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Fluoride and sketchy science – Dental chemical in drinking water may have serious negative side effects

Many so-called developed countries make the choice for us. We drink fluoride in our tap water whether we like it or not. The scientific evidence of any benefit is sketchy at best, junk science at worst. Also, there are possible long term negative effects due to drinking fluoride every day, all our lives. Read more:

And a slightly more media friendly article:

If you think that buying bottled water will save solve the problem, think again. Many companies around the world have been called out for merely rebranding or for selling water that is less safe than tap water.

So what can we do? Big Brother and more recently Big Sister might have been putting our health at risk based on scientific claims that even a high school student should be able to recognize as invalid.


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Is Psychiatry Overdoing It With The Diagnoses?

MRT scan of human head

MRT scan of human head (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I go through tons and tons of news stories every day and, not being a computer, cannot read each one fully. I admittedly scan a lot of stuff, looking for good content and also to avoid contentious material that might unduly offend readers or go too far against my own standards.

Back in high school we were taught that speed reading and skimming would be an increasingly important skill as we entered the “new information age.” This was the late 70s, early 80s. And boy oh boy, were they ever right!

So here are two articles that I skimmed earlier today. They differ from extreme anti-psychiatry polemics because they are not anti-psychiatry, but rather, written by someone who was in medical school and yet can still think for themselves (his or her gender is not specified at the web site).

I think anyone who blindly accepts all the latest psychiatric labels should have a quick scan too.


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JPMorgan bans Christian group at workplace


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Crisis what Crisis?

Crisis? What Crisis?

Crisis? What Crisis? (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Some of you might recognize the header for this post as coming from an album by the classic rock band, Supertramp.

The album cover captured, like the best of Supertramp, the irony and alienation of the 1970s. True, the 70s had a fun and optimistic side. But there was also this nagging sense that the world was messed up and there was no turning back.

Pollution, social problems and spiritual angst are nothing new. They’ve been with us in various forms throughout history.

For me, the best approach is to try to understand our somewhat tarnished world and to not judge. The only person I can really judge is myself. And I suspect that God’s standards and expectations differ from person to person.

All fine and dandy. But as Archbishop Sheen suggests, if we just go on blindly ignoring problems, how will the world ever get better?

And this is the crux of the matter. Where should the Christian dictum of do not judge end and the modern idea of social responsibility begin?

Again, each must find his or her own solution. Some of us pray. Some of us write. And some do a bit of both.


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Scientific Fraud – Antidepression Drugs for Kids and Teens

Some people are so impressed by the achievements of current tech that they assume science can solve all of our problems. They place a great deal of faith in science and scientists without, it seems, fully realizing they are doing so. In a sense, then, science has become something like religion in the Middle Ages. Unquestioning faith. And the consequences if you ask questions? Well, you’re just a flake with issues, right?

That’s the impression I get from some folks whenever I try to explain that science is a human enterprise and something to be studied, in itself.

In addition to what I’ve highlighted above, watchdogs also found that outcomes for this particular drug vs. a placebo were no different.


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Horrendous allegations about organ harvesting coming out of China

Last night we got a full color pamphlet in the mail about something that seemed so terrible, I thought the organization publishing the pamphlet must have been some half-baked extremist group. Today, however, I did a search and found several articles.

Internet articles can be misleading and downright wrong, of course. So I thought I’d check Wikipedia, which is not the Gospel Truth either but definitely makes an attempt to be reliable. Here’s what I found at Wiki. Click on image for full entry.


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Racism in India, the land of “spirituality”

I’m a strawberry blond “white “(actually light pink, just as “black” is some shade of coffee to deep brown color) skinned guy.

When studying in India in the late 80s I noticed that, depending on the circumstances, my skin color alternately gave me social advantages or disadvantages. These are really too numerous and complex to explain here. And this kind of reaction to my skin color was a fairly unique situation in that I was from the West, a confounding variable in the Indian racism question.

Image via Tumblr – click for original article source

The article tweeted and snipped above points to an issue within India, among some indigenous Indians. And, unless things have changed considerably since I was there, it’s no overstatement. I witnessed incredible racism within a land that some claim is “the guru of the world.”

Don’t get me wrong. I really liked the Indian people on the whole. They seemed, for the most part, gentle, fun, generous and civil. But this issue did stand out. And I’m glad that Quartz India is addressing it. Ignoring never solves problems.

Swami Vivekananda, a disciple of the holy man Ramakrishna, made a similar observation in the late 19th century. And, of course, Mahatma Gandhi followed suit in the early 20th century. But it seems their words were largely forgotten.