Monthly Archives: March 2019

Two Years of Trump on the Psychiatrist’s Couch – Ad Banned by Pinterest

By Marvin Ross

Everyone keeps telling me what a wonderful site Pinterest is and the value of posting information there and of advertising. Frankly, I find it totally confusing but I decided to try it out and set up a Bridgeross Communications board (or is it a pin?). And then I thought I would create an ad which comprised a cover of the Trump book, a link to the Amazon kindle sales page and a brief explanation.

That explanation also comprise a quote from the write up of out two new books from the Hamilton Spectator which said the book  “is a fascinating, insightful, often humorous, usually chilling plunge into the coral folds of the brain under that Cheeto-coloured scalp”.

I thought I would test with a $10 limit and, as a publisher, I’ve done these types of ads on both google and facebook.

Much to my surprise, about a day after submitting the ad, I received a rejection from Pinterest that said, in part, that it “didn’t meet our advertising guidelines.”

Specifically:

Sensitive content
We want to keep Pinterest a safe place for discovering possibilities, so we don’t allow divisive or disturbing ads that could trigger users. We don’t allow language or imagery that is:

• Offensive or profane (censored or not)
• Excessively violent or gory
• Sickening or gross
• Sexually suggestive
• Politically, culturally or racially insensitive
Unless paired with educational or charitable information, we also don’t allow:

• Content that capitalizes on recent controversial or tragic events
• References to sensitive health and medical conditions

They then offered me the chance to revise the ad.

Like I’m going to do that but since when is it offensive to criticize a politician or any public figure. Libel laws protect people from invalid comments but where is the freedom of speech in the US these days? Where is the 1st amendment?

To date, the book has sold in North America, the UK and Australia and has been bought by libraries in the US, Germany and the Netherlands. But, I guess that it is too sensitive for the poor souls who inhabit Pinterest. Pity!

 

Trudeau Should Take Some Lessons from Trump

By Dr David Laing Dawson

And God said, “Let them be mean, nasty, and stupid so that I will be entertained.” And thus it came to be.

Four thousand years later I am watching the beginning of the 2020 race for the title of POTUS whilst thinking our campaign for Student Council President in grade 9 was conducted with more maturity and civility.

But, but, then I find myself wishing Justin had learned a little from the intuitive cunning of Donald Trump.

He, Justin, is allowing SNC-Lavalin to take on the gravitas and baggage of Hillary’s emails. He should be asking himself not what would Jesus do, but what would Donald J. Trump do? Well, not exactly what Donald would do. But leaving out the twitter excesses and inanities, the name calling, the non sequitars, while adding a touch of literacy, he could adopt the basic strategy of Donald.

What would that look like?

Something like this I think: “SNC-Lavalin is a great Canadian company doing engineering projects around the world, contributing to jobs and wealth in Canada, just like Nortel and Massey-Ferguson once did. And they know that do do business in most of this world bribes must be paid to government officials even though it would break a Canadian law. They did this in Lybia. They paid bribes to Lybian government officials. That is how business is conducted in at least three quarters of this world.

They got caught. Fair enough. For the sake of a future world with the social contracts and enlightened laws of a few western nations today, we need to punish Lavalin. But we should do that without punishing either the employees of Lavalin or our own economy.

My office lobbied our justice department to do just that.

Big Deal. Jobs and prosperity for all Canadians. NO COLLUSION!

I won’t be taking questions. Merci.”

For the Sake of Society, Focus on Recent not Ancient History

By Dr David Laing Dawson

Perhaps in High School the curriculum should discard all ancient history, the dreary lives of Mesopotamians, the bible stories, the British Empire, the kings of this country and that country, and instead focus on recent history. The realities of recent history. How we lived and what we knew, and didn’t know, with special emphasis on the last 100 years.

I know for most teenagers, surviving and living in the present is paramount. They have little use for things that don’t seem to impact their own lives at this moment. But we could try.

And we could try to preserve that history and keep it visible. Perhaps in front of the city hall we should do away with statues of old queens and put up instead reminders of the epidemics of polio, measles, small pox, pertussis, chicken pox, the things and luxuries people didn’t have a mere 75 years ago, methods of communication and ways of living.

The names of wealthy donors now take the place of the names of pioneers of yesterday. In Hamilton the Henderson Hospital is now the Juravinski. Nora Henderson was a local pioneer in maternal, prenatal and perinatal care. At the time, in this rich part of the world, the infant mortality and maternal mortality rates were equal to those of present day poorest African nations. We should not forget this.

Over the past 150 years there have been many eureka moments in the advancement of medicine and the maintenance of health. Dramatic discoveries with incontrovertible evidence that something works. To name a few: treatment for some cancers, antibiotics, clean water supply separated from sewage, fluoridating water, iodizing salt, and vaccinations, with vaccinations being perhaps the biggest and broadest reaching discovery of them all. (the discovery that dead or attenuated viruses and bacteria can provoke our immune systems to prevent the same live viruses and bacteria from harming us).

And there have been remarkable improvements in the treatment of many chronic conditions such as Cystic Fibrosis, AIDS, some leukemias, hepatitis, serious mental illness, seizure disorders, trauma and injury….

All of these improvements have been the product of science and medicine, not homeopathy or naturopathy.

Dramatic eureka moments have become scarce. More often today medicine struggles with the equations of early detection, invasive treatment, the balance of positive effects vs negative effects of intervention, genetics and life style: e.g lowering blood pressure by a few points by engaging in the right amount and kind of exercise, losing an inch of waist size, to salt or not to salt food, and which is best at which age: two to four alcohol drinks per day or none? vs. taking pills to lower blood pressure.

My left knee is a candidate for replacement, or, or, I could keep my weight down and ride my bicycle almost every day.

For the first time in a century the children born today in North America do not have longer life expectancy than their parents. Some suggest this may actually decrease. The causes for this are obesity, life style, social determinants of health (poverty), addictions, and increase in suicide rate. And, even more dramatically, if the trend continues, the cause of much lower life expectancy for the babies born today will be the anti-science and anti-vaccination attitudes.

Right at this moment nurses and doctors are using a vaccine developed in Canada to stop the spread of Ebola, a disease that has the potential of spreading world wide and causing the kind of population decimation previously caused by the black plague and small pox.

New Zealand – Can These Events be Predicted and Prevented?

By Dr David Laing Dawson

There will always be young men whose sense of unfairness, disappointment, failure, and loss can be shaped into a delusional world view, a fantasy of causation, of blame, of a specific enemy, and of their own fantasized role righting these wrongs.

At what stage in this progression can we act to prevent tragedy? At what stage in this progression do we actually have the tools to prevent tragedy?

1. The asocial, narcissistic, vulnerable young man.

2. Social reinforcement of the delusional solution.

Not long ago this would mean reading pamphlets and joining a group, or a clandestine group, a rebel group. But today such groups are readily available on our computer screens. And my guess is that joining a “rebel group” in real life brings about some reality checks and some socialization, (ISIS excepted), while joining an internet group does not.

3. Avoidance of social groups that could counter the developing delusion.

Perhaps easier to achieve now than 50 years ago, with more and more young people staring at a screen all day, and with the development of silos or bubbles of manufactured reality and personalized news feeds.

4. Finding information to support one’s developing delusion.

In the past this might have entailed reading some history and philosophy, attending talks in basements. Today it is shouted at us in podcasts.

5. Finding “heroes” to emulate or imitate.

Again we no longer need prowl through libraries and read history. The exploits of others are readily available at our fingertips.

6. Being encouraged by the careless words of leaders (Presidents) and opinion leaders.

These words, careless or self-serving, or downright racist, are no longer found on a second page column, but repeated in endless news cycles and social media.

7. Desensitization.

Many serious crimes follow a period of desensitization through the commission of smaller crimes. It is a way of managing anxiety and fear. Again, today, a perfect desensitization process can be found in First Person Shooter video games, with the “targets” becoming more life-like every year.

8. Secrets must be shared.

After each mass killing we find bread crumb clues, shared ideas, internet postings, and full manifestos that hint at what is to come,

9. Acquisition of serious weapons, assault rifles, ammunition.

The weapon available can make the difference between a couple of injuries and 49 deaths.

Vaccine Reminiscenses

By Marvin Ross

Iron_Lung_Photo_cropped_small
Polio victims in iron lungs courtesy of google

I hate to do the old man thing of “when I was a kid” but I’ve just seen another study demonstrating that vaccinations don’t cause autism. That was followed by a report in my local paper that a 7 week old baby almost died from whooping cough before she could get her shot because so many are not vaccinated.

No end of studies showing the lack of connection between vaccines and autism will convince these dumb sods nor will heart wrenching stories of cute little kids almost dying from old diseases. That is where the old man thing comes in. These morons need to go back in time to when I was a little kid.

Just about every one of us got measles, mumps, chicken pox and German measles. I missed German measles but got all the others. They were bad but there were always houses in our neighbourhoods with quarantine signs for scarlet fever and whooping cough.

And that wasn’t even the worst. There was polio! Hot summers resulted in polio epidemics where mothers’ would not let us go to the beach or to the annual Canadian National Exhibition at the end of August. Returning to school in September often found classmates missing – dead, wearing huge braces on their legs from the weakened muscles of a polio attack, or in hospitals in iron lungs so they could breathe.

Then a miracle happened. Jonas Salk came up with a vaccine which was followed by an oral concoction so no one had to get a needle. Polio left and is now only in some very poor third world countries. The same for smallpox which was declared eradicated in 1980 as the result of a World Health Organization (WHO) immunization campaign.

When I first went to Europe, it was mandatory to show proof of having had a smallpox vaccination and it was not unusual to see people with vaccination scars on their arms. This is no longer needed thanks to the WHO. As an aside, when I first went to Europe, you could not drink the water or at least it was suggested you don’t. Then, thanks to the right wing Ontario government of Mike Harris and the removal of regulations, people in Walkerton, Ontario got ill and some died from e-coli in the water supply back in 2000.

And then there is the water supply in Flint Michigan.

If only we could send those anti-vaccine parents back in time so they could see a world before most vaccines were around.  I can’t think of anything that would convince them.

After drafting all of this, I came across a report of a 6 year old in Oregon who had been vaccinated for nothing and developed tetanus. This is what happened to him:

The child had to be sedated. A tracheostomy was performed so that he could be put on a mechanical ventilator to help him breath. He remained on the ventilator for more than five weeks. Because of the pain caused by the spasms, he required muscle relaxants as well as drugs to stabilize his blood pressure in addition to the medications to counter the tetanus toxins.

The boy spent 54 days in hospital — 47 of them in intensive care.

The bill for the hospital care came to $811,929, and that didn’t include the cost of the air ambulance, the stay in the rehabilitation facility, or follow-up care that was needed.

The parents should have been charged with failure to provide the necessities of life to their son and made to reimburse whoever paid for all that care. If parents are charged criminally and sent a bill for the needless services, more might actually vaccinate. But then again, probably they still would not.

Amoral Operatives

By Dr David Laing Dawson

Some years ago I wrote an email to an old High School and University friend suggesting we launch a class action law suit against our parents, our teachers, the city fathers of Victoria, BC,  the department of education, our coaches and profs, for misleading us about the nature of human society. I think at the time an egregious scandal was erupting in the USA where he lived and, of course, a smaller, slightly less outrageous scandal was being investigated in Canada.

And I am now, though not by choice, acquainted with the likes of Manafort and Stone and Corsi. Despite being something of a student of human behaviour I am quite astonished and bewildered by these and other “operatives.”

They are no longer young men, and they may spend their final decade in prison, but it seems from their teens through adult life they have wormed their way into front row seats within the opera house of corruption, despotism, greed and power. And here is my question: How does a Roger Stone seek out, find, acquire such jobs as consultant to or lobbyist for Ferdinand Marcos and Mobuto Sese Seko, along with Reagan, Nixon, and Trump?

I do not recall my University advisor and second year philosophy professor including in his list of possible career choices (along with suggesting I consider teaching English) making pots of money consulting to Viktor Yanukovych and Jonas Savimbi.

How do you get these jobs?

It appears that as amoral operatives these men were able to successfully partake of the spoils of a wide range of criminals, dictators and despots around the world, as well as American presidential candidates, throughout their adult lives, without running into trouble, at least until they hitched their wagons to Donald Trump.

Roger Stone has a tattoo image of Nixon on his back.

Matthew George Whitaker apparently said his job was to “throw himself on a grenade for Donald Trump.”

Paul Manafort is playing both hands, cooperating with but lying to Mueller, going for both a lighter sentence and a pardon from Trump.

Perhaps these men are necessary for the Idi Amins, the Marcos, the Hitlers, the Putins, the Yanukovych’s and the Trumps of this world.

Amoral operatives willing to feign sacrificial allegiance to anyone who might be able, at least for a while, bestow upon them money, status and power.

Perhaps they are more dangerous than the would-be despots, for who would that silly little failed artist with the silly mustache, or that blonde comb over con artist and that short bare-chested strutting Russian sportsman be without these second tier amoral operatives?