DarthKeller's Blog

The ravings of a Sith Conservative!

Archive for February, 2010

Why I Approve of the FDA

Posted by darthkeller on February 26, 2010

I’m writing this post in answer to this article. Before I begin, please allow me to state for the record: I respect Dr Melissa Clouthier. This is not an article attacking her, this is just an answer to her opinion on the subject matter. She has opinion “A”, I have opinion “B”, nothing more.

I hate to do it Mel, but I have to disagree with you. I don’t have the numbers, but my wife might since she’s the pharmacist, but her take on a drug being approved by the FDA only to find out there was a problem that was not foreseen is this: Without FDA approval, no side-effects would be known, so everything you take would be a “best guess” as to whether or not it’s safe.

For example: Take Chantix (I know this drug since I was a smoker) – This drug had several known side effects from the amount of testing that it had to go through in order to have “FDA Approved” stamped on it. But, they were giving this drug to 1000, 2000, maybe even 5000 people during their drug trials. Since it was released, it has been prescribed (based on the wife’s “sources”, which I guess are super-secret pharmacist sources… not real sure) MILLIONS of times! It was only AFTER launch that they realized this drug can cause suicidal tendencies. Did the company that makes Chantix miss something? Did the FDA? No. “Millions” of people is a slightly larger sample size than 5000, and with that increase in sample size, you get an increase in data, which was used to determine that there was a side-effect which was missed. It happens to almost all drugs which are “prescription” based.

Why is there such a difference? Simple: It’s the type of people that are chosen for the drug trials. Based on discussions with Raven, the first round of drug trials that take place are done on people that are taking no medication, and are not using this drug for anything (to continue using the Chantix metaphor, they give the drug to NON-SMOKING, healthy, volunteers such as med students, pharmacy students, college students, etc). From this they get a “starter set” of side-effects. The people are generally healthy, so they have a good base-line to start with.

The second round will generally include people that are “healthy” but ARE smokers. This way they can determine the drug’s effectiveness. This is why, when looking at an ad for Chantix, you see “Smokers were able to quit XX% more effectively versus placebo”. A second gain of step 2 is this: Dosing. This is determined by giving thousands of patients varying amounts, at varying times, charting and plotting each and every data point. The end result: A nice label on your bottle which says “Take X tablets X times a day.”

A third, fourth, fifth round of testing may be necessary, but even those might not hit upon a particular person’s physiology. For example: I’m approximately 5’9″ tall, and I weigh 250 lbs. This puts my BMI at just over 37, which is OBESE. I haven’t been to a doctor since I was last sick, and at that time I was a smoker, but my blood pressure was still within normal range. For an obese smoker to have normal blood pressure is pretty rare. I doubt they would’ve been able to test Chantix on someone like that. So of course it will react differently in my body than in Test Subject 123.

I have taken Chantix on two different occasions (long story, not getting into it here) and not one time did I feel suicidal (the first time I took it, suicide was not listed as a side-effect). I had some AWESOME DREAMS, but no suicide. Friends that I have that have also taken it didn’t experience “vivid dreaming”. To say that the FDA is a failure because they did or did not find every side effect is unfair.

I hate having government control over stuff, I want the smallest government possible. But, this is the one time where the government model of red-tape and paperwork actual benefits us. A company simply cannot throw chemicals together in a beaker and call it a drug. It has to go through a rigorous amount of testing, then paperwork, then more testing, then red-tape, then even more testing, so that when it finally hits the shelf, it’s “safe”. I understand that all prescription drugs have a risk associated with them. Here’s the dirty little secret, natural supplements have some of the same risks, you just never hear about them, until it’s too late. I would rather KNOW that when I take my penicillin that the company has been looked at again and again by SOMEONE. The “free-market” system is great for a LOT of things, but the only way to know that COMPANY X, which makes the particular pill that I’m about to swallow, isn’t run by a tweaker with no more knowledge about pharmaceuticals than I have, is to have SOMEONE look into them. I would prefer that someone be unbiased, with my well-being as their sole-concern.

The only way a free-market system can work is to have success and failures, and when it comes to drugs, “failures” often means death. That is simply not a risk I will take. This is why, of all the pharmacists I know (and I know a lot since most of Raven’s friends are also pharmacists), they have all said that they will NEVER take anything that has not been FDA approved.

In almost all cases, the companies that produce natural supplements would seek FDA approval, that is, if they had any hope of actually proving the truth of the claims on the bottle. Why? Because with that seal of approval, your product gains credibility in the medical profession.

I know the FDA isn’t perfect. It’s a government agency which means it’s subject to the same abuses as are all other agencies. However, I would rather have a wooden damn protecting me from the raging river than no damn at all.

To close: Again, this is not an attack on Mel, even though it might sound like it. This is just one area of medicine that I have some clue as to what is going on, since I speak with Raven about her career quite often. If you feel as though I’ve missed something, please let me know, I’d be glad to hear about it.

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Posted in Medicine | Tagged: , | 1 Comment »

No Foreclosures without Gov’t Review… WHAT!?

Posted by darthkeller on February 25, 2010

While checking out the interwebs today I noticed an article that struck my fancy:
Obama May Prohibit Home-Loan Foreclosures Without HAMP Review.

Please, allow me a moment to get this straight: Liberals wanted MORE regulation and oversight so that there would be no chance of discrimination when buyers went to secure a home loan. Discrimination would not be allowed based on race, sex, sexual orientation, religion, or ability to pay back the loan. Correct?

Since I like Bawney Fwank, I’ll use his quotes:

And here he is lying about what he said:

So, Liberals pushed us into Fannie/Freddie, which banks KNEW would be a bad idea, and in 2008 it all came crashing down when banks were not getting paid back on the loans they were FORCED to approve.

Now, Obama wants to ensure that if a bank starts foreclosure proceedings, they cannot foreclose on the house until the Home Affordable Modification Program has a chance to check everything out.

Are they expecting that the borrower simply chose not to pay even though they have the money and the threat of a government agency which sounds like an overused recreational drug is going to scare them into paying? No, they just want to screw with the system even more than they already have.

Let me break it down for you: When a bank lends someone $100,000 for a home, they have an appraiser look at the home to ensure that it’s worth the loan. Then they expect to be paid back, a little at a time, each month, by the “owner” of the home (the bank actually owns the property, hence the reason you’re paying them for it). If they stop receiving payment from you, they are out $100,000. So, they will foreclose on the house and put it on the auction block. Why? Because selling a $100,000 for $50,000 is better than getting $0 for it.

This is just another ploy by the Obama administration to do two things:
1) Strengthen ACORN and ACORN-esque groups. They are able to break into homes that are owned by the bank, which gives them credibility to help the “little man” out. Actually, they are using the “little man” to push their power-hungry agenda
2) Keep the banks under their foot. Remember, this is the administration that forced banks to take TARP money, then wouldn’t allow them to pay the money back without a strings attached. Why? CONTROL

So, there you have the Liberal mindset: Create an agency, then a program for that agency. Screw up everything by stupid rules and regulations. Pretend to ride in and save the day. Once the day is “saved”, refuse to leave and ride off into the sunset, instead, stick around and enslave the people!

I bet it does better than most of the crap that comes out of Hollywood these days.

Posted in Economy, History, Politics | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

New Rules for Complaining

Posted by darthkeller on February 24, 2010

The other night I was watching Undercover Boss with Raven when we saw something interesting. The CEO of 7-11 was in the Dallas area (sorry Dallas, they actually said what part, but since I don’t know the DFW area at all, I’m not going to insult you by taking a guess) when he met Igor, a delivery driver. Igor worked nights. Igor’s wife is a school teacher (thus, works days). So, they rarely saw each other during the week.

“Danny” (the CEO’s cover name, I can’t remember his real name…sorry) asked Igor how he could deal with not getting to see his wife except on the weekends. Igor’s answer was simple: Less time to see each other, less time to fight. I thought that was hilarious, Raven did not.

Then Danny asked Igor the big question: How could Igor be so upbeat while working a night shift, away from his wife and kids, having left his home country in eastern Europe.

Igor’s answer: I’m in America! I have opportunities here! I have a chance at a life my parents and grandparents could only dream of!

This brought tears to my eyes. We are bombarded every day with the fringe-media’s view that America is evil. America is stupid. America is wrong. America is imperialistic. America is hopeless.

I’m sorry, but I refuse to believe that. I refuse to believe that you have nothing less than opportunity in America. You don’t have guarantees here, you have chances. If two guys go to work for the same company, on the same day, doing the same job, one WILL rise higher than the other, but that doesn’t mean that either of them had more or less chance to rise than the other one did.

The Left loves to proclaim that the Declaration of Independence guarantees happiness… NO! The DoI guarantees the “PURSUIT of happiness”, results may vary!

TheRoot.com (I will not link to them) had a list of 21 “Black folks we’d like to see removed from history”. On that list was Justice Clarence Thomas. Why? Because he “opposes government programs intended to help minorities”. I’m sorry, but slavery ended 147 years ago. Segregation of public schools: 52 years ago. Civil rights: 46 years ago (these dates are based on my memory and could be off by 2-3 years). I understand that because of these policies minorities have had less opportunity than others, but if you can’t get your act together in 46 years, YOU PROBABLY NEVER WILL UNLESS YOU ARE MADE TO!

How much more do you need? Minorities have college scholarships. They have affirmative action. They are given every opportunity to succeed in the world! If they continue to fall short of happiness, that’s there own damn fault! Yet, the media continues to paint this country as “racist”.

Allow me to explain something: You cannot call Obama “post-racial” if you still want to call someone “racist”. You cannot be “racist” if race is no longer considered. You cannot be “post-racial” if race is considered. Sorry guys, but you cannot have it both ways.

BTW – Am I the only one that thinks Chris “Tingles” Matthews is a racist? “I forgot he was black for about an hour”. That means when Matthews sees Obama, his FIRST (and, it could be argued, ONLY) thought is, “There’s a black man”. Funny, when I see Obama, I don’t see a “black man”, I see a “socialist man”. Just saying.

You might think I’m getting off point, but I’m not. I’m simply pointing out the hypocrisy and lunacy of the Left, and more to the point, the fringe media.

So, new rule: If you want to bitch about this country and claim that it needs to be like another country, you must live in said country for a period of no less than 5 years, WITHOUT CONTACT to those in the USA! Why? So that you get the full experience of that country. After 5 years, if you still want to change this country, go ahead and try (and we’ll fight you every step of the way). I’m sick and tired of hearing jackasses on the left say “We need to be like Canada” (anyone else notice their leaders come to America for health care… hmm….), or “We need to be like China”… IF YOU WANT TO LIVE IN A COUNTRY LIKE CANADA, CHINA, CUBA, RUSSIA, etc, GO LIVE THERE AND LEAVE US ALONE!

It pisses me off to no end that they teach revisionist history in school making the Chinese look “misunderstood” and calling Stalin “Uncle Joe”, and then kids grow up thinking that we are the bad guys. HELLO! MAO KILLED 60 MILLION CHINESE. I’ve seen reports that Stalin killed as many as 10 million! There is no viewpoint in which these men were anything but EVIL! And yet our kids look at them as heroes!

I will not stand by and allow this to happen any longer. If you want to teach this crap, then I will teach the REAL history! If you don’t like it, I don’t care!

To quote Andrew Breitbart: “We are on to you!” The media has lost its iron-clad grip on America’s mind, and now that we’re here, we’re not going away. We’re going to start fighting harder, using Alinsky’s tactics against the Left every day.

Get ready, the fun is about to start now!!!

Posted in History, Politics, Random Thoughts | Tagged: , , , | 1 Comment »

Some Changes

Posted by darthkeller on February 19, 2010

This winter was very hard on me. No, this is not a “Where’s mine!?” rant, but it was very hard on me. First, the severe weather changes caused a series of severe sinus headaches.

I’ve had sinus problems for almost 20 years, and 12 years ago had a surgery to correct them. I am very pleased that it worked for 12 years! However, they have come back, and with a vengeance!!!

So, I went to the doctor who told me that the original diagnosis may (stress the “MAY”) have been wrong, and in fact, they might be a symptom of a particular type of migraine (low transverse?). He said they are not the common migraine that everyone knows about, because I don’t suffer light and noise sensitivity, just severe sinus headaches…

After doing some research on the subject, I found that my 11-year smoking habit has exacerbated the situation (yeah, this is the point where everyone not me says “DUH!”). So, as of January 18th, 2010, I am a non-smoker (and no, I haven’t killed anyone….yet).

I’ve tried to quit smoking several times in the past, but knowing that smoking is making worse my headaches, this time it has been a lot easier! 1 month and 1 day later, and I’m feeling great!

The last change: Raven and I have decided that we need to get in shape. When I was playing basketball in high school, I ran 3 miles a day in the summer to stay in perfect shape. At 5’9″ tall, I weighed 168 lbs and it was almost all muscle!

Today, I’m over 250 lbs (and no, I’m not 7’0″ tall….). So, we’ve started working out, trying to get in shape. Do I want to weigh 168 lbs again, HELL NO! It took everything I had to maintain that weight, and at my age, I don’t care to be in that shape anymore! But right now I cannot walk from one side of my house to the other without being short of breath. That’s not good, and that’s what I want to correct!

So, there you go. A little bit of an explanation as to why I haven’t been as active on twitter, why I’ve not been blogging even with all the craziness that has transpired over the last two months.

So, if you’re reading this and you’re a fat, out of shape, smoker, and are willing to admit it, and want help, please let me know. We can support one another on road to change a better life.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , | 2 Comments »

Letter to the Editor

Posted by darthkeller on February 18, 2010

After reading the story over at Ace’s, I decided that someone at the Washington Post had to hear something… I’m tired of sitting quietly in the corner as the Left in this country drive us over the edge! I’LL BE DAMNED BEFORE I SIT IDLY BY!

So, I wrote this to Marcus Brauchii, Executive Editor of the Washington Post:

To allow Capehart to write for your trash should fill you with the utmost despair for the newspaper business!

In his article “Alienated in Austin” he made the BOLD LIE that Joseph Stack was a member, or in ANY FREAKING WAY RELATED to the Tea Party because he didn’t want to tell the truth – STACK WAS A COMMUNIST AND COMMUNISTS LEAN TO THE LEFT!

Mr Stack’s “Manifesto” ended thusly:
“Well, Mr. Big Brother IRS man, let’s try something different; take my pound of flesh and sleep well.

The communist creed: From each according to his ability, to each according to his need.

The capitalist creed: From each according to his gullibility, to each according to his greed.

Joe Stack (1956-2010)

02/18/2010”

However, Mr Capehart decided that reporting the facts was a little inconvenient, and reported the end of the “manifesto”:
“Well, Mr. Big Brother IRS man, let’s try something different; take my pound of flesh and sleep well.

Joe Stack (1956-2010)

02/18/2010”

Has the Washington Post, the newspaper that broke the Watergate scandal, completely lost all journalistic integrity!?

You should be ashamed to call yourself the editor of such a piece of garbage!

I will do everything I can to ensure that the world hears about the LIE that the Washington Post has become! And if you think those of us on the right can’t do anything about it, ask Martha Coakley what we are capable of!

It might not do any good, by DAMN it felt great to get that off my chest!

Sorry for the language in this post, but I’m angry, and I’m not taking it any longer!

Posted in Politics, Tea Party | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »