Category Archives: Science & technology

Climate justice now! UK kids go on school strike to demand action on climate change

Take any cause, add the word “justice” after it and – voila – you’re a social justice warrior now!

The kids want a world powered by the wind and the sun, not dirty and dangerous coal and gas. Tell me how that’s going to work for heating your home and transportation, kids.

From NY Post: Thousands of British children marched out of lessons on Friday to demand action on climate change, earning a mild rebuke from the prime minister’s office for disrupting classes, but praise from the energy minister and activists.

Youngsters marched on Parliament Square in London and gathered in other cities carrying banners marked with “Climate change is worse than homework”, “Act now for our future” and other slogans.

“My teacher told me kids shouldn’t be going out, but we went because it’s important,” 11-year-old Rio told Reuters.

A spokeswoman for British Prime Minister Theresa May said that while the government welcomed the students’ engagement, the disruption to schools and lessons would be difficult for teachers.

Her energy minister Claire Perry, however, said she was “incredibly proud” of the young people while opposition Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn expressed his support for the “school kids of today whose futures are most on the line.”

Earlier this week, 224 academics from Oxford, Cambridge and other universities declared their support for the students in an open letter published in The Guardian. “(Those taking part in the strike) have every right to be angry about the future that we shall bequeath to them, if proportionate and urgent action is not taken,” they wrote.

The British protests were part of a global ‘School Strike 4 Climate’ movement, which began in August 2018 when 16-year-old Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg began protesting outside her parliament on school days.

DCG

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UK woman arrested for calling “trans woman” a “man” on Twitter

The UK is toast.

FYI: Some NSFW language toward the end of this video.

If you don’t want to watch the video, read the Breitbart story here.

DCG

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Guess who is to blame for anti-vaccination misinformation…

FYI: While I did not have time to research all the authors of this study, if you go here you will see that of the eight authors of this “Russian-troll” article, only two of them have other published articles with the American Journal of Public Health.

One author – Jamison – has just one other article published. And one other author – Quinn – has 11 articles published. Some of her titles include: “HURRICANE KATRINA: A SOCIAL AND PUBLIC HEALTH DISASTER,” “Building Trust for Engagement of Minorities in Human Subjects Research: Is the Glass Half Full, Half Empty, or the Wrong Size?,” and “The Role of Community Advisory Boards: Involving Communities in the Informed Consent Process.”

I wish I had more time to research all of the authors (having a full-time job now does not allow that!) yet I did a quick search on the first author listed, David A. Broniatowski PhD. Here’s a bit of information from David’s CV: Research Interests: Group decision-making, social choice and social media surveillance. David’s academic credentials include a Ph.D. in Engineering Systems and degrees in Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering.

Makes me curious as to what are the credentials/background of the other authors of this study…

From Oregon Live: They gathered in the cold, carrying signs and grudges. One sign read: “Vaccines: the more you KNOW, the more you NO!”

With a measles outbreak among unvaccinated children in the Vancouver area causing Washington Gov. Jay Inslee to declare a health emergency last month, hundreds of protesters turned out at the state capitol in Olympia to oppose a bill that would restrict personal exemptions to vaccines for school-age children.

So-called “anti-vaxxers” are part of a homegrown fringe movement, one that is suspicious of scientific data about the safety and efficacy of vaccinations. But they unwittingly have been getting overseas help in recent years.

Russian President Vladimir Putin isn’t trying to mess only with America’s elections. He has set loose his undercover opinion manipulators to promote fear of vaccines and set pro- and anti-vaccination Americans against one another, a recent study concluded.

The overarching objective in this ongoing offensive: to divide and terrify Americans — and win a second Cold War. For the most part, Russia has taken this fight to where we live: on social media.

“Compared with average users, Russian trolls, sophisticated bots and ‘content polluters’ tweeted about vaccination at higher rates,” the study concluded last fall. The research, published in the American Journal of Public Health, found that “[a]ccounts masquerading as legitimate users create false equivalency, eroding public consensus on vaccination.”

An example of a “disinformation” tweet: “Did you know there was a secret government database of #Vaccine-damaged child? #VaccinateUS.”

Another tweet argued the other side: “#VaccinateUS You can’t fix stupidity. Let them die from measles, and I’m for #vaccination!”

Both tweets, it appears, came from “bad actors” in Russia.

“By playing both sides, they erode public trust in vaccination, exposing us all to the risk of infectious diseases,” John Hopkins University computer-science professor Mark Dredze told the BBC.

The American Journal of Public Health study linked malicious propaganda on the issue to social-media accounts from Russia’s Internet Research Agency, which Robert Mueller’s special-counsel office has indicted for its role in 2016 election interference.

The U.S., it must be noted, isn’t the only Western country where measles outbreaks have returned in recent years. The BBC reports that higher rates of measles are being found throughout Europe as well.

DCG

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Guess how this turned out? CA DMV tries to improve wait times & thousands left without driver’s licenses

Tax dollars at work.

From SF Gate: It appears the California Department of Motor Vehicles is, yet again, trying to clean up after itself.

The Sacramento Bee uncovered one possible reason why thousands of Californians have yet to receive a driver’s license in the mail, months after attempting to renew them. It comes down to a glitch in the DMV’s system.

Here’s what went wrong, according to the paper: Normally the DMV sends out renewal notices 115 days before customers’ driver’s licenses are set to expire. But to try and get ahead of the game, with long lines already plaguing DMV offices statewide, they began sending the notices out even earlier, from 120 to 150 days in advance of the expiration date.

Now, those who didn’t want to procrastinate and immediately paid online or by mail, are the ones who may be in trouble.

The problem is the DMV wasn’t prepared to process those early renewals. So even though payments may have been processed, there’s no record of them in the DMV system. Now, many customers are left without a license, even after their expiration date has passed.

Only those whose driver’s licenses expire Feb. 25 or earlier would be affected, The Bee reported. The system glitch was limited to those who tried to renew between November and January.

A department spokesperson told the Bee that the mistake may have affected tens of thousands of people, and the DMV was “working to contact the customers impacted and issue their driver license by mail as soon as possible.”

The DMV did not immediately respond to SFGATE’s request for comment on the mix-up.

Late last year, the DMV confirmed it issued 2.3 million Real ID cards that didn’t meet federal government standards; instead of requiring two documents to prove residency, the DMV was only asking for one. In the agency’s defense, the Department of Homeland Security had originally said that one document was adequate, then later changed course.

The change requiring two documents proving residency will be implemented starting in the spring.

Read the whole story here.

DCG

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Shocker, not: Major DNA testing company sharing their data with the FBI

You really want to trust big government with your DNA?

Stay far, far, FAR, FAR away from these DNA testing companies. While you believe it may be a good mechanism to help solve crimes, DNA test results can also be used against you.

From MSN: The decision by a prominent consumer DNA-testing company to share data with federal law enforcement means investigators have access to genetic information linked to hundreds of millions of people.

FamilyTreeDNA, an early pioneer of the rapidly growing market for consumer genetic testing, confirmed late Thursday that it has granted the Federal Bureau of Investigation access to its vast trove of nearly 2 million genetic profiles. The arrangement was first reported by BuzzFeed News.

Concerns about unfettered access to genetic information gathered by testing companies have swelled since April, when police used a genealogy website to ensnare a suspect in the decades-old case of the Golden State Killer. But that site, GEDmatch, was open-source, meaning police were able to upload crime-scene DNA data to the site without permission. The latest arrangement marks the first time a commercial testing company has voluntarily given law enforcement access to user data.

The move is of concern to more than just privacy-minded FamilyTreeDNA customers. One person sharing genetic information also exposes those to whom they are closely related. That’s how police caught the alleged Golden State Killer. A study last year estimated that only 2 percent of the population needs to have done a DNA test for virtually everyone’s genetic information to be represented in that data.

FamilyTreeDNA’s cooperation with the FBI more than doubles the amount of genetic data law enforcement already had access to through GEDmatch. On a case-by-case basis, the company has agreed to test DNA samples for the FBI and upload profiles to its database, allowing law enforcement to see familial matches to crime-scene samples.

FamilyTreeDNA said law enforcement may not freely browse genetic data but rather has access only to the same information any user might.

“The FBI does not have unfettered access to the FamilyTreeDNA database,” Bennett Greenspan, the company founder and chief executive officer, said in a statement.

The genealogy community expressed dismay. Last summer, FamilyTreeDNA was among a list of consumer genetic testing companies that agreed to a suite of voluntary privacy guidelines, but as of Friday morning, it had been crossed off the list.

“The deal between FamilyTreeDNA and the FBI is deeply flawed,” said John Verdi, vice president of policy at the Future of Privacy Forum, which maintains the list. “It’s out of line with industry best practices, it’s out of line with what leaders in the space do and it’s out of line with consumer expectations.”

Some in the field have begun arguing that a universal, government-controlled database may be better for privacy than allowing law enforcement to gain access to consumer information.

FamilyTreeDNA said its lab has received “less than 10 samples” from the FBI. It also said it has worked with state and city police agencies in addition to the FBI to resolve cold cases.

“The genealogy community, their privacy and confidentiality has always been our top priority,” the company said in an email response to questions.

Consumer DNA testing has become big business. Ancestry.com and 23andMe Inc. alone have sold more than 15 million DNA kits. Concerns about an industry commitment to privacy could hamper the industry’s rapid growth.

Since the arrest of the suspected Golden State Killer, more than a dozen other suspects have been apprehended using GEDmatch. By doubling the amount of data law enforcement have access to, those numbers are sure to surge.

“The real risk is not exposure of info but that an innocent person could be swept up in a criminal investigation because his or her cousin has taken a DNA test,’’ said Debbie Kennett, a British genealogist and author. “On the other hand, the more people in the databases and the closer the matches, the less chance there is that people will make mistakes.’’

DCG

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Cancer experts doubt Israeli claim of cancer cure

It was too good to be true.

Three days ago, I posted the news from Jerusalem Post that a team of Israeli scientists said they “might have found the first complete cure for cancer”.

Dan Aridor, the chairman of the bio-company that developed the cure, Accelerated Evolution Biotechnologies Ltd. (AEBi), trumpets that their cure will be offered in a year, and that the cure “will be effective from day one,” “will have no or minimal side-effects,” and “at a much lower cost” than most other cancer treatments on the market.

See “Israeli scientists claim to have a cure for cancer“.

AEBi’s claim was widely broadcast and celebrated.

The usually-sensible Daily Wire even politicized the alleged cancer cure with this anti-antiSemitic headline: “Still Want To Boycott Israel? Israeli Scientists Find Cure For Cancer, Report Says“.

I was somewhat skeptical of AEBi’s claim because no human trials have been conducted, the discovery has not been vetted and published in peer-reviewed scientific journals, nor has it be replicated. Replicability is one of the defining criteria of science. AEBi had conducted only in-vitro (test-tube) trials and one rat experiment.

The skepticism is shared by cancer experts.

From Newsweek, Jan. 30, 2019:

As news stories hailing the discovery spread online, other cancer experts urged the public to approach the report with caution.

Dr. Darren Saunders, a cancer biologist at the University of New South Wales, Australia, tweeted the researchers were “selling unicorns.”

Professor Lawrence Young, director of the Warwick Cancer Research Centre at the University of Warwick, U.K., told Newsweek he was concerned the team had not appeared to publish their data in a peer-reviewed journal, and that no clinical trials had been performed. Such trials are the first step outside of the laboratory in drug development.

Julia Frater, senior cancer information nurse at the charity Cancer Research UK, told Newsweek: “Unsubstantiated claims that there will be a cure for all cancers in a year are irresponsible and can be misleading for patients. This oversimplifies the fact that cancer is more than 200 different diseases, which behave differently and pose different treatment challenges. This is why finding a single cure for all cancers is unlikely.”

Meanwhile, Professor Chris Bunce, who specializes in translational cancer biology at the University of Birmingham, U.K., told Newsweek that widely used treatments such as chemotherapy were previously regarded as “radical” and said the “technology being talked about here may be another step in that journey. But based on the information available the claim that it will provide a ‘complete cure for cancer’ is unfounded.”

Professor Justin Stebbing, an expert in cancer medicine and oncology at Imperial College London, U.K., told Newsweek that research at the Weizmann “is some of the best in the world.” But he said he is yet to see any success with peptides treating any cancers. “It isn’t helpful to build up false hope, or talk of universal cancer cures when advances in knowledge are often made in small steps not giant leaps,” he said.

Bunce explained why creating cancer drugs is so difficult. “On one hand cancer cells are not the big scary monsters that the general public believes them to be. More than 99.9 percent of the molecular processes within them are the same as the normal cells they originate from. So finding drugs that only target cancer cells is like finding needles in haystacks. The second problem is that within a given cancer there is complex variation and structure. There are cancer stem cells, and there are cancer subclones with different arrays of mutations and different levels of resistance to any given therapy. Painful lessons have been learned trying to exploit drugs that do not target founding mutations.”

Even many hopeful laboratory findings cannot be translated into actual therapies that are successful, he said.

Bunce argued it is “unethical” to make overly optimistic claims that raise people’s hopes and “discredit those of us who are working really hard to find better treatments.”

Let’s hope this new cancer cure won’t turn out to be another cold fusion pipedream.

~Eowyn

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Israeli scientists claim to have a cure for cancer

According to the International Agency for Research, cancer is the second leading cause of death, second only to cardiovascular disease, accountable for every sixth death in the world. Each year, an estimated 18.1 million new cancer cases are diagnosed worldwide.

Note: Actually, abortion is the leading cause of death worldwide and in the United States, accountable for 41.9 million deaths in 2018. In contrast, 8.2 million people died from cancer. (Breitbart)

Maayan Jaffe-Hoffman reports the earth-shaking news for the Jerusalem Post, January 28, 2019, that a team of Israeli scientists believe they “might have found the first complete cure for cancer”.

The company, Accelerated Evolution Biotechnologies Ltd. (AEBi), is developing the new cancer treatment. Founded by Dr. Ilan Morad in 2000 in Weizmann Science Park in Ness Ziona, Israel, AEBi developed the SoAP platform, a breakthrough technology that allows AEBi to develop drugs to many illnesses, among them cancer.

AEBi chairman of the board Dan Aridor, said:

“We believe we will offer in a year’s time a complete cure for cancer. Our cancer cure will be effective from day one, will last a duration of a few weeks and will have no or minimal side-effects at a much lower cost than most other treatments on the market. Our solution will be both generic and personal.”

 

Dr. Ilan Morad

Dr. Ilan Morad, founder and CEO of AEBi, says his company’s cancer treatment — the MuTaTo (multi-target toxin) — is essentially on the scale of a cancer antibiotic – a disruption technology of the highest order.

The potentially game-changing anti-cancer drug is based on SoAP technology, which belongs to the phage display group of technologies. It involves the introduction of DNA coding for a protein, such as an antibody, into a bacteriophage – a virus that infects bacteria. That protein is then displayed on the surface of the phage. Researchers can use these protein-displaying phages to screen for interactions with other proteins, DNA sequences and small molecules.

In 2018, a team of scientists won the Nobel Prize for their work on phage display in the directed evolution of new proteins – in particular, for the production of antibody therapeutics. AEBi is doing something similar but with peptides — compounds of two or more amino acids linked in a chain.

Morad explains that peptides have several advantages over antibodies, including being smaller, cheaper, and easier to produce and regulate.

Morad said that when his company, AEBi, was first founded, “We were doing what everyone else was doing, trying to discover individual novel peptides for specific cancers.” Shortly thereafter, Morad and his colleague, Dr. Hanan Itzhaki, decided they wanted to do something bigger. They wanted to identify why other cancer-killing drugs and treatments don’t work or eventually fail. Then they found a way to counter that effect.

As explained by Morad, this is how AEBi’s multi-target toxin (MuTaTo) is superior to other cancer-fighting drugs/methods:

(1) Most anti-cancer drugs attack a specific target on or in the cancer cell. But mutations in the targets or in their physiological pathways could make the targets not relevant to the cancer nature of the cell, and hence render ineffective the drug attacking the cancer cell. AEBi’s MuTaTo uses a combination of several cancer-targeting peptides for each cancer cell at the same time, combined with a strong peptide toxin that specifically kills cancer cells. Morad explains that by using at least three targeting peptides on the same structure with a strong toxin, “the treatment will not be affected by mutations; cancer cells can mutate in such a way that targeted receptors are dropped by the cancer. The probability of having multiple mutations that would modify all targeted receptors simultaneously decreases dramatically with the number of targets used. Instead of attacking receptors one at a time, we attack receptors three at a time – not even cancer can mutate three receptors at the same time.”

(2) When targeted by drugs, many cancer cells activate detoxification mechanisms by pumping out the drugs or modifying them to be non-functional. But AEBi’s MuTaTo is so strong that “it has a high probability of killing the cancer cell before detoxification occurs, which is what he is banking on”.

(3) Many cytotoxic anticancer treatments aim at fast-growing cells, but cancer stem cells are not fast growing, and so escape these treatments. Worse still, when the treatment is over, the cells can generate cancer again, this time, drug resistant. Morad explains that because cancer cells are born out of mutations that occur in cancer stem cells, most of the overexpressed proteins which are targeted on the cancer cell exist in the cancer stem cells. MuTaTo’s multiple-target attack ensures that they will be destroyed as well.

(4) Some cancer tumors erect shields which create access problems to large molecules, such as antibodies. But MuTaTo, with very small peptides (12 amino acids long), acts like an octopus or a piece of spaghetti and can sneak into places where other large molecules cannot reach. Morad explains, “This should make the whole molecule non-immunogenic in most cases and would enable repeated administration of the drug.”

(5) Most cancer treatments have sickening side-effects from the treatments interacting with the wrong or additional targets, or the correct targets but on non-cancerous cells. Morad said MuTaTo would “dramatically” decrease those side-effects because it specifically targets cancer cells and, “in most cases,” avoids targeting non-cancer cells that have a protein in common with the cancer cells.

Morad compares MuTaTo to the triple drug cocktail that has helped change AIDS from being an automatic death sentence to a chronic – but often manageable – disease, so that people with AIDS today are HIV carriers, “but they are not sick anymore::

“We used to give AIDS patients several drugs, but we would administer them one at a time. During the course of treatment, the virus mutated, and the AIDS started attacking again. Only when patients started using a cocktail, were they able to stop the disease.”

Unlike the triple-drug AIDS cocktail that patients must take throughout their lives, MuTaTo would kill the cancer cells outright. This means the treatment could likely end after only a few weeks.

The MuTaTo cancer treatment will eventually be personalized. Each patient will provide a piece of his biopsy to the lab, which would then analyze it to know which receptors are “overexpressed”. The individual would then be administered exactly the molecule cocktail needed to cure his disease.

Morad said that AEBi has concluded several in-vitro trials and its first exploratory mice experiment, in which MuTaTo inhibited human cancer cell growth with no effect at all on healthy mice cells. AEBi chairman Aridor said “Our results are consistent and repeatable.”

AEBi is “on the cusp” of beginning a round of clinical, i.e., human, trials which could be completed within a few years, after which treatment could be available in specific cases.

In other words, AEBi’s claim to have discovered the first complete cure for cancer is somewhat premature. No human trials have been conducted; only in-vitro (test-tube) trials and one rat experiment have been made. The scientists’ discovery has not been vetted and published by peer-reviewed journals, nor has it been replicated by other scientists, replicability being a necessary condition for scientific truth.

Update: see “Cancer experts doubt Israeli claim of cancer cure“.

~Eowyn

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That was fast: Gov. Newsom wants new tax on drinking water

Newsom not wasting any time in quickly creating new taxes for Californians.

Elections have consequences.

As reported by SF Gate: In order to help disadvantaged communities obtain safe and affordable drinking water, California Governor Gavin Newsom is proposing a new statewide water tax.

In the newly-released 2019-20 budget, Newsom calls for the creation of a “safe and affordable drinking water fund” that would “enable the State Water Resources Control Board to assist communities, particularly disadvantaged communities, in paying for the short-term and long-term costs of obtaining access to safe and affordable drinking water.”

A McClatchy investigation from 2018 found that 6 million Californians rely on water providers that violated state standards at some point in the last six years. According to the report, the majority of Californians that lack safe drinking water live in the Southern San Joaquin Valley and the Mojave Desert.

The details of the proposed tax are unknown, but a similar proposal was abandoned by then-Governor Jerry Brown last year after failing to garner enough support in the legislature. California residents would have been taxed 95 cents a month, or $11.40 a year, under that plan.

On Friday, Newsom took his Cabinet on a trip to the Central Valley to hear from residents who lack clean drinking water. “We met with residents who cannot drink or bathe with the water in their homes — while paying more for it than those in Beverly Hills,” the governor tweeted.

The Association of California Water Agencies, a group that represents more than 400 water suppliers across the state, announced its opposition to the latest proposed water tax from Newsom.

“The vast majority of the state’s residents have access to safe drinking water, but a small percentage of the population does not,” the association said in a statement. “This unacceptable reality is a social issue for the State of California. ACWA believes that making access to safe drinking water for all Californians should be a top priority for the State. However, a statewide water tax is highly problematic and is not necessary when alternative funding solutions exist and the state has a huge budget surplus.”

Read the whole story here.

DCG

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American Psychological Association declares war on masculinity

For the first time, the American Psychological Association (APA) issued “guidelines” for psychologists in their treatment of men and boys — that traditional masculinity, defined as “stoicism, competitiveness, dominance and aggression,” is psychologically harmful.

Sweden’s Byggnads Construction Workers Union renounces toxic masculinity!

For decades, psychology focused on men (particularly white men), to the exclusion of all others. And men still dominate professionally and politically: As of 2018, 95.2 percent of chief operating officers at Fortune 500 companies were men. According to a 2017 analysis by Fortune, in 16 of the top companies, 80 percent of all high-ranking executives were male. Meanwhile, the 115th Congress, which began in 2017, was 81 percent male.

Next comes a litany of statistics pointing to the toxicity of being male:

  • Men commit 90% of homicides and represent 77% of homicide victims in the United States.
  • Men are 3.5 times more likely than women to die by suicide.
  • Men’s life expectancy is 4.9 years shorter than women’s.
  • Boys are far more likely to be diagnosed with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder than girls.
  • Boys face harsher punishments in school—especially boys of color.

To compensate for pschology’s “androcentric past,” APA’s new Guidelines for Psychological Practice With Boys and Men, 13 years in making, draws on more than 40 years of research showing that traditional masculinity is psychologically harmful and that socializing boys to suppress their emotions causes both inward and outward damage. As Ronald F. Levant, EdD, a former APA president, professor emeritus of psychology at the University of Akron, and co-editor of the APA’s The Psychology of Men and Masculinities, puts it: “Though men benefit from patriarchy, they are also impinged upon by patriarchy.”

The new APA guidelines enumerate how “traditional masculinity” is “on the whole” harmful because men socialized this way are less likely to engage in healthy behaviors:

  1. A 2011 study led by Kristen Springer, PhD, of Rutgers University, found that men with the strongest beliefs about masculinity were only half as likely as men with more moderate masculine beliefs to get preventive health care (Journal of Health and Social Behavior, Vol. 52, No. 2).
  2. In 2007, researchers led by James Mahalik, PhD, of Boston College, found that the more men conformed to masculine norms, the more likely they were to consider as normal risky health behaviors such as heavy drinking, using tobacco and avoiding vegetables, and to engage in these risky behaviors themselves (Social Science and Medicine, Vol. 64, No. 11).
  3. Research led by Omar Yousaf, PhD, found that men who bought into traditional notions of masculinity were more negative about seeking mental health services than those with more flexible gender attitudes (Psychology of Men & Masculinity, Vol. 16, No. 2, 2015).
  4. Men are often reluctant to admit vulnerability, says Fredric Rabinowitz, PhD, a psychologist at the University of Redlands in California who has stewarded the new guidelines since 2005, when he was president of APA Div. 51 (Society for the Psychological Study of Men and Masculinities). Rabinowitz says: “Because of the way many men have been brought up—to be self-sufficient and able to take care of themselves—any sense that things aren’t OK needs to be kept secret. Part of what happens is men who keep things to themselves look outward and see that no one else is sharing any of the conflicts that they feel inside. That makes them feel isolated. They think they’re alone. They think they’re weak. They think they’re not OK. They don’t realize that other men are also harboring private thoughts and private emotions and private conflicts.”
  5. Though men report less depression than women, they complete suicide at far higher rates than women, and their suicides are increasing. The suicide rate for non-Hispanic American Indian and Alaska Native men jumped 38% between 1999 and 2014, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; for white men, suicide rates increased 28% in that time span (National Center for Health Statistics, 2016). Suicide rates for women have been on the rise as well, but because men complete suicide more often than women, men’s suicide death rates remain the highest.
  6. Military men are more vulnerable to depression when they retire: “When retirement comes, a lot of guys get thrown into an abyss,” Rabinowitz says, particularly for veterans who identified as workers and achievers (Health Services Research, Vol. 43. No. 2, 2008).
  7. The problems of non-white males are compounded by racism, homophobia and transphobia:
    • Men and boys of color may be viewed with suspicion by schools, law enforcement and others, leading to harsher punishments compared with white men and boys, says Christopher Liang, PhD, a psychologist at Lehigh University in Pennsylvania who helped draft the guidelines.
    • As of 2014, black men made up 37% of the male state and federal prison population and were more than 10 times as likely to be incarcerated in state or federal prison as white men. Hispanic men were also overrepresented, making up 22% of the prison population despite making up only about 8% of the general U.S. population (U.S. Department of Justice, 2015).
    • Boys and men who identify as gay, bisexual or transgender still face higher-than-­average levels of hostility and pressure to conform to masculine norms. The 2015 National School Climate Survey found that 85% of LGBTQ students reported verbal harassment at school over their sexual orientation or gender expression (GLSEN, 2015). Gender-­nonconforming students reported worse treatment than did LGBTQ kids who conformed with traditional gender norms.
    • A 2016 study of a community sample of transgender children led by Kristina Olson, PhD, of the University of Washington in Seattle, found that those with supportive families were no more likely than nontransgender children to have depression, and were only slightly more likely to experience anxiety (Pediatrics, Vol. 137, No. 3, 2016).

The APA Guidelines urge psychologists to encourage men to “break free of masculinity rules”; “discard the harmful ideologies of traditional masculinity (violence, sexism)”; “find flexibility in the potentially positive aspects (courage, leadership)”; and to be “adaptable, emotional and capable of engaging fully outside of rigid norms”.

APA approved

~Eowyn

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Feminist barred from pub for wearing t-shirt that says, “Woman: human female” after complaint it discriminates against transgender people

Feeeeeeeeeeelings trumps scientific biological reality.

From Daily Mail: You might have thought it was the most innocuous item someone could wear: a simple black T-shirt bearing the dictionary definition of woman as ‘human female’.

But a young mother has been barred from her local pub after a complaint that the words discriminated against transgender people.

The unlikely new front line of the ongoing war between feminists and transgender campaigners is the snug Five Clouds Tap and Bottle in the historic market town of Macclesfield (England).

Rebekah Wershbale said she was ‘stunned’ when a barwoman at the pub informed her she was banned because of the definition.

Ms. Wershbale said: ‘She told me that the T-shirt I was wearing was upsetting people because it was transphobic and not inclusive so I was barred. What she meant was that I was somehow offending men who say they are women because my T-shirt did not include them in the definition of a woman. There aren’t even any transgender staff or patrons at the pub. It’s crackers.’

Ms. Wershbale is a supporter of feminist group Fair Play For Women, which opposed a Government’s consultation to reform the Gender Recognition Act (GRA).

This proposed legal change would allow people to self-identify as the gender they believe they are without any medical diagnosis. Feminists and transgender campaigners have been locked in an increasingly heated battle with leading feminists fearing the change will harm the safety and privacy of women.

Ms. Wershbale, a mother-of-one, had gone last Sunday with her girlfriend to play board games at the pub where she has been a regular for three years.

But the 34-year-old was surprised to be approached by a member of staff with a complaint. Nothing out of the ordinary had happened that evening, except when she spoke to another drinker at the pub, a gay man called Mika Johnson.

‘I sat down next to him and asked him how he was,’ Ms. Wershbale said. ‘He said, “I don’t want to talk to you to be honest – please leave me alone.” ‘So I said OK and left it.’

Thirty minutes later a member of the bar staff named Heather came to Ms. Wershbale’s table to tell her she was no longer welcome at the pub. ‘Heather said I’d been upsetting people and Mika was crying,’ Ms. Wershbale said.

‘She told me that the way I talk about radical feminism was a problem and said: “The T-shirt you’re wearing is upsetting and not inclusive.” I replied that it simply said the dictionary definition of being a woman – how can it be offensive?

She mumbled a bit about it being transphobic and that I had been transphobic previously. She then said I was barred and that she had been nominated by the other bar staff to come to tell me that.

‘I asked if she thought it was troubling that I was being removed from my own local because I was wearing a feminist T-shirt that had upset a gay man. But she just repeated I wasn’t being inclusive.

On the same day Mr. Johnson – the pub goer Ms. Wershbale had offended – took to Twitter to talk about his distress. He wrote: ‘When you’re trying to relax in your fave pub and there is a TERF [trans exclusionary radical feminist] wearing an anti-trans T-shirt… it’s disgusting and I’m so upset by it.’

The owner of Five Clouds Tap and Bottle Brewery Tom Lewis confirmed Ms. Wershbale had been ordered to leave after the complaint. But he said there had been a series of incidents where she had upset staff and customers by challenging them about their views on men identifying as female.

The manager of Five Clouds Tom Lewis said Ms. Wershbale is not permanently barred but she must ‘have a discussion with staff so she understands the situation’ before she is allowed back in.

Ms. Wershbale said the claims were ‘untrue’ and an attempt to smear her. She admitted that while at the Five Clouds she had promoted a feminist campaign by Fair Play For Women.

However, she insisted she was not transphobic and is only against the reform of the law because she believes it could put women’s safety at risk by allowing men who say they are female access to women-only spaces.

Read the whole story here.

DCG

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