Louis Proyect: The Unrepentant Marxist

August 1, 2016

Is Jill Stein anti-science?

Filed under: Green Party — louisproyect @ 6:33 pm

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In addition to the charge that a vote for Jill Stein is a vote for Donald Trump, the “lesser evil” contingent in various liberal and left outlets maintain that she is “anti-science”.  We of course understand that if her views on mercury in vaccines were in conformity with “science”, this would matter little to the vote-for-Hillary brigades that would go digging up some other dirt on her.

A lot of the “anti-science” stuff has been posted on the Patheos website, one that describes itself as devoted to the subject of religion and that was founded in 2008 by Leo and Cathie Brunnick–two web developers in Denver, Colorado. It is not exactly clear why a website investigating spirituality and the like would become a forum for anti-GP attacks but a search on “GMO” reveals numerous articles there making the case for genetically modified crops, all by self-avowed atheists who are the same people bashing Jill Stein. One has to wonder if the real beef with Stein is less about her views on mercury but on Green Party concerns about GMO’s.

Articles about Jill Stein being “anti-science” have been written by Dan Arel, a leftist who has written for CounterPunch, Michael Stone, a self-described progressive secular humanist, Matthew Facciani, a neuroscience PhD student and activist, and Bo Gardiner, an environmental scientist. Gardiner is probably the most obvious example of the sort of understanding that these people have of science since she is gung-ho not only on GMO but nuclear power. In a July 27 article titled “Dr. Jill Stein Is Anti-Science, Bad for the Environment, and Deserves Her Anti-Vax Label”, Gardiner writes:

Perhaps the most obvious point anti-GMO activists leave out is that banning GMOs would mean the conversion of thousands more square miles of land to agriculture, creating more pesticides, more waterway-killing fertilizers, and more carbon emissions. And, of course, the story of the mass farmer suicides in India due to GMOs has been thoroughly debunked. In other words, Stein is willing to sacrifice biodiversity on the altar of bourgeois, pseudoscientific food purity.

The link for “thoroughly debunked” takes you to a website titled Neurologica: Your Daily Fix of neuroscience, skepticism and critical thinking. I wonder if there is some connection between neuroscience and this sort of “scientific” thinking that more often than not is funded by Monsanto. I do know, however, that the organized Skepticism movement is very much pro-capitalist and pro-GMO as this would indicate. You can find out more about how rancid these skeptics are in my article on Michael Shermer who is one of its leading lights. Although I haven’t done any deep investigation of the matter, my guess is that atheist and skeptic associations have overlapping memberships.

Gardiner’s position on nuclear power is clearly in the same vein:

Then there’s her party’s inflexible stand opposing nuclear power, which almost certainly will have to be part of the solution in accelerating the weaning off of fossil fuels before we do further irreparable planet-wide damage. The climate and oceans can’t afford to wait until better solutions are widely available.

I haven’t seen Gardiner cited by my FB anti-Stein friends (isn’t there a better word for such people you have never met or spoke to on the phone even, like maybe acquaintances, which is really what they are). They tend to post articles by Dan Arel, who has a bit more credibility on the left. Why you can even find an article by Arel on CounterPunch titled “The Socialist Revolution Beyond Sanders and the Democratic Party” so naturally one might conclude that he is no ordinary “lesser evil” talking head. He even declaims, “if Sanders stands on the podium at the Democratic National Convention and asks supporters to rally behind Secretary Clinton he will be betraying his revolution but that does not mean the revolution must come to an end.” Whoa, big fellow. Make sure when you write stuff like this you don’t get the FBI breathing down your neck.

For those leftists arguing for the “lesser evil”, Dan Arel is a rather double-edged sword. Despite his fulminations about Jill Stein’s views on mercury and GMO’s, he still supports her. If anything, he is critical of her from the left stating that the Greens have to catch up with his bold call for socialist revolution.

There was a time when such a position on GMOs was more widespread on the left when Frank Furedi’s group in England was publishing Living Marxism and had some credibility in leftist circles. If there is any barometer of leftist opinion on GMO’s, a search for articles in support of the technology on Counterpunch would be a good place to start. There are none.

Although I can’t be sure that Arel has still decided to vote for Stein, his reaction to a Washington Post interview with her suggests someone at a breaking point—sort of like Leon Trotsky trying to decide in the late 1920s whether Stalin had degenerated to the point where a new International would be necessary. The video interview only lasts 2 minutes and 38 seconds and contains these two statements:

I think there’s no question that vaccines have been absolutely critical in ridding us of the scourge of many diseases — smallpox, polio, etc. So vaccines are an invaluable medication,” Stein said. “Like any medication, they also should be — what shall we say? — approved by a regulatory board that people can trust. And I think right now, that is the problem. That people do not trust a Food and Drug Administration, or even the CDC for that matter, where corporate influence and the pharmaceutical industry has a lot of influence.

Monsanto lobbyists help run the day in those agencies and are in charge of approving what food isn’t safe. There is rampant distrust of our institutions of government right now. The trust level for the presidency is somewhere around 15 percent. The strong confidence in Congress is somewhere around 4 percent, and the same is true of our regulatory agencies.

Let’s take up the GMO question first. With all due respect to Stein, I don’t think the question is whether GMO foods are safe or not. It is more about the possibility that they will allow corporations like Monsanto to use their intellectual property rights to bring farmers under their thumb and also lead to the development of superweeds that develop a resistance to Monsanto’s glyphosate in the same way that pests developed a resistance to pesticides. When such a resistance develops, there is a tendency to increase the amount of chemicals that get poured into the air, water and soil in a vicious cycle. This is the real problem, not whether eating a GMO tomato will give you cancer. I searched in vain for any article written by Arel that mentions glyphosate. If you can find one, your researching skills are better than mine and mine are pretty good.

After reading what Stein had to say about vaccines, it would be difficult to maintain that she is an anti-vaxxer so Arel takes a somewhat different tack. He refers once again to the Washington Post interview:

As a medical doctor, there was a time where I looked very closely at those issues, and not all those issues were completely resolved. There were concerns among physicians about what the vaccination schedule meant, the toxic substances like mercury which used to be rampant in vaccines. There were real questions that needed to be addressed. I think some of them at least have been addressed. I don’t know if all of them have been addressed.

For Arel, this is pandering to those parents who believe that there is a connection between autism and the mercury that was used in vaccinations to kill bacteria and fungus. In reality those concerns came from within the establishment itself as the NY Times reported in a November 10, 2002 article titled “The Not-So-Crackpot Autism Theory” that profiled Neal Halsey, the director of the Institute for Vaccine Safety at Johns Hopkins. He was also the chairman of the American Academy of Pediatrics committee on infectious diseases between 1995 and 1999 and often quoted in places like the NY Times saying things like: “Many of the allegations against vaccines are based on unproven hypotheses and causal associations with little evidence.”

Reacting to parents’ concerns about mercury, a Congressman from New Jersey directed the FDA in 1997 to take inventory on the amount of mercury (called thimerosal) that was being included in vaccinations. The NY Times reported on Halsey’s reaction to the findings:

The F.D.A. team’s conclusions were frightening. Vaccines added under Halsey’s watch had tripled the dose of mercury that infants got in their first few months of life. As many as 30 million American children may have been exposed to mercury in excess of Environmental Protection Agency guidelines — levels of mercury that, in theory, could have killed enough brain cells to scramble thinking or hex behavior.

”My first reaction was simply disbelief, which was the reaction of almost everybody involved in vaccines,” Halsey says. ”In most vaccine containers, thimerosal is listed as a mercury derivative, a hundredth of a percent. And what I believed, and what everybody else believed, was that it was truly a trace, a biologically insignificant amount. My honest belief is that if the labels had had the mercury content in micrograms, this would have been uncovered years ago. But the fact is, no one did the calculation.”

Making matters worse, the latest science on mercury damage suggested that even small amounts of organic mercury could do harm to the fetal brain. Some of the federal safety guidelines on mercury were relaxed in the 90’s, even as the amount of mercury that children received in vaccines increased. The more Halsey learned about these mercury studies, the more he worried.

”My first concern was that it would harm the credibility of the immunization program,” he says. ”But gradually it came home to me that maybe there was some real risk to the children.” Mercury was turning out to be like lead, which had been studied extensively in the homes of the Baltimore poor during Halsey’s tenure at Hopkins. ”As they got more sophisticated at testing for lead, the safe level marched down and down, and they continued to find subtle neurological impairment,” Halsey says. ”And that’s almost exactly what happened with mercury.”

The only thing I would add to this reporting is to link it to the lead poisoning that has afflicted the people of Flint, Michigan who were victims of the state’s regulatory bodies failure to do their job. Arel should really take heart at Stein’s statement that it is “really important that the American public have confidence in our regulatory boards so that all of our medical treatments and medications actually are approved by people who do not have a vested interest in their promotion.” If anything, that is a sign that she sees the real need to make sure corporations and capitalist politicians don’t put a muzzle on regulatory bodies. One would think that someone in favor of socialist revolution would understand that.



  1. Louis, she perhaps does believe what she says but she is clearly *catering* to anti-vaxxers. This is the point of most of the blogs and essays written about her position. The fact that she even brings up in the paragraph you quoted her from is designed to placate the anti-vaxx activists endemic in the Green Party today. Arel is essentially correct: Stein is pandering here and it’s obvious and *beneath* her as a MD. The bringing up of thimerosal is a case in point, which is no longer used, and with it’s *removal* there has been zero effect on fetal brain development for the better. In other words, it was a scare story from the get go. Thimerosal is methylmercury NOT the kind of mercury we see coming out of coal plant effluent or used in instruments which called ethylmercury. It is good to question, but one has to look at the conclusions science has delivered.

    On her comment that is extracted about trusting the regulatory boards…and directly associating it with the issue of vaccines is totally disingenuous on her part: she fails to point out that it appears beyond a shadow of a doubt that these same regulatory boards with regards to vaccines were 100% correct and the doubters were 100% incorrect. And she knows this so why does she bring it up? It’s called pandering to the anti-science wackos in her milieu.

    Comment by David Walters — August 1, 2016 @ 6:53 pm

  2. Another excellent report by Louis Proyect. The idea among some scientists that technological innovations (such as genetic engineering of crops) should automatically be considered “scientific progress” is, well, unscientific. …. as is the reduction of dialectical (holistic) research to the manipulation of bits and pieces of this-or-that gene. That’s pseudo-science, bought and paid for by Monsanto and other corporations with a vested interest in the particular product they’re trying to sell us.

    Jill Stein represents the antidote to that reductionist approach.

    Mitchel Cohen
    Brooklyn Greens / Green Party

    Comment by Mitchel Cohen — August 1, 2016 @ 6:57 pm

  3. You apparently haven’t read the NY Times article that profiled Dr. Halsey, which is referenced in my article.

    Comment by louisproyect — August 1, 2016 @ 6:58 pm

  4. If one were cynical enough, one might think the Pharmas delberately labeled vaccines in such a way that nobody would notice they were using more thimerosal than was safe. (They have, after all, been fined for profitable ethical lapses a time or two…) If one were cynical enough, one might even wonder if other safety (and efficacy) claims should be taken at face value. And then one might begin to look at their science, as opposed to assuming it all to be good. Hint: it’s not all good.

    But “every vaccine for every child” is tantamount to religious dogma. Pharma one, science zero.

    David, they didn’t remove thimerosal because a few hippies pouted, they removed it because it was a public health menace. There was hand waving away the rise in autism that was correlated with thimerosal as a changing definition and better recognition issue, but they didn’t acknowledge that the same argument would equally obscure the reduction that occured after removing thimerosal. Bad logic, not even science at all.

    From the linked NYT article: “Only about 1 in 500 children whose parents gave them calomel got pink disease — suggesting that a constitutional vulnerability to mercury was part of the clinical picture. Soon after the powders were taken off the market, pink disease disappeared.” The same mechanism is at work with thimerosal– not all children were equally vulnerable, but some were damaged.

    Comment by Clark — August 1, 2016 @ 7:56 pm

  5. Patheos gets into GMO/anti-vaccination issues in part because many Christian evangelicals/fundamentalists are anti-vaxx and anti-GMO , in part or exclusively for religious reasons.

    Comment by Heart — August 1, 2016 @ 8:28 pm

  6. I talked with her about this stuff in my interview with her:

    Comment by stew312856 — August 1, 2016 @ 10:26 pm

  7. There is a lot in here to address but i’ll keep it very simple. The Green Party turns out not to be the right party for me. They have stances that are greatly opposite mine when it comes to science and trust in the scientific method.

    That being said, I have decided to leave the Greens and Stein and will be supporting the Socialist Party USA. I hope the Greens come around and abandon their non and anti scientific views and i would love to come back and help them build a viable third party. But just as Clintons hawkish views (among other things) keep me from supporting her, so does anti vaccine pandering and GMO fear mongering.

    Comment by Dan Arel — August 2, 2016 @ 2:42 am

  8. Is that because the SP has promised to supply free Roundup to homeowners if Mimi Soltysik is elected?

    Comment by louisproyect — August 2, 2016 @ 12:02 pm

  9. “The Green Party turns out not to be the right party for me. They have stances that are greatly opposite mine when it comes to science and trust in the scientific method.”

    I don’t follow the Greens closely, but the party appears to me of a libertarian one than a socialist one, platform language notwithstanding. Issues such a resistance to vaccination and repeal of laws criminalizing marijuana seem most prominent to members. Add an anti-imperialist stance, and Justin Raimondo supports it.

    Comment by Richard Estes — August 2, 2016 @ 4:53 pm

  10. Who are these “anti-vaxxers” that she is ostensibly catering to? What percentage of the vote do you think she thinks she could gain? Don’t know any, myself. Some Dem shills are really, really desperate for something to use against her.

    Comment by kitchenmudge — August 2, 2016 @ 8:48 pm

  11. I don’t at all see how one can read Jill’s comments as pandering to anti-vaxxers. To get there it would seem to require some pre-judgement of the the Green Party based on other experiences. On that, I would simply like to point out that the GP has a democratically determined platform so if you agree on most issues, join and push the party on those you disagree with. Politics is a collaborative effort not a consumer choice.

    Given Dan’s comment, I am amused to report that the Green Party of New Jersey and the Socialist Party of New New Jersey (affiliate of SPUSA) are currently working toward an electoral collaboration consisting of either cross-endorsement or perhaps even a shared ballot line to be officially kicked off in 2017. [Source: announcement at last GPNJ monthly meeting.]

    Comment by Eric Romsted — August 2, 2016 @ 10:02 pm

  12. David rightly debunked your whitewash of Jill Stein’s slick indirect but clear pandering to anti-VAXX superstitious anti-science types. Your whitewash of the the pro-quackery anti-science Green Party in general is further documented by your selective neglect of the critical data that the Green Party world wide has for many years been a promoter of the outrageous quackery called Homeopathy, and often supports the proven beyond doubt worthless other quack “therapies” in the malignant and lunatic world of alternative / complimentary / holistic / integrative “medicine” (including Reiki, therapeutic touch, Chinese herbal “medicine”, and pretty much all of acupuncture and all of chiropractic other than treatment of mild to moderate neck and back pain by manipulation without use of any radiological testing.

    The Green Party rightly and richly deserves the contempt of all who respect evidence-based science and medicine.

    [To be sure, anti-VAXX Donald Trump, and Hillary and Bill with an outrageous quack as for yeas their most trusted medical adviser, are no better in this.]

    In areas of physical science … such as energy policy, physics, and medical effects of radiation the Green Party has lied so outrageously and for so many years, and cost people and the environment so dearly that it’s reasonable to consider them guilty of crimes against humanity. As a physician, a scientist, and a life long environmentalist and socialist, I find the Greens beneath contempt, and Jill Stein particularly contemptible because, given her medical training, she should know better and been more honest about the quackery the Greens so love to foster and even promote.

    Compare the unreliable and expensive electricity and building of new natural gas and coal plants, and failure to significantly reduce CO2 production from the generation of electricity in Germany to the inexpensive, reliable electric power in France, which wisely went 80% nuclear for its power, and in so doing also reduced CO2 output from electricity production by HALF. The German disaster … its overwhelming, outrageous failure in energy policy… was driven in significant part by the anti-science, ideology and superstition-driven Green Party there.

    Believe faith triumphs over scientific method? Believe quackery can positively contribute to public health? Then vote Green. Otherwise, stay away from these frauds who mouth a few rational, correct, and desirable things (free quality medical care for all paid for by the productive capacity of society, criticism of the perversion of medicine by a profit-based capitalist system) but who negate all of that with their support of quackery and general anti-science, disastrous to the environment dogma.

    Comment by Martin H Goodman — August 3, 2016 @ 9:58 am

  13. Its an interesting and accurate essay in SciAm on French nuclear power. If you ignore the silly title, the article is a strong endorsement of *continued* use of low carbon nuclear energy. France, unlike any renewable loving country in Europe, has actually very low carbon emissions…all thanks to the fact that nuclear closed every fossil plant (primarily oil, secondarily, coal) on a MW per MW basis. Wind/Solar loving Germany has yet to do any of these things and just put the largest coal plant in Europe on line, brand spanking new, so…they can build more wind and solar. Go figure?

    Comment by David Walters — August 3, 2016 @ 1:55 pm

  14. I see a some reason in David Walters’ comment, though I still do not count myself as pro-nuclear. Of particular interest in the Sci Am article is its attribution of the relative French “success” to “a standard design for reactors, centralized decisionmaking and certainty that the government was committed to nuclear power.”

    If this formula could be applied to the really promising new nuclear technologies replacing the high-pressure light-water reactors of the present age (eg the liquid fluoride thorium reacter [LFTR]?), the environmental crisis might actually be pushed back. But clearly the American entrepreneurial model is insufficient and leaving the situation in the hands of a Reagan-Thatcherized private sector will lead to inaction, unacceptable costs and schedule delays, or outright disaster.

    Getting rid of the high-pressure light-water reactors of the past and replacing them with less dangerous–perhaps LFTR–technology strikes me as a near-term environmental solution worth examining.

    I don’t think that socialists looking at this problem should simply put a minus where the pro-Nuke lobby–corrupt gang of lying bastards that they tend to be–put a plus.

    The problem here, though, is how citizens can reach a decision in this matter when the nuclear people who actually know what they are talking about have to be presumed liars who are criminally indifferent to the consequences of their errors. Where do you find, to paraphrase Lenin (have I got this right?), the bourgeois experts in this field who understand their bourgeois jobs–and yet are also capable of telling the truth?

    This objective political (and criminal?) character problem of the nuke industry and its regulators strikes me as a far greater bar to the timely deployment of some nuclear technology than the dangers of the technology itself.

    I think the German experience–while a qualified success–pretty clearly demonstrates that renewables alone, in the near term, will not replace fossil fuels. But whom can we trust for the alternative?

    China and Indonesia both claim to be going all-out with new nuclear technology. Perhaps we should keep an eagle eye out for the results–supposing, that is, that any real information gets through all the inevitable spin.

    None of this in my view presents an obstacle to voting for Stein in November if you are inclined that way. It does suggest that a long-term socialist-Green alliance would not be problem-free. But that is just a look down the road past the questionable milestone of November.

    Comment by Pete Glosser — August 3, 2016 @ 3:24 pm

  15. This from a fellow Green: snip>Hey all, I woke in the middle of the night thinking about this and want to share something that I typically wouldn’t even with friends and acquaintances.
    Two springs ago I had the honor and pleasure of hosting Jill at my university and at my home. At the time a neurologist wanted me to get a MRI of my brain and I wasn’t going to do it out of fear of the magnetic field/radio waves. (Whether my fear was irrational or rational is not the point, so please, let’s not get into the question of MRIs!) My friends and family all assured me it was fine and that I should do it. But it was only when Jill strongly urged me to get the thing done that I made the appointment. I trust her about this stuff — I know she is scientific, which means she not only understands evidence-based medicine, she also has a healthy distrust of ‘science’ when it’s backed, for ex, by Monsanto $ or when a U.S. regulatory agency that has harmed people and planet scores of times says it’s ‘okay.’ She goes by the precautionary principle, as do I. <

    Comment by mythses — August 3, 2016 @ 3:35 pm

  16. Is Martin H. Goodman, MD, intending to write a parody in which he caricatures socialists in the worst possible way?
    He writes here in support of
    * Nuclear Power
    * Genetically Modified agriculture
    * Indiscriminate vaccination

    and he vehemently opposes:
    *those who question mercury in vaccines
    *Chinese herbal supplements
    *Germany’s gradual move towards sustainable energy
    * homeopathy

    He also decries the Green Party as “guilty of crimes against humanity” …. as though the Green Party has been in charge of U.S. policy. It turns out that the medical doctor Goodman is the one who is so rigidly anti-scientific in the true sense of that word, and so full of himself that he can’t help but portray those he disagrees with as his mortal enemies. If Goodman represents “socialism”, then Marx help us all ….

    Mitchel Cohen

    Comment by TakeForwardWBAI — August 3, 2016 @ 4:44 pm

  17. Overview:

    A lot of would-be leftists profoundly ignorant of science and medicine have, in my experience, a tendency to “throw out the baby with the bathwater” when it comes it issues of medicine. They throw out the “baby” of evidence-based effective medicine with the bathwater of the foul, obscene perversion of delivery and development of medical care that is dictated by a capitalist, for profit medical care system and pharmaceutical empire. They forget or willfully ignore that evidence based medicine has double human life and come up with effective treatments or cures for many hundreds of diseases, and provided effective preventative measures (vaccines in particular among such) that have saved tens to hundreds of millions of lives, where “alternative” medicine never cured or treated anyone, or extended anyone’s life by even a minute.


    A brief reply to Michael Cohen’s note on my comment here:

    (1) As to what I “represent”…In some relevant senses I represent myself only. I’m not a member of any left group, tho like all other socialists I have more sympathies for some than for others. But I unambiguously stand for is rational thought and respect for evidence based science and medicine, above all else.

    (2) Michael implies in his comment that only the US / US Policy can be considered a case of crimes against humanity. This is obviously false. The Green Party’s causing the wasting of trillions of dollars of public funds around the world on the fraud that is solar and wind power, and its setting back effective moves away from fossil fuel (nuclear power) by decades is a crime against humanity. One that could (depending on what you believe might be the consequences of human-caused global warming to be) go as far as destroying civilization and wiping out most if not all animal life on land. A vote for the Greens is a vote for the fossil fuel interests. For every solar and wind plant a fossil fuel plant (mostly natural gas from fracking, sometimes coal) must be built, so pushing for the fraud that is solar and wind amounts to guaranteeing the long term use of fossil fuel for electricity, and all that implies in terms of CO2 emissions, particulate emissions from coal plants, etc.

    (3) Unlike ideology and faith driven individuals like Michael, I question everything, in degree with how good the existing evidence for it might. [As Carl Sagan wisely is quoted as saying “Extraordinary claims require extraordinarily strong evidence.” (or something close to that)]. Trained as a physician and scientist with specific extensive training in how to distinguish between junk vs likely to be valid research in both medicine and physical science, I have examined the evidence relating to quack medicine for years. If Michael wants to go on record here, as he apparently does, in giving credence to homeopathy, that will be helpful to others in judging his intellect and ability to distinguish between obvious falsehood and truth in science and medicine.

    (4) Michael, unable to attack the content of what I wrote, proceeds to present a false representation of what I wrote in order counter it: I explicitly conveyed chiropractic has been shown to have merit WHEN LIMITED STRICTLY to manipulation for treating mild to moderate back pain. I also rightly noted that outside of that it is quackery. If you want to learn more about what chiropractic is and isn’t, and just what lunacy and quackery characterizes its origins and history, here is an outstanding reference:

    >> I recommend you read the book “Inside Chiropractic” written BY a practicing chiropractor, with intent to educate the public on how to wisely chose a chiropractor to go to.

    (5) You have only to read the post of mine to which Micheal replied to be clear that his claim I support “indiscriminate” vaccination is a false claim, pure and simple.

    (6) Acupuncture is at this point (in the light of the relatively recent development of the tools to do blinded studies of it) proven nearly entirely to be worthless. The one area of acupuncture treatment NOT currently solidly proven to be bunk is that of use for acupuncture to treat mild to moderate pain. And there, with each new and better-constructed study done, less and less effect from acupuncture is demonstrated. I’ve followed the literature on this extensively. It seems extremely highly likely that, in a few years, this one area of question as to whether acupuncture is 100% bunk or 98% bunk will be resolved, probably in favor if acupuncture being 100% bunk.

    >> To learn more about acupuncture, chiropractic, Chinese herbal medicine, etc. I urge all to read the outstanding book “Trick or Treatment”, which also in an engaging and moving fashion educates regarding the history of the development of rational scientific evidence-based evaluation of medical treatments.

    For those with more patience, and a stronger science or medical background, a superb book specifically about acupuncture and about how medical studies are and are not properly conducted is “Snake Oil Medicine” by Bausell. This is a book written by medical statistician who was approached by acupuncturists to help them conduct studies of whether or not acupuncture works that would be respected as valid by the scientific community. He did.

    I leave it to readers of this blog to research these issues make their own judgments. But in conclusion muse: Do you want to believe a purveyor of the most rank and malignant superstition who supports such overt and obvious quackery as homeopathy? Or would you prefer to give credence to a life long socialist, scientist, physician, environmentalist, and fighter for both social justice and rational thought / application of scientific method?


    Martin H. Goodman MD

    Director of the Riazanov Library digital archive project,
    which has scanned and made freely available to all everywhere hundreds of thousands of pages of scans of original socialist and communist periodicals in the period of 1912 thru roughly 1975 (give or take in various instance) via Marxists.org, the oldest and largest site on the web devoted to providing the masses with free access to the writings of Marxist (and related) authors and organizations.


    Comment by Martin H Goodman — August 3, 2016 @ 5:59 pm

  18. Martin Goodman, it must be difficult to see that which you blindly trust, collapsing in upon itself as the light of day sheds it’s light upon it. Recognize where the myths of our destructive culture leave off and you begin. You’re not that which you espouse, hopefully one day you’ll see this. Peace

    Comment by mythses — August 3, 2016 @ 7:26 pm

  19. I take issue with this Martin Goodman comment:

    “They forget or willfully ignore that evidence based medicine has double human life and come up with effective treatments or cures for many hundreds of diseases, and provided effective preventative measures (vaccines in particular among such) that have saved tens to hundreds of millions of lives, where “alternative” medicine never cured or treated anyone, or extended anyone’s life by even a minute.”

    This is a typical view by and about modern medicine to give itself credit for the above. But what really saved “hundreds of millions of lives? Was it all these above mentioned mixed blessings from medicine, or concurrent public health measures, e.g., indoor toilets, hot and cold, chlorinated running water to drink, cook, and bathe with, refrigerators, year-round access to fresh fruits and vegetables, and garbage collection?

    Which scenario holds more possibility for preventing and eliminating the “many hundreds of diseases” in question: these public health measures, BUT without these modern med interventions, OR lack of the public health measures, as much of life was a few generations ago, BUT with access to all the above mentioned medicines and vaccines. This is of course a thought experiment with no experiments even possible to study comparable populations. But given this choice, I’d go with the public health infrastructure—you can have the more rustic life lacking all the conveniences above—and all your medicines and vaccines—and see how well you do.

    And by the way, science is a method, not a belief in the pronouncements of some or many scientists, or even a “consensus” of scientists, as a reference to the history of science should convince one. And when there’s money involved that depends on whether scientific “conclusions” go one way or the other, you can bet that “science” will be corrupted. And in medicine, given the fee for service model that we’ve lived with for virtually the entirety of allopathy, then the term “evidence-based” has long been corrupted to too often mean “money-based.”

    And also by the way, about nuclear waste—what do you do with it? And yet also again, accidents, which according to that great scientific maxim, “Murphy’s Law,” is one of the few things in life we can depend on (and of which we’ve had more than enough nuclear ones already) is by itself enough to disavow nuclear power.

    Comment by David Barouh — August 4, 2016 @ 12:49 am

  20. I’m a former attorney with EPA, graduate of Bronx HS of Science, anti-nuke organizer way back when, was married to a physician who practiced allopathic as well as complementary care, and got to experience firsthand the best of modern medicine while at Sloan Kettering, which included doctors carelessly scraping metatastic cancer sites, causing greatly accelerated patient death, and a very high rate of patient infection at companion NY Hospital due to negligent facility hygiene.

    I’ve worked on several products liability cases, and as a former member of ATLA, the Association of Trial Lawyers of America, have read hundreds of Trial Magazine journals and studied products liability cases. So I’m quite familiar with class action lawsuits against the pharmaceutical manufacturers. Anyone on the left who takes science and medicine as flawless talismans needs to take a products liability course, and also needs some values clarification work. Extolling the infallibility of modern medicine and science in the age of Fukushima, Three Mile Island, Chernobyl, Thalidomide, Vioxx, “Silent Spring”, mercury poisoning in Japan, global radiation death statistics, Erin Brokovich, the BP Oil Spill, Exxon Valdez, and lest we not forget, Bhopal, is as dangerously Pollyanaish as climate denial. Those who continue to cheerlead for GMO’s, nuclear power, and the miracle of pharmaceuticals have never read the PDR, or even “Good Pills, Bad Pills”, published by Sidney Wolfe, and have not attended legal training seminars devoted to dangerous products. I wonder – did these folks never read “Unsafe at Any Speed”, or look through a single issue of “Public Citizen” magazine?

    On the subject of vaccines, I’d debate anyone on the left who defends them wholeheartedly, because they don’t know the public health statistics and history of vaccines, and they clearly don’t know the litigation history. The fact is that the polio vaccine, the largest program in modern times, was opposed by not only Jonas Salk himself, but by the leading Harvard virologist and the Surgeon General, back in 1955. This was the subject of a thoroughly researched article that ran in New York Magazine on November 11, 1996, called “A Shot in the Dark”. It’s amazing how many people on the left, when presented with the facts in that article, continue to cling to their advertising and PR-induced beliefs that vaccines are our saviors, are safe, and incapable of being contaminated or causing harm.

    They apparently have not read “Toxic Sludge Is Good For You”, the 1995 blockbuster that threw the curtain off of some major historical PR campaigns that changed the course of American culture. One of those campaigns was the “peaceful atom” campaign in the 50s, to con the American public into thinking that nuclear power was safe and good. Well, we now know that radioactive waste is going to be around for a few billion years and we still have no way to store it safely. Then there was the campaign by tobacco companies in the 30s, which targeted women, who were taught that smoking was unladylike, to take up the new habit, and create a whole new group of consumers, and of course future lung cancer victims. Then there was the campaign, using a select group of doctors bought and paid for by the pork industry, that sold Americans on the idea that the most nutritious breakfast consisted of sausage and ham with eggs and toast, rather than grain, cereal, and fruit, which permanently changed our nation’s dietary habits.

    I agree with David Barouh’s comments on nuclear waste. Don’t talk to me about it until you’ve experienced living near a nuclear waste disposal site. I go to do that when I worked in Kentucky. I lived 15 miles from the Maxey Flats nuclear waste disposal site, and spearheaded the drive to shut it down in the 70s. While local residents and farmers, angry that cattle near the site were becoming weak, could not stand, and were losing patches of hair all over and developing sores, organized, they were told that this was a copper deficiency. When questioning the waste disposal site, in which nuclear waste was buried 40 feet below the ground in steel drums, they were told it was low-level waste that had leaked tritium into the soil, as the steel drums had rusted during floods and failed to contain the N-waste.

    I drew national attention to the site when I co-produced a special on nuclear waste for NBC that was aired in January 1977. I also testified before the Legislative Research Commission and read hundreds of pages of Congressional testimony as well as books on nuclear waste and nuclear accidents, including “We Almost Lost Detroit”. The truth eventually came out – that the steel drums contained high level waste, mostly plutonium, which must be buried behind 3 feet of lead and several feet of concrete, to be effectively sealed. The murky waters that flowed all through the area were laden with plutonium waste. The site was closed down, but as far as I know, there has never been massive testing. The worker I interviewed who cleaned up after the spill had a son who at age 5 was dying of brain cancer.

    This is what I posted on Facebook about Jill Stein and one vaccine, Gardasil, which has been heavily hyped and marketed by Merck since 2006 (I know- I was in a focus group and had to take sign a non-disclosure statement!) and the subject of class action lawsuits around the globe:

    I’d like to know how Jill Stein’s comment, that “there are those who question vaccines”, make her unfit to be president, when a) she’s a Harvard-educated physician who has studied environmental and public health issues and has the ability to formulate medical opinion on issues of public health; and b) when there are ongoing class-action lawsuits against Merck for deaths and injuries of young women in the US, Japan, and India from stroke, paralysis, blood clots, and cardiac arrest, and dozens of other catalogued side effects caused by Gardasil, which have been documented by at least 3 countries, and supported with statements by the survivors of Gardasil injury, and the filmed statements by the family members of those who died.

    Here’s what the New England Journal of Medicine has to say about Gardasil: http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMe0804638, as reported in the New York Times.

    I could understand criticizing such a position as being baseless if there were not so many lawsuits and scandals connected with Merck and its marketing of Gardasil, but the fact is, there are. There’s also a class action suit in Japan:
    This article in Science details the conflicts of interest and complete lack of transparency and consent in the Gardasil clinical trials which were conducted in India, in which poor teenage girls were used as guinea pigs and clinical trials, administered Gardasil without their consent, resulting in the Indian government questioning whether it would continue cooperation with the pharmaceutical manufacturers, and in a class action lawsuit: http://www.sciencemag.org/…/indian-parliament-comes-down-ha…

    This is what Judicial Watch published about Gardasil, after it used the FOIA to obtain FDA records and statistics on Gardasil-related injuries and deaths: http://www.judicialwatch.org/…/merck-dr-exposes-gardasil-s…/.

    Since the approval of Gardasil, there have been 3,461 complaints filed with VAERS, the Federal vaccine injury compensation board. There have also been 49 deaths of young women in the US.

    Victims in Japan Sue for Damages Due to Gardasil and Cervarix HPV Vaccines
    The Japan Times recently reported that a class action lawsuit will be filed after June 2016 against the…

    Comment by iamselma — August 4, 2016 @ 10:52 am

  21. @Martin Goodman: I’ve seen a video of doctors in China, which has been using acupuncture successfully for 4,000 years, unlike our relatively short tenure using Western medicine, for the last 150 years, performing brain surgery with a patient anesthetized using only acupuncture, who was alert and chatting with the surgeons. I’m sure such videos are accessible online. There is the Society for Medical Acupuncture, which includes doctors who also practice acupuncture. If acupuncture did not work, it would not be possible to conduct brain surgery with a fully conscious patient, without the use of anesthetics.

    Comment by iamselma — August 4, 2016 @ 10:55 am

  22. I know a married couple in Northern NJ who allowed their 2 week old daughter to be given a Hep C vaccine. They are quite affluent and live in an enormous, spotlessly clean house, and provided the child with a nanny and regular checkups. She was being breast fed by a mom who was vegetarian at the time and eating organic food. The child was doing very well when suddenly, at 8 weeks, she started running a high fever. Within a few days, she was dead. No trace of bacterial infection, viruses, or diseases, but she died of kidney failure. No person adhering to the scientific method who was concerned about the possible causes of this infant’s death would not immediately suspect the vaccine.

    Comment by iamselma — August 4, 2016 @ 11:04 am

  23. iamselma’s comment provides a helpful glimpse of the kind of detail necessary for thinking critically about medical science, vaccinations, and the like.

    About the lawsuits, however, as a socialist I am a bit ambivalent, as I feel there ought to be a better way of restraining the errors and negligence of medical practice. The article says nothing about lawfirms that specialize in class actions, cherry-picking the big cases that will bring in large settlements and huge profits for the lawfirms but offering little or nothing to the victims, and ignoring those whose legitimate claims simply look to be less profitable. You can rest assured that there is at least as much corruption and criminality on that side of things as on the Pharma and corporate healthcare side.

    The fragile edifice of actually existing science (!) is vulnerable to fraud, malpractice, and negligence of all kinds. It’s a bit miraculous, given the egos and ethics of many scientists (James Watson anyone?), that even “pure” scientific research gets done at all. And when science becomes corporate applied science and technology, the problems increase.

    I myself am completely convinced that Jill Stein personally is in all ways a critical thinker, and not in any way an antiscience nut.

    There are, however, IMHO a lot of antiscience nuts out there worshiping Gea Tellus, and the Green movement has more than its share. Socialists who cast their lot with the Greens will have to contend with this eventually, I think, iamselma’s useful corrective notwithstanding.

    Comment by Pete Glosser — August 4, 2016 @ 4:20 pm

  24. Correction–“the article” in my last post should be “the comment.”

    Comment by Pete Glosser — August 4, 2016 @ 4:21 pm

  25. I was wondering when the “nuclear waste” issue would come up. Seems it has. I hadn’t raised the issue of nuclear energy but someone did. So…David Barouch asks a question that I can answer. What DO we do with nuclear waste? Interesting from many angles. At no point does iamselma mention what *kind* of nuclear waste he is talking about, except one allusion to Rocky Flats, a nuclear WMD facility. If iamselma is such a self-described expert he should know that even in high level nuclear waste, there are difference kinds depending on where it is produced and from what purpose it was created from. If you want to go after the Dept. of Defense/Dept. of Energy nuclear waste at Rocky Flats or Hanford Nuclear Resevation, I won’t hold you back. But do distinguish between Spent Nuclear Fuel (SNF) and that waste from the military, from the medical industry and other industries that use some forms of isotopes.

    SNF from commercial nuclear reactors is not buried in “steel drums”. Not the high level waste. It is buried in the kind of containers he describes later which are still lined many-ton heavy concrete “casks”. Every bit of it is accounted for I might add and there has never been a health threatening accident from one, EVER, in the US. It is the best managed “waste” of any technology used in the world today. It is also the most regulated, as it should be.

    However, the question remains…what to do with it? It can be left for hundreds of years “as is” but the containers will have to be replaced. If ever there was an issue that needs R&D it is this one. But in *every* single anti-nuclear organization and activist…any…I mean any form of solution is immediately opposed. They can’t have a way of disposing of it because it would eliminate a reason to…oppose nuclear. See? This is the conundrum the anti-energy and anti-nuclear groups have. They can’t come up with a single solution that would mitigate the issue of SNF or…it’s no longer a reason to oppose nuclear. I sympathize, really.

    You all know that the one program that came out of the Clinton administration that was positive was the blending down of former Soviet A-bombs fissile material, U-235, from 95% high level <4%. It was then shipped to the US in a true swords to plowshares program called "megatons to megawatts". 10% of ALL electricity generated in the US today is from fuel derived from former nuclear WMD. But here again, a very straightforward solution, is *opposed* by anti-nuclear activists because…well…of course it would be a "plus" for nuclear energy and we can't have that can we? So the anti-nukes would rather us shut down nuclear plants than shutdown nuclear weapons. Every nuclear weapon in the world can be *destroyed* this way while providing carbon-free electricity. But you'll need nuclear plants to do it.

    David Barouch, the French, Russian, Japanese and the Chinese all reprocess some of their spent fuel. The French reprocess about 15%. There are of course issues with these processes and most countries are waiting for new Pyrex processing to take over form the currently used Purex process for a variety of reasons, especially economic ones. Additionally, as Dr. Goodman noted above, it can be used and will be used on a far more massive scale as GEN IV reactors come on line and can use the SNF directly without reprocessing.

    Commercially created SNF is not a problem, it's an issue. The U.S. produces around 2600 tons a year. The US has 77,000 tons of this now…after 40 years approx of operation. Compare that to what coal produces: 140 million tons of coal ash per year (and, as it happens, the biggest emitter of…uranium and thorium and other heavy metals into the environment). If you dumped every bit of spent fuel into a COSTCO store…it would only fill it up to about 3/4 of it's volume. That is how *little* there is. But the issue of SNF remains and at least nuclear technology offers a solution. From anti-nuclear activists we get…silence.

    Comment by David Walters — August 4, 2016 @ 11:10 pm

  26. Japan’s chief cabinet secretary called it “the devil’s scenario.” Two weeks after the 11 March 2011 earthquake and tsunami devastated the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant, causing three nuclear reactors to melt down and release radioactive plumes, officials were bracing for even worse. They feared that spent fuel stored in the reactor halls would catch fire and send radioactive smoke across a much wider swath of eastern Japan, including Tokyo.

    Thanks to a lucky break detailed in a report released today by the U.S. National Academies, Japan dodged that bullet. The near calamity “should serve as a wake-up call for the industry,” says Joseph Shepherd, a mechanical engineer at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena who chaired the academy committee that produced the report. Spent fuel accumulating at U.S. nuclear reactor plants is also vulnerable, the report warns. A major spent fuel fire at a U.S. nuclear plant “could dwarf the horrific consequences of the Fukushima accident,” says Edwin Lyman, a physicist at the Union of Concerned Scientists, a nonprofit in Washington, D.C., who was not on the panel.


    Comment by louisproyect — August 4, 2016 @ 11:44 pm

  27. Reblogged this on The Lefty Gazette and commented:
    Jill Stein is not anti-science. And she is not anti-vax. People need to read and really understand what she actually says.

    Snopes: http://www.snopes.com/is-green-party-candidate-jill-stein-anti-vaccine/

    Comment by Admin — August 5, 2016 @ 1:58 am

  28. Here I will respond to just to the truly appallingly gullible and ignorant post about acupuncture. Sadly, most of the other posts here in response to my last post showed similar lack of knowledge of medicine and science and, perhaps more important, of the means by which knowledge of truth vs falsehood in science and knowledge of which therapies work and which do not are established.

    I don’t have time to address all of the many responses to my last post here. I’m sure if I made them, my responses would generate another tsunami from the ocean of ignorance of science and medicine out there, from the faith-based, superstition-based, and ideology (not evidence or observation)-driven creatures that swim in that ocean. It happens I have a life, much of which is dedicated to furthering the cause of social justice and helping increase the chance of our species advancing to a rational and just society.

    However, David Walters will be (perhaps has by now) responding to one other reply to my last post. He will address (has addressed?) the hysteria and falsehoods wailed here by those who actually believe “nuclear waste” is a reason to be concerned about nuclear power for generating electricity.

    iamselma wrote:

    “I’ve seen a video of doctors in China, which has been using acupuncture successfully for 4,000 years, unlike our relatively short tenure using Western medicine, for the last 150 years, performing brain surgery with a patient anesthetized using only acupuncture, who was alert and chatting with the surgeons. I’m sure such videos are accessible online. There is the Society for Medical Acupuncture, which includes doctors who also practice acupuncture. If acupuncture did not work, it would not be possible to conduct brain surgery with a fully conscious patient, without the use of anesthetics.”

    Every sentence in the post is false. Outrageously and unambiguously so.


    (1) Acupuncture (and other quack therapies) are “ancient wisdom”?

    Acupuncture was developed in China during a period when, due to the then prevailing social and cultural mythologies, those wishing to learn about the body in general and anatomy in particular were BARRED from dissecting cadavers. As a result, in the period in which acupuncture arose, there was essentially ZERO knowledge of anatomy at all, let alone neuroanatomy. The “meridians” were entirely fabrications, with zero basis evidence, observation, etc. Thus we would expect acupuncture to be total bullshit.

    Based on what he (or she) wrote, “iamselma” it would seem would “reason” that because it was believed for thousands of years that matter was composed of earth, air, fire, and water, and that the sun rotated around the earth, and that the earth was flat, such notions are to be given more respect than the Johnny-come-lately notions of the periodic table, the helio-centric solar system (let alone the bulk of cosmology) and the round earth?

    But wait! Just because we don’t know how something works doesn’t mean it doesn’t work. THAT much is completely true. Many of the real and effective medical therapies we use today are ones for which we do not know the mechanism of action. For hundreds of years we treated and prevented scurvy with citrus juice, but it was only around 1930 that vitamin C and its role in development and maintenance of connective tissue was understood.

    Regardless of whether we know >how< a medical therapy works or not, we DO know how to determine WHETHER it works. Scientific method-based, evidence-based, well-constructed clinical research provides the answers to such questions. And Cochrane studies look over all research on a question, throw out the junk studies, and give doctors valid information on whether a therapy works. We know acupuncture is worthless for nearly everything because it has been thoroughly studied, and found to be entirely without merit for all except treatment of mild to moderate pain (where it may soon be proven worthless, as well). Check out the Cochrane studies. And educate yourself not merely about the placebo effect, but about the arguably more important (when it comes to being able to tell whether a study is junk or likely to be valid) "regression to the mean effect" which, when considered, reveals nearly all of the pro quack medicine "studies" in general, and those that purport to show acupuncture has value in particular, to be utterly totally worthless.

    (2) the myth of acupuncture anesthesia

    True-believer "iamselma" brings up the absurd lie of acupuncture anesthesia. This is something I have had personal experience with, for I was trained both in medicine in general and in anesthesia in particular.

    When I was in medical school in the early 1970's, a team of American surgeons and anesthesiologists travelled to China and were shown cases of major surgical procedures … such as open chest surgery… being conducted under exclusively acupuncture anesthesia. Patients were awake and smiling. They were filmed (the video technology then was that of 16mm film sound cameras) and my class in medical school was given a one hour presentation of this astounding use of acupuncture. The surgeons and anesthesiologists did not in the slightest question this was dramatic proof that, even if we did not understand how it worked, acupuncture really was a potent, powerful tool.

    Pity this team of doctors had not taken with them a MAGICIAN (illusionist), such as James Randy. Doctors and scientists are good at examining honestly intended research and evaluating it. But they are NOT accustomed to looking for outright frauds and deceptions.

    [Note James Randy was part of a team of doctors and scientists who exposed a last gasp effort to perpetuate the fraud of homeopathy, helping explode claims that research showed that "water has a memory of what was dissolved in it".]

    Not that many years later it was revealed that all of the patients for that (and all other such) demonstration had been secretly given spinal or epidural anesthesia prior to the American physicians seeing them. That and all other demonstrations were elaborate, outrageous, China-state-sponsored frauds, from start to finish.

    If you tell a lie long enough, even if it's exposed thoroughly, there will always be true-believers and gullibe and ignorant ones, like "iamselma", who continue to have faith in it. Try taking a poll about how many Americans today believe that there were "Weapons of Mass Destruction" in Iraq, or whether Planned Parenthood sold off parts of murdered foetuses, or of how many people believe that mandatory MMR vaccination is not a critically important thing for the health of children in America, if you doubt this statement. Or take a poll of how many leftists today believe the supposed quote from Hitler about the need for "law and order" splashed on the front pages of left newspapers and on banners during anti-Vietnam War marches was anything other than a deliberate and cynical fraud. [example: https://www.marxists.org/history/etol/newspape/themilitant/1969/v33n24-jun-13-1969-mil.pdf%5D Or take a poll of how many (leftists or others) use the word "allopath" to describe a physician, utterly ignorant of its meaning and origin (created by one of the more maligant quacks in history), and the fact that its use is as vile, ignorant, and offensive as use of the n-word to describe a black person or the b-word to mean "woman".

    But I digress.

    I PERSONALLY was exposed to the fraudulent films "demonstrating" acupuncture anesthesia back when they were first freshly shown here. And later saw the proof they were gross, intentional frauds. It's somewhat excusable I was briefly fooled by this foul deception, for I was an impresionable young student, and was being shown this material by the most respected of my teachers and superiors. Only the very ill-educated and /or gullible, however, would believe such nonsense decades after this fraud was exposed.

    (3) brain stimulation on a conscious patient
    "iamselma" also demonstrates profound, utterly laughable ignorance of surgery in general and brain surgery in particular, for it has not been uncommon to perform surgery on the brain in which the patient is awake with the brain exposed, as responses to stimulation to given areas of the brain are noted. The totally worthless fraud of acupuncture never was (nor needs to be) used for this. I've watched this many times personally. What's your medical training and experience, "iamselma"? How often have you participated in surgery in general, or surgery on the brain in particular, "iamselma"? Perhaps next you'll attest to having viewed "psychic surgery", or a "healer" passing his hand thru someone's skin and pulling out a diseased organ or toxic material??

    (4) And yes, "iamselma", there ARE quacks among MDs. The Medical Society for Acupuncture is group of such, applying denial and superstition to what should be evidence-based medical practice. Dr. Oz, Andrew Weil, Helen Caldicott and Jill Stein are of that ilk (tho Jill is a lot more slick than most, and dances around issues with the skill of a Hillary Clinton).

    There are MDs who promote homeopathy, the most obviously bunk of all the popular quackeries pushed for profit in the USA. Under socialism we'd take care of such, probably putting them to work scrubbing toilets in our hospitals. Of course they'd (like everyone else) have free excellent quality EVIDENCE-BASED medical care.

    And now I take my leave this blog, at least for this thread, and likely for all others. The new-age and glassy-eyed proponents of "ancient wisdom" (read "barbaric and primitive ignorance") can have a field day. I leave my reputation behind me.


    Comment by Martin H Goodman — August 5, 2016 @ 8:34 am

  29. Marty, you may take leave, but you demolished the woosters here, a major public service for the micro-left. Big thanks.

    Comment by notabilia — August 5, 2016 @ 10:51 am

  30. Mr. Goodman, I thank you for your take on the term “allopathy,” which is new to me, and I’m sure for many others. You might have added a sentence or two about the origin of that perceived insult rather than stating it as a bald fact without further comment. But looking into the word’s origin (attributed to Hahnemann to distinguish homeopathy from, as Wikipedia called it, “regular medicine”) I see that claiming it’s comparable to the N-word is an exaggeration. But now I digress.

    So I repeat: much of mainstream Medicine is untrustworthy, not only because of its abject failures with chronic illnesses and its seemingly willful ignorance about the societal realities of environmental, lifestyle, and food issues, but because what little of it has creeped into Medicine is directly related to the competition posed by alternative medicine and alternative understandings about those societal issues.

    It is also untrustworthy, again not only because of peoples’ real-life experiences with doctors, but because of the fundamental conflict of interests inherent in the fee for service model and private pharmaceutical industry domination. Where there’s money to be made when either treatments or research goes one way as opposed to another, corruption is always lurking and ever present.

    And again, the claim that Medicine is responsible for the great reductions in infectious diseases in modern times is flat out propaganda, which most physicians and medical proponents accept uncritically. Again, think about the time when the claim that “I take a bath once a week on Saturday night whether I need it or not” was not a joke but cutting edge hygiene. Life is quite different now than those times—independent of the existence of modern Medicine with its pharmaceuticals and vaccines. How would you get on without your safe water, your refrigerator, your bathroom, and your garbage pickup?

    Medicine and surgery has its place, but it, like so much else about modern life, needs reform, if not total restructuring. It doesn’t need macho braggadocio, which just convinces people of the smug self-aggrandizement so many doctors and medical spokespersons are guilty of.

    Comment by David Barouh — August 5, 2016 @ 2:40 pm

  31. Sure, there are many problems with the corporate model of medicine, but “alternative medicine” is bogus hogwash that placates and offers placebos to the easily led.
    “Complementary medicine” It is astonishingly effective at prying money out of poor and rich suffering people alike, just like religion, and Mr. Goodman is right on every point against it, including his promotion of the eminently worthy simon Singh book “Trick or Treatment.”
    As an aside to Mitchel Cohen, WBAI should be indicted for its promotion of the Gary Null quackery. The sentence? WBAI’s promotors, and the Green Party with them, should do community service helping the afflicted with their chronic pain management.

    Comment by notabilia — August 5, 2016 @ 3:00 pm

  32. “Sure, there are many problems with the corporate model of medicine, but “alternative medicine” is bogus hogwash that placates and offers placebos to the easily led. “Complementary medicine” It is astonishingly effective at prying money out of poor and rich suffering people alike, just like religion”

    Thank you for your opinion, but just what is it based on? No rationales given. And it’s just so easy for the mainstream medical spokespeople to say that about “Complementary medicine” but last time I looked, mainstream medicine is not so cheap itself. And how typical is it to call what the competition is selling “hogwash”? And how easy is it to pretend that financial interests don’t play any role in their denunciations of the competition?

    And when was the last time your doctor told you to eat your fruits and vegetables, eat less meat (or better still, go vegetarian and avoid the risk factors altogether)? And if you were lucky enough to have a doctor that actually broached the subject, no doubt it’s an example of Medicine co-opting the “Complementary” message—because of the above mentioned competition. And when did any doctor ever tell you to avoid pesticide residues in your food, or artificial colors and flavors, preservatives, and the chemical soup of other ingredients we’re swamped with in the products of Big Food? That’s a lot of dough going to pay for second rate health advice from your doctor.

    Face it: doctors are generally clueless about the most basic health matters. It’s easy to target niches within the field of “Complementary Medicine” when there’s a whole world of knowledge within that title. And even in the case of the niches, like one targeted here: homeopathy. I’ve yet to see any study definitively debunking it, only bogus and biased ones done on the cheap. Instead, I hear that it “can’t possibly work” because because it’s “not scientific.” But it’s that very claim that’s “not scientific.” (Full disclosure: I’ve never used homeopathy, and am agnostic about the subject. But I know it’s been around a long time, and know people who use it, and they don’t look so gullible to me.)

    Comment by David Barouh — August 6, 2016 @ 11:46 pm

  33. Well, you certainly are not going to be convinced about the non-efficacy of “complementary medicine,” are you, Mr. Barouh. But to spout lies about commenters is just sad . My connection with “mainstream” financial interest, though, you nailed it – – yes, though I am but a patient, and an interested observer, I was indeed paid $437 million to write my comments in Louis’ blog. By the AMA.
    Many doctors are rich jackasses. Many doctors, and many PAs, are decent, smart people, offering indeed the science-based advice you cited, and I wish that all people could have the likes of them. .
    There are no “alternative” doctors who are not charlatans, or who are not horribly deluded by specious claims about the benefits of rubbing frog legs and throwing the I Ching.
    Homeopathy has been conclusively debunked, by many sources, including Simon Singh excellent book. Humans have been gullible, easliy-duped followers of all manners of chicken- entrail reading and wizardly claims for millennia, but this is 2016. The evidence in this Inforamtion Age is overwhelming.
    “Agnostic” is a weasel word denoting false equivalency. There is no god and no gods, there is no real efficacy for homeopathy, prayer, acupuncture, chiropractice, or chicken-entrail reading.

    Comment by notabilia — August 7, 2016 @ 10:55 am

  34. No, you are correct, I’m not going to be “convinced about the non-efficacy of ‘complementary medicine'” No indeed, not from appeals to “evidence-based” authority dripping with closed-minded belief in bodies of knowledge long since corrupted by money politics, by nuclear power as an answer to pollution and climate change, and GMOs as the answer to hunger. I’ll stick with organic and local agriculture and food not conveniently and nicely packaged for me by giant food cartels.

    But I have another fish to fry (not to eat, just to fry) namely the claims by Mr. Goodman and Mr Walters (both of whom can’t seem to get names right) that Jill Stein is “pandering to anti-Vaxxers.” She has made it clear that she’s not “anti-vaxx” but rather, calling attention to the revolving door of industry people brought in to FDA, CDC, USDA, etc., to regulate the industries they intend to go back and work for after their government “service” has ended. How hard is it to figure out the corruption inherent in that situation??? Is it that you’ve all been living in space not to have seen that yet? If this situation—endemic in both the giant corporate political parties—has not caught your attention yet; if you still believe in the incorruptibility of these organizations, well…we have a bridge here in Brooklyn, and I can get it for you real cheap! Interested?

    Comment by David Barouh — August 7, 2016 @ 1:21 pm

  35. I want to share something from my personal experience. I know 2 vegetarians, one an MD, the other a professor in the sciences, who had a baby in 2004. Even though they lived in a luxurious, impeccably clean house, ate organic food, and provided round the clock nanny care and regular MD checkups, in short, the best care a baby could receive, their baby girl died at age 8 weeks, after
    suddenly spiking a fever. She died in her mother’s arms, about one day after spiking the fever and several crying bouts. There was an autopsy done, and the infant was found to have had a massive systemic infection, and died of kidney failure. No known pathogen, virus, or bacteria was found in her body. Oh, I forgot to mention- she had been given a Hepatitis vaccine when she was 2 weeks old.

    Comment by iamselma — August 7, 2016 @ 3:24 pm

  36. Mr. Goodman talks without having any information on the subject. The fact is that there have been studies done by NIH on complementary medicine, which have demonstrated that it works. And is also ignorant of the fact that for decades, until the 90s, NIH refused to fund or entertain studies on complementary medicine, thereby depriving the practitioners who wished to prove that it worked, the opportunity to do so. I know this because my ex is a physician who has practiced both allopathic & complementary medicine and was familiar with the history of attempts to get NIH to sponsor studies on acupuncture and other modalities.

    Mr. Goodman apparently has never heard of the Townsend Report for Doctors and Patients, which for the past 25 or so years, has run innumerable articles by physicians on a wide variety of subjects and treatment modalities.

    Mr. Goodman is apparently unaware that homeopathy was the main modality practiced in the US in the 19th century, while allopathic doctors were using barbaric methods of treating people, including leeches to bleed people, and using poisons such as arsenic, in common medicines. PBS did a 2-evening special back in 2014, on the history of toxic conventional medical practice in the US. Mr. Goodman is also unaware that the Royal Family in England, noted this century for their longevity, has used only homeopathic medicine.

    Here are just a few of the famous people who have used homeopathy: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dana-ullman/20th-century-musical-geni_b_397719.html

    Roger Daltrey is among a long and distinguished list of musicians and singers who have spoken positively about homeopathy, from Beethoven, Chopin, and Schumann to the more recent Paul McCartney, George Harrison, Ravi Shankar, Jon Faddis, Dizzy Gillespie, Shirley Verrett, Pete Townshend, Bob Weir, Paul Rodgers, Annie Lennox, Cher, Tina Turner and Axl Rose.
    Boris Becker and Martina Navrattilova used homeopathy for sports injuries, as did David Beckham. Jane Seymour swears by homeopathy, as does Catherine Zeta-Jones, Michael Caine, Michael York.

    Other famous people who used homeopathy include Mark Twain, Abraham Lincoln, Mahatma Ghandi, WC Fields, Lauren Bacall, Grace Kelly, and many more.
    His statement that holistic medicine is designed to fleece people of their money is completely untrue and sounds like more corporate PR and lies. The fact is that drugs for cancer cost $100,000 or more per year, according to an article in NY Magazine on the cost of drugs to treat cancer. The cost of prescription drugs is staggering, and many have enormous markups, whereas the cost of homeopathy, acupuncture, herbs, and massage therapy is extremely cheap in comparison. That’s one of the reasons the pharmaceutical industry continues to slander holistic medicine- they are threatened by how affordable it is.

    I’ve used homeopathy successfully for over 40 years. My ex is an MD and homeopath. I saw a homeopath colleague of his in Las Vegas who was also a surgeon. He treated me successfully for a wide range of medical problems, including toxoplasmosis, tularemia, radiation exposure, and digestive problems. I know other people and doctors who swear by homeopathy.

    When my friend’s 69 year old mom broke her clavicle, I recommended that she use the remedy symphytum, which promotes the healing of fractures. Her fracture healed well and in far less time than her doctors had predicted. I had the same experience in 2003, when I had a severe, oblique fracture of my left foot. The prognosis from a top orthopedic surgeon was at least 5 months in a wheelchair and on crutches. I was up and walking without crutches after 11 weeks.

    Carol Lipton

    Comment by iamselma — August 7, 2016 @ 3:25 pm

  37. PS- after recovering from the oblique fracture, I happened to meet a lawyer who was my age, and had sustained the exact same fracture- an oblique fracture on her left foot. Unlike me, she did not use homeopathy. I asked her what her recovery was like, and she told me that it was very difficult- she spent over 5 months on crutches and in a wheelchair, and had weeks of physical therapy to learn to walk again and regain full use of her foot and leg.

    Comment by iamselma — August 7, 2016 @ 3:28 pm

  38. In response to notabilia: apparently, another person who has never cracked a products liability textbook, knows nothing of the long and storied history of class action suits against the pharmaceutical industry, and has never read a single report by a Nader group, whether the Center for Auto Safety, Public Citizen, or Center for Science in the Public Interest. Because those sources document the history of dangerous pharmaceutical products. Did this person never hear of Thalidomide? Did this person never hear of Vioxx? Did this person never hear of stent injuries? Has this person never read Sidney Wolfe’s “Good Pills, Bad Pills?” Has this person never read my friend Dr. Lawrence Diller’s book on Ritalin? Has this person never heard of the 1927 classic “One Hundred Million Guinea Pigs”?

    One would think he or she has stock in the pharmaceutical industry or a career in corporate PR to be so staggeringly unaware of the history of dangerous, overpriced, harmful products produced under capitalism. So you don’t like Gary Null. Congratulations. Neither do I. And Gary Null is not the sine qua non of holistic medicine. He just happens to be a broadcaster who believes in holistic medicine. The medical treatments he has covered include those that are practiced widely throughout Europe, in clinics in Germany, France, Switzerland, and Scandinavia. By the way, most countries in Europe long ago banned the use of mercury in dental fillings. Homeopathic medicines are produced in France by Boiron, and homeopathy is approved by the French government, and taught in a majority of French medical schools. Homeopathy is also practiced widely in Switzerland and Germany. And last I checked, the cancer rates and morbidity rates in those countries were far lower than ours.

    But hey, what the fuck do I know? I’m only a trial lawyer with 30 years’ experience in personal injury and products liability law, who was a member of the Association of Trial Lawyers of America for over 20 years, and who read Trial magazine and attended ATLA symposiums, including one on the brain-damaged infant, because our medical system is so incredibly careful. I have read hundreds of cases involving dangerous, lethal products and drugs.

    I also watched a CBS program produced by Katie Couric called “Vaccine Defenders”, which exposes the leading vaxx defending doctors for the corrupt on-the-take corporate shills that they are, and for their utter lack of transparency or honesty when presiding over public information groups such as the American Pediatric Association (Dr. Paul Offit) or Every Child by Two, groups designed to give ostensibly “neutral” advice to parents, but which push vaccinations without any disclosure whatsoever that Dr. Offit receives hundreds of thousands of dollars from the pharmaceutical industry, where he is a paid researcher for many years, and whose career is tied to industry profits.


    And I’m going to conclude this comment by giving you the names of the three biggest quacks in US history who stood in firm opposition to a national vaccination program. And no, Gary Null is not one of them!

    Here are their names:

    1. Dr. Jonas Salk

    2. Dr. John Enders, Nobel laureate and Harvard-trained virologist, who in June 1955, wrote an article citing the flaws in production of the polio vaccine

    3. Surgeon General of the United States Leonard Scheele

    * Dr. Salk opposed the design of the manufacture of the polio vaccine out of concern for contamination in manufacture. He was right. An estimated 19 million NYS school children
    were given polio shots contaminated with the SV-40 similan virus. And NYS public health officials knew this at the time it was administered, beginning in 1955 with the most contaminated batches. As there is no mass market, affordable test for SV-40 virus, it is unknown how many of those millions of school children, of which I was one, also received the SV-40 virus in their bloodstream. The SV-40 virus has been isolated in the tissue cells of several plaintiffs who sued because they contracted rare, inoperable forms of cancer, forms of cancer that research scientists in the US and Italy have demonstrated can induce the exact same cancers in animals. See, “A Shot in the Dark”, New York Magazine, November 11, 1996, author Bernice Wexler. Reprinted here: http://www.anapsid.org/cnd/diffdx/poliovac.html

    * On April 27, 1955, Surgeon General Leonard Scheele assailed one of the six companies, charging that its manufacturing lines had failed to kill the polio virus before the vaccine was disseminated. Cutter Labs in Berkeley, California, was ordered to halt production and recall batches of its vaccine. By the beginning of May, 44 so-called Polio Pioneers had contracted the disease from vaccine injections; ultimately, close to 70 would become infected and a handful would die. Top-level meetings of the nation’s scientific elite were convened in Washington. On May 7, Scheele recommended the polio program be suspended entirely, and he instructed a team of scientists to personally inspect all the production facilities and techniques. His recommendations were disregarded.

    Carol Lipton

    Comment by iamselma — August 7, 2016 @ 3:55 pm

  39. On the subject of whether acupuncture and chiropractic are “quackery”. Given that both of those are professions in which practitioners must go through years of postgraduate training and apprenticeship, and then must be licensed by the state, those people who are labeling these professions as “quackery” are engaging in libel and defamation. When I was a senior in college, I visited the offices of the US-China People’s Friendship Committee in NYC, where I saw a film that they showed, of brain surgery in China being performed without anesthetics, and using acupuncture. The patient was conscious and chatting it up with the surgeon throughout.

    Again, I am amazed that the naysayers on this list are so ignorant that they are unaware of the numerous deaths of patients due to faulty calibration of anesthesia equipment, or improper administration of the anesthesia dose. I know of one such lawsuit, which I believe was a $2 million verdict against Columbia Presbyterian Hospital circa 1984. There have been many reported cases of deaths from anesthesia. But I don’t see the quackery crowd being the slightest bit concerned about those deaths.

    Or the deaths of celebrities such as Andy Warhol, Joan Rivers, and Olivia Goldsmith, and Libby Zion, daughter of author Sidney Zion, due to medical malpractice. Just a quick look at a medical malpractice “horn” book for lawyers would give you an eyeful.

    But again, don’t let the facts stand in the way of your opinion.

    Carol Lipton

    Comment by iamselma — August 7, 2016 @ 4:26 pm

  40. In NYS, as well as in Washington, DC and Maryland, the process of approving acupuncture for state licensing and allowing practitioners, took several years. During the early 70s, many patients signed petitions and gave testimonials before state licensing board, and advocates of acupuncture presented data on its success and use in China. Because quackery, lack of oversight and ethics, right?

    Comment by iamselma — August 7, 2016 @ 4:28 pm

  41. Of course there is corruption in the corporate supersystem, including that of Big Medicine. We agree fully.
    Yet you do not want to confront the equally galling fact, that of the inherent corruption of “alternative” or “complementary” medicine, currently raking in the billions at GNC, Deepak Chopra’s ashram, the side streets of Boulder, Northampton, Asheville places where the micro-left wants so desperately to be cured via ancient but fully discredited techniques.
    Stein, and many of the fellow travelers of the Greenwashing greens, harp on the first corruption (corporate-industrial) but then promote the second corruption (hope-based flim-flam). Neither one should be acceptable, but I guess one corruption is all you can handle.
    Me, I’m voting again for Sara Wageknecht for US president.

    Comment by notabilia — August 7, 2016 @ 5:28 pm

  42. Correction – the author of the NY Magazine piece was Pat Wechsler

    Comment by iamselma — August 7, 2016 @ 6:00 pm

  43. You’d think there had been an NIH study of patients in the Northampton, Asheville, and Boulder communities to read your comment, Notabilia. Again, you cite no data, only broad-brush defamatory comments with absolutely no evidence whatsoever. And might I add, no experience of the patients in these communities. And no evidence of litigation. That’s because acupuncture and homeopathy do not produce side effects such as those produced by drugs. And these 3 communities are by no means the sum total of places where holistic health thrives. In fact, virtually every major drug store chain in America now sells homeopathic remedies. You can get Similisan nasal spray and earache remedies at the local Walgreen’s as well as CVS, and Oscillococcinum has been used by millions of Americans to prevent and nip flu in the bud, including yours truly. Quick! Better get Harvey Waxman on the line to put an end to this reign of terror!

    Comment by iamselma — August 7, 2016 @ 6:04 pm

  44. “Not that many years later it was revealed that all of the patients for that (and all other such) demonstration had been secretly given spinal or epidural anesthesia prior to the American physicians seeing them. That and all other demonstrations were elaborate, outrageous, China-state-sponsored frauds, from start to finish”

    To Mr Martin Goodman, if you’re still tuning in, do you have a reference for this. I also saw that film, and was impressed. Nothing is better than to be disabused of one’s misconceptions, and I certainly would like to see the reference to this. It would be much appreciated.

    Comment by David Barouh — August 7, 2016 @ 6:57 pm

  45. With regard to vaccines, I’ve seen a number of people on Facebook cite a New Atheist source, Skeptic Magazine, as claiming that no scientific link has been established between the SV-40, the monkey virus that contaminated virtually all batches of the polio vaccination administered to school children in the 1950s, and cancer.

    So I just searched out whether there were any NIH studies finding a correlation between the SV-40 virus and cancer, and I found this: Cancer risk associated with simian virus 40 contaminated polio vaccine.

    and this: Emergent Human Pathogen Simian Virus 40 and Its Role in Cancer, http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC452549/

    and this, on 4 children born after 1982, who were found to contain the SV-40 virus in their body, despite the official history that SV-40 contaminated polio vaccine doses ceased after 1962: http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2008/01/02/simian-virus-40-dna-found-in-us-children.aspx This corroborates the facts stated in the NY Magazine article from 1996, that research scientists had found SV-40 virus in the sperm of adult men also in the 1980s.

    Comment by iamselma — August 7, 2016 @ 7:08 pm

  46. http://www.virology.ws/…/poliovirus-vaccine-sv40-and…/

    Poliovirus vaccine, SV40, and human cancer

    “Deep sequencing – which identified a viral contaminant of the rotavirus vaccine Rotarix – could have revealed the presence of simian virus 40 (SV40) in the poliovirus vaccine, had the technique been available in the 1950s. Exposure of over 100 million Americans to SV40, and many more worldwide, could have been avoided, as well as the debate about the role of this monkey virus in human cancer.

    SV40 was discovered by Maurice Hilleman in 1960 as a contaminant of poliovirus vaccine. It was present in batches of both the Salk and Sabin poliovirus vaccines produced and distributed from 1954 to 1963. The source was the rhesus and cynomolgous monkey kidney cells used to produce the vaccine. Even more troubling was the observation that SV40 could cause tumors in hamsters. By 1963 screening procedures were instituted to ensure the absence of SV40 in poliovirus vaccines. Ironically, monkey cells were used for poliovirus vaccine production because it was feared that human cells might contain unknown human cancer viruses.”

    So a candidate for president should not validate “concerns” about the polio vaccine, eh? When it’s out there in the public that the vaccine was contaminated and the public was not informed, and when there was no publicly available detection kit for the SV-40 monkey virus, which is linked to rare, inoperable cancer tumors.

    With socialists like this, who needs counterrevolutionaries?

    Comment by iamselma — August 7, 2016 @ 7:31 pm

  47. Polio vaccine being perhaps the most problematic of all vaccines, and certainly worthy of concern to the electorate, as it has already been a concern to NIH, and the 1955 Surgeon General of the US. ::face palm ::

    Comment by iamselma — August 7, 2016 @ 7:33 pm

  48. I second David Barouh’s request that Martin Goodman provide the link to the source, and a credible one at that, for proving that China’s films of surgery being performed under acupuncture, including the film I witnessed in 1971 of brain surgery with an alert patient chatting to the surgeon, were frauds, and that the patients were secretly administered pain-numbing drugs prior to the surgery. What drug were they administered? Was the source of this leak someone in the operating room at the time? How did someone find out this was occurring?

    From everything I know about anesthesia, if a patient is so drugged up that they would not experience the staggering unbearable pain of having their skull cut open and their brain cut into, I cannot imagine how they would be awake, alert, and conscious and able to carry on a pleasant conversation with the surgeons.

    And when and where was this leak supposedly reported?

    Comment by iamselma — August 7, 2016 @ 7:37 pm

  49. Way to go off the rails, you are a city in Alabama! You are going to have to sue the major bodies of science, including governments in Europe. for “defamation” and “libel,” because it is they who have discredited and debunked and shown the near-complete falsity of homeopathy, crystals, chiropractice, no-vaxxing, Christian Science, Scientology, tarot card reading, faith healing, witch-burning, prayer, homosexual conversion, past life regression analysis, and all woo that is doing the people-killing, suffering-inducing in homes that the anti-science wing of the Greens dance with.
    There, AMA, or did I earn my next $37 million for battling a wingnut in a well-written, indefatigable, but not quite million-viewership blog?
    Sorry I can’t supply the footnotes you’d like to be made fully aware of to deconvert from a homeopathist – click around for an hour, you;ll find them, and then you can enjoy life without defend cruel, superstitious frauds.

    Comment by notabilia — August 8, 2016 @ 12:31 am

  50. notabilia writes: “the major bodies of science, including governments in Europe…. have discredited and debunked and shown the near-complete falsity of homeopathy, crystals, chiropractice, no-vaxxing, Christian Science, Scientology, tarot card reading, faith healing, witch-burning, prayer, homosexual conversion, past life regression analysis, and all woo that is doing the people-killing, suffering-inducing in homes that the anti-science wing of the Greens dance with.”

    Not so for chiropracty, or even prayer (and I am an atheist). There’s a reason why the placebo or prayer effect has a success rate for I think it is 17 percent of people with serious diseases — the connection between mind (mental states) and the body is a real one, regardless of whether the beliefs are “rational” or not. And for chiropracty the success rate goes way up for many ailments. Now, when we’re talking about “witch burning,” that was the province of the medical establishment itself and the wresting of it from women healers and into the rigid male-dominated and pharmaceutical-based regimens we have under emerging capitalism, as Deidre English, Silvia Federici, and Barbara Ehrenreich show.

    It’s amazing how ahistorical and so cocksure of themselves some pseudo-socialists are in their defense of their false-“scientific” beliefs! A real scientific and socialist approach begins with analyzing the so-called “advances” of capitalism from that self-critical context.

    Comment by Mitchel Cohen — August 8, 2016 @ 8:11 am

  51. AS Martin Goodman explained, chirpracty has a very limited beneficial application, and for that it shoudl be allowed. for all other cases, it is fraud, pure and simple. However, it has a massive prior investment scheme going, and so like all frauds, it depends upon the lack of concern from a deregulated society, such as ours.
    “Prayer,” or wishful thinking, does have the possible benefit of inducing some form the placebo effect, but then prayer, as in the Christian Science model, wastes an incalculable amount of more real medicine.
    Yet to acccomodationists, like the WBAI Gary Null organized control fraud, everyone should just to be free to be taken for a ride, and then lectured about “the real scientific and socialist approach.”
    It’s enough to convince the blogworld that the only “real scientific and socialist approach ” is social nihilism.

    Comment by notabilia — August 8, 2016 @ 12:06 pm

  52. Marty Goodman wrote to me regarding Carol “iamselma” Lipton, so I’m posting it here. I’ve added comments in brackets:

    How nice to know Carol “iamselma” Lipton feels rock stars, movie stars, and bourgeois politicians and governments are good sources for sound medical knowledge! After citing Dalton of the WHO as an authority on medicine, perhaps she’ll next cite Al Steward to prove psychic vision into the future exists (Al Stewart in his Nostradamus song cited an infamous bogus Nostradamus quatrain that mentioned “Hister” (Hitler), which is known to have been inserted into Nostradamus lore by British intelligence during WWII, as part of psychological warfare against the Nazis, some of whom were as cravenly superstitious as Carol Lipton.

    How nice to know she supports some of the single most obvious outrageous malignant quackeries / nut case / whack job superstitions in all of alternative / complimentary / integrative / holistic medicine (which is all nearly entirely quackery, but some more obviously so than others):

    Homeopathy…[next to wifi ‘distress’ which, I know learn is something Jill Stein also adheres too, is the easiest form of debunking there is as, it happens, EVERY double-blind test ever done for it reveals it to be exactly the same effect as Plecebo…in other words, it has zero effect. Ben Goldacre has in his book “Bad Science: Quacks, Hacks, and Big Pharma Flacks” shows how utterly nonsensical it is from any view including physics (no, water does not have ‘memory’) and medically (no, if you give someone a solution so diluted — the basis of homeopathy — that there is virtually only few molecules of the “medicine” in a liter, you are effectively giving someone…nothing, ergo, homeopathy is based on…nothing)–David]

    Claims that mercury amalgam fillings pose toxicity threats, and are other than by far the proven best way to do fillings of teeth if cosmetic issues are no paramount.

    She also cited “acupuncture anesthesia” videos proven as state-created fakes decades ago, and the outrageous falsehood that acupuncture is needed to do brain stimulation during brain surgery on conscious patients. [link: https://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/acupuncture-doesnt-work/ and here: http://www.dcscience.net/2013/05/30/acupuncture-is-a-theatrical-placebo-the-end-of-a-myth/, the news articles when the Shanghai Film Institute *admitted* their films were bogus years after the fact …and why it’s not done anywhere in the world today, including China. More here: -David]

    How nice to know she believes single case reports and personal testimonials (used nearly exclusively by fraudsters and believed only by the particularly gullible and ignorant) are a valid means of determining whether a therapy is effective of not. How nice to know she has no interest in (probably no knowledge of!) quality large sample clinical studies, much less the bottom line for determining truth in such matters, Cochrane review meta studies.

    How nice to know she regards cultural superstitions and the laws passed by [bourgeois, as it happens in this case, though any acts by any type of politician would be the same] as being sources of scientific fact and medical truth.

    Ignoring her effort to personally slander me by implying I have links to corporate and capitalist interests (perhaps next time she’ll inch closer to the truth by red-baiting me?) the bottom line is that she has revealed herself as steeped in ignorant superstition, and unable or unwilling to present rational medical or scientific method-based discourse. I’ll give her the benefit of the doubt and assume she is sincere… that she is profoundly both ignorant and gullible, and sincerely believes the outrageous woo she presents here, and not accuse her of being a conscious liar and shill for the multi-billion dollar quack medicine and “natural” “organic” supplement industry.

    Her citing the NIH’s support for quackery is hardly surprising. Scientists and physicians around the world have roundly condemned the appalling political decision of the NIH to involve itself with quack medicine. Robert Park in his excellent book Vodoo Science has some choice words to say about this.

    I don’t have time to get into debunking her reprehensible lies regarding the overwhelmingly positive development and use of Polio vaccine. I’ve seen the anti-Polio vaccine nuts (a particularly foul subset of the anti-VAXXers in general) before, and their alleged citations of Jonas Salk and the like. It’s total falsehood, via selective neglect of data, cherry-picking of data, and outright bald lies.
    But you’ll have to research that yourself. I’ve a life, as I noted before, and can’t waste it entirely debunking the rantings and ravings of superstitious, ideology-driven gullible sorts who, cloaked in their own self-righteousness, legends in their own minds, feel so at home here.

    Comment by David Walters — August 8, 2016 @ 8:20 pm

  53. The ignorance of the people in this thread, who claim to be socialist, as to what is “scientific” is rather appalling. Is “science” that which corporations proclaim to be safe and effective? Is a raft of class action lawsuits, deaths, injuries, and the existence of a federal fund for people who have been injured by vaccines (VAERS), which has paid out over $3 billion in claims,not enough to prove that vaccines are not inherently safe? Or the article I posted above on the history of the polio vaccination program? Or the fact that both Japan and India’s governments have put a halt to the use of the Gardasil vaccine following a class action lawsuit in India and injuries to women in both countries?

    What exactly is the definition of “scientific” that you are using? Vaccines are not “science”, they are corporate products. Being against a dangerous vaccine manufacturing system as well as a deceptive marketing campaign is “anti-science” just the way banning Thalidomide was “anti-science”, indicating a lack of belief in all pharmaceuticals, or taking the Ford Pinto off the market was “anti-science”, lacking a belief in the basis for the internal combustion engine.

    What people in this thread are expressing is not a defense of science, it is a fetishization of corporate medical products. And given that most pharmaceutical corporations are helmed by staunch GOP supporters, it is vastly ironic that leftists should be singing the praises of their very fallible, often very dangerous or lethal products, which thanks to Citizens United, they spend millions of dollars in lobbying and PR campaigns to convince the American public that they are safe, when they most certainly are not.

    Comment by iamselma — August 9, 2016 @ 7:29 am

  54. David- other than name-calling and libel, I see you’ve got absolutely nothing to impugn either the reputation or research of Pat Wechsler, who wrote the article on the polio vaccine program for NY Magazine. And if Jonas Salk was not opposed to the way the vaccination was being manufactured, you’d think in the 20 years since the article was published, somewhere along the line, his estate would have either sued NY Magazine for manufacturing facts, or published a counter article, or demanded a refutation. And ditto for the Estate of Leonard Scheele.

    Smears and insults are never a substitute for solid research and facts. And solid research is what Pat Wechsler engaged in. I’ve read about her career as a journalist online, and she seems like a pretty solid reporter to me. And NY Magazine, which has its pick of excellent writers, does not normally hire ignorant buffoons who lie and make up facts and data. They have fact-checkers, or didn’t you know this about professional journalism?

    Comment by iamselma — August 9, 2016 @ 7:39 am

  55. Mercury is one of the most toxic substances known and there is no safe level of mercury. The fact is that there is no regulation of mercury levels in a dentist’s office. Dental offices that use mercury amalgam fillings measure higher for mercury content in the atmosphere, on the walls and on surfaces, than the levels set for industrial exposure. The expression “mad as a hatter” comes from the 19th C. hat industry where workers handled mercury compounds and often went made. The suicide rate among dentists is among the highest in any sub group in the US populations. And I guess I’m in excellent company with the many European countries who have banned mercury amalgams. The celebrities who have used homeopathy are alive, well and healthy, unlike the rock stars who eat the standard American diet and are dropping like flies in their 60s and 70s, from heart disease and cancer.

    And apparently you know something that a majority of medical schools in France do not know, as they all teach homeopathy. And all of the homeopaths I have gone to have been medical doctors or surgeons. Homeopathic remedies cost from $6 to $12 a bottle, unlike pharmaceutical drugs. Pharmaceutical drugs are poisonous: all have extremely bad side effects, and many are capable of causing permanent injury or death. If taking these drugs is proof that you don’t believe in quackery, be my guest and knock yourself out. Just don’t tell those of us with common sense and respect for our bodies’ ability to heal itself that we can’t have the medicine we choose to take.

    Many medicines, like quinine and digitalis, are made from natural substances and use the knowledge of Native or indigenous people. Your view that acupuncture, which is practiced by several billion people in Asia and around the world, is “quackery”, is racist and colonialist, because it deems the healing modalities developed over 4,000 years in Asia as being “primitive”, “savage”, or “unscientific”, just as Third World art is “primitive” art and Western art is “high art” and “high culture”. Again, the irony of leftists who claim to stand with other cultures, when actually offending the practices and wisdom of those cultures, especially arrogant white male leftists. It’s a Eurocentric view of the world that holds our science is superior, our technology is superior, while the world right now stands on the verge of complete collapse and extinction, the product of science and technology.

    My ex worked as a resident in one of the most prestigious hospitals in NYC, and I heard many stories of everyday medical malpractice by doctors. Yes, there’s lots of quackery: plastic surgeons who perform breast implant surgery with dangerous substances; gynecologists who prescribed birth control pills that cause everything from stroke to astigmatism, and who prescribed DES and the Dalkon Shield, which kill. Yep, that’s quackery all right. So is killing people due to incompetent use of anesthesia. Then there was the NY Times cover story circa 1988 which surveyed x-ray mammography machines, and found a staggering number of them to be improperly calibrated, leaking radiation (a hazard to workers and patients) and delivering far greater dose of radiation than intended. Yep, that’s quackery. So is the practice of useless surgery. Here’s a NY Times article on the subject: http://www.nytimes.com/2016/08/04/upshot/the-right-to-know-that-an-operation-is-next-to-useless.html?_r=1 }

    Then, there are also the MRSA deaths due to horribly unsanitary hospital conditions, and the diseases people pick up from being in hospitals. Ivan Illich wrote about it 40 years ago in “Medical Nemesis”, on the phenomenon of iatrogenic medicine. But keep on with mythology and slurs. Millions of Americans are healthier and have a lot more money in their pockets using affordable herbal remedies and holistic medicine.

    Comment by iamselma — August 9, 2016 @ 8:05 am

  56. I am amazed at the McCarthy-like intensity of the Richard Dawkins bots on this list. And how ironic that leftists are sopping up his chart, which groups talking in tongues and faith healing, and now apparently witch burning and homosexual conversion, with herbal medicine and chiropractic. That’s like saying all socialists are Josef Stalin. And actually, many of the women who were burned at the stake by Christian fanatics, all male, were killed because they practice herbal healing and were thought to be witches.

    Perhaps you haven’t read some of the other beliefs held by Dawkins, Hitchens in his latter years, or Sam Harris. Harris is a raving gun nut who defended guns the day after Sandy Hook and was the subject of a brilliant takedown by Salon. Dawkins, Hitchens & Harris all were strong supporters of the Iraqi war, and are anti-Muslim. Dawkins in particular was accused of sexual harassment of women at a conference several years back.

    Comment by iamselma — August 9, 2016 @ 8:12 am

  57. I had said I’d not return to this blog because it would be a waste of my time, given how persistently profoundly science and medicine ignorant visitors have flocked here and (empty drums make the loudest noise) how hysterically they have ranted.

    But I feel obligated to put up at least this “epilogue-post” on the subject of the outpouring of abysmally gullible support of quackery here, to address a specific particularly dangerous development here.

    Some of the most appallingly science and medicine-ignorant here have raised the quack (alternative / complementary / integrative / holistic) “medical” idiotic drivel about danger from polio vaccine contaminated with SV40 virus, a mix of cherry picked data, selectively neglected data, and outright outrageous lies.

    To anyone unfortunate enough to have stepped in the piles of dog-excrement here on this subject, I recommend reading the information at the following sites as the start of effectively cleaning the filth away:



    Now, the ravings of quacks and the science and medicine ignorant vary along a spectrum from harmless to vile and malignant.

    “iamselma” (Carol’s) gullible belief in acupuncture for anesthesia is stupid but harmless, because you will NEVER see anyone offer this absurd non-existent thing, so no one is likely to get hurt by it.

    “iamselma”‘s expressed belief in the efficacy of homeopathy is less harmless, for homeopathy substituted for effective treatment has injured millions, with lunatics touting it for such things as protection against malaria and treatment of HIV AIDS. But most here recognize homeopathy as total bunk, for it so very extremely obviously is so (and has been overwhelmingly proven such in actual studies). As such, her professed belief in this here on this blog has its positive side, for it helps people recognize her as an appalling crank.


    Of late Carol and one or more of her more abysmally ignorant (I will give them the benefit of the doubt and assume they are NOT consciously trying to destroy the lives of children) coherts here have brought up the not just stupid and false but also MALIGNANT and potentially deadly harmful bullshit about the SV40 virus in polio vaccine.

    This sort of anti-polio-vaccination falsehood and drivel is the same as the lies of the anti-MMR vaccine crowd, and has the same if not more potential to kill and overwhelmingly injure innocent children.

    Again, please if you have read this foully noxious, highly irresponsible drivel and were inclined to give it any credence, check out as an antidote the quality information available at (among other sites with responsible honest accurate medical and scientific information) the two URLs I provided above. Information that is offered in an articulate, entertaining fashion.

    Revolutionary socialists in the tradition of Lenin and Trotsky… for it is those who I respect… are now a sub-microscopic fraction of those in this country and around the world, in the aftermath of (among other important factors) the fall of the Soviet Union and the physical liquidation of the Bolshevist left around the world over many decades by both capitalist and Stalinist states and forces. The only thing we have going for us is the truth and integrity and rationality of our statements and program. It’s sad to see the credibility of the left damaged by the wackos who pose as leftists and as standing for social justice who espouse obviously nut-case positions on matters of science and medicine… matters where objective proof of truth or falsehood via scientific method and good clinical study is readily available.

    It’s especially unfortunate to have to waste time and energy responding on a political blog to this sort of thing. It’s tough enough when one is debating differing political interpretations of history and events, differing proposed strategies for going forward, etc. where there IS no objective unambiguous means of determining who is right and who is wrong. It’s tragic to waste time dealing with NON political issues of scientific and medical fact.


    Comment by Martin H Goodman — August 11, 2016 @ 12:17 am

  58. Marty, you could have saved yourself all the words and summed up your message in a sentence—”I’m right and you’re wrong”! OK. got it. Very profound and insightful. And thanks too for the two links. Just from the names I gather that they’re Medicine aligned sites that are dedicated to discrediting the competition. Sounds very objective. Thanks again and welcome back.

    Comment by David Barouh — August 11, 2016 @ 1:11 am

  59. Come on, David. The good doctor Goodman has refused to rebut a single one of the many factual claims made by those who refuse to accept capitalist “science” and the claims of its pharmaceutical industry without checking’m out. He hides behind the accusation that we “cherry pick” our examples, which when you think of it is the argument always provided by True Believers like Goodman to mean “offering real examples” to at least hint at a real problem” — what’s wrong with that? Nada.

    Reporting the numbers of people wounded by the vaccine industry in the U.S. is nothing to dismiss so glibly, as Goodman not very effectively tries to do. The real question is, Why is he even trying to challenge the reports of injuries and deaths — reports that are supplied, I might add, by the CDC and other government agencies themselves, and quantified in millions of dollars in payouts — instead of owning them and, like Madeline Allbright, say “I think the price is worth it.” That, at least, would be an honest (if revolting) position.

    No one here who is critical of U.S. vaccines has claimed that the whole philosophy underlying vaccination is wrong (although it surely needs revisiting). We’ve been arguing that vaccines, as manufactured in the U.S. and injected into infants’ bodies en masse even before their immune systems are sufficiently formed, have a history of contamination that causes serious problems that the profit motive won’t allow to be fixed. And to defend their profits and divert from the real issues, the pharm industry spins all sorts of whackadoodle attacks on those raising questions.

    Doctor Martin Goodman, here, is simply refusing to apply the scientific method to his own views. As such, he is an apologist for capitalism, however “socialistic” he regards himself.


    Comment by Mitchel Cohen — August 12, 2016 @ 3:46 pm

  60. Michael, ‘rebutting’ Carol Lipton who deluges the list with 7 posts in a row is a bit much to ask Martin Goodman to ‘rebut’. Her views do represent nonsense. Especially about vaccines and MMR in particular which she ignores. Who ignores what, again? Goodman provided direct links as a form of rebuttal. Her dismissal of medicine as it proven already is quite sad…she is clearly no Marxist who would accept proven and peer reviewed evidence based medicine. This comes through quite clearly is her believe in acupuncture as anesthesia! Something totally disproven and…why it’s not used in operations…anywhere…including China! Her ‘method’ involves quoting…celebrities…as anecdotal proof of homeopathy. She clearly hasn’t a clue about how homeopathy is *supposed* to work. She can’t address it only that she heard of people who use it and ‘works’. Gawwwd. This is not science, it’s the methodology of every single sham artists that advertises the cure for what ails you in the National Enquirer.

    I should add…of course there are instances of bad vaccinations. But the FACT that millions of have been saved from dozens of diseases is proof they not only work but they virtually wipe out disease. Her grotesque…truly grotesque attack on the polio vaccine borders on the criminal. Not to mention lying about Salk and his supposed opposition to vaccination programs. Marty explained this clearly for anyone to read.

    The CDC has investigated claims, as have *dozens* of other international agencies, the WHO, and hundreds of university studies that who the MMR, polio and other vaccination programs to have saved hundreds of thousands of lives and prevented millions from getting sick. nothing is in fact perfect but there is simply zero in any CDC investigation that shows some problems with a vaccination program to pull it off the market. This is especially true of the two named vaccination programs I just noted. Zero. Not a thing and you know it. The *world* had been doing vaccincation programs before “Big Pharma” was a ‘thing’. Countries with zero profit motive, such as the Cubans, back up the studies already proving vaccination programs are important. We’ve seen in areas where vaccines don’t get to the rearing back of all sorts of deceases. Open your eyes and look world wide the effect of not vaccinating children.

    Comment by David Walters — August 12, 2016 @ 9:21 pm

  61. Thanks, Michael, for helping show that SOME of us who drop by a leftist blog are NOT lunatics who worship quackery and pseudo science.

    I agree with you that our beleoved Ms Liption managed to promote truly a remarkable number of the major imbecilic quackeries, including the perncious and absurd lie that mercury amalgams pose any even a minute risk to health.


    [By the way, I recently researched the phrase “Mad as a Hatter”, and it seems I was mistaken in my impression that referred to the neurologic damage to the brain that those who used mercury salts to treat felt for hats sufferred. Or even that the “Mad Hatter” in Alice ini Wonderland was a maker of hats at all, much less a likely victim of mercury poisioning. Check out Snopes on this … there’s a superb discussion.)

    Another intersting (to me) thing about mercury: At one time in the past mercurous chloride (Hg2Cl2), under the trade name “Calomel”, was used as a medicine, including for babies. I would be the first to observe this was NOT a good idea, and it has many decades ago been removed from the market. But the point is that different FORMS of mercury have wildly different toxicities. Calomel, while not something I’d encourage anyone to take orally, is just NOT all that poisonous. Mercuric chrloride (HgCl2) , on the other hand … which bore in the mid to earely last century the name “corrosive sublimate”,,, is extremely poisonous. Somewhere in a “boys book of chemistry” I took out from the Brooklyn Public Library main branch when I was growing up and spening my weekends experimenting with chemistry and electronics, I came across this little poem that related to those facts about mercury compounds:

    Aunt Jenny gave to baby Nel
    What she thought was Calomel.
    But, alas, what baby ate
    Was corrosive sublimate.
    Not much difference, I confess:
    One atom, and one baby, less.

    The left has, understandably, gotten a bad name for the degree to which some of its less intelligent and less educated sorts, perhaps due to vulnerablity to unquestioningly embracing even the most ridiculous conspiracy theories, adopt lunatic postions with respect to science and medicine.

    Perhaps I should turn over another rock and watch the anti-science bugs scuttle out by bringing up the subject of clean and safe nuclear energy and the outrageous obviious and proven fraud that is renewable (solar and wind) power? Perhaps I should speak the truth that radiation is for the most part without capability to harm humans (outside of truly massive doses)? By attaking the idiotic obvious falsehood and proven deliberate lie that “radiation in any amount, however low, is harmful and its effects are cumulative”? I’m sure to get a good rise out of the Carol Liptons and Michael Cohen’s and others here ignorant of science and medicine… people who pontificate on energy policy whose knowledge about electrical power production and distribution does not extend beyond knowing how to put a plug in a wall socket. Nah… it would be a waste of my time. Best bring that up where there is a higher percentage of people capable of critical thought.

    But I do note that just as there are corners of the left steeped in quackery and related junk science, there are left political parties… including ostensibly revolutionary ones… who give platforms to some of the most truly outrageous lunatics with respect to energy policy. Socialist Action is a good example, tho the Freedom Socialist Party doesen’t do much better in that respect. Indeed, only a few revolutionary socialist organizations here have the good sense to be either silent on these maters of scientific fact, or take an accurate rational position on them. In the latter case (tho I have my criticisms of its politics) I’d name Socialist Organizer. I note also that the Spartacist League has taken a very clear and intelligent stand, consistently, agianst medical quackery in general, and the frauds of homeopathy and acupumcture in particular. One that all honest and competent doctors and scientists can respect. This even tho they go off the edge of lunacy when it comes to their line on cigarette smoking.


    Comment by Martin H Goodman — August 13, 2016 @ 3:10 am

  62. Mercury is toxic in all its forms, according to this emedicine/medscape article, and mercury amalgams have been recognized as a one cause of some skin eruptions, at the least. And Thimerisol has been “reduced or eliminated” from vaccines for having been recognized as leading to possible complications. http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/1175560-overview#showall

    I’d also come up with better links to back up your statements than the various medical sites devoted to discrediting the competition. Such sites are clearly biased and not credible. And yet again, it’s understandable that people, and even doctors, are confused about the role of medicines and vaccines in “saving hundreds of millions” of people from the communicable diseases of the past. Nonetheless, they should really know better what the real unsung hero of that is: public health infrastructure.

    Comment by David Barouh — August 13, 2016 @ 2:01 pm

  63. David, you didn’t read your own citation! Here is what it STATES:

    On dental amalgams:

    “A study of 1663 veterans used a wide battery of noncognitive tests and found no clinically evident deficits associated with amalgam exposure.” Oops….. So…the article says specifically that this form of mercury IS NOT A PROBLEM. So you are wrong, again.

    On thimerosal:

    “A very controversial source of organic mercury exposure is thimerosal, a preservative used in vaccines to prevent bacterial contamination. The most commonly used vaccines that contain thimerosal are for diphtheria-tetanus-whole cell pertussis (DTP), Haemophilus influenzae (HIB), and hepatitis B. However, no definite link between this small amount of mercury and any known disease has been found.”
    Thanks for finding this for the readers here. Again you are WRONG as the article supports the OPPOSITE of what you said it did.

    Thanks for providing a link that proves our point.

    Comment by David Walters — August 13, 2016 @ 5:34 pm

  64. David, the very first line of the article says “Mercury in ANY FORM is poisonous,” which directly contradicts what has been said about mercury. In addition, the article did indeed cite lack of results in studies looking for effects, but did NOT “specifically” (as you termed it) say that “mercury IS NOT A PROBLEM.” Rather, it said no effects were found, which is a different statement altogether. And it’s clear the site left the issue open by acknowledging the controversy surrounding mercury, and listing dental amalgams as a source of mercury poisoning.

    And that’s because those findings (or lack of findings) flies in the face of the real-life experience of parents, who’ve seen their children harmed after being injected with vaccines, which shills and profiteers like Paul Offitt have attributed to “pure coincidence.” At a certain point you have to acknowledge that not every incident is “pure coincidence.”

    The lack of findings may not have given trials a long enough time frame, or else did not catch the vulnerable children in their net, or else missed the harm altogether, or just were not designed effectively enough, as clearly not everyone is harmed in observable ways from vaccines, or nobody would believe in them. And no authorities other than shills and people on this list claim NO harm, just that the risk-reward ratio favors taking them–which is why these laws mandating vaccines with no exemptions is so egregious.

    And what did you mean by saying I was wrong AGAIN? What else have I been wrong about? No one has addressed any of my comments, let alone claim they were wrong..

    Comment by David Barouh — August 13, 2016 @ 6:35 pm

  65. Re: mercury amalgams: there is an abundance of scientific documentation on the environmental hazard and health risks posed by mercury amalgams.

    Here are articles published by the IAOMT, the organization of dentists who practice mercury-free dentistry on the hazards of mercury fillings.

    Click to access Comprehensive-Review-Dental-Mercury.pdf

    Click to access The-Case-Against-Amalgam.pdf

    Here is a chart showing the results of experiments from the 70s and 80s which measured mercury vapors in the mouths of people with dental amalgams, as compared to people without dental amalgams i their mouths:

    Click to access 02_course_documents.pdf

    Comment by iamselma — August 13, 2016 @ 7:30 pm

  66. David Barouh exemplifies here the denials of rationality and evidence based science typical among gullible true-believers who (along with cynical scam artists …thieves and liars for profit) constitute the world of advocates of medical quackery.

    David Walters very nicely above pointed out that (as often is the case with citations for quackery and junk science) David Barouh cites an article in a legitimate and respected medical source that he claimed supported the malignant quack drivel that there is anything significant to be feared form mercury amalgams. But when David Walters actually looked at and read the article, he found it said the opposite. The safety of mercury amalgam was confirmed by countless big, good studies. The most in the negative column they could raise were “concerns”, not evidence of harm… again in a situtation where there has been searching for harm for many decades in many very large studies. Even those with much much higher exposure to mercury amalgam than patients… those who prepare the amalgam and put it in teeth… show NO evidence of harm from it.

    This is much like the nut case claims of harm from radiation, and settings of ‘safe levels” of it, which turn out to be 100 fold less than amounts some people have lived with for generations as background radiation levels, with zero indication of increased disease of the sort known to be caused by (high levels of ) radation.

    The article also supported my observation that Thimerosal was removed from MMR vaccine purely for PR / Political reasons (a VERY stupid, dangerous mistake!), and that there never was any evidence that, in the amounts in MMR Vaccine, it ever was a source of any health problems. Indeed, Thimerosal is being used today in widely administered vaccines… as it should be, for it has been proven safe. And completely contradicted David B’s malignant lunacy regarding that and dental amalgams. I urge people here to judge for themselves, so you can see the profound ignorance (again, I’ll give David B the benefit of the doubt and asume he’s not intentionally lying) of David B’s reply to David W.

    David Barouh, showed what a true believer he is, quoting entirely out of context the generality that “mercury is toxic”, and ignoring the truth that over the course nearly a century, several generations studied, hundreds of millions of people receiving mercury amalgam fillings, and LOTS of malignant nut case true-believers >trying to prove amalgams caused medical problmes< (as well as lots of intelligent, honest doctors and researchers trying to find whether or not there are any problems associated with them) there is no significant evidence of their doing any harm. Proving amalgams to be more free of ill effects than 99% of the medical and cosmetic things we use today!

    I attempted (with use of some humor and fond recollections from my childhood, steeped in doing chemical experiments, to illustrate the issues of how "toxic" mercury actually presents many many orders of magnitude (from virtually zero to high) of different variations of toxicty depending on the form it is in. My father was a teacher of chemistry in the NY Public high schools all his working life, where he spent most of his life teaching mostly poor Caribbean black girls science in general, and chemistry in particular. [Before some shrill robotic goose-stepping knee-jerk politically correct type starts to wail about my use of the word "girl", let me note that high school consist of girls in the process of becoming women and boys in the process of becoming men… and those of any number of other gender identities in the process of discovering who THEY are.] A secular intellectual and believer in fighting for social justice, my father helped guide me on course toward respect both for social justice and scientific method… including evidence-based science and medicine. Unfortunately such subtle understanding of physical reality appears beyond David B and Carol L. MANY children played with metallic mercury, chasing around the floor the little silvery beads it would form when one broke a mercury thermometer. There is essentially zero evidence of any mercury toxicity to the millions of children who did this. [I had a pint bottle of metallic mercury to play with, with which I among other things made my own barometer and other scientific instruments.]

    If readers here think my father was unconcerned about toxicity of chemicals and environmental exposures.. think again. He was the one who gave me my copy of Silent Spring when it first was published. Tho I now know that book contains some serious errors of fact, the SPIRIT of concern about the environment it is imbued with is, I believe, a very good thing. I also recall my father's awareness of and concern about the very real danger of serious toxic effects from discarded and broken fluorescent tube of the earliest generation of that technology, when beryllium compounds were used in the phosphor. Those compounds WERE viciously, seriously toxic, and fortunately were soon replaced in fluorescent bulb manufacture by relatively harmless phosphors. Note the concerns about the minute amounts of mercury in fluorescent bulbs is mostly misplaced, for the amounts are tiny and the form is of metallic mercury, a relatively harmless form of mercury. Still, I am all for the replacement of fluorescent bub technology with the more energy efficient and in other ways superior LED lighting technology, which continues to get better and better, and already is superior in most applications to fluorescent lighting. The current mostly lunatic wave of concern about color temperature of LED light and the proven non-existent Seasonal Affective Disorder nonsense relating to this notwithstanding.

    It's one thing to be concerned about toxicity and the environment. But it's critical to have those concerns based on real evidence and good science and medicine, as opposed to nut-case lunatic rants from ideology-driven true believers who are ignorant of both science and medicine, and lack both knowledge of and respect for scientific method and good clinical study.

    Again, if you really want to know the truth about the efficacy or lack thereof of a therapy, medicine, procedure, etc. in medicine, check out the Cochrane Foundation meta studies of it. David B, I suspect, doesn't even know what a Cochrane study is, or how to read one.

    By the way, David Barouh… I want to thank you for your kind offer (a few posts back) to sell me the Brooklyn Bridge. It IS a lovely bridge, my favorite of all suspension bridges (I prefer it even to the Golden Gate Bridge, another lovely bridge which happens to be in the area I live in half of the year), but I fear I must decline your offer, for I fear you are in error in your belief you hold title to it. Next time be more careful when an Iowa farmer takes your money and hands you a "deed" scrawled in pencil on a napkin, OK?


    (proud to be bred, born, and raised in Brooklyn… who now lives roughly half of the year two minutes walk from the glorious and beautiful Brooklyn Bridge, and walks over it at least once a day when he's in town)

    Comment by Martin H Goodman — August 13, 2016 @ 7:57 pm

  67. I guess I should have guessed that Martin Goodman was, like all good Marxists, completely lined up behind the corporate position on nuclear power plants. Here is someone who calls himself a Marxist, and has not cited a single source for any of his pseudoscientific beliefs and slurs against my postings and that of others, who actually in 2016 defends nuclear power as safe. That’s after Three Mile Island, after Chernobyl, and after Fukushima, the latter having been built by General Electric and of the same production class as NYS’s Indian Point.

    Apparently Martin Goodman likes to slur people by calling them “unscientific” even a licensed attorney such as myself, who is Bronx Science educated, who worked for EPA, and was an anti-nuke organizer who spearheaded the effort to shut down a nuclear waste disposal site and co-produced a special for NBC news aired on 1/26/77 on nuclear waste disposal. Perhaps Martin is so amazingly naive that he actually thinks it’s possible, aside from all of the infinite number of things that can go wrong with nuclear power plants while active, to safely store radioactive waste. Or does he think that being “scientific” means discussing nuclear power plants without mentioning that high level N-waste has a half-life of 4 billion years? That’s science, but he’d rather name call – because he has no facts.

    I read “No Nukes” back in the 70s. Apparently Martin did not. And I read “We Almost Detroit” about the partial core meltdown of the Enrico Fermi reactor, which I bet Martin has never heard of. Or the worker who had to deal with this, whose body was so radioactive after he died in the accident, that it had to be chopped up into parts and buried separately. Way to go in supporting workers, Marty! Maybe you should go work on the Fukushima cleanup if you think nukes are so are.

    I’ve also read the Price-Anderson act, which limits liability in nuclear accidents, which was pushed through Congress by the insurance industry, because they know how dangerous nuclear power is.

    And then there’s “Toxic Sludge Is Good for You”, which contains an entire chapter on how nuclear power plants were pushed to the American people after WWII, in the “peaceful atom” campaign. Apparently, corporate propaganda is good enough for true Marxist Martin Goodman.

    Then there is Michio Kaku, one of the world’s pre-eminent nuclear physicist, who made public that he evacuated his family from Tokyo after Fukushima, and gave numerous press conferences (which I guess Martin was not watching), on the hazards of nuclear power plants as illustrated by the real-world disaster at Fukushima and the continuing threat it poses to marine life and planetary survival.

    I’ll take award-winning Michio Kaku and his position as nuclear physicist expert of choice for many TV stations, over Martin Goodman any day.

    I assume that he has no familiarity with Arne Gunderson, a nuclear engineer, who has been against nuclear power, and who reported on the impact of Fukushima on Japan, after conducting soil tests on sidewalk soil samples in Tokyo (it’s highly radioactive in many places).

    Goodman’s only comeback is to up the ante on his name calling of me, but to not produce a single authority or book refuting anything I have cited in my posts, on any of these topics.

    It’s truly amazing that 40 years into the anti-nuke movement, with reams of Congressional testimony regarding the hazards of burying and storing nuclear waste, that there’s someone calling themselves a Marxist who hasn’t gotten the memo yet on nuclear power.

    And I’m amazed at the misogyny of someone who did not work for EPA, who has not studied scientific materials on nuclear waste, calling me “anti-sicence”. Apparently Martin Goodman has never read the same Congressional testimony that I’ve read. My information was fact-checked by NBC. I was referred to NBC by a Pulitzer prize winning journalist David Ross-Stevens of the Louisville Courier Journal, who was impressed enough with my knowledge of nuclear waste and disposal issues and testimony before the Kentucky State Legislative Research Commission on the subject, that he thought it was newsworthy.

    I’m so glad that most Marxists are far more enlightened than Martini Goodman, who appears to be stuck in the 1840s when it comes to the hazards of modern technology.

    Comment by iamselma — August 13, 2016 @ 10:33 pm

  68. I just checked the SWP and Socialist Party website. The SWP in England is anti-nuke: https://socialistworker.co.uk/art/36734/We+dont+need+nuclear+power
    The Socialist Party of America has called for an end to nuclear power plants and for decommissioning existing ones. However, the SWP has gone all out in its support of nukes after Fukushima, as Louis Proyect has written about previously: https://louisproyect.org/2012/03/26/the-militant-newspaper-goes-nuke/

    Comment by iamselma — August 14, 2016 @ 12:40 am

  69. My knowledge of surgery comes from my ex husband, an MD who studied surgery as a medical student at Boston U. Medical School and had surgical training, and from other doctors I have known. I’ve never heard of brain surgery being performed without anesthetic. It certainly is not standard operating procedure.

    Comment by iamselma — August 14, 2016 @ 1:03 am

  70. “Evidence based”, “scientific” automotive engineering also produced the Ford Pinto, Marty, as well as Thalidomide.

    Comment by iamselma — August 14, 2016 @ 1:07 am

  71. Correction- thalidomide was the product of “evidence based” medical research

    Comment by iamselma — August 14, 2016 @ 1:07 am

  72. There is a point — I think we’ve reached it here — where argument is meaningless. Martin Goodman and his enablers should be arguing (as my friend Bob Fitch used to, and which was a much more compelling position) that “Yes, nuclear power plants are dangerous but the alternative is worse.” Same with GMOs, industrial production, vaccinations, the mass application of chemical pesticides, nuclear weapons, plastics and corporate pollution. But they don’t. Instead they wrap themselves in the flag of the industries developed by capitalism (as though socialism would not develop far different and ecologically sound scientific advances) and at best only seek to rescue the existing profit-laden techniques from — how did Marx put it? — their “dialectical integuments”.

    At what point does quantity turn into quality? The dangers of nuclear power plants are so earth-transforming that Martin et al., to stay true to his True Believer status, has no choice but to now attack the lowering of the amount of additional radiation considered safe — David W., do you agree with Marty there? — as anti-scientific and thus counter-revolutionary.

    So Martin has painted himself into a corner and has to emit ever more ludicrous statements to shore up his wrong-headed approach, which he as he recounts in his own autobiographical posts is vested in.

    What we have here is a failure to excommunicate. Each side calls the other “anti-scientific” (meaning “counter-revolutionary”), as though this version of “Science” is an all-purpose industrial cleaner useful for scrubbing that famed dustbin of its historical heretics and critics of that false version of Science… including Marx.

    If you’d like to read what I’ve written about Fukushima and nuclear power plants, please check out http://www.mitchelcohen.com/?p=2370 and http://www.mitchelcohen.com/?p=1115 .

    On pesticides, please see http://www.NoSpray.org.

    We began this thread with the question of whether Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein was anti-vaccination, as Martin and others claim. We diverted into the much more fun argument over vaccinations themselves. I thought Louis Proyect posted a very interesting analysis of the argument as it involves actual statements made by or attributed to Jill Stein herself (and we may as well include here Dr. Margaret Flowers, Green Party candidate for U.S. Senate in Maryland). The Green Party doctors, it turns out, are much more thoughtful and dialectical medical professionals than the self-described “socialist” Dr. Goodman. Go figure!

    Mitchel Cohen
    Brooklyn Greens / Green Party

    Comment by Mitchel Cohen — August 14, 2016 @ 10:44 am

  73. Marty has an interesting way of responding in debates like these, namely, colorful descriptions of what he considers the characteristics of those he’s debating with. A sampling of such descriptions: “denial of rationality, evidence based medicine, science, what have you,” “true believers,” “malignant lunacy,” “malignant quack drivel,” “nut case claims,”  “quackery,” “lunatic rants,” “foul noxious drivel,” “quoting entirely out of context” while never bothering to instruct us on just what the missing context is, and many more, all describing “shrill, goose-stepping, politically correct” and “ideology-driven true believers,” namely, one’s debating opponents.

    (Note to Marty: such showers of lurid putdowns and insults quickly inures one to the technique, and they quickly lose their effect. One well-timed and well-placed denigration goes much further toward hurting and alienating your opponent than these sorts of torrents, which have the counter effects of instilling a certain affection and admiration for the person’s total dedication to the technique.)

    In any case, the technique is accompanied by appeals to “science,” here given in the form of statements such as “countless big, good studies,” “real evidence,” “good science and medicine,” “the truth and integrity and rationality of our statements,” and so on. Who can argue with that? 

    That actual rationales, responses to specific claims, or specific examples of all that “good science” is more often than not left out is, I guess, not important.

    Comment by David Barouh — August 14, 2016 @ 1:31 pm

  74. Thanks, David for highlighting the various insults and verbal abuse Mr. Goodman has hurled at me. And hurled is the proper word, as his rhetoric is nothing so much as vomiting up insults and bile. He could be the poster boy for “venting one’s spleen”. I didn’t have time to read all of them. And I see I’m not the only one who has noticed that Mr. Goodman seems to be so busy crafting insults and pointed barbs, that he doesn’t have time to read facts that are presented to him, let alone google the source materials he claims to be so well versed in studying. First, he demands and challenges people for facts and science. Then, when you give it that to him, he dismisses it with a flourish of the wrist, because he won’t deign to actually cite any articles or facts or authorities to prove his point. He seems to be one of those obsessives who enters into a debate not to educate, not to convince, but to spew bile. And spew he does, better than The Donald.

    Comment by iamselma — August 14, 2016 @ 1:46 pm

  75. Hi David (Barouh) …

    So, you have inoculated yourself against Dr. Martin Goodman’s blitz of ad-hominems! Congratulations on your first vaccination! Hopefully there was no mercury or other harmful adjuvants, and you’ll come out of this in one piece. (What is it with the language of medicine, anyway? I always thought “free radicals” should be a good label, no? And “antibodies” — why always so negative?)

    I see that Marty and David W. for some reason assign the label “Michael” to their scapegoats. I guess they think there’s something twisted in rowing the boat ashore. Or is it just their typical carelessness? Probably stretches to everything else they read and post.

    Mitchel Cohen

    Comment by Mitchel Cohen — August 14, 2016 @ 4:26 pm

  76. Hi again Marty, it occurred to me that I would actually like to know how you actually view vaccines (and I suppose amalgam fillings now that we’ve introduced them). Do you consider them both, or one or the other, completely safe without any risk to anyone, or, as in the case of vaccines, as I’ve understood the consensus medical opinion of them, that they do have some risk to some people, but that the immunity they provide to the far greater number outweighs any such risk to a minority of vulnerable people, i.e., that the risk-reward ratio favors taking vaccines?

    It would clarify a lot, and might provide for greater understanding between the two paths this thread has split into.

    Oh, and by the way, Mitchel (or should I call you Michael for the sake of this thread?) this was not my first inoculation (metaphorical or otherwise). I had two as a child: smallpox and polio. Then, in the Army, I had a veritable boatload of them, for everything imaginable at the time (late ’60s), but none since then. And that’s the way I’ll (hopefully–but in this country you never know)) keep it.

    Comment by David Barouh — August 14, 2016 @ 5:58 pm

  77. The mercury in Thimerisol is not the only objectionable thing in vaccines. Martin Goodman has yet to respond to the facts set forth in the NY Magazine article on the contamination of millions of doses of the polio vaccine in NYS with the SV-40 simian virus. As most vaccines contain dead animal body parts, there is always the risk of contamination. That’s why the US Surgeon General Leonard Scheele joined in with the leading Harvard virologist, a Nobel Laureate, and Dr. Jonas Salk himself, in voicing their objections to the polio vaccine manufacturing plan as it stood in 1955. Yet nowhere does Martin cite any authority contradicting or disproving these facts. Martin seems to lack a fundamental understanding of the rules of debate. A rental of “The Great Debaters” is in order.

    The other highly problematic ingredient in vaccines is formaldehyde, which is necessary to kill the live virus in the vaccine. However, formaldehyde is highly carcinogenic and there is not safe level of it in the human body. But nowhere do I see Martin quoting any scientific data disproving that formaldehyde has already been classified as a known carcinogen http://www.cancer.gov/about-cancer/causes-prevention/risk/substances/formaldehyde/formaldehyde-fact-sheet

    This government website acknowledges that it does not know the long-term effects of exposure, which is another way of saying that the government did not see fit to put funds into studying or monitoring the effects of formaldehyde use on human health.

    Comment by iamselma — August 15, 2016 @ 12:29 am

  78. If someone insists the earth is flat, and posts a dozen times in answer to posts that contradict this, cite space photos, math, physics, etc. it is not inappropriate to refer to that contention as lunacy, the act of a true-believer, one who is ignorant and gullible. To call such a flat-earther a “wacko”. The notions supported by some of those posting here… homeopathy, acupuncture anesthesia, the SV40 Polio lies or the claims of harm form mercury amalgam… are at that level.

    The truly contemptible Green Party recently revised its platform on medical care, to remove the words “homeopathy” and “Traditional Chinese Medicine” as explicitly supported, and to remove a particularly idiotic gross falsehood that proclaimed “alternative medicine usually works best for chronic diseases” (alternative medicine actually is entirely worthless and works for NOTHING, of course). But then it substituted support for alternative and integrative (read QUACK) medicine of all kinds, thus actually changing NOTHING. As with Jill Stein’s sleazoid remarks to the Washington post, this was a PURELY cosmetic change intended to gain some added deniability, but not change anything in substance. IF any have doubts what a bunch of cynical pro-quacker liars the leaders of the Green Party are, note that in this “platform change” they added that they support “legally licensed” medical therapies. The assumption here is that IF quackery happens to be sanctioned by those in government (in response to pressure from multi-billion dollar lobbies in some cases) THAT must be proof that these are valid medical therapies supported by evidence.

    It’s hardly surprising that those who have no clue as to how truth is determined in science or medicine have the absurd notion that scientific and medical truth has a left or right political character. It doesn’t. The law of gravity is not leftist or rightist. It’s not capitalist or socialist or communist. It just IS. And if you try to violate it, no matter what your political ideology, IT will triumph. Same is true for all truth and falsehood in science and medicine, if properly established by honest scientific method and quality clinical study. Lysenkoists and Green Party pro-quackery anti-nuclear dogma-driven liars and nut-cases not withstanding. Same for right wing anti-fluoridation nut cases. I’ve focused on the (pseudo) leftest anti-science nut cases here, because this site seems currently to be a haven for such. And because I’ve all my life been a far leftist. For the record, tho, there are just as many anti-science and pro quackery nuts on the right as on the left. This is not a political question. It’s one of education and rationality in science and medicine.

    At this point, dealing with those whose mental function lacks intellectual honesty and is bounded by dogma and ideology and catechism has become tiresome.


    Comment by Martin H Goodman — August 15, 2016 @ 6:43 pm

  79. Marty, I’m disappointed that you haven’t responded to my last comment in which I asked if you felt vaccines and amalgams—but especially vaccines—were completely safe or whether they did carry some danger for some people, but that their risk-reward ratio favored taking them, as I understand is Medicine’s official position. I was seriously hoping to get some clarification on that score about your position.

    I had also much earlier commented on your statement to the effect that medicines and vaccines deserved the credit for the great reduction in the communicable diseases of the past. I counterposed the thought that the lion’s share of that credit should rightly go to the last century’s great public health infrastructure advances, which also went uncommented on.

    I’m not asking for citations or any of that, just your opinion. Hope you’ll indulge me at least on these points.


    Comment by David Barouh — August 17, 2016 @ 12:48 am

  80. When you start talking about science you’re way out of your league. Stein is reciting decades-old bromides deeply embedded into the minds of leftists of her generation, that anything with the word nuclear in it is inherently evil, big pharma = Nazi scientists in league with The Man to turn us into mindless drones for The System, the way to save the oceans is to motor around in them on a boat that belches black clouds of heating oil smoke, yelling slogans and throwing stink bombs at a couple whaling ships. Unfortunately for her and for you, the general public did not come of age in an acid-induced haze at SDS meetings, and especially with the younger generation, showing sympathy towards anti-vaccine and general anti-science fringe theorists marks you as a bit of a crackpot.

    Comment by Davide — August 17, 2016 @ 1:57 am

  81. This post sounds suspiciously like our friend Marty. But I’d still like to know Marty’s actual positions on some important aspects of vaccines and public health. Instead, all we get is just more of his opinions about people who don’t “believe in science.” We know that already.

    Comment by David Barouh — August 17, 2016 @ 5:07 pm

  82. Davide’s insufferable, arrogant, and dimwitted characterization of Stein is slanderous. There are no “bromides deeply embedded in rational skepticism about to the minds of leftists of [her and my] generation,” rather there is a rational skepticism about the official version of science based on the always-corrupt policies of the neoliberal state and the swarm of “scientific” enterprises that flourish in it.

    One simply does not know whom to trust. Case in point the scientific and technical experts of the capitalist nuclear industry and their kept companions in the universities and the NRC, etc. One can hardly “leave it to the experts” if these are the experts.

    If thiomersal is harmless, pure, and beneficial, why has the poor, maligned Pharma industry seen fit to remove it from vaccines given to children? Are we meant to weep for their suffering? Has a crown of thorns been placed on the brow of Science by a conspiracy of limp-wristed lefty weaklings?

    Of course thiomersal is not the result of a conspiracy to poison children. But that does not mean that its use is beyond criticism, at the very least by scientifically qualified observers like Dr. Stein.

    See Louis’s succinct citation on nuclear waste in response to Walters (who be it noted however, at least in my opinion, should be taken seriously and does not deserve comparison with this pseudonymous shitwipe.)

    Are we to take the vitriolic denunciations of a categorical son of a bitch like Davide as the last word on “science”? Who appointed this gutless asshole who doesn’t even have the nous to use an identifiable name?

    I don’t place much stock in the fulminations of “Baroulh” or–now that I’ve seen more of it–those of iamselma, although iamselma makes a number of worthwhile points while defending chiropractic, acupuncture, and homeopathy, which are IMHO scientifically indefensible except in cases where they do no harm.

    I also believe that there are a lot of reactionary currents embedded in the Green Party–I suspect there are a lot of lovers of “green capitalism,” for example, in the Green Party–a particularly nauseating load of bushwah floated regularly by the semiliterates who comment on Truthout, for example.

    I also personally have a door open for consideration of some nuclear power technology (e.g. the Thorium LFTR)–a position that is anathema to all Greens. (Though a total antinuclear stance such as that taken by the Greens is a rational position which I hope I will always discuss respectfully.)

    But this vicious personal attack on Stein is simply not rational or based on any real evidence.

    Davide, you are nothing but a coward, a bully, and a prick–and basically stupid into the bargain.

    The only indefensible bromides here are those embedded in your non-existent intellect.

    Comment by Pete Glosser — August 17, 2016 @ 5:24 pm

  83. Dear Pete- I’m wondering if I told you that I hated the Ford Pinto- would you call me “anti-engineering”? If I told you I hated Thalidomide, would you call me “anti-medicine” or “anti-science”? I assume you’ve never been to my chiropractor, so until you have, it’s really not your place to tell me that it does not work when it does or to deny that I feel absolutely fantastic after my adjustments and that it has helped keep me in good health and energy. It’s like abortion- if you don’t like it, don’t have one. I was rear ended by an SUV in 2006 and had a very serious nerve and back injury and my chiropractor brought me back to full functioning, when my range of motion had been so limited that I could not touch my toes. My recovery did not happen by itself. Most people wind up hobbled and in bad pain for the rest of their lives or taking pain pills.

    Chiropractors actually go to school to study and have to take licensing exams. I’m betting you know next to nothing about chiropractic. I find that the people who are most opposed to bodywork and quick to say that it is useless are those who are not particularly in touch with your body, meaning unaware of your posture, breath, gait, and internal experiences, or of your movement. Chiropractic works to align the body. But feel free to take Oxycontin for pain and do nothing to correct the effects of falls, accidents, or gravity. I am wondering what you do to stay energetic? Drink 2 cups of coffee per day?

    And because I avoid drugs and use natural, health supportive ways to heal, and have followed a natural foods, mostly organic diet for most of the past 45 years, this is how I looked last year, at age 64. https://www.okcupid.com/profile

    I find it insufferably arrogant, condescending, and ignorant that people who have never attended a lecture as to how acupuncture works, or experienced a treatment, or used homeopathy, which millions of people use, are so quick to dismiss it as garbage and want to ban it.

    I’m wondering: what do you do when you fall and hurt yourself and have back pain, since you think your knowledge is so superior to mine?


    Comment by iamselma — August 18, 2016 @ 6:01 am

  84. Yours is much more articulate, but check out my page if you’d like to see my take on this same issue.

    Comment by bruiserandelle — August 23, 2016 @ 8:05 am

  85. I like your blog very much. I’m also a huge fan of BBT!

    Comment by iamselma — August 24, 2016 @ 4:09 am

  86. I recently wrote an article addressing this issue at length. I provide arguments and evidence from both sides, ultimately, utilizing peer reviewed journals/data to come to a conclusion. Much of this evidence is new and provides a better understanding of various biological mechanisms. Please read the article below.


    Comment by paradigmshift101 — October 17, 2016 @ 7:45 pm

  87. To the absolute nonsense Martin Goodman has written regarding my comment on nuclear waste. He shows zero knowledge of the Maxey Flats Nuclear Waste Disposal site. His mansplaining of nuclear waste is amusing. The fact is that the Kentucky Historical Society archives attest to the history that I know firsthand: that high-level plutonium was in fact buried in steel drums 40 feet beneath the ground, in shale deposits. I co-produced a documentary for NBC News on the subject that was aired on January 16, 1977. It tells a lot of the story. Goodman’s discussion of various types of nuclear waste and his assumption that plutonium was not buried at Maxey Flats or Rocky Flats is patently absurd. Apparently, he has never read “We Almost Lost Detroit” or “No Nukes” as well.

    And apparently has not heard of a little incident in 2011 called Fukushima. Or another little incident in 1986 called Chernobyl.

    Comment by iamselma — January 6, 2018 @ 4:34 am

  88. typo- the documentary was aired January 26, 1977.

    Comment by iamselma — January 6, 2018 @ 4:35 am

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