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DePaul University Tour Shut Down by Protestors, Lead by Self-Styled Free Speech Warrior Milo Yiannopoulos
May 27, 2016
At DePaul, the self-styled free speech warrior and his fans once again did not prove to be as robust as their rhetoric. When protesters arrived they begged for the intercession of cops, and cartoonish redpill tough guy Matt Forney complained about being manhandled.
What would you expect any speaker to do if their event was interrupted? Get the audience to beat up the hecklers? You can’t have it both ways when the police are tasked with keeping order and they fail to do this it is reasonable to be less than happy about it.
Nevertheless, the event received the usual hagiographic treatment on Breitbart and the Daily Caller, and once again Yiannopoulos was able to portray himself as the alt-right’s courageous truth-teller.
Which begs the question “is Milo telling the truth here?” Personally I would say that he is but lets see if Wilson even explores that question here
He was fortunate, in a way. On his current US campus tour, alleged threats to his free speech, and the back and forth between Yiannopoulos and his antagonists have been the only thing sustaining interest in the whole enterprise.
Hmm lets see If you hive a hall or lecture space and have your ability to perform is compromised by “activists” then isn’t that by definition his free speech being denied?
I know because I attended a Milo event at which there was no left reception committee. When he appears unchallenged, the Milo show is the dampest of squibs.
At the University of Oregon, where I saw him, it was not clear that he was especially grateful for the platform, or the lack of interruptions.
“Your professors are cunts, on the whole,” he tells the mostly student audience in an almost-full auditorium, “limp-wristed, pacifistic, sandal-wearing weirdos.”
It goes on like this for hours – the epithets are relentless and the provocations artless. Without hostile interruptions, Yiannopoulos’s act, which unfortunately relies entirely on him speaking, is a one-note affair.
So much for Wilson as a reporter! So much for Wilson as the man with a handle on the online traditions of shit posting and mischief making .
The Oregon engagement begins, like the others, with a one on one interview. Tonight his interlocutor is the co-president of the local branch of Young Americans for Liberty, who are sponsoring the evening. Then comes an open question and answer session, and Milo finishes up by giving fans an opportunity to take selfies with one of the right’s rising stars.
Its a tour around many campuses and were it any other type of tour there would not be any complaint about it having a running order or even a script that if followed on any of the legs of the tour.
But right now, that’s a long way off. First, we have to wade through the redpill boilerplate that constitutes Milo’s political views.
“There is an assault in this country”, he informs his interviewer, “on straight white men”, waged by “middle class women and cucks.” In this case the latter is being used to describe male feminists, who “don’t need to be castrated, they’ve done it themselves.”
Moving onto rape culture, which he considers a myth, he asks, with a theatrical moan, “Is there anything worse than consent?”
Wilson makes no secret of his disdain for Milo’s opinions, as is his right, however he undermines his own argument here by not even exploring the possibility that Milo has both the facts and the truth on the side of his talking points here. Wilson simply accepts all of the feminist orthodoxies without a single question
These opinions are odious, of course, but in another way utterly banal. Most adults will find Yiannopoulos’s show exactly as transgressive as a dirty joke told by a racist uncle. He wants desperately to cause deep offence to the left, and with some campus-based comrades, he clearly succeeds. Others will struggle to muster an eye-roll. I’ve heard pithier put-downs of progressives on Australian bar stools.
Why are his opinions “odious” would be an obvious thing to follow the opening claim of this paragraph but instead of that Wilson goes for that old favorite of the progressive the ad hominiem argument. The thing is having watched a lot of Milo’s shtick in his you tube vids he clearly gets a good response to his talk, his interviews and debates all show him to be witty clever and generally amusing. He may not be funny to the cohort of Wilson and his friends but as they are among the targets of Milo’s sarcasm, satire and wit it would be surprising if Wilson and his friends enjoyed being so mercilessly mocked.
So why are all these other people laughing?
After all, even if you agree with this stuff, there’s not much here that’s new. Milo described the alt-right, for which he as a kind of spokesman, as a group which is “young, creative and eager to commit secular heresies”.
But anyone who’s ever listened to Michael Savage or Mark Levin, or even waited around in a small-town barber shop has already encountered all of this guff at punishing length. If there’s a difference, it’s purely a matter of presentation.
Students of the art of humor will tell you that there are only a handful of proto -jokes and all of the huge lexicon of laughs derive from this small seed, so its not always what you say as much as how you tell them Milo’s shtick works because he is a consummate communicator and his audience likes what he says. Wilson is simply unable to do likewise because of his own political baggage and intellectual investment in left wing progressive ideology.
His core politics are similar to those of the mens rights movement – he hates feminists and claims they’re waging a war on the *real* victims, men. But everyone on the American right pretty much agrees with this. He calls lesbians names and questions whether there should be further Muslim immigration. But these are not novel sentiments either.
On the subject of feminism this interview with Dave Rubin explains far better what it is about contemporary feminism that deserves scorn and strong criticism. Wilson’s vilification and character assassination is based on the faulty belief that Milo objects to the now achieved (in western countries) goals of first and second wave feminism.
For sheltered campus conservatives in provincial college towns, though, it all sounds terribly naughty, even revolutionary. Not because of what’s being said, which is “redpill” boilerplate, but because of who is saying it.
Has Wilson not heard of the internet?
In an irony whose full implications escape his audience – who are not, on the whole, well-attuned to such things – his identity is the only real value he adds to an otherwise bog-standard litany of complaints.
Its seems to me that Wilson can not cope with the idea that am man can be both Gay and conservative
The conservative ecosystem is variously populated by talk-radio mastodons; dessicated, reptilian columnists; and near-vegetative think-tankers with about as much charisma as their lanyards. In this Jurassic world, Milo can self-consciously promote himself as something disruptive and new.
For someone who claims to be a “reporter” his political allegiances are doing great deal of harm to his objectivity
If Wilson’s profile picture is anything to go by Wilson would not qualify as any sort of fashionista himself, that said though if one takes the time to review Milo’s various media appearances its clear that the man is actually quite good at dressing for the occasion, most serious events will see Milo wearing a well cut suit but on the current tour he can of course be more frivolous.
Tonight, in pink t-shirt, bling, gaudy trainers and lightly distressed denim, he looks like he’s beamed in from the “boys casual wear” section of a decade-old Macy’s catalogue. Only the buttoned-down Randroids who run YAL could think that his frosted tips and ostentatious indoor sunglasses are anything other than normcore-gone-wrong.
Its called dressing for the occasion Mr Wilson and playing the game of political performance. Frankly I would have thought that asocial media pundit such as your self would understand that all politics is a performance art-form then again I can’t help thinking that Wilson would be lauding any “progressive” using Milo’s tactics here maybe this explains Wilson’s clear rancor because he simply can’t get his head around anyone other than one of his fellow progressives being so able to exploit the social media the way that Milo so clearly does.
The really entrancing thing for America’s reactionary dweebs and young fogeys is hearing this from a gay, British man in his thirties, rather than say, Rush Limbaugh.
It means that for an hour or two, they can put aside their niche anxieties about creeping sharia, or who is using which public restroom, and imagine that they are part of something subversive.
What Wilson fails to understand here is that while his progressive cronies have long held the upper hand in social discourse on the campuses of first world universities to be a conservative and to be openly Gay about it IS a subversive act just as much as being a communist was for my own generation
The bonus is that even in making this pitch, he comforts his audience with the knowledge that they don’t have to take the political demands of other LGBT people seriously. He drops hints that deep down, he hates queers as much as they do.
NO there is simply not any hatred for “LGBT people” in play here Milo does not “Hate Queers” either on the surface or deep down. His take on is is quite sane and very grown up He enjoys being a homosexual is the bottom line
One of his biggest applause lines in Eugene was the moment when he distanced himself from other gay men, averring that “the worst thing about being gays is other gays… They’re just such fucking fags.”
Its called being self deprecating and taking the piss out of your own subculture that Milo both endorses and celebrates
It’s all a bit like music hall for young tories: marginally risque but ultimately reassuring. It’s conservative all right, but not in the edgy way Yiannopoulos imagines it to be.
If only Wilson could understand that Conservatives are allowed to have a place in the polity that is not just to be the butt of progressive ire, and what Milo’s “Dangerous faggot tour” is really about is pointing out that conservatives no longer have to be hiding in the shadows of campus life any more, they don’t have to remain under the dishonest heel of political correctness , kowtowing to the craziness of third wave feminist nonsense
In fact he’s just one of a long line of performers who exist to endorse the whole slate of garden-variety petty bourgeois prejudices. It’s dull work, I imagine, but there’s a steady market for those who can give it fresh nuance.
For now, he appears to be on a roll. From his start as a Breitbart writer and gamergate troll, he’s energetically barged his way into the dress circle of rightwing celebrity.
Those over tight progressive underpants are in evidence again with this claim mainly because I don’t think that an Ideological warrior like Wilson cannot imagine that any legitimate criticism of progressivism is possible. Nor do I think that Wilson has any understanding of Gaming or the Gamergate movement he so casually dismisses. I asked him on twitter if he was a gamer and his response was to try to chnage the subject. so my guess is that his opinions all come from the likes of Anita Sarkesiain and those of her ilk rather than him having any experience of the subculture or the experience of gaming
He now rubs shoulders with the likes of Ann Coulter, with whom he shares a performative, post-Trump antipathy to established movement conservatism. He’s successfully positioned himself as a member of the “alt-right”, a movement for which he drafted a manifesto which also functions as an apologia for the open anti-semitism and racism of that community.
Hmm I simply don’t see the antisemitism that Wilson is claiming, in fact most of the antisemitism in the western polity comes form the left in their apologia for Islam and the Jihadists.something that I have seen Wilson himself flirts with on twitter where despite me giving him ample giving him ample opportunities to denounce the inherent bigotry of Islam he could not bring himself to admit that Islam is hateful to Gays or women.
(During the evening, he retails the anti-establishment sentiments which are themselves now de rigeur on the right, saying that “the Republican Party needs to be torn up, burnt to the ground and rebuilt”.)
The hustle has been competent enough to secure the greatest reward that a bogus generational spokesman can reap: a profile in the New York Times magazine. And now, he’s on a US tour, bringing his fabulous brand of bigotry to America’s universities.
If there is one thing that is fabulous its the way that Wilson portrays anyone who offers a counter to the “progressive narrative” as bigotry, Question the Black lives matter narrative and in Wilson’s view its bigotry, Question the silly claim that one in five students will be raped and its bigotry, In fact its seems clear to me he is just over invested in the “progressive” orthodoxy and he is terrified of having to rethink any of that he just digs his heels in and calls people names because its
In Eugene, around 350 prople show up (at DePaul, Breitbart claimed there were 500, but they have a habit of talking their employee up). A solid three quarters of those in attendance were men. Given Milo’s obsession with detailing what he sees the failings of women – especially feminists, lesbians, and those who aren’t thin – it’s no surprise that his events are such sausage-fests.
Would Wilson care if a Feminist had a predominately female audience or would he disparage a majority female audience as a “vag-fest” or some other derogatory term of a cohort of women ?
Indeed, the passages of the evening in which he talks about the many women that he doesn’t like are one of the few times that a genuine emotion – disgust – rises to the surface of his camp repartee.
When he describes lesbians as “horrendous, quivering masses of horror”, described feminism as “cancer”, he’s practically spitting. It’s the kind of vituperation you don’t usually employ unless you’ve encountered a real threat.
Like so many on the progressive side of politics Wilson has no sense of humor and no understanding that the anti-lesbian shtick is all part of Milo’s performance. As I have found in my own interactions with Wilson to him its inconceivable that any thing that a conservative says or does will not have some malign intention or purpose. Essentially he lacks any generosity towards conservatives and only sees them as a class enemy to be denounced.
I don’t know, or much care, whether Milo Yiannopoulos’s own contempt for women is a mask for fear. But he certainly appears to be answering to the fears of his audience.
This is utter rubbish from Wilson there is simply no reason to think that Milo has contempt for women nor does it follow that the audiences at his Dangerous faggot tour do either.
The sources of this disquiet are evident in the queues for the question and answer session, and later for selfies. It’s very clear in these moments that Milo’s core audience, his most devoted fans, are bewildered, young, reactionary, male nerds.
Once again Wilson shows his contempt for ordinary young men who have not taken up the progressive orthodoxy. That my friends is the core of the contradiction with in progressiveism It claims to be about inclusiveness and diversity unless you are a straight white man then you will be eternally the subject of scorn and derision
You get the vivid impression when you hear them talk that their antipathy to feminism has bloomed out of a much more intimate kind of frustration with the opposite sex. Unfortunately, they’ve come to the world’s worst source of dating advice.
Could anyone be more arrogant or more disparaging at a personal level than this? this is claim is all just an ad hom fallacy writ large
During question time, men ask for and recieve counsel about how to deal with feminists challenging them in their personal lives, and Yiannopoulos commiserated with them about “the oppressive hegemony of social justice”.
Although I have not attended one of these events I have watched several on Milo’s and other you tube channels and this characterization of the Q & A session is simply wrong and the questions and comments are as varied the people who attend
The whole ritual does no more than try to reverse the polarity of identity politics, insisting that actually, it’s white men who are oppressed. And the only way he can really make this case is to talk about class.
Wilson is correct that identity politics is a big issue for those who attend however in typical SJW style Wilson willfully misunderstands the arguments that are in play here. The point is not to try to seize a better place in the oppression hierarchy fro “white men” as he contends, but to dispute the entire social analysis of “oppression” that underpins the SJW notions of identity politics that would demonize every one who is straight, white and male.
Thus, he talks about the “awful, awful, terrible, diseased, and damaged people lecturing and hectoring the working class” who have “rightly had enough of it”, and whose only hope of salvation is “President Donald Trump”.
Here I can to some extend share Wilson’s concerns about the virtues of Donald Trump however I think that Wilson is sadly not detached enough from his left wing obsessions to understand why Trump is popular. What that popularity boils down to is a rather refreshing refusal to kowtow to the conventions of Political correctness and if there is one thing that those on the right appreciate its anyone who will slash through the bindings that have come from identity politics and the deathly fear of giving offense, But to explore this topic in more detail I suggest that you go to this article which also looks at Milo’s Trump shows but it does so with a far more even hand.
The problem – apart from the fact that this is delivered in an upper-middle class British accent, and that his audience are mostly college kids – is that he’s not really offering the working class anything except the permission to dish out racial slurs and minimise rape culture.
To be frank I don’t buy into Wilson’s Marxist assumption that the audience are what would be “working class” or that Milo being English or “upper class” makes a blind bit of difference to cut though to his audience. This is an audience who have grown up with the cultural diversity of YouTube and they simply do not care about Milo’s accent. Now would college students be what we in Australia would call working class because they (or their parents) are all paying to go to the colleges and that takes enough resources to place those audience members well and truly into the middle classes
He boasts about the scholarship scheme he’s set up for underprivileged boys, but he has nothing to say about the economy except hints of support for a Trumpian economic nationalism.
Why on earth does Wilson think that Milo should be any sort of economist?
In another hackneyed move, Yiannopoulos posits the “Working class” not as a product of structural economic inequality but as another kind of political identity, one that expresses itself in salty language and low-level sexual harassment.
Here I can’t honestly do better than recommend the Why people love Trump piece I previously linked to because it looks at the subject free from Wilson’s arrogant disdain for Milo and his audience.
This is the kind of caricature you can only believe in if you don’t actually know that many working-class people. Like every other right wing hack, Milo absolutely depends on the angst of wounded identity, and its quest for an alternative victimhood.
I am rather fond of arguing for a certain generosity when you discuss politics, that sort of generosity would have prevented Wilson’s unshakable urge to demonize anyone who is snot singing from the progressive play book as he does here. The thing that Wilson seems to miss entirely here is that its not about seeking “victimhood” at all its about saying instead that the labels and characterizations of the SJW narrative are nonsense, broken and or wrong.
The working class he spins fantasies about are exclusively white, because like every right wing hack, his principal concern is activating white male resentment. This rhetoric was developed precisely to divide the working class, and to keep them in their place.
The problem for Wilson here is that Milo is not working from the Marxist lens that he himself see’s the world through. No is it about something as negative as activation of anyone’s resentment. Its all about saying that we are all individuals rather than just being elements in one group identity or another, its the classic libertarian positions that Milo is drawing on here, ones that value individual enterprise and self reliance. Sadly for a Marxist like Wilson this is just incomprehensible.
At one point Yiannopoulos offers something of a credo: “The only way to respond to outrage culture is to be outrageous”. It’s handy because it’s a good cover story for pursuing his real goal, which is no more or less than the getting of attention.
Milo makes no secret of his love of social provocation and were he of the left rather than the right I am rather sure that Wilson would find this behavior to be praise worthy because like a lot of lefties he thinks that social transgression belongs to his side of politics
But Milo Yiannopoulos is not outrageous, nor is he of himself especially dangerous. He’s just a wanker. When the Trump wave recedes, he may in time be regarded, along with the rest of the flotsam it deposited, as a curiosity. More likely, he’ll return to the mean and become one more right wing talking head in a perennially shallow talent pool.
Wilson is particularly humorless when it comes to anyone not from his own left wing tribe and here is a perfect example of his lack political generosity that puts him very much into the authoritarian left. Its obvious to anyone else that the title of Milo’s “Dangerous Faggot” tour is meant to be ironic and trangressive to the SJW tropes about the use of language as with the word “queer” Milo seeks to reclaim the word “faggot” here by taking what was a term of derision and making it something positive
The ideas he promotes are damaging, of course. He talks a lot about “the public square”, but the fruit borne of his adolescent attacks on feminism are likely to play out in more private spaces, where the most important negotiations about sex, consent, and equality happen.
But its not all of feminism that Milo rails against its just the man hating third wave feminism that has blossomed in contentment universities over the last couple of decades that actively seeks out offense and it is that brand of feminism that Milo describes as Cancer
God help the woman whose partner is a Milo fan. At the very best, she’ll have to listen to this horseshit on a loop. At worst, she’ll be living with someone who has the tools to rationalise selfishness, abuse, and even sexual assault.
Pardon me? Is Wilson really suggesting that being a Milo fan is tantamount to being a wife beater? a rapist even? How shallow is Wilson?
What’s perhaps not considered often enough how much damage this nonsense does to those men who take it seriously. For one thing, it allows them to put off the day on which they grow up, and realise that the women who won’t sleep with them aren’t persecuting them, but making the kinds of choices characteristic of autonomous human beings.
No Jason that is utter nonsense. Men who “listen” to the argument against the SJW tropes do not become monsters and its not at all about disaffection because these men can’t get laid. In fact there is no evidence at all that those on the right are any less successful at finding sexual partners than Wilson’s fellow lefties. Nor is he correct to assume that those men on the libertarian right don’t see women as anything less that fully autonomous individuals just like themselves That he thinks otherwise is actually a sad artifact of his own collectivist thinking.
So as derivative as this whole enterprise is, it may cause problems. What’s to be done?
DePaul’s progressives had one strategy – protest – which I do not plan to gainsay. That’s a decision for local activists to make based on what’s happening on their campus.
So left wing “protest goo”d in Wilson’s mind
There’s been more than enough hippie-punching in recent months directed at those who protest at public events that attract the far right, and I don’t propose to add to it. Protesting serves many purposes: publicly articulating common positions, building comradeship, and making claims or counter-claims on public space. There should be more of it.
Unless of course its anti SJW protest, then its bad and should be confronted.. Hmm OK
It’s true, though, that on those occasions like the night in Eugene, where he is not met by protesters, Milo seems forlorn. His schtick goes limp; he’s revealed as a one-trick pony.
When a young man, identifying himself as a feminist, spoke up against him, Milo whisked him onto the stage for an extended chat. Briefly, the evening was enlivened, though no one was enlightened, because Milo doesn’t argue in good faith. But he knows that the audience comes for the fireworks.
This bit of Wilson’s piece shows just how little this left wing warrior respects the core value of democracy which revolves around a robust exchange of ideas. That Milo is willing to engage with and debate his opponents is not just “schtick ” its an example of his confidence in his argument. Nor is it ever the case that democratic discussions ore as one dimensional as Wilson implies here. There is simply nothing wrong or awry for a polemicist to make their events entertaining with a little bit of drama. Wilson needs to lighten up a great deal.
Absent opposition, it’s harder to convince supporters that he’s bravely overturning PC shibboleths and taking it to the SJWs.
Not in the age of social media it isn’t even if the event at Portland was lacking in “fireworks” ( it has been the exception rather than the rule for the “Dangerous faggot tour”) all that it shows is that the SJWs there are rather less bolshie than at other universities on the itinerary
Perhaps the decision by students at the University of California, Irvine, to offer a counter-event to Milo’s visit offers a promising way to deal with this nuisance.
When it comes to the right, “ignore them and they’ll go away” is generally bad advice, but skipping the Milo show, and using it as to build something positive sounds like something that could also build the left ahead of the Summer of Trump.
Thus Wilson ends with whimper here rather than a roar but that is hardly surprising given that Wilson has done nothing but give us an an extended ad hominiem attack on both Milo Yiannopoulos and the young Trump supporters who have been finding the Gay man so engaging. To Wilson they are just the class enemy rather than men and women who have as much right as his fellow lefties to be involved with the issues and debates about their society. In fact Wilson’s piece is an almost perfect example of why Donald Trump is more than likely to be elected President. What we are seeing here is a whole movement of young people who are refusing to see that the SJW emperor is wearing a fine well tailored set of threads. They are trusting their senses and they are daring to speak the truth about the regressive left’s saggy arse that is in the breeze on so many issues, Things like the Myth of “rape culture” and other third wave feminist tropes are being seen clearly and actively denounced, Likewise the willful blindness about the ideology of Islam that I have found Wilson himself guilty of is something that more and more people are no long willing to accept, especially after the horrendous slaughter at the Pulse night club. Finally though I just want to say that this essay is not intended to be any sort of personal attack on Wilson himself I have brought this humble blog out of its hiatus in part because I want to demonstrate to Jason Wilson that I have read and understood his piece but mainly I wanted to substantiate my suggestion to him on twitter that the “Why people love Trump” is a far better piece of journalism than the missive I have been considering here.
There is a lovely Aussie tradition of mates helping each other out on big projects and this film is an example of that tradition made manifest. My brother Peter has built himself a super new shed to keep his vintage cars in and today he organized the pouring of a concrete floor for about half of the shed ( the rest will be done in a few weeks time) after setting up the boxing laying the moisture barrier and steel reinforcing mesh he also arranged for a whole tribe of his mates to come out and help lay the slab. Fortunately his mate Charlie has done this sort of thing before so the end result was the beautiful floor that you see in my final shot. In keeping with another fine Aussie tradition after the work was done it was my job to cook everyone burgers and snags on the barbie and most importantly a few ales were shared to celebrate the end of a job well done.
I can’t believe that I feel moved to reblog a post form this site, because usually I just see pieces here as a place to fight the good fight against the silliness of the left. Instead this piece says something that I have long thought about the way that “science” positions itself as a sort of secular religion and that it uses all kinds of moral pressures upon government to maintain its churches institutions even when they produce nothing of substance and they duplicate other places of higher learning.
A most interesting argument that deserves deep consideration.
In my younger days I participated in various protests. It was political street theater then and its the same thing now. The difference is that then it had a point then and now well its for such a grab bag of pointless posturing that all achieves is a jump in sales for inner city Latte purveyors. One thing is clear though and that it proves what a disconnected bunch of posturing wankers our friends from the left have become. Courtesy of my twitter feed here are a couple of the more amusing images :
Its all of the usual suspects, making the usual complaints in the very tedious old fashioned manner None of it will be remembered beyond Tuesday (that attractive volunteer may be remembered till Thursday! 😉 ) and nothing will change in the polity as a result of this piece of nonsense.
Rollin on Comrades
One of the sadly amusing aspects of the way that our society views sexuality is the rather desperate way that so many “gay rights activists want to insist that all aspects of human sexual practice are “natural” and therefore should be absolutely affirmed by society and by extension our education system. Surely it all boils down to precisely how “natural” is defined and its the definition that underlays the piece in today’s Fairfax press that attacks Keven Donnelly for committing the heinous sin of suggesting
‘Forgotten is that many parents would consider the sexual practices of gays, lesbians and transgender individuals decidedly unnatural and that such groups have a greater risk in terms of transmitting STDs and AIDS.”
In the eyes of the “politically correct” it is the worst sin imaginable to be in any way critical of the sexual practices of gay people and the worst possible sin is to claim or imply that such practices are “unnatural” . While I and most other parents are more than ok with the idea that our children should be taught that there is a great deal of diversity in the way that human desire and sexuality is expressed there is no need to pretend that everything done in the quest for sexual pleasure is “natural”. It should be enough for students to learn that the primary consideration when it comes to any sexual activity between any individuals is that it has to be entirely consensual, we don’t have to pretend that there is anything “natural” about some types of sexual congress because homosexuals want to have their desires and sexual practices socially affirmed.
Yet the social engineers of the left just won’t give up on “buggery 101” until it is front and centre in every classroom and they will attack without mercy anyone who might dare suggest that some sexual practices are anything but natural. Thus we find Fairfax dragging out the cudgels to bash Kevin Donnelly just because he points out the widely held belief that not all types of sex are entirely approved of by the parents out there. The politically correct teaching unions of course think that they know better than parents but they forget that its not their place to dictate what is taught to our children. That is the prerogative of parents; teachers are both our servants and proxies in the teaching process not our betters or our masters and they clearly need to be reminded of this fact.
Like a lot of people I’m taking Arvostatin so I watched the Catalyst program that makes the argument that such drugs are over prescribed, especially to those with minimal risk factors. To be entirely Francis I now have some doubts about the drug and wonder if my marginally raised cholesterol levels really justify the daily dose when (for example) diet and lifestyle changes could give the same result.
Norman Swan of the ABC’s health report is very concerned about the program, so much so that he has unequivocally denounced it as potentially life threatening:
It was clear to me that the point of the program was to argue that it is the very broad prescription of Statins as a general prophylactic may not be such a good idea and that for many people who take the drug the side effects may well be more problematic than the potential benefits. As an informed medical services consumer I am going to discuss this with my GP when I next see him because I am concerned that I may be experiencing the muscle pain that was mentioned in the Catalyst program. I can’t help thinking though that those like Norman Swan may just be underestimating the people that the medical profession are supposed to serve. Surely a population that takes the time to be informed about such health issues will benefit by being able to make informed health choices.
As for the indigenous people and others who Swan thinks may cark it if they cease taking the pills, well my guess is that they have enough other health issues that would have hastened their end anyway so perhaps his concerns about this are rather over stated.
Swann has on many occasions suggested that people should be wary of exaggerated claims of efficacy when it comes to various medical treatments so I find his position on this frankly rather surprising and just a bit disappointing.and more that a bit condescending. The evidence that Statins do what their makers claim in reducing Cholesterol levels is clear to me form my own blood tests but that still leaves unanswered the question of how much benefit this will have to the longevity of those of us who take them. In the end isn’t the point that we should live longer and enjoy better health from taking this drug? If the claims of the program that it will make little difference to they majority of users are correct then doesn’t it suggest that fewer people really need to take the drug and that perhaps the profession needs to work on deciding just who it is should be using the drug and who is wasting their time by popping the pills?
- Heart Foundation ‘shocked’ ABC ran cholesterol report (abc.net.au)
- The Wisdom – And Risk – Of Pfizer’s New Cholesterol Drug Development Plan (forbes.com)
- Should I take statins? (theguardian.com)
- Statin Drugs Eat Your Brain (exohuman.com)
- Saturated fat heart disease ‘myth’ (bbc.co.uk)
- Eat butter and cheese not low-fat spreads, says heart specialist (theguardian.com)
Well its the first of may which means that we are now only a couple of weeks out from another Labor Budget and the softening up propaganda is in full swing, what with Gillard’s announcement the other day that Labor has a 12 billion dollar black hole that we the ever suffering tax payers will have to endure a rise in the Medicare levy to fund “Disability care” (NDIS renamed 🙄 ) we can expect a never ending barrage of tales of woe to prepare us for a budget that will not be anywhere near as bad as expected for a couple of simple reasons.
Firstly its an election year and that means that the budget will be designed to fit in with Labor pitch to the voters for another term in power so they won’t be keen to get too many people off side by doing much that will be unpopular, they simply don’t have the skill or the time to argue for unpopular changes or truly new schemes so what they will be doing is trying to find way that their keynote “reforms” can have the illusion of being possible even though much of their new schemes have thus far been very poorly designed and even more poorly explained or justified Nothing illustrates this more than the “Gonski” scheme which has been eulogised by endless teacher’s union funded ads on the TV but we still have very little idea of just what it will mean for schools and even less confidence that finding out the details of the scheme will matter because apart from Barry O Farrell proving the adage about State Premiers grabbing for pots of money at least partially correct, none of the other states committed themselves to Gillard’s so called “education reforms” which will mean its failure.
Then there is the way to fund the ” Disability care” scheme, to be honest having it paid for by a rise in the Medicare levy is at least somewhat consistent with the original notion of that tax and I don’t expect that the current opposition will roll back such a change when they get into the treasury benches either. I do however have some issue with this new scheme being rolled out at the same time as the Government (and to a lesser extent the opposition are trying to imply that those of the disabled who have qualified for the DSP are all slackers or frauds. If we are honest we have to realise that the disabled as a group covers a rather wide spectrum of people with an equally wide range of impairment the question that we as a society have to consider is where we draw the line. Likewise its fine to have a principle of encouraging all of the disabled who can do some work to do so but firstly there has to be some work that they can do available for them and employers who are willing to take on the burden. Both are rather thin on the ground yet this government seems very intent upon forcing the disabled to enter the same job seeker churn that it imposes upon receipts of the Newstart allowance. Its fair enough for the able bodied but all the churn will do for the disabled is make them depressed and further lower their self esteem as they struggle over ever more odious bureaucratic hurdles. This farce is only really possible though because of the way that the public perceives disability. To most people a disabled person has to be either holding a white cane or in a wheel chair or they are not even seen as being disabled. However there are many conditions, MS for example, which have very few outward indicators of infirmity even though they would make meaningful (to themselves and an employer) work difficult if not impossible . The repeated implication that many people who qualify as disabled are in one sense or another “scamming the system” does not help matters either because for every fraudster who is caught there are many, many genuine claimants who have to constantly live with the suspicion or even outright accusation that they are “bunging it on”. Its not a good look for a government who are pinning their election campaign on the hopefully positive reception to its NDIS now is it?
If this government was genuine about fixing the 12billion “black hole” then they would do a couple of simple things: Abolish the carbon tax, its associated bureaucracy and its compensation, likewise they should abolish the MRRT mining tax and the pork distribution that is predicated upon that failed tax, If they then actually fixed the asylum seeker issue by restoring the full suite of measures that worked under Howard regime more billions could be saved… Oh, hang on, that prescription sounds awfully like the opposition plan so maybe that is the answer after-all. We need to change the government rather than hoping that this administration can be reformed enough for it to properly serve the nation, really there is no other choice.