Medical-Industrial Complex

“Unless we put medical freedom into the Constitution, the time will come when medicine will organize into an undercover dictatorship…To restrict the art of healing to one class of men and deny equal privileges to others will constitute the Bastille of medical science. All such laws are un-American and despotic…, and have no place in a republic…The Constitution of this Republic should make special provisions for medical freedom as well as religious freedom.”

Dr. Benjamin Rush, signer of Declaration of Independence, member of Continental Congress

“The efforts of the medical profession in the US to control:…its…job it proposes to monopolize. It has been carrying on a vigorous campaign all over the country against new methods and schools of healing because it wants the business…I have watched this medical profession for a long time and it bears watching.”

Clarence Darrow (1857-1938), Populist leader and lawyer

“Medicine is a social science and politics is a medicine on a large scale…The very words ‘Public Health’ show those who are of the opinion that medicine has nothing to do with politics the magnitude of their error.”

Rudolf Virchow, (1821-1902) founder of cellular pathology

“The profession to which we belong, once venerated…-has become corrupt and degenerate to the forfeiture of its social position…”

Dr. Nathaniel Chapman, first president, AMA, 1848

In 1922, Herbert McLean Evans and Katharine Scott Bishop discovered vitamin E. Then in the following decades from the 1930s to the 1940s, Drs. Wilfred and Evan Shute treated 30,000 patients with natural vitamin E in their clinic and studied it’s health benefits. Despite all of the documented evidence, they had little influence in mainstream nutrition and medicine. They had the disadvantage of promoting a vitamin right at the beginning of the era when pharmaceuticals were getting all of the attention: “Better Living through chemistry.” Responding to the resistance of medical authorities, from his book The Heart and Vitamin E (1956), Dr. Evans Shute wrote that,

“It was nearly impossible now for anyone who valued his future in Academe to espouse Vitamin E, prescribe it or advise its use. That would make a man a “quack” at once. This situation lasted for many years. In the United States, of course, the closure of the JAMA pages against us and tocopherol meant that it did not exist. It was either in the U.S. medical bible or it was nought. No amount of documentation could budge medical men from this stance. Literature in the positive was ignored and left unread. Individual doctors often said: ‘If it is as good as you say, we would all be using it.’ But nothing could induce them as persons of scientific background to make the simplest trial on a burn or coronary.”

In the article Drs. Wilfrid and Evan Shute Cured Thousands with Vitamin E, Andrew W. Saul emphasized this suppression of new knowledge:

“The American Medical Association even refused to let the Shute’s present their findings at national medical conventions. (p 148-9) In the early 1960’s, the United States Post Office successfully prevented even the mailing of vitamin E. (p 166).” Over the decades, others have taken note of the heavy-handedness of mainstream authorities. “The failure of the medical establishment during the last forty years,” wrote Linus Pauling in his 1985 Foreword, “to recognize the value of Vitamin E in controlling heart disease is responsible for a tremendous amount of unnecessary suffering and for many early deaths. The interesting story of the efforts to suppress the Shute discoveries about Vitamin E illustrates the shocking bias of organized medicine against nutritional measures for achieving improved health.”

What is motivating this ‘failure’? And is it really a failure or simply serving other interests, maybe quite successfully at that?

* * *

“Today, expulsion is again mustered into service in a war of ideology. …Modern society makes its heresies out of political economy…Ethics has always been a flexible, developing notion of medicine, with a strong flavor of economics from the start.”

Oliver Garceau, Dept. of Government, Harvard U., The Political Life of the AMA (1941)

“Everyone’s heard about the military-industrial complex, but they know very little about the medical-industrial complex…(in) a medical arms race…”

California Governor Jerry Brown, June 1980

“The new medical-industrial complex is now a fact of American life…with broad and potentially troubling implications…”

Dr. Arnold Relman, Editor, New England Journal of Medicine

“Bankers regard research as most dangerous and a thing that makes banking hazardous due to the rapid changes it brings about in industry.”

Charles Kettering, of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, and Vice President of General Motors, (in Ralph Moss, Cancer Syndrome)

“The system of influence and control..is highly skewed in favor of the corporate and financial system. And this dominant influence is felt not only in universities, foundations, and institutions of higher learning, but also…from media to all other instruments of communication.”

Vincente Navarro, (Professor of Health and Social Policy, John Hopkins U., and other credentials).

“In the feeding of hospital patients, more attention should be given to providing tasty and attractive meals, and less to the nutritive quality of the food.”
“People say that all you get out of sugar is calories, no nutrients…There is no perfect food, not even mother’s milk.”
“Have confidence in America’s food industry, it deserves it.”

Dr. Frederick Stare, Harvard U. School of Public Health, Nutrition Dept. Head

So, why are the powers that be so concerned with harmless supplements that consumers take in seeking self-healing and well-being? The FDA explained it’s motivativions:

“It has been common…to combine such unproven ingredients as bio-flavinoids, rutin…, with such essential nutrients as Vitamin C…, thus implying that they are all nutritionally valuable for supplementation of the daily diet. The courts have sustained FDA legal action to prevent such practices, and the new FDA regulations preclude this type of combination in the future…Similarly, it has been common…to state or imply that the American diet is inadequate because of soil deficiencies, commercial processing methods, use of synthetic nutrients, and similar charges. FDA recognizes that these false statements have misled, scared, and confused the public, and is prohibiting any such general statements in the future…The medical and nutritional professions have shown strong support of this policy,…” (FDA Assistant General council’s letter to 5 US Legislators, Hearings, US Congress, 1973).

To give a further example of this contorted thinking, consider another statement from an FDA official: “It is wholly unscientific to state that a well-fed body is more able to resist disease than a less well-fed body” (FDA’s Head of Nutrition Department, Dr. Elmer M. Nelson. in Gene Marin and Judith Van Allen, Food Pollution: The Violation of Our Inner Ecology). That is so absurd as to be unbelievable. Yet it’s sadly expected when one knows of incidents like Ancel Keys attack on John Yudkin amidst wholesale silencing of his detractors and the more recent high level persecution of Tim Noakes, along with dozens of other examples.

The advocates of natural healing and sellers of nutritional supplements were criticizing the dominant system of big ag, big drug, and closely related industries. This was a challenge to power and profit, and so it could not be tolerated. One wouldn’t want the public to get confused… nor new generations of doctors, as explained the Harvard Medical School Dean, Dr. David Edsall: “…students were obliged…to learn about an interminable number of drugs, many…valueless, …useless, some…harmful. …there is less intellectual freedom in the medical course than in almost any other form of professional education in this country.”

This is how we end up with young doctors, straight out of medical school, failing a basic test on nutrition (Most Mainstream Doctors Would Fail Nutrition). Who funds much of the development of medical school curruicula? Private corporations, specifically big drug and big food, and the organizations that represent them. Once out of medical school, some doctors end up making millions of dollars by working for industry on the side, such as giving speeches to promote pharmaceuticals. Also, continuing education and scientific conferences are typically funded by this same big money from the private sphere. There is a lot of money slushing around, not to mention the small briberies of free vacations and such given to doctors. It’s a perverse incentive and one that was carefully designed to manipulate and bias the entire healthcare system.

* * *

“[Doctors] collectively have done more to block adequate medical care for people of this country than any other single group.”

President Jimmy Carter

“I think doctors care very deeply about their patients, but when they organize into the AMA, their responsibility is to the welfare of doctors, and quite often, these lobbying groups are the only ones that are heard in the state capitols and in the capitol of our country.”

President Jimmy Carter

“The FDA and much, but not all, of the orthodox medical profession are actively hostile against vitamins and minerals… They are out to get the health food industry…And they are trying to do this out of active hostility and prejudice.”

Senator William Proxmire (in National Health Federation Bulletin, April, 1974

“Eminent nutritionists have traded their independence for the food industry’s favors.”

US Congressman Benjamin Rosenthal

“The problem with ‘prevention’ is that it does not produce revenues. No health plan reimburses a physician or a hospital for preventing a disease.”

NCI Deputy Director, Division of Cancer Cause and Prevention; and of Diet, Nutrition and Cancer Program

“What is the explanation for the blind eye that has been turned on the flood of medical reports on the causative role of carbohydrates in overweight, ever since the publication in 1864 of William Banting’s famous “Letter on Corpulence”? Could it be related, in part, to the vast financial endowments poured into the various departments of nutritional education by the manufacturers of our refined carbohydrate foodstuff?”

Robert C. Atkins, MD, Dr. Atkins Diet Revolution, c. 1972

“Although the stated purpose of licensure is to benefit the public…Consumers…have learned that licensing may add to the cost of services, while not assuring quality….Charges…the legal sector that licensure restricts competition, and therefore unnecessarily increases costs to consumers….Like other professionals, dietiticians can justify the enactment of licensure laws because licensing affords the opportunity to protect dietiticians from interference in their field by other practitioners…This protection provides a competitive advantage, and therefore is economically beneficial for dietiticians”

ADA President, Marilyn Haschske, JADA, 1984

“While millions of dollars were being projected for research on radiation and other cancer ‘cures’, there was an almost complete blackout on research that might have pointed to needed alterations in our environment, our industrial organization, and our food.”

Carol Lopate, in Health Policy Advisory Center, Health PAC Bulletin

“Research in the US has been seriously affected by restrictions imposed by foreign cartel members. …It has attempted to suppress the publication of scientific research data which were at variance with its monopoly interest. …The hostility of cartel members toward a new product which endangers their control of the market(:)…In the field of synthetic hormones, the cartel control has been …detrimental to our national interest.”

US Assistant Attorney General, Wendell Berge, Cartels, Challenge to the Free World. – in Eleanor McBean, The Poisoned Needle

“We are aware of many cases in industry, government laboratories, and even universities where scientists have been retaliated against when their professional standards interfered with the interests of their employers or funders. This retaliation has taken many forms, ranging from loss of employment and industry-wide blacklisting to transfers and withholding of salary increases and promotions. We are convinced that the visible problem is only the tip of the iceberg.”

American Chemical Society President, Alan C. Nixon, (in Science, 1973)

Similar to the struggles of the Shute brothers, this problem was faced faced by the early scientists studying the ketogenic diet and the early doctors using it to treat patients with epilepsy. The first research and application of the ketogenic diet began in the 1920s and it was quickly found useful for other health conditions. But after a brief period of interest and funding, the research was mostly shut down in favor of the emerging new drugs that could be patented and marketed. It was irrelevant that the keto diet was far more effective than any drugs produced then or since. The ketogenic diet lingered on in a few hospitals and clinics, until research was revived in the 1990s, about three-quarters of a century later. Yet, after hundreds of studies proving its efficacy for numerous diseases (obesity, diabetes, multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer’s, etc), mainstream authority figures and the mainstream media continue to dismiss it and spread fear-mongering, such as false and ignorant claims about ketoacidosis and kidney damage.

Also, consider X-ray technology that was invented by Dr. Émil Herman Grubbé in 1896. He then became the first to use X-rays for cancer treatment. Did the medical profession embrace this great discovery? Of course not. It wasn’t acknowledged as useful until 1951. When asked what he thought about this backward mentality denying such a profound discovery, Dr. Grubbé didn’t mince words: “The surgeons. They controlled medicine, and they regarded the X-ray as a threat to surgery. At that time surgery was the only approved method of treating cancer. They meant to keep it the ‘only’ approved method by ignoring or rejecting any new methods or ideas. This is why I was called a ‘quack’ and nearly ejected from hospitals where I had practiced for years” (Herbert Bailey, Vitamin E: Your Key to a Healthy Heart). As with the Shute brothers, he was deemed a ‘quack’ and so case closed.

There have been many more examples over the past century, in particular during the oppressive Cold War era (Cold War Silencing of Science). The dominant paradigm during McCarthyism was far from limited to scapegoating commies and homosexuals. Anyone stepping out of line could find themselves targeted by the powerful. This reactionary impulse goes back many centuries and continues to exert its influence to this day, continues to punish those who dare speak out (Eliminating Dietary Dissent). This hindering of innovation and progress may be holding civilization back by centuries. We seem unable of dealing with the simplest of problems, even when we already have the knowledge of how to solve those problems.

* * *

“Relevant research on the system as a whole has not been done… It is remarkable that with the continuing health care ‘crisis’, so few studies of the consequences of alternative modes of delivering care have been done. Such a paucity of studies is no accident; such studies would challenge structural interests of both professional monopoly (MD’s) and corporate rationalization in maintaining health institutions as they now exist or in directing their ‘orderly’ expansion.”

Robert R. Alford, Professor, UC Santa Cruz, Health Care Politics

“…It seems that public officials are afraid that if they make any move, or say anything antagonistic to the wishes of the medical organization, they will be pounced upon and destroyed. ..Public officials seem to be afraid of their jobs and even of their lives.”

US Senator Elmer Thomas, In Morris A. Bealle, The Drug Story. c. 1949 and 1976

“I think every doctor should know the shocking state of affairs…We discovered they (the FDA) failed to effectively regulate the large manufacturers and powerful interests while recklessly persecuting the small manufacturers. …(The FDA is) harassing (small) manufacturers and doctors…(and) betrays the public trust.”

Senator Edward V. Long. 1967

“The AMA protects the image of the food processors by its constant propaganda that the American food supply is the finest in the world, and that (those) who question this are simply practicing quackery. The food processors, in turn, protect the image of the AMA and of the drug manufacturers by arranging for the USDA and its dietitic cronies to blacklist throughout the country and in every public library, all nutrition books written for the layman, which preach simple, wholesome nutrition and attack …both the emasculation of natural foods and orthodox American medical care, which ignores subtle malnutrition and stresses drug therapy, (“as distinct from vitamin therapy”) for innumerable conditions. The drug manufacturers vigorously support the AMA since only MD’s can prescribe their products.”

Miles H. Robinson, MD; Professor, University of Pennsylvania and Vanderbilt Medical Schools, exhibit in Vitamin, Mineral, and Diet Supplements, Hearings, US House of Representatives, 1973

“The AMA puts the lives and well being of the American citizens well below it’s own special interest…It deserves to be ignored, rejected, and forgotten. No amount of historical gymnastics can hide the public record of AMA opposition to virtually every major health reform in the past 50 years….The AMA has turned into a propaganda organ purveying ‘medical politics’ for deceiving the Congress, the people, and the doctors of America themselves.”

Senator Edward Kennedy, in UPI National Chronicle, 1971

“The hearings have revealed police-state tactics…possibly perjured testimony to gain a conviction,…intimidation and gross disregard for the Constitutional Rights…(of) First, Fourth, Fifth, and Sixth Amendments, (by the FDA)
“The FDA (is) bent on using snooping gear to pry and invade…”
“Instance after instance of FDA raids on small vitamin and food supplement manufacturers. These small, defenseless businesses were guilty of producing products which FDA officials claimed were unnecessary.”
“If the FDA would spend a little less time and effort on small manufacturers of vitamins…and a little more on the large manufacturers of…dangerous drugs…, the public would be better served.”

Senator Long from various Senate hearings

“From about 1850 until the late 1930’s, one of the standing jokes in the medical profession, was about a few idiots who called themselves doctors, who claimed they could cure pneumonia by feeding their patients moldy bread. …Until…they discovered penicillin…in moldy bread!”

P.E. Binzel, MD, in Thomas Mansell, Cancer Simplified, 1977

“Penicillin sat on a shelf for ten years while I was called a quack.”

Sir Alexander Fleming.

“(in)”1914…Dr. Joseph Goldberger had proven that (pellagra) was related to diet, and later showed that it could be prevented by simply eating liver or yeast. But it wasn’t until the 1940’s…that the ‘modern’ medical world fully accepted pellagra as a vitamin B deficiency.”

G. Edward Griffin, World Without Cancer

“…The Chinese in the 9th century AD utilized a book entitled The Thousand Golden Prescriptions, which described how rice polish could be used to cure beri-beri, as well as other nutritional approaches to the prevention and treatment of disease. It was not until twelve centuries later that the cure for beri-beri was discovered in the West, and it acknowledged to be a vitamin B-1 deficiency disease.”

Jeffrey Bland, PhD, Your Health Under Siege: Using Nutrition to Fight Back

“The intolerance and fanaticism of official science toward Eijkman’s observations (that refined rice caused beri-beri) brought about the death of some half million people on the American continent in our own century alone between 1900 and 1910.”

Josue Castro, The Geography of Hunger

“In 1540…Ambroise Paré…persuaded doctors to stop the horrid practice of pouring boiling oil on wounds and required all doctors to wash thoroughly before delivering babies or performing surgery….(in) 1844…Ignaz Semmelweis in Vienna proved…that clean, well-scrubbed doctors would not infect and kill mothers at childbirth. For his efforts Semmelweis was dismissed from his hospital…(and) despite publication, his work was totally ignored. As a result he became insane and died in an asylum, and his son committed suicide.”
“As a chemist working for the US Government in 1916 on the island of Luzon (Philippines), (R.R.) Williams, over the opposition of orthodox medicine, had managed to eradicate beri-beri…by persuading the population to drink rice bran tea. In 1917, Williams was recalled to the US, and thereafter orthodox medicine discouraged anyone from drinking rice bran tea, so by 1920 there were more beri-beri deaths on Luzon than in 1915. ..In 1934, R.R. Williams (now) at Bell Telephone Labs., discovered thiamine (vitamin B-1), and that thiamine in rice bran both prevented and cured beri-beri.”
“Christian Eikman in Holland…shared the Nobel prize for Medicine in 1929 for Proving in 1892 that beri-beri was not an infectious disease…”

Wayne Martin, BS, Purdue University; Medical Heroes and Heretics, & “The Beri-beri analogy to myocardial infarction”, Medical Hypothesis

“In the 1850’s, Ignaz P. Semmelweis, a Hungarian doctor, discovered that childbed fever, which then killed about 12 mothers out of every 100, was contagious…and that doctors themselves were spreading the disease by not cleaning their hands. He was ridiculed…Opponents of his idea attacked him fiercely….(and) brought on (his) mental illness….(he) died a broken man.”

Salem Kirban, Health Guide for Survival

“…Galen…was…forced to flee Rome to escape the frenzy of the mob….Vesalius was denounced as an imposter and heretic…William Harvey was disgraced as a physician…William Roentgen…was called a quack and then condemned…”
“In…1535, when…Jacques Cartier found his ships…in…the St. Lawrence River, scurvy began…and then a friendly Indian showed them (that) tree bark and needles from the white pine – both rich in…Vitamin C – were stirred into a drink (for) swift recovery. Upon returning to Europe, Cartier reported this incident to the medical authorities. But they were amused by such ‘witch-doctor cures of ignorant savages’ and did nothing to follow it up…”
“It took over 200 years and cost hundreds of thousands of lives before the medical experts began to accept…Finally, in 1747, John Lind..discovered that oranges and lemons produced relief from scurvy…and yet it took 48 more years before his recommendation was put into effect….’Limeys’ would soon become rulers of the ‘Seven Seas’…”
“In 1593, Sir Richard Hawkins noted and later published, in observations on his voyage into the South Seas, references that natives of the area used sour oranges and lemons as a cure for scurvy, and a similar result was noted among his crew. …In 1804, regulations were introduced into the British Navy requiring use of lime juice….(and) into law by the British Board of Trade in 1865….It took two centuries to translate empirical observations into action…”

Maureen Salaman, MSc, Nutrition: the Cancer Answer

Most of the above quotes were found on a webpage put together by Wade Frazer (Medical Dark Ages Quotes). He gathered the quotes from Ralph Hovnanian’s 1990 book, Medical Dark Ages.

Right-Wing Political Correctness, Censorship, and Silencing

It’s been a while since I’ve posted about this topic. But it seems maybe we need to be reminded of it, beyond an occasional opinion piece in the back pages of your local newspaper. I’m not going to offer a complex analysis, as I could. I simply want to throw out some quick thoughts and then gather together some previous thoughts, along with links to the writings of others. The purpose is to give a sense of the many the ways right-wing rhetoric is used as social control. I’ll share a few examples that are representative, if not exhaustive. I wanted to do so because I realized that my previous posts tended to be narrow in focus by looking at specific areas (e.g., climate change denialism). Not that I’m going to presently attempt a survey.

Right-wing rhetoric is an amazing thing to observe, most of all right-wing political correctness. And I’m amazed how rarely others are amazed by it or even notice it, as if we’ve become numb to the constant noise of it. The one thing I’ll give them credit for is that they are highly effective propagandists in controlling narratives and policing allowable language. Sometimes it comes in blunt forms of authoritarian social control, but typically it is much more insidious. Part of why they are so talented is that they know how to manipulate what already so dominates in a society, to such a degree that it is hard for anyone to speak about it openly, what Noam Chomsky refers to as the propaganda model.

For example, identity politics is only directly called out when the powerless and underprivileged challenge those the identities that are well established and given favor within the ‘mainstream’ structures and institutions. And it is often a minority that polices what is allowable, a tiny percentage of whites, Christians, etc who control the platforms of speech in getting heard while the majority of whites, Christians, etc are treated as if they don’t exist (it ends up being social control all around for even most people within the majority aren’t free to define their own identity). Within the systems of control, including the so-called liberal media, certain identities simply are accepted with little question (sometimes in the universities as well, such as when professors are fired or otherwise forced out for supporting the equality of Palestinian rights). It is built into the framework of every public debate and political narrative exactly who are considered real Americans, what they look like, and what the positions they hold.

For centuries, garden variety race realists, fundamentalists, and other varieties of right-wing authoritarians have been so common in the American elite of politics, media, business, etc that they have mostly been taken as the social norm or at least well within it, even when the positions they hold are extremist in only being held by a small minority (e.g., the official NRA position of anti-regulation radicalism that isn’t even supported by the majority of NRA members). Their identity is a given and when it motivates their politics it isn’t called identity politics, much less political correctness when they seek to silence those other voices that have been historically excluded and victimized. And such silencing can be dangerous when it is used in defense of violence, such as denying the long history of right-wing terrorism and oppression… or, worse yet, in using a politically correct false equivalency to pretend its equal on all sides.

Now finally, albeit slowly, society is shifting away from some of the worst forms of bigotry, hatred, xenophobia, and all manners of prejudice. So, yeah, Jim Crow style racism is no longer acceptable. Neither is pinching your female secretary on the butt and then firing her when she refuses to have sex with you. Likewise, giving expression to hateful ignorance through rants in public forums is generally frowned upon and might not be a great career move. There are many things that have become considered morally wrong in respectable society, the kinds of language and behavior that were normalized by abusive systems of power not that long ago, well within living memory.

The loss of power and privilege among certain demographics has been hard for some to adapt to. What they could get away with when younger might entail less than happy responses in their older age. It’s hard to learning new ways of relating to others, especially when it requires admitting that one’s past behavior looks shameful in hindsight. It is hard to save face and, instead of letting the past go, some turn reactionary in wanting to double down in their embrace of crudity and cruelty, as if it demonstrates their strength, but in reality it shows their weakness, their desperation. So, they lash out. And one of the ways they do so is by attempting to enforce old systems of political correctness by projecting their desire for oppression onto those they hope to put back in their places. And so they play games of rhetoric to muddy the waters, such as claiming that the Civil War was about freedom rather than slavery.

It can be a powerful move, especially when the corporate media joins in the attack, scapegoating college students or even the entire young generation for finding it offensive that there has been a consistent pattern of right-wing authoritarians promoting harm to our society and I’m talking about literal harm where people sometimes get killed. To fight against the powerful seeking to do you harm is portrayed as being overly sensitive. And when those on the political left call it for what it is (e.g., those who make racist comments are racist), the political right basically argues that it’s politically incorrect to call them mean names, albeit they never call it political correctness

Even the ‘liberal’ media rarely challenges them on this bullshit. This right-wing strategy, sadly, gets many ‘moderates’ on board in their desire to be fair and balanced. So, liberalism gets once again hijacked to punch left, and it’s not hard to accomplish since liberals have always feared the left-wing more than the right-wing, which is why for generations now liberals have pushed hard right. This is why the liberal class is always prepared to silence left-wingers so as to defend the next right-wing project, such as beating the war drum for Bush’s War on Terror — remember how Bill Maher was attacked all across the corporate media for stating the obvious on a show called “Politically Incorrect”? Yet we never see the equivalent of conservatives attacking the right by policing the politically correct boundaries, this far right and no further. No. Instead, both conservatives join liberals in keeping the left-wing silenced. This has created an open field for right-wing rhetoric to dominate, a pattern that has been seen since before the Cold War. Liberals have always been an untrustworthy lot, capable of turning reactionary in an instant… or were they always reactionary?

This is how we got to the point where the president can attack the press and his supporters can talk about killing journalists, including a t-shirt worn at rallies that said “Tree. Rope. Journalist. Some assembly required.” and for a time was sold at Walmart. The message is that there are some things that the media or anyone else shouldn’t be allowed to talk about and, if they dare talk about them, the offending person should be made to never speak again (Robert A. Vella, Trump allies fear their white supremacist image, and that’s why they’re threatening journalists). This is the extremes to where right-wing political correctness takes us. And then when this is correctly labeled as right-wing authoritarianism, the right-wing authoritarians have a hissy-fit in claiming that accurately describing their words and behavior is unfair, that is to say politically incorrect. No one should state the obvious or else they will suffer the consequences.

Sadly, there are always liberals ready to quickly jump in to say that all sides are equally guilty or, if anything, that the political left is worst in their politically correctness. Well, fuck that bullshit! It is not the political left repeating hate-filled speech advocating violence, as seen with the right-wing media. When Bill O’Reilly repeatedly called Dr. George Tiller a “baby killer” until one of his viewers killed the good doctor, whose speech was silenced? When right-wingers have killed people in hate crimes and terrorism, in a way not seen among left-wingers, why is it the political left that gets verbally attacked for being politically correct in defending against these dangerous people? This is not a time for liberals to pander to the right because of lacking a moral spine. One of these days liberals will be reminded once again, as happened in Germany after liberals backed the Nazis, that maybe, just maybe the right-wing authoritarians are to be feared far beyond the left-wing bogeyman. Free speech is more than a nice-sounding idea. And for God’s sake! Beware of rhetoric of free speech used to undermine free speech. One thing that reactionaries, be it right-wing reactionaries or liberal reactionaries, are talented at is using democratic norms against democracy.

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The Many Stolen Labels of the Reactionary Mind (comment)

Reactionaries are a dangerous enemy. This is because, as Faceless Men, they can be anywhere in any form and speaking in any voice. You can see this in how the political right has co-opted political correctness and wielded it against the political left, such as denying being racists even as they promote racism and then acting offended by the allegation. The smartest among them know how to say all the right things. They are chameleons. They know how to fit in, when it serves their purpose.

Right-Wing Political Correctness on Right-Wing Terrorism

Yet this largely went unnoticed. The media, especially the right-wing media, had little interest in focusing on domestic threats while the foreign “War on Terror” was going on. And it would have been hard for right-wing groups to argue for bias when right-wingers were in control of the federal government. This attitude changed, of course, when Barack Obama was elected. There was right-wing outrage when a DHS report came out in 2009 that highlighted right-wing terrorism, despite the fact that the research for the report began under the Bush administration. This forced a retraction, not because it wasn’t true but because it was politically incorrect.

Berkeley Scholar Doesn’t Admit He Is A Corporate Shill

Explain to me how scientific experts who support scientific consensus are ‘cultists’ because “I’m rubber and you’re glue, what bounces off of me sticks to you”. Besides being inanely stupid, that is false equivalency between the two sides. Why shouldn’t we label as science denialists those who deny science? And how does that justify declaring that respectable climatologists are cultists for simply stating scientific facts? Calling a spade a spade in calling a denialist a denialist isn’t unfair name-calling, since it is a objective description. It reminds me of racists who complain about being called racists and demand they be treated as respectable equals. Why should we play their game?

Conservatives seeing everything in terms of religion is nothing new. To their mind, everything on the political left is a cult, as every other religion is a cult. Their complaint isn’t about religion but that there can only be one true religion to rule them all (religiosity as authoritarian dogmatism by way of Social Darwinism) and all else is cultism. It’s similar to how conservatives deny having an ideology for only people they disagree with have ideologies. The labels of ‘cult’ and ‘ideology’ mean the same thing in the conservative mind. It seems like a whole lot of projection considering how hard conservatives push their political and religious ideologies onto others, including their own preferred versions of political correctness. That is what this comes down to, political correctness in defense of right-wing ideology. The right-wing snowflakes have their feelings hurt by words. And since they can’t win on the facts, they will try to make it a fight over language policing.

Racecraft: Political Correctness & Free Marketplace of IdeasRacecraft: Political Correctness & Free Marketplace of Ideas

Racecraft: The Soul of Inequality in American Life
by Barbara J. Fields and Karen Fields

In the controversy over Dr. James D. Watson’s remarks in London, some of his defenders charged his critics with a “politically correct” retreat from science, insisting that good science requires a free marketplace of ideas . Researchers must be free, they implied, to salvage the old bio-racist ranking of superior and inferior races, regardless of the collapse as science of its core concept, race. But it is doubtful that those foes of political correctness would wish to rehabilitate that part of bio-racism that once identified inferior white races.

If they took their own position seriously, they would applaud the writings of such eminent American scientists of the late nineteenth century as Edward Drinker Cope and Nathaniel Southgate Shaler (dean of Harvard’s Lawrence Scientific School during the 1890s) on the inequality of races, not simply their work on dinosaurs and the earth’s history. Cope advocated both “the return of the African to Africa” and restrictions on immigration by “the half-civilized hordes of Europe.” Shaler agreed, characterizing those hordes as inferior “by birthright ,” “essentially in the same state as the Southern Negro,” and distinct from “the Aryan variety of mankind.” […]

One of the present authors some years ago tested the limits of the free market in racist ideas. A crotchety yet likable right-wing colleague approached, looking disquieted and in need of moral support. He was “having trouble” with a certain black student in his bio-psychology class. What was wrong, he wondered, with saying that “black people may, or (mind you) may not, prove to be intellectually inferior to white people? In science, you frame a hypothesis, devise an experiment, find out.” The student raised her hand and, when recognized, blasted him. “Do you know So-and -So (the student in question)?” asked the bio-psychologist. (The author did happen to know the student in question, an eighteen-year-old single mother of twins who was as bright as they come and not one to brook insult.) “Why can’t she grasp that there’s a scientific approach to things , blah , blah?” Finally, the author put a question. “If, as you say, there is no hypothesis that science excludes, why not try this assignment ? Let your students pick any white ethnic group and any stereotype commonly applied to it, greedy, mendacious, dumb, drunken, gangsterish, and so on, then formulate a hypothesis, design the experiment, find out.” The colleague’s face froze.

Using Free Speech Rhetoric to Silence OpponentsUsing Free Speech Rhetoric to Silence Opponents

There is still a law on the book that makes belonging to the communist party illegal. In the right-wing media, there is talk about enforcing this law to silence opponents. Some petitions have been started for this purpose, specifically in the hope that Trump will back this attack on the political left. It’s nonsense, of course, and wouldn’t hold up in court. But I have yet to hear of any conservative, right-wing, or alt-right free speech advocate complain about, much less protest against, these authoritarian right-wingers. It’s the same reason why conservative colleges can get away with far more egregious silencing of free speech than can mainstream colleges, even though those conservative colleges also receive public funding.

Censorship of speech was far more dangerous and damaging in the past when it mostly targeted the political left. And censorship continues to target the political left, targeting workers, students and professors. If you don’t hear about censorship against left-wingers in corporate media, that is because corporate media is the mouthpiece of capitalism and doesn’t tend to bend over backwards to create a platform for Marxists, communists, and their fellow travelers (e.g., Palestinian rights advocates).

Those on the political right act as if there is a conspiracy against them, as if they are the only Americans who know oppression. They pretend that white conservatives are the ultimate oppressed minority in a country that is and always has been majority white and majority Christian. They apparently have no clue about the harsh realities that others face on a daily basis or else they are pretending to be ignorant. It’s mind-boggling. How could they be so obliviously ignornant to not know about the prejudices and hate crimes directed at minorities, the difficulty of being a Muslim or Middle Easterner (or mistaken for one), the professors who lose their jobs when they defend the rights of Palestinians and such, the historical and ongoing attack on left-wingers?

Sure, free speech is under attack, as it always has been. But it is a psychotic disconnection from reality to genuinely believe that this is all about the political right. Why the constant playing of the victim card when the tactics the political right has used against others are turned back the other way?

They should learn some history. Even in the past, some right-wing groups found themselves on the wrong side of political and corporate power. The government didn’t only systematically attack communist partisans, anti-war protesters, black radicals, and hippy drug users? The Second Klan was destroyed by the FBI, although the KKK had become quite corrupt at that point and was flaunting its own power through such things as political bribery and tax evasion.

The point is that those in the centers of power will always seek to silence and eliminate any individual or group that too effectively challenges the status quo or otherwise becomes problematic to establishment agendas and interests. That is true of those in power within the private sector. A company like Google would have been misogynistic in the past as most companies were in the past because misogyny was the norm, but times have changed and so all companies increasingly support gender equality because it is all about what is good for business (studies show that diverse companies have higher levels of innovation, profit, etc). Even the University of Iowa has as its president a guy from the business world, not some left-wing political activist. Colleges these days are run like businesses and having an anti-gay group causing trouble on campus isn’t good for business.

We live in a capitalist society, after all. Everything is about the flow of money. That pretty much sums up the entirety of American history.

As for all the protesters and counter-protesters, that also is nothing new. America has a long history of public outrage going back to not just protests but riots and revolts even before the American Revolution. We Americans are a vocal people about our opinions on public matters. And it occasionally turning to violence is even less of a shock. Actions committed by individuals and groups in the past, more often directed at left-wingers and minorities, were far more violent than what tends to be seen these days. If anything, it is amazing how non-violent of a time we live in, at least in the Western world (ignoring the violence we export to the rest of the world).

Besides, the most violent actions in recent history have not come from the political left. There is no American left-wing equivalent to generations of right-wing violence — the bombings, arson, assassinations, driving cars into crowds, etc (if you are unaware of this recent history, just ask some blacks, gays, Muslims, clinic doctors, etc about it and they can enlighten you). Not even the Weather Underground, terrorist bombers as they were, ever targeted people as there bombings were carefully planned to avoid human casualties. The government has officially labeled certain environmentalist groups such as Earth First! as terrorists, despite there never having killed a single person nor ever attempted to do so.

For decades, health clinics and doctors were targeted by anti-abortion militants. Even right-wingers in the mainstream media promoted this violent movement such as Bill O’Reilly’s helping to incite the murder of Dr. George Tiller, and O’Reilly never apologized or expressed remorse, much less got fired from his job. Sure, since Fox News backs this hateful bigotry, then those who spew it have their free speech protected. But what about the free speech of the victim who was silenced with a bullet? And what about all the thousands of other victims of prejudice, oppression, hate crimes, and right-wing terrorism?

Here is another point that gets lost in all of this. No matter how often the political right repeats its ignorance and lies, the conflation of liberals and left-wingers remains false and misleading. Going back to the early 20th century, there has rarely been love lost between these two ideological groups. Some of the gravest attacks on left-wingers have come from liberals or those pretending to be liberals. That is what Phil Ochs was going on about in his satirical song, “Love Me, I’m a Liberal”. Some of the most vocal and strident Cold War warriors were liberals, having done everything in their power to destroy the political left.

Even though the Cold War has ended, liberals continue to attack everyone to the left of them which is why the right-wing ‘liberals’ such as the Clinton Democrats are always seeking to eliminate and discredit all left-wing challengers, from Ralph Nader to Bernie Sanders. Where was most of the political right in defending Sanders’ free speech when Hillary Clinton and big biz media sought to silence him and keep him out of public awareness until late in the campaign season? And that isn’t even to get into how the alliance between big gov and big biz silences all of us Americans, not just outsider candidates… while the corporatists arguing for corporate ‘free speech’. As for campuses, left-wingers are no more safe there than anywhere else.

The only reason that Americans don’t hear more about oppression and censorship of left-wingers is because corporate media in a corporatist society, whether supposedly liberal MSNBC or conservative Fox News, rarely reports on it. But it not being regularly discussed in the mainstream is not the same thing as it not happening. Capitalist realism is the dominant ideology of our entire society and as such is taken as a given with protest against it being almost impossible — in the words of H. Bruce Franklin: “It is now easier to imagine the end of the world than to imagine the end of capitalism.” We can’t have the freedom that we can’t imagine and we can’t fight against the oppression what we can’t see, which is why oppression of the mind is the worst possible oppression. That is what this is all about, the right-wing attempt to suppress all alternatives by censoring public debate, which first requires controlling the frame of allowable debate.

This touches upon the difference between negative liberty and positive freedom, the former allows for censorship of the powerless while the latter promotes free speech for all. The political right in the past advocated the one and dismissed the other, but now they are coming to realize or pretending to care that maybe positive freedom matters after all, at least when they portray themselves as oppressed and victimized minorities (that is why the anti-gay student group at the UI didn’t merely argue for negative liberty to be able to speak freely on campus but a positive freedom in demanding the university and taxpayer support and promote their free speech by giving them an official platform). A genuine public debate about free speech and freedom in general is needed. Unfortunately, that isn’t what the political right wants. It is simply a political game about power and influence, amplifying one’s own voice at the cost of others.

Even more problematic is that the same political and economic elites who own our government are seeking to own every aspect of our society, including colleges that because of loss of public funding have increasingly turned to corporate funding. The right-wingers funding the campus ‘free speech’ movement are also those who operate think tanks, lobbyist groups, front organizations, etc that promote the corporate ‘free speech’ of Citizens United, the neoliberal ‘free trade’ agreements of big biz corporatism, the protection of ‘freedom’ through voter ID laws that suppress voting rights, and the ‘freedom’ of the right-to-work which means the right for workers to have no protections. The whole point is to make ‘freedom’ a meaningless word.

The Myth of Political Correctness: The Conservative Attack on Higher Education
by John K. Wilson

Patriotic Correctness: Academic Freedom and Its Enemies
by Karri A. Holley

Conservative correctness
from Rational Wiki

From Political Correctness to Conservative Correctness
by Michael K. Fauntroy

Republican Political Correctness
by Woody

What are some examples of conservative forms of political correctness?
from Quora

Data shows a surprising campus free speech problem: left-wingers being fired for their opinions
by Zack Beauchamp

Political Correctness Has Run Amok — on the Right
by Aaron R. Hanlon

Donald Trump and the Sad Triumph of Right-Wing Political Correctness
by Nick Gillespie

The New Political Correctness
by Paul Krugman

‘Political Incorrectness’ Is Just ‘Political Correctness’ for Conservatives
by Ed Kilgore

Political correctness is rampant on the right wing — but no one ever admits it
by Cody Fenwick

Your Political Correctness Is Showing, Conservatives
by Maximillian Alvarez

The big problem with those conservative calls for ‘civility’
by Rachael Kraus

Always Projection: The Invention of Political Correctness
by Paul Campos

Time for equal media treatment of ‘political correctness’
by Joshua Adams

Conservatives have a version of political correctness, too
by Noah Berlatsky

Political Correctness Is A Right-Wing Myth
by Ward Anderson

Opinion: Conservatives politically correct too
by Jared Bailey

Choose Wisely: Political Correctness Or A Retreat To Conservative Censorship?
from The Pavlovic Today

The Phony Debate About Political Correctness
by Erica Hellerstein and Judd Legum

‘Political Incorrectness’ Is Just ‘Political Correctness’ for Conservatives
by Ed Kilgore

“Political Correctness” Is Social Conservative Code For Civil Rights
by Mark Baer

COLUMN: Political correctness is a conservative invention
by Zoe Cheng

Conservative Political Correctness and the Colin Kaepernick-Nike July 4th Controversy
by Jared Keller

Dixie Chicks Were Right
by Don Williams

 

 

Eliminating Dietary Dissent

There was a hit piece in the Daily Mail that targeted three experts in the field, all doctors who are involved in research. It’s not exactly a respectable publication, but it does have a large mainstream readership and so its influence is immense, at least within the UK (even as an American, I occasionally come across Daily Mail articles). Here is the response by Dr. Malcolm Kendrick’s (Scottish). And by Dr. Zoe Harcombe’s (Welsh). Both responses were sent to the Daily Mail. The hit piece was published in timing with her planned speech before the UK Parliament, an attempt to discredit her and to distract from debate of the evidence. The third target of attack, Dr Aseem Malhotra (British) who also spoke to the UK Parliament (and the European Parliament as well), chose not to respond as he concluded it would be futile and it appears he was correct, in that the Daily Mail chose not to alter its message in the least because of what Kendrick and Harcombe wrote.

This is the same basic battle that I’ve mentioned previously, the conflict between two prestigious British medical journals, the BMJ and the Lancet. It has developed into full ideological warfare. But those defending the status quo are being forced to acknowledge their detractors, which is an improvement over silencing.

In the failed attacks on Robert Atkins (American), Annika Dahlqvist (Swedish), Gary Taubes (American), Tim Noakes (South African), Gary Fettke (Australian), Peter C.Gøtzsche (Danish), Maryanne Demasi (Australia), Shawn Baker (American), Annette Presley (American), and many others over similar disputes, and among others who have felt the politically correct wrath of conventional and corporatist authority (I could mention Uffe Ravnskov, Nina Teicholz, etc; there is Malcolm Kendrick, Zoe Harcombe, and Aseem Malhotra as well; and, as I’ve discussed before,  there were the earlier attacks on Adelle Davis, Carlton Fredericks, Gayelord Hauser, and Herman Taller), we see how the powers that be use mainstream institutions (private and public) as weapons. But that isn’t to ignore that there are also some successful examples of silencing such as John Yudkins (British), Jen Elliott (Australian), Maryanne Demasi (Australian), etc.

In The Big Fat Lie that was made into the documentary Fat Fiction, Nina Teicholz discusses other major figures in the healthcare field and research community that were effectively silenced in being discredited and excluded, in that they couldn’t get funding and were no longer invited to speak at scientific conferences; and Gary Taubes earlier discussed the same territory in Good Calories, Bad Calories; but if you prefer a detailed personal account of how a systematic attack is done, read Tim Noakes’ Lore of Nutrition. Anyways, failed or successful, these attacks are cautionary tales in setting examples of what the authorities can and will do to you if you step out of line. It creates a stultifying atmosphere and a sense of wariness among researchers, healthcare professionals, science writers, journalists, and public intellectuals — hence encouraging people to censor themselves.

In a similar area of dispute, there is another ongoing fight where an individual, Diana Rodgers (American), like the others has been targeted. Attacking individuals in trying to destroy their careers or authority seems to be the standard tactic. Fortunately, social media sheds light on this dark practice and brings out the support for these doctors, dieticians, researchers, etc who in the past would’ve felt isolated. It’s one of the positives of the internet.

Yet again, here is an example of conventional idiocy in its attempt to use a mainstream platform to spread disinfo and enforce conformity. Consider Newsweek that, like the Daily Mail, is a low quality but widely read mainstream publication. They decided to do a piece critical of the carnivore diet. And the writer they assigned to do it normally writes about video games and pop culture. Unsurprisingly, written by someone with no knowledge or expertise, the article was predictably misinformed. Every single comment in the comments section was critical (nearly the same in the comments of Nina Teicholz’s tweet), including comments by doctors and other experts. It’s less to do with a specific diet. This same kind of backlash is seen toward every variety of low-carb diet, whether plant-based paleo or plant-free carnivore, whether high-(healthy)fat or moderate, whether ketogenic or not. The reason is that there is no way to have a low-carb diet while maintaining large profits for the present model of the big biz food system of heavily-subsidized, chemical-drenched, and genetically-modified surplus grains as used to produce shelf-stable processed foods.

And it is far from limited to trashy popular media, as the same kinds of dismissive articles are found in higher quality publications like the Guardian, along with major medical organizations such as Harvard and the Mayo Clinic (although there is increasing positive press as the scientific research and popular support becomes overwhelming). Harvard, for example, is closely tied to the EAT-Lancet agenda (by way of Walter Willett, the ideological heir of Ancel Keys and, as I recall, involved in the leak of Robert Atkins’ medical records in a failed attempt to smear his reputation after his death) and the corporations behind it (Harvard, like other universities, have become heavily funded by corporations, as government funding has dried up; the Koch brothers have been key figures in the corporate takeover of universities with influence over hiring and firing of faculty and, by the way, the Koch brothers are heavily invested in big ag which is to say they are financially connected to the government-subsidized “green revolution” and the processed food industry).

Yet a growing movement is emerging from below, not only seen in comments sections and social media, but also in forming new organizations to demand accountability; for example, Gary Taubes’ Nutrition Science Initiative (NuSI) that is promoting much needed research. In reaction, the self-proclaimed authority figures in the mainstream are trying to enforce dietary conformity. I suspect the fact that so many people are questioning, doubting, and experimenting is precisely the reason elites all of a sudden are pushing even harder for basically the old views they’ve been pushing for decades. They sense the respect for their position is slipping and are in damage control mode. This isn’t only about statins, LCHF diet, or whatever else. It indicates a deeper shift going on (with low-carb diets on the rise) and those who are resisting it because of vested interests. What’s at stake is a paradigm change and the consequences of the status quo remaining in place are dire for public health.

* * *

On a related note, there is also a dark side to how the internet has been wielded as propaganda network. We know how effectively social media can be used to spread disinfo — yes, by whackos and controlled opposition like Alex Jones but even more powerfully by governments and corporations, think tanks and lobbyist groups, astroturf operations and paid trolls.

Wikipedia and Rational Wikipedia seem to have been taken over by defenders of the establishment, a sad fate for both of them. Many Wikipedia pages related to low-carb diets and alternative health (including tame criticism of statins by world reknown scientists) have been heavily slanted or deleted on Wikipedia. This agenda of censorship goes straight to the top — Jimmy Wales, the founder of Wikipedia, has called all critics of conventional medicine “lunatic charlatans” and demands that they be eliminated from Wikipedia, as if they never existed. This is a major change from earlier Wikipedia policy that promoted articles showing multiple viewpoints, but the reason for the change is that Wikipedia is being pressured to be an authoritative source as with traditional encyclopedias since Wikipedia is now used by services like Apple’s Siri.

Rational Wikipedia labels as “statin denier” anyone who is skeptical of highly profitable and corporate-promoted overprescription of statins, including critics who are practicing doctors and peer-reviewed researchers (the same false accusation is made by other pseudo-skeptical organizations such as CSICOP) — according to this logic, one of the most well-respected medical journals in the world, the BMJ, are “statin denialists” for being skeptical of the overuse of statins that the scientific research shows can cause much harm. Meanwhile, Rational Wikipedia rationalizes away this concerted effort of propaganda, probably because it’s the same people behind both operations, by way of hard-to-track sock puppets (I know from personal experience and research how deep the hole can go in trying to track down the identity of a disinfo agent, be they paid troll or merely the mentally disturbed). Pseudo-skepticism has come to rule the internet —- some of it as mentally disturbed true-believers but it also includes organizations that are astroturf. And so be skeptical most of all of anyone who poses as a skeptic.

Fortunately, alternatives are emerging such as Infogalactic as a non-censored, balanced, and independent version of Wikipedia. Unlike Wikipedia, an editor or group of editors can’t monopolize or delete a page simply because they ideologically disagree with it. And unlike Rational Wikpedia, there is no narrow institutional ideology informing what is allowable.

This is partly why it is so hard for the average person to find good info. Not only are we being lied to by big gov and big biz by way of big media for the same powerful interests are co-opting the new media as well. The purge and demonetizing of alternative voices, left and right, on YouTube was a great example of this. A similar purge has happened on Pinterest, generally censoring alternative health views and specifically targeting low-carb diets using centralized propaganda as the justification: “Keto doesn’t conform to CDC dietary guidelines” — despite the fact that ketogenic diets are among the most widely and longest researched with massive amount of data supporting numerous areas of benefit: longevity, cancer, epilepsy, autism, insulin resistance, autoimmune conditions, Alzheimer’s, etc. If the CDC is anti-science when particular science opposes highly profitable corporate interests, that is a major problem — but it shouldn’t be surprising that Pinterest, a highly profitable corporation (likely owned by a parent company that also owns other companies involved in agriculture, food production, pharmaceuticals, etc), defends the interests of big biz in collusion with big gov.

There is a struggle by the powerful to regain control of all potential avenues of propaganda and perception management. In terms of public debate, it’s always a matter of the perception of who wins. This is why propagandists, as with advertisers, have long understood that repetition of claims or ideas will make them so familiar as to feel true — what is called cognitive ease. That is why it is so important to silence opponents and make them invisible. Repetition requires total control, as the other side will also attempt to repeat their views. But it doesn’t matter how often alternative views are repeated if they are effectively erased from public view and from public forums. Look widely for info and scrutinize everything carefully. Find the few experts that are genuine honest actors and follow what they put out.

* * *

The Dark Side of Wikipedia
from Full Measure

Astroturfing Revealed–the Ruining of Wikipedia
by Angela A. Stanton

Wikipedia Declares War on Low Carb Diet Experts
by Aarn

Jimmy Wales Admits Free Access To Health Knowledge Has Strict Limits On Wikipedia
by Paul Anthony Taylor

Wikipedia: Cementing The Power Of The Status Quo
from Dr. Rath Health Foundation

Let me tell you a little bit about how the @Wikipedia farce works from someone who spent a lot of time battling there as an editor.
by Mike Carrato

Wikipedia Captured by Skeptics
from Skeptics about Skeptics

The Philip Cross Affair
by Craig Murray

Wikipedia censorship of natural, non-drug therapies
from Alliance for Natural Health

Kendrick, Wikipedia and ‘Dark Forces’ Waging War on Science
by Marika Sboros

Dr Malcolm Kendrick – deletion from Wikipedia
by Malcolm Kendrick

Wikipedia a parable for our times
by Malcolm Kendrick

Who Deserves to be a Wikipedia Article?: The Deletion of Dr. Malcolm Kendrick
by Anthony Pearson

‘Fat Head’ Targeted For Deletion By The Weenie At Wikipedia
by Tom Naughton

Follow-Up On The Weenie Wiki Editor
by Tom Naughton

BEWARE: New Plan to Censor Health Websites
by Joseph Mercola

Reddit discussions:
Doctors who are against statin are being removed from Wikipedia
Fat Head movie Wikipedia article up for deletion next !
Malcolm Kendrick and other low-carb and keto advocates are being attacked at Rationalwiki as pseudoscientists

StartLoving3: Liberal?

I was recently blocked by a YouTube user (StartLoving3). I was surprised because I was subscribed to the person’s channel and enjoyed all the videos they posted. The video I had commented on was about WikiLeaks. I pointed out that I hadn’t heard any evidence that anyone had actually died because of the data released and StartLoving3 was outraged that I was defending the freedom of the press. I don’t always state my comments on YouTube in the kindest way, but in this incident I stated my comment very simply and without attacking. Another commenter even complimented on how fair my comment was.

StartLoving3 was so annoyed at my comment that he responded after blocking me. David Duke did that to me on his YouTube channel, but David Duke is a white supremacist. I expect white supremacists to act like cowards and run away from intelligent debate, but I hold liberals up to a higher standard. Going by the videos on StartLoving3’s channel, he seems to be as liberal as one can get. But, obviously, he isn’t my kind of liberal. His irritation at my comment (and maybe at the other commenter’s liking my comment) led him to take the video down entirely. It wasn’t enough to just censor my future comments. He had to erase my presence entirely.

I decided to send a message to StartLoving3, but I don’t think he’d receive it as he has blocked me. So, I thought I’d share it here.

– – –

I was just visiting your YouTube page. I was wondering what type of person blocks another for making a point about the facts. Every video you post is exactly what I enjoy watching. We probably agree on 99.99999% of issues and yet you blocked me because you were hyper-sensitive about that 0.00001% of disagreement.

I always defend liberals as being better than conservatives. I often criticize right-wingers because they tend to block out what they don’t want to hear, but it isn’t what I expect from a liberal. I think of liberals as people who are always willing to listen to facts, always willing to try to understand. I made a rational argument based on facts. I asked for evidence and you blocked me.

That is the type of thing I expect from an anti-intellectual right-winger but not a true liberal. What gives? It truly bewilders me. How are you making the world a better place by shutting down dialogue? How are you any better than those you disagree with?

You seem like someone who cares which is why I feel so surprised. Right-wingers often shut out opinions they disagree with and facts they don’t like because they’re stuck in an ideology reality tunnel. I realize some liberals, even if not the majority, can get stuck in ideology as well. Is that what you see your role as? Being an ideologue?

If people like you shut out and attack those who agree with 99.99999% of what you believe, then what hope is there? Does every person have to agree with you 100% or else you think they’re worthless? They just seem like a very liberal attitude? Could you imagine a world where you only ever heard viewpoints that you already agreed with?

I honestly must admit you’ve shaken my faith in liberals. I always thought liberals were better than the kind of behavior your demonstrating. I thought the one thing that distinguished liberals was that we don’t hide in ideology. Am I wrong about liberalism? Is the type of world you want to create one where people can’t have intelligent discussion and possibly learn something new by hearing a different perspective?

I was just visiting your YouTube page. I was wondering what type of person blocks another for making a point about the facts. Every video you post is exactly what I enjoy watching. We probably agree on 99.99999% of issues and yet you blocked me because you were hyper-sensitive about that 0.00001% of disagreement.

I always defend liberals as being better than conservatives. I often criticize right-wingers because they tend to block out what they don’t want to hear, but it isn’t what I expect from a liberal. I think of liberals as people who are always willing to listen to facts, always willing to try to understand. I made a rational argument based on facts. I asked for evidence and you blocked me.

That is the type of thing I expect from an anti-intellectual right-winger but not a true liberal. What gives? It truly bewilders me. How are you making the world a better place by shutting down dialogue? How are you any better than those you disagree with?

You seem like someone who cares which is why I feel so surprised. Right-wingers often shut out opinions they disagree with and facts they don’t like because they’re stuck in an ideology reality tunnel. I realize some liberals, even if not the majority, can get stuck in ideology as well. Is that what you see your role as? Being an ideologue?

If people like you shut out and attack those who agree with 99.99999% of what you believe, then what hope is there? Does every person have to agree with you 100% or else you think they’re worthless? They just seem like a very liberal attitude? Could you imagine a world where you only ever heard viewpoints that you already agreed with?

I honestly must admit you’ve somewhat shaken my faith in liberals. I always thought liberals were better than the kind of behavior your demonstrating. I thought the one thing that distinguished liberals was that we don’t hide in ideology. Am I wrong about liberalism? Is the type of world you want to create one where people can’t have intelligent discussion and possibly learn something new by hearing a different perspective?

Google vs China, Capitalism vs Communism

Google is threatening to leave the Chinese market.  

Hackers attacked Google and one of the targets was the email accounts of chinese human rights activists.  Google has said they will no longer cooperate with Chinese censorship, but many have wondered why they ever agreed to do so in the first place.  They’ve lost all credibility in their supposed company policy of “do no evil”, but they’re apparently hoping to save their tarnished image.

In reality, Google cares little about human rights and censorship.  Google cares about profits and they’ve had losing profits in China because of all of the restrictions.  China may be the single largest market, but the costs of doing business there are very high.  Anyways, Google wasn’t directly concerned about the hacking of email accounts.  Google, instead, was concerned about the fact that hackers (probably working for China) were trying to steal information from Google including code.

http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2010/01/new-approach-to-china.html

http://www.techcrunch.com/2010/01/12/google%E2%80%99s-china-stance-more-about-business-than-thwarting-evil/

http://www.techcrunch.com/2010/01/12/google-china-attacks/

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/01/13/AR2010011300359.html?wpisrc=nl_tech

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/01/12/AR2010011202903.html?wpisrc=nl_tech

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/01/13/AR2010011301168.html

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/14/technology/companies/14baidu.html?ref=business

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/14/world/asia/14beijing.html?hp

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/14/business/global/14western.html?hp

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/13/opinion/13friedman.html?em

Google…Now Serving Cowardliness (PIC)

I came across something on Digg:

Google…Now Serving Cowardliness (PIC)

A person made screenshots of Google suggestions.  They entered “christianity is”, “judaism is”, “buddhism is”, “hinduism is”, and “islam is”.  Google offered suggestions of popular search items for all of these except for the one pertaining to islam.  Supposedly, Google claims it is just a bug… but it’s a rather convenient bug.  Don’t want to anger the Muslims.

To be fair, I did some investigation with my own searches. 

With the first one, I entered “(religious founder) is” and Google did offer suggestion results for each of them (including Muhammad) except for when I entered “moses is”.  That is interesting because I’d think that many people would do websearches about Moses, the man who many consider the founder of all monotheism.

With the second one, I entered “christians are”, “jews are”, “buddhists are”, “hindus are”, and “muslims are”.  This time Google treated them all equally by giving not search suggestions at all.  I was curious whether it had to do with religion or fear of hate speech.  So, I entered “blacks are” and “whites are”.  These also showed no suggestions.  For the next step, I tried a few terms that are secular and not normally related to hate speech (or at least not politically incorrect hate speech): “scientists are”, “doctors are”, “lawyers are”, and “politicians are”.  All of these last search items brought up various suggestions.  I decided now to try something more broad: “americans are”, “canadians are”, “mexicans are”, and “iraqis are”.  No search suggestions.  Yet another: “cows are”.  Yep, suggestions.

What this proves is that Google is afraid of political incorrectness.  In our society, it’s fair game to make negative statements about professions and other general categories, but it isn’t acceptable to make negative statements about religious groups, racial groups, and cultural groups.

Let me try one last category.  I entered “atheism is” and Google offered search suggestions.  I then entered “atheists are” and Google offered no search suggestions. 

This last investigation clarifies a trend in all of these examples.  In our society, it is acceptable to make negative statements about most ideologies (excluding Islam of course) which is similar to how we think about professions.  However, any category that is less general and with which someone might more personally identify is off limits.  The interesting result of this is that using “is” as a search item will lead to more search suggestions than using “are”, or rather this is the case when doing a search about anything that potentially might be considered offensive.

Overall, what this proves is that Google edits what kind of phrases (and in some cases which particular phrases) are allowed to have search suggestions shown to the user.  This much is obvious as anyone can try this experiment out for themselves.  A more difficult experiment is how the search results themselves might have similar censorship or other biases.  I’ve noticed that search results don’t always reliably show you what is on the web.  Google has complex rules that website owners have to follow, and if they aren’t followed the website gets pushed out of top results.

WordPress Censorship?

I think I may have stumbled across a case of censorship on WordPress.  I didn’t want to believe it, but there seems to be no other explanation and so I document it here (hoping there won’t be further censorship if such is the case).  The question is who would be able to censor blogs in this manner.  I assume it would have to be programmed into the software which means there is some combination of words or tags that causes a blog post to not show up.  But why?  What purpose would such censorship serve?

It all started when I posted the following blog:

Cold War Era: Paranoia and Oppression

Posted on July 10, 2009 by Benjamin Steele

I noticed something which led me to investigate further and I made these comments in that blog:

I was looking at my blog statistics and I noticed that no one had viewed this post yet. Usually, when a post has this many tags it gets viewed right away.

So, I checked out some of the tags. There are more recent posts by other bloggers who have posted under the same tags and there blogs already show up in the tag listing. I didn’t check every tag out, but so far this post has yet to show up in any of the tag listings that I’ve looked at. This is highly unusual as a post typically shows up in the tag listings as soon as it’s posted.

It makes me wonder if blog posts that have certain sets of tags get held off the tag listings until they’ve been inspected by someone. Anyways, it’s highly suspicious considering the subject of this post. It could just be a glitch in the system, but if so it’s the first I’ve noticed it.

I made another interesting observation. I looked at the page for the tag “CIA”. It didn’t show my blog even though it showed other blogs with posts more recent than mine, but that wasn’t the interesting part. It only listed posts from the last day. Most major tags have endless pages of posts. It simply isn’t possible that nobody on WordPress has tagged a blog post with the term “CIA” before today.

Either WordPress is having some system wide glitches that are making posts not show up or there is systematic censorship.

There must’ve been a glitch at least for the CIA tag page because now it shows more than a page of posts. However, my post is still not showing up on any of the tag pages that I’ve checked. If it is a glitch, why is it not effecting other blogger’s posts?

Right now (9:44 pm, Friday, 7/10/09) I did a Word Press search for “Cold War Era: Paranoia and Oppression” which gave this result:

0 results for Cold War Era: Paranoia and Oppression (0.03 seconds)

Search into posts comments

Your search did not match any blog posts. Whoa.

  • Make sure all words are spelled correctly.
  • Try different keywords.
  • Try more general keywords.

And I did a Google search for “Cold War Era: Paranoia and Oppression” which on the first page gave these 3 results that mentioned my blog post in the blurbs:

Marmalade

Cold War: Paranoia and Oppression. Posted on July 10, 2009 by Benjamin Steele that the 1950s was merely a clear example of the entire Cold War era.
benjamindavidsteele.wordpress.com/ –

Alphabet Agencies — Blogs, Pictures, and more on WordPress

Cold War: Paranoia and Oppression. This post started out being about the paranoia that the 1950s was merely a clear example of the entire Cold War era.
en.wordpress.com/tag/alphabet-agencies/ – 16 hours ago –
 
  1. World War Ii — Blogs, Pictures, and more on WordPress (from page 2)

    Cold War: Paranoia and Oppression · Benjamin Steele wrote 8 hours ago : This post started out with my thinking about the paranoia and oppressiveness of the
    en.wordpress.com/tag/world-war-ii/ –

I click on the Google search link to my blog Marmalade and it shows my post.  But I click on the link to “Alphabet Agencies” in the Google search results and it brings me to the WordPress page which says:

Blogs about: Alphabet Agencies

Sorry, we don’t have any posts here with that tag. You may want to try one of the sites below.

And I click on the link to “World War Ii” in the Google search results and it shows a whole list of Word Press posts, but notice despite Google’s search results my post is no where to be seen.

Blogs about: World War Ii

Featured Blog

July 11 in World War II history

Click to listen: July 11 in World War II history Notes: Petain Comiso Airport US 45th Division German prisoners in Moscow … more →

Sept1939’s Blog

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

lovelylissie wrote 15 minutes ago: This was a wonderful book! It takes place in Germany during World War II and follows a little girl … more →

Tags: Books, book, Book Review, Germany, Jews, markus zusak, The Book Thief, WorDs

July 11 in World War II history

sept1939 wrote 1 hour ago: Click to listen: July 11 in World War II history Notes: Petain Comiso Airport US 45th Division Germa … more →

Tags: History

Former Gov. Sara Palin of AK simply must indulge herself in a Double Fudge Anton’s Asshole Sundae

antonahill wrote 6 hours ago: Step 1. Ms. Palin drizzles a butt-load of Hershey’s into my backside. Step 2. Ms. Palin eats i … more →

Tags: AK, Alaska, Anthill films, Cynthia Buchanan, Fulbright, Hershey’s, palin, sara palin, Texas

The USS North Carolina

dmsmithblogger wrote 7 hours ago: As I pulled into the city of Wilmington, North Carolina, I peered through the spots of rain on my w … more →

Tags: alabama paranormal research team, battleships, danny bradshaw, Haunted North Carolina, Haunted Places, North Carolina, U.S.S. North Carolina, Wilmington North Carolina

We have liftoff

nicknotes wrote 10 hours ago: So it begins! Welcome to my first blog entry, my name is Nick, I’m a Californian, a librarian … more →

Tags: Curtis Lemay, First blog

Interview with Angus Munro, Author of “A Full House-But Empty”1 comment

amateurdelivre wrote 14 hours ago: About the Author: Angus Munro has roots that run deep. His farming ancestors came from Scotland in … more →

Tags: Great Depression, winston churchill, Canada, Errol Flynn, adventures of robin hood, Ontario, Robin Hood

July 10 in World War II history

sept1939 wrote 14 hours ago: Click to listen: July 10 in World War II history Notes: Battle of Britain Japan – Soviet Union … more →

Tags: History

WWII Women Pilots to Receive Medals2 comments

freemenow wrote 1 day ago: Contributed by CeCe                                                                                  … more →

Tags: Feminism, all-women pilots, wasps

Parachute Panties1 comment

mysterytrivia wrote 1 day ago: My husband recently asked a new friend, aged seventy something, what her most thrilling adventure ha … more →

Tags: Anecdotes

Greed and War2 comments

GordonZuckerman wrote 1 day ago: Image by BL1961 via Flickr Greed has always played a part in any conflict,  my book also deta … more →

Tags: Hitler, Politics, the sentinels, Germany, Wars and Conflicts

July 9 in World War II history

sept1939 wrote 1 day ago: Click to listen: July 9 in World War II history Notes: Vitebsk Operation Husky Battle for Caen Battl … more →

Tags: History

ISI vs. CIA: When Spies Don’t Play Well With Their Allies1 comment

pakalert wrote 1 day ago: The grumbling at the C.I.A. about dealing with Pakistan’s I.S.I. comes with a certain grudging rev … more →

Tags: General, Afghanistan, Akhtar Abdur Rahman, al-Qaeda, Am-Brit media, america, American Dollars, American Media, British Media

Racial Animosity

meinkrampf1 wrote 2 days ago: (From Chapter 35, “Mein Krampf” by S.I. Fishgal, http://stores.lulu.com/fishgal) “Do you hate Russia … more →

Tags: Russia, Jew, UKRAINIAN, german, führer, Slav, Babi Yar, Kiev, Osset

Pre-Order: “The History of 30 Assault Unit: Ian Fleming’s Red Indians”

Brandon Brown wrote 2 days ago: Amazon.co.uk is now allowing customers to pre-order “The History of 30 Assault Unit: Ian Flemi … more →

Tags: Literature, Merchandise, 007, 30 Assault Unit, Craig Cabell, Ian Fleming, James Bond, red indians

Soviet Penal Rifle Battalions

meinkrampf1 wrote 2 days ago: (From Chapter 30, “Mein Krampf” by S.I. Fishgal, http://stores.lulu.com/fishgal) “…During the (World … more →

Tags: Soviet, german, punishment, penal rifle battalion

Captain Corelli’s Mandolin by: Louis de Bernieres

bookwormslibrary wrote 2 days ago: This is an amazing story, with so much going on that it is fun to read — more than once.  I wa … more →

Tags: Historical Fiction, Fiction, book, Nazi

Miracle at St. Anna

kkenney wrote 2 days ago: Didn’t finish watching A World War II epic that tells the story of four members of the US. Arm … more →

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Setting New Goals

Mary Alice Carnes wrote 2 days ago: I had set a personal goal of finishing “D Day: June 6, 1944: The Climactic Battle of World War II” b … more →

Tags: Economy, D-day, Stephen E. Ambrose, survive and thrive

Update: I looked at the Word Press page for Censorship and this post showed up in the results immediately.  So, this post about the censorship of my other post shows up even while my other post continues to be blocked.  lol

Blogs about: Censorship

Featured Blog

Check out (“Spirit of the Law”) Nancy K. Bohl (Penrod’s wife) for yourself, and see where your tax money is going

California Peer Support Association 2009 Annual Conference and Training Conference Schedule WEDNESDAY, September 16, 2009 See also: Hoops pays back the Good Ol’ Boys Raymond S. G. Pryke v… more →

Big Bear Observation Post

WordPress Censorship1 comment

Benjamin Steele wrote 11 minutes ago: I think I may have stumbled across a case of censorship on WordPress.  I didn’t want to believ … more →

Tags: Blogging, Blog Search, Google, Google Search, post search, Web Search, Word Press, WordPress, wordpress. com

Further Update: I copied verbatim my post “Cold War Era: Paranoia and Oppression” and re-posted it as “US Government: 1940s-90s”, but I left the original up as well.  The only things I changed were the title and the tags.  The original was still not showing up listed in Word Press tag pages, but the re-posting was.  Out of curiosity, I did a Yahoo search of both titles and a Google search of both post titles simultaneously with “OR” in between.  This search was about a day after re-posting which would allow the search engine web crawlers to find it.  There wasn’t any results from Yahoo and there was only one page of results from Google (see below).  Interestingly, there isn’t a single direct link to the re-posting in the Google results even though there are several indirect links to it.  I haven’t done a thorough investigation, but this seems like something typical of searches I’ve done in the past.  There apparently is a strange relationship between the search engines and Word Press.  I used to have several blogs from several hosted sites.  I’d post the same thing to each of them because I was testing them out in order to see which one I liked best.  I did like Word Press’ functionality the best, but one disconcerting observation was how the posts from the other hosting site would show up in the search engine top results while the Word Press posts didn’t always show up.  Why is it that when doing a specific search that Google gives me indirect links rather than direct links?

  • Blog: notes*: July 2009 

    And I did a Google search for “Cold War Era: Paranoia and Oppression” which on the first page gave these 3 results that mentioned my blog post in the
    blogga-blognotes.blogspot.com/2009_07_01_archive.html – CachedSimilar
    US Government: 1940s-90s. Posted on July 13, 2009 by Benjamin Steele. This post started out with my thinking about the paranoia and oppressiveness of the
    benjamindavidsteele.wordpress.com/ – Similar

    Marmalade

    Jul 9, 2009 US Government: 1940s-90s · Benjamin Steele wrote 6 hours ago : This post started out with my thinking about the paranoia and oppressiveness
    en.wordpress.com/tag/us-history/ – CachedSimilar
  • Blog: notes*: WordPress Censorship

    Jul 11, 2009 Right now (9:44 pm, Friday, 7/10/09) I did a Word Press search for “Cold War Era: Paranoia and Oppression” which gave this result: 0 results
    blogga-blognotes.blogspot.com/…/wordpress-censorship.html – CachedSimilar
  • recent results ku | Addictomatic 

  • US Government: 1940s-90s · Martin Luther King Jr.: Playboy Interview · Cold War Era: Paranoia and Oppression · Visions of Prescott, AZ
    addictomatic.com/topic/recent+results+ku – 2 hours ago – Similar

  • watch free movies | Addictomatic  mce_href=

    Jul 7, 2009 US Government: 1940s-90s · One Piece Episode 409 | AnimeBLOGZ | Watch Anime Online: subbed … Zune DVD Converter Convert To Zune
    addictomatic.com/topic/watch+free+movies – CachedSimilar
  • 20th Century — Blogs, Pictures, and more on WordPress

    US Government: 1940s-90s · Benjamin Steele wrote 8 hours ago : This post started out with my thinking about the paranoia and oppressiveness of the 1950s.
    en.wordpress.com/tag/20th-century/ – CachedSimilar

    Us History — Blogs, Pictures, and more on WordPress  

  •  US Government: 1940s-90s. Posted on July 13, 2009 by Benjamin Steele. This post started out with my thinking about the paranoia and oppressiveness of the …
    benjamindavidsteele.wordpress.com/ – Similar

    The oddest result on the above Google search was Addict-o-matic.  I clicked on it and the site is about creating a personalized page that shows internet buzz.  It apparently was just showing an example page for the results for web links related to “ku”, but I have no idea what “ku” is.   The webpage had several categories including a section for Word Press.  It oddly has both versions of my post and apparently they somehow relate to this “ku” thingy, but also in that same section are some blog posts that don’t seem related to mine at all.  Anyways, this random webpage has direct links to both of my posts and yet none of the major search engines do.  How did the Addict-o-matic find my posts?

    Addict-o-matic — Topic: recent results ku

    WordPress.com