“Qur’an Teacher Who Sexually Abused Young Girls Gets 13 Years In Jail” – (Patheos)

This article was written by David McAfee and shared VIA The Friendly Atheist July 9th. I will not quote (nor comment on) the entire writing. Just some selected portions that I deem to be of importance.

Mohammed Haji Sadiq, a part-time imam who taught young kids about the Qur’an at a mosque in Wales, was just sentenced to 13 years in jail for his repeated assaults of four girls between the ages of 5 and 11. He reportedly abused them when they made a mistake in class.

For those who thought this was only a problem among Catholic priests, this should be a wake-up call. Sexual assaults are all too common within the Muslim tradition, too, and for many of the same reasons as we see in other institutionalized faiths without proper regulation.

For one, a number of Sadiq’s victims reportedly said they couldn’t tell anyone about the abuse because of cultural and religious taboos.

One girl said:

Due to my religion it was very difficult, almost impossible to tell anyone what had happened… In the Muslim religion we do not talk about personal matters.”

Another of Sadiq’s victims echoed the sentiments of the first in court. She said it was “not acceptable” to discuss what happened at the mosque.

“I remember the relief I felt when I told my mother, and she believed me and went to the police… In my family honour is very important, but my family have been very supportive.”

Any abuse of power is terrible. Religious authorities abusing their power (often with impunity) is in a category of all its own. The dark side of the catholic church is well known now.

But here we have something much worse. Not only do we have abuses of authority, we have abuses of authority within an already untrusted cohort. The victims here seem to have lucked out in terms of having a support network to look to (in their family). But imagine anything outside of this context.
Your community of worship is more than likley tainted. Your family will not hear of it. And the outside world is either automatically suspicious of you just based on your clothing, or uses it as a cruel form of confirmation bias.

Where does a person turn,  should they find themselves in this situation?

I don’t really have an answer to that question. And not just for abused Muslims either. The same goes for the abused (and the expats) of any number of religions. Religions that may not get the airtime that big names like Catholicism and Islam get, yet are more than likley just as bad (if not worse!). Another that comes to mind is Scientology.

Though its the social media way to react to these kinds of stories just because they tick us us off or seem to prove a point, it is more useful to took deeper.

It’s no secret that people in positions of authority will often take advantage of others, but when that is combined with an outdated ethical code and a lack of regulation, we see ongoing abuse and cover-ups. That’s what we need to stop.

I don’t really disagree. But I something to add.

As long as there are sacrosanct ideologies (be they religious, cultural, patriotic or otherwise), there will be situations like this. Or to clarify more, as long as most people place more weight on a label or reputation than on what is often right under their noses, these things will happen.

Be it high ranking members of pretty much ANY type of organization imaginable, or people that rank high on the credibility score just because of a lifetime of perceived morality.

Be fair and hear everyone out. But do not let labels or perceived reputations cloud your judgement.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The Atheist Air Conditioner

Its another warm day here in the continental interior.

Dubai. Abu Dhabi. Miami. Orlando. In essence, anywhere where the god awful heat of the summer sun makes outdoor activity an undue chore, and a good nights sleep without a fan an exercise in futility. Any place that makes one scratch their head in perplexity of how the village/town/city can be hundreds (if not thousands!)  of years old . . . when the era of residential and commercial air conditioning is just shy of 100 years old. How on earth did they do it?!

I have no idea. And for the sake of a comfortable nights sleep and Ice Cream (among other necessities that this cool trick of mechanical and thermal dynamics has enabled us to take for granted) I hope we collectively never have to find out again. What is more appealing . . . a reboot of 1800’s life? Or a long walk off a short pier?

We will cross that bridge when we get to it, as they say.

For now, back to it.

Its a device that sucks in the heated air of any structure in which it operates, and replaces it with cool goodness. Its an interesting device to look at in this context, because of how it operates. As informed by any number of forums and websites (surly I am not the only one that looks things up out of curiosity and boredom), refrigeration is less about the creation of cold than it is with the removal of heat.
Though the thermal dynamics stuff is WAY out of my league, it all essentially boils down to energy. Essentially, heat will always convect away from heated bodies to cooler bodies, changing both bodies thermal dynamic properties in the process. Like the heat of a hand into a glass of ice water, or the heat of a cup of coffee into the air surrounding it. Or the heat of a structure into the condenser coils of an air conditioning unit.

The process is simple. As liquids turn into gas, they also absorb heat. Which is where that excess heat from your house ends up. But the journey does not end there. No refrigeration system can operate without a heat sink, a place to get rid of all that excess heat its collected AND created during operation.
For your fridge, its your house. And for the A/C, its the outdoors. In the process of turning back from a gas to liquid, the excess heat is removed.

The air leaving an air conditioning unit has a lack of heat. Though not directly associated with Atheism in any way, it made the whole modern concept come to mind again. Things that are lacking.

I have used this analogy before with tea and sugar, and one can go to town with the possibilities available therein. But just as I liked the air travel analogy as it related to the term Apistevist (thank you United Airlines for recently making this analogy all the more interesting!), air conditioning as a concept that just . . . works.

At least for me.

It all boils down to the thermal dynamics of the process. Or more, what is left over. Though I cover this already to a degree, when thinking about refrigeration, one should not think of it as much a process of creation. Its not about creating cold. It more about removing heat.
Which is where the the idea struck me. Unlike other examples that I could use (such as drinking tea without sugar), we have in refrigeration, a process that culminates in a genuine lacking. A process that leaves a void. Its not cold. Its a lack of heat energy.

Lets contrast this genuine lacking to the current status quo definition of Atheism, as widely used these days.

disbelief or lack of belief in the existence of God or gods

That one was swiped from a quick Google search, but its fairly similar to anything you will find elsewhere. Either way, lack of belief in the existence of (a) God or Gods. I find this definition silly. Due to the fact that a choice was made, and as such, lacking is hardly applicable.

You do not lack knowledge that you are already aware of. It does not matter what supernatural, mythical or otherwise ridiculous example that you could name. You lack such knowledge before it is taught to you. But when it is and you have to make a choice on it, the term lacking is no longer applicable.
Before you knew of the concept, belief was irrelevant. After you came across the concept and made some choice on the matter, lacking is no longer fitting. Whether you say yes, say no, or decline to answer for whatever reason, there is a decision there.

Applying lacking to something like belief is silly, really. Though this is essentially the Nu-Atheist position, its a faulty one. Being that calling ones self an Atheist makes known where they stand on that given topic, they can’t really say that they lack belief anymore. They reviewed what is to be reviewed, and came to a conclusion.

Now, to move on to babies, Animals and inanimate objects. It could be argued (and IS argued by some) that these objects lack belief, and are therefore Atheist. But these objects also lack both belief and knowledge into ALL that makes up human culture, of which the religious stuff is but a small part.

Just as it is asinine to drag our pets (and babies, since that is also common) into our sheepish obsessions, it is also ridiculous to apply labels that have a place in our cultural context to things outside of that context. Babies do not deny the existence of deities. Yet though the argument could be made that they lack belief in deities, its just silly. Objects and beings outside of our cultural context do not even know of our languages, let alone any of the phenomenons described therein.
As such, this method of argumentation is less a reasoned approach then it is a grasp at ideological superiority. Really, the modern definition of atheism is that. When it is relevant, its unfitting almost to the point of being nonsense. An air conditioner helps make air athermal.  What air comes out in the building is generally lacking enough heat to keep things comfortable.

A genuine lacking.

I will now split the usage of the modern definition of the term Atheism term into 3 categories.

1.) Relevant

2.) Irrelevant

3.) Intolerant

Relevant is the usage as a self description, or of a description of a similar minded community. Irrelevant is usage of the term to describe objects or beings lacking belief in a deity due to isolation from human culture (such as animals, tables, or a shoes, as is popular on reddit). And intolerant is blanket usage of the term to encompass all of the secular community.
Two of these are directly attributable to the newer lacking definition. Which is why I don’t really consider either to be an argument. Its as weak an argument as any theistic sect proclaiming another sect to be no true Scotsman.

Even describing one self as lacking belief is a flawed argument. There is really no way to justify the usage of the term. For those that gave it some thought and ended up leaving behind (or simply not embracing) theistic religiosity, a choice was made. To turn this question on the atheists, if you said “No” to “Do you believe in a God or Gods?” , then that is a decision. You do not “lack” belief in a deity or deities. You had the knowledge to ask the question, and you answered in a committed way.

As for the situations that may fit into the current definition, again, its a weak (if not nonsensical) argument. Its silly to label humans, animals and objects that have no knowledge of how we structure our belief systems  with adjectives from that very environment.

Hence why, in my opinion, the status quo definition of Atheism should revert back to its original. Though the term lacking is certainly fitting in the context of the physical world (such as in thermal dynamics),  it hardly fits in the context of ideas and beliefs.

I just thought of yet another way to express this.

These days, AI (or artificial intelligence) is increasingly on peoples minds. Particularly the scare factor, as embedded in our consciousness by Hollywood (pretty much from the beginning). Were fearful of the day when our conscious or unconscious sentient creations may some day turn on us. In truth, I am not even sure how any of those word would apply (if at all). Though in this case, it doesn’t really matter anyway.

Lets take a robot. Sentient, conscious or unconscious . . . does not really matter. You ask it the question “Are you an atheist?”.

There are a number of ways this could go, given many factors. A robot that is relatively basic and ignorant of all but a very small scope of human culture may well not understand the question. A robot that has such knowledge may have some sort of answer to the question. But even this is suspect since it depends entirely on the information it is working with, which would be controlled by the sources. Some may even see us humans in somewhat of a godlike way. Since many of our interpretations of the concept start and end with some sort of creator, its an entirely possible outcome.

It would/will be interesting to see how a mind that is comprehending of, yet outside of,  our culture would interpret and answer these questions. If these intelligence’s are truly rooted in logic, will they end up in the same places that humans consider to be logical? Will they end up in many different places on the spectrum (like humans)?

Will there be a difference in the conclusions reached by conscious and unconscious robots? Will emotion be as much of a factor in this decision for the machines as it is for their human creators?
Related to that question, is the end of life. Since much of religion is consciously or unconsciously based around a fear of the unknown associated with death, will the same fears be present in machines?
Humans ascribe these emotions to machines all the time (particularly aircraft it seems, as shown in the comments of this video (and others like it) of demolitions in progress). But will robots also have such sentiments?

I suspect we won’t know the answer to this/these questions until the technology is actually in existence and functional. One thing that I do know however is that the typical ideological answer to “Do you believe in a god?” or “Are you an atheist?” are the wrong questions to be ascribing to that which is outside of our culture.

 

Posted in Other, Religion & Atheism | Leave a comment

“No, “Breatharians” Can’t Live Without Food (and Neither Can Anyone Else)” – (Patheos)

It seems that there is no limit to the ridiculousness that one may come across in the world of alternative health. Alan Jackson sang about “Livin on love” . . . these people apparently live off something equally unlikely.

You may have seen online that one couple — dubbed “Breatharians” — have “barely eaten” for nine years and have survived off of  “the universe’s energy.”

This claim is not only false, but impossible and even deadly.

I had not heard of this before now. But I am not surprised.

Specifically, I’m talking about Akahi Ricardo and Camila Castello, who say they survive on a few pieces of fruit and some vegetable broth about two times per week. A lot of media outlets have reported on this married couple, helping them spread their lies and promoting the dangerous notion that food and water aren’t necessary to sustain human life (even during pregnancy).

Husband and wife Akahi Ricardo and Camila Castello believe food and water is not necessary and that humans can be sustained solely by the energy of the universe.

Camila and Akahi — who have a five-year-old son and two-year-old daughter together — have survived on little else besides a piece of fruit or vegetable broth just 3 times per week since 2008.

And Camila even practised a Breatharian PREGNANCY — not eating anything during the entire nine months that she carried her first child.

The married couple-of-nine-years claim that their “food-free lifestyle” has improved their health and emotional well-being as well as meaning they can spend money on travelling rather than the weekly shop.

Uh . . .

If an adult wants to follow such beliefs, really . . . who are we to stop them. As they say, you can lead an idiot to knowledge, but you can’t make them think. The dynamic changes however when there are children in the picture. Good nutrition is an important part of child development. As such, this lifestyle (if forced on the children) could (should!) be considered a form of child abuse.

Keep in mind that none of this has ever been verified by anyone (including doctors), and no one has ever proven the existence of this “energy of the universe,” let alone shown that you can use it to sustain your life in lieu of actual nutrition.

Shocking revelation there.

These people are putting lives at risk by spreading misinformation that could prove deadly to men, women, and even unborn babies who don’t get enough nutrients due to their parents’ lifestyle.

Other Breatharians have made these claims before, and they will make them again, but that’s all they are: claims. It’s not like there’s a video camera following them around for a week to verify this. None of these people have ever been able to prove that they can live normal lives with no food or water, and that’s almost certainly because they can’t.

Would make for some interesting footage. Here’s an idea . . . give one of these families a reality show.

It is entirely possible that these people and others like them believe their stories, but that doesn’t make them true. And journalists have a responsibility to vet these claims before publishing them for millions of people to see. As one reader even mentioned to us, there are pro-ana (pro-anorexia) groups who celebrate articles like these because it gives them justification for not eating. In other words, by new outlets publicizing this lifestyle and not calling out the hoax, there’s a chance people may actually try it, despite the potentially fatal consequences.

Is that worth the pageviews?

ANYTHING is worth the page views. If it bleeds, it leads. If it clicks, it sticks.

Until advertising is a minimum income generator for news portals, you will see this happening.

Posted in Opinion, Various Commentary | Leave a comment

“Claiming ‘Bullying’ By Trump Over Gruesome Joke, Griffin Says She’s Standing Up For Free Speech” – (Yahoo News)

I didn’t think I was going to find myself touching on this again, but I guess here goes.

https://www.yahoo.com/news/1285364-170602063.html?.tsrc=daily_mail&uh_test=2_14

I touched on this on Twitter a couple times since it broke, but it seems I wasn’t aware of everything. Small details, but important details none the less. One of the big ones being that Griffin herself is a bit of a dumbass.

Calling her firing from CNN “censorship,” comedian Kathy Griffin said in a press conference Friday that she would stand up for free speech in the face of fallout from a controversial image of President Trump she tweeted this week.

No, Kathy. It is not censorship. Thanks for raising THAT idiotic misunderstanding of law up from social media and right into the mainstream, by the way.

First off, being disallowed to do a single show in the span of a year hardly seems like censorship. In fact, I am guessing that by the time that New Years Eve rolls around, NO ONE will remember this. That is just the way it is with these things.
And that is not even taking into consideration what could happen between then and now.

As for the whole “I will stand for free speech!” thing, easy to do in a free nation surrounded by lawyers. Either way, nothing to see here but a publicity stunt turned attention grab using the free speech hysteria of late as its basis.

“I am not afraid of Donald Trump. He is a bully,” Griffin said.

Indeed.

As Rosie, and many other people likley know personally. It comes with the territory. Being born with a silver spoon in your mouth comes with its perks.

Unfortunately for Trump though, as he seems to be increasingly learning by way of his actions and behavior of late, even THAT has its limits. He is no longer dealing with wealthy contemporaries and heading a team of subordinates. True power and true responsibility . . . I doubt he will (or possibly even CAN) grasp this new arena in which he resides.
Not all that different from the DPRK’s Kim Jong Un, really.

I (and really, I suspect MANY people!) would respect the man if he simply decided that this was all to much, and stepped aside. But I can hardly respect someone that CLEARLY has no idea what the fuck he is doing, yet still stays in place.

So yeah . . . fuck him.

While Griffin expressed remorse for posting an image of herself holding a bloody mask of Trump, she also accused Trump and his family of “bullying” her, and hit out at CNN, which on Wednesday fired her from its New Year’s Eve broadcast.

Fallout from her tweet was quick and severe, with celebrities and members of both parties criticizing Griffin for going too far. Trump responded to the post Wednesday morning, tweeting that Griffin should “be ashamed of herself.”

First off, I don’t agree that she should show remorse. To quote a close friend that will likley lose a bit of respect for me for even posting this . . . this whole thing is nonsense.

In terms of gore, this incident ain’t shit. I have seen more offensive black metal album covers than this (including one depicting a suicide). Not to mention the horrors behind the scenes that we don’t see.
Everyone flips out when a celebrity does a stupid publicity stunt with a prop . . . and yet, one could likley see graphics 1000 times more gory if they were to observe the aftermath of a drone strike. Real people.

Not just a fucking prop.

“My children, especially my 11 year old son, Barron, are having a hard time with this. Sick!” the tweet read.

For this, I will link to a rather hilarious observation of a David Pakman Show live caller. That observation being that based on past behavior, Trump seems more worried about HIMSELF than anyone else (family included).

Do with that what you will. A bit of a cheap shot I admit.

Other Trump family members also condemned the post. Trump’s son Donald Jr. called the image “disgusting,” and said that the video Griffin later posted as an apology was “phony.” First lady Melania Trump said the video makes one “wonder about the mental health of the person who did it.”

1.) Naturally.

2.) Melania is in no position to be judging ANYONE’S mental health. Just saying.

A tearful Griffin said she had been contacted by the Secret Service about the matter, and that she feared for the future of her career, noting that multiple venues have already canceled her shows. She also said that she has received death threats.

“The death threats that I’m getting are constant and they are detailed,” she said. “Today it’s me. Tomorrow, it could be you.”

What career?!

Again, a cheapshot. But no . . . I doubt this will be remembered much after maybe a month or 2. Or in today’s progression of news . . . 2 days!

As for the death threats . . . unfortunately, but a part of fame or notoriety in a free world. Though the internet has certainly made making such threat easier, its nothing new.

Griffin said most of the criticism stemming from her post is because she is a women.

“Cut the crap. This wouldn’t happen to a guy. … I have been living with this my whole career,” Griffin said, later adding that she was used to “older white guys trying to keep me down my whole life.”

Gotta admit that I didn’t see the feminist angle coming. Way to go. You just threw a bone to the feminists and anti-feminists. The creators, Google and Patreon should be ever grateful.

There are a couple of ways of looking at this. On one hand, one could find a ring of truth to this, considering that Marilyn Manson did the very same thing back in November (HOW DID I NOT KNOW THIS?!).

Well, not exactly.

http://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/watch-marilyn-mansons-brutal-trump-inspired-say10-video-w449091

Manson told The Daily Beast it is open to interpretation. “It’s about the desperate acts of people who believe something that is preached by an unbeliever,” he said, adding: “Right now we’re in such a state of confusion when it comes to religion, politics, sexuality, and how they all tie together, and it’s being turned into a circus and a sideshow – and that’s something that I’ve been described as a ringleader of. It seems like a time for me as an artist, and as an American artist, to make something that causes a new set of questions to arise that aren’t simply statements.”

Either way, at least 2 other metal bands (GWAR and Municipal Waste, I believe) are claiming to have decapitated Trump first. I really don’t doubt that.

But all in all, beside the point. The point being that men can seemingly behead Trump, but women can’t. Whilst seemingly true on the surface . . . in reality, there is more to consider.

While all of the above indeed fit into the generalized categories that are celebrity and male/female, that is pretty much where the associations end. When it comes to both GWAR and Marilyn Manson, the shocking and controversial is to be expected. Not so much however with someone like Kathy Griffin. A better male comparison would be an Anderson Cooper, Don Lemon (HA!) or Jake Tapper.

Though it likley has some weight in the conversation (sexism is pervasive), I would characterize its weight in this whole thing as minimal.

While Griffin did not say whether she was filing suit against CNN or Trump, her lawyer accused Trump of trying to silence those who disagree with him.

1.) I would hope not, because she would lose on both counts. One, because she clearly misunderstands free speech laws. And the 2ed . . . because she clearly misunderstands free speech laws.

Wait, WHAT?!

2.) That happens with Trump. Settlement agreements are to him what cell phone contracts are to us.

I couldn’t help myself.

“The message is clear: criticize the president, lose your job,” attorney Lisa Bloom said, adding that she has received hate mail for representing Griffin in the matter.

Uh. Its like were dealing with children.

No. Criticize all you want, like millions of others both inside AND outside of the boundaries of the US. Just do not expect all forms of criticism to be treated equally in terms of reaction. If you do a tasteless photo shoot holding the current presidents decapitated head, expect problems if part of your bread and butter is in seemingly family friendly media contexts. That is not shocking censorship, that is common sense.

If it is not apparent by NOW what drives away advertising dollars (and thus what actions will make one more vulnerable to falling victim) , then I don’t know what to say. Just in the last 2 months ALONE, the internet AND Fox News have dealt with major shakeups due to this very thing. Even Bill O’Reilly was not immune.

I don’t necessarily agree that advertisers should be the gatekeeper of media. That is just how things are right now.

Posted in Free Speech, Opinion, Various Commentary | Leave a comment

The Cure To Dementia – A Beverage?

For the pest few months, I have been keeping up with a couple of secular contributors on the web platform Patheos. Though the website is primarily inhabited by the theisticly inclined (primarily Christians, being it is hosted in the US), there are other voices in the mix as well (including some secular).

The ad network that the Patheos platform as a whole utilizes however, is interesting, and unlike any other that I have been tracked by elsewhere. Its obviously tailored to the majority user base of the platform (Christians).
But since it pays the bills, I don’t mind seeing pro Jesus this or that within contributor email newsletters, or within articles. Even this blog has some advertising in it (at least in my earlier posts. In later years they seem to have gone away, oddly enough).

Anyway, advertising is one thing. I just ignore it, like all the other white noise in life. However, there is typical advertising (which is increasingly becoming intertwined with legitimate content, but that is another matter altogether). And then there is this.

Again, I have never seen this ad ANYWHERE else before, aside from Patheos. I suspect it may be common on more Christian oriented platforms. But as you may have guessed, I rarely ever browse those.

My curiosity is peaked, however. Though I don’t normally click these things, I decided to investigate this one. I was brought here, and shown a video.

https://pro.nutritionandhealing.com/p/NAH170124A/LNAHT347/?h=true

And now, some digging.

 Lets start with Christine O’Brien, supposedly a researcher for “one of America’s top doctors”. Their bosses name? For them to know, and us to dig up, apparently.

Unfortunately, its a quite common name (if its a real one). From an obituary in a small town to high positions all over the map, there are many to find. However, we do know one thing from the video. Were not looking for someone of authority. Were looking for someone working for an authority. Makes things a bit murkier, but none the less a lead.

And we have a possible lead. She (or someone using the pseudonym, possibly the same person in both instances) has written a few articles on a website called Healthier Talk. Her short bio within the articles tells us this:

Christine O’Brien is an alternative health reporter dedicated to researching and writing about natural health.

Ms. O’Brien has written for Nutrition & Healing, Healthier Talk and a variety of other natural and alternative health outlets. She believes in the power of natural medicine and her goal is to open people’s eyes to the benefits of alternative and integrative medicine.

Christine is passionate about helping people help themselves without having to turn to harsh drugs or invasive surgeries.

Bingo.

Since the video I was directed to from the ad is hosted on the Nutrition & Healing (looks to be an alternative health publication. Naturally) website, it seems that I am on the right track. She is real, as is her mysterious boss . . . a Dr. Glenn S. Rothfeld.

First off, her boss.

Here is a small snippet of what he says about himself, straight from the horses mouth.

For nearly 35 years Dr. Rothfeld has helped patients identify and conquer the true underlying causes of diseases like diabetes, arthritis, and even cancer. His cutting-edge research into neurological diseases is creating exciting new avenues of treatment for seniors struggling with everything from Alzheimer’s to Parkinson’s disease.

http://nutritionandhealing.com/about/

I’m sure he has.

Either way, it looks like he has a practice in Waltham Massachusetts. He has few reviews, though he seems to have quite a web presence (in the alternative health scene). The books alone are quite something, boasting claims such as this:

The Atlas of Natural Cures is the incredible program that provides you the medicinal mushroom compound that can save you from 4 out of the 5 most common cancers, using the power of your immune system. This mushroom extract “switches on” the most powerful cancer-fighting system in nature…It’s blessedly free of side effects since it’s your immune system killing cancer instead of an external poison. It seems to work on any cancer, with research on cells from liver, colon, skin, breast, and lung cancers, multiple myelomas, leukemia, melanoma and more…This program is the proven method that works so well. This program will reverse your disease and also help you to live the healthy longer life are starting to emerge. Finally, you can get back your healthy brain function, the memories, quick thinking, intelligence, and the sense of humor.

https://www.amazon.com/Atlas-Natural-Cures-Glenn-Rothfeld/dp/B01NCJ65HW 

No doubt that this also comes with that pesky little bit of legalese also found on the N & H website.

Health Disclaimer! The information provided on this site should not be construed as personal medical advice or instruction. No action should be taken based solely on the contents of this site. Readers should consult appropriate health professionals on any matter relating to their health and well-being. The information and opinions provided here are believed to be accurate and sound, based on the best judgment available to the authors, but readers who fail to consult appropriate health authorities assume the risk of any injuries. The publisher is not responsible for errors or omissions.

Translation: If you end up getting cancer and croaking because you gave them money for a book of BS, you can’t sue!

Dr. Glenn Rothfeld is a fully-licensed MD and acupuncturist whose expertise spans conventional and non-traditional medicine.

*​We are not a primary care doctor’s office, although we provide services for general wellness, preventative care, and chronic conditions.

** (Mott0)
We believe that both health and disease are functions of physical, emotional and spiritual factors

http://www.rothfeldcenter.com/

It just gets better, doesn’t it.

Either way, he certainly has a lot going on in the alt med world. But that is enough background. Back on track.

It looks like this whole thing is based on something called the ICT protocol. It is part of a book called 81 Natural Cures For Cancer, Diabetes, Alzheimer’s And More, a book that Dr Rothfeld is generously giving away for free. However, they have a very limited number of copies, so you gotta get while the getting is good.

Read between the lines on this one.

That still leaves me wondering however . . . What is the ICT protocol?

First off, some medicine stuff. The common wisdom is that Alzheimer’s is caused by the build up of beta-amyloid plaque within the brain, which leads to the confusion, memory loss, disorientation and other symptoms of the disease. Most of the drugs (and research in this area) is aimed at tackling that build-up.
However, the ICT protocol (allegedly the product of a mysterious experiment funded by the US government) is based around the hypothesis that the buildup stage is essentially the final stage of the process. The claim is rooted in the fact that as we age, the body’s metabolism slows. As it slows, the body’s ability to extract proper nutrients for brain function begins to deteriorate.  Leading to a loss of nutrient values that directly affects brain function. An affect that (it seems) they feel outweighs the presence of the buildup.

And thus, the answer is the replacement of those nutrients.

Unfortunately, the list of ingredients that makes up the ICT protocol seems to be no where to be found. Yes, there is that book by Dr. Rothfeld. However, when evaluating a claim, using the claim is hardly honest.
No where can I find the list, the cited study, anything really. Well, anything outside of untrustworthy testimonials and so called reviews. They give away few ingredients in the ad, one being medium chain triglycerides (they allegedly are absorbed by the body better than other triglycerides).
I have no idea. That (like all other questions and inquiries into serious health related things) is a question for a medical professional. A REAL medical professional.

Either way, it seems that the jury is out on the dementia reversing ICT protocol. Well, not really. Like the other 80 cures to almost every illness that our personal temple can throw at us, remember the disclaimer:

Health Disclaimer! The information provided on this site should not be construed as personal medical advice or instruction. No action should be taken based solely on the contents of this site. Readers should consult appropriate health professionals on any matter relating to their health and well-being. The information and opinions provided here are believed to be accurate and sound, based on the best judgment available to the authors, but readers who fail to consult appropriate health authorities assume the risk of any injuries. The publisher is not responsible for errors or omissions.

If you think it wise to put your health in those hands . . . I won’t stop you. Don’t say you were not warned however. Considering that were dealing with very serious illnesses here.

Interestingly, there were other findings in this journey. There already is a drink that allegedly serves this purpose on the market (at least in Europe and in some other nations). Its called Sovenaid, and it apparently slows the progression of early stage Alzheimers disease with regular consumption.
A more recent European study came up with this:

Overall, Souvenaid made no difference on the NTB composite. The treatment group did not perform differently from the placebo group. This is the primary result of the trial.

But it is not all bad.

The drink affected hippocampal volume. After two years, this brain structure had atrophied 39 percent more in the placebo than the treatment group. Hartmann interpreted this to be a good thing, saying that AD patients have more shrinkage than age-matched controls early in disease, and this may parallel disease progression (Oct 2009 conference newsHennemen et al., 2009; Barnes et al., 2009). He commented, however, that whether atrophy changes translate into cognitive and clinical benefit remains to be seen. Other studies are less clear about how hippocampal volume loss relates to age, disease, and treatment  (Jun 2013 news; Jul 2004 conference news).

http://www.alzforum.org/news/conference-coverage/souvenaid-trial-missed-primary-partially-met-secondary-endpoints

This study has at least 2 more years to go, so we will see where it goes from here. If you live in a market where this is not yet available (such as North America), don’t expect to be picking this stuff up anytime soon (if ever).

And speaking of related studies, UCLA also had a hand in a small study that got a lot of coverage recently.

In the UCLA protocol, patients made dramatic lifestyle changes. They avoided simple carbs, gluten and processed foods. They increased their fish intake, took yoga and meditated. They were instructed to take melatonin, get adequate sleep, incorporate vitamin B-12, vitamin D-3 and fish oil.

Within six months, nine patients saw a noticeable improvement in memory. One patient, who was in the late stages of Alzheimer’s, did not show improvement.

UCLA researchers say the findings suggest at least early on, changing a person’s metabolic processes can bring back memory and cognitive function.

Six of the patients of the patients in the study who had to discontinue working were all able to return to their jobs. Study authors say some patients were followed up to two and a half years and the memory improvements remained.

http://abc7news.com/health/non-drug-treatment-may-reverse-alzheimers/336963/

But as with everything else, there is more to it.

But he admitted there are some limitations to the study. It is complex and the burden falls on patients and caregivers to follow it.

In this study, no patients were able to stick to the entire protocol, their most common complaints being the diet and lifestyle changes and having to take multiple pills each day.

Dr Bredesen added: ‘It is noteworthy that the major side effects of this therapeutic system are improved health and an improved body mass index, a stark contrast to the side effects of many drugs.’

Furthermore, he said while the findings suggest memory loss can be reversed and improvements sustained, the results need to be replicated.

The size of the sample is also a factor. 10 participants is far to small of a pool to garner a reliable result from. As, it seems, is noted.

I guess the close to this is . . . though it would be great to have a quick fix to these problems, at least at this time, it is not possible.
As well, it seems that a note of precaution is in order. Though dealing with (even thinking about!) diseases like cancer and alzheimers is scary, you have to be careful. Scared people are also vulnerable people.

Though taking advantage of the vulnerable is as despicable as it sounds, one has to play it safe. Where there is a dollar to be earned . . . you can bet that someone won’t bat an eyelash in swooping in for that money. No matter the cost.

Its a good rule of thumb to use EVERYWHERE in life. But its certainly a must where ones (or ones loved ones!) health is concerned.

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“Culturally Insensitive Gáy Pôrn (featuring a Didgeridoo)” – (TJ Kirk)

Here we have something that made me laugh and damn near spit out my coffee this morning. And that was just reading the title of the video!

It seems that Men.com has found a whole new use for the Didgeridoo.

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The engine of irrationality inside the rationalists

I first came across this whole situation yesterday when browsing Twitter. It peaked my interest, being that I at first mistook it as a retort to a previously published (and very much criticized) paper on (I believe) the similarities of Trans-racialism and Transgenderism. Do not quote me on this, I don’t directly deal with this stuff (persay), but I often find myself discussing it with someone directly involved in these areas.

Either way, though it seems that the internet is incapable of being even slightly critical of the rational Gods of Atheism, for me, that luxury went away a long time ago. Which is why when I suddenly start seeing tweets from Sam Harris, Richard Dawkins and other so called thinkers praising some paper that I am unsure of, my first instinct is “I must be missing something here”. Good thing I know the right people to help me verify this stuff.

If my grasp is correct . . . what we have here is an EXTREMELY frustrating wasted opportunity. Rather than use this as an opportunity to focus on the problem of academic journals publishing almost anything for the right price (note that the hoax paper was turned down by one journal, and the authors had to PAY for publication!), most of the attention is being put towards slamming gender studies.

For fuck sakes, you rationalist dipshits . . . these papers are benchmarks. They are sourced by media (among others) for any number of reasoning’s. Thus it is of the utmost importance that it is not easy to publish trash as credible material.

To miss this important teachable moment just because trashing Gender Studies is more enticing click bait (lets be honest!) is asinine. If anything, it exposes on a brilliantly grand scale what I have known for a long time already . . . that even the so called “rational” community isn’t beyond ideological sheepishness.

Click below to read the full article. Comments on the article can be left there, and comments on my input can be left here.

Ketan Joshi

There’s a multi-directional cacophony of gleeful back-patting ringing out across my Twitter feed at the moment. The outpouring of joy stems from an article published in Skeptic Magazine. Peter Boghossian and James Lindsay managed to submit a hoax article to a gender studies journal, and are hailing this as a profound, thermonuclear indictment on the entirety of gender studies, social science and the “academic left”. They wrote that:

“We assumed that if we were merely clear in our moral implications that maleness is intrinsically bad and that the penis is somehow at the root of it, we could get the paper published in a respectable journal” 

Their article was initially rejected by a journal, “NORMA: International Journal for Masculinity Studies”. But they were referred to a smaller outlet, ‘Cogent Social Sciences’, that offers publication where you ‘pay what you like’ (apparently, they didn’t pay anything).

On the face of…

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