Mythic Mondays – Homeopathy

Homeopathy, lauded as a natural alternative to ‘Big Pharma’. Safe. Organic. Natural. Without out all those pesky side effects of medicines from pharmacies. A way to treat your symptoms without having to see a doctor and a way to stay in control of your own heath! It’s been around for over two centuries! Oh yeah, and not only does it not work it doesn’t do anything at all.

How does Homeopathy ‘work’? Well, you’re probably going to facepalm when I explain it.

Adherents of homeopathy believe that if a substance can cause the same symptoms of the disease in a healthy person, it will cure the sick person. Same cures same. It’s as simple as that. Suffering from vomiting? This Ipecac will cure you! Need to sleep? Caffeine, of course. Diabetes troubling you? Have some sugar. It’s all so simple! I don’t know why the medical field isn’t clambering over themselves to promote these ideas!

Only it’s more complicated than that. You see they ‘potentize’ the solution by diluting it and shaking it (or in their terms, using ‘succession’) in each direction 10 times. They use a lot of complicated nonsense terms to make what they’re doing sound more sciencey/magickey. This magical procedure makes the solution more powerful. And the more times you potentize a mixture the stronger it becomes. So, the more you dilute it, the stronger homeopaths believe the mixture becomes. Seriously. They will often continue to do this until there are no remaining molecules of the original poison that they were suggesting you drink. The end result? Water. With no measurable evidence of the original active ingredient.

This is the reason why there are no side effects to homeopathic solutions. There’s nothing in it but water. Literally. Apparently, they believe that water has a memory and that the vibrations of the original medicine is still there. Also magic. Woooooo……

“It’s a miracle! Take physics and bin it!
Water has memory!
And while its memory of a long lost drop of onion juice is Infinite
It somehow forgets all the poo it’s had in it!”

Tim Minchin, Storm

James Randi, ex-magician and current woo-science debunker, swallows two full bottles of homeopathic sleeping pills before each of his lectures. He does this despite the warning on the bottle to call the poison control center in case of overdose and the max dose being listed as 2 pills in 12 hours. He then speaks for over an hour about how foolish homeopathy is. He gives an excellent, and hilarious, explanation of homeopathy that I highly recommend watching.

Where’s the harm? It’s not hurting anybody, is it? You may ask. Well, yes. Yes, it is. People who have legitimate illnesses are being tricked into taking water as a cure-all. People who can’t afford it are being scammed into purchasing pricey vials of water or placebo pills that are not helping them. Years ago, when I was working in a nursing home, I recall one husband of a patient insisting that his wife be taken off her heart meds and put onto ‘Strauss Heart Drops’ because his naturopath told him it worked better than any pills. It was over $100.00 a bottle that this man on a limited income shelled out. Her doctor compromised and allowed her to have the solution, but insisted that she stay on her Digoxin. Smart woman, that doctor.

As an aside, here’s an interesting tidbit from the FAQ page of Strauss Heart Drops.

‘Question: What is the success rate with Strauss Heartdrops™?

Answer: In our opinion, heart conditions that are caused by clogged arteries are improved in 95 per cent of users.’

I need to let out a huge sigh before I go on, in order to limit my use of expletives. Ahem! Reduction of clogged arteries is measurable. It’s not a matter of opinion. That this company seems to think their opinion is an answer to a verifiable question should be a matter of concern. Or to put it in the succinct words of my brother : ‘You’re fired. That’s my opinion.’

This becomes an even greater concern because the companies that produce this sort of crap have pressured the government sufficiently that it is now possible to get a DIN number for homeopathic remedies. What does that mean? It means it’s classed in the same way that real drugs are. This gives it an appearance of credibility it wouldn’t otherwise have. A misleading appearance of validity. Remember when I said several paragraphs back that there was a homeopathic solution to diabetes? Yeah, I wasn’t joking. Homeopathic insulin is not just legal in Canada, it’s also approved by Health Canada. DIN-HM 80016480 I couldn’t give you a direct URL as each search is timed, but you can look it up yourself with that DIN number.

Have I caused your eye to twitch yet?

‘Through the Natural Health Products Directorate, Health Canada ensures that all Canadians have ready access to natural health products that are safe, effective and of high quality, while respecting freedom of choice and philosophical and cultural diversity.’
Health Canada

What the ever-loving-fuck has cultural diversity to do with whether or not something works? Ophelia Benson of the Butterflies and Wheels blog states : ‘Poison doesn’t become not poison in a different culture. A glass of water doesn’t become insulin because cultural diversity. If you’re certifying something as effective then you have to use the right – universal – standards.’ Amen, sister.

Does Not Compute!

But they aren’t doing that. And let’s focus on one word in that quote from Health Canada: effective. Health Canada ensures we have access to effective homeopathy. Effective homeopathy. I do believe that is an oxymoron. Also a lie. Brought to you by our government regulating body. These snake oil salesmen are the people you’re supposed to be protecting us from, you know. Way to let your credibility crash and burn guys.

Skeptic North examines some of the other ridiculous items that Health Canada has recently approved. It’s an excellent source for more information regarding the limitations and flaws in our national drug regulating body, Health Canada. Also if you want to curse out these homeopathy scam artists and shake your fist at a computer screen.

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Secrecy Is Not a Valid Counter to Fear, Lies, and Shame.

Apparently Ontario is no longer allowing the whack-job forced-birthers access to abortion statistics. I have mixed feelings about this. You see, Ontario is no longer allowing access to abortion statistics for anyone. The Ministry of Health stated that “Records relating to abortion services are highly sensitive and that is why a decision was made to exempt these records.” when interviewed by the National Post.

The decision to keep Ontario abortion statistics from the public is not without precedent. B.C. has a similar law in effect and has had it since 2001, according to an article in the CBC:

Section 22.1 of B.C.’s Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act makes abortions the only medical procedures taking place in hospitals that are subject to secrecy.

The law was brought in back in 2001 after staff at some abortion facilities were targeted in violent attacks by anti-abortion groups in the 1990s.

Ah, yes. Those violent pro-lifers. The ones who are willing to murder people in order to make their point about how pro-life they are. Life is sacred, let’s go bomb a clinic! Way to stay true to your message, guys.

Kelly McParland, a dude with a serious case of ‘what about teh menz‘ syndrome, poor understanding of feminism, and a bone to pick with women having choice, wrote a commentary of the Ontario situation today in the National Post. With typically inflammatory and dishonest language, McParland compares abortion to incest, rape, and honour killings. Compares the murder of doctors to the ‘violence against the unborn’. False equivalencies all. And not a new tactic for McParland. Because integrity and truth are not something that anti-choicers appear to value. Shocking. A white middle aged dude with a high sense of entitlement and not much apparent respect for women deciding he knows best how we should make decisions about our bodies. I’m sure that’s never happened before. But it’s easy to dismiss his article because, well, it’s not very well written. I mean it’s a great test piece if you’re looking for logical fallacies and hyperbole, but that’s about it.

Getting back on the topic of secrecy in health statistics, I do, as I said at the beginning of this post, have mixed feelings about this. While I can see the very real threat to the safety of health care providers, I also have to wonder how you can keep statistics about a publicly funded medical procedure away from the tax paying public. Shrouding this one legitimate medical procedure in secrecy is only adding fuel to the arguments of the very people you consider dangerous in the first place. Face it, people are much more likely to protest if they think there’s a government conspiracy at hand. By making an exception in transparency only for abortions we’re lending credence to the ‘conspiracy theory’.

“It’s not an ideological issue… It’s health care provided by OHIP, so I fail to see why highly sensitive applies so drastically and dramatically in this one regard,” says Andrea Mrozek who is a spokesperson for the anti-abortion Institute of Marriage and Family. It irks me to have to agree with someone who works for a cause that uses lies, fear, and shame to make their point. It especially irks me to know that a group working with such a cesspool of morality may actually have the moral high ground in this one small instance. In fact, it makes me feel very unclean indeed.

Personally, I’m thinking the stats should be out there for all who request them. Just like any other healthcare stat. Secrecy puts us on the same moral level as the anti-choicers and that’s not something I’m comfortable with. Those who prefer choice don’t need to use lies and fear and shame. We have science and we have truth. Let’s stick to that and not stoop, please.

As for the safety of the healthcare providers, that’s a serious issue. Threats and incidents of violence against women’s clinics need to be taken much more seriously. Don’t let this shit escalate. Stricter laws and stronger enforcement against the criminals who would use terrorism and violence would go a long way to protecting those who work in clinics. Whereas secrecy is just provoking the protesters and making the terrorists feel even more righteous in their violence.

Just Because It’s a Rodeo Does Not Mean There Has To Be a Shootout At The Corral.

An off duty cop named Walt Wawra from Kalamazoo (No, I didn’t make that name up) and his wife from Michigan are vacationing in Calgary. They’re walking through a park in Calgary in the daytime and are approached by two young men who ask if they’re going to the centennial celebration of the biggest event in the city. You know, the Calgary Stampede.

Wary Walt apparently panics, assumes they’re vile thugs and tells them rudely to go away. He then laments that he didn’t have a gun on him. You know, to defend himself from these obviously aggressive lunatics who DARED to menace he and his wife. (I’m not making this up, I swear!) He wrote a letter to the Calgary Herald, complaining about it:

I recently visited Calgary from Michigan. As a police officer for 20 years, it feels strange not to carry my off-duty hand-gun. Many would say I have no need to carry one in Canada.

Yet the police cannot protect everyone all the time. A man should be al-lowed to protect himself if the need arises. The need arose in a theatre in Aurora, Colo., as well as a college campus in Canada.

Recently, while out for a walk in Nose Hill Park, in broad daylight on a paved trail, two young men approached my wife and me. The men stepped in front of us, then said in a very aggressive tone: “Been to the Stampede yet?”

Herald columnist Naomi Lakritz: Officer’s comments reflect cultural divide between Canada, U.S.

We ignored them. The two moved closer, repeating: “Hey, you been to the Stampede yet?”

I quickly moved between these two and my wife, replying, “Gentle-men, I have no need to talk with you, goodbye.” They looked bewildered, and we then walked past them.

I speculate they did not have good intentions when they approached in such an aggressive, disrespectful and menacing manner. I thank the Lord Jesus Christ they did not pull a weapon of some sort, but rather concluded it was in their best interest to leave us alone.

Would we not expect a uniformed officer to pull his or her weapon to intercede in a life-or-death encounter to protect self, or another? Why then should the expectation be lower for a citizen of Canada or a visitor? Wait, I know – it’s because in Canada, only the criminals and the police carry handguns.

Walt Wawra, Kalamazoo, Mich.

The original letter is here, at the Calgary Herald.

It sounds like a hoax, right? The Calgary Herald assures us it is not.

My first impression is : ‘Dafuq?!?’ followed by ‘Bloody lucky thing Wistful Walt didn’t have a gun, or two young men might have needlessly died.’ Keep in mind this man is apparently a cop. If he’d been at home, instead of being a tourist, he’d have been packing. This is a man who makes snap judgements about people all the time. One who’s allowed to carry a gun. Yikes.

And here’s the kicker: The two aggressive men who accosted Whinging Walt and his wife were handing out free passes to the Stampede. No wonder they looked ‘bewildered’ at Worrying Walt’s strange reaction and general rudeness. I’m sure they had no way of knowing that if Wonderful Walt had had it his way, they’ve have been threatened with a handgun for their presumption to offer tourists free stuff! Honestly, the nerve of those guys.

I’m not the only one who thinks Wacky Walt from Kalamazoo is a nutter. There’s a hashtag on Twitter that’s devoted to his keen perceptive skills and excellent judgement called #NoseHillGentlemen.

As for Officer Wawra, it seems he’s wisely chosen to go into hiding and wait for the media storm to blow over. Good choice. A better choice would have been to do so BEFORE becoming a laughing stock.

As far as I’m concerned, this is the best argument for gun control that I’ve seen yet. We’re quite happy knowing only cops and crooks have guns in our country, Officer Wawra, if it means over-reacting gun happy folks like yourself do not. I feel safer already.

And you still deny religion rots the brain?

Recently there has been a string of sexual assaults at York University in Toronto. One Muslim cleric’s response is, of course, to take away the rights of women and force harsh penalties on those who ‘dress provocatively’. Whatever that means.

The entire letter to The Toronto Sun is so full of stupid that it burns. Al-Haashim Kamena Atangana, the street cleric in question, is not what you’d call…a thinker. But I’m a glutton for punishment, so let’s go through it anyway!

I wanted to mention that the reason why these sex attacks are continuously happening is because the Canadian laws, which gives too much freedom to women, are the cause of these sex attacks.

You hear that? Women having freedom is causing men to rape them. If only we punished women more, rapists wouldn’t have to intercede on behalf of Canadian Law and do it for us. The rapists are doing a public service. Damn you, Canadian Legal System, for not caring about women enough to persecute them relentlessly! Never mind the logical acrobatics one needs to make in order for this line of reasoning to make sense. Not oppressing one group sufficiently is apparently going to lead to that group being attacked.

Also, the grammar nazi in me would like to point out that the attacks are not continuous. That would imply a never ending string of events with no break whatsoever. Like, not even bathroom breaks.

The reason why a woman gets raped is because of the way she dress. Women dress so provocatively so much that they receive too much attention for themselves and that attention at times leads to death.

It’s not because she was attacked by a criminal. No. It’s because she received too much attention that might result in death. The fact that there no evidence to suggest that a woman’s choice of dress figures in to rape statistics and that rape is about power rather than animal lust (as this cleric and others like him seem to suggest) mean nothing.

It’s sickening how little respect these idiots seem to have for men as a whole. In their world view men cannot control themselves sufficiently not to attack or kill just because they saw a little cleavage. That would make them extremely weak minded and pathetic. And even after acknowledging that they believe men are rutting pigs without the ability to reason or control themselves they still somehow believe that men are better equipped to be in positions of power. Baffling. There’s that logic fail again. Anyhoo, let’s take in some more wisdom from cleric dumbshit, er Al-Haashim Kamena Atangana…

If the law enforcements and the Canadian politicians were very serious about solving this problem, they would introduce laws that would make it illegal for women to dress provocatively in the streets.

Define Provocative. Are we talking boobies(Being topless in public is legal in Ontario)? Or two inches of calf? Depending on where you are either or neither of these are provocative. But yes, what this comes down to is again: Canada, if you loved your women, you’d spend more time oppressing them.

However by arresting sexual predators is not going to solve the problem because as long women continue to dress like this there will always be perverts and rapist who will continue to remain on the loose.

No need to punish the criminals. Boys will be boys, afterall. Men can’t be expected to control themselves when confronted with the sight of a woman’s calf. And that’s her fault. The important thing is that we blame the victims and use violence against them as an excuse to heap more ridiculous rules and restrictions on them.

Why is it that Rapists and sexual predators only target women that dress so provocatively?

Citation please. You’re not going to get stats on that, of course, since Shariah Law doesn’t acknowledge that rape happens. It’s simply called adultery and she gets stoned to death for it. Unless she has four male witnesses to the crime…and then she just gets killed by her family. You know, so they don’t lose honour. Or it’s called marriage. Even when a woman is kidnapped and married by a mullah against her will and then raped…well, that’s not considered rape either.

And as a bonus, here’s a list of rape myths from the University of Minnesota.

As an aside, is a street cleric the same thing as those religious doomsayers who hold up signs that the ‘End is Near’ when they’ve gone off their medications for too long? That might explain some of his ‘advice’.