Arguing Over Symptoms While The Patient Dies

Posted: March 2nd, 2011 by Militant Libertarian

by Russell D. Longcore, DumpDC

(DumpDC Note: The Texas Legislature is having a fight over slot machines, while the issue of sovereignty goes mostly ignored. So gambling looks more promising to Legislators than independence. Texas, your elected officials are bought and paid for. You will not move forward into independence while these sold-out solons are still in Austin The level of thinking and actions that got you where you are now will not take you into secession, liberty and new nation status.)

I can think of no more fitting example of American politics today than one comparing the practice of traditional medicine to politics on both the state and national levels.

Traditional medical practice primarily treats diseases with prescription medicines and surgery. It focuses upon the symptoms of disease and spends most of its time, energy and money on making symptoms go away. For the most universal disease…the common cold…traditional medicine states that there is no cure for the cold. Further, all over-the-counter medicine treats symptoms only, and does nothing to identify and treat the cause of the cold.

From the common cold to heart disease, most traditional medicine only treats symptoms. In the area of heart disease, heart surgery is used to alleviate angina and open or reroute blood vessels that feed the heart muscle. So, a few inches of veins are treated, and miles of vessels and arteries are ignored. And within a few years, the repaired veins are occluded once again, and more heart surgery is indicated. The causes of the heart disease are not identified and treated. And usually, the cause of heart disease is the diet of the individual over a lifetime.

I don’t have to go on with any more examples from medicine. Every person reading this article will have their own medical experiences to remember, or will know someone for whom these comparisons are true.

Pharmaceutical manufacturers lend new meaning to the term “drug pusher.” So simply agree with me that nearly every drug you see advertised in any medium is a symptom reliever, not a cure for the disease it purports to treat. Lipitor doesn’t cure high cholesterol, Coumadin doesn’t cure heart disease, Symbicort doesn’t cure asthma and Viagra doesn’t cure limp dicks. They only treat symptoms.

If traditional medicine spent most of their time on illness prevention and health, very few of the diseases of the 21st century would exist. But helping people prevent illness through lifestyle choices and diet doesn’t pay very well. Is there any wonder why medical professionals concentrate on symptoms? That’s where the money is.

So how does this translate to politics?

Arguably, 75% of the Federal budget is spent on programs that were never authorized by the original US Constitution. And at the state level, much the same thing can be said. Most all states are spending money on things never dreamed of by the people who wrote the state constitutions. So, it could be said that most of the money collected and spent in taxes today is spent trying to treat symptoms of the disease, not dealing with the elemental requirements for government “health” in the founding documents. Legislators have piled on fallacious diagnosis after mendacious diagnosis, leading everyone astray as to what treatments are necessary.

Legislators in states and in DC have layered on hundreds of thousands of new laws and regulations…more every year. No one ever seems to ask whether these acts violate the Constitutions of either the US or the states. The politicians simply wink at each other, and then argue vehemently about which side gets to spend the money on their illegal, immoral laws and regulations.

Rather than taking a position that there should be tax money paid out to some aggrieved party or group for perceived inequities, legislators could have taken the position that the founding document did not provide…even prevented…the payment to or favorable treatment of the aggrieved parties. In medical parlance, legislators could have told the crybabies to change their lifestyles, rather than writing them a tax prescription that masked their symptoms and allowed the crybabies to continue living a subsidized lifestyle.

From the inception of our nation in 1776 to about 1920, the Federal government spent annually about 3% of the Gross National Product. And it is that period of our history in which America went from being a new nation to the wealthiest nation on earth. Today, Washington consumes over 25% of GDP. And now, America has more debt than any other nation, and it’s only going to get worse.

The daily news reports on every TV and radio station tell us about the uncontrollable debt incurred by Congress. We read and hear stories of the 2010/2011 Congressional budget presently being negotiated here in March 2011, even though the Federal budget officially began on October 1, 2010. We are told about non-discretionary spending, like Social Security, and discretionary spending like new road projects and new weapons systems. And the talking heads and their favorite experts prattle on about how bleak the future looks if Washington doesn’t cut spending. And all the new Republicans in Congress can muster is about $60 billion in cuts from a $3.7 Trillion dollar 2012 budget.

Republicans, Democrats and Tea Partiers are attacking each other about cutting spending. It’s just like groups of doctors, each with its own diagnosis for treating the symptoms of a terminally-ill patient, bitterly fighting about whose diagnosis will win. Meanwhile, the patient is being stuck with the bill, no matter which diagnosis prevails. And, the doctors don’t really care if the patient lives, and the patient cannot survive any one of the three diagnoses. He’s sure to die.

When holistic medical practitioners suggest that diet and lifestyle can prevent most illness, they are labeled “quacks” and shunned by traditional medicine.

When someone comes along and recommends that the DC “doctors” and the state “specialists” go back the basics, they are then attacked and accused of practicing “quack” political medicine. Why…the very idea that we should go back to the basics is preposterous! And that attitude mirrors the crisis in medicine in America.

The crisis in the nation’s capital, and most of the state capitals, is that the people that YOU ELECTED with your votes have no intention whatsoever in only spending money on things authorized by whatever Constitution they took an oath to uphold. The crisis in DC and the state capitals is not a debt crisis. It’s not a budget crisis. It’s not a fiscal health crisis.

The crisis in Washington and the state capitals is a refuse-to-obey-the-law crisis.

We can have a discussion later about whether the Constitution has any legal standing. But let’s just go back to the time in which the Founders were still alive.

The US Constitution laid out the parameters of the Federal government’s power and authority in Article I, Section 8. Over the last 230 years, Washington has usurped nearly 100% of the states’ authority to keep Washington in check. When a wild animal slips its chains, it is then free to turn on its captors. When a fire, which can be our servant, rages out of control, it becomes a deadly enemy.

State constitutions require states to balance a budget each year. But balancing a budget is easy. All you have to do is establish your budget, and then go to the citizens and take all the money you need by force. Kings have done that for millennia. But what about the morality of the spending? What about the lawfulness of the spending? And if new laws have been layered onto the constitution that permit spending not originally authorized, who wins?

I submit to you that the Washington Federal Government could be saved…pulled back from the brink of disaster…if Congress would only spend money on the constitutionally-authorized actions in Article I, Section 8. But that would mean canceling:

Social Security
Medicare
Medicaid
All Federal Departments except Defense, Treasury, State, the Judiciary and Interior.

I submit to you that the states could be saved…pulled back from bankruptcy…if the legislatures and their governors would return to their own constitutions and the authority originally granted.

Here in America, from DC to every state house, it’s getting down to nut-cuttin’ time (like they say on the ranch). And even though I posit above that our nation and our states could survive, we all know that there is certainly no stomach in the Congress or the White House for shrinking the Federal Government voluntarily. And in the various state houses, there is very little leadership, and even less courage, to pare back state government to the size it was, shall we say…100 years ago?

Occam’s Razor tells us that the simplest solution is usually the best and most effective. Reconstructing Federal and state governments would be mind-bogglingly complicated, and I have not even addressed the thousands of lawsuits that would be filed by trial lawyers representing every group that considered itself injured by spending cuts or program eliminations.

The simplest solution to fixing state governments and the US Federal government is SECESSION. And secession will not occur until the state and Federal governments collapse and there is no other choice left but secession.

Secession is the Hope For Mankind. Who will be first?

DumpDC. Six Letters That Can Change History.

© Copyright 2011, Russell D. Longcore. Permission to reprint in whole or in part is gladly granted, provided full credit is given.

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Comments (11)

 

  1. GoneWithTheWind says:

    Can you possibly believe “If traditional medicine spent most of their time on illness prevention and health, very few of the diseases of the 21st century would exist.”??? Can you be so naive? You have been taken in by the snake oil salemen who believe if you eat enough vitamin pills and supplements or only eat organic food you will live forever. Most of our serious diseases are genetic. We will all die from “something”. If an 87 year old man/woman dies from a heart failure/attack it was NOT because they failed to take vitamin E or eat vegetarian. I doubt you understand health and medicine well enough to write about it.

    • Aaron says:

      I didn’t write the article, Gone, but I write about health, wellness, and science-based medical information for a living. He’s right. Most of our health problems are due to diet, b.s. recommendations from the FDA, and the way our health care system focuses on symptoms and ignores most of the underlying causes for problems.

      Most cancers are environmentally caused with only a handful being genetic. Most heart disease is the same. Ditto for obesity, psychiatric, etc. etc.

      In fact, nearly everything wrong with most modern humans can be traced to nutrition and diet. Which is why we have long lifespans and crap health whereas non-industrialized cultures have shorter lifespans with near-optimal health. We’ve medically mastered keeping people alive, but not keeping them well.

  2. GoneWithTheWind says:

    Not true. Lung cancer is the major exception in that it is mostly a result of smoking. But even there most people who get lung cancer have a genetic propensity to get lung cancer. Most smokers do not die from lung cancer.

    Almost every other cancer is NOT caused by diet. What does happen is some special interest groups use data mining techniques to find any connection between diet and their favorite illness and then claim a discovery. In all cases there is no legitimate statistical connection never mind a provable cause and effect.

    Another favorite trick for the biased is to conflate a suspicion based on an author who expounds a theory into a fact. We all know that agent orange was responsible for serious health problems for Vietnam vets and their families. Well, we all know that but the science proves them wrong. One of the most invetigated chemicals in the world and the only thing it could be proven to cause was acne. Today it is fats/oils, tomorrow it will be carbohydrates, some years ago it was protein/meat… What’s left? None of this has ever held up to science.

    Part of the problem for the superstitious (unscientific) in understanding these issues is that human physiology is very diverse. Something that would not harm me might kill you. Peanuts and certain shellfish are notorious for causing death and serious illness to a very small percentage of our population. The superstitious among us typically conflate this to apply to all humans. The recent attack on salt is a great example. In fact a minority of people have a genetic health condition which can be treated by reducing salt intake. But the vast majority of use do not and can easily consume salt. Our body simply excretes it in our urine. But the ignorant masses simply believe salt is bad for you. After much study it seems cutting back on salt is in fact more dangerous to your health then eating excessive salt is.

    There is a minority of people who believe only “natural” foods are good for you and will spend more money to buy anything labeled organic because of their ignorance. Study after study has disporved this bias but for many it is their religion and they will not be dissuaded by facts.

    My favorite biased group hates sugar (and think HFCS is the devil). They have made up statistics to try to prove their beliefs and foist it on the public. They call for laws to force us into their mould. Some even still believe diabetes is caused by eating sugar/carbohydrate. It is not of course it is a genetic disease and you get it from your mom or dad and you don’t catch it sitting next to someone drinking a cola.

    I doubt you can point to a single widely accepted food that is actually harmful in that it causes disease across the board. There is none. I’m personally wary of mushrooms gathered by individuals and any food containing raw eggs and dairy. But there is no food that causes disease, period.

    • Militant Libertarian says:

      Your screed is so full of holes, it’s hard to know where to start.

      Cancer causes: http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/wyntk/cancer/page3

      Gee, almost everything on that list is environmental INCLUDING diet. That pretty much torpedoes your first couple of paragraphs. Note that I didn’t say “diet causes all cancer,” I said “Most cancers are environmentally caused..” Try not to put words in my mouth.

      Now for Agent Orange: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Agent_Orange#Effects_on_the_Vietnamese_people

      If you don’t like Wikipedia, lemme find you a nice, safe, government source. How about the VA? An agency which would have a vested interest in agreeing with you, but doesn’t:
      http://www.publichealth.va.gov/exposures/agentorange/health_effects.asp

      One of the study’s conclusions: “Vietnam veterans who were occupationally exposed to herbicide experienced a higher risk of several chronic medical conditions relative to other non-Vietnam veterans.”

      The primary reason to buy organic? Pesticides. Organics have been proven to have far fewer pesticide residues on them than do non-organics. Several studies have been done in the past few years on pesticide toxicity, exposures, etc. This one is popular, having been cited 245 times so far: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1676786

      As for diabetes, genetics are the most common (known) factor, but there are also these: http://diabetes.webmd.com/guide/diabetes-causes?page=3

      Of course, your last paragraph is a nice straw man since there have been no accepted scientific studies on food-caused illness. Few studies are done on food period – the ones that are done are usually just throwing food into a blender and analyzing nutrients.

      So your over-focus on “food” and ignorance of my three tiny paragraphs of information shows that you are unable to process even the simplest of ideas. I said that most human problems can be traced to NUTRITION. I didnt’ say shit about FOOD.

      You’ll have to find someone dumber than I if you’re going to keep trying this tactic, Gone. It might work in your town hall meeting, but it won’t work here.

      (Note: I cited references. Where are yours??)

  3. GoneWithTheWind says:

    Being a Vietnam era veteran I have followed agent orange carefully. I’m guessing you are new to it and are depending on what you read on the internet for your knowledge. There was an extensive scientific investigation of agent orange and as I said before they found the only thing it causes is acne. But congress over rode the findings because many of their voting constituents and lawyers wanted them to. And, what the hell, it isn’t congress’s money. So they agreed to provide free care for any vet with a problem they attributed to agent orange no proof required. Not to be outdone, Vietnam jumped on the bandwagon and they wanted money too. Every sick child or crippled adult was trotted out as ‘victims” of agent orange. Just another example of how truth is lost where money is found.

    As for pesticides. There have indeed been a few cases of pesticide caused illness but in most cases they are found in people who handle pesticides and usually a result of mishandling them. When used as directed pesticides are safe. If we did not have pesticides we could not have 7 billion people alive today. We couldn’t grow enough food for them. Interestingly in those countries where pesticides are used health and longevity improve every year.

    Diabetes is a strange disease in that you have it from birth and you may not know it for decades. Usually when you discover you have it the reason is you acquire one of the common symptoms, such as being obese, or high blood pressure. The doctors know these are symptoms and not causes but it serves a purpose to tell the public that eating too much causes diabetes or drinking too much etc. After all, they reason, those things aren’t healthy so if they throw a little scare in you where is the harm??? But If you have diabetes it is likely you will discover it when the disease manifests symptoms such as obesity, high blood pressure, etc. It is so frustrating to discover how many people still think sugar or diet causes diabetes.

    You stated “Most of our health problems are due to diet”. Pardon me but I interpreted “diet” to mean “food”. Many third world people suffer from diseases caused by poor nutrition but in the West that is rare. Most of our diseases are caused by old age. The three biggest killers of people in the West are heart disease, cancer and stroke. No one can live forever, we will all die and most will die of old age. That means we die from heart disease, cancer and stroke all diseases of old age.

    I’m disappointed. I thought you might rise to the challenge and come up with a food that was harmful. Not the fad food arguments but maybe a legitimate contender. Or if you couldn’t do that you might instead try to prove that there are super foods. Acai berry, or olive oil perhaps. Maybe even something I never heard of before. I’m kind of a food nut and I enjoy trying something different. A new food or a great recipe.

    • Militant Libertarian says:

      Since you totally ignored everything I said, including SCIENTIFIC PROOF that negates your viewpoint, I can only conclude that you are a religious zealot on these issues and will not be swayed by logic and reason.

      “Diet” does not mean “food,” it means the types of things people eat. Single foods aren’t the issue, overall dietary intake is.

      Thanks for nothing, Gone. I hope you’re happy in your own, little, unproven “science” world.

  4. GoneWithTheWind says:

    You equate a citation from an internet site as proof. It is not. I can show you 24,000 sites that will swear aliens from another world have landed, this does not make it true. I stand behind what I said and it isn’t contrary to scientific information available to everyone. I would expect anyone to verify for themselves what others have said not depend on a web site that agrees with one point or another.

    What, exactly, do you believe is the “correct” dietary intake and what is the incorrect one?

    • Militant Libertarian says:

      Umm… no, I gave citations from the Veteran’s Administration’s website (VA.gov), from WebMD (a respected medical website), and from PubMed.gov (the NCBI’s scholarly paper platform). None of those are cookey aliens have landed sites.

      Again, READ WHAT I FUCKING WRITE instead of creating strawmen to make bogus points.

      Sorry if I’m shattering your little paradigm of false science, but I have proof. So far, you’ve shown me diddly.

  5. GoneWithTheWind says:

    Ah! Now I see where the “militant” comes from.

    Lets pick one of those sites. Go ahead and look up the extensive scientific study done on Agent Orange. Don’t do it for me do it for yourself. This was a group of scientists who were given free reign to explore the facts. The politics stayed out of it until after the study was finished. If you do this research you will discover I am correct about agent orange and the current PC version of it on the VA site is simply misstating the facts. If nothing else this would prove as I say thatr so much misinformation is out there and you really need to do more then count the number of sites that agree with you.

    Have no fear. Since you do not want a discussion or debate I will say no more. If you are comfortable in what you believe that’s fine with me. If you have any doubts look with an open mind for the study I referenced.

    • Militant Libertarian says:

      Why can’t you link the study for me? I gave you all of my references, which you’re ignoring or claiming are “politically motivated.” So where’s your “proof?” Where’s this phantom study you want me to look at?

      If you’re comfortable pretending science is on your side without having any facts to cite, then that’s fine. Just don’t expect me to believe you in your religious fervor.

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