Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Linkin Lollapalooza

Well, the title sounds better than "Open Thread" which is what this is. The response to the weekend forum was huge by this blog's standards, so feel free to weigh in on whatever. Crooked banks, unaffordable health care, war ships in the Strait of Hormuz, your aches and pains.... the sky's the limit.


Meanwhile, some links: Twitter received more government demands for data during the first half of this year than all of last year. And it's releasing the information on such requests in the name of transparency. And sometimes it's forced to comply with a court order no matter how hard it has refused to cooperate. A federal judge has just ordered Twitter to hand over the Tweets of an Occupier arrested on the Brooklyn Bridge last fall, despite the company's best efforts to resist.


You have a better chance of going to jail if you're an Alabama traffic scofflaw than if you're a millionaire price-fixing fraudster whose last name happens to be Diamond. It seems that debtor prisons are making a comeback.


Alabamans are screwed in more ways than one. A federal bankruptcy judge has ruled in favor of -- you guessed it -- a too big to exist bank over cash-strapped Jefferson County in a case stemming from corruption and Wall Street greed and a sewer system. What a stinkin mess.


On a happier note, Katie flings her ring.


On a sleazier note, sexter Anthony Weiner says Regrets, he has a few.

35 comments:

Pearl said...

At last, a pharmaceutical company, GlaxoSmithKline is fined for malfeasance. And the fact that this is the first time such a case has hit the courts and "won" indicates how lax the Federal Drug and food Administration has been all along. Comments from people reading this report were not terribly supportive of what the drug companies have been up to in the past by allowing medications not time tested or with negative reports hidden, literally get away with murder for which financial settlements are not sufficient.
In my own family there were several serious reactions to medications and I now use the Internet to look up every single pill we are prescribed. Doctors, meaning well, often depend on the company literature to prescribe for patients and I have had some serious differences recently with a doctor who eventually was educated about some specific medications she was prescribing.

I will mention one particular experience I have recently gone through which could be a warning to some of you. I have suffered with arthritis for some time which was not too severe and since I had my bypass surgery 14 years ago which I mentioned in a previous post, I was prescribed statins of various kinds to keep my cholesterol in check and protect my heart. In the past few years I have noticed the arthritis getting much worse and finally keeping me from walking or exercising because of the pain. A physiotherapist gave me specific exercises to do and told me to exercise daily as much as possible. I found that after any kind of exercise (swimming and moderate walking) I could barely move the next day or so and felt very ill. I began to wonder if something was wrong with my muscles and mentioned this to my doctor. About 3 months ago, a large article appeared in the N.Y. Times on the front page I believe, warning users of statins who were exercising, that they could be experiencing potentially dangerous reactions of the muscles which had been carefully tested on subjects. All the symptoms described fit me to a tee and when I called my pharmacist who is very knowledgeable he immediately said that I probably was reacting to my current statin, Lipitor, which I had been taking for the past 5 years after stopping others that had obvious side effects.

I asked if it was safe to stop it to see if there was a difference in symptoms and he agreed but telling me to consult my doctor with whom I had an appointment in two weeks. After stopping the Lipitor, within a week I began to feel completely different and could exercise without the extreme aftereffects. My doctor had me submit a blood test which unfortunately showed that my cholesterol had skyrocketed to a dangerous high without the Lipitor. What to do? - as all the other similar medications for keeping cholesterol within safe limits had the same warnings. I finally told my doctor that I would cut the pill in half and see if that kept things in check without making me ill. I have been on this regime for the past 2 months and although I still suffer from arthritis the difference is vastly improved. A recent blood test seemed to indicate that my cholesterol was within normal limits and I have my fingers and toes crossed that this will continue. I can now exercise daily and have more energy and minimal muscle discomfort which can be controlled with a few baby aspirin daily. Before pain killers had not helped and I began to think that this was the beginning of the end. (cont. below)

Pearl said...

(continued from above) When I mentioned this experience to several other women retirees in my retirement development, several of them reported similar experiences with statins but could stop them since they had minor problems to keep in check. If this is of any help to any of you or any family members or friends, I will think it worth writing this long report. I was taking only one pill of 10 ml which was very small and the pharmacist had to cut them in half for me since the drug manufacturer did not make them in smaller doses.
And remember the years of women being put on hormone treatment for menopause until it was found that cancer rates increased as a result and that certain negative trials had been hidden? The same now for medications for bone health which is now being reported as causing severe bone fractures in the women taking them after several years? I could go on and on so you smart people with computers I suggest you use it for getting excellent health information from the internet. Just punch in the illness, the medication and lots of information becomes available some with reports from patients and their experiences.

Practically everyone I know has gone through some kind of frightening experience with meds including some of my own family members. Welcome to the world of wonderful medical discoveries where the money made decides their distribution! I wish you all good health.

Will said...

Just heard the sad news that Andy Griffith passed away. I wasn't around yet for his show in the 60s, but I always loved catching it in reruns.

Here's Andy and the boys performing "Whoa Mule." Enjoy. :)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RpKhWePGNPc

Denis Neville said...

George Carlin, “I'll tell you what politicians don't want. They don't want a population of citizens capable of critical thinking. They don't want well informed, well educated people capable of critical thinking.”

Texas GOP’s 2012 Platform plank “Knowledge-Based Education” opposes teaching critical thinking skills: “We oppose the teaching of Higher Order Thinking Skills (HOTS) (values clarification), critical thinking skills and similar programs that are simply a relabeling of Outcome-Based Education (OBE) (mastery learning) which focus on behavior modification and have the purpose of challenging the student’s fixed beliefs and undermining parental authority.”

Molly Ivins once said, “Texas is the national laboratory for bad government.”

Read Gail Collins book about the ways that Texas has influenced the national agenda, "As Texas Goes...: How the Lone Star State Hijacked the American Agenda."

How fast the rest of the country is becoming just like Texas!

“Men fear thought more than they fear anything else on earth — more than ruin, more even than death. Thought is subversive and revolutionary, destructive and terrible; thought is merciless to privilege, established institutions, and comfortable habits; thought is anarchic and lawless, indifferent to authority, careless of the well-tried wisdom of the ages. But if thought is to become the possession of many, not the privilege of the few, we must have done with fear. It is fear that holds men back — fear lest their cherished beliefs should prove delusions, fear lest the institutions by which they live should prove harmful, fear lest they themselves should prove less worthy of respect than they have supposed themselves to be.” - Bertrand Russell, Principles of Social Reconstruction

Zee said...

@Pearl--

Thanks for the tip on Lipitor. I, too, take the drug for high cholesterol. My physician tells me that I am quite fit for a man of my age, presumably because I get a really intense cardio workout three times a week plus weights and walking in between.

Still, for the last two or three years--about since I took up indoor cycling--I have been experiencing sudden bouts of nausea that, though they pass quickly, are quite alarming. My doctor says it's nothing, but maybe it's the Lipitor. I shall inquire further.

Zee said...

@Denis--

“We oppose the teaching of Higher Order Thinking Skills (HOTS) (values clarification), critical thinking skills and similar programs that are simply a relabeling of Outcome-Based Education (OBE) (mastery learning) which focus on behavior modification and have the purpose of challenging the student’s fixed beliefs and undermining parental authority.” --Texas GOP 2012

Huh?

Absolutely astounding!

I am not a teacher, but I am quite certain that with a little creativity, it is entirely possible to teach critical thinking skills without undermining parental values or authority.

And there are very few values that should ever be considered fixed.

This policy, taken to its logical extreme, will ultimately outlaw any teaching whatsoever in Texas related to modern science, or, at least, to the observations and conclusions of modern biology, geology, astronomy and cosmology.

Mathematics and Newtonian physics might be safe for the moment, but only just so.

Quantum physics and the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle might be too much for parental authority to bear, and mathematics in the "imaginary plane" would doubtless challenge the fixed value that only real numbers are "real."

We're doomed.

Please, please, please...

Do not confuse Conservatism with Republican Party-ism.

James F Traynor said...

@Pearl

I'm on a statin; I/2 a 10 milligram tablet, every other day. Works for me. Otherwise side effects.

About the Glaxo fines; small potatoes when compared to overall profits from the same drugs, nothing but a light slap on the wrist.

@Zee

You might be over hydrating during or after exercise, watch your electrolytes

James F Traynor said...

@Pearl

I'm on a statin; I/2 a 10 milligram tablet, every other day. Works for me. Otherwise side effects.

About the Glaxo fines; small potatoes when compared to overall profits from the same drugs, nothing but a light slap on the wrist.

@Zee

You might be over hydrating during or after exercise, watch your electrolytes

Zee said...

@James--

Overhydrating is certainly a possiblity.

How do I know if my electrolytes are out of whack, and what do I do about it?

Thank for any insights you can offer.

4Runner said...

Seeing a couple of mentions of Texas today, I'm hoping you give an exploratory look at the website Juanita Jean's--The World's Most Dangerous Beauty Salon Inc. It's primarily about Texas politics, all done in the vernacular and reminiscent of Molly Ivins. The looney Lone Star state!

Pearl said...

For Zee:

I am glad you wrote in about Lipitor. The only way to test it out is to reduce or eliminate it for a short while (you didn't say how much you were taking) and see if you stop having those bouts of nausea or possibly other side effects by how you feel. It takes a week or two to see the results and then wait a bit longer (how long would depend on what your doctor advises) before checking out your cholesterol level. If it goes up again to an unsafe level, you can begin manipulating the amount of Lipitor and again see what happens. Also other statins might work better but I doubt it as I have been on Zocor (with many side effects), Crestor which only 2 pills made me ill, etc. This is something you will have to be in consultation with your doctor about. Some people do well on some statins and not others so it will involve experimentation on your part. Also, if your cholesterol is only up slightly, you may be able to eliminate taking statins and keep a watch on blood readings.

I obviously need a statin since even if my cholesterol was normal I would have to have heart protection as a result of my bypass surgery but if you have not had a history of heart trouble and just have a higher than normal cholesterol it would be easier to make decisions. I presume you watch your diet and it sounds like you keep physically fit but cholesterol problems can be genetic (as mine) despite being careful with your health.

Good luck and let me know what transpires. I'm glad I sent in the information to Karen's blog as evidently this is a widespread problem now. By the way, have you been tested for blood sugar readings as they also discovered that statins can increase the the incidence of developing diabetes which also came to light fairly recently. Never a dull moment when dealing with drugs. My husband was hospitalized once with all the symptoms of a heart attack when it was discovered he was reacting to a calcium blocker for high blood pressure which I had been warning him about. So it goes.

Denis Neville said...

@ Zee and Pearl

Evaluating a patient’s medication regimen for potential adverse reactions has become an increasingly difficult task. Medications are often prescribed by multiple providers at different times for different reasons. When a patient is on multiple medications, a physician’s decision making process becomes quite complex. Not only does the sheer number of possible side-effects grow, but the effects themselves may overlap synergistically and increase the patient’s risk of an adverse event. Subclinical toxicities of medications are also common. A prescribing cascade can also occur when a new medicine is prescribed to treat an adverse reaction to another drug in the mistaken belief that a new medical condition requiring treatment has developed. Adverse outcomes associated with prescribing cascades can result when the second drug increases the severity of the adverse reaction to the first drug or when the second drug places the patient at risk of additional adverse drug reactions. The key to preventing prescribing cascades lies in the avoidance and early detection of adverse drug reactions and an increased awareness and recognition of the potential for adverse reactions.

If you still have questions about possible medication side effects, ask your pharmacist. They are specialists who can help. Quality of life is a key factor for making decisions on changing or discontinuing medications. Use of a certain medication is weighed against its impact on primary biological functions such as the kidneys, liver, bladder, bowel, and appetite.

Denis Neville said...

@ 4Runner - Molly Ivins reincarnated!! Thanks!

ROFLMAO!! Juanita Jean's--The World's Most Dangerous Beauty Salon Inc. is terrific!!!

James F Traynor said...

@Zee

I know when mine are out of whack, because I tend to get muscle cramps. I eat a banana and lick a bit of salt.
It's probably because I drink water while I'm working out and I sweat a lot when I do cardio (stair climber, treadmill). Try the salt before and the banana after - might work.

Pearl said...

Zee: In looking up the side effects of Lipitor, nausea and vomiting was
listed as a symptom in one article that requires seeing a doctor. It may be the hydration
you were told about but it is interesting that it is listed as an important concern. I don't want to scare you but it won't hurt to stop it for a bit and see how you feel. Also I suggest you be sure your doctor is taking regular liver
tests as statins as well as other drugs may affect the liver negatively. I am sure you are aware that you cannot drink grapefruit juice or eat the fruit when taking statins.
I suggest you punch in Lipitor and side effects in your computer which has several reports that might be of interest.

I told Karen that we will have to rename her blog the Sardonicky Medical
Center. Free unsolicited advice.

James F Traynor said...

Thinking is what got Socrates killed - too many questions. Of course he did hobnob with the elite and that didn't make him popular with the demos, but he basically asked too many questions. In places like Texas (or even ancient Athens) that can be dangerous.

Will said...

Happy 4th of July, everyone.

Here's the trailer to a film every American should see--especially our young men and women eager to join the military.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t8NR6n1nRMI

Anonymous said...

I bet we could come up with some nursing home recommendations for some of you, if that would help.

Are there any younger people on this blog?

Karen Garcia said...

Anonymous,
Younger than your mental age of 12?

James F Traynor said...

Karen's on the prowl - listen to her growl. Yippee!

Pearl said...

Anonymous: Illness and death is no respecter of age. Information to protect one's health and recognize the challenges to it from the pharmaceutical and practicing medical personnel is useful and important at any time in life.
Those of us who have learned important lessons during our lifetimes should share them with
others, regardless of THEIR race, gender or age.

We cannot all pick up vital information regarding health and well being with so much being written, and it is our responsibility in a group such as ours, to mention publications and articles regarding any topic of interest in order to enlarge our understanding to help make intelligent life choices. I have
gratefully continued to learn a great deal from the input of the readers of Sardonicky which proves there is not an age cut- off point for learning new things.

Pearl - a proud member of the greatest generation and thank you, but I don't need a nursing home recommendation quite yet.

Bonnie said...

4Runner, thanks from me, also, for turning me on to Juanita Jean's - fantastic!

Denis Neville said...

Texas 'caca del toro,' Montezuma's true revenge?

It boggles the mind:

“Messing With Texas Textbooks,” http://billmoyers.com/content/messing-with-texas-textbooks/

“Texas Textbooks,” http://juanitajean.com/2011/07/05/texas-textbooks/

“Texas Is The Crazy Uncle in the Attic,” http://juanitajean.com/2010/05/31/news-we-can-use/

Juanita Jean, “So far, all I’ve figured out is that they want to beat up women and children, buy heavy artillery, not pay their taxes, and get to shove Jesus Christ down your throat.”

http://juanitajean.com/2012/06/26/the-republican-party-of-texas-self-righteous-extremism-in-the-pursuit-of-middle-class-warfare/

spreadoption said...

On this 4th of July, here's some must reading for us progressives. It addresses all the fundamentals of our crisis and outlines an answer to the question we need to be asking each other, What do progressives do now?

http://www.counterpunch.org/2012/07/03/an-interview-with-roberto-unger-on-why-progressives-need-to-defeat-obama/

One point is high-risk and counter-intuitive for many of us: Progressives must begin by defeating Obama.

Jay - Ottawa said...

It's July 4th. Happy Independence Day to all.

This also seems like a day on Sardonicky to talk about illness or injury. I particularly like it when one commentator attempts to address another's concern more than his or her own. July 4th and the military are closely linked. The ailment I would like to address is 'moral injury' as it applies to the military.

I’ve read biographers who say that Abraham Lincoln’s politics hinged more on the Declaration of Independence than on our other great foundation document, the US Constitution. Less than fifteen years between the documents, yet a gulf lies between them.

What is the Declaration of Independence? Here’s a home-spun definition: It is the colonials' catalogue of oppressive deeds imposed by the mother country and a resolve to end the parent-child relationship.

Over the years the Declaration has been transformed from a universal declaration of freedom – celebrated around the world -- to a celebration of the US military ethos at home. Need I provide citations to show how we are all expected to render unto the military an open-ended gratitude forever?

As Lincoln reminded us, we cannot escape history. So let’s salute the military. And with sympathy and without irony. This is now their day.

The attachment is an essay about the psychological hurt borne by front-line troops since, well, since Homer. We've all heard about 'shell shock,' 'combat fatigue' and 'post-traumatic stress disorder’ (PTSD), the names used for the phenomenon in recent times. The most-fitting term of all, in my estimation, the term which comes closest to explaining the condition with sympathy and understanding, is the term used after the Civil War, ‘Soldiers' Heart.’ 'Soldiers' Heart' sure beats PTSD.

I think I see 'soldier's heart' in Lincoln's eyes from those Mathew Brady daguerreotypes of the Civil War. Is 'soldier's heart' a sickness or an inescapable human response?

Support our troops. Read about ‘soldier’s heart' on this, their day:

http://www.tomdispatch.com/post/175563/tomgram%3A_nan_levinson%2C_moral_injury_and_american_war/?utm_source=TomDispatch&utm_campaign=e96e46b767-TD_Levinson6_28_2012&utm_medium=email

James F Traynor said...

I'm feeling magnanimous, after barbecued filet mignon preceded by Glenfiddich on the rocks, and quaffed down with champagne (domestic) and my wife's praises
(an unusual event in itself) I wish you all (even Anonymous) a joyous Fourth. Especially you Karen, who growls for us all.

Will said...

Just wanted to check in after a long, very fun day with loved ones. I didn't dine like a king (Yes, James Traynor, I'm officially envious!), but a big juicy burger really hit the spot, followed by way too many delicious homemade cookies.

Anyway, one last word about comments around here. I love when there's a bunch; I'm sad when there are only a few. Please, everyone, just say what's on your mind, whether backed by a zillion sources or none at all. Anyone who spends any time around here knows we're huge underdogs in our class war with the ruling elite, so let's at least have a little meaningful conversation while we rearrange the proverbial deck chairs on the Titanic. :)

Pearl said...

A statement from FDR:

"In the future days, which we seek to make secure, we look forward to a world founded upon four essential human freedoms. The first is freedom of speech and expression-everywhere in the world. The second is freedom of every person to worship God in his own way-everywhere in the world. The third is freedom from want-which, translated into world terms, means economic understandings which will secure to every nation a healthy peacetime life for its inhabitants-everywhere in the world. The fourth is freedom
from fear-which, translated into world terms, means a world-wide reduction of armaments to such a point and in such a thorough fashion that no nation will be in a position to commit an act of physical aggression against any neighbor-anywhere in the world. That is no vision of a distant millennium. It is a definite basis for a kind of world attainable in our own time and generation. That kind of world is the very antithesis of the so-called new order of tyranny which the dictators seek to create with the crash of a bomb."

If we ever see a time when we have "secure[d] to every nation a healthy peacetime life for its inhabitants" - freedom from want - then as far as I'm concerned, from that day forward, every day will be a holiday. For sure, every day will be worth celebrating."

Zee said...

@Karen—

Thank you for another “Open Thread day” and the opportunity to offer random observations and just ask questions of one another “at large.” While I would never ask you to make this the main thrust of your blog, I think—as a newbie—that it can be a useful, occasional, change of pace. And maybe even a day of rest for you. I will try to stay more “on point” in the future, though.

@Pearl, @James and @Denis—

Thank you for the various answers/recommendations that you have made in response to my various health- and fitness-related questions. Thank you especially, @Pearl, for sharing with us your problems regarding statins. If you hadn’t shared that information with us, would I have been prompted to ask my questions? Probably not.

And @James, it’s nice to learn that there is another enthusiast for both good Scotch and good beef here.

@Jay—

Thank you for your thoughtful remarks on the meaning of “Independence Day.”

I hope that you don’t see me as disagreeing with you too much when I say that our military—those who serve, fight, and die, not the Generals and Admirals who see the military as a permanent end in itself—do deserve our perpetual gratitude. They serve selflessly at the whims of often-foolish politicians, for good causes and for bad, often not even understanding what the “cause” is. They return home in coffins, or permanently scarred with wounds both visible and invisible.

These deserve our perpetual gratitude and our permanent dedication to do our very best to bring them back to wholeness, insofar as possible.

The politicians, and, yes, some generals and admirals who treat these precious lives so casually are the ones who deserve our perpetual doubt and scrutiny.

I absolutely agree with you that even if written at the time with more specific intentions in mind than we see in them today, the Declaration of Independence is—and should remain—a beacon of hope for all people, everywhere. As you say, I think that this "hope" has been replaced by a glorification of American Exceptionalism everywhere, all the time.

I am not certain that I agree with you that there is all that much difference between the Declaration of Independence and (at least) the Preamble to the Constitution of the United States. If the latter document in its entirety represents an unfortunate compromise amongst differing political factions at the time, the Preamble, at least, represents the same universal hope that was expressed in the Declaration, and it is the Rosetta Stone by which we should interpret the Constitution through time.


“We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.” --Preamble to the U.S. Constitution

How can we go wrong if these words are our ultimate signpost?

I wish you all a joyous and respectful Fourth of July!

Denis Neville said...

Why are pharmaceutical companies allowed to do their own trials?

I ran across the following while doing some early morning surfing:

re: marketing strategies used to promote drugs

“the evidence base for making health care decisions…has been so ethically corrupted… manipulation of research design, implementation, or analysis…[to] produce the results desired from a marketing perspective, regardless of their underlying truth… health care professionals thought to be especially influential on practice or policy, were hired to become marketers”

http://hcrenewal.blogspot.com/2012/06/more-marketing-than-science-anonymous.html

I was particularly interested in one reference, “The Stealth Marketing of Neurontin,” because this drug was prescribed for my wife’s cancer pain in the time frame mentioned. She experienced a significant adverse reaction requiring hospitalization while taking it.

http://hcrenewal.blogspot.com/2006/08/stealth-marketing-of-neurontin.html

So many people making so much money. It’s all about money. Shame! Shame!! Shame!!!

“Statistics is getting a bad name, and people are suffering and dying from bad medicine, not to mention paying way too much for fancy meds that don’t actually help them more than aspirin.” – Cathy O'Neil, mathbabe

http://mathbabe.org/2012/06/26/why-are-pharmaceutical-companies-allowed-to-do-their-own-trials/

Karen Garcia said...

@Denis,
I also was once prescribed Neurontin for pain. (Note to readers: it was originally marketed as an anti-seizure drug, but since it was about 1000 times as expensive as Tylenol or codeine or hydrocodone, the drug companies decided they could make a buck by off-labeling.)

I wonder when the FDA and DOJ are going to crack down on the new marketing of antidepressants (which have been found not to work for depression or anti-smoking therapy)for arthritis pain. They're running TV commercials advertising them as such. People run to their doctors demanding them, the docs give in, the patients put on a ton of weight and can't sleep, the docs prescribe that new diet pill and some Ambien, and so it goes.

Anne Lavoie said...

Here's my two cents worth on cholesterol and statins. My cholesterol ranged from 225-250 for years and of course the docs always wanted me on statins, which I resisted.

Unbeknownst to my doctor, and for other general health related reasons, I put myself on a gluten-free diet. Not only did I feel better but I later discovered my cholesterol dropped to 189. Gluten-free for me means eliminating almost all grains, not just substituting other gluten-free varieties. The exception is (certified gluten-free) oatmeal.

I will try anything rather than take pills from the legalized poison pill industry, BigPharma.

The issue of the many doctors acting as drug pushers and accepting bribes to do so is another issue that ProPublica has helped open up to public scrutiny. Search your state and doctor on their website at

http://projects.propublica.org/docdollars/

Zee said...

Having private pharmaceutical companies do their own drug trials is akin to having the fox guard the henhouse. There are simply too many documented examples of companies "doctoring" their own results to make dangerous or outright harmful drugs look good.

The FDA is one area of government that I would like to see grow, in order to ensure that drug trials are performed and interpreted by independent parties.

As I understand it--I don't know this for a fact--part of the problem is that the FDA is chronically underfunded, and simply can't afford the number and caliber of personnel that are needed to do credible trials.

Surely we could lop off huge segments of the Federal government--like the sector of the Department of Energy that Obama used to pay back tens of billions of dollars to his bundler buddies*--and spend the money on something like the FDA, which could benefit the entire nation.

The marketplace is the proper place for the development of economical "green" energy, and the Federal government is the proper place to test the safety and efficacy of pharmaceuticals.

*See Throw Them All Out! by Peter Schweizer of the Hoover Institute.

Neil Gillespie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Neil Gillespie said...

@ Karen, re debtors prisons making a comeback

That’s a real Fourth of July freedom-feather in your cap!

Kurt Anderson’s piece in the NYT, The Downside of Liberty, opines on why the social revolution of the 1960s did not include progress in the economic realm.

"What has happened politically, economically, culturally and socially since the sea change of the late ’60s isn’t contradictory or incongruous. It’s all of a piece. For hippies and bohemians as for businesspeople and investors, extreme individualism has been triumphant. Selfishness won."

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/07/04/opinion/the-downside-of-liberty.html

So did selfish fornication lead to selfish Too Big To Fail Banks?

Anderson: "But then came the late 1960s, and over the next two decades American individualism was fully unleashed. A kind of tacit grand bargain was forged between the counterculture and the establishment, between the forever-young and the moneyed."

"Going forward, the youthful masses of every age would be permitted as never before to indulge their self-expressive and hedonistic impulses. But capitalists in return would be unshackled as well, free to indulge their own animal spirits with fewer and fewer fetters in the forms of regulation, taxes or social opprobrium."

""Do your own thing" is not so different than "every man for himself." If it feels good, do it, whether that means smoking weed and watching porn and never wearing a necktie, retiring at 50 with a six-figure public pension and refusing modest gun regulation, or moving your factories overseas and letting commercial banks become financial speculators. The self-absorbed "Me" Decade, having expanded during the ’80s and ’90s from personal life to encompass the political economy, will soon be the "Me" Half-Century."

@Anonymous, re: I bet we could come up with some nursing home recommendations…

To the young and young at heart: Don’t waste your death in a nursing home. Find a cause. Fight. Go out with your boots on! The Powers That Be know they can outlast a placid populace.

@Zee re: previous thread and apology

Thanks, appreciate the gesture, but no apology is needed, just more vigorous discourse. Thanks for clarifying that Vincent Bugliosi was the one who was over the top.

It is normal for you, and the general public, to assume at first glance that we have a fair justice system. The main stream media promotes this myth. But the reality beneath the flag-waving Fourth of July facade is a different story - like debtors prisons making a comeback. Or economic slavery that has so many people in debt chains.

You asked in an earlier thread to contact me by email. You may do so by clicking my blogger image on the right, it has a link for email. I just don’t send much personal email because of time and energy constraints.

People sometimes email or call me about their court cases, and it is always the same sad story, no justice for ordinary people. One by one, those who assert their rights are met by courts of indifference and deception. Injustice kills their spirit. If only they could unite, perhaps with some kind of union or alliance to balance the scales. Lawyers and judges have a union; its called The Florida Bar in the Sunshine State.