Life in a small town

Scientific Truth … and Assumptions

I am still thinking about how to write a couple of posts on the Reincarnation of our Lord and the Real Presence in the Eucharist. Obviously I would have to confine myself to what I believe and why I have come to believe it or the post would never end. There has been a lot of writing and debate on these items of faith over the centuries.

Pope Leo XIII

I may not actually get to writing anything if I keep on finding more and more interest in the extent Magisterium and various theological opinions from many faith streams. There are whole libraries worth of content out there worthy of consideration.

For example, I never thought of Pope Leo XIII as a Liberal but it seems, from reading old articles and opinion pieces that he might actually be said to be the “father or sponsor” of the heterodox Modernist heresy in the current  Catholic hierarchy. Who Knew … Leo XIII as a Liberal … hmmm.

On other fronts I subscribe to a Blog site written by a very interesting Doctor, Dr. Malcolm Kendrick, who writes mostly on Cardiac topics but sometimes wanders off into other very interesting areas and I am inspired to link to his latest blog post and also to quote largely from his latest and from a couple of others.

I share his concern for the radical attempts on the part of many established authorities to vilify, demean and silence anyone, literally by any means possible, who dares to disagree with them.

Dr Malcolm Kendrick

I have mentioned Kim Jong-un in a few posts but it is apparent that there are literally thousands of little “Kim Jong-un” fan boys and fan girls out there on the loose and many of them are in control of many of our various “Authorities”, Societies, Governing Bodies, Associations, and so on. These are the Illuminati who control or try to control what is allowed to transpire in our polite society, and woe to all those who fail to toe the line and make the appropriate obeisances to those authorities.

These days we find ourselves living in a culture and society where keeping control is more important than truth, than reality. Over decades I have come to believe that a truth can always be proven, a truth can be defended, even against a vigorous attack. But a lie will not hold up to scrutiny.

And anyone who refuses to allow vigorous debate is not on the side of truth. It is better to fight and re-fight the battle over truth, rather than let a single lie – or mis-truth – go unchallenged. Reality is somewhat different from social media memes despite the aims and desires of authority figures everywhere.

Everything we “know” to be true may be untrue tomorrow, our “assumptions” may be proven wrong at any moment. And when that happens we need to maintain the flexibility to adapt to a whole new world. If our culture fails to adapt, it will fail fatally and join the legions of failed nations, states, and cultures that fill the mass graves of history.

Unfortunately, even when the data support a hypothesis which goes against the currently accepted “truth” all right thinking people “know” that the accepted truth is the real truth and any different opinion or hypothesis is obviously wrong and the people who espouse that train of conjecture are obviously idiots who need their breathing problem fixed.

‘A new scientific truth does not triumph by convincing its opponents and making them see the light, but rather because its opponents eventually die, and a new generation grows up that is familiar with it.’ Max Plank.

We assume that whatever we hear around the water cooler of at the coffee shop or amongst our “Friends” on Facebook is absolute truth, especially if it is a juicy tidbit about our neighbour or a competitor, unless it goes against what we already “Know”.

“Assume, as the saying goes, makes an ass out of you and me”. The assumptions you make, the assumptions you don’t think to question, will eventually get you into trouble. I think that just might be what is at the root of people expressing anger towards us because we are not angry about the same things they are angry about.

Here is a link to an interesting theory about oil as a “fossil” fuel, a non-renewable resource which we are using up too fast (“Peak Oil”?) and which is killing the planet (Global Warming?). Most of the proponents of the “anti-oil energy” religion don’t live anywhere with “winter” and also have disingenuously advocated “alternative” energy sources which invariably involve vast wealth transfers from taxpayers to their own interest groups.

However the unexamined premise has resulted in the proliferation of believers in regions where they would be dead in a week if their beliefs were ever put into practice. Such is the nature of humanity, we have a burning need to “belong” more than any need for our beliefs to show congruence with reality.

From the blog of Dr. Malcolm Kendrick:For many years it was taught that bacteria could not live in the human stomach. It was too hostile, too acidic. So, when it was proposed that a bacterium (H. Pylori), living in the stomach, could be an important cause of stomach ulcers, the idea was pretty much dismissed out of hand.

Warren and Marshall eventually proved that the scientific consensus on this matter was utter nonsense. This despite being attacked viciously from all sides. They eventually won the Nobel prize for their work where they were specifically praised for battling on in the face of implacable hostility. It is clear that had Warren not been a cussed swine, they could easily have given up, worn down by the opposition.

Had Max Plank not decided to publish some wild and whacky papers in his journal ‘Physics’, from a patent clerk, it is perfectly possible we may never have heard of a certain Albert Einstein.”

Why does “authority” have such a resistance to truth?

For years now, in the course of business, I have remarked many times that many people, perhaps even most people, would rather die than change their lifestyle, their diet, even their mind. I don’t think this is overstating the case.  And while it is a new understanding to me, this thought is not new:

 ‘No man can be forced to be healthful, whether he will or not. In a free society, individuals must judge for themselves what information they choose to heed and what they ignore.’ (John Locke. (1632 – 1704) ‘A letter concerning Toleration’)

So onward … I have found the next 2 links uplifting and vindicating in the same sense as the old joke about peeing in a dark suit. I have been personally vilified and ridiculed for my questioning the current use of vaccines even by a family member in my extended family, dismissed as a “crazy vaxer”, but here are the links.

You can decide for yourselves whether we suffer from “worship of authority” or have a genuine belief in the “scientific method”.


So, imagine a universe where authority can be wrong. Sometimes, a person in authority can be mistaken. A person who believes a lie, and who repeats the lie, does not do so out of malicious intent! And yet, he is repeating a lie! Sometimes people and authorities believe things that are later proven to be untrue and they act on those things with a clear conscience because it’s “for our own good”. If you forced these folks to take a lie detector test they would pass because they actually do not know it is a lie.

There are books, books written as recently as a few years years ago, books you can still find in the library, which include untruths. Did those writers lie to you? No, they’d told the truth, as they’d known it. But future generations discovered that their concept of the truth had been very limited, and knowledge is still advancing. And that is just the mild form of misinformation.

Jerry Pournelle,

Authority is also often more interested in maintaining itself than determining the truth. A person(s) who clings to his/her authority – which may or may not be based on a known lie – is unlikely to want to do anything to weaken it. This reminds me of Pournelle’s iron law of bureaucracy:

In any bureaucracy, the people devoted to the benefit of the bureaucracy itself always get in control and those dedicated to the goals the bureaucracy is supposed to accomplish have less and less influence, and sometimes are eliminated entirely.

He eventually restated it as:

…in any bureaucratic organization there will be two kinds of people: those who work to further the actual goals of the organization, and those who work for the organization itself. Examples in education would be teachers who work and sacrifice to teach children, vs. union representatives who work to protect any teacher including the most incompetent. The Iron law states that in all cases, the second type of person will always gain control of the organization, and will always write the rules under which the organization functions.

George Santayana

Also reminded of Santayana’s  “those who forget history are condemned to repeat it.” in the sense that the vaults of history are crammed full of “authorities” who viciously resisted any form of change when their beliefs were questioned, and in the end they turned out to be wrong, even dead wrong, but that didn’t stop them from making millions of people miserable, or even dead.

I think we are up against the same sort of situation now when dealing with our health care system, our government, our social programs, the “religion” of climate change and so on and so forth.


(Crazy) Joe



Life in a small town, Pen as Sword - Social Commentary

Health and Drugs … The Latest Developments Here …

Hello everybody … again. After several days of heavy snow it is now -28 C and with a steady wind putting it at -42 C with the windchill. All the shoveling and driving is done for the day so everything is put away and plugged in and so on. Now we can now hunker down drinking hot drinks and sitting in the sauna and writing emails and such.

Thanks for looking at this note … this one is shorter than some, with only one medical related link.

My point in this note is to reflect on the trustworthiness, integrity and reliability of the MSM, government sources, and even major Medical Journals as information sources when it comes to making up our own minds about the efficacy of treatments for conditions with which we are diagnosed.

My first wife of forty years and I have been digging into this deeply since early 2008 when we first started playing in the sunny fields of being in business in the health care domain. Things have changed for us most dramatically since we were virgin believers in the integrity of our health systems and in the concept of government regulated drug manufacturing.

These days it is looking more like Drug Manufacturer regulated government. For example, back in 2008 we quickly became subscribers to one medical information service then known as the Cochran Group, or The Cochrane collaboration (several years before they started their sad slide to bias and corruption) and we looked at the reliability and safety issue studies related to the efficacy of Statin drugs for cholesterol management) – The Cochran Group looked at all this way back in 2003. Having those sources early on, we were able to look at some data and meta-studies which were not censored by big brother.

Unfortunately the Cochran collaboration has become the paid lapdog for some major drug companies and one can correlate that change to the tenor of the reviews and meta-studies. It really is a clear binary choice … 1. Either the drug industry and healthcare have changed from the “studying patients for profit while suppressing all information” model over to the MSM view of a completely safe patient centered system. or … 2. the whistle blowers and independent reviewers at the Cochran collaboration have been themselves suppressed and bought. Which is more likely? That’s a serious question because it really is a matter of life and death… for us.

Now, that Elysian 2008 Landscape, of sunny meadows and flowers and sparkling brooks with deer and rabbits gently grazing under a lucent sky, has transformed into a post apocalyptic dystopean vision much more reminiscent of the setting of Harrison Ford’s “Blade Runner back in 1982.

We have watched one information source after another taken down by government and Big Pharma, and all references to those sources scrubbed from the Wiki and the search engines. Some of these individuals still fight on using pay to play professional blog-sites.

The question in my mind is “If these people (the whistle blowers) are telling lies about the system, some of them for over 20 years, then why are they not locked up or sued out of existence in civil court?” Serious libel laws exist in all the jurisdictions where they operate.

The usual suspects, about whom these whistle blowers are writing are making billions of dollars annually on this model and spending literally 100’s of millions suppressing studies and data and anyone who objects for any reason. What might be going on? The perpetrators are not helpless victims of an online campaign, quite the contrary.

We subscribe to this blog site:

Dr. Michael Kendrick  and his latest post is of interest to anyone whose doctor is recommending them to start treatment with Statins for “High Cholesterol”.

And here is just a fun CBC site about what is fiction and what is reality and how the two seem to be merging …:

I believe that everyone has to make up their own minds about what to believe and how happy they are with their physical health status quo and folks also have to make up their own minds about the reliability and trustworthiness of established academic organizations (researchers) healthcare organizations (NGO’s and departments) and government agencies (like Canada Health & The Canada Food Guide people).

But we need good data to be able to do this. I guess the bottom line is the reliability of the authorities we accept, which range from chance conversations in the coffee-shop or the supermarket all the way up to major double blind multinational studies and research efforts. We need to think about our sources.

If you are completely happy with your current health, and you sincerely believe that the above mentioned organizations and authorities are truly interested only in our well-being, then don’t worry, be happy. After all, in the log run we are all dead anyway no matter what decisions we make. Personally I would like the run to be as long as possible.

And for the rest of us, carry on … after all, its our lives that are on the line.

The Greatest Generation

Sometimes doing what needs doing takes courage and determination, and a willingness to go in harms way for others.

If anyone is interested, the following snippet is relevant but more detailed than casual reading might warrant …


**** the following is from the Lancet Article****


The following is the fine print Conflicts of Interest Statement from the Lancet paper: Author’s initials in bold capitals here: RO’C, EB, IF, CW, and JS have nothing to disclose. (but)  JF, BM, CR, JE, LB, MK, AT, PR, CP,EL, WK, AG, SY, RC, CB, AK and LB do report significant conflict of interests.

In legal proceedings such conflicts would be such that a lawyer or a judge would have to recuse themselves from cases involving parties in those conflicts. Apparently this sort of conflict of interest is just OK with patient health departments and drug companies.

Commercial organisations in bold below. This is the same paper used as the reason for the firestorm witch hunt of Statin Whistle Blowers in the media and from government sources. Where did the 8000 lives saved come from??????? not clear anywhere … This isn’t really rocket “science”.

Again, this Conflicts of Interest Statement from the Lancet article upon which the firestorm of righteous indignation about putting patient lives at risk and saving 8000 lives, and … well anyway, you get my drift:


Commercial organisations in bold

RO’C, EB, IF, CW, and JS have nothing to disclose. JF reports personal fees from Amgen, Bayer, Pfizer, Boehringer Ingelheim, Sanofi, and AstraZeneca, outside the submitted work; and non-financial support from Amgen, Bayer, and Pfizer, outside the submitted work. BM reports grants from the Medical Research Council, British Heart Foundation, and the National Institute for Health Research Oxford Biomedical Research Centre during the conduct of the study, and grants from Merck outside the submitted work. CR report grants from the Medical Research Council and British Heart Foundation during the conduct of the study; and grants from Merck, outside the submitted work. JE reports grants from the Medical Research Council and the British Heart Foundation during the conduct of the study, and a grant from Boehringer Ingelheim outside the submitted work. LB reports grants from the Medical Research Council and the British Heart Foundation during the conduct of the study. MK is an employee of a company that has received study grants and consulting fees from manufacturers of PCSK9 inhibitors and treatments for lipid disorders, outside the submitted work. AT reports personal fees from Amgen and Sanofi, outside the submitted work. PR reports a research grant from AstraZeneca during the conduct of the study; and research grants from Novartis, Pfizer, and Kowa, outside the submitted work. CP reports a grant from Merck, outside the submitted work; and personal fees from Merck, Pfizer, Sanofi, Amgen, and Daiichi-Sankyo, outside the submitted work. EL reports grants from AstraZeneca, Bayer, Boehringer Ingelheim, Amgen, and Merck, outside the submitted work; and personal fees from Bayer, Amgen, Novartis, and Sanofi, outside the submitted work. WK reports grants and non-financial support from Roche, Beckmann, Singulex, and Abbott, outside the submitted work; and personal fees from AstraZeneca, Novartis, Pfizer, The Medicines Company, GlaxoSmithKline, Dalcor, Sanofi, Berlin-Chemie, Kowa, and Amgen, outside the submitted work. AG reports personal fees from Aegerion Pharmaceuticals, Arisaph Pharmaceuticals, DuPont, Esperion Therapeutics, Kowa, Merck, Roche, Vatera Capital, ISIS Pharmaceuticals, Weill Cornell Medicine, and Amgen, outside the submitted work. SY reports a grant from AstraZeneca, outside the submitted work. RC reports support from the Nuffield Department of Population Health, during the conduct of the study; grants from the British Heart Foundation, Cancer Research UK, Medical Research Council, Merck, National Institute for Health Research, and the Wellcome Trust, outside the submitted work; personal fees from the British Heart Foundation and UK Biobank, outside the submitted work; other support from Pfizer to the Nuffield Department of Population Health (prize for independent research); and a patent for a statin-related myopathy genetic test licensed to University of Oxford from Boston Heart Diagnostics (RC has waived any personal reward). CB reports grants from the Medical Research Council and British Heart Foundation, during the conduct of the study; and grants from Pfizer, Merck, Novartis, and Boehringer Ingelheim, outside the submitted work. AK reports grants from Abbott and Mylan, outside the submitted work; and personal fees from Abbott, Amgen, AstraZeneca, Mylan, and Pfizer, outside the submitted work. LB reports grants from UK Medical Research Council and the British Heart Foundation during the conduct of the study.