I got an early Christmas present today.

My mom is an amazing listener. Back at Thanksgiving during the usual after dinner bullshitting every family engages in, my sister mentioned that she had gotten a new snowblower for her sidewalk because the power shovel she had been using just wasn’t up to the task.

I live in an apartment and my sidewalks are relatively short (back is maybe 10 or 12 feet, front is 6 at the most), but with all the snow we got last winter and the fact that I’m firmly in my middle age and out of shape, it was still a pain the ass to deal with. An electric power shovel sounded like just the thing and so I asked her about her experiences and she had much to say on the topic including a brand recommendation (Toro).

Fast forward to this morning when I got an email from my mom telling me to expect a surprise when I got home. I hadn’t a clue what it could be and was quite surprised when I walked in the apartment to find this waiting for me:

Toro Power Shovel

Click to embiggen.

That was indeed a nice surprise! I’m kinda sad we’re not set to get any snow anytime soon, but when we do I’m gonna be excited about clearing the sidewalk for a change. Oh yeah, I’m going to shovel the shit out of that snow! Figuratively speaking.

SEB makes it onto a popularity list and is trashed by a Noni Juice nutcase.

The folks over at  Common Sense Atheism have put together a list of the 20 Most Popular Atheism Blogs and I was surprised to see Stupid Evil Bastard listed at number 9. I have to admit that it was quite nice to see my humble little site listed among many others that I read daily and consider to be of much higher quality than what I manage to cobble together here.

I was also amused, however, as at least one commenter there felt that I was worth taking the time to bring down a peg or two for being yet another damned liberal:

I see the author of the “Stupid Evil Bastard” site is, from his comments on Iraq, Bush, etc. a just another Clueless Clod member of the Loony Left.

Just another Atheist who may use logic & critical thought when considering subjects of gods / religion. And who then totally LOSES the same abilities when it comes to the Iraq War and/or some (many?) other issues.

Yep, just another Atheist who, I will bet, wonders just how can the Programmed Robots of the Religious Right just refuse to learn, and/or Deny the MANY facts which PROVE Evolution is a Fact and Homosexuals are born.

Who, at the same time, either Refuses to Learn and/or Denies the MANY, MANY FACTS which more than PROVE the Iraq War is Both FULLY JUSTIFIED & a Very NECESSARY part of World Wide War on Terrorists who have been killing us and our friends for over 30 years,

I PITY him and all others of his irrational. illogical, unknowledgeable & self-deluded
ilk of fools. They seem to live in some world where their infinite Ignorance on some subjects is not surpassed by their Astronomical Arrogance they have the slightest clue.

And Children, if any of you are so foolish as to believe you can PROVE, with REAL FACTS I am wrong, I sure welcome you to give it a try!

religionsucks@webtv.net

What’s particularly amusing about Mr. Reinhardt’s little rant is the fact that not two comments later he goes on about the wonderful curative properties of Noni Juice.

For those of you not familiar with the product, Noni Juice is made from the fruit of the Noni tree (Morinda citrifolia). The tree is known by a number of different names depending on where you are with noni being the Hawaiian name for it. Powder made from the fruit is high in carbohydrates and fiber with reasonable amounts of vitamins C and A, niacin, potassium, iron, calcium and sodium. Nutrient-wise it’s similar to a raw orange with about half the vitamin C and a little more sodium, but that hasn’t stopped the woo-woo alt-med crowd from claiming it has all manner of healing properties.

For someone who had just bemoaned my apparent failings of throwing logic and rationality to the wind with regards to politics it was rather amusing to read the following from Mr. Reinhardt:

Something I’ve been drinking for over 12 years which really works well at both speeding the healing and reducing the pain of dental problems is NONI JUICE! As there are over 300 brands you can find it at health food stores, Cosco, other stores and as an mlm product.

As with everything else the quality, quanity and price very. While what I drink costs more & less than others, I think it is the highest quality. IF I could not afford the one I drink now, I would be down at COSCO in a flash.

Even after more than 12 years, my results from noni are so remarkable, it still AMAZES ME! For one of MANY examples, I USED to have the Aches & Pains of old age until I was around 62 & started
drinking it. I NO longer suffer from them and have not for over 12 years. (I am now 75)

Being a RABID Atheist Activist, it is a Miracle when I call anything a “Miracle” and yet that is what I consider the immune boosting power of Noni Juice to be. It is NOT the Noni Juice which effectively treats and/or cures over 90 different medical problems, rather IT IS YOUR own BOOSTED Immune system which does it. (In it’s natural state, Noni has been very effectively used for OVER 5,000 years!)

And then in a follow up comment:

IF you want know all the MANY great things noni Has done for me (aside from lowering both my Cholesterol Levels and Blood Pressure, taking the pain away and curing burns quickly, healing athletes foot in half the time and curing a toe nail fungus (which several years of prescribed medications did not) please e-me.

Noni not only is very effective on treating the insides & the outsides of our bodies, it does the same for all other mammals as well as animals, reptiles and birds.

Please see this generic website for a picture of a noni fruit, some of it’s history, and a little of the (much) research done on it.

http://www.noniresearch.com

This website has more information on Noni and you can also read and/or listen to various people’s experience of drinking and using Noni topically.

http://www.noni-is-good-for-you.com/

The following “store” has audio and video tapes, brochures, tri-folds, newspapers, books and CD’s. ALL of which are about Noni Juice.

http://www.nonitools.com

It seems I’m not the only one capable of throwing logic and rationality out the window on certain topics.

From what I’ve been able to determine in the small amount of time I’ve bothered to look into the uses for noni fruit, it was looked at by medical researchers as a possible treatment for cancer to no avail and it’s been used by Hawaiians for years to draw pus out of boils. According to its Wikipedia entry it’s also used to “treat menstrual cramps, bowel irregularities and urinary tract infections”, but there’s no scientific support for those uses. There may be some use of oil from the seeds as they are “abundant in linoleic acid that may have useful properties when applied topically on skin, e.g., anti-inflammation, acne reduction, moisture retention.”

None of that has stopped the alt-med industry from putting some 300 different products out making all manner of wild claims. It was bad enough that the FDA issued several letters to various companies producing Noni Juice products warning them that the claims being made violated section 201(g)(1) of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (the Act) [21 U.S.C. § 321(g)(1)].

For example, here is an excerpt from a letter to Peter W. Manville of NJP Products, Inc. (PDF file) in September of 2006 over claims made about his Noni Juice and BarleyGreen products:

The therapeutic claims on your web sites establish that the products are drugs because they are intended for use in the cure, mitigation, treatment, or prevention of disease. The marketing of these products with these claims violates the Act.

Examples of some of the claims observed on your http://www.noni-juice-plus.com web site include:

Noni Juice

Your web site contains disease claims in the form of personal testimonials about the use your Noni Juice product for a wide variety of diseases, including chronic lymphocytic leukemia, arthritis, carpal tunnel syndrome, allergies, asthma, bipolar disorder, depression, migraines, multiple sclerosis, and others. Examples of some of the disease claims observed on your testimonials page include:

“I just want to take the time to let you know that after a month of taking the Noni Juice you supply I noticed a difference in my symptoms, you see I have Lupus Erythematous [sic] and suffer from arthritic like symptoms. The first two weeks after taking I noticed that I did not have joint pain, the swelling in my fingers had disappeared, the fatigue disappeared and I had a lot more energy. Also, I had been suffering from chronic back pain and even that seemed to have disappeared. … It has helped with my depression. … It has vastly improved my irritable bowel condition. The relief from pain that I have had from arthritis [sic], fibromyalgia and lingering nerve pain(from shingles) is absolutely amazing. And I haven’t had a migraine since I started taking it. My allergies have improved. And slowly, but surely, my acid relux [sic] is getting less and less every day. … ”

“I recently broke 3 bones in my leg. … Being depressed, and not having much circulation in my leg i [sic] needed something that would benefit my situation. I was talking a friend and he told me when terrel [sic] owens (nfl football star) broke his ankle in the 2004-05 football season just 7 weeks prior to the superbowl, he took Noni juice to help him, and was back in time for the superbowl where he had 7 receptions! This influenced me to start using Noni juice and after taking it for a week, it helped my depression a whole lot, help get circulation in my leg …”

“… [A]fter my extensive back surgery, where I had two discs removed and nine pieces of titanium placed in me…. my one month post op x-rays looked like what they expected at three months. I thank the NONI juice for major assistance in healing this almost 50 yr. old spine.”

Wow, sounds like all the other woo-woo natural cures that you receive endless amounts of spam in your inbox for. (Açaí Berry juice anyone?) Needless to say, to be trashed by someone for my supposed arrogance and ignorance who then turns around and spouts woo-woo so enthusiastically is quite amusing indeed.

You’ll have to go to the entry over at Common Sense Atheism to see my reply, but I ask you not to turn it into a flame thread while you’re there. I’m sure Mr. Reinhardt will feel compelled to chime in here at some point as all of us Loony Leftists are probably way too tempting a target for him to resist and then you can have your fun. In the meantime, marvel at the lunacy on display.