CHANGES: AN ESSAY

March 20th, 2017

As he had for more years than he cared to count, the elderly gentleman dressed in a three-pieced, dark-grey suit with white shirt; striped, grey-and-red tie; and black, wing-tipped shoes pushed through the revolving door to the old-style drugstore at the corner of Main and Grove. He removed a light-grey fedora from a head still covered with once-blonde, now silver-white hair parted neatly on the left. Clear, blue eyes surveyed a scene from generations before, a scene in which he had participated since opening his medical practice, a scene refusing to die.

The hour still was early. Slivers of first light were appearing. The soon-to-be bright Sun barely illuminated the dark nighttime sky.

Being a widower, Doctor Rufus Jenkins preferred not to breakfast alone. Years before, youthful passion had overcome prudence waiting to mature. Still a student, he could not afford to marry his sweetheart from high school.

Passion, however, screamed, Yes!”

Prudence murmured, “No.”

Passion ruled. Three months later, Emma fell ill. Acute leukemia. Weeks later, she died. In those days, effective treatments remained hidden beyond the medical horizon.

Grief never departed. Romance never returned. Marriage died with Emma.

Instead, he dedicated his life to his chosen calling, medicine. Medicine, not a job. Medicine, not an occupation. Medicine, not even a profession. For “Doc” Jenkins, medicine represented a calling like the clergy.

In an age of “healthcare” instead of medicine, “healthcare-plans” instead of insurance, and “providers” instead of physicians, such a man had become an historical relic.

Another historical relic was Parson’s Drug Store & Luncheonette. It clung to life, a symbol of a previous era, alone in a modern smorgasbord of homogenized, self-service “fast food” from cookie-cutter outlets filled with uncomfortable seating limiting long stays — factory-food served in an atmosphere of depersonalizing anonymity by human robots with empty minds expecting you, the unthinking customer, to fill their jars labelled “TIPS”. Reminder: Don’t forget to bus your own table, leaving your droppings for the next customer as the previous one did for you — droppings that rarely are cleaned. The sign on the trash will thank you for feeding it.

The town itself still existed only as a consequence of a former native-son’s having returned to buy a building left vacant by its previous owner, a manufacturing firm that had fled to China then to Viet Nam with headquarters relocated to Ireland. Revolutionary robotics of today instead of traditional textiles of yesterday. With the change, the once dismal future of the town suddenly seemed secure, at least for the moment. Chance and change would tell the tale.

As for the pharmacy, Abraham Parson had opened his apothecary in an age of bromides and enemas. His son, Ben, succeeded him. His grandson, Adam, maintained the now-profitless pharmacy still closed on Sundays with its luncheonette still open for breakfast and lunch. An old-fashion “phosphate”? Still available at Parson’s!

Yes, “chain-stores” selling everything from medicines to motor-oils had challenged the old-time pharmaceutical tradition. They offered longer hours and lower prices with the ubiquitous depersonalizing anonymity and sense of isolation increasingly prevalent in a society firmly ensnared electro-magnetically in a man-made web of radio-waves.

Alas, the independent pharmacy was receding into the past as was the traditional practice of medicine. Even the local supermarket offered not only a pharmacy but a “walk-in clinic” staffed by “Dr. Nurse”. Why should anyone want a physician in a medical office, anyway, when he can have a nurse in a supermarket? Quicker? Yes. Cheaper? Yes. Better?

Fortunately for those few customers who still preferred amiable social intercourse with a knowledgeable staff that knows you by name, Adam Parson had made a tidy sum trading foreign currencies via the Internet. Had he not done so, Parson’s Drug Store & Luncheonette would have become a distant memory among only the elderly losing theirs. Even so, many of his long-standing, loyal customers were departing for their final voyage. Destination? Unknown.

To be continued …

© Gene Richard Moss (2017)

A SEMI-PSYCHOTIC SOCIETY

February 27th, 2017

Note (13MAR2017): As the nation descends into a semi-psychotic depravity promoted by disestablishmentarians, have you wondered what is the primary controlling factor governing the support of such societal insanity by more than one hundred, major corporations? What reïnforces their corporate behavior? A clue resides in the difference between a democracy and a republic.

Psychosis n.: A term formerly applied to any mental disorder now generally restricted to those disturbances of such magnitude that there is personality disintegration and loss of contact with reality. -Taber’s Cyclopedic Medical Dictionary

Can it not be said that the personality of a society, if you will, originates in its biology and presents itself as its culture? Compare, for example, the African Negroid pygmy with the Scandinavian Euro-Caucasian.

Be such the case, is not the personality of these United States of America, as we have known them, disintegrating? Is not the nation, as a whole, losing contact with reality?

Consider demographics. Has not the exponential increase in racial and ethnic diversity of the nation since 1965 ignited a fire of divisiveness that is disintegrating the prior biological and cultural persona of the nation?

See “Diversity”.

Consider sexual identity. Is not redefining sexual identity no longer as a biologically determined, physical characteristic but as a mentally driven, verbal statement a sign of having lost contact with reality?

Is it any wonder that the Chinese now characterize these United States as a nation in terminal decline? What possible justification can support the American madness? Humanitarianism?

[Note: The Hart-Celler Act of 1965 proved to be one of the most important pieces of legislation of the 20th-century, directly leading to the “multi-culturalism” of the early 21st. The original legislation sponsored by two Democrats called for admission based upon skills. It fell victim to Rep. Michael Feighan (D-OH), who called for admission based upon “family-reunification”. Ironically, anti-immigrant Feighan wrongly believed that the consequence of the change would be to admit fewer immigrants who were not Euro-Caucasians. Instead, the consequence was admission of more — neither Euro-Caucasoid nor skilled.

Both LBJ and Senator Edward “Teddy” Kennedy (1932-2009), younger brother of the late President, supported the change. Kennedy promised that the legislation would not change the complexion of the country. He lied.

Prior to 1965, the average number of legal immigrants annually was approximately 300,000. Thirty years later, it was more than 1,000,000. He also claimed wrongly that few would be from Asia. -End of Note]

Humanitarianism n.: Concern for human welfare. -Webster’s New Collegiate Dictionary

“Neither the wisest constitution nor the wisest laws will secure the liberty and happiness of a people whose manners are universally corrupt.” -Samuel Adams (1722-1803); essay in The Public Advertiser, c.1749

Humanitarianism has become a self-righteous obscenity camouflaging a multitude of sins. Instead of promoting the greatest good for the greatest number, it has degenerated into sacrificing the whole in order to serve a part, often an undeserving part; even a minuscule, undeserving part.

In the name of “humanitarianism”, while invoking so-called rights that never have existed nor should exist, the disestablishmentarians have concocted a euphemism for a particular form of sexual perversion; namely, “trans-gender”. Then, to protect the perverts who cloaked themselves in that euphemism, less than one-tenth of 1% of the population, the disestablishmentarians are destroying a millenia-old history of basic morality, commonplace decency, and personal privacy of the most intimate kind.

As for ostensibly protecting children characterizing themselves of the opposite sex, the majority of such children revert to normalcy by the time of their adolescence. Beware of those subverting society in the name of “protecting the children”.

The false claim of “trans-gender”as a sexual identity is based upon subjective, cognitively-modulated mental activity. True sexual identity is based upon objective, genetically-determined physical attributes.

PART TWO

The issue is biological not psychological. To deny this fact is to deny reality; which, in turn, furthers this nation on fire in its descent into semi-psychosis — exactly that which the disestablishmentarians desire . Abstract, idiosyncratic, misguided ideologies promoting outrages of semi-psychotic proportions in the name of so-called social justice subvert any sound, rational basis for law, policy, and social intercourse.

Whence comes the recent clamor for legitimizing the illegitimate? From those who ascribe to traditional American ideals and values? From those who ascribe to written Judeo-Christian doctrine? From those who ascribe to the Constitution of the United States of America as written?

“He who controls the present controls the past. He who controls the past controls the future.” -George Orwell (1903-1950)

No. The clamor comes from those atheistic and agnostic secular-relativists who, striving for power, distort history and destroy not only traditional American ideals and values but all of Western civilization. Paradoxically, many are themselves self-loathing Euro-Caucasians whose own biological and cultural heritage they desire to destroy.

Common sense bears witness that any society expecting to survive over generations must provide some format by which to bear and rear children. For millennia, the format worldwide had been families consisting of legal unions sanctioned by government between men and women. Persons violating that format typically received severe condemnation; often ostracism from the rest of society; sometimes death.

Consider the plight of the American Negro as a tragic paradigm. The politicians and bureaucrats, especially the Democrats, intentionally have turned Negroes into serfs dependent upon Big Government. They’ve destroyed the Negroid sub-culture by destroying the Negroid family. Eighty-percent of Negroid births is out-of-wedlock. What future have these children historically considered bastards?

Among American Euro-Caucasians, 38% of births is illegitimate. In 1950, 2% was.

What more effective way to wreck traditional Americana than to destroy the traditional American family? What more effective way to destroy the American family than to abandon common decency in favor of a depravity rarely witnessed before in human history, if ever?

The goal? To have replaced current, concrete reality with an abstract, ill-conceived, quasi-Marxist utopia impossible to achieve.

This declining nation now on fire faces an uncertain and unsettling future. As we descend into the pit of moral anarchy, let us remember that which becomes our ultimate destination — the Hell of tyranny.

Biobehavioral Science tells us that behavior has its consequences. The response of that which remains of a sane society to counter the current attack will determine the ultimate consequences of our behavior as individuals and as a society.

So, what best to do and how to do it? Are there answers to those two questions? Fortunately, yes.

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CAN’T SLEEP?

February 13th, 2017

“To sleep, perchance to dream; aye, there’s the rub.” -from Hamlet by William Shakespeare (1564-1616)

Prince Hamlet was referring to death, but what if the rub refers to insomnia? What then to do?

insomnia n.: Prolonged or abnormal inability to sleep. -Taber’s Cyclopedic Medical Dictionary

So, insomnia comes in two forms. The first can be merely a prolonged inability to sleep, which per se may not be abnormal, dependent upon context. The second is abnormal, independent of context.

Environment
In the first case, the independent variable (controlling factor) is environmental. Some environmental stressor is eliciting a negative physiological response in the form of an inability to sleep, be it an inability to fall asleep, to stay asleep, or both.

Treatment? Simple! Remove the stressor, if possible, or at least try to diminish its potency.

How? There, too, lies a rub. The ability to meet that challenge is that which separates winners from losers in life — hugs, kisses, kind words, and other “warm fuzzies” notwithstanding.

Meanwhile, a simple set of procedures is available:
1) Use the bed only for sleeping or sexual activity. Do not lie awake in bed.
2) Avoid intake of stimulants such as caffeine with or after supper.
3) Avoid use of alcohol before bedtime, the rebound from which involves wakefulness.
4) Avoid stimulating activities directly before bedtime, including watching television; which, contrary to a widespread misconception, is not relaxing.
5) Practice meditation or Relaxation Procedure.

How detrimental is insomnia in healthy people? The answer remains unclear. Some claim that a lack of sleep per se never killed anyone — directly, that is; mishaps in the biological context of somnolence notwithstanding. In fact, forced wakefulness actually relieves depression, which does kill people. Two points: 1) worrying about insomnia promotes insomnia; and 2) best to avoid sleeping medications, if possible.

Biology
In the second case, the independent variable is biological. Some pathological condition is eliciting a negative physiological response in the form of an inability to sleep, be it an inability to fall asleep, to stay asleep, or both.

Treatment in this case depends upon the underlying diagnosis. What is the pathological condition? The answer may be complex if more than one condition is the cause.

In the elderly, for example, insomnia may herald the onset of dementia. Add to dementia delirium, and the combination can present a real medical challenge. By the way, delirium interfering with sleep may accompany dementia once manifest or other neurodegenerative diseases.

Regarding circadian rhythm, older insomniacs display advanced sleep-phase; whereas, young adults display delayed sleep-phase, often the consequence of simply remaining active past normal bedtime playing video-games. Treatment, especially for the elderly, may be use of a bright light possibly coupled with melatonin. Whatever the case, only a comprehensive medical evaluation by a competent physician can determine the underlying condition, if any.

That medical evaluation begins with a complete medical history, increasingly difficult to come by in this era of the Sovietization of American medicine when patients increasing are attended by “Doctor Nurse” instead of “Doctor Doctor” and even by the latter for diminishing periods of time. Often, the patient’s bed-partner provides the best information. Despite all the fancy and expensive technological innovations, 80% of medical diagnoses still are made by history, 10% by physical examination, and 5% by routine laboratory-tests.

Once diagnosed, the underlying condition can be treated as best as practicable. When such treatment proves inadequate, the physician can prescribe a pharmacological agent. Some newer agents are relatively safe even long term and maintain sleeping architecture; i.e., normal phases of the sleeping cycle. Avoid “over-the-counter drugs” because the benefit:risk ratio often is uncertain, at best.

Sleep is a natural function found in most vertebrates, if not all. It restores the neurochemical balance. Sweet dreams!

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“HEALTHCARE REFORM”: SOME HARD TRUTHS

January 23rd, 2017

Note (06FEB2017): More Republicans now plan not to repeal ObamaCare but to repair it. What would Mr. Peifer say (See below.)? Why? They have no credible replacement even though one has existed since 1994.

“But if thought corrupts language, language can also corrupt thought.” -George Orwell (1903-1950)

Elected and in-office, Republicans now face some hard truths associated with issues challenging this declining nation on fire. One is ObamaCare and the Republicans’ pledge to “repeal and replace” it. Words have power.

“Not on fire,” you say.

Witness the new President’s address at his inauguration; never mind the protests nationwide, some violent. Would you characterize it as conciliatory? Aggressive? Words have power.

“Healthcare”
In any debate, it is reasonable and appropriate to ask the opposition — the entrenched political establishment, Democrat and Republican — to define the terms that it uses; in this case, “healthcare”. Webster’s New Collegiate Dictionary (1977) does not list the term even. Whence cameth it?

What exactly is “healthcare”? As the term denotes, it is a governmentally concocted, pleasant-sounding euphemism that refers to caring for one’s health. (In contrast, “medicine” is not so pleasant-sounding because it denotes suffering.) “Healthcare”, however, is amorphous and includes everything from washing your hair to brushing your teeth to cutting your toenails. Simply put, “healthcare” is not synonymous with medicine. Words have power.

Another governmentally concocted euphemism, “healthcare-provider”, includes anyone and everyone who promotes himself as rendering advice, assistance, or instruction in the care of one’s health. It is intended to diminish the stature of the lynchpin in medical delivery, the physician. Words have power.

What is medicine? It the healing art based upon science the mission of which is the relief of suffering caused by disease and trauma. Its practitioners are known as physicians; those whom they diagnose and treat, patients. Words have power.

Repair Not Replace
Definitions notwithstanding, of “repeal and replace”, “repeal” is the easier; whereas, “replace”, the more difficult — the much more difficult. Accordingly, some Republican legislators now are talking about “repair” instead of “replace”. Surprised?

“An error lurking in the roots of a system of thought does not become truth simply by being evolved.” -John Frederick Peifer

The basis of this “repair” seems to be a new, politically concocted term — “Health Savings Accounts”, which are merely “Medical Savings Accounts” in new verbal clothing. Country-club Republicanism as its worst! The average American cannot afford a car, let alone a “Medical Savings Account” by whatever name.

“Catastrophic Coverage”?
Some opponents of ObamaCare, such as Tucker Carlson at Fox News, are promoting “Catastrophic Coverage” rather than basic medical coverage. “Catastrophic Coverage” may play well on television, but basic medical coverage offers the biggest bang for the medical buck.

Who most needs “Catastrophic Coverage”? The unproductive old.

It has been known for years, for example, that, during the last year of life, Medicare recipients spend 30-cents of every dollar expended on medical care during their entire lifetime. Of the 1% of Medicare beneficiaries with the highest costs in any given year, approximately 50% die. Of the 5% with the highest costs, approximately 40% die. Of the elderly who survive, 50% are demented by the age of eight-five. Therein lie the reasons that Medicare alone is bankrupting these United States of America. Hard truths!

PART TWO

Today, a major question facing physicians and the rest of American society is whether the consequence of past declines in mortality is an increase in active life-expectancy or merely an expanded and grotesque period of frailty, enfeeblement, and dependency. Apparently, the answer is the latter.

“Diaper, madam? Catheter, sir? Don’t worry. The young and productive will be paying tomorrow for the old and unproductive today.”

Not a pretty picture! Even physicians do not like looking at it. Chronic, debilitating illness — not dying — is becoming our worst medical enemy, individually and socially.

Meanwhile, who least need “Catastrophic Coverage”? The productive young who generally require only acute medical care for acute medical problems with occasional exceptions. Therein lies the reason that premiums would be so cheap to insure, really insure, all American young for serious medical events.

Fooling The Public
To paraphrase Abraham Lincoln, “You can fool all of the people some of the time and some of the people all the time, and them’s pretty darn good odds.”

Be not fooled by self-styled gurus on television or in the newspaper spinning misinformation. Be not fooled by power-hungry professional politicians seeking to retain control of medicine.

Remember Obama’s promises about the benefits of ObamaCare, such as keeping your doctor and your plan? Once again, those who direct public opinion are acting against the Public Good by promoting inefficient systems politically based and politically directed.

Science And Medial Delivery
A patient’s seeking medical care is a behavior. A physician’s providing medical care is a behavior.

There is a science that describes behavior as well as thoughts, feelings, and physiological responses. That science is Biobehavioral Science.

“What?” you say. “Biobehavioral Science? Never heard of it!”

Therein lies the problem not just for you but for nearly all humanity. Guess what? Ignorant about Biobehavioral Science themselves, were they not, the politicians would not want you to hear of it; especially its derivative, the Science of Human Behavior. To them, it would represent an anathema.

Were they willing to listen, they would screech in terror, “Specificity, Objectivity, and Accountability? Never! Never, I tell you!”

Any system not scientifically based and scientifically directed to deliver medical care to a population must be, by its very nature, fatally flawed and fated to failure — doomed to delivering care that is of decreasing availability and decreasing quality. Less availability. Lower quality.

“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” ―Benjamin Franklin

Do you care? Actually, few do until they fall ill or become injured. Too late!

We already are suffering from the Sovietization of American medicine; whereby, for example, you see “Doctor Nurse” not “Doctor Doctor”. When you do see “Doctor Doctor”, he — or increasingly she — is looking mainly at the computer-screen not at you. Why? In order to fulfill the increasing regulatory demands of governmental bureaucrats for increasing documentation of decreasing care.

Meanwhile, a scientifically-based, scientifically-directed, detailed plan for delivery of universal medical care by a competitive private sector characterized by the following attributes is available and has been available for more than 20 years. It is characterized by the following:
1) Simple;
2) Straightforward;
3) Free of special taxes;
4) Minimal regulations;
5) Minimal bureaucracy;
6) Free of fraud at taxpayers’ expense; and
7) Acceptable to insurance companies.

No, it is not the failed ClintonCare. In fact, the opposite.

Will the politicians ever acknowledge it, let alone adopt it? Fat chance! Unless, of course, you make them. It’s your health. It’s your life.

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