The other day I was at a nice indy coffee shop and I picked up the latest edition of “The New Agora” It’s one of those hip, free, indy, newspapers that circulate around Vancouver offering the news that those fatcats in the mainstream press don’t want you to know.
The website for the paper has much to say in the About section, for example:
“ All of us here working with The New Agora intend to live up to the responsibilities inherent in the work of truth tellers and truth showers. Our hearts are demanding that we offer a larger perspective on what’s happening in the world, unbiased yet participant, balanced and personal, true and loving.
Truth must be told. Some stories need to see the light of day. Long ago the printed page served just such a purpose. In this day of mass media controlled awareness it remains a potentially vital however rarified outlet for the voice of the People to be heard.
…Cooperation is the antidote to the disease called ‘Corporation’ currently afflicting humanity with its paradigm of homicidal selfishness.”
Anyway, I have nothing against the leftist mentality described here. It’s the counter balance to the fear mongering far right and I’m sure they offer some interesting perspectives on social issues. Where I do take issue is with their rather shabby reporting on science and or skeptical issues.
The headlines that dotted the cover of the May issue of The New Agora included such gems as:
“Cancer Free Life”
“Empowered Children of the Future” and “Dissolving the Matrix”.
I know, I went “What? What? What? and What??” too.
Reading through some of the articles I found myself face palming so much that I was in danger of causing severe nose and forehead cave-in-itus.
Some of the most demonstrable health fear mongering came from a contributor named Ethan Huff, this fellow Ethan however has some rather choice words for mainstream news. In one article he wrote about gardening he writes:
“Modern industrial agriculture is a disastrous failure, as it defies practically every natural law related to food cultivation…”
At least we can appreciate the hyperbole but then I saw his next article entitled “Vaccination Theory Crumbles”
So flipping to a different page we find this gem “Radiation Warnings you Won’t Get From Mainstream Media” (it was also typed in bold red letters in case it wasn’t scary enough) But at least this is an accurate title. You won’t get these radiation warnings from mainstream media, well maybe Fox News…
So as I was reading this article, in which they attest that radiation levels of seaweed on the west coast of Canada were contaminated with Cesium, a radioactive material. It also alleges that Canada and the US are buying radioactive seafood from Japan (for some reason) and goes on to say water samples on the west coast all show signs of unsafe radiation. In fact the article also urges readers (IN ALL CAPS) to “question the origin of ALL seafood. ” and that “rainfall and snowfall are all radiated.” As well as to not drink water from the tap as “your faucet has NOT been treated to rid it of radioactive particles.”
If that hasn’t got you sufficiently terrorized, wait to you see the next big headline:
“Autism and Disappearing Bees: A Common Denominator?”
That’s what it really said, I didn’t make that up.
The paper then takes a turn from ludicrously bad science reporting to vaguely transphobic pseudo science with an article “Are Boys Turning in to Girls Because of Man Made Chemicals?” by someone called only “Dak” Here’s a quote:
“Recently we are seeing accelerated puberty in young girls, an alarming increase in the men with extremely low sperm counts and transgender phenomenon growing at alarming pace.”
So I could go but obviously we all have better things to do with our time than wade through this garbage. But as an example of the kind of pseudo-science that exists out there for the conspiracy driven, leftist movements, this really shows that we often bemoan the crazy on the far right, but there’s just as much crazy on the far left too.