Archive for snake oil

Marijuana - An Ounce Of Prevention Is Worth A Pound Of Cure

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ounce of prevention

Now let me begin with I'm a skeptic when it comes to things like Dr. Whoopadoo's Snake Oil Elixir, good for whatever ails you. There's no panacea that does it all. At least I haven't found it. But I'd like to believe that good health and cures for all diseases are within our reach.

Now I read this on HUFFPO:

Marijuana has long been used to effectively treat symptoms associated with HIV, such as chronic pain and weight loss. But a growing body of research suggests the plant may be able to stop the spread of the disease itself.

Adding to these findings is a Louisiana State University study published last week in the journal AIDS Research and Human Retroviruses Scientists found that damage to immune tissue in the primates' stomachs, one of the most common areas in the body for HIV infection to spread, decreased.

Some of you may say, who cares? HIV is a "gay" disease, attributed to risky sexual behavior. Those queers deserve what they got. It's God's wrath. Well if you believe that, you don't need to read any farther. Go back to reading your Flat Earth Society Monthly periodical.

I suppose I attribute my being spared from HIV to my relatively normal, quite risk-free lifestyle. But hey, maybe my many years of smoking weed was actually helping me in ways of which I had no knowledge. Putting honesty above claims that marijuana saved me revelations, I'm glad to see these scientific research findings. And not for the reason you may think.

I'm glad because I come from the generation that saw so many die of HIV-related AIDS complications. It was the '80s and '90s. Being diagnosed with HIV was as close to a death sentence as you could get. There were no cocktails of meds that could save you. I saw friends die. Now, things are bit different.

So what if smoking grass could prevent this awful disease and its related complications? Wouldn't that be great?

Put aside the old thinking that marijuana is nothing more than a gateway drug. Of course it's got its drawbacks which, like the premature reports of Mark Twain's death, have been greatly exaggerated. It's not for everybody -- neither is alcohol or peanuts. There are also limits to be discussed. But with all the arguments against smoking cannabis, the movement to legalize it is a juggernaut. It's happening. The sooner the better.

If you're an opponent of legalization, I understand. You really don't have the facts. But give a bit of credence to the findings quoted above or this one below:

Similar research spearheaded by Molina in 2011 found that infected monkeys treated with THC had a better chance of surviving. And a report published in 2012 pointed to evidence that marijuana-like compounds can fight HIV in late-stage AIDS patients.

Let's face facts. Most of us aren't scientists. So being dubious is natural. If you have doubts about marijuana being nothing more than snake oil, that's your business. No one's forcing you to imbibe. Just don't stop others whom modern medical science show are being benefited by it. And not just HIV sufferers.

Last year, an oncologist from the United Kingdom found that marijuana compounds can kill cancer cells in leukemia patients, and scientists at California Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco have conducted research that suggests those compounds can also effectively combat other forms of aggressive cancer.

If there's even the slightest bit of medical benefits to this drug, that's important to all of us. And if by some chance it actually does stop the spread of disease, let's make it available for anyone of legal age to have access to. It won't hurt you and it could ease a patient's pain or even prevent the spread of a deadly disease. The time is here. Let's take our heads out of the sand and back marijuana legalization when it comes up for a vote in your state. As they say, the life you save may just be your own.

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Cut Medicare and Social Security? What's the rush?

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Once again, Michael Hiltzik clarifies the very things that need clarification, this time regarding the panic over the earned benefits programs Medicare and Social Security. Notice I didn't refer to them as "entitlements," which as Hiltzik correctly explains, is "a noxious way of referring to [them], excellent programs that most workers have paid for during their careers and that have kept millions of Americans healthy and out of poverty."

He notes that all the scary forecasts and assumptions about which we've been hearing pundit after pundit yammer are questionable at best. Predictions are simply not accurate, so to base a premise or long term policy on them doesn't make much sense.

Hiltzik:

[Social Securities'] trustees... also project that under certain conditions of economic and employment growth — all of them perfectly plausible — it might never run dry. You don't hear much about that projection because it doesn't fit into the narrative that Social Security is "going broke."

Healthcare costs, with Medicare and Mediaid as big components, have been projected to rise to as much as 40% of gross domestic product by 2082 if not restrained. That's a fearsome prospect, but it's based on a long-outdated forecast by the Congressional Budget Office, which doesn't use the same methodology anymore. It was highly implausible, if not impossible, in the first place.

For people like me whose eyes glaze over upon witnessing the usual sparring and doomsday scenarios, there's this revelatory perspective on, well, perspective:

To put it another way, just because your son is 4 feet tall at age 6 doesn't mean he'll be 12 feet tall at age 18. And just because the average American born today will live to the age of 78 doesn't mean that a baby born in 2032 will live to 100. [...]

The reason smart people and companies don't make bets on the distant future is precisely because it's unknowable. Try the following thought experiment: Instead of looking ahead 20 years, look back 20 years, and try to list all the events that have had immense, material effects on today's economy, but were unimaginable in 1992.

Here's my list: 9/11. The Afghan war. The Iraq war. The housing bubble. The crash of 2000. The crash of 2008. The crash of Lehman Bros. The iPod. The iPhone. The iPad. The founding of Google. Hurricane Andrew, Hurricane Katrina, Superstorm Sandy. Obamacare. 

So all these projections from all these commentators who have all these agendas are probably useless. And all these panicky "fixes" would be worthless, not to mention harmful, remedies based on faulty estimates.

The life span of a congressional budget is two years, max, because no Congress can bind its successors. But changes in Social Security and Medicare are forever. So when you hear that we have to do it now, stat! or we're doomed, take it for the snake oil that it is.

Hopefully, most Americans aren't buying what they're selling.

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Video- Who's the Real Glenn Beck? Faux Civil Rights Icon or Fox Shock Jock?

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Good stuff via Media Matters.

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Palin rakes in cash, stingy doling it out

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No wonder she's grifting so hard, those fancy "consultants" sure do cost a pretty penny. Honestly, only $2500 for the woman running against the Senate Majority Leader?

Sarah Palin's political action committee contributed at least $87,500 to candidates she's endorsed in the last few months, according to a report filed Sunday with the Federal Elections Commission. U.S. Senate candidate Sharron Angle was among the beneficiaries.

But SarahPAC's financial disclosure also shows Palin spending more than $210,000 on consulting.

Candidates receiving money from Palin for the period covering April 1 to June 30 include former Gov. Terry Branstad, who won last month's Republican gubernatorial primary in Iowa, and Joe Miller, who's challenging Alaska U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski in the August GOP primary. Each received $5,000.

(snip)

Angle, who's challenging U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid in Nevada, also got $2,500. Nikki Haley, who's running for governor in South Carolina and for whom Palin personally campaigned, got no money, according to the filings.

Palin entered the reporting period with more than $916,000 on hand. She received more than $865,800 in contributions, and ended the period with more than $1 million on hand, according to the filings.

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