Archive for the ‘C.O.A.T. – Health’ category

Chronicles Of Depression 2.0: #263: Houston

September 28, 2008

See what life was like for someone in Houston, post-Gustav, without electricity for two weeks: beginning again

Survival advice (lite!) for American Gotterdammerung.

– via Twitter from CPhillips0923

AMERICAN GOTTERDAMMERUNG

September 24, 2008

This post is a Sticky. It will remain here until the alleged bailout by Congress has been approved.

Update, Friday October 3, 2008:

For new posts, scroll down to the next one.

I’ve seen posts elsewhere by people stating they’d rather see the collapse of the entire economic system instead of having the current alleged bailout go through. They believe they could live through the consequences of that.

They are so wrong.

Get Depression 1.0 out of your head right now.

We are not that people. We are not that population.

A collapse on the scale we are in danger of right now is unprecedented in all of human history. There is absolutely nothing else to compare it to. This is a strange land we have never before visited.

I’m going to take you through a tour of this possible future. I intend to scare the living shit out of you in doing so. I do it not of out some perverse glee. I do it to try to wake all of you up to the very real and probable calamity ahead.

(more…)

Reference: Bisphenol A (BPA)

September 16, 2008

Packaging chemical ‘increases heart disease risk’

Exposure to a ubiquitous chemical used in plastic baby bottles, food cans and a host of other products may increase the risk of developing heart disease and diabetes, a study suggests.

In the first major study of the possible health effects of bisphenol A (BPA), one of the world’s most heavily-produced substances, researchers found that even small traces in the body — less than 100 times the current recommended limits — were potentially linked to health problems.

BPA can be found in detectable levels in nine out of ten people, suggesting that it is widespread and enters the body primarily through food but also through drinking water, dental sealants, absorption through the skin or inhalation of household dusts.

The researchers, from the Peninsula Medical School, Exeter, found that relatively high levels of the chemical found in urine were associated with a three times higher risk of cardiovascular disease and more than twice the risk for type-2 diabetes.

OK, this is really really really freaking me out now.

This is a chemical I also mentioned at the old blog: Today’s This Is Just Too Damned Scary For Me To Think About

Chronicles Of Depression 2.0: #194

September 14, 2008

Three dominoes are about to fall:

Lehman Brothers set to collapse after Barclays and Bank of America pull out of bidding

Barclays tonight pulled out of a deal to save U. S. investment bank Lehman Brothers, which is on the verge of collapse.

In a further blow, the Bank of America also ruled itself out of a rescue deal.

Both were scared off after the U.S. authorities refused to provide guarantees protecting them against potential losses from the stricken Wall Street giant – the world’s fourth biggest investment bank.

Emphasis added by me.

Everyone who’s been scoffing at my Chronicles of Depression 2.0 posts, note this:

Alan Greenspan also described the banking crisis as the worst of his career and possibly the worst in a century including the 1929 Wall Street crash.

‘There’s no question that this is in the process of outstripping anything I’ve seen, and it still is not resolved and it still has a way to go,’ he said.

Emphasis added by me. All of you are familiar with Greenspan. He does not routinely make such scary declarations! He usually understates everything.

Now do you begin to see? Next up:

Bank of America in Talks to Buy Merrill Lynch

Bank of America is in advanced talks to buy Merrill Lynch for at least $38.25 billion in stock, people briefed on the negotiations said on Sunday, as a means to preserve that investment bank while Lehman Brothers looks likely to collapse.

The move suggests a desperate effort at triage on Wall Street, as Bank of America works to shore up the likely next victim of the credit crunch. A deal, valued at between $25 a share to $30 a share, could be announced as soon as Sunday night, these people said. Merrill shares closed at $17.05 on Friday.

Bank of America, the nation’s second largest bank by asset size, had been mulling buying Lehman, perhaps in a consortium with other financial players. But with financial aid from the government looking unlikely, Bank of America has moved on to Merrill, these people said.

And one probably none of you suspected:

Rush Is On to Prevent Big Insurer From Failing

State insurance regulators and executives of the American International Group, the insurance company, rushed on Sunday to arrange a capital infusion to stabilize the company in the face of possible credit downgrades.

It was unclear whether A.I.G. would succeed in its capital search, but a person briefed on the discussions said it was seeking more than $15 billion even as it tried to sell assets to shore up its financial footing.

Investors, afraid that A.I.G. would have to absorb further write-downs in its already damaged mortgage securities and collateralized debt obligations, have driven down the company’s shares in recent days. The stock closed Friday at $12.14 a share, a decline of 46 percent for the week.

A.I.G.’s problems are not new. The company lost $13.2 billion in the first six months of 2008, largely owing to declining values in mortgage-related securities held in its investment portfolio and collateralized debt obligations it owns.

But the company’s outlook grew grimmer last week when Standard & Poor’s warned that it was considering downgrading the company’s debt as a result of further write-downs it might have to take.

Emphasis added by me.

How many banks have to collapse? How many large companies have to be bailed out? How many layoffs must there be?

Until all of you are finally on the same page as me?

I stated it back in January. It was my fifth post in this new blog. Already — over nine months ago — I saw the shape of things coming up.

While all the rest of you debate the current configuration of the upcoming election as if it was a cheap sporting event, I’m trying to impress upon your brain the absolute and critical urgency of the mess we are in.

This is goddam serious!

We are going to be facing something unprecedented in American history — perhaps even in human history.

Keep ignoring the facts. There will come a day — perhaps before Election Day — when you will gasp.

And if there is a God, may he have mercy on us all!

Free eBook: Dr. Weston A. Price

August 31, 2008

At Project Gutenberg Australia, they have Nutrition and Physical Degeneration Dr. Weston A. Price. Subtitled, A Comparison of Primitive and Modern Diets and Their Effects, it’s guaranteed to be unlike any other book you’ve ever read.

It’s only available as on-screen HTML. But don’t worry about that for now. What I want you to do is scroll down and stop and see and read all 100+ of the photographs. Such as these two:

You’ll want to read it. It’s a masterpiece.

I previously mentioned this book in Your Gums Can Kill You.

Chronicles Of Depression 2.0: #186

August 9, 2008

Yes, I see oil falling and the American dollar rising.

Temporary ebb and flow.

The longer term is what I’ve been chronicling here.

And even with the revenge effects of greed all around us, the drug industry thinks it can still cut itself a fatter piece of America’s wallet, those bastards.

Drug prices up 100% — or higher

Drug companies are quietly pushing through price hikes of 100% — or even more than 1,000% — for a very small but growing number of prescription drugs, helping to drive up costs for insurers, patients and government programs.

The number of brand-name drugs with increases of 100% or more could double this year from four years ago, researchers from the University of Minnesota say. Many of the drugs are older products that treat fairly rare, but often serious or even life-threatening, conditions.

Among the examples: Questcor Pharmaceuticals last August raised the wholesale price on Acthar, which treats spasms in babies, from about $1,650 a vial to more than $23,000. Ovation raised the cost of Cosmegen, which treats a type of tumor, from $16.79 to $593.75 in January 2006.

The average wholesale price of 26 brand-name drugs jumped 100% or more in a single cost adjustment last year, up from 15 in 2004, the university study found. In the first half of this year, 17 drugs made the list.

Where the hell is the Congress? Why aren’t there hearings about this?

It’s all of a piece: the sabotage.

Red Headlines For July 28, 2008

July 28, 2008

THAT ’70S WOE IN RERUN
GOV WARNING OF WORST ECONOMY IN DECADES

ALBANY – Gov. Paterson, convinced the state faces its worst fiscal crisis since the mid-1970s, will deliver the grim news in an unprecedented special address to New Yorkers as soon as tomorrow night, The Post has learned.

Emphasis added by me.

And:

“The situation is worse than anyone realizes,” said a source close to Paterson.

Emphasis added by me.

And:

Paterson warned last week that Wall Street bonuses – a major source of state tax revenue – will likely drop by 20 percent or more this year.

A day later the state Financial Control Board said New York City’s projected two-year deficit had grown by a whopping $4 billion because of Wall Street losses and the economy’s overall decline.

Emphasis added by me.

It’s just the beginning.

Factor X: Global Pandemic?

July 21, 2008

World warned over killer flu pandemic

The world is failing to guard against the inevitable spread of a devastating flu pandemic which could kill 50 million people and wreak massive disruption around the globe, the Government has warned.

Emphasis added by me.

I’m still waiting for Factor X to kick in the door, yell Howdy!, and sit a spell.


Factor X, is that you?

Chronicles Of Depression 2.0: #164

July 20, 2008

Given a Shovel, Americans Dig Deeper Into Debt

But right up until she hit the wall financially, Ms. McLeod was a dream customer for lenders. She juggled not one but two mortgages, both with interest rates that rose over time, and a car loan and high-cost credit card debt. Separated and living with her 20-year-old son, she worked two jobs so she could afford her small, two-bedroom ranch house in suburban Philadelphia, the Kia she drove to work, and the handbags and knickknacks she liked.

Then last year, back-to-back medical emergencies helped push her over the edge. She could no longer afford either her home payments or her credit card bills. Then she lost her job. Now her home is in foreclosure and her credit profile in ruins.

She worked two jobs. She wasn’t a deadbeat.

Then, as Jack London so succinctly and aptly put it in The People of the Abyss (free ebook link — but best read with the photographs or downloaded as a free PDF with them), “The thing happens.”

Ms. McLeod, who is 47, readily admits her money problems are largely of her own making. But as surely as it takes two to tango, she had partners in her financial demise. In recent years, those partners, including the financial giants Citigroup, Capital One and GE Capital, were collecting interest payments totaling more than 40 percent of her pretax income and thousands more in fees.

Years of spending more than they earn have left a record number of Americans like Ms. McLeod standing at the financial precipice. They have amassed a mountain of debt that grows ever bigger because of high interest rates and fees.

While the circumstances surrounding these downfalls vary, one element is identical: the lucrative lending practices of America’s merchants of debt have led millions of Americans — young and old, native and immigrant, affluent and poor — to the brink. More and more, Americans can identify with miners of old: in debt to the company store with little chance of paying up.

It is not just individuals but the entire economy that is now suffering. Practices that produced record profits for many banks have shaken the nation’s financial system to its foundation. As a growing number of Americans default, banks are recording hundreds of billions in losses, devastating their shareholders.

Emphasis added by me.

CitiGroup, the largest of the large. How could they not know the repayment ability of the people to whom they were extending these loans? Where was their legally-mandated due diligence?

As for those shareholders: Look in the mirror, sucker! It’s probably you and all the victims too! What’s your money — and retirement money — invested in that you don’t know of? They’ve screwed you both ways — coming and going! Right here right now and in your future retirement years!

In short: Your life has been stolen.

You are now a slave!

More:

But behind the big increase in consumer debt is a major shift in the way lenders approach their business. In earlier years, actually being repaid by borrowers was crucial to lenders. Now, because so much consumer debt is packaged into securities and sold to investors, repayment of the loans takes on less importance to those lenders than the fees and charges generated when loans are made.

Emphasis added by me.

Where the hell are the RICO statutes to prosecute these bastards?! This is racketeering! This is outright fraud up-front!

More:

“Today the focus for lenders is not so much on consumer loans being repaid, but on the loan as a perpetual earning asset,” said Julie L. Williams, chief counsel of the Comptroller of the Currency, in a March 2005 speech that received little notice at the time.

Emphasis added by me.

If you can’t see that as slavery, you’re blind!

Just look at this:

Tallying what the lenders have made off Ms. McLeod over the years is revealing. In 2007, when she earned $48,000 before taxes, she was charged more than $20,000 in interest on her various loans.

Emphasis added by me.

Slavery!

Even more damning:

Her first mortgage, originated by the EquiFirst Corporation, charged her $14,136 a year, and her second, held by CitiFinancial, added $4,000. Capital One, a credit card company that charged her 28 percent interest on her balances, billed $1,400 in annual interest. GE Money Bank levied 27 percent on the $1,500 or so that Ms. McLeod owed on an account she had with a local jewelry store, adding more than $400.

Emphasis added by me.

These rates used to be the province of loansharking operations! Now it’s legal!

Can you believe this? –

The Federal Reserve Board, for instance, recently put into effect rules barring a lender from making a loan without regard to the borrower’s ability to repay it.

Emphasis added by me.

Once Upon A Time In America, there were these people called Loan Officers. They were specialists in calculating a loan applicant’s ability to repay. Where the hell did that occupation in finance go?!

As the profits in this indebtedness grew, financial companies moved aggressively to protect them, spending millions of dollars to lobby against any moves lawmakers might take to rein in questionable lending.

But consumers are voicing anger over lending practices. A recent proposal by the Federal Reserve Board to limit some abusive practices has drawn more than 11,000 letters since May. Most are from irate borrowers.

Emphasis added by me.

And all of you wonder why I’m voting for Ralph Nader? Do you think he would have let any of that pass in Congress without a huge, huge bloody fight? All you Obama fanatics, what’s his voting record on all of this? Did he help sell you down the river?

Read the entire article, especially the plight of Diane McLeod at the end. They shook her down like champion con artists!

Finally: All you people who’ve squawked over the years that I “never buy anything” — be sure to drop me a line when they’re coming to collect all the toys you splurged on with your credit cards! That’s one thing that will never happen to me, baby! Enjoy your misery.

Where’s your money today?

You damn well better educate yourself!

Right Then. Time To Fake Impotence.

June 9, 2008

Study: 1 in 4 adults in NYC have herpes virus

NEW YORK (AP) – A city Health Department study finds that more than a fourth of adult New Yorkers are infected with the virus that causes genital herpes.

The study, released Monday, says about 26 percent of New York City adults have genital herpes, compared to about 19 percent nationwide.

I’d rather be ridiculed instead of blistered.

Hmmmm … is that a cold sore on your lip or are you just unhappy to still be living?


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