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November 29, 2005

If autos were medicine

"What would happen if you had to buy your car from a company that operated in the same way as the pharmaceutical industries? Mike Adams, the Health Ranger, came up with 15 unsettling changes that would occur." More

Posted by Ray Hewitt at 10:27 PM | Comments (0)

November 22, 2005

The FDA kills

"Dr David Graham, an official at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, independently reported that the use of painkillers known as Cox-2 inhibitors since 1999 resulted in between 89,000 and 139,000 premature deaths from heart attacks or strokes. [Lancet 365(9458):475–81, 2005] Both the COX-2 inhibitor drugs (Vioxx, Celebrex, Bextra) and ibuprofen increase the risk for a mortal heart attack. [British Medical Journal 330:1366, 2005] The heart attacks and strokes emanate from an increased risk for blood clots caused by the COX-2 drugs. [Annals Rheumatic Diseases June 7, 2005

“Whistleblower” Dr. Graham had to travel outside the country to disclose the mortal risks associated with these drugs. His superiors at the Food & Drug Administration were covering up the problem. What goes unreported is that since the 1980s the FDA was also abrogating its duty to educate the public that safer and more appropriate remedies for osteoarthritis are available – namely glucosamine and chondroitin." More

Another completely unknown painkiller is MSM. It's a completely harmless compound that provides an excellent source of dietary sulphur. It can be found in health food stores.

Posted by Ray Hewitt at 08:14 PM | Comments (0)

November 20, 2005

This war is unforgivable

"It's a bad thing to lie about anything. It's bad to lie under oath. It's bad to have sex in the Oval Office. But, in a rational society, it ought to be considered unforgivable to mislead the American people into a war. More than 2,000 young Americans have died in the springtime of their lives, and another 13,000 will carry wounds and scars into what's left of their futures." More

Posted by Ray Hewitt at 08:16 AM | Comments (0)

November 19, 2005

Against all odds

The subject of statistical odds comes up because it is a favorite of 'Intelligent Design' quacks. They argue that the odds of human existence are of such a high magnitude that it can't be accounted for except by introducing the concept of a designer. Never mind that the odds of something existing in non-existence are absolutely impossible, let's go through an exercise that puts the statistical argument where it belongs, in the trash. Question: What are the odds of you or me or any individual being born?

A woman typically emits one egg per month over a fertile lifetime of about thirty five years. That adds up to 420 cycles where she could become pregnant. That brings the odds for one person to one chance in 420. There are about three billion women on this planet, and I'm guessing six billion since human life began.

On the man's side, a man produces from 20 to 150 million sperm per milliliter and about a liter of sperm in a lifetime. Each sperm carries a unique genetic structure. Figure six billion humans since life began.

Each factor multiplies the odds of you being you. The multiple increases another magnitude if we could factor in the odds of your ancestors living long enough and able to reproduce. In short, the odds of you being you are almost infintesimal. Double the odds of you having a certain brother or sister. For every person you know or meet, the odds go up more magnitudes, more so if you fix a certain time and place.

We could go a step further by treating earth as a universe of all living things. Then the magnitude goes into the gazillions. Similarly, the universe is made up an uncountable number of celestial bodies. If there is only one place in the universe where there is biological life, it is only because of the magnititude of permutations and combinations by which each celestial body is unique within itself. For the same reason, no two people, animal or plant are exactly alike.

There is a more fundamental argument here. Does order come from chaos or does order precede chaos? It comes out that we see order because we wouldn't have survived otherwise. But beyond what our senses can sense, the universe is of infinite complexity. The fact that we exist proves we defied the odds. What are the odds that the universe was created by a supernatural being? They are impossible odds - it would be the miracle of all miracles. What are the odds that the idea of a supernatural being was created by humans? When we consider the historical records of the many gods that occupied the human imagination, they are certain odds.

Posted by Ray Hewitt at 12:25 PM | Comments (0)

November 16, 2005

A 'fiscal hurricane' on the horizon

"WASHINGTON (Nov. 15) - The comptroller general of the United States is explaining over eggs how the nation's finances are going to hell. "We face a demographic tsunami" that "will never recede," David Walker tells a group of reporters. He runs through a long list of fiscal challenges, led by the imminent retirement of the baby boomers, whose promised Medicare and Social Security benefits will swamp the federal budget in coming decades." More

Posted by Ray Hewitt at 10:17 PM | Comments (0)

November 14, 2005

Communism and democracy don't work

The idea that we live in a free country is an illusion. If you disagree with that statement, read on. More

Posted by Ray Hewitt at 08:58 PM | Comments (0)

November 13, 2005

What the new bankruptcy law means to you

This topic would not have interested me if I had not been within a whisker of bankruptcy twice in my life; the last time was only recently. If you are shoveling sixteen tons of coal and finding yourself getting one day older and deeper in debt, danger lurks behind those monthly payments.

I don't think it was much more then five years ago, when if you missed a credit card payment, the interest would only accumulate to the next month. Then things started to change. I've had interest rates rise when I was making payments regularly. Then the credit card industry introduced $20-$40 fines. The usury limit used to be 19% annually; now it can be up to 30%. Clearly, the credit industry has gotten nasty. The new bankruptcy law raises the stakes.

Even if you don't anticipate financial problems. If you have a mortgage and or car payments, and you can't seem to pay off your credit cards, it is likely to get worse in the future. Wages are not keeping up with expenses; you're being squeezed. I'm going to give you a reason to redouble your effort to pare down your debt.

"On October 17th, 2005, a lot of things changed for the worse for Americans who are having serious financial troubles. On that date the new Federal bankruptcy law took effect. The new law imposes numerous odious conditions on consumers who need to file for bankruptcy. The new law makes bankruptcy a much more expensive and drawn out process than it is under the current law. This was a law written for big business, with little concern for the individual. No political party can claim any innocence on this law. The heavy lobbying by the credit card industry ensured that this law was passed by hefty majorities in both houses of Congress. The Senate was truly in the pocket of Visa, MasterCard and their ilk, approving the bill by a 75 to 24 margin." More

Posted by Ray Hewitt at 03:15 PM | Comments (0)

Why are Americans living longer?

A reader asked: "If we are eating food that is less healthy and less nutritious than in the past; why do mortality rates continue to climb?" It's a good question and one of the reasons why I believe Americans are too complacent about what they eat.

Here are the facts:
"Most of the improvements in life expectancy have resulted from reductions in infectious diseases among infants and children. The decline in mortality rates for these major killers has been attributed to improvements in public health efforts, medical technologies, and standards of living and hygiene. Today, the leading causes of death are cardiovascular disease (heart disease), malignant neoplasms (cancer), and cerebrovascular disease (stroke)." Source

As I see it, this is more then just a matter of living longer; it's living longer in a healthy state. There is a practical side in me that looks for the cheapest and least risky approach to solving a problem. When a surgeon cuts out a piece of your body, you can't get it back. When a medicine damages your heart, that heart is scarred for life. Most times I see people look for natural cures after permanent damage has been done. You don't have to go through life putting up with aches and pains.

Our bodies are complex organisms built for survival, but there are limits to their capacity to heal. Both infectious diseases and metabolic diseases are telltale signs that their capacity has been overwhelmed. Mainstream medicine is built on a palliative model - low toxity doses, surgery and radiation treat the symptom, thereby pushing the offending nutritional imbalance to some other part of your body. Natural cures correct those imbalances where they began, at the mouth.

There is a constant war going on between the atmospheric soup of microogranisms we live in and our bodies. It is important to remember that they are scavengers. They feed on waste; they can't feed on living tissue without a catalyst. Americans are usually mindful of how junk foods cause cavities. Well, those harms extend to your G.I. tract too. You may shower every day, but your G.I. tract could be a veritable dumping ground - acidic, putrified, anerobic waste - the ideal environment for disease microorganisms. When you die, your body rots from within first. When that stuff leaks through your intestines, it causes inflammations, allergies, colds, flu, obesity, cholosterol buildup, arthritis and all kinds of mischief.

Those early warning symptoms are treasures. Just like when you feel pain for touching a hot surface, you reactively pull away. If you silence them via the palliative route, you are only inviting worse problems that may not manifest until years or decades later.

Posted by Ray Hewitt at 12:31 PM | Comments (0)

Real economy turning down

"The approaching economic tragedy for Americans is that even with all this spending/borrowing, the real US economy is turning down. Once the artificial stimulus of deficit spending and the internal and just as economically artificial US internal credit expansion is withdrawn, the US civil economy is on a track which points straight towards an economic contraction on a scale exceeding the Dirty Thirties. Having placed consumption above savings in the early 1960s and therefore under-invested in its capital stock of plant and equipment, the US has ended up consuming its once massive manufacturing machine." More

Posted by Ray Hewitt at 09:37 AM | Comments (0)

November 06, 2005

We Don’t Need Them

I found this essay so eloquent I thought I would pass it on to readers.

"I’ve never understood the idea of speaking truth to power. The truth, surely, is that in almost all countries of the world, political and economic systems are designed to benefit only the rich and powerful, at the expense of those with less money and power. This is how the world works, and I see no reason to think that the powerful don’t already understand that. After all, they designed it; they maintain it." More

Posted by Ray Hewitt at 09:06 PM | Comments (0)