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Welcome back, you clinking clanking clattering collections of caliginous junk! It's time once more for the Snake Oil Bulletin! We had a long break over the holidays, which was perfect for refilling our woo tanks with all the latest and greatest in stuff, nonsense, and actual murderous insanity. Let's waste no time in the new year and settle in for some new-fangled horse pucky.

Child haters now offering "natural alternatives" for EpiPens

Imagine for a minute, dear reader, that you are the organizer of your fair city's First Annual Lobster Clambake and Live Beekeeping Jamboree, when suddenly a report comes in of a poor child blowing up like a balloon. "Quick, someone give her an EpiPen!" you'd no doubt yell, only to be stopped by the girl's mother. "Excuse me?" she'd condescend, "My little Kayleighnne doesn't want any nasty chemicals in her body?" And then the child would die. The end.

It sounds fanciful, but there really is a market out there for "natural" alternatives to the EpiPen, a device designed specifically to KEEP A HUMAN BEING FROM DYING. An EpiPen administers a quick dose of epinephrine (adrenaline) as an immediate treatment for anaphylaxis, a life-threatening allergic reaction that can kill within seconds if left untreated. An EpiPen is not pretty, and recovering from one is a bitch, but the alternative is death by suffocation. A rough day in recovery > death. Just saying.

Yet don't let that little fact stop the woo merchants, because these herbs ain't gonna hawk themselves. Over the Christmas break, the fine folks at Science Blogs discovered an article published at the serious-sounding website The Gazette Review by one Adam Trent entitled "Natural Alternatives to Epipen?" We like the Fox News skeptical question mark; if anyone calls Trent on needlessly putting people's lives at risk he can respond that he's just JAQing off.

Apparently somebody works editor shift at the Gazette because they've since removed the article, but you can check out Trent's other articles here, and they seem to run a very familiar pattern of "natural alternatives to _____," and what a coincidence that they all recommend the same set of herbs and essential oils! Thankfully, ScienceBlogger Orac captured choice quotes from the insanity of "Natural Alternatives to EpiPen?" so we can all sit back and mock Trent to our hearts' content.

The fact that Trent doesn't seem to know what an EpiPen even looks like should be our first tip that this is a doozy, but Trent begins his non-medical not-advice by pointing out that EpiPens hurt, you guys:

Effective as it may be, epipen is not without any risk when used. The injector can cause complications to the vein where it was injected, not to mention the chance of triggering symptoms like chest pain, headache, and irregular heartbeat. Epipen also does not prevent future anaphylaxis attacks.

Yeah, no. Don't put your EpiPen in your vein. Ever. In fact, the box explicitly says (paraphrased) "YO, DUMBASS, DON'T PUT THIS IN YOUR VEIN." And yes, recovering from an instant does of adrenaline does suck. The drug is constricting all your blood vessels at once so your airways will loosen up and not kill you. The side effects are a quickened heart rate and rapidly increased blood pressure. That is a GOOD THING.

But what of Trent's most ludicrous assertion an epipen can't save you from a future anaphylactic attack. Yeah, NO SHIT. That's like asserting that defibrillators are bad because they won't prevent future heart attacks. Maybe the question of future allergic reactions isn't really a factor when the person is dying RIGHT NOW.

So what does Trent recommend as an alternative to a life-saving dose of epinephrine? A neti pot. A fucking neti pot.

A neti pot is a rinky dink little tea kettle that you shove up your nose so it can squirt saltwater up your nostrils. It's mostly used to clear out your nasal passages so you can breathe easier when you're sick, but it is not a life-saving medical device, and in fact overuse of the thing can increase your risk of infection because it weakens your body's natural mucous production. Trent's other suggestions are quick inhalations of essential oils like eucalyptus, lavender, and lemon, which Science Blogs helpfully points out are all plants to which many people are already allergic. If your throat is already swollen shut from anaphylaxis, a quick sniff of something that makes your throat swell up even more is not going to help. This isn't homeopathy.

Why on earth is Trent recommending these horrible alternatives? Well, it seems to be his thing. A quick scroll through his article selection at the Gazette Review shows that he's basically a street vendor for all manner of essential nonsense. Other articles under Trent's belt include:

  • Natural Alternatives to Enbrel
  • Natural Alternatives to Febreeze
  • Natural Alternatives to Estrogen (spoiler: Trent asserts the nebulously legitimate belief that soy can help reduce menopause symptoms because it provides an alternative to estrogen. Also note that this same belief is what led World Net Daily conclude that eating soy makes you gay. So there's that.)
  • Natural Alternatives to Ensure
  • Best Cyber Monday 2015 Gun Deals and Firearm Specials

What an illustrious writing career, and we say that as someone who writes about naked Mormon brojob retreats for a living. We get that it's tough making a living as a content writer, but maaaaaaaybe don't write a thing that will lead people to die, because that would make you an accessory to the death and all the essential oils in the world won't get you off. Stick that in your neti pot and sniff it.

Sandy Hook parent Lenny Pozner is your new hero

It's always satisfying when bad things happen to awful people, and who can be more awful than a grown adult who tarnishes the memory of dead children?

Meet James Tracy, an associate professor of Communications and Multimedia Studies at Florida Atlantic University. For years, Tracy has run a blog arguing that the Sandy Hook shootings and just about every other mass shooting (including Paris and San Bernadino) were staged. He has referred to Sandy Hook as a "drill" put on by FEMA to scare people, and that all the grieving families of those dead children were crisis actors hired by the government to keep up the facade. Not only was Tracy a particularly scummy human being, but he decided to up his reputation as a real warrior of truth by openly harassing the parents of the dead children at Sandy Hook. Scumbag, right?

Great news! After a blistering editorial taken out by two such parents, Lenny and Veronique Pozner, Tracy was fired from Florida Atlantic University. For months, Tracy had been personally attacking the Pozners, accusing them of lying to the media and claiming that their son, Noah, who was killed at Sandy Hook, wasn't even real. He claimed evidence that Noah's death certificate was a forgery, and ordered his followers to harass the Pozners for "profiting" millions from the death of their kid. Tracy contended that the Pozners had duped people into sympathizing with them (why on earth would people sympathize with the parents of a six-year-old massacre victim we wonder?), and demanded the Pozners surrender personal family photos to prove to his screeching howler monkeys that Noah was real.

Lenny Pozner, for his part, is a veritable superhero. Since the massacre, Pozner has faced a maelstrom of harassment from Sandy Hook deniers, and has made it his mission in life to stop them. The Trace writer Mike Spies has authored a truly stunning article on Mr. Pozner's work that you should all read in its entirety because we are not exaggerating when we say his story is incredible.

For years, Pozner thought that if he shared personal documents such as Noah's birth certificate and report cards that the deniers would leave him and his family alone to grieve. Mr. Pozner's faith in humanity is far greater than our own, though, because naturally it did not stop the attacks. Pozner even tried to meet with several of the most prominent deniers to try and make them see the human face of their harassment. One of them replied that she would meet with him only if he exhumed the body of his dead son.

Pozner founded the HONR Network, a memorial to the victims of the Sandy Hook shooting and a community dedicated to stopping attacks by the deniers. Pozner has been personally responsible for shutting down some of the more prominent Sandy Hook denialist websites, claiming that fighting for his son's honor has been his salvation: “This became my catharsis, my path to healing...It was how I was getting the pain out of me.”

That catharsis led to the outing of human dick cheese Jim Tracy and his subsequent firing from his job. Florida Atlantic's side is that for three years now Tracy has refused to properly file his paperwork detailing all his extracurricular jobs. Apparently Tracy was trying to cover up the fact that he ran a weekly radio show and blog, both of which claimed the Boston Marathon bombing and Paris shootings were fakes. Because FEMA operates in Paris now apparently?

If you get a chance, read all the trials and tribulations of Lenny Pozner, a hero father if ever there was one, and celebrate the firing of certified assblister James Tracy! Hurray!

Flotsam, Jetsam, and Hokum

  • Speaking of professorin', a brave Christian college has taken the brave step of firing one of their professors for being too nice toward her Muslim neighbors. Thank Gawd that kind of crap ain't in the Bibble or nuthin'.
  • Poor Chipotle. It seems going "GMO-free" doesn't mean all your food is magically disease free. Now the gubmint has had to step in because poop is literally everywhere.
  • Are you looking for the perfect milky white COMPLETELY HETEROSEXUAL Christian type person to stick good clean Christian babbies inside your hot pocket? Have we got the dating site for you!
  • What a surprise that a fuckfaced weasel rapist would raise up another fuckfaced weasel rapist.
  • Come read about the time Donald Trump literally actually withdrew medical care from his dying nephew because he was mad at the kid's dad.

[Science Blogs / Gazette Review / EpiPen.com / World Net Daily / WebMD / Miami Herald / NYT / The Trace / The HONR Network]

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