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HuckleB's Journal
HuckleB's Journal
October 5, 2016

It's About The Stigma, Stupid. (Trump shows ignorance, as well as crass scumminess, on PTSD.)

Donald Trump’s Comments On Veteran Suicide Are Exactly Why There’s PTSD Stigma


Veterans are not weak for having a mental health disorder. And it’s insulting to equate strength with not having a mental health issue after returning from combat.

It’s not surprising that Trump is wearing blinders on the subject of veteran mental health: He has a history of invalidating the sacrifices of former service members. Earlier this year he claimed that Sen. John McCain is “not a war hero” because he was captured in the Vietnam War. He also made disparaging comments about Khizr and Ghazala Khan, the parents of a soldier killed in Iraq.

Trump also has a long track record of making ignorant remarks about mental illness in general. Last year, he suggested mental health issues were the cause behind the killing of two Virginia journalists. He also mocked former GOP presidential candidate Ted Cruz’s wife Heidi Cruz for an apparent episode of depression.


Last week, President Barack Obama offered his take on veteran mental health issues during a CNN town hall, noting that the stigma around PTSD needs to be dissolved. Obama pointed out that asking for help is an act of courage.


Ignorant Trump remarks a setback for fight against PTSD stigma

"Rachel Maddow reports on the outrage over remarks Donald Trump made about veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress, and explains that while Trump may have meant well, his framing of the issue not only demonstrated his ignorance but was actually damaging to the cause of destigmatizing PTS and mental health for veterans. and getting them the help they need and deserve."


October 5, 2016

FDA Warns About Homeopathic Teething Products


"The FDA recently put out a consumer warning about homeopathic teething gels and pills. The warning states:

“The FDA recommends that consumers stop using these products and dispose of any in their possession.”

The warning is not due to the fact that homeopathic products are entirely useless. As we have discussed here often, the basic principles of homeopathy are pure pseudoscience. The practice of diluting substances so that almost no or no active ingredient remains means that most homeopathic products are just sugar pills. Further, clinical studies show that homeopathic products don’t work. There isn’t a single homeopathic product that has been shown to be effective for a single condition with rigorous clinical trials.

The FDA acknowledges this, writing in their warning:

“Homeopathic teething tablets and gels have not been evaluated or approved by the FDA for safety or efficacy. The agency is also not aware of any proven health benefit of the products, which are labeled to relieve teething symptoms in children.”

This may sound confusing, since the entire homeopathic pharmacopoeia has been pre-approved by the FDA and are sold as drugs. What they are saying is that they are not approved, “for safety or efficacy.” So they are approved, but without any guarantee that they are safe or effective.



So much for "What's the harm?"

September 30, 2016

Donald Trump Charity Gave to Jenny McCarthy’s Anti-Vaxx Crusade

Not only has the Republican nominee repeated junk science about vaccines, but he’s also given money to help the dangerous cause.

"Donald Trump has not only spread dangerous misinformation about the links between vaccines and autism, but he’s also given money to the anti-vaxxer cause.

His monetary support for the conspiracy theory came in the form of a $10,000 check to an anti-vaccine charity run by former Playboy model and television host Jenny McCarthy.

Trump’s monetary and moral support for McCarthy’s discredited ideas have real, harmful effects—they contribute to the mainstreaming of a conspiracy theory at a time when parents are increasingly deciding to opt out of vaccines despite medical advice.

McCarthy has been a vocal opponent of chemicals in vaccines since 2007, citing discredited studies and experiences with her autistic son. “The University of Google is where I got my degree from,” she once said in an interview.



September 28, 2016

Scientists say: "Donald Trump is Not Who We Are" (Sign The Open Letter)


"As members of the scientific community, we invite our colleagues to stand together in making it clear that Donald Trump's views on many pressing topics are at odds with scientific reality and represent a dangerous rejection of scientific thinking.

There should be no place for this kind of rhetoric - or this kind of attitude toward expertise itself - in the halls of government.

As a community, we affirm the values that make us who we are: curiosity, skepticism, integrity, and simple adherence to the facts.

Join us in saying: Donald Trump is not who we are.



DU scientists, please sign the open letter!

September 14, 2016

Industry sucks, but this is a more balanced take on the story.

It argues that all industry sucks, basically.



I think this latest round of information can only be understood in the context of the longstanding diet wars. Heart disease has become the number one cause of death, as life expectancy has increased and we have reduced many other causes of mortality.

Overweight and obesity are also diseases of modern civilization which is characterized by abundance and an increasingly sedentary lifestyle. Further, the food industry is driven by market forces which favor tasty foods, which often means being high in fat and/or sugar.


A recent study comparing high fat, high sugar, and a “prudent” diet (essentially a moderate diet) also reveals this basic pattern of not seeing much difference. They looked at all cause mortality, heart deaths and heart events. The high fat diet was associated with increased overall mortality, but not heart deaths or events. The high sugar diet was associated with a borderline but not significant trend toward higher heart deaths and events but not overall deaths. The prudent diet had no increased risk.

There are also various food industries that would love for the research to show that the food they produce is the healthiest – for example, the sugar industry, the dairy industry, and the meat industry. All these industries fund research hoping to show that their product is healthful.


September 9, 2016

Dr. Bob Sears, critic of vaccine laws, could lose license after exempting toddler


"Dr. Bob Sears, an Orange County pediatrician and nationally known critic of vaccination laws, faces the loss of his medical license after the state medical board accused him of improperly excusing a toddler from immunization and endangering both the child and the public.

The Medical Board of California contends in legal documents released Thursday that Sears committed “gross negligence” and deviated from standard practice when he issued a letter in 2014 prescribing no more vaccines for the child.

In the six-page accusation, the medical board faults Sears for failing to obtain a detailed history of a 2-year-old patient’s vaccines before writing the letter and instead relying on the child’s mother, who described how the boy lost urinary function and went limp in response to previous immunizations.

By not providing an “evidence-based recommendation,” Sears left the child, his mother and “future contacts at risk for preventable and communicable disease,” according to the medical board’s accusation.



It's about time something was done about this guy.

September 7, 2016

Science Moms Trailer #1


This is good stuff!
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.

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