Category Archives: Entertainment

Michael Baisden is Leaving the Airwaves… Yay!

And this skeptic thinks that is a good  GREAT thing. I have sort of a love hate relationship with Michael Baisden. Okay, to be honest its mostly hate. I think much of his show is just overhyped nonsense but I respect the fact that. he often highlights issues of social justice that are often missed by mainstream media. I also respect the fact that he uses his fame to promote charitable giving and activism. And he’s really one of few black celebrities who isn’t afraid to express his non-belief (though he is not an atheist per se). That said, I haven’t been able to stomach listening to a full program for a long time. And while there are many aspect of his program that I dislike, one of my biggest beefs is with the pseudoscience he promotes via his “expert guests”.

When I say that  I dislike his “expert” guests, this is not to suggest that all of his guests are not reputable experts  but a lot of the recurring ones  often have dubious credentials  to match their dubious claims.

“Dr”. Baruch , for example, one of Baisden’s frequent guests, claims that he earned his ND from the School of Prophets, Louisiana Baptist University. This university is unaccredited college and as far as I can tell doesn’t offer ND’s ( per http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Louisiana_Baptist_University & http://www.lbu.edu/graduate.htm).

Here is an example of one of his lectures where he makes incorrect claims about vegetarian and omnivorous diets among other things. 

He also asserts that chickens urinate through their skin. which is what gives some chickens the yellowish color. This is absolutely untrue. One of the claims he makes in the video and I have heard him make on The Michael Baisden Show was that estrogen in chicken that we consume is making black males effeminate and  or gay. A causal relationship between impotence or sexuality and what one eats is not supported by scientific evidence. And it is clear that Baruch understand as much  about gender and sexuality as he does about a chicken’s ass. It is also clear that Baruch is a tofu-dashikiist and promotes various conspiracy theories. Note the part where he talks about “the enemy’s food’ and its supposed connection to impotence and homosexuality. This depopulation paranoia, mixed with misogynistic prioritization of procreation above all else, and obsession with hyper-sexual heterosexist masculinity is a hallmark of the tofu dashikiist.

Then there is “Dr.” Sunyatta Amen a.k.a. “The Belly Dancing Doctor”,  who claims to be a naturopathic physician but she never mentions where she attended school. And beyond her own claims there is nothing to verify that she has been trained  or licensed as a physician, naturopathic or otherwise. When George and Michael aren’t salivating over her, she promotes vegetarian or vegan diet as well as exercise in general but belly dance in particular for black women. I don’t see anything wrong with promoting healthier eating or even vegetarian or vegan diets or even exercise but where she goes beyond that is where the problems begin. She claims despite the lack of evidence to have healed black women from ovarian cysts, fibroids, etc. with naturopathic methods and belly dance. On one episode of the Michael Baisden show, she told listeners concerned about fibroids to cut dairy including eggs out of their diet even though scientific studies have shown that African American women who consumed dairy daily reduced their risk of fibroids. 

Other guests like Dr. Elaine George  have promoted  long discredited beliefs like the  supposed link between vaccines and autism along with a  host of other unsupported claims and misrepresentations concerning health.  He even had one guest. Dr. Julissa claiming that STDs and STIs can be cured “naturally”  with supplements like silver.  And whether or not Michael Baisden himself, believes in the things Baruch, Amen, and his other guests promote, their association with him legitimizes him in the minds of many of his listeners, who like Baisden tend to be less educated and vulnerable to misinformation. But considering his recent departure from the airwaves there is one guest appearance from earlier this year that I find particularly amusing: 

Strayhorn predicts using astrology and numerology (both of which are crap btw)  that this year will be a good year for ” people’s health, losing weight, going back to school, purchasing property, falling in love and out of love, as well as births, marriages and pregnancies…” or what I call life in general! But what kills me is with all those predictions he made he didn’t predict that Michael wouldn’t be able to come to an agreement with Cumulus Media. Unfortunately it looks like he is plotting a way to get back on the airwaves but at least he is gone for now.

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Imagine singing the song as written.

Imagine: John Lennon (soundtrack)

Image via Wikipedia

When John Lennon wrote the song”Imagine”, it was his vision of what a peaceful more harmonious world might look like. And maybe parts of it could be considered naive or unrealistic but it was his sincere artistic vision. But although the mood of the song is hopeful and optimistic one line seems to trouble theists,

“Imagine there’s no countries… it isn’t hard to do…Nothing to kill or die for… and no religion too…”

Of course that’s not what Cee Lo  sang last night. The performance was not very good in the first place. I have to confess that no matter how many Gnarls Barkley songs I enjoy, singing is not  Green’s strong suit. But last night Cee Lo changed the lyric to “and all religion’s are true”. His reason for changing it was that he was trying to convey his desire for a” world where u could believe what u wanted that’s all.”Whats wrong with that? His sentiment was sincere and his idea sounds benign enough, and I agree that people should have the right believe whatever they want, even though that doesn’t mean they should.

I can’t speak for John Lennon but in his song he was talking about eliminating all of the things that separate us, oppress us, and the things that cause us to harm each other. He called out religion specifically in my view to highlight the fact that religion has been one of the forces that has contributed to the kind of violence and division that he imagines the world without in his song. So I don’t imagine John Lennon would be angry with Cee Lo  or any of the many other choirs and artists who’ve  used similar artistic licenses to change the lyrics to “and one religion too” or something along those lines. However, I think that the way these artists and people who intentionally target this verse in this song just further proves John Lennon’s point.  Some people are threatened by the thought of a world without religion. They are threatened by the notion that religion is not a force for good in the world and threatened by the idea that their beliefs may not be true. If not, why not change the other lyrics?

And the lyric doesn’t even make sense from a logical standpoint. All religions cannot be simultaneously true. Many of religions directly conflict with one another in addition to their many internal inconsistencies. And by imagining no heaven or hell in the first verse you’ve already eliminated what some would claim is the central truth of their faiths,and that’s before you’ve even gotten to the verse that seems to be causing so much reaction on twitter today.  Perhaps next time, we can imagine singing another song if we can’t identify with the songwriter’s vision.

Gnarls Barkley at the Mini V festival in Melbo...

Maybe he's craaaazay....Possibly.

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Detour

I’m completely in love with this show… I hope you fall in love too.                                    [youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nIVa9lxkbus&feature=list_related&playnext=1&list=SP379FB6BBC58E28B3%5D

This is a great video that explains why anecdotes are insufficient as evidence …[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=16E-4avtddE&list=FLkESNzjZo2pP8giVfkMvlxg&index=1%5D

Great video about the pseudoscience of noetics and the global consciousness project…[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oHTJUX9TZJ8&list=FLkESNzjZo2pP8giVfkMvlxg&index=2%5D

Detour

I thought I’d provide you guys with a reason to procrastinate. Enjoy.

Dana O’Brien

That Mitchell & Webb Look- Homeopathic A&E

That Mitchell & Webb Look- Moon Landing

3.5 till infinity

Ricky Gervais -The Story of Noah

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