Sunday, July 31, 2022

#2554: Jessica Biel

Few things are more despicably tiresome than celebrity loons, and we cannot usually be bothered to give them too much attention. Unfortunately, they and their lunacy are often far from harmless. Anti-vaccine activist Jessica Biel is a case in point.


For instance, Biel teamed up with antivaccine movement leader Robert Kennedy jr. to lobby against California’s SB 276 bill, which protect children by limiting medical exemptions from vaccinations without approval from a state public health officer. Though she didn’t for a long time officially declare her position, Biel did apparently “feel that vaccination could cause complications” and has “friends who have been vaccine-injured who would be forced to leave the state” if the bill came into effect. Biel’s feelings are really not much by way of data here, insofar as those feelings contradict everything we know about vaccines and complications, and she does not have friends who have been vaccine-injured. We suspect we’ll be accused of invalidating her feelings by pointing that out.


And yes, some California lawmakers – at least legislative staffers – decided to meet with and listen to them, rather than evidence and expertise, entirely because of their celebrity status. (And others followed in their wake and provided Biel with a microphone who spew bullshit) It’s instructive that Biel, despite Kennedy’s assurances that she had done her research, was mistaken about what bill she was protesting, confusing it with the earlier SB 277. Here is a guide for legislators to make better decisions about who to listen to next time.


Of course, Biel claimed to not be antivaccine. She’s just afraid of the power of Big Pharma, which would indeed benefit greatly if people didn’t take their vaccines. Then she went on parroting antivaccine conspiracy theories about the MTHFR gene and how vaccines really aren’t effective. She also more or less admitted to going doctor-shopping to find a doctor who would validate her own choice not to vaccinate her kid – which is exactly the kind of behavior that SB 276 would curb. There is a decent and even-handed analysis of Biel’s rhetoric here. And yes, Biel actually claimed to be makingeducated medical decisions”. No, really …


Biel is, as we have had ample opportunities to demonstrate, not alone. There is a 2019 list of some celebrity antivaxxers here.


As of 2022, “Jessica Biel” is apparently the “most dangerous” celebrity search name when it comes to the chances of contracting malicious software. We cannot quite help putting forth the tentative hypothesis that there could be a connection here.


Diagnosis: People are dying because of antivaxx conspiracy theories, and self-centered celebrities like antivaccine conspiracy theorist Jessica Biel are doing their worst to contribute to that death toll. That’s the score.

Tuesday, July 26, 2022

#2553: Beth Bicknese

The people in charge of the San Diego Zoo might care about their animals in some pathological way, but they do not act in their best interests. You see, when it comes to animal welfare, the people at San Diego Zoo (such as Lead Mammal Keeper Robbie Clark) “always think out of the box” and when the animals are in pain – like elephants suffering from arthritis – they call on their local witch doctor, Beth Bicknese, to subject said animals to various forms of quackery, such as acupuncture. Acupuncture is, of course, theatrical placebo, and doesn’t really work for humans either, except for whatever effect being dazzled by the theatrics of it might have; but animals don’t really succumb to the theatrics. Then again, the people looking out for the animals remain susceptible to the theatrics, and given confirmation bias, they will often claim to observe a positive effect. So it goes.


Bicknese, or “Dr. Beth”, is apparently “certified in animal acupuncture” and has been using woo on animals in the San Diego Zoo for a while, adjusting her techniques to ensure what she describes as her goal: not to hit the “pain fibers” but the “non-pain” fibers with her needles, in order to “try to remind the nervous system that there are other impulses other than pain.” No, it makes absolutely no medical or anatomical sense, but medical and anatomical sense is presumably inside the box and Dr. Beth and the zoo people are far, far outside of it.


Dr. Beth’s quackery is of course not limited to acupuncture. She also uses thermography, even on e.g. elephants. Thermography is utter quackery, not remotely validated on humans, but Dr. Beth, with the San Diego Zoo’s Director of Reproductive Physiology Barbara Durrant, who evidently should be allowed nowhere near animals, nevertheless employed it, with Durrant happily describing how the red areas (higher temperature/heat) are where the animal is feeling pain due to inflammation based on absolutely nothing but whatever reason she can pull out of her own ass.


Diagnosis: Yes, it is probably harmless, but it is utter tripe. And yes, Bicknese probably thinks she acts in the animals’ interest, but good intentions don’t suffice to exempt you from blameworthiness. Yes, utter tripe.


Hat-tip: Sciencebased Medicine

Friday, July 22, 2022

#2552: Taz Bhatia

A.k.a. “Dr. Taz”


Tasneem Bhatia MD (Dr. Taz) is a self-proclaimed “wellness expert” and “pioneer and trailblazer who is out to “transform the way we do medicine and empower and equip you with the best tools so you can live your healthiest life.” It’s bullshit from start to finish, and her advice runs the whole gamut from homeopathy to anti-vaccine conspiracy theories.


Of course, she likes to emphasize that she’s not antivaccine, but her “patients and my own children have forced me to rethink this vaccine controversy.” There is no actual, reality-basedcontroversy over the safety and efficacy of vaccines, but like all people who promote scams and frauds, Dr. Taz needs to listen carefully to the opinions and feelings of her patients, many of whom have evidently bought into various myths and conspiracy theories about vaccines. And she does push the nonsense myth that autistic children are “vaccine damaged.


And Bhatia has certainly got patients. She offers many non-evidence-based and pseudoscientific services, and will even file your claim forms from the patient’s insurance company, even though she doesn’t really participate in any insurance plans. The optics are important.


If you bring your child to Dr. Taz, you can get for instance:


-       a Zyto scan, and no: you really shouldn’t

-       Meridian testing

-       a brain boost evaluation

-       sports optimization testing


You can even get your offspring a detox screen “which will directly correlate with your child’s early ability to detox and process chemicals,” i.e. MTHFR testing, which you certainly don’t need, but is one of several tests Dr. Taz and likeminded hucksters can use to promote various supplements. You can also get:


-       acupuncture and Chinese medicine

-       aromatherapy

-       Ayurveda, which isn’t just useless but dangerous

-       energy healing

-       essential oils – it should be nedless to point out the bullshittery involved here

-       craniosacral therapy (no: don’t; it’s a scam of almost epic proportions)

-       homeopathy

-       IV therapy


She has also been caught offering mobile thermograms, an unvalidated scam test for early detection of breast cancer, as well as Biopulsar-Ayurvedic Bioenergetic Screening, which measures “real time energetic information throughout the body” and lets you “visually see each organ’s vitality or life force on a screen”, no less. Yes, it measures your soul as blips on a computer screen. It woul be interesting – or not – to hear them try to explain the phrase ‘energetic information’. The idea is so insanely silly that it’s hard to conceive of mostly ordinary people falling for it: it may look more professional than Hulda Clark’s radioshack-punk zappers, but the marketing of the screening nonsense is arguably even less coherent.


Acupuncture is of course particularly central to Dr. Taz’s practice – or at least it used to be; successful woo promoters tend to be able to adapt to the fads. Here is a deconstruction of one of Taz’s ads for acupuncture dressed up as if it were anything but an ad. And yes, Dr. Taz suggests – but does of course not outright say in any legally actionable way – that acupuncture can help cure cancer. No even minimally reasonable studies suggests that it can, but for Dr. Taz that matters less than the weight of “thousands of years of older systems of medicine, which, if that counted as evidence, would provide just as much evidence for exorcisms of bad spirits, bloodletting and anti-witchcraft measures – not that acupuncture is anything like an ancient practice anyways.


Despite offering the usual bullshit, Dr. Taz is something of a rising star in the medical pseudoscience world, partially through her position as one of Gwyneth Paltrow’s Goop experts. She has also been a Dr. Oz Sharecare “expert”.


Diagnosis: Yes, it’s a baldfaced scam. We’re sure Dr. Taz believes her own bullshit, but the fact that what she offers is so driven by market-strategy savviness, one suspects that she does, at bottom, not really care whether her nonsense is correct or not.


Hat-tip: Vaxopedia

Saturday, July 16, 2022

#2551: Matt Bevin

Matthew Griswold Bevin is a fundie wingnut madman and the 62nd governor of Kentucky, representing the Tea Party, from 2015 to 2019. A lot of positions taken by Bevin on issues are exactly what you’d expect – including opposition to marriage equality – and we won’t cover his antics in any detail.


We can’t, however, quite overlook Bevin’s claims that government employees refusing to do their job (while demanding to keep them) is a “free speech” issue – yes, Bevin was a firm supporter of the antics of Kim Davis. In fact, Bevin thinks Davis is an inspiration “to the children of America”.


Bevin is also a creationist and climate change denier who supports. creationist attempts to teach the controversy on issues like evolution and global warming – issues on which there is no relevant scientific controversy but on which fundies don’t like the facts and want others (school students) to be confused about the facts, too. Bevin was an ardent defender of Ken Ham’s attempts to obtain tax breaks for his Ark park while simultaneously adhering to hiring practices that discrimate on religious issues. Indeed, Bevin ensured that the Ham’s deranged creationist roadside show would get substantial state funds instead. Bevin also declared both 2016 and 2017 “Year of the Bible” in Kentucky. He has, on numerous occasions, voted to authorize Bible classes in public schools.


Of course, as you would think given his views on facts, Bevin is no fan of public education or teachers. In 2018, he angrily “guaranteed” that teachers’ labor stoppage resulted in unsupervised children being sexually assaulted, physically harmed, or exposed to poison and drugs. But then, Bevin has a curious understanding of things that cause other things to happen – in the wake of the Parkland school shooting and the Marshall County High School shooting in Kentucky, Bevin declared that it was time to address what he falsely thought of as causes, namely video games (“it’s the same as pornography. They have desensitized people to the value of human life, to the dignity of women, to the dignity of human decency”) and zombie television shows. In 2017, he linked the violence at the white nationalist rally in Charlottesville to the Bible no longer being used as a textbook in public schools. He has also suggested roving prayer patrols as a solution to violence (and suggested that critics of the idea would go to hell). On the other hand, he has also suggested that violence might be needed to protect the biblical values he protects.


When he lost the election in 2019, Bevin did a Trump and claimed massive election fraud, referring for instance – of course without a shred of evidence – to “thousands of absentee ballots that were illegally counted”, people allegedly being “incorrectly turned away at the polls, a number of [voting] machines that didnt work properly”, and ballots being stored in open boxes. He seems to have gotten his info mostly from his “good friendErika Calihan, a random woman whom Bevin appointed to a state government position and who appears to have found the conspiracy theories on facebook.


Bevin has also admitted to exposing his kids to chickenpox to give them immunity – which is … not a good idea and reveals a fundamental misunderstanding of the point (as well as of the efficacy and safety of vaccines).


Diagnosis: A dreadful character, and too much even for Kentucky, apparently, who at least had sense enough to vote him out. He is, unfortunately, probably not completely out of the game yet, however.

Tuesday, July 12, 2022

#2550: Renee Bessone

The Conscience Coalition is a California-based antivaccine organization created to oppose political efforts to help kids receive their vaccines. Renee Bessone is their President, and since both Bessone and co-founder Greg Mitchell are scientologists, we suspect that the Church of Scientology tends to play a significant part in their effort – the coalition apparently doesn’t have the church’s official endorsement, but antivaccine views unsuprisingly run rampant among scientologists. Among the coalition’s primary strategies are attempts to cast anti-vaccine views as religious freedom issues, and the group scored something of a win when then-Vice-President Mike Pence granted them audience.


Bessone was also a signatory to an antivaccine letter to then-president Trump designed to spread antivaccine disinformation under the guise of “religious freedom” – the goal being to trick religious leaders into supporting their opposition to school vaccine mandates based, nominally, on religion. According to the signatories, school vaccine mandates are “persecution of people who choose to honor their faith by refusing vaccines, and the letter called on the president to issue an executive order, which, of course, is rather silly given that school vaccine mandates are a matter of state law. But yes, the letter managed to go through numerous antivaccine tropes, such as references tohuman aborted fetal DNA, animal cells, carcinogenic preservatives, and neurotoxins such as mercury and aluminum”, familiar and absolutely insane conspiracy theories, including one about how tetanus vaccines cause infertility and is therefore genocide, and – but of course – eugenics, through very predictable misunderstandings of the Nuremberg code. And of course, the letter failed to draw the obvious distinction antivaxxers always fail to draw: “Making personal decisions about protecting one’s body is a basic human right, and most religions agree that our sacred bodies are the holiest of temples” … even though they aren’t talking about making decisions about their bodies but their children’s bodies. The narcissism involved is as striking as it is predictable.


Diagnosis: Unless they take steps to cover up their affiliations, Bessone’s group’s effort will probably have limited impact. They are as crazy as they come, though, and the group seems to have resources. We won’t count them off quite yet.


Hat-tip: Respectful insolence

Friday, July 8, 2022

#2549: Robin Berzin

Robin Berzin is the founder of the concierge functional medicine practice Parsley Health, a seemingly successful enterprise that has grown to encompass at least a couple of major cities. Functional medicine is, of course, complete and utter quackery. It is, however, popular, and has gotten quite a bit ofpositive press for instance from the Cleveland Clinic, which has a financial stake in it and whose decisions on such matters are apparently taken by the university administration and marketing department, not by anyone who cares about science, truth, evidence or accountability – and there are some at Cleveland. According to Berzin, at least, “holistic primary care” is the “future of medicine.” That would, needless to say, be bad.


Berzin, however, is market savvy and slick, and Parsley Health is apparently good at efficiency, kindness and creating an atmosphere of care. And their marketing materials are full of cutting-edge but medically meaningless wellness buzzwords, such as references to “toxins and food allergies. Parsley Health focuses on “the root cause of disease”, whatever that means (it’s standard quack speak), and “doesn’t just prescribe drugs”. In reality, functional medicine is striking for its focus on massive overtesting and overtreatment, including everything from traditional Chinese medicine and homeopathy to copious amounts of expensive and useless supplements. One of the primary tenets of functional medicine, so-called “biochemical individuality” is in fact precisely the medically completely unjustified and unjustifiable principle of administering massive doses of vitamins and other supplements in order to achieve “optimum health.” Parsley Health may not “just prescribe drugs” – they’ll prescribe you anything that will get you to open your wallet.


It’s worth illustrating the point (these are 2018 numbers): A Parsley Health membership costs around $5 a day (that’s a small price for preventable health strategies that encompass all of one’s physical and emotional well-being, says Berzin). There are, in fact, two plans and a service: The first service costs $500 for a 75-minute doctor visit, 45-minute coaching session, and “basic biomarker testing,” which is pure woo, and access to an online portal. The “Complete Care” plan is $150 a month, and includes, in addition, advanced biomarker testing,” which is apparently better and tests for instance for various toxins and heavy metals you are guaranteed not to have issues with – we suspect they’ll tell you differently. And yes, with the numbers of tests in question – you can apparently get over 1000 biomarkers tested – Parley Health will find something outside the normal range, and they will have an expensive program to help you remedy it. The $250/month “premium care” plan, meanwhile, gets you more visits and access to “priority visits” within 48 hours of calling.


Meanwhile, Berzin herself is busy retweeting antivaccine and antifluoridation nonsense. She claims that she’snot antivaccine, of course, but immediately launches into too many, too soon talk and promises that her pediatric practice (yes, of course she does) won’t vaccinate everyone. Elsewhere, she talks about how she tested high in mercury before getting pregnant and therefore did a heavy metal detox before trying to have a baby. You should not follow in her footsteps.


Diagnosis: A scam. Berzin, of course, doesn’t view it as a scam. But your scam is a scam even if you’re not aware that it’s a scam. There should be a special place in hell reserved for people like Robin Berzin.


Hat-tip: Respectful Insolence

Monday, July 4, 2022

#2548: Josh Bernstein

The fascinating thing about Josh Bernstein is his ability to take what most people would recognize as the most demented nonsense position on an issue and show that it is possibly to (presumably honestly) assert an even more ridiculous position. Bernstein is, apparently, always wrong about absolutely everything, and on anything where it is possible to have a reasonable disagreement, he consistently goes for an incoherently deranged further alternative. He is also evil.


But the basics: Josh Bernstein is the host of the Josh Bernstein Uncensored Show, a talk show that used to be on youtube until 2020, when he was thrown out after calling for those who disagree with him politically to be murdered. As a commentator, his work has appeared on Forbes, Breitbart, The Dove, The Atlantic, as well as OAN and numerous other wingnut fake news mills.


Trump, and Trump's enemies

The success formula for wingnut talk shows is to ramp it up and cram even more internally inconsistent negative characterizations of and accusations against the others into even less time than one’s competitors. Bernstein hit the formula – he is rather open about it – in the early days of Trump.


Concerning Trump’s predecessor, however, Obama was, according to Bernstein, “an arrogant, elitist, communist, Marxist, muslim scumbag” and an “illegal alien as well as possibly a “closeted homosexual” who spent his eight years in office plotting to destroy America, because anyone who disagrees with Bernstein on politics is evil (= muslim = Marxist = homosexual = illegal alien) and is just out to destroy everything. In fact, Obama is an “admitted socialist Marxist communist”. Bernstein didn’t cite any source for the claim, but it felt right to Bernstein so it must be true. Obama is also a self-proclaimed Muslim I believe the president when he repeatedly tells me over and over and over again that he is a practitioner of the Islamic faith. He is not a Christian, said Bernstein. Not content with eight years of presidency, Obama immediately afterwards embarked on a career as aSaul Alinsky Jedi knight trainer (take a moment to puzzle out who Bernstein seems to root for in Star Wars) who was personally responsible for mobilizing tens of thousands of activists to protest against President Trump. While Trump “makes you feel good about yourself and your country,” as Bernstein sees it, the “diabolical” Obama “has done nothing but divide and conquer in order to grow his political base, something Trump, a consistently unifying force in American society, would never do.


Most importantly, Obama apparently left Trump with the Deep State, which seems mostly to consist of the demonic checks and balances the Constitution explicitly introduced to prevent abuse of power from the different branches of government (and which do, of course, stand in the way for the supreme strong ruler pseudo-fascists like Bernstein wet-dreamed Trump to be). According to Bernstein, however, the deep state is everywhere, and includes not only U.S. intelligence agencies, but also the media, every politician, higher education, and even “the sandwich shop owners”. Basically, the majority of Americans are involved in this very secret conspiracy against America and Americans.


To Bernstein, the deep state is a convenient catchall explanation of everything that could be inconvenient to his narratives. When Donald Trump jr. got some flak for meeting with a Russian who promised damaging information on Hillary Clinton, Bernstein promptly concluded that the attorney was “basically a plant(“tight with the Clintons”) working on behalf of the “deep state – the evidence for his conclusion consisting solely of it being the best fit for the narrative he wanted to push.


Ultimately, the Deep State goes all the way to Satan. “There are a lot of demons inside that White House and they are all circling around our president,” declared Bernstein.


Conspiracies everywhere

In 2018, Bernstein claimed to have uncovered irrefutable proof that George Soros was funding the migrant caravan, and anyone who doesn’t believe him can “go to hell.” He didn’t actually offer any proof. But he did follow up by saying thatif Hitler was around, [George Soros] would be his number one or number two henchman for sure. Soros, of course, is Jewish. But then Bernstein, who is Jewish himself, has a complicated relationship with anti-Semitism – anti-Semitism isn’t all bad, apparently: “I hope and pray that there is still enough anti-Semitism out there in the United States to make sure that Bernie Sanders is never president, said Bernstein in 2019.


Despite the fact that the hilariously idiotic wingnut Seth Rich conspiracy theory had been utterly debunked, Bernstein asserted that Hillary Clinton herself had “her famous hit man, John Podesta, whack this kid”. Podesta is, according to Bernstein,  a serial murderer” and “probably responsible for Vince Foster; he’s certainly responsible for Antonin Scalia’s death”. In more detail (and here it’s worth quoting him at length):


I believe that Podesta more than likely snuck up behind this kid in the middle of the night near his home when he was walking home and shot him in the back of the head. I could be wrong, but I doubt it because I have been right on almost everything that I have predicted so far, and I don’t do fake news. You can get fake news other places; you ain’t going to get fake news on the Josh Bernstein show.


Yes, his sole piece of evidence for his insane speculation is the assertion that he “doesn’t do fake news” (which, of course, is false); so since he’s not wrong, he must be right. It’s a pretty nice illustration of the workings of the mind of Josh Bernstein. He has also elsewhere declared that fact-checkers are full of shit”, and that if you believe them, you are a fucking moron”; instead of fact-checkers, you should trust me and my reputation because my reputation is 100 percent solid.


In 2021, Bernstein suggested that the deaths at the Astroworld music festival were part of a “Satanic sacrifice, and in 2017, he suggested that the person to blame for the Las Vegas shootings was the shooter’s girlfriend’s ex-husband, who may never even have met the shooter, because the ex-husband’s social media pages are “littered with anti-Trump and pro-leftist progressive garbage.” That makes him a potential murderer (he “fit that profile, absolutely fit that profile” – it’s unclear what profile Bernstein is referring to) who may have radicalized his wife who then radicalized the shooter, and he should therefore “be monitored for hate crimes”. We cannot quite discern what hate crimes the guy is guilty of – presumably disagreeing with Bernstein on politics – but we note that Bernstein thinks people with hateful views should be monitored by the government. … though on the other hand, he once called on the federal government to investigate Facebook for violating the Fourth Amendment by supposedly asking personal questions in a lighthearted, entirely voluntary feature – apparently asking him about personal issues is a violation of the Constitutional protection against “unreasonable searches and seizures”. “I think that’s a question that needs to be asked,” stated Bernstein. It isn’t.


(Bernstein doesn’t like tech companies or social media, and in 2019, he called on Trump to use the military to arrest the heads of Google, Twitter and Facebook and to “shut down Silicon Valley” because he wrongly imagines that refusing to host extremist hate speech and conspiracy drivel is somehow in violation of the First Amendment.)


People who need to be murdered

In 2017, Bernstein published a long list of elected officials and government employees whom he believed should be executed for treason because they allegedly (i.e. in Bernstein’s paranoid-fuelled fever dreams) contemplated trying to prevent Trump from being inaugurated, including:


-       former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, based on an unsubstantiated conspiracy article claiming that Clapper considered challenging Trump’s presidency in court.

-       Barack Obama

-       Hillary Clinton. In 2019, Bernstein repeated his call for Hillary Clinton to face the guillotine, without offering any discernible rationale.

-       James Comey

-       Robert Mueller

-       Loretta Lynch, Sens. Mark Warner, Ben Cardin, Bob Corker, and various other government officials.


In 2017, he called for federal contractor Reality Leigh Winner to be executed for allegedly leaking a classified memo detailing “a months-long Russian intelligence cyber effort against elements of the U.S. election and voting infrastructure” to The Intercept because the information could be inconvenient to Trump. He wanted Trump himself to call for the execution, because killing people shows strength and Bernstein likes displays of strength. Meanwhile, Peter Strzok should beexecuted at half time during the next Super Bowl” for having political views Bernstein disagrees with while simultaneously having a government job. He doesn’t like Krysten Sinema either, but seems to be satisfied with having “her citizenship revoked.”


On the other hand, Joe Biden and all “these bastards” should hang by the neck until it cracks,” said Bernstein, warning that if they aren’t executed by the state, the American people will take matters into their own hands. As a threat, it is pretty nonsensical, though it elegantly displays the kind of incoherent, murderous rage that is Bernstein’s trademark. Dr. Anthony Fauci “deserves to be sodomized every single day in a prison cell for the rest of his life” (Bernstein has threatened Fauci with violence on numerous occasions.) And Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer should burnin Hell for even being alive”.


Muslims, of course, need to be eradicated” “pretty much from everywhere because Muslims “just cannot deal and cope with being in a civilized society.” The statement, of course, simultaneously asserts that Bernstein is unable to cope with being in a civilized society, but he didn’t connect those dots.


And California legislators “should be held down against their will and injected with HIV.” Meanwhile, every Republican who “betrayed” Trump by failing to help him overturn the election should get a “flesh eating diseasebecause they deserve to suffer in pain for the rest of their lives.”


Of course, his wish to murder those who disagree with him, combined with other obvious cognitive deficiencies, leads Bernstein to assume that others want to murder those they disagree with on political issues, too. So, when he praised Trump’s DACA decision, he followed up with a call for deporting all immigrants since failing to reduce immigration will eventually lead to the elimination of the Republican Party and the execution of conservatives. Democrats, as Bernstein views them, are essentially “just like Adolf Hitler and Mussolini” and “would probably start killing people at some point that disagreed with their positions. In 2021, he urged truck drivers all over the US to refuse to deliver food and water to “anywhere where there are tons of registered Democrats” in an effort to literally starve those who voted for President Joe Biden until the entire Biden administration resigns, because of issues with how healthy democracies work.


Bernstein’s position, though, is actually pretty instructive, on a general level. Like many wingnuts, Bernstein doesn’t only want his political opponents to fail to achieve their goals: he wants them to suffer for disagreeing with him. He is certainly not alone in that kind of attitude in the US at present.


Other politics, and God

Given that it would be hard to do away with democracy altogether, Bernstein’s official position is that the voting age should be raised to at least 25 and that all voters should be required to show proof of income. Poor people don’t have interests, at least not interests that count.


In 2017, Bernstein posted a video where he suggested that God is opposed to the removal of Confederate monuments and is divinely intervening to prevent them from being taken down. Later, angry that some efforts to remove statues of slave owners were nonetheless successful, Bernstein declared that Democrats “love slavery so much that if it was legal today, every single conservative, every single Republican would have a chain around their neck and they’d be locked in a cage.” The Democrats, as Bernstein sees things,are not a legitimate party” but “a terrorist organization” that is no different than ISIS, Al Qaeda, Boko Haram, and the Nazis: “These people are purebred evil, satanic communists.”


In 2018, Bernstein urged Arizona to appoint wingnut criminal Joe Arpaio to fill the U.S. Senate seat left vacant by the death of John McCain. The same year, he declared that if Congress would just enact “The Josh Bernstein Secure Schools Act Of 2018”, then America will “never hear of another mass shooting at a school ever again.” We haven’t dared to look at the proposal. (For the record, Bernstein thinks that the FBI is paying parents to have their kids carry out school shootings so the government can confiscate all the guns and force everyone to get vaccinated: “You gotta think, folks,” said Bernstein, because he sure as damn won’t.)


He has also declared that it should be illegal for liberal “scum” from blue states to move to red states if they are going to be “changing the dynamics and voting patterns” of a conservative state. They’re bringing their disgusting, demonic filth with them,” said Bernstein.


In 2022, he asserted that all those responsible for “stealing” the 2020 election are responsible for the crisis in Ukraine, and he hopes they all “burn in hell for eternity.”


He also urged Trump to lead a convoy of truckers to shut down the Super Bowl and demand that President Biden, who isa demented old pedophile fool” and “probably a descendant of Satan” and “a disgusting Satanic demon walking amongst us”, resign. Somehow, we doubt that such an effort would have panned out the way Bernstein would have hoped. (He also called for 30 million Americans to surround the White House and demand the same; that was after his prayers that the military wouldturn on 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. and get rid of, by force if necessary, this fraudulent administration – the request for a coup apparently “makes me a patriot” – went unanswered.) Of course, Bernstein thinksTrump won [the 2020 election] a landslide. It was 410 electoral votes to 128, if you want to know exactly the numbers. He absolutely crushed it” because if you just ignore the facts then anything can be true (Bernstein vowed to never accept the results, no matter what the facts might have been). In 2021, he also claimed that Larry Elder won the California recall election (he didn’t), calling on conservatives to launch a canvassing operation to uncover supposed election fraud. Bernstein also demanded a forensic audit of the 2021 Virginia gubernatorial election; though Glenn Youngkin won, Bernstein wanted an audit to prove that Youngkin won in a “landslide” by at least “20 or 30 points.” In fact, according to Bernstein any GOP loss “was because of voter fraud. 100 percent.” You could really just do away with voting, an unnecessary middleman, altogether.


Zeh others

According to Bernstein, Oprah Winfrey is a pro-black, militant leftist who hates white people.” We have found no suggestion of evidence for the claim, except that Oprah is Black.


Black Democrats in Congress, meanwhile, “are basically the equivalent of slave owners (the reasoning is unclear; we suspect much hinges on “basically”) and – based on no indication of evidence whatsoever – corrupt.


According to himself, he very much respects women.


On drawing distinctions

Bernstein has said that stores catering to transgender children are “no different than ISIS”. It’s probably fortunate for everyone but ISIS that Bernstein was never deployed in any kind of attempt to combat ISIS.



Bernstein, deciding as usual to assume the position of wrong on the facts for political reasons, has repeatedly urged his viewers to resist COVID vaccination “at all costs” (so, presumably including death). That would include taking COVID tests, too, since the nose rape” PCR COVID-19 tests are ostensibly being used to secretly deliver vaccines to those who otherwise refuse to take them.


He has also been a vocal opponent of mask mandates and any other reasonable mandates during the COVID-19 pandemic, and in 2021, asserting against all evidence and reason that COVID-19 was a Chinese “bio terrorism weapon,” he demanded that all Chinese scientists be thrown out of the United States: “We should be rounding up these chink bastards and getting ’em the hell out of the country, said Bernstein.


In September 2021, Bernstein stated that he had gotten COVID-19 and said he was very angry with news outlets that had reported on that. After using Ivermectin and vitamin cocktails, he recovered, just like most people do without using nonsense remedies. He promptly credited, because politics, Ivermectin for having had such a light version of the disease with “literally have zero flu-like symptoms”. Not only did he not get any Covid symptoms, he even apparently tested negative for Covid! Yay the power of Ivermectin.


There’s a good Josh Bernstein resource here.


Diagnosis: One of the most rabidly insane and furious little snowflakes in the wingnut media circus. He is simultaneously intensely paranoid and deeply sensitive, on the one hand, and wants to murder, well, more or less anyone who fails to conform to his political opinions, on the other. A telling mirror of parts of American society at the moment.