[percy-l] Lapsometric Research

John Pearson jp at jlarsp.com
Sun May 3 12:37:44 EDT 2009

Thanks for the extended post. And right on. Everything you say is true.

On May 2, 2009, at 3:38 PM, Wade Riddick wrote:

>> Perhaps Lapsometric research is indeed making progress -- see:
>> http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/8025454.stm
> I think you've got this problem turned on its head.  The "better  
> living
> through chemistry" crowd has screwed up matters not at the stage of  
> lithium
> but at the stage before lithium.
> The list has been down this road before about ten years back when the
> molecules du jour were the then novel SSRIs, which turn out to have  
> not
> only antidepressant qualities but also help the brain stave off the  
> drop in
> neurogeneration as it ages [PMID 12726822].  These are great drugs  
> if you
> need them (and respond) but a lot of people on the list pointed out  
> that we
> ought to ask if we could pursue alternatives that kept us from  
> getting the
> problems that need drugs in the first place.  This side of the  
> debate was,
> of course, talking about the moral dimension but I would point to  
> still
> other bad decisions about chemistry in addition to that.
> I'm pretty sure lithium was the mood stabilizing wonder drug on  
> which Percy
> based his heavy sodium spoof.  There are other elemental wonder  
> drugs.  The
> Russians have done some interesting work on the life-extending  
> properties
> of 25Mg2+ [PMID 16049349, 16043694].  Strontium improves bone  
> health.  Zinc
> and magnesium both have anti-inflammatory properties and our modern  
> diets
> are pretty deficient in them, partly because of the way we strip  
> fiber from
> grains in food processing.
> The reasons we use both lithium and fluoride are closely  
> interrelated.  Our
> teeth decay because we consume too little fiber and too much sugar.   
> This
> is a consciously planned change in our diet brought about without any
> debate by the modern food processing industry.  The solution for these
> rotting teeth isn't to stop subsidizing bad food with our tax  
> dollars or
> use the tax system to properly price the cost to individuals for  
> consuming
> these foods.  We like these foods too much to give them up because  
> chronic
> consumption trips our adrenal stress response, floods our arteries  
> with
> insulin and glucose and releases dopamine on the same circuit  
> stimulated by
> smoking and cocaine, albeit at a more moderate pace.  No, we don't  
> stop the
> bad behavior.  Our solution for tooth decay is to chronically dose the
> population with antibiotics (in this case fluoride) to the point our  
> soils
> are so contaminated we can't safely grow tea leaves in them.
> Fluoride is a real health risk.  In addition to harming our bones  
> over the
> years, it also damages our gut flora - like any chronically consumed
> antibiotic would.  You can't get the medical community to admit this  
> yet.
> You can get them to admit we take fluoride for its antibiotic  
> properties.
> You can get them to admit we need friendly gut bacteria for a well- 
> balanced
> immune system and you can even get them to admit that chronic  
> antibiotic
> use is a bad idea.  But you can't get them to go from point A to  
> point C.
> There's a ton of money sprinkled on politicians to prevent that from
> occurring in public rhetoric.  Despite the potential for profound  
> effects,
> we have been experimenting on people's health with fluoride for more  
> than
> half a century with no scientific data justifying our actions.  Like
> legalizing transfats and declaring them safer than regular fats,  
> government
> bodies just went out and did it - often to satisfy an unscrutinized
> interest group lavishing campaign cash on politicians.
> So we take fluoride unnecessarily to balance out other bad chemistry
> decisions we don't want to talk about.  Lithium helps counterbalance
> another end of the sugar problem.  Insulin resistance in neurons  
> activates
> GSK-3beta - which lithium downregulates [PMID 18322101].  GSK-3beta  
> causes
> chronic inflammation and contributes to epilepsy, Alzheimer's[1] and a
> number of other neurodegenerative conditions associated with diabetes,
> often increasing the risk for depression as the brain gets damaged and
> neurogeneration fails to keep pace.  That leaves particularly  
> vulnerable
> individuals contemplating suicide.
> In the case of lithium, adding it to the water supply at currently  
> used
> therapeutic doses would pose problems including kidney damage and  
> tumor
> formation.  But we don't have good data on Japanese suicide rates a  
> century
> ago so no one really notices what the modern diet has done.  We just  
> notice
> the lithium and we're surprised that such low amounts still have an  
> effect.
> Why don't we notice the dietary changes?  Aside from the data  
> problem, we
> have a system that rewards blindness.  Think about who funds most of  
> this
> medical and nutritional research - drug and food companies.  As Upton
> Sinclair said, "[i]t is difficult to get a man to understand  
> something when
> his salary depends on his not understanding it."  Even Warren Buffet  
> - who
> understands the fraud in the banking system and has given Bill Gates  
> tons
> of money for a medical-related foundation - owns Coca-Cola stock and  
> eats
> fast food.
> A year or two ago, some people openly speculated about putting  
> statins in
> the water supply.  Again, we can't challenge the lifestyle  
> assumptions that
> give us the cholesterol problem in the first place.  Instead we  
> think about
> putting people on dangerous drugs that can destroy our muscles and may
> cause Parkinson's.
> Guess what?  Our water is already medicated.  A certain amount of  
> the drugs
> we consume - whether pot or a prescription - never really  
> metabolizes and
> it washes back into the sewage for recycling.  Water treatment systems
> aren't designed to process some of these molecules and the rest of  
> us wind
> up reconsuming them in the recycled water, albeit at much lower than
> therapeutic doses exposing us to all sorts of poorly understood,  
> complex,
> subtle effects.
> I'm knowledgeable on these subjects because I nearly succumbed to  
> mercury
> poisoning when an amalgam filling cracked.  I'm now severely  
> autoimmune.
> Amalgams are yet another modern "innovation" in health care that  
> people are
> simply exposed to with zero scientific data to validate their safety  
> or
> efficacy.  They were "grandfathered in" and it's widely acknowledged  
> that
> they could never pass the FDA's contemporary approval process  
> because of
> their toxicity risk.  Mercury is a potent neurotoxin and, surprise,  
> causes
> autoimmunity in lab animals.  (We can't study the dose I was exposed  
> to in
> people because that would be unethical...)
> Of course when I started reading Walker Percy as a teenager, I  
> didn't think
> his themes about modern chemistry's abusive potential applied to  
> me.  At
> the time I didn't understand how I was sick or that I was at any risk.
> Percy wrote of how the Nazi's reliance on modern economic production
> methods represented a natural culmination of an evolving death  
> culture.
> When the Nazis dispensed with God, their compassion decayed into  
> pity and a
> search for salvation turned into a search for transcendence with the  
> nation
> and nationalism substituted as the new religion.  Their quest for
> efficiency lead to modernizing the old pogrom with Henry Ford-style
> assembly line death factories and Zyklon B to euthanize their  
> scapegoats.
> Jews, gypsies, Communists, homosexuals and other culpable suspects in
> Germany's fall from grace were put out of their misery.  Nazis
> bureaucratized it and applied modern institutions, thus showing that
> element of the modern drive with a purity never before witnessed.   
> It was
> the zenith of a death culture that tried to eradicate all excuses for
> imperfection - essentially punishing man himself for the human  
> condition.
> Man busy at work trying to perfect mankind - and having to get rid  
> of other
> men to do it.
> Percy liked to zero in on willful ignorance - alcohol, drugs,  
> ideology.
> Excuses provided irony and fodder for plot.  But of course to spot the
> irony the reader must have at least a glimmer of self-awareness and  
> thus a
> chance at being touched by the ghost in the machine.  It was that
> predicament that came from being both a thing, an animal and having  
> a soul.
> How do we live responsibly with our natural desires - our natural  
> selves as
> biological entities as well as creatures?  I never thought such  
> questions
> would so preoccupy me.  The things we will do to avoid acknowledging  
> and
> paying for our sins.  The bill does add up.
> I will never have affordable health insurance.  My sin?  Being a  
> casualty
> of bad science.  Being an error in the equation.  Being an  
> inconvenient
> victim of a very profitable set of businesses with rhetorical chinks  
> they
> don't want exposed.  I think about the people who don't have the  
> education
> or the resources to survive what I did.  They don't have the same  
> chance to
> speak because they're largely crippled or dead.  In most cases, they  
> never
> get far enough to figure out want went wrong.  They don't die with any
> answers.
> I never thought growing up, watching my parents fight the remnants of
> segregation in Baton Rouge I would find myself - white, well- 
> educated and
> upper middle class - so discriminated against for circumstances  
> beyond my
> control.  My situation is not as rare as you think.  I'm only rare  
> in the
> degree to which I understand my own situation and I've recovered  
> enough to
> be articulate about it.
> There are a lot of chronically ill people in my situation.  Many of  
> them
> are innocent victims of disease or crime.  Many of the first  
> responders on
> 9/11 had their lungs destroyed because the EPA lied about the air  
> quality
> at ground zero.  Then they got cut from their insurance because they
> suddenly had a "pre-existing" condition.
> Where is the compassion?
> (Nobody seems to want to talk about Michael Moore's movie, _Sicko_,  
> they
> way they did Fahrenheit 911.)
> What's worse is that estimates say in 2001 more than 100,000 hospital
> patients alone died from avoidable medical errors.  This doesn't  
> even begin
> to tally up the deaths from outpatient treatment errors.  We had a  
> war on
> terror over 3000 deaths but never a war on error.  Detroit has better
> methods for catching defective rivets than doctors do for catching  
> their
> errors - because car owners have more secure property rights than  
> patients
> do over our own bodies.  We have a medical industry that goes to great
> lengths to avoid any responsibility for its actions.
> We may not line up people we don't like into gas chambers anymore,  
> but we
> certainly have a very rational system that concentrates the victims  
> of bad
> medicine into their own homes or hospices waiting to die, locking  
> them away
> from public view while their family finances erode.  Just like the  
> Jews who
> got bussed out of sight, the chronically ill aren't out and about on  
> the
> talk show circuit; our participation in life is limited by  
> circumstance
> rather than by barbed wire and machine guns.
> It's not Auschwitz but it does happen.  People get pumped full of
> schizophrenia drugs all because they have an intolerance to gluten  
> that
> affects their mind and the doctor screwed up the diagnosis.  People  
> die of
> the flu because they get stuck in the hospital and become vitamin D
> deficient when the dumb orderlies won't take them out to get a little
> sunshine[2].  Patients recovering from open heart surgery can call  
> down to
> McDonald's and eat more of the same food that clogged their arteries  
> in the
> first place.  Several members of the American Heart Association who
> advocated transfats as healthier went on to die of heart disease -  
> in large
> part because they ate too many foods like margarine and our bodies  
> can't
> process the artificial, hydrogenated oils the way we can saturated  
> fat.
> How's all that for irony?
> But sprinkle some money on politicians and you can pretend it's not  
> there.
> Or you can pretend it's all "free choice."
> (Don't even get me started on banking fraud; I tried to warn readers  
> of
> this list in 2000 that Bush was going to be a disaster for the  
> financial
> markets.)
> The guilty?
> Well, there are no Nuremberg Trials - I live down the street from a  
> fellow
> who was an army typist at Nuremberg, by the way.  In an age where  
> six sigma
> supplies us with almost perfectly produced iPods, the guilty are  
> stuck in
> the same system of bad food, defective diagnostics and poor quality
> treatments as the rest of us.  When they get sick, these medical  
> providers
> are so often in such deep denial they don't even know where to begin  
> to
> help themselves.  They can't believe that a chemical engineer has  
> read the
> chemotherapy literature more thoroughly than they have or that a guy  
> like
> me with an English degree understands autoimmunity and viruses better.
> They aren't much different from that astronomer in _Lost in the  
> Ruins_ who
> knows what's going on 10 billion light years away but he doesn't  
> know his
> wife might leave him down the street.  They'd rather continue to  
> live in
> blissful ignorance thinking the ex-cheerleader turned drug company rep
> would never slant the data to boost her sales.
> The Nazis did what they did to avoid responsibility, to avoid  
> staring in
> the mirror and seeing their sins for what they were.  People can't  
> help
> making mistakes and you can't begin to have a chance of being saved  
> until
> you admit that.  The moral problems posed by existence never really go
> away.  They just change form.  We have choices at the polls those  
> living in
> Nazi Germany didn't; then again - do we really?
> So point your lapsometer in the other direction.  To paraphrase Bob  
> Dylan,
> it ain't lithium, babe.
> 1.  For those who haven't followed recent research, Alzheimer's  
> appears to
> be a latent herpes (HSV-1) infection reawakening in the brain as the  
> immune
> system ages.  The result is a kind of type III diabetes for neurons.
> 2.  Vitamin D levels are a greater predictor of susceptibility to  
> the flu
> and vitamin D shots can be better at protecting from the flu than  
> specific
> vaccinations [PMID 16959053].  Not that you'd know from any of the  
> recent
> coverage of the flu.  Vitamin D isn't a patented antiviral like  
> Tamiflu and
> it doesn't buy ads for itself on network TV.
> --
> An archive of all list discussion is available at http://lists.ibiblio.org/pipermail/percy-l/
> Visit the Walker Percy Project at http://www.ibiblio.org/wpercy

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