Two new cases of “smartphone blindness” has been described in the last month. One case was a gentleman in China who was playing games on his phone at night and suffered a retinal artery occlusion or “eye stroke.” Another case was a woman in China, who was also playing on her phone at night but she sustained a bleed in her left eye. Just as those who suffer from cerebral strokes, a “lack of blood flow” to the retina, or layer of the eye that helps create visual images, can be caused by a clot or hemorrhage. Apparently these can be induced with excessive focusing and eye strain. This may result in temporary or permanent blindness.
Some people are being evaluated for stroke or transient ischemic attacks when they come to the ER complaining of recurrent “temporary blindness” after checking their smartphone in the dark. This phenomenon, known as ‘smartphone blindness’, has been experienced by many of us when we have the sensation of dimmed vision or poor visual acuity, feeling punished for peeking at our email when we should be sleeping.
In 2016, doctors reviewed the cases of two women who experienced episodes of “temporary blindness”; as the ladies put their cell phones down, one eye could not see the cell phone for 15 minutes. Their vision restored after this length of time.Doctors investigated the cases thoroughly with a variety of medical tests including MRI’s and couldn’t find the cause.
Finally they conclude these transient episodes of “vision loss” were harmless, in that one eye was being used to look at the phone and the other eye needed time to “catch up”. When the women, as many of us do, check our phones, one eye is snugly closed and resting on a pillow while the other is available to look at the phone. When the ladies would turn over, the closed eye didn’t have a chance to catch up to the increased brightness of the phone screen, hence having a dimmed view.
If one uses both eyes to look at the screen, this phenomenon does not happen.
Studies surfaced a few years ago where great lengths of smartphone use can cause retinal detachment. In these cases the layer of the retina which focuses images, detaches from the back of the eye, causing serious vision loss. Though there are treatments, if not treated early can cause permanent blindness in the affected eye since the retina loses its blood and oxygen supply when detached. A woman from China had been using her smartphone for 2-3 hours in the dark each night when this occurs.
Smartphones have also been linked to myopia, nearsightedness and sleeping disorders as the blue light emitted from the screen can disrupt melatonin production.
A recent study found that 30% of adults spend more than 9 hours a day using their smartphone. Physicians recommend avoiding extended use, adjust settings to black text on white background, and with this recent case study, use both eyes to look at the screen when using the phone at night.
Increasing the size of the font helps your eyes since they don’t need to strain as much to read. Try to look at your smartphone with a distance of 1 1/2 feet. Blinking often helps rest the eyes as well and keeps them lubricated and moist.
Additionally, avoid using the phone in the dark, but in a lit room.
Finally its good to use the 20,20,20 rule. After every 20 minutes of use, look away at something 20 feet away for 20 seconds. This may help avoid eye strain from excessive smartphone use.
Income inequality among Americans has been a major subject of debate for a decade, and ever more so with leftwing extremists now dominating the ranks of Democratic presidential aspirants. So, let’s get the basic facts and issues straight.
A salient claim in this area comes from the French economist Thomas Piketty in his 2014 book, Capital in the Twenty-first Century, a 700-page tome. His starting point is that the rate of return on capital investment is generally significantly greater than the growth rate of a market economy (or, r>>g). This is generally uncontested.
So, Piketty concludes that the rich, whose incomes derive greatly from their ownership of capital, will get ever greatly richer. On the other hand, the middle and lower classes, whose incomes derive mainly from their labor, will see those incomes increase only at the growth rate of the economy. Hence, they will fall ever farther behind the upper-income people.
If that were the full story, why didn’t income inequality spiral up long ago? In part, it’s because taxes burden upper classes very disproportionately and government transfer payments (mainly welfare, food stamps and health-care subsidies) are concentrated on the lower classes. Piketty’s comparisons are based on pre-tax income, not including transfer payments, as are almost all the data advanced by those obsessing about income inequality.
These folks also fail to adjust for declining household size in recent decades when they allege falsely that middle and lower family income levels have not increased. And Piketty’s analysis overlooks that the wealthy usually divide their estates among charities and various heirs and other folks when they pass it on, thus counteracting the fast growth of family incomes based on capital.
But the important point is that taxes and transfer payments have continued to grow relative to our economy. So, they now overwhelm every other factor, as shown by recent research by Phil Gramm, former economics professor and chairman of the Senate Banking Committee; and John F. Early, twice assistant commissioner at the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics.
When we consider family incomes after taxes and public and private transfer payments, the story is very different from that based on the pre-tax and -transfers data. That’s because 80 percent of all taxes are paid by the top two income quintiles (that is, the top 40 percent) and 70 percent of all transfer payments are received by the bottom two quintiles. Aggregate taxes paid and transfers received by the middle quintile are almost exactly equal.
The average bottom-quintile household earns $4,908 annually while the average top-quintile household earns $295,904, or 60 times as much. But when we consider the $45,993 additional income the lowest-quintile homes get from public and private transfer payments, less taxes they pay, their average incomes rise to $50,901. For the top quintile, the net of taxes and transfers is a reduction of $100,998, leaving them with $194,906.
So, the real ratio between the top and bottom quintiles is only 3.8 times, not 60 times.
And government and the private sector shift enough net income to the lowest quintile to raise their net income to middle-class levels at $50,901.
So, is a 3.8:1 ratio fair and reasonable?
One important fact is that income mobility is higher in America than in most other countries.
Also, 50 years of increasing transfer payments and rising and progressive taxes have had another effect. When the War on Poverty transfers began in 1967, nearly 70 percent of bottom quintile prime-working-age adults were employed. Today, that figure is only 36 percent. For all the top three quintiles, however, labor-force participation has increased.
Ultimately, though, the question depends on what fairness is, as much as it does on data. Progressives, populists and class warriors erroneously claim it means equal outcomes for everyone. They forget that in market systems income flows to people roughly in proportion to the value they deliver to others – that is, proportionately to their contribution to human wellbeing and the public interest. Not so for systems that politically allocate resources.
Finally, recent research shows that three-quarters of the high incomes made by entrepreneurs flows from their own “human capital” contributions, not from the financial capital they employ. So, yes, 3.8:1 seems quite fair.
Stock photos of “healthcare workers” who attend patients—physicians are no longer distinguishable—usually feature a stethoscope draped around the neck.
But some, such as cardiologist Eric Topol, consider the stethoscope obsolete, nothing more than a pair of “rubber tubes.”
The most important part of the stethoscope is the part between the ears. But some think that will be replaced by artificial intelligence, and the rubber tubes by sophisticated electronic gizmos costing at least ten times as much as the humble stethoscope.
High tech is wonderful and increasingly capable, but if the stethoscope is dying, so is the art of clinical medicine.
The proper use of the stethoscope requires the doctor to touch, listen to the patient, and spend some time with a living person, not a computer. Patient and physician must cooperate: “Stop breathing,” “Take a big deep breath,” “Lean forward,” and so on.
It may be true, as Dr. James Thomas said, that graduates in internal medicine and emergency medicine miss as many as half of murmurs using a stethoscope. There are several reasons for this. One is not taking enough time to listen in a quiet room, and failing to perform the special maneuvers required to bring out an otherwise inaudible murmur (lean forward and exhale fully, turn onto your left side, squat then stand up, etc.).
The other is inadequate training. There are excellent recordings of heart sounds and murmurs, which of course would take time away from the time-devouring electronic medical record or “systems-based” medicine. And a recording is not the same thing as a live patient. Much of today’s teaching in physical diagnosis may be by “patient instructors”—paid actors pretending to be patients, who are evaluating the students as the students examine them. Rounds may be in a conference room, focused on the electronic record, instead of at the bedside.
In the old days, all the members of the team got to examine a real patient who had an interesting finding, with the patient’s permission and under the supervision of an attending physician. It seemed to me that patients usually enjoyed being the center of attention and the star of the show, and hearing the professor discuss their case. We learned how to help patients to sit up, and about hairy chests, layers of extra insulation, noisy lung sounds, shortness of breath, and other impediments to an easy examination.
The stethoscope is not just for heart murmurs. It’s for finding subtleties in careful, slow measurement of the blood pressure. It’s for extra or abnormal heart sounds. One can sometimes hear evidence of vascular problems inside the skull, or in the arteries supplying the brain, kidneys, or limbs. Or signs of intestinal obstruction. One can check to make sure a breathing tube is in the right place.
I don’t know of any bedside technologic wonders for examining the lungs. The stethoscope can detect sensitive signs of heart failure, pneumonia, fluid in the chest, collapsed lung, or airway obstruction. One can listen frequently to monitor changes in the patient’s status—much more efficiently than bringing the portable x-ray machine around.
The stethoscope works even when the power is off, the batteries are dead, the computer is down, or some circuit in the ultrasound device is malfunctioning. It works in facilities too poor to have the latest technology, or with patients who can’t afford to pay for a more expensive examination.
The stethoscope has tremendous capabilities in trained hands. Patients might want to evaluate whether they have a clinician who knows how to use it or is just carrying around a prop or status symbol. If you have symptoms suggestive of a heart or lung problem, does the doctor listen to all the lung fields—upper, mid, and lower, front and back? To at least four places for heart sounds? Are you asked to cough, say “e,” whisper something, take deep breaths or slow quiet ones, or do other maneuvers if something in the history or examination suggests a possible problem? Is the tv off, and are visitors asked to be quiet?
Everybody including doctors loves fancy technology. But before we toss out the old reliable tools, backed by two centuries of experience, how about some serious comparative studies like those the proponents of evidence-based medicine constantly demand?
Jane M. Orient, M.D. obtained her undergraduate degrees in chemistry and mathematics from the University of Arizona in Tucson, and her M.D. from Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons in 1974. Her views are her own. This is an edited version of her column that originally appeared in pennypress.com. Reprinted with permission.
Apparently, AT&T bought CNN thinking it was some kind of an entertainment outlet.
It is, but only to those of us who understand that Ted Turner’s creation has devolved into something which no longer resembles, in any way, journalism.
How bad is CNN’s coverage of the President?
Well, depending on who you choose to believe, studies from Harvard to the Media Research Center place the ratio of positive to negative coverage between 91% negative to 93%. Every media analyst agrees. CNN’s coverage is so biased that it can hardly be called coverage.
And it seems to be cheerfully brought to you by the American Telephone and Telegraph Company. At 208 S. Akard Street in Dallas, Texas. CEO Randall Stephenson and Chief operating Officer John Stankey.
When these guys bought Directv, I was a fan. When they brought out Directv Now (Now ATT TV Now) as a streaming service I was and still am a fan. When they bought Warner Media, I was OK with that.
I figured that CNN was already so screwed up, it had only one way to go—up. I was wrong.
I was against the Justice Department’s antitrust action. Still am.
That said, who knew that the two executives I listed above (along with their emails) were closet liberals?
My suspicion still is that they’re not. What they, are, I think, is scared to death—like the dog which caught the car. They have no idea what to do. Owning HBO is one thing. You can always disavow Bill Maher.
But a news outlet? That involves editorial judgment and CNN already had less than none. It needs grown-ups to instill some discipline. Stephenson and Stankey are supposed to be those adults. Only nobody told them. They were too busy getting Hollywood elite sweet nothings blown up their skirts.
On one hand, they don’t want to make the left mad. After all, the left controls show biz—right? On the other hand, they really don’t want to have to choose up sides against a President who could easily be re-elected. Much of their communications business is heavily regulated. And, just to make things interesting, an activist management company, Elliott Management, took a $3.2-billion position in AT&T and wants change as well as seats on the Board.
So, wouldn’t the smart money be to make those clowns in Atlanta actually run a news outlet as opposed to taking virtually every opportunity to tilt to the radical left?
Apparently, Mr. Stephenson’s testicles were there when he bought into the entertainment business, but seem to have softened when it comes to making tough decisions regarding the content of his acquisitions which could ultimately send his share price plummeting.
Here’s a hint as to how another executive has handled it.
Apple’s Tim Cook—hardly a Trump fan—has kept an open channel to the President even though he supported Trump’s 2016 opponent.
That makes sense, considering their common interests, especially where it comes to China, trade and intellectual property.
Do you really think Trump would refuse Stephenson’s call?
As long as his company is channeling Nancy Pelosi, it is probably a difficult call to have.
But if Stephenson and Stankey could say, with straight faces, that they are aiming to make CNN a “just the facts” news outlet, you can bet Trump would take that call.
It’s high time the folks on Akard Street in Dallas started worrying about their shareholder value. They could fix CNN in two weeks. Nobody is asking that they try and duplicate Fox. Just be fair. If they don’t, and 63,000,000 Trump voters take offense, well, they don’t make fallout shelters deep enough to protect them from the economic consequences.
Some of you are trying to get a head start before the family makes you come up with a New Year’s resolution to quit vaping and smoking. So you’ve cut back on tobacco and nicotine and have decided to quit. Awesome! Within the first half hour of quitting, studies have found your blood pressure and heart rate improve, so your health starts to improve immediately!
So, way to go!!!! But now what? It’s not that easy. You’ve got cravings.
Not being able to manage these cravings can put you at risk of relapsing back into nicotine dependence.
Withdrawal from nicotine can manifest in any of the following:
Firstly don’t be afraid to get help if you need to. Nicotine is a powerful, addictive drug and retraining your body to not ask for it is a challenging process. Smokefree.gov offers multiple resources to help one quit smoking/vaping.
Your medical provider can offer you nicotine replacement therapy to help you wean slowly, or medications such as (brand names) Chantix and Wellbutrin that can help you with your cravings as you cut back or quit.
Therapy and counselling can also be very beneficial while you are weaning off nicotine.
But some of you will want to quit cold turkey. How do you manage the cravings then?
So we break this down into biological and psychological factors.
Biologically, we can hit this a few ways. One, is the food choices you make can help with your cravings.
Vegetables like celery and carrots are great quick-to-grab veggies when you’re in a bind. Citrus fruits like oranges work well. Bananas with their vitamin B and potassium melt in your mouth and don’t leave room for a cigarette. Potatoes have potassium and when not loaded up with butter and cheese are….well… not as yummy.
Peppermint is good at curbing cravings, so when you’re walking out of a restaurant don’t forget to grab some of those free candies sitting there. Ginseng and ginger help with cravings as well, and don’t forget fiber. Stuffing your mouth with oats, bran and fibrous foods keep you so busy trying to pick them out of your teeth that you are too exhausted to smoke. Top all of this with lots and lots of water, and you’ll find yourself off the nicotine in no time.
Let’s celebrate. Some one grab me a beer….no wait! No alcohol! Alcohol fuels your cravings as does meat and caffeine. Sorry, I never said it would be easy.
Exercise also helps because it will help you keep busy, increase your endorphins and works on the weight gain that might accompany smoking cessation. Take a nice stroll every time you feel the need to grab a cigarette.
Which transitions nicely into psychological ways to quit.
Distraction is huge. As the cravings come on, distract yourself by exercise, reading, dancing, or writing about your journey towards a smoke-free life to help others.
Have index cards written out with reasons to quit.
Have a disgusting picture of tobacco-destroyed lung in the kitchen or wherever you get the urge to smoke.
And get your friends and coworkers on board to help. If they vape/smoke in front of you, it will make it that much harder. Have a friend, family member designated as your support guide who texts you encouraging messages throughout the day as you try to quit. Remind them that the content cannot include chores or reminders to pick things up on the way home. There……if these tricks don’t help you quit vaping/smoking, at least you can use them to get out of chores…..
In Michigan, a 33 year old man named Alex Lavell Rawls (our suspect) kicked down a door in search of his ex-girlfriend. Perhaps obviously, he wasn’t there to rescue her. After a series of harassment and threats of violence against her, he decided to go kick her door down. So, Rawls goes over to her place to due her harm, not knowing that - she had already moved to another state in order to get away from his lunatic ass! Cut to: Rawls gets to her apartment and pounds on the door.
Enter Ben Ball, 36. Ben is a regular kind of guy who likes regular kind of things - he goes to work, he plays video games, he watches cool things on TV and … oh yeah, he collects and practices in the use of medieval weaponry! You see, on the weekends, Ball and friends choreograph and video live re-enactments of savage Viking-esq warrior combat. Ball has a wide collection of medieval weapons in his apartment up to and including, as he puts its, “my baby,” and in this case, his baby is a replica double headed carbon steel battle axe.
By “replica” I don’t mean fake. I mean, it’s an exact recreation of a battle axe that had been specifically designed to injure an armored knight. Or cut off limbs of an unarmored person.
Keep that in mind.
Back to Rawls. He heads over to his ex-girlfriend's house for some more harassing and threatening. He pounds on her door. Ball answers and recognizes Rawls as the guy who used to date his roommate. Ball explains to Rawls that his roommate no longer lives here and tells the irate exboyfriend that she moved to Florida.
Rawls doesn’t believe Ball, but leaves; however, he returns a short time later and kicks the door open, shattering the doorframe. Then Rawls rushes into the apartment to attack Ball.
It’s now a full on home invasion.
So, Ball does what any of us would have done. He picks up a weapon and defends himself. You might use a gun. I might use a knife. But Ball uses his baby. He picks up that carbon steel axe and chops Rawls right in the chest cutting him wide open.
But Rawls was in mid charge and his momentum kept him going forward until he slams into Ball. In a chaotic melee, the two of them smash through the apartment. Ball drops the Axe, the apartment is demolished and both men go for the weapon.
Eventually, the wound on Rawls’ chest is too much and he flees in terror. Neighbors call the cops. Police and K9 units arrive, follow the trail of blood and eventually capture Rawls.
Ball is a little banged up, but he’s in good shape. Rawls, already a felon, is arrested and faces up to 20 years in jail for first degree home invasion.
As for the ex-girlfriend in question? Well, it sounds like she totally knew what she was doing when she moved to another state in order to get away from lunatic Rawls.
I’m glad she’s safe. I’m glad Ball is relatively unharmed. I’m glad Rawls is in custody.
This has been another entry in “Weird, (but awesome) news!”
Taqiyya- Deception and Lying in Islam. Precautionary dissimulation or denial of religious belief.
As many of you know, the state of Minnesota has a brand new attorney general, his name is Keith Ellison, and his Muslim name is Muhammad Hakim (Over the years, Ellison wrote under the pseudonyms Keith E. Hakim, mainly for his college paper in 89 and 90 but later, in the mid nineties he wrote under the name Keith X Ellison in defense of Farrakhan after the 1995 Million Man March.) I know that there are many that say, "How stupid can Minnesotans be?" but in reply, I say, "Not that stupid."
There are many at the grassroots level and otherwise who are very aware of what is happening here.
Minnesotans are also very aware of the voter fraud taking place in this state, as well as the tactics being played out behind closed doors.
It has been accredited to dictatorial, tyrannical Communist Joseph Stalin “people that cast the votes don’t decide an election, the people who count the votes do."
Concerning the attorney general race, the end results were Ellison 1, 249, 407, and Wardlow with 1, 150, 459.
Furthermore, the same media that 94% of Americans do not believe and rightly so, are also in full operation here in Minnesota attempting to give cover for them that are in fact conspiring against the people of Minnesota. (Editor’s note: To be fair, I believe the poll Bradlee is referring to is the famous 2018 Axios / Pew Research and Gallop poll of 4000 people that says 92% of “Republicans and Republican leaning independents say that traditional news outlets knowingly report false or misleading stories at least sometimes..." The number drops sharply for Democrats and Democrat leaning independents to approx. 50% who believe that traditional news outlets knowingly report false or misleading stories at least sometimes…” )
Without the mainstream media’s propaganda outlets attempting to breathe life into their agendas they are completely lifeless and without any credibility or support from the people that they claim to be speaking on behalf of.
How many times does the mainstream media need to get caught lying before Americans realize what they are dealing with.
Case in point: I don’t know of a single person that wants to see this state handed off to those who mean to destroy it.
The possible tax evader, cop-killer supporter, woman abuser and terror-tied funded Attorney General Keith Ellison means to illegally bring into Minnesota a 300% increase of Somalians. I don’t know anyone in Minnesota advocating for that.
Furthermore, this is treasonous and clearly illegally as to what he is attempting to do here in the state (8 US Code & 1424).
This should come as no surprise to anyone considering Keith’s betrayal of his "professed" Christian faith to that of Islam. (Luke 22:48; Romans 9:8).
It is also interesting to note that Keith Ellison has the full support of the governor in the state, as well as the first sodomite sheriff in Minnesota history. Sound a little conspiratorial yet?
If Keith isn't feebly attempting to defend Louis Farrakhan, then, his sidekick Minnesota CAIR director and Minnesota Governor's transition board member Jaylani Hussein is attempting to create Christians to be what only the devil can produce (Matthew 7:16).
Believe it or not, and of all people to be doing so, Keith Ellison is busy trying to create criminals out of law abiders and law abiders into criminals. Yes, you heard me right, and that of all people to be doing so.
Keith claims that he wants to end hate crimes, not realizing, of course, that all crime is motivated by hate.
So, in order for him to do that, he needs to create the hater and the victim (1 John 3:12). In his confusion, Keith even went so far as to expose himself (Revelation 12:10) by making reference to the Southern Poverty Law Center.
“Sometimes the press will describe us as monitoring hate crimes and so on … I want to say plainly that our aim in life is to destroy these groups, to completely destroy them.” – Mark Potok, director of intelligence at Southern Poverty Law Center
Of course, what Keith Ellison is doing is attempting to create law abiders (Hebrews 8:10) that expose the crimes of the law-breakers (Romans 3:20; 1 John 3:4), into enemies of the state.
Apparently Keith Ellison, Governor Tim Walz and the media and them that they are tied to are overlooking the crimes and criminals of them that they mean to protect.
After seeing what the media has been blacking out here in the state of Minnesota, I believe you will then ask as so many have, and are, whom Keith Ellison is working for. The answer is quite obvious. Here are some examples…
Media Blackout: A dozen somali teens use pipes and hammers to attack white people. (Editor’s note: I agree with Bradlee, this story should have been more widely reported; however, it does appear that in this case, and some of the other stories Bradlee cites, all the suspects are juveniles, which means their names and a lot of information about the crime is not released to the public, which makes reporting on it problematic. Here is a link to the original audio 911 call.)
If at this point you have any questions to the validity of what is starting to take place in Minnesota, take a look at the statistics of countries that are now being plundered and overtaken in Europe by the same people that are the likes of Ellison.
Muslim migration has doubled in the decade since 9/11 and 60% of migrants to America favor sharia law (Deuteronomy 28:15-68).
One more point: "Rep. Keith Ellison, D-Minn., a third-term congressman and a co-chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus. On the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Rights page on his House website, Ellison notes that he is 'proud to be vice-chair of the Congressional Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Caucus.'"
If you are paying attention to the Islamic community globally, you can see that they are in lock step using the same exact method as the sodomites are using (Leviticus 18:22; 20:13). They are even going so far as to create self-inflicted hate crimes only to blame the innocent for them (Deuteronomy 19:19).
Remember, this is all predicated upon the use of totalitarian tactics (John 8:44) and playing the victim while at the same time perpetuating the crime by tearing down the law.
The resolve is that Keith Ellison must be called out, be impeached and indicted for his crimes (treason) against the United States (Article 2, Section 4, United States Constitution). There is no other option.
What are the main social, political and economic problems we face today?
I think they fall into two groups, economic-political and cultural.
The economic-political issues are the continuing and still growing over-reach of government, both domestically and in international affairs. Domestically, this means excess spending, taxing and borrowing by government at all levels since about 1960 – an excess that keeps growing every decade. These fiscal problems are enabled to some extent by the federal monetary policy of printing excess dollars and thus inflating the currency.
It also includes the ever-growing excess in regulation of all kinds – health, safety, environmental and economic. Plus government expansion into ever more sectors of the economy as a direct provider of services that would better be served by private markets.
The growing regulatory and intervention excess together make up the bulk of the modern administrative state; combined with excess government spending, it depresses economic growth. Slowing economic growth means people on average are less well-off than they would be without these excesses. That is, government excess diminishes aggregate human wellbeing – and also fairness.
Thus, from the 1960s to the Great Recession, we had real per-person growth in incomes of about 2 to 2.5 percent per year. During that time, the growing government excess was offset by favorable trends in population growth, labor force participation, debt both public and private, foreign trade and international economic growth. These trends are somewhat organic, but also greatly influenced by public policy.
In this century, all those favorable trends have reversed or slowed, and growth in government spending, regulation, etc. has continued. So, for the last decade, our per-person income growth has been less than half of what we all grew up with.
Per person real growth at 2 to 2.5 percent per year means that incomes, wealth and overall wellbeing double each generation. That’s a recipe for real progress – new medical cures, better diets, living standards of all kinds – and for general human happiness.
Growth at less than half those rates is a recipe for unhappiness, economic stagnation, political polarization and social upheaval such as we’ve seen in recent years. It will continue for as long as we have slow growth. And with continued government excess and the other problems driven by public policy, these problems may last for a long time.
A particular aspect will exacerbate these problems in the future. Generous payouts for social security, Medicare, and pension and benefits systems constitute a transfer of income from young people to older folks. These Ponzi schemes are, like all such schemes, unsustainable. They will breakdown or blow up in the future, damaging many people, families and businesses, and producing more social and political upheaval.
What’s the government excess in foreign affairs?
With the collapse of the Soviet evil empire – which, thank goodness, we helped precipitate – our foreign and intelligence Deep State looked for new adventures to keep its numbers employed and growing. The Deep State is the illegitimate child of the modern administrative state.
Certainly, Islamic-fascism is a major problem, but it doesn’t justify our continuous involvement in war in the Mideast and elsewhere, as favored by the Deep State.
It’s also promoting more strategic responses to our next major international problem, the ever-aggressive Chinese state. However, despite Chinese theft of intellectual property and similar aggressions, a trade war and tariffs are not the answer. They diminish overall human wellbeing here and in China.
Participation trophies, trigger warnings, safe spaces, etc. get more attention than they deserve. But they are the tip of the spear, reflecting a softening of society, a cult celebrating victim status, corrosive identity politics, and a deep sense of entitlement. These, coupled with government over-reach in social and political matters, are leading to an inversion of fundamental historic values and rights such as freedom of speech and religion, due process and the presumption of innocence, and Second Amendment self-defense.
What to do?
First, live a good life as a spouse, parent, friend, neighbor and citizen. Second, stay politically active to leave all our children and heirs a better legacy and life. For their sake, don’t give up.
The big story at the beginning of the week was the chilling deaths of nine American citizens in Mexico—apparently at the hand of either one or two drug cartels.
And we’re worried about ISIS?
And the Democrats want open borders?
Now, let’s put this in context. This was a group of people who are part of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter Day Saints. They are at war with the state of Utah over polygamy and I’m not personally a fan of their interpretation of LDS orthodoxy because I covered the arrest of Warren Jeffs and the aftermath when I was with a national TV network.
That said, they were residents of Mexico, American citizens, not taking welfare from either Arizona or Utah and didn’t deserve to be caught in a drug cartel ambush.
And, frankly, the silver or lead philosophy which is prevalent in our neighbor (that is, take our silver or our lead) to the south is killing many Americans because that is where heroin and fentanyl comes from and flows to those “sanctuary” cities and states where the so-called leadership does everything possible to protect these thugs from deportation.
This just happens to be such an egregious case that it screams for extraordinary action.
Drone strikes. Let’s wipe them out the same way we wiped out ISIS.
Those folks at Creech Air Force Base in Indian Springs, Nevada (40 miles North of Las Vegas) can take out a terrorist halfway across the world with a Hellfire missile launched from a Predator drone.
I can hear our so-called “State” department screaming now, but why should we let some scumbag like El Chapo (or his son) wreak horrifying violence on United States citizens when we’re perfectly willing to use our military resources to wipe out a scumbag like Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi in Syria. The fact is that no matter how nicely we discuss the concept of sovereignty the Mexican government has been bought and paid for by the drug cartels just as surely as ISIS became a state unto its own in the Middle East.
If we’re going to place the lives of young American soldiers, sailors and airmen in harm’s way, at least they should be protecting the lives of Americans.
And if the cartels wish to fight back…they’ll discover exactly what we spend over $700-Billion a year on.
Now, theoretically Mexico is a sovereign nation.
So we need to give them fair warning.
President Trump can tweet that warning and then act on it the next time we see a problem.
What’s going to happen?
The Mexican Army will come across the border? They’ll cut off our access to Cabo? Cancun?
To steal a line from W.C. Fields, “On the whole, I’d rather be in Philadelphia”.
The truth is that Mexico has long been a nation which is at a level of corruption that even Bugsy Siegal's Las Vegas never approached. Even Chicago has never been quite as corrupt as Mexico. Even Joe Biden’s son apparently hasn’t taken any money from them.
The only thing stopping the President might well be the Obama holdovers in the State Department. Just like those clowns who testified against the President in secret, performing for Adam Schiff.
To hear them tell it, the President shouldn’t be allowed to set our foreign policy.
I’d like to see the President at this exact time, go to Congress and ask for a declaration of war not against Mexico but the drug cartels. Let’s see who votes against that.
A recently leaked ABC “hot mic” moment has “Good Morning America” co-host, Amy Robach, seriously spilling the beans that she and her team broke the Epstein sex trafficking news three years ago, but executives at the network killed the story. (Editor’s note: That link goes to the same video linked to the front page).
Anchor Robach goes on to say that their news story “had everyone,” and specifically name drops Bill Clinton and Prince Andrew then claimed that Buckingham Palace threatened them a “million different ways,” and that the network was worried they would never have access to Kate Middleton or Prince William and so bowed to pressure from the palace (and from others) to kill the story. Robach says she tried to get it aired for three years to “no avail.”
Well, that was indeed three years ago and now the story is everywhere. Epstein was not in jail at the time Robach claims to have had the story. He was a free man, still trafficking underage girls to extremely rich and powerful men via his private plane, private island and exclusive Manhattan apartment.
Robach claims that she interviewed Virginia Roberts Giuffre three years ago and that the woman had pictures, names, she had everything and gave it all to ABC. Robach’s quote, “It’s unbelievable what we had.”
Epstein was arrested July 6th, 2019 on sex trafficking charges, which led to the media frenzy surrounding him and the coming out of several woman reporting decades worth of allegations against him. Robach is kind of like, “Man! I’m so angry! We could have done something about this years ago! I could have run this story years ago! And now everyone has it!” (Not an exact quote from her, more of like me, interpreting her comments).
The Epstein allegations, for those who are not quite clear on the matter, are this: That he (Epstein) and his “madam,” Ghislaine Maxwell, recruited and trained under age girls to be a personal sex slave for Epstein, then passed Epstein in turn passed the girls around to other powerful men including Prince Edwards and Bill Clinton. And we’re not talking the “legal shady area” when a girl is 17, but will be 18 tomorrow, and if you have sex with her today it’s illegal, but if you have sex with her tomorrow it won’t be. That’s a little weird.
No, we’re talking about girls as young as 14 years old who are recruited and trained for sex up to and including brutal sadomasochistic dungeon sessions.
Obviously, after the allegations hit and names dropped, the accused came out and said the same thing, their oft repeated quote was that the allegations were “categorically false!” But, I mean, what else are they going to say?
Epstein, as we all know by now, died via strangulation while in jail awaiting trial in which he was about to name drop really powerful, influential rich men, who frequented his under age girls and again, it wasn’t just sex, some of the women claim the men used them as slaves in brutal S&M sex dungeon rooms. Now, Epstein is dead, so he won’t be naming any names.
The first coroner says, Epstein died by “suicide,” the second coroner says, “Nope. Homicide.” Robach had an opinion on this too. From the leaked video:
“So, do I think he was killed? A hundred percent! Because, do you want it? He made his whole living blackmailing people. There were a lot of men in those planes, a lot of men who visited that island, a lot of powerful men who came into that apartment.”
Okay. This seems clear. Robach is claiming that Epstein invited powerful men to have sex with his underage sex slaves and then, Epstein may have pictures and / or video of these men in order to blackmail them.
Finally, Robach talks about Ghislaine Maxwell, the woman who was Epstein’s long time friend, associate and “madam.” Maxwell was the woman who found and trained the under ages girls for Epstein to use. Robach says:
“Ghislaine Maxwell. I had all sorts of stuff on her too. I love it. I really, I’m like, it’s so funny to hear everyone say her name. Excellent. Like, I had all of that. And everyone’s like, “Who’s that?” “Who cares?” I kept getting that. Um, she knows everything!”
And that would make sense. The madam who found and trained the girls clearly knows all about it. ABC did respond to the leaked video and basically said, “Yeah, we didn’t publish the story then because it didn’t meet our editorial standards but we’ve never stopped investigating Epstein and no one ever pressured us to drop the story.”
No one pressured you to drop the story? You think that’s a believable response? You can read their lame response here.
Anyway. Epstein was arrested for underage sex trafficking. He’s dead. Maxwell, a British citizen, knows all about it. She hasn’t been charged with any crimes.
A form of diabetes, having features that overlap with both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes, has been given the name, Type 1.5 Diabetes. Researchers suggest that Latent Autoimmune Diabetes in Adults (LADA), may comprise 10% of the diabetic population, and require insulin treatment be instituted earlier than in those previously diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes, because they may have an autoimmune etiology (seen in Type 1 diabetics)…… hence a Diabetes Type 1.5.
Type I Diabetes, previously called insulin dependent or Juvenile diabetes, occurs when the pancreas doesn’t produce insulin, possibly from the immune system destroying the cells that produce the hormone. When this occurs there is rapid weight loss and death could occur if the cells don’t get the sugar they need. Insulin has to be administered regularly.
Type II Diabetes, previously called non-insulin dependent or adult-onset diabetes, occurs in those who began with a fully functioning pancreas but as they age the pancreas produces less insulin, called insulin deficiency, or the insulin produced meets resistance. This is the fastest growing type of diabetes in both children and adults.
So Type 1.5 Diabetes may develop after childhood, as a working pancreas may, during adulthood, become damaged by the body’s immune system or, suggested by some, a virus. Those with Type 1.5 diabetes therefore may not be obese, may have had difficulty managing their blood sugar by diet and exercise alone, and may need assistance with insulin supplementation. If medical providers don’t recognize this early, and appropriate treatment is delayed, a patient may suffer multiple health issues and risks the longer their blood glucose levels are uncontrolled.
Diabetes is a disease in which the body doesn’t utilize and metabolize sugar properly. When we consume food, its broken down into proteins, nutrients, fats, water, and sugar. These components are necessary for cell growth and function. They get absorbed in the small intestine and make it to the bloodstream. In order for a cell to utilize sugar, it needs the hormone insulin to help guide it in. It’s similar to a key that fits in the keyhole of the “door” of the cell, opening it up so sugar can enter. Insulin is produced in the pancreas, an organ that receives signals when one eats to release insulin in preparation of the sugar load coming down the pike.
So I imagine our mouth like a waiting room, the blood stream like a hallway, and the cells of the body the rooms along the hallway. Insulin is the key to open the cells’ “doors” allowing sugar to enter. If the sugar does not get in, it stays in the bloodstream “hallway” and doesn’t feed the cell. Weight loss occurs, and individuals may become more thirsty as the sugar in the blood makes it fairly osmotic, something the body wants to neutralize, reduce. The kidneys are going to want to dump the excess sugar, so to do so, one would urinate more, again causing thirst. So when a diabetic loses weight, urinates more frequently and becomes thirsty, you now understand why.
Cardiovascular disease – Sugar is sticky, so it can easily add to atherosclerotic plaques.
Blindness – high sugar content draws in water to neutralize and small blood vessels in the eye can only take so much fluid before they burst. Moreover, high blood sugar weakens blood vessels.
Kidney disease – the kidneys work overtime to eliminate the excess sugar. Moreover, sugar laden blood isn’t the healthiest when they themselves need nourishment.
Infections – pathogens love sugar. Its food for them. Moreover blood laden with sugar doesn’t allow immune cells to work in the most opportune environment.
Neuropathy – nerves don’t receive adequate blood supply due to the diabetes-damaged blood flow and vessels, hence they become dull or hypersensitive causing diabetics to have numbness or pain.
Dementia – as with the heart and other organs, the brain needs healthy blood and flow. Diabetes has been found to increase risk of Alzheimer’s as well.
Insulin resistance, if using our hallway and door analogy, is as if someone is pushing against the door the insulin is trying to unlock. As we know, those with obesity are at higher risk for diabetes, hence fat can increase insulin resistance. It’s also been associated with an increase in heart disease.
If your fasting blood sugar (glucose) is greater than 126 mg/dl, or your non fasting blood sugar is greater than 200 mg/dl, you may be considered diabetic. Pre-diabetes occurs when the fasting blood sugar is between 100 and 125 mg/dl. If ignored, and the sugar rises, pre-diabetics may go on to develop diabetes.
1/3 of American adults are currently pre-diabetic. Experts predict 1/3 of US Adults will be diabetic by the year 2050. Although genetics plays a big role, decreasing ones sugar intake and maintaining an active lifestyle can help ward of diabetes.
Foods high in sugar and carbohydrates increase one’s risk, so a diet rich in vegetables and lean meats is preferred.
For more information, visit http://www.diabetes.org/.
The FDA has disclosed a new E. coli romaine lettuce outbreak, that has supposedly ended.
23 people from 12 states have become ill due to this recent outbreak of E. coli.
No deaths have been reported.
The Shiga toxin-producing E. coli O157:H7 sickened 23 people and hospitalized 11 between the dates July 12 and September 8th, with cases occurring in Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Maryland, North Carolina, Nevada, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, and South Carolina, with the majority of cases in California.
The FDA emphasizes that they believe the outbreak is over. However many wonder why they this wasn’t disclosed earlier.
The CDC did appear to begin its investigation earlier this Fall, and forward their concerns to the FDA, but jointly the disclosure didn’t come until now.
Symptoms of E. coli poisoning can occur anywhere from 1-10 days after ingestion.
And if progresses, can cause
Exposure to E. coli may occur from exposure to contaminated foods (from human or animal waste) or undercooked meats.
“To conquer a nation, first disarm its citizens.” –Adolph Hitler
Recently, I received in the mail a letter from a gun advocate group stating that Trump is getting bad advice and says he wants to “make a deal” with gun grabbers (1 Samuel 13:22).
It would do well for this president to remember the promises that he has made concerning the right to bear arms which is found in the 2nd Amendment of the Bill of Rights, as well as the oath that he swore when it came to law-abiding gun owners in this country.
The letter stated that so-called “universal background checks,” “Red flag” laws and mandatory “buy-back” schemes are all building blocks upon which the lawless criminal politicians will take your guns, or even worse, will jail those that resist.
Step One: “Universal background checks” require virtually EVERY gun transfer to be approved by the government, giving the federal government the opportunity to compile a list of every gun owner and what firearms they own.
Step Two: “Red flag” schemes let gun-grabbers personally target gun owners for surprise “shoot first, ask questions later” raids; and politically active gun owners will be the first ones affected.
Step Three: The mandatory “buy back” program IS the final step in gun confiscation! By calling it a ‘buy back” they make the program seem voluntary, but Americans who refuse to “sell” their guns will be ordered arrested.
The letter states put them together, and you have what we have repeatedly seen through history- registration and tracking of gun owners, followed by door-to-door confiscation and imprisonment of those who dissent.
And all of this is in direct and stark contrast with what our American forefathers established in arming their posterity (Luke 11:21-22).
“Firearms are second only to the Constitution in importance; they are the people's liberty teeth.” -President George Washington
What if purchasing medical products and services were like buying peanut butter? Grocery stores have several brands and varieties: smooth, chunky, old-fashioned, natural, organic, no added sugar, reduced fat, no-stir, and pre-mixed with jelly with clearly marked prices ranging from $1.75 for the store’s generic brand to $7 for the over-priced Yuppie brand. After carefully examining the labels, our shopper chose a 16-ounce, $5 jar of no-added-sugar peanut butter. She paid the cashier $5 for the peanut butter and went home.
If our shoppers were transported to the universe of medical billing with the $5 jar of peanut butter, the shopper with Medicare would pay $1.00 but her grandchild will be presented with a bill for $4. When the shopper with private health insurance attempts to pay, the cashier becomes unglued. The shopper cannot say whether she met her deductible or has a co-payment, and whether the brand of peanut butter is approved by the network. She really wants the peanut butter so she grabs the generic from the shelf and pays the $1.75. Our privately insured shopper was pleasantly surprised at the generic’s good taste and healthful ingredients, her wallet was happy for the cost savings, and she was glad not to have the middleman hassle.
Comparison shopping is one pillar of bringing sanity to the high cost of medical care, but the opacity of the pricing system for medical costs limits the value of posting list prices to encourage lower costs through shaming, competition, and choice. In addition to research and development, manufacturing, and distribution costs, drug costs are affected by additional layers of middlemen: pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) and insurers. Using a “trade secret” process, PBMs negotiate discounts and rebates for private and government insurers. The money saved is supposed to go back to the government (taxpayers) or to insurers to lower premiums or otherwise benefit patients. PBMs typically are paid by a percentage of the rebate or discount off the list price. The higher the price, the bigger the rebate. Thus, the rebate system gives an incentive to raise list prices rather than placing the lowest-priced drug on the insurer’s formulary. (This same system is used by Group Purchasing Organizations (GPOs) for hospital product purchases.)
An analysis of the effect of California’s 2-year old drug price transparency law illustrates the complexity of pricing. Despite being compelled to post list prices, pharmaceutical companies raised the list price for wholesalers by a median of 25.8 percent but the data did not indicate the “price” that consumers actually paid. Moreover, with medical services and products the simple What the Market Will Bear (WTMWB) pricing method works because either the medication is essential (e.g., Epi-Pen®), has no alternative, is in short supply, or the medical consumer is not paying directly for the services.
Similarly, publishing hospital the charge description master (“chargemaster”). i.e., the standard industry price does not give consumers enough information to make a rational choice regarding elective medical services. The data necessary to make price comparisons depends on an individual’s circumstances. More relevant than the chargemaster price, a self-pay patient needs to know the lowest possible cash price. A patient with health insurance must know (1) whether the hospital is in the insurance network, (2) the price negotiated between the health care provider and insurer (including Medicare), (3) the amount and method of calculating cost-sharing, (4) the amount Medicare or other insurer will pay for services performed in a physician’s office in contrast to the hospital which tags on a “facility fee.”
Transparency is one tool for lowering costs through choice. As one of many studies on hospital consolidation noted, “The Sky’s the Limit” on prices where there is lack of competition. But the difficulties of achieving useful price transparency must not be a cue for the government to initiate bureaucratic band-aids. As we have seen with Obamacare, forcing insurers to pay more of the costs leads to higher premiums, deductibles, and/or co-pays.
Nor should the government impose price caps. President Nixon’s 1971 wage and price freeze brought product shortages—which we are already facing with certain drugs, including anesthetics and chemotherapy agents. If the government sticks to enforcing anti-trust laws, a competitive market will thrive. The court house door anti-trust settlement by Northern California’s Sutter Health sends a message to big hospital chains to stop using their market share to inflate prices or require insurers to join their networks on an all-or-nothing basis to prevent insurers from negotiating lower prices at individual hospitals.
If we can get to the point of direct exchange of money for goods and services and reserve health insurance for major expenses, we can see costs decrease just as we have seen with the Surgery Center of Oklahoma over the last 10 years.
Dr. Singleton is a board-certified anesthesiologist. She is Immediate Past President of the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS). Her opinions, medical or otherwise, are her own. She is a guest columnist and this is an edited version of her article originally written for pennypress.com, reprinted with permission.