What Hunting Bigfoot Taught a Republican Congressman about Misinformation, Political Extremists, and Grift (washingtonpost.com) 105

What Hunting Bigfoot Taught a Republican Congressman about Misinformation, Political Extremists, and Grift (washingtonpost.com) 105

Posted by Editor David on Sunday November 29, 2020 @11:34AM from the facts-don’t-matter dept.

Republican congressman Denver Riggleman was once a defense contractor for America’s National Security Agency. But in 2004, he paid more than $5,000 to join an amateur expedition searching for Bigfoot. Not because he believed in the mythical ape-like creature said to live in the woods, according to the Washington Post, but “to indulge a lifelong fascination: Why do people — what kind of people — believe in Bigfoot?”

“Now in one of his last acts as a Republican congressman from Virginia, Riggleman is asking the same questions of QAnon supporters and President-elect Joe Biden deniers.” Months after his ouster by Rep.-elect Bob Good (R) in a contentious GOP convention, Riggleman has become one of the loudest voices in Congress warning of the infiltration of conspiracy theories into political discourse… To Riggleman, the book, Bigfoot… It’s Complicated,” mirrors the way pockets of the country are falling into conspiracy wormholes — everything from extremist fringe groups such as QAnon and the “boogaloo” movement to President Trump’s claims of widespread voter fraud. Like the Bigfoot hunters in the Olympic National Forest, they see what they want to see…

Bigfoot believers have plenty in common with political extremists on both the far right and the far left, Riggleman said, lambasting a political ecosystem where, oftentimes, “facts don’t matter.”

“They’re all bat—- crazy. Right?” he said, not really joking. “All of them ascribe to a team mythology that might or might not be true. And they stay on that team regardless. And that is what’s so dangerous about politics today. That’s what I’ve been trying to say.”
Riggleman also criticized political operatives “asking for donations to help in a mythological quest of things that can’t be proven,” arguing this shared mythology can turn into a grift.

“I saw it with Bigfoot. I’m seeing it with QAnon. It’s about money. And sometimes crazy and money live in the same space.”

Spinal decompression marketing by chiropractors investigated

Spinal decompression marketing by chiropractors investigated

by Stephen Barrett, M.D. <sbinfo

A FairWarning investigation has concluded that lax regulation and press apathy have enabled chiropractors to continue to advertise scientifically unsupported back pain relief claims for treatment with mechanized tables for spinal decompression that cost patients thousands of dollars insurers won’t cover. Patients pay thousands for a back pain treatment promoted by exaggerated claims. FairWarning, Nov 18, 2020] Patients have complained of injuries from the machines and some have received monetary damages in lawsuits. But the report notes:

  • The U.S. Food and Drug Administration, which has regulatory authority over medical devices, has not responded to several complaints made by Dr. Stephen Barrett about advertising for spinal decompression machines.
  • The Federal Trade Commission has not sent warning letters to any manufacturers of the machines over the past two decades.
  • Eight state chiropractic boards contacted as part of the investigation have not taken action against individual chiropractors advertising the machines in recent years.
  • Newspapers are sustained by their advertisers, spinal decompression machines are aggressively advertised in some newspapers, and newspaper editors can be reluctant to publish investigative reports about products advertised in their papers. [Hill J. A story 12 years in the telling. Fair Warning,
    Nov 18, 2020]

FairWarning is a nonprofit (501(c)(3)) investigative news organization that focuses on public health, consumer, workplace and environmental issues, and related topics of government and business accountability. Aetna, which has evaluated published studies of decompression treatment for more than 20 years, has concluded:

Aetna considers vertebral axial decompression (e.g., by means of the VAX-D Spinal Decompression System, the Accu-SPINA System, Axiom Worldwide DRX2000, Axiom DRX3000, Axiom DRX5000, the Axiom DRX9000, the DRS (Decompression Reduction Stabilization) System, DRX, the Alpha-SPINA System, the Dynatron DX2, the Lordex Lumbar Spine System, the Saunders 3D ActiveTrac, Spinerx LDM, Tru Tac 401, NuChoice Medical Healthstar Elite Decompression Therapy, the Antalgic-Trak, the Cert Health Sciences SpineMED Decompression Table, Integrity Spinal Care System, MTD 4000 Mettler Traction Decompression System, or Internal Disc Decompression (IDD) Therapy, also known as Intervertebral Differential Dynamics Therapy) experimental and investigational. Currently, there is no adequate scientific evidence that proves that vertebral axial decompression is an effective adjunct to conservative therapy for back pain. In addition, vertebral axial decompression devices have not been adequately studied as alternatives to back surgery. [Vertebral axial decompression. Aetna clinical
policy bulletin, Oct 1, 2020]

Chirobase has additional background information on spinal decompression devices.

How It Started, How It’s Going

Drought Map for Nov. 19th 2020

Experienced acupuncturists flunk at locating “acupuncture points”

Consumer Health Digest #20-45, November 15, 2020

Experienced acupuncturists flunk at locating “acupuncture points”

Researchers from Endeavour College of Natural Health in Australia and the Australian Research Centre in Complementary and Integrative Medicine Accuracy reviewed 14 studies relating to the accuracy and precision of methods that experienced medical acupuncturists use to decide where to insert their acupuncture needles. According to the researchers: “Accuracy of point location is essential for safe, efficacious and reliable treatments and valid reproducible research outcomes.” Nevertheless, their review revealed: “Inaccuracies observed in these studies appear large enough to affect clinical and research outcomes.” They concluded in part: “The lack of accuracy and precision in qualified and experienced acupuncturists is a cause for concern.” [Godson DR. Wardle JL. Accuracy and precision in acupuncture point location:
a critical systematic review
. Journal of Acupuncture and
Meridian Studies 12:52-66, 2019] In response to the review, Harriet Hall, M.D. wrote: “This study represents Tooth Fairy Science at its most ridiculous. They tried to assess the reliability of locating points that have never been shown to exist. An exercise in futility, if you ask me.” [Hall H. Do acupuncture points exist? Can acupuncturists find
 Science-Based Medicine, Aug 27, 2019]


Flags in Washington D.C. Saturday, Nov. 14th 2020

Ida’s Norwegian Meatballs

Ida’s Norwegian Meatballs
1-1/2 pds of ground beef
2 cans of Cream of Celery soup
1/2 c of bread crumbs (plain flavored, not seasoned)
1/2 c of hot milk (I use whole milk or cream)
1 egg
1 medium onion chopped
1/2 cup celery chopped
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp Nutmeg
1 tsp Ginger
1 tsp Allspice
1/2 can of milk

( I typically double the amount of spices of the Ginger, Nutmeg and Allspice, I like stronger flavor but you don’t need to, just be sure if you do increase the spices…you do them all in the same amounts).

Preheat oven to 350. Put beef in a bowl, mix in by hand all dry ingredients, then add hot milk and blend together, then add egg, chopped onion and hand mix well. Don’t overwork the meat or the meatballs will come out dense. Then meatball mixture is well blended. Have a frying pan, I use a large cast iron pan, put a few (2-3) tablespoons of butter…NOT OIL…

Make meatballs, the mix will be sticky, if it is too sticky, just add a little more bread crumbs. Place meatballs in fry pan to brown and even slightly blackened on all sides, (save the brownings) gently turning them over, they break apart easily. (I use a large spoon) When browned, place meatballs in a baking dish like a casserole dish. Set aside.

Using all the brownings left in the pan, add a 1/4 cup more of chopped onion and celery and brown a bit, I’ll add a pinch of the spices of Ginger, Nutmeg and Allspice to brownings. Then add the 2 cans of Cream of Celery soup and a 1/2 can of milk, if you like more runny type gravy, then add a little more milk. Bring to a slight boil then pour gravy over the meatballs, then bake for 30 to 45 minutes, serve with riced potatoes or mashed potatoes, even boiled potatoes is good too. I have also served on top of cooked noodles as well, but they are better with riced potatoes. So, there you have it. These are Norwegian Meatballs

Eli Lilly COVID Antibody Treatment Gets Emergency FDA Authorization

U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued an emergency use authorization (EUA) for Eli Lilly & Companies investigational monoclonal antibody therapy bamlanivimab for the treatment of mild-to-moderate COVID-19 in adult and pediatric patients. Bamlanivimab is authorized for patients with positive results of direct SARS-CoV-2 viral testing who are 12 years of age and older weighing at least 40 kilograms (about 88 pounds), and who are at high risk for progressing to severe COVID-19 and/or hospitalization. This includes those who are 65 years of age or older, or who have certain chronic medical conditions.

Safety and effectiveness of this investigational therapy continues to be evaluated. Bamlanivimab was shown in clinical trials to reduce COVID-19-related hospitalization or emergency room visits in patients at high risk for disease progression within 28 days after treatment when compared to placebo.

Things Grandkids Say

Alice Marie Mattsen

I had to pass this along…my belly hurts from laughing!!!!😂

How grandchildren perceive their grandparents

1. I was in the bathroom, putting on my makeup, under the watchful eyes of my young granddaughter, as I’d done many times before. After I applied my lipstick and started to leave, the little one said, “But Grandma, you forgot to kiss the toilet paper good-bye!” I will probably never put lipstick on again without thinking about kissing the toilet paper good-bye….

2. My young grandson called the other day to wish me Happy Birthday. He asked me how old I was, and I told him, 72. My grandson was quiet for a moment, and then he asked, “Did you start at 1?”

3. After putting her grandchildren to bed, a grandmother changed into old slacks and a droopy blouse and proceeded to wash her hair. As she heard the children getting more and more rambunctious, her patience grew thin. Finally, she threw a towel around her head and stormed into their room, putting them back to bed with stern warnings. As she left the room, she heard the three-year-old say with a trembling voice, “Who was THAT?”

4. A grandmother was telling her little granddaughter what her own childhood was like. “We used to skate outside on a pond. I had a swing made from a tire; it hung from a tree in our front yard. We rode our pony. We picked wild raspberries in the woods.” The little girl was wide-eyed, taking this all in. At last she said, “I sure wish I’d gotten to know you sooner!”

5. My grandson was visiting one day when he asked, “Grandma, do you know how you and God are alike?” I mentally polished my halo and I said, “No, how are we alike?” “You’re both old,” he replied.

6. A little girl was diligently pounding away on her grandfather’s word processor. She told him she was writing a story. “What’s it about?” he asked.
“I don’t know,” she replied. “I can’t read.”

7. I didn’t know if my granddaughter had learned her colors yet, so I decided to test her. I would point out something and ask what color it was. She would tell me and was always correct. It was fun for me, so I continued. At last, she headed for the door, saying, “Grandma, I really think you should try to figure out some of these colors yourself!”

8. When my grandson Billy and I entered our vacation cabin, we kept the lights off until we were inside to keep from attracting pesky insects. Still, a few fireflies followed us in. Noticing them before I did, Billy whispered, “It’s no use Grandpa. Now the mosquitoes are coming after us with flashlights.”

9. When my grandson asked me how old I was, I teasingly replied, “I’m not sure.” “Look in your underwear, Grandpa,” he advised “Mine says I’m 4 to 6.” (WOW! I really like this one — it says I’m only ’38’!)

10. A second grader came home from school and said to her grandmother, “Grandma, guess what? We learned how to make babies today.” The grandmother, more than a little surprised, tried to keep her cool. “That’s interesting.” she said. “How do you make babies?” “It’s simple,” replied the girl. “You just change ‘y’ to ‘i’ and add ‘es’.”

11. Children’s Logic: “Give me a sentence about a public servant,” said a teacher. The small boy wrote: “The fireman came down the ladder pregnant.” The teacher took the lad aside to correct him. “Don’t you know what pregnant means?” she asked. “Sure,” said the young boy confidently. ‘It means carrying a child.”

12. A grandfather was delivering his grandchildren to their home one day when a fire truck zoomed past. Sitting in the front seat of the fire truck was a Dalmatian dog. The children started discussing the dog’s duties. “They use him to keep crowds back,” said one child.
“No,” said another. “He’s just for good luck.”
A third child brought the argument to a close. “They use the dogs,” she said firmly, “to find the fire hydrants.”

13. A 6-year-old was asked where his grandma lived. “Oh,” he said, “she lives at the airport, and whenever we want her, we just go get her. Then, when we’re done having her visit, we take her back to the airport.”

14. Grandpa is the smartest man on earth! He teaches me good things, but I don’t get to see him enough to get as smart as him!

15. My Grandparents are funny, when they bend over, you hear gas leaks and they blame their dog.

K: The Overlooked Variable That’s Driving the Pandemic – The Atlantic