BREAKING: Important case study resumes tomorrow!


Bocellis let Yuletide linger: As you may recall, we're roughly halfway through a very important case study.

At issue is an important question: 

What do These (White) Medical Students Today believe about (biological) racial differences?

We're examining the accuracy of a talking point which has become fairly common within our own blue tribe. In the first year of the pandemic, Michele Norris stated the point the following way in the Washington Post:

NORRIS (12/9/20): We are not just tussling with historical wrongs. A recent study of White medical students found that half believed that Black patients had a higher tolerance for pain and were more likely to prescribe inadequate medical treatment as a result.

These White Medical Students Today! Just look at the sh*t they believe!

As we noted last week, versions of this talking point are common with blue tribe journalism. That said, we also noted this:

Norris' statement is grossly, flagrantly wrong about the study to which she refers! So it sometimes goes as our tribe pursues our pleasing but sometimes counterproductive "racialization of everything."

Tomorrow, we'll return to our case study. We'll start with a quick review of the points we've already established. Also, we'll look at the actual numbers from the study to which Noris refers—the actual numbers concerning how many of the 222 white medical students may really believe the inaccurate statement at issue.

Warning! Nothing close to half the white medical students said they believe the offensive false statement in question. Indeed, given the way that recent study was conducted, it isn't entirely clear that any of the offensive white medical students believe the erroneous claim!

We'll return to that matter tomorrow. For today, you may want to let the Bocellis extend the Yuletide one additional day.

We stumbled across their performance of O Holy Night on PBS over the weekend. It occurred during a rebroadcast of last year's holiday program, "Spirit of the Season / IN PERFORMANCE AT THE WHITE HOUSE."

Long lay the world in sin and error pining? 

At this site, we began to detail this unfortunate fact, on a daily basis, all the way back in 1998—though we'll recommend that you focus on error, letting suggestions of sin drift away.

On the brighter side, the Bocellis can really bring it! We suggest that you click this link, move ahead to the 18-minute mark, and give the Bocellis, father and son, four minutes of your time.

We can't truly confess to "a thrill of hope" at this particular time. But if you listen all the way to the end, Andrea Bocelli, joined by his son Matteo Bocelli, may extend your Yuletide revery for at least one additional day.

Additional reading: As happenstance will sometimes have it, the Washington Post profiled the Bocelli family on Friday of last week. 

Virginia Bocelli is only ten! You can just click here.


  1. I seem to remember Right-wingers claiming the Left dressed-up like Republicans, in their Confederate Flag and Nazi gear, to ransack the Capital on 1/6/01.
    Nowadays, the Right tries to pretend they aren't racist anti-semites. I liked it better, back when Right-wingers didn't realize they were telling on themselves.

  2. "As we noted last week, versions of this talking point are common with blue tribe journalism."

    You cannot prove that a talking point is common, while only mentioning one journalist.

  3. "Norris' statement is grossly, flagrantly wrong about the study to which she refers! "

    Norris was not "flagrantly wrong." Meanwhile, Somerby hid the second part of the study from his readers, never mentioning it at all. That was the part that linked mistaken knowledge by med students to undertreatment of pain. That second part of the study, never reported by Somerby, is the part that made Norris's statement a lot less wrong than Somerby pretended. And it demonstrates that Somerby himself cannot be trusted when he carries on about research results that are not "talking points" on the left, but reporting of actual findings about racial bias in medicine.

    Today Somerby is back at it again -- trying to claim that racism doesn't exist to the extent claimed, that it doesn't affect black people when they seek medical treatment. Because Norris mistakenly used a statistic while saying something essentially true.

  4. “our tribe pursues our pleasing but sometimes counterproductive "racialization of everything."”

    The fact that many white medical students have false beliefs about black physiology is not a made up thing. It is documented in this study. These false beliefs, according to the abstract, lead to the students rating the black (vs. white) patient’s pain as lower and making less accurate treatment recommendations. Thus, these med students are the ones “racializing” things, not the “liberal tribe.” And the study makes it clear that these beliefs aren’t being described as racism.

  5. What Norris said:

    “A recent study of White medical students found that half believed that Black patients had a higher tolerance for pain”

    From the study abstract:

    “Study 2 … found that half of a sample of white medical students and residents endorsed these beliefs [false beliefs about biological differences between blacks and whites]. Moreover, participants who endorsed these beliefs rated the black (vs. white) patient’s pain as lower and made less accurate treatment recommendations.”

    So, half of the students endorsed false beliefs, and that half rated black patients’ pain as lower.

    I’m not seeing the glaring error here, so glaring that it has taken Somerby 4 posts to not describe it.

  6. "Virginia Bocelli is only ten!"

    So what? We all have to be that age at some point in our lives. She is cute and pretty but she is a child and not a trained opera singer like her father. Why does Somerby idealize and dote on young girls? He was positively sickening when he went on and on about Malala and Anne Frank. Not so much over Jaden Smith (Will Smith's actor son, who was in a film with his father at about the same age). This is kind of creepy, in my opinion. And after hearing so many mediocre singers attempt O Holy Night, it isn't the same experience any more either.

    But Somerby wants to wallow in mush another day before attacking Norris again, and we really cannot stop him.

    Christians, in particular, make a big fuss over Bocelli and his daughter (who says she is religious at age 10), because Bocelli was once an "agnostic" but now claims to be a strong Catholic. The church has embraced him as a famous advocate. So Somerby's remark about sin and pining may be more important than the quality of the music. Is Somerby now making a turn toward religion and sending his own dog whistles to the hyper-religious crowd?

    We each have our own favorite Christmas songs and traditions. They mean something to us because of our own personal experiences. Visiting Somerby's favorite via youtube isn't going to make his choices meaningful to anyone except him.

    Who else has sung O Holy Night (Cantique de Noel)?

    1. Jonathan Antoine
    2. Luciano Pavarotti y Placido Domingo
    3. Whitney Houston
    4. Hannah Bradbury
    5. Kiri Te Kanawa
    6. Leontyne Price
    7. Alexandra Hazard

    So, why this one, Somerby? Because Virginia Bocelli is 10?

    1. Choir boys were generally 10 too. Their voices changed after that. I'm not sure why that spoils the music, but girls voices were considered less pure for sacred music, so it had to be young boys. Listening to Catholic church music doesn't extend the holiday for those of us who didn't grow up Catholic.

      For many of us, Christmas is not a religious holiday. It is a time for being with family and friends, giving to our neighborhoods and charities, engaging in the traditions that bring us closer together. Singing carols can do that. Listening to Bocelli, not so much.

      Rather than swooning over a 10 year old, I'd prefer a message of peace, goodwill toward all (even Norris), not a complaint that hope is still missing. If hope is gone and sin seems to be looming, Somerby is not doing this holiday right. He spends his year trying to undermine the hope of the left for improvement of humanity's condition, trying to undermine faith in our insttutions and denigrating the hard work of those of us who are engaged with our fellow humans. Retreat to religion, idealizing the thrice-married Bocelli because he is blind and yet can still sing, and has a cute daughter, just doesn't convey any hopeful message to me either. I think Somerby may be looking for Christmas in the wrong places -- like the Grinch, Scrooge, and Humbert Humbert. It is hard to celebrate connection coming from the deeply cynical self-interested mind-state of the right wing. Another 4 years and Bocelli's daughter will be old enough to "date". Meanwhile, isn't she cute and pretty and doesn't she sing like an angel? No serious choir would have accepted her to sing in its midnight Christmas service before women's lib, but she could perhaps have played Mary in the nativity pageant. Why are some people's lives so empty without God? Because they don't really like other people much. Yes, let's talk about sin, shall we?

  7. Is this study or the way it is perceived more
    false and misleading than Bob’s contention
    that liberals make us suffer “
    racialization of
    Everything is a lot. When a Fox News
    pundit claimed President Biden was lying
    about the rape of a ten year old girl when
    he wasn’t?” I don’t recall race being
    brought into the matter.
    We might say it sometimes seems
    our media is race obsessed. Some might
    say, in the harrowing case of Hershall
    Walker’s senate candidacy, the tomism
    not brought into the mix ENOUGH.
    Trump Republicans have had
    considerable success claimed racial
    victimhood for THEMSELVES.
    They mention it quite a LOT.
    Bob has already let his feelings
    be known on today’s topic, but
    he feels the need to write about
    it AGIAN. Must the blog bring
    race into EVERYTHING?

  8. The woods are lovely, dark, and deep. At this time of year, the days get longer, and the nights get shorter.

  9. This comment has been removed by the author.

  10. If you want to hear the best live version of "Oh holy night"
    find John Denver's "Christmas in Concert" cd. It's on Youtube. Stunning!

  11. OT: well, Bob has tried to berate Harvard Law’s Lawrence Tribe before, but now they are on the same page: Tribe now suggests Trump’s only chance is an insanity plea. Getting poor Donald to Court is looking more and more possible.

  12. Replies
    1. Here is my favorite:

    2. Greetings!
      I have warning to pot of eat it the punjab cricket.
      Do not eat it the punjab cricket.
      If eat it the punjab cricket then you have it a bad smell gas.
      One time lady friend Smupa eat it the punjab cricket
      She then have it bad smell gas for 3.5 days.
      For this time she not want a fun bed time.
      Thank you.

  13. Here is a worthwhile substitute for religious belief:

  14. Note the lack of distinction betwewn "some" or "al" or "on average". Pain tolerance probably differs from person to person. Does the false belief Bob described mean "all blacks" vs "all whites' or a difference in average pain tolerance?

    Every individual has his or her personal pain tolerance. Doctors should endeavor to match their treatment to each patient's personal pain tolerance.

    1. Yes, but when you hold stereotypes, that kind of gets in the way of appropriate pain treatment, which is the point of the research Somerby is attacking.

    2. Juice like a strawberry
      Money to burn baby, all of the time
      Cut to fit is me
      Fit to cut is she
      Come juggle with me, I say every time

      Start like a jackrabbit
      Finish in front of it
      I'm the nineties' Jack, that's it, understand?
      I'm the daddy of the mack daddy
      Is a lucky thing God made me
      Ain't no homie gonna play me, top celebrity man

    3. David means well.

  15. Virginia Bocelli is a nepo baby:

  16. “the Washington Post profiled the Bocelli family on Friday of last week. “

    Wait. Is this one of Somerby’s complaints about trivial BS published by the Post that is indicative of the dumbnifucation of blue media? Yes? No?

  17. How much money is Bocelli stuffing down his pants?

  18. Per George Santos, the Republican Party are facist-ish.