I look at the coronavirus crisis differently from most people. To me, it’s the reopening of a 150-year-old scientific controversy that much of the western world has forgotten.
French scientist Louis Pasteur (1822-1895) is widely celebrated as “the father of germ theory”— the idea that we become sick when our bodies are invaded by foreign organisms such as bacteria, molds, fungi, and of course viruses. Although the idea had been circulating long before Pasteur achieved eminence, his laboratory work in the 1860s appeared to provide the scientific proof that had previously been missing.
What’s not widely known is that other French scientists working in the same field in that era held somewhat different beliefs, known as the “terrain theory”. They believed that the most important factor that determines whether or not a person becomes ill is not the presence of a germ, but rather the preparedness of the body’s internal environment (the “soil” or terrain) to repel or destroy the germ.
One of the main terrain-theory scientists was Antoine Béchamp (1816-1908). Pasteur and Béchamp were bitter rivals over several scientific issues. The book Pasteur: Plagiarist, Imposter (R. B. Pearson, 1942) even suggests that Pasteur plagiarized some of his work from Béchamp—no doubt a sore point with the latter, who ultimately died in obscurity. Pasteur, by contrast, became a skilled self-promoter who literally managed to make himself a household name long past the time of his death.
The other main proponent of the terrain theory was Claude Bernard (1813-1878), who (notwithstanding their differences of opinion on scientific issues) was a close friend and associate of Pasteur’s. At the end of his life, Pasteur is said to have recognized the importance of what Bernard had been trying to tell him, remarking, “Bernard avait raison. Le germ n’est rien, c’est le terrain qui est tout.” (Bernard was right. The germ is nothing, it’s the soil that is everything.)
In 1982, French scholar Marie Nonclercq published her doctoral thesis on Béchamp, alleging that Pasteur was not only a plagiarist but also a fraud and falsifier of experimental data. But regardless of Pasteur’s character, and regardless of whether he recanted at the end or not, what lives on after him is the mindset, clearly visible amongst most of today’s medical professionals and health care bureaucrats. That it is, that the germ (formally designated SARS-CoV-2) that has to be tracked down, isolated, avoided, and eradicated – and that’s all that matters. The “terrain”, to conventional modern thinkers, is nothing.
For instance, on the Ontario government’s website telling its citizens what to do about COVID-19, its advice consists entirely of measures designed to prevent people from coming in contact with the virus: stay home, wash your hands often, don’t touch your face, maintain physical distancing and wear a mask when you have to go out.
No mention is made of any measures individuals can take to ensure their immune systems are operating at peak efficiency (or as the French scientists would have put it, their terrain is well prepared to mount a defence). It’s almost as though the Ontario government doesn’t believe human beings have immune systems or that they’re of any use whatsoever. The only hope – Ontario seems to believe – is for a pharmaceutical company to patent a vaccine, because that is the only way that human beings can defend themselves against a virus, or acquire immunity.
In fact, Ontario and Canada have gone out of their way to discourage people from looking for methods of helping themselves. Ontario’s website says “there is no specific treatment” for COVID-19. End of story. Canada’s government-owned broadcasting company – the CBC – recently published an article denouncing “bogus cures” including vitamin C, zinc, medicinal mushrooms and oil of oregano.
This official attitude is utter nonsense. There is actually an abundance of scientific evidence supporting various nutritional supplements as being instrumental in preparing people’s immune systems to repel or overcome viral infections.
Take zinc, for example. Many COVID-19 patients have mentioned as symptoms the loss of their senses of smell and taste. According to the BBC, these symptoms affect as many as 18 per cent of infected patients. A CNN article says that some people will take days or weeks to recover these senses after having the virus, while others may take months or years.
But the loss of these senses is a well-established symptom of zinc deficiency, a fact not mentioned in either of the two articles cited, and apparently not known to most of the mainstream medical community. Yet a PubMed study connects zinc deficiencies with “smell and taste disturbances”. Another study specifically connects older patients with zinc deficiencies and a loss of acuity in the senses of taste and smell. Both of these studies also mention that zinc deficiencies lead to impaired immune function or an increased risk of infection. Can medical “experts” and governments not connect the dots?
Vitamin D is another nutrient (a hormone, actually) well recognized by scientists to have antiviral benefits. Google Scholar lists 3,670 research reports published in 2020 alone containing the words “vitamin D” and “virus”.
But rather than recommending adequate amounts of vitamin D to Canadians, Health Canada has for many years discouraged people from supplementing with it. “Most Canadians are getting enough vitamin D” says this government website, recommending only that people over 50 might want to take the paltry amount of 400 international units (IU) daily. Other Canadian government websites recommend slightly more, which says adults over 70 should take up to 800 IU daily. Never do their recommendations come even close to those of the Vitamin D Society, a consortium of scientists who study this subject. Their FAQ brochure recommends at least 4,000 IU daily to maintain a healthy serum vitamin D level.
But it gets worse. Vitamin D is actually free, if people would only go outdoors in the summer and expose their skin appropriately to the sun. These days, there are even cell phone apps that tell you when the sun is in the right position for your location, how long you should stay out, and how much of your body needs to be exposed in order to get the right dosage. The apps can also be used to determine how to prevent a burn.
Instead of telling Canadians how to get this free vitamin, Health Canada has told them for years to do exactly the opposite: to slather on sunscreen every time they go outdoors in summer and never to expose their skin to the sun.
How many Canadians have died, and will continue to die, of unnecessary health ailments (including COVID-19) because their government has given them this extraordinarily bad advice?
Americans are no better off. The National Institutes of Health fact sheet on vitamin D recommends the same 800 IU maximum that Canada recommends. And it says, “The American Academy of Dermatology advises that photoprotective measures be taken, including the use of sunscreen, whenever one is exposed to the sun.”
That’s no surprise, really. The US government is bedded down even more cozily than the Canadian government with the pharmaceutical companies who will eventually be licenced to produce the sacred vaccine.
But while Pasteur’s germ-theory mindset reigns in officialdom, savvy consumers seem to be following Béchamp and Bernard, without ever having heard of them. Vitamin C, zinc lozenges, and more exotic supplements such as monolaurin (a derivative of coconut oil which in laboratory tests destroys the viral envelope in a manner similar to soap) have been flying off store shelves. Online sellers can’t keep them in stock as word spreads among the public that there’s more they can do than merely trust their governments.
Epidemiologists busily debate the pros and cons of lockdowns and masks in controlling the spread of the virus, but I have yet to see a single report of anyone who has thought to compare the serum vitamin D levels of those who succumbed, versus those who recovered, versus those who have never become infected. This is the sort of data they should be looking at, but imbued with the germ-theory mindset, they are allowing this valuable information to slip away.
I hope this article will change that.
Karen Selick is a Columnist for the Western Standard. She has previously written for the original Western Standard, National Post, Canadian Lawyer Magazine. She is the former Litigation Lawyer of the Canadian Constitution Foundation and is the owner of KeenEyesEditing.ca.
SLOBODIAN: Another blackface photo shows Trudeau the hypocrite
Do Canadians really want to again hand power to someone who relentlessly points a false accusing finger at them to achieve his sinister agenda but didn’t have the moral character to know blackface is a bad thing – until he got caught.
Yet another photo of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in blackface emerged on the eve of today’s federal election.
He appears to be having a fantastic time all dressed up in a fancy Arabian costume with a crazed look in his eyes, tongue hanging out to his chin, cozied up to some guy.
It’s just more evidence (as if we even need more) that something is really, very wrong with that man who yearns to lead a 2021 majority government — both morally and in his ability to exercise good judgement.
But there’s something else about the photo that’s telling. Two men behind him are wearing tuxedos. Their tongues are tucked in their mouths where they belong. Unlike Trudeau, they look normal, dignified, like they know how to behave out in public, like they don’t disrespect black people.
Obviously, dressing up in this offensive manner wasn’t mandatory to attend the soiree. And obviously, Trudeau didn’t care. He was having such fun mocking a racial minority he now claims to be deeply concerned about.
Apparently, this photo was taken at an Arabian Nights-themed event held in the spring of 2001. Multiple photos of Trudeau in blackface have emerged in the past from this event and others.
Oh, he has apologized profusely being “deeply sorry” for the bad behaviour he so passionately seemed to enjoy. But no, he never could remember how many times he behaved in this childish, offensive, racist manner.
Trudeau wasn’t some dumb, naive kid. He was a dumb, insensitive, arrogant gown man, a teacher pushing 30 who made sport of a racial minority.
And then, four years shy of 50, in 2018, he got all dressed up again, humiliated Canada and was ruthlessly mocked on the world stage when he traipsed through India, hands clasped in prayer or whatever, in blinding colourful, inappropriate Bollywood costumes.
Of course, the timing of this latest blackface photo was leaked with the intent to inflict the most damage to Trudeau as Canadians head to the polls.
Good! Too many Canadians are still blinded to his incompetence, to the disastrous path he’s leading Canada down, to his hypocrisy.
He plays Canadians like a fiddle, never missing an opportunity to create division and shed fake tears while preaching advocacy for equality and inclusion.
Trudeau can’t stop telling Canadians how racist they are. He shamelessly panders to the black community that his blackface antics insulted.
When protests lit U.S. cities on fire after the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, instead of pointing out accusations of widespread police brutality were inflated, Trudeau jumped on the bandwagon declaring anti-black racism is alive in Canada.
He neglected to mention he was largely speaking from personal experience.
“We need to do better in Canada. Even though we’ve made strides forward in the fight against racism and discrimination, racism still exists in Canada. To young, black Canadians, I hear you when you say you are anxious and angry.”
The problem is statistics didn’t support his claims. And they still don’t. In fact, Trudeau neglected to note that the largest targeted group on the receiving end of hate crimes in Canada is the Jewish community.
Trudeau is using racism as a pretense to assault the right of Canadians to freedom of expression. If he gets his majority, Bill C-36 — an anti-hate propaganda and hate crime bill — will sail through. He tries to sell it as means combat online hate, which he vaguely defines. It is a dangerous tool to shut up whoever Trudeau and his minions disagree with or don’t like.
Someone merely fearing another person may commit a hate propaganda offence or hate crime can anonymously have their target hauled before a judge to potentially lose their freedom or face financial ruin.
Do Canadians really want to again hand power to someone who relentlessly points a false accusing finger at them to achieve his sinister agenda but didn’t have the moral character to know blackface is a bad thing — until he got caught?
How many passes is this power-hungry, divisive, costume-wearing fraud going to get?
Slobodian is the Senior Manitoba Columnist for the Western Standard
FILDEBRANDT: While the big parties have never agreed on more, Canadians have never agreed on less
“The Great Canadian Consensus of 2021 is a mirage however. The old parties may agree, but Canadians do not.”
Canada has had divisive elections before, but those elections typically had something to be divisive about: free trade (1988), conscription (1917), etcetera.
But if we’re going to lump 2021 into the club of particularly divisive elections, it would be difficult to add any text before the bracket. That is, I don’t know what this election was about, at least as far the the big parties go.
Certainly COVID-19 and how government should handle it has been discussed a lot, but with the exception of Maxime Bernier and his PPC, the major parties have been in remarkable consensus on all of the big issues.
The five older parties all agree with rotating lockdowns and a forced vaccine passport, with minor variations at the margin.
The five major parties all agree with perpetual deficit spending, although O’Toole’s Conservatives promise some day far into the distant future that the budget will balance itself.
The five major parties all agree with a large carbon tax on both industry and consumers.
All five major parties agree that equalization is working just fine and the West should keep paying, although O’Toole says the West deserves a little respect for its contributions.
The major difference between the five major parties mostly boils down to: “We can do what the other guys promise to do better.”
The Great Canadian Consensus of 2021 is a mirage however. The old parties may agree, but Canadians do not.
Roughly half of Canadians oppose a carbon tax, but 100% of the parties in Parliament support one.
Most conservatives support a serious timeline to balance the budget, but none of the parties in Parliament do.
The overwhelming majority of Westerners — and especially Albertans — want to either reform or abolish equalization, but not a single party in Parliament wants to even discuss it.
A clear majority of Canadians — alas — support vaccine passports, but a significant minority do not. And I have difficulty believing it’s only made up of anti-vax conspiracy theorists as the legacy media would have us believe. There are rational skeptics, and folks, like yours truly, in the minority of the majority: that is, people who’re vaccinated, but do not believe in forcing others to do so.
The anti-passport/lockdown minority were left without any voice among the establishment parties. Into this fray, the PPC has played the contrarian, inserting itself into a populist-libertarian space where the other parties fear to tread.
The party’s rallies resound with chants of “Freedom! Freedom!” as Bernier plays the role of William Wallace juicing the peasant rabble up to charge the English lines.
O’Toole’s headlong rush to the nebulous ‘centre’ could well pay off in the GTA-905 belt, but it has left a not insignificant number of otherwise traditionally Conservative voters out in the cold. His only appeal to them is their obligation to vote Tory to stop the Liberals. It will work with some voters, but it’s weak. It reduces the election to a mere personality contest between Trudeau and O’Toole.
As the PPC began its rise from obscurity to 6-11% in the polls, the legacy media began to take notice. Most leftist media personalities dismissed it as an angry and dangerous fringe unworthy of Canada’s noble progressivism. Most establishment conservative media personalities dismiss it as a vane-glorious monument to Bernier’s ego. Only a handful have bothered to scratch the surface to ask “Who are these people, and what are these people so upset about?”
The lazy armchair consensus of the punditocracy is they are just angry, white, racist, rural, old, male, right-wingers upset about how wonderfully tolerant and progressive Canada has become.
But the PPC voter profile is more complex than this trope. Certainly, the PPC has taken a bite out of the Tories, but is engaging new groups that defy an easy left-right pinning of the tail on the donkey. Young people, former Green voters, and — most notably — non-voters make up most of the party’s polling gains.
The party’s Freedom Rallies are a visible display of this, if the legacy media bothered to show up.
At a rally in the small town of Strathmore, Alberta — 30 minutes east of Calgary — Bernier attracted 1,000 attendees, give or take. It had the usual assortment of farmers and blue-collar conservatives; but it had the odd hippy wearing a poncho. A few punks wearing excessive eye-shadow. Some visible minorities. And young people. Lots of young people. It was not the typical small-town Alberta conservative town hall meeting of the usual suspects.
The PPC vote may well be too diluted across Canada to elect any MPs, but it will leave a mark.
Legacy media using a generic story image of the five other parties leaders, but exclude Bernier — despite him polling higher than two of them — will be a difficult illusion to maintain on Tuesday.
Canadians are by and large tired of the Liberals. Trudeau’s character is unbecoming of a leader of an advanced democratic country. There is a seething angry pool of voters who want change, but not just in the personality of the man or woman at 24 Sussex. Surely O’Toole can’t form a majority government by only appealing to cranks like me, but to win he’ll probably need to offer at least something.
Instead, he offers Trudeau without the blackface. I suppose it’s an improvement.
Like 2019, this should be the Conservatives election to lose. If he comes up short tonight, O’Toole will be tempted to blame others, namely Jason Kenney and Maxime Bernier.
Kenney is no doubt playing a less than helpful role, and will quite possibly be held responsible for flipping a few seats in Alberta to the Liberals and NDP. But his disastrous leadership of the province will not be the decisive factor if the Tories lose.
And Bernier himself is unlikely to be the primary spoiler. He’s the key driving force behind the PPC’s populist insurgency, but it was the polarization around vaccine passports — and O’Toole’s middling response to it — that has driven that party’s ascendance.
O’Toole may well pull this one out, but by squeezing the sunlight out of the space between himself and Trudeau, he has not helped his chances.
Derek Fildebrandt is Publisher of the Western Standard
McNICHOLLS: The case for a Canadian quest for the Victoria Cross
It begs the question as to why we have a Canadian Victoria Cross if the standards required to receive it are apparently unachievable?
Private Jess Larochelle of the Royal Canadian Regiment was manning an observation post in Pashmul, Afghanistan Oct. 14, 2006, when the post was destroyed in a rocket attack.
The violent impact rendered the young soldier unconscious and though he didn’t know it at the time, the blast had also broken his back.
When Larochelle came to, he tried to bring his C6 7.62-mm machine gun into action, only to discover the attack had rendered it unserviceable.
He was badly injured, under heavy fire and alone.
Beside him were 15 M72 rocket launchers, which fortunately had not detonated, and he immediately put those to use.
During the fight, which saw two members of his unit killed and three wounded, his use of the rocket launchers effectively brought the insurgent’s attack to a halt and prevented his unit from being overrun.
On March 14, 2007, Larochelle was awarded the Star of Military Valour, one of 20 awarded to Canadian forces members during the Afghan conflict.
Many readers will be familiar with the Victoria Cross, which has been around since the Crimean War, having been introduced by Queen Victoria in January of 1856. It is the highest and most prestigious award for gallantry that can be bestowed on a member of Britain’s armed forces and was previously open to members of the British Empire and Commonwealth.
The Afghanistan Veterans Association of Canada has petitioned the Governor-General of Canada to award the Victoria Cross to former Pvt. Larochelle, Nipissing, Ont. man who is in poor health.
“I was in the same company with Jess,” said Bruce Moncur, founder of the Veterans Association.
“The guy had a broken back and single-handedly fought off 40 Taliban.”
The petition has the support of Conservative leader, Erin O’Toole.
“(Jess Larochelle) is worthy of consideration for Victorian class,” said O’Toole, himself a former commissioned officer in the Royal Canadian Air Force.
“I’m very proud of the men and women who serve in our Canadian Armed Forces and those (who) served in that mission with distinction and unparalleled courage,” he said Sept. 17.
Retired General Rick Hillier is also backing the group, and said Larochelle was at the “point of the spear.”
“This young man, this baby-faced soldier, this awesome Canadian, kept the Taliban attack away and behaved in a way that was incredible,” Hillier told the CBC.
Throughout its history, 1,358 Victoria Crosses have been awarded to 1,355 individuals. Three men received a VC and bar, meaning they won it twice. Ninety-nine were Canadian, or had a close association with Canada.
While early recipients most certainly demonstrated extreme acts of gallantry, there is little doubt the criteria for consideration for the award of a VC has, over time, become decidedly more stringent.
The rules were before consideration could be given, there had to be three reports of the incident. Assuming three had their heads above ground to notice, they then had to survive the action themselves. It then had to go up the chain of command where it was frequently downgraded. In other words, lots of very brave men did not receive consideration or received lesser medals.
Unsurprisingly, the war in which most were awarded was the First World War.
Probably more surprising is the Indian Rebellion beginning in 1857 is in second place.
What will likely surprise a great many is the Second World War is in third place.
There’s no question the British VC became harder to win as its history evolved. By the time of the Second World War you almost literally had to be killed to be considered for one. I have a recollection of reading about one Second World War Bomber Command group commander who decreed there would be no live VC recipients in his command.
Nevertheless, VCs were awarded for extreme acts of courage and 16 Canadians were so honoured during the conflict. Many, including a man from the City of Duncan on Vancouver Island, my hometown for 20 years, paid with their lives.
The last Canadian to be awarded a VC was Robert Hampton Gray of Trail, BC in 1945.
‘Hammy’ Gray would also make the supreme sacrifice for the act of bravery for which he was recognized.
In 1967, it was determined Canadians would no longer be eligible for the Victoria Cross and, in 1993, a Canadian VC was created.
The Star of Military Valour, which was awarded to Larochelle, is Canada’s second-highest award for courage in the face of the enemy.
Since the Second World War, 15 British VCs have been awarded, although four of those went to Australians serving in Vietnam before Australia also created its own Victoria Cross medal.
Of the 11 British awards, four were in Korea, two in the Falklands, three in Afghanistan and one in Iraq.
Admittedly, I have not carried out a study to compare how the most recent British awards stack up against those of the 20 Canadian Star of Military Valour recipients.
We are advised by Canada’s director of Military Honours and Recognition no actions have taken place that meet the requirements for the award of a Canadian VC. However, as one of the stated criteria was to be willingly or knowingly drawing fire onto oneself to relieve others, that seems very much the description of the action involving Pvt. Larochelle.
For argument’s sake, let’s say it does not meet the Canadian military’s criteria; I am left pondering the fact that in the history of the Canadian Victoria Cross, precisely zero have been awarded.
Since creating its own Victoria Cross medals, Australia has awarded four and New Zealand one.
There is campaign underway to have Larochelle’s medal upgraded to a VC, but this has so far not met with success.
It begs the question as to why we have a Canadian Victoria Cross if the standards required to receive it are apparently unachievable?
Paul McNicholls is an author and historical researcher on Vancouver Island. His first book, Journey Through the Wilderness, was published in 2019. He’s currently working on two projects. Canada’s Monty, the story of Field Marshal Sir Bernard Montgomery’s brother, Donald, who served with the Canadian Corps during the First World War. The second work-in-progress is Canada and the Boer War. McNicholls is the recipient of the 2021 Howard Browne Medal from the Victorian Military Society.
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