Things don't completely stop here while I am getting ready for the March relaunch of the site. I need to revive the hate mail collection by making some suitable enemies.
I kindly and gently ask a question (4/2/2019)
Tay's Way is running some vaccination seminars. I was concerned about balance.
[Sent through a form on the web site because no email address was available]
Making Informed Choices
Will there be any medical vaccination experts or immunologists presenting at this event, or just anti-vaccination propaganda? I ask because the promotional material says "It will be a completely referenced and thorough presentation showcasing the latest science and medical literature".
You can see what the seminar was about and the response from Tay here.
The annual Gates Letter (12/2/2019)
I like to celebrate February by reading the latest Gates Letter from Bill and Melinda. It used to be issued as a pdf file, but now you can only read it on the web. So read it.
I get mail!! (19/2/2019)
Someone didn't like what I said about people lying with quotes, so they whinged to both Australasian Science and me.
From: Blanca Begley
Subject: Article correction
Date: Mon, 18 Feb 2019 15:59:58 -0500
Dear Ratbags and Australasian Science Magazine,
Here's proof that Dr. Herbert Ley said, "The thing that bugs me is that the people think the FDA is protecting them. It isn't. What the FDA is doing and what the public thinks it's doing are as different as night and day".
Can you tell me where he actually said the words between the quote marks, because it isn't in the NYT article you cited?
- From The New York Times: "Indeed, after his departure as Commissioner of the agency in 1969, Dr. Herbert E. Ley said that "what the F.D.A. is doing and what the public thinks it's doing are as different as night and day." He complained further that during his 18-month tenure he had been under "constant, tremendous, sometimes unmerciful pressure" from drug industry officials."
Please correct your articles:
There is nothing to correct. Dr Ley didn't say what you said he said. He said half of it, but the context was that he was complaining about the powerlessness of the FDA, not the evil of it. I have got used over the years to anti-medicine people selectively quoting things to make it seem that otherwise sane people support their attack on real medicine, and attacks on the FDA are an integral part of this mendacity. There is a reason that the second sentence in the Australasian Science article says "The quotes are inevitably either selective extracts taken out of context, supposed quotations offered without reliable citations, or simple fabrications made on the assumption that nobody will bother (or sometimes be able) to check." You selectively took something out of context, misquoted Dr Ley and your assumption that nobody would check failed.
Nothing will be corrected, because nothing needs to be corrected.
Following the usual policy at The Millenium Project, your complaint and my response will be published as an addendum to the article.
But wait, there's more. (19/2/2019)
I haven't been paying much attention to email directed at this site while the sabbatical was happening, but I noticed two people who had been quite persistent, both sending me several nagging requests over the last year for sites to be listed on The Green Light. The sites they wanted listed were different, but about two nanoseconds investigation showed that they both went back to the same firm of ambulance chasing lawyers who specialise in suing pharmaceutical companies for damage done by prescription medications.
They might not like where they will actually be listed.
Tin foil hat time again (19/2/2019)
I live in the delightful country town of Oberon, home to sheep, cows and a billion pine trees. Some time ago the Council announced that it was planning to add fluoride to the water and hysteria broke out. I attended a public meeting about the matter and representatives of the Australian Dental Association and the NSW Health Department were shouted at. Dentists who actually look at children's teeth in both Oberon and Bathurst (50 kilometres away, fluoride for 40 years) told stories about how they could tell where a child lived by the amount of decay and were accused of only doing it for the money. (The fact that fewer fillings means less income for dentists whooshed straight over the heads of protestors.) All the standard nonsenses were brought out, and it took on all the attributes of an anti-vaccination rally. (Surprisingly, there is no visible anti-vaccination activity in town and childhood vaccination rates are well into herd immunity numbers for all age groups.) All that was missing was the tin foil hats. (They will probably roll those out when the telephone companies announce that the towers are switching to 5G. There was much resistance to the wireless towers installed so that Oberon could get the National Broadband Network earlier than towns just a few kilometres away.)
The Council listened to some experts and announced that it would be going ahead with fluoridation, but that didn't stop the loons. One of them managed to get onto the agenda for the Council meeting on February 19. I had planned to go but things got in the way, so I wrote a Kind and Gentle email of support to the Council. I also mentioned my opinion on the local community Facebook page so I will be keeping an eye out for people carrying rails, tar and feathers.
Subject: Fluoride "debate"
Unfortunately I can't get to the Council meeting tonight, but I hope that the councillors aren't influenced by the hysteria of the anti-fluoride campaigners who are scheduled to speak and decide to retreat from the decision to fluoridate Oberon's water supply.
The science is in – fluoridation of water is one of the major public health initiatives and there is no danger to people, stock or plants from the tiny amount of fluoride added to the water supply. I congratulate the Council for deciding to go ahead with it. Don't back down now.
I have an answer for those who don't want fluoride – they should cut themselves off from the town water supply and only use rainwater. We currently have water restrictions and the level of the dam is still dropping, so if these people stop using town water it will be a win for the rest of us as it will reduce the load on the supply.