Cover for No Agenda Show 1644: Shock Opera
March 21st • 3h 22m

1644: Shock Opera


Every new episode of No Agenda is accompanied by a comprehensive list of shownotes curated by Adam while preparing for the show. Clips played by the hosts during the show can also be found here.

GLP1 Reveal
It's all Sugar Addiction
Processed Foods
Carbs = Sugar
GMO Fruit - fructose
Alcohol especially drinks + Sugar which are very popular
You'll hear nothing about this
Watching this was almost like being in the future, watching a documentary of these drugs after the disaster and how people were tricked into getting them and having the government pay for them
Compendium of this WONDERDRUG!
Ozempic and Wegovy may reduce risk of DEMENTIA, study on mice suggests - and human trials are already underway
Ozempic and Other Weight Loss Drugs Might Inadvertently Slash Systemic Inflammation
It might lend to new treatments for chronic diseases
Obesity drug Wegovy is approved to cut heart attack and stroke risk in overweight patients
The popular weight-loss drug Wegovy can now be used to reduce the risk of stroke, heart attacks and other serious heart problems in patients who are overweight or who have obesity
Research suggests Ozempic and similar weight-loss drugs can TREAT depression in the brain - despite their links to suicidal thoughts
Unexpected side effect from popular weight loss drugs studied for help with addiction treatment
Ozempic appears to curb patients' cravings for booze, cigarettes and even GAMBLING
"Ozempic and Wegovy linked to a lower risk of cannabis use disorder
An analysis of almost 700,000 people with type 2 diabetes or obesity found that those prescribed Ozempic or Wegovy were about half as likely to develop cannabis use disorder as those taking other medications",taking%20other%20medications
On Ozempic I immediately lost all desire for alcohol’
As more people are taking the drug, a surprising benefit has emerged – people are drinking less
PLUS the diabetes market share
PLUS the obesity market share
More Than Half of World Will Be Overweight by 2035
The economic cost of obesity is expected to soar to $4 trillion by 2035. Weight loss drugs like Ozempic could change that, Goldman Sachs says.
Epidemic of obesity’ blights children as global rates soar
Research shows urgent need for policies to encourage weight loss and cut disease risk
Obesity now greater risk to global health than hunger
Number of clinically obese people has passed one billion for first time, Lancet study reveals
Almost a quarter of English children are obese at the end of primary school
This article is more than 1 month old
Analysis of more than 1m children reveals ‘alarming’ effects of pandemic
Blame Poverty
Obesity is now a disease of poverty, claims public health chief
Disease model
The American Medical Association (AMA)Trusted Source recognizes obesity as a disease that involves genetic, metabolic, and behavioral aspects that require medical support. The decision was initially made in 2013Trusted Source and confirmed in 2023.
Despite a lack of consensus on the diagnostic criteria for obesity, the AMA stated it released this new definition to positively affect the healthcare system, public policies, and people living with obesity.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)Trusted Source also considers obesity a serious chronic disease that demands prevention and intervention strategies in children and adults.
The Guardian view on anti-obesity drugs: treating a disease that modernity made
This article is more than 2 months old
Weight-loss drugs reveal that obesity is not a deep-seated aspect of character but something more contingen
UK 1 in 4 obese
We need to reframe the narrative around obesity. It isn’t an individual problem, it’s a societal problem
Boots on the ground - Mounjaro Shortages
It appears to be buried in the news, but there has been a shortage of Mounjaro for more than a month. CVS is unable to get any shipments of any dosages. The pharmacist thinks they are making more Zepbound and not enough Mounjaro. FYI, insurance will not cover Zepbound; it will only cover Mounjaro. Same med, just literally different names. Looks like Eli Lilly is a victim of their own success.
I just returned to my compounding pharmacy and got Tirzepatide until it got back in stock. For me, this is a cost issue. $300 for compounded vs. $75 for a nice injector pen.
I have talked to many people who, like myself, have the means and made the choice to use this. We are all wondering what will happen if it is approved for Medicaid and Medicare. Can Eli Lilly keep up with the manufacturing? I know that I am a test subject for the long-term use of this, but knowing that I was going to have other health problems, I am happy with my choice. I would be concerned about anyone younger than 40 using this long-term until we have more data.
Teacher anti-sad-pills BOTG
Hey Adam,
Sir Kyle the Fearless, Jedi Knight of the Orange Fleet here. Just listened to show 1642. The Teachers on drugs is a result of the terrible shape of our schools as well as the wide availability and pushing of “anti sad pills”. While the lady on the Tik Tok is weak for needing pills right after student teaching, my wife is a 13th year middle school teacher and a couple of years ago considered taking “anti sad pills” and this was with a firm sustain for them. Luckily I convinced her otherwise and found natural methods to fix the issue. I wouldn’t at all be surprised if a lot of teachers are users.
The school system is terrible to teachers but they stay because they are either passionate or out of guilt/they think they don’t have any better options. Kids are allowed to do whatever they want and teachers don’t have the power because they would be racist to punish kids.
She escaped recently to a private Christian school but the same issues are there to a lesser extent. Certain minority students and their parents feel entitled to lecture teachers. My wife is incentivized to not punish certain minority students because then she has to deal with those parents and have to over explain her actions. The administration won’t stand up to these parents. These students should not be at the school but for some reason no one will say anything.
Thought I’d share. Hope it is helpful. God bless No Agenda! TYFYC!
Sir Kyle the Fearless, Jedi Knight of the Orange Fleet
TikTok doesn't control the influencers, but it does control their visibility!
Section 230
47 U.S. Code § 230 - Protection for private blocking and screening of offensive material | U.S. Code | US Law | LII / Legal Information Institute
C - (1)Treatment of publisher or speaker
No provider or user of an interactive computer service shall be treated as the publisher or speaker of any information provided by another information content provider.
Scotland is no longer a free country
Next month, the infamous Hate Crime and Public Order (Scotland) Act finally comes into force. Essentially, it allows the courts to jail individuals for up to seven years for saying, writing or posting any comment that is deemed to “stir up hatred” against a protected group, including disability, race, religion and, inevitably, transgender identity.
While the Bill was making its way through the Scottish Parliament, the then Justice minister, one Humza Yousaf, amended the draft legislation to remove the risk that directors or promoters of performances could be charged with an offence.
Despite this, leaked training material produced from Police Scotland suggests the force will specifically target performers, with officers advised that offending material could be communicated “through public performance of a play”.
New U.K. Extremism Policy Raises Concerns Over Free Speech - The New York Times
2. The definition
Extremism is the promotion or advancement of an ideology[footnote 3] based on violence, hatred or intolerance[footnote 4], that aims to:
negate or destroy the fundamental rights and freedoms[footnote 5] of others; or
undermine, overturn or replace the UK’s system of liberal parliamentary democracy[footnote 6] and democratic rights[footnote 7]; or
intentionally create a permissive environment for others to achieve the results in (1) or (2).
The types of behaviour below are indicative of the kind of promotion or advancement which may be relevant to the definition, and are an important guide to its application. The further context below is also an essential part of the definition.
TikTok is just like the remote we had as kids - click click click
The meds lock the demons inside of you
Replacement Migration
Banking & Mass Migration BOTG
ITM Adam,
I am a career banking professional, I’m not an insider but I’m an advisor to the insiders.
I’ve heard you connect bankers and mass migration and I think you are onto something.
The goal is to get wage inflation in check, so we can go back to irresponsible monetary policy.
Central banks DO NOT control inflation because it’s bad for society! They control inflation because it’s terrible for banks.
You can’t lend money at an interest rate that is lower than inflation, you will go bankrupt.
But interest rates also can’t go up! Everyone is so indebted from 20 years of near zero interest rates, raising them more will drive a wave of defaults and banking collapses. (SVB)
What kind of inflation is bad for banks?
Asset inflation is GOOD for banks because it increases their investments and also strengthens the value of collateral held against loans.
Wage inflation is what banks worry about.
So how to keep the party going?
MASS IMMIGRATION! Assets go up, wages go down.
It’s highly possible it’s a global banking conspiracy because this wave of immigration is coinciding in highly indebted western democracies around the world.
They do it through lobbyists by complaining about “worker shortages causing inflation”. By threatening the government with stress test reports. And directly via their own insiders like Janet Yellen.
Queens $2M home taken over by squatter from retired couple
Cyber Pandemic
Ukraine vs Russia
Donald Tusk Blunder BOTG
Hi Adam,
I'll be brief this time, just some key notes and I mainly wanted to rectify one mistake of yours in the last episode (I wasn't in the troll room so I couldn't do it live).
About the Weimar Triangle meeting, again you two were confused who Donald Tusk was! And guessed wrong.
(Fun fact: the Triangle meeting had two parts: 1st one was just the meeting between Macron and Scholz, allegedly to solve some of their own disputes, and the 2nd part, when all that needed to be decided had been already decided during the 1st part.)
Donald Tusk - yes, he is since forever, and he is the president (or was utill recently) the president of the EU communist party, the biggest party in the EU.
No, he had not tween brother (at least none that we know of), but by many (including you and John) he was thought to be an accomplice to the "accident" of the plane crash in Smolensk in Russia where half the polish goverment perished including the then-president Lech Kaczyński who did have a tween brother Jarosław that is still alive and kicking - main Tusk's opponent till today.
Strangely enough, after the meeting Biden and Tusk and polish president Andrzej Duda 2-3 days ago, Tusk's plane came back to Europe without problems, but the president's plane had detected some malfulction so his return was delayed a lot - coincidence? Maybe. Of course Tusk made a "good use" of that time in Poland without president.
Tusk is clearly a german agent of sorts, his mother was German, his grandfather served in Wermaht, and his other grandfather was jewish, so he inherited equally a Stockholm Syndrom towards Germans, German patriotism and hate towards anything that is polish.
Other news from EU, now that Germany is no longer gas fuel hegemon the gas furnaces has been declared unecological and forbidden, and carbon pellets furnaces has been declared ecological and obligatory. You can guess that Germany is the biggest carbon pellets producer in Europe...
Other stuff typically polish, or should I say polish-german, thanks to Tusk polish kids will have new history textbooks, not about polish history, but about german-polish history as a whole, single history for Poland and Germany, I am laughing through tears.
Ok, I wanted to be brief and again I failed.
Adam and Anna
Big Pharma
Nex Benedict OD BOTG
I am a pharmacist with over 20 years experience in everything from
hospital, retail, and nuclear pharmacy. I have seen multiple attempted
overdoses with SSRIs and none have been successful. I saw cases of people
ingesting an entire month's supply of fluoxetine and only had nausea.
Benadryl was the other med blamed for Nex's death. There have been papers
published of people consuming 7.5 grams of benadryl (300 tablets) that
fully recovered. Not sure what killed Nex but I can almost assure you it
wasn't the two medications that were listed in the autopsy.
Thanks and love the show
Brad PharmD
Season of Reveal
Queens $2M home taken over by squatter from retired couple
Thu, 21 Mar 2024 15:50
A New York City couple's plan to move into a $2 million dream home to retire in with their disabled son has become a ''nightmare'' as they battle a squatter who claims he had an agreement with the previous owner.
Susana and Joseph Landa, both 68, purchased the home next to family members in the quiet New York City residential neighborhood of Douglaston, Queens, in October 2023, ABC 7 reported.
The couple bought the home last year with plans on settling into the property as they enter retirement. WABC-TVClose to relatives, the location was perfect for their son Alex, who has Down syndrome and could be easily looked after if something was ever to happen to the couple.
''I just want to know that I can die tomorrow and he's next to his brother,'' Susana Landa told the outlet Wednesday.
The couple, however, has yet to move into the multimillion-dollar home four months after signing the deed as they try to get rid of squatter Brett Flores.
''It has become a nightmare, a total nightmare,'' Joseph Landa told the outlet Wednesday.
Flores, 32, was hired on a $3,000-a-week salary by the former homeowner as his caretaker until the man died in January 2023, court documents obtained by the outlet show.
The squatter claims to have a ''license'' from the dead former owner to stay in the house.
Squatter Brett Flores has been living in the home since the man he was caretaking for died in January 2023. WABC-TV''We couldn't believe it, we could not believe it,'' Susana said.
Flores has also been living in the home since the former owner died, which has caused a major headache while they try to get him out.
It is ''unlawful for any person to evict or attempt to evict an occupant of a dwelling unit who has lawfully occupied the dwelling unit for thirty consecutive days or longer,'' according to New York squatters' rights.
The homeowners gave Flores a 10-day notice to leave and then tried to enter the property alongside an insurance inspector, but he called the cops on them.
Susana Landa said that since buying the home, it's been a ''nightmare'' trying to get Flores out. WABC-TV Joseph Landa shared that he never had any agreement with Flores that would allow him to stay in the house. WABC-TV The couple's son Alex (right) has Down syndrome, and the home they bought is next to their other son, who could help look after him. WABC-TVEven though the Landas never had an agreement with Flores as a tenant, police could not evict the squatter.
''If you have no lease and you're not paying rent, what is your right?'' Joseph said.
What you need to know about squatters in New York:What are squatter's rights in New York?Squatters in New York state can claim a legal right to remain on a property without the owner's permission after 10 years of living there. However, in New York City a person only needs to be on the property for 30 days to claim squatter's rights.
Why is it so hard to get rid of a squatter?Squatters are allowed a wide range of rights once they have established legal occupancy, making it difficult to evict them.
How does someone become a squatter?Some of the scenarios in which a person becomes a squatter include: a tenant refusing to pay rent, a relative of a former owner refusing to leave the property or even a stranger who entered the property and never left.
According to Manhattan-based law firm Nadel & Ciarlo, squatters must have a reasonable basis for claiming the property belongs to them and must treat the home as if they were an owner '-- such as doing yard work or making repairs.
How can a property owner get rid of a squatter?A property owner must first send a 10-day eviction notice and then file a court complaint if the order is ignored. If approved by a judge, the owner can get a summons and have a sheriff evict the squatter.
Why does the law provide squatters with rights?The law was designed to help prevent long-term tenants from getting evicted. New York City's law was partially made in response to vacant and abandoned buildings that were becoming a blight on the city.
How can property owners protect themselves from squatters?Owners should avoid keeping any properties vacant for an extended period of time. They should also make sure the building is secure, has adequate lighting and has surveillance cameras installed.
If a squatter does appear, owners should notify the police quickly before squatter's rights are established.
Flores has also listed rooms for rent at the property for other people.
An online listing shows Flores advertising ''The Prince Room'' for $50 a night to males, females, couples, families, or students looking for a place to stay at the couple's home.
Most recently, Flores filed for bankruptcy, which automatically allowed him to stay in the home. WABC-TVThe Landas have also been left footing all the bills for the property, including thousands of dollars in utilities.
Susana Landa claims Flores has been ''leaving windows open 24 hours,'' which has racked up a hefty heating bill.
''It's very crazy, our system is broken,'' Susana said. ''I never would imagine we have no rights, no rights at all, nothing, zero.''
The couple purchased the home next to family members in the quiet New York City residential neighborhood of Douglaston, Queens, in October 2023. WABC-TVThe couple has had five hearings in civil court since they bought the home, but the process keeps getting held up by Flores' antics.
He showed up for court without an attorney on Jan. 9, 2024, preventing any legal proceedings.
Most recently, he filed for bankruptcy, which automatically allowed him to stay in the home.
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''When a residential tenant files a bankruptcy petition, an automatic stay prevents the landlord from bringing or continuing a case to obtain possession and from enforcing a judgment obtained before the commencement of the bankruptcy case,'' according to New York City law.
The purpose is to allow ''the debtor a breathing spell from his creditors.''
''It makes me feel completely forgotten in this legal system, unfair, and not able to do anything,'' Joseph Landa told the outlet.
The couple are taking Flores to landlord-tenant court in hopes of getting him evicted, but the court hearing is not until April.
Drugs like Ozempic and Wegovy could boost the US economy by a trillion dollars in a few years, Goldman Sachs predicts | CNN Business
Thu, 21 Mar 2024 15:43
Washington, DC CNN '--
The US economy is set to reap considerable benefits from Americans taking popular medications used for weight loss, including Ozempic and Wegovy, Goldman Sachs analysts wrote in a recent research report.
Those drugs are part of a powerful new class of medications that has taken the world by storm, known as glucagon-like peptide 1 or GLP-1 receptor agonists. Originally developed to treat type 2 diabetes, they proved to be highly effective at helping people shed weight in clinical trials. (Ozempic has not been approved for weight loss by regulators, though Wegovy, a similar drug, has.)
Goldman Sachs argues that since poor health unambiguously weighs on the economy, improving health outcomes due to GLP-1s could lower costs and boost productivity, shoring up economic output.
The Wall Street bank estimates that GLP-1s could add 0.4% to America's gross domestic product, a broad measure of all the goods and services produced in the economy, ''in a baseline scenario where 30 million users take the drugs and 70% experience benefits,'' and as much as 1% if 60 million Americans take those drugs regularly.
The US economy overall was about $28 trillion in the fourth quarter, so if Goldman's bullish case bears out, that means GLP-1 drugs alone could boost output by a trillion dollars over the next four years, more or less.
That would be a sizable boost to the economy, but the true extent of the impact also depends on the scale of production and compliance with treatment plans, according to the report, which also examined the potential effects of drug discovery powered by artificial intelligence and advances in gene editing.
''We view the current wave of healthcare innovation as a promising macro (in addition to human and micro) story with the potential to drive meaningful economic upside across a range of likely scenarios.'' analysts wrote.
Poor health has clear, negative impacts on Americans in the job market, such as keeping some workers on the sidelines and reducing the number of hours worked, according to longstanding research.
Based on a combination of ''current losses in hours worked and labor force participation from sickness and disability, early deaths, and informal caregiving,'' poor health drags on US economic output down by about 10% per year, Goldman Sachs analysts estimated.
Obesity and related complications contribute to constraints on labor supply in the United States. Government statistics show that more than a third of Americans are overweight and more than 42% have obesity. Another survey shows that nearly half of US adults said they have tried to lose weight over the past year.
The Goldman Sachs report noted that ''academic studies find that obese individuals are both less likely to work and less productive when they do.''
''These estimates suggest significant upside to economic output if the recent wave of healthcare innovation leads to an improvement in health outcomes that reduces the economic burden of poor health,'' analysts wrote.
GLP-1s have become so popular that pharmaceutical companies have been forced to beef up supply in attempts to keep up with red-hot demand. Novo Nordisk and Eli Lilly, which has its own GLP-1 drug for diabetes, Mounjaro, have invested billions of dollars to expand capacity.
For some Americans who are obese but don't have diabetes, obtaining those drugs has become difficult, if not impossible. That's according to Jody Dushay, an attending endocrinologist at the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, in a recent opinion piece for CNN.
Novo Nordisk, which manufactures Wegovy, said recently that it has started to increase the availability of the drug for Americans ''by more than doubling the amount of the lower-dose strengths of Wegovy compared to the previous months,'' Doug Langa, the company's head of North America operations, said on a call with analysts earlier this month.
The drugs are also known for being expensive, and they've recently gotten even pricier. Novo Nordisk raised the list price of Ozempic by 3.5% to $969 for a four-week supply in January, while Eli Lilly last month increased the price of Mounjaro by 4.5% to $1,069 for a four-week supply, according to 46brooklyn, a nonprofit drug pricing analytics firm. The final price Americans pay for medications depends on their health insurance policies, not drugmakers' list prices.
New U.K. Extremism Policy Raises Concerns Over Free Speech - The New York Times
Thu, 21 Mar 2024 15:32
The government said it would use a new legal definition of extremism to blacklist certain groups from public funding or engagement.
A pro-Palestinian demonstration in London in November. The head of the Church of England said the government's new definition of extremism ''risks disproportionately targeting Muslim communities.'' Credit... Hollie Adams/Reuters Britain's government published a new definition of extremism on Thursday that it intends to use to cut ties or funding to groups deemed to have crossed the line, but which critics fear could curtail campaigners' rights and curb free speech.
Michael Gove, a senior cabinet minister, said in a statement that the move was intended to ''protect democratic values'' by being ''clear and precise in identifying the dangers posed by extremism.''
Some advocacy groups and legal experts greeted the announcement with concern, warning that it could affect the rights of those deemed by the government to meet the definition. The only way to challenge such a decision is likely to be through the courts.
The initiative has also stirred a wider debate about how, before a general election that must be held by early next year, British politicians choose to deal with domestic tensions that have risen since Hamas's Oct. 7 attacks on Israel and Israel's subsequent bombardment of the Gaza Strip. Hundreds of thousands of people have attended pro-Palestinian demonstrations in London and, according to the government, there has been a significant rise in both antisemitic incidents and anti-Muslim hate cases.
Even before the details of the new extremism proposals were made public, they had provoked criticism from rights groups and concern from three former Conservative Party home secretaries, whose remit included national security, who warned against using the issue of extremism for political advantage.
Image Michael Gove, a senior cabinet member, said the new policy was intended to be ''clear and precise in identifying the dangers posed by extremism.'' Credit... Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images Leaders from the Church of England also weighed in. The archbishop of Canterbury '-- Justin Welby, who is the head of the church and a peer in the House of Lords '-- and the archbishop of York said in a statement on Tuesday that the new definition ''not only inadvertently threatens freedom of speech, but also the right to worship and peaceful protest, things that have been hard won and form the fabric of a civilized society.''
They added, ''Crucially, it risks disproportionately targeting Muslim communities, who are already experiencing rising levels of hate and abuse.''
Under the new plan, extremism will be defined as ''the promotion or advancement of an ideology based on violence, hatred or intolerance'' that aims to ''negate or destroy the fundamental rights and freedoms of others; or undermine, overturn or replace the U.K.'s system of liberal parliamentary democracy and democratic rights,'' or intentionally create a ''permissive environment'' for others to do so.
In its statement, the government said that its new definition was not statutory and would have no effect on existing criminal law. But it added that ''the government will undertake a robust process to assess groups for extremism against the definition, which will then inform decisions around government engagement and funding.''
Critics said it was that element '-- the idea that whichever government is in power could blacklist groups it considers extremist and bar them from meeting with any government bodies or officials or receiving taxpayer funding '-- that could threaten free speech and civil liberties.
David Anderson, a senior lawyer and former independent reviewer of terrorism legislation for the government, told the BBC that there were many questions that still needed to be answered about the policy.
''The definition remains extremely broad,'' he said. ''For example, it catches people who advance an ideology which negates the fundamental rights of others. One can imagine both sides of the trans debate leaping on that one.''
Image Justin Welby, the archbishop of Canterbury, said in a statement along with the archbishop of York that the new definition threatened ''the right to worship and peaceful protest.'' Credit... Mary Turner for The New York Times Mr. Anderson, who is also a member of the House of Lords, said he did not take much comfort from reassurances that the definition related only to interactions with government. ''I think you are also affecting a lot of people potentially by branding them as extremists,'' he said, adding that it ''affects potentially the freedoms and reputations of an awful lot of people.''
Speaking in Parliament, Mr. Gove identified some of the organizations whose activities will be assessed in line with the new definition, including the British National Socialist Movement, which has been described by the government as a white supremacist group and Patriotic Alternative which opposes multiculturalism and immigration.
Mr. Gove said that those that ''promote neo-Nazi ideology, argue for forced repatriation, a white ethno-state and the targeting of minority groups for intimidation, are precisely the type of groups about which we should be concerned.''
He also named the Muslim Association of Britain, which says it is dedicated to ''nurturing, supporting and leading Muslim grassroots contributions'' toward positive social change; Cage, which has urged the release of prisoners in Guantnamo Bay and campaigned against some antiterrorism laws; and MEND, which describes its aims as helping to empower and encourage British Muslims. Such groups, Mr. Gove added, ''give rise to concern because of their Islamist orientation and views.''
The Muslim Council of Britain condemned the approach as undemocratic and potentially illegal. ''A broad cross section of British society will see through the government's divisive extremism proposals,'' said Zara Mohammed, its secretary general.
Sacha Deshmukh, Amnesty International's chief executive, described the plan as a ''dangerously sweeping approach to labeling groups and individuals 'extremist.'''
''This attempt to stigmatize legitimate, peaceful political activity is taking us further down the road toward authoritarianism,'' he added.
Some Conservative lawmakers also warned against any measures that could threaten free speech. Miriam Cates, a Conservative Party lawmaker, told The Times of London that she believed radical Islamism to be the most significant threat to Britain's national security but that it should be addressed ''by properly upholding our existing laws and proscribing groups that have links to terrorism.''
''In a pluralistic democracy, there are, of course, a wide range of opinions that many of us would consider extreme,'' she added. ''But the state should only intervene if there is an actual threat of physical harm. Otherwise, we erode our fundamental freedoms of speech, association, expression and religion.''
The government tried to address such concerns in its statement on Thursday, saying that the plan was ''not about silencing those with private and peaceful beliefs '-- not will it affect free speech, which will always be protected.''
A list of groups deemed to have fallen foul of the new definition is expected to be released in the coming weeks after an assessment process during which they will be allowed to make representations, Downing Street said.
The initiative follows a speech by Prime Minister Rishi Sunak this month in which he spoke of ''a shocking increase in extremist disruption and criminality'' in Britain since the Oct. 7 Hamas-led attack in Israel. Mr. Sunak appealed to people in Britain to come together ''to combat the forces of division and beat this poison.''
Mr. Sunak had previously given an outspoken warning at a meeting of senior police officers that ''mob rule is replacing democratic rule.''
In an awkward juxtaposition for Mr. Sunak, the announcement on extremism came in the same week that it emerged that the Conservative Party's largest donor had reportedly said that Diane Abbott, a prominent Black lawmaker, ''should be shot.''
Asked on Thursday whether such comments would run afoul of the new extremism definition, Mr. Gove said, ''I wouldn't want to conflate those motivated by an extremist ideology with an individual comment, however horrific, which had quite rightly been called out and which has quite rightly led to an apology.''
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Scotland is no longer a free country
Thu, 21 Mar 2024 15:30
At the dawn of devolution, its supporters predicted that the Scottish Parliament and Welsh Assembly could pilot innovative legislation which would show the rest of the country how it could be done. Westminster, with its backwardness and institutional conservatism, would be exposed as the dinosaur it was. Scotland, in particular, would lead the way.
And so it has proved, though not in the way that was once expected. In fact, if Westminster were looking for inspiration on how to turn England into a regressive backwater, where freedom of thought and freedom of speech were deemed to be threats to the state and to the very fabric of society, then it certainly could learn a lot from Scotland's experience.
Next month, the infamous Hate Crime and Public Order (Scotland) Act finally comes into force. Essentially, it allows the courts to jail individuals for up to seven years for saying, writing or posting any comment that is deemed to ''stir up hatred'' against a protected group, including disability, race, religion and, inevitably, transgender identity.
While the Bill was making its way through the Scottish Parliament, the then Justice minister, one Humza Yousaf, amended the draft legislation to remove the risk that directors or promoters of performances could be charged with an offence.
Despite this, leaked training material produced from Police Scotland suggests the force will specifically target performers, with officers advised that offending material could be communicated ''through public performance of a play''.
It risks making Scotland one of the most censorious in Europe.
Trans activists in particular are rubbing their hands with glee at the prospect of wreaking revenge on their vocal political opponents. J.K. Rowling was recently reported to Northumbria Police by trans activist India Willoughby after the TV presenter was allegedly ''misgendered'' by the Harry Potter author, who referred to Willoughby as ''he''. Perhaps surprisingly, officers in Northumbria chose not to act, but activists have already been encouraging each other to make full use of the SNP's new legislation to bring Rowling, who is a resident of Edinburgh, to heel.
The threshold that complaints must meet is that anything said by the accused would be deemed ''by a reasonable person'' to be threatening or inciting of hatred. But in today's culture wars, ''reasonable people'' are hard to identify. The judgment, ultimately, becomes a subjective one, and any law that hinges on anyone's, even a judge's, subjectivity, is a bad law.
On the one hand, there is nothing surer to bring to a swift end both this abysmal law and the SNP's appalling stewardship of Scotland than to see a famous and beloved author '' not to mention philanthropist '' prosecuted in the Scottish courts because of her insistence on saying out loud biological facts that everyone else acknowledges.
But in the meantime, Scotland risks a grim, dark period of cultural restrictions, where England-based actors, comedians and playwrights fear to head north of the border because of the pervasiveness of our self-appointed, volunteer Stasi and the willingness of Scottish police to waste everyone's time by investigating hurt feelings while burglaries and car thefts go unaddressed.
For example, no ''reasonable person'' would find fault in Ricky Gervais's recent routines, broadcast on Netflix, making fun of trans activists' insistence that we must respect the pronouns of male rapists who identify as women. But after the beginning of next month, who would seriously dismiss the prospect of such a performance becoming the subject of a complaint to the police '' a complaint that is at least likely to be investigated?
The Edinburgh Festival Fringe, once at the cutting edge of risqu(C) and, yes, offensive drama and humour, has already started to suffer from the disapproval of our hypersensitive cultural overlords. How much worse, how much more toothless and anodyne will the Fringe become once the new Hate Crime Act takes effect and sends a chilling effect through every actor and comedian with something controversial to say?
George Orwell has been cited too often whenever governments are deemed to have gone too far on restricting civil rights, whether on the right to protest or the right to freedom of expression, to the extent that analogies with Nineteen Eighty-Four have become devalued. But this new Act richly deserves all the criticism it is already receiving from free speech advocates. Scotland, thanks to devolution, has created a dystopia in which true freedom of speech can now only be practiced at the cost of one's career and even one's freedom.
Opinion: Excessive free speech is a breeding ground for more Trumps - The Globe and Mail
Thu, 21 Mar 2024 15:29
There was a bit of good news about the future of public discourse this week. The United States Supreme Court, even though stacked with right-wingers, sounded like it was ready to give the Biden administration the go-ahead to try to persuade social-media platforms not to put out content promoting nonsense about the presidential election, conspiracy theories about the pandemic and other assorted bilge and crackpottery.
The states of Missouri and Louisiana accused the government of stifling their speech by pressuring platforms to downgrade or drop their posts. But the justices, including conservatives Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett, didn't sound like they were buying it.
Good. Hopefully the court's final decision will tell the complainants where to get off. It would be a victory for regulation of the internet. But no one should get too excited. The genie is already out of the bottle and there is little likelihood of getting it back in. The greater likelihood is that extremes of free speech will continue to be tolerated, creating a pathway for more Donald Trumps.
The extremes came following the arrival of the internet and social-media platforms. They created a tsunami of free expression. Despite the grumblings we still hear about the lack of free speech, these platforms gave more of it to the masses than anything ever before.
When other communications revolutions like the printing press, radio, and television came along, they were still largely controlled by the elites. But when the internet came along, regulatory bodies like Canada's CRTC backed off. It was open season for anything that anyone wanted to put out. No license needed. No identity verification.
What a far cry from the days when the masses had no outlets save things like ''man-on-the-street'' interviews or letters to the editor or protest placards. We moved from one extreme to the other.
The masses were finally weaponized '' not with arms, but with a communications instrument that empowered them against establishment forces like they had never been empowered before. The change represented one of history's significant power shifts.
With the multitudes given megaphones, what a wonderful democratic advance it was. But it came with a rather massive irony. Free speech became as much a slayer of democracy as an enabler.
Unchecked, the internet dumped megatons of raw sewage on the public square. With filters that had been around for ages now removed came mountains of misinformation and disinformation. And propaganda, polarization, child pornography. And threats against leaders and bigotry and conspiracy claptrap.
Would the rise of the hard right and Mr. Trump have been possible if the internet had been given guardrails? Not a chance. The internet gave him '' before his account was suspended in 2021 '' 88 million Twitter followers. With that came the freedom to circumvent traditional media and create an alternate universe, a smearsphere wherein he could lie like he breathes and get away with it.
The internet undermined the established newspaper business model, greatly reducing the number of papers and coverage and creating a void for Mr. Trump and the like-minded to fill. His cries of fake news had the impact '' it's charted well in former Washington Post editor Martin Barron's book, Collision of Power '' of compartmentalizing the media landscape into left-right silos, which helped bring on the extremes of polarization.
The way to reverse the trend is with rigid regulation, but the free speech lobby in the United States is as fierce as the gun lobby. The historic triumph the internet gave free speech is all but forgotten. The amnesiacs scream censorship. Joe Biden is out ''to crush free speech in America,'' Mr. Trump ludicrously charged recently.
A New York Times analysis this week spelled out how Mr. Biden was intent on regulating the big tech companies, but in the face of the opposition from the free speech lobby he has pretty much given up.
In Canada, the Trudeau government's regulation attempts are being met with intense opposition '' deservedly so in some cases, because legislation such as Bill C-63 goes way overboard in calling for life sentences for speech crimes and needs to be redrafted.
But the dangers of the deregulated informationsphere is nowhere near what it is south of the border, where Mr. Trump and company have turned free speech into warped speech and could take the country off the rails. Small victories like we saw from the Supreme Court this week are too little too late '' not enough to rein in the demons that have been set loose.
EU Plans Crackdown on Social-Media Misinformation as June Elections Loom - The Daily Upside
Thu, 21 Mar 2024 14:38
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Fake news is going to cost Big Tech in Europe.
The European Union expects to roll out new guidelines that will require major online platforms to moderate misinformation regarding elections or risk getting fined.
I Read It on the InternetYou may have been scrolling through social media during the runup to the 2016 US presidential election only to stumble upon news stories with odd headlines like ''Pope Francis shocks world, endorses Donald Trump for president.'' And they always came from sources with seemingly legitimate names like ''The Boston Tribune'' or ''The Denver Guardian.'' In reality, these were fake news sites, and voters and lawmakers alike quickly feared that the spread of misinformation via online platforms like TikTok, Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter (now X) could manipulate the masses and influence elections.
The West's biggest concern is Russia, which has multiple entities, including the Social Design Agency and Structura National Technologies, that are accused by Western governments of leading fake news campaigns during elections throughout the entire world '-- and in its war against Ukraine. And now, advancements in artificial intelligence and deep fakes '-- videos that look real but aren't '-- can potentially allow fake news to spread faster and appear more convincing.
With the EU's parliamentary elections coming up in June, the bloc aims to keep out as much fake news as possible. While combating the Kremlin directly is a rather large task, taking on Big Tech, on the other hand, is slightly less Herculean'... but only slightly:
Companies like Snap, Meta, and Google have teams and policies to moderate the spread of misinformation on their platforms, but the EU '-- which imposed the Digital Services Act last summer as a way to oversee Big Tech companies online '-- believes self-regulation just won't cut it anymore.As soon as next week, the European Commission is expected to pass new rules that will allow it to penalize any platform that fails to address AI-powered disinformation or deep fakes with fines of up to 6% of its global net sales.Is Time Up for TikTok? In that other Big Tech smackdown across the pond, US lawmakers aren't looking to merely rein in TikTok '-- they're looking to either get it entirely out of the hands of parent company ByteDance, which has been accused of feeding American user data to the Chinese government, or ban it outright. Last year, Washington banned federal employees from accessing the platform on government devices and most states followed that lead. A public ban seemed unlikely but could now be right around the corner with Republicans and Democrats in lockstep. Trump, known for his ''tough on China'' stance, once strongly supported a TikTok ban but has since flip-flopped. And even though President Joe Biden said he would sign a bill banning TikTok if it reached his desk, his campaign made its own account on the platform just last month. Word of advice, Mr. President: Don't try the Nyquil chicken challenge. It never ends well.
Dishonest Media - by John C Dvorak - The Oasis
Thu, 21 Mar 2024 02:12
What Trump was talking about was the building of a massive EV plant in Mexico to manufacture the BYD car and using the Canada-USA-Mexico trade agreement to pump these cars into the US by the thousands with no tariff. In essence, the Trump comment was, ''I'm going to tax these cars one hundred percent. That's if I get elected. If I don't get elected, there will be a bloodbath.''
(Photo courtesy BYD)Only an idiot would decide that he was not talking about the auto industry. But the media took the comment out of context to predict political violence. This is dishonest reporting no matter how it is analyzed. But no matter, let's do it anyway.
Unfortunately, ignored a genuine policy discussion that could be used against Trump.. Who is this car maker? Nobody even bothers to report that fact. It's BYD, as mentioned above.
And can Trump impose a one hundred percent tariff without violating an agreement?
Does anyone see that this is worthy of a genuine discussion?
After all, it was Trump himself who modified NAFTA (the North American Free Trade Agreement) and made it into one of his successes, now dubbed USMCA (United States Mexico Canada Agreement). This agreement was examined by China and exposed a free trade loophole that could be blamed on Trump by any policy wonk who took a look. Has anyone? Why bother when you can take a phrase out of context, hammer Trump with it, and think you can get away with it.
That's a lot easier than actual policy and free trade analysis.
What is wrong with the editors of today's media outlets?
Even the right-leaning operations, such as Fox News, are not interested. They are happy to mock the other media outlets for the bloodbath hysteria.
None of this would be so bad for the media if it were not for the fact that, without exception, they all jumped on the out-of-context comment. All of them. Only a few fringe outlets, like the Young Turks, refrained.
And this was worldwide. I saw a chyron on France24 that read, ''Trump says there will be a bloodbath is he is not re-elected.'' Scripps News, a newcomer to TV news that's trying to be middle-of-the-road, ran a similar crawler. It was remarkable to watch.
If people want to see the part of the speech in Ohio where Trump discussed the bloodbath, it's here and in context on YouTube.
Later in the week, as blow-back on the out-of-context nature of the quote became discussed, the mainstream media did not pull back, but in most instances doubled down as if at a poker table, hoping to bluff its way to a winning hand. ''Yes, it seemed to be about the auto industry, but we know what he means.'' Everyone is a mind reader.
Snopes ''example.''But no matter, the damage is done'--though it's actually done to the media and the dishonest pundits who have long since given up the high ground. And this time, it's a shame, since actual policies that need serious discussion were ignored in favor of the cheap shot.
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An in-depth discussion of this and other issues can be found on the No Agenda Show podcast.
What a fat load of trash! MAUREEN CALLAHAN slams Oprah as a dishonest shill whose Ozempic special was a glorified Big Pharma ad that indulged her lies about weight-loss jabs... and fed her oversized ego | Daily Mail Online
Wed, 20 Mar 2024 21:18
If we're going to talk shame and blame, let's talk about Oprah.
More specifically, let's talk about the one-hour infomercial she just did for Ozempic, Wegovy and Big Pharma, pushing controversial weight-loss drugs '-- super-expensive ones at that '-- on the general public, including children, implying that they're safe for all.
'Shame, Blame and the Weight Loss Revolution', which aired Monday night on ABC and is now streaming on Hulu, was billed as 'An Oprah Special'.
Rightly so.
This was more about the central conflict of Oprah's life, her weight-loss struggles, rather than what these drugs mean for public health, or our understanding of obesity, and whether the potential side effects '-- you know, minor complications like pancreatitis or cancer '-- are worth the risk.
The only thing that remains oversized about Oprah is her ego. Alas, there's no drug in the world to remedy that.
If we're going to talk shame and blame, let's talk about Oprah. More specifically, let's talk about the one-hour infomercial she just did for Ozempic, Wegovy and Big Pharma, pushing controversial weight-loss drugs on the general public, including children.
This was more about the central conflict of Oprah's life, her weight-loss struggles, rather than what these drugs mean for public health, or our understanding of obesity, and whether the potential side effects '-- you know, minor complications like pancreatitis or cancer '-- are worth the risk.
'I took on the shame that the world gave to me,' Oprah said of her former figure.
Well, she also took on ten percent of Weight Watchers stock in 2015, becoming the face of a company that advocated portion control and exercise, making $400 million in the process.
And after publicly insisting, as recently as last July, that she would never use a weight-loss jab because that would be 'the easy way out', Oprah was forced to admit that yes, she had been using a drug '-- which one, she has never said '-- after dropping forty pounds in mere months.
She lied. She's a total hypocrite who did not apologize in her 'special' for lying. She acted as if her subsequent departure from Weight Watchers was a mark of integrity and high-handedly told us she donated her remaining stock.
So what if the share price plunged in her wake?
One wonders if Oprah is considering buying stock in Novo Nordisk or Eli Lilly, the pharmaceutical giants that produce these drugs and which she platformed on this broadcast.
Because to hear her tell it, there is zero reason not to avail yourself, whether you can afford the $1,000 out-of-pocket monthly cost or not. Or even if, like her youngest guest, you're an overweight teenage girl, with overweight parents, who wants to be cheerleader and get asked to prom.
Shame on you, Oprah.
As for whether it's morally acceptable for the wealthy and powerful to access a drug while pushing the poor and diabetic to the back of the line '-- apparently, there was no time to address that.
Here's another uncomfortable, complicated truth that Oprah never acknowledged: If you're rich, you'll live longer.
But for the poor who live in food deserts, who have access mainly to processed food that is designed to addict the eater and leave one never feeling full '' sugary stuff that results in diabetes, strokes, heart disease and cancer '-- well, I guess we'll just blame those people for being fat and lazy and unable to afford Ozempic.
Nor was there any discussion of the psychology of food.
No acknowledgement that survivors of childhood sexual abuse, as Oprah is, often use major weight gain as a way of avoiding male attention, or for comfort.
Certainly, there was no acknowledgement that eating disorders exist on both ends of the spectrum.
No, Oprah told us assuredly: Thin people never think about food.
Is she kidding?
'I took on the shame that the world gave to me,' Oprah said of her former figure. Well, she also took on ten percent of Weight Watchers stock in 2015, becoming the face of a company that advocated portion control and exercise, making $400 million in the process.
And after publicly insisting, as recently as last July, that she would never use a weight-loss jab because that would be 'the easy way out', Oprah was forced to admit that yes, she had been using a drug - which one, she has never said - after dropping forty pounds in mere months.
One wonders if Oprah is considering buying stock in Novo Nordisk or Eli Lilly, the pharmaceutical giants that produce these drugs and which she platformed on this broadcast.
First, the tears. Standing onstage in a silky powder-blue suit, our newly slim televangelist did what she does best: Making it sound as though she, long in her vacuum-sealed billionaire bubble, is one of us.
'There is now a sense of hope, and you no longer blame yourself,' she said, voice breaking. She wore those owlish eyeglasses, meant to evoke wisdom, and spent much of the special standing, the better to show off her weight loss.
Never forget: This is the same woman who ardently pushed 'The Secret', a marketing scheme masquerading as self-help, that promised we can all get everything we want if we just wish hard enough.
Who raved about the author James Frey and then had him back on her show to brutalize him '-- shame him! '-- for billing his book as memoir rather than fiction.
Who gave actress Jenny McCarthy a platform to spread her unscientific belief, stated as fact, that vaccines cause childhood autism.
Oprah should never be considered an expert in anything, let alone medicine.
This special should never have aired with the imprimatur of a major American broadcast network. It should have been posted on her Instagram account or on as the independent, cynical, self-serving shill it was.
'I'm absolutely done with the shaming,' she says. 'For 25 years, making fun of my weight was national sport'.
And yet, no mention that she participated in very publicly making herself a laughingstock '-- whether it was wheeling out 67 bags of animal fat to represent how much she first lost in 1988, or succumbing to Anna Wintour's 'gentle suggestion', ten years later, that she drop twenty pounds to make the cover of Vogue, which Oprah promptly did.
But no, the onus is on all of us. It's our fault Oprah felt bad about herself or couldn't lose the weight without medication.
Newly emboldened, a much-thinner Oprah preached to an in-studio audience of attractive, middle-aged, healthy-looking women '-- I only counted two men in the crowd '-- about the miracles of Ozempic and the like.
The two medical experts who appeared here, she shamelessly told us, were also consultants to the drug companies making these jabs.
Meanwhile, ABC's in-house physician, Dr. Jennifer Ashton, swatted away concerns about nasty side effects such as uncontrollable diarrhea and vomiting.
One audience member told Oprah she quit after throwing up blood. But hey '-- that's just one unfortunate person's journey. Maybe she should read 'The Secret' and try again.
Reasonable people can agree: For those struggling with morbid obesity, or with type 2 diabetes, the risks of not losing weight are likely worse than any potential complications from Ozempic.
But for the rest of the population? We're at a very strange moment in which almost every formerly overweight celebrity seems to be on some form of it '' whether they'll admit it, or claim it's down to 'walking' more or quitting booze.
'I'm absolutely done with the shaming,' she says. 'For 25 years, making fun of my weight was national sport'. And yet, no mention that she participated in very publicly making herself a laughingstock - including when she wheeled out 67 bags of animal fat to represent how much she first lost in 1988.
In Los Angeles, even tiny hors d'oeuvres are no longer served at parties. The pretense that anyone eats food in Hollywood has been thoroughly dropped.
Extreme thinness is valorized as never before '-- the ultimate class signifier.
And the lack of cravings that come with these drugs '-- the lack of desire not just for food but in many cases alcohol, shopping, sex '-- is considered a net-plus rather than an alarming sacrifice, one that goes to the very nature of being human.
What is the point of life if one ceases to want anything? If cravings become extinct? What happens when the brain stops communicating with the gut, as it does on these drugs '-- when we lose our 'gut instinct'?
And what of those forced to go off these drugs, who gain back all the weight and then some? What happens then?
Ozempic is no magic bullet, and Oprah is no honest broker.
To those who would follow her: Caveat empto r .
Dick Higgins, Pearl Harbor attack survivor, dies at 102 | Local News |
Wed, 20 Mar 2024 21:11
Dick Higgins, a Bend resident and one of the survivors of the attack on Pearl Harbor that thrust the United States into World War II, has died. He was 102.
Known to his family as Gramps, Higgins lived with his granddaughter, Angela Norton, and her family in Bend. Norton confirmed Higgins passed away with his family by his side.
In addition to World War II, Higgins lived through the Dust Bowl, the Great Depression and a battle with COVID-19 in 2020.
A memorial service is planned for March 28 at 11:00 a.m. at Eastmont Church in Bend. That will be followed by a funeral with full military honors at Deschutes Memorial Gardens at 1:00 p.m. The public is invited to both. Higgins' family asks that attendees wear Hawaiian attire in celebration of his life.
In lieu of flowers, please send donations to Bend Band of Brothers.
Higgins will be buried in California.
Anyone who wants a glimpse at Higgins' life can check out his Instagram page.
Central Oregon Daily News has followed Higgins' story for several years, including traveling with him to Pearl Harbor in 2021 to mark the 80th anniversary of the attack. You can see our coverage below.
Europe's mental health crisis: Which country uses the most antidepressants? | Euronews
Wed, 20 Mar 2024 20:55
The world is grappling with a mental health crisis. In Europe, antidepressant consumption has more than doubled in the last 20 years.
ADVERTISEMENTGlobal consumption of antidepressant drugs (AD) has increased dramatically in the last two decades, with Europeans the largest consumers.
Use of antidepressants increased by nearly two and a half times from 2000 to 2020 in 18 European countries, according to Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) data.
OECD data also shows a dramatic increase in anxiety and depression during the COVID'‘19 pandemic. Do the happiest countries use fewer AD drugs? How do researchers explain the sharp rise in the consumption of antidepressants?
OECD datasets demonstrates the defined daily dose (DDD) consumption of ''N06A-Antidepressants''. This group ''comprises preparations used in the treatment of endogenous and exogenous depressions,'' according to the World Health Organisation (WHO).
The average antidepressant consumption across 18 European countries was 30.5 DDD per 1,000 people per day in 2000 rising to 75.3 DDD in 2020, a 147 per cent increase.
But this overall average conceals very different starting points for antidepressant use in 2000 in certain countries, ranging from 6.4 DDD in Estonia to 70.5 DDD in Iceland.
The Czech Republic recorded the highest increase with 577 per cent while it only rose by 38 per cent in France making it the lowest change in these countries between 2000 and 2020, albeit from a relatively high level.
It rose by 304 per cent in Portugal, 256 per cent in the United Kingdom, 208 per cent in Spain and 200 per cent in Germany in the same period.
A closer look at five selected countries ''France, Germany, Portugal, Spain, and Sweden - over 20 years demonstrates how the use of antidepressant pharmaceuticals varies.
While the increase is very low in France, especially in the last 15 years, it rocketed in Portugal in the last two decades.
The bar race chart also shows how antidepressant consumption has increased year-on-year in European countries. In 14 out of 18 countries, AD drug use more than doubled.
Which countries have the highest antidepressant consumption?Looking at changes in the last decade, we have data for 24 European countries.
In 2020, the consumption of AD pharmaceuticals per 1,000 people per day varied from 20 DDD in Latvia to 153 DDD in Iceland. It is followed by Portugal (131 DDD), the UK (108 DDD in 2017), Sweden (105 DDD) and Spain (87 DDD).
In 2020, the average use across these 24 countries was 68 DDD. The largest three countries by population namely Turkey (49 DDD), France (55 DDD) and Germany (62 DDD) all recorded below average use.
Any correlation between happiness and the use of antidepressants?The short answer is no. The data on European countries does not suggest that the happier people are the less they consume antidepressants.
Iceland, which was the second happiest country in the world in 2020 according the World Happiness Report, has the highest antidepressant consumption in Europe.
Sweden, which ranked sixth in the Happiness Report, has the fourth highest use of antidepressants with 105 DDD.
Finnish people, who were the happiest nation according to the report, used 82 DDD antidepressants which placed Finland seventh out of 24 countries.
ADVERTISEMENTLatvia which has the lowest consumption with 20 daily doses ranked 34th in the World Happiness Report. Hungary which follows Latvia with 30 DDD was on the 43th place in the happiness list.
Antidepressant consumption decreased only in Denmark in last 10 yearsThe consumption of AD drugs increased by 36.5 per cent between 2010 and 2020 in 24 European countries with average daily use up from 49.8 DDD to 68 DDD. Denmark is the only country to see a decrease in the use of antidepressants in the last decade with a 4 percent decline.
Estonia recorded the highest increase with 133 per cent while consumption only increased by 2 per cent in France.
It doubled in the UK, and increased by 50 per cent in Turkey. The change was under 25 per cent in 10 countries.
What about spending on antidepressant drugs?The cost of antidepressant drug spending is a burden on citizens and their countries.
ADVERTISEMENTIn 2020, Germany spent $812 million ('‚¬783 million) on antidepressants. Spain ($649 million or '‚¬626 million) and Italy ($456 million or '‚¬440 million) are the other leading countries for spending on antidepressants.
The ratio of spending on antidepressants to total pharmaceutical sales suggests that it is a significant cost in some countries.
In 2020, antidepressant drugs accounted for 4 per cent of pharmaceutical sales in Portugal, compared to 2.7 per cent in Spain, 2.2 per cent in Austria, 1.9 per cent in Turkey and 1.4 per cent in Germany.
The prevalence of chronic depression in EuropeThere is no official comparable data on the share of people reported having chronic depression or consulting a psychologist, psychotherapist or psychiatrist.
However, survey results released by Eurostat provide some insights. In 2019 Eurostat found that 7.2 per cent of EU citizens reported having chronic depression which was only a tiny increase compared with 2014 (+0.3 percentage points).
ADVERTISEMENTIn 2019, among EU countries Portugal (12.2 per cent) had the highest share of the population reporting chronic depression, followed by Sweden (11.7 per cent), Germany and Croatia (both 11.6 per cent).
The share of people reporting chronic depression was lowest in Romania (1.0 per cent), Bulgaria (2.7 per cent) and Malta (3.5 per cent).
It is interesting that the top two countries Iceland (15.6 per cent) and Portugal (12.2 per cent) in reporting chronic depression also had the highest antidepressant consumption with 153 DDD and 131 DDD in 2020 respectively.
The impact of COVID on mental healthRecent surveys released by the OECD found that mental health has deteriorated significantly since the start of the COVID'‘19 pandemic.
From March 2020 onwards, the prevalence of anxiety and depression increased in 15 selected OECD countries, including several European ones.
ADVERTISEMENTThe prevalence of anxiety in early 2020 was double or more than double that observed in previous years in Belgium, France, Italy, Mexico, New Zealand, the UK and the US.
The prevalence of depression in early 2020 was also double or greater than double that observed in previous years in Mexico, Australia, Belgium, Canada, France, the Czech Republic, Mexico, Sweden, the UK and the US.
However, since the survey methods differ between studies, it is not possible to offer any robust cross-country comparisons.
Did antidepressant consumption increase during the COVID?While the prevalence of anxiety and depression rose significantly during the COVID-19 pandemic, did the consumption of antidepressant drugs also increase?
There is an increase of 10 per cent or more in consumption between 2019 and 2021 in the 14 OECD countries for which data is available. For example, use increased by 22 per cent in Latvia in these two years but only 1 per cent in Hungary.
ADVERTISEMENTHowever, this is against a background of a steady trend in the increase of antidepressants consumption over the last 20 years. Therefore, more research is needed to understand any possible impact from the pandemic on these recent increases.
Why the antidepressant consumption increase?There are a number of potential explanations for this rise in the last two decades.
Researchers who studied the influences on antidepressant prescribing trends in the UK between 1995 and 2011, suggested that the increase can be attributed to the improved recognition of depression, availability of new AD drugs, changes in patient/GP attitudes, availability of therapies, evolving clinical guidelines, and a broadening of the range of indications treated with ADs.
Why New York State Insists That the Penn Station Area Is 'Blighted' - The New York Times
Wed, 20 Mar 2024 19:04
The congested, chaotic section of Manhattan near Pennsylvania Station, which teems with tourists, commuters and shoppers, is undeniably drab. Does that make it blighted?
New York State has decreed that it is, and Gov. Kathy Hochul has recently likened the Penn Station area to ''a Skid Row neighborhood.'' She was defending the controversial plan to allow developers to build 10 towers around the decrepit train station '-- the busiest transit hub in the nation '-- in exchange for some of the $7 billion the state needs to renovate it.
If New York State officials deem an urban area to be ''blighted,'' blocks can be bulldozed and people and businesses can be forced to relocate. And new towers '-- unbound by limits on size and height as defined by the city's normal planning rules '-- can rise.
The state's authority to make such a determination and move forward with redevelopment is nearly impossible to contest.
Its ability to intervene was meant to ensure that neglected areas do not languish. But critics say that officials have long abused the power to pry private properties away from their owners, and they accuse Ms. Hochul of continuing the practice with the Penn Station redevelopment project.
Over the years, the state has used the blighted designation to redevelop swaths of New York City. The move was used to clear properties in Prospect Heights, Brooklyn, for the Barclays Center; to clean up the banks of the East River to create the Brooklyn Bridge Park; and to condemn a section of Times Square, including adult clubs, as part of a lengthy effort to rebuild and sanitize the district.
More recently, then-Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo employed it to create Moynihan Train Hall in Midtown and argued for its use in the Penn Station project before he resigned in August 2021, with his successor, Ms. Hochul, continuing the redevelopment.
Image New York State has characterized the area around the station as ''blighted.'' Last month, the police detained a man outside the station.In almost all those cases, state officials have been accused of exaggerating the conditions as a means to override local control and zoning rules. Without the state's role, developers would have to pursue redevelopment on their own, enduring a lengthy city approval process. With it, the City Council has no say on a project.
Opponents of the Penn Station project, which include a West 30th Street tenants association and the City Club, a civic group, have filed a lawsuit to halt the plan. Community Board 5, which represents the district, said that characterizing the area ''as a slum or blight'' was offensive and ''grossly inaccurate.''
''Blighted is in the eye of the beholder,'' said Tom Angotti, professor emeritus of urban policy and planning at Hunter College. ''What's blighted in your eyes could be a perfectly functioning building and neighborhood in mine.''
Blight has been a concern in major U.S. cities since the turn of the 20th century, when the country's population shifted from rural settings to urban centers. Reformers first tackled blight conditions as threats to public health and safety before viewing them as rationales for economic development.
New York is among a handful of states, including Connecticut, that use the power of eminent domain to seize private property for economic development. In a 2009 case affirming New York's authority, the state's Court of Appeals ruled that the legal bar for blight might ''have been set too low'' but said it would be up to lawmakers to change the definition.
Over the past 15 years, dozens of states have placed limitations on when they can take ownership of private property. But not New York State, which has among the fewest restrictions on its power to rebuild areas in the name of economic development, according to the Institute of Justice, a libertarian policy group that tracks the issue.
To many people, a ''blighted'' area would be dilapidated, if not beyond repair; the term conjures up images of vacant buildings, overgrown lots and lawlessness. But as defined by the State of New York, the label is both vague and all-encompassing. It can include conditions like traffic congestion and excessive density that would describe much of New York City.
Tom Wright, the president of the Regional Plan Association, a research and advocacy group, supports the plans to overhaul Penn Station but said he avoids using the word ''blight'' because he considers it loaded and archaic. Yet Mr. Wright said the area would be improved by the investments that have been proposed.
''When I walk around Penn Station, that is an area in need of redevelopment,'' Mr. Wright said.
Image The area that is to be redeveloped is full of commuters, shoppers and tourists.The Penn Station neighborhood changes block by block. There are souvenir shops, a McDonald's on Seventh Avenue that is one of the city's oldest, a 1,500-spot parking garage and a 19th-century Roman Catholic church. It is home to Apple's largest office in New York City.
The station itself, with its cavernous underground space, has long attracted homeless people. Last year, a survey by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority found that the vast majority of homeless people in the entire subway system seek shelter in just eight stations, including Penn Station.
Among the biggest supporters of the project are leaders of the construction industry, like Carlo A. Scissura, president of the New York Building Congress. Mr. Scissura said it would ''boost the entire region's economy, create tens of thousands of new jobs and transform Penn Station and the surrounding community into the modern, vibrant commuter hub it was always destined to be.''
For the Penn Station project, state officials have staked their claims of blight on ''substandard and insanitary conditions'' and ''economic stagnation.'' The evidence to support those claims was outlined in a neighborhood study commissioned by Empire State Development, the agency overseeing the project and facing the lawsuit from its opponents, and completed by a civil engineering firm in February 2021.
In the 240-page neighborhood report, the firm explored the exterior and interior conditions of every property in the redevelopment area, assigning ratings for each site. The buildings were found to be older, with many built before 1932, and generating lower rental revenue than their peers in surrounding neighborhoods.
Across the redevelopment area, only one building received the worst rating of ''critical condition,'' a property with damaged and missing windows, cracked walls and eight unresolved building violations. It is 232 West 31st Street, a four-story service building for Penn Station that is owned by Amtrak.
Richard Emery, a Manhattan lawyer who represents opponents of the redevelopment project, noted that the state's own assessment found only eight of 61 lots met the definition of blighted. In contrast, the state deemed more than 70 percent of the Atlantic Yards area of Brooklyn to be blighted before it was redeveloped with the Barclays Center, which opened in 2012.
Image The state declared a large section of Prospect Heights blighted in order to develop Atlantic Yards. Credit... Chang W. Lee/The New York Times Image Now the Barclays Center sits at the intersection of Atlantic and Flatbush Avenues.''It's not even close to blighted by any stretch of the imagination,'' Mr. Emery said. ''It's so extreme in this case, I don't think they can get away with it.''
The governor's office reaffirmed Ms. Hochul's commitment to the development, which is expected to be completed by 2044. Empire State Development declined to comment on the lawsuit.
Some properties with faulty conditions or unresolved violations are owned by Vornado Realty Trust, the neighborhood's largest landowner, which the state has said will develop some of the new towers. Vornado, a public company that is among the city's largest owners of offices, has accumulated more than a dozen properties in the area over the last 20 years, holding onto them in anticipation of a larger redevelopment.
Of the eight sites that would be redeveloped, Vornado owns four of them and a share of another. The sites could give rise to some of the tallest buildings in the city.
Image Vornado Realty Trust owns more than a dozen properties in the Penn Station area.Over the years, state projects aimed at eradicating blight have been criticized for rewarding developers whose properties had seemingly contributed to it. A decade ago, critics of a state project in which Columbia University would expand into Manhattanville pointed out that the university owned a large majority of the sites that were later designated as blighted.
Although the lawsuit over the Penn Station project does not make such a claim, the lawyers noted that Vornado's chief executive, Steven Roth, once boasted about letting a Manhattan property languish on purpose to spur the government to offer financial assistance. That site on Lexington Avenue later became the headquarters for Bloomberg LP.
Vornado declined to comment about blight in the Penn Station area, citing the lawsuit.
If the Penn Station projects move forward, one of the properties that would have to be demolished is 421 Seventh Avenue, a 15-story office tower owned by the developer Arnold Gumowitz, whose own office is in the building. He has said he does not want to sell.
The neighborhood study said his building was in ''fair condition'' but had ''large amounts of cracking'' on exterior walls.
''For the state to call the Penn Station area blighted '-- which it's not '-- harms the ability of those of us who are a part of this community to thrive,'' Mr. Gumowitz said in a statement.
Image The station itself needs overhaul and is cramped, with low ceilings. Image Unused equipment in Penn Station. Image The station attracts many homeless people.The Penn Station project received the first approval in July that it needed from the state's three-member Public Authorities Control Board. But the board would have to unanimously approve additional parts of the project for it to move forward. One of its members, State Senator LeRoy Comrie, a Democrat, said in an interview that he had concerns about the development and urged Ms. Hochul to redesign it.
The rebuilding of Penn Station was not ambitious enough, Mr. Comrie said, and should be remade to allow rail passengers to travel to more destinations without changing trains '-- riding from Boston to the Hamptons on one train, for example. And he said he was worried that the real estate project, with its dependence on office space when many companies have embraced hybrid work, could fail to generate the needed revenue to pay for the renovation of Penn Station.
''We should spend those once-in-a-lifetime dollars on a 2050-type vision as opposed to a 1970s vision,'' Mr. Comrie said. ''We need to make sure that whatever happens aboveground is actually something that will help finance the project.''
Image The plan to rebuild the station should be more ambitious, a state senator who is a member of the Public Authorities Control Board said. Matthew Haag covers the intersection of real estate and politics in the New York region. He previously was a general assignment and breaking news reporter at The Times and worked as an education reporter at The Dallas Morning News. More about Matthew Haag
Patrick McGeehan writes about transportation and infrastructure for the Metro section. He has been a reporter for The Times since 1999 and has covered Wall Street, executive pay, transportation, the New York City economy and New Jersey. More about Patrick McGeehan
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"The Use and Abuse of Blight in Eminent Domain" by Martin E. Gold and Lynne B. Sagalyn
Wed, 20 Mar 2024 19:03
Home > Urban Law Journal > Vol. 38 (2010-2012) > No. 4 (2011)
Keywordseminent domain, blight, Fifth Amendment, takings, New York
AbstractThis Article examines the term "blight" and how it is used in eminent domain cases. Part I discusses the development of the term and how various states define it. Part II lays out a hierarchy which may be used to compare the private benefits on one hand and the public benefits on the other hand in redevelopment projects. In Part III, the Columbia University expansion in Manhattanville is examined, at both the New York Appellate Division and Court of Appeals levels. Part IV discusses how forty-three states redefined blight after the Kelo case. Part V discusses how political and business forces have reduced efforts to enact serious reforms. Finally, Part VI looks again at the redefinitions of blight since Kelo and propose better definitions that reduce abuse.
Recommended CitationMartin E. Gold and Lynne B. Sagalyn,The Use and Abuse of Blight in Eminent Domain,38 F ordham U rb . L.J. 1119 (2011). Available at:
Since April 18, 2012
Terroristic Definition & Meaning - Merriam-Webster
Wed, 20 Mar 2024 17:58
: involving or employing violent acts of terror : marked by terrorism accused of conspiring to carry out terroristic acts resorting to terroristic tactics terroristic organizations/regimes He demonstrates how, in applying their openly terroristic concept of warfare, the officer corps, and not just the SS, promoted mentalities and practices that prepared the ground for the mass liquidations. '-- V. R. Berghahn Last Updated: 18 Mar 2024 - Updated example sentencesSubscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search'--ad free!
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Trashy Definition & Meaning - Merriam-Webster
Wed, 20 Mar 2024 17:56
: being, resembling, or containing trash : of inferior quality Synonyms Examples of trashy in a Sentence Her outfit was a bit trashy. I know that sequined shirt cost a lot of money, but I still think it looks kind of trashy.
Recent Examples on the Web Carmel teacher's family road trip across the U.S. takes a 'trashy' turnRecycling topics are, indeed, one of the most popular questions Hoosiers submit on our Scrub Hub form. '-- Karl Schneider, The Indianapolis Star, 19 Feb. 2024 The best parts are the musical ones, of course, but there's plenty of deliciously trashy John Waters-style cheese happening too, with silly subplots and exaggerated teen stereotypes (nerd, huckster, prep, secretly beautiful girl with glasses) all adding up to the perfect party movie. '-- Debby Wolfinsohn,, 15 Sep. 2023 But Statham is one of the few above-the-title names that's instantly synonymous with a kind of pulpy, trashy, cinema du bloody knuckles. '-- David Fear, Rolling Stone, 11 Jan. 2024 Step back, though, and the recent stock upswing needn't look so trashy, argues Jon Sindreu for Heard on the Street. '-- Wsj Staff, WSJ, 21 Dec. 2023 This is the trashy side of the news, against which respectable journalism defines itself. '-- Daniel Immerwahr, The New Yorker, 13 Nov. 2023 And maybe part of the anger is that this was a (trashy) grand illusion that in certain ways implicated us all. '-- Owen Gleiberman, Variety, 11 June 2023 There's the show that Gosselaar is in, which might be trashy fun but is too similar to too many recent shows about charismatic serial offenders to count. '-- Daniel Fienberg, The Hollywood Reporter, 3 Oct. 2023 Yards smothered with slimy, brown leaves look trashy, like nobody cares. '-- Steve Bender, Southern Living, 22 Aug. 2023 These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'trashy.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.
Word HistoryFirst Known Use
circa 1620, in the meaning defined at sense 2
Time Traveler
The first known use of trashy was circa 1620 Dictionary Entries Near trashy Cite this Entry ''Trashy.'' Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 Mar. 2024.
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Tacky Definition & Meaning - Merriam-Webster
Wed, 20 Mar 2024 17:46
: somewhat sticky to the touch 1
: not having or exhibiting good taste: such as
a : marked by cheap showiness : gaudy b : marked by lack of style : dowdy Synonyms Examples of tacky in a Sentence Recent Examples on the WebAdjective
Bravo joins in on calling the aesthetic tacky and cheap and dwells on the moral impurities the aesthetic resembles. '-- Aneliza Ruiz, Los Angeles Times, 27 Feb. 2024 This product is light but just tacky enough to be effective. '-- Barbara Bellesi Zito, Peoplemag, 16 Oct. 2023 Ignore the tacky title; the majority of the people Motz writes about are neither killers nor driven by an excess of love. '-- Alexandra Schwartz, The New Yorker, 5 Feb. 2024 Jeff is a buffoon, always setting off his shrill, tacky wife Susie (Susie Essman). '-- TIME, 2 Feb. 2024 Kitsch is a slang word with German origin that's typically used to describe something viewed as gaudy or tacky due to being overly eccentric or sentimental. '-- Cori Sears, Better Homes & Gardens, 19 Jan. 2024 Most of the tacky T-shirt and souvenir stores have moved on to other sectors of town. '-- Sacramento Bee, 30 Jan. 2024 Too little water and the resulting foam has a gluey, tacky texture that's not pleasant to rub against your face. '-- Justin Fenner, Robb Report, 23 Jan. 2024 In the film a band called Black Roses tease their hair high, play tacky instruments poorly, and tour in a fleet of Lamborghinis. '-- Stephen Deusner, SPIN, 22 Jan. 2024 These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'tacky.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.
Word HistoryEtymology
Adjective (1)
tack entry 2
Adjective (2)
tacky a low-class person
First Known Use
Adjective (1)
1788, in the meaning defined above
Adjective (2)
1862, in the meaning defined at sense 2a
Time Traveler
The first known use of tacky was in 1788 Dictionary Entries Near tacky Cite this Entry ''Tacky.'' Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 Mar. 2024.
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AI and the Evolution of Social Media - Schneier on Security
Wed, 20 Mar 2024 14:34
Oh, how the mighty have fallen. A decade ago, social media was celebrated for sparking democratic uprisings in the Arab world and beyond. Now front pages are splashed with stories of social platforms' role in misinformation, business conspiracy, malfeasance, and risks to mental health. In a 2022 survey, Americans blamed social media for the coarsening of our political discourse, the spread of misinformation, and the increase in partisan polarization.
Today, tech's darling is artificial intelligence. Like social media, it has the potential to change the world in many ways, some favorable to democracy. But at the same time, it has the potential to do incredible damage to society.
There is a lot we can learn about social media's unregulated evolution over the past decade that directly applies to AI companies and technologies. These lessons can help us avoid making the same mistakes with AI that we did with social media.
In particular, five fundamental attributes of social media have harmed society. AI also has those attributes. Note that they are not intrinsically evil. They are all double-edged swords, with the potential to do either good or ill. The danger comes from who wields the sword, and in what direction it is swung. This has been true for social media, and it will similarly hold true for AI. In both cases, the solution lies in limits on the technology's use.
#1: AdvertisingThe role advertising plays in the internet arose more by accident than anything else. When commercialization first came to the internet, there was no easy way for users to make micropayments to do things like viewing a web page. Moreover, users were accustomed to free access and wouldn't accept subscription models for services. Advertising was the obvious business model, if never the best one. And it's the model that social media also relies on, which leads it to prioritize engagement over anything else.
Both Google and Facebook believe that AI will help them keep their stranglehold on an 11-figure online ad market (yep, 11 figures), and the tech giants that are traditionally less dependent on advertising, like Microsoft and Amazon, believe that AI will help them seize a bigger piece of that market.
Big Tech needs something to persuade advertisers to keep spending on their platforms. Despite bombastic claims about the effectiveness of targeted marketing, researchers have long struggled to demonstrate where and when online ads really have an impact. When major brands like Uber and Procter & Gamble recently slashed their digital ad spending by the hundreds of millions, they proclaimed that it made no dent at all in their sales.
AI-powered ads, industry leaders say, will be much better. Google assures you that AI can tweak your ad copy in response to what users search for, and that its AI algorithms will configure your campaigns to maximize success. Amazon wants you to use its image generation AI to make your toaster product pages look cooler. And IBM is confident its Watson AI will make your ads better.
These techniques border on the manipulative, but the biggest risk to users comes from advertising within AI chatbots. Just as Google and Meta embed ads in your search results and feeds, AI companies will be pressured to embed ads in conversations. And because those conversations will be relational and human-like, they could be more damaging. While many of us have gotten pretty good at scrolling past the ads in Amazon and Google results pages, it will be much harder to determine whether an AI chatbot is mentioning a product because it's a good answer to your question or because the AI developer got a kickback from the manufacturer.
#2: SurveillanceSocial media's reliance on advertising as the primary way to monetize websites led to personalization, which led to ever-increasing surveillance. To convince advertisers that social platforms can tweak ads to be maximally appealing to individual people, the platforms must demonstrate that they can collect as much information about those people as possible.
It's hard to exaggerate how much spying is going on. A recent analysis by Consumer Reports about Facebook'--just Facebook'--showed that every user has more than 2,200 different companies spying on their web activities on its behalf.
AI-powered platforms that are supported by advertisers will face all the same perverse and powerful market incentives that social platforms do. It's easy to imagine that a chatbot operator could charge a premium if it were able to claim that its chatbot could target users on the basis of their location, preference data, or past chat history and persuade them to buy products.
The possibility of manipulation is only going to get greater as we rely on AI for personal services. One of the promises of generative AI is the prospect of creating a personal digital assistant advanced enough to act as your advocate with others and as a butler to you. This requires more intimacy than you have with your search engine, email provider, cloud storage system, or phone. You're going to want it with you constantly, and to most effectively work on your behalf, it will need to know everything about you. It will act as a friend, and you are likely to treat it as such, mistakenly trusting its discretion.
Even if you choose not to willingly acquaint an AI assistant with your lifestyle and preferences, AI technology may make it easier for companies to learn about you. Early demonstrations illustrate how chatbots can be used to surreptitiously extract personal data by asking you mundane questions. And with chatbots increasingly being integrated with everything from customer service systems to basic search interfaces on websites, exposure to this kind of inferential data harvesting may become unavoidable.
#3: ViralitySocial media allows any user to express any idea with the potential for instantaneous global reach. A great public speaker standing on a soapbox can spread ideas to maybe a few hundred people on a good night. A kid with the right amount of snark on Facebook can reach a few hundred million people within a few minutes.
A decade ago, technologists hoped this sort of virality would bring people together and guarantee access to suppressed truths. But as a structural matter, it is in a social network's interest to show you the things you are most likely to click on and share, and the things that will keep you on the platform.
As it happens, this often means outrageous, lurid, and triggering content. Researchers have found that content expressing maximal animosity toward political opponents gets the most engagement on Facebook and Twitter. And this incentive for outrage drives and rewards misinformation.
As Jonathan Swift once wrote, ''Falsehood flies, and the Truth comes limping after it.'' Academics seem to have proved this in the case of social media; people are more likely to share false information'--perhaps because it seems more novel and surprising. And unfortunately, this kind of viral misinformation has been pervasive.
AI has the potential to supercharge the problem because it makes content production and propagation easier, faster, and more automatic. Generative AI tools can fabricate unending numbers of falsehoods about any individual or theme, some of which go viral. And those lies could be propelled by social accounts controlled by AI bots, which can share and launder the original misinformation at any scale.
Remarkably powerful AI text generators and autonomous agents are already starting to make their presence felt in social media. In July, researchers at Indiana University revealed a botnet of more than 1,100 Twitter accounts that appeared to be operated using ChatGPT.
AI will help reinforce viral content that emerges from social media. It will be able to create websites and web content, user reviews, and smartphone apps. It will be able to simulate thousands, or even millions, of fake personas to give the mistaken impression that an idea, or a political position, or use of a product, is more common than it really is. What we might perceive to be vibrant political debate could be bots talking to bots. And these capabilities won't be available just to those with money and power; the AI tools necessary for all of this will be easily available to us all.
#4: Lock-inSocial media companies spend a lot of effort making it hard for you to leave their platforms. It's not just that you'll miss out on conversations with your friends. They make it hard for you to take your saved data'--connections, posts, photos'--and port it to another platform. Every moment you invest in sharing a memory, reaching out to an acquaintance, or curating your follows on a social platform adds a brick to the wall you'd have to climb over to go to another platform.
This concept of lock-in isn't unique to social media. Microsoft cultivated proprietary document formats for years to keep you using its flagship Office product. Your music service or e-book reader makes it hard for you to take the content you purchased to a rival service or reader. And if you switch from an iPhone to an Android device, your friends might mock you for sending text messages in green bubbles. But social media takes this to a new level. No matter how bad it is, it's very hard to leave Facebook if all your friends are there. Coordinating everyone to leave for a new platform is impossibly hard, so no one does.
Similarly, companies creating AI-powered personal digital assistants will make it hard for users to transfer that personalization to another AI. If AI personal assistants succeed in becoming massively useful time-savers, it will be because they know the ins and outs of your life as well as a good human assistant; would you want to give that up to make a fresh start on another company's service? In extreme examples, some people have formed close, perhaps even familial, bonds with AI chatbots. If you think of your AI as a friend or therapist, that can be a powerful form of lock-in.
Lock-in is an important concern because it results in products and services that are less responsive to customer demand. The harder it is for you to switch to a competitor, the more poorly a company can treat you. Absent any way to force interoperability, AI companies have less incentive to innovate in features or compete on price, and fewer qualms about engaging in surveillance or other bad behaviors.
#5: MonopolizationSocial platforms often start off as great products, truly useful and revelatory for their consumers, before they eventually start monetizing and exploiting those users for the benefit of their business customers. Then the platforms claw back the value for themselves, turning their products into truly miserable experiences for everyone. This is a cycle that Cory Doctorow has powerfully written about and traced through the history of Facebook, Twitter, and more recently TikTok.
The reason for these outcomes is structural. The network effects of tech platforms push a few firms to become dominant, and lock-in ensures their continued dominance. The incentives in the tech sector are so spectacularly, blindingly powerful that they have enabled six megacorporations (Amazon, Apple, Google, Facebook parent Meta, Microsoft, and Nvidia) to command a trillion dollars each of market value'--or more. These firms use their wealth to block any meaningful legislation that would curtail their power. And they sometimes collude with each other to grow yet fatter.
This cycle is clearly starting to repeat itself in AI. Look no further than the industry poster child OpenAI, whose leading offering, ChatGPT, continues to set marks for uptake and usage. Within a year of the product's launch, OpenAI's valuation had skyrocketed to about $90 billion.
OpenAI once seemed like an ''open'' alternative to the megacorps'--a common carrier for AI services with a socially oriented nonprofit mission. But the Sam Altman firing-and-rehiring debacle at the end of 2023, and Microsoft's central role in restoring Altman to the CEO seat, simply illustrated how venture funding from the familiar ranks of the tech elite pervades and controls corporate AI. In January 2024, OpenAI took a big step toward monetization of this user base by introducing its GPT Store, wherein one OpenAI customer can charge another for the use of its custom versions of OpenAI software; OpenAI, of course, collects revenue from both parties. This sets in motion the very cycle Doctorow warns about.
In the middle of this spiral of exploitation, little or no regard is paid to externalities visited upon the greater public'--people who aren't even using the platforms. Even after society has wrestled with their ill effects for years, the monopolistic social networks have virtually no incentive to control their products' environmental impact, tendency to spread misinformation, or pernicious effects on mental health. And the government has applied virtually no regulation toward those ends.
Likewise, few or no guardrails are in place to limit the potential negative impact of AI. Facial recognition software that amounts to racial profiling, simulated public opinions supercharged by chatbots, fake videos in political ads'--all of it persists in a legal gray area. Even clear violators of campaign advertising law might, some think, be let off the hook if they simply do it with AI.
Mitigating the risksThe risks that AI poses to society are strikingly familiar, but there is one big difference: it's not too late. This time, we know it's all coming. Fresh off our experience with the harms wrought by social media, we have all the warning we should need to avoid the same mistakes.
The biggest mistake we made with social media was leaving it as an unregulated space. Even now'--after all the studies and revelations of social media's negative effects on kids and mental health, after Cambridge Analytica, after the exposure of Russian intervention in our politics, after everything else'--social media in the US remains largely an unregulated ''weapon of mass destruction.'' Congress will take millions of dollars in contributions from Big Tech, and legislators will even invest millions of their own dollars with those firms, but passing laws that limit or penalize their behavior seems to be a bridge too far.
We can't afford to do the same thing with AI, because the stakes are even higher. The harm social media can do stems from how it affects our communication. AI will affect us in the same ways and many more besides. If Big Tech's trajectory is any signal, AI tools will increasingly be involved in how we learn and how we express our thoughts. But these tools will also influence how we schedule our daily activities, how we design products, how we write laws, and even how we diagnose diseases. The expansive role of these technologies in our daily lives gives for-profit corporations opportunities to exert control over more aspects of society, and that exposes us to the risks arising from their incentives and decisions.
The good news is that we have a whole category of tools to modulate the risk that corporate actions pose for our lives, starting with regulation. Regulations can come in the form of restrictions on activity, such as limitations on what kinds of businesses and products are allowed to incorporate AI tools. They can come in the form of transparency rules, requiring disclosure of what data sets are used to train AI models or what new preproduction-phase models are being trained. And they can come in the form of oversight and accountability requirements, allowing for civil penalties in cases where companies disregard the rules.
The single biggest point of leverage governments have when it comes to tech companies is antitrust law. Despite what many lobbyists want you to think, one of the primary roles of regulation is to preserve competition'--not to make life harder for businesses. It is not inevitable for OpenAI to become another Meta, an 800-pound gorilla whose user base and reach are several times those of its competitors. In addition to strengthening and enforcing antitrust law, we can introduce regulation that supports competition-enabling standards specific to the technology sector, such as data portability and device interoperability. This is another core strategy for resisting monopoly and corporate control.
Additionally, governments can enforce existing regulations on advertising. Just as the US regulates what media can and cannot host advertisements for sensitive products like cigarettes, and just as many other jurisdictions exercise strict control over the time and manner of politically sensitive advertising, so too could the US limit the engagement between AI providers and advertisers.
Lastly, we should recognize that developing and providing AI tools does not have to be the sovereign domain of corporations. We, the people and our government, can do this too. The proliferation of open-source AI development in 2023, successful to an extent that startled corporate players, is proof of this. And we can go further, calling on our government to build public-option AI tools developed with political oversight and accountability under our democratic system, where the dictatorship of the profit motive does not apply.
Which of these solutions is most practical, most important, or most urgently needed is up for debate. We should have a vibrant societal dialogue about whether and how to use each of these tools. There are lots of paths to a good outcome.
The problem is that this isn't happening now, particularly in the US. And with a looming presidential election, conflict spreading alarmingly across Asia and Europe, and a global climate crisis, it's easy to imagine that we won't get our arms around AI any faster than we have (not) with social media. But it's not too late. These are still the early years for practical consumer AI applications. We must and can do better.
This essay was written with Nathan Sanders, and was originally published in MIT Technology Review.
Tags: artificial intelligence, Facebook, Google, Internet and society, LLM, privacy, social media, surveillance, Twitter
Posted on March 19, 2024 at 7:05 AM'15 Comments
Sidebar photo of Bruce Schneier by Joe MacInnis.
Wages in the US are falling at a 'striking' pace | Fox Business
Wed, 20 Mar 2024 04:38
U.S. wage growth has slowed sharply over the past year and is getting closer to returning to its pre-pandemic level, according to new data from career site Indeed.
The wage tracker '' based on salaries for job advertisements listed on Indeed '' showed that salaries were up 3.3% in February compared with the same time one year ago. That is a marked drop from January 2022, when wages were up about 9.3%, suggesting that employers are facing less competition for new hires.
"The pace of deceleration is striking," wrote Indeed labor economist Nick Bunker. "Posted wage growth has fallen by almost 3 percentage points over the past year."
Elementary school educators gather to talk to prospective hires during a hiring event for Prince George's County school district hosted at Dr. Henry A. Wise Jr. High School in Upper Marlboro, Maryland, on Aug. 2, 2023. (Amanda Andrade-Rhoades/For The Washington Post via Getty Images / Getty Images)
While the deceleration is broad-based, it is most pronounced in low-wage sectors. Posted pay for that group tumbled to 3.4% in February from 12.5% at the start of 2022.
"Given the huge run-up in posted wages for those sectors, wage growth is still above its pre-pandemic pace," Bunker said. "How long this will last is uncertain."
By comparison, wage growth for high-wage employees dropped from a high of 8.2% to 2.6% in February. For middle-wage workers, year-over-year growth has fallen to 3.9% from a peak of 8.5%.
The labor market has remained historically tight over the past year, defying economists' expectations for a slowdown. Economists anticipate the labor market will continue to slow in the coming months as higher interest rates work their way through the economy.
Jobseekers visit booths during the Spring Job Fair at the Las Vegas Convention Center on Friday, April 15, 2022. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal / Getty Images)
The Federal Reserve raised interest rates 11 times beginning in March 2022 in an effort to rein in inflation and cool the labor market. Policymakers have suggested that fast wage growth '' the product of a strong labor market '' was a contributing factor to the inflation crisis that ravaged millions of Americans' pocketbooks over the past few years.
There are growing signs the labor market is beginning to weaken in the face of higher interest rates and stubborn inflation.
There has been a wave of notable layoffs since the start of the new year, and the list grows longer by the day. Alphabet, Amazon, American Airlines, Citigroup, Snap and UPS are among the major companies cutting jobs.
Still, job growth has proven surprisingly resilient.
Employers added 275,000 jobs in February, although the unemployment rate rose to 3.9%, according to Labor Department data released at the start of March. The report painted a picture of a job market that has gone largely unscathed despite higher interest rates, but it also diminished the odds of a more aggressive rate cut.
Ozempic 'Fatal Outcomes' Study Raises Serious Concern
Tue, 19 Mar 2024 23:48
Scientists have issued a warning over TikTok's latest fat-melting "miracle" after it was linked to a series of rare but potentially fatal psychiatric episodes in a concerning new study.
Ozempic is an injectable prescription drug developed to manage blood sugar levels in patients with Type 2 diabetes. However, the diabetes drug has gained popularity due to one sought-after side effect: weight loss.
Ozempic is based on a naturally occurring human hormone called glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP-1), which plays an important role in regulating appetite and blood sugar levels. Its active ingredient is a molecule called semaglutide, which mimics the structure of this GLP-1 hormone and activates its receptors.
By activating these receptors, semaglutide induces feelings of fullness while delaying the emptying of our stomach, making us less hungry and therefore less likely to overeat.
Semaglutide is also used in Ozempic's sister drug, Wegovy, which has been approved by the FDA for chronic weight management. Between the start of 2020 and end of 2022, prescriptions of GLP-1 mimic medications like semaglutide increased by 300 percent across the U.S., according to healthcare analytics firm Trilliant Health.
The drug has since been endorsed by celebrities and influencers, with #ozempic reaching over 1.4 billion views on TikTok. However, when used as a weight loss drug, semaglutide has been shown to have some uncomfortable side effects.
Most studies into its side effects have focused on gut problems, but a new study, published in the International Journal of Clinical Pharmacy, has highlighted a concerning association between semaglutide and adverse psychiatric events, including depression, anxiety and suicidal thoughts. Pharmaceutical manufacturer Novo Nordisk, which produces Ozempic and Wegovy, cited the FDA saying that no evidence was found regarding suicidal thoughts or actions caused by these medicines.
"We believe that our findings, which highlight potential mental health issues associated with new anti-obesity medications, are of significant importance to both healthcare providers and patients," the study's first author, Mansour Tobaiqy, an associate professor in clinical pharmacology at the University of Jeddah in Saudi Arabia, told Newsweek. "These medications have become some of the most commonly used. The adverse events reported in this study serve as a reminder to physicians to carefully assess a patient's mental health before prescribing these medications."
Photo of a man preparing a semaglutide Ozempic injection. Ozempic has floated into the mainstream after people on TikTok began using the licensed diabetes drug for weight loss. Photo of a man preparing a semaglutide Ozempic injection. Ozempic has floated into the mainstream after people on TikTok began using the licensed diabetes drug for weight loss. imyskin/GettyTo come to these results, Tobaiqy and co-author Hajer Elkout combed through the European Medicines Agency's system for managing and reporting medication side effects, EudraVigilance. The pair analyzed case reports linked to semaglutide (Ozempic and Wegovy) as well as the related GLP-1 mimic drugs liraglutide (brand name Saxenda) and tirzepatide (brand name Mounjaro) between January 2021 and May 2023.
Over this period, 31,444 adverse events were reported, with 481 reports of adverse psychiatric episodes in total.
"According to the study's findings, women made up 65 percent (n'‰='‰242) of the reports, while men accounted for 29 percent ('‰n=108)," Tobaiqy said. "Fatal outcomes were predominantly among men (eight out of nine), resulting from completed suicide attempts and depression. This is a serious matter that warrants attention."
While more research is needed to confirm these results, Tobaiqy said that their findings warrant serious consideration by medical professionals when considering whether or not to prescribe these medications to their patients.
"Doctors should take into consideration any past suicidal thoughts or attempts by the patients," he said. "Logically, if patients have these mental health issues, they should engage in a dialogue with their doctors to discuss alternative medications or interventions. Patients are also encouraged to report any changes in mood, behavior, or negative thoughts to their doctors...and health authorities.
"While I believe that the benefits of these medications, such as reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease, outweigh the risks, we must take the potential harm seriously, given the types and severity of the events reported."
Michael Bloomfield, excellence fellow, head of the Translational Psychiatry Research Group and consultant psychiatrist at University College London, who was not involved in the study, echoed this sentiment.
"Given the potential severity of these side effects, I agree with the authors that further research into this is needed," he told Newsweek. "It is difficult at this stage [to know] who may be particularly vulnerable nor how people can protect themselves without further research.
"In the meantime, people experiencing symptoms of depression including lowering of mood and suicidal thoughts during treatment with these drugs should consult their doctor. It may be that people with pre-existing depression or suicidal thoughts are more vulnerable to these potential side-effects, however that remains an open question."
Bloomfield and Tobaiqy also emphasized that, while potentially significant, the rate of these psychiatric side-effects was very low. "It is [also] unclear whether these patients had pre-existing mental health conditions when they started using these medications," Tobaiqy said. "[Therefore] we must exercise caution when interpreting these findings."
Naveed Sattar, a professor of metabolic medicine at the University of Glasgow in Scotland, added that, without clear comparisons, it is difficult to confirm whether these psychiatric effects have anything to do with the medication or are simply a coincidence.
"There is no comparator of psychiatric risks in people with similar characteristics who had started on non-[GLP-1] therapy," he told Newsweek. "Only by having some form of comparator does one get closer to the truth as psychiatric conditions are not uncommon in general. This does not mean further robust studies in this area are not needed. They are, but they should be high scientific quality and enable robust comparisons."
Sattar also pointed to a recent, large-scale study from the Case Western Reserve University of Medicine in Ohio which did use such a comparison and found no higher risk of suicidal ideation after taking semaglutide-based drugs. "More similar studies would be helpful," he said.
Newsweek spoke to pharmaceutical manufacturer Novo Nordisk, producer of Ozempic and Wegovy, to hear their thoughts on Tobaiqy and Elkout's recent study. "Analyses of spontaneously-reported adverse event data (such as that performed by Tobaiqy and Elkout) are informative but suffer from numerous inherent limitations which preclude drawing conclusions about association or causation," a spokesperson for Novo Nordisk told Newsweek in a statement. "Novo Nordisk is not aware of any reliable evidence linking semaglutide with suicidal ideation or behavior, or with other adverse psychiatric events.
"The FDA recently stated that their 'preliminary evaluation has not found evidence that use of these medicines causes suicidal thoughts or actions.' Similarly, our reviews of the clinical trials, including large outcome studies and observational studies, did not find an association between use of GLP-1 receptor agonist medicines and the occurrence of suicidal thoughts or actions.
"Novo Nordisk is continuously performing surveillance of the data from ongoing clinical trials and real-world use of our products and collaborates closely with authorities to ensure patient safety and adequate information to healthcare professionals.
"Novo Nordisk stands behind the safety and efficacy of semaglutide and of all our other GLP-1 receptor agonist medicines when they are used as indicated and when they are taken under the care of a licensed healthcare professional."
However, Tobaiqy also stressed that their findings draw on a wider issue surrounding the use of these drugs for "off label" applications. "I believe there is currently a worldwide misuse of these medications by individuals seeking to achieve slimness, even when they don't necessarily need them," Tobaiqy said. "Some counterfeit medications, available on the internet or black markets, may even lack active ingredients. Some are being sold without prescriptions, which poses a significant risk to patients' health.
"My message is this: these medications are beneficial and efficient in treating type 2 diabetes and obesity. However, they should only be used under the supervision of medical professionals, whether they are endocrinologists or family doctors. All potential side effects, including mental health issues, must be closely monitored due to the novelty of these medicines."
Adipose Tissue (Body Fat): Anatomy & Function
Tue, 19 Mar 2024 23:28
How should I take care of my adipose tissue?Adipose tissue functions best in healthy amounts. For guidelines on the amount you want to aim for, the body mass index (BMI) can be useful. The chart estimates your body fat based on your height and weight and indicates a healthy range. It's just a generalized chart, though, and not perfectly accurate. A visit with your regular healthcare provider can give you more personalized information, taking into account your balance of fat to muscle and fluid levels. Your provider could also help you set realistic goals for weight loss or weight gain.
For general care, though, you don't need to get caught up in numbers. Just try to eat a healthful, balanced diet and get some regular exercise. Healthcare providers recommend a minimum of 30 minutes of moderate exercise, five days a week. That could mean taking a brisk walk, going for a bike ride, swimming or mowing the lawn. If you engage in more vigorous exercise, such as running, aerobic dancing or heavy yard work, two or three times a week is enough.
A note from Cleveland Clinic
Body fat is so much more than storage. Adipose tissue interacts with your entire body to maintain your metabolic homeostasis. Through chemical signals and adaptive responses, adipose tissue could even be said to function with intelligence '-- at least in the sense that other body systems do. And like other body systems, it can also function imperfectly, leading to a breakdown in various chemical processes that depend on it. The more we understand how interdependent all body systems are '-- including body fat '-- the more we understand how each one deserves our respect and care.
George Stephanopoulos finds out why he shouldn't have claimed Trump was found 'liable of rape': 'Clear defamatory statement' | Blaze Media
Tue, 19 Mar 2024 21:49
Former President Donald Trump is suing ABC News and network anchor George Stephanopoulos for defamation.
Last week, Stephanopoulos claimed on ABC News' "This Week" that Trump has been found "liable of rape." Stephanopoulos repeated the assertion more than 10 times during an interview in which he tried to use the history of Rep. Nancy Mace (R-S.C.) as a rape victim to shame her for endorsing Trump.
But Trump has never been found liable of rape.
Last year, a New York civil jury found Trump liable of "sexual abuse" for allegedly assaulting E. Jean Carroll in the mid-1990s (Carroll cannot remember the exact year it happened). Importantly, the jury specifically found Trump not liable for rape.
Now, Trump is trying to hold ABC News and Stephanopoulos accountable for purportedly defaming him.
"[Stephanopoulos'] statements were and remain false, and were made by Defendant Stephanopoulos with actual malice or with a reckless disregard for the truth given that Defendant Stephanopoulos knows that these statements are patently and demonstrably false," argued a 20-page lawsuit filed in federal court Monday on behalf of Trump.
The lawsuit argues that ABC News and Stephanopoulos committed defamation per se and defamation per quod.
"[Trump] was accused [on ABC News] of engaging in rape, and that is, from our estimation, a clear defamatory statement that would meet the requirements of serving as a basis for a defamation per se claim," explained attorney Alex Brito, who is representing Trump in the matter.
ABC News is declining to comment on the matter.
Trump has previously tried to litigate this very issue.
Last year, Trump claimed that Carroll defamed him when she declared on CNN the day after a civil jury found Trump liable of sexual abuse that Trump had "raped" her.
But a judge dismissed Trump's counterclaim because he found that Carroll's comments were "substantially true." The civil jury's verdict, the judge ruled, "establishes, as against Mr. Trump, the fact that Mr. Trump 'raped' her, albeit digitally rather than with his penis. Thus, it establishes against him the substantial truth of Ms. Carroll's 'rape' allegations."
The ruling raised questions precisely because Trump has never been criminally convicted of rape '-- let alone charged with the crime '-- and because the civil jury found Trump not liable for rape.
Importantly, Trump maintains his innocence to this day.
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Less than one-third of Trump's cabinet has supported him in 2024 - The Washington Post
Mon, 18 Mar 2024 20:27
Both of Donald Trump's defense secretaries have warned in no uncertain terms about how dangerous he is, with one recently calling him a ''threat to democracy.'' One of his attorneys general has called the criminal evidence against him ''damning'' and warned that he would abuse his power. A chief of staff keeps confirming the ugliest anonymously sourced reports about him. And now his vice president has said he can't possibly endorse him.
Mike Pence's announcement Friday that he would not endorse Trump is huge news, given that this was the man who served shoulder-to-shoulder with Trump for four years as his No. 2 '-- and often obsequiously so.
But Pence's non-endorsement is less surprising in another context: He's merely the latest member of Trump's cabinet to balk.
While Republican members of Congress have largely come around to Trump as he's effectively secured the GOP nomination, those who served more closely with him in his administration have been another story.
Fewer than one-third of the more than 40 people who served in cabinet roles under Trump have publicly aligned with him during the 2024 campaign.
While even fewer have publicly endorsed him '-- as noted last summer by NBC News '-- several others have made their intentions clear, in either public comments or behind-the-scenes actions.
Former secretary of State Mike Pompeo, for instance, never endorsed in the primary but recently affirmed he would support the GOP nominee. Others, like former treasury secretary Steven Mnuchin and former commerce secretary Wilbur Ross, kept their powder dry through most of the primary before ultimately endorsing Trump last month. Former Small Business Administration head Linda McMahon recently gave $5 million to a pro-Trump super PAC. Some other advisers have also worked with Trump-aligned groups or causes.
But that leaves around 30 who haven't come on board, at least publicly.
And it's not just those who have been outwardly critical of Trump, like former defense secretaries Jim Mattis and Mark T. Esper, former attorney general William P. Barr and former top aides John Kelly and Mick Mulvaney. Many others have more quietly steered clear.
Among the notable absences from Trump's corner:
Three who, like Mulvaney, resigned in the wake of Jan. 6: former health and human services secretary Alex Azar, former education secretary Betsy DeVos and former transportation secretary Elaine Chao. (Chao's husband, top GOP Sen. Mitch McConnell, did ultimately endorse Trump this month.) Former attorney general Jeff Sessions, who was the first GOP senator to endorse Trump in 2016 but whom Trump forced out of his cabinet and opposed when he ran for Senate again. Former energy secretary Rick Perry, who served all four years under Trump but briefly floated running against him in the 2024 race. Former CIA director Gina Haspel, who clashed repeatedly with Trump and his allies. Former director of national intelligence Daniel Coats, who has been sharply critical of Trump's handling of classified documents. This list doesn't include the non-cabinet officials who have broken with Trump, including multiple White House national security advisers. Nor does it include White House aides who have been outspoken against him. And then, of course, there's Nikki Haley, who is holding out on endorsing Trump after dropping out of the GOP primary this month.
These officials balking at Trump during the 2024 primaries was remarkable enough. But now that Trump has effectively secured the nomination, their continued absence from his team is even more conspicuous.
If nothing else, Pence might have signaled that people who helped Trump run his administration don't need to do what they've clearly been reluctant to do. And if they don't, that will say plenty.
Hot Girls Take Lexapro Sweatshirt - Etsy
Mon, 18 Mar 2024 17:56
Etsy Purchase Protection: Shop confidently on Etsy knowing if something goes wrong with an order, we've got your back for all eligible purchases '-- see programme terms
Supporting our Community this #MentalHealthAwareness Month and Year Round | TikTok Newsroom
Mon, 18 Mar 2024 17:52
At TikTok, we're proud to be a platform that offers a safe place where people feel comfortable sharing their personal stories and openly discussing well-being, and we're constantly inspired by our community's support for one another. This #MentalHealthAwareness Month, we're announcing the launch of new initiatives aimed at promoting positive mental well-being, combating stigma, and providing support to our community.
Partnering to Deliver Impact
As part of our commitment to safety, education, and uplifting our community and partners, we're launching a Mental Health Media Education Fund and donating over $2 million in ad credits to organizations working on supporting mental well-being, including:
Alliance for Eating Disorders (@alliancefored) - National Alliance for Eating Disorders is a nonprofit organization providing education, referrals, and supportAmerican Foundation for Suicide Prevention (@afspnational) - American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, Saving lives + bringing hopeCrisis Text Line (@crisistextline) - Crisis Text Line provides free, 24/7 mental health support. Text TIKTOK to 741741Made of Millions (@madeofmillions) - Made of Millions is a global advocacy nonprofit on a mission to change how the world perceives mental healthNational Alliance on Mental Illness (@nami) - National Alliance on Mental Illness helps Americans affected by mental illnessNational Eating Disorders Association (@neda) - NEDA supports those affected by eating disorders, and serves as a catalyst for prevention, cures and access to quality carePeer Health Exchange (@peerhealthexchange) - Peer Health Exchange provides youth with support, resources, and education to make healthy decisionsAs part of this initiative, we'll also be hosting a series of TikTok training sessions to equip our partners with the tools they need to share information with their communities during critical moments, such as World Mental Health Day in October or back-to-school season. This collaboration represents just one part of our continued efforts to advocate for positive mental health and reach people in need of support, and we're grateful that nonprofits and advocacy groups choose TikTok as a platform to share their knowledge and to reach a wide audience.
"NEDA and TikTok are committed to working together to continue to raise awareness and provide resources for individuals and families. Eating disorders can be isolating and stigmatizing for many people and TikTok is a globally accessible platform, which makes it an important place for raising awareness and understanding of eating disorders from a variety of perspectives." - Sarah Chase, VP of Communication, National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA)
Encouraging Supportive Conversations
To accompany our Media Education Fund, we're also launching a #MentalHealthAwareness hub for our community to easily learn about well-being topics, connect with advocates, and support organizations that provide important resources. To access the hub, go to the #MentalHealthAwareness hashtag page and tap on the link in the description of the hub to explore. It will be continually updated throughout May to highlight new educational and inspiring videos, mental health and wellness-centered creators, and organizations dedicated to raising awareness about mental health.
#MentalHealthAwareness Creator Spotlight
TikTok is a vibrant and welcoming place, enabling creators and the wider community to share their personal stories. Whether they're advocating for more open discussion about depression and anxiety, or sharing tips on how people can manage body or self-esteem issues, creators in the #MentalHealthAwareness community help foster open, honest, and authentic conversations. This month, we're spotlighting 10 creators who use TikTok to educate the community on #MentalHeathAwareness and have made a significant impact both on and off the platform over the past year:
@asoulcalledjoel (Texas) - Joel Cross is a certified meditation teacher, mindfulness coach, and accomplished Grammy-nominated musician who has dedicated over a decade of his life to studying and practicing various mindfulness techniques '-- which inspired him to create the R.I.S.E. Journal, mindful music, and the Beautiful Souls Mindfulness Community, where he leads daily guided meditations. His practical approach to ancient meditation techniques helps people develop inner peace and emotional stability while staying true to their personal values.
@dr.kojosarfo (Los Angeles, California) - Dr. Kojo Sarfo is a psychotherapist, actor, comedian, content creator, and writer who creates videos in order to bring people together and promote mental health awareness.
@elainaefird (Vermont) - Elaina Efird, RDN, CD, CEDRD, CSSD, is a registered dietitian, certified eating disorder dietitian, and board-certified specialist in sports nutrition. Elaine is helping to break the stigma of eating disorders and educate people on the toxic cycle diet culture promotes. She believes that eating disorders need to be taken more seriously, both in society and in the medical community, and uses her voice to advocate for recovery.
@elysemyers (Omaha, Nebraska) - Elyse Myers is a writer and comedian based in Omaha who has achieved mainstream recognition as a digital content creator since gaining recognition on TikTok. Deemed ''The Internet's Best Friend,'' Elyse continues to create unfiltered, genuine, and hilarious content that allows herself to be seen authentically.
@joelbervell (Portland, Oregon) - Joel Bervell is a Ghanaian-American medical student who creates medical content about racial disparities in healthcare, the hidden history of medicine, and overlooked biases in the healthcare industry. He also serves on councils, including the White House Office of Public Engagement's Health Care Leaders in Social Media, the Council for Social Responsible Media, the World Health Organization's 'Operation Fides,' and The Atlantic's Health Equity Advisory Board.
@lindsay.fleminglpc (Chicago, Illinois) - Lindsay Fleming, LPC, is a licensed therapist and private practice owner who is widely regarded as a trailblazer in modern mental health prevention and de-stigmatization work on TikTok. She is open about her own mental health struggles and has empowered her community of over half a million to start putting their mental health first. She is also a TEDx speaker, podcast host, and nonprofit co-founder.
@nutritionbykylie (Los Angeles, California) - Kylie Sakaida, MS, RDN, is a registered dietitian and content creator who is passionate about helping others improve their health in realistic ways and providing culturally sensitive nutrition education. Through her platform, Kylie shares practical nutrition tips, evidenced-based nutrition information, and easy-to-follow healthy recipes with her millions of followers.
@thepsychodoctormd (Los Angeles, California) - Dr. Sasha Hamdani is a board-certified psychiatrist who breaks down stigmas and provides accessible information about mental health. She uses her platform to spread easy-to-understand, science-backed information to educate, uplift and support others. She is the author of Self-Care for People with ADHD and the creator of FocusGenie, the mobile app for focus, productivity, and ADHD education.
@therapyjeff (Portland, Oregon) - Jeff Guenther uses a unique blend of humor and education to discuss mental health. He draws from his expertise in psychology and combines it with his engaging, witty approach to make complex topics accessible, promote mental well-being, and destigmatize mental health issues.
@victoriabrowne (Los Angeles, California) - Victoria Garrick Browne is a TED Talk speaker, mental health advocate, host of the popular podcast 'Real Pod,' and a former Division I Athlete. She is known for her unfiltered campaign, #RealPost, and for frequently discussing topics like depression, anxiety, and eating disorder recovery. Victoria encourages all people to be their most authentic selves.
Supporting the Well-being of Our Community
As a platform used by millions of people in the US and more than 1 billion people around the world, we're committed to protecting our community every day. Not only do we remove content that violates our Community Guidelines, but we also offer a variety of features that help people explore TikTok safely, including:
Redirecting searches linked to terms like #eatingdisorders or #suicide to prompt people to view support resources, such as helplines along with information on how they can seek assistance.Enabling people to refresh their feed if they feel what they are seeing is no longer relevant to themUsing keywords to tailor their feeds to avoid potentially triggering content Additionally, for those aged under 18, we set daily screen time to one hour by default. Since implementing this feature in March 2023, teen use of our daily screen time feature has increased by 590%, with three-quarters of U.S. teen TikTok users setting a daily screen time limit.
While there's no collectively-endorsed position on the 'right' amount of screen time or the impact of screen time more broadly, research shows that when teens are prompted to reflect, they can be more intentional about how they spend their digital time. Our goal is to help empower teens to make the right decisions about their screen time and this feature is an important step toward that goal.
Supporting #MentalHealthAwareness
Through continued collaboration with mental health organizations, content creators, and our TikTok community, we continue to raise awareness and foster a space where everyone can feel heard and supported '-- during #MentalHealthAwareness Month and beyond. We believe that everyone deserves access to resources and support for their mental well-being, and we are dedicated to continuously learning, evolving, and making a difference.
Why Are So Many Girls on SSRIs? - by Freya India - GIRLS
Mon, 18 Mar 2024 17:50
Screenshot: Instagram ad for hers. Throughout May I was inundated with what felt like an endless stream of emails and ads and messages for Mental Health Awareness Month . TikTok started a new mental health hashtag to help me put my well-being first. Maybelline paid TikTok influencers to promote their make-up and pretend it was about ''ending the stigma around anxiety''. Even the skincare brand Bior(C) pitched their pore-strip products as a means to ''strip away the stigma of anxiety'' (yes, including that influencer who used a school shooting as her sales strategy ). But one campaign that stuck with me came from Minded, the women's medication company, who created a hashtag to help ''normalise psychiatric medicine'' and ''end the stigma'' around drugs like SSRIs.
That last one stuck with me because, really, I struggle to see the stigma. Prescriptions for antidepressants, particularly for girls, have soared in recent years. In the US, antidepressant usage has surged by nearly 65% in the past 15 years, with women twice as likely to take them as men. In the UK, antidepressant prescriptions for children aged from five to 12 increased by more than 40% between 2015 and 2021. Here, one in three teenagers have been prescribed them.
And all over the internet, girls are so casual and blas(C) about these pills, even glamorising and fetishising them. We have antidepressant TikTok filters and SSRI phone cases. We have Prozac-shaped pillows , Hot Girls Take Lexapro sweatshirts and Stay Sexy, Take Sertraline artwork . Under hashtags like #mentalhealth on TikTok, which has nearly 88 billion views, girls describe SSRIs as silly little pills , call brain zaps from Zoloft withdrawal ''the zappies'' and put their medication in Disney-themed sweets dispensers . And these girls are absolutely convinced that they have a chemical imbalance in their brain, lamenting that they are ''wired this way for life" and ''won't ever get better" .
Where's the stigma?? If anything, the fact that all this persists despite ongoing debates about SSRIs' effectiveness and safety is pretty remarkable. As far as I know the chemical imbalance theory of mental health has never been proven. Drug trials show that antidepressants are barely any different from placebos when it comes to treating depression. And these pills come with serious risks: SSRIs like Lexapro and Zoloft carry a ''black box '' warning for an increase risked of suicide among adolescents. Other side-effects range from constant nausea to seizures to complete sexual dysfunction. So why'-- when we can't definitively conclude that they work or are even that safe'--are so many girls on SSRIs? And why are we still convinced they are so stigmatised??
Conspiratorial as it sounds, this cultural emphasis on stigma is very convenient for the pharmaceutical industry. Stigma certainly exists in areas of psychiatry, and undeniably did so in the past. But some of these campaigns today seem less about fighting stigma and more about pushing a specific narrative. They encourage us to see our emotions through a medical lens and take pills for our problems. They expand the meaning of mental illness to encapsulate more and more of the human experience, calling it de-stigmatisation and normalisation while conveniently expanding their customer base. In other words: some of these mental health awareness campaigns feel more like marketing campaigns.
Take the American telehealth company hers, for example. hers is a direct-to-consumer brand that sells ''self-care'' products for women and girls like hair gummies, skincare creams and psychiatric medication. Heal on your schedule, they promise, with medication shipped straight to your door ! According to hers, their site is apparently ''so chill'' that it's like ''shopping for leggings, not prescription meds.''
For hers, mental health awareness becomes a useful marketing strategy. ''Mental health without the stigma and judgment '-- ð'ð'—µð'—®ð''ð' ð'ð'—µð'—®ð' ð'—›ð'—²ð'—ð' ð'—±ð'—¼ð'—²ð','' they proclaim , with links to their products. They are just so passionate about normalising all this stuff for us, kindly offering to ''break down your barriers'', remove ''the huge roadblock of stigma'' and ''get you facing the tough stuff faster''.
But in normalising these conversations, hers also medicalise some very common behaviours. There's Paxil® for social awkwardness. There's Lexapro® for generalised anxiety. There's Zoloft® for Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (which some medical professionals claim doesn't actually exist, and was created by pharmaceutical companies). ''Nervous about your big date?'' asked one ad for hers ; well, the cardiovascular medication propranolol ''can help stop your shaky voice, sweating and racing heartbeat. No in-person doctor visits, just an online consultation and delivery can be right to the door!'' In another ad, a woman vaguely describes her depression'--waking up late, not eating enough, eating too much, ''whatever it'...manifests into'''--before medication is described as her ''little extra help.''
hers on Instagram: ''It's time to break the stigma around taking mental health medication. ' ' ' ' ' ' ' ' ' While not everyone with depression or anxiety needs to be on medication, it is á´á´á´á´ÊŸá´‡á´›á´‡ÊŸÊ ᴏᴋá´Ê if you do. ' ' ' ' ' ' ' ' ' Connect with a professional at the link in bio and find treatment that's right for you.''
May 9, 2022
And hers aren't the only ones. Other direct-to-door medication companies are all about raising awareness and combating stigma. DoneADHD want drugs like Adderall to be ''judgement-free''. Minded is starting a movement to ''de-stigmatise mental health medication''. Cerebral (who are facing a lawsuit for over-prescribing ADHD meds) reminds us that it's okay to medicate (''share or like this once to fight the stigma!''). Plus, each of these companies pays influencers on TikTok'--most users of which are young girls'--to distill all kinds of behaviours into diagnosable symptoms, from being distracted as a sign of ADHD to being forgetful as a symptom of an anxiety disorder.
To be clear: I think the mental health crisis is real. Which is to say, young girls are cutting themselves, starving themselves, and committing suicide at record rates. Pretty much every person I talk to about my writing tells me a tragic story about a teenage or pre-teen girl they know who is just falling apart. And there are of course times where these girls are suffering so much that serious intervention is necessary, and maybe that involves medication.
But I believe both. I believe that girls are genuinely suffering in the modern world and also that a major part of it is the marketisation and medicalisation of their normal distress. There are girls who are severely mentally ill. But there are also girls who have learnt to see their behaviour in ways that conveniently serve industries like the medical drug sector and better categorise them for online advertisers. And I think we are kidding ourselves if we pretend that condensing every emotion into something diagnosable and solvable with consumption isn't doing profound psychological damage to Gen Z.
We shouldn't stigmatise those who are suffering. But we should think carefully about our compassion, where we direct it, and how it can be co-opted. Because I don't believe for a second that compassion is making serious medication as accessible and convenient as possible to the point it resembles Deliveroo. I don't believe compassion is expanding the pharmaceutical market to include any girl who experiences negative emotions. And nor is it normalising and normalising and normalising diagnoses and drugs until we start to stigmatise how it feels to be human.
The truth is that we are a generation of girls and young women with more drugs available to us than ever before. For every surge of anxiety, sadness, panic, period pain or social awkwardness, there's Prozac, Paxil, Celexa, Effexor, Zoloft. Diagnosed in five minutes. Prescribed in ten. It's futuristic. It's revolutionary. It doesn't really work. Because the easier they make it to sign prescriptions and swallow pills, and the more Mental Health Awareness months and weeks and campaigns flood our inboxes and app stores and algorithms, the worse we seem to feel.
So that's my fear. My fear is that in those millions of girls taking SSRIs and other serious medications, many aren't doing so because of a very successful mental health awareness campaign, but a very successful marketing campaign. And that isn't something we should ignore. In fact, that is something we really should be raising awareness of.
VIDEO - Cicadapocalypse: Billions of cicadas are set to appear in a rare 'double brood emergence,' scientists say - ABC7 New York
Thu, 21 Mar 2024 15:23
If you're not a fan of giant flying hideous insects, it may soon feel like the end of the world as we know it! But only if you live in certain parts of the country.
The birds are back and the flowers are back, but for the first time in centuries, billions of cicadas are also about to be back.
It will be a confluence of creatures the likes of which hasn't been seen in the United States since Thomas Jefferson was president - and won't happen again until 2245.
"17 and 13 doesn't overlap too often," said Frank Krell, Ph.D. entomologist at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science.
Dr. Krell is alluding to, in a few weeks, the brood of cicadas that emerges every 13 years and the brood that emerges every 17 years are about to pop out of the ground at the same time, which last happened in 1803.
It's a rare emergence of insects some are referring to as "cicadapocalypse."
The 13-year group, known as Brood XIX, or the Great Southern Brood, is the largest periodical cicada brood, stretching across the southeastern United States. The Northern Illinois Brood, or Brood XIII, emerges every 17 years.
Though the idea of a cicadapocalypse may seem foreboding, experts predict that the two broods won't overlap significantly, and the bugs themselves, while loud and numerous, are harmless. Here's what you need to know going into cicada season.
What to know about cicada broodsThis spring's bugs are part of a genus, or group, of cicadas in the eastern US known as the Magicicada, or periodical cicadas. Three species emerge on a 17-year cycle, and four species are on a 13-year cycle. (Scientists have long debated the significance of these numbers, which are both prime - some researchers have suggested that emerging on these prime-numbered years makes the periodical cicadas less likely to be killed by predators that have 2- or 3-year life cycles, but the jury's still out.)
The pattern periodical species follow is different from that of "annual" cicadas, which don't actually have an annual life cycle, even though you can see them every summer in much of the United States. The nymphs, or babies, of annual cicadas spend two to five years underground, slowly growing, until they're ready to emerge. There are just so many overlapping generations that there appears to be a steady stream of these cicadas every year.
It's easy to tell annual and periodical cicadas apart. Annuals tend to emerge later in the year than periodicals. For instance, the "dog day" annual cicadas in the genus Neotibicen tend to show up in the dog days of summer, around August, whereas the periodicals make their appearance in the spring. While there are numerous species of annual cicadas, many of them are large and greenish. Periodical cicadas are smaller and mostly black, with bright red eyes and orange-tinged wings and legs.
Cicadas are divided into groups called broods based upon when they emerge. A brood can contain cicadas from multiple species. As long as they're adults in the same 13- or 17-year cycle at the same time, they count as members of the same brood.
When and where will the cicadas emerge?This spring's periodical cicadas will make their appearance when the soil temperature 8 inches deep reaches 64 degrees Fahrenheit (about 18 degrees Celsius). It will likely happen sometime in mid-May. The individual bugs' adult life cycles are just a few weeks, but their emergence will be staggered, so there will be about six weeks of cicadas.
That month-and-a-half period will be jam-packed with loud singing, mating and then dying, like "the most macabre Mardi Gras that you've ever seen," Larson said.
Parts of the Midwest and Southeast are due for cicadas this spring. Northern Illinois, along with southern Wisconsin, eastern Iowa and northwest Indiana are likely to see bugs from Brood XIII; central and southern Illinois, most of Missouri and scattered areas of Kentucky, Tennessee, Virginia, Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana and Arkansas are due to get Brood XIX bugs.
There are some areas of central Illinois where the two broods' geographic ranges have historically been close to each other and could potentially overlap. However, predictions of a cicadapocalypse - in which Brood XIII and Brood XIX show up at the same place at the same time - are probably an exaggeration.
"We're not even sure that they're really going to overlap," said Dr. Chris Simon, a professor of ecology and evolutionary biology at the University of Connecticut. Her research group at the university maintains a website of cicada information, which includes maps showing where the broods have historically emerged.
The double emergence of Broods XIX and XIII is rare, occurring every 221 years (when the 13-year and 17-year cicadas overlap, as 13 times 17 is 221). These two broods haven't been aboveground at the same time since 1803, and after this year, they won't be reunited until 2245.
However, the co-occurrence of different cicada broods, somewhere in the United States, isn't quite as rare. It last happened in 2015; it'll happen again in 2037.
Preparing for cicadasEven though a major overlap of the two cicada broods is unlikely, only getting one brood in an area still means countless bugs.
"You should expect lots and lots of cicada exoskeletons to be covering your trees and shrubs. You should expect to hear lots and lots of noise," Larson said. The insects are likeliest to be in wooded areas near water, he added.
While the sheer volume of insects, along with their distinctive jackhammer-loud sounds and bright red eyes, might give some people pause, Larson notes that cicadas are harmless. They don't pose a risk to garden plants. However, if you have young trees, cicadas could potentially damage them when the insects cut into branches to lay their eggs. You can mitigate this harm by covering the trees with cicada nets.
Cicadas won't bite or sting you or your pets. If your dog eats a cicada or two, he said, the animal will be just fine.
Dogs aren't the only ones tempted to nosh on cicadas; people have eaten them for thousands of years. "They have kind of a natural, sweet nut flavor," Larson said. (If you're allergic to shellfish though, you should avoid eating cicadas - a protein in shellfish that's tied to allergies is also present in many insects.)
If you live in an area with cicadas making an appearance this spring, you can download community science apps to help researchers studying these bugs.
"The main thing we want people to know is that they should download the Cicada Safari app, which is free on the web, and all they have to do is photograph whatever cicadas they see," Simon said. Those photographs are sent to scientists, who then map where and when the cicadas are emerging: information vital for scientists studying how climate change affects cicadas and predicting future cicada activity.
Beyond the bigger scientific story of cicadas, Larson said he hopes people will embrace cicada spring simply because it's a rare chance to see some of the world's most unusual bug behavior.
"These are some of the coolest insects in America," Larson said. "I really hope that people will appreciate this for what it is: this unique natural phenomenon that you don't get anywhere else. It's beautiful."
ABC News and CNN contributed to this post.
Copyright (C) 2024 WPVI-TV. All Rights Reserved.
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VIDEO - Jared Kushner says Gaza's 'waterfront property could be very valuable' | Jared Kushner | The Guardian
Wed, 20 Mar 2024 21:17
Jared Kushner has praised the ''very valuable'' potential of Gaza's ''waterfront property'' and suggested Israel should remove civilians while it ''cleans up'' the strip.
The former property dealer, married to Donald Trump's daughter Ivanka, made the comments in an interview at Harvard University on 15 February. The interview was posted on the YouTube channel of the Middle East Initiative, a program of Harvard's Kennedy School of Government, earlier this month.
Kushner was a senior foreign policy adviser under Trump's presidency and was tasked with preparing a peace plan for the Middle East. Critics of the plan, which involved Israel striking normalisation deals with Gulf states, said it bypassed questions about the future for Palestinians.
His remarks at Harvard gave a hint of the kind of Middle East policy that could be pursued in the event that Trump returns to the White House, including a search for a normalisation deal between Saudi Arabia and Israel.
''Gaza's waterfront property could be very valuable '... if people would focus on building up livelihoods,'' Kushner told his interviewer, the faculty chair of the Middle East Initiative, Prof Tarek Masoud. Kushner also lamented ''all the money'' that had gone into the territory's tunnel network and munitions instead of education and innovation.
''It's a little bit of an unfortunate situation there, but from Israel's perspective I would do my best to move the people out and then clean it up,'' Kushner said. ''But I don't think that Israel has stated that they don't want the people to move back there afterwards.''
Masoud replied that there was ''a lot to talk about there''.
Kushner also said he thinks Israel should move civilians from Gaza to the Negev desert in southern Israel.
He said that if he were in charge of Israel his number one priority would be getting civilians out of the southern city of Rafah, and that ''with diplomacy'' it could be possible to get them into Egypt.
''But in addition to that, I would just bulldoze something in the Negev, I would try to move people in there,'' he said. ''I think that's a better option, so you can go in and finish the job.''
He reiterated the point a little later, saying: ''I do think right now opening up the Negev, creating a secure area there, moving the civilians out, and then going in and finishing the job would be the right move.''
The suggestion drew a startled response from Masoud. ''Is that something that they're talking about in Israel?'' Masoud asked. ''I mean, that's the first I've really heard of somebody, aside from President Sisi [Egypt's leader], suggesting that Gazans trying to flee the fighting could take refuge in the Negev. Are people in Israel seriously talking about that possibility?''
''I don't know,'' Kushner replied, shrugging his shoulders.
''That would be something you'd try to work on?'' Masoud asked.
''I'm sitting in Miami Beach right now,'' Kushner said. ''And I'm looking at the situation and I'm thinking: what would I do if I was there?''
Israel should 'finish the job' by moving Palestinians to Negev, says Kushner '' videoAsked by Masoud about fears on the part of Arabs in the region that the Israeli prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, would not allow Palestinians who flee Gaza to return, Kushner paused and then said: ''Maybe.''
He went on to say: ''I am not sure there is much left of Gaza at this point. If you think about even the construct, Gaza was not really a historical precedent [sic]. It was the result of a war. You had tribes in different places and then Gaza became a thing. Egypt used to run it and then over time different governments came in.''
Responding to a question about whether the Palestinians should have their own state, Kushner described the proposal as ''a super bad idea'' that ''would essentially be rewarding an act of terror''.
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VIDEO - Oprah Discusses Weight Loss, Obesity, and Ozempic
Tue, 19 Mar 2024 23:29
''I don't know that there is another public person whose weight struggles have been exploited as much as mine,'' Oprah said recently before a live audience at the Hearst Tower in New York City. The State of Weight, a conversation with Oprah, obesity specialists Fatima Cody Stanford, MD, and Melanie Jay, MD, Sima Sistani (CEO of WeightWatchers), and psychologist Rachel Goldman, PhD, part of Oprah Daily's ''The Life You Want'' series, helps reframe the obesity and weight crisis that affects two out of every five adults globally.
Watch this conversation here, then check out our related curriculum. The goal of the package is threefold: to bust medical myths and legitimize obesity as a chronic disease that requires intervention like any other condition, rather than a failure of willpower; to discuss the safety and efficacy of the new weight loss drugs, such as Ozempic, Wegovy, and Mounjaro, everyone is buzzing about; and to help surface and bridge the inequities and prejudices and remove shame and stigma of living in a larger body. The Oprah Daily curriculum is a bid to mainstream the science and psychology behind this epidemic, giving its uniquely diverse audience all the tools they need to manage their own medical care and mental health. No topic is off-limits.
Any content published by Oprah Daily is for informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. It should not be regarded as a substitute for professional guidance from your healthcare provider.
In a groundbreaking conversation with Oprah, Oprah Daily Insiders, and obesity specialists Fatima Cody Stanford, MD, Melanie Jay, MD, Sima Sistani (CEO of WeightWatchers), and psychologist Rachel Goldman, PhD, we debunk long-standing myths about weight. Become an Oprah Daily Insider now to access this conversation and the full ''The Life You Want'' Class library.
Related Stories Cassie Hurwitz (she/her) is an associate editor at Oprah Daily, where she covers everything from culture to entertainment to lifestyle. She can typically be found in the middle of multiple books and TV shows all at once. Previously, Cassie worked at Parents, Rachael Ray In Season, and Reveal. Her love language is pizza (New York slices, Chicago deep dish, and otherwise).
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VIDEO - Oprah Winfrey says she has released the shame of being 'ridiculed' for her weight for 25 years - ABC News
Tue, 19 Mar 2024 19:38
Just months after revealing publicly she uses a medication for weight loss, Oprah Winfrey returned to television to shine a spotlight on the topic.
Winfrey, 70, opened up in "An Oprah Special: Shame, Blame and the Weight Loss Revolution" about what it has been like to have her own weight ups and downs documented publicly over the past several decades.
"I have to say that I took on the shame that the world gave to me," Winfrey said in the special, which aired Monday night on ABC. "For 25 years, making fun of my weight was national sport."
Winfrey recalled being "ridiculed" on tabloid covers and on late-night talk shows for over two decades, recalling that one headline she'll never forget described her as "bumpy, lumpy and downright dumpy."
At the height of her talk show fame, Winfrey recalled how she "starved" herself for several months on a liquid-only diet and then wheeled out a wagon of 67 pounds of fat on her show to display the weight she had lost. She said that by the next day, she had started to regain the weight.
On Monday night, Winfrey told viewers, "I come to this conversation with the hope that we can start releasing the stigma and the shame and the judgment, to stop shaming other people for being overweight or how they choose to lose -- or not lose -- weight, and most importantly, to stop shaming ourselves."
Oprah Winfrey hosts a sit-down conversation around the radical impact of prescription weight loss medications in the primetime event, ''An Oprah Special: Shame, Blame and the Weight Loss Revolution,'' airing March 18, 2024, on ABC and the next day on Hulu.
Eric McCandless/ABC
As part of that conversation, Winfrey spoke with some of the nation's leading medical experts about the latest breakthroughs in obesity medicine research, specifically medications for weight loss that have spiked in popularity over the past year.
Winfrey confirmed in December that she uses a medication to help maintain her weight after losing weight steadily over the past two years with a combination of diet and exercise.
Winfrey has not named the type of medication she is taking.
"I now use it as I feel I need it, as a tool to manage not yo-yoing," Winfrey told People . "The fact that there's a medically approved prescription for managing weight and staying healthier in my lifetime feels like relief, like redemption, like a gift, and not something to hide behind and once again be ridiculed for."
She continued, "I'm absolutely done with the shaming from other people, and particularly myself."
In her special on Monday, Winfrey revealed what she wanted viewers to learn about weight and obesity.
"The number one thing I hope people come away with is knowing that [obesity] is a disease, and it's in the brain," Winfrey said.
During the show, ABC News chief medical correspondent and obesity medicine physician Dr. Jen Ashton told Winfrey, "It is conclusively known that the conditions of overweight and obesity are complex, chronic disease states, not character flaws ... so they should be managed accordingly."
"Oh, I love that so much, Dr. Jen," Winfrey said. "It's a disease, not a character flaw."
Obesity is a medical condition that affects nearly 42% of people in the U.S., according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Health risks associated with obesity include everything from stroke and heart attack to hypertension, breathing difficulties, sleep apnea and an increased risk of death.
The landscape of obesity medicine has changed over the past year as medications that can lead to weight loss, including Ozempic, Zepbound, Wegovy and Mounjaro, have become more widely available and have skyrocketed in popularity.
Last year, weight-loss focused companies including Noom and WeightWatchers -- Winfrey is a for the latter -- jumped into the obesity drugs market as well.
Both Ozempic and Mounjaro are approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat Type 2 diabetes, but some doctors prescribe the medication "off-label" for weight loss, as is permissible by the FDA.
Wegovy, a medication that contains the same main ingredient, semaglutide, as Ozempic, is FDA-approved for weight loss.
In November, the FDA approved Zepbound as a weight loss management treatment for people with obesity, or those who are overweight with at least one related underlying condition, such as high blood pressure -- the same prescribing guidance as Wegovy. As a diabetes drug, Zepbound is sold under the brand name Mounjaro, as the two medications contain the same active ingredient, tirzepatide.
Winfrey has said previously that she had an "aha" moment about using medication for weight loss after moderating a panel on weight for her Oprah Daily outlet last summer.
Oprah Winfrey attends the 81st Annual Golden Globe Awards in Beverly Hills, CA, Jan. 07, 2024.
Amy Sussman/Getty Images
Winfrey said after the panel that she "released my own shame about it" and consulted with her doctor, who prescribed a medication for weight loss.
"I had the biggest 'aha' along with many people in that audience," Winfrey told People magazine. "I realized I'd been blaming myself all these years for being overweight, and I have a predisposition that no amount of willpower is going to control. Obesity is a disease. It's not about willpower -- it's about the brain."
Winfrey's new special, filmed in front of a live studio audience, is now streaming on Hulu.
The Walt Disney Co. is the parent company of ABC News and Hulu.
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Mon, 18 Mar 2024 18:01
VIDEO - David Corn slams Trump's claim of a 'bloodbath' if he loses presidential election - YouTube
Mon, 18 Mar 2024 04:56

Clips & Documents

All Clips
1. Alito on print media.mp3
2. Gorsuch on section 230.mp3
3. Thomas on teaming up.mp3
[REDUX Aug 2019] greenland DN.mp3
ABC - NBC - CBS - SB.4 blocked by lower court (C.C.).mp3
ABC The View - Sunny Hostin - I'm scared -we are going to see January 6th again.mp3
ABC WNT - Aaron Katersky - trump cannot make $464M bond.mp3
ABC WNT - Gio Benitez - man boards flight without ticket.mp3
Ad on Hulu - come and visit gaza.mp3
ADHD on rise GMA3.mp3
Airline KLM loses Dutch 'greenwashing' case F24.mp3
Airport stowaway story ABC.mp3
BBC - deep mind and football.mp3
BBC - EU agreement to extend duty free imports of ukrainian produce.mp3
BBC - protesting polish farmers challenge EU policies.mp3
Bill Maher - holder says media will change coverage and that'll help biden win.mp3
Bloodbath 'that will be the least of it' [supercut] (C.C.).mp3
Bloomberg - fredericksburg_is_the_place_to_experience_the_eclipse.mp3
Boeing whistleblower's retaliation complaint finally revealed.mp3
C-SPAN - Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson - Benjamin Aguinaga (1) Murty v Missouri [fixed].mp3
C-SPAN - Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson - Benjamin Aguinaga (2) Murty v Missouri [fixed].mp3
CBC - canada's operability bill, war on farmers.mp3
CBC - Evan Dyer - canada's parliament votes on motion to recognize palestinian statehood.mp3
CBC - the framers of the US constitution didn't forsee the internet.mp3
CBS EV - Nicole Killian - NY attorney general flights claim trump can't pay bond.mp3
CBS Mornings - Stephanie Abrams - shocking climate report.mp3
CBS Sunday Morning - Martha Teichner (1) history of Haiti (1492-1825).mp3
CBS Sunday Morning - Martha Teichner (2) history of Haiti (1915-1986).mp3
CBS Sunday Morning - Martha Teichner (3) history of Haiti (1991-2010).mp3
CBS Sunday Morning - Martha Teichner (4) history of Haiti (2021-present).mp3
CBS WREG 3 [Memphis] - mother charged with neglect -5 yr old daughter waxing women.mp3
CHINA taking over food supply ntd.mp3
CHINA taking over food supply TWO.mp3
Chips Biden EV Mish mosh BS ABC.mp3
Cicadapocalypse 2024.mp3
CosMc's opens first DFW location.mp3
Cuba blames US for stoking protests F24.mp3
EU discussing taking russian profits from frozen assets for MIC.mp3
EU gives Egypt 7.4 billion euros to sop palestinians from coning into EU.mp3
EU opens Greenland office as it seeks critical raw materials.mp3
EU's Borrell proposes to send Russian frozen asset revenues to Ukraine arms fund DW.mp3
Fox and Friends - Jonathan Turley - i order for another judge to look at this case it wall cost $1 billion.mp3
France greenhouse gas emissions fall 4.8% in 2023 F24.mp3
Gay gaslighting irked comments.mp3
GOOD NEWS PAthetic adopted dog.mp3
Haiti report ABC.mp3
Happiness report GMA3.mp3
Hunter Biden witnesses NTC.mp3
Illinois judge rules migrants can own guns - NewsNation.mp3
ISO Freedom.mp3
ISO seasonal.mp3
ISO thanks for time.mp3
M5M historical use of the term 'bloodbath'.mp3
Michael Cohen uses AI.mp3
Missing student Nashville ABC AA.mp3
MSNBC - Lawrence O'Donnell (1) Biden Harris 'bloodbath' ad.mp3
MSNBC - Lawrence O'Donnell (2) Donald Trump wants your fear.mp3
MSNBC - Morning Joe - Mika Brzezinski - 'bloodbath' shock opera -trauma.mp3
NBC NN - Dasha Burns - abortion pill use rises as states crack down.mp3
NBC NN - Julia Ainsley - migrant debate divides small towns [1].mp3
NBC NN - Julia Ainsley - migrant debate divides small towns [2].mp3
NBC NN - Laura Jarrett - alabama latest state to ban diversity programs.mp3
Official Kate upfate ABC.mp3
Oprah GLP1 Special -1- The setup doctor it's your brain - setpoint.mp3
Oprah GLP1 Special -2- it's a complex disease a spectrum.mp3
Oprah GLP1 Special -3- 20 years but we didn't have tiktok.mp3
Oprah GLP1 Special -4- on it for life and who are these doctors (consultants).mp3
Oprah GLP1 Special -5- Weight Watchers.mp3
Oprah GLP1 Special -6- Dr Jen with the risks of NOT taking it.mp3
Oprah GLP1 Special -7- Back to consultant - it's been hyped.mp3
Oprah GLP1 Special -8- The Pharma reps together about tiktok and ACCESS - The Pitch.mp3
PBS Newshour - Marcia Coyle - Murty v Missouri -1st amendment case.mp3
Pissed off lesbian.mp3
Psaki puts 'Bloodbath' in 'context'.mp3
Putin says Russia aims to set up a buffer zone inside Ukraine F24.mp3
ReidOut- Former Proscecutor asks - who_will_trump_be_beholding_to.mp3
Rising - Briahna Joy Gray - biden knew israel bombed gaza targets without intelligence.mp3
Scottish police instructed to TARGET comedians under new WOKE hate speech law.mp3
Supercut -- Counter Bloodbath.mp3
Texas border law NTD.mp3
Texas immigration law 3.mp3
Texas immigration law clowns ABC.mp3
Texas immigration law TWO WTF ABC.mp3
The Alex Jones Show - the ash conformity experiment.mp3
TikTok Pharma influencer on the normalization and glamourization of mental illness - Hot Girl Pills.mp3
TRT explains why HAMAS invaded - The Red Heiffers.mp3
Twitter - contents of US airdrops to the starving population of gaza.mp3
{3x3} ABC WNT - Rachel Scott - trump under fire - 24-03-19.mp3
{3x3} CBS Mornings - Anthony Mason - trump criticised for using anti-semitic tropes in speech - 24-03-19.mp3
{3x3} NBC NN - Garrett Haake - trumps jewish voter remarks draw backlash - 24-03-19.mp3
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