Elon Musk is to host anti-vaxxer and presidential candidate Robert F Kennedy, Jr

Elon Musk will host outspoken anti-vaxxer Robert F. Kennedy Jr in a virtual call on Twitter as he prepares to take-on President Joe Biden for the Democratic nomination for the 2024 election — weeks after Ron DeSantis' catastrophic campaign launch on the platform. The billionaire Twitter owner will talk to Kennedy — nephew of late president John F. Kennedy — on Monday in a Twitter Spaces event titled "Reclaiming Democracy," marking his second conversation with a presidential candidate on the platform. The Democratic hopeful has proven to be a controversial figure in recent years, becoming a prominent anti-vaccine campaigner during the COVID-19 pandemic who has likened Anthony Fauci to Adolf Hitler. He has also repeatedly shared false claims about vaccines on his Instagram, which was suspended in 2021, but has since been reinstated.

Kennedy has been backed by a small number of notable figures in the tech industry such as Twitter cofounder Jack Dorsey, who tweeted a Fox News clip on Sunday of challenger arguing that he could beat Donald Trump and DeSantis in next year's election.
Kennedy has made similar statements on free speech, suggesting that a "censorship-industrial complex" exists that acts as an "incredibly sophisticated system of information control." Twitter sent an automated response to Insider's request for comment. Representatives of Kennedy did not immediately respond to Insider's requests for comment sent outside regular business hours.
https://www.businessinsider.com/musk-ho ... lop-2023-6

There are only three declared 2024 Democratic presidential candidates.
https://www.realclearpolitics.com/epoll ... -8171.html
"Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but not their own facts." - Daniel Patrick Moynihan

Re: Elon Musk is to host anti-vaxxer and presidential candidate Robert F Kennedy, Jr

highdesert wrote: Mon Jun 05, 2023 3:10 pm
wooglin wrote: Mon Jun 05, 2023 1:24 pm Business Insider needs a better copy editor.
Yes, many news sites and newspapers made so many cuts that proofreading and editing is minimal.
That was horrible.

I'd like to see little Joseph Patrick Kennedy III run against him. Joseph is a little more level headed.
“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing,”

Re: Elon Musk is to host anti-vaxxer and presidential candidate Robert F Kennedy, Jr


I've just been ignoring your multiple posts about the dangers of antidepressants, and most specifically SSRIs. But you keep posting your opinion on this subject. You beat this drum any chance you get, even when the discussion didn't start about SSRIs. And you are posting your opinion as a mental health professional.

So for the sake of balance I will point out that currently, SSRIs are considered first line treatment of depression in adults by:
  • The American Psychological Association.
  • The American Psychiatric Association.
  • The American College of Physicians.
There is a much more nuanced discussion to be had around SSRIs, and I find it irresponsible for a mental health professional to repeatedly beat the fear mongering drum about SSRIs. They are not a perfect medicine without serious side effects -- no prescription medicine is, and any clinician who says otherwise is a liar. They are likely over-prescribed by a broken health care system. But fear-mongering posts based on anecdotes and a handful of professionals whose opinions are in direct contrast to the bulk of mental health clinical establishment is irresponsible.


I urge people with mental health problems to seek a caring provider and make treatment decisions in consultation with that provider.

I know you mean well. I find many of your posts to be very thoughtful. But this is too inflammatory for such a serious issue. Like another member here says -- more light, less heat.
Last edited by cooper on Thu Jun 08, 2023 2:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Re: Elon Musk is to host anti-vaxxer and presidential candidate Robert F Kennedy, Jr

You could have presented a thoughtful, well reasoned argument for the relative efficacy and safety of SSRIs after you have noticed me posting on this topic a few times. This could have led to any number of constructive outcomes-- we could have engaged in a civil debate about the issue, or opened a separate thread to discuss the topic, or even discussed the issue by PM. Maybe I would have pulled my punches a bit, posted less often, and when I did, provided links to any of the many peer-reviewed articles which support my position.

Instead, you chose to-- somehow-- search through all my posts and find eight different references to SSRIs that I have made and quote them out of context.

You then employed the logical fallacy of 'appeal to authority' to categorize my posts as inflammatory or irresponsible. They are neither. The standard of care for my profession includes notifying patients about potential side effects of medications. I'm also very, very careful to direct them to a broad range of peer-reviewed resources and opinions. I know the limits of my scope of practice, and I stay in my lane.

Here's what I think: If you wanted to have that conversation, we'd be having it.

What you wanted, I expect, was to let me know that I'm being watched, and for me to shut up about SSRIs.

Which I will do. Message received.

Re: Elon Musk is to host anti-vaxxer and presidential candidate Robert F Kennedy, Jr

Cooper, your post appears aiming for the messenger rather than his message. Though you don’t make direct attacks on his character, questioning his credibility does nothing to undermine his statements (from his viewpoint as a mental health professional) any more than ad hominems.
"It is better to be violent, if there is violence in our hearts, than to put on the cloak of non-violence to cover impotence. There is hope for a violent man to become non-violent. There is no such hope for the impotent." -Gandhi

Re: Elon Musk is to host anti-vaxxer and presidential candidate Robert F Kennedy, Jr

Bisbee wrote: Wed Jun 07, 2023 9:29 pm Cooper, your post appears aiming for the messenger rather than his message. Though you don’t make direct attacks on his character, questioning his credibility does nothing to undermine his statements (from his viewpoint as a mental health professional) any more than ad hominems.
Bisbee, thanks for your post. Based on SunRise's response to my post, it seems I hit a little too hard. My intention wasn't to attack SunRise's character. I regret if my post came off that way because it means I didn't make my point very well, but more important it means I may have caused some bad feelings. That was not my intent, so I'll try again.

Re: Elon Musk is to host anti-vaxxer and presidential candidate Robert F Kennedy, Jr

SunRise, I know you have some very strong opinions about SSRIs. I find you expressing them in multiple threads, so it might be helpful to start a thread on your opinions about the negative effects of SSRIs, especially as related to gun ownership and/or violence. I'm certain that will generate good discussion that can't be had when it's just a one-off in multiple threads. Bisbee was concerned that I was questioning your credibility. Not my intent. I recognize that you are a professional on this subject, and I respect that. Just, I think when one's professional status is invoked on a nonprofessional forum, one needs to be a little careful. I know I try, and I'm certain I've failed at times.

I found many of your statements to be stated as if they were undisputed facts, and mostly making the point of how dangerous SSRIs are. I don't disagree with you that SSRIs are problematic in certain specific ways. They are not a perfect class of medicines without serious side effects -- no prescription medicine is, any clinician who says otherwise is a liar. I also believe they are likely over-prescribed by a broken health care system that doesn't know how to deal with mental health issues. And I'll also concede that how drugs get approved is problematic. My opinions only.

I ran across your opinions in a few threads and just let it be at first. I figured you're a clinician with a certain passion for an issue, and while I thought your opinions were more adamant than other clinicians I've encountered, I didn't respond -- guy has an opinion, let him state it. I don't disagree with you 100% anyway.

However, as your views on SSRIs kept popping up in multiple threads, I was concerned that there was an unbalanced view of SSRIs being repeatedly presented, so I felt the need to remind the forum that you are expressing the opinions of a subset of clinicians and researchers who are not in agreement with the bulk of mental health and medical professional organizations. My intent was to add balance and nuance to your postings -- not to debate or counter your opinions. Being out of line with mainstream does not mean one is wrong. It just means one has a minority opinion. Over time those opinions sometimes become the accepted opinion. Sometimes not.

I have no desire to debate the issue. Your response said that I tried to use the "logical fallacy of 'appeal to authority'" to counter your arguments. I am familiar with the pitfalls of that approach to debate, and that was not my intent. My intent was simply to demonstrate that the opinions you are expressing very adamantly are out of line with mainstream professional authorities. As you are a professional, no one would question that is in your purview. The tone of your assertions is par for the course on an internet forum. However, when one also refers to their professional status on the subject, their opinion is going to carry more weight for a lot of people. As such, I believe that more recognition of the nuances of the subject are important. That was my only goal.

I quoted several of your posts to emphasize the parts I thought were a little more adamant than I've heard from other professionals on the subject:


SunRise, I didn't mean to stop on toes this much. I could have pulled my punches, but honestly based on your posts I didn't think I needed to soften my language when responding to the guy that wrote this:


You don't sugar coat your opinions, so I responded pretty bluntly. When you come on strong with your opinions don't be surprised when others respond in the tone you set. A personal attack wasn't my intention, and I'm sorry that my post projected that to you.

As I said above, I'm not really interested in debating the issue, which is why I didn't respond the first few times. And this post isn't to invite a debate either (though, like I said above others may appreciate a thread devoted to this). I just wanted to clear the air if possible, as I've seen a fair number of toxic back-and-forths on this forum that could just stop if one person just says, "well, crap, I guess I said that wrong, let me try again."

I like that you're a revolver guy. Thanks for hearing me out. My apologies if I only made things worse. In the spirit of reconciliation I'll give you the last word on this one, so interpret my future silence on the issue in that light.


TL; DR. SunRise's opinions on an important subject were a little too adamant for my delicate sensitivities, felt compulsion to tell forum these are minority opinions, used too strong of language, apologies to SunRise, attempted to clarify my point, don't want to keep up debate, won't post anymore.
Last edited by cooper on Thu Jun 08, 2023 2:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Re: Elon Musk is to host anti-vaxxer and presidential candidate Robert F Kennedy, Jr

Thanks, Cooper, apology accepted. I don't want to belabor the point, either. I was not disturbed by either the tone or the length of your message. What freaked me out was all the quotes out of context! An equally confrontational post with only two or three quotes would have, in my entirely personal and often biased opinion, have been entirely appropriate. I grew up in NYC, and sometimes I rant like a cab driver! I don't mind if someone tells me to turn down the radio-- or shut up for a while.

One problem with the multiple quotes is that it takes my words out of context. There were a couple that would have illustrated your point really well-- where I was raising the subject in a way that was almost a thread hijack. I am sorry about that-- I only realized it after I went back and culled a lot of my previous posts, I might have gotten there sooner if you'd offered a shorter, hard-hitting critique. You had no way of knowing I would have responded amicably and cooperatively to that, of course, but I would have.

I would argue that only a few of these posts were totally OT, but still-- are there other reasons why I did this? Two, probably. The first is trauma repetition, or some variant of it. Seeing several young people (and one close friend) exhibit these symptoms, hearing variations of the same theme-- it probably still has some lasting effects. Unconsciously, I'm trying to fix the past, going through those situations mentally again and again, as if I can fix something that already happened. That's something I can address in my own therapy and supervision. The second is that in my practice, I often do have to repeat my concerns several times before the prescribing physician takes them seriously, and we put together a better plan. That repetition may have become a habit that I translated to an inappropriate context.

Another issue is that because we don't know each other that well, it just creeped me out that someone-- anyone-- was trolling through so many of my posts. I may be a bit hypervigilant about that, but it made me nervous... again, there may be a bit of a trauma response involved. I've been followed, I've been stalked-- a lot of therapists have been-- though that wasn't what you were doing. All this made me realize I've been posting way, way too much about my personal life-- about where I live, or my past. (And you're not the first person to mention that.) I should generally keep a lower profile-- and I will. I've also edited a lot of my previous posts.

Interestingly, I came to the same conclusion: We should have a separate thread on this topic.

Sometimes I wonder if there should be a separate sub-forum for "Firearm Safety.' (If there isn't one, I haven't found it.) Here, we could have a thread for "Risks of Psychiatric Medication" or even two threads, one listing potential harms-- and how they can sometimes be managed-- and the other listing potential benefits. The "Safety" thread could link to a lot of the great information that's already here-- some of the 'Light over Heat' blogs and videos.

Other subforums within "Safety" might be for newcomers, or people returning to the sport after being away for a long time. Fear of cleaning your weapon, avoiding the range because you fear being glared at, or even standing next to, people who may resent your politics, and reminders of safety tips it's easy to forget.

Anyway, thanks for your reply. I do appreciate your posts as well, on revolvers and many other topics.

Re: Elon Musk is to host anti-vaxxer and presidential candidate Robert F Kennedy, Jr

Back to the topic: I had an interesting experience with an antivaxer on another forum. We really got into it, very oppositional exchanges, in the summer of 2021. I thought the guy was a raving crackpot, and he posted a lot of junk or misleading science...

But I kept listening, and kept reading his links. He wasn't a stupid guy-- that was the thing, I couldn't see why someone so intelligent kept repeatedly falling for the same junk science. He was a conspiracy theorist, not an antimasker, he wore masks all the time.

Then, as we broke into 2022, and Delta was replaced with Omicron, I noticed something different: His references improved, though the conclusions he drew were still kind of off base. By spring of 2022, he'd found convincing evidence that the efficacy of the the vaccine had diminished sharply; shortly thereafter, there were articles posted in Virology, a peer-reviewed journal, indicating that the risks for some immune-compromised patients were just showing up now, six months after multiple doses. I mentioned this to my GP, and she stopped pressing me to get a fourth shot. (There were other medical reasons for this decision I won't detail here.)

The midpoint between extremes is not always the correct path-- that's another logical fallacy, and not what I'm suggesting. What's disturbing about Kennedy is that he seems to be trying to make a name for himself on this issue, and is alleging some kind of conspiracy.

This is a problem not only because it might discourage folks from getting the vaccine who need it, but because it might intimidate the small population of people who really might have greater risks than benefits from repeated vaccination. They might be afraid to speak to their GPs, not wanting to be perceived as 'one of those conspiracy theorists,' don't want to be thought of as someone wearing a tinfoil hat.

Hitler and Fauci? That's definitely putting on the Reynolds Wrap Fedora.

Re: Elon Musk is to host anti-vaxxer and presidential candidate Robert F Kennedy, Jr

cooper wrote: Thu Jun 08, 2023 2:30 pm Breaking my self-imposed silence just once to acknowledge that the multiple quotes were kind of creepy and asshole-ish in retrospect. Appreciate your grace.

cooper out
No worries, man. I get it-- what this actually was may have been a variant of a rhetorical habit that we both share: Being long-winded!

I really admire Bisbee's posts, which are generally short and trenchant: "Cleaning a Mark II is a rite of passage." Someday, maybe I'll get there!

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