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Holistic Spain Network will be launched on 26 July 2011

July 18, 2011

Only a week to go until the launch of my holistic network, at HolisticSpain.net.
Holistic Spain is a network of holistic resources – including therapists, teachers, training programs, health-orientated holidays and retreats, hotels and so on – covering the whole of Spain. We will also be offering a free information and referral service. Launch date is 26 July 2011. Please visit the site for further information.

Press Release

Solo queda una semana para el lanzamiento de mi red holística en at HolisticSpain.net.
Holistic Spain es una red de recursos holísticos que incluye, entre otros, a terapeutas, profesores, programas de formación, retiros y vacaciones orientadas a la salud y hoteles en toda España. También ofreceremos un servicio gratuito de información y referencias. La fecha de lanzamiento es el 26 de julio de 2011. Visite el sitio web para obtener más información.

NOTA DE PRENSA

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Pasties and Hot Sauce

June 29, 2011


“World’s oldest woman enjoyed pasties with hot sauce”
was one of the headlines on the BBC website this week.

Apparently a Brazilian woman thought to have been the world’s oldest person has died at the age of 114.

“Reports” like this really annoy me.

Are we supposed to infer that pasties with hot sauce is the recipe for great longevity?

Maybe this old lady – well, dead lady, to be more precise – only started eating pasties with hot sauce a month ago, and that’s what killed her.

Maybe if the reporter who submitted this article had taken the trouble to question members of the woman’s family they’d have told him or her: “She was doing fine until she started eating those damned pasties with hot sauce.”

We just don’t know.

It’s like those non-meat eaters who delight in telling you that GB Shaw was a vegetarian, and he lived to the age of 94 (after which, ironically, he became dead meat himself).

Adolf Hitler was a vegetarian too, but they never mention him.

Incidentally, Shaw’s father had a bad squint (is there such a thing as a good squint?) which Oscar Wilde’s father, who was a renowned Dublin surgeon at the time, tried – without success – to correct. So Shaw the elder died with his squint intact. For all we know his family had it framed and mounted.

Anyway, to get back to the point I was making, Shaw was a veggie and he lived to be 94. It’s hardly scientific proof of anything, is it? George Burns smoked fifteen cigars every day for most of his adult life, and he lived to be 100. Are we to conclude that smoking cigars is marginally better for one’s health than living on lettuce?

Turtles are herbivores, and they live twice as long as humans. But are they herbivores by choice, you have to wonder, or because they can’t move fast enough to catch anything tasty? They’re not exactly designed to be effective predators. It’s hard to imagine a turtle sneaking up on a gazelle at a watering hole and lunging for its throat. By the time a turtle crept up on any animal it would already have died of old age.

Unless it was a parrot, of course. Some species of parrot can live up to 100 years. But parrots, like most humans, are omnivores, so their longevity can’t be attributed to not eating meat. On the other hand they don’t smoke cigars, so where does that leave us?

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Cholera kills 300 in Haiti. So where’s the vaccine?

October 27, 2010

The cholera epidemic in Haiti continues to spread. So far, over 3,000 cases have been reported, and almost 300 people have died from the disease.

Health officials say they have stepped up disease prevention measures and are “racing against time”, with medics “administering intravenous drips to patients” etc.

So what’s wrong with this picture?

Just this: While the health authorities are supposedly “doing everything possible” to fight this outbreak, there has been no mention at all of what would appear to be the most obvious and simple solution: make the cholera vaccine available to those most at risk.

There are several cholera vaccines, including Dukoral (which can be taken orally).

So why hasn’t the vaccine been made available? Why allow all these people to die if there is a vaccine that can give them instant immunity from the disease?

The vaccine isn’t being made available for the same reason vaccinations are never made available during the early stages of epidemics: they don’t work, and it would quickly become apparent that they don’t work, because the number of cases would continue to rise.

No vaccination program has ever stopped a viral or bacterial epidemic in its tracks (cholera is caused by a bacterium), and the cholera vaccine is no exception.

So here we see yet another epidemic running its deadly course and causing hundreds of deaths while the purported antidote isn’t being made available. We recently saw the same thing with the swine flu vaccine, whose distribution was mysteriously delayed until the disease had already lost its potency.

What is the vaccine supposed to be for, if not to prevent the disease from spreading? What’s the point of spending billions of dollars researching and developing vaccines if they are not going to be used when they are most needed? When hundreds of people are dying from the disease that the vaccination is supposedly able to prevent?

The health authorities know perfectly well that vaccination doesn’t work, and would have no effect on the course of this outbreak. As always, the vaccine will be made available (if at all) when the disease has run its natural course and people are no longer dying from it. Then the health authorities will point to the disappearance of the disease as evidence of the effectiveness of vaccination – as they have with every other infectious disease.

The risk of a cholera outbreak in Haiti has been known for some time, following the earthquake. Back in January Pier Luigi Testa, emergency co-ordinator for Medecins Sans Frontieres (Doctors Without Borders), warned that an outbreak of cholera was to be expected. The authorities had more than enough time to organise a mass vaccination program. In fact this could have been done in just a few days, given that the vaccine can be administered orally, in a drink or on a sugar cube, making it far easier to distribute and administer than vaccines which have to be injected by trained medical personnel.

If the cholera vaccine works, as the manufacturers claim, why hasn’t it been made available to the people of Haiti, or at least to those who are most at risk of contracting this wretched disease?

Update 20 November

It is over a month since the start of the cholera epidemic in Haiti, and the death toll has now reached 1,200 – and still there is no mention of the vaccine. Why not, if, as we are told, it gives protection against the disease? If the vaccine works, why were these people allowed to die?
According to the BBC website today, the outbreak has now spread to Haiti’s largest jail, the national prison in Port-au-Prince, which houses around 2,000 prisoners. Thirty prisoners are infected with the disease, and thirteen have already died. This is a relatively small, isolated group of people. It would take less than a day to vaccinate all the prisoners (the cholera vaccination can be administered orally). Why hasn’t this happened?
The disease has also now spread into neighbouring Dominican Republic.
Again, the medical authorities – including the World Health Organization and the US Center for Disease Control – have endorsed the cholera vaccine, as, of course, have the various companies that manufacture it.
The truth is, vaccines are only ever made available when there is no immediate threat from the disease against which they are supposed to offer protection. They are never made available when they would supposedly save hundreds or thousands of lives – ie, while epidemics are ongoing. That’s because they don’t work; and the fact that they don’t work would be apparent if vaccinated populations continued to become infected.

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Iran’s barbaric treatment of women

July 10, 2010

Sakineh Ashtiani

Sakineh Ashtiani

Mother of two Sakineh Ashtiani was convicted of adultery (she insists that she was tortured into making a confession) and sentenced to death by stoning. She has already been in prison for 4 years and has been subjected to physical punishment (flogging).

Yesterday, in the face of mounting international condemnation, the Iranian government “commuted” Sakineh’s sentence from death by stoning to death by hanging.

Iran has now imposed a media blackout on reporting of the case, but the death sentence is believed to be “imminent”.

You can help save this woman’s life by emailing the Iranian public relations office at:

Info@Ad.gov.ir

and letting them know how you feel about their barbaric laws and their reprehensible treatment of women.

And/or by signing this petition:

http://www.petitiononline.com/Ashtiani/petition-sign.html

If you are on facebook, go to:

http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Save-Sakineh-Mohammadi-Ashtiani-from-being-Stoned-to-Death-in-Iran/123908540984923?ref=search

You can find out more about this case at:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/10565103.stm

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The social network spy

July 3, 2010

Anna Chapman - Spymistress?

Anna Chapman, one of ten people accused of being part of a Russian spy ring, is being portrayed in the media as a kind of “Mata Hari” figure; a glamorous femme fatale who used her “womanly charms” to insinuate her way into the lives and the homes (and, it is insinuated in the media, the beds) of rich and influential members of American and British high society.

I was particularly interested in her because, like me, she ran – and, as far as I can see, continues to run – a successful real estate portal. Her website – which markets Russian property – is at: www.domdot.ru

I wondered if she had a facebook page (doesn’t everyone, these days?), and, sure enough, it only took me a minute to find her profile here.

Chapman gives her favourite quotation as “Trust no one”, while her “Likes and Interests” are listed as: “Corrections officer, Federal Bureau of Investigation”.
Under “Books” she has “Agatha Christie Novels”, and under “Movies” she’s written “Spy Games”.
For “University” she’s written “Jail”.

Quite the wit for a person in her predicament, facing, we are told, the possibility of life in prison. You’d think she’d be too busy getting water-boarded by the CIA and rehearsing her story with her defense lawyers to take the time to add jokey comments to her facebook page.

Could it be because she knows perfectly well that she isn’t going to spend more than a wet day in jail and is looking forward to a stellar career as a highly-paid TV talk-show guest (or even host)? I’ll give you odds of 100-1 that this savvy spy will be back in Moscow in time for Christmas, where she will be feted as a heroine and a sex symbol.

But hold the fone, Joe! Isn’t Chapman charged with being a dangerous spy? An enemy of the state? In which case how come she’s still at liberty to access the Internet to update her social network profile? Not to mention run a business in Russia? Surely she could be sending all kinds of information and secret messages to all kinds of people in the Kremlin?

Given the high level of security that has prevailed in the US in recent years – in which people have been locked up in solitary confinement just for “looking foreign” or taking part in peaceful public protests – isn’t it a bit odd that Ms. Chapman – or, to use her real name, Anya Kuschenko – is being allowed so much freedom of movement?

And why doesn’t the US president have anything to say about this whole business? So far he has made no comment other than to express the hope that the uproar would not damage the friendship and trust that has developed between the US and Russia.

Friendship and trust, eh?

If Obama bends any further backwards to appease Vladimir Putin, he’ll qualify for an entry in the Guinness Book of Records in the Limbo Dancing category.

It seems to me that there’s something decidedly fishy going on when the FBI catches a network of Russian spies operating in the United States, and it is the Russian president who expresses his outrage!

The (commie?) plot thickens…

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The Internet sure does bring out the best in people!

July 3, 2010

Who knew, before the Internet arrived, that there were so many generous and helpful people in the world?
Just today I received an email from a girl called Natalia, who lives in Russia, asking if she could be my special friend and “tend to all my needs”. Wow! (I hope that means she’s going to clean my kitchen!) And she doesn’t even know how great I am. Apparently she’s arriving next week, and she wants to meet me. I can’t wait!
Not ten minutes later I received an email notifying me that I have won a UN cash grant for €20m. Holy Moley! What a stroke of luck! Though now that I think of it, my horoscope did say that I was in for an unexpected windfall – but I never expected anything like this.
I thought that would be the end of my run of luck, but the good news and offers of help kept coming.
A guy in Canada heard about my erectile dysfunction problem (hah!) and wants to send me some free Viagra samples. I’m going to have to decline, obviously; but, still, wasn’t that thoughtful of him?
And as if that wasn’t enough, a couple of hours later I received an email from the lawyer of a woman in Kentucky who has died and left me her 5 billion dollar estate. All I have to do is give this guy my bank details and I’ll be able to pick up the cash next week! (Reminder to myself: ring a truck hire company tomorrow and arrange for them to make a pickup from my bank.)
Oh, and the ex wife of the Sultan of Oman needs my help to transfer 10 million dollars out of the country. In return for my help, she’s prepared to give me 10% of the money. (Hmm… That’s only a measly million. I think I might pass on that one…)
On top of all this incredible good fortune, it would appear that I have now just won the Internet lotto. Yes! Can you believe it!? I don’t remember buying a ticket, but I guess I must have if I’ve won!
Oh, happy days.
The only thing that’s worrying me is – will there be enough room in my house to store all that cash?
Heck, maybe I can talk Natalia into holding onto some of it for me, for safekeeping…

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Where did global warming go?

January 20, 2010

According to a report on the BBC website today:

Climate body admits glacier error
A top UN panel gave the wrong date for Himalayan glacier melt, but says it does not change the picture of man-made climate change.

Wasn’t the original claim that these glaciers were melting as a result of global warming? “Climate change” is a different animal altogether, and can include a whole range of factors (radioactive particles in the air, deforestation, oceanic pollution etc.) that have nothing at all to do with the global temperature rising as a result of human-produced CO2 emissions.

In recent months, the term “global warming” seems to have fallen into disuse by most MMGW adherents – and by the media – and the much more ambiguous term “climate change” is increasingly being used instead.

“Climate change”, of course, covers just about every contingency. If the earth warms up, that would be climate change. If a new ice age arrives, that would be climate change too.

As the climate has been changing periodically since the beginning of the earth’s history, it’s a pretty safe bet that it will continue to change in the future. Predicting “climate change” is a bit like backing every horse in a race.

So what happened to global warming? Does the abandonment of this term by MMGW adherents signal a private acceptance on their part that the much-heralded warming might not actually happen? After a decade in which global temperatures have gone steadily down and global ice is still at normal levels; and particularly after one of the coldest winters on record – not to mention the revelation that senior members of the IPCC manipulated data and resorted to blackmail and threats to prevent MMGW sceptics from publishing their views – claims of an impending rise in the temperature are beginning to strain people’s credibility.

Perhaps it’s my imagination, but it looks to me as if the goalposts in this game are on the move, and that pretty soon they’ll be telling us that “it’s not just warming that’s the problem”, and accusing sceptics of putting too much emphasis on “one particular aspect of climate change”.