Homeopathy: the air guitar of medicine

From Gadgette:  http://www.gadgette.com/2016/02/03/homeopathy-the-air-guitar-of-medicine/

This subhead contains as many active ingredients as your sugar pill

By Jennifer Harrison, Science Officer
February 3, 2016

Homeopathy is an alternative medicine, which means a few things. It means it’s not medicine, it’s an alternative; it means it’s seen by many as somehow better and healthier than modern medicines; and it means that people are incredibly emotional in their support for it.I’ve received death threats pretty much every time I’ve ever written about homeopathy, which is incredible if you think about it. How can a remedy cause so much hatred? And what could I possibly say that would make people upset? Well, it doesn’t work. Homeopathy is a £40 million industry in the UK and it doesn’t even work. I once deliberately overdosed on homeopathic sleeping pills. I ate the whole tube, about a month’s worth. I did fall asleep but it was 10 hours later and at bedtime.

Like cures like

Many alternative medicines are a bit silly. Crystal healing anyone? However, none are as frustratingly absurd as homeopathy. There are not one but two unbelievable aspects of homeopathy that people are often unaware of, the first being like cures like. Homeopathy was invented in 1796 by a German named Samuel Hahnemann. He believed that you could treat and cure illnesses by using substances that cause the symptoms of the illness in healthy people.

If you had insomnia, a suitable substance would be caffeine. Caffeine will keep healthy people awake but if you’re unable to get to sleep then according to homeopathy, it will help you. You can buy homeopathic remedies on the high street that supposedly contain caffeine to help you sleep. And worse, Reddit user papafree claims to have used dangerous and hilarious ingredients while working in a homeopathic manufacturing plant according to this entertaining and disturbing thread.

No active ingredients

Homeopathic remedies come as water or a sugar pill. There are no other ingredients. If you take a remedy for curing insomnia and another for treating the cold and mixed them up, nobody on Earth could figure out which was which. Every test of the pill’s composition would find only sugar. Every study of patients taking the pills would reveal no difference because they are identical pills. There are no active ingredients in homeopathy.

As if Hahnemann’s belief of like cures like wasn’t weird enough, he felt that the more you diluted the substance the more effective it was. This almost makes sense at first because his ingredients were chosen to make symptoms worse (e.g. caffeine for insomnia), so using less of the ingredient would obviously give better results than more. But Hahnemann took it further, introducing the Law of Infinitesimals.If you take one drop of your ingredient and dilute it in 99 drops of water, you’ve got 1 centesimal. If you take one drop from this solution and mix it into another 99 drops of water, you’ve got 2 centesimals written as 2C. With each further dilution, you very quickly lose the initial ingredient. Remedies are frequently sold at a 30C dilution. At that dilution you could buy enough of the product to fill the entire solar system and not find a single molecule of the original ingredient. You’re more likely to win the lottery five weeks running than find a single molecule of active ingredient in your remedy from Boots.

Continue reading at:  http://www.gadgette.com/2016/02/03/homeopathy-the-air-guitar-of-medicine/

Naomi Klein: Climate Change “Not Just About Things Getting Hotter… It’s About Things Getting Meaner”

From Bill Moyers:  http://billmoyers.com/story/naomi-klein-climate-change-not-just-about-things-getting-hotter-its-about-things-getting-meaner/

In a wide-ranging conversation, the journalist and climate activist discusses the recent Paris climate accords, the politics of global warming, climate change denial and environmental justice.

By Michael Winship
February 3, 2016

A week and a half ago, just as a blizzard was barreling up the East Coast, I traveled to my hometown, Canandaigua, NY, and before a standing-room-only audience of more than 400 at Finger Lakes Community College, had a conversation with author and climate activist Naomi Klein.

Our talk was part of the George M. Ewing Forum, named in honor of the late editor and publisher of our local newspaper. He was a worldly and informed man, dedicated to good talk and a lively exchange of ideas. The forum brings to town a variety of speakers each year, some of them from the area, others not.

The Finger Lakes region is a beautiful part of the country. As has often been said, it runs on water, and as I grew up, there was an increasing realization that what we have is an invaluable natural resource we could be in danger of losing. Over the years, the threats have grown ever more complex with greater hazards revealed as pollution and development have encroached on the landscape. As a result, much of our audience was composed of environmentalists and concerned citizens, including a contingent from We Are Seneca Lake, the grassroots campaign fighting against the use of crumbling salt mines under the hillsides to store fracked natural gas and liquefied petroleum gases. (One of its leaders is biologist, mother and Moyers & Company guest Sandra Steingraber.)

The conversation with Naomi Klein was billed as “Capitalism vs. The Climate: Reflections on the 2015 UN Climate Conference,” and while we certainly spoke a great deal about that recent climate agreement in Paris, our talk ranged more widely as we discussed her life and work, politics, the continuing right-wing denial of global warming, and the climate justice movement.

Naomi Klein is an award-winning journalist, syndicated columnist and author of the bestseller, The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism. She’s a member of the board of directors for 350.org, the global grassroots movement to solve the climate crisis. Among many other honors, in 2015 she received The Izzy Award – named after the great writer and editor IF Stone — celebrating outstanding achievement in independent journalism and media.

Klein’s most recent book, This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs the Climate, was shortlisted for the 2015 PEN Literary Awards in the nonfiction category. A documentary based on the book, directed by Avi Lewis, was released last fall.

Continue reading at:  http://billmoyers.com/story/naomi-klein-climate-change-not-just-about-things-getting-hotter-its-about-things-getting-meaner/

Oberlin Alums Say BDS Drive is Fueling Campus Anti-Semitism

From Forward:  http://forward.com/news/breaking-news/332190/oberlin-alums-say-bds-drive-is-fueling-campus-anti-semitism/

Jewish alumni and students of Ohio’s Oberlin College say the pro-Palestine Boycott Israel movement has become a springboard for growing anti-Semitism.

“Several student organizations at Oberlin have assumed the role as the mouthpiece of the BDS (Boycott, Divest From, and Sanction Israel) movement, which claims to be a defender of Palestinian rights, but whose inflammatory language falsely portraying Israel as an illegitimate, colonialist and murderous regime demonstrates that its primary goal is to demonize the Jewish state,” an open letter from graduates to the school administration says.

The BDS activists are telegraphing to Jewish classmates that they “either forfeit your allegiance to Israel and join us, or we will brand you as an enemy of justice and complicit in the oppression of the Palestinian people.”

Some of their protests have been timed to Jewish holy days: On Rosh Hashanah, Students for a Free Palestine planted 2,100 black flags outside of the Oberlin administration office to protest the casualties in Gaza in 2014 when a fed-up Israel struck back against a near-daily barrage of rocket fire.The administration has rebuffed the student anti-Israel demands, including those in a petition from black students that have equated the struggle of people of color with the plight of the Palestinians — and was planning to meet the alum who penned the open letter.

This was one of the “goals” in a list of non-negotiable demands black students handed administrators: “The divestment from all prisons and Israel.”

Marvin Krislov, the Oberlin president, roundly rejected the demands: “I will not respond directly to any document that explicitly rejects the notion of collaborative engagement,” he said.

And last September the school’s Investment Office rebuffed BDS and SFP demands that the college divest from several companies that do business in the occupied West Bank.

In an online statement, Students for a Free Palestine denied being anti-Semitic — or stoking hatred.

Sanders Vows To Kill TPP If Elected. Will Clinton?

From Common Dreams:  http://www.commondreams.org/views/2016/02/04/sanders-vows-kill-tpp-if-elected-will-clinton

by Dave Johnson
Thursday, February 04, 2016

As the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) “free-trade” agreement was signed in New Zealand by representatives of the 12 participating countries, Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders strongly voiced his opposition and committed to doing what he can to kill the deal if he is elected president.

Rival Hillary Clinton has also stated opposition to the TPP, but will she also vow to kill it if elected?

Sanders Vows To Kill TPP

Saying that TPP follows in the footsteps of failed trade agreements like NAFTA, CAFTA, and Permanent Normal Trade Relations (PNTR) with China, Sanders promised to “fundamentally rewrite our trade policies to benefit working families, not just the CEOs of large, multinational corporations.”

He said that supporters of these agreements have sold them as creating jobs, but over and over again, they have been proven dead wrong.

President Bill Clinton sold NAFTA in 1993, saying it would create a million American jobs over a five-year period. Instead, NAFTA led to the loss of close to 700,000 jobs.

The conservative Cato Institute said that the trade deal with China would create far more export opportunities for America than the Chinese. Instead, the trade deal with China has led to the loss of 3.2 million jobs, and enormous, humongous and continuing trade deficits with that country.

Since 2001, nearly 60,000 manufacturing plants in this country have been shut down and we have lost over 4.7 million manufacturing jobs. If the workers find new jobs at all, they are usually lower-paying.

Sanders said at the press conference, “Trade is a good thing. But trade has got to be fair. And the TPP is anything but fair.”

Sanders vowed to kill TPP if elected, saying, “As your president, not only will I make sure that the TPP does not get implemented, I will not send any trade deal to Congress that will make it easier for corporations to outsource American jobs overseas.”

Continue reading at:  http://www.commondreams.org/views/2016/02/04/sanders-vows-kill-tpp-if-elected-will-clinton

Social Security is an integral part of most people’s retirement.

The shocking confessions of a naturopathic doctor

From Kevin MD:  http://www.kevinmd.com/blog/2016/01/shocking-confessions-naturopathic-doctor.html

I was a licensed naturopathic doctor in two states. I quit practicing naturopathic medicine after discovering my former boss, also a licensed ND, had been importing and administering an illegal cancer drug. I trusted my boss, as did his patients, because he was well respected in the naturopathic community and his credentials included “FABNO” (Fellow of the American Board of Naturopathic Oncology). This FABNO treated any kind of cancer, even in patients who had been discharged by their medical oncologists. I regret not being concerned that the drug would arrive at the clinic in packages with foreign postage. My alarm bells didn’t go off until one day the packages stopped arriving, and my FABNO boss said, “They were probably confiscated.”

Promptly, I looked up the substance. It is called Ukrain and is not approved or under review by the FDA, which makes it a federal crime to import into the U.S. I confronted my boss, to which he acknowledged his actions were “legally questionable.” I hired a lawyer, resigned, and filed a complaint to the state’s naturopathic board.

That evening, a former president of the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians called and urged me not to go to the authorities because, in his words, “You are a naturopath after all.”

I felt personally insulted. Were my boss’s actions meant to go unreported because of a professional philosophy packaged as an appeal to nature? My interest in being a naturopath evaporated. I had spent almost 8 years in the naturopathic community. I went to one of the “best” naturopathic programs and believed that NDs were primary care physicians. In anguish, I began scrutinizing my education and training at Bastyr University. What I learned is frightening.

What is a licensed naturopath?

Naturopaths are licensed or registered in 17 states, two U.S. territories and D.C., as well as five Canadian provinces. Their goal is full licensure with a scope of practice equal to primary care physicians. Current scopes vary wildly. In Arizona, an ND is considered a “physician” and can prescribe controlled substances and perform minor surgeries. In Alaska, an ND is restricted to providing nutritional advice, counseling, herbs, homeopathy, and physical therapies.

A licensed ND needs to have graduated from a program accredited by the Council on Naturopathic Medical Education (CNME), which is granted programmatic accrediting status by the U.S. Department of Education. Many, especially NDs, often confuse CNME accreditation with government endorsement. In fact, CNME has accrediting power because it meets administrative criteria, not because the naturopathic curriculum is medically sound. Tellingly, naturopaths accredit their own programs.

Continue reading at:  http://www.kevinmd.com/blog/2016/01/shocking-confessions-naturopathic-doctor.html

DEA Hired A TSA Informant To Help Take Cash From People’s Luggage

From Huffington Post:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/dea-tsa-agent-cash_us_569f9db5e4b0875553c266ea?pu1bgldi

It also promised the agent a cut of the profits.

Nick Wing
01/20/2016

A Department of Justice watchdog officially condemned the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration this month, following a report that the agency had recruited a Transportation Security Administration security screener to search bags for cash that the DEA could confiscate.

The very existence of such a partnership highlights much broader concerns about the controversial legal practice known as civil asset forfeiture, which critics say contorts law enforcement priorities and props up a system of policing for profit.

In a summary of its investigation, the DOJ’s Office of the Inspector General concluded that the agreement “violated DEA policy” on a number of levels. While the OIG determined that the TSA informant never provided any actionable information to the DEA, it concluded that the plans to pay the agent out of the cash he or she helped seize “could have violated individuals’ protection against unreasonable searches and seizures if it led to a subsequent DEA enforcement action.”

In effect, the OIG was questioning the propriety of an arrangement in which a TSA agent would use his or her power to tip off the DEA to the presence of cash in travelers’ luggage, and then receive compensation based on how profitable that information was to the agency.

Robert Everett Johnson, an attorney for the libertarian public interest law firm Institute for Justice, says the same criticism could be made about the entire practice of civil asset forfeiture, which allows law enforcement officials to seize a person’s property — including cash, cars, jewelry and houses — without obtaining a conviction or even charging the owner with a crime.

“This really is what we see every day around the country — when law enforcement takes property using civil forfeiture, law enforcement is able to keep that property and use it to fund their budgets and in many cases even to pay the salaries of people who are overseeing the forfeitures,” said Johnson.

“That creates an obvious financial incentive to take property from people who haven’t done anything or haven’t been proven to have done anything wrong. It creates an incentive for all kinds of abuse,” he added.

Continue reading at:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/dea-tsa-agent-cash_us_569f9db5e4b0875553c266ea?pu1bgldi

See Also: How Police Officers Seize Cash From Innocent Americans

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