We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Our Recent Essays Behind the Front Page
Friday, December 4. 2015
Wednesday, December 2. 2015
Type 2 diabetes can be cured through weight loss
Gays who want to get AIDS
Sunday, November 29. 2015
Dr. Accad wrote a letter to medical students, but it captures most of the sorts of things that thoughtful phyicians think and worry about all the time, through their careers.
Tuesday, November 24. 2015
A new book by a shrink friend (and his daughter): F*ck Feelings: One Shrink's Practical Advice for Managing All Life's Impossible Problems
Saturday, November 21. 2015
Certainly real life is tragic in many ways, real life is full of worries, joy is fleeting, no promised rose garden, etc etc.
There is no "right to happiness."
I may be blessed in that, despite all of my own inner concerns and real life challenges and worries, I often find myself humming contentedly or smiling for no reason. Sometimes I think that might come from a life in Christ, and sometimes I think it's just me. I was a depressed, unmoored adolescent.
The pursuit of happiness is big business. The Happiness Industry: How the Government and Big Business Sold Us Well-Being The transcript of the podcast is there.
It's a shame that happiness can't be purchased but, as they say in the program, "It's an inside job."
Tuesday, November 17. 2015
It seems unlikely to me that government could manage medical care there because it can't manage anything else. India Is Training Quacks to Do Real Medicine
Well-trained paramedics and EMS-type people can do a lot of good, if they have the skills to decide what needs more expertise and what does not. Even the best-trained MDs often get that wrong.
Wednesday, November 11. 2015
It is even more complicated than that, because many of us desire not to desire some of the dumb things we desire. Some even seek to renounce desire in general, which is a complex desire.
Tuesday, November 10. 2015
There are two ways to get rid of ugly, burdensome, hip-and-knee-damaging, heart-damaging fat.
The easiest way is carb restriction, or zero-carb diet. Fat will melt away just to fuel normal life. Remember, all carbs = sugar, and excess carb/sugar gets long-term storaged as fat in case of starvation conditions.
The hard way is to combine that with exercise. This basic physiology explains why it is so hard to reach down into your fat stores.
"With all of the grudges I hold, I should be able to remember why I hold them all - but I can't."
Don Imus on the radio this morning
Sunday, November 8. 2015
Monday, November 2. 2015
It might sound crazy, but I have always seen Singer as evil.
Friday, October 30. 2015
Here is an update on the good news about treating cancers: A critical mass of medical knowledge could soon end the death threat of cancer, but politics stands in the way
Thursday, October 15. 2015
Can male and female sex drives be compared in any useful or interesting ways? It's difficult to get honest data for studies, individuals vary widely, and there is no easy way to measure "sex drive" anyway. I am pretty much convinced that the average male is more affected by physical sexual pressures and sexual fantasies than the average female. Why do men, especially young men, masturbate so much even if they have a sexual partner? It is because they do not always have a willing partner at hand when the pressure mounts.
There are two things, really: An (interpersonal) "urge to merge," (ie desire/love/lust), and a more impersonal need for sexual release/relief/recreation (a longing in the loins). A few pieces on the topic:
How Often Do Men and Women Think about Sex?
Brain cells specific to men fire up when mates are present and override the need to eat, scientists have found
All male animals are like that. The comments are amusing.
Males and females are sex objects, and most want to be that sometimes - plus sometimes, or often, more than that. In today's world, a bold woman has far more easy access to sexual experience than a bold guy.
Wednesday, October 14. 2015
From Ted Dalrymple (who is a Psychiatrist), Everyone on the Couch:
Tuesday, October 13. 2015
Thursday, October 8. 2015
From an illuminating review of the MOMA show, How Picasso the Sculptor Ruptured Art History:
See it if you possibly can. It is a feast. Whatever visual adventures Picasso pursued, he did them with authority, some humor, dead seriousness, and perfect taste.
Posted by Dr. Joy Bliss in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 16:59 | Comments (6) | Trackbacks (0)
Common sense people take it all with some humor and many grains of salt.
By borderlands, I mean the areas in which there are only subjective, untestable, vague complaints. Of course, that applies to many disorders in the Psychiatric domain.
One of my favorite bugaboos is Multiple Chemical Sensitivity. I am told that one can obtain lifetime disability for this impossible disease which is, in fact, either fictitious in some cases and "hysteria" in others.
Another is "Chronic Lyme Disease," and another is Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. It used to be called Neurasthenia. Freud thought, at first, that it was caused by the chemistry of sexual deprivation. Every patient I have seen referred to me with this trashcan diagnosis has had a mood disorder and/or a personality disorder. No, one of them had an undiagnosed schizophrenia.
Nevertheless, the squeaky wheels get the grease: The Tragic Neglect of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.
Sunday, October 4. 2015
She said "I've been thinking all week about what you said about how I always focus on whether a boy likes me, and never think about whether I like the boy. I am changing this right now. What was wrong with me?"
Me: "Not worth thinking about that. You have made me a happy doctor today."
Saturday, October 3. 2015
You may find many victims of this disorder in the lines at Whole Foods.
Friday, October 2. 2015
The American lobbying and advertising Whole Grains Council has had huge success in selling their health scam. Just like Whole Foods. Food piety has two arms: the ignorant, and their commercial predators.
Enjoyment applies to OJ too. It's basically sugar with no other food value. Years ago, the Florida Citrus cabal convinced Americans that they should have it for breakfast. Tasty, but no different from a Coke. Scurvy is not a problem.
My point with my nutrition myth posts is that you should eat whatever you enjoy. If you have a weight problem or a health problem, that's another matter. Just don't pretend, for example, that an OJ is any "healthier" than a Pepsi, or brown bread is "healthier" than white bread. That is just marketing to the low-info shopper and gullibles like Michelle Obama.
We all love happy myths, do we not? The fantasy that we can control fate.
Wednesday, September 30. 2015
Viruses are a reproductive parasite, so some of them cause ailments. Most do not.
Study adds to evidence that viruses are alive. I suppose it has to do with definition of "alive."
Sunday, September 27. 2015
I'd rather be on a flight with an EMS person than with a Dermatologist. Every person should know how to do CPR. The tricky part is knowing when it is needed. If they stop breathing and turn blue, probably yes.
People do die on airplanes, but they probably would have died anyway. Interesting factoid: airplane air has 10% lower oxygen than the air on the ground.
Monday, September 21. 2015
From Alva Noe's How Art Reveals the Limits of Neuroscience:
I am no skeptic about basic neuroscience. I am skeptical about its overeach, its hubris. Aesthetics can never be understood at a neuronal level of organization any more than a living cell can be understood at an atomic level.
Saturday, September 19. 2015
Many animals, like birds and reptiles, have a cloaca (or "vent" - hence the word "venting"), which combines urinary, defecatory and sexual functions. (Most birds copulate via a "cloacal kiss," but a few lucky birds, notably ducks, swans and ostriches, have penises.)
This reminds me of the Yeats:
Vl: Crazy Jane Talks with the Bishop
Friday, September 18. 2015
American Citizenship: Energetic contributors, minor contributors, benign passive recipients, parasites, exploiters, and damagers
The problem with a powerful central government in the US is that it is a big place with many localities with highly-varying viewpoints on life and values. With all of our immigration and home-grown subcultures, and with divisive politics, the US has few shared values or foundational attitudes.
All we have is a bedraggled Constitution, and most Americans don't know what it says.
Thus the average American sees himself as a citizen of the US in the abstract, on national holidays, and in time of war, but lives life primarily as a citizen of a community, or communities, of some sorts.
As a New England Yankee myself of original heritage and thus with minimal respect and instinctive distrust for government, politicians, amd government power, I was led to this subject by the post about David Leff. He is a fellow who seems to be a pillar of his community.
Every community requires such people who jump in and participate in a positive way, with no personal advantage expected other than the rewards of positive involvement. It's been the American Way since de Toqueville described it so well. Other than the Founders, that Frenchie explained American Exceptionalism better than any American ever had.
I have written about the "Circles of Community" in which we all live, and their importance to a good life. Except for hermits, humans need that for pleasure and life enrichment if not for support and survival. Venn diagrams, circling around, with family circles, social circles, neighborhood circles, athletic circles, professional circles, club circles, civic circles, political circles, church circles, hobby circles, etc. Most circles end up overlapping. Much of life consists of these circles, but they do not happen by themselves. Somebody made them happen just as somebody organized the barn-raisings. Government did not do that.
However, I am just focusing on local community here. Big cities have local communities just as Mr. Leff has his little Collinsville.
JFK's famous inaugural line about "Ask not..." (who wrote that line for him?) can be better applied to one's local community and to one's circles of community than it can to this huge nation.
All localities, like all "circles," have energetic contributors, minor contributors, benign passive recipients, parasites, exploiters, and damagers of the social fabrics. It's probably a bell curve like everything else. Just paying your taxes does not count, nor does holding down an honest job or making some effort to obey the laws because those are the minimal expectations of residency anywhere.
What does count? Cub Scout Mom, Bible study, book club, Kiwanis, town meeting attendance or being on town committees, club committees, volunteering for virtuous or charitable purposes or at the library, organizing a block party or book club or softball games. It doesn't have to be big like being on the board of your local hospital or president of your country club, but if you are not engaged in positive ways without personal advantage, you are no capital "C" American Citizen in my book because you are a free-rider. A resident, not a Citizen.
We all ask ourselves daily how we wish to live, what example we wish to set, how we wish to be known, and how we wish to be remembered. Every human has a gift or gifts to offer and it is sinful to withhold them.