She retract and apologize for that dumb amnesty post yet?

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"Let's Declare a Pandemic Amnesty" probably came from a well intentioned, if self serving place.

The problem that got her in real trouble, is it's typical The Atlantic bad journalism echo chamber bull.

She knew she was guilty - but of what, specifically, is so poorly spelled out it's no wonder the internet played T-ball with the article for a week.

To have an amnesty with someone - to make peace, you have to physically speak to them, hear and understand their greivances. She tried to make peace - but for what? This data scientist has no specific data on that point. This journalist certainly never spoke with, or quoted someone who could name her sins.

If you don't think the grievances of the other side are legitimate, you can't request amnesty for them - and should you?

Honestly, I don't know if the Honestly round table of reluctant democrat wine moms is the place to work this problem. But a good editor could have fixed the Atlantic article in about 5 minutes, and hopefully the Free Press will hire one to fix this and the #diedsuddenlty article that didn't mention the fact that it would be #miocarditis if that weren't banned.

(Editor- a twitter article about right wing suppression on twitter that doesn't mention twitter? Durring the twitter files drops? you guys wanna work this a bit?)

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I have a problem with data driven parenting -- data changes or is wrong but no one knows because confirming/disconfirming research is not done. Much better to listen to those who have successfully raised children, to a community that has successfully inculcated important verities in their children. I am a grandmother and once thought like you. I only listened to the ‘data,’ much of which was proved wrong over time--but not fast enough for a new parent who had to make decisions. What it really was was that the ‘new data’ fit my worldview, the zeitgeist of the time. So be careful.

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Listened and laughed with you. About Aquaphor- my grandmother swore by Vicks Vaporub for everything from stuffy noses to stubbed toes. We all have our illogical remedies. I confess, the smell of menthol, camphor, and eucalyptus is still comforting, even though I have grandchildren of my own now.

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I loved everything about this conversation, except one thing… the misconception that teachers didn’t want kids to be in school. I am an NYC public school teacher and my school was open from September 2020. To say that all of the NYC teachers I know personally worked tirelessly so that every single one of our students had the very best shot at learning through a rollercoaster ride of a pandemic and Covid protocols is an understatement. Teachers are not a monolith. It’s just not true to say that “teachers didn’t want schools to be open” as a blanket statement.

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Also a teacher. Many teachers did want to teach, but the union fought for closures.

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While I am not a Grandma yet, I could be, and it was an eye-opener to hear “What To Expect When Your Expecting” referred to as something outdated that your parent or grandparent read. Uh-oh. That was my bible back in the day! And luckily my kids narrowly missed the school closure bullet so I was not entrenched in the debate but I was following in closely and came down squarely in Oster’s data-driven approach.

Lastly, I had to laugh at your lightning round question about sleep training (which I think I just called “Let ‘em Cry and couldn’t wait to do once my Doctor gave me the green light). Of course you have to do what feels right for you, but I can assure you your daughter will not end up needing therapy as a result!

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This was an excellent segment until the final questions.

Humans for their entire history have given nutrition to their babies by breastfeeding. And while I applaud those moms who do super extended breastfeeding, I am not saying that this must be the norm. What I am saying, however, is that just because the "data" does not support breastfeeding for extended periods, I do think that breastfeeding for the first year to two years has plenty of substantiated evidence as being a great choice for moms and babies. ANd this is why I bristle sometimes when Emily Oster speaks, as she speaks with such authority that she will lead moms to forego important rituals and rites that historically were extremely important because in the "minute" of the last 30 years there have been no studies to look to. I'd point anyone who questions this to La Leche League as they have the most up to date information on the benefits of breastfeeding that span much beyond nutrition alone.

Second, I am amazed that her support of CIO (Cry it out) Sleep training is even spoken out loud and I believe it lacks the same rigor regarding implementation and outcomes research. There are NO studies that follow children who were left to cry in their cribs down the hall as to ascertain the data as to what the implications of this act would be would show up much later in life. In the way we develop trust of loved ones and self-soothing techniques. We live in a country where there is a suicide crisis, a drug abuse crisis and an overall malaise in the general population feeling disconnected, and yet, Emily Oster would say that leaving an infant to "cry it out" in their crib down the hall is a fine choice. I'd honestly ask if she has seen data to the contrary or if there was no data to be seen.

Much of the data on sleep training has been done by doctors (male doctors) whose goals are far different than babies along with the goals of working moms, who again have very different goals than a baby. So we should not rely on these "experts" to tell us anything about what a baby needs.

I've been bothered for a few days that the overall "good" conversation ended on such an anti-baby/child needs note. I hope you do your research Nelly as all of these choices have unintended consequences that should be weighed. You will be very surprised by how quickly your baby does end up sleeping through the night (and if you co-sleep the baby will eat and sleep without you having to do anything - even without having to wake up.) - like they did for thousands of years before we "modern" moms go involved. LOL

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Loved this one! Thank you! I have one child, 13 girl. Parenting is hard. Your worst enemy most often is you. Don't be too hard on yourself. Enjoy your time with your child. Time spent, just being present with your child, it the most beneficial thing you can do - this will make sense once she starts to talk! :)

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Jan 12, 2023·edited Jan 12, 2023

re: prioritzing...It seemed like every parent in NYC was scheduling their kid for sports on weekends...I said, "NYET" - we're off to the country (CT) for the weekend, ie my kids accommodated to our lives versus us to theirs. We were happy and they learned that not going along with the school crowd was just A-okay. Get a grip folks - live your lives WITH your children - stop trying to please people and parents and even the school your kids go to....live your lives...completely, totally.

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I'd love to read this transcript! I love Emily Oster's 3 parenting books, and re-read much of cribsheet just prior to our second boy's arrival last month. Based on her writing style, I think she'd be a great fit as a semi-regular contributor to the Free Press! Ha, I still quote that section on baby swaddling! ... "Wait, was there an equation in there?"

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I’m not listening to that. You don’t get a pass after that level of unaccountable harm.

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Jan 10, 2023·edited Jan 10, 2023

GENUINELY love the three of you. And SO glad the little one made her debut, albeit brief, on Substack : ).

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Thanks, Bari and Nellie. While Oster has many good tips to offer on parenting, education, pregnancy, and the like, she is still sidestepping the main point of flawed reasoning regarding "calling for a pandemic amnesty."

Nellie, you did a great job by bringing up the point that people in power are NOT acknowledging any wrongdoing, consequences, etc. And the danger of having these folks in office without admitting the mistakes, and discussing changes they will incorporate in policy in the future.

Yes, Nellie, this gives free reign next time the powers that be feel a situation requires draconian measures. (You and Bari could have pressed further on this, IMO.) And NO, Ms. Oster, we don't just "move along." Sure, focus on getting the kids back in school and test scores back up. Of course. AND, we do not just forget under the guise of "we need to work together." There must be acknowledgement, an admission of wrongdoing. Otherwise, everyone is going to suffer next time - potentially even much worse.

So, Bari and Nellie, I respect your love for Oster. But please do not soften prematurely or back down from what you KNOW is bullshit. Keep pressing.

Love your work.

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I loved Emily Oster when she courageously put out data showing schools could open and also that masks made no difference. Then, she suddenly shifted her positions (probably around late 2021?) and it was baffling. Either her employer (Brown) told her to stop putting out the data on masks or maybe she took a consulting gig that depended on her playing down the fact that masks didn't work. Either way, she lost my respect at that point. The Amnesty article was really just the final straw. It wasn't just "the right" as you implied that turned on her. I'm not right or left. I'm a parent who fought VERY hard for two years for my kids to get their lives back. I watched my children spiral into depression. I watched as politicians, the media, school administrators, and teachers unions STOLE their lives. There will be NO amnesty as long as I live. I turned on Emily because she turned on us. It has nothing to do with being right or left. I'm sure she is a perfectly nice person, but she appears to have sold out and I have zero respect for that.

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Ah, parenting....nothing like talking about raising children to REALLY get people angry. 😂

Having said that, I have some very definite opinions on parenting young kids. I breastfed my daughter until 18 months; she never had formula, ever, and I’m super proud of that. We sleep trained her and we were all better for it. As a toddler she always slept through the night unless she was sick.

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Made sure to like the episode before I commented - to be ratio neutral.

Loved the episode. Oster is a poster-person for Honestly/The Free Press.

She actually knows some stuff, is thoughtful, caring, sane, and willing to change her mind when given good reasons to do so.


And yet, even here, in what one would hope is sane-land, Oster will get criticized for trying to move past recrimination toward progress - toward actually fixing problems.

Sure it would be nice if the people who got so much, so wrong, weren't in a position to get stuff wrong again. But replacing them and then fixing the problems are 2 big jobs, and attending to our children's education is really the priority - so maybe let's start there, and if there is any energy left after education if fixed, we can move on to recrimination.

Or does thinking that make me a dangerous enabler?

Oh, and how does an episode with Emily Oster generate a huge discussion about White Nationalists in Germany a 100 years ago?

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