I would like to leave it there, but there really is so much more to say. Seriously, has the whole world gone insane? I can understand why the media would pick up on a story like this and I can almost understand why a popular science magazine like Nature would publish the wacky article in the first place. It sells. What I don't get is why a bunch of nodding-dog journalists would respond with half-witted opinion pieces such as 'Evil is among us. And it’s called sugar'.
It's not that I didn't see it coming. I've been saying for years that the anti-tobacco blueprint would be rolled out to alcohol, food and fizzy drinks. It's just that I didn't think it would happen this quickly and when it did happen, I expected gales of laughter and an anti-nanny state backlash. This is manifestly not happening. That is a problem, but it isn't the biggest problem. The truly terrifying thing is that the intellectual climate is so retarded that Nature can publish such an article without feeling any shame.
Look at the people in the video below. Look at their self-satisfied little faces. These are the authors of the toxic sugar article. They are idiots. I do not say that to be insulting, but as a statement of fact. The woman on the right, in particular, should not be trusted with a pair of scissors. She calls herself a "medical sociologist" and works at UCSF. This should disqualify her from going anywhere near a scientific journal. She thinks that sugar is a poison because it is fermented to make alcohol. If you read the Daily Mail, alcohol is made by "distilling sugar". This is what we're up against: cretinous arguments made still more ludicrous by a woefully uneducated media.
The asshole on the left begins by saying "We are in the midst of the biggest public health crisis in the history of the world." He's not talking about the Black Death, cholera, influenza, malaria or even cigarette smoking. He's talking about people drinking fizzy drinks in North America. The guy is either ignorant or insane or a liar. This one statement is enough to discredit him and yet he has made another video in which he says: "Fructose is ethanol without the buzz ... fructose is poison." That video has had nearly two million hits on Youtube. It's over. The morons have won.
He's another UCSF chump and it's no surprise to find that he's friendly with the anti-smoking loons of that quasi-university. In that same video, he refers to "the UCSF Legacy Tobacco Documents Library that Stan Glantz runs right across the street. Stan's a good guy. I like Stan a lot." Right there we have another disagreement because Stan is not a good guy. On the contrary, he is a charlatan and a crank and he should be investigated, prosecuted and imprisoned. He is another obsessive fruitcake who has found a pulpit from which to preach his warped, scientifically illiterate ideas thanks to the lax admissions standards of UCSF.
As you may know, Glantz regularly appears on television claiming that half of all teenage smokers picked up the habit solely as a result of seeing smoking in movies. This is a man who should, as Christopher Hitchens might have said, be out in the street, shouting and hollering with a cardboard sign around his neck and selling pencils from a cup. Do interviewers call him on his bampot theories? They do not. Instead he is perched up in San Francisco with millions of dollars of grants and a professorship in a subject which he has not studied at degree level and of which he apparently knows nothing.
Glantz also invented the heart miracle scam. What better illustration of the Western world's plunge into unreason can there be than this? Here we see the perils of the campaigner-researcher, the corruption of peer-review and the pitiful credulity of the media in perfect alignment.
To take just one example, last year Michael Siegel wrote about a heart miracle in one Minnesota county. It was so pathetic I don't think I even mentioned it at the time. In summary, some devious anti-smoking lobbyists cherry-picked a county and claimed that heart attacks had fallen by 45% after the smoking ban. Siegel listed some of the news stories that unquestioningly covered it.
For example, the headline of an ABC News article reads: "Smoking ban cuts cardiac events 45%, Mayo Clinic says."
A Procor headline reads: "Smoking ban cuts heart attacks in half."
A Thirdage.com article headline reads: "Smoking Ban Cuts Heart Attack Risk In Half."
The UPI headline about the research reads: "Smoking ban cut heart attacks risk in half."
The Minneapolis Star-Tribune headline reads: "Smoking bans cut cardiac events 45%."
The EMax Health headline is: "Smoking bans reduce heart attack rates by half, finds study."
The Business Insider headline reads: "Heart Attacks Decreased By 50% After These Workplaces Launched Smoking Bans."
The trick was a simple one. They didn't look at the year of the ban (2007). Instead they compared heart attack rates in 2001 with those of 2008. Sure enough, they fell by 45%, but this was not out of line with the general decline in heart attacks across the USA. The heart attack rate is falling everywhere. You may recall from last week that the UK saw a halving of heart attacks in the same decade. The longer the timeframe the bigger the fall. Cherry-pick one small county (population 150,000) and the effect can be exaggerated further.
This is routine deception on the part of tobacco control, but that is not the point. My point is that you don't need to be privy to this information to work out that "Smoking ban cut heart attacks risk in half" is a bullshit headline. You do not need to be well versed in statistics to work out that, if this were true, half of all heart attacks before the ban were caused by wafts of tobacco smoke in bars and restaurants. And you don't need to be cognisant of medical science to realise that this is simply preposterous.
Similarly, you do you need to understand biology to know that you are not going to get cancer from smelling tobacco on someone's shirt and yet the concept of thirdhand smoke has been widely talked about, not least by the Daily Mail, as if it was anything other than the ramblings of the insane.
Who came up with the idea of thirdhand smoke? Georg Matt. Who's Georg Matt? He's a wacky psychologist based in San Diego. There is a running theme here, is there not?
Where does every crackpot idea come from?
Where does every hysteria-driven, junk science-based ban begin?
Which is the home to the world's worst university?
Which state is dragging the world into an intellectual dark age?
Lex Luther had the right idea. Bill Hicks had the right idea.
California has to go.