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Bernardo de La Paz

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Member since: Fri Jul 16, 2004, 11:36 PM
Number of posts: 34,749

About Me

Canadian who lived for many years in Northern California and left a bit of my heart there.

Journal Archives

For fools (your wording) that take caricatured labels as the real thing ...

Note: I agree with the general broad underlying motives that prompt an OP such as this thread. However, ...

Libertarianism is the current darling target in progressive and liberal circles, but the straw man that so many delight in knocking over is just as ridiculous as the straw man liberalism/progressivism = socialism = marxism = communism that the right wing delights in knocking over.

As described by David Simon above, that extreme unmodulated form (ex. Randian objectivism) is worthy of contempt and denigration.

However, there are many shades of libertarianism that partially overlap liberalism and anarchic socialism, and many people with those leanings and persuasions who can be united with us to make common cause for progressive and liberal goals. It is a mistake to put so much weight on a label, but it is very convenient for many and a comforting target for many readers. Similarly, conservativism traditionally is more akin to modern left-of-center liberalism and very different from neo-conservativism. Conservatism at its root is the beginning of conservation and the environmental movement, for example. Neo-conservatism is much more aligned with the ultra-libertarianism that Simon sets up above, except for their uber-nationalistic lusting for "foreign adventures" and constant war.

Too much indulging in labeling (of which I am guilty too) is not as good as focusing on specific policies, legislation, regulation, and action.
Posted by Bernardo de La Paz | Wed Dec 18, 2013, 11:00 AM (2 replies)

What I'd like is a real Health Industry, not the Disease Industry we have

The Disease Industry caters to every little fluctuation that people have and creates lots of hypochondriacs who don't take care of the basic issues in their lives.

Got the sniffles? Take a pill! Forget about keeping warm and drinking lots of fluid. Mask the symptoms and run yourself ragged not giving the body a chance to heal.

Got a mild headache? Take a pain reliever and don't attend to the underlying dehydration (or whatever it might be).

Got a pulled muscle? Take a pill and feel no pain! That way you can re-injure the muscle repeatedly and prevent it from healing properly.

Then people get in the habit of taking pills for this and that and everything. Meanwhile they smoke, eat, drink, and laze around to excess.

People need to be more pro-active about health and resist the urge to make every little ache / pain / inconvenience go away. Paradoxically, this means getting more in touch with our own bodies, knowing them better, and being more knowledgeable about our treatments and preventive medicine, especially nutrition and lifestyle.

Most health care costs are engendered in the last weeks of life because we have a Health Insurance Economy and not a Health Economy (Health Assurance) If there really was a Health Industry, then more of those costs would be expended in the early and mid-life resulting in much higher quality of life for much longer which would be a net reduction in health care costs per year.

Let's have Health Assurance, not Health Insurance.
Posted by Bernardo de La Paz | Mon Nov 4, 2013, 05:09 PM (1 replies)

Anyone think billionaires work less hard if their prospects are only 2 billion, not 4 billion?

Above a certain level of richness it becomes a game, score-keeping.

Raise taxes on the rich and level the playing field a bit more. Throw that phrase into the Republicans' faces.

Political persuasion is all about framing and language. The Republicans are always talking about the American Dream and the opportunities that a "level playing field" provides; usually when they want to erase affirmative action and the like.

Level the playing field: tax the rich and feed the poor.
Posted by Bernardo de La Paz | Sat Nov 2, 2013, 07:20 AM (0 replies)

Larger doses of Vitamin D are now found to be very broadly efficacious, with almost no downsides.

I don't know about it helping fight insomnia, but modern research is finding that larger doses of Vitamin D than in the past has positive effects on a broad spectrum of health and wellness measures. Further, there seems to be no downsides for almost everybody at the larger doses and there seems to be no effective upper limit for most people (but be reasonable and consult a doctor before getting extreme). Some people have taken 100,000 IU doses with no ill effect (that's extreme!).

The old recommended doses were, say, 200 to 600 IU per day. The National Academy of Sciences Institute of Medicine cautiously upped it in 2010 to 600 from 200 and to 800 IU for seniors. Now, many doctors are recommending 2,000 IU or more. My elderly but active mother, who only trusts ordinary mainstream doctors, takes 2000 IU upon her doctor's recommendation.

Unless a person works outdoors bare backed all day all year in sunlight, it is practically impossible for the body to make as much Vitamin as is beneficial.

In the past couple of years I had been reading several articles as they came out touting the benefits of increased vitamin D for cancer prevention, skeletal strength, and cardiovascular health, so I had started taking a Vitamin D gelcap to increase my intake from 600 IU to 1600 IU. This summer I lucked into a great free nutritional supplementation program through work. Through it I saw a doctor for the first time in over 15 years and had my first blood test in 30 years.

They recommend high doses of Vitamin D to their participants, as high as 10,000 IU per day. I decided to take 5,000 IU per day as a combination of 2,000 in a multi-vitamin and 3 x 1000 IU drops. I had been taking a one a day multi-vitamin. With the new supplementations the last three months, I am feeling that everything has been tuned up very slightly or slightly, and I continue to feel great.

Always, build a strong foundation by eating a very healthy diet and gradually bring weight into a healthy range. Supplementation is only supplementation.


Posted by Bernardo de La Paz | Fri Oct 18, 2013, 06:52 AM (1 replies)

By narrowing the def of journalist, the Senate bill restricts anonymity, but it's worse.

The bill narrows the definition of journalist. So while it sort of "codifies" the case, it is the side effects that are more important to the politicians and more damaging to journalism.

First, the bill would mean that if somebody blogs an anonymous whistleblower, their IP provider could be forced to reveal them and the blogger forced to reveal the whistleblower.

This is because the bill seeks to greatly restrict the definition of journalist to a few approved media outlets.

Yes, journalists would have a codified shield, but there would be a very much reduced number of them shielded.

The bill trades a big broad shield of legal precedent for a small shield of legislation.

Second, by effectively licensing journalists, this restricts media freedoms. It also restricts free speech by stomping all over bloggers and 'citizen journalists'. It means much more pressure on those media outlets to maintain their journalist licensing and therefore toe the government line and not offend bureaucracies. Corporate interests already have advertising and media ownership for pressure.

Remember the old saw? "Freedom of the press is really freedom for those who own the press." This move extends that. Licensing means the government effectively owning the journalists. It would mean a guild where only people with degrees in journalism or broadcasting could report.

It also means that bloggers and citizen journalists can be shut down at any time if they actually commit real journalism that politicians and their corporate backers don't like. Effectively it would mean that unofficial journalists would not own a press anymore.

The politicians want to restrict the media and especially the bloggers in the same way that they strictly control their press conferences and their interviews and their message.

The net result is less honest reporting, less sunlight, and less free speech.
Posted by Bernardo de La Paz | Fri Sep 13, 2013, 06:20 AM (1 replies)
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