Civil Discourse Now

Where the far left and far right overlap for fun and enlightenment

Tomorrow: Body, Mind, Spirit at the State Fairgrounds; plus---responses to yesterday's Ebola blog.

   As I wrote on Monday, the Body Mind Spirit Festival will be held this weekend, Saturday and Sunday, at the Indiana State Fairgrounds. We will stream live from the festival and interview exhibitors who are involved in the holistic movement. We shall be there from 11 am to 1 pm. There will be folks at the festival, however, who will continue to stream live after The Show is off the air.
   This is an advisory I have to issue.  The views of the exhibitors do not necessarily reflect those of this program or our station. Also, do not substitute opinions about healthcare for consultation with a medical physician. You should consult a physician before you make any changes in your lifestyle or treatments.
   I have made no secret of my diagnosis, in 1994, of multiple sclerosis. The MS hit me in the legs. The numbness has abated over the years, but always the soles of my feet have been numb.
   When I was diagnosed, I read a lot about MS, its symptoms, how it works, and possible causes. I read articles the authors of which hypothesized mercury causes many of the symptoms of MS and some people have been misdiagnosed with MS. The main source of most people’s exposure, in this country, to mercury is through fillings in teeth. Amalgam is the “silver” compound many dentists, for years, have used for fillings in teeth. Mercury is released on a constant basis, the articles stated, and causes problems with the central nervous system, amongst other systems in the body. I had amalgam fillings in my teeth since about age 14. After I read the articles about mercury amalgam fillings and MS, I asked a dentist about the claims in the articles. He said the theory was nonsense.
   Mercury is highly toxic. Specifically as to amalgam fillings, dentists in Norway, Sweden and Denmark are prohibited from using amalgam for fillings. Dentists in four States are required to provide patients with information about alternatives to amalgam fillings.  The American Dental Association approves the use of amalgam.  The National Multiple Sclerosis Society has denied any link between MS and mercury.
   Last year I had to have a crown replaced. I chose a different dentist than the one with whom I had discussed amalgam fillings. The dentist I went to for replacement of the crown specifically avoids mercury amalgam. I ended up having over half of the fillings in my teeth replaced with non-mercury materials. The dentist, and his assistants, wear gas masks as they extract the old fillings.
   This morning I got up, as usual, and went into the kitchen to feed the cats and fix hot water for my one cup of coffee—decaf—to start the day. I realized I had feeling both of my feet. There only is a residual tingling, instead of numbness.
   My experience is anecdotal.  As a lawyer, I must advise people to CONSULT A PHYSICIAN BEFORE YOU MAKE ANY HEALTHCARE DECISIONS. That same advisory goes for any of the folks from holistic health we shall have on The Show this weekend.    
   This is the second year we have been privileged to cover the festival. As I wrote on Monday, I simultaneously am skeptical of and welcome to approaches to reality and healing arts outside the dominant paradigm for such matters in our society. This contradictory attitude reflects splits of other types inherent in human thought and existence.  
   I stand by my blog from yesterday. I want to add a couple of points:
1) I noted there were 30,000 gun deaths in the United States in 2010. When, later in the blog, I said there were 30,000 per day, that obviously was a typo.
2) One response was to the effect that the United States continues to process visas from Western Africa, and therefore my point about racism is only a canard. Whether the United States continues to process visas has little to do with the ways in which we addressed genocide when it occurred in the (white) Balkans but ignored it when it occurred on a larger scale in (black) Rwanda; or how Ebola simply was a matter for novelists, graduate students, overseas health volunteers, and Hollywood—until someone in this country contracted the disease.
3) I never wrote Republicans were solely to blame for cuts in the budgets to CDC and NIH. I specifically wrote both political the “blame goes to members of both parties in Congress.” We should cut spending to the military because we only are made the cops of the World, at the expense of our infrastructure.
4) Some of the responses (Jeff, Bill) were civil. While I disagree with their positions, the raison d’etre (reason to be; I had to use the French I learned from Ms. Inman in high school) is civil discourse—now. However, when someone responds by calling others liars, the civility is lacking.
   I stand by what I wrote yesterday, except for the one—obvious—typo. 

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