Tuesday, September 17, 2019

QUACK.

Rod Dreher, better known for his obsession with gays, transsexuals, and cuddly neofascist dictators, has branched into medicine with disastrous results:
You might remember the post here about “Moralistic Therapeutic Med School,” in which medical schools are starting to remove or relocate images of white men affiliated with the school who accomplished great things.
Ah, yes, I remember -- it was bullshit.
This is about something related, but much more serious. 
A reader who is a physician sent me this WSJ op-ed column the other day. He said that this is bad news for the medical profession. The author is Stanley Goldfarb, a former administrator at Penn’s medical school. Excerpts:
Goldfarb's brief op-ed, "Take Two Aspirin and Call Me by My Pronouns," is just a series of grump-farts -- he complains, for example, of being "chastised by a faculty member for not including a program on climate change in the course of study" at his med school. Ooooh, how SJW! But Goldfarb's real bugbear is the "educational specialists" he encounters who "emphasize 'social justice' that relates to health care only tangentially" and "focus on eliminating health disparities..."

In case you don't know (and Dr. Golfarb seems to hope you don't), this is something known as population health, to which Goldfarb refers as if it were some ghastly new fad like rainbow parties but which has been around for decades and is studied by the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and thousands of scholars and think tanks. It is not something working MDs do instead of treating their patients. Even holy Mike Pence employed a few such experts for his Healthy Indiana Medicaid initiative, from which Seema Verma was promoted to CMS Administrator, in which capacity she often talks about addressing "health disparities." Tell me they're SJWs!

Goldfarb also says that "teaching these issues is coming at the expense of rigorous training in medical science," an outrageous claim for which he offers absolutely zero evidence. Does he really think new doctors don't know how to treat the sick because they spent too much time on "social justice" in school? Doubtful, but I expect he knows some Journal readers will be dumb enough to buy it.

Dreher takes this all at face value, natch:
At some point, reality will take its revenge, and the woke will be banished. But how much suffering will innocent people have to endure before it does? And how many people of faith will be deterred from seeking a medical career because the militant left has placed absurd barriers to keep out the politically incorrect.
Come on, guy, can't you at least find some Young Republican who can claim he was discouraged from attending Johns Hopkins by hippies?

But wait, there's more: Dreher finds a way to connect this paranoid miasma to his transphobia. Instead of hectoring trans folks as usual, though, he tells them (from a hygienic distance) that he understands their plight because he's been there, in a sense:
I have never felt comfortable in my body, though I thought for most of my life this was simply neurosis. No, I have never had the faintest thought of gender dysphoria, but it manifested itself in something feeling … not right. Something hard to define.
Snnkkk.
To be frank, one reason I drank so much in college — aside from the fact that LSU in the 1980s had a massive binge-drinking culture — was to overcome that sense of not-rightness, so I could talk to girls. The point is, when I read about officially-diagnosed autistic young people seeking sex changes because they say they don’t feel right in their bodies, I get that. I can’t pretend to know about that from a sexualized point of view, but that sense that things aren’t right is quite familiar to me. And it never goes away. You just have to learn how to cope with it. For me, it got better as I grew older.
See, y'all don't need top surgery -- you need time and Jesus! But no, they won't listen -- these transsexuals turn away from their Savior and allow themselves to be "driven by the popular culture and the culture of medicine [!] into asking for life-changing procedures that will not actually cure them..." When Rod takes over as Patriarch of the Popes, them so-called doctors will have to dispense the Blood of the Lamb!

Dreher's materia medica is also invoked in an earlier post:
I’ve done research in the past on the phenomenon of demon possession, and it does seem to be tied closely to intense childhood trauma, especially in the family — sexual trauma in particular. There is something about trauma that cracks the psyche; sometimes, that crack is big enough for evil spirits to come in. It is certainly not the case that everyone who experiences childhood trauma become possessed! (Actual possession is rare.)
Well, there's a relief. I wonder why Doc Dreher just doesn't go the whole hog and start selling nootropics.

UPDATE. Comments are choice on this one, and one guest reminds me of this wonderful bit from Dreher's autobiographical segment:
I’ve come to see, for example, the fact that I have unusual superpowers when it comes to taste and smell to be an advantage. This is why I love food and wine so much: I can experience aromas and flavors more intensely than most people.
It's not gluttony, it's my superpower! I've laughed for two straight minutes imaging Dreher's audition for the Justice League. (For more enjoyment of Dreher's food fetish, see here.)



Tuesday, September 10, 2019

AND WE HEIL, HEIL, RIGHT IN DER FUEHRER'S FACE.

Rod Dreher's been on another of his foodie-Nazi vacations (doesn't spend much time down on the farm, does he?), this time in Hungary, and by utter, absolutely unforseeable coincidence someone decided that one of America's leading white nationalism apologists should meet Victor Orban!

You may have heard that the Hungarian prime minister is a cryptofascist who gutted the nation's top court when it gave him a hard time, took over the national media likewise, and chased a leading university out of the country because of (((Soros))), among other atrocities. But Dreher basked in the man's presence and wants you to know he's dreamy -- in fact, so mesmerized was he that though he had 90 minutes with Orban he didn't ask him any questions.
I tell you this so you readers don’t ask me why I didn’t challenge Orban on this or that policy of his government. I am perfectly aware that he is a controversial figure who has done things and pursued policy goals that are highly controversial for a number of reasons. However, this was a completely unexpected opportunity to be in the presence of one of the most extraordinary world leaders of our time, and to get a sense of his mind.
I mean, would you ask Jesus questions?
If the only thing you know about Viktor Orban is from Western media accounts, you would think that he was nothing but some kind of mafia thug. The Viktor Orban you encounter in person is very, very different from the Viktor Orban shown to Americans by our media. In Orban — who speaks good English — was energetic, fiercely intelligent, funny, self-deprecating, realistic, and at times almost pugilistic in talking about defending Hungary and her interests. 


Well, I'm convinced. In case The Leader's act wasn't enough to convince the group Dreher was part of, Orban also had on hand "Nicodemus, the Syriac Orthodox archbishop of Mosul, whose Christian community, which predates Islam by several centuries, was savagely persecuted by ISIS." What that's got to do with Hungary? Silence, mortal! Nicodemus does Flava Flav to Orban's Chuck D, ringing out every so often with "Those people, if you give them your small finger, they will want your body" and such like.

Dreher faithfully transmits Orban's messages ("Western peoples have decided to create a post-Christian, post-national, multicultural society. Peoples in Central Europe do not") and closes with what he clearly considers the convincer:
Hungary has a million problems, but Parisian-style banlieues filled with angry and unassimilable Muslim migrants, vicious institutional combat around so-called “white privilege,” and endless fights in locker rooms and libraries over gender ideology are not among them.
Yes, Paris is nothing but a wasteland of ooga-booga and trans commisssars, just like California is nothing but bum shit and New York covers up its high crime with low crime!

If you aren't convinced by Vic 'n' Nic, Dreher comes back at you with a whole extra post of Orban fan art:
[Christopher] Caldwell points out that the [Orban] anti-Soros campaign arguably did traffick in anti-Semitic rhetoric... still, that completely justifiable circumspection should in no way justify averting one’s eyes from the fact that Soros really is using his considerable fortune to liberalize Europe, and to dilute European peoples.
Well, at least he said "dilute" instead of "mongrelize." Maybe in February Dreher can jet off to Brazil and, along with the food and drink, take in Jair Bolsonaro, who will explain to the no doubt speechless American why God wants him to destroy the rainforest.

Saturday, September 07, 2019

ONCE AGAIN: HOW YA GONNA KEEP 'EM DOWN ON THE FARM AFTER THEY'VE SEEN THE FARM?

Between my God Damn Job and my Roy Edroso Breaks It Down newsletter (Subscribe! Cheap! ™) and sundry other commitments, I don't have as much time for alicublog as I used to, which I regret. But sometimes the Muse of History demands my attention. So this one's for Clio:
Scores of people are leaving the New York City area behind every day. 
New York leads all U.S. metro areas as the largest net loser with 277 people moving every day -- more than double the exodus of 132 just one year ago. Los Angeles and Chicago were next with triple digit daily losses of 201 and 161 residents, respectively.
Further down this Bloomberg article:
The migration figures exclude the natural increase in population, which is the difference between the number of live births and the number of deaths. 
In 10 of the top 100 metros, deaths exceed births. Thus, without migration these cities would be shrinking...
Ha ha. There's a link to the Bloomberg pay site -- tricky! -- where you can find out which of these cities are among the 90% who are gaining despite the outflow. But come on. New York, a city of 8.6 million people, ain't hemorrhaging even if minus 277/day were the whole story.

But of course this factoid is useful provender for the anti-blue-city crowd. I don't know whether Joel Kotkin has got hold of it yet, but I see someone named Jack Kelly at Forbes ("I am a CEO, founder, and executive recruiter at one of the oldest and largest global search firms in my area of expertise," he informs us) has some of whatcha call your analysis!
New Yorkers Are Leaving The City In Droves: Here's Why They're Moving And Where They're Going
First Kelly hits us with another impressive factoid:
United Van Lines, the large moving truck company, keeps statistics on the flow of people. The company reports that three states in the Northeast—New Jersey, New York and Connecticut—are among the top places from which people are moving the fastest.
LOL. I tumbled to this "voting with their moving vans" bullshit years ago, when further inspection of even the hardly-representative moving-van metric revealed that the blue-city boogieman Washington D.C. was a huge gainer. (BTW, DC continues to gain population, and it ain't because the citizens want to be close to Trump.) Back then New York's population was a mere 8.5 million. At this rate it'll soon be a seven-figure ghost town!

But then Kelly gets to the meat of his argument -- i.e., he don't like them big cities nohow:
These statistics make sense to anyone living in these places. The costly living expenses, crumbling infrastructure and high tax rates are a big problem for residents. If you live in NYC, you are forced to pay exorbitant taxes. The schools, bridges, tunnels, trains, airports and hospitals are falling apart. Casually walk the streets of NYC and you’ll notice that they are crowded and dirty. 
New York streets crowded and dirty! Gasp! Musta happened after I left.
It's likely that you’ll see or be confronted by homeless people who clearly display symptoms of serious yet untreated mental or physical issues. The politicians running the city feel that it's more humane to let them to live on the streets, as opposed to being treated in appropriate facilities. The crime rate has risen. To top off the misery, it's cold and snowy in the winter and oppressively hot and humid in the summer.
Cold in the winter and hot in the summer! Hyuk hyuk, I don't see how you people live there.  

Let's flip all the cards: Kelly is probably working an angle for his business ("You can no longer simply think of New York or other big cities as the only destination. You need to figure out where can you find the best jobs and lifestyle for yourself." Fritters, Ala., here I come!). But slagging New York and other cities is popular with conservatives these days because the current President makes a point of slagging them, from Paris to Baltimore, on the advice of his brain trust (Steve Bannon and a vat of cocaine), which knows that his base loves hearing that their own modest hamlets -- with their million-dollar high school football programs, their chicken-processing-dependent economies, and plenty of meth and perks to wash it down -- are superior to the fleshpots, what got bumshit and whatnot all over them, not fit for Christian people.

If only their unearned contempt really meant lower populations and empty, affordable apartments for us city folk! But alas, like everything Trumpy it's just a comforting fantasy for his victims.

UPDATE. Commenters, and folks on the Twitter, point out that the article is talking about the New York metro area, which contains 20 million souls, making the whole thing even stupider. Commenter Mortimer2000 also points out Kelly's claim that "one million people have fled New York City and the tri-state area—which encompasses New Jersey, Connecticut and Long Island—in the last nine years" is bullshit:
The Bloomberg authors, statistical bullshit aside, were writing about a single year, the only year recently when this happened. The population of the Metro area has actually increased by several hundred thousand in the past 9 years. 
They really have no shame, or math ability for that matter. 
Yep.

Friday, September 06, 2019

FRIDAY 'ROUND-THE-HORN.



These guys are hot shit.

•   I thought Jim Geraghty's earlier version at National Review was embarrassing but Jesus Christ, Rich Lowry's "Five Things They Don’t Tell You about Slavery" is even worse. As with all these rightwing responses to the New York Times' 1619 Project, there's a pro forma of-course-slavery-was-bad preface followed by excuses and mitigating circumstances. Get a load:
1. Through much of human history, slavery was ubiquitous and unquestioned
Slavery wasn’t the exception in human history; it was the norm. The “perennial institution,” as historian Seymour Drescher calls it, was an accepted feature of the ancient world, from ancient Egypt to Greece to Rome, and of traditional societies... 
The United States ended slavery too late (again, Britain is a better model). But let’s not forget how long the slave trade, ended in 1808 in the United States, lasted elsewhere...
Like it's Genocide Musical Chairs. (Also, when they stopped the legal importation of slaves in 1808, the practice was already at a low ebb, and slavers got very efficient about breeding new ones.)
3. Islam was a great conveyor belt of slavery...
Certainly, while slavery was in eclipse in the rest of Europe, it had a new vitality on the Muslim-occupied Iberian peninsula, with Muslims and Christians both engaged in the practice... 
“By the fifteenth century,” historian James Sweet notes, “many Iberian Christians had internalized the racist attitudes of the Muslims and were applying them to the increasing flow of African slaves to their part of the world...
But Mom! Mohammed made us racist slavers!
One would think that there would be more attention paid to the Muslim world’s contribution to race-based slavery, but since it doesn’t offer any opportunity for Western self-reproach, it’s mostly ignored.
Lowry can't even stick to his polite premise, and spasms into the querulous bitter-ender position that people only bring up slavery because they hate America.
None of the other societies tainted by slavery produced the Declaration of Independence, a Washington, Jefferson, and Hamilton, the U.S. Constitution, or a tradition of liberty that inspired people around the world for centuries. If we don’t keep that in mind, as well as the broader context of slavery, we aren’t giving this country — or history — its due.
I'm trying to imagine a somewhat conservative German magazine -- Focus, maybe -- running an article like this about the Third Reich. "People were anti-Semitic before Hitler, you know!" "We had a lot of help from Italy and Japan." "Well, in the end we gave the world the printing press, the modern public school system, and the Alienation Effect, so take that into consideration."

National Review began as a segregationist rag and the only thing that's changed is the effort they put into hiding it.

•   Oh BTW I've unlocked another edition of the Roy Edroso Breaks It Down newsletter, all about what we can expect if other parts of ol' Joe Biden start breaking down on stage. Enjoy!



Thursday, September 05, 2019

OBLIGATORY PRETENSE OF CONCERN FOR BLACK PEOPLE TIME.

Every once is a while the NeverTrumpers and JustTheTipTrumpers tell us how they're gonna revive conservatism, by God. And today Timothy Carney of the Washington Examiner makes a bold choice:
It's time to create a conservative ecosystem that doesn't welcome racists 
Liberal commentators will always say conservatives are just a bunch of racists. This is a lie. But conservatives need to do a better job convincing the racists that it's a lie.
Obligatory:

Carney has read Hannah Gais' (excellent) investigative report at Splinter on rightwing orgs (the Institute for Humane Studies,  the Intercollegiate Studies Institute, the Daily Caller) that somehow found themselves harboring a bunch of garden-variety racists.

Carney cannot turn away, and after his initial "horror that otherwise sane-seeming people in the United States hold Hitlerian views," he says he has as a "third reaction" this sentiment: "Great, now liberals are going to paint everyone who’s gone through IHS, ISI, or the Daily Caller as racists."

Late as it comes, this emotion animates the rest of Carney's article. Being a true conservative, he is obsessed with his movement's unjust treatment at the hands of liberals; "Snide liberals will chuckle and say something like, 'Because conservatism is racism,'" he mopes, but conservatives must do something to discourage this unaccountable incursion of white nationalists into conservatism even though "none of this will stop the bad-faith or hate-filled folks on the Left from calling us all bigots in the pages of Bloomberg News or the Washington Post."

(Bloomberg News is a recent addition to the rightwing hit-list, owing to one of their reporters forwarding a smart-alecky online post from one of Trump's Labor department appointees, made in reaction to an anti-Semite, to his boss for comment; the boss, irony-challenged, apparently got the appointee to quit, and every wingnut in Christendom blamed the reporter instead of the administration. The appointee has been fully restored.)

Carney gives a brief sermon about how black people have it rough in this country -- though, he assures his readers, this knowledge "doesn’t require one to declare that whites are all vile racists or oppressors. It doesn’t require agreeing that the U.S. is fundamentally a white supremacist nation." Nonetheless one can imagine the punters drifting away; they're reading the Washington Examiner, after all, and we can imagine for such people the plight of African Americans is way down the list.

But Carney makes it up to you by the end: After sermonizing "first, that all humans are created equal (the official teaching of the U.S. founders and all Abrahamic religions), and second, that blacks and Hispanics have far worse outcomes in the U.S.," he says,
If both of these premises are true — and they are — then things in the U.S. still aren’t fair and can be improved. And if the game is rigged so badly in the U.S. that thousands of young men are shot on the streets of Chicago, that tens of thousands of black babies are aborted every year, that hundreds of thousands are born out of wedlock, then isn’t that a crisis that deserves attention?
Chicago murder! Black babies aborted! Broken families! -- it's Wingnut Race Bingo! And Carney's congregants may file out, secure in the knowledge that nothing need change -- though it may behoove them to make an occasional pretense of concern for the darkskins before flocking to the next Trump rally. If only all their problems were so easy to solve!

Monday, September 02, 2019

CARRIERS.

I was doing another of my This is Hardcore installments for my award-winning* newsletter Roy Edroso Breaks It Down, to which you should all be subscribed**. These are roundups of crazy shit from emails sent around to aged wingnuts in hopes that they'll click through buy gold or at least download malware. I try to keep these light, which is why I ported this one over here instead: From a site called Steadfast and Loyal, this is from "CASES OF THE MUMPS EXPLODE IN DETENTION CENTERS FOR ILLEGAL ALIENS":
Illegal Alien Detention Centers in 19 states are reporting an unusually high number of mumps cases. 
There has been an alarming number of cases of various diseases that have accompanied illegal aliens into this country, including diseases that had previously been eradicated in the United States. One illegal crossing into the United States through New Mexico had a flesh-eating disease and Ebola is a huge fear also.
The "flesh-eating disease" is neither identified nor linked to a reputable source, so I guess he means this guy -- though you certainly don't need an immigrant to get flesh-eating disease in this country.  And "Ebola is a huge fear" means about as much as "A flyer saucer might come down and scoop everybody up, you never know." (It's in this story, no doubt, because any hint of Ebola is a reliable terror tactic for conservatives.)

But you could read the entire wretched thing and have no clue that the Trump administration has been absurdly, willfully negligent of the health of its concentration camp internees -- not providing basic sanitation and refusing to vaccinate them against the flu despite placing them in crowded, filthy conditions that spread disease, etc. And the mumps thing is part of the package, as is reported by BuzzFeed (not the Fox News bullshit Steadfast and Loyal uses):
Outbreaks of infectious diseases are not uncommon in detention centers, “given the fact that not all folks have access to vaccines in their home country and often don’t have access to vaccines/routine medical care in the US,” [an infectious disease expert] said.
But attorneys for immigrants, public health experts, and advocates are concerned that the current conditions in detention facilities are creating an environment unusually ripe for infectious diseases to spread. In June, a Department of Homeland Security watchdog report found “unsafe and unhealthy” conditions in four ICE detention facilities, including “inadequate medical care,” “expired food,” “dilapidated and moldy” bathrooms, and a lack of clothing and hygiene items.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have a protocol for refugees and immigrants that includes obtaining "proof of immunity" from mumps and, if it's not obtainable, vaccinating the subject. But they do a lot of shit that's not in the protocol at Trump's camps.

To what does S&L attribute the pestilence?
During the Obama administration, they quit doing medical checks on illegals in order to avoid having to release information on diseases brought into the country.
There is no citation for this and this is very much at variance with the administration's performance and planned reforms -- that is to say, it's bullshit. (Conservatives have a habit of lying about this.)

But for the target audience (dotards and assholes), so what? Furriners is dirty, especially the dark-skinned ones, and that's why patriots keep tubs of hand sanitizer within reach at all times, and consume the mental and moral equivalent of it at sites like Steadfast and Loyal.

* I made myself an award out of paper clips painted gold and a gold foil chocolate coin. I'm so ashamed.
** That reminds me,. I haven't put up a FREE newsletter story for a while. So here's a freebie that's sorta political, and here's a freebie that's sorta not. 

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

HEY SAL, HOW COME YOU GOT NO HONKIES ON THE WALL?

Look, I know you can open Rod Dreher's blog at The American Conservative any day of the week and get some yuks, but this new item is particularly ridic. As often, it's about how some institution is being destroyed from the inside by political correctness -- in this case, medical school.

How is it being destroyed, you ask? Are students being forced to alter prescriptions to benefit black patients? Is every tenth surgery patient to get forced gender reassignment?

No -- some pictures of white guys are being taken down at some med schools.
If it’s [any day of the week], our Very Woke Media is going to find some new way of telling the story about how white people, especially white male people, are the worst people in the world, and need to be Otherized for the common good. Yesterday it was NPR, bringing to us this “health news,” as they call it.
NPR quotes Leslie Vosshall, a neurobiologist with Rockefeller University and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, on the 100%-male portraits of Lasker- and Nobel-winning scientists hanging in a university auditorium: "It's probably 30 headshots of 30 men. So it's imposing... I think every institution needs to go out into the hallway and ask, 'What kind of message are we sending?'"

Sputters Dreher:
Leslie Vosshall is in most respects vastly more intelligent than I am, but she is a racist, sexist nitwit. What kind of crazy person looks at portraits of a medical school’s Nobel Prize winners and other alumni who have great achievements to their name, and only sees … white men. Who are (therefore) bad people who need to be erased from public life and the institution’s memory?
The Vosshall bitch maybe knows about so-called "science" and "medicine" but by God Rod Dreher knows when white men are getting erased! Plus they got a black guy complaining about his representation! Jesus Christ, what is this, Hitler's "Woke" Germany?

Dreher also relies on this Twitter spin on the traditional Dreher Letters to Penthouse for backup:



"Afraid to say openly" yeah, I bet that means they said "who gives a shit" and Flier said "Gasp! So they got to you, too??" Do check the responses to that tweet -- many female students and MDs kick this guy's ass. And note especially this exchange:


But Dreher totally buys it:
“Afraid to say openly” — because they’re intimidated by the commissars. I keep hearing this, over and over: that people see injustices like this, and they hate it, but they keep their mouths shut because they’re afraid. Guess what, people: this is how bigotry and oppression takes root. In part because of your cowardly silence.
He gabbles on ("Liar. Bigot.") and finally gets to a doozy of a oh-yeah-what-if-it-was-black-people bit:
Let’s say we were talking about the Berklee School of Music, and most of the high-achieving graduates in jazz in the school’s history were black men. If there were a move to remove or relocate portraits of those men because it would make white students feel unwelcome or ill at ease, we would know exactly what was going on here: a racist attempt to deny history, and human achievement. But in this case it’s happening to white males, who, in the eyes of American elites, are demons.
There will be a terrible price to pay for this, you progressive trolls.
Wait'll he finds out there's no picture of Kenny G at Berklee.

UPDATE. Commenters make the excellent point that nowhere in the story is it confirmed that the palefaces will disappear -- Voshall is "redesigning that wall of portraits at Rockefeller University, to add more diversity." Some are just being moved, or integrated, as it were, with portraits of women and people of color. ("We really want to emphasize that we're not trying to erase our history," says a student at the University of Michigan. "We're proud of the people who have brought us to where we are today as a department. But we also want to show that we have a diverse and inclusive department.") Commenter Mortimer2000 notes a Boston Globe story in which some of the living subjects say it's cool with them if their portraits at Brigham and Women's are moved. Ah, but that's only because they fear the PC po-po, no doubt!