Wednesday, January 12, 2011

A Nutritious Belief

Belief. It's an interesting thing. I once naively thought that it was only in religion that one found this thing we called belief. It seems however that belief extends to other categories of thought where it really has very little business being, like politics, science and nutrition. Unlike the intangible, these are subjects where FACTS should speak for themselves, leaving no room for belief.

That people can be shown concrete, scientific evidence to the contrary of what they think is true, and not change their mind, is to put it mildly, absolutely mind-boggling.

I used to think that eating fat would raise your cholesterol and give you a heart attack. I believed it because that's what organizations like the American Heart Association tell you, and well, you would think that scientific research in the 20th (and now 21st) century was high enough that they really did know what they were talking about. Unfortunately, they don't know what they're talking about, and it is almost unbelievable to say that an absolute fraud has been perpetrated not only on the American people, but the people of this entire planet. I suppose that it's irony that they chose to represent what we should eat by a pyramid, appropriate in that it surpasses the ponzi scheme carried out by Bernie Madoff by light years. And it's worse than that though, because whereas Bernie swindled people out of their money, the AHA and others have swindled people out of their lives.

I just got through reading a book by a Swedish doctor named Uffe Ravnskov called "Fat and Cholesterol are Good for You". He had written another that is now out of print ten years ago that I missed, and is now expensive to buy, called "The Cholesterol Myths." I already knew that they had the diet we should be eating all wrong thanks to Gary Taubes, who I personally think deserves a Nobel Prize.

The "research", and I use that term very lightly, carried out on the effects of cholesterol on the human body, is blatantly unscientific and in some of the studies seems to be an outright scam by the pharmaceutical companies so they can sell you expensive statin drugs.

So why am I writing about this on a blog dedicated to the absolute madness that politics and religion cause on otherwise seemingly rational people? Well, that same madness extends to other areas of our life as well. It goes back to belief. People have been indoctrinated to believe that fat is bad for them. They have been brainwashed to believe that high cholesterol will kill them. And then they're confronted with the fact that none of what they've been told is true, and only a few change their minds! Most stick their heads in the proverbial sand, for whatever reason, and continue believing what they've always believed. I'm sure most of the researchers do this because if they published literature to the contrary, they'd lose their soft funding from the food and pharmaceutical industries.

If you read the news and look into some of the studies they quote about nutrition, you will find that in a lot of them they use no control group. Or they don't isolate one variable, they have five or more variables and yet they pick the one they want and go with it. I'm not even a scientist, and from my limited science classes in college, even I know that this is bad science! And the research is equally bad, something I know a bit more about. When you write about something, you really ought to present opposing viewpoints, even if it's only a small mention in your paper, especially on subjects where things are really controversial. But these researchers who write up reports on these studies choose only the ones that agree with what they want to say, and ignore anything else. They also ignore the numbers. They'll dump out half a study and only use the part of it that they like if necessary. What kind of science is that? The answer is, it isn't science. It's fraud is what it is.

And our government, that is supposed to protect us from snake-oil salesmen, has been suckered in to buy up all that snake-oil as well. Our representatives, like our doctors, get told by the pharmaceutical companies what drugs are good for us, and what kind of research (on their terms) needs to be done, and that's how it goes. Your doctor doesn't know jack about the real effects of medication on you. S/he's too busy running a practice and keeping up with paperwork to read any journals. Reps from the pharmaceutical company come by the office and tell him or her how their drugs are so good for you, the patient. And they buy it, hook, line and sinker and then prescribe it to you. Maybe that's okay for short-term medications, like something you take to clear up an infection. But we're talking long-term drug use here, and without any really long-term studies. Most of the studies were for five years. The pharmaceuticals are advocating that everyone, even children, be on statins. Besides the fact that in almost all of their studies more people died in the treatment group than in the control group, and besides that fact that people (especially women) with higher cholesterol live longer, what are the effects of shutting down a normal biological process in people starting at a young age? No one really knows because no such study has been done, but I daresay it probably isn't a good outcome.

Cholesterol is important. It repairs damage. Fat, especially saturated fat, is important for brain development and function. Did you ever wonder why there has been an increase in ADHD? Or an increase in obesity? The correlation is inverse with the low-fat diet craze. But that's another post.

"This is your last chance. After this, there is no turning back. You take the blue pill - the story ends, you wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe. You take the red pill - you stay in Wonderland and I show you how deep the rabbit-hole goes." --Morpheus, The Matrix

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Life is Stranger than Fiction

They just identified the 9 year old girl who was shot today at the Gabrielle Giffords event as Christina Taylor Green. The irony of it is she was born on 9/11/2001 and died today 1/8/2011 (1+8=9) at the hands of an insane terrorist. I suppose all terrorists are insane to some degree. No sane person would fly a plane into a building, or shoot a 9 year old girl.

Such senseless violence, and for why? Because a psychopath was upset with our government? Even if the government is flawed is that any reason to kill people? I feel so sorry for the neighbor who invited her to attend the event, I'm sure they blame themselves in a way even though it isn't their fault.

It was only a matter of time...


I'm sure most of you have heard that Gabrielle Giffords (Democrat Rep from Arizona) was shot at point blank range by some deranged motherfucker at an Arizona Safeway. She was having an open meeting with her constituents and a gunman walked up and shot her in the head, and then open fired on the crowd. According to news reports a 9 year old child and a federal judge, John Roll, are dead, in addition to others. The person arrested for the shooting, (if this had been in Texas, he'd have gotten one shot off before someone in the crowd took him out, just sayin') was Jared Lee Loughner, who it was reported left paranoid rants online about the government, a North American currency (which has been a conspiracy since before I was born probably), and immigrants who don't speak English.

What with the Tea Party crazies and Sarah Palin's ilk inciting violence, is it any wonder? What sort of nation are we when we can't have political discourse without crazy people assassinating (or attempting to) our Representatives? This isn't happening in a vacuum! Giffords had her headquarters vandalized and the federal judge who is dead had received death threats! There are nutcases online everyday ranting about how terrible our government is. So like I said, it was only a matter of time before something like this happened. I hope Glenn Beck is pleased with himself. It's people like him who are responsible for urging on these paranoid people. Maybe he's paranoid himself, I don't know. This is why we need state hospitals. Paranoid, psychotic people should be committed, not left to wander around shooting people because they think Big Brother is out to get them.

BTW, the link to the article about John Roll from Politics Daily, I just want to say that Politics Daily has the right idea about comments, that they can't be personal attacks and they are all read before being published. Too bad Yahoo News won't do that. The comments on their news stories rival youtube for the inanity, insensitivity and overall crassness. I'm all for free speech, but not when it's trollish or inciting violence (we see where that leads don't we?).

Anyway, the most important thing here is this: my condolences go out to all the people affected by this senseless act of violence.


This is totally off topic, but Huffington post had a picture of Obama reacting to the shooting and my thought was, 'I want a room like this in my house!' I know, it's like the White House, but it looks so cool...