The flamboyantly cheesy Dr Oz

This article is mainly about the money-making side of Dr Oz’s enterprises, but the accompanying video is stunning. I don’t think I’ve ever watched his show, so the excerpts are surprising: he uses these gimmicky stunts to promote quackery, like people punching through paper signs, exploding balloons, using a hose to wash away the word “fat” — I had no idea it was such a cheap circus.

What country would like to adopt Katie Hopkins?


Desperate people are swarming out of Africa and struggling to cross the Mediterranean to reach Europe — many are dying in the hazardous crossing. The Italians have been over-extended, trying to rescue these people, and now the UK has decided not to support search and rescue operations in the area.

The British refusal comes as the official Italian sea and rescue operation, Mare Nostrum, is due to end this week after contributing over the past 12 months to the rescue of an estimated 150,000 people since the Lampedusa tragedies in which 500 migrants died in October 2013.

The Italian operation will now end without a similar European search and rescue operation to replace it. The Italian authorities have said their operation, which involves a significant part of the Italian navy, is unsustainable. Despite its best efforts, more than 2,500 people are known to have drowned or gone missing in the Mediterranean since the start of the year.

This is tragic. These are human beings — desperate, ambitious human beings who aspire to a better life. Yet apparently some people want to treat them as cockroaches.

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What is wrong with Missouri?


It’s always one step forward, one step back. A town in Missouri voted in their first black woman mayor.

Voters in Parma, Missouri voted in their first African-American female mayor.

Tyrus Byrd will be sworn in as mayor on Tuesday evening, April 14 at the Parma Community Building.

Great! Democracy works at last! Only it turns out that Parma has been a fiefdom of Mayor Quimby for 37 years, and Officer Wiggum just doesn’t like change.

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The things you learn about the SF community…


I have to hand it to those goons who made up a slate of ‘conservative’ science fiction and slammed it into the Hugo nominations: I’d had this vague assumption that science fiction fans would be generally progressive and tolerant and even enthusiastic about different ideas. The Sad Puppies/Rabid Puppies have enlightened and disillusioned me.

Well, actually, it’s been the other side that has brought me awareness. While slapping down the misconceptions of the Vox Day ilk, I’ve been taught so much. For instance, Jeet Heer reveals the dark side of SF professionals. I did not know this about John Campbell; he had an interesting reason for rejecting Samuel Delany’s story, Nova.

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Thou shalt not defile the holy vas deferens


Oh, look, Alabama, that paradise for people who revere the 17th century, wants to keep doctors’ hands off men’s genitalia. It’s a novel twist, but I suspect it’s just more of the same ol’ sanctimonious regulation of the naughty bits our puritanical politicians always push.

Alabama health care professionals could refuse to perform abortions or vasectomies under legislation sponsored by a Jefferson County lawmaker.

The Health Care Rights of Conscience Act, sponsored by Rep. Arnold Mooney, a Republican, allows health care professionals to refuse to perform abortions, sterilization, human cloning and human embryonic stem cell research that violate their conscience on religious or ethical grounds.

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It’s the dismal season

We went for a walk at Glacial Lakes State Park today, and we’re in the unpleasant in-betweens: the snow is gone, it was a pleasant 20°C, but everything is dead brown. Behold the majestic natural beauty of Minnesota in the spring time!


Also, we walked around that body of water, which is called “Mountain Lake”. There are no mountains here. The elevation is 371 meters. Oh, Minnesotans…

The Irish holy war is unrequited


I thought I was done with this nonsense way back in early November; I wrote a post summarizing Michael Nugent’s bizarrely obsessive behavior, and washed my hands of him. Little did I know, he wasn’t done: for the past 6 months he’s gotten increasingly stalkerish, and is still hammering out thousands of words complaining about me. And now he’s complaining that I am diminishing the effectiveness of Atheist Ireland and the worldwide atheist cause! Perhaps if he quit embarrassing himself and his organization with his crusade, he’d be less of a joke.

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Worse than I thought


Jian Ghomeshi, the CBC broadcaster who was fired after he was accused of sexual assault, leading to a vomitous flood of revelations about his behavior, is the subject of a an investigation and report on his behavior and the actions of CBC. Would you believe the CBC was a hostile work environment for women that condoned Ghomeshi’s activities?

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