Archive for November, 2013

Take Down: Rethinking First Take Kidd, Tomlin and Jackson



Why the Cheating of Jason Kidd and Mike Tomlin Is A Big Deal Not Just Boys Being Boys


When Skip Bayless points out that Jason Kidd can’t coach S A Smith responds he is not a coach he is the face of the franchise. So his obvious lack of coaching expertise is inconsequential and he should be given time to learn the job?  But the problem there is the Nets have a one or maybe two-year window to win with a group of aging veterans.  So why would you take time to instruct Jason Kidd to coach if you own the team?  That is something only the owners can answer.

Kidd’s childish spilling of soda pop on the floor to stop the game and his gleeful remark about how he was never good with the ball show his disrespect for not just the game, but all the players on the fringe trying to make it.  And all people in this society who are playing by the rules and getting further behind everyday. That is why this is such a bid deal.  Kidd already has it made.  He probably made more money at Berkeley as a Freshman than most people earn in a lifetime.  He has been making tens of million of dollars for twenty years.  He is wealthy.  And like most wealthy people he now believes that the rules just don’t apply to him.  The 50,000 fine to him is pocket change.  He could drop that at lunch in a poker game and not think twice.

He has led a life of entitlement due to his skill with the basketball.  He went to the best high school in California, one of the best colleges, even though he could not pass the SATs, and walked a way from car accident and likely DUI which would be a felony for anyone else.

So he is entitled to cheat just for laughs.  Same with Mike Tomlin.  One set of rules for the rich and another for the poor.  Trickle down economics and trickle down justice.


That is the message that he and Mike Tomlin are sending.  They along with the CEOs from Goldman Sachs, Citibank, the Tobacco and Oil companies (among others) don’t need to play by any rules, those are for the 40% of Americans who have less in total than the 5 Walton’s who own Wal-Mart. And the other 59% of middle class Americans who have seen their incomes decline from thirty years of Reaganomics.  But not for the wealthy 1%.

That is what is so frustrating about Skip and Stephen A.. They just don’t connect the dots.  They are Gen Xers not children of the 60s and don’t see how the dots of injustice connect and how the web of economic injustice spins through all facets of society.  This was a great teaching moment that neither understood.

As far as coaching ability goes why Jason Kidd?  And why Mark Jackson?  Jackson is a pompous blow hard who is always selling.  He was part of the NBA national broadcast crew and is immune from criticism from them.  But the reality is he stumbled into the playoffs last year, and caught a break when David Lee was injured.  Putting Barnes at the 4 gave the Warriors the athleticism to defeat Karl’s collection of NBA role players that he miraculously coached to a home court advantage in the play offs.  If David Lee was not injured the Warriors would have never beaten the Nuggets.  But Jackson was forced to use Barnes at the four at the team blossomed.  They came with a hair of beating San Antonio.  If it weren’t for the horrendous coaching of Mark Jackson they might have.










Open Letter to Jerry Brown Part II:

Benzodiazepines Are The Most Dangerous

Prescribed Dangerous and the Most Dangerous Drugs Period

“Discharge prescription of benzodiazepine hypnotics should not exceed three days duration and preferably be avoided altogether.”

-Drug and Alcohol Resource Unit, Royal Adelaide Hospital, Adelaide, South Australia, 5000, Australia.

Hospitals like prisons are overcrowded today.  Many hospital admissions are due to prescribed medicines (as much as 20% according to some studies) just like many prisons are filled because of drugs which are basically self-prescribed medicines.  Wrongly prescribed benzodiazepines result in sickness, death, suicide, drug addiction and insanity.  They are easily the worst set of drugs in the medical pharmacopeia.  And hundreds of ER visits and hospital stays are do to their use.  Yet innocently patients gobble these drugs like candy on the advice of ill-informed medical doctors.  Governor Brown if you want to do something about drug usage and drug abuse start here.  Stop worrying about plants that grow in the garden.  Synthetic chemicals are far more dangerous.

In 2008 one study documents that over 112 million scripts were written for benzodiazepines in the United States.  Recently it was determined that 10 to 20 percent of all people in the Western world get one or more benzodiazepine scripts per year.  It is not clear if this includes the active military, the VA, and or possibly other sources for the drugs.  But at least enough scripts were and are written to boggle the mind.  This is despite the well-known facts that benzodiazepines are horribly addictive, unsuited for treatment of the mentally ill, emotionally unstable and/or those with substance abuse histories.  So that begs the question:  who are these drugs for?  Studies show that after only two weeks patients become addicted and can suffer serious withdrawal symptoms.  Other studies suggest the time period is four weeks or four months.  But there is no doubt that they are addicting and quite quickly create chemical dependency and cause after a short time the symptoms they are supposed to be treat.  Shockingly benzodiazepines along with alcohol cause death when patients stop using them  They are the only two drugs that do this.  Both act on GABA receptors in the brain and cause seizures when patients/addicts stop using them.  Seizures cause death.  Halcyon, triazolam, is believed to cause patients to experience withdrawal symptoms after one dose.  It is banned for that reason and others in many countries but of course not in the USA.  Anything that makes a profit is fine in this country.

Since not a lot of money is spent on looking for reasons why profitable drugs should not be sold, a complete understanding of the harmful effects of the over 3000 variations of the basic benzodiazepine molecule has yet to be achieved.  But it is simple for the non-scientist to understand when you realize that benzodiazepines act on the same receptors as alcohol.  If you observe people, you will note that the same people who unwind by taking a drink, love their Valium and Xanax.  That is because essentially you are getting the same kind of high.  Are these drugs really any more therapeutic than alcohol is?  They may have some limited therapeutic benefit for epilepsy and severe psychosis, but rarely are they prescribed for that purpose.  Most often the are prescribed for normal people who are not sick.  Doctors should not be allowed to prescribe medicines to people who are not sick.  There is no such thing as wellness drugs and really benzodiazepines are not unlike Soma, a drug to mollify an uneasy population.

In addition most dangerously, most if not all medical doctors are strangely unaware of the contra-indications of these drugs.

Medical literature abounds with unscientific claims about benzodiazepines.  They are “safe” and “non-addictive” with few side effects.  This is the general consensus of medical doctors who prescribe the drugs.  Yet scientists who study them have an entirely different conclusion.  Scientists rightly state that benzodiazepines should not be prescribed to anyone with a history of substance abuse, mental illness, or emotional instability.  So again who are they for?  Valium was given in buckets to the bored house wives of the seventies.  They were given to treat essentially a normal condition to normal people.  People who become frustrated with their lives experience anxiety.  That is not a treatable condition.  That is normal life.  Scientists also state that the therapeutic benefit (if any) benzodiazepine is short lived.  Alprazolam is marketed as being more effective for anxiety and panic disorder than a placebo after four weeks of use.  However, the marketing materials don’t say after eight weeks another test reveals their effectiveness is no different than a placebo.  Nonetheless people take these drugs for years.  If a more thorough study were done it might show a placebo is more effective in the long run.  But no one studies drugs to disappoint the people paying for the study.

Responsible medical doctors educate their patients.  They make it clear these drugs are for short term use only.  In France you won’t get a benzodiazepine for more than a couple weeks.  But here people take them for years.  That is what you should stop.  Forget about weeds or mushrooms, these plants have been used by humans for millenniums.  Our bodies can deal with them.  Benzodiazepines were discovered inadvertently in the 1950’s by a laboratory.  They are completely synthetic and our bodies don’t know how to react to them.  Some have half lives of over 250 hours.  This means they build up in the body and their effects get stronger as time goes on.  This make the very dangerous.

I strongly suggest for the safety of Californians and people in general you stop the “off-labeling” prescription of drugs by physicians.  This means simply that Doctors should only prescribe drugs for which there is a scientific proof of their use.  Currently drug companies can market their drugs as a cure for anything without proof.  They only have to convince Doctors to prescribe them.  By expanding the use of drugs through “off labeling” sales increase dramatically and so do profits.  Psychiatrists are the kings of “off labeling”.  While as much as 20 percent of all drugs prescribed have no science behind them, “off labeling”, psychiatrists give out nearly one third, 33 percent, of their prescriptions based on “personal experience” and intuition.  This is troubling because psychoactive drugs that cross the blood brain barrier are inherently the most dangerous.  They should be the least prescribed on a trial, personal feeling, intuition, discussion with salesman, anecdotes or experimental basis.  Yet they are the least regulated.  And there should be no wellness program that involves prescription drugs.  If you are not sick a doctor should not be prescribing medicine.  Treating normalcy with drugs is the sign of a sick society is it not?

Strikingly, their is no benefit to the mentally or emotionally ill patient by prescribing benzodiazepines that are contraindicated for their conditions by scientists who have researched this molecule.  Further that patient is harmed because they are not getting either the right drug for their problem or being given an opportunity through psychoanalysis or cognitive therapy to explore just what their problem really is.  All they are getting is a drug that has been most successfully marketed for their condition.  Benzodiazepines all effect the brain, spinal column and nervous system the same way.  The only difference is the speed at which they work, the length of time they stay in the body, strength of dosage and speed at which they become addicting.  In essence every benzodiazepine is like a different kind of liquor.  Some are like 4 shots of whisky and others are like a glass of wine.  Emphatically scientists state that using two or more benzodiazepines amplifies the effect of both and is inherently dangerous.  And this should not be done.  Yet millions of people take one benzodiazepine for sleeping, one for anxiety and one for panic attacks.  The panic attacks are inevitable when people are taking that high of doses of benzodiazepines.  If history showed that people are taking more than one benzodiazepine or have other contraindications for the drugs responsible doctors could place their patients in the hospital to get them off benzodiazepines.  Note again that death can result from stopping any benzodiazepine on your own.  I find it stunning that doctors totally ignore the scientific research on these drugs and prescribe them to people who use alcohol, the mentally ill, the emotionally unstable and commonly prescribe more than one benzodiazepine when it is clear that this is a contraindication in and of itself.

Benzodiazepines are essentially alcohol in pill form.  That is why so many people get addicted, have to go through withdrawal, and take them when they don’t need them.  Taking a benzodiazepines is like having a drink of wine, spirits or grain alcohol.

Please take steps to aid all Californians and protect them from the pharmaceutical industry.  The industry sells and persuades.  It does not cure.  I suggest to begin a California for All health care system, you place records of all patients on databases so doctors can access all medical records when needed.  This way they will stop prescribing benzodiazepines to people who are sick.  Scientists state clearly that these drugs are not to be given to anyone who is emotionally ill, addicted to any substance, currently using alcohol (which would be a large percentage of society), that have a history of using alcohol or substance abuse, mental instability and or a history of emotional problems.  If databases were available to all doctors to see all prescriptions and the history of a patient they would know quickly when these dangerous drugs should not be used.

Please read the chapter on benzodiazepines in the book “Concepts of Chemical Dependency” by Harold E. Doweiko.  This will give you a realistic view of benzodiazepines.

Thanks for your consideration.

The Folly of Modern Medicine’s Zealous Supporters

The Folly of Modern Medicine’s Zealous Supporters


Recently Thom Hartmann had a guest on who was selling his book about Faith Healers.  His premise was that they were threatening the lives of children.  Therefore the government should intervene and take the kids away from the parents.  Treat them “appropriately” and then return them to their parents either dead or healed.


On another day, 11/14/13, Thom had a caller who was all upset about herbal medicine and homeopathy.


Both of these gentleman have built their houses on sand not rock.  First, faith healing is part of religious culture.  It is an interesting argument about when and if the government (usually hated by the right wing) can do the ultimate crime (in their eyes) of taking custody of a well-meaning parent’s child.  That is something that stirs the passions of many people.  Abortion is a very similar issue so to speak.


The problems with the hysteria about faith healing are two fold.  First the number of deaths alleged to be a result of “failed” faith healings is in the hundreds per decade.  All though all life is precious in the scheme of things, not a large number.


Nonetheless, most rationale people find it hard to understand that if a cure or treatment for a disease might save a life, why not try it?

Well from the point of view of the religions that don’t take drugs, etc., often children and adults as well die from the medicines and surgical procedures.  They die from faulty diagnosis as well as bad treatment, side effects of drugs and overdose either intentional or not.  Kids die and become very ill from immunizations also.


What makes this philosophical debate so puzzling is the obvious fact that different people or children die in both these circumstances.  If your kid does not get the MMR vaccine chances are he will be fine.  The Chinese believe that childhood disease actually tests and strengthens the immune system.  Although supports of the drug industry and modern medicine love to point out how much longer people in first world countries live the reality is that in Afghanistan you see plenty of old people despite the harsh conditions.  The reality is once immunity is established to the childhood diseases, intestinal microbes and various viruses and bacteria that show up in different years, the adult is immune from most disease that come from contact or are air born.  So they live long and just as long as the people here.  It looks like they have shorter lives because on average many kids die young.


So by avoiding immunizations and various treatments a different set of children survive and prosper.  Some of the otherwise healthy kids would have died from reactions to the immunizations.  So there is your moral dilemma.


By immunizing and medicating children a different set survives than if you would have left them alone to fight off or die the bugs that infect them and disease that come from other causes.


Herbs, chiropractic, acupuncture and homeopathy are not amenable to double blind testing.  Therefore using the modern protocol to evaluate their effectiveness does not work.


Hence either you can “prescribe” the herbs based on many years of “folk” remedies, some science, or through other means like muscle testing or you can dismiss them altogether and say it is up to the Red Clover Lobby to prove Red Clover works so if they can’t then it does not work.  Of course there is no Red Clover Lobby.  It is a plant that grows almost anywhere.  Not patentable (until Monsanto changes the laws).  So no incentive to do research.  To sell more drugs Big Pharma can scream that herbs are unscientific.  It is hard to argue because until money is spent researching herbs, there is no research on them.


But at the same time Big Pharma has no problem promoting “off label” use of medicines which are totally unscientific.  The law is simple.  MDs can prescribe any drug for any cause.  They can prescribe based on information from salesman, personal experience, intuition, information from other Doctors, aka hearsay, and virtually any rationale to sell the drug you can think up.  But suggesting an herb that has a thousand year history of treating a certain condition is considered unscientific.


That is the ludicrous world we have created.  Psychiatrists, by the way, the one profession that should not mess aimlessly with peoples minds prescribes off label 30 percent of the time to 25% for the general MD population.  Think about that.


So if you are offended by faith healing and herbs take a hard look at what passes for science in the Medical world.  You might be surprised.







Why Obama’s Generation X Assumptions About Reality Undid His Presidency A BabyBoomer’s Lament

Why Obama’s Generation X Assumptions About Reality Undid His Presidency-A BabyBoomer’s Lament


My best friend was never fooled by Barrack Obama.  She always saw a man who was letting liberals think he was a liberal.  He never was a liberal.  And she knew it.  She was a Gen-Xer and knew how the people of her generation were fooled and schooled by propaganda.  She was not fooled by Obama or the relentless propaganda of the Right Wing.  But most of her generation were and the liberals from mine as well.


For the Baby Boomers, most of us were blinded by Hope, our own.  Our own hope for an RFK, a second FDR, or an LBJ without the Albatross of the Viet Nam war, clouded our judgement.  We heard “Hope”, believed it was 1966 all over again and ignored the subtle and not so subtle warning signals.


Obama has proved to have liberal sensitivities only on issues of Civil Rights.  While this is good and better than the Romney or McCain alternatives, it is in a word, pathetic.  Obama is only liberal on issues that have directly impacted him or his family.  This means  his ability to empathize is limited.  That explains his love affair with drone warfare and Reaganomics.  No one who is empathetic can send drones to kill someone and call dead kids “collateral damage”.  That’s Cheney-Bush stuff.  Long term it is a failed policy, anyone who can reason can see that a whole generation will grow up hating the USA as drones circle their country and kill random people.  Defenders say the deaths are not random, but terrorists who are somehow threatening the USA?  Do you really expect people living in a foreign country to buy that?  It does not take a lot of thought to see that droning people to death will not win hearts and minds.  Yet, reports are that Obama reviews the kill list daily and delights in choosing targets himself.  This is very weird.  And certainly not indicative of a man with a liberal bent.  It is indicative a man who has bought the entire Neo-Conservative rap.  Obama is like a Black Truman not a second FDR.


The warning signs were there when he spoke off the cuff during the campaign.  Mysteriously the supposed intellectual from Harvard stated that Republicans had all the new ideas-meaning Reaganomics, perpetual war, empire building and fervent anti-socialism.  No one asked him what he was talking about.  But clearly he embraces the supply side economics of that party, their believe that government is needed by the rich and powerful to protect their interests and not by the poor who should just look after themselves, the belief that the United States has an obligation to the international financial community and multi-national corporations to keep the established order safe for commerce, the fatuous belief that “out sourcing” saves money and the Reagan doctrine that the “government is the problem not the solution”.  He got these ideas from watching television and reading newspapers.  They were part of the zeitgeist of the Generation X.  A brainwashing that was so thorough that by the time most of them were 30 they believed Social Security was a problem not a miraculous social contract.  As the greedy wealthy licked their wounds from the beating they took from FDR they first undid the continued implementation of the New Deal by derailing the great Henry Wallace’s ascendancy to the presidency.  As FDR’s health waned they removed Wallace from the Vice Presidential nomination despite his enormous popularity and inserted neo-con Harry Truman, a small man with small ideas.  The New Deal in America never took another step forward and the wealthy rallied their forces determined to spend decades undoing all of FDR’s programs.  While the social democracies of Europe flowered in the post WWII environment thanks to leadership from the liberals of America, the US sunk into the malaise of the 50’s with the CIA obtaining enormous power and fervent anti-communism became the new rallying cry.  No more calls for economic equality or justice were heard.  IKE led America into a blind alley.  Then the fruits of FDR’s policies flowered into the sixties.  A whole generation which dared to question the established order.


But rich and powerful of this country were driven crazy by the culture of the sixties or rather the counter-culture.  And ruthlessly they made sure that the generation that followed the Boomers would be a generation of the Zombies which ironically they so love in the theaters and on TV.  They destroyed the schools, out priced college education, founded and funded economic courses which taught that Keynesian economics which had propelled the country to prosperity from the Great Depression to the Seventies was a bad idea, a theory at best, and that new ideas of Trickle Down, Ayn Rand, Milton Friedman and fervent anti-communism and anti-socialism were the beliefs that held the country together.  The Lies that Bind.  Obama complained about 60’s music being played when he spoke.   Taste?  Or a disregard of the counter culture and revolutionary spirit that the music represented?  Now we know.


Obama even embraced the New Right’s second amendment mantra:  “The second amendment guarantees an individual right to any and all guns.”  No, Mr. Obama, it does not and you know it.  However, this is a wide spread belief among the right wing, a mantra, the 11th commandment.  It is a simple easily understood devisive rallying cry and fear tactic that meshes nicely with the Right’s political agenda and needs.  Never mind it has no basis in fact.  Right wing companies like Walmart make billions off of gun sales and want to make sure nothing stands in the way of a potential sale.  No rules, no regulations, the second amendment is a holy doctrine because it stops the regulation of sales from Walmart’s point of view.  Tell people it is about freedom and they buy into it.  But when have the multi-national companies ever cared about freedom for the common man, freedom for them to make a profit.  That is their concern.  Just repeat that:  “The second amendment guarantees an individual right to any and all guns.” 100,000 times and lots of people will believe it.  Obama shamefully stated that he too believed that the constitution was intended to support an individual’s right to arm himself or herself even though he had to have been familiar with reality.


Chief Justice Warren Burger, when asked for his opinion on the Second Amendment, said it was “…one of the greatest pieces of fraud, I repeat the word ‘fraud,’ on the American public by special interest groups that I’ve ever seen in my life time. The real purpose of the Second Amendment was to ensure that state armies–the militias–[preamble] would be maintained for the defense of the state. The very language of the Second Amendment [referring to the preamble] refutes any argument that it was intended to guarantee every citizen an unfettered right to any kind of weapon he or she desires.”

Justice Ginsburg  agrees.  She continues, “The Second Amendment has a preamble about the need for a militia…Historically, the new government had no money to pay for an army, so they relied on the state militias. And the states required men to have certain weapons and they specified in the law what weapons these people had to keep in their home so that when they were called to do service as militiamen, they would have them. That was the entire purpose of the Second Amendment.”

But, Justice Ginsburg explains, “When we no longer need people to keep muskets in their home, then the Second Amendment has no function, its function is to enable the young nation to have people who will fight for it to have weapons that those soldiers will own. So I view the Second Amendment as rooted in the time totally allied to the need to support a militia. So…the Second Amendment is outdated in the sense that its function has become obsolete.”

Strangely as the New Right tries to turn America into their version of the old west they conveniently forget that in the old west the sheriff routinely checked in the guns of all visitors to the town.  They got their guns back when they left.  Gun control?

But nowhere has the brainwashing of Gen-X been so complete as on the issue of out sourcing.  People have bought hook, line and sinker the idea that “the government can’t do anything right”.  Rand Paul, the second generation champion of faux Libertarianism crows:  “We know government is inept, but ObamaCare is bringing it to a whole other level of incompetence.”  It is now assumed that the government is inept by an entire generation told this over and over.  The same government that ended the first Republican Great Depression, brought 30 years of continued prosperity and upward mobility to the Baby Boomers, Korean War generation and Tweeners like Obama.  The same government that put a man on the moon.  The same government that built the Hoover dam.  Inept.  Hardly.

But if that is your core belief than out sourcing is the unchallenged solution.

So the way to solve a problem is to hire an outside contractor?  Now think about this for a moment.  If you own a house, a building or a car and you can repair the thing that is wrong with your car, house or building yourself, will you get it done better or cheaper by hiring a contractor?  Maybe quicker, rarely better, never cheaper and at least half the time you will be in for a major hassle and lots of times a trip to small claims or another court if its a big job.  Contractors are rip off artists.  Everyone who has ever remodeled a bath or kitchen or garage knows this.  You can’t trust them. The city you live in assumes they are crooks and makes them apply for a permit for everything they do and checks the work afterword.  So do you if you are smart.  Now if you can do the repair or remodel yourself without outsourcing to a contractor you save tons of money and aggravation.  In fact in real estate, the main way to make money on a small apartment building or office building is to do the work yourself.  Outsourcing costs money, it does not save money.

The same is true through all levels of government.  Medicare can run health care for 3% overhead but private insurance takes as much as half the dollar for salaries and bonuses.  Privatization breeds millionaires and profits.  It does not lower costs.  Companies learn rapidly they can make huge profits on government contracts and in turn donate huge sums to politicians who give them even bigger contracts.  That is the effect of out sourcing.  You create a culture of companies that are really good at selling their service to decision makers, bribing them and ripping off the general public.  Their skill is to get the contract, that is all.

That is why the discussion about why the ObamaCare web site is bad should really be about why Obama thought out sourcing would save money?  Gen-X brainwashing.  Reagan sold the idea that the Government was the problem, and a lot of people bought it.  So much so that the tragedy of New Orleans in the aftermath of the hurricane was considered no big deal, the government was at fault so privatize FEMA.  One solution to every problem.

Sadly Obama stumbles along giving the Right Wing everything they want.  If he had hired a team of 20 good programmers for 100,000 a year or whatever the appropriate federal salary is, he would have had an excellent team for the rest of our life time for the 200 million dollars already spent.  But they would have been federal employees with good jobs, not rich owners who would be donating major bucks back to the candidates.  Those kind of simple things are what have made Obama a right wing democrat who just does not understand how the real world works.  Because of this the 1% have gotten fabulously wealthy because of him and the 99% are treading water.