Saturday, April 07, 2007

Reiki "Attunement"

The attunement process is how one becomes a Reiki "Master". Getting "attuned" allows you to access the universal life force energy for healing purposes. So how is this done?

The attunement process is one of spirit. Reiki symbols and gestures are used to create an energy pattern around the attunee. The attunement can be permanent or temporary depending on whether the Reiki "Master" uses the symbol for the subconscious or not. So here it is:

  1. Reiki Master "grounds and centers" themselves. They then tell the attunee how to "ground and center themselves.
  2. Master walks around the attunee in one full circle and then stands behind them because one part of the "ceremony" is done behind the attunee [probably cuz the master is laughing their ass off] and part of the process takes place in front of the attunee.
  3. Hold left hand up to attunee because the left hand receives energy while the right hand gives energy [does it matter if you are left handed?]
  4. Right hand is used to draw symbols over head of the attunee.
  5. Take attunee's hands for a moment then draw symbol over the attunee's hands while silently chanting the symbol name three times.
  6. Visualize the master symbol in violet and lightly blow twice from the base chakra to the crown chakra [what if you are color blind?]
  7. Lightly touch the forehead (third eye).
  8. Draw the symbols over the forehead while chanting the names of the symbols 3 times.
  9. Gently separate the hands and visualize the master symbol again while blowing from the base to the crown.
  10. Visualize the master symbol in the palm of your right hand and hold it over the palm of the attunee's left hand.
  11. Lightly slap the your right palm into the attunee's left palm.
  12. Repeat 10 and 11 but switch hands.
  13. While visualizing the master symbol, blow into the area between their hands while bringing their palms together again.
  14. Give back their hands and gently touch them in the heart area, visualizing that you've given them back to themselves.
  15. Step back and bow honoring them for who they are.
No, I'm not making this up. See for yourself here.

You can get a free long-distance Reiki "healing" here. Let me know how it goes.

A note of caution:
Many times the practitioner must place their hands very near (or on) body parts most consider to be private (genitalia). As a system of treating the entire body one certainly would not want to leave such body parts out of treatment. At the same time there is matters of privacy to protect. Would you expect a doctor to not treat those areas simply out of a sense of privacy or embarassment? No!

Giant Rabbit Eaten by Dear Leader!

The owner of the giant rabbits that were sent to N. Korea is a bit upset.
The 23 1/2 pound uberbunny was sent to Pyongyang last year along with 11 others "with the aim of setting up a breeding program to alleviate famine, " only to end up on Dear Leader Kim Jong-il's birthday banquet table on February 16th.

Henry, Dick and Doug

Anyone that is a fan of the tv series "Lost" knows that Henry, the leader of the "others", is a big liar. You can't believe anything that comes out of his mouth.

But an even bigger liar, and you can use the word liar now, is this man. The Vice President of the USA is still claiming that Iraq was involved in the 9/11 attacks on the USA.

We knew he was lying about this for quite awhile and he will probably go on lying about it. But the latest intelligence reports from captured Iraqi documents and "interrogations" of high level Iraqis provide even more evidence that VP Cheney's assertations are lies. Cheney should be impeached and this man,

Undersecretary of Defense Douglas J. Feith, who was described by Gen. Tommy Franks as "the dumbest fucking guy on the planet" should be in prison for helping Cheney dupe the Nation.

The CIA was not alone, the defense report emphasized. The Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) had concluded that year that "available reporting is not firm enough to demonstrate an ongoing relationship" between the Iraqi regime and al-Qaeda, it said.

But the contrary conclusions reached by Feith's office -- and leaked to the conservative Weekly Standard magazine before the war -- were publicly praised by Cheney as the best source of information on the topic, a circumstance the Pentagon report cites in documenting the impact of what it described as "inappropriate" work.

NYT - An Easter Sermon

Todays NYT guest column by Robert Wright called "An Easter Sermon" is worth a read (it's a "select" article). Here is his basic message:
The key distinction is between man and meme. Yes, a great power can always kill and torment enemies, and, yes, there will always be times when that makes sense. Still, when you’re dealing with terrorists, it’s their memes — their ideas, their attitudes — that are Public Enemy No. 1. Jihadists are hosts for the virus of hatred, and the object of the game is to keep the virus from finding new hosts.
Mr. Bush says his favorite philosopher is Jesus. One way to show it would be to spend less time repeating the mistake of the Romans and more time heeding the wisdom of Christ.

Baby Boomers

Visit Baby Boomers. This is an apparently little known organization that represents Baby Boomers the way AARP represents retired people. It is obviously somewhat of a startup organization but you can find out what happened in the year in which you were born.

Did you know that Silly Putty was invented in 1949?

Friday, April 06, 2007

Taxes Spent on Quackery

National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM), like any other NIH Center or Institute, gives grant funds scientists outside the NIH. Dr. Gary Schwartz has been one of the lucky recipients of NIH grantfunds.

Dr. Schwartz is a faculty member at the University of Arizona and director of the VERITAS Research Program. Here is the Programs answer to FAQ "Are mediums for real"?
Our research supports the hypothesis that individuals survive physical death (survival of consciousness) and that certain mediums can receive and convey accurate information from them. Our research also eliminates several paranormal and non-paranormal explanations for the information mediums convey including fraud, cold-reading, general information, and telepathy. However, to date, the research also supports other less plausible paranormal hypotheses, such as super-psi (discussed in several essays on our Further Reading page).
Dr. Schwartz has published his findings for all to read in the book pictured above. Yes, he actually claims he has scientific proof of an afterlife! But, it's worth read this interesting commentary called "What if Gary Schwartz is Right?"

As for the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, you can read one man's opinion about that center here.

Here's Joe Klein - Late to the party

From a Time Magazine editorial:

When Bush came to office--installed by the Supreme Court after receiving fewer votes than Al Gore--I speculated that the new President would have to govern in a bipartisan manner to be successful. He chose the opposite path, and his hyper-partisanship has proved to be a travesty of governance and a comprehensive failure. I've tried to be respectful of the man and the office, but the three defining sins of the Bush Administration--arrogance, incompetence, cynicism--are congenital: they're part of his personality. They're not likely to change. And it is increasingly difficult to imagine yet another two years of slow bleed with a leader so clearly unfit to lead.
Better late than never I guess.

This is too good not to post

I'm certainly not a big fan of either of these guys. But I do love watching that psycho O'Reilly loosing it on national tv.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Energy healing is real - and valuable

I guess I deserve this because I know I brought it upon myself. Commenting on what is basically Faith Healing was a stupid thing to do. Note to self: do not challenge someone's faith. Thing is...I wasn't challenging anyones faith. I was and am only saying that there is something called cause and effect. Here's an example. The other day I went outside and did a very short rain dance. Later in the day it actually rained. Was it because of my rain dance? I doubt it. Is it too much to ask that so-called energy healers prove that they are the cause of their perceived effects? Evidently it is.

From todays
Adirondack Daily Enterprise (with my comments in blue)

It’s been interesting to read Peter Sayles comments about Pat Dionne-Dickson’s participation in the high school’s Wellness Day. His criticism of her profession because it cannot be proven using the scientific method has given me food for thought.

Well at least I made one person think.

I worked in the plant science industry for more than 30 years and have had a lot of training in biology and botany. My mother was a nurse, and my father was the supervisor of the X-Ray Technology program before it became part of NCCC. They both cured here for tuberculosis. Because of that, much of my world has revolved around the medical/science world and the scientific method of research.

One of the cardinal signs of a pseudoscientist is the need to present their "credentials".

Nearly two years ago at a meeting I attended, Pat Dionne-Dickson gave a presentation on the Chakra energy system that is in all of us. When she did an exercise with us to show us how to feel our own energy, I (and others there) could feel it. I was stunned. This challenged me to be open to a new way of thinking about how the human body works. After almost two years of reading and taking classes in this area, I have no doubt that energy systems exist in the body. That I can feel it, move it, bring it in to me and share it with someone else continues to amaze and intrigue me. The question is, what can be done with this energy, and how is it to be used in ethical and good, health-promoting ways?

I'm glad you have no doubt about the effects of your new found powers, I'm glad you have found a new way of thinking and I'm glad you have decided to use your new powers for the good of mankind. What does this have to do with science, the scientific method and reason though? And, the question is does this so-called energy have a scientific or pseudoscientific basis? Ms. Dudones is more impressed with her apparent ability to "feel it, move it, bring it in me..." etc than she is with explanations that have proven, reasonable mechanisms. This is the type of thinking that differentiates pseudoscientists from scientists.

There is, as reflected in the tone of Mr. Sayles’ writing, a good bit of criticism of the energy system idea and alternative and complementary medicine by some in the scientific community because it is not provable by their research standards. For years, research in the areas of sociology and psychology were dismissed because the research could not be done as easily as in other scientific areas. How that has changed over time! Weren’t they called pseudosciences, as Mr. Sayles calls energy medicine? The public needs to contact government representatives to demand continued research in this field that is funded by neutral parties, conducted by objective researchers and follows standard, good scientific procedures that cannot be dismissed as poor in quality.

Actually it's probably criticism by most in the scientific community and it's funded by us...the taxpayers. Most scientists think the money being wasted in CAM could be put to better use doing actual science.

Let's face it, the psychology of today is far different from the psychology of yesterday. Psychology actually has a scientific, biological basis now. This is because of good science not in spite of science.

I ask once me a paper published in a peer reviewed, mainstream scientific journal that reveals the scientific basis of "energy medicine". Hell, that's too much to ask. Forget about showing the scientific basis because there is none. Show me a double-blind study where it is shown that energy medicine has had any postive effect on a person.

The guest commentary has a lot to say about what pseudoscience is and is not. Some of the points in both letters are valid, and I am sure there are people in the alternative/complementary medicine world who are not ethical, as there are in every other profession. I object to a tone that gives blanket dismissal of a field where there is plenty of anecdotal evidence going back thousands of years, just because we can’t measure this “energy” yet. I am sure it will be possible, if the dollars to fund the research are allocated.

Oh, so now anecdotal evidence is enough to give something a scientific basis. Another sign of pseudoscience.

Mr. Sayles should have explained that the NIH Center for Alternative and Complementary Medicine’s Web site is a good place to look for information on the many types of energy healing. Some studies are discussed there that do show positive results. Among the challenges to researchers are the lack of equipment that can measure these energy flows and that studies from other cultures — Chinese, for example — are not being translated.

There is not a single study on the NIH website that shows cause and effect positive results of energy medicine. About energy medicine CAM says "The existence of such fields has not yet been scientifically proven."

The combination of Western medicine and some of the “Eastern” healing practices such as meditation, energy system work, acupuncture, etc., as well as prayer, may be the way of the future. If hospitals are now incorporating these techniques into their facilities, hard science notwithstanding, we should consider and investigate using these ancient techniques as an addition to our standard medical treatment. And yes, people should work with their physicians and use good thinking skills in evaluating various programs.

Yeah, this is why so many developing countries in the "East" are shunning "Western" medicine.

Bill Moyers’ book, “Healing and the Mind,” talks about working with the body, mind and spirit for healing across various cultures and also discusses energy healing. It’s in the Saranac Lake Free Library.

Oh Bill Moyers'!!! Why didn't you tell me a world famous scientist like Bill Moyers wrote a book about healing!! WTF?

Mr. Sayles rightly wants to “ensure that the public knows the basis of the health treatments they are receiving have been deemed safe, sound and effective.” We all want that, but the public is wondering why those supposedly using good scientific methods are giving us drugs, health devices and foods that are recalled for safety reasons. Good critical thinking and decision-making skills on the public’s part can only go so far when we have to depend on the scientists and manufacturers to do their jobs correctly. This may be one reason people are searching for additional options.

I have no doubt that this is one of the reasons people are searching for other options. Money and politics should not play a role in approving drugs.

The use of the new scientific method by Saranac Lake’s own Dr. Trudeau was mentioned by Mr. Sayles. He did not mention that in addition to doing research and using the scientific method to help heal his patients, he and the other doctors here firmly believed in the importance of treating the mind and spirit of their patients. That is evident in Dr. Trudeau’s autobiography and issues of the “Journal of the Outdoor Life” that can be found in the library in Saranac Lake. I’m very pleased that Pat and other practitioners of nontraditional medicine have come to the community to add in the holistic component to our health community.

So which is it. Energy medicine is a scientific advance that can cure all our ills, even over a distance or is it really just treating the "mind and the spirit".

I love the "Journal of Outdoor Life". The ads are really funny. Historical, but funny.

Janet Worthington Dudones lives in Saranac Lake.

Does the Bush Admin Support Terrorism?

Evidently long as they are our terrorists. Afterall, you can always call them guerillas. It seems the USA is supporting a "secret war" against Iran. Part of this war includes "guerilla" raids into Iran by a Pakistani tribal militant group called Jundullah.
The group, called Jundullah, is made up of members of the Baluchi tribe and operates out of the Baluchistan province in Pakistan, just across the border from Iran.

It has taken responsibility for the deaths and kidnappings of more than a dozen Iranian soldiers and officials.
The leader of Jundallah, Abd el Malik Regi, is a Sunni activist, part-time drug smuggler who used to fight for the Taliban.
Jundullah is but one of several small terrorist cells that have emerged after the government's crackdown on 'jihadi' elements. According to police officials, some 20 cells, largely splinters of the banned militant outfits, are operating in Karachi, which has become the main center of terrorist activities in recent months. "Many of those involved in the recent terrorist attacks in the city received training in camps in Waziristan," says Tariq Jamil, chief of the Karachi police. "Jundullah has close ties with Al-Qaeda."

NCCC to Stay in SL or Move to LP?

The Alton B. Jones Cell Science Center in Lake Placid, NY

You're going to hear and read alot today about the public meeting held at NCCC yesterday. Architects for the college presented the pros and cons concerning the refurbishment and expansion of NCCC. The two "options" presented in some detail were 1) stay at the present Saranac Lake site and more or less "rebuild" or 2) purchase the old "Cell Science Center" (now called the Upstate Biotech bldg.) and move the campus to Lake Placid. It is estimated that it would cost several million dollars more to stay in Saranac Lake. One surprise announcement is that NCCC has an "option" to purchase the Lake Placid site at an exceptional price. The option expires on April 18th. This announcement upset some of the county legislators that were present at the meeting. They felt they were "under the gun" to make a decision.

Now my two cents. NCCC leaving Saranac Lake could be devastating to the community. If not financially, certainly psychologically. However, the Cell Science Center property and building are spectacular (see above) and are available to the college at a cost that is probably below the assessed value of the property. Whether the college stays in SL or moves to LP, the costs are estimated to be in the $60 million range. What wasn't discussed in detail was staying at the current campus and purchasing the LP site as a "satellite" campus. This seems like a reasonable compromise and at least at first glance should significantly reduce the costs of expansion. How about moving the technical programs (X-ray technology, massage therapy, nursing, recreational leadership etc) to the LP site and keeping the humanities at the SL campus. Schedule the classes such that students can easily commute between the two sites. Run a no cost shuttle bus between the two sites.

It's Got to be About Money

Dr. Leonard Horowitz is supposedly one of the leading natural health proponents in the world. Len has a Dental degree from Tufts University, a Masters of Public Health from Harvard and another Masters in Health Education from Beacon College. He is more than willing to brag about his credentials. He has to. Dr. Horowitz believes some weird stuff; HIV being a man-made virus is one of them. But I can live with that I guess. In his video "Anthrax, Smallpox, Vaccinations and Mark of the Beast" Dr. Horowitz reveals sacred Bible codes that give expanded meaning to the infamous "666" prophecy (Rev: 13:18) while implicating widely trusted vaccinations, medical biochips, politicians, and institutions that have advanced some of the most horrific population-controlling ploys ever conceived. Anthrax, smallpox, and vaccinations are all part of the same deadly swindle. Dr. Horowitz believes that protecting "weak" people from disease is interfering with God's will. Not allowing these "weak" people to die from disease is making the world's population "weaker". Survival of the fittest is Dr. Horowitz's motto.

Horowitz who describes himself as a "Messianic Jew" also has published a few books. "Healing Codes for the Biological Apocalypse" is one of them. You shouldn't be surprised when you hear that Dr. Horowitz lives in Idaho, not far from Ruby Ridge.

SARS is another conspiracy. Here is Dr. Horowitz:
A careful study of the scientific and medical-sociological correlates and antecedents of this “outbreak” revealed something amiss far more insidious than SARS. I critically considered Toronto’s media reaction as any Harvard-trained public health expert in media persuasion behavioral science might. The scourge had all the earmarks of a novel social experiment conducted by white-collar bioterrorist.
Thankfully, Dr. Horowitz and his colleague Dr. Joseph Puleo, a leading naturopathic physician and a founding member of the World Natural Health Organization, invented a cure for SARS.
While the Doctors cannot make "cure" claims due to variations between individuals and FDA restrictions, they profess that the ingredients in the Urbani SARS Formula are time-tested, inexpensive, readily available and well proven against the bovine coronavirus and other respiratory pathogens.
Yes, because the FDA requires actual scientific proof of the efficacy of a drug. So-called experts like Dr. Horowitz and his ilk are responsible for the refusal of people in developing countries to get vaccinated. Thus, the increase in polio in developing countries (and more than likely in the USA someday).

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Iran Releases British Sailors

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (aka Ringo Starr) has released the 15 British sailors captured by Iranian military two weeks ago. But what if the Iranians had seized 15 American sailors rather than British sailors? Would our government wait two weeks to use diplomacy in an attempt to secure the release of American prisoners. I doubt it. Not with two US Navy aircraft carrier battle groups in the area and another on its way.

UPDATE: The National Review is wondering what the British gave the Iranians in return for the release of the British sailors.

What we haven't seen yet—but it probably won't be long—are the details of the promises Iran extracted concerning its territorial integrity. Iran knows that as it races towards nuclear breakout, it is getting very close to a military confrontation with the United States. Getting the British to agree to back down from the nuclear standoff—and getting them to promise not to allow the U.S. to use the airbase at Diego Garcia—would be an enormous victory for the Mullahs. And it shouldn't be long before they start bragging about it.
They think there is no way diplomacy could have had anything to do with the release of the prisoners. Only bluster, bombs and blood could have achieved the release of those sailors. But, maybe it was like trading arms for hostages.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

"Buyer Beware" or Should it be "Seller Beware"?

The FDA has a short but interesting post about quacks, charlatans, nostrums and patent medicines that permeated American society in the 1900's.
This all occurred during the infancy of biomedical research when there were far more questions about disease than answers. The result was an army of individuals who were willing to step in and provide the "answers" to the public's health problems. These marketers of nostrums were successful in part due to long lists of "testimonials" they were able to provide to their marks. Thankfully, in 1905, Samuel Hopkins published an article in Collier's Weekly titled "The Great American Fraud". This resulted in the passage of the first "Pure Food and Drug Act" in 1906.

"Patent Medicines" weren't the only problem. A huge number of questionable medical devices were also offered for sale. The vibrometer, the psychograph, the McGregor Rejuvenator, the foot operated breast enhancer, even a recto rotor were for sale to an unsuspecting American public. Many of these devices can be seen here.

We have advanced from those times to the time of "Alternative Medicine". This is a term that has marketing value in that it implies that a series of scientifically unproven techniques and philosophies have medicinal value. The practitioners of "Alternative Medicine" have been so successfull that the National Institutes of Health is spending millions of taxpayers dollars to investigate, in many cases, that which cannot be scientifically investigated.

The fact is, "alternative medical treatments" are not an alternative if they don't do anything. Does any reasonable person really believe that disease can be "cured" over a distance? If this is the case, why is there so much disease in the world? If "alternative medical treatments" are so effective, why aren't these treatments replacing evidence based medicine? The fact is, there is no such thing as "alternative medicine". The is only safe, proven, effective medicine.

Monday, April 02, 2007


The Jewish Passover began this evening at sunset. A few days ago, March 31, was Mawlid al-Nabi. The holiday that celebrates the birth of Muhammad (pbuh).

Should We Fear for Our Country?

Actually this is an inaccurate view of human evolution. Go here to see a much better depiction of human evolution.

Newweek Poll indicates that 48% of Americans do not accept the theory of evolution.
34% of college graduates say the biblical account of creation is fact.
73% of evangelical protestants, 39% of non-evangelical protestants and 41% of catholics believe humans were created by God in their present form about 10,0000 years ago.

Your Vote for President Doesn't Exist

There is an E.J. Dionne Jr. editorial worth thinking about in todays Washington Post.

"The individual citizen has no federal constitutional right to vote for electors for the President of the United States. . . . "

That is what the United States Supreme Court determined in Bush vs Gore in 2000. And, it's correct. We vote for electors who then cast votes for President.

Here is what I've never thought about before. Each state gets to appoint electors equal to the number of members of the House of Representative plus their two Senators. So each state has a minimum of 3 electors. Those 3 electors in a sparsely populated state like Wyoming each respresent about 172,000 people. Each elector in California represents 663,000 people. Wyoming votes seem to count more than California's votes.

Dionne points out that his state of Maryland is attempting to pass a law which will require electors to cast their vote for the Presidential candidate that wins the most popular votes. This is an interesting way to change the way we vote without having need for a Constitutional amendment. Unfortunately, the law will not take effect unless states representing a 270 electoral vote majority pass equivalent laws. Isn't it time that the person who receives the most citizen cast votes for President actually become President?

NY State Budget

It's nice to see an almost on time NY State budget. Unfortunately, for this to happen Albany had to revert to their usual "three-men-in-a-room" budget process. So now Gov. Spitzer is beginning to learn the realities of how the most dysfunctional state governments in the Nation. The rank and file legislators are not happy with the budget process.
"Nothing was done in this budget to address the number-one problem facing New Yorkers — high taxes," said Assemblywoman Teresa Sayward (R-Willsboro) in a news release Sunday. "High taxes are making it nearly impossible for people to make ends meet in the North Country.

"After traveling throughout my Assembly District and meeting with taxpayer groups, I could not, in good conscience, vote for this budget."

She and Assemblywoman Janet Duprey, R-Peru) deplored the process that produced the budget, setting aside reforms that Sayward said should have been implemented but were not due to stalled negotiations.

"Once again, this year's state budget was developed in secret meetings," said Duprey in a statement.

"Members were supposed to have plain language budget bills on their desks with time to read before a vote," said Sayward. "However, that has not occurred."

Rank-and-file lawmakers sometimes had just minutes to view bills of hundreds of pages before a vote was called. All of that extended a late-night session Saturday into Sunday, the first day of the 2007-08 fiscal year, leaving a Capitol with staffers on their second or more days with little or no sleep working around empty pizza boxes and coffee-stained cups.
So my question to the rank and file members is "Why not do something about the process"? Are you telling us that the entire rank and file membership in the two legislative bodies have no power whatsoever over how the budget process works in albany? If that is the case, why do we need you?

UPDATE: Teresa Sayward is on NCPR complaining about the NYS budget. It's too high. She won't blame the Republicans for making it high however.

Sunday, April 01, 2007


I've discovered the philospher Arthur Schopenhaur. Practitioners quite like to quote his three "truths":

  1. First, it is ridiculed
  2. Second, it is violently opposed
  3. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident

RTC at Skeptic's Dictionary thinks there should be a fourth "truth":

Fourth, while the rest of the world recognizes that it wasn't truth at all, pseudoscientists open a clinic or write a book based upon it

Here are a few more quotations about truth:

The public will believe anything, so long as it is not founded on truth (Edith Sitwell)

Fiction is obliged to stick to possibilities. Truth isn't (Mark Twain)

Truth is truth. To the end of reckoning (Shakespeare)

More SL Main St. Facades