Lazy linking

A few links to interesting stuff that I have come across.

The evidence shows that chiropractors do more harm than good

Chiropractors rely heavily on manipulating their patients’ spines, and the benefits are not at all clear. Practitioners usually insist that their manipulations are effective for a bafflingly wide range of conditions. On the internet, for instance, it is hard to find an illness that chiropractors do not claim to cure. However, the published evidence generally reveals these claims to be little more than wishful thinking. Therefore, even relatively minor side-effects might tilt the risk/benefit balance into the negative.

There is now a lot of evidence showing that more than half of all patients suffer mild to moderate adverse effects after seeing a chiropractor. These are mostly local and referred pains that usually last for two to three days. Chiropractors often claim that these are necessary steps on the road to getting better. On a good day, we might even believe them.

But unfortunately there is more, much more. Several hundred cases have been documented in which patients were seriously and often permanently damaged after chiropractic manipulations.

The news is not surprising for anyone who has looked into the subject, but the numbers are truly alarming.

People are spreading dangerous lies about an invention that prevents millions of illness every year

Yet another post about the dangers of anti-vaccination. It is good, but I hate the fact that we have to keep writing this stuff.

David Neiwert has writte a great series of posts in “celebration” of Confederate Heritage Month, the latest is Confederate Heritage Month: The Strange Fruit That Fed Jim Crow.

If blacks’ slave status largely protected them from racial violence before the Civil War, then its abolition also left them remarkably vulnerable to such assaults upon the South’s defeat. Certainly, once emancipated, they became seen as a real threat to whites, and particularly to their dominant status; much of this perception, particularly regarding the violent nature of the newly freed blacks, as we shall see, was more an illusion produced by psychological projection than real in any meaningful way.

This became immediately manifest, during Reconstruction, when black freedmen were subjected to a litany of attacks at the hands of their former owners that went utterly unpunished. As documented by Philip Dray in his definitive study, At the Hands of Persons Unknown: The Lynching of Black America, these crimes turned up in hospital records and field reports from the federal Freedmen’s Bureau, all of which described a variety of clubbings, scalpings, mutilations, hangings and even immolations of former slaves, all within the first year after Appomattox.

Links to the older posts can be found at the end of the post.

Ads force German xenophobes to hear the plights of refugees

People searching for anti-immigrant YouTube videos in Germany are going to have an awkward time doing so thanks to a novel advertising campaign by Refugees Welcome. The organization has put together a series of 30-second spots featuring real refugees who discuss their situations using a potent mixture of perspective, fact and humor to counter the country’s rising xenophobic tide.

Finally a good use for those unskippable ads on YouTube.

How to Explain Mansplaining

It was on a recent trip to Indonesia that, as a male bureaucrat sounded forth on a vast span of subjects without being asked to do so, I realized that the English language was in need of a new addition: the manologue. This otherwise perfectly charming man droned on and on, issuing a steady stream of words as I sat cramped in a tiny room with a group of fellow journalists and squinted at the labels on the soda cans hospitably placed on a table in front of us.

No, Obama doesn’t hold a “grudge” over Britain torturing his Kenyan grandfather. But so what if he did?

[W]hen Obama is accused of bearing an “anti-colonial” grudge, it is typically framed as irrational, often implied to be racial, or made alongside an accusation that he secretly hates America. “Anti-colonial” has become a kind of dog-whistle, and at times a racist one.

Why? Why is this possibility — that Obama might mind that his grandfather was wrongly and unapologetically tortured — so taboo that it is raised only as part of an often-racist dog-whistle?

President Obama is not the first head of state to do business with countries that mistreated his ancestors. But, frequently, it is assumed that those heads of state will bring that history with them — and that doing so is acceptable, even appropriate.

Former Polish President Lech Kaczynski and his brother, former Prime Minister Jaroslaw Kaczynski, often spoke of their father’s role in the 1944 Warsaw Uprising against Nazi rule, which biographers tend to describe — always in positive terms — as formative for how they led Poland.

A good article on the double standard on whether one should remember past wrongs or not.

And in the more quirky department: China Illustrates the Dangers of Dating Foreigners (aka White Guys named David)




  1. says

    Sorry to point it out, but there’s a problem with text that is supposed to be a link:

    “People are spreading dangerous lies about an invention that prevents millions of illness every year”

  2. says

    And in the more quirky department: China Illustrates the Dangers of Dating Foreigners (aka White Guys named David)

    That comic straddles a line between amusing and hypocritical. The Chinese government views all ethnic Chinese people worldwide as “pandas” who belong to China. Industrial and political espionage by China is a growing problem.

    I suspect that comic is designed to scare young Chinese women into not dating foreigners and is not about spying, vis-a-vis the gender disparity. And yet the PRC is the country of “leftover women” that no one wants.