Monthly Archives: December 2013

Planes are made of metal, but this doesn’t mean you can fly on bauxite.

OK, pardon the weird title please. The internet is home to a lot of rubbish about cancer research, and amongst this set of kooky beliefs is the notion that hemp oil/marijuana can cure cancer. The article that has drawn my attention this time round is http://www.destructionofamerica.4t.com/whats_new_3.html

I quote

I didn’t stutter, Cannabis IE “evil drug Marijuana” hemp cures several kinds of brain tumors as well as other cancers. The FDA has known for over twenty tears and hid it from us!

New research shows that marijuana components fight an aggressive form of brain cancer. And the media says – nothing, again.

Combining the two most common cannabinoid compounds in Cannabis may boost the effectiveness of treatments to inhibit the growth of brain cancer cells and increase the number of brain cancer cells that die off. That’s the finding of a new study published in the latest issue of the journalMolecular Cancer Therapeutics.

Marijuana components have been found to inhibit the growth of the most common, and aggressive form of brain tumor, a glioblastoma, according to a study published in the January 6 issue of Molecular Cancer Therapeutics.

The study was done at the California Pacific Medical Center by researchers who combined a non-psychoactive ingredient of marijauna, cannabidiol (CBD), with Δ9-tetrahyrdocannabinol (Δ9-THC), the primary psychoactive ingredient in Cannabis. The findings demonstrated the inhibitory effect of these two ingredients on brain cancer cells when used together.

“Our study not only suggests that combining these two compounds creates a synergistic effect,” says Sean McAllister, Ph.D., a scientist at CPMCRI and the lead author of the study. “but it also helps identify molecular mechanisms at work here, and that may lead to more effective treatments for glioblastoma and potentially other aggressive cancers.”

“Previous studies had shown that Δ9-THC was effective in inhibiting brain cancer growth in cell cultures and in animal models and prompted a small clinical trial in Spain. There is also evidence that other compounds in Cannabis might prove effective against tumors, but limited scientific evidence is available,” the report stated.

President Reagan & Bush tried to have studies done in Virginia destroyed to hide the facts but fortunately some survived. There are OVER 50,000 products that can be made with hemp conservatively. Yet we have been lied to by the authorities for nearly a hundred years and saw them destroy one of the most profitable commercial industry known to man.

How many people have died that could still be alive? How many have suffered needless pain cannabis could relieve? Call your congress persons today TOLL FREE  800 833 6354 tell them you know the truth and they will be FIRED if they don’t change the law!

Right, time to go fallacy-fishing.

[1] That certain cannabinoid compounds can hit the growth of glioblastoma cell lines in cell lines in no way means that marijuana cures cancer anymore than the effectiveness of Penicillin means Penicilium notatum (the fungus that penicillin is produced from) cures bacterial infections.

[2] Note that these are cell lines and animal models we’re talking about at best – inhibiting the growth of cell lines and xenografts is a preliminary step on the way to develop new cancer therapies; the work in the paper or the studies it cites in no way support the notion that these compounds are curative.

[3] Indeed, the very person who wrote the codswallop above failed to read the very excerpts he quotes.

“Our study not only suggests that combining these two compounds creates a synergistic effect,” says Sean McAllister, Ph.D., a scientist at CPMCRI and the lead author of the study. “but it also helps identify molecular mechanisms at work here, and that may lead to more effective treatments for glioblastoma and potentially other aggressive cancers.”

“Previous studies had shown that Δ9-THC was effective in inhibiting brain cancer growth in cell cultures and in animal models and prompted a small clinical trial in Spain. There is also evidence that other compounds in Cannabis might prove effective against tumors, but limited scientific evidence is available,” the report stated.

In what parallel universe is the notion that Marijuana cures cancer or the idea that the data above implies that the FDA admits it anything less than a brazen display of intellectual contortionism that would put the poriferan equivalent of Houdini to shame?!

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India’s Supreme Court has a homophobic brain fade…

It looks like people in positions of power in the Indian judiciary are not particularly exempt from indulging in confused thinking to any degree. Just two years ago, the Delhi High court decided to decriminalise homosexuality in what was a very progressive and welcome move, ruling its criminalisation on the basis of a law from the 1860s unconstitutional on grounds of being discriminatory.

Today, India’s Supreme Court decided to overturn that decision and recriminalise homosexuality in the country, upholding it to be constitutional and saying that Parliament would have to amend the law if they had to get rid of it, which the government is not saying it will do with elections coming up next year and voting along religious lines being an important part of the equation; what is beyond my comprehension though is how they could have possibly found it constitutional given this fundamental right in the Indian constitution; that every citizen shall have

  1. Right to equality, including equality before law, prohibition of discrimination on grounds of religion, race, caste, sex or place of birth, and equality of opportunity in matters of employment, abolition of untouchability and abolition of titles.”

In what parallel universe would the assertion that you can only have consensual sexual relationships with a woman only if you are a man and consensual sexual relationships with a man only if you are a woman not be discriminatory on the basis of sex?

To quote their judgement as reported in [1]

“It is relevant to mention here that Section 377 IPC does not criminalize a particular people or identity or orientation. It merely identifies certain acts, which if committed, would constitute an offence. Such prohibition regulates sexual conduct regardless of gender identity and orientation,” Justices Singhvi (sic) said. “

Yeah, how about we take it a bit further and say “This law does not criminalise a particular group, tribe or gender, it only criminalises their act of breathing!”; reductio ad absurdum it may be but it highlights the vapidity of the whole rotten affair. What particular acts are they talking about, anyway?

Anal sex? Are they going to check if straight couples too aren’t doing it? Fingering, fellatio, tribadism?  I despair at the lack of logic involved here, it is also quite trivial to imagine any number of acts that are integral to the well being and equality of various people and groups of people – one can’t then ban that act and then say it isn’t discriminatory because it is that act which is banned; what matters is that it can have disproportionate impact on a subsection of the population and it can become discriminatory towards them as a direct consequence… 

More nonsense from them.

“”While reading down Section 377, the division bench of the HC overlooked that a miniscule fraction of the country’s population constitute lesbians, gays, bisexuals or trans-genders and in the last more than 150 years less that 200 persons have been prosecuted for committing offence under Section 377 IPC and this cannot be made a sound basis for declaring the section ultra vires (violative of) the provisions of Articles 14, 15 and 21 of the Constitution,” the apex court said. ”

So unconstitutional laws are constitutional when the people they affect [1] comprise a small minority of the population and [2] it doesn’t get used to persecute them  very frequently, which is completely against the fact that fundamental rights apply to every citizen; not just those belonging to groups that are of more than a miniscule size or are persecuted at more than some arbitrarily determined frequency.Seriously?

The people who’ve welcomed its recriminalisation have mostly done so on the basis of religious beliefs and an appeal to tradition; I wonder if they will also welcome a return to widow-burning and child marriage in the name of the latter – it comes across to me as an unabashed display of egregious stupidity and contemptuous inhumanity, as does the ridiculous yet alarming bilge on display in the comments section in the article I quoted excerpts of the judgement from.

As the holder of an Indian passport I hate being associated with regressive fuckwits, and the guardian of India’s constitution has shown itself capable of mental gymnastics that would make an invertebrate proud. For shame…

[1] http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Supreme-Court-makes-homosexuality-a-crime-again/articleshow/27230690.cms

[2] http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-india-25329065

PS- This article on the Daily Beast rips the judgement apart better than I could and highlights more flaws and fallacies. Go read it. http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2013/12/12/carnal-injustice-india-s-outrageous-court-ruling-against-gays.html