Prescription Pain Killers and Marijuana are the two most Abused Drugs in America

Posted by PITHOCRATES - October 20th, 2013

Week in Review

Those who wish to decriminalize marijuana say only responsible adults will smoke it.  Just as only responsible adults smoke cigarettes.  And drink alcohol.  These are products that are legal only for adults.  So no kids use them.  Well, in theory, at least.  For with these being legal for adults makes it very easy for kids to get them.  Which is why so many high school kids smoke cigarettes and binge drink.  But that won’t happen with marijuana.  Or so say the heavy smokers of marijuana.  But cigarettes and alcohol are not the only legal products kids are getting their hands on (see The Dark Side Of America’s Rush Into Prescription Drugs Has Never Been More Obvious by Erin Fuchs posted 10/17/2013 on Business Insider).

The number of people in America who died from taking prescription pain killers quadrupled between 1999 and 2010, a new report from the Trust for America’s Health says.

These fatalities now outnumber deaths from heroin and cocaine combined, that same report found. More than 12 million people said they abused prescription drugs in 2010. The only other drug people abuse more is marijuana, the White House noted in a 2011 report.

More people die from prescription pain killers than they do from heroin and cocaine combined.  These prescription pain killers are legal.  Making it easy for kids to get their hands on them.  Even if you need a prescription.  Imagine how much worse this problem would be if you didn’t need a prescription.  If you could just walk in off the street and buy them.  Like they want to do with marijuana.  The only drug abused more than prescription pain killers.

If the abuse of prescription pain killers is bad and marijuana is abused more than prescription pain killers then perhaps we shouldn’t be decriminalizing marijuana.  Even if keeping marijuana illegal just saves one kid’s life.

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Obamacare freezes Hiring and robs the Healthy and Young to pay for the Old and Sick

Posted by PITHOCRATES - October 20th, 2013

Week in Review

President Obama has scolded Republicans over and over during the recent government shutdown.  Saying their actions have hurt the American economy.  Just at a time when it was gaining traction.  Even business leaders appear to agree with the president (see Obamacare Delaying Hiring, Debt Ceiling Debate And Shutdown Hurt The Economy: Beige Book by Agustino Fontevecchia posted 10/16/2013 on Forbes).

The Fed released its beige book for late September to early October on Wednesday, where business leaders blamed the government shutdown and debt ceiling debate for “increased uncertainty…”

Business leaders hate uncertainty.  Because you can’t plan your cash flow or your capital budget when you are uncertain about the future.  So the president may be right there.  But you know what else business leaders hate?  Obamacare.

…while employers remained reluctant to expand payrolls because of Obamacare.

Talk about your uncertainty.  Of course, President Obama doesn’t care about what this uncertainty does to the economy.  Or what Obamacare does to a part of his liberal base.  The youth vote (see Premiums for young healthy people will jump in 45 states under Obamacare by JOEL GEHRKE posted 10/19/2013 on the Washington Examiner).

Young people in 45 states will see their health insurance premiums increase under Obamacare because the law relies on the money they pay into the system to offset the cost of caring for older enrollees, according to a new study.

Virginia leads the pack, as individuals aged 27 and under will see their health insurance premiums jump by 252.5 percent — $416.55 — according to the Heritage Foundation’s Center for Data Analysis.

Virginians under the age of 50 will see their premiums jump by an even greater percentage, rising from $228 to $991.03.

During the hippy movement the mantra was to never trust anyone over thirty.  Now those hippies are in the government.  Who are the architects of Obamacare.  And they’re taking money from those under 30 to pay for the health care of those over thirty.  Including those old hippies who are now racking up huge medical bills.  And don’t want to pay for their own costly health care.

Guess the hippies were right.  You should never trust anyone over 30.  Especially if they’re liberal Democrats.

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The Left’s War on Women brought about the Vicious Cycle of Thong Use and Bacterial Vaginosis

Posted by PITHOCRATES - October 20th, 2013

Week in Review

The left say the Republicans have a war on women.  Because they want to restrict abortion.  Make women pay for their own birth control.  And other heinous anti-women behavior.  Such as encouraging them to marry instead of having casual sex with multiple partners.  The left says Republicans want to turn women into the housewives of the Fifties.   Having sex only with one man and getting pregnant when they do.  Instead of a woman exploring her sexuality.  And enjoying it.  That’s how uptight Republicans are.

Of course, the left’s idea of a liberated woman probably pleases men more than women.  Once upon a time men married one woman and either stayed with her or had ‘discrete’ affairs on the side.  Then the Sexual Revolution came along and women were just giving it away.  Short shorts.  Miniskirts.  Going braless.  Men just loved the women’s movement.  As women no longer wore shape-hiding dresses but revealing clothing showing all of their curves.  Then the ladies took it up a notch.  Bare midriffs.  Low rise jeans.  And thongs.  Allowing women to wear tight clinging dresses without showing any visible panty lines.  Or showing some thong riding out the back of their low-rise jeans for the men to see just to be super sexy.

Of course when we ask why women want to wear tight and clinging dresses or low-rise jeans there is but one answer.  They want men to look at them.  To see them as a sexual object.  It has to be.  For they sure aren’t doing it for the comfort.  Or the hygiene (see Why Your Thong May Be Bad For Your Health by Ellie Krupnick & Rebecca Adams posted 10/15/2013 on The Huffington Post).

Many thongs, particularly the sexy lacy kinds, are made of non-breathable materials, as opposed to cotton.  “We should all always be wearing all cotton underwear,” Dr. Ghofrany advises…”When patients say [to me], ‘But the crotch is cotton,’ my response is that the layer outside the crotch is not, thus making the cotton less breathable and thus allowing more moisture to be trapped and more possible imbalance leading to infections.”

Plus, even if the entire garment is cotton, the skinny shape creates an inherent risk. “The patient’s vulva is much more ‘exposed’ to whatever they’re wearing,” Dr. Ghofrany explains, “and given the increase in leggings and ‘skinny’ jeans, all of which have Lycra, Spandex, etc., there again is trapped moisture.”

Lastly, the thin band of material at the crotch tends to move around, possibly transferring bacteria from one spot to another. As Dr. Rabin tells, us, “If you have a little bacteria — E. coli is the most common bacteria in the colon — in the back part of the fabric and you’re physically active, that material may move. All it has to do is move an inch or two and it’s next to the vagina or urethra. That thong may be depositing colonic bacteria into your vagina or urethra.”  Yikes.

Infections can occur when the balance of the vaginal environment, including the moisture levels from vaginal secretions, is thrown off, says Dr. Ghofrany. The most common? Yeast infections and bacterial infections, mainly bacterial vaginosis. The extra bacteria usually manifests with increased discharge, which leads to what Dr. Ghofrany calls the “vicious cycle of thong use”: the increase in discharge leads to an increased use of panty liners, which leads to even more trapped moisture, which leads to more infections and more discharge.

Thongs also carry the risk of external irritation. “I see more patients with skin tags on their vulva and near their rectum, in the exact distribution of the thongs,” Dr. Ghofrany tells us. “I sometimes will be mid-pap and ask a patient, ‘So you wear thongs a lot?’ And their response is always ‘Ya! How can you tell?’ And it’s because of the skin tags, small ‘piles’ of soft tissue that occur from the skin being constantly rubbed in the same spot. These happen traditionally at bra lines and neck lines, and now increasingly at thong lines!”

Infections?  Bacteria?  E. coli?  Bacterial vaginosis?  Vicious cycle of thong use?  Skin tags?  Piles?  That’s a pretty steep price to pay to be sexy for men.  But in our highly sexualized world where the left has sexualized women this is how women feel good.  By being sexy.  To, of course, please men.  Yet it is the right that has a war on women.  Go figure.

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Contrary to our Public Education Slavery Preceded and Succeeded America’s Original Sin

Posted by PITHOCRATES - October 20th, 2013

Week in Review

President Obama escapes a lot of criticism.  The mainstream media is very gentle with him.  Unlike they were with George W. Bush.  Who they pilloried on a daily basis.  But not President Obama.  Part of the reason is because he is a Democrat and the mainstream media has a liberal bias.  But there is something else.  He’s black.  And there are some who will call any criticism of a black president racism.  Something no one wants to be accused of.  But there is still something else.  And it goes back to America’s original sin.  Slavery.

If you’re not familiar with world history you probably think that the United States invented slavery.  And that the white Founding Fathers created a racist nation.  Which only ended when the great ‘Democrat’ Abraham Lincoln freed the slaves.  ‘Democrat’ is in quotation marks because Lincoln was not a Democrat.  He was a Republican.  But as our kids leave our public schools believing that Republicans are racists they just assume the Great Emancipator was a Democrat.

So with this background a lot of white people went to the polls in 2008 and voted for Barack Obama.  To atone for the sins they never personally committed.  To finally end racism in America.  To absolve the nation of its original sin.  The ‘creation’ of slavery.  Even though the Americans did not invent slavery.  Nor did the abolition of slavery in America end slavery in the world.  In fact, it still exists today (see New global index exposes ‘modern slavery’ worldwide posted 10/17/2013 on BBC News World).

Nearly 30 million people around the world are living as slaves, according to a new index ranking 162 countries.

The worst offenders are included in a table:

Estimated Number of Slaves

Western nations that embrace free market capitalism are conspicuous by their absence from this list.  Which just goes to show you that with economic freedom comes liberty.  For when people buy and sell in mutually beneficial exchanges the people win.  When the government controls the economy and decides what’s best for the people the people lose.

The index was compiled by Australian-based rights organisation Walk Free Foundation using a definition of modern slavery that includes debt bondage, forced marriage and human trafficking…

The organisation’s estimate of 29.8 million slaves worldwide is higher than other attempts to quantify modern slavery. The International Labour Organisation estimates that almost 21 million people are victims of forced labour…

For all the faults the left says America has (it’s racist, unfair, favors the rich, etc.) there is no debt bondage, forced marriage, human trafficking or forced labor.  In fact, the people from every country on that list would love to trade their debt bondage, forced marriage, human trafficking or forced labor for life in the fault-ridden United States.  No matter how bad the left says America is.

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A Renewable Boom means more Expensive and Less Reliable Electric Power

Posted by PITHOCRATES - October 20th, 2013

Week in Review

The news on our green energy initiatives sounds good.  We’re importing less oil.  And adding more and more wind power.  If you’re a proponent of green energy you no doubt are pleased by this news.  But if you understand energy and economics it’s a different story.  You’ll think the country is moving in the wrong direction.  Ultimately raising our energy costs.  Without making much of an impact on carbon emissions.  And just because we are exporting gasoline doesn’t mean we’re on the road to being energy self-sufficient (see The Renewable Boom by Bryan Walsh posted 10/11/2013 on Time).

Earlier this year, the U.S. became a net exporter of oil distillates, and the International Energy Agency projects that the U.S. could be almost energy self-sufficient in net terms by 2035.

This is not necessarily a good thing.  Being a net exporter of oil distillates.  It means that US supply exceeds US demand at the current market price.  That’s an important point.  The current market price.  The US has been in an anemic economic recovery—though some would say we’re still in a recession—since President Obama assumed office.  During bad economic times people lose their jobs.  Those who haven’t are worried about losing theirs.  And they worry about the uncertainty, too, about the cost of Obamacare.  So people are driving less.  And they are spending less.  Because they have less.  And worry about how much money they’ll need under Obamacare.  So they’re not taking the family on a cross-country vacation.  Some are even spending their vacation in the backyard.  The so called ‘staycation’.  No doubt the 10 million or so who disappeared from the labor force since President Obama assumed office aren’t driving much these days.  So because of this US demand for gasoline is down.  And, hence, prices.   Even though gasoline prices are still high and consuming an ever larger part of our reduced median family income (also down since President assumed office), gasoline prices are higher elsewhere.  Which is why refineries are exporting their oil distillates.  To meet that higher demand that has raised the market price.

But the biggest source of new electricity in the U.S. last year wasn’t a fossil fuel. It was the humble wind. More than 13 gigawatts of new wind potential were added to the grid in 2012, accounting for 43% of all new generation capacity. Total wind-power capacity exceeded 60 gigawatts by the end of 2012—enough to power 15 million homes when the breeze is blowing.

These numbers do sound big for wind.  Like it’s easy sailing for wind power to replace coal.  But is it?  Let’s look at the big picture.  In 2011 the total nameplate capacity of all electric power generation was 1,153.149 gigawatts.  So that 13 gigawatts though sounding like a lot of power it is only 1.127% of the total nameplate capacity.  Small enough to be rounding error.  In other words, that 13 gigawatts is such a small amount of power that it won’t even be seen by the electric grid.  But it gets even worse.

We used the term ‘nameplate capacity’ for a reason.  This is the amount of power that this unit is capable of producing.  Not what it actually produces.  In fact, we have a measure comparing the power generation possible to the ‘actual’ power generation.  The capacity factor.  Which measures power production over a period of time and divides it by the total amount of power that the unit could have produced (i.e., its nameplate value).  Coal has a higher capacity factor than wind because coal can produce electric power in all wind conditions.  While wind power cannot.  If the winds are too strong the wind turbines lock down to protect themselves.  If the wind is blowing too slowly they won’t produce any electric power.

The typical capacity factor for coal is 62.3%.  Meaning that over half of the installed capacity is generating power.  Some generators may be down for maintenance.  Or a generator may be shut down due to weak demand.  The typical capacity factor for wind power is 30%.  Meaning that the installed capacity produces no power 70% of the time.  And it’s not because turbines are down for maintenance.  It’s because of the intermittent wind.

So coal has twice the capacity that wind has.  Does this mean we need twice the installed capacity of wind to match coal?  No.  Because if you tripled the number of wind turbines in a wind farm they will still produce no power if the wind isn’t blowing.  In this respect you can say coal has a capacity factor of 100%.  For if they want more power from a coal-fired power plant they can bring another generator on line.  Even if the wind isn’t blowing.

You could say wind power is like parsley on a plate in a restaurant.  It’s just a garnishment.  It makes our electric power production look more environmentally friendly but it just adds cost and often times we just throw it away.  For if coal provides all our power needs when the wind isn’t blowing and the wind then starts blowing you have a surplus of power that you can’t sell.  You can’t shut down the coal-fired power plant because the wind turbines don’t produce enough to replace it.  You can’t shut down the wind turbines because it defeats the purpose of having them.  So you just throw away the surplus power.  And charge people more for their electric power to cover this waste.  Like a restaurant charges more for its menu items to cover the cost of the parsley the people throw away.

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