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HuckleB's Journal
HuckleB's Journal
July 28, 2016

Va. man claimed he had cure for cancer, charged $1,200 per bottle. Cops say it’s bogus, bust him.


"Though a low-slung medical office building in Manassas City, Va., may seem like an unlikely place to find a cure for cancer, that’s where Peter B. Adeniji was offering his miracles, police say. For only $1,200 a bottle, Adeniji’s special herbal mixture would do what science and proven medications could not, authorities say he promised numerous patients.

The promises ended Monday when police from a Prince William County drug task force raided Adeniji’s office and his home in Bristow, seizing medicines, ingredients for Adeniji’s mixtures and $17,000 cash, authorities said. Adeniji was charged with five felony counts of fraud, seven counts of operating a medical practice without a license, four counts of dispensing drugs without a license and one count of money laundering. He was being held Tuesday in the Prince William jail without bond.

Adeniji has previously been charged and convicted for the same actions elsewhere in Virginia, and two of the cancer patients who obtained treatments from Adeniji later died, the prosecutor said Tuesday. Authorities considered filing a murder charge against Adeniji in one of the cases, Lynchburg Commonwealth’s Attorney Michael Doucette said, but decided they could not prove proximate cause between the treatment and her death. Medical experts had concluded the woman likely would have died no matter the treatment she received, he said.

Prince William police said they believed that Adeniji may have had patients across the United States and internationally, based on conversations he had with an undercover detective who made multiple visits to Adeniji’s office just off Sudley Road. The lead detective in the case, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he works undercover, said Adeniji had been in the office building for 18 months but practicing locally for longer than that, and appeared to have no staff other than himself. It was not immediately clear how many patients Adeniji had seen, pending review of his seized records.



If only he had sold homeopathic cancer treatments, he would still be free today.
July 26, 2016

So today is the day everyone screams and yells at each other. OK, then.

Tomorrow, the hangover silent treatment ensues, allowing people simmer as they ponder some thoughtful speeches, before we fully remember that we're on the same side on Wednesday and Thursday, and celebrate together before getting the big work done, again, together, in the coming months, right?

That's how this works.



July 26, 2016

Coen Brothers Come To Life: Bound then bounced from car, man arrested after claiming to be kidnapped



Numerous 911 callers reported what they had seen, and Oregon State Police troopers soon arrived. Officers spoke to McPhail, who through the blood and scrapes on his face told them about being kidnapped in Camas, his hometown.

His story led officers to believe there could be more victims, and other police agencies scrambled into action.

But then, McPhail's day got even worse. Police, growing suspicious about inconsistencies in his story, arrested the 57-year-old. And now he faces charges of initiating a false report and first-degree conspiracy to commit theft.


Late Monday, the Camas Police Department said it became involved in the investigation Sunday and served a search warrant at McPhail's home. A news release from the department said McPhail eventually confessed that the kidnapping was a hoax in an effort to get ransom money from his mother.



Oh, goodness. I guess he was broke after a recent trip to Cleveland.

July 25, 2016

Heart and John Mellencamp Join ‘John Oliver’ Supergroup for Anti-Campaign Anthem ‘Don’t Use Our Song


"The 2016 campaign season has seen a number of artists complain about political candidates using their music — and during last night’s edition of his Last Week Tonight talk show, John Oliver rounded up a supergroup to fight back with humor.

As you can see in the clip above, Oliver offered a brief recap of campaign infringements past and present — including a few of the many times 2016 Republican nominee Donald Trump has run afoul of artists — before segueing into “Don’t Use Our Song,” a tune featuring vocals by Heart, John Mellencamp, Usher, Sheryl Crow, Cyndi Lauper, Michael Bolton, Josh Groban and Dan Reynolds of Imagine Dragons.

The song comes complete with a video stuffed with the sort of stereotypically over-the-top imagery that tends to go along with campaign commercials, including shots of the American heartland (and lots and lots of balloons). “It might seem appealing,” goes a sample lyric, “but you’re just stealing.”

As The Atlantic notes, while most campaigns might not clear the use of songs directly through the artist, they’re usually in the clear, legally speaking — to use a recording, you have to pay for the license, and more often than not, those licenses are obtained either through the campaign or the venue where the events take place.




Yeah, it's a silly bit, but we can use a bit of humor, no?

July 25, 2016

Consumer Reports Promotes Woo Again.

Acupuncture and Endorphins: Not all that Impressive


Does acupuncture release feel-good hormones called endorphins? It is a bad question since, as is so often the case, exactly what is meant by acupuncture is never specified.

For electro, a tarted up a form of TENS, the answer is often a yes, but electro-acupuncture isn’t acupuncture. Of the dozens and dozens and dozens of forms of what passes for acupuncture only electro acupuncture uses electricity. I know. Duh

All the other forms of acupunctures? Almost all of the data suggests that for the more traditional forms of acupuncture, feel-good hormones have nothing to do with its alleged analgesic effects. That effect, as we know, is actually the same mechanism as beer goggles.

Given how totally picky CR is in their product reviews, it is odd they did not bother to investigate the basis of the idea that ‘acupuncture’ releases feel-good hormones, it is electricity. Yet another fail when CR accepts the standard mythical narrative of acupuncture without actually reviewing the supporting information and then giving terrible advice. But that is the standard approach to reporting SCAM. Same as it ever was. I do wonder if I can actually trust their advice on the best car or laundry detergent when they have such a fail with health care, a topic far more important."


On the pointlessness of acupuncture in the emergency room…or anywhere else


Enter emergency acupuncture. No, I’m not kidding you. Instead of battlefield acupuncture, which is helping to pave the way for acupuncture to infiltrate the VA Medical Center system, here we have a clinical study examining the use of acupuncture in the emergency room, published in The American Journal of Emergency Medicine, entitled “Acupuncture versus intravenous morphine in the management of acute pain in the emergency department.” No, I kid you not. Click on the link if you don’t believe me. This is a clinical trial randomizing people with acute pain to acupuncture versus intravenous morphine. Its ClinicalTrials.gov identifier is NCT02460913.

Let’s take a look at this study.

It is a phase 2 clinical trial that randomizes patients in the emergency room with acute pain to either titration of intravenous morphine or acupuncture. As you can probably imagine, it is completely unblinded. There is no sham, nor is there even an attempt at blinding. Given that, I bet you can guess the result before I even describe the study in more detail, because the results of such a study are very predictable. Let’s move on, anyway.


So basically acupuncturists could choose any points they wished. Of course, as I’ve pointed out before, acupuncture “works” (i.e., produces placebo effects) whether you put the needles into the “right” points or not. It doesn’t even matter if you actually insert the needles, as long as you touch the skin (even with toothpicks instead of needles)! Be that as it may, there was not even an attempt to include a sham acupuncture group.


Also, there is a big problem with the reporting of this clinical trial, so much so that I’m surprised this journal published it. There is no CONSORT flow diagram to show allocation of subjects, dropout rates, and analysis. Indeed, seeing a clinical trial in which there are exactly 150 subjects in each arm always makes my skeptical antennae start twitching. No one dropped out of the study? No one was randomized but decided not to go through with the trial? I suppose it’s possible for a short term intervention in the ER, but consider this: Accrual was exactly perfect for each group. This almost never happens in a clinical trial.



Is there any place for acupuncture in 21st century medical practice?

"Acupuncture is an integral part of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM). Over the past few decades, acupuncture has become popular in a number of countries as a stand-alone intervention. As part of TCM, acupuncture needs to be considered as a pre-scientific modality, and, as such, unlikely to be accepted by global modern medical science. As a separate technique it has received much attention. However, after much promise and extensive investigation, it is now becoming clear that there is no evidence based support for its use in modern medicine. This paper examines the evidence for this conclusion. Acupuncture is examined as a part of TCM and the results of research studies asking if acupuncture has the potential for contributing to modern scientific medicine are reviewed.


The World Health Organization (WHO) endorsed acupuncture, but challenged by evidence from the Cochrane Collaborative has taken down their website on acupuncture which had suggested effectiveness in more than 100 conditions. Cochrane emphasized that where acupuncture appeared to be effective, the studies were of poor quality (often with no sham acupuncture control group), and the evidence was weak. When studies included sham acupuncture, both true acupuncture and sham acupuncture groups had similarly positive results, indicating that they were measuring simply a placebo effect. And for many of the conditions being treated, there was no relevant published research at all.

The US Center for Inquiry Office of Public Policy issued a position paper on acupuncture in 2010. It concluded that recent research had unraveled nearly all acupuncture claims and noted, “The bulk of recent research strongly tends towards the hypothesis that acupuncture's positive effects are mainly due to a built-in expectation...”

A 2006 review in The Medical Letter stated that “Acupuncture alone has not been shown in rigorous, duplicated studies to benefit any defined medical condition”.

In their book Trick or Treatment, Simon Singh and Edzard Ernst concluded that there was only “tentative” evidence that acupuncture “might” be effective for some forms of pain relief and nausea, that it failed to deliver benefits for any other conditions, and that its underlying concepts were meaningless.



Alas, we live in a fiction-based world.

July 24, 2016

Times of India: Kerala child rights panel: Treat Anti-vaccine propaganda as non-bailable offence


"In the wake of drop in the immunisation rate in parts of Kerala including the districts of Malappuram and Kasaragod and outbreak of diseases such as Diphtheria, Kerala State Commission for Protection of Child Rights (KeSCPCR) has directed the health department secretary to take stock of the situation across the state and to strengthen the immunisation drive on an emergency basis.

The commission division bench, led by its chairperson Shoba Koshy and members K Nazeer and Glory George, has issued the directive indicating that for the immunisation drive, there should not be a crunch in financial support and indifference of the staff. In coordination with the child protection centres, the immunisation drive of administering vaccines against various diseases should be totally ensured in the state, the commission members said. In case of any violation, notices should be issued to such child protection organisations by the Social Justice Department of the state.

Without scientific proof, false and baseless anti-vaccine propaganda has to be treated as a non-bailable offence in view of public health. Special legal proceedings should be in place with the government powers to ensure total immunisation drive, the commission held.

Awareness and sensitisation on immunisation drive as part of public service advertising should be strengthened in the state through print, audio-visual media, publications and social forum, the commission held. The commission has sought the health secretary to formulate a policy with legal backing to end the false propaganda of the anti-vaccine lobby. Public service advertising against the anti-vaccine lobby and on the need for immunisation against diseases should be carried out for three years with follow-ups through video clippings, documentaries, short films which can be telecast on television channels and screened at cinema theatres.



Anti-vaccine nonsense is simply indefensible. It starts with the comfortable, but it harms the most vulnerable. It should not be tolerated in any way, at DU.

July 22, 2016

Alcohol Is A Direct Cause Of Seven ​​Forms Of Cancer, Finds Study

Analysis implicates alcohol in development of breast, liver and other types of cancer and says even moderate consumption is a risk

"Alcohol causes seven forms of cancer, and people consuming even low to moderate amounts are at risk, according to new analysis.

Health experts endorsed the findings and said they showed that ministers should initiate more education campaigns in order to tackle widespread public ignorance about how closely alcohol and cancer are connected. The study sparked renewed calls for regular drinkers to be encouraged to take alcohol-free days, and for alcohol packaging to carry warning labels.

Fresh analysis of evidence accumulated over recent years implicates alcohol in the development of breast, colon, liver and other types of cancer.

The study, published in the scientific journal Addiction, concludes that there is more than simply a link or statistical association between alcohol and cancer that could be explained by something else. There is now enough credible evidence to say conclusively that drinking is a direct cause of the disease, according to Jennie Connor, of the preventive and social medicine department at Otago University in New Zealand.



And, there it is.

Uh, whoops.
July 21, 2016

Glyphosate, Neurological Diseases – And The Scientific Method: How Not To Do Science.



In their lengthy treatise, “Glyphosate, pathways to modern diseases III: Manganese (Mn), neurological diseases, and associated pathologies” recently published in Surgical Neurology International, Drs. Samsel and Seneff blame the widely used herbicide glyphosate for a number of ecological as well as medical disorders via Mn metabolism and a myriad of other pathophysiological mechanisms.[9] The linking of this effective herbicide to the alphabet soup list of conditions enumerated by the authors seems to be “shotgun science” — namely, multiple associations based on population-based statistics, disconnected correlations, and manipulation of numbers and conditions that create an epidemiological recipe for errors and nonvalid associations. The authors link every kind of disorder imaginable to a widely used chemical that has not been specifically linked clinically to any of those disorders.[9]

The massive weight of unconnected data presented by Drs. Samsel and Seneff in this paper fails to establish a definite association with glyphosate usage or Mn metabolism to autism or any of the other conditions implicated.[9] At best the link to autism is weak but not completely excluded as a co-factor with as yet unidentified other causes. Before we condemn glyphosate and its alleged mechanism of biological disruption in humans, in both alleged accumulation and depletion (both mechanisms are described by the authors), more data needs to be collected by actual fieldwork, testing, and experimentation. This hypothesis needs to be tested by other investigators under more direct and rigorous conditions for the variety of disorders listed by Drs. Samsel and Seneff.

Investigators must be wary of the various traps that befall epidemiological, population-based studies. First, for example, is the post-hoc, ergo propter hoc (“after this, therefore because of it”) fallacy. In other words, does a high level of a toxic substance cause a disease, or does it merely accumulate as the result of the disease or some other process? Was the high use of glyphosate noted to precede the increase in the number of cases of autism, Parkinson's disease (PD), cholestasis, and Alzheimer's disease (AD), etc., really responsible for those conditions? I think not, by the evidence provided by the authors. True, the authors have done a phenomenal amount of work and collected an impressive bibliography, but this of itself does not prove a cause and effect relationship.

The assertion, “(glyphosate) usage has increased steadily. In step with the rise in autism rates,”[9] proves nothing, but suggests the intrusion of a second related epidemiological error — e.g., the correlation-causation fallacy, a common error in logic stating that correlation does not establish causation. We can make statements for a variety of other substances and conditions, but in the end correlation does not establish causation. Similarly, along with the markedly increased use of glyphosate, there has been increases in the use of a number of chemicals, including other pesticides and herbicides (many of them already blamed for some of the same illnesses cited by the authors); there has been a protracted increase in medical uses of prescription drugs as well as the recreational consumption of illegal drugs; administration of large number of vaccines given to children possibly overtaxing the immune system and implicated in the rise of autism (particularly measles, mumps, and rubella [MMR], and vaccines that used the preservative thimerosal), etc. By similarly shaped graphs, we could cursorily implicate not only vaccines, but also the escalation of single parenthood and poverty, increased federal spending in welfare programs, even the growth of the organic food industry, not to mention the tremendous world population growth and overcrowding — as culprits for the increase in the variety of degenerative conditions and cancers cited by the authors during a similar period of time [Figures ​[Figures11–5]. And yet, the authors have singled out glyphosate as the causative agent, not just for autism, but also for an alphabet soup list of conditions. And as we will see later, one of the authors (Seneff) asserts that we need to “act drastically,” implying, I suppose, imposing a ban on glyphosate. But even if the authors were on the right track, extreme caution should be exercised for reasons that will become obvious as we proceed further with this critique.



Yes, this is long. However, if you are ethical, and yet you intrinsically believe that Samsel and Seneff found that glyphosate causes all number of diseases, in their "paper," published in an unknown open-access journal a few years ago (Yeah, lots of bad publications keep reposting stories about it, claiming that it's brand new, but... ), then you will read it all the way through so you know the ins and outs of the problems with the claims they made.

Thank you.

July 20, 2016

Turkey fires 21,000 teachers, Demands suspension of every university dean in post-coup crackdown


"Turkey’s post-coup crackdown took a sinister turn on Tuesday after tens of thousands of teachers were fired and all the country’s university deans were told they faced suspension.

The licences of 21,000 staff working in private schools were revoked, more than 15,000 employees at the education ministry were sacked, and the state-run higher education council demanded the resignation of 1,577 university deans.

The purge is part of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s heavy-handed attempt to root out supporters of Fethullah Gülen, the US-based cleric accused of orchestrating the failed revolt.

Ankara says the reclusive Mr Gulen, who wields enormous influence in Turkey through loyalists in various parts of the state as well as a private school network, hatched the plot to end Mr Erdogan's 13 years in power from his home in Pennsylvania.



July 20, 2016

Listeria fear prompts 372K-pound hot dog, corn dog recall

Source: Washington Post

More than 372,000 pounds of hot dogs and corn dogs made earlier this month are being recalled over concerns of listeria contamination.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture says Altus, Oklahoma-based Bar-S Foods is recalling five chicken and pork products that could potentially be contaminated with listeria. The USDA says Bar-S hasn’t received test results, but is recalling the items due to recurring listeria issues at the company.

The recalled items include Bar-S bun-length and classic franks made with chicken and pork, Bar-S classic corn dogs and Signature Pick 5 corn dogs. They were made between July 10 and 13.

Listeria primarily affects older adults, pregnant women newborns and adults with weakened immune systems.

Read more: https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/listeria-fear-prompts-372k-pound-hot-dog-corn-dog-recall/2016/07/20/f14a2094-4e97-11e6-bf27-405106836f96_story.html


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