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
Monday, May 12. 2014
I view part of my duty as to debunk folk myths about health and medicine. Readers know that one of my bugaboos concerns the human diet and the First World preoccupation with what we eat as if it mattered all that much. Food faddism has always been part of American life since we became a wealthy country and had food choices.
Eating fats does not make you fat. Carbs make you fat. That is no longer in dispute.
Do saturated fats "cause" heart disease? There is no evidence for it. Bacon and eggs is the Great American Breakfast, with or without grits, or biscuits and gravy. In the WSJ, The Questionable Link Between Saturated Fat and Heart Disease -Are butter, cheese and steak really bad for you? The dubious science behind the anti-fat crusade.
Saturday, May 10. 2014
It is not only true in medicine, it applies to all statistical research. Here's Why Most Published Research Findings are False.
1 Boring Old Man has been devoting himself to uncovering the Pharma-Psychiatric research cabal, but nobody is really listening. My rule of thumb is to take everything I read with a a few grains of salt.
Friday, May 9. 2014
I agree with some of this, disagree with some of it. For one thing, she ignores insulin physiology. For another, she ignores menopause. She is right that losing weight is difficult given all of the abundant and cheap carbs available to everybody, and she is surely correct that people without weight issues are those who hear an internal signal that says "That's enough."
In the end, though, carb "addiction" is the main challenge for anyone who is overweight.
Wednesday, May 7. 2014
How Dante Saved My Life - A midlife crisis is cured by The Divine Comedy
A Cholagogue containing Iron, Quine, Strychnine, and who knows what else:
I found this somewhere:
Continue reading "The ancient and ongoing pharmaceutical scams"
Tuesday, May 6. 2014
I worked part-time when my kids were young, and almost 3/4 time when they entered grade school. Right or wrong? I don't know.
Monday, May 5. 2014
The neuroscientist discovers that he has a sociopathic brain:
Sunday, May 4. 2014
Film noir, with a beautiful Psychoanalyst. The whole 1953 film.
Posted by Dr. Joy Bliss in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 14:12 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
Friday, May 2. 2014
This seems to have been culturally normative, at least for their class, and accepted by all. Did they need moral leadership?
Every person has such impulses of course, but it has often seemed to me that the wealthy and powerful often come to believe that the rules apply to the little people. That is true in America today.
Thursday, May 1. 2014
Wednesday, April 30. 2014
Tuesday, April 29. 2014
Monday, April 28. 2014
A few points: not all psychopaths (sociopaths) have been in jail and not all are glib and charming. Do they target people? Yes. Does Psychiatry have anything to offer them? No.
Friday, April 25. 2014
Still no links found. No links found for diet and heart disease, either.
Nutrition remains folklore, magic, superstition, and there is essentially no science in it except to avoid scurvy and Beriberi. Of course, being overweight predisposes to almost all medical ailments except starvation. If you do not want to be fat, quit those tasty carbs and try to satisfy yourself with something else like reading blogs, or sex, or doing unto others. If you want to be strong, exercise hard or do physical labor. Otherwise, quit with the magical thinking and accept that death will arrive (unbidden usually) no matter what you do.
People hate to accept that reality because it feels powerless. Well, people don't dine on sacred offerings to gods anymore, and food is no longer magic medicine.
Vegetables and fruit? I do not particularly enjoy them so I am always pleased that they supposedly don't matter. For me, vegetables are just an excuse to eat the olive oil or butter. About fruit, when I get the impulse, I will occasionally eat a whole lemon or a whole lime, skin and all. Oranges are too sweet for me. Otherwise, fruit is good only for cheese. Pears, especially.
Somebody recently told me that they refused to donate to the American Heart Assoc. because she preferred to go by heart attack rather than by cancer. Well, those are the two main choices on life's menu these days, with the eradication of many infectious diseases. Carpe diem, and pursue what your soul needs before it's too late.
I am grateful that my needs are simple other than Jimmy Choos, that my life is rich and complete, and that food is not very important to me other than Shad Roe and caviar.
Wednesday, April 23. 2014
I have written about Psychiatric diagnosis often here, and I re-post my pieces each year. It is a complicated topic, because Psychiatric complaints originate from all sorts of sources and usually multiple sources, and an exhaustive psychodynamic formulation is not always relevant to minor life problems.
When it is relevant, a serious formulation is a difficult thing to do unless one just casually links history to current complaints. That's not a real formulation.
The current fad in Psychiatry is the DSM, which a robot could do. In many situations a DSM "diagnosis" is nothing more than a list of complaints useful only for an insurance claim and has nothing to do with understanding an individual person.
Tuesday, April 22. 2014
Another Maggie's Farm Springtime Scientific Survey: Difficult, exertional things with intrinsic rewards
A few weeks ago, we did this: A Maggie's Farm Scientific Survey: Things we often want to avoid doing, but feel better after we do them.
This week, we'll do the sorts of things which are tough to do, require exertion of some sort, self-discipline, and can be frustrating or exasperating, but in which the process itself contains gratification as well as a (hopefully) somewhat gratifying result. In other words, a mix of intrinsic and delayed gratification.
Here are a few (or maybe most) of mine:
- Practicing piano
What are some of the things you find difficult, frustrating, or exertional, but take pleasure in the process too, not just in the completion or the result?
Wednesday, April 16. 2014
From a physician's report:
Friday, April 11. 2014
Prison for being a huckster? Is that right?
Do you have any idea how many medical procedures and medicines which are commonly used today are backed up by dubious science or unproven evidence, or with which placebo effect is dominant? And look at this: your at-home TMS machine!
And what about nutritional supplements, vitamins, and minerals? The benefits there are minimal to none, most of the time, yet the airwaves are full of sales pitches.
And on internet ads, "Take this miracle pill and..."
What about the organic food and Whole Foods scam on naive and ignorant people? And what about politicians and stockbrokers?
Ineffective things are sold every day, demonstrating the power of wishful-thinking, or magical-thinking, in humans. Hucksterism is an old American, if not worldwide, tradition. Caveat Emptor.
Tuesday, April 8. 2014
Perhaps she should quit working and let her hubby support the family the old-fashioned way. If you read between the lines, I think that's what she wants. There's nothing wrong with wanting that.
Sunday, April 6. 2014
Friday, April 4. 2014
We did inheritances yesterday, so it seems fitting to review gift taxes today.
My impression is that gift taxes are largely dodged in the US today, unless they involve bank transfers of assets, or deeds. It is certainly not unusual for older folks to hand over jewelry, gold coins, artwork, etc. to their kids.
I do not understand why gift taxes exist in the US, but I am confident that readers can provide me with the rationale.
Here are the IRS' FAQs.
Posted by Dr. Joy Bliss in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 14:43 | Comments (10) | Trackbacks (0)
Thursday, April 3. 2014
Every comment I have read or heard about this terrible incident is ignorant beyond belief.
In fact, all too ignorant and stupid for me to respond to. This time, I have neither the time nor the inclination. It's tragic, unavoidable. There is no perfect safety from either nature or from human nature, and any perfect safety would be a living death.
(I am also opposed to gift taxes which limit how much one can give to a family member, or anyone else, without a tax penalty, but that's another topic.)
I do understand that the greedy government wants any money it can get, from any source, and I also understand that estate planning for the wealthy employs thousands of attorneys and accountants who might otherwise have little to do.
What's wrong with the idea that, over time and over generations, there would be the freedom for families to accumulate assets for the benefit of their present and future kin? The more, the better. Financial independence to some degree can be either a blessing or a curse, but, contra Teddy Roosevelt, that's not government's proper concern. I have seen family businesses, farms, and family vacation places destroyed by estate taxes, and it seems wrong to me.
Here are my poll questions - assuming you and spouse have died:
1. Do you want to leave any assets to your kids, grandkids, relatives, friends, or do you want to die broke?
2. What % of your estate would you wish to give to charities?
3. If you have one prosperous kid and two middle class or poor kids, would you write your will differently for them?
Wednesday, April 2. 2014
Most likely. However, it's a hot area of genetics nowadays: End the Hype over Epigenetics & Lamarckian Evolution
Posted by Dr. Joy Bliss in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 13:29 | Comment (1) | Trackbacks (0)
Saturday, March 29. 2014
It's not really the nanny state, it's tort lawyers driving the nonsense. We did wild and crazy things when I was a kid, including BB gun battles and stone-throwing battles. We made bonfires in the woods, and swam in the reservoir in our underwear. We stole our parents' cigarettes and smoked them in the woods. Of course, that was not on school property. I was a tomboy.
We broke our arms and our legs, got banged up, and got lost. Good adventures, good training for life. I got to the point where getting lost was a fun challenge.
Posted by Dr. Joy Bliss in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 13:02 | Comments (5) | Trackbacks (0)