“We Have Lost Our Way”
YouTube Against Science :: Moms vs Medical Predators :: JAMA Spreads Covid Disinfo :: Western Elites Envy Chinese Censors
There is nothing authentic about the viral country hit “Rich Men North of Richmond” by Oliver Anthony, say journalists. His real name is Christopher Anthony Lunsford. He is a “conservative industry plant, astroturfed into existence by all the Daily Wire freaks and some right-wing social media promoter,” according to an online sleuth. “The entire concept was likely dreamt up in a Daily Wire/Con Inc laboratory,” acknowledged a Trump supporter.
But if it is just a deep folksy fake, it’s a great one. Lunsford’s song hit number one on the iTunes chart one week ago and was being streamed three million times daily as of last week. The music and lyrics have inspired a remarkably diverse audience of supporters, as shown by the video of reactions to Lunsford, spliced into a viral video by Matt Orfalea above.
To be sure, Lunsford could be a one-hit-wonder. He himself is modest about his abilities. “There's nothing special about me,” he wrote on Facebook. “I'm not a good musician, I'm not a very good person.”
All Lunsford did was produce a hit song, and yet over the last two weeks, journalists have been attacking him as a racist and far-right grifter.
In truth, there’s really only one thing in the song that might be reasonably considered conservative, and that’s a single line criticizing welfare. There’s nothing racist whatsoever in the song.
And if Lunsford is a grifter, he’s not a particularly good one. In his Facebook post, Lunsford said that he lives a 27-foot-long camper that he bought on Craigslist for $750. Its roof is a tarp.
Lunsford says that, in 2010, at the age of 17, he dropped out of high school. His last job was in a paper mill, where he was injured.
“I worked 3rd shift, 6 days a week for $14.50 an hour in a living hell. In 2013, I had a bad fall at work and fractured my skull. It forced me to move back home to Virginia. Due to complications from the injury, it took me 6 months or so before I could work again.”
Apart from being a gifted musician, Lunsford’s struggles are painfully common to those of working-class people in the South. “I've spent the last 5 years struggling with mental health and using alcohol to drown it,” he said. “I wrote the music I wrote because I was suffering with mental health and depression.”
Lunsford recorded his song under the name of his grandfather, Oliver Anthony. Lunsford said his music “is a dedication not only to him, but 1930's Appalachia where he was born and raised. Dirt floors, seven kids, hard times.”
The elite media’s attack on Lunsford is typical of today’s ideological dysphoria. Much of what’s in his song would have been considered liberal or even Left-wing not that long ago.
For those of us who have been sounding the alarm about the digital surveillance and censorship state, it was wonderful to hear these lines:
These rich men north of Richmond / Lord knows they all just wanna have total control/
Wanna know what you think, wanna know what you do
In his Facebook post, Lunsford wrote, “When are we going to fight for what is right again? MILLIONS have died protecting the liberties we have. Freedom of speech is such a precious gift. Never in world history has the world had the freedom it currently does. Don't let them take it away from you.”
At the same time, Lunsford expressed sadness at the political divisions. “I am sad to see the world in the state it's in, with everyone fighting with each other. I have spent many nights feeling hopeless, that the greatest country on Earth is quickly fading away.”
Lunsford’s song struck a chord because of the growing sense that we don’t know what America is for anymore. It used to be for freedom. But at least half the country doesn’t seem to want freedom any more — at least not for the other half of the country.
“Just like those once wandering in the desert, we have lost our way from God and have let false idols distract us and divide us,” says Lunsford. “It's a damn shame.”
Western Elites Covet China Censorship
In an article posted to its website, Human Rights Watch called on the Chinese government, infamous for its authoritarian online censorship regime, to censor its citizens more because too many of them are being racist on the internet.
The Censorship Industrial Complex has thus reached the evolutionary stage of self-parody.
“Chinese social media platforms, which are quick to delete content critical of the Chinese government,” the article reads, “should remove racist content that violates their community standards on hate speech, or might incite racial discrimination or violence.”
In its rebuke of the Chinese government for not doing more to censor “anti-black racism,” Human Rights Watch sounds almost envious of the vast Chinese censorship apparatus. “The amount and extremity of racist content on the Chinese internet,” it wrote, “suggest that the platforms either are not meeting their own standards banning racist content, or that their policies are inadequate when addressing racist content, both contrary to their human rights responsibilities.”
It’s becoming clearer by the day that the censors want for the US and Europe what China has built for its population: a social credit system.
Their only problem with China is that it isn’t targeting the right kinds of dissidents. While China is paranoid about democracy activists who might challenge the authority of the Communist Party, Western censors want to go after anyone who breaks from progressive orthodoxy, be they bottom-feeding racists or journalists with the wrong take on renewable energy.
It’s worth remembering that the Center for Countering Digital Hate, the group that provided the predicate for the Biden administration to coerce Facebook into censoring critics of its Covid policies, once demanded that all of the social media platforms ban anyone who has ever said anything racist online for life.
People can dismiss it as a “conspiracy theory” all they want, but it’s really not hard to figure out what the censors want. All you have to do is listen to them.
Deep Fake of the Week
“Donald Trump teaches a young Tiger Woods how to golf - 1979,” reads the tweet with the above deep fake.
Not everybody in Community Notes was happy. “Despite being a joke on principle, I would prefer notifications on AI-generated imagery to maintain the ability to identify reality as technological advancement makes them less distinguishable from real people.”
JAMA Spreads Covid Disinfo
This week the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) published a paper about “misinformation” spread by physicians on social media.
The problem was that JAMA labeled true statements and reasonable hypotheses as “misinformation.” They included claims that the virus originated from a lab, and social media posts doubting mask efficacy, even though there is no data showing a clear benefit of mask mandates. The JAMA paper coded doctors simply discussing the lack of evidence for community masking as “misinformation.”
Journalist David Zweig on his Substack identified one particularly egregious instance of improper labeling.
The post read, “One of the most heartbreaking things about the pandemic has been what’s happening to the social interactions, the non-verbal cues… masks are not a natural thing for babies to interface with,” was the statement
Notes Zweig, “This is objectively true and about as banal of a critique of masks that I can think of.”
The paper, noted Zweig, also considered true claims about censorship to be “misinformation,” including the statement, “Government actors across a dozen fed agencies were in contact with Twitter, with soc media, telling these social media companies what to censor and in many cases who to censor regarding COVID information.”
Of course, we know from the Twitter Files, the Missouri v. Biden case, and the Facebook Files that this statement is far from “misinformation.”
Dr. Tracy Hoeg pointed out several other major errors in the paper on Twitter, such as the claim that Covid vaccines prevent transmission.
“Some of the misinformation propagated by physicians claimed that COVID-19 vaccines were ineffective at preventing COVID-19 spread,” stated the paper’s authors. If there is any small effect on spread, Hoeg explained, it “wears off after 2-4 months at best. The claim that the vaccine prevents spread, she wrote, “is like saying birth control that is only slightly effective for a couple of months is ‘effective.’”
“Study should be retracted,” wrote Hoeg, “it’s an embarrassment to our profession.”
The study also contended that the risk of vaccine-associated myocarditis never outweighs the benefit of vaccination. This is also demonstrably untrue. Evidence indicates that myocarditis risk outweighs the benefit of vaccination for young men for some ages and doses.
Of all the errors in the paper, the worst was its reliance on the Center for Disease Control (CDC), explained by Dr. Vinay Prasad on his Substack. The CDC itself has made many documented errors. “Ultimately, misinformation is just a weaponized term meaning nothing,” wrote Prasad. “People who use it are often completely ignorant of science and truth.”
“Oh, the irony of JAMA spreading misinformation in an article decrying misinformation,” Tweeted Dr. Jay Bhattacharya.
The JAMA study is yet another example of how institutions wield the term “misinformation” to shut down debate. Many of the posts listed in the paper represent valid scientific disagreements worthy of consideration, at the very least.
The study authors argue that one-third of Covid deaths in the US were “preventable if public health recommendations had been followed.” The implication is that physicians spreading lies on social media caused these deaths.
The authors fail to consider how state disinformation and propaganda about school closures, masks, and vaccine mandates caused immense harm and destroyed trust. As usual, the accusation of “misinformation” can only go one way, and whatever authorities say - however inaccurate it may be - is always considered to be true.
According to the paper, it’s necessary to determine how physicians spreading “misinformation” and “conspiracy theories” on social media influenced behavior. This information “will help guide actions to regulate content or discipline physicians who participate in misinformation propagation related to COVID-19 or other conditions.”
And so, clearly, the explicit goal of the paper is to justify further government-sponsored censorship.
Three years of Covid-related censorship were troubling enough. “But the overt cheerleading by Public Health professionals,” wrote Zweig, “backed by the imprimatur of an esteemed medical journal, for future ‘regulation’ of content, is a worrisome development.”
YouTube Censors Progress
The history of medical progress is often a history of outsiders, fringe scientists, and “cranks” successfully challenging the dominant paradigm. Bloodletting, thalidomide, lobotomies, and sterilizing the mentally ill were all officially-recommended mainstream remedies until the public, and the medical profession, turned against them.
No more such criticism will be allowed by YouTube. Last week the video-sharing monopoly quietly announced that it would censor users who dare disagree with World Health Organization.
YouTube recognizes that WHO's "guidance" might change. But if it does, it won't be because of debate on YouTube. As such, YouTube isn't a social media platform, it's a propaganda platform.
The people running Google/YouTube who pushed this authoritarian, anti-democratic, and anti-scientific policy can't imagine WHO ever being wrong, even though WHO was wrong about everything important relating to Covid over the last three years.
The same censorship advocate at the Annenberg School’s “FactCheck.org,” who spread disinformation about wind energy and the dying of North Atlantic Right Whales, is also — surprise, surprise — spreading disinformation about WHO. She falsely claimed that WHO's proposed treaty wouldn't undermine sovereignty. As we exposed in late June, that’s a bald-faced lie.
With banning criticism of the official view, YouTube is attempting to halt how scientific, medical, and moral progress is made. The result risks being the preservation today’s blood-letting, thalidomides, lobotomies, and sterilizations.
Moms vs. Medical Predators
A California mom lost her real estate job after speaking about a new sexual education curriculum at a school board meeting in Benicia.
“We are alarmed that gender identity is now being discussed in Math classes,” said Janet Roberson at the school board meeting on April 20. “Our 10-year-olds will now be taught that they can receive puberty blockers to prevent their body from going through changes that make them uncomfortable… To teach vulnerable children that a lifetime of dependence on medical care is a viable option is completely unacceptable and evil, frankly.”