Category Archives: health

Are we going to let this crap continue?

There is a bill that has been put before the Congress to give Single-Payer Healthcare to all which would bring the United States into the 21st century like all the other developed industrial nations.

The bill is designated H.R. 676 and it is the much needed bill to bring us the health care system we deserve.

Click here for a guide to the information you’ll need to contact your representatives and also there are some suggestions as to what works the best.

Please let your representatives in Washington DC know that we will accept nothing less.

By signing a petition and taking as many other actions as you can, you can be a part of the social revolution America needs, and has needed, since before the Reagan presidency.

Follow my blog and send me an email via the comments section and tell me what you think.  Open discussion is good.

Thank you.

The Dirty Practice of Factory Farms

Why we need to re-access how we raise food animals. by Jerry Bierens    January 5, 2016

There is a very bad thing going on in America and around the world today that needs to be exposed and talked about in depth, and it only gets minimal attention, when it should be a concern for all.

That is the practice of “Factory Farming”. To call it “farming” is a real stretch of the way I remember the dairy farm (my neighbor’s) that I worked on throughout my formative years. Maybe that’s why I find these “modern” practices so offensive but I think that even without this experience, I would be abhorred by this.

These farms and their practices, like this (literally) horrendous shit, from the cesspools, to the aerating of the waste, hogs raised in gestation crates (where they can’t even turn around) and just the inhumane practice of raising these animals that are known to be very intelligent (smarter than your dog and way smarter than a cat) is something that is NOT necessary and should be illegal.

To treat the humans that are (most of the time ) forced to live nearby, with the disrespect, stench and potential for disease is not right. Most of them don’t have the means to move either.

One of the worst parts of this is how harmful it is to the animals, as some of the pigs go literally insane (you might too, if tortured in this manner).

It’s a practice that needs to be changed and it can be done with common sense laws (like no gestation crates and no feces/urine pools), regulations and regular inspections and fines for inhumane practices.

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Then there’s this: Dairy farming with huge numbers of animals (as many as 8000+ in some cases, although 1000 to 2000 is way more common) is another form of farming that is driving the small farmers out of business and also is in need of some new regulatory laws.

There’s not much else I can say here in this limited time and space but you get the gist of it, I hope.

You know they say the best test of a society’s morality is how well (or badly in these cases) they treat the most vulnerable among us. We ask a lot from these animals and by treating them in this fashion is just plain wrong.

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Peace and Critical Thinking

by Jerry Bierens December 2, 2015

Forming a better world through logic, reason and critical thinking.

There is nothing more important than finding ways that we can all live together, in [world] peace and harmony.

This has been the ultimate challenge since we first learned to talk and to [try to] figure out problems that we face on a daily basis.

First what are the things and challenges that we must conquer to achieve peace and harmony on this one habitable planet we all share?

We are all creatures with needs and wants, and we, as brothers and sisters, should be able to construct a basic set of things that are necessary to achieve this goal of reasonable caring for each other and the wellbeing of all, not just the rich and powerful.

To start, what causes most discord amongst humans? Well, we all need food and shelter. That is at the top of the list of needs.

Second, there is, not just the basics as mentioned above, but the fact that we will not live long without understanding certain things that are critical, like being clean, learning what is unhealthy and why we get sick, whether it be physical or mental.

Since I’m not a physicist or a physician, I can only talk from a critical thinking and common sense point of view and how we acknowledge the problems that come from just being humans that have differences.

We do not live in the trees and socialize with just some grunts, body language and an order of social hierarchy understood by the group anymore.

We now have evolved into many social groups with many different languages. We have populated this planet from nearly pole to pole, with some exceptions, like the North and South poles. We visit there and have outcamps there, but we mainly do not generally live there.

Besides all these differences, there are things that are common to the areas where we live, and these certainly affect how, and why, we do certain things, and that is one source of what causes discord and prevents us from easily obtaining this elusive world peace.

If we all spoke the same language, had the same skin pigment and we were nearly identical, that would be a good thing, but it just isn’t that way.

Still it’s not imperative to have all those things and be that way. We can still live long and healthy if we can achieve peace and harmony by choosing to ignore these minor differences (after all, we now know for certain that all humans share a minimum of 10% sub-Saharan African DNA), and learn to get along for the good of all and in the best interests of all.

Let’s explore that as directly and as basically as we can.

The things that cause conflict and that must be solved to obtain this possibility of “world peace” can be identified with logic and reason.

We have wars because we have social differences, conflicting religious superstitions, want the same land or it can be just a lack of communication and understanding.

We can only get to the next possible level, of ending wars, feeding and taking care of each other by reasoning through things using critical thinking, logic and reason.

We need to choose to use our logic and critical thinking first, since one of the main problems we have, and have fought wars over for centuries, is the differences in our superstitions, otherwise known as religion.

Through logic, reasoning and critical thinking, we can lose our delusion that keeps these sects of religions alive and negatively affects our ability to get along. Using religious superstition and faith in things unseen, and without empherical proof, can be equated to a form of mental deficiency. Why? Because religion causes a lack of critical thinking and the ability to use our brains to dispell myths for what they are, fake and imaginary.

That is a necessary step and it won’t come easily, but can be done.

All religion is based on superstitutions and a belief in some “god” (take your pick, there have been around 2700 of them to choose from) and mainly it’s the huge “elephant in the room”, so to speak.

Faith without evidence is not a good thing. It deludes our thinking to the point of being the one thing that really harms us as a species. It causes hate and mistrust and that leads to conflicts.

Let’s face the truth here. All religions were invented by the people that were literate at the time versus those that weren’t for the sole purpose of keeping the peasants under control and in “their place”. We now know that as a fact and it’s just plain wrong.

There is no real use for these superstitions, or any religion anymore, and they are in fact the biggest source of conflict we have. It’s not logical. No one needs religion, superstions or belief in an unseen and invisible entity to be a moral person.

That is also a fact that can be verified through how many people are in jail/prison, have a higher education and generally live a moral life. (Atheists account for less than 0.2% of prison inmates, are generally smarter and have a generally better education)

Anyone, through the use of critical thinking, and if they use it to honestly look at all [their] religions, should, with logic, only come to one conclusion. God is imaginary.

Eliminate religion and superstition and what’s left?

Well, there’s these things to consider:

We will always have conflict over territory and land but without the insanity of religion, those differences, and most of these things could be resolved with reason, logic and cooperation.

I’m not calling for a new world order or a central government, just the fact that this one big stumbling block, religion, is at the root of us not being able to live in peace, with the good of all humanity, as the most critical, important thing. After all it is in the best interests of us all. War is not.

Then we must look at the way we treat this one planet that we need, as the next important issue for the good of all and for our very survival as a species. We are currently doing a lot of damage, some of it irreversable, to our air, land and water.

We must take care of this planet, our only home in this vast universe, at least for now, and just putting emphasis on eliminating this one thing (religion) would be a great start on that path.

My suggestion is to read many books, instead of just one terrible one, [take your favorite pick, the bible, quran or torah] and there are many out there that are readily available.

As a first book, I suggest the book, “How God Works” by  Marshall Brain as it teaches us how to use logic and critical thinking to end our superstitions and belief in fake, non-existent entities.

There is a path to a peaceful future and I believe it goes through this path of logic, reason and critical thinking. Yes, I am an Atheist.

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Suffering From Moderate to Severe Agravation

March 15, 2015          by Jerry Bierens

Just a thought on a Sunday morning about waking up to a commercial about prescription drugs on TV.

I think I may have a “moderate to severe” headache from hearing the words “moderate to severe” again (and again, and again, and again….) on TV drug commercial for products that you CANNOT go to the store and buy.

Seems to me to be a “moderate to severe” problem that the only two countries in the world (well at least this one, I can’t speak for the rest of an infinite universe) that allow TV ads for these products are the United States and New Zealand.

I also think that I definitely do have “moderate to severe” anger that the big pharmaceutical companies have enough influence that we have a less than (<) “moderate to severe” chance to get this changed in America anytime soon.

The fact is that big business has way too much control and power in America, so, there’s not much of a chance ( I’ll rate it as “moderate to severe”) for changing it anytime soon.

We have a hard time passing any meaningful legislation (lately it’s been ANY legislation) to control and protect the public from these monsters in banking, big oil, big “pharma” and any other large institution (I’m thinking Koch Brothers, Sheldon Adelson and in my home state of Michigan the DeVos family, they virtually own our governor) and it is not getting better.

I could go into the money and how these evil people use it to buy all this influence but my “moderate to severe” headache is getting worse……….

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The Truth about Personhood Bills

The consequences of personhood bills will go far beyond the abortion issue

personhood-movementI have seen the term Personhood when politicians are talking about certain bills or amendments. My understanding was that these bills were about protecting a fetus as a live person. They include birth control, the morning after pill, IUD’s and abortion.

Oh, nothing about condoms, by the way. Or Viagra, male enhancement devices and/or pills, or anything applying to men at all. Once again, the right-wing Christian establishment (which is male-dominated) is trying to remain in control of the uterus of the American female. Not to mention that this would include letting women die during childbirth and determining what or what does not constitute the cause of a miscarriage.

I mean, hey, they’re just women, right? What do they know about being a woman? Silly women, listen to your men, like it’s supposed to be.

The House of Representatives tried to jam through a Personhood bill in July of 2012 and it failed. So now State Personhood bills are pushing to get through harder than ever. The definition of personhood, incidentally, is “The quality or condition of being an individual person.”

Since this term became used over and over, I’ve been considering it more and more. I’ve read stories about women arrested because something happened out of their control to an unborn child. Yes, including miscarriages. I don’t plan on having anymore children so it doesn’t apply to me personally, but it’s alarming that Personhood bills are gaining such traction. I feel very sorry for pregnant women, especially those that struggled to conceive.

That raised more questions. What about in-vitro fertilization? What about parents who are trying to have a child and need fertility treatments? Frozen fertilized eggs obviously aren’t living and breathing humans but would a personhood law forbid this medical technology? According to many politicians, again, mostly males, yes.

I came across a website called Resolve.org while preparing for this story. This organization protects the rights of parents who are desperately trying to conceive but need medical intervention. The Resolve organization watches for these reckless bills state by state and fights against them.

The mission statement on their site reads: “The National Infertility Association, established in 1974, is a non-profit organization with the only established, nationwide network mandated to promote reproductive health and to ensure equal access to all family building options for men and women experiencing infertility or other reproductive disorders.”

personhood-map-0521So far, Connecticut, Hawaii, Maryland, and New York have bills, not yet laws, that protect fertility treatments. Resolve.org supports these bills. Minnesota, Oklahoma, and South Carolina, however, have bills that Resolve.org opposes. New Jersey and Virginia have bills that Resolve.org is still reviewing.

In California alone, 858,579 women, regardless of marital status, have experienced physical difficulty in getting pregnant or carrying a pregnancy to live birth. Is there a law requiring insurance coverage for fertility treatments, also known as an insurance mandate? Yes! Hopefully, more states will follow California’s lead on this issue.

This brings us to stem cell research, another issue Personhood bills dishearteningly concern themselves with. This research is so very important and uses extra in-vitro eggs that a couple may have not used. It’s harmless. Personhood bills take up the case of these frozen eggs, as apparently they cannot speak for themselves. Ridiculous as this may seem, these bills use this premise to put pressure on the state to shut down stem cell research.

The dissolution of stem cell research would be disastrous and heart breaking to thousands of individuals. It would cause researchers to leave states where these Personhood bills become law. And it’s all based on a misunderstanding or denial of the science involved. Scientific advancement, parental dreams, jobs, and economic growth, all dashed over ignorance.

According to Bruce Olwin of the University of Colorado, “Alienating an entire contingent of researchers would have dire consequences on America’s ability to compete globally in the field. Because of the overarching intrusion of religion and politics on science, I think it’s going to drive the United States into a Third World science country. We will not be anywhere near the leaders.”

Bernard Siegel, the founder and director of the Genetics Policy Institute, agrees that the Personhood movement represents a potentially major setback.

“Microscopic cells in a lab dish, that by a couple’s decision will never be implanted in a womb, should not be defined as ‘people,’” Siegel said. “Any state aspiring to become a center for biomedical research and biotechnology should not touch a Personhood bill with a 10-foot pole.”

The prime motivation for Personhood bills are religious beliefs. Those that forward such legislation think that a frozen egg is a person. It’s beyond ridiculous, yet it’s advancing along nevertheless.

If a physician is fertilizing an egg in a laboratory for a couple, and the egg is destroyed, is the physician a murderer? No, of course not. That egg is not a person. But according to Personhood bills, it is a person. It’s insanity. By that very same logic, masturbation is mass murder.

In closing, it seems so odd and hypocritical that politicians such as Rand Paul believe that parents should be able to opt out of vaccine mandates but support theseinsane bills. I implore you to visit the Resolve.org website. See for yourself what they stand for.

There is a wealth of information about this, and more Americans need to become aware of the unrecognized and disastrous consequences of this type of legislation. The rapid expansion of state level Personhood bills is sobering, to say the least. The United States must not ever pass laws such as these. Those who advocate doing so absolutely do not have our best interests at heart.

Why You Can’t Blame Immigrants for Measles Outbreaks

Posted by on Thursday, February 5, 2015

Mo Brooks inserts himself into a national issue with his trademarked ignorance

imageIt had been a few minutes since Mo “There’s a War on Whites” Brooks had said something stupid and hateful. So naturally the Alabama Republican jumped into the vaccinations and measles stories to blame recent outbreaks on undocumented (his words were actually“illegal”) immigrants. Good old Mo thinks these people are to blame for America’s epidemics.

It can’t be pointed out enough that Mo Brooks is a stupid and hateful man, with a history of saying stupid and hateful things, in order to play to a stupid and hateful base. Every time we try to move past the stupid and hateful element of the Republican Party, one of their many stupid and hateful personalities opens their stupid and hateful mouth.

What we’re saying is that Mo Brooks is not a credible source on this issue. We doubt that Mo Brooks is a credible source on very much. But we’ll humor everyone here, and point out why he’s wrong. We’ll also point out how to take Mo Brooks at his word, you would also have to be stupid and hateful.

The problems with your theory are manifold, Mr Brooks. Central and South American countries have consistently high vaccination mandates for their populations, for one.Mexico is even better than the USA at it. Yes, that includes measles. Chances are very low that undocumented Mexican (because come on, you want to specifically blame Mexicans) immigrants are to blame.

Not to mention one of the measles outbreak centers was Disneyland. That place ain’t cheap, and if those poor diseased illegals you imagine are sneaking over the border, it’s ludicrous to believe they are subsequently dropping large bills in Mickey’s world.

The Disneyland outbreak appears to have an overseas connection, but if more people in California hadn’t refused vaccination, measles wouldn’t have been able to take hold as it did. The California outbreak was traced back to 34 people, 28 of whom were not inoculated.

Where there are more vaccines, there are less diseases. Where there are less vaccines, there are more diseases. End of reasons for the measles outbreaks.

The reason there are so many outbreaks is due to the high amount of unvaccinated Americans. Don’t bother arguing any Anti-Vaxxer talking points on this, we defeated them previously here. And until you came along Mo, we’d forgotten it was possible for anyone to out-stupid Anti-Vaxxers.

imageSo good job, Mr. Brooks. You’ve helped identify just what kind of people are the problem in this country. It’s not the undocumented immigrants you love to hate so much, it’s the stupid and hateful among us who look to ignore reality and blame issues on parties that had little to do with them. Just because you don’t like them.

Blaming undocumented immigrants is stupid and hateful. It is not only blatantly incorrect, it is an excuse to enable the racist and the ignorant to spew more bile. Adding a problem to another problem makes no sense, and should not be abided by anyone. But not only do we let Republicans get away with this, we give this tactic of theirs a cutesy name; a dog whistle.

Oh, just in case you think I’m being all mean to Mo Brooks, who doesn’t deserve to get his fee fees hurt, Africa is making fun of him too. Yeah. A Nigerian comedian took Brooks’ lead and is suggesting they screen visiting Americans for vaccinations now.

The only thing worse than the stupid and hateful are the people who believe them and double down on their ignorant statements. Looking at you Ben Carson. Right afteryou’d been a voice of reason for vaccines while your colleagues jammed their feet into their mouths, too. Disappointing.

Well, Ben, at least you had a day or so of being seen as rational. That’s pretty good for Republicans these days.