Ooooookaaaaay…

Mike Cernovich, everyone: hero of the alt-right, crusader of pizzagate, champion of gamergate, alpha male, promoter of the “gorilla mindset”, true believer in literal magic powers:

Everything I do is alchemy. That’s why I believe in magic. Not black magic, not the satanic magic that they practice in Hollywood and that the deep state practices and that the media practice. I believe in good magic, light magic, alchametic magic, Cernovich said. Alchametic magic is ‘How do I create something out of nothing purely through manifesting my will through power and light, which is value.’ That’s white magic. That’s alchametic magic.

Between him and Alex Jones, how is it that these right-wing wazoozles have any credibility at all?

Another one for the Streisand Effect

There is a naturopath named Colleen Huber who is suing Britt Hermes for pointing out that she’s a quack. Huber runs an organization called The Naturopathic Cancer Society. Hermes had a few words to say about that.

The organization raises money for cancer patients who desire to use, but cannot afford, expensive alternative cancer therapies such as intravenous vitamins, mistletoe injections, and special diets, which is then funneled to Huber’s clinic Nature Works Best and others.

The Naturopathic Cancer Society makes it clear that it exists for cancer patients who do not want to use chemotherapy, radiation, or other medical cancer treatments and maintains a provider network of naturopaths agreeing to treat patients with alternative therapies, even against the recommendations of medical oncologists.

Huber claims that she has developed cancer treatments with a 90% success rate and “without the side effects of chemotherapy and radiation.” She boasts on her clinic’s homepage that “most cancer patients who complete our treatments go into remission” and that her clinic has “better results than any other cancer clinic over the last eight years.” These statements meet most of the cancer treatment scam warnings put out by the FDA.

Huber treats cancer patients using an assortment of quacky therapies including strict diets to cut out sugar and intravenous injections of baking soda, high-doses of vitamin C, and other nutrients. She claims to have conducted research on 317 patients over seven years in her clinic using naturopathic nutrients and herbs and the elimination of sweetened foods, which allegedly prolonged the life of her cancer patients.

She claims a 90% remission rate by treating with baking soda and vitamins? Bullshit. She also claims to have carried out the largest clinical study, with 317 patients, which is actually rather feeble, and she says she has the highest success rate of any cancer clinic in the world.

If that were true, she wouldn’t need to engage in any of the tactics she’s up to right now. Someone has bought up Britt Hermes’ associated URLs to hide Hermes’ criticisms, probably Huber or an associate. Even worse, Huber is suing Hermes and demanding she take down a blog post that exposes her quackery. Huber wants to silence statements like this, from a qualified oncologist who analyzed Huber’s data honestly:

Putting aside the ethical issues of the extremely bad study design, the lack of ethics committee approval or patients’ agreement, a quick n’ dirty analysis of the data reveals following odds ratio: 2.1 (95% CI 1.01 – 4.40, p<0.05) in favour of state of the art treatment. In other words, patients under natural care have more than a two-fold higher risk to die.

This is criminal.

I hadn’t heard of Huber until she went litigation-happy, so that’s one good side of this story — maybe the word will get out about the fraud being committed at “Nature Works Best”. The bad side is that Hermes needs donations to support her legal defense. Jeez, but these SLAPP suits seem to be popping up everywhere, always by unpleasant loons with way too much money in their hands.

I’ve totally lost track of how many ‘strands’ are in DNA

I’ve been exposed to Judith Kusel, and now I am so confused. You might be wondering who Judith Kusel is, so here’s her own summary.

Judith is a Visionary, Inspirational Writer, Pyramid Crystalline Grid Activator and Soul Empowerment Consultant. She is a remarkable and awe-inspiring woman, who has the ability to tap into the cosmic Super-consciousness fields and to bring forth the Ancient Cosmic knowledge.

Obviously, a totally trustworthy source.

Anyway, I’m trying to figure out one simple point that she often brings up: what is a DNA strand, and how many of them are there? Usually when we talk about DNA strands, we’re referring to the sugar-phosphate backbone and attached nucleotides, so we can say that DNA in a cell is double-stranded, when we talk about genes we can say one strand is the template strand and the other is the sense strand, etc. In that context we can say that DNA is made up of two strands, and sometimes one.

But Ms Kusel thinks we have 12.

We are now, eing [sic] slowly but surely awakened to the TRUTH OF WHO AND WHAT WE ARE. As the Higher Frequency Rays are now being added and with is our 12 strand DNA, we are going to shedding more and more of the OLD WAYS, ACTING, THINKING, and BEING… as these simply do not serve our HIGHER PURPOSE ANYMORE.

No, wait, it’s 13.

It has been scientifically proven that the new children, being born since 2007, have been born with 13-strand DNA, which means that they will have far greater abilities than we have ever had.

I’d also like to know what she means by “scientifically proven”, but let’s just focus on a single question right now.

If we have 12 or 13 strands, how can you activate strands #24 and #36?

There are immense changes coming to Planet Earth and her people within the next few weeks and months. Inherently this is because the Platinum, Emerald, Ruby and Diamond Rays as well as the Crystal Clear ones, are now opening up the cell memory banks, as the new DNA strands are being activated – 12, 24 and 36. This means there is far more which is going on inside the human physical, emotional, spiritual and mental bodies than the naked eyes can sense of see.

I think you can understand my problem here. I think what we need is for Ms Kusel to draw the chemical structure of these multiply-stranded DNA molecules so we can more clearly see what she’s talking about.

It might also help explain how a galaxy can have DNA.

Most of those in the royal families intermarried – or brother and sisters married in order to keep the frequencies and vibrations in their inherent DNA and cell structures clear – mostly because of the planet or Galaxy that they came from – bearing in mind that each Galaxy has its own DNA encoded with its own type of vibration.

I mostly want to be able to smugly tell those smarty-pants astronomers that hah, their field is just a minor subdiscipline of biology. I know because a Pyramid Crystalline Grid Activator tells me so.

Bad Canada, good Canada

Tonight, the CBC is showing a ‘documentary’ called Ice Bridge.

CBC’s science show The Nature of Things is set to air a documentary that purports to prove the first humans in the New World came across the ocean from Europe and not, as most scientists think, via a land bridge from Asia.

It’s about the Solutrean hypothesis. As you might guess from the description, it’s part of that old school of anthropological thought that tries to claim that Europe is the wellspring of all human progress, spreading outward to bring enlightenment, or at least better weapons, to the more barbarous regions of the world. It’s not impossible that some ancient Europeans, painting themselves blue with woad and bundled up in furs while waving pointy sticks, might have stumbled across arctic ice to Iceland and Greenland and then to North America, but it was damned unlikely. “Not impossible” is insufficient argument to support an idea, however; I suppose it’s also not impossible that little green men landed in England and helped the druids erect Stonehenge with their anti-gravity rays. I’m going to insist on more evidence than pointing and saying, “Well, that’s a mighty big big rock, innit? It’s heavy. How else would the Druids have lifted it? Magic? Hur hur hur.”

This idea that Solutreans from Europe actually colonized and spread across the Americas before Asians got there is of similar quality. It is based entirely on flint tools found in America having a resemblance to flint tools found in Europe. That’s it. The key thing is that Solutrean tools were made by pressure flaking rather than just bashing rocks together — a technique in which you use, for instance, a bit of antler to apply controlled pressure to the edge of a flint tool and snap off smaller flakes, allowing more precision in shaping. Apparently Asians and Indians were incapable of figuring this out.

But there is nothing else to support the Solutrean hypothesis.

There is, for example, no evidence of Solutrean seafaring, and no evidence of their cave art in North America, which would be unusual for a people known for the elaborately painted Cave of Altamira in Spain. There have also been no discoveries in North America of Solutrean human remains. It is just as possible that the American flint blades that look Solutrean were made by ancient Native Americans, and the similarity is just coincidence, or that the blades are not as old as they appear.

Still, the CBC documentary sympathetically casts the two main advocates of this fringe theory as brave resisters against a blinkered scientific orthodoxy. They will “never give up searching for the truth,” says narrator David Suzuki.

It sounds like a miserably bad documentary with a skewed perspective that promotes a couple of fringe scientists. Shame on you, Canada. But at the same time I’m finding this out via Canada’s National Post, a newspaper that leans conservative, and that article isn’t at all shy about pointing out the huge problems with this ‘documentary’.

One major issue is that, while there is no evidence to support it, it is fervently supported by racists, a concern that the documentary actively avoids, while the National Post article discusses it.

One prominent example is the book White Apocalypse by Kyle Bristow, which fictionalizes the theory with a story about the “Solutrean Liberation Front” and their modern-day battles, and argues that ancient Solutreans were exterminated in North America by more recent migrants of Asian background — the ancestors of modern Native Americans.

Paul Fromm, a leading Canadian white supremacist organizer, called the book a “soaring inspirational dramatization of our people taking our continent back from the Third World invaders.”

It is “extremely irresponsible” for the scientists to keep pushing their own lifelong passion in this racist context, Moreno-Mayar said. He mentioned online discussion of the “outdated” Solutrean theory.

“It’s crazy horrible what you see there. You see basically all of these racist ideas that are justifying colonialism, and justifying this super racist way of thinking,” he said. “Most people supporting this are associated with this racist way of thinking, that Native Americans are not really Native Americans.”

The new documentary does not address the issue of racism at all. Bicknell said she was aware of it, but did not address it because she “didn’t want to give it a lick of airspace… It’s just such crap.”

White nationalists love to justify European genocide of the Indians by claiming that they did it first — we were just getting even for all the Imaginary White People slaughtered by Imaginary Barbarous Red Hordes. See also the mythology of the Book of Mormon for further examples. All it’s based on is superficial similarity of some stone tools and several hundred years of White European bias. It is grossly irresponsible of the documentary to bury this association, because you know the show is going to be used by the kinds of ignorant people who get all their information from TV to rationalize further bigotry.

And worst of all, the Solutrean hypothesis is contradicted by the genetic evidence. Not only is the hypothesis built on froth and fantasy and bigotry, it goes against the massive amounts of solid evidence that shows that the native peoples of the Americas are descended from Asian ancestors.

I’d rather not have my meals spiced with bullshit, thank you very much

I rather like cooking. I make no claims to being a great cook, but I can enjoy throwing together something tasty, and I can appreciate a good recipe and fresh ingredients and all that basic stuff. I do not like fad cookbooks, which are usually about some agenda other than enjoying good food, and are often coupled to some weird new pop mania that will change next year. Give me healthy and flavorful food first — telling me that it’s diet food to make you lose weight is like telling me that here’s a recipe for food you’ll want to eat in very small portions and that you probably won’t want to eat at all, which is contrary to the spirit of good cooking. Portion control and variety and exercise are fine ideas for losing weight, but don’t try to live on a diet of cardboard.

I have found a kindred spirit in The Angry Chef, who reviews a recent set of cook books.

All I want to see is a book about eating well, getting some variety, and making food that warms the soul. Where nothing is demonised, there are no strict rules, and there is no need for guilt and shame. I would love to see simple accessible recipes that appreciate how not everyone can afford three avocados a day, or grass-fed organic beef each evening. Something that considers how damaging the demonisation of foods can be for people’s mental health, and understands that telling people they can lose weight if they just try harder, actually does more harm than good.

Most of all, next January, I would like to see a book on the shelves that cares only about how healthy we are, instead of how much we weigh.

That’s what I want, too!

Unfortunately, at the same time I found my guiding angel, I also found his antithesis. It’s Amanda Chantal Bacon, “founder and owner of Moon Juice—the Los Angeles destination that serves beautifying herbal powder blends, tonics, and treats to A-list fans like Gwyneth Paltrow and Shailene Woodley”. You will be disappointed to learn that in spite of her name, she doesn’t start her day with a side of bacon. No, she has listed her eating habits for a typical day, and it sounds…unpleasant.

At 8am, I had a warm, morning chi drink on my way to the school drop off, drunk in the car! It contains more than 25 grams of plant protein, thanks to vanilla mushroom protein and stone ground almond butter, and also has the super endocrine, brain, immunity, and libido- boosting powers of Brain Dust, cordyceps, reishi, maca, and Shilajit resin. I throw ho shou wu and pearl in as part of my beauty regime. I chase it with three quinton shots for mineralization and two lipospheric vitamin B-complex packets for energy.

At 9:30am, I drink 16 ounces of unsweetened, strong green juice, which is my alkalizer, hydrator, energizer, source of protein and calcium, and overall mood balancer. It’s also my easy, ‘lazy,’ and delicious skin regime. I also take three tablespoons of bee pollen. I love Moon Juice’s soft and chewy bee pollen—it’s a creamy, candy-like treat that gives me my daily B-vitamin blast, and also helps feed my skin and aids hormone production. I’ll also grab a handful of activated cashews. I try to get these in every day for their brain chemistry magic. I chase this with a shot of pressed turmeric root in freshly squeezed grapefruit juice.

Maybe that snootful of dried fungus is utterly delicious — I don’t know. But she’s not saying she’s eating it because it tastes good, but because it has “super endocrine, brain, immunity, and libido- boosting powers”, which is bullshit. You don’t need “alkalizers”. Everything does “brain chemistry magic” — a cup of coffee does things to your brain and energy and doesn’t cost $60 for a four ounce jar. Everything she’s nibbling on sounds awful, and like she’s just eating it because of bizarre notions about its medicinal virtues.

No thank you. Moderation and simple local foods, fresh and well-prepared with an eye towards good flavor, would be my ideal. Exotic ingredients selected for imaginary magical effects is precisely the opposite of what I want.

No, Oprah is not going to be a viable Democratic candidate

In some ways, they’re perfectly good representatives of the yin and yang of our two political parties. Donald Trump: xenophobic, angry, crude, white male. Oprah Winfrey: kind, sympathetic, open, black female. They’re almost caricatures of the right and left. All they need to do is open their mouths in a public forum and stand there like the apotheosis of their representative parties, and people start clamoring to make them our real political leaders.

In the case of Trump, they succeeded, with disastrous results. In the case of Winfrey…most of what I’m seeing is rejection. We’re supposed to be the reality-based community, and Winfrey is missing that one critical aspect that would make her a true avatar of the political left: she stands for fantasy and quackery and feel-good pseudoscience.

…the big qualm I have about the prospect of a President Winfrey: Perhaps more than any other single American, she is responsible for giving national platforms and legitimacy to all sorts of magical thinking, from pseudoscientific to purely mystical, fantasies about extraterrestrials, paranormal experience, satanic cults, and more. The various fantasies she has promoted on all her media platforms—her daily TV show with its 12 million devoted viewers, her magazine, her website, her cable channel—aren’t as dangerous as Donald Trump’s mainstreaming of false conspiracy theories, but for three decades she has had a major role in encouraging Americans to abandon reason and science in favor of the wishful and imaginary.

Remember the Secret, the Law of Attraction? She was big on promoting that. How about the legacy of Dr Oz, Dr Phil, Deepak Chopra, and Jenny McCarthy? We now hear all the time about witch-hunts and moral panics, but it was Oprah Winfrey who enabled this nonsense.

As I say, she is an ecumenical promoter of fantasies. Remember the satanic panic, the mass hysteria during the 1980s and early ’90s about satanists abusing and murdering children that resulted in the wrongful convictions of dozens of people who collectively spent hundreds of years incarcerated? Multiple Oprah episodes featured the celebrity “victims” who got that fantasy going.

Pizzagate is the logical descendant of her shows that featured people claiming there Jewish satanic rituals in which babies were sacrificed — and she didn’t show a scrap of skepticism.

I am constantly being told that Winfrey is going to be groomed for the presidency, that Democrats are just as superficial as Republicans. I don’t believe that for a moment. But if the worst case scenario happened, and we had a 2020 presidential election to decide between Trump (isn’t he going to be impeached before then?) and Winfrey, it would be the end of the American experiment and the complete failure of democracy.

I guess I’m not the only one disenchanted with movement atheism

Somebody is mad as hell.

Remember when we used to get so pissed off at theists telling us we had no basis for morality, that we’d probably murder and rob banks without a god to keep us in check, and we could just point to religious terrorism and child-raping priests and smirk? Those were the good old days. It turns out that dogma and authoritarianism can afflict even secular communities. There goes our more-rational-than-thou defense!

One amusing fact for you all: when Ed Brayton and I were putting together this little network we’re on, we were trying to figure out what name to give it. I was all for something in-your-face, with “atheism” front and center and some kind of impudent logo. Ed advocated for something a bit more…open and friendly, and came up with Freethoughtblogs, emphasizing freedom from dogma rather than loud atheism. Oh, man, he was right. It would be awkward if this were Atheismblogs right now.

The next Mythicist Milwaukee con will be worse than the last

That’s a prediction. They tried to invite Sincere Kirabo to the next Mythicist Milwaukee con, and Kirabo is a Very Big Name in the humanist/social justice community, well-respected, and a great writer and speaker. You’d think that was a good sign, right? Wrong. You have to read what they propose that he do.

We are reaching out to see if you would want to be a speaker at Mythcon V. Our idea for your event would to be part of a discussion on “The effects of social justice activism in the African American community” [sic] This topic title is not final. The idea is to have you on stage with someone that would hold opposing views. We would have a moderator that would be present just to keep the conversation moving along.

That was my emphasis. This is exactly the kind of crap they pulled last time: they need an excuse to put an edgelord front and center on stage, and they do it with the pretext of setting up a debate with someone with more respectable views. When I get invited to do a creationist debate, this is always the case: the organizers are really all about promoting the creationist ass on stage, and that’s who the audience is bussed in to see, and they just want me there as a foil for the dishonest twit.

You do have to wonder who the Milwaukee frauds were trying to get who holds opposing views to a black social justice advocated. Richard Spencer? Jared Taylor? Some whiny racist vlogger from YouTube? It doesn’t matter. They’re going to have another audience of white alt-right anti-social-justice atheists there, and they just want an obliging target for them jeer at. Kirabo’s response is perfect.

Or, as secular activist Alix Jules paraphrases the request that he also received: “Please justify your existence, anger, and rage, while defending your humanity.”

They also tried to get Alix Jules? Jesus.

I will not negotiate my humanity. I will not play accomplice to interrogating the significance of Black liberation to indulge the white gaze.

This leads me to a point many who consider themselves a part of the atheist movement may not want to hear: the misguided audacity Mythicist Milwaukee has displayed reflects aspects of an ethos deeply entrenched within organized atheism communities.

It isn’t like Mythcon 4 is the first time atheists or self-described secular humanists have misapplied the right to free speech to express or celebrate dehumanizing views. It isn’t like Mythcon 4 is the first time atheists or self-described secular humanists have trivialized the struggle for a more just world and dismissed it with terms like “identity politics.”

I acknowledge that these elements are alive and well within the humanist movement, one made up of a non-monolithic variety of outspoken individuals, groups, and organizations who share mutual interests but also embrace diverging goals. I’ve gradually disassociated myself from organized atheism (outside what’s necessary for work) because it’s too common to meet those involved in this movement who not only don’t prioritize matters of social change for collective liberation, but also regard those who value these ambitions with contempt. Those aren’t my people, but more than that, they’re obstacles to my work.

I don’t want to waste time and energy trying to convince people why they should examine their allegiance to unjust ideologies, or why they should want to act in solidarity with marginalized communities. I prefer to invest my time in communities of people who acknowledge that there are major social problems that demand solutions.

I’ll just say right now that this conference is gearing up to bring in speakers, and if you get an invitation from them, just say NO right now, unless you want to get tangled up in another contentious shitshow. Or unless you’re a shitlord. Then just go right ahead.

Hard to believe the attempt to vindicate Sandusky retroactively continues

His conviction on dozens of counts of child sex abuse was pretty solid, but some are still trying to claim he was convicted on the basis of that bullshit “repressed memory therapy”. He wasn’t. Here’s a damning summary of the trial that slaps down those “skeptic” claims that the evidence against him was a collection of fantasies.

And then…Sandusky had an appeal built around the claim that unreliable “repressed memories” were used against him. This whole argument has already been debated in a court of law!

Here’s what the judge said in the appeal.

Although he was denied access to the victims’ psychological records, Sandusky was permitted to call witnesses to explore whether the victims had undergone repressed memory therapy prior to trial, and he did explore that subject with Dustin Struble (“Struble”), Michael Gillum, Aaron Fisher, Brett Houtz, and Dr. Elizabeth Loftus, none of whom affirmed the defendant’s hypothesis.

During his direct testimony, Gillum, Fisher’s treating therapist, plainly and credibly stated, “I don’t deal with repressed memory [and] I don’t work with anyone who claims to have repressed memories or anything along those lines.” (PCRA, 03/24/2017, p. 159). He further articulated his negative assessment of repressed memory therapy and why he did not engage in it. (Id. at 164-165). While Struble acknowledged that he and his therapist had discussed methods of unearthing repressed memories, moreover, he stated definitively that he had not undergone that type of therapy prior to the defendant’s trial. (Id., 05/11/2017, p. 20).

Dr. Loftus had a different opinion based on “impressions” from Gillum’s book, statements Struble made two years after the trial, and the fact that the victims whose excerpted trial testimony she reviewed did not give consistent stories to the police, the grand jury, and the trial jury. (Id. at 71-90). Having been rendered after an uncritical review of an absurdly incomplete record carefully dissected to include only pieces of information tending to support Sandusky’s repressed memory theory, however, that opinion was entirely ineffective to rebut Gillum’s and Struble’s definitive denials.

Note that comment, that none of the experts called upon “affirmed the defendant’s hypothesis” that the victims had gone through repressed memory therapy…the very thing that the “skeptics” disagreement with the trial result hinges upon.