“Don’t Forget Medicaid”

See the whole thing from Congressman Chris Murphy of Connecticut:

“As we wait for the white smoke to emerge from the ‘grand bargain’ negotiations at the White House, most Americans are already aware of the Republicans’ plan to dismantle and privatize Medicare and Social Security. But what many people may not realize is just how dangerous it would be to slash funding for a program that 60 million Americans rely on for their basic health care needs: Medicaid.

“While it seems that just about every major industry or interest group has teams of lobbyists in Washington looking out for them, some of our most vulnerable citizens simply don’t have a voice in a town where unfortunately, money still talks the loudest.

“Why? Medicaid covers only the impoverished and disabled, so it lacks a traditional advocacy base. This may be news to Republicans — but most poor people I know are spending all their time trying to find a job and put food on the table.”

Take IBS seriously!

Insurance cos. promote abortion to save money, killing disabled babies?

Looks mighty suspicious here.  I speak as a disabled person!

IOTM also to ask who’s more “disabled”: a person with special needs who maybe drives his family and neighbors and teachers and acquaintances crazy … or a world that would rather do without us?

“Suffering”?  I know a little about that subject, though definitely not as much as many of us disabled.  But killing us in the wombs of our mothers denies us even the chance that we’ll struggle and overcome it, or others will cure it or at least lessen our suffering.  Who ever said life was supposed to be free of suffering?

I also speak as an Eastern Orthodox Christian.  In original Christianity suffering has an honored place: it can make us more like our Founder, who suffered a bit Himself.  I don’t mean ‘Suffer like Jesus suffered’ — that’s just masochism.  But Orthodoxy teaches that suffering* may help cure us of our own will and inadequate understanding … and Orthodoxy itself directs us to the Will and Understanding of One Whose Will and Understanding are infinitely perfect.  In fact, many ancient Christians envied the original Holy Martyrs, and found the real and difficult Struggle was ordained for those who lived in the Faith to a ripe old age.  Furthermore, Orthodoxy says that even though we Orthodox with long-term illness/disability might not or ought not, for instance, participate in the Church’s fasting rules and Traditions (i.e., abstaining from certain foods at certain times), God Himself has as it were fitted us with this special ascesis to purify us of sinfulness,** He has allowed this to happen to us.  Some admired, sick Orthodox have taken this teaching so to heart that they have ceased desiring to be cured — again, understanding that it may be easier than the “normal” Orthodox ascetic spiritual path, and blessed by God.  If I may paraphrase St. Raphael of Brooklyn, ‘Man — or demons — may have meant this to me for bad, but God means it for the good.’  Orthodoxy also still teaches that miracles do happen, by the Graciousness of God.

(I don’t say this as someone who has reached such wisdom or dispassion himself yet.  But it does seem most reasonable.)

I also have some expertise in Western Christian ethics or moral theology.

As for calling aborting someone saving his or her life, that reminds me of “destroying the village to save it,” or “killing the Indian to save the man” — real Orwellian, and I don’t say this lightly to a rabbi who survived the Holocaust, even as an infant.  More than 40 million Americans have been electively aborted under color of law, few without the dubious benefit of genetic testing of them or their parents.  Now it’s being sold to us as a large-scale, historic, positive good?

(*–This is ‘redemptive suffering.’  In Peace Studies they talk about some “myth of redemptive violence,” which however I never heard of till then.  Violence does not redeem!  [And real "martyrs" don't die killing others intentionally, even vengefully!])

(**–Orthodoxy also remembers and teaches that all creatures suffer sinfulness from the first moments of their lives, thanks to the choice of our first parents — what one Western wag once called “Christianity’s only self-evident doctrine.”)

GOP Big Lies

“The Obama economic fix isn’t working.”

Right.  That’s why we’re not in the freefall the Republicans got us into and left us in / we threw their asses out over, which we were in until this plan kicked in.  Coincidence?  The economy is a somewhat complex machine (like a corporation, it’s not a person).  At the very least, it didn’t make things worse.  It didn’t create jobs?  You want corrupt (Republican) no-show “created jobs,” or somewhat ethical, legal government contracts that are focused, as they usually are, on accomplishing tasks, not creating jobs per se.  They clearly SAVED JOBS.  Did the President overstate or oversimplify?  Yeah, he does that; I wish he wouldn’t.  But same difference.

“Healthcare reform is about a government takeover.”

That’s why all anybody in Washington, Democrat or Repug, is talking about is money, money, money, no takeover.  *I* want a takeover, just like civilized nations have, like the UK and NOT Canada.  But on this I’m to the Left of the centrist Demos who mathematically should be in charge at this time by virtue of (unstolen) election.

How would I do a takeover?  Wellll…  Since corporations are creatures of the State [Hey, "Statist"! Real conservatives would strike out on their own without the legal figleaf of incorporation, like their pioneer ancestors on the Frontier! Oh, that's right, they stole that too....] created for some Public Good, I assert there’s no such thing really as “corporate property,” they’re just holding it in stewardship for the Chartering Sovereign, ie, the State in most cases in the U.S.  When the Public Good for which they were Chartered has been accomplished, or set on basically autopilot … OR they’ve turned the law on its head for their own enrichment and the project needs to be terminated or taken in hand … the State yanks their Charter, dissolves them or gives them to better stewards, or takes it over itself.  I figure between the bloodsucking, opportunistic, profiteering health insurance companies and HMOs … overcharging providers … mercenary, “ask your doctor” Big Pharma … vicious or spineless politicians … and even under-reimbursed good Medicare/Medicaid providers …  “politically” active / bribing Corporations all (or most) … (Have I forgotten anybody?) … I think I’m on good grounds here, don’t you?  Anyway, it’s cheaper than having to buy back our own Corporations from the people we Chartered only to have them leech from  us “for the Public Good.”  As a greater Mind than I said once, “They already have their reward.”

Otherwise, I can’t find out how the Brits actually engineered it after WW2 — eminent domain, purchase, dissolution?  But what’s wrong with socialized medicine, alongside

  • socialized police and fire protection,
  • socialized water and sewer,
  • socialized trash and garbage collection,
  • socialized primary and secondary education,
  • socialized electricity,
  • socialized roads and highways and bridges,
  • socialized national defense!,
  • socialized money (Oh, actually that’s privatized: See what a great job they’re doing with it?),
  • socialized Corporate Welfare/Wealthfare,
  • socialized farm subsidies,
  • socialized homesteading (Stolen: see above),
  • socialized airports,
  • socialized trade promotion,
  • socialized ports,
  • socialized Corporate industrial waste cleanup,
  • socialized diplomacy (sometimes),
  • socialized union-busting,
  • socialized religion and charity subsidies,
  • socialized technology subsidies (to get us caught-up with Europe and Japan!),
  • socialized tax loophole subsidies (Oh yes, there’s wealth redistribution … upward, not downward!),
  • socialized road signs,
  • substantially-socialized higher education (State universities, ROTC, CIA, etc.),
  • socialized parks and recreation centers,
  • socialized stadiums (and subsidized pro sports teams / Wealthfare),
  • socialized imperialism and war,
  • socialized Protestant evangelism (of American Indians and Alaska Natives, well into the 1900s) and catechesis (of public school children, also well into the 1900s),
  • etc etc etc.

So what’s so offensive about health care?

GOP health plan: Kill the sick.

Sure, that’ll save money … though only for the middle class and poor they’re taxing anyway!

As a Disabled person who, if God is patient with me, will be around to see the disaster (further) unfold … well, they’ll kill me.

I object.

SWINE FLU, DAMMIT!

How many people have died, been impaired, sickened, because “Swine Flu” fell off the radar screen, replaced by the incomprehensible “H1N1″ … just to protect the pork industry?

For that matter, how many other industries suffered lost “productivity” to protect pork?

If you got SWINE FLU, DAMMIT!, because you didn’t know what the FLIP “H1N1″ was, send the bill to Hormel or Oscar Meyer or somebody like that, ’cause you saved their pork butts!!!!!  Or tell your employer or health carrier to do so.

Interesting barometer of the increase in business/corporate influence in our society, though: A generation ago when Swine Flu hit, nobody had a problem with just saying, “Oh and BTW, you can’t get it from eating pork products.”  PLAIN AND SIMPLE.

SWINE FLU! SWINE FLU! SWINE FLU! SWINE FLU! SWINE FLU! SWINE FLU! SWINE FLU! SWINE FLU! SWINE FLU! SWINE FLU! SWINE FLU! SWINE FLU! SWINE FLU! SWINE FLU! SWINE FLU! SWINE FLU! SWINE FLU! SWINE FLU! SWINE FLU! SWINE FLU! SWINE FLU! SWINE FLU! SWINE FLU! SWINE FLU!

“Overactive Bladder,” or Diabetes?!

Which condition is spreading like wildfire in America?  You don’t have to be fat, a person of color, or poor, to get diabetes.

Don’t wait till your feet fall off and you go blind, before you “ask your doctor”!

Massachusetts “Upset”?

Did the Repugs steal Ted Kennedy’s Senate seat?  Why are the MSM calling their win an “upset,” after telling us 24/7 right before it how it was a tossup?  Election fraud investigators say if there’s an otherwise inexplicable spike in polling numbers in the final days before an election, something fishy may be going on.

Maybe the Senate needs to investigate before letting the Democratic substitute go and seating the GOP “winner.”  Or even pull one from the Repugs’ playbook and just seat Coakley like they did in their own favor in the House a couple years ago.  But after 8 years of Republican shenanigans, Obama, Coakley, et al. still practically fell over themselves to declare defeat — very strange.  If this is “socialism,” basically it’s the kind where there’s just one party, or token opposition, and the one party governs even when it’s not technically in office … and pours taxpayers’ money into corporations, fixes elections under sham democracy, etc etc etc.

Terror, Health care

How long have we been running from (alleged) terrorists and lacking healthcare?:

THE QUESTION IS MOOT!

(For the blogger’s actual video, go here though.)

PS: Like Julia Louis-Dreyfus’ puffy shirt and hair there in 1984!  It’s eerie how young she sounds, though.  And God be good to Gilda…

Sarah Palin, meet Jean Poutine!

UPDATE: Found a mostly-usable form of the video from 22 Minutes, not on their site but at YouTube.  I dunno, but did anyone hear what Palin actually said the same way I did?  In fairness, I didn’t hear “dismantle,” only that the government should share the market with the private sector, IOW a single (big) step backwards, not the giant leap.  No difference though.  “Commonsense conservatism”?  Sweetheart, it left the U.S. during/after the Revolution, and remained among Canada’s Red Tories until they lost their party in the Harper/Reform takeover a couple years ago.  And Sarah and Steve ain’t it!

The other thing I noticed is that, while the lovable “Marg Delahunty” (OK, I really can’t take the voice, but admire her “all lies” review of the book!!) was woman-handled out of the library, her camera crew was allowed to stay.  PURE PHOTO-OP!  No questions, just pictures.  I hope Muscle-Melon wasn’t on the public payroll facilitating that ‘un-campaign’ appearance for Palin.

——————————————

ORIGINAL: That’s right, the Canadians who ‘punked’ W. got last week what may be the only policy remarks Alaska’s disgraced, resigned, unqualified, eye-candy governor will allow herself to be drawn on involuntarily, unscripted, during her eternal, fluff book tour/photo-op … and her own country is not the subject (nor is Russia!): ‘Yup, yup,’ like most self-important Republican politicos, she’s now become an expert on Canada’s model single-payer healthcare system — and all she cares about is corporate profiteering instead, and RATIONING on the basis of wealth, Whiteness, suburban residence, non-Indigenous status, etc.

If that’s “going rogue,” then John McCain’s a maverick!  The free ride she’s been getting from the MSM ever since her (losing) nomination is a danger to America and the world, because the hard right wing will back her as their savior just to feel they get back in power, even if she doesn’t know what to do with it in any way that will benefit, apparently, anyone other than CEOs and wealthy stockholders … short-term, anyway….  TALK ABOUT “DEATH PANELS”!!!  ‘Whose plug would Jesus pull?’

Real Healthcare Reform: A Medical Mission to *America*

I’ve previously advocated for a religious order of lawyers and inspiring Orthodox Christians to similar kinds of social service/philanthropia(Of course, a religion doesn’t have to be Catholic or Orthodox to do these kinds of things. Do they?)

Well, as I’ve pointed out, one of Catholicism’s great works in its Third World missions and service commitments has been medical.  Yes, the Medical Mission Sisters sang (and apparently still do!), but they and/or their coworkers also did/do alot of stuff we in this country ourselves now go poor paying others to do.  I won’t call most U.S. medical professionals “mercenary” … but among the most-loved Orthodox Saints are the Holy UNmercenary Physicians and Healersanargyroi in Greek, “without silver/money” literally.  Well, not literally, because somebody had to help them pay the farmer, the baker, and the candlestick maker; but it often wasn’t their impoverished, sick patients.  And the Catholics just declared the sainthood of the famous and much-loved Fr. Damien de Veuster of Molokai, who (apparently coincidentally) bore the name of one of the greatest Orthodox Unmercenaries, and went there from his native Belgium to serve the leper colony even without a medical qualification, only to die of the disease himself there years later.  More pointedly, perhaps the other best-known Unmercenary (besides Cosmas and Damian), Panteleimon, was martyred for undercutting his fellow physicians, pagans, on account of his Christianity!  (Talk about a patron saint of Healthcare Reform!)

There are still Catholic Sisters and Brothers doing medical service here, but I’d guess far fewer than in former generations, amid the plummeting numbers of Catholic Religious and priestly vocations in general, and the aging of those who remain.  Today they may have secular lay (in the religious sense) coworkers and collaborators, and lay boards of trustees running Catholic hospitals and such, but as I’ve said previously, you can’t beat Poverty, Chastity, and Obedience, for “cost-cutting” measures, and in any case Catholic medical institutions without a doubt, just like Catholic schools, are part of the skyrocketing cost of healthcare (or education, respectively) in this country.  We’re not exactly Third World (mostly, though visit Southern Appalachia, the Deep South, and some key Indian Reservations), but as has been said, we’re not getting our money’s worth either, especially compared to the rest of the so-called Developed World, and even some countries not first thought of under that label.

Obviously the Latin Church’s traditional 3 “Evangelical Counsels,” the vows most members of religious orders take, are of less appeal today than in former times, especially to American Protestants and non-Christians.  But  if Third World service doesn’t appeal to some, maybe service closer to home will.  And as I suggested in both previous articles, even halfway measures approaching “the vows” – for a few years if not for life, maybe married or marrying, in (prudent) shared housing or at home, more-organized and “religified” associates and collaborators, even fundraising to support those who serve – would help economically.

Maybe even spiritually!

([BLEEP!]  We Orthodox better do it before the Latins think of it and stage a comeback!!! ;) )

But think of it: 1/3 of a billion people, fully 5 percent of humanity, being bled dry by the structural evils* of their healthcare system … the world’s leading economy, whose ups and downs influence the economic downs of the rest of humanity as we see today….  What good, what caritas, what philanthropia could be done for the world even here….

(*–Scroll down to the mention of the Brian Wren lyric … including the warning about how to observe the unquoted rest of that hymn.)

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Spontaneous Joe Wilson

I doubt it.  Why was a camera trained on him at just the right moment to capture him pointing and yelling?  Members of Congress received advance copies of President Obama’s address to last week’s Joint Session.  Wilson probably tipped-off someone in the media about his planned “outburst.”  Such cynicism and manipulation rules us today….

Heckling in Congress

…is against parliamentary procedure.  As wild as even the UK House of Commons gets, outright accusing somebody of lying gets you censured and harangued.

Especially when you’re wrong in so saying!

Censure Joe Wilson.

Weekend Update: Obama-and-kids joke

President Obama gave a controversial speech to some children this week.

The day before that, he visited a high school in Virginia!

(NB: This has nothing to do with the Saturday Night Live sketch called “Weekend Update.”)

Teabaggers invade DC, MSM, and make fools of selves

Yup, Yup, they really covered themselves with glory….  More fun photos and video here.

The kinds of minds we’re dealing with here are hinted at by the LA Times, as well as the conflicting accusations that our first democratically-elected President in 8 years is a socialist AND a fascist!  Unless he suffers from Multiple Personality Disorder?!?!?!

Nevermind that if WE’D pulled stuff like this astroturf “Tea Party/Secession” movement during the previous 8 years, we’d have been labeled traitors!  (Oh, that’s right, we WERE.  “You collect the punishment but you can’t commit the sin….”)  Have they forgotten there’s 2 wars on?  Talk about “aid and comfort to the enemy”!!! ;)

I wonder if any of them brought their machine guns, like in Arizona?  If that ain’t a catastrophe waiting to happen … or an assassination … I don’t know what is.  It also reminded me of armed KKK or SS thugs trying to put down or intimidate public demonstrations.

One sign I saw noted 80-some percent of Americans are satisfied with their health coverage.  They’re deluding themselves, but anyway, healthcare reform isn’t about the 80 percent, but the 20, OK?  Somehow they missed that….

But when I saw that poster of Obama in whiteface with a big red smile drawn on way too big for his face and the word “Fascism,” just like the Abu Ghraib sex-torture photos, I realized the “Culture War” is now over and civilization has won.  It’s all over but the screaming.  I refuse to continue in a Culture War with an unarmed opponent!

Who’s bankrolling healthcare terrorism?

I haven’t made it to one of these infamous “town hall” sessions yet, but I hear the anti mobs are carrying professional-looking signs.  Is Big Insurance stealthily backing these uncivil crowds?  Big Pharma?  corporate talk radio?  (I know, that’s redundant!)

If it’s bought and paid for, is it really “free speech”?!!  As someone opined at another time, is it real grassroots, or AstroTurf?!!!

Anyway, they claim “socialism” like that’s a BAD thing!!!  ;)

While we’re talking about it, I really have hated these last 25 years like ONE PARTY owns MY PUBLIC AIRWAVES!

And why do the MSM keep paying attention to a ten-week losing Vice-Presidential candidate?  Just because she’s hot?  MILF appeal?!!  Palin obviously can’t take the hint!

Healthcare rationing as “New American Genocide”

Read all about it.  Except it isn’t just killing and threatening Blacks, but Native Americans, Hispanics, the disabled non-elderly like me, the poor like me, even the elderly who despite Medicare’s successes still can’t manage to get what they need, urban residents, rural** residents….  [*I* should be on Medicare, but that's another story...!]

Yes, folks, we’ve been rationing healthcare all along: TO THE HIGHEST BIDDER, or in more “economical” terms, “as high as the market will bear.”  Reform ideally should care on the basis of need, without regard to class, party, religion, orientation, race, Tribe, language, Ability, age, religion, color, intelligence, or any other criterion.  Frankly, I think we get an NHS like Britain (once had), add the benefits of the French and Norwegians and Germans AND America … and KICK BUTT!!!!!  AND SAVE MONEY!!!!!

PS #1: Is Rachel Maddow getting cuter and cuter?  Sweetheart, if you ever want to give “the other team” a try….  I kid!  God grant you and your loved ones Many Years!

PS#2: “Whitey On The Moon” — ah, the ’60s, great larks!

(**–Now THAT’S going to make you “Bitter”!)

Ribs aren’t attractive

Not even under Demi Moore’s ample bosom.  ‘Nuf said.

IBS, fiber therapy, and string in poop

WARNING: IMMATURE CONTENT!

;)

Just kidding … sort of.

For those of you allergic to “too much information,” read no further.

I mean it!

OK.  As you may remember, I’ve been diagnosed with Irritable Bowel Syndrome since 1999.  (Nope, I didn’t get to party like it was 1999!)  Though I’ve had it at least since 1990.  Mostly IBS-Diarrhea (IBS-D).  But I didn’t get to see a truly helpful gastroenterologist until 2002 or so.  He put me on high-fiber therapy, specifically fiber supplements (pills like Fibercon) and any other fiber I could cram into my eating habits.*  Since then,

and here’s where it gets graphic,

sometimes when I’m on the toilet, I feel something hanging out of my bunghole, just taking its grand old time passing/dropping.  Recently, with greatly increased soluble fiber dosage (Thanks, Heather, the acacia powder  really does seem to help! [aka "gum arabic"]), sometimes I see whitish strings in my stools there in the bowl – too long to be worms, an inch or more – and eventually I solved the mystery of the hanging business by getting a fistful of TP and just grabbing what was hanging … and it was a rubbery/plasticky stretch of material that I could feel breaking stiffly just inside my anus, like there was more in there — definitely not a lifeform, Mr. Spock.

Well, I just got around to Googling “string in poop” (without quotes), hoping for some unvarnished, un-PC, honest, forthright discussion.  And although Yahoo Answers isn’t necessarily C. Everett Koop, all told, several links seem to have the ring of truth in them, like this one, this one, this one, and this one.  Could your gastrointestinal tract really do that to fiber, twist it and pound it into unrecognizability?  Think about how long the tract would be all stretched out, like they say, and all the muscles squeezing and twisting, acids, weird and normal fluids and bacteria and other things you’re eating, fermentation, reactions … and I could see it.  I may run it by my doc just to make sure, but I feel alot better about it just now, so much that I wanted to spread the word, because apparently I’m not alone!  Even beyond Yahoo there was this page (text-search for “string” — quotes not necessary).  In its basic nature, fiber is sort of waxy, hence I guess the occasional weird forms it gets metamorphosed into.

WHEW!  Thank you, Jesus!  Amen!

(*–Dietary fiber, to be clear, in light of what follows!  However, he failed to differentiate between soluble and insoluble fiber.  Most Americans trying to eat reasonably-healthily — not our traditional steak-and-potatoes — have no shortage of insoluble fiber in their diets: raw vegetables, even some cooked ones like broccoli, carrots, and other ‘yummy’ things like that.  This is the kind that goes right through you.  When you have IBS-D, you don’t wanna overdo that, though you shouldn’t go without it either, or so I’ve read, and so I do, mostly.  [Screw whole grains!!]  Soluble fiber isn’t greased lightning [correct spelling!], but goes slow enough to soak up all that excess fluid that otherwise sends you “running.”  That’s what IBS-D’s need tons of: beans [they're not just good for your heart], other fibery, mushy stuff like that, and other soluble fiber.  Wikipedia is all over fiber.)

Obey!

What’s the deal with these online weight-loss ads that seem to slip the word “obey” in with hardly any grammatical sense at all?  It’s almost like they’re trying to hypnotize you, or make you feel guilty, one or the other (or both?)!

Or is it like “Obey your thirst”?!!

IQ and Thanksgiving

I just read here about Inuit (Canada Eskimo) traditional knowledge being called (in the Inuit language, Inuktitut) Inuit Qaujimajatuqangit, or IQ.  LOL!  That’s so cool!  I know *I* couldn’t pass this IQ test!!!  Hell, if what we laughably call civilization collapsed tomorrow, I’d probably unknowingly eat some noxious weed growing out of the ground and croak!  That’s right, we’ve all been “taught” how to survive in a supermarket – or worse yet, McDonald’s - and Heaven forbid we should ever find ourselves without one!  Seriously, we should all learn some Native knowledge about wherever we live, in case we need it someday;* we probably need it NOW!  It might help us more to “walk lightly over the earth.”

(*–Interestingly, it took the Peanuts gang to remind many of us that when Squanto, one of the last Patuxet Indians after a British smallpox epidemic devastated “New England” and the Maritimes, taught the Plymouth “Pilgrims” and Co. how to survive in their accidental new home in Massachusetts [vs. New York], he was passing on to them the traditional knowledge of his by-then-dead village nation, something not done lightly by Indigenous Peoples today because they usually end up regretting it.  Had he not done so, the colonists might have died, or abandoned the colony.)

“Social justice is a matter of life and death”

Speaking of Canada, some reports out up there and elsewhere suggest maybe we all need more than a little dose of “socialism.”  As someone else put it, “The rich get richer, and the poor get sick” … AND DIE EARLY!  Even in Toronto.  Although they haven’t had a true progressive federal government up there in decades….

It’s called The Common Good, people.  You ARE your brother’s keeper: Genesis 4:9Remember the Rich Man and Lazarus: Luke 16: 19-31.  And the Last Judgment: Matthew 25: 31-46.

Indian Health Emergency Declared

…by the Portland, Oregon, area Indian Health Board, due to rising gasoline costs and the distances impoverished Indians have to go for care from the federal Indian Health Service (hinted at in the classic “Bureau of Caucasian Affairs” treaty bit).  The vote has no legal effect like a settler-government disaster declaration, but it’s hoped it’ll draw attention to the problem … and dollars.

Karma, or, Indigenous oppression like a bad psych drug for oppressors?

So argues this talk (PDF).  Try and stick through what seems like gratuitous anti-psychiatry, Tom-Cruise-style, because it builds toward some fascinating, even moving, ideas.  I might even borrow the book he’s selling!

These last few Native-related things come via the Native Studies program at St. Thomas University in New Brunswick.

McCain hiding death risk?

A very reasonable concern, as illustrated here.

IBS pacemaker update

Sort of.  In February I discovered what appears to have been initial published research from Egypt regarding bringing Irritable Bowel Syndrome under control with the help of a temporarily-implanted electrical stimulation device – in your abdomen, not up your butt! – similar to traditional heart pacemakers, more recently also being applied to the brain.  That article was published in January 2003.

Today I located what appears to be the follow-up research they indicated, published at the end of ’04, sharpening and confirming their technique, and now recommending it for treatment “when other measures have failed to cure the condition.”  (Why wait?!!!  I’ve had this going on 20 years!!!)

This is the latest which leading IBS patient-expert Heather Van Vorous has on it there, so again one wonders, did something derail this, or is it making its way through regulatory approvals in Europe or something?  I don’t have access to their full article, so if there’s info there, I don’t have it.

Western diet causes Alaska Native cancer

They say Indigenous Alaskans have some of the highest cancer death rates in the country.  Which is why that state’s Native health consortium is trying to get Natives – and non-Indigenous too – to take another look at The Great Land’s traditional Subsistence diet.  After all, it worked for thousands of years!

Indigenous and other Alaskans have been fighting over Native and others’ Subsistence rights and resources - rural hunting, trapping, fishing, gathering, etc. – versus recreational and commercial taking – for a couple generations now.  Natives often argue that it’s necessary not just for food or low-level trade, but culture and spirituality.  Well, now it may be a matter of life-or-death for them.

I wonder if this also applies to Native Subsistence rights conflicts in the Lower 48 – the Indian health and cancer concerns I mean?  For years there have been conflicts in Washington State and the upper Midwest, even death threats against Indians.

Kaopectate ain’t kaopectate anymore

I thought I posted about this a long time ago, but apparently not.  A few years ago the maker of Kaopectate took out the kaolin and pectin that gave the name to this old, effective anti-diarrhea product.  Instead they put in Bismuth salicylate, better known as Pepto-Bismol … but they kept the Kaopectate name!!!  Even my doctor was pee’d!  (I have IBS-Diarrhea, remember.)

On the Web there were suggestions about making your own concoction with clay and chalk, but with all the runs I already get, I wasn’t gonna risk all the little bugs you can get in there!  This in part led me to Paregoric, as I’ve said, which is a huge help, but not perfect.

There oughta be a law against such blatant deception in business / advertising by one of our sovereigns’ (States) corporations.

Buffalo is/are good for you

If you ‘must’ eat meat, that is.  Just don’t burn down the house trying to cook it, like I almost did the other day!  Carbonized hockey puck isn’t as pleasant a buffalo burger as it was once I got the hang of it (sort of) this morning (Chaotic Sleep Patterns strike again).  But it turns out even a bad buffalo burger is still pretty good….

Neat article from a Canadian producer about our continent’s buffalo/bison heritage.

Why most Indigenous North Americans’ ancestors revered the beast.  Pretty damn useful!  But I’m surprised the National Bison Assn. didn’t produce a basketball-styled “NBA” T-shirt like Rez Dog’s “Native By Ancestry” one!

Have *you* ever heard of this place?!  Another of North America’s best-kept secrets!  Turns out I twice drove past it years ago, unawares….

“Bison bison,” eh?  I can visualize the ad campaign, like “Pizza pizza”!  A few years ago I read that it turns out bison meat may be what the Doctor Upstairs ordered for Native diabetes….

Somebody linked from somewhere up there commented that the pre-Catastrophe environment of most of North America was shaped by buffaloes’ (sp?) munching and trampling of grasses and such (and of course, excreting too – BTW: buffalo-chip jewelry?  Sometimes progress is good!!).  Think about it: their range area stretched from the Appalachians / Alleghenies to the Rockies, and from Sonora to the Northwest Territories – HUGE!  Then Whitey came along and mucked it all up, and now we have weeds out the kazoo….

Natives lose on Atkins?

I’m wary of posting anything about certain kinds of extreme diets some experts claim are dangerous, so take this for what it may be worth:

After one year on a low carbohydrate diet, 60 members of the Namgis First Nation community of Alert Bay, [British Columbia,] have begun to reap some very positive health benefits.

Confounding diet experts and Health Canada….  Benefits that include weight losses and even reversals of diabetes.

Weight problems and above average incidents of diabetes are all to[o] common in the aboriginal communities of Canada.

The problems can be directly linked to the fact that traditional diets have in most part been superseded by the modern high fat diets of the industrialized world.

IBS Paregoric update

In August ’03 my GP put me on Paregoric for my Diarrhea-predominant Irritable Bowel Syndrome (aka Spastic Colon).  I started out on just one teaspoon (5 milliliters/cc’s) per day, and it worked for some months – I forget how long exactly – although it took a while to stop doing the job too well, as I’ve said!  But eventually its efficacy declined so much I needed two teaspoons (10 ml, mL, or cc’s).  And around the end of 2007 I had to increase to 3.  I’m starting to wonder, because I’ve read that the medical community doesn’t like to Rx more than 4 a day because of the risk of side-effects, including dangerous respiratory depression.

I may look into other things, non-opiates.  I hear lots of good things about this hypnotherapy program….

(Oh, and the Naltrexone researchers stopped their research.  Seems they couldn’t reproduce the initial seemingly-miraculous results.  That happens sometimes in drug trials.  Too bad.)

Viva Viagra

How come when the commercials say to ask your doctor if your heart is healthy enough for sex, I philosophize, “Whose heart truly is healthy enough for sex?!”

Dust mites win

It seems we’re unable to get rid of enough of them – or their ‘leavings’ – to make a difference for allergies, allergic asthma, etc.

@#%&*!

Soda kills

Just in case you missed the new research about diet soda (yes, diet) recently, there’s this.  And diet was supposed to be better than regular!

Think about it: liquid sugar by the gallon, all those bubbles to mess with your gastrointestinal tract and environs, bigger and bigger cups – some now look like mini kegs! – and we expected to get away with it?!!!

Think of soda like candy – it is, after all, liquid candy: a little bit, once in a while.  Otherwise, just “obey your thirst.”

Or … there’s always beer, wine, liquor!

An IBS pacemaker?

(UPDATE HERE.)

When your heart acts up, sometimes implanting a device that delivers occasional electrical shocks to it gets it to “straighten up and fly right.”  More recently they’ve been putting them in people’s brains for things like epilepsy.  What about what we used to call “spastic colon”?

Turns out they’re working on it (PDF)!  Muscles do what they do in response to electrical impulses from the nervous system.  Some researchers believe that in Irritable Bowel Syndrome, haywire impulses cause the muscles of the colon to act up, messing with how quickly or smoothly your fecal matter moves through, bringing on constipation and/or diarrhea, and the other symptoms.  They also believe they’ve helped IBS patients to manually administer helpful shocks to the end of their colons – the sigmoid colon – that restored normal function!

Since this report was published a few years ago, I’m surprised I haven’t come across it before now.  Maybe that means it didn’t pan out, or that it’s still in the pipeline, so to speak.  Contrary to what we’ve heard sometimes more recently, it can still take years for research to result in “approved” treatments … especially for IBS in the U.S., which isn’t taken as seriously here as in Canada or Europe. :(

Nader go home

One of Ralph’s mantras is that it doesn’t make a difference between the Democrats and the Republicans.

I guess we’ve all been disabused of that notion over the last 7+ years!

But I’ll take his single-payer health care….

FREE CANADA!, or, What else American Red Tory means

Many Canadians feel economically dominated by the United States, the 800-pound gorilla to the South.  Though what should be done about that should probably be guided by Canadians who have that country’s best interests at heart.  For instance, letting them tear-up NAFTA and US-Canada Free Trade as well as other agreements prejudicial to Canada – or reopening them for fairer negotiations - and impose domestic corporate ownership quotas.

Some Canadians also feel culturally dominated by us.  Certainly they get all the American TV shows, books, movies, and music - though somehow they don’t seem to affect them like they do us, ie, making us kill each other and others different from us!  Also, Canadian influence on U.S. TV, movies, music, etc., is strong, or at least, the influence of Canadian-born persons (Pamela Anderson, Michael J. Fox, Lorne Michaels, Neil Young, Peter Jennings, etc.).  Interesting question for further examination.

But worst of all is U.S. influence on Canadian politics.  Not merely keeping an eye on the 49th Parallel since we are the local 800-lb. gorilla, but putting up with us exporting American republicanism, Republicanism, Classical Liberalism / irrational libertarianism, political Fundamentalism and Evangelicalism, other ideologies, horse-race campaign news coverage and attitudes, greed and Rationalized Capitalism, giving orders to Canadian Forces behind the back of their own government, dictating policy to Ottawa, our government influencing their elections, Bay Street a carbon copy of Wall Street, the question of Fort Drum,* etc etc etc.  Now, ‘children must play,’ but must America muck around with such a loyal ally and generous neighboUr, when instead we should be learning from them?!!!  MAKE AMERICA IN CANADA’S IMAGE!!!

PS: Why don’t Canucks, with more guns per capita than us, kill each other like we do?  Why don’t our TV and movies have such a bad influence on them if any at all?  Why do they have health care, multiple parties, Responsible Government (read accountable executive),** hand-marked paper ballots, profounder education, more peaceful diversity, nicer cities, less-”concentrated” Indians, recognized Mixed-Blood Indigenous, true friends in all parts of the world, etc etc etc.  They’re not perfect.  But the answers must lie in their culture, their heritage, their history, even their legal tradition.  (Conversely, our late friend Marc Chaitlin firmly believed our violence today was rooted in our violent Revolution and replacement of legitimate government with “the Slavemaster Republic.”)  How do they differ from us?  Monarchy, peaceful evolution vs. violent revolution (They’re ‘the American Evolution’!), Classical Conservatism, gradual independence, British tutelage (vs. enmity) in statecraft and soldiery and diplomacy, “Peace, Order, and Good Government” more important than mere “Pursuit of Happiness” (sounds like a motto for Hedonism!), a sense and tradition of the Common Good as an active not passive thing, national solidarity even in peacetime, self-restraint, a check on politicians even in the appointive offices of Governor General and Lieutenant-Governors, greater High-Church influence (Roman Catholic and Anglican), an Empire-cum-Commonwealth of Nations, etc etc etc.

(*–Rudmin alludes to the “unprecedented” Congressional appropriation behind the initial construction of Ft. Drum, unprecedented because it was unconstitutional!  Being for three years, it violated Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution, which limits military appropriations to two years!  Somebody in Washington really wanted Ft. Drum, bad enough to risk public exposure and a court case, neither of which apparently came.)

(**–Think about how our elite structure their own corporations.  There isn’t a Board of Directors in the land that would give a CEO the carte blanche any U.S. President has for 4 or 8 whole years, unless he was already majority owner or the inventor of the product or something, of course.)

Gay Staph STD?

Do you have to be Gay, or a man who has sex with men, to get or spread MRSA, as alleged by “scientists” this week?  Or merely have skin-to-skin contact with someone infected, within or outside sexual intercourse, as de-emphasized even in this San Francisco version of the story?

DUH!!!

“Richardson Leaves the Personality Contest;” Go with Kucinich

The Nation’s perceptive editorial about the frontrunners and MSM coverage of them.

Guess I have to go with Congressman Dennis Kucinich now, just to make a statement.  Although really, all his experience in Congress does dwarf Rodham Clinton’s, Obama’s, and Edwards’s, and is current, versus Mike Gravel’s (honorable) terms in the Senate back in the ’70s.

Heck, even running a major city, Cleveland, wisely, for a few years during a tumultuous time for it, should say something!

Diabetes Blindness hope?

Speaking of Diabetes, this article reports an interesting-sounding theory about how people with diabetes sometimes lose vision, how this might be stopped, maybe prevented, maybe even reversed?

Maybe I should get my blood sugar checked, as my GP recommended a few years ago(!), ’cause needles in the eyes sure don’t sound pleasant!  I’m really weird about my eyes as it is, and always have been.

I wonder if this treatment could even be delivered orally?  After all, some meds go just where they’re needed on the basis of distribution throughout the blood, and so get concentrated somewhere because there’s lots of extra blood where needed, eg, anti-inflammatories.  One would have to work on the underlying cause(s) of the retinopathy too, I guess, including the diabetes….  Hmm….

I’m definitely not a doctor.

What about eyepatches delivering the treatment through the skin, one at a time even if necessary, to localize the effect more, versus body-wide via a pill?

But if they slow/stop new vessel formation, they don’t solve the “leakyness” problem….  I guess like that last quote said, this tackles just one aspect of the diabetic retinopathy problem.

Reproductive Rights; Choice; Your body

A woman’s “Reproductive Rights” have been successfully exercised when she has reproduced.  And that’s what a zygote, a fertilized ovum, an embryo, a fetus, an unborn baby, is, a little ‘reproduction’ of her and her/his father.

“Choice” is the “choice” to do something that frequently causes babies.  I deplore rape, incest, molestation, and ill-advised “consent,” and thank God they don’t happen more often; most sex is by “choice” of one kind or another … a couple days before each conception.  You too, who “don’t want to be made a father against your will”: When there’s a baby in there, you already are, usually in accordance with your “choice” to also do something that frequently causes babies.

“The choice to continue the pregnancy”?  Killing your child in your body, who is totally dependent on you like at no other time in her/his life?  If you can’t bear to keep her, and your family, neighbors, friends can’t help, let some other family craving a child adopt him, or something.  In the overwhelming majority of cases in this country pregnancy and childbirth are a marginal risk to you, if any.  But think of the baby.

And mother, “your body” ends where your baby’s umbilical cord begins … and sooner if s/he hasn’t made it there yet from your Fallopian tubes.

But by no means should a mother, a father, a couple, a family be left alone by their neighbors, society, in their time of need or trial!

“Pre-Embryos”?

Maybe I’m out-of-touch, but I’ve just noticed this neologism on the Web, being used for what are more commonly called “frozen embryos” or “pre-implanted embryos,” in the context of in vitro fertilization.  Are the users of the new term trying to persuade us these aren’t actually embryos anymore?

I thought “pre-embryos” were sperm and ova!  Even actual science still calls “fertilized ova” or “zygotes” embryos, and their science embryology.

Maybe I’m out-of-touch again, but I’m starting to seriously wonder about the reliability of these people, some of them alleged scientists!  First there was the Korean guy who deliberately falsified research data, then the Boston guy with the for-profit corporation and misleading news releases and statements; now this.

And some people complain about religion?!!!

I’m not certain an o/Orthodox approach to these things needs to rely on scientists anyway.  Science is always changing, and is supposed to be always uncertain, “open-minded.”  But the ‘temptation’ to see if maybe they’ve got something ‘this time’ is hard to resist.  ‘Benefit of the doubt,’ you know….

But who “was always the Father of Lies”?!?!?!

U.S. liberals’ progressive conservatism(!)

To hear “conservative” politicians and “pundits,” we try to get government to help the needy, sick, and disabled, as a way of buying their votes, that is, bribing them.  Same with labor and workplace rules for workers and unions … public education for kids(?) and the teachers’ unions … a little more social justice, for city people’s, women’s, people of color’s, immigrants’, and gay people’s votes … reduced censorship and looser broadcast content guidelines for, well, pornographers’ and bohemians’ and atheists’ votes, I guess … Evolution and equality and compassion in said public schools, for, I dunno, Unitarians’, “social engineers’,” and wimps’ votes? … environmentalism for the treehuggers’, EarthFirsters’, and eco-terrorists’ votes … “well-regulated” firearms control for the “jack-booted thug” vote I guess? … and peace, for the huge Muslim vote in this country!

They talk as if we’ve all devoured the Communist Manifesto and Das Kapital, the Quran, Gustavo Gutierrez and Chairman Mao and Madalyn Murray O’Hair, all ‘baddies’ like that.  We’re all free-loving, swinging, acid-dropping, rock-and-roll-listening(!), non-breeding stereotypes from the ’60s – just like they sound!

With my own life’s study and observation, I think the large number of native-born Americans – I don’t have alot of in-depth exposure to Americans born elsewhere at this time – being American (small-R) republicans, *are* somewhat ‘ideological,’ very much attached to the words of this country’s individual liberties, to the vote (preferably free and clean and counted correctly – How hard is that?!), to the Constitution of 1787 as amended and generally as interpreted, and to our accustomed, historical/evolved form of Rationalized Capitalism.  I also think the large number of them, being what might be called center-left in social ethics(!), or such awful terms like ‘caring’ or ‘sensitive’ or ‘polite,’ also believe this status quo isn’t perfect yet, has generally been getting better through the labor of alot of people in our society over the years, and can always be tweaked and improved: “Our best days are yet to come.”  We care about the Common Good, generally for those worse-off than ourselves in this country and abroad, even those different from ourselves.  On a personal basis we are the most philanthropic in the world (though as I’ve said, that may be in part because morally we have to be, since per population or economy, our government is not; in any case, it’s not enough to meet the need and the Common Good).  We generally support fairness especially to those worse-off, even some extra help if they really need it and we can give it.  Our biggest problem is such a disconnect with our government that we always feel overtaxed, but when we’re correctly informed, we’re often even ready to adjust our stances in politics, economics, ecology, society, etc., not because we “flipflop,” but because we discover we didn’t know as much as we thought we did about this or that situation.  It’s a big country, after all, and an even bigger world!

Therefore, when our critics and (supposed) ‘betters’ accuse us of mere cynical angling for power for power’s sake, such charges are patently false.  We don’t wage “class war,” though some of us seek to *end* the one being waged against us!  And we certainly didn’t make up Global Warming because we thought it’d put us back in power, but we espouse doing what we can about it because we just don’t want the planet to FRY as much over the next couple thousand years!!!  I don’t want to engage in potentially false gainsaying, but in the era of Karl Rove, it seems our critics doth protest too much!

In fact, IOTM that the large number of native-born Americans display qualities of progressive conservatism or Red Toryism, of a kind not entirely unlike what I’m constantly discussing in this blog!  Obviously relatively few have studied the British, Canadian, and Australian constitutions and legal and political systems, or other comparative government, or consider themselves Monarchists at this time, or explicit critics so much of Classical Liberalism or Modernity, or, obviously, Orthodox Christians.  But this is only to be expected in an environment of over two centuries of school and media brainwashing.  But the large number of native-born Americans show signs of convinceability, if the truth, the facts, the history and the causes of things, can be gotten out to them, and they can be reminded to think carefully before they vote or lobby, and to remember that what unites us is far greater than whatever may be perceived as dividing us.  Their real ‘conservatism’ manifests itself as it is able, in a country where we exiled or suppressed our true Classical Conservatism, and where heartless, brainless, even unFaithful and traitorous actions masquerade under the name of “conservatism” today.  Actually, as I recently read someone else suggest, we are the ones, in the absence of any other relatively-viable alternative at this time, seeking to ‘conserve’ what good there may be from the republic as described above, while our critics and ‘betters’ defy the agreed Constitution, undermine its interpretation, neuter Congress and the States, and risk “World War 3″ several times over, in the last few years alone.

Which is why I blog.

OTOH, our critics are the ones who show signs of blind faith in innovative, false, artificial, unrealistic, inhumane, lethal, unChristian, Classically Liberal and Modernist ideologies … of hypocrisy, cynical manipulation, divisiveness, and incivility … of sinister agenda on behalf of a minority of vested interests … of moral and ethical corruption … of military, foreign policy, fiscal, and intelligence-management malfeasance, misfeasance, and/or nonfeasance … of lost Sovereignty over our own and other countries’ created corporations … of “voodoo economics” which basically are the single biggest cause of most of our people’s real material problems for the whole last generation, such as increased hunger and homelessness, falling wages and health-care coverage and assistance to the needy, rampant profiteering and offshoring instead of the promised reinvestment of corporate and wealthy tax giveaways, etc.

Rev. Huckabee Gay/AIDS flipflop

Diabetes slams non-whites

Excellent Toronto Star series exposes non-white’s hugely greater risk, possible reasons why, and what you might be able to do about it.

We’re driving ourselves to death

Introducing Britain’s healthcare system

In ‘honour’ of Mike Moore‘s SiCKO coming out on DVD just in time for the holidays (give it to someone who needs it!):

“[S]ocialised medicine is not just a hallmark of a decent society, but economically rational as well. If one leaves behind capitalist-romantic theories about private-sector efficiency and looks at real-world privatised medicine, which may be observed in America, it is an obvious disaster. It is vastly more expensive and delivers mediocre results outside of luxury care. Britain spends about 1/3 the money per person and we have public health statistics roughly equivalent to America. Except for the fact that the bottom 1/4 of our population is vastly healthier.”

Who said this?:

Sorry, it was no less “conservative” a source than the fascist* British National Party!

One phrase I don’t see in the Wikipedia article on Britain’s National Health Service (linked just above) is “two-tier system,” even though those with money are perfectly free to pay to see docs ‘on the side,’ or “jump the queue” as they put it.  This I know is a concern in Canada, maybe elsewhere too.  Maybe it’s not seen as a problem in Britain, or not done alot, or not needed alot; I don’t know.

Speaking of France’s health-care system….  A few more details about it that Mike couldn’t work-into the movie … though I’m not sure I trust insurance companies, eh?  And Mike didn’t pick-up that even before W.-soundalike Sarkozy came to power in France, they were moving away from Mike’s iconic nanny-laundry setup, tragically.

Now Mike is pushing Norway (scroll down for video)Not bad, but lots of co-pays, plus it’s still married to the employer-employee system (PDF), which is a pain in the rear.  (Though a couple years ago I heard a theocon radio “host” claim that in Norway, the mothers look hotter than the daughters … and I’m getting to be an age where I might appreciate that!!!)

Maybe the Brits are still The Bomb after all…!

(*–Naturally, they deny the “fascism” charge.  Judge for yourself here and here.  Not that it matters, since they have a snowball’s chance of attracting anything besides sensationalistic “news” coverage….)


Looking at the tail-end of the Nightwatchman video on Mike’s site linked above, the scenes from Cuba, reminded me that it’s not a matter of national wealth, just national will.  Cuba is virtually cut-off from the outside world, remember?  And whatever the shortcomings of the Castro government, they’re kicking our ass when it comes to health care for those who need it in their country and overseas!Between Cuban doctors and Venezuelan Citgo oil, who’s really helping the needy around here???

Holiday Blues = Low Testosterone?

This AOL article claims human (male – with sperm counts – but also I presume female, as she points out) testosterone, linked to sexual desire, peaks in November and early December, suggesting Fall is our traditional mating season, if Homo sapiens sapiens ever had one.*

But I have to wonder also if Holiday Blues then, or post-Holiday Blues, aren’t related to a decrease in T, and not just to Christmas/ Hanukkah/ solstice-related disappointments, shorter days (in the Northern Hemisphere at least), bad diets, etc.  Even “Seasonal” Affective Disorder!

For that matter, do people in the Southern Hemisphere even get this?  Yes, they say they get S.A.D., but in June-July.  So we Northerners get it on top of the Holidays, mate!  But do they get the lowered T then too?

(*–Certainly a number of old calendars started in Fall – Celtic Samhain, Jewish Rosh haShanah, Orthodox Ecclesiastical New Year.  Some Orthodox Christians say Creation was created in September; as some Russians say, apples ripen then – as in the Garden of Eden’s traditional forbidden fruit!! – at least in the Northern Hemisphere.  [Actually, the Scriptures don't say "apple," just "fruit"!])

“Results not typical”

Businesses shouldn’t be allowed to advertise on the basis of results that are “not typical,” it’s inherently deceptive, ie, THEY LIE!  They should give us “typical,” and maybe the range of results, ie, from nothing to best.  As one outfit used to say, “An informed consumer is our best customer.”

How about religions, while we’re at it?!!!  ;)

Fight Global Warming, Peak Oil, and Obesity: Eat less!

(Those of us who are able, that is.)

Drink less non-human animal milk, too.  (Unless you need what’s in it, like calcium, and can’t find it anywhere else.)

See, factory farming on land – cows, pigs, chickens, etc. - may be America’s Number One source of Greenhouse Gases.  Factory farming in water – many seafoods – is a very bad scene for other reasons: diseases, unhygienic, pollution, etc.  But demand for flesh-foods of all kinds is going through the roof, with big parts of the Third World (China, India, etc.) now ‘coming online’ in that regard.  And many natural fisheries are already in danger of being ‘fished out.’  Hence, we need to eat less of all flesh foods.

But substituting plant foods is problematic because the recent “Green Revolution” was mainly wrought by petro-fertilizers, and they’re going the way of the dinosaurs, so more plants is not an option.  And I think letting GMOs out into the planetary gene pool – eg, to increase crop yields or selected nutrients that way – is way too big a threat without knowing the long-term and even very-long-term consequences; we’ve only got one planet folks!  (For now.)*  And increasing arable land by burning forest adds carbon dioxide and other Greenhouse Gases to the atmosphere, and takes away trees that help remove these gases from the atmosphere.

Hence, eat less of everything if we can.

Obviously people with eating disorders who don’t eat enough, or with malnutrition or simply true hunger (vs. psychologically-induced pseudo-hunger) or certain health problems, or perhaps who are elderly and/or frail, etc., shouldn’t worry about this.  But the rest of us, especially the 2/3 of Americans who are overweight (Canadians and Brits are up there too), could use this for extra motivation, if overeating is a problem.

Also, let’s not stop partying, people!  But is every meal a party? every supper?  Not where I come from!!!

And let’s not cold-turkey it and drive ourselves crazy and set ourselves up for failure.  Perhaps a good program to start with/build up to (in the beginning) is the Orthodox Church’s “fasting” schedule.  (That’s “abstaining,” for you Catholics and High Church Protestants.)  Most Wednesdays and Fridays of the year, the 40 days before Christmas, the 40 days before Holy Week, Holy Week itself, the period between Pentecost and the Feast of Saints Peter and Paul (June 29), the first half of August, and a few other “fast” days throughout the year.  (Old Calendar or New Calendar.)  Before I became Orthodox, but was considering it, I was told I shouldn’t try to fast; spiritually it wasn’t a good idea.  But I see no reason why people not currently considering Orthodoxy couldn’t adopt some or all of its fasting practices as a simple eating program.  Like I’ve said, Orthodox “ascesis” may turn out to be a great idea for the whole human race and the earth!  Fortunately or unfortunately, the decentralized structure of the Orthodox Church means there is not in every sense a uniform practice of fasting.  I could point you to websites that might seem to conflict, or in going overboard in describing the strictest forms of the fast may discourage and demoralize.  What you might want to do is consult an Orthodox parish near you; I’m sure they’d be glad to help!

(*–An experimental community should move to a bubble-enclosed island and mess around with GMOs for a few centuries to make sure they’re safe.  I mean it.  Otherwise, we could f— ourselves for good!)

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