Thirty-seven-year-old Zhang Zhan went to Wuhan from her home in Shanghai on February 1. She performed the role of a citizen reporter and posted interviews with residents and footage of the city to Youtube.
She was detained in mid-May and appeared at her trial last week. Charged with “picking quarrels and provoking trouble,” she was sentenced to four years in jail. It’s important to note that as far as I’m aware, what she reported was never disputed.
Welcome to China, where the laws are so ridiculously vague, that if officials want you silenced, they’ll certainly get their way. After all, how they and the government appear is far more important than anything as inconsequential as the truth.
A friend from high-school is a chiropractor. He’s got a page on Facebook that’s lousy with ridiculous claims. I investigated one and wrote him about it. The article he linked, “Anti-Vaccine Japan Has World’s Lowest Child Death Rate & Highest Life Expectancy,” is from a web site that claims to be about health and well-being. They’ll even take donations to remain ad-free! The problem is their reporting. It took me no time at all to look up Japan’s vaccination rates and they’re one of the highest in the world, and far above the point required for herd immunity.
I wrote my friend and suggested he look closer into the links he posted because this one is pure click-bait and two minutes of investigation entirely disproved the headline. He thanked me for the concern over his reputation and said he’d be more careful.
Not only did he continue as before, he didn’t even change the link to the article we discussed. After a few days I posted a comment detailing my findings. I thought at least someone should know the truth.
Another link that shows that he’s clearly chasing headlines to win customers is an article titled, “Scientist Explains How Cow’s Milk Leeches Calcium From Your Bones & Makes Them Weaker.” The article links a study, and right there in the study’s conclusion it states,
Given the observational study designs with the inherent possibility of residual confounding and reverse causation phenomena, a cautious interpretation of the results is recommended
The study said nothing at all about anything leeching calcium from one’s bones. Rather than the cautious interpretation the study called for, the article author went in the entirely opposite direction.
His page is a collection of the worst junk science and he’s comfortable in providing what he surely thinks is healthcare. I don’t know how he sleeps at night.
When one of his sympathizers, who I believe is also a Chiropractor, posted about his frustration with the reputation Chiropractors have, I went ahead and described what Chiropractic would need to do to prove itself to me:
I was hoping for a real discussion. I’m exactly the type of person Glen should want to convince. I told him how he could convince me. The result? I was blocked from the page. I’m not entirely surprised, but I was hoping Glen was genuine in his wanting things to change, and hearing a suggestion from someone who has yet to be convinced.
Even now, more than two months after I wrote my comment, there’s no reply. My friend is still happily parroting that vaccines are bad and spinal adjustments to babies are beneficial.
Harper’s Bazaar published an article titled, “The Catholic Church Has No Moral Argument on Abortions.” The subtitle completes the thought: “After the pope revealed nuns were forced to get abortions while being held as sex slaves, the Church doesn’t seem well positioned to lecture on what women should or should not do with their bodies.”
I tip my hat to the author, Jennifer Wright. The article is worth your attention.
What I do not understand is why so many Catholics still follow the church. The church protects priests who have sexually assaulted children, and now this? What will it take for people to stop respecting and funding this deeply corrupt organization? Any other business acting in this manner would have been shuttered in a heartbeat.
The fact that the church fights tooth-and-nail to restrict abortion, then forces their sex-slave nuns to have abortions, absolutely sickens me. It’s just one of religion’s seemingly limitless hypocracies.
Politics and social media are a terrible mix. I wonder if it doesn’t at least partly explain why politics is increasingly polarized. Let me give you an example.
This morning I visited a Facebook group called the National Conservative News Network Canada. Despite its name, it’s not a news network in any sense. It’s merely a group inhabited by a bunch of people who hold strong opinions and don’t want to hear any others. I visited because of a particular graphic that forcefully told the reader that all flags in the country should immediately be flown at half-mast for sixteen days, one day for each of the Humbolt Broncos hockey team members killed on Friday in Saskatchewan.
As you might imagine, the suggestion created quite a discussion. One group felt that lowering the flag is best limited to when members of the Canadian Forces are killed on active duty. The group owner, who favours the flag-lowering for the hockey team members, tried to invalidate that position by pointing out that Prime Minister used his executive privilege to have the flag lowered for his “good pal” Gord Downing.
Until this point in the discussion, I had no real skin in the game. However, when a person championing an action for the respect of the dead, makes a mockery of the name of another person who has passed on, I had no choice but to jump in. That feeling only increased as there were three other instances of the group owner making reference to Gord Downing.
I replied, pointing out that given his respect for the dead, the least he could do is spell Gord Downie’s name correctly. He came back with a graphic of the Peace Tower flag schedule indicating it was lowered in honour of Gord Downie. I looked up and saw he had corrected his mistake, trying to pass of my comment as an error on my part. Facebook labeled his post as having been edited, and clicking the “Edited” indicator, he correct the spelling three minutes after I pointed out the error. In reply, I suggested that it was a simple error, and he should simply own it, rather than correcting it and pretending he made no mistake. Hell, it was likely an autocorrection error he missed. Be an adult and admit it!
Hours later I checked back and found that the group owner had banned me from posting in the National Conservative News Network Canada. This ban also deleted all my comments and any replies.
So rather than a discussion area, the group owner has gathered around him people who think just as he does and parrot the same opinions. Anyone who raises a dissenting voice is summarily silenced. It’s a fragile ego indeed who can’t accept a spelling correction! Is it any wonder people can’t discuss politics or religion any more without things getting out of hand? These jokers have fashioned echo chambers where everyone allowed in agrees with them. How can they ever learn reasoned discourse?
But the real kicker? The image you see to the right is the profile image attached to the National Conservative News Network Canada Facebook page. They seemed to have missed the warning against having one’s own opinions, voicing them, or even having <gasp!> an original idea … never mind something as minor as pointing out a spelling error of significance.
The cognitive dissonance is strong in this one.
2019-05-17: The Facebook page has been either deleted or hidden. Hardly a loss, but it appears that you can’t see the dumpster fire for yourself.
Lord save us from the politicians who know not of what they speak! Today’s proud entrant is Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull. He seems to believe that if the government could get into all the encrypted messages his people send, all would be well. According to the Independent, he ratchets up the rhetoric:
When challenged by a technology journalist over whether it was possible to tackle the problem of criminals using encryption – given that platform providers claim they are currently unable to break into the messages even if required to do so by law – the Prime Minister raised eyebrows as he made his reply.
“Well the laws of Australia prevail in Australia, I can assure you of that. The laws of mathematics are very commendable, but the only law that applies in Australia is the law of Australia,” he said.
So there you have it. A politician who claims that the laws of mathematics do not apply in his country.
DoD photo by U.S. Army Sgt. First Class Clydell Kinchen.