WDDTY – the cancer edition pt1

January 29th, 2014 § 0 comments § permalink

Those freedom fighters for medical freedom of speech, What Doctors Don’t Tell You, have released in full, for free their November issue – the cancer special.

As I’m not really up for giving WDDTY any money by subscribing and seeing all their articles in full as they’re promoters of alternative medicine, more commonly known as Woo (I’m also a tight arse), I usually only get to see the snippets they publish for free. Stuff like this.

This free copy of a publication is a good time for me to see what they’re really like. I got a link to it from they’re email newsletter and also from somewhere else I can’t remember. If you want to see it, you can download it from here.

What does it look like? Well, I’ve only got a couple of pages in and it has the look and feel of one of those womens ‘lifestyle’ or gossip magazines and starts with a long three page speech about how everyone except alt-med practitioners are in the pocket of Big Pharma and want to shut down WDDTY because they don’t accept Scientism and the alt-med practitioners are the real scientists as they have an open mind. All very predictable.

WDDTY also has a page profiling their editorial panel. I may come back to that, and the intro in another post.

For now though, I’ve only got to page 11, which sounds quite far in but isn’t once you dis-count the contents pages, editorial panel profile and the massive intro. I haven’t looked past page 11 so I don’t know what’s in store but the short articles in the Up Front section (short newsy type of articles) gives me an idea of what’s to come.

The first little snippet, on page 10, is titled “Flu Jab ‘a con’ says researcher”.

This little bit of news explains how a researcher has come to the conclusion that Big Pharma has been pushing the flu jab on everyone to boost sales. The researcher says that over the last few years the use of the flu jab has increased exponentially and is seen a ‘risk-free’ life saver whereas the vaccines aren’t particularly effective and cause more damage than good.

The thing is though, this study was conducted in the USA where there are some fundamental differences that have quite an effect.

Firstly, the researcher talks about the US market where drugs can be advertised directly to the consumer. People are encourage to go ask they’re doctors for specific drugs. In this environment more people will ask for the jab, whether they need it or not, what ever the government advice is. People, through the adverts and whether they need it or not, are encouraged to feel they need the jab. In reality though, Influenza is not a problem for a healthy person. Yes it’s unpleasant and you might think you’re dying, but if you’re healthy you will get better.

With this many more people receiving the vaccine that don’t need it, you will see a reduction in the percentage of people it will have a benefit for and there are more people to have adverse reactions to it.

The advice of the US government and the UK government is slightly different. That difference is an important one.

The US government advises

While everyone should get a flu vaccine this season, it’s especially important for some people to get vaccinated.

Everyone should get the vaccine. The UK governments’ advice is…

Even if you feel healthy, you should have the free flu
vaccination if you are:

and then reels off a similar list of vulnerable people that should be vaccinated to the list of people the US says is especially important to get the jab.

The UK says you should have the jab if you’re in a vulnerable group, the US says everyone should have the jab.

Whilst this, along with the prohibition of drugs/medicines being advertised directly to the public, means that the market for the flu jab is so much smaller in the UK that the US and the risk/benefit ratio is different. The benefits of the flu jab preventing flu turning into something really rather horrible if you’re in a vulnerable group is better than not having the flu and risking, in the very worst cases, death. If you’re categorised as vulnerable, all you’re doing is opening yourself up to the side effects with no chance of having any of the benefits the jab could bring.

The article isn’t wrong per se, but to just drop that piece in to a UK publication about American research in to what is the American flu vaccine usage without pointing out the differences between the two medical environments is misleading and wrong.

The second Up Front snippet I’m focusing on in this post is on page 11 and is not misleading, it’s just plain wrong.

‘Big farma’ law targets organic smallholdings

Commercial gardeners and farmers in Europe will soon be required to “grow, reproduce or trade” only vegetable seeds that have been approved by the EU bureaucracy. Organic, small-market gardeners and even those trying to achieve sustainable living at home will be breaking the new law if they grow unapproved plants and seeds.

It then carries on a little more, explaining how under this new law anyone, from that old chap tending his window box to the multinational company, found using, buying or selling un-registered plants and seeds with get a visit from the flower police and thrown in the gulag.

The source of this news is an online seed retailer, who’s last update on the subject on the ‘news’ page of their website is 24th December and is just an update that is asking to keep the pressure on to defeat this new law. This issue of WDDTY is November. The European Commission had already rubbished the shrill claims in September that the EU want an agency that will…

… also create a register of gardeners who will be the only ones allowed to grow and sell the approved seeds.

The European Commission states

Garden plants will in future –if the Commission’s proposal is agreed by national Ministers and the European Parliament – only need to comply with some general rules, rather than the current more detailed quality and control requirements.

Professional organisations like nurseries that produce garden plants in large quantities will have to register. But there will be no such obligation for garden centres selling to consumers.

Of course, minimum requirements for labelling and quality will remain. Such basic requirements apply to most products and already do to flowers. Without them, consumers would not be able to have confidence in what they are buying.

In addition, if a nursery is marketing its material with a variety name, it should keep a list of its varieties, including information on the description and name of the varieties.

But such garden plant varieties will not need to be registered in the way described by the Mail and Express. There is no chance whatsoever that “that the UK would not be able to comply as it doesn’t have an official plant register” or that “this could mean unregistered plants being removed from sale, with anyone selling them facing a large fine”.

More detailed registration requirements will apply to plants – notably those used for large-scale agricultural purposes – included in the “list of EU plant species”. Even then, micro-enterprises will be exempt from those registration requirements.

And, to reiterate: ornamentals – garden plants – will not be included in that list at all.

So the bottom line is existing requirements will be significantly simplified – but some important rules will be retained so that customers can be sure that what they are buying is what it says on the packet or pot.

So all those self-medicating herbalists can rest easy. The Europeans aren’t going to be storming in and stamping all over their herb beds anytime soon.

For people that have a right old moan about not having the press ask their side of things when it all kicked off about WDDTY’s cancer edition, you’d have thought they’d have at least tried to get the EU’s side of this.

So far, there’s about as much journalistic integrity in this issue as there is active ingredients in homeopathy.

I’ll try and look at more of this issue very soon.

What Doctors Don’t Tell You don’t tell you

November 21st, 2013 § 0 comments § permalink

Apparently, one of the most misused terms being hurled at What Doctors Don’t Tell You, as a rebuttal, is the term ‘science’.

We have been accused of being unscientific, of pedalling unproven and harmful alternatives, as opposed to the real thing, true ‘scientific’ medicine.

Says Lynne McTaggart. But instead of rebutting the accusations that the stuff contained in WDDTY is at best nonsense, and at worst dangerous, Lynne McTaggart goes on the attack and accuses conventional medicine of not being “remotely scientific”.

To prove her point, Lynne gives three examples of why science is not scientific…

1. Most of the science behind standard treatments is fiction. As leading members of the medical establishment have made clear in recent books, the so-called ‘proof’ of most so-called ‘proven remedies’ is data that has been invented or manipulated by drug company marketing teams.

2. Most treatments haven’t been proven to work. The British Medical Journal has concluded that only about 12 per cent of all medical treatments have adequate evidence demonstrating that they work.

3. Most treatments cause harm. Modern medicine is the third leading cause of death in the western world. Fact. Prescribed drugs and medical error kills 204,000 people every year in America alone, with only cancer and heart disease claiming more

I’m assuming reason one is a reference to Ben Goldacre and his Bad Science and Bad Pharma books. Not being within the Medical Establishment, I don’t know if he is a leading member of it or not. There is undoubtably manipulation of results by the pharmaceutical industry, it could be so much more transparent, with better publication of negative results and other stuff, but to call it all a fiction and for most medicines to not have any proof of er, proof of umm… efficacy? Science?

I’m gonna let Lynne have item number two, as I don’t have the figures to refute the ‘most’ at the beginning of that point. Thanks to a commenter on Lynnes’ post, we can see that there is more than 12% of all medical treatments can demonstrate they work. Lynne doesn’t link to anything to back up her claims. Make of that what you will.

What Lynne is referring to with the ‘12%’ is this. (We’ll not quibble over 1%, eh?)


So, 11% of treatments reported as having beneficial effects. There’s another category, Trade-offs Between Benefits and Harms, with 7%. This one has, if the title is anything to go by, also adequate evidence the treatment works, otherwise the category would be labeled “likely to be…”. These treatments may have side effects, but they are still have benefits. Not possible benefits, but actual benefits.

So that 19% of treatments that do work.

Now, lets explore this curious category of “Unlikely to be beneficial”.

‘Unknown effectiveness’ is perhaps a hard categorisation to explain. Included within it are many treatments that come under the description of complementary medicine

‘Unknown effectiveness’ may also simply reflect difficulties in conducting RCTs [Random Controlled Trials] of an intervention…

Considering the difficulties of getting homeopathy and other alternative medicines to consistently return positive results in RCTs then it’s not surprising that they are in the ‘unknown’ category. (Why they’re not in the more negative categories is a long story and not for this post). But if this is the medicine doctors’ won’t tell you vs the medicine doctors will tell you, then you need to take out of the soup of numbers all the alternative medicines and then see what percentage of treatments are beneficial, otherwise, it’s 11% of all treatments, not just the ones proven by the so-called scientific method, which is what Lynne is stating.

Moving on to number three, that most treatments cause harm, is completely unsubstantiated. Lynne states that modern medicine is the leading cause of death of death in the western world is a ridiculous claim. Adding “Fact” after it doesn’t make it one. Apparently the leading cause of death is ischemia and not ‘modern medicine’.

I’ve no idea where Lynne got her figures from for the amount of people killed in the USA by prescribed drugs and medical errors, but the next cause down after heart disease and cancer in America is strokes, with 129,476 deaths.

Next Lynne starts talking about data from the Alliance for Natural Health. Read their views on vaccines and make your own mind up. Reading their opinion on Wakefield and MMR should tell you all you need to know.

Let’s look at so-called ‘unscientific’ natural health care, which supposedly causes so much harm.

Yes, Lynne. Lets look at some more figures.

The risk of dying from taking any herbal remedy or food supplement is around 0.01 per one million people. In other words, 100 million people would have to take a supplement or herb before there is a risk of one person dying because of it.

Compare that to the risk of pharmaceutical drugs, which kill 1000 people for every million people taking them.

So that risk is: 0.01/1 million for natural substances vs 1000/1 million for drugs. In other words, the risk of lethal harm from modern medicine is 100,000 higher than that of herbal or nutritional medicine.

Firstly, Lynne seems to think that ‘herbal remedies’, ‘food supplements’ and ‘natural substances’ seem to be interchangeable. They’re not. Food supplements are different to herbal remedies and ‘natural substances’ is such a vague term it’s meaningless. But I digress. Those figures Lynne quotes are completely meaningless without pitting them against how many people had their condition improved. How many people took drugs and got better compared to how many took drugs and didn’t get better, with the same for alternative treatments. Then you’ll see a meaningful ratio for the effectiveness and risk of the various treatments. I’d be willing to bet, a higher proportion of people may have died from conventional medicine than Complimentary Alternative Medicine (CAM), but CAM would’ve successfully treated a much lower proportion, if any at all.

This beggars the basic question: which form of medicine is the least scientific?

Even with the capitalist manipulation of results from Big Pharma etc, you’ll find CAM is.

Lyne then waffles about science becoming rigid, and closed minded, in the usual way of someone fighting against the conspiracy of Big Pharma – Science has been captured by scientism, and so on.

In this post I have shown that Lynne uses the same techniques she accuses mainstream medicine of using to prove their case. When CAM can be explained, and shown to work using proper random controlled trials and not just anecdote, conjecture and made up words, then it will be taken seriously.

Until then, I’d rather listen to what my doctor does tell me than What Doctors Don’t Tell You tell me.

Dorries’ abortion debate: a lazy little fisk

November 3rd, 2012 § 0 comments § permalink

Here is a little fisk of Dorries’ debate the other day. This is just Dorries’ opening gambit. I’ve probably missed the less obvious bullshit.

The full transcript of the Induced Abortion debate is here.

If any abortion provider is to come to Northern Ireland, Marie Stopes is probably the best bet. Marie Stopes is one of the most professional and non-advocacy-driven abortion providers. It has no political ideology and is concerned only for the health of the woman, and it operates in a professional manner. So I think that, if Northern Ireland is to have an abortion provider, Marie Stopes are the people to have.

That is a hell of a lot of praise considering what she implied about Maries Stopes back in September 2011…

“Under present legislation, doctors or pregnancy advisory services have no duty to offer professional, impartial help to women considering an abortion,” the MP for Mid-Bedfordshire said.

“Moreover, most counselling is offered by the big abortion providers themselves, like the British Pregnancy Advisory Service or the Marie Stopes clinics, which are paid millions by the NHS to carry out terminations – and so profit from the process.”

That’s not such a ringing endorsement, and the last sentence, especially the “and so profit from the process” part make Marie Stopes sound like a for-profit company, doing these abortions and offering counselling to make a fast buck, to satisfy it’s shareholders. Marie Stopes International is a not-for-profit company. Any profit doesn’t go to shareholders, but go towards furthering it’s aims and goals here and abroad. You may not agree with some of those goals but it’s so far removed from the profit making organisation that Dorries implied.

A study by the Centre for Sexual Health Research at the university of Southampton and the School of Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research at the university of Kent found that 41% of women who have second-trimester abortions do so because they were not sure about having an abortion and took a while to make up their mind to ask for one. I believe that one positive effect of reducing the limit to 20 weeks might be to focus the mind slightly sooner than 23 weeks. Because abortion is available until 24 weeks, there is a laxity, as people have a prolonged period to make up their mind. The research says that women took a long time to make up their mind. Maybe reducing the upper limit will help.

*imagines Dorries stood in front of a pregnant woman, impatiently tapping her foot saying “Come on. Make up your mind. It’s not a hard decision, ffs”)

The medical profession cannot make two arguments. Doctors cannot say that a poorly baby’s life is worth trying to save from 20 or 21 weeks onwards while stating at the same time that there is no chance of life up to 24 weeks, so it is okay to abort up until that point. There is an inconsistency in retaining 24 weeks.

There is no inconsistency. An abortion is granted, for whatever reason. Rightly or wrongly. Effort is spent trying to save a premature baby because the legal guardians that have the say of whether to resuscitate or not say resuscitate. If they didn’t, the premature baby would be left to die. This, I guess, happens with nearly every premature baby because they are wanted babies.

This next bit of bullshit speaks for itself…

[Dorries:] Doctors cannot have it both ways. They cannot say in the NHS, “We try to save babies from 20 weeks because they are viable,” and then say, “We abort at 24 weeks because they are not.” The two arguments cannot stand. That is an anomaly, and it must end.

Dr Wollaston: I thank the hon. Lady for giving way. On that point, we are not trying to save babies at 20 weeks. No babies survive at 20 weeks’ gestation. If she refers back to the British Medical Journal paper considering two periods of survival, the increase in survival of pre-term babies after the 2000 period was due entirely to babies born at 24 and 25 weeks. The absolute limit of survival is about 22 weeks; that is when we try to save them. Will she please stop suggesting that the NHS is capable of saving babies at 20 weeks? It is simply not true.

Boom! The Tory from Totnes gets Dorries bang to rights with her bullshit statistics. And Dorries’ reply?…

Maybe the NHS should stop trying to save babies from 20 weeks. My neighbour 10 years ago was a 22-week survivor. Although she had slight problems, they did not prevent her from going to school and living a full and wonderful life. Babies do survive from 22 weeks, which is my argument for viability. If the RCOG wants to say that viability is at 24 weeks, it must look at the living babies born at 22 weeks and say, “That’s wrong.”

The only measure of viability that we have is the premature poorly baby—the baby who arrives early for a reason. Doctors must fight to deal with two complicated situations: whatever made the baby arrive prematurely, and the fact that it has arrived prematurely, which involves lung function and other things. I am afraid that a healthy aborted baby and a premature poorly baby cannot be compared, particularly not at 23 weeks.

Huh? So no defending of her 20 weeks claim then? Dorries has plenty to say about 22 week babies though for some reason, even though that age of gestation is questioned?

“While a research fellow at Oxford, Dr Anand became aware that many premature and early gestation babies died during in-utero operations due to shock induced by pain during the procedure. General thinking at the time, in the 1980s, was that no baby could experience pain before birth—that until birth, a baby was not sentient. In his pioneering work, Dr Anand developed anaesthesia to be delivered to foetuses. Thanks to that work, introduced at the John Radcliffe hospital, anaesthetising babies during in-utero operations is now standard procedure, and babies now live.

Dr Anand went on to continue his work and research in America. When I sat on the Science and Technology Committee, we considered abortion, and one of the members of that Committee—Evan Harris, the former Member for Oxford West and Abingdon, who lost his seat at the last election—described Professor Anand as a little doctor from Little Rock. Dr Anand did much of his further research in America, first at the university of Arkansas and now as the St Jude chair for critical care medicine and professor of paediatrics, anaesthesiology and neurobiology at the university of Tennessee health centre in Memphis.

My only point in relation to Evan Harris’s comments about Professor Anand is that Dr Anand is a gentle, polite academic who is well renowned and respected and has a successful career. To describe such a man as a little man from Little Rock, and to have binned and not considered the evidence on abortion that he presented to the Science and Technology Committee, was a travesty. I complained about it to the Clerks at the time, and I will continue to complain about it, as it tainted the report.

Dr Anand is dealt with by the Ministry of Truth

So far as the allegation that Dr Anand has been excluded or not invited to address the committee, well as member of the committee, herself, Nadine Dorries should know perfectly well that the process by which parliamentary committees invite witnesses – other than those from government, the civil service and other areas of the public sector, is by publishing an open call for written submissions to the committee. The committee states its brief and the information/opinions it is seeking, and it is then up to any interested party to submit their written views, opinions and evidence to the committee for consideration.

Based on the submissions received, the committee will then invite people to appear before the committee to give evidence in person.

As already noted, not only single submission to the committee FROM ANY SOURCE, refers to Dr Anand, his work or any published research paper on which he is cited as the author or co-author.

And Dr Anand, himself, has not made any written submission to the committee.

I move to the feminist argument. As the mother of three young adult daughters, I am a strong believer in a woman’s right to choose. Never, ever would I want to see a return to the bad old days of backstreet abortionists, or restricted access to early abortion. Do I champion this issue from the perspective of religion? No, I do not. I do not come to this from a religious perspective.


Second, those same groups are coordinating/enabling her latest efforts where Dorries and others are masquerading as “pro woman” campaigners seeking to protect vulnerable adults from the physical/mental harm they and other religious groups claim is a common post-abortion problem… but this article/interview from 2007 makes it very clear that Dorries is driven primarily NOT by a desire to protect women, but instead a deeply religious decision to reduce the number of abortions by any means possible, even if these means appear, intially, to be at odds with the anti-abortion agenda:

“I’ve been told my Bill will get nowhere while I have pro-lifers and abortion rights people against me. But my argument is: How can anyone argue – on any grounds – that my proposal is not right. Currently there are about 600 abortions a day in the UK. I’d like to reduce that number by at least half. The public is not interested in banning abortion. Those who hold out for a complete ban have not changed the law – they have not saved a single life. To me, saving some lives is better than saving no lives at all. I hope pro-lifers will come to share my view that some progress is better than no progress. ” – Nadine Dorries (source/PDF)

If you want a full on fisk, Unity steps up and metaphorically slaps Dorries down. Again.

Err. Some words about abortion. I can’t think of a proper title, though.

September 25th, 2012 § 2 comments § permalink

What do Ludwig von Beethoven, Justin Bieber and Tim Tebow have in common?

A professor in a college ethics class presented his students with a problem. He said, ‘A man has syphilis and his wife has tuberculosis.

They have had four children: one has died, the other three have what is considered to be a terminal illness.

The mother is pregnant. What do you recommend?’

After a spirited discussion, the majority of the class voted that she should abort the child.

‘Fine,’ said the professor. ‘You’ve just killed Beethoven.’

and then Peter Saunders describes how Justin Bieber came into the world, and “a future star football player”, Tim Tebow (whoever he is).

Decisions to keep babies in circumstances in which many might opt for an abortion resulted in Beethoven, Justin Bieber and Tim Tebow.

Well, at least one of those is a reason for abortion.

Seriously, though, you can’t not have an abortion just because that baby might turn out to have some great skill or talent. The decision has to be for what is best at the time.

I’m not a doctor, otherwise I wouldn’t be writing this, I’d be milking the ill, frail and infirm for every penny I could get and sod off to a desert island as soon as I could, but I’m guessing the the students in the Beethoven case came to their conclusion because on the balance of probabilities either Beethoven should’ve been born completely fucked up, his mother dead or both.

The same for Beiber and that footballing chap. Neither parent knew what their offspring would grow up to be. It just happens that they both grew up to be famous to some degree or other and at the same time be completely replaceable in their chosen field of err, expertise. Beethoven might have been a fellow with an unparalleled talent for music but would the world really have been much different without him?

You could turn things around and look at all the normal, healthy babies that are born to normal, healthy, loving parents, then turn out to be serial killers or war criminals. There’s probably a more of a reason for aborting babies using that logic.

Just because someone has studied medicine for a few years and knows what should happen to a body in certain circumstance doesn’t mean they know what will happen. They look at what has happened previously and state the odds, in one way or another, of particular outcomes. There will always be anomalies. That’s the nature of statistics.

Abortion shouldn’t be taken lightly. The people involved need to be given proper information about what could happen, what is likely to happen and then left to clear it with their own conscience about what they feel is right.

You can’t have or not have an abortion because that child might be the one to find the cure for cancer. One person, believe it or not, is not that special in the big scheme of things.

Driver drug tests makes drug taking illegal, apparently.

December 22nd, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

I’ve just listened to Radio 1 for the first time in a looong time and Newsbeat came on.

They had a quick bit about roadside testing for drug-drivers and they featured a quote from some cunt from Transform.

On Newsbeats website, the story is featured but not with the quote from the Transform chap.

Now, I’ve not looked at the Transform website in any detail so I don’t know if the drugs policy changes they advocate are any good, so like wise I don’t know if they’re heroes or wankers, but this chap that featured on Newsbeat has a fucking weird grasp of logic.

I’m gonna paraphrase things here, but essentially he said that this idea to test drivers for drugs is ridiculous because it would basically criminalise using drugs and turn a whole heap of people into criminals.

What. The actual. Fuck?

First off, illegal drug taking is already all but illegal. It is illegal to sell and to possess controlled substances, and seeing as you can’t put anything in your body yourself without, however briefly possessing it, people that take illegal drugs are criminals already.

Secondly, how is it criminalising being under the influence of drugs? it is criminalising driving whilst under the influence of drugs. There is a *big* difference.

The obvious analogy is alcohol. The current drink-driving laws don’t make being boozed up illegal but they do make it illegal to drive with over a certain amount of alcohol in your blood.

Is this cunt seriously advocating repealing the drink-drive laws?

Whoever from Transform let this dickhead loose in front of a microphone must’ve been off their head.

Dear Right To Know Campaign

September 5th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

There’s still no word on where the Right to Know campaign is getting it’s funding.

I thought I would add my little voice to the throng of people wanting to find out so I sent them a letter via their ‘contact us’ page…


Would you mind publishing where your funding comes from, please?

People are asking questions and they think they, quite rightly, have a ‘right to know’, especially as you guys have made such a fuss of where other people get their funding from.

Abortion Rights have made it known where all their funding (and biscuits) come from after you chaps huffed and puffed about it.

Don’t you think it’s fair that you now spill the beans?



Quieting the noise

August 24th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Plognark gets diagnosed with ADHD

Yeah, I know, big deal, right?

Well, I didn’t figure this out until this month, August 2011. Note that, next month, I turn THIRTY-FUCKING-THREE. This is, to put it mildly, something that should have been figured out decades ago. At least two would have been nice. Earlier would have been fantastic.

But no, no such luck. I won’t try to be one of those insufferable high-road pricks and say that I’m not bitter and annoyed about the whole thing. I’m bitter, and annoyed. Really bitter, and really annoyed, actually.

I didn’t know shit about ADHD until recently. It’s one of those mental conditions that a lot of people think is just laziness and a lack of discipline and motivation. I admit, I once thought that as well. Let’s just chalk that one up to ignorance. As it turns out, it’s a brain chemistry thing. It’s not laziness or any sort of moral failing… it’s tough giving every last ounce of energy your brain can muster to focus on the simplest task, like drawing for more than fifteen minutes at a stretch. Hell, sometimes more than five minutes.

It’s like having hundreds of little mini anxiety attacks every day. I never really knew what boredom was because I always kept my brain engaged thinking about stuff. For me, and other people with ADHD, I assume, boredom is like death. You’ve got to do anything you possibly can to keep the dopamine levels high, to get that little burst to keep your mental gears churning.

There’s plenty of literature on it and a ton of information on the internet. I won’t bore you with more details about what it is, just a quick overview. It’s a dopamine dysfunction, plain and simple. Some combination of screwy genes making screwy proteins making your brain permanently short on dopamine.

It’s a huge part of why my artistic productivity is so inconsistent. I love art. It’s what I want to do, it’s what I think about all the time. And yet, I hit patches where I just can’t do it. It’s not a traditional art block; it’s something else.

Imagine if there was something you loved, that you were good at, that you wanted desperately to work on all the time, that everyone told you you should be working on.

Now imagine that you have a mini anxiety attack after five minutes of doing it. That you have to go and do something else or it feels like your spine is going to crawl out of the back of your neck to go do something else, dragging your brain with it.

And gets prescribed amphetamines…

So I took the pill. I was sitting at work, waiting to see what would happen.

Yep, waited a while.

Felt like an eternity. That’s another thing with ADHD; we don’t track the passage of time very well. Humans are bad at it in general; people like me are even worse.

And then, quiet.

I never really understood how loud the inside of my head is. I knew that I had racing thoughts; hell, it’s kept me from sleep as long as I can remember. But the quiet… was not what I expected. The idea of taking an amphetamine (technically dextroamphetamine) is sort of nuts in general, and the idea that it would lead to such quiet and calm is even more so.

But it did. Just quiet, and calm. No racing sounds and images, no anxiety from every little thing going on, no exhausting fight to keep things focused in my head.

Go read the whole post. For someonw that knows virtually nothing about ADHD it was quite interesting. Not in a medical way, but just interesting.

On weird beliefs

August 15th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

It’s funny the things we do and don’t believe, isn’t it?

I asked a Hindu doctor what psycho-something-or-other was (sorry, I can’t remember what it was now) as we walked past a ‘shop’ with a big neon sign above it for this psycho-whatever-it-is. I got the reply…

Probably some load of rubbish, like homeopathy. You know about homeopathy, don’t you?

Yes, I do know what homeopathy is. A load of bollox…

One third of a drop of some original substance diluted into all the water on earth would produce a remedy with a concentration of about 13C. A popular homeopathic treatment for the flu is a 200C dilution of duck liver, marketed under the name Oscillococcinum. As there are only about 1080 atoms in the entire observable universe, a dilution of one molecule in the observable universe would be about 40C. Oscillococcinum would thus require 10320 more universes to simply have one molecule in the final substance.

I also know a little about Hinduism…

Further it is believed that the world undergoes cycles within cycles forever. The major cycle is based upon the Life of the God Vishnu – The Preserver. At the beginning of each Cosmic day Vishnu lies asleep on Seesha, the incredibly large thousand (1000) headed snake, the symbol of endless time (collective unconscious) who rests on the cosmic ocean (Milky Way). A lotus on a glowing stalk, springs from Vishnu’s Naval symbolising the Creative Urge. Brahma is born from the unfolding Lotus and Creates the world, then Vishnu awakes and governs it. At the end of this cosmic day Vishnu again retires absorbing all creation.

source: Dr R Ramnarine: Some Concepts of Hinduism – -An Introduction.

I don’t think I need to comment any more.

(Unfortunately it wasn’t an occasion where I could point this out)

On assisted suicide.

June 17th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Right. Lets knock this assisted suicide thing on the head. It’s not hard.

The clue is in the name. Assisted suicide. Not fucking euthanasia. There is a big difference between the two.

Assisted suicide is where someone decides that they do not want to live any longer but does not have the ability, for whatever reason, to bring their own life to an end.

Euthanasia is someone deciding someone elses life is not worth living, and then killing them.

Some groups, especially evangelical christians, muddying the debate by bringing up the Nazi haulocast. This is completely disingenius, designed to slip in the fear of a society that will just kill off anyone that doesn’t fit in for whatever reason. These wankers should be ignored and told to go fuck themselves with rusty crucifix.

The debate is currently about whether assisted suicide should be legal or not, and there is a fairly easy answer to this question. Yes.

Assisted suicide should be legal. It doesn’t matter who you are or what you believe, you have control over your own body. It is yours, nobody elses. No one can tell you what can or can’t do with it. Even doctors can’t stick a needle in your arm to save your life if you expressly deny them permission. With this being the case, why should a doctor not be allowed to stick a needle in you arm if you do give them permission?

Christians and religious folk don’t have to have an assisted suicide if they don’t want to. That is up to them. Nobody is going to force them. To deny a suicidee that right because of a belief they do not hold is outragous.

The same for doctors, they shouldn’t be penalised in any way for not helping in an assisted suicide. They will have to make their own decision, wrestle with their own conscience about the issue.

The debate shouldn’t be about whether assisted suicide should be legal or not, it should be about what checks and balances should be in place to protect vulnerable people from being coerced in to it or they aren’t able to express their wish unambiguously.

Fucking religious folk with their ‘ooh, you can’t do that, the magic sky fairy will not be happy’ can get to fuck. Bring on the fairy, I’ll kick his fucking arse, if he is, indeed, real.

Nadine Dorries and the Right to Know

April 7th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Ministry of Truth is having a few technical issues at the moment and as a result, a post Unity has published is not showing on his site.

I have found it on Googles’ cache, here, and also mirrored it at my old place because well, you know Unity, it is rather long.

Here is the preamble:

A document obtained yesterday by the Ministry of Truth exposes the full but hitherto hidden agenda behind Nadine Dorries’ ‘Right to know’ campaign, which has recently put forward two abortion-related amendments to the Government’s Health and Social Care Bill.

The document, a Powerpoint presentation produced by Dr Peter Saunders of the Christian Medical Fellowship for the Lawyers Christian Fellowship in 2007, indicates that Dorries’ current campaign and amendments are part of long-term strategy put together by an alliance of prominent anti-abortion organisations with the overall objective of securing the complete prohibition of abortion in the UK on any grounds, including rape, serious foetal abnormality and even serious risk to the life of mother.

Clear and verifiable links exist between Dorries and at least three of the organisations involved in the development of this campaign strategy, one of which – the Lawyers Christian Fellowship – was intimately involved in the running of Dorries’ earlier ’20 reasons for 20 weeks’ campaign.

Another member of this alliance – CARE (Christian Action Research and Education) would, in all likelihood, be the major beneficiary of the first of Dorries’ new amendments, which seeks to prevent established abortion service providers, including the British Pregnancy Advisory Service and Marie Stopes International, from providing pre-abortion counselling, forcing women into the independent sector which has been heavily infiltrated by anti-abortion organisations. CARE has well documented links with a number of other current MPs, to whom it provides bursaries and/or interns, and with the influential Conservative Christian Fellowship, which was co-founded in 1990 by Tim Montgomerie, who is also the co-founded of Iain Duncan Smith’s Centre for Social Justice and the editor of ConservativeHome website.

Go and read the rest, as I say, either here in Googles cache, or here or if MoT is running properly here.

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