Friday, August 31, 2007

The Big Vitamin Scare

Originally published February 28 2007

The latest round in conventional medicine's ongoing attempts to discredit (and ultimately outlaw) nutritional supplements is found in a highly questionable study published this week in the Journal of the American Medical Association, which claims that vitamins actually increase the risk of death.

The study claims to have analyzed a collection of previous studies on Vitamin A, beta carotene, Vitamin C, Vitamin E and selenium, concluding that most of the nutrients are actually dangerous to human health. Of course, this is research from conventional medicine – an industry that promotes patented chemicals as perfectly safe, even though FDA-approved pharmaceuticals are killing 100,000 Americans each year. (Imagine the uproar if vitamins killed even a fraction of that number…)

To avoid getting hoodwinked by questionable research on "vitamins," you have to strongly consider the financial interests of the source of this research. JAMA accepts millions of dollars in advertising from drug companies each year, and its pages are absolutely packed with drug ads. The American Medical Association, for its part, has long worked to discredit alternative medicine and has even been found guilty by U.S. federal courts of engaging in a conspiracy to destroy chiropractic medicine. The AMA, which is largely considered a joke by anyone familiar with natural health, is hardly a credible source for publishing scientific f indings on nutrition. To protect the multi-billion dollar drug industry, the AMA would say practically anything, I believe.

How to fake a vitamin study

Faking a vitamin study to show supplements as harmful is extremely easy to pull off, by the way. All you have to do is use synthetic forms of the vitamins and avoid using natural, food-sourced vitamins . These synthetic vitamins – which are really just industrial chemicals – may be called "Vitamin E" or "Vitamin A" or even "Vitamin C" but they have no functional resemblance to the real vitamins that occur in nature. Every single study over the past two decades that has sought to discredit Vitamin E, for example, focused on using synthetic Vitamin E in order to show harm. It is curious that no researcher from the world of conventional medicine will ever test the natural, full-spectrum vitamins, nutrients and phytochemicals that appear in nature. You know why? Because they would discover a universe of natural medicine that makes patented prescription drugs obsolete.

A second way to fake a vitamin meta-data study is to simply cherry-pick the results you want to include in your meta-data analysis. This is a routine trick used by dishonest researchers who have an agenda of discrediting nutritional supplements. To pull this one off, they simply eliminate all previous studies that showed positive results for vitamins, and include only previous studies that showed negative results. Then they run a statistical analysis on all the studies they hand-picked and declare – surprise! – those vitamins are dangerous! Many of the studies on vitamin E, by the way, were conducted on dying heart patients who were only expected to live two weeks, regardless of what they took.

And yet, it is curious that when conventional medical researchers report the results of mortality risks for their prescription drugs, they always use absolute risk. They say things like, "Well, this drug only increased the risk by one percent." But what they are not saying is that it may be a 200% relative increase in mortality risk, depending on the baseline absolute mortality numbers. So i f only 0.5 people out of 100 normally died from heart disease during a particular study, but 1.5 people died when taking a drug during that study, the relative risk increase is 200%. But the medical journals and the mainstream media will report is at a "one percent increase."

You see how the game is played? Here's the con:

• All statistics on the dangers of prescription drugs are reported as absolute risk to make the numbers seem smaller (and make drugs seem safe).

• All statistics on the dangers of synthetic vitamins are reported as relative risk to make the numbers seem larger (and vitamins seem dangerous).

And this is how conventional medicine lies with statistics. It's only one of the many tricks used to disinform the American public about the dangers of pharmaceuticals or the benefits of nutrition.

This research published in JAMA does remind us of one important point, however: synthetic chemicals are harmful to human health. If you take cheap "vitamins" made of these synthetic chemicals, you are doing yourself more harm than good. These cheap vitamin manufacturers, by the way, are usually owned by pharmaceutical firms. I would personally never take vitamins purchased at common retailers such as Wal-Mart or Walgreens. I only recommend and consume vitamins from high-end nutritional supplement companies

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Hell is Freezing Over

We learn today that Texas Gov. Rick Perry has commuted the death sentence of Kenneth Foster, scheduled to be executed tonight, to life in prison. This rare commutation is due in large measure to the tireless efforts of Afrosphere blogger Eddie Grifffin and activists from the around the world. The following is from Mr. Griffin's blog post today:

It still hasn't socked in... that Kenneth Foster will live. In a last ditch appeal from supporters around to world to save Foster's life, along with recommendations from the Texas Pardons and Parole Board, Governor Rick Perry stayed the execution, which was scheduled for this evening, and commuted Foster's sentence to life... Read more

"After carefully considering the facts of this case, along with the recommendation from the Board of Pardons and Paroles, I believe the right and just decision is to commute Foster's sentence from the death penalty to life imprisonment," Perry said in a statement.

"I am concerned about Texas law that allowed capital murder defendants to be tried simultaneously and it is an issue I think the legislature should examine."

Once again, the power of a collective voice has been demonstrated. Texas governor's just don't commute death sentences because they usually have too much political capital tied up in being "tough on crime" with their base. The facts seem to have prevailed here. Mr. Foster didn't kill anyone and that alone warrants this commutation. However it never hurts to add a little pressure from around the world to help folks make the right decision and do the right thing!

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

We're #1!

From Reuters: U.S. most armed country with 90 guns per 100 people

The United States has 90 guns for every 100 citizens, making it the most heavily armed society in the world, a report released on Tuesday said. U.S. citizens own 270 million of the world's 875 million known firearms, according to the Small Arms Survey 2007 by the Geneva-based Graduate Institute of International Studies. About 4.5 million of the 8 million new guns manufactured worldwide each year are purchased in the United States, it said. "There is roughly one firearm for every seven people worldwide. Without the United States, though, this drops to about one firearm per 10 people," it said.

Wow. 9 guns for every 10 people. And you can bet this doesn't begin to count the number of weapons out there "illegally." Of course the publication of this study will lead to the inevitable defense of the senseless gun culture in America, but all you have to do is look at cities around the country to see the damage wrought by such easy access to firearms by people more than willing to use them. Of further interest in the Reuters article were these tidbits:

On a per-capita basis, Yemen had the second most heavily armed citizenry behind the United States, with 61 guns per 100 people, followed by Finland with 56, Switzerland with 46, Iraq with 39 and Serbia with 38. France, Canada, Sweden, Austria and Germany were next, each with about 30 guns per 100 people, while many poorer countries often associated with violence ranked much lower. Nigeria, for instance, had just one gun per 100 people.

"Firearms are very unevenly distributed around the world. The image we have of certain regions such as Africa or Latin America being awash with weapons -- these images are certainly misleading," Small Arms Survey director Keith Krause said.

Where Ya At Madame C.J. Walker?

Found this interesting post over at the Afrosphere's African American Opinion blog via African American Political Pundit and Eurweb.

How did Koreans start operating hair and nail salons in black communities across America. Almost overnight? Why did we allow Koreans to (t)ake over a business that was historically a business operated with the black community and mostly by black women. How did all this happen? Who was asleep at the wheel? Is it not time to take our business back one neighborhood, one community at a time?

My wife talks about this issue all of the time, especially how these products are damaging Black women's hair. Here's some additional food for thought from filmmaker Aron Ranen.

Maybe, ... it's time for an Organic Beauty Product revolution ... A backlash against all the chemicals that are making black woman's hair fall out...healing as Aron points out, here is where it could get interesting.... how about BLACK Farmers growing the organic ingredients!!!
Go here to read more.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

I Feel Ya

Peter Tosh understood the bigger picture. Listen.

Friday, August 10, 2007

The Stuff I Get In My Email

Meanwhile at a prison somewhere in the Phillipines, prisoner rehabilitation efforts are well underway through dance therapy. Somehow I don't see this happening here.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Hell in a Handbasket

I was reading Field Negro's posts from the past few days, but this one in particular matched my mood today. So forgive me Field for blogging on basically the same thing, but your posts really got me to thinking about what the hell is going on in this society.

The murder rate in cities like Philadelphia and New Orleans is through the roof, mostly of the senseless variety; a horrific rape and assault in Florida that defies description; the murders and attempted murder of 4 promising young students in New Jersey; etc., etc.. The list goes on and on, but the aforementioned involve our people. Then i got an email today detailing this incident that took place about a month ago.

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) A man fatally shot his three children and then took his own life in a Montgomery home Sunday night as law officers hunted for him on a domestic violence claim by his estranged wife, police said.

...Eric Robinson, 42, was found in the house where his wife, Brenda Robinson, lived with their three children. Robinson, who lived at a different address, fatally shot the children, (police spokesman Barnett) said. The three children a 4-year-old girl and boys aged 6 and 11 were found in Eric Robinson's car outside the house where the wife lived with her children and her mother. The police spokesman said there had been an "ongoing domestic violence relationship" and officers had been actively looking for Robinson after his wife signed a warrant Sunday afternoon accusing him of violating a protective order.

I had not heard about it until today, but suffice it to say, this takes the cake. I have no problem with someone who feels the need to shoot themselves, but damn, leave the kids out of it. How in the world can you even bring yourself to aim a gun at a 4, 6, and 12 year old? And if there was a protective order against the husband for domestic violence, what was he doing with the kids unsupervised?

But the real question is what the hell is wrong with people these days? Has the daily dosage of violence that we see in the form of bombs dropped in the name of democracy around the world desensitized Americans to violence? Video games maybe? Fatherless households? Poverty? What? I don't know the answer to my own question, but I do know that something is obviously wrong. Especially with us.

There used to be a time, not long ago, when an incident like those above happened you didn't have to ask if the perpetrator was Black. We just did not do stuff like this. Now, you just don't know. And it's getting worse.

America has some soul searching to do, and in Black America, we reaIly need to take a close look inside. I just hope we have enough time left to do it before this path we're own takes us all straight to hell, whether here or in the afterlife.

Monday, August 06, 2007

Jena 6 Update

From the Electronic Village:

The charges against the Jena Six -- the Black Louisana high school students charged with attempted murder for a school fight in which a white student was beaten up -- have not been dropped or overturned. However, the local school board did cut down the tree in the schoolyard.

Read the whole post, including action items here.

This is at least a bit of good news, but the ultimate goal is to have all of the charges dropped against the "defendants." We all know that this case is a bunch of nonsense, but apparently some folks need to be dragged kicking and screaming into the 21st century. That's where the Afrosphere has burst on the scene.

The Jena 6 didn't registered even a blip on the national scene until Afrospear bloggers started spreading the word and highlighting the details of this travesty of justice, not to mention organizing caravans of people to rally in Jena in support of the accused. Suddenly, you now have a flurry of national attention around these events.

I've been saying to everyone I can that the Afrospear has the possibility of provoking change at an unimaginable level in regard to the condition of our people. This case, the Genarlow Wilson case, the Don Imus Situation, BET's Hot Ghetto Mess; all have been heavily influenced through the attention Afrospear bloggers have focused upon each. That's powerful y'all.