Happy Thanksgiving 2022

[Amazon Link, See Disclaimer] Veronique de Rugy is Giving Thanks for Low-Skilled Workers.

On Thanksgiving we rightly give thanks. And let's be clear that, amid all the turmoil that consumes daily headlines, we Americans do indeed have a lot to be thankful for. We are still relatively free. We are also incredibly prosperous — a prosperity that would be impossible without uniquely talented and driven entrepreneurs and the courageous investors who back them. But this year I want to give special thanks to those workers we call "low-skilled."

They may not have acquired the know-how or years of education possessed by the people you see on TV, or by academics, tech gurus or financial-market whizzes. But low-skilled workers are nevertheless among the unsung heroes of our lives.

As Vero points out, these are the people who kept the grocery stores open during the pandemic. Also hospitals, restaurants, …

Briefly noted:

  • A video provided at Matt Taibbi's Substack documents the chorus of "independent" media regurgitating the same talking points in pre-election 2020, attempting to debunk the Hunter Biden laptop story as "disinformation": YouTube Censors Reality, Boosts Disinformation: Part 1.

    As subscribers by now are aware, I’m very upset about YouTube’s recent decision to censor a factually accurate video about “rigged election” comments produced for this site by Matt Orfalea. The company has given Matt a strike and labeled his/our work “misinformation,” an insult I’ve decided not to take lying down. I’m going to search for new ways to embarrass the company until they reverse their decision. As it happens, today offers an excellent opportunity.

    CBS This Morning today came out with a story claiming they obtained a copy of Hunter Biden’s laptop, sent for an “independent forensic review,” and determined it “appears genuine.” This follows up confirmation from The New York Times back on March 16th, and more importantly, the exhaustive earlier work of Politico reporter Ben Schreckinger confirming key emails in his book, The Bidens.

    Try watching the video, and try not to get mad. As the Babylon Bee says: CBS News Officially Confirms That Lincoln Has Been Shot.

    I await Part 2, and whatever else Taibbi says on this matter.

  • From the student newspaper at the University Near Here: Ten Classes Worth Taking at UNH. The course titles:

    1. Personal Finance (BUS 530)
    2. Making Babies (NURS 450)
    3. Human Sexuality (HDFS 746)
    4. United States Healthcare Systems (HMP 401)
    5. Organizational Behavior (MGT 535)
    6. Nutrition in Health and Wellbeing (NUTR 400)
    7. Propaganda and Persuasion (CMN 456)
    8. Public Speaking (CMN 500)
    9. Professional and Technical Writing (ENGL 502)
    10. Stressed Out (OT 513)

    Yes, "Making Babies" and "Human Sexuality". Take both, in case you missed something.

    Ah, "Nutrition in Health and Wellbeing". That's a course that's been around, roughly, forever; when I was a grad student, it was called "Animals, Food, and Man". Yes, irredeemably sexist.

    I have a bone to pick with the paper's breezy description:

    More than half of college students suffer from malnutrition, according to Medical Daily. To combat this, Nutrition in Health and Wellbeing is a fantastic class to take. While fulfilling the lab requirement as well as a biological science discovery credit, this class teaches students the science of nutrition and how to eat to make yourself happy and healthy. Your body is a temple, right?

    Emphasis added. That Medical Daily link goes to a 2014 story, with the headline: "Food Insecurity: Why 59% Of College Students May Suffer From Malnutrition".

    So the paper upgraded the "may suffer" to "suffer". Tsk!

    But it gets worse. Following links from the Medical Daily article, brings us to the the paper (in the "Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior") that provides the 59% number: Prevalence and Correlates of Food Insecurity Among Students Attending a Midsize Rural University in Oregon. The full article can (finally) be found here.

    And, control-F tells me that the word "malnutrition" doesn't appear in the paper at all. The actual finding is:

    Over half of students (59%) were food insecure at some point during the previous year.

    Yeah, that's not the same thing.

    Worse: that number is based on a 40-item survey "distributed via e-mail" to all 5438 students at that unnamed college. The researchers got 354 completed surveys. And the 59% "food insecure" figure is based on the self-reporting of 208 respondents.

    The actual questions asked to determine insecurity seem to be here. Example: "In the last 12 months, did you ever eat less than you felt you should because there wasn't enough money for food?"

    And somehow at UNH this gets translated into "More than half of college students suffer from malnutrition". Yeesh.