Thursday, August 20, 2015

Megan Fox, YEC loon

The marvel of modern technology is that an incredibly ignorant person can be "published" and reach an audience of millions. Kim Kardashian West has at least figured how to legally dupe people for massive piles of money without actually harming anyone.

An even worse imbecile named Megan Fox has risen from a well deserved obscurity to become a national laughing stock. Ms. Fox is a young earth creationist (YEC) and home schooler. Her pivotal moment was a YouTube video where she traipsed about the Field Museum of Natural History while dismissing science. She felt qualified to dismiss scientific terms she could not even pronounce. Do watch it, if you must. I initially was laughing, but as the stupidities piled up on mountains of arrogant ignorance, I found I need beer and a short walk.

However, she has allies. They are also exposed in the supporting comments following her Fields Museum diatribe. Perhaps the 1,207,582 views on YouTube are all not just for cheap amusement afforded by a side-show freak. She teaches her home-schooled children YEC frauds. She is proud of being ignorant and infecting her children with ignorance. Her internet notoriety has lead to a new venue: a far-right internet website called PJ Media. I'll totally understand if nobody clicks their ad-bait. I wish I didn't. But, Ms. Fox claims she was "actually threatened" following her YouTube self-humiliation. She just wrote,

I have personally been threatened by people who say they want to call the state and report me for child abuse because I made a video questioning the validity of some of the evolutionists’ claims at the Field Museum in Chicago. These threats are not to be taken lightly, considering that children have been taken from their parents over idiotic circumstances like a homeschooling father who takes a natural supplement that the FDA doesn’t approve of (like every natural health supplement on the market. But don’t worry, it’s not like the FDA said Vioxx was perfectly fine before it killed 60,000 people. Oh wait…).

Those few sentences alone were enough to stun me. (The grammatical, and typographical irregularities alone are stunning. But I am not a grammerological Fascist that windges at grammar stupidnesies. Oh wit ...).

I count 4 significant gross errors of fact, and logic. That is high even for a YEC nitwit.

First of course is why any sane person worries about the comments to a YouTube video. I get emails from YEC loonies with some regularity that threaten me with Hell Fire and Damnation. (Yawn). Then there is the paranoid delusion that Ms. Fox could lose her children by what she later called "government kidnappings" directed against home schooling parents.

But there are still 4 more interesting errors. They are so densely packed that it took hours to trace them all down.

1) Were the children taken into protective custody because their father home schooled, or that he took "a natural supplement that the FDA doesn’t approve of?" Or was there more?

The "home schooling father" referred to Hal and Michelle Stanley of Hot Springs, Arkansas.

Seven of their nine children were living at their home, and were removed to protective custody last January. The Affidavit for the search warrant follows:

The Affidavit clearly states that the concern is that the Stanley children were being purposefully exposed to Sodium Clorite. I'll explain why that is a very bad idea a bit later. There is no mention at all of any objection to Mr. Hal Stanely taking any thing he likes. There is no mention at all about home schooling. So we see that Ms. Fox has lied again. Actually, she lied twice.

2) Does the FDA regulate "natural supplements?"

When a chemical is sold in the US as a dietary supplement, it comes under the 1994 Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act (DSHEA). The linked article has more information, but the key items are;

"Under DSHEA, a firm is responsible for determining that the dietary supplements it manufactures or distributes are safe and that any representations or claims made about them are substantiated by adequate evidence to show that they are not false or misleading. This means that dietary supplements do not need approval from FDA before they are marketed."

... a firm does not have to provide FDA with the evidence it relies on to substantiate safety or effectiveness before or after it markets its products.

Unlike drug products that must be proven safe and effective for their intended use before marketing, there are no provisions in the law for FDA to "approve" dietary supplements for safety or effectiveness before they reach the consumer. Under DSHEA, once the product is marketed, FDA has the responsibility for showing that a dietary supplement is "unsafe," before it can take action to restrict the product's use or removal from the marketplace.

The FDA does not regulate "natural supplements." They can only act if there is solid evidence that the product chemical is dangerous, and/or that the advertised claims made about the product are false. Ms. Fox lied again.

3) What is the supplement "MMS," and why does the FDA object to this as a "nutritional supplement?" Why would the Child Protective Services worry that Mr. Stanley was spreading sodium chlorite around the house?

MMS (Miracle [Master] Mineral Solution) is sodium chlorite dissolved in distilled water. Sodium Chlorite, NaClO2, is a starting chemical for releasing a gas, Chlorine dioxide (ClO2). It is a powerful industrial bleach, and also has some use in treating waste water and sewage. If you are a chemist, I recommend the EPA fact sheet (PDF). The first link above was to Wikipedia which has most of the same information in a slightly less technical presentation.

In the bare bones version, this chemical reacts with acid to release several highly toxic gasses. If there is hydrochloric acid in the mix, chlorine gas as well as chlorine dioxide are released. Stomach acid has hydrochloric acid (HCl) concentrations from 0.5%, to as high as 0.1 M. Sodium dioxide can also be released from sodium chlorate (NaClO3) mixed with concentrated hydrogen peroxide (H2O2), and an acid (industrially sulfuric acid (H2SO4) is preferred, but stomach acid works just fine). H2SO4 AKA battery acid is easy to come by). This also set off alarms when we read the results of the search warrant on the Stanley house.

Read the items carefully. Item #1 is a gallon bottle of 35% hydrogen peroxide, H2O2. The solution you can buy at the market, or drug store for an antiseptic is a maximum 3%. Hal Stanley had a "partially full" gallon bottle of H2O2 that was over 10 times stronger than can be sold in drug stores. Now remember that the adult children of Hal Stanley were worried he had used some process that "piped vapors" from sodium chlorite into rooms where the small children were doing school work. Industrial concentrated hydrogen peroxide, any suitable acid, and the "miracle solution" of sodium chlorite would produce a gas dangerous to anyone. Hal Stanley had all of these readily available.

Ms. Fox cited (by link) a website for "alternative health" that "feature(s) stories on alternative healing methods that are NOT approved by the FDA." They claimed that the poor poor man selling Sodium Chlorite was persecuted because he sold a product that "saved tens of thousands." I wish they would go back to finding Elvis and Bigfoot. Here is a quick item on how this really turned out;

Seller of “Miracle Mineral Solution” Convicted for Marketing Toxic Chemical as a Miracle Cure

May 28, 2015

A federal jury in the Eastern District of Washington returned a guilty verdict yesterday against a Spokane, Washington, man for selling industrial bleach as a miracle cure for numerous diseases and illnesses, including cancer, AIDS, malaria, hepatitis, lyme disease, asthma and the common cold, the Department of Justice announced.

Louis Daniel Smith, 45, was convicted following a seven-day trial of conspiracy, smuggling, selling misbranded drugs and defrauding the United States. Evidence at trial showed that Smith operated a business called “Project GreenLife” (PGL) from 2007 to 2011. PGL sold a product called “Miracle Mineral Supplement,” or MMS, over the Internet. MMS is a mixture of sodium chlorite and water. Sodium chlorite is an industrial chemical used as a pesticide and for hydraulic fracking and wastewater treatment. Sodium chlorite cannot be sold for human consumption and suppliers of the chemical include a warning sheet stating that it can cause potentially fatal side effects if swallowed.

So far Ms. Megan Fox has racked an impressive list of lies.

But, there is more!

4) What is the real story about Vioxx?

Remember a few minutes ago when we looked at what the FDA can, and cannot do? On thing they also cannot do is independently test drugs. It is the responsibility of the drug manufacturer to propose, implement, and report their own drug trials. In the case of the pain medication Vioxx, the drug company Merck lied. They lied, and they lied. And then they lied some more.

If you want the details use the link. I think that for this post, the fact that Megan Fox is a raging liar, and hypocrite is more to the point. She first attacked the FDA as a terrible gang that tried to prevent a highly toxic chemical from being sold to nitwits as a "miracle cure" for AIDS, malaria, and acne. Then Ms. Fox whines that the capitalist pharmaceutical industry was not stopped by the FDA. The Merck corporation bribed so-called independent industry scientists, and lied to the FDA, and published faked studies. When the FDA tried to stop the sale of Vioxx, the industrial lawyers went to work to keep the drug in the market, and to keep their bosses out of jail.

A final end note to the persistent inability of Ms. Fox to grasp simple facts is the asinine lie supposed to support home schooling that, "Meanwhile, 79% of Chicago’s public schooled 8th graders can’t read."

She even gave a link to The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES).

There are just a few massive problems with Ms. Fox, and her inability to read a simple table.

If you look at the data that Ms. Fox couldn't read, you will see that Chicago 8th grade students in 2011 were the 12th highest in children who were not fluent in English reading for major cities. This is not to say they were not able to read. Reading in German or Spanish is reading. The NAEP tests are in English.

Next, the data show that 36% of Chicago 8th graders were "below Basic" in English reading. That does not mean they "cannot read," or even that they cannot read English. It meant they were below the National expectation for English reading at the 8th grade level. The home of English as a Second Language (ESL) teaching was Chicago in the early 1900s. The first language was Polish.

One problem with the insanity of the far right is that under current standards, 25% of American students fail in every category. One problem few people are well informed on was that the The National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) arbitrarily changed "proficient" from a 50/50 ratio to a 60% fail 40% pass. This was pulled off by the "standardized test" mafia. I was a member of the prototype committee of the NAEP Science Panel. I resigned in protest. But beyond that, Ms. Fox was still grossly incompetently wrong. This is not even close to the lie that "79% of Chicago’s public schooled 8th graders can’t read." She copied this particular lie from any of several radical right-wing websites. The link is to just one example. Even they could tell the difference between "proficient" and "cannot read." Since the average news paper is written for an 8th grade level, we have every hope that average 13 year old will soon surpass the FOX News audience in their English reading.

Ms. Fox clearly has failed repeatedly.


Gary S. Hurd said...

These are not all the errors and shams in Megan Fox's essay. There are other things to do than try to correct all her mistakes.

Dave Mullenix said...

I'm surprised the Fox network hasn't picked her up. She certainly seems to be qualified. "Fox on Fox!" Boggles the mind.