Muck’s Minute and a Half #10

59 comments

Posted on 20th May 2015 by MuckAbout in Economy

 

Let me tell you a tale of incompetence, hubris, anger and a near total failure of the medical system.

My sweetie of 58 years has several physical problems including spinal degeneration (a failed lumbar fusion included) and atrial fibrillation.  She wears a continuous feed morphine pain pump (embedded in her abdomen) to at least partially  manage the severe lower/middle back pain from the spinal degeneration and a pace maker to offset the lowered heart rate brought on by her a-fib medication.  i.e. one takes medicine to solve a problem which in itself causes two more problems which requires the implant of various devices to offset the side effects of the medication!)  Medical science has a long way to go, believe me!  (and this is NOT to denigrate the marvelous advances in medicine we have seen and enjoyed during our all too short life spans!!)

To put it mildly, my sweetie and I have had a few not so fun days of ring-around-the-doctor(s) and nurse(s) with merry-go-round-music playing (a lot of “duh’s” to provide the rhythem) and clown performances in the hall, not to mention yours truly coming with in inch – FIVE TIMEs – of being put into handcuffs and tossed in the local hoosegow.

Sound like an interesting story?  You judge for yourself.

Four days ago, Annette slipped into a-fib and for 24 hours, using the medication available to us, we tried to bring it under control.  Using the maximum allowable of meds suddenly drove her B.P. up into the high 170’s, old Dad rang the alarm bell and as it was 6 AM in the morning, I tucked her into the car and ferried her the three miles to the hospital rather than call an ambulance and wait-wait-wait for it.

(Gold Star here!) She was received at the ambulance entry with very fast care of the appropriate kind by very competent nurses and a retired male fireman who was converting to be a nurse for a second career!  Really nice people.  Except one.

As you all know, one of the first things they do at an ER (after making sure you’re alive) is inset an IV needle through which various saline solutions and medications may be administered.  A little twit of a tech (not a nurse) came in and , taking the wrong, easy and simple way out, started to insert the IV in Annette’s right (dominant arm) elbow joint.  I asked, very politely for her to locate it elsewhere so when, as would inevitably happen, she bent the elbow, the IV entry point would not come under stress.  I was informed by the twit that she knew far more than I did on how and where to put it and would I butt out (no please).  The only way I could have kept her from taking the easy (and wrong) way out was to physically restrain her (this is the #1 incident where I could have found myself, at minimum) ejected from the hospital.  MORE on this later).

Immediate room availability, Annette wired for sound, monitor pinging in the background and paper work done we then waited and waited and waited. And waited and waited.  I went to the nurses station and asked what was going on and was informed that they were waiting (too) for the Boston Scientific Rep. (Boston Sci. manufactures Annette’s pace maker) to drive down from Ocala which small city is 40 miles North of us down a very traffic full highway) to “interrogate her pacemaker”.  No, our very large hospital had no equipment, capability or knowledge to interrogate the pacemaker to see if it; A. was working; or B. needed adjustment.  I’m glad we were not in the middle of the desert somewhere.

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HERE ARE YOUR HILLARY VOTERS

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Posted on 20th May 2015 by Administrator in Economy |Politics |Social Issues

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IMPORTANT: Youtube has just demonetized our video that is going viral criticizing Hillary Clinton supporters. They have given no explanation or justification for this action. This is a clear sign of censorship by google who is favoring Hillary Clinton to be our next president in 2016.

We live and survive off youtube monetization. We have to ask for your help so we can continue our work. Please visit http://wearechange.org/donate/ and donate what you can, so our work cannot be censored or stopped.

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HERE COMES THE WEEKEND

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Posted on 22nd May 2015 by Administrator in Economy |Politics |Social Issues

GONE FISHIN

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Posted on 22nd May 2015 by Administrator in Economy |Politics |Social Issues

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Well not exactly. I could be fishing, but I’m not. I took today off and headed to Wildwood directly from work last night. The traffic was horrendous and I had to drive through heavy rains, but I made it down in ONLY 2 and half hours. I haven’t been here since October of last year, so I’m always leery of what might be wrong when I arrive. To my shock, everything worked, no leaks, and it was in perfect order. Poor Avalon and the kids have work and school today, so I’m all alone.

And boy do I need a break. In the last two weeks I’ve had college graduations, high school graduation parties, student housing paperwork and leases to deal with, helping a son get ready for his move to Colorado (buying a car, health insurance, auto insurance, etc), helping a mother sell her house, clean 50 years of crap out of her house, and prepare for her move to an apartment, the usual 2 to 3 hours commuting every day, submitting our annual budget to the University, doing annual reviews for my employees, and trying to run this website 24/7/365.

The reason I set this website up was to have a place to put my articles. I now have virtually no time to write articles because I’m too busy with life stuff and trying to keep the site relevant on a daily basis. I started an article three weeks ago and can’t finish it. It’s frustrating, but that’s how it is.

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IT’S THE BABY’S FAULT

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Posted on 22nd May 2015 by T4C in Social Issues

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WORDS ESCAPE ME.

 

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New Low: Sheriff’s Office Claims Infant at Fault 

for SWAT Team Blowing His Face Apart with Grenade

 

Habersham County Sheriff, Joey Terrell, has allegedly given the most asinine defense about why a SWAT team blew a babies face off. The defense was allegedly used in a federal lawsuit on behalf of an infant hit with a grenade by SWAT during a botched raid in May of last year.

As previously covered, Bounkham “Baby Bou Bou” Phonesavanh, 19-months-old, was asleep in his crib. At 3:00 am militarized police barged into his family’s home because an informant had purchased $50 worth of meth from someone who once lived there. During the raid, a flash-bang grenade was thrown into the sleeping baby’s crib, exploding in his face.

Beyond the disfiguring wounds on the toddler’s face, the grenade also left a gash in his chest. As a result, Bou lost the ability to breathe on his own and was left in a medically induced coma for days after the incident. Bou was not able to go home from the hospital until July.

No officers were charged for their near-deadly negligence, and the department claimed that they did not know that there were children in the home. They defended their reckless actions by saying that they couldn’t have done a thorough investigation prior to the raid because it “would have risked revealing that the officers were watching the house.”

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Superpower

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Posted on 22nd May 2015 by Administrator in Economy |Politics |Social Issues

Outside the Box: Superpower

By John Mauldin

Ian Bremmer’s new book on the future of the US and geopolitics, Superpower, just hit the streets yesterday, and it’s already creating quite a buzz. It draws on Bremmer’s remarkable understanding of politics, America, and the world. I first ran into Ian at a conference about four years ago, where he was the after-dinner keynote speaker. It was one of those dinners where I had to go (I had spoken earlier), and I confess I had no knowledge of Ian other than his official bio. A professor of geopolitics. From New Yawk. So this Texas boy settled in while Ian walked on stage … and in three seconds I realized that this was an uber-nerd. Total geek. Seriously, when Hollywood wants to type cast a brilliant super-nerd, they should use Ian as the model. He hit all my stereotype buttons, and I of all people should know better.

Now I know, you’re saying it takes a nerd to know a nerd, and I do get that. But within five minutes, this nebbish professor was blowing me away. I was totally captivated. He took me on a trip through the geopolitical landscape as profound as any I had ever been on. I knew that I had to have him at my own conference, and he has been a featured speaker and crowd favorite there for the past three years.

Ian gave one of the most compelling presentations at our most recent Strategic Investment Conference. No fancy Powerpoint, just one machine-gun idea after another, strung together in what I now realize is his own carefully crafted style.

As I shared with you in Thoughts from the Frontline last week, Ian’s summary of the geopolitical situation and America’s role in managing it can be expressed in two words: it’s bad.

The US is not in decline, he asserts in today’s Outside the Box, citing “the strength of the dollar, US equity markets, employment levels and the economic rebound, the energy and food revolutions, and generation after generation of technological innovation”; but America’s foreign policy and international influence are most certainly in decline. Nevertheless, no other country can even come close to claiming superpower status, so the role the US chooses to play in the world remains of paramount importance.

For the past quarter-century, says Ian, our leaders have just been winging it:

From the fall of the Wall and Soviet collapse, US presidents of both parties have defined America’s mission in terms of tactics. US foreign policy has been reactive and improvisational for 25 years. And we can no longer identify a Democratic or Republican approach to foreign policy.

That’s where we, the American public, come in. We will have a national election in a year and a half, and our foreign policy needs to be front and center in the national conversation until then. To help us think about how we want to be in the world, in Superpower Ian offers three dramatically different foreign policy alternatives, which he outlines in today’s OTB. As I read Ian’s book, there was, I confess, an attraction to each elemental strategy.

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Thoughts from the Frontline: Secular Versus Cyclical: Notes from SIC 2015

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Posted on 22nd May 2015 by Administrator in Economy |Politics |Social Issues

Thoughts from the Frontline: Secular Versus Cyclical: Notes from SIC 2015

By John Mauldin

The consensus I’m hearing and reading from the 500+ attendees at the recent Strategic Investment Conference is that this was the best ever. It was certainly intense, with more divergent views presented this year than at previous conferences. Plus, the range of topics was rather dramatic. This year I was able to listen to all but one of the presentations, and I want to share with you my notes and takeaway thoughts. (In addition to my own notes as a source for this letter, my associate Pat Watson sent me his notes, as well as links to a summary by attendees Chris Bailey and my good friend Steve Blumenthal. I borrow freely.)

I put a great deal of effort into planning the speaking lineup for my conference. It is routinely called the best macroeconomic investing conference in the country each year, and I have to humbly agree. It takes work to make it that way. Last fall, when I began to consider my lineup for this year’s conference, one of the big questions on my mind and the minds of nearly everyone I was speaking to was Federal Reserve policy, so I specifically looked for a few new speakers who could address that concern. The topic of what the Fed would do and what the effects would be was a running theme throughout the conference. That concern is mirrored in the following quote from Stan Druckenmiller. (I think I’ll try to get him to come to the conference next year.)

Earnings don’t move the overall market; it’s the Federal Reserve board. And whatever you do, focus on the central banks and focus on the movement of liquidity. Most people in the market are looking for earnings and conventional measures. It’s liquidity that moves markets.

Note: In a departure from tradition, cosponsor Altegris Investments has agreed to allow me to share one video of a conference speaker per week for the next few months. The videos are in production, and I hope to be able to bring you the first one next week. Now let’s look at my notes.

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QUOTE OF THE DAY

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Posted on 22nd May 2015 by Administrator in Economy |Politics |Social Issues

“Gentleness is everywhere in daily life, a sign that faith rules through ordinary things… Even in a time of elephantine vanity and greed, one never has to look far to see the campfires of gentle people. Lacking any other purpose in life, it would be good enough to live for their sake.”

Garrison Keillor


The Children of the Abyss

9 comments

Posted on 22nd May 2015 by Administrator in Economy |Politics |Social Issues

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Guest Post by Jesse

“He shows you how to become as gods. Then he laughs and jokes with you, and gets intimate with you; he takes your hand, and gets his fingers between yours, and grasps them, and then you are his.”

J.H.Newman, The Times of Antichrist

People do not wake up one day and suddenly decide to become monsters, giving birth to unspeakable horrors.

And yet throughout history, different peoples have done truly monstrous things. The Americans were pioneers in forced sterilization and state propaganda. The British invented concentration camps, and were masters of predatory colonization. They even turned a large portion of the capital of their Empire into a festering ghetto through the Darwinian economics of neglect.

None have clean hands. No one is exceptional.

What do they have in common? They all take a walk down a long and twisted path, one cold-hearted and ‘expedient’ decision at a time, shifting responsibility by deflecting the choice for their actions on their leaders.

There is always some crackpot theory. some law of nature, from scientists or economists to support it. What else could they do? It is always difficult, but necessary.

They cope with their actions by making their victims the other, objectified, different, marginalized. And what they marginalize they cannot see. What they cannot see, by choice, is easily ignored.

And so they destroy and they kill, first by neglect and then by more efficient and decisive actions.

They walk slowly, but almost determinedly, into an abyss of their own creation.

But they all seem to have one thing in common. First they come for the old, the weak, the disabled, and the different, in a widening circle of scapegoats for their plunder.

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Siberian Dancers

4 comments

Posted on 22nd May 2015 by Stucky in Economy

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Siberian dancers who appeared on Britain’s Got Talent.  NEVER seen anything quite like that. I believe you will say, “Wow!!”, just as I did.

I have a sneaking suspicion that if there’s a world wide nuke war, that two species will survive;  cockroaches and Siberians.  Those mofo’s take a licking, and keep on ticking.

ENJOY!


Government’s War on Cash, Resistance Tactics

14 comments

Posted on 21st May 2015 by Administrator in Economy |Politics |Social Issues

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Guest Post by Roger McKinney

Mainstream economists have hated cash since the Great Depression because in their business cycle “theory” they assume that people quit spending and decide to hold more cash. That stoppage in spending constipates the “circular flow” model of economics they pray to and causes recessions. They don’t ask why people might prefer cash to a new Ford Focus or more stock in Apple. Many main stream economists follow the thinking of Herman Minsky who simply thought people are irrational. The behavioral school in economics assumes people are pretty much nuts. In their brains, a large group of people wake up one day and decide they need to hold more cash for no reason and all hell breaks loose. I call that the “crap happens” theory of business cycles.

Of course, the solution to that problem, in mainstream thinking, is to force people to spend their cash at the mall. So they start with reducing interest rates to ridiculously low levels, which is supposed to discourage saving and motivate spending. But what if that doesn’t work? In case you haven’t noticed it hasn’t worked in Japan, Europe or the US for the past six years.The next step is to punish people for holding cash. One way to do that is to force negative interest rates. Rates can become negative when the inflation rate is higher than the interest rate on deposits, or banks can charge customers for depositing money. Willem Buiter, an economist for Citibank has suggested that the Fed could have fixed the latest crisis sooner if it had pushed interest rates to a negative 6%. Buiter got the idea from Harvard economist Ken Rogoff. Both have been tried in Europe for the past year.

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A DUI Story

36 comments

Posted on 21st May 2015 by Stucky in Economy

I drink and drive quite often. I’ll go to my parent’s house to have a wonderful German dinner cooked by mom, and have a couple German beers … maybe three. Or, we’ll go to a restaurant, and I’ll have a couple glasses of wine … maybe three. But, I never give it much thought because at 6’7” and about 270 pounds, I figured I don’t have much to worry about in terms of blood-alcohol levels.

So, I don’t believe I drive drunk … at least not in the past forty years. I’m positive I drove drunk more than a few times as a young man in my 20’s … going to bars, and picking up babes. Or, more likely, going to a bar to shoot some pool with my buddies, and staying until the 2AM closing … boozing and smoking for the past five hours. I might have been inebriated then. I was young and stupid. Then again, getting a DUI wasn’t THAT big a deal back then. Pay a fine, get some points, have your insurance premium jacked up … and then go on, life as usual.

I don’t know exactly what the penalties are today … except that they can be severe. Exactly HOW severe I did not know until very recently … via a friend of ours. Perhaps this short story will save someone’s ass down the line.

We have a friend, let’s call her “Christine” (not her real name). She is a single woman (divorced) in her 40’s, with two children. She lives here in NJ, in a nice upper middle-class community. She is a high school science teacher. She does have a couple traffic violation tickets. But, other than that, she has no criminal record whatsoever. Christine is a very petite woman; about 5’2” and – I’m guessing – 110 pounds, soaking wet. Just your average, upstanding, hard-working citizen.

A little while ago she agreed to meet a man in New York City. They had previously “met” on match.com, exchanged emails for a while, then spoke over the phone for a while more, and they finally agreed to meet. The “meet” went OK. He bought her TWO glasses of wine (I have ZERO reason to disbelieve her) over the course of about one hour, they agreed to meet again, and then they parted ways.

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MAN’S WORLD?

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Posted on 21st May 2015 by Administrator in Economy |Politics |Social Issues

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Men are too busy getting in touch with themselves, walking around in red high heels to support feminist agendas, and feeling guilty about their masculinity, to work. Women Power!!!!

Chart Of The Day: The Relentless 65-Year Decline In The Labor Force Participation Of Men

There are powerful domestic and international economic forces and welfare state policy impacts—-such as the huge increase in Social Security disability and food stamp recipients—– that are roiling labor force participation rates and weakening labor hours utilized and labor productivity. Yet the Fed is led by a clueless, paint-by-the-numbers Keynesian “conomist” who is trapped in a 1960s “full-employment” time warp.

Did she notice this over the last several decades?

Who needs to work when women have it under control? Men can just sit in the back of the boat, have a smoke, and let the wenches do the rowing. I can’t wait for Queen Hillary to ascend the throne. This chart will need to have a much lower scale.

Are You Guilty of Crimes Against the Young?

5 comments

Posted on 21st May 2015 by Administrator in Economy |Politics |Social Issues

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The New Land of Opportunity

“This city is great. It’s beautiful. It’s cheap. The climate is agreeable. And it’s becoming a haven for Internet savvy marketers.

“I think they’re coming partly because it’s a great place to live. And I think young people want to get away from the U.S., too. It’s just not the land of opportunity that it used to be.”

So sayeth our dinner companion last night. He was the second young man in the last 24 hours to make the case that Medellín is a “buy.”

“It just seems to be catching on with people who work on the Internet. I guess because it is such a great place to live. People are helpful and nice here. And everything is unbelievably cheap.”

We can back him up on both points: Our taxi driver went far out of his way to help us find our hotel. (We had the wrong name.) And after driving us around for a half an hour, he was delighted to take the equivalent of $8 for the fare.

 

MedellinMedellín – city of the future

Photo via turismoenmedellin.com

 

A Country for Old Men

Several readers have commented on the coming generational storm in the U.S., which was the theme in last week’s Diary. (You can catch up  herehere, and here.)

 

“Billie Boy, I don’t like where your head is lately. Your writing depicts our debt situation as being caused by baby boomers when it is the Fed and the government who never listen or do what the public desires…”

 

Here’s another:

 

“You are beginning to sound like “Obuma” in his class warfare dialogue. I am one of those old people who is not benefiting from the greed and lack of morals evident on Wall Street and in particular in Washington, DC. Leave me out of it and do not blame all old people for the actions of the elites in DC and state governments…”

 

To clarify, we are not blaming innocent beneficiaries… or innocent victims. And we readily admit we couldn’t get a conviction for willful larceny. Most of the people involved stole unwittingly. They were just playing the piano; how could they know what was going on in the back room?

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