Friday, September 08, 2006

Suppressed Science and Escharotic agents

One thing I really enjoy doing when I attend a scientific conference is getting together with my nerdy science buddies from graduate school and laughing over a few beers about how good we are at suppressing cures for cancer etc. We got into science so we could make discoveries that could change the world and then hide them from everyone. It really is quite hillarious.

What am I ranting about? A letter to the editor in todays Adirondack Daily Enterprise. Rather than link to it, let me post the entire letter (actually I will link also in case you think I made this up).
Recently, Ms. Marcia Van Horn of Beltsville, Md., commenting on “Taking your medicine at the point of a gun,” quite properly notes that it is somewhat inflammatory. On the other hand, her statement that “we have not wasted billions of dollars on cancer research with little to show for it” cannot go unchallenged. The fact is that 30 years of expensive cancer research has resulted in very little change in cancer death rates.

There is plenty of evidence that successful cancer treatments have been suppressed. Daniel Haley’s book, “Politics in Healing,” financed by a former member of Congress frustrated in his attempts to promote alternative medicine in the National Institutes of Health, contains information about multiple suppressions. My book, “Suppressed Science,” provides the results of my independent research on this subject.

Haley devotes 35 pages to the Hoxey cancer treatment which Cherrix went to Mexico to obtain. He notes that in 1957, the Hoxey Clinic in Dallas, Texas was forced to close after 20 years of offering treatments for cancer, found effective by two juries, because the Texas Legislature had been induced to pass a law stating that no doctor could work for a non-doctor. Previously, in 1954, a committee of 10 independent physicians from nine states made an intensive two-day study of the clinic, its patient records and its techniques and concluded that his treatment was “superior to such conventional methods of treatment as X-ray, radium and surgery.” His standard fee for lifetime treatment in the 1950s was said to be $400 with no charge for the poor, about 25 percent of his patients.

It is a fact that many people are not adequately informed about alternative medical treatments. Daniel Haley and I have been independently trying to replace misinformation with the facts regarding some of them. He has suggested that people will need to get “pitchfork mad” in order to affect change.

People not only need to know the facts about effective alternative medical treatments, but they also need access to them and the right to utilize them if desired.

George Washington’s surgeon general wanted freedom of choice in medical care enshrined in our Constitution. We should at least have it enacted into law.

Jack Phillips

Saranac Lake

First of all, who is Jack Phillips. He is the author of a book called "Suppressed Science" published by the American Free Press. Mr. Phillips, a rocket scientist (no really!) evidently believes that the US government and the NIH are in cahoots in hiding cancer cures among other cool scientific discoveries such as dowsing.

Mr. Phillips is evidently a fan of the Hoxey (sic) cancer treatment. John Hoxsey was an Illinois coal miner in the 1920's before he promoted himself as a healer. Hoxsey admitedly had some success in treating surface cancers with what we now call an escharotic agent. He basically dissolved them away using red paste containing antimony sulfide, bloodroot (Sanguinaria canadensis) and zinc chloride; sometimes by a yellow powder containing arsenic and antimony sulfides, various plant substances, talc, and what Hoxsey called yellow precipitate. You can go here to find out more about escharotic agents and why they are not used today.

In any case, despite what Mr. Phillips claims, there is a National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine at the National Institutes of Health where you can apply for grant funds to do research on alternative medicine, including (unfortunately) faith healing. It's highly unlikely anyone is hiding anything and if you can't get your work published, there is probably a reason for it.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

How Bout Those Anti-Bush Republicans

Todd Gitlin has a few questions for you republicans that have had a sudden change of heart about G.W. Bush and of course, I whole heartedly agree. So you are up for re-election, the Iraq War isn't going so well, and your constituents are asking hard questions. As a good Republican supporter of Bush, what are you to do?
It's morally mandatory, a matter of intellectual decency, to demand of Bush's erstwhile Koolaid sippers that they look into themselves, into their willed credulity and their wild ideology, and ask how they could for so long have overlooked the idiocy, corruption, ignorance, fatuousness, bullying, and fantasizing that now strike them as obvious. "Whoops, sorry about that" won't do.

At least the idiot Santorum says "screw my constituents, I'm doing what I think is right". There is a bit to admire there. But you other guys, explain to us how you could have been so wrong for so long.
Biology Lecture

An example

Professors - Don't Get YouTubed

Seems students are posting You Tube videos of their professors online. There is disagreement on whether this is legal or not. To be safe, it's probably best to always be professional during lectures. There is not much you can do about being boring, unfunny etc.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

The Economy is Doing Great

Not only is the war in Iraq going great, so is the economy. See the graphic: median household incomes, 1999-2005 (from Census Bureau). Ask most any Republican congressman.

UPDATE: Turns out this map is wrong. That's what I get for believing a newspaper though. The correct figures can be found here. Kevin Drum provides an analysis here. Still lots and lots of red ink.

Donald Rumsfeld - Morally and Intellectually Confused

So by now everyone has probably heard that our Sec. of Defense Donald Rumsfeld thinks that if you are a critic of the Iraq War, you are nothing more than a nazi appeaser. You are just like Neville Chamberlain unthinkingly shaking Hitlers hand while not realizingl the threat on the horizon.

As Frank Rich says in his NYT editorial:
Here’s how brazen Mr. Rumsfeld was when he invoked Hitler’s appeasers to score his cheap points: Since Hitler was photographed warmly shaking Neville Chamberlain’s hand at Munich in 1938, the only image that comes close to matching it in epochal obsequiousness is the December 1983 photograph of Mr. Rumsfeld himself in Baghdad, warmly shaking the hand of Saddam Hussein in full fascist regalia.

Remember, the above handshake took place after Saddam had gassed the Kurds.

No matter how the ABC TV network> wants to skew history, it was Donald Rumsfeld and his boss that were asleep at the switch on 9/11. I sure hope people remember that come this November.

Small Arms - USA Export Success

The United States still rules with respect to the export of small arms. Graphic from todays NYT.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Labor Day and George Carlin

I don't know if George Carlin said this in relation to Labor Day or not, but he should have.

"And one reason we enjoy it is that we're good at it. You know why we're good at it? Because we get alot of practice. This country is only 200 years old, and already we've had ten major wars. We average a major war every twenty years, So we're good at it!

And it's just as well we are, because we're not very good at anything else. Can't build a decent car anymore. Can't make a TV set, a cell phone, or a VCR. Got no steel industry left. No textiles. Can't educate our young people. Can't get health care to our old people. But we can bomb the shit outta your country, all right. We can bomb the shit outta your country!

If You're Brown, You're Goin Down."