Episode 196 – The One Where We Peel Back The Layers Of Crazy

In This Week’s Show, episode 196, Jenn comes back to help us stem the tide of bad people, bad medical advice, and bad hosting!

Now, grab a beer and help us test the god hypothesis — because, while Hairy Jack (the spectral black dog of Lincolnshire) hasn’t struck us down yet, we are trying his patience!

Shea’s Life Lesson

Today I learned that according to Japanese legend when you can’t sleep at night it’s because you are awake.

Jenn’s Actual Lesson

Did you know that Hairy Jack (AKA Black Shuck), has been sited dating back to 1577? He’s about the size of a calf, with a shaggy fur, and has saucer-shaped eyes that blaze red or green in the dark. Others say he appears as a gigantic dog with a single blazing eye in the center of his forehead, and others as completely headless.

But before we- get to all that, let’s have a beer!

This Week’s Beer

Oval Beach Blonde Ale | Saugatuck Brewing Company, Michigan

Special extra beer extra thanks to Steve E!

  • BA Link: http://bit.ly/2vRDtvj
  • BA Rating: 3.43/5
  • Style: American Blonde Ale
  • ABV: 5.0%
  • Aaron: 9
  • Jenn: 9
  • Shea: 9
  • Steve: 10

This Week’s Show

Round Table Discussion

No new iTunes review or Patrons

Send us some voicemails for the 200th episode, that would be pretty cool!

Jenn’s correction corner from last week’s episode: Steve: yes, I was contagious, Shea: yes, I do listen to all the shows, even when I’m not on, and Aaron…it was really nice that you attempted to give credit (complete with song) to our listener, but her name isn’t Maurice. Thanks, Maria, for sharing the story and having a good sense of humor.

… And that’s why Jenn can never leave the show!

Hot Shots

Aaron

He mostly came out at night anyway, mostly…
Links… the fucking internet right now, I dunno, I saw a million headlines but really didn’t read them, what do you want from me?

In a move that shocked the internet — only insofar as it’s finally happening, that is — tech giants Apple, YouTube, Facebook, Spotify, and basically everywhere else sexier people are subscribed to us… less sexy people will no longer be able to subscribe to Alex Jones. Taking to the internet earlier this week Jones posted angrily about the internet was censoring him and his First Amendment rights, probably, and the Deep State almost certainly… What? I’m not actually gonna read the garbled mess of could-have-been thoughts he scrawled on the margins of the internet like so much cyber-shit! Life’s too short. Some have heralded the banning as the beginnings of a slippery slope. A slope that ends in private companies removing disinformation and anti-fact filth because it makes them look bad and us stupider… In related news apparently Slip n Slides aren’t fun but are, in fact, facioust (of course, now I can’t fix this because they called it out on the show). control devices of our secular-but-also-Jewish, socialist-but-also-communist, lizards-but-also-5th-dimensional-energy-beings, ancient-but-also-super-advanced, clandestine-illuminate-public-figures. Who knew?

Steve – You may have noticed that Jenn posted a story on our Facebook page about a jackass harassing a bison in Yellowstone this last week. Said jackass is one, 55-year-old Raymond Reinke of Pendleton, Oregon who, in a stunning display of stupidity, got arrested twice and cited in three national parks inside a week. Beginning July 28 at Grand Teton NP, he was cited for being drunk and disorderly and spent the night in the Teton County jail and released on a $500 bond that required him to avoid alcohol. Then, continuing his antics, he proceeded to Yellowstone NP, where on July 31 he was cited for not wearing a seat belt (what a fucking idiot), and where it was noted that he appeared drunk (rangers there were unaware of the bond). Then in the pièce de résistance, he was caught on video risking his stupid life harassing a Bison for which a warrant was issued for his arrest. Finally, on Aug. 2, he was finally caught while arguing with another guest at the Glacier Hotel in Glacier NP. As of recording, this fine example of American dipshitery is in jail awaiting a second court appearance for a variety of mostly alcohol-related charges. bit.ly/2ns7MF6

Aaron
Ok… but how do I install an App on a horse?
bit.ly/2nqV35F

In Colon, Michigan there’s a new taxi service clomping about! Timothy Hochstedler has founded a fantastic new company like Uber — for the Amish!

“Uber is a cool thing, every single year something new comes in and Uber is hot right now so we have the Amish Uber we can deliver people to their front door steps,” said Hochstedler.

Jokes aside, apparently business has been good with at least two testimonials in the article, one of which contains a person her is neither Amish, nor 300 years old! So if you find yourself his neck of the woods get am Amish Uber… by flagging him down without a cellphone… like with your hands… and maybe a whistle like they do on tv… no, not tv… mostly just waving… so, you know, really not like Uber at all… That said, go this guy. Job creator!… horses…

Steve – I was really tempted to do the story here about the Oklahoma man who was arrested after bystanders shot video of him fucking a pony while on the clock for the utility company where he worked, but instead, since we’re ostensibly an Air Quotes “Atheist/Skeptical” show; I’ve decided to go with how since April, churches in Kentucky are no longer exempt from paying sales taxes. This requirement says that sales taxes now apply to ticket sales and money-making events and fundraisers regardless of whether or not the price is designated as a charitable donation. Neither non-profit organisations nor churches are exempt. This all comes about as the result of a Kentucky supreme court decision in March that said churches are exempt only from property tax, not sales or use tax. So, as a result, we have here one more small advance in the equal treatment of churches in relation to other entities even if it is only in one small way in one state. Let’s hope other states follow suit. www.lexology.com/library/detail.aspx?g=15362330-524c-4d29-be29-ecf7241d0f93

Aaron
This is why I don’t eat spicy food… or spicy-tangential food…
bit.ly/2npRqg4

In Austin Texas, where everything is weird — including the explosions, firefighters battled a fiesta bowl of blazes — two in the same week!

At the same place.
Because of the same exploding tortilla chips.

It would seem the chips had “spontaneously combusted”, which is fun as one doesn’t typically expect impromptu, violent exothermic, surprises in one’s bag of chips. Shitty lead-based superhero figure, yeah ok, exploding, naw. According to the Austin Fire Department, the first fire broke out last Thursday after factory workers tried “a new way to handle the waste from the chips that, suffice it to say, didn’t work out so well.” A few days after the initial fire was extinguished a second erupted. Fearing more fugao-flavored chips the AFD dipped the remaining boxes in… like a lake or something, it doesn’t say…

Nachos!

Steve – Remember the story from 2012 about the US Border Patrol agent who shot a Mexican teenager through a border fence? Agent Lonnie Swartz was acquitted of 2nd-degree murder of 16-year-old Antonio Rodríguez, but now is facing a retrial in October on lesser charges of voluntary and involuntary manslaughter (a mistrial was declared after the Arizona Jury acquitted Swartz). Just for the record, this piece of shit fired between 14 and 30 bullets through a border fence into Mexico and hit his victim 10 times in the back and head and he was acquitted of 2nd-degree murder. Fuck. Well, now the ninth US circuit court of appeals has ruled that the family of the dead boy can sue the fucker. Swartz’ lawyers had argued that he was immune from the civil lawsuit since the victim was on the other side of the border, but the court disagreed saying that there is a compelling interest in regulating the conduct of government agents while standing on US soil. “Without warning or provocation, Swartz shot [Rodríguez] dead,” the judges stated in their opinion. They also said Rodríguez “was not committing a crime. He did not otherwise pose a threat to Swartz or anyone else. He was just walking down a street in Mexico.” Booyah Motherfucker! I hope you lose your ass in the civil suit and spend the rest of your miserable life eating bugs in the dirt.

This Week’s Stories

Patreon Story – Available now at http://patreon.com/w4w!
bit.ly/2npRr3C

I was watching Chopped the other day, as I am wont to do, and while the contestants described their intentions for the 10 grand, one stuck out. Chef ICan’tRemember has a daughter with cerebral palsy – which fucking sucks for sure – and her plan for the money was another in what it seemed had been a long line of stem cell therapies. This time she was to travel internationally as the services she sought are illegal in the U.S.

Now, obviously I’m going to get into the cellular bits, but before I do, the aforementioned story prompted my looking into this and while the “therapies” discussed are almost entirely pseudoscience I think we can forgive Chef McGee for latching onto anything that promises help. That kind of desperation is entirely understandable… and, unfortunately, it’s also easily exploitable…

Onward!

The San Francisco Chronicle published an article called “Merchants of hope,” apparently misunderstanding what “Merchants”, “hope”, and maybe even “of” means…

So there’s this surgeon, Dr. Berman, who got rich inflating boobies and tucking faces, he even invented a newer form of breast implants he regards as his own “person Sistine Chapel”. Yeah. Although, according to the article following his work they are safer, and better, and bouncier… ok, maybe I added the last one.

Anyway, now he sells stem cells by the seashore now. The expensive kind too, one session can range from 2 to 20 grand, often with multiple treatments recommended! Apparently, in doing so he’s become the nearly universal focal point of stem cell… let’s call it treatments. Of course, the current scientific consensus is that there is “little or no scientific proof that they work,” but hey, when you’ve got a bucket of stem cells, every nail is Christopher Reeve’s I guess…

So this guy has built the largest chain of stem cell clinics in the country, second only to McD-NA with locations in 33 states, including 38 clinics in California alone offering services purporting to cure everything from age-related knee pain to MS. Because why not.

Then the big bad FDA sent him a “pics or GTFO” notice. That’s a legal term!

See, the FDA has this thing it likes to see in medical interventions called results. And because of this egregious need to conform to reality, they “targeted” – SF’s terminology, not mine – the clinics. The, again credit where credit is due, “renegade” clinics as SF describes them “operate with little legitimacy and oversight” on the wooing edge of legitimate science.

Stem cells are undifferentiated cells. Which is to say, very simplistically, they can become cells similar to whatever they are surrounded by. Theoretically allowing therapies to regenerate hearts, brains, bones, skin, etc, perhaps providing cures for injury, or as we saw in Jupiter Ascending, curing people of the aging process.. and Mila Kunis of the serious part of her career.

The options for stem cell therapy really is limited only by the imagination… and reality.

But realities pesky persistence hasn’t slowed people’s interest in stem cells. For example, Cali voters approved some $3 billions to stem cell research in 2004. To be clear, stem cells do present incredible opportunities for research and medical advancement. But the former takes too long, so let’s pick back up with the latter!

Tapping into popularity and popular misconceptions consumer stem cell clinics have a seemingly endless supply of fanatical clients willing to slather the umbilical-ambrosia on themselves and their loved ones. Of course, none of those cells are FDA approved, nor are they backed by laboratory science, animal studies, or rigorous human testing. In fact, the stem cells offered by clinics are mostly autologous (au·tol·o·gous) adult stem cells — meaning they come from a patient’s own body making them cheaper to harvest and less controversial to work with — while lab settings seem to prefer umbilical or fetal tissue. So… you know… apples vs. crabby nap-time apples.

So, the misconception, embryonic stem cells along with laboratory-generated induced-pluripotent stem cells, can turn into every other kind of cell and regenerate themselves endlessly. Adult stem cells can turn only into certain types of cells and will eventually stop replicating.

People in desperate need of the kind of medical help we just don’t have available yet instead turn to the “merchants of hope”

Stem cell clinics have no registry, no licensing authority at any level, and no real oversight – even communal or in-industry best standards. It’s the cellular wild west out there what whatever glop sticks to the wall… or your spine is good enough. That said, these clinics are thriving – in 2008 you couldn’t find one online even, referral only, in 2016 a cursory Google returned some 570 locations offering all the services. These results are available in a paper published in the journal Cell Stem Cell, by the department of redundancy department. Current estimates are around 700 active clinics in America having treated some 20,000 people with experimental, unproven, bio-hackery horseshit…

If you’re not Richie Rich you might take to Chopped or as many times many more people have done, crowdsource that shit. Sites like GoFundMe are flooded with heart-wrenching stories of chronic illnesses, diseases and good old fashion pleas for any help staving off old age or the reaper for just a little longer…

Remember that 3 billion in Cali? It funded this thing called the California Institute of Regenerative Medicine (Cali prop 71, 2004) to fund and really dig into stem cell research. Since then CIRM officials have raised more concerns than hopes. With cases of consumer stem cells blinding people, causing spontaneous tumor growth, and hopefully not in the case of our Chef, overseas services have been known to just straight up kill people.

“Some of these places, they’re very much just focused on the profit. Some of them are just rebels. But some of them, do they genuinely believe in stem cell magic?” said Knoepfler, a professor of cell biology and human anatomy at UC Davis. Whatever motivates them, it hardly matters, he continues, “patients need to approach all of them with skepticism. I get it. It’s hard to be patient. I understand if you’re miserable if you’re partially paralyzed or have debilitating arthritis or you’ve had COPD for 20 years and you’re looking for a game-changer. But if something sounds too good to be true, it probably is.”

For-profit centers claim all manner of things from stem cells ability to rebuild rods and cones in your eyes (that’s the bit that blinds you), to rebuilding nerves damaged by Multiple Sclerosis (the bit that can become tumors), even improve or repair the immune system and genetic disorders (the bit that kills you). Of course, all these claims, if there is any evidence for them, is entirely based on studies of cells in Petri dishes. Evidence of human benefits are almost always anecdotal and, per experts in actual stem cell research, years if not decades away.

To critics, Berman said he’s tired of hearing that “We’re a bunch of quacks and scallywags … we’re charlatans and taking advantage of people. “That’s ridiculous,” he said. “Why would I be doing this unless it was incredibly successful?”

Well, one answer springs to mind – 20k per session, multiple sessions, and new Dr.’s in your network pay licensing, membership, and recurring operational fees, never mind the 30k stem cell machine they’re required to buy called the “Time Machine” because of stem cells reported ability to literally make you younger like an episode of fucking Futurama (specifically, where the sound bite at the end of this segment is from).

“The idea that it’s this magic cure is greatly exaggerated,” David Spiegel, a Stanford psychiatrist said. “At the moment, most of it in clinical practice is snake oil. … I don’t have much of a sense of humor about these practitioners and companies that are fleecing people on false hope.”

Though all of this treatment centers have increasingly moved out of the country, to Mexico or the Cayman Islands. Remember the network of doctors I mentioned? Well, they kept a database of patients so they could track people’s recoveries – which, they say, amounts to some 80% of clients. The FDA seized that list and has followed up on its own. They found a very different result and… well the U.S. Marshal’s raided offices last year so… yeah. Turns out some stem cell offices have been blending client’s stem cells with stashes of smallpox vaccine because they claimed to be able to cure cancer, which they can’t, but there have a been a few shit studies that suggest smallpox vaccines help cancer-fighting drugs so… fuck it, why not?

Obviously, there are risks, especially to people with compromised immune systems. Some folks got sick, one person was hospitalized after a brain injection.

So… is any of it real?

Well, recently a Japanese doctor won a Nobel Prize for some progress. Surgical experiments have been done at Stanford, but all the people conducting those studies… you know, the ones who know what they’re talking about… all say that it’s too early to tell and that they need more, like way more, time.

In the meantime, the FDA is coming down on Stem Cell clinics, but they’re still everywhere, presenting burgeoning science as miraculous woo, and abso-fucking-lutely wracking in the cash doing it.

Stem cells certainly may one day provide amazing cures to all manner of ailments… but not today.

So as a bit of an addendum, I am obviously not a doctor, nor am I telling you how to manage your illness. This was a cursory look into some of the woo people have shoveled in our faces as we navigate the chronic-pain seas… yar, and they be trouble waters indeed! Corrections are of course welcome, but let’s try to be civil eh. ~Aaron

Jenn’s Second Half of Misinformation

To the delight of reasonable people and the sign of the end of freedom to his adherents, Alex Jones has found his public platform greatly reduced this week. Facebook, YouTube, Apple, and Spotify have all removed his content.

So to celebrate/mourn the loss of at least some of his schtick, here’s a fun compilation of some of the “most paranoid man in America’s” greatest contributions to Liberty. It’s a little quiz I like to call:

Truth or False Flags? Is this just plain ole bullshit or an actual Alex Jones grade A conspiracy level bullshit?

Now, we all know about claims that several tragedies in the US were faked by the government to…something. Take away our guns? Bibles? Who knows? The most despicable being his war on the grieving families of Newtown and he was one of the biggest pushers of Pizzagate. So no matter how silly or amusing some of these are, let’s remember he’s a giant, bloviating piece of shit and deserves all the bad things to happen to him.

1.) Bill Gates is a eugenicist dedicated to eradicating minorities.

Truth! Or at least as Jones sees it. Yep, the Gates’ are the heads of the New World Orders’ Eugenics program. Jones asserts the billionaire software developer’s father was a “top eugenicist,” because Bill Gates Sr. served on the board of Planned Parenthood. Jones goes on to says that IBM – for whom he says Gates is just a “front” – was set up as a eugenics trust with “the expressed mission of creating a world-wide race-based system and funded Adolf Hitler.”

2.) Beyonce is a high ranking Satanist and used her performance at the Superbowl to subliminally infect the youth of America with the devil.

False Flag double whammy! Yes, Queen Bey WAS accused of working with Ole Scratch, but it was a video created by the Good Fight Ministries who started this particular gem. But no worries! Alex has his own Superbowl Halftime conspiracy! This time it features Lady Gaga leading the Satanic Rite: “She wears meat suits and does all these rituals… and the organizers of the Super Bowl are deciding to defile America and break our will by having us bow down to this,” Jones said. “They say she’s going to stand on top of the stadium, ruling over everyone with drones everywhere, surveilling everyone in a big swarm. To just condition them to say, ‘I am the goddess of Satan,’ ruling over them with the rise of the robots in a ritual of lesser magic.”

3.) President Obama’s Official White House portrait contains secretly-placed images of sperm cells, including one on his forehead.

False Flag! Although Infowars shared this breaking not-news, it originated from Fox News’ own Sean Hannity. Considering the fact that a gay African American artist is the creator of the portrait (Kehinde Wiley), this may actually be a rather tame response from the insane homophobes.

Evidence of #SpermGate (an actual hashtag):

4.) Apple used the iPhone 6 to trap users hair to attain their DNA profile.

Oh yeah, totes truthiness. Per Jones and the Info gang, the iPhone 6 and 6+’s includes a DNA reader that will scan your hair follicle and send the information to Apple. That DNA information will then be used to MURDER YOU, or TAKE YOUR GUNS, or SOMETHING SOMETHING TERRIFYING.

5.) Feminists are employing a new tactic to overpower and destroy men: claiming telepathic rape.

Close, but still a Flag. This so far possibly stupidest post was created by InfoWars editor and Jones sycophant Paul Joseph Watson, who was apparently allowed online without supervision. He stumbled upon a site, Medusa Magazine, which spoofs “leftist feminist sites” (I’m assuming mainly Jezebel), and Watson bought this particular snippet 100%: “Without porn to look at, more men will just masturbate to fantasies they create in their mind of women they know in real life. This is even worse than just jacking it to porn. Sex workers are aware that their image will be sexualized and accept that but when a man masturbates to a woman he knows in real life without her consent, that is telepathic rape. It’s sick. It even affects the victim although she may be unaware it lowers her energy.”

Next Week’s Beer

Kiwi Berliner | WeldWerks Brewing Co. Greeley, Co

Papa Shea

  • BA Link: bit.ly/2NOGGDi
  • BA Rating: 3.92/5
  • Style: Berliner Weissbier
  • ABV: 4.3%

Faith In Humanity Restored

Kenyan Woman Saves 15,000 Young Girls From Female Genital Mutilation – bit.ly/2ns7NsE

Nice Nailantei Leng’ete was recently named one of Time’s Most Influential People, and for good reason. The 27-year-old Kenyan has made it her life’s work to help young African girls escape “female cutting,” commonly referred to as female genital mutilation (FGM).

“I escaped by running away,” Leng’ete shared, saying she and her sister hid in a tree when she was 8 until the ceremony was over. And she has now helped over 15,000 others avoid FGM as well.

“FGM, for Maasai, is a rite of passage from girlhood to womanhood. Women are not considered women unless they have gone through FGM,” Leng’ete said, explaining the societal role of female circumcisions. “FGM in my community connects to girls ending their education, with child marriage, and with teenage pregnancies. A girl is 10 or 12 years old when she undergoes FGM. Then she’s told she’s a woman, and that means she’s ready for marriage, and that means she has children. They all go together.”

“I saw pain. I saw death. Since I was 7 years old, I used to attend these ceremonies in my community with girls undergoing FGM. I saw my friends leave school and get married. And I wanted to continue my education.”

That’s just what she did, becoming the first girl in her village to go to high school. Her school uniform inspired other girls in her community, who later sought her help to avoid “the cut.” While she initially hid those seeking help, this made her a wanted woman in the region, leading her to take a different approach.

Bonus Cat Video

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