The fastest-growing industries over the last two decades have been fake industries, those that thrive despite having few customers willing to buy their products except at fire-sale prices. The fake industries all have the same angel investors — governments — and the same promoter touting their wares — again governments. These fake industries, the brainchild of subsidy entrepreneurs, also tend to be dazzlers, the better to wow their politician backers and the stock market speculators betting on cash flows of government subsidies.
Today’s fake-industry leader is Tesla, the electric car developed by subsidy entrepreneur Elon Musk, who also heads SolarCity and SpaceX, other government darlings.
Hospital leaders in North Yorkshire said that patients with a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or above – as well as smokers – will be barred from most surgery for up to a year amid increasingly desperate measures to plug a funding black hole. The restrictions will apply to standard hip and knee operations.
The decision, described by the Royal College of Surgeons as the “most severe the modern NHS has ever seen”, led to warnings that other trusts will soon be forced to follow suit and rationing will become the norm if the current funding crisis continues. More.
Reality check: Euthanasia will quickly take care of all that. Public health care worked mainly because euthanasia was not an option. After us, the deluge, as Madame de Pompadour put it.
Although Twitter may not be far off from a clean-slate reboot under new ownership, especially in light of its putrid performance in the fourth quarter, I nonetheless thought it would be a worthwhile exercise to determine the top ten changes to Twitter that should happen immediately — ideally with me installed as the company’s new CEO.
My colleague Allum Bokhari has suggested this on Breitbart Tech already, but it bears repeating. Users don’t come to Twitter to agonise over whether their off-the-cuff thoughts are in line with the site’s sprawling and ever-expanding list of rules. They don’t want to spend valuable time mentally debating whether the Tweet they’re about to send will get them banned.
They don’t want to be plagued by the worry that the hours, days, and weeks they’ve put into building up their social media following could be snuffed out in an instant because they misgendered someone or told the wrong joke.
Twitter should of course continue to stop illegal activity on their platform. As we’ve noted before on Breitbart Tech, they could do a lot better job of clamping down on terrorists and terrorist supporters. Other obvious cases of wrongdoing, such as pedophilia, should also be excluded from the platform. More.
Reality check: But Twitter is interested in being politically, not morally, correct. Terror and crime against children are insignificant compared to hurt Identities.
In other words, Twitter wants to be Nanny in 140 characters or less, but is there a market for that?
See also: Satire changes nothing! Nothing! As we learn from the Times of London… If the New York Times has suddenly become “largely readable,” one must ask, to whom? Millions of ex-readers? Are they back now? Then why the new layoffs? Are CNN layoffs reversed?
For three anti-smoking advocates—local physicians Richard Sargent and Robert Shepard, and activist and researcher Stanton Glantz from the University of California at San Francisco—this sudden drop in heart attacks was proof that smoking bans usher in extraordinary benefits for public health. “This striking finding suggests that protecting people from the toxins in secondhand smoke not only makes life more pleasant; it immediately starts saving lives,” said Glantz in a press release sent out by UCSF.
Newspapers ran with the story, credulously assuming that the correlation had been truly caused by the smoking ban. “The bottom line of Helena’s plummeting, then soaring, heart attack rate is painfully obvious,” warned an op-ed in the New York Times. “Secondhand smoke kills.” The BBC projected that “[banning] smoking in public places could prevent hundreds of deaths from heart disease.” Wire services carried the result around the globe, and even the conservative Wall Street Journal cited the result as an important finding.
When the Helena study and its heirs were originally published, a few scientists noted that the results were wildly implausible and the methodologies deeply flawed. So did a handful of journalists, including Jacob Sullum writing for Reason (to which I am also a contributor) and Christopher Snowdon in England. Yet their criticism was generally ignored. Studies reporting miraculous declines in heart attacks made global headlines; when better studies came along contradicting those results, they barely registered a blip in the media. …
There were good reasons from the beginning to doubt that smoking bans could really deliver the promised results, but anti-smoking advocacy groups eagerly embraced alarmism to shape public perception. Today’s tobacco control movement is guided by ideology as much as it is by science, prone to hyping politically convenient studies regardless of their merit and ostracizing detractors.
This has important implications for journalism. More.
Of course, if science communicators keep getting away with it, they will keep doing it. Science really can be high tech voodoo using numbers. And then it must be kept in place by fear, not trust.
On a personal note: I found the anti-second hand smoke campaign rolled out across Canada some years ago disturbing. One government-sponsored ad featured women who were dying of cancer, whose husbands had smoked. The clear implication was that the wife got cancer (implication terminal) because the husband smoked.
The problem is, we don’t usually know that. Smoking greatly increases a person’s chance of lung cancer but not all lung cancers are caused by smoking. And second-hand smoke damage necessarily depends on many factors, including how much time a person spends involuntarily inhaling how much smoke.
I have never smoked, disapprove of the practice for many reasons, and support smoking bans in public places, as well as crackdowns on sales to minors and smuggling.
But I am concerned about using science to pretend we know more than we do, using voodoo numbers. That could lead to later family problems: = Dad killed Mom because he smoked. Science PROVES it! = We hate Dad. = [that’s just great when Dad is old and sick and needs family support]
Please. The world is full of problems for which we have a much clearer trail of cause and effect. – O’Leary for News
Officials in Germany’s Interior Ministry are urging Interior Minister Thomas de Maizière to establish a “Defense Center against Disinformation” (Abwehrzentrum gegen Desinformation) to combat what they call “political disinformation,” a euphemism for “fake news.”
“The acceptance of a post-truth age would amount to political capitulation,” the officials told Maizière in a memo, which also disclosed that the bureaucrats at the Interior Ministry are eager to see “authentic political communication” remain “defining for the 21st century.”
LGBT rights and pro-pit-bull advocacy are niche passions for the Ontario NDP’s Cheri DiNovo. The latter cause was my introduction to the MPP. Today’s column is about the former, specifically the recently passed Bill 28, DiNovo’s “All Families are Equal Act.”
Motivation for the bill was the aim of bringing legislative compliance to a 2006 judicial ruling, in the case of MDR v. Ontario, to stop requiring same-sex couples to adopt their own children if they used surrogates or reproductive technologies. That, Bill 28 does. It also allows parenting agreements among as many as four people.
A group of students in Calgary, rightfully ticked off at the ever-increasing helicopter parenting of government, will open a “Nanny State Store” on Tuesday to ridicule the increasing level of lifestyle regulations being foisted upon them.
Chocolate bar wrappers, for example, will bear a very menacing message, perfect for Halloween.
“Mother” may soon be replaced in Ontario law by the term “birth parent.”
That’s what’s incorporated in amendments contained in the Liberal government’s proposed Bill 28 which is designed to change the “Children’s Law Reform Act, the Vital Statistics Act and various other acts respecting parentage.”
Before the year 2000, no US state recognized same-sex marriage. By 2015, it was legal throughout the US and most of Western Europe. Before 2015 most Americans knew nothing about transgender issues. Within a year transgender issues are on the front pages of newspapers every day and schools may be forced to provide special bathrooms for trans students. The pace of change in the sexual revolution is not just rapid. It’s accelerating around the world. Why?
MercatorNet invited several scholars to answer this question, and today we begin publishing their answers.
In New York City you can be denied service in any establishment for insisting that a man is a man, or otherwise denying the invented personal reality of “trans”-persons by not using their preferred personal pronouns.