Friday 3 February 2012

Goodbye, you lizard scum

I have a post about the 'toxic sugar' canard over at the Adam Smith Institute. Before you go any further, please click over there and have a read.

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 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.


Tony Palazzolo said...

I love when they say "everybody is talking about raising tax on soda to raise money for programs" No, your talking about taxing soda to give to you. Then they compare how much they raised taxes on cigarettes to make people stop. No, you found the line that normal law abiding people were willing to cross to purchase cigarettes illegally. Soon, if these people have their way, I'll be buying soda from a guy in the alley.

Anonymous said...

The Coca Cola company.
Maybe they have scored an own goal here.
US presidential candidates get funding from there.
Their playing with the big boys now.

Anonymous said...

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.

The issue of what to do with these dangerously silly people, short of some time at the San Quentin Hilton™, was raised on another blog..…… I probably raised it. The resulting idea was something along “community service” lines. A major consideration was that, in addition to providing a service, they – the TCers - not be in a position that might pose harm to others, individually or society generally.

Selling pencils from a cup? Pencil…. sharp…. stab. No. That’s too terrifying a prospect. One idea that was floated….. I think by me….. was to put these TCers to work painting over graffiti. They are transported to a wall for the day where they can “roller” away. It seems fairly innocuous. But, they still have access to full cans of paint and can still be in close proximity to the public. Another idea was required.

An excellent idea that was raised……. also by me (in fact…. I think I was the only one that contributed to this line of enquiry)…. has much promise; it ticks all the “boxes” and also has “entertainment value”. I’m thinking of those golf “practice driving” ranges where people are constantly shooting off drives. The TCers can be put to work in those little carts that operate a few hundred metres from the driving tees. Are you with me so far? These little ball-retrieval carts drive over the shot balls and a mechanism under the cart collects the balls into a basket. Understandably, these open carts have protection – wire panels around/above the cart – because they are operating while the golf balls are being sent down like little white “bermbs”. I don’t know about you, but I would even pay good money to see a Stantonitis “The Mechanic” Glands or a Banz½ the ⅓ stuffed into one of these little carts sans protective wire panels, their considerable belly-fat draped over the cart sides and nearly caressing the ground. I would think there was some poetic justice in seeing The Mechanic frantically driving one of these little carts - its suspension under severe duress, the undercarriage barely clearing the turf, the sound of strained/popping metal, and a maximum speed of 4kph - attempting to avoid getting hit on the noggin by golf balls for hours at a time. There is justice.

Feel free to circulate the prospect :)

Anonymous said...

Ace rant. I'd be laughing if I weren't crying at the influence that these self-important pygmies have.

From the 'lizard scum' piece, it seems that CA's widely regarded as a basket-case (well, you know what they say about insanity). Loved the line about doing thinking out East.


Rob said...

They should be forced to work in McDonalds, serving burgers and coke. And if they don't smile and invite EVERY customer to enjoy their meal, we add a week to their sentence.

Mark Wadsworth said...

On a lighter note, I see you were one letter away from being dragged into some transexual nymphomaniac prostitution outrage tomfoolery.

Anonymous said...

The peer-reviewed sugar study says that "there are more obese people than undernourished people in the world."

This is what passes for science these days?

A short search found these facts:

Let's say that 75% of a country's population are adults and that China has a population of 1.3 billion and India has a population of 1.2 billion.

There are almost 11 times as many underweight adults as obese adults in a population group of 1/3rd of the world's population.
obese = 2.9% of adults....................28.275 million

underweight = 8% of adults..............78 million

obese = 0.7% of adults..................6.3 million

underweight = 32.9% of adults........296.1 million

Total...............................Obese = 34.58 million
..............................Underweight = 374.1 million

That is 10.8 times as many underweight adults as obese adults!!!!

Gary K.

Anonymous said...

Frankly, and this is purely personal, but I often envision a scene out of Frankenstein or Dracula, where the village towns folk suddenly wake up and see the monster on the hill in the castle, then rush up in a mob in the middle of the night, with torches, to burn the place down. UCSF sits on sancrosanct outdoor smoke and vapor banned land atop Parnassus Heights and I could easily enjoy seeing a similar scene from one of the classic horror movies play out against them one day, with Glantz and associates doing the roles of Frankenstein and Dracula. They're vampires enough as it is, sucking money dry for their anti-everything-human campaigns while knocking down any business not to their liking, thus depriving the people of their hard earned tax money confiscated by the bankrupt state, just to hand it back over via overlapping money laundering schemes into anti-everything-human vampires' back pockets, aka Glantz, UCSF and company.

Malenfant said...

"... The peer-reviewed sugar study says that "there are more obese people than undernourished people in the world." ..."

Is it peer reviewed? I'm sure I read / heard on the radio that it was an opinion piece.

I could be wrong.

Christopher Snowdon said...

No it's not peer-reviewed, but since there are hardly any undernourished people in several continents, the claim is probably sound.

Thanks for that! You are not the first person to bring that to my attention today!

CJS (AKA Crystal)

justintempler said...

The whole mess is a creation of government intervention. Back in 1980 during the days of Jimmy Carter the government intellectuals decided that we needed to develop an alternative fuel program and began to push for the development of corn ethanol as the solution, so the USA could become energy independent.

Over the last 30 years the US government has given out somewhere in the neighborhood of 45 billion dollars of taxpayer money to encourage this "solution"

The corn subsidies drove down the price for corn, which made high fructose corn syrup attractive to food and drink manufacturers.

HFCS was only made possible by billions of dollars of subsidies that encouraged its production. And now those same useless intellectuals have the bright idea that taxpayers pay sin taxes to discourage the use of a product that was a creation of the intellectuals' own making?

Unless things have changed, last I heard corn ethanol subsidies were allowed to expire at the end of 2011. So the price of corn and in turn HFCS should already start rising without any "help" from the useful idiots.

The USDA figures say HCFS use peaked in 1999 at 45lbs, it's already down to 35.7 lbs. and with expected rising prices, the "perceived" problem imagined by the UCFS idiots is on its way to curing itself.

(I won't even mention how much of a failure government subsidized ethanol turned out to be.)

dearieme said...

Here's a little sanity.

Anonymous said...

One day the adults will be back in charge!

Anonymous said...

From reading the comments on some of the newspaper articles I see that there are some people out there who actually believe this rubbish. Good, I hope they try to live without sugar, salt and fat in their diets and succumb, rapidly to the inevitable disaster such idiocy would cause. Evolution at work.

nisakiman said...

I couldn't get all the way through the first video. As soon as the "interviewer" started with her sycophantic fawning I just couldn't take it any more.

Good lord, what a bunch of tossers. There must be something in the California water. Maybe Timothy Leary pulled a fast one on the California Water Authority a couple of decades ago.

Magh said...

The question is why the intellectual level has fallen so low, that these retards get away with writing such crap? And most important, why are these idiocies being believed by some people?

I would draw attention to the widespread use of various psychiatric-related brain killers, such as antidepressants, tranquilizers, sleeping pills or other similar brain killers. Oddly, there is no mention of this problem and no checks on the medical records of those "healthist" hysteria pushers. But I wouldn't be surprised one bit, if they were heavily using such pills. Maybe time to begin checking? ;-)

Anonymous said...

You don't think that perhaps these sugar-obsessed health fascists might be racist?

Look where sugar cane grows and sugar is produced. These health fascists really do look down their noses at the people of the Third World, are seem hell bent to deprive them of their livelihoods.

Jungle Jim said...

Hi Justintempler:

And a counterpart to the corn subsidies are the high tariffs/quotas that keep most foreign-produced cane sugar out of the USA. This is done to support the US price of cane sugar at about five times the world price. It helps keep inefficient sugar cane farms in western palm beach county in business. The fertilizers they use pollute what is left of the everglades to the south of there.

Anonymous said...

Isn't it odd that the attack on sugar came less than a year after the suggestion that over use of antibiotics could be linked to rising obesity?

Antibiotics that reduce gut bacteria linked to obesity
3 May 2011

"An EU-wide ban on the use of antibiotics as growth promoters in animal feed enters into effect on January 1, 2006"

Damage limitation?

smokervoter said...

I have it on good intelligence that the University of San Francisco is located right on a particularly gnarly stretch of the San Andreas Fault capable of a huge earthquake. If we could find some way to trigger it, especially with student body and faculty present in full attendance, all eyes glued to a professor Glantz lecture or a Dr. Brindi presentation, we'd be in line for a Nobel.

What a YouTube sensation that would be if it was all captured on audio video. Just picture the old university sinking into the Pacific Ocean in a clockwise whirlpool (Coriolis North) like a flushing toilet.

The only downside is that it would take years for the ocean to cleanse itself from the fecal matter left behind. They're all so full of it.