Tuesday, August 09, 2022

Alex Jones Loses Right to Criticize Sandy Hook

AP reports:
Conspiracy theorist Alex Jones arrived at a Texas courthouse for his defamation trial for calling the Sandy Hook Elementary School attack a hoax with the words "Save the 1st" scrawled on tape covering his mouth.

Although Jones portrays the lawsuit against him as an assault on the First Amendment, the parents who sued him say his statements were so malicious and obviously false that they fell well outside the bounds of speech protected by the constitutional clause.

The ongoing trial in Austin, which is where Jones' far-right Infowars website and its parent company are based, stems from a 2018 lawsuit brought by Neil Heslin and Scarlett Lewis, whose 6-year-old son was killed in the 2012 attack along with 19 other first-graders and six educators.

Jones took the stand Aug. 2 in his own defense.

Here's a look at how the case relates to the First Amendment:

Are all defamation lawsuits First Amendment cases?

They are. Defamation laws evolved through decades of U.S. Supreme Court rulings on what is and isn't protected speech.

The defamation was only $50,000 out of the $50,000,000 verdict. Defamation was just the excuse to try to bankrupt and silence Alex Jones.

It is all part of a broader leftist plot to censor the Right. Slate writes:

Of course, any expectation that any given legal proceeding—such as the Mueller probe, Trumps two impeachments, and even the very effective Jan. 6 committee hearings—might lift us out of the misinformation quagmire in which we find ourselves has proven again and again to be too fanciful.
They will never be satisfied until Trump and all Trump supported are jailed or silenced.

This is how it was put in court:

“I am asking you to take the bullhorn away from Alex Jones and all of the others who believe they can profit off of fear and misinformation,” Wesley Ball said in his closing argument Friday. “The gold rush of fear and misinformation must end, and it must end today."
Sandy Hook was a huge public news event, and the people involved, politicians, and others used it for advocating changes in the law. The public needed the truth, but important details were concealed. A free society needs skeptics to challenge the official narrative.

Alex Jones lost this case on some legal technicalities. The opposition lawyer admitted that he improperly obtained all Alex Jones' cell phone data, beyond what he was entitled to, and used that to embarrass Jones. So Jones got out-lawyered, and the judge obviously did not like him. But he still should not be silenced for expressing an opinion about a public event.

Monday, August 08, 2022

Dick Cheney Goes Full Anti-Trump

From an ad to save Liz Cheney:
"In our nation's 246 year history, there has never been an individual who is a greater threat to our republic than Donald Trump," Dick Cheney said in the ad.

"He tried to steal the last election using lies and violence to keep himself in power after the voters had rejected him. He is a coward," Cheney continued.

Says the guy who arguably stole the 2000 and 2004 elections, and started two wars.

These Trump-haters have completely lost it. Trump is out of office. How is he a threat? He gives speeches, makes political endorsements, and may run for President. He can only be elected if he has popular support.

Trump was President. If he was really so bad, why cannot the Cheney name something bad that he did? The ad fails to find anything. Liz Cheney for Trump's programs nearly all the time.

Friday, August 05, 2022

New Studies on the Transgenderism Fad

There has been a huge increase in child transgenderism in the past few years. Is it a big fad? Is it because a previously unrecognized illness is being treated? Is it a contagious disease?

NBC News reports:

The “social contagion” theory can be traced back to a 2018 paper published in the journal PLOS One. Dr. Lisa Littman, who at the time was a professor of behavioral and social sciences at Brown University, coined the term “rapid onset gender dysphoria,” which she described as adolescents experiencing a conflict between their birth sex and gender identity “suddenly during or after puberty.” These adolescents, she wrote, “would not have met the criteria for gender dysphoria in childhood” and are experiencing dysphoria due to social influence.  

Littman also hypothesized that adolescents assigned female at birth are more likely to be affected by social contagion and, as a result, are overrepresented in groups of adolescents experiencing gender dysphoria when compared to those who were assigned male at birth.

After intense debate and criticism, PLOS One conducted a post-publication reassessment of the article, and issued a correction that included changing the headline to clarify that Littman did not survey transgender or gender-diverse youth themselves, but actually surveyed their parents. The correction also noted that, “Rapid-onset gender dysphoria (ROGD) is not a formal mental health diagnosis at this time.”

Now a new study, by some prominent transgenderism advocates, claims to refute this.
The deleterious effect of unfounded hypotheses stigmatizing TGD [transgender and gender diverse] youth, particularly the ROGD hypothesis, cannot be overstated, especially in current and longstanding public policy debates. Indeed, the notion of ROGD [rapid-onset gender dysphoria] has been used by legislators to prohibit TGD youth from accessing gender-affirming medical care, despite the considerable methodological limitations underlying the generation of this hypothesis, as well as the unequivocal support for gender-affirming medical care by multiple major medical organizations, including the American Medical Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, and the American Psychiatric Association.8
Cannot be overstated? The bias shows. The study shows no such deleterious effect.

Their main argument is that females would be more subject to social contagion, but his study found more males.

They also say that the transgender kids reported bullying, while that would not be expected if the kids were doing what is popular.

This is not a refutation of anything. Maybe boys and girls have different reasons for being transgender. Maybe transgenderism is popular with some but not others.

It says other studies found bullying, but I do not see that the data prove anything. Suppose you discovered that kids with tattoos report more bullying. Would that prove that there is no social pressure to get tattoos? Certainly not.

This whole subject is politicized. A good paper is forcibly corrected. Stupid papers get published if they promote transgenderism. The major medical associations are on board with it.

Here is a criticism of an earlier paper by the same authors.

You know they have biases when you use phrases like "those assigned male sex at birth (AMAB)". They have male sex from the moment of conception until they die. They are male. The sex is noticed at birth, but also before birth and after birth.

There is no solid science backing up any of the transgender affirming treatments.