Independent Women's Forum RSS feedhttp://www.iwf.orgThe RSS feed for the IWF. News, Commentary and Blog posts from the Independent Women's Foundation.(...)IWF RSS Alarmists Get To Work Fat Shaming the President<p> It appears President Trump is a pretty healthy guy. Earlier this week, the White House physician Ronny L. Jackson (who was appointed by Obama) announced &ldquo;all clinical data indicates that the president is currently very healthy and that he will remain so for the duration of his presidency.&rdquo; Jackson did suggest that the president could benefit from eating a low fat and low carb diet and that he could use some regular exercise.</p> <p> Who wouldn&rsquo;t want a report like that?</p> <p> Yet, despite this good news, the fat shamers on network news shows and online publications went to work nitpicking the report to find the tiniest of detail to criticize. And they found one thing on which to focus: the president&rsquo;s slightly elevated BMI.</p> <p> In an <a href="">overwrought piece in <em>Slate</em></a>, writer Jeremy Samuel Faust suggested the president was on the cusp (the CUSP!) of obesity, based on his BMI.</p> <p style="margin-left:.5in;"> But one result was conspicuously abnormal: the president&rsquo;s body mass index. At 6&rsquo;3&rdquo; and 239 pounds, Trump&rsquo;s BMI is 29.9, exactly 0.1 units shy of one big league distinction: obesity. Remdarkably [sic}, the president was found to be exactly 1 pound lighter than a weight that would have pushed him over the edge to receive the diagnosis of obesity. Similarly, if he were merely 1/10 of an inch shorter, he would also be considered obese.</p> <p> Of course, Faust managed to miss the widespread dismissal of BMI as a measure of human health from places like <a href="">Harvard Medical School</a>:</p> <p style="margin-left:.5in;"> It&rsquo;s important to recognize that BMI itself is not measuring &ldquo;health&rdquo; or a physiological state (such as resting blood pressure) that indicates the presence (or absence) of disease. It is simply a measure of your size. Plenty of people have a high or low BMI and are healthy and, conversely, plenty of folks with a normal BMI are unhealthy.</p> <p> Or, perhaps Faust missed what respected doctor and CNN medical correspondent Sanjay Gupta wrote about BMI in<a href=""> his 2013 column for Everyday Health</a>: &nbsp;</p> <blockquote> <p> &hellip;Because BMI is based on body weight rather than body composition, it doesn&rsquo;t take into account how much of that weight is from muscle, bone or water as opposed to fat.</p> <p> &hellip;</p> <p> While the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention considers BMI &ldquo;a reasonable indicator of body fat,&rdquo; it doesn&rsquo;t recommend it as a diagnostic tool.</p> <p> &hellip;</p> <p> [BMI is] just one piece of the puzzle. The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute recommends that any weight-related health assessments should be based on a combination of BMI, waist circumference and other individual risk factors such as high blood pressure, cholesterol or physical inactivity.</p> </blockquote> <p> Of course, Gupta forgot all about his dismissal of BMI when <a href="">he appeared just this morning on CNN</a> to criticize the president for being &ldquo;almost obese.&rdquo; What did Gupta base this opinion on? The president&rsquo;s BMI&mdash;the very measurement Gupta dismissed only a few years ago.</p> <p> Instead of fat shaming, perhaps it&rsquo;s time Dr. Gupta got himself to a doctor to be tested for Trump Derangement Syndrome, or at the very least tested for his obvious and embarassing memory loss about his own medical opinions.&nbsp;</p> GunlockWed, 17 Jan 2018 11:01:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumAntivaccine hysteria Oprah Winfrey helped incubate is dangerous • NRA News Cam & Co. GunlockTue, 16 Jan 2018 14:01:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumOprah’s ‘Truth’ and Its Potentially Deadly Consequences<p> Former daytime television superstar and rumored Democratic presidential candidate Oprah Winfrey won the Cecil B. DeMille Award at Sunday night&rsquo;s Golden Globes. In the &ldquo;complicated times&rdquo; we live in, she said during her acceptance speech, &ldquo;speaking your truth is the most powerful tool we all have.&rdquo;</p> <p> While such bromides may play well with an audience of entertainers, Ms. Winfrey&rsquo;s applause lines should be a warning to those who take her political ambitions seriously. She built her media empire by crafting pleasing narratives. She isn&rsquo;t interested in boring things like data and facts. She has difficulty acknowledging that some things are true and some things are not.</p> <p> Like President Trump, who for years made inflammatory remarks about vaccines and even flirted with the idea of appointing noted skeptic Robert F. Kennedy Jr. to a vaccine safety commission, Ms. Winfrey has a penchant for promoting the myth that vaccines are dangerous. While she claims publicly to be pro-vaccine, she has allowed antivaccine megastars a platform to share &ldquo;their truths.&rdquo; Yet those &ldquo;truths&rdquo; aren&rsquo;t true at all. They are a collection of unsubstantiated and conspiratorial charges linking vaccines to autism&mdash;never mind the mountain of evidence to the contrary.</p> <p> Ms. Winfrey&rsquo;s biggest gift to the antivaccine movement came in September 2007 when she invited the actress Jenny McCarthy to appear on her top-rated talk show. Ms. McCarthy proceeded to explain that her son Evan&rsquo;s autism symptoms appeared only after he received the vaccine for measles, mumps and rubella, known as MMR. That vaccine has long been associated with autism because of a flawed 1998 study. The prestigious journal Lancet eventually&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">retracted&nbsp;</a>the study, and a British government commission determined that its author, Andrew Wakefield, had acted &ldquo;dishonestly and irresponsibly&rdquo; in his research. Mr. Wakefield lost his license to practice medicine in the United Kingdom.</p> <p> Yet the safety record of the MMR vaccine, along with details of Mr. Wakefield&rsquo;s downfall, weren&rsquo;t mentioned on the show. Instead, Ms. McCarthy made outrageous claims about the vaccine&rsquo;s dangers while promoting equally ungrounded theories about &ldquo;cures&rdquo; for autism, including a diet she&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">found</a>&nbsp;on the internet.</p> <p> In a brief moment of responsible journalism, Ms. Winfrey read a statement from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention stating&mdash;accurately&mdash;that autism&rsquo;s cause is unknown and that vaccines &ldquo;protect and save lives.&rdquo; This brief statement carried none of the emotional punch provided by the testimony of a struggling mom.</p> <p> Despite employing dozens of producers and support staff, Ms. Winfrey failed to challenge Ms. McCarthy&rsquo;s data or inform her viewers about the substantial body of scientific studies showing vaccines to be safe. Ms. Winfrey also failed to mention that major medical organizations such as the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Medical Association affirm the safety of vaccines. Instead, the famous tastemaker put her trust in the famous actress, who, when asked about her own expertise, answered, &ldquo;My science is [my son] Evan.&nbsp;.&nbsp;.&nbsp;.&nbsp;That&rsquo;s my science.&rdquo;</p> <p> In Ms. Winfrey&rsquo;s world of personal truths, this approach makes sense. Ms. McCarthy&rsquo;s &ldquo;truth&rdquo; defied truths showing the opposite. She believed her son had been harmed by a vaccine. Therefore all vaccines are bad. Her &ldquo;truth&rdquo; didn&rsquo;t have to make room for facts, such as a steady&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">decrease&nbsp;</a>in world-wide mortality rates because of widely available vaccines for diseases that once killed millions of people.</p> <p> Ms. McCarthy benefited greatly from being a regular guest on &ldquo;The Oprah Winfrey Show.&rdquo; She used her association as a springboard to other programs&mdash;&ldquo;The Doctors,&rdquo; &ldquo;The Larry King Show,&rdquo; &ldquo;Ellen,&rdquo; &ldquo;The Rosie Show&rdquo; and others. Ms. Winfrey&rsquo;s blessing also helped Ms. McCarthy land a season-long spot on &ldquo;The View,&rdquo; where she continued to promote her antivaccine message. The support of her beloved benefactress may have allowed Ms. McCarthy to convince thousands of parents to forgo vaccinating their children, which could be to blame for the&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">resurgence&nbsp;</a>of measles and other infectious diseases in the U.S.</p> <p> While many Democrats seem thrilled that Ms. Winfrey could run for president, her vague and shifting sense of the truth is the very thing they often claim to despise about Republicans. The left was quick to criticize President George W. Bush&rsquo;s &ldquo;truthiness&rdquo; and decries Mr. Trump&rsquo;s use of &ldquo;alternative facts.&rdquo; But the antivaccine hysteria Ms. Winfrey helped incubate was more dangerous than mere &ldquo;fake news.&rdquo; It actually put people&rsquo;s lives at risk.</p> <p> <em>Ms. Gunlock is a senior fellow at the Independent Women&rsquo;s Forum and leads the organization&rsquo;s Culture of Alarmism Project.</em></p> <p> <em>Appeared in the January 11, 2018, print edition.</em></p> GunlockThu, 11 Jan 2018 08:01:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumThe scoop on raw water: Healing tonic or health hazard? • Cam & Co. GunlockTue, 9 Jan 2018 13:01:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumRaw Water—The New Year’s Biggest (and Most Dangerous) Scam<p> You know, I try to start the New Year on a positive note. I take a few days off, which includes getting off social media and I limit my time online. This break always leaves me feeling refreshed and with a more positive attitude about the world.</p> <p> And then, roughly seven seconds after returning from my break, I read about a new &ldquo;health&rdquo; trend hitting America: Raw Water. And I was back to being grumpy and stressed.</p> <p> Raw Water is marketed as superior to tap water (and even bottled water) because it comes from a river or a spring and isn&rsquo;t treated at all. No filtering, no cleaning, no nothing.</p> <p> The peddlers of raw water use a variety of both hilarious and conspiratorial reasons for its superiority. Here&rsquo;s just a taste:</p> <ul> <li> Claim: Fluoride in public water (tap water) is dangerous. Truth: There&rsquo;s no evidence that it&rsquo;s dangerous, but there&rsquo;s tons of evidence that fluoride in water has improved dental health in America (and other countries).</li> <li> Claim: The filtration used by public utilities removes beneficial minerals. Truth: Those minerals are also known as poop.</li> <li> Claim: Bottled spring water is treated&nbsp;with ultraviolet light to remove algae, which kills the &ldquo;probiotics&rdquo; in the water. Fact: Those probiotics are also called bacteria, which are known to give people diarrhea.</li> <li> Claim: The water from the tap just doesn&rsquo;t taste quite as refreshing. Fact: This is nonsense but I do look forward to the <strike>wine</strike> water tastings.</li> <li> Claim: Tap water is used as mind control by the government. Fact: This is true, to those who suffer from paranoid schizophrenia.</li> </ul> <p> What the purveyors of raw water don&rsquo;t talk about is that untreated water is also a home to things like E. coli bacteria, viruses, parasites and carcinogens (things that cause cancer). Interviewed by the New York Times on this trend, Dr. Donald Hensrud, the director of the&nbsp;<a href="">Healthy Living Program</a>&nbsp;at the Mayo Clinic said &ldquo;There&rsquo;s evidence all over the world of [the benefits of water treatment], and the reason we don&rsquo;t have [contaminated water] is because of our very efficient water treatment.&rdquo;</p> <p> Thankfully, media coverage of this trend has been overwhelmingly negative. Yet some outlets have been cautious not to criticize too much. For instance, <em>The New York Times</em> suggested a more virtuous motivation behind this trend, saying raw water is part of people&rsquo;s &ldquo;Rush to Get Off the Water Grid,&rdquo; which connects it to other, far less dangerous &ldquo;off the grid&rdquo; movements like homesteading and the locavore movement. <em>The Washington Post</em> was similarly generous; explaining to readers &ldquo;&hellip;why drinking it <strong><em>may</em></strong> be a bad idea.&rdquo; May? How about <em>IS</em>! Because it <em>IS,</em> without a doubt, a bad idea. And over at <em>Time</em> online, reporter Jaime Ducharme wrote an article titled, &ldquo;&rsquo;Raw Water&#39; Is a New Health Trend. But Is It Safe?&rdquo; Is it? Really? How about not asking a question with an obvious answer&hellip;to anyone with any sense of reality and the most basic understanding of history.</p> <p> Thankfully, there&rsquo;s been a significant amount of ridicule and serious warnings about raw water. <em><a href="">The Daily Beast</a></em> was unequivocal, calling it &ldquo;a scam.&rdquo; <a href="">David Gorski at <em>Science-Based Medicine</em></a> called it dangerous. And Beth Mole at <em>ArsTechnica </em>even <a href="">called out</a> the founder of Live Water, Doug Evens&mdash;a Silicon Valley entrepreneur who clearly <strike>has no morals</strike> understands the profitability of fear and misinformation. Mole writes:</p> <blockquote> <p> Doug Evans brought us the Juicero machine,&nbsp;a $400 gadget designed solely to squeeze eight ounces of liquid from proprietary bags of fruits and vegetables, which went for $5 to $8 apiece. Though the cold-pressed juice company initially wrung millions from investors, its profits&nbsp;ran dry last fall&nbsp;after journalists at Bloomberg revealed that the pricy pouch-pressing machine was, in fact, unnecessary. The journalists simply squeezed juice out of the bags by hand. But this didn&rsquo;t crush Evans. He immediately plunged into a new&mdash;and yet somehow even more dubious&mdash;beverage trend: &ldquo;raw&rdquo; water.</p> </blockquote> <p> The negative attention is clearly rattling Live Water, who offered this weak rebuttal on the company&rsquo;s website:</p> <p style="margin-left:.5in;"> Right now millions of chemicals are spilling into rivers and oceans. Synthetic toxins are rushing down from car washes, industrial waste from factories, and herbicides sprayed on edges of freeways. Synthetic fertilizers from lawns, golf courses and produce are purchased by the pallet every day.</p> <p style="margin-left:.5in;"> We can understand why it&rsquo;s challenging to believe that a source of water with no Industrial Age contamination exists.</p> <p> That message is designed to scare people about safe and FREE tap water, which of course creates a market for Raw Water, which is of course, the point.&nbsp;</p> <p> People should know the very positive truth about America&rsquo;s rivers, streams, lakes and yes, even the oceans, which are cleaner than ever before. Some of that is due to the Clean Water Act, which in its early years of implementation helped to improved waterways and water safety and cleanliness. Of course, water quality was improving long before that law passed as people were becoming more aware of pollution. Today, the Clean Water Act has become a bureaucratic nightmare for landowners and a barrier to those hoping to sue polluters who might harm property or public welfare. Yet, despite these issues, it&rsquo;s nonsense to claim the nation&rsquo;s water sources and public utilities are dangerous or in any way toxic.</p> <p> Raw Water is yet another silly health trend. Most of these health trends are harmless and silly and soon go out of fashion. But some stick around and can have serious deleterious affects on people and walk back decades of progressive improvements in the human condition. We&rsquo;ve seen this with other scientific and medical advances&mdash;vaccinations, pharmaceutical interventions for deadly diseases like cancer, pasteurization, chemicals used in food preservation and in manufacturing, GMOs and pesticide use.</p> GunlockThu, 4 Jan 2018 12:01:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumBob Geldof Should Write a New Tune: Do They Know They’re Starving?<p> In 1984, Irish singer-songwriter Bob Geldof gathered a few of his close and very famous friends to record &ldquo;Do They Know It&rsquo;s Christmas&rdquo;&mdash;the grossly overplayed and widely politically incorrect song composed to raise awareness and money for Ethiopian famine relief. The catchy chorus pleads with listeners to &ldquo;feed the world&rdquo; and yet more than thirty years after it topped the pop charts, famine continues to be a major problem in Africa.</p> <p> Today, the United Nations estimates that nearly 20 million people in Yemen, South Sudan, Somalia and northeast Nigeria are&nbsp;<a data-beacon="{&quot;p&quot;:{&quot;lnid&quot;:&quot;facing hunger and even starvation&quot;,&quot;mpid&quot;:1,&quot;plid&quot;:&quot;;}}" data-beacon-parsed="true" data-rapid-parsed="slk" data-rapid_p="2" data-v9y="1" data-ylk="subsec:paragraph;cpos:2" href="" target="_blank">facing hunger and even starvation</a>, making it the largest humanitarian crisis since the UN was created. Why this tragedy persists is complicated and involves a combination of factors&mdash;drought and crop failures as well as internal conflicts and wars.</p> <p> Yet, there&rsquo;s another factor that has contributed to the dogged food shortages in Africa and the reluctance of some of these nations to modernize their agricultural systems: radical green activists who relentlessly distort the truth about genetically modified (GM) crops and discourage agricultural progress&mdash;the very things that could actually help with the crisis.</p> <p> GM crops have certainly helped other countries develop into agriculture powerhouses. For instance, in the 1940s, American plant scientist Norman Borlaug helped Mexico transform from a system of small-scale cultivation to a massive producer and exporter of wheat, maize, and other crops. How did this happen?</p> <p> Borlaug, who is often called the father of the Green Revolution, developed a genetically modified high-yield, disease-resistant wheat variety, which was then adopted by many Mexican farmers, with the encouragement of the Mexican and American governments along with scientists and advocates working in Mexico. Soon, the same genetically modified crops were deployed to Pakistan and India, resulting in the transformation and modernization of those countries&rsquo; agricultural systems as well.</p> <p> Borlaug is credited with preventing over a billion deaths from starvation and in 1970 was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for helping to increase the world&rsquo;s food supply.</p> <p> Sadly, Africa has largely missed out on this green revolution, mostly due to green activists agitating against GMOs. Instead of being encouraged to adopt genetically modified crops that are disease and drought resistant and which consistently produce high yields while using less chemicals and fewer acres of land, African farmers have been told by activists to view these newfangled seeds with fear and skepticism. Activists even lie about the technology to stoke fears in local farming communities.</p> <p> Uganda is the second largest producer of bananas after India and is currently dealing with a pest problem that threatens to decimate the banana crop. Luckily, Ugandan scientists, supported by the Ugandan government, developed a genetically modified pest-resistant banana. Under any normal circumstances and certainly in Borlaug&rsquo;s day, this would be welcome news. But in our current and growing culture of alarmism, this scientific breakthrough was met with fear. This is partly due to the&nbsp;<a data-beacon="{&quot;p&quot;:{&quot;lnid&quot;:&quot;hard work of anti-GMO activists&quot;,&quot;mpid&quot;:2,&quot;plid&quot;:&quot;;}}" data-beacon-parsed="true" data-rapid-parsed="slk" data-rapid_p="3" data-v9y="1" data-ylk="subsec:paragraph;cpos:8" href="" target="_blank">hard work of anti-GMO activists</a>&nbsp;who have suggested, with no scientific data to back up the claim, that the technology increases obesity, cancer and infertility rates. These activists even use pictures of deformed animals to imply GMOs are responsible.</p> <p> This situation is repeated over and over again in Africa and in other developing regions as activists suggest a myriad of health problems are associated with consuming GMOs in order to sway public opinion against them. The cost of this cycle is high. In 2016,&nbsp;<a data-beacon="{&quot;p&quot;:{&quot;lnid&quot;:&quot;Zimbabwe was facing dangerous food shortages due to drought.&quot;,&quot;mpid&quot;:3,&quot;plid&quot;:&quot;;}}" data-beacon-parsed="true" data-rapid-parsed="slk" data-rapid_p="4" data-v9y="1" data-ylk="subsec:paragraph;cpos:9" href="" target="_blank">Zimbabwe was facing dangerous food shortages due to drought.</a>Despite the desperate situation, Zimbabwe decided to reject food aid containing GMO ingredients after activists told government leaders that GMO food was dangerous.</p> <p> These are the type of stories that motivated 100 Nobel laureates to sign a scornful letter accusing Greenpeace and other activist organizations of misleading vulnerable people. The open letter, published last year, stated: &ldquo;Greenpeace initially, and then some of their allies deliberately went out of their way to scare people. It was a way for them to raise money for their cause.&rdquo;</p> <p> A line in Geldof&rsquo;s song says, &ldquo;there&rsquo;s no need to be afraid.&rdquo; That is no longer true for those facing famine in developing nations. These desperate people should be very afraid of the powerful and vocal activists seeking to prolong their suffering and increase the preventable death toll.</p> <p> If those in Western nations are truly interested in Geldof&rsquo;s dream of feeding the world, we all need work to modernize the agricultural systems of developing nations and reign in the green activists that spread lies about these life saving techniques.</p> GunlockFri, 22 Dec 2017 09:12:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumThe CDC's Seven Word Myth--The Little Lie That Could<div dir="auto" style="font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 12.800000190734863px;"> <p> Earlier this week, Twitter blew up about a <a href="">story published in the Washington Post </a>that said the Centers for Disease Control had banned employees from using seven words: diversity, fetus, transgender, vulnerable, entitlement, science-based, and evidence-based.</p> <p> The Post story was based on one, anonymous source. ONE. ANONYMOUS. SOURCE.</p> <p> And for that, Twitter and the mainstream news media went completely bonkers. Charges of &quot;totalitarianism!&quot; and &quot;censorship!&quot; and dire predictions of the &quot;anti-science&quot; Trump administration were everywhere. The Left even trotted out &#39;ole reliable: NAZIS!!!</p> <p> The pearl clutching continued for a good two or three days until a blog post by <a href=";utm_medium=twitter">Tyler Cowen over at Marginal Revolution</a> planted a seed of doubt about the Washington Post story.</p> <blockquote> <p> This story may well be true, but I&rsquo;d like more than &ldquo;&hellip;according to an analyst who took part in the 90-minute briefing.&rdquo;&nbsp; Here is another account of what exactly is known.&nbsp; Wasn&rsquo;t &ldquo;not publishing the article until it is better sourced&rdquo; the evidence-based thing to do?</p> </blockquote> <p> And then, hours later, National Affairs Founder Yuval Levin brilliantly revealed the whole story (emphasis mine) over at National Review.</p> <blockquote> <p> ...what happened regarding these other terms (&ldquo;transgender,&rdquo; &ldquo;fetus,&rdquo; &ldquo;evidence-based,&rdquo; and &ldquo;science-based&rdquo;) <strong>was not that retrograde Republicans ordered career CDC officials not to use these terms but that career CDC officials assumed retrograde Republicans would be triggered by such words and, in an effort to avoid having such Republicans cut their budgets, reasoned they might be best avoided. </strong>With regard to &ldquo;evidence-based&rdquo; and &ldquo;science-based&rdquo; in particular, I gather the reasoning was simpler than that, and that the group thought these terms are so overused in the CDC budget documents they were discussing as to become nearly meaningless and that their use should be limited to where it actually made a point.</p> </blockquote> <p> So, again, what occurred here is that in a move to be cautious on budget documents, some low-level CDC hack told CDC employees to avoid certain words that might hinder funding chances--and only in budget documents, not documents that would be made public, not in guidance to the public and not in studies or in scientific papers. When asked to comment on the charge, the heads of the CDC and HHS issues statements fully and forcefully denying the words had been banned as an agency-wide policy.&nbsp;</p> <p> Naturally, the hysteria about the seven words continues as smug, liberal suffering from Trump derangement syndrome ignore the full and complete story in favor of the Post&#39;s made up report that fits in nicely with the anti-Trump narrative. And naturally, none of the facts that have come out subsequent has resulted in the Post issuing a retraction or a correction. In fact, Post reporter Lena Sun doubled down, tweeting</p> <blockquote> <p> <span style="color: rgb(20, 23, 26); font-family: &quot;Helvetica Neue&quot;, Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; white-space: pre-wrap; background-color: rgb(245, 248, 250);">If folks at other federal agencies are also being told to avoid certain words in drafting budget narratives, please feel free to contact us via our secure drop </span><a class="twitter-timeline-link" data-expanded-url="" dir="ltr" href="" rel="nofollow noopener" style="color: rgb(29, 161, 242); text-decoration: none; font-family: &quot;Helvetica Neue&quot;, Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; white-space: pre-wrap;" target="_blank" title=""><span class="invisible" style="font-size: 0px; line-height: 0;">http://</span><span class="js-display-url"></span><span class="tco-ellipsis"><span class="invisible" style="font-size: 0px; line-height: 0;">&nbsp;</span></span></a><span style="color: rgb(20, 23, 26); font-family: &quot;Helvetica Neue&quot;, Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; white-space: pre-wrap; background-color: rgb(245, 248, 250);">. Thanks so much.</span></p> </blockquote> <p> Yes, thanks so much, Ms. Sun, for providing more evidence that the Washington Post is a joke that willfully misleads the American public.</p> </div> <p> &nbsp;</p> GunlockWed, 20 Dec 2017 08:12:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumDid President Trump Ban the CDC From Using 7 Words • Cam & Company GunlockTue, 19 Dec 2017 08:12:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumScrooges at the FDA: No raw cookie dough!<p> <strong>The FDA&#39;s latest warning on raw cookie dough, issued just in time for Christmas, is providing plenty of food for thought &ndash; one thought being: Who has time to devote to such absurd warnings?</strong></p> <p> Eating raw dough or batter &ndash; whether it&#39;s for bread, cookies, pizza or tortillas &ndash; could make individuals sick, says Jenny Scott, a senior advisor in FDA&#39;s Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition.</p> <p> According to Scott, the bottom line for parents and their children is: don&#39;t eat raw dough. And even though there are websites devoted to &quot;flour crafts,&quot; don&#39;t allow children to play with raw dough or baking mixes that contain flour. Why?</p> <p> &quot;Flour, regardless of the brand, can contain bacteria that cause disease,&quot;&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">the FDA explains</a>. &quot;In 2016, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), along with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and state and local officials, investigated an outbreak of infections that illustrated the dangers of eating raw dough. Dozens of people across the country were sickened by a strain of bacteria called Shiga toxin-producing E. coli O121.&quot;</p> <p> The investigation found that raw dough eaten or handled by some of the patients was made with flour found in subsequent tests by the FDA to have the same bacterium that was making people sick. Ten million pounds of flour were recalled, including unbleached, all-purpose, and self-rising varieties.</p> <p> Some of the recalled flours had been sold to restaurants that allow children to play with dough made from the raw flour while waiting for their meals. CDC advises restaurants not to give customers raw dough &ndash; and the FDA offers a similar discouraging word to childcare facilities and preschools that let children play with raw dough.</p> <p style="margin-left: 40px;"> <span style="font-size:14px;"><strong><span style="color:#ffffff;"><span style="background-color:#ea425b;">OneNewsNow sought reaction from Julie Gunlock, director of the Culture of Alarmism Project at the&nbsp;</span></span><a href="" target="_blank"><span style="color:#ffffff;"><span style="background-color:#ea425b;">Independent Women&#39;s Forum</span></span></a><span style="color:#ffffff;"><span style="background-color:#ea425b;">.</span></span></strong></span></p> <p style="margin-left: 40px;"> <span style="color:#ffffff;"><span style="font-size:14px;"><strong><span style="background-color:#ea425b;">&quot;The Food and Drug Administration&#39;s latest warning not to eat raw cookie dough should have all Americans worried &ndash; not about the dangers posed by raw cookie dough, which are minuscule for otherwise healthy people, but about a government that has grown so large that it has time to issue absurd health warnings while treating free citizens like they are simple children incapable of measuring risk,&quot; responds Gunlock.</span></strong></span></span></p> <p style="margin-left: 40px;"> <span style="color:#ffffff;"><span style="font-size:14px;"><strong><span style="background-color:#ea425b;">&quot;Clearly it&#39;s time to cut government if federal agencies have time to cook up alerts on nonsense like this.&quot;</span></strong></span></span></p> <p style="margin-left: 40px;"> <span style="font-size:14px;"><strong><a href="" target="_blank"><span style="color:#ffffff;"><span style="background-color:#ea425b;">Writing about the FDA&#39;s &quot;cookie dough&quot; warning</span></span></a><span style="color:#ffffff;"><span style="background-color:#ea425b;">, Gunlock adds: &quot;... The scolds at the Food and Drug Administration are warning Americans about the mortal danger associated with licking raw cookie dough off a wooden spoon. If that&#39;s not a sign from Santa that the government has gotten too big, what is?&quot;</span></span></strong></span></p> GunlockFri, 15 Dec 2017 10:12:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumDisney Buys Fox, Mickey Becomes Mighty<p> The Walt Disney Company has closed a deal to acquire a significant portion of 21st Century Fox Inc. In the nearly $60 billion deal, Disney will get Twentieth Century Fox&rsquo;s movie and TV studio, cable channels that include sports networks, and international properties. The deal does not include Fox News or Fox Business. Disney assets now include Pixar, Star Wars, Marvel Studios, ABC, ESPN, half of A&amp;E and 30% of Hulu, among other properties. This near-monopolization of media companies by Disney is troubling for a number of reasons.</p> <p> While the most obvious objections folks may have are concerns over monopolization, and that means the even larger issue is one of message control. Execs at Disney will now have greater power to push their own worldview while excluding others. As Jim Geraghty of National Review&nbsp;<a href="">notes</a>, &ldquo;More than a few conservatives contend they see some heavy-handed propagandizing in Disney&rsquo;s entertainment options. The controversies about ESPN growing more political are well-covered. <span style="color:#ffffff;"><strong><span style="font-size:14px;"><span style="background-color:#ea425b;">Julie Gunlock recently laid out the increasingly crass and activist tone on the programs of the Disney Channel and Disney XD. Disney&rsquo;s CEO, Bob Iger, has grown increasingly vocal about topics like the DACA program, the Paris climate accords, and gun control.&rdquo;</span></span></strong></span></p> <p> If conservatives are opposed to Big Government, they should be equally concerned with the dangers posed by Big Business. Hot Air&rsquo;s Ed Morrissey&nbsp;<a href="">writes</a>, &ldquo;Mega-acquisitions like Disney&rsquo;s and AT&amp;T&rsquo;s put far too much control over communications and industry into too few hands. We want a free market, but when consolidation reduces a market to one or two entrants, consumers no longer get free choice and dynamic innovation.&quot;?</p> GunlockFri, 15 Dec 2017 10:12:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumHappy Birthday Bill of Rights<p> On this day, 226 years ago, Virginia became the 10th of 14 states to approve the first ten amendments to the constitution, which gave the Bill of Rights the two-thirds majority of state ratification necessary to make it legal.&nbsp;<a href="">The Heritage Foundation</a>&nbsp;provides an excellent history of the struggle to get those first 10 amendments to our constitution adopted by the states and offers a fine explanation of why the Bill of Rights continues to be among the most important documents in our Nation&#39;s history.</p> <blockquote> <p> There is one final question to be answered: Even if Madison believed that a bill of rights could be framed--as ours surely was--with the intent of preventing the implication of powers not granted to the government by the Constitution, what benefit could be gained by it? Was it not Madison who argued most forcefully that we cannot trust in parchment barriers? The answer is that Madison indeed thought ambition would counteract ambition, to &quot;oblige the government to control itself&nbsp;this was the idea of checks and balances. But it does not explain how the Founders proposed to safeguard individual liberty from tyranny of the majority, rather than tyranny of the rulers over the ruled. The safeguard of individual liberty, Madison reasoned, must lie with the people themselves. It is the people who must be responsible for defending their liberties. And a bill of rights, Madison and his colleagues finally concluded, might support public understanding and knowledge of individual liberty that would assist citizens in the task of defending their liberties.</p> <p> A bill of rights, they saw, could serve the noble purpose of public education and edification.&nbsp;As Madison confided to Jefferson, &quot;The political truths declared in that solemn manner acquire by degrees the character of fundamental maxims of free Government, and as they become incorporated with the national sentiment, counteract the impulses of interest and passion.&quot;</p> <p> From this view, our first 10 amendments are still important today, in their text and substance, beyond their legal effect. They still call upon us to study them for the sake of knowing our liberties and defending them from all encroachments. Although these amendments may be nothing more than &quot;parchment barriers,&quot; they can still provide a bulwark against encroachments on our rights. For as Hamilton wrote in&nbsp;<em>Federalist</em>&nbsp;84, the security of liberty, &quot;whatever fine declarations may be inserted in any constitution respecting it, must altogether depend on public opinion, and on the general spirit of the people and of the government. And here, after all...must we seek for the only solid basis of all our rights.&quot;</p> </blockquote> <p> While the Constitution now has 27 amendments, the first ten articles that make up the Bill of Rights are the iconic pledge that all Americans have the right to:</p> <ul> <li> Freedom of speech, press, religion and assembly</li> <li> Keeping and bearing arms</li> <li> Freedom from unreasonable search or seizure</li> <li> Due process</li> <li> Speedy trial</li> <li> Trial by a jury</li> <li> Freedom from cruel and unusual punishment&nbsp;</li> </ul> <p> We should all talk to our kids today about the importance of the Bill of Rights and the ongoing struggle to protect the freedom of all Americans.&nbsp;</p> GunlockFri, 15 Dec 2017 09:12:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumCookie Dough Killer?<p> Just in time for the Christmas cookie season, the scolds at the Food and Drug Administration are warning Americans about the mortal danger associated with licking raw cookie dough off a wooden spoon. If that&rsquo;s not a sign from Santa that the government has gotten too big, what is?</p> <p> The FDA has a long history of issuing these sorts of warnings, which do nothing more than convey the agency&rsquo;s belief that Americans are troublesome children incapable of assessing the risk associated with common, everyday (and totally joyful) situations or accepting the consequences of one&rsquo;s own risky behavior.</p> <p> Most people know eating raw food (or raw ingredients in delicious things like cookie dough) carries some risk and yet, we&rsquo;re willing to do it because things like sushi, oysters, rare steak, unpasteurized french cheeses and even the uncomplicated pleasure of raw cookie dough licked off a mixer blade tastes good.</p> <p> This latest FDA warning likely stems from a 2016 outbreak of E. coli, the result of contaminated flour. That outbreak sickened 26 people in 24 states. Or perhaps the warning is associated with the FDA&rsquo;s ongoing obsession with the raw eggs in cookie dough and the remote chance that you might have used an egg contained salmonella. Lenore Skenazy (of Free Range Kids and now&nbsp;<a href="">Let Grow</a>)&nbsp;<a href="">looked into the raw egg freak-out</a>&nbsp;a few years ago (also the focus of an FDA warning) and she figured out that it was much ado about not much at all:</p> <blockquote> <p> Some of you may recall that just a few years ago we were being warned to avoid eating cookie dough not because of the flour but because of the raw eggs. I did my research back then and discovered that only 1 out of 30,000 eggs carries salmonella, and of the people who contract it, 94 percent don&#39;t go to the hospital.</p> </blockquote> <p> Of course, this isn&#39;t to suggest foodborne illnesses aren&rsquo;t something to be concerned about but when you consider these relatively low numbers, does it really warrant a <em>federal</em> agency issue a warning? Perhaps these numbers offer a reason celebrate that in our day and age, 24 people with a tummy ache is considered an &quot;outbreak&quot; and 1 out of 30,000 eggs is a reason to worry.</p> <p> What&#39;s often forgotten in these situations is the loss of fun that comes when these warnings are issued. No doubt someone will see this warning and instead of enjoying a spoonful of cookie dough, caution will lead them to immediately rinse the bowl. Of course, the very young, elderly, or immunocompromise must take extra precautions. But why should everyone be told to skip this guilty pleasure?</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> GunlockWed, 13 Dec 2017 16:12:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumStatement: 'Tis Not the Season to Freak Out Over Raw Cookie Dough<p style="text-align: center;"> <a href=""><strong><img alt="" height="143" src="" width="500" /><br /> <img alt="" height="115" src="" width="500" /></strong></a></p> <p> IMMEDIATE RELEASE<br /> Wednesday, December 13,&nbsp;2017</p> <p style="text-align: center;"> <br /> <span style="font-size:18px">STATEMENT</span></p> <p style="text-align: center;"> <span style="font-size:20px"><strong>&#39;TIS&nbsp;NOT THE SEASON TO FREAK OUT OVER COOKIE DOUGH<br /> FDA COOKS UP ALARMISM OVER RAW DOUGH</strong></span></p> <p style="text-align: center;"> &nbsp;</p> <p> WASHINGTON, D.C.&nbsp;-- Independent Women&rsquo;s Forum <strong>Culture of Alarmism project director Julie Gunlock </strong>issued the statement below on the U.S. Food and Drug Administration&#39;s&nbsp;new warning against consuming raw cookie dough:</p> <p> &quot;The Food and Drug Administration&#39;s latest warning not to eat raw cookie dough should have all Americans worried: Not about the dangers posed by raw cookie dough, which are minuscule&nbsp;for otherwise healthy people, but about a government that has grown so large that it has time to issue absurd health warnings while treating free citizens like they are simple children incapable of measuring risk. Clearly it&#39;s time to cut government if federal agencies have time to cook up alerts on nonsense like this.&quot;</p> <p align="center"> ####</p> <p align="center"> <a href="" target="_blank"></a></p> <p> <em>Independent Women&#39;s Forum is dedicated to developing and advancing policies that aren&rsquo;t just well intended, but actually enhance people&rsquo;s freedom, choices, and opportunities.</em></p> <p dir="ltr"> --</p> <table dir="ltr"> <colgroup> <col /> <col /> </colgroup> <tbody> <tr> <td> <p dir="ltr"> <a href="" target="_blank"><img alt="IWF_Stacked.png" height="29" src="" width="92" /></a></p> </td> <td> <p dir="ltr"> Victoria Coley<br /> VP, Communications<br /> <a href="" target="_blank">Independent Women&rsquo;s Forum</a><br /> &nbsp;</p> </td> </tr> </tbody> </table> <p> &nbsp;</p> GunlockWed, 13 Dec 2017 13:12:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumWhat London Could Learn From Los Angeles About Banning Fast Food<p> London Mayor Sadiq Khan recently&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">announced</a>&nbsp;plans to ban future construction of fast food restaurants within 400 meters of city schools. Khan says the policy is designed to reduce the &ldquo;ticking time bomb&rdquo; of childhood obesity.</p> <p> Khan&rsquo;s right to be concerned about the health of London&rsquo;s children. According to various reports, London has the highest rate of overweight children in England. But is banning restaurants that serve high-calorie meals the right answer? Such a move suggests fast food is to blame. Khan certainly thinks so. Consider what he said about the new policy (emphasis mine), &ldquo;Takeaway restaurants are a vibrant part of London life, but it&rsquo;s important that&nbsp;<strong><em>they</em></strong>&nbsp;are not encouraging our children to make poor food choices.&rdquo;</p> <p> They? Are they&mdash;meaning the restaurants&mdash;encouraging children to make poor choices simply by existing? Do&nbsp;<em>they</em>&nbsp;have that power? Khan goes on to explain that his plan &ldquo;will encourage a healthier food environment around our schools so that junk food is no longer the option for children nearest the school gates.&rdquo;</p> <p> It&rsquo;s true that banning the construction of fast food restaurants will limit children&rsquo;s ability to eat that type of food, but only when they&rsquo;re at school or right after school is dismissed. What happens when those kids go home or take a bus to an area where fast food restaurants are located?</p> <p> What Khan and many other politicians who pursue these sorts of anti-obesity policies fail to consider is the important role parents play in a child&rsquo;s nutritional development. Parents who are involved in feeding their children and who take an active role in explaining healthy food decisions are more likely to have healthy kids. This might seem like common sense, yet encouraging parental involvement is never considered a policy worth trying.</p> <p> Here&rsquo;s another reason to give the parent strategy a try: banning fast food restaurants has been tried before and it failed spectacularly.</p> <p> In 2009, the Los Angeles City Council unanimously passed a regulation to&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">ban new construction of fast-food restaurants in South Los Angeles</a>ostensibly, like the London policy, to curb obesity in the city. This policy was widely praised at the time by food writers, politicians and health activists who said a fast food ban was a positive step towards helping people make better nutrition decisions.</p> <p> Yet, by 2015, a&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">study by the RAND Corporation</a>&nbsp;proved that the policy was a dud. The report stated that the policy &ldquo;failed to reduce fast-food consumption or reduce obesity rates in the targeted neighborhood.&rdquo; In fact, obesity rates in that area of Los Angeles had risen at a faster rate than in areas of the city that didn&rsquo;t ban fast food restaurants. Apparently, those who applauded the plan didn&rsquo;t know that cars and buses could transport people to other areas of the city&mdash;specifically areas that still allowed fast food restaurants to exist.</p> <p> While obesity didn&rsquo;t decrease in South Los Angeles, something else did: the employment rate. According to the Los Angeles Times, by 2012, South Los Angeles&mdash;where the fast food bans were in place&mdash;was economically worse off than it was at the time of the riots two decades earlier.&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">The&nbsp;<em>Los Angeles Times</em></a>&nbsp;reported at the time:</p> <p> Median income, when adjusted for inflation, is lower. Many middle-class blacks have fled in search of safer neighborhoods and better schools. And the unemployment rate, which was bad at the time of the riots, has reached even more dire levels. In two areas of South Los Angeles&mdash;Florence Graham and Westmont&mdash;unemployment is almost 24%. Back in 1992, it was 21% in Florence Graham and 17% in Westmont.</p> <p> Naturally, the article failed to mention that the fast food ban as at least partially responsible for the dearth of low skilled jobs&mdash;the very jobs that often employ workers just entering the workforce and teenagers, who often lack the type of work experience that would help them get higher-paying jobs.</p> <p> The L.A. fast food ban offers a valuable lesson about the unintended consequences of &ldquo;good for you&rdquo; government policies. They might sound good on paper but they rarely lead to improved health outcomes and sometimes, they even end up hurting the very people they are intended to help.</p> <p> Let&rsquo;s hope London is listening.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> GunlockTue, 12 Dec 2017 08:12:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumStars Can Do Good<p> I&#39;m no fan of Hollywood and even less impressed with entertainers who rant about policy issues about which they know very little or <a href="">take pot shots</a> at government employees who bravely stand up and face the press each day. Yet, stars can and sometimes do use their fame for good. Take the heatbreaking case of Knoxville teen Keaton Jones who just last week appeared in a heartbreaking viral video begging to be left alone by school bullies.</p> <p> <iframe allow="encrypted-media" allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" gesture="media" height="315" src="" width="560"></iframe></p> <p> This isn&#39;t easy stuff to watch and yet, the follow-up story is the sort of thing Hollywood tear-jerker movies are made of. After the video when viral, several A-list celebrities reached out to Jones, including Katy Perry and Demi Lovato. Even Captain America himself, Chris Evans, tweeted the teen to invite him and his mother to the premier of the latest Avengers movie. That&#39;s cool.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en"> Stay strong, Keaton. Don&rsquo;t let them make you turn cold. I promise it gets better. While those punks at your school are deciding what kind of people they want to be in this world, how would you and your mom like to come to the Avengers premiere in LA next year? <a href=""></a></p> &mdash; Chris Evans (@ChrisEvans) <a href="">December 10, 2017</a></blockquote> <script async src="" charset="utf-8"></script> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> Of course, the real hero of this story is young Jones who with brutal honesty, bravery, and a genuine curisouty about what makes people be so mean to each other highlighted an issue all parents should be aware of and guard against--bullying. It&#39;s important that parents not only be aware of the bullying their children might be experiencing; it&#39;s important parents talk to their children about the bullying they purpetuate, either through actively engaging in it or sitting passively and letting it happen to others.&nbsp;</p> <p> I hope little Keaton Jones goes to Hollywood and has a great night at a movie premier. And I hope his classmates learn a valuable lesson about how kindness is the better path.&nbsp;</p> <div> &nbsp;</div> GunlockMon, 11 Dec 2017 11:12:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's Forum