Over the years, I’ve frequently made the points that the vast majority of physicians are not scientists and, in fact, that many of them suffer from a severe case of Dunning-Kruger when it comes to science. Even going back to the very early history of this blog, you can find examples, the most common of which seemed to be physicians denying evolution and embracing creationism. Of these, the doctor I wrote about most frequently back in the day was the creationist neurosurgeon Michael Egnor, but with the onset of the 2016 Presidential race there’s been a new creationist neurosurgeon in town with arguably even more ignorant attacks on evolution. I’m referring, of course, to noted neurosurgeon Ben Carson, whose creationist stylings and other idiocies have been so bad that I had to use him as a reason to update my posts regarding how physicians are not scientists and often have an inordinate and unjustified confidence in medicine as a “check on BS.”

Over the last couple of weeks since that post, unfortunately, Ben Carson has continued to spew statements that are nothing but downright embarrassing, be they his statement in the wake of the Oregon mass shooting that it would be advisable to attack an armed gunman during a mass shooting “because he can’t get us all” or his many other statements that make me wonder how someone with so little critical thinking skills could get through medical school and a neurosurgery residency to become such a respected surgeon.

While I knew Dr. Carson shows an uncanny lack of critical thinking when it comes to most issues outside of medicine, I had never in general doubted his medical abilities. Oh, sure, I was disturbed and disappointed when during the second Republican debate, instead of repeating his full-throated defense of vaccines, he waffled and pandered to the G.O.P. base regarding Trump’s antivaccine views, but I didn’t think that was because he truly thought vaccines cause autism but because he was too cowardly to speak out as clearly as he had in the past. I expect behavior like this from Rand Paul, the other physician running for office, but not from Ben Carson, at least not based on his history.

Then, over the weekend, while I was away at the American College of Surgeons meeting, there was an article in the Wall Street Journal entitled Ben Carson Has Had Ties to Dietary Supplement Firm That Faced Legal Challenge. Unfortunately, I’m not a WSJ subscriber; so I can’t read the whole article. Fortunately, there’s enough of it excerpted out there in various blogs and other news outlets that I can get the gist of the story and what he said. Actually, I could experience everything he said in this 2004 YouTube clip of Ben Carson shilling for Mannatech, and now you can too:

The video is 1:19 long; so I admit that I haven’t had time to watch the whole thing. What I have seen in it is quite disturbing. A bit of background was in order. Over ten years ago, Ben Carson faced prostate cancer at a relatively young age, his early 50s, and he went to an unexpected source for help:

Faced with a prostate-cancer diagnosis more than a decade ago, Ben Carson, the Republican presidential hopeful and retired surgeon, consulted an unusual source: the medical director of a Texas company that sells nutritional supplements made of substances such as larch-tree bark and aloe vera extract.

The company doctor “prescribed a regimen” of supplements, Mr. Carson told its sales associates in a 2004 speech.

The video above is basically an infomercial for Mannatech. The video was taken down from the company website, apparently after the WSJ made inquiries about it, but the Internet never forgets, and so the video is still around. Fortunately the part about his prostate cancer diagnosis is near the beginning of the video; so you don’t have to watch the whole hour and 19 minutes of it.

According to Carson, a couple of years before his talk, he was diagnosed with prostate cancer. He described himself as an individual who underwent routine medical screenings and annual physicals and had his PSA checked. However, he noticed that when he was in the operating room for long periods of time he became very interested in the clock because, unlike in the past, he couldn’t go many hours without having to go to the bathroom. So he went to see the chief of urology at Johns Hopkins, who thought at first that he had some prostatitis and gave him antibiotics. The symptoms, however, didn’t go away. So the urologist suggested that maybe he had some prostatic hypertrophy and gave him some Flomax, but the symptoms still didn’t resolve. His PSA was checked again, and it was somewhat elevated; so a biopsy was recommended. Now, I have to admit, Carson is a very folksy and engaging speaker, particularly the part where he described undergoing his prostate biopsy. I can see why Mannatech would want him to shill for it: A famous neurosurgeon who is a very likable speaker (or at least was, as I don’t find much of Carson’s schtick that likable any more).

In any case, he related getting the news in the operating room that he had high grade cancer. Now, personally, if I were in the operating room and received news like that, I’m not entirely sure that I could “put it out of my mind” the way Dr. Carson relates, and continue with the operation. On the other hand, that’s what surgeons do; patients must not be abandoned just because of our own personal traumas. Be that as it may, next Carson described getting an MRI and having a copy given to him without a radiologist reading. Looking at it, he saw “lesions up and down my spine.”

So how did his association with Mannatech begin? Basically, somehow the news got out that Carson had some sort of cancer, and as a result people started sending him products from all over the world. The father of one of Carson’s patients also apparently heard the news and asked him if he had ever heard of glyconutrients. This recommendation from his patient’s father led Carson to contact Mannatech and a “Dr. Reg,” who I can only assume must have been Dr. “Reg” McDaniel, who was at that time medical director of Mannatech and is now Director of Research at Wellness Quest, LLC, who doesn’t appear to be particularly science-based. Let’s just say that “Dr. Reg” is proud of having been awarded the “Discovery of the Year Award” by the American Naturopathic Medical Association n 1996 for his glyconutrient work and claims and that he’s still selling dubious dietary supplements. In any case, Carson described how Dr. Reg sent him some product and prescribed a regimen. He began to take it, and “within about three weeks my symptoms went away, and I was really quite amazed.” Carson even stated that “I actually toyed with the idea of not having surgery done, because it was recommended that I undergo surgery.”

Let’s stop right there for a second. According to his story, Dr. Carson was diagnosed with high grade prostate cancer. He apparently thought it had metastasized to his spine based on reading his own MRI scan. That’s a terminal diagnosis, although prostate cancer can be fairly indolent and even at stage IV take a long time to kill. Yet, surgery was still being recommended to remove the prostate? Something doesn’t quite add up here, because usually the treatment for metastatic prostate cancer is not surgery, but castration, because most prostate cancers are androgen-dependent. In the old days (back when I was a resident), that would have been surgical castration, but these days chemical castration is used. Castration can often give a long period of palliation before the prostate cancer becomes androgen-independent and starts growing again. As I listened, all I could think is that Carson’s surgeon must have thought that the cancer was still localized and therefore potentially curable. Otherwise, it’s doubtful he would have offered radical prostatectomy, which is an operation not without risk and significant morbidity.

In any case, Carson continued on about how he read up on the “theory behind” Mannatech, the “bolstering of the immune system,” saying “this makes an awful lot of sense,” and thought about whether the cancer could just be controlled. Now here’s why he decided not to rely solely on Mannatech:

Then I began to realize that, having a high profile, if I did that, a lot of other people might follow that example too, but they might not be quite as diligent as I was about taking the product, and there might be a lot of needless deaths, and I didn’t feel as though I could have that on my conscience. So I went ahead and had the surgery done.

So let me get this straight. He thought that Mannatech’s product would work but that others would die if they followed his example because they wouldn’t be as awesomely diligent as Dr. Carson. Yes, Dr. Carson’s rationale for undergoing the surgery was, apparently, that he might be able to cure himself with Mannatech’s supplements but others would die because they wouldn’t follow the protocol closely enough. How many times have I discussed this victim-blaming explanation for the failure of alternative cancer cures? More times than I can remember. It’s a common thread in alternative cancer cure advocacy, that if you don’t follow the protocol to the letter it will fail and it will be your fault. So, awesomely selfless guy that Carson was, he underwent major surgery in order to save people from that fate. Or perhaps he didn’t believe quite as strongly as he made it sound in his speech. Probably the latter.

Whatever the case, Carson underwent a nerve-sparing prostatectomy, which is designed to spare the nerves responsible for sexual and bladder function whose damage was a common complication of radical prostatectomy, later to discover that the MRI findings were a congenital abnormality of the bone marrow and not metastatic cancer at all. The cancer was within 1 mm of the capsule of the prostate, but still confined to the prostate, meaning that the surgery was potentially curative. Given that it’s something like 12 years later and Carson is still alive and kicking, the surgery was just curative. In his talke, Carson attributed his good fortune to prayers more than Mannatech, but he was still basically shilling for Mannatech. In fairness, Carson also pointed out that, although people have told him that it was the glyconutrients that cured him—an odd thing to say, given that he still had cancer in his prostate that was almost to the capsule—he does advocate what might be called “integrative” medicine, at least with respect to Mannatech:

Now some people have concluded that I was cured without without surgery and that I was just cured by the glyconutrients. Maybe it would have happened, maybe it would not have. I do not advocate abandoning traditional medical cures that have been shown to work. What I would, however, advocate is using natural products to supplement what’s done by traditional medicine. The two things do not have to be adversarial. In fact, they can be extremely complementary.

Oddly enough, he then said that he was not a Mannatech associate, because he didn’t think that would be appropriate, nor was he a Mannatech spokesman, because he didn’t think that would be appropriate either. Really? He just gave what amounts to a Mannatech cancer cure testimonial to an auditorium full of Mannatech associates! He might not have been an associate, but he was definitely an unpaid spokesman. He even pointed out how he set up a system in his office to people asking him about Mannatech to the “right people” and described how he and his wife were still taking Mannatech glyconutrient supplements every day and later said in a promotional video:

The wonderful thing about a company like Mannatech is that they recognize that when God made us, He gave us the right fuel. And that fuel was the right kind of healthy food. You know we live in a society that is very sophisticated, and sometimes we’re not able to achieve the original diet. And we have to alter our diet to fit our lifestyle. Many of the natural things are not included in our diet. Basically what the company is doing is trying to find a way to restore natural diet as a medicine or as a mechanism for maintaining health.

Fast forwarding in time, it turns out that this wasn’t the only time Carson promoted Mannatech. He spoke at Mannatech conferences in 2011 and 2013 and spoke about glyconutrients for a PBS special just last year. His relationship with Mannatech thus went on for at least a decade, apparently only to be severed when he decided he wanted to run for President.

It must be emphasized just how dubious Mannatech is. As this National Review article points out:

Mannatech has a long, checkered past, stretching back to its founding more than a decade before Carson began touting the company’s supplements. It was started by businessman Samuel L. Caster in late 1993, mere “months,” the Wall Street Journal later noted, before Congress passed the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act of 1994, which greatly loosened restrictions on how supplement makers could market their products. Within a few years of its inception, the company was marketing a wide variety of “glyconutrient” products using many of the same tactics previously described in lawsuits against Eagle Shield, Caster’s first company.

In November 2004, the mother of a child with Tay-Sachs disease who died after being treated with Mannatech products filed suit against the company in Los Angeles Superior Court, seeking damages for intentional infliction of emotional distress, negligent misrepresentation, and conspiracy to commit fraud. The suit alleged that the Mannatech sales associate who “treated” the three-year-old had shared naked photos of the boy — provided by his mother as evidence of weight gain, with an understanding that they’d be kept confidential — with hundreds of people at a Mannatech demonstration seminar. The sales associate was further accused of authoring an article, in the Journal of the American Nutraceutical Association in August 1997, explicitly claiming that Mannatech’s supplements had improved the boy’s condition, even though the boy had, by that time, died. The suit also presented evidence that Mannatech was still using photographs of the boy in promotional materials on its website in March 2004, “with the clear inference that [the boy] was alive and doing well some seven years after his actual death.”

I also note that Mannatech’s associates hawk one of its products, Ambrotose, as a near cure-all for everything from cancer to multiple sclerosis to AIDS. It’s even been described as a sham in a journal article. I might have to do a post on Mannatech, but in the meantime if you doubt the dubious nature of the company and its products, Quackwatch has a resource.

As disturbing as Dr. Carson’s advocacy of pseudoscience like creationism is, I find this revelation about his longstanding relationship with Mannatech to be far more disturbing, striking as it does at the heart of his strength, his reputation as a physician and neurosurgeon. It turns out that Carson’s lack of critical thinking skills goes beyond just evolution, the Big Bang Theory, geology, and physics. As great a neurosurgeon as he was, he was so easily persuaded by pseudoscience that he was willing to promote nonsense like Mannatech as a treatment for prostate cancer.

Comments

  1. #1 dean
    October 9, 2015

    If we didn’t have people as stupid, and patently dishonest, as the current crop of Republican candidates, we’d have to invent them just for the laughs. (The political climate would, however, be much better without their ilk.)

  2. #2 Ernie Gordon
    October 9, 2015

    “It turns out that Carson’s lack of critical thinking skills goes beyond just evolution, the Big Bang Theory, geology, and physics.”

    Sounds like Carson has successfully made the transition from surgeon into a GOP politician.

  3. #3 Denice Walter
    October 9, 2015

    All of that fabulous woo PLUS Murdock thinks he’s really black!

    I especially like the part where he says that G-d made us and gave us the “right fuel” which, of course, we’ve totally ruined until Mannatech came along and did G-d’s will!

    I wonder how many supplements are sold to evangelicals based upon copy like that.

  4. #4 Michael Finfer, MD
    Edison, NJ
    October 9, 2015

    I don’t know his ancestry, but there is a set of pathogenic BRCA mutations that are common in people of west African descent. I would suggest genetic counseling, not dietary supplements, for Dr. Carson.

  5. #5 Eric Lund
    October 9, 2015

    I especially like the part where he says that G-d made us and gave us the “right fuel” which, of course, we’ve totally ruined until Mannatech came along and did G-d’s will!

    I assume you caught the reference in the company name. Of course this company’s products are heaven-sent.

  6. #6 Denice Walter
    October 9, 2015

    @ Eric Lund:

    I missed that- I suppose it was embedded far too much for my secularism ( I’m usually very good at that sort of thing) but I’m sure that someone tuned into Holy Writ would spot it immediately.

    Interestingly, Mikey has aimed his spiel at conservatives through various rants against the liberal media ( compleat with a cartoon token lesbian broadcaster) which targets Christians, white, straight people and rural dwellers LIKE HIM! But he doesn’t quite call his products manna from heaven yet- only Superfood. The other alt media honcho casts his nets for fundamentalists in a less obvious fashion because he also courts Jewish folk in NYC- so it’s more about his downhome fundamentalist background complete with sermonising and gospel songs ( some black listeners might be impressed with that)..

  7. #7 sadmar
    October 9, 2015

    “Persuaded by pseudoscience” or per$uaded by p$eudo$ien$e?

    “I don’t know that he’s ever had a compensated relationship with Mannatech,” says Armstrong Williams, Carson’s
    business manager.

    Such a lovely non-denial, denial. We do know Carson makes $40,000 ‘above the table’ for each speaking appearance…

    You have to give it up for the ‘I only got the surgery because had I cured myself with the Mannatech supplements, lesser humans would have imitated me and done it wrong’ routine. What would be obvious BS from anyone else becomes credible from Carson because it’s consistent with his massive ego. Sorry Ben, everything else you’ve ever said shows you don’t give a flying f-bomb about anybody else. You got the surgery because you didn’t want to die, and knew the supplements wouldn’t do the job. Then you had to come up with an excuse in order to cash in as a Mannatech shill. Bingo! The great Carson is just looking out for the weak! As if!

    He may believe some of the moon-loonie things he says, but this guy shows too many signs of a classic con-artist to think true-woo is all that’s going on here.

    Forget the “autism epidemic”. It seems the real epidemic is Narcissistic Personality Disorder — how else could support for Trump, Carson and Fiorina combine to over 50% in GOP polls if voters weren’t being drawn to kindred spirits? …It must be the vaccines! 😉

  8. #8 Richard Smith
    October 9, 2015

    I think they used the wrong biblical term in their name. A more appropriate name would be Mammontech…

  9. #10 Denice Walter
    October 9, 2015

    @ sadmar:

    I don’t know if there are REALLY more people with NPD or are they just more visible/ audible because of the internet and because talking about yourself adoringly has become more acceptable that it had been in former times?
    That’s just a guess, I have no data to support it.

  10. #11 Dr. Chim Richalds
    October 9, 2015

    Orac, I’m glad you’re driving home the point about the lack of critical thinking skills. Speaking as a urologist, Dr. Carson’s comments are jaw-dropping in their lack of consistency. As you pointed out, if the glycoproteins cured the prostate cancer, why was it present on his final pathology? If it were already cured, he would have had pT0 disease (no evidence of cancer on final pathology). While the proximity to the margin of the cancer on the final specimen is less of an indicator of virulence (that finding is usually related to the aggressiveness of the nerve-sparing dissection by the surgeon), if it were gone…it would be gone! How does someone reconcile these two facts without being intellectually dishonest? Sadly, as I’m sure the other docs who read and comment on this blog will attest, graduating from medical school does not imbue anyone with critical thinking skills. I believe these need to be taught from an early age to “hard-wire” them from the start. Otherwise, it’s very easy to become susceptible to the siren-song of woo (which sounds like “woo woo woo, woo woo,” in case you were wondering).

  11. #12 Orac
    October 9, 2015

    @JeffM:

    Yes, the whole “What if the Jews had been armed?” nonsense. Well, we know what happened when the Jews armed themselves and resisted, as they did in the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising and other uprisings, such as the Białystok Ghetto Uprising and the Częstochowa Ghetto Uprising and uprisings in the Sobibor, Treblinka, and Auschwitz. The Nazi war machine crushed them and sent the survivors to the death camps.

  12. #13 Roger Kulp
    October 9, 2015

    Dr, Carson should have known better.It seems he was only one of who knows how many cancer patiens,who fell for Mannatech’s scam artists.In 2007,there was an ABC 20/20 Full Investigative Report on MannatechIt revealed sophisticated multilevel marketing and DVDs preying on desperate cancer patients,in particular.At 8:57,we see a young woman with a serious brain tumor saying she believes “God has put this product in front of her”.

    Apparently Mannatech also made claims glyconutrients could cure AIDS,Multiple Sclerosis,Down Syndrome,Cystic Fibrosis,and yes autism as well.The researchers who were doing serious work in glyconutrients were appalled at how Mannatech was twisting their research,and admits the claims Mannatech makes are false.

    Note what the 20/20 story says about the shady background of Carson’s buddy Sam Caster.Who was also mentioned in this National Review story earlier this year.Caster admits,on camera,that glyconutrients do not cure cancer,or anything else.Class action suits for fraud,investigation by state attorney generals were all initiated against Mannatech.Mannatech was also funding its own research to cite in its conferences and promotional material.

    And Carson has the gall to go after vaccines.

  13. #14 Maryjo Kijewski
    Philadelphia PA
    October 9, 2015

    SMH!!

  14. #15 Dangerous Bacon
    October 9, 2015

    Re Carson’s own-a-gun-avoid-the-Holocaust comments:

    There was a character in the novel Fail-Safe who argued that if Jews had owned and used guns on the first Nazis who came to arrest them, the rest would have backed off. I always thought this was stupid on multiple levels, including the assumption that Jews in Germany knew they were going to be not just imprisoned but slaughtered, and thus would’ve been willing to sacrifice their lives and those of their families in order to take some Nazis with them.

    Like a lot of other things, Ben hasn’t thought this through.

  15. #16 ThreeOfUs
    October 9, 2015

    I’m a humble community “flea”, but I know enough to google “ProductName scam” when I hear about a product with claims that are too good to be true. Maybe fancy, academic surgeons are too pressed for time?

  16. #17 Eric Lund
    October 9, 2015

    Dr, Carson should have known better.It seems he was only one of who knows how many cancer patiens,who fell for Mannatech’s scam artists

    It’s an all-too-common phenomenon that victims of scammers don’t want to admit that they’ve been scammed. See also Burzynski, Stan. Some of his biggest boosters have been next-of-kin of people who tried his treatments and died anyway. Including, in at least one case, a policeman who ought to have known a thing or two about scams.

  17. #18 Shannon
    Canada
    October 9, 2015

    Oh pleas please PLEASE do a post on Mannatech products! My inlawas have been selling it for decades (in Canada) and have tried to convince me that their products will “cure” my Type 1 diabetes. Well, they said, not “exactly” cure but reduce the amount of insulin I take! It’s amazing! Ugh. I can’t stand the way they are hooked on this as some kind of magically health supplement – no they insist on calling them “foods” not medicines, even though they are all pills and powders and lotions – even though there is no real science to support it. I would love to see a proper scientific evaluation of the supposed merits of Mannatech!

  18. #19 JP
    October 9, 2015

    Isn’t Ben Carson a Seventh Day Adventist? They’re big into all kinds of health food and supplement nonsense. In fact, some of them even opened up a health food store in the town I went to school in as a kid – it’s since moved to the town across the river in Oregon. I mainly remember that they used to sell vegan “pizza” from a “deli.”

    Incidentally, the Adventists are basically “cousins” of the Jehovah’s Witnesses – you can trace both groups back to Billy Miller in the 19th century – so I grok a lot of their weirdness.

  19. #20 has
    October 9, 2015

    Ernie Gordon@2:

    Sounds like Carson has successfully made the transition from surgeon into a GOP politician.

    Like an enchillada through the intestine of Dr Oz.

  20. #21 herr doktor bimler
    October 9, 2015

    many of the same tactics previously described in lawsuits against Eagle Shield, Caster’s first company.

    Definitely worth noting that Caster has a previous history of frauds, which went bankrupt until he realised that the path to success was to tie it in with religion and tap into the affinity fraud. The guy has even been convicted in Texas!

    “I don’t know that he’s ever had a compensated relationship with Mannatech,” says Armstrong Williams, Carson’s business manager.

    Williams is of course noted for corruption and dishonesty. IIRC, he has elsewhere conceded that Carson was well-remunerated for pimping Mannatach, but on a purely professional basis where he didn’t know who was paying him.

  21. #22 herr doktor bimler
    October 9, 2015

    I know enough to google “ProductName scam” when I hear about a product with claims that are too good to be true.

    Everyone in the Mannatech ziggurat scheme thinks that other people are the suckers, and apart from Caster at the top, everyone in Mannatech thinks that God wants it that way.
    There’s nothing like the conviction that God wants you to be rich, to help rationalise being part of the con-job. For Carson and all the lower echelons, sincerity and cynicism go together…

  22. #23 Rich Bly
    Ocean Shores
    October 9, 2015

    2018 State of the Union speech

    Let me now take 30 seconds to tell you about the wonders of Mannatech.

  23. #24 sadmar
    Occam's Barbershop
    October 9, 2015

    “How does someone reconcile these two facts without being intellectually dishonest?”

    They don’t.

    He knows they’re inconsistent. But God has given him, the most exceptional Ben Carson, the privilege of not having to trouble with such minutiae, such is his higher calling.

    It’s not a lack of critical thinking skills. It’s putting other motives first. It’s not caring whether your sh!t makes sense, not even TRYING, because you believe. The guy’s a 7th Day Adventist, a denomination that adheres to biblical literalism and infallability: Among the Adventists listed by Wikpedia under “Science, health and engineering” after Carson:
    Robert Gentry – A nuclear physicist and young Earth creationist, known for his claims that radiohalos provide evidence for a young age of the Earth
    Frank Lewis Marsh – Creationist and the first Adventist to earn a doctoral degree in biology.
    Walter Veith – South African Zoologist, creationist and end times lecturer.

    … and speaking of things Ben hasn’t thought through.

    His argument isn’t ‘What if the Jews had been armed?’ He told Wolf Blitzer “I think the likelihood of Hitler being able to accomplish his goals would have been greatly diminished if the people had been armed,.” That’s “the people” as in everybody. See, Ben loves invoking Hitler, and did so again on The View in an analogy to his opposition to all things Obama.

    So what I said is most of the people in Nazi Germany did not believe in what Hitler was doing, but did they speak up? No. They kept their mouths shut. And when you do that, you’re compromising your freedom and the freedom of people that come behind you. You have to be willing to stand up for what you believe in.

    Apparently flabbergasted, Joy Behar replied, ““But… Hitler won the election in Germany… He won the election.” And Carson, apparently non-plussed, simply explained, It doesn’t matter what he did. We know he’s an evil man.”

    If Carson was thinking, he’d realize people are going to interpret his remarks as ‘What if the Jews had been armed?’, since the proposition that the Aryan population of Germany was so opposed to “what Hitler was doing” they would have taken up armed rebellion against the Reich if only they’d had the guns is just too batsh!t crazy to hear.

    And if he was thinking, he’d realize that people could take certain implications from statements about armed resistance to bigotry/ghettization/legalized-murder-of-minority-populations, coming from an African-American man. Yo, Ben! Brothers Huey Newton and Bobby Seale were way ahead of you, my man! Not to mention brothers Nat Turner (hanged), Field Marshal Cinque (burned alive in police shootout) and Fred Hampton (assassinated by the Chicago PD).

    Speaking of Chicago, that’s one place where African-American folks have definitely not been disarmed. Lots of guns in West Garfield Park, West Englewood, Chatham… If Ben was thinking, he might conclude that if folks in those hoods actually listened to him, his right-wing backers might not like it too much…

    Or Ben’s more of a sly fox than we realize, since if any bloods took his advice, there’s the excuse to round ’em all up and make Ferguson look like a cakewalk…

    Nah! Just a delusional jebus-ranting tool…

  24. #25 sadmar
    October 9, 2015

    @ JP:

    Yup on the Aventists as veggie/vegan health foodies. I’m not sure that necessarily extends to supplements, or just leaves some of them more open to that.

    The Adventists with the biggest effect on American culture were likely the Kellogg Brothers: John invented Corn Flakes and Will started the breakfast food company. Together they had run the Battle Creek Sanitarium, “a pioneering effort ” (Wikipedia) based on Adventist principles described by Will as “a composite physiologic method comprising hydrotherapy, phototherapy, thermotherapy, electrotherapy, mechanotherapy, dietetics, physical culture, cold-air cure, and health training.” Corn Flakes, of course, were created in the belief eating would prevent masturbation. C.W. Post allegedly stole the recipe for Corn Flakes from John Kellogg’s safe when he was a patient at Battle Creek. It was Post’s market success that led Will to leave the sanitarium biz and start his breakfast food company, though John stayed on to help poor mad devils by reducing their wanking through diet.

    Does this sound familiar?

    Kellogg made sure that the bowel of each and every patient was plied with water, from above and below. His favorite device was an enema machine that could rapidly instill several gallons of water in a series of enemas. Every water enema was followed by a pint of yogurt — half was eaten, the other half was administered by enema, “thus planting the protective germs where they are most needed and may render most effective service.” The yogurt served to replace the intestinal flora of the bowel, creating what Kellogg claimed was a squeaky-clean intestine.

    Kellogg believed that most disease is alleviated by a change in intestinal flora; that bacteria in the intestines can either help or hinder the body; that pathogenic bacteria produce toxins during the digestion of protein that poison the blood; that a poor diet favors harmful bacteria that can then infect other tissues in the body; that the intestinal flora is changed by diet and is generally changed for the better by a well-balanced vegetarian diet favoring low-protein, laxative, and high-fiber foods; and that this natural change in flora could be sped by enemas seeded with favorable bacteria, or by various regimens of specific foods designed to heal specific ailments.

    Toxins! Gut bacteria! Colon cleansing! Now why would a guy who preached, and presumably practiced, sexual abstinence be so obsessed with enemas?

    Anyway, it seems it all traces back to Michigan! Who knew! Thankfully Orac and JP seem unscathed for all their time there…

  25. #26 JP
    October 9, 2015

    The weird thing about Carson and the gun nonsense: I was always under the impression that SDAists, like JWs, were supposed to be pacifists. JWs aren’t supposed to take any job that involves packing heat, for instance, and they reject military service. Personal hunting rifles or something might be okay, though I’m not even entirely sure about that; thinking back, the JW guys I knew were pretty much all bow hunters if they hunted.

    I’m not sure that necessarily extends to supplements, or just leaves some of them more open to that.

    This place, which I made reference to, has a big supplement shelf at least.

  26. #27 JP
    October 9, 2015

    ^I think Ezekiel Bread is an SDA enterprise, too. (I actually like the stuff, although I think Dave’s Killer Bread is superior. I’ve never seen either out here, though.)

  27. #28 herr doktor bimler
    October 9, 2015

    Lots of SDA conscientious objectors. Perhaps it’s OK to enlist in an army as long as it’s only for six days and you can revert to civilian status while keeping the 7th Day Holy.

    The church seem to oppose a militarised society:
    http://www.adventist.org/information/official-statements/statements/article/go/0/ban-on-sales-of-assault-weapons-to-civilians/

    Carson manages to combine his feigned religious sincerity with a betrayal of most of the tenets of his purported religion. From the perspective of his Religious Right supporters, that is only further reassurance that he really is one of them (as opposed to belonging to some weird cult).

  28. #29 Denice Walter
    October 9, 2015

    @ sadmar:

    And now we have hymns of praise to the microbiome.. ( Conrick @ AoA)

    I’m sure that either you or JP ( and others) can think of a verse or two.

  29. #30 Roger Kulp
    "Stuff Happens" The new GOP slogan.
    October 9, 2015

    HDB @21
    Armstrong Williams.Now there’s a name I hadn’t heard in years.I remember catching a little of his nutty radio show,back when he was shilling NCLB,and even earlier when he was going after the Clintons in the late 90s.He was heavily syndicated on virtually every Christian talk station in the country.A typical conspiratorial whackaloon.I had no idea Williams was “Ben Crazy’s” campaign manager.

  30. #31 Roger Kulp
    October 9, 2015

    The GOP field in 2016 really is a bottom of the barrel clown car.Most of us have seen the Enquirer story about Carson leaving a surgical sponge inside a girl’s skull,causing her to have brain damage,but Carson’s response is getting a smaller amount of coverage,

    “My reaction is that I did 15,000 operations,” Carson said. “And the people who oppose me have been crawling through every ditch, every place I’ve ever been my whole life looking for stuff. They found five or six disgruntled people, that’s a very small number, and many of those cases never went anywhere, because the legal system said, ‘Are you kidding me?’ and threw it out.”… “I would probably find myself in some difficulty if I do begin to discuss that stuff publicly,” Carson continued, adding that “generally speaking there is no one who does the number of operations that I did who aren’t going to find some people who are going to be disgruntled.”

    Colmes pressed Carson on the question of the sponge. The candidate responded, saying that “it is true that we put a certain type of sponge in to pad things away and sometimes there is a reaction to that sponge and that’s what happened.”

    Of course this wasn’t the only screwed up operation our brilliant brain surgeon and Presidential wannabe had performed.As the family of one Mary Perna could tell you.Carson did four unsuccessful brain operations on MS patient Perna,without reviewing the literature.Perna had lesions on her brainstem,and after Carson’s botched operations,was left with seizures,muscle spasms,and more.There was an out of court settlement.

    All this,and Mary Perna still supports Dr. Carson

  31. #32 JKW
    Danville, Tri State Area
    October 9, 2015

    Came here to make a comment about manna and saw that I was beat. However, I do feel safe declaring to be the only one here who as an alter boy, muttered “hosanna on rye” for the really early masses to get back at the priest making the schedule.

  32. #33 Narad
    October 9, 2015

    So, Carson thinks that 1 in 15,000 can be written off as acceptable casualties, and ~80% of the remaining allegations are those of the “disgruntled” and couldn’t sustain their burden in court?

    I wonder how that scales.

  33. #34 Orac
    October 9, 2015

    The GOP field in 2016 really is a bottom of the barrel clown car.Most of us have seen the Enquirer story about Carson leaving a surgical sponge inside a girl’s skull,causing her to have brain damage,but Carson’s response is getting a smaller amount of coverage,

    This is what I said on Facebook about this particular story yesterday:

    As much as I detest Ben Carson’s views and his advocacy of creationist pseudoscience, as a surgeon I find this story agonizingly and infuriatingly dumb. First, there are few neurosurgeons who have practiced as long as Carson did who don’t have at least a few malpractice suits against them, particularly if they practice in high risk areas and even more so if they practice in highly urban areas, where juries tend to be more sympathetic to patients and generous in judgments. It’s the way things are in our system. Indeed, few are the doctors, period, who’ve practiced as long as Carson who don’t have at least one malpractice suit against them. Second, there is only one side of the suits presented in the story and then it’s presented in the most inflammatory way possible.

    Finally, even leaving a sponge in a patient is usually not the surgeon’s fault. It’s usually due to a failure of the system. The OR team does sponge, instrument, and needle counts before and after the case. At the end of the case, the surgeon asks if the counts are correct. It’s only if the counts don’t match that the surgeon has to start looking. If the surgeon’s told the counts are correct, there is no reason to go looking for a missing sponge, instrument, or needle. The surgeon, however, takes the blame for the failure of the system, unless he ignores the OR team telling him a count is incorrect. I’ve known a couple of what I would consider excellent surgeons over the past couple of decades who have had this happen.

    And, as I also noted on Facebook:

    One other note: In fact, neurosurgery is at the top of the list of specialties for malpractice suits, according to a 2011 NEJM study. According to the study each year 19% of neurosurgeons face a malpractice suit, and, by age 65, 99% of neurosurgeons have faced at least one malpractice suit.

    http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMsa1012370

    So, personally, as much as I detest Dr. Carson’s creationism and other nonsensical statements revealing a profound lack of critical thinking skills, I consider that National Enquirer to be a despicable and unwarranted smear job that has no relevance whatsoever to Dr. Carson’s competence as a neurosurgeon. He is, in fact, correct, and probably has at most an average number of lawsuits for a neurosurgeon with the number of years of practice he has. I was going to blog about it or include it in this blog, but didn’t. I was, however, waiting for someone to bring it up so that I could tell him he’s full of shit for believing it. You just won that honor.

    I might have to do a blog post on this. It irritates me just that much.

  34. #35 Vicki
    off on a tangent
    October 9, 2015

    The “Ezekiel bread” sounds a lot less appealing if you read a little more of the bit of the bible the recipe is based on. (The FDA may be prepared to tolerate a small amount of animal droppings in grain, but adding them on purpose would be another matter.)

  35. #36 Orac
    October 9, 2015

    So, Carson thinks that 1 in 15,000 can be written off as acceptable casualties, and ~80% of the remaining allegations are those of the “disgruntled” and couldn’t sustain their burden in court?

    Actually, in a specialty as risky as neurosurgery, 1 in 15,000 is pretty damned good. Seriously.

    Yep. More and more I’m thinking a blog post might be in order. We’ll see if I’m still as irritated on Sunday, when it’s time to write Monday’s post.

  36. #37 capnkrunch
    October 9, 2015

    Roger Kulp@31
    To be fair, I think this is quite accurate:

    …Carson continued, adding that “generally speaking there is no one who does the number of operations that I did who aren’t going to find some people who are going to be disgruntled.”

    I had a teacher who used to say, “there’s a reason we call in practicing medicine.”

    I wouldn’t be surprised if even our esteemed host has made a mistake or two in his career and I don’t mean that as knock on him but rather that people make mistakes as a matter of course. There’s a reason why there are checklists and the like in place now and it’s not because leaving surgical tools behind was a vanishingly rare mistake only committed by incompetent bozos.

    By all accounts it seems Carson was indeed a skilled surgeon. Lambast him all you want for the stupid sh!t he says and the shady things he does (i.e. the subject of this article) but I think denigrating his surgical competency is unwaranted mud-slinging.

  37. #38 capnkrunch
    October 9, 2015

    …and Orac beat me to it.

  38. #39 Militant Agnostic
    Hoping Trump builds a wall on the 49th parallel
    October 9, 2015

    Ben Carson

    this makes an awful lot of sense

    I think it is safe to assume anything that makes a lot of sense to Ben Carson is Fractally Wrong

    He will however have the last laugh as he will outlive us all. As Georges Clemenceau said about Henri Petain – He is an immortal – he has no heart, no brain and no guts. How can a man like that die?

  39. #40 Narad
    October 9, 2015

    Actually, in a specialty as risky as neurosurgery, 1 in 15,000 is pretty damned good. Seriously.

    I know that. I thought the analogy to the antivaccine Nirvana Fallacy and NVICP would have been clear, but perhaps I’ve been reading too much of the political babbling of the AoA commentariat.

  40. #41 Dirk W
    October 9, 2015

    I agree with 95% of what you say here. I come here to learn the reality behind some of the crazy views people have on medicine. I absolutely bow to your knowledge on medicine. But my expertise is training people to deal with terrorism. Carson is pretty close to correct on that one thing. If you are unarmed, and unable to get away from a shooter, you go after them with whatever you can grab. If the day comes when this is everyone’s instinctive reaction, the shooters will have to come up with another plan. Of course, many will be unable to do anything but just stand there, and it is hard to predict who will react in a particular way. But it does not really take that many people. It is kind of like aircraft hijacking. Hijacking is over. You try to hijack a plane, and you are going to get ripped apart by the other passengers. Because we no longer tolerate hijackers. Just my two cents.

  41. #42 herr doktor bimler
    October 9, 2015

    Finally, even leaving a sponge in a patient is usually not the surgeon’s fault. It’s usually due to a failure of the system.

    What is more concerning is Carson’s insistence that any error in his operating theatre is inconceivable, and therefore he must have meant to leave a sponge in the patient’s brain — like foam packing — so any subsequent brain damage was the patient’s fault for reacting badly.

    “it is true that we put a certain type of sponge in to pad things away and sometimes there is a reaction to that sponge and that’s what happened.”

    I would have thought that Americans have had enough of complete reality denial in their Presidents.

  42. #43 shay
    October 9, 2015

    it would be advisable to attack an armed gunman during a mass shooting “because he can’t get us all”

    Well…one would think that taking evasive action is the best option when someone is shooting at you and I’m guessing the average individual will instinctively do so.

    We were taught (this would be 1979) that troops in the kill zone must turn in the direction of the ambush and immediately, everybody, assault through it. This of course required troops in the kill zone be armed and shooting back at the ambusher.

    (I remember thinking at the time “yeah, right. You first.”)

    I have been told (I wasn’t in the infantry and have never been ambushed except in training) that this is what you call an oh shit moment, but by reacting instantly you can increase a “no chance” to “some chance.”

  43. #44 herr doktor bimler
    October 9, 2015

    The “Ezekiel bread” sounds a lot less appealing if you read a little more of the bit of the bible the recipe is based on.

    Fortunately this is a parody.

  44. #45 Robert L Bell
    October 10, 2015

    @41

    Well, you thought wrong didn’t you.

    /young frankenstein

  45. #46 herr doktor bimler
    October 10, 2015

    I consider that National Enquirer to be a despicable and unwarranted smear job

    Geraghty’s Mannatech-themed hit-piece in NRO did not halt the rise in Carson’s popularity, so the Republican establishment turned to Jen Rubin as their mouthpiece; now it sounds like they’re stovepiping stories through National Enquirer. Perhaps there is more hope that way of reaching the target audience.

  46. #47 herr doktor bimler
    October 10, 2015

    Of course this wasn’t the only screwed up operation our brilliant brain surgeon and Presidential wannabe had performed.

    That Guardian story from May (at Roger Kulp’s link) notes that the number of malpractice claims leveled at Carson is in line with the statistical background.
    The author does not do any favours for his research skills or his concern for accuracy by opening with the claim that

    Carson was known as a master of his craft, and renowned as the first surgeon to successfully separate siamese twins.

  47. #48 has
    October 10, 2015

    herr doktor bimler@41:

    What is more concerning is Carson’s insistence that any error in his operating theatre is inconceivable, and therefore he must have meant to leave a sponge in the patient’s brain — like foam packing — so any subsequent brain damage was the patient’s fault for reacting badly.

    Exactly this. Carson seems to have an excellent record as a neurosurgeon, but the pathological inability to accept or acknowedge an honest error or analyze why it happened damns his suitability as a leader.

    Not that this will slow him down, mind. While the reluctance to admit one’s own mistakes has always been a universal failing in humans, US right-wingers now enthusiastically embrace absolute denial as massive personal strength – and are utterly unafraid to bomb the other party down to bedrock just so they never have to say “sorry'”.

    Hell, most of today’s GOP base would vote Greg Stillson if they could; that’s how out of control their masturbatory power fantasties and craving obsequiousness has become.

  48. #49 Eric Lund
    October 10, 2015

    Dirk@41: Do you seriously expect untrained, unarmed civilians to spontaneously rush a shooter as soon as an incident starts? As shay notes below you, it’s hard enough to get trained and armed soldiers to react that way.

    The situation on UA93 was exceptional and, for the reasons you describe, unlikely to be repeated. Hijackings were treated as hostage situations until sometime between 9 and 10 AM EDT on 11 September 2001, because that was how they had always played out prior to that day. The passengers on UA93 knew what had happened to three other planes that morning and knew that they were unlikely to survive no matter what happened. More importantly, they had at least several minutes to plan their attack–time which people in shooter situations don’t have.

    In a shooter situation, instinct will tell most people that they have a chance of survival if they either (1) duck and cover or (2) run in a direction other than the line of fire. Most of the time, they are right, and they won’t have time to figure out whether this particular incident is an exception. Running straight at a shooter is likely to get them killed, even if the shooter had specific targets in mind and is willing to ignore anybody who doesn’t interfere with their objective (which is the case in a significant fraction of shooting incidents–not all shooting incidents are mass kills like Roseburg or Sandy Hook).

  49. #50 Dirk W
    October 10, 2015

    I absolutely agree that shelter in place and flee the scene are the best tactics when faced with a shooter or similar danger. But in a situation where you cannot flee or hide, you should attack with what you have. In a classroom, throw a book or chair, or grab a desk and charge. I absolutely understand that many people are unable to do this. I have a lot of experience with studying people under such stress, and predicting the ones who will act is very counter intuitive. And you will not have time for a strategy meeting when you are being herded into the corner and shot. Just like on aircraft, we should change the agreed-on default response to a shooting situation. One of the reasons that we have repeat instances of these shootings is that the perpetrators have a twisted sort of romantic vision of what they are doing. They see themselves as tragic figures, getting revenge and going out in a blaze of glory. They do not have fantasies of being shown on the news in a hospital, on a ventilator, covered with lacerations and bruises.
    Each situation is different, and I understand that it is easy to advise someone to charge a gunman, when you are not yourself in peril. I will offer no criticism of those who cannot or will not act.

  50. #51 Denice Walter
    October 10, 2015

    I just saw a presentation on television that illustrated exactly what Dirk W describes: people in an enclosed classroom throwing books at the shooter as distraction, interfering with his plan.

    Also, about that ‘romantic vision’, which is another place where we can- hopefully- proactively interfere IF news coverage focuses less on the shooter ( I believe that his name was mentioned much less in the Oregon situation by design) and portrays victims and survivors more prominently.
    It’s difficult to understand motives but I venture that tampering with the screen play-like scenarios of the Tragic Loner Finally Bursting Free is a place to start.

  51. #52 Denice Walter
    October 10, 2015

    OT but since we are speaking of deluded Tragic Visions…

    Dan at AoA, visits Japan, drinks coffeee and notes that the lighter vaccination schedule may be linked to lower infant mortality there, is taken to task by – surprise!- a commenter who snarkily calls the “investigative reporter” out, explaining why mortality rates are not relevant here.

  52. #53 ann
    October 10, 2015

    Hijacking is over. You try to hijack a plane, and you are going to get ripped apart by the other passengers. Because we no longer tolerate hijackers. Just my two cents.

    There have been six hijackings this decade so far. There were seven at this point in the 2000’s***, and eight in the first five years of the ’90s.

    I wouldn’t call that “over.”

    Passengers have fought back during three of the thirteen hijackings that have occurred since UA 93.

    I wouldn’t call that a guarantee that if you try to hijack a plane, you’re going to get ripped apart by the other passengers.

    Furthermore, were that to become the standard, it would be perfectly possible for hijackers to plan for and work around it, considering that they have the advantage of advance preparation for the conflict.

    One of the reasons that we have repeat instances of these shootings is that the perpetrators have a twisted sort of romantic vision of what they are doing. They see themselves as tragic figures, getting revenge and going out in a blaze of glory. They do not have fantasies of being shown on the news in a hospital, on a ventilator, covered with lacerations and bruises.

    No. Nor will they ever, even if showing them on the news like that became routine. You’re not talking about rational people. And you’re also not talking about reality, but rather fantasy.

    Each situation is different, and I understand that it is easy to advise someone to charge a gunman, when you are not yourself in peril. I will offer no criticism of those who cannot or will not act.

    You just did, implicitly. IMO. And I don’t say that because I take it personally. I personally would be exponentially more likely to charge a gunman who was threatening someone else’s life than I would be if I were the one being aimed at.

    But I don’t know why that is.

    ***Counting September 11th as one incident.

  53. #54 shay
    October 10, 2015

    The “active shooter” scenario training that we get here (so far the most heavily-armed client we’ve had to deal with was a gentleman who walked in with a golf club looking for his ex-wife) teaches “bug out, hide out, strike out.”

    Run if you can — if you can’t, hide. And if you can’t run or hide, then you fight back.

    The problem with fighting back is that to overwhelm the shooter you have to rely on everyone else in the room with you to do the same thing.

  54. #55 Denice Walter
    October 10, 2015

    AND needless to say, it’s much harder to get weapons onto planes than it was in 2001.

  55. #56 DGR
    October 10, 2015

    Hell, most of today’s GOP base would vote Greg Stillson if they could; that’s how out of control their masturbatory power fantasties and craving obsequiousness has become.

    For me, pictures of Ted Cruz often bring Greg Stillson to mind.

  56. #57 capnkrunch
    October 10, 2015

    Device Walter@55

    AND needless to say, it’s much harder to get weapons onto planes than it was in 2001.

    But is it? My understanding is that the TSA is largely ineffective and the policies put in to place since 9/11 are mostly “feel good” policies that don’t really do anything. The acupuncture of security if you will.

    Acting TSA director reassigned after screeners failed tests to detect explosives, weapons
    7 Reasons the TSA Sucks (A Security Expert’s Perspective)

  57. #58 capnkrunch
    October 10, 2015

    Heh, Device Walter again. Sigh. Please accept my apologies Denice Walter.

  58. #59 Lora Roberts
    United States
    October 10, 2015

    Dr Carson and Mal-practice cases. In one of the above posts Dr Carson was quoted as saying that he had done 15,000 surgeries. This is obviously an exaggeration. The average neurosurgeon does between 200 and 350 cases a year. Academic neurosurgeons do less since the Residents and Fellows are doing the bulk of the surgery. If Dr Carson did 15,000 surgeries over 35 years that would be 500 per year. This is not true.

    • #60 Orac
      October 10, 2015

      Um, I’ve known academic neurosurgeons who averaged 400-500 cases a year; so I don’t find Dr. Carson’s estimate that far beyond the pale.

  59. #61 ann
    October 10, 2015

    ^^Irresoective of all of which, Ben Carson literally does not know what the debt limit is.

    So even if his critical thinking skills were first-rate, he still would be too ignorant of the basics involved in running a country for his opinion about how best to do it to mean much of anything..

  60. #62 Dangerous Bacon
    October 10, 2015

    Has anyone considered that Ben Carson’s idiotic statements are actually due to brain damage caused by vaccines?

    NaturalNews has astutely noted that Hillary Clinton displays all the signs of vaccine-induced brain injury (among other things, she was noted to have said “uh-uh” 88 times during a recent appearance caught on video).

    Repetitiveness – tics – thimerosal. The correlation is inescapable.

  61. #63 Jay
    October 10, 2015

    “Yes, the whole “What if the Jews had been armed?” nonsense. Well, we know what happened when the Jews armed themselves and resisted, as they did in the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising and other uprisings, such as the Białystok Ghetto Uprising and the Częstochowa Ghetto Uprising and uprisings in the Sobibor, Treblinka, and Auschwitz. The Nazi war machine crushed them and sent the survivors to the death camps.”

    Dunning Kruger Affect? You are a scientist, so now you know about everything? Plus, how does science determine when is the correct choice to stand up and fight? Maybe this specific comment of yours has NOTHING to do with science? Just a thought. But you are correct on his pseudo science BS.

    • #64 Orac
      October 10, 2015

      I’m also rather well versed in WWII and Holocaust history because I’ve studied it extensively. I’m not a historian-level expert, but I’m quite knowledgeable.

  62. #65 Ernie Gordon
    October 10, 2015

    JP @ #19: “Isn’t Ben Carson a Seventh Day Adventist? They’re big into all kinds of health food and supplement nonsense.”

    According to National Geographic Magazine, “Residents of Okinawa, Sardinia, and Loma Linda, California, live longer, healthier lives than just about anyone else on Earth.” Loma Linda is the location of Loma Linda University, the Adventist medical school. The magazine wrote, “Loma Linda is home to a concentration of Seventh-day Adventists with a remarkable distinction: Study results have shown that, as a group, they currently lead the U.S. in longest life expectancy.” I’ve got distant relatives who are Adventist and that side of the family definitely has 80 and 90-year-old members who are still going strong after this side has long since expired. There is something to be said for healthy living.

    http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/2005/11/longevity-secrets/buettner-text

  63. #66 capnkrunch
    October 10, 2015

    Jay@63

    Dunning Kruger Affect? You are a scientist, so now you know about everything?

    Orac cut his teeth debunking Holocaust denial. Like he said, he’s not a historian but he’s smarter than the average bear.

    Plus, how does science determine when is the correct choice to stand up and fight?

    I’m not a sociologist but I imagine one method would be looking at historical precedent, which as Orac noted, mostly (entirely?) involved armed Jewish uprisings being crushed. Brutally and mercilessly (without so much as denting the Nazi war machine).

    More importantly than whether or not it is true, many Jewish people frown upon using the Holocaust to advance political agendas.

    …the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today called on critics of gun control legislation to stop using references to Hitler and the Nazis, saying they are “historically inaccurate and offensive,” especially to Holocaust survivors and their families.

    The ADL doesn’t represent the entirety of the Jewish people, but for what it’s worth as a Jew who often finds the ADL way oversensitive I fully agree here. Coopting the Holocaust to advance your own agenda is just low.

    Orac’s position is better supported by historical evidence while Carson’s is both inaccurate and insensitive. Regardless of how apt you think the reference when you ignore the pleas of “get your grubby hands off our Holocaust” your position is weakened significantly simply by way you being an exploitative sh!tbag.

  64. #67 JP
    October 10, 2015

    @Ernie Gordon:

    Healthy living is one thing. It wouldn’t surprise me if SDAists lived longer than average, what with the vegetarianism and all. (I’m one myself. Well, okay a pescatarian, and I make hospitality-related exceptions.)

    But most supplements have been proven to be worthless, and I doubt that so-called health foods like spirulina and bulghar wheat and whatnot do anything special. They certainly don’t cure cancer.

  65. #68 herr doktor bimler
    October 11, 2015

    Jay @63:
    Dunning Kruger Affect? You are a scientist, so now you know about everything?

    It is not a pretty sight when an academic goes Emeritus so if Orac is spiralling down into D-K syndrome then you’re only doing him a favour by pointing it out. Of course the best way to make the point is to call his attention to an error he has made in his depiction of the Holocaust, and see how he reacts.
    Spelling “Effect” properly also helps.

  66. #69 herr doktor bimler
    October 11, 2015

    It also occurs to me that the question, “Are the opinions of a surgeon on late-30s / early-40s European history worth the pixels they’re printed on?” would be better addressed to Ben Carson than to Orac, if only to reflect the former’s academic priority.

  67. #70 has
    October 11, 2015

    Jay@63: So would you like a baggie to carry your ass home in?

    Also worth noting: owning guns didn’t do squat either for Poles, Dutch, French, or other European nations when the Nazis came from them. And it’s not like they weren’t already tooled up, trained, and fully expecting trouble to kick off at some point, nor was it even their first time in such a crisis situation, with the Great War still fresh in mind and myriad European conflicts spanning the centuries before.

    This constant braggagio about the Good Guy with the Gun being the Hero of the Hour is nothing but witless wank fantasies for Travis Bickle/Willy Lomax/Walter Mitty sad-sack wannabes with bloated voracious “American Dream”-fed egos and not a single actual life achievement to feed it. Its unending, uncritical indulgence is an appallingly unhealthy habit for both individual practitioners and democratic society as a whole – the sort of behavior one expects from tantrum-throwing teens or toddlers, not supposedly responsible decision-making adults in one of the most powerful and influential nations of the world.

    So please, grow the f*ck up already. Or, if you can’t do that, then at least have the good grace to shut-up while the grown-ups are talking, because as it stands you and your kind have not a single thought of worth to offer.

  68. #71 Krebiozen
    October 11, 2015

    Denice,

    And now we have hymns of praise to the microbiome.. ( Conrick @ AoA)
    I’m sure that either you or JP ( and others) can think of a verse or two.

    I couldn’t get this idea out of my head so, but here is my attempt, FWIW. Think of a Church of England dirge (them’s my roots).

    Mighty biome up my bum,
    Oh how I worship thee.
    You help me to digest my food
    Boost my immunity.

    My probiotic microbes thrive
    on prebiotic pills.
    They make me very flatulent
    but overcome all ills.

    A billion years we coevolved,
    Now which is me, which thee?
    Our metabolisms entwine,
    In symbiotic biochemistry.

    So sing this to a dreary tune,
    Grammar be sure to torture.
    Rejoice! All those bugs up your ass,
    are of a Holy Ordure.

  69. #72 Krebiozen
    October 11, 2015

    Sorry about the odd “so, but here” edit above.

  70. #73 Eric Lund
    October 11, 2015

    Jay@63: Now let me correct you on a few things, OK? Aristotle was not Belgian. The central principle of Buddhism is not “Every man for himself.” And the London Underground is not a political movement. These are mistakes, Jay. I looked them up.

    In the real world, stopping the Nazis took all of the combined resources of the USSR and the UK, plus substantial resource commitments from the USA and Canada. And even then it was a close thing. A bit of better strategy on the Axis side (such as not opening a second front by betraying the USSR while still fighting a pitched battle against the UK) might have been enough for them to prevail. The uprisings Orac mentioned are historically documented. That’s how we know for sure they were ineffective–they barely distracted the German war effort. If the US Army were ever needed to put down a rebellion of American gun nuts, the latter would be no more effective than the ghetto uprisings were against the Wehrmacht.

  71. #74 ann
    October 11, 2015

    “Yes, the whole “What if the Jews had been armed?” nonsense. Well, we know what happened when the Jews armed themselves and resisted, as they did in the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising and other uprisings, such as the Białystok Ghetto Uprising and the Częstochowa Ghetto Uprising and uprisings in the Sobibor, Treblinka, and Auschwitz. The Nazi war machine crushed them and sent the survivors to the death camps.”

    Dunning Kruger Affect? You are a scientist, so now you know about everything?

    It doesn’t really take more than a modicum of common sense and a moment’s thought to grasp that it takes more than gun ownership and the willingness to fight to defeat an opponent that not only has guns but also tanks, planes, bombs and — in short — a fully trained and equipped army and police force.

    That’s just as true in the here and now as it was in the ’30s and ’40s. It’s a pure childish fantasy to suppose that preserving the Second Amendment will protect you from unwelcome armed incursions by the state. I mean, what are you going to do? Beat their drones to death with an open-carry permit?

    Focus on preserving the First and Fourth Amendments if you really want to be in a position to go up against the government. That way you’ll be organized and prepared enough that if it gets to the point of armed conflict, you can find a way to buy whatever arms you need on the black market. Just being a bunch of liberty-loving but politically powerless individuals with guns will get you nowhere.

  72. #75 sadmar
    October 11, 2015

    Kreb:

    Excellent! One brilliant line after another. A great fart joke, followed by the more profound and perfectly worded, “which is thee, which me?” A+.

  73. #76 sadmar
    October 11, 2015

    ann: “It’s a pure childish fantasy to suppose that preserving the Second Amendment will protect you from unwelcome armed incursions by the state.”

    So much this. Tanks, planes, bombs, and always vastly superior numbers. Of course, where the two strands of this thread cross — SDA and armed resistance to the Feds — didn’t turn out so well for the Branch Davidians.

    Jay @63 tries a little sophistry by straw-manning Orac, who never claimed his remarks about Jewish resistance had anything to do with science. If he’d taken away the science deflection and the ad hominem, Jay might have had a point: ‘It’s not always a simple matter to determine if the coreect choice is to run away or stand and fight.’ The fact that Carson is a major newsmaker has us paying within his loopy premises – so we’re talking about the Warsaw ghetto, and rushing gunmen like they’re similar things, which they’re not at all. The Jews in Warsaw were trapped, didn’t have much of a ‘run’ option, were facing death camps anyway, and weren’t reacting on the spur of the moment. We could say they gained nothing for themselves, but lost little (already targeted for) and their actions had profound historical importance.

    By the same token, I was taking liberties including Nat Turner in my comment above. The thing is – you and has are spot on about the gun nuts as spoiled children. We’re talking about mostly white-male wage-earners with enough capital to buy fairly expensive weapons legally, and keep a big 4 x4 in their two car garage – who imagine themselves as some kind of repressed minority comparable to Jews under the 3rd Reich, plantation slaves, and so on. It’s a tautology: we have to have guns because we’re afraid the guvment will come to take our guns. (Talk about burning stupid…)

    And, of course, the serious undertone of my satire @24. Carson especially might be expected to understand how the whole focus on “postal” mass-shootings is a deflection from the real gun problem: everyday violence in street crime in impoverished neighborhoods, and domestic disputes that turn fatal because guns are in the house when people are angry and intoxicated.

  74. #77 Denice Walter
    October 11, 2015

    Krebiozen, that’s hilarious.

    -btw- Readers who have never “enjoyed” the creative talents of Teresa Conrick ( who is Gamondes’ closest rival at AoA) should peruse her collected works. Anyone can pull stuff like this out of their microbiome-enhanced orifices but it doesn’t mean that it has any relationship to reality.

    Conrick has an adult daughter with autism which she wants to explain away through any trope she can find and vaccines-disrupt- the-microbiome-leading-to-autism appears to be her choice.

    But she’s not the only one! TMR often features variants on the theme and recipes for kim chi and sauerkraut. Then there are diverse schemes involving yougurt. as well as interpersonally transplanted poo.
    Ideas about microbiomial omnipotence are rife in alt media-
    it’s an integral part of their culture- vegans use soy yoghurt.
    But yeast in bread or wine is totally evil.

  75. #78 capnkrunch
    October 11, 2015

    ann@74

    Focus on preserving the First and Fourth Amendments if you really want to be in a position to go up against the government.

    Oddly enough, there seems to be significant overlap between 2nd Amendment nuts and supporters of invasive data gathering policies. The NSA’s warrantless data collection and the constant push by the 3 letter agencies to legislate against crypto are the real threats to freedom.

    sadmar@76

    Carson especially might be expected to understand how the whole focus on “postal” mass-shootings is a deflection from the real gun problem: everyday violence in street crime in impoverished neighborhoods, and domestic disputes that turn fatal because guns are in the house when people are angry and intoxicated.

    Dwarfing even those is suicide by firearms. Greg Laden recently wrote on gun control. It’s worth reading all the through but the takeaway is the success rate of suicide by firearm is 85% vs for example 20% by jumping. Since only 10% of people who attempt suicide and live make a second attempt removing that method (or at least making it significantly harder) would save many lives.

    I’d be curious in a comparison with Australia or the UK to look at if that actually pans out and I didn’t really care enough to double check his references so make of that what you will. Regardless about two thirds of gun deaths are suicides and about half of suicides are by firearm (per the CDC’s 2013 mortality data [pdf, p22-23]).

    Denice Walter@77

    […] as well as interpersonally transplanted poo.

    Ugh. There’s growing evidence that this is effective for C. diff but done by quacks to cure autism is just squicky.

  76. #79 herr doktor bimler
    October 11, 2015

    And now we have hymns of praise to the microbiome

    “Hymn to In-Anna” is crying out to be a microbiome-themed sonnet by a Metaphysical poet.

  77. #80 herr doktor bimler
    October 11, 2015

    […] as well as interpersonally transplanted poo.

    I’m waiting for the arrival of fecal transplants from celebrity sources. If not in the real world, then as a plot device in a Cronenberg movie.

  78. #81 Narad
    October 11, 2015

    Speaking of fecal transplants, guess what’s shown up over at SBM?

  79. #82 herr doktor bimler
    October 11, 2015

    guess what’s shown up over at SBM?

    Goodness me! Phillip Hills has become stupider! But he seems to be confining himself to random insults rather than copy-pasting his own fabrications.

  80. #83 Narad
    October 11, 2015

    But he seems to be confining himself to random insults rather than copy-pasting his own fabrications.

    Except when he’s making them even less coherent:

    “Was that the one by the Cochrane collaboration that looked at the top claims for flu vaccine over 96 seasons of data?”

  81. #84 Denice Walter
    October 11, 2015

    Thank you very much: I truly relish my role as straight man.
    It’s an art form,

  82. #85 ann
    October 11, 2015

    I’d be curious in a comparison with Australia or the UK to look at if that actually pans out

    The suicide rate in the United States is double that in the UK, per the World Health Organization.

    I don’t know how much of the difference is attributable to guns, though. It appears to be true in all demographics, and I don’t think there are enough female suicides by gun in the US to account for that.

    Incidentally, the two countries that have high suicide rates for no very apparent reason (that I can think of) are France and Belgium. Were it not for them, the US would have the highest suicide rate of any country on earth that wasn’t impoverished, war-torn, unfree and/or regularly plunged into darkness for long periods of time.

  83. #86 JP
    October 11, 2015

    I’d be curious in a comparison with Australia or the UK to look at if that actually pans out and I didn’t really care enough to double check his references so make of that what you will. Regardless about two thirds of gun deaths are suicides and about half of suicides are by firearm (per the CDC’s 2013 mortality data [pdf, p22-23]).

    IIRC, putting one’s head in the oven was once the most popular (and a very effective) suicide method in the UK; when coal gas was switched out for less lethal natural gas, the suicide rate dropped by a third, and it was a permanent reduction. Having (or not having) a ubiquitous, quick and lethal method to hand does make a large difference.

  84. #87 JP
    October 11, 2015

    Incidentally, the two countries that have high suicide rates for no very apparent reason (that I can think of) are France and Belgium.

    Ennui?

  85. #88 Denice Walter
    October 11, 2015

    I’m sure that some religious apologists would attribute the suicide rate in France to their relatively large number of atheists. Or fast living or alcohol.

  86. #89 ann
    October 11, 2015

    @JP —

    Ha.

    Thanks for that.

    But, you know. The Flemish.

  87. #90 capnkrunch
    October 11, 2015

    JP@86

    IIRC, putting one’s head in the oven was once the most popular (and a very effective) suicide method in the UK; when coal gas was switched out for less lethal natural gas, the suicide rate dropped by a third, and it was a permanent reduction. Having (or not having) a ubiquitous, quick and lethal method to hand does make a large difference.

    Very interesting, I had never heard that before. A quick Google suggests you did remember correctly and that it is generalizable[1]. I don’t follow the gun control debate very closely but am I right in assuming that when not ignoring the issue gun nuts claim people who want to kill themselves will find a way so gun control wouldn’t have an effect? If so there’s yet another anti-science position from the conservatives.

    [1] Restriction of access to methods of suicide as a means of suicide prevention (PDF)

  88. #91 jrkrideau
    At the bottom of the lake (the bottom end that is)
    October 11, 2015

    #35 Viki

    I had never even heard of Ezekiel Bread. This really is not a Poe?

    Ezekiel 4:9 products are crafted in the likeness of the Holy Scripture verse Ezekiel 4:9 to ensure unrivaled honest nutrition and pure, delicious flavors.

    Good lord (oops) there are all kinds of google hits for it.

    Denice/Shannon have you seen it up here?

  89. #92 jrkrideau
    At the bottom of the lake (the bottom end that is)
    October 11, 2015

    #78 capnkrunch

    Your wish is my command. Actually fell over the ref today while looking for something es and have only read the abstract but the strict gun laws in Oz seems to had a humungous effect on suicides.

    Leigh, A., & Neill, C. (2010). Do Gun Buybacks Save Lives? Evidence from Panel Data. American Law and Economics Review, 12(2), 509–557. http://doi.org/10.1093/aler/ahq013

    http://aler.oxfordjournals.org/cgi/doi/10.1093/aler/ahq013

  90. #93 JP
    October 11, 2015

    @jrkrideau:

    Ezekiel Bread is totally for real and it TASTES GOOD, I do not care if it is silly. I just found some at Trader Joe’s, and I am pretty happy about it.

  91. #94 herr doktor bimler
    October 11, 2015

    Ezekiel 4:9 products are crafted in the likeness of the Holy Scripture verse Ezekiel 4:9 to ensure unrivaled honest nutrition and pure, delicious flavors.

    Oh yes. An Old-Testament description of famine bread, eking out palatable grains with disgusting stuff that people will only eat when the alternative is starvation, so the nimrods convince themselves that the description must be an instruction — and therefore the resulting Dwarf Bread must taste good.

    I wonder if they can be sold on my 2 Kings 6:25 recipe

  92. #95 JP
    October 11, 2015

    But Nimrod was a mighty hunter among men; shirley he would’ve been able to eat just about any part of any animal he wanted.

    In any case, plenty of people voluntarily eat head cheese. And blood pudding.

  93. #96 capnkrunch
    October 11, 2015

    jrkrideau@92
    Thanks! Here’s the full text if anyone is interested:
    http://www.econstor.eu/bitstream/10419/36943/1/629737827.pdf

    I also haven’t read it but the takeaway from the abstract seems to be:

    We find that the buyback led to a drop in the firearm suicide rates of almost 80%, with no significant effect on non-firearm death rates. [emphasis mine]

    Suicide by firearms decrease significantly and isn’t accompanied by an increase in other methods. This is in line with what JP said as well as what Greg Laden wrote and what the reference I posted in #90 said.

    Before I read that Greg Laden article I had never even put together gun control and suicide prevention. Like I said, I don’t follow the debate closely but it seems like this should be focused on way more than it is. Mass shootings are flashy but suicide prevention seems like where the most lives would be saved. I wonder if lack of public sympathy for suicide victims makes it an ineffective argument.

  94. #97 capnkrunch
    October 11, 2015

    JP@95

    And blood pudding.

    As a child I was tricked into eating blood pudding by my Irish relatives. I think that may have been the exact moment I stopped being able to trust people.

  95. #98 Narad
    October 11, 2015

    Ezekiel 4:9 products are crafted in the likeness of the Holy Scripture verse Ezekiel 4:9 to ensure unrivaled honest nutrition and pure, delicious flavors.

    Oh yes. An Old-Testament description of famine bread….

    There’s a line of breads carried by “America’s Most European Supermarket” that I don’t think is Mestemacher (more varieties, at least), but I’ve seen the Ezekiel stuff in the freezer section of the local hippie mart, and I’m putting strong odds in favor of the latter’s being more appetizing than even the normal varieties.

    I’m guessing that the Ezekiel’s pretty crumbly (read: “best toasted”), though. I was a great fan of “Natural Ovens” over here before the Stitts sold the operation.

  96. #99 Narad
    October 11, 2015

    ^ Let’s see…

    “that I don’t think is Mestemacher … but is pretty similar in appearance”

    and

    “even the normal varieties of those bricks.”

  97. #100 JP
    October 11, 2015

    My father, I have heard, was fond of head cheese growing up; then one day he was over at the neighbor lady’s house and nosing around the kitchen. He noticed a pot boiling on the stove, and lifted the lid to see what was cooking; back at him stared a partially desiccated pig’s head in boiling water. He never ate head cheese again.

  98. #101 Narad
    October 11, 2015

    Very interesting, I had never heard that before.

    Sylvia Plath springs to mind.

  99. #102 JP
    October 11, 2015

    I’m pretty sure I meant something more like “disintegrated” rather than “desiccated.”

  100. #103 Narad
    October 11, 2015

    He never ate head cheese again.

    I haven’t been able to face liverwurst since encountering a package of Oscar Mayer as a boy that seemed to be full of ~1 mm (if that), inedible, glistening spheres.

  101. #104 herr doktor bimler
    October 11, 2015

    plenty of people voluntarily eat […] blood pudding.
    My fondness for the Hanseatic Diet — coffee, beer and black pudding — is on record.

    Sylvia Plath springs to mind.
    Alvarez in “The Savage God” records gas ovens as being the UK suicide of choice. The shift to natural gas (non-carbon-monoxide) hadn’t occurred at the time he was writing.

    Spike Milligan:

    When Daddy saw what he’d done, he put his head in the gas oven.
    That must have been terrible.
    No, it was delicious!

  102. #105 herr doktor bimler
    October 12, 2015

    He noticed a pot boiling on the stove, and lifted the lid to see what was cooking

    Does this recipe work for the ass’s head that I just bought for fourscore pieces of silver?

  103. #106 JP
    October 12, 2015

    You might want to clean the fur off first.

  104. #107 Andreas Johansson
    October 12, 2015

    As a child I was tricked into eating blood pudding by my Irish relatives. I think that may have been the exact moment I stopped being able to trust people.

    As a kid I loved blood pudding, but I seem to’ve lost the taste for it.

    (Other things I’ve lost the taste for are fish balls and soda. There doesn’t seem to be much of a pattern here.)

  105. #108 Helianthus
    France
    October 12, 2015

    @ shay #54

    Run if you can — if you can’t, hide. And if you can’t run or hide, then you fight back.

    Or as Sun Tzu put it in his still-taught-in-officer’s-school Art of War:
    “If surrounded, plot. If cornered, fight.”

    (well, it’s actually a quote from the video game “Shogun: Total War”, but it was lifted more-or-less straight from the book)

    The problem with fighting back is that to overwhelm the shooter you have to rely on everyone else in the room with you to do the same thing.

    And hoping no-one will be shooting in your direction, mistaking you for the miscreant or just not watching their line of fire.

    @ Jay #63

    how does science determine when is the correct choice to stand up and fight?

    If the question was about the moral decision to take arms, your remark would be accurate.
    But the question’s context here is about being somewhat successful in the process; specifically, about German Jews repelling the whole Nazi war machine all by their lone selves.
    And WW2 historical examples of local uprisings show how doomed the notion of personal resistance is.

    Organised resistance movements in west Europe and in Serbia (by example) did manage to force the Germans to commit military forces which could have been very useful somewhere else, like in Africa or in Russia. But in these cases, they were backed-up by government funding and provided with military-grade weapons (or stole them from the German). And, at least in West Europe, they still paid a very high price for this.

    Worse, the Nazi propaganda would have – and had – seized on any example of gun-totting Jews and pointed them as criminals, foreigners, terrorists. Feeding back “reasons” to keep rounding-up and interning Jews and other undesirables.

    The French-famous “Affiche Rouge” is an example of such propaganda. We like to think it didn’t work much, but my compatriots had 4 years of Occupation to figure out who the invaders really were. Pre-war, such propaganda would have been much more effective, if the political atmosphere at the time is to be believed.

  106. #109 Narad
    October 12, 2015

    Alvarez in “The Savage God” records gas ovens as being the UK suicide of choice. The shift to natural gas (non-carbon-monoxide) hadn’t occurred at the time he was writing.

    For certain values of “non.” My last place had a nice, roomy oven. And two nice, yellow-burning back stovetop burners. Then again, I only hit 97 ppm one Thanksgiving. With the doors and window open thanks to the heat.

    There must be a Brandy/Looking Glass/”Mercaptain” gag in here, but I’m too tired to find it.

  107. #110 MI Dawn
    October 12, 2015

    @Narad: I still love liverwurst – but I get it from the deli, not OM. I can’t eat it as often as I used to, or in as large quantities. On the other hand, I never got into head cheese or blood pudding (rare to find in the US). My former FIL loves head cheese, but the look and smell makes me sick.

  108. #111 JP
    October 12, 2015

    “I know what would be tasty, congealed boiled pig’s head,” said absolutely no-one ever.

  109. #112 Mephistopheles O'Brien
    October 12, 2015

    And WW2 historical examples of local uprisings show how doomed the notion of personal resistance is.

    Probably true against a larger force. What if it’s a single armed person in a train who’s shoting?

  110. #113 Denice Walter
    October 12, 2015

    I have seen Ezekiel bread in a hippie-ish store. No thanks..

    And right, blood/ black pudding, liverwurst, sausages in general, no, thank you very much. Unfortunately, the Eastern Europeans nearby have stores which sell diverse products which will never be bought by me but are sometimes prominently displayed ((shudder)) so I see them.
    Chinese hung ducks are alright though.

    Interestingly, around hipsterville and hippietown- i.e. places I frequent- I seem to notice two trends in dining amongst the youngsters:
    – ultra- ( supposedly) healthy, GMO-free, sometimes vegan choices, non-antibiotic fed meat ,raw, free range poultry, etc
    – over-indulgent meats – double burgers- bacon-laden, comfort foods, ridiculous desserts, deep-fried, BBQ-
    the other day near the galleries, I saw 20 people ( young men, mostly) waiting outside a newly opened place that served over-laden sandwiches and bizarre combinations like peanut/ plantain/ bacon.
    But no congealed pig’s heads YET. I’m sure it’s on its way.

  111. #114 ann
    October 12, 2015

    But the question’s context here is about being somewhat successful in the process; specifically, about German Jews repelling the whole Nazi war machine all by their lone selves.

    Then there’s the question’s subtext:

    Carson supporter pens Fox News op-ed blaming Jewish timidity for the Holocaust

    It’s a true dog-whistle, in that most non-haters probably really can’t hear it. But that Ben Carson might not be as innocent as he looks. SDAs were decidedly not rooting for the Jews to oust the Nazis, back in the day.

    @#112 —

    Probably true against a larger force. What if it’s a single armed person in a train who’s shoting?

    Per Ben Carson, the correct response to that kind of situation is to assist him or her by identifying the target:

    On Wednesday, Carson told SiriusXM radio host Karen Hunter that he had been held at gunpoint before. But in his telling, he did not react as he said he would, and he definitely did not attack the gunman:

    I have had a gun held on me when I was in a Popeyes [in Baltimore]. … A guy comes in, puts the gun in my ribs, and I just said, “I believe that you want the guy behind the counter.” … He said, “Oh, okay.”

    But if you’re asking me, I think that if you find yourself in a position where you can do something to prevent potentially lethal violence, you should do it.

  112. #115 Helianthus
    October 12, 2015

    @ M O’Brien

    Probably true against a larger force. What if it’s a single armed person in a train who’s shoting?

    Oh, good point. I was talking in the context of resisting a large organised force. A few people may survive the first encounters, but unless they receive some help or manage to go into hiding, it won’t matter in the long run.
    Well, again, the topic is about armed resistance of a few citizens stopping a larger force. A lot of people escaped Nazi Germany, with or without using guns, but their escape didn’t stop the Nazi from going after the people left behind.

    On the other hand, in the context of a single encounter, in an enclosed space to top it, rushing the shooter is making more sense. If cornered, fight.
    (easy to say on my part, I know)

    If you are evoking the recent wannabe “highwayman” in a French train (’twas his line of defense, he is no terrorist, just a common armed robber), at least half the courageous people who tackled him were trained soldiers. Their training must have helped them going for the right decision and the appropriate approach (including watching for the guy pulling spare weapons out of various pockets).

    Expecting ordinary citizens to decide to intervene is doable; wish I was as courageous as the above heroes; but for an ordinary guy or lady to have these types of combat reflexes is maybe putting the bar a bit high. If I go against an armed guy, I have a higher than average chance of getting offed, given how untrained and slow I am.

    Well, I suppose I can go into some sort of autodefense school. Won’t help me much against a squad of armed paramilitary nasty guys, to go back to the original question. Especially with relatives (children, etc.) right behind me in the line of fire.

  113. #116 colnago80
    October 12, 2015

    Re #73

    I am in agreement that launching an attack against the former Soviet Union before forcing Great Britain out of the war was a colossal blunder on Frankenberger’s part. However, the big strategic mistake was made long before the war started, which consisted of building the battleships Bismarck and Tirpitz instead of Uboats. Had the manpower and materials expended in building those ships had been instead utilized to construct Uboats, Germany would have had available in 1940 40 or 50 oceangoing vessels which would have been sufficient to starve Britain out of the war in 1940. By the time that a such numbers were available in 1943, Britain had greatly strengthened its anti-submarine Bismarck and Tirpitz contributed forces, which in addition to the intelligence provided by ULTRA, turned the tide. Bismarck and Tirpitz contributed little to the German war effort.

  114. #117 Helianthus
    October 12, 2015

    @ ann

    Then there’s the question’s subtext:

    Ah, of course. I missed it the 1st round. But now that you mention it…
    Sounds familiar, we had a Quebecois holocaust denier on a RI thread a few years back. It was my first encounter of the type.

    Funny how some opinions are like a corroded copper coin: the head side is not much to look at, and the accompanying flip side is even worse.

  115. #118 shay
    October 12, 2015

    at least half the courageous people who tackled him were trained soldiers.

    And one of them was the size of Hoover Dam.

  116. #119 jrkrideau
    At the bottom of the lake (the bottom end that is)
    October 12, 2015

    # 113 Denice Walter
    Thank’s Denice,
    We don’t have many hippie-ish stores here but I’ll have a look around.

    Scratched the blood pudding—I had it in Rivière de Loup once due to my bad French and the server’s bad English accent but I am envious of the sausages and the duck. Perils of living in a small city.

  117. #120 Alain
    October 12, 2015

    Team,

    Here’s a thought experiment:

    So far, there are three people with a real or, in the case of the last one, potentially real desire to see me dead. The threat is very very real.

    First one is an excellent social parasites and was my first case of PCL-R certifiable psychopath with an excellent self-control most of the time.

    The others two are certifiable total bonkers loose cannon whose self-control ability is non-existent (ask any questions leading to introspective thinking of the subject and see the subject goes into full blown psychosis).

    One of the last two is sitting in the provincial forensic hospital after a not-guilty verdict by insanity.

    In both last cases, I can assert with very reasonable confidence that in both of the last two, there isn’t a day they don’t think about me.

    If I meet them on the street, what can I do?

    Discuss 😉

    Alain

  118. #121 ann
    October 12, 2015

    Ah, of course. I missed it the 1st round. But now that you mention it…

    It’s not obvious. And (to be scrupulously fair) it isn’t always — and might not be for Carson — an antisemitic or denialist argument.

    Hannah Arendt made a very similar case in Eichmann in Jerusalem, for example. And while I personally think it would be fair to say that making it was functionally a form of denial for her, she wasn’t denying the Holocaust as much as she was the regular old things people have an emotional motivation to deny — ie, their own vulnerability and their fears about it, etc.

    To some extent, that’s very likely true for many present-day guns-rights types as well, imo. The difference is that they have much less basis in reason for the fear.

  119. #122 Orac
    October 12, 2015

    You know, one thing this comment thread is teaching me as a blogger is never, ever—ever!— to mention anything having to do with guns, even in passing, if the main topic of the post is not about guns because invariably even the most passing mention of guns will lead to a hijacking of a major part of the comments to be about guns, much to my annoyance.

    As it did here.

  120. #123 Alain
    October 12, 2015

    Orac,

    Sorry, I was more interested in the tangential point of self-defence but I am truly sorry to add oil to the fire.

    Alain

  121. #124 Rich Bly
    Ocean Shores
    October 12, 2015

    There is a vast difference between an uprising and resistance fighting.

    Back to main topic of this blog. Mr. Carson (I refuse to use his MD when he is acting as a politician and not a Dr.) is basically saying do as I say not as I do. If he really believed in manna from haven (Mannatech) he would not have had the surgery and probable chemo for his prostate cancer.

    Mr. Carson seems to be courting a strange segment of the population for his nomination run.

  122. #125 Roger Kulp
    October 12, 2015

    JP @ 100

    Why do you think they call it”Head Cheese” anyway?Have you ever looked up a recipe for this culinary delight? Take a look at these two web pages with graphic pictures and details galore.

    From the second article

    “A pig’s head is an embarrassment of riches.”

    ” The snout is pure skin and fat; since the entire head is covered with skin,you have, literally, square footage of skin with which to fashion your dishes. The ears, in addition, offer the unique textural crunch of cartilage.”

    “If you’ve gone through the trouble of stewing a whole pig’s head, making headcheese is simply a matter of taking everything that you’ve cooked and plopping it into a pan with salt and pepper.”

    “.Head flesh wants to bind. If you add the gelatinous meat with collagen and tissue into your loafpan, then the entire mixture will easily come together into one solidified mass.”

    “Head flesh wants to bind.”This woman has a wonderful way with words.If you peruse Ms Wang’s other recipes,she will tell you how to prepare such delights as Octopus,Jellyfish or,Lamb’s Face Salads,Deep Fried Brains,Beef Lungs and Omasum,Pig Ear Pizza,the proper way to cook penis and testicles (Hopefully not your husband’s.),and lots more.

  123. #126 Roger Kulp
    October 12, 2015

    Denice Walker@ 77

    “Ideas about microbiomial omnipotence are rife in alt media-
    it’s an integral part of their culture- vegans use soy yoghurt.
    But yeast in bread or wine is totally evil.”

    Not sure what you mean here.Care to elaborate?

    I went (mostly) vegan a couple of years ago,after developing very bad protein malabsorption.I do most of my own baking.I use yeast in bread.Using eggs to bake with does not cause the acute pain,and odd looking poo that eating a nice omelette would.It may be similar to alcohol? Wine is a definite no-no for me.I have mitochondrial disease.I can’t drink the slightest bit of alcohol.I causes either seizures or acute mito crashes.But baking or cooking with alcohol is no problem.I know it has something to do with cooking evaporating the alcohol.

  124. #127 JP
    October 12, 2015

    the proper way to cook penis and testicles

    Ah, yes, I have heard of this: Rocky Mountain Oysters, as sheep testicles were called back where I grew up. Thankfully we were never quite that backwoods.

    Bull penis, or “pizzle” (seriously) is often dried and sold as a chew toy for dogs, incidentally.

  125. #128 ann
    October 12, 2015

    @Orac —

    I apologize for causing you annoyance.

    But I’m not sure I understand why you’re annoyed. And I don’t mean that in an argumentative spirit. On the contrary, actually. I don’t dispute that it’s your call to make. I’m just seeking guidance.

  126. #129 sadmar
    October 13, 2015

    Ann:

    I didn’t read Orac’s comment about threadjacking as directed against you. It takes more than one commenter to go off on a tangent. But I must also say I’m perplexed Orac is chiding himself for opening McGee’s closet of guns. Orac may see the OP topic as specifically about Mannatech, and prefer the comments stay to Carson’s positions contrasted to medical science.

    However, this is not just a medical science blog, but a skeptic blog. ‘Science’ here is typically associated with ‘critical thinking skills’ that ought to be more broadly applicable in dealing with a variety of issues. That is, we often find encouragement in the forums (meaning the skeptic community generally) to treat social issues the ways scientific experts treat questions in their fields of expertise.

    Orac expressed his intent to focus on the more specific this way:

    [Carson’s] statements i[e.g., re: the Oregon shooting] make me wonder how someone with so little critical thinking skills could get through medical school and a neurosurgery residency to become such a respected surgeon.

    While I knew Dr. Carson shows an uncanny lack of critical thinking when it comes to most issues outside of medicine, I had never in general doubted his medical abilities…

    Which kind of begs the question, ‘why the hell not?’ Orac may have reason to detach Carson’s Dunning-Kruger on medicine outside of neurosurgery to his Dunning-Kruger crankery on science, or to detach his Dunning-Kruger crankery on science to his Dunning-Kruger crankery on social/historical issues. But if readers make that connection, I don’t think that’s necessarily a deflection.

    The discussion of ‘guns’ here strikes me as based in Carson’s views, and framed as evidence of bizarre thought patterns. If it veers away from Carson a bit to consider the general prevalence of “if they’d only been armed!” mythologies, that’s evidence of what sort of political masters and agendas Carson is serving instead of the scientific rationality some expect of him.

    Some RI regulars may see an apparent irony in my response to Orac’s #122: He frequently evokes the concept of “crank magnetism,” which suggests that folks inclined to one loopy view typically have many, or that a fall for one loopy view leads to another. And I often note that I don’t buy that at all as any kind of valid general principle at all. People compartmentalize, have different approaches to different subject, might even be said to adopt different personas in different contexts…

    But I certainly don’t contest the observation that some people seem attracted to a host of different ‘irrationalities’. I just don’t think that’s all that common, or that ‘one leads to another’. Rather, I’d posit some underlying X-factor accounts for such wide-ranging ‘wrongness’ in certain individuals, something quite different from what might lead other to embrace one woo while rejecting others.

    In fact, I came back to this thread today to note a tidbit on Carson from today’s news feed that supports a “crank magnetism” thesis in his case. The latest headline-grabbing quote from Dr. Ben is that he’s opined we’re getting “closer” to “the end of days.” I just happened to note this view came out in an interview he did with Sheryl Attkisson – known here for anti-vaxer friendly ‘journalism’.

    The question of an armed citizenry may not be a medical science issue per se, but beyond being a logic and rationality issue in general, gun violence is a massive public health problem that would seem to call for something like a scientific approach, not anecdotes of imaginary tough-guy responses. But just as I’m still not buying “crank magnetism” as a widely applicable mechanism, I doubt Orac would claim the “hijacking” is irrelevant. I have the feeling he’s just personally had his fill of this particular line of argument…
    ______

    While I agree that Carson’s “if only the Germans had guns!” ideas are not necessarily denialist or anti-semitic*, I have to take exception to your suggestion that Arendt “made a very similar case” to his proposition. From the get-go, reading the stuff about Carson’s anti-Nazi fantasies brought the whole Arendt/Goldenhagen ‘debate’ to my mind. Now, I’m not confident I know exactly what Arendt was thinking with Eichmann in Jerusalem, e.g. I’m not sure she settles into a definitive position, or was just working through some different, perhaps contradictory, lines of thought. But the legacy of that work (perhaps inaccurately?) is the concept of “the banality of evil”, or more properly ‘the evil of banality’. From this POV, Eichmann and the everyday Germans who were complicit in the Holocaust by simply playing ‘hear/see/speak no evil’ are not getting any kind of pass for not having the enthusiastic genocidal bloodlust Goldenhagen attributes to them. On the contrary they are seen as MORE monstrous because their evil is so cold, amoral, so devoid of human passion, and framed by instrumentalist ‘rationality’.

    It’s the critique of “I wasn’t invested. I was just following orders, doing my job the best I could.” In this interpretation, Eichmann’s personal feelings about Jews were utterly secondary to his desire to rise through the ranks by doing whatever job he was given skillfully, and delivering quantifiable improvements in efficiency – the man who Taylorized mass murder. The German public then, may have been generally anti-semitic to some degree, but that wasn’t the driving motive behind their non-action. They were just being ‘good Germans’, staying in line, not making waves, max-ing their ‘go along to get along.’

    I have no desire or intent to re-stage the debate over this take here. I just wanted to note that afaik NO serious scholar of the Holocaust thinks the German public was so opposed to Hitler’s ideologies they would have engaged in wide pro-active resistance to them not matter how well they had been armed. He’s just MAKING SH!T UP, totally off-the-wall, based on his religious views.

    [*] His BS isn’t anti-semitic, because it’s not about the Jews. As I noted upthread, he’s NOT saying “the Jews should have armed themselves and fought back.” Both his reply to Joy Behar, and his statements about issues, clarify the context. He’s claiming German Christians would have overtly, actively and aggressively opposed Hitler (a stand in for ‘Satan’ in this mythos) had they not been disarmed. He’s reading Germany in the 1930s through lenses borrowed from Phil Robinson, and other wing-nuts who fantasize a mass armed revolt against the Satanic socialism represented by Barrack Obama. It’s truly daft…
    ___

    @Orac: apologies if this late entry adds to your annoyance. But honestly, I don’t think the comments are “about guns”, but rather about just how far bat-quano wacky can go with someone extraordinarily qualified in an elite medical specialty. I’d say we’re more following the “doctors aren’t necessarily scientists” lead and suggesting it goes much deeper than that…

  127. #130 Roadstergal
    October 13, 2015

    I do wonder, between his anti-vaccination and his Natural Healthy Eating, how much overlap now exists between Bill Maher and the current GOP frontrunners.

    “It’s difficult to understand motives but I venture that tampering with the screen play-like scenarios of the Tragic Loner Finally Bursting Free is a place to start.”

    I am re-reading Assassination Vacation, and your comment reminds me of how John Wilkes Booth was motivated by the general Northern veneration of John Brown. (JWB disagreed with his politics, but loved his style.)

    “Bull penis, or “pizzle” (seriously) is often dried and sold as a chew toy for dogs, incidentally.”

    I have handled more cast-off bits of farm animals in the service of my dogs than a vegetarian ever expected to.

  128. #131 Denice Walter
    October 13, 2015

    @ Roadstergal:

    I notice that dear old Bill is now in sympathy with those who link shooters with anti-depressant usage. He is going off towards the deep end but that’s not new. He’s gotta go woo any way he can.

    I do think that news coverage can over-simplify shooters and their illnesses, motives and life histories. Does this affect youth with problems? Who knows? But murder is never simple and actions like these should not be fodder for tv explanationeers.

  129. #132 Roadstergal
    October 13, 2015

    “He is going off towards the deep end but that’s not new”

    What pisses me off more than anything is that the scientists who come on his show never challenge him on his various inanities. NdGT didn’t, Bill Nye didn’t – Dawkins didn’t, but he’s thrown off rationalism for a membership in the Aggrieved Affluent White Male club, and Maher is a member. I am endlessly disappointed in his guest scientists.

  130. #133 Denice Walter
    October 13, 2015

    @ Roaderstergal:

    I know. So far, I’ve only seen Chris Matthews and Andrew Sullivan really argue against him to much effect ( about vaccines and meds, respectively).

  131. #134 JP
    October 14, 2015

    @Denice:

    Interestingly, around hipsterville and hippietown- i.e. places I frequent- I seem to notice two trends in dining amongst the youngsters:
    – ultra- ( supposedly) healthy, GMO-free, sometimes vegan choices, non-antibiotic fed meat ,raw, free range poultry, etc
    – over-indulgent meats – double burgers- bacon-laden, comfort foods, ridiculous desserts, deep-fried, BBQ-

    Yeah, I’ve been noticing this for a while. The whole hipster-bacon thing is pretty much old hat at this point, for instance.

    It seems to be mostly divided along gender and age lines. It’s mostly the guys who go for the decadent, meat-and-gravy-and-biscuits-and-bacon and whatever type stuff, although some young women indulge along with them. It’s mostly women (and some young men, but mostly older men going along with their wives/partners) who go for the super-“clean,” “healthy” stuff.

    I don’t know if I’ve ever mentioned it before, but in some ways it seems to me that food has become our culture’s center of both weird asceticism as well as hedonism; it’s almost a new religion, with sinners and saints to go along with it. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I like food a lot, and/but I also (especially lately) try to eat fairly sensibly. (Even when it comes to the few “health” foods that I eat, like, say, Ezekiel bread, I eat them because I like them for whatever weird reason.)

    I mean, I sort of think nostalgically back on the days when people indulged in sex and drugs and whatnot – it’s like that has all gotten transposed onto food now. (Well, okay, not all. But you catch my drift.) And the converse is the super-duper “healthy lifestyle,” the juice cleanses and asparagus water and whatever it is those people do. I find it kind of odd.

    Anyway, I have been up to things. (Yes it hurt; and the photo quality is sadly poor. I only have my kindle right now, and it’s a difficult angle.)

  132. #135 JP
    October 15, 2015

    ^ Oh: and not just saints and sinners: aesthetes, too. Food is the new art and, generally culture these days, it seems. I mean, certainly there’s an art to it, but…

  133. #136 Alain
    October 15, 2015
  134. #137 JP
    October 15, 2015

    @Alain:

    Wow, that’s gorgeous, and also huge! It looks like you got at least the wings in a separate sitting, though. BTW, is that a nod toward the Hermetic* tradition I see? I think Asclepius’s rod traditionally has just the one snake. 😉

    The biggest single tattoo I have is these two phoenix feathers (constantly taken for peacock feathers, but whatever, and it’s probably apropos anyway) that go all up my arm, including through the “ditch” of the elbow; getting it was a real b!tch, but I am kind of weird and actually enjoy that kind of thing.

    *I have this story…

  135. #138 Narad
    October 15, 2015

    It seems to be mostly divided along gender and age lines. It’s mostly the guys who go for the decadent, meat-and-gravy-and-biscuits-and-bacon and whatever type stuff

    I can assure you that these represent different subpopulations. And you left out the tail of the pork-belly distribution.

    On-Cor “salisbury steaks,” however, are often out of stock. If the hipsters weren’t aging off, I’d call those as a decent long play.

  136. #139 Denice Walter
    October 15, 2015

    JP and Narad:

    There are definitely sub-cultures in foodie world- I left out the Posh and the Exotics- who will go to any lengths to acquire either extremely over-priced esoterica or that which originates in farflung locales- e.g. a tall tower of artfully arranged Adriatic seafood or Nepalese cuisine, respectively- this is especially true of the City where money flows like Italian mineral water.

    But on the vegan vs carnivore dimension- which is especially apparent in a place which has arisen like a Phoenix from an old drug-infested, post-manufacturing area attracting artists and the fashionable from more expensive rentals. Quite a few areas like that actually. But this particular one is a veritable barometer of restaurant chic, changing as frequently as the fashion scene does. I am often invited to the Scene because I know a few gallery owners/ artists.

    Perhaps food IS the New Sex, JP, because it although it can be discussed and photographed endlessly on the net- unlike sex- you actually have to BE there to eat- that part can’t be virtual. ( I DO wonder how much virtual obsession is based upon lack of funds though)

    So there’s the Healthy vs Indulgent and artistic vs deliberately messy dimensions which may correlate. Oddly, I saw a food truck with insanely expensive sandwiches ( lobster, steak, cheese) parked across the street from the aforementioned sandwich place so I suppose they aren’t direct competitors.

    On the clean food movement/ vegans/ ascetics – I truly wonder how much those loons I survey have had on general culture ( or is it the other -opportunistic- way around?). Although the organics/ vegans/ health compulsion has always been around, I think that the internet makes it more commonplace as they spread their fears about electronically like Vani Hari – but I admit that a small part of what they say is true- there is some unhealthy food and some people eat terribly.
    Some but not all.

    The paragon of precious clean veganism is of course Gary Null who has opened a spa/ resort/ health counselling villa which features design=conscious vegan meals- all photographed with the overly conscientious care which one usually devoted to babies and small pets ( seen on his various websites ).

    It’s sad to discuss food without lilady though,

    -btw- artful tattoos kids, but not my cup of tea,

  137. #140 Alain
    October 15, 2015

    JP,

    One sitting, 4 hours. The wings were more painful than the spine.

    Al

  138. #141 Look ahead
    usa
    October 27, 2015

    Good decision on behave of Dr. Carson to search out for natural solutions!! He’s still alive with surgery, but favors natural solution, too!!
    Keep an open mind to the possibility that NATURAL CURES for cancer do exist and will continue to surface worldwide…until big pharma can NOT block the human spirit for natural solutions any more. Natural solutions will never pass FDA approval, why? Bc the FDA doesn’t approve natural solutions.
    The name of the game at big pharma (which contrls the FDA) is to discover some drug that will keep the patients depended on a drug for life. So they can PROFIT. Natural solutions don’t make money, they are too inexpensive.

  139. #142 Chris
    October 27, 2015

    Look ahead: “Keep an open mind to the possibility that NATURAL CURES for cancer do exist and will continue to surface worldwide…”

    Okay, post the PubMed indexed study from any country to support that assertion.

    “Bc the FDA doesn’t approve natural solutions.”

    The FDA is only in the United States of America. There are other countries, so just post the verified proof from another country.

  140. #143 herr doktor bimler
    October 27, 2015

    Natural solutions will never pass FDA approval, why? Bc the FDA doesn’t approve natural solutions.

    Natural solutions don’t receive FDA approval because natural solutions don’t receive FDA approval.
    I can’t argue with logic as flawless as that.

  141. #144 Look Ahead
    usa
    October 28, 2015

    Chris,
    Did you know big pharma is the second largest economic power in the world? Big oil is #1. Wars are fought over oil. Big pharma will silence anyone anywhere in the world – who has the potential to reduce their profits.
    Side note: Doctors only have an optional 8 hour class in nutrition as part of their professional training. They are trained (brainwashed) to prescribe drugs only!
    The whole system has to changed to favor natural solution – even if there are less profits. That’s the challenge and the best choice, imo.
    Stay healthy and informed.

  142. #145 novalox
    Onto clinicals
    October 28, 2015

    @look ahead

    I see you haven’t provided any citations to support your assertions, so I have to assume that you are a blatant liar or just deluded.

    Either way, you are just a sad troll until proven otherwise.

  143. #146 herr doktor bimler
    October 28, 2015

    Doctors only have an optional 8 hour class in nutrition as part of their professional training.
    All doctors, everywhere in the world, go through a single standardised curriculum of professional training. Everyone knows that.

  144. #147 Narad
    October 28, 2015

    Did you know big pharma is the second largest economic power in the world?

    Biblioteca Pléyades is not your friend when the lights are on.

  145. #148 herr doktor bimler
    October 28, 2015

    Look Ahead inhabits a happier world than ours, in which no-one ever needs to eat, so there is no agriculture / food-production economic sector.

  146. #149 MI Dawn
    October 28, 2015

    Actually, most physicians don’t have a class in nutrition, because it’s integrated into the whole education, rather than pulled out as a specific class. Most medical classes (nursing and medical, that I’m aware of) focus on the person and the illness – i.e., when learning about diabetes, you learn about the appropriate diet (s) and if necessary, medication (insulin, metformin). When learning about children, you learn about appropriate nutrition at each stage of life (newborn: breastmilk/formula. Infant: breastmilk/formula/start solids), and so on.

    So, in effect, Look Ahead is *kinda* correct…but mostly wrong.

  147. #150 Dangerous Bacon
    October 28, 2015

    “the FDA doesn’t approve natural solutions…Natural solutions don’t make money, they are too inexpensive.”

    Somebody at the FDA must therefore have been asleep at the switch when all these “natural solutions” (plant-based drugs) were approved:

    http://www.rain-tree.com/plantdrugs.htm#.VjDJHFPiU5g

    Note that the above article was written by a naturopath (make of that what you will).

    Formal nutrition classes as part of the curriculum at many medical schools. Example:

    http://nutrition.med.harvard.edu/education/edu_undergrad.html

    As noted, principles of nutrition, nutritional and metabolic disorders are incorporated into med student required learning as part of multiple courses, and studies continue through residency and practice as continuing education. But do keep repeating “doctors don’t know anything about nutrition” if it makes you feel better.

  148. #151 Carson the liar
    October 28, 2015

    […] window._taboola = window._taboola || []; _taboola.push({article:'auto'}); !function (e, f, u) { e.async = 1; e.src = u; f.parentNode.insertBefore(e, f); }(document.createElement('script'), document.getElementsByTagName('script')[0], 'http://cdn.taboola.com/libtrc/historum-network/loader.js'); Ben Carson?s alternative cancer cure testimonial for Mannatech ? Respectful Insolence […]

  149. […] shooting ‘because he can’t get us all‘?” Or. how can folks want a president who is doing infomercials on neutraceuticals which misrepresent scientific fact and when called on it, deny having been paid for what was […]

  150. […] howlers I’ve ever heard. For example, he denies evolution, but, even worse, he’s been a shill for a dubious supplement company, Mannatech. Worse still, when called out for his relationship with Mannatech in the last Republican […]

  151. #154 Tex
    Texas
    November 6, 2015

    Orac, you need to listen to the rest of the video. Let me know what you learn about Carson’s position regarding Mannatech product efficacy.

  152. […] the pigeon is probably less likely to publicly deny evolution, provide testimonial for questionable pharmaceuticals, or deliver a commencement address at Andrews University telling the graduates that the Egyptian […]

  153. […] it’s pandering to the antivaccine wing of the Republican Party, denying that he used to be a shill for Mannatech, a supplement company whose business practices have been less than ethical, or denying evolution, […]

  154. […] the pigeon is probably less likely to publicly deny evolution, provide testimonial for questionable pharmaceuticals, or deliver a commencement address at Andrews University telling the graduates that the Egyptian […]

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