following:

      https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/dec/07/racism-ages-black-americans-faster

      “I’m part of a research team that has been following more than 800 Black American families for almost 25 years. We found that people who had reported experiencing high levels of racial discrimination when they were young teenagers had significantly higher levels of depression in their 20s than those who hadn’t. This elevated depression, in turn, showed up in their blood samples, which revealed accelerated ageing on a cellular level.

      “Our research is not the first to show Black Americans live sicker lives and die younger than other racial or ethnic groups. The experience of constant and accumulating stress due to racism throughout an individual’s lifetime can wear and tear down the body – literally “getting under the skin” to affect health. […]

      “We utilized a technique that examines how old a person is at a cellular level compared with their chronological age. We found that some young people were older at a cellular level than would have been expected based on their chronological age. Racial discrimination accounted for much of this variation, suggesting that such experiences were accelerating ageing.

      “Our study shows how vital it is to think about how mental and physical health difficulties are interconnected.”

    • What was your childhood like that you perceive it as emotional neglect? I was thinking back on my own childhood. I had emotional issues. Parents and other adults didn’t understand what I was going through. And they didn’t help me in the way I needed. But for some reason, I never thought of it as neglect exactly. It just felt like I didn’t fit in and that there was something wrong with me or wrong with society. I suppose that, in some sense, it could be interpreted as neglect. I’m not sure. I’ve never thought about it through that lens.

    • That is an interesting article. Much of the description could apply to me. This part particularly caught my attention:

      “These are people who often describe their childhood as “good” and seem perplexed by finding themselves on my couch, not being able to pinpoint any severe deficit or trauma that could account for their sadness, their depression, their anxiety, or any of the other complaints that generally bring people to therapy.”

      That was always my issue with depression. There was no overt reason for feeling depressed. I simply felt different and wrong. I just couldn’t do what was expected, what was normal. Yet my childhood was mostly pleasant. There was no overt abuse or trauma.

  23. Was abandoned as a toddler and carried those scars including distorting of personality (was a bubbly kid before). But within a hyper-competitive culture where there was only one “mold” and if you didn’t fit it (and most people don’t) you weee trash. There’s stereotypes of millennials and participation trophies, but what I remember isntead is that a few high-achieving kids were fawned over by adults and treated like the second coming, while everyone else was ignored. Teachers, parents, etc.

    Never being validated for emotions, including when upsetting things happened. And there were plenty of those. It just increases that internal sense of “I don’t matter”. Also, the need to be seen and heard for who we are is a fundamental human need that achievements don’t replace

    • You could be right. There were fewer participation trophies when I was a kid. But there was also less stressed-out competition. I don’t remember high-achieving kids standing out all that much or being treated as special. To be high-achieving if anything simply meant you were a nerd. Even in athletics, the more talented kids weren’t particularly all that more popular than the less talented kids.

      The main divides I saw in high school were class and race. For kids who were well-off and white they were expected to go to college and get a good career, and so they were treated accordingly. For everyone else, expectations were minimal. But that might have had more to do with going to a public school in the Deep South. The private schools probably had a lot more pressure.

  24. There’s discussion on how learning To lose is a life lesson. One thing I feel about the self esteem movement, is that real self esteem isn’t winning, but beijg ok with losing. However, it’s hard to learn to lose gracefully if one is raised to thibk that their worth is dependent upon winning.

    I have early attachment trauma. But adding insult to injury was this trauma symptoms being pathologized as especialyl defective in an environment where there is only one mold to be. As a stupid example, I was afraid of water as a kid, which is common. However this was pathologized because I was only being compared to kids on the swim team. It’s privileged of me to even be able to swim at all, but because I didn’t measure up to competitive swimmers, it was shameful.

    https://www.goodtherapy.org/blog/healing-unremembered-treating-early-attachment-trauma-1204197

    • My parents, as are most people’s parents, were a mix of good and bad. On the positive side, they were mostly supportive and nonjudgmental. They didn’t pressure my brothers and I to succeed or shame us when we failed. They taught me that it was fine to seek help, not that it was an excuse not try one’s best.

      I was always one of the more athletic kids, but my parents didn’t care if my team lost a game. It was a non-issue and I never internalized a strong competitiveness. It helped that my mother professionally worked with kids with severe problems. She never thought of these kids as lesser. So, in my own learning disabiliity, my mother was very understanding and compassionate.

      But my parents were also a bit rigid in their conservatism. They were very rule-oriented and we were expected to follow those rules or be punished. I don’t remember being traumatized, as I said, but it could feel a bit oppressive at times. My oldest brother really rebelled against them and he does feel traumatized. It’s possible that I was traumatized in less dramatic ways but simply don’t remember it.

      As the article explains, we don’t have narrative recall of early life incidents. A couple of things come to mind. My mother internalized the old Germanic view of parenting where a child is not supposed to be coddled. From birth onward, I was kept in a separate bedroom. My mother didn’t believe that parents should automatically respond every time a baby cried and so there would’ve been plenty of times when I cried myself to sleep.

      The other thing was that my parents did practice spanking. They claim to not have done it often. As they see it, they only had to spank us boys a few times before we learned to be obedient and quiet. But that demonstrates what a powerful impact that spanking had. I have to suspect we were so obedient and quiet because we were afraid of the violence. Research shows that spanking stunts neurocognitive development. It’s trauma.

  25. I wonder if the “second place is the first loser” culture I grew up with is also symptomatic of inequality. I know it’s much less prevalent in the upper Midwest, partially why I decided to move there. Too mich trauma, that culture. And it’s not just me. I’ve gotten closer to former childhood peers based on shared trauma. Also, it’s not just the ignored majority of kids that are poorly served, but those chosen few treated as future saviors are also harmed. Also the ignored versus the pedastalized, our adult outcomes aren’t very different. It’s sadly amusing I guess to see former “stars” struggling with feeling ordinary as adults when They grew up being told they were extraordinary all their lives. Their words not mine.

  26. Why are many of the most successful people plagued by feelings of emptiness and alienation? This wise and profound book has provided millions of readers with an answer–and has helped them to apply it to their own lives.

    Far too many of us had to learn as children to hide our own feelings, needs, and memories skillfully in order to meet our parents’ expectations and win their “love.” Alice Miller writes, “When I used the word ‘gifted’ in the title, I had in mind neither children who receive high grades in school nor children talented in a special way. I simply meant all of us who have survived an abusive childhood thanks to an ability to adapt even to unspeakable cruelty by becoming numb…. Without this ‘gift’ offered us by nature, we would not have survived.” But merely surviving is not enough. The Drama of the Gifted Child helps us to reclaim our life by discovering our own crucial needs and our own truth.

    • I rarely eat bone marrow by itself. But I do make a lot of bone broth. I scoop the marrow out and make sure it dissolves. The marrow is the source of many of the nutrients and much of the flavor. Pemmican is such a simple food. It was mainly dried meat. Then they added in whatever else was available. Native Americans also made a mixture of dried meat and fat that could be carried and made into a quick soup.

      When riding long distances, the Mongols relied on dried meat, dried curd, and dried milk paste. They’d drink horse blood fresh or carry it dried. But when they had the opportunity they loved fermented, alcoholic milk. Mongols would eat about anything they could get: wild game, rats, horses, afterbirth of foals, lice, and even humans when nothing else was available. They were flexible, but on the Steppes that mostly meant animal foods.

        • I remember in high school my mother buying skim milk. I got used to it after a while. But all it meant was that I ate more ‘fat’ elsewhere. And that likely meant eating more junk food with sugar and seed oils. If I had simply used whole milk, I would’ve been more satiated. I think back to how I was a sugar addict when younger. That seems like a potential sign of malnourishment. My body was hungering but not fully getting what it needed.

    • We need to take safety a lot more seriously. I suspect I have brain damage from taking hundreds of soccer balls to the head, from elementary school to high school. We used to have drills of heading soccer balls over and over again. Heading should simply be eliminated from soccer. Research has proven that it causes permanent brain damage.

      I was sad to see it mentioned that, “a sports dietitian recommended eating more carbohydrates.” That was in response to injuries. Carbs aren’t going to heal anyone. Only nutrient-dense animal foods will do that. How could a sports dietitian not know that? Carbs? What the fuck! There is zero scientific evidence about carbs being healing.

    • The farm states used to be known for kids who were big-boned and muscular. They ate lots of meat, eggs, and dairy. That was combined with hard physical labor. This population produced some awesome athletes. But now few kids in farm states actually grow up on farms with plentiful access to nutrient-dense animal foods.

      The majority of Iowans now live in urban areas, despite the fact that almost the entire state is continuous farmland. The thing is all that farmland mostly goes to growing corn and soy. As for the pigs and cows, most of it is shipped out of state. Growing up in a city in Iowa these days is fundamentally no different in terms of diet from growing up in New York City or Los Angeles.

    • About the article itself, it’s odd that sports like gymnastics, tennis, and swimming are getting cut during the pandemic. Those are the very sports that don’t require any contact between competing athletes. They are the safest possible sports in terms of infection risk. If anything, these sports should be promoted right now. It’s completely irrational. I’ve noticed that most of the public policy has made little sense and often extremely inconsistent.

    • I’ve followed some discussions about creatine. I think that study might’ve been mentioned, It’s not clear that such benefits would be seen in those not deficient in animal foods. But it goes to show how important animal foods are. The nutrient-density in them isn’t only fat-soluble vitamins but at least dozens of essential, near essential, and non-essential nutrients. I’ve tried creatine supplementation myself. It didn’t have a noticeable impact with my animal-based diet.

    • It’s nice to see good info is finally getting spread. Our situation with animal foods is where vegetarianism and veganism was in the 1990s when it was first more fully getting normalized. In the early 1990s, there were vegetarians in my high school and it was pretty much a non-issue by then but not yet common as it has become. I predict that we will be returning to an high-fat animal-based diet in the coming decade or so. Basically, it will be a return to the kind of diet the oldest still living Americans grew up eating.

    • I’d be curious with a study of 4 dietary groups. The main diet of interest under study would be the one above. Basically, it would following the traditional foods as described in the work of Weston A. Price and Sally Fallon Morrell. So, it would allow for more carbs but only those prepared by traditional methods (e.g., real sourdough bread). And it would include plenty of quality animal foods.

      Another group would be low-carb paleo, possibly keto-carnivore (i.e., all animal foods combined with time-restricted eating) if we really want to test for a contrast. The other two dietary groups would be the Standard Amercan Diet and veganism. Also, to emphasize contrast, we might make sure the vegan diet is low-fat and high-carb, so as to be the complete opposite of keto-carnivore. But to maintain balance, the vegan diet would be based on whole foods and so more similar to the traditional foods but without the animal foods and fat.

      So, there would be three main comparisons. Two of the diets would have quality animal foods but one with tradtional carbs and the other with zero or few carbs. Another two diets would have whole foods but one with quality animal foods and the other without. Plus, there would be the complete contrast of two of those. The SAD diet would be the conrol group with allowing any food but mostly processed and prepackaged.

      Besides the SAD diet, the other three are variations of proclaimed healthy diets and, to be fair, done in their healthiest form. Those three diets all are based on whole foods but they vary in what they included or excluded. The traditional foods would be the least restrictive in what was eaten if involving more work in preparation. Traditional methods can be time-consuming. It might be difficult finding people willing and able to follow traditional foods, if some basics like sourdough bread weren’t provided by the researchers.

      Specifically, I’m wondering about something like traditional slow-rise sourdough bread. Could someone eat that ona daily basis, maybe with every meal, and remain healthy as long as they were including nutrient-dense and fatty animal foods? It would have to be a long-term study measuring for metabolic health. How many sourdough bread eaters would get metabolic dysfunction as compared those who ate no carbs at all and compared to those who ate commercial breads?

    • I’d want to see more data and analysis on that. India has some of the worst health and lowest lifespan of any country in the world. So, I’m not sure what they mean by a ‘traditional’ Indian diet, unless at this point most Indians are no longer following a traditional diet. In speaking of protection against Alzheimer’s, are they referring to a healthy sub-set of the Indian population? Otherwise, I’m not quite sure what population is under study.

      My guess is that the genuinely traditional Indian diet among older generations would’ve consisted of large proportions of dairy and maybe eggs. And also, because of poverty, it probably would have been small portion size with intermittent fasting, time restricted eating, etc. It would have been lower carb than the industrialized standard American diet. Until recently, large amounts of starchy and sugary snack foods would not have been part of the Indian diet.

      As far as that goes, almost every diet is healthier than SAD. That is a meaningless comparison. What we need to compare is the Indian vegetarian diet to the traditional diets of the kinds of populations Weston Price studied. By the way, the traditional Indian diet wasn’t pure vegetarianism and did allow meat consumption for the sick, elderly, pregnant, and children. They understood that meant played an important role to health.

      Rigid vegetarianism was never the traditional diet in India and much of the population going back centuries and millennia has eaten meat. It was only a specific caste, I think the Brahmans, that was defined by vegetarianism. And even the Brahmans adopted vegetarianism relatively late in their history as a way of distinguishing their identity during a particular period.

      Reading more carefully, I see that the author clarified what the study was about: “Dietary supply of meat or animal products (minus milk) five years before Alzheimer’s disease prevalence had the highest correlations with Alzheimer’s disease prevalence in this study. Dietary supply of meat or animal products (minus milk) five years before Alzheimer’s disease prevalence had the highest correlations with Alzheimer’s disease prevalence in this study. The study looked at the risks each country faced for developing Alzheimer’s disease based on dietary habits. The US was particularly vulnerable, with each resident having about a 4 percent chance of developing Alzheimer’s.”

      So, basically, they were comparing vegetariaism (maybe occasional meat) with SAD. Well, no shit, Sherlock! SAD sucks. Such research is plain idiotic and embarrassing. If they were honest and genuinely curious, they’d compare strict vegetarianism with animal-based traditional foods, paleo, keto, and/or carnivore. We already fucking know SAD is a bad diet. Just because meat-free diets might be relatively less bad than SAD does not prove that they are optimally healthy diets.

    • It’s unsurprising that they put plant foods before animal foods, despite the fact that most hunter-gatherers ate more animal foods than plant foods, when animal foods were available. I was disappointed to see it stated that, “avoid skin and organs where more contaminants are stored.”

      That isn’t typically true. The liver, for example, filters out toxins and other things. But once filtered out, they don’t remain in the liver. To fear-monger about organ meats is counter-productive since that was key to traditional health. Organ meats were the most highly prized and the first thing to be eaten.

      As a side note, the info on breastmilk is fairly good, but not perfect. Traditionally, it was not unusual for breastfeeding to continue for the early years of life into toddlerhood. Also, sick children and adults, in some traditional societies, would be given breastmilk to help recovery. Whatever women was lactating at the moment would pop her nipple into the sick person’s mouth. These were close communities in many ways.

  27. One thing I still struggle with is recognizing that the fact that thrive under warm and support makes me human, not a weakling, snowflake, etc. not only was I emotionally neglected and even abused sometimes, I grew up in a baby boomer “you’re a snowflake for having feelings” culture even as a female.

    One flashback I’ve been having is I was at an art class and my mom was still there and yelled at me in public that I was using the wrong paintbrush. I started crying and then she just left, them shamed me later on for crying. Meanwhile the teacher just told me to stop already and the other kids made fun of me and told me I was too sensitive. But no one bothered trying to comfort me.

    I learned that emotions are shameful and repressed them which jjst made me vulnerable to emotional abuse because I ignored my gut telling me to beat it or fight back.

    https://mobile.twitter.com/traumainformedp/status/1337788892423057410

    https://mobile.twitter.com/traumainformedp/status/1337788892423057410

    • I was literally 18 and in a new city before I discovered people who showed empathy or sympathy when I was crying or even a bit down. Even then I didn’t really begin to learn to trust people again/not see them so cynically until my mid-20s when I sought counseling. So I do consider myself resident c-PTSD bitch brought one by childhood.

    • That’s interesting. I’m sure I was modeled emotional repression and mimicked that behavior. But I don’t remember any major event of getting ridiculed or shamed for expressing emotion. During the post-1960s period of GenX childhood, there was a push for emotional sensitivity. I got a good dose of that growing up in New Agey churches.

      My parents, if emotionally repressed in many ways, would never have judged me for showing feelings. They were always supportive in that way. I don’t remember most teachers being cruel either. In elementary school, I didn’t prepare for a report and the teacher made me come to the front of the class anyway. I cried and I don’t recall even the other kids making fun of me.

      But that was at a time when many parents and teachers were of the Silent Generation. I do sense that Silents have been more emotionally sensitive and more emotionally mature than Boomers. That maybe gave GenXers a unique childhood. For all our supposed apathy and cynicism, GenXers have a certain level of psychological health and resiliency. We maybe learned a better balance between emotional sensitivity and emotional toughness.

      We lacked adult supervision and often had to solve our own problems. We learned from a young age that we could deal with most situations and be fine. Outwardly, the world was bad back then with high rates of lead toxicity, kidnappings, bullying, violent crime, homicide, suicide, etc. Yet it didn’t seem to leave as much permanent trauma as one might expect. Most GenXers, as far as I can tell, remember with fondness their freedom-loving childhoods.

    • That is a good point. Much of the skepticism is irrational in one sense. But it was honestly earned in another sense. There is genuine reason to mistrust the US government. I must admit to not wanting to be among the early waves to get the vaccine. I’d rather see how it affects others first. I have no desire to be a guinea pig.

    • That could be true of most people, to varying degrees. Besides severe incidents of trauma, long-term and low-level stress can be as or more traumatizing. Then if it goes untreated, it might become PTSD.

      At this point, that probably describes a large part (majority?) of the population. Most people are mentally ill but moderately functional in outward ways. They are able to appear more or less ‘normal’, hold down a job and pay the bills most of the time, but they are wracked by mental illness and social dysfunction, not to mention economic troubles.

      Look at all the anxiety, anger, outrage, aggression, and conflct in our society. The whole society is a constant state of seething distress and upset. The reactionary and authoritarian impulses are ramping up, a sign of collective fear and a sense of being out of control. So, people project their issues, scapegoat others, and are ever ready to defend/attack.

      We have a culture of trauma. In some ways, I wonder if WEIRD (western, educated, industrial, rich, democratic) is simply a proxy for collective, transgenerational trauma. Our hyper-individualism, social Darwinism, and cynicism seems like a defense mechanism against what we perceive as a dangerous and scary world. We’ve become rigidified into a small and narrow sense of self, a thick scar from psychic wounding.

    • I never learned the achievement mindset. That is my problem. I simply feel little external motivation. It puts me at odds with this society. I’d be a happier person if I lived in a society where the achievement mindset didn’t dominate every aspect of life.

    • I get the point he is making. But I do think culture complicates things. There are other cultures where people act in ways we’d consider immoral and damaging. Yet people in many of these other cultures are healthier and happier with few, if any, signs of mental illness and trauma.

      Our WEIRD notions of normal might be highly and, at times, disturbingly abnormal. And growing up in a WEIRD culture, most of us lack the perspective to see ourselves with clarity. This is exacerbated by the WEIRD bias of almost all research. That can’t be dismissed lightly.

  28. Immigrants are often more conservative than their native countries because their native countries became less conservative after they left. So immigrants are often a time capsuled more conservative version

    • It’s also a matter of who immigrates and who doesn’t. Most immigrants in the US today come from demographics of higher education and economic class. Their conservatism might simply be that they are often wealthier people who left poor societies where class consciousness was exacerbated. This would emphasize the rigidity of their class identity and so increase a certain kind of conservative-mindedness.

      It’s possible that their countries became less conservative after they left for the very reason that they were among the strongest conservatives in their society. As wealthier individuals, they were part of the ruling elite that enforced the conservatism onto those societies. Once they were gone, this allowed the political system and social order to change. That is just a speculation, but obviously it’s complicated.

  29. As a young kid I was comforted when I cried (usually when little kid things like running and falling over, etc). Once 11 or so though, it became less acceptable. That’s also when emotional abuse became more prominent, not intentional, just adults not knowing better. That was time to be competitive and achieve, so when berated and pushed and one cried in response, one was shamed for it

    View this collection on Medium.com

    • I don’t remember being shamed for crying, not that I cried publicly much. There is the general gender role of boys not crying and that would’ve affected me. But there is no clear sense of trauma from emotional abuse or neglect. I wonder if your different experience is because of your generation or your coming from an immigrant family.

    • That has been my view for a long while. There is studies that show cultural patterns in specific populations can persist over centuries, even when the original cause was circumstantial or externally enforced.

      This is seen with slavery. In Africa, the places that had the most slave trading were originally the most advanced societies, often at a level similar to much of Europe. They had centralized governments, infrastructure, monetary systems, and schools.

      That indicates they were at one time strong cultures of trust. An advanced society can’t be built without a culture of trust. But now, those same places are impoverished and rate as low in trust. The introduction of capitalist-driven mass enslavement did such damage that it apparently caused transgenerational trauma.

      Even something as simple as a temporary famine is proven to lead to at least several generations of health consequences. Every genocide, war, economic crisis, coup, etc would leave a mark on the public mind, even in epigenetics. Long-term oppression, corruption, and inequality would have an even greater impact.

    • That reminds me of the study that showed the Japanese have higher rates of narcissism than Americans. This seems couner-intuitive until one understands narcissism. Americans are taught to express openly their opinions, complaints, and feelings. But Americans are also taught that it’s expected to listen to others express themselves.

      We Americans talk very openly about our problems, rather than remaining silent about them as is more common in Japanese culture. What the study found was that Japanese were more likely to become personally obsessed over their own personal issues because they had not social outlet to share them with others.

      So, even though Americans may seem emotionally repressed in certain ways, we are in other ways extremely lacking in emotional repression. Repression in general maybe doesn’t apply as well to Americans, even if the expression of our emotions isn’t always pro-social and can even be violent. We Americans demand to be heard and there is maybe a psychological benefit to this attitude.

    • I suspsect most psych meds for most people either doesn’t help or makes problems worse. That is definitely true for antidepressants, but in general psych meds seem to be hiding the real causes, rather than dealing with them. Doctors misdiagnose because the entire medical model misunderstands health, physical and mental.

    • It’s humorous that the video mentions that in this region there are few jobs. The kids are sent to school in hope of getting jobs. But the fact of the matter ‘unemployment’ used to be the normal state of humanity in this and every other place in the world. Amazingly, humans survived for hundreds of thousands of years without jobs. LOL

  30. It is more insidious than just white privilege, if white blm protestors did this they would be met with aggression. It was the white nationalist ideal that these terrorists represent that gave them a free pass.

    level 4
    SmokePenisEveryday
    38 points
    ·
    7 hours ago
    You’re very right and I don’t see enough talk about this. I’m seeing everyone mention the White Privilege but not going this extra step to see this as well.

    This is why I’m pretty pessimistic about change actually happening despite being a big proponent of BLM. It’s so ingrained in this country it would take some real tough and hard work to get it out of this country.

    This country was built on bloodshed and got it’s life because of Slavery, it’s hard to get the country away from what when it’s root are so deeping dug in it.

    • There is that. Fox News, of course, was equating BLM protests with radical right-wingers who attempted abductions of politicians, an attack on the national seat of power, and a possible coup. Sure, some BLM protests led to violence, but they aren’t comparable in the slightest.

      Most BLM protesters weren’t seeking anarchy or violent overthrow but were fighting for law-and-order applying equally to all, including police. The BLM protest movement wasn’t against a specific political party but was for good governance, no matter which party is in power.

      There is an even more important different. These right-wingers are a miniscule minority, even on the political right. Whereas the BLM movement represents majority public opinion. Most Americans want police reform, along with political and economic reform.

      But most Americans don’t want the government and politicians to be violently targeted. It’s not that most Americans accept police getting killed either. It’s just the average American understands police have been violent actors as well. Violence meeting violence is interpreted differently than violence as a ploy for power.

      Then again, I worry about how the DNC elite and corporate media will spin these events to further entrench their own corrupt power. The fact of the matter is the Trump supporters are absolutely right that there is corrupt power, even if their bias disallows them to see it being bipartisan and transpartisan.

      We live in a banana republic, police state, and military empire. That is what we are not allowed to publicly debate. And it is precisely what all the pubic outrage is about, across the political spectrum, left and right. If we dismiss the genuine reasons behind the outrage, that outrage will grow worse and more violent.

    • I agree with the basic thrust in condemning white rage. It’s hard to know what to do about it, though. The fact is that overt white outrage is rare compared to the everyday biases that rule the social order. As a working class white guy,. I don’t exactly have much power in this society. I try my best to stand up to injustice when I can and I regularly speak out against prejudice. I would intervene in whatever way I felt capable, not that courses of action are always clear.

      Still, my main privilege in life has less to do with being either white or male and, instead, in being a unionized city employee, even as I make little money. I can stand my ground while at work in a dispute and know that others will have my back. But if I didn’t have this job, I’d be powerless which is easy to see with all the homeless white guys I pass by on a daily basis. And when I’m not at work in my official position, I’m just another nobody. Unions are one of the only weapons the working class has in class war.

      There are much deeper divides than even racism and racial privilege. It feels like our entire society is drowning in rage, far from limited to white rage. Most people probably don’t even know what is causing all of the anxiety and stress, frustation and conflict. That makes it all the more disturbing. Yeah, racism is real, despite races being a fiction. But there is a lot more going on than only that. Making white rage the central narrative feels like missing the point, even though to a large degree it expresses a vital truth.

      As I see it, racial identity politics is one of the many symbolic issues that has come to stand in for vast inequality, the underlying issue as explained by Keith Payne in The Broken Ladder. Our society is fractured. Racism, even under slavery in centuries past, was always about class war. That was the original purpose of creating racialized identities, as to stop joint populist uprisings of poor blacks and poor whites. Rich whites have always been a small minority and so they had to figure out a way to rule over the majority. Racism works, not only in dividing whites against blacks but also blacks against whites — it’s a mutual antagonism built on a fiction.

      Hundreds of books about American history have covered this material far better than I could in a comment. My sense, in having learned this history, is that all Americans are going to have to dig deeper into our shared past to be able sense the possibility of a shared future. Otherwise, it will be shared catastrophe that will finally unite us in misery and despair.

    • I left some comments there. It can be hard to do what one feels is right when it means conflict with family. But that is one of the WEIRD values of our culture.

      It’s interesting to see this example. The same kind of thing is seen in research about WEIRD and non-WEIRD populations. And I’m willing to bet this young woman would meaure very high on WEIRD traits.

      In one study, people were asked if they’d lie under oath to protect a family member for prosecution. In non-WEIRD countries, most people agreed that they would lie. But in WEIRD countries, mot said they would not.

      • Yeah. My dad thinks it’s horrid for family members to be turning each other in or even calling each other out publicly. To me it’s normal. But also, it gives my dad flashbacks to China and the cultural revolution where families were politically turning on each other and yes, turning each other in, en masse. And in more extreme ways.

        There’s the story of the scientist who was tortured by the red guard, she could handle it until it became her own daughter among the red guards tormenting her. Then she committed suicide

        • Of course, it always depends on situation. If a Nazi asked me if Jews were being hidden and where, I’d gladly lie… but even in that case, it would still be on the principle. It wouldn’t matter if the Jews were friends and family or complete strangers. I’d lie to the Nazis based on an egalitarian sense of justice and compassion. I’m not more likely to lie or not depending on my relationsip… or at least that is the moral standard I seek to live up to, whether or not I always succeed in doing so.

    • Others have pointed out that not long before this incident there was a BLM protest at the Lincoln monument. The police presence was massive at that completely peaceful protest. Yet this violent riot was openly planned weeks in advance. When the FBI and National Guard offered assistance, they were turned away. Trump’s government knew it would be violent, but did nothing to stop it, of course. Peaceful protesters demanding equal justice, though, are the real threat to the nation.

    • Recent years have given us an interesting convergence.

      The American population continues to shift far left as they’ve been excluded from power, only to see a minority demographic of right-wing extremists takeover with a demagogue who used progressive rhetoric to win the 2016 election. This has been folllowed by BLM protests, COVID pandemic, economic crisis, and seditious uprising on the right.

      This will likely lead to an era of even greater crisis with terrorism and assassinations, maybe along with worsening environmental catastrophes and refuge crises from climate change. It won’t take much more to push this country over the edge, either into transformative reform or something darker.

    • paz in terris:

      I empathize with the people who support Trump, and I am as anti-Trump as it gets. I also empathize with all the underclass Southerners who were duped into believing that the Civil War was a fight for their own rights, and went off to suffer and die in the effort to preserve the institution of slavery for the sake of the handful of wealthy plantation owners.

      I empathize with anyone who is suffering or struggling. I could not be more opposed to the attack on the Capitol, nor to the ideas that motivate these wretches. I would like to see their legitimate grievances addressed. I would like them to feel satisfied in their lives.

      I would like them to be freed from the dastardly, cynical businessmen, preachers and politicians who manipulate and use them. I would like to see them enjoy the true liberty of thinking for themselves and pursuing their own interests free of hate and fear.

      I would like to see everyone involved in storming the Capitol locked up for a good long time, and everyone who lied to them and whipped them into a frenzy brought down and kept down permanently. The liars and manipulators are the most guilty.

      Mishell Klatt:

      While I don’t agree with the rioters, I can understand what led them to that decision. When you have a country mostly made up of people who struggle to get by and feel unheard and politicians who are more interested in helping those who can help fund them and ignore everyone else, the end product is years of frustration and anger. Trump knew how to play to that portion of the people, he is not dumb by any stretch of the imagination, he is smart and cunning and will stop at nothing to use the angriest of people to get his way.

    • White supremacy is important. But it’s part and parcel of a general authoritarianism. That is what we seem to be unable to grapple with. We look at authoritarianis in one areas and ignore it in others. Most whites are lower class and also experience oppression. In the big picture, that they experience slightly less oppression than blacks doesn’t end up being an entirely meaningful and useful analysis.

    • That is definitely true to an extent. But I’m not sure if that is the cental factor. Right-wing identity politics and grievance politics has been going on a long time. This has involved decades of right-wing terrorism and occasional assassinations, even during past Republican administrations.

      Our present polarization most strongly began with the rise of right-wing media in the 1990s, largely caused by Bill Clinton’s 1996 Telecommunications Act that removed conflict-of-interest restrictions on all major-media ownership. That coincided with the Repubican Party going extreme right-wing in that same decade.

      It’s gone downhill ever since. And that set the stage for our present reactionary populism. Obama’s election may have triggered it in many ways, although there is evidence that some people who voted for Obama’s hope and change also voted for Trump’s MAGA. Both messages speak to populist demands for reform.

  31. So weston price pushed liver, well today my mom told me that liver is high in cholesterol so she doesn’t eat it much as a non-pregnant, non-low cholesterol woman, but that it is crucial for pregnant women. LOL. My dad has too low cholesterol levels and possibly iron levels that doctor think is caused by him not eating any red meat or eggs and too little protein (he’s been trying to lose weight) so she told me to make liver for him.

    • Actually, Price didn’t talk a lot about organ meats. As for your mom’s concerns, there is no direct and simple causal relationship between dietary cholesterol and blood cholesterol. That is a common misunderstanding based on old advice. But for your dad, red meat definitely would increase iron and, of course, protein. And eggs would increase choline, another important nutrient that many people are low in.

    • I’ve come across ths documentary, but haven’t yet watched it. I can say it fits my own familes’ experience. My parents’ go through periods of watching lots of Fox News and periods of watching it less. With COVID, my mom went back to watching Fox News all the time and it really messed with her head. My dad has intentionally avoided it, not that this necessarily makes much difference as there is so much media available these days with a right-wing spin. He reads WSJ (not as bad as some, but pretty far right), Imprimis (basically a propaganda rag), Jordan Peterson (straight-up right-wing rhetoric), etc; and he also reads some right-wing financial newsletters.

      It makes it difficult. My parents have gone so far right, compared to how they were when I was younger. My brothers and I became liberals because my parents basically were moderate liberals when they raised us, but they don’t remember how liberal they used to be. My dad does, however, remembers how liberal my mom was. He says she used to support abortion, though now she calls it baby-killing and denies she ever was in favor of a womam’s right to choose. I wish I had recordings of their old says speaking their opinions so that I could play it for them. I try my best to pull my parents back from the edge. Since they left the Deep South, I have managed to shift my dad left slightly.

    • Thanks for sharing that! It heartens me to see such high quality journalism informing the American public about American history. Typically, the corporate media has promoted historical amnesia and most of it still does, but occassionally an article like that sneaks into the corporate media because of the extreme situation we find ourselves in. Even many of the Republican elite decided this riot went too far and they’re doing everything to distance themselves from it. Anyway, the author is absolutely right. I’ve been writing about this for years. I even have a post around here about how the KKK consisted mostly of white collar workers and community leaders: sheriffs, store owners, mayors, ministers, etc. But the author goes a step beyond that important observation.

      “The elite leaders of white-supremacist organizations, however, were content to cultivate the perception that the outrages condemned by northern newspapers were the work of lower-class white men, which only increased the urgency of their political project: restoring the rule of the white elite, so that the alleged passions of the white lower classes could be restrained, and the supposed corruption of Black men and their white allies could be punished. In truth, however, it was when Black and white laborers formed alliances—such as the Readjusters in Virginia—that the white supremacists were most effectively resisted.”

      It’s always seemed strange that, knowing that these radicals were from the respectable classes, how could they so consistently get portrayed as low class. Even the supposed liberal media has mostly fallen into this narrative of blaming poor whites. They did this with Trump voters in obsessing over rural whites in Kentucky and such, but the fact is that most Trump supporters were middle class. The same thing is true of the counter-protests in reporting on the gun nuts in military gear. The corporate media never describes who these people are. Poor whites can’t afford expensive guns and military gear nor can they afford to travel around the country attending protests. Poor people are rarely engaged in political activism or even voting.

      What really bothers me is that, within ‘mainstream’ thought of the ruling elite, articles like this are deemed on the political ‘left’. What does that even mean? What then is the ‘center’? If historically informed journalism is no longer considered part of the center of the corporate media, then we have a serious problem. It’s through the propaganda model of media, as enforced by a plutocratic-owned-and-operated corporate media, that we get to the point of not only the media repeating denialism but getting Americans to parrot this denialism, despite most Americans demonstrating themselves to be progressive, liberal, or even left-wing in their views when polled:

      “To say that the attack on the U.S. Capitol is not who we are is to say that this is not part of us, not part of our politics, not part of our history. And to say that this is not part of America, American politics, and American history is a bald-faced denial. But the denial is normal. In the aftermath of catastrophes, when have Americans commonly admitted who we are? The heartbeat of America is denial.

      “It is historic, this denial. Every American generation denies. America is establishing the freest democracy in the world, said the white people who secured their freedom during the 1770s and ’80s. America is the greatest democracy on Earth, said the property owners voting in the early 19th century. America is the beacon of democracy in world history, said the men who voted before the 1920s. America is the leading democracy in the world, said the non-incarcerated people who have voted throughout U.S. history in almost every state. America is the utmost democracy on the face of the Earth, said the primarily older and better-off and able-bodied people who are the likeliest to vote in the 21st century. America is the best democracy around, said the American people when it was harder for Black and Native and Latino people to vote in the 2020 election.

      “At every point in the history of American tyranny, the honest recorders heard the sounds of denial. Today is no different.

      “Americans remember and accept the enfranchising of citizens and peaceful transfers of power as their history, while forgetting and denying the coup plots, the attempted coups, and the successful coups. White terror is as American as the Stars and Stripes. But when this is denied, it is no wonder that the events at the Capitol are read as shocking and un-American.”

    • The challenge is that propaganda does work. The corporate media’s denialism, spin, deception, and perception management is highly effective. It has successfully manipulated the American mind in many ways. For example, in the piece I just linked, a majority, if only a bare majority, thinks the United States promotes economic equality. They believe this because this is what the corporate media tells them to believe.

      Yet, when asked about what level of inequality they find tolerable, most Americans place that level extremely low. The actual level of inequality, on the other hand, is extremely high. Americans don’t realize their perception of inequality is so divergent from the reality of inequality because the corporate media, along with the corporatocratic politicians in both parties, are constantly lying to them about it.

      The main guilt of the American people is in being too passive toward this propagands, too naive and gullible. But this is changing quickly. The older generations are particularly inept in defending against rhetorical persuasion and propaganda campaigns (the reason Fox News is so powerful). Whereas research shows that the younger generations are much more saavy in discerning between truth and falsity. So, there is hope.

    • By the way, this fits in with the article you linked. It’s not merely the stupid, uneducated, and uninformed who are manipulated by media bias. The main target of propaganda and rhetorical framing is not the powerless poor but the respectable classes who are the public intellectuals and social influencers. That is the purpose of a publication like Imprimis, a neocon propaganda rag that is precisely directed toward the upper classes, including the media elite.

      So, many of those working in corporate media have been indoctrinated as well and are trapped in the same ‘mainstream’ media bubble as everyone else. It doesn’t require a conspiracy theory exactly, as those who ‘conspire’ can do so unconsciously. That is what happens once the elite can be made to identity with an ideological worldview. As such, many of the media elite in playing their role as propagandists are simultaneously sincere.

    • Here is a really powerful point. Even though Americans are constantly lied to by heavily funded propaganda, even though they’ve come to believe those lies and don’t realize the true extent of vast inequality, most Americans nonetheless support higher taxes on the rich through progressive taxation and then to use those greater public funds to guarantee more social programs and social welfare, including radical ‘left-wing’ policies like universal healthcare. Now imagine how far ‘left’ Americans might go if they actually realized how extreme inequality has become, so far beyond what they’ve already collectively stated is intolerable.

      This is why the ruling elite are pushing propaganda so hard right now. As Noam Chomsky argues, it’s precisely in a banana republic claming to be a democracy that propaganda is essential for social control. It used to be understood in the past, sometimes taught in public schools, that the defining feature of banana republics was high inequality and that this knowledge was used as to demonstrate why the United States was a free country with its low inequality and progressive taxation. Yet inequality now is higher than it ever was in any of the banana republics of the past.

    • This!

      “One other problem of the pandemic, besides the economic one, is the social isolation. I know I personally haven’t had a normal social life since last March. For the portion of the population taking COVID seriously, they’re in the same boat limiting social interactions to small circles with precautions and important business only. Many schools remain closed. Normally, most of us interact and work directly with peers that are diametrically opposed to our world virew, and we learn to live with that. With all the working from home I’m sure it’s easy for some to forget they have acquaintes that have other moral values & politics views. The danger of this sustained lack of contact is that it allows people to become isolated and radicalized to a point where the forget other people are human.”

  32. I can’t stand some more right-wing commentary blaming alt-right schnanigans on POC existing. Like of course racism and white supremacy drives a lot of it, but that’s different than some far-right/right-wing commentary essentially blaming POC for existing and hence making the right-wing uncomfortable. Like some of these guys are like a hair’s length away from saying that the solution to preventing right-wing radicalization is for POC to not exist so much. Fuck that!

    Ok, if some commentators believe that the existence of POC and diverse places is to blame for the alt-right, what is the solution? They won’t say that out loud

    • That is similar to what bothered me about HBDers. They wouldn’t state or admit to the obvious implications of their argumetns. It felt dishonest and deceptve, even with otherwise seemingly sincere people actiing naive. That is why I gave up on talking to HBDers.

      I came to the conclusion they were acting in bad faith or else were genuinely lacking in self-awareness. In either case, it was pointless dealing with them. All that acknowledging theiir arguments accomplished was giving them the appearance of legitimacy by treating them as worthy of being publicly debated.

    • Yeah, globalization is definitely a major factor. Many Americans have been fucked over. But globalization can’t be seen or felt. Instead, we experience the results. People need a sense of meaning. So, narratives, identity politics, and partisanship fill in for the more complex issues that are hard to perceive, understand, and communicate.

    • “Too much of these can be damaging, since they contain saturated fatty acids, which correlate to heart disease. Studies have also tied eating lots of processed red meat to a greater risk of stroke. But too little may be unwise as well, because they provide cholesterol that may be needed for blood-vessel walls. In a study of 48,000 Britons, vegetarians were unusually resistant to heart disease, but prone to strokes.”

      The countries that eat the most meat in the world, mostly in East Asia, have the longest longevity. And research in East Asia, as opposed in the West, consistently correlates meat intake with greater effect. Even some Western research shows this. Some of the research that correlated meat to health problems never demonstrated causation and it was probably just indicating the healthy user effect. Tell people meat is unhealthy, then people doing healthy things in general (not smoking, exercising, regular doctors visits, etc) won’t eat much meat and people doing unhealthy things will.

    • As you might expect, I automatically wondered about their diet. The video partly answered that. They eat a lot of meat and fruit. That’s interesting, as those like Dr. Paul Saladino argue those are the two foods humans are most well-adapted to eat according to our evolution.

      But I’m also reminded of the discussion by Sally Fallon Morrell. She points to a diet high in protein can cause people to grow tall and lanky, particularly if it’s lean meat. So, it might be helpful to know how much fat they’re getting in their diet in ratio to their protein intake.

    • Yet, anytime you see articles and videos like that, there almost never is any discussion of societal and cross-generational diet, nutrition, and health. It’s been more than a century since those like Price first made their observations about this.

      And Price wasn’t the first. I came across one person who made smilar observations back in the mid-19th century in comparing skulls from people before and after Roman invasion of the British Isles. Like Price, he noted how well the skuls were formed. Then the Romans brought large-scale agriculture.

      Industrialization made this worse, of course, but agriculture has been a doozy on human health for millennia now. When agriculture first began, human health was severely impacted with disease and stunting. People became shorter and their skulls shrunk in size, including the size of their brains.

      We are only now catching up with the height of Paleolithc humans and we still haven’t yet regained ther skull and brain size. So, our health might worse than that of generations past, but even people a century or two ago were worse off than humans from millennia earlier.

    • It’s not what the left does but what the left says it does and how it says it. The fact of the matter is the Democratic Party, as the pseudo-left, has been fairly tough on immigration. Obama deported more immigrants than Bush and Trump. But Obama didn’t advertize his policies as anti-immigration or tough-on-immigration.

      It’s similar to how the Democrats for decades have been tough-on-crime, even though rarely use tough-on-crime rhetoric. It should be noted, though, that Bill Clinton did push a tough-on-crime image when he won his elections. Rhetoric, in political campaigns, speaks louder than actions.

      So, Demcrats can be as weak on immigration, as friendly to immigrants as they want in practice, as long as they talk tough. Voters rarely hold politicans to account for betraying promises. Trump hardly did anythiing he promised and yet he has maintained a strong following that would die and kill for him.

  33. The Hmong refugees and second gens don’t yet have the poor facial growth of the multigen white Minnesotans, but that may change. I don’t think it’s ethnic either since the second-gen Chinese Americans I know have that poor facial growth that their parents do not have.

    • It depends on how quickly an immigrant population assimilates to the standard American diet. Some of that has to do with the background of the immigrants. It appears that many Hmong immigrans were refugees. That means they were largely poor working class farmers, as opposed to well-educated middle class professionals. And that would make them closer to their traditional culture and with a stronger desre to hold onto those traditions. This would be strengthened by their mostly settling together in ethniic enclaves.

    • Many have suspected a link to heavy metals. The question is why would autism rates be increasing if lead toxicity rates are not increasing.

      One thing to keep in mind that, though lead pollution has declined, the environment remains filled with lead in the soil, paint, and pipes. Lead exposure still is extremely common and even low doses can be damaging.

      The change that has been happening might be how high levels of manganese interrelate with lead toxicity and worsen the effects of it. Then an additional question is why might manganese levels be increasing.

    • That really gets one thinking. Lead pollution declined greatly since my childhood. GenXers (and young Boomers) sucked in massive loads of lead from car exhaust, until environmental regulations were put into place. There is much other lingering lead. But there has been a slow removal of all that lead paint and all of those lead pipes, emphasis on slow because of the costs.

      The point remains that lead toxicity shouldn’t be on the rise and some evidence shows that it’s generally been on the decline. But were doctors bothering to test babies for lead toxicity? Most of the time such testing only happens later on when a kid shows developmental issues. That might be the advantage of studying baby teeth, so as to determine lead exposure at an earlier time.

    • I just want the American Empire to end. Preferably it would happen peacefully through reform. But failing that, I suspect it will end one way or another. It simply isn’t sustainable for numerous reasons. Everyone, including Americans, would be better off without an American Empire. The same was true after the fall of Roman Empire when the health of most people improved.

    • People are bizarre. How does it make sense to attack an old person? And what does an old Chinese-American have to do with what is happening in China? I don’t follow the ‘reasoning’. Do such people think that China is exporting old people to destroy America with disease?

    • I don’t get the problem. It’s funny that American right-wingers are always complaining that American left-wingers get all of their left-wing views from Europe, particularly obsessing over French postmodernism and critical race theory.

    • Yep. They were totally unprepared. Some suggest part of the problem has been the deregulation or underregulation of the utility companies. They had major weather incidents in recent years and so it was known they needed to prepare for crises, but there was no political will to do so.

    • I looked at a lot of the comments and a few were quite disappointing. It was funny how some of them responded to the issue of stereotypes by throwing out yet more stereotypes. I got the sense that some of these people hadn’t personally known many liberals and whites, and I always think it shows a certain kind of cultural bias when there is an obsession over white liberals (and white leftists) that is used to erase the existence of non-white liberals (non-white leftists), along with using ‘moderate’ and ‘centrist’ liberal elite to dismiss the radical liberals.

      I understand, in that I’m often critical of my fellow white liberals, but the fact of the matter is that the vast majority of liberals and whites are working class and powerless within the elite political system. I’m in many ways drawn toward leftist politics, but leftist politics is a failure or dangerous without a foundtion of liberalism (tolerance, civil rights, democratic process, etc). What leftist rhetoric looks like in practice without a basic level of liberal-mindedness is Stalinism and Maoism. Liberalism, unlike Marxism, is not a single coherent ideology but a wide variety of thought that developed over centuries (Thomas Paine and Fredrich Hayek were both ‘liberals’).

      The one commenter stated a rather cynical and conservative view: “Tribal loyalty is always going to be a factor.” No, not necessarily. One of the other articles that you linked recently pointed out that white liberals are the only demographic in the US that has a pro-outgroup bias, that is to say they have more positive views toward those that are different than them than they are toward those who are like them. So, maybe leftists could learn something from white liberals, if they are serious about achieving an all-inclusive leftist society that doesn’t end badly. For all the failures of white liberalism and liberalism in general, maybe they are doing at least one thing right.

    • I haven’t read that book and don’t plan on doing so, but I’m not sure I’d be as critical of it. There is a nationwide public debate about racism. The majority of Americans have come around to supporting the message of BLM, that the police are systemically racist and need to be reformed. Let’s be amazed at this miraculous change in culture and public opinion. Sure, such things as this book are imperfect, but at least we are finally talking about it as a society. That is a massive step forward.

    • I love criticizing liberals, but I have to give them credit for some things. For example, there is the earnestness of anti-racism training, whether or not it’s effectiive. Many involved really believe in what they’re doing. That is ultimately what makes me a white liberal, I suppose, even as I’m more radical leftist than most white liberals. I was raised in hyper-liberal New Agey church and, having internalized it, I’m quite familiar with white liberal earnestness.

      I have a soft place in my heart for earnestness. I’m a sucker for it, despite all of my jaded cynicism. But I’m not sure what good it does when facing the truly bad shit in our society that many liberals can’t grasp. Still, I wouldn’t dismiss it as there is a certain power to it, as seen with the pro-outgroup bias of white liberals. If we could only combine white liberal earnestness with the scathing critique of minority leftism, then maybe we could finally get some progress.

    • I’ve often thought what will make a difference with racism. Some of it is just time. With each generation, racism gets slightly less worse. But it’s a slow process. For the most part, no one changes much after a certain age. So, for the older genreations, it’s simply a waiting game as they die off. My generation has reached that point. What you see is what you get. But where there is leverage for change is in creating more diversity exposure to the younger generations who will eventually replace us older generations.

      Yet, there is the other factor of how our entire society is built on rigid and oppressive hierarchy. Racism is not the original sin. Rather, it’s classism. Enslaved Africans simply served the role white peasants and serfs in feudalism. American capitalism was built on neo-feudalism, whiich began with indentured servitude and then introduced slavery, but in essence it’s always depended on some kind of permanent undercass. It’s basically a more subtle caste system. The whole issue of racism, in some ways, is a distraction. That is why white liberals so easily embrace racism because public debate of classism is so much more threatening.

  34. I’ll be honest, a lot of twitter social justice and woke is such a caricature that I wonder if it’s bots

    • I read more in the thread. The account doesn’t seem to be a bot. One Tweet suggested she is a narcissist. It does seem like she tweeted that just to get attention.

      It’s similar to Trump Tweets, in that they don’t necessarily tell you about Trump’s actual views. The point is simply to say whatever to be the center of atention.

      That is all politics is about for some people. It’s not really about any particular ideology, belief system, or agenda. Unfortunately, there are many politicians and activists like that.

  35. It’s always perverse grievance politics with these people. Instead of looking at the fact that East Asian people her age and my age will, rightfully, throw ample amounts of solidarity and commiseration with South Asian/Muslim victims of racist violence, as they have to Black victims, she just has to look inwardly at past failures to guilt other East Asians, ignoring the racial progress we’re achieving for such a myopic and cynically regressive lens.

    You know, the sentiment that East Asians did not act in solidarity with South Asians/Muslim in the past when racist incidents happened against those groups due to racism and friction between Asians is totally true (and something I truly do wish they could mutually overcome, that’s why I’m unreceptive and so bitter to the idea of weaponized self-interested identify politics), but ultimately also an issue that is predominantly out of a generational divide within those groups. Like, I’m in my 20s, I speak out for racial justice now, but I was literally like a 10 year old in those incidents she alludes to, how the fuck am I guilty for not being aware of racist attacks and murders outside of my community then (and by this I mean immediate community – I would read old Fox News comments as a kid and they disgusted me). Would you think my racist parents would’ve allowed me to go to a rally in support? Do you think they wouldn’t have dismissed it then if I brought it up? And do you think I don’t disavow their racist attitudes and argue against them? Do you think guilting people when they’re trying to mourn or comfort each other is fucking productive? Is “you should also stick out for other people of colour when they face attacks or racist violence, don’t abandon when they’re in your position, and don’t just look out for your own” not a better way of stating this? Do you think the racist East Asians of older generations wouldn’t just immediately double down and reinforce their racist views if you’re slashing at raw wounds to invoke apologies and shame? You don’t think there’s probably some shopkeeper mom calling this woman a prick to friends on WeChat right now? Like, even if this is addressing millenials or zoomers, it’s a completely unfair critique (you can even see East Asians roughly my age agreeing with her, and it’s not an unpopular sentiment at all in my age group that we’ve historically been ignorant of and insular from the pain of other communities, or in needlessly antagonistic relationships), except for like fuerdai or conservatives.

    TL;DR – she’s so close to making a good and necessary point but her need to find an antagonist in anything because of her inability to evolve past wokescolding and keeping old grudges (which is such a defining feature of her worldview) inevitably leads her shame friends and families of victims instead, and it’s disgusting

  36. as an undergrad and then grad student, there’s nothing social justice-y or liberal or leftist about academia and academic institutions, the “woke” stuff is just performative BS. Academia is a cesspool of politics and reactionary. Also it’s bottom line is protecting itself so people complaining to diversity offices, diversity offices and such don’t exist for social justice but for covering the institution’s butt. This means unless something is so overtly egregious with hard evidence (and not even then necessarily) the student complaining, even if what happened to them was unjust, gets shafted. It’s a cesspit of hierarchal power, shafting less powerful people, only cares about convenience and stuffing pockets. Woke stuff does nothing for exploited or mistreated people on campus. To play the identity politics thing, even white guys who speak out too much get shafted.

    • I didn’t know that particular piece of history. But, in knowing about similar events, I can’t be surprised. That is part of the broad post-colonial history of ‘America’. That kind of thing happened a thousand times over in all of the North American countries and involving any number of minorities.

    • That is the inevitable result of an education system within a social Darwinian caste system that is divided between a plutocracy and a permanent underclass with a precarious middle class striving to become a part of the plutocracy with the constant fear of faling down into the powerless underclass.

      No one is really middle class in Amerca. Everyone is either a member of the elite or part of the dirty masses with no middle ground. The middle class is an illusion which is why there is such brutal and stressed-out competition. This pits varoius groups aganst each other, dividing Americans against each other even when they are suppsedly of the same socioeconomic class.

      It’s survival at all costs and, as always, the class war is racialized. Asian-Americans aren’t only fighting in a class war but also a race war where to become part of the ruling elite means assmilation into whiteness. That is why there is particular animosity and conlict among the upper working class and lower middle class. Even if white by skin color, an American is not fully white if they’re poor. That is why my racist working class grandfather aspired to upward mobiliity.

      Whiteness in America has been defined by a respectablity of WASP plutocracy. What angers some aspiring whites is ethnic minoriities like Jews and Asians who more closely approximate this WASP ideal, which pushes them further down the social hierarchy of racialized classism. In competitive neo-fascism, the positions for the elite are limited and coveted.

      Access to economic privilege is a battleground to be fought by competing groups, which distracts from the ruling elite above who maintain this desperation and scarcity. It’s a brilliant and clever system of social control. The best way to control the powerless underclass is by controlling those who fear falling back into that underclass. Lower class solidarity must be prevented at all costs.

  37. This a complex, compassionate, and challenging account of families engaged in “hyper-education” for their children, which is education above and beyond what is provided by schools pursued not for remediation or extra help but as an attempt to get ahead in a meritocratic race.

    Although Dhingra’s case studies are from middle and upper-class American families of South Asian descent, he argues and I agree that the conclusions are much more generally applicable. As Dingra argues, much of the narrative about Asian Americans and education is premised upon an implicit hierarchy in which White middle-class Americans are “the norm,” Blacks and Latinx the problem, and Asian Americans the model minority who are nevertheless seen as the problem because they go “too far” with education.

    As Dhingra carefully argues, there are real problems with the way some Asian American families approach education, but these problems reflect much wider problems within American education and society. You cannot set up a system as a giant never-ending competition and then act surprised when people are competitive.

    But it’s not all doom and gloom, and the families Dhingra profiles are not at all one-dimensional cautionary tales. The problem is not a focus on academics, or even particularly intensive parenting. The problem is a system where failure is presented as such a terrifying option that people are motivated primarily by fear.

    Treating childhood and education as a meritocratic race be flawed, but many of those engaged in running it have nevertheless found meaning.

    • It is true that too many moderate and even conservative whites could use Coates’ words to defend a false moderate centrism that maintains the status quo and resists needed change. Coates is easily misunderstood and, unfortunately, his position easily could be recruited in shoring up the neoliberal order against black radicalism.

      But I’ve sensed a radicalism within Coates’ writings that is a powerful, if hidden, undercurrent. There is a genuine moral outrage he expresses. Maybe that is what we need to sneak that moral outrage past the intellectual defenses of the respectable classes. It could be a poison slipped into the mainstream racial and class order.

      On the other hand, I love the passionate condemnation of West. It is much needed. But one of the advantages is that it makes Coates’ hidden radicalism seem all the more moderate. It pushes the Overton window left. I’d like Coates to represent the new center-right and moderate conservatism. Even if Coates is too soft on Obama, he is far left of Obama and so makes a more leftist position seem reasonable.

      This is how the left wins, a slow but steady driving of the frame of public debate further and further left. That is exactly how the neo-fascists came to power by doing the same in the opposite direction. Right-wingers attacked moderate conservatives and portrayed anyone who wasn’t an authoritarian as a liberal or left-winger. That is how the right-wing made possible the takeover of the Democratic Party by the Clinton neocons.

      The trick to gaining power and influence is by defining an enemy of opposition that is closer to your own position. Coates can be the controlled opposition, beyond which is an immoral and unacceptable right-wing extremism. We on the left shouldn’t only paint him as a moderate and certainly not as a centrist. Like West, we should push hard in placing the worst labels on him, not only neoliberal but far more damning as a defender of imperialism and oppression. Coates can be our ideological scapegoat and he can handle it. Coates can take one for the team.

    • I agree and sympathize with both Coates and West. They are each important black voices of critique, if each in their own way. But I particularly do appreciate tough voices like that of West who hold our society accountable. West is the righteous moral force behind Coates, as Malcolm X and Fred Hampton were the moral force behind MLK. Without that potent moral force, the more moderate voices of change would be powerless.

      There must be a threat behind demands for reform, threats that if power doesn’t relent there will be revolt or revolution. That is the only way major positive changes have ever happened in all of American history. Whatever one’s opinion is on the matter of how change should happen in a perfect ideal world, that is the cold hard fact of how change has actually happened and we have no reason to suspect it’s any different now.

    • People don’t like messy history. The political left is a bit less historically ignorant than the politcal right. And that should never be ignored. Let us not fall into false equvalency. There is a massive diffference between the left and right, a difference that makes a difference. Even if imperfect in practice, the left is holding to an egalitarian vision of fairness and justice, freedom and democracy; whereas the right is not.

      Stiill, it’s true that most people tend to fall into their preferred version of political correctness. Not enough liberals and leftists mention and emphasize the dark history of blacks ,who upon receiving their freedom, joined the military in service to state terrorism in committing genocide and stealing native land. Plus, there are all the minorities who fought in varous wars of aggression and imperal expansion, such as establishing banana republics for corporate profit.

      The continuing bigotry is seen with the common anti-immigrant attitude among poor minorities. America has a long history of the poor and powerless being turned against each other to ensure the ruling elite maintain their privilege and power. We need to be telling this history that shows the complexity and pervasiveness of violent oppression, how it seeps into everyone’s behavior and every area of society. None of us is entirely innocent.

      Still, you’re more likely to hear this criticism on the political left than the poliltical right. It’s why Marxists despise identity politics. There is only one divide that matters, those with wealth and power and those without. There is no understanding racism and fighting racism without acknoledging it is one small part of class war built on ancient hierarches with the captalist order simply being a revamping of feudalism with the capitalist plutocracy as a new aristocracy.

    • I’d be far less understanding and sympathetic to Trump voters if the problems of the DNC elite weren’t so clear. The Clntons, Obama, and Biden are the very reason Trump was able to have any attraction and so could seize power. That remains the same problem with the same DNC elite back in power. We are back to where we were before or rather we are further along the same dark path.

      The problem remains unresolved and will only get worse. The threat of an authoritarian demagogue taking over still hangs over our heads. But the DNC elite will never wiillingly allow the very demcratic reforms that would be necessary to prevent the worst. They will hang onto power to the bitter end and they’ll never understand how they were the cause of our society’s decline and conflict.

    • Does this speak to inborn human nature or does it instead show how a demented and dysfunctonal society shapes our identities, behavior, and desires? Is this yet more WEIRD bias in Western research taken as universal truth to be projected onto all of humanity? What might the study of far different societies show us?

    • It didn’t give me access to that article. But I assume it was about a link between measured intelligence and trauma, right? That isn’t necessarily surprising, I suppose. As I recall, being either high IQ or low IQ is correlated with problems. In our society, one needs to be average to fit in, or maybe that’s true for any society in whatever is used as a measure for average. It’s just that, in our society, average intelligence is the measure of normalcy.

    • I’m a bit surprised that this person was surprised. I’m not super well informed on that topic, but I thought that this prevalent Native American ancestry was fairly common knowledge at this point. The whole history of Hispanic society in Latin America was about mixing. I’ve come across this in the scholarship on history and race issues.

      It’s what distinguished the racial order created by the Spanish Empire as contrasted with that of the British Empire. I know that is particuarly true in Mexico or rather certain areas of Mexico such as the cultural region of El Norteno that included the part of the Spanish Empire that originally extended into the present US territory, including Texas.

    • It looks rather authoritarian and profit-driven with the heavy focus on major sports. But I thought universities were controlled as indoctrination centers by radical left-wingers pushing an agenda of Cultural Marxism, communist takeover, atheist gay-sex, and the destruction of traditional white America.

    • “The Zbellion plot was a small part of JLASS 2018, which also featured scenarios involving Islamist militants in Africa, anti-capitalist extremists, and ISIS successors.”

      Apparently, they should have had war games preparing for the government to be attacked by the supporters of the president. Instead, they envision war game scenarios where the government is at war with its own citizens. What if, similar to police inciting riots at BLM protests, the military ends up fulfilling its own prophecy by treating innocent and victimized citizens as the enemy?

    • Metabolic health affects so much. It’s amazing that what happens in the womb can stunt the future neurocognitive development of the child. Yet public officials still haven’t taken the metabolic health epidemic seriously, even when it was the single greatest comorbidity risk factor of the covid pandemic.

    • Why do people who were targets of bigotry and oppression turn their support to the bigotry and oppression that targets others, once they gain some class privilege in beginning to assimilate to dominant culture? Why do some people who gained success by climbing the social ladder then seek to pull the ladder up behind them to eliminate further competition, establish their position, and consolidate their power? Why has this reactionary pattern of embracing right-wing authoritarianism repeated with so many minority groups?

      If you could answer those questions, you’d be able to explain a large part of American history and the last several centuries of the reactionary mind. But admittedly, there is something more recent going on, as one commenter pointed to — CarolinaJoe: “in the last few years is that Fox-type aggressive anti liberal propaganda has invaded Spanish TV and radio as never before. They were able to portray Democrats, and even Biden, as socialists and communists. This is the reason #1 for the increase in Trump’s popularity in latino communities between 2016 and 2020.”

  38. https://www.opendemocracy.net/en/transformation/real-cancel-culture/

    “Real cancel culture goes by an older name: the blacklist. Its operation has chilled free speech where unions and left-wing ideas are concerned for the last 200 years. If we want to defend free speech for everyone and stop people from being hounded from their jobs for their opinions, we should think much more about the one space where freedom of speech has never really existed: the workplace.”

    https://fair.org/home/panic-over-cancel-culture-is-another-example-of-right-wing-projection/

    “But who, in fact, is being “canceled” at universities (FAIR.org, 6/15/17)? Steven Salaita, whose pro-Palestine comments were perceived as insensitive to Jews (e.g., “If it’s ‘antisemitic’ to deplore colonization, land theft and child murder, then what choice does any person of conscience have?”—Twitter, 7/19/14), lost his job offer at the University of Illinois in 2015. Political theorist George Ciccariello-Maher, an outspoken activist against white supremacy, was forced out of his tenured position at Drexel University in 2018 after his Twitter post mocking the ludicrous notion of “white genocide” was misconstrued as anti-white racism. Most recently, Zoom, now the ubiquitous application used for holding remote meetings and forums, in September 2020 canceled the airing of a talk at San Francisco State University by Leila Khaled, whose affiliation with the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine rankled pro-Israel groups.

    “In 2018, several groups wrote to nearly 300 universities demanding free speech protections for campus communities, which, activists said, were under attack by outside pro-Israel groups—their letter insisted that administrations condemn the

    “Canary Mission, the David Horowitz Freedom Center and other groups that use defamatory intimidation and blacklisting tactics, including those that chill advocacy for Palestinian rights on campus.

    “Thousands of conservative activists in December 2016 pressed Hunter College to fire urban policy professor Matthew Lasner because his husband was allegedly mean to Ivanka Trump, the daughter of the then-president-elect, on an airplane. Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz, one of the Trump administration’s biggest cheerleaders in academia, was instrumental in forcing DePaul University to oust political scientist Norman Finkelstein, a critic of Israel (and Dershowitz), in 2007.

    “Yet this isn’t exactly what the anti-cancel culture zealots are referring to. Bari Weiss, a former conservative opinion editor for the New York Times and one of the signers of the Harper’s statement, had fought against professors deemed too critical of Israel. Another signer, Cary Nelson, had backed the cancellation of Salaita.”

    https://www.marxist.com/social-media-purges-of-left-wing-groups-intensify.htm

    “The censorship of social media accounts of left-wing groups has continued, with Facebook recently removing and restricting US anarchist and antifascist pages. […] Accounts that have been removed include It’s Going Down, the CrimethInc Ex-Workers Collective, the Pacific Northwest Youth Liberation Front, and Enough is Enough. Facebook have themselves suggested that almost 1000 groups and over 500 pages have been taken down. A large number of hashtags and accounts have additionally had restrictions placed on them.

    “This is far from the first time that social media companies have taken action against left wing accounts. In January, numerous Twitter accounts linked to the Venezuelan government were suspended without warning. This was extended to supporters of the Bolivarian revolution, including the IMT’s own Lucha de Clases account.

    “In just the last month, the account of Cuban newspaper Juventud Rebelde was suspended by Twitter, and YouTube closed accounts of TV channels in Venezuela and Cuba.

    “These are just some examples, and don’t include action taken against individual posts, pictures and videos. As an example, activists have reported having posts deleted for attempting to blame the capitalist system for the Coronavirus crisis, on the grounds that it was fake news!

    “It should also be pointed out that the rules are not applied equally, with an example being the recent refusal to ban Indian politician T. Raja Singh. Singh, a leading member of Modi’s government, has consistently posted Islamophobic comments, even going as far as calling for Muslims to be shot. Facebook themselves have recognised that this violates their hate speech rules, but have refused to delete his account to avoid threatening their business interests in India. The same is true for several other prominent members of Modi’s BJP party who have stirred up hatred against Muslims. It is clear that Facebook has no interest in “preventing violence”, but is purely enforcing rules for their own interests, and that of the US ruling class.”

    https://theweek.com/articles/928464/cancel-culture-conservative-glass-houses

    “The patriotically inclined right also still has its own list of cancellation-worthy offenses. NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick found himself blackballed from the league after President Trump berated him for taking the knee during the national anthem and asked the league to “get that son of a bitch off the field right now.” The right’s uproar over comments by lefty stand-up comic Bill Maher (that the 9-11 terrorists were brave compared to American forces that launched bombs from a safe 2,000 mile distance) got his show, Politically Incorrect, canceled in the wake of the attack on the World Trade Center. The band Dixie Chicks was likewise canceled after its members voiced public disgust at the Iraq War.

    “With respect to Kaepernick, Trump is now saying he should get a second chance, but his habit of viciously attacking Republican lawmakers who oppose him has prompted scores of them to remain silent or permanently quit politics — in other words, self-cancel. And he has explicitly called for the firing of journalists and dissenters that stand up to him. Even before he became president, he was into cancellation, calling on the Scots to boycott Glenfiddich because the brand honored a farmer who refused to sell his property for a Trump golf course.

    “But Trump is hardly alone. The conservative establishment itself is doing a masterful job. Far from allowing the full range of opinions to be expressed about the president, conservative publications are canceling anti-Trump voices left and right.”

    https://www.cnn.com/2020/07/07/politics/fact-check-trump-cancel-culture-boycotts-firings/index.html

    “Trump has long railed against “political correctness.” But he has also tried for years to get people and entities punished or banished for what he considers objectionable words and acts. Trump has explicitly advocated cancellations, boycotts and firings on numerous occasions — often simply because he doesn’t like something his target has said.”

    https://www.salon.com/2020/08/28/rnc-speakers-whined-about-cancel-culture–but-its-the-right-who-want-to-crush-free-speech/

    “Well, let’s talk about what conservatives don’t mean when they complain about “cancel culture.”

    “”Cancel culture” is not Trump sending out federal troops to tear-gas a bunch of peaceful protesters in Lafayette Square because he’s so afraid of hearing hecklers that he must silence them with violence.

    “”Cancel culture” is not right-wingers running over protesters with cars, threatening them with guns or even shooting them in order to keep those protesters from using their First Amendment rights to speak out against police violence.

    “”Cancel culture” is not murdering journalists to silence them. Trump has openly admired such tactics as performed by Russian President Vladimir Putin. And when Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi was “canceled” by being murdered and dismembered on the orders of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the Trump administration, which is friendly with the Saudi royals, simply shrugged it off.

    “”Cancel culture” is definitely not Trump trying to cancel the votes of millions of Americans by undermining the U.S. Postal Service, just before an election in which record numbers of Americans are expected to vote by mail. Trump has been open about his belief that he should be able to cancel or declare fraudulent any votes that are cast for Joe Biden, but somehow this rejection of Americans’ most basic right is not “cancel culture”.

    “Nor is it “cancel culture” when Trump undermines the post office in his crusade to punish Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos for owning the Washington Post, a newspaper Trump would like to silence for the crime of publishing unflattering stories about him and his administration

    “”Cancel culture” is not Trump working with NFL owners to punish football players who speak out against police brutality by kneeling during the national anthem.

    “”Cancel culture” is not Trump canceling the ability of medical experts at the FDA and CDC to speaking truthfully in public about the coronavirus, because Trump is eager to conceal the severity of the pandemic. And “cancel culture” is definitely not Trump trying to cancel as much coronavirus testing as possible, because he wants to eliminate all statistics that he feels make him look bad.

    “No, when conservatives complain about “cancel culture,” they are unconcerned with the various efforts to silence scientific information or progressive opinion through violence, censorship or intimidation. If anything, the legal right to free speech is considered the problem, since allowing progressives to express their opinions perpetuates what conservatives deem to be “cancel culture.”

    “For instance, one of the biggest themes of the RNC was outrage at the fact that progressives are still permitted to protest in the streets, anger the speakers tried to justify by painting peaceful protesters as “rioters” and “looters.” The whining continued after the convention, as Fox News spent much of Friday morning running segments denouncing the presence of protesters outside the convention, presenting people who are exercising their free speech rights as a dangerous threat.”

    https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2021/02/10/poli-f10.html

    “It could not be clearer that the entire US ruling establishment is attempting to utilize the events of January 6 as justification for shutting down progressive, left-wing, anti-capitalist and socialist political organizations and publishers on social media platforms such as Facebook. The subsequent shutdown of groups, pages and accounts—including the International Youth and Students for Social Equality (IYSSE) at the University of Michigan and leading members of the Socialist Equality Party in the US—by Facebook that began on January 22 is part of this strategy.”

    https://www.theguardian.com/media/2021/feb/01/facebook-youtube-twitter-anti-conservative-claims-baseless-report-finds

    “Disinformation expert Paul Barrett and researcher J Grant Sims found that far from suppressing conservatives, social media platforms have, through algorithms, amplified rightwing voices, “often affording conservatives greater reach than liberal or nonpartisan content creators”.”

    https://www.politico.com/news/2020/10/26/censorship-conservatives-social-media-432643

    “The findings demonstrate how a small number of conservative users routinely outpace their liberal rivals and traditional news outlets in driving the online conversation — amplifying their impact a little more than a week before Election Day. They contradict the prevailing political rhetoric from some Republican lawmakers that conservative voices are censored online — indicating that instead, right-leaning talking points continue to shape the worldviews of millions of U.S. voters.”

    https://www.niemanlab.org/2020/10/two-new-studies-show-again-that-facebook-doesnt-censor-conservatives/

    “A nine-month study by the progressive nonprofit Media Matters, using CrowdTangle data, found both that partisan content (left and right) did better than non-partisan content and that “right-leaning pages consistently earned more average weekly interactions than either left-leaning or ideologically nonaligned pages.[…] Between January 1 and September 30, right-leaning Facebook pages tallied more than 6 billion interactions (reactions, comments, shares), or 43% of total interactions earned by pages posting about American political news, despite accounting for only 26% of posts.””

    https://www.tvo.org/article/cancel-culture-its-not-just-a-left-wing-problem-and-i-should-know

    “Some years ago in Toronto, at a major gathering of Canadian evangelicals, a prominent member of the Palestinian Christian community was scheduled to lecture. A devout and experienced man, he always spoke of justice and peace. But the atmosphere at this event was strongly Christian Zionist, backed by misunderstood Biblical eschatology. Even though the speaker was dedicated to building bridges with Israelis, delegates pressurized the organizers, and he was cancelled. I was ashamed and asked some media colleagues for help in reversing this decision. Nobody was willing to do so. More than a decade later, some of those very colleagues are now active in denouncing what they loudly reject as cancel culture.

    “On a personal level, I had a quite profound conversion of life almost seven years ago. The details aren’t important, but it led to me changing my stance on some, though far from all, controversial issues. I was, understandably, fired from certain conservative publications and broadcasters, but the campaign went much further than that. There was a clear attempt to silence me, even to destroy me. I remember one email in particular, because it arrived the week before Christmas: “It is felt that with the high public profile you have in media and social networking in relation to gay marriage it is felt that we have to part our ways as an organization.”

    “I had a written list of the confirmed dates I was supposed to work for this broadcaster, had been involved with it for more than a decade, and had never even mentioned the issue of equal marriage on its television show. Yet I was still cancelled — dismissed by a conservative entity for having liberal views. And that has historically been the way. It is only now, when those on the left challenge more traditional ideas about race, sexuality, and politics, that we see such a strong reaction from alleged defenders of free speech. This is about more than just inconsistency or even hypocrisy. It’s about an unwillingness to empathize.”

  39. I am left-leaning, but there is definately resentment among Asians atm towards the social justice “left” for percieved double standards or neglect of Asian Americans despite all the talk on justice, BLM, etc. The attacks on Asian Americans recently underscore it. Unfortunately this pushes some right. Would not be shocked if Asian Americans lurch right in 2024.

    • I can’t say that I associate much with the social justice types. Though in a college town, that has little to do with my social circle. I’m not familiar with the double standards or how aware most are about Asian American issues. It wouldn’t make sense for me to judge since I’m so out of the loop on such things. But, anyway, I’m sure there will be various demographics lurching right as that is what happens in a reactionary society during reactionary times.

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