Saturday, March 24, 2012

A Rush to Judgment: When Medical Science Gets it Wrong

The mysterious illnesses in Le Roy have prompted some interesting divisions among observers, myself included. While some are willing to dismiss the girls’ symptoms as nothing more than conversion disorder, others of us recall all too clearly other times when experts in the scientific community got it just plain wrong. Here are but a few of those instances:

Autism- Once thought of as extremely early-onset schizophrenia, this condition was believed to be caused by parental detachment. Professional literature recommended treating affected children with electroshock therapy and LSD well into the 1970s. It wasn't until 1989 that the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-III), the reference book health care professionals use to diagnose mental disorders, listed autism as a developmental disorder separate from schizophrenia.

Female hysteria – Most people think this diagnosis went out with the Victorian era, but it wasn’t removed as a disease by the American Psychiatric Association until 1952. At that time, it was apparently decided that women were responsible enough to use vibrators on their own (the standard treatment). That still didn’t stop ‘experts' from attributing everything from frigidity to “an unusual amount of sexual pleasure” to this so-called disease.

Lyme Disease – In the early 1970s, mother Polly Murray was very worried about what was going on in her Lyme, Connecticut neighborhood. People were getting sick at an alarming rate and no one really seemed to know why. Doctors first brushed off the complaints of excessive tiredness, skin rashes, swollen joints, and headaches. Polly, an artist who was no longer able to paint because of arthritis in her hands, was told by physicians that she was a hypochondriac. When her son also became sick, the diagnosis was that he was mimicking her “neurotic” behavior. (Is any of this sounding familiar?) He was eventually diagnosed with Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis, but Mrs. Murray was convinced something more was going on. She teamed up with another mother of a sick child, Judith Mensch, and together the two women uncovered evidence of thirty-nine children and twelve adults in their area who’d been diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis—100 times the normal rate of incidence. Armed with this information, Murray and Mensch pestered the Connecticut Department of Health until they agreed to send someone to investigate. A condition named “Lyme arthritis” was recognized two years later. It wasn’t until 1981 that Dr. Willy Burgdorfer discovered the spirochete responsible for the infection.

Moral of the story: Science is continually evolving. As a result sometimes even the experts are wrong. Question everything.

Friday, March 23, 2012

My Pledge to YOU

Some people probably wonder why I started this site and why I bring up the things I do. Well, it's because of conversations like this one (scroll down to the comments section) on the Doubtful News Blog (no pun intended, apparently). For those of you disinterested in the link, the long and short of it is that after respectfully voicing a dissenting opinion, I was belittled, placed on moderation, and my credibility was attacked. Again, simply because I had the nerve to disagree. Which brings me to a promise I'd like to make to you, my readers...

1. I will never attack or attempt to belittle someone for simply having the courage to voice his or her own opinion. Unless you say something horribly inappropriate, go off-topic or attempt to make things personal, you'll never be censored (placed on moderation). It's called Freedom of Speech, and it's a right I embrace for everyone, not just myself.

2. I will continue to post links to/credit the sources of every single article and quote I reference. That way it's easier for you to find those sources and form your own opinions.

3. I will NEVER seek outside sponsors or donations. Nor will I monetize the site. Poor as I may be, I'm not looking to make money here, especially if it could in any way compromise the integrity of the forum.

Thank you for visiting my blog!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Missouri's Doomsday Bill

Following the example set by their esteemed colleagues from Wyoming, Missouri lawmakers recently introduced a Doomsday Bill of their very own. Senator Chuck Purgason (R-Caulfield) authored Missouri Senate Bill 861. Under provisions set aside by the bill, a task force would be created to look into the possibility of the state creating its own currency in the event of a federal government collapse, as well as plans to distribute food and water. According to, "Lawmakers in at least six states have introduced legislation to create a state currency (in recent years), all unsuccessfully."

Are you beginning to get the feeling that they know something we don't?

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Ronald McDonald: Corporate Mascot or Creepy Uncle?

In 1998 a federal investigation of Web sites aimed at children found that 89 percent requested personal information from kids; only 1 percent required that children obtain parental approval before supplying the information. A character on the McDonald's Web site told children that Ronald McDonald was "the ultimate authority in everything."  


When I read the above excerpt in Fast Food Nation: The Darker Side of the American Meal, I couldn't help but think of the creepy uncle who tries to convince kids that they'll like what he sticks in their mouths but they still shouldn't tell their parents about it.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Dick Lugar: A 'Lifelong' Resident of Indiana (If He Died 35 Years Ago)

Fact: Dick Lugar, a US Senator representing the state of Indiana, calls himself a "lifelong Hoosier."

Fact: Dick Lugar has not lived in Indiana for 35 years.

Fact: The US Constitution clearly states that a senator must be "an Inhabitant" of the state he represents.

Fact: "Inhabitant" means "one that occupies a particular place regularly, routinely, or for a period of time."

Fact: Lugar has been ruled ineligible to vote in his so-called home precinct because he failed to meet residency requirements.

Fact: Despite the fact he's lived in Virginia for decades, Lugar will appear on the Indiana primary ballot in May.

Fact-based Opinion: This is yet another example of how We, the People are getting misrepresented and screwed.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Words To Live By

"When the fewest questions are being asked is when they're most needed."
                                                                                                 -- Russ Kick

*From the book
Everything You Know Is Wrong: The Disinformation Guide to Secrets and Lies.