Posted by: graemebird | February 9, 2011

Skeptics: Forever Seeking The Illusionist Who Is Not There

The other thread was getting too many comments on it

More much later.



  1. How does it feel when you got no food:

  2. Mr B

    Mr Ellis always has the right instincts doesn’t he?

    How can we wean him off the girly-man ideology of leftism altogether? He is almost there. You need to speak to him, Mr B

  3. “Mr Ellis always has the right instincts doesn’t he?”

    No wonder you’re bored with the Catatonic crew, Graeme. (The effete dullard Jason Soon, methinks, in this instance.)

    There’s no such thing as right instincts existing in either the actual existing world. Or in a vacuum.

    No human being has instincts mapped to discernible or predictable static opinions. (Except for the brain dead.)

    Right (I think the fool means “correct”) and instincts can’t be bundled up together like Mum’s cut lunch. There a contradiction in terms. A category error.

    And, most hilarious of all, it’s precisely Bob Ellis’s wayward, labor-contrarian view of Tony Abbott, developed in recent years from a quite contrary position, that demonstrates Abbott once again to be one of the most genuinely interesting political writers across several generations. I’d wish he write the piece he clearly is working towards about Abbott. I agree, we know very little about Tony Abbott, there is a great deal to pity in him, and he is one tormented character. I understand – as far as a woman can – why he fascinates Ellis. I crave the details that only Ellis can and surely one day will supply.

  4. Uninstalling dictator … 99% complete ███████████████████████████

    You were a little premature, a little too gullible, Graeme.

  5. Wow. This is neat. YouTube has just linked to aljazeer across its entire network.

    Enjoy. The first freely filmed revolution in all history.

    • What are you on about? AJ has been on-line for ages, for free.

  6. This is more than two hours long but the more people that see this the better. That Jack Ryan interviews a lot of people who may be less credible than LaViollete is obviously neither here nor there. I mention this because of the catallaxy logic deficit.


    • Has FDB been lying again? What a tosser.

      This is the coward who is notorious for always bullying and mocking women who want to talk about gender issues on LP by constantly changing the subject to claiming that female on male domestic violence far outweighs the reverse. Yeah right. All those poor cringing males being between up by their female partners. A sordid national scandal that only FDB knows about.

      He’s a bully and a coward and a nincompoop. The trifecta.

      • FDB is like a domesticated Alsatian (German Shepherd). A good guard dog of the perimeter of his master’s territory. No opinions or feelings of his own worth noting, or having, other than the guarantee of his master’s approval, a decent feed and snarling nips and bites against those smaller and weaker than he.

        Of course when one of the latter is courageous enough to turn on him and bite back he yelps loudly and indignantly like the pathetic cowardly whelp he will always be.

        Give me a wolf any day over an Alsatian.

  8. Graeme Bird said…
    Delong you accept the theory of relativity for the same reason as you accept the Keynesian multiplier. Both theories are wrong and stupid. But you won’t see that if you are going forward on the basis of the argument from authority and the cult of personality. You are a bit long in the tooth to learn to think for yourself.

    Your comment is being held for moderation and will be displayed once it has been approved by the site owner.

  9. being beaten up…

  10. This one goes back a few years.

  11. “also a crank about human rights apparently

    OK so he’s a crank overall

    but any decent mainstream neoclassical could have made the same points about Austrians”

    Lets see you do it then Jason Soon. Take it away. In your own words.

    Face it fella. You don’t understand economics.

  12. The Destruction of Sennacherib

    The Assyrian came down like the wolf on the fold,
    And his cohorts were gleaming in purple and gold;
    And the sheen of their spears was like stars on the sea,
    When the blue wave rolls nightly on deep Galilee.

    Like the leaves of the forest when summer is green,
    That host with their banners at sunset were seen:
    Like the leaves of the forest when autumn hath blown,
    That host on the morrow lay withered and strown.

    For the Angel of Death spread his wings on the blast,
    And breathed in the face of the foe as he passed;
    And the eyes of the sleepers waxed deadly and chill,
    And their hearts but once heaved, and forever grew still!

    And there lay the steed with his nostril all wide,
    But through it there rolled not the breath of his pride;
    And the foam of his gasping lay white on the turf,
    And cold as the spray of the rock-beating surf.

    And there lay the rider distorted and pale,
    With the dew on his brow, and the rust on his mail:
    And the tents were all silent, the banners alone,
    The lances unlifted, the trumpets unblown.

    And the widows of Ashur are loud in their wail,
    And the idols are broke in the temple of Baal;
    And the might of the Gentile, unsmote by the sword,
    Hath melted like snow in the glance of the Lord!

    George, Lord Byron

  13. Hahaha

    Sinclair Davidson of Cataplexy says to the cunning, cut-throat William Bowes: “’m not walking away from anything – the Age readers have an opinion (that is not scientifically measured and states so clearly) yet William Bowe has chosen to smear my professional standing. We’re waiting for an explanation.”

    Ooh. Convincing.

    Say no more.

    Sinclair Davidson has no reputable professional standing outside of RMIT. He has long been dismissed as the Frederik Willem de Klerk of the Australian blogosphere and of negligible standing within the academy.

    He even looks like de Klerk.

  14. Randy Johnson at “Drinking Water Resources” has done some investigating into the some of the spurious claims of Kangen and Jupiter manufacturers/sellers and ended up writing to the author of scientific paper they had cited.

    “As part of a review of evidence that is alleged to support health claims of alkaline water, I examined the “Kangen Water Proof Book” (p 46-56). I noticed a paper titled, Citrate therapy for polycystic kidney disease in rats. The study was published by George A. Tanner and Judith A. Tanner in Kidney International, Vol. 58 (2000), pp. 1859–1869. Since the paper actually had nothing to do with alkaline water, I was curious why Kangen (or whoever produced the document) reproduced the paper in its entirety (pp 46 – 56) and highlighted sections that allegedly supported the benefits of alkaline water. I wrote to Dr. Tanner (to ask him if he had authorized the use of his paper to support alkaline water claims.”

    He replied with the following comments. (reproduced with permission)

    “Dear Randy,
    Thank you for the information. I was not aware that Kangen representatives were citing my Kidney International paper to support claims for a beneficial effect of electrolyzed, alkaline water.

    A simple calculation shows that if the pH of water is increased even to an alkaline pH of 10.5, the amount of base (OH-) present is, physiologically speaking, inconsequential. A pH of 10.5 corresponds to an OH- concentration of 10-3.5 moles/liter or 0.3 mEq/liter. The typical acid burden on an average American diet (meat + vegetables) for an adult is about 70 mEq/day.

    Thus, drinking a liter of electrolyzed, alkalinized water would buffer less than 0.5% of the acid formed by metabolism of foodstuffs and would have an undetectable effect on acid-base status.

    George Tanner, Ph.D.
    Professor Emeritus
    Department of Cellular & Integrative Physiology
    Indiana University School of Medicine”

    Bird, this just shows the dishonesty of these quackery peddlers, or do you think you know better than Professor George Tanner? Instead of censoring this, why don’t you try and defend it? I’ll understand if you feel reluctant to try.


  15. You are not going to do the job drinking one litre of water and still quaffing endless cups of coffee, cola, whisky, and eating huge amounts of meat. The kangen water cannot overrde such a huge volume of electron-stealing inputs. Any of the supporters of Kangen water will tell you the same. Goodgold advises people to alter their diet so that 70% is electron-providing.

    The professor is trying to stay on the good side of the science maffia. I started improving prior to getting the alkaliser but after accepting the paradigm. I see nothing here in denial of the paradigm and the Kangen people seem to be correct in citing the fellows work so far.

    • So how much of this stuff are you drinking a day? The Institute of Medicine advises that men consume roughly 3 liters (about 13 cups) of total beverages a day and women consume 2.2 liters (about 9 cups) of total beverages a day.

      Lets say you quaff double that, so 6 litres, which according to George Tanner would then buffer at best 3% of the acid formed by metabolism of foodstuffs and would still have an undetectable effect on acid-base status.


      If altering your diet supposedly helps, how much does this add to the production acid neutralizing fluid? What sort of diet does this and is there any credible evidence to support these claims?

      • This is a bit like the Labor parties approach to the budget or a student comparing all his costs to his beer budget. Take int account the fact that the water will be REPLACING other electron stealing drinks. Then you will see that its making a contribution. But one must go further of course.

  16. I like the professors response. He finds a way of placating these wolves without being factually incorrect.

  17. Thats actually quite good information Cambrai. Despite you going for science sentiment over scientific evidence like a global warmer would. But it emphasizes how much more one has to do if one wishes to over-ride the electron-stealing nature of ones diet.

  18. You don’t know he thinks its a scam and his SENTIMENT is irrelevant. This is where you came unstuck in the global warming racket. You confused science sentiment with evidence. Thats as bad a crime against science as your Triceratops debacle.

  19. Tanner said “Although I have not researched the topic (as you have done), I am very skeptical of any claims for a beneficial health effect of electrolyzed, alkaline water. My Kidney International study does not support the health claims of the proponents of this treatment.”

  20. See you are STILL going with science worker sentiment and not scientific evidence. The latter is crucial and the former is worse than irrelevant. It can be deeply misleading.

    Plus your head will be clouded on this matter until you admit that answersinbooks is full of shit and you retreat from your powerfully stupid endorsement of his video.

    I’ll look at your reference very clearly. But I’ve every expectation that you will be found to be as full of shit here, as when you claimed that Richard Lindzen had contradicted me on industrial CO2 being a positive externality.

  21. Thats not a good start. Already its clear that you were lying when you press-ganged Tanner into claiming it was a scam. What he said that was relevant was that he hadn’t looked into it. Makes me wonder how the flying fuck you think you are qualified to judge these matters.

  22. A couple of points Birdflaps. No one cares who you are it’s what you say that’s important. So far you’ve made no points that aren’t personal abuse, arguments from authority and irrelevant self-referencing assertions and tribal referencing to other issues and debates and individuals at another blog.

    Cataplexy’s discussion of economics is so far right and screwy it’s off the radar politically. No one except its couple of dozen inmates reads it except to laugh at the lame, partisan nutters like Sinclair Davidson, JC and Jason Soon and their tortuous unconvincing “arguments”. No other blogs cites it other than to ridicule it, no one links to it. It has zero influence. Even its own posters and comments trash its brand by their nigh ubiquitous hyperbole, rampant misogyny, and class, political and corporate bias.

    Joe Cambria is a pseud of a bullying, foul mouthed narcissistic motor mouth who has long invaded the privacy of all the women in his family from his mother to his daughter and who can’t help but tell all and sundry on a group blog of which he is not a member about the most mundane personal details of his and their lives. The best you can say about him is that he is as lonely as shit. The only thing sacrosanct to date has been the colour and texture of his stools. No doubt that will come.

    For several years he has posted vile, violent, sexually degrading and sadistic comments here and elsewhere under a variety of pseuds including the one you use about Graeme and myself and other female and male commenters. It’s his MO.

    As far as alkaline water goes, like many things the jury’s out. Science doesn’t have the answer for or proof of everything and there are many drugs and therapies accepted by the mainstream which are unproven, have been disproven, which are too profitable to be dumped in the absence of genuine alternatives, etc.

    Millions of people use this water and say it has helped them, improved their health and well-being. Who are you to say they are wrong? Who are you to say that it is harmful to them when it isn’t? And why do you care so much especially in relation to someone you profess to despise?

    To ask these questions is to answer them.

  23. Great post. Here’s the Kangen peoples document that they reckon constitutes evidence. Its certainly powerful evidence that the Kangen water is far from neutral. For good or evil its powerful stuff.

  24. Birdie, one thing I’ve read is that lemon juice added to water has the same effect. Have you read much about this? People have been doing this for aeons too. My grandmother used to drink lemon or cider vinegar in water. She was into a lot of natural therapies, including reflexology, the Alexander Technique, TM, and herbal medicinal and beauty remedies and cures galore from comfrey leaves for compresses, aloe vera for burns (and as a drink), beer for styling hair, all the range of teas for various ailments and much more. She was a fit, strong, smart, beautiful woman until she died after a short illness in her late 90s.

    • Yeah I’ve heard that also, and particularly lemon and sodium bicarbonate. And notice that Tanners experiment seems to back you up as well. Its a bit odd because on the surface of things citrates are weak acids, and so is Vitamin C. But they apparently have an alkalizing effect under some conditions. This is all a bit of a mystery to me, how some of these substances, technically weak acids, have an alkalizing effect …. So until I understand why, this is one thing I’ll simply have to accept on unanimous authority.

      • Vitamin C serum applied directly on the face is the latest thing for women. It’s pretty expensive I think but is supposed to be very good for smooth healthy skin, anti free radicals, aging effects etc. Lots of my girlfriends are talking about it. I haven’t tried it.

  25. Not evidence? In theory the alkaline water ought to have at least SOME anti-cancer effect according to the “healing is voltage” paradigm. This is the expectation and what would be very surprising is if we did not find this in practice. Well what do we find in practice?

    “Abstract: Certain minerals can produce alkaline reduced water with high pH and low oxidation-reduction potential (ORP) when dissolved in water.

    Alkaline reduced water (ARW) showed significant anticancer effect. When B16 melanoma cells were inoculated subcutaneously and intra-peritoneally ……. C56BL/6 mice fed with ARW SHOWED TUMOR GROWTH DELAY and the survival span was significantly lengthened.

    ARW also showed the inhibition of metastasis by reducing the numbers of B16 melanoma colonies when injected through tail vein. The amount of reactive oxygen species (ROS) was very reduced when fed with ARW except for spleen, which is a major organ for immunity. Even for normal mice, ARW intake invoked systemic cytokines, such as, Th1 (IFN-γ, IL-12) and Th2 (IL-4, IL-5), suggesting strong immuno-modulation effect. Both ROS
    scavenging effect and immuno-modulation effect might be responsible for anticancer effect of alkaline-reduced water.

    Keyword: alkaline reduced water, anticancer effect, antioxidant, immuno-modulation”

    So thats really the end of the debate. Both theory and practice support the idea that alkaline water ought at least BE OF SOME HELP in the treatment of cancer. The proposition stands to be proven wrong, and not the other way around.

  26. Here is Tanners own abstract:

    BACKGROUND: Few treatments are available to slow the progression to renal failure in autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease (PKD). In an animal model of PKD, the male heterozygous Han:SPRD rat, intake of a solution of potassium citrate plus citric acid (KCitr) from age one to three months prevented a decline in glomerular filtration rate (GFR). The present study tested whether this beneficial effect is sustained and explored handling of citrate and ammonia in normal and cystic kidneys.

    METHODS: Rats were provided with tap water or citrate solutions to drink, and clearance and survival studies were performed.

    RESULTS: The GFRs of rats with PKD that consumed KCitr from one month of age were normal at six months of age, while those of their counterparts on water were about one third of normal. Long-term KCitr treatment extended the average life span of rats with PKD from 10 to 17 months. Compared with normal rats, water-drinking rats with PKD had higher plasma [citrate], renal cortical [citrate], and fractional excretion of citrate, and lower rates of renal citrate consumption, ammonia synthesis, and ammonia excretion. Cortical PNH3 was not elevated in cystic kidneys. Intake of Na3 citrate/citric acid solution or K3 citrate solution, but not ammonium citrate/citric acid solution, prevented a decline in GFR in three-month-old rats with PKD.

    CONCLUSIONS: Rats with PKD show abnormal renal handling of citrate and ammonia. Citrate salts that have an alkalinizing effect preserve GFR and extend survival.”

    Lets repeat part of that conclusion:


    So there is really no question that Tanners work supports the alkalized water supporters and goes against their detractors. There really isn’t any getting around that.

  27. Philomena? Did your grandmother or anyone else use apple-cider? Or apple-vinegar? The people in the know say good things about these. But I cannot yet be cheerleading for these things until I sort out why they work, if they do.

  28. Apple cider vinegar, Birdie, different from apple cider methinks which is loaded up with sugar.

  29. Heh, I just remembered the other cure/diet she used to great affect was the grape diet – nothing but grapes for three – seven days. It’s a detox diet generally but she swore it eased to disappeared her arthritis.

    • They would be powerfully easy to digest and vitamin C adds electrons in its capacity as an antioxidant. But grapes have much greater anti-oxidant and therefore electron-doner powers. Since we know that the red wine has all these ‘Flavinoids” they will be present in the grape as well. By cutting out all the electron-thieving aspects of the diet, and by instead having this period of ant-oxidant electron-donation …. its quite plausible that this could give the breathing space for the arthritis to heal.

      Also arthritis seems to often come about via hypothyroidism which leaves one with low pH. Your grandmother seems to have really had her act together.

      • Graeme, that generation knew from previous generations cumulative knowledge what helped with common ailments. This natural therapy knowledge is the basis still of modern medicine and many expensive products for external and internal use contain the well-established, well-known ingredients. A lot of that knowledge though has been forgotten and people tend to read the ads and go and buy the expensive products which may be no better, at best, than the old ways. Some of them do get rediscovered and mainstreamed, e.g. the use of St. John’s wort for depression. Doctors prescribe that now often in preference to the latest generation of drugs over which hangs many question marks and concerns.

      • If its not a drug, it cannot be patented. Therefore no-one will conduct clinical trials. A self-serving and epistemologically incoherent dogma has thereby built up that only clinical trials count in medicine. Go figure. A new sucker born every day. You can fool some of the people some of the time and thats enough to keep hold of your ill-begotten inheritance.

  30. Right. But I’ve heard these guys claim that if you are going to have a drink the apple cider is alright. Either its mildly alkaline or perhaps it is one of these substances that may have this paradoxical effect. Like with the lemon juice.

  31. Bicarb soda was something she swore by. She had a book about its uses everything from teeth whitening to deodorising bathroom/kitchen areas, making glass sparkle, whitening clothes, ridding carpets of fleas, and yes it was ingested – other than in cakes that is.

    • Right. Amazing stuff. I’d be using it still if I didn’t have the machine. Before they came out with insulin the diabetics used to have a lot of use for sodium bicarb and they ought to use it still.

  32. What did she say about Iodine?

    • I don’t remember her talking about iodine. She wasn’t like you, not really into the chemistry of it all, she just had learnt this stuff at her mother’s knee I think. Her forebears came to Sydney from the Scottish Highlands on a John Dunmore Lang bounty ship, teachers and blacksmiths. Ended up in the Hunter Valley then around Lismore, farming.

  33. She was pretty switched on. She practiced yoga, meditation, chanting, she reckoned she cured my grandfather’s prostrate problem with some herb I can’t remember which one it was and also with massage (seriously).

    I’ve tried a lot of this stuff only intermittently. I’ve been very lucky with my health apart from mild asthma there’s been no problems to speak of. Two things I do swear by for insomnia which I occasionally get: pure lavender oil drops on the pillow and a five syllable Indian chant I learnt at an Eastern philosophy course I did one summer at USyd. I never get past the mantra (silently in my head) more than three times before I fall asleep. It’s like an internal relaxer, and also confidence builder. I got lost in the Wild Dog Mountains once on my own and I had to walk for about six hours without stop, little water and in blazing heat to get back to a track. I kept the panic down to a minimum by chanting this mantra while I walked. It worked a treat.

  34. Rip off.

  35. Good Lord. Imagine putting that sort of thing together!!!! You could never do it today. Or you’d have to go to Thailand to be able to afford the fees for all the actresses.

  36. Mark Hill makes an exellent point for a change. Its such a rare thing that I thought I’d alert the media:

    “Peak oil has more credibility when facts are revealed about false oil reserves, but what really sends me off my bonce is when uranium is brought up as an alternative energy source and then “PEAK URANIUM” is a term bandied about with no evidence or reasoning whatsoever.

    I bet if I bring up thorium – PEAK THORIUM!

    Fusion power – PEAK DEUTERIUM!”

    He’s right. Other than oil there isn’t much evidence of natural peaks in other resources anytime soon.

    If there are others it would be coal, wherein we may hit a daily peak late this century. Platinum is a bit iffy. Rock Phosphate is iffy too, but then again we ought to be able to fertilise directly from oceanic plant growth for these sort of nutrients.

    Other than those mentioned above I see very little evidence for natural peaks. But we may go through an extended period where we see a sort of PEAK-CHEAP-EVERYTHING That is to say we may see to it that we are consuming more and more of most resources, but at an increasing price.

    These pretenses to a peak-Uranium are really pretty feeble. Uranium is as plentiful as tin or magnesium

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