Piketty and the Political Rentier Class

In this excellent article, business consultant Steve Fritzinger picks away at author Thomas Piketty and Piketty’s now-famous book, Capital in the Twenty-First Century.

Fritzinger notes that Piketty doesn’t really ever discuss where actual wealth comes from. Piketty refers to investors as “rentiers,” which really refers to corporate parasites, from what I understand. And Fritzinger believes that a particular kind of “capital” that Piketty might favor is political capital, and points to the Clintons as an example.

An example I can come up with right now for the rentier political capitalist class is the new war in Iraq and Syria that Obama wants to start, that he says will take years to accomplish. But really, he wants Democrats to get elected in 2014 and 2016, and he wants the military contractors to make financial contributions to Democrat candidates. So he and his minions in Washington and in the media will make the military contractors happy. You don’t have to be a brain surgeon to figure that out.


NFL, Police, and Domestic Violence

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell wants to address domestic violence issues. Apparently, domestic violence is a growing problem in the NFL. But how do you address domestic violence in a profession that is characterized by violence as part of its routine? After all, part of the job description for those interested in joining is being one of many grown men running into each other and bashing their heads together. So exactly what kind of person is attracted to that kind of job?

Another job associated with violence — being a police officer — is also high in the domestic violence category. According to the San Francisco Chronicle, “Law enforcement officers beat their wives or girlfriends at nearly double the rate of the rest of the population …” And in some areas, advocates for battered women are timid in dealing with cases involving officers because it could affect cooperation of local police in cases involving domestic violence.

I can’t understand how a man could actually hit, slap or punch his wife or girlfriend. Something is definitely wrong with someone who would do that.

Obesity is Still Big in the U.S.

There is still an obesity “epidemic” in the U.S., more among black and Hispanic Americans than among white Americans, as well as the poor, according to the NY Times.

One reason is processed foods, which these days are less expensive than “real” foods. Real foods, to me, are actual foods without all the chemicals, such as preservatives, additives and dyes, that the big food companies add to their processed foods. For example, an egg is a real food to me, as well as a piece of chicken or an apple. Those are healthier.

What the chemicals in the processed foods do, as I have learned over the years, is interfere with the digestion process, so that even if you also eat real foods in addition to the processed foods, those processed food chemicals will interfere with those real, actual foods’ nutrients getting digested into your system. And so a lot of the things people eat are just either passing right through without actually digesting properly or some of the “junk” is being stored in areas of the body which then causes health problems, including obesity.

The bottom line as I see it is that it may be a good idea to cut out the processed foods entirely in order to be in better health. Now, that is just my opinion based on various items of information I have read, and if you disagree then please leave a message in the comments.

Some people are concerned that they just don’t have time to prepare the good, real foods they need to have, such as washing the veggies and meats, cooking various things, because so many people are “on the go,” etc. I guess you have to establish your priorities in life. And for those busy people with children, in which the mom does everything including preparing meals etc., it may be a good idea to teach the kids how to prepare foods and cook for themselves. I know, in this day and age of dependence and laziness that might be difficult. But perhaps it’s time for the kids to turn off the TV, put down the iPhone, turn off the video games, stop being a veg and a zombie, and do some things for themselves.

And that is what I have to say about that.

Is the U.S. Really That Bad Now?

According to this Canadian news report, police in the U.S. are operating a money stealing racket. The Canadian government warns Canadians to not carry too much cash with them if they drive into the U.S. or the American “men in blue” will steal it, without charges or probable cause. If this is the case, then why are “peace” officers doing this (except that they can get away with it because they have a uniform, a badge and a gun)? Are you a police officer? Would you just abuse your authority as is described in the article and just steal from people willy-nilly?

Vitamin D Supplementation Needs Vitamin K2 As Well

I have been through my share of health issues especially over the past 15 years, although most things are generally better, thanks to better nutritional support. I am in my 50s, by the way. Nutrition is the most important aspect of good health, in my opinion. And I have learned a great deal about nutrition, health, foods and dietary supplements over the years.

But I am not an “expert,” and this isn’t intended to be “medical advice.” But because I don’t want to get arrested for “giving medical advice without being licensed,” etc., like that innocent blogger in North Carolina, which I am not doing, I am just relaying what I have learned thus far. You can Google some of the terms to get articles for your own further research if these issues are important to you. But on with what I have to say about vitamin D and vitamin K2:

Vitamin D is being promoted to help calcium to absorb and work more efficiently, especially for bone health and bone strength. Vitamin D has also been shown to boost the immune system such as in preventing colds and flu.

But recently I have learned that vitamin K2 is necessary to regulate the calcium that the vitamin D is helping to absorb. If you aren’t getting enough vitamin K2 then your calcium might build up in areas where it could cause problems, such as in the arteries or the heart. The K2 regulates the calcium to make sure that it goes to the bones where it’s supposed to go and prevents so-called calicifcations in other areas. So, if you take extra vitamin D it is a good idea to also take vitamin K2.

As far as K2 is concerned, from all the articles and reviews of products I’ve seen it seems that two of the forms of K2, MK4 and MK7, are important. The problem with some of these supplement makers is that there isn’t enough of an availability of MK4, and there are too many MK7 products. One product, however, which I will not name here, contains 100 mcg of MK7 but 1,000 mcg of MK4 and 1,000 mcg of vitamin K1. That’s way, way too much of all that, and some reviewers have written about bad side effects, not surprisingly. As I have already stated, I don’t want to name the product, because I don’t want Life Extension to sue me. (But I’m sure you can find the information just from searching.)

Some other facts I’ve learned include that Vitamin K1 naturally converts to the MK4 version of vitamin K2. AND, there are animal-based foods which naturally contain MK4, such as butter and eggs (esp. grass-fed, etc.). And butter and eggs are good for you. But if you are worried about cholesterol, getting goodly amounts of omega 3 helps to regulate the cholesterol, such as from extra virgin olive oil and fish (or fish oil). But the MK7 version of vitamin K2 is harder to find in foods. It can be found in natto or fermented soybeans.

Some of the reviews I have seen for some MK7 products, such as on Amazon, have indicated that too much MK7 might cause problems, at least that seems to be what some people have experienced with some of these supplements. One issue with MK7 is that it stays in your system much longer, so therefore you don’t need too much of it. But the MK4, which is probably more important from what I’ve learned, absorbs more quickly, so a little more of that is probably better. And also, on some of the reviews of supplement products I have seen, some people complain of side effects with the MK7 products. I wish there were more of a selection of products containing the MK4 version of vitamin K2.

By the way, an article I recently found states that vitamin A is also helpful in preventing vitamin D toxicity which is a related problem. (http://blog.cholesterol-and-health.com/2009/04/tufts-university-confirms-that-vitamin.html)

Here are some informative articles I have found:


http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2013/10/19/vitamin-d-vitamin-k2.aspx (The comments section is also very informative.)

Testy Conductor Walks Out in a Huff

The music director of the Cleveland Orchestra is Franz Welser-Most. He has also been the music director of the Vienna State Opera, until just days ago. It appears that Most got into a fist fight with one of the bureaucrats, and — oh, wait, it wasn’t a fight. Actually he had an artistic or bureaucratic dispute with the administration and/ or with the ballet company choreographer and Most just up and left. There was no fist fight. But can you imagine that? Anyway, his cushy job with the Cleveland Orchestra is safe, so he need not worry.

But I wonder if Andris Nelson’s debut as music director with the Boston Symphony will go on as scheduled, on September 27th, given how volatile these situations are now. These conductors, or artists in general, are really touchy. But with Nelsons, you see, last year his appearance at Tanglewood was cancelled because he got whacked in the head by a door and got concussion. (Yes, that really happened!) But supposedly Nelsons is a “rising star” according to a London newspaper. He’s only 35, or almost 36. Former Boston Symphony music director Seiji Ozawa is 79, and he’s still conducting, regardless of his poor health. Ozawa is someone who takes a lickin’ and keeps on tickin’. (That’s an old phrase from the Timex commercials, in case you’re too young to have seen them.)

TV News Not Like It Used to Be

It seems that Chuck Todd has now replaced David Gregory on Meet the Press. Many of these TV news show hosts are insiders and politicos, so it’s hard to take any of them seriously. Does anyone even watch these shows anymore? Alas, there are no more David Brinkleys and Lawrence Spivaks now. And what’s with this little beard-mustache thing that Chuck Todd has? He looks like he just drank some chocolate milk and some of it spilled on his chin.

Another replacement now seems to be this “David Muir” replacing Diane Sawyer on ABC news. His hair is overly coiffed, if you ask me, and he also resembles Rick Santorum. (I’m glad I stopped watching television, anyway.)

My Situation

Here is my situation, that really goes back to the early 1990s. I currently work from my home computer although I don’t have that much of an income. During the early-mid ’90s I had a great deal of problems, particularly in the area of anxiety, dealing with difficult issues from the past that were coming up, as well as a difficult situation going on in my apartment building. I was not functioning, and my parents had to support me. And then they needed assistance to help them to support me, so they put me on this disability supplemental income, which I didn’t think was a good idea. While signing the papers they gave me, I said I’m signing this under duress, which was the truth.

I had a disability evaluation with a psychologist in April 1994, and I told him about the things I was dealing with, including some things I thought was going on in my building. I was right about one of the things, which I will not get into here, but later on I realized I was wrong about the other things. The following year I was having much more clear memories and flashbacks of situations from childhood many years before that, something of an abusive nature. So then I could see that those things had been surfacing and were just too difficult to deal with, and I realized that was probably a main factor in my misperceiving things going on in my building. That was 1995, and there was a second disability evaluation in May, 1998 in which I told the psychologist at that time about that whole situation, which clarified what I told the first psychologist in 1994. You see, the things I told the first psychologist in 1994 were regarding what I thought I was dealing with in my apartment building, which probably made me seem very “paranoid,” but the fact that I realized that I was misperceiving those things and probably based on the issues that were surfacing from earlier years, should correct the record from 1994, I hope. I have the names of both psychologists but I will not write those names in here. But the main problem throughout all these things has been anxiety and fear, which I have been dealing with since childhood, and I can see why given the stuff that was going on way back then that really had a negative impact on me. I don’t even want to write about that here.

In the meantime, between those two evaluations, I would say that I was getting “better,” given how bad my situation was early-mid ’90s. But “reassimilating” was still difficult. Then, in 1999 I had some difficult issues in the digestive area, and by September that year I was in bad shape physically because of the digestive issues, which I will probably get into here (“ulcerative colitis,” inflammatory bowel) at some point. So between September 1999 and March 2000 I had quite a few medical procedures and doctors office visits, and once again it was a difficult stressful period, a setback. The digestive issues got a lot better by April 2000, but there were relapses between 2001 and 2005. (If there is bleeding with BMs, I call that a “relapse,” or flare-up.) The problem has been under control since 2005, especially since 2008, with the exception of a relapse in November-December 2012, which was because of issues with some dietary supplements combined with stressful things to deal with. And that told me that, while the situation was under control, I still had a sensitive condition and have to be careful. And stress is a factor as well in that. That is why I work from my home computer. I just can’t handle too much stress, and I’ve been that way since my earliest years. For example, I could get some part-time job somewhere, but because I do not do well under pressure at all, it would be a very difficult endeavor, and the stress of even the smallest of issues (that is, what would probably seem like small to others) would affect my digestive condition. After all that I’ve been through between 1999 and 2005 (and 2012), I don’t want to take any risks in causing any subsequent relapses. So that is why it would be much better for me to work form my home computer.

The other aspect of all that is, I’ve been living in this apartment which is a condo that my parents have owned for many years (they live in a different state) and they’re letting me stay here. But this is a rotten apartment, and in an old, rotten building, that I’ve been wanting to move out of for a long time, but haven’t been able to afford to do that. This place has been a big source of stress for me, and moving out would be a big help.

Joan Rivers Has Died, at Age … 32?

I’m sure her plastic surgeon knows what her age was.

Joan made a career out of insulting specifically named people. Sure, famous celebrities know that they can be ridiculed by the media or comedians more than “private” people would be, obviously. But at least Don Rickles insulted whole groups of people without targeting any specifically named individuals. That’s the difference. Perhaps the practical joke that Johnny Carson played on her was justified.

The one album I had of her during the 1980s was “What Becomes a Semi-Legend Most,” and some of her lines then were good. For example, she said that you should always make your child feel guilt for being born. To do that she would wake Melissa up in the middle of the night and shout, “Melissa wake up — you ripped me to shreds! Now go back to sleep!”

And she said that college athletes were dumb. She saw one at a store where “there was a sign that read, ‘Wet Floor.’ He did.”

And Mick Jagger: “He has child bearing lips.” And so on and on.

At times she was funny. But perhaps the insults of celebrities and the “Royal Family,” etc. was a bit much.