Skepfeeds-The Best Skeptical blogs of the day

Barack Obama and aborition on the FOURTH trimester

Posted in Skepdude, Woo by Skepdude on November 12, 2008

Barack Obama was elected president despite the fact he supports abortion into the fourth trimester.

Can someone explain to this woman, what tri means? Wow! Here are some more words of wisdom from her.

Altogether, this means we are fooling ourselves if we think the United States is still a Christian nation. Its people just elected a barbarian as president, authorized the killing of both its youngest and sickest, rejected scientific fact that human life begins at conception, blocked parental intervention of abortions of young girls, and voted down the wording of an abortion ban they said only two years ago they would support.

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Find another genocide or catastrophe or war or famine or plague to match 1 billion people systematically killed in just a 20 year span, the number who have been murdered by abortion worldwide just in the past two decades according to the Alan Guttmacher Institute, research arm of Planned Parenthood.

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It is your responsibility, pastor and church leaders, to teach your people that abortion is abominable, and before that to teach chaste living. And before that, at the risk of making my Protestant friends flip, to teach that the contraceptive/sterilization mentality, which considers children bad, not blessings, is also a component of the sexual demise of our country.

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Obama was confident, categorically supporting unfettered abortion for all nine months of pregnancy and beyond.

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Only consistent church teaching that breaks through deadened consciences on the horror of abortion in conjunction with education on the godly confines of sexual behavior will do.

Yikes, I feel bad for anyone that comes in contact with this woman.

Close Encounters of the Woo Kind – Tatyana Sibirskaya

Posted in Skepdude, Woo by Skepdude on October 16, 2008

You can find Tatyana’s add at the event brochure on page 8. This is what Tatyana claims she can do:

✶ Tatyana sees all the organs of a human body and discovers its defects before they can be   detected by any medical tests.

✶ With the help of power which goes beyond our habitual conception of energy and never touching a patient’s body Tatyana heals people from diseases many of which the modern medicine consider incurable.

Amazing. This lady has two powers, not one. First, X-ray vision. She can see the organs and detect problems before they are detectable by our most advanced technology. Wow! She can see through your body, flesh and clothes be damned. Apparently she’s better than the actual X-ray, MRI and a myriad other medical techniques to detect problems. With this sort of claim, surely she must have been tested successfully and must have beaten such mundane techniques in diagnosing problems. Actually I can’t find anything to that effect, nevertheless I am not spending more than 2 min on this insanity. If anyone has any interesting links, feel free to leave them on the comments section.

A young girl, by the name of Natasha Demkina, making this claim was actually tested by Ray Hyman, Richard Wiseman and Andrew Skolnick and her disappointing results were reported by the Skeptical Inquirer magazine. As you may already suspect she flunked with flying colors. I suspect Tatyana is cut from the same cloth as Natasha. Who knows, they may even be related.

Her second amazing power, is basically therapeutic touch, the “art” and “science” of healing by waving one’s hands overs the suspected sick person. Now, I don’t know if she does the hand waving and all that nonsense, her actual claim seems to imply that she’s manipulating some sort of energy without touching the person. Incredible,  all you have to do is have this woman look you up and down, not touch you, and bam you’re healed and relieved of all that extra weight you’re carrying in your wallet by the way.

Hey think about it this way, if you pay by credit card, and you pay your bill on time, Tatyana is helping you build good credit! Yay!

If you check out the website that is referred to in the ad you see a short introduction, contact info, an interview and, of course, a few testimonials; the usual quack nonsense. Here’s a more in depth description of Tatyana’s powers:

She sees all the organs in a person and their defects without touching the body. Tanya’s abilities come forth in cases of cardiovascular diseases, urological and gynecological female disorders. From her unique concentration of energy she is able to destroy kidney stones and gallstones. She can also demolish the center of formation in high cholesterol patients. Through her abilities, Tanya sites tumors, cysts and other neoplasms on the internal organs of men, women and children and destroys them.

A meeting with Tanya will give you the opportunity to obtain a comprehensive report about the condition of all your organs to the smallest capillaries.

Excellent! I think I shall meet this lady, I am a little worried about my capillaries, all 25,000 miles of them (by some estimates). Wow, she must be really thorough on her capillary comprehensive report.

And here’s an interview with Tati:

Q. You not only see affected organs you can treat them as well. How do you do that?
A. I concentrate my thought and my sight on the affected organs and through me the powerful energy from the outside transfers into person…

Q. How many sessions does a person need as a rule?

A. There’s no rule here. It’s very individual. During your diagnosis consultation you will be told.

Q. Do you have to see your patient or you can do it without visual contact?
A. Both.

Q. What do you feel when you start working with a patient?
A. It’s hard work and I feel very tired because I filtrate the patient’s suffering.

Q. Do you practice group therapy?
A. Yes.

Boy she must be exhausted by group therapy. Phew, talk about filtrating a whole group’s suffering. Poor lady, so selfless.

CONCLUSION

Tatyana (or Tatiana depending on the source) does not seem to have a real case.  It seems quite probable that she cannot see through anyone’s body nor heal anyone, not without touching them anyway. She claims to diagnose a tumor that cannot be seen by anyone else, heal it through her energy field so it is not longer there (even though you had no confirmation it was there to begin with), so that when your doctors checks you out he will not find anything (which he wasn’t able to do to begin with according to her). So all you have to go with is her word folks. I don’t know about you but I wouldn’t be very comfortable with this lady’s word. If you still feel like going and seeing her and spending money on her, you will officially be a moron, maybe desperate and being taken advantage off, but still a moron!

Close Encounters of the Woo Kind – Introduction

Posted in Skepdude, Woo by Skepdude on October 16, 2008

ORIGINAL ENTRY

NYC will be hosting a mega woo-woo quack festival, at the Hotel New Yorker this coming weekend, 10/17/08-10/19/08. Just in case I have woo believer readers (I doubt it) you can find more info about this event here. I believe you have a constitutional right to attend should you be interested, nevertheless I reserve my constitutional right to call you an idiot if you do (unless you’re a brave skeptic going undercover to report on this farce, in which case you’d be a fearless hero!).

I ran across the printed brochure on my daily coffee lunch break at my local Dunkin Donuts. I took a few copies and one is being mailed to The Amazing man himself, James Randi, at the JREF headquarters in Fort Lauderdale. I hope he tears them up real nice, as he’s known to have done over and over again.

In the mean time if you’d like to look at the brochure on your own, you can find the PDF files here. What I’ve decided to do here at Skepfeeds is to start a new feature, which I’m going to call “Close Encounters of the Woo Kind” in which I will post daily (or so) one of the outrageous adds from the brochure, just to give my loyal readers an idea as to the kind of stupid that will be up for sale this weekend in NYC, and which has been up for sale forever all over the world. I hope you enjoy and please remember to go to your doctor. Crystals, magnets and energy don’t do nothing but put your wallet in a diet!

General Vaccine misconceptions

Posted in Medicine, Skepdude, Woo by Skepdude on August 27, 2008

MSNBC.com has a nice collection of parent’s quotes in regards to their decision to vaccinate or not their kids, titled “Parents sound off on childhood vaccine divide”

They did a pretty good job at representing both sides of the coin. I will concentrate on some flawed reasoning coming from the antivaccination crowd. Now let me make clear that I am not a doctor, and have no specialized knowledge about vaccines. These are my thoughts based on what I have been able to gather by reading various sources. If I say something which is not correct please do point it out in the comments section.

I chose not to vaccinate my children after one child developed a severe reaction to the vaccination. Also, I believe we are inviting a destruction to our immune system by disallowing it to fight the natural childhood diseases that come along.

It is a big mistake to say that vaccines “dont allow the immune system to fight the natural diseases”. The whole point of a vaccine is exactly the opposite, to get the immune system to fight off a weakened version of the germ causing the disease, so that it would know what to do when the living germ gets into the body. The parent also committs the natuaralistic fallacy, by somehow implying that “natural diseases” should be allowed to exist. I don’t understand that. HIV, Cancer, Heart Disease, Strokes all of these are natural diseases. In fact I am not even sure what an unnatural disease is..

My 3 year old has some of his shots but not all. As parents we decided to go slowly on vaccinating him as opposed to flooding his body full of unnatural agents. When we heard about the measles outbreak we did get him a measles shot. I don’t have any second thought to our process with vaccines.

There goes the natural fallacy again. Vaccines are referred to as “unnatural agents”. What the hell is that? A chemical that does not exist in nature? I find it really hard to believe that there is anything in vaccines that cannot be found in nature. Furthermore, vaccinating after there is an outbreak is not only inefficient, but irresponsible too. There does not need to be an outbreak in order for your kid to become sick.  This parent needs to have lots of second thoughts on the issue. Next time the kid may not be so lucky and get sick before there is a big outbreak. I mean how does this parent think an outbreak occurs anyway? It is an outbreak when large numbers of people get sick. And that large number of people could very well include her kid. Bad, bad reasoning.

Many of us who choose not to vaccinate are not totally opposed to vaccinations and the benefits they can provide, but rather we are just asking for a safer vaccination schedule and safer vaccines. I hope that one day it will be possible to protect our children from disease without the fear of a life long disability like Autism. I choose not to vaccinate my twins because if they got chicken pox, measles, or even pertussis it would not be nearly as devestating as Autism has been for our son or our family.

There is nothing, nothing, to relate vaccines with autism. Absolutely nothing. This person’s child was diagnozed with autism after receving his 15 month shots. Well, I have a 1 year old and I am personally aware of the amount of vaccines they get before 15 months. If vaccines do infact cause autism, why is it that it shows up so late? Why didn’t it show up earlier? Furthermore, in early stages vaccines are given at 3 or 6 month intervals. Regardless when a kid is diagnosed with autism, it is bound to be within a short period of time after getting some shot. What about the claim that it’s better if kids get other diseases rather than autism? Well given that vaccines have not been shown to cause autism, that is basically saying that in order to feel like we’re doing something to prevent a disease we don’t know how to prevent, we will forgo protection on the ones we do know how to prevent.  Weird reasoning no? I won’t even go into a whole what’s worse autism or the other ones. Another parent shows clearly how bad the other diseases can be.

I’m old enough to remember life without vaccines for measles and chicken pox and I suffered the consequences of the diseases. Measles, both kinds, Red and German, ruined my eyesight. Chicken pox left me with permanent scars on my face and body. I was so sick with the Red Measles that I also came down with pneumonia and almost died at the age of seven.

Let’s move on to the next comment.

I have chosen not to vaccinate my daughter. My stepson has autism which could put my daughter at a greater risk for contracting it. Currently she has come down with Rubella (german measles) she had a high fever for 5 days, following a rash from head to toe. Was she sick? Yes, and miserable. However, would I choose two weeks of that over a lifetime of Autism. YES!!!! With the rate of Autism on the rise 1 in 150. And no known cause of it, why wouldn’t a parent whose child is at a greater risk decide to not put those poison’s into their child’s body?

Ok so what this person is saying is that “there is no known cause of autism” and at the same time saying tht if she vaccinated her daughter, she would have gotten autism, thus vaccines are a cause of autism. A bit contradictory, wouldn’t you say?

My children did have some vaccines BUT after my soon to be 3yr old regressed after a series of vaccines last yr I have stopped vaccinating them as I truly believe that all the poison in those shots caused his autism. I also wonder why unvaccinated children can be blamed for vaccinated people being at risk! IF the vaccines are supposed to be safe and protet them then those who are vaccinated should have NO reason to fear the unvaccinated children!!!

See, it is exactly the lack of basic understanding that makes people affraid. They are litterally scared because they lack knowledge. Vaccines are not 100% effective, in fact some wear out and you need booster shots. Because they are not 100% effective, there is a small chance that you could get sick, even if you get the shot. However, if everyone got shot, there would be much less of a chance for the germ to survive in the “herd” and thus risk infecting that small portion of unlucky vaccinated people. Long answer short, herd immunity is affected as more and more people don’t get vaccinated. To illustrate that point:

While I vaccinated my child with everything the government advises, my child still got whooping cough because so many parents don’t (or won’t) vaccinate their children. The diseases mutate and become stronger and healthy children who’s parents have taken every precaution get extremely sick. My child was horribly sick for an entire summer and no matter how many times we went to the doctor they couldn’t figure out what was causing her cough because doctor’s don’t think to look for illnesses that children have been vaccinated against. Only after my child had become better did we learn that there had been an outbreak of whooping cough in our area. Shame on the parents that think they are doing their children a favor by not immunizing them. Not only are you endangering your childs life you are endangering every person that your child comes in contact with!

Let’s keep going:

Vaccinating children is stupid and reprehensible. We have absolutely no way of knowing what goes into vaccines. As recently as ten years ago they contained mercury derivatives which could cause ppermanent harm to anyone taking them. I inquired upon a visit to the county health department and was shocked and horrified upon ten minutes of searching to see it openly admitted (albeit in the smallest fine print) that these rumors were correct. If the government doesn’t mind putting mercury in your children who knows what else the CDC may consider an ‘acceptable risk.’

Ok, there goes the unavoidable conspiracy idiot. He’s not even a parent apparently, so I don’t know what his comment is doing in an article about “parents”. Too juicy to be passed over by the journalist I guess.

We choose not to vaccinate our children. Childhood diseases are not getting better, they are just changing. Vaccinations may happen to lower the original diseases, but they have opened up a whole new world of childhood diseases. We choose to keep our children safe and clean. If they happen to get sick then we know the Doctors are very capable of helping them through their sickness. We are certain there are risks with vaccinations and we are not willing to put our children through that. It is wrong for a government or any other group of people to tell us what is best for our children. This is not neglect or abuse. We are sincerely interested in the health and well being of our children. We are not ignorant or illiterate.

No, not ignorant or illetarate, but misguided and scared probably. Childhood diseases are not getting any better? Really? Where are their statistics coming from? Whose research about childhood diseases before and after vaccines are they relying on? Very weird statement indeed. Sounds like a sentence that had been copied and pasted from so woo master’s website without a second thought to it. They choose to keep their children  “safe” by denying them the protection of vaccines? Something is not quite right there. So the doctors are very capable of helping the kids when they do get sick, but apparently they ar not capable enough to prevent the diseases thay can treat. Dubious reasoning no? And how does it make sense to say that it is wrong for any group of people to tell parent’s what’s best for their children. By any group do they mean experts such as the able doctors they refer to? How is it wrong for a group of experts in a field to advise a group of non-experts about the right choice?

My son has not been vaccinated for several years. He had convulsions and quit breathing after every vaccination and now suffers minor learning diabilities. It scares me, because I certainly dont want to lose him to measles, or hepatitus… or the vaccine.

I feel for this parent. It is obvious that her son has some sort of allergic reaction to the vaccines, and the parent is rightly worried about the missed protection these vaccines could offer her son. I hope this never becomes an issue for their family.

To close it off there’s nothing I could say that would sum it up better than what another parent had to say:

Parents of kindergarteners today never had to deal with childhood disease as a certainty. In the ’50’s & ’60’s, it was so certain kids would get measles, mumps and chicken pox, that parents would make all their kids sleep with the first one who contracted a disease, so to “get it over with”. Young parents weren’t around to see children in iron lungs, and leg braces, wobbling on crutches regularly. They have never had to almost lose their hearing or suffer such after-effect from mumps or measles. They have never had to worry that they might contract measles while pregnant (because they most likely have been vaccinated for measles). They have no idea of what can be the new reality if fewer and fewer children are vaccinated. Young parents of today have benefited from the availability of vaccines and the requirements that school districts and state health boards had previously made. I shudder to think that our society cannot seem to learn from history, and since every generation seems to know it all better than any previous, we are doomed to repeat our history as well.

Let’s hope she’s not right about the repeating history part. Let’s really hope.

I am embarrassed

Posted in Denialism, Woo by Skepdude on August 21, 2008

CLICK HERE TO GO TO THE ORIGINAL ENTRY AT THE “DENIALISM” BLOG

by the San Francisco Chronicle for giving a lot of uncritical coverage to a pet psychic in “Marla Steele makes pet talk a two-way street.” This “psychic” discusses Reiki (and the ability to do it from a distance–“energy broadcasting”), among other thing. And here’s the reporter’s hardball question:

What do you say to skeptics? I completely appreciate people’s skepticism. I first heard about animal communication from a coworker at Nordstrom’s who was paying $100 to talk to a pet psychic in Oregon about her German Shepherd. I always listened politely to her stories, but secretly thought she must just have money to burn, or be crazy, or both. Now we laugh because I not only became a pet psychic, I also appear on radio and television talk shows all over the country.

Pathetic!

CLICK HERE TO GO TO THE ORIGINAL ENTRY AT THE “DENIALISM” BLOG