Since A's dad, known affectionately as The Old Man, passed away a year and a half ago, his mail has been coming to my address. Much of it is junk of the sort that would make Orac grind his teeth with frustration. Yesterday I received what looks like a magazine, albeit skinny, bearing this headline: "DON'T Suffer with Incontinence Anymore!!" Further investigation reveals that a certain Dr. Kenneth Woliner, M.D., guarantees that his "new formula fights the hidden causes of bladder problems and wins!" For the wee price of $27.95, you get one (1) bottle of capsules, and each of those little mothers is packed with vitamin E, marshmallow root, ginger, parsley extract, vitamin C, white oak,juniper berry, and more, hard to believe though it may be that one little capsule could contain enough of this multiplicity of ingredients to have any effect whatsoever. Now $27.95 may seem like kind of a stiff price, but if you buy the six-bottle pack it drops to $21.65! Yes! You can have SIX bottles of this Guaranteed-Or-Your-Money-Back! magic for the low low price of $129.90!
The poor old man died because he was trying to treat extremely deadly penile cancer with aloe vera and some sort of mushroom powder. I blame every single one of these lying charlatans for this. He grew up on a reservation, or rather lived on one with his grandma and aunt until he was fourteen, and was basically on his own after that. He was a smart old guy, but woefully uneducated, although somehow he managed to learn to read and write both Spanish and English and learn basic arithmetic, something many people who attend school until graduation don't master, and he was a brilliant mechanic. Still, he could be forgiven for falling for this stuff; it's easy to do that, when it's what you want to hear, when you know next to nothing about medical science, and someone in a spiffy white coat calling himself a doctor is selling you on it. But what about the growing numbers of well-educated folks who are falling for herbal remedies and fer chrissakes homeopathy - a form of woo even The Old Man found suspect! - and are refusing to vaccinate their kids or give them fluoridated water? Some sort of regulation needs to be imposed on this nonsense. It's a serious public health crisis, and growing every day.
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