Julian Assange Arrested

It’s finally happened, folks.

Julian Assange arrested after U.S. extradition request, charged with hacking government computer

British police invited to Ecuadorian embassy after asylum withdrawn

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange was arrested by British police on Thursday in the Ecuadorian Embassy where he’d been holed up since 2012 after the United States requested his extradition, London police say.

London police confirmed Assange was arrested “on behalf of the United States,” which requested Assange’s extradition, as well as for breaching British bail conditions.

U.S. prosecutors said they have charged Assange with conspiracy in trying to access a classified U.S. government computer with former U.S. Army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning in 2010.

The U.S. indictment accuses Assange of assisting Manning in cracking a password that helped the former intelligence analyst infiltrate Pentagon computers.

Assange faces a maximum penalty of five years in prison, the U.S. Justice Department said in a statement.

On Thursday, Assange was found guilty at London’s Westminster Magistrates’ Court of skipping bail in 2012 after an extradition order to Sweden over an allegation of rape. Assange, who pleaded not guilty, will be sentenced at a later date when he will face a maximum sentence of 12 months in prison for the offence.

https://www.cbc.ca/news/world/assange-arrested-london-1.5093405

The prick has been arrested. And it’s about fucking time.

My opinion towards Julian Assange has changed a lot in the past 3ish years. Up until late 2016, I didn’t give him all that much thought really. Back in October 2016, I viewed him in a manner that turned out to be borderline delusional.

To quote me:

Which makes me wonder . . . is Assange holding out because he views (as many people of intellectual capacity have in recent months) Trump as genuinely dangorous? Is he holding out because he does not want to interfer with the democratic process of a nation? Or was it all just a bluff after all?

https://mbman.wordpress.com/2016/10/04/is-julian-assange-holding-out-on-us/

I don’t beat myself up too badly for misjudging that one, because pretty much everyone bows at the altar of Julian Assange, Free press advocate for the masses. It would not be until later that I realized how completely wrong I had gotten it. And unlike seemingly 99.9% of his followers, admitted it fully and openly.

Transparency?
Sure, he’s for that. . . for one side.

Hesitant to interfere with the democratic happenings of a sovereign nation?
Not a fucking chance.

And then there are the rape cases in Sweeden, which even many respected femenist journalists like Christopher Hedges like to either ignore or downplay.

Assange took refuge in the embassy to avoid being extradited to Sweden, where authorities wanted to question him as part of a sexual assault investigation. That probe was later dropped, but Sweden’s prosecution authority said Thursday the legal counsel of the alleged victim has requested that the preliminary investigation be reopened. That request has been assigned to a prosecutor who will determine how to proceed.

Assange hadn’t left the embassy since August 2012 for fear that if he steps off Ecuador’s diplomatic soil he will be arrested and extradited to the U.S. for publishing thousands of classified military and diplomatic cables through WikiLeaks.

He was running from a rape charge. But the United States just so happened to come up as a convenient scapegoat to avoid prosecution. Fortunately for Assange, one of the cases has already been closed on account to the statute of limitations running out. The other one times out next year, however. Though that likely won’t matter either, since he will be spending 5 years in prison (apparently the maximum sentence for the crime. Which fits . . .it’s a computer crime).

Speaking of his sentence:

Assange faces a maximum penalty of five years in prison, the U.S. Justice Department said in a statement.

On Thursday, Assange was found guilty at London’s Westminster Magistrates’ Court of skipping bail in 2012 after an extradition order to Sweden over an allegation of rape. Assange, who pleaded not guilty, will be sentenced at a later date when he will face a maximum sentence of 12 months in prison for the offence.

5 years! Really, he fled to avoid a 5-year sentence?!

What a goddamned pussy. Jesus Christ.

But the fun doesn’t stop there, oh no. The reason why the Ecuadorians eventually decided to give him the boot is even more hilarious. Primarily in its exposure of how much of an entitled jackass the man is.

In a statement earlier Thursday, London police said they arrested Assange after being “invited into the embassy by the ambassador, following the Ecuadorian government’s withdrawal of asylum.”

Ecuadorian President Lenin Moreno said Assange’s diplomatic asylum was withdrawn for repeated violations of international conventions. Ecuador received a guarantee from Britain that Assange would not be extradited to a country where he could face the death penalty, Moreno said.

Ecuador’s foreign minister also announced that Assange’s Ecuadorian citizenship was suspended.

And then there was this:

Assange’s relationship with his hosts collapsed after Ecuador accused him of leaking information about Moreno’s personal life. Moreno had previously said Assange has violated the terms of his asylum.

So, not only did he not stop attempting to meddle in the affairs of other soverign nations whilst in their embassy (putting Equador in an extremely diplomatically awkward position), he also directly bit the hand that feeds him. Granted, it was a new administration that wasn’t as friendly to his presence as the previous one.

None the less . . . Jackass.

As reported before, a certified roommate from hell. But also a roommate from hell that actively targeted you and your friend’s personal lives in order to post the goods on facebook and twitter. To any of us, a scumbag worthy of landing on the street without our remorse. To a nation-state granting assylum, a potential risk to national security.

Now, despite all of the barbs in which I have tossed towards Assange, I admit that I am not sure that I agree with why he has become the martyr that he now is.

Should the alleged rapist have to face the music in Sweeden?

Yes.

Should he have to face the music for his part on bringing some transparency to the otherwise opaque entity that is the American military-industrial complex?

I don’t know. Even the way I worded that is quite, slanted. Not untrue . . . just very biased.

Either way, should he (and others involved) be punished for bringing some transparency to the citizens of the United States (and the world)?
Again, I don’t know.
The idealists and the free speech absolutists would likely say that the answer to that question is obvious. Maybe for them. But much like my view of free speech absolutism itself, I need more information before I can make a judgement.
In the case of free speech, are the potential downstream ramifications worth the open and unchecked platforms?
And in the case of Wikileaks and Assange, was the damage done and the doxing of informants worth the release of the information in its entirety?

Of course, the Department of Justice and the US Government are going to stick to one extreme, and the Assange and Wiki followers to the other, with likely no hope in hell of some sort of rational compromise being discussed in the middle. None the less, I live in the middle. Even if it often leads to my stance on a great many issues being very . . . uncommitted.

Either way, if you are one that STILL worships at the altar of Jullian Assange, I implore you to do a little digging. Even aside from matters in his personal life, the man is hardly a non-partisan actor in the worldwide political scene.

He may have once had credibility. But it is now LONG gone.

Some of my previous explorations:

Is Julian Assange Holding Out On Us? – October 10, 2016

“Crucifying Julian Assange” – (Truthdig) – November 12, 2018

Assange Is Going Home – November 27, 2018

“Julian Assange Receives His Passport” – (Counterpunch) – March 6, 2019

“Diabetes Shocker Has Medical World Up In Arms”

I recently received a promotional email from the platform Patheos (I am on a few of their mailing lists) which was interesting to me.
This has happened before (also on patheos) when I saw an ad for a product that allegedly had the cure for dementia. This latest addition brings up another so-called medical marvel.

This time, however, for diabetics. Sent on behalf of a company called Constitutional Health, let’s get into it.

Here is the video link:

https://constitutionalhealth.com/secret/blueprint/webinar-pr1/?utm_campaign=2942018_Patheos&utm_medium=email&AFID=1&SID=2942018_Patheos&utm_source=dedicated

Interestingly, though they use proprietary Youtube logo’s both in the email and within the link, I couldn’t open the link in youtube itself (and therefore directly embed the video here). Possibly explainable legitimately. But also a red flag, since universally recognized logos can lend legitimacy to the material they are associated with.

The video is essentially a testimonial of a man named Jacob’s experience with this so-called miracle diabetes reversal method called The DWD Protocol (DWD meaning Done With Diabetes).
I use the word miracle because of the nature of the video, obviously aimed at those of faithful sensibilities (the main Patheos userbase). And yes, yet another tri-acronym protocol.
This is aparently brought to us by a physician named Dr. Roy Taylor (more on the aparently later). According to the video, the protocol reboots the pancreas to quote do what God intended it to do, aka keep your blood sugar levels healthy and reverse insulin resistance.

This new protocol allegedly sharply reduces the need (or even eliminates!) the necessity of medication.

Though I would normally watch the provided video webinar to its conclusion, I just . . . couldn’t. Though these things always beat around the bush right to the very last second, this one had no end in sight. With a healthy dose of fearmongering, conspiratorial allegations against drug companies and the American Diabetes Association, AND promotion of distrust in people’s personal physicians, I couldn’t hear it any longer.

I already have extracted the most important details that I needed.

The DWD (Done With Diabetes) protocol.

https://dwdprotocol.com/

The DWD Lifestyle Blueprint focuses not on treating symptoms but addressing the lifestyle factors which lead to type 2 diabetes in the first place—the same factors that ensure it remains a chronic, ongoing disease. With step-by-step guides, natural nutritional support, and behavioral strategies firmly grounded in psychology, the Lifestyle Blueprint provides the tools people need to achieve long-term healthy change.

The four-module Success Blueprint addresses the most important lifestyle factors for type 2 diabetics, fostering healthy habits by giving them the education they’re missing and the tools for consistent success. Community support ensures that users stay on target. And the powerful DWDX3 supplement, clinically-proven to support insulin sensitivity, offers physical support for recovery from the damage done by type 2 diabetes.

So it looks like we’re dealing with a sort of educational and nutritional manual in combination with a proprietary supplement.

The core of the program is the very low calorie DWD reversal diet, based on groundbreaking studies 1,2,3 showing that very low calorie diets of 600 to 800 calories per day can reverse type 2 diabetes. But where other such diets employ meal-replacement shakes to achieve their goal, the DWD diet takes users through eight weeks of very low calorie eating based on real food. For the duration of the program, users will prepare their own healthy low-calorie meals, aided by the dedicated cookbook included with each module. They will also learn to calculate their unique energy and macronutrient needs. By the end of the program will have all the tools they need to maintain a healthy weight—and blood glucose–long-term.

But diet is only one factor affecting the development of type 2 diabetes. Each of the four modules addresses one important aspect of lifestyle and is designed to bring about positive change in that area. Each day, users will be given education, activities, and exercises intended to highlight the behaviors which contribute to type 2 diabetes and modify those behaviors organically.

I can’t see all that much wrong with this so far. There is nothing wrong with encouraging people to take responsibility for their own health and well being. There are other ways to get this information than paying these guys for it but to each his own.

Hint: Use a search engine. The vast library that is the resources of the internet is a godsend to almost anyone inquiring into almost anything.

The final component is the concentrated DWDX3 supplement. This proprietary formula is comprised entirely of vitamins, minerals, and botanicals clinically proven* to support healthy blood sugar levels and protect against the damage caused by type 2 diabetes.

This is the part that has me curious. The supplement.

As a rule, I don’t trust supplements because they are regulated differently than other food and drugs (at least in the US and Canada), so you are often at the mercy of seller honesty when you are purchasing this type of stuff. Consider the Alex Jones example. Or for that matter, that it’s not all that uncommon for supplements to claim to contain ingredients that they don’t actually have.

From frozen dinners to vitamins, the labels on our foods are sometimes incorrect. Earlier this month, the attorney general of New York accused GNC GNC, -2.47%  , Target TGT, -0.34%  , Walgreens and Wal-Mart WMT, +1.34%   of selling herbal supplements that claimed to contain ingredients they didn’t actually contain; indeed, DNA tests of some of these stores’ supplements found that just 21% contained DNA from the herbs and plants listed on the label.

The New York review wasn’t the first to reach such conclusions. A study released in 2013 in the journal BMC Medicine — in which 44 bottles of herbal supplements from 12 companies were tested — found that one-third of the supplements tested didn’t contain the supplement advertised (so, for example, a bottle of St. John’s wort didn’t actually have any St. John’s wort herb in it). Many other supplements contained ingredients like wheat and rice that weren’t even listed on the label—even though they can cause allergic reactions in some consumers.

https://www.marketwatch.com/story/margin-of-error-on-food-labels-20-2013-11-07

The final sentence is particularly disturbing. Allergies can literally be a death sentence for some people. Making this problem far worse than a simple issue of deceiving a consumer for profit.

Let me be clear . . . I am not making any claims of certainty about the DWDX3 supplement. All I am telling readers of this blog is that they should exercise caution in terms of supplements because not all participants consider your wellbeing as their top priority.

Consider this legal disclaimer that was prominently displayed on the webinar video I referred to earlier.

Either way, time to look into this.

Interestingly enough, the first link I found was to a Medium article reviewing a book (and process) called the diabetes protocol, which is entirely different than the one I am looking into. That protocol and book were created by Dr. Kenneth Pullman. Interestingly, the links to materials on Pullman’s official site are now broken. The review was written back in September 2014.

Though the link went dead sometime in 2016, thanks to the way back machine, we can have some insight into what the page looked like.

Where have I seen this before . . .

Next on the docket is . . . a review of Done With Diabetes. Here, however, the product is credited to a Dr. Eugene Koprowski (as opposed to Dr. Roy Taylor). Interestingly, most of the references I found in the wilds of the search engine results also credit a Dr. Koprowski. Only the video and email distributed to Patheo’s users seems to credit Dr. Roy Taylor from Newcastle, England.

https://www.organicsupplementsreview.com/done-with-diabetes/

I found this link through a video testimonial that came up with my first search query.

Here, I suspect yet another common form of digital marketing trickery. This time, I will pass the baton to CBC’s Marketplace. Allow them to highlight why you should be careful of these everyday person type reviews and testimonials.

And for this matter, online reviews in general.

Next, we have . . . yet another book by yet another doctor (Dr. Neal B. Barnard). Given your newfound education in analyzing online reviews, did anything seem amiss?

It seems that there is no shortage of doctors promoting different diabetes fixes. A regular cottage industry, it seems.

The most obvious question that comes to my mind is can diabetes be reversed, PERIOD? Seems like a good jumping off point (being that it covers everything past and present, DWD included).

A Time magazine article from September 2017 claims that the answer is yes, based on a newly released paper.

An analysis published in The BMJ aims to let doctors and the public in on a little-known secret: Type 2 diabetes, in many cases, is curable.

People can reverse their diabetes by losing about 33 pounds, say the authors of the new paper, despite popular belief that the diagnosis is always a permanent one. If more people were striving for this goal, and if more doctors were documenting instances of diabetes remission, complication rates and health-care costs could both be reduced dramatically, the authors say.

The analysis is based on evidence from recent clinical trials. In one from 2011, people who were recently diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes returned their blood sugar levels to normal when they lost weight on a calorie-restrictive diet. In a 2016 follow-up study, people who had been diabetic for up to 10 years were able to reverse their condition when they lost about 33 pounds.

Mike Lean, professor of human nutrition at the University of Glasgow in Scotland, is an author of both the new analysis and of those earlier trials. He says a person’s likelihood of remission from diabetes is greatest in the first five years after being diagnosed.

Type 2 diabetes, he wrote in an email, is a disease “best avoided by avoiding the weight gain that drives it.” For people who do develop it, he believes that evidence-based weight-loss programs could help them achieve lasting remission.

“Not all can do it, but they should all be given the chance with good support,” Lean writes. “Taking tablets or injections for life to reduce blood sugar is a poor second rate treatment.”

Current guidelines for the management of type 2 diabetes include reducing blood sugar levels and lowering risks for heart disease, primarily with medications and general lifestyle advice about diet and exercise.

But many people don’t attempt to lose weight and keep it off, Lean says—and that may be because because they don’t realize they can become non-diabetic again. Many doctors don’t know this either, he says, so they don’t give patients the proper guidance and encouragement.

So, a probable yes?

I hesitate to go all in based on this for a couple reasons. First off, it looks like it’s a fairly small sample size. And secondly, the media is known for misrepresenting the findings of scientific studies, often times unintentionally. I’ll again let John Oliver explain this phenomenon to you.

Imagine that . . . a reference to Time Magazine.

Moving on, when it comes to the big question (can diabetes be reversed?), I found a small panel of experts that have various answers to that question, but the majority lead to the same ultimate answer (No).

There is no reversing of type 1 diabetes, period. It is an autoimmune disease. The pancreas, in this case, has never produced any insulin, so there is no treating that without taking insulin.
Type 2 on the other hand, is caused by the body developing a resistance to insulin due to the overproduction of it on account to constantly high blood sugar levels. This constant overworking of the pancreas can eventually lead to it slowing (or even ceasing) production of insulin. Being that it’s driven largely by lifestyle, type 2 can generally be managed by making good diet and lifestyle choices. Obesity tends to be associated with this disease (they see the most benefit from exercise), however, one doesn’t need to be obese to develop the disease.
Interestingly, this was something I warned a family member about (I know they consume ALOT of sugar in a day). But it was a warning they didn’t heed until their doctor warned them that their blood glucose was higher than it should be.

https://www.thediabetescouncil.com/can-diabetes-type-2-be-reversed/

Once a person enters pre-diabetes where their hemoglobin HbA1c starts rising above 5.7% they have entered the disease process. The patient – if made aware that they have pre-diabetes and has access to educational support – has the opportunity to prevent the pre-diabetes from developing into type 2 diabetes.

They will always have the pre-diabetes diagnosis and have the potential to develop type 2 diabetes if aggressive dietary, exercise and or medication is not followed. It is possible to achieve a normal non-diabetic HbA1c after this – virtually not having any clinical evidence of the pre-diabetes, however the disease process is still there and being held at bay.

If the person stops the interventions or is predisposed to having diabetes due to risk factors out of their control, they can and will develop type 2 diabetes. It’s worth noting that there are genetic and other non-adjustable risk factors (ethnicity for example) that contribute to the development of type 2 diabetes.

It is also worth noting and all of this advice can be followed and a person can still develop type 2 diabetes. Following strict guidelines and taking medications is not a 100% promise that type 2 diabetes will be prevented.

A patient diagnosed with type 2 diabetes (HbA1c of 6.5% or above) will always have type 2 diabetes. Interventions such as medication (including insulin), staying active and making good diet choices must be maintained to prevent the disease from progressing further. However, even if the patient undergoes strict medication, diet and exercise adherence and manages to lower the HbA1c they will still have type 2 diabetes.

The idea of “reversing” is describing the well managed type 2 diabetes that can be maintained without the outcome of complications (eye disease, kidney disease, etc.). And it is totally possible to have type 2 (or type 1 diabetes for that matter) and have no complications – however, this takes careful management and is largely driven by the patient and their access to quality healthcare.

So, can you “reverse” diabetes? No – but you can manage it very well with the help of a Certified Diabetes Educator (CDE) and a knowledgeable primary care physician or endocrinologist. There are even prescription apps available to bridge the care that your clinicians can give you between visits and apps that offer virtual CDE’s for greater assistance.

Molly McElwee-Malloy, RN, CDE

This one, while similar, offers a word of warning to all those seeking help from miracle protocols. Though one can theoretically achieve remission enough to allow the discontinuation of diabetic medications, you still can not let your guard down. Likely why none of these proposed protocols ever use the word cure. Because despite being able to reverse many of the worst symptoms, there is no going back to square one.

From my professional experience as an inpatient diabetes educator, many patients are able to reduce or stop their diabetic medications through lifestyle changes, such as diet and exercise. Through these adjustments their A1C improves, they lose weight, and do not require the same interventions as when they were diagnosed.

Many of my patients with several comorbidities elect to have weight loss surgery, such as gastric banding, in order to lose the amount of weight needed to improve their diabetes, blood pressure, cholesterol, and other risks that follow obesity.

However, once someone has a tremendous improvement and no longer needs to take diabetes medications they do not need to assume it is “gone for good.” Different factors can cause their glucose to rise again, such as gaining weight or not following a diabetic diet.

Therefore, once a person has been diagnosed with diabetes they need to always check their glucose at home and follow-up with their PCP to have their A1C monitored regularly.

Amanda L. Gilbert, RN, MSN

I pulled that one to let anyone looking into any diabetes protocol (past or future!) know to be careful of words like reversing, in the context of type 2 diabetes. The video that drove me to write this piece didn’t overly emphasize the importance of monitoring one’s condition even AFTER the protocol seems to be kicking in (or at least that wasn’t what I came away with, anyway).

To conclude, I never came around to any solid conclusions about what I first set out exploring, the Done With Diabetes protocol. Really, I don’t have to.

If I were in such a situation, I would not purchase it. For one, the price.

https://www.easybodyfit.com/done-with-diabetes-reviews/

What is the price of freedom? $60 a bottle apparently.

While I am at it, I may as well show you another thing to watch for in terms of these kinds of sites. First off are the ads for CBD oil that are front and center. If not CBD oil, than any substance. I don’t have to do a long form to tell you that laundry list of cured ailments is a load of scheiße.

Is a website that pushes this kind of nonsense a place where you want to be purchasing ANYTHING, let alone medical necessities? I know my answer.
Yes, this is just one independent retailer of this product (likely unaffiliated with its manufacturer). But the fact that one would need to resort to a place like this says a lot.

The second is the language. The presence of many errors that a native English speaker would not make tells me that this wasn’t written by someone with English as their native tongue. Though it is hosted in Las Angeles (I dug up the IP Address and checked), you can’t go by that.
Take this blog.  It is run by a content creator in Canada but hosted by a company called Automattic in San Francisco.

Either way, if you are type 2 diabetic or prediabetic, no matter what the true status of the supplements in the Done With Diabetes protocol, they are not necessary. Frankly, neither is the protocol itself if you are to be paying for it. First and foremost, your doctor should be your first stop in your quest. If they are uninterested in much more than pulling out the prescription pad (it happens. Burnout or greed can affect members of any profession), consider a second opinion from another doctor.

As for implementing a healthy lifestyle, consider how you got here. Chances are you were looking into some supposed diabetes protocol or other easy solution to a terrifying health problem. Instead of looking for something to buy, consider looking for advice. Try terms like “healthy living with diabetes” or “living with diabetes”.

By the looks of many of these protocols, you will likely be following many of the same steps anyway. Only without the added expense of the literature and questionable additional supplements.

After polishing this off, I found a reference to Dr. Roy Toylor buried in the hyperlinks of the Time magazine article I utilized above. The man is indeed a legitmaite doctor that ran a legitamite study. I suspect that his work being refrenced as sales material for a supliment is not with his permission (possibly even knowledge). 

I also have some concerns about his findings as described even on his Universities website, because they seem to contradict with other medical literature. Namely that a pancreas that has been dysfunctional for as long as 2 decades can start working as normal just with the removal of excess fatty tissue.

Indeed, I am not the doctor here. None the less . . . the claim seems a bit premature. Particularly from a physition.

Leave Humboldt Alone Already

Back on April 6th, as most of us know by now, a traffic accident claimed the lives of 16 people.

The reactions from both Canadians and (primarily) hockey fans around the world has been swift. Endless thoughts and prayers and memes posted, a huge cash windfall for the team crowdfunded online.
I am somewhat critical of this visceral reaction owing to the fact that it is solely based on the cohorts involved (let’s be honest!). Canadians, and Hockey fans. Two overlapping groups of some of the most conformist groups one will come across. Eliminate the latter of the 2 variables, and I doubt I would still be seeing constant Breaking News updates. Note that a plane crash in Algeria yesterday killed 257 people, and I didn’t get a breaking news update for that!

Either way, it is what it is. People will behave as they may, despite the fact that what this boils down to is just another run of the mill traffic accident with fatalities. And I don’t know why people feel the need to donate $10 million to the team (hockey is not a cheap sport. They don’t need the help!), but whatever.
Spend your money and emotional capital however you like. That is not my biggest concern of the moment, anyway.

Enough of this already.

This message is mostly for the media vultures sucking all the ratings they can out of this story, but also for the Canadians creating the demand with which they are fulfilling. It’s time to step back and let these people grieve.

Arguably, the time for that was 24 to 48 hours after. But again, it is what it is. Leave the families to mourn in peace.

“Big Telcos Set To Hit Many Canadians With Internet Price Hikes” – (CBC News)

As a forward, this piece is less about complaining about the price increases than it is about exploring the reasoning behind it. Being that an undiscussed part of both net neutrality and an ever more interconnected world are bandwidth and bandwidth infrastructure costs. The 2 are not inherently connected, but ignoring this aspect can often time lead to that end.

Let’s begin.

Canadians’ thirst for fast, reliable internet service has surged in recent years, and so has the amount we’re paying to stay connected.

For many customers, the cost of home internet is about to get even more pricey as the big telecom companies hike rates once again.

“Internet is expensive enough,” said Rogers customer Eric Polsinelli of Oshawa, Ont. “There’s nothing I see on my end that justifies that extra $8.”

On March 12, Rogers will raise prices for all its current internet plans by $8 a month, with the exception of its cheapest package, which will rise by $4 a month.

On April 1, Bell will increase internet prices by $5 a month for customers in Ontario and by $3 a month for Quebecers. In both provinces, charges for exceeding one’s internet data limit will also go up by $1 to $4 per extra gigabyte.

Rival Telus says it has no current plans to raise internet prices. However, some customers are still feeling the pinch after the company ended its bundle discount in late January, which provided customers who signed up for multiple services a monthly discount of $3 per service.

Rogers, Bell and Telus also hiked prices on some internet plans in 2017.

Though I don’t subscribe to any of the above 3 for any home services (my communities cable company is a co-operative with far superior service), my costs for both cable tv and internet have gone up about 3 bucks a month as of April 1st. Bell is the only provider of the 3 that one can access where I live (thanks to their acquisition of regional telco MTS, creating BellMTS).

If memory serves, the cost also went up at this time last year. It’s not something I pay much attention to (inflation and other costs do change prices on an ongoing basis).

News of the latest round of price increases didn’t sit well with some customers.

“I would rather not pay more, but what can I do?” said Bell customer Larry McLean of Toronto, who also got hit with the same $5 internet price hike in 2017.

“I’m tired of price gouging,” Polsinelli tweeted to Rogers after learning his current $70 internet bill is going up by $8 a month.

I feel for these people. Money is tight, and $8 does seem a bit much.
However, I really wish that the first interviews of news organizations on stories like this (prices on commodity X are rising) were not with ordinary folks annoyed with the price increase. It’s a fact that many people demand a certain level of access or privilege in many contexts even if they don’t want to pay for it. As such, it be nice to have an explanation of WHY these costs are going up before you start giving every angry nobody a megaphone.

Yes, in the days of social media, the media has to incorporate your voice. None the less, there is a reason why these people weren’t given a spot on the screen in past years.

Rogers, Bell and Telus all said they need to raise internet prices — or in Telus’s case, end the bundle discount — to generate the funds required to upgrade their networks and keep up with growing demand for their services.

“We’re continually investing to deliver great value and fast, reliable internet for our customers now and in the future as demand continues to grow,” Rogers spokesperson Michelle Kelly said in an email.

Telecommunications consultant Lawrence Surtees says telcos do have added costs when they expand their networks. However, he’s not certain that explains why internet prices have continued to creep up over the past couple of years.

“They budget that, they figure out how much it’s going to cost, then they do an increase. I’m not quite sure why they need to do second or third increases,” said Surtees, with market intelligence firm IDC Canada.

“I’m a bit skeptical.”

When it comes to corporations, it’s good to have a healthy dose of skepticism towards almost anything that they publicly say. Particularly in relation to the costs of business. However, I do have to wonder if there might be some justification for these expenses due to the sheer number of both telephone and cable cord cutters driven by cheaper online alternatives in recent years.
Both telecom and cable providers (though the distinction is almost nil at this point being that both offer the same services in most markets) lose revenue when consumers cut off phone and/or cable services, yet they still end up delivering both services (VIA broadband channels) despite this revenue loss. Cord cutters tend to use more bandwidth, which then has to be accounted for on top of the other loss of revenue.

Polsinelli says his family uses the internet for everything from their phone service to watching Netflix.

Still, he says he’s not prepared to pay more for what he’s getting.

“I rely on the internet, but I need to be realistic as a consumer here.”

To make his point, Polsinelli informed Rogers on Twitter that he’s considering moving to upstart internet service provider TekSavvy.

“If they’re not going to at least match the prices I can get somewhere else, I will just abandon ship,” he said.

And there you have it, the all for nothing mentality on perfect display.

Don’t get me wrong, I am not against people shopping around for the best bang for their buck. And I am certainly not going to come to Roger’s defense (in a nutshell, they are Canada’s Comcast). None the less however, this is a perfect example of what I see as the opposite extreme in terms of the net neutrality debate. On one side, are ISP excuses. But on the other, are those that seem to demand EVERYTHING, but for nothing.

I have to be careful not to look like I am taking a side on this. Because the only thing I can truly say that I am is unsure. It is a benefit for us to do this cost analysis independently because even if we choose not to, the ISP’s will continue to run the numbers for us. Which is almost NEVER EVER going to be for our benefit.

I have already delved into this hypothetical in some detail in my piece Should There Be A General Internet Tax? – An Exploration.
In a nutshell, yes.
Privatization of this all-important infrastructure has created numerous issues with its transition into an all-important public space. From increasing costs on private companies hesitant to make the required large commitments to the so-called Free Speech Crisis of the social media realm.

To conclude, I decided to reference this CBC article because of it’s highlighting of an issue that will only become more prevalent in upcoming years.

We MUST keep our eyes on the ball, because even if we don’t, the ISP’s most certainly will be.

“Elon Musk: We Must Colonize Mars for Humanity to Survive the ‘Dark Ages’ ” – (Ecowatch)

Elon is at it again.

The worlds least hated opportunistic capitalist is again, pushing for the uprooting of humanity from this rock.  From this rock to, another rock that lacks such important attributes as . . . an atmosphere.

But enough of that (well, for now . . . ). Let’s see what the man has to say.

In the event of World War III, the only way for humanity to survive is to colonize Mars or the moon, according to Elon Musk.

Well, at least he didn’t bury the lead. Straight to the point. If we don’t get to the moon or mars soon, we’re FUCKED!

“I’m not predicting that we’re about to enter the dark ages, but there’s some probability that we will, particularly if there’s a third world war,” the SpaceX and Tesla founder said during a question and answer session at the South by Southwest (SXSW) Conference in Austin on Sunday ahead of President Donald Trump‘s possible nuclear talks with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.

“We want to make sure there’s enough of a seed of human civilization somewhere else to bring civilization back and, perhaps, shorten the length of the dark ages,” Musk continued during his chat with Jonathan Nolan, the co-creator of HBO’s Westworld.

The new dark ages.

The time period sometime between now and down the road that horrified me some 7 years ago. Yet now, a time period that I have grown almost accepting of in recent years. Partly on a misanthropic front, particularly when in a sour mood (my speech has psychopathic tendencies when guppies (moronic idiots) get under my skin). But mostly on a mental stability front. Being terrified of some ambiguously dated and defined future event that it is questionable that ANYONE could prepare for only serves to rob you of the present, the time that matters. Come hell or high water, you could get hit by a truck tomorrow. So make it count.

It may be cliche. But it is more or less how I have dealt with the whole all-encompassing “We are SO fucked” macro conclusion that comes with having a sharp mind in these days of late-stage capitalism.

As for people like Elon Musk that push the Mars/Moon/other planet colonization narrative, I can’t help but think it is the same thing at play. Like many others within our species, they see the writing on the wall, and it’s hard to digest. However, unlike most people, they have the unique access to billions of dollars that they figure can help them actually contribute to a solution to this macro-level problem.

There are many that write and contemplate ways out of our predicament, many of which amount to be mere temporary stopgaps to the inevitable. For example, the efficiency paradox (slightly varied from the Jevons Paradox).
Using non-renewable resources more efficiently only means kicking the inevitable right-hand slide down the bell curve down the road. Something that wouldn’t be all that important if these resources were mere building blocks in the human progress machine. But since decades of greed have made these resources the bedrock from which our entire societal mechanism is built, we find ourselves in a conundrum. The right side of the bell curve is approaching for MANY of these bedrock resources and we’re still stuck in a “Nothing can replace the power of fossil fuels!” mindset. God help us all if you are correct, guppies.

Admittedly, efficiency is just one technological trap that we fall into on this front. Crowdfunding websites are chalked full of Green solutions to all of our problems (for example, solar roadways). Don’t get me wrong, it’s good that some people are looking into these things. However, it’s important to see these things in context. It may make one feel good to develop or support some project such as solar roadways, but feelings won’t do anything in the face of climate chaos. Or for that matter, the turbulent market fluctuations of a world economy running out of fuel from which to continue its perennial growth.

There are many forms of hopeium to be had on the saving the species front (to quote a friend of mine with strong opinions on this topic). However, the only way to truly begin that journey is to accept the big picture.

Elon Musk has brought an interesting twist to this conversation, however. Usually, this dialogue involves humanity running from climate change and other self-inflicted (yet delayed) chaos. However, WW3 and direct human conflict is the given reason for the exodus.

This leads nicely into my next critique of this mindset. Call it the pragmatic misanthrope argument.

If history is good for nothing else, it is a brilliant portrait of what it means to be a human being. generally speaking, we are not wired for peace and tranquility. Though civilization has helped to tame much of the violence of past homo sapiens, we’re none the less not immune to participation in this violence. It’s just by proxy. When democratic nations continually nominate and elect leaders with a strong bent towards military intervention, you see the same dynamic as our ancestors. Were just paying someone else to do it for us.
Given this, it is surprising that many (most?) world leaders can be placed on the psychopathy scale?

Whether it be here on earth or on the Moon, Mars or any other planet, we bring these traits with us. Everything that has led to the predicament that we find ourselves in now, remains the same. We may tell ourselves that this will be different. But I still have doubts.

In the short term, I don’t really doubt that one can keep it up. Having an incident fresh in the rear view serves as a good horizon. However, as years and generations go by, will we stick to these principals?

My worldview is largely filtered through a lens of perennial cynism. As such, I don’t hold much hope for humankind to grow out of its current embedded behaviors. In fact, I take this conversation to the level of ethics. That is, is it ethical to propagate and populate other planets and celestial bodies when we will likely not leave them in any better state than the one we currently inhabit?

I answer “No” to this question. But I know I am in the minority with this response. Even if I know FOR A FACT that many people going the other way are reacting strictly emotionally, there are still many more of them than me. So . . . good luck?

Your future generations are going to need it.

 

“It’s important to get a self-sustaining base ideally on Mars, because Mars is far enough away from Earth that [if there’s a war on Earth] the Mars base is more likely to survive than a moon base,” he said. “But I think a moon base and a Mars base that could perhaps regenerate life back here on Earth would be really important.”

Musk’s remarks—which you can watch below—are similar to comments made by theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking, who also thinks that humanity needs to colonize Mars, the moon or other planets in order survive threats such as climate change.

Interesting contemplation on the part of Musk, here. We have to get as far from earth as possible because even the moon is not out of the range of our potential need for mass suicide on a gargantuan scale.

The first thing that comes to mind is, see my last paragraph (is this REALLY worth saving?!). The second is, if someone of this species is determined to destroy ourselves, few places will ever be safe. If some rogue nation (or a formerly developed nation overcome by a plague of reactionary populism) is hell-bent on the destruction of all, nothing is untouchable.

It is interesting that the author would directly link Musks self-destruction hypothesis with that of Stephen Hawking. Yes, they are similar in that they are both directly attributable to our action, even if the ramifications show up in a very different timetable. But that is where the comparison should end. I may have issues with the Hawking hypothesis, but at least his is based on somewhat uncontrollable events. We fucked up, so now we need to find a solution.
The war hypothesis is a different beast altogether. Such a situation will likely be caused by a small handful of individuals. None the less, they would not have access to such godlike power without having been put there by the vast majority.

Musk said it will not be easy for the first people living in space.

“The moon and Mars are often thought of as some escape hatch for rich people, but it won’t be that at all,” he said. “Really it kind of reads like Shackleton’s ad for Antarctic explorers … difficult, dangerous, good chance you’ll die, excitement for those who would survive.”

Uh . . . yeah.

It’s interesting that he uses the phrasing escape hatch for rich people. Followed by it will not be that, at all. Bullshit. When the going gets tough and the civil boundaries that keep law and order within the worlds nation states begin to buckle under the pressure of climate (or conflict) driven chaos, it won’t be the working or middle (let alone, lower!) classes hitching a ride to the new frontier. Maybe a few (maids and such to do the dirty work), but certainly not all.

If there is one bright spot in this picture, it’s that they will most likely abandon all but the most utilitarian minds to the abyss. These minds can keep things running and humming, but they generally aren’t great at predicting future ramifications.
This shortcoming has had fairly few consequences for our species up until recently (the age of oil), and even then, the earth was a fairly forgiving force to be reckon with. But an unforseen Whoops! may well have very big consequences in a world with a much smaller population, and far less freedom of mobility.

Once the space settlers are established, the billionaire visionary envisions a “direct democracy” for Martian colonies, “where people vote directly on issues instead of going through a representative government.”

But of course. Easy to imagine when you are one of the privileged few that is most likely to see this new world if ever it materializes.

No, I do not envision martian colonies as being an oasis of altruism and equality. What I envision equates more too, Dubai.

However, he admitted this interplanetary project, like many of his other grand plans, could be a little too ambitious.

“People have told me that my timelines historically have been optimistic, and so I’m trying to recalibrate to some degree here.”

Just a little, Elon. Just a little.

While far more is wrong with your quests than just the timeline, it’s a start.

Elsewhere in his wide-ranging interview at SXSW, Musk spoke about the threat of climate change and why there must be a price on carbon.

“Anything that pushes carbon into the atmosphere … has to have a price,” Musk said.

I don’t disagree. Unlike the grand schemes involving somehow transplanting from one planet to another, this is not an unrealistic goal. If it takes greed and capitalism to push the world in a more sustainable direction, then so be it. We’re going to be paying for it eventually anyway.

In conclusion, me and Elon Musk don’t see eye to eye on many things. Though he is generally regarded positively by the media and society (much like most big names out of silicon valley), I am not so easily persuaded.  Many modern tech and tech-related firms hide more traditional labor practices behind a shiny progressive veneer. Dig a little, and you will find a bit of this in Tesla’s recent history.

Dismissing the cult of rich pseudo-progressive windbags aside, it’s not all bad. Given the right focus, I think people like Musk may not just be helpful in terms of mitigation of damage already done, but possibly even aid in reversing it. It’s a gargantuan task to contemplate. But so is starting fresh on the moon, or mars.

One thing is for sure, nothing is permanent. If a permanent existence is a goal, then we need to be looking much further than even Mars. Because at some point, the sun will swallow that up. Bringing an end to billions of years of continued flourishing, or permanently erasing almost all that we touched in our heyday.

It’s hard to imagine in this millennium, where even our near earth orbit is littered with our garbage (let alone what is left on the moon and mars). But none the less, all but a few spacecraft flung out of our solar system will be what remains.

You can escape planetary conflict and consequence, but you can never escape entropy.

Net Neutrality

Thirty-seven Democratic senators, along with Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Sen. Angus King (I-Maine), sent a letter (pdf) to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) on Tuesday, urging the panel to abandon its “reckless plan to radically alter the free and open Internet as we know it.”

If pushed through, the letter warns, the move, spearheaded by Trump’s FCC chairman Ajit Pai, “would amount to the largest abdication of [the agency’s] statutory responsibilities in history.”

This is an exert of an article titled Warning Against Abdication Of Duty, Senators Demand FCC Abandon Net Neutrality Vote, published yesterday by common dreams. 39 senators attempting to stop the seemingly inevitable implementation of corporate governance over the infrastructure that makes up the internet (at least in the US).

That is what we all have heard on the news by now. How those platforms with money will likely be able to afford the regular tiers whilst everyone else falls by the wayside into the unpaid tunnel. And you thought the free speech situation online was ALREADY bad!

One question that I found myself asking was, what does this mean to me? For my content? And by extension, for everyone else that shares the platform of WordPress?

Being that I am not exactly a niche writer, I tend to draw in search engine traffic that originates in far more corners of the globe than I could ever hope to visit. My most popular posts to date are What On Earth Is The European Brotherhood? and Apistevist – A Term With Potential.  One has become infamous due to world affairs of the last 2 or so years (despite predating them), and the other due to continued waves of interest in the term.
Another of my recent works that have been viewed quite a bit lately is The Cure For Dementia – A Beverage?. This one was inspired by an ad I kept coming across in my travels to web platforms tailored to mainly to an older crowd. While I hate snake oil to begin with, knowing people that have had the misfortune of dealing with elderly parents suffering from dementia made looking into the ad a priority. No one is more vulnerable to manipulation than those who would likely give almost anything to spare a loved one from the nightmare.

Anyway, as the 3 posts outlined alone showcase, I have content that is utilized by for any number of reasons. A fair bit of the traffic to each is from the US. Could that change?
While I make no money from my platform, for those that do, how much effect could that have?

First off, we must consider the dynamics involved. WordPress is the brand we deal with, it is owned and hosted by a company named Automattic. So, the state of your content’s availability may well be tied to how much Automattic is willing to shell out. Being that the option of upgrading to a paid Go Daddy domain is both available and fairly effortless, I doubt it will be much in the interest of Automattic to concede to the various ISP’s extortion demands (Go Daddy can likely fork it over easily). And if I am wrong, then we may either find WAY more ad’s on our blogs or be no longer able to use them for free.

What does that mean for us?

For me, not a whole lot really. While some of my material is relevant to Americans at this point in time, losing that audience will not be the end of the world. Would all the work I have put in here over the years be worth paying into to ensure its continued availability?
I am unsure.
Is it worth it if the price is being used as a billboard of sorts? Yes.

Despite the fact that Americans are staring down the barrel of net neutrality, it seems that STILL, few have truly grasped the potential implications. Thus, it’s likely safe to say that many users of this very platform haven’t given it much thought.

So now that I have your attention, do you know what this will mean for you?

Eggs – Are They Dangerous?

 

Some time ago, I heard some claims made about eggs that I felt compelled to look into. My Being that they are a fairly common staple in my diet, it seemed something I should be check into.
The claims (of which I first heard from a vegetarian member of a podcast that I no longer follow) essentially boils down to eggs being dangerous due to containing some type of carcinogenic chemical (or chemicals). However, there is a possibility that the information in question is propaganda from a vegetarian and/or Vegan source (as is suspected by other members of the same podcast). If GMO documentaries (well, most ANY documentary) tell us anything, its that you don’t always need facts or proper context to sell a good story.

Before I begin my search, I can think of 2 factors that could play into this. Though I suspect neither will even be taken into consideration.

The first is Acrylamide (previously touched on by yours truly). I am almost certain that it can be associated with eggs because it can be associated with almost any baked or fried foods. But its formation can also be limited by avoiding certain preparation methods (boiled egg, anyone?). 

The second is bacteria. Due to differences in the egg handling procedures of North America and Europe, North American eggs can be more susceptible to bacterial contamination if not refrigerated. This is due to a special membrane that surrounds an eggs shell when laid. Though egg shells are porous, this membrane helps protect the internal contents from any infectious invaders.

Europeans tend to take advantage of this natural protection, and as such, you rarely will find refrigerated eggs in European countries. It’s not considered necessary.

North American standards, on the other hand, are quite different. Eggs must be washed before they can come to market, some would say for obvious reasons. But a drawback of that washing is that the protective membrane is removed by it. Being that bacteria can multiply to dangerous levels inside room temperature eggs in mere days, they must be kept cool.

But those are just guesses on my part. Time for some more in depth analysis.

First off, is dietary cholesterol. Aside from preparation methods, eggs themselves (at least the egg yolks) are well known to be high in cholesterol. As a result, many people choose to just consume the egg whites (be it by separating the eggs manually, or by purchasing them already separated). This is unfortunate for a couple of reasons. Most of the iron, folate (folic acid, helps the body make DNA\RNA as well as metabolize amino acids required for cell division) and vitamins in an egg are in its yolk. As are the substances lutein and zeaxanthin (which support both eye and brain health). And also because dietary cholesterol has been getting less of a bad rap in terms of overall health effects in recent years. Potentially making this avoidance of egg yolks (or at times, eggs period) unnecessary.

http://time.com/4225819/eggs-nutrition-egg-yolk/

Moving on, upon typing the query Are eggs bad for you into most everyone’s favorite search engine, the very first result is quite interesting and attention grabbing. Published on the platform Quartz, the headline reads Hollywood vegans are trying to convince you eggs are as bad as cigarettes—that’s irresponsible and wrong . Nothing like getting straight to the point. Let us explore.

A new, high-profile documentary claims eating an egg is about as dangerous as smoking five cigarettes.

It’s one of several bizarre claims made in What the Health, a new, feature-length documentary backed by Academy Award-nominated actor Joaquin Phoenix and filmed by Kip Andersen and Keegan Kuhn, who made Cowspiracy, a 2014 documentary about the impact of animal agriculture on the environment, produced by actor (and outspoken vegan) Leonardo DiCaprio.

By cherry-picking nutrition studies to make rickety claims, the makers of What the Health risk ratcheting up fear of certain foods based on weak science. It’s not a responsible way to try and change people’s behavior, and it does a disservice to nutritional scientists in the field.

I have not seen either of the films in question (What the health, Cowspiracy).  And in all honesty, I doubt I will ever. But I have come across numerous references to the film Cowspiracy, including in a fairly recent article published by the acclaimed Christopher Hedges.

The filmmakers set out to make the case that a vegan diet is the best answer for preventing and treating an array of chronic diseases—including heart disease, colorectal cancer, and diabetes—and that foods derived from animals raise the risk of those ailments. But the film relies on a few cherry-picked studies to make its case, and ignores many others that contradict its position.

The film cites three sources of information: The first is a 2012 study (pdf) linking egg yolk consumption and risk of carotid plaque buildup in those at risk for heart disease. A second source is simply a video referring back to the 2012 study, and the third source doesn’t once mention the word “egg.”

There is a consensus among America’s leading nutrition experts that eating more fruits and vegetables is beneficial for the average diet. But none argue that any one food should be tossed out of the diet wholesale. That includes meat, dairy, and, yes, eggs.

In fact, in 2016, a federal panel of nutrition experts that convenes every five years updated its dietary recommendations and removed cholesterol as a “nutrient of concern,” thus absolving eggs. That decision—which was consistent with the position of the American Heart Association—was the subject of huge amounts of media attention.

It should be noted that in the Christopher Hedges article I linked to earlier, seeming pro-cholesterol stances of organizations such as the American Heart Association are noted. However, there is a distinct accusation of food industry financing. Essentially, if someone is throwing a bunch of money your way, what would YOU tell the world about the product they are selling?

I’ll let the people come to their own conclusions on that. I don’t know what to think of it. That is my general reaction when some conspiracy is alluded to, and the narrator of whatever the medium happens to be is pushing me in that direction.

And eggs weren’t What the Health‘s only target. The film overhypes the World Health Organization’s (WHO) position that red meat is carcinogenic, as well as non-WHO nutrition studies linking milk consumption to cancer.

2 things also highlighted in the Hedges article, interestingly enough.

On any given day, researchers around the world produce studies containing evidence that common foods—eggs, wine, coffee, meat, and more—both prevent and hasten health problems. There isn’t anything necessarily insidious going on; these studies, while in some cases individually contradictory, are part of a large and growing ecosystem of evolving science. If a bulk of those studies have evidence that points to a similar finding, nutrition experts weigh those data when advising people on diet. But no one should be taking health advice based media stories on individual studies.

Nutrition science is a particularly tough field to tackle. It isn’t ethical for researchers to play Dr. Frankenstein with someone’s livelihood by experimenting and testing different diets on them, so nutrition scientists often lean heavily on observational studies rather than randomly controlled trials, which are the gold standard in scientific research. And because there are so many observational studies published every year, there are a lot of whiplash-inducing headlines like these trickling out on a near-daily basis:

With this kind of competing information published virtually all the time, it’s easy for groups with agendas to take advantage of the fact that most people are not health experts.

The claims made by What the Health about eggs are particularly egregious, and have generated so much attention, that even vegans have weighed in with critical views, including this one written by vegan health professional Virginia Messina and published on Vegan.com. “I suspect that in the long run…this kind of outreach sets our efforts back and slows our progress on behalf of animal rights,” Messina writes.

This explains the placement at the very top of the search results. I am far from the only one that has made the query. In fact, those people deserve a pat on the back. Because while some may have the sense to confirm, a large cohort of others will likely not. Just absorb the information and go on spreading the alarmist information that is ultimately bad for the overall cause of Veganism.
It’s unfortunate that some of those people also happen to be respected journalists. Even I almost took that sources word verbatim. Good thing I learned a long time ago that doing so is never a good idea (no matter how much you trust the person publishing the material).

As for the observational scientific studies that are always popular in media . . . one is best suited to pay little attention to these. One reason is that media en mass has a habit of cherry picking (or flat out falsely representing) the findings. Or the study itself could be suspect, though few but those in the know would think that anything labeled as scientific could be suspect. All of this contributing to either misinformation or apathy towards these studies from the public. Both of which can be dangerous in their own right.

Since such often results in time-consuming research, I generally just try to pay little attention. If it turns out to be a big breakthrough, it will get more coverage as others repeat (and thus, confirm) the data.
If not, then I didn’t waste any of my (or anyone else’s time on something unworthy of our attention.

Anyway, I have more or less managed to answer the question that I out to upon starting this piece. Are eggs bad?

Maybe.

Do they contain a large amount of cholesterol? Yes. Almost a whole days worth. Something I will take into consideration going forward (I used to eat many at a time, yolk and all).
However, are they worthy of being in the same category as cigarette smoke or asbestos? One study points to yes with the former.

However, it appears not to be a clean cut case of either Yes or No.
They can be bad if overconsumed, being their energy content. Eating 4 of them are essentially eating 4 chicks (an interesting way of looking at it, as dictated by one of the sources I skimmed to write this). But they also appear to have a place in a healthy diet. One just has to be careful.
If you eat very few, you are likely in the clear.

One thing I will give the vegetarians and the vegans is that cutting out eggs and meat is generally the best move ecologically. The biggest reason is the pollution footprint of both industries on lakes, rivers, and oceans. Also methane output (more of a concern with meat than with eggs, I would think).

But there is also one often overlooked factor. Packaging.

While some alternatives exist, at least where I live, I lot of both meat and eggs are sold in styrofoam containers. Even local eggs are sold in foam packaging. I brought this up with the owner one day. First, he was surprised to hear that styrofoam is generally not accepted for recycling, but he also claimed that using paper packaging (the most easily recycled of them all!) was too expensive. Something I don’t doubt, looking at all of the stores and brands that use foam.

Meat trays are almost ubiquitously styrofoam. Some use square plastic containers (generally made from different colors of PETE, or plastic #1). But I know that recycling of even THESE is questionable. Unless there is more demand for clamshell type packaging than there was before (including plastic egg cartons).

Some things to consider, no matter how you decide to conclude the great diatry enigma that is the cackleberry.