There is no way not to take yesterday’s public warning from the nation’s top health official as ominous, indeed sinister. U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy expounded on the risks of social media to children and teens, citing possible “harm to the mental health and well-being of children and adolescents.” The remarkable 19-page advisory, begins by acknowledging that the effects of social media on adolescent mental health are not well understood, and even that social media can be beneficial to “some users.” It then goes on to argue ,“There are ample indicators that social media can also have a profound risk of harm to the mental health and well-being of children and adolescents.”
And thus the U.S. Surgeon General lays the groundwork for government censorship, despite admitting that there is insufficient hard data to support his conclusions. Parental supervision is not enough for this government, as we have already seen in multiple settings. After all, “it takes a village,” the village that one side of the current culture wars is trying to define includes treating words and expression as “harm” from which people must be kept “safe.” Predictably, the near-completely compliant national news media is behind such government appropriation of parental authority, in this as well as other matters.
“As social media use has risen, so have self-reports and clinical diagnoses among adolescents of anxiety and depression, along with emergency room visits for self-harm and suicidal ideation,” writes the New York Times. Oh! Then that must mean that social media use causes those problems, since they are both on the rise at the same time. Science!
When do we get a Surgeon General’s report of the health risks of faulty reasoning and media propaganda?
“The report could help encourage further research to understand whether these two trends are related,” the Times tells us. I think this means that the report will trigger more rigged and otherwise dubious studies allowing the government to try to justify First Amendment incursions to the courts. “At their clearest, the data indicate that social media can have both a positive and negative impact on the well-being of young people, and that heavy use of social media — and screen time generally — appears to displace activities like sleep and exercise that are considered vital to developing brains,” is one of the Times’ takeaways from the Surgeon General’s politicized outburst. How are these concerns any different from the past cultural freak-outs over television in the Fifties, or rock-n-roll, or, in an earlier era, dime novels and “Captain Billie’s Whiz Bang”? They aren’t. The difference is that no Surgeon General decided to use his influence then to distort the debate.
To be clear, it is obvious that social media is a problem; many problems, in fact. It is equally obvious that everything about the Biden Administration is political and aimed at social and government control for “the greater good,” with the Constitution considered just an obstacle to be run-over, crashed through, or changed. So is free speech: if the Twitter debacle has proven anything, it has proven that.
We cannot trust the motives of the federal government, we can’t trust its agencies (See: the FBI) and we should know that we can’t trust health officials after they used their influence and expertise to wreck the economy, children’s socialization and education, and more by pushing a destructive lock-down on American society out of panic and partisan political objectives. Funny, the Surgeon General’s office didn’t issue a warning about any of that.
Warning about the “health effects” of free speech is way, way outside the Surgeon General’s lane. The only value of his report is that it provides more evidence that our government and its agents are determined to limit the right of free expression and take as much authority away from parents in supervising the education, emotional development and acculturation of their children as can.
Dr. Murthy already swerved out of his lane when he declared gun violence to be an “epidemic.” The public now has “ample indicators” that he and his office are just another weapon in the arsenal of aspiring totalitarians .
[Geena is asking to make another appearance; so is Prof. Harold Hill, who has a song for you. But I think I’ll leave the post at that.]
9 thoughts on “Ethics Dunce: Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy [Link Fixed]”
Jocelyn Elders was fired from this same job by Bill Clinton after she started talking about gun violence as a public health issue, drug legalization, expanding abortion and justifying masturbation. This guy starts talking free speech suppression and no one bats an eye. Boy have we slumped in thirty years.
After their successes in pushing ‘gun violence’ as a health issue (they will ask your kids about your firearms and report you to DHS) and covidianism, the medical community seems drunk on power. With multiple agencies now regulating health (HHS, CDC, NIH, FDA, and now OSHA), they can get enough conflicting regulations to justify just about anything. My wife’s workplace still mandates masks despite the fact that all the randomized, controlled trials have found that masks (even N95) do nothing to stop the spread of COVID. She was told this policy would remain in effect as long as the CDC map showed us in red for COVID. Well as soon as the map went to green, she asked if she could stop wearing the mask. They told her no, she had to wait until the CMS map was green (why was the CMS map red when the CDC map was green). Well, when the CMS map went green, she asked again and they told her that she was looking at the WRONG CMS map. CMS had our county as green for cases, but red for transmission. That doesn’t even make sense. Everyone is transmitting it, but no one is getting it? There is no appeal from these things. Until the courts say that these agencies can’t pass laws and really mean it, this won’t stop.
In the West Virginia decision, the Supreme Court shows how close it is to irrelevance. They ruled that the EPA couldn’t require the entire energy sector to be reworked without a law from Congress., but that ruling had barely come out before the EPA did it again.
I fail to see how “The Sadder But Wiser Girl” fits into the context here…
O we got trouble my friends, right here in River City…
Shoot, I guess I shouldn’t use pretend html flags, if they are getting removed. There’s supposed to be a
“ducks thrown objects” and then “starts singing” in between the two sentences. Dang.
Oh for the luvva….link fixed.Damn YouTube: the link is labeled “Ya Got Trouble” and the image is from that song, and then it flips to the wrong song. &^%$#!! Right link is up now.
Hillary Clinton: World Class Ethics Villain and titular author* of “It Takes a Village.” To which the proper response is, “No Hillary, It takes two present and engaged parents.” Asshole.
*She’s about as likely to have actually written a book as are Al Gore and Barack Obama.
Back in my teenage days, when the web was just a thousands of pages and the socialest media were forums for shared interests I found my tribe in the comment section of an online comic (RIP UserFriendly, you are still missed).
It was a positive for me, being the sort of weirdo I am. Whenever anyone suggests any sort of censoring that would have caught this community, well, my desire to hoist the black flag bubbles.
Heh, that webcomic roamed all over some really outré topics in its run
It was fun and it had an eccentric, but generally well-behaved community. I attended one of the admin’s baby shower in Vancouver BC (that little baby girl must be around 20 now) and got to meet Illiad. We watched episodes from the first season of the Muppet Show that day. I know of at least one marriage that came out of the people in that group. The 90s and early 2000s Internet was an exciting place.