Thursday, November 20, 2008

On Personal Responsibility

I recently read, A Charter for Compassion, on David Elpern’s, MD wonderful blog, Cell 2 Soul.

“The Charter seeks to remind the world that while all faiths are not the same, they all share the core principle of compassion and the Golden Rule.”

Based on my life experiences and interactions, I believe in a rule that supersedes The Golden Rule.

I call it The Platinum Rule:
Personal Responsibility in ALL Aspects of Your Life

Personal responsibility implies holding ourselves to high standards and accountability to ourselves and to others.

It is only when one has assumed personal responsibility for their own life, that they can fully comprehend and apply The Golden Rule.

I see personal responsibility as the fundamental prerequisite for personal health and wellbeing, essential for successful family, personal and business relationships and the starting point for reclaiming and saving our planet.

The essence of personal responsibility is most beautifully expressed by Hillel’s famous aphorism:

If not me, then who? If not now, then when?

Friday, November 14, 2008

Holy J.U.P.I.T.E.R Batman!

Holy J.U.P.I.T.E.R. Batman!

Last week the results of a "landmark" drug study ‘that could dramatically change the treatment of cardiovascular disease’ were broadcast to the world.

The study called JUPITER (Justification for the Use of Statins in Primary Prevention; an Intervention Trial Evaluation Rosuvastatin (Crestor) claims ‘new data showing that the treatment of apparently healthy patients with a statin cuts their risk of cardiovascular disease morbidity and mortality by almost half .'

Such a stunning claim is likely to 'change the (treatment) guidelines', to include treating a much wider range of apparently healthy people with satins.

This is the typical medical-pharmaceutical modus operandi: broadening the diagnosis (to include many more people); to justify drug therapy to broaden the market (to boost sales).

Back in 2001, the last time the cholesterol guidelines were changed by the Expert Panel on Detection, Evaluation, and Treatment of High Blood Cholesterol, the number of Americans who ‘needed’ to be on statins jumped from 13 to 36 million overnight (Overdo$ed America: ch 9). What a boon to the pharmaceutical makers! The drug industry's statin sales surpassed $15 billion last year. Now, they are working hard to dramatically expand on that.

It is not surprising that 9 of the 14 'experts' on that panel had strong ties to the drug companies that make statins. Dr. Paul Ridker, who presented JUPITER, is the co-inventor of the CRP test recommended in this study. He has also worked as a consultant and received research money from AstraZeneca, the pharmaceutical company that sponsored the study and manufactures the statin Crestor.

Now, let’s look at J.U.P.I.T.E.R.

But, before we do, it is important to understand the concept of absolute verses relative risk. After all, if the claim is that statins lower the risk by almost half, isn’t it of paramount importance to know what that risk really is?


Would you take a drug every day for 2 years if it…..?
(Selling Sickness p.84)

A. Lowered your risk of having, and/or dying from, a heart attack by 50%?
B. Lowered your risk of having, and/or dying from, a heart attack by 1%
C. Possibly would prevent 1 person in 100 from having, and/or dying from, a heart attack, but there is no way of knowing who that person is or, if it is you?

All the above are different ways of expressing the same thing.

If the risk of having, and/or dying from, a heart attack is only 2% and taking statins lowers the risk to only 1%...

A. a change from 2% to 1% represents a relative decrease in risk of 50%
B. a change from 2% to 1% represents an absolute decrease of only 1%
C. a change of 1% represents 1 in 100.

That is exactly what the JUPITER statistics reveal: 'the proportion of patients with hard cardiac events—cardiovascular death, MI, and stroke-- was reduced from 1.8% in the placebo (group) to 0.9% in the statin group. That represents a relative decrease of 50% but an absolute reduction of only 0.9%.'

Stated another way; 'the data actually means that 120 people would need to take Crestor daily for 2 years to (possibly) prevent 1 heart attack or stroke. At a cost of $3.45 a day, that's $300,000 for Big Pharma to (possibly) prevent one problem.'

You see, the science is corrupt and should not be trusted.

Drug manufacturers either own, or hugely influence, the researchers, the doctors, the most prestigious medical journals, the legislators, the FDA, the guideline panels of experts, the media broadcast news and advertising and the so-called consumer advocacy groups, like the American Heart Association, etc (Overdo$ed America: ch 7).

They ask questions like: 'Does this drug lower cholesterol?' And then they proceed with studies to justify the answer they want. Remember, they even named the study JUPITER; JUSTIFICATION for the Use of Satins!

They manipulate us and the numbers. They abuse our fear and our trust and then they use mathematical relative values (a 50% decrease) to sell the benefits of a drug and the absolute values (1% chance) to downplay the risks associated with taking the drug itself.

What you don’t know can hurt, or even kill, you. Cholesterol is not the problem.

The recent reports about JUPITER even state: 'doctors have long been mystified by the fact that about half of heart attacks occur in patients with normal cholesterol levels.'

That means nothing less than: having normal cholesterol is as ‘dangerous,’ and as much of a ‘risk factor’ of having a heart attack as is having high cholesterol.

So, what science can possibly support the lowering of cholesterol to ‘normal’ if the risk is 50/50?

Answer: NONE!

Saturday, November 8, 2008


"Today we begin in earnest the work of making sure that the world we leave our children is just a little bit better than the one we inhabit today."

President-Elect Barack Obama

(Note: link "Today" to youtube to hear: It's a New Day)

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

A New Day

Eight years ago a wedge of hate and anger was driven into the heart of America. In the ensuing years it spread like a cancer and we spiraled downward, losing our way, our vision and our hope. And, we came perilously close to losing our democracy.

Today, that reign of terror has ended. We have come together to demand change and reclaim our country. Today there is renewed HOPE that comes from knowing that we achieve our best when we work together for our common good to create our shared destiny.

Note: link to 'HOPE' to youtube to hear: Yes We Can

Sunday, November 2, 2008

It's Flu Season ! Or, is it?

It’s Flu Season, or Is It?

This is the time of year that the pharmaceutical-medical-government triad revs up their fear-based campaign about the flu. Flyers from the CDC (Center for Disease Control) exhort the public to get the flu shot. And now, some states are mandating them.

The flyers claim; ‘200,000 are hospitalized with the flu complications each year, 20,000 are children under the age of five and 36,000 people die.” The flyers begin and end with an urgent call to action: “protect yourself and your loved ones from the flu: get vaccinated today”

Wow! Those are some pretty scary statistics and the call to action is so simple, all we need to do is get a shot and we’re all saved! Or, are we?

As I worked my chiropractic wellness booth at a ‘Health & Wellness Fair’(more accurately, a Disease Fair) I watched the throngs get screened for blood pressure, cholesterol, blood sugar, pre-cancerous skin lesions, and more. They anxiously and eagerly moved from booth to booth for their free prevention screens (disease screens) to hear a verdict on their ‘health,’ (or lack of it).

As if that wasn’t depressing enough, I watched them mindlessly line up and roll up their sleeves to receive their free flu vaccine. Amongst them, one sensed various levels of trepidation about the needle. Otherwise, no questions were asked.

I approached and challenged some of them.

Q: Why are you getting the flu shot?
A: It’s free, and I don’t want to get the flu.
Q: What are your chances of getting the flu?
A: I don’t know. I just don’t want to get it.
Q: What are the risks of getting the flu once you get the shot?
A: I don’t know.
Q: What risks are associated with getting the shot?
A: I don’t know.
Q: What exactly are they injecting into your body?
A: I don’t know.
Q: If someone was pouring something into your gas tank would you just watch?
Or, would you ask them what it is, what it’s used for and whether or not it could damage the engine?
A: I definitely would ask before they did it.
Q: Then why don’t you do the same with your own body?

What if I showed you studies that concluded:

1. you only have a 5-20% chance of even getting the flu
2. influenza does not pose a serious risk of complications to most people who get it.
3. the flu vaccine changes formulations each year and does not prevent the type of flu that the overwhelming majority of people get each fall/winter
4. the flu vaccine may cut the odds of getting influenza A and B by only 25%, but this type of influenza represents less than 15% of all cases
5. the elderly may benefit from vaccination, but the studies are not very good to prove it.
6. there is NO evidence that the benefits outweigh the risks of vaccinating babies or young children
7. healthy people under the age of 60 do not benefit from the vaccine, in terms of reduced odds of getting the flu, days lost from work, or stopping the spread of influenza.
A: Who did the studies?
Q: Great question! That is exactly the right question.

But why didn’t you ask them about the supporting evidence before you let them inject you with foreign proteins and preservatives like thimerasol, a mercury compound?

Why didn’t you ask them about the risks vs. benefits: just how risky is the flu? And, just how effective is the vaccine? Was it because they wear white coats, have MD’s and are associated with hospitals offering free vaccines?

If I, as a chiropractor, offered a free and ‘better’ flu vaccine, you would either ignore the offer or be all over with it with questions, as you should be. Why is that?

The point is the ‘health’ community consistently uses our trust and fear to manipulate our perceptions and understanding of ‘health’ to motivate us to act unquestioningly, to take drugs or submit to vaccines. In this case they overstate the risks getting the flu, and flu-related death, and the effectiveness of the vaccine in ‘preventing’ it.

No drug is totally safe.

The CDC website states “On rare occasions, flu vaccination can cause serious problems, such as severe allergic reactions. As of July 1, 2005, people who think that they have been injured by the flu shot can file a claim for compensation from the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP).”

Is that risk, and other potential, unpredictable risks or side-effects, worth the minimal odds of decreasing your risks of getting the flu? Getting, and recovering from the flu, boosts your natural immunity and makes your body stronger.

Your health is your responsibility. Never take it for granted and never undergo any test or procedure, or take any drugs or submit to any vaccine without assessing the facts yourself.

Without any valid scientific evidence to support them, more and more vaccines are being mandated for our children, and the public at large. (Vaccine sales are in the billions of dollars.) We are increasingly giving up our freedoms, including the freedom of choice in health care and decisions we make regarding our bodies, our health and the health of our children. As with losing all civil liberties, this is a dangerous road to travel.