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Part 2

May 16, 2020

By George, I think he's got it. But got what? (16/5/2020)
When I did this month's link check I found that yet again the web site belonging to George Hammond had disappeared. George is apparently the smartest man alive (and possibly the smartest who has ever lived) and I know this because he told me so. He also told me that "You're not only a snot nosed asinine and boring writer, you've got an ugly smelling contempt and ignorance for the higher levels of scientific ability". I thought of getting that printed on a t-shirt but I would have had to keep explaining the background.

George developed a Scientific Proof Of God (SPOG). It is not a hypothesis (SHOG) or even a theory (STOG). It is a proof!!! It's apparently based on the way the number four appears throughout the universe, from the four winds, the four points of the compass, the four legs on a horse, the four horsemen of the Apocalypse, the four Beatles, the four walls of my bedroom and the four courses served at dinner with the Queen (soup, main, dessert, then cheese with port and cigars).

Stephen Hawking was seemingly too dumb to understand SPOG so I had no chance until, that is, I found this video of George explaining it.


Oops!! (16/5/2020)
Blackmore's is one of Australia's largest manufacturers of alternative "medicine" potions. They have had to announce a recall of one of their products because it was possibly contaminated with penicillin. Think about that – snake oil contaminated with real medicine. I suppose they could say that they had just followed Fleming's example and left a window open near the vat containing the batch.


I can be so nasty (16/5/2020)
On Thursday, May 14, the COVID-19 testers came to my town and set up shop. (Since you asked, I tested negative.) I posted something about it to the local community Facebook group, then this happened. As the person who clicked on the "Laugh" response is the group admin I assume that snarky emoji comments are acceptable in the group.

And yes, I suspended my usual rule about not blocking out names. I saw no need to embarrass the afflicted.



See more from Dan Piraro here


The "mind" of a conspiracist (16/5/2020)
I've often said that I don't have the imagination to invent some conspiracy theories I see and I don't understand how people could be so frightened of the world around them that they can see everything as the work of evil forces trying to control mankind's thoughts and actions. We've long known that fluoridation of water was invented by the Nazis as a means of controlling the inmates of concentration camps and we found out last year that they are also responsible for the 440Hz frequency used to tune musical instruments. (The fact that if you multiply 440 by 136363636.363636 you get the 60GHz frequency of 5G is a matter for another day. But just look at those repeated 36s. Three sixes. 666.)

We now have further incontrovertible evidence that the Nazis have reached out even further into our shared consciousness and now control YouTube. And as everyone knows, YouTube videos are the highest form of evidence so whatever is there will be the final truth and what will be believed by millions.

Don't believe me? Look at the evidence.

No, I couldn't make this stuff up.


Rebellion in the ranks (16/5/2020)
You would expect a journal with the title Chiropractic & Manual Therapies to be reasonably sympathetic to the nonsense of chiropractic, but an article published on May 4, 2020 broke the mold. It had the title "A united statement of the global chiropractic research community against the pseudoscientific claim that chiropractic care boosts immunity" and was signed by 140 chiropractors and fellow travellers. It was a response to a claim by the International Chiropractors Association that spine twiddling could be a useful way to prevent infection, with special relevance to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. (The ICA leapt to prominence in 2001 when its Pediatric Council awarded hero status to a man who beat a baby to death.)

Here is the abstract of the article.

Abstract

Background: In the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, the International Chiropractors Association (ICA) posted reports claiming that chiropractic care can impact the immune system. These claims clash with recommendations from the World Health Organization and World Federation of Chiropractic. We discuss the scientific validity of the claims made in these ICA reports.

Main body: We reviewed the two reports posted by the ICA on their website on March 20 and March 28, 2020. We explored the method used to develop the claim that chiropractic adjustments impact the immune system and discuss the scientific merit of that claim. We provide a response to the ICA reports and explain why this claim lacks scientific credibility and is dangerous to the public. More than 150 researchers from 11 countries reviewed and endorsed our response.

Conclusion: In their reports, the ICA provided no valid clinical scientific evidence that chiropractic care can impact the immune system. We call on regulatory authorities and professional leaders to take robust political and regulatory action against those claiming that chiropractic adjustments have a clinical impact on the immune system.

You can read the full paper here.



See more from Judy Horacek here


MMS – Misleading Malfeasant Swindling (16/5/2020)
There is this wonderful product called "Master Mineral Solution" (MMS) which can cure all sorts of medical conditions (including autism, apparently). It is rather expensive, as would be expected for the greatest and most useful medical treatment since the discovery of penicillin. To the rest of us it's chlorine bleach – the stuff we buy in 2.5 litre containers for a couple of dollars at the supermarket and use to keep our toilets sparkling or to remove mould from concrete paths (and is used by murderers in TV shows to remove bloodstains).

To people unfamiliar with the greed and lack of concern for customers shown by much of the alternative (to) medicine business it might seem almost unbelievable that a whole industry could be built around repackaging household cleaners and selling them for much more money. (I'm told that some MMS products are even more powerful because they are the chemicals used for chlorinating swimming pools, but the principle (if such a word can be applied here) still applies.)

It finally got too much for regulatory authorities and in April 2020 the US Department of Justice jumped on a pretend church that distributes the bleach and managed to get a court to order a ban on its sales. The trigger was when claims of a cure for the COVID-19 pandemic appeared.

You can read the complete DOJ story here, but the quote below gives a taste of the lies being told by the promoters of this nonsense.

In a civil complaint and accompanying court papers filed in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida today, the Department of Justice alleges that the defendants, Genesis II Church of Health and Healing (Genesis) and its principals, Mark Grenon, Joseph Grenon, Jordan Grenon, and Jonathan Grenon sell and distribute a product called Miracle Mineral Solution, also referred to as MMS.  Genesis sells MMS through its websites claiming that it will cure, mitigate, treat, or prevent Coronavirus, which includes COVID-19, as well as other diseases including Alzheimer‚Äôs, autism, brain cancer, HIV/AIDS, and multiple sclerosis, among others.  MMS is a chemical product which, when combined with the included activator, creates a powerful bleach product that the defendants market for oral ingestion.  The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has previously issued public warnings to consumers that MMS can cause nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and symptoms of severe dehydration.  The Justice Department sought preliminary relief from the court.

The thieves at the fake church hit back under the headline "The Contempt of the Department of Justice against the 1st Amendment and God continues! What will 'the people' do?". It takes a significant amount of both hubris and chutzpah to claim that a government department ordering a scamster to stop scamming shows contempt for the concept of free speech. I'm also sure God is both surprised and amused to hear that the DOJ has been attacking Him as well.

Not to be outdone, Australia's Therapeutic Goods Administration went beyond just saying "Don't do that" and actually imposed a fine on the local distributors.

You can read the TGA's media release here, but again a quote from the release is useful.

The Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) has issued twelve infringement notices totalling $151,200 for the alleged unlawful advertising of Miracle Mineral Supplement (also referred to as Miracle Mineral Solution) (MMS) and other medicines by Southern Cross Directories Pty Ltd trading as MMS Australia. The TGA is concerned about the harmful effects that can be caused by the ingestion of MMS, and has published an updated safety alert to warn consumers about claims made online about Miracle Mineral Solution (MMS) for the treatment, cure, prevention or alleviation of disease, including COVID-19.

There is no clinical, scientifically-accepted evidence showing that MMS can cure or alleviate any disease. The use of MMS presents serious health risks, and can result in nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea and severe dehydration, which in some cases can result in hospitalisation.

But leaving the best until last, here is what you see when you go to the web site of MMS Australia. As they say, "The crazy, it burns!".

Agreement for use of website By entering and using this site you expressly agree to the terms and conditions as stipulated herein, including but not limited to the registration of an account. This is a private website and any trade exchange is done by donation only, using functional Australian currency out of necessity. By using this website you agree that you will not make complaint, enquiry or give Notice to any alleged regulatory authority in relation to any information relating to this website, including but not limited to any names of items mentioned on this website or to any information relating any of the items on this website or to any information contained on this site whatsoever. If you hold a nexus to, including but not limited to being employed by, any alleged regulatory authority you must leave this website now, you are trespassing, you are trespassing, you are trespassing. If you hold a nexus to, including but not limited to being employed by or in contract in any capacity to, any alleged regulatory authority and you continue to trespass on this site that action will be taken as your agreement to being held liable before a Court for prosecution for trespass for an amount that will be determined at our sole discretion. If you do violate any of the express terms and conditions of using this website then you by your actions make admission to a knowing, voluntary and intentional breach of trust and to commissioning a tort. Further information is available for your perusal in our terms and conditions. Terms and Conditions Cookies may be used to speed up your interaction with the website, we have no interest in using them to collect data and/or information about you. Account registration is free.



See more from the late Don Addis here

May 23, 2020

Possible apology (23/5/2020)
I might not be here next week because I am extremely tempted to go to this event. As the biggest protest against the Vietnam war only brought out about half a million people into the streets of Sydney it will be interesting to see what "millions" look like. I'm going to wear my t-shirt warning against chemtrails, but I think a tinfoil hat might be too much. Maybe I should wear my Microsoft baseball cap to show my appreciation of Bill Gates.


Aaahh, nostalgia (23/5/2020)
I was reminded this week that in 2002 my state government set up a committee to investigate medical quackery. I was peripherally involved with the committee and attended a press conference conducted by the NSW Minister for Health.

Rather unfortunately, someone decided that some balance was needed so the committee was eventually stacked with representatives of the very scamsters and fraudsters that it was meant to investigate and expose. And we had such high hopes, too.

You can read the sad story here.


But maybe there's some hope (23/5/2020)
Is that light at the end of the tunnel a glimmer of hope? Is it the sun of a new dawn reflecting off a cloud's silver lining? Is it the bright side of life we should look at and is its flickering caused by hope springing eternal? Am I using too many clichés?

All good questions, prompted by Australia's Therapeutic Goods Administration astonishing everyone by imposing yet another fine on someone for making ridiculous medical claims. (Other recent examples are a fine on Paleo Pete Evans for selling a useless machine and some thieves selling bleach to cure everything.)

Here's a media release from the TGA (you can see the original here).

Company issued $12,600 infringement notice for alleged COVID-19 advertising breach

22 May 2020

The Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) has issued an infringement notice to Melbourne based company NutriPATH Pty Ltd for the alleged unlawful advertising of a COVID-19 Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test collection kit in breach of the Therapeutic Goods Act 1989  (the Act). The value of the infringement notice is $12,600.

The advertisement that appeared on the company's website in April 2020 included a reference to COVID-19, which is a restricted representation under the Act. A restricted representation refers to a serious disease, condition or disorder. The use of restricted representations in advertisements for therapeutic products is unlawful without the express permission of the TGA.

Advertisements of this nature are of significant concern given the current pandemic. The TGA has published a warning to advertisers and consumers about illegal advertising relating to COVID-19.

The TGA takes action against advertising breaches
The regulatory scheme is important to the safety of Australian consumers and the TGA investigates suspected illegal activity in relation to therapeutic goods.

The TGA regulates all medicines, medical devices and biologicals used in Australia and implements a range of compliance and enforcement tools. Where necessary this may include criminal or civil court proceedings, which can result in substantial penalties, fines or imprisonment.

Any person, including businesses, must comply with the TGA requirements for advertising. The TGA encourages online advertising complaints to prevent potentially serious consequences.



See more Wumo here


Some light entertainment (23/5/2020)
I like to include a couple of jokes with each update to the site, but sometimes the targets of the site write the jokes themselves. Highly respected chiropractor Billy DeMoss fired up the Rantomatic™ this week and had a bit to say about how some establishments require people to wear face masks while the COVID-19 crisis continues. It is no surprise that Mr DeMoss should reject any attempt to make him behave responsibly towards other people in these circumstances because one of the principles of his job, chiropractic, is that bacteria and viruses don't cause dis-ease (that's how chiropractors like to spell "disease") so precautions are unnecessary.

There are many ways to describe Mr DeMoss and his behaviour – that wonderful and oblique Australian saying "As mad as a cut snake", the old favourite "Batshit crazy" and of course "a few bones short of a spinal column". Remember that he is well respected in his profession and gets to speak at conferences and gatherings of practitioners.

   


Ready, fire, aim! (23/5/2020)
Since April 1 (an appropriate date!) anti-vaccination liars have been engaged in a letter-writing campaign directed at federal politicians, whingeing and whining about, what else?, vaccination. The correspondents have been advised to use Registered Mail because this requires a signature to collect and therefore has evidence of delivery.

But here's the funny thing – what they are complaining about has nothing to do with Health Minister Hunt or his department or anyone else in the federal parliament. They are complaining about something that is the responsibility of the states. Still, why should anyone be surprised at their ignorance about something. Or anything, for that matter.

You can read about this stupidity here. (My friends John Cunningham and David Hawkes get a mention. At least the journalist sought out some sane people for comment.)

The real worry, however, is that it seems there is a new anti-vaccination organisation showing its head above the surface in the septic tank. This is not just of concern to those of us who can think but it must be worrying to the old campaigners like Meryl Dorey at the Australian Vaccination -[this week's name] Network to see anti-vaccination funds being diverted to someone else.



See more from XKCD here


Speaking of which ... (23/5/2020)
At about the same time as the registered mail campaign was getting off the ground, Meryl Dorey of the AVN was trying to drum up support for her own harassment letter writing project. Hers was specifically aimed at the flu vaccine and wasn't intended to harass inform politicians but instead to increase the death rate from flu in aged care and retirement homes. At one time anti-vaccination liars spent their time just trying to kill young children. When the HPV vaccine became available they turned their attentions to young women and it now seems that they want more old people to die as well. I suppose this is consistent and non-discriminatory. Why should kids have all the fun and the funerals when the load can be spread across all age groups?

I still get asked why I have such contempt for these vile creatures. Why is it not obvious?

You can read this disgusting appeal to depravity here. I could say "Enjoy" but instead I'll say "Puke".


And one last thing (23/5/2020)


See more of The Atheist Pig here

May 30, 2020

Apology retraction (30/5/2020)
I decided not to go to the 5G/Lockdown/Vaccination/Bill Gates/Random Things protest that I mentioned last week for the following reasons:

  1. Unlike the loons going to the protest, I'm still employing social distancing so I don't need to be in a crowd even if it only numbers a few kooks, especially as they are disease deniers.
  2. From where I live the total travel time would be about eight hours and I'm too old to have that much time to waste (also social distancing on trains)
  3. If I went there was the possibility that I might say something which caused offence and disturbance. I'm not at all worried about offending or disturbing idiots, but any reaction from them could have resulted in some publicity and I don't want to give them any more than they are getting.
  4. With my luck, my face would have appeared in the press or on television as someone at the protest and my friends and family would have become worried about my sanity and considered an intervention or maybe having me committed to a mental hospital.
  5. I have books to read, music to listen to and I just bought some new socks so my sock drawer needs reorganising.
  6. I am in the process of looking for a replacement car and my time could be much more productively spent doing that.

The car looking thing is taking up a bit of my time so this week's update will be short.



See more from Loren Fishman here


Never let a chance go by (30/5/2020)
Once you have become famous for something it is often distressing when your fifteen minutes of fame has passed, so there is always the temptation to jump on any passing bandwagon.


A bandwagon! (Photo by Bob Cline. Maybe.)

Someone who has decided that the COVID-19 pandemic is an opportunity for a relevance reboot is our old friend Ex-Dr Andrew Wakefield, he of the fraudulent research into the MMR vaccine.

When the spotlight first fell on Wakefield and his "research" in 2000 it at first appeared that he was operating on confirmation bias and just trying to find what he wanted to find. It was later revealed that not only did he have a patent in the works that would have made him immensely rich if he could have had his vaccine replace the MMR vaccine in use at the time, but it was found that his "research" was already making him rich by payments from a firm of lawyers who were telling him what to find, with promises of more riches to come. That is when he turned from mistaken or incompetent research to committing actual fraud.

It wasn't long before Wakefield abandoned the "I'm not anti-vaccine but ..." sophistry and came out as a full-fledged anti-vaccination liar prepared to say anything as long as it furthered the anti-vaccination cause. He became a regular speaker at anti-vaccination liefests and was one of the principle backers of the monstrosity that was the Vaxxed video.

He has popped to the surface of the swamp (seemingly in league with his good friend, yellow star wearing Del Bigtree) to warn everyone that the COVID-19 pandemic is a fraudulent scheme to prepare and condition the populace to accept mass vaccination which will "cause one in two children to have autism by 2032" and "vaccines are going to kill us". These statements alone show that he has either retreated from sanity completely or is prepared to tell any lie that will advance the anti-vaccine agenda.

You can read the story from the Telegraph (UK) here.



See more from Kris Straub here


Sometimes I hate my conscience (30/5/2020)
ome of the things my parents did to disadvantage me in the pursuit of great riches were to teach me about ethics, morality, truth and respecting others. If they hadn't done that I could have started a pyramid scheme or sold magic cures to gullible people for a lot of money.

I'm a member of a local community writers' group, and at the most recent meeting I gave everyone there a USB thumb drive containing my four published books. For free! I could have charged them, of course, but the real missed opportunity was what I could have done with the $2 thumb drives.

As these things contain "proprietary holographic nanolayer catalyst technology" it is obvious that they must be expensive. The web site promoting these things offers them for only £283 each (at the exchange rate at the time of writing this was about a month's rent on my flat), a definite bargain to get all that technology and protection.

The BBC wasted time and money actually taking one of these things apart and to nobody's surprise found out that they are USB drives available at any stationery store with a piece of plastic glued to them.

There is no possibility that the people selling these things are not aware of the fraud they are committing. If someone went into a bank wearing a ski mask and carrying a sawn-off shotgun the courts would laugh at them if they said they didn't know that stealing was a bad thing to do. There is an old saying in the law, "Ignorance is no defence", but there is no way that these thieves could be ignorant of the fact that they were deliberately stealing money.

But wait, there's more! If you get together with your neighbours you can take advantage of a special offer to protect three houses.

I can think of one good use for these things and that would be to use them as suppositories to protect the thieves from accidental exposure to morality. At least three units would have to be inserted for each treatment so the bulk price is a real bargain.


For those in lockdown at home (30/5/2020)


See more from John Cox here



 

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