Saturday, March 28, 2015

Self Styled "Quackbuster" JAMA editor 'Dr' Morris Fishbein "instrumental in helping the tobacco companies conduct acceptable "scientific" testing to substantiate their claims"

AMA Quack Morris Fishbein

Morris Fishbein M.D. (July 22, 1889 – September 27, 1976) was a physician with surprisingly little clinical experience but despite this he became the editor of the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) from 1924 to 1950. In 1961 he became the founding Editor of Medical World News, a magazine for doctors. In 1970 he endowed the Morris Fishbein Center.[1] He was also notable for exposing quacks, notably the goat-gland surgeon John R. Brinkley, and campaigning for regulation of medical devices.


Fishbein was a medical doctor who did not practice medicine. He was, however, an effective advocate for conventional medicine and a vocal critic of unconventional treatments. Shortly after he became head of the AMA, he wrote several books sharply critical of "medical quackery." He called chiropractic a "malignant tumor," and he considered osteopathy and homeopathy "cults." While Fishbein certainly provided benefit to the general public by warning them about some of the medical chicanery that existed at the time, he lumped together everything that was not taught in conventional medical schools and considered all such modalities quackery.(6) When one considers that the vast majority of medicine practiced in that era was inadequately tested and dangerous to varying degrees, Fishbein's obsessive fight against certain treatments provided direct benefits to the physicians he was representing.

Fishbein's frequent and strident attacks on "health fraud" were broadcast far and wide, in part through his own newspaper column, syndicated to more than 200 newspapers, as well as a weekly radio program heard by millions of Americans. His influence on medicine and medical education was significant, and it is surprising how few medical history books mention his influence or his questionable tactics. Time magazine referred to him as "the nation's most ubiquitous, the most widely maligned, and perhaps most influential medico" (June 21, 1937).

There are also numerous stories about Fishbein's efforts to purchase the rights to various healing treatments, and whenever the owner refused to sell such rights, Fishbein would label the treatment as quackery (Ausubel, 2000). If the owner of the treatment or device was a doctor, this doctor would be attacked by Fishbein in his writings and placed on the AMA's quackery list. And if the owner of the treatment or device was not a doctor, it was common for him to be arrested for practicing medicine without a license or have the product confiscated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) or the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). Fishbein denied these allegations, but the AMA was tried and convicted of anti-trust violations for conspiracy and restraint of trade in 1937. Further, Fishbein wrote numerous consumer health guides, and his choice of inclusion for what works or what doesn't work was not based on scientific evidence.

Fishbein extended Simmons's idea for the AMA seal of approval to foods, and by including a significant amount of advertising from food and tobacco companies, he was able to make the AMA and himself exceedingly rich. In fact, under his reign, the tobacco companies became the largest advertiser in JAMA and in various local medical society publications. In fact, Fishbein was instrumental in helping the tobacco companies conduct acceptable "scientific" testing to substantiate their claims. Some of the ad claims that Fishbein approved for inclusion in JAMA were: "Not a cough in a carload" (for Old Gold cigarettes), "Not one single case of throat irritation due to smoking Camels," "More doctors smoke Camels than any other cigarette," "Just what the doctor ordered" (L&M cigarettes), and "For digestion's sake, smoke Camels" (because the magical Camel cigarettes would "stimulate the flow of digestive fluids").

By 1950, the AMA's advertising revenue exceeded $9 million, thanks in great part to the tobacco companies.

Coincidentally, shortly after Fishbein was forced out of his position in the AMA in 1950, JAMA published research results for the first time about the harmfulness of tobacco. Medical student Ernst Wynder and surgeon Evarts Graham of Washington University in St. Louis found that 96.5 percent of lung cancer patients in their hospitals had been smokers. Very shortly after the Morris Fishbein left the AMA, he became a high-paid consultant to one of the large tobacco companies, and JAMA finally was able to publish a slew of studies that confirmed the real dangers of tobacco.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Obama Thrusts His Foot Down His Throat

by attempting to belittle cause of Cannabis Legalization;
ignoring its relevance to human rights, the environment, energy security, and health care

reported at Drug War Rant

Why marijuana isn’t at the bottom of the list

President Obama:
“Let’s put it in perspective,” Obama said in response. “Young people, I understand this is important to you, but you should be thinking about climate change, the economy, jobs, war and peace, maybe way at the bottom you should be thinking about marijuana.”
That, of course, completely misses the point regarding what “thinking about marijuana” actually is about.

Tom Angell:
“But he should think again about how important this issue is. On average, there’s a marijuana possession arrest in the U.S. about every minute. Billions of dollars are wasted on enforcing prohibition laws that don’t stop anyone from using marijuana but do ruin people’s lives with damaging criminal records.”
Lee Rosenberg (via Twitter):
No, marijuana legalization is not the most important issue for young people to care about, but government incompetence on the issue has a very negative and very real impact on the perception that government is capable of solving more serious problems.
“Thinking about marijuana” is about more than getting high.

It’s about systemic police corruption. It’s about a failed criminal justice system that fuels situations like Ferguson. It’s about tens of thousands dead in Mexico. It’s about failed foreign policy. It’s about using bad laws to control a population and deny them basic rights. It’s about perversion of our Constitution. It’s about financial self-interest trumping science and reason.
Marijuana most definitely isn’t at the bottom of the list.


      • Common Science
        “From time to time, I say that the suppression of medical marijuana is murder. This is not quite correct. It is actually mass murder. It has caused the deaths of countless thousands of people.”
        ~ the Financial Times Limited, 1998
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    • Hemp, as we all know, grows at a phenomenal rate and is an excellent carbon and radiation sink. It removes carbon from the atmosphere, as well as radiation!
      So yeah, legalization is part of stopping climate change and other man-made environmental disasters.
      Jobs and the economy? Colorado is booming with thousands of new jobs and 70 billion+ in tax revenue that they now have to figure out how to spend.
      War and peace? Well it’s been mentioned above but I second that: cannabis makes one peaceful. Prohibition is responsible for widespread violence and wars.
      Does Obama presume to tell others what they should be thinking about? President of our minds he is not!
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  • DonDig
    And regarding marijuana and consequently some very basic human rights, (like being allowed to ingest a non-toxic substance without them freaking out and making us war criminals), there is this very real thing called, if they can’t get this right, (and everyone knows they can’t get it right, and they’ve been showing us so expertly that they can’t or won’t get it right for most of our lifetimes), and really, it is a relatively simple concept that they are completely mismangling; how on earth are we expected to think they are going to be getting any of these more complicated things right, … ever.

    That’s why this is a big important question. It you screw up so grandly on some really pretty simple things, making them as bad as possible, how are we expected to believe that anything else that matters can be handled with our, the people’s, best interests in mind?
    And they mostly don’t get it. They don’t want to get it. Obama doesn’t get it, and he most of all should get it, because he’s lived it. (palm to forehead) Duuuuhhhh.
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Tuesday, March 17, 2015

1902 LA Times Deceitful Spin On Coca Cola

LA Times February 25, 1902
Soda Fountain Fiends Multiplying

Slaves to the “Coca Cola” Habit.  [nameless] Los Angeles Physician Says it is as dangerous as any “Dope”.

Soda-fountain proprietors struck a bonanza when the drink coca cola was introduced, for all of the beverages sprung on a public desiring variety and change it stands first in favor, and its popularity, instead of waning, is on the increase.

That is what the men behind the marble counters in Los Angeles say.  They even go further and claim for the brown beverage qualities peculiar to those potions which make habitu├ęs or “fiends” of their drinkers.


A well dressed business man yesterday dropped into a Spring Street ice cream parlor, where soda water may be had in all its alluring variety of concoctions.  As soon as he entered the door, one of the white coated attendants said to another, “There comes one of our coca cola fiends”.
After the gentleman had quaffed the coffee-colored draught in evident appreciation, one of the drink dispensers volunteered some interesting information regarding coca cola “victims”.

According to his statement and those of several others who are in a position to observe, a great many people in Los Angeles have contracted the coca cola habit.

It is advertised to cure you of “that tired feeling” and is said by its habitues to have medicinal virtues that sooth the overworked mind and nerves.  Stimulating qualities are also claimed for it.
It is perhaps not statistical, but the statement is made that three-fourths of the men who drink soda fountain concoctions call for coca cola.  Also, that of those, a large percentage are brain workers.
A young politician of this city, who occupies a responsible position, drinks his coca cola twice a day regularly.  He declares that it has become very attractive to him and almost necessary on account of the relief it gives his nervous system.  He admits that he has the “habit” but thinks it a very good one, both because of its essential virtues and its cheapness.

The Cocaine Does It

Two or three of the largest sellers of soft drinks in the city were interviewed on the subject yesterday and they stated that a great many of the patrons call regularly and often for the drink and it is conceded by those who understand its nature that coca cola contains a small percentage of cocaine.  This accounts they say for the hold it has upon its drinkers.  It is claimed that very few women indulge to any great extent.

To determine if possible whether the small amount of cocaine in the beverage may be injurious or not and if so, to what extent, an interview was had with a prominent physician of this city, who is considered by his professional brethren as an expert on questions relating to kindred drugs used in anesthetics.

What A [nameless] Doctor Says

He says that the coca cola “habit” is a dangerous one to contact.  “If coca cola contains even the smallest percentage of cocaine” he says, “no one should allow himself to become a victim of it, for its effect will be similar in nature, though in a lesser degree, perhaps to that noticed in confirmed cocaine and morphine users.

“If I am not misinformed, the beverage contains extracts from the kola nut and the cocoa [sic] leaf, and therefore contain cocaine or caffeine, which is an alkaloid of cocaine.  It is a dangerous drink.

It figures that the LA Times lying through his teeth 'Doctor' is not even named!

Note that the article gives absolutely no basis for its descriptions of Coca beverage consumers as "fiends" - applying that description simply for consuming Coca as one would consume Coffee.

The L.A. Times ought to be ashamed of itself, and owes the public an apology for contributing to the hysteria that gave us the 20th century drug war and all its blights upon human rights and health.

See another example of an un-named person cited as an authority against dilute cocaine:
And see this example of scholarship that confuses dilute and ultra concentrated cocaine in order to discredit the use of the former:

Monday, March 16, 2015

Commonwealth of Virginia's Contempt For Revelations 22

The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations

6th grade honor student suspended for 1 year, evaluated by a psychiatrist, and charged with Marijuana possession for possessing a tree leaf!
excerpt -
All of this is laid out in jaw-dropping detail by Dan Casey in a story in the Roanoke Times today. While the juvenile court dropped its case against the student after the tests turned up negative, the school system has been far less forgiving. That's because stringent anti-drug policies in school districts in Virginia and elsewhere consider "imitation" drugs to be identical to real ones for disciplinary purposes.

The school's lawyer, Jim Guynn, is quoted in the Roanoke Times article defending the policy on the basis that "it's a pretty standard policy across the Commonwealth." In 2011, for instance, four seventh-graders in Chesapeake, Virginia were suspended over bringing a bag of oregano to school. A quick Google search suggests similar policies are in effect in many other states as well.

It doesn't matter if your son or daughter brings a real pot leaf to school, or if he brings something that looks like a pot leaf -- okra, tomato, maple, buckeye, etc. If your kid calls it marijuana as a joke, or if another kid thinks it might be marijuana, that's grounds for expulsion.

The Bedford sixth-grader has been allowed to return to school starting today. But he has to attend a different school, separate from his former friends and peers, and he's still under strict probation until this September. The terms of his original suspension letter state that he'll be searched for drugs at the beginning and end of every school day until his probation is over -- all this despite never having possessed any drugs to begin with.

I wonder how Virginia would treat a student found with a leaf that appears to be Virginia Brght Leaf Tobacco.

That state is mad- and should be sued like any other jurisdiction, perhaps under civil rights statutes, for such violations of human rights.