Crazies never think they are

July 31, 2009

David Paul Kuhn at Real Clear Politics wonders why the “birthers” or birth-certificate-obsessed garnered a good deal of attention in the last month, which struck Kuhn as rather sudden.

Meanwhile, incidents like this (and I mean the outsized coverage) do seem to justify conservative charges of bias. Is there an unintentional effort, perhaps intentional in some corners of the partisan press, to portray Republicans and conservatives as a bunch of kooks? Well, one should never presume motives.

But I do think the drumming coverage blends a conservative fringe group with conservatives and Republicans. It seems fair to say that, by consequence, much of the media is characterizing conservatives as a bit loony with this exaggerated “birther” storyline.

Both sides have their ideological fringe. Party flanks tend to believe their passions despite the facts. But the mainstream media did not, to the same degree, discuss the conspiracy theorists that believed Bush and Cheney were behind the 9/11 attacks, in order to justify an invasion for oil, in the context of liberals or Democrats.

Two observations:

First, Kuhn appears to have missed that the BCOs stepped up their activities a bit, including giving “indictments” to a dozen or more federal courts across the nation, begging for an indictment of the president, and even got a bill introduced to require candidates to offer more evidence of their birth than anyone ever before .  So BCO activities increased in frequency and seriousness.  I think the tone has gotten nastier, too.  Anyone concerned about nuts with guns should have noticed the uptick in activities, and with luck the FBI and other law enforcement agencies took note, too.

But second, notice that Kuhn thinks that exposing the BCO arguments makes them look crazy.  Exactly the opposite of the BCO claims of conspiracy, Kuhn thinks there is a conspiracy to get the BCOs plastered on the front pages where they can present a picture of lunacy for the world to see, and reject.

According to Kuhn, who is the chief political reporter for Politico, the birthers are so crazy that exposing their arguments makes all Obama opponents look bad. A reporter rather sympathetic to the BCO’s views on Obama, hopes their views on the birth certificate issue are hushed up, so they don’t look so crazy.

Astoundingly, even some of the BCO’s agree that their wackiness on display hurts their cause.  Leo Donofrio, the professional gambler, ranks right near the top of the BCO crazies, and a friendly comment at his blog makes a similar point:

Max Says:
July 27, 2009 at 11:18 pm

The Birth cert issue IMHO is being used by Axelrod Inc. to divert attention from Obama’s falling poll numbers.

Kuhn may be on to something.  The BCOs won’t view it the same way.  With few exceptions, crazies never think they are the crazy ones.  And when they get crazier?  No one likes to know about it, especially their friends.

‘Mainstream Media won’t cover us, they’re part of the conspiracy.  Oh, No!  They’re covering us, and we look crazy!’

(By the way, Donofrio has joined the People’s Republic of China, creationist Islamic wackoes in Turkey, Neil Simpson, Cuba, conspiracy-monger Texas Darlin’ and Douglas Groothuis in banning my comments.  Kim Jong-Il is considering such a ban, too, and I guess Donofrio wanted to avoid the rush.)

File it under “be careful what you wish for.”

(In fairness, I mustt note that I have been guilty of praying Voltaire’s prayer.  My enemies, really few in number,  are entirely a self-selecting cohort.)

Read the rest of this entry »

The article the British Chiropractic Association hopes you will not read

July 31, 2009

Science-based Medicine carried this article yesterday, and several other blogs have joined in.  Below is the article Simon Singh wrote for which he is being sued for libel by the professional association for British chiropractors.  It’s a good cause, so I’ll stretch it another little while.

Science-based Medicine introduced the article with this:

Last year Simon Singh wrote a piece for the Guardian that was critical of the modern practice of chiropractic. The core of his complaint was that chiropractors provide services and make claims that are not adequately backed by evidence – they are not evidence-based practitioners. In response to his criticism the British Chiropractic Association (BCA) sued Simon personally for libel. They refused offers to publish a rebuttal to his criticism, or to provide the evidence Simon said was lacking. After they were further criticized for this, the BCA eventually produced an anemic list of studies purported to support the questionable treatments, but really just demonstrating the truth of Simon’s criticism (as I discuss at length here).

In England suing for libel is an effective strategy for silencing critics. The burden of proof is on the one accused (guilty until proven innnocent) and the costs are ruinous. Simon has persisted, however, at great personal expense.

This is an issue of vital importance to science-based medicine. A very necessary feature of science is public debate and criticism – absolute transparency.This is also not an isolated incident. Some in the alternative medicine community are attempting to assert that criticism is unprofessional, and they have used accusations of both unprofessionalism and libel as a method of silencing criticism of their claims and practices. This has happened to David Colquhoun and Ben Goldacre, and others less prominent but who have communicated to me directly attempts at silencing their criticism.

This behavior is intolerable and is itself unprofessional, an assault on academic freedom and free speech, and anathema to science as science is dependent upon open and vigorous critical debate.

What those who will attempt to silence their critics through this type of bullying must understand is that such attempts will only result in the magnification of the criticism by several orders of magnitude. That is why we are reproducing Simon Singh’s original article (with a couple of minor alterations) on this site and many others. Enjoy.

Here it is:

Beware the spinal trap

Some practitioners claim it is a cure-all but research suggests chiropractic therapy can be lethal

Simon Singh
The Guardian, Original version published Saturday April 19 2008
Edited version published July 29, 2009

You might be surprised to know that the founder of chiropractic therapy, Daniel David Palmer, wrote that “99% of all diseases are caused by displaced vertebrae”. In the 1860s, Palmer began to develop his theory that the spine was involved in almost every illness because the spinal cord connects the brain to the rest of the body. Therefore any misalignment could cause a problem in distant parts of the body.

In fact, Palmer’s first chiropractic intervention supposedly cured a man who had been profoundly deaf for 17 years. His second treatment was equally strange, because he claimed that he treated a patient with heart trouble by correcting a displaced vertebra.

You might think that modern chiropractors restrict themselves to treating back problems, but in fact some still possess quite wacky ideas. The fundamentalists argue that they can cure anything, including helping treat children with colic, sleeping and feeding problems, frequent ear infections, asthma and prolonged crying – even though there is not a jot of evidence.

I can confidently label these assertions as utter nonsense because I have co-authored a book about alternative medicine with the world’s first professor of complementary medicine, Edzard Ernst. He learned chiropractic techniques himself and used them as a doctor. This is when he began to see the need for some critical evaluation. Among other projects, he examined the evidence from 70 trials exploring the benefits of chiropractic therapy in conditions unrelated to the back. He found no evidence to suggest that chiropractors could treat any such conditions.

But what about chiropractic in the context of treating back problems? Manipulating the spine can cure some problems, but results are mixed. To be fair, conventional approaches, such as physiotherapy, also struggle to treat back problems with any consistency. Nevertheless, conventional therapy is still preferable because of the serious dangers associated with chiropractic.

In 2001, a systematic review of five studies revealed that roughly half of all chiropractic patients experience temporary adverse effects, such as pain, numbness, stiffness, dizziness and headaches. These are relatively minor effects, but the frequency is very high, and this has to be weighed against the limited benefit offered by chiropractors.

More worryingly, the hallmark technique of the chiropractor, known as high-velocity, low-amplitude thrust, carries much more significant risks. This involves pushing joints beyond their natural range of motion by applying a short, sharp force. Although this is a safe procedure for most patients, others can suffer dislocations and fractures.

Worse still, manipulation of the neck can damage the vertebral arteries, which supply blood to the brain. So-called vertebral dissection can ultimately cut off the blood supply, which in turn can lead to a stroke and even death. Because there is usually a delay between the vertebral dissection and the blockage of blood to the brain, the link between chiropractic and strokes went unnoticed for many years. Recently, however, it has been possible to identify cases where spinal manipulation has certainly been the cause of vertebral dissection.

Laurie Mathiason was a 20-year-old Canadian waitress who visited a chiropractor 21 times between 1997 and 1998 to relieve her low-back pain. On her penultimate visit she complained of stiffness in her neck. That evening she began dropping plates at the restaurant, so she returned to the chiropractor. As the chiropractor manipulated her neck, Mathiason began to cry, her eyes started to roll, she foamed at the mouth and her body began to convulse. She was rushed to hospital, slipped into a coma and died three days later. At the inquest, the coroner declared: “Laurie died of a ruptured vertebral artery, which occurred in association with a chiropractic manipulation of the neck.”

This case is not unique. In Canada alone there have been several other women who have died after receiving chiropractic therapy, and Edzard Ernst has identified about 700 cases of serious complications among the medical literature. This should be a major concern for health officials, particularly as under-reporting will mean that the actual number of cases is much higher.

If spinal manipulation were a drug with such serious adverse effects and so little demonstrable benefit, then it would almost certainly have been taken off the market.

Simon Singh is a science writer in London and the co-author, with Edzard Ernst, of Trick or Treatment? Alternative Medicine on Trial. This is an edited version of an article published in The Guardian for which Singh is being personally sued for libel by the British Chiropractic Association.

Other venues:

Related material:

Newsmax turns to medical quackery?

July 30, 2009

You are surprised that Newsmax would engage in medical quackery?  They make their money engaged in news quackery, they are principal exponents of political quackery, they practice history quackery, they support science quackery in schools — is this a trend yet?

FDA, FTC, where are you?

To the extent this is not quackery, it’s known, published material your physician has access to and can advise you on.  To the extent this is not known, published material, it’s quackery.  Where the information is good, it should be a violation of journalistic ethics to package this as somehow secret, unknown or suppressed by the medical establishment and news organizations — and available to you alone, if you only pay the fat fee demanded.  Where the information is suppressed, it is suppressed because it is dangerous to patients — the real problem with quackery.

Do not ever think that Newsmax is engaged in news, after this.

Here’s the e-mail text Newsmax sent out today — the only thing missing is their actually calling this stuff “snake oil”:

Dear Newsmax Reader:

David Brownstein, M.D., one of the foremost American practitioners of conventional as well as holistic medicine, has some urgent health information that could dramatically affect your health and well-being. Please take a moment to read his information below.

How to Prevent Arthritis, Cancer and Alzheimer’s!

Try this simple remedy for rheumatoid arthritis!

Use this mineral to protect against skin cancer!

See what to do now to prevent multiple sclerosis,
Parkinson’s, and Alzheimer’s!

Plus, why a deficiency in this nutrient puts you at greater risk for heart attack and stroke!

Dear Friend,

Today I’ve got important news for you on preventing heart disease, stroke, skin cancer, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s . . .

I’ve got an update on which vitamins (in addition to calcium) can strengthen your bones and fight osteoporosis . . . Report Cover

I’ve got a simple, inexpensive, and almost entirely overlooked remedy for rheumatoid arthritis . . .

Plus, the risks of diuretic drugs, the importance of detox, and why most people are dehydrated and don’t know it!

Hi, I’m Dr. David Brownstein, editor of Natural Way to Health, the newsletter for folks looking for real solutions, not more drugs with harsh side effects.

In one moment, I’ll show you how to get a FREE copy of my latest report, “A Simple Way to Radically Improve Your Health,” covering all the topics above . . .

Plus, full access to all of my previous reports, including the two most popular ones, “The Biggest Fraud In Medicine: Cholesterol Leads to Heart Disease” and “How To Stop Heart Disease In Its Tracks, Naturally.”

But first, let’s look at how I successfully treated one of my patients for rheumatoid arthritis, and also how to safeguard against multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, and Alzheimer’s disease.

Crippled by Arthritis But Now
Up and Out of the Wheelchair

My patient Susan had suffered from rheumatoid arthritis for 20 years. Her hands were swollen and deformed. Harsh drugs were robbing her of energy. And her painful joints had forced her into a wheelchair.

Susan had tried many conventional treatments, including taking large amounts of the steroid drug Prednisone, but nothing much helped.

“I really did not know what to do,” she told me. “My rheumatologist had nothing good to offer me . . . just one toxic medication after another that I could not tolerate.”

The conventional treatment for rheumatoid arthritis is anti-inflammatory agents such as Naprosyn, Motrin, and Voltaren. But as the disease progresses, conventional doctors prescribe harsh drugs such as methotrexate and Plaquenil.

Unfortunately, these immune-suppressing drugs have bad side effects, including depressed bone marrow function, low white blood cell count, low platelet counts, anemia and loss of energy.

Newer drugs like Enbrel and Remicade are no better . . .

They block a protein the body produces as part of the inflammatory response. But blocking this protein for any length of time increases your risk of life-threatening infections and even cancer.

A Safer and More Effective Course . . .

The first thing I told Susan is I wanted to test her for a bacteria that has been associated with rheumatoid arthritis since 1938 (see your FREE report for details).

Sadly, most physicians, even specialists, never bother to test for this bacteria because conventional medicine focuses myopically on expensive drugs that treat only symptoms (see why just ahead).

When I told Susan that her test came back positive for this bacteria, and that I could prescribe an inexpensive antibiotic to treat it, she was overwhelmed . . .

“I began crying when I found out that I was positive,” she said. “It was the first time that I could connect the dots on why I have rheumatoid arthritis.”

In your FREE copy of “A Simple Way to Radically Improve Your Health,” you’ll get the name of this bacteria (so you can ask your doctor for the test), as well as the name of the antibiotic (and dosage) I prescribed that has proved successful in treating it. Join Now

Next, I also addressed Susan’s diet because she was making her arthritis worse by eating refined foods and sugars.

Most people don’t realize how devastating sugar is to their bodies and how it leads to serious problems such as arthritis, arrythmia, arteriosclerosis, edema, and Type 2 diabetes (see your FREE report for details).

How’s My Patient Doing Today?

Within four weeks, Susan began to feel significantly better. After eight weeks, we began to wean her off the anti-inflammatory and steroid medicines.

And the best news of all: On her last visit, she told me, “Now I feel I can get out of the wheelchair.” That’s exactly what she’s doing and today she’s in therapy to strengthen her leg muscles!

You’ll get Susan’s full case study in your FREE copy of “A Simple Way to Radically Improve Your Health.” And I hope you’ll share it with everyone you know who suffers from rheumatoid arthritis.

But why didn’t Susan’s rheumatologist test her for the bacteria? And why didn’t he discuss nutritional alternatives that would’ve helped her?

What Your Doctor Doesn’t Know Can Hurt You

I’m sorry to report that conventional doctors have no knowledge of — and thus very little interest in — natural therapies. And that’s because “health and nutrition” are NOT taught in medical school.

What is taught there? The two Ds: Disease and Drugs.

Physicians are trained to diagnose illness and disease, and then to prescribe the approved drug (or drugs) that will treat that illness or disease. People are often surprised to learn this but . . .

The emphasis is on disease, not health. And on drugs, not nutrition. Nothing is taught about how to achieve optimal health or prevent disease.

How did we get such a narrow-minded medical system in America? In the early days of medicine here, drug makers formed an alliance (some say an unholy one) with the newly founded American Medical Association.

The drugmakers provided education (on drug use) to AMA-affiliated doctors and also helped this fledgling organization win out over its competitors to become the dominant force in American medicine.

In return, the AMA endorses Big Pharma’s drugs and teaches drug therapy in their schools (generally disparaging other therapies).

Don’t get me wrong: Drugs play an important role in medical treatment, and there are times when they literally save your life . . .

But they are not the best solution for every problem. And drugs that do more harm than good should never be promoted in favor of natural therapies that are both safer and more effective.

And yet that’s exactly what happens every single day because of this unholy alliance between the AMA and Big Pharma.

But you don’t have to be victimized by this narrow-minded approach even one day longer. I believe . . .

You deserve to know how to really prevent heart disease, cancer, fatigue, diabetes, arthritis, weight gain and many more health problems!

You’ll discover several of them today, but before we return to these subjects, let me just say . . .

I’m going to extend a special offer to try my Natural Way to Health for just 14 cents a day. That’s not a misprint — I really mean 14 cents a day!

Each month in Natural Way to Health I routinely . . .

  • Expose the hidden dangers in common foods and medicines . . .
  • Reveal the truth about conflicting medical reports in the press . . .
  • Offer safer and healthier alternatives to harsh drugs . . .
  • Give easy tips for preventing disease and feeling your best!

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Today’s Epidemic of Dehydration

This one will surprise you . . .

Today, the majority of people are going through their lives in a constant state of dehydration. And that’s putting them at greater risk for several serious diseases . . .

Heart disease . . . Stroke . . . Multiple Sclerosis . . . Parkinson’s . . . Alzheimer’s are all linked to a sustained state of dehydration. Let’s find out why.

Your body is 75 percent water. Your brain is 80 percent water. Because of your body’s high water composition, you need sufficient water intake to achieve optimal function at the cellular level.

In my own practice, I’ve found that every patient suffering a chronic illness also was dehydrated. Every single one! Can this be a coincidence? No.

We are all creatures of habits, and we’ve developed some bad ones over the years.

Typically, when I ask new patients how much water they drink a day, they tell me they don’t drink much pure water, but they do drink plenty of coffee, soda pop, juice, and even beer, so they’re sure they’re getting enough.

No, they are not! Coffee, soda pop, juice, and alcoholic beverages are all dehydrating. If you’re drinking them, you need even more water!

Caffeine, especially, is a potent diuretic, forcing the body to expel water. It’ll also over-stimulate your adrenal hormones, exacerbate hormonal irregularities, and weaken your immune system.

Are you also fatigued? See your FREE REPORT to find out why!

Of course the sugar in soda pop, in juices, and in alcoholic beverages causes dehydration. And that holds true for what you may think of as healthy fruit juice.

Check the sugar content on that carton of orange juice in your refrigerator; you’ll see it’s got more sugar in it than the ice cream in your freezer.

Another problem with sugar is that it leads to a number of degenerative diseases, including heart disease, kidney disease, osteoporosis, obesity, diabetes, and even cancer.

Did you know that cancer cells thrive on sugar? See your FREE report.

How about diet sodas? Worse yet. The sweeteners NutraSweet and Splenda have their own bad side effects that can lead to serious health problems (see your FREE REPORT for details).

Okay. How much water should you drink a day?

In your FREE copy of “A Simple Way to Radically Improve Your Health” I’ll give you a simple formula that’ll tell you exactly how much water to drink based on your weight, and also what kind of water to drink.

Yes, you can have other beverages, but get your water first. And here’s why it’s vitally important . . .

Dehydration, Toxic Buildup, and Disease

Remember, your brain is 80 percent water. It needs sufficient water to bring nutrients in, and it needs sufficient water to flush toxins out. Neurological disorders such as . . .

Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and multiple sclerosis are occurring at epidemic to pandemic rates today for a reason . . .

Widespread dehydration is causing a buildup and concentration of toxins in the brain, and this problem worsens over time.

Remember, we are bombarded every day with poisonous lead, mercury, aluminum, cadmium, arsenic, and bromine. These toxins are in our food, air, water, and thousands of consumer products, even in medicines!

Your first line of defense is the work your liver and kidney do to remove these toxins. But they can’t do their jobs without an abundance of water. Water makes detox possible.

And if you’re not getting enough water (most people aren’t), toxins will build up over time and become concentrated in your tissue and organs. That’s how disease gets started.

See your FREE report, “A Simple Way to Radically Improve Your Health” for complete details on the link between dehydration and neurological disorders just go here now.

The Link Between Heart Health and Water

Few people know that dehydration is also an independent risk factor for heart disease, and one that is far more critical than “elevated cholesterol.”

Dehydration promotes thicker blood. And thick, sticky blood is more prone to plaque buildup and eventual clotting that can cause heart attack and stroke.

For more than 30 years, heart disease has been the No. 1 killer in America, and we’ve made very little progress against it. Why? Because we do not treat the underlying causes of heart disease.

The culprit is not “elevated cholesterol.” And if you’re taking cholesterol-lowering drugs, you’re wasting your time. You’d be far better off just drinking more water.

But there’s more you can do . . .

Be sure to read my two most popular reports — “The Biggest Fraud in Medicine: Cholesterol Leads to Heart Disease,” plus “How to Stop Heart Disease In Its Tracks, Naturally” (details on getting FREE copies just ahead).

But look here . . .

In your FREE copy of “A Simple Way to Radically Improve Your Health,” I’m going to show you the startling results of a six-year study in Vienna that compared the amount of water intake to the incidence of heart attack and fatal stroke. After you see these results, you’ll know how much water to drink and why.

Want to know more about these and many more important health issues?

Try Natural Way to Health
For Just 14 Cents a Day

Each month in my advisory letter, Natural Way To Health, I report on the most important issues regarding your family’s health, sorting out what’s really useful to you, even life-saving, and also what’s harmful and sometimes life-threatening.

I don’t take anything away from what’s good about conventional medicine — and much is good. But . . .

Those who practice conventional medicine want to make drugs the solution to every problem, even when those drugs are harmful and ineffective. And again, that’s because of the unholy alliance between Big Pharma and the AMA.

You should know that, in many cases, there are safer, gentler, and more effective natural solutions. And you will know once you start reading Natural Way to Health each month.

Yes, I went to medical school and received the conventional training, but I’ve also spent the last 17 years studying holistic medicine.

Today at my clinic, The Center for Holistic Medicine in West Bloomfield Michigan, I’m integrating the best of conventional medicine with safe and natural therapies that in many cases work even better. Join Now

I’d like to share these good results with you. And that’s why I’m extending this special offer to try Natural Way to Health for just 14 cents a day. It’s a great time to join us because . . .

Today’s offer includes 12 monthly issues, three of my most popular books FREE (see titles just ahead), full access to all of my previous reports (titles to follow), plus a FREE copy of today’s report . . .

A Simple Way to Radically
Improve Your Health

  • Discover the bacteria associated with rheumatoid arthritis and the inexpensive antibiotic that kills it!
  • See which foods are anathema for arthritis sufferers and why!
  • Find out why most people are dehydrated and don’t know it!
  • See why multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s, and Alzheimer’s are on the rise, and the simple way to protect yourself!
  • Find out why a deficiency in this nutrient dramatically increases your risk of heart attack and stroke!

Also in Your FREE Report . . .

  • See a study showing how a Vitamin B-6 deficiency increases your risk for colon cancer!
  • See why high doses of both types of Vitamin K should be included in every osteoporosis treatment plan!
  • Discover which mineral produced a 57 percent decrease in skin cancer in an eight-year Australian study!
  • Find out the risks of diuretic drugs, plus how you may be able to get off of them by following a different plan!
  • See how age-related macular degeneration can be avoided by adopting a healthier diet!

There’s more in your FREE copy of “Simple Nutrients and Foods That Can Save Your Life,” too. And don’t forget when you take advantage of my 14-cents-a-day subscription offer today, you’ll gain full access to all of my previous reports, including:

  • Stop Heart Disease In Its Tracks, Naturally
  • The Biggest Fraud in Medicine: Cholesterol Leads to Heart Disease
  • A Safe Effective Vitamin (B-12) That Can Change Your Life
  • Hidden Dangers of Popular Stomach-Acid Drugs
  • Big Pharma’s Big Lie About Osteoporosis and Aging
  • Simple Nutrients and Foods That Can Save Your Life

As a valued Newsmax customer, I don’t want you to get tainted health news, bad advice, or to be strictly limited to drug-based conventional medicine when safer, gentler, and more effective natural therapies are available!

Once you start receiving Natural Way to Health each month, you’ll get the valuable information you need to make smart healthcare, nutrition, and lifestyle choices for yourself and every family member. Now look here . . .

Special Reports and 3 Valuable Books FREE!

Today, you can get a one-year subscription (12 issues) to Natural Way to Health for just 14 cents a day. And your no-risk subscription includes the valuable report we’ve been discussing today, access to all of my previous reports, plus three of my most popular books, ALL FREE!

Free report and books

With your one-year subscription, you’ll receive THREE FREE BOOKS worth $60.00!

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But you haven’t seen anything yet.

Just look at all the additional information you’ll read about in your three FREE books . . .

Drugs That Don’t Work and
Natural Therapies That Do

In Drugs That Don’t Work and Natural Therapies That Do, you’ll see why some of the most commonly prescribed drugs today may be harmful to your health . . . and why you should consider natural therapies in your treatment program for these six common obstacles to wellness:

  • Elevated cholesterol levels — Discover how you can lower your cholesterol
    naturally . . .
  • Osteoporosis or brittle bones — See how to maintain healthy bones without inflammation-causing drugs like Fosomax® and Boniva® . . .
  • Stomach problems such as heartburn, reflux, and ulcers — See why you should use antacids only as a last resort. (Plus, holistic steps you can take to treat common digestive complaints) . . .
  • Depression — Discover how to raise your serotonin levels through diet and amino acid supplementation, the natural antidepressant treatment . . .
  • Inflammation — Hear about numerous simple and natural alternatives you can use to relieve the pain, stiffness, and other symptoms of arthritis . . .
  • Imbalanced hormonal system — Find out how to balance your hormonal system safely to improve your well-being, slow your aging process, and even reverse many chronic conditions . . .

The Guide to a Gluten-Free Diet

In The Guide to a Gluten-Free Diet, Dr. Brownstein will show you why ingesting gluten from wheat, barley, rye, and other grains could be detrimental to your health.

In fact, one in six people suffers from a serious illness that has a safe, effective, and inexpensive remedy: avoiding gluten.

In this eye-opening book, you’ll see:

  • How gluten sensitivity is not being diagnosed properly in nearly 97% of patients suffering from chronic illnesses . . .
  • Why gluten sensitivity may be responsible for such diseases as cancer, depression, obesity, ADD, autoimmune disorders, acid reflux, thyroid disorders, osteoporosis, and many others . . .
  • What you can eat — and still be gluten-free . . .
  • How to determine whether you or a loved one might be sensitive to gluten . . .
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  • Gluten-free meal and snack ideas, tips, and recipes to get you started . . .
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The Miracle of Natural Hormones

In your third free book, The Miracle of Natural Hormones, Dr. Brownstein describes the natural hormones he uses in his own clinical practice — and shares over 50 case histories of the amazing medical successes he’s witnessed in his own patients.

Look at the valuable health tidbits you’ll find between the pages of The Miracle of Natural Hormones:

  • 10 chronic health conditions dramatically improved with natural hormone therapy — some even cured for good . . .
  • How your risk for pulmonary embolism skyrockets to more than 2,100% with these synthetic hormones . . .
  • The No. 1 reason conventional doctors don’t prescribe natural hormones (it has nothing to do with your health at all) . . .
  • A deficiency of this one powerful hormone can short-circuit your whole endocrine system . . .
  • Two natural remedies for the relief of menopausal symptoms — you’ll be surprised by how simple they are . . .
  • Who knew this natural male hormone could benefit women, too?
  • Plus much, much more . . .

All three of these easy-reading books (a $60 value) are yours FREE with your one-year subscription to Dr. David Brownstein’s Natural Way to Health.

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Drought: Heckuva way to run the end to global warming

July 30, 2009

“This is a hell of a way to run a desert.”
Utah Gov. Scott Matheson, during floods in 1983

A new Dust Bowl?

A new Dust Bowl? (Image updated January 2013; old links dead)

No, I’m not repeating the error of many who take every snowflake as bizarre evidence that global warming has ended.

I think we need to stick to the facts.

2009 may be cooler than 1998, one of the hottest years on record, but that in no way suggests an end to the climate crisis scientists have been tracking for the past couple of decades.

Cooler weather in New York does not offset the rest of reality.

Reality is we have crushing droughts in California and Texas.

California drought explained by USA Today:

FIREBAUGH, Calif. — The road to Todd Allen’s farm wends past irrigation canals filled with the water that California‘s hot Central Valley depends on to produce vegetables and fruit for the nation. Yet not a drop will make it to his barren fields.

Three years into a drought that evokes fears of a modern-day dust bowl, Allen and others here say the culprit now isn’t Mother Nature so much as the federal government. Court and regulatory rulings protecting endangered fish have choked the annual flow of water from California’s Sierra mountains down to its people and irrigated fields, compounding a natural dry spell.

“This is a regulatory drought, is what it is,” Allen says. “It just doesn’t seem fair.”

For those like Allen at the end of the water-rights line, the flow has slowed to a trickle: His water district is receiving just 10% of the normal allocation of water from federal Bureau of Reclamation reservoirs. He says he’s been forced to lay off all his workers and watch the crops die on his 300 acres while bills for an irrigation system he put in are due.

“My payments don’t stop when they cut my water off,” Allen says.

Although some farmers with more senior water rights are able to keep going, local officials say 250,000 acres has gone fallow for lack of water in Fresno County, the nation’s most productive agriculture county. Statewide, the unplanted acreage is almost twice that.

Unemployment has soared into Depression-era range; it is 40% in this western Fresno County area where most everyone’s job is dependent on farming. Resident laborers who for years sweated in fields to fill the nation’s food baskets find themselves waiting for food handouts.

“The water’s cut off,” complains Robert Silva, 68, mayor of the farm community of Mendota. “Mendota is known as the cantaloupe capital of the world. Now we’re the food-line capital.”

Three years of dry conditions is being felt across much of the nation’s most populous state.

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger declared a water emergency in February and asked for 20% voluntary cuts in water use. The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Drought Monitor lists 44% of the state as in a “severe” drought.

In arid Southern California, cities and water districts have raised rates to encourage conservation and imposed limits on use

Texas drought, detailed in the Dallas Morning News:

AUSTIN – The drought that has gripped Central Texas is approaching the severity of Texas’ most famous drought, the 1950s dry spell that lasted several years, Lower Colorado River Authority officials say.

But the current drought, which began in the fall of 2007, has seen more intense concentrations of high temperatures and less rainfall than the majority of the earlier drought.

“It was hot, yes, it was dry” in the 1950s, said LCRA meteorologist Bob Rose, “but it wasn’t crazy hot like this year.” Soil moisture is negligible now. And with spotty precipitation, “we haven’t been able to generate any runoff” to replenish reservoirs, he said.

“What makes our current drought unique is not the duration but the severity,” Rose said this week at a drought briefing for meteorologists and reporters.

With state officials warning of wildfire dangers, and water restrictions spreading rapidly across the state, Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) issued disaster declarations for 167 of the states 254 counties.

Texas suffers more than California, across a broader area with deeper drought, according to the Associated Press:

According to drought statistics released by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, 77 of Texas’ 254 counties are in extreme or exceptional drought, the most severe categories. No other state in the continental U.S. has even one area in those categories.

John Nielsen-Gammon, the Texas state climatologist at Texas A&M University, said he expects harsh drought conditions to last at least another month.

In the bone-dry San Antonio-Austin area, the conditions that started in 2007 are being compared to the devastating drought of the 1950s. There have been 36 days of 100 degrees or more this year in an area where the total usually is closer to 12.

Among the most obvious problems are the lack of water in Lake Travis and Lake Buchanan near Austin, two massive reservoirs along the Colorado River that provide drinking water for more than 1 million people and also are popular boating and swimming spots. Streams and tributaries that feed the lakes have “all but dried up,” according to the Lower Colorado River Authority.

San Antonio, which relies on the Edwards Aquifer for its water, is enduring its driest 23-month period since the start of recorded weather data in 1885, according to the National Weather Service. The aquifer’s been hovering just above 640 feet deep, and if it dips below that, the city will issue its harshest watering restrictions yet.

Self-professed climate skeptics will argue that everything is hunky-dory and we can continue blundering along pollutiong willy-nilly because droughts alone are not evidence of warming, and so cannot rebut spot evidence of increased rainfall or local cooling.  Notice how they try to have the argument both ways?  Local weather counts for their side, but can’t count against it.

It’s more complex than that.  Much of the damage from climate change occurs in the upset of a balance in local ecosystems.  The Green Blog at the Boston Globe site discusses the subtle, ecosystem distorting effects and how easy they are to miss in the grand schemes of things.

A lot of the problem has to do with timing. About half of the water that recharges the [Northeast] region’s aquifer is from spring snowmelt, said [USGS hydrologist Thomas] Mack, allowing it to be plentiful to residents for summer lawn watering and other uses.

But global warming is causing the snow to melt earlier by around two to four weeks. At the same time, more rain, instead of snow, is expected to fall in the winter. That means the aquifer is filling up earlier in the spring.

The problem is the region’s bedrock aquifer can’t hold water for a long time – filling it up when it is needed the least and draining before the busy summer.

All environmental problems are complex, and global “warming” is massively more complex than any other environmental issue humans have recognized and dealt with.  Climate change deals with the entire Earth, and with the two great pools of fluids on the Earth, the oceans and the atmosphere, where the sheer physics of change are nearly impossible to understand, let alone predict.

Perhaps, as local conditions in more and more places demonstrate damages from climate change, skeptics can be brought around to understand that action is required even when we don’t have all the possible data points we’d like.


Climate change denialism in bloom

July 28, 2009

It was a minor note, really — USGS released a series of satellite photos of ice in the Arctic Ocean.  The photos were taken with U.S. defense satellites (“spy” satellites, most likely) under an interesting agreement between the Department of Defense and science agencies to look at ice, essentially to look at the cold, not come in from it.

Part of that agreement is that the photos don’t get released until Defense says there is no reason to hold them secred anymore.  For some reason — skullduggery?  bureaucracy? — the photos weren’t released during the Bush years.  The Obama administration hustled out a series of photos for scientists to study.

Very few news outlets picked up on the release of the photos.  The Guardian ran the most provocative, prepared-for-public-consumption set of two photos of the sea just off of Barrow, Alaska, which showed a dramatic contrast between 2006 and 2007.  The icy seas of July 2006 were replaced with miles of clear ocean in July 2007.

The Bathtub ran that poster.  And yesterday there was a surge of hits on the article, most going to other posts claiming the photos had been photoshopped.  A commenter here said the same.  Viewers find it odd that there is a stark contrast between land and sea inthe arctic.  Really.  No, really.

So, they said, those photos must be Photoshopped.  At least one radical right blog claimed the Guardian published a fake photo.

Now, I had expected someone to defend Bush, to say that the Bush administration hadn’t really suppressed the photos, just didn’t release them.

But photo fraud?

Denialists resorted to that solution first.

Here are reasons mitigating against fraud.

  1. The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) released the poster with the photos.  USGS has a long, long history of accurate science, outside political interference.   On a few occasions, USGS reports have been delayed by political appointees — but the instances where one can say the data were corrupted on purpose are very few (if any — I can’t think of one off-hand).  USGS would be unlikely as a source of doctored photos.
  2. It is a crime to jigger the scientific results under U.S. law.   A few scientists have been caught, tried and jailed.  The reality is that most scientist strive to be well on the ethical side of the line of research laws — but it’s a federal crime for government or government-funded scientists to fake results.  I’ll wager every scientist at USGS knows that.
  3. USGS released four posters total, and a couple dozen other photos.  For Barrow, there were 18 photos from 2005 and 2006, and another 8 photos from 2007-2008.    While only four sites were chosen for poster, there are six sites with photos available for study.  Were anyone to jigger one photo, others would need to be jiggered to make them match.  Since Defense still has the originals, a fraud would probably be discovered.
  4. Government scientists have been champing at the bit for eight years to get rid of the fetters of bureaucrats interfering with their research; they wouldn’t risk a fraud just six months in to the new administration, nor would they be likely to risk a fraud at any time, since they think that the truth is of very high value.

MacsMind jumped on the photos:  “Almost so bad it’s laughable”. The blog offers no evidence of fraud, just the spiteful belief of the author.  Well, he does offer photos of a January 2006 ice surge, as if to suggest that the ice from January of 2006 should have stayed hugging the coast near Barrow even through 2007, so any photo that shows clear sea must be false.  Denialists will abandon all types of measure, even calendars and clocks, in their mad rush to cloak the science.  MacsMind even goes so far as to invent a story that the photo was taken at night, and since it shows no lights of ships at sea, they must have been cut out (photos of ice cover generally don’t work well at night — where did he get that?).

Critics of climate change and plans to do something to slow climate change reveal themselves here as not basing their views on the science — here they don’t need the science to “know that it’s wrong.”

Sometimes I wonder if we could cure global warming simply by getting the critics to shut up.

Oh, let’s make them crazy.  Here’s the poster showing the contrast in sea ice in the Beaufort Sea; the caption:

This site is near the edge of the ice pack. In summer, as shown here, ponds of meltwater form on the surface. These dark pools absorb more of summertime’s solar radiation than does the surrounding ice, enhancing melting. Observations of sea ice conditions reveal considerable year to year variability. These images, displaying the variability with regard to the amount of melting, are an example of the long term sequential record needed to support understanding and analysis of this dynamic system. Pond coverage monitored over time contributes to estimates of surface reflectivity that are needed to understand and model the dynamics of sea ice mass balance and temperature.

Beaufort Sea, showing ice in 2006 and in 200

Beaufort Sea, showing ice in 2001 and in 2007

More information:

Radar images of sea ice around Barrow, Alaska

Radar images of sea ice around Barrow, Alaska -"The animation below is from the radar record of the last three days. The images used to produce this animation are from the 10 kW X-band marine radar mounted atop the 4-story ASRC building in downtown Barrow, Alaska, pointed north."

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Birther control

July 27, 2009

Our local newspaper, The Dallas Morning News, endorsed Ronald Reagan for president twice, George H. W. Bush, Bob Dole, George W. Bush for governor, twice, and for president twice, and John McCain.  When we moved here, the “liberal” columnist for the paper was a former speechwriter for Richard Nixon.  In short, over the past 30 years, there are few conservative causes the paper hasn’t liked and promoted if not outright endorsed.

For years they ran Doonsebury on the opposite editorial page.  Sadly, they got rid of their full-time editorial cartoonist, who was very conservative — but those editorial cartoonists they do feature rarely come from left of John C. Calhoun.

Overall it’s a pretty good newspaper, but it has a conservative streak that just won’t quit.  Friends of Barack Obama do not live in the Belo Building, so far as I can tell.

Got the idea yet?  The Dallas Morning News does nothing to favor Barack Obama, especially gratuitously.

So my jaw hit the floor this morning when I opened the paper and saw this headline on an editorial — not an op-ed, but an honest-to-publisher editorial:

Birther Control

This conspiratorial nonsense needs to stop

The online headline isn’t as clever, nor as clear, but the content of the editorial is there.

A year after then-candidate Barack Obama released a birth record showing he was born in Hawaii, the president-isn’t-a-natural-born-citizen mythology is gaining a troubling second wind.

Delaware Rep. Mike Castle, a conservative Republican, recently was booed loudly for defending Obama’s citizenship and his right to be president during a town hall meeting. Several conservative politicians are now coyly perpetuating the fake-citizenship myth. And Florida Rep. Bill Posey has gone so far as to sponsor a bill with several Republican co-signers that would require future presidential candidates to provide a copy of their original birth certificate.

Maybe this is the way political disputes play out in the Internet Age, but we think it is disgusting and dangerous. Someone flings a charge, then lets word of mouth, e-mail blasts and talk-show chatter turn an easily debunked allegation into a full-fledged circus of conspiratorial cover-up theories. Americans deserve better and need to demand some responsibility – especially from elected officials who seem most interested in playing to the worst instincts the political fringe has to offer.

Absolutely.  Time to call it a day, birthers.

More information at Millard Fillmore’s Bathtub:

Other notable chunks of information:

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Full Dallas Morning News editorial, below the fold.

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Another Obama conspiracy with Chicago connections

July 26, 2009

The conspiracy is Exposed at Disaffected and it Feels So Good.  Go read it there.

This one should intrigue the Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee, with their fascination about the calling of balls and strikes. People who keep close score probably realized what was happening at the time — it’s real inside baseball — but those who don’t pay such close attention may have missed the importance of the occasion.  Is Obama radically realigning things for his Chicago friends?

Obama’s influence must be much wider and deeper than anyone had ever imagined!

What conspiracy does this photo of a smiling Barack Obama reveal?  Chicago Tribune photo by Nuccio DiNuzzo

What conspiracy does this photo of a smiling Barack Obama reveal? Chicago Tribune photo by Nuccio DiNuzzo

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