May 22, 2013

"You know when fluoridation began?...1946. 1946, Mandrake."

"How does that coincide with your post-war Commie conspiracy, huh? It's incredibly obvious, isn't it? A foreign substance is introduced into our precious bodily fluids without the knowledge of the individual, and certainly without any choice. That's the way your hard-core Commie works."

From the comments at "Fluoridation fails in Portland by 20-point margin."

37 comments:

bagoh20 said...

Some are crediting the historic drop in crime to the elimination of leaded gasoline, but maybe it was the fluoride.

T J Sawyer said...

I've been gone from Portland for 45 years but I can guarantee you there are three things you will never do there.

1. Drink fluoridated water from a Bull Run reservoir.

2. Pay a sales tax.

3. Pump your own gas.

Tibore said...

"You know when fluoridation began?...1946. 1946, Mandrake."

Well, David Duchovny once noted that he felt referential humor to be a low form of comedy. But I think it's rather clever.

"Well, I've been to one world fair, a picnic, and a rodeo, and that's the stupidest thing I ever heard come over a set of earphones."

Calypso Facto said...

Does Portland have a higher rate of tooth decay?

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

But ... but ... the science is settled! And only McCarthyite paranoids from 60 years ago are afraid of fluoridated water!

Nope. These days, of course, it's not a Commie plot; it's evil corporations wanting to put "chemical contaminants" in our lovely, pure water, but there you are. Brought to you by the same folks whose vaccination phobia has caused that lovely resurgence in measles and whooping cough.

There are times that I wonder whether "Portlandia" isn't really a documentary.

cokaygne said...

A commentator at WaPo said that if you want fluoride on your teeth you can buy Crest toothpaste.

cokaygne said...

A commentator at WaPo said that if you want fluoride on your teeth you can buy Crest toothpaste.

Amartel said...

This guy is writing from a glass-enclosed exhibit box at OMSI: Late Paleolithic Conspiracy Theorist.
However, if he was released into the wilds of Portlandia he would feel right at home.

Calypso Facto said...


Not surprisingly, advocates say it does and opponents say it doesn't. This guy makes a pretty reasonable argument against. The also have a cleverly-named short propoganda film: "An Inconvenient Tooth. Heh

chrisnavin.com said...

I live in Seattle. This is par for the Pac Northwest course. Nothing to see here. Move along.

"I do not avoid women, Mandrake, but I do deny them my essence."

edutcher said...

There was less of a fight over flouride in the toothpaste.

St. George said...

The guy who sold the U.S. on fluoridation was the 20th century's greatest P.R. wizard, Edward Bernays, the man who single-handedly made it acceptable for women to smoke cigarettes in public. Especially Lucky Strikes. I think he may have also been the PR wiz behind the Wilkinson campaign that got women to shave their legs and underarms, thereby doubling sales overnight. A genius.

He also pulled what was possibly the first Presidential PR stunt--getting Coolidge to eat pancakes with comedians in front of newsreel cameras.

His approach with fluoride? Among other things, he got opinion leaders to say that opposition to fluoridation was as irrational, un-American, and despicable as hatred of Jews and Catholics, therefore making the anti faction beyond the pale. He also convinced dictionary publishers to rewrite their entries on the word.

To digress, I thought it interesting that the very first PR blass for Google glasses told men that it was somehow suddenly unmanly to be seen carrying a cell phone. Of course.

X said...

I suspect Doc Bronners Hippiefied Organic Tooth/Armpit/Vag Paste had something to do with this.

Elliott A said...

Fluoride is simply the best, most cost effective and pain preventing public health measure ever. It has prevented billions of cavities and millions of lost teeth. Preventing the public from receiving its benefits is cruel at best and criminal at worst. There is no rational reason to deny anyone it's benefits. Anyone else here been a dentist for 33 years?

Elliott A said...

Fluoride is simply the best, most cost effective and pain preventing public health measure ever. It has prevented billions of cavities and millions of lost teeth. Preventing the public from receiving its benefits is cruel at best and criminal at worst. There is no rational reason to deny anyone it's benefits. Anyone else here been a dentist for 33 years?

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

Calypso Facto,

"You want the tooth? You can't handle the tooth!"

SarcastiCarrie said...

This post needs the bodily fluids tag.

Calypso Facto said...

An incisive comment, MDT! :)

SteveR said...

Those damn Halogens always sneaking them in on us, they even have the salt.

Pettifogger said...

San Antonio voted flouride down before it finally voted it in. I recall my father-in-law ranting that flouride is a poison and that if people wanted it, they could put it in their own water. I pointed out that the same could be said of chlorine. I did not convince him.

virgil xenophon said...

Funny, back circa 1974 I remember seeing a public health publication on the shelves w. Gen Jack D. Rippers photo on the cover with the question title of : "Was General Ripper right?" Inside was lively debate about healthy levels as was pointyed out that most of the rest of the world allowed FAR lower levels of Flouridation with many countries banning it over health concerns--pointing out that it was AMERICA that was the outlier in allowing such high levels Flouride in our water system. And indeed the US has recently lowered the allowable levels from 0.7-1.2parts/million to a single level of 0.7 precisely due to the health concerns expressed by Russia (a BIG opponent) and others..

virgil xenophon said...

***"...on the shelves of the Howard-Tilton library at Tulane..."

ndspinelli said...

I have never allowed flouride to contaminate "My precious bodily fluids." Dr. Strangelove is in my top 25 flicks.

Jay Vogt said...

Just so long they don't mess with my grain alcohol!

ed said...

1. I grew up with well water; no fluoride. One small cavity by age 17.

2. That's *pure* grain alcohol.

Sam L. said...

A local take:

http://maxredline.typepad.com/maxredline/2013/05/a-great-rending-of-garments-and-gnashing-of-teeth.html

YoungHegelian said...

What I find interesting here is how right wing theories (conspiracy & otherwise) such as the dangers of fluoridation work themselves leftward over the years, and the present left-wing believers are blissfully unaware of that history.

Want some examples? I give you two, one low, one high.

1) The "arc" story of the series X-Files, with a "fifth column" of government conspirators covering up a plot by aliens to enslave humanity is straight out of 1950/60's John Bircher fantasy, except with the X-Files it's on the Left.

2) The postwar influence of Martin Heidegger is almost completely on the the Left, especially the French Left. He, in spite of being a Nazi symp, is one of the Founding Fathers of modern environmentalism.

Sam L. said...

See also:
http://maxredline.typepad.com/maxredline/2013/05/medicating-the-porkland-metro-area.html

It repeats the previous link, and includes a bunch more on this topic.

Elliott A said...

@ed. Well water always has fluoride. Often 2-4 ppm

Quaestor said...

Is there any part of America where sanity reigns? California has deficit-spent itself into fiscal oblivion. Ditto Michigan and Illinois. Portland is a notorious hive of loonies. The well-heeled neighborhoods of NYC are full of bohemians who think America is the worst country on the planet, and yet continue to live here. Florida can't get enough shit on the ball to elect a Republican. Colorado punishes law-abiding citizens and empowers the wicked, then sets the stage for massive voter fraud. And Ohio can't hold a non-corrupt election.

Kirk Parker said...

"There are times that I wonder whether "Portlandia" isn't really a documentary. "

Ummm...

My dear MDT...

I really don't know how to break this to you...


.

...

.


And yes, BTW, it's especially true about the Farting Patio part...

Kirk Parker said...

Elliot A.,

I dunno, but maybe sanitation and drinking water systems, and the subsequent disappearance of cholera as a public menace, might give floridation a run for its money.

Or heck, even polio vaccine.

gerry said...

Isn't this the same as the vaccinations-cause-autism bullshit? I like having the teeth I have, and they are due in large part to the fluoridated water I've been drinking for decades.

Captain Curt said...

My understanding is that the dental benefits of fluoridation were discovered by studying the areas in the country that were "outliers" in having very low rates of cavities. What they had in common was higher levels of fluorides in the water, and follow-up studies found that fluoride was incorporated into the tooth enamel of people in these areas, and further, lab tests of teeth found that those with fluoride were more resistant to chemical erosion.

I grew up in the 1960s in a suburban area (same zip code as our hostess!) that did not have fluoridated water, and kids from prosperous families had plenty of cavities. My mother started teaching special ed in an inner city school, and her students, most from impoverished dysfunctional families, all had perfect teeth. The city had fluoridated water.

Captain Curt said...

My understanding is that the dental benefits of fluoridation were discovered by studying the areas in the country that were "outliers" in having very low rates of cavities. What they had in common was higher levels of fluorides in the water, and follow-up studies found that fluoride was incorporated into the tooth enamel of people in these areas, and further, lab tests of teeth found that those with fluoride were more resistant to chemical erosion.

I grew up in the 1960s in a suburban area (same zip code as our hostess!) that did not have fluoridated water, and kids from prosperous families had plenty of cavities. My mother started teaching special ed in an inner city school, and her students, most from impoverished dysfunctional families, all had perfect teeth. The city had fluoridated water.

lgv said...

I'm amazed by comments about the taste of water, both good and bad.

Water, by definition, has no taste, color, or odor.

If water tastes bad, it's something else naturally deposited in the water source and not filtered out. It it tastes good, it's the same thing, although there is some psychology to it.

Many people would drink pure water and think it tastes bad. It is just absent of something they were used to tasting.

The problem with "pure" water is that it is only pure for a moment in time.

J Lee said...

New York City's been fluoridating its water for almost 50 years now. With a sample size of 8 million residents, plus anyone working in the city who partakes of the Catskill-Croton water supplies during the day, that's a pretty big sample size over a pretty long period to study whether or not there are positive or negative effects of the water additive.