Al Borealis, Universal Health Care Trap? |478|

#21
I wasn't able to hear the ideas in this episode because Alex would not stop hurling obscenities at me.

I hope he doesn't allow his children to curse people in this manner.

It's very low and disrespectful. It helps accelerate societal decline.
Charlie, obscenities are not swearing. Alex was not taking the Lord's name in vain. Obscenities and expletives will not put black marks on your Soul. In fact if Jesus was here He would probably use expletives too because people are presently being so fucking stupid. Sometimes we hafta make a point and the use of such words help drive it home. there's a lot of shit in the process of going down and we need to wake the fuck up if we are to have any hope of stopping it.
 
#22
What happened to this show? Its turning into something like Alex Jones would produce

Blame it on Trump, blame it on Hillary, blame it on the pandemic, but I feel Skeptiko has degenerated. Just giving my honest thoughts.

Now onto an unrelated subject I just wanted to mention.

I have seen that a documentary called "The Secret Life of Dr Grinberg" has been released. Unfortunately, I cant seem to be able to stream it online, but hopefully it gets a wider release.

I imagine that most Skeptiko viewers don't know who Dr Jacobo Grinberg (Zylberbaum) was. He was a Mexican neurophysiologist/psychologist who did ground breaking work on neural activity (EEG responses) and human telepathy. Despite his neuroscience background he was very open to spiritual and shamanic ideas. He also had an intriguing, strange and obscure theory about consciousness, quantum-gravity and the brain called the 'Syntergic Theory.'

Back around 1997 Jacobo mysteriously disappeared without a trace. Some of his research papers have now been released by the CIA online.

What happened to Jacobo? Something sinister? Does his disappearance having anything to do with his involvement with the CIA?

I would like to see the documentary soon.
 

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#26
What happened to this show? Its turning into something like Alex Jones would produce
I don't listen to Alex Jones' show, but otherwise, I very much share your sentiment.

I try to keep the expletive count low here, because I think their use, simply coarsens debate. Gradually you can end up with whole threads full of people vying with each other to be ruder and ruder.

Also, like it or not, expletives drive a lot of people away. Some people feel offended, while others just know from past experience that discussions like that do not go anywhere interesting.

David
 
#27
Despite his neuroscience background he was very open to spiritual and shamanic ideas. He also had an intriguing, strange and obscure theory about consciousness, quantum-gravity and the brain called the 'Syntergic Theory.'
Well of course, the theoretical physicist, Roger Penrose has also proposed a connection between consciousness and quantum-gravity!

David
 
#28
I too found the conversation rather muddled.

I quite liked Alex's declaration about what he wanted from the health system. I think when he spoke about not wanting cancer care, he voiced something I feel too. We have been slowly sold a process in which people are kept alive - often in poor condition - for years, making enormous profits for Big Pharma and helping to justify this lockdown because they are particularly vulnerable to any virus that comes along.

The problem is that people who have not had an intensive course of Skeptiko exposure, really fear the grim reaper, so they agree to endless rounds of chemo that leave them feeling awful.

Of course, there are people who survive cancer fully - I know two - so the idea would need a little refining - but the big C should stop being an endless cash cow for Big Pharma.

James Le Fanu also points out how as people age they get tested for endless things and put on a cocktail of drugs for the rest of their lives:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Too-Many-P...&keywords=james+le+fanu&qid=1609708565&sr=8-1

The drugs are added one after another, but in the end they interact strongly in some horrible ways. Some brave doctors take them off as many of these drugs as possible, and some recover amazingly well. Big medicine was going pretty sour even before this COVID farce.

On a much less severe issue, I discovered that acupuncture has an excellent solution for a whole range of skeletal problems - things like sciatica and arthritis, which orthodox medicine treats by handing out painkillers, which then need to be intensified over time. I only went that route because of the waits to see my GP, which would be compounded by a wait to get scanned, etc etc. That discovery has changed my view of orthodox medicine - I mean people do not even get told about acupuncture unless they know to ask, and yet it seems to offer an excellent repair in an almost non-invasive fashion.

BTW Alex, I don't let people say F**k repeatedly, otherwise I may have to ban them for a week :)

David
 
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#29
I wanted to give Alex a big thumbs-up for his emotional rant about healthcare. Would have liked to see some applause at the end. It resonated with me as I lost a sister to the absurdities of modern medicine.

To Garry - thanks for that link to Amanda Forbes Youtube channel - really wonderful.

Alex, you sometimes get a little carried away, but we can always depend on you to ask uncomfortable questions.

Thanks -
Scottie
 
#30
Let me say a little about our NHS.

I used to be a great supporter, but the problem is, it doesn't have to please its users, and the government has progressively fiddled with it and allowed Big Pharma too much control over it. We now have a system that sends more and more invitations to be scanned/tested/vaccinated for this and that as we get older.

Doctors even get financial incentives to prescribe certain drugs - such as statins - on the pretext that these will save people falling ill, and so save the NHS money!

Healthy people should be left alone.

David
 

Alex

Administrator
#32
One thing is for sure, though....this healthcare system is fucking garbage in the United States, and if you are not rich with a great insurance plan, you get FUCKED if you go to the doctor. Regardless, love your show, Alex. Look forward to further episodes.
I agree... in fact, I think I agree with almost everything in your post... so it's funny that you take Al's side.

my main point was really why in the gosh golly heck (refraining from f bombs :)) would we turn to a fraudulent medical system when were in the middle of the biggest medical scam in history. I totally get that we need to take care of people and the people are hurting and suffering, but funneling them into such a corrupt cesspool a bad science seems like the wrong way to go.
 

Alex

Administrator
#33
I hadnt re-evaluated my stance on public healthcare since the plandemic so this was probably more interesting to me than the original topic and my only regret is that they werent prepared to go deeper and longer.

On one hand, why the fuck would i want anything from that system after 2020. On the other hand my wife got laid off this year and we got another $2k bill in the mail cause my son needed another emergency surgery.

On one hand docs have propped this plandemic up from the behinning and on the other, they are somewhat beholden to the system because of private education and must dig out of debt from med school.

On one hand if the fruits of public health at all resemble those of public education...on the other it cost us $10k to have premature twins delivered and cared for.

Ultimately i dont feel our shitty healthcare system proved even a speed bump for the plandemic agenda in the US and will cheerlead Jimmy Dore but am still curious to hear Alex elaborate on the possible hypocrisy if doing so.
I get it! you've done a great job of outlining the no-win situation. the pandemic has made most Americans economically unstable... and whether you like it or not at some point you're going to need access to this corrupt/ misguided-but-necessary healthcare system... and that's going to push you over the economic cliff.
 
#35
I agree... in fact, I think I agree with almost everything in your post... so it's funny that you take Al's side.

my main point was really why in the gosh golly heck (refraining from f bombs :)) would we turn to a fraudulent medical system when were in the middle of the biggest medical scam in history. I totally get that we need to take care of people and the people are hurting and suffering, but funneling them into such a corrupt cesspool a bad science seems like the wrong way to go.
Alex, I think you're being too harsh on the healthcare system.

We need to break down what it is and what it isn't - again, I started working in insurance when I was in my late 30s. It pays better than Uncle Sam (a lot better). I've taken actuarial exams, earned a masters in healthcare economics and I am now in senior management at one of the big 5 companies. My team analyzes the data to understand cost drivers, quality improvement opportunities, risks, emerging tech impacts, contracting opportunities, etc, etc

First, modern medicine is really good at basic repairs. Think of it like an automobile mechanic. That is what it does best. If you break bones, get cut badly, have clogged arteries and heart attack, get a serious infection, have a difficult labor and delivery - conditions that would have killed you 150 years ago - then you want modern medicine in the modern healthcare system. Only a suicidal fool wouldn't.

Second, a lot of the improvements in health quality, expected life span, etc have been through public health measures, not direct individual medical intervention and is also due to better diets. This is usually taken for granted and even misattributed to advancements in individual medical care

Third, a lot of the massive expenditures on individual medical care are due to technologies (drugs, procedures that require specialized equipment and highly specialized physicians all in fancy costly settings) where the marginal benefit obtained is far less than the marginal cost of all of that stuff.

Also, all of that tech, etc is being applied to small % of the population in the under 65 year old cohort, but everyone is chipping in to cover their costs. In the over 65 cohort, there is a lot of waste on attempting to squeeze every last possible year, month, week of life out of fundamentally aged and infirm people. That's an ethical decision as much as a business decision. But once the tech is purchased it must be financed and that means it is probably going to be over-utilized. Insurance is serving as the financial guarantee. We don't want to, but if we don't, then the media goes to town on us (calling Michael Moore - we're denying widows and orphans the care they need to sustain life, monsters that we are). We'd prefer to eliminate the waste and keep costs such that marginal cost = marginal benefit; and keep premiums low. However, people demand the care and are somehow too stupid to realize that they will end up paying for it in their premiums. There's no free lunch.

I digress....

My main point is that there are some things that the system does very well. There are some things the system does less well. There are some things the system does that verge on total scam and there are some things that are, indeed, a total scam. All of these are offered and done because people (consumers) demand them. Everyone wants a magic pill or procedure that will keep them alive. As long as the demand is so high for such things, someone is going to supply a product or service that they promise will do the job. Anyone - like insurance - that puts a foot down and says "no" will be pilloried in the press and in general public opinion. So the train rolls on. People are always looking for experts to tell them what they want to hear, especially when their very lives are on the line.

There is no "conspiracy". We have met the enemy and it is us.

Covid is a conspiracy, IMO. But that is not the every day medical system. That is a political thing playing off the fear/demand cycle I noted above.
 
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#36
Alex, I think you're being too harsh on the healthcare system.

We need to break down what it is and what it isn't - again, I started working in insurance when I was in my late 30s. It pays better than Uncle Sam (a lot better). I've taken actuarial exams, earned a masters in healthcare economics and I am now in senior management at one of the big 5 companies. My team analyzes the data to understand cost drivers, quality improvement opportunities, risks, emerging tech impacts, contracting opportunities, etc, etc

First, modern medicine is really good at basic repairs. Think of it like an automobile mechanic. That is what it does best. If you break bones, get cut badly, have clogged arteries and heart attack, get a serious infection, have a difficult labor and delivery - conditions that would have killed you 150 years ago - then you want modern medicine in the modern healthcare system. Only a suicidal fool wouldn't.
We all agree so far.
Second, a lot of the improvements in health quality, expected life span, etc have been through public health measures, not direct individual medical intervention and is also due to better diets. This is usually taken for granted and even misattributed to advancements in individual medical care
At least one of those dietary changes - towards more complex carbohydrates (starch, etc) in diets seems to exacerbate T2 diabetes - because these break down into glucose.

You should read
https://www.amazon.co.uk/Too-Many-P...&keywords=james+le+fanu&qid=1609708565&sr=8-1

and also

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Doctoring-Data-medical-advice-nonsense-ebook/dp/B00TCG3X4S/

I think the real point is that most of us would probably rather face the final stages of our life with a little less sufering and degradation. The problem is that most people will always accept one more step in the treatment process - even though that will almost certainly just end in death. The drug companies know this and make profit out of supplying cancer drugs that may prolong life for a few months, but all of that time is going to be miserable. There are some people who say, "surgically remove the cancer" and then leave me alone.
There's no free lunch.
Well there is for the drug companies!
I digress....

My main point is that there are some things that the system does very well. There are some things the system does less well. There are some things the system does that verge on total scam and there are some things that are, indeed, a total scam.
No! A lot of things are definite scams. For example, if you look up the statistics on any of the long term protective drugs - like statins, you will get a figure of 20% gain (all these numbers taken off the top of my head).

This can mean that 50000 people were treated with the drug, and 50000 were treated by placebo. Let's say 100 people in the placebo arm fall ill (or die - whatever is being measured) and only 80 people in the treatment arm call ill or die.

That is a 20% gain (this is known as relative statistics) but another way to look at it is that out of 50000 treated patients 20 were 'saved' by the treatment - which means a given patient has one chance in 2500 of benefiting from his treatment!

So 20% or 0.04% - you take your pick, and so do the drug companies. Dr Kendrick did a survey of his fellow doctors, and very few of them understood that distinction!

The drug companies don't exactly scream about this distinction.

Now, suppose you were offered statins - with all their potential side effects - which way of looking at it would you find most helpful?

David
 
#37
We all agree so far.

At least one of those dietary changes - towards more complex carbohydrates (starch, etc) in diets seems to exacerbate T2 diabetes - because these break down into glucose.

You should read
https://www.amazon.co.uk/Too-Many-P...&keywords=james+le+fanu&qid=1609708565&sr=8-1

and also

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Doctoring-Data-medical-advice-nonsense-ebook/dp/B00TCG3X4S/

I think the real point is that most of us would probably rather face the final stages of our life with a little less sufering and degradation. The problem is that most people will always accept one more step in the treatment process - even though that will almost certainly just end in death. The drug companies know this and make profit out of supplying cancer drugs that may prolong life for a few months, but all of that time is going to be miserable. There are some people who say, "surgically remove the cancer" and then leave me alone.

Well there is for the drug companies!


No! A lot of things are definite scams. For example, if you look up the statistics on any of the long term protective drugs - like statins, you will get a figure of 20% gain (all these numbers taken off the top of my head).

This can mean that 50000 people were treated with the drug, and 50000 were treated by placebo. Let's say 100 people in the placebo arm fall ill (or die - whatever is being measured) and only 80 people in the treatment arm call ill or die.

That is a 20% gain (this is known as relative statistics) but another way to look at it is that out of 50000 treated patients 20 were 'saved' by the treatment - which means a given patient has one chance in 2500 of benefiting from his treatment!

So 20% or 0.04% - you take your pick, and so do the drug companies. Dr Kendrick did a survey of his fellow doctors, and very few of them understood that distinction!

The drug companies don't exactly scream about this distinction.

Now, suppose you were offered statins - with all their potential side effects - which way of looking at it would you find most helpful?

David
David,
For all the press they get, pharmaceuticals are actually not a major cost driver in the overall picture in the USA. I agree with you that there are a lot of drugs prescribed that don't provide much positive benefit - and some that actually do more harm than good. Some of the drugs that are commonly prescribed would be totally unnecessary if people took responsibility for their own health (better diet, exercise, meditation, etc). However, people won't do that. Yet they demand something be done to relieve whatever condition is bothering them or even threatening their lives).

Most of the drugs that offer real benefit are generic at this point and have very low cost. I have an arthritic condition in one of my ankles from an old injury. When it's acting up badly I experience excruciating pain and cannot walk. I do take both steroidal and non-steroidal anti-inflammatories that are generic and cost barely a few dollars. They really work! For the pain I ingest a little cannabis that I grow in a secret location. When the pain is absolutely unbearable I make a tea from opium poppies that I grow. I only do that two or three times a year. While I like cannabis, I do not like opium. My condition, bad as it can get every couple of months or so, costs maybe $30/year to manage.

My wife is allergic to bee stings. We found that out the hard way when she was riding one of her horses and trotted over a nest of ground bees. She was stung 6 times and barely got home when she went into a full blown life threatening anaphylactic shock. It was horrifying. Emergency services literally saved her life. Now she carries epipens in the summer. They cost a couple hundred dollars each. They are not a pharmaceutical scam. A number of years ago when I was based out of Arizona my wife contracted a fungal infection in her lungs commonly known as "Valley Fever". It can kill you. She had to take an expensive anti-fungal drug, Diflucan. It was a course of treatment for two years. It worked - it's not a condition that resolves on its own. In fact it gets progressively worse it own. She was hacking up blood before the drugs kicked in. Yes, the drugs were expensive. Yes, the same drug issued by veterinarians for a fraction of the cost. So there is a scam element there, but the drug worked as advertised and was essential. Point being that while there are scams, a lot of these products work.Thought I'd illustrate with personal anecdotes rather tan quote data and statistics.
 
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#38
David,
For all the press they get, pharmaceuticals are actually not a major cost driver in the overall picture in the USA. I agree with you that there are a lot of drugs prescribed that don't provide much positive benefit - and some that actually do more harm than good. Some of the drugs that are commonly prescribed would be totally unnecessary if people took responsibility for their own health (better diet, exercise, meditation, etc). However, people won't do that. Yet they demand something be done to relieve whatever condition is bothering them or even threatening their lives).

Most of the drugs that offer real benefit are generic at this point and have very low cost. I have an arthritic condition in one of my ankles from an old injury. When it's acting up badly I experience excruciating pain and cannot walk. I do take both steroidal and non-steroidal anti-inflammatories that are generic and cost barely a few dollars. They really work! For the pain I ingest a little cannabis that I grow in a secret location. When the pain is absolutely unbearable I make a tea from opium poppies that I grow. I only do that two or three times a year. While I like cannabis, I do not like opium. My condition, bad as it can get every couple of months or so, costs maybe $30/year to manage.
I would certainly try acupuncture for the ankle. From my experience and at least two other people who tried it based at my suggestion, acupuncture can work wonders.
My wife is allergic to bee stings. We found that out the hard way when she was riding one of her horses and trotted over a nest of ground bees. She was stung 6 times and barely got home when she went into a full blown life threatening anaphylactic shock. It was horrifying. Emergency services literally saved her life. Now she carries epipens in the summer. They cost a couple hundred dollars each. They are not a pharmaceutical scam. A number of years ago when I was based out of Arizona my wife contracted a fungal infection in her lungs commonly known as "Valley Fever". It can kill you. She had to take an expensive anti-fungal drug, Diflucan. It was a course of treatment for two years. It worked - it's not a condition that resolves on its own. In fact it gets progressively worse it own. She was hacking up blood before the drugs kicked in. Yes, the drugs were expensive. Yes, the same drug issued by veterinarians for a fraction of the cost. So there is a scam element there, but the drug worked as advertised and was essential. Point being that while there are scams, a lotto these products work.Thought I'd illustrate with personal anecdotes rather tan quote data and statistics.
Clearly that is medicine at its best - something definite goes wrong and you pay to get it fixed.

At the other end, I was invited to a check-up, and the doctors suggested that since my cholesterol was a little high, it might be a good idea to take a statin. It would not have been so bad if the side effects had come on at once, because it would have been obvious what was wrong, but it came on 3 years later, and was making walking very hard, and it was getting worse. I spent some months struggling with it, but almost by chance I stopped the statins at one point, and started to feel better. Still not appreciating what the problem was, I started taking them again, and the problem started to return.....

After I had discarded the medicine, I'd mention what happened to people of about my age that I met out walking - and I was amazed how many people had encountered the same sort of problems. Ultimately I read "Doctoring Data", which I really recommend to you, which explained the relative statistics scam, and a few other ways in which Big Pharma tweak the evidence. Above all, the book exposes the fact that the link between heart disease and cholesterol is much weaker than supposed - so the whole idea of lowering body cholesterol is a bad idea because it is needed for so many body processes. The value such as it is, of a statin seems to lie in some other action it has on the body - nothing to do with cholesterol.

I would guess that Alex's vehemence indicates that he has a few bad tales to tell.

David
 
#39
I would certainly try acupuncture for the ankle. From my experience and at least two other people who tried it based at my suggestion, acupuncture can work wonders.

Clearly that is medicine at its best - something definite goes wrong and you pay to get it fixed.

At the other end, I was invited to a check-up, and the doctors suggested that since my cholesterol was a little high, it might be a good idea to take a statin. It would not have been so bad if the side effects had come on at once, because it would have been obvious what was wrong, but it came on 3 years later, and was making walking very hard, and it was getting worse. I spent some months struggling with it, but almost by chance I stopped the statins at one point, and started to feel better. Still not appreciating what the problem was, I started taking them again, and the problem started to return.....

After I had discarded the medicine, I'd mention what happened to people of about my age that I met out walking - and I was amazed how many people had encountered the same sort of problems. Ultimately I read "Doctoring Data", which I really recommend to you, which explained the relative statistics scam, and a few other ways in which Big Pharma tweak the evidence. Above all, the book exposes the fact that the link between heart disease and cholesterol is much weaker than supposed - so the whole idea of lowering body cholesterol is a bad idea because it is needed for so many body processes. The value such as it is, of a statin seems to lie in some other action it has on the body - nothing to do with cholesterol.

I would guess that Alex's vehemence indicates that he has a few bad tales to tell.

David
Don't get me wrong. Hopefully I've made it clear that in my line of work I am highly aware of the down side. IMO, the truth lies in the middle.

25% of healthcare cost (and issues) are due, directly, to obesity and other life style choices. Like Said, people are their own worst enemies when it comes to health.

Thanks for acupuncture recommendation, but believe me, the issue is well beyond what it can do. My drug mixture knocks it out in a few days and I'm back to being up and around, going to the gym, etc.
 
#40
Thanks for acupuncture recommendation, but believe me, the issue is well beyond what it can do. My drug mixture knocks it out in a few days and I'm back to being up and around, going to the gym, etc.
I wouldn't take that for granted without a little experimentation. I know a woman who was experiencing intense pain after her fractured wrist had healed. She was on steadily increasing doses of Gabapentin. After a couple of visits, she didn't need the pain killer any more. Of course, it may well be that acupuncturists vary in their abilities.

If you accept that Big Pharma are in part responsible for the COVID scam, you have to ask yourself whether the people in those coumpanies were just naughty boys until this came along and then simply made the jump to become mass murderers.

David
 
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