Taylor Tomlinson’s imaginary illness
I watched a performance by comedian Taylor Tomlinson last night. She is young (currently 28) and having lots of success. She’s also blue, that is, quite a big of her act involves sexual experiences and attitudes about sex and guys in general. I suppose part of that is that she is very attractive, so as with, say, Iliza Shlesinger, there is an element of imagined accessibility for guys. Neither are stunners, but both exude raw sex appeal. Most guys would fantasize that they perhaps have a shot with her. That type of fantasy does not happen with true knockouts, where guys realize they have no shot.
That’s not why I am writing about her (them). Both are very funny, and I wish them both long and prosperous careers. During Tomlinson’s act, she talked about being “manic depressive”. For anyone who does not know, that condition, sometimes referred to as a “disease” and treated with antidepressants and antispychotics, probably doesn’t exist. It is like the hundreds of disorders promoted by the DSM-5, The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition. There is no physical or blood or urine test that would give any indication of illness, no medical test of any kind. Like so many of the “disorders” promoted by the psychiatric profession, they are voted up or down. It’s based on symptoms, things like bouts of depression or spells of anxiety, erratic behaviors, or substance abuse.
The important thing to take away from this symptomatic analysis is that these behaviors can come and go during various times of life. People mature, internalize past behaviors, maybe benefit from relationships, even talk therapy. The aging process, if we face life squarely and don’t detour around pain, will “cure” almost anything.
At a certain point in her act Tomlinson polled the audience, asking for applause from people who were on antidepressants, etc. I would say more than half responded, and I found it shocking. Maybe it is selection bias, people who have been through the psychiatric mill self-selecting to be Tomlinson fans. But I had to wonder – could more than half the country be on mind-altering, even mind-damaging drugs? More about that below.
Poof! And the Debt is Gone
I am reading a book (at last – it’s been a long dry spell) by Stephanie Kelton called The Deficit Myth. I am happy to announce that even though Kelton is a polished writer and a very smart economist, I already knew this stuff. I have long figured out that the National Debt could vanish overnight if we just wished it so.
This goes back many years, back to the mid-1980s. I was at a luncheon and was seated next to Jim Bennett, the president of First Citizens Bank of Billings, Montana. He was chatty and interesting, and at one point talked about war bonds. They were massively promoted during World War II, with people having withholding from paychecks and children urged to use piggy bank savings to buy them. Jim said that the reason they did that was to get money out of circulation, since there were not enough goods to purchase. Everything was going to the war effort. But savings bonds did not support the war effort. They merely sold bonds to suck excess money out of the economy.
Years later I studied the Social Security Trust Fund, said at that time to be in danger of going bankrupt. I slowly realized that the real Social Security Tax that was and is collected has no special designation. It’s just a tax, a way of pulling money out of the economy for various reasons. FICA taxes are not paying my Social Security, and the “Trust Fund” is nothing more than a record of taxes taken from ordinary workers. (FICA basically exempts the rich from paying it.) It’s just a number. During the Clinton era there was a lot of scaremongering about Social Security, to the point where most young people then and now think it will not be there for them. But it will be, if they only wish it so. (They did, during the Clinton era, see a need to reduce benefits for retirees. They did the old front-door-back-door trick on us, threatening immediate cuts to benefits to divide people, while at the same time creating a tax on 85% of benefits that now affects almost all retirees. At the time of passage, it affected hardly anyone. That got the job done. Man are they slick.)
Anyway, I am only half way through Kelton’s book, and recommend it for anyone who thinks that deficits matter or that the government should be run like a household. She refers to her philosophy as MMT, or Modern Monetary Theory. She tears apart mainstream economists like Paul Krugman and Milton Friedman. She holds Clinton and Obama up for ridicule, blaming economic downturns on their austerity. The National Debt is now over $30 Trillion, or something like $91,000 on each of us. But rest easy. It’s funny money, not real. They do like to scare us with it, but it could be wiped out by the Fed in a heartbeat, never seen again, never harming us.
The true purpose of debt and deficit-mongering, as I see it, is to prevent spending on things like infrastructure, or relieving kids of student debt, or truly doing something about our health care mess. Too expensive, we are told. It raises the deficit! And yet, when it is time to go to war, the debt floodgates open.
The only thing to fear from federal deficits, as Kelton repeatedly reminds us, is inflation, as we are experiencing now.
Child abuse: Telling kids they have no future
Another book I want to promote is Climate at a Glance for Teachers and Students, assembled by Anthony Watts (Watts Up With That blog) and James Taylor, edited by H. Sterling Burnett. You can get it for ten bucks at Amazon, or download it for free here. The authors have assembled 30 easy-to-understand topics, from crops to coral reefs to droughts, wildfires and polar bears. For each topic it is a simple recitation of factual and sourced material showing that things are OK. The planet is not heating (in fact, has not heated since 2005), the oceans are not rising or becoming acidic.
Those things are, put bluntly, flaming lies.
The book is 81 pages, and man do I wish I could get it to my grandson. While adults may be a little too incredulous to buy into the climate scare nonsense, the real target is school kids, who are being brainwashed into thinking their futures are bleak.
That is child abuse.
It is the psychiatrists who should be lobotomized
Another book I am now starting to read is called Toxic Psychiatry, published in 1994 by Peter R. Breggin, MD. It can be had for $25 at Amazon, and for much less at used book outlets. I am only 20 pages into it, a 400 page book, but like the tone. Since I opened with Taylor Tomlinson and her manic depression, I note that chapter six is titled “Understanding the Passions of “Depressive” and “Manic-Depressive (Bipolar) Overwhelm.” I’ll write more about it as I get there, but each of the topics he covers, including ADD, schizophrenia, phobias and obsessions, all now treated with drugs, are treated with disdain by Breggins. He holds the psychiatric profession in contempt.
A couple of quick tales: I watched and listened to the late Carrie Fisher, Princess Leia, on TV one time as she addressed an audience of … fans? She was talking about a medical procedure called “lobotomy,” which she allowed to be done to her to make herself feel better. [CORRECTION 5/9/22: Fisher did not have a lobotomy, She had repeated electroshock treatments. Each has the same effect, to dull the response of the frontal cortex, creating a zombie-like fugue state.] She was promoting electroshock! This too reminds me of my oldest brother who was diagnosed by psychiatrists as “manic-depressive”. I was just ten years old, but noticed that he left our lives for a period of time. What happened was that he went to Denver and was given electroshock treatment. He was never the same. He wanted to be a poet, but could barely sign his name. He died in 2011, and I thought at the time that this poor man never enjoyed even ten minutes of happiness in his life. Electroshock fried his brain, destroyed his personality. Yes, he was a troubled young man, but that was no answer.
Both Fisher and my brother were victims of the psychiatric profession, and of medical malpractice. Are lobotomizing and electroshocking still going on? Most likely. The profession of psychiatry never left the dark ages.
Thanks to Jon Rappoport, who promoted Breggins’ book in a recent column.
Check your homeowners insurance!
Some of you may have heard of the Marshall Fire which destroyed 1,100 homes in Superior and Louisville, Colorado last January. It was a tragedy, of course, and also a triumph of first responders who were able to evacuate thousands of people in such a short time. Winds were over 100 mph, and grass was ablaze and moving rapidly towards housing subdivisions. (Another tragedy: People were forced to leave their pets behind as they evacuated.)
There is yet more tragedy. Colorado has, like some other areas, been a destination during the Covid nonsense, people immigrating from the west coast. This has driven up housing prices here – our home value has doubled during that time. That’s beneficial, and would be even more so if our house ever sent us a check. What it does is increase our cost of insurance.
This article claims that victims of the Marshall Fire were underinsured to the tune of $179 million. We just doubled our coverage to keep up with building costs. What about all those people caught short? Quite a bit of money has been raised in private charity to help them out. There is a disaster fund that will help them. But most likely they will have to take out additional financing to cover their shortfall, in other words, a new mortgage on top of the old.
The Marshall Fire: The fire that keeps on taking.
The Best and the Worst of Jimmy Webb
Finally, to end on a lighter note, if you have time, you could do worse than to watch the above video, 22 minutes, by Fil Henley of the band Wings of Pegasus. The man is a very talented musician, and has been offering videos on various artists and sounds now for quite a while. He’s very intelligent and enjoyable. In this particular video, he is analyzing Glen Campbell singing Galveston, a song by Jimmy Webb. Campbell and Webb collaborated quite a bit during Glen’s career.
I never paid much attention to the song Galveston when it was popular, coming out in 1969, when the Vietnam War at a high peak. I was all Beatles. But I noticed some lines in the song that, after viewing Fil, grabbed me. One of the most potent was “She was 21, when I left Galveston.” The song really has nothing to do with the city of Galveston, which Webb might have selected for its lyrical value. It’s about a young man called off to war, and having to leave the girl he loves. As these things go, she’ll probably end up with another. In the meantime, the young man who is the subject of this song is in Vietnam hearing canons roar and cleaning his weapon.
Galveston, oh, Galveston
I am so afraid of dying
Before I dry the tears she’s crying
The song is thought by many to be an antiwar song, but I do not see that, nor does Fil. It’s just a story about a young man who wants to go home. It is tragically sad.
Interesting thing about the song is that it is written in a major key. If you know anything about music, and I only know a little, minor keys are usually used to invoke sadness. The power of Jimmy Webb is to invoke sadness in a major key by deft use of lyrics.
Dave Berry was a nationally syndicated columnist back in the 1990s, and is still producing stuff as far as I can tell. He is very, very funny. In 1992 he published Dave Berry’s Book of Bad Songs, and as I recall, ran a contest through his newspaper column to decide which was the worst song to come out of the 1960s. I remember when he announced the ‘winner,’ so to speak, the attitude was “Yeah, Barry nailed it. That’s the one.” Here are some of the lyrics to that song, called MacArthur Park:
MacArthur’s Park is melting in the dark
All the sweet, green icing flowing down
Someone left the cake out in the rain
I don’t think that I can take it
‘Cause it took so long to bake it
And I’ll never have that recipe again
What the hell does that even mean? Does anyone know? Jimmy Webb, God bless this talented man, maybe he can ‘splain. He’s still churning out songs.