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

Chronicles Of Depression 2.0: #476: Rules?

December 19, 2008

Into the Economic Abyss

Many people — including yours truly — have looked to events of 80 years ago to try and figure out how things might play out in future. But maybe it isn’t necessary to go back that far. There have been other economic implosions in more recent times that might offer lessons that are just as illuminating. In fact, one of my regular visitors, Jason, suggested that I check out a blog, Surviving in Argentina, published by an anonymous Argentinean, which offers up some disturbing but absorbing accounts of life in that beleaguered Latin American nation. After reading a post written a few weeks ago, entitled “Despair in Once-Proud Argentina,” it made me wonder whether we will see an equally calamitous ending here.

If this account doesn’t make you cry, please do the rest of us a favor and kill yourself. You are too deluded to face reality — or you’re one of the sociopathic pathogens infecting this nation.

A few clips:

“I can’t explain it, and maybe I never will be able to[.] [. . .] But maybe you can start to figure out why. You have to wonder: Is all this really happening? Are our politicians so corrupt? Are we now really so poor? Have the banks really stolen our money? And the answers are yes, yes, yes and yes.”

And:

“Am I proud of what we did? No, of course not. Would I do it again? Yes, of course. You start to live by different rules.

Emphasis in the original.

With each post, I am trying to plant into your head in ways that cannot be avoided how absolutely horrific the breakdown of our advanced society can — will — be.

Because I don’t want it to happen to us!

“You can’t know what it’s like to see your children hungry and feel helpless to stop it,” she said. “The food is there, in the grocery store, but you just can’t afford to buy it anymore. My husband keeps working, but he keeps bringing home less and less. We never had much, but we always had food, no matter how bad things got. But these are not normal times.”

Emphasis added by me.

I paused while creating this post to read the comments for it. That caused me to add my own Comment, which is a fitting way to end this post:

Jesus Christ.

If I read one more whiny crybaby “Offer us solutions!!!” post, I’ll scream. OK, I’m screaming NOW.

WTF is wrong with you lot?

You’ve been given the very rare privilege here of seeing the breakdown of an advanced society into absolute horror. Some of you are thinking, unsaid, “Oh, it’s just those effing spicks, that’s how they are!” The other lot are thinking, “Hey, my gun will be my passport!”

Both of you are unfit for survival with what’s coming up.

Your “solution” — such as it will be — is YOU. What the hell do you think made this country, a pack of crybabies telling the proto-revolutionaries, “Oh, give us a solution EXCEPT overthrowing Old George”?!

Your money is shit.
Your gold is shit.
Your gun is shit.

Start there and YOU can begin to CREATE some solutions.

FA, thanks much for this post. I’m linking to it.

And so I have.

Update: For those who will stupidly dismiss this account because it’s from a “Doom site,” here’s the original source: The Washington Post!

Advertisements

Chronicles Of Depression 2.0: #468: End Of Days

December 8, 2008

Vauxhall Insignia 2.8 V6
An adequate way to drive to hell

Yes, this is a car columnist. Yes, this is a column about cars.

It also presents the most frank assessment of our economic doom.

I have spoken to a couple of pretty senior bankers in the past couple of weeks and their story is rather different. They don’t refer to the looming problems as being like 1992 or even 1929. They talk about a total financial meltdown. They talk about the End of Days.

Emphasis added by me.

And:

It is impossible for someone who scored a U in his economics A-level to grapple with the consequences of all this but I’m told that in simple terms money will cease to function as a meaningful commodity. The binary dots and dashes that fuel the entire system will flicker and die. And without money there will be no business. No means of selling goods. No means of transporting them. No means of making them in the first place even. That’s why another friend of mine has recently sold his London house and bought somewhere in the country . . . with a kitchen garden.

These, as I see them, are the facts. Planet Earth thought it had £10. But it turns out we had only £2. Which means everyone must lose 80% of their wealth. And that’s going to be a problem if you were living on the breadline beforehand.

Eventually, of course, the system will reboot itself, but for a while there will be absolute chaos: riots, lynchings, starvation. It’ll be a world without power or fuel, and with no fuel there’s no way the modern agricultural system can be maintained. Which means there will be no food either. You might like to stop and think about that for a while.

Emphasis added by me.

Oh, you can read it again and again and wonder if his tongue is planted in his cheek. That’s what the Brits are very, very good at doing. But reading through it carefully, all to the end, and no, he’s telling the truth you won’t see on front pages.

Update: Jeremy Clarkson on car sales decline — here’s a BBC video with him on the radio briefly mentioning key points written above. You decide. I don’t see tongue-in-cheek. (Thanks to Alan Pritt for this!)

Welcome To Our Bad American Future

December 7, 2008

Your philosophy question for 2009 or 2010. Or maybe both years!

brandontweet120708

Chronicles Of Depression 2.0: #463: The Ws

December 7, 2008

You Can Only Bury Your Head In The Sand For So Long

People don’t seem to understand, or maybe they just don’t want to understand, or maybe the talking heads are trying to keep them from understanding, how bad this is, this crisis, this financial crisis, this “slowdown”, this “contraction”.

Let me help. The U.S. is broke. States and municipalities are in debt up to their eyeballs. Trillions of “dollars” are being spent by government agents in a desperate attempt to hold back the flood of bankruptcies and liquidations — bankruptcies and liquidations that MUST eventually occur — for another month or two. The international banking system teeters on the brink of implosion. In the eyes of Henry Paulson and Ben Bernanke, everyone has become too big to fail, because these guys know that failure of one could mean a collapse of all. The entire human web of interdependence — not simply in the financial realm of Collateralized Debt Obligations and Mortgage Backed Securities and Credit Default Swaps and Futures and Options and Bonds and the like, but of tangible infrastructure, like food and water and power and fuel and all of things we need to survive — it is all hanging together by a thread. And in some parts of the world the thread has already frayed away to nothing, exposing people to the real-life horrors of collapse.

Emphasis added by me.

This is a post many of you will note in passing right now and then come back to later in panic. He goes over the Ws:

WHEAT, WATER, WATTS, WASTE, WELLNESS and WORK.

You’ll be repeating those to others at some point in 2009.

Or having people on TV reciting them to your face.

That’s if you still have electricity.

For those of you who mocked my term “micro-terrorism,” especially note this:

Terrorists in countries such as Colombia frequently attack the power-grid infrastructure, often leaving homes and businesses without power for weeks at a time. The power-grid infrastructure in the United States is virtually unprotected and remains an exceptionally soft target for both domestic and foreign-based terrorists.

Previously here:

AMERICAN GOTTERDAMMERUNG

Chronicles Of Depression 2.0: #445: Zimbabwe 2

December 1, 2008

Soldiers rampage at Harare bank

Because of a national cash shortage, Zimbabweans can only withdraw small amounts of money every day – often barely enough to buy a loaf of bread.

The country’s economic freefall has been accelerating and the latest annual inflation rate was 231,000,000%. Just one adult in five is estimated to have a regular job.

Earlier, the state-owned Herald newspaper reported that water in the capital had been cut because of a shortage of purification chemicals, as authorities try to contain a cholera outbreak.

At least 425 people have died in recent months from the disease, which is spread by contaminated water.

The outbreak has been fuelled by the collapse of Zimbabwe’s health and sanitation systems. The disease is easily treatable but hospitals lack medicines and staff.

I didn’t even raise the point of communicable disease outbreaks in American Gotterdammerung.

Zimbabwe is one of our possible futures.

Previously here:

Chronicles Of Depression 2.0: #373: Zimbabwe

What Thing Will Happen To Us?

November 25, 2008

All the financial rescue plans are based upon a conceit.

It is this: That the world outside of the numbers will remain as it is.

That conceit alone can kill all of us.

The People of the Abyss by Jack London
(first published by Macmillan, 1903)

Chapter 8: the Carter and the Carpenter

The Carter had buried his wife and children, with the exception of one son, who grew to manhood and helped him in his little business. Then the thing happened. The son, a man of thirty-one, died of the smallpox. No sooner was this over than the father came down with fever and went to the hospital for three months. Then he was done for. He came out weak, debilitated, no strong young son to stand by him, his little business gone glimmering, and not a farthing. The thing had happened, and the game was up. No chance for an old man to start again. Friends all poor and unable to help. He had tried for work when they were putting up the stands for the first Coronation parade. ‘An’ I got fair sick of the answer; “No! no! no!” It rang in my ears at night when I tried to sleep, always the same, “No! no! no!”‘ Only the past week he had answered an advertisement in Hackney, and on giving his age was told, ‘Oh, too old, too old by far.’

Chapter 9: The Spike

It seems that not only the man who becomes old is punished for his involuntary misfortune, but likewise the man who is struck by disease or accident. Later on, I talked with another man, — ‘Ginger’ we called him, who stood at the head of the line — a sure indication that he had been waiting since one o’clock. A year before, one day, while in the employ of a fish dealer, he was carrying a heavy box of fish which was too much for him. Result: ‘something broke,’ and there was the box on the ground, and he on the ground beside it.

At the first hospital, whither he was immediately carried, they said it was a rupture, reduced the swelling, gave him some vaseline to rub on it, kept him four hours, and told him to get along. But he was not on the streets more than two or three hours when he was down on his back again. This time he went to another hospital and was patched up. But the point is, the employer did nothing, positively nothing, for the man injured in his employment, and even refused him ‘a light job now and again,’ when he came out. As far as Ginger is concerned, he is a broken man. His only chance to earn a living was by heavy work. He is now incapable of performing heavy work, and from now until he dies, the spike, the peg, and the streets are all he can look forward to in the way of food and shelter. The thing happened — that is all. He put his back under too great a load of fish, and his chance for happiness in life was crossed off the books.

Chapter 17: Inefficiency

As an illustration of how a good worker may suddenly become inefficient, and what then happens to him, I am tempted to give the case of M’Garry, a man thirty-two years of age, and an inmate of the workhouse. The extracts are quoted from the annual report of the trade union:

I worked at Sullivan’s place in Widnes, better known as the British Alkali Chemical Works. I was working in a shed, and I had to cross the yard. It was ten o’clock at night, and there was no light about. While crossing the yard I felt something take hold of my leg and screw it off. I became unconscious; I didn’t know what became of me for a day or two. On the following Sunday night I came to my senses, and found myself in the hospital. I asked the nurse what was to do with my legs, and she told me both legs were off.

There was a stationary crank in the yard, let into the ground; the hole was 18 inches long, 15 inches deep, and 15 inches wide. The crank revolved in the hole three revolutions a minute. There was no fence or covering over the hole. Since my accident they have stopped it altogether, and have covered the hole up with a piece of sheet iron . . . . They gave me £25. They didn’t reckon that as compensation; they said it was only for charity’s sake. Out of that I paid £9 for a machine by which to wheel myself about.

I was laboring at the time I got my legs off. I got twenty-four shillings a week, rather better pay than the other men, because I used to take shifts. When there was heavy work, to be done I used to be picked out to do it. Mr. Manton, the manager, visited me at the hospital several times. When I was getting better, I asked him if he would be able to find me a job. He told me not to trouble myself, as the firm was not cold-hearted. I would be right enough in any case . . . . Mr. Manton stopped coming to see me; and the last time, he said he thought of asking the directors to give me a fifty-pound note, so I could go home to my friends in Ireland.

Poor M’Garry! He received rather better pay than the other men because he was ambitious and took shifts, and when heavy work was to be done he was the man picked out to do it. And then the thing happened, and he went into the workhouse. The alternative to the workhouse is to go home to Ireland and burden his friends for the rest of his life. Comment is superfluous.

Chapter 18: Wages

All of which is hard enough. But the thing happens; the husband and father breaks his leg or his neck. No 9 cents a day per mouth for food is coming in; no 9 1/2 mills’ worth of bread per meal; and, at the end of the week, no $1.50 for rent. So out they must go, to the streets or the workhouse, or to a miserable den, somewhere, in which the mother will desperately endeavor to hold the family together on the 10 shillings she may possibly be able to earn.

Chapter 21: The Precariousness of Life

Old age, of course, makes pauperism. And then there is the accident, the thing happening, the death or disablement of the husband, father, and bread-winner. Here is a man, with a wife and three children, living on the ticklish security of twenty shillings ($5.00) per week — and there are hundreds of thousands of such families in London. Perforce, to even half exist, they must live up to the last penny of it, so that a week’s wages, $5.00, is all that stands between this family and pauperism or starvation. The thing happens, the father is struck down, and what then? A mother with three children can do little or nothing. Either she must hand her children over to society as juvenile paupers, in order to be free to do something adequate for herself, or she must go to the sweat-shops for work which she can perform in the vile den possible to her reduced income. But with the sweat-shops, married women who eke out their husband’s earnings, and single women who have but themselves miserably to support, determine the scale of wages. And this scale of wages, so determined, is so low that the mother and her three children can live only in positive beastliness and semi-starvation, till decay and death end their suffering.

And:

Yet this mother and her three children we are considering, have done no wrong that they should be so punished. They have not sinned. The thing happened, that is all; the husband, father, and bread-winner, was struck down. There is no guarding against it. It is fortuitous. A family stands so many chances of escaping the bottom of the Abyss, and so many chances of falling plump down to it. The chance is reducible to cold, pitiless figures, and a few of these figures will not be out of place.

And:

To the young working-man or working-woman, or married couple, there is no assurance of happy or healthy middle life, nor of solvent old age. Work as they will, they cannot make their future secure. It is all a matter of chance. Everything depends upon the thing happening, the thing with which they have nothing to do. Precaution cannot fend it off, nor can wiles evade it. If they remain on the industrial battlefield they must face it and take their chance against heavy odds. Of course, if they are favorably made and are not tied by kinship duties, they may run away from the industrial battlefield. In which event, the safest thing the man can do is to join the army; and for the woman, possibly, to become a Red Cross nurse or go into a nunnery. In either case they must forego home and children and all that makes life worth living and old age other than a nightmare.

Chapter 22: Suicide

Misfortune and misery are very potent in turning people’s heads, and drive one person to the lunatic asylum, and another to the morgue or the gallows. When the thing happens, and the father and husband, for all of his love for wife and children and his willingness to work, can get no work to do, it is a simple matter for his reason to totter and the light within his brain go out. And it is especially simple when it is taken into consideration that his body is ravaged by innutrition and disease, in addition to his soul being torn by the sight of his suffering wife and little ones.

And:

Frank Cavilla lived and worked as a house decorator in London. He is described as a good workman, a steady fellow, and not given to drink, while all his neighbors unite in testifying that he was a gentle and affectionate husband and father.

His wife, Hannah Cavilla, was a big, handsome, light-hearted woman. She saw to it that his children were sent neat and clean (the neighbors all remarked the fact) to the Childeric Road Board School. And so, with such a man, so blessed, working steadily and living temperately, all went well, and the goose hung high.

Then the thing happened. He worked for a Mr. Beck, builder, and lived in one of his master’s houses in Trundley Road, Mr. Beck was thrown from his trap and killed. The thing was an unruly horse, and, as I say, it happened. Cavilla had to seek fresh employment and find another house.

This occurred eighteen months ago. For eighteen months he fought the big fight. He got rooms in a little house on Batavia Road, but could not make both ends meet. Steady work could not be obtained. He struggled manfully at casual employment of all sorts, his wife and four children starving before his eyes. He starved himself, and grew weak, and fell ill. This was three months ago, and then there was absolutely no food at all. They made no complaint, spoke no word; but poor folk know. The housewives of Batavia Road sent them food, but so respectable were the Cavillas that the food was sent anonymously, mysteriously, so as not to hurt their pride.

The thing had happened. He had fought, and starved, and suffered for eighteen months. He got up one September morning, early. He opened his pocket-knife. He cut the throat of his wife, Hannah Cavilla, aged thirty-three. He cut the throat of his first-born, Frank, aged twelve. He cut the throat of his son, Walter, aged eight. He cut the throat of his daughter, Nellie, aged four. He cut the throat of his youngest-born, Ernest, aged sixteen months. Then he watched beside the dead all day until the evening, when the police came, and he told them to put a penny in the slot of the gas-meter in order that they might have light to see.

Out of order, but a fitting climax:

Chapter 19: The Ghetto

The application of the Golden Rule determines that East London is an unfit place in which to live. Where you would not have your own babe live, and develop, and gather to itself knowledge of life and the things of life, is not a fit place for the babes of other men to live, and develop, and gather to themselves knowledge of life and the things of life. It is a simple thing, this Golden Rule, and all that is required. Political economy and the survival of the fittest can go hang if they say otherwise. What is not good enough for you is not good enough for other men, and there’s no more to be said.

Emphasis by me throughout.

A Statin Drug Can Murder Your Mind

November 17, 2008

Who Should Take a Statin?

The benefits of the statin were so striking that a monitoring board stopped the trial in midcourse so that the placebo group could get the medicine, too. Those who got the statin had 54 percent fewer heart attacks, 48 percent fewer strokes and 20 percent fewer deaths from all causes. The participants included men 50 and older and women 60 and older with no history of heart disease or high cholesterol. But they all had high levels of CRP, and many had such other risk factors as high blood pressure, obesity and smoking. Whether the statin helped because it reduced normal cholesterol to even lower levels or because it reduced CRP levels is not clear.

The rah-rah blind cheerleading of this New York Times Editorial(!) is very disturbing.

It ignores the accounts of many people whose lives have been devastated by the side-effects of statin drugs.

I was on my way to being one of those people.

The human body is the most complex system we have ever encountered. Apparently some people are able to escape the worst possible side-effects of these drugs. Others, like me, cannot.

It’s vital to know what these possible side-effects are and to be extremely vigilant in determining if they are creeping up on you. For that’s how they happen: in very, very small steps that are invisible until they impact in a very, very big way.

See my prior posts here for how Simvastatin nearly ate my mind. I’m still not convinced that I’ve been able to reverse all of its effects. We don’t have the scientific tools to measure that. And in my own case, I lack the pre-statin brain scans, etc, that could show any Before & After differences.

There is one thing I’m thoroughly convinced of: All cases of Alzheimer’s disease should first be treated by removing statins from a victim’s daily routine. Re-cholesterolize the brain and see if that makes a difference. I think we’d see many cases of Alzheimer’s disappear — or at least dramatically improve — when statins are withdrawn.

Previously here:

Iron Lady Thatcher: Dementia
Writer Terry Pratchett Has Alzheimer’s
Statin Drugs: Brain Changes?
Statin Drugs: What You Must Know
Was My Brain Screaming To Itself?
Statin Drugs And Ersatz Alzheimer’s
Statin Drugs: More Fraud
James Kendrick Describes His Stroke
Statin Drugs: Two Notes
Statin Drugs: No Blood
Statin Drugs: Does V.P. Dick Cheney Take One?
Statin Drugs: Jarvik Ads Withdrawn
Statin Drugs: More Better!
Statin Drugs: Pain For Nothing
Statin Drugs: Survey
Simvastatin Made Me Insane
Simvastatin: This Happened To Me Too!
Simvastatin Vs. My Mind
Stopping My Statin
Give Me Back My Mind!